The Facts Machine

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

Friday, June 11, 2004


House to Bush: No new nukes!
A U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee defied the Bush administration on Wednesday and slashed funds to study a new generation of deep-earth penetrating nuclear weapons and so-called low-yield nuclear weapons.

The House Appropriations Energy and Water subcommittee denied the $36 million the administration sought to study the nuclear weapons it says may be needed to confront emerging threats since the end of the Cold War.

It took the measure while considering a $28 billion bill to fund energy, water and nuclear weapons programs.

The subcommittee also cut the funds last year, but the full Congress in later House and Senate votes restored them.
Let's hope they get it out and keep it out this time. And as for the administration?
The administration has said it has no plans to develop the weapons. But it does not want to close the door to the "bunker-busting'' nuclear weapons it said may be needed to bore into underground facilities and the smaller weapons with less than half the yield of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
So the administration wants to develop nuclear warheads with "less than half the yield" of a bomb that caused around 200,000 deaths, 70,000 of them pretty much instantly. That's, um, mighty encouraging.

And after the media telling us over and over again this week that Reagan ended the Cold War, at that!

"Mein Fuhrer, I can walk!"
Tom Burka sums up this weeks Reagan coverage.
Dear Drudge,

If the Clintons are "resting their eyes", as you claim, then what exactly is Betty Ford doing? (in the background of the picture)

Perhaps they're, oh I dunno, praying???


UPDATE: As of a couple hours ago, the pic was gone. A jolly drive-by smear is had by all! Don't worry, Clinton haters! Starting on the 22nd, you'll have plenty of time to work yourselves up into a frenzy!

By the way, I reiterate the first line of this post: Betty Ford's eyes are closed too. Either they were honoring Reagan by having a big group nap time--sitting straight up at that--or they were praying. Please look closer.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Among the vistors to Reagan's casket (via drudge):
The casket continues to draw visitors from all walks of life -- even new interim Iraqi President Ghazi al-Yawer.

Al-Yawer (pictured left, at center), who took over as Iraq's top leader in the interim government last month, was in coastal Georgia for the G8 Summit on Thursday morning before traveling to Washington with other world leaders for Reagan's funeral service Friday at the National Cathedral.

Al-Yawer was accompanied by Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn., as he viewed the casket. Before leaving, he placed his hand over his heart. The line of visitors was halted as al-Yawer made his visit.

I don't begrudge Ghazi al-Yawer his right to pay his respects to a major world leader who passed on. But as an Iraqi exile from the brutal regime of Saddam Hussein, maybe he might want to read up a bit on Reagan's Iraq policy.

Sure, we all remember Reagan's swift condemnation of Saddam's use of chemical weapons at Halabja and elsewhere. Wait...

Isn't there something missing from this account of the extra close results of a Republican congressional primary in Jersey? (link via Political Wire)
Both candidates in the Republican primary for the First Congressional District went to bed on election night unsure if they would wake up as their party's nominee.

They didn't have any answers in the morning.

Instead, the two men found themselves in a statistical tie yesterday for the right to face a powerful Democratic incumbent.

The unofficial tally, according to both camps, had salesman John Cusack leading lawyer Daniel Hutchison by a single vote: 4,170 to 4,169.

"No one thought this would happen. I should have bought a lottery ticket," Cusack, of Sicklerville, mused yesterday. "I'm ahead by one vote. I'm taking that as a mandate from the people."

The virtual deadlock could be broken by the provisional ballots, which typically are given to voters who show up at the wrong polling place.
Did you catch that?

Nowhere in the Inquirer piece is there any assurance that everyone's favorite mopey-intellectual cute movie star isn't the one running for Congress.

So allow me to step in and calm everybody down.

This is the John Cusack who's running for Congress. He's stridently opposed to abortion, as well as both same-sex marriage and civil unions. But at least in the linked photo he's riding an electric motorcycle, and the caption notes that he "has been active in seeking alternative fuels for use transportation applications, such as Biodiesel- and electricly powered vehicles."
Hesiod has called it quits.

Damn, that's too bad. Well, best wishes to him, whoever he is.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004


This is too serious an issue for smugness, so you wont hear any from me.

State Dept to revise 2003 terror attack data:
The State Department is scrambling to revise its annual report on global terrorism to acknowledge that it understated the number of deadly attacks in 2003, amid charges that the document is inaccurate and was politically manipulated by the Bush administration.

When the most recent "Patterns of Global Terrorism" report was issued April 29, senior Bush administration officials immediately hailed it as objective proof that they were winning the war on terrorism. The report is considered the authoritative yardstick of the prevalence of terrorist activity around the world.

"Indeed, you will find in these pages clear evidence that we are prevailing in the fight" against global terrorism, Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage said during a celebratory rollout of the report.

But on Tuesday, State Department officials said they underreported the number of terrorist attacks in the tally for 2003, and added that they expected to release an updated version soon.

Several U.S. officials and terrorism experts familiar with that revision effort said the new report will show that the number of significant terrorist incidents increased last year, perhaps to its highest level in 20 years.
So, basically the report went from saying "lowest level of attacks in 34 years" to saying "highest level in 20 years". That's more than a little off. This is terrorism, not Medicare, guys.

A State Department official is claiming that this was a "clerical error". A mighty convenient error, but an alleged error nonetheless. Especially convenient since the week the State Dept report was originally released, Bush was on a bus tour titled "The Winning the War on Terror Tour". Still, this quote is interesting:
Several State Department officials vehemently denied their report was swayed by politics. "That's not the way we do things here," said one senior official.
Here, in the State Department, as opposed to...?

I don't know if certain people might update their readers about this sort of thing...

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Dear Sheed, or whoever,

When you're up by three, and over the limit, and Shaq has the ball in his hands with about 12 seconds left, you might think about, oh I don't know, fouling him? Just maybe?

On the other hand, Sheed, I understand, since the refs refused to foul out Shaq just seconds earlier when he bumped your head-banded ass out of the paint.


P.S. If you see Nader around, tell him to get down to LA and complain about the officiating just as he rightly did after game 6 of the Kings/Lakers series a couple years ago.

Okay, back to studying!

Those of you in the greater UCSB area may know that there's been a pretty big fire burning just to the west of campus, in Gaviota.

Here is a picture I took from DS (dogshit) Park in Isla Vista, of the large cloud of smoke heading eastward across the Pacific:

(click image for enlarged version)

It's been burning for a couple of days now, but I hadn't heard about it until I went out to the beach this evening. This is what finals does to people.

The smoke does make for an unusually majestic coastal view. Though it's usually pretty nice, I must say.

Okay, 2 finals down, 2 to go. Studying, recommence thyself!

Monday, June 07, 2004


(slightly obscure ben folds reference, though not to his fans i'm sure)

Had a real heavy-duty political theory final this afternoon.

My studying for that final, plus the workout that was the final itself, has inspired me.

I have finally found a proper tribute to Ronald Reagan's presidency.

I'm going to take a nap.


Blogging might resume tonight...

Sunday, June 06, 2004


Pistons 87, Lakers 75.

And this wasn't any of that 76ers, double-overtime, took-everything-just-to-come-out-on-top shit, either. This was Detroit grinding them down.

And, somewhere in an alternate universe: Go Kings!
Tom Burka brings us the definitive take on Bush's malfunctioning umbrella.

Okay, too much partying, time to go to sleep. I'll write about Reagan tomorrow, if I have time. A veritable Voltron, made of up equal parts Weber, Strauss, Nietzche and Mill shall meet me when I wake up. In other words, I have a political theory final for which I mucst study. Sigh...