Berry's World
Saturday, April 10, 2004
 
BREMER'S BONER

On March 28th, Paul Bremer decided to shut down the weekly newspaper Al-Hawza saying its articles were increasing the threat of violence against occupation forces.

For the record, in the 13 days before the newspaper was shut down, there were 27 coalition fatalities. In the 13 days after the newspaper was shut down, there were 63 coalition fatalities.
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AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT

Dear Mr. President,

As you probably recall, I wrote to you back in October offering to serve on the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, and although, (after much consideration I’m sure), you chose not to name me to 'Piffy-ab', I’m not one to hold a grudge. Frankly, I’m glad you didn’t make me a member of ‘Piffy-ab’. I mean, it’s common knowledge that the board is simply a place to park big-time contributors, like William O. DeWitt, Jr., who want to feel like a part of your administration but who you really don’t want to have to mess with. (That is, of course, until you want to throw out the first pitch for a baseball team in a battleground state, right?)

Now, free of any ‘Piffy-ab’ entanglements, I would again like to offer you my services, by advising you that I would proudly accept your nomination to become the 19th Secretary of the Army.

Now, I know that as you read this Karl Rove is whispering in your ear that designating me as your Secretary of the Army nominee is a bad idea, but that’s probably because he can’t see the big picture. By the way, what’s up with Karl these days? Ever since he came up with the hare-brained scheme to land you on that aircraft carrier, he’s been on a longer losing streak than the Los Angeles Kings.

So, what is the big picture that Karl is missing? First of all, the position of Secretary of the Army hasn’t been good to you. Not only have you had four of them so far, but two of them were nominated by President Clinton, for crying out loud! OK, you might not have spent a whole lot of time thinking about naming the first Clinton appointee, Greg Dahlberg, which is understandable, considering that you probably didn’t think you were going to win the election. Hell, none of us did. But when Dahlberg quit 44 days after you were sworn in, you named ANOTHER Clinton appointee (I hope you hosed them both down along with the Oval Office) in Dr. Joe Westphal, who lasted a whopping 87 days. Then came Tommy White, who lasted almost two years, but apparently couldn’t play well with others (read: Rummy). Now Les Brownlee is the acting Secretary, but lets face it, if he were going to get the job permanently, you would have nominated him already.

But, in addition to the guys who got the job, you also ran into some problems with James Roche, whose nomination was scuttled over an Air Force cadet sex scandal, and some unpleasantness involving Boeing, a 30 billion dollar contract, and the Air Force negotiator allowing Boeing to set the terms of the contract before quitting the Air Force only to take a job with Boeing two months later. And this came on the heels of the Anthony Raimondo fiasco, who didn’t even get nominated to be your manufacturing czar before he withdrew his name from consideration after it became known that he was laying off American workers while building a factory in China. Mr. President, isn’t anyone vetting these folks? Thank God Karen’s back, huh?

Naturally, you may be thinking that there is simply no way you can nominate somebody with no military experience to speak of to be the next Secretary of the Army, but with all due respect Mr. President, I wouldn't be throwing stones in this area if I were you.

You may be saying that I’m merely telling you about past problems and not explaining why I would be a good choice for the Secretary’s post, but I assure you there are myriad reasons why I would be an excellent choice. First, unlike Tommy Boy, I have never, ever worked for Enron, so we won’t have to worry about changing my official biography. Further, I’m not married, so you can be sure that I won’t be flying my wife around the country on military jets.

Worried about my past coming back to haunt you? Don’t be! I’m going to take a page out of the Book Of Bush, and simply refuse to discuss it. You won’t talk about illegal drug use before 1974? I’m not going to talk about illegal drug use before last night. If the press starts playing their games of 'gotcha politics', I’m simply going to stonewall them. No matter how many skeletons they find (and trust me, they’ll find plenty!) I’ll simply deny, deny, deny. I really have learned a lot from you, Mr. President.

And I don’t want you to worry about me having confirmation problems. Being a self-described 'yellow dog Democrat', my nomination will sail through Congress. Besides, you've had Senator Daschle on a short leash for years now anyway, so who's gonna stop my confirmation?

Naming me your Secretary of the Army also helps you in other areas Mr. President. Every opening you fill lowers the total number of jobs lost under your watch. Hell, if I were you, I’d be naming three or four people to every post possible. See, I’ve got all kinds of great ideas like that. For example, I think you ought to change the Secretary of the Army back to the Secretary of War. I mean a 'war president', if only for symmetry’s sake, should have a Secretary of War. Besides, it just sounds more manly, doesn’t it? I’ve got tons more of ideas like that, but I’ll save the rest for cabinet meetings (will I get to go to those?) or when we’re hanging out at Camp David.

So, there you have it, Mr. President. A clear-cut case for why you should nominate me to become the next Secretary of the Army. Now, I made you a similar offer 6 months ago, and you declined to accept my help. Since then, you’ve gone from a near mortal lock to be re-elected to being in a dogfight with Senator John Kerry. Coincidence? I think not. I hope you make the right decision this time, Mr. President.

Sincerely,

Keith
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Friday, April 09, 2004
 
STOP IT, YOU'RE KILLING ME!

Jokes, Pranks, And Hijinks:

Mother Fell To Death During Prank

A mother-of-two fell to her death from a ledge outside a first-floor flat while playing a prank on friends, an inquest heard. Sarah Dowding, 19, from Bath, suffered fatal head injuries when she fell 20ft from the ledge of a friend's maisonette in the city last year. A Bristol inquest heard she intended to play a joke by crawling along the ledge and tapping on a window.

No One's Laughing At April Fools' Prank

A man has been accused of tying a dead dog to the truck of a deaf co-worker as part of an April Fools' Day joke. The co-worker left work Thursday unaware the Chihuahua was tied to his bumper, authorities said. Kevin Meloy dragged the dead animal two miles before a motorist caught his attention. Several motorists tried to alert Meloy, who did not hear the warnings because he is deaf. Paul Goobie, 47, was cited for unlawful disposal of a dead animal, a second-degree misdemeanor, sheriff's officials said Friday. If convicted, he faces probation or up to two months in jail and a fine of up to $500. Goobie allegedly told deputies he got the idea for the prank from the film “National Lampoon's Vacation.” In the film, Chevy Chase's character ties a live dog to the bumper at a rest stop, forgets and drives away.

Prank Leads To Jail Time

A Nashua man who allegedly threatened to blow up the new Wal-Mart Supercenter when he showed up for a recent job interview at the store remains behind bars. Fady Hakim, 19, of 9 Locust St., has been charged with criminal threatening after telling store employees he had explosives hidden in his fanny pack when he arrived for the March 29 interview. Hakim claimed to be joking, but neither police nor Wal-Mart officials were laughing. According to Epping Police Chief Gregory Dodge, Hakim entered the store about 10:30 a.m. and asked employees for directions to the management office. Hakim said he was interviewing for a job, and then told workers he had explosives. Despite the threat, Dodge said the employees brought Hakim to the management office for the interview. Hakim was unaware police were being called to the store to investigate his alleged threat. A short time later police arrived and searched Hakim’s fanny pack. No explosives were found.

RA Fired Over April Fools’ Prank

What started off as an April Fools’ prank ended with the firing of a Pima Residence Hall RA. Around 8 a.m. on April Fools’ Day, Phillip Chavira and two other students entered the room of another Pima resident assistant and used 400 square feet of tin foil to cover the entire room. “We tin-foiled the contents of her room: her TV, books, shoes,” Chavira said. Chavira received notice Wednesday from Residence Life that he either had to resign from his position as an RA at Pima or be fired. “We wanted to get her back for toilet-papering our doors,” Chavira said of the RA who he and the other students played the joke on. But Chavira said the RA, who he was on friendly terms with before the incident, was upset Chavira entered her room and touched her things. He said the RA notified the Pima hall director and then called the police.

Teacher Busted For 2nd Hanging Prank

(Our first repeat pranker!)

The Brooklyn music teacher arrested after a prank in which he hung a 5-year-old student by his belt loops from a closet coat hook was charged again for pulling the same prank with another student the same day, police said. Jason Schoenberger, 24, was charged Thursday with endangering the welfare of a child for hanging a boy by his belt loops in an attempt to startle a colleague, who in turn reported Schoenberger to the principal, setting off the chain of events that led to his arrest. Schoenberger was charged at the 69th Precinct stationhouse in Canarsie. These charges come three days after Schoenberger was arrested for doing the same stunt with another child,, police said.

Ancient Stone Circle Damaged in 'April Fool's Prank'

Vandals have daubed yellow paint over a 4,500-year-old stone circle in what it is thought could have been a twisted April Fool’s Day prank, it emerged today. The damage to the Rollright Stones, near Chipping Norton on the Oxfordshire/Warwickshire border, was reported to police yesterday. Site manager Dolun Prout said paint was found on both sides of all 78 of the stones in the circle. He is puzzled by the attack and said: “This is a circle that is 100ft in diameter so it would not have taken five minutes.

Man Charged After Prank Hanging

A 33-year-old man has been charged with falsely reporting an incident after faking his own hanging as an April Fool's joke on his ex-wife, according to Oswego County sheriff's deputies. Randy Wood phoned his ex-wife about 6 p.m. Thursday and said he had something he wanted to show her at his home in West Monroe, 17 miles northeast of Syracuse, deputies said. She found him hanging from a tree in the front yard with a rope around his neck. Wood had secured himself with a lineman's harness like those used by utility crews, but his ex-wife called 911 before he told her it was a prank, deputies said. Firefighters, deputies and an ambulance had been sent. Wood could face a fine of up to $1,000 and a year in jail on the misdemeanor. "He claims he did it as an April Fools' joke, but obviously, it's not a funny matter," Sheriff Reuel Todd said, noting rescue personnel were put at risk driving to the scene.

Asper 'Prank' Figures In Suit

A lewd "prank" by media executive David Asper has landed him and his National Post newspaper with a $405,000 lawsuit. The suit filed by former Post reporter Patricia Hickey alleges she was wrongfully dismissed. Asper and the Post deny her claim. Her firing, Hickey claims, followed an incident where Asper, chairman of the Post and executive vice-president of Winnipeg-based CanWest Global Communications, "made an obscene and lewd gesture to (her) by unzipping the fly of his pants, sticking his finger out of his pants towards (her) to make it look like he was sticking out his penis and wiggling it." Asper reacted with the gesture when Hickey asked him to pose for a photo at a company reception at the National Newspaper Awards May 3, 2003. She was covering the event. Hickey claims her ensuing complaint about her boss's behaviour was the catalyst for harassing workplace incidents designed either to force her to quit or create a record to justify her termination. She was fired in November.
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MORE FALLOUT FROM JANET'S FALL OUT

RCA has produced, at the urging of Wal-Mart, a $79 DVD player that automatically strips out potentially offensive content.
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Thursday, April 08, 2004
 
THAT DOG JUST WON'T HUNT

Condoleezza Rice continues to try and save face:

And I said, at one point, that this was a historical memo, that it was — it was not based on new threat information. And I said, No one could have imagined them taking a plane, slamming it into the Pentagon — I'm paraphrasing now — into the World Trade Center, using planes as a missile. As I said to you in the private session, I probably should have said, I could not have imagined, because within two days, people started to come to me and say, Oh, but there were these reports in 1998 and 1999. The intelligence community did look at information about this. To the best of my knowledge, Mr. Chairman, this kind of analysis about the use of airplanes as weapons actually was never briefed to us.

Here's the opening paragraph of a Sports Illustrated story concerning the 1972 Olympic Games:

For a citizen of a country manacled to its past, Dr. Georg Sieber had a remarkable knack for seeing the future. In the months leading up to the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, West German organizers asked Sieber, then a 39-year-old police psychologist, to "tabletop" the event, as security experts call the exercise of sketching out worst-case scenarios. Sieber looks a bit like the writer Tom Clancy, and the crises he limned drew from every element of the airport novelist's genre: kidnappers and hostages, superpower patrons and smuggled arms, hijacked jets and remote-controlled bombs. Studying the most ruthless groups of that era, from the Irish Republican Army and the Palestine Liberation Organization to the Basque separatist group ETA and West Germany's own Baader-Meinhof Gang, he came up with 26 cases, each imagined in apocalyptic detail. Most of Sieber's scenarios focused on the Olympic Village, the Games' symbolic global community; one that did not -- a jet hired by a Swedish right wing group crashes into an Olympic Stadium filled with people -- foreshadowed a September day in another city many years later.

If they were pondering the idea of terrorists using planes as missiles 30 years ago, don't you think that Dr. Rice should have had some sort of clue about this possibility whether she was briefed on it or not?
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AND YOU THOUGHT SCOTT MCCLELLAN COULD SPIN

Clearly, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan has nothing on Elecia Battle.

Battle is the Ohio woman who lied about buying a winning lottery ticket, and then lied when when she claimed she lost it when she spilled her purse. Battle pleaded no contest to filing a false police report, was found guilty, and then later withdrew her plea. Yesterday Battle again pleaded no contest to filing a false police report, was found guilty, and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and was also ordered to pay $5,596.71 in restitution for police overtime, security and other costs related to the case.

Battle's take on the matter?

I just want to say that I’m not a loser, I’m a winner. I have not been defeated. I’m victorious. I still turned out as a winner.

After that rather loose interpretation of events, Battle went on Inside Edition, and explained away her lying about the lottery ticket:

It was an honest mistake.

Do you get the feeling that Elecia Battle wouldn't know the truth if it walked in, stole her VCR and slapped her in the face with a dead raccoon?
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IT BOGGLES THE MIND

This AP story in the LA Times really should be surprising, but considering it's Justice Scalia, it's kind of expected:

Two reporters were ordered Wednesday to erase their tape recordings of a speech by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia at a Mississippi high school.

Scalia has long barred television cameras from his speeches, but does not always forbid newspaper photographers and tape recorders. On Wednesday, he did not warn the audience at the high school that recording devices would be forbidden.

During the speech, a woman identifying herself as a deputy federal marshal demanded that a reporter for Associated Press erase a tape recording of the justice's comments. She said the justice had asked that his appearance not be recorded.

The reporter initially resisted, but later showed the deputy how to erase the digital recording after the officer took the device from her hands. The exchange occurred in the front row of the auditorium while Scalia delivered his speech about the Constitution.

The deputy, who identified herself as Melanie Rube, also made a reporter for the Hattiesburg American erase her tape.


Justice Scalia is quoted as saying 'The Constitution of the United States is extraordinary and amazing. People just don't revere it like they used to.'

Perhaps that quote might be more meaningful if Justice Scalia revered the First Amendment a little bit more.
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PAYBACK?

In July of 2000, Ted Cohen of the Portland Press Herald, scooped the nation by finding President Bush's DUI arrest records. Executive editor Jeannine Guttman spiked the story, claiming it was too old and irrelevant in light of President Bush's teetotaling since 1986.

Since then, according to Cohen, 'the working atmosphere has just been strained beyond words', and now he's been fired.
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THE TOP TEN MOST UNUSUAL SALES TAX LAWS FOR 2004

Taxware announced the Top Ten Most Unusual Sales Tax Laws For 2004:

1) In Ohio, a gift basket of fruit or candy is not subject to sales tax, as the "true object sought is the food items contained within," not the basket. However, a lead crystal candy dish, which is considered a decorative container, full of candy would be fully taxable.

2) In Connecticut, the sale of a pumpkin in its "natural grown state" is exempt from sales tax because it is considered a food product. However, if the pumpkin is sold after being painted, its "primary purpose" becomes decoration and is subject to sales tax.

3) In Washington, crushed, shaved or cubed ice is not taxable, but blocks of ice are.

4) Up until 2003 in Texas, donuts and other individual sized bakery items sold in quantities of 5 or less were taxable -- they are now exempt.

5) Antacids are exempt in Connecticut, but are taxable once one crosses the border into Massachusetts.

6) In Minnesota, cough drops are taxable as "candy."

7) In California, fresh fruit is exempt, but an apple purchased through a vending machine is taxable on 33 percent of the price.

8) In Minnesota, massage therapy provided by licensed masseuse is subject to the state sales tax unless the massage is for the treatment of an "illness, injury or disease," in which case it is tax exempt.

9) In Texas, "intravenous systems, supplies and replacement parts" are tax-exempt when used in the treatment of humans, but taxable when used in the treatment of animals.

10) In Wisconsin, cloth diapers are exempt, but disposable baby diapers are taxable.
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WOMEN OF THE APPRENTICE

FHM's May issue features four of the women contestants from Trump's reality show:


The Donald: These women were hired
because of their great intelligence
.
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ALL BY HIS OWNSOME?

President Bush will show that he doesn't need Vice President Dick Cheney nearby all the time as today he will sit down for an interview with Ladies' Home Journal. No word yet on whether the President will face the tough questions contained in the How Adventurous Are You? quiz.
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WELL DONE, KATIE!

NBC opened it's coverage of Condoleezza Rice's testimony with Matt Lauer, who immediately threw it to Katie Couric who is live in Washington, who promptly handed things over to Tom Brokaw.
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WHAT EXACTLY ARE CROSSWALKS FOR ANYWAY?

In an effort to cut down on pedestrian fatalities in the San Fernando Valley, a police officer dressed as the Easter Bunny is jaywalking across busy streets, and cars that don't stop are being ticketed with fines ranging from $130 to $340.

Apparently pedestrian fatalities are on the rise, with 34 pedestrians killed on Valley streets in 2003, compared with 20 in 2002. So far, 5 pedestrians have been killed compared to 3 during the same period in 2003.

This may all be true, but it sure seems like every pedestrian fatality I hear about involves somebody who is jaywalking.

And I think the statistic that is really driving this crackdown is that in 2002 128,261 traffic tickets were written and only 122,844 tickets were issued in 2003.
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Wednesday, April 07, 2004
 
IT’S JUST SO RIDICULOUS

Back in February I mentioned that one of the most bizarre and preposterous pranks making the rounds was somebody calling a fast food place pretending to be a police officer, and getting the manager to strip search an employee.

Imagine being called away from the register or grill, and ordered to strip to prove you haven’t stolen anything. It’s laughable, right?

Well, now it’s happened again, only this time the person being strip searched was a customer:

Authorities say a 39-year-old Taco Bell manager forced a 17-year-old female customer to strip and endure a body search after a caller posing as a police officer gave him instructions to do so at the Fountain Hills restaurant this week.

The girl was taken to a back room in the restaurant and told to disrobe, said Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Once naked, she was asked to do jumping jacks and was then subjected to a body search, Arpaio said.


Of course, it's a bad thing that these people go through, but come on! Didn't ANYBODY ever tell them that they don't have to take their clothes off simply because a Taco Bell manager told them to?
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BUT HOW MUCH TO TAKE IT OFF?

We now what is would cost to get alleged entertainer and part-time Mensa member Jessica Simpson to slip into something a little more comfortable.

$140,000.

That's what Simpson was to be paid for wearing a Motorock T-shirt in the video for the song 'With You'. Unfortunately, Simpson hasn't been paid for having the logo emblazoned across her chest, and is suing. Naturally, The Smoking Gun has the papers.
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THE MAGIC NUMBER IS 161

The usually level-headed Uncle Hornhead and I have wagered a moderately priced gift from Amazon.com on who's favorite baseball team will finish with a better regular season record. With my Anaheim Angels at 1-0, and The Horndog's Philadelphia Phillies at 0-1, the magic number for victory sits at 161. Any combination of 161 wins by the Halos and losses by the Phillies, and the first season of The West Wing on DVD's is heading my way.

Just so others don't feel left out, allow me to extend the very same wager to any and all fans of the Montreal Expos, Detroit Tigers, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers, Texas Rangers, and Baltimore Orioles.
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PLEASE TIP YOUR WAITRESSES

JAY LENO

Not only will Condoleeza Rice testify before the 9-11 commission, but President Bush has also agreed to meet with the entire commission, but he said he will have Dick Cheney there with him. Why does President Bush have to have Cheney with him? What, does he have like a learner's permit to be president? He has to have an adult with him?

Vice President Dick Cheney threw out the first pitch at the Cincinnati Reds opening game. And President Bush, he threw out the first pitch at the Cardinals opener. Well it's nice to see they have the time for that kind of stuff now that everything is under control in Iraq.

President Bush got a little upset with a reporter for calling him 'sir' instead of 'Mr. President.' Man, how upset is he going to be after the election when they start calling him George again?

Today is the official opening day of Major League Baseball. You see Vice President Dick Cheney throwing out the first pitch in Cincinnati? ... At first I thought it was the new Levitra commercial.

Some good news from Washington: National security adviser Condoleeza Rice is recovering from a sore back. She twisted it this weekend trying to duck the 9-11 commission. Actually she's going to testify publicly before the 9-11 commission. Apparently she ran out of TV shows to go on.

The Bush administration announced they're looking at some "short-term" solutions to high gasoline prices. They say they're looking for something that would solve the problem through maybe the first week in November.

CONAN O'BRIEN

John Kerry made a speech announcing a plan to control gas prices. After hearing this, President Bush said, 'That's crazy. Only Dick Cheney can control gas prices.'

CRAIG KILBORN

The crack of the bat, the smell of freshly cut steroids ... that can only mean one thing: Opening Day for Major League Baseball. Vice President Cheney threw out the first pitch in Cincinnati, and after seeing his 30 mile an hour fast ball, was offered a contract with the Detroit Tigers.

DAVID LETTERMAN

President Bush says he is looking forward to the testimony from Condoleezza Rice before Congress. Well it makes perfect sense you know, he wants to know what was going on too.

President Bush raised $1.5 million in Washington, D.C. $1.5 million! It's all a part of his program, 'No Cash Left Behind.'

Top Ten Questions You're Afraid To Ask Condoleezza Rice

10. "Did Bush ever hurt himself trying to pronounce your name?"

9. "At cabinet meetings, who besides you and Cheney wear lipstick?"

8. "Do you know Leeza Gibbons?"

7. "Do you own a condo?"

6. "Did you ever try the 'Condoleezza Rice' at Chi-Chi's?"

5. "As a souvenir, did you keep any of Saddam's beard lice?"

4. "Hey, where'd you get that cool Halliburton sweatshirt?"

3. "Who told CNN that Letterman faked the footage of the bored kid next to Bush?"

2. "About those Iraqi weapons of mass destruction -- did you check Baghdad Mini-Storage?"

1. "What kind of job will you and Bush be looking for in January 2005?"
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Tuesday, April 06, 2004
 
FOR 2 GRAND, I'D EXPECT A LITTLE BETTER

Jim Morrill, of the Charlotte Observer, observed what was provided at a $2,000 a plate dinner which raised $1.5 million dollars for President Bush:

Seered beef tenderloins with golden tomatoes on an herb-encrusted baguette. Grilled garlic chicken with smoked gouda on a honey wheat wrap. Fruits and gourmet olives and crudite.

What wasn't provided:

Something to eat it with...No silver. No plastic.

The reason:

So the tinkle of silver wouldn't disrupt the president's speech.
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Monday, April 05, 2004
 
THE MOST EXPENSIVE BEER IN BASEBALL

The honor goes to the Los Angeles Dodgers who sell a large beer for $7.
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'SCREW THEM'

That said, I feel nothing over the death of merceneries. They aren't in Iraq because of orders, or because they are there trying to help the people make Iraq a better place. They are there to wage war for profit. Screw them.
Markos Moulitsas Zúniga, The Daily Kos, April 1, 2004 (No link as the original post has been deleted)

I'm a big fan of free speech, and I'm not a fan of attempting to harm someone's livelihood simply because they have said something that I find objectionable. I didn't like it when it happened to the Dixie Chicks, I didn't like it when it happened to Rush Limbaugh, and I don't like it now that it's happening to The Daily Kos.

Basically, I think everybody has the right to say what they want, and if they make an ass of themselves in the process, so be it.

Sadly, as is often the case, when one side is outraged about something, whether the outrage is manufactured or genuine, the other side has to become outraged over the outrage, and before long hypocrisy sets in. In The Daily Kos imbroglio, it's happening again, and in the process, some on the Left are downplaying how truly offensive Zúniga's remarks were.

Look at how some Lefty bloggers are treating the situation:

Sisyphus Shrugged summed things up this way:

The short story is: Kos said that he didn't mourn the deaths of mercenaries, and a storm blew up.

Well, that's an awfully generous way of looking at what Zúniga said. Further, Sisyphus Shrugged posts one of the responses from Zúniga, and says:

Needless to say, this and subsequent apologies were not taken by the keyboard warriors who are so incensed by Kos' comments.

Maybe one of the reasons the 'keyboard warriors' didn't accept this and subsequent apologies is because Zúniga DIDN'T apologize. Zúniga does admit that he was lying and wrong when he made the comments, but only after explaining in detail why he made the comments. Frankly, the lengthy rationalization undercuts the idea that he honestly thinks he was wrong or lying. His second response to the firestorm, bragging that he had taken 'their best shot' simply reinforces the idea that his sorrow might be as manufactured as the outrage by some on the Right.

Max Sawicky, while NEVER posting Zúniga's comments, says that he 'disagrees' with Zúniga, and then attacks Instapundit as ‘the leading purveyor of modern McCarthyism on the Internet’. This seems a might different than when Rush Limbaugh said something Max disagreed with. When Limbaugh made what many people considered racist statements on ESPN, Max wroteLimbaugh's attempt to inject right-wing hate speech into mainstream sports commentary blows up,’ and ‘Limbaugh is too stupid for ESPN.’ One would think, if only for symmetry, Max would treat both situations similarly, and one would be mistaken.

The Yellow Doggerel Democrat was more appalled that Senator Kerry's blog delinked The Daily Kos than he was with '...Kos's untoward remarks...'

Jerome Armstrong over at MyDD felt that Zúniga merely made ‘…one offhand comment…

Lambert, at Corrente wroteKos said something inflammatory…’, and then despite Zúniga saying he was lying and wrong added ‘Incidentally, analytically, Kos was right….

Mad Kane addressed the issue by writing a song, 'to be sung to "Mr. Ed"', and boiled down Zúniga's comments to 'Until the Kos made a Famous blog misstep.'

Atrios, however, might have beaten everybody. Atrios NEVER mentioned Zúniga's comments, but after the campaign against The Daily Kos came up, Atrios linked to The Daily Kos twice on unrelated matters, and then made a somewhat bizarre change in his advertising policy. Considering Atrios didn't think enough of Zúniga's comments to mention them even once, one wonders how he handled the Rush Limbaugh situation. Atrios posted about Rush Limbaugh's comments on ESPN seven (7) different times.

By the way, in case you are wondering why Zúniga's comments were so offensive, you have to take a look at whom Zúniga was saying 'Screw them' about.

Jerko Zovko, a 32-year-old former member of the Special Forces in the 82nd Airborne Division, who spoke five languages fluently -- English, Croatian, Spanish, Russian and Arabic. His mother, Donna Zovko, learned of her son's death when the president of Blackwater USA, the private security consultant her son was working for, knocked on their door, and told them her son had died.

Wesley J. Batalona, a 48-year-old former Army Ranger who joined the Army in 1974 and was one of 10 children. He left behind his wife June, who was his high school sweetheart.

Michael Teague, 38, who was a 12-year veteran of the Army and had done tours of duty in Afghanistan, Panama and Granada. Teague was a former soldier with the Army's elite Night Stalkers, won a Bronze Star for service in Afghanistan, and leaves behind his wife Rhonda and 16-year-old son Brandon.

Scott Helvenston, 38, who joined the Navy at 17 and was the youngest person ever to complete training for the Navy SEAL commandos. Helvenston leaves behind 15-year-old son Kyle, and 13-year-old daughter Kelsey.

Hey, I don't know Zúniga, but from everything I've read about him, he seems like a good guy. However, the fact that some on the Right are trying to make political hay is no reason to ignore or attempt to minimize how absolutely repugnant and detestable his comments were. I don't like that Zúniga has lost some advertisers, and is being vilified on some conservative blogs, but to rail against the forces conspiring against him without recognizing that Zúniga has some culpability in the matter is completely hypocritical.

I only wish some others on the Left could see that.
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Sunday, April 04, 2004
 
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

The Political Animal (ugh!) posts an e-mail from Washington Monthly editor Paul Glastris laying out the game plan for Senator John Kerry to name Senator John McCain as his running mate, and while this might make for a great parlor game, it ain't gonna happen.

One of the main reasons Senator McCain is well respected by folks of all political stripes is his reputation as a straight talker. I strongly disagree with some things Senator McCain says, but I always believe that HE BELIEVES what he is saying. His reputation for honesty and speaking his mind is what makes him an attractive candidate for the Vice Presidency.

So, how can I be so sure that Senator McCain, in spite of the problems he has with his own party, will not be Senator Kerry's running mate? He told me so:

I will not be a candidate for vice president in 2004.

Now, I can hear you saying, 'Yeah, well, that's just what people say when they are asked about the VP job, but he can still come around.'

Actually, that's what the garden-variety politicians say about the VP job, and Senator McCain is not a garden-variety politician. The reason some people are excited about the possibility of Senator McCain being on the Democratic ticket is his unassailable honesty, and that honesty is exactly what will keep him from being Senator Kerry's running mate.
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SHE STRIKES AGAIN!

Friday, Uncle Hornhead steered me to an editorial, written by one Kaye Grogan, which was so poorly written and bereft of reasonable thought, I was certain the writer was not quite right in the head.

Since then, Grogan e-mailed The Horndog to defend her work, and here is one hilarious passage:

As for Al Gore winning the popular vote in 2000. . . this could be debated alone for years. When you take away the reported dead people, pets, and illegal voters who probably voted, this number would and could drop dramatically.

You really can't make this stuff up.
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THIS IS WHAT I'VE BEEN TELLING YOU

If you won't take my word for it, maybe you'll believe Tim Goodman of the San Francisco Chronicle:

If the television gods have anything to do with it, "Arrested Development" will be the new "Seinfeld."

Now, that's not a title to blithely toss around. But rarely has there been a comedy so fully developed, so presently overlooked, as to be exactly the kind of gem where, in two years and a billion magazine covers and countless paeans to its inherent brilliance, we'll all look back in amazement at the series' first tragically ignored season and think, wow, how did we miss that?

Although there are differences -- "Seinfeld" had a few sputtering starts before catching fire and becoming the best and funniest American sitcom of the modern era (modern being when formula was scorned and irony became king) -- the similarity is that if Fox exercises patience, people will come around to "Arrested Development" as they did "Seinfeld."

And, in turn, "Arrested Development" will deliver the genius.

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BAD NEWS IN THE BADGER STATE

In what might be the scariest news from this Milwaukee Journal Sentinel poll, 8% of Wisconsin Democrats are supporting President Bush. Considering former Vice President Al Gore won Wisconsin in 2000 by just over 5,700 votes, Senator Kerry can't afford to lose that many Democrats.


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