Monday Open Thread

Busy day at work today. I blogged a lot this weekend, so scroll down if you haven't read the posts.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

Who is leaving town for the holidays? I'll be right here.

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    I see that the NYT (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Repack Rider on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 10:18:43 AM EST
    ...has come out in opposition to torture, rape and murder.

    What a courageous stance!

    Next thing you know, they will say robbing banks is a crime.

    Okay, that was a stretch.

    Disagree. (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by KeysDan on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 01:54:34 PM EST
    The NYT editorial is a courageous stance in that it, at least, is a stance that counters the weak "we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards," with a stronger "we can only move forward by looking backwards."  

    Cynicism is understandable but its deploy only joins up with, and is welcomed by,  apologists who determinedly work to change the name of torture as well as  to change the subject from torture.  

    The NYT, as a important media opinion-maker, has offered a course in which to take the blueprint of the Senate Intelligence Committee executive summary to a criminal inquiry.  Underscored is the fact that the depravities set forth are crimes in federal law and by Senate ratified treaty that requires prosecution of any acts of torture.  

    Many citizens have suspected for years that acts committed in our name was illegal, but the Senate executive summary provides evidence that CIA officials at the time knew that what they intended to do was prohibited by statute and asked not to be prosecuted.  The DOJ refused that request and a way around was found by securing a nano-patina of legality from  careerists, such as Yoo and Bybee.

    The public calling out for criminal investigation is necessary in light of the Senate Intelligence Committee's summary report.  To overlook this closet-full of smoking guns only adds to the damage done in the past and portends even more harm  in the future.  The NYT is not a branch of the DOJ, but its journalistic courage may serve as a billow to what too many want to be left as cooling embers.


    legal question: (none / 0) (#41)
    by ZtoA on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 05:20:30 PM EST
    IF president Obama issues a pardon for someone like Cheney, (not that he will, just IF), could Cheney refuse to be pardoned? I think not, but my visiting mother thinks he could choose not to accept a pardon.

    I don't think a pardon can be (none / 0) (#44)
    by Anne on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 05:34:13 PM EST
    granted to someone who hasn't been convicted of anything.

    They Want a Special Prosecutor (none / 0) (#11)
    by RickyJim on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 11:53:23 AM EST
    to investigate whether criminal charges can be brought against Cheney, Addington, Yoo, Rizzo, the two Mormon psychologists, etc.  I think just as good a case can be brought against those who authorized drone strikes since they have caused collateral damage to civilians and haven't made the US any safer from Muslim terrorism - they have just caused two terrorists to pop up for every one that has been eliminated.

    Tell you what (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by MO Blue on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 01:37:45 PM EST
    Let's apply the principle of FIFO. How about we investigate criminal charges against those who authorized and participated in torture first.

    Once we complete that investigation, we can move on and investigate the use of drones.


    Nope (none / 0) (#40)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 05:08:02 PM EST
    LIFO is much more appropriate...

    I mean the Repubs didn't elect Obama.


    No the Republicans (none / 0) (#42)
    by MO Blue on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 05:20:50 PM EST
    elected G.W. Bush whose administration authorized torture which is not only the topic under discussion but is clearly against domestic and international law.



    Apples and oranges, Jimmy Rick. (none / 0) (#17)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 01:19:40 PM EST
    Why don't you offer some original thought of your own, rather than mindlessly repeat right-wing talking points?

    Instead of Clichés (none / 0) (#21)
    by RickyJim on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 01:35:21 PM EST
    Try refuting Hanson's (or my) argument.  By the way, tell me about an original thought you have ever shared with us.

    Okay, here's one. (5.00 / 4) (#28)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 03:06:53 PM EST
    The subject being publicly discussed at present is torture, not drones. And even if the subject was drones, what makes you think that lets your boys in the Bush administration -- emphasis on the word "boys" -- off the hook here? Who do you think first authorized their use in combat?

    Whenever the discussion gets too dicey for neo-conservative tastes, these repeated attempts to change the subject to one more of your liking through the use of dubious equivalencies are nothing more than standard neocon operating procedure.

    And while we're on the subject of original thought on this particular topic, here's what I wrote about it on Dec. 11 of this year:

    "Torture is spiritually immoral in its conception. It is ethically impractical in its consideration. It is statutorily illegal in its implementation. And its victims are wholly unreliable as a credible source of useful information. I honestly don't think it can or should be explained any more plainly than that."

    So, if you want to defend the Bush administration's torture policy, then please go right ahead and knock yourself out. But speaking for myself only, I'm not going to talk about drone strikes simply because you desire to change the subject as a means of partisan spin. We've already discussed the morality and immorality of using drones here at TL any number of times in the past. Since you weren't around for them, you can look them up in the blog archives.



    There's no need (none / 0) (#39)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 05:07:04 PM EST
    to defend Bush's policy.

    Holder has already he won't prosecute.

    Probably because the use of drones.

    And no one but the far Left gives a flip.



    How is (none / 0) (#43)
    by lentinel on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 05:21:48 PM EST
    calling for a simultaneous investigation - by a special prosecutor if necessary - of the results of drone strikes and their effects on the indigenous populations and the growth of terrorist groups a "right wing talking point"?

    Is it simply because while Bush and Cheney are responsible for torture and are republicans, the Obama administration - the responsible parties vis a vis the incineration of a number of innocents by drones - are democrats?

    Does calling for investigations against both sets of atrocities, waged in our collective name, make one a right-winger?

    If anything, it seems like a left wing proposal to me.


    I call your Drones (none / 0) (#19)
    by FlJoe on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 01:26:51 PM EST
    And raise you an investigation of McCollough and throw in Clive Bundy et al.

    I assume that (none / 0) (#38)
    by lentinel on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 04:50:37 PM EST
    you are being sarcastic when you say that the NYTimes editorial is "courageous".


    It may be obvious to everyone, almost everyone, that crimes by government officials should be investigated and prosecuted, but President Obama has not been among them.

    Although the editorial does not directly call Bush out for his lies, or call directly for him to be investigated, it does do so with respect to Dick Cheney.

    If that is not exactly courageous, it is nevertheless straightforward. It does not mince words.

    That's more than I can say for our President who has expressed his feeling of being, "troubled", by the report - but not troubled enough to order a full scale investigation - with a call for the prosecution of the guilty whomever they may be.

    So, if the Times is not exactly "courageous" in your view, what does that say about our political leadership who are relatively mute on the subject - willing to let it go and talk about North Korea and Sony instead.


    Dam. Joe Cocker died. RIP. (5.00 / 4) (#20)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 01:32:07 PM EST

    Joe & Leon, more or less: (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 02:37:41 PM EST
    Joe Cocker was really something. (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 03:18:59 PM EST
    I've always loved his soulful cover of the Beatles' "With a Little Help from My Friends." And I'm grateful to have had the privilege of seeing him live in concert.

    I actually liked (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by Zorba on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 03:34:50 PM EST
    Joe Cocker's cover of "With a Little Help From My Friends" better than the Beatles' original.  This is not meant to dis the Beatles in any way, because they were absolutely great.
    But I appreciated Joe's gritty, blues-and-soul-infused voice.  
    He was part of the soundtrack of my young adulthood, and he will be missed.
    I still regret not going to Woodstock to see Joe's performance live (as well as the many other, great performers).  I have a couple of friends who did go, but I was working full-time that summer, to pay for my upcoming senior year in college, as well as helping my parents out, and I simply could not afford to take a few days off from work.

    I'm sorry I missed Woodstock, too. (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 04:13:48 PM EST
    But my mother simply refused to let me go on a cross-country road trip. I bet that being 8 years old likely had something to do with it.


    But she did buy me the Woodstock live double-album for Christmas when I was 12, still trying to make up for the faux pas of six years earlier, when I received "The Chipmunks Sing The Beatles."



    De Blasio is knocking it out of (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 03:26:22 PM EST
    The park right now, in the face of grave horrible tragedy.  He is lining it out, and everyone with it.  Wish all of our leaders had the ability!

    The Pope's Annual Christmas Message calls out the those cardinals and bishops running the Vatican bureaucracy as a bunch of self-absorbed old farts:

    Los Angeles Times | December 22, 2014
    'Spiritual Alzheimer's': Pope Francis' stern lecture to Roman Curia - "Pope Francis on Monday launched a stunning attack on the cardinals, bishops and priests who run the Vatican, accusing them of succumbing to greed, jealousy, hypocrisy, cowardice and 'spiritual Alzheimer's. In a pre-Christmas speech to the officials of the Roman Curia, Francis kept the season's greeting to a minimum, choosing instead to ask prelates to make 'a real examination of conscience.' [...] Francis also slammed prelates for showing off, accumulating wealth and leading double lives, which he said could lead to 'existential schizophrenia.'"

    Pope Francis -- naming names and kicking a$$!

    I love it! (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Zorba on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 04:17:53 PM EST
    I'm betting that more than a few Cardinals are regretting having elevated Jorge Mario Bergoglio to the Papacy, and I'm sure that most of the Roman Curia are not exactly happy about it.
    You go, Pope Francis!
    Can the Eastern Orthodox Church clone him and make his clones Patriarchs of more than a few of the Orthodox jurisdictions?  (And yes, I'm looking at you, the Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow, in particular.)

    Hopefully I won't even leave (none / 0) (#1)
    by fishcamp on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 07:14:04 AM EST
    the key of Lower Matecumbe, in Islamorada, except by boat.  In theory, I could even go to Cuba, on a very calm day.  Hey CG, we could troll across to Cuba and bring the people some Christmas fish, which they rarely get, since Castro doesn't let them have boats.

    Maybe we could get the franchise (none / 0) (#3)
    by CoralGables on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 08:22:36 AM EST
    from Mako and open an outlet (and drydock) in Varadero.

    Thought of you (none / 0) (#29)
    by sj on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 03:14:33 PM EST
    when I saw this.

    Scott (none / 0) (#2)
    by CoralGables on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 08:16:49 AM EST
    After you had written Seattle off as possibly missing the playoffs 2 weeks ago, the only likely thing standing in the path of the Seahawks now being at home for the entire playoffs is the lowly St Louis Rams.

    I think more people are now ... (none / 0) (#12)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 12:39:13 PM EST
    ... seriously reassessing Seattle's odds of repeating as champs this season after these last five games, with their defense having surrendered a mere 6.8 points per outing. Arguably, the "Legion of Boom" is likely the best I've seen since the '85 Bears.

    That said, the Seahawks better not look past the Rams. They did once earlier this year, and paid dearly for the oversight in a 28-26 loss. They have every incentive to win here, because if the stumble next weekend, they'll probably be hitting the road for the playoffs, rather than enjoying the friendly confines of home.



    That'll teach 'em! (none / 0) (#4)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 09:42:17 AM EST
    From TPM

    U.S. Mulls Putting North Korea On Terrorism List For 'Cybervandalism'

    So what's your brilliant teaching plan? (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 09:55:49 AM EST
    Better (none / 0) (#7)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 10:19:52 AM EST

    Better nothing than something ridiculous.

    Why do you think this is the only (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 10:39:35 AM EST
    Response they will have?

    I wait (none / 0) (#23)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 01:46:41 PM EST
    with bated breath.

    Didn't have to wait long (none / 0) (#24)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 01:50:20 PM EST
    Well, then how convenient for you ... (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 01:06:07 PM EST
    ... that you're in good standing as a member of the GOP's hallelujah chorus, because you get to sing that party's talking points from the right field bleachers, rather than be the person who has to examine and choose from among all available options short of war.

    I daresay at this point those options are likely rather limited, given North Korea's longstanding status in the world as an international pariah.

    Don't you ever get tired of being told repeatedly that you're all meringue and no filling? One of these days, you'll hopefully impart a thought that's actually interesting and original.



    "All meringue (none / 0) (#15)
    by Zorba on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 01:10:40 PM EST
    and no filling."  I am so stealing that phrase!   ;-)

    Please, be my guest. (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 01:22:51 PM EST
    After all, I took it from my grandmother. ;-D

    I will gladly (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Zorba on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 02:16:59 PM EST
    do so.  I've heard "All foam and no beer," but never the meringue one.
    And I also like:
    "People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."
    ― Søren Kierkegaard
    Although, quoting Kierkegaard may be a but too "high-falutin'" for some people.   ;-)

    Was North Korea framed? (none / 0) (#36)
    by unitron on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 04:45:45 PM EST
    Should have said... (none / 0) (#37)
    by unitron on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 04:46:30 PM EST
    ..."an" inside job.

    "Peace on Earth," (none / 0) (#9)
    by KeysDan on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 11:47:28 AM EST
    even without goodwill for all.   A very nice Christmas card from Dr. Paul Krugman (NYT, op ed, Dec 22, 2014.)   The idea of war is old-fashioned--it makes you poorer and weaker, even if you win. With specific references to Vlad Putin, who has no notion of how to function in the 21st Century, and American neocons, who romanticize the leadership of a Putin, riding off shirtless, only to find that plunder just isn't what it once was.

    First I read the NYT article on (none / 0) (#10)
    by oculus on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 11:51:47 AM EST
    U.S., British, and Indian prior electronic surveillance re the Mumbai attacks.  Then I read Jeralyn's post. I'm pretty sure she could work for the NYT is she chose to.

    North Korea under cyber attack (none / 0) (#13)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 12:47:06 PM EST
    by somebody?

    "I haven't seen such a steady beat of routing instability and outages in KP before," said Doug Madory, director of Internet analysis at the cybsecurity firm Dyn Research, according to Martyn Williams of the excellent blog North Korea Tech. Madory explained, "Usually there are isolated blips, not continuous connectivity problems. I wouldn't be surprised if they are absorbing some sort of attack presently."

    The outage also comes as China is investigating the accusations against North Korea over the Sony hack. North Korea's internet access is wired through China, which gives China more or less direct control over North Korea's access to the outside world.

    `Kim Jong Un isn't stupid: (none / 0) (#16)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 01:16:32 PM EST
    he knows that his weak, impoverished state is much weaker than the US and South Korea and Japan, all of whom would just love to see his government collapse. North Korea can only deter those enemies by being more threatening and dangerous; it will never be stronger, so it has to be crazier instead, always more willing to escalate. This convinces the US and other countries, even if they see through Kim's game, that it's just easier to stay away from North Korea than to risk provoking the country into another flamboyant attack.'

    Movies (none / 0) (#45)
    by McBain on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 06:02:54 PM EST
    I just watched Foxcatcher and Wild.  I thought both were good.  Foxcatcher might be Oscar worthy.  

    Has anyone done any serious hiking like the main character in Wild?  I've been wanting to do a smaller version of that kind of trip but I'm somewhat of an outdoors wimp.