Wednesday, August 06, 2003

C)HECK OUT DAILY KOS'S LATEST CATTLE CALL (if Democratic Party Presidential Primary Politics interests you).

JOHN KERRY ON NAFTA (link courtesy of Best of the Web)
''If it were before me today I would vote against it, because it doesn't have environmental or labor standards in it,'' said Senator John F. Kerry of Massachusetts, who did vote for NAFTA. ''If we're going to create jobs, the first thing we have to do is make sure George W. Bush loses his.''
Read that again: "John F. Kerry of Massachusetts, who did vote for NAFTA" and ponder. Perhaps the Boston Globe reporter didn't bother to include Kerry's nuanced explanation that followed this statement. At least I hope that this is the case. Otherwise, how is one to explain Kerry's statement? Did he not know that NAFTA didn't contain "environmental or labor standards" when he voted for it? Perhaps he (gasp) didn't read the whole thing (shades of Condi Rice and intelligence reports on yellowcake from Niger)?

On a almost entirely unrelated note: Kerry's wife's company has factories all over the world: the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, India, and China, just to name a few Do these factories adhere to the "environmental and labor standards" Kerry has so recently discovered the importance of? Just curious.

I really think Dennis deserves credit for not missing a single house vote while campaigning.

No other candidate can make that claim; in fact, some of them should be on milk cartons in the cafeteria. Dick Gephardt is the worst offender, missing 90% of House votes. Why even bother? If I told my boss I wanted to work 10% of time, he’d laugh and tell me not to let door hit me on the way out. John Kerry comes in second, missing 56% of Senate votes. I guess he just can’t resist the call of the open road and the wind through his hair on the Harley. Joe Lieberman takes third place, missing 44% and wins Mr. Congeniality. His fellow contestants just love the way he lets them know how he feels about their chances. Bob Graham and John Edwards round out the pack, both missing about ¼ of their Senate votes.

Don’t these candidates realize that, while it’s important to campaign, it’s far more important to do the job they were elected to do? Dennis Kucinich does, and for that I think the man deserves to be recognized.
I agree.

KIM JONG-IL WINS IN ELECTION LANDSLIDE! (link courtesy of Gweilo Diaries) One of the comments on this post asks a very interesting question:
The "100% of the vote" figures are completely non-credible. When the Mob ran Chicago and controlled the elections, they didn't report 100%, they reported believable figures. 66%, 70%, 58%, a win, but not so large a win that the fraud was bare-faced for all the world to see. Is this a property of the culture, of the governmental type, or just of the sorts of people who become tyrants?
There's a good Ph.D dissertation in there somewhere.

Very good advice for many of the crazy drivers on I-95.
We're all glad to know this little bit of personal information. I couldn't help but wonder whether the owner of the car still loves Bill though. Are they married? Was the vanity plate a ploy to win Bill's heart? Did it work? What motivates people to spend extra money to have a message for all to see on the back of their cars?

What would I put on my own car? GWUPROF? H8NI95 (too bad, that one is already taken)? K2J2 (would work unless we have another child)? Nominations or suggestions are welcome

NORTH KOREA: FIBS VERSUS FACTS according to Leon Sigal. Worth reading. I particularly agree with these paragraphs:
A second inexactitude advanced by the administration is that the United States kept its word but North Korea cheated. As President Bush said March 6, "My predecessor, in a good-faith effort, entered into a framework agreement. The United States honored its side of the agreement; North Korea didn't. While we felt the agreement was in force, North Korea was enriching uranium."

His advisers misinformed him. The fact is, Washington got what it most wanted up front, but it did not live up to its end of the bargain. When Republicans captured control of Congress in elections just days after the Agreed Framework was signed, they denounced the deal as appeasement. Afraid of taking them on, the Clinton administration backpedaled on implementation. It did little easing of sanctions until 2000. Reactor construction was slow to get under way. Although we pledged to provide the two reactors "by a target date of 2003," we did not pour the concrete for the first foundation until August 2002. We did not always deliver heavy fuel oil on schedule. Above all, we did not live up to our promise, in Article II of the Agreed Framework, to "move toward full normalization of political and economic relations" - to end enmity and economic sanctions.
It should always be remembered that North Korea, whatever its ulterior motives, has a fairly good case to make that non-compliance with the Agreed Framework was mutual not unilateral.

I wonder, however, about this statement:
A strategy of strangulation cannot be effective unless all of the North's neighbors are willing to join in. None is willing to.
It seems to me that Japan has been fairly open about its willingness to support an interdiction regime if not outright sanctions (or even a "preventative" military strike on the North). Of course China, and especially South Korea have proven much more reluctant.

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