Monday, April 11
Of love and war: In an interview with The Daily Beast, Oksana Balinskaya, described as Muammar Qaddafi's former "buxom Ukrainian nurse," says there was no sex involved in her job: "None of us nurses was ever his lover; the only time we ever touched him was to take his blood pressure." Uh, okay ... Meanwhile, Libyan rebels reject peace plan proposed by the African Union because it wouldn't remove Qaddafi ... Of war, war and more war: Swedish think tank reports U.S. military spending is up 81 percent since 2001, to eye-popping total of $698 billion last year. The U.S. accounts forralmost 43 percent of world's military spending ... Meanwhile, in a completely unrelated development, Bend-LaPine Schools Superintendent Ron Wilkinson says district must lay off 20 to 22 high school teachers and increase class sizes due to $16 million budget deficit.
Tuesday, April 12
Chernobyl II: Japanese government raises severity of nuclear disaster to 7, highest on the international scale and same as 1986 Chernobyl accident ... First hat in the ring: Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty tells CNN he's running for 2012 Republican presidential nomination, making him first official GOP candidate, though many other possibles are doing the fan dance ... Having one of those years: Ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, being questioned about corruption and embezzlement, has heart attack, lands in hospital ... Win some, lose some: One day after winning court victory over Winklevoss Twins, Facebook mogul Mark Zuckerberg faces new suit by Paul Ceglia, who says he has emails proving Zuckerberg agreed to split Facebook with him in 2003 ... What a buzzkill: LaSalle University suspends Prof. Jack Rappaport for hiring strippers to perform at seminar on "Platonic and Hegelian ethics in business." Sounds highly ethical to this reporter.
Wednesday, April 13
Rallying the troops: In a speech stressing progressive values, President Obama lays out plan to trim $3 trillion from deficit, calls for hiking taxes on the rich, hammers Rep. Paul Ryan's "Kick Granny to the Curb" Medicare idea ... Fey 5-year-olds? Conservatives rip new J. Crew ad showing woman and 5-year-old son wearing pink toenail polish; Faux Noise calls it "a dramatic example of the way that our culture is being encouraged to abandon all trappings of gender identity" ... Two more notches on the gun: The Yes Men, having already punked BP, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Dow Chemical, put out bogus press release from G.E. saying giant multinational will pay back $3.2 billion tax refund; Associated Press falls for it ... Not the most valuable: Ex-Pirates and Giants star and seven-time MVP Barry Bonds convicted of obstruction of justice in steroids probe; could get 10 years, probably will get a lot less.
Thursday, April 14
Down to the bone: Congress passes bill to fund government including $38 billion in cuts; 59 Republicans vote against it because it doesn't cut enough ... Fear of flying: Hank Krakowski, chief of the Air Traffic Organization, resigns after at least five cases of air traffic controllers being asleep on the job ... They're not gonna fold: Gamblers angry at arrest of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who, it turns out, is world-class blackjack player. They're talking about series of blackjack and poker tournaments to raise money to fight for his release ... Washed up: ABC announces it's scrubbing two of its longest-running soap operas, "All My Children" and "One Life to Live"; will replace them with "Chew," yet another celebrity chef show ... But who needs soap operas when you live in Bend? Gynecologist Dr. David Redwine reprimanded, suspended for one month for having sex with a patient, who, according to court documents, was Tami Sawyer, indicted former real estate broker and defendant in lawsuit by - ready for it? - Dr. David Redwine.
Friday, April 15
Take that, Grandma: On party-line vote, House Republicans, including our own Rep. Greg Walden, pass $5.8 trillion deficit reduction plan that will gut Medicare, give more tax cuts to billionaires ... More Middle East madness: Qaddafi's troops using cluster bombs against civilians in Misrata, Libya, according to New York Times ... Meanwhile, tens of thousands of demonstrators pour into streets in Syria; over 200 reported dead in clashes with police ... Gag me with a spoon: Research suggests half of meat in U.S. supermarkets may be contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus ... A little social networking with the natives: Mark Zuckerberg makes surprise appearance in Prineville for party marking opening of mammoth Facebook data center; locals wowed.
Saturday, April 16
How about Leisure World? U.S. and allies reportedly looking for pleasant spot where Qaddafi can retire after he steps down, though so far he's saying he won't leave ... This is NOT cool: Sharp rise in radioactivity in seawater off Japan could indicate another reactor leak caused by 5.9-level aftershock ... Riding angry: New Orleans cops arrest Nicolas Cage, star of "Drive Angry 3D," on domestic abuse charges after cab driver reports he was "very drunk" and fighting with his wife ... Atlas Flopped: First movie in planned trilogy based on Ayn Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged gets panned. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone writes that it "sits there flapping on screen like a bludgeoned seal."
Sunday, April 17
Three Cups of Bull? CBS's "60 Minutes" reports Greg Mortenson's bestseller Three Cups of Tea is largely bogus and that his charity organization has taken credit for building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan that don't exist ... Some of my best friends are bigots: Orange County, CA Republican Party official Marilyn Davenport refuses to resign after sending email with photo showing President Obama and his parents as chimpanzees. She's not racist, she says: "I have friends who are black" ... A little more shut-eye: Federal Aviation Administration adopts new rules giving air traffic controllers an extra hour off between shifts in hope they'll stop falling asleep on the job ... Something to cheer you up as you fill out your 1040: IRS report on top 400 taxpayers shows their average federal income tax rate for 2010 was only 17 percent, down from 26 percent in 1992, when IRS began tracking them.