Yes, the dreadful quantities of snow here means in part I've shifted some attention toward basketball. Other than the continuing insurance causes mortality gains debate, I'm not sure there's much happening worthy of commentary. I'm also amused that the counter-intuitive examination of just how many lives might be "saved" by health insurance is being depicted as a "right-wing" claim. Right-wingers, of the sort commonly assumed in the normal right-left political scene, have no interest whatsoever in this statistical figure. They're still busy claiming there are rations and death panels in the health care bills or that it was happening "too fast".
So yeah, there's that, and that the Winter Olympics are boring (for me). The All-Star game was kind of a downer with the several lame and pointless fouls at the end of a close game. Usually the 4th quarter is the part of the pickup game routine that is crisp and well-run while the first and second maintain a lot of crazy passes and dunks. This time it felt sloppy in the 4th and was pretty crisp (with a couple exceptions) for the first 36 minutes. The dunk contest was totally forgettable. Start putting HORSE in prime time and get rid of it. There were several better dunks in the game the next day than anything I saw over the weekend. The fact that Nate Robinson won the year Iguodala did this (look where his head is as he does the dunk) should basically say all there is to say about how dumb this event has gotten.
If Obama ends up moving the KSM trial back toward a military tribunal, I will rant and rave about how stupid that is. Politically for Democrats and strategically in the "global war on terror". I don't have much hope that they'll keep the trial in New York. Concrete jungles where dreams are made of don't have much to do with paying for people's paranoia to the tune of 8 or 9 figures worth of "security". Personally I thought 70 million (the original estimate) was too high for the provision of security. The only reason to object to the cost of the trial is that it will probably be a capital case. There's no reason to provide additional security over and above what New York already has designated to it because of its political connections and symbolic importance (as the site of a couple major terrorist incidents in its past). None. Zero. Please show me the evidence that the trials of terrorists or terrorist plotters around the globe in such strange places as Spain, Australia, India, or Indonesia required millions of dollars of additional security. There isn't any. All this is is smoke for people who already didn't want to have the trials in the first place.
The continuing saga of Mirandizing the underwear bomber is also not really worth commenting on because the arguments being made by the various Cheney-ite Republicans are not factually correct in the slightest. The guy is talking, was talking, and wouldn't be talking any "better" if he were sitting in a black site being tortured than he has been with a lawyer around in a federal jail. Making any other argument is hysterical, somewhat funny for me, but not worth talking about because it is pure and basic cynical politics. Same deal with "we need military tribunals". It bears no relation to the reality of the previous 8 years where we didn't need military tribunals to convict these people, to detain them without constitutional protections, and where some captured terrorist bombers were mirandized and treated as common thugs processed by our ordinary justice system. Politics is fun to observe for its hypocrisies and insanities, but it's not really worth treating the arguments it generates as serious or worth discussion and discourse.
Tom Friedman on Thank You for Being Late
1 hour ago