Democratic Convention and 2004 Presidential Campaign

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Discus: College Confidential Café: 2004 Archive: Democratic Convention and 2004 Presidential Campaign
By Thedad (Thedad) on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 05:06 pm: Edit

I posted this on another board and in another thread but here goes here.


About a month ago, I remarked that Kerry had three hurdles to pass if he is to beat Bush:

1. Veep selection. PASSED. Avoided the Gephardt trap. Bob Graham would have been interesting but I think the electoral calculus favors Edwards and Kerry did the right thing for the right reason.

2. Acceptance speech. PASSED. For the large segment of the public that doesn't follow politics and the news closely, this was Kerry's time to make a first impression and he did that very well. He didn't have to close the sale with the undecided and swing voters, just introduce himself well. Bush's performance has opened the door for Kerry, the challenger; Kerry has to convince these voters to then step through the door to him. The first part of that is to present himself as a plausible, acceptable alternative...and hence the speech. [Side note A: It's no accident that independent media watch groups have tallied 25 percent of Kerry's ads as negative, 75 percent of Bush's ads as negative. Strategically, Bush's campaign has had the reciprocal job of Kerry's, trying to present Kerry as an implausible, unacceptable choice.]

3. The debates. UNDETERMINED. I've heard one other pundit say this but to my eyes this election is shaping up as a mirror image of the 1980 election: an incumbent people aren't happy about versus a challenger that many have doubts about. That election broke for Reagan in the last 10 days on the strength of him coming across as non-scary in the debates. This year's debates will determine whether the undecided/swing voters step through that open door to vote for Kerry. [Side note B: assuming the lack of external events beyond the control of either candidate.]

Other notes:

C. Other speeches: I go along with the consensus that the best speeches were Obama's and Bill Clinton's. Both speakers succeeded in reaching for the gut as well as the brain. Obama is possibly the most poetic speaker I've ever listened to. Bill Clinton is rhetorically brilliant. Using himself as an example of the beneficiary of the Bush tax cuts and contrasting his (and Bush's) avoidance of Vietnam service with Kerry's volunteering were very effective. I've been thinking for a few years that Congressman Harold Ford (D-Tenn.) might be the first African American to make it on a national ticket...I think Obama might beat him to it.

In contrast, two of the liberal warhorses, Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton, gave the worst speeches. Kennedy's was largely a mish-mosh of uninspired cliches. Hillary's was even worse, with parochial pandering to her own constituency (her remark about funding for NYC police had TheMom rolling her eyes) and content that was like cotton candy: sweet, fluffy, non-filling.

While I will never forgive Al Sharpton for the Tawana Brawley debacle and while his campaign this year was propped up by GOP funding that he took without a qualm and while he's much more of a camera hog than a serious working politician, he is a wickedly good speaker. He was supposed to speak for 6-7 minutes, spoke for 20 extemporaneously as he got into connecting with the crowd...driving the teleprompter operator nuts trying to find out where Sharpton was or supposed to be. (Cf., in "Animal House" when Bluto gets going and mentions the dark days when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor..."don't stop him, he's on a roll.") If I were running Kerry's campaign, I would deploy Sharpton and Bill Clinton to every black church I could in Ohio, Missouri, and Florida between now and election day.

I agree with whoever it was who said that Jimmy Carter is a better ex-president than he was a president. His speech was thoughtful, a bit too cerebral, and his energy level clearly is winding down.

While not one of the speakers per se, I was very impressed with an interview on the floor with Jesse Jackson Jr., who is very thoughtful and persuasive, not the agitator and bomb-thrower that his father can be. I suppose it might be laid to the fact that Jr. is within the system as a Congressman, whereas his father was first kept outside and then chose to remain outside.

D. Bounces. We'll probably have a good idea Monday what the horse race "bounce" is but I expect it to be no more than 3-5 percent. One of the GOP honchos--I think it was Ed Gillespie, RNC chairman--got it right a couple of weeks ago when he said this election is being fought between the 45-yard lines. There simply aren't that many persuadable voters in play and every single survey shows it. Absent some dramatic external event, I think this race is going to go down to the last 10 days, quite possibly to those who make up their minds on election day.

E. Learning the Wrong Lessons. For the past two years, it's been my opinion that Bush may be like the French, who learned the wrong lesson from WW I and built the Maginot Line. It's an idee fixee with Bush that the reason his father lost his reelection campaign was that the GOP right-wing base wasn't satisfied. I think if Bush had governed a little more to the center and a lot less arrogantly he wouldn't be in the electoral trouble he's in. Instead, the hard-right approach, not only on Iraq but on taxes, the environment, judicial appointments (cf. Clinton's mostly centrist appointments), etc., has been, as widely reported, very polarizing. Which brings me to...

F. Unified Democratic Party. As a close watcher since 1968, I have *never* seen the Democrats this united. Dissent is virtually nil. The contrast of Howard Dean jumping forcefully on the Kerry bandwagon can be contrasted to Eugene McCarthy in1968 and all the unhappy liberals when Clinton got the nomination in 1992.

In 2000, Democratic enthusiasm suffered because of the betrayal of Bill Clinton via Monica Lewinsky; even if Gore was the man on the issues, l'affaire Lewinsky sapped the energy. In contrast, the intensity this year is off the charts. It's not just the fundraising, which has been reported widely. Here in California, grass roots organizations are doing things like writing letters to voters in swing states, doing mailings to help targeted voters register to vote in swing states, and even organizing weekend caravans into Arizona and Nevada to help register voters at their own expense. And all of this is coming from the bottom up, with the Kerry campaign,, etc. scrambling to provide the resources, e.g., voter lists/addresses to help us out.

Fwiw, it's the liberal "progressive" wing that is swallowing hardest, with Kerry soft-pedaling issues like gay rights, gun control, abortion, etc.

Which brings me to...

G. Liberal or Moderate? and other Campaign Nonsense. There really should be a political to sort out some of the campaign nonsense. The Bush campaign incessantly talks about Kerry being the most liberal member of the US Senate and Edwards being the fourth-most liberal. Whatever its effectiveness in some circles--and thankfully screaming "liberal liberal liberal" is losing its effectiveness, the data that supports this charge, while from an independent organization, is cherry-picked to a single year (2003?) where both Kerry and Edwards missed a lot of votes due to campaigning and the votes that were recorded were disproportionately on a very few selected economic issues. Taking a longer term with/against the party measurement,
Kerry is right around the median point for Democratic senators as a whole and Edwards is actually a few notches to the right of the median point.

I find two other Bush campaign tactics to be infuriating.

First, the whole "voted against supporting our troops in Iraq" and "first voted for it, then against it" flip-flop charge. It makes a wonderful sound bite and it can't be refuted in a sound bite. On funding for Iraq, Kerry voted for the
Democratic amendment that tied funding for Iraq with repeal of the Bush tax cuts for the upper income range. That amendment was defeated. He then voted against the Republican bill because there no provision was made to pay for the expenditure and the bill included other "poison pill" elements that he was reluctant to vote for. Yet the Bush campaign portrays Kerry as relentlessly anti-military.

On issue of taxes, the Bush campaign uses misleading examples to portray Kerry as a heavy taxer. For instance, if an amendment to a bill includes a repeal of a $100 million tax cut, that counts as a $100 million tax increase. AND
if the amendment fails and the provision is attached to three other bills/amendments, the Bush campaign counts that as Kerry voting to raise taxes $400 million.

Of course, the Bush administration plays fast-and-loose with its own budget & deficit calculations. E.g., since the expenses for Iraq and Afghanistan can't be accurately predicted, they're assumed to be zero. Faugh.

I could go on for another few screens but I have to go and get some work done.

By Lisasimpson (Lisasimpson) on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 05:17 pm: Edit

wow, what a cogent post. i wish more americans were like you and actually put thought into their vote rather than just going with the guy who has "good values" and "isn't afraid to fight for what he believes in". i don't mean that those things aren't both imporant, i just mean that the public believes bush has both..or something.. i forget my point.

By Simba (Simba) on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 06:27 pm: Edit

Thedad, but about the October surprise, and the GOP twist-the truth attack machine? We had a July surprise. According to an article in New Republic (I read it from Salon) the Pakistanis were/are pressured to present/kill High Value Targets. They are being asked for a return on the $9 billion in aid.

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 06:43 pm: Edit

As in the movie, I could have said "You had me at Hello". I could but you did lose me with the point that should have followed G. and started with "I find two other Bush ...".

The flip-flop on Iraq is just election rethoric; election rethoric that has to be administered by the spoonful to the clueless population that will determine the outcome of the elections. The campaigns have to target the lowest common denominator of our population, a feat that, based on the latest DNC convention coverage, is obviously and blatantly easier for the democrats.

While it is unfair to try to analyze Kerry's position on defense spending on the two Iraq votes, it is hard to deny that Kerry illustriously lackluster career as a Senator is that of a liberal who has never seen a tax increase he did not like, except when they get hit too close to his own home.

It is highly probable that Kerry will carry the elections. I will, however, be hard pressed to accept that Kerry represents the best man for the job. This is more a testament of the abysmal level of our political representatives than an approval of the current choices. Take it as you wish but seeing that the democratic party can be energized and united by a Kerry/Edwards ticket speaks volume on how easily satisfied the Dems have become in their quest to reject the current candidate, at all cost.

Lastly, despite finding great enthusiasm to see a polician like Obama emerging, I would not elevate his speech to the same lofty levels as TheDad did. The poetry must have flown over my head! In the meantime, I would have to agree that "hope is on the way", a longer way than expected but still on the way.

As far as the first Black National ticket holder, I think that Colin Powell would have earned that honor without many problems, and probably for ... both parties. I also think that, despite the Iraq and National Security troubles, Mrs. Rice has to be considered the leading candidate of her generation. Naively, I would have been tickled to see a Bush-Rice ticket in 2004.

By Hunter1985 (Hunter1985) on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 07:24 pm: Edit

It's going to be close, anything can happen between now and election day. Personally, both sides have already sunk to the low, down-and-dirty levels of campaigning, so I've become slightly apathetic in caring who wins.

I'm satisfied with "This Land is Your Land" cartoon for political analysis, although the conventions are always fun...on to New York baby!

BTW, for all those interested, ITunes recently made the first 2 days of speeches at the convention, along with the 9/11 commission report (executive summary, not entire thing) available for free download...very cool :)

By Lisasimpson (Lisasimpson) on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 08:23 pm: Edit

how do we download it?

By Thedad (Thedad) on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 09:14 pm: Edit

Lisa, thanks...I am cranky about campaign-by-soundbite, from whatever side it comes.
There are times when, in a waspish mood, I can cause great aggravation by simply asking questions and insisting upon answers, a technique that breaks down the sound-bite exchange. Btw, depending on post, you will find that I can drift back and forth between being a middle-of-the-plate analyst and partisan might say I'm ambidextrous.

Xiggi, to dispense with the underbrush, Colin Powell wouldn't succeed in the GOP: he's pro-choice and pro-affirmative action, the former quietly and the latter quite a bit more vocally on the record. Condi Rice is an idiot who's in over her head; she can't hit a curveball, which is why they do their damnedest to keep her from testifying for committees, making press conferences, etc. She's also miscast for her role, having submerged in an education where everything was framed in an East-West conflict vs. the XSSR. Her knowledge of the Middle East is essentially zip and she, like many, has not made the mental transition to opponents who transcend national boundaries and national control.

Now, Xiggi, I think you may know that I'm something of a student of military history. In that vein, I seldom stake out positions without considering the terrain and avenues of approach, fields of fire and their ability to likely channel opponents into certain actions. Hence: if you want to talk aboaut Kerry's 19 years in the Senate, I'll be more than happy to counter with Bush's 19 years prior to running for the presidency, including Spectrum 7, Harken Energy (if Harken had been Clinton's instead of Whitewater, the GOP would have impeached him long before Monica--the evidence is there), and the Texas Rangers.

If you really want to contrast records, in the words of your hero, "Bring it on."

Other than wanting to make Kerry look unacceptable, the major reason Bush is attacking Kerry is that he has a horrible record to run *on*.

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 10:53 pm: Edit


Except for the intellectual challenge, I have little interest in digging up facts to build a comparison sheet. You have the advantage of having lived through all of the historical timeframe. I do not!

That said, I am surprised at some of the contentions. The record of George Bush as an elected official in Texas would easily withstand the comparison with Kerry's sterile terms in the Senate. On this precise issue, would you really have been able to name a single major piece of legislation he pioneered? I understand that his record would show some well-deserved attention to the plights of MIA and war victims ... but where is the rest? Also, where would his record stand next to other Senate heroes like McCain or Bob Dole. The last generations of electors in our country have amply demonstrated that the military records of candidates is absolutely irrelevant. We rejected Dole and McCain as damaged goods and elected Bush and Oxford Bill.

Lastly, if Condi Rice is an overwhelmed idiot, I would not hesitate to apply the same derisive epithet to the clowns who directed our foreign policy during the 8 years of the C lintons' reign, starting with Mrs. Albright. The jury is still out on how the actions of the current administration will be measured by historians, but only a blind ultra-partisan buffoon would consider the record of the past two administrations anything but a cynical comedy of errors. How quickly one forgets whom was at the helm when most of the current threats emerged, and how we acted in the Middle East, Kosovo, and other locales. If Rice displays zippo as knowledge of the Middle East, you'd better have negative numbers for the scale to measure the past Middle East advisors of Clinton.

By Hunter1985 (Hunter1985) on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 11:05 pm: Edit

Lisa, download the ITunes program (a very good music-organization app, also does very nice converting/ripping/burning) from Apple's site, it will come with the ITunes music store built in (accessible from within the app). It should be on the main page of the Store, so as long as you have an Apple account, you should be a-ok for download :) .

Thedad...a bit of an ego, eh? It's an internet forum...not a's not that don't need to post about how great your posts are.

I still stand by my belief that both parties have drifted to the extreme- both are playing down-and-dirty to win. Neither is worse than the other, it's a subjective thing- despite what people like Jeneanne Garaffallo (voting for Bush is a character flaw) and Michael Savage (voting for Kerry means the demise of the USA) say.
If Bush had done anything that the Dems. could have impeached him on...they would have done it, they're just as power-hungry as the GOP. Condi Rice is NOT an "idiot," she is National Security Advisor- not a job you get lightly. She knows her stuff, or she wouldn't have the's that fricken' simple. And, I must congragulate you for being able to discuss Kerry's years in the Senate, because obviously the Dem. Party doesn't want to (watch the convention video- all of about 1/2 minute on his Senate career). However, Bush isn't any better than Kerry, nor is he any worse. Although from persepective, I feel that Bush would be a better President- based on personal experiences/circumstances, but I don't think if you vote for Kerry you are bad/wrong, I just don't agree with it.

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 11:33 pm: Edit


About TheDad ... Having the courage to defend his convictions has nothing to do with ego.

Finding holes in his theories is a challenge akin to facing the Bismarck in the Baltic Sea. The elusive juggernaut battleship should have remained unsinkable, except for a bit of underestimating of the lesser equipped enemy.

I am still working on developing my skills to surprise him :)

By Thedad (Thedad) on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 11:45 pm: Edit

Hunter, Xiggi is an old friend and adversary. We play for blood. I have also done things like recommending him for a position.

The Dems could *not* have impeached Bush regardless of any evidence, because the GOP has controlled the House very tightly for all of Bush's presidency.

If you don't think that an NSA-level advisor can be an idiot, you haven't watched political administrations for 40 years.

Xiggi, I'll take you on Rice vs. Albright, too.
Admittedly, I have an unusual source on Rice: my sister in-law once taught her and this particular sister in-law is one of the sharpest people I've met in my life, someone that *I* am very cautious arguing with.

By Marite (Marite) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 12:06 am: Edit


A wag once said that worse than organized crime is disorganized crime. In the aftermath of the Cold War, we are facing the equivalent of disorganized crime. We need different strategies to deal with this new situation.

I would not call Rice an idiot, but I agree with TheDad that she has been focused for too long on the XSSR and has not been sufficiently alert to dangers in other parts of the globe, such as N Korea and the Middle East. The French in the 193os, were correct in preparing against Germany, just wrong in their guess as to where Hitler would strike. Rice et al have been wrong about the nature of the enemy and of the danger, and wrong in their strategy.

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 01:11 am: Edit

I'll bite but with great reluctance ...

We may not even agree on my starting premises:

Once upon a time, during the last term of Reagan and the -only one- of the elder Bush, the United States had accumulated sufficient "foreign policy capital" to deal with pressing issues in the world, especially in the Middle East. We were in a position to deal with the former Evil Empire and establish new rules. At the end of the Cold War, there was an extraordinary opportunity to build a new relationship with a democratic Russia, restructure U.S. security policy in both Europe and East Asia to reduce America’s burdens and risk exposure.

Unless I am mistaken, the Elder Bush had been able to build a worldwide coalition in answer to Saddam first foray into Kuwait. That coalition included most of the stonger players in the region. Also, at that time, the Arab countries recognized that the United States could act as reasonably fair-minded arbiter in an Israeli-Palestinian conflict that seemed at last on the way to resolution.

A few years later, after several years of the Clinton fumbling laissez-faire policy, all that capital had vanished. Instead of integrating a newly democratic Russia into the West, the Clinton administration needlessly antagonized Russia by expanding NATO’s membership and waging war against Moscow’s long-time allies in the Balkans. The administration needlessly meddled in the complex disputes of the Balkans, leaving to its successor two U.S.-led NATO protectorates (Bosnia and Kosovo) and a colossal mess of a nation-building commitment with no end in sight.

The appointment of Madeleine Albright was indeed a master stroke of genius to establish a potential neutral role! Clinton could have asked an honorary seat in the Knesseth and send his message to the Arab world. Despite this, the main image was one of failure of nerve and political courage in dealing with Israel and Palestinian peace.

The limited successes of the Clinton administration in, for instance, contributing to the peace movement in Ireland are dwarfed by the failures to recognize the growing anc changing threats and follow a shallow and ideologically flawed policy from another era.

By Simba (Simba) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 09:27 am: Edit

Successes of Clinton Administration:
. Kosovo
. Millions of New Jobs
. Record budget surpluses
. booming stock market
. more police
. lower crime rate
. better environment
. better pay - less people in poverty
. lower gas prices
. less religious bigotry
. Kyto agreement
. Nuclear test ban treaty

Of course he misled the nation, but no one died

By Lisas986 (Lisas986) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 09:42 am: Edit

Oh please Simba. Millions of new jobs + record budget surpluses + booming stock market came from the technology bubble. It wasn't anything Clinton did. The economy is so large that it takes awhile for the effects on the economy to show. For example, if you pass a bill affecting the economy, you won't even see its effects for 2-8 years. So just bc Clinton happened to be sitting in an office when the economy was doing well doesn't mean he did anything. And ditto for the technology bubble- it was just a question of timing and chance. Same with gas prices
and "better pay". And I would not call Clinton & Kosovo a success story- all he did was defer problems, covering them up so that on the surface everything looked fine but just left everything bubbling under the surface bc he didn't want to look bad. "Less religious bigotory"?? okay....

And what is that comment "but no one died"? I assume you're referring to the war in Iraq. The fact is that people were dying before we got there, but you just didn't hear about it bc it was all the way in Iraq and we were all sitting comfortably at home. Sure, people are dying now- but no more than before. You just hear about it bc we are taking some of the burden to help make Iraq better.

Ugh I want to say so much more but I'm pissed off now. It scares me to think of some of you guys voting.

By Marite (Marite) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 10:14 am: Edit

>It scares me to think of some of you guys voting.>

It scares me even more that people who ought to be voting will not vote, whatever their party allegiance.

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 01:15 pm: Edit


For the sake of discussion, I'll agree with all your listed items, except for the environment and the Kyoto treaty.

What do you think Clinton did that had positive repercussions on the environment? This is EXACTLY an item where a Clinton-Gore administration COULD and SHOULD have made a difference.

It is one thing to talk about something and another to DO something. In regard to the environment, Clinton/Gore became the biggest source of disappointment. They did NOT seize any of the opportunities resulting from a booming economy, a large surplus, and a private wealth beyond comparison. Obviously, the dirty secret of massive surplusses is that several sectors of the economy witnessed massive underfunding, including some of the typical liberal agenda like one you did not list (education).

Simba, this is the area of expertise of my parents. In the simplest terms, our government has one of the worst record on the environment, and no president to this date has had an acceptable record on curbing our environmental problems. The biggest disappointment has been Al Gore who pretended to understand the issues but turned out to be a loudmouth full of ozone.

Your buddies had the opportunity, they thumped their nose at the environment. Missing the opportunities is the worst offense.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 01:40 pm: Edit

Let's not go so far to call Kosovo a success. The more you read about it, the more you realize it was executed quite poorly. Also, that will never make up for Bosnia and Rwanda, which happened under Clinton's watch. Bush is doing the same thing with Sudan ...

Lisas -- I cannot believe people actually believe in the bs humanitarian reason for going into Iraq.

By Simba (Simba) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 02:06 pm: Edit

Xiggi: Yes they could have done better, but it is lot more than the current administration. Atleast they were trying to tighten the screws slowly. If you tighten the scrwes slowly, the economic impact of those regulations is minimum.

Take example of your $5/gallon gas price. If that happens in a step change, the country would go in recession. However, if happned gradually, the economy has enough elasticity to absorb the impact.

In the books there was something called 'new source review' for petrochemical and power plants. The current administration gutted that rule.

Near Galveston, TX there is a Formosa Plastics Chemical Plant. Formosa is a Tiwaneese Company. Originally, that company wanted to build that plant in Tiwan, but they couldn't. The govt. would not give them environmental permit. But when GWB was governor they wre heavily courted and given the green light to build the same plant.

And you don't think we pay for lax environmetal regulations? The Chemical Corridor - from Houston to New Orleans has one of the highest respatory desease rate in the country.

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 06:33 pm: Edit


I wrote a long reply and then decided to delete it. I am really done with discussing this kind of issues on CC. It does not accomplish anything.

As I said before, it is easier to show a bleeding heart and expect someone else to take responsibility and, most importantly, someone else to pay. I'll start marching down the easier path, join the hordes of morons and clueless citizens, and clamor for the miracles of bigger government.

However, I'll leave you with a last comment. Do yourself a favor and do some reading about Formosa Plastics and check their connections. It may lead you to different capitals and capitols.

By Simba (Simba) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 07:57 pm: Edit

I am confused Xiggi.

Formosa Plastics Corporation, U.S.A. is part of the Formosa Plastics Group (FPG), a $15 billion global enterprise based in Taiwan, with 72,000 employees and nearly one-half century of experience in petrochemical production and processing.

Ok they are in Point Comfort, TX...near Corpus and not near Galveston, and I mispelled Taiwan.

Your help is needed over there in the parent forum....about SAT test taking strategy.

By Steveruleworld (Steveruleworld) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 08:34 pm: Edit

Craigk10, do some research on the "bs humanitarian reason for going to Iraq" I'll admit, it wasn't one of the key points. But if you do an ounce of research you'll see that a huge positive effect of the Iraqi war has been a drop in the number of Iraqis. Xiggi put it right when he said that we didn't hear about deaths as much because we were comfy in our safety. Or the terror squads of Saddam.

By Lucifersam (Lucifersam) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 08:42 pm: Edit

Wait, what? "But if you do an ounce of research you'll see that a huge positive effect of the Iraqi war has been a drop in the number of Iraqis"?! I haven't been following the latter part of this thread, but I really don't think that can taken in any way except one, and if that is the case, I am simply speechless, because that is extremely insensitive. And please, please, define "terror squads of Saddam", using an actual credible source besides that crap and Fox News.

By Steveruleworld (Steveruleworld) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 09:00 pm: Edit

I meant a drop in the number of Iraqi deaths. As in the total good has been positive. I'm done commenting.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 09:06 pm: Edit

Steveruletheworld --
Go read David Rieff's "A Bed for the Night" and then come talk about humanitarianism and it's role in interventions like this. Funny, I guess I have done some research haven't I.

I'll throw a quote out there just so you understand the basis for what I'm saying:
"the Iraq War was only one point along that steady route of march toward the recolonization of much of the world in the name of human rights and of humanitarian need ... Less than two months after the Iraq War had ended, a French force was deployed in northeastern Congo and discussions were underway at the UN to authorize another deployment in Liberia."

There were so many higher priorities if that was the reasoning with Sudan topping the list. So in summation, I'm still sick of the bs humanitarian reason for going into Iraq.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 09:10 pm: Edit

Oh, and I know quite a bit about these deaths, especially the ones during the Iraq-Iran War in which Kurds were gassed and genocide was committed. It's not that I am unaware.

By Lucifersam (Lucifersam) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 09:21 pm: Edit

Well, Steveruleworld, even though I don't think that statement is really true, I apologize for misinterpreting it so. Craigk10, you seem to have a pretty good head on your shoulders. I hope I meet some of you cool people (or some of you extremely offensive and illogical people) one of these days, maybe if I manage transfer or something.

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 09:31 pm: Edit


I was trying to remain cryptic. I believed you may remember that Formosa Plastics was implicated in the White House's fundraising from Asian sources. Winston Wang is the son of Y C Wang, the owner of Fomosa Plastics.


September 8, 1999
For Additional Information - See Below

Taiwan-based PVC Maker Called Adept at Using Politics to Defend its

A coalition of environmental organizations today charged a Taiwanese
chemical company, Formosa Plastics, with involvement in the White House
foreign campaign finance scandal. The coalition called for a full
investigation of the company's role, and any environmental regulatory favors
sought along with campaign donations.

According to a report issued by the groups, Winston Wang, Vice President of
the company's key subsidiary Nan Ya Plastics, had coffee at the White House
in June 1995 and pledged $100,000 to the Democratic National Committee.
These activities involved Yah Lin "Charlie" Trie, who pled guilty to
campaign finance abuses. It has been alleged that Trie channeled funds
illegally from foreign contributors to the DNC.

The report asks whether there was a quid pro quo for contributions. "For
instance, did the company seek assistance with the regulatory matters
pending in Texas, South Carolina and Louisiana at the time of the donation?
What about $6 million in federal grants and loans, issued after the campaign
pledge, for a pipeline to dilute wastewater of Nan Ya Plastics in South

Formosa Plastics has been frequently cited in financial or environmental
abuses. Examples in the report include:

- Allegations of financial and ethical abuses in the US and elsewhere.

-An ongoing effort to ship extremely hazardous waste from Taiwan to the US,
despite deaths and injuries after the same waste was dumped in Cambodia.

- Environmental violations and damaging discharges to air, water and land at
US and Taiwan operations.

-Endangering safety of workers, serious accidents, and alleged labor law

Formosa Plastics is the world's largest producer of polyvinyl chloride. The
groups wrote to Attorney General Janet Reno, and Dan Burton, Chair of the
House Government Oversight Committee, asking investigation of campaign
finance issues and any links to regulatory leniency.

The report was issued by grassroots environmental organizations having
experience with Formosa Plastics, including the Basel Action Network,
Calhoun County Resource Watch, California Communities Against Toxics,
Environmental Health Fund, GreenAction, Good Neighbor Project, Lynches River
Coalition, Taiwan Environmental Action Network and Washington Toxics

Additional Information:
Author Sanford Lewis (617) 489-3686
The report and other information are available at

By Jlq3d3 (Jlq3d3) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 10:05 pm: Edit

"Record budget surplusesm, booming stock market "
Not because of Clinton, but because of the tech boom.

"lower crime rate"
Which continued to fall under Bush, so youd have to give both credit.

"better environment"
Bush is for and has kept the same air and water standards from the Clinton admin.

"stock market was good"

No, the reccesion officially started during Clinton, in 2000, and then got hit again with Sept 11. It is growing again really quickly now, thanks to tax cuts and no new terrorist attacks.

Maybe, but he let Rawandan genocide take place, because it is easier politicly to sit back and do nothing. At least Bush is pushing (should of started earlier, but we cant be the only humanitarians in the world) the Un to act on Sudan, but the morally corrupt UN nations such as China, Russia, and many arab nations would do nothing more than sanctions and wouldnt even do it for at least another month to give them time, time to do more genocide. I hate the UN and those who believe it is a moral force in the world.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 10:15 pm: Edit

Please don't claim that Bush is any better. This administration was as hesitant as any other to avoid using the word genocide (which makes the US legally bound to act). Only Powell has shown any real concern. I don't understand why supporters of either side are unwilling to accept mistakes were/are being made. Oh well ...

Oh, and the United States is one of those morally corrupt nations that make up the UN.

I'll end with a question. Bush has all ready shown that he doesn't care what the UN thinks, so if he is truly concerned, why not act himself?

Don't mistake these comments for praise for Clinton by the way.

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