America's Missing Cukes!
Plus--Mike Huckakis for President?
I think I've written about this before, but those little Google ads are cropping up again next to searches about "Hillary Clinton"**--the ads that say:
Clinton's girl friends Could 'mischief-maker' Bill damage Hillary's presidential campaign? www.thefirstpost.co.uk
Why are these ads significant? 1) They seem to me to be surprisingly effective as a way of spreading dirt. 2) They seem to represent a surprisingly large hole in the campaign finance laws. After all, they are advertisements for a publication. They aren't campaign expenditures. They're simply telling potential customers about an article, which just happens to be an article spreading scandal about the Clintons. In the same way, ads for some Michael Moore films just happen to undermine George Bush. But, unlike Michael Moore films, the enterprise these Google ads are promoting is itself typically exempted from the campaign finance regime under the so-called "media exemption." So why doesn't some unabashedly non-neutral rich person buy up a lot of media properties--and then start spending tens of millions on ads promoting "scoops" that just happen to damage candidates the rich person opposes? Ron Burkle may be on to something. (Murdoch too, of course.) ... The upshot (I think): Attempts to control so-called 'independent' expenditures are doomed. Even if they're misguidedly upheld by the Supreme Court they will increasingly be seen as irrational and unfair, thanks to loopholes like this one. ...
**--They also apparently pop up in gmails that discuss Hillary. Cunning! ... 10:21 A.M. link
Without Cucumbers, America is Defenseless: The New York Times surveys the crops that have rotted to date due to lack of immigrant laborers (something that has allegedly prompted the Bush administration to try to ease guest worker regulations):
The administration is pressing ahead on that effort, first reported in The Los Angeles Times, after some growers in the Northwest let their cherries and apples rot because of a shortage of workers and after some growers in North Carolina did not plant cucumbers this year because they feared not having enough workers for the harvest. [E.A.]
That's it? "Some" cherries. "Some" apples. And "some" unplanted cucumbers. ... It's a crisis! 2:32 A.M. link
Photograph of Ann Coulter on Slate's home page by Brad Barket/Getty. Photograph of a wedding cake with two grooms on Slate's home page by Hector Mata/AFP Photo. Photograph of Princess Diana on Slate's home page by Georges De Keerle/Getty Images.