Politics

The Great Bathroom Debate

The Great Bathroom Debate – How Does it End?

This too shall pass from the headlines in time, but while the issue of who-can-legally-use-what-public-bathroom is still red hot here are some thoughts.

We are a nation of almost 320 million people. Statistics are not plentiful. There are no national figures kept but it’s estimated the number of transgendered Americans is about 700,000 or 0.3% of the population.

Since the biggest controversy these days seems focused on transgender students and what might happen in their school bathrooms or locker rooms perhaps the best statistic to focus upon comes from a 2014 survey of millennials by the Public Religion Research Institute. That survey found 1% of young people identify as transgender.  [click to continue…]

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He Should Have Been Deported - Then He Murdered

He Should Have Been Deported – Then He Murdered a Woman

Decisions always have a consequence. That’s what I told my daughter as she was growing up. Make a decision to do something but, realize, you must then live with the consequences. I’m left wondering if Washington politicians had mothers who taught them the same lesson.

The consequence of Washington’s long-term failure to fix our fractured immigration policy just keeps getting more dangerous. The upshot for the rest of us? Ticking human time bombs walking among us.

For more than three years the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement division (ICE) has been forced to release thousands of deportation-ready criminal immigrants out on to American streets. More than 86,000 of them are, presumably, still out there. [click to continue…]

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Headline Writers Call - or the Reporter's

Headline Writers Call – or the Reporter’s

A federal prosecutor friend wrote me recently and attached a news article with the headline, “Decision Time for FBI on Clinton.”

“Why does the media say stuff like this?” he asked.  “The FBI has no say in this or any investigation.” And he went on to muse about how reporters just don’t seem to understand that the only entity that can make a “decision” on whether to indict Hillary Clinton for the way she (mis)handled her State Department e-mails is the office of the U.S. Attorney General.

He’s right. The the final decision is up to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch. With that said, I figure it is time to talk about the elephant in the room. Elephant, is thy name partisan politics? [click to continue…]

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Hastert was Speaker of the US House of Representatives

Hastert was Speaker of the House until 2007

Later this month one of the most powerful men ever to have served in the U.S. House of Representatives will face a federal judge to learn his fate. Dennis Hastert has pleaded guilty to evading U.S. banking laws, illegally structuring payouts to conceal other crimes and lying to the FBI. But that’s only a small part of his sordid story.

It’s a textbook case of why critics are able to say there is one system of justice for the rich and connected and quite another for the rest of us. It’s also another condemnation of our statute of limitations laws that say suspects can’t be tried for certain crimes if too much time has passed.  [click to continue…]

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Rape Matters – Catching Rapists Does Too

by Diane Dimond on April 11, 2016

Mounds of Rape Kits Waiting for Testing

Mounds of Rape Kits Waiting for Testing

So get this. Top justice officials have figured out a way to make the bad guys finance programs that help solve crimes. It’s such a unique solution to a long standing problem that I just have to share.

The District Attorney’s office in Manhattan – a jurisdiction that includes one of the preeminent financial centers of the world — is in a matchless position to collect billions of dollars from international banks that concoct schemes to get around U.S. sanctions.

For example, the French bank officials at BNP Paribas were forced to admit they illegally moved hundreds of millions of dollars through New York banks for clients in terror-sponsoring countries like Iran and Sudan. For threatening the security of our nation’s banking system and breaking our sanctions the French bank was fined more than $8.8 billion in penalties and criminal forfeiture. [click to continue…]

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Terrorists Need Another “Shock and Awe”

by Diane Dimond on March 28, 2016

Brussels terror aftermath

The Aftermath of the Brussels Attack

Another week, another deadly terrorist attack, this time in Brussels. The aftershocks heightened security across Europe and here in the US.

Understanding why Muslim extremists continue to kill innocents and what they are likely planning for the future can best predicted by someone who used to live, eat and pray among them.

Meet Emad Salem, a devout Muslim who, after serving as a Major in the Egyptian military, became a US citizen 31 years ago. But he became more than that. He became one of the FBI’s most valuable undercover assets in the War on Terror, beginning in the early 90’s. [click to continue…]

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Blind Justice: Laws Apply To All Citizens

Blind Justice: Laws Apply To All Citizens

The law says dangerous or illegal actions have consequences. Countless U.S. citizens enter the justice system every year after authorities determine they did something that physically or emotionally harmed someone, financially cheated another person or exposed people to peril.

So why do government employees so often escape the punishment you or I would face in similar circumstances?

Case in point: In what very nearly looks like a case of federally sponsored child trafficking the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement put countless children at risk yet no one has been held accountable. Beginning in fall of 2011, tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors from Central America began to flood across the Mexican border in search of a better life in America. We were not prepared. [click to continue…]

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Juveniles and the Justice System

by Diane Dimond on February 1, 2016

Kids in the Criminal System. Then What?

Kids in the Criminal System. Then What?

Everyone knows youngsters aren’t mentally or emotionally equipped to make good decisions. That’s why most parents watch their teenagers like a hawk.

But every year thousands of American kids get themselves in to serious trouble with the law. Some of these youngsters had no prior police record. Some who entered the criminal justice system were under the age of 10. In the most dire cases, teens have been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of ever being released.

Imagine your son (or in less frequent cases, your daughter), suddenly caught up in a crime that resulted in murder, manslaughter or rape — doomed to spend the rest of their lives behind bars, perhaps in solitary confinement to keep them away from prison violence. [click to continue…]

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SCOTUS Justices

Supreme Court Justices Could Give the White House Massive New Power

It will be a monumental decision either way. One that has the potential to shape national politics and public policy for decades to come. And don’t be fooled into thinking it’s just about U.S. immigration policy. It is much bigger than that.

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether it is legal for a sitting president to issue an executive order that changes existing law, thus by-passing Congress, the branch of government empowered to make the laws. [click to continue…]

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2015: Horrible Year in Many Respects

2015: Horrible Year in Many Respects

There’s no getting around it. Americans have just gone through an Annus Horribilis, to borrow a phrase from Queen Elizabeth. 2015 has been filled with disturbing news about acts of terrorism and the threat of more, mass shootings, racial unrest and major questions about how our criminal justice system works – or doesn’t.

Add in what many see as unsettling and contradictory political pronouncements about our future and is it any wonder that we feel frightened, frustrated and without hope? Fear – of homegrown or lone-wolf terrorists, gun violence, policy brutality, racial strife, our children’s future – has become the new American normal. [click to continue…]

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