Just in time for the midterm elections? Some of the most no-duh pieces in this year's landmark, but hard-fought, health care overhaul take effect today. Children with pre-existing conditions must now be covered, there are no more lifetime caps on how much an insurance company must pay for your treatment, and tests like mammograms and colonoscopies no longer come with co-payments. Still, any joy might be short-lived.

Speaking of impossible tasks,
President Obama exhorted members of the United Nations today to rally 'round Mideast peace talks that, he says, could lead to the creation of a Palestinian state. Just calling for a Palestinian state got big applause for the prez. But there were no awkward reaction shots of the Israeli delegate: His seat was empty because of a Jewish holiday.

North Korea's very own Dr. Strangelove—as in, the fellow responsible for its nuclear program—has been named the tiny, starving nation's vice premier. The promotion comes amid heavy speculation that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il will step down in favor of his son this month.

Sesame Street
doesn't want you to see Katy Perry giving Elmo a boner. The kids show has decided not to air a suggestive video that shows the singer cavorting with the shitty red Muppet in a low-cut dress and singing suggestive lyrics (that aren't really that suggestive at all). If you click through, you can see it for yourself.

The Texas Board of Education is insane. Its members are planning to vote Friday on a resolution demanding textbook publishers limit what's printed about Islam in world history books. If the fool thing is approved, redneck bureaucrats will literally measure the content in textbooks and toss any that devote more lines to Islamic beliefs over Christian beliefs.

A huge recall of powdered baby formula has been announced because bug parts were found in it, giving poor little babies some upset tummies. Abbott Labs says Similac powder may contain small beetles, or their larvae. Of course, we eat bug parts, and other offal, every single day.

Workplace shooting. Police say a worker at a cold-storage facility in Nebraska injured three people before turning the gun on himself.

Forbes' stupid ranking of American billionaires is out again. Bill Gates still owns you. California's got the most of 'em. (Boy, they got a host of 'em!) And here's a status update: Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg is now worth more Apple's Steve Jobs.

Meanwhile, you're not on that list, unemployment claims are back up, and the world's No. 2 billionaire, crusty ol' Warren Buffett, says we're still in a recession. But don't get down: Remember, no man (or woman) is a failure who has friends!