January 2004 Archives

January 28, 2004

Dean happy with New Hampshire showing

So Dean didn't win New Hampshire either. I'm not surprised.

Hours after being handed yet another defeat by Democratic voters, presidential candidate Howard Dean is spinning like no other. His latest revelation: losing a lot and gaining some is a good thing.

» Continue reading "Dean happy with New Hampshire showing"

January 27, 2004

Primary Challenges

I first started paying attention to politics and elections when I was in fifth grade, around the time of the 1992 elections. That was an exciting time for national politics in our country. It was a presidential election year, and there were so many issues, personalities, and captivating occurences that were taking place.

Within both of the major parties, there were exciting primary contests. On the Democratic side, there was the "six-pack" of presidential hopefuls: Virginia Governor Doug Wilder (the first to withdraw), U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey (D-NE), U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), U.S. Senator Paul Tsongas (D-MA), California Governor Jerry Brown, and Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton. And on our party's side, there was an exciting and energetic challenge from the Right to the President of the United States by conservative commentator Patrick Buchanan (who, being endorsed by the Granite State's most influential newpaper and America's oldest national conservative organization, stunned everyone by garnering 37% of the vote in the New Hampshire primary against an incumbent President). With all that was going on, it was a great time to be paying attention to current affairs and elections.

» Continue reading "Primary Challenges"

Posted by Aakash at 4:10 PM

January 26, 2004

Change of heart on Iraq. Augur of future success?

The author of this article, a prominent Palestinian Arab-American critic of American policy in the Middle East, has had a change of heart about opposing the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Could this reflect the possibility that the Iraq policy remains "sellable" in this election year even to those who might be inclined to doubt? There are differences as the author, Fawaz Turki, is concerned primarily with the fate of Iraqis in his approach and the American electorate is more concerned with Americans, but it is worth a look and thought.

Posted by at 8:04 PM

January 25, 2004

Kay gives conflicting stories on Iraq WMD

On Saturday, former UN weapons inspector David Kay told Reuters that Iraqi WMD stockpiles may not have existed at all.

"I don't think they existed," Kay told Reuters news agency on Friday. "What everyone was talking about is stockpiles produced after the end of the [1991] gulf war, and I don't think there was a large-scale production program in the '90s."
» Continue reading "Kay gives conflicting stories on Iraq WMD"

January 24, 2004

Arguments about the War

Now I'll be the first to admit that partisans sometimes take somewhat contradictory positions at different times as a tactical choice. There are however a number of positions about the war on terrorism which are fundamentally incompatible. Since advocating contradictory positions tends to be a sign of either an underlying position that isn't being addressed, or a sign of pure partisanship, or a failure to take your own thoughts seriously, it might be helpful to look at them.

Before I continue, I want to make clear that I don't think supporting the invasion of Afghanistan but failing to support the invasion of Iraq is necessarily a set of contradictory positions. You could hold both ideas simultaneously without them being contradictory. But in reality many of the stated reasons for holding those two positions don't make sense.

» Continue reading "Arguments about the War"

January 23, 2004

The State of the Union's subtler points: Abstinence only sex education

Abstinence only sex education vs. Comprehensive sex education:
A Utilitarian Analysis

One under-discussed point from the State of the Union Address was Bush’s proposed increase in for abstinence only sex education. Here is a utilitarian analysis of this program’s history, future implications and alternative forms of sex education.

» Continue reading "The State of the Union's subtler points: Abstinence only sex education"

Posted by Miguel at 11:18 PM

January 20, 2004

My Analysis of the State of the Union Speech and Democrat Response

Great speech by the President! While many will disagree with me on my thoughts I will present them for discussion. Here are some highlights, and a few critiques of the Democrats response:

» Continue reading "My Analysis of the State of the Union Speech and Democrat Response"

Posted by at 11:13 PM

State of the Union 2004

Tonight is the night that our President will be delivering his annual State of the Union address. There have been many news items giving a general idea of what President Bush will be talking about in his speech tonight.

The State of the Union address has long been regarded as one of the most important annual events in the American presidency. With our current President, his SOTU speeches have been closely watched, due to the events - especially regarding foreign policy and war - that have been occurring within the past few years.

» Continue reading "State of the Union 2004"

Posted by Aakash at 6:40 PM

Kerry Wins Iowa; Dean Distant Third

From My Way News:

John Kerry seized the lead as Iowa Democrats began their first-in-the-nation voting Monday, the initial step in the battle to face President Bush this fall. In another surprise, John Edwards was nipping at his heels.

Dean was quoted as saying:

» Continue reading "Kerry Wins Iowa; Dean Distant Third"

Posted by at 8:11 AM

January 18, 2004

Martian nitpicks

Riding on past lunar glory, stuck in orbit around the Earth, and crestfallen because of recent tragedies, NASA needed a kick in the pants --- which is what Bush gave it this last week.

Instead of cheering a bold new venture, and being constructive, this move was mostly met with cynical skepticism.

» Continue reading "Martian nitpicks"

Posted by Vivek at 6:11 PM

Has Bush Been a Conservative?

Is President George W. Bush a conservative in practice? And if he is, what kind of a conservative?

George W. Bush came into office amid election controversy not seen since 1960. The mandate of this “Compassionate conservative” was diminish as he has tried to mend the fences and work with the Democratic Party. 9/11, a little less than a year after the election night controversy and subsequent political melee, temporarily tempered the criticism from the Democrats, and the War on Terror became the number one issue in America.

» Continue reading "Has Bush Been a Conservative?"

Posted by Miguel at 6:08 PM

The U.S. does not turn on a dime.

Course corrections for a ship of state as huge as the United States do not occur quickly. The President inherited some serious economic problems and had to respond to an attack upon our nation the likes of which we have not seen since Pearl Harbor. President Bush has responded and implemented plans to turn our ship back on course. But remember, many of these course corrections will not complete this year. That is why it is imperative that President Bush remain at the helm for 4 more years to insure the helm retains its direction to get us back on course.

A summary of President Bush’s agenda and course corrections can be found at The Grand Old Party’s web site.

Posted by GOP at 4:39 PM

January 13, 2004

Iraq war plans no indictment of Bush

The misconceptions of strategy and contingency plans are wholly lost on one Toronto Star writer, who goes so far as to gloat over former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill's statements that President Bush had Iraq war plans prior to 9/11.

Right up to the March, 2003, invasion, Bush led the world to think war might be avoided.
» Continue reading "Iraq war plans no indictment of Bush"

Bush's conservative immigration policy

Over the last several days, I have heard a lot of complaining from the right about Bush's new immigration policy. Some of it has been quite shrill and I daresay anti-immigrant. I think it is good conservative policy. I will explain below.

There are several arguments from the right against this policy, but I will attempt to sum them up. First, it is amnesty, despite what the President says, and will encourage a new wave of illegal immigration. Second, counter to what most people think, we don't need this cheap labor and it drives down the wages and takes jobs away from hard working Americans. Third, telling a bunch of foreigners, "Y'All come!" is counterproductive to our security efforts along the border. Fourth, Vicente Fox has hardly been in our corner lately, so why should we do him any favors? Finally, it's not good politically for Republicans or for Bush.

» Continue reading "Bush's conservative immigration policy"

Posted by at 12:03 AM

January 8, 2004

Bush to Announce Lunar and Martian Missions

From the Associated Press:

President Bush will announce plans next week to send Americans to Mars and establish a permanent human presence on the moon, senior administration officials said Thursday night.

Bush won't propose sending Americans to Mars anytime soon; rather, he envisions preparing for the mission more than a decade from now, one official said.

» Continue reading "Bush to Announce Lunar and Martian Missions"

Posted by at 11:22 PM

January 3, 2004

Peaceful Bush

Citing recent diplomatic advances in Libya and North Korea, the Guardian gloats:

The White House has retreated from its doctrine of regime change and pre-emptive military action and is returning to traditional diplomacy in an effort to repackage George Bush as a president for peace.

This stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of Bush's policy. The Bush doctrine wasn't "let's go in with guns blazing and shoot everyone". It must be understood that military force was a last resort --- a last resort whose absence made diplomacy meaningless.

» Continue reading "Peaceful Bush"

Posted by Vivek at 1:28 AM

January 2, 2004

Middle Eastern Mishaps

Many conservative blogs have been linking this article about another Democrat moving away from the Democratic Party over the War Against Terrorism. Honestly that genre doesn't excite me too much at this point, but it did have a really good timeline of an important topic--the US ignoring the fact that this war began more than 20 years ago. It lists:

• 1979 - The US Embassy in Iran was overrun by Islamic extremists who captured 66 Americans and held 53 of them for 444 days.

• 1983 - The US Embassy in Beirut was targeted by a truck bomb that killed 63.

» Continue reading "Middle Eastern Mishaps"