Raucous Debate – The top Democratic candidates engaged in a heated and at times out-of-control debate in Las Vegas this week. The candidates mercilessly attacked each other, each one vying to break out of the pack and give themselves a legitimate shot at winning the nomination. Particularly badly hit was Michael Bloomberg, who has been rising lately in the polls and whom other candidates see as a major threat to them. Bloomberg has spent $464 million of his own money on his campaign, according to FEC records.
Trump Pardons and Commutations – President Trump this week pardoned former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, who served eight years in federal prison for trying to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat after he was elected president, and ten others accused of various crimes. The list of individuals who were pardoned or had their sentence commuted included former NYPD Commissioner Bernie Kerik, financier Michael Milken, and former 49’ers owner Edward DeBartolo.
Grenell Appointed Acting DNI – The US ambassador to Germany, Ric Grennel, is being appointed the Acting Director of National Intelligence, a position he lacks the experience to serve in. However, he is a strong Trump supporter and the president is known to place his top supporters in positions of authority. Grennel will remain in his position as ambassador to Germany while acting as DNI, which is completely unprecedented and blurs the lines between national security and foreign policy.
Barr Threatens To Quit – Attorney General William Barr has reportedly threatened to quit his job if President Trump continues to tweet about ongoing cases. A political firestorm erupted after Trump slammed the recommended sentencing of Roger Stone which was followed by a change in the recommendation by the Justice Department and the subsequent resignation of the prosecutors on the case.
Bezos To Make Global Warming Contribution – Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the wealthiest man in the world, said he would be contributing $10 billion to his fund that is fighting climate change. The contribution is but a drop in the bucket of his roughly $130 billion fortune.