It would seem wise for the state (and any other donors who have the funds) to invest in programs that reduce the likelihood that anyone who is incarcerated is going to reoffend upon release. And the notion that this program is "sending the wrong message" is ridiculous. You're implying that someone is really going to decide to go to jail in order to receive these benefits. That's not even serious.
Unless you think everyone who goes to jail should be killed, the state has to invest in housing and feeding them, and we all have an interest in the state investing in programs that prepare them for a return to society as fellow citizens who are less likely to commit crime again.
The fact that you appear to celebrate this kind of overreach by law enforcement (at least when it comes to Muslims) suggests that you are either unfamiliar with the Bill of Rights or don't care about the Bill of Rights.
To borrow from the article, "The documents show in detail how, in its hunt for terrorists, the NYPD investigated countless innocent New York Muslims and put information about them in secret police files. As a tactic, opening an enterprise investigation on a mosque is so potentially invasive that while the NYPD conducted at least a dozen, the FBI never did one, according to interviews with federal law enforcement officials."
The proper name for this kind of activity by the NYPD is "Un-American." Moreover, it wouldn't at all surprise me if this kind of state activity, treating Muslims as suspicious even when they have given no grounds for suspicion, actually contributes to the radicalization of impressionable young men and women in Muslim communities. If any leaders of anti-American organizations are looking to convince young Muslim men and women that the U.S. is hostile to them, this kind of state activity could very well be helpful to them in recruitment.
On both moral and practical grounds, this kind of law enforcement activity should be condemned, not celebrated.
Actually, the real question is why there are so few Black Republicans to invite. Only 5% of Black Americans identify as Republicans, and 89% of Republicans are non-Hispanic Whites (Source: http://www.gallup.com/poll/160373/democrats-racially-diverse-republicans...). So if you want to ask about invitations that matter, you ought to be asking why the GOP is so uninviting to Blacks. It's probably because we Black Americans recall that in the second half of the 20th century, the GOP made the strategic decision to adopt a so-called "Southern strategy," banking on the support of White southerners who opposed the civil rights acts enacted to protect the rights of Blacks. Led by the likes of Richard Nixon and Strom Thurmond, Republicans appealed to the prejudice and racial resentment that prevailed among many White southerners, and still does to this day. Rather than repudiate it, Republicans cast their lot with it. As the late Lee Atwater (former GOP strategist, and the brains behind the infamous Willie Horton ad) said, "You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger." By 1968 you can't say "nigger" — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, "We want to cut this," is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than "Nigger, nigger."" This was the strategy the GOP adopted and now they have an overwhelmingly White party as a result. Perhaps if they'd taken a different road--and perhaps if their party leadership weren't also overwhelmingly White and male--the organizers of yesterday's march might have had more leading party officials of color from which to choose. Or is your point that the GOP should content itself with having one or two token Black officials (but not in leadership positions) that they can trot out on special occasions?
Yes, as you would hasten to add, Abraham Lincoln was a Republican. But any efforts of his to free the slaves are a far cry from the strategies adopted by the contemporary GOP (see my last paragraph) and the policies endorsed by the GOP (such as policies that would adversely impact Black voters' access to the voting booth).
Finally, if you are implying that Martin Luther King would affiliate himself with either the Republican party of the 1960s or the Republican party of today, you are a madman.
Love is a beautiful thing, as is equality under the law. In reality, there are many couples who love each other and dedicate their lives to each other. Sometimes couples find magic that they can sustain for years, even for decades. And yes, sometimes the couples who find and sustain that magic happen to be gay. Consider, for example, Bill Scogland and Doug Heen. World War II veterans, they've been together for 60 years (http://santarosa.towns.pressdemocrat.com/2011/07/news/gay-couple-celebra...), longer than many heterosexual couples. Why should such couples be denied the same rights under the law as heterosexual couples? Fortunately, voters in Maine affirmed last fall that there is no good reason for the state to treat those couples differently. If we grant marriage licenses to straight couples, then we should do so for gay couples. But until that's true in every state, Attorney General Holder is right: We have unfinished business to do.
The fact that Mr. LeBlanc willfully ignores the reality of such love as Mr. Scogland's and Mr. Heen's, and instead reduces gays and lesbians to a caricature, one that he dresses up in "assless chaps," reveals more about him, at least his own closed-mindedness on this issue, than it does about the issues in this article.
How's the weather on Mars?
...more than Gov. LePage did, I should have made clear.
As was previously noted in this exchange (by Mark Wrenn), President Obama received more votes from White Mainers. And if you don't believe us, here's the numbers: http://pollways.bangordailynews.com/2013/08/19/maine-politics/gov-lepage.... (The person who "Disagree"s with Wrenn's simple statement of fact is opting to disagree with reality, which is quite unfortunate, to say the least.)
Said image: http://www.sunjournal.com/files/imagecache/story_large/2013/06/27/lepage...
Bob, you have a bad memory. The Democrats (and Republican partners) in the legislature have gotten some things done, such as passing a budget, and doing so in spite of our spiteful governor. Exhibit A: http://www.sunjournal.com/news/maine/2013/06/26/lepage-says-legislatures... And in light of the photo of Gov. LePage in that article to which I just linked, your attempt to suggest that it is the Democrats who are crying and failing to act like adults is laughable. Better luck next time.
I understand that people are rightly outraged that an arsonist burned down those buildings, but has a court found this young man to be guilty yet? No. So it's premature to assume that "[t]his kid burned down three buildings and put 75 people out on the street with nothing," as Mr. Foss claims. I will wait to see what decision ultimately comes down, and I urge others to as well.
Also, am I the only one who finds the detective's questioning, at least as reported here, to be a bit leading?