The Facts Machine

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

Thursday, August 19, 2004

God, Michelle Malkin is fucking crazy. Good for Chris Matthews, of whom I've been occasionally critical.

Atrios notes that Kerry's shrapnel came from a grenade, which ain't exactly a weapon that lends itself to intentional self-infliction.

From 2001:
"In his 16 years in the Senate, John Kerry has fought against government waste and worked hard to bring some accountability to Washington. Early in his Senate career in 1986, John signed on to the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Deficit Reduction Bill, and he fought for balanced budgets before it was considered politically correct for Democrats to do so. John has worked to strengthen our military, reform public education, boost the economy and protect the environment."
Answer here

Late last week, boom-boom neocon extraordinaire Max Boot had an op-ed piece in the Los Angeles Times lamenting about how the Olympics currently suck because the Cold War has gone the way of the dodo and the Republican deficit-hawk.
To get into the Olympic spirit, I recently watched "Miracle," a Disney docudrama about the American hockey team's improbable victory over the reigning Soviet champions at Lake Placid, N.Y., in 1980. It didn't work. All it did was make clear the vast chasm between the exciting events depicted in the movie and the bloated, cheerless extravaganza due to start Friday.

The stakes couldn't have been higher in 1980 — or lower today. Back then, the contest on ice was, quite literally, a "cold war" between two superpowers. Something similar happened at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, which Hitler staged as a tribute to the Aryan ubermensch, only to be shown up by the prowess of African American sprinter Jesse Owens.

There might be equally high drama today if our current enemies chose to compete in sporting events. Unfortunately, if Al Qaeda fielded an Olympic team it would be made up entirely of airplane divers and bomb tossers. All things considered, let's hope they boycott the Games. But in their absence, it's hard to get worked up about the U.S. medal count versus Russia, China or any other nation. Ironically, the very fact that most countries are engaged in peaceful competition — the Olympic ideal — renders this Olympics uninteresting.
Since part of my mission in life is to make people happy, I'd like to offer my neoconservative friends a chance to have back the virtual penis-measurement via Olympic medals that they miss ever so much.

One of the planks of the neocon defense of Bush's war in Iraq is "Hey, he does so have a large coalition! Shut up about the war being 'unilateral'!"

Let's put that to the test, shall we? The following is the first installment of TFM's "Coalition Vs." Medal Count!

We will be fair and use the White House page for the Coalition roster, and we will use the official site of the Athens Olympics for the country medal count. We will use total medals, giving equal weight to gold, silver or bronze medals. Let's roll!

Through day 5
Iraq Coalition:
United States - 29
Japan - 13
Australia - 16
Ukraine - 7
Italy - 9
South Korea - 10
Netherlands - 9
Romania - 3
Turkey - 3
Hungary - 4
Poland - 4
Slovakia - 4
Georgia - 2
Bulgaria - 3
Great Britain - 6
Czech Republic - 2
Portugal - 1
Spain - 1
Azerbaijan - 1
Colombia - 1
Denmark - 1
Mongolia - 1
TOTAL - 130

Everyone Else:
China - 22
Russia - 15
France - 10
Germany - 10
Greece - 3
South Africa - 2
Thailand - 3
Switzerland - 2
United Arab Emirates - 1
North Korea - 3
Cuba - 5
Belarus - 2
Zimbabwe - 2
India - 1
Indonesia - 1
Serbia - 1
Belgium - 2
Brazil - 2
Argentina - 1
Canada - 1
Croatia - 1
Slovenia - 1
TOTAL - 91
Note that I'm being more than fair, including some of the "we sent a horse or two!" countries (Mongolia?) and other countries that either have wavered or now have leadership that wouldn't have joined the coalition in the first place (S. Korea, Spain). In some cases, the countries in question sent more athletes to Athens than troops to Iraq.

Still, whaddya think, Max/neocons? You have a great reason to watch the Olympics. Heck, unlike the Cold War, you get to root against France!

I'll probably do an update in a few days.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004


WASHINGTON (TFM Press) -- A group critical of President Bush's re-election campaign has made a startling new charge against the President's record of service in the Air National Guard.

In a new book, Dereliction of Deliciousness, a group known as International Cuisine Enthusiasts for the Truth (ICE T) is alleging that while serving in Texas and Alabama, Bush never entered a Cambodian restaurant.

"There were many Southeast Asian dining options in the immediate vicinity of Ellington Air Force Base in Houston in the 1970's, including Cambodian," said ICE T chairman Neil O'Johnson. "The fact that Bush neglected to try a single one of them raises serious questions about his ability to lead the greatest country in the world."

When asked about his prior associations with the McGovern Campaign in 1972, however, O'Johnson was defiant. "I was not a McGovern protege shill," he told a press conference, "I think a lot of Americans believed that President Nixon was not getting enough curry." That claim was famously contested by former Nixon speechwriter Ben Stein, who claims the former President "kept three kinds of curry stored in his jowls."

Montha Lim, owner of Angkor Wat, a restaurant in Houston serving Cambodian food, said he never saw Bush there. "I would have remembered if the son of a Congressman ate in my restaurant," said Lim, adding, "Try the lemongrass duck."

However, Lim did recall receiving a number of prank calls in 1969 and 1970, in which the caller, in a nasal, inebriated voice, referred to Norodom Sihanouk as "a delicious plate of cheese fries."

At the White House, Press Secretary Scott McClellan defiantly brushed off questions from the press on the matter.

"I reject the premise of your question," McClellan told correspondent Helen Thomas. "None of these restaurants served ribs."

Monday, August 16, 2004


(huh? twenty-five cents?)

--Ooh goody, a one-stop shop for debunking the Swift Boat Lying Liars for Lying. (link via Ailes)

--Bill O'Reilly -- Bill O'Reilly? -- comes out against attacking Kerry's war record. There are two possibilities. The first is that O'Reilly is sincerely making this judgment, and for that he should be cheered. The second is that this is a case of O'Reilly self-consciously trying to create an aura of (faux) independence for himself by criticizing something stupid (glad to see O'Neill, Corsi and their ilk likened to NAMBLA, haha). Either way, the end result is fine.

Just one problem though:
Remember, Gen. Wesley Clark was knocked out of the presidential sweepstakes when he would not disown Michael Moore's insane remark that President Bush was a "deserter." Bush received an honorable discharge from the National Guard.
Er, no. Wesley Clark got knocked out of the Democratic primary campaign because his campaign never got off the ground. He screwed up the "would you have supported the war" question on the very first day of his campaign, and he made the idiotic decision to skip Iowa. The media also wanted him out in February, since they had an interest in thinning out the herd (costs, the drama of a 2-man race, etc). The real reason O'Reilly said what he said is to raise a familiar GOP bogeyman (Moore) as a way of saying "Don't worry, I'm on your side!"

Okay, back to packing...
TOMORROW... a moving day here at TFM, so don't expect much today.

Is everybody having a good time? I'm grinning like a fiendish Peter Pan of some sort.

(L2R: Me, Chris, Jonathan) Posted by Hello

--The Renaissance Faire, or RenFaire for short (some people just say "Faire") was quite nice, dressed up somewhat period-ish, pictures may or may not make their way on to this page soon.

--The Olympics are cruising along, I will have some more substantial, and probably humorous things to say about them soon.

--In response to the post just below this one, I essentially get talked past, with the requisite side order of "why is he dragging minority admissions into this?"

Again, very slowly, and then I'm done with this, period:
1) I am of the opinion that James McGreevey's homosexuality was an issue at least on par with anything else (allegations of corruption and a possible yet-to-be-filed harassment suit) in contributing to his decision to resign.
2) Some other people think his homosexuality is, first and foremost, a red herring.
3) Well shit, we disagree.
4) Reviewing the language I used in my initial post on the matter, I see nothing about McGreevey being "victimized". I identified the "eww, gays" sentiment still pervasive in our culture, yet nowhere did I explicitly identify him as a "victim" of said sentiment, and my second post makes that even more abundantly clear. The only place where a conclusion was jumped to was in the imaginations of some of my readers.
5) Oh, and since nobody said anything, no, Arnold wouldn't have been elected.