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June 7, 2016

Is Bipartisan Criminal Justice Reform Really A Possibility?

IPI expert referenced: Tom Giovanetti | In The News | Media Hit
  The Brad Blog

Today on The BradCast: is reform of our criminal justice system really possible given, the vast divide between Republicans and Democrats in Congress? One conservative joins me today to say "Yes!" and explains why. Also, the corporate media prepares to call the race for Hillary Clinton on Tuesday and Bill Maher argues that socialism is needed to keep capitalism from eating us alive. [Link to audio of show is posted below.]

First up, voters in California, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana are getting ready to vote on Tuesday in the final, multi-state Primary Day of the Democratic nomination cycle, after both Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands gave the bulk of their delegates to Hillary Clinton over the weekend. (Washington D.C. will, officially, hold the final primary of the season on June 14th.)

While we prepare to vote tomorrow here in California, and for whatever messes will almost certainly come along with it, folks in Florida (and Georgia and South Carolina) are battening down hatches for Tropical Storm Colin, marking the third-named storm of the season in the Atlantic, a record for this early in the year.

At the same time, the corporate media is preparing to declare Clinton the Democratic nominee on Tuesday, most likely after the close of polls in NJ, despite the fact, as Bernie Sanders continues to note, she is unlikely to have won enough pledged delegates to officially win the nomination until unpledged Super Delegates actually cast their votes at the Democratic convention in late July. As Cenk Uygur argued over the weekend with CNN's Brian Stelter, a lot could happen to change the minds of those party insiders before then, so why does the MSM insist on continuing to tip the scales in her favor with misleading reporting? (As I write this item, and before anystate has voted Tuesday, when nearly 700 delegates will be up for grabs, including 475 alone here in CA, Associate Press just sent my iPhone a "breaking news" alert to inform me that, based on their tabulation of unpledged Super Delegates, Clinton "will be first woman to top major party ticket." So, take that, voters!)

Then, Tom Giovanetti, President of the right-leaning Institute for Policy Innovation, explains what he sees as a very real opportunity for Republicans and Democrats to come together to reform the U.S. criminal justice system, now that this nation leads the world in incarceration rates. Giovanetti even goes so far, as he did in a recent op-ed at Dallas Morning News, to commend President Barack Obama for his recent commutations of non-violent drug offenders and to call on fellow conservatives to join with progressives to reform what he describes as a bloated, legacy "tough on crime" system that makes little sense and even violates basic social and economic conservative tenets.

"It's fairly rare that we find ourselves agreeing with progressives and liberals on solutions to problems. This is probably one of the rare exceptions," Giovanetti tells me. "Progressives and Liberals have been at the forefront of talking about some of the abuses in the criminal justice system, the problem with mandatory minimum sentences, and things like that. I think conservatives are really only beginning to realize that there's a problem here. So I think for my colleagues on the center-right of the political spectrum, this is sort of an emerging issue."

He goes on to explain why reform is so overdue, how Democrats and Republicans are working together for reform in a number of state legislatures, and the path that he sees to move forward on the federal level. I remain dubious, particularly on that final score, but Giovanetti offers his reasons for optimism here in an encouraging conversation in which he even calls out some of his own for hypocrisy on this issue.

Finally, as Republicans continue to pretend they hate socialism, Bill Maher explains how capitalism is now out of control and eating our nation alive. "It's eaten our democracy, it's eating our middle class, it's eaten our health care system, our prison system, our news media, and even our food system." All of that and more on today'sBradCast. Eat up!


 

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