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It takes only two things to keep people in chains: The ignorance of the oppressed and the treachery of their leaders..
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Fairy tale troll

According to the fairy tale, “The Three Billy Goats Gruff,” three goats need to cross a bridge, under which lived an evil troll. He attacked and ate anyone who came near his territory.

The Troll was so stupid and incompetent that one day he was tricked into attacking the biggest, strongest goat, who killed him.

I can’t tell you why — maybe it’s just me — but I think of that fairy tale every time I see a picture of U.S. Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III.

Sessions, a former Senator from Alabama, has a remarkable résumé. He is opposed to all immigration, both illegal and legal.  He wants a wall between the U.S. and Mexico. He strongly supported the Iraq war.

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Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III

He proposed an amendment to the Constitution (!!) to ban same-sex marriage. He opposed stimulus efforts to end the ‘Great Recession.”

In 1985, Sessions became famous by prosecuted three African Americans, falsely claiming they had tampered with absentee ballots. The defendants were acquitted of his bogus charges, the same day

Sessions repeatedly has been accused of racial bigotry. He did not help his cause by claiming that the NAACP was trying to “force civil rights down people’s throats.” Apparently, civil rights are so heinous they need to be forced down Sessions’ throat.

In 1986, President Reagan nominated Sessions to be a judge. Even with the backing of an immensely popular President, Sessions’ nomination was denied by the Senate Judiciary Committee, a rare event. In 1994, Senator Edward Kennedy called Sessions a “throwback to a shameful era” and a “disgrace.” That statement helped Sessions to be elected Attorney General of Alabama — of course.

As Attorney General, Sessions said “the State of Alabama will experience irreparable harm by funding a conference and activities [in support of homosexuality) in violation of state law.” (That Alabama state law was ruled unconstitutional causing, one supposes, “irreparable harm” to the good people of Alabama.)

It is against this background of incompetence and old-school bigotry, that we now present the latest in the Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III saga:

Chicago Tribune: March 13, 2017
Tough sentencing push called “dumb on crime”
By Joseph Tanfani and Evan Halper

Ordering federal prosecutors on Friday to crack down on drug offenders, Atty. Gen. Sessions made clear he wants to turn the clock back to an earlier, tougher era in the four-decades-long war on drugs.

In a memo, Sessions said federal prosecutors should “charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense” in drug cases, even when that would trigger mandatory minimum sentencing.

Mandatory sentencing laws for drug users have been controversial for years, and many Republicans as well as Democrats now oppose them as unfair, ineffective and too costly.

Sessions has rescinded policy memos signed in 2013 and 2014 by then-Atty. Gen. Eric C. Holder, Jr. that instructed prosecutors to reserve the toughest charges for high-level traffickers and violent criminals.

Since 2014, the number of drug offenders given mandatory minimum sentences had dropped dramatically, contributing to a 14% decline in the total federal prison population, with 188,797 inmates this month.

Sen. Rand Paul, (R-Ky.) criticized the new policy Friday, arguing that mandatory minimum sentences disproportionately targeted minorities because of how different drugs are categorized under the law.

Given Sessions’ history and the history of the President who appointed him, it is no wonder that Sessions would advocate a bigoted, expensive and proven ineffective law.

“Sessions is an outlier in his own party and even among many of his own colleagues in the administration,” said Inimai Chettiar, a director at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law in New York. “A lot of Republicans support reductions in sentencing.”

Perhaps some Republicans recognize Sessions as an incompetent bigot, but we never heard their voices raised in objection when Trump appointed him.

Seemingly, it’s party before country for the GOP.

Indiana, for example, implemented a comprehensive criminal justice reform package when Vice President Mike Pence was governor.

“I would say that we need to adopt criminal justice reform nationally. We have got to do a better job recognizing and correcting the errors in the system that do reflect institutional bias in criminal justice, Pence said.

As governor of Texas, Energy Secretary Rick Perry guided his state through a major shift in sentencing away from the kind of harsh penalties that Sessions seeks to restore in federal courts.

But Sessions, a former federal prosecutor in Alabama, was never on board with the push. He even helped block a 2016 bill that would have eased federal sentencing for marijuana use.

You see it’s like this: Alcohol and tobacco are highly addictive and regularly kill people. Marijuana is much less addictive, if at all, and doesn’t kill people. It also can be a treatment for several ailments, including pain and nausea.

So naturally, Sessions strongly supported tobacco and hates marijuana.

Since joining the Trump administration, Sessions has reversed an Obama administration attempt to phase out federal contracts with private prisons, saying the cells will be needed for the boost in inmate population he sees coming.

Sessions favors mandatory minimum sentences (applying almost exclusively to poorer defendants) and locking up more poor people, especially in private, for-profit prisons, where the rich can make fortunes off the hardships of the poor.  Privatized prisons are

Privatized prisons are notorious for mistreating inmates and for stealing public money.

Sessons’ harsh prison sentencing actually increases crime:

  1. It takes breadwinners from families, impoverishing the families and forcing them into crime just to sustain themselves.
  2. Having a jail term on one’s resume greatly reduces the chances of obtaining work, thus putting more desperate people on the street.
  3. Putting young people into jail among hardened criminals educates them into greater criminality.

Jail is expensive, an especially big problem for states, counties, and cities that do not have the federal government’s unlimited ability to pay bills.

The fact that this unfair, bigoted, expensive, counter-productive policy does not work, never has worked and never will work for the benefit of America, does not matter to Sessions or to President Trump.

Learning from history is not among their strong points.

Sessions also canceled a Holder policy that said prosecutors should not use sentencing enhancement motions to coerce guilty pleas.

The poor person, with a weak attorney, can be persuaded to plead guilty, even if the case against him is weak, by the threat of a long sentence. Forcing innocent people to languish in jail may add to Sessions’ scalp collection, but it is bad for America.

Former judge, Kevin Sharp said, the judge’s role in sentencing is dramatically reduced. “I have yet to talk to a judge who says mandatory minimums are a good idea.” 

Donald Trump not only is one of the least qualified Presidents in American history, but he has surrounded himself with unqualified people.

A bigot for Attorney General, a public-school hater to run the Department of Education, a global warming denier to run the EPA — all are part of a pattern of incompetence.

The mean, ugly troll ate innocents until a big, strong goat came along and butted him off the bridge.  American desperately needs that big, strong goat now, to butt some of these mean, ugly incompetent, bigots out of Washington.

No nation, not even America, can long endure the mean-spirited, “dumb on everything” incompetence of Trump, Sessions, Scott Pruitt, Betsy DeVos et al.

The damage simply is too great and too long-lasting.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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THOUGHTSs

•All we have are partial solutions; the best we can do is try.

•Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.

•Any monetarily NON-sovereign government — be it city, county, state or nation — that runs an ongoing trade deficit, eventually will run out of money no matter how much it taxes its citizens.

•The more federal budgets are cut and taxes increased, the weaker an economy becomes..

•No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth.

•Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia.

•A growing economy requires a growing supply of money (GDP = Federal Spending + Non-federal Spending + Net Exports)

•Deficit spending grows the supply of money

•The limit to federal deficit spending is an inflation that cannot be cured with interest rate control. The limit to non-federal deficit spending is the ability to borrow.

•Until the 99% understand the need for federal deficits, the upper 1% will rule.

•Progressives think the purpose of government is to protect the poor and powerless from the rich and powerful. Conservatives think the purpose of government is to protect the rich and powerful from the poor and powerless.

•The single most important problem in economics is the Gap between the rich and the rest.

•Austerity is the government’s method for widening the Gap between the rich and the rest.

•Everything in economics devolves to motive, and the motive is the Gap between the rich and the rest..

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY