The Facts Machine

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

Friday, October 25, 2002

The Village Voice gives us 5 things we should keep in mind about the events of November/December 2000 when we head to the polls in a week and a half. I would suggest that Florida voters pay attention
Arianna on the Bushies' ongoing oil jones.

Thursday, October 24, 2002

My beloved Giants are within one game of their first world championship in 48 years. Ok, so I've only been around for the last 22 of them. Humbug, I can bitch!

Ortiz will start on saturday, and he got shelled in game 2. Then again, so did Appier. The funny thing is, I'll be in LA this weekend, (thus I am unlikely to be posting from there) so I hope to see a lot of disappointed faces while I'm there, muahaha.

Congrats to Jeff Kent, who finally woke up. And to Kenny Lofton, who couldn't even go one game without yet another hilariously bad defensive gaffe.

TFM will continue to stick to the previously-stated prediction of: Giants in six.

From their brief piece on a continuously scrolling set of words during CNN's "Crossfire" that was questionable, if not subliminable.

From the Pine Bluff Commercial, of Arkansas.

They're doing it again. Unfrigginbelievable. I hope more of the country gets wind of this.

Remember this DNC ad that caused such a ruckus a few weeks back?

The Republicans have responded with an ad of their own.

And of course, theirs is full of bullshit. The repubs are the ones who came up with the phrase "privatization" in the first place, to describe their own plan, and put it on their own party platform! What was Bush's social security plan in the 2000 campaign? It was privatization, plain and simple. Up until several weeks ago (when the Rove memo got there), what was the plan called at the Cato Institute? Yep, privatization! If the GOP gets the senate majority after the elections, suddenly privatization will be back in full force.

On a side-note: Republicans have accused the campaign of Senator Max Baucus (D-Montana) of gay-baiting in a campaign ad against opponent Mike Taylor. Does it help their case that Bush is shown in pink and purple tights in their flash ad? It all seems pretty silly to me.

Another note: In light of Bush's now well-known recent verbal gaffe, why do they end the ad by saying "dont be fooled"???

Yet another note: May of 2001, at TGI Friday's of all places, Robb McFadden, head of the Berkeley College Republicans, said, and I quote:
"Privatization is the only way"

Is he ready to either renounce his statement, or denounce the flash ad? Which is it?

shame on . . . uh . . . shame on you.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Over at Watch x 4, an interesting point is made about David Brock's book (as well as a necessary swipe at Drudge):
Oh yeah, regarding David Brocks' book Blinded By The Right. If it's so full of libel, where are all the lawsuits?
(you really took it up the ass in that book, Matt Drudge--did you sue? What, you're a millionaire and can't afford to sue someone who prints lies about you?)


Howard Fineman criticizes Bush, for being essentially AWOL on the sniper situation.
Dismiss this as special pleading if you want, but I have a question for the president as the sniper’s murder toll reaches 10 in our region and my kids are huddled indoors after school instead of being at Little League or tennis practice: Why in this crisis haven’t I heard more from you and seen more action from your crime-busting, terrorism-fighting White House? I know you addressed the topic, briefly, at a press conference with Robert Mueller of the FBI, but I thought providing “Homeland Security” is what your presidency is about.

Of course, as Newsweek points out, Karl Rove sees a political downside to Bush getting involved. Man of principle.

Tuesday, October 22, 2002


This radio spot currently getting airplay in the DC area, during programs such as Oreilly's and Ollie North's (!).

Kudos to!

Remember the other week how the wingnuts bitched and moaned about a supposed "push poll" that the NY Times ran, which said that the public wanted Dubya to focus more on the economy? Well, my friends, that poll now has a corroboratin' buddy!

From Gallup:
Americans have become more pessimistic about the war on terrorism than at any point since military action began in Afghanistan in October 2001. President Bush's job approval rating has slipped to 62%, the lowest since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.

But even more interesting, the economy now tops the concerns of the American people, at 37%, far ahead of terrorism (32%).

Anyway, off to class!

Monday, October 21, 2002

The boys from Cake want to know your opinion about Noelle Bush's drug woes, and what they have to do with the administration's drug policy.

One of the few truth-tellers left in our national media, Paul Krugman gives us a rather scary view of the GOP's plans in a potential full takeover of the legislative branch: The abrupt end of corporate reform. Not only that, but the cancellation of previously-granted funding to the SEC, to financially starve them. Krugman draws a sound parallel:
So what's going on? Here's a parallel. Since 1995 Congress has systematically forced the Internal Revenue Service to shrink its operations; the number of auditors has fallen by 28 percent. Yet it's clear that giving the I.R.S. more money would actually reduce the federal budget deficit; the agency estimates that it loses at least $30 billion a year in uncollected taxes, mainly because high-income taxpayers believe they can get away with tax evasion. So starving the I.R.S. isn't about saving money, it's about protecting affluent tax cheats.

Similarly, top officials don't really believe that the S.E.C. can do its job with less money; the whole point is to prevent the agency from doing its job.

This is the sort of thing that makes me want to do a rain-dance before election day to keep the GOP from taking the senate.
EUPHAMISM OF THE DAY, courtesy Dana Milbank


As Buzzflash puts it, come on, he flat-out lies! Anyway, the central focus of this piece is right on, that Bush says things that "outpace the facts" as Milbank again euphamizes. But Dana's whoreish tendencies kick in, really strongly in a number of places:
Presidential embroidery is, of course, a hoary tradition. Ronald Reagan was known for his apocryphal story about liberating a concentration camp. Bill Clinton fibbed famously and under oath about his personal indiscretions to keep a step ahead of Whitewater prosecutors...

In a now time-honored WaPo tradition of relating other people's fuckups to Clinton whenever possible (after all, the Post spent a ridiculous amount of resources on investigating Whitewater, money better spent on, say, Harken?), and Milbank is quite capable at this. Nevermind that Clinton lied about "personal indiscretions", certainly not illegal indiscretions, in an investigation about a land deal that exonerated him. Meanwhile, Bush is lying all over the place about the economy, Iraq, his administration's pre-9/11 knowledge, Harken, etc.

And ironically enough, Milbank does a bit of fact-enhancing himself!
Statements on subjects ranging from the economy to Iraq suggest that a president who won election underscoring Al Gore's knack for distortions and exaggerations has been guilty of a few himself.

No, he didn't win election by underscoring Gore's supposed "knack for distortions and exaggerations". Rather, he LOST the election but had the will of the people tossed out by the Scalia 5. And don't get me started on the Post's and almost all of the media's running bullshit narrative on Al Gore.
ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) - In a tantalizing turn in the hunt for the Washington-area sniper, investigators said Monday the killer apparently tried to contact them in a phone call that was too "unclear" to be understood. They pleaded with the person to call back. (full story)

Yeah, it turns out the two guys they nabbed at the station this morning had nothing to do with the sniper, though they shall be deported for immigration violations. (what, no pit-stop at Gitmo?)

Nevertheless, this leaves us free to speculate on the identity of the sniper. Hmm . . . he called the police . . . and now the police are calling back, asking for him to call again. This could mean that the sniper is someone who is highly trained in the use of public telephones...

So we have to ask ourselves, who out there in America has the combination of extreme technical proficiency with payphones, and a clear willingness to repeatedly inflict serious harm on average Americans?

And then it hit me:

So, do I get a reward for this?
"BLOW ME!" . . . "BITE ME!"

The SF Chronicle has been doing good work lately:
She wanted sex. He was too ill and tired. So she bit him and bit him. Later, he died.

That's what police in Modesto said happened to 65-year-old Arthur Pratt, who came home sick and frail from the hospital about a week ago, and his 44- year-old wife Kelli Pratt greeted him at the door.

"Mr. Pratt had physical problems from diabetes, had been in the hospital awhile, and when he got home, his wife 'wanted some,' " said police Sgt. Al Carter. "He couldn't help her out, and she went into a rage and started tearing at his flesh with her teeth, pulling out huge hunks."

The couple tumbled across the floor as Pratt fought to escape from his wife, Carter said, "and he managed to call 911. We have a tape of him screaming while she bites him."

When the police arrived, Arthur Pratt lay bloodied and shivering on the floor. His wife then tried unsuccessfully to bite the officers trying to arrest her, Carter said.

And it goes on like that. Pretty heavy, I must say. However, when reached for comment, Marv Albert was quoted as saying "yesss!"

Does this whole Jesus' brother's box thing seem a little too perfect to anyone else out there?

All that stock that the extra-chromosome crowd put in the Shroud of Turin (and some still do!), and then we find out it's only about 900 years old. Wait till the fervor dies down and serious scholars get a real look at this, rather than the "we found the three wise men in here too!" guys.

It's nice to see the Post referring to Josephus' work as evidence on Jesus, even though some of the things Xians have put in Josephus' mouth are hideously false, things that a Jewish historian certainly would not have said. And every time he is referred to as "Jesus of Nazereth", I laugh a little inside. (I'm in the not-sure-Jesus-ever-existed-at-all camp)

Did you know that Buddha's birth was supposedly witnessed by three wise men who brought gifts? Or that it was said that there were earthquakes upon the death of Confucius? Anyway...

Always nice to hear some good news:
President Bush said today that the United States was trying diplomacy "one more time" to disarm Saddam Hussein "peacefully" and suggested that if the Iraqi leader complied with every United Nations mandate it would "signal the regime has changed."

I like the semi-intentional wordplay with the stated US policy of "regime change". Reminds me of those car commercials where the guy "changes" his vehicle from an SUV to a pickup.

But as I've noted before (the 'cynical coda' in the 2nd article), this may all have been part of the plan from the onset.

With that in mind, perhaps there's a hypothesis to be made about the congressional Dem's cave-in on the war resolution: Gephardt, Daschle & co. rushed through an otherwise-inevitable-anyway vote as quickly as possible, for two reasons...
1) They were betting that all this Iraq-talk was just a Rove dog-wagging ploy, and
2) They wanted to get the war resolution rubber-stamped as quickly as possible so there could be at least some time before the election where public focus would be on the economy and other domestic issues, where Republicans are seen as most vulnerable in November

In TFM's opinion, if #1 is the case, then the Dem's are really playing with fire (though I hope they're right), and if #2 is the case, then they need to get out there and not just attack the Republicans (and Smirk by proxy) but also to promote their own agenda on the economy, which is much stronger and better for America than the GOP's.

This, of course, leads us to the hideous misconception being perpetuated in the media that the Dem's don't have a significant economic plan of their own. Luckily, The Horse is back from vacation, and has a handy guide up for you to check out.

Sunday, October 20, 2002

I'm back from San Luis Obispo, it's the front end of midterm season here in SB, but postings will continue here at TFM. Let's start with this wonderful piece from my hometown media! The good people of SF-Gate (the web-face of the chronicle) have some suggestions for ways us unorthodox lefties etc can help the "war effort". It's a good read!