Bush Lobbies For Patriot Act
RSVP's To Terrorists Not In; May Move Sunset Provisions To Clear Skies Act
Speaking at the Ohio State Patrol Academy in Columbus yesterday, President Bush lobbied for the Congress to renew the Patriot Act, as is, saying it has been an effective tool for law enforcement to fight terrorism and ignoring critics of the bill who say the act
Inhibits and tramples on rights granted in the Constitution.
Bush cited specifically 16 provisions of the Patriot Act that are due to expire at the end of this year.
"We've put out a questionnaire to the terrorist community, to gauge what we'll need", said the President. "We've given them the opportunity to participate … To be part of the process … To build, as opposed to obstruct but we've had very few returned".
As to the 16 critical provisions, often referred to as the "sunset provisions", Bush indicated he may move them over to the administrations 'Clear Skies Act' as means to preserve them.
"That should be pretty easy to do", offered Bush. "I mean, the sun is in the sky, I think we can all agree on that".
One element of the Patriots Act that has drawn fire is the authorization of 'roving wiretaps' and electronic surveillance. Before the Patriot Act, law enforcement needed to get a judge's permission to monitor each phone number targeted. Bush cited that this put "our national security at stake" with a wall between fighting terrorism and intelligence gathering.
"Tear down that wall" said Bush, lobbying to keep the provision.
Bush acknowledged that the disappointing results of the questionnaire sent to terrorist may be a result of poor mail service in areas of conflict and, the desire of the terrorists not to want to give up their locations.
"We've now posted this on one of our websites, so they can download it or fill it out on-line", offered the President
Bush promised the audience of law enforcement that he will monitor and pursue vigorously the passing and renewal of the Patriot Act.
"I plan on cutting down my bicycle riding so I can stay on top of this"
Aruba Struggles With Investigation But Plans For Future
Talks Started With CBS; Planning CSI Theme Park To Bolster Tourism
As Aruban law enforcement, with the assistance of the F.B.I, continue the search for missing Alabama teen Natalee Holloway, government and tourism officials nervously await the outcome. With three more arrests in the case yesterday, and now into its 12th day, the case has brought international attention to the tiny island, better known for its warm weather and beaches.
"This is going to be a problem" offered one tourism executive, "no matter what the outcome is"
Aruban officials did confirm that they have begun talks with CBS to build a CSI theme park on the island, to, in part, capitalize on their current situation, and make plans to maintain their robust level of tourism.
Tourism in Aruba account for over 35% of the nation's economy. Of all the tourist that visit the island, over 60% of them are from the United States. Up to now, Aruba as enjoyed the reputation of being a "very safe" island but officials concede that may change.
The CSI Theme Park will highlight the popular CBS program and include visits and appearances from the stars of the program. It could also include filming some of the shows episodes on Aruba.
Visitors to the CSI Theme Park will have two options; a standard interactive tour or, they can create a customized case to work through.
If approved, the park will be built and open by the Summer of 2006.
There are unconfirmed reports that NBC has been talking with Aruba officials about a similar, 'Law and Order' theme park.
Friday, June 10, 2005
Bush Lobbies For Patriot Act
9. Convince Senate Democrats to filibuster the rest of the session and hold-up the Bush Agenda, just to piss them off
8. Tie up Ken Mehlman under the Freedom of Information Act that he prove all the honest livings made by Republicans
7. Boldly blame the Republicans for killing Terri Schiavo
6. Enroll President Bush in Hooked On Phonics program
5. Start spreading the rumor that the Democrats may nominate Bill Moyers in 2008
4. Blame the Republicans and their lack-of-diversity for New York City losing the Olympics
3. Plan Justice Saturdays so they can get the jump on the Sunday press coverage
2. Admit he misspoke; Meant to say that all Republicans are godless infidels
1. Edit the Paris Hilton commercial to show her giving Dick Cheney a soapy sponge bath
Thursday, June 09, 2005
Second Shoe Drops: Govt. To Pay Tobacco Companies
Written Apology For Putting Smoking Exec's "Through Hell" Also Part of Settlement
Government lawyers last evening submitted a motion that it was dropping the lawsuit against the country's leading tobacco companies. The new settlement of this case will have the government paying the tobacco companies millions of dollars and offering a written letter of apology for "unduly putting the industry executives through hell".
This bombshell was the second of the day, coming ours after the Justice Department stunned everyone watching this case, by lowering their suggested settlement from $130-Billion, down to $10-Billion. That action prompted Judge Gladys Kessler to note "Perhaps it suggests that additional influences have been brought to bear on what the government's case is."
The case against big tobacco was filed in 1999, under President Clinton's Justice Department. As President Bush took office in 2001, it was widely discussed and speculated that the Bush Administration was less keen on pursuing the case.
Former Attorney General John Ashcroft, early in Bush's first term, pushed for an early settlement, stating he believed the case to be weak. Ashcroft also reduce the financial support for the legal team in the case.
The Justice Department issued a statement defending dropping the case and the new settlement, saying "it was time to move on".
Critics pounced on the Justice Department.
At a news conference last evening, Democrats derided the action and suggested Administration ties to the tobacco industry may have made the officials "uncomfortable" with saddling the tobacco companies with a large financial demand. The payments were intended to finance a stop-smoking program that a government witness said would cost $130 billion over 25 years.
The New York Times reported Senator Richard J. Durbin (D-IL) asking; "Why, in the middle of a lawsuit, would you give up, which is exactly what this administration has done?"
Speculation also rose around the role of Associate Attorney General Robert D. McCallum Jr., a former classmate of President Bush at Yale and partner in an Atlanta law firm that represented one of the defendants in the case, R. J. Reynolds. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) sent a letter to the Inspector General, asking for an investigation of improper political interference.
More rumors centered around Former Attorney General John Ashcroft. Reports have come in that Philip Morris, and its parent company, Altria, may sponsor the 'When Eagles Soar' tour Ashford is planning.
Chicago Braces For Millions and End Of The World
Red Sox-Cubs Match-up First Since 1918; Cataclysmic Clash of Curses Expected
Officials in Chicago have declared, in advance, a state-of-emergency and are requesting federal assistance as the city prepares for the Boston Red Sox face the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field for the first time since 1918.
Religious zealots and other proponents of the 'End-of-the-World' scenarios have been pouring into the Windy City all week. Streets are lined with preachers calling for anyone who will stop and listen to repent. Sellers of 'Good Luck' charms and trinkets have been popping up on the street, in the subway and even on the observation deck of the John Hancock Tower.
Predictions that Lake Michigan will boil and turn to blood, flooding the city, or that fierce winds will blow Chicago down into dust can be heard at every turn. Some are touting the pending disaster can be found in the 'DiVinci Code'
For baseball fans, this is a long-sought dream series, albeit, it's not happening in the World Series.
Many Cubs fans rooted for the Red Sox last year as they marched to the win the championship. Jim Belushi, an actor and a lifelong Cubs fan. "It was like having a neighbor win the lottery. At first you're really happy for them because it couldn't happen to a better guy
Steve Bartman, who got in the way of a foul ball that many in Chicago blame for extending the Cub's curse is rumored to be honored with throwing out the ceremonial first pitch, a move that the doomsayers cite as tempting the building fate of this star-crossed match-up.
Chicago officials have blitzed the news media, calling for all citizens to remain calm and enjoy the games. They wait for federal troops to arrive to begin clearing the streets, as virtually the entire city is in gridlock.
Said one City Hall employee; "Next week, this is New York's problem
Next weekend, the Chicago Cubs travel to play the New York Yankees in Yankee Stadium - for the first time since 1938.
9. That she's going to end up doing a Gossip show on the Fox News Network
8. Getting chewed out and yelled at by John Bolton
7. Getting hit with a telephone thrown by Russell Crowe
6. That Tom Cruise dumped her for that young chippy Katie Holmes
5. Seeing Hugh Downs in the make-up room, in his skivee's
4. Katie Couric getting all the glory for the 'Today' program
3. How the cast of 'The View' regularly abuses the Koran but they haven't got caught yet
2. Having to audition for that Carl's Jr. commercial and losing out to Paris Hilton
1. Seeing men breastfeeding on airplanes
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
Details Emerge From Apple-Intel Deal
Intel Breaks From Tradition, Must Promo 'Apple Outside'
With the announcement earlier this week, after more than a decade with I.B.M., Apple Computer is shifting, beginning in 2007, to using Intel microprocessors, a move that is sending shockwaves through the Apple loyalists.
Both Apple and Intel shares moved down slightly on Wall Street Monday, with Apple down 32-cents and Intel 16-cents down
And now, details are emerging of the deal.
One industry source has told The Garlic that Intel is required by the terms of the deal to run a promotional campaign of 'Apple Outside'.
Apple will not be required to promote Intel beyond standard elements, such as press releases, website and User Manuals.
"It was a deal breaker for Jobs. He knows his market and he's playing to the base, the die-hard Apple-users".
For Paul Otellini, Intel's chief executive, it was gut-check time. Traditionally, Intel has required its' partners, third-party developers and OEM's to run 'Intel Inside' promo's and campaign, almost as a seal-of-approval.
"It's a hard pill to swallow for Intel"
Reports indicate the 'Apple Outside' campaign will feature Apple products prominently and will point people to either Apple.com or iTunes.com
The Apple base is extremely nervous with this shift, as it is known that Intel doesn't have a PowerPC processor as strong as I.B.M.'s. Job's reportedly became concerned that I.B.M. wasn't producing a larger variety of the PowerPC processors, namely due to the low-volume profit of Apple's small market share.
Intel, on the other hand, with taking away the Apple business, now holds over 80% of the processor market.
'Apple Outside' promotions and media should start running by the end of this year
Harris of Florida To Run For Senate
Says She's Not Worried, Knows How To 'Get The Votes'
Representative Katherine Harris, the former secretary of state of Florida and at the core of the 2000 presidential vote recount controversy, announced that she will be looking to unseat Senator Bill Nelson
Democrats accused Ms. Harris of engineering Bush's 2000 Presidential victory, as Bush won Florida by only 537 votes and, as Secretary of State, Ms. Harris presided over the recounts and certified the results. Ms. Harris had been a chairwoman of Mr. Bush's campaign in Florida
Ms. Harris said she will formally announce her candidacy in July.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee released a statement criticizing Ms. Harris's handling of the recount and suggesting that she was close to Representative Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, who is facing an investigation for possible ethics violations.
"As a public official, Katherine Harris is better known for generating controversies than for her achievements on behalf of the people she represents," said Phil Singer, communications director for the committee.
C.I.A Beefing Up Translator Recruitment
'Speaking The Language' Top Priority For New Hires
The Central Intelligence Agency, hampered by budget woes and the transitional elements of the new Homeland Security Department, announced that are beefing up their efforts in recruiting new translators.
Since the terrorist attacks in 2001, and the installation of the Patriot Act, droves of Arab-speaking candidates have been turned away, leaving the agency's intelligence gathering and reviews of intelligence reports lacking. Much of the work has fallen on long-time agency analysts who have limited language skills
"We want those that can speak the language", said Jennifer Millerwise, the top C.I.A. spokeswoman. "That would be a good first step".
Any changes made to the recruitment program, the final decision will be made by John D. Negroponte, who as the new director of national intelligence oversees the C.I.A. and 14 other agencies. The goal is to "leverage the cultural and linguistic skills"
9. I'm not spending another dime on Africa until I get my elephant tusks!
8. Oh God, he's going to want to take us to see that dreadful baseball team they have here now
7. You know Tony, if you can come up with a better constitution, you might be able to take Europe and rebuild the Empire
6. I was disappointed. I was so sure that Bo Brice fellow was going to win
5. Don't you guys have any paper shredders over there?
4. With all that's going on in the world, do you believe that people got so upset because Big Ben stopped?
3. If you want, I can send my boy Frist over there to give your guys some pointers
2. When we go back up to the residency, can we watch that Paris Hilton commercial again?
1. Does your staff send you out for bicycles rides when something big is happening?
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
Blair, Bush Meet Today; May Work On Pennsylvania Avenue Memo
No Official Comment On Agenda; First Meeting Since Downing Street Memo Leaked
British Prime Minister Tony Blair is due in Washington today, fresh off his re-election last month, to meet with President Bush to begin working on the Pennsylvania Avenue Memo.
This is the first meeting between the two leaders since it became public of their Downing Street Memo, a 2002 report that indicated Bush had already decided to invade Iraq and was fixing the intelligence around the facts to fit the policy of removing Saddam Hussein by military force.
The minutes of a meeting recorded in the Downing Street Memo detail how the U.S. Government did not believe Iraq was a greater threat than other nations and how intelligence was "fixed" to sell the case for war to the American public. It was also clear in the memo how the Bush Administrations assertions of "war as a last resort" were at odds with their internal policy and intentions.
British officials did not dispute the document's authenticity and a senior American official has described it as "absolutely accurate." The Bush administration continues to sidestep the issue while attempting to cast doubt on the memo’s authenticity.
Though re-elected, Blair had his considerable parliamentary majority cut into and despite being, perhaps the strongest of the European leaders, hasn't been able to shake the label of being a pawn for the Bush Administration by his critics at home and in Europe.
Speculation is running that it could contain plans for an invasion of Syria or Iran, or perhaps both countries, who the Bush Administration believes are fueling the insurgence in Iraq.
Neither leader would talk about the Pennsylvania Avenue Memo they will be working on and it appears there are efforts building to deny there will be a Pennsylvania Avenue Memo.
At the daily press briefing yesterday, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said that he wasn't aware of any "special plans" and indicated that there is "no Pennsylvania Avenue Memo on the agenda".
NYC Stadium Plan Dealt Double Blows
IOC Say No Funding and Russell Crowe Incident Brings Doubt to Big Apple 2012 Games
The International Olympic Committee said last night that the defeat of a funding bill for the development of the West Side, and a new stadium, as well as the Russell Crowe incident demonstrates that New York City would be an unsuitable host for the 2012 Olympic Games.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Joseph L. Bruno, the Senate majority leader, refused to refused to approve the $2.2 billion project, with Silver citing that the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan took priority over "the building of a stadium for the hope of bringing the Olympics to New York City".
Mayor Bloomberg, who has labored for more than four-years to land the Olympics and develop the West Side of Manhattan, saw the first omen hit earlier in the day when Australian actor, Russell Crowe was arrested for assaulting a hotel employee with a telephone.
Crowe was in New York to promote his new film, "Cinderella Man," in which he portrays boxer Jim Braddock, allegedly threw the phone at the concierge at the Mercer Hotel in SoHo, "hitting him in the face and causing a laceration and substantial pain," according to the complaint. Crowe was arraigned on charges of second-degree assault and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon the telephone before Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Martin Murphy.
According to Crowe's attorney, Gerald Lefcourt, Crowe "was in his room. He couldn't get a line and there was a disagreement."
Last night IOC President Jacques Rogge (Belgium) issued a statement, endorsed by the entire committee. It read, in part;
"With no funding and not an adequate stadium and other facilities, with movie actors running around, beating up hospitality staff, we would not be prudent or diligent with placing the 2012 Olympic Games in New York City. In fact, the European Union Constitution will likely be approved before we would come to New York."
While it is not an official rejection, insiders say that Paris now has the leading position to host the 2012 Games.
In a related matter, French President Jacques Chirac is asking for a new law that would bar actor Russell Crowe from entering France, until, at least 2013.
Rumsfeld, Military Defend Gitmo
Acknowledge Some Abuse; Ask That New Faith Policy Be Given Time
As calls mount, most recently from Sen. Joe Biden (D-MD), for the closing of the Guantánamo Bay Detention Center in Cuba, and the U.S. Military acknowledges that there were a few "incidents" of abusing the Koran, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is defending the use of Guantánamo and believes the new 'Faith-based Incarceration' program will work if given the chance.
The 'Faith-based Incarceration Program calls for the U.S. Military to begin abusing nearly all religious denominations and was first reported by The Garlic last month (See The Garlic 31 May 2005 - U.S. Military To Begin Abusing Bible).
"Let's just give the new abuse policy a chance to work", pleaded Rumsfeld.
9. Reach out and #$@C&% touch someone - with a telephone to the face
8. Let your fingers do the walking - or throwing a telephone at a concierge
7. I'll tell ya' mate, at least he knows now that it wasn't #$@C&% Avon calling …
6. Can you #$@C&% hear me now!
5. Dial and Duck Plan
4. One with the special 'Call Forwarding - 'All the way across the room' plan
3. Friends and #$@C&% Family!
2. One that offers, instead of reward points, bail money
1. A plan with 'Anytime Minutes' to throw the telephone at 'Anyone You Want'
Monday, June 06, 2005
Iraqi's Say Sadam Trial In Two-Months
Bush Admn Holding Out For November Sweeps
A riff is developing between the Bush Administration and the Iraqi Transitional Government, as the Iraqi Special Tribunal announced over the weekend that they are planning for the first court trial of former dictator, Saddam Hussein.
The Bush people want the Iraqi's to try a number of Saddam's aides, as a lead-up to the star defendant in November, in time for the November Sweeps.
"There's a reason the networks' debut new shows in September or October, and not in August", offered White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan.
McClellan stated that the President will likely be in Crawford, Texas for most of August and "he doesn’t want to be inside all day watching 'C-Span'."
"The President likes to be active during his vacation … Outdoors, tending to his property, bicycle riding, hunting and fishing".
Laith Kubba, spokesman for Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, said there was "no reason to waste time" in trying Saddam.
"We have twelve fully documented cases", said Kubba. "And we will be applying for the death penalty".
The death penalty became available in Iraq's criminal code, drafted under Mr. Hussein - against those responsible for the worst Hussein-era crimes, as well as for use against insurgents who have attempted to destabilized Iraq since his overthrow.
Vice President Cheney also echoed the President's preference for a November Sweeps trial.
"With a trial in two months, we run head-first into pennant races in baseball, and then extending into the playoffs and, potentially the World Series. We'll have trouble getting the networks to preempt these for the Saddam trial."
It is unclear, that once Saddam's trial begins, if it will be broadcast live, or on a tape-delayed basis.
So far, the networks haven't stated if they will cover the trial live, or via tape-delay.
Fox News Network has announced that they will "take the stand the administration takes". NBC indicated it is waiting to hear back from anchor Brian Williams, as to if he wants to "broadcast from Baghdad or will stay in the U.S. to cover some obscure Mid-West dairy farmer". ABC indicated that they will cover the trials but in "no way, shape or form preempt 'Desperate Housewives' for it". CBS stated they haven't decided what they will do yet.
"It wouldn't hurt either", offered McClellan, "if Saddam doesn't go on trial to early 2006. We can tie it in with the 'Soprano's".
O.J. Simpson New Jackson Advisor
Offers His Unique Advise; Missed Opportunity For SUV Chase
As the jury begins deliberations of his pedophile charges, Michael Jackson has a new advisor - O.J. Simpson.
Huge crowds of fans and media camped out at Neverland over the weekend as Simpson, who has taken a break from his own hunt for the murders of his ex-wife and her friend, was seen going in-and-out of Neverland. Simpson stopped briefly to talk with reporters.
"Yeah, I can relate to this kind of trial", Simpson responded to one question.
Simpson conceded that less-and-less leads are coming in on his hunt and that he was the one that reached out to Jackson, to offer the pop star his experience at this stage of his trial.
"Michael has made a few mistakes. He should have, at the very beginning, done the big, black SUV freeway chase. That would have been key in gaining the public behind him. It worked so well for me … I'm surprised his lawyers didn't suggest it".
As rumors swirled and ambulances were seen at Neverland, some saying Jackson was again being hospitalized, Simpson was critical, saying he "just needs to suck it up".
"The pajama thing, that was a major faux paus. Small town like this, he should have been in $4,000- Armani's everyday … He needed to show these people that he was the king of the music business, not the king of weirdsville".
Simpson said there's still time for Jackson to salvage his public persona.
"If he's declared innocent of the charges, he needs to immediately - first words out of his mouth - vow to find the real pedophile. That he's going to dedicate the rest of his life in finding the real pedophile".
News In Brief
Rumsfeld Slams Al-Jazeera Television
Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld slammed Al-Jazeera Television on Saturday, charging the Arab network "promotes terrorism" by airing beheadings and other attacks.
``If anyone here lived in the Middle East and watched a network like Al-Jazeera day after day after day, even if you were an American you would begin to believe that America was bad", said Rumsfeld.
Rumsfeld made his comments during an interview on the Fox News Network.
iSqueal Busy Over Stock Slide and iPod Rumor
The Apple Computer hotline, iSqueal, was burning over the weekend after a report on AppleInsider.com, a Web site devoted to the company's products stated that the company was "sitting on its most significant inventory of iPod Shuffles since the player hit the market in February".
Apple's stock lost over 4% at the end of business on Friday.
AppleInsider.com is one of three blogs or websites that Apple is suing over leaks about its' products.
Apple established the hotline, iSqueal, as an avenue for people to phone or email in tips as to who may be leaking, or disparaging Apple or any Apple products (See The Garlic March 10 2005 - Apple Takes Blog Ruling As New Club On Criticism and Dissent)
9. Famous wind blew finish line the extra mile and nobody noticed
8. Michael Jordan had a big bet down nobody would notice extra distance
7. Measured the course with Polish Sausages
6. Was part of a voodoo-curse thing that is supposed to help the Cubs win the World Series this year
5. Secretly going for Guinness Book record - Most People Who Ran a 27.2-Mile Marathon
4. Runners thought running into city's famous wind was what made them extra tired
3. Organizers are Republicans; Pulled the "Nuclear Option" on the race
2. At the 26.2 Finish Line, runners told Paris Hilton at 27.2 Finish Line, giving our Carl's Jr. hamburgers
1. Tired of dying river green - looking to start a new, weird tradition