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Courage to be Democrats

Via Greenwald:

The central problem is that if Democrats embrace the GOP framework of National Security — that “Strength” means what the GOP says it means — then that framework gets enforced and perpetuated, and it’s a framework within which Democrats can’t possibly win, because Republicans will always “out-Strength” Democrats within that framework. It’s only by challenging and disputing the underlying premises can Democrats change the way that “strength” and “weakness” are understood.

An energy earthquake

Great piece in the LA Times about the changes that may be in store as energy prices continue to rise:

Besides the obvious effect $7-a-gallon gasoline would have on commuters, automakers, airlines, truckers and shipping firms, $200 oil would drive up the price of a broad spectrum of products: Insecticides and hand lotions, cosmetics and food preservatives, shaving cream and rubber cement, plastic bottles and crayons — all have ingredients derived from oil.

The pain would probably be particularly intense in Southern California, which is known for its long commutes and high cost of living.

“Throughout our history, we have grown on the assumption that energy costs would be low,” said Michael Woo, a former Los Angeles city councilman and a current member of the city Planning Commission. “Now that those assumptions are shifting, it changes assumptions about housing, cars and how cities grow.”

Push prices up fast enough, he said, and “it would be the urban-planning equivalent of an earthquake.”

The thing is, painful and overdue as it is, life will probably be better when it’s all done.

An unpopular truth

Great piece at Pandagon on how to deal with the people who seem to be impervious to facts.

As a fellow Middle American, let me step up and say this: if you believe that Obama is a Muslim, unpatriotic, a terrorist, not born in America, any of the various rumors floating around about him, you are an ignorant, bigoted asshole giving in to the worst temptations of society, no matter how coddled they are by people unwilling to offend you lest they seem like the sort of elitist who doesn’t obsess over whether or not Negroes with funny names are going to kill you in your sleep. Facts don’t seem to work, so I’m more than willing to try abject shame for being unrepentant dumbassery.

Atrios observes:

Once upon a time in blogland, which was 3 million years ago in blogtime, back around the time when Howard Dean was ANGRY and all of his supporters were possessed by BUSH DERANGEMENT SYNDROME, completely blinded by irrational hatred and anger, there was a lot of talk about how assholes like me needed to be nicer and sweeter in order to reach out to those nice Midwestern folks who didn’t read my sucky blog anyway. But the fact is that much of our politics has for some years been unrepentant dumbassery, even if much of it comes out of the mouths of leading mainstream media figures like Brian Williams and Maureen Dowd. There’s no reasoning with it, no being nice to it. It isn’t useful to simply throw up an argument or competing narrative.

Some valid questions.  There comes a time beyond which there really isn’t any purpose to rational, polite discussion.  Some people are impervious to logic and we should stop pretending otherwise.