Term-limited Gov. Sam Brownback’s (R) nomination to an ambassadorship “is returning to the White House because of U.S. Senate Rule 31, which requires that senators agree unanimously to continue considering nominees as a year ends. It wasn’t immediately clear which senator or senators objected to keeping Brownback’s nomination alive. Democrats have questioned his record on gay rights.”
Brownback “faces mounting pressure to clarify whether he or Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer (R) will be in charge when the Kansas Legislature gets back to work in early January — even if that means Brownback’s early resignation.”
“The Legislature reconvenes Jan. 8, and the governor is expected to deliver the State of the State address and a budget proposal soon after.” (Kansas City Star)
The Kansas City Star editorial board called on Brownback to resign.
“Kansas needs new leadership as much as oppressed religious minorities around the world need your passion for their situation. We do wish you the best in that capacity, or in anything else you choose to do. But as a fictional victim of religious persecution in pre-revolutionary Russia — yes, in ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ — asked God to ‘bless and keep the tsar, far away from us,’ we wish you well, too, far from Topeka.” (Kansas City Star)
WEAVING A NARRATIVE. Republican consultant John Weaver, who “does not work for the Greg Orman campaign,” penned an op-ed praising the potential independent candidate.
Weaver: “What’s quickly become clear is that both political parties are threatened by Orman’s candidacy. They rightly view him as a disruptor of the status quo and their attacks demonstrate that they know he can win. And while the people of Kansas would be the winners under a Gov. Orman — a governor who would put the people ahead of partisanship — the political establishment would be the losers, and they don’t want that.” (Kansas City Star)
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"The Justice Department inspector general referred its finding that former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe repeatedly misled investigators who were examining a media disclosure to the top federal prosecutor in D.C. to determine whether McCabe should be charged with a crime." The referral occurred "after the inspector general concluded McCabe had lied to investigators or his own boss, then-FBI Director James B. Comey, on four occasions, three of them under oath." The referral does "not necessarily mean McCabe will be charge with a crime ... although the report alleged that one of McCabe’s lies 'was done knowingly and intentionally.'"
A federal appeals court in Chicago "upheld a nationwide injunction against making federal grant funding contingent on cooperation with immigration enforcement." The three Republican appointees ruled that the Trump administration "exceeded its legal authority in trying to implement the new conditions without approval from Congress ... One judge on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals panel, Reagan appointee Daniel Manion, said he would narrow the injunction solely to protect Chicago. However, the two other judges assigned to the case said the nationwide injunction appeared to be justified."
"The top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee says Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., is poised to subpoena the Justice Department for former FBI Director James Comey’s memos, which the agency so far has failed to produce. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., warned such a move puts Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in jeopardy of being placed in contempt of Congress and the special counsel investigation of being shut down prematurely."