Monday Night News and Open Thread

The Iman who pleaded guilty to lying to authorities about Najibullah Zazi has self-deported, as required by his plea agreement. He's headed to Saudi Arabia. His attorney says:

"Imam Afzali is did his best to assist authorities when they asked for his help," said Kuby, who claimed Afzali was the victim of a turf war between the New York Police Department and FBI over the terrorism investigation.

"For his part, he leaves the United States with great sadness and no bitterness," Kuby said. "The United States is the only home that he knows; this country remains home to his parents, his children, and his brothers."

The Swiss now won't say when a decision in Roman Polanski's case is due. Yesterday, news reports had a Swiss official saying it was imminent. The officials also note he can appeal an adverse decision.

Joran Van der Sloot will undergo psychological testing tomorrow to assist the Judge in determining his mental state at the time of the alleged murder of Stephany Flores.

Tourism is down in Arizona. The boycott is having an effect. [More...]

The Governor plans to infuse a bunch of cash into the state's tourism pr budget, as if that will help. One item being proposed:: "A printed and digital SB1070 fact sheet be developed to clarify facts and misconceptions." Unless they want to print up mea culpas with announcement the law is being repealed, they may as well save their money.

One more immigration note: A candidate for the AZ Utilities Commission is pledging to cut off service and power to the undocumented if elected. Maybe Arizona should just secede from the nation.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

< Monday Morning Open Thread | More Inaccurate Reporting on Joran Van der Sloot's Lawyers >
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    Glenn Greenwald's write up (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 01:11:29 AM EST
    of the harassment of journalists trying to cover the BP spill being carried out by the various local law enforcement and the coast guard is unnerving and infuriating.  It has been obvious that media coverage has been hampered, real evidence mounts now.  We will all eventually be oil soaked down here though.  I also saw a news report that said there is an 80% to 100% chance that Miami beaches are going to be affected by this spill at some point too.  Can they police state the whole Southern coastline affectively?  What a losing battle they currently seem to be determined to wage.

    Day 76. (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by KeysDan on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 08:35:06 AM EST
    it is only Day 76 since the BP spill so just be patient.  

    Progress continues to be made by our crack first responders. No "deer-in-the-headlights" response from this gang--- no sirree.  A Navy blimp is being deployed to help respond to the "spill".  The blimp is capable of staying in the air for 12 hours, much longer than helicopters or airplanes, and will be used to monitor oil, support skimming operations and detect wildlife that may be in distress.  The blimp is expected to arrive in the "area" this week, maybe.


    Linda Lingle (R) (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 09:33:55 AM EST
    Governor of Hawaii vetoed civil unions, since she claimed it was "marriage by another name".   Moreover, she said that state voters rather than the legislature should decide the issue.  A veto override, apparently, is unlikely since the bill was passed by a veto-proof  senate vote, but the House did not garner the 2/3 threshold.  The twice divorced, now single governor, was apparently concerned about sanctity of marriage or its equivalent.  Donald can fill us in on the details at some point.

    This Arizona (none / 0) (#1)
    by JamesTX on Mon Jul 05, 2010 at 08:30:27 PM EST
    thing looks good. Here is a case where a bad law is going to be rejected or the state is going to pay the price. We have a few other bad laws that could use the same treatment. If it works, its good news.

    Tourism is down?? (none / 0) (#2)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jul 05, 2010 at 09:16:52 PM EST
    Well, with 9.5% unemployment what would a reasonable person expect?

    Unclear (none / 0) (#3)
    by waldenpond on Mon Jul 05, 2010 at 09:36:27 PM EST
    Tourism is down every where so it's unclear if the  boycott is having any effect.  NY down 4%, CA is down 10%.  

    It's too soon to know.  Will have to compare state drops from 08 to 09 and then reevaluate with 09 to 10 numbers.  Of course, will have to ignore the gulf states because of the oil spill.


    Totally clear: tourism is WAY down in the Gulf. (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 10:46:11 AM EST
    Unclear? (none / 0) (#4)
    by squeaky on Mon Jul 05, 2010 at 09:48:41 PM EST
    Considering that many have cancelled plans, trips to Arizona, there is no question that the boycott is having an effect. The only thing that is uncertain, is if the right wing will up their tourism to the state to compensate for all the people either afraid to travel to AZ, or those who are boycotting for political reasons.

    If that were not so, the governor would not be trying to turn this around with a big expensive PR campaign.


    Well that was unclear (none / 0) (#5)
    by waldenpond on Mon Jul 05, 2010 at 09:59:34 PM EST
    :)  Yes,no,yes,no.

    You state it's having an effect. Boycott relevant.
    You state Repubs may offset the effect. Boycott irrelevant.  You state people may be supporting the boycott.  Boycott relevant.  You state people may be avoiding being beheaded. Boycott irrelevant (Brewer stupid.)


    OTH (none / 0) (#8)
    by nyjets on Mon Jul 05, 2010 at 10:11:43 PM EST
    As 'undocumented' immgrants stop going to Arizona, that might improve the job situation for Ameican citizens that reside in Arizona. That might counterweight any boycott being done by outsiders (people who do  not live in Arizona and believe that they will never loose there job to an immigrant).

    History (none / 0) (#6)
    by squeaky on Mon Jul 05, 2010 at 10:01:04 PM EST
    There is no reason to believe that history will not repeat itself and the boycott will continue to damage tourism in AZ:

    Arizona, where tourism accounts for 96,000 jobs, knows first hand how devastating a boycott can be. After voters in 1990 rejected a state holiday to honor Dr. King "we lost 166 conventions worth $190 million," said Tony Alba, a spokesman for the Phoenix and Valley of the Sun Convention and Visitors Bureau. That includes the 1993 Super Bowl, which had been scheduled for suburban Tempe.

    In November, after intense lobbying by the state's business and tourist industry leadership, Arizona voters approved the holiday.


    What is not clear is whether or not AZ will relent this time and repeal the new anti-immigrant law.


    There is every reason to believe that (none / 0) (#22)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 07:39:24 AM EST
    history won't repeat itself.

    The MLK holiday boycott resonated easily with voters because it did two things.

    1. Honored Dr. King which was the correct thing to do.

    2. Gave folks another day off.

    There is no "honor" component in boycotting and causing someone to lose their job because they want illegal immigrants arrested and turned over to INS.

    Bwaahahahaahha (none / 0) (#37)
    by squeaky on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 10:39:54 AM EST
    Yeah, MLK day was a just cause, it only took five years of boycotting AZ for the voters of the state to adopt the holiday.

    So far, after only three months, the official numbers of the boycott's effect are running way ahead of those during the MLK Boycott.

    Just because you are for the AZ law and feel sympathy for the bigots in the state, does not mean that the boycott is any less popular and effective than the MLK boycott.

    National and International pressure is high, this is a really big deal.


    When you suggest that perhaps Arizona (none / 0) (#7)
    by Peter G on Mon Jul 05, 2010 at 10:04:45 PM EST
    should just secede, TL, I am reminded of yet another Phil Ochs song: "Here's to the State of Mississippi," released in 1965. We miss you, Phil.

    Nice (none / 0) (#10)
    by squeaky on Mon Jul 05, 2010 at 10:13:32 PM EST
    Arizona find yourself another country to be part of...  

    Thanks for that! I am not familiar with Phil Ochs.


    You never heard (none / 0) (#12)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 12:09:59 AM EST
    "Universal Soldier"? My favorite anti-war song ever, I think (aside from Country Joe's Fixing to Die Rag.) The words are just beautiful. (I learned to play it on the guitar in high school and still have the music.) Buffy St. Marie also did a version but I like Phil Ochs' the best.

    Yes (none / 0) (#13)
    by squeaky on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 12:37:19 AM EST
    I did not know that was Phil Ochs..  I am generally ignorant about pop music.... spent most of my life learning classical...  although I do know some artists, not a lot though.

    Actually (none / 0) (#14)
    by squeaky on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 12:42:47 AM EST
    I think I first heard it here at TL in one of your posts, as I remember you mentioning that you learned it on the guitar...  

    yes it was one of four songs I can play (none / 0) (#19)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 02:58:38 AM EST
    Not as easy as it looks. The others were "Where Were You When I needed You (by the Grass Roots) and a few Bob Dylan songs. Oh, and Johhny Cash' Cocaine and Folsom Prison Blues. (I guess I've been wired this way since childhood.)

    and my favorite to play is (none / 0) (#20)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 02:59:30 AM EST
    "Dead Flowers" by the Rolling Stones. and Long Black Veil. I guess that's more than four.

    Looking forward to (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by brodie on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 09:58:03 AM EST
    seeing you post a Dead Flowers performance of yours on YouTube, Jeralyn.

    And, yes, I do expect you to sing in a Country accent -- like Mick does of course.  ; )


    Nice (none / 0) (#38)
    by squeaky on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 10:42:12 AM EST
    I hope you are keeping up playing those songs. Playing music is a wonderful thing to have in your life, and to share with others. And it takes little time investment, a little bit every day and you can play.

    Sorry, TL, but (none / 0) (#27)
    by Peter G on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 09:29:43 AM EST
    Phil Ochs did not write "Universal Soldier."  That was written by Buffy Sainte-Marie herself.  Wikipedia says that Phil Ochs recorded a cover of it; but I don't know on what album, and I wasn't even aware that Phil recorded other writers' work.  (I'm not sure I would describe the words as "beautiful," either.  More important, I really don't like the message; never did.  It blames the evils of war on the individual soldier rather than on the politicians and business leaders who profit and otherwise benefit.) Perhaps you are thinking of Phil Ochs' "I Ain't Marching Anymore" or perhaps "I Declare the War Is Over"? (I heard him sing the latter in October 1967, at the Lincoln Memorial, before a mammoth anti-war "march on the Pentagon.") For beautiful lyrics in an anti-war song, I would point to Pete Seeger's "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?".

    Well I think Buffy (none / 0) (#30)
    by brodie on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 09:46:09 AM EST
    is saying more that the individual soldier has to be responsible, not necessarily that he's the only one responsible.

    The Phil Ochs' song I Ain't Marchin' Anymore actually does similar duty with its strong, soldier-oriented perspective, though it also mentions how it's the "old" who always send them off to war.

    High marks from me for both these antiwar songs from the 60s.  Seeger's though probably tops them all with both strong lyrics and a superior melody.


    "He really is to blame," says Buffy (none / 0) (#42)
    by Peter G on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 10:53:48 AM EST
    The soldier is responsible for his or her decisions, yes, I agree.  That's why I have done a lot of work for over 40 years supporting and defending conscientious objectors.  But to say the individual solider is "really ... to blame" for the persistence of war, no, I can't agree.  That's how I hear the song.  But hopefully I have misunderstood it all these years.

    Okay, fair interpretation (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by brodie on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 11:25:03 AM EST
    as I review those last lines.  It might be more accurate to say that while the soldier isn't the only one responsible, she is saying he's the most important factor in the killing machine.

    Not such a bad message, actually.  Especially as we consider some leaders and war policy makers who were absolutely beyond reasoning with (the one she cites by name in her song, and, I would add, two others who stubbornly refused to listen to dissenting voices for peace -- Johnson and Nixon).

    Of course, these days things have gone 180 in the other direction in re how we almost reverentially regard the soldier, who is now commonly called a "hero" by politicians, because anything less would be considered evidence of disrespecting the troops.


    Yeah (none / 0) (#47)
    by squeaky on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 11:31:49 AM EST
    And if you think about the politics back then, she is urging people to resist the draft. Better to pay the price as a draft resister than become a killing machine.

    And that goes double for those who voluntarily join.


    Sounds like she might (none / 0) (#48)
    by brodie on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 11:49:08 AM EST
    have been one of the earliest opponents of US involvement in VN (1963 or so she was inspired to write the song, wiki).

    I also now recall, dimly, hearing this one sung in real time on the radio by Donovan in 1965 -- quite a year for protest songs actually, while Buffy's 1964 Universal Soldier version might have been at least a year premature (Tonkin Gulf, but no major US war reprisal yet).

    Did not know that one Glen Campbell also covered it.

    Glen Campbell -- wasn't aware he had much lefty in him.


    On blame: (none / 0) (#49)
    by christinep on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 04:37:45 PM EST
    What about Bob Dylan's dirge-like Masters of War?

    Yeah (none / 0) (#39)
    by squeaky on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 10:46:03 AM EST
    I think that TL is aware of that... my first encounter with song was at TL, here. Buffy Saint Marie was credited as the creator.

    Here... (none / 0) (#41)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 10:50:39 AM EST
    Brodie was responding to Peter G who said:
    It [Universal Soldier song] blames the evils of war on the individual soldier rather than on the politicians and business leaders who profit and otherwise benefit.

    No, actually I think Squeaky was correcting (none / 0) (#43)
    by Peter G on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 10:57:00 AM EST
    me for misconstruing Jeralyn's post (#12), which I understood to be crediting Phil Ochs as the author of "Universal Soldier."  I see now that she probably was just saying she preferred his version to Buffy St. Marie's, without suggested who wrote the song in the first place.

    Yes (none / 0) (#44)
    by squeaky on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 11:05:18 AM EST
    OK (none / 0) (#45)
    by squeaky on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 11:05:56 AM EST
    But that was not what I was responding to.

    I finally got through Dr. Zhivago (none / 0) (#9)
    by andgarden on Mon Jul 05, 2010 at 10:13:01 PM EST
    It's a very good movie, but IMO it doesn't hold a candle to Lawrence of Arabia.

    For a fleeting minute I thought you'd (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 05, 2010 at 11:10:15 PM EST
    read the book!

    Well, I have read The Brothers Karamazov (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by andgarden on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 06:33:35 AM EST
    and liked it a great deal. But that was years ago.

    I recommend "Wolf Hall," by (none / 0) (#35)
    by oculus on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 10:12:17 AM EST
    Hilary Mantel.  Long, many characters, Protagonist is Thomas Cromwell.  

    Down with a bad cold all day (none / 0) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 12:43:06 AM EST
    Now I really will be up all night because I slept most of the day :)  Digby has a lot of good stuff up.  DKos is so disappointing though.  Digby has something up about the stock market beginning to mimic what it did leading up to the worst of "The Great" depression.  I think we are going to end up having to rename that period in our history.  She also has a George Carlin video link to The American Dream, to believe it you have to be asleep.

    Yeah, Good Stuff (none / 0) (#16)
    by squeaky on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 12:45:20 AM EST
    I liked that line a lot.... from Carlin.  One to remember.

    The market going down for the count (none / 0) (#17)
    by shoephone on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 01:05:33 AM EST
    for a long spell, according to Robert Prechter, in this NYT article.



    Van der sloot (none / 0) (#25)
    by diogenes on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 09:23:09 AM EST
    "Joran Van der Sloot will undergo psychological testing tomorrow to assist the Judge in determining his mental state at the time of the alleged murder of Stephany Flores."

    You all do see the problem in this.  You can only use a not guilty by reason of insanity plea if you admit that you did the actual act.  

    Are you citing Peruvian law, or U.S. law? (none / 0) (#28)
    by Peter G on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 09:35:52 AM EST
    In the U.S., defenses can ordinarily be presented in the alternative -- that is, for example, "It wasn't me who did it, but if the jury finds that it was me, then look at the expert testimony ... I was in a psychological state at the time of the offense that meets the legal definition of 'insanity'" (or "lack of mental responsibility" or whatever it's called in that jurisdiction).  (Whether it is a good strategy with a jury to present alternative defenses is another question.  I am just saying it is legally an option.)  Of course, I have no idea how it works in Peru ... or whether "insanity," however defined, is even a defense there.

    just saw something I could hardly believe (none / 0) (#26)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 09:23:55 AM EST
    I always thought Dylan Ratigan was sort of an idiot but I just saw an MSNBC promo where he attributes the famous Harry Truman quote about "telling the truth and they just think its hell" to Teddy Roosevelt.
    I googled and cant find any thing about it on the tubes.  

    I can still barely believe it.

    Both are tough (none / 0) (#31)
    by brodie on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 09:54:56 AM EST
    no nonsense macho presidents.  Easy to confuse them at times.

    Both very overrated presidents also, imo.  (FDR I'd put on Mt Rushmore, not Teddy.)    

    I just wish Truman in 1947 and other years had given J. Edgar Hoover and  also that newly-formed CIA a little more hell from time to time about their trampeling on peoples' liberties.


    Teddy Roosevelt (none / 0) (#50)
    by christinep on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 04:44:43 PM EST
    As I grow older, there is more respect for Teddy Roosevelt. Particularly: Actions responsive to the destructive force of unregulated monopolies (trustbusting) and Conservation measures respecting national parks and wildlife bird preserves. A lot of forethought, and action to carry it out.

    Good intentions (none / 0) (#33)
    by waldenpond on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 10:00:28 AM EST
    Rachel's promo is bad also.

    I believe Dylan thinks he has good intentions...

    I never give them hell. I just tell the truth and they think it's hell....  

    He's been on a weird 'truth telling' kick lately.  I haven't decided if it's weird because I don't agree with a positions he holds or because he just comes across as incoherent sometimes.

    He . doestend . tospeak gobbledeegook andhasalotofannoyingrunons. and ... breaks . inhispeech.


    I guess (none / 0) (#34)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 10:02:39 AM EST
    but you would think that even if he didnt know the source of the quote someone else there would.

    sounds like you have seen it and I didnt imagine it?


    wow (none / 0) (#29)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 09:39:15 AM EST
    my adopted state is screwed

    Illinois Stops Paying Its Bills, but Can't Stop Digging Hole

    $5.01 billion.

    "This is what the state owes right now to schools, rehabilitation centers, child care, the state university -- and it's getting worse every single day," he says in his downtown office.

    Mr. Hynes shakes his head. "This is not some esoteric budget issue; we are not paying bills for absolutely essential services," he says. "That is obscene."

    Coney Island State of the Union... (none / 0) (#36)
    by kdog on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 10:16:50 AM EST
    A "that just says it all" moment down in Coney on the 4th at the big hot dog eating contest...Takeru Kobayashi getting locked up as the crowd chants "Let Him Eat!".

    Getting locked up, it's the new apple pie.