08/06/2010 archive

Punting the Pundits

Punting the Punditsis an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Op-Ed Contributor at the NYT, Kenzaburo Oe:


THE Futenma Marine Corps Air Station on Okinawa, one of the largest United States military bases in East Asia, is in the center of a crowded city. The American and Japanese governments acknowledge the dangers of this situation, and they agreed nearly 15 years ago that the base should be moved; however, no move has yet been made.

In 2009 a new prime minister, Yukio Hatoyama, tantalized Okinawans with the prospect of moving the despised base off the island, but he was recently forced to resign, in part because of his failure to keep that promise. Mr. Hatoyama’s successor, Naoto Kan, has made it clear that he intends to respect the United States-Japan security treaty – a position that, while not directly related to the issue of dialing down the United States military presence in Japan, may indicate which way the wind is blowing.

It was recently reported here that a government panel is about to submit a policy paper to Prime Minister Kan, suggesting that regarding Japan’s “three nonnuclear principles” – prohibiting the production, possession and introduction of nuclear weapons – it was not wise to “limit the helping hand of the United States,” and recommending that we allow the transport of nuclear arms through our territory to improve the so-called nuclear umbrella.

Kenzaburo Oe, who received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1994, is the author, most recently, of “The Changeling.” This article was translated by Deborah Boehm from the Japanese.

On This Day in History: August 6

On this day there have been many significant events. Certainly, one of the most memorable is that this is the anniversary of dropping of the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. It is also the anniversary of President Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act.

Recent significant history that has been over looked by my usual sources is this: The August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing better known as the August 6th PDB. It was handed to President George W. Bush, who was on one of his many vacations to his home in Crawford, TX, by Harriet Miers, who was the President’s WH Council, and promptly ignored. Whether Bush ignored the warning that Osama bin Laden was planning to attack the US because he was told to let it happen or, the darker theory, that the government made it happen will never be known, at least not in the lifetime of those reading this. Whatever Bush’s motive was, it set off a series of events in this country that has affected us all and divided us like no other incident since the Civil War. The US has now been in Afghanistan for almost 9 years and Iraq for over seven and, despite the Democrats holding the White House and the majority in both houses of Congress, there is no end in site to those two wars. Despite campaign promises to restore the rule of law and the Constitution, the Obama administration has continued the most heinous of the Bush policies that are violations of not just US law but International Law, ratified treaties and agreements. A sad anniversary, indeed.

Because They Don’t Like Brown People

The Republican Racists now want to repeal the 14th Amendment to the Constitution that grants citizenship to those born on U.S. soil Why? Because they come here to “drop babies”. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants to hold hearings so the “experts” can be heard. “Experts”? He means racists. The Democrats might not be the best choice for voters but the Republicans have more than jumped the shark, they are swimming with them.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Born in the U.S.A.
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

And then there is Keith and listen carefully to Jonathan Turley.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

I regret that the transcripts are not available to our hearing impaired readers.

August 6, 2001

Echo… echo… echo… Pinch hitting for Pedro Borbon… Manny Mota… Mota… Mota…

You may remember my brother the activist.  I keep trying to get him to post, but he’s shy and busy.  He sent me this yesterday and I thought I’d share it with you.

I need to add that he’s a great admirer of James Carville’s political savvy (though not his policies) and one story he likes to tell is how during the height of Monica-gate Carville was on one of the Talking Head shows and made a point about how important it is to stay on message.  Carville then proceeded to demonstrate his gift by working the phrase “Cigarette Lawyer Ken Starr” 27 times into the next 30 seconds.- ek

The date – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 needs to be as well known to Joe and Jane American as September 11, 2001.

Presidential Daily Briefing of August 6, 2001 PDB

Declassified and Approved for Release, 10 April 2004

Presidential Daily Briefing: August 6, 2001 – Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.

Clandestine, foreign government, and media reports indicate Bin Ladin since 1997 has wanted to conduct foreign terrorist attacks on the U.S. Bin Ladin implied in U.S. television interviews in 1997 and 1998 that his followers would follow the example of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef and “bring the fighting to America.”

Presidential Daily Briefing: August 6, 2001 – Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.

After U.S. missile strikes on his base in Afghanistan in 1998, Bin Ladin told followers he wanted to retaliate in Washington, according to a [deleted] service.

Presidential Daily Briefing: August 6, 2001 – Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.

An Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) operative told an [deleted] service at the same that Bin Ladin was planning to exploit the operative’s access to the U.S. to mount a terrorist strike.

Presidential Daily Briefing: August 6, 2001 – Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.

FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.

Presidential Daily Briefing: August 6, 2001 – Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.

The FBI is conducting approximately 70 full field investigations throughout the U.S. that it considers Bin Ladin-related. CIA and the FBI are investigating a call to our Embassy in the UAE in May saying that a group of Bin Ladin supporters was in the U.S. planning attacks with explosives.

So Vice President Dick, tell me again how the REPUBLICANS WILL KEEP US SAFE?

So Senator McSame, tell me again how invading and occupying IRAQ has helped the U.S. hunt down BIN LADEN?

I’m printing my own bumper stickers filled with images from 9-11 and this text-

August 6, 2001 – Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S. – We Will Never Forget.

“I don’t think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center”- Condoleezza Rice, National Security Advisor

“All right. You’ve covered your ass now.”- George W. Bush

Racism Part 3- Hispanics

In Fourteen Hundred and Ninety Two, Columbus sailed the Ocean Blue.

You know, the last time I checked Spain was a part of Europe.  I mean, there’s no doubt Africa is pushing into it, what do you think is raising the Pyrenees and the Alps where Contador crushed Schleck and Armstrong?  Co-incidence?

What nobody expects is the Spanish Inquisition.  Our chief weapon is fear.  Fear and surprise.  Fear and surprise and a fanatical devotion to the Pope and ruthless efficiency…

Look, I’ll come in again.

Don’t throw your comfy pillows at me.  What’s wrong with Hispanics?  Seems to me the only people with prior claim are the ‘Indians’ they enslaved and killed.  The ‘murican dream in action.

Oh, they’re Catholic.  Other than the fact they believe in ritual cannibalism and owe their allegiance to the heir of noted Semite Peter (who at least had the good grace not to spawn any Jewish anchor babies before his upside down crucifixion), lots of perfectly Irish, French, and Italian people are going to hell too because they worship the harlot of Babylon.

It’s in the Bible.  How can you deny The Revealed Word?

Prime Time

Keith and Rachel.  Get them while there are repeats.  Last night for the Boys this week.  Jon at least is in repeats Monday.

Once Upon a Time in the West is perhaps the darkest of the ‘classic’ Westerns and by ‘classic’ I mean Henry Fonda who didn’t always play a hero and has exactly one degree of separation from Marion Morrison.

The freaky thing about Freaky Friday is that it isn’t Jodie Foster’s original, or even Shelly Long’s pathetic remake, but Lindsay Lohan’s trainwreck of a threepeat.  Sometimes I wonder about Jamie Lee Curtis’ choice of material.

Superbad looks like it lives up to its title.  Some people are Will Ferrell fans, I don’t understand why.


Dave has Mark Wahlberg, Cory Kahaney, and VV Brown.  Jon has Akbar Ahmed, Stephen Savion Glover.  Alton is doing slaw (actually a pretty funny episode).  Showdown at Cremation Creek II (I told you to DVR it).

I’m happy to find Comedy Central again.  The cable company moved it and didn’t notify me except on the TV Guide Channel crawl THAT NEVER WORKS!  I almost called them all cranky like I did ABOUT THE STUPID TV GUIDE CHANNEL!, but I’ve been remiss in providing a permanent prominent link to Yahoo TV Listings.

They moved Spike too.  I hardly noticed it.

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Hope for Gulf as BP plugs well, most of the oil gone

by Matt Davis, AFP

Wed Aug 4, 8:01 pm ET

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (AFP) – An end to the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster was in sight Wednesday as BP plugged its runaway well and US officials said most of the toxic crude has been cleaned up or dispersed.

Though undoubtedly the best day since the disaster began more than 15 weeks ago, US officials cautioned that a great deal of clean-up work remained and that the long-term impact could be felt for years, even decades, to come.

BP’s long-awaited “static kill” was conducted overnight as heavy drilling fluid was rammed into the busted Macondo well for eight hours, forcing the oil back down into the reservoir miles beneath the seabed.