Billionaire Clinton pal Ron Burkle is trying to get his model-caressing paws on Barnes and Noble, the bookstore where you love to sit right on the carpet and read, which is gross. Anyhow. B&N says Burkle will "destroy"(!) it.

This is a proxy battle between Burkle and B&N's own chairman for control of the once-mighty company, so of course you expect it to get nasty. But it's pretty entertaining to hear someone other than us making fun of Ron Burkle. B&N sent out a response to Burkle's effort to shareholders yesterday, in which they warned he would "destroy" the company; that he wants to rip off shareholders; and, basically, that he is dumb.

At one point in its letter to shareholders, the board asserts that Mr. Burkle, when he was a member of the Yahoo Inc. board, rejected a $33 per share bid from Microsoft Corp. that was "possibly the biggest missed opportunity in the history of technology M&A."

Woooooo. Burkle's comeback was, "This is nothing more than a thinly-veiled effort by Barnes & Noble to deflect criticism of this board's failures." Good one Ron, real good. Just go ahead and cry about it.

[Photo via AP]