Judge Can’t Sequester Because of Sequester

Hates jurors.

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. 

migrant caravan
migrant caravan
For Trump and the Republicans, the Migrant Caravan Served Its Political Purpose
The Central American migrant caravan dominated Trumpland for weeks. Its political value expired after the midterms.

Really, what’s the rush?

More than a month after Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance and nearly 2 years into term, Trump nominates a U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia: Retired Army General John Abizaid, a former commander of CENTCOM.
the national interest
the national interest
McConnell: The American People Didn’t Vote for What They Voted For
Republican senator sees election as a mandate to continue policy of not investigating any Trump crimes.
the top line
the top line
Why New York Is Paying Amazon $3 Billion to Do What Google Will Do for Free
The idea is that it’s very important that Amazon is going to Queens, and that by doing so, it will serve two key goals for the city. But is that true?

An important first for Harvard’s student newspaper

Kristine E. Guillaume ’20 will lead the newly elected 146th Guard of The Harvard Crimson, the organization’s President announced on Monday. Guillaume is the first black woman to serve as President of The Crimson in the paper’s 145-year history.

Guillaume, a joint African American Studies and History and Literature concentrator, is currently one of The Crimson’s Central Administration reporters. In that capacity, she interviewed two successive University Presidents — Drew G. Faust and Lawrence S. Bacow — and worked as part of the reporting team that covered Harvard’s 2018 presidential search.

Did Amazon fleece New York?

Republicans could claw back a House seat that was thought to be lost

#UT04 update: Salt Lake County gives Ben McAdams (D) 5,059 new votes, Rep. Mia Love (R) 4,722. McAdams’s overall lead stands at 1,357, but the latest batches have skewed slightly more R than the initial, making this a nail biter.
More Evidence That Welfare Work Requirements Don’t Lift People Out of Poverty
A new report suggests that poor people just tend to get poorer when they lose their benefits.

Bad news for some vape-loving teens

Juul Labs Inc, the U.S. market leader for electronic cigarettes, said Tuesday it will pull popular flavors such as mango, cucumber and fruit from retail store shelves in an effort to reduce surging teenage use of its products.

The move comes as Juul and other e-cigarette makers have faced heightened scrutiny from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration amid a sharp increase in high school use of the devices, which look like a USB flash drive and vaporize a flavored liquid containing nicotine.

In a statement on Tuesday, Juul Chief Executive Kevin Burns said the company wants to be “the off-ramp for adult smokers to switch from cigarettes, not an on-ramp for America’s youth to initiate on nicotine.”

May Has Sold a Brexit Deal to the EU (But Not to the UK)
The British prime minister just reached a divorce agreement with Brussels – and her partners in London are already in revolt.

Has Trump been out of view in recent days because he’s sulking?

For weeks this fall, an ebullient President Trump traveled relentlessly to hold raise-the-rafters campaign rallies — sometimes three a day — in states where his presence was likely to help Republicans on the ballot.

But his mood apparently has changed as he has taken measure of the electoral backlash that voters delivered Nov. 6. With the certainty that the incoming Democratic House majority will go after his tax returns and investigate his actions, and the likelihood of additional indictments by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, Trump has retreated into a cocoon of bitterness and resentment, according to multiple administration sources.

EPA does something useful for a change

The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday announced plans to place more stringent restrictions on pollution from heavy-duty trucks, in a move that won the Trump administration rare praise from environmental groups.

Nearly two decades have passed since the EPA last updated its standards for emissions of nitrogen oxide, or NOx, that govern the nation’s heavy-duty trucking fleet. Two years ago, 20 state and local air regulators, backed by public health groups, petitioned the agency to revamp its regulations of NOx, citing adverse health impacts and harmful effects on air quality.

Yes, that famously fair arbiter of elections, Brian Kemp

Schumer is praising Kemp in Georgia and Ducey in Arizona for being more reasonable on counting votes than Rick Scott. Calls for Scott to recuse and vote count deadlines to be extended

A potential headache for Bernie Sanders dissipates

A top adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders said Tuesday that the Vermont independent’s wife, Jane Sanders, has been recently told by the US attorney in Vermont that they have closed an investigation into a land deal involving Burlington College during Jane Sanders’ presidency.

No charges will be brought, Jeff Weaver, who ran Bernie Sanders’$2 2016 presidential campaign and is authorized to speak on Jane Sanders’ behalf, told CNN. The US Attorney’s Office in Vermont declined to comment, telling CNN it did not comment on investigations. A message left with the senator’s office was not immediately returned Tuesday.

Another sign that the Mueller investigation is drawing to a close?

BREAKING: Trump expected to provide written answers to questions from Special Counsel Mueller as early as this week - source pic.twitter.com/1hmsfHIpnM
just asking questions
just asking questions
Wesley Yang on Asian-Americans and the Struggle for Recognition
The author of The Souls of Yellow Folk says he “knew there was a risk that the book would be straw-manned by its critics. And it has been.”

Is a duel at sunrise next?

Just asked the First Lady’s office about deputy national security advisor Mira Ricardel : “It is the position of the Office of the First Lady that she no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House,” Stephanie Grisham The First Lady’s communication director to @ABC

A climate writer takes issue with some Dems’ climate-change tactics in Twitter thread

1. I can’t say I really understand the @sunrisemvmt climate protest outside of Pelosi’s office. Admittedly, I’m not a Youth, so perhaps I just don’t Get It, but I cannot reconstruct the strategic logic. A short thread, after which you may all yell at me.
Airbnb and eBay Follow Google’s Example, Change Sexual-Harassment Policies
Meanwhile, a number of big tech companies declined to comment on their sexual-harassment policies.

This has to be the least of John Kelly’s offenses

Kelly has also gotten on the wrong side of first lady Melania Trump over staffing issues and travel requests. Some of the disputes with the East Wing have escalated to the president, the seven people familiar with the clashes said.

“There have been instances where the East Wing staff were not treated as equals to the male-dominated decision makers in Chief Kelly’s office,” one White House official said. “Promotions were denied then finally granted after months of requests,” the official said.

2018 midterms
2018 midterms
Judges Stop Certification of Kemp As Georgia Winner, Giving Abrams Hope
Two different judicial actions cast some doubt on Kemp’s win over Abrams in the governor’s race, and also a very close congressional contest.

New York’s progressive mayor is pumped about Amazon-NYCHA “synergy”

de blasio just now: “One of the biggest companies on earth next to the biggest public housing development in the United States — the synergy is going to be extraordinary.”

The next guest star in the Trump-Russia drama: mysterious professor Joseph Mifsud

A lawyer closely associated with Joseph Mifsud claims that the Maltese professor, who allegedly delivered word of Hillary Clinton’s stolen emails to Donald Trump’s campaign, is willing to testify to the US Senate.

Mifsud disappeared after he was identified as the unnamed professor alleged by FBI investigators in court documents unsealed in October 2017 to have told Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos that the Russians had “dirt” on Clinton in the form of thousands of emails, months before the Democrats themselves were aware that their computer system had been hacked.

He has not been seen in public since November that year. His former girlfriend in Ukraine says he disappeared, prosecutors in Italy investigating a decade-old case couldn’t locate him, and US investigators have complained they weren’t able to interrogate the professor thoroughly when he was last in the US in February 2017. Democratic National Committee lawyers even suggested he may be dead.

How Did Everything Go So Wrong for Carmelo Anthony?
The short answer: The NBA he was made for doesn’t exist anymore.

The self-driving revolution might be sexier than imagined

Self-driving cars will change the way we travel and work. But according to researchers studying the potential implications of autonomous vehicles (AVs), they could also have a profound impact on another aspect of life: How we have sex.

One recent study concluded that nearly 60% of all Americans have had sex in a car. This time-worn tradition may only increase when you consider that self-driving cars are essentially private rooms on wheels. It’s an insight that comes from a new paper published in the Annals of Tourism Research, which reviewed many studies on both cities and autonomous vehicles to identify burgeoning trends.

Rome Tried to Break Up Its Version of the MTA, and Only Apathy Stopped It
A big majority of voters were in favor — but so few people voted that it didn’t matter.

WSJ: Trump will fire Nielsen, may replace Kelly with Pence’s chief of staff

The first domino in the latest shake-up is likely to be the removal of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who is a close ally of Mr. Kelly, White House officials said. The president has decided to replace Ms. Nielsen, but hasn’t finalized the timing, White House officials said, in part because there isn’t an obvious candidate to replace her, officials said. Changes are also being contemplated for the National Security Council.

Mr. Trump has told aides that he is aware that forcing out Ms. Nielsen may result in Mr. Kelly quitting, administration officials said. Mr. Trump has told these aides that he is resigned to the possibility of Mr. Kelly leaving, and that he probably will replace Mr. Kelly with Nick Ayers, who is currently chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence.

Federal judge’s ruling may swing close congressional election

Voting rights folks just scored another big court victory in Georgia this morning: Gwinnett County can’t reject absentee ballots just because the year of birth was filled out wrong on the ballot envelope. Watch the Woodall-Bourdeaux race (GA-07) closely…

The Resistance comes to Washington