ExPostFacto

Catching up on political issues and current events. Please send your comments to rjcmp1@yahoo.com

Sunday, November 23, 2003

The Incredible Shrinking Party

In a week when President Bush delivered perhaps the most important international address in a generation, when Congress debated sweeping legislation on Medicare and energy policy, the Democratic response on Saturday was devoted to … Yucca Mountain.

Moving forward on Yucca Mountain as the nation’s repository for nuclear waste is a decision that was made months ago. It is hardly a pressing issue today, anywhere but Nevada. But Nevada has 5 electoral votes and it went narrowly for Bush in 2000. So no issue is too small for the Democrats to take a cheap shot at the President.

So the Democrats claim that Bush “broke his promise” on Yucca Mountain. His promise was to base his decision on “sound science” – which he did. Moreover, the legislation that Bush signed was supported by 103 Democrats in the House and 15 in the Senate. But that doesn’t stop the Democratic Party from demagoging the issue. After all, Democratic candidates for President can vote for military action in Iraq, then criticize Bush for taking that action.

The Democratic response raised doubts about how the waste would be shipped to Nevada. What’s their solution? The only alternative is to shipping nuclear waste is to leave it where it is now, at nuclear plants across the country. Is that what they propose? No, they don’t propose anything but more study.

So once again, we have a President who’s serious about leadership, a President who recognizes that nuclear waste disposal is critical to both energy and anti-terror policy, and who risks the votes of a crucial state to make a long-overdue decision on thie issue. And we have an opposition party that proposes no alternatives, takes no responsibility for its own positions, and fires any cheap shot it can.
Perspective on Death

Every death to an American soldier or Iraqi citizen - not to mention soldiers, contractors, and aid workers from countries around the world - is a terrible loss. Death is a fact of life for all of us, and we struggle for perspective on the loss of life in the continuing conflict in Iraq. There are thousands of deaths every day from disease, accidents, violence, and old age, and only a few are going to get notice from anyone but a small circle of relatives and friends. So we struggle for a reasonable perspective on thhe loss of life in the continuing conflict in Iraq. Here are a couple of thoughts:

Recent reports carried coalition estimates of 300,000 bodies in mass graves from the Saddam Hussein regime. If that figure is correct, the mass graves represent 12,500 deaths during each of the 24 years that Saddam was in power - or an average of 240 a week. This would suggest that, even with the toll that car bombings have taken among the Iraqi population, it's safer to live in Iraq today that it has been for the past 24 years.

On Nov. 22, the Cincinnati Enquirer provided some perspective on military deaths:

"Dr. Jay Johannigman's three months as a military doctor in Iraq confirmed what he already knew - war zones are dangerous places for young Americans.

"But not much more so than the streets of Cincinnati.

" 'On any weekend in our emergency room, I can lose three, four, five young men to gunshot wounds, to car wrecks, to any of the dangers out there,' said Johannigman, head of trauma care at University Hospital."


Also on Nov. 22, CBS News reported that 17 U.S. service personnel have committed suicide in Iraq. While that sounds like a lot, the report said (and it's certainly a terrible thing to contemplate), it's in line with statistics for the general population.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Down Syndrome and Abortion

Blogging is even lighter than usual here at EPF as work piles up (Bush recovery in action). But here’s a great article by Dave Shiflett on NRO. Don’t let the funny (but true, very true) first paragraph fool you. This is a serious discussion of recent news features touting advances in prenatal testing that make it easier to identify and abort Down Syndrome children.

The article highlights CNN, but I recall a similarly upbeat and morally vacuous discussion the WSJ’s Personal Journal. This supplement, which is a self-parody of how-to-live-your-life-perfectly advice, also ran a column not too long ago with the following helpful recommendation: When a loved one dies, have an autopsy performed to make sure death wasn’t caused by some genetic problem that could get you, too. While this does not carry the same moral implications of aborting an imperfect child, it comes from the came cold, hard approach to life.

And in case you’ve forgotten what it means to have George W. Bush as President, here’s a blast from the past in Shiflett’s article:

Jocelyn Elders, just prior to being named Bill Clinton's surgeon general, famously proclaimed that abortion "has had an important and positive public-health effect" because it reduced "the number of children afflicted with severe defects." She pointed out that "the number of Down Syndrome infants in Washington state in 1976 was 64 percent lower than it would have been without legal abortion."

To anyone who has known and loved someone who has Down Syndrome, this is pretty chilling. But, of course, fewer and fewer of us have that experience any more.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Going to Extremes

Doesn’t it strike you as funny that Senate Democrats call President Bush’s judicial nominees “extremists” and “out of the mainstream,” when the very reason they have to filibuster is that a majority of Senators is prepared to vote for them? Likewise, Howard Dean has said that partial-birth abortion is “an issue about extremism.” With over two-thirds of Americans supporting a ban on this horrible procedure, surely Dr. Dean means that only extremists could oppose such a ban. But no, he actually does mean that two-thirds of the American people hold an extreme position. Hmmm.

In this vein, PowerLine has this delightful story:

A group of Democrats led by the reprehensible Julian Bond, head of the NAACP, held a press conference yesterday to denounce Justice Brown as a "far right-wing extremist" who is "outside the mainstream." Which led to the following exchange:

"They were asked how Justice Brown could be described as a right-wing ideologue when 76 percent of California voters cast ballots to return her to the bench in 1998, the highest percentage of any justice in that retention election.

"'It's inexplicable to me,' Mr. Bond said. 'I cannot think of a response. But nonetheless, that election does not invalidate any of the things [we] have said.'"


The good news is, I think the Democrats actually believe their own press releases on this stuff and don't realize how far they've drifted from the real mainstream.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Wictory Wednesday

It's now just one year until the 2004 Presidential election. In Mississippi and Kentucky yesterday, Republicans showed that they understand how to get out the vote. When you contribute or volunteer for the campaign of George W. Bush, you can feel that you're making a good investment in an organization that's serious about using its resources wisely to achieve victory. On this Wictory Wednesday, ExPostFacto joins with the blogs listed below to urge you to take action today to help reelect George W. Bush.


Boots and Sabers
Bowling for Howard Dean
BushBlog.us (unofficial blog)
Bush-Cheney 2004 (unofficial blog)
ExPostFacto
The Hedgehog Report
Jeremy Kissel
Left Coast Conservative
Mark Kilmer
Matt Margolis
PoliPundit
A Rice Grad
Ryne McClaren
Southern Conservatives
Stephen Blythe
Viking Pundit
The Wise Man Says

The Battle Begins in Ohio

Yesterday, we saw the leading edge of the conservative movement to retake the Ohio Republican Party. The Cincinnati Enquirer headline got it right (for once): “Taft’s stimulus proposal rejected.” Issue 1 was indeed the baby of Gov. Bob Taft, part of his Third Frontier economic stimulus package, and its rejection was a resounding vote of no confidence.

As the Enquirer explains it, “Issue 1 would have let the state borrow …$500 million and use it as seed money for university research projects and startup businesses that have the potential to create jobs.” Proponents claimed that it would not raise taxes but had to admit that it would require over $50 million in state spending on interest.

Issue 1 lost by a 51-49 percent margin. But it was worse than that – Issue 1 lost in 73 of Ohio’s 88 counties. The final vote was relatively close only because the proposition picked up big margins in a few big urban – and Democratic – counties around Cleveland, Akron, Dayton, and Canton. Remember, this was a “Republican” proposal.

In other words, Taft has no base. Granted, that’s not a problem for him, since he’s term limited – but it’s a big problem for the Republicans who cling to him. The Republican base is saying, we don’t need another government program to pick economic winners – we just need lower taxes and less regulation. And that means we need new leaders – in our own party.

The next step in the battle is Secretary of State Ken Blackwell’s proposition to repeal the recently enacted sales tax increase. Blackwell’s proposition represents the beginning of open warfare against the Republican establishment.

The coming year will see turmoil in the Ohio Republican Party – not the best timing, perhaps, for George W. Bush, but a confrontation that’s long overdue.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Wictory Wednesday

If you believe that terrorism constitutes the greatest threat to our future, can there be any doubt that re-electing George Bush is absolutely essential? No matter which Democrat is nominated - even Dick Gephardt, who's taken a responsible position on Iraq - he will be beholden to the forces of appeasement and denial that control that party. George W. Bush stands in good stead today because he is a leader. But we don't know what will happen in the next year to shake people's faith and determination (with a lot of help from the media). So it's critical to give W all the support we can. The Bush blogs below are participating in Wictory Wednesdays to encourage readers to voluteer and donate to the Bush campaign. As some people say about voting - do it early and often. Go to PoliPundit for more on Wictory Wednesday.

Boots and Sabers
Bowling for Howard Dean
BushBlog.us (unofficial blog)
Bush-Cheney 2004 (unofficial blog)
ExPostFacto
The Hedgehog Report
Jeremy Kissel
Left Coast Conservative
Mark Kilmer
Matt Margolis
PoliPundit
A Rice Grad
Ryne McClaren
Southern Conservatives
Stephen Blythe
Viking Pundit
The Wise Man Says

Monday, October 27, 2003

Prediction

After all is said and done the Democrats will nominate Dick Gephardt for president and he will select John Edwards as his running mate.

Friday, October 24, 2003

Rumsfeld - Serious Business

Several years ago I read an account of an outsider’s visit to the Pentagon. What surprised him, he said, was the lunchroom conversation. It wasn’t about enemies or weapons or battle tactics – it was all about retirement. I thought about that when I read Lileks’ reaction to the Rumsfeld memo.

The article I read long before Sept. 11, 2001, was intended to be reassuring, and it was. We are not a militaristic country. While the people of our military perform their duty with great honor and pride, they go to war reluctantly. The view from the left, and in big media (but I repeat myself) is of military brass spoiling for a fight (which is why we get these ridiculous, breathless reports that “even top generals say we’re not ready to fight a war!”).

Now that we’re in a real war, it’s not at all reassuring to think of the military as government employees in uniform. So, while the good news is that the Secretary of Defense has a sense of urgency, the bad news is that he has to try to convey that sense to the rest of the Pentagon.

And it’s not just the Pentagon. There’s plenty of evidence – the details around the Plame affair providing the latest examples – that folks at the CIA are more concerned about defending their egos or bureaucratic turf than defending the United States. The answer is not as simple as firing George Tenet. Indeed, chopping off heads may be precisely the wrong precedent when we face the real prospect of terrible failures in the war against terror, times when we’ll all need to come together against the enemy instead of turning on each other. But there has to be deep and real change, and maybe some people have to go.

And in the political arena … I’m all for partisanship, but it should be clear on all sides that we’re in a fight for our lives, and we’re all in it together. If Rumsfeld’s memo is a cause for concern, let’s consider the arguments. Instead, the response to this memo – about the ability of this country to maintain its liberty and way of life in the face of global terror – is the same kind of “gotcha” and “nyaa, nyaa, nyaa, nyaa, nyaa” that you’d expect if Rumsfeld made a gaffe about the World Series.

Rumsfeld is serious and -- contrary to the press accounts that always cast everything in political terms -- focused on the real issues, not inside baseball. But we need more than one guy who's serious to defend this nation against the threat we face now.

Friday, October 17, 2003

Blanco - "I'm mediocre -- just like you."

In The Corner on NRO, Ramesh Ponnuru quotes this ad in the runoff for Louisiana Governor

“The closer you examine the records, the better Kathleen Babineaux Blanco looks. She understands real people because she is one of us. She had a full life before she ever ran for public office--teaching school, raising six children, and starting her own small business. She understands struggle and that the problems that the governor must deal with all have human faces. She knows that people aren't statistics or numbers, and you don't crunch people, you help them. Now Kathleen is in the fight of her political life against the hand-picked candidate of the right-wing Republicans, backed by Mike Foster, the Republican White House, and their millions of dollars…. "

Ponnuru had earlier suggested, since each side has a poll showing its candidate is in the lead, we would find out who’s really behind by who goes negative first. I think he’s right, and this ad indicates that Blanco knows she has a problem.

Ponnuru also makes this observation, “This is an attempt to convert Bobby Jindal's strengths into weaknesses: Okay, so he knows more facts than me and has accomplished an awful lot for someone so young. But that just means he's not like us and doesn't understand our problems. (I'm mediocre--just like you.) He may have saved the health department from bankruptcy, but he did so by not caring for people.” I think Ponnuru is exactly right.

My impression, from spending a good deal of time in Louisiana on business, is that there is a widespread feeling that the state is in trouble. Voters in California did not vote for someone who’s “one of us” and understands the needs of “real people.” No, they voted for someone who’s NOT like me – and not like any of the politicians who have gotten us into this mess – and who can DO SOMETHING.

Blanco’s ad is an appeal to the base (Ponnuru says it’s running mostly on black radio stations), not to the broad middle looking for someone to lead a turnaround in Louisiana. If this is the best argument she can make, Jindal is in the driver’s seat.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Wictory Wednesday

It's time again to encourage everyone to get on board the Bush re-election effort. Volunteer or donate today.




PoliPundit has recruited bloggers to promote Wictory Wednesday, and we're proud to be a part of this effort. The full list of WW bloggers is below. Drop by their sites:


Backcountry Conservative
Boots and Sabers
Bowling for Howard Dean
BushBlog.us (unofficial blog)
Bush-Cheney 2004 (unofficial blog)
Freedom of Thought
The Hedgehog Report
The Irish Lass
Jarhead
Jeremy Kissel
Left Coast Conservative
Mark Kilmer
Matt Margolis
The Ole Miss Conservative
PoliPundit
A Rice Grad
Ryne McClaren
Slublog
Southern Conservatives
Stephen Blythe
Viking Pundit
The Wise Man Says

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

California and the Presidential Election

All God's children seem to be expressing an opinion about the implications of the California recall on next year's presidential election. So here is mine: I have seen no evidence that having a governor of your party has any benefit at all to the presidential candidate of that party. Having the governorship of Indiana for the past 15 years has done little to help the Democrat presidential candidates in that state who routinely lose Indiana by huge numbers. Likewise, having a Republican governor in New York for the past several presidential elections has done little or nothing to help GOP presidential candidates. And Bush lost Wisconsin and Michigan last time despite having very successful and popular Republican governors in those states. But I also do not think that the successful recall of Davis means nothing for the presidential election. For it clearly shows that Democrat victories in that key state are not inevitable. Republicans CAN win. I believe that California will be in play for Bush in 2004 because I believe by that time it will be clear that his economic policies have been the right ones and that his leadership in the war on terror has been bold and largely successful. If the national economy is getting stronger and California is participating in that recovery then both Schwarzenegger and Bush will be seen as successful leaders. And I believe THAT is what California has said it wants.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

The Character Issue

My conclusion after the California recall is that character does matter, but character is not necessarily simple, and people have all kinds of strengths and faults. I think people can make a strongly negative judgment about some of Schwarzenegger’s character traits, yet have respect for others, and decide that the latter outweigh the former in choosing a governor. That’s the boat I’m in. I know I’ll sound like a “Clinton hater,” but I never found Bill Clinton to have any signficant redeeming qualities. Any apparent positive turned out to be faked or based on ulterior motives.

One other point. We have never seen the four children of Arnold and Maria – am I right on this? One can never be sure exactly what this means. Maybe wealthy Hollywood stars can never risk exposing their children. But I’ve got to believe that most politicians would have trotted out the kids to counter the sleaze factor this past week. So I’m thinking this just might be one good sign about Gov. Schwarzenegger’s character.

UPDATE: In the time since I posted this, the Sacramento Bee has published a very positive article describing Arnold and Maria as good parents who have given their children a remarkably "normal" childhood.
Wictory Wednesday

I can’t stand concession speeches. Having worked on losing campaigns, I find it too painful – even when the right guys (Gray Davis) are conceding. I don’t dare imagine watching George W. Bush accepting defeat in 2004.

What was clear in California was the Gray Davis’ goose was cooked from the moment Schwarzenegger offered an alternative. We pretend that it all happens on the day and night of the election, but the factors in victory or defeat are determined long before.

Fortunately, we can count on W to do a good job in challenging circumstances. But we still have to make it possible for him to make his case and win the support of the American people, and to make sure that support is expressed on Election Day.

ExPostFacto is joining with the bloggers below for Wictory Wednesdays. We’re asking everyone to volunteer and/or donate to the Bush campaign now – not next year. I can proudly say I contributed to W in the fall of 1999. I made my small contribution to the air of inevitability that helped W avoid a debilitating primary fight.

For more on Wictory Wednesday, go to PoliPundit or visit one of the participating sites:
Backcountry Conservative
Boots and Sabers
Bowling for Howard Dean
BushBlog.us (unofficial blog)
Bush-Cheney 2004 (unofficial blog)
Freedom of Thought
The Hedgehog Report
The Irish Lass
Jarhead
Jeremy Kissel
Left Coast Conservative
Mark Kilmer
Matt Margolis
The Ole Miss Conservative
PoliPundit
A Rice Grad
Ryne McClaren
Slublog
Southern Conservatives
Stephen Blythe
Viking Pundit
The Wise Man Says

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Let the Spinning Begin

Howard Fineman, a reliable voice of the conventional wisdom in Washington, is out front of the results in California with the predictable spin. His MSNBC essay is titled "Recall lessons for the President" and the teaser is "Voter alienation will not stop at voting booths in California." Get it? This is not about Gray Davis - it's about "voter alienation." Fineman says "the same forces that are shaking Sacramento could materialize on the doorstep of the house at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave." (Only at the very end does he concede that "Bush is no Davis.")

This recall is not about "malaise" - it is about malfeasance in office, so blatant and so destructive that voters could no longer abide it. That's why the claim by Fineman and others - that California voters have opened a Pandora's box and the Democrats will respond by recalling Schwarzenegger - is wrong. If Democrats try it, they will be sorry. Because voters don't recall officials lightly. Davis is just that bad.

Fineman warns Bush about "voter alienation" but he has about as much respect for voters' choices as everybody else inside the Beltway.

Monday, October 06, 2003

The Press and Leaks - Some History

More pundits are asking the same question I asked: If the "White House" leakers contacted six journalists, why don't those journalists come forward? See William Safire (requires registration - and thanks to RealClearPolitics) and Rich Galen, who cites Nicholas Lemann, dean of Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

For some perspective, I found the AP story from August 2000, to which I refer in the post further down ("What's a Journalist's Responsibility?" September 30). This is from the story the AP reporter filed on August 18, from evote.com:

New Grand Jury Investigates Clinton
WASHINGTON, Aug 18, 2000 (AP Online via COMTEX) -- Independent Counsel Robert Ray is signaling that the Monica Lewinsky scandal is far from over, assembling a new grand jury to investigate the president's conduct, legal sources say.
News that the grand jury was impaneled a month ago reverberated to the other side of the country Thursday, with Democratic Party loyalists at the convention in Los Angeles decrying the story as a politically motivated leak designed to hurt Vice President Al Gore.
"If Clinton was to drop dead, the Republicans would dig him up," complained Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y.
The timing of the news "hours before Al Gore is to give this speech" warrants a federal investigation, said Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill.
"You can bet your bottom dollar that the Republican Party was behind" the leak, said House Minority Whip David Bonior, D-Mich. "I think the American people are going to reject this kind of behavior."
Gore spokesman Doug Hattaway said the judicial system was being "manipulated for political purposes."
With the convention in its final day, Clinton was 3,000 miles away at the White House, where spokesman Jake Siewert pointed to prosecutors as a likely source of the leak. Ray's office denied it.
The sources telling The Associated Press that a new grand jury was convened July 11 in the Clinton-Lewinsky matter are outside the Independent Counsel's office. The sources spoke only on condition of anonymity.


In other outlets, such as the Washington Post, the Democratic quotes above were interspersed with Republican denials and criticism of the leaks. But, in any case, the reporter who gave all this prominent space to Democrats complaining about politically motivated leaks ALREADY KNEW what came out later that day (this from ABC News):

OIC Leak Called Accidental
Aug. 19 — A federal judge said Friday he inadvertently disclosed that Independent Counsel Robert Ray has impaneled a new grand jury to investigate evidence against President Clinton in the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
Richard D. Cudahy, a member of the Special Division that oversees the Office of the Independent Counsel, acknowledged that on Thursday he accidently revealed the information to a reporter from The Associated Press.
According to court papers just released, Cudahy, a Democrat appointed by President Jimmy Carter, made reference to the grand jury in explaining why he granted a one-year extension to the independent counsel’s investigation.


The AP emphasizes that its sources "spoke only on condition of anonymity." But since the judge voluntarily came forward later on his own, I wonder whether the AP reporter ever even ASKED him if he'd be willing to do so. Also, while I fully believe that the judge "inadvertently" leaked the information, note the possibility: Leak information that makes it look like your adversary did it - then hide under the cover of press-protected anonymity.

Are members of the press protecting their news sources to defend their First Amendment rights, or to make it impossible for individuals (in this case most notably Karl Rove) to clear up accusations and innuendo directed against them?

Sunday, October 05, 2003

What Poverty Statistics Really Mean

RealClearPolitics links to an illuminating article on the poverty statistics released last week. Here’s the most interesting part:

“Typical discussions of the annual snapshot of poverty also miss the inherent dynamics of the data. In July, the Census Bureau released a longitudinal study of poverty. Key among these dynamics is duration.

“The author of the study, John Iceland, reports that from 1996 to 1999, only 2 percent of the U.S. population was labeled as chronically poor - poor during all 48 months. [italics added] More than 50 percent of those interviewed indicated that they were officially in poverty for only two to four months. For almost 80 percent of them, time in poverty lasted less than a year.

“And almost 45 percent of the people who fell under the poverty threshold in 1996 had climbed out within two years. This is an important though neglected aspect of the heavily politicized debate over poverty. Consider the scenario of an individual who enters the job market, works hard and moves up the ladder through promotions and increased salaries. Initially, that person falls under the poverty threshold, but soon rises above it.”

Statistics are always treated in the press as revealed truth, but the “poverty level” is an arbitrary definition – that doesn’t mean it’s not meaningful, just that it’s subject to interpretation. Properly used, they can help guide effective policy. More often, they’re simply used to promote the agenda of the press or a political party.
Where’s the energy in the recall?

As has been noted elsewhere on the web, there's this report:

“In another possible sign of Election Day trouble for Gov. Gray Davis, almost 40,000 more Californians registered as Republicans than Democrats during the heart of the recall campaign, according to figures released Friday by the Secretary of State's Office.

“Although the GOP edge in new registrations probably is too small to swing an election in which more than 15 million people can vote, political analysts say it could be an indication that Republicans are more energized than Democrats about the recall -- and more likely to go to the polls Tuesday.”

Is it a sign, or not? Well, here’s some supporting data:

A “Hollywoood reporter” on “The Beltway Boys” said that Hollywood is not paying much attention to the recall election – they’re more interested in the Democratic presidential candidates. Part of that reflects the fact that Schwarzenegger is well liked. But the fact that there’s obviously no intensity about saving Gray Davis in a liberal stronghold has got to be bad news for the Democrats.

And here’s a theory: Revving up opposition to Arnold doesn’t necessarily translate into getting Democrats to come out and vote against the recall. (My guess is that you have more voters who vote YES on recall and just skip part B, but that doesn’t help Davis.) But revving up anger against the LA Times DOES get Republicans to come out and vote.

Two cautions: On the one hand, don’t ever believe trailing campaigns’ assertions that their “internal polls” show them gaining ground. On the other, remember that the "broken glass Republicans" (who would crawl across broken glass to elect W in 2000) never materialized.

UPDATE: Mickey Kaus, who has done a great job of following the Recall, says: “Republicans are kidding themselves if they think the continuing Groping and Nazi stories aren't hurting Schwarzenegger. His campaign is certainly behaving as if they are, as Weintraub reports.” Daniel Weintraub , in turn, says “[The Schwarzenegger campaign’s] extraordinarily bitter counterattack, while evidence that the campaign believes it can score points against the media, also suggests that the stories might be hurting Schwarzenegger. More evidence of that: Schwarzenegger’s wife, Maria Shriver, changed her schedule at the last minute to join Schwarzenegger on the rally stage Saturday.”

Who am I to disagree with Weintraub, who really is the expert? I don't disagree. Still, I’d suggest two points: (1) Seeing how the DUI story ate away at GWB’s position over the last weekend in 2000, Schwarzenegger’s campaign may be taking out insurance – and the things they'd do in that case -- such as the change in Maria Shriver’s schedule -- are indistinguishable from what they'd do in reponse to real slippage. (2) The DUI story was pivotal in 2000 because the election was so close in so many states. The latest numbers in California indicate that it's not nearly that close.