While many Americans have suffered horribly during the Great Recession and now during our long, drawn-out climb back to respectability, the wealthiest members of Congress benefited from their positions to defy the national math. Most, wouldn't you know it, grew even richer.

A snapshot of the dismal life of a salesman: "He opened the trunk of his 2004 Toyota compact and changed into his selling outfit of slacks, a yellow polo and a silver wristwatch. He rubbed lotion on his face and sifted through six pairs of shoes before grabbing his dockside loafers. His goal was to arrive at a customer’s house looking “out of the catalogue,” he said — no traces of mud on his feet, no worry lines carved into his forehead, no indication whatsoever that sales at Blue Haven Pools had been plummeting for five years running and that a staff of 24 full-timers had dwindled to six."

The US likes Syria's rebels, but not so much that it will let other Arab nations funnel in heavy weapons that might, maybe, wind up in the hands of Islamist terrorists that might, maybe, be used against Israel or the United States.

Another Syrian shell landed on Turkish soil. And, for the fifth day in a row, Turkey responded in kind.

Happy birthday to Vladimir "Putin: The Most Kind-Hearted Man in the World"

An unarmed naked college student in Alabama, clearly in a mental health crisis of some kind, charged at a campus police officer several times—until the police officer decided enough de-escalation was enough and shot him in the chest.

The voice of Hugo Chavez blared from early-morning loudspeakers, urging Venezuelan voters—"those who love the homeland"—to wake up and "come with me" as he faces the toughest re-election fight of his 14 years in power.

A portable solar charger "that looks like a quadruple-sized laptop computer" is being billed as a potential savior for millions in the developing world living without access to communication devices, clean water, and refrigerated medicine.

A 40-year battle between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front—my favorite rebel acronym: MILF—has ended with the promise of self-rule for a Muslim population long overshadowed by the island nation's Catholic majority.

Not depressed yet? Here's a convincing argument on why recent labor unrest in two Chinese Foxconn factories won't change a damned thing.

Jon Stewart and Bill O'Reilly charged people for $5 to livestream a debate that also —[yawn]—won't change a damned thing.

Naturally, a member of the House science committee would declare in a speech that evolution amounts to "lies straight from the pit of hell."

Hundreds of protesters yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of Occupy Portland and the 11-year anniversary of the American occupation of Afghanistan. Today, thousands of people in 56 cities in Spain are protesting austerity measures imposed as part of the country's extreme (and extremely frightening) economic meltdown.