Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Sunday, August 31, 2014

Thomas B. Edsall, New York Times: In Orange County, California, the probation department's "supervised electronic confinement program," which monitors the movements of low-risk offenders, has been outsourced to a private company, Sentinel Offender Services. ... Sentinel is a part of the expanding universe of poverty capitalism. In this unique sector of the economy, costs of essential government services are shifted to the poor. In terms of food, housing and other essentials, the cost of being poor has always been exorbitant. Landlords, grocery stores and other commercial enterprises have all found ways to profit from those at the bottom of the ladder.

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In addition to probation, municipal court systems are also turning collections over to a national network of companies like Sentinel that profit from service charges imposed on the men and women who are under court order to pay fees and fines, including traffic tickets (with the fees being sums tacked on by the court to fund administrative services).

When they cannot pay these assessed fees and fines -- plus collection charges imposed by the private companies -- offenders can be sent to jail. There are many documented cases in which courts have imprisoned those who failed to keep up with their combined fines, fees and service charges.

"These companies are bill collectors, but they are given the authority to say to someone that if he doesn't pay, he is going to jail," John B. Long, a lawyer in Augusta, Georgia, active in defending the poor, told Ethan Bronner of The Times.

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"What should be done to interrupt the dangerous feedback loop between low-level crime and extortionate punishment?

First, local governments should bring private sector collection charges, court-imposed administrative fees and the dollar amount of traffic fines (which often double and triple when they go unpaid) into line with the economic resources of poor offenders.

But larger reforms are needed and those will not come about unless the poor begin to exercise their latent political power.

In many ways, everything is working against them. But the public outpouring spurred by the shooting of Michael Brown provides an indication of a possible path to the future.

It was, after all, just 50 years ago -- not too distant in historical terms -- that collective action and social solidarity produced tangible results."

#1 | Posted by Corky at 2014-08-31 12:07 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

#2 | Posted by kudzu at 2014-08-31 08:37 AM | Reply | Flag:

Soon this will be the norm for all.

Everyone is a potential terrorist.

Everyone must be monitored at all times.

And everyone must pay for it unless they like regular jail.

Unless you are rich.

Then you can do whatever you want.

#3 | Posted by Shawn at 2014-08-31 09:21 AM | Reply | Flag:

In America, Judicial outcomes are for sale. You must have lotsa money or you are f**ked.

#4 | Posted by nutcase at 2014-08-31 10:50 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

There are solutions, the left always look toward the central government. The right toward denial or blaming the ones who suffer. Both courses serve the power dynamic. What we should ask is, "How does a community keep from being exploited?". The honest answer is money, morals, and loyalty. It is called tribal capitalism. How do the Korean, Chinese, Jews, African, Jamaican, and others do so damn well; while hillbillies, black Americans, mahados and others stay in poverty generation after generation? If you as an individual can watch and learn from the failure of other individuals, why can not a community see the danger and pit falls of many courses of action, policies that directly affect them? Dependency is slavery. Morality is cost effective. Loyalty pays. All power , real power stems from wealth, not money. Guys with guns can be overcome in an afternoon. I know, I've done it. Guys that have real wealth and a community that will follow them are quite another mater. And there is the rub, who will lead a group who has been conditioned not to trust external authority, yet will fall into ranks of a fraud who will fleece his follows like a wolf consuming prey?
Real leadership is based in character, not eloquence. You can not fake it very long, the real you will seep through. So who want's to lead? If you ask "What's in it for me?", you have already lost.

#5 | Posted by docnjo at 2014-08-31 11:04 AM | Reply | Flag:

Operation Choke Point??? "Choking" legal businesses? What in hell is this administration doing NOW? What some think we are seeing is "capitalism" destroying the economy...but what we are seeing does not even really resemble capitalism. If you want to describe it as "crony capitalism," you might be more correct than calling it "poor capitalism." Now we have the DOJ deciding which businesses are "risky" and which aren't??? Have we forgotten Solyndra and all the others the government favored which cost all of us when they failed?? Why do we allow these idiots to destroy our economy with these crooked tactics? I have come to detest this wholly burdensome administration and its hierarchy of thugs.

"Critics say Operation Choke Point, so dubbed by Department of Justice officials, seeks to weed out businesses that the White House considers objectionable.

The Justice Department contends the goal of the program is to combat unlawful mass-market consumer fraud, although recent evidence suggests otherwise."

With no explanation, Brian Brookman last month lost the bank account for his pawn shop.

He had no idea why. Brookman says his store in Grand Haven, Mich., never had been in trouble with federal or state officials. And being in the pawn industry, he was required by law to get a city license every year.

"If there was ever a problem, they wouldn't renew my license," Brookman, a former police officer and Army veteran, told The Daily Signal.

After researching his case on the Internet, Brookman says he concluded that his banker, JP Morgan Chase, closed the account because two of his business activities -- dealing in vintage coins and selling firearms -- were labeled "high risk" by federal bureaucrats as part of an Obama administration initiative called Operation Choke Point.

Critics say Operation Choke Point, so dubbed by Department of Justice officials, seeks to weed out businesses that the White House considers objectionable.

The Justice Department contends the goal of the program is to combat unlawful mass-market consumer fraud, although recent evidence suggests otherwise.

A House report indicates that a primary target of Operation Choke Point is the short-term lending industry. A more expansive list of out of favor, non-financial businesses includes certain ammunition merchants, coin dealers, home-based charities, and sellers of pharmaceutical drugs – also lawful enterprises.

Alden Abbott, the Rumpel senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, describes how Operation Choke Point works: Banks receive notifications from federal regulators, including the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the agency responsible for insuring bank deposits), that the government considers certain types of businesses "high risk." Banks then are pressured, though the implied threat of government investigations, to sever ties with customers engaged in those enterprises."

dailysignal.com

#6 | Posted by jestgettinalong at 2014-08-31 11:13 AM | Reply | Flag:

YEP! These government agencies sure know how to efficiently spend taxpayer money! I won't even get into the Obamacare website. And SOME people think we should trust them with all our money....Remember when Hillary said the government could spend your healthcare money better than you?

Here's another great government spending program for you...

"Veterans Administration hospitals have spent at least $420 million on solar panels and windmills while vets wait months -- or even lay dying -- to see a doctor."

www.foxnews.com

And they wanna spend MORE. Does anyone believe it will increase V.A. efficiency if the government gets to spend it all?

#7 | Posted by jestgettinalong at 2014-08-31 11:29 AM | Reply | Flag:

The notion that human nature, those elements which lead to inefficiencies and catch-22s in Government, go away through privatization is totally absurd. Not only are private Corporations riff with the same kinds of problems associated with all large organizations, but they persistently charge more for the same screw-ups as Government, contrary to all the propaganda Libertarians promote.

#8 | Posted by nutcase at 2014-08-31 12:40 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 3

Does anyone believe it will increase V.A. efficiency if the government gets to spend it all?
#7 | Posted by jestgettinalong

If the problem is wait times to see a doctor, don't you think hiring more doctors is a good idea?

The solar panels are unrelated. In fact that sort of capex will likely save them (you) money over time.

#9 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-08-31 12:46 PM | Reply | Flag:

"universe of poverty capitalism."

WTF is that? It is all the government handouts that is keeping people in poverty. You will NRVER escape poverty while you are collecting welfare.

#10 | Posted by Sniper at 2014-08-31 01:56 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

I had nothing to do with this.

#11 | Posted by sentinel at 2014-08-31 02:18 PM | Reply | Flag:

"You will NRVER escape poverty while you are collecting welfare."

Someone tell Exxon.

#12 | Posted by danni at 2014-08-31 02:45 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

#12 | POSTED BY DANNI

Exxon escaped poverty by collecting welfare?? When were they ever in poverty, danni? You sure you're not somehow identifying with Nutcase? You are becoming every bit as confusing as he is. He hates big gov, he hates private companies and fair trade...just WHICH system does he think is superior? Now, here we are with you telling us Exxon was in poverty until big gov saved them with welfare. You may have them confused with some of those cronies who have done quite well with these thugs in control nowadays. Ever hear of GE for instance? You think this administration favors oil, coal and other carbon products? Really?

#13 | Posted by jestgettinalong at 2014-08-31 04:14 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

This has nothing to do with capitalism AT ALL, this is an abuse of the legal system. The is about a corrupt corporate-government police state. The people of orange county elected the officials who allowed this corruption of justice, making people indentured servants to unaccountable business. Orange county is only slightly more republican than democratic.

www.city-data.com

#14 | Posted by danv at 2014-08-31 06:30 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

SHOCK CAPITALISM, promoted by (Obama's mentor) economist Milton Friedman, is what is happening. Wait for (or better yet, CREATE) a catastrophe, go in buy up utilities,
while citizens are disoriented, and then privatize everything. They've done it in country after country. New Orleans was a great coup for them; and, also, probably where that hurricane hit NJ a year or so ago. 9/11 was of course used to ramp up surveillance, and surprise! like Nutcase wrote, WE are the terrorists!

#15 | Posted by kenx at 2014-08-31 08:18 PM | Reply | Flag:

Funny how economic populism is a no no by both Parties, unless they offer propaganda like gun control or abortion that they know will divide the public on this idea, instead of uniting us.

The capitalist elites that own both Parties are fearful of a message of economic populism that would strike a chord of unity in American politics.

#16 | Posted by Robson at 2014-08-31 08:22 PM | Reply | Flag:

The USA is now being targeted by the same "Economic Hitmen" and bankster tribe that put 3rd world nations deeply into debt and financial ruin, while their tribal cronies all profit. They are soon going to turn us upside down economically too, as they were all bailed out and not prosecuted, when they desperately needed it. The USA has been wrung out while the sheep argue about politics, gun control, abortion, illegals, and war. We've been set up by this group and we will pay.

#17 | Posted by Robson at 2014-08-31 08:28 PM | Reply | Flag:

You think this administration favors oil, coal and other carbon products? Really?
#13 | Posted by jestgettinalong

They sure favored it before the Deepwater Horizon blew up.
Beyond that, shuttering old, inefficient, high particulate emissions coal plants should not seem controversial.
I guess you prefer the air quality in Beijing to LA.
Here's your chance to learn:
www.laweekly.com

#18 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-08-31 08:31 PM | Reply | Flag:

The last sentence of that LA Weekly link. Let me know if any of this is sinking in:

"2005. Statewide, 9,600 people die every year from air-pollution-caused ailments. Each year, 3,200 die in car crashes, and 2,000 are victims of homicide."

#19 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-08-31 08:33 PM | Reply | Flag:

The USA is now being targeted by the same "Economic Hitmen" and bankster tribe that put 3rd world nations deeply into debt and financial ruin, while their tribal cronies all profit. They are soon going to turn us upside down economically too
#17 | Posted by Robson

Yeah, it's already happening, and it's been happening for nearly 40 years now. When whichever Dakota it was repealed their usury laws to try to make their state attractive to credit card companies. Soon every state repealed those laws. Because, you know, we're a Christian nation!

Politicians love to tell us they're going to create jobs. That the job is to transfer wealth from the bottom up is never quite part of the story. Digging a trench your dead body will soon occupy is a job too. Shovel-ready, even.

#20 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-08-31 08:38 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

President Obama: ... people took a really big hit in 2007, 2008, 2009. We had the worst recession since the Great Depression. In some ways the contraction was even sharper than what happened in the late 20s and 30s, so people have still been in recovery mode throughout this period. In some cases they've gotten back to square one, but that doesn't take away some of their long-term worries about retirement or saving for their kid's college education.... although the economy has been growing, wages and incomes continue to be relatively stagnant, and that's been a 20- to 30-year trend, and that involves some structural issues that we've really got to work on. ..what is indisputable is that the economy is much better now than it was when I took office ... It makes a difference that we've created 9.4 million new jobs, it makes a difference that manufacturing continues to strengthen for the first since the 90s, it makes a difference that we've been able to slow the rise of healthcare costs, it makes a difference that we have seen housing recover in many communities so that people are finally getting their houses back above water. .. these things add to confidence, ...but that underlying trend for middle-class families- that they don't feel like no matter how hard they work, they're able to get ahead in the same way that their parents were able to get ahead - that's something...that drives a lot of my agenda now.

Ryssdal:...I want to take you to the speech...in which you've said we have to grow the economy from the middle, we can't grow this economy top down... the irony of you, the ultimate guy on top .. growing an economy from the top down...corporate profits are up, but the money's not being spent, where the jobs that are being created are low-wage, low-skill jobs... How do you reconcile the disconnect there?

President Obama: ...things we could be doing right now that would make a huge difference. ... yesterday, we were talking about the fact that we've got $2 trillion of deferred maintenance: roads, bridges, an air-traffic control system that's creaky, an electrical grid that wastes too much energy and is highly inefficient, and we could be putting hundreds of thousands of folks back to work right now and not only put a big boost to the economy....but also lay the foundation for economic competitiveness in the long term. ..... The problem is that we've got a Congress right now that's been saying no to proposals that would make a difference...part of our task this year and perhaps next year, is to look at what can we do administratively, or by partnering with states and local governments or by partnering with the private sector to boost wages, to improve job training so that people have better skills, to make sure that we're matching up jobs that are out there with people who are looking for work. And a lot of those steps are ..reflected in my budget and my agenda.

Ryssdal: ... I want to talk...about Wall Street and its role in the economy. The Dow is about 17,000, right?... Banks' profits are up; the big banks are bigger than they were during the financial crisis; their appetite for risk is growing... and all of this is happening after Dodd-Frank ... It was going to rein in the banking system. So how do you .. say, "... What happened in 2008 is not going to happen to you again."

President Obama: Well, keep in mind that the goal of Dodd-Frank was to prevent another catastrophic financial crisis. It wasn't expected that it was going to solve all the problems

Ryssdal: But you get that it's small steps, right?

#21 | Posted by nutcase at 2014-08-31 10:22 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

This is what happens when you import poverty through illegal aliens. This makes it easier for business's to pay less in wages and hurts actual citizens especially black youths.

Take a bow Obama

With all the new regulations and taxes few new businesses are being created.

Thanks again Obama

You democrats must really be proud of the mess you have made.

#22 | Posted by mcmlcxx at 2014-09-01 12:09 AM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 1

And just thank Obama shot the wad creating 7+ trillion in new debt.

Lets all give a rousing hand to Obama. Have another round of golf on us. Oh wait, you already did, and did, and did.

#23 | Posted by mcmlcxx at 2014-09-01 12:11 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

#22

That's hilarious, especially coming from the privatize everything crowd.

#24 | Posted by Corky at 2014-09-01 12:32 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

This is what happens when you import poverty through illegal aliens. This makes it easier for business's to pay less in wages and hurts actual citizens especially black youths.
Take a bow Obama
#22 | Posted by mcmlcxx

Shouldn't the business owners who actually hire illegal aliens get to take a bow too?

And what would you have Obama do about it, I'm just curious. Implement a national ID card so nobody can pretend they were ignorant as to who they were hiring?

#25 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-09-01 12:34 AM | Reply | Flag:

The left will hang every and anything on Capitalism in their quest to force socialism on this country in greatly mistaken[i.e.sick] belief that it would be better.

#26 | Posted by MSgt at 2014-09-01 12:58 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

The left will hang every and anything on Capitalism in their quest to force socialism on this country in greatly mistaken[i.e.sick] belief that it would be better.
#26 | Posted by MSgt

Actually I favor a free market economy and a robust welfare state.
Which is not even my idea, it's the system put into place by arch-conservative Otto von Bismark a century and a half ago.
So apparently when you embrace a conservative solution from 1880, that makes you a liberal today.
Makes me wonder whose ideas you embrace.
Attila the Hun perhaps?

#27 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-09-01 01:22 AM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 1

They sure favored it before the Deepwater Horizon blew up.
Beyond that, shuttering old, inefficient, high particulate emissions coal plants should not seem controversial.
I guess you prefer the air quality in Beijing to LA.
Here's your chance to learn: www.laweekly.com

#18 | Posted by snoofy

I hope you freeze in the dark with that attitude. The east coast will have problems soon.

#28 | Posted by Sniper at 2014-09-01 08:47 AM | Reply | Flag:

Privatization has always been a multi-directional scam that gave the politicians bribes and handed crony capitalists other peoples tax money. When politicians talk "public - private partnership", this is really what they mean.

Government workers don't bribe politicians. They typically contribute as middle class to society, and they do not suck up taxpayer dollars at the same level as greedy CEOs paying minimal wages. Their incentive is to perpetuate harmful societal behaviors that need their private prisons or treatment facilities. It is bad policy to privatize any segment of government that we do not wish to expand.

#29 | Posted by Robson at 2014-09-01 10:33 AM | Reply | Flag:

Government workers don't bribe politicians.

#29 | Posted by Robson

Their unions bribe politicians with votes.

#30 | Posted by Sniper at 2014-09-01 10:57 AM | Reply | Flag:

"You will NRVER escape poverty while you are collecting welfare."

-------

Someone tell wall st.

#31 | Posted by Shawn at 2014-09-01 12:00 PM | Reply | Flag:

I hope you freeze in the dark with that attitude. The east coast will have problems soon.
#28 | Posted by Sniper

Why are you so hostile to having clean air?
Are you a Peabody or something?
There's no other explanation.

By the way, I live in San Diego, so I doubt I'll be freezing in the dark anytime soon. But thanks for displaying your true colors, you mean-spirited hateful little nothing of a man. Suggest you carry a gun in public so you feel important, Sniper. Maybe somebody will even notice you exist that way.

#32 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-09-01 02:08 PM | Reply | Flag:

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