Yo, Blogtown! Say a kindly "hi" to frost and an early taste of winter. And while you mutter about having to scrape off your windshield or put on some longjohns before pedaling to brunch remember that every night, warm or cold, dry or damp, hundreds of people are outside trying to find safe, semi-warm places to sleep.

Speaking of cold days in... Portland. Police Chief Mike Reese, in the face of withering and mainstream criticism, apologized last night for dragging a young rape victim into his anti-Occupy Portland rhetoric on live TV earlier in the week. Nitpicking here, but this reversal would have been even more meaningful if he'd gone back to KGW and delivered it on camera.

What else did Reese backtrack on? The chief (I presume still planning to run for mayor) also said the police bureau would try letting Occupy marchers police themselves for a change. A powerful and heartbreaking rally and march yesterday for single-payer healthcare went off just fine—without any riot cops and horses in sight. Seems the chief and Mayor Sam Adams took notice when Portlanders rightly freaked out about cops' decision to pepper-spray protesters who had been given conflicting directions on where to go Thursday.

A way more outrageous use of pepper-spray,
against a group of seated, passive students at the University of California-Davis, has triggered a review and condemnations from the school's chancellor. The Atlantic has a must-read piece that reminds us to also hold institutions accountable for their military responses to peaceful protests—not just the cops who pulled out their spray cans and fired.

In other Occupy news, Occupy Oakland marched five blocks from its previous encampment outside city hall and stormed a fenced-off vacant lot to start setting up a new tent city, in defiance of police and city government. Best on-the-ground updates I've seen on this new wrinkle for Oakland come from Gavin Aronsen, a Mother Jones fellow.

And, guess what? A lobbying firm with ties to House Republicans has proposed an $850,000 plan of attack for undermining Occupy Wall Street and keeping occupiers from—DREAD TERROR HORROR FEAR OH SHIT OH NO OH GOD AAAAHHH—making common cause with the Tea Party and booting up a truly populist movement aimed at economic inequality.

Egypt, at least, doesn't need lobbyists. Its interim military government used lethal force—and usual things like rubber bullets and tear gas and batons—to drive thousands of protesters from Tahrir Square this weekend. Doctors say three people have been killed so far.

Moammar Gadhahi's last son
was captured by a Libyan militia—but not immediately executed and put on display in a meat locker.

This technically isn't news. That supercommittee of Democrats and Republicans tasked with solving America's debt crisis in a mutually agreeable way won't make its Monday deadline for solving America's debt crisis in a mutually agreeable way.

South Carolina
has a mysterious mound of tires so large it's visible from space.

It's not Newt Gingrich. He's from Georgia. But he is the latest non-Mormon to lead presumed front-runner Mitt Romney in polls ahead of the GOP presidential primary race.