The meltdown watch in Japan is getting increasingly desperate, and American nuclear officials are freaking out. Military firetrucks, outfitted with water cannons, are the latest hope for cooling overheating fuel rods, after water dumps by helicopters didn't, um, work. Hundreds more workers are being rotated in to keep the fight going despite dangerous levels of radiation.

Remember Libya? Moammar Qaddafi's forces have been kicking the shit out of rebels for the past several days, backing them into just a couple of towns. Now that Qaddafi's about to win, the White House is asking the United Nations to okay military intervention. Meanwhile, four New York Times journalists in Libya have gone missing.

Bahrain's revolution also has stalled under some jackboots. After allies like Saudi Arabia sent troops in to quell protests, officials have been rounding up political dissidents as part of a growing, tear-gas-and-flame-filled crackdown.

The Pentagon, as always, is trying to spread pro-American propaganda among the various nations it's otherwise antagonizing. This time, it's after software that will let it secretly influence conversations on social networks. It's okay... they said it's "illegal" to use it here.

President Obama is expected to sign a three-week spending bill that, once again, briefly delays the threat of a looming government shutdown. With every deal, though, Republican House Speaker John Boehner finds himself having a harder and harder time passing the Tea Party's purity test.

One-termer: Hillary Clinton, secretary of state, says she won't be reprising the role should Barack Obama win again in 2012. Also, stop asking if she'll be vice president or defense secretary.

Time to watch some of the cable, eggheads. The SAT bosses, in their infinite wisdom, want you to sound smart about reality TV.

Wisconsin's anti-labor bill has been challenged in court. A district attorney in the state is targeting the special meeting that allowed Republicans to end-run holdout Democratic lawmakers to move the bill forward.

In Salem, good news for vice! A bill restoring permission for basement-beer-and-wine types to show off their wares at festivals is headed to a waiting Governor John Kitzhaber. Elsewhere in the Capitol, medicinal marijuana advocates raised a stink over a bill that would eviscerate the program.