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Judge Can’t Sequester Because of Sequester

Hates jurors. Photo: Bloomberg/Getty Images

The sequester, the name for congressionally mandated cutbacks in federal spending, has resulted in hardship and hard choices around the country. From those who rely on Head Start programs to those who enjoy watching things explode, millions are feeling the pinch. And now the sequester’s latest victim is … sequestering:

A federal judge in Brooklyn has rejected a request by prosecutors to sequester a jury in a murder and racketeering trial, citing the impact that federal budget cuts are having on the judiciary.

The judge, Sterling Johnson Jr., acknowledged in an order on Wednesday that the jurors in the case would benefit from protection, noting that he would keep their identities secret. But the judge said he would not take additional measures to sequester them because “the court must also be mindful of today’s economic climate.”

He can’t sequester because of the sequester! That’s kind of funny, right? We mean, it will at least be funny until a juror is murdered so that the country could save a few bucks, and then after that it will be quite tragic. 

THE FEED
vision 2020
vision 2020
Could Bloomberg’s Billions Boost the Odds of a Contested Convention?
If multiple candidates steam towards Super Tuesday, Bloomberg’s massive spending on that and later dates could make forming a majority tough.
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vision 2020
Bernie Sanders Is Campaigning on Joe Rogan’s Endorsement
The contrarian podcast host said he would vote for Bernie, calling his political consistency a “powerful structure to operate from.”
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impeachment
What We Learned on Day Three of the Trump Impeachment Trial
Democrats’ Thursday plan focused on the law and the facts underlying the first article of impeachment concerning Trump’s alleged abuse of power.
impeachment
impeachment
Ratings Show Americans Don’t Care About the Impeachment Trial Enough to Watch It
According to TV ratings, fewer viewers are tuning into the trial than to normal programming on MSNBC and Fox News.
israel
israel
Trump Invites Israel, Not Palestine, to Discuss Peace Plan
The president appears to think it takes one to tango.

This should fix everything

BREAKING: President Trump said he plans to release a long-awaited plan for Middle East peace before Israeli leaders visit the White House next Tuesday.

“Sometime prior to that,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One when asked when the White House will put forward the plan
@Jordanfabian
public health
public health
The Coronavirus Should Be a Wake-up Call for Congress
America has been recklessly underinvesting in pandemic prevention.

A number that points to a major challenge for 2020 Democrats

Photo: Twitter
racism
racism
Steve King’s Memes Aren’t Edgy, But They Are Revealing
The Iowa congressman is fundraising on some very stupid memes.
politics
politics
Partisan Polarization Reaching Record Levels
Trump’s more popular with Republicans than Reagan, less popular with independents than Carter. It’s not just elites who are polarized.

Lindsey Graham made an unwanted cameo as Democrats laid out their case for impeachment this afternoon

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., challenged the argument from Trump’s defenders that impeachment must allege a violation of statutory law.


To make his point, Nadler played a 1999 video of Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who was a manager 20 years ago in the impeachment trial of former President Bill Clinton. The Constitution allows impeachment for “high crimes and misdemeanors,” a term that has been debated during the Trump investigation.


“What’s a high crime?” Graham asked in the well of the Senate in 1999. “How about an important person hurting somebody of low means? It’s not very scholarly, but I think it’s the truth. I think that’s what they meant by high crimes. Doesn’t even have to be a crime. It’s just when you start using your office and you’re acting in a way that hurts people, you’ve committed a high crime.”


Republicans have challenged the accusations of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress as vague and not grounded in established law.

Seems like this meeting about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is missing some key players?

Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday announced that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel would travel to the White House next week along with his chief election rival and opposition leader, Benny Gantz, to discuss the administration’s blueprint for peace in the Middle East.


“President Trump asked me to extend an invitation to Prime Minister Netanyahu to come to the White House next week to discuss regional issues as well as the prospect of peace here in the Holy Land,” Pence announced alongside Netanyahu on a trip to Israel to mark the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp and attend a global Holocaust forum.


Pence’s announcement of the pending visit, coupled with the significance of both Netanyahu’s and Gantz’s planned attendance, immediately ramped up speculation that the White House would finally roll out its much anticipated plan to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

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the top line
Why Away Has Named Two CEOs — and Why It Won’t Work
The luggage-maker wants to project that founder Steph Korey is in charge — but also that she is not in charge. It’s not a recipe for success.
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The Left-Wing Realignment of American Politics Has Already Begun
As centrist Democrats run to the left of yesteryear’s progressives, Republicans are pushing for green energy investment and aid to the poor.
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Frank Rich: Trump’s Impeachment Puts the Senate on Trial
Trump’s acquittal is a foregone conclusion, but come Election Day, Republican senators may regret their inaction and cowardice.
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netiquette
Does Jeff Bezos Know How to Text?
The Amazon CEO flubbed an all-important number swap.

Sad news from Judy Woodruff: Jim Lehrer has passed away

It is with great sadness that I share the news that co-founder and longtime anchor of the PBS NewsHour Jim Lehrer died today, Thursday, January 23, 2020, peacefully in his sleep at home. Lehrer served as anchor of the NewsHour for 36 years before retiring in 2011. Lehrer and Robert MacNeil founded the program in 1975, out of their 1973 coverage of the Senate Watergate Hearings on PBS.


“I’m heartbroken at the loss of someone who was central to my professional life, a mentor to me and someone whose friendship I’ve cherished for decades,” said Judy Woodruff, anchor and managing editor of the PBS NewsHour. “I’ve looked up to him as the standard for fair, probing and thoughtful journalism and I know countless others who feel the same way.”

the national interest
the national interest
GOP Attorneys General Argue Trump’s ‘Corrupt Motives’ Are Not Impeachable
The hottest new Republican legal argument insists citing Trump’s corrupt intent is prosecuting a “thought crime.”

Bad news for subway riders

Andy Byford, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority transit chief credited with leading the turnaround of the New York City subway system, is resigning again, the MTA has confirmed to POLITICO.


Unlike the last time he resigned, Byford seems unlikely to reconsider.


“Andy Byford will be departing New York City Transit after a successful two years of service and we thank him for his work,” said MTA chairman and CEO Pat Foye in a statement. “Andy was instrumental in moving the system forward, enacting the successful Subway Action Plan and securing record capital funding with the Governor and the Legislature, and we wish him well in his next chapter.”


As POLITICO first reported, Byford also submitted his resignation to the MTA in October, citing frustration with gubernatorial meddling.

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vision 2020
Why Candidate Alliances Could Matter in Iowa Caucuses
Marianne Williamson backing Andrew Yang is a reminder of how alliances can aid candidates scrambling to cross the viability threshold on caucus night.
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Trump Is More Proudly Anti-Choice Than Ever
Why his unprecedented choice to speak at the anti-abortion rally “March for Life” is so worrying.
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Millions on Lockdown in China Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
The virus has killed 17 and spread to hundreds more, leading authorities to lock down cities and cancel major public holiday celebrations.

Deep thoughts from Mayor Pete

This isn’t just about this president, it’s about the presidency.
@PeteButtigieg
vision 2020
vision 2020
You Can’t Reform the Presidential Nominating Process With Wishes
We don’t really have a unified system for nominating presidential candidates, so systematic reforms aren’t easy.

The logic doesn’t QUITE track here…

Mini Mike Bloomberg is playing poker with his foolhardy and unsuspecting Democrat rivals. He says that if he loses (he really means when!) in the primaries, he will spend money helping whoever the Democrat nominee is. By doing this, he figures, they won’t hit him as hard….


….during his hopeless “presidential” campaign. They will remain silent! The fact is, when Mini losses, he will be spending very little of his money on these “clowns” because he will consider himself to be the biggest clown of them all - and he will be right!

—@realdonaldtrump
the city
the city
All the Dogs, Raccoons, and Turkeys Delaying Your Morning Commute
It’s not just signal problems and sick passengers that slow the subway.

Sanders has jumped 14 points in New Hampshire since December

The first part of our new NH Democratic Primary poll for @WBUR is now posted, shows big gains for Sanders since December.
-Sanders 29%
-Buttigieg 17%
-Biden 14%
-Warren 13%
-Klobuchar 6%
-Yang 5%
-Gabbard 5%
-Steyer 2%
All others 1% or less. https://t.co/Qhy0BHsKvr
@skoczela
impeachment
impeachment
Impeachment Trial’s Distracted Senate Audience: Milk, Crosswords, Banned Phones
To pass the time, senators brought crosswords, banned phones, light reading like The Federalist Papers, and decorum-approved glasses of milk.