Can America still keep a promise?

From recent history, I’d say probably not. Tyler Cabot at Esquire:

Noor, as he prefers to be called, is not unique among the 166 men who remain at Guantánamo. He’s an illiterate peasant from Sudan who worked as a quartermaster and small arms trainer at a low-level, jihadist training camp in Afghanistan in the years before 9/11. He never plotted any terror attacks, never killed or hurt a single American. He was a minor figure, powerless. Or in the words of someone close to the team that prosecuted him, “one of life’s losers.” Many of the men at Guantánamo are like Noor: small men who somehow became the enemy of the most powerful nation of all time.

And yet Noor was also very different in 2011. Because his case was actually advancing through the tribunal system, he was seen by many as one of the lucky ones at Guantánamo. Unlike the dozens of others who remained uncharged, or had been cleared for repatriation to their home countries yet frozen in place by Congress, Noor was getting his day in court before a military judge and jury. And if convicted, he would serve his time and be able to go home to Sudan.

He was also different because my father was his lawyer. For years I’d watched from afar as my father, Howard Cabot, balanced his responsibilities as a corporate defense litigator with his constant trips to Guantánamo to represent Noor. I’d heard about the military transport planes he often flew, the jungle rats, the humidity so stifling that one lived in a constant stream of sweat. But also of the challenges of representing an accused terrorist so different from him, and my father’s fundamental belief in the need to do so, because every person of every belief deserved justice; that was the foundation of America’s legal system. And now I was with my dad on this vanished island outpost, observing from the press box at the back of the fortified courtroom.
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I do give up:

Marijuana – scientific name “cannabis” – performed like a champ in the first-ever placebo-controlled trial of the drug to treat Crohn’s Disease, also known as inflammatory bowel disease.

The disease of the digestive tract afflicts 400,000 – 600,000 people in North America alone causing abdominal pain, diarrhea (which can be bloody), severe vomiting, weight loss, as well as secondary skin rashes, arthritis, inflammation of the eye, tiredness, and lack of concentration.

Smoking pot caused a “complete remission” of Crohn’s disease compared to placebo in half the patients who lit up for eight weeks, according to clinical trial data to be published the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Researchers at Israel’s Meir Medical Center took 21 people with intractable, severe Crohn’s disease and gave 11 of them two joints a day for eight weeks. “The standardized cannabis cigarettes” contained 23 percent THC and 0.5 percent CBD (cannabidiol). (Such marijuana is available on dispensary shelves in San Francisco, Oakland, and other cities that have regulated access to the drug.) The other ten subjects smoked placebo cigarettes containing no active cannabinoids.

Investigators reported that smoking weed caused a “complete remission” of Crohn’s Disease in five of the 11 subjects. Another five of the eleven test subjects saw their Crohn’s Disease symptoms cut in half. Furthermore, “subjects receiving cannabis reported improved appetite and sleep, with no significant side effects.”


Another nuclear reactor on an active fault?

A panel under the Nuclear Regulation Authority on Wednesday concluded that a geologic fault running beneath a reactor in western Japan is active, raising the possibility of the unit’s permanent shutdown.

The move is expected to lead NRA commissioners to decide that the No. 2 unit of Japan Atomic Power Co.’s Tsuruga plant does not meet the conditions for undergoing a safety assessment that the country’s reactors need to clear in order to resume operations in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi complex disaster.

[…] The panel, consisting of NRA commissioner Kunihiko Shimazaki and four academics from outside, had agreed at its first gathering in December after a field survey that the No. 2 reactor is likely to be sitting above an active fault.

But it spent five more months on further discussions amid criticism from Japan Atomic Power and some ruling Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers that the panel had not sufficiently listened to the arguments of the plant operator.

Thanks to Price Benowitz LLP, Maryland Wrongful Death.

Your librul media

Remember just the other day, when I said how I despise the corporate media? Here they are, in all their Mean Girl finest! Ed Kilgore at the Washington Monthly:

Well, it doesn’t get much more official than this: an VandeHei/Allen “Behind the Curtain” column announcing that D.C. (“the town”) is “turning on” Barack Obama, and there will be nothing but venom coming from any direction for the foreseeable future:

Republicans have waited five years for the moment to put the screws to Obama — and they have one-third of all congressional committees on the case now. Establishment Democrats, never big fans of this president to begin with, are starting to speak out. And reporters are tripping over themselves to condemn lies, bullying and shadiness in the Obama administration.

Buy-in from all three D.C. stakeholders is an essential ingredient for a good old-fashioned Washington pile-on — so get ready for bad stories and public scolding to pile up.

Too bad, voters, and all those who have an interest in their federal government doing something constructive; Obama has to have his spanking from “D.C. stakeholders,” so enjoy it or look the other way.

What amazes me the most about this column is the forthright announcement that the MSM are going to make explicit common cause with the GOP:

Obama’s aloof mien and holier-than-thou rhetoric have left him with little reservoir of good will, even among Democrats. And the press, after years of being accused of being soft on Obama while being berated by West Wing aides on matters big and small, now has every incentive to be as ruthless as can be.

Kilgore is amazed? I’m not. The media is nothing more than junior-high lunchroom cliques!

This open partisanship is excused by the fact that in “this town” (among the “Establishment Democrats” who are a “D.C. Stakeholder”) Democrats aren’t bothering to defend Obama. Which Democrats are we talking about here? Here you go:

The dam of solid Democratic solidarity has collapsed, starting with New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd’s weekend scolding of the White House over Benghazi, then gushing with the news the Justice Department had sucked up an absurdly broad swath of Associated Press phone records.

Yes, MoDo is your representative Democrat. When you’ve lost her, you’ve clearly lost the Blue States altogether. And if that’s not enough, we have the Anonymous Insider Democrat:

One Democrat who likes Obama and has been around town for many years said elected officials in his own party are no different than Republicans: They think the president is distant and unapproachable.

“He has never taken the Democratic chairs up to Camp David to have a drink or to have a discussion,” the longtime Washingtonian said. “You gotta stroke people and talk to them. It’s like courting: You have to send flowers and candy and have surprises. It’s a constant process. Now they’re saying, ‘He never talked to me in the good times.’”

Yep, this is what it’s all about: the fucking egos of the Beltway press corps. It’s not about paralyzing government, or shortchanging the voters, or destroying the environment. Uh uh. It’s about whether Obama gave them their fucking strokes.

Thanks, Colleen Kirby!

Tom Terrific

I am so shocked that the governor, a former prosecutor, would make an illegal contract without an open process:

HARRISBURG, May 13 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, today released documents relating to a purported no-cost contract awarded by Gov. Tom Corbett to NICUSA Inc., that show the administration had previously agreed to pay the company millions of dollars just days after the contract was awarded.

Pennsylvania Interactive LLC., a subsidiary of NICUSA, received a sole-source contract – valid as of Dec. 1, 2012 – for the renovation and management of Pennsylvania’s state websites. The Corbett administration has attempted to justify the no-bid contract by claiming it would have no cost to the state.

A spokesperson for the administration repeated the no-cost claim to the media as recently as a month ago. Yet, a public document authorized and signed on Dec. 20, 2012 by then Deputy Secretary of Transportation Mark Compton, who is now the chief executive officer for the Turnpike Commission, and obtained by Matzie through a Right-to-Know request, shows that just 21 days after the start of the contract, the administration authorized the payment of millions of dollars in state funds to NICUSA.

The document, a PennDOT work order for the contract, states that Pennsylvania must pay NICUSA $2 for every driver’s record requested from the PennDOT website by a data broker or insurance company. NICUSA has requested payment of more than $2.5 million for this service for the first three months of the year, despite the fact that PennDOT has not yet transitioned its website to NICUSA.

“At some point in the future, NICUSA will host the state’s website and its computers and software will do these transactions,” Matzie said. “But today Pennsylvania taxpayers are being double-billed millions of dollars for a service that has not yet been provided by the vendor. Where is the accountability to the taxpayers?

“The three work orders approved by the Corbett administration prove they knew the agreement with NICUSA would cost the state millions,” Matzie said. “But the timeline of the work orders contradicts the administration’s excuse that an urgent need to replace the two-year-old website design is the reason for the use of taxpayer funds.”

Matzie discovered that the opposite is true; the multi-million-dollar work order was approved on Dec. 21, 2012, a month before the so-called “no-cost” state website overhaul order was approved on Jan. 17, 2013.

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