Sunday Night Open Thread

The Taliban is resurging in Afghanistan. Hundreds of prisoners are freed in a militant raid in Pakistan, for which the Pakistani Taliban take credit.

Pakistan's Taliban said they carried out the attack, but the claim has not been verified.

"We attacked the Bannu prison and got our special members freed," Ehsanullah Ehsan, a Taliban spokesman, told Agence France-Presse.

On TV tonight: New episodes of Nurse Jackie, The Killing, Harry's Law and the Good Wife.

Who thinks Mark O'Mara will file a motion to recuse the judge in the George Zimmerman case tomorrow? He said Friday he thought he'd decide by Monday. According to the 18th Judicial District's Criminal Operations Manual, available on its website, there are only three other judges in the division. Judge Marlene M. Alva (Administrative Judge); Judge Donna L. McIntosh and Judge Debra S. Nelson.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    All four judges in the Division (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Peter G on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 07:54:50 PM EST
    are women!

    Ok. Mt tea leaf reading leads me to (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by oculus on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 09:05:46 PM EST
    guessto guess O'Mara will not file recusal motion. Because his client will not consent.  

    No segue. Eve Best is stellar on stage. How is she on Nurse Jackie?

    Eve Best is great on Nurse Jackie (none / 0) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 08:03:49 AM EST
    Her character has revealed that she is pregnant, nobody knows who the father is and she isn't saying so far.  Her character is very excited though, independently wealthy so does not give a rip about dad.  Of course dad will show up though :)  It's the movies :)

    Concur - love Eve Best! (none / 0) (#15)
    by ruffian on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 08:25:44 AM EST
    I was so glad J gave the heads-up on Nurse Jackie starting. I missed the episode but an taping a repeat. So O'Hara is preggers?

    I also love the actress that plays the young nurse. She gets funnier every season.


    She was very funny in recently (none / 0) (#17)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 08:37:18 AM EST
    "coveting" the scrubs of a dog groomer.

    Is there no end to corporate welfare? (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by caseyOR on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 01:11:39 AM EST
    I thought I had heard just about every scheme that the government (state and federal) cooks up for the benefit of corporations. Then I read this blog post by David Cay Johnston.

    A number of states, in yet another egregious form of corporate welfare, allow corporations to keep part of the money (often a sizable part) that is deducted from paychecks to pay state income tax. Often, workers do not know that their taxes never make it to the state treasury.

    Could this be a reason so many states cannot pay for teachers or infrastructure or just about anything else that helps the regular citizens?

    This is another in a long line of f*cked-up things that make me weep for the future of my country.

    h/t Avedon's Sideshow

    I wonder if those states also have (none / 0) (#18)
    by ruffian on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 09:07:58 AM EST
    mandatory withholding of state taxes. On the one hand, what a rip-off. On the other, I kind of have to admire their efficiency. Who said government can't do anything?

    Maybe a small sign of progress (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by KeysDan on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 10:06:42 AM EST
    in Afghanistan will be when we identify and discern the "enemy."   This may be helpful in determining if this is a civil war, tribal and war lord territorial war, a struggle for poppy growing, or all or none of the above.  And, this might even help in the our strategy of warfare.  But, for starters, let's try to sort out and add some precision to the "enemy" (as described in the reporting): "militants", "insurgents", "terrorists", "attackers", "Taliban", "Haqqanis", and al Qaeda.   And, of course, we are not always too sure about were Karzai and his merry band of corruption personified stands at any given time.  After this step, a definition of our mission, also with some precision, discernment and stability would be useful.

    Zimmerman's lawyer to ask judge be removed (1.00 / 0) (#23)
    by Angel on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 09:54:12 AM EST
    from case according to this link.


    A 1 rating for the truth! (none / 0) (#42)
    by Angel on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 10:16:45 AM EST
    There's nothing like telling your enemy when you (none / 0) (#2)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 08:23:15 PM EST
    are going to leave the battle to insure they stick around and increase pressure as the date approaches.

    I say we fall back (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Repack Rider on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 08:41:21 PM EST
    ...to our own shores.

    Like to see the Taliban try an amphibious landing in New Jersey.  Let THEM maintain 10,000 mile supply lines in the face of the US Navy.

    I'm pretty sure we can hold 'em off, at least long enough to move the wimmen and children across the Mississippi.


    You mean like when Bush ... (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by Yman on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 08:51:06 PM EST
    ... did the very same thing in Iraq?

    Do you mean the conditions-based timeline for withdrawal that mirrored the Iraq withdrawal?  The Afghanistan withdrawal timeline that was endorsed by General Petraeus, Admiral Mullen, and Defense Secretary Gates?



    The alternative is? (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Addison on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 08:57:04 PM EST
    Ugh. The "don't tell your enemy when you're leaving" works when you have a tangible goal in mind that will allow you to leave. We ceased combat in Japan because the goal was Japan's surrender. We ceased combat in Germany because Hitler and the 3rd Reich was finished off. With Iraq and Afghanistan we accomplished certain objective-ish goals but still didn't leave.  This created a situation where our new goals were social in nature and impossible to achieve in teh binary "finish line" way that objective goals are achievable.

    When you have a social, subjective goal you will eventually need to announce that you're leaving. This will be messy, but then that's why you don't get into that nonsense in the first place. And what's the alternative? Cheney's 100 year land war? For what?


    Destroying Taliban (none / 0) (#39)
    by star on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 04:07:14 PM EST
    is a great goal. But that should have been the focus in the first 2 or 3 years we were there. Now it seems too late. In 2001, local Afghans, especially the women were reeling under Taliban oppression. We would have had plenty of support had we focused on destroying Taliban from the roots at that time, instead of taking our eyes off them and shifting gears to Iraq.
    Another big blunder was to trust Musharaf and Pakistan. Both played us big time and we wasted precious money, efforts and time trusting our supposed "Ally" in the war on terror.

    If at all Obama is doubling down on something in Afghanistan, it should be to destroy Taliban and its infrastructure, its funding , its ability to regroup in a hurry. It would be a shame to withdraw with out doing any of this. This needs to be done to make any sense of the last 10 years we were there. Else the poor people there will be sent right back to the hell (perhaps worse than before 2001). Karzai will not last for long after US troops leave, unless Taliban is too weak to re group. Condition of women will be unimaginable under a resurgent and cocky Taliban (who will rightfully consider themselves invincible after having defeated the 2 super powers).  

    I disagree with anyone who thinks there are reasonable elements among Taliban. There aren't. We in USA does not know or cannot comprehend the half of what these monsters are capable. I have some of my husband's relatives in Pakistan and it is simply horrible how those men think of women. They are terrified of going back to Taliban days.


    I know. I too was thinking about Nixon (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by observed on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 09:53:30 PM EST
    and Vietnam!

    Vietnam was won in '68 (none / 0) (#9)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 10:40:51 PM EST
    that is until Walter surrendered for us...

    Q: Was the American antiwar movement important to Hanoi's victory?
    A:  It was essential to our strategy.  Support of the war from our rear was completely secure  while the American rear was vulnerable.  Every day our leadership would listen to world news over the radio at 9 a.m.  to follow the growth of the American antiwar movement.  Visits to Hanoi by people like Jane Fonda, and former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and ministers gave us confidence  that we should hold on  in the face of battlefield reverses. We were elated when Jane Fonda, wearing a red Vietnamese dress, said at a press conference that she was ashamed of American actions in the war and that she would struggle along with us.

    Q: Did the Politburo pay attention to these visits?
    A: Keenly.



    You're forgetting the most (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by observed on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 01:51:00 AM EST
    important event of 1968---Kissinger sabotaging the Paris peace talks, just to help Nixon's chances. And if Cambodia turned into killing fields because of Nixon's prolongation of the war, it was worth it not to have a Democrat in the White House.
    Kind of reminds you of 1980, doesn't it?

    Can't you come up with ... (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Yman on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 08:27:04 AM EST
    ... anything besides the opinion of Bui Tin - the communist general/interrogator turned capitalist convert who's suddenly a winger darling because he pushes their silly stories?  The same guy who said he charged the palace and accepted the SV surrender (not witnessed by a single person) and claimed no American POWs were tortured in Vietnam?

    But I guess when he's pushing lies you like ...


    There's no 'victory' (4.00 / 1) (#10)
    by jondee on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 11:20:03 PM EST
    if what you're doing is wrong morally and politically.

    Go back and read your Good Book some more; starting with the Sermon on the Mount (and no, in no place in there does it say "blessed are the chickenhawks.")


    Dear Jim (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 07:59:03 AM EST
    1.  It is the start of fight season.  The Taliban had a fight season before we even thought about showing up there.

    2.  The A.N.S.F. were very successful in Afghanistan and only needed minimal aid from NATO. WE DON'T HAVE CONTROL OR GIVE AID IN PAKISTAN!  Try reading the article though.  Who knows if A.N.S.F. will be successful protecting its country from the Taliban after we leave, but they did fine dealing with the Taliban attack yesterday and it even looks like it was Haqqani organized which is a step up from your local neighborhood thug Taliban.

    What is the end game, Jim? (none / 0) (#19)
    by ruffian on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 09:26:13 AM EST
    Charles Pierce speaks for me again:

    There is no "mission" short of keeping as many of our people alive as possible while they wait for... well, while they wait for what? For Afghans to stop killing each other? The Romans waited for that. So did the British and the Russians. Great powers get bled white in Afghanistan because they never can overcome the Afghan genius for self-slaughter, their seemingly limitless capacity to make civil war on each other and guerrilla war on the invaders, all at the same time. It is not unkind -- nor culturally insensitive -- to point out that this kind of thing has been going on for centuries. Sooner or later, the Afghans have to decide to govern each other or not.

    The end game is (none / 0) (#20)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 09:38:16 AM EST
    that we lose a thousand or so more dead and twice that number injured and then we finally leave.

    Like Vietnam our enemies have correctly concluded that the anti-war Left has tied our hands and that we will do nothing to use the enormous resources we have to end the war on terms favorable to us.


    And what exactly would that be, in your eyes? (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by ruffian on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 09:44:06 AM EST
    How should we use our resources to end this favorably to us?

    you don't understand (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by jondee on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 12:50:21 PM EST
    that with Jim, it's always and for all time 1968, and once again, peace creeps and dirty hippies are taking over, 'weakening our resolve' and delivering an unforgivable blow to his tribal narcissism.

    Some traumas some people never get over.  


    I should really (none / 0) (#27)
    by CST on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 10:17:27 AM EST
    refresh before commenting.  But yea, this ^

    Don't start with that 'anti-war Left' crap. (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Angel on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 09:56:08 AM EST
    We never should have gone to Afghanistan or Iraq in the first place.  

    also (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by CST on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 10:21:00 AM EST
    I can't really say the "anti-war left" has been all that vocal about Afghanistan.  Iraq, sure, but that was a much more cut and dry "should never have been here to begin with" situation.  But you don't really hear much of a peep about Afghanistan these days.

    To the best of my understanding the reason we are leaving is that Obama and Karzai can't agree on who's "law" the remaining troops will serve under.  Unless Jim wants us to take on the government we put in, as well as the insurgents, it sounds like it's time to go.


    define (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by CST on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 10:14:53 AM EST
    terms favorable to us.

    I am serious, I don't know what that looks like at this point.

    At what point would it be okay to leave?


    ROTFLMAO (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 10:21:33 AM EST
    Because it's actually easier to blame American citizens than for the leaders to take responsibility for their poor decisions. It's bad policy Jim and bad policy is always going to produce bad results no matter how many times you try it.

    You know, 2 +2 is always going to equal 4 even if you re add it a million times.


    What are those terms? What is the goal? (none / 0) (#32)
    by Addison on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 10:58:16 AM EST
    Recusal (none / 0) (#8)
    by bmaz on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 10:10:43 PM EST
    !0 total judges though; so while it would most likely go to another criminal term judge, it could theoretically be specially assigned.  

    Dunno about recusal. Would need a lot more info on all the possibilities to decide were I O'Mara, but from the little I have seen of her manner, and a review of her CV, something strikes me that she is not bad.  We shall see.

    From the trivial issues file... (none / 0) (#22)
    by ruffian on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 09:46:26 AM EST
    Maggie Smith wants out of Downton Abbey.

    I read an article quoting Julian Fellowes about some difficulties working with her. Wonder if she was slighted.

    Ruffian, there have (none / 0) (#30)
    by KeysDan on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 10:43:52 AM EST
    been reports of a "major" character being written out, probably by an unfortunate passing.   Hope it is not the Dowager Countess or Lady Sybil.   If some one needs to go, I would vote for nasty Lady Edith or the too low-key Mr. Bates.  Daisy could replace Mrs. Pattman and it would be OK.  Lady Cora is fine, but I do wish she would drop the one-size fits all emotions expression.  Of course, Lord Grantham must stay as do Lady Mary and Matthew.  

    From the article at the link it does seem (none / 0) (#31)
    by ruffian on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 10:55:57 AM EST
    (spoiler alert!) to be Maggie Smith's Dowager Countess, who it says will die at the end of Season 3.

    Maybe Shirley McClain's character will contact her in the beyond.

    Sidetrack....did anyone see the ABC Titanic movie this weekend? Julian Fellowes wrote it,and it was pretty good, despite all the commercials. It was like an episode of Downton on an ill-fated cruise. I was thinking that if we could merge it with the James Cameron movie we would have one excellent, though really long, movie.


    Sidetrack II. Saw on Facebook Wall Photos (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by KeysDan on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 12:40:33 PM EST
    by I Acknowledge Class Warfare Exists,(but can't find in now,) a funny depiction of Downton Abbey--the opening shot of the majestic manor house complete with the entire uniformed service staff, butler, houseman, footman, maids, cooks etc., lined up at the front door, along with a photoshop of Mrs. Romney at the cener.   The caption read:  Stay at Home Mom.

    That's funny! (none / 0) (#35)
    by shoephone on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 12:44:27 PM EST
    I iwll look for that on FB.... (none / 0) (#37)
    by ruffian on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 12:49:26 PM EST
    must post it to tweak my sister-in-law. I'm so evil.

    Downton without The Dowager Countess??? (none / 0) (#33)
    by shoephone on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 11:17:48 AM EST
    Not worth watching at all. As soon as I heard that Shirley MacLaine was cast, I knew that would be the downfall of the show -- I can't imagine someone of Maggie Smith's caliber would want to be associated with the pulp that is inevitably coming. Fellowes made a really bad decision, IMO. But I certainly wouldn't watch it anymore without Dame Maggie.

    Just as the Dowager Countess feared (none / 0) (#36)
    by ruffian on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 12:48:12 PM EST
    with her son marrying an American, no doubt!

    There is no one like Maggie Smith - it really is a shame to lose her...but I'm sure I will still watch.


    SITE VIOLATOR (none / 0) (#41)
    by shoephone on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 08:44:34 AM EST