The Facts Machine

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

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Digby: "I especially enjoy this accusation of the libertine, decadent elitist left being in cahoots with the gay hating, women oppressing Islamic fundamentalists."

Lots of links there, to Barlow, O'Toole and Northrup. And of course, Dana Rohrabacher is discussed.


Welcome back, Howard. It will be a joy to watch you smack Mehlman around once a week or so.

TFM will be out all day, returning tonight.

Friday, February 11, 2005


Bush approval rating sinks to 45%, according to a new AP/Ipsos poll.

Ben White offers some amusing pictoral perspective on the degree of acceptance given to the gay community in America.

both via Kos

1: Condi Rice (of course this comes out in full after the confirmation vote.)

2: Jeff Gannon

UPDATE: And let's add two strawman erectors: Drudge and Scott McClellan. I wonder if either of them could explain how McClellan's comments address such issues as "Jeff"'s access to secret CIA memos identifying Valerie Plame as an operative. Hey Drudge: feign this.

Thursday, February 10, 2005


Wow, John from AmericaBlog hit really hard about "Jeff" on Aaron Brown's show, especially on the Valerie Plame angle. I'll link to the transcript when it's up.

(The Plame connection is that "Jeff" *somehow* got access to a CIA document which suggested that Plame set up her husband, Joe Wilson, with his Niger assignment to see if Saddam bought uranium from there. No other journalist had access to the document at the time. Funny how that happens...)

And if anyone -- anyone -- complains that the two people Brown talked to about the story were John and Eric Boehlert of Salon, both left of center, consider the following:

1) The taped story right before the interviews was very fair to "Jeff".

2) Wolf Blitzer threw even bigger softballs to "Jeff" in his interview with the "reporter" earlier today than "Jeff" threw to Dubya and Scotty in his heyday.

3) Sunday morning round-table shows, and their political makeup.

So please, don't bother.

Again, if you really want to stay up to date on all things "Jeff", AmericaBlog is the way to go.

UPDATE: Here's the transcript.

Via Atrios, it would appear that the White House wants people to believe that the Republican Party began at least 60 years earlier than it actually did. They refer to Jefferson, Madison, Monroe and J Q Adams as "Republicans".

Who controls the past...

Why would Firefox users want a Yahoo toolbar? FF already has a popup blocker and a search window that can accommodate just about any engine, so what's the point?

A TFM exclusive!

WASHINGTON DC -- JD Guckert, recently exposed as using the pseudonym "Jeff Gannon" while working as a White House correspondent for the conservative Talon News outlet, resigned from his post, and has been replaced by Talon News with British journalist Ali G.

"I am well chilled about dis," a jubilant Ali G told reporters today in London. "I am checkin forward to angin wiv George Dubya Dubya Bush."

During his tenure as a White House correspondent, Guckert, posing as a reporter named Jeff Gannon from Talon News, would deliberately lob softball questions at Scott McClellan in order to rescue him from the greater scrutiny of other reporters. McClellan would often use him as a "lifeline" to stall for time, and avoid tough questions.

G, who has interviewed the likes of Newt Gingrich, Boutros Boutros Ghali and Pat Buchanan, will be likely to ask hard-hitting questions, such as, "Mista President, givun your administration's tough lingo fa Iran, should we try to check all da evidence dat dey is goin nuclear? For real since yous didn't check any BLT's in Iraq."

The results at today's press gaggle were inconclusive:
MR. McCLELLAN: No, this is -- let me repeat. This goes back through what we've answered previously -- I think what he's answered, what administration officials have answered. He's stated his principles. You all want to try to get us into negotiating with ourselves. We're not going to do that. We stated our principles and made clear what his views are. He's made clear what his views are. And we're going to listen to all ideas that are out there for solving this problem.

(long pause)

MR. McCLELLAN: Oh, fuck it. Yes, go ahead Terry...

wut da fuck? no respeck
Overhauled the ol' blogroll a bit earlier this evening, will probably make more changes in the coming days.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


Right now it's just so damn cool to blog about Bush's proposed federal budget. So here's something Jesse noticed:
The budget includes over a billion dollars in revenue from drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), even though Congress hasn't authorized such drilling and has rejected President Bush's proposal to open ANWR to oil exploration for the last four years.
Okay, it's hilarious on one level that the Bush budget is partially based on fictional revenue that may as well have come from griffon farming.

What makes it even funnier is that the hypothetical revenue from ANWR oil wouldn't come in for 7 to 10 years, given that that's how long it would take to start pumping any measurable quantity of oil there. So there you have it: The Bush budget assumes a billion dollars in revenue that is not only fictional, but also from no earlier than 2012!

Really, don't trust these guys.
Ahh Fox News. Come for the chance to deliver your opinion to the masses, stay for the icy stares... (via O'Toole)

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


Hmm, that doesn't sound right.

Anyway, since I mentioned him ever so briefly in my previous post, I thought now was a good time to draw attention to Kevin Drum's excellent post outlining, via Nexis, how an old and relatively insignificant story about the ravings of an nutty prof from Colorado named Ward Churchill became a widespread story, and the topic of multiple "talking points" segments on The O'Reilly Factor. Hint: right-wing echo chamber.

The goal of the Scaife/Moonie/Murdoch types in this matter is to somehow implicitly link Churchill to, say, Harry Reid, even though the guy is an obscure nutbar from Colorado. Or at least to argue that people of his mindset have significant sway in the mainstream Democratic Party.

How does this play out? Here's an example: on February 3rd Joe Scarborough devoted the first segment of his show on MSNBC, Scarborough Country, to Churchill's comments, and then he devoted the third segment to asking why Ted Kennedy wants to see the efforts in Iraq go up in smoke. They think if they can sprinkle enough of this fellow into the cauldron of Center-Left America, they can spoil the broth in the eyes of enough Americans to help the GOP maintain its electoral advantage. When in reality, he's a fringe professor with tenure, that's it. What makes the whole thing even more cynical is that most of the people in the 101st Fighting Keyboarders know full well that he's a fringer, they know full well the implications of wanting the media to expend so much energy on him, and yet they keep blogging about him anyway.

Author, syndicated columnist, cable pundit and noted 40-something Ann Coulter seems to miss the attention she used to get back in her glory days. You know, the "my only regret with Tim McVeigh is that he didn't go to the New York Times building" days.*

With that in mind, she decided to move her lips on two different cable news nets on Sunday:
On the February 7 edition of FOX News' Hannity & Colmes, Coulter criticized ads that aired during the 2005 Super Bowl, saying, "this is juvenile, 4-year-old humor," and added: "And last year's Super Bowl show, ooh, simulated interracial sex."
(referring to the Janet incident, of course)

As she said that, it was reported that Coulter was Loving the sound of her own voice.

Minutes later she hopped over to MSNBC to talk about the Ward Churchill kerfuffle. She said of college professors:
"These guys [college professors] want to go around acting like big radicals, getting laid by coeds with hairy armpits who probably don't like men, by going to conferences and saying, 'Oh, yes, I'm the one who said that.'"
First of all, Ann, get with the times, you old bag! Nobody says "coeds" anymore. Where's the only place where you actually hear the word "coeds"? On Girls Gone Wild ads, that's where. And why is that? Because they're advertising their products to pathetic older men! Moving on, I'm not sure what to make of her self-contradiction about prof-fuckers who "don't like men". I'm not offended by this sort of talk, it just reeks of old Ann trying waaay too hard. Clearly she's on her way down.

Hopefully this means that Ann will soon revert back to her old pastime, accosting teenage boys at bus stops.

(* - She tried to explain away that comment by saying "after 9/11 I shouldn't say that"... as if it was okay to say that before 9/11.)

No, the other one:
Virginians who wear their pants so low their underwear shows may want to think about investing in a stronger belt.

The state's House of Delegates passed a bill Tuesday authorizing a $50 fine for anyone who displays his or her underpants in a "lewd or indecent manner."

Del. Lionell Spruill Sr., a Democrat who opposed the bill, had pleaded with his colleagues to remember their own youthful fashion follies.

During an extended monologue Monday, he talked about how they dressed or wore their hair in their teens. On Tuesday, he said the measure was an unconstitutional attack on young blacks that would force parents to take off work to accompany their children to court just for making a fashion statement.

"This is a foolish bill, Mr. Speaker, because it will hurt so many," Spruill said before the measure was approved 60-34. It now goes to the state Senate.
Virginia, of course, is the home of the Pentagon, which was attacked by terrorists flying a hijacked airplane in late summer 2001. Glad to see the Virginia Legislature has their priorities straight.

Dealing with the issue as seriously as one can, the bulk of the blame for low-ride-apalooza falls upon Britney and her ilk. TFM wouldn't mind seeing a return to sensible waist locations, but has no explicit objection to the current state of American pants. However, as a bike commuter for 2 years at UCSB, I've noticed that some of you girls there would probably have to take out some supplemental student loans to pay your fines should such a law be passed in California.

That said, the bill passed by the Virginia legislature is simply stupid, and a waste of time. Surely Governor Warner, who'd like to get on the good side of America's young people (the only age demographic whose share of the electorate increased in 2004), will veto the bill should it reach him. With all that in mind, I have two gifts for the bill's supporters:

(thanks to alex for the link)
TBogg puts OMFGEASONJORDAN!!!!1!!!11one!1!! in the proper perspective.
Anyway, because of Eason Jordan's "lies" over 1400 American soldiers have died in Iraq...

No. Wait. That can't be right...

Monday, February 07, 2005

This must be one of those "frivolous asbestos claims"...
Tommaso Sciortino (who looks vaguely like actor Eric Balfour) has left CalJunket and now has his own digs, check him out at Doubting Tommaso ( He's a smart guy who adds a lot to discussion, while at the same time riling up all the right people.

The only worthwhile ad from the bunch was the Ameriquest ad in which a woman catches her man allegedly sacrificing his cat. Other than that? Bleh.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Michael Douglas: In Afghanistan! (cheer) In Iraq! (cheer) And our forward units in Iran! (gah?)

New England wins. And it won't be a nailbiter this time.

The over-under on jokes made by Sir Paul about breasts at halftime: 8.

UPDATE (12:55 PM Pacific): Wow. John Fogerty playing "Fortunate Son", not only at the Super Bowl, but on Fox!? This is surreal. Though I wonder who's getting the money for this performance.

UPDATE (1:12 PM Pacific): Half-watching a promo for 24, I could swear I heard somebody say "nook-yoo-lar".