…But apparently, in Hollywood, pregnant is the new super-thin and going to jail because of an act linked to a drug addiction, well that’s just what everyone is doing (Lohan, most prominently and publicly). Doing pregnancy and jail together, as Nicole Richie is about to, now that’s just plain trendsetting. Or so says HuffPo’s Verena von Pfetten, tongue firmly planted in her cheek.
Of course, Richie’s going for only four days (out of a possible 3 years), and was offered the pay-for-privacy cushy prison experience (which she declined; she will complete her sentence in the county jail). For most women who battle addiction and end up in jail because of their addictions alone (thousands each year and rising), jail is a lot less glamorous. Jail while pregnant is the nightmare that comes true for 7% of all incarcerated women.
I suppose it’s my job to report on such things, but seeing that Robin Givhan and the extremely desperate homeless person’s Robin Givhan are discussing Camille Paglia discussing Hillary Clinton’s decolletage, all I can say as that I’ll get to it just as soon as I watch every film in the oeuvres of Michael Bay and Tom Shadyac 10 times followed by a 24-hour loop of Yankeeography: Derek Jeter.
Fourteen-star general Ralph “Blood N’ Guts” Peters actually dusts off the “our inability to prevent massive gas truck suicide bombings that kill hundreds of people proves that…Al Qaeda is in its last throes and we’re winning” routine. And merits an approving link and quote, of course, from the most popular conservative blogger. These people really have no dignity. Or shame.
I’m not sure why Gary is so worried that a broad array of federal and local officials will have access to satellite survey data with virtually no safeguards in place. After all, if the blogosphere is to be believed even “classical liberalism” now requires that branches of the government be self-policing and statements of state officials be taken at face value. So what’s the problem?
It’s bad enough that we’re saddled with “originalism” as a theory of constitutional interpretation. But it takes Fred Hiatt & Co. to advance the argument that Congress should be bound by the “original intent” of past laws. What the hell?
Mark Tushnet argued in The New Constitutional Order that the key domestic norm of post-Great Society American constitutionalism was not so much “government can’t solve any problems” as “government can’t solve any more problems.” This would seem to be the reductio ad absurdum of this — Congress gets one crack at the civil rights apple, and if they want to adapt to new problems made clear by the bad judicial decisions of (WaPo-approved) justices, too bad! Bizarre.
I don’t know how I missed The Wingnuttiad, but this is apparently how Thers has decided to conclude his summer vacation. Time well spent, I say. Here’s a sample:
Right Blog Wingnuts come in many flavors:
There are war-fiends, dopes, and homo-haters;
Photoshop fanatics, all full of phlegm,
Doggéd denouncers of the MSM!
Because they can bravely use the Google,
As they chew Cheetos and Toaster-Strudel –
“Fact-Checking” CBS with Wikipedia –
They squawk that they’re the Brand New Media:
“We’re all Fierce Foes of Islamofascism!”
The Wingnuts wail as they shake & spasm,
Their keyboards caked with weeks-old jism
(This is called “Cit’zen Journamalism.”)
So, I took this test; in order of finish, here are my results:
Predictably, there was a substantial gap between Edwards and Huckabee. I’m kind of surprised Edwards was the lowest Democrat. Paul was so high because of foreign policy, I’m sure.
I’ve expressed my frustration before (in posts I can’t seem to find right now) that none of the serious Dem. presidential candidates (apologies to Kucinich and Gravel) appear willing to take a stance against the Drug War or at least, more narrowly, against the 100-to-1 crack/cocaine sentencing disparity. I had hoped that Obama might prove me wrong. He hadn’t said anything about the issue on his webpage, but given that he is in many ways more progressive that Clinton (or at least, was before he got political consultanted into oblivion) and that he has a personal history of drug use (which perhaps necessitated a harder line stance on drugs), I still had some hope.
Disappointing, then to read today, via TalkLeft, that those hopes are dashed — or at least quelled. A Boston Globe column today exposes Obama’s ambivalence and equivocation with regard to drug war issues.
Though the candidate easily recognized that it was wrong to implement a 100-to-1 disparity in the first place, he backtracked when asked whether he would push to get rid of it as president (something Bush has – not surprisingly – opposed):
That vacillation became evident as he kept talking about crack-vs.-powder sentencing, which has come to symbolize racial injustice in criminal justice. He said that if he were to become president, he would support a commission to issue a report “that allows me to say that based on the expert evidence, this is not working and it’s unfair and unjust. Then I would move legislation forward.
Another useless study that would just get thrown on the pile of the thousands that have already demonstrated that the law is discriminatory and that it serves no legitimate penological purpose.
Obama claims that his priority is preventing young men and women from getting involved in the drug trade in the first place, at least in part by creating better economic opportunities for them. That’s an important — and worthy — goal. But the problem is larger than that; the crack sentencing disparity creates a cycle of using/dealing, arrest, and then release to use/deal again because of the amount of time served and lack of support upon release. Prevention is important. But it’s not, as Obama himself would say, the only place we should be spending our political capital.
Texas is about to execute someone for a murder he did not commit and was only peripherally involved with. During every discussion of the death penalty around here, at least one commenter will recount an anecdote of an especially horrible crime committed by someone who was executed, which would be relevant if the states systematically limited the death penalty to very worst crimes, but of course it does no such thing. Foster deserves some jail time, and carries some measure of moral and legal responsibility for the killing he didn’t commit, plan, or intend, but he obviously doesn’t deserve to be executed even if you support the death penalty.
On the other hand, I’m sure getting Fredo Gonzales involved in state death penalty prosecutions will make the system much more fair. In case you had any illusions that reducing the habeas power of federal courts was about “states’ rights…”
Jane and BT note Dr. Helen’s bizarre claims in her Pajamas Media advice column that “manliness” means that you should “get The Dangerous Book for Boys [wow, Insta or Mrs. Pundit plugging that book, what a surprise!] and build a treehouse, make a go-cart…” One strain that runs through both Reynolds and Smith is they apparently have never even considered that not every single person in the country lives in a massive house in a dreary exurb somewhere, and hence everyone has plenty of space to build go-karts. Anyway, given that I’m not sure where I’d put a treehouse in my apartment or who would use it, and that her hubby’s “manliness” seems to be instantiated primarily by advocating killing lots of foreigners in ways that also undermine American security interests, I think I’ll take a pass on having them evaluate my masculinity.
I do wonder when she’ll get a tenured position at Harvard, though…