The Facts Machine

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

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Today is a midterm day, tomorrow is a travel day (getting up at 430am!), so posting is highly unlikely until tomorrow night, possibly saturday.

Slate's Tim Noah has some fun with the right wing's Hillary-mongering, mentioning the recent Fox News piece I linked the other day:
Last month, Chatterbox pointed out that the movement to draft Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., to run for president in 2004 was unlikely to succeed because it consisted almost entirely of conservative Republicans. The right's fixation on a Hillary run reflects GOP fund-raising imperatives, a longing to unite a splintered conservative movement, and the widespread winger conviction that the Clintons are vampires who cannot be killed and will come back to haunt the GOP again and again. Never mind that Sen. Clinton has repeatedly stated that she will not run for president in 2004 and that there's little inclination among Democrats to change her mind.

Now the story has entered its inevitable second phase. Having previously established to its satisfaction that Hillary is a candidate, the right is now knocking her for running a lousy campaign! Our text is an Oct. 13 dispatch on the Fox News Web site, headlined, "Clock Ticking for a Hillary Presidential Bid." The report notes that Hillary has dithered so long that "the drop-dead date has already passed" for a plausible candidacy. Stupid bitch! Her husband declared his candidacy on Oct. 4, 1991, and ever since, that date has been accepted by Democrats as an absolute deadline. (Nobody would dare out-procrastinate Slick Willie.) There isn't enough time to line up support in New Hampshire and Iowa. There isn't enough time to raise money. Soon it will be too late even to file for the primaries. Sheesh, is this is amateur night or what?

We now return to our regularly scheduled universe.

You know that Star Trek TNG episode where an entity holds the Enterprise captive for experimental purposes and whatever direction the ship goes it ends up in the same place?

Well, this is kinda like that:
Bush orders officials to stop the leaks

WASHINGTON - Concerned about the appearance of disarray and feuding within his administration as well as growing resistance to his policies in Iraq, President Bush - living up to his recent declaration that he is in charge - told his top officials to "stop the leaks" to the media, or else.

News of Bush's order leaked almost immediately.

Bush told his senior aides Tuesday that he "didn't want to see any stories" quoting unnamed administration officials in the media anymore, and that if he did, there would be consequences, said a senior administration official who asked that his name not be used. (italics mine)
I guess it's just in their blood. (link via atrios)

Wednesday, October 15, 2003


AP writer Sharon Theimer commits a no-no in talking about candidate fundraising:
Dean has raised about $25 million so far this year to take the lead in the Democratic money chase. About 99 percent of Dean's donors have yet to reach the $2,000 limit, meaning they can give again, campaign manager Joe Trippi said.

Still, Dean's total represents just a fraction of President Bush's total of about $84 million. The president has $70 million in the bank — more than any Democrat has even raised.
Ugh. This comparison is simply irrelevant. Dean is one of nine primary candidates, and if you stack their combined fundraising numbers up against Bush's -- especially considering the impending party matching funds -- they're quite comparable.

Also, I would note that a much larger proportion of Bush's donors have already maxed out than that of Dean/etc's boosters. Yes, there's plenty of money ahead for Bush, but the media has to stop portraying this as a Bush financial cakewalk.

Thabo Mbeki and Atal Behari Vajpayee, leaders of two countries with signifcant historical ties -- they were once under the hegemony of brutal men with British accents -- are metting this week in India to, among other things, hammer out a free trade agreement. The sun never sets yada yada!

Related vaguely to the above is the story that a huge movie studio is going to be built in Cape Town. India has one of the largest film industries in the world, so I can imagine that at least casually, the subject will come up in the Mbeki-Vajpayee meeting.

China's first manned space launch is nearing its end, and it appears to be successful. This story makes me very happy, I'm not quite sure why. Even NASA seems impressed. Check out a diagram of the Chinese spacecraft. Maybe I'm just happy that Rumsfeld didn't try to shoot the thing down.

An American diplomatic convoy was attacked in Gaza, killing at least 3 Americans. And since none of the three were Rachel Corrie, our media is now instructing us to care and be upset. Obviously, from Israel's perspective, the way to curb these attacks is to further humiliate Palestinians by building a security wall that actually infringes on Palestinian territory. Yeah, that'll do it.

Okay, now I'm off to class, and then back home to study for my PS121 midterm from hell. Maybe I'll sneak Cubs/Marlins game 7 in there. Maybe (er, definitely) I'll give Laurie a call. Maybe (er, very unlikely) I'll post here again today.

UPDATE: one more thing before I go! This is more domestic, but a Buzzflash reader noticed two divergent headlines for the same poll:
ABC Headline:
Poll: Bush Slipping
Iraq, Economic Problems Level the '04 Playing Field

Washington Post:
President Rallying Support in Polls
Rebound Sets Campaign Team into Action
In the poll, by the way, his overall approval is down one point, his issue-specific numbers are as low as they've ever been, and his re-elect numbers are trailing that of the Dem nominee.
Manute Bol, who starred in the NBA for 11 seasons, plans to make his debut on Saturday - providing they can find a horse big enough for him.

Bol is taking on the challenge to raise money for charity.

A spokesman for the Hoosier Park racecourse in Indianapolis confirmed the news - although it is not clear whether the ride will be a one-off.

One thing's for sure - it's not the first time Bol has tried his hand at another sport.

The 40-year-old once played ice hockey for minor league team Indianapolis Ice and also took on - and beat - gridiron giant William "The Refrigerator" Perry in a boxing match.

All of his forays have raised money for child victims of civil war in his native Sudan, but the latest venture has to be the most bizarre. (full story)
In all seriousness, I don't have a problem with this at all, it's totally cool to take non-conventional roads to help a good cause. Since his basketball career ended, Manute's had a pretty hard life, bouncing between America and Sudan and other places inbetween. And I did enjoy his foray into Celebrity Boxing, if only for the reason that on his episode, I got to see Paula Jones get throttled by Tonya Harding. As Robin Williams said, "No! Not the nose! That's the Clinton money!"
LONDON - War in Iraq has swollen the ranks of al Qaeda and galvanized the Islamic militant group's will, the International Institute for Strategic Studies said on Wednesday in its annual report.

The 2003-2004 edition of the British-based think-tank's annual bible for defense analysts, The Military Balance, said Washington's assertions after the Iraq conflict that it had turned the corner in the war on terror were "over-confident."

The report, widely considered an authoritative text on the military capabilities of states and militant groups worldwide, could prove fodder for critics of the U.S.-British invasion and of the reconstruction effort that has followed in Iraq.

Washington must impose security in Iraq to prevent the country from "ripening into a cause celebre for radical Islamic terrorists," it concluded. "Nation-building" in Iraq was paramount and might require more troops than initially planned.

"On the plus side, war in Iraq has denied al Qaeda a potential supplier of weapons of mass destruction and discouraged state sponsors of terrorism from continuing to support it," the report said.

"On the minus side, war in Iraq has probably inflamed radical passions among Muslims and thus increased al Qaeda's recruiting power and morale and, at least marginally, its operating capability," it said. (full story)
This is a serious problem, no matter how hard it is to hold back chuckles when you read the "on the plus side" sentence. So what if they had one less "potential" source for nukes and chem/bio weapons. We're in this mess because they got us with box-cutters.

Harry Shearer as Rush Limbaugh. Go. NOW!

(a locked-out Ralph's employee in SB tells it like it is)

I was in downtown SB this morning on official TFM business, and I got a look at a handful of chain supermarkets being picketed by striking and locked-out workers. The stores shared one common thread: They were all virtually empty. Nary a car was to be found in their parking lots. Not in Ralphs, Vons or Albertsons.

Handfuls of picketers lined the sidewalks outside of each store, seeming to gain plenty of support from passing drivers, who frequently honked their horns in solidarity.

I have a feeling that upper management could crack at any moment. Purple monkey dishwasher.

I admit it, I dislike student newspapers. What's my problem with them? It has to do with their tone. Sure, when endorsement time comes around, they consistently end up on my side of the issues (and by "they", I mean the two college papers I regularly read, the Daily Cal and the UCSB Daily Nexus). But there's a certain elitist mock-centrist cynicism to be found in such outlets.

Case in point: today's Weather Human. The first few sentences:
This past weekend the AS President at Berkeley got busted for public drunkenness and fleed from the cops, and our AS President played the hero by convincing a killa-to-be to drop her knife.

Just another victory for us over those snooty kids up north who think just because their school is the oldest that they get to represent "Cal." We've got a more upstanding president, better weather, and more kids with enough sense to realize that printing fliers can't save the fucking planet.
Sure, a mock rivalry is all in good fun. But that last line... I understand the joke and all, but isn't there a hint of anti-activist snobbishness to it? After all, for whatever activist population we have here -- and there is one -- UCSB is a notoriously isolated school, halfway between everything and everything else in California, and located in an isolated portion of its own city, with a small, isolated, essentially by/for-student satellite community next to it (Isla Vista). The anonymous Weather Human and the Nexus mock activism (a component of which is printing and posting fliers) from a platform of very, very thin ice.

Think I'm being touchy? Well, that's fine. I also remember the Op-Ed Editor from the Daily Cal looking me in the face last summer and spreading the lie about Hillary's use of a ghostwriter for It Takes A Village (truth: though another writer had been paid in advance, hillary finished the book on her own). Why would someone be so eager to drink the wingnut Kool Aid on such a matter? Perhaps it fits the "snobbish cynical centrism" model. Boy, those MW's start early...

PS . . . Though I would note, the Nexus' weekly sex column, "The Wednesday Hump", is far inferior to the DC's column.

I'm sorry, Republicans, but Hillary's not running, she never said she was going to run. In fact, she's adamantly said, a number of times, that she wouldn't even consider it. I'm gonna take her word for it. You're just gonna have to find other ways to whip up your fundraising.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003


Slate's William Saletan, of whom I'm often critical, has a spot-on article about the effects of the efforts by Gephardt/Kerry/Lieberman to attack Dean from the left.
All year, Howard Dean has been gaining ground in the Democratic presidential race. And all year, Democratic centrists have been scrambling for a candidate to stop him. He's too liberal, they said. He's soft on defense, a Vermont lefty, an evangelist for expansive programs. To stop him, they turned to Joe Lieberman, then John Kerry, then Wes Clark. But the more Dean's rivals expose his record, the more I suspect that the centrist who's going to spare Democrats this left-wing nightmare isn't any of these guys. It's Howard Dean.

Months ago, when the candidates squared off at a Children's Defense Fund forum, moderator Judy Woodruff tried to embarrass Dean by pointing out that he had criticized "liberals" for opposing the 1996 welfare reform law. An article in The Nation complained that Dean had cut welfare spending in Vermont, supported the death penalty, opposed federal gun control, and criticized Dick Gephardt's "radical revamping of our healthcare system." On Sept. 4, in the first of the fall debates, Dennis Kucinich charged that Dean would have to cut "social spending" because Dean was intent on "balancing the budget" and was "not going to cut the military." Five days later, in the next debate, Joe Lieberman protested that Dean had "said Israel ought to get out of the West Bank and an enormous number of their settlements ought to be broken down." In a general election, I figure these attacks would get Dean at least the 537 votes Democrats needed to win Florida in 2000 and probably the 7,211 they needed to win New Hampshire.

For a while, I worried that Dean was a protectionist. Then Gephardt relieved me of that impression, pointing out on Sept. 14 that Dean had declared himself "a very strong supporter of NAFTA." On Sept. 25, in the third fall debate, Dean was forced to admit that he had advised President Clinton to admit China to the World Trade Organization on "national security" grounds, betraying competence in both economics and foreign policy. Kucinich chastised Dean for proposing a health insurance program that fell far short of Kucinich's plan, which would cover "everything" and require an additional "7.7 percent tax paid by employers" on all wages. On Oct. 9, in the fourth fall debate, Kucinich complained that Dean was against pulling out of Iraq immediately. Dean had to concede that he thought such a pullout would be irresponsible, because in the post-Saddam power vacuum, if al-Qaida were to "establish a foothold in Iraq, or if a fundamentalist Shiite regime comes in, allied with Iran, that is a real security danger to the United States." That moment alone may have earned Dean the 21,597 votes he would need to pick up Nevada.


You can imagine how angry I am, as a swing voter, to find out these horrible things about Dean. My hands are trembling so violently, I can barely write his name on the check.
(the only reason I stuck the ellipses in there was because I didn't feel right reprinting an entire article here, but go read the rest)

Even beyond the thrust of the article -- that Gephardt/Kerry/Lieberman, by pushing Dean towards the center, are actually helping Dean -- doesn't fully reveal how well this bodes for Dean's nomination/election chances.

I'll tell you why: Dean is the Democratic Bush.

Now if you'd just sit down calmly and let me explain...

Bush is extremely popular within his own party, despite the smattering of complaints you hear from people like McCain, Hagel, Specter, Lugar, Bill Kristol, and so on. They don't love him because he's a pure conservative saint, or because he's an extremist on various issues (and yes, he is). First and foremost, they love George W Bush because he's with the Republicans 100% on the three issues that matter to them most:
1. Tax cuts,
2. Opposing a woman's right to choose, and
3. Bombing brown people
At this point, it doesn't matter enough to libertarian-leaning Repubs that Bush has turned record surpluses into record deficits, or threatens various civil liberties and privacy rights with the Patriot Act. Sure, they're upset about it from time to time; all one needs is a look at the conservative blogosphere, which is disproportionately populated by libertarian-leaning R's. But at the end of the day, until further notice, virtually all of them will pull the lever for Bush. Sorry, H. Ross and Harry Browne.

The effect of Bush's "compassionate conservatism" (yes, it's bullshit, but words are important) was to say to swing voters, "hey, I'm not so bad", and in connection with that, "hey, I know I'm gonna cut taxes for the affluent, but I'm also gonna spend a lot!" And enough, just enough swing voters said "yeah, you got me", and since 2000 was portrayed by the media as an election where relatively little was at stake, Bush got to the White house (with an assist from the Scalia 5, but hey).

Enter Howard Dean.

Thanks in part to the criticisms made by his fellow candidates, Dean is positioned in his party just as Bush was in 2000*. He may be a highly-motivated deficit hawk, one that thinks a federal program or two can be streamlined here and there, and he's not diometrically opposed to things like NAFTA. And yes, this stuff may be a tad unsettling to the left base of the party (you know, people like me). But at the end of the day, the Democratic base is going to vote for Howard Dean, for precisely the same reason that the right will always vote for Bush, and that is because Dean stands with them, shoulder-to-shoulder, on the issues they care about most:
1. Opposition to the war in Iraq,
2. Repealing Bush's massive top-heavy tax cuts and restoring the Clinton economic legacy, and
3. More or less, getting back on Clinton's path in general
Dean's rivals can dig up whatever details they want that somehow suggest that Dean was critical of Medicare or whatever else, but if their expectation is that it will change the minds of Dean's core supporters, think again. I'd say that a yes-vote on the Persian Gulf of Tonkin Resolution is a much larger albatross for a Democratic primary candidate than some snippet about trade or dealing with AARP would be.

So after everything Gephardt, Lieberman and Kerry are saying to try and bring down Dean, all they've done is help Dean by highlighting the places where he is most appealing to swing voters. Why would they do this? There are two possibilities:

1) Their campaigns are inept and stupid . . . A distinct possibility, as two of those three campaigns have experienced significant management overhauls in recent months. But then again, I have a different idea:

2) They're trying to stop Clark . . . At first glance, this doesn't make sense. But think about it: Most of the major Dem candidates have had one goal since about July, which is to be the anti-Dean candidate, as Saletan and others have noted. They want to be his moderate counterpart, so they can win the early southern primary states and possibly ride that momentum to the nomination. But Wesley Clark's entry into the race adds a new wrinkle. With media buzz, 34 years of military experience and an air of extreme competence (or something), Clark seems destined to become the best possible anti-Dean. This prompts the Kerry/Lieberman/Gep campaigns to re-evaluate their strategies. Each thinks they'd rather be in a 2-man race with Dean than with Clark. So a new strategy arises: push Dean to the center, and push so hard that Dean beats Clark to the center. This de-fangs Clark a bit, as his role as a Dean counterpoint is stunted. By some miracle circumstance, the thinking goes, Clark would be out of position for the nomination, and the race would come down to a 2-man showdown between Howard Dean and either Kerry, Gephardt, Lieberman or Edwards.

You know what? File the end of #2 under #1, because this is stupid and won't happen. Not only did they just do Dean a huge favor, but they've practically sealed the fate of the race for the Democratic nomination: It's gonna be a Dean vs Clark showdown. Between then and the Convention, that's the harder part to predict.

(* - though unlike Bush, I don't consider Dean an "extremist" on anything, maybe because I'm a liberal, maybe not)
Josh Marshall catches John Fund making the most ridiculous analogy of the century on CNN.

Over at the Panda, Jesse notes that Justice Scalia is doing us all a favor by recusing himself in the Newdow case, more than most realize:
If he's incapable of deciding a First Amendment case because of his own personal beliefs (which is presumably what his recusal is based on, since he has no other substantive connection to the case), doesn't this lend a whole boatload of credence to Democratic opposition to Bush's other right-wing judges?

George Bush has already declared that his model justice is Scalia in previous comments . . . If this is so, then we've essentially reached the point that many critics of Bush's judicial nominees had previously warned - ideologues unable to subsume their ideology to the far more important mantle of the fair interpretation of the law.

Thanks for the help, Tony. You aren't such a bad guy after all...
Good point! Do I expect proponents of Bush's racist/extremist nominees to change their tune any? Oh, now that would be naive of me.

It's been about 26 hours, and still nothing from The Cable Guy Don Luskin on Krugman's latest. Yeah, Don, real economics can be a bitch, can't they? Don't worry Lusky, I'll fax you a copy of my soon-to-be-earned bachelors.

UPDATE: Luskin throws something together, amounting to little more than idiotic conjecture and the fact that a statistical model Krugman uses is almost as effective a tool as it possibly could be. Oh, and there's this graf, where Donnyboy proves his own stupidity:
In Tuesday's column, Krugman pushed a phony link between the US's economic situation and that of Argentina. He warns that "our budget deficit is bigger relative to the economy than Argentina's in 2000" -- just as in a column in July he said "the U.S. government is running deficits bigger, as a share of G.D.P., than those that plunged Argentina into crisis." But three -- count 'em, three -- of his own columns written when the Argentina crisis was still making headlines in 2000 and 2001 (here, here, and here) show that Krugman himself believes there's no link at all. Back then he argued specifically that debt didn't have anything to do with Argentina's troubles: "...Argentina's fundamental problem isn't fiscal; it's monetary." (boldness TFM's)
Gee Donald, why wouldn't there be a link between the state of the American and Argentinian economies in 2000 and 2001? I'll give you a hint, dropout-boy: We didn't have a deficit in 2000...


Condi: Rummy's in charge.
U.S. national security adviser Condoleezza Rice said on Tuesday that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld remained in charge of Iraq's rebuilding despite a White House reorganization seen as diluting his power.

"We are in complete agreement about this ... the Defense Department and Secretary Rumsfeld remain the lead agency in the reconstruction of Iraq," Rice told reporters in her first public comments on tensions between Rice and Rumsfeld that surfaced last week.

The tensions followed disclosure the National Security Council had reorganized its handling of Iraq policy across the government in a way some analysts said weakened the Pentagon's authority.

Rumsfeld complained he was not consulted about the creation of the "Iraq Stabilization Group," which the White House said was established under Rice to cope with an accelerated reconstruction effort following anticipated congressional passage of a $20.3 billion measure to fund the rebuilding.

After leading U.S. senators called on Bush to assert control over his team, the president told a television interviewer on Monday that "the person who is in charge is me."

Rice said on Tuesday, "This is a policy of the president of the United States and we all work for him."

Rice is one of Bush's closest advisers and confidantes, but she played down her policy-making role. "What I do is coordinate policy, I don't operate. I don't implement," she said.
From the looks of it, we're witnessing an administrative game of 3-card monte, with cards for Rummy, Condi and Dubya, respectively.
Join the NRA Blacklist!

SCOTUS will be ruling on "under God" in the Pledge:
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court said Tuesday it will decide whether the Pledge of Allegiance recited by generations of American schoolchildren is an unconstitutional blending of church and state.

The case sets up an emotional showdown over God in the public schools and in public life. It will settle whether the phrase "one nation under God" will remain a part of the patriotic oath as it is recited in most classrooms.

The court will hear the case sometime next year.

The justices agreed to hear an appeal involving a California atheist whose 9-year-old daughter, like most elementary school children, hears the Pledge of Allegiance recited daily.
And interestingly,
Justice Antonin Scalia will not take part in the case, apparently because of public remarks earlier this year critical of the lower court ruling in the pledge case. His absence sets up the possibility that the other eight justices could deadlock 4-4, a result that would allow the lower court decision to stand.
Well, given that he thinks he actually is God, that constituted a conflict of interest. Hardeehar, anyway.

TFM says get rid of those two words. In the AP article, Press Sec McClellan, speaking for Bush, notes the presence of "God" and the "creator" in the Declaration of Independence and on our money. There's just, uh, one little difference between those and the Pledge: the latter forces children to declare a belief in God that does not square with their actual beliefs. Going beyond legal issues, money and centuries-old yellowed documents have references to higher powers that are more passive impositions of divinity, while forcing kids to say "one nation under god" is an aggressive imposition of divinity.

I have no idea how they'll rule on this, even without Fat Tony.

Monday, October 13, 2003


Bush does his best Al Haig impersonation
President George W. Bush on Monday rejected complaints from some members of Congress that he needs to assert more control over Iraq policy, saying, ''The person who is in charge is me.''

A key Republican lawmaker, Indiana's Sen. Richard Lugar, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said on Sunday that ''the president has to be president'' as top advisers appeared to disagree over Iraq.


''In all due respect to politicians here in Washington, D.C., who make comments, they're just wrong about our strategy. We've had a strategy from the beginning, Jerry Bremer is running the strategy and we are making very good progress about the establishment of a free Iraq,'' Bush said.
At least it's a lot less annoying than his Yeshua Netser impersonation. (with an assist from AP).

Hmm, sorry, I guess that photo isn't really safe for work!

Last night I took a stab at the "shorter" form, whittling down today's William Safire to one sentence.

Two more Shorter Safire's hit the blogosphere today.

1. Busy, Busy, Busy (as I predicted):
Accusations of obfuscation are merely meant to divert attention from one's own intention to slander.
2. Dr Squid:
Howard Dean really said what John McCain said he said, although Dean says he didn't say it, and my research proves he didn't really say it the way McCain said Dean said it, but I still say he did say it; therefore Dean is too angry to be president.
Hehe, I got in on the ground floor on this one.

(Again, in case you were wondering, or are phobic to scrolling down or clicking on links, mine last night was "Howard Dean's assertion that a statement of his was taken out of context is lame and Nixonian, provided that certain words are extracted from the statement.")

Well, Smallpox Day, Part One.

Part Two is late next month...

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Glancing at the NYT bestseller list for nonfiction this week...

2. LIVING WITH HERPES, Bill O'Reilly (Franken leapfrogged him after only one week!)


5. MADAM SECRETARY, Madeline Albright (* - virtually tied with the #4 book)

6. BUSHWHACKED, Molly Ivins

7. SHUT UP AND SING (EXCEPT FOR ARNOLD) , Laura Ingraham (she has a BULK-ORDER dagger next to her book)



10. PERSECUTION (i.e., what all drug addicts, save for my brother, should endure), David Limbaugh (another BULK-ORDER dagger)
And my personal favorite,
12. LIVING HISTORY, Hillary Clinton




25. TREASON, Ann Coulter
Poor Ann thrax. Given current events, what a most unfortunate title. Good thing she can talk about it at her vastly prolific blog!

Stay tuned next week, as Michael Moore's Dude, Where's my Country? is sure to enter near the top.

The White House-occupying chimp, that is.
Primatologist Jane Goodall criticized President Bush's environmental policies Sunday, charging the White House with leading an "onslaught" against the Endangered Species Act that could lead to more African animals being killed or captured for profit.

Goodall, famed worldwide for her life's work studying and protecting chimpanzees in Tanzania, said her beloved apes and other species face a threat from the Bush Administration that could undo decades of conservation efforts.

"When I start talking about the long list of reversals of legislation that the Bush administration has introduced over the last three years, it's terrifying," Goodall said during an appearance at San Francisco's Episcopal Grace Cathedral.

She cited an effort by the White House to amend the 1973 Endangered Species Act so U.S. companies can import a certain number of endangered animals if they compensate the animals' native countries with money for conservation programs. Currently, such animals can't be imported into the United States.

Goodall said she believes circus owners and other businesses that use animals for entertainment or research are responsible for the proposed change.

"Obviously, they have lobbied someone in the administration to introduce this terrible bill," Goodall said. "We mustn't let it happen."
She also goes after him on foreign policy.
"The president of the United States has sent a message around the world -- be afraid," Goodall said, contrasting Bush's leadership with Winston Churchill's reassuring style when World War II terrorized her native England.

Asked whether her blunt remarks put her at risk of being labeled partisan, Goodall said she merely calls situations as she sees them, without regard to politics.

"There are certain people in decision-making places who are clearly doing the wrong thing," she said. "If we care about justice and we care about stewardship of the planet, we have to speak out."
And if you think it's not Goodall's place to make such judgements, I say this: If Arnold Schwarzenegger is qualified to be the leader of the world's 5th largest economy, then ANYONE IS QUALIFIED TO DO ANYTHING!

Anyway, go Jane!
Shorter William Safire
Dean's 'Urban Legend'
Howard Dean's assertion that a statement of his was taken out of context is lame and Nixonian, provided that certain words are extracted from the statement.
Or, sub-shorter William Safire, high-tech version:
Howard Dean's complaint about the effects of LexisNexis is easily disproven . . . by using LexisNexis.
I'm sure Elton Beard will do a better job with this than I have.

Grocer strike in Cahleefornea California:
The union representing some 70,000 Southern California grocery workers called a strike against Safeway Inc.'s Vons and two rival supermarket chains responded Sunday by locking out union workers.

Picket lines organized by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union formed at Vons across from Los Angeles to San Diego, one of the nation's most populous regions and a key market for the grocery chains.

In response to the Vons strike, Albertsons Inc. and Kroger Co.'s Ralphs, which are covered by the same master contract, locked out union workers from the first shift on Sunday, a union spokeswoman said.

The contract between the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, the AFL-CIO affiliate that represents about 1.4 million workers, and the region's three dominant supermarket chains expired on Oct. 5.

The labor dispute, which hinges on health-care costs, comes as unionized grocery workers across the United States have contracts up for a difficult renegotiation as their employers look to cut costs to offset weaker sales growth.

Union workers in Southern California voted 97 percent in favor of rejecting a two-month-old contract offer from the grocery chains and authorizing a strike Friday.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union, also known as the UFCW, charges that the chains, using the competitive threat of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. as a stalking horse, are trying to shift hundreds of millions of dollars in health-care costs to workers through higher insurance co-payments and caps that would limit sharply limit reimbursement for surgery and other expensive treatment.
Looks like I'll be stopping by the admittedly inferior IV Market and Mac's Market for a while, as I am surrounded on all sides by Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons. The Facts Machine stands in solidarity with the UFCW, and because I mean that, I will refrain from posting here for the remainder of the day. (Well, you're already doing that because you have a paper to write. -ed. Yeah, I know, just let me have my moment)

So, um, does this mean the Simpsons are going back to Africa?

Browsing my usuals this early afternoon before I hunker down and complete my History 145A paper, I noticed that Marshall and Drum were both discussing the Washington Post's latest story on L'Affaire Plame. Both bloggers made a similar observation: That the New York Times has been nowhere to be seen on this story. Kevin wonders:
Still, it's hard not to wonder if the Times even has someone assigned to this story. It seems like Bill Keller might be well advised to kick a little investigative ass down in the newsroom sometime soon.
And Marshall says:
The Times? What ever happened to the Times? Lord knows, I'm no Times-basher. But they've been totally AWOL on this story. In fact, they have the ironic and in many ways dubious distinction of having seen the story advanced far more on their OpEd page than in their news pages.
And now I throw it over to InstaHack, Hackfiles and Hackdrew Hackivan. We now have some empirical evidence in our hands. A big story hits, one that could have huge ramifications on the administration and the CIA/Pentagon/State/WhiteHouse civil war, and the Keller-led Times rests on its Manhattan laurels. Do you guys really think Howell Raines would have made the same mistake, were he still at the reigns?