Video: MKH and O’Reilly go after each other on mandatory sentencing

posted at 8:38 pm on August 7, 2012 by Mary Katharine Ham

I won’t make a habit of posting my own video clips, but this made some news on other sites today, to my mild surprise.

I guess the disagreement among right-leaning figures on the drug war and mandatory sentencing is counterintuitive enough and the shouting lively enough that it caught people’s attention.

The seed of this discussion is a NYT editorial on mandatory sentencing requirements. Their argument is that mandatory sentencing, along with other federal prison programs, should be examined and reformed as part of cost savings, preventing overpopulation, and keeping the system sustainable. Would that the NYT (or any liberal) could look at every federal program with this in mind.

This segment doesn’t encompass my entire philosophy on the drug war, but I do tend to think mandatory sentencing requirements can get overzealous, ensnaring people as “drug traffickers” who might otherwise be helped instead of put in federal prison. I don’t want drug kingpins gaming the system any more than anyone else, but I would like to allow for flexibility for judges to prevent some of mandatory sentencing’s unintended consequences. For instance, a state law in Florida makes the possession of as few as seven pills of Oxy the trigger for a mandatory sentence of three years for drug trafficking, which could easily scoop up a non-violent user of Oxy whom society isn’t best served by throwing in prison.

I also think approaching lawmaking from the position of having recently lost a relative to drugs doesn’t make for the soundest public policy, which becomes relevant in this clip.

Anyway, figured y’all could hash it out in comments. The response I got on Twitter last night was more positive than I expected, with Tea Party folks almost uniformly showing their libertarian streaks on this issue, but the law-and-order crowd can take me to task below. I’m interested where our audience stands on this.


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Comment pages: 1 2

More ham? Yes please!

the new aesthetic on August 7, 2012 at 8:38 PM

I love her, seriously.
Okay, MKH, you can lift that restraining order, I am harmless, see?

the new aesthetic on August 7, 2012 at 8:39 PM

b l o v i a t e ?

the new aesthetic on August 7, 2012 at 8:39 PM

Because, we’re looking out for WHO?

the new aesthetic on August 7, 2012 at 8:39 PM

F i v e ?

the new aesthetic on August 7, 2012 at 8:40 PM

A personal best of:
S i x ?
Miss carbon_footprint.

the new aesthetic on August 7, 2012 at 8:40 PM

And I am done.

Bye Y’all!

the new aesthetic on August 7, 2012 at 8:40 PM

MKH-

Miss you on WMAL. Good to hear you this morning when the alarm went off.

Happy Nomad on August 7, 2012 at 8:41 PM

I’d just like to see you smack him on general principle. He is a misogynist.

Cindy Munford on August 7, 2012 at 8:41 PM

shameles SHAMELESS self promotion…..

/jk MKH.

(does it feel weird to refer to yourself in the third person in your headline?)

ted c on August 7, 2012 at 8:43 PM

I love the third person headline for yourself. ;) Ham-time, saw you on CSPAN the other day. This is a bit more exciting.

dgarone on August 7, 2012 at 8:43 PM

Me no clicky.
O’rielly very icky

burrata on August 7, 2012 at 8:43 PM

MKH, you are 100% correct.

The Notorious G.O.P on August 7, 2012 at 8:45 PM

As a former cop of 30 years, I agree that mandatory sentencing is a farce in some cases. The little guy gets swept up and hammered. The big fish make a deal and skip. It’s not “justice” in any sense of the word.

GarandFan on August 7, 2012 at 8:45 PM

What’s a person to do who doesn’t like mandatory sentencing, but also doesn’t trust today’s crop of judges? For me, I guess it’s preferable to keep the power in the legislature, where I can vote, rather than with the judges, where I cannot.

Rational Thought on August 7, 2012 at 8:46 PM

MKH broke the golden rule, Bill is always right. Kudos for not being a potted plant.

AYNBLAND on August 7, 2012 at 8:46 PM

I don’t want drug kingpins gaming the system any more than anyone else, but I would like to allow for flexibility for judges to prevent some of mandatory sentencing’s unintended consequences.

You say “flexibility” when you really mean “freedom”. Essentially, that is what a judge is supposed to do….to judge, to discern, to evaluate and then decide. Mandatory sentencing essentially reduces the judge to Bobo the Monkey Boy signing the papers to put the guy away; an overzealous policy that can result in poor outcomes and unnecessarily put people away when they may be of no harm.

ted c on August 7, 2012 at 8:46 PM

MKH is right and Bill O’Reilly is still an ass.

AngusMc on August 7, 2012 at 8:49 PM

Their argument is that mandatory sentencing, along with other federal prison programs, should be examined and reformed as part of cost savings, preventing overpopulation, and keeping the system sustainable

Cost savings is one factor in it, but really justice and mercy are up there as well. Offenders deserve some degree of punishment and judges should have a range of choices to mete out, if/when they so choose. Cost savings are an outcome but justice should be an independent judgement aside from cost savings. Because, if we reduce judicial activity (like healthcare decisions) to merely the bottom line, we’ll get little justice and poor healthcare, IYKWIMAITYD>

ted c on August 7, 2012 at 8:50 PM

MKH – You’re the best. I rank you right up there with Steve and Edie!

50sGuy on August 7, 2012 at 8:50 PM

Its been 4 decades since the passage of the Rockefeller laws, and the punitive approach has been proven a complete and utter failure (and its been particularly disastrous for communities of color). Time for something new.

libfreeordie on August 7, 2012 at 8:51 PM

Yesterday on the QOTD thread I commented: I just got the DVR on, and I’m watching Bill O’Reilly’s interview our very own Mary Katharine Ham!
It’s amazing how sensible Mary comes off, providing a more youthful and common sense perspective to the problem of drugs. I’m afraid Bill comes off looking like some bygone old authoritarian Narc from the 1970s.
My own opinion is… This is the modern world. You can’t just pour endless money and endless strong-arming at every problem. It’s astounding that O’ Reilly is saying that you are “mentally ill” if you oppose a judges ability to use discretion in drug cases. Imagine, a judge is straitjacketed and must put a victimless drug criminal in prison because of mandatory sentences, but due to overcrowding violent thugs that attack us are released. It’s insane, and with the birth of a new way of thinking by the Tea Party, conservatives should consider reexamining the 1930s ethic that spawned this endless costly brutal drug war & domestic police state.

ajacksonian gave an outstanding response to my comment:
If you want to look at the early era of drug control, you’ll need to look at the Shanghai Convention that dealt with the opium trade in China. That International Convention would lead to the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914 and begin the criminalization of narcotics which were, before then, sold in many venues and until the Food and Drug Purity Act was used as an adulterant to such things as cough syrup.
It was that latter, easy use of narcotics being put into many medications that caused an outrage in the population as parents realized they were doping their kids via normal medicines (aka ‘snake oil’). The push, however, from the mainstream religious communities was on banning the narcotics and the Food and Drug Purity Laws (the thing requiring labels on foods and drugs) never had a chance to fully go into effect before the wider move to prohibit the use of such things was put through Congress. Within a decade doctors would be put in jail for prescribing such things without federal authorization, even for treatment of addicts to get them off the habit.
Getting to the 1930′s starts in the late 19th century Prohibition Movement and attempting to moralize the ingestion of alcohol via government limitations and outright prohibition (via the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and the later Anti-Saloon League). ‘Demon Rum’ was the entry point to this, and it flew in direct contradiction to the slow and gradual shift of the American drinking habit which had hard liquor as the majority of alcohol consumed at the Founding to the moderation of using things like beer or lesser spirits. ‘Demon Rum’ was facing problems from its drinkers before the axe wielding, bar-busting Carrie Nation came around. The Temperance movement can’t be discounted for being part of the change in attitudes, but it can’t be seen as the sole driver of those changes as the movement to lesser spirits and beer pre-existed its founding. Once you get to Carrie Nation the entire drinking outlook of the US was in its pre-flip stage from a majority hard liquor consumption population to a beer consumption population… the invention of refrigerated rail cars were a main reason for this.
Our current drug problems don’t stem from the 1930′s but in a shift in viewpoint that laws are used to punish bad behavior (a negative form of moralism of just restricting the bad) to one of creating a positive moral environment via restricting citizens from freely choosing to live as they please. The problem with such attempts at social control is that once they become political there is a shift in viewpoint in politics from being a necessary, if not pleasant job, to one of position advocacy via law. The moral good of government stopping immoral behavior that is liberty threatening to others is clouded with the idea that government can be the source of positive morality (thus stepping beyond the civil realm of law and into natural and moral law, where it has no jurisdiction). Prohibiting people from doing bad things with anything is a highly problematic concept as it can easily tread on liberty and freedom of the innocent in its pursuit. When you are to do good through coercion, then the doing of the good is no longer a good in and of itself due to the coercion involved. Thus a necessary evil (government) becomes a pure evil (an authoritarian State).
Progressivism took root in the realm of using the power of the State to create a morally positive atmosphere by punishing anything that politicians disliked and then pushing things they did. To see where that starts in a serious way one needs to look at the Temperance to Prohibition movement and then the Shanghai International Conference on the opium trade, and to remember that Progressivism (way back when) wasn’t a product of Marx (ex. labor unions, labor strife, atheism and hatred of capitalism) but contained a very strong current of mainstream religious organizations. Today’s anti-religious, anti-liberty Left begins with the very moral organizations seeking to increase Temperance, which is a moral good if done via free choice. I count as their greatest success the food and drug purity laws… the rest I can say is a very mixed bag, indeed.

anotherJoe on August 7, 2012 at 8:51 PM

I guess the disagreement among right-leaning figures on the drug war and mandatory sentencing is counterintuitive enough and the shouting lively enough that it caught people’s attention.

I know for sure that you’re one of the ‘right leaning figures’ you referred to here. Who was/were the other one(s)?

Left Coast Right Mind on August 7, 2012 at 8:52 PM

I vote MKH on this one. My best friend was on jury duty last year and basically had to help give a woman a life sentence over a bottle of pills. It was not technically life, but it was a something like 35 years mandatory. on a 40 year old.I vote legalize pot and use common sense on the others. We don’t need to be throwing people away who may just have a drug problem. Now if somebody is caught with major amounts that is different.

Southernblogger on August 7, 2012 at 8:52 PM

MKH – number one with a bullet (oh, whoops…).

CorporatePiggy on August 7, 2012 at 8:54 PM

Bill made himself look pathetic.

You’re right, MKH. Bill is arguing from an emotional standpoint, it seems. And that doesn’t do well.

dswanson on August 7, 2012 at 8:56 PM

Bill just called you a “dodger,” MKH.

steebo77 on August 7, 2012 at 8:57 PM

Talking to Bill O’Reilly is one hell of away to make a living. Has he hit on you yet, MKH?

aloysiusmiller on August 7, 2012 at 8:58 PM

This just shows how pathetic CNN is. They can’t even put together a show that can beat this blowhard in the ratings. Who watches O’Reilly anyway? A bunch of senior citizens?

Mark1971 on August 7, 2012 at 8:58 PM

I had to quit watching Bill a couple months back. I tune in every once in a while, and I caught this piece last night.

Listening to Bill pontificate even though the facts are against him reminded me of why I quit watching him.

Bravo for MKH! A voice of reason last night.

microfiction on August 7, 2012 at 8:58 PM

I’ve got to go with MKH on this one also. How many small time user’s were given mandatory sentences longer than they deserved while more hard core committed dealers got lighter sentences or fell through the cracks by gaming the system. Bill lost his cool, seems like it’s been happening more often recently.

TulsAmerican on August 7, 2012 at 8:59 PM

O’Shamrock smells like Harry Reid and depends….

“Obama is not a socialist”….

no Bill he’s a closeted marxist fella…

go take your lithium

harlekwin15 on August 7, 2012 at 8:59 PM

I think Bill’s ego is completely out of control. I’ve just about quit watching his show because of it.

d1carter on August 7, 2012 at 9:00 PM

Bill lost his cool, seems like it’s been happening more often recently.

TulsAmerican on August 7, 2012 at 8:59 PM

O’shamrock is under a lot of tension…..

He is waiting to see if he can stab the GOP in the back again and get away with it like last time….

harlekwin15 on August 7, 2012 at 9:01 PM

Ride that fence, Bill…

The Ugly American on August 7, 2012 at 9:01 PM

the “law and order” folks twist themselves in knots defending a useless drug war. This is one thing Reagan got wrong.

Slade73 on August 7, 2012 at 9:02 PM

ensnaring people as “drug traffickers” who might otherwise be helped instead of put in federal prison.

Meh. Not really an either/or. They can get “help” IN prison. I don’t think removing minimum sentencing is going to decrease the raw number of people who go to prison that we end up paying for. Removing deterrents is just going to shift the Overton window so that more people get caught up overall even if a lower percentage of that bigger number do hard time. Twice as many criminals with half as many convictions? No thanks… I say ratchet it the other way.

CapnObvious on August 7, 2012 at 9:03 PM

Me no clicky.
O’rielly very icky

burrata on August 7, 2012 at 8:43 PM

Yep. Says it all. Will just agree with MKH on general principle – the one being is that she’s sane and thoughtful.

That and taking the opposite viewpoint of BOR is usually the smart one. ;)

kim roy on August 7, 2012 at 9:04 PM

Man, O’Reilly is an idiot. Who enjoys his show? He’s like 10 idiot conservative stereotypes rolled into one.

dgarone on August 7, 2012 at 9:04 PM

I won’t make a habit of posting my own video clips, but this made some news on other sites today, to my mild surprise.

Oh, yeah. Heaven forbid a video from a CONSERVATIVE might take up precious space that would otherwise be used to post that 453rd Politico or Daily Beast article this week!

logis on August 7, 2012 at 9:05 PM

For instance, a state law in Florida makes the possession of as few as seven pills of Oxy the trigger for a mandatory sentence of three years for drug trafficking

What size of a drug cache should be punishable by imprisonment (if any)? And if it’s 4 crates of bottled pills, if a dealer is short of that number by one bottle does he still qualify as the “real victim”?

whatcat on August 7, 2012 at 9:05 PM

Alcohol prohibition led to bathtub gin and lots of poisonings. Legalize, regulate and taxation goes only to rehab and “just say no” campaign.

I was able to walk away from that scene decades ago. A functioning brain is a wonderful thing. So many more fun things to do than try to find profound observations in a Bugs Bunny cartoon.

rbj on August 7, 2012 at 9:06 PM

O’Reilly likes it long, hard and Irish.

Slade73 on August 7, 2012 at 9:07 PM

I won’t make a habit of posting my own video clips

Why de Beejebus not?
‘ticuly if you start tossin’ out mo’ Hammertime or HamNation or any other durn thing you wanna call it!

eeyore on August 7, 2012 at 9:07 PM

Never been a fan of mandatory sentences. I guess the inconsistencies on the bench has led to this type of thing. I say let’s look over how judges are appointed and reviewed while examining whether mandatory sentences have helped or hurt.

strangenewworld on August 7, 2012 at 9:07 PM

the “law and order” folks twist themselves in knots defending a useless drug war. This is one thing Reagan got wrong.

Slade73 on August 7, 2012 at 9:02 PM

No I think Bush and Clinton got the drug war wrong when they turned it into a for profit operation for law enforcement by increasing the seizure of private property rare…..

I favor light sentencing relative to what I favor for dealers…..

of course what I favor for dealers is pretty bad and kingpins much worse.

harlekwin15 on August 7, 2012 at 9:09 PM

I’m on your side on this, MKH.

John the Libertarian on August 7, 2012 at 9:11 PM

harlekwin15 on August 7, 2012 at 9:09 PM

tru dat.

I’m no fan of the pushers either…unless they’re pushing weed, which is less a drug than tobacco.

Slade73 on August 7, 2012 at 9:12 PM

eeyore on August 7, 2012 at 9:07 PM (cont.)

With your video history, Bill Whittle and the rest of the folks at PJTV must have tried to snag you.

eeyore on August 7, 2012 at 9:12 PM

According to this …

The United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population. But it has almost a quarter of the world’s prisoners.

There are only two ways you can “resolve” this …

1. “American Exceptionalism” is a non-existent commodity because Americans are dirtbags who can’t abide by reasonable laws or …

2. The laws are not reasonable.

This is the MOST ridiculously prohibitionist society in the Western World.

As an example – a woman cannot even choose who she will have sex with and under what circumstances she’ll have sex. A woman CAN have sex with a man who took her out on a date and paid $200 for her meal and entertainment – but if she, instead, justs asks for $150 and he still gets a good time – she’s thrown in jail!

Why is this? Why by cracky! We have CONSERVATIVES in this nation who deny this woman the agency to handle her own body and her own affairs – so they have to step in and “manage” her. What part of all “All Men Are Created Equal” does this fall under?

And then top it off – but after denying a woman’s agency – they’ll turn right around and bish to high heavens when Liberals suggest controlling guns … or banning supersize sodas.

You can’t make this hypocrisy up!!

HondaV65 on August 7, 2012 at 9:13 PM

I guess the inconsistencies on the bench has led to this type of thing. I say let’s look over how judges are appointed and reviewed while examining whether mandatory sentences have helped or hurt.

strangenewworld on August 7, 2012 at 9:07 PM

Freedom is like that. There will be inconsistencies between cases, and that fact makes a good case for minimum agreeable sentences, rather than mandatory jail time. Either way, every case is independent of the other. Every jury is different, judge, plaintiff, defendant, facts, evidence—all of it is different. Why the big hooha over the outcome?

ted c on August 7, 2012 at 9:15 PM

harlekwin15 on August 7, 2012 at 9:09 PM

So you think Reagan got the drug war … “right”?

What other Presidents do you think have been on the “winning” side of the drug war?

Cuz I can’t think of any. We’ve lost this fight every year since it began.

HondaV65 on August 7, 2012 at 9:16 PM

Mandatory sentencing is a ridiculous concept.

mythicknight on August 7, 2012 at 9:16 PM

You are not truly free unless you are free to fail.

Unless the drug dealer holds the individual down and shoves pills down their throat.. the individual is ultimately responsible. In a free society individuals must be held accountable. It must be this way. Just as you can’t prevent mass shootings by making guns illegal.. you can’t prevent drug OD’s by imprisoning the dealers.

Socmodfiscon on August 7, 2012 at 9:17 PM

Mandatory sentencing, like the death penalty, should be sparingly applicable to certain limited instances under the law.

Contract murder: Death for all involved in the conspiracy if the victim is killed. Otherwise, 3000 years-to-life

Premeditated rape (like the Boston Strangler): Death

Serial killing (3 or more victims): Death

Having one gram of pot over the legal definition of ‘intent to sell’: Gimme a break! I knew people in the 80s who could smoke half an ounce a week all on their own.

Liam on August 7, 2012 at 9:18 PM

I guess the inconsistencies on the bench has led to this type of thing. I say let’s look over how judges are appointed and reviewed while examining whether mandatory sentences have helped or hurt.

strangenewworld on August 7, 2012 at 9:07 PM

What inconsistencies? Man, we’ve got 5 percent of the population of the world and we hold a quarter of the world’s prisoners.

Inconsistent? Dude – people are being sentenced to jail time out there – and pretty damn frequently!

HondaV65 on August 7, 2012 at 9:18 PM

Anybody got any info on MO primary? Polls closed at *:00 eastern.

Steelman backed by Palin v. Adkin backed by Huckabee.

davidk on August 7, 2012 at 9:19 PM

This conservative gal is with you 100%, MK.

Too bad Bill couldn’t put himself in two positions: one in which his daughter dies; another in which his daughter is caught with seven pills. Surely the first is tragic, but the second could be devastating if the girl becomes a hardened felon while imprisoned.

Also…seven pills. That’s ridiculous. How are travelers supposed to get two weeks’ worth of pain medication from the airport to their hotel/condo? How are residents supposed to get a month’s worth of pills to their home, for heaven’s sake?

Grace_is_sufficient on August 7, 2012 at 9:19 PM

You can’t make this hypocrisy up!!

HondaV65 on August 7, 2012 at 9:13 PM

Honda I am a lot less worried about allies to my libertarian leaning GOP ways who go to too much Church keeping flatbacking for fun and profit down as a threat to the liberty of the body whole than I am of the guys across the aisle who want to micromanage my consumer choice from the time I go to the bathroom at waking to when I shut off the light from reading when i go to bed at night….

are they both coercive?

yeah yeah they are….

like saying

“I have a private jet” when talking about my sprinkler in my yard is the same as when Travolta says it about his magical non polluting 707…..

harlekwin15 on August 7, 2012 at 9:19 PM

O/T: (don’t whack me)

Akin, Todd GOP 6,601 33%
Brunner, John GOP 6,522 32%
Steelman, Sarah GOP 6,021 30%

Two percent reporting.

predator on August 7, 2012 at 9:19 PM

Locking up small time offenders for long sentences just makes them into hardened criminals. Talk ex-cons about how much prison can change what used to be a decent but misguided person.

AngusMc on August 7, 2012 at 9:20 PM

Inconsistent? Dude – people are being sentenced to jail time out there – and pretty damn frequently!

HondaV65 on August 7, 2012 at 9:18 PM

heh! Standards. Met

ted c on August 7, 2012 at 9:20 PM

You are not truly free unless you are free to fail.

Unless the drug dealer holds the individual down and shoves pills down their throat.. the individual is ultimately responsible. In a free society individuals must be held accountable. It must be this way. Just as you can’t prevent mass shootings by making guns illegal.. you can’t prevent drug OD’s by imprisoning the dealers.

Socmodfiscon on August 7, 2012 at 9:17 PM

I’ll sign on for that just as soon as we dismantle all of LBJ’s great society support for addicts and let “fail” mean “fail” not “rest on the safety hammock”…..

’til then the Pushers are stealing from my taxes I pay.

harlekwin15 on August 7, 2012 at 9:20 PM

Legalize it all then the user bears the costs.

tmitsss on August 7, 2012 at 9:20 PM

How about a prison system that rehabilitates prisoners instead of just punishing them? I know, that’s quite some pie-in-the-sky thinking.. but you know.. it could work in some cases.

ButterflyDragon on August 7, 2012 at 9:20 PM

S/B Akin

davidk on August 7, 2012 at 9:20 PM

Shocker. O’Reilly acted like a boor and a simpleton. Why do people still watch him? He has the intellectual capacity of a bottle cap.

MadisonConservative on August 7, 2012 at 9:21 PM

o’reilly obviously had a personal stake in this, which he shared during the kerfuffle. That’s fine…but seems to me that he should straight up say I’m biased on this because of my personal experience.

he was on weak, rather emotional, ground. Regardless of how one ‘feels’ about drugs, the war hasn’t gone that well. O’Reilly seems to come from a totally indefensible position that because there’s phone calls between two people, we can lock one up for a long time if the other one dies of an overdose.

This is the dram shop law writ large. This is sentencing the waitress who filled the drink order before the guy goes out and kills someone in a car wreck

anyway, the older i get, the more libertarian i get wrt drugs. the War has increased the police power of the state/local/feds…and had all kinds of unintended consequences

r keller on August 7, 2012 at 9:21 PM

For instance, a state law in Florida makes the possession of as few as seven pills of Oxy the trigger for a mandatory sentence of three years for drug trafficking, which could easily scoop up a non-violent user of Oxy whom society isn’t best served by throwing in prison.

7 pills or 1 pill, as claimed in the article, a defendant is eligible for pre-trial diversion.

Blake on August 7, 2012 at 9:21 PM

Just remember…O’Reilly thought there was nothing wrong with the confiscation of firearms from New Orleans residents by rifle-pointing National Guardsmen after Hurricane Katrina hit.

MadisonConservative on August 7, 2012 at 9:22 PM

Shocker. O’Reilly acted like a boor and a simpleton. Why do people still watch him? He has the intellectual capacity of a bottle cap.

MadisonConservative on August 7, 2012 at 9:21 PM

my shiner bock bottle cap **glares** at mad con…….
/

ted c on August 7, 2012 at 9:22 PM

O’Reilly likes it Irish, and mandatory

Slade73 on August 7, 2012 at 9:22 PM

I didn’t think O’Reilly was shouting. I thought that was his normal tone of voice. :) MKH, you were sensible, made your case, stood up for yourself. I haven’t watched cable in a couple of years but I think you’ve changed since then. Before you’d hardly get a few words in and Bill would butt in. Maybe some sexism there (?). You’re good.

About allowing some personal anecdote to color your views, that’s dangerous if a policy maker is going to do that. You let it inform your decision, but if you can’t give the same weight to someone else’s experience, someone else’s pain, that you give to your own; if you can’t see the situation through their eyes just as clearly as through you own eyes; then you’re going to make bad policy decisions. You’re going to let emotion trump reason.

Paul-Cincy on August 7, 2012 at 9:23 PM

Meh. Ted Baxter is a pinhead. Worst interviewer in the history of broadcast journalism. He doesn’t even do the most rudimentary research on his topics. If he was interviewing a guest about the dangers solar flares pose to us the guest would have to explain to him what the sun is.

Walter Sobchak on August 7, 2012 at 9:23 PM

Strange. My comment seems to have vanished. Trying again…

Mandatory sentencing laws should be in place. Regarding the pill case, the stupidity in that case was to plead guilty to an offense he was innocent of. Never admit to wrongdoing that you’re not guilty of. Mandatory sentences are there to punish people who are actually guilty. If you’re going to plead guilty to crimes you’re not guilty of, you have no one to blame but yourself.

Stoic Patriot on August 7, 2012 at 9:25 PM

MKH is absolutely right; O’Reilly is a tool, as usual.

In addition to the points made above, O’Reilly seems to have an ABC-After-School-Special (I’m dating myself, I know) idea of dealers as evil-doers who lurk around corners and compel passive victims to take their drugs. We’re talking about voluntary transactions between adults, and if the user deserves some intelligence & context in sentencing, so does the dealer.

But the whole thing is disgusting, really. The government – federal & State – is destroying countless lives with these idiot drug laws & policies, all the while tramping the 4th Amendment and murdering innocents in no-knock raids, and outright stealing property in wrongful forfeitures. No one can take O’Reilly’s position and claim to be a conservative, if conservatism has anything to do with national rights & liberty.

BCrago66 on August 7, 2012 at 9:26 PM

How about a prison system that rehabilitates prisoners instead of just punishing them? I know, that’s quite some pie-in-the-sky thinking.. but you know.. it could work in some cases.

ButterflyDragon on August 7, 2012 at 9:20 PM

That’s a 200-year-old theory that has never once borne any merit. There are, whether liberals like it or not, people who are criminals and always will be. They can be given a million taxpayer dollars, but they will inevitably revert to their criminal ways.

Some people can be fixed, but that’s only because they didn’t intend to be criminals in the first place. A person convicted and cleaned up after a DUI conviction can be rehabilitated can do better. A recidivist thief and scammer is beyond repair.

Liam on August 7, 2012 at 9:26 PM

Akin, Todd GOP 6,601 33%
Brunner, John GOP 6,522 32%
Steelman, Sarah GOP 6,021 30%

Two percent reporting.

predator on August 7, 2012 at 9:19 PM

Is there a run-off if one doesn’t get 50%?

davidk on August 7, 2012 at 9:26 PM

MKH is a rock star.

BOR is a swamp toad.

(back on topic)

predator on August 7, 2012 at 9:27 PM

Hahaha, The Hammer done gone. Bill did okay too, but I was so glad to see how well MKH stood her ground, strong without vitriol.

petefrt on August 7, 2012 at 9:27 PM

Hahaha, The Hammer done gone good.

Ugh.

petefrt on August 7, 2012 at 9:28 PM

Is there a run-off if one doesn’t get 50%?

davidk on August 7, 2012 at 9:26 PM

Not sure. Someone from Mizzoo might know.

predator on August 7, 2012 at 9:28 PM

but I would like to allow for flexibility for judges to prevent some of mandatory sentencing’s unintended consequences

The reason mandatory sentencing was enacted in the first place was because judges were letting people walk, or giving them a slap on their wrists.

The federal government has a set of guidelines for mandatory sentencing, as do a lot of states. Each was enacted by the will of the people through their elected representatives. If a case can be made for changing the law at the state or federal level, that case should be made. Otherwise, the people apparently think that the laws are serving the purpose for which they were intended.

programs, should be examined and reformed as part of cost savings, preventing overpopulation, and keeping the system sustainable. Would that the NYT (or any liberal) could look at every federal program with this in mind.

Yes, exactly right. And the mandatory sentencing laws are not, I think, at the top of the list.

jaime on August 7, 2012 at 9:32 PM

Nice job, M-Kat.

rdbrewer on August 7, 2012 at 9:33 PM

predator on August 7, 2012 at 9:19 PM

Ace thinks Brunner is going to win and that any of them will beat the incumbent.

Cindy Munford on August 7, 2012 at 9:34 PM

Ace thinks Brunner is going to win and that any of them will beat the incumbent.

Cindy Munford on August 7, 2012 at 9:34 PM

Thanks Cindy. I linked to results from Ace but didn’t read any of the thread.

predator on August 7, 2012 at 9:36 PM

O’Reilly likes it long, hard, green, with four leaf clovers, and mandatory potatoes.

Slade73 on August 7, 2012 at 9:38 PM

U.S. Senate – GOP Primary

252 of 3428 Precincts Reporting – 7%

Name

Party

Votes

Vote %

Akin, Todd

GOP

17,143

34%

Steelman, Sarah

GOP

15,601

31%

Brunner, John

GOP

15,156

30%

Beck, Jerry

GOP

1,002

2%

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/files/elections/2012/by_state/MO_US_Senate_0807.html?SITE=CSPANELN&SECTION=POLITICS

davidk on August 7, 2012 at 9:41 PM

How about a prison system that rehabilitates prisoners instead of just punishing them? I know, that’s quite some pie-in-the-sky thinking.. but you know.. it could work in some cases.

ButterflyDragon on August 7, 2012 at 9:20 PM

How about making prison so miserable that there is no way anyone would want to return after experiencing it? These US prisons are like vacation camps. Betcha that Midnight Express guy never tried to smuggle drugs out of Turkey again.

Buddahpundit on August 7, 2012 at 9:42 PM

Judges were the problem that brought about mandatory sentencing laws in the first place. It appears that judicial discretion is a bad thing.

jaime on August 7, 2012 at 9:42 PM

US prisons are not vacation camps. You’re thinking of Gitmo

Slade73 on August 7, 2012 at 9:44 PM

I’m interested where our audience stands on this.

O’Reilly is an idiot and a pinhead and quite a few other adjectives that would direct this comment into moderation. Even you cannot make his show watchable. I used to watch, years ago, but his moral equivalence and “My view is in between these two extreme ideas therefore I MUST be right” regardless of any, you know, actual arguments are tiresome. He lost me for good after he advocated IN FAVOR of the illegal gun confiscation after Hurricane Katrina.

Laura Curtis on August 7, 2012 at 9:46 PM

How about making prison so miserable that there is no way anyone would want to return after experiencing it?

Buddahpundit on August 7, 2012 at 9:42 PM

I think the high incidence of rape and murder against inmates has already established that standard.

In my opinion, prisons should either be low-security, or solitary confinement. No in-between.

MadisonConservative on August 7, 2012 at 9:50 PM

MKH will never get to guest host O’Reilly Factor.

besser tot als rot on August 7, 2012 at 9:52 PM

In my opinion, prisons should either be low-security, or solitary confinement. No in-between.

MadisonConservative on August 7, 2012 at 9:50 PM

well since Al Gore and friends swear Antarctica went ice free this year why not try our hand at making New Austrailia since the left want to be the UK so badly?

harlekwin15 on August 7, 2012 at 9:52 PM

I screamed at the TV when B.O. snarked about avoiding hypotheticals (which MKH wasn’t using)… AND THEN POSED A HYPOTHETICAL TO FURTHER HIS ARGUMENT (with his trademark snort, as I recall.)

Rush was right. Bill O’Reilly is Ted Baxter. Pure and simple.

Sugar Land on August 7, 2012 at 9:56 PM

The War on Drugs has been every bit as effective as the War on Poverty– only with the War on Drugs we also gets lots of governmental fascist idiocy…like no knock raids of the wrong house in the middle of the night, confiscation of private property by the police, dumb-ass SWAT motherf*ckers gone wild.

End the War. Bring the troops home. Legalize, knowing full well that we are going to lose some people–just like we do with booze. And we’ll take the profit motive out of it and turn a bunch of drug kingpins back into gardeners and Home Depot ayudantes. And a bunch of rapper / hip-hop dipsh*ts back into whatever they did before they specialized in drive-by murder.

PD Quig on August 7, 2012 at 9:58 PM

What O’Reilly was too obtuse to understand was her point that a person holding as few as 7 oxycodone was considered a dealer in Florida irregardless if that person sold any. This is what she felt was wrong.

pat on August 7, 2012 at 9:59 PM

O’Reilly’s too obtuse to understand a lot of things.

Slade73 on August 7, 2012 at 10:01 PM

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