Reforming Sentencing by Releasing Prisoners? + More – Daily Digest

Posted on Wed 10/07/2015 by

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THE FOUNDATION

“[I]t is proper you should understand what I deem the essential principles of our Government…. Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever persuasion, religious or political.” —Thomas Jefferson, 1801

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Reforming Sentencing by Releasing Prisoners?

Alcatraz. Photo courtesy Pfnatic, Wikimedia Commons

The Justice Department announced it will grant early release to about 6,000 prisoners serving time for drug offenses between Oct. 30 and Nov. 2. In the words of The Washington Post, it’s “the largest one-time release of federal prisoners.” The 6,000 prisoners are part of the U.S. prison population who had time on their sentences reduced because of action by then-Attorney General Eric Holder. About a third of the prisoners, who are not U.S. citizens, will be deported. While the move certainly grabs headlines, the real prison reform will come from Congress, and not the Obama administration. Currently, the land of the free has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world, and 6,000 prisoners is only a drop in the bucket towards solving this problem. Obama may visit a federal prison, call for more reform and grant clemency to a few politically favored prisoners, but there is only so much he can do. Currently, Congress is considering a prison reform bill backed by the likes of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Koch brothers. Only Congress can reform the practice of mandatory minimum sentencing — a perversion of justice that let bureaucrats determine a prisoner’s punishment years before the crime was committed and needlessly increased the number of Americans jailed. On the other hand, while we agree sentencing should be reformed, one of the reasons crime continues to decline is that many of the people who are incarcerated are the most likely to commit crimes. Releasing a bunch of prisoners could come back and bite Obama just like Willie Horton did for Michael Dukakis.

Iran and Russia Planned Syrian Involvement Months Ago

In July, the “international community” grew mildly suspicious when Iranian general Qassem Soleimani flew to Moscow for a weekend, as Hot Air’s Allahpundit noted. Whatever did it mean? The United States was wrapping up marathon talks to secure a nuclear future for Iran. Vladimir Putin was, well, being Putin. The purpose for the July meeting became clear last week, as Russia sent bombs raining down from the sky in Syria. Reuters reports, “At a meeting in Moscow in July, a top Iranian general unfurled a map of Syria to explain to his Russian hosts how a series of defeats for President Bashar al-Assad could be turned into victory — with Russia’s help.” Soleimani is no rank-and-file commander in the Iranian army. He commands the Quds Force, answers only to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and is sanctioned from international travel because he branded as a terrorist. In other words, the ramp up of the Syrian Civil War is not because of Putin’s violent statesmanship alone. It is also Iran’s strategy to cut out the United States from the Middle East. Why didn’t the Obama administration see this? Doctored intelligence only goes so far. Barack Obama suffers from a distorted view of how the world works. But you can trust him to know if Iran is cheating on the nuclear deal.

Assisted Cultural Suicide

“First do no harm” is widely thought to be a part of the Hippocratic Oath taken by medical professionals. It is not, but it derives from this part of the oath: “I will, according to my ability and judgment, prescribe a regimen for the health of the sick; but I will utterly reject harm and mischief.” California became the fifth state to turn that oath on its head with a new law permitting physician-assisted suicide. Montana, Oregon, Vermont and Washington are the others. It’s considered compassionate these days to allow a terminally ill patient to end his or her own life, but it’s also a predictable descent down the slippery slope of a culture that devalues life. Americans kill over a million children a year for the convenience of the mother, so is it any surprise that end-of-life care becomes something of an economics matter? We don’t argue that there’s an easy answer for those facing terminal illness. Many people suffer for years with no real hope, while others prolong death rather than life with modern medicine. But the sanctity of life means something for all people, and we believe the deliberate taking of life is wrong, excepting war or the service of justice for a crime. Unfortunately, we won’t be surprised to see a terrible union brought about by government health care and assisted suicide. Once it becomes cheaper to kill someone than to care for them, insurers and providers may begin pressuring individuals to consider the easy way out — if they’re given the option at all.

Meanwhile, more than 21,000 suicides are committed each year using firearms. But leftists never separate those deaths from other murders for the obvious reason of pushing gun control, of which California’s is some of the strictest. Perhaps, though, they’d like to explain why those suicides are less valid than the ones California just legalized. Or, given that the California legislature passed the measure during Suicide Prevention Week, we expect they’ll pass on any logical explanation.

FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

With Trans-Pacific Partnership, Obama’s a Victim of His Own Lies

By Louis DeBroux

Though the Leftmedia talkingheads are focused on the GOP’s intra-party leadership fight following the unexpected and sudden resignation announcement of House Speaker John Boehner, Democrats are mired in an internal battle of their own.

On Monday, the United States and Japan, along with 10 other North American and Pacific Rim nations (Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Peru, Chile and Vietnam — which together comprise 36% of global domestic product), concluded negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a major agreement that seeks to facilitate greater trade among these nations by reducing tariffs and other barriers to trade.

The negotiations, ongoing for the last decade (i.e., it wasn’t just Barack Obama’s idea), produced an agreement with mixed results for American interests. For example, U.S. negotiators claim the pact will strengthen intellectual property rights (which will benefit American pharmaceutical and technology companies) and open up foreign markets to American agricultural and dairy products. However, it would also reduce the duration that companies have market exclusivity for their products before they compete with generics.

The greatest argument in favor of the trade pact, however, might be as a tool to counter the rise of China as a regional and global player. China has long manipulated its currency to gain trade advantages, and it’s no secret that China has often been guilty of the theft of intellectual property, but in the last few years China has overseen a significant increase in the size and capability of its military, and especially its navy, which could be used to threaten sea lanes as leverage in other negotiations.

But back to the internal Democrat disputes.

Obama has spent the last eight years vilifying Republicans and treating them as America’s greatest enemy (consider how he describes Republicans’ positions and motives compared to the far more accommodating language he uses regarding Iran, the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism). However, now he finds himself in a position of needing Republicans in order to pass a trade agreement that he sees as crucial to his legacy.

Democrats are heavily opposed to the deal primarily because labor unions are against it, and labor unions are against it because it increases competition, which they loathe. Richard Trumka, head of the AFL-CIO, warned on Twitter, “Now that negotiators have rushed to reach a final deal, the world will see how bad #TPP really is.”

Environmentalists also rabidly oppose the trade agreement because it increases the production of goods and services, which will lead to increased industrialization. Such opposition is to be expected from ecofascists, who are reflexively against the free market anyway, which they eagerly declare by tweeting on their iPhones while sipping lattes at Starbucks.

Self-described socialist and Democrat presidential nominee Bernie Sanders declared the TPP “disastrous,” claiming that “Wall Street and corporations have won again.” Likewise, seeking to curry favor with the radical leftist base, Hillary Clinton, who supported the deal while serving as secretary of state, is now hedging on that support, fearful of angering the anti-free market primary voters she needs to win the Democrat nomination for president.

And so it is that Obama finds himself needing the majority of Republicans to vote in favor of the deal in order to save it for him.

In any other year and with any other president, this would sail through a House and Senate dominated by Republicans, who are generally champions of free trade and lower taxes. Republicans tend to agree with the wisdom of Alexander Hamilton who, writing in Federalist No. 12, declared, “The prosperity of commerce is now perceived and acknowledged by all enlightened statesmen to be the most useful as well as the most productive source of national wealth, and has accordingly become a primary object of its political cares.”

The problem, as noted earlier, is that Obama has spent the last eight years vilifying conservatives and Republicans, accusing them of hateful hearts and malevolent motives, and using coercion, compulsion, deceit and lawlessness to achieve his aims. Republicans neither respect nor trust Obama, and with good reasons too numerous to recount here.

How ironic, then, that Obama now needs them to rescue one of his signature legislative agenda items, which he desperately needs after the disastrous results of his prior legislative “achievements” like the stimulus bill and ObamaCare.

As of now, it appears to be an uphill battle for Obama. Democrats vehemently opposed the Trade Promotion Authority that Congress passed earlier this year, with only 28 of 188 Democrats voting in favor. TPA was considered a prerequisite for pushing the TPP because it grants Obama an up or down vote of Congress on the trade agreement, with no amendments allowed — arguably necessary for getting other nations to agree to the deal.

Based on the comments from Democrats immediately following the announcement of the completion of the trade deal, Obama may get even fewer Democrats supporting him on TPP than he did on TPA. And with Republicans even more distrustful of Obama now than before, it is not at all assured he will get the necessary Republican votes to pass TPP.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), a big proponent of the TPP in principle, has expressed reservations about the deal as submitted, stating he will “carefully scrutinize” it. Other leading Republicans who previously signaled support for the deal are also now voicing concerns.

There is no small amount of irony in seeing, after years of slamming free trade, Obama now have to defend and champion it while being undermined by his own party, members of which are using the same tsunami of disinformation and character assassination on this deal and its supporters as Obama has so often used against Republicans. Obama, a master of political hackery, is now getting a taste of his own medicine.

As usual with anything Obama touches, it is the American people who will suffer most.

MORE ORIGINAL PERSPECTIVE

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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TOP HEADLINES

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Star Parker: “My organization, CURE, just convened a meeting in Washington, D.C., of 25 black pastors from around the country, each with an average congregation size of about 1,000, to discuss ideas and policy. These are black Americans but they are also Christians, and it is their Christianity that defines their lives. Listening to these black pastors and to many black Christians who approach me in my travels around the country, I hear growing concern about the indifference and disengagement of the Obama administration from the values they hold most dear. … Black voter turnout has increased in every presidential election since 1996, when it was 53 percent. Politico has identified 7 states as ‘toss-ups’ in 2016. The three with the most electoral votes — Ohio, Virginia and Florida — went to Obama in 2012 and to George W. Bush in 2004. And in all three of these states black turnout exceeded white turnout in 2012. A 2012 Pew Research survey showed 56 percent of black Protestants saying they attend church weekly compared to 37 percent of the general public. The black vote can be a game-changer in 2016. Republicans have an opportunity to capture black voters by aggressively representing the Christian values that are dear to them and critical to the future of their communities and the nation.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “There are 10^11 stars in the galaxy. That used to be a huge number. But it’s only a hundred billion. It’s less than the national deficit! We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers.” —physicist Richard Feynman (1918-1988)

Upright: “That’s the theme of [Donald Trump’s] campaign: ‘believe me.’ How are you going to build a wall? Believe me. I’ll build it, I’ll come in under budget, it will be a beautiful wall, and it will come in at half of what people say. China, I’ll defeat China. How you going to do it? Believe me, I’ll do it. America. I’m going to bring in the most jobs in the history of mankind. How you going to do it? Believe me. He’s running a campaign on belief and … a lot of it revolves around the fact that not just he’s been a success in business, but he’s been a personality on television for 14 years where the persona is a guy in charge, a guy in command, and it carried over into this campaign. That’s why I think his numbers are high.” —Charles Krauthammer

Braying Jackass: “Look at Medicaid expansion! Do you know how many people are yelling at me? I go to events where people yell at me. You know what I tell em? … [T]here’s a book — it’s got a new part and an old part, they put it together. It’s a remarkable book. If you don’t have one, I’ll buy you one, and it talks about how we treat the poor. Sometimes you just have to lead.” —John Kasich, who doesn’t seem to get that Jesus was talking to his disciples, not government

Warning shot: “The president has frequently pushed his team to consider a range of executive actions that could more effectively keep guns out of the hands of criminals and others who shouldn’t have access to them. That’s something that is ongoing here.” —Obama spokesman Josh Earnest on possible executive action on guns

Non Compos Mentis: “Why are we allowed to have these weapons that blow up … literally blow up animals if you were hunting with them?” —MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski hyperventilating about the relatively small caliber AR-15, which isn’t about to “blow up” anything

Late-night humor: “If Bernie Sanders wins, he will be the first socialist elected president since 2008.” —Jay Leno making a guest appearance on the Tonight Show

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.

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