ZipDialog Roundup for Friday, September 1

Articles chosen with care. Your comments welcomed.
Linked articles in bold purple

◆ The Fix was In: James Comey, then director of the FBI, drafted his memo exonerating Hillary before the key witnesses had been interviewed (CBS News)

Fired FBI Director James Comey drafted a statement to announce the conclusion in the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server before the FBI interviewed key witnesses, including Hillary Clinton herself, top Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee claim.

Committee chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, reached that conclusion from transcripts of interviews with people close to Comey and provided by the Department of Justice’s Office of Special Counsel (OSC). Those transcripts, the Republicans said in a Thursday letter to current FBI Director Chris Wray, show Comey had already drafted a conclusion for his investigation before interviewing 17 key witnesses, including Clinton, and before the DOJ had reached immunity agreements with former Clinton aides Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson. CBS News

The full text of Grassley and Graham’s letter to the FBI is here.

◆ Trump plans to end to DACA, perhaps on Friday (Austin Statesman)

McClatchy’s bureau in Washington, D.C., was reporting Thursday that President Donald Trump is expected to announce and end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, an Obama-era program that had temporarily deferred deportation of undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as children. –Austin Statesman

Attorneys General from several states were suing to end the program as an unconstitutional overreach of Pres. Obama’s authority, something Obama himself acknowledged before actually doing it. The AGs’ suit says DACA

 confers eligibility for work authorization and lawful presence without any statutory authorization from Congress –quoted in Austin Statesman

Comment: The details of Trump’s policy are crucial, and we simply won’t know them until the White House issues its decision.

Here is what is most likely.

  • First, ending the program will mean stopping coverage for any new arrivals. They will simply be illegal immigrants (or undocumented, if you prefer), regardless of age.
  • Second, mass deportations of current DACA beneficiaries won’t happen.
  • Third, what is uncertain is whether DACA permissions to stay will renewed for current “dreamers.” Most likely, they will not. If so, then those people will lose DACA status at some future date. They will then be subject to deportation on a case-by-case basis, just as other illegal immigrants are.
  • Fourth, the status of Dreamers already in the US could be one of Trump’s bargaining chips in future negotiations about immigration reform and the wall.

More on this as it develops.

⇒ Btw, expect calm, reasoned responses, like this one: Killing DACA is a ‘violent white supremacist priority’ The op-ed, written by a DACA recipient, also calls the Trump Administration white supremacist.  (op-ed by Belen Sisa in the Arizona Capitol Times)

 Oh, those Iranian mullahs. Now they have Al Qaeda affiliates mining uranium in Africa to send to them (Fox News)

Meanwhile, remember how the IAEA (the Int. Atomic Energy Agency) was going to inspect the Obama deal? 

Well, they aren’t doing it.

 To develop self-driving cars, manufacturers need a clear legal framework for road tests. The House will vote on one next week (Reuters)

The bill would bar states from blocking autonomous vehicles and

would allow automakers to obtain exemptions to deploy up to 25,000 vehicles without meeting existing auto safety standards in the first year, a cap that would rise to 100,000 vehicles annually over three years.–Reuters

Comment: The coming changes in transportation will be enormous, the biggest since the introduction of cars.

Take public transportation, for instance, where about three-quarters of the costs are wages, much of it for drivers (some for mechanics, who will still be needed). The cost of bus drivers is why the vehicles are large; you need fewer drivers that way. If driver wages are eliminated, the buses can be smaller and arrive more frequently. They can also serve less traveled routes.

Ultimately, the biggest question is whether lots of drivers will switch out of car ownership and take self-driving Ubers in urban areas.

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Hat tip to Clarice Feldman for the text of the Grassley-Graham memo and to Tom Elia for highlighting this latest Comey contretemps.

2 Comments
  • Dave Schuler
    September 2, 2017

    “The Fix was In”

    Sentence first verdict afterwards.

    It’s truly becoming a Looking Glass world.

  • Christina H
    September 2, 2017

    Of course Comey knew that he wasn’t going to prosecute Hillary Clinton. He’s a reasonable republican, and every reasonable person–Republican and Democrat–knew that there was a 0% chance of criminal charges being filed over emails from the get-go. He carried out the big protracted political show and hurt her numbers, just as he was supposed to–what more do you want from him?

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