Monday, June 18, 2007

Some Reading

Another link dump. Here's Walter Kirn on growing economic disparity.

And I just found this fairly old piece by Matt Taibi (whom I'm a big fan of lately), on why the Republicans are not the only ones to blame for our debacle in Iraq. He's exactly right, and frankly it infuriates me that so many people --people who should know better, like congressmen and media professionals-- have simply excused themselves for having supported the invasion, citing an environment in which nobody seemed to know better. First of all, it's simply not true that nobody knew the case for war was bullshit. And more importantly, those who would exhibit the leadership we expect of public officials and journalists have a responsibility to cut through the hysteria and make a reasonable decision when it matters, which is to say, when the hype runs highest. I don't understand how they so blithely admit to having failed at this, one of their most solemn obligations. Their contrition is due, as the blood is as much on their hands as on Bush's.

If the Iraq war was not ever going to be worth 3,000 American lives (and countless more Iraqi lives), then why the hell did we go in in the first place? If you make a decision to fight, you had better not be scared of blood. And if you're suddenly changing your mind about things after you lose a few teenage lives, you're a hundred times more guilty than the guys like Bush who are actually sticking to their guns about this war.

Because Bush and the rest of that crew sent young men to die for something they believed in, fucked-up as their reasoning might be and have been. But these shitheads in the political middle who are flip-flopping right now sentenced teenagers to death for the cause of expediency and careerism. There are young men coming home now without arms and legs because the Wolf Blitzers of the world were too afraid to lose their jobs or piss off advertisers bucking the war hysteria of the times. Remember, CNN and the rest of the networks did great business in the run-up to the war. They had artists cooking up fancy new "America's New War" graphics and they were selling lawn fertilizer and soda and male-enhancement drugs by the metric ton right up to the time when the Saddam statue came down. But the war isn't selling anymore; the war is a bummer. And so these guys are changing their minds.

Are you throwing up yet? Surely that behavior is more shameful than anything coming out of the White House.

Here's how to hack a voting machine in 60 seconds. Sleep tight.

Taibbi blasts Giuliani, and he's right again. I had thought that perhaps Giuliani was an encouraging choice for a Republican candidate, as he is socially liberal and will not turn out the evangelical base, whose voice I really don't want to hear anymore in politics. If we can limit the differences between parties to things like economics and immigration, but maintain a consensus that we are, per the Constitution, not a theocracy... well, that's progress. However, my glib view of Giuliani as a fairly tolerable pres if he were to win was shattered by the realization that Giuliani was simply pandering to his NY constituents, and he will do exactly the same thing for the national Republican base, effectively negating everything I liked about him. He'd give the religious nuts their anti-gay amendment in a heartbeat if he knew it would win him the presidency. And it took balls to say it, but I'm glad someone finally pointed out that Giuliani's response to 9/11 wasn't so awesome after all.

One more by Taibbi, on Cindy Sheehan, and another on this stupid talk of "tiers" this campaign season. And finally, one on how the Democrats lack the balls to do the thing they guaranteed they would do, and which got them elected.