December 30, 2011 at 6:17 PM EST - Republican Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann was caught red-handed reading from prepared notes, on the heels of mocking Barack Obama’s use of teleprompters. Bachmann has gone on record to claim that there would be "no teleprompters in the Bachmann White House."
The following photo of Bachmann's aids was snapped at the Pizza Ranch in Boone, Iowa on Friday, as Michele was unable to remember the details of her visit without assistance.
12/16/11 at 4:42AM - Hours after the release of a Justice Department report that said that Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio fueled a culture of anti-Latino bias in his office, the Department of Homeland Security said it was kicking him out of an immigration enforcement program.
Secretary Janet Napolitano said Thursday the department is ending an agreement with the Maricopa County sheriff's office that allowed trained deputies to enforce immigration laws.
It's also restricting the office's use of the Secure Communities program, which uses fingerprints collected in local jails to identify undocumented immigrants.
Napolitano's announcement came shortly after the Justice Department released a scathing report accusing Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his office of committing a wide range of civil rights violations against Latinos.
The report, which includes findings from a three-year investigation by the federal agency, says the Arizona sheriff's office engaged in a pattern of racial profiling and discrimination, and carried out heavy-handed immigration patrols based on racially charged citizen complaints
“Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s blatant disregard for the rule of law is nothing short of appalling,” said Dan Werner, deputy legal director for the Southern Poverty Law Center. “Sadly, though, the Department of Justice’s findings of serious constitutional violations are not surprising given his celebrity status among those who have been peddling and successfully passing unconstitutional anti-immigrant laws in several states.”
Apart from the civil rights probe, a federal grand jury also has been investigating Arpaio's office on criminal abuse-of-power allegations since at least December 2009 and is specifically examining the investigative work of the sheriff's anti-public corruption squad.
The civil rights report said federal authorities will continue to investigate complaints of deputies using excessive force against Latinos, whether the sheriff's immigration efforts damage trust with the Hispanic community and a large number of sex-crimes cases that were assigned to the agency but weren't followed up on or investigated at all.
The civil rights said Latinos are four to nine times more likely to be stopped in traffic stops in Maricopa County than non-Latinos and that the agency's immigration policies treat Latinos as if they are all in the country illegally.
A review done as part of the investigation found that 20 percent of traffic reports handled by Arpaio's immigrant-smuggling squad from March 2006 to March 2009 were stops -- almost all involving Latino drivers -- that were done without reasonable suspicion. The squad's stops rarely led to smuggling arrests.
Meanwhile, calls for Arpaio's removal from office have grown louder in recent weeks.
Critics of Arpaio say he must be forced out for failing to adequately investigate more than 400 sex-crimes cases in the county, inappropriately spending $103 million from two jail funds over an eight-year period for other operations and leading failed corruption investigations against county officials who were at odds with the sheriff.
This story is based on reporting by The Associated Press.
12/9/11 - Echoing his devastating “oops” moment in an earlier GOP debate, Republican and Texas Governor Rick Perry forgot the name of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor in an interview today with the Des Moines Register editorial board. He had to be assisted by a reporter who offered the jurist’s name.
Already criticized for what many consider to be racist legal practices against illegal immigrants, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio has recently come under fire for allegedly botching a number of sex crime cases. Critics have found a possible pattern of sex crime victims being ignored when they are Hispanic.
12/4/11 EL MIRAGE, Ariz. (AP) — The 13-year-old girl opened the door of her home in this small city on the edge of Phoenix to encounter a man who said that his car had broken down and he needed to use the phone. Once inside, the man pummeled the teen from behind, knocking her unconscious and sexually assaulting her.
Seven months before, in an apartment two miles away, another 13-year-old girl was fondled in the middle of the night by her mother's live-in boyfriend. She woke up in her room at least twice a week to find him standing over her, claiming to be looking for her mother's cell phone.
Both cases were among more than 400 sex-crimes reported to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office during a three-year period ending in 2007 — including dozens of alleged child molestations — that were inadequately investigated and in some instances were not worked at all, according to current and former police officers familiar with the cases.
In El Mirage alone, where Arpaio's office was providing contract police services, officials discovered at least 32 reported child molestations — with victims as young as 2 years old — where the sheriff's office failed to follow through, even though suspects were known in all but six cases.
Many of the victims, said a retired El Mirage police official who reviewed the files, were children of illegal immigrants.
The botched sex-crimes investigations have served as an embarrassment to a department whose sheriff is the self-described "America's Toughest Sheriff" and a national hero to conservatives on the immigration issue.
Brian Sands, a top sheriff's official who is in charge of the potential discipline of any responsible employees, was later made available to talk about the cases. He declined to say why they weren't investigated. "There are policy violations that have occurred here," Sands said. "It's obvious, but I can't comment on who or what."
Arpaio's office was under contract to provide police services in El Mirage as the city struggled with its then dysfunctional department. After the contract ended and El Mirage was re-establishing its own police operation, the city spent a year sifting through layers of disturbingly incomplete casework.
El Mirage Detective Jerry Laird, who reviewed some the investigations, learned from a sheriff's summary of 50 to 75 cases files he picked up from Arpaio's office that an overwhelming majority of them hadn't been worked.
That meant there were no follow-up reports, no collection of additional forensic evidence and zero effort made after the initial report of the crime was taken.
Arpaio acknowledged his office had completed an internal probe into the inadequate investigations, but said, "I don't think it's right to get into it until we get to the bottom of this and see if there's disciplinary action against any employees."
A small number of cases from El Mirage were handed over to prosecutors, but the El Mirage Police Department said most were no longer viable — evidence dating as far back as 2006 had grown cold or wasn't collected in the first place, victims had either moved away or otherwise moved on.
Bill Louis, then-assistant El Mirage police chief who reviewed the files after the sheriff's contract ended, believes the decision to ignore the cases was made deliberately by supervisors in Arpaio's office — and not by individual investigators.
Louis said he believes whoever made the decision knew that illegal immigrants — who are often transient and fear the police — were unlikely to complain about the quality of investigations. He said some cases also involved families here legally.
Although a small number of El Mirage officers continued working there during the period, Arpaio brought in patrol officers and detectives and managers who ran the department.
El Mirage police files obtained by The Associated Press through public records requests establish a pattern of sex-crimes not actually being investigated after the crimes were reported to Arpaio's office.
The string of unresolved cases left Elizabeth Ditlevson, deputy director for the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence, shaking her head. "My impressions were anger at the system and concern for the people whose cases weren't addressed," she said.
According to both Sands and Scott Freeman, a sheriff's official who heard complaints from then-El Mirage Police Chief Mike Frazier about the quality of the sex-crimes investigations, more than 400 cases countywide had to be reopened. Freeman told outside investigators examining alleged managerial misconduct at Arpaio's office that a number of arrests were made in the reopened cases.
In their follow-up on the case of the 13-year-old attacked by the man claiming to have a broken car, El Mirage police discovered Arpaio's office hadn't interviewed the victim.
An El Mirage detective went to the girl's home just off the city's main drag. The girl's uncle said she and her mother weren't around and took the investigator's card with a promise to ask them to call.
The mother never called back. She and her daughter's whereabouts are unknown.
The case of the molested 3-year-old was returned to El Mirage police unworked five months after the initial report. The family's beige tract home was deserted, the phone disconnected.
11/16/11 - Seattle photographer Joshua Trujillo captured what may become the defining image of this week of Occupy unrest — an elderly woman being led away from the mayhem, her face covered with pepper spray. A pregnant woman and a priest were also hit with pepper spray during a march on Tuesday night.
The Seattle branch of the Occupy movement, which has been camped out near Seattle Central Community College, held the march in support of the New York camp, which faced a day long eviction battle with the city yesterday. On Monday, Occupy Oakland was the scene of another attempt by police to drive campers out of a city park. There were reports that both Occupy San Francisco and Occupy Cal (on the Berkeley campus of the University of California) are being raided on Wednesday morning. The week of police crackdown comes amid reports that the federal government and is coordinating with multiple on legal strategies that can shut down the Occupy protests.
The woman in the picture is not just any elderly woman, however, as she is well known to Seattle residents. Dorli Rainey is a former school teacher who has been active in local politics since the 1960s. In 2009, she ran for mayor, but eventually dropped out by saying, "I am old and should learn to be old, stay home, watch TV and sit still." We guess she didn't learn.
Rainey emailed The Stranger, Seattle's alternative paper, to say she stopped by the march to see what was happening when her group got pinned in by police and nearly trampled in the chaos.
Not to be outdone by Herman Cain's destroyed hopes of a Presidential bid due to sexual harassment scandals, Texas Governor Rick Perry destroys his chances of becoming President on live TV:
11/1/11: Republican judge William Adams of Aransas County (Texas) beats his teenage daughter, who has had cerebral palsy since birth, for downloading video games online.
Warning, this video is graphic, and may offend some viewers. Help spread this video and prevent this type of blatant child abuse.
Can't see the video on your phone? Click Here to watch it on Youtube.
Picture taken at a recent Tea Party event. Only good thing about this guy is that the dumbass is more than likely not registered to vote.
10/21/11 - On the night of October 20, 2010, Angel Enrique and Jesus Antonio were in bed in their small, two-bedroom apartment in the Clairmont complex in Nashville. The doors and windows were all shut and locked.
Suddenly there was a loud banging at the door and voices shouting "Police!" and "Policia!" When no one answered, the agents tried to force the door open. Scared, Jesus hid in a closet.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents began hitting objects against the bedroom windows, trying to break in. Without a search warrant and without consent, the ICE agents eventually knocked in the front door and shattered a window, shouting racial slurs and storming into the bedrooms, holding guns to their heads.
When asked if they had a warrant, one agent reportedly said, "We don't need a warrant, we're ICE," and, gesturing to his genitals, "the warrant is coming out of my balls."
The Fourth Amendment strictly prohibits warrantless intrusions into private homes and the Constitution's protections apply to both citizens and non-citizens alike. In the absence of a judicially authorized warrant, there must be voluntary and knowing consent; ICE officers forcing themselves into someone's home does not constitute consent.
The ACLU and ACLU of Tennessee this week filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of fifteen residents of the apartment complex who were subjected to this large-scale, warrantless raid by ICE agents and Metro Nashville police officers.
Among the plaintiffs are U.S. citizens, including a child detained and interrogated while playing soccer on the playground simply because of the color of his skin. Looking Latino and speaking Spanish is not enough to justify probable cause for questioning and arresting a person. Another plaintiff was carted away in handcuffs in front of his frightened and crying children.
Unfortunately, the Clairmont raid is not an isolated incident. As the Department of Homeland Security and its enforcement arm, ICE, expand their aggressive immigration enforcement policies, all too often the constitutional rights afforded to everyone living in the United States are violated. Even as ICE carries out its mission, it must act in accordance with the law and in a manner that is humane.