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Melissa Harris-Perry, in part:
I would like to think a safe assumption that, of all people, a district court judge in Montana is intimately familiar with the laws in Montana. but your statements in court on Monday suggest that maybe you could use a bit of a refresher. So allow me to help you out.
According to Montana law, a victim is incapable of giving consent if the victim is less than 16 years old. Incapable of giving consent. Because, Judge Baugh, a victim less than 16 years old, in this case, a 14-year-old, is a child. A child like 44% of those who are victims of rape.
And the law codifies our collective understanding that children deserve special protections because their youth and immaturity makes them inherently disempowered in a sexual, as you call it, "situation" with an adult. Which means Charisse, this child, was in no way capable of controlling or consenting to the actions of the grown man who had sex with her, and I call her a victim here, not a survivor, because while she survived for the moment, she ultimately succumbed.
So she was no more able to prevent her rape than she was to somehow age herself beyond her 14 years.
So your statement that she was older than her chronological age, along with implicating her as a participant in her own assault, amounts to excusing the crimes of an adult while laying blame on a child that he victimized.
That child, Charisse, isn't even here anymore to speak for herself.
So if she were, she might tell you that it's this kind of shaming, the idea that it is somehow our own fault, that keeps so many survivors, including me, silent after their rape. And makes survivors four times as likely to contemplate the drastic action that Charisse ultimately chose to end their own lives.
Judge Baugh, it's bad enough that thanks to you an admitted child rapist will be a free man by the end of the month, but the day after the sentencing, you defended your decision by saying, quote, "I think that people have in mind that this was some kind of violent, forcible, horrible rape. It was horrible enough as it was, just given her age, but it wasn't this forcible, beat-up rape."
If I didn't know any better, I would think you were exchanging your judicial robes for a Republican seat in Congress, because you're sounding a lot like former Senator Todd "legitimate rape" Akin before his comments got him voted out of office.
So let me remind you a couple of the same things I reminded him of. First, rape is rape. full stop.
Today's Los Angeles Times letter to the editor, because our voices matter. And as you'll see by the follow-up to the letter, we better use those voices in enormous numbers or this country will be in even bigger trouble that it already is:
So, the GOP is threatening to "shut down" the Senate if the filibuster rule is tweaked to allow a simple majority to approve executive branch nominations.
Through their historic abuse of the filibuster, Republicans have already shut down the Senate.
As for their threat to use the rule change against a future Democratic minority: With the Republican Party in a demographic death spiral, when will they ever have a Senate majority again?
"With the Republican Party in a demographic death spiral, when will they ever have a Senate majority again?" Sadly, they very well could in 2014 unless we get out the vote in a big way.
As you may have heard, Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer decided not to run for his state's U.S. Senate seat. He was the Democrats' best chance to win, which doesn't bode well for holding onto the seat and maintaining their Senate majority.
Democrats are facing a difficult political map in 2014. They must defend at least 20 of the 35 Senate seats on the ballot, including five in which the incumbent is retiring.
Montana is one of seven seats on the ballot next year held by a Democrat that was carried in 2012 by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
Republicans are aggressively targeting those and other Democratic-held seats; Democrats have few obvious targets among the current Republican-held seats.
As Paddy posted earlier, Max Baucus (D-Montana) decided to retire rather than seek re-election in 2014. Buh-bye now.
And hopefully, hello to former Democratic Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer. He told The Hill he'd consider running for Baucus' Senate seat. However, we'll have to wait at least a week or two before we know for sure, because he won't decide until after May 2.
"I'm the kind of guy that, when I see a broke-down pickup, I'll get out with my tools and try to fix it, and I can tell you looking at Washington, D.C., from Montana, there is no bigger broke-down pickup than the Senate in Washington, D.C.," Schweitzer said in an interview, when asked if he was looking at a run to replace Baucus, who announced his retirement Tuesday morning.
"I'm not ruling anything out, or anything in, but I can tell you right now I'm focused like a laser … I'm focused on the mine, on climbing that mountain... Then I'll take a deep breath; I'll take a look around [at the Senate race]. And when you're standing on a mountain in Montana, you can see a long ways... You can't see where I'm leaning. I'm leaning looking out the window here in the mountains."
Oh come on, rule in! Lean toward a run!
We need someone who would be an improvement over Baucus. (At this point it seems anyone would be.) Remember, ConservaDem Baucus worked with the GOP to co-write the infamous Bush tax cuts and Medicare prescription plan. He also voted against some Democratic social issues, and he was one of only four Democratic "No" votes on the Manchin–
Schweitzer's approvals were good when he left office. Public Policy Polling had him at 56 percent in February, with 37 percent disapproving. He's our best shot.
By the way, here's an interesting tidbit from Dave Weigel:
A key Baucus staffer during that race was Jim Messina, better known now as the 2012 campaign manager for Obama-Biden.
Don't let the door hit ya Max. And GO Schweitzer!
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) is retiring rather than seek re-election in 2014, according to two senior Democratic strategists familiar with his plans.
First elected in 1978, Baucus has been the top Democrat on the powerful tax-writing committee for more than a dozen years. At times infuriating his Democratic colleagues, he worked with Republicans to co-write the Bush-era tax cuts and the Medicare prescription drug plan, but he also served as the lead defender against George W. Bush’s 2005 effort to partially privatize Social Security and played a critical role in writing President Obama’s national health-care plan.
From conservative-leaning Montana, Baucus has voted against Democratic initiatives on some social issues, most recently last week’s effort to create an expanded background check system for gun purchases.
Despite Obama’s double-digit defeat in Montana, Democrats intend to vigorously defend the seat. The leading Democratic candidate is former governor Schweitzer, a popular figure who at times has feuded with Baucus over parochial political issues in the Big Sky state.
The Baucus retirement also could have dramatic policy ramifications. No longer bounded by his own 2014 re-election, Baucus can now push for comprehensive tax reform without concerns about the political ramifications, his allies say.
Land o' Goshen, Montana's getting kind of kinky! Or one of their legislators is, anyway. He's appears to be into... spanking. Okay, maybe kinky wasn't the right word. How about misguided? Or just plain nuts?
I mean, come on, flogging is so Les Miz ago.
Memo to GOP: Violence is not the answer. Guns are not the answer. Beating, flogging, spanking, or otherwise harming other human beings: none of these is the answer. Common sense laws are, reasonable punishment is, you get the idea.
The bill proposed by Rep. Jerry O’Neil (R-Columbia Falls) includes the following:
A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT ALLOWING A DEFENDANT TO BARGAIN FOR THE IMPOSITION OF CORPORAL PUNISHMENT IN LIEU OF OR TO REDUCE THE TERM OF ANY SENTENCE OF INCARCERATION AVAILABLE TO THE COURT FOR IMPOSITION; AMENDING SECTION 46-18-115, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN APPLICABILITY DATE." BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
NEW SECTION. Section 1. Corporal punishment in lieu of incarceration. (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a person convicted of any offense by a court in this state, whether a misdemeanor or felony, may during a sentencing hearing as provided in 46-18-115 bargain with the court for the imposition of corporal punishment in lieu of or to reduce the term of any sentence of incarceration available to the court for imposition.
(2) The court and the person convicted of an offense shall negotiate the exact nature of the corporal punishment to be imposed, which must be commensurate with the severity, nature, and degree of the harm caused by the offender. If the court and the offender cannot agree on the exact nature of the corporal punishment to be imposed, the court shall impose a sentence as provided in 46-18-201.
(3) The imposition of a sentence under this section must be carried out by the sheriff of the county in which the crime occurred if the sentence for corporal punishment reduced or eliminated the term of incarceration in the county jail or by the department of corrections if the sentence reduced or eliminated the term of incarceration in the state prison. Any imposition of sentence pursuant to this section must be carried out within a reasonable time.
(4) For purposes of this section, "corporal punishment" means the infliction of physical pain on a defendant to carry out the sentence negotiated between the judge and the defendant.
No, he's not kidding.
Corporal punishment, according to Merriam-Webster:
Infliction of physical pain upon a person's body as punishment for a crime or infraction. Such penalties include beating, branding, mutilation, blinding, and the use of the stock and pillory. The term also denotes the physical disciplining of children in the schools and at home. From ancient times through the 18th century, corporal punishment was commonly used in instances that did not call for capital punishment, ostracism, or exile. But the growth of humanitarian ideals during the Enlightenment and afterward led to its gradual abandonment, and today it has been almost entirely replaced in the West by imprisonment or other nonviolent penalties.
H/t: The Lowdown
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