Berry's World
Saturday, May 01, 2004

OK, it doesn't rank up there with the Olympics in Lake Placid, but the United States rallied from a 2-1 deficit to beat Russia 3-2 in its qualifying-round opener at the World Championships on Saturday.

Niel M. Johnson tells this story concerning President Harry Truman and his mother:

Truman introduced his mother once to George Allen and told her that Allen had never even seen a Republican until he was twenty-one, or thereabouts, and she is reported to have said, "Well, he didn't miss much."

Today NBC will air The Kentucky Derby, also known as 'the most exciting two minutes in sports', but will be surrounding it with what I can only imagine will be the most boring 88 minutes in sports.
Friday, April 30, 2004

Bill Maher said some things on Hardball that sums up exactly what I've been thinking:

---The true axis of evil in America is the brilliance of our marketing combined with the stupidity of our people. George Bush has $180 million to spend. With that kind of money, he could convince Americans to drink paint, and he probably will.

---John Kerry‘s campaign slogan should be 'Do not resuscitate.' He’s cold. I‘m sorry. But you know what? That‘s who he is. Why do people have to like the guy? I hear people say, 'I don‘t know if I‘m comfortable with John Kerry.' You know what? You don‘t have to go to bed with him. Just vote for him. We‘re such babies about this. In the days before television, people didn‘t judge presidents on whether he was sunny, warm, or likable. They judged on whether he was the best man for the job. I would like to bring that criteria back now that we‘re at war.

Dan George must have something incriminating on the higher-ups at Sports Illustrated. How else can you explain that S.I. continues to pay him to write their Baseball Power Rankings when it's clear he really doesn't follow the game?

For example, George ranks the Los Angeles Dodgers as the third best team in all of Major League Baseball when any reasonable person will tell you the Dodgers will be lucky to finish 5th in the National League's Western Division.

Then George ranks the Detroit Tigers ahead of the Anaheim Angels, despite the Angels having a better record than the Tigers, and despite the Angels just winning two of three in Detroit.

By the way, updating the wager between Berry's World and Uncle Hornhead, the magic number is 139. Any combination of 139 wins by the Anaheim Angels and losses by the Philadelphia Phillies, means the first season of The West Wing on DVD's is coming west.

First there was the Caravan Of Love. Today there was the Caravan for Justice. Upcoming caravans include the No Justice-No Peace Caravan, the Caravan For Mercy In Sentencing, and finally the Dear God, Don't Put Him In General Population At Corcoran State Prison Caravan.


The Supreme Court case caps a busy week for (Vice President Dick) Cheney, who took time out of his busy schedule of not revealing anything to anyone ever to deliver a harsh anti-John Kerry speech at Missouri's Westminster College, the same venue Winston Churchill used for his famous 'Iron Curtain' address.

With six months to go before one of the most important elections in modern American history, the presidential campaign is finally starting to crystallize around some key issues. Foremost among them: Did John Kerry throw a medal or a ribbon over a fence in 1971? Yes, with Armageddon seemingly scheduled for some time later this decade, the panties of the press corps have bunched up over what exactly John Kerry threw at an anti-war protest on the Washington Mall 33 years ago.

The issue of Kerry's military service has spawned a number of recent news-like events which have led to Republican charges the decorated war hero has something to hide. Because if there is one thing the Bush administration will not tolerate, it is ... other people's secrecy.

GOP strategists hope the revelation of Kerry's wealth might debunk his status as a, quote, man of the people, and reveal him to be a bit of a fat cat. Unlike the President who -- as we all know -- before attending Andover and Yale, was a Cockney matchstick girl dying of tuberculosis.


President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney are scheduled to testify before the 9-11 commission. I guess right now they're finalizing the seating arrangements. Should Bush sit on Cheney's right knee or his left knee?

I guess you know that President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney answered questions today in front of the 9-11 commission. Bush said he was glad to speak with the 9-11 commission. In fact, he also said he would be glad to meet with the 7-11 people too if anybody has any questions.

President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney answered questions before the 9/11 commission ... They did not testify under oath, there was no videotape, no audiotape, not even a stenographer writing down the questions or the answers; there's no record of any kind; kind of like President Bush's National Guard service...

You know why it was so secret? Dick Cheney didn't want Colin Powell to find out. In fact, it's so secret, even Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia doesn't even know what was said.

President Bush's campaign is now attacking John Kerry for throwing away some of his medals to protest the Vietnam War. Bush did not have any medals to throw away, but in his defense he did have all his service records thrown out.

There is this rumor that the administration made a deal with the Saudis to lower gas prices before the election. President Bush was asked today if there was any quid pro quo with the Saudis. He said 'I wouldn't know, I don't speak Saudi Arabian.'


This week, President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney released their tax returns. Cheney made more money than the president. When asked about it, the president said, 'That's true, but he also made more decisions.'


President Bush and Dick Cheney appeared before the 9-11 commission. It was kind of an awkward start. A senator asked, 'How are you, Mr. President,' and they both answered, 'Fine.' ... The meeting was a private closed-door session, which means they probably spent a lot of time trading ethnic jokes.

Reportedly, the commission's first question to the president was, 'You know al-Qaida and Iraq are two different things, right?’

Members of panel got annoyed because whenever they asked Cheney a tough question, he grabbed his chest and shouted, 'Elizabeth, it's the 'Big One!’


There's controversy about John Kerry throwing away his military medals and ribbons. Well, not to be outdone, President Bush threw out his Alabama National Guard 'Spotty Attendance' ribbon.

President George Bush and his little buddy Dick Cheney ... testified together before the 9/11 commission for about three hours and 10 minutes. Here's the condition of the testimony: No transcript, no records whatsoever, no evidence that it ever happened; it's just like President Bush and the National Guard.

Top Ten Ways Saddam Hussein Celebrated His 67th Birthday

10. Entertained by stripper dressed as U.N. inspector

9. Visits from wives 1, 3 and 12 and Sean Penn

8. Arranged fleas on his chest to form number "67"

7. Thanked Allah he wasn't drafted by the San Diego Chargers

6. Wondered why Uday and Qusay haven't called

5. Spent a little time in the "spider-hole," if you know what I mean

4. Folded old death warrants into festive birthday hats

3. Cellmate popped out of giant falafel

2. Realized he's one year closer to going to hell

1. Pretty much just sat there
Thursday, April 29, 2004

54-year-old Jack Martin was evicted from his mother's apartment because, as the 'no tespass notice' said, 'odors emanating from your person have infiltrated to other apartments and the hallway in the building.'

Uncle Hornhead points out the bizarre and inexplicable mix of the fine arts and NASCAR.

Sinclair Broadcast Group announced it will preempt Friday's Nightline because they 'find it to be contrary to the public interest.'

A quick check of Opensecrets shows that the public's interest coincides with the interest of several execs at SBG. Here's how some of the bigwigs have spent their money:

President and Chief Executive Officer

---$2,000 to George W. Bush on 12-8-03.

Vice President

---$25,000 to the Republican National Committee on 10-1-03.
---$25,000 to the Republican National Committee on 2-17-04.
---$2,000 to George W. Bush on 12-8-03.

VP/Group Programming & Promotions

---$400 to the Republican National Committee on 2-14-03.
---$300 to the Republican National Committee on 12-17-03.
---$250 to George W. Bush on 2-4-04.
---$234 to the Republican National Committee on 2-19-04.

I'm sure it's just a huge coincidence.
Wednesday, April 28, 2004

From today's Press Briefing:

Q If the Vice President is complaining about the cuts to the military that John Kerry proposed over his years in the Senate and his first run for the Senate, why is the Vice President not equally as critical of the President's father, who proposed similar cuts in his final year of the presidency?

MR. McCLELLAN: John, this election is a clear choice between two different visions when it comes to strengthening our efforts to win the war on terrorism and strengthening the economy. And that's what we will continue to talk about in this election. If you've got specific questions, the campaign will be glad to address some of those matters further.

Q Also, Senator Kerry, in the last couple of days, has brought up the issue of the President's Guard record again, suggesting that the President is not standing on any kind of firm ground in criticizing Senator Kerry because of unresolved questions about his Guard duty. Your response?

MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, this question came up yesterday in the briefing, and I addressed it. I said you might want to refer that question to the campaign. It's just another political attack and, therefore, you might want to address that question to the campaign.

Q No, but he's bringing it back --

MR. McCLELLAN: If you want to talk about some of these campaign and political attacks, I think you can best address those -- it would be better to address those questions to the campaign.

Q He's bringing up an issue that was bounced around this room at length --

MR. McCLELLAN: And it's been fully addressed, and all the records have been released, and the President fulfilled his duty and was proud to serve and be honorably discharged from the National Guard.

Q You never did answer my question on whether the President ever did community service when he was in the National Guard. I wonder --

MR. McCLELLAN: Helen, I'm not going to engage in political -- in responding to the latest political attack by Senator Kerry --

Q It's not political, it's a very simple question.

MR. McCLELLAN: And if you want to address -- this is relating to the most recent political attack by Senator Kerry. I'm happy for you to address that question to the campaign.

Q Can you answer that question, yes or no?

MR. McCLELLAN: The campaign responded to this yesterday. They addressed it.

Q Why don't you answer it?

MR. McCLELLAN: It's been addressed. I addressed it previously.

Q What did you say?

MR. McCLELLAN: And if you want to keep bringing up these questions, you're welcome to. But I'm not going to dignify them.

Q What did you say?

MR. McCLELLAN: Go ahead.

Q What's undignified about community service?

MR. McCLELLAN: We've already been through this. We've already addressed all these issues. This is trying to get me to engage in the most recent political attack by Senator Kerry. I'm not going to do it from this podium.

Q That is not true.

MR. McCLELLAN: If you want to talk about those questions, you can direct those questions to the campaign.

Q Do you think it's legitimate to bring up your service in the past?

MR. McCLELLAN: We've already been through this, Helen. Thank you.

Drunken Grandfather Leaves Baby In Car During Heat Wave

Happily, the 7-month-old who had been left in the car for more than nine hours in nearly 105-degree heat was 'extremely dehydrated but OK'.
Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Is it just me, or does it seem like more people are concerned with the voting on American Idol than were concerned with the 2000 election?

Like most bloggers, rightly or wrongly, I judge the success of a post by the traffic it generates. Occasionally, when I think I have something that is pretty interesting or something that nobody else has caught onto just yet, I’ll e-mail the link to the big-time bloggers, like Glenn Reynolds, Kevin Drum, and Atrios, figuring that if they link to it, I’ll get more traffic. When one of the blogging big shots uses the post, they ALWAYS link to my original post, as I was the one who pointed it out.

One thing I didn’t count on is the pedomorphic and petty behavior from Atrios. A few weeks back, I took Atrios and several other lefty bloggers to task for not seeing a problem when The Daily Kos reacted to the news of several Americans having their corpses ripped to shreds in Iraq by saying ‘Screw them'.

Apparently, I hurt Atrios’ feelings, as he has not linked to me since. But, that’s his choice, and I have no complaint with that. I kept sending him links in the hope that he would get over it.

Sadly, counting on Atrios to act like an adult was a mistake.

Today, I found the news that Nightline would be reading the names and showing the pictures of all of the men and women from the armed forces who have been killed in combat in Iraq. I thought it was a big story, and sent a link to Atrios, among others.

I e-mailed (a copy of which is available upon request) Atrios at 2:55pm (EST), and by 3:31pm (EST) Atrios posted the very same story with the very same link I found, only without a link to Berry’s World.

It may seem small, but it’s just something that I would never do. If a smaller blog sends me a link, I credit them if I use it. My mistake was thinking that all bloggers took the same high road. Of course, up until now, I had no reason to suspect otherwise.

Friday's Nightline will be something that EVERYBODY should watch, but I'm guessing that the pro-war types will find something else to do:

Friday night, we will show you the pictures, and Ted will read the names, of the men and women from the armed forces who have been killed in combat in Iraq. That’s it. That will be the whole broadcast.

I wonder if a half hour will be enough time.

Matt Welch got this from Dr. Frank, who got it from Richard Bennett's blog, who got it from Due Diligence, who got it from danah boyd, who got it from Caterina, who got it from David Chess, who got it from Short Pier, who got it from Elkins, who got it from happy_potterer, who got it from Tabouli:

--- Grab the nearest book.
--- Open the book to page 23.
--- Find the fifth sentence.
--- Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.

OK, here goes:

Where is the governor?

From THE ACCIDENTAL PRESIDENT: How 413 Lawyers, 9 Supreme Court Justices, and 5,963,110 Floridians (Give or Take a Few) Landed George W. Bush in the White House by David A. Kaplan.

Boy, I'm glad I got that out of the way.

Kenan Thompson on playing Fat Albert the upcoming live-action "Fat Albert" movie.:

[Cosby] was like, 'Don't worry about imitating me and what I was doing on the show. Just do yourself and your take on it.' I'm imitating him some, the whole 'Hey, hey, hey,' you know, that voice, but there's times Albert's dealing with emotions he never had to deal with on the TV show, so there's a different Albert, a more human Albert.

I don't know, it'll be tough to play a more human Albert, considering Albert was a CARTOON CHARACTER!
Monday, April 26, 2004

Clearly, Scott McClellan is lying, as two people cannot mutually initiate a phone call, but what on earth for?

Q The call to King Abdullah, did the President initiate that call, or did --

MR. McCLELLAN: I think it was -- well, it was mutual. I think it was more just a brief conversation to say they look forward to seeing each other next week when he comes to Washington for the meeting.

Q Who initiated the Abdullah call?

MR. McCLELLAN: Like I said, I just told -- Dick just asked that. I think it was more mutually agreed to. The two leaders just wanted to talk briefly about how they look forward to seeing each other next week. I mean, the conversation was probably about five minutes, at most.

It's the number one story on our local news:


Little League Baseball has granted its Northern Virginia district jurisdiction over Mars, meaning any little shavers who play Little League baseball and hail from the Red Planet are now spoken for. Naturally, there are problems looming on the horizon, as it were:

Of course, the expansion to Mars raises several logistical issues for Little League, particularly with the always sticky question of age. Children must be age 12 or under to participate in Little League's core program, and Little League officials have struggled to enforce that requirement in some recent scandals at its World Series. The Martian expansion muddles the issue, because a Martian year lasts 687 earth days. So a 12-year-old in Martian years would actually be 22 in Earth years.

After taking the 'How Grammatically Sound Are You?' quiz, I have been anointed a GRAMMAR GOD!

What about you?
Sunday, April 25, 2004

Tony Quinn, writing in the LA Times, is desperate to show that California is in play in the 2004 presidential election, so he harkens back to a previous election:

That brings us to California, which could be in play in an uncertain election, though a recent Los Angeles Times poll shows Bush losing support among Californians because of Iraq. The Bush-Dukakis race is revealing here. Bush lost the heavily Democratic San Francisco Bay Area, by almost 1 million votes, but he offset this loss with a million-vote win in the Southern California suburbs. He then compensated for his defeat in Democratic Los Angeles by compiling a slightly larger margin in the Central Valley and rural California. The favorable balance of votes in these four diverse parts of California allowed Bush to eke out a small overall victory.

So, Quinn, in order to show that California may just be a battleground state, avoids the 2000 election where Vice President Gore beat Governor Bush by 1,283,638 votes, and he avoids the 1996 election where President Clinton beat Senator Bob Dole by 1,227,372 votes, and he avoids the 1992 election where Governor Clinton beat Vice President Bush by 1,490,751 votes, and glosses over the most recent poll showing Senator Kerry with a 12-point lead on President Bush.

Oh sure, Tony, the electoral votes of California might be in play come November, and I might be dating Helen Hunt next week.

Peter Wallsten, of the LA Times, has a lengthy story discussing the popularity of The Patriot Act, littered with passages like:

The Patriot Act is proving to be more popular in opinion polls than once expected, given its diverse range of critics.

But a series of new polls published last week have led strategists to conclude that the deftly named Patriot Act is a winner for Bush.

And though polls have shown that certain aspects of the Patriot Act are unpopular when they are explained to voters, responses to broader questions suggest general support for the law.

So, what polls does Wallsten use to back up his claims? One, single poll:

More than six in 10 respondents to a February Gallup/CNN/USA Today survey said the law is just about right or does not go far enough, though only about one-fourth said it goes too far.

So, Wallsten refers to numerous recent polls, and the only poll he points to is a couple of months old. Well done, Pete!

I am so sick to death of NBC milking the end of Friends like a Guernsey cow that I am going to make a point to avoid the final episodes. You can't watch an Arena Football League game without being inundated 6 times an hour by an announcer, in a hushed tone mind you, asking the teaser 'Will Ross and Rachel finally be together?'

For all I care, the Seinfeld-wannabes can all burn and die in a horrible warehouse fire. Of course, if that happened, I'd be kicking myself for missing it.

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