Trump commuted Alice Johnson's sentence after meeting with Kim Kardashian.

President Donald Trump commuted the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, and it's big news.

Less than a week after his widely criticized pardon of Dinesh D'Souza, Trump commuted the sentence of Johnson, a 63-year-old black woman whose cause was taken up by Kim Kardashian West.

Johnson has been serving a life sentence as a first-time, nonviolent drug offender, a case that many say highlights the inequality of the criminal justice system. Johnson was a central talking point for prison reform advocates — a petition asking for her clemency received more than 200,000 signatures.


A week after Kardashian West visited Trump to ask for Johnson's pardon, the White House announced that Trump was commuting Johnson's case, meaning she'll soon leave prison and return to civilian life.

There's real momentum behind prison reform, but the work isn't over.

At a time when Democrats and Republicans seem split on virtually every issue, the topic of prison reform is a rare case where there has been some bipartisan unity.

Of course, there's also a lot more work to be done — on both sides of the aisle.

A prison sentencing reform bill recently passed the Republican-controlled House but faces an uncertain future in the Senate. Meanwhile, activists have taken considerable heat for lobbying Trump directly on the issue, but they say the need for justice reform overrides partisan reservations about Trump.

There is also criticism of the current reform bill, with progressive activists split over whether it's worth supporting a flawed piece of legislation some say doesn't go far enough. Some advocates argue that "incremental progress" is worth fighting for, particularly on an issue that has been stagnant for so long.

Kardashian West herself acknowledged there's so much more work to be done — something she plans to stay directly involved in.

Still, the commuting of Johnson's sentence earned a lot of praise, even from some of Trump's biggest critics.

Kardashian West was mocked by some for her White House visit, but she was working for a good cause and deserves respect.

In the days that followed Kardashian West's visit to the White House, both she and Trump were relentlessly mocked.

Some of that is understandable: Two reality TV stars with decidedly imperfect track records meeting to discuss a vital issue like prison reform is ... unusual.

On the other hand, Kardashian West is a major celebrity. Every decision she makes in public or private has real consequences. She took a risk to her public reputation and her financial bottom line by meeting with Trump.

And now Johnson is free. No matter what you might think of Kardashian West as a celebrity, she deserves respect for that alone.

Her critics should be taking notes. If you're going to engage in "Trump diplomacy," this is how it's done.

And hopefully she'll continue using her massive influence to help other people like Johnson get a second chance in life.

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After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

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Photo: Canva

We're nearly a year into the pandemic, and what a year it has been. We've gone through the struggles of shutdowns, the trauma of mass death, the seemingly fleeting "We're all in this together" phase, the mind-boggling denial and deluge of misinformation, the constantly frustrating uncertainty, and the ongoing question of when we're going to get to resume some sense of normalcy.

It's been a lot. It's been emotionally and mentally exhausting. And at this point, many of us have hit a wall of pandemic fatigue that's hard to describe. We're just done with all of it, but we know we still have to keep going.

Poet Donna Ashworth has put this "done" feeling into words that are resonating with so many of us. While it seems like we should want to talk to people we love more than ever right now, we've sort of lost the will to socialize pandemically. We're tired of Zoom calls. Getting together masked and socially distanced is doable—we've been doing it—but it sucks. In the wintry north (and recently south) the weather is too crappy to get together outside. So many of us have just gone quiet.

If that sounds like you, you're not alone. As Ashworth wrote:

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Courtesy of Creative Commons
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After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

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Dr. Who / YouTube

It's incredible to imagine that Vincent Van Gogh only sold one painting in his lifetime. "The Red Vineyard" sold in Brussels a few months before his death for just 400 Francs.

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via Walt Disney Television / Flickr and jilhervas / Flickr

There comes a moment in everyone's social media life when they get stressed because they've been followed by an authority figure. When your boss, mother, or priest starts following you, social media immediately becomes a lot less fun.

When that happens, it's time to stop posting photos of yourself partying it up with an adult beverage. You gotta hold back on some of your saltier takes, and you have to start minding your language. Also, you have to be very careful about the posts you're tagged in.

Model, TV personality, and author Chrissy Teigen has been suffering through a mega-dose of this form of social media stress since January 20 when President Joe Biden followed her on Twitter. His follow came after Teigen made the request.

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