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It's a big world and
The Daily Muse
is not afraid to cover it

This just in...

     As his first proclamation, Mohammed Khatami, Iran's new "moderate" president, declared that the United States would no longer be called "The Great Satan."
     Instead, the toned-down phrase "You Little Devil, You" will be used.

How do you spell MFN?

     President Bill's declaration that China continues to be one of his most favorite nations was...shall we say...unsurpris-

     What with the substantial percentage of China's gross national product going to support his and other Democrats' 1996 campaigns, continuing MFN for another year was the least the prez could do.
     "I think we're more likely to have a positive influence on China by engaging them (until we marry every last one) than we are by trying to isolate them," Clinton proclaimed.
     And so now, if the script of the past several years is followed:

  • Many in Congress will declare their disgust with the president for coddling the human-rights-abusin', unfair-
    tradin', Hong-Kong-civil-liberties-
    suppressin' Chinese...
  • And threaten to vote to revoke MFN and override his veto...
  • And Clinton will say just go ahead and try...
  • And they'll back down...
  • And recess so they can return to their districts to campaign for campaign reform and ask for small donations (small unmarked bills, please) to support their efforts...
         But we digress.
         The real issue is, you guessed it: supply and demand. If China doesn't get its MFN, where in the world will we get our Beanie Babies?

  • His chatrooms
    are spotless

    Windy City Pope Date: Tue, 25 Mar 97
    From: J.C.Gordon
    To: The Daily Muse
    Subject: Hole-E-NessMail!

         It's here! It's the Popester on line! Starting Easter Sunday, tune in and you can go on line with the big hats!
         Think of the possibilities...maybe they'll arrange confession from your terminal. Just program a "penance-bot" to randomly dole out whatever it is you need to do for your particular sin.
         It's easy! And since you can "go to confession" right from the privacy of your own home, you can go naked!
         In fact, you could actually be committing sins WHILE asking forgiveness. ("Oh, your Holiness...I have committed the sin of...what is we're doing right now? Oh yeah, I have committed the sin of....")
         Not only that, you don't even have to BE Catholic (or a "recovering Catholic"), who's gonna know, right? (Well, OK..maybe "Someone" will know...)
          All JohnPaulGeorgeRingo has to do is bless the server or the modem and all is forgiven. Wow! Think of the ad lucre from the banners......get me my agent!

    Clinton Bill & Boris'
    big bash
         It's the same old game: officials always downplay expectations at U.S.-Russia summits--then somehow manage to exceed them.

         They danced that minuet in Helsinki, where Bill "Bill" Clinton and Boris "The Spider" Yeltsin whooped it up despite their respective medical maladies. ("Hey Boris, trade ya some percodan for some of that Stoli!")
         The issues on the table (once they managed to keep Boris above it), were fairly important: Continued nuclear disarmament and NATO's expansion to include Moscow's former puppets.
         The Russians are none too happy to see NATO (Not AlTogether Organized), as toothless a tiger as the former Red Army these days, grow any bigger, especially when nationalism continues to threaten the relative calm in Moscow. To soothe Yelstin, the Americans even offered to let the Russian military form a joint brigade with its European counterparts. ("Hey, we're just like you. We also put our pants on backwards and speak with heavy accents!")
         But why stop there? Why not blow everybody away with a Really Big Breakthrough at the summit?
         Let's let Russia join NATO. Under terms of the mutual-defense alliance, if the ex-Soviets ever get antsy and threaten, say France or Spain, the Russians would have to fight themselves to the finish. (Russian soldier holding gun to own head: "Don't move or the comrade gets it.")
         You read it here first--not here.

    Hey Pierre, Oliver Stone is holding on line one...
    TWA radar tape      Paranoid conspiracy theorists are having a field day with the latest round of reports that a U.S. Navy missile plucked TWA Flight 800 and its 230 victims from the sky last July.

         And were it not for the repeated denials of government officials--who still haven't ruled out O.J.'s involvement--we would believe the missile theory to be as bogus as an offer of free lodging at the White House. But as the great Bard once wrote (in a drunken stupor), "Me believeth they protesteth once too muchly."
         How can you not buy into some sort of a conspiracy, what with Pierre ("I'll have a glass of wine at breakfast if I want to") Salinger's acting as a chief spokesman in two of the century's greatest unsolved crimes (TWA and JFK)?
         This time he's the proponent of the single-
    missile theory...

    Deng dies,
    Dow tanks
    Deng Xiaoping
    (We think not.)

         Deng Xiaoping, one of the last lions of the communist era, dies at 92. ("Don't try to pin this one on me," says O.J. Simpson, "I was on the 18th with a putter...")
         The Dow, the mighty symbol of capitalism, immediately sinks from all-time, never-before-seen record highs, plunging 140 points in two days.
         A mere coincidence or is someone trying to tell us something? (Like don't be in a hurry to knock down the Great Wall...)
         You decide.

    Nice guys

         At the risk of the whole thing back-firing into some bloody, tragic fiasco, are those terrorists holding 100 hostages at the Japanese embassy in Lima cuddly or what?
         Built up as heartless fanatics capable of doing terrible wrong, this group (named, we understand, after the late American rap artist Tupac Yo Lunch) has released more hostages than originally captured.
         They've even allowed the Red Cross to bring in holiday goodies, including several Christmas trees and champagne bottles for New Year's.
         We hope all continues to go well and end well, but with living conditions improving so rapidly at the Japanese compound, we wonder if these folks will ever come out...

    Greed is good

    The news that yet another trusted member of the US intelligence community was nabbed for allegedly spying for the Ruskies got us to thinking...

    According to the feds, we have FBI agent Earl Edwin Pitts selling U.S. state secrets ("Watch out for Georgia troopers, comrade") to commies and former Reds (Pete Rose, now blue) for a cool quarter-mil.

    So capitalism works after all.

    (Until you're caught...)

    Fallout Marvin the Martian

         The little Russian Mars space probe that couldn't go all the way fell harmlessly into the Pacific Ocean, we are told by officials round the globe.
         But our extremely unreliable sources whistle a different tune.
         For many hours this weekend, these sources say, the life of the president of the United States of America was in extreme danger of being snuffed out prematurely.
          As you may know, President Bill was vacationing in Hawaii, frolicking on an Oahu golf course. This, of course, is in the same hemisphere as where the plutonium-laden space probe was due to plummet from the heavens.
         Anyway, to make a long story short, these sources say the president and his clubs were spared a premature snuff-out when U.S. Patriot missiles shot the Russian craft out of the sky upon re-entry.
         "It's a miracle," a stunned but relieved Clinton told aides after the close call. "Now, I've still got time for a few more holes..."
         (Note to conspiracy buffs/ X-Files afficionados: Vice President Al Gore, who maintains close contact with Russian space officials, denies he had anything to do with the incident. "I'll wait my turn," the stiff one said.)

    James Bond he ain't
    Harold Nicholson's arrest as a CIA reverse half-gainer double agent left top U.S. spy John Deutch and FBI chief Louis Freeh trying to put the best (red) face on the situation.

    Yes, Nicholson was one of the highest ranking U.S. intelligence officers ever caught spying for the other side, Deutch said.

    But we did good because we caught the turncoat, said Freeh, who's got a few problems of his own.

    Besides, Deutch added, it took us less time to find this guy than it did to nail Aldrich Ames. And no CIA "assets" were killed as a result of the Nicholson fiasco, said Deutch, leaning on a stack of Tom Clancy novels. (Hey John, how about the agency's liabilities? How are they doing?)

    So what do we make of all this? Surprise, surprise: Despite the end of the Cold War and billions in aid flowing from Washington to Moscow, the U.S. is still spying on the Russians and they're still spying on U.S.

    The more things change the more they stay the same...

    Holy Stoli
    Yeltsin and Pope John Paul

         This is the kind of news you can find here and no place else on Earth.
         It so happens that Pope John Paul II is slated for surgery to remove his appendix. It also happens that Russian Prez Boris Yeltsin soon will undergo the knife to have his heart opened.
         It has come to our attention that these two operations are to take place at the same place and time in adjacent operating rooms. (Suspend reality for a moment, please. Work with us people, work with us...)
         In an inexplicable but inevitable mixup, the Pope gets the heart of Boris and the Russian leader is wheeled away with the pontiff's appendix.
         A few days later, His Holiness emerges from the hospital with an unquenchable thirst for vodka, lots and lots of vodka...
         While Boris, well...he dons a funky papal outfit and embarks on a world tour, spreading a message of love and goodwill to all peoplekind.
         We know what you're thinking, but you're too late. We've got dibs on movie rights...


        President Bill says he doesn't want to engage in a "word war" with Saddam Hussein, but he'll do so if necessary. In preparation, Clinton announced the formation of an unprecedented Pentagon/Department of Education joint task force. Strategists from both agencies will come together in an unusual "military/intelligence" mind-meld.
        "We've managed to stockpile 3,000 verbs in the Persian Gulf region and we're quickly deploying an additional 2,100 adjectives from bases and libraries in Europe and Asia," a task force official told the Muse.
    "Of course, we're still having some problems getting our allies in line—especially the French—but we're working on it."
        "We know Saddam, a master of the invective, has cleverly managed to squirrel away a few thousand curse words in his bunkers and beyond the reach of our planes, so we have to remain vigilant..."
        According to another source, the U.S. is prepared to use a previously undisclosed weapon known as STT: Stealth-Thesaurus Technology.

    Moon over Baghdad

          Welcome. This evening's program is sponsored by the folks who brought you the deadly Stealth bomber, the ultimate projection of power in a power-hungry world...

          Wouldn't it be great if those CNN guys would tell us how they really feel when they stand up at the Pentagon and report the wonderful plans Bubba, Will and Shali have for your foe and mine, Saddam Hussein?
          "This is Jamie McIntyre, reporting from the Pentagon and boy am I glad to be here. I just found out the world's biggest military secret and I'm about to share it with you for the first time. I haven't even told my friends.
          "The folks in this building are cooking up something real good for the Sadman.

    They say this time he's gone too far, making fun of the United States of America like that. So they're gonna teach him a lesson.
          "See, 'round about midnight or so, a bunch of these here cool-looking Stealth bombers are going to descend on Baghdad and blow the crap out of this fella once and for all. At least that's what our sources tell us.
          "Anyway, what I really want to tell you is this. In order for those babies to fly undetected by radar or humans, the pilots have to fly buck naked. That's right. Any clothes they might be wearing, especially shiny medals or buttons and such, would be picked up. So word is they'll be mooning ole Saddam even as they drop the big ones on him.
          "Well, from the Pentagon, this is Jamie McIntyre, over and out."

    Saddam Hussein Emotional warfare

    U.S. officials said the cruise missiles launched at Iraq were aimed at deflating Saddam Hussein's ego.

    But the Iraqis insisted the weapons missed their mark, even failing to wound his pride.

    Comfortable accommodations
    (no reservations needed)
     By Ear U. Go
     The Daily Muse
    CNN's Peter Arnett
          Hearing Peter Arnett's voice echo from the Al-Rasheed Hotel brings back memories of Gulf War past.
          But this time the folks at CNN forgot to disconnect the line from Baghdad and we imagined that we could hear Peter arguing loudly with someone from room service about the lack of ice for his refreshments...
          Somehow the second time around (maybe it's the third or fourth, we've lost count) the situation in Iraq seems less dramatic than it did a few years ago. This war by remote control seems too easy, somehow—not that we long for the sight of body bags but...
          How many times can Saddam be built up just so the guy in the Oval Office can conveniently knock him down?
          Which brings us to the question (attention conspiracy buffs): if Washington really wanted to get rid of this guy, and those cruise missiles really can turn on a dinar at the corner of Tammuz and Yaffa, wouldn't the Great Satan have sent one down his rathole by now?

          Wait, Peter's breaking in with another special report.
          (Never mind. He's just asking for more clean towels...)

    Is this man
    Boris Yeltsin
    waving goodbye?

    No kissin' on the first date

    President Bill wasted no time phoning Benjamin Netanyahu with congratulations on the Israeli right-winger's ever-so-narrow election victory.
    "I love you, man," Clinton said as he invited Netanyahu to the White House, where he promised clean sheets and a mint on the pillow.
    Hard to believe it was only a few short weeks earlier that Clinton virtually tongued Shimon Peres during the incumbent PM's visit to the States. As it turned out, Clinton's public signs of affection toward the peacenik premier were for naught. The prez had bet on the losing horse.
    Conventional wisdom would have it that even if the Bubba-Bibi powwow comes this summer, a cool wind will blow and only gentle grip-and-grins will be on display. But then again, Buffalo Bill sure has a way of making friends...

    Netanyahu to Clinton:
    Clinton-Netanyahu meeting
    "Keep your (forked) tongue to yourself"

    News from the front

    Remember the story about the lone Japanese soldier who crawls out of a cave thinking World War II is still on decades after the fighting had stopped?
    That's what came to mind when the Japanese navy "accidentally" downed a U.S. jet recently during joint excercises (Pearl Harbor in reverse?), forcing two American airmen to eject.
    Though the incident is being blamed on mechanical failure aboard the Japanese destroyer, maybe a gunner (or the ghost of one) refused to let bygones be bygones.
    Sometimes it ain't over when it's over.

    June 3, 1996: "A date which will live in Infiniti..."

    Getting to the bottom of things

    Turning briefly away from its tawdry domestic affairs, Britain officially recognized rump Yugoslavia and said it would name an ambassador to Belgrade.

    John Major

    "I know a rump when I see it," Prime Minister John Major declared (most inappropriately, given the public's concern over "mad cow" disease).


    Analysts said the move could be a royal boon to auto trade between the two nations.

    Now you know

    Cessna 337 Skymaster with words 'Castro Sucks' spraypainted on side

    This just-released photo may explain why a Cuban MiG shot down
    civilian aircraft flying toward Fidel's fantasy island nation recently.

    President Clinton, facing criticism from Miami's influential Cuban American community (they now call it "Big Havana"), showed he could get really tough with Castro. Among the sanctions Bill ("They-call-me-'Iron-Balls'-around-the-Pentagon") Clinton imposed: An immediate and complete ban on "I Love Lucy" reruns, which the U.S. has been beaming toward the communist outlaw state since the mid-1960s.

    It was a manly thing

    Saddam Hussein
    Now we know what George Bush
    really thought of his Gulf War foe.
    "The ending wasn't quite as clean as it might have been
    if Saddam Hussein had come to that tent, laid down his thing
    and maybe left office," the former prez tells David Frost
    in a TV interview.

    ("Could you be more specific, Mr. President?")

    How the mighty have shivered

    In the old days, they sent you to Siberia.
    These days, it's not so bad.
    Until not too long ago, Andrei Kozyrev
    trotted round the globe,
    hobnobbing with the highest of world leaders--
    Clinton, Chirac, you know the bunch.
    Now Russia's recently-exed foreign minister
    has taken a new job--the parliamentary representative
    of Murmansk, a cozy burb on the Arctic Circle.

    Getting ahead of the story?

    Dan Rather "Some Americans are already in the...on the ground in Bosnia."--Dan Rather, announcing the imminent deployment of US forces to the Balkans, on the Nov. 29, 1995, "CBS Evening News."

    Trot back to The Daily Muse, for the latest

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