Tuesday Night Open Thread

I'm just getting home from work and BTD is traveling this evening.

What have I missed since noon? I'm seeing Dan Froomkin's criticism of AG Eric Holder and Obama's "baby steps" towards "justice for Bush's torturers" and John Sifton at the Daily Beast's criticism of the heavy redactions in the CIA document dump.

Chris Brown got 5 years probation for his assault on Rhianna. He also must do 180 days of community service that involves physical labor and stay 50 yards away from Rhianna.

Here's an open thread for you, all topics welcome.

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    I am so tired tonight (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 11:04:50 PM EST
    I think it's from having to hit the asthma meds hard again getting ready for peanut harvest.  Makes my bod and soul feel like BLEH!  I did see that Jeff Huber has some of the same concerns oculus has about Blackwater and the drones and the hellfires and all that stuff.  I'm too pooped to read it thoroughly though till tomorrow.

    Take care of yourself. (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Fabian on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 02:03:17 AM EST
    I was sleeping fine until dreams of my late dog woke me up.  

    Looked up livestock guardian dogs yesterday and found a case of one farmer who was charged when their LGD barked for six hours straight.  They were away for a medical appointment and the dog was out with the goats.  They fought and won the charge, because under state ordinance what is ordinarily a "nuisance" isn't considered one if it is accepted agricultural practice.  (LGDs will bark until the threat goes away or a human comes to investigate.)
    [handy legal link]

    Is this really accepted agricultural practice?  The government did an official study and created an LGD guide.


    Teddy's gone (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 12:22:56 AM EST
    CNN just broke in with the news he's died.

    Ted Kennedy has died (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by shoephone on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 12:23:37 AM EST
    It was just reported on ABC News.

    How sad that his priority issue -- health care -- still hangs in the balance, due to those on Congress and the White House who are not as dedicated and courageous as he was.

    RIP Senator.

    I knew this was coming (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by caseyOR on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 12:30:21 AM EST
    but, damn. So sad to have Teddy gone. I'm tearing up here.

    CBS is running a televised obit of Teddy (none / 0) (#12)
    by caseyOR on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 12:31:59 AM EST
    right now. They broke into regular programming.

    Thread posted on Teddy (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 01:52:42 AM EST
    here.. At a loss for words, I  posted photos.

    Well, until the bottom of the 9th, (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 09:05:17 PM EST
    the Padres were leading the Braves 1 to 0.  Bottom of the 10th:  still 1-1, no outs, man on first base for the Braves.  Not looking good.

    Pads beat Atlanta 2-1, 12 innings. (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 10:31:05 PM EST
    Oh me of little faith.

    I tell ya'... (none / 0) (#26)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 12:03:00 PM EST
    ...if the Rockies don't stop with these extra-inning/come from behind games, I might have a heart attach.

    2 games in back of the Dodgers and counting...


    Please, please, please don't let the (none / 0) (#27)
    by oculus on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 12:20:25 PM EST
    Dodgers win the NL West.

    They're playing... (none / 0) (#29)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 12:51:30 PM EST
    ...their hearts out right now to keep that from happening!  Just hope they can keep it up.  Not only would it be fun to watch, but it would also be record setting--from 15.5 games back to Divisional champs.  

    From TL sidebar: (none / 0) (#30)
    by oculus on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 06:53:31 PM EST
    LOL... (none / 0) (#33)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 08:42:53 PM EST
    ...It must be true, I read it on the internets!  And, LGM is always one of the highest rated blogs for intellegent content.

    Paul's a good egg too--for being a Michigan grad.

    /Go Rox!


    Five years probation with no time (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 09:12:08 PM EST
    in custody?  

    The pair argued while in a sports car driven by Brown, the police statement said. It went on to describe the assault in great detail, saying Brown punched Rihanna -- identified in the statement as Robyn F. -- numerous times and put her in a head lock, restricting her breathing and causing her to start to lose consciousness. He threatened to beat her and kill her, according to the statement, and he bit her ear and her fingers.

    Eventually, the statement said, "Robyn F. began screaming for help and Brown exited the vehicle and walked away. A resident in the neighborhood heard Robyn F.'s plea for help and called 911, causing a police response.

    The guy should have (none / 0) (#3)
    by coast on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 09:28:01 PM EST
    gotten time.  Hopefully some anger management classes are required as well.

    The hardest thing that a I've had to teach my son is not to hit his sister.  Hard because she usually will hit him for no reason and he'll want to hit her back.  I tell him that I can punish her for hitting you, but you'll get worse if you hit her back.  He has been pretty good, but she knows how to push his buttons (as any good sister or brother does).


    Women get arrested all the time for (none / 0) (#17)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 03:33:30 AM EST
    she usually will hit him for no reason

    domestic violence when they are the ones who strike a blow. The lesson to not hit others is for both male and female. She certainly must have a reason behind hitting him.

    I can punish her for hitting you, but you'll get worse if you hit her back

    Maybe she wants to see what he'll get.


    what's really ailing the Democrats (none / 0) (#4)
    by mikeel on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 09:39:16 PM EST
    I really part of the problem is that the Dems rum and hide (like my cat) at any kind of attacks from the right.  If they can't stand up to Sarah Palin's twitts, can't handle some noisy protestors, they look weak.  Americans don't like weakness.

    Here's hoping John Durham (none / 0) (#8)
    by weltec2 on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 11:45:02 PM EST
    is a lot tougher than Eric Holder wants him to be.
    Here's also hoping that Obama doesn't interfere.

    Jonathan Turley (none / 0) (#31)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 07:06:38 PM EST
    and Keith Olbermann last night pointed out that the narrow framing of the investigation may tie Durham's hands.  They discussed the fact that the investigation is supposed to concern not all violations of applicable law, but practices that went beyond what was sanctioned. I.e., the investigation will be focused on going after "low-lying fruit,", i.e. those in the field, when, according to Turley, it should focus on the lawyers at CIA and OLC who authorized illegal practices.  Reminds me of how some lowly officers following orders were scape-goated on Abu Gharaib, while those who gave the orders got off scott free.  

    Interesting background on a 62-yr. old (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 01:18:39 AM EST
    Republican man who drove an hour to health care forum and is "for" some expansion of nos. covered, but not in favor of "too much" expansion at the expense of his own coverage for himself and his wife, who is a breast cancer survivor:  NYT  

    Let's hope that today's NYT whine (none / 0) (#16)
    by shoephone on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 02:06:47 AM EST
    by MoDo is the last one ever published. While I don't disagree with the premise of the piece, I don't, for one moment, believe her motivation for it. As usual, it's all about her, and she gives that away in the opening lines.

    Considering that the news over the next week will be dominated by Ted Kennedy's death and his monumental legacy, MoDo's boo-hooing will chafe and grate like sandpaper when juxtaposed.

    if he is not really dying (none / 0) (#18)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 08:35:23 AM EST
    think he still should have  been released?

    JUSTICE secretary Kenny MacAskill was last night under pressure to reveal more details of the medical evidence that led to the release of the Lockerbie bomber, after it emerged that only one doctor was willing to say Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi had less than three months to live.
    Labour and Conservative politicians have demanded the Scottish Government publish details of the doctor's expertise and qualifications, amid suggestions he or she may not have been a prostate cancer expert.

    The parties have also raised questions over whether the doctor was employed by the Libyan government or Megrahi's legal team, which could have influenced the judgment


    No, But (none / 0) (#20)
    by daring grace on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 09:05:26 AM EST
    I think his release on compassionate grounds terminated a re-opening of the investigation which may have led to his eventual release anyway.

    The charges made by this Dutch reporter in his documentary about the case echo other things I've read that suggest the evidence and prosecution were seriously flawed.

    His 2009 documentary Lockerbie Revisited showed how the only piece of evidence linking al-Megrahi to the Lockerbie attack - a small fragment of a chip that allegedly caused the bomb to explode - was transferred from Scotland to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the US without knowledge of Lord Advocate Peter Fraser.

    Fraser led the Scottish investigation into the terrorist attack.

    'It cannot be ruled out someone tampered with this crucial piece of evidence,' Levy said, adding Al-Megrahi's 2001 conviction was entirely based on the controversial chip fragment.

    The chip fragment was discovered in a man's shirt in one of the suitcases found at the site of the explosion.

    Investigators traced the shirt to a store in Malta. The store owner later became the main witness who identified Al-Megrahi.

    Levy, however, claims the store owner did not actually identify the Libyan. 'He only stated Al-Megrahi 'resembled' someone who visited his store,' the journalist said.

    the fact is (none / 0) (#22)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 09:19:37 AM EST
    he was convicted.  he was the only one convicted.
    for my part I wondered how it would feel to see his welcoming home celebration if it had been one of my loved ones killed in the attack.

    The Fact Is (none / 0) (#23)
    by daring grace on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 09:35:15 AM EST
    he was released early because he is supposedly dying of cancer. If that's not true, then you've got yourself an outrage and a scandal.

    And look at it this way: even if his medical condition is exactly as its supposed to be (imminently terminal) you still have your outrage that he was freed at all.

    And I get to feel that added outrage that maybe he's been convicted on manufactured evidence and wouldn't have been convicted in the first place if he'd gotten a fair trial.


    It did sound like doctor-shopping (none / 0) (#21)
    by Cream City on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 09:09:52 AM EST
    in those first stories I read -- in the European press, stories that dealt with this in more depth than the automatic American press reaction.  The release was delayed and delayed until MacAskill found this last doctor, and then he acted post haste.  His possible motivation also was quite evident in other stories I read from Europe.  Anyone taking a stand on this issue really ought to read up before giving knee-jerk reactions here, as it doesn't look like Scotland's justice system at its finest.  

    Maybe (none / 0) (#24)
    by daring grace on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 10:06:35 AM EST
    but the doctor whose opinion they ultimately went with was the prison service medical director Andrew Fraser.

    Not exactly doctor shopping since he was, apparently, the physician most involved on a day to day basis with the prisoner's case.

    So now it's come out that "Four specialists said in June and July that Abdelbaset al-Megrahi could live for up to 10 months and was not sick enough to be released."

    That his release is based solely on the report from this prison system physician suggests they should have more than one doctor's opinion. But still his report notes that al Megrahi's condition drastically deteriorated by earlier this month, and that "[the justification for release] represented a consensus view from a number of people who had been involved in Mr al-Megrahi's care.",

    But, beyond that, the arguments among the politicians and doctors regarding whether this man will live for the permissable three months or less or maybe for as long as eight or ten months is ridiculous to me as the surviving friend and relative of people who died of cancer. I've seen the estimates go both ways: be too generous or too pessimistic.

    Trying to pinpoint such a thing and holding people accountable either way seems like nonsense to me. Either release him because he is likely to die in 3 months and suffer him to live longer. Or don't release him at all if that arbitrary number is too hard to calculate accurately, and three months is the limit for official humanitarian consideration.


    oh! of course. (none / 0) (#19)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 08:38:15 AM EST
    its not the correct VERSION of the document that will "prove torture works".

    Late yesterday afternoon, the CIA public affairs office sent reporters an email with two documents attached. CIA spokesman George Little wrote: "For your information, the attached files are part of today's document release on the CIA interrogation program. Former Vice President Cheney asked that these documents be released earlier this year."

    One document, entitled "Khalid Shaykh Muhammad: Preeminent Source on al Qaida," is the precise document Cheney requested. The other, entitled, "Detainee Reporting Pivotal for the War Against al Qaeda," is not. The document declassified and released by the CIA is dated June 3, 2003. The version of the document requested by Cheney was dated June 1, 2003.

    Are there substantive differences, too? One intelligence source with knowledge of the memos says that the second report, the June 3 document releasing by the CIA, does not include the same level of detail as the June 1 document, the one requested by Cheney. So what aren't we seeing? It's hard to say. The explanation could be simple and innocent. Perhaps someone just conveyed the wrong request and the differences between the two versions of the "pivotal" report are not significant.

    MIke Enzi is proud (none / 0) (#28)
    by waldenpond on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 12:24:13 PM EST
    he's blocking healthcare.. at a town hall ["If I hadn't been involved in this process as long as I have and to the depth as I have, you would already have national health care," he said.]

    Mike Enzi, Gang Of Six Republican, Admits He's Simply Blocking Health Care Reform

    Greenwald has (none / 0) (#32)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 07:15:02 PM EST
    a terrific summary of the U.S. laws that make various acts of torture illegal.