Archive for March, 2009
This risky move may (hopefully) work out for Jim Webb. He’s getting support from liberals and libertarians, which is to be expected. The surprising thing is that he’s also getting support from many conservatives, including Lindsey Graham. There may be actual positive change on a politically risky issue. This has been needed for a long time. Moving past the idea that changing our policy on non-violent drug offenders means you’re soft on crime is a huge step. Let’s hope it works out. Here is a link with a small update: Webb appears to be succeeding.
Enjoy Michael Scott starting his own paper company.
The Simpsons haiku compilation is nearing completion. Here is the next installment, which also happens to have a theme.
Homer no function
Beer well without. Bye, family
I’m gong to Moe’s
Once boxer, actor.
Beat up my friend in my bar?
Two drink minimum.
Pelvic thrusts, Oh Yeah!
Duffman cannot breathe, Oh No!
Who wants some Duff love?
Ah, that’s just drunk talk
Sweet, beautiful drunk talk uuurrrrppp.
Snakes! Snakes ev’rywhere!
Enjoy a coloring book.
DR, I know your a fan of largely symbolic actions, so I figured you’d like this. The Obamas are personally paying to renovate the White House instead of using the $100,000 new presidents are alloted. Just thought I’d throw that out there for ya.
Enjoy the blizzard.
I just got done reading an article on salon.com that discussed Jim Webb and how he is advocating prison reform (or a reform of the entire criminal justice system, according to Webb’s website). Webb is truly remarkable. Here are some excerpts from his speech on the Senate floor:
Let’s start with a premise that I don’t think a lot of Americans are aware of. We have 5% of the world’s population; we have 25% of the world’s known prison population. We have an incarceration rate in the United States, the world’s greatest democracy, that is five times as high as the average incarceration rate of the rest of the world.There are only two possibilities here: either we have the most evil people on earth living in the United States; or we are doing something dramatically wrong in terms of how we approach the issue of criminal justice. . . .
The elephant in the bedroom in many discussions on the criminal justice system is the sharp increase in drug incarceration over the past three decades. In 1980, we had 41,000 drug offenders in prison; today we have more than 500,000, an increase of 1,200%. The blue disks represent the numbers in 1980; the red disks represent the numbers in 2007 and a significant percentage of those incarcerated are for possession or nonviolent offenses stemming from drug addiction and those sorts of related behavioral issues. . . .
In many cases these issues involve people’s ability to have proper counsel and other issues, but there are stunning statistics with respect to drugs that we all must come to terms with. African-Americans are about 12% of our population; contrary to a lot of thought and rhetoric,their drug use rate in terms of frequent drug use rate is about the same as all other elements of our society, about 14%. But they end up being 37% of those arrested on drug charges, 59% of those convicted, and 74% of those sentenced to prison by the numbers that have been provided by us. . . .
Another piece of this issue that I hope we will address with this National Criminal Justice Commission is what happens inside our prisons. . . . We also have a situation in this country with respect to prison violence and sexual victimization that is off the charts and we must get our arms around this problem. We also have many people in our prisons who are among what are called the criminally ill, many suffering from hepatitis and HIV who are not getting the sorts of treatment they deserve.
Importantly, what are we going to do about drug policy - the whole area of drug policy in this country?
And how does that affect sentencing procedures and other alternatives that we might look at?
It is about time someone decided to do something about this issue. The article in salon.com pointed out what makes this so remarkable. Prison reform is not a very popular issue, especially in Webb’s home state, Virginia. He is a first-term senator who barely won, and won largely because George Allen said macaca. Politically, this is a horrible move. It’s risky and could cost him his job. The only possible reason he is doing this is because it needs to be done. Too often we allow our politicians to get away with doing the wrong thing because of political considerations when we should expect more people to be like Jim Webb.
Salon makes the point that Webb may not care about reelection. He is talented enough that he doesn’t need this job. He can spend six years doing things he believes in and be happy instead of spending his entire political career compromising himself to get reelected. It is incredibly refreshing, especially after reading study after study about the political considerations that guide politicians actions this semester. Webb is simply doing the right thing. That, my friends, is heroic.
I strongly recommend reading the salon.com article here: Jim Webb’s courage vs. the “pragmatism” excuse for politicans
And by the way, what was with Obama’s non-answer answer of a marijuana legalization question? He could have at least answered it seriously and said why he is not in favor of decriminalization.
I wish more people were like Jim Webb.
Enjoy Seth Rogen in Monsters vs. Aliens.
Bachmann is at it again. She is calling for a peaceful revolution. Apparently Obama is a tyrant and, I don’t know, we need to overthrow him or something? It’s like she forgets that we elected him and approve of him. She still thinks Obama or Geithner or China or the Boogeyman is going to change our national currency. How is someone this crazy in our Congress? Hannity seems to completely agree with her. How is someone that crazy on a news network? Here’s the link: More Bachmann insanity.
Enjoy the Big East putting on a show.
Bachmann overreacted to a statement by Tim Geithner and is also confused. Geithner seemed open to China’s idea of changing the global currency from the dollar to a multi-national currency. He retracted his statement and Obama flatly said he doesn’t support it. Not enough for Bachmann. She put out this release: Bachmann Demands Truth: Will Obama Administration Abandon Dollar for a Multi-National Currency? She even introduced a resolution preventing the replacement of the dollar with a foreign currency. She is obviously confused. There is no proposal to replace our currency. China’s proposal is to replace the world’s reserve currency, which is why China could make the proposal. China cannot influence our decisions, just as Bachmann’s resolution cannot influence the world currency. My goodness she is one crazy bat. I wish you all had voted for the short story on Bachmann. It would read like non-fiction. Here’s a link:
Michele Bachmann is still crazy
I’m working on getting caught up, as is likely obvious, and I just caught this on a late-night Daily Show rerun. I thought it was fitting since we were just discussing Gingrich’s take on Catholic values. Apparently, the Pope believes condoms exacerbate the AIDS problem. I don’t even want to get into the lack of logic here, I’ll just let the video do the talking.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||M – Th 11p / 10c|
|Pope Benedict XVI on the HIV Crisis|
As my dear mother would point out, I should be sleeping to get better, and if I’m better, I should be studying.
Enjoy a nation united, even if it is in hatred of AIG.
I apologize for my lack of activity recently. I was in Phoenix watching baseball and picked up bronchitis. It’s been a struggle, but I’m on the mend. I figured what better way to get back into the swing of things than to show a little hypocrisy? Twice-divorced, pro-death penalty Newt Gingrich doesn’t think Obama has the Catholic values to speak at Notre Dame. I understand that divorce is a personal matter, but he opened himself up to this. It’s quite similar to how he wanted to bring up the Lewinsky thing every chance he got as Speaker of the House roughly when he had an affair of his own. Here’s the link:
Gingrich on Obama’s Notre Dame invite
Another thought on the subject: Is anyone else creeped out by how quickly the old politicians got into Twitter? I’m still not sure what it is but you have wrinkly old codgers of every affiliation typing away during the State of the Union?! What on earth is going on here? I’ve had enough. I preferred it when they thought the internet was a series of tubes invented by Al Gore. I don’t turn down many people who ask to be my facebook friend, but Gingrich has no shot.
Enjoy your good health whilst I pine for mine.
Sorry it has taken me so long to reply. I am currently in Arizona checking out some spring training baseball. There will be more posts as soon as I get home, I promise. I believe the Senate already voted down the pay raises. I don’t think it’s a big deal. I believe it’s just a biannual cost of living pay raise. That wouldn’t even be close to the most wasteful thing they do. I guess symbolically it was a good idea to scrap it.
Enjoy the scrappy U.S. in the WBC.
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