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The Firing of Andrew McCabe
After weeks of speculation as to whether Andrew McCabe would be getting fired before his retirement date from the FBI, Attorney General Jeff Sessions authorized McCabe’s termination just 48 hours before his official retirement from government.
Being fired two days before he was going to retire meant that McCabe would lose part of his government pension, not all of it like you heard in the media. Ed alert: “I wish he did lose all of it, because if you take a job like that where ‘the law is the law’ and you violate that code, you shouldn’t get a pension.” Rather than being able to collect his pension immediately, McCabe now must wait until he’s 55 – but McCabe is no middle-class earner. According to the Wall Street Journal, he has an estimated net worth of $11 million dollars.
Senate Intelligence Committee Findings
Also this week, the Senate Intelligence Committee (led by Republican Devin Nunes) released its findings on the Russia probe. Among their findings:
- No evidence of collusion, coordination or conspiracy
- No evidence Trump associates were involved in the DNC email leak
- There is evidence the Trump team had ill-advised contact with Wikileaks
- The Obama administration knew about Russian election meddling and their response was inadequate
- The fake Steele dossier was the key to obtaining the FISA warrant to surveil members of the Trump team (including Michael Flynn, who was forced to resign as National Security Advisor)
The ranking Democrat on the committee, creepy Adam Schiff, is not too pleased about the report. Ed alert: “Is there anyone who likes Adam Schiff? You people in his district in the San Fernando Valley, what do you see in this guy? Get rid of him!”
The Omnibus Spending Bill
To avoid yet another government shutdown, Congress kicked the can down the road one more time with a $1.3 trillion spending bill. Rather than talking about what’s in the bill, it’s easier to identify what’s not in it. The bill has:
- No funding for the wall, only a 33-mile “partial fence” that will “not be made out of concrete” and would cost $641 million.
- No defunding of sanctuary cities – It will just be a continuation of the status quo, because Democrats threatened to torpedo the bill if it included new rules allowing the administration to block federal funding to sanctuary cities.
- No new money for additional ICE agents or detention beds at the border
- No defunding of Planned Parenthood – in fact, they get half a billion dollars.
Here’s what else is in it:
Gun research – This week, negotiators were finalizing a significant clarification to the Dickey amendment in order to ensure that federally-funded programs can legally research gun violence.
Gun and school safety – Two bipartisan bills, The Fix NICS Act and The Student, Teachers and Officers Preventing School Violence Act, would authorize millions of dollars in grants to help schools increase security and learn how to better identify potential threats.
Border security – The deal provides $1.57 billion for “physical barriers and technology, $641 million of which would go to levees and the see-through fence mentioned earlier (Democrats have held Republicans hostage on what the barrier can be).The vast majority — $1.3 billion — of the border security money is for technology.
Law enforcement – The F.B.I., D.E.A., U.S. Marshals and other law enforcement agencies will see a 3 to 5 percent increase in funding.
Military and defense – The bill fully funds a 2.4 percent pay raise for troops, and the military will see a surge in funding of $61 billion for fiscal year 2018. That is the largest year-to-year defense spending increase in 15 years.
Veterans – An increase of $2 billion will go to veterans’ hospital maintenance and backlogged construction projects.
The Census – For some reason, we’re throwing an additional $1.34 billion at the U.S. Census.
2018 Elections and cyberwarfare – The bill adds another $307 million on top of the president’s budget request for the F.B.I’s work to secure the 2018 U.S. elections and fight Russian cyberattacks. An additional $380 million will go to states to help them protect their voting systems.
Ed alert: “No wall? I tweeted to the President that he shouldn’t sign this. I guess he didn’t read it.”
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