Friday, April 29, 2005

Atrios on the Bush Social Security plan: "This turns the system into a modest welfare program. And, let me add, for most workers this is worse in the long run than the 'do nothing' plan -  the one which assumes given current projects benefits would have to be cut 28% or so starting somewhere between 2040-2050."

He's been at it all day. Just start here and scroll up.

Doug Clark, meanwhile, liked what he heard. I agree that Bush deserves credit for putting Social Security on the front burner. But there remain more problems with his approach than just the details of means testing. 

Doug says of the private accounts on which Bush still insists, "the accounts will be voluntary. No one will be forced to participate." Well, until you figure out a way to fund them without trashing the defined benefit program and piling up more debt, that's not exactly true -- people don't have to get private accounts, but anyone depending on Social Security and all of us stuck with paying down the national debt are indeed forced to participate in Bush's plan.

And what is with this line: "I wonder if the final point is what frightens Democrats the most, the idea that people who otherwise would depend on government might build private wealth." Yeah, that must be it. Because you know Democrats, they are really...what? Communists?

Also, it's not entirely accurate to say that one's benefit plan "stops at the recipient's death."

4:04:45 PM   permalink   comment []

Albert Mohler on the separation of church and state: "Most evangelicals, frustrated and distressed by this trend, are unaware of how American Protestants fueled the fire of the separationist vision..."

"By the last quarter of the twentieth century, evangelical Christians were far more concerned with the threat of secularism than of Catholicism." So the state is an instrument to be used against perceived "threats," and the proper mix of religion and politics is what best suits that particular group at that moment?

3:10:59 PM   permalink   comment []

Relentless Grace: "As a member of a Southern Baptist church Mohler is speaking on behalf of me - but he's not speaking on my behalf..."

"And making power-play demands of political leaders is completely antithetical to the life and example of Jesus."

2:53:51 PM   permalink   comment []

Tom Phillips eulogizes his dog, Ginny: "I lost my best friend today..."

2:37:57 PM   permalink   comment []

Councilwoman Claudette Burroughs-White: "The record will show that quite often we do vote along racial lines when it comes to sensitive issues involving social challenges." The Inside Scoop has the email she sent to fellow Councilmembers after the Truth & Rec meltdown.

7:39:44 AM   permalink   comment []

The New Yorker: "the Arctic is melting." Elizabeth Kolbert begins a three-part series on global warming.

"Nearly every major glacier in the world is shrinking; those in Glacier National Park are retreating so quickly it has been estimated that they will vanish entirely by 2030. The oceans are becoming not just warmer but more acidic; the difference between day and nighttime temperatures is diminishing; animals are shifting their ranges poleward; and plants are blooming days, and in some cases weeks, earlier than they used to..."

After years of warmer temperatures, the frozen ground of the Arctic -- "nearly a quarter of all the land in the Northern Hemisphere--some five and a half billion acres--is underlaid by zones of permafrost" -- is thawing for the first time in human history.

Scary stuff. Even if you don't believe that global warming is influenced by human activity, the reality of climate change seems ineluctable.

7:06:22 AM   permalink   comment []

The study misquoted on CNN by an anti-gay spokeswoman (who tried to make it say something it absolutely does not say) is itself suspect, according to this article in the Wall Street Journal (thanks for the tip, JN).

WSJ: "The paper is not written as a competent research paper," said Paul Velleman, associate professor of social statistics at Cornell University. "This is a pretty lightweight study," said Kenneth Land, professor of sociology at Duke University and chair of the American Statistical Association's mathematical sociology section.

6:55:57 AM   permalink   comment []