09/01/2010 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.

Ron Rosenbaum: Ban Drone-Porn War Crimes

Death by joystick is immoral and illegal

Are the masters of “drone porn” committing war crimes by remote control? It’s a bit shocking that more people aren’t asking this question. I have a feeling that many of us, particularly liberal Obama supporters (like myself, for instance), haven’t wanted to look too closely at what is being done in his name, in our name, when these remote-controlled and often tragically inaccurate weapons of small-group slaughter incinerate innocents from the sky, in what are essentially video-game massacres in which real people die.


Glenn Greenwald: Lost in a Muddle

Obama’s frustrating, unfocused speech on Iraq.

The predominant attribute of American elites is a refusal to take responsibility for any failures.  The favored tactic for accomplishing this evasion is the “nobody-could-have-known” excuse.  Each time something awful occurs — the 9/11 attack, the Iraq War, the financial crisis, the breaking of levees in New Orleans, the general ineptitude and lawlessness of the Bush administration — one is subjected to an endless stream of excuse-making from those responsible, insisting that there was no way they “could have known” what was to happen:  “I don’t think anybody could have predicted that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile,” Condoleezza Rice infamously said on May 16, 2002, despite multiple FBI and intelligence documents warning of exactly that.  One finds identical excuses for each contemporary American disaster.  Robert Gibbs just invoked the same false excuse:  that “nobody” knew the depth of the financial and unemployment crisis early last year.

Peter Daou: Not a single mention of Iraqi civilian casualties in President Obama’s Iraq speech

George Bush and Dick Cheney invaded Iraq based on lies and deceptions. As a result, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis lost their lives. Tonight, President Obama delivered a strong speech to mark the end of combat operations. One glaring omission: not a single mention of Iraqi civilian casualties. Only a line about sacrifices made by Iraqi fighters who fought alongside coalition troops.

On This Day in History: September 1

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

September 1 is the 244th day of the year (245th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 121 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1897, the Boston subways opens, becoming the first underground rapid transit system in North America. It was the inspiration for this song by the Kingston Trio.


enthusiasm updated

part 1


GOP Tea Party Takes 10-Point Lead in Generic Poll

Taylor Marsh, 30 August 2010 6:00 pm

The Point

Obama just doesn’t get it

Unemployment is a catastrophe, the recovery is stalling, but the president says his priority is “debt and deficits”

by Joan Walsh, Salon

Monday, Aug 30, 2010 14:50 ET

It’s been written before: The Obama team seems to think 2012 will take care of itself, as long as they burnish that shining Obama "brand," which requires reaching out to Republicans and independents and ignoring the pesky left, with its old culture-war grudges and its subversive demand for greater economic fairness. I’ve heard some smart folks speculate that the White House may even welcome a Republican takeover, the better to “let Obama be Obama,” and continue to play out his fantasy of being a Democratic Ronald Reagan, creating a generation of what he used to call “Obamacans” and realigning politics for his lifetime.

If anyone in the White House still believes that, they are delusional. If Republicans win back the House, they will tie up the president in subpoenas and bogus investigations faster than you can say Darrell Issa. The president hasn’t created “Obamacans”; instead he’s created a phenomenon best described as “Obamacan’t.” And still he cozies up to Republicans like Alan Simpson, who’s determined to slash Social Security and its “310,000,000 tits” (in how many ways was Simpson’s statement wrong? Probably close to 310 million). And the problem with Obama’s milquetoast approach to the economy isn’t just political: If Republicans get to reverse or obstruct the Democrats’ inadequate but promising steps forward on healthcare and financial reform, while slashing government spending and extending the disastrous Bush tax cuts, we may yet see an economic collapse to rival the Great Depression — the one that an earlier generation of brave and visionary Democrats vowed would never happen again.

It is too late for anything Obama says or does to materially improve the economy, or ease economic suffering, in time for November. In an e-mail today to Politico, Time’s Mark Halperin laid out the list of Democratic problems that he says could lead to the party losing up to 60 seats in the House (that’s still unlikely): “the enthusiasm gap, the state of the economy, the failure to materialize of a lot of what Democrats were counting on (health care law getting more popular, and ‘recovery summer’ taking hold).” The only thing on Halperin’s list Obama and the Democrats have any real control over now is that so-called enthusiasm gap, the fact that Democrats are much less excited about the November election than Republicans are. Trust me, watching the president continue to mouth Republican platitudes about “debts and deficits” and a recovery built on “private investment” is only going to increase that gap, not narrow it.

Great job.  You have my policy prescription.

(h/t Corrente)

“It’s not that I’m an uncaring person”

Well it seems that someone has stuck their size 15s in it again for the second time in a week.

Apparently Veterans are now “lesser people” sucking at the public tit.

I’m certainly not the first blogger to notice this story (though I did cover it yesterday- #20), there’s digby and Teddy Partridge and Oliver Willis for example.

My take is a little different.  I’m not in favor of his firing or resignation.  His honest exposure of the endless greed of our ruling class, that they would STEAL the benefits of the troops they so hypocritically and incessantly praise as well as food out of the mouths of babies and the elderly so that the richest one tenth of one percent can get richer by looting our public treasury, says everything you need to know about the morality and values of our “professional political class”.

If I believed in Hell I’d hope you’d rot in it for eternity you heartless, soulless bastards.

It will be interesting to see how Obama, who just last night wasted 18 minutes I’ll never get back, and his mouthpiece Bobby Gibbs handle this.

Prime Time

Well, the good news is that tonight’s speech means we won’t have to deal with lying Lawrence O’Donnell.  The bad news is that unless you get Speed so you can watch Monster Truck Jam there’s just not a lot of alternate programming to pick and choose from.

Frankly, as bad a night of TV as I can remember.


  • SciFiHaven (repeat of this week’s)

Dave hosts Michael Douglas and Merle Haggard.  Michael will no doubt be whoring his sequel, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.  Jon and Stephen are in repeats until next Tuesday despite TV Guide’s lying listing (and Yahoo is worse than ever, almost unusable).

Alton does casseroles.  The Revenge Society is another Venture Brothers episode that really advances the story arc.  If you can stay up late enough I highly recommend it.

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Iraq hails sovereignty as U.S. ends combat mission

By Serena Chaudhry and Khalid al-Ansary, Reuters

Tue Aug 31, 12:43 pm ET

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq celebrated its sovereignty as the U.S. military formally ended combat operations on Tuesday, despite political deadlock and persistent violence, and warned other countries not to interfere as U.S. troops depart.

U.S. troop levels were cut to 50,000 before the partly symbolic deadline of August 31 set by President Barack Obama as he seeks to fulfill his pledge to end the war launched by his predecessor George W. Bush.

The six remaining U.S. brigades will turn their focus to training Iraqi police and troops as Iraq takes charge of its own destiny ahead of a full U.S. withdrawal by the end of next year.