Criminal Justice

Republicans Try to Torpedo Sentencing Reform

Need another reason to resent the GOP-run Congress? Try Tom Cotton (and Ted Cruz).

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They keep coming. ||| Bill Kristol's Twitter feed
Bill Kristol's Twitter feed

It's not enough that they're blowing the long-term debt and deficit sky high (by ditching sequestration cuts, boosting spending, cramming unseemlies into omnibuses, and just waving away the debt ceiling like an irksome gnat), but now the Republicans who control both houses of Congress are gathering forces to undermine one of their last chances to not be terrible: criminal justice reform.

As Anthony Fisher wrote about this morning, reform is a thing that's happening around the country as we speak. But the long-promised payout of these efforts, a bipartisan mandatory minimum rollback designed for the legacy-seeking pen of President Barack Obama, is being threatened by surveillance-loving interventionist nightmare Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.). Reports Politico:

GOP tensions over a bill that would effectively loosen some mandatory minimum sentences spilled over during a party lunch last week, when Cotton (R-Ark.), the outspoken Senate freshman, lobbied his colleagues heavily against the legislation, according to people familiar with the closed-door conversation. The measure passed the Senate Judiciary Committee last fall with bipartisan support.

"It would be very dangerous and unwise to proceed with the Senate Judiciary bill, which would lead to the release of thousands of violent felons," Cotton said later in an interview with POLITICO. "I think it's no surprise that Republicans are divided on this question … [but] I don't think any Republicans want legislation that is going to let out violent felons, which this bill would do." […]

Conservatives opposing the legislation are coalescing around Cotton's view — despite strong pushback from bill supporters — that the measure could lead to the early release of people convicted and imprisoned for violent crimes. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), once a supporter of easing mandatory minimums for nonviolent drug offenders, has also made this argument.

Definitely the latter, in this case. ||| Reason
Reason

The turnabout ju-jitsu from Ted Cruz, who once could be accurately described as a criminal justice reformer, is especially galling. A new Atlantic piece describes how the Texas Tea Partier plunged the knife into the ribs of his best friend in the Senate, bill sponsor Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah):

When Lee brought up his bill in the committee hearing, he wasn't sure if he'd have Cruz's support. But he certainly didn't anticipate what came next.

Cruz attacked the bill as dangerous and politically poisonous. He said it would lead to more than 7,000 federal prisoners let out on the street. "I for one, at a time when police officers across this country are under assault right now, being vilified right now, when we're seeing violent crime spiking in our cities across the country, I think it would be a serious mistake for the Senate to pass legislation providing for 7,082 criminals to be released early," he said. The bill, he claimed, "could result in more violent criminals being let out on the streets, and potentially more lives being lost."

Cruz went on to warn his fellow senators that if they voted for the bill, they would imperil their careers. "We know to an absolute certainty that an unfortunately high percentage of those offenders will go and commit subsequent crimes," he said. "And every one of us who votes to release violent criminals from prison prior to the expiration of their sentence can fully expect to be held accountable by our constituents." Essentially, Cruz was saying that the legislation would let dangerous people out of prison, they would commit more crimes, and the senators would be subject to Willie Horton-style attack ads.

Lee, who was sitting right next to Cruz, could not believe what he was hearing. The bill, he responded, wouldn't actually release any violent criminals from prison, and its sentence reduction for gun crimes was to reduce the minimum for felons caught with guns or ammunition from 15 years to 10 years—a provision that had once sent a man to prison for 15 years when he picked up a stray bullet in order to clean a carpet. "It is simply incorrect to say that this suddenly releases a bunch of violent criminals. It is tougher on violent offenders," Lee sputtered. "That statement is inaccurate…. We're not letting out violent offenders. That is false."

When I interviewed the reform-supporting Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) two weeks ago about potential obstacles to the legislation, he said the biggest impediments were coming from his own team:

Never forget! ||| Fox Business Network
Fox Business Network

Massie: Um, you know, it's really up to our leadership here in Congress. And—

Q: Uh-oh.

Massie: Yeah I know (laughs). Sometimes it's like pushing a string uphill, in terms of trying to get bills through committee, you know they die in committee, or trying to get them to the floor for a vote. If the leadership doesn't want it, then it doesn't happen. And frankly there's really nobody on K Street, there's no moneyed interests up here putting money in the pockets of congressman's campaigns that's pushing this issue.

Now ironically the Koch brothers have gotten involved as an asset in this battle for repealing mandatory minimums, and they've teamed up with some of the left-leaning groups. And so there is a little push. But there's, you know, as far as moneyed interests on Wall Street being interested in it, they're just not. And so those folks are displacing a lot of the floor time here. It's going to be hard to get it to the president.

So what can reformers hope for? Either that Cruz changes his mind (fat chance), or that Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) gets off the mat in Iowa, and retains a puncher's chance at the nomination. More Massie:

I think the prospects are good if this becomes part of the presidential debate. If you have all the presidential candidates supporting [reforming] mandatory minimums, or at least the Republican that wins the nomination and the Democrat that wins the nomination, then there's a good chance that this issue stays fresh and in the public debate. And then when they are sworn into office, presumably there's a mandate[.]

Reason on sentencing reform here.

NEXT: Obama Bans Solitary Confinement for Juveniles; Supreme Court Expands Parole for Juveniles Serving Life

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  1. Need another reason to resent the GOP-run Congress?

    Not really. And is it just me, or is the punchability of Kristol’s face getting more pronounced as he ages?

    1. I don’t know. He kind of looks like your fist would come away from his face all powdery.

    2. I sense a new niche market for the Oculus Rift.

    1. More so without, one would think. What else has he got to do on a Saturday night?

          1. “Okay, but I’m keeping those panties!”

    2. “This law is going to have the opposite effect of the lawmaker’s intentions.” – Haha sure.

      1. Are you implying that the Danish legislators know jet fuel can’t melt steel beams?

    3. Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe its just political pandering to a population that *really* doesn’t like immigrants. Maybe its supposed to send a signal to migrants = “YOU MIGHT AS WELL STOP IN GERMANY AND NOT COME FURTHER”

      I presume the actual impact of the law would be to dis-incentivize migrants from looking to the Danes for charity and alms.

      They are sort of the odd-man out in the European love affair w/ refugees. Well, at least on the scale of Scandinavian dislike of outsiders, they seem to be #1. Maybe they’re still more open than, say, Serbia.

      1. I think the Muhammad cartoon controversy might have had something to do with that.

      2. It seems a bit churlish unless there’s a “no, thanks, I’m fine, my buddy can watch my stuff while I work and I can shower at the rec” option.

        “We’ll take care of everything, here’s a list of all the free shit we’re throwing your way because we think this sort of thing is important enough to finance with public funds. Now give me anything valuable and useful, you lazy parasitic wretch.”

        Knowhaddamean?

    4. No, it means that the richer immigrants will go elsewhere and Denmark gets stuck with the poor ass ones that are going to breed a permanent welfare class (but the fun sort that literally rapes the taxpayers).

    5. Wow what a great way to start assimilating them. Nothing like stealing from people to make extremist groups appealing.

      1. I agree. How are you going to assimilate somebody as a beneficiary of your welfare state if you are telling them they have to pay as much as they can for the benefits.

        No, to assimilate somebody into a welfare state, the message that they are completely entitled to state support, and have no responsibility of their own, needs to be crystal clear.

        1. Are you in a competition with sarc to see who can most tedious or with John to see who can be most dishonest?

          1. Either way you will still retain the prize for being the biggest douche.

          2. I’m shooting for most tediously dishonest, but frankly, Cytotoxic, I’m not even in the big leagues on that front.

    6. Don’t they carry such stuff to bribe the border guards w anyway? This just makes it systematic.

  2. The corrections industry is getting battered on all sides. The de-escalation of the drug war, sentencing reform, Obummer’s early release dictates. I almost feel bad for them.

    1. Won’t somebody think of the correction industry’s shareholders? They invested a non-insubstantial sum of their life earnings into the belief the government would continue to expand the incarcerated population. They need a bailout for making such terrible financial decisions.

      1. Maybe they could get timeshare vacations at the facilities that they own as retribution, um… compensation.

  3. Is there any violent felon in American prisons as dangerous for liberty as Tom Cotton?

    1. Some of us don’t watch Orange is the New Black, Nicole. How the hell would we know?

      1. Wait…I thought you watched that crap. Aren’t you all into that actress who once played a bitch who wouldn’t put out for her longterm boyfriend but still complained whenever he looked at another girl?

        1. I didn’t know there was a T.V. show based on my sex life.

        2. DON’T TALK SHIT ABOUT LAURA PREPON

          1. OMG, Laura Prepon…. I’ll be in my bunk.

          2. You got the hots for a Scientologist?

            1. She can check my thetan level anytime she likes

              1. I hear sex with a scientologist is like the VR setup in Demolition Man.

            2. Sure, since it’s hots that have absolutely nothing to do with real life and who really gives a shit anyway? Letting the fact that someone (who I will never encounter) is a Scientologist ruin my enjoyment of their physical attractiveness seems pretty fucking stupid.

              1. +1 Nutty But Hot Jenna Elfman

              2. The dye in her hair is ruining my enjoyment of her physical attractiveness.

    2. Oh, i’m sure there’s an abortion-clinic bomber in there somewhere.

  4. Republicans are good allies of libertarians though. We should always vote Republican.

    #MakeAmericaGreatAgain

    1. HOW COME REASON NEVER PUBLISHES ARTICLES ABOUT HOW DEMOCRATS TRY TO TORPEDO SENTENCING REFORM?!?!?!?!?

      1. + 1 John

      2. Typical of Reason to completely ignore the Democrats’ responsibility in this. Love him or hate him, Cruz is absolutely right on this. If this law passes and criminals are released, the Dems will run attack ads against every Republican who voted for it, and the GOP will lose the House and Senate in a landslide. If the Democrats cared about this issue at all, they would have done something about it back in 2009 when they had control of Congress. Today, we know they’ll use the issue for political gamesmanship. Disgusting.

        1. Hahahahahaha nice.

        2. He may be right about the political calculation, but not about the moral one.

          1. That might matter if politicians had a shred of morality.

            1. Well, if you put it that way…

          2. So you want them to lose? Is it more moral to sacrifice their careers and then not get anything done? I can’t believe that. How do we get sentencing reform then? The moral choice is the political choice. That’s the way it is. I’m sorry if you can’t see that. It’s not Cruz’s fault that he has to lie about the bill and reverse his position. If you’re going to blame anyone, blame progs.

            1. No of course not. You’re correct, morals are just impediments to the only goal that matters, power.

            2. This is perfect. Epi gets it.

            3. So you want them to lose?

              I do. I doubt I’m the only one. The sclerotic, entitled, isolated political class is one of the biggest problems this country has.

              1. But it’s not the real problem. The American people are the real problem.

    2. It sounds like Matt wants Bernie to win.

      1. Only because Joe ain’t running.

        Bernie is the 2nd funniest option.

  5. “Republicans Try to Torpedo Sentencing Reform”

    I was going to loan them a gun for toe target practice, but I see they brought their own.

  6. Lee, who was sitting right next to Cruz, could not believe what he was hearing.

    Presidential candidate sucks up to the base – film at 11.

    I said it yesterday regarding his contempt for those who march with gays, but it bears repeating:

    What a dick.

    1. Everyone seems to think he is a dick, too. It is almost admirable.

      1. I think he’s a total douchebag, and i still think he’s a better candidate than almost any of the rest.

        1. I think he’s a total douchebag, and i still think he’s a better candidate than almost any of the rest.

          This. He’s certainly a better candidate than any of the front runners.

          1. I always thought of him as more of the shit sandwich type.

  7. Ted Cruz is just expounding his Canadian-Texan values.

  8. You know who else something something torpedos

    1. Horace Lawson Hunley?

    2. Burlesque dancers?

    3. The African Queen?

    4. Admiral Farragut?

    5. Jojo Kiss?

      (I’ll be using this line as my shtick for awhile so bear with me)

    6. The Bedford Incident?

    7. Joseph Pujol

  9. “”I for one, at a time when police officers across this country are under assault right now, being vilified right now, when we’re seeing violent crime spiking in our cities across the country, I think it would be a serious mistake for the Senate to pass legislation providing for 7,082 criminals to be released early,”

    No one panders like Ted Cruz. It’s magnificent to watch him get on his knees and just go to town on undecided conservative voters.

    1. Rule 34, I guess.

    2. Ted Cruz is the only true libertarian in the race.

    3. If he keeps blowing the yokels in that manner he’s gonna tear a rotator cuff.

    4. It’s like Republicans can’t help themselves but reflexively oppose anything Democrats do, reverse-engineering whatever justification is necessary to make it sound legitimate.

      So much for Cruz…

    5. at a time when police officers across this country are under assault right now,

      No, actually, they are not.

      being vilified right now

      It kind of matters whether it is justified or not.

      when we’re seeing violent crime spiking in our cities across the country

      In the blur of propaganda and horseshit, I can’t recall if this is actually happening. Is it?

      1. No. The ‘Ferguson Effect’ is the right’s answer to ‘rape culture’. The only city with a real spike in crime was Baltimore and that started before the cops van-murdered that guy.

  10. (by ditching sequestration cuts, boosting spending, cramming unseemlies into omnibuses, and just waving away the debt ceiling like an irksome gnat)

    Wait a second… please, seriously, correct me if I’m wrong here, but on the rare occasion that the GOP got within 100 miles of these things, didn’t everyone (including writers right here at Reason) climb all over them for being obstructionist and fighting a politically losing battle? Wasn’t fighting the debt ceiling and sequestration issues considered a petulant act which was ultimately a political loser?

    1. That was then, this is now. Sheesh!

    2. shhh…you’re not supposed to talk about that.

      Seriously, this really is the first time I’ve heard about a real policy problem with Cruz brought up here.

    3. Ummm…ja. What Cruz has done in this instance is morally deplorable (not to mention intellectually dishonest) but the sudden “why didn’t the GOP shut down the gubmint over the debt ceiling when they had the chance” cry from Welch is just as mendacious.

      1. This. Welch is also an idiot on politics. His political advice is about as good as Tulpa’s.

    4. Yeah, I always thought that Welch was one of the straight shooters, but that takes balls the size of Jupiter. Does he think that everyone here is the typical American moron who can’t remember what happened the day before yesterday?

      He ought to have some more respect for our intelligence. And frankly, it kind of makes you wonder if he’s as much of a faker as most of the Beltway Boys.

  11. Mike Lee and Thomas Massie in the same article, both of them getting simultaneously fucked by the establishment and by conservative “insurgents.”

    The Republican party is unsalvageable.

    1. Just wait until Tom Cotton is running for president.

      1. You shut your pretty, awful mouth, you.

      2. Thanks, Nikki. I just voided my bowels at my desk.

      3. Shit, you really are the worst.

    2. Man, all my comments about this subject today seem to have vague, homoerotic undertones. Maybe I should come out of the closet.

      1. And you are supposedly the classiest commenter we have, too.

      2. You come out of that closet before we tell you it’s time to come out of the closet and we’re going to handcuff you to the bedpost and whip your ass.

      3. I accept you for who you are.

    3. I’m starting to think America is unsalvageable.

      1. And other countries or continents are?

        1. Panama?

      2. I blame Canada!

  12. Can’t appear to be soft on crime, you know.

    1. Not while there is a war on cops happening.

    2. So the parties have bought into each other’s caricatures of them?

  13. Doesn’t Cotton get some of his talking points from Paul “Miranda is the worst SCOTUS decision EVAR” Cassell – a former federal judge who firmly believes trials should only be conducted after the accused has been safely hanged?

    1. I will agree that Miranda is sort of terrible in that what would otherwise be an illegal interrogation, the police need only say the magic words: “you have the right…” and any questioning afterward is blessed by the divine power of the USSC so long as the person sitting there indicates that they heard the magic words

  14. “We know to an absolute certainty that an unfortunately high percentage of those offenders will go and commit subsequent crimes,”
    “And every one of us who votes to release violent criminals from prison prior to the expiration of their sentence can fully expect to be held accountable by our constituents.”

    Some of these violent felons will commit crimes POST sentence expiration. Some won’t. Some violent felons released early will commit crimes, some won’t.

    Anyway, it’s all about you and your voters, right guys?

    1. We know to an absolute certainty that an unfortunately high percentage of those offenders will go and commit subsequent crimes

      Yeah, it really sucks that we can’t just sentence everyone to life without parole.

    2. We know to an absolute certainty that an unfortunately high percentage

      60% of the time, it works every time

  15. And Ted Cruz? There goes my Team Red cred by being able to imagine Cruz was the least smelly turd in the punchbowl and therefore the tastiest despite his admission that he eats live babies just for fun thinks Snowden is a traitor. Shit, now I gotta try to figure out for real if Trump is worse than Hillary and I should prepare to slit my wrists come Election Day or if Hillary is worse than Trump and I should prepare to blow my brains out.

    1. Maybe we should hope for Bernie and a Republican congress and prepare for the gridlockiest gridlock in American history.

      1. I’m starting to come around on Bernie. Once I get past the horror of the US electing a self-proclaimed socialist, he seems like such an incompetent man with his head in the clouds that I can’t see him accomplishing anything. Even if Dems take back one of the two houses, the more conservative leaning ones will probably resist his crazy proposals (see: PPACA).

        Christ, how is this the best we can hope for?

        1. Yeah, because socialists never have a history of evading Constitutional safeguards when they get in the way of the agenda.

          1. Dictatorship of the Proletariat?

        2. I’m sort of feeling the same way. Bernie might even instigate Texan secession, which would be best for everyone.

          1. Fuck you. If Texas secedes, I’ll be stuck in a Democrat run country.

            1. Not if you move to Texas, you won’t.

              1. If Texas were to secede, I doubt carpet-baggers would be welcome.

                1. I think you’d be surprised. Texans are actually very well acquainted with the notion that productive immigrants are a good thing.

                  They just have a lot of experience with unproductive immigrants, as well.

                  1. “They just have a lot of experience with unproductive immigrants”

                    No they don’t they just have a lot of lies floating around about immigrants.

                    The Texas GOP is getting quite friendly to immigrants.

            2. You’ll be stuck in one anyway if Trump is the nominee. Either Dems or GOPers that are diet-Dems or worse than Dems.

              America needs to be broken up for its own good. Canada to.

        3. I honestly fear Bernie more than Trump.

          Bernie is really, really, fucking competent at buying off his opposition when he holds an executive elected position. He studies. He thinks.

          Trump is fucking lazy – half the time he’s winging it.

          Trump will be too busy trying to count coup on his enemies and boosting his name to create any sort of radical transformation. He is the highwayman who just wants your money.

          Bernie, on the other hand, wants to remake society in more austere and better ways. He is a zealot. Unlike the highwayman who leaves once he gets his hands on your lucre, Bernie will oppress you for your own good, and he will do it thoroughly and unstintingly.

          1. “Bernie is really, really, fucking competent at buying off his opposition when he holds an executive elected position”

            You are basing this on his stint as mayor of a small town in Vermont.

            “Trump will be too busy trying to count coup on his enemies and boosting his name to create any sort of radical transformation. He is the highwayman who just wants your money.”

            The way he gets people’s money is, as president, to implement an insane tariff regime and anti-immigration police state. He might also start WW3.

    2. You can basically never go wrong with blowing your own brains out. Unless you fuck it up, that is.

      1. Yeah, don’t fuck up. That’s why I suggest using a shotgun.

        1. Use one of those new anti-drone rounds and see if you can pin your brain to the ceiling.

          1. Anti-drone round? You mean a net gun? Because that would be my anti-drone round of choice.

      2. Awww, shucks, thanks for the nice comment implying you think I might have brains. You’re embarrasssing me, you ol’ sweet-talker, you! (But I do hang around here so don’t think I’m not stupid.)

        1. That we haven’t all blown our brains out means we all are, friend.

          1. Finally something we agree on.

    3. I have voted for one of the major presidential candidates once in my life, and I felt dirty afterwards. Now I go with the Libertarian or leave it blank. Then I at least have a clear conscience afterwards.

    4. I doubt Trump would be worse than Hillary, if only because Trump would be left to do evil on his own or whatever K-streeters he managed not to alienate, whereas Hillary has spent decades developing the political equivalent of a giant warmech for stomping on the people and the rule of law.

      1. Hillary is president Nixon from Futurama? I’m in.

      2. I have no doubt Trump would be worse than Hillary. She’s a small-time vain crook and she mongers small wars. He could actually start WW3.

    5. You’d better hope Hillary picks a really good running mate, because she’s going to win, and with her thyroid condition she might be dead within two years.

      Unfortunately, we’ll probably end up with President Julian Castro, which remarkably might be even worse than what we have now.

  16. Whew, and I was considering voting for Cruz if he got the nomination. NEVER MIND! Thanks, Reason!

  17. On today’s Congressional agenda we’re going to create a body of unelected blowhards and then we’ll grant them the power to draft ‘rules’ and ‘regulations’ that have the same force and effect as law. Then we’ll pass a law telling judges what sentences they have to hand down for various crimes.

    That’s why I became a lawmaker; to delegating lawmaking ability to others of whom I approve, and to pass laws letting me do other peoples’ jobs.

    /Congressional Fuck

    1. “This was so unexpected. I’m going to vote for him anyway.”

      1. While Cruz’s vote itself wouldn’t necessarily sway my vote for him (for President, he’s not my Senator), his justification for it rules him out for me. Any time somebody says we have to do something (or keep doing something) to the public because of the interests of government employees, they step beyond the pale for me.

        1. I never had a dog in this fight. The despair is tempered by the advantages of early opportunity to make my peace with the lack of a viable candidate and mild schadenfreude as politicians are exposed as politicians.

          1. Ultimately, one of these shitheads will be in charge. A more damning indictment of the government I cannot think of.

            1. It gets harder and harder every day to not just suck-start a 12 gauge.

    2. From my reading of the Constitution, the House was expected to be the dominant force in the federal government but Madison knew people are stupid enough to vote for whoever promises them the most free shit – which meant Congress was mostly going to be filled with the sorts of crooks who know people are stupid enough to vote for whoever promises the most free shit. The President, being a single nationally elected executive, on the other hand was more likely to be the one person elected as the wisest, most respected person in the land – and his power was limited to stopping the democratically-elected crooks in Congress by either vetoing or using his discretion in choosing how to execute the laws. The President couldn’t make bad laws, he could only prevent Congress from making bad laws. Congress was intended to prevent tyranny, the President to prevent mob rule.

      And yet somehow we wound up with the worst of both worlds – a tyrant for a president making his own laws and a pack of scoundrels in Congress bending to the howls of the mob. As a wise man once said, democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and they deserve to get it good and hard. You want a King to rule over you? You’re going to get one – but don’t complain when a King treats you as his subjects and his minions refuse to stop him.

      1. Don’t forget too before the 17A, the Senate was not popularly elected. They were chosen by the state governments. That gave the state governments veto power over the popularly elected House. So if the House passed something, and the state governments didn’t want to enforce or pay for it, they weren’t bullied into it as they are now. Now the state governments have zero representation in the federal government. None at all. I think that amendment, more than anything else, was the single most significant step in allowing the creation of the tyrannical federal government that we live under today.

        1. I do, too, sarc.

          It converted the US from a confederation of semi-sovereign states, to a single national government with dependent provinces.

          it broke one of the main checks and balances – the balance between the feds and the states.

          1. Agreed. Canada’s provinces are more autonomous than America’s states.

            Honestly, the parliamentary system seems to work better than America’s bicamaral system. Directly elected executives are bad. America also has too many elected positions and too many elections.

        2. I think it’s between that and income tax.

  18. The worst part is, voting for him in a general election is still a no-brainer for libertarians-at least the ones interested in actual success as opposed to moral-purity dick-measuring contests.

    1. *checks pants*

      Oppressor. Tool of the patriarchy.

  19. Thanks, Matt. The Libertarian candidate is looking a lot better now.

  20. I do have to ask. What the hell is it with all the GOP Congressmen and the beards anymore? Are they trying to signal something? Or are they just hipster douches?

    1. There is a Libertarian Moment happening with the Millennial Hipsters, don’t you remember?

  21. OT: DOJ’s newest target – food execs and foodborne illness. Add DOJ Deputy Ass Jon Olin to your list of overly-aggressive prosecutors:

    “Mr. Olin said the D.O.J., working closely with the Food and Drug Administration, “will bring civil cases seeking to stop unsafe practices and to require appropriate compliance procedures. And, depending on the facts of each case, we have and will continue to bring criminal prosecutions.”

    http://www.foodbusinessnews.net/

  22. [Republican Senator Mike] Lee, who was sitting right next to [Republican Senator Ted] Cruz, could not believe what he was hearing [during Cruz’s tirade against the bill].

    My respect for Senator Lee has grown a little bit even when he is not a libertarian. Cruz was clearly using the moment to pander to the “Lock’em up!” crowd. What a louse.

    “It would be very dangerous and unwise to proceed with the Senate Judiciary bill, which would lead to the release of thousands of violent felons,” [Republican Senator Tom] Cotton said later in an interview with POLITICO.

    Where does he even get the idea that the bill serves to give an early-release to violent felons? Under what terms? A violent felon is not going to be incarcerated for petty federal crimes only. That’s absurd.

    Unfortunately for So-Cons like Cotton, selling pot amounts to a “violent felony” because childrunz get high, or something.

  23. Matt engages in a little bit of bs when he refers to Republicans long term debt and skyhigh deficits. The deficit in 2015 was about $400B. From this year (2016) through 2018 the deficit according to his source stays fairly constant around $550B. Which btw are all WAY lower than the $1.1 TRILLION in 2012. It isn’t until 2019 that the deficit is projected to start significantly rising.

    Is keeping it around 500-500B good? Of course not. But with Obama as president, it isn’t like they are going to get a balanced budget (not when we have to pay for Ocare, and education and ROADZ!)

    Should they do better. Absolutely. But lets put it into perspective.

    1. Now if only those fucks had been found personally liable for the damages.

    2. I had forgotten about that one.

      Unless you want to really pop a rage-boner, do not click through to the video. Watching the video, and then reading that he got off for animal cruelty, I just despair.

  24. Cruz is a hypocritical dickwad who loves Big Government when it suits him. Big surprise. Why do libertarians think he’s one of them again?

    1. We don’t. That’s why we have to endure angry lectures from Conservatives as to how he is the most libertarian-friendly guy with a shot at the oval office and how we should support him.

      If we liked the guy, the conservatives wouldn’t be so… angry and bitter.

    2. I didn’t realize that they did.

    3. I don’t but he’s clearly vastly better and would be a better president than America’s had in a long time.

      They’re all hypocritical dickwads except maybe Rand but he’s not going to win.

  25. What does Trump think of this?

  26. “Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), once a supporter of easing mandatory minimums for nonviolent drug offenders, has also made this argument. (… that the measure could lead to the early release of people convicted and imprisoned for violent crimes.)”

    One of these things is not like the other.

  27. Workable Sentencing Reform: Thugs go to prison, and stay there!

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