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Archive for August 26th, 2010

Feds Drop Charges Against Blago’s Brother Robert

ChicagoBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

At least one of the Blago brothers is off the hook.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that federal prosecutors announced Thursday in court that they were dropping the corruption charges against brother Robert Blagojevich. The jury had been deadlocked on all four counts against him and the judge had declared a mistrial, leaving open the possibility of prosecutors going after him in a second trial.

The Sun-Times reported that prosecutors said they made the decision  in the interest of justice and the “disparity in roles’’ between the brothers..

“It’s stunning,’’ Robert Blagojevich said in a phone interview with the Sun-Times minutes after his attorney text messaged him saying that he was a free man.

“The government did the right thing,’’ Robert said, according to the Sun-Times. “They did the right thing.’’

To read more click here.

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For Atty. Gen. Holder: With the Tough Job Comes a Little Glamour

Vogue Magazine
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — It hasn’t been all glamour for Eric Holder Jr. as Attorney General. For one, there’s the less than friendly receptions on Capitol Hill from Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee who seem to enjoy grilling him like a burger at a 4th of July gathering.

Then there’s the  second guessing by the public, the political pundits and others on the Hill.

But there are times when the job does have some glamour.   Enter Vogue magazine. The magazine September issue has dedicated two-full pages of photos and then a two page write up on the guy it labels “Man of the Hour.”

Holder tells the magazine that the job is not easy. In fact, he shares, that his teenage son remarked that he doesn’t smile as much as he used to.

“You have a responsibility to keep the American people safe,” he tells the magazine. “It weighs on you. You literally go to bed and think, Have I done what I can?

He’s gotten grief over Gitmo, Miranda Warnings and the 9/11 trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. But he tells the magazine he’s unfazed by the negativity.

“It’s the reality of being the attorney general,” he says. “When I am dealing with some congressman who is trying to get me to engage so that he can end up on television, I have to think, What do I want people to think about this department 50 years from now?”

And then he offers an interesting perspective on the law.
“The law is not always right. “It kept my people slaves for years, segregate African-Americans, and kept women from voting, but it’s the place you go. You have to have an inner compass that tells you the right thing to do. That’s what I tell the people who work for me. Trust your instincts. If something makes you feel uncomfortable, that’s where yo need to look.”

As for ambition, the magazine quotes former Justice colleague turned D.C. Judge Robert Richter: “Eric was never a particularly ambitious person. His goal was to make a difference, not end up on top.”

His wife, a physician, isn’t so certain, the magazine writes.

“It’s a question I wonder about. When I roll back the time and ask, ‘Did I think I was marrying a nakedly ambitious man?’ I answer no, but, then again, he was a judge at 38. In his case, I think, it’s there; it’s just not particularly offensive.”

U.S.-Mexico Only Nabbing a Fraction of Drug $$$ Being Smuggled South into Mexico

US Mexican borderBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Despite their efforts, U.S. and Mexican authorities are seizing no more than one percent of the billions of dollars in drug proceeds being smuggled south into Mexico, according to an analysis by the Washington Post.

The cash is being smuggled in spare tires, engine transmissions and truckloads of baby diapers, the Post reported. In other words, any way you can imagine.

In all, the drug traffickers and the Colombian suppliers smuggle $20 billion to $25 billion a year in U.S. bbank notes across the border, the Post reported.

“If we fail to curtail these money flows, the confrontation with organized crime will generate more violence and more corruption,” Carlos Pascual, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, said at a border conference in El Paso this month, according to the Post.

To read more click here.