Oct. 10th, 2003

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Arnold shows his deep respect for the constitution by demanding to step into office before he officially wins the race

California's governor-elect, Arnold Schwarzenegger, asked Gov. Gray Davis on Thursday to suspend action on all pending bills and to stop appointing judges and members of state boards and commissions.

At a news conference in which he named the director of his transition team and bipartisan 65-member transition advisory panel, Mr. Schwarzenegger said the voters had decided Mr. Davis's fate, and he called on him to live up to his promise to cooperate fully in the transfer of power. Recently, Mr. Davis has filled scores of judgeships and other appointed positions and is acting on hundreds of bills passed in the final days of the legislative session.

In other starting early news, the not-yet-certified governor-elect breaks his first campaign promise before he has time to become the certified governor-elect

Mr. Schwarzenegger also swatted away a question about when he would address accusations of sexual misconduct that arose near the end of the campaign. He said last weekend that he would answer the matter after the election. But on Thursday he dismissed the accusations as "old news" and refused to discuss them further as he strode from the room.

because if the current Governor continues to be the Governor just because he's the Governor, we're not going to be able to clear the decks early so we can start to redistrict

Mr. Schwarzenegger, who will be sworn in as soon as the official canvas of votes is completed in a few weeks, acknowledged that Mr. Davis retains the constitutional authority of the governor's office until that day. But he said he would prefer that Mr. Davis refrain from acting on laws and personnel matters.

"He has the right to do so, but I, of course, would like it if he doesn't make any appointments, and I would like it really if he doesn't sign any more bills," Mr. Schwarzenegger said. "But we will be working on that, and I'm absolutely convinced that when the governor says that he wants to have a smooth transition, that we will in fact have a smooth transition."

but there's a wrinkle - apparently California has, you know, rules about this stuff - who knew?

Someone didn't do the reading.

Steven Maviglio, the governor's press secretary, said that Mr. Davis would continue to exercise all his powers until he left office and suggested that Mr. Schwarzenegger still had some things to learn about how Sacramento operates. About 230 bills were awaiting the governor's action, Mr. Maviglio said, and Mr. Davis was continuing to name judges and other appointed officials.

"Until the secretary of state hands the new governor his election certificate," Mr. Maviglio said, "Governor Davis will continue doing the job the Constitution requires him to do."

He added that the deadline for signature or veto of all pending legislation was Oct. 12 and that if Mr. Davis did not act on the bills, they would automatically become law.

"I don't know if Arnold understands that," Mr. Maviglio said.

perhaps Mr. Schwarzenegger should have spoken to someone on his transition team

He added that former Gov. Pete Wilson made 435 appointments in the two months between Mr. Davis's election to succeed him and his inauguration in January 1999. Mr. Wilson also appointed 31 judges during that period, Mr. Maviglio said.

and the first big lie

Mr. Schwarzenegger said there was "no White House connection in our transition team." But one of its members is Gerald Parsky, a top Bush fund-raisers and the White House's point man in California.

No, he hasn't earned the job. I was sort of hoping against hope he was going to try to earn it now.

It's not looking too good.
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Having your feelings hurt or your heart broken makes you feel like you've been punched in the stomach, scientists say.

Researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles have discovered the human brain reacts to physical and emotional pain in the same way.

"You'd never tell anyone to hurry up and get over their broken arm," said Naomi Eisenberger, psychology researcher at UCLA. "Now we know you can't tell someone to hurry up and get over their broken heart."

The researchers found that not only is psychological pain from loss reflected in the neural circuitry of the brain, but also that physical pain and social rejection generate the same patterns in the area of the brain that monitors conflict, the anterior cingulate cortex.

Ms. Eisenberger says social and physical pain are not exactly the same thing -- a broken arm still registers more brain activity than a broken heart -- but a punch in the stomach looks pretty similar to a snub on a MRI scan.
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Six months from the day Baghdad fell to American troops, George W. Bush told Americans yesterday that the situation in Iraq is "a lot better than you probably think."

In speeches in New Hampshire - the only state in the U.S. Northeast that he won in the contentious 2000 election - and later in Lexington, Ky., the president kicked off an effort to revive determination to remain in Iraq, saying "Americans are not the running kind."

Bush's speech fell on one of the more violent days in Iraq; a suicide attack on a Baghdad police station killed 10, a Spanish diplomat was gunned down in the street and another American soldier was killed in an attack on a convoy. Bush did not directly acknowledge the setbacks, but acknowledged the toll on his own standing.

"When you become the president, you cannot predict all the challenges that will come, but you do know the principles that you bring to the office, and they should not change with time or with polls," Bush said. "The challenges we face today cannot be met with timid actions or bitter words; our challenges will be overcome with optimism and resolve and confidence in the ideals of America.

"We've been through a lot, but we acted, we led," he said.

In his most overt campaigning yet for a second term, Bush said he would stick to the course he has set despite mounting criticism of his foreign and economic policies.

Bush's largely identical speeches, delivered to National Guardsmen and reservists in Portsmouth, N.H., and a business audience in Manchester, N.H., received substantial advanced billing as the White House worked to shift the focus from violence in Iraq, lack of international help, the absence of banned weapons and the controversy over the administration's leak of the identity of a CIA agent married to a critic of Bush's Iraq policy.
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"Outrage was killed in 1998," agreed William Bennett, referring to the former president, who survived impeachment despite admittedly improper conduct in the Oval Office with a young intern named Monica Lewinsky.

"The public, having turned its face away from President Clinton's outrages, was not likely to turn its face toward outrage when the two plausible options seemed to be the embrace of a radically less than perfect actor-cum-politician or the continued demise of the state of California," said Bennett, former U.S. secretary of education and author of "The Book of Virtues." Bennett has been a scold on moral issues, but his reputation was discolored recently by public revelations about his high-stakes gambling habits.

Mr. Bennett, who has strong feelings about situational morality, made the principled decision not to discuss Mr. Schwarzenegger's ethical shortcomings out of concern for local crickets whose chirps might not be heard if he spoke up.

It's all so green.
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WHY IS RUSH particularly vulnerable to a full-on, extended, Al Franken-hosted variety-show scandal? Limbaugh, more than anyone, is responsible for beginning what might be called the Coulterization of the American right. Conservatism as partisan sport--the opposite of principled, ideological debate--has become major entertainment and helped debase much right-aisle political debate into an undifferentiated noise of team-rooting.

He's got a point. So it's our point. At least he's got one.
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Tina Brown spooked Democrats yesterday when she hinted Rudolph Giuliani was in talks to become President Bush's running mate.

"Friends wonder if Rudy is gearing up to be ready when - okay, if - Bush dumps [Vice President] Cheney," the editrix- turned-columnist wrote on Salon.com. "His friends say he spends an inordinate amount of time on the phone with [White House political adviser] Karl Rove."

An adviser to Giuliani admitted yesterday that there have been "hundreds" of conversations between Rove and a key Giuliani aide. "But there have been no serious discussions, there have been no kidding-around discussions, along that line. All the conversations have been relevant to the reelection of George Bush and Dick Cheney. ... In fact, he's at a Bush-Cheney fund-raiser right now."

You people think Ashcroft has issues with the first, fourth and fifth amendments?

Just you wait.

You know, I'd give odds that Attorney General is the job they're talking about.
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and then he flashed on Star Wars, and Atrios was Darth Vader. And then he flashed on Ghostbusters, and Atrios was a five-story-tall evil marshmallow. And then he flashed on Wall Street, and Atrios was that wimpy kid who helped take down tragic hero Gordon Gekko. And then Scooby Doo popped into his brain, and he saw Atrios as those damn meddling kids. and then...

And you want to see some real incivility on the left? Go the blog of someone who calls himself Atrios (whom Krugman has said he reads regularly), and look at the things he and his readers are saying about yours truly. With Krugman, to disagree is to lie; to prefer different policies is to be a radical. To these guys, to attend a lecture and get an autograph is to stalk. Check it out. Not civil. Not for the faint of heart.

The clearly not in the least bit mentally disturbed comments to which Mr. Luskin refers are here, for anyone who wants to refresh their memory.
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