We covered the three local property tax measures in this week's Mercury—on ginning up funding for the Oregon Historical Society, TriMet bus infrastructure, and new equipment for the Portland Fire Bureau. One question I've had all along was how falling property values might affect those streams of cash. Another O story answers that question: They won't.

In fact, it's all politics all the time, this Sunday in the Oregonian. Profiles of Dr. Buckeroo and Dr. Bigman, and an editorial writer's examination of why three ballot measures us lefties would normally pass—TriMet, pot, and publicly funded elections—face strong headwinds.

As for politics outside the (sunny?!) Northwest,
the national fate of the Democratic Party depends in large part on a continued surge of black voters, a difficult feat in a low-turnout midterm election. Also, the kinds of secret fundraising schemes that fed the Watergate scandal are now, in different form, perfectly legal. Suck on that, Woodstein!

Did Justin Bieber totally whale on a 12-year-old while playing laser tag? Canadian authorities are (politely and earnestly) investigating after the preteen's father filed a complaint.

It's like returning to an old flame, except that this old flame is Al-Qaida. Sunni insurgents wooed into working with American forces in Iraq are treating us like the low-class mistress we undoubtedly are, rejoining the militias we really thought they really wanted to leave behind. What's bad is that now they know all (or rather a disturbingly unacceptable number of) our secrets.

Flashback! In a time of economic gloominess, a German chancellor is riling up the right. Angela Merkel is courting her infamous country's anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim political fringe, saying multiculturalism has "failed." And it's not just Germany.

Serves you right for buying frozen veggies at Wal-Mart. Enjoy those glass shards.

Lastly, a woman who spoke jive in a campy movie I don't actually like, showed only green-and-white socks in a cartoon show I loved as a child, and once raised a dumb little kid while sweeping up a large suburban home in fancy clothes, has died at age 94. This one's for you, June Cleaver.