Sunday Morning Open Thread

Leave me alone.

This is an Open Thread.

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    New Orleans can be nice... (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by jeffinalabama on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 08:30:31 AM EST
    whistles,then hobbles away quickly.

    As a team (none / 0) (#6)
    by CoralGables on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 09:43:27 AM EST
    that took about 59 years of SEC play to win our first SEC football Championship and qualify for a Sugar Bowl back in the 90's, I agree with you. The Sugar Bowl is always a sweet way to close out a great season.

    Very interesting night... (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 10:57:54 AM EST
    ...last night.  I was contacted by the DPD--apparently, someone took my clean license plate and switched it out with one from a stolen vehicle.  

    So, I'm sure tomorrow will be loads of fun trying to get new plates at the DVM tomorrow.  Wonder how many times I'll get pulled over on the way there.  

    Oh well, at least it is a good excuse to miss some work on a Monday.

    What's DPD? (none / 0) (#27)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 11:01:15 AM EST
    And how did they know your plate had been switched?  Did they catch somebody and discover he had your plate on his car or what?

    Clever of him, I must say, to stick a plate on your car after he took yours.  How long do you think it would have taken you to notice it yourself if "DPD" hadn't alerted you?  Might well have taken me a few days.


    I'm Guessing (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by daring grace on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 11:13:41 AM EST
    Denver Police Department.

    Denver Police Department (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 11:14:01 AM EST
    The details are still a bit sketchy.  It was all done over the phone as I was up in the hills having dinner.  

    I might not have ever known.  It's not like I check my plates that closely or even have the plate # memorized.  

    They did a good job of switching too--even put the frame back on.


    DPD discovered it by interacting (none / 0) (#35)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 11:24:27 AM EST
    with the car your plates are now on, right? Why can't they just give you your plates back?

    Good questions... (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 11:35:48 AM EST
    ...to which I don't have any answers for.  I'm just happy that the truck didn't get towed away and I didn't spend the night in Denver County Jail...

    Unless your vehicle matched the (none / 0) (#45)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 12:30:43 PM EST
    description of a stolen truck, why would the police have run the plates on your truck?

    I'm thinking the vehicle with your plates on it was stopped, or someone reported it for some reason. When the plates didn't match the vehicle description or owner name, they knew you had been stung. Heaven knows they didn't steal your plates so they could use the vehicle they were putting them on to drive the homeless to shelters :)

    You have my empathy...one of my greatest peeves is people doing something that causes me to give hours of my otherwise scheduled time for my life events to fixing the damage they've done.


    Apparently you have met my family (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by ruffian on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 01:23:50 PM EST
    You have my empathy...one of my greatest peeves is people doing something that causes me to give hours of my otherwise scheduled time for my life events to fixing the damage they've done.

    Oposite could have happened (none / 0) (#54)
    by nycstray on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 02:42:55 PM EST
    the car the plates were put on fit a description and when they ran the plates, they came up with the truck.

    I don't think that's the opposite (none / 0) (#70)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 10:36:40 PM EST
    sounds the same to me...just worded differently.

    Evidence in a crime? (none / 0) (#37)
    by jbindc on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 11:31:41 AM EST
    Go Chargers! N/T (none / 0) (#1)
    by otherlisa on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 08:15:24 AM EST

    Tell me about it.... (none / 0) (#2)
    by COgator95 on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 08:19:37 AM EST
    I graduated in 1995 from UF and they played like crap last night. Sigh......

    Even the Denver Broncos would have (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by magster on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 08:36:29 PM EST
    beat Florida last night. Pathetic!

    (Is this what he meant by "leave me alone"?"


    As a Gator Graduate (none / 0) (#4)
    by CoralGables on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 09:36:17 AM EST
    from much further back who experienced a winless season before St. Steve and SEC Titles became common fare, any year the Gators play for an SEC Championship makes for a great season.

    As for yesterday, I would completely agree with Tebow: "They were just better than us today, offense, defense, special teams."


    No question that Bama (none / 0) (#7)
    by brodie on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 10:06:30 AM EST
    showed they were the better team yesterday.  Much better balance on offense, with an outstanding group of dynamic RBs and receivers who could catch the ball, to go with a steady and capable QB who made few mistakes.

    On the other side, too much was put on the shoulders of Tebow to do not only all the passing but all the running.  Tebow also blew a big chance to bring his team back when he failed to gently toss, rather than zip, an easy pass to a wide open tall receiver standing near the back of the end zone which could have made things interesting.

    The other takeaway for me was seeing the weirdness of Tebow citing NT scripture on his eye black.  Wow.  For this factor alone, here's hoping the guy has only a benchwarmer role in the NFL, like some of the other highly touted UF qb's of the past.


    Tebow's been doing eyeblack bible his whole career (none / 0) (#31)
    by abdiel on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 11:09:27 AM EST
    If that's enough to get you to wish him poorly in the NFL, then that's quite sad.  

    A guy who quotes the Bible, is an outstanding student, plays football the right way, never has anything bad to say, and spends his summers going to foreign countries to help those in need?  We should hope for more intolerable guys like Tebow.

    But it's fine, there's no shortage of money-driven, wife-cheating, steroid-using superstars for you to cheer for in the NFL.


    Yeah, I guess I'm (none / 0) (#36)
    by brodie on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 11:28:20 AM EST
    a firm believer in the total separation of church and sports.

    I'd also like to see the NFL develop some fool proof system to eliminate the steroid situation, say to the point where the average lineman goes back to something closer to the norm of 35-40 yrs ago, or about 260 lbs, instead of today's 325.  The league also needs to work more diligently on the concussion issue, which should get highest priority.

    Meantime though, I'm hoping the NFL still will enforce its No Message rule on uniforms or any part of the player.  So long as that remains the law, then I suppose guys like Tebow -- sans religious messages -- can go ahead and enjoy as much success as they're capable of.  


    I just read an article (none / 0) (#40)
    by Fabian on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 11:42:19 AM EST
    that says that of all football players, linebackers are not just heavier, they are unhealthier.  Tests done on football players showed that more linebackers scored positive on tests that indicate they are in danger of developing diabetes and hypertension.  

    Unhealthy athletes?  Sure.  Being an athlete doesn't mean you are automatically healthy.


    The study group was small - but I'd be surprised if subsequent studies showed radically different results.


    It's tacky and offensive (none / 0) (#47)
    by Dadler on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 12:56:24 PM EST
    God cares about football games? Nothing more phucking offensive could be suggested by anyone. And that it is suggested by someone who also travels to help those in need, well, I hope you understand the absurdity of that. Why doesn't God care about those in need as much as he cares about football? Football gets much more media time and attention than any suffering abroad does. Where's God in that mix.

    Truthfully, the religion stuff makes Tebow seem dumb as a phucking brick to me. Sure he's a nice kid in many ways, but in that way...get lost.


    I much prefer... (none / 0) (#71)
    by kdog on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 08:10:47 AM EST
    to root for a QB who closes the bar on Friday night, takes the field on 3 hours sleep, pukes right before kickoff, and proceeds to throw 3 TD's....now thats a guy I'd take great pleasure in rooting for.

    Goody Two-Shoes just ain't as much fun.


    Speaking of which... (none / 0) (#72)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 10:02:03 AM EST
    ...how did your championship game go?  

    We the Champs!.... (none / 0) (#75)
    by kdog on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 12:57:00 PM EST
    26-14...good back and forth defensive struggle to start, down 7-6 at the half...one score game till 2 minutes when our offense iced it.

    Nothing better bro...we celebrated at the park till sundown...so much so that I needed a ride home and gotta go pick up my car tonight:)


    A good old (none / 0) (#73)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 11:05:34 AM EST
    Bobby Layne, eh?

    Or Tommy Kramer... (none / 0) (#76)
    by kdog on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 12:57:34 PM EST
    you know it jeff.

    How about all that plus Bible cites on (none / 0) (#74)
    by oculus on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 11:16:16 AM EST
    eye black?

    Badgers! 51-10! (none / 0) (#5)
    by Cream City on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 09:36:41 AM EST
    Okay, got that outa my system.  Now I'll leave you alone.

    (Well, except to say that if the game had been played at Camp Randall, subjecting the Hawaiians to temps in the '30s, it could have been an even worse trouncing.  Getting out the snow shovels here for a big one tonight. . . .)

    Question: (none / 0) (#8)
    by andgarden on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 10:15:31 AM EST
    What stands in the way of partitioning Afghanistan?

    always bothered me (none / 0) (#9)
    by pitachips on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 10:20:13 AM EST
    to think we have the power to partition any country.

    Well, that's not exactly what I mean (none / 0) (#11)
    by andgarden on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 10:21:53 AM EST
    We ask the Afghan Parliament if maybe they wouldn't like to come to an agreement on the question, and dangle cash and security support as incentive.

    How would this help the situation? (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 12:04:18 PM EST
    Into what and what? (none / 0) (#12)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 10:24:53 AM EST
    Seems to me that a weak central government and strong, self-organized and mostly independently governed tribal areas is most likely to be workable for Afghanistan.  Don't know about actual partitioning, though.

    Well, something along the lines of (none / 0) (#13)
    by andgarden on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 10:27:19 AM EST
    Hmmmm (none / 0) (#19)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 10:45:12 AM EST
    That's a confusing map to me because the south is where the Pashtun/Taliban is largely in control.  Either they mostly didn't vote-- and I do think I remember hearing that the Taliban leaders there had demanded a boycott and were punishing people who did vote-- and/or that's where the Karzai forces concentrated their efforts at stuffing the ballot boxes.

    IOW, I don't think an electoral map tells us anything useful.

    It also doesn't seem to me that partioning Afghanistan into several different actual countries would be a great idea.  Even it those countries were effectively governable, you'd end up, among other things, with another Taliban-stan negotiating directly with Pakistan and having a seat in international bodies, etc., not to mention officially sheltering al Qaeda types in what would be sovereign territory again.  Seems to me that would recreate the whole problem all over again.


    Interconnectedness :) (none / 0) (#39)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 11:42:12 AM EST
    Surprise . . Surprise (none / 0) (#10)
    by MO Blue on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 10:21:04 AM EST
    But as administration officials touted the President's Afghanistan strategy this morning on the Sunday political talk shows, they underscored that the U.S. troops may not be coming home in 2011:

    Gen. David Petraeus: "There's no timeline, no ramp, nothing like that." [Fox News Sunday]

    National Security Adviser James Jones: "It is not a cliff. It is a glide slope. And so certainly, the President has also said we are not leaving Afghanistan." [CNN State of the Union]

    Defense Secretary Robert Gates: "Well, first of all, I don't consider this an exit strategy. And I try to avoid using that term. I think this is a transition." link

    OTOH (none / 0) (#14)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 10:28:49 AM EST
    Chip Reid said on CNN this morning that after he'd pressed Gibbs pretty hard on this at the regular press briefing the morning after The Speech, Gibbs summoned him to his office some hours later and told him that the withdrawal start date was absolutely not squishy or flexible and was something Obama was absolutely serious about.

    So once again, the White House can't seem to manage a coordinated message.


    So...shorter Gibbs: (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Anne on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 10:40:53 AM EST
    "And this time we mean it!"

    Here's my two cents, which matches yours: if the president is so committed to a firm, defined, and apparently non-negotiable date for withdrawal, shouldn't that have been made clear to current and former military leaders, as well as current administration officials, and shouldn't they all be singing the same song?

    It is, in my estimation, uncharacteristic for Obama not to allow himself any wiggle room, which may be one reason there is a level of distrust in his new-found certainty - that and years of seeing others move the goalposts again and again and again.  

    Sometimes I honestly do not know whether to be impressed, or frightened, that  Obama is so sure that he will be able to do what no one else has been able to accomplish in Afghanistan.  I'm leaning toward "frightened" as Obama also believes he is the only one who will finally be able to reform health care, and we see how that's going.


    Baffling (2.00 / 1) (#25)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 10:58:02 AM EST
    Yes, one would think that the firmness of the date would have been communicated the military types, or that Gibbs would have been reined in on it, wouldn't one!  Gah.

    I'm more and more inclined to think MT's theory may possibly be right, that there's something they think they've discovered, like Taliban types getting close to copping one of Pakistan's nukes or something slightly less frightening, that's put some kind of urgency into this that they're not telling us about, and which they think they can actually deal with in the timeframe he's talking about.

    I don't know.  Otherwise, it all seems perfectly senseless.


    All (none / 0) (#53)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 02:13:42 PM EST
    I ahve to say is that IF there were Taliban types getting near nukes then his policy is completely foolish. He should be sending in "overwhelming force" to handle the problem. The general have said no less thn 40K and he sends less than the minimum for something that serious? That is complete inpetness on his part if that theory is true.

    Care to explain why (none / 0) (#63)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 06:48:00 PM EST
    40,000 would enable them to hunt down and catch a couple of perps in a largely imaginary operation we know nothing about and 30,000 wouldn't?

    It's really pretty silly for a bunch of stateside civilians to be sitting around and opining on the precise number of troops needed for this or anything else.


    well (none / 0) (#64)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 08:13:17 PM EST
    I figure the military knows better than anybody and that's what they said. Do you think that Obama knows better than the generals? I dont.

    Well (none / 0) (#67)
    by Steve M on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 09:47:22 PM EST
    the military supports the plan Obama announced, which is odd if it's going to get us all killed.

    Where (none / 0) (#69)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 10:07:13 PM EST
    did I say it would get us killed? No, I'm just going by what they said BEFORE the announcement on troops was made.

    I dont think that there was anything like Booman said. I just think the WH made that up to keep people like Booman in line and keep them from getting mad about the surge. Anyway, I still see it as grossly inept if what the obamapologists are shopping is the truth. He took months and months to make a decision on something that serious?


    Politically Obama can't afford (none / 0) (#29)
    by brodie on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 11:02:49 AM EST
    to push back that withdrawal date by too much, else he risks losing support from his base going into a re-elect year.  Only way politically to overcome some major goalpost moving on his part would be for the economy and the UE to do a 180 from where they are today, as casualties in Afghanistan remain acceptably low.

    Seems to me Obama already has some credibility issues building up with his base -- who find he's governing far more in a center-right direction, and domestically with timid incrementalist steps -- which would be made all the worse with a backtrack on an important public pledge.

    Hard to believe Obama would take the politically suicidal route of not disengaging from Afghan.  But then, I can recall two other smart Dem presidents -- Lyndon and Carter -- who also acted stupidly and ineptly in the period leading up to their re-elect year.


    Gates today (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by MO Blue on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 03:18:28 PM EST
    ROBERT GATES: We're not talking about an abrupt withdrawal. We're talking about something that will take place over a period of time. Our commanders think that these additional forces, and one of the reasons for the President's decision to try and accelerate their deployment is-- is the view that this extended surge has the opportunity to make significant gains in terms of reversing the momentum of the Taliban, denying them control of Afghan territory, and degrading their capabilities.

    Our military thinks we have a real opportunity to do that. And it's not just in the next 18 months. Because we will have a significant -- we will have 100,000 forces -- troops there. And they are not leaving-- in July of 2011. Some handful or some small number or whatever the conditions permit, we'll begin to withdraw at that time. link

    What's very odd is that they were (none / 0) (#16)
    by andgarden on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 10:38:56 AM EST
    talking up the "Powell doctrine" last week, and that requires an exit strategy. I would think it would be to their advantage to characterize this as an exit strategy.

    And yet last Friday, (none / 0) (#15)
    by KeysDan on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 10:35:56 AM EST
    Glenn Greenwald reported on his question to Robert Gibbs if the use of the term "target" was incorrect. Gibbs went to the president for clarification and returned a call to Greenwald saying Mr. Obama told him "it is locked in--there is no flexibility, troops will start coming home in July 20ll. Period." It is etched in stone and Gibbs said he even has the chisel. So, I guess, we are assured that in July of 20ll, at the least and, maybe, at the most, two troops will be headed on home.

    That's what Reid said (none / 0) (#21)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 10:50:44 AM EST
    I think he even used the term "locked in."

    Does Tebow's eye black always (none / 0) (#18)
    by oculus on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 10:44:03 AM EST
    display the same Biblical citation?  Or it is game-centric?

    Apparently this year it was John 16:33 (none / 0) (#22)
    by DFLer on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 10:54:30 AM EST

    Last year it was the sports palace ubiquitous John 3:16

    Do other players display Bible cites (none / 0) (#24)
    by oculus on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 10:57:56 AM EST
    on their eye black?  Or the Koran for that matter.

    Check that (none / 0) (#26)
    by DFLer on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 10:58:40 AM EST

    Tim Tebow frequently wears eye black that references Bible verses. In last week's game against Florida State, his eye black said "Heb 12 1-2." This week he has written "John 16:33," referencing a passage from the Gospel of John from the New Testament.

    John 16:33 reads:

        I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

    Heb 12 1-2 reads:

    Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.


    Fortunately for Tebow... (none / 0) (#52)
    by EL seattle on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 02:02:44 PM EST
    ... he didn't select "Austin 3:16" as his message for yesterday.

    That might have been, um, awkward.


    Or "Austin 0:01" ha (none / 0) (#58)
    by Angel on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 04:15:44 PM EST
    Hook 'em Horns!

    It changes (none / 0) (#28)
    by CoralGables on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 11:02:42 AM EST
    each week

    Polanski is ensconced at his ski chalet. (none / 0) (#20)
    by oculus on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 10:45:38 AM EST
    But you all probably knew that already.

    Doing "hard time" :-) (none / 0) (#30)
    by MO Blue on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 11:03:36 AM EST
    And, Amanda Knox is in an Italian prison (none / 0) (#34)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 11:21:47 AM EST
    for 26 years for a crime she most likely did not commit.

    I'm not so sure (none / 0) (#41)
    by Makarov on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 11:43:38 AM EST
    since I haven't located any substantive read discussing the forensic evidence. I know some have criticized it, but I haven't read exactly what their criticism is.

    Thinking back on the documentary The Staircase, I'll note that film, by itself, convinced me the defendant shouldn't have been convicted. However, it failed to mention a key piece of evidence that jurors relied on to convict him. My memory is not perfect, but I believe it had to do with actual time of death - suggesting the accused waited a couple hours to call 911.

    In this case, I'd like to know more about her statements to the police - which were made in which order. I.E., I'd probably give more weight to her initial statement, than those made after sustained interrogation. From my read of reports, she was quick to allege a local bartender murdered her roommate, a theory which was discarded by prosecutors after it was shown he had an alibi. If her initial statement can be demonstrated to be a lie, I have to question her innocence, even if this, by itself, wouldn't necessarily cause me to vote for conviction as a juror.

    It will be interesting to see recap news reports that will hopefully present the story factually, without bias towards or against Amanda. I imagine they will come over the next couple years.


    Watch last night's 48 Hours on CBS (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Dadler on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 01:06:43 PM EST
    Did an hour on it and the verdict. I had no real opinion going in, but after hearing what occurred, about the evidence, and about the prosecutor, it seemed quite clear that it was a sham of a verdict. BTW, the prosecutor is himself, currently, under indictment for corruption. They also had an interview with another American, an author in his 50's, who was similarly falsely accused a few years ago by this same prosecutor -- who also believed that case was about a satanic cult (see a pattern?) -- and who only saved his ace, it seems, by fleeing the country immediately after learning he was a suspect. And this was a writer working on a book about the serial killer the prosecutor believed he actually was.

    The prosecutor is nuts.


    Which is again why (none / 0) (#51)
    by jbindc on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 01:37:26 PM EST
    We need to wait for the jury's reasoning.  Knox and her ex-boyfriend had 4 defense attorneys between them - some of the very best in Italy. In fact Knox' co-defendant's attorney was Guilia Bongiorno, a member of the Italian Parliament and an attorney who successfully defended Italy's former premier Giulio Andreotti in his appeal of Sicilian Mafia-related charges.  So, this isn't necessarily a case of the "big bad state" against poor little innocent students, although the defense team hasn't been able to control the Knox family, which probably hurt her defense because of their bizarre behavior.

    There should be a basic set of rules when on trial for murder: Don't antagonize the prosecutor and judge. Dress appropriately in court. Don't let your family pose for photos in front of the crime scene. These basic tenets have somehow escaped Amanda Knox, the 22-year-old Seattle native whose trial for sexually assaulting and murdering her British roommate resumes on Friday.

    Over the weekend, Knox's mother, Edda Mellas, and her two younger sisters, Deanna, 20, and Ashley, 14, were featured in the Italian women's magazine Gente. The women, in Perugia to support Knox (who turned 22 on July 9 in Capanne Prison), posed somberly in front of the courthouse and leaned on a perch overlooking the Umbrian hillside. One photo showed Knox's younger sisters in short-shorts standing in front of the house that Knox and her murdered roommate, Meredith Kercher, once shared. Understandably, the Kercher family's attorney described the photo as "macabre," but Mellas blamed the photojournalist: "The photos were the photographer's idea, showing Amanda's sisters near the house where Amanda lived," Mellas told NEWSWEEK. "No disrespect to Meredith or her family was ever meant."

    The photos have caused yet another uproar here in Italy, where everything Knox and her supporters have done for the past 20 months has been closely scrutinized. And the jury in Perugia, like the rest of this country, is paying attention. During court breaks, jurists have lunch and coffee at the same cafés as lawyers and journalists. In fact, while jurors cannot be quoted in the press, they are still allowed to discuss the case and follow the press coverage.

    They're probably horrified by what's happened in the courtroom, too. Two weeks ago, Ashley Knox defied the prohibition on minors attending sex-related hearings and had to be removed from the proceedings. Then Deanna Knox showed up in a red, white, and blue ensemble, complete with hotpants, on July 4. "The jury pays attention to much more than the testimony," says Alessandra Batassa, a Rome-based criminal lawyer who has defended a number of murder suspects. Ideally, "the lawyers should take control of the client's complete image--including who attends court with her--not just the client's personal behavior."

    Image is important in this trial, something at which neither the prosecution nor the defense has excelled. The prosecution took five months to make its case, which relied heavily on circumstantial evidence, including Knox's lack of alibi, her behavior after the murder, and contradictory statements she and her co-defendant, Rafaelle Sollecito, made during questioning. The prosecution's forensic evidence cites locations in the house the girls shared where Kercher's blood was found intermingled with Knox's DNA. Prosecutors also offered a knife that has Knox's DNA on the handle and, they claim, Kercher's on the blade. Still, says Batassa, Italian courts have handed down guilty verdicts on less evidence than this.

    It is not uncommon in Italy to give equal weight to circumstantial evidence, especially in cases where the defendants have been caught making false statements. Knox, during an interrogation days after the murder, admitted to being in the house when Kercher was killed, and then accused Patrick Lumumba, her former boss, of the murder (he was later cleared). Sollecito at first said he didn't remember if Knox was with him that night and then said he was at home downloading cartoons, even though his computer and Internet records said otherwise. Confronted with records showing that the cell phones of both suspects were turned off at the same moment the night before the murder and then turned on again the next morning about 6--Knox and Sollecito told police that they slept until after 10 a.m.--the two changed their story. They also said  that Sollecito called the police the morning after the murder, though phone records show the call was made after the police had already arrived at the at the scene of the murder. "Lies can discredit the suspects as much as hard evidence," said a Perugian judge who preferred to remain unnamed.

    Although this is a stupid comment:

    It is not uncommon in Italy to give equal weight to circumstantial evidence..
    because circumstantial evidence is also supposed to be given equal weight in American courts as well.

    Yes (none / 0) (#44)
    by jbindc on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 12:28:17 PM EST
    The defense, of course, and rightly so, will always criticize forensic evidence - they have to.  The prosecution, will of course, always say the forensic evidence is 100% sound.  There as those who accuse the jury of paying attention to the media and anti-Americanism is the only reason that she was convicted.  Over 100 witnesses testified (including the defendants), and over 200 pieces of evidence were introduced (including the fact that Knox changed her story several different times and actually accused someone else).

    The fact is, no one here or in the media really know.  The jury listened to the witnesses and weighed ALL the evidence presented, and found both defendants guilty.  We should know within 90 days of their reasoning, because under Italian law, the jury's reasoning is released.  Keep in mind, too, that an Italian jury does not have to be unanimous to convict - just has to be a majority (which would be 5 of the 8 jurors).

    But for people to say emphatically that she was convicted of something she didn't do is just silly.


    No sillier than saying (none / 0) (#46)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 12:33:31 PM EST
    you know she's guilty.

    I didn't say that (none / 0) (#55)
    by jbindc on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 02:54:14 PM EST
    A jury did, which means legally, she is guilty.  I said we need to see the jury's reasonings.

    Bipartisan progressive reform in our schools (none / 0) (#43)
    by Politalkix on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 12:04:55 PM EST
    Link from the NY Times

    Define progressive. (none / 0) (#50)
    by oldpro on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 01:29:04 PM EST
    Definition of Progressive (none / 0) (#59)
    by Politalkix on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 04:21:55 PM EST
    Anything relating to or favoring progression or improvement is "progressive". Improvement of science and math education in classrooms in America is sorely needed. Scientists and engineers are essential to the economic well being of a nation; they create technology and jobs and improve the general standard of living in a country.
    There is rightfully a lot of unhappiness about the fact that we lag many industrial nations in making quality health care available and affordable to all  our people. I would also like to see the same level of activism in improving science and math education in our schools; our grade school education standards are falling behind that of other industrialized nations.

    Mary Matalin (none / 0) (#56)
    by jbindc on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 02:59:45 PM EST
    Says Obama resembles Bush:

    A leading Republican strategist and one-time aide to former Vice President Cheney said Sunday that President Obama's recently announced decision to send an additional 30, 000 troops to Afghanistan is "a reassertion of the Bush doctrine."

    "The [Bush] doctrine is no safe havens [for terrorists intent on harming the United States] and we go after those that provide a harbor [for such terrorists]. That's the doctrine," Republican strategist Mary Matalin explained Sunday on CNN's State of the Union.

    Obama's decision to surge additional troops into Afghanistan is "solid policy,' in Matalin's view and "a reassertion of the Bush doctrine."

    "Every strategic element is from the Bush doctrine. The tactics are from the Bush surge [in Iraq]," she said.

    When did the Iraq surge become part of... (none / 0) (#61)
    by EL seattle on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 04:41:18 PM EST
    ...the Bush Doctrine?  It's almost as though that phrase acquires a new component every 12 months or so.

    If the surge was part of the Bush Doctrine, I wonder whether Matalin would also consider the premature reassignment of troops, resources, and attention away from Afganistan during the lead up to the Iraq invasion to be part of the Bush Doctrine as well.


    Hilarious (none / 0) (#62)
    by Steve M on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 04:58:50 PM EST
    Now Bush, and not the military, came up with the military tactics we used in Iraq.  Good God.

    Withdrawal of troops from Iraq (none / 0) (#60)
    by Politalkix on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 04:34:28 PM EST
    Progress is being made in taking necessary steps for withdrawal of troops.