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Saturday Roundup

* Obama uses his weekly address to rally for the completion of financial reform.

What's interesting is that his remarks raise the possibility that an eventual economic turnaround could help build the case that Obama and Dems were on the right side of the argument over the need to take bold government action to reverse previous deregulatory excesses:

I don't have to tell you why these reforms are so important. We're still digging ourselves out of an economic crisis that happened largely because there wasn't strong enough oversight on Wall Street. We can't build a strong economy in America over the long-run without ending this status quo, and laying a new foundation for growth and prosperity.

It'll be interesting to see how effective it will be over the long haul if Dems end up linking any future recovery to the big decisions made during the early part of Obama's first term.

* Speaking of which, the FinReg success, the firing of Stanley McChrystal, and the creation of the BP escrow fund add up to a major re-assertion of Obama's authority at a critical moment in his presidency, though it remains to be seen whether it will have lasting political impact.

* But Dems want to know: Where's the president's leadership on Guantanamo? Senator Carl Levin says it's becoming obvious that the Obama administration is not really serious about closing the facility.

Also in that link: Levin predicts it will likely still be open by the next presidential inauguration.

* Howard Kurtz reports what I suggested here yesterday: Dave Weigel was the one who instigated discussions of his resignation (though the Post did ultimately accept it).

* CBS weighs in with another tough piece on Bobby JIndal and his failure to dispatch to the Gulf Coast the full number of National Guard troops at his disposal.

* If reporters pursued the Jindal story aggressively, it could undercut the heroic Jindal spill-response narrative that continues to hold sway.

* Great stuff from Matthew Yglesias and Dan Weiss on why an energy reform bill without carbon limits may not really be much of an energy reform bill at all.

* Digby boils down Lindsey Graham's refusal to lift a finger on energy reform until the oil stops spilling:

"He wants offshore drilling, period. That's what he's always wanted."

* And here's today's installment in the Michele Bachmann chronicles, in which Bachmann stars in a new documentary about socialism that bills her as an anti-socialism "expert." Whatever that means.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  June 26, 2010; 1:09 PM ET
Categories:  Climate change , Political media , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Next: Sunday Roundup


Repost from prior thread because I think this is important. Yes, politicians lie but for the No. 2 GOP in the Senate to lie about what the President said in a private one-on-one meeting is too much. There must be limits and, for that to happen, there must be consequences.

"Jon Kyl finally walks back his claim that Obama was holding border security hostage to immigration reform."

This is a much bigger deal than it is being credited. Kyl lied about what Obama said in a private meeting. Kyl's spokesman specifically denied the WH spox's disavowal by saying that only Kyl and Obama were in the room.

Are there no repercussions for Republicans for anything anymore? When did the GOP get a free pass the say or do anything without regard to truth or decency? Where is the apology from Kyl to Obama? Where is the shame for falesely calling the POTUS a liar?

Is this country insane?

Posted by: wbgonne | June 26, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Greg, I saw the CBS piece on Jindal and his not using the Guardsmen available to him, and was glad to see this counter to the idea that local and state governments are the only ones getting this oil spill right. Combine this view of Jindal as using the spill for politics and the messianic pose he struck in the NYT picture this morning and we've got--well, I'm not sure what we've got.

But I'm glad to see CBS getting this right and think it's a good idea to point to the times that the MSM does. Good behavior in journalism should be encouraged.

Posted by: AllButCertain | June 26, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Heres what pissing me off most about Dave Weigel's firing isthat all the people gloating or with their nose in the air as if theyre superior can't point to anyof his reporting on the right that was unfair. In fact if there was anybody who did more to defend and in many ways legitimize the tea baggers in the MSM I havent seen it. I take comfort in knowing that the Post is dying (sorry Greg) and the wingnuts just lost their biggest non hackish advocate in the MSM.

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | June 26, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Re: that phony, Boy Wonder Jindal, "Gov. Bobby Jindal has vetoed a bill that would have required his office and agencies to grant public access to state records related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill."

Posted by: wbgonne | June 26, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Getting back to Kyl calling Obama a liar and trying to put it in perspective: So Dave Weigel, a news blogger, loses his job for disparaging people in e-mails but there are literally no repercussions for the GOP's No. 2 in the Senate falsely calling POTUS a liar? If you think Joe Wilson was an aberration he wasn't. It is now SOP for the GOP to delegitimize Pres Obama in any way they care to. ANd they do it with impunity.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 26, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

"Bachmann stars in a new documentary about socialism that bills her as an anti-socialism "expert." Whatever that means."

Here is what it means: Joe McCarthy. Palin and Bachman didn't invent this stuff: they just put it in skirts.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 26, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne -- I saw that on the previous thread. agreed, it's an important point, and well expressed.

ABC: Agreed. Reward good behavior, right?

and SG and wbgonne, all I can say about Weigel is I urge you to at least entertain the possibility that he instigated the decision to I wrote I'm not happy he's gone and have great respsect for him but the story as it's being hashed out now is way too simplistic...

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 26, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Greg: I have no beef with your depiction of Weigel's departure. Maybe he was sick of writing about lunatics all day. If I had that job I'd jump off a bridge. I only mentioned Weigel as an example of consequences attached to actions. Something that the GOP has managed to make inapplicable to itself.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 26, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Bachmann as an expert? On anything? I heard she got her law degree with Wheaties boxtops.

Posted by: hoser3 | June 26, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Greg, I grew up in D.C. I used to have a Washington Star paper route. I remember when the Washington Post and the New York Times stood up to the Nixon Administration.

I am flabbergasted by the descent of this publication from respectable newspaper to mere mouthpiece for America's ruling class.

Dave Weigel follows Dan Froomkin out the door, and for what?

Meanwhile, serial climate liar George F. Will, Bush spokesliar Michael Gerson, Bush spokesliar and torture fan Marc Thiessen, wingnut welfare recipient (Nepotism Division) Bill Kristol, bloodthirsty wrong about everything Charles Krauthammer, and America's concern troll/horrible writer Richie Cohen still draw paychecks.

Donald Graham and company deserve the death their birthright is heading for.

P.S. Why the Hacks Hate Michael Hastings
by Barrett Brown

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | June 26, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

@ sgw and Greg, I don't see any reason for Weigel to be fired. The only thing I can can up with is his "secret" writings portray him as anything but a "conservative." At least that's what the right wing is saying. They're using it as the ah-ha moment of truth.

Though Dave is not a conservative, at least not a Bush-Reagan conservative. And that's the real problem the right wing has with him. They don't want someone who isn't as insane as them writing about them. My take at least, here's more:

Posted by: Chris-TheFold | June 26, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

From the comments at the CBS "tough piece" on Jindal & the NatGuard:

"...I am a Guardsman in Louisiana. I belong to the 1st Engineer company to be activated, and I've been on ground since this started. I'm reading a lot of comments on the total number of guardsmen in the state, and seeing statements about how so many aren't being utilized, but this article leaves out an amazing amount of information regarding the current taskings for the Lousiana National Guard.
I see so much about calling in the guard to "save" everyone, and yet I have never met anyone who understands what bringing in the guard entails. There must be a specific task, not just a blanket statement. You can say "clean up the oil spill" all you want, but that's like saying to a group of people "build me a house," yet providing no blueprints, no nails or hammers, and not having a single carpenter in the group. Specificity is REQUIRED, and the bureaucracy that is currently in place among the various government organizations involved in this cleanup can't seem to agree on anything, including the scope of our mission. I'd rather have 1 person with the right skill set to deal with a crisis than 100 bodies getting in the way. The old axiom "work smarter, not harder" is still valid.
I'm tired of all the bullsh!t being passed around as "facts" on news sites. These forums are even worse. Instead of making racist jokes about Jindal and Obama, why don't some of you "open-minded" people shut up and do some work for a change. I dare you to get off your @ss and come down here to south La. where the weather is warm, and the water if full of the sludge that makes your Prius run."
(by ebreithaupt June 26, 2010 9:32 AM EDT)

Ya know, not telling the whole story is lying too, right?

That's why they're called C---B.S.

And that goes 2X for you too, Katie.

Posted by: tao9 | June 26, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne, the repercussions are ideally for them not to be re-elected. The media should hammer him for this, but Jon Kyl is a boring old republican and I guess him lying just isn't scandalous enough for the MSM to make a big deal of.

Posted by: SDJeff | June 26, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Despite having 100% authority to do so, Gov. Jindal purposefully doesn't send crews to help contain and cleanup the spill.

Yet another conservative who is actively working to make things worse for this country. It's the American Taliban, hard at work.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | June 26, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Not only that, but Jindal's entire berm "plan" is a useless and probably counterproductive boondoggle designed solely to get construction money to feed his friends at the trough. Bobby the Wonderboy is the one who ACTUALLY extorted BP and he did it to benefit no one but himself and his cronies. Ironic, huh?

Posted by: wbgonne | June 26, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Jeff: I realize that we are generally inured to meretricious conduct by our pols, especially the GOP but to me at least there is something really wrong with lying about what the President said face-to-face in a private one-on-one meeting. It is despicable in a truly fundamental way. And now to get mealy-mouthed regrets for being "misconstrued," is just disgusting. But hey, it worked for Joe Barton. And Joe Wilson.

Kyl didn't misspeak. He lied about what Obama said to him. And he repeated his lie the next day, as did his spox. Where is the press on this? Where are the consequences? That's what I want to know.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 26, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

From Benen

"Negotiating with those who oppose their own principles

...the official position of the McCain/Palin Republican presidential ticket, not even two years ago, was to support cap-and-trade. Not just in theory, either. The official campaign website in 2008 told Americans that John McCain and Sarah Palin "will establish ... a cap-and-trade system that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions." McCain/Palin's official position added, "A cap-and-trade system harnesses human ingenuity in the pursuit of alternatives to carbon-based fuels."

Even George W. Bush awkwardly endorsed cap-and-trade before leaving office.

Democratic policymakers could, today, endorse the policy put forward by the Republican ticket from 2008, and GOP senators would filibuster it. Republicans said they wanted cap-and-trade, but now refuse to take "yes" for an answer.

The goal posts are always on the move, which in turn makes substantive policymaking with Republican lawmakers practically impossible."

Posted by: bernielatham | June 26, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

"MONTGOMERY, Ala. (BP)--Four Gulf Coast governors are calling on residents to set aside Sunday as a Day of Prayer to pray for a solution to the oil spill and for citizens impacted by the disaster.

Alabama's Bob Riley, Louisiana's Bobby Jindal, Mississippi's Haley Barbour and Texas' Rick Perry all issued proclamations calling on prayer for the spill, which entered its 66th day Thursday."

Can God plug the hole? If not, will FOX berate his ineffectiveness?

Posted by: bernielatham | June 26, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Kyl didn't misspeak. He lied about what Obama said to him. And he repeated his lie the next day, as did his spox. Where is the press on this? Where are the consequences? That's what I want to know.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 26, 2010 3:58 PM |

Lindsey Graham and Jon Kyl lied to the Supreme Court.

This has in no way hindered their access to corporate media microphones.

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | June 26, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Atrios has a couple of great posts on the Weigel "departure," targeting both the false (belief in their own) objectivity of corporate journalists and on the dangers of working with toxic substances.
Honestly, it doesn't matter to me if Weigel initially offered to resign, he was forced out. I don't know how he kept his sanity anyway, dealing with that subject matter day in and day out...

Posted by: nancycadet | June 26, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne, ifthethunder,

it just goes to show what a joke our corporate media is. They're in it for ratings. They're glorified tabloids.

Posted by: SDJeff | June 26, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Jindal not calling out the National Guard is really short sighted, as Governor, he can do what ever he feels needs to be done and bill it to BP instead of pounding his fist yelling at the same Federal government he feels is intruding on states rights. Those republican governors all advocate states rights, here is their chance, lets see what the states can do. Certainly they can do more than demand the federal government step up...

Posted by: soapm | June 26, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

From the WaPo ombudsman on Weigel...

“I don’t think you need to be a conservative to cover the conservative movement,” Narisetti told me late today. “But you do need to be impartial... in your views.”

Is Narisetti actually going to claim - in public where everyone can see it - that the WaPo operates under such a protocol?

It is preposterous on its face. How does it not follow, then, that Krauthammer, Will, Kristol, Parker or Thiessen can no longer report on liberals or the social democrat policies of this administration?

This isn't merely a double-standard from Narisetti, it is a deceit.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 26, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

God, it gets worse!

“But we’re living in an era when maybe we need to add a level” of inquiry, he said. “It may be in our interests to ask potential reporters: ‘In private... have you expressed any opinions that would make it difficult for you to do your job.”

Well, let's put that exact question out to the world - has anyone heard or read a private statement from Narsetti that would make it difficult to do his job as managing editor of a paper which does and must ever employ the standard of "impartiality" violated by Weigel?

Or, as another option for the paper, let's publicly acknowledge that hires will now include only the least honest and dimmest writers that might be found.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 26, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

What the hell is with Alexander here?

"Weigel’s exit, and the events that prompted it, have further damaged The Post among conservatives who believe it is not properly attuned to their ideology or activities. Ironically, Weigel was hired to address precisely those concerns.

With bloggers such as Weigel, “I think The Post needs to decide what it wants to be online,” said Dan Gainor, a vice president at the conservative Media Research Center. “Does it want to be opinion? Or, does it want to be news? The problem here was that it was never clear.”

“If it’s going to be opinion, it ought to have somebody on the conservative side -- something Dave Weigel never was,” he said. "

Further damaged the reputation of the paper with conservatives?! And Alexander turns to MRC to hear word of how conservatism is mistreated by the paper.

So, the next ombudsman column will follow a call to David Brock on the paper's treatment, by Krauthammer et al, of liberals? Is that the way it is going to work, Alexander?

This is probably the lousiest - most incoherent or dishonest - "ombudsman" column I've read anywhere.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 26, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

JesusHChrist! Here's Alexander's final graph...

"Alas, it took only one listserv participant to bundle up Weigel’s archived comments and start leaking them outside the group. The result is that Weigel lost his job. But the bigger loss is The Post’s standing among conservatives."

Any clue at all here, Mr. Alexander, of what the loss of Weigel - AND this column you've just published - has done for the paper's standing among liberals? Do you even care? Is it any sort of relevant question to pose for you or your paper? And if not, why not?

Posted by: bernielatham | June 26, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Thinking about this a bit more...

Alexander's column is utterly surprising to me in its tone-deafness. He writes from (thinks from?) a frame of reference that seeks to appease conservatives and which has near zero comprehension of the reaction of progressives to this particular event.

Further, he seems completely oblivious to the array of conservative voices, most all of whom have penned far more partisan commentary than Weigel has done, and who hold high profile perches in the paper. If he is not oblivious to this, he is chosing not to bring it up. Obliviousness or deceit, that's the two possibilities.

Yet further, if one also considers the recent hires of Marc Thiessen and Bill Kristol and Michael Gerson then it seems a certainty that the WaPo has bought into (or been seduced into) a strategy of following the marketing model pioneered by talk radio and FOX - capture the conservative demographic.

What a sorry enterprise this paper has become.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 26, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Bernie -- The Alexander column was just clueless and awful. I apologize for it. Don't know what else to say.

Posted by: sargegreg | June 26, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Bernie -- and other readers also appalled by the Alexander effort -- one other point.

In the face of things like this Alexander column, all I can do is remind you that there is still a good deal of really terrific reporting on the site. And there are voices like E.J. Dionne's.

And we've got this platform here, where we can continue to have our conversation despite whatever Alexander thinks the site should be doing to soothe the hurt feelings of conservatives. We have a space to do it our way.

Posted by: sargegreg | June 26, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Great snark from Oliver Willis:

Shorter Jon Kyl: “You know that thing I said that President Obama said? I lied my ass off, and I know that by sneaking out the story on a Friday and banking on the media being afraid of anything with (R) behind it, I can totally get away with this.”

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | June 26, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

@Greg - Just so you know, I have no intention of jumping over the side and attempting to swim ashore (not even sure what direction it is). And I apologize if I've said things, in my distemper, that might lead others here to contribute less. More on that in a bit.

I love EJ and fully expect he is as smart and even-tempered as I often am not. He's one of my favorite contemporary political writers. And I admire Eugene Robinson no less. And what sort of fool would I be to imagine I can't learn from Tom Ricks, Cillizza, Ignatius and others who contribute regularly or occasionally here.

Then there's your newish operation here along with Ezra's. Whatever other motivations are driving the Big Deciders at WaPo, they clearly understand that times have changed and that passive news consumption alone won't likely work as a model.

And though it may be a romantic notion, I do think the new media models have some chance of improving the quality of information available to citizens and increasing their involvement in the civic processes.

There's an insurgent aspect, I hope, to what we are doing here with yourself and Ezra and all else involved. That's why I'm here (along with an undeniable blabber-mouth personality I was bequeathed) and its why I'm not out of the boat and paddling. And its why I don't want others to do that either.

Today, and because of this kerfuffle, I've concluded that I just don't know enough about the journalistic enterprise and I've set off on a study of Jay Rosen's writing.

Finally, thanks to you for the work you put in and the integrity with which you do so, and a secondary thanks to all the folks who contribute.

Re Alexander's column, I recently bumped into a line from a Martin Amis character who said, "We live half our lives in a state of shock - and it's the second half".

Posted by: bernielatham | June 26, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

bernielatham, I wonder if 'sargegreg | June 26, 2010 10:00 PM ' and 'Greg Sargent | June 26, 2010 1:49 PM' are the same person.

In any case I agree, Andrew Alexander's column was horrible.

Does the Post want someone who believes Sarah Palin's twits are genius?

Someone who things that the Texas GOP platform is reasonable?

These whackjobs just left the country with $12 trillion in debt, a busted economy, enmeshed in two overseas occupations, and with our environment in tatters.

And all they can say is "AWESOME! WE WANT MORE OF ALL THAT!"

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | June 27, 2010 1:09 AM | Report abuse

@ifthethunder - Yes, Greg is wealthy enough to own two handles. It's a level of affluence to which I aspire and when I get there I'll also be Bubbles LeFevre.

In their Ideas of the Day section of the Times, titled "Santelli, Beck and the Tea Party", the staff writer quotes from Continetti's Weekly Standard piece where he goes all Beck-is-not-one-of-us. Here's the staff writer's concluding graph:

"Mr. Continetti goes on to liken Mr. Beck’s methods with those of Robert Welch, the head of the John Birch Society. And The Atlantic Wire blog compares Mr. Continetti’s takedown of Mr. Beck with the conservative hero William F. Buckley Jr.’s famous denunciation of Mr. Welch."

Pardon my cynicism but there is now a broad attempt among leading conservatives to tamp down the perception (the reality perceived) of the serious extremism that is now so prevalent in the movement. The motive, clearly, relates to November. Rand Paul, Nikki Hailey, Sharron Angle, Sarah Palin (and yet other spinning-eyeball candidates, one expects) are now under the controlled guidance of party marketing pros. "Do not tell people what you think and definitely do not answer questions that might reveal what you think" is rule 1.

Where was Continetti a year ago? Beck's schtick isn't new. The extremisms revealed by numerous Tea Party gatherings isn't new. What is new is the proximity to November.

And what has Beck said that has not been voiced by Michelle Bachman or Limbaugh or Ann Coulter or Mark Levine? Differences are slight, if they exist, and are differences mainly of style - the other four won't describe themselves as "clowns" but they all, for example, think Joe McCarthy a fine fellow with a perceptive intellect and unjustly savaged reputation. Continetti spares these acceptable thinkers. He spares too Mr. Sowell who looks at Obama and sees the Reichstag fire.

And he has nothing to say about Roger Ailes or Murdoch who put Beck there and keep him there knowing full well what comes out of Beck's mouth. Beck was hired precisely because of what comes out of his mouth.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 27, 2010 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, Times link here:

Posted by: bernielatham | June 27, 2010 7:29 AM | Report abuse

I've just read page one (I prefer ink on paper for longish pieces) but this piece by Feldman, "Imagining a Liberal Court" sure does start off well...

Posted by: bernielatham | June 27, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

The draining of precious bodily fluids.

"Events of the past week -- notably the Rolling Stone profile that led to Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal's dismissal -- hint at the toll that nearly a decade of continuous conflict has exacted on the U.S. armed forces. The fate of any one general qualifies as small beer: Wearing four stars does not signify indispensability. But indications that the military's professional ethic is eroding, evident in the disrespect for senior civilians expressed by McChrystal and his inner circle, should set off alarms."

Posted by: bernielatham | June 27, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

"Republicans are Undercutting National Economic Recovery -- and Dems Need to Say So 24/7"

Posted by: bernielatham | June 27, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

The key fact is that Republicans and conservatives do not see this race as anything like a normal off-year election. Instead, it is for them a decisive battle in a life-or-death existential struggle -- a no-holds-barred campaign to bring down Obama and reverse the 2008 election. It is a vision of politics as a bitter ideological and social war and conservatives as an army on the march with a vast overarching objective -- to "take back our country" from the forces that have literally stolen it from its rightful owners.

"At the heart of the current conservative/Republican coalition is a powerfully energized conservative social movement - one with very strong and widely shared military and paramilitary overtones. This generates a high level of what in military terms is called "morale" - a powerful mixture of passion, commitment, élan, fighting spirit, camaraderie and group cohesion.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 27, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

David Dayen covers the America Speaks tour and propaganda machine yesterday for the rest of us. You have to read this if you're interested in the Deficit Commission and all the talk spreading through DC about cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and SS. This is from a supposed non-partisan group funded quite out in the open by the Peter Peterson Foundation to the tune of $1b. The writing is on the wall unless we erase it. Apparently, based upon the survey following the "presentation" and discussion groups a number of people weren't buying it.

UPDATE: "The propaganda may have wound up being too subtle. Via the America Speaks twitter feed, the top three options at the meetings selected by the participants were: raising the limit on taxable earnings in Social Security, a 5% tax increase on people making over $1 million dollars a year, a carbon tax, and a tax on financial transactions. Whoops!"

Posted by: lmsinca | June 27, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Geithner is stressing stimulus at the G20, unfortunately we're not capable of doing it ourselves so how exactly do we encourage the rest of the world to put deficits aside in the short term.

"Asked if the global economy could slip back into another "double dip" recession, Geithner said the answer to that question hinges on decisions made by world leaders. "It is within the capacity of the people who are going to be in those rooms together in the next few days to avoid that outcome," he said.

But Geithner's insistence that nations continue stimulus spending to avoid another global recession was not bolstered by America's own actions at home."

Posted by: lmsinca | June 27, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Excellent article by Andrew Bacevich, one of the most incisive military analysts we have, warning of the dangers from a "standing army," which the Founders despised and feared, and what we have now: a wholly professional military.

Bacevich doesn't say it but I will: bring back the draft and watch many the salutary impact on our foreign policy as well as our domestic politics. It's all part of growing up, which America desperately needs to do. Before it's too late.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 27, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Excellent article by Andrew Bacevich, one of the most incisive military analysts we have, warning of the dangers from a "standing army," which the Founders despised and feared, and which is exactly what we have now: a wholly professional military.

Bacevich doesn't say it but I will: bring back the draft and watch many the salutary impact on our foreign policy as well as our domestic politics. It's all part of growing up, which America desperately needs to do. Before it's too late.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 27, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Bernie, I appreciate that, and I hope others feel the same way...

And I believe your right, that in general the higher ups are moving the site in a new direction, even if we all hit a big speed bump on Friday.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 27, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

lmsinca: Belated congrats on the Lakers. They were the better team.


Posted by: wbgonne | June 27, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

You're right wbgonne, that was an excellent article. It's past time that we re-evaluate what the hell we're doing, the cost in lives and economic policy, and begin to extricate ourselves from this destructive long war mind set. Bringing back the draft would completely change our complacency and lack of engagement as Americans. It's difficult to contemplate the up-rising unless you've actually lived through it, but it would be huge.

Posted by: lmsinca | June 27, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of the long war..........

"Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Cali.), whose hawkish grounding has angered progressive in the past, likely facilitated that anger again, when she told "Fox News Sunday" that if General David Petraeus asked for more troops next summer, he should be granted them.

"I would say give it to him, absolutely," said the California Democrat. "Now, let's talk about the deadline. This is a transition point toward the beginning of a withdrawal or a drawdown as Petraeus said in his transcript before the Armed Services [Committee]. And I think he has flexibility realistically. Ten years is a long time to fight a war, particularly with what happened before the 10 years. And so we need to understand that [we have] to get the military trained, get the government online, secure and stabilize, and I think do away with the drugs to a great extent, because the drugs are now fueling the Taliban."

Posted by: lmsinca | June 27, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse


... then the lightening will.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 27, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne, I have to admit for being a not too exuberant basketball fan, game 7 was pretty darned exciting. And Angels/Red Sox, July 26-28. My fav Angel is out for the season with a broken leg, uggghhh.

Posted by: lmsinca | June 27, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

And our best player, Pedroia, just broke his foot. Oy. Thankfully, baseball is a long season and things usually work themselves out. Enjoy the day!

Posted by: wbgonne | June 27, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

All, Sunday roundup posted:

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 27, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

In Phoenix recently I saw a large sign at a GM auto dealership insisting that the company had repaid all its government loans.

e.g. you do not have to worry about buying a socialist-built automobile. Evidently the "socialist" charge was hurting sales.

These people are absolutely nuts.

Posted by: rhallnj | June 28, 2010 6:23 AM | Report abuse

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