Confederate History Month

I should say more about the Confederate History Month kerfuffle, but my favorite post on it was simply Matt Yglesias posting Mississippi’s statement on secession. It leaves absolutely no doubt what was at stake and what the South was fighting for:

It’s worth taking a
as Mississippi’s secession ordinance:

In the momentous step which our State has taken of dissolving its connection with the government of which we  so long formed a part, it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course.

Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery— the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have   become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has  been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice  left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin.

Speaks for itself, doesn’t it.


Nuclear Weapons

I'm far from an expert on nuclear weapons issues, but it doesn't take an expert to see that Palin, Gingrich, and others are completely demagoguing the nuclear weapons reduction Obama agreed to with the Russians.  It's not like only have enough weapons to destroy the world 10 times over instead of 20 somehow makes us weak and vulnerable.  The fundamental dishonesty is really annoying– though not the least bit surprising from this crowd.  Anyway, Slate's Fred Kaplan does an excellent job debunking the worst of the Republican smears:

 [After Obama criticized Palin's silliness] The next day, at a convention of Southern Republicans, Palin scratched back, poking fun at Obama for "all
the vast experience that he acquired as a community organizer."


If there were any doubts that Sarah Palin is a total idiot, she
settled them with that single statement.

Was the former half-term
governor of Alaska really claiming that the president of the United
States has no more experience on nuclear matters than she does? For
starters, he has been the president of the United States for
the past 15 months, making momentous decisions about war and peace,
getting the briefing on the nuclear war plan, and chairing a
dozen meetings at which top generals and other advisers deliberated over
the Nuclear Posture Review (which, it's worth noting, is a document
signed by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who was also a top adviser
or Cabinet officer to both President Bushes).

Tip to Sarah Palin:
Obama may have some vulnerabilities, and you may have some strengths,
but command of the issues doesn't fall in either category…

Anyone who has read the 49-page Nuclear Posture Review (and Gingrich
should have, even if Palin and Hannity haven't) knows that none
of it poses any threat to U.S. security. The same can be said of the New START arms-reduction treaty
that Obama and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev signed last week in

What's really going on is this: The Republicans are
looking for any excuse to lambaste anything that this president says or
does. You'd think matters of national security might be exempt from this
election strategy, but apparently you'd be wrong.

Media Fail

I've complained about this before and damnit, and I'll complain about it again.  The insistence of mainstream media on framing every dispute over policy as a simple "he said, she said" narrative, where nobody can actually know the truth is beyond frustrating.  In this case, the Republicans are lying to an amazingly shameless degree in saying that the financial regulation legislation will lead to more bailouts, when it is designed precisely to dramatically reduce the need for government bailouts. Alas, you don't get that in the latest Post story to cover this issue.  They just "cover the controversy" i.e., Republicans say one thing and Democrats say the other.  Would it be that hard to talk to a few financial experts, or heck gain a little expertise themselves (yeah, that's hard and journalists far too often take the lazy approach), and determine that in fact Republicans are shamelessly lying and Democrats are essentially telling the truth?  Or, hey, read their own blogger.  Argh.


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