Sunday, January 04, 2004

The ABCs of the Iowa Debate

A- Add new people to the voting ranks......Howard Dean

B- Better trade policy needed.......John Kerry

C- Commercial airplanes being escorted by fighter jets..are we safer; really?......Howard Dean

D- Dems-I told you NAFTA was a bad idea all along!......Dennis Kucinich

E- Engagement: Sustained engagement in leadership is an element missing with Bush. Inconsistent prescence
is a Bush hallmark......John Edwards

F- Fear is power......Carol Mosely Braun

G- Get out of Iraq......Dennis Kucinich

H- Hope-not anger......Howard Dean

I- I'll never privatize Social Security......John Kerry

J- Just CAN'T cut and run (from Iraq). We have responsibility......Carol Mosely Braun

K- Kerry on Bush administration and 'No Child Left Behind': "They're faking it."......John Kerry

L- Labor: Rights of workers around the world need to be proptected for NAFTA/WTO to work in the American farmer's interests.......Howard Dean

M- Misadventure in Iraq......Carol Mosely Braun

N- Negative ads: You must defend yourself. Stand up to attackers like
Tom DeLay.......John Kerry

O- Overthrow/Capture of Saddam Hussein makes the world safer...... Joe Lieberman

P- Power Belongs to the People.......Howard Dean

Q- Question from Edwards to Kerry: Are you saying you're the only one who has a health plan?
.......Kerry replies: Time magazine called my plan a 'big new idea'. I'll have 97% of Americans covered in 3 years.

R- Roadmaps-Show the Arab world and terrorists we mean business......Joe Lieberman

S- Supplanting Iraq for the War on Terror......John Kerry

T- Taking action in Iraq was the best decision to keep the American people safe......Dick Gephardt

U- Unbelievably intrusive mandate: Bush's Leave No Child Behind ......Howard Dean

V- Very important: Asking middle class-did your kids' tuition go up with Bush? Health care costs go up?
We need to shift tax priorities. Most of middle class worse off with Bush. ......Howard Dean

W- Waste/Military Spending......Dennis Kucinich

X- Xtra Xtra/Hear all about this: I've balanced a budget, provided health insurance for citizens in my state, delivered healthcare. ......Howard Dean

Y- Yes to trade--no to protectionist positions ......Joe Lieberman

Z- Zo zayeth Braun: Bush 41 said "No new taxes!"; Bush 43 said "No new jobs!" ......Carol Mosely Braun



#1- Most desperate show of hyperbole:
Joe Lieberman's dramatics on the Howard Dean sealed-records. It was as if to say: Please unseal the records so I can find fodder to attack you some more...please oh please..whine..why won't you do it?

#2- Saddest/most worthless attack between 2 people:
Dick Gephardt's attack on John Edwards over trade. Gephardt made a mistake on Edwards' record (Edwards was not in the Senate when NAFTA was decided -- and he pointed out he had campaigned against it). Edwards nearly asked for an outright apology...which he never came close to getting from Gep.
Edwards was a complete gentleman throughout the debate. I was impressed by his performance today.

#3- Most TIRED (and tried) attack:
Dick Gephardt's attack on Dean for 90s-era medicare.
"If I hear Dick Gephardt attack Howard Dean on Medicare one more useless time, I think I'll puke."
-Iddybud October 10, 2003

#4- Best soundbites:
Carol Mosely Braun's got it goin' on in that department..hands down.

#5- Worst Comparison by any stretch of the imagination:
Joe Lieberman comparing TinPot Saddam Hussein to BadBoy Joseph Stalin.
Stalin killed 20 million of his own people, historians have concluded.

#6- Best Self-Defense
This must go to Howard Dean, who had to defend himself all day long.
I especially appreciated his composure and reply that he was standing for the rule of law when Kerry attacked him for
the Osama Bin Laden comments last week. I'm not sure how I would have reacted hearing Kerry twist my words (such as the horrific and perverted version of Dean's statements to Diane Rehm/NPR on December 1st about the Saudi Arabian-9-11 mystery.)
Governor Dean showed he was not an angry defender..he quietly and firmly stood up for himself. Kerry looked like the attacking oaf again. I wonder when he'll learn?


Adam Nagourney's NY Times article is here

Pakistan is a Powderkeg

I have a prediction for 2004/2005 based upon reasonable speculation. I think we're going to see an Islamic-fundamentalist political uprising in Pakistan. Given the fact that President Musharraf has narrowly escaped assasination twice in the past month, I think we should be very concerned about the future of keeping/counting on Pakistan as a trusted ally in the war on terror. When you consider the fact that Pakistan already has nuclear-weapons capability and has shown a willing propensity for selling secrets and materials to places such as Libya and North Korea, we can't continue to look away.

Kashmir may prove to be a more dangerous and volatile proving-ground for hate-based religious fundamentalism than the Gaza strip. Muslim and Hindu peoples of Kashmir had lived in relative harmony and friendliness since the 13th century when Islam first became the majority religion in Kashmir. The Sufi-Islamic way of life that ordinary Muslims followed in Kashmir complemented the rishi tradition of Kashmiri Pandits (Hindus), leading to a syncretic culture where Hindus and Muslims revered the same local saints and prayed at the same shrines. Kashmiri Pandits were driven from their homeland after a campaign of intimidation and harassment was launched against them by the military-wing of the Islamic terror-employing secessionists.

It may serve concerned people of the world well to read the history of the Kashmir region.

Ignominous defeat suffered by Pakistan in the war of 1971 and loss of East Pakistan without gaining Kashmir has been rankling in the minds of people and rulers of Pakistan ever since. Cadets of Pakistan's military academy at Kakul are known to swear an oath that they will avenge the defeat of 1971. That explains why the military budget has been continously rising even though Pakistan has been cut to half in size and population. It has also been pursuing its nuclear program in a determined way and is reported to be in possession of a few atom bombs and nuclear war-heads.

While it was secretly hoped that Pakistan would implode and partition (a destiny for which it seemed to be headed before the U.S. took them on as allies in the war on terror), India can no longer hope for such an easy solution to the Kashmir question. The war on terror has warped the "settled" facts of history and reliance upon old predictions. (We know there are no settled facts of history).
It helps to remember that Pakistan is not a nation-state. It is an unnatural and unhistorical country with its borders drawn in the name of religion.
Pakistan (through Musharraf) has gained political clout and financial support for supporting the U.S. after 9-11.
Yet, look at how the 9-11/U.S. support has affected the people of Pakistan.
Let's face it, Musharraf's cooperation has made him extremely unpopular in Pakistan with those who harbor anti-American foreign policy resentment. (And there's a lot of it, whether or not we choose to overlook it in favor of support for the war on terror).
There has been tremendous pressure and threat (from U.S.) to anti-Islamic fundamentalists in neighboring countries Iran and Afghanistan. You can safely bet Islamic fundamentalists in Pakistan are feeling the threat...and
are empowered to politically survive because of it.
The Kashmir situation increases the threat to Islamic fundamentalists...Hindu reactionaries use sloganeering and war mania against Pakistan to seek popularity. As a reaction to Hindu fundamentalism, Islamic fundamentalism gains popularity in Pakistan.

In the near future, you will see an upsurge in Islamic fundamentalists struggling for post 9-11 power. Will the fundamentalists take the power in Pakistan? Recent elections have indicated that they well could do so. Before 9-11, I think we could have safely said no because of the balance of forces in the Pakistani state. However, after 9-11, we see assasination attempts on the President and a constant growing of popularity (with the people) of fundamentalist political rule. Musharraf has recently agreed to cease control of the military (effective December, 2004) to ward off a coup by a fundamentalist section of the army, which was surely on its way to happening.

If Musharraf doesn't take of the militray outfit soon, all hell may break loose.

In most recent news, [Former Prime Minister and Chairperson of the Pakistan Peoples party] Benazir Bhutto said that the mathematics of the recent vote of confidence in Pakistan proved once and for all that General Musharraf did not have legal votes for a Presidential confidence vote and that he was illegally and unconstitutionally holding the office of the Presidency. (Sounds like America 2000 albeit the differences in process ;)

One example of prior news of Pakistan on Iddybud blog

Unlike the White House Coward, Tony Blair Moves Freely About Iraq Az Zubayr

... in the light of day, no less. No turkeys. No big stories about going in like a cool brave secret agent under cover of darkness.

Az Zubayr was a place of sorrows

Az Zubayr is a place of need
Wow--Britney Spears Got Married!!!

..and I voted for TTLB New Blog Showcase! Juggernaut of Love: The Red Apprentice (An Altruist Ideal)

Barney's First Dog Blog: My Great White Powder Adventure! (by Barney)
Iddybud named a "blogger's blog" by Ecosystem-gazer--
See Chris Lydon's The Blogging of the President

"....there is a hidden pattern in the numbers that says interesting things about the blogs and their connections...
....The list of the "bloggers blogs" is also interesting, I've labelled these "inward facing" blogs, because they have high cachet inside the blogsphere...."


While at Chris Lydon's site, see Matt Stoller's piece on David Brooks.
After reading it, proceed to the Mahablog, where you'll find an interesting critique of a recent Brooks column.
Pop Quiz: Who remembers the name
Imad Hage?

*Hint: the Bush administration doesn't want you to know the name Imad Hage...unless, of course, you can associate it with the name of a criminal or a terr'ist.*
"....Hage said by telephone Thursday from Beirut that he intends to return to the United States in a few weeks to fight the charges, which he suggested were only brought after news surfaced of his involvement in the Iraqi peace deal. "I think I am caught between various people with different agendas," Hage said. "I think they are blowing it out of proportion because somebody wanted to discredit me early on and unfortunately this thing became public."

My blog entry from November will refresh your memory.