Tuesday Evening Open Thread

I'm at the airport on my way out of town. I think J and TChris will be around.

This is an Open Thread.

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    Geithner's Testimony Today (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by santarita on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 08:25:24 PM EST
    was interesting.  Sen. Tester asked him about the Congressional Oversight Panel's recommendation to run the stress tests again because the worst case employment figures used had already been exceeded.  He replied that the regulatory agencies had used other criteria, not just the employment figures.  One was how each bank would fare if it experienced a percentage of losses.  The percentage used was the loss percentage experienced in the two worst years of the Great Depression.  The regulatory agencies gave much more weight to how the banks fared using the loss percentage criteria.  

    Most analyses that I've read have criticized the use of low employment figures as unrealistic and therefore the stress tests were not useful.  But it looks like the feds have been looking at different criteria.  It would be interesting to see what the pundits that be think of the percentage loss criteria.

    Money then vs. now (none / 0) (#15)
    by Dadler on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:13:16 PM EST
    We were still on the gold standard during the Depression, the entire definition and nature of money was different, so I don't see how they think the two eras, in that sense, are relative enough to use the previous as a some baseline for the test.  There is something, imo, wrong on the surface with this. But I could be wrong.

    I Think When They Are ... (none / 0) (#18)
    by santarita on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 11:29:41 PM EST
    talking about percentages, the gold standard and inflation are not relevant.  But math is not my strong point.

    Apparently, Lieberman and Graham (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Anne on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 08:26:09 PM EST
    are not taking "no" for an answer; Glenn updates us (my emphasis):

    UPDATE III: Rep. Louise Slaughter, the powerful Democratic Chair of the House Rules Committee, played a leading role in forcing the removal of Graham-Lieberman from the spending bill.  I spoke with her today regarding her opposition, and that discussion -- roughly 8 minutes in length -- can be heard by clicking PLAY on the recorder below.  Rep. Slaughter's resolve to continue to block this bill is particularly important in light of the increasingly obnoxious obstructionism from Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham, who today succeeded in attaching their pernicious amendment to a different bill -- one that regulates various FDA matters and that is now on its way to the House.

    From Roll Call:

    Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) threatened to hold up any and all legislation in the Senate until Congress passes its legislation to prohibit the release of photos showing detainee abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    "We're not going to do any more business in the Senate," Graham said. "Nothing's going forward until we get this right."

    Both Senators said they were alarmed that a House-Senate conference committee on the supplemental war spending bill appears poised to eliminate language -- inserted by the two Senators -- that would block public disclosure of detainee abuse photos. The $90-billion-plus bill has been held up, in part, because House Democratic leaders have said they do not have the votes to pass it with the detainee photo provision included, because many liberal lawmakers have balked at the language.

    If the provision is eliminated, Lieberman and Graham said they would vote against the supplemental and any attempts to bring debate on the measure to a close. Graham predicted that most, if not all, of the 40 Senate Republicans would do the same, and Lieberman said he would be reaching out to Democrats on the issue as well. That could be enough to filibuster the supplemental measure on the Senate floor, because 60 votes are needed to end debate on a bill.

    Both men said the release of more photos showing U.S. soldiers abusing detainees at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison and at prisons in Afghanistan would only inflame tensions in the Middle East and further serve as a recruiting tool for al-Qaida.

    Lieberman said that the release of an earlier batch of photos from Abu Ghraib in 2004 had a positive effect, in that it rallied the Congress -- and the new president -- to outlaw such practices in the future. The release of additional photos, Lieberman argued, "to me is sheer voyeurism ... and will lead to the death of Americans."

    Both Senators cited warnings from generals in the field and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that the photos could incite violence against Americans in the Middle East.

    Graham accused House Democratic leaders of being beholden to "a fringe element in American politics" because he said they appear to be taking the side of the American Civil Liberties Union, which has sued the government under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain the other photos.

    Noting that President Barack Obama supports the provision along with a large majority in the Senate, Graham said, "The only body that is off-script in my mind is the House. ... Is the ACLU now in charge of the House of Representatives?"

    Lieberman and Graham's threat to halt Senate action is unlikely to affect progress of a bill to allow the Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco products. Senators voted Monday to clear the way for final passage either Tuesday or Wednesday.

    This is what I was afraid of - Lieberman always manages to get a death grip on something that is so antithetical to what Democrats are supposed to stand for - and the question is, how long before the Dems give up and the amendment passes?

    To argue against JL (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by nycstray on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 09:01:34 PM EST
    maybe this new Pres could also benefit from the photos being released re: preventive detention.

    Sh!t, they now attached it to the FDA bill?!?! Thanks for the heads up. Food safety folks need to know this.

    I'm getting damn sick and tired of these pols. Between my state and DC, I feel like delivering some good swift kicks . . .


    Ah, it's good to hear from her again (none / 0) (#11)
    by Cream City on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 08:58:48 PM EST
    but she or even a few can't do it alone.  Lieberman only keeps winning when too many Dems are losers.  Let's hope something gives enough of them spines.

    Last I checked, my Rep was holding strong (none / 0) (#13)
    by nycstray on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 09:07:00 PM EST
    as is Massa. I wonder what Maloney is doing and Murphy in the 20th. I'll have to do some more checking. My Sen let me down, so I'm hoping our reps with spines keep them.

    Banking regulation (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Yman on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 08:49:49 PM EST
    Looks like the Obama administration is backing away from a major reduction in the number of agencies overseeing the banking industry.

    What I really can't understand is why proper regulation of the banking industry (including revision of banking laws AND restructuring of the oversight agencies) hasn't been a bigger priority.  If they take no action (or incremental measures), who do they think will get blamed if there's another meltdown?

    They're Hoping People... (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by santarita on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 09:13:24 PM EST
    and the media have short memories.

    Chrysler is free to be sold (none / 0) (#1)
    by andgarden on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 08:02:45 PM EST
    Per Curiam:

    The applications for stay presented to JUSTICE GINSBURG and by her referred to the Court are denied. The temporary stay entered by JUSTICE GINSBURG on June 8, 2009, is vacated.

    A denial of a stay is not a decision on the merits of the underlying legal issues.  In determining whether to grant a stay, we consider instead whether the applicant has demonstrated "(1) a reasonable probability that four Justices will consider the issue sufficiently meritorious to grant certiorari or to note probable jurisdiction; (2) a fair prospect that a majority of the Court will conclude that the decision below was erroneous; and (3) a likelihood that irreparable harm will result from the denial of a stay." Conkright v. Fommert, 556 U. S. _, _ (2009) (slip op., at 1-2) (GINSBURG, J., in chambers) (internal quotation marks and alterations omitted).  In addition, "in a close case it may be appropriate to balance the equities," to assess the relative harms to the parties, "as well as the interests of the public at large." Id., at _ (slip op., at 2) (internal quotation marks omitted).

    "A stay is not a matter of right, even if irreparable injury might otherwise result."  Nken v. Holder, 556 U. S. _, _ (2009) (slip op., at 14) (internal quotation marks omitted). It is instead an exercise of judicial discretion, and the "party requesting a stay bears the burden of show- ing that the circumstances justify an exercise of that discretion." Ibid. The applicants have not carried that burden.

    "[T]he propriety of [a stay] is dependent upon the cir- cumstances of the particular case," and the "traditional stay factors contemplate individualized judgments in each case." Ibid. (internal quotation marks omitted).  Our as- sessment of the stay factors here is based on the record and proceedings in this case alone.

    Predictable (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 08:07:15 PM EST
    The story I hear about this is the Indiana Governor forced the Pension folks to do this.

    An exercise in absurdity.


    I'm going to watch the NBA Finals (none / 0) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 08:09:38 PM EST

    enjoy the evening everyone.

    Talk to you in a couple of days.


    That's what everyone said (none / 0) (#4)
    by andgarden on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 08:09:40 PM EST
    I was shocked that Ginsburg granted the stay, given that it took the 2nd Circuit 10 minutes to affirm the bankruptcy court.

    Not me (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Steve M on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 08:13:30 PM EST
    I thought the stay was positively routine in a situation like this, to at least allow the full court to consider the issue.  I think Scotusblog took the same view.

    Consider how much stronger the result appears, and how much better the Court looks as an institution, now that the stay has been denied by the full Court without dissent - as opposed to the situation where a single liberal Justice shoots it down.


    There were comparisons being made (none / 0) (#6)
    by andgarden on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 08:19:25 PM EST
    to Youngstown, which I just thought were absurd. Apparently so did the Court.

    Mitch Daniels, (none / 0) (#21)
    by cal1942 on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 12:43:40 AM EST
    no surprise.  I'd wager a bit that the story is true.

    Here's a fascinating story from Detroit (none / 0) (#9)
    by Steve M on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 08:48:00 PM EST
    that should have the criminal defense minds buzzing...


    Definitely (none / 0) (#19)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 11:40:21 PM EST
    I read earlier about it but just noticed from your link that the defense lawyer she references is a long-time friend of mine and what she says is total bunk.

    The retired judge also said she "just didn't trust" defense lawyer James Feinberg, and feared that if he knew witness Chad Povish was a police snitch, Povish would be killed.

    I'll do a post hopefully tomorrow on this.


    TChris wrote about it last month (none / 0) (#20)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 11:42:58 PM EST
    here, that's where I read about it.

    a judge's decision-making process revealed (none / 0) (#24)
    by Bemused on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 07:45:08 AM EST
      [Judge]Waterstone said she was troubled by the cops' perjury, and nearly called fellow judge Timothy Kenny "who's kind of my godfather -- and say, Tim, what do you do?"

    But [prosecutor] Plants appeared with a solution. Plants told her that Timothy Baughman, head of the prosecutor's appellate division, suggested that Plants privately talk with the judge about the perjured testimony, and make a sealed record of their conversation.

    Waterstone jumped at the solution because "when Tim Baughman speaks, judges listen, defense attorneys listen, police officers listen."

    In retrospect, Waterstone said, "I should have probably called Tim Kenny and asked him what he would do. But I thought well, if Tim Baughman says that's the way to handle it."

    Baughman has said he cannot talk about the case or his possible role in it.

    Kenny, a former state prosecutor who led a regional drug task force, declined to comment on Waterstone's case but said in general that it's "not uncommon for one judge to consult another if they are facing a novel issue."

    Waterstone ruefully acknowledged in her interview that she didn't research the law: "I just took the word of the Oracle of Delphi, Mr. Baughman, and I was really mistaken. And I'm sorry I did, but I did."

      Nice system. Judges don't just have ex parte communications with prosecutors they take their marching orders from them as to the best way to cover up crimes, violate defendants' rights  and mislead jurors.


    Trying to listen to Padres/Dodgers (none / 0) (#16)
    by oculus on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:25:34 PM EST
    while watching Lakers/Magic.  Pretty confusing.

    Just for extra fun (none / 0) (#22)
    by cal1942 on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 01:03:46 AM EST
    you also had the option of turning on an additional TV tuned to NBC to watch the Red Wings against the Penguins.

    You could have parlayed confusion into madness.

    What a wonderful time of the year.


    Are the people of Alaska (none / 0) (#17)
    by Lil on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:32:20 PM EST
    still behind this woman? I know I implied earlier today that Sully was behaving stupidly. So twice in one day I see stupid (maybe I'm the stupid one, who knows anymore?) http://thinkprogress.org/2009/06/09/palin-oil-revenue/

    Please, please (5.00 / 0) (#23)
    by cal1942 on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 01:14:25 AM EST
    keep Sarah Palin on televison.  Front and center.  I want her to be the GOP standard bearer in 2012.

    I read she's switching parties (none / 0) (#25)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 08:50:54 AM EST
    and will be a "D" for the next election cycle. :)