They're spreading like cold sores at a key party in 1976. Days after Egypt's uprising knocked down dictator Hosni Mubarak (military "transition" is already taking shape there), young protesters have taken to the streets in Algeria and Yemen, with Bahrain next. Even Palestinian leaders are calling for new elections. Local Egyptians also were out celebrating.

In Algeria, where protesters are on the receiving end of time-honored dispersal techniques like plastic bullets and noxious gas, journalists are reportedly being targeted, Internet service is out, and Facebook accounts are getting kiboshed. Things are quieter in Yemen, where a smaller mass of protesters is communicating via text message.

Will Egypt's revolution end like Iran's,
with an even more repressive—and virulently anti-American—Islamist regime taking over? This article disputes that notion, noting that even the Muslim Brotherhood would have to answer to the broad, tech-savvy, middle-class group behind the uprising. Still, it's been a concern, especially as President Obama has struggled to get his administration on message.

Back in our so-called democracy, President Obama has submitted a budget plan that would shrink (sans details so far) the national debt by more than $1 trillion. (One report says POTUS is gonna slice money from student loans.)

Republicans want him to cut more and faster. They're trying to "kill Big Bird" (which time is about to do anyway; seriously, Carroll Spinney is like 77 years old.)

Conservatives, at their annual bacchanal. In a straw poll, the guy who stuffed the room with the most followers, Ron Paul, was chosen for something that's actually completely meaningless, possibly involving 2012, but not any crystal skulls.

A portrait of Oregon's mental health system in crisis. The O examines the Oregon State Hospital and finds "that is professionally inconsistent, financially inefficient and often sadly inhumane. There are no statewide standards for evaluating which defendants should plead the insanity defense. If they do and are then locked up in the state hospital, even stable patients find it difficult to get out." Meanwhile, after spending millions on the hospital, there is little money left for the rest of the system.

Allow me to generalize: Calling a cab in San Diego is dangerous. After plowing into a crowd outside a nightclub, the "blacked-out" cabbie was then reportedly attacked.

Another entry in GMN's continuing series, Best Headlines Ever: "Playboy Mansion visitors hit with mystery illness." Sadly, and unsurprisingly, it's not what you think. Even if this is what you thought of.

For your next dinner party, consider this.