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November 18, 2016

So who is happy or sad about Jeff Sessions for Attorney General?

consider this an open thread.

UPDATE:  I just remembered that Senator Jeff Sessions was long an advocate for equalizing crack and powder cocaine sentences.  Through the FSA enacted in 2010, the notorious 100-1 crack/powder ratio was reduced to roughly 18:1.  I would think it very valuable and very wise for various folks interested in drug sentencing reform to unearth and promotes just what Senator Sessions said in the past on this front.

November 18, 2016 at 08:57 PM | Permalink

Comments

Sad. But, pretty predictable.

Posted by: Joe | Nov 18, 2016 9:42:12 PM

Andrew Anglin, editor of the neo-Nazi site The Daily Stormer, wrote that Sessions’ nomination, along with the appointment of retired Gen. Mike Flynn as national security adviser and Steve Bannon as Trump’s chief strategist, is “like Christmas.”

“Of course, I was thinking of Sessions for either Secretary of State or Defense, but I think Trump is making a point by putting an aggressive anti-Black racist in as AG,” Anglin wrote. “It’s a corrective measure, after Obama turned the Justice Department into the Black Panthers.”

But even Anglin acknowledged that the very features that make Sessions an attractive pick to neo-Nazis might make Senate confirmation challenging.

“The reason he might face trouble? Because he’s a racist and most of these RINOs (Republican in Name Only) in Congress are filthy cuck traitors to the White race and the GOP,” Anglin wrote.

Posted by: anon | Nov 18, 2016 10:14:22 PM

Sad. Depressed. Scared. His record as a U.S. Attorney and his more recent stances on sentencing reform and immigration suggest a return to the war mentality in criminal justice.

Posted by: Mona | Nov 18, 2016 11:39:28 PM

"US Vice-President-elect Mike Pence was booed on Friday at a performance of the hit musical Hamilton. After the show, a cast member thanked Mr Pence for attending and read a letter to him on stage.
"We sir are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us," Brandon Dixon said.
The message was reportedly penned by the show's writers when they learned that Mr Pence planned to attend.
Dixon's reading was greeted with cheers from the audience at the Richard Rogers Theatre in New York."
I think that pretty much sums up the feelings at Trump's core appointees, including the appointment of Sessions.

Posted by: peter | Nov 19, 2016 4:52:33 AM

Well, on the bright side he's out of the Senate.

In keeping with the Professor's complaints about SCOTUS nominees, I'm disappointed at Trump's old white guy cabinet so far. While the white guys were to be expected, I had hoped that he might tab some younger folks with fresher ideas.

Posted by: Fat Bastard | Nov 19, 2016 8:45:23 AM

If I were a minority, I'd feel pretty unprotected and vulnerable.

Posted by: Paul | Nov 19, 2016 9:31:20 AM

Ha ha ha ha ha.

First of all, it's bye bye to the crew that thinks that race-norming school discipline is ok and who thinks that that people can shout racist threats outside of poling stations should have civil judgments against them dismissed.

Second of all, it's bye bye to Loretta Lynch. Can anyone defend her meeting with Clinton? Nope.

But it really is so funny to compare the freakout over Sessions with the agnosticism over Keith Ellison's unsavory history. Forget about the 9/11 stuff. Look at his actions after the execution murder of Jerry Haaf. Care to defend that Joe?

That;s what is so funny about Democrats. They'll defend Eric "Marc Rich" Holder and pooh-pooh Al Sharpton being a go-to guy on civil rights, but Jeff Sessions will be pilloried. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Suck on lemons.

Posted by: federalist | Nov 19, 2016 10:00:47 AM

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Posted by: federalist | Nov 19, 2016 10:12:03 AM

I saw someone on Twitter who is a member of the Freedom Caucus saying he was concerned about the Sessions nomination, while noting he was strongly against Lynch and Holder as well. I respect such consistency and welcome those I disagree with when they show it.

Posted by: Joe | Nov 19, 2016 10:51:18 AM

federalist, you missed your last anger-management counseling session. I still have to charge you for it. Please be on time next week.

Posted by: anon | Nov 19, 2016 11:35:03 AM

On October 5, 2005, Sessions was one of nine Senators who voted against a Senate amendment to a House bill that prohibited cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment or punishment of individuals in the custody or under the physical control of the United States Government.

Posted by: Emiy | Nov 19, 2016 11:41:51 AM

We can judge the future from the past:

As Attorney General of Alabama, Sessions worked to deny funding to student Gay-Straight Alliances at Auburn University and The University of South Alabama, stating "an organization that professes to be comprised of homosexuals and/or lesbians may not receive state funding or use state-supported facilities to foster or promote those illegal, sexually deviate activities defined in the sodomy and sexual misconduct laws." The U.S. District court ruled against these actions as a violation of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution in Gay Lesbian Bisexual Alliance v. Sessions, 917 F. Supp. 1548 (1996)

Sessions has been an opponent of same-sex marriage and has earned a zero rating from the Human Rights Campaign, the United States' largest LGBTQ advocacy group. He voted against the Matthew Shepard Act, which added acts of bias-motivated violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity to federal hate-crimes law,. Sessions has also said regarding the appointment of a gay Supreme Court justice, "I do not think that a person who acknowledges that they have gay tendencies is disqualified, per se, for the job" but "that would be a big concern that the American people might feel—might feel uneasy about that."

Sessions is against legalizing cannabis for either recreational or medicinal use. "I’m a big fan of the DEA", he said during a hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee. Sessions was "heartbroken" and found "it beyond comprehension" when President Obama claimed that cannabis is not as dangerous as alcohol. In April 2016, he said that it was important to foster "knowledge that this drug is dangerous, you cannot play with it, it is not funny, it's not something to laugh about... and to send that message with clarity that good people don't smoke marijuana."]

Jeff Sessions speaking at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C.
Sessions is pro-life and was one of 37 Senators to vote against funding for embryonic stem cell research.

Posted by: Dave from Texas | Nov 19, 2016 11:49:29 AM

O.K. so it's off subject. I just can't help noting that as of yesterday, Hillary has almost one and one-half million more votes than Trump, and the total is still growing.

Here are the results as of November 18, according to the Cook Political Report:

Clinton: 63,049,607 47.9%
Trump: 61,610,484 46.8%

Posted by: troll12 | Nov 19, 2016 11:54:36 AM

"I saw someone on Twitter who is a member of the Freedom Caucus saying he was concerned about the Sessions nomination, while noting he was strongly against Lynch and Holder as well. I respect such consistency and welcome those I disagree with when they show it."

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha Joe.

The guy you supposedly respect points up what a hack you are. Your party is about to have Keith Ellison as DNC Chair. Ellison's history should appall anyone. It includes taking up the cause of gang members and cop-killers. Yet not a peep out of you.

I am so laughing at all of you.

Posted by: federalist | Nov 19, 2016 12:00:52 PM

I wondered how devastated Doug was with this pick and well...as my mother used to say, "if you can't say anything good about someone best to say nothing at all." Now onto my views...

First, I was wrong about Trump not mucking with the Senate. AL is safer than Texas, sure but any pick still carries risk. This says clearly to me that Trump is rewarding loyalty, not policy agreement. Why is that distinction important? Well two names...Corey Lewandowski and Chris Christi. In other words, Trump doesn't have any problem pushing his employees aside after they have served his purpose. Second, Trump wants someone who will do his bidding. The positive spin on the recent picks is..."keep your friends close and your enemies still closer." Sessions can lose Trump's confidence as easily as he gained it.


Posted by: Daniel | Nov 19, 2016 2:28:19 PM

@federalist....

The Dems would be stupid to nominate Ellison just like they will be stupid if they reelect Pelosi. Time to move on and neither of those people are moving on...

Posted by: Daniel | Nov 19, 2016 2:31:06 PM

@Joe

come on Joe, defend all the Democrats who support Ellison . . . .

Posted by: federalist | Nov 19, 2016 2:36:04 PM

@Troll12

Those number are meaningless. There is not a single person who gets elected based upon national vote totals. I'd argue that one of the underlying problems with the Democratic party is precisely an infatuation with such symbolism, the same infatuation that causes it to want to nominate Ellison because he looks like everything the Republican party is not. "See," the Dems shout, "look how different we are! Look how popular we are!" Yeah so different and so popular that the other party controls most of the state legislatures, most of the governorships, and now all three branches of federal government. Politics is neither a popularity contest nor a beauty contest, it is a power contest. Right now the Republicans are cleaning our clocks and we can't seem to get our head out of our proverbial ass.


Posted by: Daniel | Nov 19, 2016 2:59:45 PM

I find this type of argument increasingly common. "Your guy is a piece of faeces!" "Yeah, well, so is yours, in fact, he's a bigger one." At the end of the day, they are both pieces of faeces. It is immaterial which one is bigger.

Posted by: Fat Bastard | Nov 19, 2016 6:54:00 PM

I checked and have my doubts there are any problems the Republicans retaining Alabama here, the slot temporarily filled by a Republican governor's appointment. One of my senators got in that route back in 2009 & hope the replacement here is as good. There are various decent Republicans in the Senate. A local article noted the governor has made a habit of filling in vacancies with safe sorts with wide acceptance. Good luck.

It to me is wrong to ridicule the value of getting a majority of the popular vote. Obviously, our system doesn't work that way, though doing some research on the Electoral College, I saw that the Electoral College isn't that popular. But, there is some value in getting more votes in this country. The word "mandate" is tossed around. That's as symbolic as talking about the most votes. And, unlike some states, the differential in NY and CA is so high, I don't think Trump could have negated it with different campaigning. But, obviously, it's a thought exercise.

And, if things were shifted, the Republicans would most definitely noting the Democrats received less popular votes. It is important that the Democrats lost in a few states by thin margins while retaining popular vote margins. It shows that things are quite closely divided, which is perfectly useful when judging strategy etc. The Republicans did not "clean our clocks." They received at most 52 votes in the Senate helped by a couple dubious candidates on the Democratic side. They won three key states by less than 1.5% of the vote. A loss is a loss but the Indians didn't get their "clocks cleaned" by losing in the 10th inning in Game 7 either.

The Freedom Caucus person also doesn't seem to like to taunt people. That's a useful quality too. Trump might want to learn a bit about it though at the moment I understand that side being rather cocky.

Posted by: Joe | Nov 19, 2016 6:59:06 PM

Come on Joe--defend your soon to be new DNC chair. You cannot, but you'll yap about Sessions. You're a hack.

Posted by: federalist | Nov 19, 2016 7:48:16 PM

@Joe

"It is important that the Democrats lost in a few states by thin margins while retaining popular vote margins. It shows that things are quite closely divided,"

No, they are not closely divided. They only appear closely divided when one looks at the presidential election in isolation from the trend line in all the other political races at both the state and federal level. Having only 1/3 of the statehouses is not close. Having only 1/3 of the state legislatures is not close. When the /complete/ electoral picture is viewed the Republicans are most certainly cleaning our clocks.

But there is a far deeper problem with your logic. It is a grave error to assume that incremental losses are caused by incremental forces. Just because the presidential race was narrow and the Senate is closely divided does not mean that the next time around the Democratic party only needs to try a little bit harder. It may be that Clinton's narrow loss was not the worst of all possible results but the best of all possible results for liberals and there isn't anything left in the tank that can put the Dems over the line in 2018 or 2020. This is a point that Bernie Sanders has made repeatedly in recent days when he keeps talking about the need for "fundamental reform" in the party. The party isn't going to make up all the ground it has lost in the states simply by trying a little bit harder the next time around. It requires a total rethinking of Democratic policy, messaging, and strategy.
Otherwise the Republican will control the statehouses in 2020 and we can be assured of another 10 years of Republican gerrymandered control of the House.


Posted by: Daniel | Nov 19, 2016 7:57:46 PM

Yes, if you ignore the presidency, the U.S. Senate & multiple state-wide officers (red states with Democratic governors: LA, Missouri, NC [knock on wood], Montana, West Virginia ... Democrats managing to win places like MA in the future also are not to me some sort of hopeless long-shot cause either), it looks real bad.

The specific comment talked about the popular vote for the PRESIDENT. So, you know, it's sort of relevant to talk about that. The U.S. Senate is also rather important too. In neither case, including some long term "trend" from what I can see really (2018 is a bad year because red states are up to vote; Trump might very well help the Democrats temper their loses there). I in no way wish to ignore concerns about state legislatures here. But, ignoring a chunk of the field in the process is ridiculous as well.

The theoretical truth to your "far deeper problem" paragraph is noted, but actual long term trends to me suggest less dark results. The presidency has gone back and forth since the days of Eisenhower. Clinton-Bush-Obama-Another Republican. Note the trend? Trump misled here since he was seen as so horrible that people figured Clinton would win. She didn't. But, if she had a less horrible opponent, the back/forth trends made it an uphill battle. The long term trends in the Senate also don't look horrible even if again normal cyclical back and forth control is in the Republican's hands now.

Posted by: Joe | Nov 19, 2016 8:18:43 PM

"they are not closely divided"

tl;dr If you change the subject.

Posted by: Joe | Nov 19, 2016 8:23:48 PM

Yes, if you ignore the presidency, the U.S. Senate & multiple state-wide officers (red states with Democratic governors: LA, Missouri, NC [knock on wood], Montana, West Virginia ... Democrats managing to win places like MA in the future also is not to me some sort of hopeless long-shot cause either), it looks real bad.

The specific comment talked about the popular vote for the PRESIDENT. So, it's sort of relevant to talk about that. The U.S. Senate is also rather important too. In neither case, including some long term "trend" from what I can see really, are things as dark as some suggest (2018 is a bad year because red states are up to vote; Trump might very well help the Democrats temper their loses there). I in no way wish to ignore concerns about state legislatures here. But, ignoring a chunk of the field in the process is ridiculous as well. An educated strategist looks at the WHOLE picture.

The theoretical truth to your "far deeper problem" paragraph is noted, but actual long term trends to me suggest less dark results. The presidency has gone back and forth since the days of Eisenhower. Clinton-Bush-Obama-Another Republican. Note the trend? Trump misled here since he was seen as so horrible that people figured Clinton would win. She didn't. But, if she had a less horrible opponent, the back/forth trends made it an uphill battle. The long term trends in the Senate also don't look horrible even if again normal cyclical back and forth control is in the Republican's hands now.

Posted by: Joe | Nov 19, 2016 8:27:00 PM

My thoughts on Jeff Sessions:

Criminal justice reform is dead. Trump is surrounding himself with arch conservatives. It will be the 1990s all over again except instead of having Bill in the Whitehouse it will be Trump. Perhaps they can finally pass AEDPA part Deux and do away with any habeas corpus or IIRIRA to hurry up the deportation of all the bad hombres.

Posted by: Tucker Jones Students | Nov 20, 2016 1:46:10 PM

So Ellison was a criminal defense attorney who defended persons accused of crimes? Is that the "bad" thing that he did? To what is our Trumperalist referring to?

Posted by: Mark M. | Nov 20, 2016 3:38:52 PM

NYT: Forget, also, any federal criminal-justice reform, which was on the cusp of passage in Congress before Mr. Trump’s “law and order” campaign. Mr. Sessions strongly opposed bipartisan legislation to scale back the outrageously harsh sentences that filled federal prisons with low-level drug offenders. Instead, he called for more mandatory-minimum sentences and harsher punishments for drug crimes. The one bright spot was his working with Democrats to reduce the 100-to-1 disparity between punishments for crack and powder cocaine offenses. ......

Posted by: Melanie L Lopez | Nov 21, 2016 3:36:09 AM

The naivety of voters has likely set back criminal justice and Human Rights in the US a couple of decades and more. That's what comes of voting for a party instead of the individual in a presidential election, and the philosophy and policy he or she espouses. I am assuming a good number of Republican voters did that, in addition to the numbers voting for Trump who simplistically saw him as the agent and Messiah of change, in protest at the establishment. We can only pray that Trump's more extremist choices are rejected by the Senate before they can inflict the damage we should all fear.

Posted by: peter | Nov 21, 2016 4:33:37 AM

http://www.weeklystandard.com/louis-farrakhans-brfirst-congressman/article/13892

Disgraceful. Let's see anyone defend. And Doug, isn't it interesting that the MSM has engaged in a bit of a whitewash.

@Joe "(red states with Democratic governors: LA, Missouri, NC [knock on wood], Montana, West Virginia)"

Um, why NC? Don't you realize that there is massive voter fraud there? Massive. You cool with an election being won by fraud?

Posted by: federalist | Nov 21, 2016 8:43:43 AM

So Ellison was a criminal defense attorney who defended persons accused of crimes? Is that the "bad" thing that he did? To what is our Trumperalist referring to?

Doug, there's some name-calling---you ask why I name call. I do because it is fun.

Posted by: federalist | Nov 21, 2016 10:12:39 AM

"Don't you realize that there is massive voter fraud there? Massive."

I don't "realize" the same things as some people. I know of the charge. For those interested, Rick Hasen at Election Law Blog has addressed it.

Anyway, I want to reaffirm here my recognition of how Democrats are doing in state races. It is going to be hard to be evenly divided there -- you have more thinly populations red states, many strongly conservative. OTOH, blue states are mixed, so various moderate or fairly reasonable at least Republicans will be able to win races. Still, it is simply misguided not to look at certain positives here & build off it for the future. Republicans did that in the past, including in messaging.

Posted by: Joe | Nov 21, 2016 11:07:14 AM

Joe, it's pretty much indisputable that there has been absentee ballot fraud that appears organized. You can pooh-pooh that all you want, but it's a problem. Of course, you don't care because it's in favor of Dems.

And nothing on Ellison . . . .

And Doug calls me a partisan. LOL.

I wonder how many illegal immigrants voted in NC. The answer is more than zero.

Posted by: federalist | Nov 21, 2016 11:26:09 AM

Doug, I believe you are wrong on this one. As Alabama attorney general, Sessions fought to defend separate and unequal education 40 years and more after Brown v Board of Ed. And if one is known by the company he keeps, he has the support of lots of creeps.

Posted by: John Minock | Nov 21, 2016 6:16:39 PM

Well John Minock, the same could be said of your new party chair.

Posted by: federalist | Nov 21, 2016 9:20:07 PM

Hmmmmmm so what do we have on this thread, Doug?

(1) Partisan hacks who cannot defend the presumptive Chair of the DNC. Daniel came the closest--saying Dems would be "stupid" to elevate Ellison. But that's not saying what he truly is.

(2) Partisan hacks who loathe Sessions for wanting to enforce the laws of the Republic against those who are here illegally, but who will overlook the numerous transgressions of Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch.

(3) Those who are soft of voter fraud--as long as it serves Dems.

All in all, Doug, a pretty sorry lot.

Posted by: federalist | Nov 22, 2016 8:25:56 AM

God you guys are weak. Just weak.

Posted by: federalist | Nov 23, 2016 5:41:44 PM

Federalist:

You haven’t been paying attention for the last 8 years. It’s 2016, not 2006 or 1996 or 1986 or 1976. The taxonomy of politics has changed. Before the election, the commonly understood definitions of liberal, conservative, progressive, democrat, and republican were pretty squishy. Since the election, these terms have lost all meaning.

This was a realignment election. The Bush and Clinton dynasties have been consigned to the dust bin of history, and both the institutional Democratic and Republican parties are leaderless and at great risk of becoming rump parties. A civil war has broken out in the Democratic party, and the leaders of the institutional Republican party are trying to work out some understanding with Trump without having to get on their knees and figuratively fellate him.

You need to get your trash talking up to date.

As to Keith Ellison, Bernie Sanders is attempting an inside/outside hostile take-over of the institutional Democratic party. Ellison is Sanders’ man on the inside. Your criticism of Ellison is a Clinton talking point and is a defense of the Clinton nomenklatura. I can’t imagine that you were with her.

As to Jeff Sessions, it’s a lot more complicated. He is completely unacceptable to the Clintonites for all of the identity politics’ reasons. Yet when he was a USA, his office aggressively prosecuted S & L fraud, which might make Sanders willing to tolerate him. Of course, the slur “too big to jail” came into use during Holder’s tenure. I’m sure going forward you will approve in your comments here the aggressive prosecution of financial services industry fraud, as well as criticize the lack thereof.

As to voter fraud in NC, Trump and Burr won handily. Why was that? Was it because they had no direct responsibility for HB1 and weren’t forced to defend it during their campaigns? So did the fraudsters, when they apparently had the opportunity to cause votes to be cast against Trump and Burr, only cause votes to be cast against McCory? For the record, I oppose any voter fraud, regardless of who is suspected of being behind it.

Posted by: Fred | Nov 28, 2016 9:34:21 AM

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