Tale of Taylor

And now some fresh pickings from the wartime grapevine:

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Tale of Taylor
Charles Taylor (search), Liberia's grandiose and bloodthirsty president, recently agreed to quit the country as soon as international peacekeeping forces arrive — this, in response to President Bush's demand that he step down.

It now appears that Taylor has a surprising defender: religious broadcaster and Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson (search).

On his show The 700 Club, Robertson declared, "How dare the President of the United States say to the duly elected president of another country, 'You've got to step down?'"

Robertson also blasted the State Department for trying "as hard as they can to destabilize Liberia and to bring about the very outcome we're seeing now" and for "paving the way for the Muslims to take over Liberia."

A little fact checking is in order. The "duly elected" Taylor invaded Liberia in 1989 and proclaimed himself president, and then — his dictatorship firmly established — he "won" an election in 1997.

A Complete Fabrication?
Massachusetts senator and presidential candidate John Kerry (search) wants the American Spectator to retract a report that he sent staffers to Vermont to dig up dirt on fellow candidate Howard Dean (search) and his wife. Kerry calls the story "a complete fabrication."

But, the senator's spokeswoman hastens to tell The Boston Herald that the concern about the American Spectator account does not mean that Kerry won't spend time "getting up to speed on the public records of all the candidates in the race, including [his] own."

Meanwhile, "Howard Dean" is getting more Internet action than any of the other Democratic candidates, and even more than Madonna.

A report by the Lycos search engine shows Web surfers calling up Dean's name more often than any other Democratic candidate. Missouri Rep. Dick Gephardt (search) and Connecticut Sen.Joe Lieberman (search) get the least action.

Lieberman's campaign spokesman tells Roll Call, "The Internet has spoken and we ... have no hard feelings. We congratulate President Harry Potter and Vice President Pamela Anderson and wish them well as they assume the reigns of power over this fine country."

— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report