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Berry's World
Saturday, January 10, 2004
 
SUDDENLY, I'M CURED OF MY CASE OF PLAYOFF FEVER

As I mentioned earlier, I was all hopped up over the Rams playoff game with the Carolina Panthers, but as quick as a 69 yard touchdown pass in double-overtime, I'm ready to move on.

Naturally, my dad and brother, Panther season ticket holders, are thrilled with their beloved Cats heading to the NFC Championship Game. Thankfully, my family isn't made up of men who would call me right after the game and rub my nose in the Rams loss.

My brother had his 11-year-old daughter Meagen make the call for him, and my dad, in his typical classy manner, merely sent a telegram.
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NOW YOU'RE IN MY BAILIWICK

Oh sure, Kevin Drum over at Calpundit knows things like how the economy works, and that whole health care situation, and how to run a successful weblog. But when he entered the world of Simpson's Trivia, he walked right into my kitchen. While the Calpundit got an unremarkable 8 of 10 in the Guardian's Simpson Trivia Quiz, I'm proud to report that I came in with a perfect 10. (Hint: Number 8 was the hardest.)

So Kevin, I hope you enjoy your superior education, and higher I.Q., and far more successful weblog. But just you remember the day I took you to school on something that REALLY matters.
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SOMEBODY CALL A DOCTOR, 'CAUSE I HAVE PLAYOFF FEVER

One of my most vile and disgusting personal habits is that despite their moving from Los Angeles to St. Louis, I still live and die with the Rams. My head tells me that I'd like to smack Georgia Frontiere across the face with a disease-infected raccoon for taking my team to Mound City. However, my heart tells me that Western Civilization itself will be diminished if the Rams lose to the Carolina Panthers today.

Of course, considering that I have never been able to get within 100 yards of Georgia Frontiere, and I lent my disease-infected raccoon to my neighbor, my heart always wins out.

Sadly, considering that my dad and brother are Carolina Panther season ticket holders, this game has caused quite an uproar in my family. While I have been inundating my brother with e-mails painting quite a distressing future for the Kittens this afternoon, and my brother has calmly explained that the Cats will pound Marshall Faulk and the rest of the Rams to within an inch of their lives, my dad put everything in perspective when I called him this morning.

"You're not my son,” he told me, before quickly hanging up.

Hopefully, after the Rams dispose of Carolina today, our family can get back to embracing the Walton Family characteristics we normally hold so dear. Of course, should the Rams lose, I won't speak to my dad or brother until opening day of '05.
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Friday, January 09, 2004
 
QUIRKY MOMENTS FROM ED

On NBC's Ed, the character Shirley (played perfectly by Rachel Cronin) "Definitely marches to a different drummer". Tonight for example, Shirley tried her hand at performance art:

I want to perform a dirty limerick for you. I've edited out the dirty parts.

There once was a man from Nantuckett.
Whose bleep was so bleep bleep bleep
He said with a grin
As he Bleep Bleep Bleep Bleep
If my bleep bleep bleep bleep bleep bleep.


What more is there to say?
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IT'S NOT JUST MWO

While a lot of sites have been welcoming back Media Whores Online back from vacation, MWO is not the only great website that returned from hiatus this week.

The Hamster came back this week, and appears to be refreshed and stronger than ever. Eric Halona Hananoki not only has the coolest name in the history of weblogs, is not only the biggest Al Franken fan outside of the continental United States, but he also runs a great site. By the way, for those in the know, the cool way to refer to Eric's site is by calling it 'The Gerbil'.

Welcome back Eric. I've missed your sardonic views, and really missed Comedy Saturdays (or Mondays, or Thursdays, or...well, you get the idea).
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MORE MICKEY MADNESS

Mickey Kaus was recently shocked that President Bush was only beating Governor Dean 51-46 in a recent Time/CNN poll because, among other things, of the 'promising jobs outlook'.

For the record, the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer reported tonight that in the month of December, 1000 new jobs were added. That's 32 jobs a day. Maybe the Mickster and I have different definitions of the word 'promising'.
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GREAT PRESIDENTIAL MOMENTS IN MOVIE HISTORY

President Jackson Evans (Jeff Bridges) addresses a joint session of Congress:

Thank you. Napoleon once said, when asked to explain the lack of great statesmen in the world, that, "To get power you need to display absolute pettiness. To exercise power you need to show true greatness." Such pettiness and greatness are rarely found in one person. I look upon the events of the past weeks, and I've never come so to grips with that quotation. So, ladies and gentlemen of this Congress, it pains my soul to tell you that you have brought blood and shame under this great dome. Your leadership has raised the stakes of hate to a level where we can no longer separate the demagogue from the truly inspired. And believe this, there are traitors among us. And I'm not talking about those of you who sided against your party leadership. I'm talking about those of you who were patriots to your party, but traitors to the necessary end result: that of righteousness, the truth, the concept of making the American dream blind to gender. And you know, I am not free of blame. Right from the start I should've come down here, pointed a finger your way...pointed a finger your way...and asked you, "Have you no decency, sir?" Yesterday, I met...Mr. Runyon, you may walk out on me, you may walk out on this body, but you cannot walk out on the will of the American people. Americans are a good people, they're a just people, Mr. Runyon, and they will forgive you, but they will not forget. Hate and ego have no place residing in what my good friend Laine Hanson calls the chapel of democracy. So, let me make one thing clear. You come at us with whatever weapons you have in your arsenal, but there is no weapon as powerful as that of an idea whose time has come. A woman will serve in the highest level of the executive. Simple as that. Yesterday, I spoke with Laine Hanson. I told her that she could decide her own destiny. If she wanted to continue her fight for confirmation, that I would stand beside her. She has asked me to allow her to step aside. She told me she wanted my administration to end on a note of triumph and not controversy. Understand, those of you who worked to bring Laine Hanson down, that she asked to have her name withdrawn from consideration not because she isn't great, but because she isn't petty. Because those two conflicting leadership traits could not live as one within her body or her soul. Greatness, it comes in many forms. Sometimes it comes in the form of sacrifice. That's the loneliest form. Now, it turns out that Laine Hanson is a woman, an American of devout principal, and she has inspired me to act alike, and I cannot accept Senator Hanson's withdrawal. And I'm now calling for an immediate vote of confirmation of Laine Hanson. And Mr. Speaker, I would like to make this a live roll call. I want to see the faces of those of you who would eliminate the possibility of greatness in American leadership because of half-truths, lies and innuendoes. I will not be deterred by partisanship. I will not be deterred by misogyny. I will not be deterred by hate. You have now come face to face with my will. Confirm my nominee, heal this nation, and let the American people explode into the new millennium with the exhilaration of being true to the glory of this democracy. Thank you.

The Contender
Written by Rod Lurie

Bonus Bridges: Wisdom from Jeff Bridges that was not written by Rod Lurie.
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THE BEST LAID PLANS

During the last Democratic debate we got this nugget from Representative Dick Gephardt:

GEPHARDT: Well, let me just respond to something Howard just said. He kind of runs against all of us in Washington and says that we haven't done anything. I guess I've got a question for him. Is he saying that Tom Harkin has never done anything good, or Ted Kennedy, or Bill Clinton?

It seems that his transparent appeal for Senator Harkin's endorsement was a 'miserable failure', as Governor Dean picked up the key endorsement today.

First the big two unions and now Senator Harkin. How many times can Representative Gephardt get sand kicked in his face before it cripples his campaign?

I tend to think the answer is two.
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OH, SO MUCH SAFER

Four days ago, Mickey Kaus was still mocking Governor Dean for '...Dean's ridiculous Saddam's-capture-doesn't-make-us-safer statement...', and since then 10 more Americans have died in Iraq.

Mickey, it's OK to admit you were wrong every once in a while.
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THE LONG AWAITED BERRY’S WORLD ENDORSEMENT

First of all, I realize that nobody gives a fat rat’s ass who I endorse for President, but considering that I have spent months picking nits with every move the candidates for the Democratic nomination for president have made, I ought to at least let you know where I stand.

Secondly, the candidate I endorse is NOT the only Democratic nominee I could wholeheartedly support. In fact, there are several other candidates for whom I could cast my ballot with a completely clear conscience.

Thirdly, I have not (yet) received any financial compensation for my endorsement, although I certainly remain open to that sort of reciprocation.

The main reason I am endorsing this candidate is simply because he (Sorry Ambassador Moseley Braun) makes sense every time I hear him speak. His background unquestionably makes him presidential timber. And frankly, I honestly believe that he personifies the mental picture Karl Rove tries to convey when he spins all that is (and is not) President Bush.

For these reasons, and many, many more, I proudly endorse, and will vote for General Wesley Clark in the California primary, and hopefully in the general (non pun intended) election.
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Thursday, January 08, 2004
 
ANOTHER DAY ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL

TUESDAY, JANUARY 6TH, 2004

9:30AMGovernor Howard Dean, speaking of his wife Judith, says "I do not intend to drag her around because I think I need her as a prop on the campaign trail."

9:45AMSenator Lieberman’s campaign releases a statement claiming “Governor Dean owes it to the voters to bring his wife on the campaign trail. If he’s embarrassed by his wife, Democratic primary voters have a right to know it.

10:00AMSenator Kerry’s campaign releases a statement saying, “Governor Dean is, once again, saying one thing and doing another. In June the Governor told voters in Muscatine, Iowa that he would “drag my wife around as a prop” on the campaign trail. Now, Governor Dean, as is often the case, has gone back on his word.

10:35AMSenator Lieberman’s campaign releases another statement stating that they had it on ‘very good authority’ that Governor Dean is not, in fact, married. “No wonder he’s so supportive of gay marriages.Senator Lieberman’s campaign manager Craig Smith commented.

11:15AMSenator Edwards’ campaign releases a statement saying, “Governor Dean should come clean about his latent homosexuality.

12:00 NOONMatt Drudge reports that Governor Dean has been hiding his homosexuality for years, and promises to produce pictures of Governor Dean playing the lead in the Vermont Creative Dance Group’s performance of Little Women.

1:30PMReverend Al Sharpton is unavailable to comment on the ‘Dean’s A Homosexual’ meme, as he is mistakenly rehearsing his lines for the rerun of Saturday Night Live.

2:45PMThe New Republic cites Governor Dean’s flagrant homosexuality as the main reason they endorsed Senator Joe Lieberman. “This country hasn’t elected an openly gay president since Woodrow Wilson, and that streak won’t be broken in 2004.” write the editors.

3:00PMGeneral Wesley Clark is asked about the rumor of Governor Dean being gay. General Clark punches the reporter in the neck and walks off.

3:15PMRepresentative Dennis Kucinich is told for the first time about Governor Dean reportedly being gay. Representative Kucinich gets a big smile on his face and says “Oh really?

4:00PMAmbassador Carol Moseley Braun gives a speech claiming that because Governor Dean is gay, she should be allowed on the ballots in Virginia and New York. Virginia and New York refuse to budge.

5:00PM—In an effort to show that he is the true heterosexual candidate, Senator Kerry makes love to his wife in the middle of one of his trademark chili-feeds in Nashua, New Hampshire.

6:30PMSenator Lieberman announces that he is the only candidate "man enough to beat off George Bush in November." Senator Lieberman doesn’t understand why some reporters are giggling.

7:00PMSenator Edwards stumbles several times while giving a fundraising speech: “I intend to stay above the gay, I mean fray. Unlike Governor Dean, I won’t go down, I mean be dragged down into the gutter. Remember, I am the candidate who was endorsed by Barney Fag, I mean Frank.

8:30PMSenator Lieberman quips that it’s no wonder why Governor Dean’s campaign bus is 'so well decorated.'

WEDNESDAY JANUARY 7TH, 2004

8:00AM
Zogby releases latest poll showing Governor Dean has gained 3 points on the field.
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I DON'T KNOW EXACTLY HOW TO DESCRIBE IT

I've been trying to write my weekly review of last night's episode of The West Wing, but much like The Stormy Present, every time I got started, I fell asleep.

Frankly, I lack the vocabulary to describe how bad the show really was.

Dreadful? Abominable? Awful? Beastly? Shameful? Shuddersome?

Sure, those are all good, but they don't seem to exactly capture how completely tedious the 100th episode of The West Wing turned out to be. By the way, for those of you scoring at home, this is the 4th time this season I've come away paraphrasing the Comic Book Guy with 'Worst West Wing ever!'
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SOME CHICKS JUST WON'T FORGET ANYTHING

You would think that a purely physical affair that ended badly would be forgotten after 5 or 6 years, but that's not the case with Madonna. Since our publicized break-up in 1995, I haven't spoken to the Material Girl, but it's quite clear she hasn't forgiven me.

If all had been forgiven, she obviously would have sent me the same form e-mail that she zipped off to Hesiod at Counterspin Central, as well as almost every other person on General Clark's mailing list.

The lesson to be learned? Never get involved with show-folk. They carry a serious grudge.
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A BLAST FROM THE PAST

Another thing I still remember from that horrible day in November of '72 was that some dingbat named Clinton was said to be almost single-handedly responsible for losing 222 counties in Texas---including Waco, where he was McGovern's regional coordinator---and was "was terminated without pay, with prejudice," and sent back to Arkansas "with his tail between his legs," as an aide put it.

"We'll never see that stupid bastard again," one McGovern aide muttered. "Clinton---Bill Clinton. Yeah. Let's remember that name. He'll never work again, not in Washington."

---Hunter S. Thompson
Better Than Sex
Confessions Of A Political Junkie

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Wednesday, January 07, 2004
 
SAMEN STRIKES AGAIN!!

The bride everybody loves to hate, Adrienne Samen, has hit the headlines again. Samen was charged by the Yale University Police for breach of peace and interfering with a police officer in an incident that may have had the precocious Samen 'mooning' the cops.

I'm going to pass along this information without comment, as the last time I pontificated on the life and times of 'Bridezilla', a reader used the comments to level scurrilous and UNPROVEN charges against my good character.
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MY DAD REVIEWS BERRY'S WORLD

My dad is not exactly internet savvy, so to read Berry's World he has my brother print it out and bring it to him. So after reading the post concerning the Rush Limbaugh Conspiracy, tonight he offered this heart-felt review:

DAD: You know I read that thing about Rush Limbaugh.

ME: Yeah? What'd you think?

DAD: I think you made it up. It wasn't true, was it?

ME: Well, no.

DAD: It would have been funnier if you used real people.

ME: What do you mean?

DAD: Like this Chomsky guy, and that Alterman fellow. You should have used real people instead of just making up names.

ME: Um, they are real, dad.

DAD: Oh.

Seriously, how can you not love my dad?
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WAS THAT A GUARANTEE?

The Los Angeles Lakers have lost 7 out of their last ten games, 5 in a row on the road, have Gary Payton openly complaining ( "I didn't sign up for this … ," he said coldly. "This is bull … ."), and are playing in Colorado for the first time since, well, you know.

Seems like a strange time for Kobe Bryant to guarantee a victory, doesn't it?

Well, despite what the Lakers' pre-game hosts Derrin Horton and James Worthy are saying, Kobe did NOT guarantee a win over Denver tonight. Although, he did come close:

"I'm going to go in there tomorrow night ready to win the game. It's a must-win for us. We've gotta get this thing done."

Not quite the (sober) Joe Namath prediction of winning the '69 Super Bowl, but it's the kind of quote that will get a lot of ink should the Lakers lose (again!).

UPDATE: Final Score: Denver 113 Los Angeles 91
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MAYBE I'M GLAD I MISSED IT

I tried to check in on the chat with General Wesley Clark, but my lack of familiarity with IRC prevented me from doing so. Reading the transcript, I have to wonder, if General Clark is elected president, how Kevin Kraynick is going to explain to his kids that when he had a chance to question the future leader of the free world he came up with this clunker:

- Kevin K. asks, "What's your favorite salad dressing?"
- I like balsamiac vinegarette...and creamy parmesan.

No, son, it was a vital national issue. You had to live through the times.
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WHEN PETER GAMMONS TALKS, PEOPLE LISTEN

While my puny, little opinion that Pete Rose does not belong in baseball's Hall of Fame understandably holds little sway, Peter Gammons' similar opinion certainly should influence people. It's going to be tough for Rose to overcome this observation from baseball's voice of reason:

Rose is perhaps the lowest figure in baseball in my 32 years of covering the sport.

It seems like the chances of Pete Rose entering the Hall of Fame as anything more than a paying customer are diminishing pretty quickly.
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Tuesday, January 06, 2004
 
HOW DID IT PLAY IN PEORIA?

How did Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's State of the State address go over with the common man? Well, KCAL 9 reports that it was a smash hit. 5 stars, and two thumbs up reported KCAL 9, according to voters selected at random.

Just how random were those voters?

Well, not random at all. The voters asked about the speech were guests at the Santa Monica restaurant Schatzi, which just happens to have been started by Schwarzenegger. With Schwarzenegger's pictures up on the walls, and the speech still ongoing in the background, 'random voters' couldn't say enough about the amazing speech.

Apparently KCAL's original idea, to interview employees from the California Republican Party Headquarters, was deemed 'too one-sided'.
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YOU HAVE TWO WEEKS TO LIVE, AND COULD YOU SIGN THIS?

If the allegations in this lawsuit are true, Dr. Gilbert Lederman has reserved some really good seats in hell with his treatment of George Harrison.
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THE NERVE OF THAT GUY

After pulling for the Carolina Panthers to beat the Dallas Cowboys this past weekend, I was pleasantly surprised to recieve an e-mail from Panthers head coach John Fox. In retrospect, I am beginning to doubt that the e-mail in question actually came from the Panthers head coach.

Subject: Panthers
Date: Mon, 5 Jan 2004 09:25:41 -0500
To: chinmusic41@yahoo.com

The Cats are coming and we will expose the Rams and that fraud of a coach. Bulger will throw 2 picks in the 1st half and the only hope you have is that Warner will be able to bring them back......

John Fox



Date: Mon, 5 Jan 2004 21:34:52 -0800 (PST)
From: "Keith Berry"
Subject: Re: Panthers

John,

As nice as I was to your Panthers, openly rooting for them to beat the Cowboys and all, I'm shocked that you would take that tone with me. Besides, deep down, in that place you don't want to admit exists, even you know that the Rams are going to treat you like Bobby Brown treats Whitney Houston after a crystal meth bender.

Keith

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UH OH

California's Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger just finished his State of the State speech, and it might not be inspiring a whole lot of faith in his stewardship. In asserting that his background is as a salesman, Governor Schwarzenegger said that if he could sell tickets to Red Sonja and Last Action Hero, he certainly could sell California.

For the record, despite the Governor's best efforts, Red Sonja did an un-boffo $6.9 million in U.S. gross. To be fair, Last Action Hero did a respectable U.S. gross of $50,016,394, but considering that it cost $85 million to produce, Californians might be forgiven for being jittery when Governor Schwarzenegger promises to do for California what he did for Red Sonja and Last Action Hero.
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TO QUOTE TODD SNIDER...

I think I'm an alright guy. But somebody better explain that to Google, because when searching for 'examples of immoral behavior', Berry's World is the 5th site listed.
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Monday, January 05, 2004
 
JUST AN OBSERVATION

Jack, the big headed CEO of Jack In The Box, has a smokin' hot wife.
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BERRY'S WORLD SALUTES AN OLD FAVORITE

Conchata Ferrell made a guest starring appearance on the nearly-unwatchable Two And A Half Men tonight. Ferrell is a character actress who at one point had a recurring role on LA Law, but she also starred in what I think may be the most underrated TV series of all time.

Does anybody else remember watching Hot L Baltimore?
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WENDY'S STILL SELLS CHILI?

Being a former Wendy's employee (I worked at the campus Wendy's while in college) I was surprised to see that Wendy's still sells chili. Maybe they have sold it all along, and I have just missed it, but I know I, and again I'm speaking as a former Wendy's employee, would never eat Wendy's chili.

I don't think that I would be violating any confidentiality agreements by explaining how Wendy's chili is made. Wendy's prides itself on having patties on the grill at all times, so a customer will get a freshly cooked burger whenever it's ordered. However, that means that occasionally, some burgers get burned and cannot be sold. The burnt burgers get thrown away, right?

Not by a long shot.

The burnt meat is saved, and later boiled in an effort to remove the charred surface. Once the charred parts of the meat have been boiled away, that meat is used to make Wendy's chili.

Just food for thought.
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WILL PETE ROSE BE ALLOWED IN THE HALL OF FAME?

Pete Rose, in what amounts to a condemned prisoner making a deathbed confession, admits to betting on baseball in his new (and ridiculously titled) book, My Prison Without Bars.

Well, despite the fact that Rose did bet on baseball, despite the fact that Rose agreed to a lifetime ban, despite the fact that Rose violated the one, single rule posted in every Major League clubhouse, despite the fact that Rose has spent 14 years lying to anybody and everybody who asked about it, and despite the fact that Rose's admission is clearly a transparent attempt to get back in the game that he has spent the last decade and a half disparaging, the answer is, yes, Pete Rose will be taken off the ineligible list and soon elected to Baseball's Hall Of Fame.

Why am I so sure?

Mainly because Major League Baseball is saddled with the worst commissioner in the history of the game. Bud Selig's next correct decision will be his first, so despite every justification for keeping Rose out of baseball, Selig will surely take Rose off the ineligible list.
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BERRY'S WORLD POLL OF ONE

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

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK---27 (25)---New tax plan sounds good to me.

GOVERNOR HOWARD DEAN---22 (15)---Holding up surprisingly well considering the myriad attacks being aimed at him.

SENATOR JOHN EDWARDS---13 (10)---A solid candidate, despite relative inexperience.

REPRESENTATIVE DENNIS KUCINICH---10 (11)---Still hanging tough.

REPRESENTATIVE DICK GEPHARDT---9 (8)---If he stumbles in Iowa, he could be history.

SENATOR JOHN KERRY---10 (13)---His attacks have really turned me off.

REVEREND AL SHARPTON---0 (4)---Just killing time, but he's funny while doing it.

AMBASSADOR CAROL MOSELEY BRAUN---0 (0)---Just killing time.

SENATOR JOE LIEBERMAN---0 (0)---I can safely say there is NO WAY I would vote for Senator Lieberman if he is the Demcratic nominee.
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Sunday, January 04, 2004
 
AN UNMITIGATED TWOFER

After last season's disappointing season, Anaheim Angel fans can take solace in the fact that the Halos are ranked 5th, in the first MLB Power Poll of the New Year.

Of course, in equally heartening news, the Los Angeles Dodgers are ranked 25th. As any true Angel fan will tell you, their love of the Angels is only equaled by their hate for the Dodgers.
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AND YOU'RE HERE BECAUSE...WELL, WHY ARE YOU HERE?

In Sunday's Democratic debate in the Des Moines, Iowa, suburb of Johnston, Senator Joe Lieberman was the first to attack Governor Howard Dean when he said:

I don’t know how anybody could say that we’re not safer with a homicidal maniac, a brutal dictator, an enemy of the United States, a supporter of terrorism, a murderer of hundreds of thousands of his own people ... in prison instead of in power.

Maybe it's just me, but I do have to wonder why there were people in the debate who have already publicly announced that they have pulled out of the Iowa campaign.
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IS BLAIR STICKING IT TO BUSH?

In a surprise trip, British Prime Minister Tony Blair showed up in Basra for a meet and greet with British troops.

This is in contrast to the report of a couple of weeks ago, which told of a deepening schism between Prime Minister Blair and President Bush resulting in 'a Washington ban on a proposed morale-boosting visit by the PM to British troops in Iraq during the Christmas holiday'. Further, the Sunday Mirror quoted a Downing Street insider as saying 'Relations between the two (Blair and Bush) are at the lowest ebb since they first met.'

If Prime Minister Blair's trip caught the administration by surprise, I can only imagine the thoughts of revenge running through Karl Rove's mind. You don't think President Bush would launch a preemptive attack on Great Britain, do you?
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THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS CORP SMELLS BLOOD IN THE WATER

From the White House Press Gaggle

McCLELLAN: Finally, Rick, the President is too consumed with conducting the people’s business to comment on the Justice Department’s finding that it was Ambassador Wilson himself who disclosed his wife’s identity. Of course, should Ambassador Wilson have to serve time in prison for his blatant attempt to sully the reputation of this administration, President Bush’s sympathies would go out to his family. Any other questions?

QUESTION: Scott, Congressman Henry Waxman has written to Attorney General Ashcroft asking for a D.O.J. investigation to see if First Lady Laura Bush lied when she claimed that President Bush wrote the poem that greeted her when she returned from Europe. Will there be an investigation?

McCLELLAN: Clearly, Congressman Waxman is on yet another witch-hunt. Anybody who knows Mrs. Bush knows that she is absolutely incapable of lying, and anybody who has the nerve to say otherwise is beyond contempt.

QUESTION: Scott, when the First Lady returned from Russia, she read a poem that she claimed President Bush wrote…

McCLELLAN: No, she did not. I reject the premise of the question.

QUESTION: Mrs. Bush said, and I quote, “President Bush is a great leader and husband -- but I bet you didn't know, he is also quite the poet. Upon returning home last night from my long trip, I found a lovely poem waiting for me.” Isn’t that an implicit claim that President Bush did write the poem?

McCLELLAN: I think that most reasonable people would be able to see that she never claimed President Bush wrote the poem.

QUESTION: What instructions will Mr. Bush give to top aides about cooperating with the investigation?

McCLELLAN: Well, of course, in the event that there is an investigation, we would cooperate with the Department of Justice.

QUESTION: Scott, if President Bush didn’t write the poem, who did write it?

McCLELLAN: I don’t know how many times I have to say there has been no information brought to us or that has come to our attention, beyond the media reports, to suggest that there was White House involvement.

QUESTION: Scott, The Washington Post is reporting that the President is not going to ask his top aides about it, about who did write the poem. Is that true? And, if not, why not?

McCLELLAN: Well, what did I just say? I think I just answered that question. I said that there has been nothing that has been brought to our attention, beyond what we've seen in the media reports, to suggest that there was White House involvement in the poem.

QUESTION: Is anyone going to, at least, you know, ask around? Say, what's the deal with –

McCLELLAN: And, secondly, the Department of Justice is the appropriate agency to look into matters like this.

QUESTION: If anybody on the White House staff did write the poem, will they be fired?

McCLELLAN: Mark, if -- one, no one was authorized to do this. That is simply not the way this White House operates. And if someone wrote a poem and attributed to President Bush, it is a very serious matter and it should be pursued to the fullest. You're jumping to a lot of assumptions now about the White House. We –

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

McCLELLAN: No, I mean, I think that's obvious -- it's obvious, that if someone wrote a poem of this nature, yes.

QUESTION: Scott, what about the questions over the credibility of the administration investigating itself -- i.e., Justice doing the investigation rather than, as some Democrats have called for, an outside investigation?

McCLELLAN: We believe the Department of Justice is the appropriate agency to look into matters like this, as they would in any other matter of this nature, and as they did so exceptionally in the Plame investigation.

QUESTION: So you're rejecting the call –

QUESTION: Why is it not a conflict for a political appointee, the Attorney General, to be investigating –

McCLELLAN: Well, one, you're assuming certain things are happening. The Department of Justice, I believe, will tell you that there are procedures that they follow. You need to ask them, one, those questions: are they; who's involved. So you need to ask them those questions. But I would suggest that before they answer those kinds of questions, they would have to begin an investigation, which as of yet, they have not done.

QUESTION: You're suggesting -- you're suggesting that somehow a political appointee, such as the Attorney General, will be –

McCLELLAN: Well, you're assuming that he is involved in some sort of probe or looking into this.

QUESTION: Are you saying that he was the –

McCLELLAN: Ask the Department of Justice. I don't know who would be involved and whether or not they -- where this stands, in terms of the Department of Justice looking into this. You're assuming certain things.

QUESTION: Let's try to quantify what kind of investigation is going on. Has –

McCLELLAN: If there is one.

QUESTION: Has the Department of Justice –

McCLELLAN: I mean, I saw the news reports where it said that the first step for the Department of Justice would be to look to see whether or not it warrants further looking into.

QUESTION: Has the Department of Justice contacted the Counsel's Office here, or anyone else in the White House –

McCLELLAN: No. That’s all I have time for. Good afternoon.

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