What a wonderful past week we’ve been lucky to have. President Trump gave us three gifts this week.
1) Leaving Syria and drawing down in Afghanistan – we won the war, but we’ve had a stalemate in the nation rebuilding. I love General Mattis, however, he is a war machine guy, and why shouldn’t he be, he is very good at it. For as long as anyone can remember, we’ve known Trump to be a non-interventionalist. As president, he gave General Mattis time to do what he felt he needed to be done, and then it was time to move on. I thank General Mattis for his service to this great nation.
President Trump wants U.S. troops brought home from all the “stupid wars”; and as a consequence the time for Defense Secretary Mattis was sure to come to an end.
The Trump Doctrine of using economics to achieve national security objectives is a fundamental paradigm shift, history provides no reference.
Just like the demanded restructuring of NATO, removing troops from Syria and likely Afghanistan will run counter to the interventionist policies of those who advocate for military deployments; and also the benefactors on the business end of the military industrial complex.
Yes, it’s time for a shift.
2) The President was able to get the House to vote for wall funding, and had no problem shutting down the gluttonous government when the Senate refused to vote for its passage. Trump doesn’t play chicken, he makes deals and this shutdown will be long for the Democrats, GOP Inc and federal employees. Stand Your Ground
The Senate advanced the vote to the floor Friday evening, however negotiations on a new package including all seven appropriations bills fell short.
The House and Senate got back to work on Saturday with a series of meeting with the President.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) refused to budge; he will not allow funding for the border wall so negotiations came to a halt.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced the government shutdown will continue through Christmas and the Senate will reconvene on December 27th.
3) Trump signed the bill for the First Step Act
In a time of partisan politics, it’s hard to imagine that any issue could unite Democrats and Republicans.
Yet people such as Kim Kardashian and Michelle Malkin, and groups including the Fraternal Order of Police, the Baltimore Ravens and the Faith and Freedom Coalition all agree on one thing: The need for criminal justice reform and the First Step Act, a key bill working its way through the Senate.
This diverse group of people recognize we have an over-incarceration problem in our country. Our prison population has ballooned to over 2 million individuals and we have over 180,000 people in federal prison, which is more than any one state’s prison population. While the prison incarceration rate is at a 20 year low, the United States still incarcerates a larger share of its population than any other country in the world. Forty-six percent of the total federal prison population, roughly 78,000 people, are in prison for drug offenses.
On average, it costs $80 a day and around $30,000 a year to incarcerate someone. The federal prison population alone costs taxpayers more than $7 billion annually, up from less than $1 billion in 1980. Since taxpayer dollars are limited, we should not be wasting money on keeping individuals who do not pose a threat to society behind bars.
Higher rates of imprisonment don’t lead to lower crime either. Recent studies found that there is not a relationship between states’ rates of drug imprisonment to drug problems, meaning that imprisonment is not effective in combating drug use.
The First Step Act provides a solution by incentivizing recidivism reduction programs on social learning, communication, family relationship building and substance abuse treatment for minimal and low-risk offenders. For every 30 days of successful participation in programming, a prisoner would earn 10 days of “time credits” that can be cashed out for pre-release custody after various risk assessments.
The bill would not reduce a sentence. Rather, it would allow an eligible prisoner to go to a reentry center or receive home confinement. If the goal of prison is to ensure that prisoners can be positive participants in society after they are released, we need to provide a pathway for inmates to transition into life outside of the walls of a prison cell, so they do not come back.
The prison industrial complex has always been wrong, there is nothing more irritating then an 18yr old selling a $10 bag of crack getting 10yrs while the 40 something, moving pounds of powder cocaine gets 5. I’m a law and order gal, but law and order isn’t what we’ve been practicing in this country. The richer you are the easier it is to get off (see Hillary) while the poorer you are the longer you’ll be sitting in prison, and your shot at a 2nd chance is nil after your release. There are some conservatives who don’t agree with the President’s take on prison reform and that is fine. Conservatives aren’t here to agree 100% of the time – if so, we’d be the left.
I thank the President for a great week for this Trump voter, and wish him a Merry Christmas.