11/14/2010 archive

Rant of the Week: Rachel Maddow

Retroactive Rational for Invading Iraq

On This Day in History: November 14

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

November 14 is the 318th day of the year (319th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 47 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1851, the novel Mobey Dick is published. Moby Dick, a novel by Herman Melville about the voyage of the whaling ship Pequod, is published by Harper & Brothers in New York. Moby Dick is now considered a great classic of American literature and contains one of the most famous opening lines in fiction: “Call me Ishmael.” Initially, though, the book about Captain Ahab and his quest for a giant white whale was a flop.

Moby-Dick is widely considered to be a Great American Novel and a treasure of world literature. The story tells the adventures of the wandering sailor Ishmael, and his voyage on the whaleship Pequod, commanded by Captain Ahab. Ishmael soon learns that Ahab seeks one specific whale, Moby Dick, a ferocious, enigmatic white sperm whale. In a previous encounter, the whale destroyed Ahab’s boat and bit off his leg. Ahab intends to take revenge.

In Moby-Dick, Melville employs stylized language, symbolism, and metaphor to explore numerous complex themes. Through the main character’s journey, the concepts of class and social status, good and evil, and the existence of gods are all examined as Ishmael speculates upon his personal beliefs and his place in the universe. The narrator’s reflections, along with his descriptions of a sailor’s life aboard a whaling ship, are woven into the narrative along with Shakespearean literary devices such as stage directions, extended soliloquies and asides. The book portrays insecurity that is still seen today when it comes to non-human beings along with the belief that these beings understand and act like humans. The story is based on the actual events around the whaleship Essex, which was attacked by a sperm whale while at sea and sank.

Moby Dick has been classified as American Romanticism. It was first published by Richard Bentley in London on October 18, 1851, in an expurgated three-volume edition titled The Whale, and weeks later as a single volume, by New York City publisher Harper and Brothers as Moby Dick; or, The Whale on November 14, 1851. Although the book initially received mixed reviews, Moby Dick is now considered part of the Western canon.

Surprise, Surprise

So much for promises to restore the rule of law. Obama Justice Department was supposed to be non-political and independent of the White House. Yeah, right and that bridge in Brooklyn is still on the market.

Opposition to U.S. trial likely to keep mastermind of 9/11 attacks in detention

Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, will probably remain in military detention without trial for the foreseeable future, according to Obama administration officials.

The administration has concluded that it cannot put Mohammed on trial in federal court because of the opposition of lawmakers in Congress and in New York. There is also little internal support for resurrecting a military prosecution at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The latter option would alienate liberal supporters.

The administration asserts that it can hold Mohammed and other al-Qaeda operatives under the laws of war, a principle that has been upheld by the courts when Guantanamo Bay detainees have challenged their detention.

More Bush. More War forever

And that’s why this decision almost guarantees that the AUMF just became a forever war-at least one lasting the next twenty to forty years of KSM’s life. Because the government has apparently decided to hold KSM with no more solid legal justification than the war, which judges have interpreted to be the AUMF. Which means the government is going to have to sustain some claim that that AUMF remains in effect, even if we go broke and withdraw from Afghanistan as a result (that seems to be the only thing that will make us withdraw, in spite of the fact that we’re not going to do any good there).

Nine years ago, a British Embassy employee  wrote,

As long as the war against terrorism in the widest sense continued, the US/UK would have rights to continue to detain those they had been fighting against (even if the fighting in Afghanistan itself were over). [Redacted] conceded that the strength of such a case would depend on the plausibility of the argument that the war was continuing.

The decision to hold KSM indefinitely has now flipped that equation: so long as the only justification for holding KSM is the claim we’re at war, we’ll have to remain at war.

And all those bonus powers a President gets with the claim that we’re at war? They’re all wrapped up now, in the necessity to hold KSM forever.

h/t emptywheel @ FDL

Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Punting the Pundits is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

The Sunday Talking Heads:

This Week with Christiane Amanpour: Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., join Ms. Amanpour to debate the administration’s foreign policy, the role of the U.S. in the world, the formation of a new Iraqi coalition in Iraq, from which Graham has just returned from a congressional delegation visit, and the chances for a bipartisan foreign policy in the new Congress.

She also brings together top voices on the economy with two members of the deficit commission, Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., and chairman and CEO of Honeywell International, David Cote.  

At the Round Table with George Will, Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus and Robert Kagan of the Brookings Institution the mixed messages from the White House on  the Bush Tax cuts and President Bush’s new book, “Decision Points.”

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Mr. Scheiffer will be joined this Sunday by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. and Sen.-elect Rand Paul, R-Ky.

The Chris Matthews Show: This Week’s Guests Gloria Borger, CNN Senior Political Analyst, Howard Fineman, The Huffington Post, Senior Political Editor, Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune Columnist and Kelly O’Donnell, NBC News Capitol Hill Correspondent will be Mr. Matthew’s guests to discuss these topics.

Which Republican Sees the Best Shot to Run as the Un-Obama in 2012?

The House Republican Plan for 280 Hearings in 2011 to Investigate the Obama Administration

Meet the Press with David Gregory: In his first television interview since Democrats suffered big losses in the midterm elections, Mr. Gregory will sit down with President Obama’s top advisor, David Axelrod and have an exclusive interview with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

Joining Mr. Gregory for a Round Table discussion of the Deficit Commission Chair Report and the Bush Tax Cuts will be former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA), former Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D-TN) and  Co-Author of “All the Devils Are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis”, Bethany McLean of Vanity Fair.  

As my good friend BillinPortland puts it:

On Meet the Press Sunday: Newt Gingrich, John McCain, Alan Greenspan and Harold Ford. A perfect 10 on the Wanker Scale!!!

State of the Union with Candy Crowley: This Sunday, the focus is on the president’s Asia trip, the Deficit Commission report and the agenda for the lame duck congress. Joining us, Senator John Cornyn (R-TX)and  Senator Mark Warner (D-VA).

Then, after an historic election, the balance of power in the House tips to Republican control. What will it mean for the Democrats? We’ll talk to Congressmen James Clyburn of South Carolina and Heath Shuler of North Carolina.

And insight and analysis on the new balance of power with former White House Communications Director Anita Dunn and former Republican Congressman Tom Davis.

Fareed Zakaris: GPS: Mr. Zakaria will be on Hong Kong to talk about President Obama’s Asia trip and America’s diminished influence. He will have a one on one discussion with elder statesmen, George Shultz about the current state of the economy, his advice for fixing it, and his thoughts on world affairs.

Fareeed will then look at the inventions that are coming out of the tiny city-state of Singapore. Next up, what was accomplished on Obama’s trip overseas? GPS has gathered a panel of experts, one from each of the President’s four stops, to break down what Obama’s visit means for the future of U.S-Asian relations.

And finally, a last look at the President shouldn’t be sentimental about at least one aspect of his childhood home of Indonesia.

F1: Yas Marina

One and done.

An interesting feature of the Yas Marina race is that it takes place at dusk and will finish under the lights like Singapore.

All the Top Qualifiers used Softs and they start on the same rubber.  The Bridgestone guys still swear they’re only good for about 10 laps, so perhaps we’ll see some early pits that mix up the field.  Were I a back marker I’d at least consider giving the Prime tire tactic a shot.  They take 2 laps to warm up and then they’re just as good as the Softs.

Something that doesn’t often get mentioned is that now days Drivers, while they are paid by the Teams, are also expected to bring their own sponsorship money to the table, effectively buying their seat.  While I don’t think any Team would start a Driver they thought was slow just for the money, I can’t see how this situation is good for the sport.

For all it’s recent expansion Formula One is on the financial edge and a lot of the rule changes are compromises to make it cheaper to field a Team (not that this helped the US effort much because it’s still very expensive).  I think this is an unfortunate development.

One change in particular I disagree with is the restriction on track testing time.  While it makes it cheaper for new Teams, it also prevents them from learning the things they need to know to be competitive.  For instance the Virgin Cars still don’t have enough fuel on board to go the whole race at top speed.

If “cost cutting” rule changes continue Formula One will degenerate into the Open Wheel NASCAR Bumper Car sport that IndyCar and all the ‘strict’ formulas have become and while you may think it’s thrilling to have the cars all bunched up so there are lots of chunks of twisted flaming metal, I don’t really watch for the wrecks.

That’s what Monster Jam is for.

I promised I’d talk about Auto World and Ferrari World, but I think most of it is in the links.  I will say that I had a chance to go to Auto World twice and I found it kind of sad in the same way Lake Compounce is sad.  The second time was the revival and they were only running the ‘Historic Flint’ front end, not that the back was much of a much.  An up escalator past painted walls with a sound track about making cars.  A moving Airport slide walk past cam driven HMS Pinafore wave cut outs of engines and stuff with a sound track about making cars.  A down escalator past painted walls with a sound track about making cars.  No wonder my Grandma thought Michael Moore was a smart ass.  Ferrari World is said to have the world’s fastest roller coaster.  We’ll see how long it lasts.

I really, really, really encourage you to click through on Yas Marina Qualifying, it’s a much better piece.

Pretty tables below.

Repeat at 4:30 pm.

Morning Shinbun Sunday November 14

Sunday’s Headlines:

Shooting star show’s brilliant history


Karzai wants U.S. to reduce military operations in Afghanistan

Just an ugly lump of rock? Not quite. It happens to be worth $1bn


Ireland’s young flee abroad as economic meltdown looms

Sergei Magnitsky: family remember Russian lawyer one year after his death

Middle East

Allawi’s Sunni-backed bloc returns to parliament after walkout

Israel to debate US settlement deal


Exclusive: Afghanistan – behind enemy lines

Bangladesh strikes after eviction


The doctor who heals victims of Congo’s war rapes

Latin America

Haiti: Where is the UN? Where is the help?

Burma’s Suu Kyi tells followers not to give up hope

Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has urged thousands of her supporters not to give up hope, a day after her release from house arrest.

The BBC  14 November 2010

“There is no reason to lose heart,” she told a crowd outside the headquarters of her NLD party in Rangoon.

Ms Suu Kyi was released by the military when her sentence ended on Saturday.

World leaders and human rights groups have welcomed her release. She has spent 15 of the last 21 years either under house arrest or in prison.

On Sunday, Ms Suu Kyi’s car was surrounded by a large crowd of supporters as it approached the NLD’s headquarters.

People chanted “We love Suu”, amid thunderous applause..

The Week in Editorial Cartoons – Misremembering George W. Bush

Crossposted at Daily Kos and Docudharma

Bush Memoir by Rob Rogers, see reader comments in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Buy this cartoon

George W. Bush is on a book tour with his new autobiography.  According to critics, there isn’t a lot of new or revealing material here.  W still believes the war in Iraq, tax cuts for the rich and torture were all good ideas.  He didn’t really need to publish a non-reflective memoir to tell us that.

Prime Time

Some premiers.  College Throwball, ABC’s choice of 3- Clemson @ Florida State or Oklahoma State @ Texas or USC @ Arizona.

People go, man aren’t you afraid that you’re going to hell?  No, no, BECAUSE I WAS MARRIED FOR TWO FUCKING YEARS!

Hell would be like Club Med, I could be a Tour Guide in Hell.


SNL- Scarlett Johansson and Arcade Fire.  GitS: SAC 2nd GigNight Cruise, Cash Eye (Episodes 2 & 3 of the 2nd Gig Series)


Zap2it TV Listings, Yahoo TV Listings

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Newly freed Suu Kyi prepares to address supporters


29 mins ago

YANGON (AFP) – Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is set to rally her many supporters Sunday with a rare political address on her first full day of freedom after release from years of house arrest.

The daughter of Myanmar’s independence hero carries a weight of expectation among her followers for a better future for the nation after almost half a century of military dictatorship.

A crowd of thousands roared its approval on Saturday after the Nobel Peace Prize Winner — who has been locked up for most of the past two decades — appeared after the end of her latest seven-year stretch of detention.