Category: Society

Deporter in Chief: Deportations Under Obama Still Higher Than Under Trump

For both Democrats and Republicans, the recent deportation numbers may come as something of an unpleasant surprise. It turns out the President Barack Obama deported more illegal immigrants than Trump even after two years of Trump’s controversial immigration policies.

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French Protesters Take To The Streets Wearing Yellow Vests . . . So Egypt Cracks Down On Yellow Vest Sales

The Egyptian government has reason to be nervous.  After cracking down on civil liberties, free speech, free exercise, and the free press, the government has watched with growing alarm over the protests engulfing France by thousands of yellow vested citizens.  So Egypt is rethinking its denial of basic liberties, right?  No, the government is preventing the sale of yellow vests and prosecutors are seeking jail time for a lawyer who was merely pictured in yellow vest.

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Vermont Man Causes Controversy Over One-Finger Salute To City Officials

Facebook: Ted Pelkey

We previously discussed the sometimes thin line between free speech and a nuisance.  The latest such controversy has arisen in Westford, Vermont where Ted Pelkey decided to make a statement after city officials refused his permit to build an 8,000 square foot garage on his property. His response was a single finger salute to  the Westford Selectboard and Development Review Board.  This is not the first such salute piece to prompt legal questions over its display.  Notably, the Vermont Supreme Court recently ruled that ugly is not a nuisance.

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Turley To Give Keynote On Privacy and Security At IBIA Conference

This morning, I will have the privilege of giving a keynote address before the National Press Club at a symposium organized by The International Biometrics + Identity Association (IBIA) on privacy and security issues surrounding the rising use of facial identification technology.

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Michael Cohen’s Last Hustle: How Trump’s Former Fixer Blew His Final Play

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Below is my column at Foxnews.com on the inevitable collapse of Michael Cohen’s strategy to avoid jail for his extensive criminal conduct as a businessman and a lawyer.  I recently discussed how the filing detailed the windfall payments of over $4 million that Cohen received from companies like AT&T to buy access and influence with Trump.  It was one of Cohen’s last scams.  He ended up keeping the money despite being embroiled in the scandals that led to his demise.  He then scammed thousands of anti-Trump donors on a GoFundMe site for hundreds of thousands of dollars on the promise of turning against Trump.  He never mentioned the millions that he shook down companies for in his cash for access scheme.  In other words, Cohen continue to hustle but, on this occasion, he came up one hustle too short.

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DOJ: Cohen Sold Access To Trump For $4 Million

One of the overlooked portions of the Justice Department filings on Michael Cohen was the calculation of how much Cohen made selling access to Trump after the election. I previously wrote about how Cohen found willing corporations like Novartis and AT&T to give him windfall payments to curry favoritism with Trump.  It turns out that Cohen made over $4 million and appears to have done little since he was quickly ensnared in scandal.  These companies however were outed in what is usually the hidden, seedy underbelly of this town. 

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President Trump To Nominate Bill Barr For Attorney General

440px-William_Barr,_official_photo_as_Attorney_GeneralPresident Donald Trump is reportedly considering the appointment of Bill Barr to be the 77th Attorney General of the United States.   If true, it would be Barr’s second stint as Attorney General after his service 1991 to 1993 during the administration of President George H. W. Bush — only the second time in history for such a successive appointment.  I have known Bill Barr for years and represented him during the Clinton impeachment (with other former Attorneys General).  He is one of the most brilliant lawyers I have known and would be a brilliant selection by President Trump for the position.  To put it simply, he is the perfect choice for this position at this time.  He is a rock solid leader who would bring stability and authority to the Justice Department.

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Michael Cohen’s Plea For Leniency Borders On Lunacy

Michelangelo,_Giudizio_Universale_24Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the effort of former Trump fixer Michael Cohen to convince the federal court to show leniency in his sentencing.  While Cohen should get credit for cooperation, it must be balanced against two high countervailing considerations.  First, Cohen spent much of the last two years threatening people and obstructing efforts to disclose wrongdoing. Second, he is an officer of the court.  Judges generally do not look kindly upon lawyers violating their oaths and becoming vehicles for crimes and wrongdoing.

Here is the column: Continue reading “Michael Cohen’s Plea For Leniency Borders On Lunacy”

Massachusetts Judge Under Investigation For Allegedly Helping Undocumented Immigrant Evade ICE

Facebook (Joseph on right)

Massachusetts District Court Judge Shelley Joseph is under investigation after she was accused of helping an undocumented immigrant, Jose Medina-Perez,  evade an ICE officer at the courthouse.  The Boston Globe is reporting that a federal grand jury is investigating Joseph and some have called for her to be barred from handling criminal cases in the interim. Continue reading “Massachusetts Judge Under Investigation For Allegedly Helping Undocumented Immigrant Evade ICE”

Corsi Files Complaint Against Mueller For Allegedly Pressuring Him To Lie

Conservative author Jerome Corsi yesterday filed a “criminal and ethics complaint” against Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team trying to coerce him into giving “false testimony” against President Trump.  The filing was reportedly sent to a scattershot list of addresses including Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, D.C.’s U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu and the Bar Disciplinary Counsel.  There is no strong legal basis for such a challenge. If Corsi is charged, he is likely to be charged for alleged false statements and courts rarely explore the motivations in bringing otherwise valid criminal charges. The filing appears designed for public consumption before any indictment is brought against him. Continue reading “Corsi Files Complaint Against Mueller For Allegedly Pressuring Him To Lie”

Famed Yellowstone Wolf “Spitfire” Killed By Trophy Hunter Just Outside Of Yellowstone

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A trophy hunter in Montana killed the most famous and beloved wolf in Yellowstone National Park after “Spitfire” wandered slightly outside of the park.  This hunter will now be able to enjoy the thought of killing this beautiful animal that has inspired thousands of visitors.  Spitfire was a seven-year-old wolf from the Lamar Canyon Wolf Pack and dubbed the Queen of the Lamar Valley. It is a tragedy that is all too familiar, including our prior discussion of the shooting of one of the last wolves from the most famous pack in Denali National Park in Alaska under similar circumstances. Continue reading “Famed Yellowstone Wolf “Spitfire” Killed By Trophy Hunter Just Outside Of Yellowstone”

What Does Mueller Have On Trump?

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the recent insights into the efforts of Special Counsel Robert Mueller to bag President Donald Trump.  There is little ambiguity in these efforts: while Trump is being called a “subject” of the investigation, he is being treated as a “target.”  That danger became more apparent with the later allegations of Michael Cohen that he not only lied to support Trump’s account but that the worked with Trump’s counsel in preparing his false testimony.  He claims to have had “regular contact” with Trump counsel during that period.  That would pose some serious questions for counsel if Cohen was clear that he was giving false testimony.  However, he does not say that.  It still remains unclear how much Cohen is suggesting that the President or his counsel knew about the specifics on the “Moscow Project” or his own falsification of dates and information.

What is clear is that Mueller is still on the hunt for Trump and all eyes should be on Corsi, Stone, and possibly Donald Trump Jr. for the next move. Continue reading “What Does Mueller Have On Trump?”

DC Clerk and Supervisor Refuse Man Marriage License Because New Mexico Is A Foreign Country

Unknown.pngIt has been 106 years since New Mexico became a state but word is a bit show getting to the D.C. government.  Gavin Clarkson told the Las Cruces Sun-News that both a District of Columbia clerk and a supervisor refused to give him a marriage license because New Mexico is a foreign government and he needed to show a proper foreign passport.

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Save The Trees: Washington Appears In A Contest For The Ugliest Christmas Trees

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It appears nothing escapes the wrath of our divided country.  This week however it is Melania Trump who has been slammed for what are being called “the Blood Christmas Trees” after she went with crimson trees that left many . . . all right . . . seeing red.  It was not my cup of tree but I am so traditional that I have opposed the smallest changes in the Christmas dinner menu for five decades.  The review have been scathing from comparisons to “The Handmaid’s Tale” to the “The Shining” and worse.  Frankly, the red trees are not as bad as people suggest and there is a traditional tree at the end.  Moreover, they are certainly not the biggest eyesores in Washington. That distinction goes to the Four Seasons were I spotted these two abominations which left you simply wishing for New Year’s Eve.

 

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Berkeley Professor Proposes Banning Use of Student Evaluations As Disfavoring Female and Minority Instructors

Seal_of_University_of_California,_Berkeley.svgThere is an interesting controversy at the University of California (Berkeley) after history professor Brian DeLay tweeted  that it is time for the school to get rid of the use of end-of-semester student evaluations for hiring, promotion, and tenure decisions. Such evaluations have long been a critical measure of a professor’s credentials.  However, Professor DeLay insists that such evaluations tend to be lower for female instructors and people of color. Thus, his proposal is to stop the use of evaluations for all faculty in decisions related to hiring or promotion. Continue reading “Berkeley Professor Proposes Banning Use of Student Evaluations As Disfavoring Female and Minority Instructors”