Friday, May 19, 2017

Well he pegged this one right. We do have a nut job at the top


Happy.  Sometimes I think I'm really living the American dream.  Then realize I'm driving a Ford and probably don't know HOW to dream.


I was already pretty sure last night's date wasn't going well when suddenly she said "I took the liberty of calling and your Uber is here"


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Interactive Feature INTERACTIVE FEATURE: Miles of Ice Collapsing Into the Sea
Some scientists fear that West Antarctica's immense ice sheet may have entered the early stages of an unstoppable disintegration.

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CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Former judge gets probation for offering beer and $100 for his wife's texts to an FBI agent





A former judge in North Carolina has avoided prison time for offering cases of beer and $100 cash to obtain his wife’s text messages from an FBI task force officer.
Former Judge Arnold Ogden Jones II of Wayne County was sentenced to probation on Wednesday, report The Associated Press, the News & Observer and StarNews Online. He will also have to pay a $5,000 fine and perform 100 hours of community service.
Jones’ initial conviction by a federal jury was overturned in February, and he pleaded guilty in March to paying gratuities to a public official. Prosecutors said Jones wanted to obtain the texts because he was suspicious that his wife was having an affair.
Jones had chaired the state’s Innocence Inquiry Commission. His defense lawyers had claimed the agent led him along because of his role in helping free those who are wrongfully convicted.






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Rachel




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Politics By Other Means: Calls for the Indictment or Impeachment of Donald Trump Are Transparent and Premature

by jonathanturley
donald_trump_president-elect_portrait_cropped440px-Comey-FBI-PortraitBelow is my column in The Hill Newspaper on the chorus of commentators suggesting that the Comey memo is compelling evidence for either a charge of obstruction of justice or an actual impeachment.  I have been cautioning against such sweeping assumptions.  Obstruction is a crime and crimes have elements.  The elements are not satisfied by this memorandum.  Yesterday senators revealed that Rod Rosenstein suggested that he was already informed that Comey would be fired before he wrote his memorandum supporting termination.  That would not materially alter the legal analysis.  Rosenstein's memo confirms that he believed that Comey should be fired.  He had met with Comey and clearly left with reservations over his continued fitness for the position.  The fact that Trump may have made what Rosenstein thought was the right decision for the wrong reason is marginally relevant. Comey's immediate boss was not supporting his retention.  Moreover, Trump's conflicting statements do not improve the case for prosecution.  It it true that Trump has contradicted his staff and seemingly himself.  Yet, Trump has insisted that he felt Comey was doing a poor job and yesterday he reaffirmed his position that he never asked Comey to drop the Flynn investigation.  However, even if he said such an incredibly inappropriate thing, it would not meet the standards of obstruction for the purposes of a criminal charge in my view.
Critics increasingly sound like my kids when we drive across country and start to chant "are we there yet?" before we are even a block from the house.  Many view a criminal charge or impeachment as the only hope for America.  However, neither the criminal code nor Article II were meant as post hoc political options for unpopular presidents. Indeed, both are designed to be insulated from public distempers and passions.
None of this means that this is not a valid basis for investigation. It is.  Moreover, the White House staff appears encircled like a wagon train on the Plains with no ammunition and no nearby fort. The difference is that they seem encircled by their own president who continued to prevent any movement to better ground.  What is fascinating is that Trump appears intent on creating the most self-incriminating appearance without evidence of an actual crime on his part.
Here is the column:
jonathanturley | 1, May 19,

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Careful how you win...you may lose.


LEGAL ETHICS

Lawyer who reacted to judge's ruling with muttered obscenity is suspended from federal practice


A lawyer who rolled her eyes and complained that a judge’s ruling was “f—— bull—-” has been suspended from practice in Chicago federal court for 90 days.
The executive committee of the Northern District of Illinois imposed the suspension on Chicago-area lawyer Alison Motta in an order (PDF) made public last Friday, the Chicago Tribune reports.
The order said Motta made comments under her breath and rolled her eyes several times in a trial before U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve. In addition to imposing the suspension, the order banned Motta from acting as lead lawyer in any trials before the court for a year and required her to take ethics classes.
Motta’s bad behavior occurred during her defense of Vandetta Redwood, who was accused of giving a gun to a teenage relative seconds before the relative used the weapon to kill a 14-year-old girl. Redwood was acquitted on federal weapons charges in the January trial, the Chicago Tribune reported here.
Motta was “continuously disruptive” during the trial, which lasted about two weeks, according to the order. She “visibly reacted to testimony (such as by rolling her eyes) and made comments about the testimony, all in the presence of the jury,” the order said. “Other instances of misconduct were even directed at the trial judge’s rulings on objections. After unfavorable decisions on objections, Ms. Motta would shake her head, roll her eyes, and make comments under her breath.”
The “F—— bull—-” comment was one “particularly egregious instance,” the order said.
The judge submitted a complaint to the executive committee on Feb. 1. Motta apologized after receiving a letter from the executive committee.
Motta’s lawyer, James Doppke, told the Tribune in a statement that Motta “sincerely regrets that she projected her frustration with the system in her demeanor” and she “looks forward to moving past this unfortunate situation.”
He also said the comment Motta made after the judge’s adverse ruling was made under her breath, but sensitive microphones caught the remark.
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New York Times: Trump Told Russians Comey Was “Nut Job” and His Firing Took Pressure Off Russian Investigation

by jonathanturley
donald_trump_president-elect_portrait_croppedThe New York Times is reporting (and the White House is not denying) that President Donald Trump made some truly disturbing comments in his controversial meeting with the Russians.  Not only did Trump call former FBI Director James Comey "a real nut job" but told the Russians that the firing has taken pressure off of him in terms of Russia.  The leaked summary will fuel the allegations that Trump fired Comey to try to shutdown the Russian investigation to relieve pressure on himself.







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ReRe




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NEWS ALERT

The bill's author, state Rep. Tom Craddick, R-Midland, said he will concur with the Senate's changes.
Bill to ban texting while driving clears Texas Senate
By Alana Rocha
The bill's author, state Rep. Tom Craddick, R-Midland, said he will concur with the Senate's changes.
READ FULL STORY


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ReRe


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NEWS ALERT

GOP House lawmakers took a sweeping approach to anti-abortion legislation on Friday, passing a measure that would ban the most common form of a second-trimester procedure and change how health care providers dispose of fetal remains.
Texas House approves new abortion restrictions
By Marissa Evans
GOP House lawmakers took a sweeping approach to anti-abortion legislation on Friday, passing a measure that would ban the most common form of second-trimester procedure and change how health care providers dispose of fetal remains.
READ FULL STORY

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