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The American Civil Liberties Union's November report A Living Death: Life without Parole for Nonviolent Offenses is unpleasant bedtime—or anytime—reading:

For 3,278 people, it was nonviolent offenses like stealing a $159 jacket or serving as a middleman in the sale of $10 of marijuana. An estimated 65% of them are Black. Many of them were struggling with mental illness, drug dependency or financial desperation when they committed their crimes. None of them will ever come home to their parents and children. And taxpayers are spending billions to keep them behind bars.
The relative pettiness of the offenses that have gained these convicts the wallop of LWOP—a life sentence in the slam with no chance of parole. The ACLU report states:

Prosecutors, on the other hand, have immense power over defendants’ fates: whether or not to charge a defendant with a sentencing enhancement triggering an LWOP sentence is within their discretion. In case after case reviewed by the ACLU, the sentencing judge said on the record that he or she opposed the mandatory LWOP sentence as too severe but had no discretion to take individual circumstances into account or override the prosecutor’s charging decision.

As striking as they are, the numbers documented in this report underrepresent the true number of people who will die in prison after being convicted of a nonviolent crime in this country. The thousands of people noted above do not include the substantial number of prisoners who will die behind bars after being convicted of a crime classified as “violent” (such as a conviction for assault after a bar fight), nor do the numbers include “de facto” LWOP sentences that exceed the convicted person’s natural lifespan, such as a sentence of 350 years for a series of nonviolent drug sales. Although less-violent and de facto LWOP cases fall outside of the scope of this report, they remain a troubling manifestation of extreme sentencing policies in this country.”

This week, President Obama commuted the sentences of eight federal convicts, all of them crack cocaine users, all of them already having served 15 years of their sentences, which, for six of them were life terms. Those sentences came courtesy of the twisted evil that masquerades as this nation's war on (some) drugs combined with no small amount of racial animus put these eight men behind bars together with the mandatory minimum sentences that tough-on-(some)-crime advocates had installed to the nation's detriment starting in earnest four decades ago.

While Congress has modified one of the worst of these—the crack cocaine/powder cocaine disparity—and both President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have spoken repeatedly on the need to make changes, not even a handful of substantive changes have been made.

Against that backdrop, as welcome as they are to the eight men and their families, those commutations are small potatoes. Writes Timothy M. Phelps at the Los Angeles Times:

Until 2010, when Congress approved a new sentencing law, those convicted of possessing crack cocaine were subject to mandatory sentences far higher than those given to people possessing the powder form of the drug. Crack use was more common among blacks and powder among whites.

But passage of the 2010 law, the Fair Sentencing Act, still left thousands of convicted crack users and dealers serving sentences that would have been considerably shorter if their cases had involved powder cocaine. Obama has asked Congress to make that law retroactive. […]

Prisoner advocates welcomed the announcement but said that roughly 7,000 imprisoned crack users or dealers would be free if they had been sentenced after the 2010 law.

Obama has been more reluctant than recent predecessors to use his constitutional right to grant clemency. He previously had commuted only one sentence in his five years in office and has mostly confined himself to pardoning people who have already served their sentences. According to Justice Department statistics, Obama had received 8,576 petitions for clemency by Dec. 1.

“Considering in his first five years in office he granted only one commutation, I suppose we should be thrilled that he granted eight,” said Julie Stewart, president of Families Against Mandatory Minimums. “But considering the number of people in prison who are serving excessive sentences, this is a drop in the bucket.”

No president, no attorney general can fix all that is wrong with our sentencing laws, even just our drug-sentencing laws. But in the case the crack-cocaine convicts, the president could wipe the slate clean without waiting for Congress to give him something to sign: Commute the sentences of those 7,000 federal prisoners who wouldn't be incarcerated right now if they had been sentenced under the 2010 law.

Nothing radical in such a move, just an act of justice and fairness. But it would take courage and the willingness suffer the inevitable barrage of media and nutcase attacks that would be delivered to any president who dared take such action. Unfortunately, no such quick action is available to deal with the state prisoners covered in the ACLU report.

Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2002Blix to US, UK: pony up evidence:

Chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix challenges the US and UK to reveal evidence that Iraq has WMD.

"If the UK and the US are convinced and they say they have evidence, well then one would expect that they would be able to tell us where is this stuff," he told BBC radio.
Ain't gonna happen. I don't believe they have any evidence. Otherwise, what better way to rally world support than to prove once and for all to everyone that Iraq was lying? Give the inspectors the name of just ONE facility suspected of having WMD, have the inspectors swoop in, find the evidence, and reveal it to the world. Bush's invasion would get A LOT easier at that point.

But Blix gets nothing, while Bush and Blair rant on about Hussein's lies. This was tiresome from day one, and it hasn't gotten any better since.

Tweet of the Day:

What’s the difference between a Taliban soldier and a Tea Party patriot? You can’t make a turban out of tinfoil.

On today's Kagro in the Morning show, we find ourselves at the stage where we have to endure Duck Dynasty "think pieces." It's also time for duelling essays by Washington journalists about why Washington journalism does or doesn't suck. Next, wild tangents deriving from Gawker's "The Second Class Citizens of the Google Cafeteria." Somehow, we end up fomenting security guard-led revolution. Roll Call's taxonomy of "The 4 Types of House Retirements to Come," then some context & anecdotes to accompany their report the House's newest Member has hired a 25-year-old Chief of Staff. And one more shot at that crazy EPA/fake-CIA guy story.

High Impact Posts. Top Comments.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 08:30 PM PST.

Also republished by DKos Cannabis Law and Drug War Reform.

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Comment Preferences

  •  990,333 registered users on dKos now. (15+ / 0-)

    Here are the 10 newest registered users on dKos.  Hope to see their comments and diaries here soon!  (If they're not spammers.)

    Laura Mays
    michael weddle
    AG Kennedy (user #990,330: already banned)
    liberallion20 (user #990,331: already banned)
    carleecasteel (user #990,333: already banned)

    And since our society is obsessed with numbers that end in a lot of zeros as milestones, here's a special shoutout to user #990,300: johnjohn6232.

    We've added 114 more users in the last 24 hours.  We're no longer being flooded with all those fake users, though it seems there's been a recent rash of increase in spammers.

    And for your Diary Rescue music pleasure, here's the Spice Girls' "2 Become 1".

  •  Have a great weekend everyone! (6+ / 0-)

    Over do it and have a fit!

    “I would like to get rid of the homophobes, sexists, and racists in our audience. I know they're out there and it really bothers me.” ― Kurt Cobain

    by Jeff Y on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 08:33:45 PM PST

  •  Lots of gay rights news today (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Willinois, Jeff Y, CJB2012, dharmasyd

    From Utah legalizing gay marriage, to the backwards movement in Uganda, to Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson's anti-gay comments, these issues seemed to dominate the news tonight.  Chris discussed these with Josh Barro, Maya Wiley, Matthew Breen, and Jordan Carlos.  (Carlos was also known as Stephen Colbert's one black friend for the first couple years of his show.)

    Rachel discussed these issues with law professor Kenji Yoshino.

    Ed talked about Robertson's anti-gay comments with Goldie Taylor and Mike Papantonio.

  •  but we have reality shows about people who (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 08:37:29 PM PST

  •  Charles M. Blow on Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson (4+ / 0-)

    is the subject of this post in which I explore Blow's column for Saturday's New York Times and offer some observations of my own

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 08:37:56 PM PST

  •  GOP on the economy and Obamacare (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeff Y, CJB2012, koNko

    Chris looked at how the GOP is still trying to fuck up Obamacare with Howard Dean and Josh Barro.

    Rachel talked about how much Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has been lying to the media on Obamacare by released selectively edited transcripts, and how the media keeps falling for his lies.

    Ed talked with Reps. Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Mark Pocan (D-WI) about unemployment insurance and the minimum wage, and talked with Wendell Potter about Obamacare.

  •  Fighting back against the gun nuts (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeff Y, CJB2012, Ishmaelbychoice, koNko

    Rachel updated us on the Idaho lawmaker who was allowed to keep his gun, despite having lied about sexually assaulting a woman before in a different state, and then talked with high school student Sarah Clements, who has formed the Junior Newtown Action Alliance to get the youth motivated to stop gun violence in this country.  Her mother was a 2nd grade teacher at Sandy Hook.

  •  Merry Christmas Bedford Falls (7+ / 0-)

    A liberal can say it too.

  •  Carbondale fracking hearing (8+ / 0-)

    has a few hundred more people show up to express opposition. Speakers publicly calling for nonviolent civil disobedience to stop fracking outnumber those who say they'd be happy with stronger regulation to make it safe.

  •  Turning Georgia blue? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeff Y, CJB2012, Ishmaelbychoice, koNko

    Chris looked at the Georgia U.S. Senate race, and what progressives are doing to mobilize, with Janice Mathis.

    He also looked at why India is so pissed at the U.S. right now over the arrest of a not-quite-diplomat.

    (It should be noted the U.S. attorney basically said she's lying about being mistreated by the police.)

    Oh and look, Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL) is out of rehab.

  •  If I Gave a Repub a Present I'd Go to Hell. (7+ / 0-)

    Either way.

    One, for rewarding that kind of evil.

    Or two, for pissing them off and thereby violating actual Jesus commands.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 08:43:43 PM PST

  •  No (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LinSea, Jeff Y, geez53
    But it would take courage and the willingness suffer the inevitable barrage of media and nutcase attacks that would be delivered to any president who dared take such action.
    If this kind of justice takes a "but" kind of courage from the President of the United States of America, then we have already declined into irrelevance regarding anything that matters for humans and other living beings.  Disgusting.
  •  Nooners gets the vapors over having to mix (7+ / 0-)

    with the peasants.

    Peggy Noonan Cannot Tolerate The Rigors Of Air Travel:

    "There aren't really a lot of nice things about flying. It's scary, germy, full of delays. They don't clean the planes as they once did—the tray is not clean and as you open it and see the coke and coffee marks, you wonder if it was used on the last flight by a Senegalese tourist with typhus."

    “I would like to get rid of the homophobes, sexists, and racists in our audience. I know they're out there and it really bothers me.” ― Kurt Cobain

    by Jeff Y on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 08:51:18 PM PST

  •  'tis the night before Solstice, and tho I wish to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, annieli, Ishmaelbychoice

    believe, I don't. So my thoughtstream is, Good Luck with this:

    no small amount of racial animus
    not even a handful of substantive changes have been made.


    Dance lightly upon the Earth, Sing her songs with wild abandon, Smile upon all forms of Life ...and be well.

    by LinSea on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 08:52:07 PM PST

  •  Perhaps, this is the problem. (5+ / 0-)
    Nothing radical in such a move, just an act of justice and fairness. But it would take courage and the willingness suffer the inevitable barrage of media and nutcase attacks that would be delivered to any president who dared take such action. Unfortunately, no such quick action is available to deal with the state prisoners covered in the ACLU report.
    The very sad fact is that this will be an election year. Of course, POTUS will never be up again, but the future weighs heavily. In one way or another, we are all pawns of politics.

    We can discuss this and wonder what to do about that, but in the end, the ONLY thing that matters is voter turnout. Ya CAIN'T go to the dance if you AIN'T bought your ticket! Go team go.

    by franklyn on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 08:52:21 PM PST

  •  JibJab's 2013 Year in Review! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, Jeff Y, NonnyO, koNko

    It's finally here!

  •  Congress should make Fair sentencing act retro (7+ / 0-)

    active, that's better then 7,000 commutations(i realize you likely just want more, not 7,000)

  •  My diary from earlier (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeff Y, LinSea, Eric Nelson

    The good, the bad, and the unexpected..

  •  How much does a federal prisoner cost? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeff Y, Willinois, LinSea, Eric Nelson, koNko

    That times $7000 a year is a whole lotta revenue right about now.

  •  No kidding, MB (8+ / 0-)

    These drug laws are themselves criminal.

    Obama should be commuting thousands of sentences and should have appointed commissions of people to troll through federal criminal lists looking for possible commutation candidates.

    I can't believe that these nonsense sentences exist in a purportedly civilized country.

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 09:14:10 PM PST

  •  crack created to form a more efficient consumer (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeff Y, Eric Nelson

    market at the street level with greater producer/distributor profit as well as an effective means to support the PIC, yet allowing the ruling class to freely indulge their own excesses at the expense of those same street consumers

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 09:14:29 PM PST

  •  Putin pardoned 25000 prisoners and the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LinSea, Eric Nelson, koNko

    Russian parliament signed off on this largest amnesty in the last decade in Russia. And if people just discard this as being political strategy to distract the Western media from focussing on Russia's human and civil rights failures, so be it.

    Seems a little bit weird against the 8 poor souls that Obama pardoned and it looks somewhat upside down around here.

  •  NSA + RSA = Secret $10 Million Contract (5+ / 0-)
    Exclusive: Secret contract tied NSA and security industry pioneer
    [Much more at link.]
    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - As a key part of a campaign to embed encryption software that it could crack into widely used computer products, the U.S. National Security Agency arranged a secret $10 million contract with RSA, one of the most influential firms in the computer security industry, Reuters has learned.

    Documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden show that the NSA created and promulgated a flawed formula for generating random numbers to create a "back door" in encryption products, the New York Times reported in September. Reuters later reported that RSA became the most important distributor of that formula by rolling it into a software tool called Bsafe that is used to enhance security in personal computers and many other products.

    Undisclosed until now was that RSA received $10 million in a deal that set the NSA formula as the preferred, or default, method for number generation in the BSafe software, according to two sources familiar with the contract. Although that sum might seem paltry, it represented more than a third of the revenue that the relevant division at RSA had taken in during the entire previous year, securities filings show.

    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

    by NonnyO on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 09:26:21 PM PST

  •  The world needs (5+ / 0-)

    more Blix and less bush !

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

    by indycam on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 09:31:40 PM PST

  •  Utah is a Little Bit Country (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    and a Little Bit Rock-n-Roll.  Let's rejoice!  Here's my blog posting on the week in marriage equality:

    "Unrestricted immigration is a dangerous thing -- look at what happened to the Iroquois." Garrison Keillor

    by Spider Stumbled on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 09:52:09 PM PST

  •  An act of Justice? (4+ / 0-)

    America stole these folks lives and families away from them.  And having rent these lives apart, we what?  Commute their sentences, dump them on the streets with no community and no job skills or prospects and pat ourselves on the back for giving them their freedom back??  Who will house them?  Who will teach them?  Who will employ them?  Who will care for them??  Will America welcome them back into the bosom of society, help them learn to be independent, productive, responsible citizens?  THIS America?  Don't make me laugh.
    It can be done, and it SHOULD be done, but commuting the sentences of these thousands is only the beginning.
    It makes me weep..

    •  Wait. You Expect Congress to have Common (0+ / 0-)


      Hah Hhah hhhahhh hah!!

      Congress has little to no common sense- and that is one of the 12 or so critical problems we now face as a nation.

      "It is essential that there should be organization of Labor. Capital organizes & therefore Labor must organize" Theodore Roosevelt

      by Superpole on Sat Dec 21, 2013 at 03:16:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't forget Keith McHenry... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LinSea, Eric Nelson, Ishmaelbychoice

    Co-founder of "Food Not Bombs" in San Francisco who, upon his third arrest for giving food to the homeless was threatened with the "Three Strikes, You're Out Law" in California.  Be arrested 3 times for a minor infraction like giving food to the poor and face felony charges with a probable life in prison sentence.

    Oh, Lord, or somebody with reason, save us from this insanity!

    Apologies for my mistake in adding tags by saying "Kevin" McHenry instead of Keith.  I'll see if I can switch it back. TY

    “...the class which has the power to rob upon a large scale has also the power to control the government and legalize their robbery.” Eugene Debs

    by dharmasyd on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 10:28:48 PM PST

  •  Adore the title to this D (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson


    Mitt Romney was CEO of Bain until Aug 2001. Proof of Bain & Romney Fraud

    by laserhaas on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 10:31:49 PM PST

  •  Let's Go With a Half Million (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LinSea, Eric Nelson, ModerateJosh

    If we're talking about what President Obama should do, he should pardon all non-violent drug offenders. Not only would that be fair and just, it would also vastly cut the cost of incarcerating all those people. He should get to this high ground before the Republicans do.

    Then, he should send legislation over to Congress to get rid of drug prohibition.

    But that's what he should do. We only get what he thinks he can do.

    •  Better, commute the sentences to time served, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Liberal Thinking

      and allow them to move into minimum security facilities for up to a year where they can leave during the day to pursue employment. Use the savings to start a jobs program teaching the soon-to-be-released people useful professions like solar and wind power installation and maintenance. That would result in even more savings, as the jobs program would, of course, include the practical experience of installing renewable power generation at prisons.

      If he just pardoned them, we'd have half a million people dumped on the street with no homes, no food, and no income.

      •  In a World With Sense (0+ / 0-)

        In a world with sensible politics, we'd be dealing with the unemployment problem, too. The problem with commuting their sentences is that it sends the message that they are criminals. I'd like to see this removed from their records.

        Yes, this would "add" to unemployment. But they are unemployed as it is, and they are costing us far more in jail than they would be out of it. We should just provide training for all unemployed, to get them back into jobs. But more importantly, we should change our economic policy to generate those jobs.

  •  This would be a post-2014 election thing (0+ / 0-)

    You'd have a hundred Willie Horton ads - because no way all 7000 stay clean.

  •  I was shocked to see Obama issue pardons - (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Superskepticalman, ModerateJosh

    I didn't think he was allowed to exercise any power unless the Republicans gave him permission?

    The 1% are Purists: They only support Candidates that Deliver Results They Can Bank On. Don't they know they should compromise? /sarcasm

    by Johnathan Ivan on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 10:57:55 PM PST

    •  (heh) n/t (0+ / 0-)

      "First, we make a commonwealth of our family. Then, we make a commonwealth of families. Then, we make of ourselves a political commonwealth. We engage in the ongoing process of self-government which, first and foremost, is a creative act." - C. Pierce

      by Superskepticalman on Sat Dec 21, 2013 at 05:53:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Typical (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dharmasyd, Jeff Simpson

    This is likely eight more than anyone else has pardoned, but what does the professional left say? Not enough. He should commute 7,000.

    Which would, in fact, be a radical move politically.

    And destructive as well. Seriously, imagine the outcry if President Obama pardoned 7,000 crack cocaine offenders. He would put everything at risk for the remainder of his term: Public support in case of another debt ceiling extortion attempt, an increase in the minimum wage, extension of unemployment, any nominations for anything. Minimizing mid-term losses or even making gains? Forget it.

    Like it or not, these things don't happen in a political and there are always opportunity costs.

    "There is no room for injustice anywhere in the American mansion." Lyndon Johnson

    by pkgoode on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 11:22:32 PM PST

  •  Excellent idea HR 2316 but shortsighted so.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    .. make it retroactive via commutation which would be another 8,000 people according to Rachel Maddow that would be released
     (short ad - sorry)
    transcript @ link:

    No PIC interests leaning on congress to mess things up too.

    Some would say politically dangerous, but that could be negated by very sound reasoning and a willingness to deliver it:
      • Why should a person that did not sell, buy or distribute any drugs get 20 years (for instance or smoked a joint or two) - and that is only one of thousands of similar stories of victimless crimes - or actually where the only victim is the person imprisoned - that is.

     • Maybe even push the reasoning that since HR 2316 was passed but didn't go far enough; the law could have been better - make it retroactive - correct the prior shortsightedness

    And it would save many many millions of dollars if money concern is the only argument that some folks would care to hear

    And this:  

    Unfortunately, no such quick action is available to deal with the state prisoners covered in the ACLU report.
    ,,could be argued would save States a lot of money when it comes to balancing budget time.- again for those who aren't moved by the humanitarian fainess argument.

    Put a dent at least in the prison pipeline and save lives too

    Thx MB

  •  NOT Only That, But Obama (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    has to push hard for national decriminalization of marijuana sales and use-- as a precursor to total legalization at a soon to be later date.

    total hypocrisy he is not doing this, given it's a fact he himself indulged.

    "It is essential that there should be organization of Labor. Capital organizes & therefore Labor must organize" Theodore Roosevelt

    by Superpole on Sat Dec 21, 2013 at 03:13:11 AM PST

  •  When I heard about Khodorkovsky (0+ / 0-)

    I thought about this, exactly.

    The world celebrates the release of a millionaire and his first stop is a photo op with Angela Merkel.

    People will say how bad Russia is and how great it is Khodorkovsky was released (ok, fine enough) but meanwhile the USA has the highest incarceration rate in the world and thousands of people who did petty crimes at most and are behind bars for life because poor people bother the middle classes and wealthy.

    No money for schools but plenty for corporate prisons.

    Now that is a fucking crime.

  •  We call them JUDGES (0+ / 0-)

    but then we don't let them judge.

  •  The problem of who qualifies for ACA subsidies or (0+ / 0-)

    "First, we make a commonwealth of our family. Then, we make a commonwealth of families. Then, we make of ourselves a political commonwealth. We engage in the ongoing process of self-government which, first and foremost, is a creative act." - C. Pierce

    by Superskepticalman on Sat Dec 21, 2013 at 05:52:00 AM PST

    •  That article is pretty good in that it points (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      to the real weakness in ACA and that limits on funding were the cause of it.  This is why we still need to fight for single payer.

      But it seems to me it is quite sloppy about presenting a couple of key facts.  And the example of the Chapmans leaves out some obvious questions, IMHO.  First off, they are well into the age when some of the preventive care features will save them significant money.  That should be factored in.  Also Ms. Chapman works for a wealth management company but the topic of deferring more of her income doesn't come up?  That's way bizarre.  Or the topic of her employer possibly looking at company plans?

      I was also disappointed that they didn't give the cost of their current plan up front so we understood that they needed an additional $335/month to replace their current plan.  That is substantial for a family earning 100k/year, but not impossible.  

      Also, we're talking about private insurance here, for people above subsidy lines who also are not just temporarily between jobs from which an employer would provide healthcare.  That effects maybe 500,000.  A lot of people, but not nearly as many who benefit.

      I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

      by Satya1 on Sat Dec 21, 2013 at 07:57:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Is this weird? In order to post comments, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    many sites are starting to require a facebook login? Huffington Post, for example.

    Facebook is evil.

  •  This is a great start (0+ / 0-)

    but--this in and of itself (maybe it's just me) seems a tad bit unbalanced when far too many are still serving prison terms for having the "wrong plant matter on their person"?

    It is also time to review/revise/repeal laws/rules/policies and sentencing guidelines addressing cannabis prohibition.

    It costs tax payers roughly $3500.00 per prisoner per month.
    I don't believe society is getting any ROI from this tax dollar investment-do you?

  •  be realistic - that would end his Presidency (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    For this President or any President to unilaterally issue 7000 pardons would meet with a huge popular backlash that would effectively end his Presidency.  He would probably be impeached by the House but I assume he could convince 34 Senators not to remove him from office.

    Nothing else would get done or discussed while that drama plays out over several months or a year.  The uncertainty of whether he would survive would throw off the slowly improving economic recovery.  Stock markets and tax receipts would suffer.  Foreign policy would grind to a standstill.  Everything he would try in the realm of foreign policy would be seen through the prism of whether he is doing it to divert attention from his outrageous 7000 pardons and on-going impeachment proceedings.  [Impeached President Nixon encountered this cynicism for all his foreign policy moves while his fate was before the House (he was impeached) and Senate (he resigned before the Senate could decide whether to remove him).]

    This will never happen.  

    If you thought the negligently bungled ACA rollout severely eroded Obama's approval ratings (approval down to low 40s or high 30s percentages), a pardon of 7000 criminals would send him down to the teens percentage approvals - Dick Nixon territory.

    •  Not sure it would be that bad, but some of that (0+ / 0-)

      seems well within the possibilities.

      Obama believes big change can be achieved incrementally so I'm hoping this is just a start of many more to come of pardons for the worst abuses of that law.

      I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

      by Satya1 on Sat Dec 21, 2013 at 07:41:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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