FUBAR

Gingrich: Ideas for sale to big contributors

Potential GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has promoted public policy positions that closely track the financial interests of companies that underwrite a think tank he founded.

The Center for Health Transformation is part of an elaborate consulting and communications empire Gingrich has built since he left Congress under a political cloud in January 1999. It gives the former House Speaker and Georgia Republican a far-reaching platform for his views, which he airs on television and radio, in paid speeches and in dozens of opinion columns in major newspapers.

Say what?

It is a backhanded compliment to the power of words that some of them are considered scandalous and bad. Unfortunately, when words go bad, moralists sometimes go crazy.

Alabama lawmakers duke it out

A Republican state senator who punched a Democratic lawmaker in the head expressed regret, saying "that's not the way grown men solve their problems," but he said he won't immediately apologize.

Republican Sen. Charles Bishop claimed that Democratic Sen. Lowell Barron called him a "son of a bitch" in the Senate chamber on Thursday.

"I responded to his comment with my right hand," Bishop said.

Alabama Public Television tape captured the punch.

"I was raised in the woods of Arkansas and people don't say that about your mom," Bishop said.

CIA’s secret prisons revealed

The CIA ran secret prisons in Poland and Romania from 2003 to 2005 to interrogate detainees in its war on terror, European investigator Dick Marty said in a report released Friday.

The report, citing unnamed CIA sources, said top terror suspects Abu Zubaydah and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed were secretly held and interrogated in Poland, and that the "highest state authorities" in countries involved knew of the alleged detention centers.

A porn-again debate

A proliferation of pornography on the Internet has set up a debate about the impact on young women: is in-your-face sexuality empowering, allowing girls to act like boys, or does today's hyper-sexualized society lead to more mental-health disorders for girls?

Do you know where your gun is?

Usually, it's the small children who accidentally shoot themselves or someone else with a parent's gun that make the big headlines. The teens who commit suicide with a family gun tend to attract less attention in many communities.

Sometimes, you just gotta say ‘What the…’

Under the Bush administration, the Federal Communications Commission has reversed its traditionally lenient attitude toward what are called "fleeting expletives" and pledged to crack down on vulgar and obscene comments on broadcast TV.

A monument to failure

In September, the world's largest, most expensive and most heavily fortified embassy will open. It is ours and it is in Baghdad.

The embassy compound occupies 104 acres of primo real estate along the Tigris River in downtown Baghdad. If the embassy were in Washington, it would take up most of the National Mall.

The strange, twisted world of Gary Condit

Former California congressman Gary Condit is proving both elusive and persistent in his ongoing federal court battles.

In Arizona, Condit is hard to pin down. He has not coughed up financial records that Baskin-Robbins — he used to own a franchise for two stores — needs for a breach-of-contract lawsuit. Condit's own attorney wants to leave the case, but a federal judge says the attorney must first divulge more about Condit's whereabouts.

The fog of blog

Katie Couric was "shocked" by the revelation of a plagiarized entry on her CBS News blog, Jessica Heslam reported in the April 12 Boston Herald.

It turns out that the producer who posted some stuff on "Katie's Notebook" took some passages from a Wall Street Journal column. He was fired when the word got out.