Probably one of the singularly most uninteresting thing in the world is watching others play video games
There is quiet in the house. Surfpup is in the shower, Surfdude is in his room straightening his hair?????, Surfgrrrl is asleep and Grandma is, well, somewhere. There is a period of quiet that descends on the house in the minutes leading up to departure for work and school. Everyone is off in their corners of the house doing their thing and the center of the house is really quiet. In a few minutes there will be the pandemonium of departure followed by quiet.
Remember, Republicans think bipartisanship is date rape.
What Atrios said:
I know have mentioned how much I like Pat Lang's site. His insights into the thought processes of the players in the Middle East are invaluable. The quality of the comments is high. This post on atrocities in the Gaza war is typical. Read the comments.
I have never said how much I admire bloggers who can post multiple times a day. I fully intended to begin blogging every day, but life always seems to intervene. So, hats off to the uber bloggers of the world.
So, Obama picked Panetta to be DCIA. I have always liked Leon back to the days when he was my Congressman. He apparently is resolutely anti-torture and domestic spying which is great in my book. DiFi is pissed because she was not notified in advance. I suspect that her dislike of the appointment is more due to her wanting someone who has been personally compromised in this regard as she has been. Leon is an able administrator and certainly has a history of performing well under pressure as he did as Clinton's Chief of Staff during the Whitewater days.
Good on you Barack.
Update: As usual, go read Digby.
Juan Cole has a piece about the Gaza conflict that really illuminates the history of the conflict. If you are interested in the roots of the conflict then go read the whole thing.
Pat Lang always has interesting insight:
The thought that we Americans are bankrolling these ancient tribal feuds is increasingly appalling to me.
With the latest Israeli movement against Gaza,in full swing, the question to be asked is where does this lead. Politics and international relations generally seem to resemble a game of chess. You move your pieces with both an immediate and a long term strategy. For the Israeli's the short term move seems to be to end the barrage of rockets that Hamas has rained down on Southern Israel. That is the official purpose. But embarking on a bombardment of the Gaza would seem to be more geared towards short-term electoral factors than long-term geo-political goals.The Israelis recently refused to extend the truce that has existed with Gaza for the last six months. During that truce a nervous peace existed. The Israeli's have Gaza sealed off by land and by sea. Although there is some smuggling through Egypt, Gaza effectively remains a ghetto controlled by Israel but governed by Hamas. So, with the truce ended the Israeli's close the border, Hamas fires rockets into Israel and the IDF flies in and blows the shit out of anything of value it can find. Israeli public opinion supports the government and feels a whole lot better about itself after having its ass handed to it in the 06 Lebanon fiasco.
But what about the long-term goals? In the 1967 seven Israel proved that it could kick ass on the entire region on its own. Since that time it has repeatedly proven that it is a regional power. With that power came recognition, first with Camp David and peace with Egypt. Then under Rabin, they achieved peace with Jordan and Turkey and international approval. But despite the negotiations and rhetoric, they continued to colonize the West Bank and have essentially refused to negotiate a Palestinian State. For the last eight years with the acquiescence of the US, Israel has continued apace with its policy of re-populating the West Bank with Jewish settlers. One has only to look at the Wall that Israel has built to see what their intentions are. During this time the IDF has grown more and more adept at controlling the populations in the West Bank and Gaza. They have now become the neighborhood bully who torments the weak. The 06 war in Lebanon showed that the IDF's scope has become limited and is effectively constrained in the North by a Lebanese population that has adopted the tactics of asymmetrical warfare. Now Israel has on the Palestinians to bully around. The Israeli ability to navigate on the chessboard has become effectively constrained by the positioning of their oppositions pieces that has arisen in response to their aggressive tactics.
In addition the the strategic problem in this game there is the demographic dimension. The Palestinians will in the near future, outnumber the Jews in Israel proper. The Jewish state has shown itself to be unable to come to terms with this inevitability. How long can Israel remain a Jewish state when the majority of its population is Palestinian.
The failure of the Israeli's to take long term advantage of it's military superiority after the 1967 War, and its diplomatic initiative under Camp David and Helsinki have resulted in a significant reduction in the strategic options that are now available. In other words, the world is changing but the Israeli political establishment is not. They are becoming the new South Africa. The violence that they have recently unleashed on the Gaza Strip does more to illustrate the constraints upon rather than the potency of the Israeli State