One more small bit on Ken Lay: The worst part of this whole scenario is that Texas law holds that if the convicted dies before sentencing, the conviction (and indictment) is vacated. Apparently the point of that law is he can no longer participate in his defense in the sentencing hearing and any subsequent appeals. Being dead and all. So, officially, he is no longer guilty. While he certainly is in all but the most deluded minds, there is a practical problem: the former Enron employees who are suing him can no longer use the trial and conviction as evidence, because they never happened. Officially. The government* won't be able to seize assets to make restitution because they are no longer the assets of a guilty man.
You know what my mother would call Ken Lay's death? A Fuck You Message.
*Let's just pretend the government would have managed to seize Lay's "meager" $10 million. No really. Stop laughing.
I was just working out something to say about the Middle East, when I hopped over to Franklin's The Panopticon. Whatever I had to say, he says far better. I do want to recommend, however, if you are interested in the What and Why of the Middle East, read Juan Cole's blog Informed Comment. He writes lengthy and frequent posts, which provide the context that the American media can't or won't.