Number of hunger strikers at Guantánamo Bay reaches 63, or over one-third of detainees there; the military is force-feeding 15 of these and hospitalizing four others. Think maybe it might be easier to, you know, charge them with something? Or admit you f'd up and send them back to whatever remains of their lives? Not our government; it still has too many bold thinkers in it, which (especially in this case!) includes the ones who think we have to move slowly because Bush f'd so much up.
A sober reminder: three days after the Boston Marathon bombings, a suicide bomber killed 27 people in a Baghdad café. And on the day of the Boston bombings, over 30 folks died (with 200 more injured) in co-ordinated car bombings across Iraq. "Although violence has decreased in Iraq since the peak of the insurgency in 2006 and 2007," the BBC reports, "bombings are still common." This is one of those rare times you rue that British talent for understatement.
Meanwhile, closer to home, a fertilizer factory blew up in Texas on Wednesday, wounding over a hundred folks and killing over a dozen, and Democracy Now! asks if OSHA could have prevented it. Short answer: not likely, even though Mr. Bush's EPA -- Mr. Bush's EPA! -- had fined West Fertilizers in 2006 for inadequate risk management. Then we learned that West Fertilizers did not disclose to DHS, as law mandates, that they were carrying over 270 tons of ammonium nitrate on site. The reporting threshold is 400 pounds. Good thing Fox News is all over the "job terrorists" in our government.
U.S. Treasury Undersecretary for Domestic Finance says that taxpayers will never bail out a financial firm again, regardless of its size. But we also know that the FDIC thinks forcing savings account holders to convert their savings into bank shares is a wonderful response to any crises banksters will face/blunder into/create in the future, so Ms. Miller's vow isn't as comforting as it could be.
Good news from Georgia: the Georgia House of Representatives rejected a bill aiming to block cities from building their own muni-wireless networks -- meaning that cities will be able to build their own (really, their residents' own) wireless networks that could compete with whatever wireless networks the big telecoms might build. Now that Mr. Obama's not going away, bipartisan issues like media access can go back to being bipartisan, maybe? The Georgia vote is a good sign.
Arkansas State Rep. Nate Bell asks "how many Boston liberals spent the night cowering in their homes wishing they had an AR-15 with a hi-capacity magazine?" Ever heard of Nate Bell? Me neither. Now let's never speak of him again. I'm going to guess that a few Boston residents, liberal or not, spent at least a little time wishing they had the biggest gun they could imagine, but that the vast majority of them remembered that indulging in video-game fantasies isn't the same as protecting yourself from harm. And I'm still no great supporter of gun control -- if we really want to protect ourselves from harm, we need to tax the rich as hard as we used to, and use the revenue to do great works again. Then we can properly shame anyone who wants to grow up to be a sniper.