Michael Steele's sorry. So sorry.

March 04, 2009|By LAURA VOZZELLA

Michael Steele said he's sorry to Rush Limbaugh.

Why stop there?

The man who won the Republican National Committee chairmanship on the strength of his silver tongue called the radio personality "incendiary," "ugly" and - worse! - an "entertainer." He also insisted that Limbaugh is not the de facto leader of the Republican Party.

Limbaugh took that last one as a compliment, responding on the air: "I would be embarrassed to say that I'm in charge of the Republican Party in the sad-sack state that it's in."

But the rest of it did not go over so well with Limbaugh. So the GOP's new face did an immediate about-face and said Limbaugh is a heck of a guy.

That proves it - Limbaugh is not the sad-sack party's de facto leader, but its actual leader.

As Steele tries to patch things up with Limbaugh, perhaps he should mend fences with some other people he's wronged. Steele should apologize to:

* Homeless men in Philadelphia. Steele bused them into black neighborhoods in Maryland on Election Day 2006 so they could hand out fliers suggesting, falsely, that Kweisi Mfume had endorsed his Senate bid.

* Monica Turner. Steele was waaay late paying his kid sister for the intriguing "catering/web" combo she provided his Senate campaign. Her business had closed - no wonder, with clients like that - about a year before he cut her $37,000 check.

* The makers of Oreos. Steele dunked Nabisco's classic sandwich cookie into a tasteless bid for racial sympathy, claiming the cookies had been tossed at him during a 2002 campaign debate in a black-on-the-outside, white-on-the-inside slur. Too bad none of the reporters there that night, or even the guy who cleaned up the auditorium, backed him up. The story seems about as real as the Oreo "cream" filling.

Scooby, where are you? Police commissioner gets his dog

The police chief in a city like Baltimore hardly has time for missing-dog cases.

Except Monday, when Fred Bealefeld stopped what he was doing, went to the scene and worked the phones until a yellow Lab named Scooby turned up unharmed.

There's a reason Bealefeld took special interest in returning the dog to its owner. He is the owner.

The commissioner has two dogs and two sons. And while the chief was off fighting crime for the day, the kids and dogs celebrated the snow day by playing outside their Southwest Baltimore house.

Spotting a squirrel or some other animal, Scooby dashed off.

The other dog, another yellow Lab named Pumpkin, was either too smart or too lazy to follow Scooby's lead.

After an hour went by and Scooby hadn't come home, the boys called Dad at work, said Sheryl Goldstein, director of the Mayor's Office on Criminal Justice and (on this day) Lost Pets.

"He went home to check up on what happened," Goldstein said.

Bealefeld called the Health Department, which oversees city animal shelters. Someone from the Health Department called area shelters to report the missing dog.

Not long afterward, a woman who lives about a mile and a half from the commish called to say she'd found a loose yellow Lab.

Dog, chief and kids were all reported to be "happy and reunited."

Ace of Cakes doles out generous portions

Ace of Cakes? More like Confectionary King Solomon.

A bidding war broke out the other night at a fundraiser for Hopkins brain trauma research. Two people were determined to go home with the silent auction item offered by Duff Goldman: an Ace of Cakes apron, T-shirt, ski hat - and a gift certificate for a custom cake for $75.

The price had reached $1,400. Both bidders were pretty much at their limits.

That's when the Food Network star whipped up a solution that made both bidders happy - and made the Zach Sowers Brain Trauma Research Fund a bit richer. Goldman said he'd make each a cake if both parties would fork over $1,500.

Sold!

The event raised about $27,000, in part because Pazo donated all the food and drinks. Even the wait staff worked for free, donating their tips.

Goldman created a cake for the event that looked like two sets of turntables with a mixer in the middle. (Sowers, who died last year, 10 months after robbers beat him into a coma, used to DJ as a hobby.)

The baker's star power even drew some out-of-state fans to the event.

"There was a family that came up from Oklahoma," said Anna Sowers, Zach's widow. "They read about it on the Ace of Cakes blog and decided to come up. That was pretty crazy-insane awesome."

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