Even with the #Hillary4Who action at her event, it was likely a relief to many to see the Democratic presidential front-runner finally articulating her formal platform to address and end structural racism. She was there, after all, because she has been pushed by Black Lives Matter and other citizens demanding to know her plans. But she was also there because we’re still trying to fix Ronald Reagan’s mistakes.
Drafted in a haste after the sudden overdose death of NBA draftee Len Bias, the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 established, among other harsh penalties for drug offenses, the 100-to-1 cocaine disparity. Essentially, you’d get the same time for possessing five grams of crack cocaine as you would for 500 grams of the powdered version of the same drug. While President Obama sought to reduce the disparity to 1-to-1 in his Fair Sentencing Act
years ago, Republicans forced a compromise of 18-to-1. Even with the U.S. Sentencing Commission making retroactive reductions for inmates convicted under the old ratio—thousands of whom were released on Friday—Clinton made clear in her address that the adjusted disparity still reflects bad assumptions about the drug.
WaPo on DebateGate:
Early on, the choice of CNBC as a debate host had seemed like a victory for Priebus’s avowed strategy of protecting Republican candidates from a “circus.” Priebus, who is presiding over his second presidential cycle as RNC chairman, had claimed that biased moderators from networks like MSNBC would skew their questions and insult Republican voters. “[We’re] creating a debate environment that would bring honor to the Republican Party,” Priebus told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt this year, “not a debate environment spurred on by nefarious actors like Chris Matthews and others.”
Wednesday’s aftermath turned CNBC’s hosts, including John Harwood and Becky Quick, into figures of conservative infamy. Some progressives were stunned by the backlash’s speed. “CNBC is a business network, where the monologue that launched the Tea Party happened,” said a flabbergasted Chris Hayes, the host of MSNBC’s prime time show All In, in a Friday tweet.
But Carson is not the first presidential candidate to demand more sympathetic moderators, and Priebus is not the first party leader to cut out a network. In 2007, before Fox News could hold any Democratic debates, progressive activists urged that cycle’s campaigns to boycott the network. One by one, the candidates agreed to it. In a surprise move, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) joined Nevada’s Democratic Party in a statement canceling the debate that Fox News had scheduled for the state.
More politics and policy below the fold.