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

Trump’s war on the economy continues

President Trump asserted on Saturday that he has the authority to make good on his threat to force all American businesses to leave China, citing a national security law that has been used mainly to target terrorists, drug traffickers and pariah states like Iran, Syria and North Korea.


As he arrived in France for the annual meeting of the Group of 7 powers, Mr. Trump posted a message on Twitter citing the International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977 — a law meant to enable a president to isolate criminal regimes but not intended to be used to cut off economic ties with a major trading partner because of a disagreement over tariffs.


“For all of the Fake News Reporters that don’t have a clue as to what the law is relative to Presidential powers, China, etc., try looking at the Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977,” Mr. Trump wrote. “Case closed!” …


The International Emergency Economic Powers Act says that if the president decides that circumstances abroad have created “any unusual and extraordinary threat” to “the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States,” the president can declare a “national emergency.” This triggers special authority for the leader to regulate “any transactions in foreign exchange” by Americans.


When Biden’s stream of consciousness takes a dark turn

“None of you . . . women are old enough — but a couple of you guys are old enough,” he said during a town hall at Dartmouth College. “I graduated in 1968. Everybody before me was, ‘Drop out, go to Haight-Ashbury, don’t trust anybody over 30, everybody not get involved.’ No, I’m serious. I know no woman will shake her head and acknowledge it. But you guys know what I’m talking about. Right? But then what happened?”


The front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination referenced the assassinations of two of his political heroes, Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy — who was killed while running for president.


“Imagine what would have happened if, God forbid, if Barack Obama had been assassinated after becoming the de facto nominee,” he continued. “What would have happened in America?”


The comment — which, as Biden’s campaign pointed out with a video, came on the 11th anniversary of Obama naming Biden as his running mate — then led to him speaking about the 1970 shootings of demonstrators at Kent State University, and a new era of activism.

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Anti-Abortion Activists Object to State Bans — But Only on Tactics
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In case you were feeling too optimistic about Democrats’ chances of thwarting Trump’s agenda

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has just completed three weeks of radiation treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, the U.S. Supreme Court disclosed Friday.


The radiation therapy, conducted on an outpatient basis, began Aug. 5, shortly after a localized cancerous tumor was discovered on Ginsburg’s pancreas. The treatment included the insertion of a stent in Ginsburg’s bile duct, according to a statement issued by the court.


Doctors at Sloan Kettering said further tests showed no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body. The treatment comes just months after Ginsburg was operated on for lung cancer last December. The 86-year-old justice has battled cancer in various forms over the last 20 years.

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Bolsonaro may face some serious consequences for his heedless environmental policies

European leaders have reacted with growing fear and anger to the fires ravaging Brazil’s rain forest, calling it a worldwide crisis that is accelerating global warming — and one that Brazil’s leader appears unwilling to combat.


President Emmanuel Macron of France went so far, on Friday, as to accuse President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil of lying about being committed to fighting climate change and protecting the Amazon forest.


As a result, Mr. Macron said, he would try to kill a major trade deal between Europe and South America that has been years in the making.

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The Presidency of Donald Trump Never Gets Any Less Absurd
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Trump sends Dow plunging with this nonsense

Our Country has lost, stupidly, Trillions of Dollars with China over many years. They have stolen our Intellectual Property at a rate of Hundreds of Billions of Dollars a year, & they want to continue. I won’t let that happen! We don’t need China and, frankly, would be far….


….better off without them. The vast amounts of money made and stolen by China from the United States, year after year, for decades, will and must STOP. Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing..


….your companies HOME and making your products in the USA. I will be responding to China’s Tariffs this afternoon. This is a GREAT opportunity for the United States. Also, I am ordering all carriers, including Fed Ex, Amazon, UPS and the Post Office, to SEARCH FOR & REFUSE,….


….all deliveries of Fentanyl from China (or anywhere else!). Fentanyl kills 100,000 Americans a year. President Xi said this would stop - it didn’t. Our Economy, because of our gains in the last 2 1/2 years, is MUCH larger than that of China. We will keep it that way!

—@realdonaldtrump
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Moulton Drops Out of 2020 Race; Could de Blasio Be Next?
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Trump asking the tough, wrongly spelled questions

….My only question is, who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powel or Chairman Xi?
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The Political Status Quo Is No Match for Climate Change
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Seth, we hardly knew ye

Representative Seth Moulton of Massachusetts is dropping out of the presidential race, ending a candidacy that emphasized Mr. Moulton’s centrist politics and military service but gained no traction with Democratic primary voters.


Mr. Moulton, 40, said in an interview that he had no immediate plans to endorse another candidate, but he warmly praised former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. Mr. Moulton planned to announce the end of his campaign in a formal speech before the Democratic National Committee on Friday.


Mr. Moulton suggested that most of the other Democratic candidates were also laboring in vain at this point, with only a tiny few — Mr. Biden and Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders — remaining as real competitors for the nomination. He warned in the interview that if Democrats were to embrace an overly liberal platform, it could make it harder for the party to defeat President Trump.

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Jeffrey Gundlach on Recession Odds, Bitcoin, and Why Trump Might Not Run Again
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China shows again that it’s willing to fight fire with fire on tariffs

China on Friday announced tariff hikes on $75 billion of U.S. products in retaliation for President Donald Trump’s planned increase, deepening a trade war that threatens to tip the global economy into recession.


The tariffs of 10% and 5% take effect on two batches of goods on Sept. 1 and Dec. 15, the official Xinhua News Agency said. It gave no details of what goods would be affected but the timing matches Trump’s planned duty hikes.

One of the Koch brothers has died at 79

David Koch, billionaire conservative activist and philanthropist, has died. He was 79.


He and his brother, Charles, co-owned Koch Industries, a Nebraska-based energy and chemical company, since 1983. David stepped down from running the Koch organization last year due to declining health.

Things are going about as expected since the U.S. withdrew from the INF treaty

The Pentagon said on Monday it had tested a conventionally-configured cruise missile that hit its target after more than 500 km (310 miles) of flight, its first such test since the demise of a landmark nuclear pact this month.


Washington formally withdrew from the Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) on Aug. 2 after accusing Moscow of violating it, a charge dismissed by the Kremlin.


The pact had prohibited land-based missiles with a range of 310-3,400 miles, reducing the ability of both countries to launch a nuclear strike at short notice.


Putin told his Security Council on Friday that Russia could not stand idly by, and that U.S. talk of deploying new missiles in the Asia-Pacific region “affects our core interests as it is close to Russia’s borders”.

Pompeo gets one of North Korea’s always colorful nicknames

North Korea’s top diplomat said on Friday that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was a “diehard toxin” who only complicates denuclearisation talks and North Korea was ready for both dialogue and standoff.

Buttigieg’s new plan for addressing addiction and mental health issues

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg on Friday unveiled a $100 billion plan to expand access to mental health and addiction treatment that coincided with a campaign stop in Manchester, New Hampshire — a state hit hard by the opioid crisis.


The wide-ranging plan calls for integrating treatment into primary care settings, increasing the number of available treatment beds, making it easier for patients to get access to medication for opioid addiction, investing in suicide prevention for veterans and addressing disparities in behavioral health care.


“For years, politicians in Washington have claimed to prioritize mental health care while slashing funding for treatment and ignoring America’s growing addiction and mental health crisis,” Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., said in a statement. “That neglect must end. Our plan breaks down the barriers around mental health and builds up a sense of belonging that will help millions of suffering Americans heal.”

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A concerning development

The George Washington Bridge is now closed in both directions due to police activity. NYPD is responding with its partners to a suspicious device.

Expect detours and delays around the GWB approaches. Use alternate routes.
@NYCMayor
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