Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for November 2009

Lessons learned: Secret prisons

leave a comment »

Apparently no lessons were learned and the US still has its gulag of secret prisons. Alissa Rubin in the NY Times:

An American military detention camp in Afghanistan is still holding inmates for sometimes weeks at a time and without access to the International Committee of the Red Cross, according to human rights researchers and former detainees held at the site on the Bagram Air Base.

The site consists of individual windowless concrete cells, each lighted by a single light bulb glowing 24 hours a day, where detainees said that their only contact with another human being was at twice-daily interrogation sessions.

The jail’s operation highlights a tension between President Obama’s goal to improve detention conditions that had drawn condemnation under the Bush administration and his desire to give military commanders leeway to operate. In this case, that means isolating certain prisoners for a period of time so interrogators can extract information or flush out confederates.

While Mr. Obama signed an order to eliminate so-called black sites run by the Central Intelligence Agency in January, that order did not apply to this jail, which is run by military Special Operations forces.

Military officials said as recently as this summer that the secret Afghanistan jail and another like it at the Balad Air Base in Iraq were being used to interrogate high-value detainees. And officials said recently that there were no plans to close the detention centers.

In August, the administration restricted the time that detainees could be held at the secret jails to two weeks, changing previous Pentagon policy.

In the past, the military could obtain extensions. The interviewed detainees had been held longer but before the new policy went into effect.

Detainees call the Afghan site the black jail…

Continue reading. The degradation of US ideals continues apace.

UPDATE: The WaPo also has a story on this.

Written by LeisureGuy

28 November 2009 at 12:04 pm

Is Obama’s civil liberties record understandable?

leave a comment »

Glenn Greenwald does his best:

Earlier this week, Kevin Drum said that "nine times out of ten" Obama’s policies are "pretty much what [he] expected" but that "the biggest one-time-out-of-ten where he’s not doing what [he] expected is in the area of detainee and civil liberties issues."  Similarly, Andrew Sullivan cited "accountability for war crimes and civil rights" as among the very few issues on which he finds fault with Obama.  Matt Yglesias objects to those observations as follows:

Both Kevin Drum and Andrew Sullivan say they think most people are too hard on Obama, but express disappointment at his record on civil liberties issues. I agree that the civil liberties record hasn’t been exactly what I would have wanted, but I’m continually surprised that people are disappointed in this turn. Of all the things for an incumbent President of the United States to take political risks fighting for, obviously reducing the power of the executive branch is going to be dead last on the list. If you want to see civil liberties championed, that’s going to have to come from congress.

It’s interesting how what was once lambasted as "Constitution-shredding" under George Bush is now nothing more than:  Obama’s "civil liberties record hasn’t been exactly what I would have wanted."  Also, the premise implicitly embedded in Matt’s argument is the standard Beltway dogma that there would be serious political costs from reversing the Bush/Cheney abuses of the Constitution and civil liberties.  The success of Obama’s campaign — which emphatically and repeatedly vowed to do exactly that  — ought to have permanently retired that excuse.

Even more important, Matt seems to be implying that he knew all along that Obama never really intended to fulfill his multiple campaign promises to restore civil liberties and dismantle the Bush/Cheney war on the Constitution.  So all of those righteous speeches and commitments and campaign positions were nothing more than dishonest instruments for manipulating and placating  the people who supported his campaign?  I don’t necessarily disagree with that assessment.  I neither believed nor disbelieved what Obama said during the campaign, but instead intended to wait for the evidence before deciding.  And particularly once I watched Obama — once his party’s nomination was secure — flagrantly violate his pledge to filibuster any bill containing telecom immunity, I had no expectations that he’d feel at all compelled to adhere to his other promises.

But is it really that surprising that …

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

28 November 2009 at 11:59 am

Cloture, the Constitution, and Democracy

leave a comment »

Very interesting post by Michael Dorf at Dorf on Law:

The recent procedural theatrics over starting Senate debate on the health care bill provide only the latest occasion for reflecting on the oddity of the cloture rule, which effectively requires 60 votes to accomplish anything in our upper house.  A naive reader of Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution would think that all it takes for the Senate to act positively on a bill is for a simple majority to vote in favor of it.  Section 7 doesn’t expressly state this point, but that’s the only fair inference from a provision that discusses "yeas and nays," and also specifies a particular super-majority (2/3) for overcoming a veto.

Plus, various other provisions of Article I specify various super-majorities, leading to the only plausible inference that ordinary legislation requires only a simple majority.  The kicker is Article I, Section 3, which only gives the Vice President a vote in the Senate if the other Senators "be equally divided."  This provision makes no sense unless it is meant to give the VP the power to break a tie by creating a bare majority.  And indeed, no one has seriously doubted the simple-majority voting rule for ordinary legislation.  Except, of course, that the cloture rule effectively requires a 3/5 majority to accomplish anything, so long as the minority Senators are willing to translate their votes on the merits into votes on whether to end debate.

I am not interested right now in arguing that the cloture rule is unconstitutional.  Article I also gives each house the power to set its own procedural rules, and so it is at least plausible to contend that adding procedural "veto gates" via procedural rules is simply part of the Senate’s power.  Nor is it obvious to me that the various minority protections in the Senate rules (including not just the cloture rule but various individual privileges and the complex committee system) are, over the long run, likely to favor conservatives or progressives.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by LeisureGuy

28 November 2009 at 11:57 am

Interactive feature: The drug war in Mexico

leave a comment »

In Mexico, the drug war is threatening the stability of the government as more and more government forces, both police and military, are corrupted and co-opted by the drug cartels. The LA Times has a terrific interactive feature on the drug war, including maps, charts, and a lengthy list of links to previous reportage.

Written by LeisureGuy

28 November 2009 at 11:54 am

Posted in Drug laws, Government

Why the media tell climate story poorly

leave a comment »

Tyler Hamilton in the Toronto Star:

I apologize on behalf of my profession.

If it’s true that Canadians and Americans have become less concerned about the potential impact of climate change, and that more consider global warming a hoax, some blame can certainly be directed at the news media.

"The media (are) giving an equal seat at the table to a lot of non-qualified scientists," Julio Betancourt, a senior scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey, told a group of environment and energy reporters during a week-long learning retreat in New Mexico.

I was among them, listening to Betancourt and two of his colleagues describe the measurable impacts climate change is having on the U.S. southwest. Drought. More frequent and damaging forest fires. Northward migration of forest and animal species. Hotter, longer growing seasons. Less snow pack. Earlier snow melt.

"The scientific evidence reported in peer-reviewed journals is growing by the day, and it suggests the pace of climate change has surpassed the worst-case scenarios predicted just a few years ago.

Betancourt is the first to admit the science is constantly evolving and that the work at hand is highly complex. One challenge is separating the part of climate change caused by naturally occurring cyclical systems from the part caused by humans, who since the Industrial Revolution have dumped greenhouse gases into the atmosphere at an accelerating rate.

Clearly there is an interaction between the two. But can scientists explain it with bulletproof precision using predictive models everyone can agree on? No, of course not. That’s not how science works.

More difficult is that scientists such as Betancourt are realizing the climate changes observed are not happening in a gradual, predictable fashion but, instead, in sudden steps. Systems reach a certain threshold of environmental stress and then "pop," they act quickly to restabilize.

These changes also happen regionally, making it difficult for people in one region of the world to appreciate disruptive changes going on elsewhere.

Not surprisingly, those looking to stall action on climate change – or who altogether deny that humanity is contributing to global warming – are exploiting this complexity and lack of certainty.

A recent Pew Research Center poll of 1,500 Americans found that …

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

28 November 2009 at 11:51 am

Political pressure stymies investigations

leave a comment »

Eli at Firedoglake:

Hey, remember the week after the Fort Hood shooting, when it seemed like every single conservative on the planet was repeating the same “political correctness is to blame” talking point in perfect 814-part harmony?  Well, it turns out they were right about there being a politically-driven communication breakdown after all:

During the Clinton administration, the FBI had access to records of gun background checks for up to 180 days. But in 2003, Congress began requiring that the records be destroyed within 24 hours. This requirement, one of the many restrictions on gun data sponsored by Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.), meant that Hasan’s investigators were blocked from searching records to determine whether he or other terrorist suspects had purchased guns. When Hasan walked out of Guns Galore in Killeen, Tex., the FBI had only 24 hours to recognize and flag the record — and then it was gone, forever.

As former FBI agent Brad Garrett has said, “The piece of information about the gun could have been critical. One of the problems is that the law sometimes restricts you in what you can do.”

The Tiahrt amendments passed by Congress interfere with preserving, sharing and investigating data on gun purchases by terrorist suspects. If that weren’t bad enough, Congress has also failed to close a gap in federal law that prevents the FBI from blocking a sale to an individual under investigation for terrorist activity.

Even Dubya thought this was a bad idea:

The Bush administration asked Congress to authorize the FBI to block gun sales to terrorist suspects, to no avail. Last week, Attorney General Eric Holder reaffirmed the Obama administration’s support for this legislation — for good reason. A Government Accountability Office report published in June found that individuals on the terrorist watch list had purchased guns and explosives from licensed dealers in the United States on 865 occasions over the past five years.

Whether or not Hasan turns out to be the islamofascist terrorist mole the conservatives say he is, the Fort Hood shootings are another tragic reminder that their own extreme pro-gun legislation actually makes it easier for Islamic terrorists to buy guns without the government being able to stop them or trace them.  Nice going, Daddy Party!  Way to keep us all safe!

I just don’t understand the logic of destroying most of the Bill Of Rights in the name of catching terrorists, and then expanding the only Amendment that would make it easier for those same terrorists to buy deadly weapons.  Hey, terror suspects!  You may not be entitled to a fair trial, but you can have all the guns you want!

Written by LeisureGuy

28 November 2009 at 11:48 am

Bad medicine: Naturopathic prescribing in Ontario

leave a comment »

David Kroll at Science-Based Medicine:

Two weeks ago, Canadian Skeptics United published on their Skeptic North site a piece by an Ontario pharmacist criticizing a proposal by the province to grant limited prescribing rights to naturopaths. The essay, which was reprinted in the National Post on Tuesday, outlines the intellectual and practical conundrum presented by allowing those with education that diverges from science-based practices to prescribe drugs.

The naturopath lobby came out in force and was relatively unopposed in the 54 comments that followed, primarily because the NP closes comments 24 hours after online posting. Therefore, those with a more rational and considered viewpoint based in facts were locked out from commenting. This is quite disappointing to me personally and professionally because of the wildly emotional appeals, strawman arguments, and smears and attacks on the author himself without, of course, addressing his well-founded criticism of the prescribing proposal before the provincial government.

At the Skeptic North post, the piece even drew a naturopath who equated the criticism of his/her field with the Nazis and Mussolini. However, you can’t write critiques of these practices without attracting attacks ad hominem, especially Godwin’s Law, that are the resort of those whose arguments are logically flawed.
Naturopathy, sometimes called naturopathic medicine, is an unusual and inconsistently regulated alternative medical practice that co-opts some evidence-based medicine, often in nutrition and natural product medicines, but also subscribes to “vitalism” (vis medicatrix naturae) and makes use of homeopathic remedies that defy the rules of physics and dose-response pharmacology…

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

28 November 2009 at 11:46 am

Morning report

leave a comment »

Decided to go to Toasties for breakfast, then a little grocery shopping (I’m going to make the mushroom burgers again, and also roast another chicken over potatoes) and some kitty-food shopping (another case of Evo 95% Duck for Megs).

Rather relaxed day ahead: light blogging and then the walk to the Clock Tower.

Written by LeisureGuy

28 November 2009 at 11:40 am

Posted in Daily life

Mühle and Kell’s Original

leave a comment »

An Omega boar, still being broken in, created a fine lather but required a return to the tub for more soap for every pass. Still, the lather was fine, and the Mühle open-comb with a previously used Astra Keramik blade did a really fine job. This is a good razor. Marlborough was a good finish.

Next week I think I’ll go back to badger for a week.

Written by LeisureGuy

28 November 2009 at 9:51 am

Posted in Shaving

Walk to the Clock Tower

with 5 comments

There and back, 2.61 miles, 51 min 02 sec: 3.07 mph. Of course, if I keep it up, the time will improve.

UPDATE: Here’s a view of the clock tower:

Written by LeisureGuy

27 November 2009 at 2:07 pm

Posted in Daily life, Fitness, Food, Health

Does "counting your blessings" really help?

leave a comment »

Interesting post at Cognitive Daily:

ow often do you take time to reflect on the things you’re grateful for? Once a month? Once a week, at church, perhaps? Maybe you say "grace" at mealtime every day. But even prayers that do express gratefulness, such as a traditional mealtime prayer, are often expressed by rote. Growing up, my family wasn’t very religious, but when we had dinner with family or friends, we’d usually say grace. I was probably well into my teens before I understood what "blessusolordforthesethygiftswhichweareabouttoreceivefromthybounty" actually meant.

While many would agree that "counting your blessings" is a worthwhile practice, there hasn’t been much experimental research on whether gratitude really has a positive impact on our lives. Several studies have found that gratitude correlates with positive emotions such as happiness, pride, and hope, but experimental work — showing that gratitude causes these things — is scarcer.

Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough figured it would be worthwhile to explore this notion. Their method of study was both ingenious and simple: they would ask 201 students in a health psychology class to respond to a weekly questionnaire. Everyone rated their well-being, was tested on a measure of gratefulness, and reported on their physical health and level of exercise. The key to the study was a division into three groups. The first group listed five things they were grateful for each week. The second group listed five hassles or irritants from the past week. The final group simply wrote down five "events or circumstances" from the past week. This continued for ten weeks.

What sort of things did they write? …

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

27 November 2009 at 10:30 am

Torture Tape Destruction, the OGC Review, and the IG Report

leave a comment »

Marcy Wheeler has done a superb job of bringing together a detailed chronology of the torture tapes and their destruction. Her post is lengthy, but well-organized and very damning of the Bush Administration. I strong recommend that you click the link to read it all. It begins:

One of the most fascinating aspects to the torture tape Vaughn Index is the way it hints at a tension between the torturers in the field growing increasingly panicked about the torture tapes and the CIA’s Office of General Counsel’s decision to review the tapes and, subsequently, not to destroy them (yet). The tension grew worse as the Inspector General decided to review the torture program (and ultimately, the tapes) and as Jane Harman challenged the CIA’s careful excuse allowing them to destroy the tapes. This post will trace what we can see of that tension.

Early in the Abu Zubaydah interrogation, there were two communications pertaining to how to retain the torture tapes. (Note, I’ve indicated: the classification of the documents as question, whether John Durham asserted they were protected under his investigation, and some indication of attorney involvement, though the latter deserves closer attention, as there is significant variation in the way CIA claimed exemption under attorney work product.)

April 17, 2002: Someone (the Vaughn provides no sender or recipient information) sends cable providing guidance on the retention of the video tapes (TS; atty doc)

April 27, 2002: One CIA officer sends another CIA officer cable, copied to several additional officers and attorneys, regarding the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah (S;Durham document)

From the period of August (around the time the waterboarding occurred) until November, 2002 the Index shows recurrent and (as far as we can tell from a Vaughn Index) increasingly urgent communications from the Field, asking to change the protocol regarding interrogation tapes and ultimately, asking to destroy them.

August 20, 2002: Field write to HQ discussing “policy for the security risks of videotape retention and suggests new procedures for videotape retention and disposal” (S)

September 6, 2002: Email between CIA attorneys, titled, “Destruction proposal on disposition of videotapes at field” (S; atty doc)

September 6, 2002: Email between CIA attorneys on revisions of a draft cable regarding the disposition of the video tapes (S; atty doc)

October 25, 2002: Field writes to HQ “discussing the security risks if videotapes are retained” (S; Durham document; atty doc)

November 6, 2002: CIA officer sends CIA officers and attorneys email, titled, “Tapes issue,” following up with the proper procedures for destruction of the interrogation video tapes (S; atty doc)

In mid-November (note, the dates on these emails may be confusing if sent from different sides of the date line), an officer in the Field expresses “personnel concerns” with the disposition of the videotapes. In what appears to be a response, HQ asks to have a “random independent review of the video tapes, before they are destroyed.” This seems to be the genesis of what became the OGC review of the tapes: …

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

27 November 2009 at 10:27 am

The anthrax attack

with one comment

Dana Perino, who so far as I can tell is dumber than Sarah Palin, was on TV recently saying that, during George W. Bush’s presidency, the US had no terrorist attacks. I guess she has forgotten the attacks of 9/11 and the subsequent anthrax attacks. Or maybe she’s just lying, hoping that the public is stupid—and some are, God knows.

But Greenwald reminds us that the anthrax attacks were in fact important:

Britain is currently engulfed by a probing, controversial investigation into how their Government came to support the invasion of Iraq, replete with evidence that much of what was said at the time by both British and American officials was knowingly false, particularly regarding the unequivocal intention of the Bush administration to attack Iraq for months when they were pretending otherwise.  Yesterday, the British Ambassador to the U.S. in 2002 and 2003, Sir Christopher Meyer (who favored the war), testified before the investigative tribunal and said this:

Meyer said attitudes towards Iraq were influenced to an extent not appreciated by him at the time by the anthrax scare in the US soon after 9/11. US senators and others were sent anthrax spores in the post, a crime that led to the death of five people, prompting policymakers to claim links to Saddam Hussein. . . .

On 9/11 Condoleezza Rice, then the US national security adviser, told Meyer she was in "no doubt: it was an al-Qaida operation" . . . It seemed that Paul Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld’s deputy, argued for retaliation to include Iraq, Meyer said. . . .

But the anthrax scare had "steamed up" policy makers in Bush’s administration and helped swing attitudes against Saddam, who the administration believed had been the last person to use anthrax.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by LeisureGuy

27 November 2009 at 10:22 am

Touchfreeze: Excellent utility for netbooks, notebooks

leave a comment »

When I type on my notebook computer, my thumb seems to occasionally graze the touchpad, which repositions my cursor as I type, much to my dismay. But now there’s a little utility that freezes the touchpad when you’re typing. Pretty cool.

Written by LeisureGuy

27 November 2009 at 10:14 am

What we now know about the torture tapes

leave a comment »

Nick Baumann at Mother Jones:

There’s a certain beauty to the Freedom of Information Act. Even when the government won’t give you something under it, they still have to give you a list of what it is they’re not giving you. So when the government decided that it would not release the documents the ACLU has been seeking regarding the CIA’s destruction, it still had to provide a description—including a date—of each document it was withholding and what its rationale was for doing so.

A date and the description of a document can tell you a lot. That’s why the ACLU was able to announce today that it now knows "the precise date the tapes were destroyed" and has "evidence that the [Bush] White House was involved in early discussions about the proposed destruction."

Marcy Wheeler has the highlights of the chronology that the new list provides. I’ve added some comments for context.

November 1, 2005: Bill Frist [then the Republican Senate majority leader] briefed on torture.

November 1, 2005: [Washington Post reporter] Dana Priest reveals the use of black sites in Europe. In response, CIA starts moving detainees from the countries in question.

November 3, 2005: [Judge] Leonie Brinkema inquires whether govt has video or audio tapes of interrogations. CIA IG Report on Manadel al-Janabi’s death completed.

November 4, 2005: Member of Congress writes four page letter to CIA IG.

November 8, 2005: CIA requests permission to destroy torture tapes. CIA reaffirms March 2005 statement that all interrogation methods are lawful. Duncan Hunter [R-Calif.] briefed on torture. Pete Hoekstra [R-Mich.] briefed on torture.

November 9, 2005: CIA confirms destruction of torture tapes.  Doug Jehl article on spring 2004 CIA IG report on interrogation methods appears.

November 14, 2005: Govt tells Brinkema it has no audio or video tapes.

This is yeoman’s work (par for the course from Marcy). If you can’t tell, it shows that the tapes were destroyed right after Judge Brinkema and Congress asked about them. That looks pretty damning. Here’s Jameel Jaffer, the director of the ACLU’s National Security Project, explaining the White House involvement:

[T]he tapes were destroyed immediately after the Washington Post reported the existence of the CIA black sites and the New York Times reported that the CIA Inspector General had questioned the legality of the agency’s torture program.

The index also lists the earliest known record of White House participation in discussions about destroying the tapes—an e-mail dated February 22, 2003 revealing that CIA officials met with Bush administration officials to discuss how the agency should respond to a letter from Representative Jane Harman (D-CA) advising the agency not to destroy the tapes. While it was known previously that the White House participated in discussions about the disposition of the tapes, this is the earliest record to date of any such discussions.

I’ll say the same thing I said about the Obama administration’s suppression of perhaps thousands of torture photos two weeks ago: this smells like a cover-up.

Written by LeisureGuy

27 November 2009 at 10:11 am

A financial transactions tax: Do it now

leave a comment »

Paul Krugman in the NY Times:

Should we use taxes to deter financial speculation? Yes, say top British officials, who oversee the City of London, one of the world’s two great banking centers. Other European governments agree — and they’re right.

Unfortunately, United States officials — especially Timothy Geithner, the Treasury secretary — are dead set against the proposal. Let’s hope they reconsider: a financial transactions tax is an idea whose time has come.

The dispute began back in August, when Adair Turner, Britain’s top financial regulator, called for a tax on financial transactions as a way to discourage “socially useless” activities. Gordon Brown, the British prime minister, picked up on his proposal, which he presented at the Group of 20 meeting of leading economies this month.

Why is this a good idea? The Turner-Brown proposal is a modern version of an idea originally floated in 1972 by the late James Tobin, the Nobel-winning Yale economist. Tobin argued that currency speculation — money moving internationally to bet on fluctuations in exchange rates — was having a disruptive effect on the world economy. To reduce these disruptions, he called for a small tax on every exchange of currencies.

Such a tax would be a trivial expense for people engaged in foreign trade or long-term investment; but it would be a major disincentive for people trying to make a fast buck (or euro, or yen) by outguessing the markets over the course of a few days or weeks. It would, as Tobin said, “throw some sand in the well-greased wheels” of speculation.

Tobin’s idea went nowhere at the time. Later, much to his dismay, it became a favorite hobbyhorse of the anti-globalization left. But the Turner-Brown proposal, which would apply a “Tobin tax” to all financial transactions — not just those involving foreign currency — is very much in Tobin’s spirit. It would be a trivial expense for long-term investors, but it would deter much of the churning that now takes place in our hyperactive financial markets.

This would be a bad thing if financial hyperactivity were productive. But after the debacle of the past two years, there’s broad agreement — I’m tempted to say, agreement on the part of almost everyone not on the financial industry’s payroll — with Mr. Turner’s assertion that a lot of what Wall Street and the City do is “socially useless.” And a transactions tax could generate substantial revenue, helping alleviate fears about government deficits. What’s not to like?

The main argument made by opponents of a financial transactions tax is …

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

27 November 2009 at 10:08 am

The True Power of the Wolfram Alpha Knowledge Engine

leave a comment »

I’ve looked at Wolfram Alpha, but I didn’t get it. Now Simon Slangen has a lengthy post at MakeUseOf.com going deeper into what it can do. Well worth reading/bookmarking.

Written by LeisureGuy

27 November 2009 at 10:05 am

Quiet day planned

leave a comment »

A little blogging, cleaning up the kitchen, a walk if the sun comes out (I’m going for the Tower today), and some movies and books. The Wife is wrapping the holiday gifts, which I’ll mail next week: a little late this year, but not bad.

Written by LeisureGuy

27 November 2009 at 9:43 am

Posted in Daily life

Koh-I-Noor and the Vision

leave a comment »

The Koh-I-Noor boar brush is coming along. Probably a dozen more shaves will have it well broken in. It still is just at the two-pass stage: back to the soap for the third pass. The soap today is a gift from Jack in the Netherlands, and it made a very nice lather. This container, like De Vergulde Hand container, has the puck of soap in the bottom with lots of room above for lathering: quite nice for boar brushes.

The Vision did a fine job with a Swedish Gillette blade of several uses: three passes to a smooth face, upon which I then splashed some Booster June Clover, a favorite.

Written by LeisureGuy

27 November 2009 at 9:42 am

Posted in Daily life, Shaving

Thanksgiving dinner

leave a comment »

I did buy this guy from Williams-Sonoma and followed the recipe that came with it: soften 2 Tbs butter and use a fork to mix in 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme and 1 tsp chopped fresh parsley. (They actually said 1/2 tsp each, but I go for more.) Rub that under the skin of the chicken breast and along the sides under the skin. Put the chicken on the little rack after putting 2 Tbsp white wine in the cup and tie the legs. I elected to cook it back side up, breast side down. 30 min at 425º F, then stir the potatoes, turn the roasting pan around, and roast about 35-40 min more.

The roasting pan itself is filled with 2 lb Yukon Gold potatoes sliced into 1″ pieces and tossed with 2 Tbs olive oil. The potatoes roast with the chicken drippings (including most of the butter) falling down over them. Yummy^10.

We also had the shredded Brussels sprouts, which The Wife (and I) liked a LOT. One tip: when you shred them, first cut them in half vertically. That works better. This dish was extremely yummy. (As were the potatoes.) (And the chicken.) (Also some pretty decent champagne.)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

UPDATE: It occurred to me that the little roasting pan with support is in effect a rotisserie of a sort—one that doesn’t turn. But the effect of having the bird supported in the air, with the heat on all sides and the fat dripping down over the bird and into the pan below: rotisserie cooking (sans rotation).

Written by LeisureGuy

26 November 2009 at 8:07 pm

Posted in Daily life, Food, Recipes

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: