Quotables
July 19, 2014
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Attorney General Eric Holder praised Friday's unanimous vote by the U.S. Sentencing Commission to reduce the sentences of 46,000 inmates currently serving time for drug offenses.

"This is a milestone in the effort to make more efficient use of our law enforcement resources and to ease the burden on our overcrowded prison system," Holder said in a statement reported by the Los Angeles Times.

While Holder chose to back the commission's decision, he had formerly been critical of the scope of the possible sentence reductions. The attorney general, along with a number of prosecutors and other Justice Department officials, had supported a narrower approach that would in theory weed out drug traffickers who were poor candidates for early release. As is, the decision will not go into effect for a year, which the Justice Department says will give judges time to review each candidate and ensure their early release does not pose a threat to public safety.

Congress could still block the decision, although it must do so by November 1, and the plan has received support from both sides of the aisle. Sarah Eberspacher

Quotables
2:04 p.m. ET
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Jon Stewart says his decision to leave The Daily Show after a 16-year run was not based on concerns with the show's direction, but rather the result of him no longer "getting the same satisfaction" from his work.

"These things are cyclical," he told the Guardian. "You have moments of dissatisfaction, and then you come out of it and it's OK. But the cycles become longer and maybe more entrenched, and that's when you realize, 'OK, I'm on the back side of it now.'"

In the interview, Stewart also discussed the state of the media and his regrets over a "shi--y" interview with Donald Rumsfeld, among other things. Check out the whole profile here. Jon Terbush

Watch this
1:30 p.m. ET
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Patti Smith on Saturday delivered a teary-eyed speech at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's induction ceremony for the late Lou Reed, saying the famed musician's "consciousness infiltrated and illuminated our cultural voice."

Smith spoke about a decades-long friendship with Reed that began as both artists developed in the New York City music scene of the 1970s. And describing the day Reed died, Smith said she realized the Velvet Underground frontman was "not only my friend, he was the friend of New York City."

"True poets must often stand alone," she said. "As a poet, he must be counted as a solitary artist. So, Lou, thank you for brutally and benevolently injecting your poetry into music." —Jon Terbush

Iran and the bomb
12:10 p.m. ET
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Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday accused the U.S. of fabricating tales of Iranian nuclear weapons.

"They created the myth of nuclear weapons so they could say the Islamic Republic is a source of threat," Khamenei said in an address to military commanders. "No, the source of threat is America itself, with its unrestrained, destabilizing interventions."

The remark came one day before nuclear negotiations between Iran, the U.S., and five world powers were to resume. The negotiators have until June 30 to reach a final accord. Jon Terbush

2016 Watch
11:39 a.m. ET
Darren McCollester / Getty Images

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) says he will almost certainly get into the 2016 White House race.

"If I can raise the money, I'll do it," Graham said on Fox News Sunday. When pressed to say how seriously he was considering a presidential bid, Graham pegged his odds of running at the oddly specific "91 percent."

In January, Graham launched a presidential exploratory committee. Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas), Rand Paul (Ky.), and Marco Rubio (Fla.) are the only major GOP candidates to formally declare their candidacies for the White House. Jon Terbush

Foot meet mouth
11:13 a.m. ET
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Poland on Sunday summoned the U.S. ambassador to protest FBI Director James Comey's recent comment casting some blame on Poland for the Holocaust.

"The murderers and accomplices of Germany, and Poland, and Hungary, and so many, many other places didn't do something evil," Comey said in a speech last week, which was then adapted as an opinion piece in The Washington Post. "They convinced themselves it was the right thing to do, the thing they had to do."

Poland's ambassador to the U.S. denounced the comment as "unacceptable" and a "falsification of history." Soon after, the U.S. Ambassador in Warsaw, Stephen Mull, told reporters that suggestions anyone "apart from the Nazi Germany was responsible for the Holocaust are wrong, harmful and offensive." Jon Terbush

2016 Watch
10:56 a.m. ET
Darren McCollester / Getty Images

A slew of declared and potential Republican presidential candidates trekked to New Hampshire this weekend for the two-day Republican Leadership Summit. Close to 20 prospective candidates — ranging from establishment types like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Jeb Bush, to bottom-tier hopefuls like Donald Trump and John Bolton — used their stage time to discuss policy, ding the president, and assail presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

"When Hillary Clinton travels, there's going to need to be two planes," Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said. "One for her and her entourage, and one for her baggage."

Also at the event, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said Clinton represented "the third term of Barack Obama," former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee denounced the "Clinton political machine," and Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) quipped that Clinton was not at the event because it was not being bankrolled by foreign interests. Jon Terbush

Oops?
9:11 a.m. ET
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Almost every examiner in the FBI's hair analysis unit repeatedly overhyped evidence to aid prosecutors over a two-decade period ending in 2000, according to The Washington Post.

The finding comes from an ongoing review of cases conducted by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Innocence Project in conjunction with the federal government. Per the review, 26 of 28 forensic hair analysts overstated evidence in 95 percent of the 268 trials examined so far.

The FBI and Justice Department acknowledged the errors, saying in a statement they were "committed to ensuring that affected defendants are notified of past errors and that justice is done in every instance."

Read the whole report here. Jon Terbush

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