Morning Links

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009
  • Forget the IRS, U.S. citizens with secret Swiss bank accounts may now have to face the wrath of their ex-wives.
  • Reddit poster applied online for a job with the Geek Squad, and got this message.
  • The DEA’s next target. And you won’t be able to outrun them.
  • Marketing strategies to combat the problem with black dogs being less likely to be adopted.
  • Cops in Montgomery County, Maryland may have covered up drunk driving accident caused by an assistant fire commissioner. The police department is now suing to keep records of the internal investigation clearing the cops from being released to county’s inspector general.
  • NPR looks at under-funded public defenders.
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  • 36 Responses to “Morning Links”

    1. #1 |  Bob | 

      Public Defender problem.

      What do you expect? The same people that employ and pay the Prosecution employ and pay the Public Defender’s office. Why would they pay someone to undo the work they’re paying other people to do?

      They wouldn’t! They’ll slash that budget to the point that only a foolish idealogue or an incompetant that can’t get a job as a laywer would accept.

      If you run for governor on a ‘tough on crime’ platform… you’re not about to undercut your own prosecutors by hiring people to work against them, are you? You’ll do the theoretical minimum to follow the law, that’s all.

      You can’t put opposite forces on the same payroll. One of them will be eliminated.

    2. #2 |  Bill | 

      I have a black cat. I’m thinking about getting a black dog.

    3. #3 |  SJE | 

      Its not only running, or other exercise. How about spicy food? They will have to pry my extra-spicy curry or chile from my cold, dead hands

    4. #4 |  Dave Krueger | 

      Cops in Montgomery County, Maryland may have covered up drunk driving accident caused by an assistant fire commissioner. The police department is now suing to keep records of the internal investigation clearing the cops from being released to county’s inspector general.

      I find it ironic that we are now getting more information about the super secret misadventures of the CIA in Iraq than we are about the abuses and corruption of some of our own cops here at home.

    5. #5 |  Kristen | 

      Question….if a defendant is using a public defender, does the defendant use state money to pay for expert testimony, DNA analysis, etc., ? Or is that out of pocket for the defendant?

      I REALLY think there needs to be a 1-1 spending ratio between prosecution and defense. If you’re a poor person using a public defender, what chance do you have, really?

    6. #6 |  Tokin42 | 

      RE: black dog syndrome

      I’m a bit of a breed snob, I only have dobermans and I prefer black/tan. I’ve always preferred large black dogs, I think they look more, for lack of a better word, manly.

      Thanks for the update.

    7. #7 |  Fluffy | 

      If running is just as addictive as heroin, I guess heroin isn’t very addictive.

      I’m serious.

      “Addiction” was once a frightening word to me. It no longer is. If shopping, gambling, running, and fatty foods are “addictive”, then addiction is dick and I have no sympathy for any addict anywhere. Including the heroin addicts.

      The addiction industry either has to dial back on its claims for all these prosaic activities, or they have to dial back on their claim for narcotics. Or I can’t take them seriously any more.

    8. #8 |  Marty | 

      you don’t see many judges who started as public defenders- many were politically ambitious prosecutors. this makes things pretty comfy for the cop/prosecutor/judge team…

    9. #9 |  Sockrotter | 

      Back when I used to listen to NPR, I imagined the studio’s waiting room as full of folks with their hats in hand, waiting for their turn to go on and beg for more funding.
      Has NPR ever run a story about and over-funded entity?

    10. #10 |  PeeDub | 

      Funny about the geek squad info.

      Related: my company makes us take a web-based course about the importance of browser portability when writing web apps. Of course, the web course is only available when using IE.

    11. #11 |  Dave Krueger | 

      Taxpayers don’t like spending a lot of money to defend the accused. Paying for the prosecution and defense just seems contradictory to them, like subsidizing tobacco farmers at the same time as government is trying to discourage smoking.

    12. #12 |  Pablo | 

      As a former public defender I can say that the lawyer profiled in the NPR story is a) not a public defender, but rather a private attorney who takes court appointed cases and b) not fit to practice law anywhere. May be heresy to say this here but a full time public defender office, with salaried attorneys who represent only indigent clients, is a better system that paying private attorneys such a pittance that they have to take hundreds of cases to make ends meet. My own observation is that when attorneys take both paying clients and court appointed cases, the latter inevitably get the short end of the stick.

      #5 Kristen–in this situation one would petition the court for funds to hire an expert witness. Money available and the court’s willingness to grant the request varies from place to place–anywhere from mediocre to abysmal.

    13. #13 |  Highway | 

      The Mo. Co. cops that are suing will suffer ‘irreparable harm’ to their careers if they’re found to have no integrity, and have lied and covered up? Onoz! Isn’t that the POINT of irreparable harm?

      One of these days, I’d love to see some of these guys go down and drag the whole Blue Wall of Silence down with them, but I know it’s not going to happen. Or more that we’ve already seen it happen, but apparently ‘normal’ folks don’t care. They just see the heroes with the badge.

    14. #14 |  de stijl | 

      “You see allegations of Swiss bank accounts in divorce proceedings all the time,” says Felder, whose clients have included Rudy Giuliani and Robin Givens. “A lot of divorces are going to get opened up.”

      I’m guessing this guy doesn’t practice divorce law in Peoria.

    15. #15 |  MDGuy | 

      Well we already knew that the act of running can get you shot by the police (or just run-of-the-mill brain damage after being tackled into a brick wall). Now we have a reason to actually make a law against it! How convenient!

    16. #16 |  Aresen | 

      From the Montgomery County link:

      But the police department’s investigation found that the officers did nothing wrong, police spokesman Lt. Paul Starks said.

      *sigh*

    17. #17 |  Jeff | 

      I’m picturing someone running in an idyllic city park, surrounded by trees and greenery, his dog on a leash, when all of a sudden WHAM! He gets jumped by six jack-booted DEA thugs, tasered, and shipped off to jail. Oh, and then they shoot the dog, for fun.

      TLC, I just wrote your next show for you. Get on it.

    18. #18 |  Dave Krueger | 

      #12 Pablo

      May be heresy to say this here but a full time public defender office, with salaried attorneys who represent only indigent clients, is a better system that paying private attorneys such a pittance that they have to take hundreds of cases to make ends meet.

      My daughter has been a federal and state public defender for years and would probably agree with you. She takes her work very seriously and revels in the cases she wins at trial with an almost “David and Goliath” sense of satisfaction. She has also seen a lot of prosecutorial misconduct up close and personal. It might be true that she gets her paycheck from the same state treasury that pays state prosecutors, but that’s the only thing they have in common. She can be a rabidly aggressive advocate for her clients, especially if she thinks they’re being railroaded.

    19. #19 |  SJE | 

      The firefighter blew 1.6 more than 3hrs later…that means he was almost certainly above 2.0 at the time of the accident (based on 0.2-0.3/hr metabolism). 2.0 is about TWO sixpacks in an hour: thats some pretty serious drinking.

      This is not like the cops looking the other way when someone blows 0.7 (the DWI limit in Maryland): this guy was speeding in an SUV while drunk, and caused an accident. His only “luck” was hitting a police cruiser and not a family of children.

    20. #20 |  MacGregory | 

      #18 SJE
      Great point. And where the fuck is MADD? It seems they get a little tight-lipped when one of their co-conspirators gets a little too close to the noose.

      On running as an addiction:
      “DEA agents raid ten gyms, arrest ‘runners’ and confiscate ‘running’ paraphernalia including 100 treadmills with and estimated street value of $250,000.”

    21. #21 |  J sub D | 

      A somewhat irrelevant comment on the joys of running.

      Jim Fixx is dead
      Keith Richards is still alive

    22. #22 |  Bee | 

      Anyone else click through the link at the bottom of the Montgomery County cops page “Police tab puts county $240,000 in the hole over tuition program”? The people of that county need to rein this department in, STAT.

    23. #23 |  J sub D | 

      “You see allegations of Swiss bank accounts in divorce proceedings all the time,” says Felder, whose clients have included Rudy Giuliani and Robin Givens. “A lot of divorces are going to get opened up.”

      The IRS and attorneys hired by ex-wives. I almost have sympathy for the tax evaders.

      Maybe it’s just me, but if I had evidence an ex lied in court about her assets in order to stiff me in divorce proceedings, I’d be back in court with a smile on my face and vengeance in my heart.

      I would assuredly encourage that perjury charges also be filed.

    24. #24 |  Pablo | 

      #17 Dave–good for your daughter. Federal PD’s are generally better paid and have more resources to work with than state PD’s. The vast majority of public defenders I’ve known have been passionate, ethical attorneys who really cared about their clients and did the best they could with the resources available. There are times when I miss that job, in spite of the drawbacks.

    25. #25 |  Dave Krueger | 

      #24 Pablo

      #17 Dave–good for your daughter. Federal PD’s are generally better paid and have more resources to work with than state PD’s.

      And they sometimes get to argue Constitutional issues. I flew out to CA when my daughter argued an interesting child porn case in the Ninth Circuit. That case was subsequently cited as a precedent in the opinion of the Ninth Circuit when they threw out a federal medical marijuana conviction in Raich v. Ashcroft as summarized in this Cato Institute article.

      I might also mention that McCoy was the beginning of my personal crusade against America’s destructive and insane child porn/abuse hysteria and other mindless torch-wielding-mob-like American cultural cancers.

    26. #26 |  Billy Beck | 

      “They’d like to make it with my big black dog
      But they just don’t know how to ask…”

      (Blue Öyster Cult — “Baby Ice Dog”, 1973)

    27. #27 |  MDGuy | 

      #16 | Aresen | August 25th, 2009 at 11:29 am
      From the Montgomery County link:

      But the police department’s investigation found that the officers did nothing wrong, police spokesman Lt. Paul Starks said.

      *sigh*

      They really all have the same script don’t they? Makes you wonder if they even conduct investigations at all. I mean, they always say they do, and eventually they release a statement (with predictable, scripted results), but we never really see anything about the investigation. For all we know, Police Departments nationwide could be spending their Internal Affairs budgets on strippers and kegs while dutifully releasing a statement every few months and no one would be the wiser.

    28. #28 |  Highway | 

      Aresen and MDGuy,

      You know, you’d think that if the Internal Affairs board cleared them of wrongdoing in a legit manner, they’d be happy to open up the process and prove to everyone they didn’t do anything wrong.

      The truth, which their suit proves, is that the IA investigation was dirty, and was fixed in their favor. I think everyone who reads The Agitator is predisposed to that opinion anyway, but nice of them to show us.

      Pablo:

      I think that an office of the government that’s assigned to fight for people *against* government prosecution is one of the better uses of government money, and that most libertarians would agree. The problem is how do you make sure that it’s above board and not compromised.

    29. #29 |  Packratt | 

      Hmm, sort of surprised that the “Geek Squad” didn’t give instructions on how to dial into their BBS.

    30. #30 |  Stephen | 

      Well, since we are talking about addiction, I propose that we consider being a thug police officer an “addiction”. They certainly seem to get some sort of jollies out of beating people up.

      Maybe we can write a law that gets all the cops to beat each other up. :) Almost seems recursive.

    31. #31 |  Taktix® | 

      “Addiction” was once a frightening word to me. It no longer is. If shopping, gambling, running, and fatty foods are “addictive”, then addiction is dick and I have no sympathy for any addict anywhere. Including the heroin addicts.

      Uhh, Fluffy, did you just say you have an addiction to dick?

    32. #32 |  PeeDub | 

      http://www.wral.com/news/local/politics/story/5855247/

      Lucky for him it wasn’t a police raid, huh?

    33. #33 |  Aresen | 

      #27 | MDGuy | August 25th, 2009 at 1:24 pm

      For all we know, Police Departments nationwide could be spending their Internal Affairs budgets on strippers and kegs while dutifully releasing a statement every few months and no one would be the wiser.

      At least if they blew it on strippers, they’d be supporting a local industry with nothing to hide.

      Not to mention, one that provides a “stimulus.”

    34. #34 |  UCrawford | 

      Shropshire and Parker-Loan’s lawyer said in court records that the internal affairs investigation was part of their confidential personnel records and the officers would suffer “irreparable harm” if they were released to Dagley.

      Yeah, they’d get fired…which is the point of having internal investigations, to fire corrupt officers who don’t do their jobs.

    35. #35 |  Aresen | 

      #34 | UCrawford | August 25th, 2009 at 6:49 pm

      Shropshire and Parker-Loan’s lawyer said in court records that the internal affairs investigation was part of their confidential personnel records and the officers would suffer “irreparable harm” if they were released to Dagley.

      Yeah, they’d get fired…which is the point of having internal investigations, to fire corrupt officers who don’t do their jobs.

      Not to mention that they would be severely mocked.

      /Monty Python

    36. #36 |  Xenocles | 

      @#19:

      You need to divide your BAC numbers by 10. If he had truly had been at 1.6% he wouldn’t have been blowing anything at all.

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