Sunday Thoughts

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Kerry Nomination

It's been floated that John Kerry may not officially accept the party nomination until weeks after the Democratic convention, because the longer he waits, the longer he can spend his pre-nomination money. That's how the campaign finance system works.

I have no problem with this at all. Certainly, he has practical problems to overcome if he chooses to do this -- especially how to say "I accept your nomination" at the convention without actually accepting it -- but beyond that, I don't mind.

David Broder, on Meet the Press, noted that this move marks another step in the Democrats process of "destroying institution after institution of political significance by this preoccupation with chasing money." I don't disagree, but the problem is that I dislike those institutions -- our current campaign system, including the primaries and the caucuses and the conventions, and how the campaigns are funded -- and wouldn't mind seeing them destroyed.

He also noted that while we used to say Republicans were driven by money, that now, "it's the Democrats who are allowing money to drive everything." They moved the primaries up to have more time to raise money, and are thinking of moving the nomination forward to have more time to spend it. I don't have a problem with any of that: more power to them. I have a problem with any systems that require such maneuvers in order to maximize the efficiency of the organization. The primary system, the nominating conventions (which our tax dollars pay for), and all the rest are a joke to begin with, and this proposed action doesn't destroy them, it highlights their flaws.

Snake Oil

John Kerry gave his party's response to George Bush's radio address this weekend, and he talked about oil, essentially trying to blame Bush for high oil prices. Of course, there is almost nothing a President can do about oil prices, except try to get increase supply, or decrease demand. Kerry attacked on both fronts.

He gave lip service to alternative fuel sources, something Bush also gives lip service to. Why should we trust Kerry on this? And Kerry criticizes Bush for a supposed quid pro quo to get supply increased (one that there's no evidence ever happened), and for attempts to get more oil out of American land.

And he made no mention of the announcement that the Saudis are planning to increase oil production next month, which is exactly what we need in the short term.

And while I am on that subject: a lot of people seem to think the Saudis and OPEC just willy-nilly increase or decrease supply. If the price of oil gets too high, people stop buying it as much, and the supply goes high anyway, which forces the price down. Similarly, if they let the price get too low, then supply would run out, which would drive the prices back up. OPEC wants to be able to control prices rather than have events like these control prices.

Like any other market, it's a balancing act, and while I don't know why prices are so high right now -- in particular, I don't know why OPEC decreased production in February -- I do know that our oil prices have been very stable since the 70s, and OPEC deserves much of the thanks for that.

Ahmed Chalabi

Hoo-boy, this is gonna be interesting to watch. Chalabi, former pro-west Iraqi golden boy, is being accused of passing classified information to Iran. I have no real comment on this. I've never had much of an opinion about Chalabi, and that's not changed. I've never felt I understood him enough to have an opinion about him. But I feel a series of books, and maybe a TV movie, in the making here.

Sovereignty Revisited Again

Does anyone really think the Iraqi government that takes over in July would ask the U.S. troops to leave? If our troops leave, the government won't even be able to protect itself from its own people, let alone potential attacks from Iranians, Syrians, and terrorists.

Especially considering that the stated goal of UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi is to put technocrats in place, it just seems extremely unlikely that our troops will be asked to leave. Technocrats are the ultimate pragmatists in government, and to ask our troops to leave would be suicide. It isn't going to happen.

"Jeffords" as a Verb

There's open talk now about the possibility of John McCain jumping ship, joining the John Kerry ticket, "Jim Jeffords"-ing the Republicans. I don't see it at all. McCain is a hawk, he's pro-life, he is for small government and low taxes. The only good thing about him, from a Democrat perspective, is that he is a respectable Republican who speaks out against the President. Is that enough to build a candidacy on, especially when he is actively campaigning for President Bush? The whole idea is ludicrous.

Nancy Pelosi

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said this week:

The emperor has no clothes. When are people going to face the reality? Pull this curtain back. ... The situation in Iraq and the reckless economic policies in the United States speak to one issue for me, and that is the competence of our leader. ... I believe that the President's leadership in the actions taken in Iraq demonstrate an incompetence in terms of knowledge, judgment and experience ...

My question: why should anyone care what a woman thinks?

Hillary Clinton

Speaking of women, Hillary Clinton was on Fox News Sunday this week. Yow!

Bush TV

Don't forget, Bush is giving a big address on TV tonight. 8 p.m. Eastern.

Washington State Republican Convention

I'll be a delegate to the convention this Friday and Saturday. I hope to give a report on it next week.

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"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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This page contains a single entry by pudge published on May 24, 2004 11:16 AM.

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