2:00PM Water Cooler 2/10/15

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Pete Peterson publishes a book [Steering Clear]. The Big Dog writes a blurb:

As an outstanding leader in the public, private, and philanthropic sectors — and a proud grandfather of nine — Pete Peterson cares deeply about America’s future.”– President Bill Clinton

Of course, Peterson and Clinton share many interests. But does anybody but me think the pre-2016 Clintons are trowelling on this grandparents thing just a little too thickly?

Clinton supporter fracas of over “donor advisors” and talking to the press [WaPo].

Run Warren Run organizer Adam Beaves in Iowa to meeting: “If you look back to when she was drafted to run for Senate in Massachusetts, her answers were really similar to what she’s saying now” [WaPo].

Establishment

Something you never want to hear from a campaign staffer: “He closed with the hashtags: “#learning #maturing”’ [McClatchy]. Having a hard time seeing how Ethan Czahor’s inappropriateness is different from this inappropriateness, except that Jon Favreau is a Democrat.

Principled Insurgents

Rubio hires former Romney aide Jim Merrill, who has “deep organizing knowledge” of New Hampshire [New York Times].

“[Walker’s] acceptable to all factions of the Republican Party, which can’t be said of everyone who is likely to run for president” [Bloomberg]. All factions? Tall order.

Second “John Doe” probe of Walker administration on life support [Journal-Sentinel]. A good scorecard with all the players.

The first John Doe investigation, begun in 2010, led to convictions of six Walker aides, associates or appointees on charges ranging from theft from a veteran’s group to misconduct in office. The second Doe probe, launched in 2012, looked into coordination between conservative political organizations and Walker and other candidates during recall elections.

I don’t think the Republicans base cares about convictions, theft, or misconduct as long as Walker stomps Democrats. Independents might. What’s interesting is that Democrats are silent on Walker and corruption (I know, pot, meet kettle. But when did that ever stop anybody?) Perhaps they’re keeping their powder dry.

Clown Car

Ed Rollins, of Christie: “He’ll be the Tim Pawlenty of this election cycle” [Newark Star-Ledger]. Ouch!

Iowa evangelicals worried that Huckabee doesn’t have that new car smell [National Journal]. The last time Huckabee won an election was 2002,

The Hill

Robert Reich’s two-and-a-half minute lecture on TPP [Bill Moyers].

Strange bedfellows on TPP [New York Times]. Louie Gohmert and Dana Rohrabacher [heart] Rosa DeLauro and Louise Slaughter (!).

Obama on the filibuster, interviewed by [Vox].

[OBAMA: ] Probably the one thing that we could change without a constitutional amendment that would make a difference here would be the elimination of the routine use of the filibuster in the Senate.

Nice get for Vox, but for whatever reason, neither Young Ezra not Matty ask President Mushmouth the obvious question: Why didn’t you get rid of the filibuster in 2009, when it might have made a policy difference?

Obama stiffed Larry Summers twice on Fed nomination [HuffPo]. I’m not crying for Larry, but remember what they said about Clinton? He can shake hands with you while p*ssing down your leg? Seems the Big Dog wasn’t the only one….

“Don’t vilify the wealthy, just make them pay some taxes for the state apparatus which devotes itself to preserving their wealth” [Eschaton]. Laudable sentiments, but Federal taxes don’t “pay” “for” the state apparatus.

Herd on the Street

As Yahoo prepares to sell its Ali Baba stake, Wall Street hates their story and wants to sell Yahoo for parts [FT, “Yahoo: Identity crisis”]. Probably means Yahoo is doing the right thing.

Coca-Cola beats profit expectations in North American market [Reuters].

“Counterparty Risk in Material Supply Contracts” [Liberty Street Economics]. Another example of what Yves calls “tight coupling.”

Stats Watch

Redbook, week of February 7, 2015: Slowed substantially due to the Superbowl but should pick up for Valentine’s Day [Bloomberg]. Bounceback on government retail sales report Thursday expected.

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index, January 2015: Fallen on 7 of 10 indicators, but still “respectable” [Bloomberg]. Inventories (too low) and job openings were positive.

JOLTS (Job Openings and Labor Turnover), December 2014: Little changed and in consensus range [Bloomberg].

Wholesale trade, December 2014: “Weak sales made for unwanted inventory builds in metals, chemicals, lumber, machinery and farm products [Bloomberg].

Police State Watch

San Francisco police believe  anti-terrorism enforcement should include patrolling public transit for fare evaders [San Francisco]. What next? Littering?

Indiana woman denied with her jailed brother after Facebook posting supporting him [Indianapolis Star]. And fascinated to learn of “JPay, a company that allows prisoners to receive money and send emails and videos to relatives.”  The carceral state provides so many business opportunities!

Why are so many Americans in jail? Not drug laws, but DAs seeking more felony convictions [Salon].

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“We started talking to [residents] about the nature of the jails, and they would casually mention things that were out of a 17th century novel” [Los Angeles Times]. Of the lawsuit on the Ferguson jail system. And that’s not a bug….

Dean Smith, bleeding heart liberal [Salon]. “As a teenager in Topeka, Kansas, he’d persuaded his high school principal—five years before the Supreme Court decided Brown v. Board of Education—to integrate the school’s basketball team.”

“Lynching in America” [Equal Justice Initiative (PDF)]. The Times has compiled a handy map; “The authors of the report compiled an inventory of 3,959 victims of “racial terror lynchings” in 12 Southern states from 1877 to 1950.”

Corruption

Silver’s straw? replacement, Speaker Carl Heastie: “I’m not a dictator. I really like to build consensus” [Politics on the Hudson]. Which would be fine, I suppose, if corruption weren’t part of the consensus.

“Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie steered more than $600,000 to a Bronx nonprofit that had no official board, filed no tax forms for years while receiving taxpayer funding and ultimately went bankrupt” [New York Daily News]. Still, $600K is chicken compared to real estate money. Do better, Daily News!

And speaking of New York real estate: “Leonard Litwin is a major New York political donor who amplifies his political speech by making large donations through his network of LLCs” [Gotham Gazette]. Click through for methodology and a brilliant graphic. The top five donors:

1. NYS SENATE REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE $1,131,000

2. ANDREW CUOMO 2014, INC. $1,089,200

3. NEIGHBORHOOD PRESERVATION PAF $768,550

4. JOBS FOR NEW YORK, INC. $587,600

5. NYS SENATE REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE – HOUSEKEEPING $550,000

Gee, that’s odd. Could it be that Litwin is trying to buy off both parties? That is, the entire political system, modulo a few nuts like Howie Hudson and Teachout/Wu? Oh, and if you’re wondering about the “Neighborhood Preservation Political Action Fund,” here’s some background:

But the [Rent Stabilization Association’s] directors include the biggest names in real estate: Jeffrey Litwin, Samuel J. Lefrak, Donald J. Trump and Jeffrey Manocherian, each the owner of thousands of apartments.

The Neighborhood Preservation fund’s board is made up mostly of Rent Stabilization Association board members, although the Neighborhood Preservation group’s money comes primarily from large contributions, often $10,000 or more.

Well, so long as none of them are Malaysian, I suppose… And hat tip to ginnie nyc for the links. More like this, please!

And as long as we’re looking around for other sacks of pus that are about to burst, another Democratic (!) governor is in trouble. Well, to be fair, his wife significant other [Oregon Live].

A new batch of emails released Friday show [Oregon First Lady] Cylvia Hayes directed state employees how to implement a new policy while she was being paid $25,000 by an advocacy group to promote it.

The emails appear to erase any doubt that, as first lady, Hayes was taking money in her private role and pushing the same policy in her public one.

Governor Kitzhaber has asked Oregon AG Ellen Rosenblum to conduct a ‘”full and independent factual review” of issues surrounding his office’s handling of Cylvia Hayes’ contracts,’ but that could be a could also block access to public records that Hayes and Kitzhaber have refused to release [Willamette Week].

C’mon, Democrats! This is third-world stuff. WTF?

Class Warfare

Robots to perform 25 percent of “automatable” manufacturing tasks that can be done by machines by 2025, according to the Boston Consulting Group [Reuters].

News of the Wired

  • “Google Makes It Official: Answers Not Just Links” [Wall Street Journal]. Answers as opposed to links and clickthroughs.
  • “Today I Am Releasing Ten Million Passwords,” with lots of safeguards to prevent linking passwords to accounts, starting with stripping the domains [Xato]. Note that the government prosecuted Barrett Brown for linking to data that was already public and others had already linked to.
  • Berkeley (!) to shutter Emma Goldman archive [Feminist Library].
  • Charles Manson wedding off [Independent]. Manson’s bride-to-be wanted control of his corpse to put it on display in a glass case in Los Angeles.
  • “Crisis of authority” commmon factor in anti-vax and climate denialism (and not identity or party politics) [Salon]. Good read.
  • “Financial therapy” is a thing [New York Times]. Soviet psychiatrists would be proud.
  • High school girls in Japan spend an average of seven hours a day on their mobile phones [Business Insider].
  • “The Current State of Machine Intelligence” [Medium]. Butlerian jihaad time….

* * *

Readers, feel free to me with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, and (c) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. And here’s today’s plant (JJ):

nasturtiums_2

Another nasturshalum! And I am spacing out on who sent this to me. Whoever you are, take a bow!

If you enjoy Water Cooler, please consider tipping and click the hat. It’s the heating season!

Talk amongst yourselves!

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.

60 comments

  1. NotTimothyGeithner

    The Charlie Manson romance didn’t work out? If you can’t believe in love, what can you believe in? He seemed like such a family man. If this story gets you down, well just remember to never learn not to love.

    I’ll let myself out now.

    1. Jim Haygood

      ‘Does anybody but me think the pre-2016 Clintons are troweling on this grandparents thing just a little too thickly?’ — Lambert

      Hey, some grandparents still get it on. Just probably not with each other, in the Clintons’ case.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          “Never learn not to love” is the name of a song Manson wrote, and the Beach Boys played before the murders.

          1. ambrit

            Ahhh! Thanks for that information. That puts Manson in a wholly new light.
            The Clinton tie in goes back to Isherwoods’ “Berlin Stories,” and the film version, “Cabaret.” The famous scene between Isherwood and Bowles concerning the Baron resonates with the innuendos suffusing the book “Primary Colors,” written by Joe Klein about the Clintons’ first run for President.
            Nuff said.

  2. diptherio

    Just had to share this gem from my . A friend from LA-la-land writes:

    – I like how I’m ” super not rolling in money ” and yet still made too much for the earned in com[sic] tax credit on my taxes… WAH WAH I.R.S. … WAH WAH ME –

  3. Garrett Pace

    Helen Mirren looks great in a swimsuit at 63, and thus proles must work until they’re 100.

    http://blogs.wsj.com/experts/2015/02/09/a-retirement-age-of-100-its-coming/?mod=trending_now_2

    Nasty, brutish and short is the old way. What it is now I’m not sure, but it’s not the opposite of those things.

      1. MikeNY

        I should add: that is to say I agree with Garett’s logic above: HM’s case is particular, not universal.

  4. Someoneelse

    Looks like perhaps that other guy is no longer welcome here.

    You’ve asked for links. Ok, I’ll try again. Previous attempts have not made it through the mods.

    Here’s what happens when you follow instructions, according to the manufacturer, hint: bad stuff happens sometimes. See pp 6.

    Here’s the governing agency’s take on the same question. Oh sure, they use the word rare a lot, and then immediately try and scare you in a following paragraph (which is not science news, it’s editorial propaganda, but hey, at this agency, scientific inquiry and promotion of a specific view are the same job), in any event rare does not equal nonexistent.

    1. Yves Smith

      First, the data does not even remotely support the contentions you’ve made over your weeks of lobbying.

      Second, you provided those links only after being put in moderation.

      Third, you have been repeatedly and flagrantly in violation of clearly stated comments policies. You’ve hijacked threads, engaged in dishonest argumentation, not provide information to back up your assertions despite being repeatedly asked to do so. And now you sock puppet yourself, another violation of house rules.

      We told you to get your own blog. And we mean it. This is a finance and economics website. I am not tolerating you using it as a platform to run a personal disinformation campaign.

  5. John

    Shouldn’t Pete’s book be called “Steering Clear of the Law, How I got expelled for cheating at MIT and still got to be a rich jerk”? Catfood for the little people. Sociopaths run America.
    And as with Billy Bob Jeff’s review, they stick together.

  6. jo6pac

    I love Robert R. it so much fun to listen to him when in the back of my small brain I remember him and big dog signing nafta and that has worked well for Amerikas workers.

    Nancy P.
    “she would like to find a way to grant the Obama administration “fast-track” trade negotiating authority while meeting the concerns of many Democrats about major new free-trade deals.”

    That worked so well on obamacare what could go work this time

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/28/nancy-pelosi-trade_n_6567220.html

    Yep, nothing to see here please move along.

    1. Mel

      Yeah, there is Reich’s past there. On the other hand, he’s the first pundit that I saw saying right out that America’s trouble is that people haven’t been paid for 40 years. And he’s been the first of the Democratic operatives to get out of regimental bhisti mode after elections and start writing true things again. And I like what he’s writing now.

      1. Pat

        I’m willing to believe that people can learn from their ‘mistakes’. And it certainly seems as if he has done a 180 on many items since his time in the Clinton administration. But I don’t know if I trust enough to want to see him back in one of those positions.
        Still he speaks a lot of truth regarding the reality of America anymore, and that is a lot.

        1. Lambert Strether

          But they have no power now. So it’s entirely possible it’s all a head-fake. With Obama, it certainly is. He didn’t go for any of what he claims to want now when he had the power to get it, so what does it matter what he says now?

          1. Left in Wisconsin

            I personally think Reich has come around. Having said that, he would really help his credibility with a full, detailed mea culpa.

            1. Pat

              I agree. I agree with both of you. I do think it is real with Reich, but a mea culpa with a long and detailed list of where he was wrong and how badly would be good. I also agree that much of what we hear regarding most of America and its ever losing position from the people who should most want to abate that is nothing more then smoke and mirrors.
              Oh, and I no more think that our current President has ever cared about the working class, nor expect him to ever realize that he has been a massive tool in expanding misery and destruction to the very people who he fooled into voting for him.

        2. Oregoncharles

          Reich’s still just a Democrat. His position is completely dependent on their electoral situation.

  7. Ned Ludd

    More about the Emma Goldman Papers (from last fall):

    Other repositories of Goldman’s papers can be found in Amsterdam, for example, at the International Institute of Social History, or online at the Jewish Women’s Archive digital archive. But Berkeley’s accumulation is the most comprehensive, organized collection of Goldman-related materials in the world and integrates copies of smaller private and university collections. Its roughly 40,000 documents include Goldman-related newspaper coverage, legal documents, government surveillance records, and third-party letters between Goldman’s friends and associates regarding her political activities. […]

    Born in 1869 in Kovno, in what is now Lithuania, Goldman immigrated to New York City in 1885, where she joined the nascent anarchist movement. She was jailed several times for “inciting to riot” and distributing information about contraception, which was still illegal. In 1917, she and her longtime lover, Alexander Berkman, also an anarchist firebrand, were imprisoned for two years for encouraging draft evasion during World War I. After her release in 1919, she was deported to Russia.

  8. ginnie nyc

    Re: Emma Goldman archive – what’s the matter with Berkeley? If they don’t want to uphold their fiduciary duty, why don’t they donate it to the Library of Congress?

  9. R.W. Tucker

    Elizabeth Warren just came out against the Audit the Fed Bill:

    “I strongly support and continue to press for greater congressional oversight of the Fed’s regulatory and supervisory responsibilities, and I believe the Fed’s balance sheet should be regularly audited – which the law already requires.”

    “But I oppose the current version of this bill because it promotes congressional meddling in the Fed’s monetary policy decisions, which risks politicizing those decisions and may have dangerous implications for financial stability and the health of the global economy.”

    1. kimsarah

      Sooner or later, Warren’s true colors had to come out.
      http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-02-10/warren-opposes-congressional-meddling-audit-fed-bill

      1. zapster

        Do we really want Rand Paul and Ted Cruz and friends setting fed policy? Warren’s instincts are good, even if she’s less than bold with her policy statements. I’d rather see this sort of thing done with a less insane congress writing it. You know any “audit the fed” bill will have been written by Goldman and Morgan. This will not be a good thing.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          No, but you are presenting a false choice. The Fed is entirely too powerful to not be watched, and Congress is far too lazy to trust any kind of secrecy. If Obama had prosecuted bankers, it would be different. Is Warren demanding an accountable attorney general? Nope. As they, the truth will set you free, and perhaps fear of Ted Cruz flinging cap around might motivate the “responsible” element.

  10. Pat

    Let’s not ignore Matt Taibbi’s latest regarding the possible fallout for HSBC. No it is not Hillary Clinton but Loretta Lynch, the latest “we can’t prosecute banks because” AG nominee from Obama.

    The thing that sticks out for me:

    The United States, remember, had to bend over backwards in that deal to make sure that HSBC kept its American bank charter.

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/will-hsbc-deal-come-back-to-haunt-loretta-lynch-20150209?page=2

    1. Kyle

      Jesus Pat,

      All of them had so much bad paper we could have had them all in Federal receivership and we let them go. Talking about lost opportunities!?!?

      1. Pat

        One of the reasons I will forever despise Barack Obama.

        We had the means and every reason to break them up, prosecute much of the top management. But instead tons of money was funneled their way, runways were foamed for them by milking yet more money from people they never intended to help, and even when people really did want to bring their massive fraud and incompetence to justice that investigation was derailed by their interference and manipulations.

        But no it was more important to go after medical marijuana and whistleblowers….smoke and mirrors.

  11. wbgonne

    Why are so many Americans in jail? Not drug laws, but DAs seeking more felony convictions [Salon].

    It’s both. After all, without a harsh sentence a felony is just a misdemeanor. I have read this professor’s work and, while it certainly would help to have prosecutors become less zealous, good luck with that. If we categorically eliminate certain offenses (like intoxicants), drastically curtail sentences (for nearly everything), end mandatory minimums (drugs and guns, mainly), and cease determinant sentencing then the DAs will see the writing on the wall. Even if they don’t, their bargaining power collapses.

    1. Jim Haygood

      “Criminal justice today is for the most part a system of pleas, not a system of trials,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority. Justice Kennedy wrote that plea bargaining “is not some adjunct to the criminal justice system; it IS the criminal justice system.” He added that “longer sentences exist on the books largely for bargaining purposes.”

      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/22/us/supreme-court-says-defendants-have-right-to-good-lawyers.html

      Pfaff has the right instincts — he’s alarmed by excessive incarceration — but his wonky analysis is mesmerized by the trees while missing the forest. Everything changed in 1984 with federal sentencing guidelines, and the states followed suit.

      His claim that ‘half of all prisoners who get admitted in a given year only spend about two or three years in prison’ is certainly not correct for federal prisons, where a minimum of 85% of the sentence must be served.

      Just attend criminal court one day and watch the queue of victims defendants pleading out. If you want to see trials, dig up some old Perry Mason episodes on YouTube. We don’t need no stinkin’ trials.

    2. different clue

      And without drug laws, there would be no drug laws to convict people of breaking. And then prosecutors would have to lobby legislatures to create new laws to convict people of breaking. Laws against gardening, for example.

      When gardens are outlawed, only outlaws will have gardens.

      1. hunkerdown

        Ttheir current favorite seems to be intellectual property, by which the state can act against unauthorized gardening just as well as unauthorized information.

    3. hunkerdown

      “Less zealous.” The tell of the arrogant careerist who wants to preserve their class privilege and buy a constituency.

    4. Sluggeaux

      I’ve been involved as a criminal justice lawyer for the past 30 years. The increase in felony sentences has absolutely nothing to do with more aggressive DA’s or with more or fewer drug laws.

      It’s down to the initiatives of the Clintons and “community policing.” In the past 20 years, the police are paying better, hiring more diverse and highly-educated recruits, providing more and better training, using technology, and spending more time cultivating relationships with the communities which they serve (more to do on that front in many of them, for sure).

      The police are simply making more and better cases, and their cases are based on properly-obtained evidence that isn’t getting thrown-out like it did all the time when I started in this game. Police investigators are more sophisticated about obtaining warrants, about obtaining voluntary confessions, and about convincing witnesses and informants to provide them with leads.

      That’s why everybody pleads.

      1. [email protected]

        Yeah, and I’ve been in courts about as long, only not as a suit. You have no idea what you are talking about. The cops are dumb as boxes of rocks, and probably couldn’t pass a GED if they had to. Indecipherable scribble and broken English on almost every police report I ever read. Fake charges every time they needed to cover up some screw-up they made; felonies if the screw-ups were really bad or dumb.. And people plead because their PDs run around with caseloads of 400, which means they don’t have lawyer who can give them the time their cases need. They plead because they can’t afford bail, and a plea gets them out. They plead because prosecutors will double up on penalties if they don’t. I could go on and on. I doubt you’ve even been in a court.

      2. alex morfesis

        everybody pleads because the state has done a stalin and made it much more expensive to defend oneself, with police being trained that any lie is ok to get someone to say something that sounds like a confession and any amnesia is acceptable. most defense attorneys are not in a position to put in the resources needed to prove out the cases presented by the government. Although it would be nice to find out what happy little county you work in where the police go by the book and do what they should…it would be a delight to find such an oasis somewhere in america…maybe I am just a cynic, having had to deal with the wondrous dirty 30 of NYC and the oh so honest 34th…

      3. Sluggeaux

        I’ve been in court quite a bit; in fact over the years I’ve tried about 100 jury trials to verdict, a large number of them “Life” cases with high stakes and good lawyering all around.

        Read the article. It’s not about “petty crime,” possession and loitering and all the “broken windows” stuff, where I’m going to agree with you that the system is terribly broken and a lot of humbug gets pushed through on the “little people” by lazy cops, lazy defenders, and lazy courts. The article is about PRISON, not jail. It’s about the huge numbers of people in America doing HARD TIME. The Clinton reforms made the cops who investigate serious violent crime better at their jobs, and as a result the PRISONS are full of people doing HARD TIME for serious crimes.

        Yes, the jails are full of regular people having their time wasted for weeks and months over petty humbugs, but that wasn’t the story.

        1. bob

          “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it”

          http://youtu.be/oYj7q_by_2E?t=5m15s

          Hillary shills already? 8 more years and you guys could have everyone ‘reformed’, behind bars.

          We still have the HIGHEST PRISON population in the world. Reform?

      4. vidimi

        sure, but a great deal of those solid cases are against things that should never have been criminalised.

        i agree with the role the omnibus crime bill has played in the high incarceration rates.

    5. buffalo cyclist

      It’s not from vehicular manslaughter or white collar crime (such as financial fraud or Big Tech’s wage fixing). Rather, it’s from crimes that tend to be committed by the “little people”.

    6. Kyle

      Well that’s odd. No one’s mentioned anything about revenue for the criminal justice system. From my POV justice has become nothing more than a business.

  12. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit

    Girlfriend, not wife. Though Ms. Hayes is billed as “the first lady” and doesn’t seem to have minded (ab)using her position in regard to the governor for personal benefit.

    Of course, the Oregonian still felt obligated to endorse the Democratic candidate, even though this “third world stuff” was boiling on the stove well before the election. It will be interesting to see if the editorial board renews its call for him to resign if or when the recall campaign starts getting traction. Or if, as I expect, it’ll all suddenly be water over the dam and “let bygones be bygones” will return as their guiding policy…..

  13. timbers

    “[OBAMA: ] Probably the one thing that we could change without a constitutional amendment that would make a difference here would be the elimination of the routine use of the filibuster in the Senate.”

    Did Obama learn that studying law at Harvard/University of Chicago?

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      It is refreshing to see he is at least aware the filibuster is a scam, but I’m all for abolishing the Senate and exiling any living Senators as part of the Ammendment.

      1. PQS

        +1
        I remember years ago reading an article in the Atlantic about abolishing the Senate, which at the time I thought was outrageous. Now it seems like a great idea. I, for one, am tired of being bossed around by red states with half the population of our most miniscule cities in the name of “tradition”.

              1. ambrit

                After they acquire some of the ex-Soviet, now Russian nukes, they’ll glow a pretty blue, no matter what their previous hue. As far as nuclear weapons are concerned, the big deterrent force is housed in the Boomers, the atomic submarines, based in the major port areas, which fall mainly in Blue States.

                1. Propertius

                  Nope. SLBMs are about ~1200 of the ~2800 US strategic weapons. In a former life I kept track of stuff like that for a living. The combined bomber and ICBM arsenals are slightly larger.

                  This is all silly anyway. The Northeast is losing population while the Southeast and Southwest are gaining. I think in a decade or two, the Left is going to think the filibuster a fine thing (assuming there’s anyone with the nerve to use it). Control of the House will have long ago been ceded to the Republicans (who have, after all, controlled it for 16 of the last 20 years).

                  Let’s also not forget that the last time the “nuclear option” was proposed, it was Republican controlled Senate during the Bush Administration that wanted it (and a number of Democrats rose to oppose it). Sacrificing minority power seems a particularly dumb thing to do when you’re likely to find yourself in that minority on a regular (if not permanent) basis.

                  If the Dems had actually wanted to pass anything progressive early in the Obama Administration, they could have simply taken a page from LBJ when he passed the Civil Rights Act of 1957 in spite of a filibuster by Southern Democrats. Harry Reid’s refusal to do this says less about the power of the filibuster than about the real nature of the Democratic Party and whose interests it serves.

  14. Gerard Pierce

    “The emails appear to erase any doubt that, as first lady, Hayes was taking money in her private role and pushing the same policy in her public one.”

    So what’s your problem? In today’s United States it’s becoming harder to find a politician who stays bought.

  15. hunkerdown

    Oh dear. Auntie Beeb trying to steal audience share from Univision’s telenovélas? Nisman death: Mystery DNA Found (BBC)

  16. Bill Frank

    so, Warren says that an audit of the Fed constitutes, “congressional meddling.” Ok, don’t think I’ll join that let’s draft Warren group. I see that Bernie is taking a wait and see approach as to whether he supports sending arms to Ukraine. Very wrong on that one Bernie. I’d cross him off the list for that but already did so when I saw him wilt under pressure from Wolf Blitzer and concede that, “Snowden broke the law and should be punished.”

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