Archive for July, 2011

216,600 different inmates sexually abused in 2008, most were performed by guards

July 31, 2011

Some scary statistics from the U.S. prison system:

The U.S. Department of Justice recently released its first-ever estimate of the number of inmates who are sexually abused in America each year. According to the department’s data, which are based on nationwide surveys of prison and jail inmates as well as young people in juvenile detention centers, at least 216,600 inmates were victimized in 2008 alone. Contrary to popular belief, most of the perpetrators were not other prisoners but staff members—corrections officials whose job it is to keep inmates safe. On average, each victim was abused between three and five times over the course of the year. The vast majority were too fearful of reprisals to seek help or file a formal complaint.

and this:

17,100 of them, in juvenile detention. Overall, that’s almost six hundred people a day—twenty-five an hour.

The emphasis is added, the link is here.

Given the number of video camera’s in prison systems (and how cheap they are) this number is also a bit shocking (NY Book Review):

But perhaps more shocking is that even when authorities confirmed that corrections staff had sexually abused inmates in their care, only 42 percent of those officers had their cases referred to prosecution; only 23 percent were arrested, and only 3 percent charged, indicted, or convicted. Fifteen percent were actually allowed to keep their jobs.

Reminds me of a quote: “If total government control equals safety, why are prisons so dangerous?” Of course you could edit the quote to add Mao, Stalin and Hitler.

FULL DOJ report can be found here (PDF).

h/t marginal revolution:

Other info:

Prison Rape and the Government, March 24, 2011, David Kaiser and Lovisa Stannow
Prison Rape: Still a Problem. Government: Still Not All That Concerned About It. Radley Balko | March 9, 2011

BACK, SCRATCHED: Politico Reporter Who Covered Palin Quits For Democratic Party Job

July 22, 2011

A Politico reporter who often penned stories about Sarah Palin and other Republicans has quit journalism to work with the Democratic Party in Arizona

and this:

But have any left Politico to work for a Republican? “I don’t know of any, but haven’t made any effort to keep track of where folks land,” Harris said.

While at Politico, Barr was a prolific writer of stories about Palin, including more recent ones titled: “Sarah Palin’s political mystery tour,” “So unfav: Palin’s poll plunge” and “Sarah Palin on Barack Obama speech: ‘WTF’.”

Read more:

TO DO: Expand this post to list revolving door of newsweek, time, NYT, wapost, etc…..

Same with Wallstreet and the federal reserve.


Politico reporter who covered Palin quits for Democratic Party job
Published: 6:11 PM 07/20/2011 | Updated: 8:43 AM 07/21/2011

Read more:

Obama vs. Obama’s Economic Advisors on Healthcare

July 15, 2011

To make things interesting, I’ll lead off with the typical monkey dung slinging. From CNN:

In a Saturday morning radio address, Sen. John McCain said his administration would give every family a $5,000 tax credit to buy their own health insurance or keep their current plan. “And we will open up the national health care market to expand choices and improve quality,” he said.

Obama, speaking at a rally in Newport News, Virginia, said it’s not that McCain “doesn’t care” about what people are going through, “I just think he doesn’t know.”

“That’s the only reason I can think of that he’d propose a health care plan that is so radical, so out of touch with what you’re facing and so out of line with our basic values.”

Interestingly enough Jason Furman, Deputy Director of the National Economic Council for Barack Obama, wrote this in early 2008 (PDF):

The most promising way to move forward in all three dimensions – coverage, cost, and long-run fiscal situation – is to replace the employer exclusion with a tax credit, a step that has
been proposed many times before (e.g., Butler 1991 and Pauly and Hoff 2002).

Furman was an economic advisor for John Kerry and Al Gore as well. So the fact that Furman’s plan, which is identical to John McCain’s, is labeled as “radical” is a bit ironic. The Butler 1991 paper that Furman referenced as supporting the tax credit plan was published in the Journal of the
American Medical Association. The Pauly and Hoff paper was published by American Enterprise Institute. Also, the Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman supported a similar plan in his book “Freedom To Choose”. A book that is well worth reading. In other words, there are major players in every end of the political spectrum that support this plan.
The only question I have is why would Obama turn his back on his own advisors? Was it political incentives like those that pushed Nixon to turn his back on his advisors and enact damaging price controls? Or was it true-believer ideology?

As a side note, I’d love to see Nate Silver’s reaction to this.
Hat Tip: Harvard’s Gregory Mankiw

CNN, Obama blasts McCain’s health care plan as ‘out of touch’, October 04, 2008
Butler, Stuart M. 1991. “A tax reform strategy to deal with the uninsured.” Journal of the
American Medical Association 265 (19).
Pauly, Mark and John Hoff. 2002. Responsible Tax Credits for Health Insurance. Washington,
D.C.: AEI Press.

Reforming the Tax Treatment of Health Care: Right Ways and Wrong Ways
Jason Furman, Senior Fellow and Director of The Hamilton Project
The Brookings Institution, February 24, 2008