«

»

Sep 20 2011

Punting the Pundits

“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”.

Dave Zirin: Tomorrow, Georgia Murders Troy Davis.

It’s with shock that I report that the George Board of Pardons and Paroles on Tuesday denied clemency for Troy Anthony Davis. The 42-year-old Davis is now due to be executed tomorrow, Wednesday September 21st, at 7pm. For those unfamiliar with the case, let’s be clear: Davis’s execution is little more than a legal lynching. This is a demonstrably innocent man that the state is about to execute in the premeditated manner of a murder. The facts speak for themselves. Back in 1989, nine people testified that they saw Troy Davis kill Officer Mark MacPhail. Since that time, seven have recanted their testimony. Please allow me to repeat: of the nine people who testified that Troy killed Officer Mark MacPhail, seven have recanted their testimony. Beyond the eyewitnesses, there was no physical evidence linking Troy to Officer MacPhail’s murder. None. Three jurors have signed affidavits saying that if they had all the information about Troy, they would not have voted to convict. One juror even arrived in person to the Board of Pardons and Paroles to say to their faces that she would not have voted to convict if she’d had the facts. Another woman has even come forward to say that another man on the scene that night, Sylvester “Redd” Coles, bragged afterward about doing the shooting. Of the two witnesses who still maintain that Troy was the triggerman, one is Sylvester “Redd” Coles.

John Nichols: The Devilish Detail of Obama’s Speech: Deep Medicare, Medicaid Cuts

President Obama has erected what is likely to be the left flank in the debates of the Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction-the so-called “super-committee” that will define so much of this fall’s fiscal and economic discourse.

That flank is sturdier than some of the president’s critics on the left might feared it might be. But the flank is weak, very weak, in at least one key area: the defense of Medicare and Medicaid.

So what’s the balance that progressives should strike with regard to the speech? Let’s consider:

snip

But President Obama was still compromising with the Tea Party right when he delivered his remarks on Monday. Indeed, he proposed $580 billion in cuts to health and welfare programs, with $248 billion coming from Medicare and $72 billion from Medicaid.

That’s bad.

Very bad.

Eugene Robinson: The Fight-Back Plan

“Class warfare!” scream the Republicans, in a voice usually reserved for phrases such as “Run for your lives!”

Spare us the histrionics. The GOP and its upper-crust patrons have been waging an undeclared but devastating war against middle-class, working-class and poor Americans for decades. Now they scream bloody murder at the notion that long-suffering victims might finally hit back.

President Barack Obama’s proposal to boost taxes for the wealthy by $1.5 trillion over the next decade is a good first step toward reforming a system in which billionaire hedge-fund executives are taxed at a lower rate than their chauffeurs and private chefs.

Paul Krugman: The Bleeding Cure

Austerity is inflicting vast pain now, and killing our future, too.

Doctors used to believe that by draining a patient’s blood they could purge the evil “humors” that were thought to cause disease. In reality, of course, all their bloodletting did was make the patient weaker, and more likely to succumb.

Fortunately, physicians no longer believe that bleeding the sick will make them healthy. Unfortunately, many of the makers of economic policy still do. And economic bloodletting isn’t just inflicting vast pain; it’s starting to undermine our long-run growth prospects.

Joe Nocera: No Extra Credit

What if everything that is happening in Washington right now is just meaningless noise?

What if the Obama jobs plan, the coming deliberations of the supercommittee, the debate over taxing millionaires – what if none of it is likely to make a whit of positive difference for the economy? What if the only thing that matters is something Congress and the president rarely mention, and can do nothing about?

I’ve come to believe this is the case. What is killing the economy is lack of credit. In the aftermath of an asset bubble, invariably the result of too-loose credit, banks don’t just tighten their standards; they practically shut down.

Nick Turse: Obama’s Arc of Instability

Destabilizing the World One Region at a Time

It’s a story that should take your breath away: the destabilization of what, in the Bush years, used to be called “the arc of instability.”  It involves at least 97 countries, across the bulk of the global south, much of it coinciding with the oil heartlands of the planet.  A startling number of these nations are now in turmoil, and in every single one of them — from Afghanistan and Algeria to Yemen and Zambia — Washington is militarily involved, overtly or covertly, in outright war or what passes for peace.

Garrisoning the planet is just part of it.  The Pentagon and U.S. intelligence services are also running covert special forces and spy operations, launching drone attacks, building bases and secret prisons, training, arming, and funding local security forces, and engaging in a host of other militarized activities right up to full-scale war.  But while you consider this, keep one fact in mind: the odds are that there is no longer a single nation in the arc of instability in which the United States is in no way militarily involved.