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Re: World Cup Economics 
"Indeed, London’s Arsenal football club is composed entirely of foreigners, including a French coach."
That's categorically incorrect. In fact three players on England's World Cup squad are Arsenal players: Ashley Cole, Sol Campbell and Theo Walcott.
Re: Grounding U.S. Intelligence 
I am a retired intelligence analyst and my opinion of NGIC analysis slid over the last decade as I saw too many instances of "worst casing" instead of "most likely casing." Pentagon insiders still smile at each other and say "big budgets need big threats" and the philosophy hasn't changed in over 30 years that I witnessed first hand. One subtle way to hype the threat is to downplay and minimize the military achievements of our allies, such as South Korea and Japan and other Asian nations. Roughly two years ago the Post's Walter Pincus did a series of articles on NGIC artillery analysts who flubbed and received accolades nonetheless. I suggest you review those articles at this time.
Re: Welfare-To-Nothing 
Thank you to Heather Boushey for writing, "Welfare-to-Nothing." The impact of these (welfare "reform") policies have been very profitable for corporations, but devastating to families. The mainstream media has failed to inform the public about the "results" of these policies. Unfortunately, the progressive media as a whole has proved to be nearly as indifferent, in spite of the direct violations of international human rights agreements that have been a part of these policies.
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Say what you want, and I'm fully in support of helping poor families get on their feet, and supporting them while they do it.
HOWEVER—I work in the social services field, and I get a little jaded when I see young people with no education, getting pregnant for the third or fourth time, by the same boyfriend who thinks his paycheck is for pay-per-views and PlayStations (if he won't support his first child what makes the young woman think he'll support the second, and why do I have to pay for her poor judgment?). I have little sympathy for people who bring children in the world when they're doing nothing to prepare themselves to raise a child.
Also, so many people cry about being cut short on cash assistance when they refuse to do the required program, or cry about getting their food stamps cut, while at the same time they come into my office with nails done, hair colored and styled, and sporting a cell phone with ring tones. And then they go home and watch a full range of cable channels.
… Sorry to be so cynical, but I’m just tired of seeing people get pregnant who have no business raising children.
Re: Curing The Job Crisis 
Why does the AFL-CIO continue to endorse congressmen like Connecticut's Senator Lieberman, who has never seen a trade treaty he couldn't support, despite the adverse effects on so many millions of American workers? Obviously, he cares more for the corporate CEOs who benefit the most from an ever cheaper labor force. It makes me angry, as a union member, that labor leaders always close ranks behind people like Lieberman, who has not been with us on the central labor issue of our time. Certainly these trade treaties have had an effect of lowering wages and living standards for American workers. It's high time the AFL-CIO reconsider its routine support of individuals who cast votes that seriously undermine the stability and prosperity of the American workforce!!
Re: It’s The Conservatism, Stupid 
Paul Waldman's piece, "It's the Conservatism, Stupid" is brilliant. It should become the list of talking points for every progressive running for office from 2006 to 2008.
His observation about the use of fear by the conservatives was especially compelling. If everyone realized the destructive climate of fear we have been living under since 9/11 that is being actively produced and promoted by conservatives, perhaps we all would be looking for a way to create a more healthful and less anxiety producing environment.
It occurred to me while I was reading the article that conservatives want to 'conserve' the ways of the past. One excellent way to prevent people from moving forward creatively is to make them afraid. But being stuck in the past is not what America is about. And so we must reject the conservative's mantra of fear and begin to acknowledge the real source of America's power—its people's ability to invent and create a better future for all.
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Paul Waldman is right on. Terrorism does not kill as many people as does pollution of our air and water, poor health care, etc. The 2006 version of conservative is a hypocrite who preaches moral values while stuffing tax dollars into their pockets. War profiteering while waving the American Flag. We need to wage war on these nuts who think that reason and logic are a weakness!
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… Here's the problem as I see it.
At this point in the U.S. we can engage in tactics like those Waldman describes and further emphasize the binary divisions falsely constructed by our two-party system. By so doing, we may get more "liberal" democrats elected and we will also further eviscerate the true force of the term (except its knee-jerk emotional associations either positive or negative). The same applies for the word "conservative." By honing in on it and making it the enemy, we certainly clarify our stance and fight fire with fire. What we don't accomplish is meaningful discussion.
And that's what I'd like to stand for—along with health care, living wages, criminal justice (not just arrest and incarceration), peace as a central tenet of foreign policy. I want my liberalism to include willingness to discuss rationally and in detail with my conservative opponents the key points in our sets of values and goals for the country.
Like Barak Obama, I believe that we have much in common, we liberals and conservatives: essential decency, value for individuals and groups (though we differ as to how to balance and which groups need protection etc), freedom (at least in the abstract). All that good stuff.
I also recognize that just as "conservatives" include what Waldman calls "social liberals" and liberalism includes "fiscal conservatives," there are many other nuances of conviction and of potential solutions to the issues that confront us. A person can, for instance, have a nuanced approach to the environment—supporting some of the environmental movements' causes while objecting to what one might see as some of their excesses. I will also mention, at the risk of alienating all my "liberal" colleagues, that reproductive rights can be approached in a less monolithic all or nothing way than either side currently allows mention of.
… So I vote no on this suggestion even if in some relatively short term it might bring success to Democrat/liberals. Such an approach would also further polarize the American public and further decimate the kinds and quality of political discourse.