Politics and Policy:

  • This Modern World: The Bush Administration Guide to achieving consensus
  • SF Chronicle: No-fly blacklist snares political activists
  • Democratic Underground: Auntie Pinko talks about drug decriminalization — one of the best thought out discussions I’ve found on why drug possession and distribution should be sanctioned through civil law but not through criminal penalties.
  • On the subject of drug decriminalization, I was struck with something I heard from Judge Cauthron’s presentation on federal sentencing guidelines at OCU law school (sponsored by the The American Constitution Society) concerning the penalties for embezzling from a charity compared to drug dealing.

    For instance, if a bank official embezzeled over $100,000 from the United Way’s account, that person will likely get less than 5 years in the slammer, while a person who was caught with 50 grams of crack with intent to distribute could get 30 years (I may be wrong on these exact numbers, but the ballpark is right). This is so whack! In the big picture, the embezzler has hurt many, many more people than the drug dealer might have. In general, I think white collar crimes and violent crimes should be much more harshly punished, and drug “crimes” should be only misdemeanors with minor consequences.

  • I haven’t read the decision from the NJ Supreme Court today on replacing the demo candidates, but I’m real curious what logic they used to toss out the statutes involved. I hate to see the Repubs get that seat, but I hate more to see the rule of law circumvented.