Tuesday, Jan. 4
Tweeter of the House: Soon-to-be House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announces his swearing-in ceremony Wednesday will be streamed live on Facebook. He also announces he'll be changing his Twitter name, but doesn't reveal what the new one will be. How about "Mr_Tangerine_Man"? ... Cleaning up Huck: Auburn University Prof. Alan Gribben plans to publish a new edition of Huckleberry Finn with all 219 uses of the "n" word changed to "slave." Gribben says he doesn't want to bowdlerize Mark Twain's classic, just make it more acceptable to school boards and libraries ... Punked at the pump: Gas prices in Oregon jump 6 cents a gallon in wake of tax hike that took effect Jan. 1. Some state legislators predicted gas stations would absorb the tax increase so customers wouldn't get hammered so hard. Yeah, sure.
Wednesday, Jan. 5
Them's firing words: ESPN dumps veteran announcer Ron Franklin for telling a female colleague in a meeting: "Why don't you leave this to the boys, sweet baby?" When she objected to that terminology he replied: "Okay then, asshole." This guy is just a little behind the curve ... Starbucks says it's changing its famous logo to eliminate the "Starbucks" name. Personally we liked the original, pre-1987 logo with the bare-breasted mermaid ... First the bad news: 40 percent of Americans believe "God created humans pretty much in their present form about 10,000 years ago," according to a new Gallup poll. The good news: That's down from 47 percent a decade ago ... NYers to Koch: Bag it! David Koch, one of the billionaire Koch brothers and a godfather of the Tea Party movement, gets booed while making a speech before a performance of "The Nutcracker" in NYC.
Thursday, Jan. 6
Teabagged again: President Obama, fearful of Republican charges that he's backing "death panels," rolls back a regulation allowing Medicare to pay for end-of-life care counseling ... Big-budget production: Republicans begin their first session in control of the House by reading the whole U.S. Constitution. (Well, except the embarrassing bits about slavery.) Estimated cost of staff time, security, keeping the lights on, etc.: $1.1 million ... Speaking of the Constitution: Rep. Pete King (R-NY), new chair of the House Homeland Security Commission, says the New York Times should be indicted under the Espionage Act for the crime of criticizing something King said ... Truly, these are the end times: Hundreds of dead redwing blackbirds mysteriously fall from the sky in Louisiana. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of dead crabs wash ashore on beaches in England. Maybe the Mayan Calendar has it figured out.
Friday, Jan. 7
Calling Glenn Beck and John Boehner: A team of Israeli scientists discovers that sniffing women's tears acts as an anti-aphrodisiac for men. The researchers want to study the effect of male tears but have trouble finding men who are weepy enough ... Unemployment dropping or workers dropping out? Latest numbers show the economy added 103,000 jobs in December as unemployment fell to 9.4 percent, lowest in 19 months. But much of the decline was due to people giving up looking for work ... Voice of gold: Ted Williams, the homeless Cleveland man whose velvety voice won him YouTube fans worldwide, says he's been offered a role in a movie opposite Jack Nicholson, playing a radio DJ ... The Bill 'n' Barack Show: White House announces President Obama will have a sit-down interview with Faux Noise Channel's Bill O'Reilly before the Super Bowl game.
Saturday, Jan. 8
Darkness in Tucson: A gunman opens fire with a semi-automatic weapon at a political event outside a Safeway, killing six people and wounding 12 others, including Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who is in critical condition after being shot through the brain. Police arrest Jared Lee Loughner, 22, who has posted paranoid anti-government rants on YouTube. Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dubnik says Arizona has "become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry." No argument here ... Stunned in Seattle: The Seattle Seahawks, heretofore known as the Seattle Sea Slugs, amaze the football world by knocking off the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints, 41-36, in the NFL playoffs. One more win and the Hawks will have a .500 season ... More Mayan Calendar news: Two-headed calf born in Tbilisi, Georgia ... hideous hairless creature shot in Kentucky (it turns out to be a bald raccoon) ... orange alligator spotted in Venice, FL (it does not turn out to be John Boehner).
Sunday, Jan. 9
Breed 'em like Beckham: Soccer star David Beckham reveals that he and his wife, Victoria neé Posh Spice, are expecting a child, their fourth ... Kill the messenger: Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik catching flak from right-wing politicians for unkind remarks about Arizona following Saturday's massacre in Tucson (see above). Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips tells followers to blame the attack on liberals ... Weird science: Researchers in Portland find that pregnant women whose homes are surrounded by lots of trees are less likely to have low-birth-weight babies than those who live in less leafy places ... Mayan Calendar update: Hundreds of turtledoves fall from sky in Italy as millions of dead fish wash up on riverbanks and coastlines. Stay tuned.