Berry's World
Saturday, February 21, 2004
 
WALLPAPER ANYONE?

It dawned on me tonight that I should change my Clark For President wallpaper on my computer. Anybody have any cool wallpaper that I can use?
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PLAGIARISM 101

February 21, 2004 at 2:06 PM, Instapundit links to this story from the Rapid City Journal concerning Senator Tom Daschle's satisfaction with the Bush Administration's work in Iraq. Instapundit's headline:

CATS AND DOGS, LIVING TOGETHER:

February 21, 2004 at 10:40 PM, The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler links to this story from the Rapid City Journal concerning Senator Tom Daschle's satisfaction with the Bush Administration's work in Iraq. The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler's headline:

Cats and Dogs Living Together?

It seems about time for a child to say the Emperor Darth Misha I has no ethics.
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REVENGE OF THE GOD SQUAD

A couple weeks back, Kurt Warner made some bizarre comments indicating that his faith in God was the reason he wasn't the starter for the St. Louis Rams last season.

When St. Louis Dispatch sport columnist Bernie Miklasz wrote that Kurt was way off base, some of Warner's fans e-mailed their disagreement:

"Your columns really make it seem like you are very anti- God."

"I wish I could read more hate letters directed at Mike Martz. If I were Martz I'd crawl into a hole and crawl away. And you, Bernie, should crawl away, too. God Bless Kurt, Brenda and all of their good deeds. Find another paper. Get out of town."

". . . Every time you open your mouth you sound like a fool. May you get struck by lightning and go to hell, where you belong."

"You're lucky Kurt is a decent Christian. He's a big, tough, guy. If he wanted to, he could kick the living (stuffing) out of you and Bryan Burwell."

"Now let's see . . . the Rams organization is Catholic, Martz is Catholic, Marc Bulger is Catholic and I would bet money that Bernie Miklasz is Catholic. So Warner doesn't stand much of a chance. If I'm Warner I would tell all (of) you to go straight to hell."


And I thought the Freepers were bad.
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BEWARE OF THE GOLDEN FLASHES

The Kent State Golden Flashes (20-3) beat Creighton, 70-55, for their 10th straight win. With their 20th win, Kent State become the first Mid-American Conference team in history to win 20 games in six consecutive seasons.

Whoever draws my alma mater in the first round of the NCAA Tournament should be afraid. Very afraid. Of course, the fear doesn't have to stop there, as it was in 2001 when the Flashes muscled their way to the Elite Eight of the tourney.
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PROTECTING AND SERVING

Several Visalia police officers were paying for their breakfast at Ryan's Place Restaurant and Bakery when their waitress Angela Galvez, who is a diabetic, started feeling woozy.

The police immediately broke into action. Thinking Galvez was on drugs, the police handcuffed her and escorted her to their patrol car. The officers eventually decided to take her to Kaweah Delta Hospital where doctors told the officers Galvez was a diabetic and not on drugs.
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TAKE THAT!

I don't know what it is that all these Republicans who didn't serve in Vietnam are fighting a war against those of us who did.

Senator John Kerry speaking on ABC's This Week, to be broadcast tomorrow.
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Friday, February 20, 2004
 
NOT THAT GEORGE W. BUSH

This George W. Bush



was a guest on The Late Show with David Letterman the other night. Here's the top ten list he read:

Top Ten Good Things About Being Named George W. Bush

10. Read my lips: I never pay taxes

9. I receive courtesy calls whenever Cheney has a heart attack

8. I always get the Presidential Suite at Motel 6 in downtown Cleveland

7. After sex, my wife hums "Hail to the Chief"

6. Whenever I get bored, I call the Texas Department of Corrections and have them execute a guy

5. Last week, I used an improperly addressed Halliburton contribution to buy myself a trampoline

4. I've been cleaning up on Denny's "Presidents Eat Free" promotion

3. Amusing late night phone calls from a drunk Tony Blair

2. People are pleasantly surprised that I'm not an idiot

1. The President offered me ten grand for a copy of my military records
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IT'S LIKE FREE MONEY

Radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt has offered to allow Senator John Edwards to co-host his radio show every day from now through the California primary. To sweeten the pot, my buddy Kevin McCullough has offered to rebroadcast segments of the show on his radio show which blankets New York.

My only question is why hasn't Senator Edwards accepted already?

I guess the argument could be made that Hewitt is setting a trap for the Senator, but seriously, if Senator Edwards can't feed Hewitt his lunch, then he doesn't deserve to be the nominee.
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IT SEEMED LIKE A GOOD IDEA

For a few days I've had a link to Blog Search Engine up on Berry's World.

I've decided to take it down for one simple reason. I have never had it work. Not once. Ever.

Today I tried to search for 'Nader' only to get the same message I've gotten each time I've tried to use Blog Search Engine:

Your search for "Nader" did not result in any matches. Click BACK to try again.

I would almost bet money that some blog, somewhere has mentioned Ralph Nader.
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DO THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS?

There was this really mean guy who lived in San Diego. He ran a crack house, constantly beat people up, stole cars, and burned buldings. A real nogoodnik. So I started calling the San Diego Police Department and telling them that he had all kinds of illegal automatic weapons and hand grenades in his house and was planning on hurting a whole bunch of people. After a while, the SDPD raided his house and killed the bastard, but had a couple of cops killed along the way. Turns out that, while he was a really bad guy, he didn't have any automatic weapons or hand grenades, and I got to take over his operation.

If the cops come to me and ask why I was wrong, you think I could say:

I'm a hero in error. As far as I'm concerned we've been entirely successful. That bastard is gone and the police have taken his house. What was said before is not important.

I think I might be in some real trouble.

I wonder why Ahmad Chalabi doesn't seem to be facing similar trouble for pretty much the same thing.
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Thursday, February 19, 2004
 
ONLY IN AMERICA

Tonight's Frontline, Tax Me If You Can, provided an appalling look at how corporations use bogus tax shelters and how the American taxpayer takes it in the shorts.

Consider this one tidbit:

U.S. tax laws allow corporations to keep two sets of books, "a bullish income tax report to Wall Street and a lowball tax income report to the IRS."

U.S. tax laws allow corporations to keep two sets of books!
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HOW ABOUT SOME COMMON GROUND?

Politics has become such a zero-sum game that each side is deathly afraid to admit when they have done something wrong, or the other side has done something right. It's gotten to the point that we can't concentrate on the important issues facing us today, because we're too busy fighting the battles of last week.

So, in my own small effort to unite the nation, here's a short list of things that both sides should be willing to give some ground on:

5 THINGS DEMOCRATS SHOULD ADMIT

1) President Clinton brought shame on his nation, his party, his supporters (myself included) and himself.

2) Not everything President Bush says is a lie, and not everything President Bush does is stupid.

3) President Bush is not a deserter, and, unless there is proof he committed a crime his service record in the National Guard is irrelevant. Once you sit in the Oval Office, what you did 30 years ago means nothing.

4) Republicans really do love their country.

5) If we spent an hour with President Bush, we’d probably like him.


5 THINGS REPUBLICANS SHOULD ADMIT

1) President Clinton was a very successful president, and the country was better after he left office than before he was sworn in.

2) Questioning President Bush’s policies, actions, and intentions is not hate speech.

3) President Bush is not a war hero. He’s a rich kid who used his dad’s influence to avoid Vietnam and is exactly the kind of guy we would have wanted to kick the crap out of back in the mid ‘70’s.

4) Democrats really do love their country.

5) If we spent an hour with President Clinton, we’d probably like him.

Whatta ya say folks? Can we make these admissions and move on to other, more important stuff?
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A PROFOUND SHAME

Bill Moyers announced that he is leaving PBS after the November elections.

This really is distressing news, as NOW With Bill Moyers is one of the few remaining programs on TV that treats the viewer as if they are just as smart as the host.
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WE'RE NUMBER ONE! WE'RE NUMBER ONE!

The American Highway Users Alliance is releasing it's list of the worst traffic bottlenecks in the nation, and the rock bottom worst is the intersection of the 101 and the 405. The bottleneck, which is less than three miles from my apartment, services 318,000 cars a day and provides 27,144,000 hours of delay per year. We've had people actually starve to death trying to make it through the exchange. It's not pretty.
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STEVE HARTMAN ENDS THE NATIONAL GUARD DEBATE!

CBS gadabout Steve Hartman has put his foot down. President Bush's service in the National Guard, and Senator Kerry's protests of the Vietnam War (yes, he seriously compares the two) are now off the table.

Why is Hartman calling a halt to discussions of the Vietnam era activities? Partly, blaming his media bretheren, because he sick of hearing about them. But further, because he says what took place so long ago doesn't define who the candidates are today.

Hartman is right in that what took place way back when probably doesn't define the two men seeking the nation's highest office. However, Hartman fails to acknowledge that while these actions don't define President Bush and Senator Kerry, they certainly can tell us something about the men.

The reason Hartman doesn't want to think that we can learn something about the two candidates based on their decisions when they were young, is because it that's the case, we can also learn something about Hartman himself.

Can we define Hartman by the fact that when he registered for the draft he lied, falsely claiming he was a conscientious objector? No. Does that decision tells us something about Steve Hartman? You bet.
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WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY AND AN ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE MAKES

Tuesday, February 17, 2004---Gary Barnett addresses Katie Hnida's allegations that she was raped as a member of Colorado’s football team:

It's a guy's sport. (Players) felt like Katie was forced on them. It was obvious Katie was not very good. She was awful. You know what guys do? They respect your ability. I mean, you could be 90 years old, but if you could go out and play, they would respect you. Well Katie was a girl, and not only was she a girl, she was terrible. There's no other way to say it. She couldn't kick the ball through the uprights.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004---Gary Barnett, after being placed on administrative leave by Colorado:

I sincerely regret that yesterday a portion of my remarks were either misinterpreted or aired out of context. And I apologize for answering that question in a manner where I must have come across as insensitive. What I wanted to communicate was that regardless of Katie Hnida's abilities, I wanted Katie on our football team, I wanted to give her a chance to be a part of our program.

Oh, we're sorry Gary. How dare we take your comments out of context and misinterpret them! Of course, it's so clear that when you said 'She was awful', you really meant 'I wanted Katie on our football team'. I'd like to apologize to you on behalf of everybody and just hope that you can find it in your heart to forgive us.
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BAD BOYS, BAD BOYS, WHAT YOU GONNA DO?

Senator Charles Grassley (R.-IA) released an internal FBI report showing some agents have been up to some extra-curricular activity. The report details dozens of cases of agents fired for egregious misconduct between 1986 to 1999. Such as:

One agent who used his FBI weapon to shoot his wife, resulting in attempted murder charges.

One agent who was calling sex hot lines on FBI phones while on duty.

One agent who attempted to sell cocaine to someone who turned out to be an undercover FBI agent.

One agent who stole more than $400,000 in informant funds to feed his gambling and drinking habits.

One agent who pleaded guilty to manslaughter for the killing of a female informant with whom he had "an inappropriate emotional and sexual relationship."

One agent who used crack cocaine regularly and was arrested for possession of crack pipes.

One agent who took nude photographs on government property.

One agent who was arrested for performing a sex act in public.

One agent who raped a subordinate employee.

One agent who sexually abused children and physically assaulted an adult female.

Senator Grassley said 63 percent of the fired agents had been engaged in long-term misconduct, according to the report, and that 45 percent of them had previous disciplinary actions.

Fidelity, bravery, integrity.
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CAN KERRY WIN IN THE SOUTH?

In a memorable moment from The West Wing, Toby Ziegler once asked Vice President John Hoynes, 'What do you know that I don't?' Vice President Hoynes came back with 'Toby, the total tonnage of what I know that you don't could stun a team of oxen in its tracks.'

Well, when it comes to the South, the total tonnage of what I know would be quickly over-powered by an eight-week-old kitten.

I do know that the Democrats COULD win the presidency without winning a single Southern state, but the candidate would have to thread the needle with absolutely no room for error. So, if Senator John Kerry is the Democratic nominee, could he pick off at least one Southern state?

Clearly, I have no idea, so I will yield to people who have a better idea than me. On Charlie Rose tonight, Ron Brownstein gave us this memorable quote:

Even if Kerry had Jefferson Davis as his running mate, he would have a hard time winning a Southern state.

That doesn't sound too good.

Further, I also got an e-mail from a filthy-rich Republican from Texas who, for some reason, tolerates my blog even though 'I'm a lily-livered, bleeding-heart, liberal, egg head, communist.' He keeps his ear to the ground, which must really suck when he tries to sleep, and tells me that Senator Kerry has already lost the South, but Senator Edwards is getting a lot of buzz:

...diehard GOPs are talking about Edwards...the local FMs are alive with it, as are the coffee shops and grocery-store lines.

All of this leads to me wonder, who really is more electable in the general election?
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Wednesday, February 18, 2004
 
GIVING DEMOCRATS A BAD NAME

I've always thought the term 'Bush Haters' was simply a canard invented by the Right Wing so they could portray President Bush as a sympathetic figure. I can't imagine any reasonable person equating the animosity aimed at President Clinton with the animosity aimed at President Bush, and I think the majority of Americans agree.

However, the more we hear from the likes of Steven Malcolm Anderson, the more weight the 'Bush Haters' story will carry. Anderson left this vile comment at Classical Values today:

I don't know who I'm going to vote for, then. Right now, I hate (yes, hate) Bush, that psalm-singing, sanctiminious, hypocritical bastard with all his "fag"-and-"dyke"-hating "Sanctimony of Marriage" crap. Gutless, finger-to-the-wind, caving in to the most rancid rats and putrid scum that ever crawled on the surface of this planet. Big phony, lying, cowardly draft-dodging, coke-snorting, drunk-driving, pampered daddy's boy, posturing in his fake flight suit as a "war hero" while betraying everything our Flag stands for and every word of his oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States AGAINST ALL ENEMIES foreign AND DOMESTIC. Sorry, but I'm in a really, really, _really_, _really!_ pissy mood today about that FUCKing Federal Anti-Marriage Amendment and its supporters.

This sort of disgusting, disgraceful and depraved diatribe is a perfect example of what's wrong with the political discourse in America. Naturally, Instapundit is flogging it as an example of Bush Hating 'being regarded as acceptable in polite society'.

In an almost too-perfect dose of irony, Anderson runs a weblog called, wait for it, Up With Beauty.

Yo, Steve, you wanna make things more beautiful? Shut your mouth.
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MCCLELLAN VERSUS THOMAS--PART TWO

Last Friday, Josh Marshall provided us with a rather contentious exchange between White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan and Helen Thomas concerning whether President Bush performed community service while a member of the National Guard. Today Helen was back at it:

MR. McCLELLAN: Go ahead, Helen.

Q I want to revisit a question I asked you last week and you didn't have the answer -- you may have it now. Did the President ever do community service while he was in the National Guard?

MR. McCLELLAN: Helen, you had said that this was relating to a rumor that you heard, and I think there's a difference between rumor-mongering and journalism. And so I'm just not going to dignify those kind of rumors from this podium. I think the records have been released and you have -- all the information is available to you publicly.

Q So you don't really know?

MR. McCLELLAN: No, I said this was relating to some trashy rumors that are circulating out there, and I'm just not going to dignify them from this podium.

Q It's a very simple question.

MR. McCLELLAN: Go ahead, John.

Scott REALLY doesn't want to answer that question, does he?
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WHAT DO YOU GET FOR A GIRL WHO LACKS EVERYTHING?

In case you haven't gotten a gift for Paris Hilton, who turned 23 yesterday, all is not lost. While Hilton told Inside Edition that she received 'a buncha clothes', there are still a number of things she didn't get for her birthday.

So, if you're a late shopper, you can still feel comfortable gettting Paris some class, dignity, character, talent, or intellect.
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THE HIGH ROAD BECOMES LESS CROWDED

As if Colorado head football coach Gary Barnett didn't have enough problems, his mouth may have added to his woes. Discussing former kicker Katie Hnida's charge that she was raped while a member of Colorado's football team, Barnett inexplicably fit both feet in his piehole:

It's a guy's sport. (Players) felt like Katie was forced on them. It was obvious Katie was not very good. She was awful. You know what guys do? They respect your ability. I mean, you could be 90 years old, but if you could go out and play, they would respect you. Well Katie was a girl, and not only was she a girl, she was terrible. There's no other way to say it. She couldn't kick the ball through the uprights.

Gary, I hope you enjoyed losing to Nebraska on November 28, 2003, because I'm pretty sure that's the game you will ever coach at Colorado.
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UNCLEAR ON THE CONCEPT

Somebody needs to explain the theory of 'my dad can beat up your dad' to Clyde Blount Jr. and Clyde Blount Sr.

15-year-old Lonnie Hillery and 16-year-old Clyde Blount Jr. had been feuding for days culminating in a fist fight at a bus stop in Apopka, Florida.

Clyde Junior went home and told Clyde Senior about it, and the pair went to find Hillery. When they found Lonnie Hillery, the elder Blount shot the teenager at least three times in the back.

The teenager died Tuesday, and Clyde Blount Sr. is facing first degree murder charges.
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JUST A TWEAK HERE AND THERE

New MSNBC President Rick Kaplan says that the network is 'something really good' and only needs a little 'fine tuning.'

In other news, Kaplan thinks that Governor Howard Dean's campaign for the presidency is also something that is really good and only needs some fine tuning.
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TALK ABOUT YOUR EASY MONEY

Montel Williams (did you know he still had a daytime talk show?) had psychic Sylvia Browne as his guest today. A miserably unhappy couple that had their young daughter go missing came to her for help. Browne told the couple that a 19-year-old Hispanic male took their daughter and killed her. They couple asked where the body was, and we got this exchange:

Browne: The field.

Distraught Mother: What?

Browne: Do you have a field near your home?

Distraught Mother: (Not understanding what Browne said) I'm sorry?

Montel Williams: Do you have a field near your home? An open pasture?

Browne: An open pasture?

Distraught Mother: No.

Montel Williams: So you just have house after house after house for miles and miles?

Distraught Mother: Yes.

Distraught Father: There is a wooded area about three quarters of a mile to a mile from the house.

Browne: A wooded area. That's what I'm talking about.

Of course. I often refer to a wooded area by calling it a field and an open pasture. What a fraud. Browne claims to be a religious and spiritual person, which makes me hope that her God doesn't take kindly to a two-bit scam-artist preying on the weak-minded.

Of course I'm not the only one suspicious of Browne, who has made numerous appearances on Larry King Live. The James Randi Educational Foundation offered Browne (or anybody) $1 million dollars to show, under proper observing conditions, evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event. Browne accepted the challenge but it's been 898 days and she hasn't collected.

You want the million? Here's the application.
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THAT'S IT, LET'S VILIFY THEM!

Atrios makes a point about Democratic fundraising and thinks he has a better idea:

I'd prefer direct mail which went something like:

Last week we took Tom DeLay out back and kicked the crap out of him. This week, we plan to do it again. Help support this ass-kicking! For only $25, your name can be on a bootprint on DeLay's mottled ass!


Thrilling stuff, huh? Absolute red meat for the die-hard believers, as the 300+ comments to the post will attest.

Sadly, it's shortsighted. Vilifying our opponents will certainly accomplish a couple of things. It will satisfy the most enthusiastic, jingoist Democrats. The types that scour political websites and left-leaning blogs, that's for sure. We'll absolutely own that core group of about 500,000 in a nation of 250 million.

It will also assure us of being a minority party.

There are a lot of reasons we are better than Republicans, and one of them is we don't stoop to their level. One thing reasonable, moderate people will not respond to is Democrats abusing and debasing Republicans (and vice-versa). Becoming the Democratic version of the Contract On America crowd will only guarantee President Bush a second term.

To be successful, Democrats must convince America that we have better ideas than Republicans, and we won't do that with fundraising letters bragging about who's ass we've kicked or are going to kick. And once we do, we need to be able to work with Republicans to implement our ideas, and we won't do that with fundraising letters bragging about who's ass we've kicked or are going to kick.

We have to decide, do we want to be a party of self-satisfied flamethrowers, or do we want to improve the direction of our nation. We can't do both.
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FAMILY LIFE

Ruby Sharum walked the planet for almost a century with both arms, but that streak came to an end this week when the 91-year-old had both arms amputated at the elbow following an attack by a pit bull. The pit bull, named Zion, was euthanized over the weekend. Was there any reason to think that Zion could be dangerous? Absolutely not! Unless you count that Zion killed another of his owner's pit bulls a few weeks ago, and the fact that Animal Care Services had been called about the dogs at least 10 times over the last year. Zion's owner, Ian Buckhard, still owns a Rottweiler that is being held by Animal Care Services, and Buckhard doesn't want his last remaining dog killed. He probably wants the Rottweiler as a source as comfort considering that Ruby Sharum, who is still in critical condition, is his great-grandmother.

18-year-old Stevie Tomporowski was picked up in Kentucky and charged with killing three people in a Wisconsin farmhouse. The bodies of the three victims were found with toys strategically placed around them along with a note asking authorities to cremate the corpses. The victims were the parents, and an uncle of Stevie. Was there any reason to think that Stevie might do something like this? Absolutely not! Unless you count the fact that Stevie had reportedly spoken of poisoning his family in the past and had asked friends where he might obtain C-4 plastic explosives. And there was that little situation where Stevie was arrested for taking $475 worth of women's underwear into a dressing room at Marshall Field's, urinating on it, then trying to run out of the store with the clothing. And when Stevie called his mother to come to the farmhouse, her neighbor told her not to go, and her mother said, "If I'm not back in the morning, you will know what happened."

A week ago Herson Thant was having a little tiff with his dad, Soe Tin. Thant became so frustrated that he gave his 69-year-old dad a little shove. Well, maybe it was a bit more than a little shove, as his father's head smashed into his 66-year-old mother's face. Thant's mother, Nyien Aung, suffered such serious injuries she died the next morning. Thant will face charges of manslaughter, elder abuse and false imprisonment of his father.
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Tuesday, February 17, 2004
 
UP TO HIS OLD TRICKS

Bush Visits Nat'l Guard Troops

President Bush stopped by Fort Polk, Louisiana to meet with National Guard Troops this afternoon. The president snapped a sharp salute from an outdoor stage, and then promptly disappeared for two hours.
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BERRY'S WORLD GOES INTERNATIONAL!!

I'm very pleased to announce that Berry's World has won a heated blog bidding war for the services of Canada's deepest political thinker, Laura Turner. Thanks mainly to an autographed picture of former Governor Jerry Brown, a hockey puck used in the 1993 NHL Finals between the Montreal Canadians and Los Angeles Kings, and a promise to help her sneak into the United States, Turner has agreed to become the Great White North correspondent for Berry's World.

In her first essay, Turner ponders Franklin Foer's story Dean's Supporters Face Retribution, which appears in the current issue of The New Republic. (A paid subscription is required to access the story on TNR, however substantial excerpts are listed on this Daily Kos Diary.)


February 14, 2004

The New Republic Gives Us Yet Another Unintentional Explanation Of Why Dems Lose The Discourse

By Laura Turner

Franklin Foer of The New Republic is what Media Whores Online would refer to as an A-List Roster Whore. His February 13th article, “Dean’s Supporters Face Retribution” for TRN does much to further that magazine’s descent into the lowlands of smarmy, DLC-affiliated, rumor-mongering that poses such a danger to the Democrats in the upcoming presidential election. Deaniacs and other progressives across the Blogosphere are once again up in arms as Foer erroneously confirms their greatest concerns about the Democratic Establishment, while helping assure that a Nader or Green candidacy will be a productive venture this year. Naturally, the slander-happy Foer locates plenty of those ever-helpful “anonymous Washington insiders” to back his new great thesis: Deaniacs are gonna pay.

Like most of the DLC-hacks who write at the Lieberman-loving TNR (he dutifully namedrops Deanophobe colleague Johnathan Chait late in the piece) Foer makes no attempt to examine or explain why the DLC-defectors he is sliming might have chosen to back Candidate Dean back in the Fall, at a time when many prominent members of the Washington media circle – from The Nation’s William Greider to The Capital Gang’s Mark Shields and even, briefly, the Washington Post’s Richard Cohen – were editorializing in support of Dean. He refuses to examine the “Dean bandwagon” as something that might once have been worth climbing aboard. Nor does he give any time or truck to the possibility that Dean himself imploded despite his institutional support; that his behavior in Iowa – the loss of focus on policy, the Rock Star shenanigans, the negative campaigning race-to-the-bottom with Gephardt, and the sudden escalation of his anti-Washington rhetoric – might have come as much of an unpleasant surprise to his official supporters as it did to many Deaniacs like myself. Foer fails to mention that many Dean supporters, in the media, the population an the Democratic establishment, backed Dean because they believed him to be a tough-talking, old-school progressive-conservative. As Greider put it in The Nation, “With issues, Dean is pretty much what he says: a middle-of-the-road moderate, neither left nor right…As governor, he was skilled at manoeuvring through contending forces, sometimes angering both sides in the process.” Rep. Allan Mollohan (D-WV) claimed that Dean “strongly believes that public investments, fair taxes, balanced budgets and sound Social Security and Medicare programs are vital to the prosperity and health of all our citizens.”

In fact, many Deaniacs (myself included) wrote off the candidate only when he morphed into a Naderesque would-be Party-crasher in the run-up to Iowa and again after his semi-comeback in New Hampshire. It is perfectly sensible to argue that Dean supporters should have seen the writing earlier; but it is also obvious that Foer looks at Dean and sees not a complex political creature who unfortunately – and I would say unexpectedly – ran off down the wrong path in the crunch, but simply as the ribald leftist the DLC has painted from the beginning of the campaign. Since Dean’s most recent behaviour supports Foer’s and the DLC’s original thesis, Foer implicitly writes off any alternative reading of Candidate Dean as irrelevant, and assumes that those who embraced Dean simply rejected everything that the DLC stands for and should be punished accordingly.

In support of his all-or-nothing thesis, Foer references Dean’s early desire to represent “The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party”, a line Dean lifted from the late Paul Wellstone, but bent to his own design: Dean wanted to portray himself as representing that “wing” of the Democratic Party that stood up and loudly opposed ribald Bushism – specifically Bush’s exploding deficits and the War on Iraq. (Naturally, the fact that well over two thirds of Democratic primary voters now disapprove of the War is absent from Foer’s analysis.) Foer cites this tag-line as Dean’s original “bait[ing]” of the DLC, but fails to point out how shallow an attack built on single line of rhetoric – and against a governor whom the DLC had praised in 1996 as representing “additional evidence of Democratic resurgence under New Democrat leadership” – actually was. In point of fact, by the time Dean stooped to calling the DLC the “Republican wing of the Democratic Party” on December 27th 2003, Al From’s org and its media allies on the Washington Post editorial board and at TNR had been publicly trashing Dean for months.

Now Foer, impressed with how correct his (and From’s) original analysis of Dean shaped up to be once the voting started, dedicates the rest of the article to listing the major Dems who stood up for Dean, speculating on their newly shaky futures as Party players, and trotting out quotes from various Party insiders who agree with his views. One “former high-ranking Clinton Administration official” sneers of Democrats who dared serve on Dean’s circle of national security advisors: “Will they work in this town again? I hope not.” Foer entertains stupid speculation over whether up-and-coming Baltimore Mayor Martin O’Malley will see his career flat-line because he endorsed the wrong candidate. He shares in the glee of insiders who watched as Carol Mosely Bruan “received a $20,000-per-month travel stipend from [Dean’s] campaign--just as it was forced to put its workers on a pay holiday” – not pointing out that campaigns always pay the travel expenses of endorsing politicians who campaign for them, that the Dean financial woes were not fully understood until after Iowa, and that new campaign CEO Roy Neel had those staffer checks reissued within five days of taking over the operation.

As the alleged victims pile up, Foer reserves special criticism for former Gore domestic-policy advisor, and DLC co-founder, Elaine Kamarke. Kamarke endorsed Dean on January 15th, having defended him in the press for months against the attacks emanating from the DLC and writers like Foer. Arguably, the writing was somewhat on the wall by mid-January as to Dean’s impending collapse so that Ms. Kamarke’s endorsement, the last major one Dean would receive and in which she narrowly endorses Dean over the equally-doomed Wes Clark, leaves a relatively large amount of egg on her face as a Party strategist. But Foer’s approach to sliming Ms. Kamarke is telling. As he describes it, Foer first approaches other New Democrat insiders who will not criticize Ms. Kamarke on the record, but, on condition of anonymity, are happy to smear Kamarke’s “opportunism” in backing Dean. Foer then confronts Ms. Kamarke with the quotes, to which she responds, naturally enough: “That’s stupid Washington bullshit”, thereby confirming Foer’s own thesis as to how she “had thoroughly internalized Dean’s anti-Establishment message”. In other words, if using “gotcha”-journalism to humiliate major party players who don’t support your thesis is your goal, Foer is clearly the man to beat.

Foer also goes after Kamarke by referencing his TNR colleague Johnathan Chait who pinned Kamarke as hypocritical for embracing Dean’s grassroots electoral strategy in light of New Democrat sentiments she expressed 14 years ago about why the liberal Dukakis lost the 1988 race to Bush Sr.. He dismisses Kamarke’s rather sensible explanation that “the nation's changed. We're living in a fifty-fifty electorate. You can win elections with an excited base.” To journalists like Foer and Chait, apparently, things don’t change in politics, which means by implication that the DLC platform is as relevant today as it was when Clinton rode it to power in 1992.

Of course, this view doesn’t exactly square with many facts of our current debate. The hard truth is that, besides Dean’s demise, Foer’s beloved DLC has little to brag about. As proof of the DLC’s non-success in defining the discourse, Al From has recently started to back-pedal on his long-standing anti-populist crusade by making the distinction between “the right, optimistic kind of populism” (that would be Kerry’s Shrumist populism of course, that the DLC blasted just four years back when Gore tried it) and Dean’s “angry unelectable” brand. As Robert Riech pointed out two weeks ago in a New York Times op-ed, Dean’s residual effects on frontrunner Kerry trump From’s influence in pretty much every conceivable way. Further proof of the DLC’s declining influence in Party affairs can be found by an examination of Lieberman’s performance this election cycle, one which earned him less than half of Dean’s vote totals in the first nine primary contests as well as a greatly hyped “fuck you” from former running-mate Gore whose own embrace of populism four years ago earned him a massive (15-point) boost in the polls after the 2000 Convention, and probably won him the popular vote in that election.

Of course, none of this could possibly be enough to quell Foer’s or the DLC’s snarky self-righteousness over Dean’s collapse, or alert them to the obvious dangers of pissing off the Democratic base with misleading and counterproductive articles like this one. In Foer’s world, normal internal struggles over what makes the best vision and platform for a general election season – struggles that naturally involve heightened emotions and sharp differences of opinion – are quickly reduced to a glut of personal grievances and Machiavellian manoeuvrings, with the slander quotient raised out of proportion through anonymous insider quotations. Subtleties and revisions are airbrushed away, in a fashion recalling Lieberman’s gripes to Wolf Blitzer last summer about Dean taking “the Democratic Party off into the wilderness” or to reporters about Dean’s “spider-hole of denial” in the wake of Saddam’s capture.

Lieberman, of course, is toast. But today, Dean won another 18% of the votes cast in the Nevada and DC primaries. Those voters are ones whom the Party is going to have to woo back into the fold or else risks losing to Nader or to a progressive Green candidate come November.

When Chait, Foer, Lieberman and those selective “anonymous insiders” have the floor, the major result is that the Democratic Party looks like the last place a decent liberal – even one who does not support Dean but wants to see a Party unified – would want to cast his vote. The DNC should work to crack down on its members who engage in the sort of anonymous slander and speculation that people like Foer rush into print. Foer and his editors at TNR do nothing to advance the Democratic agenda, which, if Chait is to be believed, is still reeling from Dukakis’ loss in 1988. Instead, they sniff at the “Dean heretics” and indulge themselves with imagined purges of the ranks of The Party of People. In so doing, they provide conclusive, if unintentional, proof as to why Democrats continue to lose the national discourse.
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HO-HUM, KERRY WINS AGAIN

Senator John Kerry edged out Senator John Edwards in Wisconsin, with Governor Howard Dean finishing a distant third.

I'm completely underwhelmed.

I want to get excited about Senator Kerry. I've tried to get excited about him. But, so far, I just can't get excited about him. I know he's a much better candidate than President Bush, and I would carpool with Ann Coulter in order to vote for him over the president. But, I'm just not excited by Senator Kerry.

When the California Primary rolls around, if Senator Edwards has a chance for the nomination I'm gonna vote for him. If Senator Kerry has the nomination wrapped up, then I'll vote my conscience and pull the lever for Representative Dennis Kucinich.
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I DON'T DO IT SO NEITHER CAN YOU!

Everybody in California is all aquiver over Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's plan to open an an all-weather smoking plaza in the state capitol. Balta correctly points out that making this kind of renovation on the taxpayers dime would be outrageous, but it hasn't been reported that California will pick up the tab. If Governor Schwarzenegger were to try and stick the taxpayers with the cost of the needed construction, he would pay a very, very high political price.

My bet is that the Governor will pay for the smoking plaza out of his own pocket. (Of course, he might try to make Californians pay, and when he gets caught claim 'I always intended to pay for it,' although that chestnut is getting a little old).

However, what I find appalling is the non-smokers who want to tar and feather the Governor. Wanna see some headlines?

Governor's Smoking Plan Draws Ire

Cigar-loving Schwarzenegger Upsetting Anti-Tobacco Groups

Schwarzenegger – Activists Tell Him To Stop Smoking

Activists Protest Schwarzenegger's Smoking

Anti-Smoking Lobby Fumes At Pro-Cigar Arnie


Anti-Tobacco Groups Blast Schwarzenegger

Just like the anti-abortion folks, and the anti-gay marriage types, the people complaining about Governor Schwarzenegger's smoking are simply trying to impose their will on others.

And that ain't right no matter who's doing it.
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COULD YOU BE MORE SPECIFIC?

Try this: ask the nearest person to predict the results of November's general election.

I promise you'll get an answer like "President Bush will win big." or "President Bush will lose a close one." In any case, you'll get a one sentence answer declaring who that person thinks will win the race for the presidency.

The reason I bring this is up is an e-mail exchange I've had with a Berry's World reader. The reader was inexplicably explaining how he has this huge crush on me (I can't swear to it, but I'm almost positive he was recently released from prison), and in an effort to change the subject, I asked for his prediction in November's election. Clearly not willing to settle for a one sentence answer, here is the prediction my Groupie sent in, along with a bonus prediction from a friend of my Groupie:

Groupie:

The Democratic nominee: John Kerry.
The Democratic running mate: Max Cleland.

John Kerry: 50.5%
George W. Bush: 46.5%
Other: 3%

Democrats pick up West Virginia, New Hampshire, Missouri, and lose Minnesota. Florida goes Republican. Democrats win the Electoral College. Democrats pick up 2 to 5 seats in the House while there is no change in the Senate.

Groupie's Friend:

The Democratic nominee: John Kerry.
The Democratic running mate: John Edwards.

George W. Bush: 49.8%
John Kerry: 49.1%
Other: 1.1%

Democrats pick up Arizona and New Hampshire while losing Michigan and Pennsylvania. Florida goes Republican. Republicans win the Electoral College. No change in the House or Senate.

I have to admit; I found these predictions sort of intriguing. Far more intriguing than the self-picture my groupie sent along. Seeing as I have very little interest in hairy-backed Italian men, I passed the photo along to Andy Sullivan.
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MICKEY KAUS: BLINDED BY THE SPITE

How much does ‘journalist’ Mickey Kaus hate Senator John Kerry? So much so that he’s willing to paraphrase Matt Drudge, who was deliberately misquoting Washington Post London correspondent Glenn Frankel, rather than quote Frankel himself.

Drudge started it by linking to this BBC News Online story by Paul Reynolds under the headline:

WASH POST REPORTER: 'Nobody would be too shocked if Kerry lied about an affair. Even if someone came to us with photographs we still wouldn't run it'...

At first, second, and third glance it appears that a Washington Post reporter was quoted as saying “Nobody would be too shocked if Kerry lied about an affair. Even if someone came to us with photographs we still wouldn't run it'...”

However, the BBC story has only this quote from Glenn Frankel:

“We've been down this road many, many times before. We are extremely reluctant to follow this kind of thing up unless there is a really, really compelling public interest. We don't feel there is any reason to until it reaches a threshold.”

Clearly, any self-respecting 11-year-old could see there is, at least, a slight difference in the actual quote, and the quote Drudge posted.

But Kaus, so consumed with disdain for Senator Kerry, while linking to the same BBC News Online story opts to paraphrase Drudge rather than quote Frankel:

WaPo's Glenn Frankel: "Lying to Don Imus is not a federal offense." Has Frankel read all the Patriot Act? ... P.S.: Frankel said the Post wouldn't run a Kerry-sex story even if it had photographic proof. He's right. I mean, who cares about philandering? It's not as if, say, we'd had a recent president whose philandering enmeshed him in a web of lies that led to his impeachment and squandered much of the promise of his term in office! ... 12:26 P.M. (Emphasis added)

Hey, we expect Drudge to be the lowest form of dross, oozing filth wherever he slithers, but we all thought he occupied that level all by his ownsome. It turns out Mickey Kaus is happy to stoop to the same level if it gives him a chance to badmouth Senator Kerry. One would think that at any decent media organization, such malpractice would cost a contributor his job, but then again, it's only Slate.

UPDATE: Kaus addresses the above quote:

Update: The good parts of the Frankel quote seem to have been disappeared from the BBC article linked to above. I don't know why. I've e-mailed Frankel. Trust me--they were there before!

Of course we'll trust you, Mickey. It's not like you've been going out of your way to bash Senator Kerry unjustly, right?
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THE FUTURE OF THE DEAN CAMPAIGN

Washington (AP)--Once again, a defiant Howard Dean says he’s not going anywhere.

Despite numerous Democratic leaders calling on the former Vermont Governor to abandon his quixotic run for the presidency, Howard Dean is saying that he will not quit.

“This race will not be decided by Washington insiders,” said Governor Dean from a sparsely attended campaign stop in Wooster, Ohio. “I intend to keep running and allow the voters the chance to decide this race.”

High-ranking Democrats from former President Bill Clinton to former Vice President Al Gore, who endorsed Governor Dean early in the campaign, have called on Dean to end his campaign that has no chance of being successful.

“Early on, I thought Governor Dean was the best man to run against President Bush,” said Gore, “But clearly it’s gotten to the point where the Governor is embarrassing himself.”

When told of former Vice President Gore’s comments, Dean continued to be obstinate.

“Clearly Vice President Gore is entitled to his opinion, but he’s not out here with me,” replied Governor Dean, “He doesn’t hear the throngs of voters who tell me everyday that I should stay out here and fight. How can I turn my back on them?”

Oddly, one Democrat who is steering clear of the situation is President-Elect John Kerry who defeated President Bush in November’s election and will be sworn in as the nation’s 44th president in two weeks.
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STOP IT, YOU'RE KILLING ME!

Jokes, Pranks, And Hijinks:

Joker Is 'Aghast And Ashamed' At Injuries

An "extremely stupid" practical joke in which Andrew Pile set fire to a friend's trainers, had horrific consequences, a court heard. The flames spread up the young man's leg, melting his tracksuit trousers, scarring him for life. Kyle Bowden needed treatment first at Torbay Hospital then at the specialist burns unit at Plymouth's Derriford Hospital. The victim, who needed a skin graft, will have permanent scarring, prosecutor Edward Canning told Newton Abbot magistrates. The two were socialising at a friend's house in Teignmouth when the offence occurred. The victim was dropping off to sleep when he woke to find his right trouser leg on fire and Pile bending over him.

Brownie Prank Triggers Suspensions

What started as a teen-age prank came to an abrupt halt at Carusi Middle School last week, when authorities discovered brownies made with rum among bake-sale items brought in by eighth-grade students for an after-school fund-raiser. The school suspended the girl who baked the brownies, her friend who helped her add the rum, and three others she told about the brownies' unusual ingredient.

'Model Pupil' Baked Cannabis Cake For Teachers

A "model pupil" has admitted baking a cannabis cake which put ten teachers in hospital. Staff at the Herder Grammar School in Lueneburg in Germany thought it was a chocolate cake. The 19-year-old, who is only a few weeks away from his final exams, said he had thought it was "a funny practical joke" - but now regretted it.

Charges Sought In Prank Pot Brownie Case

An employee of a Santa Rosa natural foods company was given a marijuana-laced brownie as a possible joke and Santa Rosa police are asking prosecutors to file felony charges against the suspected prankster. The victim, Enrique Sanchez, 29, of Santa Rosa, suffered a violent reaction from the drug and was hospitalized overnight, Sgt. Brian Davis said. The suspect is a 57-year-old Santa Rosa man who currently is on administrative leave from Amy's Kitchen, where the incident occurred, Davis said.

Prank Caller Tells Man Soldier Wife Dead

A phone call to Eddie Valentin saying that his wife, a U.S. Army Reserve sergeant, had been killed in an explosion in Iraq turned out to be a hoax. But it took him nearly 24 hours to find out that the report of Sgt. Betsy Valentin's death was false.

Man Says He Lied About Cruel Prank Call

A man thought to have been the victim of a prankster who told him his wife died in Iraq has admitted concocting the story and was arrested, authorities said. Edward Valentin, whose wife, Betsy, is an Army Reserve sergeant, was arrested Sunday. He was charged with making a false statement to police, falsely reporting an incident concerning a death and harassment, Police Chief Neil O'Leary said. Valentin's bail was set at $5,000, and arraignment was set for today. “As far as why he did it, there's no clear answer,” O'Leary said. “He claimed he did it because he has been struggling with three children. And if everyone felt sorry for him, including the military, they'd send Betsy home.”

Court Told Man Shot At Worker For Prank

A borough council worker was forced to run for cover after a man took pot shots with a .22 air rifle into the yard where he was working, Shrewsbury Crown Court heard earlier today. Darren Pugh shot twice into the Shrewsbury and Atcham Borough Council depot in Underdale Road with the rifle where Michael Burton was loading up a vehicle. The court was told that Pugh, 36, had mistakenly thought Mr Burton was a friend and had been shooting the rifle close to him as a prank.

Fired Smyrna Official To Do Community Service For Prank

A fired Smyrna official has agreed to do community service to avoid going to trial for an alleged prank in which he placed an envelope of white powder on a co-worker's desk. Howard Smith Jr. served as city administrator for about five years, until the mayor and city council fired him for undisclosed reasons in November 2001.

Police: Valley Student Made 500 Prank Calls To 911

California Highway Patrol officials said Tuesday that a La Quinta High School student was arrested and could face multiple felony counts of making terrorist threats for a string of more than 500 calls to 911. Officers from CHP, deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and school officials on the high school campus reportedly caught the 16-year-old male Monday dialing another prank 911 call on a cell phone.
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Monday, February 16, 2004
 
LOVELY RITA INQUIRES DISCREETLY---PART THREE

This is the third installment of a continuing series of actual e-mails between Mrs. Rita Edula Komaki and my alter ego William ‘Buzz’ Phillips. (Part One is here, and Part Two is here.) To recap, Mrs. Komaki spammed me looking for help in extricating several million dollars out of Nigeria. Naturally, Buzz, being a big-hearted humanitarian, immediately wanted to help. After Buzz didn’t get along with Mrs. Komaki’s attorney, Dan Musa, a somewhat suspicious Buzz admitted to Rita that he had her story checked out with the FBI, but, thankfully, everything seemed legitimate. Buzz also mentioned that his wife wanted to set Rita up with the FBI agent who looked into the matter. Rita was heartbroken that Buzz didn’t trust her, and appalled that he would suggest matchmaking when she had just lost her husband to assassination in 2001. When we last left Rita and Buzz, they were both upset, and it appeared the whole deal was falling apart. (Of course, only reading from this point does leave you at a disadvantage, so here’s your last chance to catch up by reading Part One and Part Two).

The following is a complete, unedited account of our correspondence:

(Editor's Note: The day after Buzz received Rita's e-mail explaining how hurt she was by his checking up on her, Rita wrote back.)

From: "EDULA KOMAKI" edulakomaki1@atlas.cz
To: chinmusic41@yahoo.com
Sent: Thursday, January 29, 2004 1:55 AM
Subject: DEAR BUZZ, PLEASE WRITE ME

Dearest Buzz,

I wrote a mail to you yesterday and I must confess I was not in a good state of mind when I wrote that mail as a result of what you said about investigating me. Forgive me if I sounded cold to you in my mail of yesterday.

No one has shown me any kindness since the death of my husband except you. Please respond to my mail and don't be mad at me. My children are sad that you have not written us.

My regards to your wife.

goodwishes,

Rita



(Editor's Note: Apparently, Buzz has taken Rita's disgruntlement a lot harder than anyone knew. For the first time, Buzz's wife make's an appearance.)

Date: Sat, 31 Jan 2004 13:53:50 -0800 (PST)
From: chinmusic41@yahoo.com Add to Address Book
Subject: Mrs. Rita Edula Komaki
To: edulakomaki1@atlas.cz

Dear Mrs. Komaki,

I am Mrs. Mathilda Phillips, and I want to know what kind of game you are running on my husband William 'Buzz' Phillips. For two weeks, Buzz has been as excited as I've seen him since his heart attack. He kept saying that he was finally going to be able to really help somebody less fortunate than us. He had me get our passports so we could travel to Nigeria, and then called the trip off.

Now, he is more sullen and depressed than ever. I've never seen him wearing such a glunch. (Editor's Note: glunch---\Glunch\, a. Frowning; sulky; sullen. --Sir W. Scott. -- n. A sullen, angry look; a look of disdain or dislike.) What did you say to him? He said something about getting an e-mail from you that bothered him, but he seems to have deleted it. My Buzz won't eat, won't go to the office, and hasn't gotten out of his bedclothes in several days.

Mrs. Komaki, with all due respect, I must tell you that I will not stand for somebody to play with the emotions of my husband. You may think it's funny, and I'm sure you are getting a big laugh out of this letter, but I don't. Please leave Buzz alone and allow me to try and get his mental health back to where it was.

Respectfully,

Mathilda Phillips

(Editor's Note: For a woman who's nickname is Lady Duck, Mrs. Phillips can play hardball. A few days later, Buzz was feeling better.)

Date: Mon, 2 Feb 2004 17:33:25 -0800 (PST)
From: chinmusic41@yahoo.com Add to Address Book
Subject: Hello Rita
To: edulakomaki1@atlas.cz

Rita,

I am so sorry that you feel that I let you down. I must be honest and say that for several days I haven't been myself. Since receiving your e-mail that showed how disappointed you were with me, I've been an unmade bed. Frankly, I had to finally visit my doctor, and he prescribed some medication that has me feeling much better now. Much, much better. (Editor's Note: Buzz may, in fact, have a drug problem.)

Lady Duck told me that she has e-mailed you, although she refuses to tell me what she said. I do hope she was courteous and polite.

Rita, I do so want to help you and your poor children. If you would like my help, please let me know. If not, I will understand.

Buzz


From: "EDULA KOMAKI" edulakomaki1@atlas.cz
To: chinmusic41@yahoo.com
Sent: Tuesday, February 03, 2004 4:17 AM
Subject: Hello Buzz

Dear Buzz,

Your wife wrote and warned me to stay away from you. Please can you kindly explain to your wife that I will never do anything delibrately to hurt your feelings or make you feel depressed on the contrary, my children and I have been feeling very lonely and empty since you stopped writing us. You came into our lives and put a sun shine, and now you want to take away that joy and peace you have given us.

Please dearest Buzz, do not forsake us, we still need your help, you are supposed to contact my lawyer but you have not done that yet. For how long shall we continue to delay this matter. Please Buzz, just contact my lawyer and discuss with him then let me know if you will assist me or not.

I hope to hear from you.

Good wishes,

Rita



(Editor's Note: Despite everything, it appears that Buzz and Rita will be able to put the past behind them and concentrate on helping Rita and her children who have come to look at Buzz as a father figure. That is until Buzz makes a mistake that could have horrific consequences for himself, Lady Duck, Rita, and even me!)

Date: Thu, 5 Feb 2004 15:35:04 -0800 (PST)
From: chinmusic41@yahoo.com Add to Address Book
Subject: Concerning Rita Edula Komaki
To: williamsrossel@justice.com

MR WILLIAMS ROSSEL S.
12 RUE DU KARZA
LOME -TOGO

TEL/FAX: 228 9097362
EMAIL: williamsrossel@justice.com


Dear Mr. Rossel,

Hello. I am writing concerning my dear friend Mrs. Rita Edula Komaki. Mrs. Komaki contacted me and explained the horrid situation she and her three children find themselves in.

As you know, Rita was married to the personal assistant to Lurent Kabila, the former president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Apparently, there was some skullduggery going on over in Congo, as President Kabila's assassination was reported here in the United States on January 18th, 2001, but poor Rita said it happened in February of 2001. What I can’t understand is why the new leader, President Joseph Kabila, the son of Lurent Kabila, doesn’t help Rita out of the awful fix she is in. Probably because he’s too busy living the high life and traveling around Europe! (Of course, I don’t want to portray myself as a geography expert, as I had never really heard of Congo outside of my childhood games of Risk!) (Editor's Note: Buzz has learned how to use Google.)

However, the real issue is getting Rita and her children out of Senegal, and getting her life savings out of Nigeria. I have already dealt with an attorney by the name of Dan Musa, but he didn’t work out. Between you and me, Mr. Musa was rude. I felt bad about Rita summarily dismissing him, until she told me that her husband, Mr. Edula Komaki, didn’t trust him either. I don’t know why attorneys in foreign countries have such poor reputations, while here in America attorneys are exalted and revered. (Editor's Note: Buzz is actually not fond of any attorneys, no matter where they are from.)

I must confess, Mr. Musa may have treated me with disrespect due to a misunderstanding. I informed him that I, along with my wife and manservant, were looking forward to traveling to Nigeria to consummate the transaction on Rita’s behalf. Mr. Musa may have thought that he was going to have to pay for our traveling expenses, which is not true at all. As I always say, I like to travel on my own dime!

Speaking of traveling, I am so looking forward to traveling to Togo. While I do enjoy visiting exotic locales, if you can believe this, I have never been to South America! (Editor's Note: Buzz hasn't perfected the use of Google.) I did notice that your Chief of State is a military man, President Gen. Gnassingbe Eyadema. Of course, we haven’t had a General as our President since President Eisenhower. I liked Ike and voted for him three times! (Editor's Note: Buzz wasn't born until after President Eisenhower was out of office, but likes to make such claims to promote the Republican Party.). By the way, no matter what you hear over there, Wesley Clark who ‘claims’ to be a General is not going to win our upcoming election. I heard him speak on the TV the other day, and let me tell you, he could use a lesson from a real military leader, like the honorable President George W. Bush. (Editor's Note: Buzz was in a particularly good mood as he was just accepted as a G.O.P. Team Leader.)

I‘m sorry. I see I have gone off my point. As I was saying, I do look forward to traveling to Togo and meeting with you. As I mentioned, my traveling party will total 3, and I would appreciate you forwarding me hotel information. (Don’t start to worry; I’m going to pay!) We won’t require a palace, and certainly Togo’s finest hotel will suit us nicely, however, due to a previous lawsuit, we cannot stay at a Holiday Inn. Further, while I don’t need any remarkable amenities, my wife insists that wherever we stay, there must be cable TV. (She’s a pro-wrestling nut. Don’t ask me why.)

Now, I recall Mr. Musa asked for the address on my passport and drivers license, so I think you may need it as well:

William J. Phillips
1526 H Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

(Editor's Note: As previously noted, Buzz does not live at the above address. It is the address for the California Governor’s Mansion.)

Please get back in contact with me as soon as possible and let me know when we can come to your fare nation and end Rita’s suffering.

Sincerely,


William ‘Buzz’ Phillips


=====
Best,

Keith
www.berrysworld.blogspot.com

(Editor's Note: Despite repeated warnings, Buzz forgot to remove my automatic signature from the e-mail before sending it out! Due to his carelessness, he has now sent MY name to an international attorney! Needless to say, Buzz and I will have to have a little chat about this breach of security.)


Date: Thu, 5 Feb 2004 15:44:41 -0800 (PST)
From: chinmusic41@yahoo.com Add to Address Book
Subject: Hi Rita
To: edulakomaki1@atlas.cz

Rita,

I am so happy that you e-mailed me back. I was so worried that Lady Duck wrote something that offended you. To be honest, she is constantly afraid that I am going to have an affair. I don't know why she thinks like that, as she really has no reason to worry. I think it's because she has caught me having two affairs in the past, but she really should learn to let things go. I tried to explain that I didn't mean for her to find out about them, but there was no dealing with her at that point. (Editor's Note: Some women can be so touchy.)

I have written to Mr. Rossel today, and hopefully we will have your problems taken care of very quickly. Again, I want to tell you how happy I am to be able to lend a hand.

Send my love to your kids.

Buzz

(Editor's Note: Buzz swears that he won't allow my automatic signature to go out again, and claims that the attorney, Mr. Rossel, probably didn't even notice it. My initial instinct was to kill Buzz, hide his body, and change my e-mail address, but Buzz gave me a couple of little green pills, and I began to feel much better about things. Depending on the responses of the attorney, Mr. Rossel, and Rita, and depending on how long Buzz' supply of little green pills hold out, Part Four may be upcoming.)
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Sunday, February 15, 2004
 
ANOTHER WORLD SERIES FOR THE YANKEES?

The New York Yankees have acquired Alex Rodriguez causing some in the baseball world, in addition to conceding them the World Series, to compare the ’04 Yankees to the best teams of all time. So, are the Yanks a lock to win the World Series?

Nope.

Here are the top ten reasons why the Yankees, despite having a payroll of over $200 million dollars, will not be drenching each other with champagne while awaiting a call from President Bush this October:

10) No team in the history of the game has won the World Series with a player who has a $100 million dollar contract. The Yankees have 4 of them (Rodriguez, Kevin Brown, Jason Giambi and Derek Jeter).

9) The Yankees still haven't gotten over choking in the 2001 World Series.

8) The Yankees have never won a World Series in a year ending in 4. New York has won 26 championships, but not in 1904, 1914, 1924, 1934, 1944, 1954, 1964, 1974, 1984, or 1994. Coincidence? I think not.

7) The Yankees have never recovered from the loss of Paul O'Neill, and haven't won a World Series since he retired.

6) If the Yankees take the World Series, then the terrorists win.

5) ARod ain't the savior. For all his offensive bluster, and despite being surrounded by the mighty line-ups of the Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners, Alex Rodriguez has won the same exact number of World Series' as Matt Welch.

4) The Yankees rotation will be made up of 5 right-handers. The last time the Yankees made the postseason with a rotation of all RHP's the president was a guy by the name of Harry Truman.

3) The Yankees are too old to win the World Series. The average age of their roster is 31.6, and they have 10 geezers who are 34 or older.

2) The Yankees starting rotation is a mess. Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, and David Wells took their 53 wins from last year elsewhere, and will be replaced by Kevin Brown, Javier Vazquez, and Jon Lieber who totaled 27 wins last season. The rotation, with an average age of 33, stands a better chance of success of appearing on Antiques Roadshow than in the World Series.

1) Common sense dictates that the Yankees simply cannot win the World Series when the Anaheim Angels will.
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WHERE DID PEGGY NOONAN GROW UP?

Peggy Noonan announced the start of the presidential campaign today in the Washington Post. In a hilarious passage, Noonan notes how Secretary of State Colin Powell recently played some hardball:

Democratic congressman Sherrod Brown of Ohio tried to hit the secretary of state with a shot on the AWOL charge. Colin Powell backed him to the wall: "Let's not go there."

Thank God the Secretary of State didn't pull out the nuclear weapon and say "Talk to the hand."
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PROUD TO BE AN ANGELENO

The Gropinator points out that my county officials don't want to spend the money to make sure my vote is counted correctly.
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AND THE WINNER IS...

In the Blue corner we have a stalwart of the Democratic Party, a veteran of 17 consecutive terms in Congress, a Korean war veteran and winner of the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star, a graduate of NYU and St. John’s Law School, he’s the pride of Harlem, please welcome Charlie ‘The Affable Assassin’ Rangel!!

And in the Red corner we have the recently elected Chairman of the Republican National Committee, he cut his teeth under the tutelage of Dick Armey, a graduate of the Catholic University of America, he carried a completely unelectable candidate to the largest margin of victory for a North Carolina Senate candidate in 25 years, please welcome Ed ‘The Truth Is What I Say It Is’ Gillespie!!

Welcome ladies and gentlemen to Meet The Press for what should be a real clash of the titans. As the first round begins, settle back fans as we expect this battle to go the dist-DOWN GOES RANGEL! DOWN GOES RANGEL! DOWN GOES RANGEL!

Nine, ten it’s over. Ed Gillespie has scored a stunning first round knockout over Charlie Rangel!
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