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Migrant farm workers transplant jalapeno sprouts at a farm in Lamont, Calif., on March 7.
Migrant farm workers transplant jalapeno sprouts at a farm in Lamont, Calif., on March 7. (Los Angeles Times)

The GOP infighting that blocked passage of the farm bill may eventually claim another victim: “Dreamer” immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.

This is a little byzantine, so bear with me while I spool it out. Prodded by such Central Valley lawmakers as Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) and David Valadao (R-Hanford), a small group of House Republicans filed a petition in mid-May to force a vote on four competing proposals to settle the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The four were the DREAM Act, a Democratic proposal with half a dozen Republican supporters; the Securing America’s Future Act, the bill by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) favored by conservative Republicans; the USA  Act, a measure backed by Republican and Democratic centrists; and whatever immigration-related measure House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) wanted to bring to the floor.

The move was boldly defiant of the House Republican leadership, given that its authors were making common cause with House Democrats in a bid to seize control of the immigration agenda. But the chess-move response by the far-right House Freedom Caucus was to refuse to vote for the farm bill unless and until the House voted on the Goodlatte bill — and just the Goodlatte bill.

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  • The Swamp

The Associated Press has unleashed a bombshell investigation into Trump fund-raiser Elliott Broidy. If you haven’t read the piece yet, feel free to jump over and take a gander. I’ll wait.

Back? Good.

The piece is a monster, with loads of sordid details about a key Trump ally’s nefarious foreign dealings. There are, of course, Russia ties. I’ll leave it to more seasoned watchers of Robert S. Mueller III to explain the intricacies and larger implications of the piece and how it all plays into the special counsel’s investigation.

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  • Guns and Ammo
  • We're All Doomed
Tanya Diaz, Brock Sanchez and Lucy Gonzales place flowers, a sign and balloons on a tree outside Santa Fe High School.
Tanya Diaz, Brock Sanchez and Lucy Gonzales place flowers, a sign and balloons on a tree outside Santa Fe High School. (Stuart Villanueva / Associated Press)

The mass killing at Santa Fe High School in Texas grabbed the nation by the throat for a few hours last week, but in truth few people are paying much attention anymore, which is yet more evidence of how routinized these violent acts have become.

But even more routinized are the other daily incidents of gun violence that plague the nation in a steady rhythm. On Monday, for instance, guns were fired in at least 54 incidents across the U.S., with 12 people killed and 29 wounded, according to statistics compiled by the Gun Violence Archive.

That’s just one day.

  • Trump
  • We're All Doomed
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke about Iran on Monday at the Heritage Foundation in Washington.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke about Iran on Monday at the Heritage Foundation in Washington. (Michael Reynolds / European Pressphoto Agency)

POMPEO TO IRAN: DROP DEAD!

That wouldn’t be a completely accurate headline for a report about Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s speech Monday about U.S. policy toward Iran,  but it’s not much of an exaggeration.

In an address at the Heritage Foundation, Pompeo followed up on President Trump’s repudiation of the international agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear program — an agreement Iran has complied with — by demanding that the Islamic Republic agree to a new deal that would prevent it from enriching any uranium for any purpose.

  • Trump
China has agreed in trade talks to buy more U.S. farm products, such as sorghum, shown here at a farm in Waukomis, Okla., in 2012.
China has agreed in trade talks to buy more U.S. farm products, such as sorghum, shown here at a farm in Waukomis, Okla., in 2012. (Sue Ogrocki / Associated Press)

The first fruits of the Trump administration’s get-tough-on-China policies were harvested this weekend, and the results were promising for U.S. farmers and energy companies. For everyone else, not so much. 

The president has fixated on reducing China’s $335-billion annual trade surplus with the U.S. That’s a function of many factors, only some of which are problematic. Nevertheless, China — recognizing whom they’re dealing with — has agreed to increase its purchases of U.S. agricultural products and natural gas, Reuters reported, albeit without committing to a specific dollar amount.

The administration promptly suspended its plan to levy tariffs on $150 billion worth of Chinese products — or it didn’t, depending on whether you believe Treasury Secretary Steven T. “Yes We Did” Mnuchin or U.S. Trade Representative Robert “No We Didn’t” Lighthizer. 

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  • Trump
  • The Witch Hunt
Deputy Atty. Gen. Rod Rosenstein addresses a conference on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in New York on May 9.
Deputy Atty. Gen. Rod Rosenstein addresses a conference on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in New York on May 9. (JUSTIN LANE/EPA/Shutterstock)

On Monday it will be learned whether the Justice Department has found a way to defuse President Trump’s outrageous demand for an investigation into his latest conspiracy theory about the Russia investigation.

On Sunday the president made good on his threats to get involved in the department’s investigations when he tweeted:

  • Trump
  • Election 2018
John Cox
John Cox (Rich Pedroncelli)

We have learned so many fun and interesting facts about President Donald Trump over the past year and half.

Most are things that I feel I can safely say no one really wanted to know, such as the extent of his Diet Coke dependence, the size of the button on his desk that could end life on Earth and the fact that our “very stable genius” president doesn’t actually read things.

On Friday, we learned something new. Trump does not feel loyalty to the Republican candidates who supported his own run for the presidency.

  • Trump
  • Rule of Law
  • The Swamp
Trump reportedly leaned on the postmaster general to double shipping rates for Amazon, owned by Jeff Bezos (right).
Trump reportedly leaned on the postmaster general to double shipping rates for Amazon, owned by Jeff Bezos (right). (Alex Brandon / Associated Press)

How Nixonian of him.

The Washington Post, in a nice twist of irony, reports that President Trump has been strong-arming the postmaster general to double the rate it charges Amazon — along with a handful of other companies —  for all those deliveries. The reason? Amazon is the fiefdom of mega-billionaire Jeff Bezos, who has drawn the ire of our thin-skinned president by owning the Washington Post, which has been covering Trump with admirable depth and breadth.

So the president of the United States is apparently trying to use his office to punish someone he perceives as a political enemy.

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  • Trump
  • The Witch Hunt
President Donald Trump walks into the East Room of the White House Friday for a Prison Reform Summit.
President Donald Trump walks into the East Room of the White House Friday for a Prison Reform Summit. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

In today’s installment of President Trump’s unceasing attack on special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation, the president is floating a new theory — that the FBI sneaked a mole into his 2016 campaign.Friday morning, Trump tweeted:

Even with the uncharacteristic qualification — “if true” — this is a sensational allegation. But it’s also part of a pattern.

  • Rule of Law
Lawyer Aaron Schlossberg, center, takes a cellphone video of reporters taking his video as he leaves his home in Manhattan on Thursday.
Lawyer Aaron Schlossberg, center, takes a cellphone video of reporters taking his video as he leaves his home in Manhattan on Thursday. (Anthony DelMundo/New York Daily News/TNS)

At the risk of sounding like I’m defending the indefensible, there’s something unnerving about the backlash against Aaron Schlossberg.

Here’s the incident that catapulted Schlossberg into the public eye:

There’s something clearly wrong with this guy. And now, thanks to YouTube and my fellow carrion birds in the media, the story of the guy who threatened to call immigration agents on food-service workers who spoke Spanish is all over the internet.