Radley Balko, Veronique de Rugy Named to 'The Politico 50' List of Visionaries 'transforming American politics'

Magazine cites their roles in freeing a death row inmate and shuttering the Ex-Im Bank



Politico has published a list of 50 "thinkers, doers and visionaries transforming American politics." Number 28 is former Reasoner Radley Balko, "The police state's grand inquisitor." From the write-up:

Long before Americans watched riot police suppress protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, using tear gas and tanks, Radley Balko could have told you America's police tactics were out of control. The native Tennessean with libertarian sensibilities, now at the Washington Post, has spent nearly two decades warning about America's burgeoning police state. His Huffington Post "Raid of the Day" feature highlighted how SWAT raids had become an everyday police tactic, while his reporting helped to free one Mississippi man from death row and earned the attention of Justice Stephen Breyer in a Supreme Court dissent on police raids.

Balko worked for Reason from 2006 to 2011. The death row inmate he helped free was Cory Maye, a process that began with this October 2006 feature for the magazine.

Brought to you by Boeing! ||| Politico

Clocking it at Number 42 is Reason columnist Veronique de Rugy and contributor Timothy P. Carney, for their influential work declaiming the Export-Import Bank. From the citation:

Carney first began following the little-known Ex-Im, which authorizes billions of dollars each year to subsidize foreign purchases of U.S. exports, as a young reporter in 2001, around the time de Rugy began honing anti-regulation and tax arguments at think tanks. By 2012, with their theories against corporate welfare swirling, a record 93 representatives in the House voted against the bank's reauthorization. By this summer, as Carney and de Rugy published at a feverish pace, conservatives in Congress banded together to buck the decades-long bipartisan consensus, allowing the bank's charter to expire for the first time ever.

Read Carney's January 2015 Ex-Im piece for Reason: "The Crony Capitalism Litmus Test." Then, while feasting on some de Rugian fury about Boeing's favorite government bank presented in chronological order below, please note the delicious irony that the top-50 list is sponsored by Boeing. It's right there at the top of the page.

* "The Constancy of Crony Capitalism," Oct. 15, 2012

*  "Bipartisan Corporate Welfare," October 2013

* "The Crony Capitalism Machine," August 2014

* "You Want to Know Who Benefits from the Ex-Im Bank? Not Small Businesses," March 13, 2015

* "Big Data, Big Business, and Big Government," June 2015

* "End the Export-Import Bank," June 18, 2015

* "Beyond the Export-Import Bank: This Is the Next Corporate Welfare Program We Should Cut," July 2, 2015

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  1. Yeah but why put up a picture of Brando from Apocalypse Now?

    1. Don’t be an ass. That’s clearly Kingpin.

    2. Wilson Fisk.

    3. Uncle Fester.

    4. Jesse Ventura’s Less-Evil Twin

    5. It’s clearly latter-day Yul Brynner.

  2. Radley also allows for the continuation of a burgeoning industry in kevlar-lined athletic cups.

    (and it should also be mentioned that Rand Paul cited Radley during his Patriot Act filibuster back in May)

    1. I don’t think kevlar protects against punches.

      1. Or has he moved on to shooting us in the nuts?

        1. Tazing, actually.

  3. What about Robby?

    Shouldn’t he get a participation trophy or something?

    1. Bah! Everyone knows the future belongs to Shikha!

        1. He’s insufficiently Hindu, too!

    2. Unfortunately, the columnist’s hair was not criteria for consideration, regardless of how beautiful it is.

    3. Robby had the gall to once suggest that Balko’s headlines were *also* boringly predictable (“Another ‘Isolated Incident'”)…therefore we should quit whining about his Buzzfeed-esque Templates.

      I do not know if he received the disciplinary genital cuff for his insolence, but it would have been a good start. Kids these days….

  4. “Shhh. Be vewy vewy quiet. I’m hunting badcops.”

    *ducks and runs*

  5. The Corey Maye story was a turning point for me. Just how awful our vaunted “justice system” is, too few people know or even care about. What happened to Maye occurs every day all across the country, and it is shameful.

  6. shuttering the Ex-Im Bank

    Shutters are easy to open. What you want to do is burn the place to the ground. With all the inhabitants trapped inside.

  7. When Balko wrote for Reason he would join in with H&R sometimes. He got really pissed off one time when overly snarky commentators piled on a dead cop before his family buried him or knew the facts of case. Balko is way OK.

    1. Sometimes it’s easy to forget police are individuals.

      1. Well you mammals may look alike, but you taste very different amongst the various classes.

        1. *places mothballs in Mr. Lizards nest*

    2. Joseph Wambaugh’s The Onion Field seems like an authentic look at cops. He was a cop. This was a hugely successful novel and movie back in the ’70s. It ran counterpoint to the popular Jack Webb Dragnet series where every cop was hero. But that was the ’70s.

      1. Interestingly, when I read Wamburgh’s other stuff, I was immediately reminded of James Ellroy, but for some reason, I only read a few of his books.

        And then I find that the blurb for the latest edition of The Onion Field was written by Ellroy. Time to put together another Amazon order, methinks.

  8. And yet these places that sing Radley’s praise are part of the problem.That being more and more laws and power to the state.Just a couple examples,when you crack down on smoking or the scary drug of the moment,it will be enforced by men with guns. Eric Garner died do those very laws.

    1. You’re talking about Politico? Yeah, too many of them don’t make the connection that too many laws bring too many cops along with them. Criminalize everything and you make everyone a criminal vulnerable to roided up police tactics.

      1. Considering the top five include Anthony Kennedy in the number one spot, an enthusiastic socialist, *and* Bernie Sanders, it’s tough to take their list very seriously.

      2. Yes I am,and the Huffington Post

        1. An NY times and on and on

    2. Eric Garner died do those very laws.

      That’s a stretch. He died of a heart attack in an ambulance. Had NYC not had such a crazy tax on cigs he wouldn’t have been right there. But he would have been somewhere. I’m reluctant to be religious, but the good lord will call you home not always at the time of your choosing.

      1. A heart attack that was most likely brought about by the chokehold that he was placed in moments earlier by one “NY’s finest.” Either as a direct result of having his blood and oxygen supply restricted for several minutes, or an indirect result of the spike in adrenaline caused by the ‘roided up ape’s assault being too much for his heart to withstand.

        Either way, if the shithead cop hadn’t tried to choke him out over a handful of “loosies” he’d probably still be alive today. God had nothing to do with it.

        1. Thing is, he wasn’t even selling loose cigarettes at the time. He had done it before, so when the cops saw him they recognized him and decided to harass him. He objected to their harassment and tried to walk away, so they killed him for failure to obey.

          1. This This a Thousand Times This.

            Garner was not being busted for selling loosies when the cop choked him.

        2. With the exception of the very rare cases where a cop’s life is actually in danger, when they use deadly force it is because someone didn’t obey them. Remember that their job is not to enforce the law. That’s a myth. Their job is to enforce compliance. As in to make people do as they are told. Doesn’t matter if the orders are lawful or not, because they know the courts have their back. Their job is to make people do as they are told, under penalty of death. Any enforcement of any laws is incidental.

        3. “A heart attack that was most likely brought about by the chokehold that he was placed in moments earlier by one “NY’s finest.” ‘

          Nope. I know every newspaper in the world ran big headlines saying, “CHOKED TO DEATH”, but that’s not actually what the coroner’s report said.

          He was never unconscious (‘choked out’) and the actions which the coroner claims caused his heart attack was after he wasn on the ground, had people piled on top of him, and were kneeing his head to the ground and compressing his chest.

          The same stories citing this report go on to conclude he was “choked to death”. Its a stupid, niggling distinction but the fact is it wasn’t the chokehold that killed him at all. It was *other* needlessly violent shit the cops did. Does that make ‘chokeholds’ OK? No. It just doesn’t make them magically lethal while other violent things are perfectly OK.

  9. Please note the delicious irony that the top-50 list is sponsored by Boeing.

    That is some delicious irony indeed, with undertones if schadenfreude… And is that a subtle splash of salty ham tears of Boeing lobbyists I detect?

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