April 14,  2004 Wednesday

White House Goes On The Attack
CBS News - 4-14-04
From a moral standpoint, the question of whether the Bush administration should have done more to prevent the September 11 attacks is of the utmost gravity. But if you put aside moral considerations for a moment, the administration's defense against charges of negligence can be appreciated on the level of sheer comic virtuosity....

Bush stumped on question of mistakes
Tacoma News Tribune, WA - 4-14-04
By CALVIN WOODWARD, Associated Press. WASHINGTON ... contrition. Bush was asked in his prime-time news conference if he had made any mistakes.
A Black-and-White Presidency
Newsweek - 
April 14 - At his press conference on Tuesday evening, George W. Bush was strong, confident and aggressive—and weak, hesitant and defensive. ..

Whenever Bush gives a speech I become more confused.

"Hosni Mubarak visited the ranch at Crawford, Texas. At one point, Mubarak asked the President, 'Have you ever seen the pyramids?' And Bush said, 'You know, I'm more of a 'Wheel of Fortune' kind of guy.'"  Jay Leno

The Primate Apprentice


Disturbing News

4 Unidentified Bodies Found in Iraq

AP - 4-14-04

Russia said Wednesday it would begin evacuating hundreds of workers from Iraq after a series of kidnappings in which at least 22 foreigners are held captive and four unidentified bodies were discovered in a shallow grave west of Baghdad.

Israel Whistleblower to Face Restrictions

AP -4-14-04

Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu will be barred from leaving the country and face a series of other restrictions when he is released from prison next week, an Israeli official said Wednesday.

U.S., France Block UN Probe of Aristide Ouster

OneWorld.net - Tue Apr 13, 7:07 PM ET

UNITED NATIONS, Apr 13 (IPS) - The United States and France have intimidated Caribbean countries into delaying an official request for a probe into the murky circumstances under which Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ousted from power in February, according to diplomatic sources here.

9/11 Panel: CIA Could Have Unveiled Plot

AP -4-14-04

The CIA missed the big-picture significance of "tell-tale indicators" of impending terrorist attacks, partly because of its culture of a piecemeal approach to intelligence analysis, a federal panel probing the Sept. 11 attacks said Wednesday.

Sharon Seeks Bush OK for West Bank Plan

AP - Wed Apr 14, 6:25 AM ET

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is looking for a sign of approval from President Bush for retaining a large chunk of the West Bank in an eventual accord with the Palestinians.

Fla. Democratic Club Ad Targets Rumsfeld

AP - Tue Apr 13,11:00 PM ET

Florida Republicans cried foul over a newspaper ad by a local Democratic club that said Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld should be "put up against a wall" and someone should "pull the trigger."


Assorted News

Kidnapped French Journalist Freed in Iraq
Atlanta Journal Constitution, GA - 4-14-04
... NBC News reported the bodies were found between Fallujah, 35 miles west of Baghdad, and Abu Ghraib after an Iraqi led US officials there. ...

Bush Says Iraq Is Testing America's Will

AP - 4-14-04

Giving no ground despite rising casualties, President Bush says more American troops may be heading for Iraq with authority to use decisive force in a mission that "may become more difficult before it is finished."


Bush Speech Elicits Applause, Dread

AP - Wed Apr 14, 3:17 AM ET

Robert T. Starks, a 60-year-old political science professor at Northeastern Illinois University, labeled President Bush's answers to reporters' questions "vapid, confusing and evasive." He called Bush "an abomination to a great nation."

Iran Tells U.S. Iraq Neighbors Needed

AP - 4-14-04

Iran said Wednesday that its attempt to work with the United States on Iraq had foundered, but that Washington can't resolve the upsurge in violence without consultations with Iraq's neighbors.

Meeting with China's most powerful, Cheney faces pressure on Taiwan

AFP - Wed Apr 14, 4:41 AM ET

US Vice President Dick Cheney met with China's top leaders, facing pressure over Taiwan while he reportedly hoped to use new intelligence to convince his hosts of the North Korean threat.

Muslims Warn Democracy Can't Be Imposed

AP - Tue Apr 13, 7:17 PM ET

A conference on democracy in the Islamic world opened Tuesday with warnings from Turkey and Jordan that political reforms must not be imposed by outside powers, like the United States.

Kerry Seeks End to 'Windfall' on Loans

AP - 4-14-04

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry says he would pay for his plan to give a free college education to young students who agree to public service by ending a $13 billion "windfall" that banks earn for making government-backed student loans.

Negroponte May Become Baghdad Ambassador

AP - Tue Apr 13, 2:20 PM ET

John D. Negroponte, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who played a central role in trying to win support for war with Iraq, is emerging as the leading candidate for the sensitive job of ambassador to Baghdad.


Milosevic Wants Blair, Clinton as Witnesses

Reuters - Tue Apr 13, 6:06 PM ET

Slobodan Milosevic wants British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former U.S. President Bill Clinton to be called as witnesses at his war crimes trial, a legal adviser of the ex-Yugoslav president said Tuesday.

US returns to stalled Sudan peace talks after sanctions threat

AFP - Tue Apr 13, 8:29 PM ET

The United States said it had sent back to Sudan's stalled peace talks a diplomat it had withdrawn from the negotiations over the weekend in a bid to convince Khartoum and southern rebels to wrap up a peace deal quickly


Panel Says Bush Saw Repeated Warnings
Reports Preceded August 2001 Memo

By Dana Priest
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

By the time a CIA briefer gave President Bush the Aug. 6, 2001, President's Daily Brief headlined "Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US," the president had seen a stream of alarming reports on al Qaeda's intentions. So had Vice President Cheney and Bush's top national security team, according to newly declassified information released yesterday by the commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks…

“I did never speak to him saying that I did not want to hear about terrorism.” John Ashcroft, engaged in tongue tying testimony that the acting FBI Director must have been lying when he said that Ashcroft did not want to hear anymore about terrorism from him.

"I did never.." what???

Bush's War and the Lapdog Press Corps

By Robert Fisk - Counterpunch.org

April 10/12, 2004

Just shut up. That's the new foreign policy line of our masters. When Senator Edward Kennedy dubbed Iraq "George Bush's Vietnam", US Secretary of State Colin Powell told him to be "a little more restrained and careful" in his comments. I recall that when the US commenced its bombing of Afghanistan, the White House spokesman claimed that some journalists were "asking questions that the American people wouldn't want asked"….


Military News

Rocket Hits Sheraton Hotel in Baghdad
Grand Forks Herald, ND -4-14-04
BAGHDAD, Iraq - A rocket hit the Sheraton Hotel in central Baghdad on Wednesday, where foreign contractors and journalists are staying, breaking glass but ...


Cease-Fire Doesn't Stop Fallujah Fighting
WBAL Channel.com, MD - 4-14-04
A US Marine commander says an already shaky truce in the Iraqi city of Fallujah could end up crumbling. The truce was called earlier ...


Iraq Cleric Offers Peace Terms; U.S. Forces Poised

Reuters - 4-14-04

U.S. forces tightened their grip around one of Iraq's holiest cities Wednesday, and the rebel Shi'ite cleric they have vowed to kill or capture offered peace terms to spare Najaf a bloodbath.


Marines Investigate Photo Posted on Web

AP - Tue Apr 13,10:34 PM ET

 "The annual White House Easter egg hunt, it wasn't quite as much fun this year because the Department of Homeland Security said all the eggs would have to be colored orange."  Jay Leno


Graphic by Bradley

Bomber's Family Sees Home Destroyed Again

AP - 4-14-04

The Israeli military blew up the house of a suicide bomber in the West Bank city of Nablus on Wednesday, the second time it has destroyed the home in the past two decades, the family said...



Odd News

Iowa Whistling Senator Entertains, Annoys

AP - 4-14-04

A frequent whistler, Sen. Mary Lundby's renditions of show tunes, movie themes and pop favorites can often be heard echoing in the marble-walled Iowa Senate chamber.


Voodoo Practitioners Gather in Haiti

AP - Sun Apr 11, 3:30 PM ET

Haitians celebrated one of the year's most important Voodoo pilgrimages on Sunday, an event marked by drumming, sacrifices — discussion of whether Haiti's new government can heal a country still reeling from a bloody rebellion.


Kerry's Yale GOP Membership Likely a Prank

AP - 4-14-04

John Kerry, Young Republican? Or has the Democratic candidate for president been punk'd after nearly 40 years?



Juicy rewards as Indian nuclear boffins split bananas instead of atoms

Wed Apr 14, 4:00 AM ET

Indian nuclear scientists say they have unpeeled one of the great mysteries of the soft-drinks world -- how to extract juice from bananas cheaply and simply.



Hawaiian planes jammed with flying doughnuts

Reuters - Wed Apr 14, 3:19 AM ET

Apparently doughnuts can clog more than just your arteries.


Man Wins Right to Erect 30-Foot Hot Dog

AP - 4-14-04

An entrepreneur has won his wiener war with city hall.


San Francisco Selling Its List of Married Gays

Reuters - Tue Apr 13,12:08 PM ET

San Francisco, which ignited a passionate nationwide debate by allowing thousands of gays to marry earlier this year, is selling its list of the newlyweds, the mayor says.


British couple marooned on island... for 90 minutes

Tue Apr 13, 1:13 PM ET

A holiday couple marooned on a tiny, uninhabited island off the southwest coast of England were rescued after writing SOS in the sand, tourism officials said.


Republican Shenanigans

Senate Republican Leader to Invade Rival's Turf

Reuters - Tue Apr 13, 2:32 PM ET

Senate Republican Leader Bill Frist plans to break recent tradition and campaign next month against Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle on Daschle's home turf of South Dakota.


Reformed Drunk Claims Bruise on Eye Came From "Pretzel Injury"

National Lampoon January - 2002

Isn't constant tongue movement a side effect of Thorazine use?

"And on CNN today, they said the price of milk will go up 50 cents a gallon. Milk -- 50 cents. What, is OPEC raising cows now?" Jay Leno

CBS, 12 others among 'Jefferson Muzzle' award winners
Atlanta Journal Constitution, GA -4-13-04
... and more recently the war in Iraq have created new pressures on free speech, an examination of this year's and previous Jefferson Muzzle winners reveals that ...

It Just Gets Worse!

First off, I'm really glad Phil won the Masters. I had a feeling this was his year and Tournament to finally win. [He's a left-handed golfter who's never won a Major PGA Event like the Masters, the PGA, the US Open and the British Open]
Now on to business.....
It just gets worse for the Moron, but even worse for our American soldiers. ...

Click here for Bob Witkowski’s commentary

Let me see if I have this right. Both President Bush and National Security Advisor Rice have stated that if they had any indication that terrorists were about to hijack airplanes and crash them into high profile American targets, they would have done all in their power to prevent them. But since the warnings indicated only the possibility of hijacking planes in order to obtain the release of prisoners held in the US, they were not alarmed.
So hijackings that kill 3000 people are a No-No, but ordinary hijackings are OK? Am I missing something or what?


You're not missing anything. It seems the more this administration spins, the deeper a hole they dig for themselves.

Bushes, Cheneys Reaped Tax Benefits

AP - 4-13-04


On this day – April 14

1570 Polish Calvinists/Lutherians/Hernhutters unify against Jesuits

1614 Pocahontas, daughter of chief Powhatan, marries planter John Rolfe

1799 Napoleon called for establishing Jerusalem for Jews

1860 1st Pony Express rider arrives in San Francisco CA from St Joseph MO

1865 Mobile AL is captured
1865 President Abraham Lincoln shot in Ford's Theatre by John Wilkes Booth

1902 Marie & Pierre Curie isolate the radioactive element radium

1906 President Theodore Roosevelt denounces "muckrakers" in US press
1909 Anglo-Persian Oil Company forms in London

1920 Tornadoes killed 219 people in Alabama & Mississippi

1931 Spain becomes republic with overthrow of King Alfonso XIII

1941 1st massive German raid in Paris France, 3,600 Jews rounded up

1945 American B-29 incendiary raids on Tokyo & damage the Imperial Palace

1948 A flash of light is observed in the crater Plato on the Moon

1960 1st underwater launching of Polaris missile

1967 In the Vietnam War, US planes bomb Haiphong for 1st time

1971 President Richard Nixon ends blockade against People's Republic of China

1973 Acting FBI director L Patrick Gray resigns after admitting he destroyed evidence in the Watergate scandal

1980 1st Cubans of the Mariel boatlift sail to Florida

1981 1st Space Shuttle-Columbia 1-returns to Earth

1986 US aircraft attacks 5 terrorist locations in Libya

1989 In the Iran-Contra trial, Oliver North's case goes to the jury

1993 Branch Davidian cult leader David Koresh promises to surrender after completion of his Seven Seals manuscript

1994 US F-15 accidentally shoots 2 US helicopters down over Iraq, 26 die





60-Foot-Tall Sign Appeared Outside White House

The Bush administration today grappled with allegations that President George W. Bush did not see a sixty-foot-tall billboard featuring Osama bin Laden that appeared suddenly across the street from the White House in August 2001.

The gigantic billboard, which featured bin Laden¹s stern visage and the words ³I AM GOING TO HIJACK U.S. AIRPLANES VERY SOON,² was first spotted by a UPS driver, Clayton Spedding, while making his morning deliveries on Pennsylvania Avenue...


NASA Terra satellite picture showing the Falkland Islands. President Nestor Kirchner insisted that the Falklands were Argentina's, marking the 22nd anniversary of the South American country's war with Britain over the islands.(NASA/HO)