Monday News Update

I'm headed to court for the afternoon, but here's some things to check out:

The Supreme Court won't hear the Uighur detainee case, but at least it vacated the lower court's opinion finding a federal judge can't order the release of the Uighur detainees into the U.S.

Also today, Enron's Jeff Skilling lawyers are arguing about the constitutionality of the "theft by honest services" statute and denial of a change of venue from Houston. White Collar Crime Blog is following closely.

Tomorrow, the Court hears argument on whether states can enact gun laws that restrict a person's right to possess handguns. The gun case is Otis McDonald v. City of Chicago.

There's also a case in which the court may further restrict Miranda rights. And the Court refused review today in U.S. v. McCane, a Tenth Circuit case that held Leon's good faith exception applied to vehicle searches that violated Arizona v. Gant. The petition was considered at the court's private conference.

In non-criminal law news, Think Progress reports John McCain may propose an amendment to ban changes to Medicare through reconciliation.

This is another open thread, all topics welcome.

< Monday Morning Open Thread | Monday Night TV and Open Thread >
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    Spring is coming. (5.00 / 4) (#14)
    by Dr Molly on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 03:19:05 PM EST
    You called it jondee... (none / 0) (#2)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 01:22:54 PM EST
    Heeeere's Crackhead Pat with god's reasons for punishing Chile with an earthquake...they messed with his "personal hero" Pinochet and got smited..."if he had to guess".  

    I almost hope his god does exist just to imagine the look on Pat's face when he arrives at Belzebub's crib:)

    Ha! Excellent writing: (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 01:30:09 PM EST
    Citing what he described as the "the persecution of a great hero who rid their land of Godless communists" as a possible cause, prominent TV evangelist and amateur seismologist Pat Robertson [...]

    General Pinochet, who spent the last eight years of his life fighting prosecution on human rights and other charges before succumbing to congestive heart failure in December 2006, could not be reached for comment, even by Robertson.

    All he has to do (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by jondee on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 02:25:41 PM EST
    is close his eyes in front of the cameras to make instant contact with the Lord, but he cant make contact with a little ole guy like Pinochet.

    "..the Lord finally called him (5.00 / 0) (#28)
    by jondee on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 05:06:16 PM EST
    (Pinochet) home.."

    That's about as valid an assessment as the minister's son who talked about finding a toad "and beating him with a stick, running him over with the lawnmower..until the Lord called him home"

    Robertson would be just a champion of unintentional humor if he weren't such a walking toxic slime outlet.


    Ya know guys (none / 0) (#38)
    by Rojas on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 06:40:26 PM EST
    I think you're blowing holes in that Liberal bell curve theory.
    Parody... did I spell that right?

    It would be funny (none / 0) (#3)
    by nyjets on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 01:29:50 PM EST
    It would be funny if there were not people who adore Pat Roberterson. That guy is definitly scary.

    Tell me about it... (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 01:36:27 PM EST
    my dear departed grandmother actually sent that guy and his 700 Club money...a good amount of money.

    With Pat, it's personal...he's one of maybe 2-3 people tops on earth that I will be hard pressed not to punch in the face on sight.  And I'd take whatever he had on him in honor of sweet yet gullible grandma.


    Right on! (none / 0) (#43)
    by Chuck0 on Tue Mar 02, 2010 at 09:04:10 AM EST
    I, for one, will do my happy dance when Pat passes on. This country, this planet, will be richer and saner when Mr. Robertson leaves the building.

    Well, at least (none / 0) (#6)
    by Zorba on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 01:56:53 PM EST
    God's response time is getting shorter- it took over 200 years for him to "smite" Haiti after their "pact with the devil," and only 12 years for him to smite Chile for "persecuting" Pinochet. (/snark)
    For crying in a bucket- Robertson gets more senile by the day.  I think that every time he opens his mouth, he has another mini-stroke (and he didn't start out any too bright to begin with).

    If this is humor.... (none / 0) (#8)
    by desertswine on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 02:18:27 PM EST
    The popular host of `The 700 Club' and longtime bingo circuit icon also added, "General Pinochet not only assisted the CIA in the overthrow of Chile's Marxist government, but is widely credited with personally arranging the meetings of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of his countrymen with Jesus."

    it is very dark humor indeed.


    I thought (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Zorba on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 02:56:00 PM EST
    the exact same thing.  Was he talking about the thousands that Pinochet was responsible for killing?  If so, Robertson is even worse than I thought (and I thought him pretty bad).  Perhaps he's assuming that, because Allende was a Marxist, he suppressed religion.  As far as I can remember, he didn't- the Roman Catholic Church was quite open in opposing him.  But then, Robertson wouldn't consider Roman Catholics as being Christian, so who knows what the heck the senile old fool was talking about?

    Yeah (none / 0) (#13)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 02:58:06 PM EST
    I love that about Robertson (and other evangelicals) who don't consider Roman Catholics as "Christian" - I mean, guess who started the Catholic Church.  (HINT:  His initials are "J" and "C")

    The Eastern Orthodox Church (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Zorba on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 04:27:21 PM EST
    would beg to differ, jbindc.  ;-)
    I was raised Greek Orthodox- we always considered that we were the first church, and that Rome split off from us.  Personally, it doesn't matter to me which way you consider it, and in any case, Robertson wouldn't consider the Eastern Orthodox to be Christians either, and I'll bet he is also not too fond of the Anglicans (or any liturgical church).

    I guess it's fair (5.00 / 0) (#40)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 02, 2010 at 06:59:30 AM EST
    I personally don't consider Robertson or his ilk to really be Christian either.  :)

    San Diego Progressives Crash Tea Party (none / 0) (#7)
    by Dadler on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 01:59:47 PM EST
    Ron Wyden (none / 0) (#10)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 02:45:11 PM EST
    Going to be challenged by Jim Huffman in Oregon.

    Yikes! (none / 0) (#12)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 02:56:48 PM EST
    See, women like this hurt so many more women who really need the help by falsely claiming rape.  This woman deserves punishment. Her poor kids - having this piece of trash for a mother.

    A young mother who falsely cried rape, sending an innocent man to prison for nearly four years, will experience firsthand what he suffered -- she'll spend one to three years behind bars for perjury.

    "I wish her the best of luck," said William McCaffrey last night of Biurny Peguero Gonzalez.

    "Jail isn't easy."

    McCaffrey, 33, of The Bronx, was locked up after Gonzalez accused him of raping her at knifepoint on a Bronx street back in 2005.

    It was a lie she repeated to doctors, cops, prosecutors, a grand jury and the jury that convicted McCaffrey.

    Awful story... (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 03:44:31 PM EST
    mad props are due to the priest who convinced her to come clean.

    A new health bill? (none / 0) (#15)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 03:30:15 PM EST
    FOX News

    President Obama will soon propose a health care bill that will be "much smaller" than the House bill but "big enough" to put the country on a "path" toward health care reform, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday.

    "In a matter of days, we will have a proposal," Pelosi said, pointing to Obama's forthcoming bill.

    "It will be a much smaller proposal than we had in the House bill because that's where we can gain consensus. But it will be big enough to put us on a path of affordable, quality health care for all Americans that holds insurance companies accountable."

    White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Obama's proposal likely will be introduced on Wednesday and will address both process and substance.


    Asked how White House staff is putting the new proposal together, Barnes said they are "borrowing" from conversations at Thursday's health care summit.

    "We're going to be borrowing from those conversations...to come up with a bill that we hope can receive bipartisan support," Barnes said.

    Press Secretary Robert Gibbs indicated Friday that the White House would work on GOP ideas for health reform over the weekend. Barnes identified two: tort reform and allowing insurers to sell policies across state lines.

    "They (the summit participants) talked about medical malpractice reform and found possible areas of common ground there and so that's something they (White House staff) will be looking at," Barnes said.  "They (summit participants) talked about purchasing insurance across state lines doing that, though, in a way to make sure people are treated fairly. So, I think we'll look towards those issues and we will be drawing upon that.  The conversation that took place at Blair House was important to us, because we wanted to hear what the leadership in Congress had to say."

    Oh, for the love of God... (5.00 / 0) (#17)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 03:57:06 PM EST
    are you kidding me?

    A proposal based on a proposal - I swear to you, I think what we'll all end up with is being forced to buy a big box of band-aids at insurance company prices and that will be our new health care reform...


    We could call it (none / 0) (#21)
    by Zorba on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 04:29:53 PM EST
    the "Health Care Proposal Squared."  Sheeesh.

    Dems continue work on suicide pact; ignore cries (5.00 / 0) (#31)
    by jawbone on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 05:15:59 PM EST
    for help from the public and concentrate on destroying Democratic Party's brand image.

    Oh my.

    From real health CARE to health insurance reform to...""big enough' to put the country on a 'path' toward health care reform." Well, "care" and "reform" ought to be in skepticism quotes as well.

    And selling health insurance across state lines? Oh, really, give us a break, Obama! Race to bottom and increased paperwork from even more insurers, more calls to insurers, lack of regulation...what's to think about liking???

    Wednesday: Date for New, Improved Obama Mishmash!

    Can't make these things up.


    I don't get what Obama is doing at all (none / 0) (#20)
    by tworivers on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 04:29:32 PM EST
    Why all the "hey, we might just have to pass this on a party line vote through reconciliation" talk if they just go ahead and cave a day or two later?  Are they looking at polls documenting how unpopular the Senate bill (minus the public option) is and losing their nerve as a result?

    I guess some of how I view this will depend on just what's in this smaller bill.  In a way, if some of the really bad parts of the Senate and House bills are stripped out, but enough of the good parts are kept?  It's tough to say until one knows just what they intend to include and exclude in the smaller bill.

    I  don't have a good feeling about it, though.  


    Why would and Dem take a stand for an Obama stand? (5.00 / 0) (#29)
    by jawbone on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 05:12:23 PM EST
    His "stands" are changing all the time. Any support puts some poor pol out on a limb, with Obama sawing it off behind him or her.

    Why? (none / 0) (#36)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 06:34:26 PM EST
    Because Nancy doesn't have the votes in the House to pass the Senate bill, even with the cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-die promise of the Senate that it will make the fixes they want afterwards through reconciliation.

    It's probably the same plan I linked to (none / 0) (#27)
    by Dan the Man on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 04:54:18 PM EST

    President Barack Obama will use a bipartisan summit Thursday to push for sweeping health-care legislation, but if that fails to generate enough support the White House is working on a more modest Plan B.

    The alternate approach would provide health insurance to perhaps 15 million Americans, about half what the comprehensive bill would cover, according to a person familiar with both plans.

    It would do that by requiring insurance companies to allow people up to 26 years old to stay on their parents' health plans, and by modestly expanding two federal-state health programs, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program, this person said. The cost to the federal government would be about one-fourth the price tag for the broader effort, which the White House has said would cost about $950 billion over 10 years.

    Borrowing from their neighbors: (none / 0) (#30)
    by KeysDan on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 05:14:04 PM EST
     They needed that Blalr House summit to find out what the leadership of Congress had to say.  Got two good Republican ideas in the seven hours, apparently the first time that heard them and they want to snatch them up, pronto.   Oh, my goodness.

    But, but... (none / 0) (#41)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 02, 2010 at 07:02:54 AM EST
    We were told here and other places that Obama took command of the Summit and really put Republicans in their place.

    Guess that lasted for a half second and he realized he got the smackdown after all.


    Also, what is Pelosi doing and why is she saying (none / 0) (#32)
    by jawbone on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 05:23:11 PM EST
    such things?

    Greg Sargent reports that both Pelosi and Hoyer seem to indicate they will have House vote on Senate bill as is prior to Senate making any "improvements" to make the bill more palatable to the House members.

    Pelosi told Elizabeth Vargas in a videotaped interview shown on This Week yesterday that now just wanting a public option is, well, OK enough (it's about 1/4 of the way down in the transcript)....

    VARGAS: What do you say to your members, when it does come to the House to vote on this, who are in real fear of losing their seats in November if they support you now?

    PELOSI: Well, first of all, our members -- every one of them -- wants health care. I think everybody wants affordable health care for all Americans. They know that this will take courage. It took courage to pass Social Security. It took courage to pass Medicare. And many of the same forces that were at work decades ago are at work again against this bill.

    But the American people need it. Why are we here? We're not here just to self-perpetuate our service in Congress. We're here to do the job for the American people, to get them results that gives them not only health security, but economic security, because the health issue is an economic issue for -- for America's families.

    VARGAS: Do you wish, though, that the president had posted his bill before this week, that six months ago it might have been more helpful for you, that maybe six months ago you knew that the public option was something he was going to drop before you fought so hard for it?

    PELOSI: Well, we -- we still fight for the -- what the public option will do. Whether it's in the bill or not, its purpose must be recognized and that is to keep the insurance companies honest, to keep them accountable, and to increase competition. And I think in the summit on Thursday it became very clear that what the president was proposing was regulation of the insurance companies.

    Left to their own devices, they have done harm to the American people. They need to be regulated. And that is one of the biggest differences between the Democrats and the Republicans.

    Another one, for example, is -- an example of it is ending the denial of -- of coverage to those who have a pre-existing condition. The Democrats have that in their bill; the Republicans do not. (My emphasis)

    Instead of taking votes on issues, working to create new progams, now, it seems, Dems are trying to say that just talking about issues will make them effective? Against the BHIPs???? (Big Health Insurance Parasites). Oh, yeah, that will cut those premium increases waaaaay down. Surely, sternly worded letters will do so much more.

    Well, looks like Obama's gonna get his Health Insurance Corporate Bailout on? And his mandate the people must buy those parasite's offer of sucking the financial life out of them? The Corporate Shakedown with Government Muscle?

    Hat tip for Pelosi quote goes to Dakinikat at The Confluence.


    Weird email thing happened. (none / 0) (#18)
    by observed on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 04:18:28 PM EST
    I started going onto TPM for the first time in ages, because I thought they would have good HCR  coverage. I do have an account there, but I haven't logged on for years---maybe more than 3, because I only used it a few times.
    Anyway, I just got an email from TPM with a breaking news update. I don't think I've gotten one in years.
    Since I'm on a different computer than when I used to log in, I"m wondering if there is any way, the site could have recognized me.

    Cue the Twilight Zone music...... (none / 0) (#22)
    by Zorba on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 04:32:51 PM EST
    They know who you are and everything about you.  Be afraid.  Be very afraid, oculus.  ;-)
    (Actually, I guess this is only partially snark.)

    I got one also (none / 0) (#23)
    by nycstray on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 04:33:48 PM EST
    and thought it was weird as I never go to TMP anymore. Perhaps they need some traffic?

    Yes. When you registered they got your computer (none / 0) (#24)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 04:34:26 PM EST
    IP address.

    Sure, but this is a different computer--- (none / 0) (#25)
    by observed on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 04:39:18 PM EST
    even adifferent city.
    Maybe they are just sending email to old users to drum up business.

    Think that's what it is (none / 0) (#35)
    by hollyfromca on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 06:11:33 PM EST
    I haven't been there in years either and got that message about the IRS.  It wasn't even important news!

    Does anyone know what Dan Froomkin is doing? and (none / 0) (#26)
    by jawbone on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 04:45:39 PM EST
    if he's writing, where?

    My PC died in mid-August, got my new one installed mid-February had some time, so looked for Froomkin. I figured he'd be up on HuffPo by now, but I can't find anything. Nor did I see anything current at NiemanWatchdog.

    Anyone know?

    Froomkin is at Huffpo (none / 0) (#37)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 06:36:53 PM EST
    but he's doing very little writing.  He appears to be more managing.  I get an email every time he puts up a post, and there's only been two or three since he went over there months ago.

    Utah Accidentally Criminalizes Cancer Treatment? (none / 0) (#33)
    by Babel 17 on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 05:25:14 PM EST

    The Utah Senate recently approved a measure aimed at punishing women who arrange intentional miscarriages. The overly broad bill authorized homicide charges against expectant mothers who miscarry as a result of an "intentional, knowing, or reckless act." Under current law, the standard of "recklessness" connotes a situation in which an actor does not intend to cause harm but chooses to disregard a reasonably foreseeable risk. As many bloggers have shrewdly noted, the inclusion of such a minimal mens rea requirement means that women who indulge in an occasional glass of wine, trip on the stairs, or reunite with an abusive spouse may be charged with murder. Given that nearly one out of every five recognized pregnancies ends in miscarriage, manipulative partners could easily use this law to threaten women with a criminal investigation if the relationship turns bad.

    Is it me... (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 02, 2010 at 07:58:43 AM EST
    or has the definition of murder become so insanely broad that coughing near somebody who catches pnuemonia and dies would lead to murder charges in many US jurisdictions?

    This country has gone farkin' nuts.  Forget about criminalizing cancer treatment or tripping down some stairs...it seems to me we've criminalized living.  Cue Ayn Rand...

    "There's no way to rule innocent men.
    The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals.
    Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them.
    One declares so many things to be a crime
    that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws."

    I don't think that it was an "accident" (none / 0) (#34)
    by Zorba on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 05:51:41 PM EST
    I think they wanted to write the law so broadly that they could pretty much punish any pregnant woman they wanted to.  Look, they're predominantly Mormon, and even the non-Mormons are very conservative (with some exceptions, such as a good portion of the faculty at the University of Utah.  And some ski fanatics who moved there because of the great skiing.  And a few others.  But they don't have enough votes to turn out the right-wingers).  They probably think that if a pregnant woman miscarries, it's God's punishment for her having done something bad in the "eyes of God."  Fifty percent (and maybe as many as 75%) of all pregnancies end in spontaneous abortion- the vast majority before the woman even knows she's pregnant.  Clearly, God must prefer miscarriage, because he causes so many of them.  (That was a snark, BTW.)  What's next?  Require all fertile woman to stay home, don't work, don't drive, don't do anything, in case she is pregnant?  How about requiring burqas while we're at it?  Jeez.