Saturday, January 10, 2004

Runner's high
Apparently you actually CAN get high on life...or exercise at least.

I'm freezing
The wind chill up in the Northeast: below zero. Now, I live above Philly, where without the wind chill it's a scorching 5 degrees (-7 with wind chill). The heat in my house has decided not to function. Keep me in your prayers.

O'Neill says Iraq planned pre-9/11
Paul O'Neill said that BushCo had planned the Iraq invasion long before 9/11. I beleve that. But why is that important? In theory, the Iraq invasion should have had nothing to do with 9/11. Now I'm not defending the Bush administration, but this is a sad commentary on the state of the public mind. O'Neill has essentially brought out the fact that without 9/11 and the public's ongoing fear of an all out seige by the Arab world, Iraq would never have flown.

How's Rush doing?
Rush vs. Donovan. And by the way, go Chiefs! And failing that, I like the Eagles, too.

O'Neill attacks Bush
Bush's former Treasury secretary has some choice words for him:

President George W. Bush's performance at cabinet meetings resembled that of "a blind man in a room full of deaf people", according to Paul O'Neill who was fired as Treasury secretary in 2002.

The remarkable personal attack is made by Mr O'Neill in a forthcoming book, according to excerpts from a television interview to be broadcast on Sunday.

You'd be bitter, too, if you were replaced with John Snow.

Friday, January 09, 2004

Dollar still falling...
corrente has a little on the state of the economy.

The NRA has released their blacklist.

Who's on it? Well, plenty of celebrities whose movies you shouldn't see. New to the list is Britney Spears, who apparently has made public statements on her support for the Brady Bill...or something along those lines.

Headed for Mars
Manned flights to Mars? For what? Does it phase no one that NASA has been draining money for a long time now? We can barely send men to a space station without casualties, and we want to send them to Mars? As incredibly important as it is that we see a man on Mars for our own personal satisfaction, it seems that someone who wants to cut the deficit in half in five years wouldn't want to throw billions at this project.

Economic news
Looks like we gained some jobs:

NEW YORK (CBS.MW) - U.S. stocks moved lower Thursday in early trade on concern the U.S economy is not creating new jobs after a weaker-than-expected December employment report.

The Labor Department said non-farm payrolls increased by 1,000 in December, far below the 136,000 expected by Wall Street economists, and the 181,000 to 200,000 expected by some traders on the Street.

Whoa baby, bring on that rapid recovery!

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Bush sets up to waste more money
Bush is poised to make a big announcement regarding space. Let us pray that this has nothing to do with a colony on the moon.

A shift in belief
&c shreds Dean for his latest religion-hyping.

Dean planning policy change?
Finally, Dean is considering middle class tax cuts. I think I speak for everyone who isn't very far left on taxes in saying thank the friggin' lord.

Vegetarians invading cyberspace
Go to What's this, you say? An anti-beef site? Look in the upper right-hand corner. How unfortunate.

Fun with Annie
Things can get pretty serious in the world of politics, so here's an Ann Coulter column to lighten things up a little. The snippets are complete with witticisms:

When they were fund-raising, the Democratic candidates for president all claimed to be Jewish. Now that they are headed for Super Tuesday down South, they've become Jesus freaks.

This, of course, is a reference to when Dean said "I'm Jewish." Clark said the same thing, and Kerry repeated several times. So did Lieberman, but he has an excuse in actually being Jewish.

In the current New Republic magazine, Peter Beinart points out that the capture of Saddam has hurt the anti-war cause and left the Democrats with nothing to say. He proposes that Democrats pretend to support the war on terrorism by calling for a massive campaign to catch Osama. Yeah, let's try that. That'll fool 'em.

I know what you're thinking - Ann reads? Apparently so, so let's work with it. Here's what Beinhart said:

Intellectually, Saddam Hussein's capture tells us nothing about whether the Iraq war was a good idea. Find Saddam's nuclear weapons program, and you validate President Bush's claim that Iraq was a threat. Find evidence of Saddam's ties to Al Qaeda, and you validate the president's claim that Iraq was the logical next step in the war on terrorism. But find Saddam himself, cowering in a hole, and all you learn is another lesson about the resourcefulness of the U.S. military and the loathsome character of the man it hunted. The policy arguments for and against the war don't change one bit.

But, emotionally, Saddam's capture makes it much harder to oppose the war--at least for the moment.

Ann left out the part about the capture not actually MEANING anything. Beinhart then goes on to NOT talk about pretending to support the war on terror:

Democrats have to change this dynamic. It's not enough, as Dean did in his foreign policy speech this week, to offer worthy, small-bore proposals like spending more to secure nuclear and other hazardous materials around the globe. The Democrats need a large cause of their own. And there's only one that's emotionally relevant: capturing bin Laden and decapitating Al Qaeda.

Al Qaeda may be a complex organization with affiliates around the world. But, by most accounts, its leadership remains where it was two years ago when the Bush administration botched Operation Anaconda: in the border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Despite its legendary aggressiveness, the Bush administration has been remarkably timid in its efforts to do something about that. It has sent relatively few troops to southeastern Afghanistan. (Indeed, one of the reasons for the awful bombing accidents of recent weeks may be that the United States was forced to go after Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters from the air because we lack the troops to go after them on the ground.) And it has sent no troops at all--at least publicly--into Pakistan, leaving bin Laden-hunting to the deeply compromised Pakistani military.

Wow, that sure sounds dishonest!

New report findings
I'm shocked.

Foreign oil use up
Another year in which we failed to reduce foreign oil dependence. But that's OK, it's not as if state-sponsored terror has any connection to oil money.

Copter crash in Baghdad
These are the kind of things Saddam's capture was supposed to put an end to:

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - A U.S. Black Hawk medivac helicopter crashed Thursday near a stronghold of the anti-American insurgency, killing all nine soldiers aboard, the U.S. military said.

Also Thursday, a U.S. soldier died of injuries suffered in a mortar attack a day earlier that wounded 33 other troops and a civilian west of Baghdad

Woman admits she was lying about lotto
The lady that claimed that she had lost her winning lottery ticket and then sued the actual winner informed us all today that she is, in fact, a lying jackass:

CLEVELAND (AP) - A woman said through tears Thursday that she lied about losing the winning ticket for a $162 million lottery prize awarded to another woman.

Elecia Battle, 40, is dropping her lawsuit to block payment of the 11-state Mega Millions jackpot to the certified winner, her lawyer Sheldon Starke said.

"I wanted to win," Battle said. "The numbers were so overwhelming. I did buy a ticket and I lost. I wanted to win so bad for my kids and my family. I apologize."

The Cleveland woman had filed a police report saying she lost the ticket, possibly when she dropped her purse outside a convenience store. The lottery declared Rebecca Jemison, 34, the winner on Tuesday.

But maybe we should give her something...I mean, she did want to win the lottery, and you don't find many people who want to win the lottery.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

TNR has chosen Lieberman as their man. No comment.

I thought their most convincing "case" was for Clark.

Dean's running mate Ford?
Is NewsMax bullshitting? I think so:

Despite talk about Howard Dean asking Hillary Clinton to be his running mate in November, it’s not going to happen, says top talk radio host and nationally syndicated columnist Michael Reagan.

"As far as Dean’s probable pick for his running mate, I’m willing to bet that he’ll choose Tennessee congressman Harold Ford," Reagan told NewsMax.

"Right now Dean is desperate to win the black vote in the South, and Ford is one of the most attractive and articulate people in politics today."

Ford, the popular African-American from the 9th District of Tennessee, is the son of former U.S. Rep. Harold E. Ford.

IMF says U.S. deficits burden on international market
The IMF is reporting that U.S. deficits may deal a blow to the world economy:

WASHINGTON, Jan. 7 — With its rising budget deficit and ballooning trade imbalance, the United States is running up a foreign debt of such record-breaking proportions that it threatens the financial stability of the global economy, according to a report made public today bythe International Monetary Fund.

In nearly 60 pages of carefully worded analysis, the report sounded a loud alarm about the shaky fiscal foundation of the United States, questioning the wisdom of the Bush administration's tax cuts and warning that large budget deficits posed "significant risks" not just for the United States but for the rest of the world.

The report warned that the net financial obligations of the United States to the rest of the world could equal 40 percent of its total economy within a few years — "an unprecedented level of external debt for a large industrial country" that it said could play havoc with the value of the dollar and international exchange rates.

The dangers, according to the report, are that the United States' voracious appetite for borrowing could push up global interest rates and thus slow down global investment and economic growth.

"Higher borrowing costs abroad would mean that the adverse effects of U.S. fiscal deficits would spill over into global investment and output," the report said.

White House officials dismissed the report as alarmist, saying President Bush had already vowed to reduce the budget deficit by half over the next five years. The deficit reached $374 billion last year, a record in dollar terms but not as a share of the total economy, and it is expected to exceed $400 billion this year.

Well, as much as I have full faith in the President to reduce the deficit, the White House is at the least admitting that if the deficit DOES remain high, the world economy could take a hit.

Faces and names
The casualty list as of Jan. 5.

Re-enlist bonus draws laughs
It appears that some soldiers are a bit anxious to leave Iraq:

BAQOUBA, Iraq (AP) - At a checkpoint on the barren plain east of Baqouba, word of a new U.S. Army plan to pay soldiers up to $10,000 to re-enlist evoked laughter from a few bored-looking troopers.

"Man, they can't pay me enough to stay here," said a 23-year-old specialist from the Army's 4th Infantry Division as he manned the checkpoint with Iraqi police outside this city 35 miles northeast of Baghdad.

His comments reflect a sentiment not uncommon among the nearly two dozen soldiers in Iraq who have spoken with The Associated Press since the Army announced the increased re-enlistment bonuses for soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait on Monday. Other soldiers at home were divided about the offer.

The soldiers in Iraq who spoke about the bonuses were serving in a range of assignments, from training the new Iraqi army at a base east of Baqouba to patrolling some of the most dangerous roads in the country, like those leading north from Baghdad.

Some cited the monotonous routine of a lonely life spent thousands of miles from loved ones. Others offered simpler reasons - such as the fear of an early death.

Contractors to get tax cuts
You know who doesn't have enough money? Halliburton.

Iraqi WMD plans
This is not a joke.

God in the Grand Canyon
Quite the fuss is being made over religious references in national parks:

With its eye-catching photographs of the Grand Canyon and the blue waters of the Colorado River, the hardback "Grand Canyon: A Different View" is a medium seller at the national park's bookstore.

But the book's claim that the Grand Canyon was formed as a result of the great flood of Genesis and is therefore only a few thousand years old has thrust the park into the debate over whether it is fitting to display religious materials at public sites.

The book by former Colorado River guide Tom Vail includes a collection of essays by fellow creationists, who favor a Bible-based view of the Earth's formation. Vail and his wife are the founders of Canyon Ministries, which organizes Christian whitewater rafting trips through the Canyon.

Some critics say the book is the latest example that the National Park Service has caved to pressure from conservative and fundamentalist Christian groups, accommodating their requests to post or alter materials.

"The overall concern is that the top managers of the park service are implementing a conservative agenda that is at odds with their duties as custodians of the nation's heritage," said Jeff Ruch, director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, a nonprofit group of federal and state resource workers.

But National Park Service officials deny the accusation, saying they seek legal advice before acting

While I'd tend to stray away from the idea that the Grand Canyon was formed in the Flood, who cares if someone is selling this book? I'm sorry, but I don't see someone who believes in an older Earth to read the book and convert. And if they do, who cares? They're morons. But I was baffled more by this:

The Park Service also is under fire for agreeing to change a video on the Lincoln Memorial following complaints by conservatives that it featured mostly liberal causes, Barna said.

One conservative lobbying group, the Traditional Values Coalition, objected to footage displaying gay rights and abortion rights demonstrations at the monument.

"This has nothing to do with religion, it has to do with political correctness," said the Rev. Lou Sheldon, chairman of the lobbying group. "We asked for the removal of the bias and for them to bring it into balance."

First of all, they probably show those protests because they wouldn't want to show people protesting for the removal of any kind of rights, but what does the Reverend think will happen when people see this? Are people going to watch the video, see the causes and immediately forget about conservatism?

In short, everyone needs to stop being so PC and concern themselves with something that avoiding drilling for oil in those national parks.

Idiot sues Charter
And lawsuits have reached a new low:

Cable TV made a West Bend man addicted to TV, caused his wife to be overweight and his kids to be lazy, he says.

And he’s threatening to sue the cable company.

Timothy Dumouchel of West Bend wants $5,000 or three computers, and a lifetime supply of free Internet service from Charter Communications to settle what he says will be a small claims suit.

Holy crap.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Princess Di redux
It's inevitable: someone gets the scoop on something related to British royalty, and a butler gets pissed.

Bernstein gets it right on public God-thanking
David Bernstein is pretty hit or miss. He hit today:

I've noticed that Americans have a tendency to publicly attribute any success they have had--anything ranging from winning a Little League playoff game to winning the lottery--to God's intervention on their behalf. But I haven't noticed a countervailing tendency to blame God when things go wrong, an especially annoying defect in the sports world, where victories are freely attributed to Jesus's blessings. If God wanted the Marlins to win the World Series, doesn't that mean he wanted the Yankees to lose? Just once, I'd like to see the losing Super Bowl quarterback tell the media "Guess Jesus really had it in for me today."

I've always thought about this. Well put, David.

Dems not a long shot
&c has a bit on the Dems' chances in November:

This Rasmussen Reports poll offers further proof that any reasonably competent Democrat is going to get a decent chunk of the vote in November. In the poll, a generic Democrat holds Bush under 50 percent--and Bush leads by only a 5-point margin.

As with Friday's CNN/Time poll, name recognition seems to be the chief determinant of the outcome of the various Democratic matchups with Bush. For example, Howard Dean and Joe Lieberman do best in the Bush matchup despite the ideological gap between them. After that the Democrat's performance in the head-to-head matchup seems to drop off more or less according to the dropoff in name recognition.

One other thing worth noting: Unlike the CNN poll, in which Howard Dean's numbers against Bush correspond exactly to those of a "generic Democrat," the generic Democrat does much better than Dean--the top living, breathing Democrat--in the Rasmussen poll. (Dean trails Bush 37 to 51.) We have no idea what accounts for this difference. Theories welcome.

Final note: A reader points out that during an appearance on CNN's "Inside Politics" on Friday, Lieberman a) argued that Dean is unelectable, b) insisted that he, Lieberman, is highly electable, and c) adduced the CNN/Time poll--in which he fares worse against Bush than Dean--as evidence of this proposition. Hmmm.

Brazil does likewise to U.S. citizens on fingerprints
So, prime examples of government hypocrisy:

The United States today expressed "regret" at Brazil's decision to begin fingerprinting and photographing Americans in response to similar border security measures introduced by Washington.

"While we acknowledge Brazil's sovereign right to determine the requirements for entry into Brazil, we regret the way in which new procedures have suddenly been put in place that single out US citizens for exceptional treatment that has meant lengthy delays in processing, such as the case today with a more than nine hour delay for some US citizens arriving at Rio's international airport," the US embassy said in a statement.

Rio de Janeiro's international airport joined other airports across Brazil Saturday in photographing and fingerprinting all arriving American passengers in a tit-for-tat move meant to respond to a similar US program that began this week.

Sao Paolo's international airport - the country's largest - began fingerprinting and photographing US citizens on New Year's Day, after a decision by federal judge Julier Sebastiao da Silva to retaliate against US moves to take international visitors' fingerprints and photographs.

Visitors travelling to the United States from more than 150 countries are now required to submit to photographing and fingerprinting, while others from mostly European countries are not.

Whoa, it's almost like this "piss off other countries" plan isn't going too well.

Anger over WTC memorial
On the new WTC memorial design of two reflecting pools in the footprint of the towers (which I like a lot):

The memorial drew an icy reception from victims' families, who accused the jury of ignoring their input during a hasty deliberation and said the design failed to convey the horror of the attack.

Anthony Gardner, who lost his brother in the Sept. 11 attack and is a member of a coalition for family groups, said the design is "unacceptable."

"This is minimalism, and you can't minimalize the impact and the enormity of Sept. 11," Gardner said. "You can't minimalize the deaths. You can't minimalize the response of New Yorkers."

Failed to convey the horror of the attack? With all due respect, I don't think that everyone who visits the site should be reminded of the horror of the 3,000 dead, planes crashing into the buildings and the buildings collapsing into Lower Manhattan. What exactly would they like? Statues of people dying? A solemn, peaceful memorial is precisely what was needed, and I applaud the decision.

Brooks vomits through his pen
So I was reading David Brooks' latest, and it hit me that he is quite possibly the dumbest person ever to write anything that ever appeared in the pages of the New York Times:

In truth, the people labeled neocons (con is short for "conservative" and neo is short for "Jewish") travel in widely different circles and don't actually have much contact with one another.

Conservatives love to paint liberals as anti-Semetic, you see, because it detracts from one blatant truth: conservatives are pretty damn anti-Semetic. Even Jerry Falwell only supports Israel beecause he needs it to exist before the Jews are sent to Hell. And in case you're wondering, "neo" means "new."

It's true that both Bush and the people labeled neocons agree that Saddam Hussein represented a unique threat to world peace. But correlation does not mean causation. All evidence suggests that Bush formed his conclusions independently. Besides, if he wanted to follow the neocon line, Bush wouldn't know where to turn because while the neocons agree on Saddam, they disagree vituperatively on just about everything else. (If you ever read a sentence that starts with "Neocons believe," there is a 99.44 percent chance everything else in that sentence will be untrue.)

Really? So it must be a HUGE coincidence that neocon hawks like those at The Weekly Standard created the same lies that Bush did to convince people to support the war.

The end of his article is actually not bad, as he seems to emigrate towards nonpartisan chatter, and at least admits that Vince Foster wasn't murdered. But this is also thrown in after the previously quotes paragraph:

Still, there are apparently millions of people who cling to the notion that the world is controlled by well-organized and malevolent forces. And for a subset of these people, Jews are a handy explanation for everything.

You know, I thought the blatant anti-Semitism that the liberal media emits wouldn't be so obvious....wrong again!

Bradley endorses Dean
I don't know if this gives Dean much more momentum, but it definitely is another slap to Clark, Gephardt, and Kerry.

$3 million in compensation for Diallo

The settlement closes a chapter on the case that led to a hotly contested state trial, a federal investigation and incendiary street protests that rocked the city for many months.

It was Feb. 4, 1999, when four police officers in plain clothes confronted Mr. Diallo, a 22-year-old immigrant from Guinea, and fired 41 shots, hitting him 19 times. The officers said they thought Mr. Diallo, who had been working as a street vendor, resembled a rape suspect and that he had appeared to be drawing a gun on them when they approached. The supposed gun turned out to be a wallet that he was apparently offering for identification.

"In the split second they had to react, the police mistakenly believed that Mr. Diallo had a gun and discharged their weapons, causing Mr. Diallo's death," Mr. Cardoza's statement said.

Once again they admit that they were in the wrong, and yet they weren't willing to convict the officers of any wrongdoing? At what point during the 41 shots being fired did they realize that he wasn't holding a gun? And after the 18th shot hit him, which officer thought "Just one more...."?

Another late blogging day
Again, sorry about the very late start today. It was my fault this time - some obligations had to be met.

Monday, January 05, 2004

Conservatives fume over spending increase
Some more on Bush's expenditures.

Labor Dept. wages war on workers
The Labor Dept. is giving hot tips on how to avoid giving low-wage workers overtime...great.

SC principal resigns
Remember the South Carolina school that cops charged into, guns drawn, looking for drugs (and finding none)? This one?

The principal has resigned. Good riddance. The last thing we needed was anyone who was willing to have this happen to kids controlling their futures.

Dean campaign busted?
Fox News is saying that the Dean campaign has been calling Iowa Kerry supporters stating that John Kerry's cancer has returned. I hope this isn't true: recall the Bush team saying in South Carolina that McCain's cancer was terminal? And that he fathered an illegitimate black child?

If this isn't true, the Dean team may be in trouble. Unless, of course, it's tied to the Republicans...which is likely. Why would Dean be attacking Kerry in Iowa, where Gephardt is runner-up? In fact, why would dean be messing with the first few primaries at all? He's set. What DOES make sense is that Republicans, knowing Dean's victory is close to certain, are setting him up for a scandal that could tarnish him through the primaries.

Clark unveils tax plan
Clark's new tax plan is formidable, and had he advertised this a few months ago, he might have gained a lot more support. In fact, unlike Dean's, this plan could smash Bush's plan, and actually work:

During a speech in Nashua, New Hampshire, Clark said that under his proposal, called "Families First Tax Reform," families of four making less than $50,000 would pay no federal income tax and all families with children making under $100,000 would get a tax cut.

Under the current tax code, a family of four making $50,000 pays $1,583 in federal income taxes.

"Right now, the sad fact is that too many Americans are working harder and harder and earning less and less. Under George W. Bush, the typical working family has seen its income fall by nearly $1,500 annually," Clark told the Nashua Community Action Association. "As incomes have fallen, expenses have gone up -- way up."

The tax cuts would be paid for by closing corporate tax loopholes and by increasing by 5 percent points the tax rate on income exceeding $1 million, Clark said. Revenue from the increase could not be used for new spending.

Bush moves for Latino vote through immigration
The administration seems to have realized that they can do whatever they want to foreigners as long as the excuse is terrorism. However, when it comes to racking up extra votes for Bush by catering to certain (read: illegal) immigrants, they're all for it.

On Nepal Policy
My apologies for the late start, but Blogger was down until recently.

TNR has a great article on the failures of American policy in dealing with Nepal.

Since 1990, when massive street protests convinced the late King Birendra to establish a democracy, Nepal has stumbled through a revolving door of prime ministers, deeply corrupt political parties, and searing poverty, which helped spark the Maoist revolt in the western part of the country in 1996. The story of how the Maoists, one of Nepal's many splinter communist groups, grew from a ramshackle operation with only two antiquated army surplus rifles to controlling up to two-thirds of the countryside in less than eight years is a textbook case in how not to run a counterinsurgency effort. Nepalese journalist Deepak Thapa explains how indiscriminate government crackdowns directed by the ruling Congress party against anyone suspected of being affiliated with the Maoists "boomeranged on the political establishment and the police, as new recruits flocked to the Maoist side." Early Maoist attacks targeted obvious signs of inequality in the form of upper caste local politicians, police posts, the judiciary, and rural banks known for extortionate lending practices. Maoist forces now consist of 3,000-7,000 hardened cadres.


As the situation deteriorates, ordinary Nepalese have searched frantically for solutions to the conflict. Unfortunately, neither the Maoists nor the government seem willing to make peace. Worse, the United States has become intensely involved in Nepal, backing the government with arms, money, and diplomatic cover. But by simply pouring funds into the corrupt state, and lumping the government's campaign in with the global war on terror, the United States may be accelerating Nepal's descent towards chaos.

Sunday, January 04, 2004

Another reason to watch your kids
What the hell...

SHEBOYGAN (AP) -- A 7-year-old boy had to be rescued with the help of a locksmith Saturday after crawling into a supermarket's stuffed animal game machine while his father talked on the telephone.

"He was sitting right in there with the stuffed animals," said Shift Commander Mark Zittel of the Sheboygan Fire Department.
He said the boy, whose name was not released because he is a minor, crawled through about an 8-inch-by-10-inch opening to get into the glass enclosure via a chute where the toys come out, but when he tried to get back out his way was blocked.

The stuffed animals are prizes that can be hooked by players with a crane-like device.

"His dad was three feet away at a pay phone," Zittel said. "He was talking on the phone and he said the next thing he turned around and the kid was in the thing."

Dean hammered in debate
ABC gives a good rundown of todays debate. The highlight for me? This:

"A portion of the debate format gave each contender a chance to pose a question to a rival, and many of them used their turn to press Dean.

The front-runner used his question to ask the other Democrats on stage to say whether they would pledge to support the eventual nominee, then raised his hand to show that he would. All others followed suit Gephardt, Edwards, Lieberman, Sen. John Kerry, Rep. Dennis Kucinich and former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun."

As I've said before, Dean isn't my first choice, but I am not one to challenge the inevitable.

NASA realizes Mars made of rocks
Nearly a billion dollars spent, and this is what NASA gives us?

Photos From Mars Show Rocky Landscape

Look...I don't know a lot about Mars, but I know that it's rocky. If we don't see some gigantic alien skeletons soon, I'm going to be pissed.

AP eliminates Limbaugh story
I don't know how the righties did it, but the AP has killed the Limbaugh story.

TTLB Showcase vote
My vote is for Self-Composed.

Another empty threat...?
This should certainly be looked into, even though it's from Debka:

"The banner headline spread across the front page of Il Giornale, the respected Milan daily reads:

“Al Qaeda: We will destroy New York within 35 days. Threat on the Internet. Countdown begins.”

The threat was contained in a video clip featured on a web site associated with the fundamentalist terror group. It announced al Qaeda plans to destroy New York in a nuclear blast on February 2. Il Giornale claims the FBI blocked and removed the web site.

The video clip showed three possible scenarios: 1. A bomb or giant fireball from the skies that will cover the metropolis with a radioactive cloud. 2. A storm of radioactive clouds that will topple skyscrapers one by one, along with the Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn Bridge. 3. An explosion on board a charter aircraft that will cause a radioactive cloud to spread over the city."

At first when reading this I was curious, but after looking at those three scenarios, I smell bullshit. A storm of radioactive clouds toppling skyscrapers?

Judge ready to rule
Looks like the Terri Schiavo drama may be ending soon.

What happens in Vegas...
Is between you and the FBI.