Sunday Open Thread

March Madness brackets come out tonight. I won't lie, my interest has dropped precipitously since the Gators won't be in it. But, never fear, I'll pick myself up and give you some first rate coverage the next few weeks.

In the meantime, this is an Open Thread.

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    Administration open to taxing health benefits (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 07:03:51 AM EST

    WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is signaling to Congress that the president could support taxing some employee health benefits, as several influential lawmakers and many economists favor, to help pay for overhauling the health care system.

    The proposal is politically problematic for President Obama, however, since it is similar to one he denounced in the presidential campaign as "the largest middle-class tax increase in history." Most Americans with insurance get it from their employers, and taxing workers for the benefit is opposed by union leaders and some businesses.

    In television advertisements last fall, Mr. Obama criticized his Republican rival for the presidency, Senator John McCain of Arizona, for proposing to tax all employer-provided health benefits. The benefits have long been tax-free, regardless of how generous they are or how much an employee earns. The advertisements did not point out that Mr. McCain, in exchange, wanted to give all families a tax credit to subsidize the purchase of coverage.

    Would be interesting (none / 0) (#15)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 08:57:11 AM EST
    Especially as he nailed McCain for this very thing.  Would love to see the spin put on that if he accomplishes it.

    Well root for the ladies then! (none / 0) (#1)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 03:51:24 PM EST
    My niece's team, the Montana Grizzlies, earned their automatic bid to the tourney last night... Of course, ESPN is predicting that they'll be an 11th seed, so they need all the support they can get!

    Misty's out with shoulder surgery, but rah-rah to the rest of the team!

    Go Griz!

    Forgot to say (none / 0) (#2)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 04:26:03 PM EST
    Florida might get an at-large bid as well. So the Lady Gators are likely in it at possibly 7th seed.



    Torture (none / 0) (#3)
    by lentinel on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 06:19:40 PM EST
    There is a hair-raising article in today's Times.
    People who suffered torture at the hands of our fellow countrymen told their stories to the Red Cross in detail. They weren't supposed to be made public, but the Times published them.

    No attention has been paid to this article by the netroots.


    What Do You Expect? (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by squeaky on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:21:38 PM EST
    It is not as if this is news, just more corroboration. What is news is that Cheney is telling Americans that they are less safe because Obama has done away with torture.

    That is sick.


    Yawn? (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by lentinel on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:53:08 PM EST
    I would expect this story to get wide attention.
    It is a first hand account of reality.
    I don't understand why you are unmoved by the documentation in this article.

    As for your conviction that Obama has done away with torture, what documentation do you provide?

    What do you think is and will be going on at Gitmo during the year that it will take Obama's administration to close it. Some accounts, published in the Times say that the brutality actually has increased. You know otherwise?

    I suggest you revisit these posts:

    Obama Sides With Bush on Bagram Detainees

    No Change From Obama on Indefinite Detention  


    As it;'s by Mark Danner (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Cream City on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 11:03:39 PM EST
    and with the longer version, which I just read, in the NYT Review of Books -- it will get attention.

    The level of detail is new, and it's horrifying.


    Huh? (none / 0) (#6)
    by squeaky on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 08:00:28 PM EST
    I have been following the horrible abuse and torture at the hand of our government for several years now. Nothing here is new to me save for another reliable corroboration.

    This is not a pissing contest.


    You Asked A Question (none / 0) (#7)
    by squeaky on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 08:18:43 PM EST
    And I have no problem with your not liking my answer, or not agreeing with my answer.

    As for your claim that Obama is a torturer just like CHeney and Bush, and that he is secretly advocating ramping up the torture on gitmo prisoners before it closes, that is crazy talk, imo. In order to level those serious charges I need more. And yes I am familiar with your links, and more, as I am and have been avidly following the subject.

    If it turns out that anyone in Obama's administration, including Obama, is advocating the torture of prisoners anywhere in the world I will also call for war crimes trials for them as well as BushCo.


    What I said (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by lentinel on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 09:25:31 PM EST
    was that I am unconvinced that the practice of torture has been discontinued by the military and the CIA at the present time.
    We know that detention without charge, which is in my view torture in and of itself, continues under the Obama administration.
    Reports in the NY Times cite the current increase of brutality by personnel at Gitmo seizing their opportunities during the year before closure.

    In your opinion are prisoners no longer being held in profound isolation - solitary confinement - without charge?

    In your opinion is there no longer an ongoing hunger strike by prisoners? Are they not being painfully force-fed? Are their grievances being addressed?

    From February 23, 2009:
    "Moreover, the very latest report from Guantánamo suggests not only that the ERF teams are dealing heavy-handedly with the hunger strikers, but also that they are regularly involved in random assaults, as numerous prisoners have stated over the years, which have led to fractures and broken limbs, and, in two cases, to the loss of an eye, and damage to an Egyptian prisoner's back that was so severe that he will spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair."

    In a report on the medical examinations of Binyam Mohamed that were undertaken last week by British doctors who were allowed to visit him to ascertain if he was well enough to be flown back to the UK, the Observer stated that Mohamed "will return to Britain suffering from a huge range of injuries after being beaten by US guards right up to the point of his departure from Guantánamo." During the medical examinations, he "was found to be suffering from bruising, organ damage, stomach complaints, malnutrition, sores to feet and hands, severe damage to ligaments as well as profound emotional and psychological problems which have been exacerbated by the refusal of Guantánamo's guards to give him counseling."

    Binyam's civilian lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith, said that his client has been beaten dozens of times "for no reason," with "the most recent abuse occurring during recent weeks," and Lt. Col. Bradley added, "He has been severely beaten. Sometimes I don't like to think about it because my country is behind all this."

    Obama's "Humane" Guantánamo Is A Bitter Joke


    Looks Like Your Question (1.00 / 1) (#10)
    by squeaky on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 09:58:07 PM EST
    Was a fraud. No one is biting, sorry that I took you seriously.

    If you are interested in my opinion, rather than playing pissing games about Obama being just like Bush, a sad extension of your grieving for Hillary who is exactly like Obama, then you can read through some of my ten thousand plus comments here at TL.

    Otherwise f'off.


    Obama and Jimmy Carter (none / 0) (#8)
    by mikeel on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 08:42:47 PM EST
    Anyone else think Obama is like Jimmy Carter?  There's a post about 1976 at Kos--what a coincidence.

    Lots of similarieties--ambitious reformers, who really wanted to change Washington, insistence on transparency that hampered effectiveness, both had unpopular energy proposals, and both had difficulties with Congress with large Democratic majorities.

    Is the comparison apt?

    Ummm (none / 0) (#11)
    by CoralGables on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 10:35:54 PM EST
    both had difficulties with Congress with large Democratic majorities

    Exactly what vote in Congress have the Democrats failed to pass at the urging of the president over the last 2 months?