Colbert King recalls crime bill!

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 5, 2019

Hesse fingers Williams Barr's clothes:
We'll be surprised if Candidate Biden makes it all the way to the nomination.

Having said that, we'll also say this—Colbert King wrote a worthwhile column about the 1994 crime bill in last Saturday's Washington Post.

As best we can tell, King was opposed to the crime bill from the start. That said, many other people weren't. It wasn't just Uncle Joe:
KING (6/1/19): [L]et’s get back to Biden: Trump is deliberately misleading about the 1994 crime bill.

Here’s what talk-show host Joe “The Black Eagle” Madison tweeted this week: “I bet most of the people listening to my show don’t know the history. The [Congressional Black Caucus] backed the crime bill.”

And columnist and author Earl Ofari Hutchinson is even more emphatic: Other black folks, as well as Biden, he says, should be the ones apologizing for the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994.

Hutchinson correctly notes that were it not for the support of a coalition of black clergy and black community-level anti-violence advocates, as well as most members of the CBC, including civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), the crime bill might have stalled in Congress. Remember: Drug and gang violence was plaguing black communities in the 1990s. While the bill contained some harsh provisions—expanded death penalties, toughened sentencing guidelines, money for more prisons—it also contained enough sweeteners—money for drug prevention, education and job training—to bring black legislators on board.

Biden championed the bill, to be sure, but he got cues from black leaders in Congress...
We were surprised to see John Lewis mentioned. In the end, he voted against the bill, breaking with Bernie Sanders, who voted in favor.

That said, a bit of Googling taught us that Lewis had voted, along the way, to let the measure proceed to a vote. Meanwhile, let's remember one other guy—and "the state of play in the 1990s:"
KING: But let’s not overlook the state of play in the 1990s, including right here in the District. A drug-fueled murder epidemic was plaguing the town. The No. 1 crime-fighter, who was hell on wheels when it came to pushing for stiffer penalties for the sale and use of marijuana, was then-U.S. Attorney Eric H. Holder Jr. In a 1996 Post interview, Holder criticized the city for taking the view that minor crimes are not important, referring to the city’s attitudes toward marijuana use and other offenses such as panhandling. Holder said the District could learn from Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani’s “zero-tolerance” policy in New York, where crime rates dropped after police began aggressively enforcing laws against lesser offenses such as public drunkenness, giving officers an opportunity to check for drugs, guns and outstanding warrants. “If you take these so-called minor crimes seriously and treat them fully, it has a ripple effect,” Holder said. Lots of folks went to prison, thanks to Holder.
"A drug-fueled murder epidemic was plaguing the town?" Truth to tell, a lot of the killing was being done by people we'd be inclined to call "lost souls," though quite a few others called them "predators" in response to their heinous crimes.

The assistant professors like to gripe about the solutions people pursued. All in all, those assistant professors aren't the people who were getting murdered—and nothing will stop the assistant professors from dumbing our politics down.

For our money, King was perhaps a bit unfair in his own assessments. Did CBC members support the bill only for its education and job training measures?

Who's being naive now, Kay? We're not sure that's the way it was, or even how it should have been. Heinous crimes were being committed against innocent adults and kids.

King provided a look at a topic which will be used, once again, to stampede the young and the restless and to help Donald Trump get votes. Two days later, Monica Hesse devoted her latest gender column in the Post's Style section to William Barr's slick suit of clothes.

In an interview for CBS This Morning, Barr had spoken to legal reporter Jan Crawford from a perch in deepest Alaska. Hesse made little attempt to assess what Barr had said. She decided to decode his clothes.

This is the way she started her piece. Below, we'll let you compare it to the start of a truly heinous old column:
HESSE (6/3/19): William Barr showed up to his CBS This Morning interview looking like he was prepared to discuss not the investigation into possible Russian coordination with the 2016 Trump campaign but rather how to bait a fishing hook. The attorney general was working a distinctly “River Runs Through It” cosplay vibe: a tan half-zipped fleece vest over a checked button-down shirt, and in the background, a roaring fire.

To be fair, the interview, which aired Friday, did take place in Alaska, where Barr was traveling. But there are business suits available in Alaska; Barr had worn one earlier on the trip, during a meeting about rural law enforcement issues. So his decision to skip a suit as he held forth on special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation seemed like an attempt to communicate a message.

And that message was: I am a man of the people, and I am here to speak truths and help you earn a Webelos badge.
Hesse ignored what Barr said but examined the clothes he was sporting. Now, let's compare combs, as the old TV ad once said:
MCGRORY (10/31/99): Vice President Albert Gore came to his fateful encounter with newly menacing challenger Bill Bradley carrying heavy baggage. He was wearing an outfit that added to his problems when he stepped onstage at Dartmouth College: a brown suit, a gunmetal blue shirt, a red tie—and black boots.

Was it part of his reinvention strategy? Perhaps it was meant to be a ground-leveling statement—"I am not a well-dressed man." It is hard to imagine that he thought to ingratiate himself with the nation's earliest primary voters by trying to look like someone seeking employment at a country music radio station. Maybe it was the first step in shedding his Prince Albert image.
Gore and Bradley had debated health care. McGrory restricted herself to insults about the messages being conveyed by the disfavored candidate's clothes.

We decided to run this pair of columns by a group of future anthropologists. "This is all we humans ever were," the despondent future experts opined, speaking from the miserable years which follow Mister Trump's War.

("You should have called your site The Hourly Howler," one wry future scholar said.)

37 comments:

  1. Who the hell cares what happened in 1994?

    The only question is whether Creepy Joe is going to pursue policies beneficial to the US population.

    And we all know he isn't: after all, he's one of the kingpins of the liberal zombie cult, dedicated to serve global finance and nothing else.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who could argue with that logic?

      Delete
    2. Mao, you're wrong: we don't "all know" that there's this zombie cult "dedicated to serve global finance and nothing else" (that "creepy" Joe Biden is supposedly a kingpin of). I certainly don't know it; and my ignorance I would suspect, is broadly shared. This "we all know" rhetorical device is a devious substitute for actually making any sense. It'd be interesting if you presented a shred of evidence for your repetitive and tedious claims. Also, my sense is "global finance" (whatever you mean by that) is doing fine with Trump.

      Delete
    3. @AC/MA: I fear that you're taking Mao too seriously. He's talking in -- what I call -- middle-schoolese (one of my sons speaks it). That is where he thinks that he has discovered a phrase that sounds "cool" and he's not going to let go of it, and will use it in every possible context. That is what adolescents do.

      Delete
    4. Yes, we do know. We have its track record, from the rise of Clintonism, the DLC, all those pwogwessives, all that shit that started mid-1980s.

      Not only in the US, incidentally. Pretty much all 'social-democratic' and 'labour' parties changed their colors during the 80s. From marxism to the ambiguous 'third-way' (aka globalism/neoliberalism), betraying their constituencies everywhere.

      And it's only been getting worse since then. imo.

      Delete
    5. Mao. it's strange how so many of Trump supporters attack Obama because he is a "communist" and their and Trump's critique of the more left-wing dems is that they are "socialists." And anti-globalist leftists like Jeffrey St. Clair and most others can't stand either centrist dems or Trump, who is in line with all the quasi-fascists arising all over the place. You didn't disagree with what I said - that the alleged globalist cabal of banksters are doing just fine with Trump - are they not? Hey, I think the dems and so many liberals have gone off the rails with Russia and Mueller, as well as the identity politics, but that doesn't mean that the quasi fascist we have now is somehow better.

      Delete
    6. Hmmm. What is this "quasi fascist" you speak of? I have no idea.

      But since it's something the liberals hate, and considering the current environment, I suspect it just might be something I like.

      ...note that liberals do looove actual fascists, the kind that Obama admin installed to rule Ukraine, back in 2014.

      Delete
    7. "But since it's something the liberals hate, and considering the current environment, I suspect it just might be something I like. "

      The Right-wing in (appropriately enough) a nutshell.

      Delete
    8. Mao, quasi-fascist, fascist lite, proto-fascist they're all over the place now, Russia, Italy, Philippines, Hungary, U.S. - You know what they are, you're being disingenuous, per usual. They're the kind of "anti Globalists" you seem to like. Bannon is trying to unite them to take over the world.

      Delete
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      Hello friends! My Name is Wendy from Canada i have had a lot about Dr AKHERE on his good work, for bringing back lost relationship but i never believe because so many spell caster scam me because of my husband who left me and three kids over a year and two months. so a good friend of mine introduce me to Dr AKHERE just because my condition was so bad and the responsibility in my matrimonia home was more than me. my husband left me to another woman just because i don't have male child for him. so i email Dr AKHERE and told him everything, he told me not to worry that my husband will come back and i will have a male child for him. he only told me to believe on him that after casting the spell my husband will come back immediately and beg for forgiveness. he real did it for me and my husband come back to me in the nest two days. i was very happy and thanks dr AKHERE. so, i was in this situation (April 18 2014) i told Dr AKHERE that i will start shearing his testimony to every one in the word if he make me to have a male child to my husband. and he also did it as am shearing this testimony to every one out dear, that am with my new bouncy baby boy. now i believe that i am the happiest woman on earth because Dr AKHERE restore my life in my matrimonial home you can thank him for me or email him for urgent help in any bad situation i promise you he will also help you; his email address is Email him: AKHERETEMPLE@gmail.com or
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      Delete
    10. "They're the kind of "anti Globalists" you seem to like."

      Yes, indeed I do like them all. And what of it?

      Do you really think that when you dembots slap the word "fascist" on something - it magically destroys it?

      Delete
  2. There was plenty of substantive discussion of Barr’s interview outside the Style section.

    And the comparison of Monica Hesse with Mary McGrory is ludicrous. It shouldn’t need to be said that McGrory was considered an important political columnist. And Hesse *writes for the style section.*

    ReplyDelete
  3. Trump will win again so easily. Liberals are hapless fools.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The true sign of helpless foolishness is passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

      Delete
  4. “The assistant professors like to gripe about the solutions people pursued. All in all, those assistant professors aren't the people who were getting murdered—and nothing will stop the assistant professors from dumbing our politics down.”

    Assistant professors? It isn’t just assistant professors objecting to the crime bill.

    And since when did it become a “thing” that people who aren’t (weren’t?) being murdered can’t object to a crime bill? Or that griping about “solutions being pursued” is “dumbing down” of our politics, even if those “solutions” may have been bad?

    Also, why should the support of the Congressional Black Caucus for a bill silence criticism of the bill?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The crime bill did hardly anything as far as the explosion in the prison population. the vast majority of prison inmates are in State prisons, convicted of State crimes. (Biden himself, I believe pointed this out).

      Delete
    2. On the contrary, the 1994 crime bill was instrumental in the growth of state prison populations. The bill provided funding for more police and for building prisons. To get some of the grants, states had to adopt less lenient parole policies and implement so-called "three strike" laws.

      It's true that the 1994 was a federal law directly affecting only federal criminal statutes, but it was no innocent bystander in the increase in the state prison population.

      Delete
  5. This is a great column. When asked to imagine a black person involved with crime, many people visualize a perp. But, blacks are disproportionately victims of crime. The Crime Bill is represented as anti-black, but it actually helped potential black crime victims.

    We've had generally lowering crime rates long enough, so that we take this trend for granted. But, the stricter crime law may have been the cause of the reduction in crime. Let's see how Trump's crime bill reform works out. I would not be surprised if it leads to substantially more crime, nor will I be surprised if blacks are disproportionately victims of the additional crime.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. D & C - I am pretty sure if you researched it, you'd see that crime rates were falling for years before the federal crime bill was enacted. Also, see my previous input - it's State criminal laws that resulted in the explosion of incarceration, not the federal crime bill. That there has been way too much incarceration, due in large part to harsh mandatory sentencing has mostly been a bad thing - even Trump and the Kochs agree on that.

      Delete
    2. AC/MA Go to wikipedia "Crime in the US" and scroll down to the chart of Violent Crime Rate by Gender.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_the_United_States

      For both male and female victims there was a very sharp decrease beginning in 1995. I think this chart is strong evidence that the 1994 Crime Bill had a substantial effect on violent crime.

      Delete
    3. It takes a while for the impact of a bill to be felt. It doesn't just have consequences immediately, as it would have to in order for a dip in crime in 1995 to be attributable to a bill only passed in 1994.

      Delete
    4. @6:33 - go look at the chart. If it took a while for the full impact of the Crime Bill to hit, then one would expect a sharp trend of decreasing violent crime, as the impact of the Bill became more pronounced That is just what happened.

      Now, there is no way to prove absolutely why violent crime began decreasing so sharply. But, the chart is certainly consistent with the hypothesis that the 1994 Crime bill was the cause.

      Delete
    5. But if you read another Kevin Drum's column in Mother Jones, you might discover -- and it was mentioned on this blog as well -- there's been crime reduction world wide; and -- get ready for this -- there's significant research that attributes crime reduction to elimination of leaded gasoline.
      Crime bill? That's pure nonsense.

      Delete
    6. "1994 Crime Bill had a substantial effect on violent crime."

      No no no no no man. The internet and specifically internet porn has substantial effect on violent crime. Men no longer have any semen in their balls. Literally. They are impotent and who wants to go commit a violent crime after you just jacked off 30 times?

      People just stay in and watch Netflix.

      Forget about violent crime. Forget about the bullshit crime bill. Think about it. think about how much porn you watche before 1995 and how much you watch now.

      Nobody even leaves the house or anymore.

      Delete
    7. Deadrat - no question I'm no expert on that crime bill. I understand the act is over 300 pages long, and covered all sorts of topics, including a ban on semi-automatic weapons (since expired due to non-renewal). To what extent the act was responsible for states enacting draconian minimum sentencing laws, I don't know. One point that TDH and others make is that there was a lot of black support for the bill and there has been a lot of demagogic attacks on democrats like Clinton and Biden over their support of it.

      Delete
    8. C & C - I looked at Wikipedia - it seems to indicate that crime started to drop more rapidly in the early 90's, not in 1995; also that mass incarceration began many years before the enactment of the crime bill.

      Delete
    9. AC/MA — I join you in the club of non-experts on the 1994 crime bill. It’s a complicated law enacted to combat a complicated problem, and it would take someone with more expertise than I to say how much the law affected the growth of prison populations.

      I do know enough to spot the disingenuousness of the posturing of politicians who voted in favor.

      Biden needs to stop boasting about his role in writing the bill and acknowledge its failures. The law was enacted in fear of a real problem, and while people generally don’t make their best decisions when they’re afraid, they also generally do the best they can with what they’ve got. (Today’s Republican Party a notable exception.)

      Congresscritters need to stop blaming the states for the increase in incarceration. The google helped me find a strategy paper from California officials outlining how to get state law into line with the fed’s wishes so the state could get grants. Topics include the three-strkes provision and requiring no parole before 85% of a convict’s sentence had been served. There couldn’t have been an increase in the prison population without more prisons, and the law gave the states money to build.

      The Black Caucus needs to stop saying they were promised the community investment that was never funded. I don’t believe there was a single black member of Congress who actually thought the Senate would ever appropriate a dime to help any black community. I also don’t believe any of them thought that the beefing up local police departments would include a single Officer Friendly (to black citizens, anyway).

      Delete
    10. “(Today’s Republican Party a notable exception.)”

      Heh heh. I was fairly recently exposed to the word “kakistocracy.” Knowing a bit of Latin, through my education in the Spanish language (and one of my favorite books, just because of the title, “Latin for the Illiterati) I immediately thought that the root of the term might be “caca.” Apparently this term, even though it does exist in Latin form, has different roots.

      However, the root of “kakistocracy” turns out to indeed be Greek, kakistos, “worst.”

      Which sure describes the Republican party. Dems, to a lesser but important extent. As far as prison populations, the phrase “If you build it, they will come” springs to mind.

      Especially now, when private prisons need to turn a profit. Of course, you can look to Gary Webb’s reporting on government involvement in the drug trade to help explain this trend, and it may be that the 1994 crime bill was just a way for Capitalists to grease the skids for privatized incarceration, even as I know that writing such a thing sounds like a conspiracy theory.

      As Paul Kurtz wrote, “There are normative standards that we discover together.” Like you and AC/MA, I’m no expert on the 1994 crime bill, but it does seem to have had a detrimental rather than positive effect. I don’t think it’s anything for anyone to be proud of. And Bob did add a gut-punch to Sanders. But that was a long time ago.


      Leroy

      Delete
  6. Biden has other problems. He can't seem to get straight whether he supports the Hyde Amendment or wants it repealed. He says he's against it but his staff says he's for it. That's one way to avoid making a decision with political consequences.

    ReplyDelete
  7. “King provided a look at a topic which will be used, once again, to stampede the young and the restless and to help Donald Trump get votes.”

    It might cause Biden to *lose* votes, both in the primaries and in the general (if he is the nominee), from progressive voters who think this is an example of why Biden isn’t progressive enough. But it’s not clear how Biden’s support of the crime bill helps Trump *gain* more votes. If anything, it seems it might *gain Biden* some of those Trump-Obama voters and/or independents who voted for Trump who have soured on Trump. Of course, the preceding applies only IF Biden is the nominee in 2020. If he isn’t, it doesn’t seem relevant to worry about this criticism of Biden.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I hang antelope bowel and let it dry. To make jerky with later.

    ReplyDelete
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