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n2doc

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Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 01:08 PM
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NYT: Challenging Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders Gains Momentum in Iowa

DES MOINES — A mere 240 people live in the rural northeast Iowa town of Kensett, so when more than 300 crowded into the community center on Saturday night to hear Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, many driving 50 miles, the cellphones of Democratic leaders statewide began to buzz.

Kurt Meyer, the county party chairman who organized the event, sent a text message to Troy Price, the Iowa political director for Hillary Rodham Clinton. Mr. Price called back immediately.

“Objects in your rearview mirror are closer than they appear,” Mr. Meyer said he had told Mr. Price about Mr. Sanders. “Mrs. Clinton had better get out here.”

The first evidence that Mrs. Clinton could face a credible challenge in the Iowa presidential caucuses appeared late last week in the form of overflow crowds at Mr. Sanders’s first swing through that state since declaring his candidacy for the Democratic nomination. He drew 700 people to an event on Thursday night in Davenport, for instance — the largest rally in the state for any single candidate this campaign season, and far more than the 50 people who attended a rally there on Saturday with former Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland.

more

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/01/us/politics/challenging-hillary-clinton-bernie-sanders-gains-momentum-in-iowa.html?_r=0

Toon: He IS behind Bars!

And he paid a fine!

Toon: She'll Do What I tell Her!

Toon: Another Texan Disaster

Luckovich Toon: Cull the Field

The Missing Statistics of Criminal Justice

After Ferguson, a noticeable gap in criminal-justice statistics emerged: the use of lethal force by the police. The federal government compiles a wealth of data on homicides, burglaries, and arson, but no official, reliable tabulation of civilian deaths by law enforcement exists. A partial database kept by the FBI is widely considered to be misleading and inaccurate. (The Washington Post has just released a more expansive total of nearly 400 police killings this year.) “It’s ridiculous that I can’t tell you how many people were shot by the police last week, last month, last year,” FBI Director James Comey told reporters in April.

This raises an obvious question: If the FBI can’t tell how many people were killed by law enforcement last year, what other kinds of criminal-justice data are missing? Statistics are more than just numbers: They focus the attention of politicians, drive the allocation of resources, and define the public debate. Public officials—from city councilors to police commanders to district attorneys—are often evaluated based on how these numbers change during their terms in office. But existing statistical measures only capture part of the overall picture, and the problems that go unmeasured are often also unaddressed. What changes could the data that isn’t currently collected produce if it were gathered?

In one sense, searching for these statistical gaps is like fishing blindfolded—how can someone know what they don’t know? But some absences are more obvious than others. Bruce Western, a professor of sociology at Harvard University, cited two major gaps. One is the racial demography of arrests and criminal records. An estimated 65 million Americans, or roughly 25 percent of the U.S. population, have a criminal record of some kind. But the racial makeup of those records isn’t fully known. “There are estimates, but with [65 million] people in the FBI criminal record database, we have no systematic knowledge of their demographics,” Western told me.

There may be many missing statistics from the realm of policing, but even greater gaps lie elsewhere. Thanks to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, police departments might actually be one of the better quantified parts of the criminal-justice system. Prisons also provide a wealth of statistics, which researchers have used to help frame mass incarceration in its historical and demographic content. The Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics maintains an annual report on the size of the U.S. prison population. The report includes state-by-state demographic statistics like inmate ages, races, crimes committed, and other crucial data for researchers and policymakers.

much more

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/05/what-we-dont-know-about-mass-incarceration/394520/

March of the Imperial Senators

John McCain and Lindsey Graham try to rewrite history to vindicate the Iraq war, and blame Obama for ISIS.
By KELLEY VLAHOS

Revisionist history is en vogue among Republicans this summer.

As Ramadi falls, hawks offer comfort in the argument that at least Iraq’s current troubles with ISIS can all be laid at President Obama’s feet. In the face of well-documented Iraqi reality, they are reviving the stale Vietnam-era trope to say that—if only the United States had the conviction to stay a little longer—it would have “won.”

The reviser-in-chief is none other than Sen. John McCain. McCain was Washington’s greatest advocate for the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and he hated that the U.S. ever left. No doubt he dislikes President Obama, who thwarted the elder man’s bid for the White House in 2008, even more.

Just last week he told reporters that President Obama’s strategy for curbing the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, was “one of the most disgraceful episodes in American history.” McCain’s widely known and tolerated flair for the dramatic now places an “episode” that most Americans could not rightly pin down, much less explain without the aid of Google, alongside slavery, the Trail of Tears, the federal crackdown on World War I-era Bonus Marchers, and the entire Vietnam War.



more

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/march-of-the-imperial-senators-2/

Good summary of the history of the Iraq withdrawal.

Bush: Retirement age should be phased in to ’68 or 70’

Jeb Bush wants to push back the retirement age for Social Security by as many as five years.

Instead of allowing Americans to collect full benefits at age 65, the former Florida governor and likely GOP presidential candidate suggested on Sunday that it should be pushed back to 68 or 70.

“I think it needs to be phased in over an extended period of time,” he said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“We need to look over the horizon and begin to phase in, over an extended period of time, going from 65 to 68 or 70,” he added. “And that, by itself, will help sustain the retirement system for anybody under the age of 40.”

more

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/gop-primaries/243556-bush-retirement-age-should-be-68-or-70

Keep digging that (political) grave, JEB.

This Age of Derp, Kansas Edition

Paul Krugman



Menzie Chinn notes the continuing failure of the Kansas experiment with supply-side tax cuts. And yes, it is an experiment — Gov. Brownback said it was, and by cutting taxes radically on the basis of ideology rather than any compelling event, Kansas in effect provided us with a natural experiment on exactly what such cuts accomplish. Menzie uses business indicators; I just look at employment growth since Brownback took office, compared with the nation as a whole (red line). No hint whatsoever of a supply-side boost, and of course a terrible fiscal crisis.

So how will this change GOP economic ideology? You know the answer: not at all. We live in an age of right-wing derp, of doctrines that just get repeated (and indeed strengthen their political hold) no matter how wrong they prove. Gold bugs and Austrians are more dominant in GOP circles than they were before seven years of wrongly predicting runaway inflation. Supply-siders are more dominant than ever despite the boom in California and the bust in Kansas.

Why this indifference to evidence? Partly it must be the closed right-wing media universe. Partly it’s political polarization, which means that in places like Kansas even the most spectacular policy failure doesn’t cost Republicans elections, whereas any hint of heresy will cost you the primary.

Anyway, it’s a remarkable picture.

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/05/31/this-age-of-derp-kansas-edition/?_r=0

John Brennan crawls out from his spider hole to announce "Be Scared! Be Very Scared!"

Terrorists who want to attack the U.S. are closely monitoring the congressional battle over the Patriot Act with hopes of finding ways to strike, the head of the CIA said on Sunday.

“I think terrorist elements have watched very carefully what has happened here in the United States,” Director John Brennan said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“Whether or not it’s disclosures of classified information, or whether it’s changes in the law and policies, they’re looking for the seams to operate within,” he added. “This is something that we can’t afford to deal with right now, because if you look at the horrific terrorist attacks and violence that’s being perpetrated around the globe, we need to keep our country safe.”

Brennan’s comments are the latest pressure from the Obama administration, which has been frantically warning Congress not to run through the midnight deadline to renew three parts of the Patriot Act. The administration has repeatedly urged lawmakers to pass the USA Freedom Act, which would renew those laws while also ending the National Security Agency’s (NSA) bulk collection of Americans’ phone records.

more

http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/243554-cia-chief-terrorists-watching-senate-nsa-fight

Fuck the CIA
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