Obama continues his big broken promise on Guantanamo Bay. Jon Stewart on universal preschool. And the great Bob Hurley Sr., keeps on winning.

Guantanamo Bay

This Chicago Blackhawks streak is getting beyond ridiculous. They’ve now gotten a point in 24 straight games to start the NHL season. That’s half the season now. Will they ever lose in a 60-minute game?

As I temporarily sat riveted Wednesday night watching C-SPAN and believing that batshit-crazy Senator Rand Paul was actually right to be questioning America’s use of drones to kill American citizens (and for the record, I’m thrilled someone is actually using the filibuster the way it’s supposed to be used, I think Paul is right to question the use of drones and killing American citizens, but I can’t forget that this is the same Rand Paul who was against the Civil Rights Act)  I got to thinking about Guantanamo Bay.

You know, the little island in Cuba that George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld decided was a good place to hold all terrorists suspected of doing anything bad in the War on Terror.

The place where prisoners, many who had nothing to do with Al Qaeda, many who were never even formally charged with anything, were left for years at a time, to perish and be waterboarded and treated in a disgusting manner.

The place that Barack Obama promised throughout 2007 and 2008 to close when he became President, because it’s a blight on our country that it’s open and people are tortured there.

The place that as this scathing article in Britain’s Guardian newspaper points out, is alive and kicking in 2013, four years into Obama’s Presidency.

This is one prisoner wrote in his letters: “Please … torture me in the old way. Here they destroy people mentally and physically without leaving marks.”

Many of the prisoners at Guantanamo are on hunger strikes again, to protest awful conditions and, well, read this passage from the story:

“The deterioration in detainees’ living conditions is believed to be tied to a recent change in the military command of the prison. It has been reported that under the new command regime, mistreatment of prisoners has increased, exacerbating a situation already desperate after over a decade of torture, solitary confinement, and detainee deaths at the camp.”

And oh yeah, more than FIFTY of these prisoners have been cleared for release, yet still haven’t been let go.

It’s a disgrace and a stain on Obama’s legacy, and on this country’s record, that a prison like this is allowed to be continued. Of course we have to keep the real terrorists locked up, but the torture and inhumane conditions for so many individuals who oftentimes don’t even know why they’re there is just horrendous, and unfair.

Maybe one day President Obama will remember what he said he’d do, and do it. But as Rand Paul pointed out hour after hour on Wednesday night, when it comes to terror suspects and torture, there’s sadly not that much daylight between Obama and his predecessor.


**And now, for something different. Universal pre-school is something that really shouldn’t be a political issue; doesn’t everyone think we need to start educating our children younger, and better? Who could be against education?

Well, the GOP can, of course. And Wednesday night Jon Stewart eviscerated them hilariously in this piece.

**Finally, as I’ve written several times before in this space, there may be no basketball coach alive that I admire more than a crotchety old drill sargent down in Jersey City named Bob Hurley, Sr.

Now having won more than 1,000 games at tiny St. Anthony’s High School, Hurley performs miracles on a daily basis, saving kids from the streets and sending hundreds of them onto college.
He doesn’t cheat, he doesn’t complain about the fact that he still doesn’t have a gym to practice in, he just wins. If you’re interested in Hurley, I once again recommend Adrian Wojnarowski’s outstanding book “The Miracle of St. Anthony.”

Hurley and his team just won another private school title Wednesday night, and the great sportswriter Steve Politi has penned a terrific column about Hurley, and how at 65, he’s still going strong.


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