Berry's World
Saturday, December 27, 2003

Los Angeles Times staff writer Mike Bresnahan covered the Los Angeles Kings-San Jose Sharks game last night, and penned two stories for today's sports page. The game story, and the Kings report appeared under his byline. Not a bad night's work.

Except that Kings fans had to read an Associated Press story appearing today to find out that Kings forward Kip Brennan was ordered off the ice after a roughing penalty with 1:41 to play, only to return to the ice, in violation of NHL Rule 72(t). Brennan has been suspended for 10 games without pay.

Bresnahan wrote 855 words about last night's action. What seems bizarre is that 2 words that never appeared in his work were Kip Brennan.

While Berry's World tends to steer clear from endorsing candidates, products, or services (unless I'm being obscenely compensated, of course) I will make an exception today.

I was sick to death of pop-ups, and read that Mozilla had a internet browser that blocked them. Well, after reading numerous positive reviews of the browser, I decided to give it a try.

I simply can't put into words how much better Mozilla's browser is than Microsoft's Internet Explorer. I haven't seen a pop-up that I didn't authorize in a week, and I love the "tabbed browsing" which allows you to view multiple sites without opening a new browser.

In short, I enthusiastically advise you to look into getting Mozilla's internet browser. You won't be disappointed.

And, did I mention that it's free?
Friday, December 26, 2003

Early Christmas morning Mary Beth Byers decided to return some garage sale items to her neighbor. Apparently walking all the way around to the front door was too much of a chore, so she hopped the wrought iron fence, only to impale herself on one of the spikes. Paramedics had to remove part of the fence to take Byers to the hospital where she is expected to survive.

Of course, this may not be total stupidity. It may be just a bad robbery, as the neighbors reported to police later in the day that their home had been burglarized.
Wednesday, December 24, 2003

When I saw the headlines, I broke into a cold sweat.

Limbaugh loses petition to keep records private
Rush Limbaugh blames Democrats after a judge denies his request to keep his medical records private

Oh no. Dear God no. Somebody leaked. And somebody might wind up dead.

It was late 1999. I attended a secret meeting of some of the top Democrats in America, and it was a meeting I will never forget.

President Clinton: OK, settle down. We’ve got a lot of work to do. Who’s got the list of pending activity?

Vice President Gore: Right here. Mr. President. The last time we met, we were discussing a way to get rid of Joe Scarborough from Florida.

Noam Chomsky
: Yeah, I hate that asshole.

President Clinton: Well, anybody got any ideas?

Senator Ted Kennedy: Yeah, Bobby Byrd and I were thinking we could leave a dead body in his office.

Vice President Gore: Hey, where is Byrd?

Al Franken: A Klan meeting?

Senator Ted Kennedy: Uh, he and Chris Dodd went out drinking. Anyway, the great part of this plan is we’ll leave one of Scarborough’s own interns dead in his office. He’ll have to leave the House, and it’s also intern-related, muting the Republican’s complaints about you Mr. President.

President Clinton: (chuckling) I like the symmetry, Ted. Good work. Tom, you handle it, ok?

Senator Tom Daschle: You want me to kill an intern and leave her body in the office of a sitting member of Congress?

President Clinton: Yeah! Hey, if I can kill Vince Foster, you can get your hands dirty too.

Al Franken: I’ve been meaning to ask, why did you kill Foster, Mr. President?

President Clinton: The asshole slept with Hillary. He had to learn that some men take their wedding vows seriously.

(Stunned silence around the table)

(Finally, the entire table breaks out in loud laughter)

Vice President Gore: (Giggling) Hoo boy, Mr. President, that was a good one. You had me going for a minute.

President Clinton: (Now laughing himself) It was so hard to keep a straight face when I said it.

Senator Tom Daschle: Um, Mr. President, I’m still a little concerned about the risk I would be taking.

Noam Chomsky: Oh Lord, quit being a boy scout Tom. Sometimes you have to break a few eggs, so suck it up and get it done.

Senator Tom Daschle: But, what if I get caught?

President Clinton: Oh quit your crying Daschle. If you get caught, Al will pardon you. You won’t miss a single vote in the Senate.

Senator Tom Daschle: All due respect, Mr. President, but what if Al loses?

(Again the table breaks up into laughter)

President Clinton: You think Al might lose to Bush? The guy couldn’t find his own ass with a roadmap and a flashlight, and you think he might become President? Come on, Tom.

Vice President Gore: He’s right Tom. With the economy as good as it, I’d have to run the worst campaign in the history of politics to lose to that moron. Don’t worry about it. I’ve got your back.

Senator Tom Daschle: Can’t we just frame him for a crime?

President Clinton: No, I’m saving that for Traficant. So, quit whining and get this taken care of. What’s next?

Vice President Gore: We’ve got to figure out what to do with Bill Bennett. His numbers are through the roof, and people are starting to think of him as the moral conscience of the nation.

Senator Russell Feingold: Yeah, I think we’ve got that handled. Bennett likes to play penny-anti slot machines in the casinos. We’ve worked it out that he will win every time he plays. After a while he’ll start thinking he can’t lose and he’ll start betting bigger and bigger. That’s when he starts to lose, and our friends in the media will happen to find out about it. We’re going to make him a national joke.

Eric Alterman: But who in the media will play ball? I mean the media is becoming more and more conservative all the time.

(More laughter from the table)

Eric Alterman: What? What did I say?

President Clinton: Eric, who do you think runs the New York Times?

Eric Alterman: Arthur Sulzberger.

President Clinton: Well, that’s who the public thinks is in charge. The truth is the DNC secretly bought the Times in 1990, and nothing gets published without Carville or Blumnethal okaying it. Don’t worry, we’ll get our story about Bennett out.

Eric Alterman: Damn.

Senator Tom Daschle: What’s wrong, E.A.?

Eric Alterman: Well, I just started a book saying that the liberal media was a figment of the Right Wing’s imagination.

Senator Ted Kennedy: Great, keep working on it. It will make an excellent smoke screen.

Vice President Gore: Getting back to the work at hand, finally, Mr. President, you wanted some serious harm to visit Rush Limbaugh.

President Clinton: That’s right. I’ve been wanting a piece of that fat-ass since he called Chelsea a dog on his TV show.

Al Franken: I wrote a book about him, did you know that?

Noam Chomsky: Yeah, Franken, YOU wrote a book about him.

Senator Ted Kennedy: Whatta you mean, Chompers? Didn’t Franken write that big, fat idiot book?

Noam Chomsky: Oh please. He comes in with a book called “Rush Limbaugh Is Not Always Honest” and thinks he’s got a hit on his hands. Me and Franken’s old partner, Tom Davis, changed the title, and rewrote it over a weekend. Then when it hits the bestseller list, Franken thinks he William fucking Shakespeare.

Al Franken: That’s such a lie, Chomsky. If you weren’t 112 years old, I swear I’d…

Noam Chomsky: (now standing) You’d do what?

(Franken looks down and doesn’t say anything.)

Noam Chomsky: Franken wouldn’t know funny if it fucked his wife, kicked his dog, and repainted his kitchen yellow. He didn’t even come up with The Al Franken Decade.

Vice President Gore: Really, Al? I thought you wrote that.

Al Franken: Well, you know, it’s a funny thing. Tom Davis did originally write that bit for himself, but just before the show was going to air he got a call telling him his father was deathly ill, and Tom rushed to the hospital. And, we needed to fill that time, so I did the bit.

President Clinton: Did Davis’ father survive?

Al Franken: Oh sure, he’s fine. It turns out that it was a prank call.

Noam Chomsky: And tell them who made the call.

Al Franken: Goddamn you Chomsky.

Noam Chomsky: (standing again) Tell them!

Al Franken: (now near tears) OK, OK, I called him. I just really wanted to do the bit.

Noam Chomsky: Little bitch.

Vice President Gore: Ok, let’s move on. What are we going to do about Limbaugh?

Representative Charles Rangel: Well, Mr. President, knowing how bad you want to smear Limbaugh, I’ve taken the liberty of setting up this chick I used to bang as Limbaugh’s maid.

President Clinton: Who’d you use, Chuck?

Representative Charles Rangel: Wilma Cline.

President Clinton: Oh yeah, I remember her. She gave me a hummer at the ’96 convention.

Representative Charles Rangel: Yeah, that’s the one. Anyway, she's been secretly giving Limbaugh the painkiller OxyContin, while telling him it’s a vitality drug. Apparently Rush has a little bit of trouble in the bedroom, if you know what I mean.

Al Franken: What do you mean?

Noam Chomsky: Shut up, Franken! Don’t make me come over there.

Representative Charles Rangel: Anyway, he’s just about hooked. Pretty soon he’s gonna be begging her for more OxyContin, and be willing to do anything to get it.

President Clinton: So, what do you have in mind, Chuck? A blackmail scam?

Representative Charles Rangel: That’s what I was thinking. We’ll leak it that he’s been medicating himself for years, doctor shopping, FedEx’ing drugs all over the country, that kind of stuff.

Vice President Gore: Yeah, but, you know, he’s gonna claim he was being blackmailed. People will know.

Representative Charles Rangel: That’s the beauty of this plan. I’ve set it up with Roy Black to be Limbaugh’s attorney. Limbaugh can cry his eyes out about blackmail all he wants, but when this thing gets to trial, Black will throw the case. He promises me that Limbaugh won’t do a day less than 10 years of federal time.

President Clinton: Chuckles, you always come through for me, brother.

Representative Charles Rangel: Just doing my job, Mr. President.

President Clinton: The main thing is we have to keep this absolutely quiet. No leaks whatsoever, right Noam?

Noam Chomsky: (standing and facing the table) Listen carefully, I hear anyone of you leaks this, I swear to God I am going to burn down your house, kill your wife, and sell your children into slavery. Then I’m gonna get mad. Don’t screw with me on this one. No fucking leaks!

President Clinton: OK, we have the game-plan. Now let’s go put it to good use.

(End of meeting.)

With Limbaugh bleating on and on how Democrats are to blame for his legal troubles, I can only imagine that somebody leaked. I know it wasn’t me, and for his sake, I hope it wasn’t Franken. Chomsky can be a vicious son of a bitch when he wants to be.

How is Senator John Kerry doing in the Iowa polls?

According to state polls, Dean is battling for the lead with Gephardt and Kerry in Iowa and has a big lead in New Hampshire.


The money will allow Mr. Kerry, who is lagging behind Howard Dean in polls in Iowa and New Hampshire, to spend more in those crucial states, where he must have a strong showing to sustain his campaign.

New York Times

Kerry is trying to finish no lower than second in both Iowa, where he is running third in most polls, and in New Hampshire, where he is in second place according to many surveys.

Washington Post

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Transcript: Inside the Actor's Studio, 2003
Taped: 12-18-03
Air Date: Undetermined

James Lipton: In each generation, it falls to two or three actors to define their time; in succession: Brando, Nicholson, DeNiro, Pacino, Streep and Sean Penn have left indelible imprints on their craft, and although the books are barely open on the emerging generation, there is one young actor who is virtually unrecognizable from one project to the next and unforgettable in every one them. From the slutty whore in her self-produced sex video, to the whorish slut in Fox's "The Simple Life", all the way to the trampy, slutty whore in The "Cat In The Hat", our guest's stunning range led the Hustler critic to say that she is all set to become the most forceful actor of her generation, please welcome Miss...Paris...Hilton.

Paris Hilton: (Giggles) Thanks, John. It's really super great to be here.

James Lipton: Paris, you have traveled an incredibly fortuitous road in your young life. Take us back down that road, if you would. You hail from the rough and rugged streets of Beverly Hills. What was it like growing up in the glamour capital of California?

Paris Hilton: Oh gosh, it's just the best.

James Lipton: Well said, indeed. Paris, your first starring role came in your sex tape made with your then boyfriend Rick Salomon. How did that role come about?

Paris Hilton: Well, I'm not really happy about that tape. I told Rick that the lighting was fucked up and the sound was going to be muffled, and at one point I nearly cracked my skull open on the head-board, so I don't really look back at that project with too much pride.

James Lipton: Well, you should. I haven't seen, and I'm sure our audience would agree, that we haven't seen a performance that moving since Peggy Cass starred in the adult Christmas movie "Yes, Yes, Oh God Yes, Virginia.

Paris Hilton: Well, I am pretty bendy, and the guys seem to like that.

James Lipton: Oh, yes we do. Tell us about your best friend.

Paris Hilton: Well, I first tried heroin when I was 13...

James Lipton: Actually, I meant Nicole Ritchie.

Paris Hilton: Oh, right. (Giggles) I can be such a ditz. Nicole is my best friend.

James Lipton: Of course she is. Nicole, as our audience knows, is the daughter of Lionel Ritchie.

Paris Hilton: That's right. He used to be think it was like sports. A basketball player, or something.

James Lipton: Exactly, he was the lead singer of the musical group the Commodores. You and Nicole recently performed together in "The Simple Life", the uproarious runaway hit television program that thrust you two deep into the Ozarks to live with a local family.

Paris Hilton: Actually, Jerry, we were in Arkansas.

James Lipton: Right you are. How was it living among the commoners?

Paris Hilton: Well, I hate to say it, but the Leding family is kind of smelly. And they didn't even have normal household supplies, like Purifying Exfoliating Gel, or Night Hydration masks. It really was like we left America and went to some foreign country.

James Lipton: But, in the face of this dreadful adversity, you still gave us the performance of a lifetime. The show was completely unscripted, correct?

Paris Hilton: Oh yeah, completely unscripted. They just, you know, told us what to do and say, that's all.

James Lipton: You are a delight, and a credit to your craft. You bring honor to this stage and me personally. I am humbled to be near you. Let us, with your approval, end our discussion with the questionnaire by the formidable Gerard Depardieu.

Paris Hilton: Um, I didn't know there was going to be a test.

James Lipton: Pay it no mind, as any answer you give will be better than manna from heaven. What's you favorite word?

Paris Hilton: Visa.

James Lipton: What is your least favorite word?

Paris Hilton: Generic.

James Lipton: What turns you on?

Paris Hilton: A guy with a real big one.

James Lipton: What turns you off?

Paris Hilton: Poor people.

James Lipton: What sound or noise do you love?

Paris Hilton: Like most people, I just love the sound of a Lamborghini going 110 miles per hour.

James Lipton: What sound or noise do you hate?

Paris Hilton: Oh, I can't remember the name of it, but it's that thing the maid uses to clean up the stuff of the carpet.

James Lipton: What is your favorite curse word?

Paris Hilton: I guess it would be 'Fuck me, fuck me, fuck me hard you bastard'!

James Lipton: What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?

Paris Hilton: You mean like a job?

James Lipton: Yes.

Paris Hilton: Well, I really don't have any interest in those.

James Lipton: What profession would you absolutely NOT like to try?

Paris Hilton: Anything where I had to get up early. Or stay late. Or had to go to every day.

James Lipton: Paris, if Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

Paris Hilton: This way to the V.I.P. room Miss Hilton.

James Lipton: I think he would be joined by a choir of angels!

I didn't see it, but The Daily Howler mentioned the 'priceless' duel between Chris Matthews and Peggy Noonan on Hardball the other night. From reading the transcript, I'm sorry I missed it, as Matthews got Noonan down on the mat and wouldn't let her up. In fact, Matthews continued to press Noonan through a commercial break. Here's the word-for-word exchange:

MATTHEWS: Well, let me ask you all about the reasons for the change, not just the capture of Saddam Hussein, starting with Lawrence.

You know, if you ask people, are we are on the—were we right to go to war with Iraq, which still bothers some people, 61 percent say, we were right to have gone to war. If you ask them if we are safer today, a somewhat smaller number say, 56 percent. If you ask them if Saddam Hussein was personally involved in 9/11, which would explain these two other numbers, 52 percent say he was personally involved.

So, of course, it seems to me—you respond to this—if you think Saddam Hussein blew us up 9/11, then of course his capture makes us safer. Is that in fact the explanation for these high numbers, that the American people still basically believe that, when—when we are going off them or ‘em, as people say, getting ‘em, we‘re getting the guy who went after us 9/11?

O‘DONNELL: Chris, it is the saddest possible polling result, that you have a majority of Americans believing something that has absolutely no evidentiary basis to it at all, which is that Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11.

And, yes, as long as you can keep that glued in the public mind, then you are always going to get a bump, significantly, when things go well in Iraq. And the capture of Saddam Hussein obviously plays very positively the more people believe he was involved in 9/11. It is one of the great—as far as the Democrats are concerned, one of the great unfairnesses of that particular bump.

If the bump was based purely on, we think things are going well in Iraq and we should have gone there for the reasons enunciated by the president prior to going there, which really had virtually nothing do with 9/11, then that is a rational bump. But this other thing, it is just sad to think how the American public could be shaping such an important opinion based on absolutely nothing.

MATTHEWS: Peggy, do you want to respond to that?


I‘m sorry, but I think Americans aren‘t dim. They read the newspapers and magazines. They listen to radio and television. And they try to puzzle things together, as we all do. They know that Saddam Hussein was a big-time bad guy. You know all of the ways in which he was a bad guy. So do they. He was trouble. And he was trouble in that part of the world.

Very few Americans, I think, think that getting rid of this guy made the world less safe.

MATTHEWS: But back to the question, Peggy.

NOONAN: They tend to think it made the world more safe.

MATTHEWS: Back to the question. Why do the people still—why do the majority of the people...

NOONAN: That is the question. I mean, what is...

MATTHEWS: No, no. The particular question here is, why do the majority of the people still believe that Saddam Hussein attacked us 9/11 and, therefore, believe the world is safer because he is gone?

NOONAN: Chris, take a look at what that poll says. It doesn‘t say they are certain Saddam Hussein did 9/11. They think Osama...

MATTHEWS: No, they say he personally was involved.

NOONAN: They think Osama bin Laden did 9/11. They also think the world is a complicated place. And they think that Saddam...

MATTHEWS: No, no, Peggy, you are not listening. You are not listening.

NOONAN: I am listening.


NOONAN: They think that Saddam Hussein was helpful to international bad guys and the world‘s bad guys.

MATTHEWS: No. They say he was personally involved in blowing up the World Trade Center, personally involved. Do you believe he was personally involved?

NOONAN: Do I think he did it?

MATTHEWS: Yes. No, was personally involved in it.

NOONAN: Do I think he was on the plane? Do I think he pulled the levers that Osama bin Laden did?

MATTHEWS: No, do you believe he was personally...


Do I suspect that he was helpful to our enemies and helpful to terrorism, looking to hurt us? Yes.

MATTHEWS: But do you think he was personally involved in blowing up the World Trade Center, Saddam Hussein? That is the critical question here, because it involves whether we‘re safe or not.


NOONAN: Chris...

MATTHEWS: Do you believe he was personally involved?

NOONAN: Chris, I don‘t think it can be asked as a crystal question.

First of all, I think a lot will come out and be revealed in time and a lot will be studied that we already know. It seems to me that Saddam Hussein was a guy who was extremely helpful to our enemies, our foes, our opponents, terrorism, etcetera. He was friends with those guys. We will see. There was a report just last week.

MATTHEWS: Why are you having a hard time with a question of fact here? Lawrence made a very clear statement. He said there is no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11. Is Lawrence correct?

NOONAN: Lawrence made a clear statement that he doesn‘t believe that Saddam Hussein had any part, correct?

MATTHEWS: What do you believe?

NOONAN: In 9/11?

O‘DONNELL: No, no, Peggy. I didn‘t say that.


NOONAN: All right. What did you say, Lawrence?

O‘DONNELL: I said—and this is quite simple.


O‘DONNELL: There is absolutely no evidence of it. I do not have a religious belief one way or the other. I know, scientifically, evidentiary, there is no evidence for it.

MATTHEWS: Do you challenge that, Peggy? Do you have any evidence?

NOONAN: I‘m sure there is evidence that he has been helpful to bad guys who have tried to hurt us and who in fact have hurt us in the past.


MATTHEWS: Peggy, you can‘t handle this question, because it gets to the heart of why we went to war. You can‘t handle the truth.

NOONAN: We will look and see what wires connected him with the other people.


MATTHEWS: We will be right back to talk about the gender gap.


MATTHEWS: We will be right back to talk to Peggy Noonan about other things. I‘m out of time for this moment.

More from Peggy and Lawrence when we come back.


MATTHEWS: We are back with more “Political Buzz” with Peggy Noonan, Lawrence O‘Donnell and Alexandra Starr.

Peggy, I have to go back to you one more time.

If the American people believed that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11, would they be as much for the war and as much to believe right now that we are safer because of we‘ve captured him, have captured him, if they thought he had nothing to do with 9/11?

NOONAN: Yes, that is too complicated.


MATTHEWS: No, no. It is not complicated at all.

NOONAN: I‘m sorry. It is.

MATTHEWS: And no else on this panel think it‘s complicated.

NOONAN: I‘ll bet. I‘ll bet.

MATTHEWS: Why it is too complicated to know the truth? I don‘t know why it‘s complicated to face the facts here.

NOONAN: Chris, give it to me. Give it to me.


NOONAN: I don‘t think that‘s fair. That is ad hominem.

MATTHEWS: No, it‘s simple. No.

NOONAN: Yes, it is.

MATTHEWS: If the American people knew the truth that there is no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11, would they be as supportive of this war and as assured that we‘re safer for having captured Saddam Hussein?

NOONAN: You and I have talked about this many times in the past.

MATTHEWS: I‘m just asking a question.

NOONAN: I‘m trying to answer it.

I think, after September 11, the American people came to some hard conclusions about those who are real trouble in the world. And I think Saddam Hussein was on the list of those who are moving against American interests and the interests of peace. He had been an international troublemaker for a very long time. I think they were correct to see him as that. I saw him as that.

MATTHEWS: What act of war...

NOONAN: I‘m glad...

MATTHEWS: What act of war did Saddam Hussein ever take against the United States, what act of war against us?

NOONAN: Oh, Christopher.

MATTHEWS: Just name one. Help me. One.

NOONAN: All right, Kuwait. Do you think Kuwait was...

MATTHEWS: That was an act of war against the United States?

NOONAN: ... maybe looking for trouble, the invasion of a peaceful neighbor, in a way that was problematic, to say the least, for the United States?



NOONAN: I mean, Chris, what are you arguing? This was a great fellow who we unfairly picked on?

MATTHEWS: I‘m asking a—I‘m asking you a—I‘m asking a question.

NOONAN: Well, I‘m asking one back.

MATTHEWS: What act of war did he commit against the United States? I don‘t get the answer. I can‘t hear it, Peggy. What act of war did he commit against the United States to justify our going into his country, taking him over and capturing him? What act of war against us?

NOONAN: Christopher, I am glad we invaded Iraq...

MATTHEWS: That is your opinion.

NOONAN: ... and got rid of a monster.

MATTHEWS: And that is a very legitimate opinion.

NOONAN: He was a monster of history.


NOONAN: Thank you very much. I think it is a better—look...

MATTHEWS: OK, we are losing time here.

NOONAN: It has helped the world...


NOONAN: ... that that guy has been removed from power and wound up in a hole and now will be put on trial in Iraq. It hasn‘t made the world a worse place, but a better one.

MATTHEWS: Lawrence, do you think the issue of whether Saddam Hussein was involved in the attacks on us is ever going to be delved in—delved down into in a significantly intellectual way? Do people really not care, the way Peggy doesn‘t care, whether he did it or not?

NOONAN: Oh, Christopher, that is not...

MATTHEWS: No, seriously.

Noonan didn't speak again except to thank you for being there.

By the way, I'd like to point out that I was able to resist my initial urge to make any childish jokes about this line from Noonan:

NOONAN: Chris, give it to me. Give it to me.

Sometimes the high road is the best road.

The Smirking Chimp links to an A.P. story with this stunning headline:

Pill-head radio host whines: 'My maid was blackmailing me'

Wow, I thought that was pretty strong coming from the usually nuetral Associated Press. Checking the actual story shows I was right. The headline from the A.P.:

Lawyer: Maid Blackmailed Rush Limbaugh

I understand that nearly everybody on the left is all excited about Limbaugh possibly getting his just desserts, but I tend to think that writing a new headline for somebody else's work is wrong. If somebody at The Smirking Chimp wants to write a story, then they can head it any way they want, but they owe it to the original writer (Jill Barton) and organization to stay true to the story.
Monday, December 22, 2003

Calpundit links to an NBC News story explaining why the terror alert level was raised, and finishes his post with this bizarre question and answer:

I wonder if the folks running al-Qaeda have any idea what will happen to them if they succeed in pulling off another major attack on U.S. soil? Probably not.

The Calpundit caught a little flak in the comments, and explained:

Public opinion in the U.S. would simply explode if there were another major attack. There would be 90% support for basically overrunning the entire Middle East. We are nowhere near the level of effort we could put into this war if public opinion were firmly behind it.

While it may be correct to say that, after another successful attack, we might go midevil on the Middle East, I think Calpundit is missing a key point. Card carrying members of al-Qaeda don't value life that much. Not theirs and not ours. So, do the folks at al-Qaeda know what will happen if they strike again? Maybe not, but do you think they care?

Me either.

10 days ago I pointed out that based on his 'allegedly' tongue-in-cheek column Greatest political hits of 2003, Howard Mortman had no sense of humor.

Clearly, I was overestimating Mortman's eye for wit.

Today, in an embarrassingly dull column, Mortman offers The Top 10 jokes from the campaign trail. After reading the 'laugh riots', I really have to wonder if Mortman understands the definition of the word 'joke'.
Sunday, December 21, 2003

Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig must be feeling rather neglicted these days. Last week Selig set a hard deadline of Thursday, December 18th at 5pm for the Red Sox and Rangers to complete a trade involving Alex Rodriguez. Selig was so serious about the deadline that at 5:20pm he called off the trade talks. In fact the Commissioner even issued a press release:

Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig announced today that the deadline for negotiations between the Boston Red Sox and Alex Rodriguez has come to an end and that he will not extend the deadline.

Well, the Commissioner's word is law, right?

You would think so, except Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks has now set a new deadline of December 23rd at 5pm for the A-Rod trade to be completed.

Those who believe today that we are not safer with [Saddam's] capture don't have the judgment to be president or the credibility to be elected president.
---Senator John Kerry

Well, Chris, it's just — it is ludicrous to say that capturing Saddam Hussein did nothing to make the American people safer.
---Representative Dick Gephardt

Howard Dean has climbed into his own spider hole of denial if he believes that the capture of Saddam Hussein has not made America safer.
---Senator Joe Lieberman

Well, that's a huge worry off our shoulders. Except...

The U.S. government on Sunday raised the national threat level to orange, the second-highest, saying attacks were possible during the holidays and that threat indicators are “perhaps greater now than at any point” since Sept. 11, 2001.
---CBS News

My current leanings: (Last week's leanings in parenthesis, margin of error 100%)

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK---23 (21)---Every time I hear General Clark speak, I come away impressed.

GOVERNOR HOWARD DEAN---18 (20)---I am starting to wonder if Governor Dean is actually electable come '04.

SENATOR JOHN KERRY---13 (13)---I like Senator Kerry, and could vote for him with a clean conscience, but I just don't see how he can become the Democratic nominee.

REPRESENTATIVE DENNIS KUCINICH---10 (8)---Representative Kucinich moves up in the rankings due to the spanking he rightly gave Ted Koppel.

SENATOR JOHN EDWARDS---8 (10)---Like everybody else who supported the invasion of Iraq, Senator Edwards lambasted Governor Dean when Saddam Hussein was captured.

REPRESENTATIVE DICK GEPHARDT---8 (9)---Representative Gephardt absolutely, positively cannot lose Iowa if he expects to have any chance.

REVEREND AL SHARPTON---4 (4)---Should the highlight of a presidential campaign be the candidate hosting Saturday Night Live?

AMBASSADOR CAROL MOSELEY BRAUN---0 (1)---Other than feeding her ego, Ambassador Moseley Braun has no reason for running for the presidency.

SENATOR JOE LIEBERMAN---0 (0)---I hate to say it, but I have really started to dislike Senator Lieberman's rhetoric in the campaign.

Don't you just hate it when you watch a TV program that you really enjoy, but you are among the extreme minority, and the show gets cancelled? I felt that pain this fall when I learned that The Agency got 86'd. (As a side note, who at CBS axed The Agency and renewed Hack? I mean, come on!)

Anyway, I fear I may be going down a similar road. Right now, as I type, the funniest show on TV is Fox's Arrested Development, yet the ratings for the 1st year show have been anemic, at best. Fox did order a full season of the sit-com concerning a very disfunctional family, but unless some more folks start tuning in, it won't last.

Now I don't ask for much, but I would consider it a solid if you all started watching Arrested Development. In fact, I'll make you a deal: If you start watching Arrested Development so we can keep it on the air, I'll watch a show for you to improve it's ratings. Whatta you say?

(Legal Notification: While I have offerred to watch any show you want in consideration for you watching Arrested Development, reality shows such as Survivor, Joe Millionaire, and Who Wants To Go To The Movies With My Goofy Second Cousin? will not be viewed. There are NO exceptions!)

Last night I caught a pretty interesting documentary on the career of composer Leroy Anderson. Anderson composed, among others, American classics such as Sleigh Ride, The Syncopated Clock and Blue Tango. If you're like me, those titles mean nothing to you, but the minute you hear them you know you've listened to them all your life.

The documentary showed scenes from Sandpaper Ballet, which was based on Anderson's music and was written by Mark Morris who was described as 'the bad boy of choreography' by a straight faced Dick Cavette. Further, Morris has also been labeled 'the bad boy of ballet'.

Frankly, I really didn't know that choreography and ballet had 'bad boys'. The chicks must just flock to him.

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