On Monday evening, federal prosecutors in the Roger Stone case asked a judge for a nine-year sentence as punishment for his seven felony convictions, including threatening a witness and interfering with a congressional investigation into crimes possibly committed by his friend Donald Trump. But after President Trump wrote a night tweet calling the recommendation “horrible and unfair” while insisting that the “real crimes were on the other side,” the U.S. Justice Department has intervened to ask for a lighter sentence.
According to the New York Times, a government organization overriding federal prosecutors’ sentencing recommendation because the president was unhappy on social media is “highly unusual,” though the paper does point out that two weeks ago, prosecutors went for a lesser sentence for Michael T. Flynn, a different crime friend, who pled guilty to lying to authorities about Russia. Prosecutors initially said they might ask for a real jail sentence of six months in prison but decided last-minute to ask for probation, the same punishment I got for driving 102 miles per hour when the speed limit was 70. [New York Times]
At a time when many students are struggling to pay for college and then pay off the staggering loans they took out to pay for college, President Trump is looking to limit repayment options (I’m guessing income-based repayment), end subsidized loans that require the government to pay interest while students are in school, and kill those student loan forgiveness programs that Betsy DeVos already made sure nobody was able to get. The program would also put a cap on the amount of loans graduate students and parents are able to take out, which would make college and graduate school impossible for some.
As a child, my mother read me a series of books about ways in which children could, in their own lives, emulate the best qualities of great leaders. For example, The Value of Respect taught to young readers to listen carefully to other’s struggles, like Abraham Lincoln, in order to better develop empathy. The Donald Trump edition of that series, should it still exist, might very well be titled The Value of Dodging Your Creditors and Sticking Someone Else With the Bill. Much like our president spent his formative years taking out loans, never paying them back, and depending on the government to absorb the cost, so should we all. Think of your student loans like Trump Steaks or Trump University, for that matter, and just move on when you’re finished spending the money. [NBC News]
All this student loan talk should have the majority of us good and nervous, so let’s get to a bit of anxiety-induced barfing:
- Another reason to skip out on student loan payments: You’re probably going to need that money for medicine and food. [CNN]
- While the Justice Department may be soft on crime friends, they’re going hard on sanctuary cities. Priorities! [Washington Post]
- An Arkansas police officer placed a ninth grader in a chokehold until he blacked out. [NBC News]
- A group for progressive military veterans called Common Defense endorsed both Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren for President (still just one job), as double endorsements appear to be how we’re doing it now. [HuffPost]
- Fearing hordes of blood-spewing, Kotex-hungry period people clawing each other’s eyes out in the aisles of a Pigeon Forge Rite Aid over the last multi-pack, Tennessee is worried tampon taxes are all that stand between menstruators and madness. [WKRN]