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Memoriam. Boston Marathon victims. April 15, 2013.  Photo by joanneleon.

Memoriam. Boston Marathon victims. April 15, 2013.  Photo by joanneleon.

Memoriam. Boston Marathon victims. April 15, 2013.  Photo by joanneleon.

Memoriam. Boston Marathon victims. April 15, 2013.  Photo by joanneleon.

Memoriam. Boston Marathon victims. April 15, 2013.  Photo by joanneleon.

The Byrds - Boston

News and Opinion

"3 killed, more than 130 hurt by bombs at Marathon". "8-year-old boy from Ashmont killed in blast".

The world mourns with Boston

Two bomb blasts, 12 seconds apart, rocked the finish line of the 117th running of the Boston Marathon Monday, killing at least three people, including an 8-year-old Dorchester boy, wounding more than 130, and leaving the sidewalks of Boylston Street covered in blood.

Medical professionals on hand to care for blisters and sore knees in Copley Square suddenly found themselves treating life-threatening lacerations and lost limbs, as a high holiday in Boston, Patriots Day, turned into an epic tragedy. Emergency workers rushed to the scene, despite the very real possibility of more blasts.

The explosions blew out windows, sent plumes of smoke into the sky, and left victims piled on each other in a scene far more reminiscent of a battlefield than a celebrated day in Boston’s Back Bay. The blasts occurred at 2:50 p.m., several hours after the elite runners had finished the race.

About 30 people were transferred to hospitals under a Code Red, meaning life-threatening injuries, which may point to a rising death toll, said a law enforcement official.

Flags were lowered to half-staff in Washington, D.C., and around the ­nation, as the country mourned with Boston.

The Guardian is running another liveblog today.  They have at least one reporter on the ground in Boston, Adam Gabbatt, who did liveblogging for them during Occupy events in NYC and elsewhere.  They also pull from news agencies and social media. Other news organizations are now doing liveblogs on their news sites -- had some yesterday and might continue today but the Guardian, even though it is a UK publication, has the best liveblog material, IMHO, and has expanded their U.S. coverage over the last few years.  This link will take you to yesterday's Guardian liveblog.
Boston marathon explosions: hunt begins for perpetrators - live updates

• Three killed including eight-year-old in blasts at marathon
• Obama vows perpetrators will feel 'full weight of justice'
• Live coverage of all developments throughout the day

There are a couple of videos in this Boston Globe gallery that are interviews with photographers who were at the scene near the finish line.  The code, when embedded, is autoplay so I took the videos out, not remembering how to turn autoplay off, so you can go to the gallery and choose a video to play there, if you are interested.
Boston.com video gallery
Brothers watching Boston Marathon each lose a leg

Within the next two hours, amid frantic phone calls and a panicked drive into Boston, Norden pieced together the horrific truth that will forever change her two sons’ lives — and her own. Each of the brothers lost a leg, from the knee down. One was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess, while the other was at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

‘I’d never imagined in my wildest dreams this would ever happen.’

“I’d never imagined in my wildest dreams this would ­ever happen,” Norden said, sitting on a bench outside the Beth Israel Deaconess emergency room Monday night.

As she looked at her feet, with socks mismatched ­because she had dressed so quickly to leave the house, tears fell to the sidewalk.

Jim White at emptywheel.net.
New York Times Runs Powerful Op-Ed By Gitmo Prisoner

With the simple title “Gitmo Is Killing Me”, today’s New York Times carries a chilling first-hand account from a hunger-striking prisoner at Guantanamo. Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel is one of 25 Yemeni prisoners held at Guantanamo who have been cleared for release but are still held because the US feels Yemen is too unstable for the prisoners to return there.

A theme that I keep returning to regarding the hunger strike at Guantanamo is that the military is conducting an information operation to limit damage to its reputation through reducing attention to the harsh treatment guards mete out to the prisoners. That is why, as I pointed out yesterday, Saturday’s operation to shut down the communal areas at the prison and return the prisoners to individual cells was carried out after the ICRC left and at a time when no members of the press were present. With that in mind, the military is very likely to view the publication of this piece as a huge loss of control of the narrative. While they had portrayed the Saturday action as taking place against resistance by the prisoners using “improvised weapons” (a description that was avidly eaten up by the press), Naji’s account of the pain and humiliation of forced feedings changes the focus from violence by the prisoners to violence being visited upon them.

Gitmo Is Killing Me

ONE man here weighs just 77 pounds. Another, 98. Last thing I knew, I weighed 132, but that was a month ago.

I’ve been on a hunger strike since Feb. 10 and have lost well over 30 pounds. I will not eat until they restore my dignity.

I’ve been detained at Guantánamo for 11 years and three months. I have never been charged with any crime. I have never received a trial.

Marcy at emptywheel.net
Andy Card LOL: Bush Can’t Pardon Himself for Torture (But Obama Has)

As part of the discussion in his book explaining how the CIA shifted from torture to killing, Mark Mazzetti tells the story of how the CIA balked at engaging in further torture after the Detainee Treatment Act.

After President Bush signed the bill into law, then-CIA Director Porter Goss wrote the White House saying the CIA would refuse to torture unless and until they got a guarantee they wouldn’t be prosecuted for doing it. In response, the Bush Administration sent Andy Card to the CIA to try to calm them down.
Card drove out to Langley intending to soothe the fears at CIA headquarters, but his visit was a disaster. Inside a packed conference room, Card thanked the assembled CIA officers for their service and their hard work but refused to make any firm declarations that agency officers wouldn’t be criminally liable for participating in the detention-and-interrogation program.

The room became restless. Prodded by his chief of staff, Patrick Murray, Porter Goss interrupted Card.

“Can you assure these people that the politicians will not walk away from the people who carried out this program?” Goss asked. Card didn’t answer the question directly. Instead, he tried to crack a joke.

“Let me put it this way,” he said. “Every morning I knock on the door of the Oval Office, walk in, and say, ‘Pardon me, Mr. President.’ And of course, the only person the president can’t pardon is himself.”

Card giggled after he said this, but his joke landed with a thud. The White House chief of staff, when asked whether President Bush would protect CIA officers from legal scrutiny, had suggested that the most they might be abel to rely on is a presidential pardon after the indictments and convictions were handed down. (127-128)

Obama Joins the Club

Mr. Obama has, finally and forever, joined the club. He has sided with the people who stole the Social Security trust, and who now argue that the only "responsible" thing to do is to make old, sick people pay the freight for that theft. They don't want to pay back what they took, and the president has chosen to play their game. He did not have to do this - indeed, he was elected twice on the promise to defend what he now begs to give away - but he did it anyway, and in doing so, he sold out the people who put him where he is.

A lot of people still think George W. Bush was stupid, and a failure as president. All he did was translate billions of taxpayer dollars into the bank accounts of his friends by way of tax cuts and war profiteering. He was not stupid. In fact, one can argue that, according to the metrics of those he most closely represented, Mr. Bush was the most successful president in American history.

Mr. Obama is not stupid, either.

NPR Attacks Disability, Bolsters 'New Consensus' Against Welfare

Nearly two decades after Bill Clinton ended “welfare as we know it,” we’re seeing a new push to decimate what’s left of the safety net.

Conservatives and liberals alike who drank the Kool-Aid about the “success” of welfare reform are still waging war on welfare. Now NPR’s Planet Money has joined the chorus with Chana Joffe-Walt’s confused and rhetoric-heavy March 22 piece “Unfit for Work: The Startling Rise of Disability in America.” (Versions also aired on This American Life and All Things Considered.)
But there’s more to the story.
Joffe-Walt’s piece is part of a long lineage of shock journalism that targets poverty programs by misstating the facts and cynically focusing scrutiny on poor people who have almost nothing.

She’s one of many in the policy, journalistic, and academic worlds who are still trying to roll back the meager assistance available to poor people. The attack on disability benefits is part of a larger effort to reduce social service spending by the federal government—whether it be postal service, subsidized housing, or supported income.
Their consensus is that the state owes the working class—including those unable to get or hold a job—nothing.

Why are so many of our bills crafted in closed door sessions?  This bill was written by a "gang of eight" senators and who knows how many think tanks and lobbyists.
Immigration bill to be unveiled today focuses more on workers, less on families

Those include appropriating billions of dollars to meet an ambitious goal to monitor the full breadth of the border with Mexico and stop 90 percent of illegal crossings. The money would be used to operate drones over the most heavily trafficked sections, hire thousands more border patrol agents, and continue to build and reinforce border fences _ in some places three layers deep, according to a comprehensive Senate policy backgrounder obtained by McClatchy.

The bill, expected to run just under a thousand pages, includes a host of measures. It would authorize National Guard deployment along the Southern border and give more money to local law enforcement agencies on the border.

For businesses, it would set up a special card program for agricultural workers, create a new visa for foreign entrepreneurs, welcome more workers with advanced degrees and scientific backgrounds, and set up a merit-based points system for yet other immigrants.

It also would impose restrictions on new family visas, restricting the green-card category for married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens to only those under 31 years of age, for example, and eventually ending visa availability for siblings.
“We’re going to go to an economic immigration system with a family component,” Graham said last week. “There’ll be a family component but no more chain migration.”

Blog Posts and Tweets of Interest

Boston - Rock N' Roll Band
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