As we forecast last week Obama would go out with a bang and pardon many. We asked “Would he pardon Bergdahl, Manning or Hillary. How many would he release from Guanananmo”? Well we got a partial answer yesterday (because there will be more today or tomorrow) and it’s as we thought.
First let’s understand who Manning is. An Army Pvt., Chelsea Manning (was Bradley Manning then) was convicted of stealing some 750,000 pages of classified and unclassified military documents. She then provided them to WikiLeaks. Manning was convicted in a court of law to a 35-year sentence. She will now be released in May instead of her sentenced 2045 date. Senator Tom Cotton said it all for us, “I don’t understand why the president would feel special compassion for someone who endangered the lives of our troops, diplomats, intelligence officers and allies.”
Now think about what you just read. Stole classified documents. Gave them to Wikileaks. Harmed security for America. Hurt efforts overseas. May have caused deaths. Embarrassed our nation. Sentenced in a court of law. Freed by Obama after conviction in 2013. Manning gave the same Wikileaks the sensitive classified documents that Obama is so upset about because they released DNC and Podesta emails. In fact, he put sanctions on Russia because of it. He is angrier at the DNC leaks than U.S. classified and secret documents.
Manning was not alone. Obama also commuted the sentences of 208 others yesterday and an additional 64 received pardons.
The clemency grants brought Mr. Obama’s total number of commutations in office to 1,385, the most by any president in history and more than the previous 11 presidents combined.
The 64 pardons issued on Tuesday brought the president’s total in eight years to 212.
With more to come we are sure.
One more pardon of note that readers of this blog may well recall, The Puerto Rican Terror Group known as FALN. You may recall they were tied to more than 100 bombings in New York and other cities in the 1970s and 1980s. Among its notable attacks was a bombing at Fraunces Tavern in New York in 1975 that killed four people. They also bombed four government buildings in Manhattan and Brooklyn on New Year’s Eve in 1982 that seriously wounded three police officers. The man freed, Oscar Lopez Rivera, was a FALN member who was serving a 70-year sentence after being convicted of numerous charges, including seditious conspiracy, a charge used for those plotting to overthrow the United States government.
I for one have trouble understanding Obama’s actions here. Yet today CNN reports his approval rating is nearing 60%.
For the past few days we’ve talked of the need for Trump to control his messaging and reiterated that Hillary lost to iom because she was more unpopular than him and not the Russians. Here’s a story recap in today’s WSJ that we think tells the story:
“TRUMP VOTERS HARBOR MIXED FEELINGS: President-elect Donald Trump owes his election in 2016 in part to voters like Deborah Forster, an independent in Michigan who had deeply mixed feelings about the Republican nominee. Ms. Forster, a 52-year-old attorney, voted for Mr. Trump mostly because she didn’t want Democrat Hillary Clinton to win. Now she is nervously watching as he prepares to enter the White House. She likes some of his cabinet picks, but isn’t pleased with his penchant for sending harsh tweets about everything from the U.S. intelligence community to actress Meryl Streep. She is one of a pivotal bloc of voters who harbored reservations about Mr. Trump but helped put him in the Oval Office. Their evolving view of Mr. Trump—whether their qualms are relieved or exacerbated by his performance—could tip the balance of public opinion, affecting how much leverage Mr. Trump will have with Congress and his prospects for uniting the country.”
The Journal also reports that 69% think “Mr. Trump’s use of Twitter is bad”. It can be such a positive if messaging is controlled.
Finally the number of Democratic congressional people not attending Friday is nearing 60. All are from safe districts as we reported. Disgraceful is our only comment. Note that all Democratic Senators are attending so far. Running statewide is a little different, though we would not be surprised if a few recently reelected senators don’t join the boycott. None up in 2018 will boycott. Political courage and idealism only goes so far.