Friday, July 28, 2006

An Unapologetic Democratic Manifesto - tax policy

The very fabric of our economy is now at risk. By turning our tax structure into a wealth-generating engine for the economically elite we have sucked the oxygen out of the middle class. In fact the burden of paying for the excesses of the Republican gravy train has been disproportionately placed upon the middle class. By relieving the tax burden of those who are the most capable of carrying it we have put ourselves on the road of becoming just another banana republic. We can best assure the economic viability of all our citizens by tempering the accumulation of wealth into too few hands. We must make our income tax much more progressive than it is now.

An Unapologetic Democratic Manifesto - the war

First of all we must say that the war in Iraq is dead wrong.

Those that supported the war gave an inept administration too much credit. The evidence was there from the beginning that the intelligence was being cooked but many refused to believe that our country’s leadership could really be that unwise. That belief has proven to be dead wrong.

Afghanistan was risky enough as a mission and remains risky even now. To divert our energies there to an even riskier effort in Iraq was asinine in the highest degree.

We must confess that our reasons for invading Iraq were insufficient. We must confess that invading Iraq with the limited diplomatic consensus at the time was ill-advised. We must confess that our mission in Iraq was short-sighted and doomed to disaster. We must admit that even the execution the stated mission was ineptly conducted.

By demonstrating the limitations of military force our world is now much less secure than before.

Because of how we went into it and how we went about prosecuting it we are may very well be forced to abandon the Iraqi people once again. Not to an abysmal dictator but to all the destructive elements within their own society.

We need to get out of Iraq and turn the remaining mission over to international authorities if at all possible. If no entity steps up to take over the mess of stabilizing that country it must be abandoned to its own devices since our continued presence merely delays the inevitable at a high cost. We can only hope that, over time, Iraq can rebuild itself as a meaningful nation or nations without our direction. But whatever happens the American people are going to pay for the sheer stupidity of this administration for a generation.

An Unapologetic Democratic Manifesto

I begin here a series of posts laying out what I think should be the action points of the Democratic party. It's been bubbling just below my level of consciousness for some time and it's time to let it out. I hope that it generates some constructive comments so it can be improved over time. Have at it!

McGavick Pretends

In this case he is pretending not to support Social Security privatization
McGavick says benefits must be guaranteed for current beneficiaries and those nearing retirement. He does not support privatization or a phasing-out of Social Security. But confidence in the system is broken. He would give younger workers the option of placing their benefits in voluntary personal accounts controlled by the federal government. This would help restore confidence in the system and ensure its solvency.
Confidence in the system is only broken for those who are intent on gutting McGavick.

In this piece it is interesting to comparing the waffling answers of McGavick to the straight-forward answers of Cantwell. Can anyone trust this guy?

Gecko Sticko

Watch for this at your local store. One square meter can suspend a car with no chemical residue left on the surface after you remove it.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Abortion Debate Made Simple

If the so-called Pro-Life crowd is correct that abortion is murder then they need to be prepared to hand out maximum penalties to those who perform abortions. In some states that would mean the death penalty. Furthermore, all women who seek abortions should be prosecuted as accessories to murder. I can't imagine our society coming to the point where this is actually done.

Any Pro-Lifer that has a softer position than that is just making noise hoping to get noticed. 'Twould be better to just ignore them.

YouTube - Colbert

MSM, where is your shame?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

George Bush: War Criminal

Rosa Brooks: Did Bush commit war crimes? - Los Angeles Times:
"But here's where the rubber really hits the road. Under federal criminal law, anyone who 'commits a war crime … shall be fined … or imprisoned for life or any term of years, or both, and if death results to the victim, shall also be subject to the penalty of death.' And a war crime is defined as 'any conduct … which constitutes a violation of Common Article 3 of the international conventions signed at Geneva.' In other words, with the Hamdan decision, U.S. officials found to be responsible for subjecting war on terror detainees to torture, cruel treatment or other 'outrages upon personal dignity' could face prison or even the death penalty."
That's a nasty piece of work to leave for the next Democratic president, the prosecution of his-or-her predecessor as a war criminal.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Viral Effect

Condoms win. Abstinence loses.

Where's My Google PC?

The next big thing will be virtual PC's where all of the resources are remote. You will only own sufficient hardware to run a browser.

Barack Obama on religion and politics

Obama speaks to Jim Wallis' Call to Renewal folks. 'Nuff said.
Obama's goal was different and larger. The speech worked partly because the senator speaks with easy-going confidence about his faith, weaving spiritual phrases into his speech without needing to announce them to his audience as so many of his colleagues do ("This debate about tax cuts reminds me of that verse from the Book of Hebrews …"). But more important, he doesn't recount the story of his conversion in order to establish his religious bona fides; he does it in the service of a broader argument. And he doesn't defend progressives' claim to religion; he asserts the responsibilities that fall to them as religious people. Americans are looking, Obama said, for a "deeper, fuller conversation about religion in this country." He started that conversation. A few others are joining in. It's time for everyone else to catch up.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Working the Refs

Let's get this straight. The Bush (hswib) administration has been saying for years that it was monitoring international financial transactions looking for terrorists. But when the New York Times publishes an article that describes some details about how the financial monitoring is done, all the conservative clones decry it as aiding the enemy.

But, like Paul Waldman, I think there is a much bigger threat here than the typical conservative disingenuousness. They are like a team that can not win a game by skill and execution. They can only win by what most people would call cheating. In this context they are cheating by trying to destroy the independent press. If enough people can be convinced that those who are tasked with speaking truth to power can not be trusted, they will own the game ball. If the game does not go their way they threaten to take the ball and go home.

What their cluelessness fails to see that winning a rigged game has no merit. They are not champions nor even merely competent. And isn't that just what all these shenanigans prove again and again? Their incompetence is both profound and deep. They try to carry out the kabuki performance but their incompetence just gets worse as do the consequences of it.