Daily Recap — June 6

“I don’t think it’s possible to have a sense of tragedy without having a sense of humor.”

— Christopher Hitchens


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KARDASHIAN SCORES

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Looks like Kim K’s charm worked its magic on PDT.

He granted clemency today for Alice Marie Johnson, a 62-year-old great-grandmother serving a life sentence on nonviolent drug and money laundering charges.

“Ms. Johnson has accepted responsibility for her past behavior and has been a model prisoner over the past two decades,” the White House said in a statement. “While this administration will always be very tough on crime, it believes that those who have paid their debt to society and worked hard to better themselves while in prison deserve a second chance.”

While a commuted sentence doesn’t wipe out Johnson’s conviction, and it shouldn’t, it does get her out of the Alabama prison in which she was set to spend the rest of her days. 

 

This whole thing looks to be the work of son-in-law Jared, who’s been in contact with Kardashian for months and has been leading a push for prison sentencing reform. It could be a shrewd political move to grab a couple extra percentage points from the black community. Or maybe he’s just a New York liberal trying to release every drug dealer he can. Whatever the case, Jared is the one pushing this agenda inside the White House.


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“BEST NEWS EVER!!!!” Kardashian  tweeted in response to the news

“So grateful to @realDonaldTrump, Jared Kushner & to everyone who has showed compassion & contributed countless hours to this important moment for Ms. Alice Marie Johnson,” she continued. “Her commutation is inspirational & gives hope to so many others who are also deserving of a second chance.”

The White House said Johnson’s warden, case manager and vocational training instructor all wrote letters supporting Johnson’s clemency and speaking to her rehabilitation while in prison.

In a statement Wednesday, Brittany Barnett, a member of Johnson’s legal team thanked Trump, saying he had corrected an injustice.

“Justice has been served today, and it’s long overdue,” she said. “Alice has more than paid her debt to society by serving over 21 years of a life-without-parole sentence as a nonviolent drug offender. Life in prison without the possibility of parole screams that a person is beyond hope, beyond redemption. And in Alice’s case, it is a punishment that absolutely did not fit the crime.”

It should be noted that there is a lot of violence in the drug trade, especially at the level practiced by Ms. Johnson. Anywhere there are kilos of cocaine, violence is nearby. It’s sleight of hand to use the term “nonviolent offender” when referencing an inherently violent industry. But that’s just my take, I’m sure she’s sorrowful and whatnot.


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According to reports, not everyone in the White House was too hot on the idea, as  internal conflict arose over whether Johnson’s case merited a pardon, with White House counsel Don McGahn reportedly skeptical. .

She had been expected to be released in December 2016, when President Soetoro was granting clemency to drug dealers en masse (231 in all), but was passed over. 

I guess you could say it’s another part of Barry’s legacy dismantled. That’s one spin. 


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It looks like the pardon pen is getting good to the prez, as the Trump administration is preparing dozens more clemency cases for presidential review.

It is not clear how many cases PDT is personally considering for either a presidential pardon or commuting a sentence, but the fake news crew is reporting about half a dozen or so. 
 
“This president is now looking at many cases,” Kellyanne Conway told reporters today. “And if he could bring relief to, to folks who he feels have been ‘treated unfairly,’ a term the president uses frequently to describe many different situations, then he will take action.”
 
Trump has most frequently used his clemency powers for lots of folks lately. Last week, he pardoned Dinesh D’Souza (Peace Be Upon Him), who was nailed to the cross for minor campaign violations. Trump has also pardoned I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, a former top aide to former VP Dick “Straight-Shooter” Cheney, and God-among-men Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio. 
Then there’s the occasional woman-beater, such as his pardon of the late boxer Jack Johnson. I guess they can’t all be winners.
 
Then, as you’ll recall, Trump said last week he is considering shortening the 14-year prison sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was convicted for a litany of corruption charges and removed from office. He also said he may pardon “lifestyle guru” and businesswoman Martha Stewart, who went to the poke for lying to investigators in an insider trading case. 
 

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So who’s next? We can only wait and see.
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Whatever happens, it’s sure not to be boring. 
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COMEY FURTHER EXPOSED

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Everyone’s favorite sanctimonious boy scout is turning out to be anything but, as more tidbits from the IG report are said to be critical of his actions during the Hillzdawg email probe.

The OIG has concluded tha Leakin’ James Comey “defied authority” at times during his tenure as FBI director.

A congressional source told the Fake News that the draft report explicitly used the word “insubordinate” to describe Comey’s behavior. 

In the draft report, IG Horowitz also rebuked former Attorney General Loretta Lynch-Whitefolks for her own role in the Hillzdawg email probe, though details are scant as to the exact complaints.


The IG report specifically called out Comey for ignoring objections from the DOJ when he disclosed in a letter to Congress just days before the 2016 presidential election that FBI agents had reopened the Clinton probe. You know, the letter that Hillary blames for sinking her campaign. 

Before Comey sent the letter to Congress, at least one senior Justice Department official told the FBI that publicizing the bombshell move so close to an election would violate longstanding department policy, and it would ignore federal guidelines prohibiting the disclosure of information related to an ongoing investigation.

But whaddayaknow….look what Comey told Clinton midget George Stephanopoulos asked: “If Attorney General Lynch had ordered you not to send the letter, would you have sent it?”

“No,” Comey responded. “I believe in the chain of command.”


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Just as with McCabe, Comey is giving a conflicting account from his FBI mates. Did the letter have the blessing of his chain of command, or not?

If not, why was it delivered? Don’t get me wrong, I’m forever grateful that it was, as it definitely scared a few people away from Hillary in the last week of the election, but what would explain his decision to defy DOJ guidance and deliver so late in the game, knowing the impact it could have?

Well, I posited a theory at the time it happened that Comey was experiencing upward pressure from rank and file agents who were threatening to go public with the revelations regarding Spanky Weiner’s laptop and God-knows-what other revelations there are to be had. As of this day, I still believe it best explains the situation.

But that’s pure speculation on my part.


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The problem here is there are different avenues of focus for the IG as it relates to Hillzdawg. The information we’re getting now is from the investigation that focuses on the FBI’s handling of the email probe in relation to the election. This is the probe Democrats wanted.

The good stuff is to be found within the other avenues of focus that arose from that initial investigation. That stuff could be a little ways off yet.

I’m ready for its arrival, though. I’m not losing any sleep over how poorly the FBI treated Hillary. I think that sham of an investigation shows she was treated much damn better than any of us would be.

Let’s get to the bottom of the real stuff, people.

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BREAKING NEWS: BARRY IS CORRUPT

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There were few things that Barry Soetoro enjoyed more as president than giving the mullahs in Iran anything and everything they wanted. And if he had to lie to get it done, so be it.

We now know that the Obama administration gave Iran brief access to the U.S. financial system as part of the Iran nuclear deal despite specifically telling Congress that such access would remain banned under terms of the agreement.

“Officials repeatedly testified to Congress that Iranian access to the U.S. financial system was not on the table or part of any deal,” says the majority report of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. 

Despite those claims, the Treasury Department, at the direction of the State Department, “granted a specific license that authorized a conversion of Iranian assets worth billions of U.S. dollars using the U.S. financial system,” the report says.

In February 2016, the “special license” was issued. It was designed to allow Iran to briefly convert into dollars from Omani rials about $5.7 billion worth of Iranian assets frozen in an Omani bank. The dollars were then to be converted into euros.

Even after the license was issued, U.S. government officials continued to maintain in congressional testimony that Iran would not gain access to the U.S. system, according to the report. Yes, they lied right to Congress’s face. 


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THE GOOD NEWS:

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The conversion to dollars, it turns out, never took place.

U.S. banks balked at the transfer plan despite encouragement from U.S. officials, the report says. Iran protested to administration officials, but transfer into dollars never happened. Eventually, Iranian officials “stopped complaining to the State Department” and converted small amounts of rials directly to euros without using the U.S. financial system, the report says.

THE BANKS WOULDN’T FOLLOW GUIDANCE FROM THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION BECAUSE SAID GUIDANCE WAS ILLEGAL.

Thank God there were good people who stayed upright during the Obama years. You see that, Comey? It was possible, after all. 

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We continue to learn the types of backroom shenanigans that preceded and followed the Iran Deal, none of it good. This will go down as one of the most shameful episodes in US presidential history before the story is fully told.

What a horrible man.

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IMMIGRATION FIGHT INBOUND

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It’s been coming down the tracks for a while now; time to brace for impact.

After nine months of promising to help young illegal immigrants otherwise known as Dacamanians, House Republicans are about to have to poop or get off the pot.

Retiring Speaker Paul Rino will reportedly pitch a compromise immigration plan to rank-and-file Republicans in the Capitol basement soon. The meeting is one of the biggest of the Congress for House Republicans and a lot is expected to be ironed out, or at least battled. 


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Hope for legislation is dim at this point, though. 
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Even some of Rino’s allies are pouring cold water on his effort to win 218 GOP votes for the compromise legislation. If he fails, some two-dozen undocumented Democrats within GOP ranks are threatening to buck leadership and move forward with their discharge petition, a move that would trigger a series of contentious immigration votes on the floor five months before the midterm elections.  

“I don’t see how we [get] 218 Republicans. I’d love to see it, but I’m just being realistic,” said Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL), a senior deputy whip.

GOP leaders had originally set aside two hours for Thursday’s “family discussion” on immigration. But in order to give all lawmakers a chance to weigh in, leaders are now saying they will not place a time limit on the 9 a.m. meeting in the Capitol.

Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) said the meeting will last “however long it takes for the family to come together.”

“It’s going to be a wide-open, open-mic, venting, discussing, problem-solving” session, said Collins, one of the 23 Republicans who have signed the immigration petition. 

“It’s going to be very divided. Some people are very angry about this issue being forced on them,” another petition backer, Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO), said. “I think it’s going to be tense.” 

Most Republicans who have signed the petition are in competitive races this election year — such as Coffman — or are retiring at the end of this Congress. 


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Today, Rino declined to share any details about his negotiations with conservatives from the House Freedom Caucus and the centrist petition supporters, including Reps. Jeff Denham (R-CA) and Carlos Curbelo (R-FL). But he said he thinks there is a narrow path to a deal.    

“I really do believe there’s a sweet spot here,” Rino told reporters. 

 

A number of conservatives say they’ll oppose any proposal that offers a “special” pathway, but there remains broad discord about how to define the term. Some argue the process can’t stray from current law, which would require Dacamanians to return to their native countries before becoming eligible for citizenship. 

That seems to be a big point of contention right now; whether Dacamanians should have to be deported before they receive their “path to citizenship.” Some believe they should have to get to the back of the line like everyone else (leave the country) whereas others don’t. That’s the big fight at the moment.

 Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC), who has participated in the negotiations, is also opposed to a “special” pathway to citizenship, but said he, too, is open to providing the underlying benefit. 

“How DACA recipients end up getting citizenship is the most difficult question we face,” Meadows said. But “it’s not a non-starter.”

Translated from swamp speak, that means “they’re going to get their pathway without having to go anywhere.”


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One potential area of agreement may be the adoption of a system in which any expansion of benefits to Dacamanians, beyond the current DACA population, is matched one-to-one by cuts in legal immigration visas — a type of “pay-as-you-go” rule governing U.S. immigration.  

This is part of the overall package being pushed by Trump, which combines DACA protections with three other provisions: enhanced border security (#TheWall); new limits on family migration; and the elimination of the idiotic diversity visa lottery. 

GOP leaders have used that “four pillars” approach as the underlying guide for the subsequent negotiations, and even the moderate Republicans now pressing leadership for DACA votes maintain they’re open to the cuts in legal immigration under Trump’s design.

“The four pillars outline has been the basis of the discussion and the negotiation,” said Curbelo. 

That’s definitely progress of a sort. Cuts in legal immigration were a non-started for RINOs just a few months ago. I guess the political winds are changing.


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Although Rino indicated last month that any immigration deal must be bipartisan — “It’s clear to us that we’re going to have a bill that’s going to be bipartisan, but one that the president can support,” he said — the new strategy appears designed to win the support of the 218 Republicans needed to pass the House. 

Cuts to legal immigration would erode the support of virtually all the Democrats, who have repeatedly warned that they’ll oppose any effort to scale back family migration and diversity visas, which benefit as many as 50,000 people each year from countries with low immigration rates.

Curbelo put the odds at “50-50” that Rino’s proposed deal to defuse the discharge petition is successful. If no agreement is reached tomorrow, the moderates say they’re confident that at least two more Republicans would sign the document — enough to hit the magic 218 mark if all Democrats sign it. 


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If the discharge petition is signed, which I’m skeptical will happen, the GOP will be forced to cast votes on the House floor for the immigration they want. Many Republicans are trying to avoid this at all cost. Frankly, I want them to stand up and put their name by what they support. They’re elected to make tough votes.

The truth is they’re beholden to donors who are terrified of losing the cheap labor that comes with a porous border.

I hope they be convinced to represent the people as opposed to the business interests that fund their campaigns.

I won’t hold my breath.

But I do believe PDT will get his wall. 

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There it is, homeskillet. You know the drill: questions, comments, concerns, memes, insults, compliments, stickers, jokes, emojis and, if we have time, complaints.


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1 thought on “Daily Recap — June 6

  1. Oh WOW! After eating almost an entire bag of Jelly Belly’s, I have read the recap & I am realizing I am getting sick after eating so many. That is what happens when my misguided partner wants to catch-up with FoxNews. The legacy of obama is smoke & mirrors. I grew up thinking if one did the right thing one soul in purgatory would be saved. That fact is in my DNA. No apps, no shenanigans, nothing in my soul will allow me to overlook the traitorous action of obama & his corrupt team of Dems & RHINO’s.

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