The Facts Machine

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

Saturday, September 27, 2003

WIRELESS INTERNET... imminent at Official TFM Headquarters, so more extensive blogging may be possible by this evening...

Developing wirelessly...

Friday, September 26, 2003

Hmm, when I posted the link to Conason on Colin Powell's 2001 WMD statement, I forgot that it's still a hassle to go through the whole Salon Premium crap, so I'll just stick it right here:
"President Mubarak and I, had a good discussion about...the fact that the sanctions exist .... for the purpose of keeping in check Saddam's ambitions toward developing WMDs. They have worked. He has not developed any significant capability with respect to WMDs. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors."
-- Colin Powell, February 24, 2001
There you have it.

Bye bye, Total Information Awareness

via TalkLeft
Joe Conason on Colin Powell getting caught on tape telling the truth back in 2001.

Today is Talk Like O'Reilly Day! Act accordingly.

Atrios is really running with this, apparently.

Damn, damn, damn.

One of the strangest things about America in the post-9/11 period is that just when it seemed like the best time for us, as a citizenry, to question our assumptions about faraway people, and discover how these assumptions and stereotypes came about, we simply didn't do any of those things. The administration let its daisycutter bombs do the talking in Afghanistan and its clusterbombs and napalm do the same in Iraq.

-when Bush told us that he would launch a "crusade"
-when angry men beat up Indian-Americans because they didn't see the difference

...and so many more examples give me perspective on the intellectual quests sought out by people like Edward Said. He will be missed in the scholarly discourse on how we perceive the world.

Thursday, September 25, 2003


A letter from Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks.

...hasn't said a single thing that really sets him apart from any of the other major candidates. The only difference seems to be packaging: he's a southern military man.

Now, of course there's nothing wrong with being either of those things. But it makes me ponder something my favorite comedian, Eddie Izzard, said in 1999's "Dress to Kill", being that 70% of a performance comes down to the look, 20% is how you sound, and only 10% is what you actually say. Sure, I coulda gone straight to the "no one ever went broke underestimating..." quotes, but I just have to be different. Anyway, what an interesting country we live in.

[But Izzard is a Brit! -ed Yeah, but he was talking about our national anthem.]

Short takes...

On the latest Cali recall debate: The format was unwieldy, the statements seemed canned (given that questions were provided ahead of time), and the free-for-all rodeo into which the debate disintegrated plays well into Gray Davis' "circus" commercials.

On today's Presidential Debate: Edwards had his best performance yet (the debate leaned towards economic issues, where he's strongest). Dean looked and sounded good -- he seems to have worked out the collar issue mentioned in HBO's "K Street" -- and he thoroughly spanked Gephardt on the Gingrich-comparison issue. Good lines from Sharpton, though one of the questioners annoyingly talked down to the two black candidates at one point.

The Prez debate will be rebroadcast tonight on MSNBC at 6pm and again at 10pm, worth a look.
MMM . . . KAY . . .
An early draft of an interim report by the American leading the hunt for banned weapons in Iraq says his team has not found any of the unconventional weapons cited by the Bush administration as a principal reason for going to war, federal officials with knowledge of the findings said today.

The long-awaited report by David Kay, the former United Nations weapons inspector who has been leading the American search for illicit weapons, will be the first public assessment of progress in that search since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1.

Mr. Kay's team has spent nearly four months searching suspected sites and interviewing Iraqi scientists believed to have knowledge about the country's nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programs. (full story)
First of all, this was the report that all those hawks (both of the chicken variety and otherwise) were telling us would neutralize all the critics of the war who said there were no WMD. Whoops!

Secondly, keep in mind: David Kay and his team have had a significantly longer period of time to look for WMD in Iraq than Hanx Blix and his U.N. team did. If we can't find anything at all, with all the people we have on the ground there, that really says something.

And in case another troll comes back and tells me that we should be looking for them in Syria or Lebanon, riddle me this: How can backers of the war simultaneously say that 1) our steamrolling of Saddam's regime would scare neighboring countries into reforms and less hostile relations with us, and 2) Syria and Lebanon would happily take banned Iraqi weapons -- all of them, apparently -- into their countries. That don't wash.

...has Bush down at 50%.

[joetrippi] Well, I like a lot of what George Bush has to say, he's an intriguing candidate, but we have to ask ourselves, is he really electable? [/joetrippi]

Wednesday, September 24, 2003


I have been assimilated into a new group music blog called The Jazz Police, so for future music-related posts from yours truly, you should mosey over there (again, thats I should note that the name could soon change, and the url to go with it.

My first post there is a review of last night's Radiohead show in Mountain View CA.

I'll stick a link in the "more brendan" category on the left side of this blog.

Given my continued lack of internet at my new house, combined with a relatively busy week, major posting with worthwhile analysis will be sporadic here at TFM. So I'll be back in full force soon.

In the meantime, more good news: Dubya's at 49%, according to a new NBC/WSJ poll.

Monday, September 22, 2003


(found in a comment thread at counterspin)

An idea whose time has come:
Flip Off a Hummer
If they're doing it to the environment, let's do it to them!

Anyway, I'm off to class, and please, enjoy the good news.
Moving into my new house... internet probably not up for a couple days... blogging light or non-existent until then...