April 4,  2004  Late Sunday Edition

The Wizard of Whimsy


'The Wizard of Oz Letter'

Bush pulls back the curtain on who really runs the White House


By Eleanor Clift


Updated: 1:50 p.m. ET April  02, 2004

April 2 - This was the week the curtain got pulled back on the Bush presidency. In exchange for allowing Condoleezza Rice to testify under oath, President Bush gets to bring along his vice president when he appears  privately before the commission...


Commission on 9/11 held the cards but folded

Baltimore Sun - Jules Witcover Apr 2, 2004

WASHINGTON - That was some deal the 9/11 commission struck with President Bush to gain the on-the-record, public testimony of his national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice.

If the commission had been playing poker with the president, it would have been the functional equivalent of holding a full house and folding your hand to a pair of deuces...


Pelosi scorns Bush-Cheney panel deal
Joint appearance called 'embarrassing'

Edward Epstein, Chronicle Washington Bureau Saturday, April 3, 2004

Washington -- House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco blasted the White House on Friday for insisting that President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney testify together before the commission investigating the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, saying it makes it look like Bush is a chief executive on training wheels....


Dick and Bush is an interesting word combination.

"Last night, President Bush raised $1.5 million in Washington, DC, at a fundraiser. It's all part of his new program, No Cash Left Behind." —David Letterman

A greenhorn on the ranch
The Guardian - By Albert Scardino and John Scardino
Thursday April 1, 2004

It's a good thing George Bush found a job in the White House. Though he owns a ranch in Texas, he'd make an inept cowboy. He can't seem to keep the herd settled in for the night.
All those little calves getting lost in the gullies. One is Valerie Plame, the
CIA agent outed by someone hanging around the White House corral. Another is the
Afghan war, orphaned by the Iraq campaign....

The last line in this column is "All Hat, no cows."  hahaha

"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake."
Napoleon Bonaparte


Disturbing News


Madrid Bomb Ringleader Cornered, Blows Self Up

Reuters - Sun Apr 4, 8:27 AM ET

The Tunisian suspected ringleader of last month's Madrid train bombings blew himself up with three accomplices after police cornered them in a suburban Madrid apartment, officials said Sunday.

Fallouja: No Good Options

Los Angeles Times - Sun Apr 4, 7:55 AM ET

U.S. military promises to avenge contractors' deaths. But previous efforts to bring the Sunni stronghold in line have increased tensions.

Radiation in Iraq Equals 250,000 Nagasaki Bombs
Dissident Voice, United States - Mar 27, 2004
... India did. How many Nagasaki Nuclear Bombs equal the Radiation loosed in the 2003 Iraq war? Answer: About 250,000 Nuclear Bombs. How ...

At Least 20 Dead in Clashes in Iraq City of Najaf

Reuters -4-4-04

Spanish-led troops and Iraqi police fought a three-hour gun battle with Iraqi Shi'ite militiamen near Najaf Sunday, leaving at least 20 people dead and some 200 wounded, witnesses and medical officials said.

Brazil Shielding Uranium Facility

washingtonpost.com - 4-4-04

The Brazilian government has refused to allow U.N. nuclear inspectors to examine a facility for enriching uranium under construction near Rio de Janeiro, according to Brazilian officials and diplomats in Vienna, home of the International Atomic Energy Agency.


Congressmen Seek to Probe Logging PR Deal

AP - Fri Apr 2,11:43 PM ET

Two congressmen want an investigation of whether the U.S. Forest Service illegally hired a public relations firm to promote a plan to cut wildfire danger by increasing logging in Sierra Nevada forests.

Bush Outspends Democrats 2-To-1 on Air

AP - Sat Apr 3,10:57 PM ET

Just a month into his advertising campaign, President Bush has poured about $40 million into television and radio commercials that highlight his record and criticize John Kerry's, outspending Democrats 2-to-1.


Former top adviser Hughes back on the campaign trail with Bush

AFP - Sat Apr 3, 3:02 PM ET

Karen Hughes, one of George W. Bush's closest political advisers, joins the president's re-election campaign after leaving the White House two years ago to spend more time with her husband and teenaged son in Texas.

NATO Allies Hedge on Peacekeeping in Iraq

AP - Fri Apr 2,10:18 PM ET

The NATO allies hedged Friday on whether to assume a peacekeeping role in Iraq while promising to use force to stop terrorists everywhere.


U.S. Moves to Protect Trains, Buses

AP - Sun Apr 4,12:37 AM ET

A warning that terrorists might strike trains and buses in major U.S. cities using bombs concealed in bags or luggage has the nation's transit systems ratcheting up security measures.


"You know, I was thinking, maybe we should stop looking for weapons of mass destruction and start looking for oil." —Jay Leno


Publisher Won't Reissue Lynn Cheney Novel

Associated Press

A publisher has canceled plans to reissue a racy novel by Lynne Cheney, wife of Vice President Dick Cheney, after she said the book did not represent "her best work."… "Sisters" has long been out of print and is not mentioned in Cheney's biography on the White House Web site. In 2001, she told a New York Times reporter that she couldn't even remember the plot….



Why doesn't Lynne Cheney remember the plot of a book she wrote?  Did she have a lobotomy or does she have Alzheimer's, or both?

It is amazing how these rightwingers can lie with a straight face.


9/11 Panel Chairman Expects to Surprise

AP -4-4-04

The chairman of the commission looking into the Sept. 11 attacks said Sunday that some of its findings has surprised him and will surprise the public as well....

I love surprises.

Karen Hughes correcting Bush on the direction to Texas.


Are You Now or Have You Ever Been in the Situation Room?
New York Times - 4-3-04
... The only problem with that strategy is that one of its creators, Mr. Bush's once and future communications czar, Karen Hughes, was just days from starting her ...

Republican Shenanigans

Fewer Say Bush Is Serving Middle Class

washingtonpost.com - 4-4-04

As he approaches the November election, President Bush has shed a good part of the "compassionate conservative" image he cultivated during the 2000 election, a Washington Post poll has found.
White House defends itself from charges it used science for political ends

AFP - Sat Apr 3, 3:48 PM ET

A top White House official has sought to fend off charges from about 60 scientists that the government of President George W. Bush is manipulating science in its reports to serve political ends


Baby Farm


"The other night Kerry was on MTV's 'Choose or Lose' and Kerry said he was fascinated by rap and hip hop. In a related story, President Bush said he was fascinated by shiny objects." —Jay Leno



Click here for a video of Bush on 9-11 by Take Back the Media




AllHatNoCattle's thorough 9-11 Investigation of

George W. Bush's Leadership Abilities.



Bush heard.




Bush sat there.




Bush ran and hid.


AllHatNoCattle found not a shred of presidential leadership on 9 11.



US officials knew Al-Qaeda planned plane attacks: whistle-blower

AFP - Fri Apr 2, 3:50 AM ET

US officials knew months before September 11, 2001 that Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda network was planning to use aircraft to carry out a terrorist attack, a former FBI translator has alleged....



"Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced this week that after he got elected, he took a voluntary course on sexual harassment. Arnold says the sexual harassment course was a waste of time because quote 'I already know how to do it.'" —Conan O'Brien


Good News

Liberal Leaders Urge Nader to Abandon Bid

AP - Sat Apr 3, 7:27 PM ET

Prominent liberals are pleading with third-party candidate Ralph Nader to abandon his "quixotic and destructive" presidential bid, warning that his presence in the race could ensure the re-election of President Bush.

Aussie Scientists Get Teeth Into Stem Cell Research

Reuters - Sun Apr 4, 7:15 AM ET

The baby teeth children hide under their pillows for the mythical tooth fairy may one day be used to extract stem cells for life-saving treatments, Australian scientists said Sunday.




This is the graphic Colin Powell used to try and convince the UN

on the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.


Powell says WMD evidence given to UN was not `solid'
Taipei Times, Taiwan - 4-4-04
US Secretary of State Colin Powell acknowledged late on Friday that pre-war information he gave the UN on Iraq's mobile biological weapons laboratories to ...


Powell Not Sure Iraq Trailers Were Labs

AP - 4-3-04

Secretary of State Colin Powell conceded Friday evidence he presented to the United Nations that two trailers in Iraq were used for weapons of mass destruction may have been wrong.


Powell Critical of Prewar Iraq Data

Los Angeles Times - Sat Apr 3, 7:55 AM ET

Secretary of State casts doubt on information he was given about alleged Iraqi mobile germ labs before his 2003 speech to U.N.



600 Americans have died in Iraq because of Bush

The Facts We Must Face
Washington Post - 4-4-04
... At this point, US intelligence officials cannot even agree ... At this writing, more than 600 members of the ... currently plans to deploy around 100,000 troops for as ...

The War Room  

Steven Rosenfeld is a senior editor for TomPaine.com.
The Bush administration planned for the invasion of Iraq, but not for its post-war occupation. That assertion has been repeated so often by the president's critics that it has become a political cliché. But it is not correct…
"There was a plan," said Gross, who is retiring from the military. "The administration chose not to accept it. Their plan was to put [Iraqi exile] Ahmed Chalabi in charge and run with it." …



I thought it was your nose that grew when you lied !!!!!


Hahaha...thanks for the laugh Brian!


Odd News


Students Cuffed at Elementary Schools

Reuters - Fri Apr 2, 7:44 AM ET

Security guards at elementary schools in Kent, Washington, have used metal handcuffs to restrain unruly students at least four times during the current school year, officials said on Thursday


Man Accused of Selling Fla. Swamp Land

Fri Apr 2, 6:34 PM ET

A man sold Everglades swampland to unsuspecting investors for more than $300,000 amid false promises that the marshy property would be rezoned for development, investigators said.

Hells Angels Target Students' Logo Use

Fri Apr 2, 3:41 PM ET

When graduating from a high school called "Hellu," wearing a class shirt that reads "Hellus Angels" might seem like harmless school spirit — unless it's worn in a bar where Hells Angels members have strong feelings about trademark infringement.


Art Piece Made of Dollar Bills Stolen

Fri Apr 2,10:40 AM ET

A University of Iowa student wanted his art display on greed to prove a point. Point taken.


Booze-flavoured ice cream chills activists

Sat Apr 3, 5:09 AM ET

A new vodka-flavoured ice cream launched in Australia has provoked an outcry from groups worried it would give children a taste for alcohol.


Bach's missing score found in Japan

Sat Apr 3, 3:19 AM ET

A missing musical score composed by Johann Sebastian Bach was found in Japan, scholars said, calling it an invaluable discovery for musicians and researchers around the world.



Irish ban smokes out EU ministers

Fri Apr 2, 1:51 PM ET

EU finance ministers gained first-hand experience of Ireland's strict new smoking ban, as the nicotine- hungry among them were forced out into the cold to have a puff.


Canadian lottery winner sits on 30 million ticket for year

Fri Apr 2,11:06 AM ET

A Canadian holding a winning 30 million dollar (23 million US) lottery ticket, waited a nearly a year to claim his windfall -- because he didn't want to do anything rash.

Vatican euros sell out in three hours

Fri Apr 2,10:14 AM ET

Rare Vatican euros coins, sold for the first time outside the Vatican for security reasons, were snatched up within three hours after crowds rushed to buy them.

Small New Zealand town revels in The Running of the Sheep

Sat Apr 3,10:49 AM ET

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - A small New Zealand town reached for some of the glamor and danger of the Spanish bull-run city of Pamplona on Saturday, by running 2,000 woolly sheep through the middle of town.

Flatulent Cows to Fuel Oil Sands?

Reuters - Fri Apr 2, 7:47 AM ET

A Calgary brokerage touted new ways to fuel northern Alberta's massive oil sands developments on Thursday in an April 1 research report promising power from flatulent cows.

Grumpy cat survives wild car-top ride in New Zealand

AFP - Thu Apr 1, 5:03 PM ET

A grumpy house cat was the toast of New Zealand traffic authorities after it survived a hairy ride through a city clinging to the roof of a car, with the driver unaware of the drama.

Vampire Bats Kill 13 People in Brazil

Reuters - Fri Apr 2, 6:01 PM ET

Rabies-carrying vampire bats killed at least 13 people in a remote Amazon town in Brazil's northern state of Para last month, authorities said on Friday.

Surfing Titan: Huge Waves Possible on Saturn's Moon

SPACE.com - Wed Mar 31,11:02 AM ET

Saturn's moon Titan might be one of the most out-of-this world places to hang ten, according to new computer modeling that suggests a given wind could generate waves there that are seven times taller than on Earth.



Uncle Bam Cartoon

How to counter Clarke


click here


Assorted News

Officials: U.S. 'outed' Iran's spies in 1997

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

After a bombing killed 19 U.S. airmen at a barracks in Saudi Arabia in 1996, the Clinton administration struck back by unmasking Iranian intelligence officers around the world, significantly disrupting Iranian-backed terrorism, according to a high-level U.S. official and a former top official who was serving at the time of the operation.

Attorney General Defies Governor on Gay Marriages

Los Angeles Times - Sun Apr 4, 7:54 AM ET

Like Gov. Mitt Romney, Tom Reilly doesn't favor state high court ruling allowing same-sex weddings, but he promises to uphold it.

Planned Bush-Cheney Appearance Criticized

AP - Fri Apr 2, 3:39 PM ET

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says it's baffling and embarrassing that President Bush is appearing before the Sept. 11 commission with Vice President Dick Cheney at his side instead of by himself.

Metallic Sound Is Heard by Space Crew

AP - Fri Apr 2, 2:25 PM ET

The two men aboard the international space station heard a strange metallic sound again Friday, four months after being startled by it the first time

To the lucky 308,000 men and women who got jobs in construction, retail, government and service industries last month, I say congratulations. To the millions others who were laid off, fired or lost their jobs to outsourcing or other corporate shenanigans, I'm sorry. Just another case of the GOP's 'Ooooops' Agenda...

Click here for more of Bob Witkowski's commentary


 Give Peeps A Chance

"Actually, there was one slightly scary moment during John Kerry's operation. Apparently, the hospital transfusion room ran out of blue blood. Yeah. So it got a little testy." Jay Leno


Tech News



Calif. Mob Tries to Create Supercomputer

AP - Sun Apr 4, 1:54 AM ET

Hundreds of technophiles Saturday wired their computers together in an attempt to generate computing power on a par with the world's strongest supercomputers.


New Technology Could Detect Dirty Hands

AP - Sat Apr 3,10:54 PM ET

New light-scanning technology borrowed from the slaughterhouse promises to help hospital workers, restaurant employees — one day, even kids — make sure that hand washing zaps some germs that can carry deadly illnesses.



FCC Looks at Cable Access Dispute

AP - Fri Apr 2, 1:18 PM ET

A federal appeals court is standing by its October ruling that cable TV operators should open their lines to rivals who also want to use them to sell high-speed Internet service.



Next: Outlawing Spyware?

PC World - Fri Apr 2, 7:00 PM ET

Utah regulates surveillance software while several states and Congress also consider restrictions.


Word flaw a window into Microsoft

SiliconValley.com - Fri Apr 2, 6:46 AM ET

You'd think the people who make Microsoft Word understand enough about the program to avoid embarrassing themselves with unintended disclosures of internal information.


Paper Backups Sought for Voting Machines

AP - Thu Apr 1, 4:08 PM ET


…Florida election officials ruled earlier this year that new touchscreen machines put into place after the 2000 election crisis are exempt from a law that requires manual recounts in close elections — because there is no way to determine voter's intentions from the computer record.


Business News



Tyco Prosecutors to Seek New Trial

AP - Sat Apr 3, 9:55 AM ET

Prosecutors said they would quickly seek a retrial for two former Tyco executives accused of looting the company of $600 million, after a judge declared a mistrial. Judge Michael Obus ended the six-month trial on Friday, citing intense pressure on one juror who apparently received an intimidating letter and phone call for supposedly siding with the defense.

Job Shock Hits Mortgage, Home Stocks

Reuters - Fri Apr 2, 4:56 PM ET

The U.S. economy's surprising addition of 308,000 jobs in March might make it more expensive to own a home, industry experts warned on Friday.

U.S. Grocery Deals Back on the Radar

Reuters - Sat Apr 3, 8:24 AM ET

For five years now, "merger" has been a taboo word among U.S. grocers. A combination of lofty price expectations and a seemingly prohibitive stance among U.S. antitrust authorities effectively kept most industry executives from even broaching the idea

Dow sheds 3 of its oldest members

USATODAY.com - Fri Apr 2, 7:54 AM ET

NEW YORK - In the latest quest to modernize its aging blue-chip bloodlines, the 107-year-old Dow Jones industrial average is replacing three of its oldest members with contemporary stocks that better reflect the U.S. economy.

Ex-Allstate Employees Set to Sue Company

Reuters - Fri Apr 2, 6:48 PM ET

Former employees of Allstate Insurance Co. were set to sue the firm for converting them into independent contractors, representatives for the workers said on Friday, after a judge rejected the company's request to dismiss the suit.

GAO Says Most Firms Pay No Income Tax

Reuters - Fri Apr 2, 3:41 PM ET

Most firms operating in the United States paid no U.S. income tax at all in the years 1996 to 2000, according to a study by the U.S. Government Accounting Office released on Friday.



It's Time For Name That Toon!

Write you own caption below in the anonymous machine



In addition to looking heavenward, NASA helps the world see the Earth in ways no one else can. Astronauts on board the International Space Station recently took advantage of their unique vantage point to photograph the Himalayas, looking south from over the Tibetan Plateau. The perspective is illustrated by the summits of Makalu [left (8,462 meters; 27,765 feet)] and Everest [right (8,850 meters; 29,035 feet)] -- at the heights typically flown by commercial aircraft.

Photo Credit: NASA