Saturday Night Open Thread

A survey of more than 100 retired NY police officials say they were pressured into fudging stats to make it appear crime was going down.

The totals for those seven so-called major index crimes are provided to the F.B.I., whose reports on crime trends have been used by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and his predecessor, Rudolph W. Giuliani, to favorably compare New York to other cities and to portray it as a profoundly safer place, an assessment that the summary does not contradict.

In Georgia, criminal defense attorney Mark Shelnutt, who was acquitted of 40 counts of money laundering, aiding a drug conspiracy, bribery and false statements, is suing the Government, using the Hyde Act, to recover his attorneys fees. What a nightmare the feds put this lawyer through, the article is just chilling.

The Third Circuit, which will be the first in the country to decide whether the Government must show probable cause before getting an order to obtain cell-site locator records, is finally going to hear oral arguments on Thursday. This is a really big deal, and not just for criminal defendants. Among those in the case: the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Center for Democracy & Technology and the American Civil Liberties Union.[More...]

The data, which are recorded about once every seven seconds whenever a cell phone is turned on, effectively track the whereabouts and the comings and goings of every cell phone user.

Justice Department lawyers argue that, by statute, they need only show "reasonable grounds" to believe that such records are "relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation."

From the Magistrate Judge's ruling which is being appealed:

"This court believes that citizens continue to hold a reasonable expectation of privacy in the information the government seeks regarding their physical movements/locations -- even now that such information is routinely produced by their cell phones -- and that, therefore, the government's investigatory search of such information continues to be protected by the Fourth Amendment's warrant requirement."

Michael Irvin has filed a $100 million lawsuit against a woman accusing him of rape.

The snow storm on the east coast seems to be abating. Maybe they can send some to Vancouver in time for the Olympics, where there is a serious shortage. In other Olympics news, there is an official blogging and tweeting policy for participants. It's allowed so long as they just write about their own experiences.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Lady Gaga vs Christopher Walken-Poker Face(Mashup) (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Babel 17 on Sun Feb 07, 2010 at 01:02:39 AM EST

    I find the unedited version addictive but this mashup is great.

    Last Question to Sarah Palin (none / 0) (#1)
    by Politalkix on Sat Feb 06, 2010 at 09:06:21 PM EST
    at Tea Party Convention after her speech was about 3 things she would do if she became President Palin.
    Never heard the word "jobs" anywhere in her answer.
    Go figure...

    What did she say? (none / 0) (#2)
    by Angel on Sat Feb 06, 2010 at 11:15:06 PM EST
    The NY Times (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by daring grace on Sun Feb 07, 2010 at 08:34:11 AM EST
    reported on the speech here.

    Here's the part I chuckled at:

    Ms. Palin's fee for speaking was reported to be $100,000, and she was criticized by some Tea Party activists for taking a fee, much as the convention itself was criticized for charging a ticket price that is too high for tea partiers who consider themselves fiscal conservatives. But Mr. Phillips, the founder of Tea Party Nation, the social networking site that sponsored the convention, refused to talk about how much she was paid.

    The ticket prices were $549 for the convention or $349 just for her speech. And, of course, this particular tea party organizing group IS a for profit entity, an issue which has raised hackles and apparently started some fissions in the ranks.


    Palin said on FNC (none / 0) (#15)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Feb 07, 2010 at 02:36:09 PM EST
    interview that the speaker fee would be donated to candidates and other parts of the movement.

    CAn you say, "I have proof?" (none / 0) (#17)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 01:50:21 PM EST
    No? Didn't think so.

    No, that proves only what we knew. (none / 0) (#19)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 05:21:46 PM EST
    Palin was getting/has rec'd a speaking fee. She has said she will donate it to various political organizations.

    Prove that she does not intend to do that and you have something. Otherwise you seem to have a complaint that she was paid.

    The fee amount is not out of line with what others receive. Actually it is on the low side.

    She was recruited to speak because the organizers needed a draw that would attract enough "customers" to pay enough money to cover the costs plus a stipend for the organization. At around $500 @, 500 attendees yield a gross $250,000, leaving $150,000 to pay for the hotel, ball room, food, etc. That's a pretty thin margin.

    I don't know how Palin's finances are organized. If she is an "individual" then the money is income and she can donate it to organizations and deduct on the tax side. Of course the Alternative Minimum Tax will be there.

    But I would guess she has her own corp. How that would work on the tax side I do not know.

    Either way the ability to be a rainmaker and then distribute the "rain" means power.

    Politics, money, power.

    I tell you I am shocked. Yes, shocked.


    Good point but... (none / 0) (#21)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 08:59:58 AM EST
    Those attacking her have not waited until the race is finished. In fact, not even until it has been run.

    So I still see it as a political attack of a politician by her opponents. Nothing wrong with that and part of the game.


    5 Yards for delay of game? (none / 0) (#23)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 09:21:26 AM EST
    Sorry about the delay, but life often interferes with my blogging.

    To close I repeat:

    So I still see it as a political attack of a politician by her opponents. Nothing wrong with that and part of the game


    If only I could make out (none / 0) (#11)
    by Politalkix on Sun Feb 07, 2010 at 11:37:27 AM EST
    Even though I had a very difficult time ingesting the word salad that was served, I think I heard energy (coal, oil and natural gas, nuclear), tax cuts and a rambling critique of the President's bipartisanship, in her answer. I think a handprompter (it seems she had written the answer in the palm of her hand) malfunction occurred during the Q & A session, but I may be wrong!
    An image of her palm with "energy", "tax cuts" and "lift American spirits?" written on it has been posted in the Orange site.
    Earlier in her speech, she stressed that Congressmen and the President should have the courage, wisdom and humility to seek divine intervention during a period of great crisis (such as the economic one that we are going through), she also informed us how Alaska was the beacon of hope to people in countries that pine for liberty and freedom.



    I bet she used the (none / 0) (#12)
    by jondee on Sun Feb 07, 2010 at 12:05:15 PM EST
    words liberty and freedom more times than Townsend's going to use the windmill move tonight.

    At those kind of ticket prices, is there still a lingering doubt that "Tea Party" is GOP by any other name?

    What happened to that "this isnt about the Right or the Left, it's about America standing up etc"..have they finally gotten around to dispensing with the  hooey, or (rhetorical question), would expecting that be like expecting sharks to turn vegetarian?


    Any decision yett re Polanski (none / 0) (#3)
    by oculus on Sun Feb 07, 2010 at 12:16:03 AM EST

    welcome back, Oculus (none / 0) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Feb 07, 2010 at 01:17:01 AM EST
    Were you on a trip?

    I am in Kyoto for another (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by oculus on Sun Feb 07, 2010 at 02:21:54 AM EST
    weeK. Cold and damp and truly beautiful. Snow on the temple gates and eaves and on the Zen dry gardens.  Strangely no one has mentioned the Senate health care bill or the Superbowl!

    So wonderful there (none / 0) (#9)
    by ruffian on Sun Feb 07, 2010 at 10:04:31 AM EST
    I think we've posted about it before. Kyoto is one of my favorite places too. I'd love to see it in the snow.

    Even in Kyoto, (none / 0) (#10)
    by jondee on Sun Feb 07, 2010 at 10:20:24 AM EST
    hearing the cuckoo's cry,

    I long for Kyoto.