Archive for Gitmo

A Bucket of Ice Water

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Nicole Sandler

When Homer Simpson joins in, you know you've gone viral.

Although the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has raised awareness about the disease and a lot of money, there's so much we still don't know about it - thus the need for a campaign like this one.

Homer challenged Donald Trump who actually dumped water on that thing on his head, proving that his hair really looks like that! I hope that dump also included a hefty donation!

My favorite is still this 2-year old

I'm pretty confident in guessing that most people didn't know what ALS was before this month of ice water dumping. Sadly, I knew. I knew about ALS because someone I knew and admired fought the disease and, eventually, succumbed to it.

I first met Eric Lowen in the early 1990's. He was the "Lowen" half of the duo Lowen & Navarro who wrote amazing songs and sang beautiful harmonies together. Eric was diagnosed with ALS in 2004, and lost his battle in March of 2012. 

For the past few months, I've been running interviews and performances from my music radio days on Friday mornings as a bridge to the weekend. Today, as ALS is in the news and Eric Lowen is on my mind, I reached out to my dear friend Dan Navarro and invited him to join me to talk about all of it, and share in listening to one of our in-studio sessions from December of 1999 too.

Dan Navarro has continued as a solo artist, and has worked to educate others about ALS with the goal of someday helping to eradicate this awful disease. He's also fully immersed himself (figuratively and literally) in the ALS ice bucket challenge. You can see some of his work on his Facebook page. 

It was a busy first hour of the show too. Jim Dean joined me to talk about the great work Democracy for America is doing. They've recently endorse Shenna Bellows in her race for the US Senate against Susan Collins of Maine, Mary Burke for Governor of Wisconsin (vs the evil Scott Walker), and more.

And Jason Leopold, who couldn't get to Guantanamo Bay this week through no fault of his own (damned weather gods) but has landed firmly and deservedly at Vice News, joined me to talk about his reporting on Gitmo, national security issues and the fact that his persistence in filing FOIA requests has put him squarely inside the story about Sen. Dianne Feinstein trying to delay the release of the CIA torture report. 

And with that, it's the end of the week, the month and, sadly, the summer. I'll be taking Monday off for Labor Day, but will return Tuesday to kick off the fall with GottaLaff... cuz we gotta laugh, or else we cry... and whatever else the weekend brings. Talk to you then, Radio or Not.

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"Fiscal conservatives": Shutting Down Gitmo Would Save a 1%er's Fortune

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It's costing the American people about a billion per Guantanamo detainee.

Let that sink in.

President Obama was elected in part on his promise to shut that human rights travesty down, and as we finally look toward evacuating Afghanistan of most American troops, it is past time to close the Gitmo 'detaining' facilities adjacent to Cuba and move forward with justice.

Of course Fvx Nation disagrees. They are unaccountably fond of Gitmo, practice NIMBY religiously and of course oppose anything Obama might even consider.

penguingitmo

Up with Steve Kornacki, MSNBC's weekend early a.m. program, had a terrific panel this morning to hash out the predictably Coiffure On Fire reaction of the Tea-driven GOP to any discussion of Gitmo, non-military courts and sanity.

It included David Corn of Mother Jones and the admirable military vet slash ex-Representative slash cable reporter-pundit and host of his own Sunday show, Taking the Hill, Patrick Murphy. ['Cycle' co-host Krystal Ball is subbing for Steve, so don't think he decided to go on set in drag to celebrate Summer Solstice.]

 

For contrast, Fvx Noise ran endless loops of how dangerous the released, unreleased, hypothetically detained and utterly mythical 'prisoners' are our new greatest threat in the fictional War on Terror. Here 'ya go, Fox:

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Republican Cry Babies Wanted Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl Left Behind

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cry baby

America prides itself on many things, but at the vanguard is its pledge to the military, "No soldier left behind."

Presidents are called upon to make tough decisions -- life or death in many cases. And when it comes to public safety, military engagements and leadership, we give those reins to our elected chief executive. We even give the President something called 'executive powers' which allow him or (someday) her to make split second decisions on our national best interests. It could be war, it could be a national disaster or it could be something else. Sometimes there just isn't time to sit back and cogitate.

Friday was one of those rare, but important moments. Our one remaining prisoner of war in Afghanistan, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, 28, of Hailey, Idaho, was handed over to U.S. special operations forces by the Taliban. This didn't come without a concession on our side. We had to release five prisoners we were holding in Guantanamo Bay Prison.

Time was of importance according to the White House. The window to take advantage of this opportunity was closing fast. Our commander-in-chief, duly elected to make these decisions, decisively acted. And today Sgt. Bergdahl is a free man.

So why are the Republicans so angry with our president? According to them, he broke the law to free this prisoner. And you know what, they're partially right. U.S. law requires the president to notify Congress 30 days before any terrorists are transferred from the U.S. facility. But what if the window of opportunity didn't allow for 30 days to make this move? Should we have just left one of our own brave soldiers behind to face torture or death? A few Republicans are saying so.

What was the real cost here? Millions of dollars for one. And that cost was to the American taxpayer, but no more. According to Reuters:

(Reuters) - Democratic lawmakers pushing to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay said on Wednesday that its cost has skyrocketed to $2.7 million per inmate this year and argued it is too expensive to keep open while the country is fighting budget deficits.

So we let five prisoners go. None of them were posing a threat to us. And probably none will pose a threat to us in the future.  We saved $13.5 million dollars, found a country to take these prisoners off of our hands (Qatar) and we're that much closer to closing down Gitmo at 454 million taxpayer dollars a year and rising.

How dare Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon of California and Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, who should know better, publicly shun the return of one of our soldiers? McKeon is chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. Inhofe is the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

These two buffoons, masquerading as our representatives, have the gall to criticize this presidential action. It would be cowardly not to have taken advantage of the opportunity to peacefully and safely manipulate the return of a captured hero.

When will the Republicans learn and accept that their candidate lost the election and Obama won? And with that comes the responsibilities of executive decision making. Yes, there is a law that says there should be a 30 day period before this action takes place. But there's also a law that grants presidents executive orders. And Obama did what the weak-kneed GOP can't stand. Obama saw an opportunity to do what's right and he seized it.

Now all the whining Republicans have for bluster is a technicality. Certainly that's not going to go too far. Just ask America whether they want a freed American prisoner brought home, or an opportunity lost because the Republican cry babies didn't get a chance to weigh in.

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Video- Fox's Michelle Malkin: Gitmo Hunger Strikers Are "Jihad Theater"

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If I had her and Liz Cheney is a small room... Via.

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