You may have seen here that President Obama has commuted the sentences of 46 federal inmates convicted of non-violent drug offenses. This is part of the administration's general push for prison and criminal justice reform - particularly in relation to the drug war. It is welcome news on all those fronts. But there's a slightly different issue I want to focus on.
Over the last several decades, the presidential pardon power - which includes a broad power to pardon offenses or simply commute sentences - has all but disappeared. The controversy over President Clinton's end-of-term pardons played some role in that. But the trend was already well underway.Read More →
Trump reportedly told a meeting of Hollywood conservatives that the US should have invaded Mexico instead of Iraq - which certainly would have cut down on the flow of migration ...
Catherine Thompson with two great pieces on the Jade Helm military exercise, which gets underway this week and has spawned more conspiracy theories than your tinfoil hat can count. She has the full rundown of the latest conspiracy mongering (come on, Russia helping Mexico reclaim Aztlan is the BEST!).
But there was also news over the weekend that a self-appointed group of volunteers have taken it upon themselves to monitor the military during the exercise, especially as the anticipated takeover of Texas unfolds.
"If a team member sees two Humvees full of soldiers driving through town, they're going to follow them," a leader of the volunteer effort said. "And they're going to radio back their ultimate location."
What could possibly go wrong?
On September 17th, 1969, then-presidential aide Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote to President Nixon to alert him to the danger that the rise of carbon dioxide introduced into the atmosphere by fossil fuels would lead to the warming of the planet. "I would think this is a subject the Administration out to get involved with." Here's Moynihan's letter.
The judge in the Bridgegate case just told Christie's lawyers they have to turn over the notes for the investigation they conducted to exonerate the governor - notes they earlier suggested no longer exist.
We have some of the highlights, but the gist is that the move was carried out by the highest levels of House GOP leadership and that many of the rank-and-file members, including some who would normally be in the loop, were caught completely off guard.
Key line about what happened on the floor that night: "The real red flag was the sudden appearance of leadership staff, namely senior aides for Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky., and Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio."
So it's a little rich that Boehner went before reporters for his weekly press conference less than 24 hours later and commenting on the Confederate flag said, "I do not want this to become some political football."
This thing going on in Maine is wild, as so many things tend to be with the marvelously unhinged Republican Gov. Paul LePage.
As you may have seen earlier in the week, LePage seemed by all accounts except his own to have catastrophically botched vetoing nearly 20 bills the legislature had already passed, many or all of which he vehemently opposed.
In LePage's telling, this was all part of his plan, not a botched veto, but a particular interpretation of the Maine constitution that should be obvious to anyone. Except it wasn't obvious, and hasn't been the custom or practice in the state. His interpretation smelled very much like an after-the-fact legal rationale to try escape the bind he put himself in.
But now LePage is going one step further.Read More →
The long-awaited moment comes at 10 a.m. ET. Watch.