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ICYMI: Winner, winner prison dinner! (And the Comey Circus)

Happy weekend. It’s been a long week. In case you missed anything, we have a round-up of the big news on and off Capitol Hill.

This week’s big circus: Comey on the Hill

Forming the centerpiece of the news week, recently fired FBI Director James Comey testified in a long-anticipated open hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday.

I have a few takeaways, Jordan Schachtel covers one of the few real bombshells, and Chris Pandolfo writes about the narrative-demolishing questions of Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

And then there were the questions of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. … yeah … you’re just going to have to read them yourself.

This week’s dog and pony show:

Wednesday's Senate hearing with top intelligence chiefs was fairly tight-lipped. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers said that they’d never felt “pressured” to interfere with an ongoing investigation, but they repeatedly refused to say whether or not they’d ever been asked to do so.

This week’s dose of reality:

Amidst the intel community clown show, Sen. Ted Cruz has a reminder to conservatives: “Ignore the political circus” and focus on real policy.

This week’s big votes:

The House voted on a bill this week that could make your next mortgage or business loan a lot less expensive.

While the Comey hullaballoo was going on, the House passed perhaps its most consequential bill since January, a sizable rollback of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial regulations law. Daniel Horowitz breaks down what it could mean for American jobs, if passed by the Senate and signed into law.

On Tuesday the House gave a big helping hand to ISIS’ genocide victims in the Middle East by passing an expedited bill to better funnel State Department aid to communities of Christians, Yezidis, and other religious minorities that were largely overlooked during the Obama years.

The situation on the ground is still pretty dire, as experts say those in need of assistance are fast approaching a “tipping point” from which their ancient communities may never recover.

This week’s eyeroll:

Two days in a row this week, “know-nothing, pathetic, left-wing kook from California” Sen. Kamala Harris got called out for her behavior in committee hearings.

First she disrespected DHS Secretary Kelly, and then she got a metaphorical slap on the wrist for repeatedly interrupting deputy AG Rod Rosenstein during the hearing.

Winner, winner, prison dinner:

Details continue to come out about the now-infamous alleged NSA leaker, whose name is actually Reality Winner. CR’s Jordan Schachtel did some digging and found out that she previously pledged allegiance to the Iranian regime on social media.

This week’s Obamacare rundown:

The Senate version of the legislation is taking even longer than expected. Meanwhile, pessimism in the upper chamber about passing a bill before the end of this year is mounting.

Furthermore, rather than force you to buy insurance, the government might buy it for you and just stick you with the bill. Yes, some Republicans are actually considering an auto-enrollment system.

Finally, in yet another move to at least temporarily preserve portions of the 2010 law, House Ways and Means Chair Kevin Brady said Thursday that Congress should fund Obamacare payments as it sorts out how it plans to tweak the current structure.

But that still isn’t enough for Democrats, who are demanding even more than that.

Meanwhile, yet another insurer pulled out of the exchanges, this time in Ohio.

However, things seem to be going well for one insurer, enjoying its government-sponsored monopoly in several states.

This week’s poll:

A majority of likely voters believes that the president’s proposed immigration moratorium is aimed at stopping terrorists, rather than just blocking Muslims, according to a new Rasmussen survey. Meanwhile, they’re split down the middle on whether they actually support the measure.

There’s going to be a new sheriff in town:

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., was picked Thursday to head up the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, replacing Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who is leaving at the end of this month.

Not getting the job:

House Freedom Caucus Vice Chair Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who has seniority on the committee and previously vied for the position for a while before electing to bow out this time around.

This week’s foreign tyranny:

This one doesn’t come from our legislative branch, but from our neighbors to the north. Ontario’s legislature just passed a law that would allow the government to take children if their parents don’t buy into their kids’ “gender identity.”

This week’s domestic tyranny:

In a stunning exchange during a Senate confirmation hearing, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., imposed a de facto unconstitutional religious test against one of Trump’s nominees because of the latter’s Christian faith.

This week’s constitutional fist pump:

This one’s from Sunday, but it holds up.

House Freedom Caucus member Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, says Congress needs to check and rein in the “P.C. courts” if we want to prevent a London-style jihadist attack from happening in the U.S.

The most interesting stories aren’t told in the headlines. They’re in the FOOTNOTES!

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