Day: August 21, 2018

If Trump tries to pardon his way out of trouble, it will make things worse for him / Boing Boing

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’10 legal experts who are largely in agreement that pardoning Manafort would actually help prosecutors nail him to the wall that much faster.…

Highlights:

 

“If the president issues a pardon in order to influence a witness and impede the investigation, that would also be a further act of obstruction.” — Lisa Kern Griffin, law professor, Duke University

“If the president pardons anyone involved in the Russian investigation, it may prove to be one of the stupidest things he has yet done.” —Julie O’Sullivan, Georgetown University

“The threat of state prosecution is enough to force Kushner, Flynn, Manafort, etc. to become cooperating witnesses, regardless of whether Trump secretly promises to pardon them.” —Jed Shugerman, Fordham University

If President Trump pardons subjects of Mueller’s investigation, they will be unable to claim their Fifth Amendment rights if they are asked to testify under oath. — Asha Rangappa, associate dean, Yale Law School

With each abnormal, unbecoming, or dishonorable act, President Trump makes it harder for his appointees to defend him, harder for traditional Republicans to maintain their uneasy power alliance with him, and easier for Democrats to take the moral high ground and secure political advantage. President Trump is in danger of snuffing out his candle in the first year of his presidency. — Andy Wright, law professor, Savannah Law School…’

Via Boing Boing

Verizon Throttled Fire Department’s ‘Unlimited’ Data During Calif. Wildfire

’Santa Clara County Fire Chief Anthony Bowden wrote in a declaration. “This throttling has had a significant impact on our ability to provide emergency services. Verizon imposed these limitations despite being informed that throttling was actively impeding County Fire’s ability to provide crisis-response and essential emergency services.” Bowden’s declaration was submitted in an addendum to a brief filed by 22 state attorneys general, the District of Columbia, Santa Clara County, Santa Clara County Central Fire Protection District, and the California Public Utilities Commission. The government agencies are seeking to overturn the recent repeal of net neutrality rules in a lawsuit they filed against the Federal Communications Commission in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.…’

Via Slashdot

‘Steve’ Is not an aurora

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Radiant Purple Sky Ribbon Defies Explanation:

’You may have met people named Steve in your life, but have you met the radiant ribbon of colorful light in the night sky named Steve? This unexplained phenomenon looks deceptively similar to an aurora and is observed at the same high latitudes in both hemispheres where you’d expect to see magnetic light shows.

Named by Calgary-based photographer Chris Ratzlaff—it’s a nod to the 2006 film Over the Hedge, which classifies “the unknown” as “Steve”—this ribbon appears to be made of hot gas, in the range of 3,000°C (5,430°F). It forms 450 kilometers (280 miles) above Earth’s surface.

Once scientists started studying Steve in 2016, they gave it an official backronym: Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement. Despite its visual similarity to auroras, research published Monday in Geophysical Research Letters confirms that Steve is generated by a different, unexplained process.…’

Via Motherboard