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Pentagon Red Tape Keeps Medical Records From Doctors of the Wounded

After calling U.S. civilians' work in Afghanistan
After calling U.S. civilians' work in Afghanistan "neat," President Bush said: "I guess 'neat' isn't a sophisticated word." (By Ron Edmonds -- Associated Press)

They're still awaiting an appropriate response. McNamee is still waiting for the records.

Rebuilding Afghanistan? 'Neat.'

Bush-bashers often accuse him of not being aware that his riffs on Iraq and Afghanistan can be a bit stale sometimes. On the contrary, President Bush is acutely aware of the problem. He demonstrated that in a speech yesterday before the conservative American Enterprise Institute at the Mayflower Hotel.

Noting a number of administration officials attending, Bush said it was great to see them and that "I fully expect you to stay awake for the entire address." Apparently they did, but at least one member of the audience was spotted dozing peacefully in the back.

Bush even tried to wander off-message a little, to folksify his chat. He hailed prosecutors, judges, police and defense lawyers for going over to Afghanistan to mentor their counterparts. "And I appreciate our own citizens going over there. It is, must be neat, really -- I guess 'neat' isn't a sophisticated word, but it must be heartening to be somebody who's helping this young democracy develop a judicial system that is worthy."

Or maybe gratifying?

'Obama bin Laden': Free for All

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has rejected a Miami Beach man's application to trademark the name "Obama bin Laden" because the name "may falsely suggest a connection with the individuals Osama bin Laden and Barack Obama," USPTO lawyer Karen Bush said in a Feb. 6 rejection letter, the Miami Herald reported yesterday.

You can't get a trademark for "immoral or scandalous matter," Bush said, adding that the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, "have caused the name Bin Laden itself to be synonymous with the acts themselves. As such, the name Bin Laden is scandalous and is not registerable." His many relatives and the companies they own may want to take note.

The applicant, Alexandre Batlle of http://www.obamabinladen.net, sells coffee mugs, T-shirts, hats and such. One has a cartoon of presidential candidates Obama -- in a white robe and turban and holding a machine gun -- and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), in an abaya.

Batlle might appeal -- after all, he paid $325 to file the application -- and who knows, he might prevail on those counts. But another reason Bush cited might a bit tougher.

"In the present case, the names Obama and Osama clearly refer" to the Democratic senator from Illinois and the terrorist, she said. Since they are both alive -- how does she know about Osama? -- "the applicant must therefore submit written consent from the two individuals authorizing the applicant to register their names."

No problem on Obama, but Waziristan is awfully cold this time of year. Dangerous, too.


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