March 23,  2004  Tuesday

Albright Says Clinton Administration Tried to Kill Bin Laden
Voice of America, DC -3-23-04

...Commission member Tim Roemer, a former Democratic congressman, mentioned the blistering accusations in the book Tuesday and called on National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice to reconsider her decision not to testify publicly and to appear before the commission on Wednesday...


Clinton administration tried to have bin Laden expelled from ...
WKRN, TN - 3-23-04
... The hearing follows explosive allegations in Clarke's book. ... The proposal wasn't approved for Bush's review until ... But "before 9-11, the United States could not ...

Ex-Iraq WMD Hunter Fears U.S. Credibility Erosion

Reuters - Mon Mar 22,10:47 PM ET

The former chief U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq warned on Monday that the United States is in "grave danger" of destroying its credibility at home and abroad if it does not own up to its mistakes in Iraq.

For those of you not familiar with RAPTURE -- it is when God takes only the good Christians from earth. They believe they will instantly disappear and float up to heaven -- and all those that don't believe will be left behind to die an agonizing death. Sorta like compassionate conservatism.

"It's the one year anniversary of the Iraq war. President Bush and Dick Cheney shared a quiet dinner to celebrate and then they paged through their scrapbook of made-up intelligence." —Bill Maher


911 Hearings


CNN Interview with Richard Clarke Today

A few excerpts below:

"If you look at the eight years of the Clinton administration, al Qaeda was responsible for the deaths of fewer than 50 Americans over those eight years. Contrast that with Ronald Reagan, where 300 Americans were killed in Lebanon and there was no retaliation. Contrast that with the first Bush administration where 260 Americans were killed on Pan-Am 103 and there was no retaliation.
I would argue that for what had actually happened prior to 9/11, the Clinton administration was doing a great deal. In fact, so much that when the Bush people came into office they thought I was a little crazy, a little obsessed with this "little terrorist" [Osama] bin Laden. Why wasn't I focused on Iraqi-sponsored terrorism."

"Now, let's just look at the facts. The administration had done nothing about al Qaeda prior to 9/11, despite the fact that the CIA director was telling them virtually every day that there was a major threat."

HEMMER: I am hearing from some families of the victims from 9/11, they're saying if it was such an urgent matter, if you truly believed the White House botched the war on terror beginning on September 12, why now on such a critical national, international issue do you write the book in March of 2004?

CLARKE: I wrote the book as soon as I retired from government. It was finished last fall and it sat in the White House for months, because as a former White House official my book has to be reviewed by the White House for security purposes. This book could have come out a long time ago, months and months ago if the White House hadn't sat on it.

click here for full CNN transcript

"The White House announced that it's sending a company of troops to Kosovo. So far we have sent American troops to Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti and now Kosovo. President Bush says the goal is to send as many soldiers overseas as we have jobs." —Jay Leno


Subject: Judith Miller

Lisa. Before you go off praising Judith Miller
you should look deeper. She is also one of the
prime "outlets" that the admin used to spread
lies about Iraq WMD. She seemed to have bought
the whole story and transmitted it through the
NYTImes without much analysis. There is a pretty
big scandal about it as reported on other sites
similar to yours.


Dear Joseph,
Thank you for writing.
I hear ya. I have read all about Judith Miller. And have read her work for years. But the piece I was referring to was written before Bush was president and it was an impressive piece of journalism...and quite accurate. She seems to have jumped on the Bush WMD bandwagon since then.
My point in posting all those dated NYT articles was to show that the info was out there...the NYT knew yet the CIA and Bush didn't. Sorta like when the USSR fell---CNN knew before the CIA.
Thanks again.

The Bush stamp

The U.S. Postal Service created a stamp earlier this year with a picture of President Bush to honor his achievements while in office. However, it was found that in daily use the stamp was not sticking to envelopes 50% of the time. So the President established a blue ribbon commission to determine the reason for such a defect. After a month's testing, the commission made the following findings: 1. The stamp was found to be in perfect order. 2. There was nothing wrong with the consistency of the applied adhesive. 3. 50% of the people were just spitting on the wrong side.


Subject: Did Bush really give money to the Taliban before 9 11

Hi Lisa,

I was wondering if Bush really did give $45 or $40 million to the Taliban before 9 11 happened.  Do you have any information on that?


Thanks for writing Cal.  Yes Bush did. In May of 2001.  Here is a link to the CNN article

U.S. gives $43 million to Afghanistan  -CNN May 17, 2001

While I was googling that request from you I ran across the State Department website called REBUILDING AFGHANISTAN and they have these listings:

Oddly enough the first two links go to a DOCUMENT NOT FOUND page.  Sloppy webpage building I guess?


Disturbing News


Russia Growls at NATO Air Patrols on Borders

Reuters -3-23-04

Russia warned Tuesday that it would "respond" to NATO warplanes patrolling on its frontiers once the three ex-Soviet Baltic states join the U.S.-led defense bloc next week but it did not say what that response would be.


Russian Navy Chief Warns Nuclear Ship Could Explode

Reuters - -3-23-04

Russia's navy chief said on Tuesday he had sent a nuclear-powered flagship back to base for fear it could blow up, but commentators dismissed his warning as part of an apparent power struggle among navy brass.


Israel Says All Militant Leaders Marked for Death

Reuters --3-23-04

Israel said all Palestinian militant leaders were "in its sights" Tuesday, one day after killing Hamas leader Ahmed Yassin in an attack that provoked Palestinian vows of revenge.


Hardliner Emerges As Hamas Strongman

AP - Tue Mar 23, 6:20 AM ET

Abdel Aziz Rantisi, a hardliner who opposes even a temporary truce with Israel, is emerging as a Hamas strongman in the Palestinian areas after the assassination of the group's founder, Sheik Ahmed Yassin.


Army Chief: Arafat in Israel Crosshairs

AP - Tue Mar 23, 6:18 AM ET

Israel's army chief suggested Tuesday that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah would eventually be assassinated by Israel.


Army Muslim Chaplain Reprimanded

AP - Tue Mar 23, 4:53 AM ET

A Muslim chaplain once suspected of being part of an espionage ring at the Guantanamo Bay prison has been found guilty of two minor charges, prompting his lawyer to call him the victim of a "drive-by act of legal violence."


Top Court Examines Texas Death Sentencing

AP - Mon Mar 22, 6:37 PM ET

Some Supreme Court justices expressed concerns Monday about whether appeals by Texas death row inmates have been handled fairly.


Supreme Court Ducks Tarzan Case

AP - Mon Mar 22,10:20 AM ET

The Supreme Court has ducked a copyright fight over Tarzan storybooks.


AAA: Gasoline Pump Prices Hit All-Time High

Reuters --3-23-04

U.S. average retail gasoline prices hit an all-time high on Tuesday as a tight-fisted OPEC policy and rising demand constricted supplies, according to the American Automobile Association.


Shuttle Gears Were Installed Backward

AP --3-23-04

To prevent another catastrophe, NASA will replace braking mechanisms on all its space shuttles after discovering some of the gears were installed backward.


Today in History  -  March 23

1026 Koenraad II crowns himself king of Italy

1775 Patrick Henry proclaims "Give me liberty or give me death"

1806 Lewis & Clark reach Pacific coast

1839 1st recorded use of "OK" [oll korrect] (Boston's Morning Post)

1868 University of California founded (Oakland CA)

1889 President Harrison opens Oklahoma for white colonization

1912 Dixie Cup invented

1922 1st airplane lands at the US Capitol in Washington DC

1925 Tennessee becomes 1st state to outlaw teaching theory of evolution

1929 1st telephone installed in White House

1942 US move native-born of Japanese ancestry into detention centers

1945 Largest operation in Pacific war, 1,500 US Navy ships bomb Okinawa

1962 JFK visits San Francisco

1965 Gemini 3 launched, 1st US 2-man space flight (Grissom & Young)

1969 - Anita Bryant and the Letterman appeared at a "Rally For Decency" in Miami following Jim Morrison's indecent exposure onstage there.

1972 - The U.S. called a halt to the peace talks on Vietnam being held in Paris.

1972 Evil Knievel breaks 93 bones after successfully clearing 35 cars

1981 Supreme Court rules states could require, with some exceptions, parental notification when teen-age girls sought abortions

1981 Supreme Court upholds law making statutory rape a crime only for men

1983 US President Ronald Reagan introduces "Star Wars"-plan (SDI)

1987 US offers military protection to Kuwaiti ships in the Persian Gulf

1994 Howard Stern formally announces his Libertarian run for New York Governor

1998 - Russian President Boris Yeltsin fired his Cabinet.

1999 - Michael Jackson announced that he would donate the proceeds from his next two concerts to the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund and the Red Cross.

1999 - NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana gave formal approval for air strikes against Serbian targets.

 2001    Russia's Mir space station ended its 15-year orbit of the Earth, splashing down in the South Pacific.

"Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has refused to recuse himself to the case involving Dick Cheney simply because he went duck hunting with Dick Cheney. He said, 'If it is reasonable to think a Supreme Court Justice can be bought so cheap than this nation is in deeper trouble than I thought, and besides, I already cashed the check.'" —Bill Maher

How to feel drunk without drinking

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Odd News


Calif. Man Accused of Trying to Extort Google

Reuters - Mon Mar 22, 8:29 PM ET

A California man has been charged with trying to extort money out of Internet search engine firm Google by threatening to release a software program that would allow spammers to defraud Google out of money if the company did not pay him $100,000, officials said.

Mysterious deaths of Wyoming elk solved; animals died after feeding on lichen

Canadian Press - Mon Mar 22,12:55 PM ET

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - A lichen native to the Rockies has been blamed for the deaths of at least 300 elk in southern Wyoming, a mystery that had baffled wildlife scientists and cost the state thousands of dollars, the state said Monday.


Pastor Dies Watching 'Passion of Christ'

Reuters --3-23-04

A Brazilian pastor died of an apparent heart attack while watching the Mel Gibson film "The Passion of the Christ," witnesses say.


Man Accused of Spitting on Cop's Burger


A Rio Rancho fast food restaurant worker is accused of spitting into a police officer's hamburger.


W.Va. Governor Protests Spoof T-Shirt

Mon Mar 22, 6:45 PM ET

Gov. Bob Wise sent a letter to Abercrombie & Fitch on Monday demanding that the clothing retailer stop selling a T-shirt that spoofs the state with the slogan, "It's All Relative in West Virginia."

Defendant Punches His Lawyer During Trial

Mon Mar 22, 6:18 PM ET

A man on trial for raping and murdering a 6-year-old girl punched his defense lawyer in the face during court Monday.

Balinese youth lock lips, get soaked by outraged priests at kissing festival

Mon Mar 22, 2:08 PM ET

BALI, Indonesia (AP) - Dozens of Balinese singles locked lips in a steamy kissing festival Monday that ended with village priests dumping buckets of water over the couples to douse their passions.


Village All Shook Up Over Presley Roots

Reuters - 3-23-04

Elvis fans have a new shrine to their hero -- a remote Scottish hamlet named this week as the ancestral home of the king of rock 'n' roll.



Graphic by Brad


Republican Shenanigans


GOP Expose: Kerry, Closet Frenchman
At a time when anti-French feelings are running high because of the diplomatic fight over Iraq. The Republican National Committee has been sending out regular news releases about Kerry's French relatives and his popularity in France….

Corporate Tax Cut Hung Up on Overtime Pay

AP - Mon Mar 22, 7:18 PM ET

Senate Republican leaders tried Monday to sidestep a bruising debate over overtime pay as senators resumed work on a tax cut for American manufacturers.


FBI Tracked Kerry in Vietnam Vets Group


White House Counters Ex-Aide: Advisers Call Clarke Disgruntled, Partisan


Clear Channel execs donate more to Bush - Tue Mar 23, 6:52 AM ET

Clear Channel, rejecting Howard Stern's claims that he was canned for slamming President Bush, says its radio network does not have a political agenda.


McCollum wants to send undercover agents to Cuba Miami Herald


"The President is having a little trouble keeping the coalition together. The President of Poland, one of our key allies, said that 'We were taken for a ride on the weapons of mass destruction.' Wow. Now I know that Bush and Powell and Cheney are all out there still trying to make the case for war, but you know what, when the Polish figure out the gag..." —Bill Maher

Good News


New Internet Browser Is Voice Operated

AP -3-23-04

Opera Software is developing a new Internet browser that allows users to talk to their computer, the company announced Tuesday.


Republican Group Wants to Block Gay Marriage Ban
KPIX-TV 5, United States - 
The former Republican congressman and wealthy businessman started by contributing $100,000 to a campaign designed to stop the president's proposed change to ...


'Fab Five' Make Rare Appearance In Night Sky

Science Daily 3-22-04

Like a busy urban family, planets rarely get together all at once. Later this month, however, the five so-called naked-eye planets - Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn - will reunite in the night sky, giving spectators a unique chance to see Earth's closest companions in one easy sitting.


'Show Us the Jobs' tours Rust Belt

Cnn 3-22-04

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Laid-off workers, students, a priest and creators of anti-offshoring Web sites are among the 51 people taking a bus tour through Rust Belt states this week to talk about job struggles, countering similar trips by the Bush administration to promote a growing economy...




The Name That Toon Contest Winners will be posted tomorrow!



A new political website - give 'em a visit



Allison, please contact me.  Your stickers are in!







A painting by the Scottish artist and former coal miner Jack Vettriano entitled 'Along Came A Spider' is seen in this undated file photo. Prints of Vettriano's story telling pictures, which he confesses are an adoration of women and partly biographical, outsell those of master impressionist Claude Monet and his original works now hang in the homes of celebrities like Jack Nicholson and regularly fetch upwards of $70,000.(Handout)