View Full Version : Moments of clarity

Chuck Bao
2/4/2008, 04:17 PM
How do you do that and what do you do with that?

I'm having a Road to Damacus change while writing an article for non-Americans about the US presidential race and it's freaking me out.

Stop that.

I probably need more Natty Lites and just pass out and maybe it'd be okay in the morning. Obama, Obama, Obama.

Chuck Bao
2/5/2008, 09:28 AM
I’ll go ahead and end the suspense and say I voted Obama today in the Democrats Abroad primary at the foreign correspondents club at the penthouse floor of Maneeya Office Tower in Bangkok.

After downing my third whisky and coke, I feel good again and all political. So, I’ll go ahead and describe my first vote in like 20+ years.

I worked all night last night writing up a stirring report on the US presidential election and Thailand.

I concluded that of the four major contenders – McCain, Romney, Clinton and Obama, that Obama would be the worst for Thailand.

I was like coming to this conclusion as the sun was coming up and I was downing my whiskey coke. This just breaks every rule I have about that – if it’s a weekday, don’t drink past 4am. I don’t know why I think 4am is a magic number. I do know why that damn sun shining isn’t.

So, I email my piece into the office and feel like I’ve done my bit. And, Wall Street overnight didn’t do anything crazy for a change.

Then, I email my colleagues to say “It’s Supah Tuesday, let’s do lunch”. One of my American colleagues emailed back that NO it’s “Fat Tuesday”. I’m not Catholic and Fat is not a polite word. No bonus for him.

After I arrived at my office, my secretary came in for me to sign something and she like involuntarily recoiled. I blame the sun.

My other American office colleague, Geoff, loves my report – Obama bad, Obama bad. He is like stuck on something that someone probably once said – Republicans good – tax cuts – YAY!, Democrats bad – tax and spend – UGH! He just doesn’t get it.

The polling place for the first every Democrats Abroad was pretty cool and they were selling Democrats Abroad t-shirts and all. You could tell the whole Asian spirit of commercial enterprise had rubbed off on these Americans. Maybe more had been involved in the rubbing, but we don’t need to know that.

There were American flags everywhere and four booths and at least 4-5 people walked in to vote while I was there.

Okay, I was the only one like in business suit and looking like a stupid... ummm...suit-wearing Republican.

There was this really talkative, friendly woman there that was like one of those greeters at Walmarts, chatting up Geoff. He was not a sport at all and told her he was firmly a Republican.

Wanker! He probably doesn't even drink past 3am.

stoops the eternal pimp
2/5/2008, 12:42 PM
stop that

Frozen Sooner
2/5/2008, 01:01 PM
Why would Obama be the worst for Thailand? Is he going to stick his feet in people's faces or something?

Seriously, though, I'm curious. What about his positions is bad for Thailand?

Chuck Bao
2/5/2008, 01:38 PM
Seriously? On the single issue of free trade, Obama would be least preferable of the four remaining major candidates, in my opinion.

Candidates’ positions on free trade

Clinton supported the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as First Lady but voted against the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) in 2007. In March 2007, she told Bloomberg News that, while she still believes in free trade, she supports a freeze, or “a little time-out” on new trade agreements.

Clinton seeks to regulate outsourcing. “Outsourcing is a problem,” she said at the 2007 Democratic Primary debate at Howard University last June. “We have to: end the tax breaks that still exist in the tax code for outsourcing jobs [and have] trade agreements with enforceable labor and environmental standards.”

Obama supports: amending NAFTA; enforcing environmental and labour provisions in trade agreements; and taking a tougher line on China. Regarding NAFTA, he told the Des Moines Register last December, “NAFTA needs to be amended to make sure that labor agreements are enforceable.”

On China, he told the same paper: “Toys cannot come in. We will have our own safety inspectors on the ground for food. We should insist on: labor standards and human rights, the opening of Chinese markets fully to American goods and the fulfillment of legal contracts with American businesses without triggering a trade war.”

McCain opposes subsidies and protectionism. In the 2007 Des Moines Register Republican debate last December in Iowa, he said: “I will open every market in the world to Iowa's agricultural products, and eliminate subsidies on ethanol and other agricultural products. Subsidies distort markets and destroy our ability to compete in the world.”

He added in the Republican debate in South Carolina last month, “I will lower the barriers to products coming into the U.S. in return for any nation that will lower their barriers to U.S. products, particularly our agricultural products.”

Romney supports renegotiating trade treaties with China and other countries and opening up markets to U.S. products. In the Republican debate in Iowa last December, he said: “ We want to make sure people [do not] close their markets to our goods because we can compete anywhere in the world.”

In the Republican debate in Michigan last October, he said: “It's been calculated that the average family in America is $9,000 a year richer because we have the ability to sell products around the world. I want to make sure that the American worker gets a fair shake. We need to make sure that the Chinese begin to float their currency and protect our designs, patents and our technology.”

Frozen Sooner
2/5/2008, 01:44 PM
Fair enough. Thanks!

Me, I'm good with those positions. Don't know that they're realistic, but I like 'em.

2/5/2008, 02:00 PM
Best stream of consciousness post in months.