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This week, many publications focused on the need to close the indefinite detention center at Guantanamo Bay and the ongoing hunger strikes there.

From The Nation:

“I don’t want these individuals to die,” Obama told reporters on April 30, adding that “the Pentagon is trying to manage the situation as best as they can.” He also recommitted to closing Guantánamo, calling on Congress to “step up and help.”

It’s true that lawmakers on both sides have fought hard to make transfers impossible. But Obama’s words ignored how his own policies set the stage for the crisis. “He has said the right thing before,” Guantánamo lawyer Pardiss Kebriaei of the Center for Constitutional Rights told The Nation. “It’s time now for action.” The CCR is calling on Obama to end his “self-imposed moratorium” on releasing Yemenis and resume prisoner transfers. It has also called for Obama to appoint a senior official to “shepherd the process of closure.”

As the hunger strike approaches its hundredth day on May 17, more than 100 of Guantánamo’s 166 prisoners are refusing food. The president must start living up to his rhetoric about closing the prison, the CCR warns, or “the men who are on hunger strike will die, and he will be ultimately responsible for their deaths.”

USA Today:
Some progress has been made. The detainee population is down to 166 from a peak of nearly 800.

Of the prisoners who remain, 46 are deemed too dangerous to let go but impossible to prosecute, even under the looser standards of military commissions, for lack of evidence or because evidence is compromised by torture. If released or repatriated, there's a high probability they'd resume jihad. What to do with this group — prisoners of war in a war without end — is a question with no satisfactory answer. They have to be held.

But both Obama and Congress could do more to winnow down the rest, including 86 prisoners cleared for transfer three years ago who remain incarcerated. If Obama is still serious about closing Guantanamo, there are obvious steps he can take, many without congressional assent.

More analysis below the fold.

L. Michael Hager at The Christian Science Monitor:

Guantánamo also comes at a high price to American taxpayers, costing them $177 million per year. That's an annual cost of more than $1 million per prisoner. Now the military is requesting another $200 million for prison renovation. [...] While Americans naturally want to minimize the risk of another 9/11, we need to ask ourselves whether the indefinite detention of prisoners, most of whom were rounded up in response to US bounty offers, will really enhance our national security – or impair it.

We should question whether our security needs, as assessed today, trump the traditional American values of justice and the rule of law. Only a lawless society would condone indefinite detention, forced-feeding, and solitary confinement.

As taxpayers, we should ask ourselves whether Guantánamo is worth the hundreds of millions of dollars it has already cost – and will cost if the prison is renovated, as the US military recommends.

Switching topics, Dan Glickman, former Secretary of Agriculture, Chair of the Board of the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), and board member of Oxfam America, says we need to do more for the nation's invisible poor:
We have a broad, inchoate sense that our economy isn't doing well, but we too rarely consider what this means for one-third of our people – jobs that are insecure and pay little, unaffordable housing, no benefits, parents skipping meals so children have enough to eat and lives barely held together by going into unsustainable debt, turning to charity and cobbling together government benefits. Budget battles get all the headlines, but the battles to escape poverty that millions of Americans fight every day are much less discussed. This is a very disturbing trend, for humanitarian, practical, fiscal, economic, and political reasons.

On to Republican obstruction, Timothy Egan at The New York Times looks at the "House of Un-representatives":

[J]ust look at how different this Republican House is from the country they are supposed to represent. It’s almost like a parallel government, sitting in for some fantasy nation created in talk-radio land.[...] On the economy, the Republican majority has been consciously trying to derail a fragile recovery. Their first big salvo was the debt ceiling debacle, which resulted in the lowering of the credit rating for the United States. With sequestration — which President Obama foolishly agreed to, thinking Congress would never go this far — the government has put a wheel-lock on a car that keeps trying to get some traction.

Meanwhile, not a day passes without some member of this ruling majority saying something outrageous. Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, for example, has endorsed the far-side-of-the-moon conspiracy theory that the government is buying up all the bullets to keep gun owners from stocking their home arms depots. As for Gohmert, earlier this year he nominated Allen West, a man who isn’t even a member of Congress (he lost in November) to be Speaker of the House. Harvey, the invisible rabbit, was not available.

Susan Milligan at US News:
The practice on the Hill to deny the president even the most non-controversial things – such as nominations for U.S. Marshalls – shows that there is more going on here than an effort to stop some wildly liberal agenda.

Republicans repeatedly use the word "fail" in their characterization of this president and this administration, hoping, perhaps, that is will become inexorably linked with the word "Obama" in history. This was petty, but somewhat understandable, when the GOP had a political goal in mind – the defeat of Obama for a second term. [...] Do Republicans in and out of Congress really hate Obama? Or do they just hate what he represents, a country that is undergoing dramatic demographic and social change? Vying to make Obama fail may succeed in tainting the legacy of the first mixed-race president. But it doesn't stop the changing face of America. Latinos, other minorities and women are becoming more powerful, both in numbers and in political representation. Gay marriage is becoming more acceptable. That may be world-shaking for social conservatives. But making Obama fail won't halt the trend.

Meanwhile, The Los Angeles Times editors demand real filibuster reform:
Senators need to return to their rules and amend them again. If they're unwilling to abolish the filibuster, they must fashion limits that allow Americans to be represented by their Senate, not thwarted by it.

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Comment Preferences

  •  We should celebrate today - (14+ / 0-)

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Fri May 03, 2013 at 04:45:09 AM PDT

  •  Took a while but looks like editorial boards have (12+ / 0-)

    finally gotten around to reading Mann and Ornstein.

  •  Americans have a right to be concerned (9+ / 0-)

    Americans have a right to be concerned with how our government collects data, imprisons deatinees in Gitmo with virtually no legal authority,  and uses unprecedented authority to shut down a major city. These are areas ripe for potential corruption or misuse in the future. Safety is obviously a top priority, but so is making sure citizens have their rights protected and not turning the country into a paranoid police state. How can there really be no mistakes on a "terrorist" watchlist of nearly one million names? How many innocent Americans or immigrants are on that list? Who gets sent to Gitmo off of this list?  -  progressive

    •  I am afraid fear has trumped common sense (10+ / 0-)

      since 9/11.  Look at the calls for attacks on Muslims following the Boston bombing and a cabbie had his jaw broken by a drunken passenger because of the bombing

    •  Speaking of collecting data (7+ / 0-)

      A Huffington Post Article reports that a group of Republican House members (the  author and 10 Republican co-sponsors) have introduced a bill to bar the Census Bureau from collecting any data other than the constitutionally required decennial count of the american population and even in that census barring the Bureau from asking anything other than the number of people in a household.

      Such a step that would end the government's ability to provide reliable estimates of the employment rate. Indeed, the government would not be able to produce any of the major economic indices that move markets every month, said multiple statistics experts, who were aghast at the proposal.

      "They simply wouldn't exist. We won't have an unemployment rate," said Ken Prewitt, the former director of the U.S. Census who is now a professor of public affairs at Columbia University.

      "I don't know how the market reacts if there is suddenly no unemployment rate at the start of the month," Prewitt said. "How does the market react if we don't have a GDP [gross domestic product]?"
      ...
      But the proposed Census Reform Act is explicit in its intent to end nearly every survey the Census conducts, mandating the "repeal" of the nation's agricultural census, economic census, government census and mid-decade census. It would also bar the bureau from carrying out the American Community Survey (ACS), which the House voted last year to end, although the Senate let that measure die.

      Rep. Duncan's answer to Prewitt's question?  Have businesses conduct their own voluntary surveys and publish their own results.

      And the reason for this bill?  According to Rep. Duncan, several of his constituents have objected to giving personal information to the government.  

      The U.S. Senate may not be very productive lately, but at least its members can stop idiocy like this when it gets out of the House.  I shudder to think what could happen if these lunatics ever control both houses of Congress.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Fri May 03, 2013 at 05:53:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Boy, you're not kidding (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cybersaur, SueDe

        The crazy shit we've been seeing in the state legislatures would be showing up in the House and passed onto Mitch McConnell, who will still be afraid of the Tea Party.
        Some of the crazier legislation passed in Kansas since 2010:
        Kansas just passed a bill  that tries to negate the supremacy clause in the Constitution (any guns manufactured in Kansas cannot be subject to federal laws),
        and the abortion bill Brownback just signed bans abortion workers from volunteering in schools, forbids the University of Kansas Medical School from teaching abortion procedures, and allows doctors to lie to women about the health of their fetus and avoid being sued for such lies.

        “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

        by skohayes on Fri May 03, 2013 at 06:17:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Duncan seems steeped in village idiocy. The list (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SueDe

        of such is fairly long. Not a few seem to be attempts to reenact South Carolina's attack on Fort Sumpter as in H.R.1047:

        Prohibits a federal agency from bringing a challenge against a state statute or constitutional provision which protects the right of employees to choose labor organization representatives through secret ballot elections.
        and this gem:
        H.AMDT.1128 to H.R.4310 An amendment numbered 47 printed in House Report 112-485 to limit funds authorized to be appropriated by this Act to any institution or organization established by the Convention on the Law of the Sea, including the International Seabed Authority, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, and the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf.
        Sponsor: Rep Duncan, Jeff [SC-3] (introduced 5/18/2012)      Cosponsors (None)
        Even Faux News published "Give the Law of the Sea Convention a fair hearing before deciding" and the author noted, among other things:
        Are claims that the U.S. will be able—as a non-party—to enjoy the Convention’s navigation and overflight rights as a matter of customary law theoretically and empirically sound?
        Too often the people these Red CD villages send are "local business" types with hardly a clue as to what they are meddling in. Kind of like sending in plumbers to do brain surgery. That is not to say some Democrats are dumb as slugs, but the sheer number of such in the TP/GOP ranks is both amazing and frightening in view of an increasingly  complex world we cannot control by economic or military might.

        The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

        by pelagicray on Fri May 03, 2013 at 06:57:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  We on the left have to take some responsibility (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pelagicray

      too. I too often hear the "safety first" meme. I was glad to see you qualify it. Obviously safety is a big concern, but far from the only concern, and I'm not even sure that it should be number one. If I made safety my number one concern everyday for everything I do, I wouldn't get half of my work done. Risks are part of life. We all have to do a much better job at risk assessment. If something is very low risk do we really need to get government involved? Should we override peoples' rights? We are making our government react too much to sensational events while they are ignoring global warming and a food supply full of health risks. The rightwing nuts are a lot of the problem, but there isn't much we can do about them. What we can do is work on our focus and make human rights and freedoms a top priority. I am deeply disappointed that Obama has just closed Gitmo now that he has been reelected  and to blame it on congress is insincere.  There are a lot of things he can't do with a stroke of a pen, but this is something he could do.

      "Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright" Curt Siodmak

      by Wisdumb on Fri May 03, 2013 at 06:27:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Please do explain. (0+ / 0-)

        You have an apparent typo, or typos, in your comment:

        I am deeply disappointed that Obama has just closed Gitmo now that he has been reelected  and to blame it on congress is insincere.  There are a lot of things he can't do with a stroke of a pen, but this is something he could do.
        - Gitmo is not closed. Congress is responsible for denying any federal funds for trials of Gitmo captives on U.S. soil. Congress is responsible for blocking the acquisition of a state prison in Illinois to hold Gitmo captives.

        So far, no other country has a) been agreeable to accept Gitmo captives; or b) been suitable because of history of torture.

        But if you have the secret and simple resolution to the humane, legal, financial, national and international issues with Gitmo captives and closing Gitmo, I'm sure the White House will want to know.

        “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children” ― Chief Seattle

        by SoCalSal on Fri May 03, 2013 at 09:51:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You are right sorry I was in a rush and didn't (0+ / 0-)

          review. Thanks

          As for ways around congress.  He was able to collect a billion dollars for his reelection campaign. I would be willing to donate money to see justice done for the detainees at Gitmo. I don't know but if the president was willing to do whatever was necessary to see justice done, I believe a way could be found. I'm probably naive.

          "Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright" Curt Siodmak

          by Wisdumb on Fri May 03, 2013 at 10:50:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Congress is the problem so are other countries. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SoCalSal

            President Obama issued the order just as he promised. The Congress doesn't want Gitmo closed.

            It is magical thinking to believe the biggest obstacle here (and with most issues) isn't the Congress or countries such as Yemen who cannot promise they can or will be able to take detainees back in a proper way.

            How can we really make a difference if we refuse to accept reality of a given issue. There is plenty of fault to be found with President Obama but this issue isn't one of them.

            It seems that there are people on the Left who also believe in an imperial presidency just as we see on the Right. The only difference is on what issue and that they will admit their belief.

            The politicians may be bought, and the system corrupt, but it is our duty to fix these things.

            by sebastianguy99 on Fri May 03, 2013 at 11:53:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Well, that's an interesting thought... (0+ / 0-)

            to solicit public donations for all the attendant costs of civil trials and for start-up and ongoing detention facilities in the USA. I don't know how many millions of dollars that would require, but expect that would be "a lot".

            I'm with you on wanting Gitmo closed, and I believe that Gitmo is a stain on American history. But I'm not aware of any federal program (outside of regulated election campaigns), significant or otherwise, that has been fully funded by public donations.

            POTUS is not a dictator, and things don't happen in this country solely out of the will of whoever happens to be POTUS.

            Moreover, your opinion and mine do not represent the opinion of the overall public. Sadly, we hold a distinctly minority opinion. Consider that 51% of the public favored closure of Gitmo in January 2009. By 2010, only 39% of the public favored closure of Gitmo. By February 2012 (the most recent poll on Gitmo), only 24% of the public disapproved of Gitmo.

            According to a Washington Post poll released on February 4, 2012, 70 percent of respondents either “strongly” or “somewhat” approved of the policy of keeping the prison facility open. Only 24 percent expressed disapproval. The Post revealed that 67 percent of self-described “moderate” or “conservative Democrats” approved of keeping the prison facility open, while 53 percent of self-identified “liberal Democrats” also supported keeping Guantanamo Bay operating.
            Link.

            “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children” ― Chief Seattle

            by SoCalSal on Fri May 03, 2013 at 12:04:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  If you can come up with the money and legal (0+ / 0-)

              cover to kill people on the other side of the world with drones than you ought to be able to bring justice to people you are detaining. What would Ghandi do?

              "Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright" Curt Siodmak

              by Wisdumb on Fri May 03, 2013 at 02:32:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  A petition to close Guantanamo (4+ / 0-)

      has received about 123,000 signatures in two days: President Obama: Close Detention Facility at Guantanamo Bay.  It was launched by a former prosecutor at Guantanamo, who says:

      I personally charged Osama Bin Laden’s driver Salim Hamdan, Australian anathema David Hicks, and Canadian teen Omar Khadr.  All three were convicted … and then they were released from Guantanamo.  More than 160 men who have never been charged with any offense, much less convicted of a war crime, remain at Guantanamo with no end in sight.  There is something fundamentally wrong with a system where not being charged with a war crime keeps you locked away indefinitely and a war crime conviction is your ticket home.

      The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

      by ybruti on Fri May 03, 2013 at 07:00:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  many without congressional assent. (4+ / 0-)

    But that is exactly what the GOP wants, him to do the right thing so they can swoop down on him for aiding terrorists and not protecting America.  The last thing they will do provide any "cover" by agreeing with Obama.

  •  With the drum beat from (12+ / 0-)

    Susal Milligan and the LA Times, one would think our Congress would come to attention, stop fooling around, and start working for the good of America.  However, the 1% and corporations and special interests have pushed the cotton far into their ears and sewn their eyes shut.  We are in a downward spiral that only ousting of these ranks will fix.  Elections must start trending the other way - with the crazies voted out and those willing to buck the wealthy and corporations elected.  Can it happen?  I certainly hope so, for hope is all that's left - along with action from those of us that truly care...

    being mindful and keepin' it real

    by Raggedy Ann on Fri May 03, 2013 at 04:54:03 AM PDT

    •  HAH! (5+ / 0-)
      one would think our Congress would come to attention, stop fooling around, and start working for the good of America.
      Short of being physically forced to, our politicians will continue to lie to you to get your donation and your vote and they will continue to sell your poor ass down their polluted river.

      it will not change via the "System" which actively protects shit and prevents correct decisions.

      It will have to be physically forced.

      Such as when those dildos enshrined the Sequester and cheered until they found they had to wait at the airport.

      Jesus CHRIST! Did they fix that fast, or what??

      Shows you what those fuckheads can do when they are PERSONALLY AFFECTED.

      They will not do a fucking thing for us unless their ass feels some sort of pain and they are such flaccid wimps, waiting at an airport is a pain to them.

      •  And I wonder. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tb mare, cal2010

        How far are they willing to let the desperation mount? It is a delicate balance they need to strike and is becoming more delicate with time. How do you keep the masses just comfortable enough where they won't turn their loosely-regulated guns on you? How much more can you dish before your own gates are torn down and you and your family are in for some road rash and neck stretching?

        All that anger and hatred you pour among the unwashed. Mightn't it blow up in your own faces?

        It's a ways off, yes. But it now can be seen on the horizon. Never in America. Never in America. until?

        Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

        by Gentle Giant on Fri May 03, 2013 at 05:54:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Let's not forget that the War Department is force- (10+ / 0-)

    feeding the people being "detained" at Guantanamo, and that it is a rotten ugly process that sure looks like a kind of torture to me:

    U.S. authorities at Guantanamo have responded, in part, by force-feeding the detainees. On Thursday, the Washington Post’s Peter Finn and Julie Tate, as part of a larger story on the hunger strike and its potential ramifications, report how the force-feeding works:

        Twice a day at the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, guards take a number of detainees from their cells, one at a time, to a camp clinic or a private room on their block.

        The detainees are offered a hot meal or a liquid nutritional supplement and, if they refuse, they are strapped into a chair. A nurse then passes a tube through their noses and down into their stomachs; for one to two hours, they are fed a drip of Ensure while a Navy corpsman watches.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

    Why is this somewhat reminiscent of an earlier practice?

    The Africans also frequently resorted to other acts of rebellion on the ships, including harming themselves, thus threatening the "cargo" of their captors. Many who had been taken from their homeland chose to take their own lives rather than to continue to suffer the unbearable conditions of the slave ship. Many jumped overboard when they had an opportunity. Others found ways to cut their throats. Some refused to eat and eventually starved to death. However, the slave captains, wanting to maintain as many of their slaves alive as possible, soon began employing methods to force feed the Afrikanes. On some ships coal or fire would be placed near the lips of those who refused to eat. There were also captains who reportedly poured melted lead on slaves who were on hunger strikes. Another method used to force feed the Africans was a device called the speculum oris.

    The speculum oris was a wooden instrument, which looked much like a pair of dividers, and was forced into the slave's mouth. Then a thumb screw would be turned, causing the legs of the speculum oris to open like a pair of pliers. Once the black man's jaws were forced open food would be crammed down his mouth, often causing intense gagging and vomiting.

    http://www.africanholocaust.net/...

    "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

    by jm214 on Fri May 03, 2013 at 05:04:01 AM PDT

  •  I am stunned there are still living prisoners at (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gentle Giant, cal2010

    GITMO.

    I'm stunned they weren't just whacked en masse by the Bish Admin.

    I truly am.

    In other areas, I think GITMO is a laboratory and proving ground for liquidating constitutional protections for Americans. "What other insults to the Bill of Rights can we create?"

  •  Gitmo inmates continue hunger strike (7+ / 0-)

    and 100 medics and nurses are airlifted in while some 20 are being force fed.  Some may remember the British experience with the IRA inmates where at least one starved to death while another had his jaw broken while being force fed.  Similar ugly examples coming to light at Gitmo should hasten its closure.

    While many of the inmates have never been charged, 100 are cleared for release except remain incarcerated due to administrative foul ups and nowhere to send them as they may not be safe to return to native homes while no other country will accept them

  •  Vying to make Obama fail may succeed in tainting.. (5+ / 0-)

    his legacy.  Bullshit! I refuse to believe that if the absolute, unquestioned most destructive president's image can be rehabed as recent polls seem to indicate, anyone's image can.

  •  They want to make Obama the next "Jimmy Carter" (8+ / 0-)
    Republicans repeatedly use the word "fail" in their characterization of this president and this administration, hoping, perhaps, that is will become inexorably linked with the word "Obama" in history.
    I put that in quotes because I mean the public perception of him versus the reality.

    Unfortunately, people like Harry Reid aren't helping the Prez, and all the White House hands who jumped ship after the election haven't really helped either.

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Fri May 03, 2013 at 05:14:54 AM PDT

  •  What it does is taint the Rethugs (10+ / 0-)
    Do Republicans in and out of Congress really hate Obama? Or do they just hate what he represents, a country that is undergoing dramatic demographic and social change? Vying to make Obama fail may succeed in tainting the legacy of the first mixed-race president.
    It is THEY who have failed.  The biggest collection of filth, pond scum, and ugliness ever to assemble in one room can be found in the House of Reps on Capitol Hill.

    President Obama is not perfect, and those of us who hoped he'd be a second FDR or even a Harry Truman or LBJ are disappointed.  But he'd be far more effective if he had a Congress who wasn't bent on obstructing his every move simply because of his skin color!

    The fact that there's a black man in the White House is what drives these pond scum to vituperative fury.  Perhaps they'll all choke on their own boiling bile.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Fri May 03, 2013 at 05:17:35 AM PDT

    •  FDR, Harry Truman, and LBJ weren't perfect either (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, skohayes

      President Obama, January 9, 2012: "Change is hard, but it is possible. I've Seen it. I've Lived it."

      by Drdemocrat on Fri May 03, 2013 at 05:28:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wasn't arguing that they were perfect (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        commonmass, Gentle Giant

        But they did get things done.  You know what FDR did--Social Security.  Harry Truman integrated the U.S. armed forces.  Lyndon Johnson--Medicare and the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

        "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

        by Diana in NoVa on Fri May 03, 2013 at 05:31:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Truman was known for being very polite and graciou (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cal2010, Gentle Giant

          speaking kindly and gently to people and being patient with them until the understood.

          Not.

          Truman kicked ass.

          it can be done.

          Pissing around like we see now is disgusting.

        •  President Obama (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wintergreen8694, skohayes

          signed health care reform, repealed don't ask don't tell, made huge investments in alternative energy, ended the war in Iraq and will be ending the war in Afghanistan, appointed 2 women to the Supreme Court, created the CFPB.

          It's always easier to see the accomplishments when looking back.

        •  FDR's Social Security (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MRobDC

          excluded most women and minorities, and it was 1950 before most working people were included as beneficiaries.
          Truman integrated the Armed Forces, and dropped two atomic bombs on Japan.
          There are good and bad with every president, people tend to forget the bad things.

          “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

          by skohayes on Fri May 03, 2013 at 06:26:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  It's not just about race. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gentle Giant

      The Rethugs were building to this with Bill Clinton and they will behave the same with the next Democratic (Hillary Clinton or whomever?) president. They want to dismantle the country for bargain shopping, sadistic thrills and rapture fantasies. This malignancy did not begin with Barack Obama's presidency nor will it end there.

      You show a little grit and you lands in jail.

      by cal2010 on Fri May 03, 2013 at 06:09:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The dualistic world of the evangelical (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cybersaur

        Sees no room in the middle for things to simply exist. Everything is seen in black and white, good vs. evil terms. The GOP's evangelical base believes they are right and good. Therefore anyone opposed to them is inherently wrong and evil. They don't have to think, they don't have to use reason. They just have to know that whatever the propose is good and whatever the other side proposes is bad. This is the party that the GOP has wrought by tying their fortunes to the religious right. And now the country is paying the price for it.

    •  I don't know that it's Racism that drives this, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cal2010, skohayes

      Diana, as much as desperation from seeing their power and their philosophy rot away. Oh, it's there all right. I just wonder if it's the driving factor.

      They are desperately trying to build momentum, to hold onto what power they have and build up more. But their base is dying off and many who never were true believers are seeing them for what they are and turning away.

      The polls show it and the last election was no where near what they were expecting. And American brown people keep having babies.
      Someday, the numbers will be so bad that even gerrymandering won't save them. They'd have to make a play for the dictatorship the looniest among them are accusing Obama of secretly planning for.

      The writing's on the wall and they can't unsee it.

      Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by Gentle Giant on Fri May 03, 2013 at 06:09:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The second sentence is also a large part of it. (0+ / 0-)

      They may hate Obama because he "does not look like them" and that still applies. I think, based on some recent overheard conversations, the fear that the country has changed is even deeper.

      Reelection, in some minds, was a confirmation someone not of "the club" of white maleness was not just a fluke. That "one term president" thing didn't work, much to their amazement and consternation. They are aware, now more than before, of the demographic changes that make them a threatened species politically. And that is not just the ethnic/racial aspect alone. Their "god given" ideas on race, rights and sexual orientation are passing. All that threatens a certain white male dominance viewpoint is gaining and they don't like it one bit. It is why a predominately white male political movement sees a need to "take back my country" even through "second amendment methods."

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Fri May 03, 2013 at 07:15:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The president only has so many options (5+ / 0-)

    of what he can do without Congress acting. The NDAA specifically prohibits the transfer of detainees to mainland facilities or military bases. As the one article above states, there are some people in detention that are too dangerous to release but impossible to actually try in a court or tribunal. The NDAA needs to be amended to allow for transfer to mainland facilities, at a minimum. We have federal supermax prisions for a reason. They work just fine.

  •  So what if one of them "returns to jihad" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PhilJD, xxdr zombiexx

    does anyting think they will get into the country again, that they won't be closely watched?

    that is not a reason to keep them

  •  Down to 166 from over 800 doesn't (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gentle Giant, skohayes

    sound like the action of a President who wants Gitmo open. Suggesting he take action without Congress is pretty stupid given that they think he's buying bullets so he can imprison all Christians without a fight.  Any thoughts on the propaganda if one prisoner Obama releases is engaged in a crime after release?  

    Maybe we could keep the heat on Congress and stop demanding the Executive Branch power grabs we hate unless we like them?  

    Maybe Harry Reid is damn smart to let the Republicans block everything but easy flights out of DC.  Until enough actual ordinary citizens get it the Democrats lose any and every perception war because of our sad no-media environment.  We know that, but we think magic will fix it when it's something we want to happen.  

    This is all unfolding in the best possible way.  We won big in 2012 when we were supposed to lose everything.  We won despite huge corporate spending, a lousy media, a struggling economy.  It would sure be nice if we could, just once, build on our successes and stop undermining them because they aren't perfect enough.

    I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

    by I love OCD on Fri May 03, 2013 at 05:46:14 AM PDT

  •  Remember Boss Hogg?........It seems he had his (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes

    ginormous head up his ass.....

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

  •  Very solid April jobs report (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes

    Not just the 165,000 added in April, but the +100,000 revision to February and March.

    I can always tell that the monthly jobs report will be good if Meteor Blades hasn't posted on it by the time I log on in the morning :)

    I repeatedly claimed that Obama would never propose cuts to social security. I was wrong. Then again, I also claimed, repeatedly, that Rick Perry would win the 2012 Election, and that The Supreme Court would overturn Health Care Reform.

    by NoFortunateSon on Fri May 03, 2013 at 06:04:30 AM PDT

  •  Solution (0+ / 0-)

    "It has also called for Obama to appoint a senior official to “shepherd the process of closure.”  

    Give the responsibility to a republican commission.  Put a republican in charge of winnowing out the most dangerous, free the rest.

    They will do one of two things nothing (preferred action) or drag their feet.  The consequences will be entirely theirs.

  •  "House of Un-Representatives" (0+ / 0-)
    But just look at how different this Republican House is from the country they are supposed to represent. It’s almost like a parallel government, sitting in for some fantasy nation created in talk-radio land.

    As a whole, Congress has never been more diverse, except the House majority. There are 41 black members of the House, but all of them are Democrats. There are 10 Asian-Americans, but all of them are Democrats. There are 34 Latinos, a record — and all but 7 are Democrats. There are 7 openly gay or lesbian members, all of them Democrats.

    Only 63 percent of the United States population is white. But in the House Republican majority, it’s 96 percent white. Women are 51 percent of the nation, but among the ruling members of the House, they make up just 8 percent. (It’s 30 percent on the Democratic side.)

    It’s a stretch, by any means, to call the current House an example of representative democracy.

    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/...

    “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

    by skohayes on Fri May 03, 2013 at 06:44:12 AM PDT

  •  Funny, I don't care about the money we spend (0+ / 0-)

    at Gitmo as much as a care about the damage we are doing to the minds and souls of our young soldiers that are being indoctrinated and forced to participate in human rights abuses. That, in the long run will cost our nation, and them, much more than money.

    That passed by; this can, too. - Deor

    by stevie avebury on Fri May 03, 2013 at 06:49:15 AM PDT

  •  Better Late Than Never (0+ / 0-)

    But better never late. Sigh.

  •  Facepalm moment of the day (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koNko
    Intolerant Atheists Viciously Attack Christian School
    Did we burn it down? Have a massive protest outside?
    Nooo...
    Oh, wait, no…what actually happened is that the Answers-in-Genesis inspired exam given at this one school came to light, and thousands of people expressed their dismay at the miseducation being delivered in the name of Jesus Christ. You’ve probably seen it. It’s so, so dumb.
     photo creationsciencequiz-500x333_zps709b44f2.jpg

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/...

    “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

    by skohayes on Fri May 03, 2013 at 07:03:13 AM PDT

  •  The Economist (0+ / 0-)
    Leader: It's Enough to Make You Gag

    The prison is a deeply un-American disgrace. It needs to be closed rapidly

    THE authorities at Guantánamo Bay say that prisoners have a choice. They can eat or, if they refuse to, they will have a greased tube stuffed up their noses, down their throats and into their stomachs, through which they will be fed. This can cause gagging and bleeding in a compliant patient, and is a lot nastier when done against his will. It takes up to two hours, during which time an unco-operative prisoner must be restrained to stop him pulling out the tube. Lawyers for the 23 or so men who are being subjected to this treatment report that it is deliberately being done roughly, with unsterilised tubes that are too large: those claims are denied. But even if they are false, the business clearly violates an individual’s rights; according to the president of the American Medical Association, it also breaches the “core ethical values of the medical profession”.

    Roughly 100 of the 166 detainees still in Guantánamo are now on hunger strike, and extra doctors were brought in this week to help with what the administration refuses to call force-feeding (see article). No matter what they have done, this is wrong. This newspaper has condemned Guantánamo as unjust, unwise and un-American for a decade. The spectre of prisoners denied either a fair trial or the possibility of release is Orwellian. Nothing has done more to sully America’s image in the modern world. They should be tried or set free, just as terrorist suspects are in every other civilised country.

    ...

    The oubliette: The Guantánamo hunger-strike

    A desperate protest by prisoners at Guantánamo has shamed Barack Obama

    “YOU have to hand it to some of these IRA boys,” Margaret Thatcher once remarked of the republican hunger-strikers who embarrassed her in 1981. “What a terrible waste of human life!” she said of the ten who died. Since some of the hunger-strikers at Guantánamo Bay are being force-fed through nasal tubes, Barack Obama may be spared Mrs Thatcher’s grief. But he has been shamed by their desperate gambit all the same. The protest is a reminder of one of his most glaring failures in office.

    Officials count 100 hunger-strikers; lawyers for the detainees say there are 130; on any reckoning, a majority of the 166 remaining inmates are starving themselves. Through their lawyers, detainees complain of a rougher regime since the army took over guard duties from the navy last autumn. In particular they allege that their Korans were mistreated during an inspection in February, when the hunger-strike began (prison authorities vigorously deny that). A cell-block raid by guards on April 13th (provoked by the covering up of security cameras), during which some prisoners were shot with rubber pellets, hardened rather than broke the strikers.

    But the underlying cause is simpler, and more personal. “The reason they’re willing to die”, says Carlos Warner, a federal defender who represents 11 of the detainees, “is President Obama.”

    Mr Obama said this week that Guantánamo “hurts us in terms of our international standing.” That echoed the view he espoused when, on his second day in office in January 2009, he ordered the prison to be closed within a year. Its existence since 2002, he said, had “likely created more terrorists around the world than it ever detained”—an opinion eventually shared by assorted veterans of George W. Bush’s administration. And yet the only Guantánamo-related closure so far has been the shutting, in January this year, of the diplomatic office charged with resettling the inmates.

    ...

    {Not a sigline. You are hallucinating.}

    by koNko on Fri May 03, 2013 at 08:07:44 AM PDT

  •  Why is It open again (0+ / 0-)

    President Obama.closed it in January of 2009.  What dumb republican had it reopened.  Amazing that they can get away with this nonsense

  •  Good. (0+ / 0-)

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Fri May 03, 2013 at 11:41:19 AM PDT

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