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Berry's World
Saturday, January 17, 2004
 
A PROFOUND HONOR

Today, I was humbled to see that Berry’s World was nominated for a Koufax Award, in the Best New Blog category. Berry’s World also has been nominated for Most Humorous Blog, and I can’t tell you what a great feeling it is to be nominated.

The Koufax Awards are in their second year, and are run by the good folks at Wampum. Seeing the total number of nominations and links involved, I’m amazed by the amount of work that goes into handing out the awards. Wampum should get an award for simply putting forth that kind of Herculean effort.

Let me just say: I’m thrilled with the nominations, and I’m completely and totally satisfied with that. I certainly don’t expect to win.

That being said, I’m hoping that the following will be taken in the spirit that it’s presented. I hope that I’m not accused of being a sore loser or having sour grapes, but I am going to proceed fearlessly.

The only problem I see with The Koufax Awards is that the winners are determined by vote. Basically, the awards become popularity contests. Keep in mind, I know I won’t win, and I’m trying to helpful and not sound like a whining baby, but when people vote for an award, it not so much BEST Single Issue Blog, as much as it is the MOST POPULAR Single Issue Blog. To save time, we could just let Site Meter’s stats decide the awards.

Allow me to remind you, I WON’T WIN, and I’m fine with that, but maybe it would be best to choose a committee of well-respected bloggers who haven’t been nominated in a certain category to choose the winners. Reading some of the blogs that have received nominations, it’s clear that there are a LOT of blogs that I have never heard of. I’m guessing that is the case with most people. Sadly, those blogs won’t really have a shot if everybody who votes doesn’t read them. In the category for Best New Blog (which I won’t win and I’m not mad about) there are approximately 50 nominees. I would bet all the money in my pocket against all the money in your pocket that absolutely none of the people who have already voted have read them all.

So, to recap, I won’t win, I’m fine with that, but by deciding the awards by vote doesn’t give a fair shot to the lesser known blogs.
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A REPUBLICAN STANDS UP TO THE PRESIDENT!

Well, it certainly is refreshing to see a Republican admit it when President Bush does something that he feels crosses the line. It's even more refreshing to see that it was Senator Orrin Hatch giving President Bush what for. Speaking of the recess appointment of Judge Charles Pickering, Hatch opined:

"I think there'll be a slowdown on a lot of things from the president. I think you're going to have difficulty getting judges through. They're going to have difficulty on the appropriations process. I think there'll be attempts by some to ... really let the president know you don't do this."

Wow. President Bush and Karl Rove are going to...Ooops, my bad. That quote is from December 1997 when President Clinton used a recess appointment to name Bill Lann Lee as assistant attorney general for civil rights. Sorry about that.
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ARE EAGLE FANS THE EQUIVALENT TO HARDLINE CONSERVATIVES?

With the Carolina Panthers heading into Philadelphia to face the Eagles in the NFC Championship Game, the Charlotte Observer has some pretty good advice for Panther fans going to the game:

Don’t wear a Panthers jersey.

In Philadelphia, fans of opposing teams are treated like Hillary Clinton at a Tom DeLay fundraiser. Well, maybe it’s not that bad.

It’s worse.

A Green Bay fan that attended last week’s game at Lincoln Financial Field tells how SHE was pushed by a man who told her “No Green Bay scum.” As soon as she sat down, Eagle fans started chanting ‘Asshole” and pointing at her.

Now, I’ve never been to Philadelphia, so I can’t say how bad things are. However, I did attend the Panthers-Eagles game in Charlotte over Thanksgiving weekend, and I can tell you that the visiting Eagle fans were the most offensive, disgusting, profane people I have ever come across at a sporting event.

I’ve been to sporting events as a fan of the opposing team, and usually the ribbing I took was good-natured. The same way I’ve treated opposing fans when I’m pulling for the home team. We all kept in mind that, at the end of the day, we were watching a game.

Apparently, Eagle fans aren’t watching a game, but are awaiting the outcome of a duel between life and death. Am I making too much of this? Well, here’s the assessment of Panther fans attending the game in Philadelphia from Darryl Harris, a former security guard at Veterans Stadium:

"They are taking their life into their own hands."

And they thought they were going to watch a game.
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500

We've now lost 500 American service members since the war in Iraq started.

I wonder, if the people lost weren't 'merely' grunts, and nobodies, and political outsiders, but were the CEO's of the Fortune 500, you think this would still be going on?
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Friday, January 16, 2004
 
TWO TALES-ONE DRIPPING WITH INTEGRITY, ONE NOT SO MUCH

TALE ONE:

Last October, in the closing seconds of Southeast High School’s (Springfield, Ill.) last game of the season, QB Nate Haasis, all of 17-years-old, was 29 yards short of the Central State Eight Conference career passing record. With 22 seconds left in the game, there was a clandestine meeting between the opposing coaches.

The next play, Cahokia High School scored a touchdown while it appeared the Springfield defenders were disinterested, at best. Cahokia kicks off, and Springfield gets the ball with 8 seconds left. Haasis was confused, to say the least, when he noticed the Cahokia defenders weren’t within 20 yards of the line of scrimmage. Haasis threw a short pass, and the receiver ran directly to the spot where the Springfield coach was pointing. The play gained 37 yards, and Nate Haasis was the new conference career passing record holder.

The only problem was that Haasis didn’t want the record. Not that way. He wrote a letter to the Central State Eight Conference asking that, out of respect to his teammates and the current and past players of the conference, his name be removed from the record book. Haasis wanted "to preserve the integrity and sportsmanship of a great conference for future athletes." The conference later honored his request.

TALE TWO:

In May of 2001, President Bush nominates Federal District Court Judge Charles Pickering to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Democrats, accusing Pickering of supporting segregation as a young man, and promoting anti-abortion and anti-voting rights views as a state lawmaker, twice block his nomination from a full Senate vote by a 10-9 party line vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

In January of 2003, President Bush renominates Judge Pickering, but a filibuster by Democrats keeps his nomination from coming to a vote. A vote to stop the filibuster fails by a 54-43 vote, with 60 votes needed to bring it to a close. It becomes very apparent that Judge Pickering will not be elevated to the Circuit Court of Appeals, as Democrats feel he is not worthy.

January 16th, 2004, President Bush installs controversial judicial nominee Charles W. Pickering Sr. on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit using a recess appointment.

66-year-old Judge Pickering says "I'm grateful to the president for his continued confidence and support," and is sworn in the same day.

I'll let you decide which person acted with integrity.
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YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS STUFF UP

Ken Lay feels betrayed.

Seriously.
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WHO SAYS KIDS TODAY DON'T LEARN?

During the 2000 election, we learned of President Bush's drunk driving arrest 3 months after The Portland Press Herald did.

Now, Matt Welch tips us off to a stunning LA Times story of how Pete Rose admitted to betting on baseball a year before his autobiography came out. The co-editor of The Calabasas Courier, the school paper for Calabasas High School, said the editors decided to supress the story of the admission, which was on VIDEO TAPE, because they felt Rose had done them a favor by speaking at the school.

Welch hits a three-run-homer with his final observation:

So what is this wouldn't-know-a-scoop-if-it-kicked-him-in-the-nuts young reporter doing now? Journalism student at USC….

Considering the state of affairs in journalism these days, you gotta figure, that boy has got a bright future.
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A TOUCHING DISPLAY OF SUPPORT

Michael Jackson was arraigned on child molestation charges, but he had a tremendous amount of support from the 'Caravan of Love'. Hundreds of fans traveled in cars and busses from Las Vegas and Los Angeles to Santa Maria, California to show support for somebody they have never met, yet are certain is not guilty of the pending charges.

Earlier in the week, some people attempting to besmirch this spontaneous outpouring of love and dedication to the King of Pop insinuated that the controversial Nation of Islam was behind the rally, but that turned out to be another 'big lie'.

Najee Ali, the executive director of Project Islamic Hope, said "The Nation of Islam is strictly doing security for Michael Jackson." Further, Ali said buses for the caravan were donated by wealthy Jackson fans who wished to remain anonymous and were not paid for by the Jackson camp, nor the Nation of Islam, whose members have been reported to be advising the singer.

You know, when you think about it, after hearing Ali's explanation, it is kind of impressive for people to think so much of you for some well-wishers to anonymously donate busses to bring your fans to your arraignment, huh? It must make Michael feel very proud.

Then again, maybe not:

Members of the Jackson entourage also confirmed that the singer had paid for buses which brought scores of fans to Santa Maria from Los Angeles in a so-called "Caravan of Love.

Turns out the big lie came from Najee Ali. My guess is that it won't be the last one, either.
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YOU THINK THE LITTLE SHAVER IS OVERWHELMED BY HOMEWORK?

Maybe it's the homework or the all night Dungeons & Dragons tournaments, but something is keeping the callow Ben Shapiro from updating his cleverly titled Ultra-Orthoblog. Since November 10th, the unseasoned columnist has offered his readers a mere nine posts totaling 770 words (which is like a decent morning for Atrios).

On the other hand, maybe young Ben has discovered girls. Alert readers will notice that while Master Shapiro continues to use his preppy high school picture on his blog, he's switched to a darker, more brooding mug shot to accompany his columns on Townhall.com. It looks like Ben has learned that chicks dig the bad boys.

(Sniff) Our little boy is growing up.
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UP IS DOWN, BLACK IS WHITE

Iowa was signed, sealed and delivered to Representative Dick Gephardt. Then, Governor Howard Dean, and his incredible grassroots organization and internet support had stolen it. Now, Senator John Kerry has opened a 5 point buldge in the latest Zogby poll.

I have no idea who will win the Hawkeye State, but I'm betting Monday will be fun.
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FORGET IT GENERAL, WE'VE BEEN MUSHED

In the movie A Bronx Tale, there is a character named Eddie Mush. Eddie is the gambling equivalent to the kiss of death, because everything he touches (or bets on) turns to mush. In one memorable scene, Sonny (Chazz Palminteri), C (Lillo Brancato) and the rest of the wiseguys are at the track, and they have a great tip on a horse named Kryptonite. Kryptonite bolts to a big lead, and the wiseguys know they have it in the bag. They are shaking hands and celebrating when Eddie Mush comes down the aisle screaming for Kryptonite. As Sonny disgustedly rips up the betting tickets, C yells at him that they can still win. ‘Forget it kid, we’ve been Mushed,’ says Sonny while walking away. Naturally, Kryptonite losses by a nose.

Watching the Charlie Rose show tonight, I wanted to rip up my betting tickets because hearing that Michael Moore is supporting General Wesley Clark is the political equivalent to being Mushed.

I don’t have anything personal against Michael Moore. I like his films. I thought Roger & Me was great, and I think that Bowling For Columbine is the best documentary I’ve ever seen. However, Moore doesn’t exactly have the greatest track record when it comes to his personal reads of the political landscape. Here are just a few of the keen observations Moore made in 2000:

Moderator: But wouldn't a Gore presidency be preferable to a progressive voter than a Bush presidency?

Michael Moore: Well, I see nothing during the Clinton-Gore years to say this is true.


A Gore presidency wouldn’t be preferable to a progressive than a Bush presidency? Did Moore buy what Candidate Bush was selling in 2000? And what about this:

Gore shouldn't worry about Ralph taking votes from him.

Oh, no, of course not. There’s this too:

"A vote for Gore, who supports the death penalty, and NAFTA, and WTO, and won't support universal healthcare immediately, that is a vote for Bush. A vote for Gore is a vote for Bush; that is the new equation.

Most reasonable people knew that a vote for Nader was a vote for Bush, but not old Michael. It gets better:

Why doesn't Lieberman step aside and ensure the continued Democratic lock on this valuable Senate seat? With the House almost certain to go back to the Democrats, why would he risk his own party's opportunity to take over both houses of the United States Congress?

And how about this one from October 5th, 2000:

Number one, Bush is not going to win.

And now, General Clark has been Mushed.
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Thursday, January 15, 2004
 
DRUG ADDICTION MAKES STRANGE BEDFELLOWS

It's a good thing that the ACLU doesn't hold a grudge, huh? Considering some of the things Rush Limbaugh has said about the organization, it certainly was surprising that the ACLU jumped to his defense:

It's the ACLU and the NAALCP that are both subsidiaries in the Democratic Party that are asking federal courts to stop elections in this country.

Rush Limbaugh 9-23-03

I have to ask why the ACLU cares about voters at all. They get their agenda put into place by having activist judges override the will of the people as expressed in ballot propositions, elections and recalls.

Rush Limbaugh 9-16-03

Have you ever noticed, my friends, that it's only dictators and the ACLU that fear elections? People like Castro and Lenin and et. al., the ACLU and all these are the ones that are trying to best to cancel elections.

Rush Limbaugh 9-15-03

And my personal favorite:

The Boston Herald quotes Criminal Justice Committee House Chairman James Vallee’s reaction to this, "I'm shocked they would ever run a program for learning how to win at all costs with the intention of putting sexually dangerous people back on the street.'' I don’t know why he’s shocked, there’s a bunch of liberals behind this and a lot of people do have the view that this would be what the ACLU would want to do, defend the deviants of society, they always want to force all types of people on the civilized areas of our culture. (Emphasis added)

Rush Limbaugh 6-6-03
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THE LEFT MISUNDERSTANDS ANN COULTER

After God indicated having a soft spot for Ann Coulter, I got a few e-mails informing me that I had done the left a great injustice by not pointing out that, basically, Ann Coulter is a ‘lying, conniving, scandalous bitch’. Further, I was informed, that if people like me don’t come down hard on Coulter, she will continue to write her mindless screeds that tarnish, corrupt and besmirch the good name of Democrats everywhere. One reader surmised that Ann Coulter’s success is part of the Republican’s ‘grand plan to rule every public media’.

To be honest, one political party is to blame for the success of Ann Coulter.

It’s the Democrats.

The problem with the Democrat’s hatred of Ann Coulter is the basic assumption that, because she writes such mindless drivel, she is stupid. If you don’t know it, allow me to tell you, Ann Coulter may be a lot of things, but stupid is NOT one of them.

Coulter graduated from law school, clerked for a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, worked for the Senate Judiciary Committee, and was a litigator with the Center For Individual Rights in Washington. You may dislike her politics, as I do, but you really must respect that she’s not some dizzy blonde who couldn’t think her way out of a Ziplock sandwich baggy.

What Democrats don't get, but Coulter certainly does, is that she is not a political pundit, or a historian. She's a salesperson. Coulter understands that the further she veers to the right, such as defending the indefensible Joe McCarthy, the more Democrats are going to become outraged. And that is exactly what she is counting on. The more outrage on the part of the left, the more books Coulter will sell, and the more appearances she will get to make on CNN and MSNBC.

You think Coulter is upset when people attack her on Crossfire, or Hardball? Not a chance. She knows that when the left attacks her, conservatives will buy more books. Even though most Republicans would privately admit that she’s way off base, her being attacked by ‘liberals’ gives her credibility. Republicans aren’t buying her books because they agree with everything SHE says. They are buying them because they disagree with everything WE say.

Google Coulter's name and there are 192,000 sites. I would bet that well over half are written by leftys denouncing her. In fact, several are dedicated to following Coulter's every move and pointing out every single time she says something that isn't true. What those sites don't understand is that when Coulter makes those verifiably false statements, she isn't hoping that Treason Online, or any of the any anti-Coulter blogs don't catch them. She's saying those things in hopes that they do catch them.

With 24-hour cable news and the Internet, the reality is that Ann Coulter is here to stay. The only possible way to rid ourselves of hucksters like her is to do the one thing she fears most:

Ignore her.
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I DO BELIEVE HER, I TOTALLY DO

I do believe in the sanctity of marriage, I totally do.

-- Britney Spears
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Wednesday, January 14, 2004
 
SO, WHAT WAS THE POINT?

We all saw this coming. Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun will reportedly drop out of the race for the Democratic nomination for president.

UPDATE: Five minutes after I typed the above post, I flipped on the Tavis Smiley show on PBS, with Ambassador Braun as the guest, and she wouldn't concede to Smiley that she won't be the Democratic nominee.
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KNOCK IT OFF, GOVERNOR!

In a stunning display of hypocrisy, Governor Dean has crossed the line.

Here's Governor Dean in September:

"I consider Dick Gephardt -- a man I campaigned for 16 years ago -- a friend of mine. But I am deeply saddened that he has chosen to resort to the politics of the past by engaging in name-calling, guilt by association and scare tactics. It is a sad day for Dick Gephardt when he compares any Democratic candidate running for President to Newt Gingrich and his divisive policies. No Democrat in the presidential race bears any resemblance to Newt Gingrich on any major issue. And for Dick Gephardt to suggest otherwise is simply beyond the pale."

Here's Governor Dean today:

He referred to General Clark as a "good guy, but I truly believe he's a Republican. I do not think somebody ought to run in the Democratic primary and then make the general election a Republican primary between two Republicans."

Governor Dean has complained, rightly, for months that he is being unfairly attacked. Just because we're coming down to the wire is no excuse for him to start doing exactly what he accused his opponents of doing.
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CBS HAS STANDARDS?

In what will be stunning news to most, CBS has announced that they actually do have standards. And they are hauling them out of storage just in time to prevent MoveOn.org from airing an anti-President Bush commercial during the Super Bowl.

The network that bought, paid for, scheduled, and then dumped The Reagans, playing very fast and very loose with the truth along the way, now says there might be the smallest little problem with the winner of the Bush in 30 Seconds contest:

A spokesman for CBS said the Viacom-owned network has received the request from MoveOn to run the ad in the Super Bowl, but added that the ad has to go through standards and practices before CBS will say if it can run an advocacy ad during the game. The spokesman said he didn't think it was likely that the spot would pass standards and practices.

Seriously. The same network that saw no problem airing an interview with an alleged child molester, a prime-time special with an alleged child molester, and who may have paid the alleged child molester a million dollars, might have a problem showing an advocacy ad during the Super Bowl.

Except they don't.

There will be an advocacy ad during the Super Bowl whether the MoveOn.org ad runs or not:

When Super Bowl revelers park themselves in front of their television sets before the game Feb. 1, they will see among the usual set of clever ads one exhorting them to learn more about preventing HIV and AIDS.

The ad, which is scheduled to air during the pregame show, launches the second year of a TV campaign aimed at spreading the word that people are still becoming infected with HIV and dying of AIDS.


Apparently, it all depends on what you're advocating.
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WHAT DID HE SAY?

Everybody, it seems, is digging through every word Governor Howard Dean has ever said. From his infancy through this afternoon, reporters, opposition candidates, and bloggers are pouring over every syllable uttered by Governor Dean.

Several Democratic candidates pilloried Governor Dean for comments concerning the increased safety (or lack thereof) since Saddam Hussein was captured. While the other candidates were completely and utterly wrong in their mockery (We aren't safer, get over it), at least they were complaing about a recent statement.

Chris Matthews and Co. recently dissected comments the Governor made 4 years ago. Robert Tagorda analyzes a letter he wrote nearly nine years ago. Apparently, Newsweek is going to drop a bombshell when they release a statement found in Governor Dean's 2nd grade records!

However, I doubt anybody will be able to find a past quote that is nearly as disturbing and troubling as this:

David Fink: "When you're not talking politics what do you and [your father] talk about?"

George W. Bush: "Pussy."

The point is, we ALL have said stupid things in the past. People change, their ideas change, and their thinking changes. Is it important that the former leader of the free world and his son talked about pussy 14 years ago? No. What's important is what people think and say now.
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SHUT UP ALREADY

Did you catch Al Franken on Charlie Rose last night? Did anybody else wish Rose would have just shut up for a second or two? He kept interrupting Franken to the point where nothing was being said.

And how many times did Rose tell Franken, after Al would call Bill O'Reilly a 'pathological liar', that 'you don't mean that'?

Charlie, do us all a favor, stick to stodgy interviews and being the administration's mouthpiece, and leave the mindreading to the experts.
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STOP THE HOCKEY SEASON-I WANT TO GET OFF

For the Los Angeles Kings, and their fans, last year was a nightmare that wouldn’t end. Early on the Kings lost their best player, Jason Allison, to a season ending injury, and a few games later lost their heart and soul, Adam Deadmarsh, for the year due to an injury. In fact, the Kings lost 534 man-games to injury, the third most in NHL history, and missed the playoffs for the first time in 4 years.

Naturally, when the Kings went to camp last September, optimism was running high. Going by the law of averages, the Kings were due to catch some breaks. Sadly, the Kings' bad luck is violating not just the letter, but also the spirit of the law of averages.

Jason Allison and Adam Deadmarsh have still not played a game since last season. In fact, it’s starting to look like both players may miss the entire season, and there are whispers that both players may have played the last NHL games of their careers. But the Kings battled on. They acquired offensive-minded Martin Straka from Pittsburgh, and were in first place up to a few weeks ago.

However, fate often finds a way to say, “Don’t screw with me.” A week ago, Ziggy Palffy, who was leading the Kings with 41 points in 35 games, hurt his shoulder and underwent season ending surgery Monday. Then, four days ago, Straka hurt his knee and will miss ‘significant time.’ Now the Kings are on pace to shatter the NHL’s all time record for games lost to injuries.

Yet, proving that he is the best coach in the National Hockey League, Andy Murray still has the Kings fighting for a playoff spot, despite being mired in a 12 game win-less streak (0-3-8-1). Murray, the king of positive thinkers, keeps saying that things just have to get better, and he’s right. Things just HAVE to get better.

Don’t they?
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Tuesday, January 13, 2004
 
TELL THE BOSS I'M OUT OF THE OFFICE FOR THE NEXT THREE YEARS

Unless you live in Iowa, or New Hampshire, or unless you are wealthy and donate money to your political party, chances are you have never spoken to a candidate for president. The chances are even lower that you've ever talked to a president.

I've seen a president. Two, in fact. Once, President Ronald Reagan came to my former hometown, Ashland, Ohio, to give a speech at Ashland College. His helicopter landed in the high school parking lot, and I saw his limo drive by. And I was at the opening game at Jacob's Field in Cleveland, Ohio when President Bill Clinton threw out the first pitch.

What bothers me is that every presidential election we hear how the president works for the voters, and then once elected, most presidents don't come within 5 miles of a voter like me. For three years, until the next campaign, the president has the ability to avoid the voters who might have the temerity to ask a question he doesn't like. You ever had a job where you could avoid questions from your boss? Me either.

In what is a great tradition, Prime Minister Tony Blair has Question Time, where he answers questions from his opposition. Every time I watch it, I think, why can't we have that? But, then again, why can't we have something better?

We can.

Here's my idea: We get legislation passed that REQUIRES the president to submit himself or herself to a monthly 90-minute town-hall meeting to answer questions from registered voters. The local newspaper can distribute tickets to the meeting, with 40% of the tickets going to Republicans, 40% to Democrats, and 20% to Independents. Registered voters can write or call the newspaper to have their names put in a hat, and a drawing is held to see who attends.

The meetings will be held in cities chosen, alternately, by the Leaders of the House or Senate. And, because this idea will clearly be considered a shot at President Bush, it could go into effect in 2009. The winner of the 2008 election should attend the first town-hall meeting in February 2009.

Now, here’s the tricky part. Some president’s might claim, say, a national emergency to avoid attending the meeting. OK, that’s possible. So, the law also states that if the president misses a meeting due to a national emergency, he or she CANNOT attend ANY TYPE of fundraiser until he has made up the missed meeting.

It can work. I’ve written to Senator Boxer, Senator Feinstein, and Congressman Brad Sherman (my representatives) requesting it. I know, they threw those e-mails in the garbage, but if they get enough of them, they’ll listen. My God, if the Do Not Call list can get their attention, this can too.

So, let’s do it, huh? You can find your Congressional Representative here, and your U.S Senators here. You can e-mail them and it won't cost a dime. Don’t know what to write? E-mail me and I’ll send you a copy of the letters I sent. If the Internet can make Governor Howard Dean the frontrunner, it can also force the president to be answerable to us.
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HERE COMES THE VEEP, GET OUT YOUR WALLET

Since June of 2003, of every 4 times Vice President Cheney has made an appearance outside of the White House, 3 of them were to attend fundraisers.
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I WOULD HAVE SWORN I'D HAVE ONE BY NOW

As a kid growing up in the '70's, I knew two things. First, I honestly believed that there was something completely wrong with my family because we didn't have a laugh track. The Brady's had a laugh track. The Cunningham's had one. So did the Partridge's. Clearly, I deduced, since the Berry's didn't have one, there was some sort of problem.

Secondly, I knew in my heart that one day I would have a catchphrase. The kind of catchphrase that would induce milk-through-the-nose laughter at it's mere mention. I mean, I had to have one because everybody else had one:

God will get you for that, Walter.
Maude Findlay

Kiss my grits!
Florence Jean Castleberry

Up your nose with a rubber hose
Vinne Barbarino

Whatchoo talking about, Willis?
Arnold Jackson

Sit on it, Potsie
Richie Cunningham

Hey Hey Hey
Freddie "Rerun" Stubbs

Dyn-o-mite!
James "J.J." Evans, Jr.

I’m coming to join you, Elizabeth!
Fred Sanford

I know nothing!
Sgt. Hans Schultz

Keith, turn that damn TV off!
James Berry

But, try as I might, I never could get one to catch on. And, to be brutally honest, other than being a rousing failure at anything I've ever tried, my lack of a cool catchphrase is my biggest regret in life.
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Monday, January 12, 2004
 
O'DONNELL SAW THE NOT-SO TRUE LIES COMING

Lawrence O'Donnell, on the October 4, 2003 edition of the McLaughlin Group, warned us. Sadly, not too many people noticed.

O'Donnell said that Arnold Schwarzenegger was the most "...wildly lying politician in America..." in terms of policy and his past. Was the creator of Mr. Sterling correct? You be the judge:

9-3-03 Candidate Schwarzenegger's Campaign Ad:

Question: Will you have to cut education?

Schwarzenegger: No. We can fix this mess without hurting the schools.

1-9-04 Governor Schwarzenegger's proposed budget slashes the University of California by $372 million dollars. Further, undergraduate students will see a 10% increase in fees, while graduate students will see a 40% increase.


9-3-03 Candidate Schwarzenegger Campaign Ad:

Schwarzenegger: My candidacy is all about big change in Sacramento.

Question: How are you going to end the financial mess?

Schwarzenegger: Well, California is spending $29 million per day more than it takes in. Now, here is my plan: audit everything, open the books, and then we end the crazy deficit spending.

1-9-04 Governor Schwarzenegger proposed budget contains $6 billion dollars in deficit spending.


10-5-03 Candidate Schwarzenegger to Tom Brokaw:

As soon as the campaign is over I will— I can get into all of the specifics and find out what is really going on. But right now I’m just really occupied with the campaign.

10-9-03 Governor-Elect Schwarzenegger holds his first press conference:

At his press conference Thursday, Schwarzenegger was asked as he exited the room about the allegations of inappropriate behavior toward women that dogged his campaign in the final days of the gubernatorial race.

"Old news," he replied and disappeared behind a blue curtain.

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PRESIDENT BUSH PICKS UP A KEY ENDORSEMENT

President Bush: Good Afternoon. I had hoped that this was going to be a surprise, like my going to Iraq to visit my fellow soldiers, my fellow fighting men in the war on terror, but, unfortunately that blabbermouth Pat Robertson let the cat into…left the cap…um…forced the cat to…well, spoiled the surprise. In any event, as the political season heats up, the Bush-Cheney campaign is extremely honored, and humbled to announce that we have received the endorsement of the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, and the Almighty Ruler. Please, join me in welcoming the newest and greatest Bush Pioneer, Almighty God.

GOD: Hello, it’s really a pleasure to be with you today. As I have watched America’s political landscape change since the horrific attacks of 9-11, it became clear that I could no longer sit mute. I knew that I had to make it very clear to the American people that there is only one candidate for president in who I had complete confidence to handle the security of my favorite nation, the United States of America. Further, he is a man of deep, and unquestionable faith. That man is President George W. Bush. I’ll be happy to take some questions.

QUESTION: God, you mentioned that the United States of America is your favorite nation. Doesn’t that seem to fly in the face of John 3:16, which has been interpreted as saying that You love all men equally?

GOD: Thanks for the question, Steve. Of course, you are referring to the bible passage that was made famous by the guy in the rainbow wig who showed up at all the ballgames. What I would say to you, other than I really wish you would end your extra-marital affair with your editor’s wife, is that like most works done by committee, the Bible sort of got mucked up. What’s the old saying? A zebra is a horse designed by committee, right? That’s sort of they same thing with the Bible. Bill, in addition to a hidden problem with alcohol, you have a question?

QUESTION: Yes, God, thank you. Pat Robertson was quoted as saying that You told him that President Bush was going to win a ‘blowout election’ in November. If that were the case, why would you need to endorse the president?

GOD: Oh gosh. I have always maintained that you folks have free will. I don’t decide what you will do. And, I don’t want to disparage Pat Robertson, but he is always making things up. Remember when he claimed that I told him to run for President in 1988 AD? Never happened. No offense George, but in ’88 AD Jack Kemp was my man. I still don’t really understand how he lost.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Don’t worry, I won’t tell my dad.

(LAUGHTER)

QUESTION: God, I know you mentioned that the Bible might have lost something during rewrites, but Psalm 11:11 says, "The Lord is righteous, he loves justice". That’s an idea that most Americans hold dear, but I wonder how it can be reconciled with the 2000 election when Vice President Gore received more votes that President Bush?

GOD: OK, that was a bad practical joke that kind of got out of hand. The truth is that George got about 9 million more votes than Gore, but I was having a little fun with Al Gore, Sr. He was so sure his son was going to win that he wouldn’t shut up about him. He kept telling Me how great his son was, if you can imagine the irony, and I decided to let Gore get real close only to lose at the end. Truth be told, I probably should have stayed out of it, but you can’t imagine how pissed off I get when parents brag about their kids to me.

QUESTION: God, you mentioned that part of the reason you are supporting President Bush is his deep faith. Did you consider any Democratic candidates, such as Reverend Al Sharpton?

GOD: Yeah, I considered Sharpton, for about a second and a half. He lost any chance with me in 1971 AD when he was telling children in Harlem to celebrate Kwanzaa instead of my boy’s birthday. That was an insult that I won’t soon forget.

QUESTION: What about Howard Dean?

GOD: I never considered him as presidential timber, but I am thinking of giving him his own bike path.

(LAUGHTER)

QUESTION: God, how do you feel about the decline in moral values brought on by Bill Clinton?

GOD: You know, I am so sick of hearing about Bill Clinton. Sure, Clinton acted in a completely immoral fashion with that woman, Miss Lewinsky, but is that the reason the morals and values of America have been lowered? Is Clinton the reason why Ken Starr can’t go two weeks without visiting a whore? Is Clinton the reason why you cheated on your taxes to avoid paying $24,894.71 over the years 1997 AD to 2003 AD inclusive? Clinton had his problems, but I’d think twice before I’d be throwing stones if I were you.

QUESTION: God, getting back to politics, how do you see the Democratic primaries playing out?

GOD: Well, as a Republican, I don’t really pay that close attention to the Democrat party. All I am doing is focusing on how I can help George get reelected.

QUESTION: But, whom do you fear the most, as a Democratic candidate?

GOD: Did you just ask me, your God, who I fear? There’s a reason the phrase is ‘a God fearing man’ and not ‘a man fearing God’. Of course you might understand that a little better if you had spent more Sunday mornings in church as a boy rather than fornicating with your families Hispanic housekeeper, right Adam?

QUESTION: My Lord, Ann Coulter wrote, speaking of Muslims, ‘We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity’…

GOD: Sounds like a plan.

QUESTION: Are you saying you agree with Ann Coulter?

GOD: Well, off the record, I have a soft spot for Ann. And, personally, I think she’s kind of hot.

QUESTION: Can we quote you on deep background?

GOD: Oh, all right.

QUESTION: Should it be attributed to a ‘High-ranking Christian official'?

GOD: Make it ‘Celestial insider’. Lisa, you have a question?

QUESTION: God, I’d like to return to Pat Robertson for a moment, if I could…

GOD: Kind of like returning to Tom Delay’s office after midnight for those ‘secret meetings’ you think nobody knows about?

QUESTION: Um, well, I actually…I’ll sit down now.

GOD: No, no, I’m just yanking your chain. Ask your question.

QUESTION: Well, God, Pat Robertson when speaking of President Bush said, "It doesn't make any difference what he does, good or bad, God picks him up because he's a man of prayer and God's blessing him." That sounds like the president is getting some sort of preferential treatment…

GOD: Well, I never told Robertson that, but in actuality he’s right. I don’t know what it is about George but I can’t seem to stay mad at him. Come here George.

(President Bush approaches God who promptly puts him in a headlock and gives him some good-natured noogies.)

This crazy kid is like your little brother. He’s constantly doing stupid things, and I get mad, but a couple of hours later I just have to forgive him. Like that whole weapons of mass destruction scam. At first I was really hot about it, but, later I figured ‘That’s Georgie. Whatta you gonna do?’

QUESTION: God, are you saying that there were no WMD’s in Iraq?

PRESIDENT BUSH: We have always said that we will find…

GOD: Yep, not a weapon of mass destruction in the whole country. Frankly, I was more disappointed in you folks for buying that story than I was at George for telling it. It must make Bob Woodward turn over in his grave.

QUESTION: Woodward’s not dead.

GOD: He's not? What’s today? Never mind. Any more questions?

QUESTION: God, one of the great mysteries that has bedeviled the American public for 40 years is the assassination of President Kennedy. Oliver Stone made a movie pointing the finger of blame in several directions. I wonder if you could clear up the confusion.

GOD: You know, when I saw JFK I wasn’t expecting much. After he butchered The Doors, who, despite what my son says about The Beatles, is the greatest rock and roll band in your history, I figured Stone would screw up the Kennedy assassination story too. I was shocked, totally shocked, because Oliver totally nailed it. That’s the precise way the assassination played out.

QUESTION: God, did your endorsement of President Bush come about due to some influence from Karl Rove?

GOD: This endorsement was between George and me. You’ll notice that Karl isn’t here today, and that was my decision. Karl and I are going to have a long discussion very soon about some of the things he’s done, and I don’t think he’s gonna like the outcome. He didn’t learn a single thing from the Lee Atwater situation.

QUESTION: God, you mentioned the 9-11 attacks. The attackers, apparently, were under the impression that they would receive 72, or 79 virgins when they got to heaven. Have they collected, as of yet?

GOD: (Chuckles) The only thing they will get if they show up in heaven is my boot upside their asses. Let’s just say that they will be too busy for the next, oh, eternity to worry about a field trip to heaven. I won’t tell you where they are, but I can assure you, they don’t need a winter coat.

QUESTION: Do you think that the Bush campaign playing up your endorsement will cause the Democrats to accuse him of playing the ‘God card’?

GOD: Is there a better card to play?

QUESTION: God, Lieutenant General William G. Boykin, while speaking of his Muslim opponent, was quoted as saying “I KNEW that my God was bigger than his." Later, Boykin said “My God once beat the crap out of Allah in a bar fight.” Was he right?

GOD: Well, yeah. Allah had a few too many drinks and got mouthy so I had to slap him around a little. But, since then, we’ve patched up our differences and we’re pretty tight.

PRESIDENT BUSH: We’ll take one more question.

QUESTION: God, if, in spite of your endorsement, the American people elect a Democratic candidate for president, how would you react?

GOD: Hey, I’m a good God, and a benevolent God, but there is a reason that folks still talk about ‘the wrath of God’, if you know what I mean.

QUESTION: God, are you making a threat against the American people?

GOD: God doesn’t make threats. He doesn’t have to.

PRESIDENT BUSH: OK, that’s it for now. We’ll see you all at the fundraising dinner tonight.
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DEATH MAY TAKE A HOLIDAY, BUT STUPIDITY DOESN'T---UPDATE

It’s one thing to be stupid, and it’s a whole other thing to be a criminal. It turns out that Mary Beth Byers may be both. I previously mentioned that in an early Christmas morning attempt to return some items to her neighbor, she scaled a wrought iron fence, only to be impaled on it, requiring paramedics to remove part of the fence to transport Byers to the hospital. Coincidentally, the neighbor later reported her home had been burglarized.

Well, maybe not so coincidentally, as Byers has now been charged with two counts of burglary for, possibly, the least successful crime in a decade. Luckily, Byers has a good explanation: she told police she was drunk and high on methamphetamines when the incident occurred, and she doesn't remember what happened.

Well, at least she didn't blame the Democrats.
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THE BEST IN THE BUSINESS

As the nominations for the highly prestigious and coveted Koufax Awards keep rolling out, today we see the nominees for "The Best Commenter".

While I was disappointed that nobody who has ever commented on Berry's World got tabbed, I was secretly pleased that the person calling himself or herself 'Southern Conservative' got snubbed.

Southern Conservative took umbrage with this post about Adrienne Samen, known semi-affectionately as Bridezilla, and commented:

You, sir, are a pigfucker.

Good day,
SC


I don’t know how many times I have to tell people; THOSE CHARGES WERE DROPPED!
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THE GLASS IS HALF FULL

KABC had a story on their morning news that was opened with the anchor saying a local woman was 'credited with saving her baby's life'. That kind of caught my attention, simply because I was under the impression that most mothers save their baby's life about 6 times a day while they are infants.

The story paid tribute to the mother for pulling her 18-month-old baby out of their backyard fishpond. The baby fell in, was face down in the algae-infested pond for about 15 seconds before being pulled out, and, thankfully, was fully conscience when the paramedics arrived.

Now, I realize that this is coming from a cynical non-parent, but do you think that maybe while this mother is being hailed as a hero that perhaps somebody should be asking how an 18-month-old got near a fishpond? Or even why a family with an 18-month-old child has a fishpond? Or, if the fishpond is so dear to the family, why it has water in it with an infant around the house?
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WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT?

There is an unconfirmed rumor that Governor Howard Dean was upset with himself after last night's Democratic debate. Reportedly, Governor Dean snapped out of a dead sleep and started a conversation with his wife:

Governor Dean: Dammit, Judy! I blew it! When Al hit me for not having an African American or Latino in my cabinet, I should have been more forceful in pointing out that the Governor's cabinet has only 6 members. I didn't point out that Vermont has one of the lowest percentages of minorities in any state. I should have pledged to, at a minimum, have a cabinet with 30% minorities when I become president. I should have said that every Democrat on the stage takes civil rights and the plight of minorities seriously. I should have named the people who endorsed me from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Congressional Black Caucus. I should have...

Mrs. Dean: Or you could have told him that during your career as an elected official you had named the same exact number of minorities to your cabinet that, as an elected official, he had named to his cabinet.

Governor Dean: (Stunned silent for a moment) My God, Judy! That's brilliant. Hand me the phone, I gotta call Joe. We should issue a press release...

Mrs. Dean: Howard, it's over. Go to sleep.
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Sunday, January 11, 2004
 
HOWARD DEAN FOR DUMMIES

In this complex and confusing world, it's a good thing that we don't have to spend time unnecessarily thinking for ourselves. Why on earth would one sully himself or herself by reading a newspaper or watching the news to hear what Governor Dean said about the Iowa caucuses four years ago when they can simply have Chris Matthews interpret it for them? The only teeny, tiny problem is that it's conceivable that the noted linguist Matthews may have, shall we say, paraphrased things.

Here are the offending remarks from Governor Dean's own mouth, as spoken on Canadian PBS on January 15th, 2000:

"If you look at the caucuses system, they are dominated by the special interests, in both sides, in both parties. The special interests don't represent the centrist tendencies of the American people. They represent the extremes."

"Say I'm a guy who's got to work for a living, and I've got kids. On a Saturday, is it easy for me to go cast a ballot and spend 15 minutes doing it, or do I have to sit in a caucus for eight hours? I can't stand there and listen to everyone else's opinion for eight hours about how to fix the world."

Here's a giddy Chris Matthews explaining the remarks on this weekend's edition of The Chris Matthews Show:

"So, he says the Iowa caucuses suck."

Gee, thanks Chris.

POSTSCRIPT: While Governor Dean is catching some heat for the above comments, at least it can be debated whether he was right. What absolutely cannot be debated is this comment from Governor Dean on the same program:

"George Bush is, I believe, in his soul a moderate."

I would be far more interested in hearing how Governor Dean came to this bizarre conclusion than hearing about the inner workings of the Iowa caucuses.
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OK, WHAT IS IT GOING TO TAKE TO GET YOU TO WATCH 'ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT' TODAY?

Now, I don't like to complain...no, that's not right, I love to complain, but a few weeks ago, I made what I considered to be a very generous offer to get you to watch Fox's Arrested Development.

Sadly, you answered with a resounding no, as the ratings for the funniest show on TV have not picked up. So, I guess I have to sweeten the deal. Would it help if I told you that Arrested Development was named the best series on TV by the Media Week magazine's critics' poll?

Still not biting, huh?

OK, I talked to the manager, and between you and me, he's never done this before. To close the deal today, he says I can throw in Heather Graham. Now, whatta ya say, have we got a deal?
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NOW, PAUL, DO YOU REALLY NEED AN ANSWER?

Like you, I watched the 60 Minutes story on Paul O'Neill. I thought it was interesting, but was dumbfounded when O'Neill finished the story with the question:

"Why would I be attacked for telling the truth?"

Now, I'll admit that I don't follow the happenings of former cabinet members as closely as maybe I should, but has O'Neill been in some sort of coma for the last decade of American politics?
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UPON FURTHER REVIEW

In an effort to allow my temper to subside, I have waited to directly comment on the Rams' loss to the Carolina Panthers in yesterday's NFL playoff game. Frankly, I was afraid my anger would get away from me and I would write something completely exaggerated. After a day to ponder not only the Rams' loss, but also their season as a whole, I feel I am able to objectively offer my personal assessment:

Mike Martz is the worst coach in the history of coaches.

OK, maybe I have some work to do on that anger. However, I've said it before, and I'll say it again: The Rams will NEVER win a Super Bowl with Mike Martz as their head coach, and while saying that I couldn't be more serious.
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THOSE RASCALS

Boy, I'd like to work myself up into an indignant lather over the news that some students faked a survey that a judge cited in his decision to move Scott Peterson's murder trial. I'd like to really let them have it. I'd like to tell them that they have brought disgrace not only on themselves, but their parents, neighbors, friends, little league teammates, and possibly even their milkman.

However, considering that in my 4 and a half years matriculating through college I had 7 grandparents die requiring me to miss numerous classes, plagiarized several pages of an encyclopedia for a report on Voltaire, and in one inspired moment, copied the contents of a Hallmark card for a poetry assignment in an English composition course, I will refrain from pointing fingers at this point.

After all, we each must tend our own garden.
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THE PERIL OF SATIRE

Recently, I penned what I felt was an obviously satirical swipe at the Democratic candidates attacking everything Governor Dean says. The post was generally well received, and linked to by quite a few websites, including Cursor and The Smirking Chimp.

Sadly, the old adage 'You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him think' is alive and well, as these comments from The Chimp will attest. A reader calling him or herself brainchannels (I'm almost sure this is an example of irony) commented:

by brainchannels on Saturday, January 10 @ 15:15:39 EST

I don't quite believe this. Is this all true? If so, the Dems have really degraded themselves as a party to stoop this low.


To be fair, it only took brainchannels 26 minutes to figure out my scam:

by brainchannels on Saturday, January 10 @ 15:41:14 EST

I didn't read all of it, and so I see now this is just a parody. I think this kind of writing is a waste of time, really. And in poor taste. Unnecessary. Get on with reality please.


Sigh.
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'MY GOD, WATCH OUT'

Last September, Angel’s pitcher Ramon Ortiz was kicking around the possibility of Anaheim signing Vladimir Guerrero and said, "If the Angels sign this guy, my God, watch out."

Ortiz' God may do well to accept the young pitcher's advice, as the LA Times is reporting that Vlad The Impaler has agreed to a 5-year, 70 million dollar contract to play for the Angels.

When the Angels were sold to Arte Moreno last May, Angel fans wondered if the new owner would spend the money thought to be necessary to make another run at the World Series. They need not wonder any longer.

Under Moreno, the Halos have added the best free agent available in Guerrero, the best free agent pitcher available in Bartolo Colon, as well as starting pitcher Kelvim Escobar, and starting outfielder Jose Guillen.

Now the only thing giddy Angel fans are wondering is how many days until the Angels open camp. Thankfully, it's only 39.
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