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Archive for September, 2010

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder : “I am Not Tone Deaf”

Appeals Court Admonishes Wisc. Fed Judge for Hitler Remark

hitlerBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

More than six decades later, Adolph Hitler’s name still stirs up trouble.

The Associated Press reports that the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago admonished U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa of eastern Wisconsin for comparing a convicted drug dealer Jose Figueroa’s love of family to Adolf Hitler’s love for his dog.

The Appeals Court, which said the judge’s comments were odd, ordered that Figueroa be re-sentenced, AP reported. He had been sentenced to 20 years in prison for heading up a drug conspiracy.

The judge’s comments came after Figueroa asked for leniency in sentencing because of his love for his family, the AP reported.

Randa responded, according to AP: “Hitler was admired by his family … loved his dog. Yet he killed 6 million Jews.”

Border Patrol Agents Fire Shots into Mexico After Coming Under Attack

Border PatrolBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The latest sign in the U.S. that there’s a drug war in Mexico: U.S. Border Patrol agents fired gunshots into Mexico Saturday after coming under attack in south Texas along the Rio Grande, the Associated Press reports.

Authorities said the incident happened during a half-ton drug bust that involved Border Patrol agents chasing a truck in Mission, Tex., along the Rio Grande on the U.S. side, the AP reported. No agents were hurt.

Authorities said that several Border Patrol agents — some of whom were patrolling in boats — were seizing a half-ton of marijuana when they came under gunfire.

“We’re obviously concerned with what happened, that they would be shooting from the Mexico side to us,” FBI spokesman Jorge Cisneros said, according to the AP.

“Original Civil Rights Photographer” Was FBI Informant

cameraBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The late “original civil rights photographer” Ernest Withers snapped shots of history: the motel where Martin Luther King Jr. was shot; King riding one of the first desegregated buses in Alabama.

But there was a little known side to the man who had a front row seat in the civil rights movement: He was an FBI informant, according to the Tennessee Commercial Appeal.

The paper reported that he marched with King and sat in on some of the civil rights movement’s sensitive strategy meetings.

He died in 2007 at age 85, the paper reported.

Sen. Trial Underway to Impeach Louisiana Fed Judge

Judge Thomas Porteous

Judge Thomas Porteous

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

U.S. District Judge G. Thomas Porteous of Louisiana appears to be in big big trouble.

A U.S. Senate impeachment trial began Monday in Washington to try and oust the presidentially-appointed judge, who is 63.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who heads five-member House team serving as prosecutors for the trial, said in his opening statement that Porteous, 63, has violated the public trust, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.

“It is the unanimous view of the House of Representatives that his conduct is not only wrong but so violative of the public trust that he cannot be allowed to remain on the bench without making a mockery of the court system.” Schiff told the Senate Impeachment Trial Committee. according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

To read more click here.

Inspector Gen. Probing Justice Dept. Enforcement of Voter Rights

blackpantherptylogoBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department’s Inspector General is probing allegations that the agency’s civil rights division was racially discriminatory when it came to enforcing voting laws, the Washington Post reported.

The Post reports that the probe grows out of a voter intimidation case from 2008 in which members of the New Black Panther Party were charged with intimidating white voters in Philadelphia.

The members videotaped voters in front of the polling place, dressed in military-style uniforms who allegedly yelled out racial slurs. The Obama Justice Department eventually abandoned the case, triggering an outcry from conservatives that the Obama administration had failed to protect the rights of white voters.

The Post reported that Inspector General Glenn Fine wrote a letter to Congressional members saying he wasn’t investigating the New Black Panther case specifically but was instead looking into how the Justice Department enforces voting rights laws.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI Stats Show Violent Crime Down for 3 Years in Row

crime 2009By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

Despite a sour economy and disturbingly high unemployment, property crime dropped in 2009 for the seventh year in a row, according to FBI statistics released today. Violent crime also declined for the third consecutive year.

The FBI statistics show the murder and non-negligent manslaughter rate dropped by 7.3 percent from 2009 compared to 2008 and robberies slipped by 8 percent. Aggravated assaults dipped 4.2 percent, and rape dropped by 2.6 percent.

The FBI said there were an estimated 1.3 million violent crimes reported in 2009 and 9.3 million property crimes.

Criminologist Lawrence Kobilinsky, chairman of the Department of Sciences at New York’s John Jay College, credits the drop to improved police methods, including use of DNA and crime databases to solve burglaries and similar crimes that are often perpetrated by people who “commit 10, 20, 30 burglaries before they’re caught.”

To read more click here.

Underwear Bomber Hints He Might Plead Guilty; Also Fires his Attorneys

Suspect Abdulmutallab/u.s. marhsals photo

Suspect Abdulmutallab/u.s. marhsals photo

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

The so-called “underwear bomber” who allegedly tried to blow up a Detroit-bound plane showed up in chains today in a federal courtroom in Detroit and hinted that he might want to plead guilty to some charges, according to newspaper reports.

Nigerian national Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 24, also fired his court-appointed attorneys, saying they weren’t representing his best interests, the reports said. He will now represent himself.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds asked Abdulmutallab a series of questions to which he responded “yes, I understand,” according to the Detroit Free Press. She told him he was making an unwise decision but said she would appoint standby lawyers if necessary, the Free Press reported.

“In my opinion, you would be far better defended by a trained lawyer then by yourself,” Edmunds told Abdulmutallab.

To read more click here.