Thursday Night Open Thread

Republican Senator James Inhofe today on Obama's plans to restart military commission trials at Guantanamo:

I knew then that we couldn’t afford to close GITMO, because it is nothing less than a crown jewel.

Charles Manson follower Patricia Krenwinkle has a parole hearing today. At 63, she has a clean record during her 40 years of incarceration. Will she get parole? Highly unlikely. (Update: parole denied.)

Omar Saeed Sheikh, the Briton convicted of killing reporter Daniel Pearl, is likely to be freed, as a new report shows the Pakistanis used tainted evidence to convict him and vein analysis shows Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who confessed during his forced interrogations, was the killer. The report is here. The U.S. does not plan to charge him since it would complicate their 9/11 case. Saeed Sheikh has been appealing his conviction for 9 years.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Watching TX attempt to balance (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by andgarden on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 12:53:04 AM EST
    its budget purely through cuts is akin to watching a car crash.

    Problem is, this one started in 2008, and I'm getting tired of watching it.

    Time to move on? (none / 0) (#9)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 01:04:24 AM EST
    To what? (none / 0) (#10)
    by andgarden on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 01:11:40 AM EST
    California? (none / 0) (#14)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 02:05:32 AM EST
    The Republicans have a (none / 0) (#24)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 09:27:25 AM EST
    solution to the State's financial problems: bankruptcy.  Picking up on that fabled intellectual, Newt Gingrich's, idea Senators (both Republicans and Democrats, according to the NYT) are seriously looking at this possibility.

    The cuts are not working by themselves, we have sold the capitols, roads and parking meters,  and, of course, we can't have bailouts.  And, the urgency is clear, Illinois raised taxes and that dreaded act just might catch on.

    Two concerns have emerged, one, that state retirees will lose or find their pensions drastically reduced; the other, that investors in state bonds may find themselves at the end of the line as unsecured creditors.   The first is absolutely no problem, for it only affects state workers and undermines unions, but the second is a real problem.

    Perhaps, Gingrich and the American Enterprise Institute can find a selective bailout under another name.  A few pesky constitutional issues also exist, but with a sympathetic President and Treasury Secretary,  it just might happen.  Even by bruiting the idea about, it could intimidate unions and lead to the desired reductions, but the idea must be broached gingerly with investors so as not to be a threat to the bond market. But, then politics is a balancing act--like a teeter-toter with a fat cat on one side and a skinny poor slob on the another.


    Not true... (none / 0) (#25)
    by kdog on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 09:47:00 AM EST
    they hired a private outfit to auction personalized license plates to the decadent set to raise cashish! (snark:)

    "The Dictator," (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 08:44:10 AM EST
    this sounds awsum:

    LOS ANGELES (AP) - As if his portrayals of Borat and Bruno weren't outrageous enough, Sacha Baron Cohen's next role will be playing Saddam Hussein.

    The British comic will star in and co-write "The Dictator," which is scheduled for release in May 2012, Paramount Pictures said Thursday. Larry Charles, who directed Baron Cohen in "Bruno" and "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan," will direct once again.

    "The Dictator" is inspired by a book the former Iraqi leader himself wrote, titled "Zabibah and The King."

    Paramount joked in a news release: "The film tells the heroic story of a dictator who risked his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed."

    Khalid is a cold-blooded murderer (none / 0) (#1)
    by magster on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 09:01:49 PM EST
    if his confession is true.  The description of Pearl's execution is monstrous.  

    Re: Conviction (none / 0) (#2)
    by Harry Saxon on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 09:37:58 PM EST

    L.A. gang member sentenced in case involving shooting death of baby

    January 20, 2011 |  5:20 pm

    A member of the ruthless Blythe Street gang was sentenced Thursday to 30 years to life in state prison in connection with the slaying of a 4-month-old boy.

    The sentencing of Alfonzo Landa, 18,  stemmed from a September 2009 incident in Van Nuys when Blythe Street members opened fire on a group they believed were rival gang members.

    Rounds from a shotgun struck infant Andrew Garcia in the head as members of his family stood near their car in the 14300 block of Kittridge Street, authorities said. Two others were wounded.

    The family was dropping off a friend after attending a baptismal ceremony. Andrew was being fed from a bottle when he was hit.

    Landa was convicted of carjacking in connection with the shooting, prosecutors said. Jurors deadlocked on murder and attempted murder charges.

    The alleged triggerman, Ricardo Hernandez, 24, is scheduled for a court hearing March 16. He is charged with multiple felony counts, including murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

    Click or Deplore Me

    You didn't say what the link did... (none / 0) (#3)
    by diogenes on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 10:27:56 PM EST
    "But the report author Asra Nomani said there was little doubt that Sheikh, now 37 and facing a death sentence, was behind Pearl's initial kidnapping. "He was the mastermind behind it and should be held responsible for that," she said.
    Sheikh's appeal has been pending for nine years in Pakistan and shows no sign of taking place soon. There have been repeated reports that, thanks to his connections with Pakistan's ISI spy agency, he enjoys privileged conditions in jail."

    How many years do you think Sheikh should get for kidnapping?  

    We saw it (none / 0) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 09:16:35 AM EST
    It was stunning.  Because it got great indy reviews I put it on our netflix list.  It shocked me, but not my husband and he really really liked it.  Possibly could be labeled a dude flick :)

    Inhofe uses snark tags? (none / 0) (#7)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 12:37:45 AM EST
    Sure sounds like it.

    sometimes the things (none / 0) (#15)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 08:22:19 AM EST
    these people blurt out give you deep insight into their soles.  or the place where their sole should be anyway.

    Maybe we should (none / 0) (#18)
    by brodie on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 08:52:34 AM EST
    refer to him as Sen James Imhofe (R-Rubber Soul)

    Dr. Laura (none / 0) (#16)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 08:34:58 AM EST
    Media Trying to Silence My 'Soul Sister' Palin

    Im a victim youre a victim.  we are all victims together.

    That's risible (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Harry Saxon on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 08:58:53 AM EST
    given that Palin refuses to face anyone in the "Media" except her fellow Fox News employees.

    Anyhoo, this is interesting:

    Yes, every foreclosure involves a homeowner not paying his mortgage. But every foreclosure also involves a bank that made the loan. And usually another bank, or several more, that profited from securitizing the loan. And still another bank, or several, that profited from servicing the loan. Together, those banks have done three things that created the massive glut of foreclosures choking America's legal systems and laying waste to its real estate markets:

        * They knowingly made millions of loans doomed for foreclosure as soon as the check was written.
        * They deliberately and/or incompetently failed to modify many salvageable mortgages.
        * They were so careless with their paperwork and processes that they've undermined the rule of law, clouded the title to untold numbers of properties and complicated the processing of the massive backlog of foreclosures that hurts the economically crucial real estate market.

    Let's take a closer look at each factor.

    Click or Deplore Me

    risible (none / 0) (#20)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 09:02:13 AM EST
    because its clearly impossible for either of them to stfu for 5 minutes contiguously.

    I think of all the times (none / 0) (#26)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 11:32:59 AM EST
    I listened to Dr. Laura rip people apart for doing things that were "risky" or that they knew someone would take offense to and then later calling her up and whining to her about the outcomes.

    Always curious why callers picked (none / 0) (#29)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 02:27:45 PM EST
    up the phone in the first place.  

    Why was I listening? (none / 0) (#30)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 02:40:11 PM EST
    I used to listen all the time when we lived in Colorado and I was on the road driving.  Listening for trainwrecks.

    Here's my excuse, Driving for work in (none / 0) (#31)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 03:07:28 PM EST
    a state-owned car with only AM radio.  I swear they took out the FM to make it look frugal.  

    "She who lives by the mouth (none / 0) (#32)
    by Harry Saxon on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 04:11:00 PM EST
    shall die by the mouth."

    my friends over at stinque make a good point (none / 0) (#21)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 09:05:32 AM EST
    It took us a couple years, but we finally figured out what Our Preznit is missing.

    Well, besides a backbone.

    What he lacks, what prevents him from connecting with The American People, is a Crazy Family.

    Michelle? The kids? Craig Robinson? They're all the best America has to offer. And America resents them for it.

    to make the point he directs us to this from americas second family to illustrate the kind of presidential material america can identify with:

    I attempted to stay away from talking about Bristol on my blog recently but now I feel that I need to share something with all of you that has been happening behind the scenes.
    Anyhow without my knowledge Bristol has apparently gone behind my back and sent my boyfriend, Chris, lies about my good friend Jesse (Gryphen) and Dennis (Zaki) in an attempt to split us up.
    So I confronted Bristol about it on Facebook and here is the exchange. (P.S. You will have to excuse any spelling errors or punctuation mistakes, I was pretty upset when I wrote it.)

    Strange what some people (none / 0) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 09:18:56 AM EST
    collect to decorate themselves in and think makes them attractive, regal and/or noble.

    tried to dupe??? (none / 0) (#27)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 12:16:07 PM EST
    He showed up in a van with what he thought was a bomb designed to kill hundreds...

    He was tricked? He didn't want to do it?


    Gulet Mohamed is back in U.S. (none / 0) (#28)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 01:58:54 PM EST
    and released to his family:  NYT

    Reagan is no comic book hero (none / 0) (#33)
    by Politalkix on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 06:15:09 PM EST
    A lot of GOPers are known to make their own facts without regard for the truth and nothing excites them more than delighting themselves with mythical stories of Reagan's strengths. In their blind belief in Reagan's amazing strength and powers, many of them display the psychological sophistication that one would normally associate with children and adolescents reared on a comic book diet of characters like Superman and Spiderman. This article from Ted Koppel should therefore cause some heads to explode.

    Breaking News (none / 0) (#34)
    by Harry Saxon on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 08:22:43 PM EST
    Keith Olbermann has just said tonight was his last night at MSNBC.

    Switchboard number at MSBNC: 212-664-4444

    Just sent them (none / 0) (#35)
    by Zorba on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 08:31:26 PM EST
    a very, very disgruntled email.