This actually is interesting

But a senior staffer for a Republican on the judiciary committee told the Guardian that as long as Kavanaugh categorically denies the allegation, there is no way to overcome the “innocent until proven guilty” threshold and justify altering the vote.

The source acknowledged that adding a name and a face changed the calculus to a degree but said a number of Republicans feel there is not enough to investigate, with the accuser understandably forgetting details and with no corroborating witnesses.

Well, no, here is a witness, the third person in the room.

According to her account, she escaped when Kavanaugh’s Georgetown Preparatory School friend, Mark Judge, jumped on top of them, “sending all three tumbling”. She said she ran, locked herself in a bathroom, then fled the house.

Judge told the Weekly Standard he had “no recollection of any of the events described in today’s Post article or attributed to her letter”.

But who does it corroborate?

The “if” is rather important here

Procter & Gamble, the household products company, has applied to trademark acronyms common in textspeak including “LOL” and “WTF”.

If successful, the terms could be used to market products such as soap, detergents and air fresheners in order to attract younger consumers.

P&G registered the trademark applications with the US Patent and Trademark Office in April. The newly branded products would be sold alongside well known items such as Febreze, Fairy and Mr Clean.

Alongside LOL (laughing out loud) and WTF (what the fuck), other acronyms P&G has applied to trademark are NBD (no big deal) and FML (fuck my life).

The company’s applications have not yet been approved. According to Ad Age, the trademark office has requested clarification regarding the applications and P&G has until January to respond.

That “If” in “If successful.”

Not a hope in hell it will be.

Trademarks aren’t a first come, first served, you get to collect any interesting looking phrase. There’s got to be some connection with the product, even some origination story. As with patents, something that’s already in common use ain’t gonna make it.

Either that or we need to take some .50 calibres and deal with the patent and trademark office.

They’re being really quite open about it, aren’t they?

This is a political prosecution:

Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former lawyer and right-hand-man, reportedly faces a federal investigation into possible bank and tax fraud relating to more than $20m in loans.

The New York Times reported that federal investigators in Manhattan were reaching the end of their inquiries and were “considering filing charges by the end of August”. According to the newspaper, their focus was falling on multi-million dollar loans Cohen received from two New York banks as well as on income his family gained from the city’s yellow taxi business.

Federal investigators were also homing in on Cohen’s role in arranging hush money for two women who alleged affairs with Trump before the 2016 presidential election. The pay-offs might have constituted a breach of campaign finance law, the New York Times reported.

The darkening cloud of federal prosecutorial interest amid possible imminent charges are likely to substantially crank up pressure on Cohen to co-operate with the on-going investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller. That probe is reaching a critical stage as Mueller seeks to determine whether collusion took place between the Trump campaign and Russia to sway the outcome of the 2016 election.

Whether and when to prosecute seems to be based on whether he’ll turn on Trump.

Sure, this isn’t political at all, is it?

Now isn’t this a surprise?

A professor who has been an expert witness in hunting prosecutions and provided key evidence for the foxhunting ban has been accused of “manipulating” evidence in an academic row.

Prof Stephen Harris, a retired Bristol University academic, has been accused of “cherry-picking” studies, allowing him to “ignore or misrepresent the science that had been contrary to the activist agenda”.

The Crown Prosecution Service is now facing calls to review the suitability of Prof Harris as an expert witness.

Even as an expert witness you are supposed to do this you know. There’s a hell of a lot of dross published as science out there after all.

Quite what he line to cross between being properly selective and biased is, well, hmm……..

Ahahahahha

A parked car belonging to an imprisoned man cannot be moved whilst he is in jail because he has a blue badge, a council has said.

The vehicle, which is said to belong to David Marks, has been reportedly sat outside Croydon Crown Court for months after Mr Marks parked there to attend his own hearing.

Local residents have now raised questions over the car, asking why it has been allowed to take up the disabled bay for so long, despite no one using it.

But the council has confirmed it has no intentions of moving the vehicle as it parked there legally.

The Smart car has been sitting outside the court since Mr Marks, from Bromley, was jailed earlier this year.

He reportedly drove the car to court where he was sentenced for racially or religiously aggravated harassment. After being found guilty of one count and pleading guilty to a second he was jailed for 12 months on April 13.

How lovely.

And no, we don’t have exceptions. It’s legal, on your way then matey. That he’s in jail, on holiday, simply wants to leave his car where it’s legally parked? It’s legally parked and there’s an end to it.

Have a drink Nick

If I were to describe secretive organisations that make millions from mafia states, you would imagine – what? Mercenaries? Conspiracies with Blofeld at their head? Nothing so thrilling, I’m afraid. Picture instead respectable lawyers of high status and higher income, whose love of money is now, in the words of the Commons foreign affairs committee, a matter of “national security”. Others should judge whether they were so “entwined in the corruption of the Kremlin and its supporters that they are no longer able to meet the standards expected of a UK regulated law firm”.

The lawyers who worried MPs worked at the “magic circle” London firm Linklaters, whose 40 highest-paid partners received £1.57m on average last year. Linklaters decided that the attempted murder of the Skripals, Russia’s shooting down of the MH17, its complicity in crimes against humanity in Syria, the annexation of Crimea, the invasion of Ukraine, support for the far right, the interference in democratic elections in the west and the suppression of democracy at home in no way obliged it to answer questions about its dealings with Moscow. It had nothing to say about its role in floating a Russian company last year.

The argument seems to be that bad guys shouldn’t be allowed to have lawyers.

I’m really pretty sure that’s not the way we want the system to work actually.

Good point Rod, good point

The English Defence League founder, Tommy Robinson, turned up in Leeds on Friday to film people going into the trial of several Asian men accused of “grooming” white girls. He did not speak, chant, accost anyone or do anything but point his phone at attendees from a distance. Still, several coppers bundled him into a police van, accusing him of a breach of the peace.

I’m not remotely a fan of the unpleasant Robinson. But wouldn’t it have been lovely if West Yorkshire police had acted with as much rigour and alacrity when, in an earlier case, they were told of the horrific sexual assaults taking place on their patch?

This is a new one

But in a judgment released on Friday Lord Justice Singh and Mr Justice Whipple said her understanding of the law was “misguided” and the guidance was incorrect.

“What on its face looks like a general policy which applies to everyone equally may in fact have an unequal impact on a minority.

“In other words, to treat everyone in the same way is not necessarily to treat them equally.

“Uniformity is not the same thing as equality,” they said.

Jews and Muslims have a 3 day policy – the body should be in the ground within three days of death.

A coroner who operated a “cab rank” system for burials has been told by the High Court to drop her policy and release the bodies of Jews and Muslims first.

Judges said the “equality protocol” policy introduced by Mary Hassell, the senior coroner for inner north London, was “discriminatory” and “incapable of rational justification”.

The protocol said that “no death will be prioritised in any way over any other because of the religion of the deceased or family, either by the coroner’s officers or coroners.”

This meant cases were assessed and bodies released for burial by the coroner’s office in order of when they were received, taking no account of any religious requirements.

Thus that’s discriminatory.

Seems an entirely reasonable decision on the basis of simple pragmatism. Why not accommodate such beliefs after all?

The more general statement that uniformity is not equality needs to be carefully circumscribed though, doesn’t it?

Methinks Rees Mogg pere read some Mancur Olsen

The book’s 400-odd pages of near-hysterical orotundity can roughly be broken down into the following sequence of propositions:

1) The democratic nation-state basically operates like a criminal cartel, forcing honest citizens to surrender large portions of their wealth to pay for stuff like roads and hospitals and schools.

2) The rise of the internet, and the advent of cryptocurrencies, will make it impossible for governments to intervene in private transactions and to tax incomes, thereby liberating individuals from the political protection racket of democracy.

3) The state will consequently become obsolete as a political entity.

4) Out of this wreckage will emerge a new global dispensation, in which a “cognitive elite” will rise to power and influence, as a class of sovereign individuals “commanding vastly greater resources” who will no longer be subject to the power of nation-states and will redesign governments to suit their ends.

Point 1 is roughly Olsen’s thesis. That the state is the system by which special interests plunder us all.

2 and 3 are really Marx. The state of technology determines social relations. Change the tech and you’ll change the relations.

4 is just a reversion to Olsen but with different people using a different form of state and or governance to plunder.

There’s not, to be honest, a great deal libertarian about this.

Something must be done!

The gunman who allegedly killed at least 17 people at a Florida high school on Wednesday was a former student who posted disturbing material on social media and was “crazy about guns”.

Police identified the suspect as Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old who had been expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, about 45 miles (72 km) north of Miami.

The suspect was wearing a gas mask and carrying smoke grenades, Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida told CNN.

OK, what?

Any bright ideas on how to disarm a nation of 300 million guns? Even if all ignore that legal bit and the Second Amendment?

Well, yes, isn’t this how it works?

“Terrified” residents of a housing complex clad in similar flammable panels to Grenfell tower are facing a bill of £2m to make their homes safe after the building’s owner said it was not its responsibility to pay.

The freehold is owned by a company owned by the family trust of the multi-millionaire property mogul Vincent Tchenguiz, and its property agent has told residents that work recladding the Citiscape complex in Croydon will begin “once full funds are in place”.

The government told the agent to remove the cladding five months ago and Sajid Javid, the housing, communities and local government secretary, last month suggested the landlord was responsible for ensuring residents’ safety.

But freeholder Proxima GR Properties has insisted that it is not obliged to cover the costs of the work, warning leaseholders in the 93 apartments that the bill will increase if they delay payment.

Well, yes? And?

Isn’t that they way freeholds and leases work?

This is hugely, hugely, amusing

Staff at an exclusive private members’ club co-owned by the Tory donor Lord Ashcroft have been asked to take a cut in their basic pay in return for a share of the service charge, in a move that could leave low-paid workers vulnerable while reducing the company’s tax payments.

Workers at the Devonshire Club in London, where members pay £2,400 a year for access to a 68-room boutique hotel, brasserie and champagne bar, were asked last month if they would take a formal cut to the legal minimum wage.

They were promised that their total pay would be topped up to the current level using money from the service charges automatically added to customers’ bills and distributed via a system called a tronc.

The scheme would potentially cut the Devonshire Club’s tax bill as, unlike basic pay, national insurance payments are not levied on independently distributed tips.

Although staff will save on national insurance in the short term under the scheme, cutting their contributions will affect statutory protections such as redundancy pay, maternity or paternity pay, or the state pension. Money from a tronc also cannot be included in staff contracts, potentially leaving staff vulnerable to a pay cut.

If the amount must be paid – if it’s not a tip therefore, but it is a service charge – then NI is payable on the distribution.

If it really is a tip, not a service charge, then the management don’t get to decide upon the distribution, the money already belongs to the staff.

The basic set up just doesn’t work.

I quite agree with David Lammy

Those responsible for the horror of the Grenfell Tower fire must face trial
David Lammy

Well, yes.

For most people it means putting those responsible for the horror in the dock in the Old Bailey, on trial for gross negligence manslaughter. Anything short of that will be a whitewash.

The thing is though David, who is it that is going to be in the dock?

Well, yes, obviously

The report also found that whether or not a person is sentenced to death has more to do with where the crime was committed than the crime itself. Seventy-four percent of the executions carried out in 2017 took place in just four states: Texas, Arkansas, Florida, and Alabama.

Not every state has the death penalty.

Don’t think this works, does it?

After the couple had a son together through IVF at the clinic in 2008, a number of embryos were frozen and they signed agreements annually for these to remain in storage.
In October 2010, the mother handed IVF Hammersmith a ‘consent to thaw’ form, forged with ARB’s signature. On the basis of this document, an embryo was thawed and successfully implanted.
‘Unwanted child’
The father said his ex-partner’s dishonesty resulted in the birth of his daughter, an “unwanted child”.
“It’s a very, very difficult situation for me. A beautiful child, a child that everyone would want, a child that I love. But also a child that has brought us so much pain.”
He argued that the clinic should pay for the cost of her upbringing, including private school fees, holidays, refurbishing her bedroom and her wedding.

Isn’t it a basic of English law that having a healthy child simply cannot be a tort which leads to damages?

I dimly recall some case where a women went in for an abortion, they took out only one of two embryos, the second one was born and she could get no damages?

Well, no, not quite

A woman in suburban Detroit has been sent to prison for seven days for failing to vaccinate her nine-year-old son.

Part of the agreement over the divorce was that the son would get vaccinated. She’s being sent to prison for breaching that, not because she didn’t vaccinate.

Judge Karen McDonald, presiding over the court on the outskirts of Detroit, found Ms Bredow, a mother of two, to be in contempt of court.

This is what strict liability offences do

A 12-year-old girl who was pressured by an online paedophile into sending topless photos of herself has been told she could now face criminal charges.
Despite by groomed by the online predator, the schoolgirl is now facing a police investigation for sending an indecent image.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be continually inventing new strict liability offences?

Be interesting to see the explanation for this

Young black people are nine times more likely to be locked up in England and Wales than young white people, according to Ministry of Justice analysis.

The official exploratory study also shows that young black people are more likely to be identified with “gang concerns” and be considered a risk to others when being sentenced than any other ethnic group.

Is it because young black people are more likely to be in gangs or is it institutional wacism?