“Punting the Pundits“ is 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.
Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.
Charles M. Blow: Let’s Rescue the Race Debate
“There is another class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. … Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs … There is a certain class of race-problem solvers who don’t want the patient to get well.”
This 100-year-old, cobbled-together quote from the “the Great Accommodator” Booker T. Washington has gotten quite a bit of circulation in the right-wing blogosphere since the Tea Party came under attack over racial issues.
The quote helps support a broader sentiment that the current racial discontent is being fueled by a black liberal grievance industry that refuses to acknowledge racial progress, accept personal responsibility, or acknowledge its own racial transgressions. And that the charge of racism has become a bludgeon against anyone white and not in love with President Obama, thereby making those whites the most aggrieved – victims of the elusive reverse-racism Bigfoot. It’s perfect really: the historic words of a revered black figure being used to punch a hole in a present-day black mythology and to turn the world of racism upside down.
Michael Moore: How Corporate America Is Pushing Us All Off a Cliff
When someone talks about pushing you off a cliff, it’s just human nature to be curious about them. Who are these people, you wonder, and why would they want to do such a thing?
That’s what I was thinking when corporate whistleblower Wendell Potter revealed that, when “Sicko” was being released in 2007, the health insurance industry’s PR firm, APCO Worldwide, discussed their Plan B: “Pushing Michael Moore off a cliff.”
But after looking into it, it turns out it’s nothing personal! APCO wants to push everyone off a cliff.
APCO was hatched in 1984 as a subsidiary of the Washington, D.C. law firm Arnold & Porter — best known for its years of representing the giant tobacco conglomerate Philip Morris. APCO set up fake “grassroots” organizations around the country to do the bidding of Big Tobacco. All of a sudden, “normal, everyday, in-no-way-employed-by-Philip Morris Americans” were popping up everywhere. And it turned out they were outraged — outraged! — by exactly the things APCO’s clients hated (such as, the government telling tobacco companies what to do). In particular, they were “furious” that regular people had the right to sue big corporations…you know, like Philip Morris. (For details, see the 2000 report “The CALA Files” (PDF) by my friends and colleagues Carl Deal and Joanne Doroshow.)
Bob Herbert: Hiding From Reality
However you want to define the American dream, there is not much of it that’s left anymore.
Wherever you choose to look – at the economy and jobs, the public schools, the budget deficits, the nonstop warfare overseas – you’ll see a country in sad shape. Standards of living are declining, and American parents increasingly believe that their children will inherit a very bad deal.
We’re in denial about the extent of the rot in the system, and the effort that would be required to turn things around. It will likely take many years, perhaps a decade or more, to get employment back to a level at which one could fairly say the economy is thriving.