Featured Story

Secretary of Labor: Who Is Alex Acosta?

Monday, February 27, 2017
Acosta's cases included lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who pleaded guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy in a casino deal; and Jose Padilla, accused of planning a “dirty bomb” attack. Acosta also cut a deal with Palm Beach financier Jeffrey Epstein, a social acquaintance of Donald Trump, who was accused of operating an international sex ring involving underage girls. In the deal, Acosta turned prosecution over to the state of Florida, which charged Epstein with a relatively minor offense.   read more
Latest News

Top Stories

  • Chief of U.S. Border Patrol: Who Is Ron Vitiello?

    Wednesday, February 22, 2017
    While Vitiello was in the Rio Grande Valley, the George W. Bush administration was working to complete a border fence in the region. The planned fence would have cut through the campus of the University of Texas-Brownsville, whose charter has a bi-national mission. School officials met with Vitiello to try to get some accommodation on the fence, but Vitiello told them the meeting was a waste of time. “He wanted to stop the conversation instantly,” said university consultant Putegnat.   read more
  • Secretary of Agriculture: Who Is Sonny Perdue?

    Tuesday, February 21, 2017
    Perdue has a grasp on the Agriculture Dept, but the form it takes remains to be seen. While he was governor of Georgia, the state food safety budget was slashed by 29%. In 2006, Perdue paid $2 million for land near Disney World to a developer he’d put on Georgia’s economic development board. Perdue then got a bill passed, backdated to save him $100,000 in capital gains taxes on the land sale. During his re-election campaign, he pretended he didn’t know he'd benefit from the tax break.   read more
  • Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement: Who Is Thomas Homan?

    Monday, February 20, 2017
    Donald Trump promised to deport undocumented immigrants and in Thomas Homan, now acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), he has a man who won an award for deporting thousands of people. Trump tapped Homan to lead ICE in January 2017. At about that time, as ICE appeared to step up its pace of raids and deportations, Homan agreed to sit down on February 14 with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to address its concerns about the raids. He later backed out of the meeting.   read more

Unusual News

  • In Small Louisiana Town, Hundreds Routinely Jailed with No Evidence of Crime beyond a “Hunch”

    Friday, December 30, 2016
    A "staggering" number of town residents have been arrested based on a “hunch” or “feeling” that they were involved in criminal activity. Police strip-searched individuals suspected of committing crimes, placed them in cells without beds, toilets, or showers, and denied them communication with loved ones for days at a time. Citizens were “commonly detained for 72 hours or more without being provided an opportunity to contest their arrest and detention,” said the Justice Department report.   read more
  • Workplace Deaths in 2015 Hit 6-Year High

    Sunday, December 25, 2016
    There were 2,054 transportation-related episodes that resulted in fatalities, accounting for about 42 percent of all workplace deaths. As a result, 745 drivers of heavy and tractor-trailer trucks died because of injuries at work last year, more than any other major civilian occupation. Falls, slips and trips made up the next most common major cause of workplace fatalities, resulting in 800 deaths last year. Men accounted for all but 7 percent of the total workplace deaths in 2015.   read more
  • What’s the Most Annoying Word in America?

    Sunday, December 25, 2016
    The pollsters offered up five options for most annoying word or phrase: "Whatever," ''No offense, but," ''Ya know, right," ''I can't even" and "huge." "No offense, but" is second with 20 percent. In third place is, "You know, right," which is irksome to 14 percent of people, tied with "I can't even." ''Huge" grates on the nerves of 8 percent. "Whatever" is losing some steam, though. Last year it topped the list at 43 percent.   read more

Where is the Money Going?

  • Reducing Aircrafts’ Bathroom Size Increases Airline Profits and Decreases Passenger Safety

    Saturday, December 24, 2016
    AFA-CWA's Sara Nelson said that “doors of these restrooms open into each other, creating safety issues. There are a lot of injuries, with smashed fingers, doors hitting people, bumps and bruises.” She said the rear cabin restroom doors also create a barricade, limiting the ability of crew to help a passenger in trouble. Some parents with small kids say they can't help their kids in the toilet unless the door stays open. Large-size passengers are at a loss.   read more
  • Price of Antidote for Heroin Overdose Skyrockets as Much As 500%

    Friday, December 16, 2016
    The price of Narcan -- the lifesaving heroin-overdose antidote that revives the dying -- has skyrocketed, with one formulation rising more than 500% in two years. Although Narcan first hit the market in 1971, demand has skyrocketed as the opioid epidemic worsens. And with more potent opioids on the street -- such as fentanyl -- first responders, the largest consumers of the drug, are finding they need multiple doses to revive overdose victims.   read more
  • Trump Claims His Support for Dakota Pipeline is Unrelated to His Stock Ownership in Project Participants

    Monday, December 05, 2016
    President-elect Donald Trump supports completion of the disputed Dakota Access oil pipeline in the Midwest, based on policy and not the billionaire businessman's investments in a partnership building the $3.8 billion pipeline, according to an aide's memo. Trump's most recent federal disclosure forms show he owned a small amount of stock in Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, the pipeline builder, and at least $100,000 in Phillips 66, an energy company that owns one-quarter of the pipeline.   read more

Controversies

  • 97 Corporations and 16 State Attorneys General Join Court Fight against Trump Travel Ban

    Tuesday, February 07, 2017
    “President Trump’s executive order is unconstitutional, unlawful, and fundamentally un-American...[and] undermines our states’ families, economies, and institutions," said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. High-ranking U.S. security officials, including Madeleine Albright, Leon Panetta and John Kerry signed a declaration arguing the ban endangers U.S. citizens. “We view the order as one that ultimately undermines the national security of the United States...” the officials said.   read more
  • Texas Judge Halts Federal Transgender Health Protections

    Sunday, January 01, 2017
    "Judge O'Connor's conclusion that transgender people and persons who have had abortions are somehow excepted from protection is deeply troubling, legally specious, and morally repugnant," said TLDEF's Ezra Young. Many transgender people expect Trump as president to abandon or weaken the transgender protection efforts pursued by the Obama administration. He has declined to repudiate a divisive North Carolina law that restricts transgender people's bathroom access.   read more
  • State Lawmakers’ Skimpy 1-Sentence Draft Bills Often Mislead Public

    Saturday, December 31, 2016
    Some lawmakers and advocacy groups are critical of these vague and skimpy one-sentence bill drafts, saying they can shut out the public from important policy discussions, be used as a bait-and-switch tactic or lead to unintended consequences. Several lawmakers said that the finished product doesn't always get another public hearing. The National Conference of State Legislatures criticized such skeleton bills decades ago and in 1996 identified a dozen or so states that allowed them.   read more

U.S. and the World

  • Which Countries have been Killing Americans? The Trump 7 vs. the Rest of the World

    Sunday, January 29, 2017
    These are the seven countries from which President Donald Trump halted entry to the United States: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Including all terrorist acts committed by terrorists who were foreign-born or whose parents were born abroad, the total number of Americans killed by terrorists from the Trump 7 is…zero. On the other hand, terrorists from other countries have killed 2, 689 Americans. Here are some examples.   read more
  • Trump Proceeds with Development of Luxury Resorts Tied to Powerful Indonesian Political Figures

    Sunday, January 01, 2017
    Even as Trump says he'll end foreign business deals, he's taking on projects involving powerful political figures. They include a politician accused of trying to extort billions of dollars from a U.S. mining company, a top shareholder in that company, and a billionaire running for national office. “You could have two world leaders that are business partners,” said a Bush lawyer. “It makes it almost impossible to conduct diplomacy in an evenhanded manner." Said Trump: "It's not a big deal."   read more
  • U.S. Program to seize Assets Stolen by Corrupt Foreign Leaders May be undermined by Trump’s Global Business Interests

    Sunday, January 01, 2017
    It's been a 6-year U.S. effort to seize $3 billion in assets of foreign officials who use their countries’ wealth to enrich themselves. If Trump doesn't separate his business from politics, it will be tougher for the Justice Dept to criticize foreign leaders who have gained wealth based on their government ties. "It reduces U.S. leverage because of the perceived hypocrisy. The moral case is drastically undermined,” said prof. Stephenson.   read more

Appointments and Resignations

  • Director of the United States Attorneys: Who is Monty Wilkinson?

    Thursday, February 23, 2017
    In 1989, Wilkinson became a judicial law clerk to Eric Holder, who was at that time a judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. In 1990, Wilkinson joined the criminal division of the U.S. Dept of Justice, where he worked as a trial attorney in the Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section and the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section. Three years later, he became special counsel to U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia (Holder), a position that lasted nearly four years.   read more
  • Chairman of the U.S. Parole Commission: Who is J. Patricia Wilson Smoot?

    Wednesday, February 22, 2017
    Smoot's desire to help those in need led her to become a public defender. When she saw an interview with then-U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on television, in which he said that attorneys who excel at defense work make the best candidates for prosecutors, she applied for one of the 15 open positions and landed the job. She later worked to establish the USPC Mental Health Docket, which provides non-violent criminal offenders who have mental health disorders with alternatives to incarceration.   read more
  • Acting Director of the U.S. National Central Bureau of INTERPOL: Who is Wayne Salzgaber?

    Tuesday, February 21, 2017
    In 2010, Salzgaber received an appointment to the Senior Executive Service as deputy assistant inspector general for investigations. In that post, he headed the DHS OIG’s Investigative Field Operations Division, in charge of the agency’s investigative operations in 14 regional offices. In 2012, he became principal advisor to the Dept of Homeland Security. In 2015, Salzgaber was appointed deputy director of the U.S. National Central Bureau of INTERPOL.   read more

Featured Story

Secretary of Labor: Who Is Alex Acosta?

Monday, February 27, 2017
Acosta's cases included lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who pleaded guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy in a casino deal; and Jose Padilla, accused of planning a “dirty bomb” attack. Acosta also cut a deal with Palm Beach financier Jeffrey Epstein, a social acquaintance of Donald Trump, who was accused of operating an international sex ring involving underage girls. In the deal, Acosta turned prosecution over to the state of Florida, which charged Epstein with a relatively minor offense.   read more
Latest News

Top Stories

  • Chief of U.S. Border Patrol: Who Is Ron Vitiello?

    Wednesday, February 22, 2017
    While Vitiello was in the Rio Grande Valley, the George W. Bush administration was working to complete a border fence in the region. The planned fence would have cut through the campus of the University of Texas-Brownsville, whose charter has a bi-national mission. School officials met with Vitiello to try to get some accommodation on the fence, but Vitiello told them the meeting was a waste of time. “He wanted to stop the conversation instantly,” said university consultant Putegnat.   read more
  • Secretary of Agriculture: Who Is Sonny Perdue?

    Tuesday, February 21, 2017
    Perdue has a grasp on the Agriculture Dept, but the form it takes remains to be seen. While he was governor of Georgia, the state food safety budget was slashed by 29%. In 2006, Perdue paid $2 million for land near Disney World to a developer he’d put on Georgia’s economic development board. Perdue then got a bill passed, backdated to save him $100,000 in capital gains taxes on the land sale. During his re-election campaign, he pretended he didn’t know he'd benefit from the tax break.   read more
  • Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement: Who Is Thomas Homan?

    Monday, February 20, 2017
    Donald Trump promised to deport undocumented immigrants and in Thomas Homan, now acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), he has a man who won an award for deporting thousands of people. Trump tapped Homan to lead ICE in January 2017. At about that time, as ICE appeared to step up its pace of raids and deportations, Homan agreed to sit down on February 14 with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to address its concerns about the raids. He later backed out of the meeting.   read more

Unusual News

  • In Small Louisiana Town, Hundreds Routinely Jailed with No Evidence of Crime beyond a “Hunch”

    Friday, December 30, 2016
    A "staggering" number of town residents have been arrested based on a “hunch” or “feeling” that they were involved in criminal activity. Police strip-searched individuals suspected of committing crimes, placed them in cells without beds, toilets, or showers, and denied them communication with loved ones for days at a time. Citizens were “commonly detained for 72 hours or more without being provided an opportunity to contest their arrest and detention,” said the Justice Department report.   read more
  • Workplace Deaths in 2015 Hit 6-Year High

    Sunday, December 25, 2016
    There were 2,054 transportation-related episodes that resulted in fatalities, accounting for about 42 percent of all workplace deaths. As a result, 745 drivers of heavy and tractor-trailer trucks died because of injuries at work last year, more than any other major civilian occupation. Falls, slips and trips made up the next most common major cause of workplace fatalities, resulting in 800 deaths last year. Men accounted for all but 7 percent of the total workplace deaths in 2015.   read more
  • What’s the Most Annoying Word in America?

    Sunday, December 25, 2016
    The pollsters offered up five options for most annoying word or phrase: "Whatever," ''No offense, but," ''Ya know, right," ''I can't even" and "huge." "No offense, but" is second with 20 percent. In third place is, "You know, right," which is irksome to 14 percent of people, tied with "I can't even." ''Huge" grates on the nerves of 8 percent. "Whatever" is losing some steam, though. Last year it topped the list at 43 percent.   read more

Where is the Money Going?

  • Reducing Aircrafts’ Bathroom Size Increases Airline Profits and Decreases Passenger Safety

    Saturday, December 24, 2016
    AFA-CWA's Sara Nelson said that “doors of these restrooms open into each other, creating safety issues. There are a lot of injuries, with smashed fingers, doors hitting people, bumps and bruises.” She said the rear cabin restroom doors also create a barricade, limiting the ability of crew to help a passenger in trouble. Some parents with small kids say they can't help their kids in the toilet unless the door stays open. Large-size passengers are at a loss.   read more
  • Price of Antidote for Heroin Overdose Skyrockets as Much As 500%

    Friday, December 16, 2016
    The price of Narcan -- the lifesaving heroin-overdose antidote that revives the dying -- has skyrocketed, with one formulation rising more than 500% in two years. Although Narcan first hit the market in 1971, demand has skyrocketed as the opioid epidemic worsens. And with more potent opioids on the street -- such as fentanyl -- first responders, the largest consumers of the drug, are finding they need multiple doses to revive overdose victims.   read more
  • Trump Claims His Support for Dakota Pipeline is Unrelated to His Stock Ownership in Project Participants

    Monday, December 05, 2016
    President-elect Donald Trump supports completion of the disputed Dakota Access oil pipeline in the Midwest, based on policy and not the billionaire businessman's investments in a partnership building the $3.8 billion pipeline, according to an aide's memo. Trump's most recent federal disclosure forms show he owned a small amount of stock in Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, the pipeline builder, and at least $100,000 in Phillips 66, an energy company that owns one-quarter of the pipeline.   read more

Controversies

  • 97 Corporations and 16 State Attorneys General Join Court Fight against Trump Travel Ban

    Tuesday, February 07, 2017
    “President Trump’s executive order is unconstitutional, unlawful, and fundamentally un-American...[and] undermines our states’ families, economies, and institutions," said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. High-ranking U.S. security officials, including Madeleine Albright, Leon Panetta and John Kerry signed a declaration arguing the ban endangers U.S. citizens. “We view the order as one that ultimately undermines the national security of the United States...” the officials said.   read more
  • Texas Judge Halts Federal Transgender Health Protections

    Sunday, January 01, 2017
    "Judge O'Connor's conclusion that transgender people and persons who have had abortions are somehow excepted from protection is deeply troubling, legally specious, and morally repugnant," said TLDEF's Ezra Young. Many transgender people expect Trump as president to abandon or weaken the transgender protection efforts pursued by the Obama administration. He has declined to repudiate a divisive North Carolina law that restricts transgender people's bathroom access.   read more
  • State Lawmakers’ Skimpy 1-Sentence Draft Bills Often Mislead Public

    Saturday, December 31, 2016
    Some lawmakers and advocacy groups are critical of these vague and skimpy one-sentence bill drafts, saying they can shut out the public from important policy discussions, be used as a bait-and-switch tactic or lead to unintended consequences. Several lawmakers said that the finished product doesn't always get another public hearing. The National Conference of State Legislatures criticized such skeleton bills decades ago and in 1996 identified a dozen or so states that allowed them.   read more

U.S. and the World

  • Which Countries have been Killing Americans? The Trump 7 vs. the Rest of the World

    Sunday, January 29, 2017
    These are the seven countries from which President Donald Trump halted entry to the United States: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Including all terrorist acts committed by terrorists who were foreign-born or whose parents were born abroad, the total number of Americans killed by terrorists from the Trump 7 is…zero. On the other hand, terrorists from other countries have killed 2, 689 Americans. Here are some examples.   read more
  • Trump Proceeds with Development of Luxury Resorts Tied to Powerful Indonesian Political Figures

    Sunday, January 01, 2017
    Even as Trump says he'll end foreign business deals, he's taking on projects involving powerful political figures. They include a politician accused of trying to extort billions of dollars from a U.S. mining company, a top shareholder in that company, and a billionaire running for national office. “You could have two world leaders that are business partners,” said a Bush lawyer. “It makes it almost impossible to conduct diplomacy in an evenhanded manner." Said Trump: "It's not a big deal."   read more
  • U.S. Program to seize Assets Stolen by Corrupt Foreign Leaders May be undermined by Trump’s Global Business Interests

    Sunday, January 01, 2017
    It's been a 6-year U.S. effort to seize $3 billion in assets of foreign officials who use their countries’ wealth to enrich themselves. If Trump doesn't separate his business from politics, it will be tougher for the Justice Dept to criticize foreign leaders who have gained wealth based on their government ties. "It reduces U.S. leverage because of the perceived hypocrisy. The moral case is drastically undermined,” said prof. Stephenson.   read more

Appointments and Resignations

  • Director of the United States Attorneys: Who is Monty Wilkinson?

    Thursday, February 23, 2017
    In 1989, Wilkinson became a judicial law clerk to Eric Holder, who was at that time a judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. In 1990, Wilkinson joined the criminal division of the U.S. Dept of Justice, where he worked as a trial attorney in the Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section and the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section. Three years later, he became special counsel to U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia (Holder), a position that lasted nearly four years.   read more
  • Chairman of the U.S. Parole Commission: Who is J. Patricia Wilson Smoot?

    Wednesday, February 22, 2017
    Smoot's desire to help those in need led her to become a public defender. When she saw an interview with then-U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on television, in which he said that attorneys who excel at defense work make the best candidates for prosecutors, she applied for one of the 15 open positions and landed the job. She later worked to establish the USPC Mental Health Docket, which provides non-violent criminal offenders who have mental health disorders with alternatives to incarceration.   read more
  • Acting Director of the U.S. National Central Bureau of INTERPOL: Who is Wayne Salzgaber?

    Tuesday, February 21, 2017
    In 2010, Salzgaber received an appointment to the Senior Executive Service as deputy assistant inspector general for investigations. In that post, he headed the DHS OIG’s Investigative Field Operations Division, in charge of the agency’s investigative operations in 14 regional offices. In 2012, he became principal advisor to the Dept of Homeland Security. In 2015, Salzgaber was appointed deputy director of the U.S. National Central Bureau of INTERPOL.   read more