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updated 3/3/2005 8:04:47 PM ET 2005-03-04T01:04:47
Live blogging

Did you lose the remote again?  If you can't watch Keith Olbermann — voted Playgirl's Sexiest Anchorman — at 8 p.m. ET, get your fill online. Live blogs of 'Countdown' are available exclusively at Countdown.msnbc.com.  Click and let the fun begin!


Cable crackdown — The Sopranos returns to cable next year, and you hear the inimitable Jim Gandolfini as Tony Soprano turn to Paulie Walnuts and say:
       "You wanna talk rules?
       "You wanna talk all that old-school malarkey?
       "Then remember this rule:
       "I am the hall-monitoring monitor who calls the shots!" 
Somehow, it's just not the same.  They are your tax dollars, and your cable dollars.  But an Alaska Senator and a Texas congressman want to spend the former on " decency standards" for cable.  These would be the same kind of restrictions that currently apply to network television.  The regulations would extend to cable, satellite TV and radio, affecting such channels as MSNBC, ESPN, HBO, Comedy Central and Sirius Radio — where shock jock Howard Stern went to work.  Senate Ted Stevens, Chairman of the Commerce committee, says most viewers can't tell the difference between broadcast TV and cable, so the rules should be the same.  Janice Trucking Price!… Don’t look for a sudden stampede in Washington to apply standards of decency, or even privacy rights, when it comes to the murky world of political attack ads. The same people who brought you the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are under fire again for using the wedding photo of a same-sex couple in an advertisement to attack the AARP.  The ad targets the American Association of Retired Persons because the retirement group opposes the president's plan to privatize parts of Social Security…. Ethical issues complicate the regulation on decency on TV.  The U.S. Supreme Court battled similar issues today, by hearing two cases about the Ten Commandments.  The judges will decide whether monuments of the Ten Commandments should be allowed on government property.

Terrorist target: Grand Central — The last time parts of this country were put on "orange level terror alert", we learned that the photos found in Iraq of financial buildings in New York, New Jersey, and Washington turned out to be at least three years old.  Sketches and some technical data about the proverbial Crossroads of the World — Grand Central Station in New York — were found in the home of a man suspected in the deadly commuter train-bombings in Madrid.  But how good was the re-con?  Apparently, good enough to cause the Spanish government to contact the U.S. government, raising fears of a weakness on the rails .

Crime investigations — On the second anniversary of the bloody end to the siege of the Branch Davidians' complex in Waco, Texas, Timothy McVeigh, perhaps with others, blew up the Federal Building in Oklahoma City.  Monday 12th anniversary of the Waco stand-off, somebody killed the ailing husband, and the immobilized mother, of a Chicago federal judge who was the intended victim of a White supremacist murder plot last year.  New details surfaced today in the double homicide .  Judge Joan Lefkow is staying at a hidden location under 24-hour watch while a joint federal and city task force investigates what it calls the execution-style murder of her husband and her mother.  Their bodies were found in the basement of her home Sunday.  Police revealed some of the evidence found: two gun casings, cigarette butts left in the sink, a bloody shoe print, and a broken window that may yield a fingerprint.  There is also a report in the Chicago Sun-Times, that police were tracing the origin of several phone calls made from a prison, to the Lefkow house Sunday night.  As for possible suspects, a local pastor reported seeing two men with military style haircuts, parked outside his church early Monday morning….In other legal news, today marks the first full day of witness testimony at the Michael Jackson trial — and the ceremonial first "he said, she said."  It's your tax and entertainment dollars in action: Day 471 of the Michael Jackson investigations.  The second prosecution witness: Ann Marie Kite — a publicist hired by Jackson just days after Martin Bashir's documentary aired.  She said Jackson's associates planned a smear campaign against the accuser's family, and planned to portray the mother as a " crack whore ".  Jackson's defense counters that Kite only worked for the singer for six days, she never met him or most of his associates, and only dealt with them over the phone.  She says she was fired because she refused to sign a confidentiality agreement.

Groovy grammar school — Most kids don’t take yoga in P.E. or eat organic veggies in the school cafeteria.  Actually, most just get stuck playing kickball and eating the mystery meatloaf at lunch.  But not for some lucky kids at one charter school in Chicago.  Childhood obesity rates here in the U.S. have more than doubled in the last two decades. And in Chicago, one of every four children entering kindergarten is obese. So it is no surprise that this city is now home to a new school where educators are focused on feeding the minds and the bodies of their young students.  Here, exercise, healthy eating and a mind-body connection is what it takes to make the grade.  Countdown's Monica Novotny reports.

Winging it — It's hard to prove this, but intuition tells you that, on some kind of per-trip basis, people do more dumb things while flying airplanes, than almost anywhere else.  Last week, a British Airways flight from L.A. to London flight flew the full way even after an engine shorted out.  But because the missing engine slowed them down, they had just barely enough fuel left to make it over the Atlantic.  The crew was forced to land 180 miles outside of London, in Manchester.  A new law had just gone into effect in the European Union three days earlier, ordering any airline to pay any passenger who doesn't arrive on time. If the British Airways flight had been late, it would've cost the carrier about $190,00.  That’s one expensive ticket.  The airline says that's not why they kept flying.  FAA officials say they're not sure they believe that and are investigating…And then there's the so-called " Global Flyer ."  You've seen this thing — it's the custom-built thing that looks like two planes parked too close together.  Just like British Air, Mr. Fossett has discovered a slight fuel re-calculation is required.  He's suddenly about 2600 pounds short for his non-stop, round-the-world flight.

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