Patterico's Pontifications


Breaking News and Off-Topic Links (8/24/2019)

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 7:12 am

[By DRJ]

This post is for everyone who wants to share a link to a breaking news story or to an interesting news story/blog post that is not related to a current post. Put your link in the comments.

Discussion about any links is welcome here, too.


66 Responses to “Breaking News and Off-Topic Links (8/24/2019)”

  1. jews are right to wary about what tlaib suggests, and Pelosi approves of

    narciso (d1f714)

  2. its a law from 1952, but what does that have to do with it,

    narciso (d1f714)

  3. Thank you for the Washington Times’ link, narciso. It sounds like you think the Judge is wrong. Do we want to criminalize speech? My preference is to focus on overt acts, such as knowing someone is not here illegally and offering them a job. But, for most of us, it is hard to know with certainty whether someone is here illegally.

    DRJ (15874d)

  4. the passage in contention:

    After they were convicted of conspiring with supervisors to violate the law, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled in a similar case that encouraging immigrants to be in the country illegally is protected speech under the First Amendment.

    narciso (d1f714)

  5. Unless they did something more than words, isn’t it protected speech? Or is encouragement not speech to you?

    DRJ (15874d)

  6. they obviously did, even the times is week on the details,

    narciso (d1f714)

  7. Maybe they did more, maybe they didn’t, but “obviously” isn’t enough for me to decide.

    DRJ (15874d)

  8. There are exceptions, nuances, and penumbras, but the basic test for contest restrictions is “clear and present danger”, and the legal analysis in a nutshell (or if you’re taking the bar exam) is “if there’s doubt, the government loses”.

    nk (dbc370)

  9. it’s because the copy writers are too lazy to actually look at the court transcript,

    narciso (d1f714)

  10. Frank Luntz
    Justice Ginsburg was successfully treated for a pancreatic cancer tumor at the
    Cancer Center in NYC.

    Sloan Kettering has a 23-story treatment facility named after David Koch, who donated $150 million in 2015 and battled prostate cancer throughout his own life.
    __ _

    harkin (58d012)

  11. so where does judge murguia, find it a mere act of speech, but definitive action,

    narciso (d1f714)

  12. They were indicted for money laundering but the Judge specifically refused to find them guilty of money laundering:

    Money Laundering Counts

    The government charges that defendants laundered money and conspired to launder money under 18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(1)(B)(i), which provides:

    Whoever, knowing that the property involved in a financial transaction represents the proceeds of some form of unlawful activity, conducts or attempts to conduct such a financial transaction which in fact involves the proceeds of specified unlawful activity . . . knowing that the transaction is designed in whole or in part . . . to conceal or disguise the nature, the location, the source, the ownership, or the control of the proceeds of specified unlawful activity . . . shall be sentenced to a fine of not more than $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction, whichever is greater, or imprisonment for not more than twenty years, or both. For purposes of this paragraph, a financial transaction shall be considered to be one involving the proceeds of specified unlawful activity if it is part of a set of parallel or dependent transactions, any one of which involves the proceeds of specified unlawful activity, and all of which are part of a single plan or arrangement.

    § 1956(a)(1)(B)(i). Further, the statute specifies that “the term `proceeds’ means any property derived from or obtained or retained, directly or indirectly, through some form of unlawful activity, including the gross receipts of such activity.” Id. § 1956(c)(9).

    Defendants move to dismiss the money laundering counts for several reasons: (1) the financial transactions did not involve the proceeds of unlawful activity because Counts One through Nine1 are not crimes; (2) the financial transactions did not involve the proceeds of unlawful activity because the money was for drywall installation—not for encouraging aliens to illegally reside in the United States; and (3) the defendants did not conduct the financial transactions to disguise the nature, location, source, ownership, or control of the proceeds of unlawful activity. To the contrary, defendants argue, Jose Torres (the party who cashed the checks) openly conducted business and used bank accounts.

    The court already essentially rejected defendants’ first argument when it denied the motions to dismiss Counts One through Nine at the September 30 hearing. As for defendants’ second argument, they rely on United States v. Jorge Delgado-Ovalle, No. 13-20033-07-KHV, 2013 WL 6858499 (D. Kan. Dec. 30, 2013), where Judge Marten dismissed money laundering counts because the proceeds were from the sale of houses—not from the encouragement of aliens to illegally reside in the United States. Specifically, Judge Marten noted:

    Section 1956(a)(1)(B)(i) requires the money to be proceeds of specified unlawful activity, and § 1956(c)(9) requires the proceeds to be obtained through unlawful activity. Building and selling houses is not an unlawful activity, and the government cites no authority for the proposition that the sale of a house turns into a money laundering venture if it was constructed with the help of persons not lawfully present in the United States.

    Delgado-Ovalle, 2013 WL 6858499, at *8. Here, defendants argue that the proceeds that defendants Plaster Masters, L.C. (“Plaster Masters”) and Keith L. Countess used to pay Jose Torres (and that Torres then passed on to the crew) were from drywall installation—which is a legal activity. The government counters that defendants made money by hiring undocumented workers; specifically, by “encouraging” undocumented individuals to reside in the United States. In other words, it was the employment of undocumented alien workers to install drywall that made the money (“proceeds”) defendants then used to pay the workers.

    The court has reviewed the Delgado-Ovalle opinion. The government claims the opinion is distinguishable, but the court has trouble ascertaining how Delgado-Ovalle materially differs from the case at hand. In fact, the allegations are nearly the same. The court finds Judge Marten’s reasoning persuasive, as well as the reasoning in United States v. Maali, 358 F.Supp.2d 1154 (M.D. Fla. 2004). In Maali,the government argued that saving money by utilizing undocumented workers equated to illegally obtaining the money for purposes of the money laundering statute. 358 F. Supp. 2d at 1159. The Maali court disagreed, stating:

    Having ascertained the plain and ordinary definition of proceeds, it is clear that the term does not contemplate profits or revenue indirectly derived from labor or from the failure to remit taxes. While it is natural and clearly correct to say that Defendants received proceeds from the sale of jeans, it is, by contrast, both causally tenuous and decidedly unnatural to say that the moneys one has received from the sale of a good are, not the proceeds from the sale of a good, but proceeds of the labor used to produce the good. It is in accordance with this reasoning that Defendants’ motion for acquittal has been granted.

    Id. at 1160.

    Here, the indictment alleges that defendants made money by hiring undocumented workers. They then laundered that money by issuing checks to Jose Torres, who cashed the checks and paid the workers. This is not, as the government calls it, a “classic money laundering scheme.” Rather, the money that defendants are accused of illegally “washing” through the bank originates from a legitimate source—from drywall installation; not from the labor used for the installation. Without the proceeds being from illegal activity, the government cannot prevail on its charges.

    Because the court accepts defendants’ second argument, the court need not address defendants’ third argument. Counts Ten through Twenty are dismissed.

    The Judge also dismissed the bank fraud counts. I haven’t found the facts and charges that they were convicted on and don’t have time to look now.

    DRJ (15874d)

  13. I’ll try to look later. The case is U.S. v. COUNTESS, Case No. 14-20143-CM. Link it if you find it.

    DRJ (15874d)

  14. the Canadian menace, which Nathan phillips feared, will not be thwarted,

    narciso (d1f714)

  15. Like the Seinfeld episode The Comeback , where George Costanza can’t think of a snappy comeback at the moment, it took me a while to find a transcript of the President’s follow-up remarks on Jewish “disloyalty”. From Dana’s 8/21 post quoting Phillip Klein:

    Was he talking about disloyalty to America? Disloyalty to Trump? Disloyalty to Israel? Disloyalty to Jews? No matter which way one wants to interpret this comment, it’s sickening coming from an American president — all the more bizarre coming as he has been unleashing a barrage of attacks on Tlaib and Omar for anti-Semitism.

    Among the litany of anti-Semitic remarks made by Tlaib and Omar, the most horrific involved accusations of dual loyalty (see background here and here). Accusations of dual loyalty have been at the center of anti-Semitic attacks on Jews for centuries. Yet here is Trump throwing out the “disloyalty” charge.

    One potential interpretation is that he was suggesting it would be disloyal to Israel to vote Democrat. But American Jews are first and foremost American, not Israeli. Suggesting that Jewish votes should be determined primarily by U.S. policy toward Israel is to their faith by voting Democrat, he needs to shut right the heck up, because he is in no position to criticize somebody’s relationship to their faith.

    At a press gaggle before he left for Europe, Trump confirmed he met disloyalty to Israel. Case closed.

    Ripmurdock (5d142d)

  16. Correct press gaggle link

    Ripmurdock (5d142d)

  17. Odd how this story got so little play.

    Israel has carried out an airstrike on a weapons depot in Iraq that officials said was being used by Iran to move weapons to Syria, an attack that could destabilize Iraq and thrust it deeper into the conflict between the United States and Iran.
    The attack, believed to be the first Israeli bombing in Iraq in nearly four decades, represents an expansion of the military campaign Israel has carried out against Iranian targets in Syria.

    No comment from Ms. Omar and Ms. Tlaib.

    Paul Montagu (a2342d)

  18. No, this time I did not go looking for it for Haiku.

    Space Lesbians In Spousal Spat.

    Yeah, sure, we’re gonna conquer space.

    nk (dbc370)

  19. You’re a saucy one, nk.

    They certainly do get a lot more attention than their waning influence would seem to indicate…

    “There is a little dance that goes on nearly every day on Twitter. It usually starts with a pro-Trump conservative attacking a Never Trump conservative by suggesting their anti-Trump program is pointless and can only serve to help a Democratic Party lurching to the left. Next, the Never Trumper typically responds that if they are so irrelevant, why are pro-Trump conservatives so obsessed with them?

    A fundamental misunderstanding is at work here. Nobody really thinks Never Trumpers are irrelevant. In fact, they and their views are all over the place. The Washington Post, New York Times, USA Today, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and many other prominent left-leaning media outlets ensure that Never Trump pundits maintain relevance by plastering them all over our nation’s news commentary.

    So, yes, Never Trumpers certainly have relevance, but there is something arguably much more important that they do not have: a constituency. The vast majority of conservatives and Republicans outside of the media and the Beltway approve of the job President Trump is doing. This is why, ultimately, ideas like running Joe Walsh against Trump are so silly and derided.”

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  20. Darn you nk, I was just about to post that. Read it last night but there wasn’t an open thread.

    Dave (1bb933)

  21. “Inflated statistics, altered quotes…

    A Cornell University scholar cited in a recent New York Times piece tying slavery to capitalism was previously found to have inflated statistics, invented facts, and altered quotes, according to fellow academics in his field.

    In an October 2016 paper, scholars Alan Olmstead of the University of California Davis and Paul Rhode of the University of Michigan harshly criticized the research of Cornell’s Edward Baptist presented in Baptist’s 2014 book “The Half Has Never Been Told.” In the book, Baptist argues that modern capitalism still contains many of the remnants of slavery and America’s current economy is still influenced by the exploitation of slaves.”

    More on the subject here (I vote “race hustling”):

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  22. Now this is what you call devotion to one’s mother.

    Paul Montagu (a2342d)

  23. What a gig. Starbucks has a $1.6 billion debt but pays zero interest for it. It really is too bad that a self-made billionaire and fairly brilliant businessman like Howard Schultz could hardly launch a presidential campaign while a plurality of Republicans nominated a con man.

    Paul Montagu (a2342d)

  24. Mystery solved: Why there’s braille on those Lime and Bird scooters (they’re not “how to ride” instructions).

    Paul Montagu (a2342d)

    The seals are the issue. Not only do they attract Great Whites they destroy the chain of baitfish and more.

    mg (8cbc69)

  26. Seals, sea lions and otters in CA. The more the numbers grow, the more great whites.

    People used to dive the Farallons for ab and lobster. Now it’s white shark HQ.

    harkin (58d012)

  27. Related to your link @ 35, the two women from queens, narciso. These Velentzases are also from Queens:

    nk (dbc370)

  28. 34… “Seals, sea lions and otters in CA. The more the numbers grow, the more great whites.”

    My daughter and her boyfriend were over in Santa Cruz last weekend and they got to talking with one of his law enforcement contacts who told them that the drones they’ve been flying over the area beaches have been spotting a larger than normal number of what appear to be juvenile great whites swimming near the surfline… amongst the boogie boarders.

    I know a few guys who still surf Santa Cruz in their late 50s/early 60s and they’ve told me that area surfers are used to seeing large, dark shapes swimming under them… not that big of a deal.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)


    Judge whose sister runs La Raza overturns law prohibiting encouraging criminal activity. Our robed oligarchy is overdue for a comeuppance.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  30. As if we needed another reason to hate Fidel Castro, comes the communist dictator’s crocodile.

    A man has been hospitalized after being bitten by a crocodile that once belonged to the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
    The injured man was attending a crayfish party — a traditional Swedish celebration at which crayfish is eaten — in Stockholm’s Skansen Aquarium, when he was bitten on the arm by a crocodile.
    The man was giving a speech while standing on a rock in a restricted area of the facility.
    “He had his arm over the glass barrier, which is about two meters high. One of the Cuban crocodiles saw it and came and just jumped up and grabbed his lower arm,” Jonas Wahlström, owner of the Skansen Aquarium, told CNN.

    The Swedes should turn that reptile into their Cuban Ambassador’s briefcase and luggage ensemble.

    Paul Montagu (a2342d)

  31. you miss the point, montagu, the castros are the crocodile, yet the likes of dan rather and tom brokaw, slobber over them like a dead uncle,

    narciso (d1f714)

  32. Just a thought -I constantly see this CBD stuff everywhere advertised to cure darn near everything. Will it work on Global Warming?

    mg (8cbc69)

  33. If Trump wants to impact the Chinese without taxing ourselves with tariffs, he could send home a whole raft of Chinese nationals in STEM academia, including this guy (after he pays his debt to society):

    A University of Kansas associate professor on Wednesday was indicted on federal charges alleging he concealed he worked for a Chinese university while doing U.S. government-funded research.
    Feng “Franklin” Tao, 47, of Lawrence, who taught chemical engineering and chemistry at KU’s Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis, is charged with one count of wire fraud and three counts of program fraud.
    If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on the wire fraud count, and up to 10 years and a fine up to $250,000 on each of the program fraud counts.

    Paul Montagu (a2342d)

  34. you miss the point, montagu, the castros are the crocodile, yet the likes of dan rather and tom brokaw, slobber over them like a dead uncle,

    Yeah, an idiot who stands too close to a croc tank in Stockholm definitely brings to mind Rather and Brokaw.

    Paul Montagu (a2342d)

  35. Another Obama artifact gets shot down. This time, it’s their expansive attempts to take more control over the WOTUS.

    Paul Montagu (a2342d)

  36. I can’t believe it, I mean I can believe it, but I can’t believe it. Trump asked his advisers about stopping hurricanes from hitting the US by nuking them.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  37. According to sources… Trump is vulgar, clumsy, transparent and hilarious. He’s liable to say almost anything at any time. Normal people find this refreshingly amusing and enjoy watching the media tear itself apart. They accept this over the usual bullschiff and soaring rhetoric to nowhere.

    Colonel Haiku (1aa46f)

  38. The Higher Education Apocalypse continues…

    Colonel Haiku (1aa46f)

  39. “According to sources”

    Was the source John Barron?

    Davethulhu (bc6fa6)

  40. 47. Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c) — 8/25/2019 @ 6:11 pm

    Trump asked his advisers about stopping hurricanes from hitting the US by nuking them.

    That’s not how you stop hurricanes.

    As explained in the book Superfreakonics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (William Morrow 2009) pages 158 to 163 mainly, and also in their blog, you stop (or rather, prevent) hurricanes with a picket fence of several thousand large floating rings, between 30 snd 300 feet across, made up of old truck tires, filled with foam concrete and lashed together with steel cable that has along flexiblee cylinder affixed to the inside deployed in the Atlantic Ocean off the southeastern seaboard of the United states and in the Yucatan Channel between Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula

    The effect of it is to draw warm water up to the top of the ocean hydraulic head) thus cooling te surface of the ocean below 26.5 degrress Clesius, and preventing hurricanes from forming.

    Each ring should cost about $100 (say in the low 6 figures in total) plus the cost of towing them there asnd achoring the floats.

    A patent has been granted on the idea. It may be owned now (at least in part)by Bill Gates and Nathan Myhtvold. Myhrvold has also proposed cooling the earth with sulfur.

    Of course these idea make too much sense (if there is areason to do anything at all) We have to suffer doing things that will not work,

    Sammy Finkelman (c95a5a)

  41. Trump asked his advisers about stopping hurricanes from hitting the US by nuking them.

    And it wasn’t long after that Tillerson called Trump a “f**king moron”.

    Paul Montagu (a2342d)

  42. It’s asteroids that are supposed to be able to be stopped by nuclear weapons, not hurricanes. (although that might not really work, at least if not done correctly)

    Sammy Finkelman (c95a5a)

  43. Interesting behind the scenes look at the latest riot in Portland. Looks like someone got video evidence of Alt Right getting ready for the fight and heading out with intentions of doing just that.

    As the group waits, they discuss their weaponry. A few men try to guess which way the wind’s blowing to avoid getting “spray” in their eyes, presumably when they use it against members of antifa. Another man holds a thick wooden dowel, and practices swinging it like a baseball bat. A woman carries a red brick in her hand. Some don goggles, helmets, and tactical gloves.

    “Who’s texting Joey?” Someone asks when the group seems to be without a game plan. Another man says, “Tell Joey and them to hurry the fuck up.”

    Ben captures someone telling a person on speakerphone, “There’s going to be a huge fight,” and gives them directions to Cider Riot.

    Time123 (daab2f)

  44. This may be the last Breaking News post unless another blogger picks it up and continues it.

    Unfortunately, I have to bench myself as a guest blogger because my posts are interfering with Patterico and the bloggers who post such great content here. Patterico offered to let me write drafts on old news (not breaking news) to be posted by others when/if they decided to post them. I tried it for a day but it didn’t work for me. My point in returning to blogging was to post timely breaking news stories. I will also follow my own advice and submit guest posts if I feel the urge.

    I enjoy blogging here and had an especially fun time the last 3 months. I will continue to enjoy reading and commenting and maybe even submitting a guest post here. Patterico makes it all possible. My heartfelt thanks to him.

    DRJ (15874d)

  45. DRJ (15874d) — 8/26/2019 @ 1:49 pm


    But seriously, WTF are you on about with this “interfering” stuff?

    Dave (1bb933)

  46. DRJ:

    Unfortunately, I have to bench myself as a guest blogger because my posts are interfering with Patterico and the bloggers who post such great content here.

    You mean there is an order snd a schedule to them?

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  47. Wired has an article saying that the idea of using nuclear bombs on hurricanes is old, but it can’t be as old as they imply, beause the proponent says it was rejected because it was “politically incorrect”

    Those words “politically incorrect” cannot be more than ten years old, if that, which means that if Jack Reed is less than about 95 years old he cannot have made that proposal 65 or so years ago. So he must have made that later, maybe in the 1980s, or in the 1990s, long after Project Plowshare, and long after the signing of the nuclear test ban treaty.

    I notice the WIRED article gives no dates.

    The idea however, has been around for awhile, enough so that NOAA has dedicated a webpage to debunking it.

    And the idea is doubly crazy, because even supposing you coild divert a hurricane, you couldn’t know where you could divert it to and you never knwow where exactly it is going in the first place!So you couldbe accused of having diverted it toward a populated area.

    Somehow this idea got to Senator Cotton and then to Donald Trump.

    All the while while a perfectly good method of preventing hurricanes is not looked at.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  48. Today, for the firt time I saw an example of US. cureency that is dated later than the Obama Administration.

    I saw a Dollar bill that was Series 2017 that had the nameof the current Secretary of the Treasury on it. It was from Cleveland.

    I had read that Steven T. Mnuchin’s signature is a just a line, but it looks like he printed his name. Not cursive or script.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  49. 47. Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c) — 8/25/2019 @ 6:11 pm

    I can’t believe it, I mean I can believe it, but I can’t believe it. Trump asked his advisers about stopping hurricanes from hitting the US by nuking them.

    Trump has now denied it. Said it never happened, and it was fake news and the idea is ridiculous.

    The sources were anonymous.

    Sammy Finkelman (c95a5a)

  50. Thankless Lawyer Job of the Day: Being Devin Nunes’ attorney and arguing that a couple of parody Twitter accounts that mocked him were “comparable to giving a person a gun.” The good news is that parody is protected by the Constitution, and Nunes will continue to be a fool for needlessly throwing good money at lawyers for a suit that will get tossed. It should get tossed with prejudice.

    Paul Montagu (a2342d)

  51. This is sad, DRJ. Patterico must want more Trump bashing articles.

    mg (8cbc69)

  52. There’s not a little dissonance to put forward breaking news on an August 24th Breaking News post, but the GOP Texodus continues:

    U.S. Representative Bill Flores (R-Texas) announced today that he will not seek another term in Congress. Flores is currently serving his fifth term representing the 17th Congressional District of Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives and offered the following comments regarding his decision:
    “Serving my country as the Representative of the hardworking Texas families in the 17th Congressional District has been an honor and one of the greatest privileges of my life. When I originally announced that I was running for Congress in 2009, I was firm in my commitment that I would run for six or fewer terms. After much prayer over the past few days and following conversations with my wife, Gina, during that time, I have decided that my current term will be my last.”

    Paul Montagu (a2342d)

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