April 13,  2004 Tuesday

War College aide rips Bush Iraq strategy

Tuesday, April 13, 2004


Penn Live, PA 

WASHINGTON - In a broadside fired at the conduct of the war in Iraq, a senior Army strategist has accused the Bush administration of seeking to win "quickly and on the cheap" while ignoring the more critical strategic aim of creating a stable, democratic nation…


Ashcroft slammed over Sept 11
Reuters, UK - 4-13-04
By Alan Elsner. WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The US Justice Department under Attorney General John Ashcroft failed in 2001 to treat counterterrorism ...
Staff Report Portrays a Divided and Backward Pre-9/11 FBI
New York Times, NY - 4-13-04
By DAVID STOUT. WASHINGTON, April 13 — In the years before Sept. 11, 2001, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was almost at war ...

"In response to the escalating violence in Iraq, President Bush is delaying the return home of 25,000 troops and will actually add reinforcements to the south. Then in a symbolic gesture he pulled down the mission accomplished banner, put on a flight suit, walked backwards to a jet fighter and flew it in reverse off an aircraft carrier." —Tina Fey on Saturday Night Live



Disturbing News


2 soldiers, 7 contractors are the latest Iraq missing
Baltimore Sun, MD - 4-13-04
... One employee of Kellogg, Brown & Root, a Halliburton subsidiary, was killed in addition to the seven others missing or held hostage. ...

Japanese minister cancels Iraq visit - report
Reuters, India - 4-13-04
By Elaine Lies and George Nishiyama. TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's defence minister cancelled on Tuesday a visit to Japanese troops in ...

Hostage crisis torments Japan
BBC News, UK - 4-13-04
The relatives of three Japanese taken hostage in Iraq are reported to be physically and emotionally exhausted after contradictory reports on their loved ones ...

4 Italian civilians said missing in Iraq
Penn Live, PA - 4-13-04
... China hasn't contributed troops to the US-led military force in Iraq and it was unclear why the seven were there. The official Xinhua ...


Panel: FBI Weak on Terror Threat Response

AP - 4-13-04

The FBI failed miserably over several years to reorganize and respond to a steadily growing threat of terrorism, and Attorney General John Ashcroft rejected an appeal from the agency for more funding on the day before al-Qaida struck, the commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks said Tuesday.


FDA: Some Mexican Candy Contains Lead

AP - Mon Apr 12, 3:01 PM ET

Children shouldn't eat certain candy imported from Mexico because it may be contaminated with small amounts of lead, the Food and Drug Administration said Friday.


Iraqi clerics say coalition 'must pay' for crisis
CNN International, United States - 4-13-04
... making this month the deadliest one since the war in Iraq began in March 2003. With April not yet half over, at least 73 US troops have been killed in hostile ...


"Rupert Murdoch, the owner of Fox News, has announced that he will support President Bush's reelection. Really? It's so hard to tell from the news coverage." Jay Leno

Republican Shenanigans


Halliburton's Role in Iraq -- from Meals to Oil

Reuters - Mon Apr 12, 5:49 PM ET

Texas company Halliburton, which has seven workers missing in Iraq, is the U.S. military's biggest contractor there, responsible for everything from preparing meals for U.S. troops to repairing Iraq's oil infrastructure.


Scalia Apologizes for Recording Erasure

AP - Mon Apr 12, 4:40 PM ET

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has apologized for an incident last week in which a U.S. marshal erased reporters' recordings of a speech Scalia gave to high school students.


Republican Party Chairman under investigation
Anchorage Daily News, AK - 4-13-04
The state attorney general's office is investigating possible ethics law violations by Republican Party Chairman Randy Ruedrich when he worked last year as one ...


Republican Party has new headquarters
Puerto Rico Wow, Puerto Rico - 4-13-04
SAN JUAN (AP) – For the first time, the local committee of the United States Republican Party will have an official headquarters in Puerto Rico, which will ...


GOP committee agrees to pay fine in campaign investigation
News Journal, TX - 4-13-04
AUSTIN, Texas -- The National Republican Congressional Committee has agreed to pay a $280,000 fine for misusing corporate money for issues ads in the 2000 ...


Upstate man takes issue with GOP pin made in China 

(Columbia-AP) April 12, 2004 -- An Upstate man is taking issue with the state GOP sending pins made in China to the party faithful. House candidate Robley T Moore wrote state Republican Party Chairman Katon Dawson about the pins given out so members could show pride in the party.


Bunning apologizes for 'joke' about rival  

Republican U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning, at a recent GOP event, told diners that state Sen. Daniel Mongiardo, his likely opponent in the November election, looks like one of Saddam Hussein's sons.

"We will, in fact, be greeted as liberators." - Vice President Dick Cheney, March 16, 2003


This was sent to me by a friend who wrote it as she got off the phone with a friend of hers who had called to tell her that her youngest son was being sent to Iraq. The authors name is Jeanne Butler of Midland, Texas.

I Weep

I weep for the Soldier.
My tears fall like rain.
I weep for their families who may
Never see them again.

I weep for the Mother
Empty arms, broken hearts.
I weep for the wives,
Their lives torn apart.

I weep for the children,
Their lives forever changed.
I weep for their sadness,
I weep for their pain.

I weep for the soldier.
I weep for their plight.
I weep over the coffins,
Hidden from sight.

I weep for our country.
For the freedoms we've lost.
I weep for the future,
When I think of the cost....

I weep for the innocent,
Caught up in the fight.
I weep for their agony,
With no solution in sight.

Jeanne Butler
Midland, Texas



Military News


Buried Veterans Records Now on Web

AP - Mon Apr 12, 7:18 PM ET

Sally Naporlee turned to the Department of Veterans Affairs to find out more about her grandfather, who served during World War I.


US commander requests two brigades amid violence
Fresno Bee, CA - 4-13-04
... Top US military commanders in Iraq on Monday acknowledged serious shortcomings in efforts to establish new Iraqi security forces and said the program is being ...


14,000 more US troops may go to Iraq
Bradenton Herald, FL -4-13-04
... while the coalition controlled pockets within Iraq, the rebels ... John Abizaid, the head of US Central Command ... teleconference Monday how many more troops would be ...


US soldier killed as US troops head toward Najaf
Boston Herald, MA -4-13-04
NAJAF, Iraq - Gunmen attacked a large convoy of US troops heading toward Najaf with ... The US military has vowed to capture a radical Shiite cleric, Muqtada al ...


US troops deploy outside Najaf, one soldier killed; helicopter ...
San Francisco Chronicle, CA -4-13-04
... The recent burst of violence has exposed weaknesses in Iraq's US-trained security ... effort to toughen the Iraqi forces, Abizaid said the US military will reach ...



Assorted News

Experts See Drawbacks to GOP Convention in NY

Reuters - Mon Apr 12,10:10 PM ET

The Republican Party's hope that its convention in New York would highlight a nation healed after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks could backfire as the White House comes under fire for its handling of the crisis and the war in Iraq, strategists said on Monday.

Bush to Hold News Conference Tuesday Night

Reuters - Mon Apr 12, 7:23 PM ET

President Bush will hold his first formal press conference of the year on Tuesday to discuss the situation in Iraq, where U.S. forces are battling both Sunni and Shi'ite Muslim insurgents, the White House said.

Iraq Said to Need Political Not Military Solution
Macon Area Online, GA - 4-13-04
... He complained of confusion over whether US military should keep order in Falluja or ... of its most competent allies, like the British, in Iraq's least troublesome ...

Bush, Kerry ad spending surges, but results muted
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, IN - 3 hours ago
... The Republican National Convention begins at the end of August in New York City. But Clymer said the early ads were not necessarily a waste. ...



Media Backtalk
Washington Post - 4-13-04
... In fact Randi Rhodes is one of the most popular radio personalities in her market regularly beating Rush Limbaugh in his own town -- Palm Beach Fla. ...


Administration's house of cards tumbling down
Baltimore Sun, MD - Apr 12, 2004


Iraq More Damaging to Bush Future Than 9/11 Memo

Reuters - Mon Apr 12, 3:07 PM ET

The deteriorating situation in Iraq poses much more of a threat for President Bush's re-election hopes than the tempest caused by release of an August 2001 briefing paper on the al Qaeda threat, political consultants and analysts said on Monday.


Bush Bumps 'Idol'
Washington Post - 4-13-04
Fox announced yesterday it is postponing the hugely popular reality show to air Bush's third prime-time news conference of his presidency. ...


Russia Urges Citizens to Leave Iraq After Kidnappings (Update1)
Bloomberg - 4-13-04
April 13 (Bloomberg) -- Russia today urged all of its citizens in Iraq to leave the country after unidentified captors released eight employees of a Russian ...


Bush predicts CIA, FBI revamp
ABC Online, Australia -4-13-04
American President George W Bush has signalled the US intelligence agencies face major reforms as a result of the September 11 commission hearings. ...


Gov't Looking for Tiffany Globe Owner
Guardian, UK - Apr 2, 2004
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Justice Department is looking for the owner of a Tiffany globe paperweight at the center of an investigation into FBI agents taking ...



Business News

EchoStar Warns It May Drop CNN in Dispute

AP - Mon Apr 12,10:06 PM ET


Sean Hannity's One-Sided History

BusinessWeek Online - 4-13-04


Hospital bills spin out of control

USATODAY.com - Tue Apr 13, 7:13 AM ET


US Retail Sales Log Unexpectedly Big Rise

Reuters - 4-13-04


Hackers lurk through holes in hot spots

USATODAY.com - Tue Apr 13, 7:13 AM ET


Merrill Lynch's Profit Nearly Doubles

Reuters - 4-13-04


Microsoft Settles InterTrust Suit

Reuters - Mon Apr 12, 6:15 PM ET


"Any junior imperialist knows the first thing you do when you conquer someone's country is to buy the loyalty of its existing armed forces, government and police. Otherwise you will have armies of angry, unemployed potential rebels roaming the streets -- Iraq today being Exhibit A." Toronto Sun's Eric Margolis

Whistleblower the White House wants to silence speaks to The Independent

By Andrew Buncombe in Washington

A former translator for the FBI with top-secret security clearance says she has provided information to the panel investigating the 11 September attacks which proves senior officials knew of al-Qa'ida's plans to attack the US with aircraft months before the strikes happened…

"On Tuesday the Alabama State Senate voted to make whiskey the official state spirit. This replaces Alabama's old official state spirit: racism." —Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update"

Odd News

Research: Pig Manure Can Become Crude Oil

AP - Tue Apr 13, 2:17 AM ET

A University of Illinois research team is working on turning pig manure into a form of crude oil that could be refined to heat homes or generate electricity.


Niagara Falls survivor plans to leap into record books with longest free fall

Mon Apr 12, 1:39 PM ET

CANTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - A former Michigan man who lived to tell about a plunge over Niagara Falls said Monday he is planning another stunt.


Man pays one million dollars online for lucky mobile phone number

Tue Apr 13, 6:22 AM ET

An online buyer has paid nine million yuan (1.1 million dollars) for a cell phone number on a Chinese auction site, state press reports.


Nudists Upset About Proposed Dorms


Beach bums here could receive far too much exposure if a proposed pair of high-rise dorms are built on the cliffs above a world-famous nude beach.

Canadian Antlers Seen Putting Spring in Canine Step

Reuters - Mon Apr 12, 2:05 PM ET

Hurt by export bans after the discovery of brain-wasting diseases in elk and more recently in cattle, Canadian elk farmers have found a new market: they're going to the dogs.

Dead Candidate Wins Votes in Indonesia


A candidate in last week's legislative elections in Indonesia won nearly 800 votes despite having died three months ago, poll officials said.

Dogs Maintain Pickup Rights in Tennessee


After much howling in the Legislature, senators decided that dogs can continue riding free in the backs of pickup trucks.

Aussie Outback Tests Adventurers' Resolve


Canoes and snow shoes may not be at the top of most peoples' list of stuff to take to the Australian Outback. But two adventurers took both. The canoes got them into trouble, the snow shoes helped get them out.

Mobile Phone Explodes in Hong Kong


A mobile phone exploded Tuesday and slightly injured the man who had been talking into it, local broadcasters reported.

Iowa K-9 Is Top Dog in Sniffing Out Drugs


J.R. is the nation's top dog in sniffing out drugs.



Here is an interesting blog from the creator of the Bush mosaic I posted the other day




Slopes of Mt. Cotopaxi, Ecuador.