January 06, 2005

What We're Reading

Digby on why the Republicans hate Social Security:

...Their motive for destroying social security is that it puts the lie to their contention that government can't be trusted to do any positive social good. They are wrong and social security proves it. That's why they must create the lie that it won't work even while it's clearly working. As the quotes above prove, they've been crying wolf for decades and yet the program continues to provide millions of old and disabled people a bare minimum of income when they are past their working years and it will continue to be funded, fairly painlessly, for at least another forty years. It's very existence is a slap in the face to the Republican philosophy. That's why they must destroy it. ...

The Poorman on stark raving lunacy, and how to really help the troops:

...Appreciate this. Understand that the people killing us in Iraq aren't motivated by Gore Vidal or inspired by Susan Sontag or organized by Michael Moore or in cahoots in any way with any of the right's celebrity piñatas - not literally, not metaphorically, not if you look at it in a certain way, not to any infinitesimal degree, not in any sense, not in any way at all. They do not lead a clandestine international conspiracy of Evil which has corrupted everything in every foreign country plus everything in America not owned by loyal Bush Republican apparatchiks; nor are they members of such a conspiracy; nor does a conspiracy remotely matching that description exist. To think otherwise is, literally and to a very great degree, insanity. It is insane.

And if you really want to help the American war effort, you can join the fucking armed forces and go to Iraq like thousands of others have, and then you can do the best job you can to show them that Americans care about them and want, above all else, for all of our futures to be better and more peaceful than the past, and get paid shit. You will then be my personal hero, really, and I hope you don't get killed or maimed or see or do something that makes you hate everything for the rest of your life, which is a very real possibility. If you, like me, are too much of a coward to risk your life and health on a mission like that, then you can donate to charities which help soldiers (although it is worth looking into where and what kind of help is needed – some places don’t need it as much as others). But the easiest thing you can do is influence the politicians who create the policies – and in some cases the military strategies - which are being carried out in Iraq, but to do this in a useful way you first have to make some contact with reality. ...

Dave Johnson on the intelligence gap between the progressive blog community and Washington Democrats:

...And it is surprising how so many Washington Democrats seem so ill-informed about so many of the issues, or so out of touch with things that every single Progressive blogger and blog-reader understands. How many of them understand that the Republican Social Security proposal phases out Social Security? But webloggers and their readers know this.

...Another example — How many Democratic Senators say they won’t oppose Alberto Gonzales for Attorney General? But us bloggers and blog-readers ALL understand that a vote for Gonzales is a vote for torture. ...

Dave Neiwart talks about the darkening mood of Red America:

...My very clear impression of the rank-and-file American right is that many if not most of them, at the behest of their leaders, now believe that opposing George W. Bush and the Iraq War, as well as his handling of the War on Terror, is an act of genuine treason worthy of the ultimate social ation, including incarceration and execution. They feel not only vindicated but profoundly empowered by the election result, empowered to silence their opposition, by force if need be. ...

And for the 'good' news, the head of the Army Reserve believes that the Army Reserve is "broken":

The head of the Army Reserve has sent a sharply worded memo to other military leaders expressing "deepening concern" about the continued readiness of his troops, who have been used heavily in Iraq and Afghanistan, and warning that his branch of 200,000 soldiers "is rapidly degenerating into a 'broken' force."

...Highlighting the dwindling number of Reserve troops available for future deployments, Helmly included computations showing that only 37,515 remain out of 200,366 soldiers in the Army Reserve.

If after reading through some of that you feel a little more frustrated with the world, alleviate that feeling by helping to save the Wampum blog, whose owners have hit a financial snag. They've been kind enough to run the Koufax awards, and to share a consistently smart and heartfelt perspective with readers on issues public, personal, and profound. They only need a few hundred dollars, so please make whatever investment you can in this valuable community resource.

Posted by natasha at January 6, 2005 12:13 AM | Recommended Reading | Technorati links |