Elections '08 Presidential Race

Hillary and Second Chances


A couple of days ago, Vibe Magazine
released an interview with Hillary Clinton in which she talks about—among other topics— sentencing policy, prison, and rehabilitation.

She says some decent stuff
—all of which makes interesting reading, particularly in the light of what she said in January when she talked about the changes in those pesky federal sentencing rules that would bring a crack cocaine conviction more in line with the penalties for powder coke.

Clinton made a point of saying
that the change in sentencing should not be not be retroactive.

(I blogged about it here.)

Now, either she feels differently,
or she tailors her message for her audience. I’m betting the latter.

Here are the relevant clips:

VIBE: In your speech, you talked about having first, second, and third chances for children. In the last ten years the rate of incarceration of women has increased exponentially. I don’t think the average person realizes that it’s not 50% or 100%, it’s like 750% in the last thirty years. There are a disproportionate number of African-American men and women who are going to be released from prison with felony convictions. What do we do about that group of people who are effectively disenfranchised when they come out?

CLINTON: Number one, we need to divert more people from the prison system. We have too many people in prison for non-violent drug offenses, which disproportionately impacts on the African-American community. That’s why I’ve been a strong advocate of eliminating the disparity between crack cocaine and powder cocaine [sentencing].

There may have been a reason
for it 25 years ago but there isn’t any justification for it now. But it also means that in the prisons themselves, we’ve got to get back to the services that used to be there. They have mostly been eliminated — GED programs, college credit programs, drug and alcohol abuse programs — I mean, it is like a wasteland. We put too many people in there and then we basically forget about them. And then when people come out we need a system of second-chance programs. And we need to move to restore people’s rights. They need to feel like they’ve done whatever time they’re supposed to do and now they are back as a full participant. So we need a network of job-training programs, of housing programs, of civic engagement and education programs.

And there are some good examples around.
The Fortune Society in New York does a really good job. Other places like Greyston Bakery in Yonkers, NY that hires ex-offenders and trains them. We can do this on a larger scale than what we’re doing now. And a lot of the job training programs we used to have in this country, which has been decimated, need to be brought back so we can, as I have argued, put people to work in green collar jobs. We should be training people; we should be doing that in the prisons. We should be giving people skills that are going to be part of the economy of the future…

Chapeau tip to Howard Berman at Sentencing, Law and Policy


  • I know all really successful politicians are megalomaniacs but this comes across as totally phony and more than a little absurd: “I am struck at how open people are, if I can just get myself to talk about me. Because I am so other-directed, I kinda say, ‘Okay enough about me, let’s talk about you!’ And so in this campaign, I’ve had to learn more how to do that.”

  • Since I’m kinda-sorta bashing Hlllary here, I just read this from an interview w/ ABC News :

    “Sen. Hillary Clinton, when asked about the Barack Obama phenomenon, used a quote from Obama to describe her opponent. ‘I think the best description actually is in Barack’s own book’ Clinton said, ‘where he said that he is a blank screen and people of widely different views project what they want to hear…But with the blank screen it gives you a chance to just really infuse it with whatever you hope for, whatever you want without knowing.’

    “Clinton was asked her reaction to the many women around this country who say they feel sorry for her. ‘I think a lot of woman project their own feelings in their lives on to me.'” (end clip)

    (If anyone else has checked out comments at Hillary-havens like Taylor Marsh’s crazy blog, it’s amazing the degree to which Clinton supporters – and Clinton herself in that quote above – attack Obama supporters as some kind of mesmerized zombies who have bought into something they can’t comprehend, which is baseless and with no substance. The level of insult – and, quite frankly, their desperation to explain how “Mrs. Inevitable” could have been slowed and more than likely stopped in her tracks – is staggering. Also the lack of awareness of just how mediocre and re-treaded the object of their adulation happens to be. Putting together a campaign built on hubristic assumptions, choosing a reprehensible hack like Mark Penn as the guy you put ultimate confidence in, lacking a “Plan B” if the terrain shifts and their perpetually dissing the Democratic and independent voters out there in “unimportant” states – combined with an utterly dismal and disastrous record on the two most important policy questions in her career both as Twofer President and Senator make the prospect of another Clinton administration look even less attractive to me than it did going into this thing. Her ability to surround herself with a competent team, the issue of Bill’s place in the picture and her own good judgement and sense of strategy have been put in doubt by her own campaign. And any question of Obama’s competence and “experience” have pretty much been erased by his learning curve in the campaign and the general excellence of his campaign. And for those who say that the problem is Clinton couldn’t overcome media antipathy for her, I say good luck with any presidency where the person at the center can’t overcome media antipathy – and worse yet, makes it an issue in explaining their failures. Life isn’t fair – which is why we need exceptional skills from our leaders, not a laundry list of complaints about how they’re being treated in a rough-and-tumble world.

  • Just wait. She’ll steal the nomination. Count on it.

    For Randy, here’s why so many possums get killed on our highways. (Hope this works.)


  • I think that Woody is desperate for Hillary to win the Democratic nomination and, perhaps, even the presidency. I used to think it might be worth it to have Hillary in the White House just to drive guys like Woody crazy(er). But I’ve come to the conclusion that if the Clintons disappeared from the planet, they would have an identity crisis. Kind of like if one day you told Pat Robertson, Richard Land and James Dobson that the Devil had died and their admonitions would no longer be needed.

  • She’s still in there, trying to change the rules:

    LINK: Officials: Clinton aides threatened lawsuit over Texas caucuses

    The Texas Democratic Party warned Thursday that election night caucuses scheduled for next Tuesday could be delayed or disrupted after aides to Hillary Clinton threatened to sue over the party’s complicated delegate selection process. …Clinton campaign aides have argued that caucuses favor Obama, whose campaign organization has turned out overwhelming numbers at caucuses in other states.

    I’m telling you, again. Hillary will stop at nothing until she wins steals the nomination.

  • Woody is simply projecting. After all, in the GOP “Ratfucking” – as it was known and perfected at USC frat elections in the sixties – carried over into the politics of the Young Republicans. Two of the honors grads of that program were Jack Abramamoff and Karl Rove. Rove then did a post graduate course with Lee Atwater and, in 2000, used his black arts – with a little help from his friends like Tom Delay and a cast of hundreds of GOP operatives from the hill staging a riot in the Dade County Registrar’s Office – made Shrub King. Previously he had mau maued John McCain in South Carolina.

    So Woody naturally believes that this is how everybody does it and will not be denied this. Kind of like those poor sods who join a cult that says the world will end on Thursday. When Friday rolls around they come up with an excuse. I’m sure Wood man will do the same or join some other cargo cult – maybe how Obama “steals” the election.

  • rlc, tell me how many people are on the Bush Body List.

    The Clintons were the most corrupt people in the White House in my lifetime, and that includes Nixon. I support Obama for the nomination because, as I told my wife, I would rather have an honest socialist than a dishonest one. Hillary and Bill Clinton have perfected the lie, and use it frequently.

  • Reg, you’re quite right. She she says nothing about retroactivity per se, but her stand against the rule being applied retroactively seems even more sadly politically calculated and disingenuous when viewed in the context of her very genuine knowledge about the state of American incarceration policy—particularly drug incarceration policy— and American prisons and prison policy.

    That, combined with the news yesterday about one in a hundred (or one in 99) people being behind bars, just irritated me all over again.

    The most vexing thing about Hillary is that she really is very, very smart and very competent, and probably if you knew her personally, quite likeable, but her any-means-to-an-end actions are just not in her or the country’s best interest in the long run.

  • Woody, it is to laugh! Most Corrupt? Body List?

    !1,000,000 Iraqis

    Torture gate

    Abu Gonzales, Siegelman, No-bid contracts to Halliburton!

    Please I’m too weak from convulsing with merriment!

  • rlc, I’m glad that you don’t do taxes, because based upon the way you inflate numbers, everyone would be overpaying the government.

    It’s clear that you are not well versed in Clinton corruption. Perhaps you enjoyed them threatening and harrassing young women who wanted justice, being disbarred, pardoning all sorts of criminals for donations, giving away missile secrets for the Chinese to accurately aim at us, sending troops to Kosovo, making crooked deals for mineral rights to make millions, cheating on their tax returns, the only elected president to be impeached, illegal campaign contributions, not understanding the meaning of “is,” being responsible for many deaths over Iraq because he refused to deal with that timely himself, etc., etc.

    But, I waste my time telling this to people who aren’t very smart.

  • Well Woody I don’t recall the Clinton’s framing anyone into jail like they did Siegelman.

    I don’t recall the Clinton Justice Dept refusing to enforce Congressional subpoenas like this Administration has.

    Troops to Kosovo? You mean with the approval of our NATO allies? And the UN. In contradistinction to an an administration that violated both the Geneva Convention and the UN Charter on Iraq – those are “War Crimes” BTW under the Nurnemberg Definition.

    Glad you know that the Chinese were given secrets cause no one else does, read the record.

    I don’t recall NINE BILLION in aid going missing in Kosovo while Tysons Chicken got no-bid contracts to feed the troops at inflated prices.

    FEMA under James Lee Witt vs. FEMA under the Horseman – Hekova job!

    Politicizing the Justice Dept. Janet Reno – if anything – was TOO easy in appointing Special Counsel.

    E-Mails? “RNC won’t release WH E-Mails on theuir servers”. First what the hell were they doing on their servers and second – another violation of Federal Law!

    Glad you know they were cheating on their returns. Here’s a hint – turn them in and get that 10% finders fee.

    That’s all for now – I’ll leave you with the other wingnuts still clinging to this pathetic excuse for a man and his evil vizier – Darth Cheney.

    Hope your clients get better advice but maybe you’re an idiot savant and can add, subtract, multiply and divide and follow instructions cause you sure as hell can’t reason!

  • rlc, your response is wrong on every level. Quit getting all of your news from the MoveOn.org.

    Yes, they did cheat on their tax returns, which is what was bothering Vince Foster the night he was killed killed himself, emptied his office, and drug his own body to Ft. Marcy Park.

  • With the ever important Texas primaries just days away, Hillary resorts to scare tactics, using her latest “It’s 3 a.m., and your children are safe and asleep,” ad.

    It’s 3:00 A.M.

    While Obama use a different apporach to get the Texas votes.

    Amigos de Obama

  • Oh, yeah. Nothing corrupt about the Clinton’s. It’s so nice to know that rlc defends them.

    LINK: Bill Clinton and Frank Giustra — Together Again March 01, 2008 1:17 PM

    Former President Bill Clinton tonight heads to Toronto for the Clinton-Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative Project Launch. Per the New York Times , Clinton helped Giustra win a Kazakh uranium deal.

    Mr. Clinton’s public declaration undercut both American foreign policy and sharp criticism of Kazakhstan’s poor human rights record…. Mr. Giustra also came up a winner when his company signed preliminary agreements giving it the right to buy into three uranium projects controlled by Kazakhstan’s state-owned uranium agency, Kazatomprom…

    “Mr. Clinton’s charitable foundation received its own windfall: a $31.3 million donation from Mr. Giustra that had remained a secret until he acknowledged it last month. The gift, combined with Mr. Giustra’s more recent and public pledge to give the William J. Clinton Foundation an additional $100 million….

    The Wall Street Journal has also reported that Bill Clinton arranged for Giustra to meet Alvaro Uribe, the president of Colombia. And, lo and behold, a company Giustra’s investment firm was advising acquired Colombian oil fields.

    And per Bloomberg News: “On June 21, 2005, Bill Clinton flew to Mexico City aboard a private jet that belonged to a Canadian investment banker he was meeting for the first time. The introduction paid off for both men. Clinton…would (get paid) $800,000. Frank Giustra of Vancouver (would gain) introductions to presidents of Kazakhstan and Colombia, where he bought mineral rights.

    Giustra, 50, has since put his plane at Clinton’s disposal at least a dozen times to raise money for charity, his wife’s presidential campaign or himself….

    UPDATE: More info on tonight’s event…. According to this press release the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative (CGSGI), “is an innovative partnership between the Clinton Foundation, the private sector, governments…to increase…economic development efforts in countries where the natural resource industries are an important part of the economy.”

    Giustra mines for minerals allowing Clinton to mine for gold. It’s no surprise that the Clinton’s are refusing to release their income tax returns.

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