George W. Bush spoke critically of Barack Obama in a Washington Times story being pushed hard by Drudge tonight, a story so big and important that the Times didn't bother to insert quotation marks before posting it to their website.

Since the day Obama was sworn in conservatives have been grinding their teeth in anger over the fact that George W. Bush has done the gentlemanly ex-President thing and refrained from being critical of Obama. Now the Times, most recently in the news for running a photo of the Obama girls with a story about murdered children, has a story out tonight in which Bush takes some mildly critical swipes at Obama, a story that's been sitting on their webpage since at least midnight looking like it wasn't edited for proper punctuation before it was published and sent out for linkage. Below is a screen grab.

We're guessing that this is how the passage pictured should probably read:

"I know it's going to be the private sector that leads this country out of the current economic times we're in," the former president said to applause from members of a local business group. "You can spend your money better than the government can spend your money."

Repeatedly in his hourlong speech and question-and-answer session, Mr. Bush said he would not directly criticize the new president, who has moved to take over financial institutions and several large corporations. Several times, however, he took direct aim at Obama policies as he defended his own during eight years in office.

"Government does not create wealth. The major role for the government is to create an environment where people take risks to expand the job rate in the United States," he said to huge cheers.

Mr. Bush weighed in on some of the most pressing issues of the day: the election in Iran, the closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba, and his administration's interrogation policies of terrorists held there and elsewhere. The former president has not commented on Mr. Obama's decision to ban enhanced interrogation techniques such as waterboarding, which the current president has called "off course and based on fear."

Seriously, what the hell is going on at the Times these days? Is ignorance of fancy computer programs to blame here, just as it supposedly was when they ran the photo of the Obama girls with the murdered schoolchildren story? Or have they laid off so many people that everything they do is computer generated?

Then again, a reader wrote in to say that the Times was recently advertising on Craigslist to fill a web producer position, which, well, probably solves the riddle.

UPDATE: (4:09AM) It appears as though someone at the Times has finally edited the piece.

Bush Takes Swipes at Obama Policies [Washington Times]