How Would You Read This?
I love sites like Campaign for America's Future or Think Progress because they provide near infinite resources to the left leaning kind of people like myself that, in the past, were fighting so many of the big political arguments of the day without the benefit of any credible sources for research material. But they are not perfect.
Where else but Think Progress' The Progress Report are you going to find a page of material sent to you in your email inbox with pre-fact-checked material that is almost always timely and insighful. I.E. and from yesterday's (June 1st) The Progress Report:
CONGRESS -- HOUSE APPROVES COSTLY WEAPONS PROGRAM THAT PENTAGON DOESN'T WANT, CUTS PROGRAMS FOR LAID OFF WORKERS: On Friday, the House of Representatives passed a major jobs bill that extended popular unemployment benefits and tax credits. Although the bill will have a positive impact on the American workforce, it is worth noting that conservatives successfully weakened it before final passage. They scaled down the bill from its original version, which extended jobless benefits through the end of the year and included Medicaid assistance to states and expanded COBRA health insurance subsidies for jobless workers. These bolder provisions were jettisoned following intense negotiations with congressional conservatives who demanded that the bill be made cheaper. However, as the House was demanding that a popular jobs bill be made less costly, it did manage, in a separate bill authorizing Defense Department funding for 2011, to approve a second engine for the F-35 fighter that both the Pentagon and the White House didn't even want. An amendment stripping the engine funding from the defense authorization bill unfortunately failed by a 193-231 vote. Defense Secretary Gates has suggested to Obama that he should veto the defense bill. As the Wonk Room's Pat Garofalo concludes, "Can you imagine another agency coming before Congress, expressly asking that a particular program be cut because it's unnecessary, and having that request denied? It's a completely absurd situation."
A great contrast and comparison of two separate bills going through the Congressional sausage factory and exemplifying the absurdity of Deficit Peacocks on the conservative side of the political aisle, GOP and Dems (Blue Doggies, no doubt) alike:
March of the Defiit Peacocks
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: January 28, 2010
Last week, the Center for American Progress, a think tank with close ties to the Obama administration, published an acerbic essay about the difference between true deficit hawks and showy “deficit peacocks.” You can identify deficit peacocks, readers were told, by the way they pretend that our budget problems can be solved with gimmicks like a temporary freeze in nondefense discretionary spending.
One week later, in the State of the Union address, President Obama proposed a temporary freeze in nondefense discretionary spending.
Wait, it gets worse. To justify the freeze, Mr. Obama used language that was almost identical to widely ridiculed remarks early last year by John Boehner, the House minority leader. Boehner then: “American families are tightening their belt, but they don’t see government tightening its belt.” Obama now: “Families across the country are tightening their belts and making tough decisions. The federal government should do the same.”
What’s going on here? The answer, presumably, is that Mr. Obama’s advisers believed he could score some political points by doing the deficit-peacock strut.
Yes, even the big thinkers of our day can get useful information from places like those that produce Think Progress' material.
But sometimes I am really disappointed at the information they share. While I understand that this, from the same Progress Report yesterday, is based on information garnered from the IAEA... What they are reporting on here is, in fact, that Iran has made nuclear fuel that is nuclear power plant grade:
The IAEA reported yesterday that Iran has now produced enough nuclear fuel that, with further enrichment, would be enough to make two nuclear weapons. The report bolsters the Obama administration's case for new U.N. sanctions against Iran and undercuts Tehran's recent deal with Brazil and Turkey to ship its fuel abroad as, according to the IAEA report, Iran would still retain enough for a single weapon.
IMHO, people that frame this kind of stuff as a serious national security threat, when you look at it from the perspective that Iran desperately needs to find sources of power into the future considering their own economic realities of Peak Oil and the fact that there are no treaties I know of that Iran has gone against, they are kind of the War Peacocks. Many of them are the same kind of people that would have been arguing that Iraq had WMDs years ago, though I do not believe that anyone at Think Progress or their mother-ship Center for American Progress would have been among that insane group at the time.
This just some food for thought, and you can correct me if I am factually wrong on any of this, as I am just shooting from the hip on this post.
And that is part of why I am asking "How Would You Read this?"
But I don't like War Peacocks any more than I like Deficit Peacocks. Especially when the stuff they say looks like trying to score cheap political points.
I kind of look at what is going on, with Iran needing new sources of power and revenue and look at what we need in America (JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!) and see opportunity.
We could do more for our national security and jobs by reducing our need for oil and in creating newer and greener energy sources. Develop the kind of green energy and they become our most powerful weapon in our arsenal in that "best offense is a good defense" kind of way.
The thing about developing less disastrous sources of energy - I am talking non-fossil fuel and non-Nuclear here - is the fact tht if we really wanted to know the intentions of countries like Iran... We would know the day we develop safer energy sources and make it available to them.
If we could supply them with the wind and sun energy resources that could do everything a nuclear power plant could do for them and they still pursued the nuclear options then I might say the "Iran No Nukes" crowd, that appear as nothing more than War Peacocks to me right now, might have a real and honest argument.
All of this is part of why I view this "best offense is good defense" move that is needed towards developing green jobs here and now as no longer just part of a "tree hugging lefty wishlist" but as an national security and job security imperative.
Instead of building jet engines we don't need or funding endless wars appropriately titled O.I.L. (Operation Iraqi Liberation), all the while killing the American dream of just staying economically afloat these days, we need to sink huge sums of money into a new economy and new national security strategy that is on par with or even surpasses moonshots and Manhattan projects in its hopes, dreams and results.
A couple of videos from Vote Vets: