SocraticGadfly: 9/12/04 - 9/19/04

September 18, 2004

Is Scott Rolen the MVP?

The way the Cardinals have struggled without him in the last week or so says yes.

Bonds gets my vote noway, nohow until baseball — and other American professional sports, for that matter — submit to international-level sports drug testing.

With squishes like this, conservatives’ jobs are easier

Kevin Drum at Political Animal yearns for Michael Kinsley to purge Robert Scheer from the L.A. Times editorial page as an “embarrasing lefty.”
Update: Kevin is at it again with a follow-up post.
Drum, a “liberal hawk” on Iraq in late 2002, doesn't even have the generosity, let alone the humility, to admit Scheer was right on Iraq, let alone being right on a fair amount of other things.
He says getting rid of Scheer might make the L.A. Times editorial pages as good as the East Coast establishment. Great. Although he doesn't himself use the word “establishment,” that's what would result: more establishmentarian commentary.
Maybe we ought to describe someone like Drum, still unrepentant for supporting Bush on Iraq, as the embarassing squish.

It's not just Democrats complaining about Kerry

A recent issue of Asia Times, in anointing Bush as Reagan's heir as the Teflon president, also notes Kerry's failure to gain traction:
Kerry, on his part, has thus far not focused on Bush's performance in general, and in particular on the low-gear performance of the US economy. When Bill Clinton won his first presidential term, his campaign battle cry was, "It's the economy, stupid!" Thus far, Kerry's lack of focus on a similar or the same battle cry has enabled Bush's Teflon presidency to maintain an edge over him.

Of course, as previously noted, Kerry really isn't in a good positoin to gain traction on Iraq due to his past votes. Realistically, it's going to take Bush losing traction.

Kitty Kelly, George Bush and George H.W. Bush

I've only gotten to the middle of the second chapter, but reading through the introduction and the body up to that point, I can already say it's about time.
This is the book whose information the major media should have been researching and publishing in 2000. No, it's the book the major media should have been developing for newspaper and magazine columns back in 1988, re George W. Bush.
Demand the books editor at your nearest major newspaper review it, review it fairly, and review it before the election.

Update --
Read this Guardian column from David Talbot, editor in chief of Salon, including his Kelley interview.

September 16, 2004

When will Kerry start using debate debates as a political wedge?

President Bush is clearly leaving himself open to the "chickenhawk" charge by not responding to queries from the Presidential Commission on Debates. This is especially true in light of rumors that Bush doesn't want three presidential debates - namely, that he wants to avoid the second, town-hall debate.
Will Kerry hang tough, even at the implied price of junking the entire debate package? Should he?
I say yes. If anywhere is a key place of where he has to play hardball, and has potential big political gains, this is it. Period.
But will he? My odds are 50-50.

September 14, 2004

If Kerry is an environmentalist ...

Then why did he vote for NAFTA?
True, the concerns most voiced at the time were about its lack of labor rights safeguards, and lack of enforcement for the ones it did have.
But, environmental groups had similar comments about the lack of environmental provisions. And back in 1993, it didn't take a Ph.D. to know that an increase in lightly-regulated, heavily-polluting Mexican border plants would cause an increase in Mexican pollutants crossing the border into the U.S.
Even if that weren't a worry, Mexico would still have its own pollution increases to worry about. Does that mean that "third-world" countries don't deserve as much pollution protection as the U.S.?
Could you call this pollution credit trading in reverse?