MSNBC
updated 4/21/2005 9:05:09 PM ET 2005-04-22T01:05:09
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!

War on terror — Two years ago today, on April 21st, 2003, retired U.S. General Jay Garner arrived in Baghdad to begin the reconstruction of the nation.  His first photo-op proved a shock.  He went to a bombed-out, looted hospital, where one of the nurses said, "They said they came as liberators. What liberation? This is an occupation."  If the insurgency did not truly start on that day two years ago, it might as well have.  Now there are six more Americans — private contractors — dead , not far from where General Garner got his surprise two years ago, in a downed chopper.  The Mi-8 helicopter was shot down by missile fire 12 miles north of Baghdad.  All eleven on board were killed, including six Americans who worked for Blackwater U.S.A., a security contractor based in North Carolina….A road-side bomb exploded on the highway to Baghdad's airport.  That stretch is considered one of the most dangerous pieces of road in Iraq, if not the world.  Al-Qaida claimed responsibility for yesterday's suicide car bombing, targeting a convoy carrying Ayad Allawi.  The interim Prime Minister was not harmed in the attack.  The Iraqi government might have been, though…The diplomatic setbacks of Iraq could be matched here at home by the diplomatic setbacks regarding diplomacy.  How best to save the nomination of John Bolton for U.N. ambassador?  The President answering today: blame the other guys.  The president did not mention the stalled nomination is the result of renegade Republicans.

Pain in the gas — It is as much a feature of American life: as the price of gas, going up, your representatives in Washington meet the media to wring their hands about the price of gas, going up .  And it is an especially infuriating one because every time the leaders assembled at a gas station on Capitol Hill to deliver their sound bites, newspaper photographers and TV camera-men would capture the identical, telling, humiliating image: Congressmen showing up to protest high gas prices — showing up in gigantic, police-driven, gas-guzzling, SUV's...But ahhh, like the gophers who've learned to eat the plastic insulation that has blighted their environments, the politicos have figured it out.  Today — at this year's high-price-of-gas hand-wringing — Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert had his police-driven, gas-guzzling SUV, let him out around the corner from the gas station, so that the only shot anybody got of him was of him walking to the gas station.  The Republicans hyped their bill that would increase production for just 89 billion dollars, and admitted it wouldn't lower the price at the pump by even a penny.

Lost in translation — To paraphrase Art Linkletter: Politicians and Propagandist Hacks, say the darndest things.   Governor Schwarzenegger suffered a temporary loss of his capacity to speak English .  The Governor and what he said on Tuesday about immigration and the American-Mexican border.  Big surprise — that didn't go over too well with California's large Hispanic population.  Bigger surprise — even though he has said stuff like that before, his explanation that what he meant had lost something in translation inside his own head — was fully accepted by the Hispanic and Democratic Speaker of the State Assembly… The Judiciary Committee of the State House of Representatives in South Carolina considered, in the same week, a bill to protect chickens from cock-fighting, and another bill to protect women from domestic violence.  And they only passed one of them.  Wanna take a guess?  Yes — the anti-cock-fighting bill sailed through, making that blood-sport a felony.  But — the anti-domestic violence bill was tabled, keeping some versions of it a misdemeanor.

M.J. trial — It's your tax and entertainment dollars in action, day 521 of the Michael Jackson investigations.  And you may recall that a former bodyguard for the pop star — Christopher Eric Carter – got in trouble less than a month ago on charges that he robbed two banks.  But at least he was expected to be a prosecution witness.  This time, a defense witness has been arrested and accused of having had sex with a minor .  Oops.

BenedictXVI.com — Well, if you can have her on a super highway.  Why can't you have the Pope on the information super highway?  Benedict XVI may be 78-years–old, but he's hip to e-mail.  The Vatican announced that it has installed an e-mail generator at its homepage.  So there's one-click service in case you want to e-mail the Pope.  Prayers, questions, jokes, Virgin Mary sightings, whatever.  The email address is BenedictXVI@Vatican.Va.  But do not try to find him at BenedictXVI.com.  That address happens to belong to a quick-thinking Florida man named Rogers Cadenhead.  He bought that domain name three weeks ago for 12 bucks.

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