From Julia (Crooked) <[email protected]>
Subject Mike check'd
Date January 25, 2023 1:50 AM
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ANOTHER classified documents scandal? Get it together, you guys. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

- Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene ([link removed]) (R-GA) playing the “COVID is a hoax” hits (still?!) in 2023

Houston, we have another classified documents problem.

* Former Vice President Mike Pence also had classified documents at his house ([link removed]) in Indiana, which his aides discovered only last week. Those documents have since been turned over to the FBI. Pence’s attorney said in a letter dated January 18 that Pence engaged outside counsel “out of an abundance of caution” to review records stored in his home after news first broke about the materials found at President Biden’s residence, from his own tenure as Vice President.

* In a separate letter dated January 22, Pence’s attorney said that the Justice Department requested direct possession of those documents found at the former Vice President’s home, bypassing standard procedures. Spokespersons for former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush stated that both administrations had turned over all classified documents, with Obama adding that his office had been given a “clean bill of health” by the National Archives and Records Administration.

* Pence becomes the third former Executive Branch official found with classified documents in his possession, which should ease the fallout for Biden. In a world of good-faith news reporting and Republican politics, the very similar Pence and Biden stories would give rise to legitimate oversight of the presidential transition process, and how those tasked with moving elected officials out of the White House sort classified from unclassified documents. Those episodes would also be held in stark contrast to disgraced former president Donald Trump, who stole selected documents, lied about it, refused to hand them over, and continues to claim they are rightfully his.

Unfortunately, that’s not the world we live in…yet.

* Congressional Republicans are trying to spin this as “Our guy innocent, your guy guilty,” but we expected that of them. House Oversight Committee chairman Rep. James Comer (R-KY) issued a statement ([link removed]) that Pence’s cooperation “stands in stark contrast to Biden White House staff who continue to withhold information from Congress and the American people.” Lol. Obviously, he cites no specific examples to support that claim, because they don’t exist, but go off, James.

* Alas, the Mainstream Liberal Media has proven little better than James Comer in this case. In spite of what Comer would have you believe, Biden and Pence both voluntarily gave over their documents after self-directed searches, and agreed to cooperate with Congress. Nevertheless, The New York Times has chosen to whistle past the Pence story entirely, so they can milk the false Trump/Biden equivalence ([link removed]) as long as possible. But the Pence revelations undermine the Times’s assertion that Biden’s handling of documents “complicates the case against Trump," and actually instead serve to create a sharp contrast of how aberrant Trump’s conduct was.

If the mainstream media wants to make the argument that transitions are messy and there aren’t enough thorough processes in place when VP’s are on their way out to prevent certain documents from slipping through the cracks, fine, go nuts. Call up Al Gore and Dick Cheney and see what they can add to this conversation. But treating Biden’s voluntary cooperation as equal to Trump’s intentional theft of classified documents and subsequent obstruction of justice is not only journalistically irresponsible, it’s factually incorrect.

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As they’ve long promised (to their billionaire donors) House Republicans have begun weighing a series of legislative proposals targeting Social Security, Medicare, and other social safety net and entitlement programs ([link removed]) as part of their ongoing debt-limit extortion plans. Under the weak-chinned leadership of Speaker Kevin McCarthy, House Republicans have rallied around “austerity,” which they claim will balance the nation’s budget—a goal they manifestly don’t care about at all. (The other part of that plan—to defund the IRS and again slash taxes for the wealthy and corporations—would balloon the federal deficit, but pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!) It’s somewhat unlikely they will succeed in gutting Social Security and Medicare because even their god Donald Trump (who, by the way, signed off on two clean debt-limit increases during his presidency with bipartisan support) opposes it,
but health care, education, science, and labor programs will all certainly be on the GOP’s list of ransoms. In the meantime, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen activated yet another emergency cash-management measure to avoid breaching the federal debt limit ([link removed]) , suspending reinvestments in large government retirement funds. The Government Securities Investment Fund is one of the largest tools the Treasury can wield to reclaim borrowing capacity under the debt limit. Seems like everything is going great! Republican fiscal policy does it again!

The Justice Department filed its second antitrust lawsuit against Google in just over two years ([link removed]) , the latest sign that the Biden administration isn’t backing down from cases against major tech companies even in the face of mixed court results.

In what would be a reversal, U.S. officials said that the White House is poised to approve sending M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine ([link removed]) .

Newly-resurfaced audio of an interview Rep. George Santos (R-NY) conducted in December of last year show him claiming to have been the victim of an attempted murder ([link removed]) and that he was mugged in broad daylight while walking down Fifth Avenue in the summer of 2021. Any great writer of fiction would be so lucky to have an imagination this active.

Police have arrested a man suspected of killing seven people in shootings at two separate locations on Monday in Half Moon Bay, CA ([link removed]) . Just over three weeks into the year, the U.S. has now had more mass shootings in 2023 than at this point in any year on record.

The Republican National Committee is set to vote on a resolution this week considering whether or not to condemn not just antisemitism, but rapper Ye ([link removed]) (better known as Kanye West) and other white nationalists like Nick Fuentes who have made explicitly antisemitic statements. Glad to know they’re “considering” it months after the fact! Profiles in courage!

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) wants to ban TikTok in the United States ([link removed]) . Okay, man.

Elon Musk reinstated the Twitter account of Nick Fuentes ([link removed]) , a virulent white nationalist and antisemite. America’s gravestone will read “Free speech ;-) ‘absolutism’ !!!”

The U.S. Senate grilled Live Nation Entertainment executives over their inability to block bot purchases of tickets ([link removed]) after a major ticket-sale fiasco ahead of Taylor Swift’s upcoming tour. If the Swifties end up breaking up a tech monopoly I will forgive them for everything else.

Against the backdrop of the most far-right government in Israel’s history, a nonprofit called Shlom Asiraich has gained a foothold in the United States and is collecting tax-exempt donations from Americans to fund Israeli extremists convicted in some of the country’s most infamous hate crimes ([link removed]) . According to findings from the Associated Press and the Israeli investigative platform Shomrim, the group has a documented money trail from New Jersey to imprisoned Israeli radicals, including the man who assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995, and many others convicted of deadly attacks on Palestinians. At least five of the group’s seven founders have themselves been questioned by Israeli authorities for crimes related to crimes against Palestinians, and some have even been arrested and charged.
This raises moral and legal questions for United States government regulators, as nonprofits are not supposed to, you know, support murderers.
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Black workers, young workers, and people on the lowest rungs of the income ladder were among those who saw the largest pay increases last year ([link removed]) .

Disgraced former president Trump withdrew a second lawsuit against New York Attorney General Letitia James ([link removed]) .

A new kind of gene therapy is showing promising results for treating a host of brain disorders ([link removed]) .

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who will chair the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, is considering a move to call Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz in for testimony about the corporation’s union-busting activities ([link removed]) . Make that a double.
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