Sunday, February 28, 2010

Rate Obama's First Year in Office

CBS News Poll.

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Another splinter in their fragile case against Obama

Viet Dinh, a professor at Georgetown University Law Center and one of the authors of the U.S.A.P.A.T.R.I.O.T. (it has nothing to do with patriotism) Act, gets big applause at CPAC for trashing President Obama for (you won't believe this) "killing too many terrorists".

Darth Cheney, Rudy "a verb, a noun, and 9-11) Giuliani, Ann "The Slobber Goddess" Coulter, and others are repeatedly suggesting the President is "soft on terrrrr".

The dissonance in their positions comes as no surprise.


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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

More Republican Hypocrisy

An approximately 10 minute spot from Rachel, but worth every second in showing the hypocrisy of The Party of No!

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Friday, February 05, 2010

Shelby then... Shelby now...

Sen. Richard Shelby, (R-AL) has put a personal hold on 70 of President Obama's nominees. It appears he is concerned Mobile, Alabama isn't getting a defense contract soon enough. But, honesty and consistency doesn't seem to be his strong suit.

In 2005, with a Republican President and Senate Majority:

"As a U.S. Senator, I believe that the review of judicial nominations is one of the most important responsibilities of the Senate, and I firmly believe that each of the President's nominees should be afforded a straight up-or-down vote. I do not think that any of us want to operate in an environment where federal judicial nominees must receive 60 votes in order to be confirmed. To that end I firmly support changing the Senate rules to require that a simple majority be necessary to confirm all judicial nominees, thus ending the continuous filibuster of them."

Yesterday, with a Democratic President and Senate Majority:

"Sen. Shelby has placed holds on several pending nominees due to unaddressed national security concerns," Shelby spokesperson Jonathan Graffeo said in a statement. "Among his concerns" are the progress on multi-billion dollar defense contract that would see planes built in Mobile, AL and Obama's decision to scrap a $45 million FBI improvised explosive device lab Shelby secured an earmark for in 2008. The Obama Administration wants to read terrorists our Miranda rights and try them in U.S. courts but is impeding the processing of evidence that could lead to convictions," he said. "If this administration were as worried about hunting down terrorists as it is about the confirmation of low-level political nominations, America would be a safer place."


h/t to Turnow for pointing The Whirlpool to this story.

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Monday, February 01, 2010

Michael Douglas's Son Faces More Time Than a Murderer or a Rapist for a Nonviolent Drug Charge

By Anthony Papa, AlterNet

Who benefits from Cameron Douglas getting at least 10 years in prison? No one. But the government is hell-bent on punishing him for the crime of being an addict.

Cameron -- the son of Academy Award winner Michael Douglas -- took a guilty plea this week for dealing drugs that will land him in prison for at least 10 years to a maximum of life. This stems from a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigation based on information from unidentified informants who were methamphetamine users and drug dealers. In other words, these rats gave Cameron up to save their own hides. In exchange for agreeing to be cooperating witnesses against Cameron, they were allowed to plead guilty to lesser charges.

I am mad as hell! Why? In the 1980s, I faced a similar fate that led to my 15-to-life sentence for a first-time, nonviolent drug sale in New York. So I know too well the routine the DEA went through to rope Douglas into a corner forcing him to take a plea deal. They scared the living crap out of him, telling him he would never see the light of day if he went to trial. Why would anyone in their right mind plead out to a 10-year minimum sentence? In the U.S., this type of behavior is standard in procuring drug convictions of low-level drug offenders who wind up doing more time than a murderer or rapist.

A good friend of Cameron Douglas told me that Douglas has been hooked on heroin for the last several years. Why else would he compel his girlfriend to bring over a toothbrush box containing 20 bags of dope while he was under house arrest several months ago? He needs drug treatment, not a decade or more of hard time in prison.

The U.S. is obsessed with punishing individuals like Douglas. I think his imprisonment is immoral and counterproductive to public safety. By locking up Douglas and those like him, our government is wasting resources that could otherwise be used to stop violent crime.

Today, there are over 500,000 Americans locked up for nonviolent drug law violations. The cost of incarcerating such individuals is draining state and federal budgets and producing idiotic solutions by politicians to make up for its burgeoning costs -- like the recent cuts in health care, education, and other social service programs.

It will cost tax payers an estimated $45,000 a year to keep him in prison. His family and friends will no doubt mourn their loss while Douglas rots away in a federal prison for being a nonviolent drug addict.

Should we treat drug addiction as a criminal matter or a medical problem? For most people, treatment is a much more effective way to overcome addiction, yet our prisons are full of drug-addicted individuals. Nonviolent drug offenders should be given an opportunity to receive treatment, not jail time, for their drug use. This would be a more effective and affordable solution for the individual and the community.

Thanks to the war on drugs, and especially mandatory minimum sentencing policies, average drug offenders like Cameron Douglas are sentenced to extraordinary amounts of time in prison. We need to end these draconian drug laws by offering drug-addicted individuals treatment instead of prison.

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