News Roundup for Monday, April 13

To the Shores of Tripoli: “Within days of his March 1801 inauguration … Thomas Jefferson ordered a naval and military expedition to North Africa, without the authorization of Congress, to put down regimes involved in slavery and piracy. The war was the first in which the U.S. flag was carried and planted overseas; it saw the baptism by fire of the U.S. Marine Corps–whose anthem boasts of action on ‘the shores of Tripoli’–and it prefigured later struggles with both terrorism and jihad.” Image from

Too pooped to pop: “Instead of explaining contradictory statements over his actions regarding California’s Prop 8 on same-sex marriage, Rick Warren went with Plan B: He didn’t show up for a planned interview on ABC’s ‘This Week.’ ”

Palins and Johnstons are the new Hatfields and McCoys: “A recent statement by a spokesperson for Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin only served to fuel the media’s coverage of the ongoing feud between Palin’s family and that of Levi Johnston.” Johnston remarks “that the biggest misconception about him is ‘probably that my family is white trash.’ ” Ya think?

A fact the teabaggers don’t know:  Today is Tax Freedom Day. “America Will Work 8 Days Less [or, for English speakers, ‘Fewer’] to Pay Taxes in 2009 than in 2008; Recession, Stimulus Package Push Date of Celebration Up.”