Bill Clinton: 1994 Crime Bill Went Too Far

Bill Clinton makes it official in an interview with Christine Amanpour: The 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act went too far and locked up too many people.

"The problem is the way it was written and implemented. We have too wide a net. We have too many people in prison. And we wound up spending - putting so many people in prison that there wasn’t enough money left to educate them, train them for new jobs and increase the chances when they came out that they could live productive lives," he said, according to a CNN transcript of the interview.

He approves of Hillary's recent commitment to back off from that stance. [More...]

Who is really responsible for the 1994 crime bill? I think it's (no surprise) Joe Biden. He introduced a Senate version of the bill, S. 1607 in 1993. The Senate passed it on November 18, 1993. The House passed its own version, H.R. 3355. The day after approving S. 1607, the Senate substituted its text for that of H.R. 3355. The text of the bill S. 1607 (H.R.3355), is reprinted in the
Congressional Record for November 24, 1993, 139 Cong.Rec. S17095-S17199.

There was a lot of wrangling between the House and Senate. A Conference Report emerged (fueled by Biden) and the Senate approved it on August 25, 1994. The vote was 61 to 38. The only Democrats to vote against it were Sen. Russ Feingold and Sen. Shelby.

Joe Biden said he spent 6 years working to get it passed. He was the steward. Here's a portion of Joe Biden's Remarks from the CONFERENCE REPORT (Senate - August 23, 1994) (available on THOMAS)

[T]he telephones in the State of Delaware are ringing off the hook--I only speak for Delaware-- and they are saying, `Pass the crime bill.' They are not talking about pork or pork chops or ribs or anything else. They are saying, `Pass the crime bill. Give me 100,000 cops, build more prisons, and get on with it.'

...when I first got into politics, even though I come from this background and ran on a law and order platform, I remember the liberals used to say, `Biden is an iconoclast.' That was what my newspaper called me, an iconoclast because how can he really be progressive and want to lock these people up? ....Every time Richard Nixon, when he was running in 1972, would say law and order, the Democratic match or response was law and order with justice, whatever that meant. And I would say, `Lock the SOB's up.'

Republicans are finding out it is no longer legitimate to say the Democrats are soft on crime. Because guess what? What has every major crime bill that has gotten this far been? A Democratic crime bill. A Democratic crime bill. That is the secret. A Democratic crime bill. A Democratic President wants 100,000 cops. A Democratic President wants to build 125,000 new prison cells. That is the secret. And, boy, is that bothersome.

I hate some of the provisions in this bill. But guess what? This bill is a big bill. It does things that cops wanted done. Not everything they wanted done, but I do not know anything here that is done that they did not want done.

... I hesitate to say this because this should not be the reason to pass it, but it is a way of explaining my frustration. I have never worked on anything so hard in my entire life. I have never been more committed to something I truly believe can make a difference in the lives of average Americans.

What was in Biden's S. 1607? A host of new death penalty offenses, including for some drug crimes. According to a CRS Summary, they included:

Title II: Death Penalty - Federal Death Penalty Act of 1993 - Amends the Federal criminal code to provide for imposition of the death penalty for various offenses, including: (1) murder by a Federal prisoner; (2) civil rights murders; (3) drive-by shootings and carjackings resulting in death; (4) foreign murder of U.S. nationals; (5) rape and child molestation murders; (6) gun murders during Federal crimes of violence and drug trafficking crimes; (7) murder in the course of alien smuggling; and (8) specified drug-related offenses.

Biden's bill had increased penalties for scores of crimes. It had habeas restrictions even more severe than AEDPA which passed in 1996 -- it would required habeas petitions be filed within 6 months (Even the terrible AEDPA bill allows a year.) He said when introducing the bill, "The title will limit State inmates to a single Federal habeas corpus appeal subject to a first-time ever 6-month time limit." (Congressional Record).

Make no mistake: The Republicans were not opposed to the increased prison building and longer sentences. In fact, they decried the lack of more mandatory minimums and stricter truth in sentencing provisions. (See Kay Bailey Hutchinson's comments in the Congressional Record.) Republicans opposed it because it contained an Assault Weapons Ban, officially named the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Act. It made it “unlawful for a person to manufacture, transfer, or possess a semiautomatic assault weapon." The ban expired in 2004.

To be fair, Biden was angry that the Republicans stripped prevention and drug treatment funding from his bill. But that doesn't excuse his crime warrior mentality and personal responsibility for pushing this terrible bill through. Even when he's pushing reform for one crime, he can't help but include tougher sentences for others in his proposed legislation.

Why do I bring Biden up? Because I'm not convinced he will stay out of the 2016 presidential race.

Was Clinton's thinking wrong-headed? Yes. But all the Democrats (except Feingold and Shelby) were to blame. As for who was not to blame: Hillary Clinton.

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    A real small comment from me (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by christinep on Wed May 06, 2015 at 06:49:49 PM EST
    In terms of whether there are any "without sin" (so to speak)....  So often we forget that there are faults, on a specific or related point, all around.  Two things: (1) I accept former President Clinton's acknowledgement that the mid-90s legislation went a step too far.  Others would not have been so forthcoming.  (2) Not to impugn former Senator Feingold, but even this fine liberal had drawbacks and unfortunate positions ... I seem to recall that the Senator voted to confirm then-Supreme Court nominees Roberts and Alito because he believed that a President should be given a great deal of leeway on judicial nominations.  

    Life cuts lots of ways.  I won't bore you with the book-long list of my sins, errors.  Again, I'm pleased that Bill Clinton is willing to re-look at his legacy...no matter the why or wherefore.  

    Of course, for those who have always been perfect or almost perfect, maybe the response would be to consign us all to hair-shirts and self-flagellation:)

    Salon, 1999: "Cracked Up" (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Mr Natural on Thu May 07, 2015 at 05:51:06 AM EST
    The next time we heard about crack it was in the context of police officers and politicians taking credit for having solved the crime problem with their "zero tolerance" on low-level offenders and tougher sentences. The media bought it for the most part, particularly in New York, giving Mayor Rudy Giuliani the lion's share of the political credit for crack and crime reduction.

    The problem is, once again, this analysis does not tell the whole story. Crime dropped almost as much in cities where there were no police changes (like Washington) as it did in Mayor Giuliani's New York. New Haven, Conn., and later Boston police took a "kinder, gentler" tack than Giuliani's force did -- and saw the same results. And New York had adopted uncommonly harsh narcotics laws 10 years before crack. If these were effective, the city should have been less affected by the drug's rise, rather than being the epicenter of the crack and crime wave.

    Steven Levitt (Freakanomics) on the epidemic.  Their original 2005 paper is here.

    Unless Bill is on the record prior to (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Anne on Thu May 07, 2015 at 12:43:39 PM EST
    Hillary running for president, the epiphany he's having on the crime bill looks just a tad calculated - at least to me.

    It all - Bill and Hillary both - just feels so "finger in the wind," measuring the temperature of the electorate, looking at the polling and deciding she can weather accusations of being soft on crime because the mood of the country is on her side.

    And how recent is Hillary's change - or evolution - of position?  Here's a compilation of her positions on a number of crime-related issues.

    2007 (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by nycstray on Thu May 07, 2015 at 03:26:02 PM EST
    She basically said the same thing about crime as she did recently. (if I'm reading right today) and before that, seems to be a mix.

    Bill may not be on the record because he may not have been asked about it directly until she made it an issue . . . so calculated could be debatable. Honestly, the only way to know would be if a survey had been given to him every year to supply feedback on his years in office to see if/how he evolved and what he would now do differently in hindsight. Basically, they are d@mned if they do and d@mned if they don't . . .


    Gotta give them credit. This is a first. (none / 0) (#34)
    by Mr Natural on Thu May 07, 2015 at 09:07:21 PM EST
    Clinton is running against Clinton's record.

    Hasn't she disagreed before? (none / 0) (#35)
    by nycstray on Thu May 07, 2015 at 09:46:04 PM EST
    Like in 2007-8?

    In the grand scheme (none / 0) (#39)
    by vicndabx on Fri May 08, 2015 at 01:44:55 PM EST
    who cares how or why she got here?  I'm sure there's some calculation - they're politicians.

    If she's elected at least she will have moved to the left on an issue you care about.

    Not saying this should or will influence your voting decision.  Merely saying isn't it a good thing she's moved left on this issue?  Isn't that what people want?


    Like I said in another thread (none / 0) (#2)
    by McBain on Wed May 06, 2015 at 07:35:39 PM EST
    It's impossible to get it just right.  Getting tough on violent crime will result in some unfair prison sentences... sometimes for non violent criminals.  

    Most people want to err on the side of locking people up.  I don't.  

    Weren't You Touting... (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by ScottW714 on Thu May 07, 2015 at 08:44:38 AM EST
    ...that crimes is down and inmate populations are up and implied that was a good thing and that the two were correlated.

    Pick a position and stop with the 'just right' non-sense which you surely can't define.

    Who are most people, certainly not most people here or most people I know.


    No, you didn't understand my previous post (none / 0) (#14)
    by McBain on Thu May 07, 2015 at 11:44:11 AM EST
    I never implied it was a good thing to lock more people up.... especially non violent criminals.  My position is consistent. We probably agree more than we disagree on this one. You seem to assume we have to be at odds over everything....  it gets old.    

    Most people don't know you or post on TL.  


    I Wasn't the Only One... (none / 0) (#25)
    by ScottW714 on Thu May 07, 2015 at 01:27:57 PM EST
    ...surely you can read the comments posted and the ratings.

    Right, see (none / 0) (#33)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 07, 2015 at 05:54:41 PM EST

    If you want to reduce crime you're going to end up over arresting and convicting.  If you reduce excessive arrests, convictions and prison sentences, crime will go up.

    Is not at all the same as "implying" is was a good thing to lock more people up.

    Why would you possibly think it was?


    Do I really need to explain it to you? (none / 0) (#37)
    by McBain on Fri May 08, 2015 at 11:26:28 AM EST
    There are consequences to being tough on crime and there are consequences to being soft on criminals.  This is why, in the other tread, I said "you can't have everything".  You can't bring crime down significantly without arresting some of the wrong people and over sentencing others.

    Apparently someone needs to explain (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Anne on Fri May 08, 2015 at 12:40:50 PM EST
    to you that cities that did not subscribe to the over-policing methods to which you attribute reduced crime rates, also saw reduced crime rates.  

    I posted a link to this in one of these threads.

    I get the feeling - perhaps due to the dearth of supporting links in your comments - that you think you can just say stuff and have it be so because what, it's "common sense?"


    I didn't find those articles particularly (none / 0) (#40)
    by McBain on Fri May 08, 2015 at 01:52:16 PM EST
    compelling.  They didn't change my belief that being tough on crime results in silly prison sentences.

    Are you saying we don't have a a problem with mass incarceration or are you saying it has nothing to do with being tough on crime?


    No, that's not what I'm saying, but (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Anne on Fri May 08, 2015 at 02:06:18 PM EST
    you seem to be saying that mass incarceration is the price we have to pay in order to reduce crime - and my point was that with crime rates going down in cities that don't practice over-policing, it appears we don't have to accept mass incarceration as the price for less crime.

    Says Who, You ?? (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by ScottW714 on Fri May 08, 2015 at 02:29:41 PM EST
    You can't bring crime down significantly without arresting some of the wrong people and over sentencing others.

    This is why you don't make sense, you entire premise is your belief.  You keep acting like that is some law of nature that can't be broken, that no one in all of human history will ever reduce crime without 'over-arresting'.

    I disagree, the facts disagree, and all we are left is your belief that you keep flagellating as some basic universal law.

    Much like your belief that 'Most people want to err on the side of locking people up.'  Which coincidentally was disproved by CST, just like this has been disproved by Anne.  Do you get that just because you think it, doesn't make it so.  

    Rhetorical of course.

    And all of it proves what exactly, that the police aren't to blame, because if we want crime reduced, they are going to have to thump a couple of skulls.  I mean seriously, why are defending what has been proven to be wrong with such gusto and dedication?  Is Jim retiring ?


    If you want to argue that I haven't proven (none / 0) (#43)
    by McBain on Fri May 08, 2015 at 02:58:48 PM EST
    my opinion as fact, I'll listen to that argument. But don't tell me the polls/stats/articles posted by CST and Anne prove me wrong. They don't.

    "And all of it proves what exactly, that the police aren't to blame, because if we want crime reduced, they are going to have to thump a couple of skulls."

    I see it as more of a politician/judge thing than a cop thing. Elected officials like to appear to be tough on crime.


    Right, Because a Question Like: (none / 0) (#45)
    by ScottW714 on Fri May 08, 2015 at 04:10:46 PM EST
    Do you favor or oppose sweeping correctional reforms and lighter or shorter sentences that will get more inmates into drug treatment programs and vocational trainings, which will cost more at the outset, but may save money down the road?

    With 72% in favor, how does that not disprove:

    Most people want to err on the side of locking people up.

    Come on Man.  At least 72% of people in Utah are not erring on the side of locking people up, making your claim, bunk.

    It's getting harder and harder to even respond to your posts, much less take you seriously.


    One poll in Utah and another in Texas prove (none / 0) (#46)
    by McBain on Fri May 08, 2015 at 06:46:14 PM EST
    exactly how the entire country feels?  C'mon man, you're better than that.  While I find that info interesting and encouraging it doesn't change my belief.  

    No it Doesn't... (none / 0) (#48)
    by ScottW714 on Mon May 11, 2015 at 09:09:16 AM EST
    ...but it does disprove your statement in two very red states.

    I like how you provide zero proof, then when some is given that disproves your non-sense, it's not enough for you.

    Why don't you back-up your statement instead of denying all the proof that has been presented.  We both know why you won't, because your gut instinct, which at least in Texas and Utah, is dead wrong.


    You got a source for that? (none / 0) (#16)
    by CST on Thu May 07, 2015 at 11:55:15 AM EST
    When was the most recent poll on that issue?  Because I'd be willing to bet opinion is changing.  

    This is one recent poll I found that suggests there is support for reform - it's only Texas.  But still - it's Texas.

    Here's another one from MA.

    I couldn't really find any recent national polls on the subject.


    Another poll (none / 0) (#17)
    by CST on Thu May 07, 2015 at 11:58:12 AM EST
    Here's one from Utah

    I think you get my point.


    That's good news to me (none / 0) (#28)
    by McBain on Thu May 07, 2015 at 02:21:38 PM EST
    I want to see less people in prison and shorter sentences for those who didn't really hurt anyone.  

    Just to Be Clear... (none / 0) (#36)
    by ScottW714 on Fri May 08, 2015 at 09:24:45 AM EST
    ...it also means your statement above is wrong.

    Ha (none / 0) (#44)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 08, 2015 at 03:33:05 PM EST
    im glad someone besides me pointed that out.  I've stopped responding to that person when avoidable.  Sometimes the utter brazen clueless stupidity makes it necessary against my better judgement.

    I'm with you... (none / 0) (#29)
    by kdog on Thu May 07, 2015 at 02:21:41 PM EST
    you err on the side of freedom, no brainer.  It saddens me it's even up for debate...this is basic morality, "first do no harm" Hippocratic Oath sh*t.

    "Sorry" doesn't fix the lamp, Bill. (none / 0) (#4)
    by scribe on Thu May 07, 2015 at 07:02:50 AM EST
    And there is exactly zero chance the Republicans will pass anything remotely resembling a repeal anytime during their lifetimes or ours.  (The so-called "assault weapons ban" expired of its own terms in 2004 and isn't coming back, either.)

    So, thanks for nothing

    Come On... (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by ScottW714 on Thu May 07, 2015 at 08:56:09 AM EST
    ...that was 21 years ago, and much like 'Don't ask, don't tell' or 'Marijuana is the GD devil' it was a position that was popular at the time.  I remember when Dukakis got lambasted over Willie Horton, no one, D's or R's would have been in office without holding certain positions of the times.

    Obviously as a society we are constantly evolving and today it's very easy to say that was bad policy, which Clinton has done.


    Popularity contest... (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by kdog on Thu May 07, 2015 at 09:23:33 AM EST
    that's one of my problems with Clinton & Biden & so many others...they are opportunists, not leaders.  

    I want a president/senator/rep/governor/state legislature who has the courage to try and educate people that what they want, in this case prisons bursting at seams, is not good for them or the country.  They should follow their consciences, not the political winds just to get ahead.  Even if means an electoral loss...do what is right and come what may.  We're not talking about sacrificing a minor policy point for a greater good...we're talking about millions of human lives here, all those in prison who need not be and their families.

    Yes, I'm saying Biden and Clinton and the rest damn well knew better in the 90's , or should have...I don't buy a change of heart, it's just a change in the political winds.  aka more opportunism.


    That would seem to say, kdog, that (none / 0) (#9)
    by christinep on Thu May 07, 2015 at 10:21:59 AM EST
    we are all doomed ... all humanity is lost, doomed ... because we can't change or won't be allowed to change attitudes, positions, lifestyle or anything major as we grow older.  Alas, no learning from past mistakes will be accepted ... only "ya' make your bed" and forget individual growth.  

    It is almost like the hanging-judge mentality:)


    You assume... (none / 0) (#10)
    by kdog on Thu May 07, 2015 at 10:29:27 AM EST
    it is an honest evolution of beliefs...I can not make that assumption.  I think Bill damn well knew better in the 90's...he's too intelligent for me to believe otherwise.

    Add... (none / 0) (#13)
    by kdog on Thu May 07, 2015 at 11:29:40 AM EST
    I will come around to believing the epiphany is for real when somebody starts talking about mass pardons.  Tens of thousands of souls, if not hundreds of thousands.  If ya believe ya done wrong, make it right as best ya can for those ya did wrong.

    Till then, it's just more opportunistic bullsh*t in my opinion...saying what they think we want to hear so they get our votes.


    Let me propose (none / 0) (#15)
    by christinep on Thu May 07, 2015 at 11:45:58 AM EST
    that your argument seems to lead to: If you like the guy, you cut him a break (and assume the person can change/grow maybe); If you don't like a guy, you tell him or say about him something equivalent to "go to h#$%."  Fascinating.

    So ... you never liked Bill Clinton and never will. People have their likes and dislikes.  You know, tho, this particular set-in-stone routine  sounds more like grudge-holding than anything else.  IMO.


    Could be... (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by kdog on Thu May 07, 2015 at 11:59:56 AM EST
    damn right I hold a grudge, I think we all should.  There are no words for the damage done by the Crime Bill imo.  God damn crime against humanity is what it is.

    On the flip, you seem to like Bill Clinton and always will, no matter what.  Pot meet kettle;)


    Add... (none / 0) (#19)
    by kdog on Thu May 07, 2015 at 12:03:26 PM EST
    Two simple things can get me on board the H. Clinton Express.  Give me 100,000 pardons on Day 1 and a solemn oath to expend the political capital to surrender the drug war at the federal level, and I can overlook the problematic economic and foreign policies, if I get the basic human rights.

    I give him a break for realizing (none / 0) (#20)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Thu May 07, 2015 at 12:09:32 PM EST
    the error of his approach publicly.  I have a friend from AR, one of his contacts from back there told him that Clinton was very big on that approach at that time because of the problems his half-brother Roger had with illegal drugs.  I don't expect the Big Dog to fess up to that part of it, but it is worth noting.

    Now, if he and Hillary apologize for having had toad impersonator Dick Morris as an advisor, that too would be a step in the right direction.


    If the political winds... (none / 0) (#21)
    by kdog on Thu May 07, 2015 at 12:17:18 PM EST
    were the same as '92, then yes I too would give him credit for the mea culpa, err half-arsed mea culpa.  That would show courage to defy the political winds speaking the truth.

    But the political winds have changed...making this a politically convenient mea culpa.  Color me skeptical.  

    Granted, when it comes to politicians I am a seriously cynical bastard, ymmv.  


    I dunno (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by CST on Thu May 07, 2015 at 12:19:15 PM EST
    I'm pretty happy with the fact that political winds are shifting.

    Means things can get done and we can actually believe it when they say they want change.

    The fact that it's also politically convenient is a good thing.


    No doubt... (none / 0) (#23)
    by kdog on Thu May 07, 2015 at 12:32:13 PM EST
    All my life I've felt like I've been running against the political winds...now they're filling my sails on this issue, and economic ones too.  

    'Bout time you wised up America! ;)

    Not to sound cynical again, I think the force behind the political winds changing here is money...it costs a fortune to trample human rights and human dignity and taxpayers are tired of footing the bill.  I don't think it's an awakening of conscience.  Regardless, I'll take it how it comes.


    The current jail/prison system, (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by MO Blue on Fri May 08, 2015 at 07:32:24 PM EST
    especially the privatized for profit corporate system, is a growth industry that the powers that be have yet to out source to a foreign country. Many  communities now rely on these systems for their source of jobs and revenue (I.e. their existence).

    Color me possibly more cynical  than you, I don't believe that any significant change will occur that will threaten the "job creators."


    JFK's "Profiles in Courage" (none / 0) (#31)
    by christinep on Thu May 07, 2015 at 03:10:30 PM EST
    When to vote your conscience as an elected official and when to vote in response to the wants/desires of those you are elected to represent ... A crucial key to the functioning of representative government in this country.

    The more that this thread has dealt with that classic issue, the more I've tried to recall old poli-sci and other studies.  'Ended up having a short kibbitz with husband--he of the onetime poli-sci prof role as teacher in American Government and all that.  Those discussions typically end with a six-of-one/half-dozen-of-other agreement that JFK addressed that same issue, generally, in that famous book.

    Beneficent Philosopher King on the one end and hewing only to the latest polls on the other.  


    The pot-kettle thing, kdog (none / 0) (#30)
    by christinep on Thu May 07, 2015 at 02:42:05 PM EST
    In large part, your last paragraph with that description is more accurate than not.  A possible difference: I keep saying--and meaning it--that I do not expect perfection or anything close from any politician, let alone any person ... for me, the matter (phrased positively) is whether I agree/align with/support many or most of the positions, approaches, votes, etc. of the individual or the party ... my quest in matters temporal and politic really is concentrated in whether a candidate has the ability/desire to take forward steps; incremental improvement per term (the more the better) is a good in itself and, clearly, much better than going backward or standing still or risking the greater good because I personally don't agree with a portion of a proposal that the majority supports.

     Absolutism and eternal thinking in the area of politics and government strike me as worse than trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.  There are many reasons for separation of Church and State ... beginning with confusing the two.  Best take absolutism & purity to Church or live it in one's personal, spiritual beliefs and behavior.  Expecting eternal truths, beliefs in the practical and all too fickle sphere of politics may be a nice wish; but, the longing for Dragon Puff is little more than a daydream.


    I Agree... (none / 0) (#11)
    by ScottW714 on Thu May 07, 2015 at 10:33:09 AM EST
    ...but elections at their base are popularity contests.

    I am not convinced they knew better, do you have any sort of proof, a report, a memo, anything ?


    No proof... (none / 0) (#12)
    by kdog on Thu May 07, 2015 at 10:47:31 AM EST
    I also have no proof Bill Clinton inhaled...but I'd bet my bottom dollar he did and knew marijuana was nothing to wage war against in 1992, but he did it anyway for political (and personal) gain.  In my book, that's a sin.

    As I said to Christine, to believe otherwise is to believe Bill Clinton is a total f*ckin' moron.  He's alotta things, but a moron is not one.

    Wouldn't you say it's a little too convenient that all these elected officials see the light after they leave office and are no longer in a position to do anything about it?  


    He Left Office... (none / 0) (#26)
    by ScottW714 on Thu May 07, 2015 at 01:46:17 PM EST
    ...15 years ago, if that is convenient, well I don't know how to respond to that.  But 'no' to your question.  I can say that my views 15 years ago are nothing like today, between evolving and getting new information, they have changed, and some of them fairly substantially.

    The stats at the time, before the mass incarceration, might have shown incarceration to be very effective.  Obviously it doesn't now, but to just assume a man would incarcerate millions as some sort of political opportunism is approaching the nutjob conspiracy territory.

    I don't know, but it would be nice if you had more than gut instinct when claiming a politician knew this or that related to legislation they passed.

    I really hope you aren't seriously comparing about lying about smoking pot to lying about incarcerating millions for political reasons.  IMO that is not something Clinton would have done, he didn't step on people to further his career, he didn't need to.

    But the point is I do not know and neither do you.


    I'm complaining about... (none / 0) (#27)
    by kdog on Thu May 07, 2015 at 02:10:32 PM EST
    a man who knew the truth about pot turning around and waging an unprecedented war on pot.  Worse than Nixon or Reagan ever did.  

    My views have changed over the years, and have changed again and then again, but some views never change.  Such as a cage is a last resort for a human being, not a first resort.  I felt that way at 18, today at 37, and I know I will at 108 because it's in my moral fiber.  Where as my opinion on farm subsidies or nuclear power or trade policy might change 100 times.    

    I really don't give a sh*t if mass incarceration and the death penalty lower the crime rate.  Some things should never be done no matter how effective they may be, because they're morally repugnant.


    "Sorry" doesn't fix the lamp, Bill. (none / 0) (#5)
    by scribe on Thu May 07, 2015 at 07:04:02 AM EST
    And there is exactly zero chance the Republicans will pass anything remotely resembling a repeal anytime during their lifetimes or ours.  (The so-called "assault weapons ban" expired of its own terms in 2004 and isn't coming back, either.)

    So thanks for nothing, slick.