Three Things You Need to Know – February 13, 2018

Susan Rice: CYA Agent

Imagine for a second, it’s the last day at your job. A new boss was hired and you decided it was time to move on to greener pastures. You and your old boss had a pretty good working relationship. The two of you collaborated on several projects together, and even saw your way through a few different scandals. Possibly the biggest potential scandal was, after learning of your boss’ imminent forced departure, the two of you gathered those most loyal and planned to undermine the next boss.

On your way out the door on the final day, a creeping feeling begins to itch at the back of your conscience. Did you do everything you could to complete the plan and cover your tracks? Just before your access to the corporate email server goes off, you compose an email to yourself that you know will be found by the incoming regime. It’s a last ditch effort at undermining the new boss, but more importantly it implies you did nothing wrong. You hit send, get up, and walk out the door for the last time.

In a nutshell, this is what appears to be what Susan Rice (Obama’s former National Security Advisor) did just before she walked out of the White House on Inauguration Day.

Yesterday, Senators Grassley and Graham sent a letter to Susan Rice asking her to explain an “unusual” email they found that was sent by her on her last day of work. The email was sent to herself, via the NSC official server, on January 20th, but it was explaining a meeting that took place on January 5th. The email describes an interaction between Obama, law enforcement and the intelligence community, and how the outgoing administration was considering withholding information regarding the Russia investigation from the incoming Trump team. Forced in, not once, but twice were comments Obama allegedly made that stressed the need to do things “by the book” and that he was ABSOLUTELY DEFINITELY not trying to insert himself into law enforcement activities.

First of all, why did Obama feel the need to tell the FBI to go “by the book” twice in such a short time? Aren’t the FBI’s investigations always done by the book? Isn’t that implied? Why did Rice write that Obama made it clear that he wasn’t trying to influence the investigation? Could it be that Obama, Rice, and the entire outgoing administration were engaging in an off the books operation to smear Donald Trump?

On March 1st the New York Times ran a story with this headline: Obama Administration Rushed to Preserve Intelligence of Russian Election Hacking. This was a damning article back in March. It implied that the Trump team was in danger of scuttling valuable information that would prove Russia interfered in the election. The article goes on to explain that the Obama administration proceeded to launch an operation of leaks to Congress, leaks to other agencies… leaks all over the place. But that was almost a full year ago. If you reread that article, the vast majority of the information that the Times claims Obama was leaking sounds like it all came from one place… the Steele Dossier.

Was the former President and his staff, engaging in a leak operation of opposition research paid for by Hillary Clinton and the DNC? Did the FBI know about this? Was this email from Susan Rice a last ditch effort at covering their tracks? If just one of these questions is YES, you can forget Watergate. This will be the biggest scandal in our nation’s history.

The Open-Ended DACA Debate

Don’t look now, but the Senate has begun an open-ended debate. I thought that’s what the Senate did all the time, but apparently, this is some special thing.

Can you imagine if the company you work for, or the business you run, operated like Congress? It would be a disaster. Our Founders designed a great form of government, but over time, it has morphed into this colossal slog where competence goes to die.

The latest example? Congress’ inability to get anything done on immigration. Specifically, what to do about DACA.

The mainstream media story you’ve been getting for months is a simple narrative that goes like this: President Trump hates immigrants, so he ended the DACA program so that he can start personally deporting every last Dreamer. What this simple narrative forgets to include is that DACA exists only because President Obama spoke the program into existence, completely outside of Congress and the Constitution.

So, DACA is the urgent problem before Congress because it’s a mess that was created by Obama, then Trump decided to end it, and the deadline when DACA permits will start expiring is now just over three weeks away. Congress has saved this issue until the very last minute. Shocker.

Their method for dealing with the issue at hand is a weird Hail Mary. Yesterday, the U.S. Senate began what they call an “open-ended debate” to figure out what to do.

“Whoever gets to 60, wins,” chirped Mitch McConnell, as if this debate thing is some fun board game they found in a Senate closet and dusted off to solve immigration.

The first DREAM Act was introduced in 2001. It never passed. It’s been seventeen years without meaningful immigration legislation. Immigration is the giant stadium beach ball that gets smacked around the stands of Congress year after year. And now all the sudden, with the clock running out, they’re going to have an “open debate”?

The point of this open debate format is to try to build a bill from scratch on the Senate floor. That sounds kind of like the way the universe was supposedly formed – utter chaos until just the right particles suddenly collided and out pops good ol’ Mother Earth. Yeah, that will work.

Regular Americans are held to a much higher standard of competence in their jobs. If only their representatives in Washington were held to the same standard.

Envelope With White Powder Mailed to Trump Jr.

Men clad in hazmat suits marched through Donald Jr and Vanessa Trump’s Manhattan apartment yesterday.

They initiated decontamination procedures while Vanessa was taken to the hospital.

Earlier in the day, she received a curious letter in the mail. She opened it and a white powder spilled out.

Vanessa instantly felt nauseous and started coughing uncontrollably.

Thankfully, the powder was found to be not hazardous and Vanessa and the other two people who were in the house with her are doing fine.

This isn’t the first time an insidious letter containing white powder was sent to the Trump’s.

In 2016, police investigated a similar letter sent to Eric Trump and two letters containing the powder was sent to Trump Tower.

As you can imagine, some people condoned the fear tactics against the Trump family.

Like the Socialist Party. They tweeted from their official Twitter account, “Disgusting people attract disgusting behavior.”

Not a surprising response from them. Socialists have always condoned violence and underhanded deeds.

Whether you hate them or love them, the Trump family doesn’t deserve these threats.

Don’t lose sight of humanity. Don’t hate people just because they have a different perspective than you. Embrace them and try to learn from them. Everyone is worthy of respect. That's something Socialists have never understood.

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This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.

This compromise is an abomination

Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Three decades ago, "The Art of the Deal" made Donald Trump a household name. A lot has happened since then. But you can trace many of Trump's actions back to that book.

Art of the Deal:

In the end, you're measured not by how much you undertake but by what you finally accomplish.

People laughed when he announced that he was running for President. And I mean that literally. Remember the 2011 White House Correspondents' Dinner when Obama roasted Trump, viciously, mocking the very idea that Trump could ever be President. Now, he's President.

You can't con people, at least not for long. You can create excitement, you can do wonderful promotion and get all kinds of press, and you can throw in a little hyperbole. But if you don't deliver the goods, people will eventually catch on.

This empire-building is a mark of Trump.

RELATED: 'Arrogant fool' Jim Acosta exposed MSM's dishonest border agenda — again.

The most recent example is the border wall. Yesterday, congress reached a compromise on funding for the border wall. Weeks of tense back-and-forth built up to that moment. At times, it seemed like neither side would budge. Trump stuck to his guns, the government shut down, Trump refused to budge, then, miraculously, the lights came back on again. The result was a compromise. Or at least that's how it appeared.

But really, Trump got what he wanted -- exactly what he wanted. He used the techniques he wrote about in The Art of the Deal:

My style of deal-making is quite simple and straightforward. I aim very high, and then I just keep pushing and pushing and pushing to get what I'm after.

From the start, he demanded $5.7 billion for construction of a border wall. It was a months' long tug-of-war that eventually resulted in yesterday's legislation, which would dedicate $1.4 billion. It would appear that that was what he was after all along. Moments before the vote, he did some last-minute pushing. A national emergency declaration, and suddenly the number is $8 billion.

Art of the Deal:

People think I'm a gambler. I've never gambled in my life. To me, a gambler is someone who plays slot machines. I prefer to own slot machines. It's a very good business being the house.

In a rare show of bipartisanship, Senate passed the legislation 83-16, and the House followed with 300-128. Today, Trump will sign the bill.

It's not even fair to call that a deal, really. A deal is what happens when you go to a car dealership, fully ready to buy a car, and the salesman says the right things. What Trump did is more like a car dealer selling an entire row of cars to someone who doesn't even have a licence. When Trump started, Democrats wouldn't even consider a wall, let alone pay for it.

Art of the Deal:

The final key to the way I promote is bravado. I play to people's fantasies. People may not always think big themselves, but they can still get very excited by those who do. That's why a little hyperbole never hurts. People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular. I call it truthful hyperbole. It's an innocent form of exaggeration—and a very effective form of promotion.

He started the wall on a chant, "Build the wall!" until he got what he wanted. He maneuvered like Don Draper, selling people something that they didn't even know they wanted, and convincing them that it is exactly what they've always needed.

As the nation soaks in the victory of the recent passing of the historic First Step Act, there are Congressmen who haven't stopped working to solve additional problems with the criminal justice system. Because while the Act was impactful, leading to the well-deserved early release of many incarcerated individuals, it didn't go far enough. That's why four Congressmen have joined forces to reintroduce the Justice Safety Valve Act—legislation that would grant judges judicial discretion when determining appropriate sentencing.

There's a real need for this legislation since it's no secret that lawmakers don't always get it right. They may pass laws with good intentions, but unintended consequences often prevail. For example, there was a time when the nation believed the best way to penalize lawbreakers was to be tough on crime, leading to sweeping mandatory minimum sentencing laws implemented both nationally and statewide.

RELATED: If Trump can support criminal justice reform, so can everyone else

Only in recent years have governments learned that these sentences aren't good policy for the defendant or even the public. Mandatory minimum sentences are often overly harsh, don't act as a public deterrent for crime, and are extremely costly to taxpayers. These laws tie judges' hands, preventing them from using their knowledge and understanding of the law to make case relevant decisions.

Because legislation surrounding criminal law is often very touchy and difficult to change (especially on the federal level, where bills can take multiple years to pass) mandatory minimum sentences are far from being done away with—despite the data-driven discoveries of their downfalls. But in order to solve the problems inherent within all of the different laws imposing sentencing lengths, Congress needs to pass the Justice Safety Valve Act now. Ensuring its passing would allow judges to use discretion while sentencing, rather than forcing them to continue issuing indiscriminate sentences no matter the unique facts of the case.

Rather than take years to go back and try to fix every single mandatory minimum law that has been federally passed, moving this single piece of legislation forward is the best way to ensure judges can apply their judgment in every appropriate case.

When someone is facing numerous charges from a single incident, mandatory minimum sentencing laws stack atop one another, resulting in an extremely lengthy sentence that may not be just. Such high sentences may even be violations of an individual's eighth amendment rights, what with the imposition of cruel and unusual punishment. It's exactly what happened with Weldon Angelos.

In Salt Lake City in 2002, Weldon sold half a pound of marijuana to federal agents on two separate occasions. Unbeknownst to Weldon, the police had targeted him because they suspected he was a part of a gang and trafficking operation. They were oh-so-wrong. Weldon had never sold marijuana before and only did this time because he was pressured by the agents to find marijuana for them. He figured a couple lowkey sales could help out his family's financial situation. But Weldon was caught and sentenced to a mandatory 55 years in prison. This massive sentence is clearly unjust for a first time, non-violent crime, and even the Judge, Paul Cassell, agreed. Judge Cassell did everything he could to reduce the sentence, but, due to federal law, it wasn't much.

The nation is facing an over-criminalization problem that costs taxpayers millions and amounts to the foolish eradication of individual liberties.

In cases like Weldon's, a safety valve for discretionary power is much needed. Judges need the ability to issue sentences below the mandatory minimums, depending on mitigating factors such as mental health, provocation, or physical illness. That's what this new bill would allow for. Critics may argue that this gives judges too much power, but under the bill, judges must first make a finding on why it's necessary to sentence below the mandatory minimum. Then, they must write a clear statement explaining their decision.

Judges are unlikely to risk their careers to allow dangerous criminals an early release. If something happens after an offender is released early, the political pressure is back on the judge who issued the shorter sentence—and no one wants that kind of negative attention. In order to avoid risky situations like this, they'd use their discretion very cautiously, upholding the oath they took to promote justice in every case.

The nation is facing an overcriminalization problem that costs taxpayers millions and amounts to the foolish eradication of individual liberties. Mandatory minimums have exacerbated this problem, and it's time for that to stop. Congresswomen and men have the opportunity to help solve this looming problem by passing the Justice Safety Valve Act to untie the hands of judges and restore justice in individual sentences.

Molly Davis is a policy analyst at Libertas Institute, a free market think tank in Utah. She's a writer for Young Voices, and her work has previously appeared in The Hill, TownHall.com, and The Washington Examiner.

New gadget for couples in 'the mood' lets a button do the talking

Photo by Matt Nelson on Unsplash

Just in time for Valentine's Day, there's a new romantic gadget for couples that is sure to make sparks fly. For those with their minds in the gutter, I'm not talking about those kinds of gadgets. I'm talking about a brilliant new device for the home called "LoveSync."

This is real — it's a simple pair of buttons for busy, modern couples who have plenty of time for social media and Netflix, but can't quite squeeze in time to talk about their... uh... special relationship.

Here's how it works. Each partner has their own individual LoveSync button. Whenever the mood strikes one partner, all they have to do is press their own button. That sets their button aglow for a certain period of time. If, during that time window, their partner also presses their own button, then both buttons light up in a swirling green pattern to signal that love has "synced"...and it's go time.

According to the makers of LoveSync, this device will "Take the Luck out of Getting Lucky." It brings a whole new meaning to "pushing each other's buttons." It's an ideal gift to tell your significant other "I care," without actually having to care, or talk about icky things like feelings.

If you find your significant other is already on the couch binge-watching The Bachelor, no problem! You can conveniently slink back to your button and hold it in for four seconds to cancel the desire. No harm, no foul! Live to fight another day.

Have fun explaining those buttons to inquiring children.

No word yet on whether LoveSync can also order wine, light candles or play Barry White. Maybe that's in the works for LoveSync 2.0.

Of course, LoveSync does have some pitfalls. Cats and toddlers love a good button. That'll be a fun conversation — "Honey, who keeps canceling my mood submissions?" And have fun explaining those buttons to inquiring children. "Yeah, kids, that button just controls the lawn sprinklers. No big deal."

If you've been dialing it in for years on Valentine's Day with flowers and those crappy boxes of chocolate, now you can literally dial it in. With a button.

Good luck with that.