Predictions, About the Future

Freddie is looking forward:

I bet that Balloon Juice will continue to be filled with absolutely unfettered, uncritical, ultra-aggressive support of Obama.

I have a prediction, too: Freddie will continue ignore the many times front pagers and commenters have criticized the Obama Administration on this blog to win the “mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the purest of them all” contest, happening regularly at L’Hôte.

156 replies
  1. 1
    Eric U. says:

    so he can’t post here anymore?

  2. 2
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    Fight! Fight! Fight!

  3. 3
    The Dangerman says:

    …filled with absolutely unfettered, uncritical, ultra-aggressive support of Obama…

    Not much room for “filling” after The Cat.

    ETA: Small oversight (read into that what you will), but he can go fuck himself.

  4. 4
    taylormattd says:

    Some more predictions:

    (1) Freddie will continue to post criticism of republicans at Balloon Juice, despite the fact that the likes of him helps get them elected;

    (2) Freddie will pretend nobody ever calls him out here, but will instead, slam other front pagers from the coziness of his own blog

  5. 5
    taylormattd says:

    @Eric U.: From your keyboard to Cole’s ears.

  6. 6

    I have a prediction: Obama will continue to earn the absolutely unfettered, uncritical, ultra-aggressive support I give him. As long as he is the greatest president of my lifetime, I will continue to treat him as such.

  7. 7
    Baron Jrod of Keeblershire says:



  8. 8
    David Koch says:

    I bet that Balloon Juice will continue to be filled with absolutely unfettered, uncritical, ultra-aggressive support of Obama.

    This from the fool who still refuses to criticize his hero warmonger John Edwards.

  9. 9
    Legalize says:

    THIS is Rmoney’s unicorn. I’m certain of it.

  10. 10
    schrodinger's cat says:

    I think Freddie wins the prize for being the most pretentious and boring front-pager ever.

  11. 11
    taylormattd says:

    Seriously, what a cock.

    He should start a blog with ED Kain, titled “Blowing smoke up your ass at Balloon Juice, while simultaneously ripping you elsewhere”

  12. 12
    EconWatcher says:


    Here, here.

    I have one major beef with Obama, and it’s a big one: He should have pushed for a breakup of the biggest banks. I don’t know if he could have gotten it done, but it’s so important to our future that he should have tried.

    But overall, his record, under the harshest of conditions, has been little short of miraculous. He’s the best president in my 46 years, and probably for whatever I have left. Where are we going to find a candidate to follow this act?

  13. 13
    MikeJ says:

    @Eric U.: He’s on the sidebar, he’s just a coward.

  14. 14
    Robin G. says:

    O, if I were but worthy to touch the hem of Freddie’s garment.

  15. 15
    Betty Cracker says:

    Fortunately, there are far fewer Freddies in 2012 than there were in 2000. It’s hard to ignore a purist-enabled catastrophe that occurred only 12 years ago. (Unless, of course, you are 12-years-old.)

  16. 16
    Edward_75 says:

    There’s going to be a huge civil war on the Left when Obambi loses between the Obama Cultists like we see on Balloon Juice and the Patriotic Liberals like Glenn Greenwald and Jane Hamsher.

    I’ll be sure to pass the ammunition to both sides, and enjoy the bloodbath.

  17. 17
    LD50 says:

    Freddie only mentioned drones seven times, and he didn’t mention ‘kill lists’ once! WTF?

  18. 18
    YellowJournalism says:

    I predict we will all worship Tunch and bug John for more Lily pictures and proof-of-life pics of Rosie.

  19. 19
    SFAW says:

    @Baron Jrod of Keeblershire:

    And cue the unfettered shouting down of anyone daring to mention DROOOONNZ as a bad thing! Because that’s what Freddie says we do! Shout people down, that is! And I really REALLY mean it this time. So consider yourself SHOUTED DOWN, because I’m an OBOT!

    Insert SHOUTY STUFF HERE! ! ! ! !

  20. 20
    cathyx says:

    It doesn’t seem like I’m reading the same Balloon Juice front pagers and commenters as Mistermix.

  21. 21
    MikeJ says:

    @Baron Jrod of Keeblershire:


    “bin Laden determined to strike in US.” It’s a pity the response to that was “ok, you’ve covered your ass” rather than a few drones here and there.

  22. 22
    Violet says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Yep. Totally agree. Best President of my lifetime. Can we get him a third term?

  23. 23
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Shouldn’t someone who teaches rhetoric and composition be capable of proof and persuasion and less prone to hyperbole? Or is crocodile-teared narcissism what students learn these days? It would certainly explain a lot of the essays I get.

  24. 24
    LanceThruster says:

    It’s hard to worry about draining the swamp when you’re up to your neck in Mittigators. ~ LT

  25. 25
    Ronzoni Rigatoni says:

    Oh, Freddie’s criticisms of the Obama admin are probably valid, BUT NOT NOW. Geeze. What’s the matter with these folx? Romoney’s gonna solve all these problems? Get real.

  26. 26
    hueyplong says:

    Prediction 1: At some point I’ll know who Freddie is.

    Prediction 2: Then I’ll forget.

  27. 27
    mistermix says:

    @cathyx: I was too lazy to find the links but I’ve posted before that I don’t like the drone wars, the length of time we’re staying in Afghanistan, etc. etc. John has, too, IIRC.

  28. 28
    Alex says:

    Okay, but of course he’s right about Lawyers, Guns and Money. Fucking splitters!

  29. 29
    WarMunchkin says:

    @taylormattd: ED Kain actually does some cool gaming articles now. He was particularly awesome during the Mass Effect 3 debacle.

  30. 30
    Arclite says:

    Hmm, I don’t think that Freddie is painting with a broad enough brush there.

  31. 31
    The Moar You Know says:

    I bet that Balloon Juice will continue to be filled with absolutely unfettered, uncritical, ultra-aggressive support of Obama.

    Only until Wednesday. I have issues. But there’s a time and a place, and the time and place is not until Wednesday.

  32. 32
    LD50 says:

    Eight years of President Romney will surely convince Americans of the evils of the current system enough to elect Noam Chomsky in 2020!

  33. 33
    SFAW says:


    Can we get him a third term?

    Sshhhhh! Not in front of the Baby (i.e. Pule-itical Absurder, a/k/a Headcase_75), he still thinks Rmoney’s going to be Preznit. Don’t tell him about Santa Claus, either – his head be a-splodin’ if he hears that.

  34. 34
    robertdsc-iPhone 4 says:

    Fuck you, Freddie.

  35. 35
    gwangung says:

    Gawd, Freddie’s screed is a failure of reading comprehension and confirmation bias worthy of any wing nut at Red State or the NRO.

  36. 36
    Jamie says:

    Freddie had really established himself as one of the most pathetic, sad-sack wankers on the net. Good grief that was painful to read.

  37. 37
    Cassidy says:

    I have 2 predictions:

    1) Freddie will never have the balls to come over here and address his positions.

    2) Freddie will grow up one day.

  38. 38
    Nylund says:

    Considering that the only viable alternative for President over the next 4 years is Romney, yes, Obama will get my full support. That doesn’t mean I won’t criticize him though.

  39. 39
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Arclite: He’s never wanted a broader brush in his life. He wants it with every part of his body capable of wanting, and it keeps him awake at night.

  40. 40
    dangerfield says:

    Drones, Drones, Drones. Until the super lefties come up with a plan to stop religious nutcases from incited hatred and violence against American and Western civilians I will relunctantly accept the drones strikes.

    So exactly what is Freddie and the rest of the super lefties plans to stop religious fanatics from inciting violence against American civilians then hiding out in lawless countries that cant or want arrest the?

  41. 41
    eemom says:

    I bet that Freddie was a dumbass little toddler who just graduated from potty training the first time he ever posted here, and I won.

  42. 42
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @gwangung: That’s where the professional rhetorician skillz come in.

  43. 43
    Joel says:

    At least he was man enough to say it to our faces.

  44. 44
    Brachiator says:


    I predict we will all worship Tunch and bug John for more Lily pictures and proof-of-life pics of Rosie.

    Now here’s about the only sensible prediction in this entire thread.

  45. 45
    jwb says:

    @Eric U.: No, he’s just a chicken shit.

  46. 46
    srv says:


    At least for the next 48 hours. Void in Rhode Island.

  47. 47
    West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.) says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I don’t wish to be rude to Freddie, but I agree. His writing style is (IMHO)congested and pretentious. I’ve enjoyed some of his posts but tend to lose interest quickly in the majority of them. Perhaps he/she says the same about my own comments.

  48. 48
    Redshift says:

    I bet that Balloon Juice will continue to be filled with absolutely unfettered, uncritical, ultra-aggressive support of Obama.

    Translation: It’s not that I can’t make compelling arguments to support my positions, it’s that everyone there is completely impervious to reason. So taking my marbles and going home and then posting emo criticisms from my room is actually a principled response.

    What a tool.

  49. 49
    cmorenc says:

    We at BJ have a COMPELLING INTEREST in being ardently pro-Obama in this election: unless he wins, we won’t be able to indulge our fondness for firebagging, ever again! Firebagging is so much more fun than bitter grapes.


  50. 50
    Roger Moore says:

    And remember, after 9/11, Bush belittled Clinton’s cruise missile strike on an al Qaeda training camp that was intended to kill bin Laden by saying “I’m not going to fire a $2 million missile at a $10 empty tent and hit a camel in the butt.” Maybe if the Republicans had treated going after al Qaeda as a serious foreign policy move rather than an attempt at a “wag the dog” scenario, we would have gotten bin Laden before he could put the 9/11 attacks in motion.

  51. 51
    MikeJ says:


    That’s where the professional rhetorician skillz come in.

    He wouldn’t know an enthymeme if it bit him on the ass.

  52. 52
    Sly says:

    Prediction: In about half a century, there will be a left-liberal President running for re-election. He or she will have attained positive, if not incremental, advancements on issues on which he or she campaigned for election in the first place, will be subject to all sorts of crazy-ass rumors originating from the rabid right, and will have disappointed some elements of the liberal-left coalition by either (a) not achieving as much as he or she theoretically could in a world with zero to minimal opposition or (b) compromising on an issue that no ones else cares enough to vote over.

    And this President will be called a corporate/warmongering sell-out on whatever platform they can crawl upon, and they will pine for the day when the nation can have honest, progressive champions like Barack Obama once again.

    And how do I know this?

    Because it happens every fucking generation.

  53. 53
    Geoduck says:

    I certainly hope Obama wins, I voted for the man in my securely blue state, but.. I’m among the crowd that worries that, even after four years of dealing with these rabid wolverines, he still might try for some Grand Bargain with the GOP in regards to The Deficit and cutting Social Security benefits. Please prove me wrong, Mr. President.

  54. 54
    cathyx says:

    @mistermix: The amount of criticism the Obama administration has been given on this blog is equivalent to the number of liberals who appear on Fox and Friends.

  55. 55
    blingee says:

    lol….now I think mister “Palin will run for Prez” mix is intentionally trying to be ironic with a “predictions about the future” title.

  56. 56
    David Koch says:

    I really don’t get why anyone is freaked about drones.

    How is a drone worse than a jet fighter or helicopter gun ship or heavy bombers and cruise missiles that carry far greater ordinance?

    What is it about the unmanned aspect of an aircraft that freaks them out?

    A drone carries two 18 lbs missiles, but a B-1 carries 125,000 lbs of explosives. As Nate Silver’s math would say, that’s quite a difference (36 lbs vs 125,000 lbs). And yet they seem comfortable with a B-1 because it’s not a “robot”.

  57. 57
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Eric U.: He is afraid of what Tunch will say.

  58. 58
    Eric U. says:

    I seem to recall a reasonable number of posts by Cole that criticize the Obama Administration’s use of drones. I don’t remember any such posts by Freddy, because he doesn’t do himself any favors by having such long posts — he epitomizes tl;dr for me. Funny thing is that I often read the Levenson posts even though they are even longer.

  59. 59
    Redshift says:


    2) Freddie will grow up one day.

    Hmm, really going out on a limb there…

  60. 60
    Baron Jrod of Keeblershire says:

    @SFAW: Typical Obot! Next you’ll be telling me that Obama is not the the most evil monster-man to ever stalk the halls of power. Keep drinking that Kool-Aid!

    Now, where did I leave my cup of cup of Flavor-Aid…

  61. 61
    JWR says:


    “1) Freddie will never have the balls to come over here and address his positions.”

    He’s been busy over at LGM addressing his “positions” all morning. Give him time ;-)

  62. 62
    Jay in Oregon says:

    No, actually, he didn’t. That’s a link to his blog, where he usually trashes the BJ readers.

  63. 63
    Yutsano says:

    Wanker. The term you’re looking for here is wanker.

  64. 64
    EconWatcher says:


    Yes, I remember thinking that your initial reaction to Freddie was intemperate. And then I remember standing corrected later. He’s truly insufferable.

  65. 65
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.): I do wish to be rude. He was a douche when he came here, and he’s a douche now.

  66. 66
    Jon says:

    I predict that Maoist contradiction heighteners will continue to enable Republicans for the rest of my life.

  67. 67
    slightly_peeved says:


    Maybe it’s like how the ugliest building on campus is often the school of architecture. Or like ethics lecturers who sleep with their students.

  68. 68
    dedc79 says:

    It’s hard to take Freddie or those who agree with him seriously when they’ve never presented a coherent explanation of how things will change for the better if we all withold our votes for Obama.

    They can’t claim there’s 50% of the population that share their views on civil liberties or drones. They can’t claim that Republicans will be better on civil liberties/drones – we all know they’re likely to be far worse.

    Elections are important, maybe none more than the present one. But the important work that needs to be done to protect our civil liberties, to rethink the drone policy – that’s for once we know we are safe on tax policy/health care/gay rights/womens rights/environmental regulation/immigration/education.

  69. 69
    Cacti says:


    Emo progs will be more disappointed than Republicans that the Democrat won the election.

  70. 70
    lamh35 says:

    Welp I’m betting Christie will be voting for Obama in that booth tomorrow.

    Obama just made his dream of talking to his music idol Bruce Springsteen.

    Christie: I speak to President Obama every day; he put Bruce Springsteen on the phone. #sandyonfox

  71. 71
    srv says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I think Freddie wins the prize for being the most pretentious and boring front-pager ever.

    Unfortunately for Freddie, I do not believe this is covered under Obamacare.

  72. 72
    kindness says:

    What is funny is the purity trolls in the blogsphere. I mean, c’mon now….really? I lived through 6 years of Nixon, 8 years of Reagan, 4 more of bush41 and another 8 years of bush43. I really don’t want to see 4 or 8 of Romney. That drives me to support Obama even though I think his policies wrt The Patriot Act, Medical Marijuana, drone assasinations are all areas I do not support. Still, Romney would be worse, much much worse. That’s why I’m voting for the Kenyan So$hulist.

  73. 73
    RP says:

    I know that raising this is a waste of energy, but do people like Freddie think that no innocent civilians were killed in military actions before Obama became president? How many US presidents do they think have squeaky clean hands in the areas of civil liberties and military action?

  74. 74
  75. 75
    slightly_peeved says:


    Especially when US politics of the last 30 years is a series of examples of the left staying home and the country moving right. It’s the left’s version of the laffer curve – it didn’t work last time, so this time we’ll do it even harder, and then it’ll work.

  76. 76
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @David Koch: I’ve been to that rodeo. It goes like this: it’s not about drones, the weapon, it’s about dead innocents. Then you say, OK, has Obama done things that created more dead innocents than other presidents? Is he reckless and blasé about killing innocent people? And then the other guy says, Oh, that’s some praise, relatively fewer dead brown children. Then you say, Well, guns and bombs kill people too, but no one spends a lot of time saying that they can no longer support the president because his soldiers use guns and bombs.

    And then the next time it comes up, it’s back to “flying death robots” all over again.

  77. 77
    Real American says:

    Nobody cares about your pet issue enough to derail the entire Obama presidency over it. Get over yourselves.

    Also, too: If it isn’t drones it would be something else. No president will ever be good enough for these people — they’ll just keep shifting the goalposts leftwards. Remember, there were folks who called FDR a corporate whore and sellout.

  78. 78
    Cacti says:


    I know that raising this is a waste of energy, but do people like Freddie think that no innocent civilians were killed in military actions before Obama became president? How many US presidents do they think have squeaky clean hands in the areas of civil liberties and military action?

    Obama is the first POTUS to ever use targeted military force against US citizens…

    If you pretend Abraham Lincoln and the years 1861-1865 never existed.

    But seriously, Sherman razing the Georgia countryside was more gentlemanly, because he didn’t use drones.

  79. 79
    LanceThruster says:

    The argument for electing Dems as president always boils down to how scary Rethuglican SCOTUS choices are above all else.

    Everything else is just frackin’ commentary.

  80. 80
    Anoniminous says:


    At some point I’ll know who Freddie is.

    He’s that guy in the Nightmare on Elm Street series.

  81. 81
    West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.) says:

    @cathyx: You might have the makings for a good post here; it would be very interesting to read the collective list of complaints about O’s presidency (as offered by BJer’s).

    I suspect we already know the top five or so: little activity on global warming, tepid support of LGBT issues, failure to prosecute the Bush administration criminals, a meak response to the money-pigs of Wall St., etc.

  82. 82
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    @Baron Jrod of Keeblershire:

    And here’s where I really do not get the “purists.” Do they really think an Obama defeat, if they can pull it off, will result in fewer drone strikes rather than more?

    Do they really think that the entire Democratic Party and every candidate in it will go “OMG, if we’d only agreed to renounce the use of drones, we’d have won?”

    You can criticize all you want, but if you’re calling for the defeat of Obama over this, you’re just advocating for things to get even worse.

  83. 83
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Tom Levenson: We like you because of Tikka, how is the mighty feline?

  84. 84
    Redshift says:

    @David Koch: The two aspects that I think are serious concerns are that there is no risk of casualties, which is one of the chief public opinion constraints on war, and that the drone operations are run by the CIA, which institutionally and legally is much more “black” than the military, making it much harder to have any accountability. (The military by definition isn’t a model of openness, but a lot of its activities are public and its entire budget isn’t a secret.)

    A lot of the wailing and gnashing seems to be about civilian casualties, and on that point, I agree; what’s the difference between drones and any other weapon?

  85. 85
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @RP: That is why I think criticizing Obama for “civil liberties”/executive power matters is about like criticizing him for wearing a coat and tie too much. Not that it wouldn’t be nice for it to happen less, but it’s a default setting for the gig.

  86. 86
    David Koch says:

    I don’t get this deluded fantasy of the purity trolls.

    If Elizabeth Warren or Howard Dean became president do they really think they would turn aircraft carriers into homeless shelters and send Al Qaeda a cake?

  87. 87
    LAC says:

    And I predict that Freddie will try to capture the essense of his sweet smelling farts in a bottle and give Chanel a run for the money. Or perhaps will finally sue Massengil for trademark enfringement. Either way, he is in for a big windfall.

  88. 88
    Keith G says:

    @The Moar You Know: True that. There is a short list of very important concerns that this administration needs to get right (by first realizing how wrong they are), and that process can wait until Nov. 7.

  89. 89
    srv says:

    @Cacti: Every time someone mentions the tree of liberty and blood, I say “We could use a man like Sherman again”

  90. 90
    Paul says:


    Exactly. How about FDR’s internment of 110,000 Japanese Americans? People like the firebaggers tend to talk in glowing terms about FDR. I can’t help but think that racism is unfortunately not limited to folks on the right.

  91. 91
    dedc79 says:

    @slightly_peeved: Exactly. What was 2010 if not a lurch to the right as a result of dems/progressives staying home. If we had expanded dem representation in the house and senate, instead of it contracting, guantanamo might very well be closed by now.

  92. 92

    ignore the many times front pagers and commenters have criticized the Obama Administration on this blog

    You were taken to task and berated by the Queen of the Obots Angry Black Lady.

  93. 93
    Redshift says:


    But seriously, Sherman razing the Georgia countryside was more gentlemanly, because he didn’t use drones.

    Ooh, I’m seeing a plot for a sequel to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

  94. 94
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Real American:

    No president will ever be good enough for these people—they’ll just keep shifting the goalposts leftwards.

    That’s because the whole ritual isn’t really about the president, or even politics, it’s about a small group of people deciding something, anything, is their precious thing that only they properly appreciate, and no one else really Gets It the way they do. If everyone agreed with you, you wouldn’t be special anymore. “You’re all a bunch of reflexively conformist corporatist tribalists, not like me and my, um, smaller group of likeminded people who arrived at our overwhelming agreement through good taste and independent critical thought.”

  95. 95
    ChrisNYC says:

    I read that (ok skimmed some, but he does write way way too long). It’s not about Obama at all. It’s about him vowing to hold the internet accountable for these imaginary promises he believes have been made to him.

    Where did he ever get the impression that someone saying, “Change takes work,” means that they personally are committing to execute his personal policy preferences? It’s some kind of whacked convolution of the whole voting/holding accountable thing.

    The waiting and watching part is just creepy.

  96. 96
    David Koch says:

    @Paul: And FDR had no problem fire bombing population centers and dropping naplam on women and children, yet they love him. IOKIYAFDR.

  97. 97
    hueyplong says:

    We don’t have a line item presidency.

    It just seems hard to believe that anyone could make these arguments so soon after 2000.

  98. 98
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @hueyplong: Freddie may have been 12 in 2000.

  99. 99
    RareSanity says:

    @Tom Levenson:

    The length of your posts are fine because they have a direction, put forth well thought (and cited*) arguments, and always deliver the goods at the end…never pretentious meandering.

    ‘*’ – Even if I do have to scroll back and forth for the footnotes. :-p

  100. 100
    Democrat Partisan Asshole says:

    I can’t help but think that racism is unfortunately not limited to folks on the right.

    @Paul: I have actual KKK in my heritage, and not that many generations removed. I know racists.

    The most racist people I ever met in my life lived in San Francisco and would no more vote for a Republican than I would.

  101. 101
    gwangung says:


    Exactly. How about FDR’s internment of 110,000 Japanese Americans? People like the firebaggers tend to talk in glowing terms about FDR. I can’t help but think that racism is unfortunately not limited to folks on the right.

    Any POC pretty much knows that; occasionally, some white progressives will deign to listen to us and nod in agreement.

  102. 102
    GxB says:

    @West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.): Ahhh the airing of grievances – let us do the traditional thing especially this year and save it for Dec. 23rd.

    FWIW I’m far, far to the left of BHO, but it’s goofballs like FdB who keep me grounded and “pragmatic.” That said, I’ll rail for him to continue to post here, and John’s wisdom in keeping him around – Shine on you Crazy Diamond.

  103. 103
    Beauzeaux says:

    @srv: My favorite Sherman quote: If I owned hell and Texas, I’d live in hell and rent out Texas.*

    *He might not have said it, but I love the sentiment.

  104. 104
    Schlemizel says:

    One of the things I admire about the left is that we don’t blindly follow our boss. I don’t think Boy Blunder would have been half as bad a President if the right would have tried to hold him to some level of sanity.

    The net result is the goopers move in lock-step and get a lot more done without all the whining and wailing that happens with the Dems. We fight with each other lot & the result is often mixed but its a lot better for the long-term survival of the country and the party than the alternative.

    It pisses me off when people here get their noses out of joint & start throwing terms like firebagger and obat around. We are not a monolith & we all have the right to disagree on the details. I just wish we could do it without the animosity often displayed.

    @GxB: I’m with you – way to the left but sick of the whiners

  105. 105
    LAC says:

    @WWStBreitbartD: I doubt you had anything posted worth berating – other than “teh Obama is as bad as teh Bush because drones and shut up!” You know, you could start your own blog instead of criticizing another blogger – I am sure “asshat useless” is still available for you to use.

  106. 106
    JPL says:

    @EconWatcher: He wasn’t the President at the time. Bush gave the auto company free money but once he was President, Obama did not.

  107. 107
  108. 108
    David Koch says:

    Freddie is right. This is why I won’t vote for Elizabeth Warren. She continues to support killer death robots.

  109. 109
    RP says:

    If anything, we’re at the safest and least violent period in our history, and Obama probably has the least blood on his hands of any US president. The national security state and our overall militarism stinks, but, as noted, it’s the default position for our country and judging Obama on that issue alone is bizarre.

    Moreover, the endless focus on the fact that he attacked a “US citizen” is really strange IMO. The 4th amendment says nothing about citizenship — it applies to law enforcement actions on US soil (do people like Freddie think that non-citizens inside our borders aren’t entitled to the protection of the fourth amendment?). If someone is a military target outside of the US, his or her citizenship is irrelevant. They might not be an appropriate target or perhaps the President should not have been given the military authority in the first place, but those are separate issues.

    Finally, I looked at some of Freddie’s comments over at LGM, and, while I don’t want to be mean, I get the sense that he’s just not very bright. Or at least he’s not nearly as smart as he thinks he is, a dangerous combination.

  110. 110
    Eric U. says:

    @David Koch: no doubt Warren would vote to buy more killer death robots, so it’s Brown all the way for me

  111. 111
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @David Koch: Pfft, you’re practically an Obot for how piss-poor a progressive that makes you. I won’t vote for anyone until we give America back to the indigenous population and kick my ass back out. It’s unconscionable to perpetuate this unjust system.

  112. 112
    General Stuck says:

    For a group of the angriest people from the left on the internet, politics, especially presidential politics provides an excellent therapeutic platform to make daddy pay for what he did or didn’t do when they were but sprouts.

  113. 113
    trollhattan says:

    I blame Levenson for making me buy a bigger phone.

  114. 114

    Here I disagree. Congress is damn near unanimous, Dem and GOP, that Guantanamo will stay open and those prisoners will not be released. Hell, they retroactively made Bush’s crimes legal. I don’t know what to do about it, because I don’t have a clue why it’s so in the first place. These people can’t agree about ANYTHING else. They fight like dogs over the military budget, previously their most famous sacred cow. Guantanamo – they ALL agree about that.

  115. 115
    Tom Levenson says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Ever mightier. He is a fearsome beast. I only manage to eke out continued existence in the home manse because he sleeps ~19 hours a day.

  116. 116
    Pen says:

    @FlipYrWhig: You laugh, But I went to school with a girl like that. Married a member of a local tribe and her lily white ass now insists on calling anyone not “Native” oppressors. Everyone’s got their pet issue, some just don’t know the meaning of the word moderation.

  117. 117
    Tom Levenson says:

    @RareSanity: Thanks. Very much. No qualifiers.

    No posts today or tomorrow because I’m thorougly consumed by election nerves, to be assuaged tomorrow by yet one more visit to the Granite State.


  118. 118
    Roger Moore says:


    My favorite Sherman quote: If I owned hell and Texas, I’d live in hell and rent out Texas.*

    If you want to get back to the topic, how about “War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it.” I think it’s directly relevant to the issue of drone warfare. The problem with our drone war in Afghanistan is the war in Afghanistan part, not the drone part; any other way of making war would be at least as bad for the innocent bystanders.

  119. 119
    LanceThruster says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I like this quote in regards to his march to the sea.

    This war differs from other wars, in this particular. We are not fighting armies but a hostile people, and must make old and young, rich and poor, feel the hard hand of war. ~ William Tecumseh Sherman


  120. 120
    West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.) says:

    @GxB: Serenity now!

  121. 121
    geg6 says:

    @David Koch:

    I’m with you. I see it as a positive good in terms of waging operations against a dispersed, small but fanatical enemy. Despite the sad instances where the drones were misdirected or the intelligence was off and civilians have been killed, it is the most humane way to wage war compared to scorching the entire place with napalm and carpet bombing or massive invasions.

  122. 122
    Roger Moore says:

    My man William T. had some good lines. I’m rather partial to

    If they want eternal war, well and good; we accept the issue, and will dispossess them and put our friends in their place. I know thousands and millions of good people who at simple notice would come to North Alabama and accept the elegant houses and plantations there. If the people of Huntsville think different, let them persist in war three years longer, and then they will not be consulted. Three years ago by a little reflection and patience they could have had a hundred years of peace and prosperity, but they preferred war; very well. Last year they could have saved their slaves, but now it is too late. All the powers of earth cannot restore to them their slaves, any more than their dead grandfathers. Next year their lands will be taken, for in war we can take them, and rightfully, too, and in another year they may beg in vain for their lives. A people who will persevere in war beyond a certain limit ought to know the consequences. Many, many peoples with less pertinacity have been wiped out of national existence.

    His quote from the beginning of the war showed greater foresight than most people, also, too:

    You are rushing into war with one of the most powerful, ingeniously mechanical, and determined people on Earth — right at your doors. You are bound to fail. Only in your spirit and determination are you prepared for war. In all else you are totally unprepared, with a bad cause to start with. At first you will make headway, but as your limited resources begin to fail, shut out from the markets of Europe as you will be, your cause will begin to wane. If your people will but stop and think, they must see in the end that you will surely fail.

  123. 123
    Jay in Oregon says:

    My joke detector was off. Mea culpa.

  124. 124
    Rob in DC says:

    What the hell is Freddie’s problems with drones anyway? I am as Firebagger as they come and my only issue with drones is the concern that the emergent AI which arrives in our lifetime will use our unmanned weaponry to even more easily subjugate us after the nuclear holocaust it unleashes.

    What exactly is so vastly different about drones as compared to the fighter jets we have been utilizing for decades for surgical airstrikes and air support?

    Seriously what is up with this guy’s hardon for drones? The AI is like 50 years away, Obama has other bigger issues to despise him for (like the throwaway mentions of the drug war).

  125. 125
    Morbo says:

    @David Koch: Someone’s been watching Dukakis After Dark haven’t they?

  126. 126
    1badbaba3 says:

    @Roger Moore: W.T. rocked hard! Give it up for Uncle Billy, y’all!

  127. 127
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Rob in DC: It’s because “drones” is really a shorthand for “unchecked executive power,” which was the big civil libertarian cause celebre under Bush, so you can show your street cred by busting out the same criticisms of Obama you did of Bush.

    But what’s dumb about it to me is that it turns the issue into “My stricken conscience is wounded by Obama’s use of unchecked executive power, someone please hold me lest I faint” instead of, you know, figuring out a way to check that power in the first place. Shame and guilt aren’t going to do it. Legislative changes have a shot. So, if you really care the way you say you do, dry your eyes and work on that.

  128. 128
    LanceThruster says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Wonderful submissions. Thank you.

    He sure tended not to sugarcoat reality, no?

  129. 129
    geg6 says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Man, all those great Civil War generals could write!

    And I am totally partial to William T. Sherman. He’s the guy I want on my side in a fight. But Grant was a wonderful writer. If you haven’t done it yet, read his memiors. Awesome stuff.

  130. 130
    LanceThruster says:


    The man sure knew loyalty too.

    Grant stood by me when I was crazy, and I stood by him when he was drunk, and now we stand by each other. ~ William Tecumseh Sherman


  131. 131
    Rob in DC says:


    Ah that makes more sense though the kill list is by far a better personification of that issue than drones…

  132. 132
    LanceThruster says:

    @Roger Moore:

    The second quote is the premise for John Ellis’s “Brute Force” re: WWII.

  133. 133
    Steeplejack says:


    They are testy creatures. My grandfather used to raise enthymemes on the farm at St. Kilda. Got wiped out in the footscray epidemic of ’38.

  134. 134
    Roger Moore says:


    And I am totally partial to William T. Sherman. He’s the guy I want on my side in a fight. But Grant was a wonderful writer. If you haven’t done it yet, read his memiors. Awesome stuff.

    I have read Grant’s memoirs- John Keegan recommended them very highly- and found them generally enjoyable, though they would have been even better with a good set of well annotated maps. I’m also inclined to agree with Keegan that Grant is unfairly maligned as a general. He is portrayed as a butcher, but even in the Wilderness Campaign he tried his hardest to get what he wanted by maneuver rather than frontal assault; he was just working in too small a space for maneuver to work as well as he needed. When he had the space, as he did outside of Vicksburg, he was capable of maneuvering with the best of them. And he clearly had a better grasp of the large scale strategy of the war than any other commanding general.

  135. 135
    Keith G says:

    Deleting a double post – fywp

  136. 136
    Keith G says:


    But what’s dumb about it to me is that it turns the issue into “My stricken conscience is wounded by Obama’s use of unchecked executive power, someone please hold me lest I faint” instead of, you know, figuring out a way to check that power in the first place. Shame and guilt aren’t going to do it. Legislative changes have a shot. So, if you really care the way you say you do, dry your eyes and work on that.

    So the executive (who we have come to depend on as a source of dynamic change in our society) has no role in changing egregious behavior? The executive gets a pass?

  137. 137
    Keith G says:

    @Rob in DC: The issue is various, but with many it is about due process and transparency plus a healthy wariness for the way the next president is likely to reinforce and then expand the intrusions of the predecessor.

  138. 138
    General Stuck says:

    I think Freedie just doesn’t admit to himself that his main problem is simply not believing in the eternal fog of democracy, and therefore democracy itself.

    Imperfection of policy, that is usually obvious and the trade off for electing our leaders every so often, to give everyone some power. Even a minority that often dissents simply to define themselves different than the majority.

    It is frustrating, especially for the young that are full of idealism and afflicted with impatience. Democracy is always a never completed construction job, and you build it, usually, one piece at a time. The gift we get from our imperfect form of government with imperfect policies, is change delivered without tanks and artillery fire. Hopefully

  139. 139
    Paula says:

    Wow. Not just a tool, but a chickenshit tool.

    At least he’s picking on people his own size and not doing stupid shit like calling Juan Cole a neo-con.

  140. 140
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Keith G: Here’s how I see it. The executive has powers, and wants to expand those relative to the other branches. The debate over indefinite detention was really about how the legislature gave a power to the executive as a branch that this executive didn’t seek and has promised not to use. But the executive will ALWAYS stand up for its rights not to be bound by the other branches, regardless of who happens to occupy the offices within them.

    So if you don’t want the executive to have that power, you need to give it to some other entity, or legally ban it. Otherwise the executive will simply say, “OK, sure, we believe we have that power, but we totally won’t ever use it,” which is no improvement.

    Ergo, if you think the executive has too much power already, you can try to shame them out of using it, but I don’t think that’s going to work, and wouldn’t be much of a solution to the larger problem anyway. The only real solution is to take that power away.

    It’s the difference between having nuclear weapons that you pledge never to use and having disarmament.

  141. 141
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Keith G: Or, to be blunter about it, I expect the executive branch to move towards expanding its own power, irrespective of whether the presidency is held by a Democrat or a Republican. Executive power is all about efficiency and decisiveness and speed. Legislative power, by contrast, is all about deliberation and delay. Executives don’t want legislatures to tie their hands, just like cops don’t want lawyers to tie their hands. Stopping them from that expansive tendency isn’t done by appealing to the goodness of their hearts, it’s done by making laws and policy.

  142. 142
    Warren Terra says:

    Haven’t read the thread (yet, if I find myself with the time), but let me just say: geez, what a prick. He’s got the keys to do a post here if he’s got a problem with us; no need to go around insulting us behind our backs.

  143. 143
    Keith G says:

    @FlipYrWhig: When the election is over, I would like to revisit this issue and talk about some bad/very bad choices made by this executive, but now is not the time to talk about differences.

  144. 144
    Keith G says:

    @FlipYrWhig: That is a very practical and grounded view and I wonder how much the arc of the moral universe can bend towards justice if all we get from our best leaders are practical decisions.

  145. 145
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Keith G: I think that the whole concept of a government with checks and balances is based on each of the branches being interested in maintaining, if not expanding, its own power. If the legislative branch punts on its responsibilities, the executive won’t necessarily do the same. We need leaders in all branches who are willing and capable of doing their jobs. It may be Obotty of me, but I tend to think that if Congress gets around to sunsetting the AUMF, for example, some of the things about which people complain with decrease.

  146. 146
    Keith G says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    It may be Obotty of me,

    It might just be.

    My hope would be that no leader farm out his/her moral compass to the other branches.

  147. 147
    Freddie deBoer says:

    Well: you made the expected play, and you got the expected result. Does the content of these comments make you feel the way you wanted to?

  148. 148
    cinesimon says:

    @Freddie deBoer:
    Freddie, you really are a see-through, and very childish twerp.
    Obviously you don’t bother reading the blog(not surprising, given how overtly self-centered you are), and obviously YOU got the result you expected.

    And I’m sure you’re feeling wonderful. Twit.

  149. 149
    ShadeTail says:

    @Freddie deBoer:

    Trollin’ trollin’ trollin’
    Keep them doggies trollin’
    Man my head is swollen
    Yo hoy!

  150. 150
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Freddie deBoer: You know, it’s too bad that neither of us knows anyone with both access to the front page here and belief in a counter narrative, and motivation to compose and post such right where everyone would have to deal with it.
    Just think of what that might look like–a front pager on Balloon-Juice saying something with which others on the blog disagreed, and engaging those people in conversation.
    I wonder where we could find such a soul.

  151. 151
    ShadeTail says:

    Of course, such a person would have to be honest and willing to argue in good faith. That narrows down the options quite a bit.

  152. 152
    Tim I says:


    Amen to that!

  153. 153
    Jewish Steel says:

    @Soonergrunt: You jest, but I feel bad for Cole. He’s tried a couple of times to get some dissenting voices and come up snake eyes. I think it’s a great idea! And what an opportunity for a young writer with an interest in politics.

    I hope he has better luck with the ladies than he does with these callow ciphers, E. D. and now F de B.

  154. 154
    Alex S. says:

    The Bush years aligned the anarchist/youthfully idealist left with mainstream liberalism. Some people ended up being in the Obama coalition that do not exactly share his view of government. Did Greenwald endorse Obama in 2008? I don’t know, but these people do not share the focus on economic policy that mainstream liberalism does.

  155. 155
    SFAW says:

    @Jewish Steel:

    Didn’t E.D. eventually have some sort of epiphany? (In a good way, that is.) I thought I remembered something like that happening, but I’m losing braim cells daily, and so I am tending to forget stuff.

    Plus, I’m tending to forget stuff.

    Freddie, on the other hand, seems to be in perpetual drones-and-whine mode. I read something of his from a coupla months ago, and it was more of the “Balloon Juice commenters are mean to anyone who dares to question their Lord and Master Obama.”

    ETA: I forgot to mention: I’m starting to forget stuff.

  156. 156
    Jewish Steel says:

    @SFAW: IIRC (and I’m forgetting stuff too) ED was epiphanizing out of one side of his mouth to BJers while saying something wholly other to Forbes or LOOG or some such. It was a scandal! A blogscandal!

    And, I believe, m_c was 100% correct about him. That creeped everyone out.

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