The Facts Machine

"And I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide"

Saturday, October 19, 2002

I will be in San Luis Obispo for most of the weekend, so don't expect any posts until probably sunday evening. I'm opening for Blu Sanders there, should be cool, his style of music is somewhat similar to mine. Ironically, on friday night he played the Starry Plough, where I've played three glorious times, and won two beers!

In my absence, enjoy these two humor links:
The Slackers Guild
Brunching Shuttlecocks

Oh, and GO GIANTS!
TFM gazes into the crystal ball: Giants in six.

Friday, October 18, 2002


Bet you can't wait till this site gets up!
I will consider this a just and fitting revenge after some wingnuts got him disbarred down there:
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Bill Clinton, once famously described by author Toni Morrison as ``our first black president,'' is being inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame as an honorary member.

The former president will be the first non-black recognized in the hall's 10-year history. He is expected to attend the Saturday night event.

Congratulations, Big Dog! Don't hold your breath on Dubya getting inducted.
Krugman hits hard today on the Bush/GOP "tone" and method:
When Ronald Reagan cut taxes on rich people, he didn't deny that that was what he was doing. You could agree or disagree with the supply-side economic theory he used to justify his actions, but he didn't pretend that he was increasing the progressivity of the tax system.

The strategy used to sell the Bush tax cut was simply to deny the facts — and to lash out at anyone who tried to point them out. And it's a strategy that, having worked there, is now being applied across the board.

Michael Kinsley recently wrote that "The Bush campaign for war against Iraq has been insulting to American citizens, not just because it has been dishonest, but because it has been unserious. A lie is insulting; an obvious lie is doubly insulting." All I can say is, now he notices? It's been like that all along on economic policy.

Thursday, October 17, 2002

A story that quickly disappeared from Yahoo!'s headlines, but Salon kept it on its wire for a more acceptable amount of time
A former top Enron Corp. energy trader was scheduled to plead guilty Thursday in federal court to a charge he manipulated California's energy market to drive up power prices, according to sources close to the investigation.

Law enforcement sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Timothy Belden, the former head of trading in Enron's Portland, Ore., office, will plead guilty to one charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Full story.

We shall wait patiently for the wrongwingers (and many others in the media) to apologize to Governor Davis for blaming the energy crunch on him. I gather we'll be waiting a long time...

I updated. Check out Thoughts, Views, Women, Sports, and whatever else you like.

Bill Clinton likes to say that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

Isn't this how we got in this mess to begin with? Is this for just in case Putin invades or something?

Wednesday, October 16, 2002


Check it out! (from, via


"I'm sorry. I wish I could wave a wand." -George W. Bush, to a mother of a boy with a chronic, life-threatening illness whose medical insurance did not cover her child's needs, who had asked Bush what he was going to do about such cases, New York Times, 2/18/00

"I would like to wave a magic wand and have this devil be exorcised from her, from her life and her soul, so that she can make clear decisions for herself and live an independent life and a joyful one, but I can't. She has to do it." -Jeb Bush, throwing his drugged-up daughter Noelle to the wolves for political gain. (full story)

So does this mean that after they both don't get reelected, they can start some sort of tag-team magic act together and take it to vegas?
Over at the Angry Clam (the guy who commented a bunch at my Patriot watch site, and seems to think that as a GOP delegate his opinion counts more than that of millions of average California Republican voters in the gub. primary... immature elitist nonsense in TFM's opinion), we find a link to a story on an armed standoff (avec hostages) situation in Canada.

Chowder seems to be suggesting that this one incident has macro-implications on the gun-control lobby's case in general. His words:
GUN CONTROL WORKS!... We all know that America's love affair with guns is responsible for many many violent deaths. Unlike, say, Canada.

Oh really? To the numbers! (courtesy Bob Herbert of the NYT):
The statistics are mind-boggling. Handgun Control, a lobbying organization in Washington, tells us, for example, that in 1996, handguns were used to murder 2 people in New Zealand, 15 in Japan, 30 in Great Britain, 106 in Canada, 213 in Germany and 9,390 in the United States. (emphases added)

Any questions?

Furthermore, I'm currently living in Isla Vista, and as you may remember, a little over a year ago, a crazy fellow named David Attias sped through the streets of IV, proclaiming himself to be the angel of death, and killing a number of people. That constitutes no more of a pattern here than the standoff does in Canada.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002


LEGENDARY rockers Led Zeppelin are set to re-group after 22 years for a money-spinning stadium tour of America.

The three surviving members — singer Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page and bassist John Paul Jones — plan to hit the road next summer.

Full Story.

I am fuckin there! And I will pay ANY price! And they had better play "Over the Hills and Far Away", "What Is and What Should Never Be", "Dazed and Confused" and "Black Dog". If they don't play Stairway, I'll understand... but dudes... it would be nice.

Last question: Will they be bringing that fish?
Huh? As a what!?

This is beginning to get desperate.

Wait, did I say "beginning"?

Laughtenburg leads Forrester by twelve points, according to the latest MSNBC/Zogby poll.

It's great how The Onion can be closer to the truth than many proclaimed real news outlets often are.

This strongly echoes the Onion's tv counterpart The Daily Show's segment on wednesday featuring "buisness analyst" Mo Rocca (quickly becoming my favorite correspondent) quoting the Bush administration on the economy: "They all agree: Saddam Hussein is an evil, evil man". It got better when the stock ticker on the bottom of the screen kept showing little Saddam heads racing from right to left.

Also, the previous night, from TDS anchor Jon Stewart:
The Fox network was the only major network to broadcast Bush's speech live. After all, they wrote it.

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) -- Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill Richardson's double-digit lead over Republican opponent John Sanchez has grown, a poll shows.

The Albuquerque Journal poll of 779 registered voters published Sunday shows Richardson had the support of 50 percent of respondents, while Sanchez was backed by 32 percent. The poll, conducted Oct. 7-10, had a sampling margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Full story.

Between that, and the tight race between Bowles and Liddy "Not Now, Bob, I Have A Lot To Do!" Dole, someone please tell the wingnuts, Kurtz, and whoever else to shut up.

Monday, October 14, 2002


It is 95% confirmed that on Saturday night (after my friday appearance at Java Jones), October 19th, I will be in San Luis Obispo, as the opening act for this guy:

This fellow is Blu Sanders, he has a cool Jack/Dave/Mayer sound, and has recently performed with the likes of Howie Day and Matt Nathanson. And now I'll be opening for him.

It will be a house show in San Luis Obispo, and I'll be selling CD's there too. I will post more specific information as soon as I get it. In the meantime, Java Jones! Isla Vista! Friday night at 8!


I see that Rupert and the boys have this whole local demographic thing down pat. Leading up to the Giants' home games here in the NLCS, they've been going on Grateful Dead overload for the lead-in and lead-out music. "Truckin", "Ripple" (yay!), "China Cat Sunflower", heard them all. If they're gonna narrow the entire SF area down to one pop culture phenomenon, it might as well be that one. So in that light, kudos to Fox Sports!

p.s. That does not excuse, however, announcer Joe Buck's butchering of the chorus to "Franklin's Tower" during game 3:

Joe Buck: "Roll away . . . with you"
Jerry Garcia: "Roll away . . . the dew"

aarrgghhh. Go Giants! Morning Dew to you!

Here's an AP story on Bush's reaction to the Bali hotel bombing, strongly suggesting that Al Qaeda was involved (which may turn out to be the case). Naturally, the topic gently steers itself towards Iraq:

Bush said the Indonesia bombing, attacks on U.S. troops in Kuwait and the bombing of a French oil tanker in Yemen point to al-Qaida and the need for a global coalition to fight the terrorist group.

"We just learned a lesson this week. It's going to take a while to succeed," he said.

Still, he said, the battle against al-Qaida will not distract him from his confrontation with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, even as world leaders question whether America is spreading its troops too thin. (emphases mine)

As S.R. Hadden says in "Contact", buried within the message is the key to decoding it. Here we get a window to objective reality, on two levels:
1) The potential war against Saddam is separate from the "war on terrah"
2) Iraq is Dubya's personal war, for: A) oil B) polls C)poppy's honor D) all of the above

But inevitably, as he has tried for months without any real results, Bush again strives to squish Saddam and Osama together until they are the same thing:

"We will fight, if need be, the war on terrorism on two fronts," Bush said in a hurriedly organized question-and-answer session with reporters.

To those who'd like to see this rush to war grind to a complete halt (myself included), these are all signs that our hopes are not yet dashed. And to those who see fit to gloat over the Senate vote, I would warn you that this isn't over yet. Another Senate vote from the past springs to mind: The confirmation of Clarence Thomas in 1991. The wingnuts got their man confirmed, but their fight wasn't over at that point. To continue to legitimize their man, they continued to smear Anita Hill, culminating in David Brock's The Real Anita Hill (of course, a pre-epiphany Brock). In terms of Iraq, right now we're at that same "post-confirmation" stage, and this is when public opinion might turn out to be very important.

The Democratic sellout in congress last week could have the effect of mobilizing the Democratic anti-preemptive-war base. Oh and by the way, Al Gore seems to have the high-ground over his Democratic friends in the Senate with his strong and defiant stance on Iraq. It is no coincidence that as of this week, Zogby's head-to-head poll shows Gore gaining serious ground on Bush.
"Upton baby, Upton!"

(any excuse for a bad pun. of course, there are no bad puns.)

Watch x 4 points us to the Republican Robot. Go there, type in the name of any liberal, and just watch the "liberal media bias" snap into action!

It's like they locked Ann Coulter inside a giant computer! Hopefully they're depriving her of food while she's in there. She wouldn't mind, of course.
From Jay Leno, via Bartcop:

"Bush said when it comes to Iraq, we can't wait for final proof. Which is the same thing he said about the Florida ballots."

"I've got a record that is conservative, and a record that is compassionated."

Howbouts a nice hand for our intelligence community!

Not exactly on the cutting edge here, but noteworthy nonetheless, Nader calls Bush on "Iraqqing the dog".

Everything he says is on the mark. Still, the usual pair of questions for Ralph Nader:
1) Would President Gore have focused more on the economy and gone after corporate criminals more seriously than Bush has?
2) Would President Gore even think about pre-emptively attacking Iraq, for any reason?
Giants are one game away from the world series. And Rueter eats Cardinals for breakfast.

If the G-men lose games 5 and 6, Nader better get his ass up here.

Thank you for being indirectly responsible for arguably the best TV miniseries of all time. Thank you for indirectly subjecting many high school sophomores to the dull thrill of having Undaunted Courage on their summer reading lists.

And don't worry about the whole plagiarism thing. It's all good. At least you never lied about your academic record on a publication's staff page...

Sunday, October 13, 2002

Quick, who is this?

(from Atrios)

Actually, he kinda looks the same as my brother did when he was that age. Then again, my brother currently still has hair, and currently isn't full of shit.