Let's start this business with the most timeless headline ever written. "Toxic liquor leaves village of widows."
Did anybody watch Jay Leno on Friday night? Maybe on a bed-mounted flat-panel TV? Apparently Libertarian gnome Ron Paul analyzed his fellow combatants for the GOP presidential nomination, announcing that Michele Bachmann "hates Muslims" and that Rick Santorum doesn't like "gay people and Muslims."
More unfiltered political rhetoric! Philandering futurist Newt Gingrich worries we're deep in a dictatorship because judges have the final say on the rule of law. Instead, Newt says, we ought to punish judges who issue rulings he personally doesn't like and that if he manages to become president next year, he'd be okay with utterly ignoring rulings he doesn't agree with. Because, yes, that's what a democracy looks like. (Which also means Newt wouldn't care if Barack Obama personally ignored Citizens United and any future rebukes of his healthcare laws. Right?)
Meanwhile, GOP candidate Mitt Romney, a model for those insipid sweater-wearing-family photos at Supercuts, and also for the Sears catalog, is slowly but surely wearing down top political endorsers who realize that even though he's boring and robotic, he's also not demonstrably insane.
Proving it's easier for Congress to strip away civil liberties than preserve tax cuts for poor and middle-class Americans, House Republicans have promised to block a bipartisan Senate bill that extends a payroll tax cut. Of course, the Senate bill extended the tax cut only for two months anyway, so...
The war in Iraq is "over." But not the shitty economy or lousy job market. So, you know, welcome home, troops! (Maybe invading Iran would make sense. Jobs, jobs, jobs!)
In local protest news: The Portland Occupier has a thoughtful account of yesterday's immigration rally and march through our own downtown. (The O has a bare-bones account of another march, last night, failing to mention that the march was in solidarity against the National Defense Authorization Act.
In national protest news: A massive swarm of occupiers in New York City—joined by members of the clergy—brought out a mobile staircase in hopes of scaling a large fence blocking off a hoped-for new campsite. About 50 of them were promptly arrested. And now, it seems, authorities are laying the groundwork for a possible ouster of Occupy D.C., the only remaining big-city occupy camp.
In global protest news! Egyptian soldiers have killed 10 and wounded hundreds more—targeting women for beatings, etc.,—as protests continue to rage against the Arab country's "transitional" military government. Also! An entire village in China has been occupied, a revolt against corrupt local officials that has evolved into a tense, days-long standoff.
How many Libyan civilians died in NATO airstrikes? NATO isn't so interested in keeping count, using words like "flawless" to describe the air attacks. Witnesses and the New York Times, however, say scores were killed in what's largely been a silent cost of the war.
Vaclav Havel, the Czech writer who endured years of Communist censorship, surveillance and prisons only lead his country into the embrace of the West after the crumbling of the Iron Curtain, has died. He was 75. (But perhaps Havel's most controversial accomplishment? Marrying "an actress who had once played a topless vampire in a film.")
A small-town, family-values Mississippi mayor announces he's gay after a city audit finds he spent taxpayer dollars at godless, Gomorrah-like Canada's "premiere gay lifestyle store and sex shop." He's apologized for not being honest with himself, or his supporters, about who he really is—but not for the thing he's actually done wrong: the misuse of city money.