Tip Off/News Of Note
By Jason Tanz

(FORTUNE Magazine) – CREDIBILITY GAP First President Bush tells us there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Then he tells us his Medicare overhaul will only cost $400 billion. Next thing you know, he'll be telling us that his budget will cut the deficit in half in five years! Oh, wait...

NUCLEAR BOMBSHELL Pakistan's weapons chief confessed to selling nuclear know-how to North Korea, Iran, and Libya. In response, Pakistan's President, General Pervez Musharraf, pardoned him and called him a "hero." With deterrence like that, rogue Russian scientists should be posting their secrets on eBay any day now.

PIXAR-DISNEY After the talks between the companies broke down, Steve Jobs derided recent Disney films as "bombs" and "embarrassing." If the partnership with Michael Eisner really is over, maybe he can get a new one with Roger Ebert.

DOUGLAS FANEUIL The government's star witness in the Martha Stewart case said he lied because he felt intimidated by his bosses at Merrill Lynch. Hard to believe: Wall Street's usually such a friendly place to work.

JOHN THAIN Some NYSE brokers worry that the new chief's plan to move toward electronic trading will make them obsolete. But if something doesn't change before the SEC revises its "trade-through" rule--which has almost single-handedly given the Big Board its virtual monopoly--the whole damn exchange will be obsolete.

THE NFL A U.S. district court overturned the league's rule keeping young players out of the draft. It gives a whole new meaning to No Child Left Behind.

TED AIRLINES The new low-cost United carrier, launching Feb.12, has such a cute name! And it's a lot catchier than the other contender: Bandwagon-Jumping Attempt to Scramble Out of Bankruptcy.

JOE TRIPPI Howard Dean's former campaign manager got a gig as a political analyst on MSNBC, and he's been chewing the fat with Hardball's Chris Matthews. At least now he's working with a guy who gets rewarded for bestial screaming.

JACK WELCH The former GE legend and new fiancee Suzy Wetlaufer just signed a $4 million deal with HarperCollins to write Winning, a how-to business book. More power to the budding literary couple. We're sure they'll become a modern-day Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. But with a lot more money.