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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

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 Jan. 21, 2009 / 25 Teves 5769

The final Bush pardons

By Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | On his way out of office, President Bush used his power of the pardon to commute the sentences of former U.S. Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, who had been sentenced to 11 years and 12 years respectively for shooting and wounding a fleeing drug smuggler in 2005 and then covering up the incident. It was the right move.


Ramos and Compean supporters no doubt would have preferred it if Bush had pardoned the agents — which would have cleared their criminal records. In that Bush had stood by U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton's prosecution of the agents, as well as the jury verdicts, this is the best outcome that was to be had.


When Bush commuted the 30-month sentence of Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the former aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, he did not fully pardon Libby. He let a $250,000 fine and two years of probation stand, although he did override the prison sentence because it was "excessive."


No better word could describe the Ramos and Compean sentences.


Ramos and Compean say they thought Osvaldo Aldrete Davila was armed as he evaded arrest, but because he got away, there is no way to know if he was carrying a gun or just a shiny object. Sutton argued, and a jury concurred, that the agents realized they were shooting at an unarmed man. If Sutton is correct, their crime largely occurred in the heat of the chase — and never warranted sentences exceeding the usual plea bargain punishments awarded to crooked Border Patrol agents.


The reason for the long sentences: dumb laws. The federal mandatory minimum system, enacted by Congress in 1986, tacks 10 years onto a federal crime committed with a firearm. As Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., noted last year, the federal firearms sentence enhancement was "designed to deal with criminals who carry firearms in the commission of felonies and crimes of violence," but was applied to law-enforcement officers who "came to work with no criminal intent, no mind set to commit any crime."


Such is the problem with federal mandatory minimum sentences — they don't recognize common sense.


We now know Bush gave no more pardons, but he had confounded critics who had predicted that the White House would hand out commutations to CIA interrogators, former Bushies, the rich and famous and corrupt politicians who got caught. Politico.com listed 10 "pardons to watch for" — including Ramos and Compean, as well as a full pardon for Libby, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and a former aide, and junk bond king turned ex-con Michael Milken. It turns out, Bush freed the agents, but did not issue a blanket amnesty for cronies, rich crooks and crooked pols.


The downside: Bush was stingy with the gift of mercy. He withheld from the worthy and unworthy alike. He issued a mere 189 pardons and 11 commutations. He failed the families of unknown convicts who, like Ramos and Compean, were sentenced to draconian prison time, thanks to federal mandatory minimum sentences.


Last month, I have just learned, Bush denied the commutation application of Clarence Aaron, who was sentenced in 1993 to life without parole for a first-time nonviolent drug offense. Reread that — life without parole for a first-time nonviolent offense.


Maybe Bush believed that he would look too soft on crime if he commuted Aaron's sentence — if Bush were aware of the politically unconnected Aaron at all.


But there is nothing tough about a system that rewards career offenders who know how to game the system, while it puts small fish like Aaron away for decades to life. The status quo is neither tough nor smart — it's mean and stupid. And expensive.


If Bush had commuted Aaron's sentence, he could have shown his critics that he sought justice in unseen corners. He could have lived up to Alexander Hamilton's defense of the presidential pardon — "One man appears to be a more eligible dispenser of the mercy of the government than a body of men." Bush was that dispenser for Ramos and Compean, but not Aaron.

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© 2009, Creators Syndicate

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