Some news and the afternoon’s open thread.
The Washington Post reports Federal judge hears CIA tapes case. “U.S. District Judge Henry H. Kennedy… said he would consider the lawyers’ arguments for an urgent court inquiry into whether the destruction of the CIA tapes may have violated Kennedy’s June 2005 order requiring the government to preserve any evidence related to mistreatment of Guantanamo detainees… At the hour-long hearing, a Justice Department lawyer urged the judge to hold off on any investigation, saying such an inquiry could compromise a Justice Department probe that has recently been launched into the tapes’ destruction. [David Remes, an attorney for several detainees,] questioned why the court should trust the Justice Department, which may have been aware of the destruction of the CIA tapes, to now determine whether other Guantanamo-related evidence is being properly preserved.”
Oh no! Asteroid on track for possible Mars hit! According to the Los Angeles Times, “An asteroid similar to the one that flattened forests in Siberia in 1908 could plow into Mars next month… Researchers attached to NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program, who sometimes jokingly call themselves the Solar System Defense Team, have been tracking the asteroid since its discovery in late November. The scientists, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge, put the chances that it will hit the Red Planet on Jan. 30 at about 1 in 75… The Tunguska object broke up in midair, but the Martian atmosphere is so thin that an asteroid would probably plummet to the surface, digging a crater half a mile wide”. That’s before Martian primary voters can vote on Super-Tuesday.
“The Sleuth” aka Mary Ann Akers of the Washington Post writes Gonzales has rough time tapping young minds for legal defense fund. “Buried by legal bills and hard up for cash, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales hit the college speaking circuit last month hoping to rake in big bucks. Instead, he’s been raked over the coals, heckled or flat out turned down by students whose institutions he charges exorbitant fees to tap his amnesiac mind… Gonzales had become the subject of angry editorials and protests on campuses near and far. At the University of Florida last month, he was viciously heckled to the point that two students wearing black hoods and orange jumpsuits blaring the words “civil liberties”- impersonating prisoners at Abu Ghraib – walked on stage and stood next to the former attorney general as he spoke. (Until they were arrested.) It was a tough way to make $40,000. And it stands to get tougher.” Oh, BOO HOO! Cry me a river… AbuG shows up, mumbles, and makes more money than many of us make in a year. This isn’t work, this is a classic academia scam by politicians.
Lastly, this little Iowa caucus vignette from The New York Times.
“Who is your favorite author?” Aleya Deatsch, 7, of West Des Moines asked Mr. Huckabee in one of those posing-like-a-shopping-mall-Santa moments.
Mr. Huckabee paused, then said his favorite author was Dr. Seuss.
In an interview afterward with the news media, Aleya said she was somewhat surprised. She thought the candidate would be reading at a higher level.
“My favorite author is C. S. Lewis,” she said.