By Bill Maher
Cory Booker and Rand Paul have joined forces, which sounds like a bad cop show – “Booker and Rand.” But it’s for a good cause. They’re pushing a bill that would expunge the criminal record of people sent to jail for non-violent drug offenses. So that way, when they get out, they can get a job and become a contributing member of society. Which is more than I can say for Ted Cruz.
It’s called the REDEEM Act, which stands for – who the hell care what it stands for, it’s called the REDEEM Act and that’s all that matters.
It would seal the criminal records of teenage offenders, and allow adult offenders a chance to get their record expunged if a judge OK’s it.
It’s like getting a do-over. And it takes a lot of balls for a Republican like Rand Paul to sponsor this, because they’ve traditionally been the “lock ‘em up and throw away the key” party.
Here’s Paul: “The problem really of the war on drugs is taking a lot of people who make youthful mistakes and it’s punishing them for a lifetime.”
Wow, I’m really starting to like this guy. He seems to have the civil libertarian views of his dad, but without all the pesky racism. If he only believed in global warming, I could write him a check tomorrow.
Here’s a smart thing Rand said about racial disparities in drug convictions:
“Government actually gives out grants based on conviction rates. And if you’re a police chief, you might think, where’s it going to be easiest to arrest people? Where they're all standing outside smoking pot or doing whatever, or where they’re in the suburbs in grandmother’s million-dollar house in the basement smoking pot? It just inevitably has led to more poor kids being arrested.”
I’d like to meet this rich grandma who throws pot parties in her house.
The Booker and Rand bill would also restore welfare and other government benefits to ex-cons, which were taken away by President Clinton in the '90s.
And it would ban solitary confinement for teenagers, which I didn’t even realize was a thing, but it doesn’t surprise me, because we love ourselves some solitary confinement in this country.
What’s interesting about these two guys getting together on this is that they’re both freshmen senators, they’re both fiercely ambitious, they both want to be President someday – and they’re taking on the drug war. This is a big deal. There were always a handful of liberals like Dennis Kucinich who were against it, but now it’s gone mainstream.
I wonder how Hillary Clinton is going to respond to this.