Chicago mayor blasts Smollett dismissal as 'whitewash of justice'

Chicago mayor blasts Smollett dismissal as whitewash of justice

CHICAGO (March 26, 2019) — In an astonishing reversal, prosecutors on Tuesday abruptly dropped all charges against Jussie Smollett, abandoning the case barely five weeks after the "Empire" actor was accused of lying to police about being the target of a racist, anti-homosexual attack in downtown Chicago.

The mayor and police chief blasted the decision and stood by the investigation that concluded Smollett staged a hoax.

A visibly angry Mayor Rahm Emanuel called it "a whitewash of justice" and lashed out at Smollett. 

"Is there no decency in this man?" Emanuel told the gathered media.

Smollett's attorneys said his record had "been wiped clean" of the 16 felony counts related to making a false report that he was assaulted by two men. The actor insisted that he had "been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one."

It was not immediately clear what prompted the decision to dismiss the case. In a statement, the Cook County prosecutors' office offered no detailed explanation. The city will keep the $10,000 in bail money that Smollett paid to get out of jail after his arrest.

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Illegal Immigrant Arrested While Driving Wife to Hospital Is Wanted for Murder in Mexico

by Will Racke


An illegal alien who was arrested in southern California while taking his pregnant wife to the hospital is wanted for murder in Mexico, immigration authorities said Saturday.

Joel Arrona Lara, 36, was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers on Wednesday at a gas station in San Bernardino, California. At the time, Arrona was taking his wife, Maria del Carmen Venegas, to the hospital for a scheduled cesarean section, CBS 2 Los Angeles reported.

News of Arrona Lara’s arrest quickly spread nationally, with several media outlets characterizing it as an example of the Trump administration’s heavy-handed crackdown on illegal immigration.

Venegas told CBS 2 in Spanish that Arrona Lara had never been stopped by police and didn’t have a criminal record of any kind, including traffic violations.

But immigration authorities say Arrona Lara is not just an otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrant.

He is also wanted by Mexican authorities for murder.

“Mr. Arrona-Lara was brought to ICE’s attention due to an outstanding warrant for his arrest in Mexico on homicide charges,” ICE spokeswoman Lori Haley told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Security footage from the gas station shows Arrona Lara getting out of his car and being intercepted by ICE officers. A visibly distraught Venegas is then seen using a phone shortly after Arrona Lara is taken away.

Arrona Lara’s lawyer, Emilio Amaya Garcia, accused ICE officers of endangering Venegas and her unborn baby.

“In this case, not only did they put the life of the mother in danger, but also that of the child, who is a citizen of this country,” he told Univision on Thursday.

Arrona Lara has reportedly been living illegally in the U.S. for 12 years. ICE released the following statement about his arrest on Friday:

“Mr. Arrona-Lara, a citizen of Mexico illegally residing in the United States, was taken into custody Wednesday by ICE Fugitive Operations Team officers in San Bernardino, Calif. Mr. Arrona-Lara is currently in ICE custody pending removal proceedings with the Executive Office for Immigration Review.”

“ICE continues to focus its enforcement resources on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security. ICE conducts targeted immigration enforcement in compliance with federal law and agency policy. However, ICE will no longer exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States.”


A version of this article appeared on The Daily Caller News Foundation website.

Trump is right on anchor babies

by Dr. Orly Taitz, ESQ


On Oct 30, 2018 President Trump announced that he will issue an executive order to end birthright citizenship. He states that he can do it by executive action and he might be right.

The 14th amendment states:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

Now, an important point in it is the fact that people, who are foreign citizens, are subject to the jurisdiction of their own nations, not US. Their children automatically inherit the citizenship of the countries of their parents, not US, and they automatically are under the jurisdiction of those foreign nations.

One wrinkle is a decision of the Supreme Court over 100 year ago.

A 1898 Supreme Court decision held that Wong Kim Ark, who was born in San Francisco to Chinese parents residing in the United States, was a citizen because of his birth on American soil.

There can be 2 rebuttals to Wong Kim Ark.

1.Wong Kim Ark’s parents were legal residents, the ruling should not be read as an affirmation of the status of children of undocumented immigrants.

2. The Supreme Court might disavow, overturn this precedent as it was done by overturning 1857 decision in Dred Scott v Sandford. Supreme Court might decide that the decision in Wong Kim Ark needs to be clarified in that a child follows the legal immigration status of his parents. If the parents are legal residents, the child gets status of a legal resident, if the parent is a foreign citizen illegally residing in the US, the child is a foreign resident illegally residing in the US.  Supreme Court might decide that this clarification is needed as birthright citizenship is a magnet that led to an invasion of millions of illegal aliens with the hope of having anchor babies.

According to the US government we have 12 million illegals. According to the Center for immigration studies and the former ambassador of Mexico, we have over 30 million illegals, which is an enormous burden on our welfare system and which causes wages to stagnate.


Report: Federal Prosecutors Weighing Criminal Charges Against Former Obama White House Counsel

By Jack Davis

An attorney who served as White House counsel in the Obama administration is under investigation for his role in dealings linked to the case against Paul Manafort, according to a report from CNN, citing sources “familiar with the matter.”

Manafort, who briefly served as Donald Trump’s campaign manager, was the target of an investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Manafort pleaded guilty on Friday to conspiring to defraud the United States and conspiring to obstruct justice, both having to do with dealings in Ukraine that took place years before his involvement with the Trump campaign.

CNN reported Friday that attorney Greg Craig, who was White House counsel from 2009 to 2010, is under scrutiny over whether he lobbied for Ukrainian leaders without registering as a foreign agent.

The investigation also touches on the firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, where Craig was a partner at the time.

Craig’s actions were taken after he left the White House, according to the report.

Connections between Manafort, the firm and Craig were revealed in filings in the Manafort case.

Craig’s attorney William Taylor III said his client did nothing wrong.

“Greg Craig was not required to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act,” Taylor said in a statement, Law.com reported.

Craig himself would not comment on the investigation.

This is not the first controversial case for Taylor, who represented Fusion GPS, the firm involved in the production of a dossier of discredited claims against Trump.

NBC News reported that Craig was the supervisor of Alex van der Zwaan, a Skadden lawyer who has pleaded guilty to lying to prosecutors and about communications concerning the Ukrainian politician for whom Manafort was also working.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office and Justice Department have not yet decided if they will file charges against either Craig or the law firm, CNN reported.

The law firm was paid more than $4.6 million, which Manafort sought to hide, the court filing said.

Bloomberg reported that the law firm is also facing questions of conflict of interest in the issues surrounding former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

Skadden lawyers, which would have included Craig,  may have violated their ethical responsibilities through their actions, said Rebecca Roiphe, who provides instruction on legal ethics at New York Law School.

“Skadden could face some problems with disciplinary authorities in D.C., assuming this is as bad and as baseless as described,” she said.




Climate Alarmists Get Two Strikes In Court — They Should Be Out

by  H. Sterling Burnett


In July, federal Judge John F. Keenan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed New York City's lawsuit against five major oil companies. The lawsuit sought to force the oil companies to help pay NYC's alleged costs associated with climate change.

Keenan's ruling was the second victory against municipal governments seeking to use the judiciary to address problems purportedly caused by climate change. The first triumph came in June, when Judge William H. Alsup of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco threw out a similar lawsuit against the same five companies — BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, and Royal Dutch Shell — in a case brought by Oakland and San Francisco.

In the 23-page decision dismissing New York City's lawsuit, Keenan wrote climate change must be addressed by the executive branch and Congress, not by the courts. Although climate change "is a fact of life," Keenan wrote, "the serious problems caused thereby are not for the judiciary to ameliorate. Global warming and solutions thereto must be addressed by the two other branches of government."

Keenan ruled New York's state and federal common law claims were prohibited under the Clean Air Act. He stated it would be "illogical" and would violate U.S. Supreme Court precedent to allow the claims under state common law "when courts have found that these matters are areas of federal concern that have been delegated to the executive branch as they require a uniform, national solution … (and) the Clean Air Act displaces the City's claims seeking damages for past and future domestic greenhouse gas emissions brought under federal common law."

In addition, Keenan determined NYC's lawsuit is unjustified because the city contributed carbon dioxide emissions and benefited from fossil-fuel use.

"(I)t is not clear that Defendants' fossil fuel production and the emissions created therefrom have been an 'unlawful invasion' in New York City, as the City benefits from and participates in the use of fossil fuels as a source of power, and has done so for many decades," wrote Keenan.

Climate policy is solely within the domain of the legislative and executive branches of the federal government, as two federal judges have amply demonstrated in their written decisions.

However, states and cities seem intent on banging their heads up against this legal brick wall.

On July 2, just a week after Alsup threw out a climate lawsuit brought by Oakland and San Francisco, Rhode Island filed a lawsuit against oil companies to recover the costs from supposed climate change. On July 20, just a day after Keenan dismissed NYC's lawsuit, Baltimore sued oil companies for climate change expenses in Maryland. Furthermore, New York City, Oakland, and San Francisco plan to appeal their cases' dismissals.

Climate Change Lawsuits: A Waste

Apparently, these cities and states have no serious problems — such as crime, budget shortfalls, and education woes — for which the resources devoted to these lawsuits might be better used, or their leaders just don't care if they waste taxpayers' money on frivolous lawsuits. It seems as though the several attorneys general pursuing these pointless lawsuits are so caught up in the grip of climate mania, they just can't let go, the law be damned.

Or perhaps the lawsuits are simply an attempted shakedown of an industry with deep pockets. These cities and states desperately hope oil companies will ultimately settle out of court, agreeing to pay billions of dollars and promising not to fight climate change legislation in the future.

Furthermore, these out-of-touch environmental zealots want to force oil companies to shift their investments from fossil fuels to politically connected, highly subsidized green-energy power sources. Oil companies have not succumbed to these outrageous demands yet, and it seems unlikely they will any time soon, with their continued profitability and their very existence at stake — as well as two legal wins under their belt.

It is long past time to end this game of legal whack-a-mole. Alsup and Keenan should require cities to pay the court costs, attorney fees, and other expenses incurred by oil companies thus warning municipal and state climate zealots seeking big paydays there is a price to pay for wasting courts' time.



Burnett, Ph.D. is a senior fellow on energy and the environment at The Heartland Institute, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research center headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

Trump Admin Fights Back, Wants Judge to Toss Lawsuits So it Can Defund Planned Parenthood

by Micaiah Bilger


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The Trump administration is fighting back against lawsuits challenging its efforts to defund the abortion giant Planned Parenthood.

This week, attorneys for the government asked federal judges to dismiss two lawsuits the abortion chain filed against changes to Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) program grants, Reuters reports.

In June, Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit challenging a Department of Health and Human Services decision to prioritize sexual risk avoidance programs instead of the abortion giant’s risky sex education programs.

The Trump administration also cut millions of dollars in TPP program grants to the abortion chain in 2017 after evidence showed the program was not effective. However, the abortion chain is suing to stop those cuts as well in a separate lawsuit.

Lawyers for HHS argued this week that Planned Parenthood chose not to apply for the grants under the new changes so it does not have standing to sue, according to the report.

The Daily Caller reports more:

HHS lawyers countered that the new criteria for awarding grants under the program, which they changed in May, was “reasonable” and consistent with HHS’s past practices and congressional intent. Under the new criteria, recipients for grants must either follow a “sexual risk reduction model” or a “sexual risk avoidance model,” which aim to curb or completely stop sexual activity among teens respectively.

Planned Parenthood asserted that HHS’s new approach “stigmatizes” teens who have sex and that it prevents them from informed decision-making concerning intercourse, according to Reuters. HHS argued, however, it does not favor “sexual risk avoidance models” over “sexual risk reduction models,” and that halting grants to organizations that do follow a sexual risk avoidance model would not serve the public good, since such organizations can put those grants to “good use.”

Planned Parenthood did not comment on the development.

HHS spokesman Mark Vafiades previously told the New York Times there is very little evidence that the TPP programs were working under the Obama administration model.

Vafiades said the evidence of a positive impact is “very weak,” and the Trump administration wants to support science-based programs that provide “youth with the information and skills they need to avoid the many risks associated with teen sex.”

SIGN THE PETITION! Congress Must De-Fund Planned Parenthood Immediately

In 2017, the Office of Adolescent Health issued two reports evaluating the program. Of the 38 programs examined in the report, only one “reported a long-term reduction in overall rates of teen sexual activity. Nearly all of the evaluations found no long-term difference in sexual activity, use of contraception, or pregnancy rates between students enrolling in these programs and students in control groups,” Dr. Michael New, a professor at Ave Maria University, wrote in 2017.

HHS also pointed to research indicating that 73 percent of the TPP programs under the Obama administration either had a negative impact or none at all.

Many parents become very upset when they learn Planned Parenthood teaches their teenagers about sex. School districts in North Carolina and Michigan recently rejected Planned Parenthood sex education programs because of a strong public outcry.

Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the United States, aborting more than 320,000 unborn babies every year. The abortion chain also teaches sex education in public schools across the country, and promotes risky sexual behavior to vulnerable young teens at its clinics.

Planned Parenthood affiliates received several million dollars in taxpayer funds through the TPP grants. Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and Hawaiian Islands received $1 million annually to target rural teens. Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho, as well as Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, also received grants of nearly $1 million each annually to promote their risky sex agenda to teens.






$3.7 billion tax increase set up by courts and schools

{The Kansas school funding issue comes back again and again to punish citizens because of the illegal 2005 Montoy v Kansas  decision which forever enshrined the lawless Kansas Supreme Court as the 'ultimate authority' (not the people)  dictating the amount of money that must be spent to satisfy a clause in the Kansas Constitution defining "a suitable education.' There is no school funding formula that can ever be devised to prevent the endless lawsuits against the state legislature from Alan L. Rupe and company which will eventually bankrupt Kansas citizens thanks to the worthless Kansas Legislature who has failed to prevent the Court's usurpation of power. -  ED}

by Kansas Policy Institute

This calculation is produced by the Kansas Legislative Research Department (KLRD) and presents a long-term picture of the tax revenue needed to pay for the increased school funding.

Aug. 2 - Wichita - Kansas taxpayers are being set up for a $3.7 billion tax increase over the next four years unless the majority of elected officials reduce costs and stop taking orders from a runaway judiciary.  That’s what it would take to have a structurally balanced budget, with each year’s spending not exceeding that year’s tax collections.  

The calculation is based on having a legally-required ending balance[i] without transfers from the highway fund and making all scheduled KPERS pension payments through FY 2023.  The only spending increases included are those related to approved school funding, the Department of Education’s (KSDE) calculation of complying with the latest Supreme Court ruling and KLRD’s caseload estimate for existing Medicaid coverage.

About $624 million of the tax increase is already in place, noted as ‘Federal Tax Adjustment’ in the table linked here.  Federal tax reform eliminates personal exemptions, caps itemized deductions for some people and imposes higher taxes on many businesses.  The Kansas Senate voted to prevent this backdoor state income tax hike but too many House members wanted more money to spend.

Paying for approved school funding without gimmicks (transfers, KPERS delays, ignoring the ending balance law, etc.) will cost another $2.1 billion and if elected officials decide to meet KSDE’s $365 million estimate of the latest court demand, another $940 million tax hike will be needed.

The tax impact of paying for the new school funding is much greater than the simple total of the funding approved because of the cumulative impact of adding more money each year.  The estimate of meeting the court’s latest demand is a good example.

KSDE says funding would have to increase a little over $91 million each year and would, therefore, be $365 million higher in the fourth year; but that amounts to $912.3 million more being spent over the four-year period.

KSDE calculates the total amount approved thus far for FY 2018 through FY 2023 at just over $1 billion dollars.  Total aid as calculated by KSDE would slightly exceed $8 billion in FY 2023 even if federal aid remains flat and local revenue is only nominally increased.  If legislators provide the additional aid KSDE says is needed to satisfy the court with enrollment increases as KSDE anticipates, per-pupil funding would be $16,520 in FY 2023.
__________________
[i] State law requires an ending balance equal to 7.5 percent of expenditures.  Legislators and governors have often ignored that legal requirement over the last couple of decades by periodically changing the law to effectively say, ‘except this year.’





Kansas Supreme Court Once Again Dictates the Level of School Spending

by Allen Williams


If you have ever lived in Kansas then you know that the state's judiciary gains bench positions by appointment NOT election.  "These efforts succeeded in 1958, when Kansas voters approved a constitutional amendment authorizing merit selection of supreme court justices. The amendment's success can be attributed to the intensive lobbying efforts of the Kansas Bar Association and the political scandal aptly titled the "triple play of 1956," in which the governor and chief justice resigned their positions with the understanding that the lieutenant governor--who would become the governor--would appoint the former governor as chief justice. "

"The current procedure for filling a Supreme Court judgeship is very simple. A panel of lawyers [and non-lawyers] creates a list of fellow lawyers as candidates. That list is submitted to the governor and who appoints someone from that list. There is no vote. There is no confirmation process. There is no investigation or approval of any kind. The result of the current process is a judiciary run amuck.  A prime example is the Kansas Supreme Court. In the last session of the legislature, judges were caught discussing legislation with senate members and ethics complaints were lodged (they are still pending).  That same court has, in direct violation of the Kansas Constitution, ordered increases in school spending, a function reserved to the legislature. By its illegal actions, the court has effected increases that will force each man, woman, and child in the State of Kansas to pay an extra $400 per year in taxes by the year 2009."   It's a nice little monopoly  where, as KU law professor Stephen Ware, has noted some 10,000 people control 2.8 million.

I
n 2005
a petition was circulated by Wayne Flaherty and Judicial Watch for a constitutional amendment to change the judicial selection system to popular election. The state legislature failed to pass the amendment. The same year Topeka judge Terry Bullock ordered an increase of One Billion dollars for K-12 education in schools. This ruling violated the separation of powers via legislating from the bench. However, it was Kansas Supreme Court Justice Lawton Nuss who dictated the monetary amount in the Montoy decision to the state legislature that forever transferred spending authority from the Kansas Legislature to the Kansas Supreme Court.

In past years a number of attempts have been made to return judicial selection to popular election but the proposals were always beaten back by the public education system and its many supporters who obviously profit from the corruption of the current system.  Finally in 2013, then Governor Sam Brownback replaced merit selection for appeals court judges with gubenatorial appointment and Senate confirmation as in the case of federal judges.  A Kansas constitutional amendment to move the state judiciary to the federal model failed during Brownbacks tenure as governor. And in 2015, incredibly the Kansas Supreme Court, found that the state legislature's attempt to defund the court was unconstitutional. This decision has denied the people of Kansas the right of self government and established the Kansas Supreme Court as a ruling olighargy

The Kansas Court system is a corruption cesspoll and it hasn't disappointed.

Alan Rupe and his legal team have carved out a sweet niche suing the state legislature through the years to force higher taxes for education. Due to the obscure wording in the Kansas Constitution requiring a 'suitable education'. Many attempts have been made in the past to formulate a 'funding formula' for 309 Kansas school districts.

That's an awfully large number of school districts for such a small state you might think. Well, yes but absolutely essential to keep the for profit school indoctrination system rolling.  And public money makes the Kansas education system the largest PAC-lobby in the state. 

Here's how the school funding merri-go-round works:

(1) The state legislature develops a school funding formula which is always 'unfair' to some particular school district and in some cases nearly all by agreement. Greed dictates the relative 'degree of unfairness', etc.  (2) Rupe and his team go to court, finding a synpathetic judge isn't difficult because the lawyers control the judicial selection process. (3) The lawyers argue that the funding formula distributions aren't equitable or isn't weighted properly or the current formula simply fails to provide a 'suitable education' (Doesn't spend enough money) (4) The court agrees. Legal appeals are made and eventually the Kansas Supreme Court affirms the lower court ruling for a fixed sum of money to finance education.(5) Go immediately back to (1) and begin the process anew.

Kansas is under authoritarain rule held hostage by a judicial hunta.

Only Hope for Kansas Student Education is a Constitutional Amendment

by Dave Trabert


Kansas students deserve constitutional amendment


On the Courts Allocating Education Spending Levels:

The Gannon v Kansas decision confirms that the only hope for students to get the education they deserve depends upon a constitutional amendment that prohibits the court from setting funding levels, and legislation that holds schools accountable for academic improvement at the building level.

What it Means for Taxpayers:
Rejecting a six-year $818 million funding increase as ‘inadequate’ is preposterous.  On top of the biggest tax increase in state history, Kansans face another inevitable tax increase to fund the $818 million already approved for schools -- and now unelected judges are effectively ordering even more tax hikes.

On the Disconnect Between Higher Spending and Student Achievement: 
We cannot be misled by the faulty premise that higher spending can produce greater results for our students. It’s time to end the decades-long cycle of litigation that has cost taxpayers millions. We must encourage our leaders in the legislature to ask the right questions about education spending; questions that put our students and teachers first.


Rutherford Institute Asks U. S. Supreme Court to Defend the First Amendment Right of Retailers Not to Be Forced to Speak for Government

by Nisha Whitehread


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Insisting that retailers have a First Amendment right not to be forced to speak for the government, attorneys for The Rutherford Institute have filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court urging the Court to strike down an ordinance requiring cell phone retailers to tell consumers that cell phones are dangerous.

In the brief filed in CTIA-Wireless Association v. The City of Berkeley, Institute attorneys ask the Court to declare unconstitutional an ordinance adopted by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors requiring cell phone retailers to advise purchasers about the disputed health effects of cell phone usage. Institute attorneys argue that the ordinance is unconstitutional because it forces citizens to become unwilling mouthpieces for the controversial viewpoints of their elected officials.       

The Rutherford Institute’s amicus brief in CTIA-Wireless Association v. The City of Berkeley is available at www.rutherford.org. Attorney Michael Lockerby of Foley & Lardner LLP, in Washington, D.C., assisted The Rutherford Institute with the First Amendment brief.

“The very purpose of the First Amendment, as Justice Hugo L. Black recognized, is to ensure that Americans are free to think, speak, write and worship as they please, not as the government dictates,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of Battlefield America: The War on the American People. “Well-meaning or not, the government’s desire to communicate a disputed health alert about cell phone usage cannot be permitted to trump the First Amendment rights of citizens—including retailers—to decide for themselves whether or not to advance such a message.”

In 2015, the City of Berkeley, Calif., passed an ordinance requiring cell phone retailers within the city to provide all persons purchasing or leasing a cell phone a statement relating to the effects of cell phone use. Retailers are required to tell customers that, “to assure safety,” federal guidelines require phones to limit radio-frequency exposure, and that if users carry a cell phone on their person while the phone is on they may exceed those guidelines. However, city council members admitted they had no scientific evidence that cell phones pose a health risk and the Federal Communications Commission has determined there is no scientific evidence linking wireless device use and cancer or other illnesses. In addition, the World Health Organization issued a report in June 2011 which concluded that after a large number of studies, no adverse health effects had been established as being caused by mobile phone use.

Hoping to prevent enforcement of the ordinance, the wireless industry filed a lawsuit arguing that the mandated statement was false and misleading and that it compelled retailers to speak in violation of their First Amendment rights. The trial and appellate courts rejected the constitutional claims, ruling that the mandated disclosures have a reasonable relationship to public safety. The wireless industry petitioned the Supreme Court to review that ruling. In its amicus brief supporting the wireless industry’s petition, The Rutherford Institute argues that the lower courts’ rulings will grant the government the power to compel citizens to make statements with which they disagree, even though the statements may be misleading and controversial.