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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Imagine for a moment that we were having a different sort of Social Security debate. In this alternative universe it wouldn't be about reform or privatization or who had the best plan to save Social Security. The issues would be different. The question would be whether we should abolish Social Security and replace it with a system of loosely-federally-regulated 401ks, or not.

It wouldn't be abolished overnight, of course, but phased out over time. So any oldsters collecting benefits now wouldn't need to worry. And the same would probably go for pre-fogies too ... say, anyone over 55.

But that's the essence of it: abolishing Social Security or not.

Well, guess what? That is exactly the debate we're having. Only many of Social Security's defenders don't seem to know it. It's not that they don't know it exactly. They, more than anyone, understand the stakes involved. But for all the great facts they're bringing to the table, they still seem content to frame the argument in a way that obscures the true issues involved and benefits their opponents immeasurably.

If the shoe were on the other foot, Republicans would not make the same mistake.

They may not have a clue about running most of the federal government, but the Bushies do keep the memory hole running on time. Clark Kent Ervin, the overly-aggressive DHS Inspector General ABC reported canned last night, has already had his page removed from the DHS website.

Clark who? I'm afraid you must have ...

(Here it is preserved for posterity.)

Maybe the conservatives who go <$NoAd$> into paroxysms with charges of anti-Semitism any time the word "neoconservative" is uttered, will spare a moment to take notice of this (courtesy of Andrew Sullivan) from Bill Donohue of the Catholic League ...

Who really cares what Hollywood thinks? All these hacks come out there. Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. It's not a secret, OK? And I'm not afraid to say it. That's why they hate this movie. It's about Jesus Christ, and it's about truth. It's about the messiah. Hollywood likes anal sex. They like to see the public square without nativity scenes. I like families. I like children. They like abortions. I believe in traditional values and restraint. They believe in libertinism. We have nothing in common.


The Jew-Hollywood-Anal-Sex-Abortion conspiracy revealed!

More on CBS News' kamikaze-like rate of decline -- Kevin's got the details.

The blog medium is nothing if not flexible; and it's open to a seemingly limitless variety of unexpected uses. Here's one I wouldn't have expected: a group of climate scientists has established a climate change group blog, RealClimate.org.

(Actually, the promo introducing the site seems to go to some lengths not to call it a site about climate change but rather one about climate science. Between you and me, I think it's basically about the climate change issue. But don't tell them I said that.)

The brief description on the site says it is aimed at the "interested public and journalists. We aim to provide a quick response to developing stories and provide the context sometimes missing in mainstream commentary. The discussion here is restricted to scientific topics and will not get involved in political or economic issues."

I can't say I'll be clicking the refresh button non-stop throughout the day on this one. But so long as the rate of posts doesn't move on the geologic time scale I think I'll be stopping by regularly to find out more. It's a creative way to spread knowledge about an important subject.

The Post discusses the president's domestic policy plans and particularly the effort to phase out Social Security.

One nice passage: "To build public support and circumvent critics in Congress and the media, the president will travel the country and warn of the disastrous consequences of inaction, as he did to sell his Iraq and terrorism policies during the first term, White House officials said."

This would seem to be an analogy critics could use to some good effect.

The latest installment of 'Great moments in listening to Larry King say something and wishing you were a member of another species' ... Atrios has the details.

Did the ADL and Media Matters get under the skin of Bill O'Reilly, embattled champion of Christmas ("nobody sticks up for Christmas except me ...")?

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