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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}


Trump’s Super Bowl Ad Scores Last Place In Ratings

Donald Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign spent a reported $10 million for two 30-second ads during Sunday’s Super Bowl. According to USA Today’s Ad Meter, his criminal justice reform ad was the least liked spot among viewers of any ad from the game.

Trump’s ad featured Alice Johnson, a woman who was sentenced to life in prison for a nonviolent drug offense but had her sentence commuted by Trump at the request of Kim Kardashian West. The ad appears to falsely imply that Johnson’s commutation was part of Trump’s criminal justice reform.

Former South Carolina state Rep. Bakari Sellers (D) described the ad as “offensive,” dubbing it the “I freed a Negro” ad.

Viewers apparently agreed; the Trump spot ranked 62nd out of 62 ads evaluated, with just a 3.33 average rating. His second spot, focused on the economy, was not included in the rankings.

The highest rated ad of the night, by contrast, came from Jeep during the game’s third quarter. The ad, “Groundhog Day,” featured actor Bill Murray, who starred in the film of the same name in 1993, and scored a 7.01 average rating.

USA Today has tracked public opinion on Super Bowl ads for 32 years. Panelists vote on each spot and any adult citizen may sign up to participate.

Trump has used his pardon and commutation power sparingly, often helping prominent Republicans including Dinesh D’Souza, Joe Arpaio, and I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

#EndorseThis: Kardashian-West On Trump Catching Her With Her Pants Down

Kim Kardashian-West and her husband Kanye West have taken plenty of heat for befriending, praising, and even cooperating with President Donald Trump. But there’s no question Kardashian-West struck a blow for liberal goodness when she secured the release of non-violent drug offender Alice Marie-Johnson from prison.

In today’s clip, Kim tells Jimmy Kimmel about her robed (or dis-robed) state when getting the call from Trump, her happy tears upon calling Marie-Johnson to deliver the good news, and cursing a blue streak to match 45’s legendary outbursts of profanity as she walked into the Oval Office.

But never fear, anti-Trumpers. Jimmy is still able to sneak in a few choice zingers, including a crack about Melania that you’ll swear you should have seen coming…but you didn’t!

Press play for the naked truth.

Yes, Kim Kardashian Is Trump’s Smartest Adviser

The nation’s foolish and costly “War on Drugs” has destroyed so many lives — taking fathers and mothers from their families, condemning parolees to lives on the margins and decimating entire neighborhoods, especially in poor, black areas. It was uplifting, then, to hear that 63-year-old Alice Marie Johnson, who served 21 years behind bars for her non-violent involvement in a drug-selling scheme, was released from an Alabama prison earlier this week after her sentence was commuted.
Let us now praise President Donald J. Trump, whom Johnson thanked enthusiastically — appropriately so — for the clemency. Yes, there are many things wrong with Trump’s policies toward drug offenders. His attorney general, Jeff Sessions, has reversed President Barack Obama’s efforts to end lengthy sentences for non-violent drug offenders, threatening to go back to the “Reefer Madness” era.
Then there is the president’s use of his clemency powers, which have been largely reserved for celebrities and for the enemies of his enemies. It took intervention by a mega-celebrity, Kim Kardashian West, to win Johnson’s release. West had seen a viral video of Johnson telling her story from behind bars.
That said, Trump has still done something right. Even if just one injustice is corrected, the occasion is worth celebrating.
Johnson was one of the felons featured in a 2013 American Civil Liberties Union report on the lengthy prison sentences meted out to non-violent offenders. The mother of five, her life had fallen apart after she was divorced and lost her job with FedEx. She filed for bankruptcy and lenders foreclosed on her house.

As if that weren’t enough, her youngest son was killed in a motorcycle accident.
Johnson said she became involved in the drug ring as a way to make ends meet; she claims that she never made any drug deals or sold drugs herself but merely relayed messages among others involved. But federal prosecutors gave promises of leniency to several others in the drug ring in exchange for their testimony against Johnson. And, despite a clean record prior to her arrest, she was convicted of several counts and sentenced to life without parole plus 25 years. Killers have gotten less time.
It is hard to imagine that a white mother with the same clean record and minimal involvement in a drug-trafficking scheme would have been condemned to spend the rest of her life in prison. The ACLU found “a staggering racial disparity in life-without-parole sentencing for nonviolent offenses. . . Blacks are disproportionately represented in the nationwide prison and jail population, but the disparities are even worse . . . among the nonviolent LWOP population. . . .The ACLU estimates that nationwide, 65.4 percent of prisoners serving LWOP for nonviolent offenses are Black, 17.8 percent are white, and 15.7 percent are Latino.”
The popularity of life-without-parole sentences is a fairly recent feature of a criminal justice system that has become, if anything, more weighed down with unconscious prejudices over the last several decades. Sentencing felons to life without parole became more popular after the U.S. Supreme Court briefly banned the death penalty in the 1970s; it seems rational that judges, jurors and legislators would have sought out a way to confine the most violent offenders indefinitely.
But only fear, propaganda and frank racism can explain the explosion in life-without-parole sentences for non-violent crimes. In stark contrast to the sensible public conversation around the opioid epidemic, prosecutors, state legislators, police officers and members of Congress spent the 1970s and ‘80s loudly characterizing the crack epidemic as an existential threat to cities around the country — and perhaps to the nation itself. The only response, they claimed, was to lock up any and all involved for long stretches. Is it mere coincidence that the crack epidemic mostly involved black Americans?
The only glimmer of hope for those who remain incarcerated for life as a result of those wretched policies is clemency from the president. So it seems reasonable to suggest that advocates for sentencing reform round up as many Trump-friendly celebrities like Kardashian as they can — where are you, Rosanne Barr? — and show them videos of sympathetic non-violent felons. If that’s the way to get more of them out of prison, let’s get started.

#EndorseThis: Trevor Noah Pardons Kim Kardashian-West For Meeting Trump

Kim Kardashian-West is the second person from the same famous marriage to take heat for getting chummy with President Trump. Like Hillary Clinton’s argument against speaking to Iran, many liberals feel that meeting with Trump normalizes him. Add Kim’s status as a worldwide mega-superstar and the potential for controversy jumps off the charts.

To his credit, comedian Trevor Noah is not worried about the tabloid aspects of the Kim (Kardashian) and Trump story. Instead, he’s focused on the substance. Unfortunately, when the onion is peeled away, it appears that Kim’s efforts to move 45 were met with not only rejection, but a slap. Kardashian-West pleaded with the Orange One to pardon great-grandmother Alice Marie-Johnson, who has served decades on a non-violent drug offense. But Trump woke up the next day and pardoned conservative arse-clown Dinesh D’Souza, then indicated that Martha Stewart could be next in line instead of Marie-Johnson. (It’s a bad thing.)

Trump deserves every bit of Trevor’s punishment here. But in case you are wondering, yes, the Daily Show comic unleashes his patented Kim Kardashian impression at the 2:25 mark, while defending Kim from an on-air attack from CNN’s Jim Acosta.

Press play, and learn to ca’o-exessst.