FUBAR

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.

Underachievers can become President

Any kid can grow up to be president. Just look at their report cards. Lyndon Johnson got a D in his third-grade grammar class. John Kennedy scored a 55 in eighth-grade Latin. George H.W. Bush's high school transcript shows marks in the 60s and 70s for many classes.

"We want to believe that there is a class of people who emerge early on as heirs to the throne, so to speak, but that's not the case," said Timothy Walch, director of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library.

Plame sues CIA over book restraint

A former US intelligence agent who was outed in 2003 in an Iraq war scandal that rocked the White House filed suit against the CIA Thursday over an order preventing her from publishing her memoirs.

The case centers on whether Valerie Plame can publish her dates of service. While the CIA says the information is classified, Plame and her publisher Simon Schuster say the details were released unclassified in 2006.

For those born yesterday

The pursuit of happiness takes many forms and the American people are starved for entertainment. Those two truths taken in combination may explain the Creation Museum, which has just opened in Petersburg, Ky., not far from Cincinnati.

Lacking such an explanation, sensible people might dismiss such an oddity as just another of the devil's works to lure Christians into making themselves look ridiculous for the amusement of atheists, who are desperate for any sort of fun because they can't enjoy Christmas.

To the embarrassment of thoughtful believers, the Creation Museum has been built for people who were born yesterday, or more or less yesterday, because they don't believe in the great geologic periods that spoilsport science insists upon.

Apologizing for slavery

Germany has apologized for its treatment of Jews in World War II. Australia has apologized to its aborigines. And Tony Blair has apologized to the Irish for Great Britain's handling of the potato famine.

American presidents have come close to apologizing to African-Americans for slavery, and several have spoken of the evil of what some historians call the peculiar institution. Soon, in a measure introduced by Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., the United States House of Representatives could finally, formally apologize for slavery, Jim Crow segregation and the continuing legacy of discrimination against black people.

As of last week, due in part to a strategy devised to appeal more intimately to potential backers of his congressional resolution, Cohen had collected 90 co-sponsors, including Republican Phil English of Pennsylvania.

Experts say torture doesn’t work

The "aggressive" interrogation techniques that the Bush administration advocates for use on terror suspects is coming under fire from experts who call the practice "outmoded, amateurish and unreliable."

Even members of the Bush administration, including Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, have begun to question the use of torture to gain information from suspects.

But President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney continue to push use of such techniques, calling them a "valuable tool" in the so-called war on terror.

But support for use of torture, once a given on Capitol Hill, is beginning to wane.

Skeletons rattle in candidates’ closets

Plenty of skeletons are rattling in the political closets of the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates this year.

A survey of 1,010 adults conducted by Scripps Howard News Service and Ohio University finds many Americans voice concerns about candidates who've used cocaine, been married three times, have uncommon religious beliefs, have little government experience or are just plain too old.

The survey finds almost every major candidate has a significant fault or political deficit they must overcome.

An object of Internet lust

Allison Stokke is an attractive 18-year-old high school athlete in Newport, California.

She also is the object of lewd affection for thousands of horny young and old men on the Internet.

Stokke is an example of the speed at which information can be passed around the 'Net as well as the Web's feeding ground for the worst in humanity.

It all started with a photo of the young pole vaulter at a track meet. She stood adjusting her hair while waiting her turn. Her track uniform, standard attire for track athletes at her school, showed some bare midriff. A blogger posted it and turned the teenager's life a living hell.

Clintons’ buddy sued over plane trips

Sen. Hillary Clinton (AP)A longtime Clinton benefactor used corporate jets to fly the former president and Hillary Rodham Clinton on business, personal and campaign trips that a lawsuit brands as wasteful company spending.

The supporter, Vinod Gupta, also secured contracts worth more than $3 million for Bill Clinton to provide consulting services to Gupta's Nebraska-based company, infoUSA, from 2003 through 2008, according to the suit.

Since 2002, Gupta spent $900,000 flying the former president to international locations on presidential foundation business and flying Hillary Clinton, a Democratic senator from New York, to political events.