Raygun Style Free Market Justice

Not long after the Traitor to His Nation Ronnie Raygunner declared war on drugs the nation began what might actually be the largest infrastructure project since the Interstate Highway System. Its purpose was to build enough jails to house the rapidly growing number of drug offenders caught up in the Raygunner’s political game.

One of the more unique aspects of this infrastructure project is that it was largely undertaken by private companies. This is entirely consistent with the Traitor Raygunner’s philosophy that the private sector can do stuff a lot better than the public sector. One logical result of this private sector thinking was that the jails were built in places where land and labor were cheap. Picking the right rural district meant no zoning hassles and, best of all, you could get local governments to put in DEA money and community development funds and tax breaks. Nothing better than a private sector investment funded by tax money!!!

Another consequence is that there was not a lot of coordination or planning. They just got built when you had investors who wanted to build them.

These projects resulted in (what we think are) unintended consequences that distort the normal criminal justice public policy landscape. There is now a built-in constituency for harsh drug laws. Just as mall developers lobby against sales taxes, jail developers lobby for draconian criminal laws, primarily drug laws, but any laws will do. (Do they realize that the death penalty is against their personal interests? I bet it pays for itself as long as there is a long appeals process.)

And of course the new system works additional hardships on the convicts. Most of these jails are far removed from the places where most of the drug offenders are. You get a lot of junkies from Philadelphia being jailed in Arkadelphia. Inmates shipped half way across country are not able to see their families.

A curious result we could have all predicted has just played itself out in Pennsylvania. There, two juvenile judges in Eastern Pennsylvania were found to have taken kickbacks from a prison company in Western Pennsylvania in exchange for keeping the bunks filled at privately owned detention centers. That’s right. Pay for Play with the lives of kids.

Here is how it worked. Two Judges, Michael Conahan and Mark Ciavarella shut down a juvenile detention center operating in Luzerne County. They were paid about $100,000 for shutting down the existing center. They then started sending kids to centers operated by PA Child Care and a sister company, Western PA Child Care. These companies paid the judges an additional $2.6 million in kickbacks over the next four years.

What makes this worse is that there is evidence that the judges were sending kids to the slam who would not normally have gone to jail. These were mostly in cases where the kids appeared without counsel. The judges apparently waived the kids right to a lawyer. (Should be no big surprise in the age of George The Moron W. Busch?) The NYT Reports today: “Judge Ciavarella has said he did not sentence juveniles who did not deserve the punishment, but the numbers suggested a different story: he sent one in four of the juvenile defendants to the detention centers from 2002 to 2006, while the rate elsewhere in the state was 1 in 10. He also routinely ignored requests for leniency, even when they were made by prosecutors and probation officers.”

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania recently doled out some justice here. Conahan and Ciavarella get 87 months in the slammer and the kids — thousands of them—got their records expunged.

There are still two facts we should take note of. One is that the prison system is so lucrative that it can pay out $2.6 million over four years in bribe money. The second is that the competition for prisoners is so fierce that the prison companies were willing to pay bribes to stay in the game.

I suspect there is a science fiction book written about this already, and it paints an ugly picture.

Comedian John Boehner

Here’s something to know about news reporters: When you put a document in front of a reporter and you tell him it’s a “budget,” the first thing the reporter is going to do is to rifle through it wanting to look at the numbers. He might start, for instance, by flipping to the back and checking out the bottom line and to try to get a sense of what is the projected income versus projected expenditure. He’ll be looking for sore thumbs, too, new programs or drastic cuts or increases, for instance. You know. Looking for “stories.” As reporters are wont to do.

So when Congressman John Boner of sunny Ohio got a group of reporters into a room yesterday and introduced them to a 19-page document of vague notions with no numbers, and when the first thing the reporters said was hey, where’s the details, and when John Boner then held up his flimsy document and gives the press his best “this one goes to eleven,” well gravity’s pull*, that shit made PB and I laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh.

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

That’s one funny fucker right there. That’s why we’ve added a brand new category just for him: Comedian John Boehner.

*By the way, I’ll be explaining this little vanity as part of the Blog Against Theocracy blogswarm.


Why can’t we be fucking finished with Sarah Palin? There is nothing interesting, thoughtful, original, or unique about this idiot, this power hungry mouthpiece for things she can’t comprehend, this fuckdoll fantasy for right wing dudes hoping for restoration by jacking off into plastic Palin’s orifices of pleasure, this dullard, this conscienceless void, Forrest Gump without the skills, this willful tabula rasa who whores herself out to let the highest bidder scrawl her beliefs on her blank brain. She is like an especially ambitious dung beetle trying to push a turd up and over a hill; even if she gets it where she wants it, in the end, she’s still just been rolling shit.

Why by gravity’s pull couldn’t I have written that?

Thanks Rude Pundit via Prog Gold.

Thank You, Emma

Personal to Emma, who commented on a recent posting of mine regarding abortion: Emma, I am disappointed. I wrote what I consider to be a thoughtful piece about the subject, and you’ve reacted as if I simply barfed up the same old boilerplate, which I am desperately trying to avoid doing. My point, Emma, is that you and I agree on the basic matter–neither one of us likes abortion.

Do you understand that, Emma? I don’t like abortion, either.

However, you and I disagree fundamentally about what is the best thing to do about that. I think there’s no court and no law that can actually prevent abortion from occurring and that preventing unintended pregnancies is the most effective way to actually prevent abortions. Your approach, Emma, is apparently to lightly read an opinion piece and to go off half-cocked, lobbing the same old platitudes that have not served to solve the problem in the 40 years since Roe.

Whatever “evidence” you purported to have in your comments is useless to me and to the issue itself, Emma. Showing me a bloody fetus won’t change my mind one iota because a) I don’t trust the credibility of that information any further than I could throw Ted Nugent, and b) you and I are actually on the same side of this issue. Why would you need to convince someone who says he doesn’t like abortion that abortion is bad? How does that help?

Thank you for commenting here at KIAV, Emma. I really do appreciate it. But I did want to say this to you because the sooner we can remove the vitriol from this issue, the sooner we might be able to sit down and work on the real issue, that of reproductive health and education in the United States of America.

P.S. Happy Back Up Your Birth Control Day.

Naming Names

In case you’re wondering who the idiot Democrats are who intend to throw a monkey-wrench into Obama’s budget, they are:

Mark Begich

Blance Lincoln

Mark Udall, Michael Bennet

Joe Lieberman

Tom Carper

Bill Nelson

Evan Bayh

Mary Landrieu

Claire McCaskill

Ben Nelson

New Hampshire
Jeanne Shaheen

North Carolina
Kay Hagan

Mark Warner

Herb Kohl

Yes, I’ve called Mark Warner’s office and told him I disagreed with his decision to get on board with these “moderate” Democrats and that I think the President should have the support of his party. Note to self: How does Warner plan to vote on the Employee Free Choice Act?

These a-holes wouldn’t be where they are had they not been downstream from Barack Obama. Time to pay rent on those coattails.

Shoulding All Over Ourselves

I have to admit that, on the spectrum of the left over here, I am one who, now that we’ve managed to get the man elected, tends toward “fanboi” when it comes to President Barack Obama.

There are many critics on this side of the aisle, and I sometimes wonder if I’m still on honeymoon while other citizens in the same tent are being more fairly critical than am I, and if that threatens to leave me in ignorance. Nonetheless, my general posture is supportive of our still-new President. But there is one criticism that rises like cream and has my full weight behind it, as noted by Jonathan Turley and the ACLU.

Turley, last evening on TRMS:

When we talk about values, the most important one is that the president has to enforce the laws. He can‘t pick and choose who would be popular to prosecute.

… He should be appointing a special prosecutor. There is no question about that. This is the most well-defined and publicly known crime I have seen in my lifetime. There is no debate about it. There is no ambiguity. It is well known.

You‘ve got people involved who have basically admitted the elements of a war crime that we are committed to prosecuting.

…The easiest thing [for President Obama] to do is get out of the way, say, “You know what, this is not about values. This is about the law. I took an oath to God to enforce the law. And you know what, fellow? You are going to be a target of an investigation. And maybe you are not guilty. Maybe you are. But it is not for me to decide it. It’s for a special prosecutor.”

Thanks to Turley for pointing out not just the shoulds of the matter, but the musts. There will come a time when looking forward will not be an option without a look back. Better to make it sooner than later.

Get on Team Obama

I think the one thing the flap over AIG bonuses has done is highlight severe political deficiencies at the Department of Treasury. The Secretary, and his good friend Larry Summers, are both politically tone deaf. (See my earlier post.) We can fix that.

Truth is we have spent enough time and noise on the $165 million… or $230 million… whatever the number is now. It looks like a lot of money in the microcosm, but in the scope of things its not much. I don’t care if we get it back. Let those bastards enjoy it. Maybe they will all die of gluttony. I just want to get on with the business of saving the economy.

I am not even going to discuss how I feel about special taxation rules for bonuses, or the justified outrage of the little people. There is a job to do, the President is doing a better job than anyone else could possibly do. I will say I do think that the President’s Bowling Score looks like something from the Special Olympics. But we should get past that.

The President has put the most ambitious budget in history on the table. It provides money for greening America, for educating America, for American health care. It will provide the basis for a new economy and on the road to recovery. Lets get beyond this bullshit and back the plan.

Meghan McCain, You Do Not Fail to Disappoint

Just when I was starting to begrudgingly like Meghan McCain a little, she goes and pull some crap like this.

McCain was really racking up some points with this guy. For starters, she’s a hot-lookin’ thick broad, which I hate to admit improves her Q rating considerably here. But that of course is pretty much canceled out due to the fact that, um, she sprang from the loins of Twice-Failed Presidential Candidate John McWeirdsmile.

But then she goes on The Rachel Maddow Show and kind of articulates a new vision for her old stale broken shitty awful mean crappy stupid political party. Then Laura Ingram, not to be confused with Laura Flanders, refers to Ms. McCain as a “plus-sized model,” and she goes on The View and says she feels like she’d like to tell Ingram to kiss her fat ass. Upon that, this writer very nearly had some affection for Meghan McCain.

Thanks for tweeting me back to my senses, honey:

“Half an hour or so before Barack Obama’s interview on the Tonight Show was set to air on the East Coast, he was already getting criticism from Meghan McCain, daughter of John.

“Hmmm,” McCain tweeted, “maybe the president shouldn’t go on Leno and talk about basketball and instead explain to me how those morons at AIG got bonuses…”

It’s bad enough that her comment was premature, tone-deaf, and flat-out wrong. It’s also the echo of a burgeoning Republigoat talking point: Look at Obama, he’s goofing off when he should be fixing the economy. Anyone echoing this new shitty talking point is a liar, a hypocrite, and a god-damned racist.

It’s a lie because there’s nothing further from the truth. President Obama has been more dynamic and more driven a president in 60 days than his idiot predecessor was in both of his “terms” of “office,” and the issue on Obama’s front-burner has clearly been the economy and, this week, the AIG bonersus. And that is, mostly, what was discussed on The Tonight Show last evening. Liars.

It’s hypocritical because the Immediate Past Former President, the last real standard-bearer of the Republigoat party, was the laziest “President” ever, having spent 30 percent of his “presidency” in Crawford. He was famously unengaged, at his worst having to be force-fed information about the dying and in-need in post-Katrina NOLA. And he is decidedly the reason for the season. Make no mistake, your guy is the reason we’re in a boat where million-dollar bonuses seem like a crime to nearly everyone.

And yeah, that talking point has the added bonus of being whispered racism. Why don’t you just call the man “shiftless” and prepare to apologize to Al Sharpton? Why not just come out and say that the President of the United States is shuckin’ and jivin’ while the country goes to hell? Why be so subtle? Just don your hood and light up your torch already!

Barack Obama’s appearance on The Tonight Show was nothing short of brilliant, and giving him shit for it seems to me to indicate some sort of mild, chronic brain injury. Obama needs right now to reassure the American people. And there is not a place on television from where people derive more comfort than the desk formerly inhabited by Johnny Carson. And besides, how refreshing is it that the President of the United States actually wants to talk to you? And that he actually has the ability to hold his own as the solitary guest on a late-night talk show?

Not to mention that the President said something vitally important last night, though it’s not the bit that will be most-quoted today, the part where he defended Mr. Geithner. No, Obama said what I’ve been waiting to hear, that not only does he intend to clean up this mess, but that the federal government must place new and/or enforce existing regulations and look to the future to make sure happy horseshit like this doesn’t happen again. That is the more important message, more important than the bonersus, more important than the shite economy we’ve inherited; much more important is that President Obama intends to assert the power of the federales to take these assholes down a peg or seven. That’s what I wanted to hear, and I heard it. What a strange new feeling.

It’s a shame about Meghan McCain. I was nearly convinced that she hadn’t taken the suppository.* I have to thank her today for proving me wrong.

*”…the jagged, horrid, rusty, poisonous suppository that is used to corrupt Republigoats, that travels from their ass through their entire bloodstream, leaving behind shards of poison and bad ideas, and ending up in the brain, where it severs the corpus collosum and implants the text of ‘Atlas Shrugged,’ poop, and the hallucination that Ann Coulter is hot.