MONDAY, DECEMBER 12 R.I.P potty-mouthed genius Richard Pryor, who died of a heart attack over the weekend, after suffering from MS for almost 20 years. According to his wife, Jennifer Lee Pryor, "He did not suffer. He died quickly. At the end, there was a smile on his face." His humor will be remembered as a true contribution to society, as opposed to Britney's husband Kevin Federline who hasn't contributed anything to anyone ever, unless you count the time he gave his roommate the shingles. (JOKE!... Or is it?) On the other hand, K.Fed is unusually gifted at contributing fodder for the world's gossip columns, and in particular, In Touch magazine, who reported this week that the professional layabout is planning on taking Brit to the cleaners—to the tune of a "$125 million settlement" if the marriage comes to an end. "I don't like lawyers," K.Fed croaked to In Touch. "But in this situation, I have to get protection. I love her. But ask me now about life apart from Britney, and all I can say is, 'Can it be any worse than living with her?'" OUCH! Naturally, Britney's reps are denying the interview ever took place, and we tend to agree. We can't imagine a fine, upstanding young man like Kevin Federline ever taking advantage of a situation. Unless, of course, a lifetime supply of Cheetos is involved.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 13 Being a celebrity can be so exhausting! All those long hours of sitting in your trailer, ordering your assistant to get you a half-decaf cappuccino, and fighting off sexually transmitted diseases. How can these people find time to remain sane, much less squeeze in a workout with their personal trainers? It's no surprise then that TWO major celebs crumpled under the weight of their schedules and bohemian lifestyles today, starting with Irish hottie Colin Farrell. While his publicists are blasting rumors that the hunky actor overdosed this past weekend, today they're claiming he's checked into a treatment center to recover from "exhaustion" and... ummm... an itty-bitty chemical dependency. Nothing big, mind you! Just your average pain pills for those back spasms celebrities tend to get (probably from bending over so fans can kiss their asses). MEANWHILE... Occasional lip syncher and current party gal Ashlee Simpson is also getting some hospital bed rest after collapsing in a Japanese elevator from—you guessed it—"exhaustion." Just think what could've happened if she had taken the stairs!

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 14 It's one thing to convince Hollywood celebs that Scientology isn't the biggest pile of bullshit since some ancient power-hungry clergy invented the Bible. However, it's quite another to sell this cockamamie bill of goods to New York firefighters. Now, we all know Tom Cruise probably means well. After all, he did donate a lot of time and money to an organization called the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project—designed to assist firefighters still suffering from lung problems following the 9/11 attacks. However, when Tom suggested to these same firefighters to put down their doctor-prescribed inhalers and medicine, and start drinking cooking oil as advised by Scientology teachings—well, that's a little much, don't ya think? Deputy Fire Commissioner Frank Gribbon took the actor to task in the pages of the New York Post, claiming, "If our doctors are prescribing medication, and they [the clearly insane Scientologists—who, if you'll remember, believe that all problems on Earth stem from the bitter souls of aliens who were dumped into a volcano by an intergalactic dictator] are saying, 'Don't take it,' that's a problem for us." Tom was quick to defend the "drinking cooking oil" cure, claiming, "More than 500 individuals have recovered health and job fitness through this project." Hmmm... but does it really count if those 500 individuals are angry aliens from the planet Bleepbloop?

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15 It took almost the entire Congress to do it, but today President Bush finally conceded that maybe torturing people willy-nilly isn't the best way to convince other nations that Americans are nice people. Republican Senator John McCain had called for the banning of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of foreigners suspected of terrorism, and was fought tooth and nail by the administration, who had threatened to veto the ban, or agree to it if it was still okay for the CIA to cruelly torture people. Unfortunately for the White House cronies, McCain had the votes in Congress to back up his plan, causing Bush to back down, and act like it was his idea all along. Said the prez, "[This ban] will make it clear to the world that this government does not torture and that we adhere to the international convention of torture, whether it be here at home or abroad." The president was then said to have leaned over to McCain and asked, "But it's still okay to electrocute genitals as long as we do it on a space station... right?"

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 16 We don't mean to freak you out, but it is very possible that George Bush does not respect your right to privacy. The New York Times reported today that our president has personally authorized a secret eavesdropping program, and renewed it more than three dozen times since October 2001. As you know, it is very rare that George Bush personally does ANYTHING, so this is of some significance. The eavesdropping program allowed the super-duper-double-dog-secret National Security Agency to monitor the international phone calls and emails of people inside the United States without court-approved warrants. SOME people think that violates civilians' civil liberties and might be illegal. Bush was sullen and mum about the whole thing today, but a senior intelligence official told the Associated Press that the program was designed to go after terrorist threats in the US and not just people who don't claim their eBay winnings at tax time. (You didn't think we knew about that, did you?) If they'd only use it for something useful—like getting dirt on Nick and Jessica. That's something we could get behind!

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 17 The president broke his silence on the whole eavesdropping thing today and basically asked you to go fuck yourself. That's right, you insolent chardonnay-swilling, liberal know-it-all jackass. Bush wanted to tell you this so badly that he trashed the speech he'd already taped for his weekly radio address, and instead gave a live speech in which he confirmed and defended his secret spying initiative and told Americans that he had no plans of discontinuing it, so na-na na-na boo-boo, stick your face in doo-doo. It's an "awesome responsibility" to protect you, and he doesn't mean awesome-cool. God! You are such an ungrateful whiner!

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 18 Oh, for the love of... President Bush gave another speech today (we know!), this time assuring America that we are winning the war in Iraq. Isn't that a relief? He also implied vaguely that some troops might get to come home at some point in the future, saying: "As these achievements come, it should require fewer American troops to accomplish our mission." And if wishes were horses, beggars would ride. Bush is trying out a new tact that involves acknowledging fuckups and faulty intelligence. Or, more accurately, acknowledging bad advice he got and intelligence that someone else said was right but turned out to be wrong. How are you supposed to be a good president when people keep giving you bad information?