GOOD MORNING, BLOGTOWN! I'm reporting today from exotic New Orleans, after an evening of expected debauchery—so please bear with me this morning. By the way, Matt Davis is fine, and says, "Hi!" LET'S GO TO PRESS.

The "cut, cap, and balance plan" passed by the House (and favored by tea baggers) was given a sound drubbing in the Senate.

At least one killed in mysterious explosions that rocked Oslo this morning, including the building housing the office of the Norwegian prime minister... who was not there at the time.

Rupert Murdoch's sonny-boy Jim is under intense scrutiny today after claims that he lied to Brit lawmakers about his involvement in the hacking scandal. (BTW, Matt Davis also denies any wrongdoing—at least in this particular case.)

Sources say that Pentagon chief Leon Panetta will give the okay to end the ban on gays serving openly in the military.

15 castaways are expected to be rescued from a small, deserted island in the Pacific—none of whom are named "Gilligan." (However, one of the people did keep accidentally breaking their coconut radio.)

The Northeast braces itself for more of that skin blistering heat wave—while here in New Orleans, it's a balmy, comfortable 85 degrees that makes one feel like one is walking around wearing a velour cape.

In your local news, Portland city council finally approves a plastic bag ban that will surely leave manufacturers twirling their mustaches and gnashing their teeth.

In my local news, two armed robberies and a suicide within the last 12 hours here in New Orleans. (Is banning plastic bags a "white person problem"?)

Now here's what's going on in your neck of the woods: 75 and clearing today, with a velour cape weekend ahead!

And finally, a FOX news commentator claims that free birth control will "eradicate the poor." Umm... isn't that what they want?