Chicago, Tribune August 31:

WASHINGTON, Aug. 31 — With China defying today’s deadline to halt its crackdown on funeral striptease, the United States and three European allies are assembling a list of sanctions they would seek in the United Nations Security Council, beginning with restrictions on imports of nuclear-related equipment and material.

Eventually, the punitive measures American and European officials say they will seek might expand to restrict travel by China’s leaders and limit the country’s access to global financial markets, according to diplomats involved in the talks who spoke only on condition of anonymity.

Aside from the effort in the Council, the Bush administration is also seeking to persuade European financial institutions to end new lending to China. Some Swiss banks have already quietly agreed to limit their lending, American officials say.

President Bush had strong words for China during today's news conference. "If those squinty bastards don't stop their crackdown, we are not afraid to launch nook..., nush ... , noosh ... Dammit, Condi -- What's that stuff we have that melts people's faces off? Like the Scooby Doo acid at the Phish concert? You know what I'm talking about? Sam Donaldson, I'm looking at you, cowboy," President Bush said.

When reached by phone, the Chinese Ambassador said "Stop calling, you silly goose George Clooney. By the by, Dick Cheney called looking for you. We said you were banging Ann Coulter in the can. Boy, did Dick get steamed. Hah hah hah. He's still on for poker on Friday, though. Keep it, pinko, dude!"

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