Berry's World
Saturday, March 06, 2004

KCRW, my local NPR station, fired commentator Sandra Tsing Loh for saying the word ‘fuck’ on the air. Loh seemed to take the high road, if you don’t count blaming her engineer for the whole problem:

He intended to do it, as he has done many times in the past, and he simply forgot. I don’t think it’s funny that way, actually hearing the word ‘fuck.’ It’s only funny with the bleep. Had I heard that come on the air while driving my kids to church or something, I would have been quite horrified.

So, exactly what did Loh say? While discussing a Bette Midler concert she attended and in which her musician husband played, Loh said:

My husband, my soul mate, my ROOMMATE of 15 years -- he sleeps LATE, doesn't LISTEN, moves my STUFF around. But he DOES play guitar for Bette Midler on her MASSIVE new STAGE show. There are times he STANDS within five FEET of her! So I guess I have to fuck him.

Keep in mind, it probably would have been funnier had I bleeped her.

So, does Loh, whose scheduled airtime was 7:35 a.m. and 9:35 a.m. Sunday mornings, have a gripe?

No chance.

It’s Loh’s commentary that is aired. It’s her voice, her words, her responsibility. SHE should have made sure the engineer bleeped it. Of course, Loh could have avoided the whole thing by coming up with a commentary that didn’t use the word 'fuck', but that may have taken away from the commentary's hilarious, sidesplitting, wait-I-can't-catch-my-breath humor.

UPDATE: Matt Welch has a different take.

Lawrence O'Donnell made two noteworthy predictions on tonight's edition of The McLaughlin Group:

Kerry won't lose a single state due to Nader. Not one.

After predicting two and a half years ago that John Kerry would be the front-runner, I can now predict that he will be elected president.

Scott Andrew Olson, 33, a former US Army sergeant of Saint Petersburg, Florida, will serve 33 months in prison and three years' supervised release for downloading child porn from the Internet onto his computer inside his Fort Polk barrack.

Adam J. Brown, 31, a Riverside, Calif., police officer was arrested Feb. 12 on a federal warrant charging him with traveling to Wisconsin to have sex with a boy.

William N. Martin, 32, of Beaver Dam, Wis., faces federal charges of traveling across state lines for the purpose of engaging in a sexual act with a minor, and chipping and transporting computer images of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Investigators allege Martin sexually assaulted two boys and broadcast it live over the Internet.

Ralph L. Perkins, 54, a former deputy prosecutor and district court judge was sentenced Tuesday to 27 months in prison after pleading guilty to possessing child pornography. An examination of Perkins' computer equipment turned up more than 10 images of children younger than 12 involved in sexually explicit conduct.

Nicholas Craig Mellard, 32, a man training to be a school teacher has been jailed for six months after he pleaded guilty to 23 charges of possessing indecent photographs of children.

John Redmond, 60, who drove Oak Park preschool-to-high school buses, was arrested on charges of possessing more than 2,000 pornographic images of children as young as 2.

Paul Mosher, 67, former vice provost and director of libraries at the University of Pennsylvania was sentenced to seven years of probation for using computers to store about 5,000 indecent pictures of children.

Harold Harmon, 59, a former Big Brothers/Big Sisters volunteer and Boy Scout leader, pleaded guilty January 9th to 25 counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, three counts of tampering with records, three counts of forgery and one count of possession of criminal tools, but now wants to withdraw the plea in exchange for a new trial.

Mrs. Monica Gabrielle, whose husband died in the Twin Towers, said of the advertising campaign: “It’s a slap in the face of the murders of 3,000 people.”

Karen DallaValle, whose fiance, Port Authority Police officer Kenneth F. Tietjen, died in the World Trade Center attack at age 31: "I think it's inappropriate (for the Bush campaign) to use photos from Ground Zero. I'm reminded of it enough every day when I get up and Kenny's gone."

Kristen Breitweiser, whose husband, Ronald, was killed in the World Trade Center attack: "I just think it's in poor taste, particularly from someone who has stonewalled the 9/11 commission."

Dawn Peterson, whose brother died in the attack on the World Trade Center: "It's totally disgusting."

Tom Roger, whose daughter was a flight attendant on one of the hijacked aircraft that were flown into the Twin Towers, said: "I would be less offended if he showed a picture of himself in front of the Statue of Liberty. But to show the horror of the 9/11 background, that's just some advertising agency's attempt to grab you by the throat."

John Ellis, who writes Ellisblog: There is no "furor" over the use of 9/11 images in the Bush re-election campaign advertisements. There is opposition to the use of those images, by Democrats and their media allies.

John, I'm just wondering, exactly how many relatives did YOU lose in the 9-11 attacks?

The Chris Farley Show--February 13, 1993

Chris Farley: [uncomfortable] You.. you.. you remember when you were with The Beatles?

Paul McCartney: Yeah, sure.

Chris Farley: That was awesome!

Paul McCartney: Yeah, it was.

Chris Farley: O-kay.. Oh! You.. you remember when you went to Japan.. and, uh, and at the airport they arrested you 'cause you had some pot, and.. it made all the papers, and everything..?

Paul McCartney: Well, to be honest, Chris, I'd kind of like to forget all of that.

Chris Farley: [smacks himself] IDIOT!! That's so stupid! What a dumb question!!

Paul McCartney: No, no, no, Chris. I get asked that all the time in interviews. Maria Shriver asked the same question last week.

Chris Farley: Really? [pause] Did you know that she's married to Arnold Schwartzenegger?

Paul McCartney: Yeah. I've heard that.

Chris Farley: Did you see "Terminator"?

Paul McCartney: No, I missed that one.

Chris Farley: That was a pretty awesome flick. [pause] O-kay.. remember.. you remember when you were with The Beatles, and you were supposed to be dead, and, uh, there was all these clues, that, like, uh, you played some song backwards, and it'd say, like, "Paul Is Dead", and, uh, everyone thought that you were dead? That was, um, a hoax, right?

Paul McCartney: Yeah. I wasn't really dead.

Sure, Martha Stewart is looking at a couple of semesters at Graystone College, but at least she has people still fighting for her. For example, Talk Left wants to help keep Martha out of the Crossbar Hotel, as this post indicates:

No Jail for Martha

We're doing our part....

So, just what is the self-described expert on 'the politics of crime' doing to keep Martha breathing free air?

Why, hawking this hideously over-priced ($16.99) hat, of course!

When told of Talk Left's altruistic campaign, prosecutor Michael Schachter was clearly shaken.

"Oh man. I knew we'd have no real problem with the appellate process going up against 100 lawyers with a billion dollars at their disposal, but now that the baseball hat is being sold, I just don't know."

Maybe Talk Left is finally going to show the government that they just can't go around prosecuting billionaires simply because they broke the law!

South Knox Bubba offered up a culinary tip today:

If you're in a pinch and need some biscuit gravy real fast, you can't go wrong with Odom's Tennessee Pride Sausage Gravy in a microwavable pouch. I recommend you keep some in the refrigerator for emergencies.

The very idea of an emergency that only biscuit gravy can solve makes me scream like an unstable little girl.
Friday, March 05, 2004

While the nation held it's breath, numerous top notch and well respected bloggers around the country were polled to see who Senator John Kerry would pick as his running mate for the upcoming presidential campaign.

These bloggers, long known for their keen intellect and brazen opinions, studied all of the possible candidates, scenarios, and even wild cards and in a voice that could be heard from the beaches of California to the coastal communities of Maine have definitively answered:

We Don't Know!

Here are the results and individual votes:










Here are the individual votes:

Off The Kuff
Battle Panda
Oliver Willis

Nathan Newman
Roger Ailes

Delusional Duck
Scoobie Davis Online

Uncle Horn Head
Kevin McCullough

Patridiot Watch


South Knox Bubba

Berry's World

The Scooter's Freakin' Wicked Weblog!
Matt Welch
Max Sawicky
The Hamster
Mark Kleiman
Robert Tagorda

President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have each agreed to meet privately with the chair and vice chair of the 9/11 commission for ONE HOUR.

President Bush will sit down FOR THE FULL HOUR with Tim Russert in the Oval Office for his first interview, his first Sunday morning interview.

President Bush spent exactly TWO HOURS in Omaha Monday trying to sell his economic stimulus plan at a local plastics plant.

The commander-in-chief also cleared brush and chopped cedar for a COUPLE OF HOURS.

President Bush spent about TWO HOURS in the area touting his No Child Left Behind law aimed at improving schools, as well as his job-training program at community colleges.

President Bush spent about TWO HOURS getting his sore knees examined Thursday at Walter Reed Army Medical Center so doctors could figure out the source of his pain.

President Bush spent an unusually long time at the race -- MORE THAN TWO HOURS, compared to the 55 minutes he planned at a Monday event on the economy across Florida in Tampa.

During his TWO AND A HALF HOURS on the ground, President Bush dined with U.S. forces at a Baghdad International Airport mess hall, met with four members of the Iraqi Governing Council, Baghdad's mayor and city council, and with top U.S. commanders.

President Bush spent FIVE HOURS AND 29 MINUTES delivering two speeches and raising $650,000 for Republican congressional nominee Chris Chocola and the Indiana Republican Party.

President Bush asked that citizens remain alert and be ready to help when called upon, and suggested every American commit to 4,000 HOURS of national and community service.

I'll make you a deal, Mr. President: I'll commit 3 HOURS to national and community service for every SINGLE HOUR beyond one that you meet with the 9-11 Commission. Whatta ya say?

For all of you supporters of Senator Edwards who are wondering how on earth he lost Minnesota on Tuesday, we have found the culprit.

It's Battle Panda's fault.

This news absolutely convinces Bitter Girl that Osama bin Laden has been captured, and will be trotted out prior to the general election.

Just how sure is the Bitter Babe?

Well, she started a betting pool.

Just by happenstance, I had Todd Snider on the old victrola, and he was singing Easy Money when I read that Martha Stewart was convicted of obstruction of justice, conspiracy and lying to investigators.

You think Martha wouldn't gladly give up the $51,200 she saved by dumping the ImClone stock that started it all?

It turns out that Todd Snyder could have been singing about Martha in Easy Money, and it's not a good thing:

She loved that easy money
It’s sad but it’s true
Everybody wants the most they can possible get
For the least they can possibly do
They want that easy money
I don’t understand.
Lord God they scheme and they plan
But they can’t get their hands on that easy money.


Dave Weigel alerted me to the cover of this week's The Nation:


After her last essay, Berry's World was inundated with requests for more of International Correspondent Laura Tuner's work (Laura, please tell your mom to stop e-mailing me!). In December, Dr. Charles Krauthammer discussed Governor Dean's case of 'Bush Derangement Syndrome', and today Laura Turner looks at Senator Kerry's case of Dukakis Complex:


By Laura Turner

Campaigning on the eve of Super Tuesday, John Kerry informed a group of 600 students at Ohio State University: "This is going to be a campaign different from campaigns in the past. This isn't going to be some kind of, you know, we're-like-them-they're-like-us-wishy-washy-mealy-mouth-you-can't-tell-the-difference deal. This is going to be something where we're giving America a real choice."

John Forbes Kerry is a war-hero, a principled dissenter, an intellectual, an outspoken advocate of corporate accountability and campaign finance reform, a four-term senator and a long-time Blue Dog Democrat. So why exactly does he feel the need to insist that his candidacy offers “a real change” from the current occupant of the Whitehouse? What leads him to waste his time promising large groups of voters that, as their nominee, he will refrain from being “mealy mouth[ed]”? And, for that matter, what exactly are those mysterious “other campaigns” that he swears he won’t emulate?

Sure, there is the obvious answer. Conventional wisdom roundly denounces Gore-Lieberman 2000 for having Blown a Sure Thing By Not Standing For Anything in the last presidential election. But today, nobody in their right mind actually thinks that, as a certain left-wing nut job once put it, there was “not a dime’s difference” between Gore and Bush. (And only a true cynic could listen to Gore recently and think he doesn’t “stand for anything” as far as politicians go. Anyone who does think that isn’t likely to be voting for Kerry anyway). Indeed, Kerry harbours a dark non-secret that haunts his dreams and prompts ridiculous pronouncements like the one above in a way Mr. Gore never could.

John Kerry was once Michael Dukakis’ Lieutenant Governor.

It’s fairly safe to say that Kerry’s sordid Massachusetts liberal past is unlikely to hurt him among Democratic voters and hurts him among Independents only insofar as the Bush campaign can troll up dirt on Kerry’s old Senate votes. But for Kerry, this old working relationship – complete with actual photographs of him and Mr. Dukakis together back in the 1980s! – seems to remain a cause of discomfort. The shadow of Dukakis continues to be a catalyst to Kerry’s worst behaviour on the campaign trail. It may be the one thing that could bring him down this election season.

Kerry’s Dukakis complex was very much on display back in the fall when Kerry was running far behind Howard Dean (and pretty much everyone else) in the race for the Democratic nomination. Frankly, Kerry – a terrific frontrunner – was a lousy underdog; it seemed to make him feel short.

There was the time in November that Kerry was asked to make a statement on the proposed anti-flag-burning constitutional amendment supported by Wes Clark, Dick Gephardt and (bizarrely) Dennis Kucinich. Kerry, much to his credit, opposed such an amendment but explained “as I’ve said before, if I saw someone burning the flag, I'd punch them in the mouth because I love the flag, but the Constitution that I fought for preserves the right of free _expression.” Kerry was similarly delicate about his stance on the death penalty, which he claimed to oppose not because he was any sort of pansy-ass liberal, but because he was “for a worse punishment”: to see criminals locked away “in a small cell for the rest of their life, deprived of their freedom, never to be paroled. Now, I think that’s tougher,” a steely-eyed, non-Dukakis-like Kerry explained to Tim Russert on Meet the Press in December 2002, and then again in an interview last November.

At the Los Angeles debate last week, Kerry reaffirmed the sense of seething vigilante justice that underlay his liberal position on the death penalty, but this time in the measured tones of the frontrunner he was destined to be: “My instinct is to want to strangle [a child killer] with my own hands. I understand the instincts, I really do. I prosecuted people… But we have 111 people who have been now released from death row, let alone the rest of the prison system because of DNA evidence that showed they didn't commit the crime of which they were convicted.” In Los Angeles, Kerry was on form. Yet the Dukakis complex lurks.

Surely it was this complex that drove Kerry, decked out in denim and leather, to ride a Harley Davidson onto the set of The Tonight Show to the sound of Jimi Hendrix’ “Ezy Ryder” back in November. Kerry’s grand entrance followed appearances by Triumph The Comic Insult Dog and Ross the Intern. Carina Chocano of the Los Angeles Times captured the general sentiment of the political press the following Sunday, describing the appearance as “sort of sad”. Still, can you imagine Michael Dukakis – can you imagine anyone else – trying that stunt?

Then there was Kerry’s famous potty-mouthed interview with Rolling Stone in early December in which Kerry let the nation know exactly what his middle initial stood for. The Stone interview was instructive not only for Kerry’s use of the F-word to describe Bush’s Iraq policy (earning a comically shocked-and-appalled response from the White House), but also for juxtaposing the cursing at Bush with a weird attack on then-frontrunner Howard Dean for “go[ing] off to the left and say[ing] ‘I’m against every-thing’”. At the time, the ensuing flap was widely considered to be Kerry’s death-knell.

A few days later, Kerry appeared with the other candidates at the Florida Democratic Convention. Slate’s Will Saleton, never one to coddle the libruls, summed up Kerry’s non-Dukakis-like performance at that event:

He interrupts his speech to walk over and kiss his wife. He calls companies that leave the country traitors: "When I'm president, we're gonna scour that tax code, and so help me, God, we're not gonna leave one incentive or one reward for any Benedict Arnold company or executive to take their companies … offshore." He curses a blue streak…Kerry tells the Florida audience that FDR invited them to "sit on your ass" and that Bush will "kick your ass." In his Q and A, Kerry swears, "The very first thing I will do is give a damn good inaugural address." Unless, of course, voters tell him to go to hell.

But, of course, voters didn’t tell Kerry to go to hell. In fact, about a month later, Kerry suddenly got very, very good, just as Howard Dean was tripping over his ill-conceived hard sell to the Left. As Dean fell apart, a disciplined, focussed Kerry emerged, moving rapidly up in the Iowa polls and, with the aid of a tough, results-oriented, and grossly underestimated ground campaign, rolled out a surprise victory in the Iowa Caucuses before riding a wave of his own making into New Hampshire and beyond.

There is no denying it: when Kerry is good, he’s very good: tough, polished, keyed-in and, frankly, presidential. The American Prospect’s Jon Margolis captures it perfectly: “[Kerry] tried all the usual ploys in the political consultant's instruction book. Then he began to talk ‘from his gut,’ and things turned around.” He did so with the help of a well-put-together operation and enthusiastic support from the firefighters’ unions and plenty of smart, seasoned Democrats looking for a winner, but mainly because Kerry suddenly started seeming like that winner those seasoned Democrats – and seasoned Democratic voters – were looking for.

And yet, for all of Kerry’s success, his dark non-secret remains; it pops up at the oddest times. How scared is Kerry of Dukakis’ shadow? Consider this: when The Duke endorsed Kerry back in September and praised him in a speech in Boston, Kerry didn't even send out a press release. Dukakis is not listed in Kerry’s list of prominent Democratic supporters on his website, though Walter Mondale and Gary Hart both are. There’s a word for this sort of thing: cowardly. Wes Clark touted George McGovern’s January endorsement in the media and at a rally. Kerry, a Vietnam War hero, is simply too scared of taint-by-association to show respect to a former Democratic leader under whom Kerry himself once served.

Instead, Kerry kicked off his campaign in December of 2002 by informing the Boston Globe: “I am not Michael Dukakis, and Michael Dukakis is not me, and the first person who would tell you that is Michael Dukakis." After Dukakis’ September speech in praise of Kerry, Kerry reiterated the theme: "I don't agree with all of his policies and I said so at the time. I think I'm a very different person. I've put people in prison for the rest of their life.” The press was all over it: Kerry Draws Contrast With Fellow Mass. Politician Dukakis blared one headline. Then, Kerry was at it again on Monday in Ohio, promising not to be “wishy-washy-mealy-mouthed” (not something the flaming-liberal Dukakis was ever really accused of, though it hardly matters). One can only imagine how much Mr. Dukakis must enjoy watching himself get smeared once again over that long-ago campaign.

Somebody should remind Kerry that Dukakis got forty one million votes in his presidential bid after fighting his way through a tough primary field that included Gary Hart, Al Gore, Dick Gephardt and Jesse Jackson Jr. and despite facing an unprecedented smear campaign from a Lee-Atwater-backed Bush. Kerry has fought his way admirably through the primary field, but he doesn’t yet have the votes Dukakis earned in the general election, and how well he responds to the smearing he’s likely to get from the current Bush campaign remains to be seen.

At the very least, Kerry ought to stop shooting down – implicitly or explicitly – old Democratic nominees, especially ones who endorsed and praised him at a time when he was running behind most of the Democratic pack and was widely considered an also-ran and a joke. This is a time for unity and praise…and for loyalty. Kerry has many virtues as our nominee and a solid, policy-intensive agenda and stump speech to boot. But when he spends campaign appearances setting himself up against nominees past and insisting that he’s butch enough to avoid falling into traps laid for other Democrats, he ends up looking like a graceless, opportunistic jackass. That’s not something that was ever a problem for Michael Dukakis.

The Daily Kos had a lengthy post concerning the use of 9-11 images in President Bush’s campaign commercial, and reader DhinMI made a key point in the comments:

Anyone wonder what Hughes would be saying if somebody ran an ad against Bush showing body bags coming back from Iraq?

I don't.

Actually, we really don’t have to wonder. We can just look at the reaction to this animated campaign spot for Dennis Kucinich. The ad flashes a series of names of soldiers who have been killed in the Iraq war, and says that, basically, we invaded for Haliburton, Bechtel, and numerous other companies who found themselves in the awkward position of reaping millions and millions and millions of dollars from the war after being very, very, very financially friendly to the sitting President and Vice President.

How did the ad go over? Let's take a look:

Little Tiny Lies saw it this way:

Kucinich Wipes Behind on Casket Flags--Kucinich has done us a huge favor with this ad. He cemented his own status as a lying bag of pus, and by evoking support from liberals, he is providing a lesson which even the dimmest swing voter should be hard-pressed to misunderstand: the left is less concerned than we are with morality, and they cannot be trusted with national security.

Balloon Juice weighed in:

Dennis Kucinich, Sick Fuck--Dennis Kucinich- Go to hell, you slimy little pissant. And every Democrat who fails to disavow this ad and that man- you can go to hell, as well. (In John Cole's defense, he did later disavow the rhetoric from Misha--see below.)

Here's Baldilocks' take:

Soylent Green Candidate--It’s up to us to let scum like Kucinich know that he cannot use the bodies of our friends, loved ones and comrades-in-arms to fuel his meager aspirations.

Blackfive--The Paratrooper of Love offered this:

Traitors, Traitors, Traitors--I call Dennis Kucinich a Traitor for producing that heinous and evil commercial that uses our war dead to push his agenda. I also call Eric Blumrich a Traitor for producing the vile Animated Commercial.

Castle Argghh, who apparently favors gay marriages, had this:

Dennis--blow me--Standing on top of the bodies posing - you're just a desperate, pathetic, little excuse for a fringe candidate. And you know it - you sad, sad, little man.

Bad Money wasn't happy:

I SAW THE KUCINICH VIDEO--I am LITERALLY shaking with rage at this. And I sent Kucinich a note:

You miserable, degenerate piece of shit. You have no fucking shame. That video is the most pathetic piece of crap I've ever seen in my life. Go fuck yourself.

Harvey Olson

Ah, but the all-time champ was, of course, The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler:

Kucinich Bitch-Slapapalooza!--Here's a hint to you, Eric, (Eric Blumrich, ad creator) and we're only trying to help here: The gov't can't do anything to you over that ad, nor should they, but that's the extent of your protection under the First Amendment.

The First, however, doesn't protect you from the consequences of pissing people off, and quite a few people out there might just be pissed off enough to wipe that nervous little grin off your traitorous mug - with a belt sander. You've pissed them off - bad, and if those were MY friends and/or relatives whose dead bodies you'd just been dragging down the street of your online Mogadishu, I'd be pissed off too, even more than I already am. Abusing somebody else's death for personal gain isn't likely to garner you very many friends.

Just keep this in mind, and don't start whining if you end up reaping the whirlwind, because you asked for it.

Eric may not be famous enough to be a pick for the 2004 Dead Pool, but there's another signed Imperial Mug for the first LC to inform me that Eric Blumrich has had a "tragic" accident. Accidents DO happen, you know, and that's the kind of news that would definitely make my entire day.

Naturally, I'm looking forward to these folks all taking President Bush to task for using 'the bodies of our friends, loved ones and comrades-in-arms to fuel his meager aspirations', but, just to be safe, I won't hold my breath.

Back in late January, Media Whores Online was bleating on and on about some secret investigation into Howard Kurtz:

'Flagrant' Abuses Cited
Mistah K's Silence Deepens Suspicions
CNN Tapes, Invite Lists Under Scrutiny

(No link to MWO, but The Dumbya Chronicles has substantial excerpts)

So Wonkette opined about the reliability of MWO as a news source for the 'Kurtz Probe':

Here's our take: They are not reliable at all. Repeat: Not reliable at all. Somewhere below Drudge and above a Ouija board. More politically motivated than either.

Well, Jimmy Capozzola at The Rittenhouse Review didn’t care for Wonkette weighing in on the issue. Capozzola penned a post called WHO IS "WONKETTE"? And Why is She Saying Such Nasty, Untruthful Things About "Media Whores"?, in which he wrote:

"If you link to 'Wonkette' through your blogroll you cannot and will not enjoy, for what that might be worth, a link from The Rittenhouse Review."

Naturally, Capozzola's pettyness didn't go over well with some bloggers, including:

Balloon Juice
Return Of The Reluctant
Pathetic Earthings
Michael's Mind
and even Berry's World

After the blogging community turned on Capozzola, he began to backtrack. Jamesey amended the threatening post:

[Post-publication addendum (January 26): I knew they would go ape. And they did. They are. Trust me, I don't take myself half as seriously as my critics say I do, or half as seriously as they take me, or half as seriously as they take themselves.]

And Jimmy's addendum may have carried some legitimate weight, had TRR not pulled a similar trick with Little Green Footballs back in 2002. So Jim tried again:

[Post-publication addendum (January 26): Okay, okay, I overreacted. I take it all back, for what it was ever worth. But still, gee whiz.]

When this didn't seem to work, Cappy exercised the only option he had left. He deleted the post from The Rittenhouse Review entirely. The link above is to a cached version preserved by Further, before the post got deleted, the reference to Andy Grove was edited to Lloyd Grove.

So, things finally settled down, and the whole sorry situation was forgotten, right?

Things were forgotten by everybody, except, The Rittenhouse Review.

A couple weeks after L'affaire Wonkette, I linked to Wonkette and (Poof!) the Berry's World link on The Rittenhouse Review was gone. I'd like to be able to report that my link was removed because of a lack of space and not because Capozzola is a small, petty and cheap little man. However, as repeated e-mails to The Rittenhouse Review have gone unanswered, I simply can't say.
Thursday, March 04, 2004

Former Bus Driver Convicted Of Sex Crimes

A former bus driver for the Hall County School System is facing up to 160 years in prison after a jury convicted him of sexually abusing children. The jury took less than two hours to convict 32-year-old Edsel Star of three counts of aggravated sodomy, two counts of child molestation and two counts of aggravated child molestation.

Driver Accused Of Engaging In Sex Act On Bus

A public-transportation driver was fired after being accused of engaging in a sex act on a parked IndyGo bus last week. "I'm jumping up, waving my hands, hollering and screaming ... trying to get this guy's attention," said a witness, who identified himself only as Gene. "It was like he was impervious to the world. He just didn't care."

Port St. Lucie School Bus Driver Arrested On Duty

A St. Lucie County school bus driver was arrested Wednesday when police stopped his student-filled bus for allegedly running a stop sign and police found he was wanted on a fraud charge. Christopher Lee Forte, 30, of the 2900 block of Southwest Ventura Street, was arrested on a felony unemployment-compensation fraud charge and a misdemeanor charge of failure to appear in court.

School Bus Driver, Unfamiliar With Route, Gives Kids A Scare

A Westport school bus driver, a last-minute substitute who was unfamiliar with his route, gave some Saugatuck Elementary School pupils and their parents a scare Tuesday, police said today. Police said they were alerted to a problem at 3:45 p.m. by a parent who said her 9-year-old daughter had called from her school bus to say the driver was behaving erratically and may be drunk. Investigating officers instead found driver Francisco Valiente, 55, of Stratford, was simply confused about his route.

School Bus Driver Jailed For Investigation Of Vehicular Homicide

A school bus driver has pleaded not guilty of vehicular homicide in the death of a 13-year-old student who was hit by the bus she was driving. Cathleen Ann Hentze, 42, was charged Friday in Pierce County Superior Court. She was jailed Thursday after laboratory test results indicated the presence of morphine and other drugs in her blood on the day of the accident.

Bus Driver Involved In Fatal Accident May Have Been Distracted

A school bus driver may have been distracted momentarily by a warning light and buzzer before his bus skidded off a road near Van Burensburg, Ill., in August, killing one student and injuring 14 others, according to an Illinois State Police investigation. When the bus driver, Eugene Rogers, looked down at the light, the bus apparently drifted to the right, went off the shoulder, then skidded 275 feet down a steep embankment, Sgt. Brent Pinkston said on Thursday.

Rochester School Bus Driver Leaves Kids On Bus As He Gets Pain Medicine

A Rochester school bus service official says a driver made a bad decision by leaving a bus full of kids to stop at Kmart. The driver had a toothache and didn't feel he could continue the route without some pain medicine.

Syracuse Bus Driver Charged With Rape

A 44-year-old Syracuse man has been charged with raping and impregnating a fourteen-year-old girl. Police arrested Darryl Myers after the girl's mother told police her daughter had an ongoing relationship with him.

Tougher Penalties For Genital Mutilation

Clearly, the movie business is the place to be. Consider this transaction:

September 2002: The TV program Firefly premiers on FOX.

December 2002: Firefly is cancelled due to poor ratings after just 11 episodes.

March 2004: Universal Pictures greenlights a feature film based on Firefly, budgeted in the mid 8 figures.

I've really got to get back to work on my treatment based on Mr. T and Tina.

Naturally, I knew there were quite a few websites dedicated to The Simpsons, but I didn't know that some of the names of the sites would amuse me:

Just D’oh It

Barting Over

A Star Is Burns

Moe Better Booze

Duff & Pretzels (In French)

The D’oh Nut

The Sweetest Apu

A Burns For All Seasons

Simpsons News Network


There is a lot of Internet support for Senator Kerry to pick Senator Edwards as his running mate, but I'm not totally sold on the idea. Both Battle Panda and Oliver Willis make solid cases for a couple of Johns on the ticket (we'd own the prostitution vote!) but their reasoning seems based more on aesthetics rather than politics.

Conventional wisdom says this election will be very, very close. That being the case, I think Senator Kerry, at a minimum, has to get one thing, and one thing only out of his running mate:

His home state.

If Senator Kerry's running mate delivers his home state, then anything else the candidate offers is a bonus. Sadly, there is very little chance that Senator Edwards can deliver North Carolina. In fact, the last time the Tar Heel State voted Democrat was 1976, and has supported the Republican candidate by an average of about 10% ever since.

I like Senator Edwards, and I think we'll see him make another run at the highest office in the land some day. But today, Senator Kerry needs to lock in Electoral Votes, and Senator Edwards can't guarantee North Carolina's 15.

Some folks on the left are up in arms over Republican Congressman Tom Cole saying "If George Bush loses the election, Osama bin Laden wins the election," and other mindless things, but it can't be surprising, can it?

We all knew that the Republicans were going to vilify the Democratic nominee. In fact, James Lileks started it almost a month ago:

Let's just be blunt: The North Koreans would love to see John Kerry win the election. The mullahs of Iran would love it. The Syrian Ba'athists would sigh with relief. Every enemy of America would take great satisfaction if the electorate rejects the Bush doctrine and scuttles back to hide under the U.N. Security Council's table. It's a hard question, but the right one: Which candidate does our enemy want to lose? George W. Bush.

We need Senator Kerry to have a President Sheppard moment:

We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them. And whatever your particular problem is, I promise you Bob Rumson is not the least bit interested in solving it. He is interested in two things, and two things only. Making you afraid of it and telling you who's to blame for it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you win elections.

President Bush, your fifteen minutes are up.

TOP TEN THINGS GOVERNOR SCHWARZENEGGER HEARS IN A TYPICAL DAY (Delivered by members of the Governor's staff)

10. "When are you going to drop the phony accent?" (Rob Stutzman, director of communications)

9. "Read the Education Budget and then you can have some Strudel." (Marybel Batjer, Cabinet secretary)

8. "Why does this place always smell like Baby Oil?" (Clay Russell, special assistant to the governor)

7. "Are you driving the Hummer to the Earth Day rally?" (Julie Westlake, director of scheduling)

6. "Letterman on the phone again -- should I tell him you're still in a meeting?" (Ashley Gunn, deputy in the appointments unit)

5. "The Governor will answer a few questions then show off his abs and delts." (Richard Costigan, legislative secretary)

4. "Relax, Governor -- I wasn't sent from the future to kill you." (Cassandra Pye, deputy chief of staff for external affairs)

3. "When shaking hands with assembly members, stop squeezing once you hear a crack." (Paul Miner, chief deputy Cabinet affairs secretary)

2. "You gave up a $25 million salary to do this?!" (Darrel Ng, assistant press secretary)

1. "Governor, please put the desk down." (Margita Thompson, press secretary)
Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Wanna play basketball at the University of Georgia? Well, it ain't all jump shots and cheerleaders. You have to study hard, too. You might have to take Coaching Principles and Strategies of Basketball.

Here are some questions from the only exam that former assistant coach Jim Harrick Jr. gave to his class

How many players are allowed to play at one time on any one team in a regulation game?
a. 2
b. 3
c. 4
d. 5

How many halves are in a college basketball game?
a. 1
b. 2
c. 3
d. 4

How many points does a 3-point field goal account for in a Basketball Game?
a. 1
b. 2
c. 3
d. 4

What is the name of the exam which all high school seniors in the State of Georgia must pass?
a. Eye Exam
b. How Do The Grits Taste Exam
c. Bug Control Exam
d. Georgia Exit Exam

In your opinion, who is the best Division I assistant coach in the country?
a. Ron Jursa [sic]
b. John Pelphrey
c. Jim Harrick Jr.
d. Steve Wojciechowski

I know, it looks tough, but it can be done. In fact, everybody in Professor Harrick's class really hit the books, and they were all rewarded with hard-earned A's!

Heather Specyalski is charged with second-degree manslaughter in the crash that killed businessman Neil Esposito. Specyalski's defense is that she wasn't driving the car, but was, in fact, performing a sexual act on the late Mr. Esposito, who was, in fact, thrown from the car with his pants down.

Overruling objections from the prosecution, Judge Robert L. Holzberg ruled that Specyalski can proceed with the defense saying:

A defendant has a right to offer a defense no matter how outlandish, silly or unbelievable one might think it will be.

Well, at least Judge Holzberg has an open mind.

But then again, sometimes they do. For example, what were you doing, say, 52 days ago?

52 days ago the Iowa poll looked like this:

Governor Howard Dean: 25%
Congressman Richard Gephardt: 23%
Senator John Kerry: 15%
Senator John Edwards: 14%

52 days ago Paul O’Neil appeared on 60 Minutes.

52 days ago Dale Ungerer, a retiree from Hawkeye, Iowa, picked a fight with Governor Dean.

52 days ago (and every day since) Mickey Kaus mocked Senator John Kerry: Kerry Surge Watch! In New Hampshire, he's caught ... Lieberman!

52 days ago the New Hampshire poll looked like this:

Governor Howard Dean: 34%
General Wesley Clark: 20%
Senator John Kerry: 11%
Senator Joe Lieberman: 9%

52 days ago the NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll showed President Bush on easy street:

President Bush 54% Governor Dean 37%
President Bush 53% General Clark 35%
President Bush 54% Senator Kerry 35%
President Bush 55% Congressman Gephardt 34%

Good gosh, where do you think we'll be 52 days from now?

Whether it's giving a woman who spilled coffee on herself $1.2 billion dollars, or awarding a bank robber $3 million bucks when he twisted his ankle trying to make his getaway, you can almost find a daily story about some goofy jury.

Today, for example, in Texas a jury found Susan Wright guilty of murder while completely ignoring the fact that Wright testified, under oath mind you, that she acted in self-defense.

Apparently, the out of control jurors got hung up on the fact that Wright stabbed her husband 193 times and buried his body in their backyard.

Everybody knows who Jonas Grumby was, right?

Well, for those who don't, Jonas Grumby was more commonly known as 'The Skipper' on Gilligan's Island, and was played by Alan Hale Jr. The Skipper captained the SS Minnow, and affectionately referred to his first mate, Gilligan, as 'little buddy'.

Gilligan's Island began in 1964, but did you know that Alan Hale Jr. made a guest appearance on The Andy Griffith Show in 1962, and referred to Deputy Barney Fife as his 'little buddy' three times?

It's true.

Josh Marshall has figured out President Bush plan for re-election:

If you look at the TV ads the president just unveiled today, you quickly see a main -- probably the main -- theme of his reelection campaign: it's not my fault.

Basically, President Bush is going to borrow a page from the book of Bart.


Poppy writes in to point out that instead of trying to figure out the unemployment smoke screen the Republicans are selling, I really just had to look at this chart (Courtesy of Patridiot Watch):

I wish he would have said something before I got a headache trying to do remedial math.

Apparently, Larry M. Jeffs didn't want to stand in line waiting to get into hell, so he took steps to insure his express entry. Jeffs is being held without bond on federal child pornography charges after agents on Monday said they seized images from his home showing him performing sex acts on a 2-month-old girl.

A 2-month-old girl.

I’ve long thought that when it came to golf, President Bartlett was dead right:

President Bartlet: Mr. Sumatra, I understand you're a sports fan.

Tada Sumatra: Yes sir, Mr. President. Golf.

President Bartlet: Okay, well, golf's not a sport. Don't get me wrong; it's fine and all, but let's not you and I confuse it with things men do.

We got more proof that golf is merely an exhibition this past weekend when ‘professional’ golfer Davis Love III thought he was being picked on! Apparently there was a heckler who ‘started riding him hard’ on Sunday. Here are some of the classic quotes from Love:

'I wasn't going to play anymore until somebody got kicked out, because he had already cost me a hole. I mean, I hit awful shots at 2. I wasn't going to put up with it.'

'I've played with Fred Couples. Freddie is just as popular in California as Tiger Woods, but you can't have people picking on you.'

'The heckler was 'just another one of those fans that doesn't respect the game. ... He didn't deserve to watch golf.'

And the money quote:

'... I don't come into your office and screw you up. Don't come into my office and screw me up.'

You know, Davis, while you are busy trashing that fan who 'didn't deserve to watch golf,' you might want to keep in mind that he chipped in on the $700 grand you won this weekend

By the way, doesn't Davis Love III sound a lot like David Simms from Tin Cup?

Old Man: Excuse me, Mr. Simms! Can you sign an autograph for our grandson?

David Simms (Don Johnson): Can't you see I'm busy?! I'm working! This is my office! Do I come to your office and ask you for an autograph?! Jesus...(muttering to himself) Who the fuck these people think they are...

On tonight's Charlie Rose Show, Charles Cook showed us the value of political language:

When voters are asked about President Bush in connection with 'national security' or 'terrorism', President Bush polls well.

When voters are asked about President Bush in connection with 'foreign policy', President Bush's poll numbers take a steep drop.

With Senator John Kerry becoming the Democratic Party's de facto nominee, one can't help but feel bad for card carrying Kerry-hater, Mickey Kaus.

We haven't heard from the him in nearly 45 hours, so perhaps Mickey is home repeating the words of poet Percy Bysshe Shelley:

"Rough wind, that moanest loud
Grief too sad for song;
Wild wind, when sullen cloud
Knells all the night long;
Sad storm, whose tears are vain,
Bare woods, whose branches strain,
Deep caves and dreary main, -
Wail, for the world's wrong!"

Of course, most Democrats figured no matter who they nominated, Kaus was going to vote for President Bush anyway, so party sympathy might be hard to come by right now.
Tuesday, March 02, 2004

My buddy Brad is trying to quit smoking (8 days without a smoke! I both admire and despise him for it), and when the urge for a sweet Virginia cigarette hits him, he blogs. Check him out at Uncle Horn Head.

To prevent pressure or harassment of voters, there is a zone surrounding polling places where there is absolutely no campaigning allowed.

KCAL 9 is airing a clip of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, from INSIDE his polling place, instructing a voter:

"Be sure to vote yes on (Propositions) 57 and 58."

I'm not a lawyer, but I would tend to think that our Governor violated Federal Election Law.

During the courtroom scene of JFK, Jim Garrison (Kevin Costner) says:

"Theoretical physics can prove an ele­phant can hang from a cliff with its tail tied to a daisy, but use your eyes—your common sense..."

We will be required to to use our eyes and common sense once again as the Republicans start touting Dubyanomics. According to J. Edward Carter (these people and their use of intials!), President Bush's first three years compares quite favorably with President Clinton's first three years. All you have to do is look at the numbers, Carter says:

1993-1995 Unemployment Rate: 6.2%---------President William J. Clinton

2001-2003 Unemployment Rate: 5.5%---------President George W. Bush

You can't argue with that, right? Well, actually you can.

What 'economist' J. Edward Carter wants to do is overlook is the 'big picture', and pretend that all presidents start on even ground. Well, rather than using theoretical physics to figure out how good President Bush has done with unemployment, why don't we look directly at the WHOLE record.


JANUARY, 1991----------6.4%---------President George H. W. Bush

JANUARY, 1992----------7.3%---------President George H. W. Bush

JANUARY, 1993----------7.3%---------President William J. Clinton (sworn in)

JANUARY, 1994----------6.6%---------President William J. Clinton

JANUARY, 1995----------5.6%---------President William J. Clinton

JANUARY, 1996----------5.6%---------President William J. Clinton

JANUARY, 1997----------5.3%---------President William J. Clinton

JANUARY, 1998----------4.6%---------President William J. Clinton

JANUARY, 1999----------4.3%---------President William J. Clinton

JANUARY, 2000----------4.0%---------President William J. Clinton

JANUARY, 2001----------4.2%---------President George W. Bush (sworn in)

JANUARY, 2002----------5.6%---------President George W. Bush

JANUARY, 2003----------5.8%---------President George W. Bush

JANUARY, 2004----------5.6%---------President George W. Bush

President Clinton's first three years saw the unemployment rate go from 7.3% to 5.6%, ( -1.7%) while President G. W. Bush's first three years saw the unemployment rate go from 4.2% to 5.6% (+1.4%).

Use your eyes—your common sense.

In what is quite exciting news, during the month of February, Josh Marshall and Berry's World combined for over half a million unique visitors!

Rob Lowe has signed on to star in the CBS drama pilot "Dr. Vegas," and will play an in-house physician at a casino. You just know it's gonna be good. I mean, it's not like Lowe has a history of making poor career choices, right?

Continuing a tradition which began last October for the Recall Election, I will make my ballot public.

Proposition 55--Schools For Tots: I've never voted against money for schools in my life, and I won't start today. YES

Proposition 56--Killing The Supermajority: This is the ballot measure that would do the most good for California. Naturally, huge corporate lobby's have run millions of dollars worth of commericials in what will probably be a successful effort to kill it. YES

Proposition 57--15 Billion In Bonds: I'd probably feel a little different if our Governor hadn't increased the debt by $4 billion dollars on his first day on the job. NO

Proposition 58--Balanced Budget: This has the feel of a guy who's out of cigarettes saying he quit smoking. NO

Democratic Nominee for President: With General Clark out, and Senator Kerry damn near a lock for the nomination, I'm voting for the candidate I most agree with on the issues. Representative Dennis Kucinich.
Monday, March 01, 2004

Senator Kerry is queried:

"Is God on America's side?"

KERRY: Well, God will -- look, I think -- I believe in God, but I don't believe, the way President Bush does, in invoking it all the time in that way. I think it is -- we pray that God is on our side, and we pray hard. And God has been on our side through most of our existence.

This moment from Sunday's Democratic presidential debate in New York City has touched off a battle-royal between the spiritual and the secular over the question of God’s preferences. In an effort to mold public opinion on this possible wedge issue during the campaign, the White House released The Celestial Top Twenty, showing God's most favored nations.

20) VIETNAM ---Cracking the top twenty has the Vietnamese tickled pinko.

19) POLAND---With his home country slipping out of the top fifteen for the first time in over 6 decades, an irate Pope inspired this headline: Pontiff Proposes Prodigious Polish Patch-Up!

18) FRANCE---The French were a perennial top ten country before the Iraq war.

17) VENEZUELA---Child prostitution problem keeps the Venezuelans from ranking higher!

16) TURKEY---Kurban Bayrami, featuring an early morning assassination of a sheep, still plays well!

15) ETHIOPIA---The enthusiastic festival of Timkat insures Ethiopia’s gaudy ranking!

14) BANGLADESH---The third most populous Muslim country on earth is more than simply the backdrop for George Harrison’s concert!

13) ROMANIA---Steady up-tick in prayer from Transylvanian Alps strengthens Romanians!

12) ITALY---Unexpectedly low donations from Mafia hurt ranking!

11) DENMARK---Even though the Dutch have about the same number of people as Togo, they pray twice as hard!

10) IRELAND---The Irish were really set back by The Gangs of New York.

9) INDIA---Voters are high on the Hindus!

8) UNITED KINGDOM---Only 56% of Brits agree that believing in God and a higher power makes for better human beings. That hurt ‘em with the judges.

7) LEBANON---Where would Lebanese be ranked but for their 16-year civil war?

6) TURKMENISTAN---They’ve only been open for business since 1992, but the Turkmen have made impressive gains.

5) MEXICO---If rankings were determined by impromptu religious parades, Mexico would be battling Puerto Rico for the top spot.

4) NIGERIA---90% of the country believing in God overcomes the nation’s general lack of fashion sense, keeping the upstart Nigerians in the top 5!

3) ISRAEL---Moses handed-off the Ten Commandments to the ancient Israelites, and the gutty, scrappy Jews have been a powerhouse ever since.

2) SWEDEN---Message: Courtesy counts!

1) UNITED STATES---Number of claims that Iraq possessed WMD's? Thousands.

Dead civilian Iraqis? At least 8,000 (and counting).

Dead American Soldiers? 550 (and counting).

Weapons Of Mass Destruction found? Zero.

Being God’s number one guy? Priceless.


Uganda, Albania, Guernsey, Bouvet Island, Svalbard, Vatican City, Seychelles, Benin, and Senegal


Qatar, Belarus, and Finland.

For his re-election campaign, President Bush has already raised more than 1$ (one dollar) for every SECOND he will be president during his first term.

Total Receipts for President Bush: $131,774,275 through December 31, 2003.

Total Seconds between 1-20-01 and 1-20-05: 126,230,400
Sunday, February 29, 2004

August 14th, 1998

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Predictions. Michael?

MR. BARONE: Bill Richardson, the Energy secretary, will be stricken from lists of possible VP Democratic candidates for 2000, after the Washington Times's story questioning his testimony that the job he offered Monica Lewinsky was an open job.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Will he be made secretary of Energy?

MR. BARONE: He is secretary of Energy.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Will he retain that post?


Don't you worry, John will get to the bottom of things.

If you live in Los Angeles, and you don't get enough coverage of the Oscar Awards, then you aren't really trying. Here's the schedule for KABC, Channel 7:

3:00pm to 5:00pm--An Evening at the Academy Awards: The Arrivals

5:00pm to 5:30pm--Countdown to the Oscars 2004

5:30pm to 8:30pm--The 76th Annual Academy Awards

8:30pm to 9:30pm--The Barbara Walters Special

9:30pm to 11:00pm--An Evening at the Academy Awards: The Winners

11:00pm to 11:30pm--Eyewitness News

11:35pm to 1:35am--An Evening at the Academy Awards: The Arrivals

1:35am to 3:05am--An Evening at the Academy Awards: The Winners

Wow, that means that I can miss 12 consecutive hours of Oscar coverage!

The Constitution of California seems pretty straight-forward on what the Legislature is supposed to do. Article 4, Section 12(c) states:

The Legislature shall pass the budget bill by midnight on June 15 of each year.

So, considering our Constitution is clear on the matter, just when was the last time the budget was passed according to Constitutional guidelines? Here are some clues:

Marvelous Marvin Hagler was the World Middleweight Champion, Top Gun was the top grossing film, ALF made his television debut, and a guy named Arnold Schwarzenegger married television journalist Maria Shriver.

Joe Paterno was Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year, Cameo gave us the phrase Word Up, and Time's Man of the Year was Corazon Aquino (it would be 13 years before Time began calling it Person of the Year).

Nobody had any real problems with Michael Jackson hanging out in amusement parks.

Rob Wilfong cost the California Angels a trip to the World Series, and Cary Grant died.

So, when was the last time the California Legislature lived up to it's Constitutional duties and passed a budget by June 15th?

The year was

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