MSNBC
updated 4/25/2005 9:03:38 PM ET 2005-04-26T01:03:38
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!

Thou shall not filibuster — When the word first appeared in the Congressional Record, it was “fillibuster-er” — that was in 1853, when it meant simply 'prolonging debate.'  When it had first showed up in American English, it was fili-bustier and it meant somebody from this country who aided uprisings in Latin America.  At one point, as the Dutch word "vrijbuiter" it referred to free-lance boat captains. The English turned that into "flibutor," which meant pirate...So when you hear about Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist appearing in a broadcast supposedly dedicated to " Stopping the Filibuster Against People of Faith " — now you're also stuck with images of Pirates of the Caribbean with eye-patches….The event?  A telecast beamed to churches and Christian radio and TV stations nationwide.  The task at hand?  To re-paint Senate politics in black and white, no gray allowed.  Message?  Any senator against the president's most conservative judicial nominees is "against people of faith".  Some Republicans, even some conservatives, don't think we should press the issue on requiring votes on judicial nominees.  They're concerned that in the future Republicans won't be able to use the same device to obstruct Democratic nominees.  Well, that may be true.  But if what Democrats are doing is wrong today, it won't be right for Republicans to do the same thing tomorrow….Of course, evidently it was still right when Frist filibustered Bill Clinton's nomination of a judge named Richard Paez to the ninth circuit in 2000.  Republicans blocked more than 60 of President Clinton's judicial nominees.  Democrats blocked 10 during President Bush's first term.  Members on both sides of the aisle are taking offense to Senator Frist's threats and tactics...Political turmoil of a different sort in Iraq.  But it nonetheless echoes here.  Some three months after the election, the Iraqi government is stuck in neutral — amid a recent wave of insurgent violence. The Bush Administration is putting pressure on the Iraqi government to stop its bickering so it can address the violence.  Lawmakers remain dead-locked over its cabinet choices...

Japan train tragedy — It has the classic marks of a train disaster: the missed stop, the young driver, the race to make up time.  In fact it sounds almost exactly like the worst wreck in American subway history.  In 1918, a New York ticket-taker, pressed into service as a motorman during a strike, missed a station, backed the train up, and then took it down an S-curve not at the limit of six miles an hour, but at 30.  That day, 97 were killed then.  The similarities are astonishing.  Today, at least 71 are dead in Japan and more than 440 injured .  A packed commuter train jumped the tracks, ramming into an apartment complex.  This is the deadliest Japanese rail accident in four decades.

Jackson — Here's a little journalistic confession.  There isn't always news at the Michael Jackson trial.  No such troubles today: His ex-wife will testify.  One of his attorneys suddenly is an "ex".  And there's new furniture.  It's your entertainment and tax dollars in action: Day 525 of the Michael Jackson Investigations.  A shake-up for Team Jackson…Attorney Brian Oxman was unceremoniously and quite publicly dismissed by lead attorney Tom Mesereau.  First, in a series of rulings this morning, Judge Rodney Melville essentially shaped what the remainder of the Prosecution's case might bring — and prosecutors say they'll wrap it up next week (bless 'em).  Two key witnesses were also admitted: Jackson's ex-wife and the mother of two of his children, Debbie Rowe .  Prosecutors claim she was compelled to make a pro-Jackson video around the same time the accuser's family was allegedly forced to do the same; an immunity deal opens the door to the testimony of travel agent, Cynthia Montgomery.  She is expected to offer corroboration to the accuser's mother who testified Jackson associates had a plan to move the family to Brazil.

Kid in cuffs — We would not have seen the videotape of the five-year old, out-of-control Tampa kindergartner being handcuffed by three policemen had it not been for John Treveena.  He was the attorney for the girl's mother, Inga Ankins.  He was going to sue on their behalf — until he found out she had fired him.  He found this out from the producers of the syndicated sleaze show "A Current Affair" — with whom, it turns out, the mother has an exclusive contract.  Whether or not the show thought it had exclusive right to the extraordinary video... we don't know.  We do know much more about the history between the mother, Ms. Ankins, and the school. The former attorney, Mr. Treveena, says that Ms. Ankins had asked that her daughter be transferred to another school, because she said the Assistant Principal was "targeting" her daughter.  The school has another perspective — that Ms. Ankins had warned them never to touch her daughter.  And that on March 14th, when the child would not calm down after her tantrum, the school called the mother first — but she couldn't leave her job as a nursing assistant.

Tiger milk — Friday, it was.  The woman spoke Burmese, the zoo director English, the reporter Japanese.  But the imagery spoke the international language of... euhhhhh.  So we just put it on, raw, so to speak.  Only now -- like rubber-neckers long past that freeway accident — are we beginning to ask questions...You know... like... what the????  The tiger cubs at the Yangon Zoo in Myanmar were said to be having trouble feeding from bottles.  So, to borrow Mel Brooks' joke as the "2000 Year Old Man" about how he was breast-fed until he was 300… "I conned a lotta ladies.”  The woman is just a housewife, she stops by three times a day, 45-minutes a day, and does her part for the little Tonies .  There were three of them, originally, but the mother killed one and refused to nurse the others.  Which explains the problem, if not the solution.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,