I don't think Jack is at all reflecting Progressive ideology.
Saying Progressives are for centralized power is like saying conservatives are for corporate subsidies...there is a difference between being progressives and calling yourself progressive.
Progressives have long appealed to states rights, they are historically extremeley against government intervention in personal affairs, they are highly anti-war, and they have a rather irrational fear of Big Brother.
So I think calling grassroots progressives for the increase of centralized power is wrong.
Also, no reasonable person has any issue with the statement "slavery was not the sole cause of the civil war". Indeed, you would be a fool to think such a complex war could be boiled down so simply. It is an intelligent and nuanced discussion we can have. But when people say that slavery WASN'T a cause of the war or that slavery wasn't the PRIMARY cause of the war, people, including myself, get skeptical. That is the issue I think people one the "left" have; Jack is creating as strawman who shuts his ears to the issue. They aren't doing that; they just don't like the dismissing of slavery.
When I see the recent CNN poll that 52% of Republicans believe that slavery was not a primary cause of the civil war (including 30% of Democrats and over 40% of Independents), I am shocked.
Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:
Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a