Monday, July 24, 2006

Random thoughts

Here's another post full of minor ideas that never got developed into full-blown posts. Call it the blogger's equivalent of the infamous "Star Trek: The Next Generation" flashback episode: it's not as much fun as a regular episode but it saves money to pay for next season's big-honkin' space battle.
  • Remember when Senator Bill Frist got laughed out of Washington D.C. for his gasoline tax rebate idea? Apparently the idea wasn't as bad as the public was lead to believe since Senator Hillary Clinton is now floating a baby rebate for each child born in America. As much fun as it will be to pay the government the money it gives me back when I have my future children, I'm guessing this proposal isn't going to make it into law anytime soon. After all, when you really think about it, isn't this just a backdoor around wefare reform?

  • Democratic party orthodoxy about North Korea was that Kin Jong Il was happily content with President Clinton's 1994 agreement, but that President Bush's inept diplomacy allowed (or "forced"?) North Korea to resume nuclear weapons activities. The equivalent Republican position was that North Korea was happily cheating on the agreement from day 1, and that President Bush at least had the courage not to pay North Korea to break the rules.

    There is a third possibility in-between the two mentioned above. North Korea could have obeyed or mildly cheated on the 1994 agreement during the 90s, but then extravagently cheated on the deal after the 2001 for the purpose of smearing President Bush. Why not stick a thumb in the American president's eye? Liberal public opinion would almost certainly blame Bush for anything that went wrong with the 1994 deal, regardless of fault, and any contrary information would be insulated from the American public by its mainstream media. Whatever benefits North Korea lost during the Bush Administration would simply be made up with interest by some future Democratic administration.

  • It seems to me that the recent sabre-rattling by North Korea could be a sign that President Bush's approach to dealing with them is having its intended effect. If Kim Jong Il is going nuts over being asked to negotiate in six-party talks, doesn't that indicate that six-party talks somehow benefit the United States (assuming that the United States isn't the crazed imperialistic killer superpower protrayed in North Korean propaganda)? One American advantage I can see arising from six-party talks is that it takes away North Korea's ability to tell each of the parties different stories without those parties comparing notes afterwords. Another American advantage is that an easy way to isolate a country that has betrayed one deal with the United States is to try and get that country to make (an inevitably broken) deal with all of its neightbors. That seems hard to do in a series of bilateral talks but somewhat easier to do in multiple-party talks.

  • Has anyone noticed that the liberal slant of the mainstream media is one of the principle benefits that a Democratic president would bring to the War on Terror (before it became the Serious Criminal Investigation on Terror, that is)? The easist way to get more "positive" stories on Iraq into the mainstream media would be to elect a Democrat president in 2008.

  • Nothing screams desperation more than Connecticut Democrats pressuring Senator Lieberman not to run as an independent if he loses the Democratic primary to challenger Ted Lamont. The impression being conveyed is that Lieberman is guarenteed to win as long as he is on the general election ballot, which seems counter-productive for his challenger to seemingly endorse. Another drawback to this type of pressure is that fits the Democratic Left's stereotype of being willing to "game the electoral system" whenever it can pick up an advantage by doing so.

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