April 5,  2004 Monday

Report Details Bush-Blair Meeting on Iraq
Guardian, UK - 4-5-04

LONDON (AP) - President Bush made clear at a dinner with Prime Minister Tony Blair nine days after the Sept. 11 attacks that he wanted to confront Iraq, the former British ambassador to the United States reportedly told a magazine.

The president raised Iraq at a White House meeting on Sept. 20, 2001, Christopher Meyer, the former envoy, told Vanity Fair. The magazine, published in New York, released an advance copy of its story to The Associated Press on Sunday....


Kaul: Bearing bad tidings can be dangerous
Topeka Capital Journal, KS - 4-5-04
... When Ambassador Joseph Wilson IV pointed out that President Bush's 2003 ... let it be known that Wilson's wife was a clandestine agent for the CIA, thereby all ...

France 'sought secret UN deal' in bid to avert row
Matamat.com, Bangladesh - 4-5-04
... But Mr Bush replied: "I agree with you, Tony. ... He told US reporters that his allegation that Iraq had mobile laboratories for preparing WMD might not ...

The evidence is mounting.  Come on November!

"Iraq is George Bush's Vietnam." Senator Edward Kennedy

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Disturbing News


Eight U.S. Troops Killed in Shiite Uprising

washingtonpost.com - Mon Apr 5, 2:05 AM ET

KUFA, Iraq, April 4 -- An armed Shiite revolt against the U.S.-led occupation erupted Sunday in Baghdad and other cities across Iraq's normally quiescent south. Nine soldiers, eight of them Americans, were killed, and three dozen were wounded, U.S. officials said.

Lugar Says U.S. May Need to Delay Iraq Handover

Reuters - Sun Apr 4,11:10 PM ET

The Bush administration may have to consider extending its June 30 deadline for the transfer of sovereignty in Iraq or risk seeing the country lapse into civil war, the head of the U.S. Senate's foreign relations panel said on Sunday.

U.S. Helicopters Strike Shi'ite Area in Baghdad

Reuters - 4-5-04

U.S. helicopters fired on targets in a mainly Shi'ite Baghdad district Monday amid fresh fighting with radical Shi'ite militiamen.


Rioting Across Iraq Kills Nearly 60

AP -4-5-04

The top U.S. administrator in Iraq declared a radical Shiite cleric an "outlaw" Monday after his supporters rioted in Baghdad and four other cities in fighting that killed at least 52 Iraqis, eight U.S. troops and a Salvadoran soldier.

Shiite cleric tells supporters fighting US troops to "terrorize" enemy

AFP - Sun Apr 4, 1:03 PM ET

Radical Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr, whose militiamen are clashing with US-led coalition troops in Iraq, told his supporters to "terrorize" the enemy as demonstrations were no longer any use.



Sudan Opposition Leader Saw Influence Wane

AP - 4-5-04

Sudanese opposition leader Hassan Turabi helped President Omar el-Bashir seize power in a coup 14 years ago and transform the country into a haven for Osama bin Laden.
Sharon Reneges Vow Not to Harm Arafat

AP - Mon Apr 5,12:53 AM ET

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said his pledge to the United States not to harm Yasser Arafat no longer holds, declaring that the Palestinian leader and the head of Lebanon's Hezbollah are potential targets for assassination.

Iraq: Deadliest Days Since End of Combat

AP - Sun Apr 4,10:53 PM ET

A look at some of the deadliest days in Iraq since major combat was declared over on May 1, 2003:

Boston's Democratic Convention a Quagmire

AP - Sun Apr 4, 9:19 PM ET

City leaders lured Democrats with lobsters, Red Sox games, and the promise of millions in corporate contributions. But in the 15 months since Boston won its first national presidential convention, the enthusiasm so marveled at by party leaders is dissolving into a logistical and political quagmire.

Kerry: Bush Plan Will Cost $6 Trillion

AP - Sun Apr 4,11:49 PM ET

Trying to reverse partisan stereotypes, Democrat John Kerry is launching a campaign to portray himself as a fiscal conservative, comparing his economic strategy with the $6 trillion in unpaid spending that he says President Bush has proposed over the next 10 years.

Papers on 1964 Brazil Coup Declassified

AP - Sat Apr 3, 4:44 AM ET

Newly declassified U.S. documents show the extent of American willingness to provide aid to Brazil's generals during the 1964 coup that ushered in 21 years of often bloody military rule.



Hi Lisa,

In Sunday's edition, you ran an article by Bob Nichols. In that article Mr. Nichols states that the president "promised to invade twelve countries in the 2003 State of the Union speech".

I've read the text of the 2003 State of the Union speech three times, and I can't find where he made that statement. Can you or Mr. Nichols point me in the right direction?
Maybe the president just implied that he would do it, and I'm too stupid to read between the lines and get it. Mr. Nichols also went on to say "For some reason, some misguided Americans do not believe him, or think he was "exaggerating."" Maybe they're just like me, too stupid to get it.

I do not want George W. Bush reelected, but before I go ranting to my Republican friends that he plans to invade twelve countries, I want to be sure my facts are straight. As you know, if people catch you in one misstatement, they start to question the truth of everything else you say.

Thanks for a great web site and in the words of one of your other readers "Kerry on!"


Excellent question. I went and reread the 2003 SOTU and could not find any such reference, either. So I wrote Mr. Nichols. If I hear back from him I will post his response.
Other than that sentence the column Mr Nichols wrote was quite good.
Thanks for writing and pointing that out.

Top Ten Questions You're Afraid To Ask Condoleezza Rice - Dave Letterman

10. Did Bush ever hurt himself trying to pronounce your name?

9. At cabinet meetings, who besides you and Cheney wears lipstick?

8. Do you know Leeza Gibbons?

7. Do you own a condo?

6. Did you ever try the 'Condoleezza Rice' at Chi-Chi's?

5. As a souvenir, did you keep any of Saddam's beard lice?

4. Hey, where'd you get that cool Halliburton sweatshirt?

3. Who told CNN that Letterman faked the footage of the bored kid next to Bush?

2. About those Iraqi weapons of mass destruction - did you check Baghdad mini-storage?

 1. What kind of job will you and Bush be looking for in January, 2005?


Hey Lisa,

First, let me say that AHNC just keeps getting better and better all the time!

Today's AHNC was one of the very best!  I guess that lube and oil job was a huge success... All those retractions (Powell says WMD evidence given to UN was not `solid', Powell Not Sure Iraq Trailers Were Labs , Powell Critical of Prewar Iraq Data ) make me wonder what he is up to. Is he getting ready to resign?  There seems to be a whole school of administration's fish swimming upstream these days (O'Neil, Clarke,Wilson,Thielmann,Kwiatkowsky). I hope he and his wife don't have any secrets . . .

It will be interesting to see how he looks after being slimed by this gang of thugs. He may be the next Richard Clarke.

And don't you just love the recent developments...

Yesterday I sent a congratulatory note to GW re: the 308,000 new jobs. I asked him just how many of those jobs he might encourage Jenna and/or Barbara to apply for.

I also sent a thank you to Nancy Pelosi for having those things her male constituency are lacking...

Keep on truckin' girlfriend.


Thanks Leslie. But Murphy's law came into effect this morning...as I was finishing up today's edition, my web building software crashed and I lost my page.  After that happened I took a walk in my backyard, shot a few animals with my AK47 and felt instantly better...not!

I wonder if my software needs an oil change and lube too?


Military News


Fresh Marines take on tricky mission

Chicago Tribune - Sun Apr 4, 9:40 AM ET

Unit is urged to win hearts in deadly city


Crack US troops may be used to flush out terrorists in key Southeast Asian waterway

AFP - Sun Apr 4,11:16 PM ET

The United States is considering deploying Marines and special operations forces on high speed vessels along the Straits of Malacca to flush out terrorists in one of the world's busiest waterways.


U.S. Betting on Land Mine Technology

AP - Sun Apr 4, 8:27 PM ET

The Bush administration's argument for shunning a global treaty on land mines rests largely on the U.S. military's use of "smart," self-destructing mines that don't linger after wars end to kill and maim civilians. But it has a quiet subtext: the expectation that future generations of mines will be so smart that soldiers can activate and deactivate entire mine fields by remote control.


The Odd Warfare State
AlterNet - 4-5-04
Here's one way our President proposes to "support our troops": According to his 2005 budget, the extra pay our soldiers receive for serving in combat zones – about $150 a month – will no longer count against their food stamp eligibility. This budget provision, if approved, should bring true peace of mind to our men and women on the front lines. From now on, they can dodge bullets in Iraq with the happy assurance that their loved ones will not starve as a result of their bravery....


Tech News



800,000 Cards Overcharged at Wal-Marts

AP - Sun Apr 4,11:56 PM ET

A computer hardware problem caused more than 800,000 credit and debit card transactions to be double- or triple-billed last week at Wal-Mart stores nationwide, according to officials at First Data Corp., which handled the electronic payments.



Soap on the cellphone as TV goes tiny

AFP - Sun Apr 4, 7:19 PM ET

The launch of TV's first-ever soap for the tiny mobile phone screen might not suit everyone's taste, but it is living proof that the TV and digital worlds are merging.



New Software Seeking State Tax Scofflaws

AP - Sat Apr 3, 3:32 PM ET

Tax scofflaws, beware! A pack of digital bloodhounds may be on your trail. State revenue agencies across the nation are hunting for tax evaders with new high-tech tools: computer programs that mine an increasing number of databases for clues on the finances of people and businesses.



Japan, China, SKorea join to develop Windows contender

AFP - Sun Apr 4,12:15 PM ET

Japan, China and South Korea have agreed to jointly develop a new computer operating system based on Linux as an alternative to the dominant Windows by Microsoft.


"According to the Red Cross, Americans are less prepared for a terrorist attack than we were a year ago. They say less than half of all households have a six-month supply of food. You know why Americans aren't storing food? Because we're eating it!" Jay Leno

THE BIG PICTURE: Long Shadow of Terror Threatens World 

New Straits Times 4-4-04
THE American president’s approach in combating international terrorism has not worked; in fact, it has made its threat worse.

From a rather cavalier attitude to the threat posed by Osama bin Laden, as has been alleged by his own former head of counter terrorism, Richard Clarke, in his book Against all enemies: Inside America's war on terror, George W. Bush and his National Security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, have swung to become anti-Islamist terror ideologues of the first order.

[T]here is a sort of second army of Americans out there now in the form of security personnel, who can be seen almost anywhere in the country. There is a member of the coalition doing something. And they struck me as being very high profile targets. They're armed to the teeth. A lot of them look like they come out of a Sylvester Stallone movie. And so, and they move around the country. And I think that the insurgents, whomever they are, have picked up on them and may be tracking them. So when it happened in Fallujah, as bad as it was, I must say I wasn't deeply surprised.” Peter Jennings on Larry King click here for full transcript

I decided to go to the website of Blackwater Security (it was their four men that were burned and dragged through the streets of Fallujah) and ran across their employment page.  Weird.

Blackwater Security Employment

Odd News


Opening Afghan Eyes With Mascara and Beauty Classes

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

In a program funded by cosmetics firms, two American beauticians teach their trade to women in Kabul who have few career choices.

Reverend Uses 'Simpsons' to Teach Gospel

Sun Apr 4, 8:49 PM ET

Thou shalt not have a cow. So says the gospel according to The Simpsons. America's famous dysfunctional cartoon family will be the subject of a series of evening classes by the Rev. Robin Spittle on the Christian message in the popular show.

U. of Akron Hosts Concrete Canoe Race

Sun Apr 4, 5:53 PM ET

They came from all over to race their concrete canoes. The University of Akron was hosting a regional student conference of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the marquee event was the concrete canoe race.


Cambodian PM turns year younger on birthday


Rather than facing the trauma of turning a year older, Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen has marked his birthday by declaring himself a year and four months younger.

Venezuela Says Sets Record Saving River Turtles

Reuters - Sun Apr 4, 2:22 PM ET

Venezuela's government has established what it believes is a record for releasing an endangered species back into the wild by setting free tens of thousands of protected Arrau turtles into the Orinoco River.

Python Tries to Eat Boston Owner

AP - Sun Apr 4,10:35 PM ET

Police rescued a Boston woman from the jaws of her 7-foot Burmese python after the snake clamped onto her arm and started squeezing. Wanda Nunes, 43, told the Boston Herald that her python Moma went for her arm shortly before she planned to feed her two rats Saturday morning.

Condom Label Changes Spark Debate

AP - Fri Apr 2,12:52 AM ET

That tiny bit of print on a condom packet is at the center of a raging debate now that President George W. Bush has asked the Food and Drug Administration to modify the current warning to include information about human papillomavirus

Drag-queen death in Georgia shows danger of silicone injections

Canadian Press - Sun Apr 4,12:02 PM ET

ALBANY, Ga. (AP) - Nikkia Scott and other drag queens have been getting illegal, back-room injections of industrial-grade silicone to give themselves some of the things nature denied them when they were born male - breasts, wider hips, more prominent cheekbones.


"See, with Bush in the White House, doesn't every day feel like April Fool's day? You turn on the TV, you go, 'Come on, you got to be kidding." Jay Leno

Graphic by BH48

Assorted News

Saudi: Don't Blame OPEC for U.S. Gas Prices

Reuters - Sun Apr 4, 5:11 PM ET

Saudi Arabia on Sunday blamed record high U.S. gasoline prices on America's tough environmental laws and lack of refining capacity, saying OPEC's oil production policies were not at fault.

Court Takes Case on Felon Gun Owners

AP - Mon Mar 29,11:30 AM ET

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to decide whether people convicted of crime overseas can be barred from owning a gun in the United States.

Some Bush Initiatives Languish In Congress

washingtonpost.com - Mon Apr 5, 2:05 AM ET

Some of President Bush's splashiest proposals are languishing in Congress even though his party controls both chambers. The main reason is not Democratic obstruction but a lack of vigorous follow-through by the administration once the initial hoopla died down, according to some Republican and Democratic lawmakers.
Senate Races Glance

AP - Sun Apr 4, 1:45 PM ET

Republicans hold a 51-48 majority in the Senate, with one Democratic-aligned independent. Democrats must gain two seats to win control. Of the 34 seats on the ballot, 19 currently are in Democratic hands and 15 are held by Republicans.

9/11 Panel Expects to Pass Security Check

AP - Mon Apr 5, 2:22 AM ET

Leaders of the commission looking into the Sept. 11 attacks don't expect the Bush administration to order major changes to the commission's final report on national security grounds.

Report: Feds Probing Liberty Fund-Raising

AP -

A federal investigation is under way to determine how a nonprofit organization spent private donations to reopen the Statue of Liberty and whether bids for work on the renovation adhered to federal guidelines, according to a newspaper report.

Judge Drops Internet Defamation Suit

AP - Sat Apr 3, 9:05 PM ET

In a case defense attorneys called the first to test the limits of Internet free speech, a judge asked a court to drop her defamation lawsuit against someone who criticized her in an Internet chat room.


They are so deep in the shiite...and still lie outrageously.


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Subject: Republican Shenanigans

It's funny, but the article about the Bushies manipulating science
reminded me of this from Kurt Vonnegut:

*W*e would be a lot safer if the Government would take its money out of
science and put it into astrology and the reading of palms. Only in
superstition is there hope. If you want to become a friend of
civilization, then become an enemy of the truth and a fanatic for
harmless balderdash.


A new priest at his first mass was so nervous he could hardly speak.

After mass he asked the monsignor how he had done it his first time.

The monsignor replied, " When I am worried about getting nervous I put a glass of vodka next to the water glass on the pulpit. If I start to get nervous, I take a sip."

So next Sunday he took the monsignor's advice.

At the beginning of the sermon, he got nervous and took a drink.

He proceeded to talk up a storm.

Upon his return to his office after the mass, he found the following note on the door:

1) Sip the vodka, don't gulp.

2) There are 10 commandments, not 12.

3) There are 12 disciples, not 10.

4) Jesus was consecrated, not constipated.

5) Jacob wagered his donkey, he did not bet his ass.

6) We do not refer to Jesus Christ as the late J.C.

7) The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are not referred to as Daddy, Junior and the spook.

8) David slew Goliath, he did not kick the crap out of him.

9) When David was hit by a rock and was knocked off his donkey, don't say he was stoned off his ass.

10)We do not refer to the cross as the "Big T."

11)When Jesus broke the bread at the last supper he said, "take this and eat it for it is my body." He did not say " Eat me" .

12)The Virgin Mary is not called " Mary with the Cherry,.

13)The recommended grace before a meal is not: Rub-A-Dub-Dub thanks for the grub, Yeah God.

14)Next Sunday there will be a taffy pulling contest at ST.Peter's not a peter pulling contest at St. Taffy's.

Name That Toon Results Tomorrow!




Caterpillar on an Indigo Bush in the northern Mojave Desert in California. (Photo credit: David Rosenthal)