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Actor Kevin Spacey Gets Insight into Jack Abramoff by Doing Film

Kevin Spacey in "Casino Jack"

Kevin Spacey in "Casino Jack"

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Actor Kevin Spacey, who plays disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff in the new film “Casino Jack”,  has some insights into the morally corrupt Abramoff after visiting him in federal prison.

“I read what everyone read about him, and then I started reaching out to him, and it was two different people,” Spacey recalled, according to the Los Angeles Times. “On the one hand he’s funny, almost comedian-like funny, and you can see how he owned a room. And then you look at what they said about him and he’s the devil incarnate. And then there’s the facts.”

The film is set to premiere Thursday at the Toronto International Film Festival, and will hit theaters in the fall. Abramoff pled guilty in 2006 to the defrauding of American Indian tribes and corruption of public officials. He is in a halfway house and set to be released by year’s end.

“Abramoff wasn’t stealing money,” Spacey told the paper.” Yes, he was doing underhanded things. But he wasn’t buying Swiss chalets and helicopters.

“So then it’s like: OK, [Abramoff] is the greediest man on Earth who doesn’t have any self-interest. He was giving money away to build schools. He was giving so much money away he wasn’t even paying his mortgage.”

Director George Hickenlooper also met with Abramoff in prison in Maryland, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“Jack feels really betrayed by President Bush,” Hickenlooper said of the scandal, according to the Times. “His kids used to play in the Oval Office and then he’s saying he didn’t know him?”

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2oZcpOB07U

Legal Experts Say Alleged Underwear Bomber Not Likely to Get Much in Deal

Suspect Abdulmutallab/u.s. marhsals photo

Suspect Abdulmutallab/u.s. marshals photo

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

Short of handing over Osama bin Laden, the “underwear bomber” accused of trying to blow up a Detroit-bound plane on Christmas Day isn’t likely to strike up a deal with prosecutors that will set him free any time soon, legal experts say.

“I don’t think they’re going to be flexible, short of him giving them phenomenal active intelligence,” said Brian M. Legghio, a former federal prosecutor in Detroit. “They’re going to be looking at lengthy prison time, 40 or 50 years, if not life.”

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 24, hinted in court Monday that he might plead guilty to some of the charges. The Nigerian national also fired his court-appointed attorneys, saying they weren’t representing his best interests. He will represent himself.

Just what kind of deal he can hammer out on his own is unclear, but legal experts say he’s made that task all the more difficult by firing his lawyers, who had met with prosecutors on multiple occasions to try to work out a plea deal, according to court records.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Column: If Californians Vote to Legalize Pot, Justice Dept. Should Sue

Chris Battle served as chief of staff at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and director of congressional and public affairs for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. He is a partner at Adfero Group, a public relations firm in Washington and editor of a blog on homeland and national security.

Chris Battle

Chris Battle

By Chris Battle
U.S. News & World Report

Things are tough in California. An unrestrained state legislature has spent so irresponsibly that the state is continuously begging the rest of us to bail it out with federal tax dollars. Its credit rating literally makes it a riskier bet than Kazakhstan. It has placed so many burdensome regulations on businesses

in the state that they are fleeing as quickly as they can to shutter their doors. Jobs are going with them, of course. Meanwhile, California is also leading the nation in legalized pot shops and stoned citizens.

Yeah, things are tough all over in California all right. And considering their latest stunt, maybe the state’s legislators are taking their cash-strapped cue from the ‘80s flick of the same name–Tough All Over starring Cheech and Chong, those two dope-hazed but lovable caricatures of bong tokers everywhere.

Why not, California’s leading political lights ask, induce a lot more people get high as a way to pay off the state debt?

In November, Californians will vote on the Regulate, Control, and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010, also known as Proposition 19. If passed, California will be the first state in the union to legalize marijuana outright.

To read more click here.

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.