Resolved: Sensenbrenner Is a Bonehead

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Drug Policy Alliance Executive Director Ethan Nadelmann is scheduled to debate House Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner's ludicrously draconian drug sentencing bill on The O'Reilly Factor tonight. Check out DPA's take on the legislation, which zeroes in on its mandatory snitching provisions, here.

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  1. It’s a setup. As soon as Nadelmann lands a good punch, O’Really’s going to say, “What are you, high? Har har har” and his idiot viewers will titter along.

  2. This should be fantastic. O’Reilly has given DPA a fair shake in the past, Nadelmann is a badass speaker, and Sensenbrenner’s bill is nothing short of outrageous. It’s based on 30 years of proven failure, both at home and abroad, taking sentencing cues from New York’s draconian Rockefeller drug laws and enforcement cues that could have come out of Putin’s 1980’s KGB playbook, like making “Failure to Report” suspected marijuana distribution on a college campus an imprisonable offense.

  3. Is there any precedent for criminalizing not reporting a suspected crime?

  4. joe – Nadelmann had Marsha Rosenbaum from the DPA San Fran office on a few months ago and he gave her a completely fair shake. Throw in his recent performance with the followup and acknowledgment of Gillespie’s “snopes.com”/Jane Fonda urban legend thing, and things aren’t looking so grim.

  5. Scratch “Nadelmann” and replace with “O’Reilly” in the first line of last comment

  6. Adam, you meant O’Reilly, right?

    I imagine Nadelmann would be quite cordial to the head of the San Francisco DPA office.

  7. “Drug Police Alliance”??

  8. Jacob,

    Your use of the term “bonehead” implies that senselessbrainer is stupid, albeit possibly a decent individual. Supporting this bill, however, is nothing short of EVIL. Seriously, don’t be so easy on the fascist.

  9. Does Sensenbrenner have a financial interest in the corrections industry? Sheesh.

  10. “Is there any precedent for criminalizing not reporting a suspected crime?”

    Yes. When Comrade Stalin ruled the Soviet Union, it was a crime to not report anti-Soviet actions or statements.

    It was also punishable in the Comintern if you failed to rat out your comrades.

  11. fyodor – Yes, actually there is. Many states have mandatory-reporting laws for child abuse, which make it a crime for certain people (lawyers, teachers, school administrators, clergy, etc) to not report clear evidence of child abuse when they see it.

    Not that Sensenbrenner isn’t full of crap, but there is precedent for the general concept.

  12. Does Sensenbrenner have a financial interest in the corrections industry? Sheesh.

    Comment by: Serafina at May 26, 2005 06:26 PM

    No, but what REALLY pisses me off about this Wisconsin comb over is that he’s already loaded AND won about $250,000.00 on a whim playing the lottery at a Hill liquor store:

    01-05-1998

    HOUSE REPORT – WISCONSIN 09: REMEMBER, YOU CAN’T WIN IF YOU DON’T PLAY

    “Tightwad” Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner won $250K from a DC
    lottery ticket purchased during a beer run to Congressional
    Liquors on the Hill. Sensenbrenner “acknowledged a weakness” for
    playing the lottery: “I might play every two weeks. It was an
    impulse purchase. I was purchasing Wisconsin beer for my
    office’s Christmas party, and I paid $2 for two Quick Cash
    tickets.” Congressional Liquors owner Willie McCoy said
    Sensenbrenner was initially confused by his win, believing he won
    $10. McCoy said “quite a number” of Members play the lottery at
    his store (Harris, Washington Post, 12/31).

    Hate it when THE MAN wins and takes money from the mouths of us regular, line shuffling people…

  13. “It’s based on 30 years of proven failure, both at home and abroad, taking sentencing cues from New York’s draconian Rockefeller drug laws and enforcement cues that could have come out of Putin’s 1980’s KGB playbook, like making “Failure to Report” suspected marijuana distribution on a college campus an imprisonable offense.”

    Oh great, so now the vast majority of college students are going to be criminals. But look on the bright side; maybe we can expect a new generation of civil disobeyers. I know that none of my friends would report me if I were a drug-user or seller, and I would never report on anyone either. We might also see a larger disconnect between laws and righteousness (which could be a good in a pro-property rights and civil rights kind of way, but bad if it led toward nihilistic havoc-wreaking*) But none of that is a justification for the policy.

    example in Scotland: *http://freedomandwhisky.blogspot.com/2005/05/modern-times.html

  14. A bonehead who wouldn’t even show up for the show apparently.

  15. Ugh. I just finished watching it. Fortunately, Kasich was subbing for O’Reilly but still the whole question was dodged. Instead of debating the merits of this particular bill, Kasich and the pro-WOD guest said that they important thing about this bill was that it “opened the debate” on the drug war and that it was time to get serious about it.

    I feel sick.

  16. If you really think O’Reilly can be trusted to treat an opponent fairly, wait until the next time he interviews anyone who’s pro-gun. “No spin” my ass!

  17. Kasich and the pro-WOD guest said that they important thing about this bill was that it “opened the debate” on the drug war…

    Since when does the pro-WOD crowd encourage debate on the drug war? Question-begging, ad hominem attacks, deflection, sure. But genuine debate?

  18. It’s impossible to prove a negative. So if you’re arrested on the charge that you saw drug activity but didn’t report it, how can you prove that you did NOT see anything?

  19. How many times can we be scammed into watching O’Reilly (or the like) by an appearance of anyone with other than an adminstration/conservative/liberal/D/R/mainstream viewpoint? Is the hope of a sensible debate so powerful that we keep watching and being thankful for any meager attention given to a viewpoint we espouse?

    None who differ with those guys are ever going to get a fair hearing on their shows, regardless of what they claim. It?s always been a setup (like joe said at the top of the thread), it always will be, so quit expecting a fair shake, because you ain’t gonna get one.

  20. Mac, I’ve fixed the unfortunate typo in the Drug Policy Alliance’s name. But I think I’d like to see the Drug Policy Alliance debate the Drug Police Alliance.

  21. Maybe I’m missing something, but what is the threshold for “Suspected” drug use? I’m not a law enforcement officer who’s been trained to make these kind of distinctions, so should this become law, I think it’s only reasonable to err on the side of caution and report anything that *could* be a drug transaction. Anyone have Sensenbrenner’s home phone?

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