Two ex-prosecutors’ law licenses suspended for covering up St. Louis police beating – Disbar and Prosecute Them! – kra
Nothing worse than a bad prosecutor! They are the most powerful people in the system, and at ALL times should be honest and fair … not try to cover for bad cops! I know because I enjoyed 5 years as a prosecutor.
Excerpts from the Article:
The Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday suspended the law licenses of two former St. Louis prosecutors for covering up a police beating of a handcuffed suspect in 2014.
In a unanimous opinion, the court suspended Katherine Anne “Katie” Dierdorf and Ambry Schuessler. Dierdorf cannot apply for reinstatement for three years. Schuessler will be suspended for at least two years.
The court’s ruling cited “the severity of Ms. Dierdorf’s misconduct as a result of her dishonesty and instruction of others to conceal information about the incident” and Schuessler’s “repeated dishonesty during and interference with the federal prosecution of the police detective” in their decision.
The incident that started it all was the beating of a handcuffed suspect, Michael Waller, by then-St. Louis police Officer Thomas A. Carroll on July 22, 2014.
Carroll’s daughter’s car had been broken into, and Waller was found with her stolen credit card. Waller said he had found the card.
The next morning, another prosecutor and Carroll’s close friend, Bliss Barber Worrell, told Dierdorf and an intern that Carroll had beaten Waller, the opinion says. Dierdorf did not report the incident to supervisors.
Carroll described the beating to Worrell and Schuessler by speakerphone later that morning, saying he punched and kicked Waller, hit him with a chair and stuck his gun in Waller’s mouth, the opinion says. Schuessler responded with what the court called a “racist and homophobic comment about the suspect’s assault,” bringing laughter from Carroll and Worrell.
Schuessler and another prosecutor, Lauren Collins, learned Waller had been charged with a felony for fleeing custody, and became concerned that he could go to jail for a crime he did not commit, the opinion says. A reluctant Schuessler went with Collins to a supervisor, the opinion says, telling that supervisor that Worrell might have filed false charges.
When called in front of supervisors, Dierdorf withheld some of what she knew about the incident, the opinion says, then told Schuessler, “I told them I don’t know anything. You don’t tell them you know anything either.” Schuessler failed to tell supervisors that she heard Carroll describe the assault, and failed to tell them that he said he used a gun.
The next day, Schuessler told police internal affairs investigators that she’d only heard Worrell’s half of the July 23 call, failing to tell them that Carroll was on speakerphone.
Dierdorf resigned July 28 rather than face termination. She was interviewed twice by the FBI and a federal prosecutor, Hal Goldsmith. It wasn’t until the second interview that she admitted knowing about the beating on the morning of July 23, describing the incident to others, overhearing a phone call between Worrell and Carroll about the investigation and lying to supervisors about when she learned about the assault.
The court said that prosecutors “are held to a higher standard given the nature of their work to protect the public.” Dierdorf’s conduct undermined the public’s confidence in Missouri prosecutors, and her “repeated dishonesty … shows a pattern of protecting herself and her friends over the duties she assumed when she became an assistant circuit attorney,” the opinion says.
As a result of the federal investigation, Carroll got 52 months in prison; Worrell was sentenced to 18 months of probation and 140 hours of community service.
The opinion rejects a disciplinary hearing board’s recommendation of a reprimand for each and supports the suspension requested by the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel, which investigates lawyer misconduct.
The panel, formed to hold a hearing and issue recommendations, dismissed the case against Caroline Anne Rutledge, a former intern. Rutledge’s attorneys and attorneys for the disciplinary counsel agreed with that recommendation. Rutledge was not a lawyer at the time of the incident, and her filings say she did not lie but could have been “forthcoming.” Her lawyer, Maurice Graham, previously told the Post-Dispatch that there was an unprofessional culture in the office.
Rutledge was a lawyer in St. Louis County family court until January, and now works for a nonprofit, a court spokeswoman said. Dierdorf is a public defender in Denver, Colorado. Schuessler had been working for a Clayton law firm.
Waller won a a $300,000 settlement over the incident, but recently died, his lawyer said.
Although limited in scope, this is a setback for some of those seeking asylum, the people most in need of the liberty our immigration laws were enacted to provide. This may make its way to the U S Supreme Court. It is tRump’s racist policies which are hindering families seeking asylum. Politics should not interfere with fairness.
Excerpts from the Article:
A federal appeals court on Friday cleared the way for the U.S. government to forbid Central American immigrants from seeking asylum at the two busiest stretches of the southern border in a partial legal victory for the Trump administration.
The ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allows President Donald Trump to enforce the policy in New Mexico and Texas, rejecting asylum seekers who cross from Mexico into either state. Under Friday’s ruling, U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar’s July 24 order stopping the policy would apply only in California and Arizona, which are covered by the 9th Circuit.
The two busiest areas for unauthorized border crossings are in South Texas’ Rio Grande Valley and the region around El Paso, Texas, which includes New Mexico. Nearly 50,000 people in July crossed the U.S. border without permission in those two regions, according to the U.S. Border Patrol.
The policy would deny asylum to anyone who passes through another country on the way to the U.S. without seeking protection there. Most crossing the southern border are Central Americans fleeing violence and poverty, who would largely be ineligible. The policy would also apply to people from Africa, Asia, and South America who come to the southern border to request asylum.
If the policy is implemented, ineligible migrants who cross in New Mexico and Texas could be detained and more quickly deported. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.
Under American law, people can request asylum when they arrive in the U.S. regardless of how they enter. The law makes an exception for those who have come through a country considered to be “safe” pursuant to an agreement between the U.S. and that country.
Canada and the U.S. have a “safe third country” agreement. But the U.S. doesn’t have one with Mexico or countries in Central America. The Trump administration has tried to sign one with Guatemala, but the country’s incoming president said this week that Guatemala would not be able to uphold a tentative deal reached by his predecessor.
The U.S. government is already turning away many asylum seekers at the southern border.
About 30,000 people have been returned to Mexico to await asylum hearings under the government’s Migrant Protection Protocols program. Tens of thousands of others are waiting in shelters and camps to present themselves to U.S. border agents at official ports of entry that have strict daily limits on asylum seekers.
Mexico’s asylum system is itself overwhelmed, and there are widespread reports of migrants being attacked and extorted . Border cities across from New Mexico and Texas include Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, and Reynosa, all of which are well-known for their violence and gang presence.
Tigar had ruled the policy could expose migrants to violence and abuse, deny their rights under international law, and return them to countries they were fleeing.
The appeals court ruled that Tigar’s order hadn’t considered whether a nationwide order was necessary and that there wasn’t enough evidence presented yet to conclude that it was. The court instructed Tigar to “further develop the record in support of a preliminary injunction” extending nationwide.
Judges Mark Bennett and Milan Smith voted to limit Tigar’s order. Judge A. Wallace Tashima dissented.
Tigar is a nominee of former President Barack Obama. Trump previously derided Tigar as an “Obama judge” after Tigar ruled against another set of asylum restrictions last year. That comment led to an unusual rebuke from Chief Justice John Roberts, who said the judiciary did not have “Obama judges or Clinton judges.”
The American Civil Liberties Union and other legal groups sued the Trump administration after it announced the restrictions last month.
“We will continue fighting to end the ban entirely and permanently,” said Lee Gelernt, a lawyer for the ACLU.
Jeffrey Epstein Death: 2 Guards Slept Through Checks and Falsified Records The guards did not check on him for three hours, officials said. The disclosures came as the guards and the warden at the jail were removed.
This confirms exactly what I said when I heard of his death. READ Epstein Found Dead READ IT!
As with virtually every prison suicide, there was not “conspiracy”. The guards simply did not do their job. The just don’t give a shit. YOU KNOW WHY THEY DON’T GIVE A SHIT? IT’S BECAUSE YOU DON’T GIVE A SHIT! They are so accustomed to screwing up, violating laws and policies, that they do it with the most high-profile inmate in the nation! It is second nature for them to ignore rules and laws, BECAUSE they almost never are held accountable!
Before you say something stupid like “they’re only inmates”, let me remind you that there are tens of thousands of INNOCENT people in our jails and prisons, and many of them, understandably. are on suicide watch! READ Prison Abuse – Why Massive Indifference is a Massive Mistake – kra
The only surprising thing here is that the feds admit what happened. It happens every day – to someone’s son, daughter, brother, Mom, – but they never will admit that!
Maybe this will call attention to the problem. The real horror and outrage should be not that Epstein “cheated justice”, but that this is what goes on in our prisons! The warden and the guard involved should be fired and PROSECUTED!
Excerpts from the Article:
The two staff members who were guarding the jail unit where Jeffrey Epstein apparently killed himself fell asleep, failed to check on him for about three hours and falsified records to cover up their mistake, according to several law enforcement and prison officials with knowledge of the matter.
Those disclosures came on Tuesday as the two employees were placed on administrative leave and the warden of the jail, the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, was temporarily reassigned, pending the outcome of the investigation into Mr. Epstein’s death, the Justice Department announced.
The two staff members in the special housing unit where Mr. Epstein was held — 9 South — falsely recorded in a log that they had checked on the financier, who was facing sex trafficking charges, every 30 minutes, as was required, two of the officials said. Such false entries in an official log could constitute a federal crime.
In fact, the two people guarding Mr. Epstein had been asleep for some or all of the three hours, three of the officials said.
The attorney general, William P. Barr, on Monday ordered the Justice Department’s inspector general to look into how Mr. Epstein had managed to commit suicide while in custody and why he had been taken off a suicide watch 12 days earlier. “We will get to the bottom of what happened,” Mr. Barr said.
The warden, Lamine N’Diaye, will be transferred to a Bureau of Prisons office in Philadelphia while the F.B.I. and the Justice Department’s inspector general conduct inquiries. The Justice Department said in a statement that it might take additional punitive actions.
Prison staff discovered Mr. Epstein, 66, dead in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, officials said. He had apparently hanged himself with a bedsheet, likely fastening the sheet to a top bunk and pitching himself forward, law enforcement and prison officials said.
A registered sex offender known for his lavish lifestyle and high-profile connections, Mr. Epstein faced charges of exploiting dozens of girls for sex acts.CreditCreditUma Sanghvi/Palm Beach Post, via Associated PressMr. Epstein had been awaiting trial on charges he had sexually abused scores of teenage girls at his mansions in Manhattan and Palm Beach, Fla.
He had apparently tried to commit suicide once before, on July 23, shortly after he was denied bail, which resulted in him being placed on suicide watch, prison officials familiar with the incident have said.
Six days later, prison officials determined that he was no longer a threat to his own life and returned him to a cell in the 9 South housing unit with another inmate, officials said. That inmate was later transferred out of the cell, leaving Mr. Epstein alone on Friday night.
Though it is standard practice to house people who have recently been taken off suicide watch with another person, the prison did not replace Mr. Epstein’s cellmate.
The Justice Department, which oversees the Bureau of Prisons, did not immediately identify the two correctional officers who were placed on administrative leave.
One of the staff members was a former correctional officer who had taken a different position at the detention center that did not involve guarding detainees. He had volunteered to work again as a correctional officer for the extra overtime pay, a law enforcement official and an employee at the jail said.
The second officer, a woman who was assigned to that wing, had been ordered to work overtime because the jail was short-staffed.
Some union leaders for prison workers expressed dismay with Mr. Barr’s decision to allow the warden to continue working, even as the two staff members were placed on leave.
“It makes me angry that they reassigned the warden,” said Jose Rojas, an official in the prison employees’ union and a teacher at the Coleman prison complex in Sumterville, Fla. “They didn’t put him on administrative leave like the others. The warden made the call to take Epstein off suicide watch and to remove his cellmate. That is egregious.”
In addition to the investigations by the Justice Department, the inspector general and the F.B.I., two other reviews of Mr. Epstein’s death were underway, a Justice Department official said.
A team of psychologists from the Bureau of Prisons visited the Manhattan jail on Tuesday to review each step of the decision to take Mr. Epstein off suicide watch.
On Wednesday, an “after-action team” — led by the bureau’s Southeast regional director — is scheduled to be at the prison to determine whether employees and officials followed protocols in the days and weeks before Mr. Epstein died, the official said.
Mr. Epstein’s death has drawn sharp criticism from Republican and Democratic lawmakers. On Monday, the chairman and ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to the acting director of the Bureau of Prisons, Hugh Hurwitz, demanding answers about how Mr. Epstein could have been unsupervised long enough to take his own life.
The letter said Mr. Epstein’s apparent suicide had brought to light “severe miscarriages” or deficiencies in how inmates are managed at the jail and had “allowed the deceased to ultimately evade facing justice.”
It was signed by Representatives Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, and Doug Collins, a Georgia Republican.
Mr. Nadler and Mr. Collins demanded that the Bureau of Prisons hand over by Aug. 21 any details about Mr. Epstein’s mental health evaluations and his housing, as well as the bureau’s protocols for handling inmates considered at risk of suicide.
They also requested to be told how Mr. Epstein was being monitored and what the surveillance cameras may have recorded in or near Mr. Epstein’s cell.
At the same time, Senator Ben Sasse, a Nebraska Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, urged Mr. Barr on Tuesday to rip up an agreement federal prosecutors in Florida had reached with Mr. Epstein in 2008 that shielded not only him, but also any other co-conspirators who may have helped him lure teenage girls into prostitution. “This crooked deal cannot stand,” Mr. Sasse said in his letter.
The Whole Story:
It’s raining plastic: microscopic fibers fall from the sky in Rocky Mountains – THE crime which cannot be solved! – kra
Interesting, but not surprising. As a former prosecutor, my first thought on reading this was: THE crime which cannot be solved! I am sure that, whatever the source, that source is violating criminal environmental laws in every state, but good luck ever trying to hold them accountable!
Excerpts from the Article:
Discovery raises new questions about the amount of plastic waste permeating the air, water, and soil virtually everywhere on Earth
Plastic was the furthest thing from Gregory Wetherbee’s mind when he began analyzing rainwater samples collected from the Rocky Mountains. “I guess I expected to see mostly soil and mineral particles,” said the US Geological Survey researcher. Instead, he found multicolored microscopic plastic fibers.
The discovery, published in a recent study (pdf) titled “It is raining plastic”, raises new questions about the amount of plastic waste permeating the air, water, and soil virtually everywhere on Earth.
“I think the most important result that we can share with the American public is that there’s more plastic out there than meets the eye,” said Wetherbee. “It’s in the rain, it’s in the snow. It’s a part of our environment now.”
Rainwater samples collected across Colorado and analyzed under a microscope contained a rainbow of plastic fibers, as well as beads and shards. The findings shocked Wetherbee, who had been collecting the samples in order to study nitrogen pollution.
Rainwater samples collected across Colorado and analyzed under a microscope contained a rainbow of plastic fibers.
“My results are purely accidental,” he said, though they are consistent with another recent study that found microplastics in the Pyrenees, suggesting plastic particles could travel with the wind for hundreds, if not thousands, of kilometers. Other studies have turned up microplastics in the deepest reaches of the ocean, in UK lakes and rivers and in US groundwater.
A major contributor is trash, said Sherri Mason, a microplastics researcher and sustainability coordinator at Penn State Behrend. More than 90% of plastic waste is not recycled, and as it slowly degrades it breaks into smaller and smaller pieces. “Plastic fibers also break off your clothes every time you wash them,” Mason said, and plastic particles are byproducts of a variety of industrial processes.
It’s impossible to trace the tiny pieces back to their sources, Mason said, but almost anything that’s made of plastic could be shedding particles into the atmosphere. “And then those particles get incorporated into water droplets when it rains,” she added, then wash into rivers, lakes, bays and oceans and filter into groundwater sources.
Though scientists have been studying plastic pollution in the ocean for more than a decade, they can only account for 1% of it. Researchers know even less about the amount of plastic in freshwater and in the air, said Stefan Krause at the University of Birmingham. “We haven’t really started quantifying it,” he said.
Another unknown is whether it would be theoretically possible to flush all plastic out of the natural world, and how long that might take. “Even if we waved a magic wand and stopped using plastic, it’s unclear how long plastic would continue to circulate through our rivers waters systems,” he said. “Based on what we do know about plastic found in deep sources of groundwater, and accumulated in rivers, I would guess centuries.”
Animals and humans consume microplastics via water and food, and we likely breathe in micro- and nanoplastic particles in the air, though scientists have yet to understand the health effects. Microplastics can also attract and attach to heavy metals like mercury and other hazardous chemicals, as well as toxic bacteria. “Plastic particles from furniture and carpets could contain flame retardants that are toxic to humans,” Krause said.
Because we are all are exposed to hundreds of synthetic chemicals as soon as we’re born, it’s difficult to say how much longer we’d live if we weren’t exposed, said Mason. “We may never understand all the linkages between plastics and health.”
“But we know enough to say that breathing plastic probably isn’t good, and we should start thinking about dramatically reducing our dependence on plastic,” she said.
Philadelphia shooting standoff that left 6 officers wounded ends with suspect’s arrest – Our War on Drugs – kra
I shall remind you that all this violence, the injuries to the officers, are the direct result of America’s most costly, clearly cataclysmically failed policy called the War on Drugs! Cops were there with a drug warrant. In fact, more than 80% of all crime is drug related!
Excerpts from the Article:
A suspect has been arrested after he barricaded himself for hours in a North Philadelphia home in a shooting standoff that left six officers wounded, police said.
“Suspect is in custody. SWAT is still clearing the house,” Philadelphia Police Sgt. Eric Gripp tweeted early Thursday. The shooting started at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday and was followed by a standoff that lasted nearly eight hours.
Two officers and three others who had been trapped inside the row house were evacuated by a SWAT team a few hours before the standoff ended, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross Jr. told reporters. “They were able to use stealth to do it,” he said, adding he didn’t think the shooter was aware of the rescue mission.
Before the standoff ended, negotiators had been trying to communicate with the shooter, but the gunman was only picking up the phone without answering, Ross said at one news conference.
The wounded officers’ injuries were non-life threatening. One had a graze wound to the head. All of the wounded have been released from the hospital, Gripp said.
Some officers were in the kitchen of the house when the shooter fired and police shot back. “Many of them had to escape through windows and doors,” he said. The shooter has continued to fire out of the windows, the commissioner said. Police went to the home in the Nicetown-Tiago neighborhood around 4:30 p.m. ET with a narcotics warrant, Ross said.
Four women were escorted out of the building by Philadelphia police SWAT members, said Greg Argos, a reporter for KYW. The KYW reporter described the women as “visibly upset, crying, as they were escorted down the street.”
One woman said of the officers: “They kept us safe the whole time, the whole time, they kept us safe.”
President Donald Trump was briefed on the shooting, deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley said.
The 10 Best and Worst States for Recently Released Inmates – A reporter’s request and my reply – kra
A reporter from The Delaware State News sent me an email saying that they are preparing a story about reentry problems in Delaware, and did I have any comments? He sent the article below, which I had read before. My response is below.
Excerpts from the Article:
Considering that more than two-thirds of state prisoners are rearrested within three years of release, many US states have created reentry programs designed to help former inmates get back on their feet. The PrisonEd team wanted to see which states make it easiest for released inmates to reintegrate into society.
Let’s dig in. Here are the most and least friendly states for recently released inmates.
California scores highest on friendliness to former inmates. The Golden State has a background check law without a salary cap.
Alaska, which ranked the lowest, has three reentry programs, which is a relatively small amount. The Land of the Midnight Sun also doesn’t have a law about background check positions.
Virginia, which ranked 13th, had the lowest re-incarceration rate in the US in 2013, as 2,588 of the 11,576 inmates released that year were re-incarcerated within three years.
Alabama, which ranked fourth overall, had 19 reentry programs—the most of any state. California, which ranked first overall, had the second-most reentry programs at 13.
The percent of adult citizens who are current or ex-prisoners ranges from 2.5% in West Virginia (the lowest) to 13.5% in Florida (the highest).
The percentages of recidivism for inmates within three years of release vary from 22.4% in Virginia to 66.4% in Alaska.
The PrisonEd team looked at four different data points to determine which states are the friendliest to ex-inmates. We standardized and weighted four metrics before we added them together for each state’s final score: The number of reentry programs: Programs include, but are not limited to, halfway houses, job help, and addiction recovery programs.
The number of current and ex-inmates: The data represents the percentage of current and ex-inmates based on a 2017 report over 60 years by Shannon et al. States that offered a higher percentage of support communities for ex-inmates received a higher score.
Background check restrictions: Some states limit how many years back employers can pull a background check. A few of those states also put a salary cap on this limit, which means the background check restrictions only apply to jobs that pay less than the indicated cap. For example, Nevada has a background check restriction of seven years and no salary cap. So, regardless of the job, employers in Nevada cannot pull more than seven years in a criminal background check. States that had background check limits received a higher score.
Re-incarceration percentages: The data includes three-year re-incarceration rates for prisoners released in 2013. States with a lower re-incarceration percentage received a higher score.
Five states (Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Oregon, and Texas) weren’t considered in the ranking due to insufficient data reporting.
Released inmates often have a difficult time readapting into the community. However, reentry programs have been shown to have a positive impact on ex-convicts’ ability to return to a full life once they are released from prison. To contribute to reentry programs, you can volunteer time or resources to help their bright future. If you are interested in learning more about PrisonEd’s prison education programs and how you can get involved, check out our volunteer program.
Thanks, Ian, and yes. 8/14/19
I counsel those in reentry every day, and the most glaring problems are 1. A lack of effective and affordable treatment programs for addicts, 2. The more than 200 obstacles to reentry, many of which are totally unnecessary!, 3. The lack of public understanding that when we help those in reentry we help our communities, and 4. The lack of will in the Legislature to make easily enacted sweeping changes in the law needed to ease this problem.
So many obstacles could easily be removed. Like, why cannot one get a barber’s or beautician’s license because one has a record?! There should be no barrier at all. As it currently is, one must apply, and then can easily be denied solely because of one’s record.
We also have faaaaaaaaar too many people on probation! Please take a moment to read this, and you may use any parts of it you wish to use: Letter to Editor or Editorial Submission – What a Monster we Have Created! Probation and Parole 2/19/19
Despite the tremendous achievements of Dover Interfaith Mission for Housing and others, there still is a huge need for affordable housing for the many in reentry who are homeless.
I hope that you also will publish this sad and ugly truth: many who can change policies and laws to ease reentry do not simply because they are in the grip of lobbyists and campaign donors who are fighting to keep their truly often useless and redundant jobs, such as the Prison Guard Union. For every 1 person arrested, 29 benefit financially.
Last but not least, the crazy policies concerning “sex offenders”, most of whom have that scarlet letter for looking at pictures, and pose NO threat at all to the public!
Any questions, Ian, give me a call!
Letter to the Editor or Commentary – What a Red Herring! – 8/14/19 – About the new immigration policies! – kra
Letter to the Editor or Commentary – What a Red Herring! – 8/14/19
Now Trump wants to rewrite the words on the Statue of Liberty to include … “provided they will not become a public charge”! As if the idiots now in power can determine who may or may not become a public charge! This is nothing more than another Red Herring, in furtherance of Trump’s cruel immigration policies, stemming from his obvious racism.
We should honor the words inscribed on that great monument to freedom, plain and simple: “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” THAT is the America I know, and that is the true spirit of my country and, indeed, the very reason that America is in so many ways the best country on earth! THAT is the America which still has the Golden Door to freedom and opportunity, despite Trump’s efforts to slam it shut to people of color!
Millions and millions of immigrants came here broke, with nothing but hopes, dreams, faith in America, and their determination to succeed. And they did succeed, many spectacularly. This great nation was made great by immigrants! Where did YOUR ancestors come from? Why not provide a little assistance, which Trump now wants the discretion to arbitrarily ban, to get them started? That meager investment in people has paid off spectacularly: it is the very reason that America is in so many ways the best country on earth!
Be wary, my fellow citizens, of government seeking to change the very character of our country!
Ken Abraham, Dover, DE, former Deputy Attorney General and founder of Citizens for Criminal JUSTICE, 302-423-4067
Might send it out again. Must add that:
A top Trump administration official says the famous inscription on the Statue of Liberty, welcoming “huddled masses” of immigrants to American shores, was referring to “people coming from Europe” and that the nation is looking to receive migrants “who can stand on their own two feet.”
The comments on Tuesday from Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, came a day after the Trump administration announced it would seek to deny green cards to migrants who seek Medicaid, food stamps, housing vouchers or other forms of public assistance. The move, and Cuccinelli’s defense, prompted an outcry from Democrats and immigration advocates who said the policy would favor wealthier immigrants and disadvantage those from poorer countries in Latin America and Africa.
“This administration finally admitted what we’ve known all along: They think the Statue of Liberty only applies to white people,” tweeted former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, a Democratic presidential candidate.
The administration’s proposed policy shift comes as President Donald Trump is leaning more heavily into the restrictive immigration policies that have energized his core supporters and were central to his 2016 victory. He has also spoken disparagingly about immigration from majority black and Hispanic countries, including calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals when he launched his 2016 campaign. Last year, he privately branded Central American and African nations as “shithole” countries and he suggested the U.S. take in more immigrants from European countries like predominantly white Norway.
Cuccinelli said in an interview with CNN on Tuesday night that the Emma Lazarus poem emblazoned on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty referred to “people coming from Europe where they had class based societies where people were considered wretched if they weren’t in the right class.”
Ken Cuccinelli. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Lazarus’ poem, written in 1883 to raise money to construct the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal and cast in bronze beneath the monument in 1903, served as a beacon to millions of immigrants who crossed past as they first entered the U.S. in New York Harbor. It reads, “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.”
Related stories: Politics
Cuccinelli was asked earlier Tuesday on NPR whether the words “give me your tired, your poor” were part of the American ethos. Cuccinelli responded: “They certainly are. Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.”
Cuccinelli was a failed Republican candidate for governor in 2013 after serving as the state’s attorney general. He backed Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas for president in 2016 and for a time was a harsh critic of Trump.
He is one of a slew of immigration hardliners brought in by Trump to implement the president’s policies. He was appointed to the post in June in a temporary capacity, which doesn’t require Senate confirmation.
Trump, asked Tuesday about Cuccinelli’s comments on NPR, appeared to back him up.
“I don’t think it’s fair to have the American taxpayer paying for people to come into the United States,” Trump told reporters before boarding Air Force One for Pennsylvania. “I think we’re doing it right.”
Immigrant rights groups strongly criticized the Trump administration’s new rules for immigrants receiving public assistance, warning that the changes would scare immigrants away from asking for needed help. And they voiced concern that officials were being given too much authority to decide whether someone is likely to need public assistance in the future.
Another Democratic presidential candidate, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, also condemned Cuccinelli’s comments.
“Our values are etched in stone on the Statue of Liberty. They will not be replaced,” she tweeted. “And I will fight for those values and for our immigrant communities.”
Ohio teen who had 10,000 ammo rounds arrested for threatening ‘every’ agent, FBI says – and I say: ‘CRAZY” – kra
How the HELL does an inherently – INHERENTLY (the brain is not fully developed until age 25) unstable teenager amass such an arsenal?!
Excerpts from the Article:
An Ohio teen was arrested on Wednesday after making a number of threats to law enforcement online, officials say.
The FBI first started investigating Justin Olsen, 18, in February when a user with the handle “ArmyOfChrist” posted threats in the chat room iFunny, according to an affidavit obtained by The Vindicator. The account was eventually traced back to Olsen’s computer, the affidavit states. After his arrest, Olsen admitted to posting under the screen name, the FBI said.
Officials say ArmyOfChrist posted about his support of mass shootings as well as attacks on Planned Parenthood. In June, ArmyOfChrist wrote “in conclusion, shoot every federal agent on [site],” during a discussion with another user about the 1993 siege on a Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, according to the affidavit.
ArmyOfChrist also praised the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, writing it “shows that armed resistance is a viable method of political change,” the affidavit shows. A post was also made stating, “don’t comply with gun laws, stock up on stuff they could ban. In fact, go out of your way to break these laws, they’re f—–g stupid.”
Justin Olsen, 18, has been charged with inducing panic and threatening a federal officer following posts he made online, the FBI says.
The user of the account also posted that he “could not wait ‘to start stockpiling weapons,’” the Tribune Journal reported,
After a six-month investigation, Olsen was arrested at his father’s home on Wednesday, according to the affidavit. He’s charged with “inducing panic” and threatening a federal officer.
During his arrest, officials found 10,000 rounds of ammunition, 25 guns, machete and camouflaged clothing, officials say.
The FBI says Olsen “admitted to creating the online page,” and to writing, “…in conclusion, shoot every federal agent on sight (sic),” though he called the comment “hyperbolic” and the page a joke, according to the affidavit.
He’s being held at the Mahoning County Jail, the Tribune Journal reported.
Money is a huge problem in American politics. Legal bribery is what it is – lobbying and campaign contributions. This report does not provide as much detail as I had hoped. Although it does mention the union representing prison guards, it does not mention police unions, all of whom spend a lot of time and money opposing needed changes to the criminal justice system … because those changes would eliminate many jobs.
Excerpts from the Article:
Turns out health care is a big industry in Delaware. Who knew? The four entities that lobbied the General Assembly and state agencies the most in 2019 are all health-related, with the Delaware Healthcare Association easily surpassing the others to claim the title of most active lobbying organization.
Of course, there is no official recognition of that sort, but the state does maintain a database tracking those whose job it is to influence lawmakers.
Lobbyists, defined as people who are paid to attempt to sway state officials or have spent money in a bid to do so, must register with the state’s Public Integrity Commission, file quarterly financial reports and disclose every business-related interaction with an elected official. Filing false information or failing to register can lead to being charged with a misdemeanor and barred from lobbying.
“All lobbyists must report all lobbying activity on legislation and administrative regulations within five days of the lobbying contact or within five days after the legislation has been introduced in the General
While some observers (and a few politicians, although not many in Delaware) decry lobbying as legal bribery, there’s a reason it’s a thriving industry: For a business or nonprofit that’s looking to influence the fate of a bill, there’s no better way to get involved than to hire one of the lobbyists for whom Legislative Hall is almost like a second home.
Many organizations, ranging from Verizon to the Delaware Brewers Guild, have a presence in the state capitol, and many legislators heavily value the opinions of certain lobbyists or outside organizations. Some lobbyists work solely for one company, nonprofit or union, while others are employed by government relations firms or law offices and handle a host of clients.
Successful lobbyists generally have been around for a long time and have strong connections that predate their time as government relations experts. Some of Delaware’s most prominent lobbyists, fixtures in Legislative Hall, have worked for elected officials, political parties or state agencies, while a few actually held elected office before.
There’s a reason it’s a common refrain in Dover that if you want to know what’s really going on, you probably should talk to a lobbyist.
“Legislators don’t have time to read every bill … They’re relying on us, they’re relying on the media, they’re relying on staff members,” Rhett Ruggerio of Ruggerio Willson & Associates, one of Delaware’s most prominent government relations firms, relayed in a 2018 interview.
Breaking it down:
The Public Integrity Commission’s database offers a wealth of information that can help tell the story of the 2019 legislative session, which concluded in the early morning hours of July 1.
In total, about 200 entities and 330 people are included in the data. The Delaware Code makes clear that, in essence, any conversation between a registered lobbyist and select state officials involving legislation (or a proposed regulation, in the case of state agencies) must be reported to the Public Integrity Commission within five days.
As of Friday, lobbyists had reported spending $57,429.38 on state officials this year, with about $49,500 of that classified as food and refreshments. The travel category totaled approximately $2,700, while spending on gifts came to almost $2,600.
A still-standing 2009 executive order issued by then Gov. Jack Markell prohibits high-ranking executive branch officials from accepting gifts from lobbyists. The Public Integrity Commission requires elected officials to report any gift of more than $250.
No one entity lobbied more in 2019 than the Delaware Healthcare Association — by far. As of Aug. 1, the organization, which represents hospitals from Seaford to Hockessin, had reported 419 lobbying acts. The nonprofit mostly relied on three employees but did use an outside agent as well.
Mr. Smith is one of the handful of lobbyists who formerly served in the legislature. Others include Bob Byrd, Bill Oberle, Roger Roy and Terry Spence. Mr. Byrd owns his own firm, while Mr. Oberle, Mr. Roy and Mr. Spence each have a few clients.
A 2014 law prohibits legislators from working as lobbyists within one year of leaving office, although it can hardly be called foolproof.
In second in terms of lobbying activity is the Medical Society of Delaware, which has sought to weigh in on proposals 221 times in 2019. Like the Healthcare Association, it used a mix of contract lobbyists and its own personnel. Behind the Medical Society is Christiana Care Corp., which relied on contract lobbyists and outside lawyers to handle its business on 192 occasions. Fourth, just four instances behind, is the Delaware Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, also known as the Ability Network of Delaware. Only lobbyists from the firm Ruggerio Willson were active on its behalf.
Coming in fifth with 169 reported instances in which it sought to sway lawmakers is the Delaware Charter School Network. Like the Ability Network of Delaware, it relied solely on Ruggerio Willson.
Health care is an extremely broad field, as evidenced by the list of bills organizations were active on. The Delaware Healthcare Association, for instance, is reported as having lobbied on legislation to raise the minimum wage, ban abortion after 20 weeks, declare January 2019 Human Trafficking Awareness Month and legalize marijuana.
The only other bills to exceed 50 acts were Senate Bill 25, a successful measure raising the smoking age to 21; House Bill 110, a not-yet-passed proposal that would allow recreational marijuana; and House Bill 225, the budget, which became law.
All of the five busiest organizations mentioned above chimed in on the marijuana bill.
The four individual lobbyists with the most work by this metric, the most reported instances of official lobbying activity, are all from Ruggerio Willson. The company’s clients include Comcast, Wilmington, the University of Delaware, the Correctional Officers Association of Delaware and Punkin Chunkin. Mr. Ruggerio and Kim Willson, the firm’s namesakes, both previously worked for Democratic politicians and with the Democratic Party on campaigns, and its third employee, Verity Watson, is a former aide for the General Assembly’s Joint Legislative Oversight and Sunset Committee. The newest member of the firm, Tarik Zerrad, interned with Sen. Tom Carper.
Mr. Ruggerio, who struck out on his own in 2005 after working as the city of Wilmington’s lobbyist for five years, said business is primarily based on word of mouth, with clients typically approaching him.
The three next most active lobbyists come from The Byrd Group. In addition to Mr. Byrd, the firm employs his daughter, Rebecca, deputy legal counsel to a former governor, and Kim Gomes. Clients include Anheuser-Busch, Dover Downs, Bayhealth, Facebook and Delaware State University.
Rounding out the top 10 are Deborah Hamilton of Hamilton Goodman Partners and Christine Schiltz and James Nutter from the law firm of Parkowski, Guerke & Swayze.
The count for busiest lobbyists includes the same measure multiple times when necessary. Mr. Ruggerio, for instance, provided some measure of support or opposition to the marijuana legalization bill on behalf of the Chemical Industry Council of Delaware, the Delaware Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, the Delaware City Refining Company, the State Chamber of Commerce, Diamond Materials LLC and Chemours.
The Whole Story:
Some people are surprised, because he was on “suicide watch”. Not me, for I have seen what really happens in our prisons!
- He should have had NOTHING in his cell which he could use to commit suicide. 2. Guards should have checked on him every 15 to 20 minutes (time varies from prison to prison). Here is what REALLY happens: the guards sleep through their 8 hour shift, and when they wake they falsify documents by checking off the boxes on the form to indicate that they did check on the inmates every few minutes, as required! I have SEEN them do this.
Moreover, prison administrators often lie about cause of death. He could have been murdered, and the prison personnel will not admit it.
Excerpts from the Article:
Jeffrey Epstein, the politically connected financier and registered sex offender charged recently with sexually abusing dozens of young girls in the early 2000s, has died by apparent suicide while in jail and the FBI is investigating, the Bureau of Prisons said Saturday.
Epstein, 66, was found unresponsive in his cell in the special housing unit of the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City about 6:30 a.m., the Bureau of Prisons said. Lifesaving measures “were initiated immediately by responding staff,” who then requested aid from emergency medical services, the bureau said. Epstein was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead, the bureau said.
ABC News, which first reported the incident, said that Epstein had hanged himself.
The Bureau of Prisons called the death an “apparent suicide,” though one official cautioned that the investigation was in its early stages and no final determination had been made. Aja Davis, a spokeswoman for the New York City Medical Examiner, said that her office was investigating the death.
Epstein, a multimillionaire with ties to celebrities and politicians including President Trump and former president Bill Clinton, was arrested last month on federal sex trafficking charges that could have put in him prison for 45 years. Prosecutors alleged he abused dozens of young girls at his Manhattan and Palm Beach, Fla., homes and enlisted his victims to bring him others.
Last month, Epstein was found in his cell with marks around his neck, and authorities were trying to determine if he was attacked or attempted suicide. He showed no obvious signs of distress at a later court hearing.
People close to Epstein refused to rule out foul play, according to one person familiar with their discussions early Saturday, and asserted that Epstein seemed in good spirits in recent days. His attorneys are seeking to learn from authorities how Epstein’s body was found, and how such an incident could have occurred, this person said.
Epstein’s case had attracted widespread attention — in part because of his wealth and political connections, and in part because of a lenient plea deal he reached more than a decade ago to resolve similar allegations. That 2008 agreement allowed Epstein to plead guilty to just two state charges in Florida, avoiding federal exposure entirely, and spend just 13 months in jail, with work-release privileges. The deal was approved by Alex Acosta, who was then the U.S. attorney in Miami and would go on to become Trump’s labor secretary — a post he resigned after Epstein was charged last month and the controversy over the previous case was reignited.
Epstein’s death comes less than 24 hours after a court unsealed a massive cache of records, laying out disturbing details about Epstein’s alleged activities and the people in his orbit who might have observed them.
Sigrid McCawley, another lawyer for victims, said the timing was “no coincidence,” and she was hopeful the government could continue to investigate “those who participated and facilitated Epstein’s horrifying sex trafficking scheme that damaged so many.”
“The reckoning of accountability begun by the voices of brave and truthful victims should not end with Jeffrey Epstein’s cowardly and shameful suicide,” McCawley said.
Attorney Lisa Bloom, who represents two alleged victims, said on MSNBC she now plans to file a civil lawsuit against Epstein’s estate in an effort to collect money for her clients. She called on the executors of his estate to freeze Epstein’s assets and not begin to distribute them to his beneficiaries.
The death is sure to draw intense scrutiny of the Bureau of Prisons and the Metropolitan Correctional Center. The high-rise federal detention center in downtown Manhattan has a fearsome reputation; one inmate who spent time there and in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, famously said Guantanamo Bay was “more pleasant” and “more relaxed.”
The facility is no stranger to high-profile inmates. It recently housed notorious drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman while he was on trial in Brooklyn, and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has spent time there around court proceedings in New York — though records show he has since been moved to a different facility in Pennsylvania.
“It is inexcusable that this rapist was not under constant suicide watch,” Sasse said. “These victims deserved to face their serial abuser in court.”