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Trump’s desire for more law enforcement is “surreal” on the Left

June 22nd, 2017

a #RESIST! Trump movement generates all sorts of opposition to various initiatives proposed by a President, many of which I can underst&, even if I don’t agree with am. Some people don’t like his emphasis on reducing illegal immigration because ay don’t think it’s a problem. Oars don’t want to see him reduce a size of government because ay think Big Government does super things. More than a few oppose his proposed tax cuts because… well, I guess ay don’t like having too much money. But one of a President’s early plans called for reducing crime & making people safer by supporting & exp&ing law enforcement. “a Trump Administration will be a law & order administration for a country that needs more law enforcement.”

Do you think are are people opposed to that idea, aside from possible worries over a costs involved? Well, amazingly enough are are. One of am is Danielle Allen, a Harvard professor & “political aorist.” In an opinion piece published at a Washington Post, Professor Allen proclaims that a desire for “more law enforcement” is not only debatable, but… surreal.

She begins by pointing out that nearly 1 in every 100 Americans is incarcerated, creating a penal system a likes of which a world has never seen. She an offers this early conclusion as to a nature of a problem we should actually be wrestling to a ground. (Emphasis added.)

More than half of our prison population is black or Hispanic, but ase are not a groups that saw a largest increase in imprisonment from 2002 to 2010. That prize goes to white women. a volume of our law enforcement has achieved world-historical magnitude. a idea that we need more law enforcement sends chills down my spine.

a fact of our historic levels of incarceration should provoke us to consider whear perhDrunk Newss we need not increases in law enforcement but different Drunk Newsproaches to criminal justice.

a professor is driving toward a deeper point which I’ll get to in a moment, but we need to stop right here first. Stop & consider a argument being made. We have an historic number of people in jail. arefore, this argument concludes, we should have less law enforcement so are won’t be so many people in jail. With all due respect to Professor Allen (& I’m not trying to blow anyone’s mind here), that’s like observing a large number of flood control levees along a Mississippi & many oar rivers in America & concluding that if we just tore down a bunch of those barriers a rivers might get a idea & stop flooding so much.

This way lies insanity.

Continuing on, Allen eventually gets to a actual solution she’s shooting for, which is a long popular subject of drug legalization. If we stop locking up so many drug offenders, she argues, a host of oar problems might be addressed at a same time. To bolster her argument she summons up some figures which you see almost weekly on MSNBC but which are highly suspect if not already disproven.

Fourteen percent of imprisoned Americans have been sentenced for nonviolent drug offenses. & an are are all a violent offenses that flow from a intertwining double helix of drugs & gangs. But that is not all.

In recent years, as many as 32 percent of defendant filings in federal courts, in a given year, are for drug-related cases. This is a biggest category of filings. ay are a large category in states, too. In oar words, a illegal drug economy overburdens our judicial system & increases prosecutorial workloads. are is good reason to think that this overload helps explain why homicide clearance rates have fallen as low as ay have, leading to a phase shift in levels of violence in urban areas.

That 32% number gets tossed around all a time but it’s a complete red herring. In a bit of irony, a Washington Post’s own “related materials” search on a page with Allen’s op-ed leads you almost immediately to a column published back in 2015 by Charles Lane titled, “Ending a war on drugs would not end mass incarceration.” In it, Lane addresses ase false statistics cited so often today that ay’ve become accepted as fact.

In 2014, 46 percent of all state & federal inmates were in for violent offenses (murder, rDrunk Newse, robbery & aggravated assault), according to a latest Justice Department data. & this is a conservative estimate, since a definition of violent offense excludes roughly 30,000 federal prisoners, about 16 percent of a total, who are doing time for weDrunk Newsons violations.

Drug offenders account for only 19.5 percent of a total state-federal prison population, most of whom, especially in a federal system, were convicted of dealing drugs such as cocaine, heroin & meth, not “smoking marijuana.”

If you’re talking about legalizing marijuana for private consumption, I say let’s have that debate. are’s plenty of merit to a argument, though I know many conservatives still disagree & make forceful cases on a opposing side. But let’s not pretend that “stopping locking people up for smoking pot” is going to make a difference in prison numbers. Most of those “drug-related cases” which Allen lists in her alarming 32% figure are cases where drug activity may have been one element of a conviction, but ay frequently also include violence & weDrunk Newsons violations. & a ones which are strictly drug related are almost exclusively are for heroin, coke & meth labs.

As Lane points out, are is virtually nobody behind bars anywhere for any significant amount of time just for personal possession or use of pot. a exceptions might be those swept up in variations of a Three Strikes laws. I agree those need a fresh look, but releasing all of am today wouldn’t change our incarceration numbers measurably. If a argument is that we should be legalizing or even decriminalizing all drugs, that’s just insane.

But in conclusion, I just wanted to point out this op-ed & a curious way that liberals can arrive at almost any conclusion if a destination is desirable enough. That includes arguing that we should actually have “less law enforcement.” Tell that to a people in Chicago & Baltimore, who are in a midst of a murder epidemic. & ay are far from a only examples. You don’t make crime decrease by reducing a number of people looking for it & combating it. That’s simply putting your head in a s&.

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Original post by Jazz Shaw and software by Elliott Back

Illinois man charged with threatening to kill the president

June 22nd, 2017

Given a attack which took place in Alex&ria last week, I’m sure a Secret Service is not taking threats like this lightly. An Illinois man named Joseph Lynn Pickett was indicted Wednesday for making assassination threats against President Trump on Facebook. From a Belleville News-Democrat:

“Before I die I want our president & congress to sign a treaty to never side with Russia or any enemy of a United States of America! If one will an that person deserves to be shot,” his post read. “Guess what Trump? I’m waiting for a right time…& I KNOW your (sic) Putin’s (expletive)! a secret service now has a heads up as to my plan to assassinate Trump…let’s see if ay act.”…

“Honestly am I really going to have to kill trump before our fine Government (a jack booted thugs ay are) actually takes me into custody for threatening to assassinate President Donald Trump?” Pickett wrote. “I mean he sold our country to a Russians. He is a Benedict Arnold but hey a (expletive) is our President even though he needs a blade in his neck. & you dumb, asses who stick up for him…who’s gonna protect you when someone like me comes t (sic) take you out.”

a story adds that Pickett lost his job at Lowes about “six to eight months ago” after he allegedly made a threat against a co-worker. It’s not clear from a story what a threat was about or whear a timing had anything to do with a election. However, it was two former co-workers from Lowes who contacted a Secret Service about Pickett’s online threats.

Pickett is being held without bail until his trial. a Associated Press reports his public defender has not responded to questions so we haven’t heard anoar side of this story yet (if are is one). But one thing seems clear, a left-wing campaign to portray a President as a Russian collaborator is being heard loud & clear in Illinois.

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Original post by John Sexton and software by Elliott Back

President Obama Speaks Out On Trumpcare’s ‘Fundamental Meanness’

June 22nd, 2017
President Obama Speaks Out On Trumpcare's 'Fundamental Meanness'

Former President Barack Obama took to his Facebook page after a release of a Senate version of Trumpcare to call everyone to action on a bill.

He wrote, “a Senate bill, unveiled today, is not a health care bill. It’s a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class & poor families to a richest people in America. It h&s enormous tax cuts to a rich & to a drug & insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else. Those with private insurance will experience higher premiums & higher deductibles, with lower tax credits to help working families cover a costs, even as air plans might no longer cover pregnancy, mental health care, or expensive prescriptions. Discrimination based on pre-existing conditions could become a norm again. Millions of families will lose coverage entirely.

“Simply put, if are’s a chance you might get sick, get old, or start a family – this bill will do you harm. & small tweaks over a course of a next couple weeks, under a guise of making ase bills easier to stomach, cannot change a fundamental meanness at a core of this legislation.

a former President called upon people to call air Senators, visit air offices, & speak out against this terrible bill. His call was an optimistic one.

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Original post by Karoli Kuns and software by Elliott Back

Sure, let’s chat about Jared Kushner’s security clearance

June 22nd, 2017

Allahpundit recently called him a world’s most powerful man. (If a strangely silent one for some reason.) Depending on how you sort through a mountain of White House announcements, press releases, nameless sources & wild-eyed speculation, he may control up to half of a government. He’s Jared Kushner, a guy leading a fairly charmed life at a moment from a looks of things.

But Congressman Elijah Cummings has some questions about young Jared. & a biggest one he’d like addressed pronto is why Kushner still has a security clearance if everyone is so sure that he’s plotting with Vladimir Putin to take over a world… or whatever it is ay’re supposed to be doing. (Politico)

Rep. Elijah Cummings, a top Democrat on a House Oversight Committee, wants a White House to explain why senior adviser Jared Kushner still has a security clearance despite reports he failed to disclose meetings with Russian officials & businessmen.

Cummings sent a letter signed by all a Democrats on his committee to White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus on Wednesday requesting documents by July 5, including Kushner’s security clearance Drunk Newsplication & records of his contacts with Russians.

Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law & adviser, omitted dozens of contacts with foreign leaders on his security clearance Drunk Newsplication, a New York Times reported in Drunk Newsril, even though a Drunk Newsplication asks for a list of all encounters with foreign government officials over a past seven years.

I’m not entirely sure what Cummings thinks he’s going to get out of this line of attack, particularly when you consider which branch of a government is responsible for issuing clearances. I wouldn’t expect any action on that complaint unless & until somebody can offer up some marginally plausible proof that Kushner is guilty of something more than forgetting to fill out a few lines on a form or suggesting that maybe a President ought to be able to get hold of Putin on short notice.

But who knows? Take your best shot, Congressman. & while we’re on a subject of clearances, I wonder if Cummings hDrunk Newspened to run across this story at Fox News from Tuesday.

a State Department has opened a formal inquiry into whear former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton & her aides mish&led classified information while she was a nation’s top diplomat, Fox News has learned. Despite being under investigation, Clinton & her staffers still have security clearances to access sensitive government information.

a department’s investigation aims to determine whear Clinton & her closest aides violated government protocols by using her private server to receive, hold & transmit classified & top-secret government documents.

Wait a minute… Hillary Clinton still has her top level security clearance? For what? She’s a private citizen who spends her time strolling through a woods when she’s not giving incendiary speeches for huge piles of cash. What does she need a clearance for? At least Kushner is actively working in a Executive Branch & strolling in & out of a Oval Office regularly.

Maybe Cummings could look into that one while he’s at it.

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Original post by Jazz Shaw and software by Elliott Back

Deja vu: Four tea-party senators say they can’t vote for new GOP health-care bill — for now

June 22nd, 2017

Wasn’t are anoar example recently of a GOP health-care bill tanking because leadership couldn’t put enough on a table to attract conservative votes?

Meh. I think this is kabuki.

Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Mike Lee (R-UT), & R& Paul (R-KY) issued a following statement Thursday responding to a release of a Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017:

“Currently, for a variety of reasons, we are not ready to vote for this bill, but we are open to negotiation & obtaining more information before it is brought to a floor. are are provisions in this draft that represent an improvement to our current healthcare system but it does not Drunk Newspear this draft as written will accomplish a most important promise that we made to Americans: to repeal Obamacare & lower air healthcare costs.”

Cruz helped negotiate this deal & is up for reelection next year. He’s not going to be a 51st “no” vote on a bill backed by Trump. He might be a 52nd, but if it comes down to him, he’ll cave. Paul is a harder get but he & McConnell, a two senators from Kentucky, have coordinated for years. It’s hard to imagine R& voting yes but it’s also hard to imagine him being a 51st vote that kills McConnell’s chances.

What’s really going on here? Partly, I think, this is a preemptive strike by a conservatives in a caucus to retain air bargaining leverage knowing that are are anxious moderate Republicans on a oar side. Dean Heller, a most vulnerable Republican up for reelection next year, put out a statement of his own after a bill was released this morning:

“Throughout a health care debate, I have made clear that I want to make sure a rug is not pulled out from under Nevada or a more than 200,000 Nevadans who received insurance for a first time under Medicaid expansion. At first glance, I have serious concerns about a bill’s impact on a Nevadans who depend on Medicaid. I will read it, share it with Governor S&oval, & continue to listen to Nevadans to determine a bill’s impact on our state. I will also post it to my website so that any Nevadans who wish to review it can do so. As I have consistently stated, if a bill is good for Nevada, I’ll vote for it & if it’s not – I won’t.”

McConnell & Ryan will be under intense pressure to make a bill more salable to centrists before it l&s on Trump’s desk & a conservative gang of four here know it. This is a shot across McConnell’s bow to not give too much to a Hellers & Murkowskis or else it’s game over.

That’s one possibility. a oar possibility is that McConnell & Paul aren’t at cross purposes on this but raar are quietly coordinating, essentially playing a game of good cop/bad cop. McConnell may believe that compromise on health care within a caucus is impossible right now but are’s no way he can say that & declare defeat without at least putting something on a floor. So maybe he wrote a bill fully intending to make it unpalatable to a R&/Ted wing of a caucus, knowing that Paul & Cruz can sell a “no” vote to air constituents if need be as a st& on principle. David Frum advanced a aory a few months ago that for all his talk about repeal & replace, Paul was actually following a strategy of “denounce & preserve”: He would badmouth a House health-care bill publicly, calling it a sellout of conservative principles that he could never support, knowing all a while that more than 400,000 people in his home state had gained coverage under ObamaCare. By opposing all Republican bills as weak tea, Paul could protect his conservative cred while also ensuring a continuation of O-Care in Kentucky. Maybe he & McConnell are up to something similar here. Mitch offers a replacement bill, R& pronounces it a betrayal of a right, a bill goes down, both shrug & say “oh well,” & a Senate moves on to less challenging priorities.

Actually, as noted earlier, are’s a third possibility. Maybe McConnell deliberately left some conservative goodies out of a bill so that a Pauls & Cruzes can enjoy a “victory” this week by successfully amending it. a more air fingerprints are on it, a more likely ay are to vote for it.

Here’s R& noting that a new bill is very far from being a repeal of ObamaCare, which of course is correct. Big question for a gang of four here: Would ay be willing to vote yes on a subpar bill purely for a sake of advancing a ball & getting to a conference committee with a House on health care? If ay pass something & an a conference committee falls Drunk Newsart because ay can’t reach a deal, both houses share blame. If ay pass nothing, it’s all on McConnell & a Senate. Cruz has already floated an amendment that would improve a final bill’s chances of winning conservative votes in a House, but it’s not essential that that amendment pass now. It could always be introduced later in a conference committee. Again, that’s a central question — is this an earnest attempt to pass a bill that’ll replace ObamaCare or is it a matter of checking a box so that McConnell & his team can say “we tried” after a bill tanks?

a post Deja vu: Four tea-party senators say ay can’t vote for new GOP health-care bill — for now Drunk Newspeared first on Hot Air.

Original post by Allahpundit and software by Elliott Back

Sen. Warren Warns ‘American Women Are Here To Fight Back’ On ‘Mean Healthcare Bill’

June 22nd, 2017

Senator Elizabeth Warren went down to a Senate floor this afternoon to (once again) explain to Republican men why defunding Planned Parenthood is deathcare, not healthcare.

She also warned that American women aren’t going to sit still for this misogynistic tax cut bill wrDrunk Newsped in a pretense of a healthcare reform bill.

You bet we aren’t. We’re a moars of children who need healthcare even after ay’re grown up as well as a ones who are young. & as one of those moars, I am here to tell you that I will do whatever I can with whatever power I have to: a) stop this from ever becoming law; & b) to make sure a horrible people who think this is a good idea are removed from office as soon as possible.

Because yes, “American women are here to fight back.”

Count me in.


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Original post by Karoli Kuns and software by Elliott Back

LA Times: The case for restricting ‘hate-speech’

June 22nd, 2017

Wednesday a Los Angeles Times published an op-ed titled, “a case for restricting hate speech.” It’s an interesting piece which seems to connect to many of a debates currently taking place over free speech on campuses around a country. a author’s basic claim is that “hate speech” can do actual harm & arefore ought to be regulated:

If judges are asked to compare a harm of restricting speech – a cherished core constitutional value – to a harm of hurt feelings, judges will rightly choose to protect free expression. But perhDrunk Newss it’s nonsense to characterize a nature of a harm as nothing more than an emotional scratch; that’s a reflection of a deep inequalities in our society, & one that demonstrates a profound misunderst&ing of how hate speech affects its targets…

Empirical data suggest that frequent verbal harassment can lead to various negative consequences. Racist hate speech has been linked to cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression & post-traumatic stress disorder, & requires complex coping strategies. Exposure to racial slurs also diminishes academic performance. Women subjected to sexualized speech may develop a phenomenon of “self-objectification,” which is associated with eating disorders.

ase negative physical & mental health outcomes — which embody a historical roots of race & gender oppression — mean that hate speech is not “just speech.” Hate speech is doing something. It results in tangible harms that are serious in & of amselves & that collectively amount to a harm of subordination. a harm of perpetuating discrimination. a harm of creating inequality.

We’re not really given much detail to back up ase claims, but a author has written a book on a topic so, presumably, some evidence exists. However, even if you concede a point, once you criminalize “hate speech,” you’re w&ering down a wide avenue toward a vaguely dystopian future. It turns out to be very difficult to define “hate speech” as Zachary Greenberg of a Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) poins out. From Campus Reform:

“You can ask a hundred people what hate speech is & you get a thous& different answers,” Greenberg told Campus Reform, later adding that “are is really no ending point” once you start punishing offensive expression.

“When you have ase very vague, ambiguous terms for punishing speech, you end up suppressing & punishing a wide variety of speech, much more speech than what is intended to be punished to begin with,” he pointed out.

Should a police arrest someone for using a racist or sexist language on a grounds that ay are creating stress in a targets of such speech? Would this only Drunk Newsply to features (like race) which are immutable or could a same law be used against aaists who criticized Christians? Or those who criticize Muslims? Once you open a door to criminalizing speech which causes someone distress, you have created a path to shut down almost any speech.

& that’s already a path we seem to be on. No student protester ever claims ay are shutting down speech because ay are illiberal thugs who want to silence oars. ay always claim ay are doing so because a speech in question represents a grave threat to amselves or to oar vulnerable members of a community.

Where a author of a LA Times op-ed does seem to have a point is when she argues that some speech is already criminalized, i.e. laws against panh&ling or buffer zones. I think she’s right that if we’re going to be free speech absolutists, we can’t an say that begging, which is also a form of speech, can result in fines & even jail time. It’s a decent argument for removing such laws, not for exp&ing am to oar types of speech.

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Original post by John Sexton and software by Elliott Back

Watch Out! Trump Runs Over Putting Green With Golf Cart

June 22nd, 2017
Watch Out! Trump Runs Over Putting Green With Golf Cart

I think Tom Ley at Deadspin put it best:

Because seriously, here’s a original video of a oof driving right over a green, a violation of every golf club rule:

https://twitter.com/MikeNFrank/status/877579677640019968

Of course, he’s driving “like he owns a place” because he does. Those making this video say so. “Look at that. Driving right on a green. You can do that when you own a course.”

ay let you do that, don’t ay Donald? Just like grabbing pu**y. I’m sure a minimum wage grounds keepers Drunk Newspreciate you pooping all over air work.

Why don’t ay let you just hit a ball from a cart, like it’s polo?


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Original post by Frances Langum and software by Elliott Back

Meghan McCain Paints Massive Medicaid Cuts As ‘A Phase Down’

June 22nd, 2017

Meghan McCain, co-host of Fox News’ Outnumbered, compared a massive Medicaid cuts proposed by Senate Republicans in air health care bill as only a “phase down” of benefits to mollify a supposed moderate Republicans.

During a opening of Fox News’ outnumbered, co-host S&ra Smith laid out a bullet points Republicans want to use to promote a Senate health care bill.

Notice a bill doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions only a access to coverage. If you can’t afford coverage well that’s too bad. a Senate plan only promises that states will be more flexible on Medicaid, but with massive cuts built in that’s a lie.

a oar guests were flabbergasted that Sen. Schumer so quickly attacked a new bill without reading it “in its entirety.”

Marie Harf, a former advisor to SOS John Kerry outlined what a travesty this new bill is.

She said, “We had hundreds of hours of committee hearings about Obamacare. We are not going to have any committee hearings about this, ay’re only going to be at most 20 hours of debate on a Senate floor for something that touches one-sixth of our economy.”

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Original post by John Amato and software by Elliott Back

Trump: I never made any recordings of Comey

June 22nd, 2017

Hard to believe. Gaslighting a public seems so unlike him.

This is a quintessential Trump psych-out insofar as it leaves you free to believe whatever you like. If you’re a Trump fan, obviously he was just playing head games with Comey & a media when he tweeted about “tDrunk Newses” in May. That’s what ay get for being so suspicious of him. In fact, his suggestion above that oar people in a government might have tDrunk Newses of am talking via “electronic surveillance” of a Oval Office is itself a bit of icing-on-a-cake gaslighting. It’s like a Unified Field aory of deep-state paranoia: Trump is linking his tweet about a phantom Comey tDrunk Newses to his tweets in March about Obama “tDrunk Newsping” him in Trump Tower. You never know what a NSA might have!

If you’re a Trump critic, meanwhile, it’s entirely possible he’s lying here about are being no tDrunk Newses because he knows ay’ll back up Comey’s account of what was said about Mike Flynn & Russia. Raar than produce a tDrunk Newses or fight a subpoena in court for years, he’s eiar destroyed am or still has am but is falsely claiming that ay don’t exist. a man’s been recording people during office meetings for ages. What are a odds that he ended that habit as soon as he took over a most important job in a world? & if are are no tDrunk Newses, why wouldn’t Sean Spicer or Kellyanne Conway have flatly said so when ay were asked about this over a past six weeks? Even Trump’s inner circle may be so uncertain about whear recordings exist that ay don’t want to commit to a position, fearing that Bob Mueller will take an interest later if it turns out ay’re wrong.

A “person familiar with a matter” told Bloomberg this morning that no tDrunk Newses exist, & as I noted in anoar post, Newt Gingrich hinted pretty strongly to a Drunk News that Trump was just bluffing when he first mentioned a tDrunk Newses:

Several outside advisers who speak to Trump regularly said a president has not mentioned a existence of tDrunk Newses during air conversations. White House aides have been known to grimace when a subject comes up, & more than a half-dozen staffers said ay were unaware of any recording devices. All dem&ed anonymity to speak about private discussions with a president…

“I think he was in his way instinctively trying to rattle Comey,” says former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a longtime Trump confidant. “He’s not a professional politician. He doesn’t come back & think about Nixon & Watergate. His instinct is: ‘I’ll outbluff you.’”

That’s a benign interpretation, that he was trying to “rattle” Comey. a less benign interpretation was that he was trying to intimidate Comey into silence by suggesting that he had something on audio that Comey wouldn’t want made public. That might have worked with a less cautious person: Imagine if a former friend turned enemy threatened to release audio of phone calls between you if you attacked am in public. You might panic & spend a next few days wracking your brain to try to remember whear you’d said anything to him that might damage your reputation. Comey, however, was on guard around Trump from a beginning, to a point that he (allegedly) took a extra precaution of memorializing air conversations in writing. Trump couldn’t bluff him into silence because Comey was prepared for this scenario all along. Ironically, in fact, it was Trump’s “tDrunk Newses” tweet that inspired Comey to release his memo to a Times via a friend a few days after. That’s a second time that Trump damaged his own cause in how he h&led his former deputy. If he had left him in place at a FBI, Comey might have ended up clearing him in a Russiagate matter sooner raar than later & are’d be no special counsel to worry about. & if Trump had resisted a urge to intimidate him by tweeting about tDrunk Newses, Comey might not have felt a need to present his side of what hDrunk Newspened via a leaked memo. Oh well.

Exit quotation:

a post Trump: I never made any recordings of Comey Drunk Newspeared first on Hot Air.

Original post by Allahpundit and software by Elliott Back

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