April 1,  2004  Thursday



Main US Focus Before 9/11 Not on Terrorism - Report
Reuters, United States - 4-1-04

 U.S. national security adviser Condoleezza Rice was scheduled to deliver a major policy speech on Sept. 11, 2001, that focused on missile defense, not terrorism, The Washington Post reported on Thursday.
Citing former U.S. officials who have seen the text, the newspaper said the speech was designed to promote missile defense as the cornerstone of the Bush administration's national security and contained no mention of al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden or Islamic extremist groups...


Bush, Cheney joint testimony will limit varying answers

Knight Ridder Newspapers 4-1-04

President Bush's plan to appear before the Sept. 11 commission with Vice President Dick Cheney at his side violates a fundamental rule of investigations, but the panel accepted the unusual arrangement to get the president's cooperation....

In gleeful, grisly scene, a difficult reality
St. Petersburg Times, FL -4-1-04 is war, and death is inherent, but what made Wednesday's scene so striking was the apparent ...

"I don't believe Bush KNEW about 9 11.  I do believe he was asleep at the wheel." - Al Franken


"It's really getting ugly between the White House and this former counter-terrorism official Richard Clarke. ... Clarke accused President Bush of subterfuge, an accusation President Bush both denied and had to look up." —Jay Leno


Disturbing News


Top Focus Before 9/11 Wasn't on Terrorism

washingtonpost.com - 3-31-04

On Sept. 11, 2001, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice was scheduled to outline a Bush administration policy that would address "the threats and problems of today and the day after, not the world of yesterday" -- but the focus was largely on missile defense, not terrorism from Islamic radicals.

Iraqis Drag Bodies Through Streets After Attack

Reuters -3-31-04

A crowd of cheering Iraqis dragged charred and mutilated bodies through the streets of the town of Falluja Wednesday after an ambush on two vehicles that witnesses said killed at least three foreigners.


Most not prepared for attack

USATODAY.com - 3-31-04

Most Americans have not followed the government's advice to prepare for terrorism by stocking food and water, making a plan to contact family members and identifying a "safe room" in their homes, a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll shows.




TV ads score big in Bush turnaround

USATODAY.com - Tue Mar 30, 7:31 AM ET

A week of hearings on Capitol Hill and criticism from a former counterterrorism aide have eroded President Bush's poll standing on fighting terrorism. But that's nothing compared to the damage that Bush's campaign ads may have done to Democratic candidate John Kerry.



White House Threatens to Veto Highway Bill

AP - Tue Mar 30, 7:35 PM ET

The White House on Tuesday threatened to veto a massive House highway spending bill, rejecting efforts by House GOP leaders to find common ground between the administration's demand for fiscal discipline and lawmaker pleas for more road-building money.



Top Court Considers Mexican Doctor Case

AP - Tue Mar 30, 5:53 PM ET

A skeptical Supreme Court considered Tuesday whether a Mexican doctor acquitted of helping to kill a federal agent should be compensated for his kidnapping on orders from the U.S. government.


"John Kerry said today that he would bring down the price of gasoline if he is elected president. He said he would arm-twist members of OPEC to lower prices. Do you think this is really going to work with OPEC, arm twisting? Hey, Bush invaded them and they haven't lowered prices. We blew up the country and they haven't lowered prices." —Jay Leno


Jay Leno: "Some good news from Washington. National security adviser Condoleezza Rice is feeling better after recovering from a sore back. Apparently she twisted it this weekend, trying to duck the 9/11 Commission."


Business News


Viacom in Talks to Develop Gay TV Network

AP -3-31-04

Viacom has "tightened up" its decency standards in the wake of Janet Jackson's racy Super Bowl performance and is in preliminary discussions to launch a gay cable network in the United States, its chairman and chief executive said Tuesday.


Radio Flyer to Produce Wagons in China

AP - Tue Mar 30, 4:44 PM ET

Radio Flyer Inc., maker of the little red wagon loved by generations of children, plans to move manufacturing of its metal wagons to China.


Martha Stewart's Lawyers Seek New Trial

AP - Thu Apr 1, 6:12 AM ET

Martha Stewart says she should be tried again because one of the jurors who convicted her last month lied about a 1997 arrest for assault and other parts of his background.





Bush Mining Regulatory Change Is Denounced

AP - Tue Mar 30, 7:09 PM ET

Tales of floods and flattened peaks and of homes swept away or devalued in central Appalachia were laid out Tuesday by opponents to the Bush administration's plan to ease a buffer-zone regulation protecting streams from coal mining operations.


Japan abandons IMF bid, to back Frenchman: source

AFP - Wed Mar 31, 6:30 AM ET

Japan has given up on getting the top job at the International Monetary Fund and will instead back a French candidate endorsed by Paris and Berlin, a top Japanese official said


OPEC, U.S. Fire Push Oil Prices Upward

Reuters - 3-31-04

Oil prices rose Wednesday as an explosion at the third largest refinery in the United States combined with the likelihood of an OPEC supply cut to deepen fears of a supply crunch this summer.


Conan O'Brien: "Yesterday, in California, John Kerry made a speech announcing a plan to control gas prices. After hearing this, President Bush said, 'That's crazy, only Dick Cheney can control gas prices.'"

Kerry Recovering After Shoulder Surgery

AP - 4-1-04

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry was recovering off the campaign trail Thursday after minor shoulder surgery that his doctor described as free of complication....

NO ONE DIED When Clinton Lied

Bumper stickers from www.noonedied.com

Breaking News:  Condi Rice gets a makeover!




Condi should get a makeover before her testimony.

Republican Shenanigans

Only One Check Issued From $74M Program

AP - Tue Mar 30, 9:09 PM ET

Nearly four years after Congress passed a law to help ill nuclear weapons plant workers, the government has devoted $74 million to a compensation program that so far has sent only one check, worth $15,000, to one worker....

Assorted News

Three U.S. Troops Injured in Iraq Attack

AP - 4-1-04 A roadside bomb injured three American troops in a U.S. military convoy on Thursday near Fallujah, a day after the grisly killing and mutilation of four American contract workers in the city. The top U.S. administrator in Iraq said the deaths would not go unpunished.


Americans Wary of Some Terror-War Tactics

AP -3-31-04

Americans seem willing to surrender some personal information to the government for improved security against terrorism, but nearly three-fourths of adults expressed strong concerns that government can't be trusted with such information, according to a survey.


Doctors Take Stands Against Abortion Law

AP --3-31-04

Lawyers fighting the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act at three closely-watched trials across the nation are putting doctors on the stand who say they may keep performing the late-term procedures — even at risk of prosecution — because they consider them "safer."


Emotional Elder Bush Attacks Son's Critics

Reuters - Tue Mar 30, 6:20 PM ET

An emotional former President George H.W. Bush on Tuesday defended his son's Iraq war and lashed out at White House critics.






Jackson feted by black US lawmakers for his contribution to kids

AFP - Wed Mar 31, 5:03 AM ET

Singer Michael Jackson has begun two days of visits to the US Congress to meet with black lawmakers and offer his support for the fight against AIDS and help for children in Africa.


Military Recruiters May Get Campus Access

AP - Tue Mar 30, 7:59 PM ET

The House moved Tuesday to deny defense-related funding to universities that don't provide ROTC programs and military recruiters equal access to their campuses. Opponents said the bill was an assault on university policies banning gay discrimination.


Privacy Trumps Disclosure in Foster Case

AP - Tue Mar 30, 4:07 PM ET

The Supreme Court rejected a lawyer's pursuit of photos he contends might show Clinton administration lawyer Vincent Foster was murdered, concluding Tuesday that privacy concerns often trump public disclosure when it comes to sensitive death pictures.


Oklahoma Supreme Court Upholds Voter Measure Against Cockfighting

Tue Mar 30, 3:56 PM ET

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and The Fund for Animals (The Fund) have issued the following statements in reaction to the ruling issued today by the Oklahoma Supreme Court on the case relating to the state's voter-approved law to ban cockfighting:


Liberal Radio Network Hits Air With Left Jab

washingtonpost.com - 4-1-04

Al Franken set a lofty standard on his new radio show yesterday, casting it as "a battle for truth, a battle for justice, a battle for America itself." ...


Graphic by Brad

 "Taxi cab drivers are demanding fares go up. That's fair. Everything in this town has gone up. Especially if you're a cab driver. Tolls have gone up, gas is going up, Al Qaeda dues are going up."  David Letterman

Odd News


Fat Hamster in Printer Sparks Rescue

Reuters - Thu Apr 1, 7:43 AM ET

A hamster called "Teddy" sparked a police rescue mission after he climbed inside a computer printer and got stuck because he was too fat to get out again, authorities said Wednesday


Recipe for Danger

Reuters -

Attention cooks -- a recipe for rolls in the current issue of Southern Living magazine could be hazardous.

Man Faces Airport Headaches Because of Name

Reuters -

Man Faces Airport Headaches Because of Name


Surprise Fireworks at Weapons Ceremony

Reuters -

Onlookers at a ceremony to destroy Cambodian weapons had a close call on Wednesday when a Soviet-era anti-aircraft missile took off and zoomed over their heads.



Bar Covers Nipples on Antique Photos
AP - Wed Mar 31, 8:59 PM ET
Nude women have been on the menu at The Sutler for years, but the Nashville pub covered up the 19th-century Victorian photos after being warned they might be too racy for state law.

Court Upholds Cockfighting Ban

Reuters -

The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a ban on cockfighting despite the efforts of enthusiasts of the blood sport, who had tried to block the measure for over a year.


Trump may have competition in Illinois


Donald Trump's attempt to trademark the phrase, "You're fired!" may falter in Glenview, Ill. A woman there who named her ceramics studio You're Fired! in 1997 says she will fight the billionaire.


Man Burned After Firing Rocket Inside Car

AP - Tue Mar 30, 5:48 PM ET

Shannon Kramer's plans to fire a rocket toward his girlfriend went awry when the firework ricocheted inside his car and dived between his legs, bursting in a display that burned hair and skin from his feet to his groin, police said.


Good News

Daschle Vows to Block All Bush Judicial Nominees

Reuters - Tue Mar 30, 4:19 PM ET

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle on Tuesday vowed to block all of President Bush's judicial nominees unless Bush promises to stop seating federal judges while the chamber is on vacation

Kerry Fund-Raiser Brings in More Than $3M

AP - Wed Mar 31,12:50 AM ET

John Kerry collected the support of Hollywood stars including Meg Ryan, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Costner and Barbra Streisand during a fund-raiser that capped a two-day swing through California.

Today in History  April 1

1748 Ruins of Pompeii found

1793 Volcano Unsen on Japan erupts killing about 53,000

1850 San Francisco County government established

1863 1st wartime conscription law in US goes into effect

1891 Painter Gauguin leaves Marseille for Tahiti

1924 - Adolf Hitler was sentenced to five years in prison for high treason in relation to the "Beer Hall Putsch."

1934 Bonnie & Clyde kill 2 police officers

1945 US forces launch invasion of Okinawa during WWII

1954 US Air Force Academy established

1970 President Richard Nixon signs bill limiting cigarette advertisements on 1/1/71

1973 Japan allows its citizens to own gold

1976 - Apple Computer began operations.

1980 Failed assassination attempt on Iraqi vice-premier Tariq Aziz

1981 CNN airs a videotape that shows that Tamara Rand predicts that Reagan is in danger from someone named Jack Humley (a hoax)

1982 US formally transfers Canal Zone to Panamá

1986 World oil prices dip below $10 a barrel

1996 - US President Bill Clinton threw out the first ball preceding a game between the Kansas City Royals and the Baltimore Orioles.

2003 - North Korea test-fired an anti-ship missile off its west coast.

2003 Pvt. Jessica Lynch was rescued by U.S. commandos in a raid on an Iraqi hospital.


Artist Jacob Cress's 'Oops!', 2001, made of mahogany and seen in this image, is one of the works in the exhibit 'Right at Home: American Studio Furniture' opening April 2, 2004, at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) in Washington. (HO/SAAM)