Probably the single most effective thing to reduce police abuse in America would be to end the war on drugs and decriminalize drugs.
No-knock warrants were originally used to try to catch drug dealers before they could flush the drugs down the toilet.
Civil forfeiture was originally created to try to take money from drug dealers.
The war on drugs has taken a wrecking ball to the Fourth Amendment restrictions on search and seizure.
I am in Bangalore, India
For most of us in developing world, US has been a model state - with problems yes. But a great example nevertheless.
For God's sake, WE were supposed to be a third world country, always looked at with sympathy in popular media (usually grossly incorrect depiction though)
In India, civil unrest is common, and has increased over the past decade. Cops know one thing very very clearly - they are outnumbered. If civilians start to become violent, it will be impossible to control them.
So they stand down.
I have read umpteen number of articles talking about how policing could be improved in the US, from removing powerful weapons to changing the training programs.
I feel that the solution is probably simple - sensitisation to the fact that they are outnumbered. If war mentality is what they get into the field with, better factor everything in.
No army in the world engages with a superior force unprovoked.
People, the citizens, ARE the most superior force - not just morally, but Truly . F*ing . Practically.
A thought popped into my head as I read this, how would the founders apply the right to keep and bear arms today? Would it extend to digital weaponry? Both offensive and defensive?
In the context of the 18th century, the forces that a government could bring to bear would either be a centralized army (that would take months to get anywhere in what is now the US, due to its large size), or the very localized militia forces, which would be responsible for local defense until the regular army could arrive. In the specific context of the US, the main threats would have been Indian raids and slave revolts, where immediate action from local militia would have been essential for response. One of the pivotal events of the American Revolution was the British attempt to disarm the Massachusetts local militias, and it's my belief that this is why the Second Amendment is worded the way it is.
At the same time, we must recognize that our modern world is alien to those who lived 200 years ago. Services once provided by a collective civic obligation (such as the militias of that period) are now institutions provided by the government or by private individuals under contract of the government. And the realistic threats we face are vastly different. I imagine that given these circumstances, they would take a much narrower view of Second Amendment, casting it more as a right to personal self-defense rather than a right to private military rebellion against the government acting unlawfully.
Then again, it might be hard to drum up support for a ban on rebellions, among people who were at the time in the middle of a rebellion.
That's not to say they might not have been sympathetic to rebellion still, but they definitely weren't "in the middle of" one. Note that Washington himself literally led the American military against a rebellion during his presidency.
Not as fundamentally a right to keep countermeasures (whether classical weapons or alternative devices) to militarized standing police forces, because that is completely missing the point of the RKBA.
The RKBA exists and was seen as vital to the security of free states because the existence of a universal, well-equipped citizen militia was the thing which made it possible for the citizenry to demand that the government over which they had democratic control not hire large standing internal and external (which ultimately end up as backstop internal) security forces in the first place — because those were seen as fundamentally incompatible with liberty — but instead rely on small cadre forces plus mobilizing the civilian militia for internal and external security. The founders wrote quite a bit based on the dangers of standing armies, but they didn't write a prohibition into th Constitution, just provided the tools that they saw as making standing armies unnecessary. They didn't write as much about standing paramilitary police forces because at the time of the founding those weren't a thing, but pretty much every concern they expressed about standing armies applies to paramilitary police forces, which are just standing armies that are exclusively deployed internally for use against the citizenry, with additional force.
So I assume you have a right to bear encryption and related tools. Thank 2A for your iPhone ;)
What else is within the power of people to control themselves in a legal and peaceful fashion? One thing business and government really does not like is uncertainty and it doesn't take much random disruption to mess with plans, especially now when things are already messed up.
It would have to be something people can easily do, without much impact to themselves, that a lot of people will agree to do, which will have a noticeable impact on a sector that has been behaving badly. Company/product bans have been attempted without much success, but if people are motivated perhaps it is possible. It would essentially be citizens going on strike. It doesn't necessarily have to be directly related to the bad actor. I'm not sure there is a way citizens could strike against the police since few people usually interact with the police on a daily basis, but they might strike against government with the stated goal of changing governments oversight of the police.
There have got to be lots of ways the police, government, and business rely on ordinary people. That reliance is power and in many cases it would be legal, legitimate and peaceful to exercise that power.
American policing has inherited this idea.
- US Military: 1.29 million active 
- US Population: 329.74 million 
I believe they're outnumbered by about 131 to 1.
We have too many police and active military and too many things are illegal that shouldn’t be. The problem is that the military is basically welfare for small towns and southern states.
Bingo. I served for the financial incentives (though I enlisted from a misguided sense of patriotism immediately after 9/11). My father, my brother, aunts and uncles, and even cousins who served; All of us from small rural towns in the midwest. I needed to obtain the means to pursue higher education and this was my path. What you so succinctly said here is completely spot on.
When I read comments like these, I get a little bit sad. What is it about the ease of communication that the internet enables that people think its ok to say such things? Is this what bravery is in the 21st century? This is a perversion of honesty and people wonder why there is so much division! Our forbears had it right, it really isn't everything that you think that you should say out loud.
We spend an insane amount of GDP on the military complex. We know for sure military strikes have killed many civilians in other countries. Now with the President’s orders of “Dominate the battle space”, the Military with the police is hurting their own citizens.
It’s not about Bravery, the individual soldiers could be brave, but they’re still following directions of superior leaders with personal selfish motives.
The military and police are supposed to protect their country and citizens. They are doing the opposite. I don’t respect them.
Subtract the population that supports the current police's actions. And the (large majority, I'd guess) that don't care. And the ones that can't physically get involved or won't. Then add a force multiplier for superior training, tactics, organization, and equipment.
The result is not a pretty calculation.
I agree with your premise, but this statement is incorrect. Civil forfeiture originated from the British Navigation Acts of the mid 1600s. It continued to be accepted practice in the US after the revolution, and was relied on during Prohibition as a tool against bootleggers much as it's used against drug dealers now. Usage has certainly escalated due to the war on drugs, but it's not where it originated from.
I am not sure how addicts were treated by law enforcement historically but would be curious to hear about that. Just my own intuition says they probably were treated under existing vagrancy laws "Vagrancy laws took myriad forms, generally making it a crime to be poor, idle, dissolute, immoral, drunk, lewd, or suspicious."
The prison guard union is one of the most powerful lobbyist groups in California (and significant in the US as a whole) and has all the same perverse incentives as private prisons.
If you want to really address the problems, the prison guard union and police unions are literally 100x more powerful and impactful to laws and policies, and their PR teams love it that the internet stays distracted by the 8.2% of prisoners who are housed in privately-run prisons.
I don’t see anything with the potential production volume of what is, essentially, a foodstuff (cheap to produce and consumed multiple times a day, every day). Scaling down would be inevitable at the first sign of economic crisis, in the same way the defense sector was hit significantly post-89.
The one alternative we have to the republicans is just doing the same crap.
Obama wrote a really nice article a few days ago. But when he was running things he basically did nothing to improve the situation although the issues with police were well known.
"Since 2008, thousands of police agencies had made more than 55,000 seizures of cash and property worth $3 billion under a Justice Department civil asset forfeiture program, which allowed local and state police to make seizures and then share the proceeds with federal agencies."
Jeff Sessions reversed this policy in 2017. Eric Holder described it as an "extremist action." 
"A Washington Post investigation in 2014 found that state and local police had seized almost $2.5 billion from motorists and others without search warrants or indictments since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The Post series revealed that police routinely stopped drivers for minor traffic infractions, pressed them to agree to searches without warrants and seized large amounts of cash when there was no evidence of wrongdoing.
Police then spent the proceeds from the seizure with little oversight, according to the Post investigation. In some cases, the police bought luxury cars, high-powered weapons and armored cars."
I think one of the big problems with these systemic problems is that the partisan nature of American politics makes most people blind to the failures of "their team." Any failure is handwaved away, excuses are made, and nothing gets done. The only answer seems to be "vote for my team," even after decades of doing that have failed to make the changes that people want.
It’s the same with a lot of rules that Trump revoked and people are outraged about. A lot of them were put in at the end of the Obama administration’s term.
I understand an opinion that the parties are very similar on important issues.
However, the parent also said "when [obama] was running things he basically did nothing to improve the situation although the issues with police were well known."
It is up to an individual to decide if Holder's directive on civil seizure amounted to "basically nothing." The fact is an attempt was made. I know of the above, because I was paying attention at the time.
It is also worth mentioning Obama ordered the phasing out of private contractors to run federal prisons. This was also overturned by Jeff Sessions and the Trump administration
I have been somewhat disillusioned in retrospect by the actual change Obama was able to accomplish, given just how good his image is broadly as a President. I have very particular concerns unrelated to LE I won't address here.
However, it is important that people know that Obama at least spoke about his concerns with the criminal justice system and that his administration did in fact do stuff in attempt to accomplish reform.
As a more material evidence of contrast between the Democratic and Republican parties regarding criminal justice, I point to a Harvard Law Review article by Barack Obama written in January of 2017, titled "The President's Role in Advancing Criminal Justice Reform."
This essay is made up of four parts:
I. The Urgent Need for Reform
II. Reforming the Federal Criminal Justice System
III. Tools and Actions to Drive State and Local Reforms
IV. Work Unfinished
The article features citings throughout and is demonstration of the level of thought Obama had put into reform, and what he was willing to put on the record regarding his intent and where he came up short.
Six months after this essay was published, Donald Trump, President of the United States and leader of the Republican Party told police not to worry about injuring suspects during arrests. 
I can understand frustration with the pace of police, (or more broadly criminal justice,) reform under Obama's eight year term. However, there is obvious, enormous difference between these very influential leaders of these parties.
For me, it is not about my team or their team it is about the actual communications and actions (small or large) made by leadership of these teams. I am impatient for change yet recognize on big issues change is often gradual. (such as decriminalization and legalization of marijuana)
In the absence of successful attempts to disrupt the entire system and failure of reform candidates to break through on the democratic side. It is very important to know that there is a difference between these parties.
These and others are all things the current administration has reversed and is almost certainly playing a huge role into why things have gotten so bad.
Seems I remember Republicans going on and on about that to this day. Fast and Furious something?
The Obama admin was responsible in "the buck stops here" sense, but this wasn't about admin policy.
It started in 2006 under Bush and continued under Obama.
It started in 2006 under Bush
This information is readily seen by anyone who actually clicks the link.
Regardless, the facts are not political no matter how much you may want to make them. The initiative began under the Bush admin and continued under Obama. Arguably, neither had much to do with it as it was mostly the work of the ATF and its leadership.
Well, plus the current administration outright abandoned investigations and publicly stated that it opposed the idea of investigating local law enforcement for systematic issues. It's not just an issue of neglecting an important tool of enforcement when the department now fairly overtly opposes the idea of enforcement.
But, yes, and the State of Minnesota could also investigate.
Most states of cities with police problems have very strong civil rights laws (often stronger than federal protections) -- they have the legal tools to make real change happen.
They don't need the DOJ to fix their problems. Relying on the DOJ makes sense if the local government is supportive of the bad policing -- like back in the civil rights/segregation era. Some states would not comply so the feds had to make things happen. You don't have that situation today.
And if it's a systemic problem in the local government, both the choices of the “independent” investigators and the shopping of their remit, and the decision of whether to do it at all will be affected by the systemic problem.
> Most states of cities with police problems have very strong civil rights laws (often stronger than federal protections.
Which helps not at all when the people and institutions responsible for enforcing the law are part of the problem.
If everyone hasn't forgotten all about this by that time, you could make police reform a major election issue. And then hold them to it.
But, odds are, everyone will have forgotten by then.
Someone in the staff advocated for the current police contract, why not start by firing them?
Or maybe the problem is not as important to local progressive governments as it is being to made out to be?
Put the reforms in the next contract. Set training and certification standards that exclude bad or lazy cops. Take the cops guns away, or whatever.
Blaming the federal government for local police problems in cities like Minneapolis does not make sense.
We have a long history of empowering and protecting police - both culturally and legally. There are limits to what that process youdescribed will allow. The police department/union will never enact certain reforms or give up certain powers willingly, so they won’t make it into the contract. The state government leadership will investigate/demand reforms/potentially file civil rights violations against the police department - but if the department is obstinate in the face of those changes - the federal government has stronger incentives to enact reforms that the community, the governor, and the legislature want.
Who is protecting them?
I mean - I’m pro-cop. I have police officers in my family, and I wish the solutions were as straightforward as you seem to believe everything they are; however, the fact that we have the same reoccurring concerns - year after year, decade after decade - strongly suggests that this is not easy or straightforward.
Here, this is not happening. The local governments that harbor bad police want police reform. I believe they have plenty of power to do that.
How can you be so spectacularly uninformed to say this?
Many other responses have pointed out the multitude of actions Obama took, yet you believe Obama "did nothing" simply because you did not put the slightest effort into finding out what he did or didn't do, and what maybe he tried to do but was blocked by Congress or courts or other government actors.
I really believe our democracy is failing in large part because of people like yourself believing farcical claims without doing the slightest bit of research or investigation to determine basic facts.
If you watched those debates - or paid close attention to the direction the Republican party has been moving - you'd understand why your argument that they are "slightly better Republicans" sounds outdated to the point of absurdity.
But watching the primary process, I still don't see it.
For better or for worse Obama pinned his legacy on healthcare reform, and being a symbol of improving racial justice rather than actual change.
Republicans have tried to undermine that legacy ever since.
That doesn't seem consistent with facts on the ground. I know what you're saying is that he wouldn't take firm policy stances, but neither did he gas protestors. The ability of the executive branch to control national discourse, find compromise and defuse division is important.
And we have one party that tries that, however flawed the results might be. And another the runs the government for the parochial benefit of their own voters only, basically laughing at the rest of the citizens whose needs aren't being heard.
And you can see the results. That doesn't look very similar to me.
I don't know enough to judge if he was right or wrong, but it's pretty clear that was his #1 baby.
Same with the bank bailouts. He was in an excellent position to get some real change but chose to keep Geithner who gave the banks what they wanted. And a precondition for anybody who administered the bailouts was to have worked for an investment bank.
In retrospect the Democrats' window of complete control of the federal government was going to close no matter what they did (due to the GOP's obstructionism and unity in hating anything Dems did), and perhaps they should have passed more ambitious reforms while they had the chance.
Edit: Data from here: https://ballotpedia.org/Voter_turnout_in_United_States_elect... (notably PA and WI are missing)
Maybe you could say states that transition from being safe to swing states see a turnout boost? I haven't checked. I would expect that turnout is more determined by demographics and inertia (states with high turnout in prior elections continue to do so, etc) than whether they are swing states, though.
The whole "both sides are the same" needs to stop. The entirety of the GOP's governing philosophy is based on conspiracy. The hardcore Trump cult itself is completely disconnected from reality, thanks to 30+ years of scams and conspiratorial media that has demonized everything that made the country they claim to love what it is.
The contrast between the Dems and GOP should be stark for anyone who actually cares to look:
Because police laws and funding is a state matter where the federal government can't do anything, and to top that Obama was locked by a Republican HoR in 6 of his 8 years.
Obama had absolute direct authority over drug classification. At minimum he could have moved marijuana off of schedule 1. Not to mention his direct authority over the FBI, DEA, DoJ, and other federal agencies. Even if you want to argue that an emergency declaration is unlawful, there were still numerous changes that he could have made within the confines of existing law and precedent. He didn’t and that is on him and him alone.
In my opinion he should have completely de-scheduled it federally. That is perhaps a little too radical. What's not at all radical would be taking it off of schedule 1. I can't for the life of me figure out any reason why he wouldn't have done that.
Obama's use of executive orders was widely criticized as "undemocratic" back then, by Republicans and even some Democrats, and that for stuff that actually made sense and was legal to do via EOs.
Trump? He can trample over legal issues and the Republicans won't even act like they'd even want to hold him accountable.
It's a real cop-out to say his hands were tied. He had wide latitude and authority to implement changes within the executive branch.
Obama was in charge of the entire federal executive branch. The problem at the core of anti-police protests is not the FBI and not any other federal branch (okay, a bit the DEA/ICE), it is local police and sheriffs!
To make it worse, a large part of the blame lies on police unions, e.g. in Minneapolis, whose leaders are hard authoritarian/right-wing and use all powers they have including staging expensive and often successful legal battles to keep "bad apple" cops in the service instead of holding them accountable.
For some reason CGP Grey's video called The Rules for Rulers was recommended to me recently by The Algorithm. It sort of clarified in my mind all the vague ideas I'd absorbed from countless online and in-person conversations. Basically, even a dictator has to have the support of the keys to power. We can speculate that a president's hands were tied by one of those key groups. We can also speculate that another president has different key groups, and might be more willing, with the consent of core key groups, to reduce their numbers in ways not previously/recently considered an option.
your argument is that Obama should be more like Trump? Declaring a fake national emergency and raiding the military budget is dubious action. Obama was never going to do ish like that and we should all be happy about that.
Also as Obama pointed out in his medium posts, policy positions get converted into action through electoral wins.
I'm old enough to remember that Trump was elected in part due to Obama backlash.
I'm also old enough to remember the backlash when Obama said Cambridge police acted stupidly (the police arrested a Harvard professor in his own house when he had to go through a window bc he lost his keys)
I know people are disappointed Obama didn't accomplish more. Obama is such an impressive person you just assume he can work magic. But Obama was constrained by the system of democracy and that limits what is possible.
No. I even pointed out that if you were to consider that type of move to be unlawful there were still PLENTY of other legitimate actions he could have taken.
Again, the President is in charge of the entire federal executive branch. That means the FBI, DEA, DoJ, Homeland Security, ICE, and others. There are numerous changes and reforms he could have enacted at the federal level.
>Also as Obama pointed out in his medium posts, policy positions get converted into action through electoral wins.
Obama was elected President twice. What more of a mandate did he think he needed to feel confident enough to take action?
> Obama was elected President twice. What more of a mandate did he think he needed to feel confident enough to take action?
Obama lost control of Congress in 2010. And here's a good summary of the losses at the state level.
anyway ... my point is pretty uncontroversial ... which is that there were limits on what Obama could do.
And how well did that work out for him? It took him his entire term to build about 1/5 of what he promised. And what he built isn't anywhere close to the impenetrable concrete wall he proposed.
To top it all off, if he had been facing a congress controlled entirely by the other party, he would have never gotten away with it because they would have passed a law making exactly what he did illegal.
And this was his #1 campaign promise. He spent every bit of his political capital on building a wall.
"Republicans haven’t had the courage to take a real position for a long time. Their program is basically to run as the slightly better Democrats".
The democratic establishment has not had to deal with any thing like this. With the rise of AOC, Sen. Warren, and Sanders it seemed like the DNC was going to lose some power, but alas.
Nominating Biden for President is the same as if the GOP nominated Jeb Bush. A clear sign that change is not on the horizon.
I guess the election of President Obama was a reaction against the DNC somewhat and even Bill Clinton as well. But, in the end neither moved the needle.
[EDIT] I mean the messaging concerning him and his prominence before he announced a Presidential run. It's no accident that there was a lot of chatter about him well before that on national media, all the sudden. Felt like official party grooming via the media.
I know that. And that’s what gave us Trump. Both parties have to pretend doing something for the little guy while being dependent on pleasing their big money donors. That’s why they can’t take a clear position.
Trump just upped the game with his rhetoric. Most Trump voters I know like him because they think he isn’t part of the corrupt establishment. You can argue whether that’s true or not but that’s what people think.
The big corporations backing republicans are benefitted by a smaller government, so that's what republicans advocate for.
The big corporations backing democrats are benefitted by a larger government, so that's what they advocate for.
(There are of course other non-corporate groups in play, e.g. unions, but the idea stands).
Beyond that, there's a lot of overlap in what big businesses want, and that's were you get bipartisan agreement. Corporations generally care about drugs in the sense that they want a labor pool that's not on drugs, so both parties kowtow to them on this topic.
Parties will pay lip service to the wedge issues of the day, but ultimately the parties do not actually concern themselves with the common voter except to make the appropriate sounds that those voters want to hear.
The more important thing is why this article is about a city in the suburbs of New York City. The Westchester County Board of Legislators has 16 Democrats and 1 Republican. Why can’t Democrats make any progress even in places where they have total control and don’t need to compromise? Westchester County can’t change federal drug laws, but they have total control over their own police force and how they’re trained and what they focus their efforts on.
No, they don't.
Even when they win national campaigns, Democrats don't win Mississippi, so they manifestly don't need to run a national ticket that appeals to Mississippi.
EDIT: The primary process the Democrats have chosen may encourage this, but that doesn't mean it's necessary or that that process is well chosen.
> Why can’t Democrats make any progress even in places where they have total control and don’t need to compromise?
Because American political parties are what would be broad coalitions in a system with multiple competitive parties, and it's only a significant faction (but not, in many places, the strongest faction) within the Democratic Party that actually wants to make progress on this point. That's more than the Republicans have, though.
Most US urban areas, some with the most problems, are completely controlled or mostly controlled by progressives -- some for multiple decades.
Why is there so much fail in the urban cores? Either the progressive policies fail because they don't work. Or, the progressives are not really interested in improving the situation. Or, a combination of both.
Progressives hire the police chiefs, negotiate the police union contracts, set the certification/hiring/training standards for police, make many state and most local laws, and so on.
Yet, police in the urban cores remain a problem? Why is that?
Many people will reasonably come to a conclusion that the progressive Democrats do not really want to improve things, or they are too incompetent to do so.
Police officers have taken an oath to uphold state and federal constitutions and local laws. If they cannot live up to that commitment they need to go.
The obvious answer is that these policies benefit Democrats and therefore they are uninterested in changing them.
There is no way that a Presidential candidate would win those 11 and lose the other 39.
That's putting it mildly. Biden was an active participant in the war on drugs. He was the primary sponsor of the RAVE Act in 2002: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reducing_Americans%27_Vulnerab...
Nevermind the fact that his home state of Delaware didn't have much of an electronic music / rave scene at the time. Or that the music genres in question were all originally created by people of color. Or that most music venues (regardless of genre or clientele) have been over-charging for water for decades.
It's also cruelly ironic that this act primarily targeted a drug that causes people to become perma-grinning touchy-feely overly-emotive types, which (in my view) is essentially how Joe Biden seems to behave on a regular basis.
Needless to say, as a Democrat I share your deep frustration with this candidate.
I'd love to go back to when I felt they were just modestly different.
That's when this country went off the rails.
Boy I'm glad nothing like that happened after 2016
Yeah, this is definitely the endgame of "both sides" equivocating at all levels— all media is equally unreliable, all politicians are equally corrupt, all people are treated equally by police, Obama's EOs were just as bad as Trump's. It's super harmful to the state of discourse when people are unable to see the shades of grey on these things.
It is not normal for the opposition party to be this nice in any way. They are tried to save states like this is some kind of partisan issue, and McConnell is lol, why don't they just declare bankruptcy?
Normally I would agree with the shades of grey but currently there is just no factual justification.
Also on rule of law, and constraining the police brutality. I mean it is hard to take this pushback seriously.
I would respect Democrats more if they had a "F.U. moment" and did something like arresting and imprisoning executive employees under the capitol building for contempt of Congress, for failure to produce documents necessary for oversight, that are required by law to be furnished on demand.
In the 2015 parlance of Back to the Future Part 2, they "got no scrote".
Secondly, there are plenty of things to criticize both parties about, but if you think they are indistinguishable, then you aren't looking very hard.
You can also cross that data with polling from the respective senators or representatives on individual policies and see how they line up. You can see quickly that they do not represent their constituents if you take the time to do it (I've done it myself).
You're seeing a biased sample.
The arenas in which Obama tried to ~actually use~ soft power, such as Syria and Ukraine, seem more like failures than successes.
Trust is hard to gain and easy to lose.
And yet it's unclear to me how the popular opinion of the US president in France translates into meaningful policy differences.
Local businesses suffering due to an ally will drive (and probably already has driven) policy changes in the EU 26.
Can you include specific examples of how popular EU opinion has driven policy? Typically the foreign policy of nations depends less on popular opinion than on geopolitical concerns. Your argument might be stronger if it focused on Trump's isolationist military and trade rhetoric, which both pose a much more significant threat to the current order in Europe and are a more substantial break from past USA policy than its attitude towards Iran.
You do understand that big, lasting change needs to come from all three branches of the government right? It's pretty clear Obama was pushing for much greater reform than what actually came about and Trump has done everything he can to dismantle what he created.
I have issues with a lot of Democrats and I don't love Biden, but Obama was one of the most straight shooters in politics.
Perfect? No. Hell of a good start? Yes.
Ever heard of pre-existing conditions? Well not anymore. That fucking ALONE is worth all the mess that everything took.
You realize that before obamacare.. let's say you lived abroad for 1 year, developed some type of health condition, then moved back to the US.. you would be denied coverage or have health coverage but everything related to your pre-existing condition not be covered.
That basically means that you were fucked. I mean literally, if you developed cancer living abroad.. and tried to move back to the US- you basically could not without a financial death sentence.
Also every health plan has to provide maturity coverage, large companies are required to provide coverage.. etc the list goes on and on with regards to healthcare.
So please, don't parrot this garbage that obamacare basically did nothing.
If you want to argue he didn't do enough, sure go ahead. Saying he did nothing is being intellectually dishonest.
> In 2011, Congress began placing restrictions on Guantanamo transfers in its yearly defense authorization bill, effectively stopping the president from transferring the detainees to a U.S. facility.
> On January 22, 2009, Obama signed an executive order restricting interrogators to methods listed and authorized by an Army Field Manual, ending the use of "enhanced interrogation techniques." [...] The prisoner population of the detention camp fell from 242 in January 2009 to 91 in January 2016, in part due to the Periodic Review Boards that Obama established in 2011. Many members of Congress strongly opposed plans to transfer Guantanamo detainees to prisons in U.S. states, and the Obama administration was reluctant to send potentially dangerous prisoners to other countries, especially unstable countries such as Yemen. Though Obama continued to advocate for the closure of the detention camp, 41 inmates remained in Guantanamo when Obama left office.
If you want to argue he could have done more, or failed to live up to expectations, you'd have many people agree (probably including myself). Saying he "did nothing" is just willful ignorance of the facts.
Friendly advice: if you want to engage in meaningful dialogue here avoid making absolutist (and lets' be honest, provably false) statements like "Obama did nothing" since you won't be taken seriously.
Have a good day.
If you meant inadequate (weren't enough), rather than inconsequential (had little to no effect) you could have said it.
Edit: That's not to mention that you twice doubled down on the idea he "did nothing" in other comments.
If you are genuinely interested in the matter though, here's a link:
Why don't cops go to jail for breaking the law? Because they are the ones who investigate themselves for their crimes. It's the same with politicians: they make the rules and write the laws for themselves. They go on TV and say things they think people want to hear, but when it comes to action they don't follow through.
Politicians are glorified TV personalities and aren't actually held accountable to their supposed policies. They wage a war of disinformation against citizens to get votes, and then engage in gerrymandering to make sure they stay elected.
You are claiming Obama didn't affect change, he absolutely affected exactly as much change as his office and the law allowed. Nobody is apologizing, its simply the way our system is designed.
And parties change, and are made up of individuals. Go watch some of last years Democratic presidential debates to see where things are now, not 4-12 years ago.
I think part of the problem today is the TV-ification of politics. For example, Trump is obsessed with "ratings" and Twitter likes, rather than actually doing anything meaningful. What's incredibly bizarre is how many other politicians have started copying him by focusing on grandstanding, Twitter likes, and getting more news airtime, rather than actually getting work done.
It has always been this way. Professional politicians are just better by nature at hiding unseemly attention grabs. Which is most definitely not something that fits with Trumps personality type.
The centrist wing of the Democratic Party refuses to seriously consider universal healthcare as a platform while we all watch the current healthcare system fall further and further into dysfunction via private bureaucracy.
Numerous progressive policies have wide support across the political spectrum, but aren’t being seriously considered by either major party. And that is something that both parties are very guilty of.
The republican parties position seems to be "whatever the opposite of the democratic position is". Nothing can be clearer than that point especially contrasting their conduct during the Obama administration vs the current administration.
I also wouldn't consider staunch opposition to LGBT rights as a spine worth having.
I would like to point out that it's still cherry picking, and ignores the cases where Democrats voted against sensible legislation. They supported the Patriot Act for example, and recently supported bailouts for large companies that didn't need free money from the government but still got it, all while keeping it difficult for people to access unemployment benefits.
Edit: vote for whoever you want, I just think the debates will be better with their voice.
Now I get it, but I’m sure I’m not the only person who got tired of them sounding like a broken record.
Black markets of tax evaders are vastly superior to those avoiding criminal penalties up to life in jail.
When the penalty for drug distribution is a decade in prison which the government then uses as leverage to flip your distributors and then do the same to everyone in your whole organization, it makes it economically viable to use extreme measures to avoid prosecution. Snitches get stitches etc.
Whereas when the consequences of tax evasion are paying what you owe plus penalties and interest, you just pay the money (or go bankrupt). There is no incentive to spend five million dollars to avoid a million dollar penalty as a gesture of loyalty to your people or to keep them from flipping; you just pay the million dollars. There is much less incentive to murder witnesses and risk prison when the alternative was only bankruptcy and not prison to begin with. The violence is primarily attributable to the harshness of the penalties in the War on Drugs and what that justifies in order to avoid them.
Meanwhile prosecuting tax evasion is self-financing whenever tax evasion is prevalent, so it has a natural equilibrium at a low level of tax evasion. Prohibition is the opposite -- the harder you prosecute the higher the street prices get and the more lucrative it is to commit violence to bring in those high prices.
Alcohol causes tremendous destruction, too, but I thought there was general agreement that national prohibition was worse.
Most people would opt for safer drugs if they had options. As it stands now you are basically at the mercy of the local illegal drug dealer that you know, and most of them don't have high quality standards.
You can look at examples in history when oppressors used the opposite tactic: wars were fought to force China to keep opium legal, lining pockets of mercantile companies while keeping China hooked (and earning it the old 'sick man of asia' moniker).
They socialize the costs and privatize the profits of their misbehavior.
FYI, 1/3 of all people killed by strangers in the US are killed by the police. 
Police take more money from people through asset forfeiture than criminals do with theft. 
I agree 1000%. I wish more people would realize this.
They clearly aren’t above advocating extreme solutions and the far left generally seems to recognize the importance of legalization.
If you make the laws, you make something illegal, and then don't follow your own laws because you're also the enforcer
Citation seriously needed. Your link certainly doesn't provide it. Off of the top of my head I can think of countless counterexamples.
If we take this mean and use a movie average length of 1.5 hour it was actually 10x worst than my estimation.
Yes you are right it is probably better to take the median.
I think it would be pretty easy for a ML pose algorithm to scan the whole Amazon Prime + Netflix archive for a real answer. Especially series like Mad Men are over the top in conditioning for alcohol and cigarette use. I started noticing when I quit smoking how much this was.
Weed industry in the US (Miraculously legalized in most key states in record times)
As Herbert Simon in his Nobel speech pointed out, if you can't solve 2nd grade problems don't run into the 10th grade classroom and cry about what's on the blackboard.
The old adage about go catch some murderers instead of chasing kids around with a joint.
The "war on terror" is probably even worse, given how many citizen rights were all but wiped after 9/11 across the world.
Let's not equivocate abuses. It's unnecessary. And moreover changing the way our most vulnerable citizens are treated will likely go a long way toward changing the way everybody else is treated.
That said, interestingly in 2016 ~1100 people were killed by police officers in the United States, while ~1600 people were killed by drone strikes in Afghanistan.
This gives police an enormous amount of power to coerce people. It's also deeply un-American because people are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. And then on top of that, it's serves no practical purpose as the vast majority of released people show up for their court dates.
It's amazing how bad that was. I believe policing in Los Angeles has improved since then. It still has tons of problems, and the justice system in general in Califronia, has tons of problems. But it is amazing how bad it got in this incident.
I have very much thought the same thing. We might be overly optimistic but it would solve so many problems.
No. No, no, no. A thousand times no.
The war on drugs is just an objective of the police. The objective isn't why brutality happens. Brutality happens because of a systemic problem - the complete lack of accountability. Drugs are just the impetus for some fraction of police-public interactions. They are not the reason for how those police-public interactions are carried out.
The police are completely out of control in my neighbourhood. There are walls of tear gas rolling down the streets, rolling into people's apartments, their living rooms and bedrooms. Nobody, not the city mayor, not the state government is willing to reign them in - which is why this is happening.
The war on drugs is a bad thing, but if you end it tomorrow, it won't solve a single one of these systemic issues.
Why not? The war on drugs is absolutely unenforceable - that leads to police picking and choosing what to enforce which amplifies systemic biases they have. You cannot enforce drug laws accountably, not least because it is largely racist in origin and as such targeted at specific minority groups - let alone practicalities
There's a fantastic Vice interview of an British ex-undercover drugs officer: He summarizes most of his career as having been spent ruining the lives of poor people around him and his crowning achievement being a bust that (in the words of one of his colleagues apparently) "interrupted the illegal drug trade in stoke for upwards of 20 minutes"
As they currently operate, they can't even do any part of their job accountably. Drug legalization is just a pet issue for techies, that is a smoke-screen that distracts from the real issues.
> Drug legalization is just a pet issue for techies
No. 14% of State prisoners, ~25% of people in local jails, and almost half of all federal prisoners is not a pet issue.
I will take a ~25% reduction, but that is not my goal. The goal is to fix the system, not the symptoms of the system.
Drug laws are a social fad, they will appear, or go away depending on which side of the bed the public wakes up tomorrow. The structural failings of the police, that persist through the presence or repeal of any one law are what need to be fixed.
'Which laws are on the books' is not a structural failure. The police should be capable of doing their jobs, regardless of which laws are on the books. If they aren't doing their jobs, the solution is not to change the laws, it's to change the police.
Negative. Police brutality is not just driven by the number of interactions, but the likely outcome of those interactions. Dealers are often armed and strongly prefer avoiding prison.
So many times it is countered with "You just want to get high that is why you want to legalize drugs"...
No I dont want to have my home invaded at 3pm and be shot dead by a trigger happy gang member because the "informant" the police bullied in to snitching gave them a random address for their "dealer"
//true story that has happened more than once in the USA
When the manhunt begun, the police started shooting at people that vaguely fit his description. The police shot 102 bullets at a mother and daughter delivering newspaper. People had to paint messages on the back of their truck so the police don't shoot at them.
Watching it at the time was unreal. The police and media portrayed him as a psycho, while the people whose car he stole had a different story.
In the last stand off, he was in a cabin and the police burned it to the ground. The police denies burning it down, but they did use tear gas and in the police recording, you can hear a man say "use the burners".
One year later, LAPD chief Charlie Beck, admitted that 8 LAPD officers had violated the use of force policy.
Edit: as the comment pointed out, Dorner killed 4 people, including 2 officers and the daughter of a police captain. I did not omit this information, it is included in the very first paragraph of the wiki.
Doesn't excuse the behavior of the police, but it's a weird thing to skip over.
Since the PD and DA are already set-up this way in relationship to policing, this makes more sense than trying to wring impartiality out of the DA; they have to work hand in hand with police to convict criminals and need to maintain a cozy relationship. The simplest solution would be to keep the dividing lines the way they are.
That would be a worthy battle in itself. Public Defenders' offices should be funded as well as criminal prosecutors' offices, and organizationally be (at least) peers of them.
My hats off to those folks they are some of the greatest heroes in society right now. If I were to be able to cash out of tech I would either become a school teacher or public defender.