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Friday, January 30, 2004

Op-Ed Contributor: Givers and Takers: "The Democrats' electability predicament comes into focus when you compare the map of Giver and Taker states with the well-worn electoral map of red (Republican) and blue (Democrat) states. You might expect that in the 2000 presidential election, Republicans, the party of low taxes and limited government, would have carried the Giver states � while Democrats, the party of wild spending and wooly bureaucracy, would have appealed to the Taker states. But it was the reverse. George W. Bush was the candidate of the Taker states. Al Gore was the candidate of the Giver states.
78 percent of Mr. Bush's electoral votes came from Taker states.
76 percent of Mr. Gore's electoral votes came from Giver states.
Of the 33 Taker states, Mr. Bush carried 25.
Of the 16 Giver states, Mr. Gore carried 12.
Juxtaposing these maps provides a new perspective on the political landscape. (Interactive moment: Color in the blue and red states � then you'll get the full picture.) Republicans seem to have become the new welfare party � their constituents live off tax dollars paid by people who vote Democratic. Of course, not all federal spending is wasteful. But Republicans are having their pork and eating it too. Voters in red states like Idaho, Montana and Wyoming are some of the country's fiercest critics of government, yet they're also among the biggest recipients of federal largess. Meanwhile, Democratic voters in the coastal blue states � the ones who are often portrayed as shiftless moochers � are left to carry the load.
For President Bush, this invisible income redistribution system is a boon. He can encourage his supporters to see themselves as Givers, yet reward them with federal spending in excess of their contribution � and send the bill to those who voted for his oppon"

And it puts the eventual Democratic presidential nominee in a bind, should he try to rally those who believe they aren't getting a fair shake from Washington. If the Democratic candidate won all 16 Giver states plus the District of Columbia in November, he'd collect only 254 electoral votes, short of the majority needed to capture the White House. The electoral votes of all the Taker states, by contrast, add up to 273 — two more than Mr. Bush won in 2000.

Is there a way out for Democrats? Maybe not. With Republicans holding the purse strings, it's the Democrats who are being taken.

Daniel H. Pink, the author of "Free Agent Nation," was the chief speechwriter for Vice President Al Gore from 1995 to 1997.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Soros prepared to dig deep to oust Bush: "It is ironic that the government of the most successful open society in the world should have fallen into the hands of ideologues who ignore the first principles of open society,' Mr Soros writes in the Bubble of American Supremacy. 'Who would have thought... that the US itself could pose a threat to open society? Yet that is what is happening, both internally and internationally.'
If Americans voted Mr Bush out in November, Mr Soros said, the Bush doctrine would be seen as an aberration is US foreign policy, if not then the world would have to live with the consequences. Mr Soros was not asked which Democratic candidate he favoured, but he indicated how tough it would be to beat the president because of the rude health of the US economy.
'Karl Rove (Mr Bush's top political strategist) has done an extremely good job in pumping up the economy - he is the one who runs the economy - and they have made a more or less jobless, but profitful recovery. It's been very successful. The price will be paid in 2005 and afterwards,' Mr Soros said.
The Hungarian �migr� said, however, that turfing Mr Bush out was not enough. Mr Soros urged the development of what he called the community of democracies that could form a more effective multilateral bloc outside the UN.
'The formation of an influential democratic bloc of nations would change the character of the UN, making it more effective in influencing the behaviour of its members,' Mr Soros writes in his book. 'Repressive regimes would be excluded from active decision making; failed states could be put under protection of the UN. The currently insoluble problem of using the UN to interfere in the internal affairs of sovereign states could be on the way to a solution.'"

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

BAD ATTITUDES: "The U.S. economy now borrows $1.5 billion a day from foreign investors, said Sung Won Sohn, chief economist of Wells Fargo & Co., and that level could reach $3 billion a day in the near future.
Currency traders fretting over that dependency have been selling dollars fast and buying euros furiously. The fear is that foreigners will tire of financing America�s appetites. Foreign investors will dump U.S. assets, especially stocks and bonds, sending financial markets plummeting. Interest rates will shoot up to entice them back. Heavily indebted Americans will not be able to keep up with rising interest payments. Inflation, bankruptcies and economic malaise will follow.
A slow, orderly decline in the dollar�s worth may avoid a financial panic, but it also gives international investors time to shop for other places to put their money. That could actually put more pressure on interest rates than a sharp, steep drop, as investors demand a premium for holding dollar-denominated assets, Korjut Erturk of the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, wrote recently.
But a rout on currency markets could be disastrous to the international economy�s psyche. In the November issue of Fortune, Berkshire Hathaway chief executive Warren E. Buffett confessed that he had bet against the dollar for the first time in his life by purchasing foreign currencies."
BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Parrot's oratory stuns scientists: "The finding of a parrot with an almost unparalleled power to communicate with people has brought scientists up short.
The bird, a captive African grey called N'kisi, has a vocabulary of 950 words, and shows signs of a sense of humour.
He invents his own words and phrases if he is confronted with novel ideas with which his existing repertoire cannot cope - just as a human child would do.
N'kisi's remarkable abilities, which are said to include telepathy, feature in the latest BBC Wildlife Magazine.
N'kisi is believed to be one of the most advanced users of human language in the animal world.
About 100 words are needed for half of all reading in English, so if N'kisi could read he would be able to cope with a wide range of material.
Polished wordsmith "

Saturday, January 24, 2004

The Only Superbad Power: "Someday Bush may be proven right, and a harmonious chain of friendly democracies may stretch from Central Asia to the Mediterranean. For the time being, the new American order has generated a tsunami of anti-Americanism, with the United States perceived in some quarters as a greater threat to world peace than Al Qaeda. Deep fissures have developed between the United States and its allies; American policies have threatened to undermine Europe's drive toward unity; Muslims around the globe have turned against the United States; many leaders in Asia now look to China for their economic and political security; and Americans themselves have become polarized in their attitude toward the rest of the world. The ''war on terrorism'' has gotten mired in an anarchic Iraq; Guantanamo has come to represent a willful violation of civil rights; and tyrants have seized on the concept of pre-emptive war to justify their own suppression of opponents, now labeled terrorists. "

I have saved a discussion of Emmanuel Todd's ''After the Empire'' for last, not because I deem it least but because it is the view of an outsider, and a highly troubling view at that. I have been living in France for the past six months, and I often wonder whether Americans are aware of the depth of the dread and revulsion in which Bush's United States is held by many foreigners. In Todd's study, translated by C. Jon Delogu, a relentless condemnation of everything American arises from an acute sense of betrayal.

A French historian and anthropologist trained at Cambridge University in England and descended from Jews who were refugees in America, Todd says he used to see the United States as a model, as his ''subconscious safety net.'' Now, he declares, it is solely a ''predator,'' living way beyond its means, racking up video-game victories over defenseless nations and undermining human rights. Nobody escapes Todd's jilted fury -- not the American woman, ''a castrating, threatening figure,'' and not American Jews, who have ''fallen into the disturbing, not to say neurotic, cult of the Holocaust.'' Todd's solace is also his main thesis, that American power is fast waning because of the country's profligate spending: ''Let the present America expend what remains of its energy, if that is what it wants to do, on 'war on terrorism' -- a substitute battle for the perpetuation of a hegemony that it has already lost.'' This is easy to dismiss as the rant of Old Europe (surprise: Todd's book was a best seller in France). But that would miss the point: his sense of betrayal is widely shared around the world, even in places the White House likes to portray as friends. Alas, I have heard too many people of good will express profound disappointment with the United States to reject Todd as an extreme or isolated voice.

Though I have lived abroad for many years and regard myself as hardened to anti-Americanism, I confess I was taken aback to have my country depicted, page after page, book after book, as a dangerous empire in its last throes, as a failure of democracy, as militaristic, violent, hegemonic, evil, callous, arrogant, imperial and cruel. Daalder and Lindsay may be constrained by an American sense of respect for the White House, but they too proclaim Bush's foreign policy fundamentally wrong. It is not only Bush's ''imperious style,'' they write; ''The deeper problem was that the fundamental premise of the Bush revolution -- that America's security rested on an America unbound -- was mistaken.'' The more moving judgment comes from Soros, a Jew from Hungary who lived through both German and Soviet occupation: ''This is not the America I chose as my home.''

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Crooked Timber: Comment Preview: "Crooked Timber
Previewing your Comment
The binary thinking demonstrated here has been unbelieveable. Has anyone ever heard of moderation, or is that a dirty word? It�s strange how opposites both attract and repel. It�s like looking at a car wreck. But I guess nobody here really wants to change so whats the use? I mean everybody here is right. Right? It�s only the other guy that�s wrong. We�re adversaries with a purpose. Can you guys really say the same things over and over forever and never get tired? At some point it ought to be against the rules to keep spouting the same old tired arguments. If you can�t offer some kind of compromise you shouldn�t get to speak. I know this is nothing more than wishful thinking, but at least I�m wishing for something that could happen.
Posted by Cat Travis at January 23, 2004 12:59 AM "

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Roger Ailes: "Mickey Kaus admits there is more than one reason he likes Lucianne Goldberg ('This is one reason I like Lucianne Goldberg'). The reason mentioned most recently was Lucianne's putative -- and bogus -- denunciation of a smear against Howard Dean. But, as The Horse reports, Goldberg's website has falsely accused Dean of being an abusive husband.
One wonders about Kaus's other reasons for liking Lucianne. Is it her racism? Her anti-gay bigotry? Her implicit endorsement of violence against African-Americans and gay men?
Or all of them?"

Sunday, January 18, 2004

New Scientist: "Fields such as genomics are crying out for better and more intelligent automation because they are generating data much faster than it can be analysed"

Robot scientist outperforms humans in lab

18:00 14 January 04

Special Report from New Scientist Print Edition. Subscribe and get 4 free issues.

An intelligent robot that could free genomics researchers from routine lab chores has proven as effective as a human scientist. The robot not only performs genetics experiments, it also decides which ones to do, interprets the results and comes up with new hypotheses.

Fields such as genomics are crying out for better and more intelligent automation because they are generating data much faster than it can be analysed. Stephen Muggleton, a computer scientist at Imperial College London, UK, and a member of the team that developed the system, says that scientists in genomics are becoming overwhelmed. Data is increasing almost exponentially, he adds, making more automation inevitable.

Now, Muggleton and his colleagues report how their machine, which they call Robot Scientist, fared when set a typical genomics task - to determine the function of a set of genes in brewer's yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Having been programmed with the necessary genetic background information and a model of the type of experiment to be carried out, their robot successfully confirmed the function of a set of well-known genes in yeast. The Robot Scientist is the first to both "reason" the best experimental approach, and carry it out, say its architects.

Hypothesis generator

Its "brain" is a PC running two novel software packages developed by the team: an experiment selection system called ASE and a hypothesis generator called Progol. The PC is linked up to standard computer-controlled lab equipment. The only human intervention needed is to carry test plates to and from an incubator.

The robotic system was asked to find the function of yeast genes involved in the biosynthesis of some essential amino acids. It was provided with mutant strains of yeast, each lacking a particular gene, and set to go.

Like a researcher tackling a new problem, the system does not come empty-headed. It is pre-programmed with an incomplete model of the biochemical pathways and metabolic networks of yeast, and information on the genes that encode the proteins involved. It uses this knowledge to generate hypotheses about what the missing genes might do.

From its database, the ASE software devised experiments in which particular mutant and normal strains were mixed with different nutrients or intermediates in the biosynthetic pathway. The growth of the yeast was then measured and compared.

Testing predictions

For each mutant yeast strain ASE will predict whether or not it can survive without particular nutrients. Progol then tests the predictions by planning the precise experiment that will compare the survival of the mutant to that of the normal strain.

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Stephen Muggleton, Imperial College London

European Bioinformatics Institute


If Progol is correct - and it was 98 per cent of the time - the software uses this knowledge to help formulate the next set of hypotheses - and the next set of experiments to firm up its ideas.

The team compared the performance of the Robot Scientist with that of a graduate student doing the same experiments. Not only were the results just as accurate, but the system did not need to perform as many experiments because its hypothesis generator found solutions more quickly, so its costs were about two-thirds lower.

Automating this drudge work, the team say, will leave scientists to "make the high-level creative leaps at which they excel".

Journal reference: Nature (vol 427, p 247)

Duncan Graham-Rowe

this, my friend, is what it is all robotics is to be all about. Now the research needs to be done in robotics itself.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Op-Ed Columnist: Masters of Deception: " I have noticed a troubling pattern that characterizes the Bush-Cheney administration's approach to almost all issues. In almost every policy area, the administration's consistent goal has been to eliminate any constraints on their exercise of raw power, whether by law, regulation, alliance or treaty. And in the process, they have in each case caused America to be seen by the other nations of the world as showing disdain for the international community.'"

they often use Orwellian language to disguise their true purposes. For example, a policy that opens national forests to destructive logging of old-growth trees is labeled Healthy Forest Initiative. A policy that vastly increases the amount of pollution that can be dumped into the air is called the Clear Skies Initiative."

History will not be kind to the chicanery that passes for governing in the Bush II administration
Op-Ed Columnist: Who Gets It?: "The real division in the race for the Democratic nomination is between those who are willing to question not just the policies but also the honesty and the motives of the people running our country, and those who aren't. "

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Can PM Appease Bush?: "Some refer to George W. Bush as another Hitler. This is a gross exaggeration. He has constructed no death camps and only one concentration camp � at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
While it does seem, in Nuremberg terms, that Bush could be called a war criminal (invading other countries on the flimsiest of pretexts), he has not engaged in genocide. Nor, unlike Volkswagen supporter Hitler, does he promote the production of small, cheap cars.
True, both came to power constitutionally (although under dubious circumstances and with the support of only a minority of voters). True, both masterfully used traumatic events at home (the 1933 Reichstag fire for Hitler; 9/11 for Bush) to make a frightened and resentful populace accept restrictions on civil liberties.
True, also, that the U.S. leader shares Hitler's taste for military costumes � although to be fair to the German dictator, he did serve on active duty in wartime.
But overall, the comparison is far from exact, lending credence to Karl Marx's famous comment that when history repeats itself, the first time is tragedy, the second, farce.
Still, for Canada and novice Prime Minister Paul "
Public Citizen: "Dr. Sidney Wolfe, director of Public Citizen�s Health Research Group added: 'This study, documents the state-by-state potential administrative savings achievable with national health insurance. These enormous sums could be used to provide health care for the more than 43 million uninsured people in the United States and drug coverage for seniors. These data should awaken governors and legislators to a fiscally sound and humane way to deal with ballooning budget deficits. Instead of cutting Medicaid and other vital services, officials could expand services by freeing up the $286 billion a year wasted on administrative expenses. In the current economic climate, with unemployment rising, we can ill afford massive waste in health care. Radical surgery to cure our failing health insurance system is sorely needed.'
Dr. Himmelstein described the real-world meaning of the difference in administration between the United States and Canada by comparing hospitals in the two nations. Several years ago, he visited Toronto General Hospital, a 900-bed tertiary care center that offered an extensive array of high-tech procedures, and searched for the billing office. It was hard to find, though; it consisted of a handful of people in the basement whose main job was to send bills to U.S. patients who had come across the border. Canadian hospitals do not bill individual patients for their health care and so have no need to keep track of who receives each Band-Aid or an aspirin.
'A Canadian hospital negotiates its annual budget "
"Creative Class War" by Richard Florida: " Most of all, in the wake of 9/11, Washington has inspired the fury of the world, especially of its educated classes, with its my-way-or-the-highway foreign policy. In effect, for the first time in our history, we're saying to highly mobile and very finicky global talent, 'You don't belong here.'
Obviously, this shift has come about with the changing of the political guard in Washington, from the internationalist Bill Clinton to the aggressively unilateralist George W. Bush. But its roots go much deeper, to a tectonic change in the country's political-economic demographics. As many have noted, America is becoming more geographically polarized, with the culturally more traditionalist, rural, small-town, and exurban 'red' parts of the country increasingly voting Republican, and the culturally more progressive urban and suburban 'blue' areas going ever more Democratic. Less noted is the degree to which these lines demarcate a growing economic divide, with 'blue' patches representing the talent-laden, immigrant-rich creative centers that have largely propelled economic growth, and the 'red' parts representing the economically lagging hinterlands. The migrations that feed creative-center economies are also exacerbating the contrasts. "

"We can't hold scientific meetings here [in the United States] anymore because foreign scientists can't get visas," a top oceanographer at the University of California at San Diego recently told me. The same is true of graduate students, the people who do the legwork of scientific research and are the source of many powerful ideas. The graduate students I have taught at several major universities -- Ohio State, Harvard, MIT, Carnegie Mellon -- have always been among the first to point out the benefits of studying and doing research in the United States. But their impressions have changed dramatically over the past year. They now complain of being hounded by the immigration agencies as potential threats to security, and that America is abandoning its standing as an open society. Many are thinking of leaving for foreign schools, and they tell me that their friends and colleagues back home are no longer interested in coming to the United States for their education but are actively seeking out universities in Canada, Europe, and elsewhere.

You don't have to be a Democrat to recognize that the political polarization of America and GOP dominance of Washington are not necessarily good news for America's economic future. Yet it's clear that Democrats themselves don't quite get it.

All the current Democratic aspirants to the White House have whacked Bush for undermining our alliances and diplomatic capabilities through his unilateralism. A few, including Sen. John Kerry, have criticized the president as "anti-science." But none seems to have understood--or at least articulated--the disastrous economic consequences of these Know-Nothing views. In the post-1990s global economy, America must aggressively compete with other developed countries for the international talent that can spur new industries and new jobs. By thumbing our nose at the world and dismissing the consensus views of the scientific community, we are scaring off that talent and sending it to our competitors.

If there is any candidate who speaks for the creative class right now, it is Howard Dean. His educated, tech-savvy supporters and grass-roots, non-hierarchal campaign structure perfectly represent the creative economy. Yet his economic message has so far focused on luring swing-state unionists--criticizing Bush, for instance, for not extending steel tariffs.

America must not only stop making dumb mistakes, like starting trade wars with Europe and China; it must also put in place new policies that enhance our creative economy. Here, too, neither party quite gets it. Most of the Democratic candidates for president have rightly sounded the alarm about rising college-tuition costs and offered ideas to expand college access. That's well and good, but we need to think far, far bigger. Our research universities are immigrant magnets, the Ellis Islands of the 21st century. And, with the demand among our own citizens for elite education far outstripping the supply, we should embark on a massive university building spree, for which we will be paid back many-fold in future economic growth. Building some of these top-flight universities in struggling red-state regions might give their economies a shot at a better future and help bridge the growing political divide.

Yahoo! News - Scientists Develop Experimenting Robot: "British scientists say they may have invented themselves out of a job. A new robotic system they developed can, for the first time, independently design and carry out a genetics experiment, and then interpret the results

No difference was found between the lab bench results generated by the robot scientist and those gathered by graduate students doing similar work, the researchers report in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature.
While the system remains in its infancy, they hope it will someday conduct lab-intensive work, freeing themselves from drudgery. "

the shape of R&D to come
by: cat00012000 01/15/04 11:43 am EST

Someday almost all research and developement will probably be done this way. Wouldn't it be nice if we were putting our money into this instead of jewelry and weapons? Ah life, what a bowl of cherries!
Yahoo! News - Company Hopes to Make Windows for Future: " the windows. They turn from clear to opaque white with the push of a button. Many double as speakers, computer monitors or television sets. "

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

The Year of the Fake: " This was the year when fakeness ruled: fake rationales for war, a fake President dressed as a fake soldier declaring a fake end to combat and then holding up a fake turkey. An action movie star became governor and the government started making its own action movies, casting real soldiers like Jessica Lynch as fake combat heroes and dressing up embedded journalists as fake soldiers. Saddam Hussein even got a part in the big show: He played himself being captured by American troops. This is the fake of the year, if you believe the Sunday Herald in Scotland, as well as several other news agencies, which reported that he was actually captured by a Kurdish special forces unit"

I interviewed Novak not long after this for a too-kind profile I was writing and asked how he felt about being a pawn in Abrams's deception. His answer: He "admired" Abrams for lying to him on national television because the lie was told in the service of fighting Communism. "He had a tough job and there were lots of people out to get him," Novak averred, expressing zero regrets about misinforming his viewers. "Truth" did not even appear to enter into his calculations. There was his side and there were the other guys, period. That the Post and CNN willingly lend space to the man, knowing what they do, is another of the ongoing scandals involving journalistic standards and conservative ideological domination of the elite media.

Finally, regarding the identity of the leakers--well, yes, Karl Rove is obviously a top suspect, given both his power and modus operandi. Ditto Dick Cheney's Rasputin, I. Lewis Libby. But what about Elliott Abrams? A convicted liar and longtime ally of Novak whiling away his time inside the National Security Council, he has played a much larger role in these war plans--and the battles that have accompanied them--than so far has been recognized by the media. Abrams has quite legalistically denied any role in "leaking classified information," according to White House press secretary Scott McClellan. But the last time Abrams pretended ignorance, he was lying. When caught, he found himself celebrated by Novak, pardoned by Bush's daddy and given a spanking new career by Bush himself. I think he knows the drill by now.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

DRUDGE REPORT 2004�: "George W. Bush's Ten Commandments: Thou shalt not steal...votes. (big applause) Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor' (big applause) Thou shalt not kill...for oil. (big applause) Thou shalt not take vain. "
Study Published by Army Criticizes War on Terror's Scope ( "A scathing new report published by the Army War College broadly criticizes the Bush administration's handling of the war on terrorism, accusing it of taking a detour into an 'unnecessary' war in Iraq and pursuing an 'unrealistic' quest against terrorism that may lead to U.S. wars with states that pose no serious threat.

The report, by Jeffrey Record, a visiting professor at the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, warns that as a result of those mistakes, the Army is 'near the breaking point.' "

the anti-terrorism campaign "is strategically unfocused, promises more than it can deliver, and threatens to dissipate U.S. military resources in an endless and hopeless search for absolute security

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Connections: Finding the Universal Laws That Are There, Waiting . . .: "Sir John Maddox's 23 years as editor of the journal Nature, seems to have identified a true universal: 'Reviewers who are best placed to understand an author's work are the least likely to draw attention to its achievements, but are prolific sources of minor criticism, especially the identification of typos.'"
Professor Nagl�s War: "The paradox might be impossible to resolve. The United States military has done a good job, in general, of limiting what it refers to as ''collateral damage'' in its occupation of Iraq. Yet for every raid that finds its target, there seem to be nine that don't, and in those nine, soldiers often point weapons at civilians, drive through fields and backyards, break down doors and detain people who are later released. This is the inherent messiness and slowness of counterinsurgency that T.E. Lawrence wrote of, and it is a key reason that the failure rate in counterinsurgency is so high"

Yet if predicting the future is a hopeless endeavor, learning from the past is not. The counterinsurgency books that Nagl studied do impart an important lesson. The goal the United States hopes to reach in Iraq -- a successful counterinsurgency that does not drag on for years and does not involve a large amount of killing -- has never been achieved by any army.

Peter Maass, a contributing writer, is the author of ''Love Thy Neighbor: A Story of War.'' He has reported extensively for the magazine from Iraq.

Saturday, January 03, 2004

TAP: Web Feature: Dean's Duty. by Michael Tomasky. December 30, 2003.: "But for whatever reason, St. Joe enjoys the protective immunity of the pundit class, so he'll never be reproached for his behavior in the way that he deserves. Criticisms and attacks are fine, but saying, repeatedly, that a member of one's own party will lose in November is way, way, way out of line -- it's the kind of mischief one would have expected from Al Sharpton. "
Daily Kos || Political Analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation.: "While felt in multitude of areas, this attempt to subvert the states is strongest in social issues -- attempts to block states from recognizing gay marriage or civil unions, medicinal marijuana voter initiatives, and euthenasia laws"
Op-Ed Columnist: Who’s Nader Now?: "It's true that if Mr. Dean gets the nomination, the Republicans will attack him as a wild-eyed liberal who is weak on national security. But they would do the same to any Democrat — even Joseph Lieberman. Facts, or the lack thereof, will prove no obstacle: remember the successful attacks on the patriotism of Max Cleland, who lost three limbs in Vietnam, or the Saddam-Daschle ads.
Mr. Dean's character will also come under attack. But this, too, will happen to any Democrat. If we've learned anything in this past decade, it's that the right-wing scandal machine will find a way to smear anyone, and that a lot of the media will play along. A year ago, when John Kerry was the presumptive front-runner, he came under assault — I am not making this up — over the supposed price of his haircuts. Sure enough, a CNN host solemnly declared him in 'denial mode.' "

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eureka, California, United States
As Popeye once said,"I ams what I am." But then again maybe I'm not