updated 5/26/2005 7:57:36 PM ET 2005-05-26T23:57:36

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Zarqawi injury rumors — It is counter-intuitive.  But so much of our three and a half years of living with opponents, extremists, and terrorists in the Muslim world, have been counter-intuitive.   Abu Musab al Zarqawi, the chief maker of mayhem in Iraq, is reportedly wounded and needing the prayers of his sympathizers.  We know that — or we know of that rumor — because it has been publicized on a series of websites in the Middle East, including at least one that has previously been right on the money about terrorist activity in the past.  So if he is injured — or worse — why put it on the internet?  Several islamic websites posting messages, purportedly from his group "Al Qaeda in Iraq" — saying that Zarqawi is badly wounded, and asking supporters to pray for him.  One of Zarqawi's lieutenants, named Abu Karar,  told the Washington Post that the terror leader was shot between the shoulder and the chest while fighting in Ramadi over the weekend.  According to Karar, Zarqawi — also reportedly nearly captured by American forces as recently as February — lost consciousness several times, but is now stable enough to hold meetings with his lieutenants to talk about his possible successor.

Jackson circus — Well, here it is, the last day of school, the hour before hiatus, the possible day the defense rests.  It’s your entertainment and tax dollars in action: Day 554 of the Michael Jackson Investigations.  And of course, always leave them with a show-stopping final witness...Arlene Kennedy of Universal Dance and Design School!  She was the anti-climax after Jay Leno .  But the defense needed something, because to them Jay was a surprise witness.  Comedian Chris Tucker was the last witness of the day and he may not have helped the defense, either.  Tucker's testimony continues tomorrow — then the defense rests, with Jackson having not testified. Then the prosecution has about five rebuttal witnesses... we should be wrapped up by Thursday. Woo-hoo.

What's the deal? — If you were a poly-sci major, or a student of American history, you know all about compromises that actually turn out to be, not compromises on issues, but compromises between something bad happening today and something bad happening later.  The Missouri Compromise in 1821, the Compromise of 1850, even the Constitution itself simply put off the issue of how to resolve slavery.  While it’s hardly of that consequence, the Judiciary Filibuster Compromise of 2005 may be nothing more than an I.O.U. with a short due date.  Years of gridlock were broken today on the floor of the Senate.  Lawmakers voted 81 to 18 to end debate over the nomination of Justice Priscilla Owen, part one of the "moderates' compromise" made yesterday.  This move clears the way for a confirmation vote, expected to happen either tomorrow or later tonight.  The confirmation now all but official.

Hurricane babies — In August 1966 — nine months after the Great Blackout — hospitals in New York and other eastern cities reported a strange phenomenon: more children were being born than usual .  They counted back on their fingers and went "Ahhhhhh...."  In late June 2002 — nice months after 9/11 — hospitals in New York and around the country reported the same strange phenomenon.  They counted back on their fingers and went "Ahhhhh...."  This week, hospitals in Florida confirm that citizens were doing more than just wait out the storms nice months ago.

Burger queen — Here we go again — another video from Paris Hilton.  Paris’ latest performance comes via a racy TV commercial for Carls Jr.  The Parents Television Council is not happy, calling it ‘soft porn’.  The group says the ad is too hot for TV.  In the spot, the bikini-clad hotel heiress washes and hoses down a car while trying to eat a hamburger.  Talk about mutli-tasking.  That’s talent.


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