Berry's World
Saturday, August 23, 2003
 
PRESIDENT BARTLETT SPEAKS

On Friday's Late Late Show With Craig Kilborn, Martin Sheen made a bold prediction:

"There will be no recall."

He said it with such confidence, but I'm not sold.
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Friday, August 22, 2003
 
WELL, HE WOULD BE THE EXPERT

Search teams in Iraq have found some planes buried in the sand, and Congressman Porter Goss (R-FL.) says that the discovery shows haw far the Iraqi's will go to conceal their activities.

Goss knows about concealing activities.

This fascinating story by Gail Sheehy about 4 wives of 9-11 victims contains this illuminating passage:

The four moms—Kristen Breitweiser, Patty Casazza, Mindy Kleinberg and Lorie van Auken—use tactics more like those of a leaderless cell. They have learned how to deposit their assorted seven children with select grandmothers before dawn and rocket down the Garden State Parkway to Washington. They have become experts at changing out of pedal-pushers and into proper pantsuits while their S.U.V. is stopped in traffic, so they can hit the Capitol rotunda running. They have talked strategy with Senator John McCain and Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle. They once caught Congressman Porter Goss hiding behind his office door to avoid them. (Bold: mine)

Goss is a former officer with U.S. Army Intelligence and the C.I.A. and he’s hiding from 4 women who only want to find out what happened to their husbands? Golly, a more cynical person might think that they must really have something to hide.

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Thursday, August 21, 2003
 
ALI-U.S. IN TALKS FOR ANOTHER SEQUEL

Sources in Washington and Iraq have confirmed that the United States and Ali Hassan al-Majid's representatives are in deep negotiations for the U.S. Military to kill Ali for the 4th time. Reviews from the recent capture of Ali have been less than stellar, and state department insiders are whispering that they want to go back to what was successful before.

"We strayed from the formula, and we paid the price." admitted Secretary of State Colin Powell. "When you have a franchise as successful as the killing of Chemical Ali, you just shouldn't mess with it."

Ali, known throughout Iraq and the world as being difficult to work with, is pleased with the idea of being killed again.

"It was such a pleasure to be working with Don and Colin, so when they approached my agent about reprising my death, well, I just couldn't say no" smiled Ali.

Ali's death, reported three times during the war in Iraq was always a ratings grabber, but some inside the U.S. government felt that it had 'been done to death'. When the capture of Ali didn't generate the hoped for buzz, the idea to kill him again was broached. Ali's next death will reportedly take place sometime in September.

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THE ALABAMA IMBROGLIO

I am fascinated by the Ten Commandments snafu playing out in Alabama. Judge Roy Moore, to me, seems to clearly be placing his own personal beliefs over the law that he has sworn to uphold. His quotes don't even hold water. Here's what he said to supporters today, in a passage from this MSNBC story:

"The people of this state elected me chief justice to uphold our constitution," he said on the steps of the building as supporters briefly stopped singing "We Shall Overcome" to allow him to speak. "... To do my duty, I must acknowledge God. That's what this case is about.

Without getting into the question of whether the Chief Justice of Alabama can acknowledge God on his own time and off public property, Judge Moore seems to be claiming that his duty to uphold the constitution of Alabama is what's driving him, and not a will to impose his personal religious beliefs upon those who enter into a courthouse which is owned by the good citizens of Alabama.

I wonder if he's ever read the supremacy clause of the United States Constitution:

"This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding." U.S. Const. art. VI, Paragraph 2

There's really not a whole lot of debate as to the meaning of the supremacy clause. Basically, if state law conflicts with federal law, federal law wins.

I'm not sure how this will play out, but sooner or later, the monument has to go, doesn't it? I can't imagine allowing a judge in Alabama being able to thumb his nose at the U.S. Constitution AND a federal court's order with impunity.

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FROM THE “I KNOW YOU ARE, BUT WHAT AM I” SCHOOL OF INSULTS

On the top of the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiller blog, it says “DID I HURT YOUR FEEWINGS? GOOD!” Well, it looks like I might have hurt his ‘feewings’ with my previous post.

In his response (see the comments to this post) Misha (he calls himself ‘Emperor Misha' so he may have been promoted since last night), among other things, calls me a ‘rambling buffoon’, a ‘twit’, ‘Cletus’, asks if I failed ‘reading comprehension as well as Phys Ed’, and, finally, tells me to pull my ‘sweaty Birkenstocks out of your mouth and run away, fool’.

Now I don’t want to say Misha’s retort was childish, but the only thing it was missing was the declaration that his dad could beat up my dad.

As far as facts go, I stand by my previous post. Misha was touting a pro-gun study written by pro-gun authors whilst failing to put it into context.

By the way, I still have no idea what Idiotarian means, although Misha told me to look in the mirror and then later changed it to look at my drivers license. (It can’t mean good-looking intellectual, can it? No, no of course not.) I think Tacitus knows, as he posted this sentence today:

On the subject of the bombing of the UN compound, let me also say that a great deal of the rhetoric coming from the blogospheric right -- mostly from self-described "anti-idiotarians," which is a self-nullifying label if there ever was one -- was a pathetic disgrace.

Maybe I’ll e-mail him to help me out.

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MORE IDIOCY FROM THE ANTI-IDIOTARIAN ROTTWEILLER

The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiller is like a gruesome car wreck. I don’t want to look, but I do. After showing that he has no moral center yesterday, Misha tonight is pushing a “6-year study” of Supreme Court cases that claims the high court has recognized an individuals right to bear arms for the better part of 200 years.

Sounds like a must-read to me.” writes Misha, and that is exactly the point.

Misha HASN’T read the study. Misha also declines to point out that the three authors are very, very pro-gun. And the story Misha links to, which reads like a press release, contains a glowing review of the study that was written by Alan Korwin, who happens to be one of the three authors of the study.

Ah, but none of that matters. What matters is that Misha agrees with the study’s findings, therefore it’s just got to be good.

(By the way, if you find yourself scratching your head over the word ‘idiotarian’, you’re not alone. Me, my spellchecker, and the MSN dictionary have no idea what it means either.)

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Wednesday, August 20, 2003
 
WHAT'S MORE IMPORTANT TO THE WHITE HOUSE?

On MSNBC, alleged political guru Howard Fineman claims that the deciding factor in the '04 election will be the President's decision to invade Iraq. That may or may not be true (I tend to think the economy will still be awfully important), but Fineman included a chilling passage:

Bush is in a politically tricky position. Most credible observers think we need more American troops in Iraq, but sending them would signal to American voters that the war will be more costly, in blood and treasure, than predicted.

Clearly, more troops would help matters and would arguably make our soldiers safer, yet the administration doesn't want to send them as it might adversely affect the President's chances for reelection.

Soldier’s lives or a second term. Is the White House really choosing between the two?

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LET THE PLUMBER FIX THE SINK

Now let me ask you, if you had a medical condition, would you seek out medical advice from a car salesman? If your car broke down, would you have a bank teller look at it? If you needed your carpets cleaned, would you call your local telephone company?

Personally, my answers would be no, no, and no.

The reason I bring this up is this quote from Rep. John Hostettler (R-Ind.):

“I do think the 11th Circuit opinion is unlawful,”

Hostettler gave this legal opinion concerning Alabama Chief Justice Roy S. Moore's attempt to keep a 5200-pound monument to the Ten Commandments in the state’s judicial building.

So, just where did Rep. Hostettler go to law school?

Actually, he went to Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and got a BS in Mechanical Engineering.

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YOOHOO, ARNOLD, REALITY IS CALLING

The L.A. Times reports that Arnold Schwarzenegger became a Republican whilst listening to the famous Nixon-Humphrey debates. Here are two classic quotes from the story:

Fresh from Austria, a socialist country, Arnold Schwarzenegger decided to become a Republican after listening to "the debates of Hubert Humphrey and Richard Nixon when they were debating for the presidential race," or so he told television talk show host Bill O'Reilly in May 2001. " Hubert Humphrey spoke about things I heard in Austria under socialism."

"having watched a 1968 presidential debate for which a friend provided the translation. "[Hubert] Humphrey stood for the government [that] will solve all your problems," Schwarzenegger recalled. "[Richard] Nixon said no, free to choose, let the people decide. So I said to my friend, which party is Nixon? He said Republican. OK, I said, I'm a Republican."


The Times also points out that the Nixon-Humphrey debates are famous, mainly, for the fact that they never took place.

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I JUST DON'T KNOW

I talked to a friend of mine this morning and he asked who I was gonna vote for in the recall election. I explained to him, as I have long maintained on this site, that I was totally against the recall and was voting 'No'.

My friend laughed and said "Yeah, you and six other people. But when the recall is approved, who are you gonna pick?"

I told him the truth. I have no idea.

I really don't want to vote for Cruz Bustamante. It's not that I don't like Bustamante. In fact, I voted for him for Lt. Governor. My problem with Bustamante is this quote:

"I will not participate in any way other than to urge voters to reject this expensive perversion of the recall process. I will not attempt to advance my career at the expense of the people I was elected to serve. I do not intend to put my name on that ballot."

So here’s my problem: If Bustamante wins and becomes Governor, how on earth can we believe anything that comes out of his mouth in the future?

And another thing, while I have Cruz on the brain, how is Bustamante's power grab any different that Darryl Issa's? They both saw an opportunity to feed their ambition and enhance their power, and they both jumped on it. The difference is that Issa didn't pledge not to fund the recall a few days before doing it.

The only positive aspect of this is that I have a couple of months to figure this out.

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IS IT A CRIME?

Somebody slipped a fake obituary past the editors of The Cabinet, a southern New Hampshire weekly newspaper, and the police are on the case. The editor of The Cabinet, Michael Cleveland said this:

“Whether or not there is a crime here, I don’t know . . . but if there were to be some kind of crime involved, we will certainly prosecute,”

It probably doesn’t rise to the level of libel, as a retraction was printed right away, and I would doubt that the alleged dead person suffered any damages. I guess it could be argued, at least on a law school exam, that this would be intentional infliction of emotional distress. Placing the phony obit does seem like ‘extreme’ or ‘outrageous’ behavior, but the actor would have had to intend to cause severe emotional distress or mental anguish on the part of the victim. That would be tough to show. And, before we run too far down this path, there would also have to be severe emotional distress suffered by the victim.

I’m sure Glenn Reynolds or Jeff Cooper would have a better take on this.

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BLOGGING AT IT’S WORST

Yesterday provided us with a snapshot of a blogger with absolutely no moral center, which inevitably leads to bad blogging. After the bombing at the U.N. facility in Baghdad, we saw this post at The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler:

I heard this on the news this morning and had almost popped the cork off of a bottle of sparkly when I heard that it was the U.N. HQ in Baghdad.
Oh well, it's a start, I suppose.

Posted by Misha at August 19, 2003 10:19 AM


Then, a little more than nine hours later, we get this post:

Once More, For the Reading Impaired:

Before the thread below about the UN HQ bombing grows to 700 posts, repeating the same point over and over again, here's my stance on the various aspects of it:

Do I condone splodeydopes driving cars into civilian institutions and blowing them up?
No. As a matter of fact, nothing would please me more than to see everybody even remotely associated with this act (families, friends and cousins thrice removed) gutted like fish and displayed in public by impaling them on rusty spears.


Basically, ‘Misha’ celebrated the deaths of at least 17 people in the morning, and then in the evening decides to say “Oh, don’t get me wrong…”

Puh-leese.

This ‘Misha’ is right out of the Morton Downey Jr. school of thought. Say anything, whether you believe it or not, as long as it generates a reaction. If ‘Misha’ wants to celebrate the bombing, an opinion that I would find despicable, at least I would respect that fact that he stuck by his guns. Sadly, ‘Misha’ shows himself to be a spineless jellyfish that will do anything for attention.

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THE HYPOCRISY OF AL FRANKEN

Man, I hate it when people I like act like hypocrites, and that is exactly what Al Franken has done recently. Franken, who titled his upcoming book “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them”, has apologized to Attorney General John Ashcroft for, well, lying to him.

It seems that Franken wrote to Ashcroft asking for the AG’s story of abstinence before marriage, and claimed that he has already received responses from Condi Rice, Tommy Thompson and Bill Bennett, among others. Further, Franken wrote the letter on letterhead from Harvard University's Shorenstein Center for Press and Politics.

In fact, Franken had not received responses from the aforementioned folks, and Harvard says they never authorized the use of the letterhead, and are none too pleased with the situation.

Basically, Al Franken is a liar.

Now, folks like Eric Hanonoki of The Hamster will have you believe that the whole mishap is just Franken’s attempt at satire and shouldn’t be taken seriously. However, that simplistic approach is misguided. When Franken put the letter on Harvard’s letterhead, and claimed that some of Ashcroft’s colleagues had responded to his request, Franken quickly crossed the line from satire to an attempt to deceive the Attorney General.

And when you write a book basically calling other people liars, you had better be as honest as Abe Lincoln or you may find yourself undergoing the Bill Bennett treatment.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2003
 
SOON TO BE FORMER REPRESENTITIVE JANKLOW?

You get the feeling that Rep. Bill Janklow is about to become ‘former’ Rep. Bill Janklow? Being involved in a driving accident where somebody dies is bad enough, but now it turns out that Janklow didn’t stop at a stop sign, and he has a history of having a bit of a lead foot, as it were.

My gut feeling? Janklow resigns his office within a fortnight.

UPDATE: The accident report says that Janklow was going 70-75 MPH when he ran the stop sign. The posted speed limit is 55.
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Monday, August 18, 2003
 
A TALE OF TWO MAYORS

During last week's power outage, Detroit mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick was hailed for his smooth handling of the crisis. He made frequent TV and Radio appearances to reassure residents that, basically, things were under control. After the lights came back on, most everybody agreed Kilpatrick acted as a statesman.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have Cleveland mayor Jane Campbell, who had her press secretary call the Cleveland Plain Dealer (quite possibly the worst name for a newspaper in America) to complain that the Plain Dealer didn't run the mayor's picture with their blcakout coverage. And she had this done DURING the blackout.


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ARE OPINIONS UNADJUDICATED CONDUCT?

Prosecutors in the case of alleged sniper John Allen Muhammad filed a "notice of unadjudicated conduct," made public today, that included the charge that Muhammad said "America got what it deserved" on Sept. 11, 2001.

Now before I am painted with an unpatriotic brush and run off the internet, please allow me to point out that I DON'T think that America got what it deserved on 9-11, but I also don't know what Muhammad 's opinion has to do with the sniper case.

Now I may have missed it, but did John Ashcroft decide that having an unpopular opinion can be used against you in a later criminal trial?
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MOVE OVER GIGLI

Since the motion picture doesn't open until August 22nd, I suppose it's premature to start bad-mouthing Marci X, but from the previews, Lisa Kudrow's new pic looks bad. Very bad.

It sure seems to me that Marci X is well suited to give Lucky Numbers a run for it's lost money. Lucky Numbers had a production budget of $65 million dollars and a worldwide gross of a little more than $10 million.

Further, Kudrow, while adorabe on Friends, is not exactly what one would call a boffo box office draw. Outside of a minor role in Analyze This and voiceover in Dr. Doolittle 2, Kudrow has appeared in exactly zero movies grossing $35 million dollars or more.
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TAKING STUPIDITY TO NEW HEIGHTS

It’s pretty much common knowledge that Mike Barnicle is a liar and a plagiarist, but now we can add flat out stupid to the list of adjectives that describe the alleged journalist. In yesterday’s column, Barnicle endorsed Arnold (indeed, just Arnold. Barnicle doesn’t mention the candidate’s last name in the columns 845 words) in the upcoming recall election.

That’s right, because Arnold picked up 7-year-old Tim Barnicle and carried him around a room, he should become the next Governor of California.

By the way, I’m not totally sure Mike understands how elections work. He offers this paragraph:

All I really knew was that Arnold was great with my kid.
So, friends, that's good enough for me. I'm not going to sit here and pretend to view this wacky California recall election from a level playing field. I'm going to do what I bet a majority of Californians will do when Election Day rolls around: Go for a familiar name, for someone who seems like a good guy, has had a life outside politics and doesn't need the job for money, ego or clout because he's already got all three items.


Mike says he’s going to go for a familiar name. Fair enough, but I’m thinking that somebody might want to mention to Barnicle that people who live in Boston don’t get to vote in CALIFORNIA’S recall election.

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TODAY’S MOST IDIOTIC CALIFORNIAN:

While, as usual, we have numerous nominees for the coveted Most Idiotic Californian Award, today’s winner is none other than Marlon Sandoval. Sandoval was quoted in the new Newsweek as saying that he will vote for Arnold Schwarzenegger in the upcoming recall election. No, Marlon didn’t win for simply wishing to vote for Schwarzenegger, but it is his reasoning behind casting his ballot for the movie star. Here’s the money quote from Newsweek:

Arnold Schwarzenegger has plenty of rich and famous friends. But to become governor of California, he really needs people like Marlon Sandoval. Sandoval, 26, a hip-hop musician and part-time security guard in Los Angeles, has never cast a ballot in his life. But he says that he’ll go to the polls for Arnold “plain and simple.” Sandoval, who saw “Terminator 3” last week for the second time, admits he has no idea where Arnold stands on the issues. “It doesn’t matter,” he says. “I’d vote for the Terminator anyway.”

The best part is that considering that Sandoval has never voted in his life (at least he and Arnold have their voting records in common) you just know he won’t register and therefore won’t vote. OK, that’s one uninformed voter down, and only about 2.7 million to go.

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Sunday, August 17, 2003
 
FLAT OUT RIDICULOUS

I acknowledged that I was amongst the aged when I became peeved that Nightline was delayed Friday night so KABC could run a recap of that day’s X-Games competition. Frankly, I’ve only had a vague idea of what the X-Games were all about.

Today, however, I was flipping through the channels and came upon the X-Games during the motorcycle competition, and I was absolutely amazed. These kids are nuts. They do things with motorcycles that should violate both the spirit and the letter of the law of gravity.

By the way, my new favorite X-Game competitor is Kenny Bartram. Not because the Cowboy did anything more noteworthy that anybody else, but because he’s still competing after breaking 19 bones in his body, having 7 teeth knocked out, and breaking a blood vessel in his brain.

And to think, as a kid I used to cry if I developed a cramp in my leg. I don’t think I would have been a very good X-Gamer.

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OD’D ON ORMAN

My local PBS station is KCET (I’m a member!) and sadly, it’s pledge drive time on PBS making it damn near impossible to watch anything on my beloved KCET. It’s not because of the pledge breaks (I use the restroom like everybody else), but it’s that annoying Suze Orman. Whenever Orman's show about personal finance is on, which is about every hour and a half, she is constantly bleating on about giving to PBS in a completely hysterical manner. My God, Suze, you know you don’t have to ask for money like your hair is on fire.

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