The problem with Ashcroft: … and the issue seemingly lost on those who believe he doesn’t have a “racist” bone in his body is plain as day to Norman Solomon.

In the New York Daily News, Stanley Crouch noted that Southern Partisan introduced the interview by touting Ashcroft as a “champion of states’ rights and traditional Southern values.”

Crouch pointed out: “Those are code words for white supremacist ideas about the Civil War, segregation, genetics and so on. Code is now very important, even to those in the boggiest wilds of the far right. They, too, know that in politics it might be best to move under camouflage until you get where you want and can begin opening serious fire against your enemies.”

Right now, if John Ashcroft gets where he wants, he’ll be moving into the office of the attorney general of the United States.

In the Boston Globe, columnist Derrick Z. Jackson has been eloquent about what’s at stake. “The nation’s top law enforcer cannot be someone who vacillates between civil rights and Civil War fantasies,” Jackson wrote. And he concluded: “When Ashcroft says the traditionalists must do more, America should tremble. The nomination is so perverted, it should follow the final path of his Confederate heroes. It should be driven off in a scorched-earth campaign.”

But John Ashcroft and his strongest allies — on Capitol Hill and in the news media — are going all out for Senate approval of his nomination. They have plans. And they’re not just whistling Dixie.

Finally!: A reason to read the Daily Cal on the regular!

My name is Arian White and no one will take me seriously. Yes, I am an icon. So are you, and our iconography is even more apparent in this “PCU”-like university. I’m black so I’m an athlete. You’re Asian, so you are a foreigner. You are Chicana, so you like lowriders. You’re gay, so you’re sex-crazed. You’re disabled, so you’re incompetent. You’re a woman, so you’re here finding your husband. You’re Indian, so where’s your accent? You are white, so you hate me.

As horrible as it sounds, this type of thought pervades society. These ideals only manifest themselves at Cal because of their prevalence in our greater American society. And as long as such ignorance pervades our society there will eventually be Jews named Adolf, Japanese people named for Manzanar, and blacks named Arian White.

Jesse: I feel really sad for him, as well as his wife and children.

Forget about milk:Got truck?

A big-rig truck rammed into California’s state capitol building on Tuesday, setting off a fiery explosion just as state lawmakers were finishing an emergency bill designed to ease the state’s critical power crisis.

Officials said the driver of the truck, which was loaded with evaporated milk, was killed in the incident, which witnesses said appeared to be some kind of bizarre attack.

“There’s no question in my mind that this was a deliberate act,” Assembly Speaker Robert Hertzberg said after he and other lawmakers were evacuated from the building. …

Assemblyman Kevin Shelley said the explosion occurred shortly after the vote was taken to pass the bill, and that emergency personnel immediately ordered the building cleared.

“We heard first one loud boom and then several loud booms in immediate succession. Then we began leaving the chamber,” Shelley said.

“The members were frightened. They don’t know if it is related to their business. They don’t know if it is the beginning or end.”

Shelley said that if the state Senate had been in session in its chambers, which are much closer to the explosion site, there could have been many injuries.

“This job is hard enough without having people trying to kill you,” Shelley said.