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updated 4/26/2005 9:06:26 PM ET 2005-04-27T01:06:26
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!

Friend of the White House — He is being followed by more investigators, media, and pundits than Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.  There are ethics inquiries, complaints about the violent undertones of his public comments and embarrassing revelations of a quote in which he not only actually said "Judges need to be intimidated"... but he said it in 1997.  But disproving Mrs. Harry Truman's advice that if you want a friend in Washington, you had better get a dog.  Tom DeLay has at least one pal left: George Walker Bush .  The president invited DeLay to tag along to a Social Security round-table in Galveston, Texas, DeLay's home district.  The always carefully screened, heavily Republican audience of a Bush event cheered for the embattled Majority Leader before the event began..
Afterwards, Bush and DeLay flew back together on Air Force One to Washington….So the saga of Justices, denied by DeLay, is a little older than we think.  Also tonight, perhaps a not-so-mysterious development in the case of the ever-mysterious James D. Guckert — professional name "Jeff Gannon".  Two Democratic members of congress filed a Freedom of Information Request, and have now gotten the Secret Service Records of his visits to the White House during his tenure as a reporter.  There's something unexpected about those visits.  There were more of them than there were press briefings.  Guckert-Gannon said he went to the White House for press briefings.  Yet the FOI request by Representatives John Conyers and Louise Slaughter revealed that he was waived into the White House by the Secret Service 196 times in two years.  Only 155 of those visits were for White House press briefings.

Close call with Zarqawi — By definition, cliches sound silly.  But "close only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades" might be fitting; we actually are talking about "closeness" and "hand grenades".  Once again we are told by U.S. military or intelligence officials that we "nearly captured" a hated terror suspect.  For years that was Osama Bin Laden, until the story began to sound a little too much like the fictional leader of the resistance in "1984," Goldsteen.  Now, again, we were supposedly " close" to getting Abu Musab al-Zarqawi .

Marine on trial — It has all the details of the movie "A Few Good Men" — only made real, and made more complex by being transplanted into actual conflict, where the clearest of days are the ones only shrouded by the fog of war — not eclipsed by it.  Did Second Lieutenant Ilario Pantano — who left Wall Street for the Marines after part of Wall Street was blown up on 9/11 — kill two Iraqi prisoners in self-defense last year... or was it murder?  The Marines' Article 32 hearing — essentially the Grand Jury stage of the prosecution — opened today in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina today.

TSA on eBay — It did not start on that December day in 1996.  But it can be said with certainty that it had already begun by then.  The fact that the majority of passengers on domestic flights act as if they have not only never flown before — they've never even left their own homes before.  That was when a woman, in first class on a flight from Los Angeles to Newark, brought a tree aboard in her carry-on luggage.  She fully expected the tree — more than four feet tall and in a planter at least three feet in diameter — would fit in the overhead compartment. She was surprised when it did not.  We  don't know what they did with the tree at the time.  Now, out of safety concerns, it would have been seized.  Countdown's Monica Novotny reports tonight it would have been sold on eBay.

Brad & Angelina Us Weekly reportedly spent close to one million dollars to get pictures of Mr. Pitt, Ms. Jolie and Ms. Jolie's son at a family-friendly resort in Kenya.  It’s hard evidence, people say (as in Countdown producers say in gushy, gasping tones that make them sound like high school sophomores) that Ms. Jolie broke up Mr. Pitt's marriage to Jennifer Aniston.  And more truly than would film of them romping naked on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, shots of Pitt and Jolie — with Jolie Junior — indicate she's his girlfriend and Mrs. Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, who filed for divorce a month ago yesterday, didn't jump — she was pushed.  Drama, drama, drama.

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