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Monday, Feb. 14

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The Middle East ablaze: Iranian government uses force to quell protests ... Pluto's replacement? Two scientists at the University of Louisiana think they've found a ninth planet in our solar system that's four times bigger than Jupiter. Maybe they'll call it "Goofy" ... Bieber Fever! In an apparent act of revenge after their downy-cheeked demigod was upset by jazz bassist-singer-composer Esperanza Spalding for "Best New Artist" at the Grammies, Justin Bieber fans hack Spalding's Wikipedia page. Nasty exchanges between Bieberites and anti-Bieberites go on for 13 minutes before Wikipedia editors lock the page ... Fevered Beavers! After Oregon State University says no, students raise $4,000 on their own to pay for self-styled feminist pornographer Tristan Taormino to speak on "Claiming Your Sexual Power"... Please sir, may I have another: President Obama unveils budget that cuts programs for middle-class and poor people. Republicans (big surprise here) say it doesn't cut deep enough.

Tuesday, Feb. 15

Mini-Snowpocalypse! Sneaky snowstorm dumps a foot or so of concrete-like glop on Bend; downed trees and power outages ensue ... Storm dusts higher elevations of Portland; panic ensues ... Who could have guessed: Jailed Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff, in first prison interview, says banks and investors he worked with "had to know" his activities were not exactly kosher. "But the attitude was sort of, 'If you're doing something wrong, we don't want to know'" ... Who could have guessed, cont.: Rafid Ahnmed Alwan al-Janabi, code name "Curveball," admits he made up stories about scary weapons of mass destruction that the Bush administration used to justify invading Iraq ... Another Middle East flare-up: Thousands swarm into streets of Bahrain to
protest killing of two demonstrators by police Monday.

Wednesday, Feb. 16

The wildfire spreads: At least two killed in Yemen as protests against the regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh enter fourth day; in Bahrain, police escalate their crackdown against demonstrators ... From the mouth of Biebs: Justin Bieber, who's a Canadian, says American health care non-system is "evil." "We go to the doctor and we don't need to worry about paying him, but here, your whole life, you're broke because of medical bills," the teeny-bopper heartthrob opines. True dat ... Quick, sweetie, gimme rewrite: Emergency makeover reportedly underway for trouble-plagued Spiderman musical after reaming by critics. Maybe they'll get this $67 million turkey off the ground in time for Thanksgiving 2015 ... It's elementary, says Watson: IBM computer Watson opens big can of whup-ass on two "Jeopardy" champions, besting nearest competitor by more than $50,000. Hello, HAL. Do you read me, HAL?

Thursday, Feb. 17

Middle East violence roars on: Things get ugly in Bahrain as police attack throng of sleeping protesters, killing at least four ... Deadly violence also flares in Libya as demonstrators demanding reforms from dictator Muammar Qaddafi battle Qaddafi supporters ... Seemed like a good idea at the time: South Dakota legislature backs off from bill making it "justifiable homicide" to kill somebody in defense of a fetus after even abortion opponents say it would amount to declaring open season on abortion providers. "Clearly the bill as it's currently written is a very bad idea," spokesman for Gov. Dennis Daugaard says ... Tami stays out of jail: Oregon Court of Appeals rules Tami Sawyer, under indictment with husband Kevin for a slew of alleged real estate scams, shouldn't have been found in contempt for refusing to reveal financial info in connection with a lawsuit she lost.

Friday, Feb. 18

Take that, sinners! With 230 Republicans (including our own Greg Walden) in favor, the House votes to eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Next up: Republicans vote to outlaw sex. No, just kidding. I think ... They don't call 'em dick-tators for nothing: Muammar Qaddafi's regime kills at least 24 protesters, according to Human Rights Watch ... Meanwhile government forces in Bahrain open fire on demonstrators ... Government? Who needs it? Belgium sets world record for longest period without a government: 250 days. Belgians celebrate by dancing in the streets ... Back in the States, senior aide to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) says shutdown of federal government looms because Repubs and Dems can't agree on budget ... President Obama visits Intel labs in Hillsboro, OR, peers through microscope hoping to detect any sign of bipartisanship, fails.

Saturday, Feb. 19

Busting the union-busters: An estimated 60,000 demonstrators throng Madison, WI, to protest Gov. Scott Walker's attempt to take collective bargaining rights away from public employees; Tea Partiers plan counter-demonstrations ... The revolution lives on: At least a dozen more killed in clashes in Libya; Human Rights Watch puts death toll so far at 84 ... In Bahrain, protesters take back Pearl Square from the police ... Mini-Snowpocalypse Redux! Hard on the heels of Tuesday's gloppy dump, another snowstorm delivers six more inches to Bend; fortunately it's the light, fluffy stuff this time ... A Buckingham Palace source confirms that invitations to the April 29 wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton are in the mail. London's Daily Mail reports that 1,900 invitations will be sent. This reporter is expecting his any day now.

Sunday, Feb. 20

He shall not be moved: Tens of thousands continue protesting in Wisconsin for sixth straight day despite snow and freezing rain, but Walker says he won't budge ... Geography lesson: Scores more killed in Tripoli as protesters clash with Qaddafi supporters; Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, one of the dictator's sons, goes on TV to remind Libyans that Libya "is not Egypt or Tunisia" ... Lawmakers in the Mexican state of Chihuahua ask national government to ban "Call of Juarez: The Cartel," a shoot-'em-up video game inspired by Mexico's drug wars. "Take justice into your own hands and experience the lawlessness of the modern Wild West," the game's advertising says ... What could possibly go wrong? Majority of Texas legislators sign on in support of bill to require state's colleges to allow students and professors to carry guns on campus. Rationale is it will prevent campus massacres like the one at Virginia Tech. More guns = less shooting. Yeah, that's logical.

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