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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 21, 2013/ 12 Sivan 5773

Obama Is Stingy With His Pardons

By Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Last week, Attorney General Eric Holder gave Washington a preview of how the last few months of the Obama administration are going to look, and they're going to be ugly.

Holder knows ugly. He was, after all, deputy attorney general when President Bill Clinton issued his infamous 140 out-the-door pardons to such unworthies as Marc Rich, who fled to Switzerland after federal prosecutors issued a 51-count indictment against him in 1983 for tax evasion, racketeering and illegal trading with Iran. Even though Rich was a fugitive from federal prosecution, Holder issued a "neutral, leaning towards favorable," opinion on the pardon; Rich's attorney also used to be Clinton's attorney.

Perhaps, having been pilloried for helping Clinton pardon a well-heeled fugitive and a group of unrepentant Puerto Rican terrorists, Holder decided that the second time around, as attorney general, he would advise the president that the best way not to abuse the pardon power is to barely use the pardon power.

Since 2009, President Barack Obama has issued a mere 39 pardons for offenders who have served their sentences and one lonely commutation. Obama has the stingiest pardon record of any modern president.

During a House Judiciary Committee hearing last week, Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., brought up the pardon power when he urged Holder to champion a presidential pardon for former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, who was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison after he was found guilty of bribery. (As Cohen noted, 113 former state attorneys general from both parties urged the Supreme Court to review Siegelman's conviction.)

Holder responded that his office could not consider clemency while Siegelman has a pending appeal. Cohen then asked about an inspector general report that found that Pardon Attorney Ronald Rodgers had withheld information that could have led to the release of a first-time nonviolent drug offender sentenced to life without parole in 1993.

Holder answered that "corrective measures have been put in place so that kind of mistake would not happen in the future."

Cohen surmised, "It seems to me a corrective measure would be to replace Rodgers." No lie. Usually, attorneys general don't like subordinates withholding vital information from a president.

Federal mandatory minimum sentences have resulted in draconian penalties for anonymous black men -- such as Clarence Aaron, who may have lost his bid for a commutation because of Rodgers' omissions and will die in prison for a first-time nonviolent drug conviction unless he wins a commutation. As a candidate, Obama was highly critical of mandatory minimums, but as president, with the power to commute unjust sentences, his universal response has been to show no mercy.

No political upside.

"Hardly anyone's getting clemency," "Pardon Power" blogger P.S. Ruckman observed. Inmates seeking a sentence commutation stand "a better chance of getting hit by lightning."

In his memoirs, "Decision Points," former President George W. Bush wrote that he had felt the pressure to pardon so keenly that on Inauguration Day, he gave Obama one piece of advice: "Announce a pardon policy early on, and stick to it."

Did Obama listen? Unless he decides to use his pardon power wisely and soon, there are only two ways this can end.

1) Obama feels the pressure as he is about to exit and grants clemency in order to please his cronies -- with maybe (or maybe not) a few politically unconnected inmates like Aaron thrown into the mix so that not all the pardons and commutations look like inside jobs.

2) Obama sees no political upside in using his unfettered pardon power to redress sentencing injustices. So he doesn't. Holder got burned, and Obama won't touch that stove.

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© 2013, Creators Syndicate

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