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November 2011 Archives

Griping Americans seek equality of opportunity

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Now Chelsea Clinton, never having been a serious news reporter in her life, is taking the leap into the big leagues of American media, once again begging the question: Just how real is American meritocracy?

As Glenn Greenwald reports at Salon today, Clinton has been hired as a full-time correspondent for NBC News. That's a splendid gig, coveted by talented and hard-working TV reporters everywhere, but too bad for them -- they chose the wrong parents.

And Chelsea's anointing is hardly the exception to the rule of merit. It is, in fact, further proof that something is amiss. Before Clinton, there was Jenna Bush -- President Bush's daughter -- joining NBC's "Today" show, and Luke Russert -- Tim's kid -- going to NBC, and Meghan McCain -- Sen. John McCain's daughter -- cutting a nice deal with MSNBC.

And, as Greenwald says, people wonder what Occupy Wall Street is beefing about.

But that doesn't stop hard-core defenders of the status quo, even if that means ignoring the real and substantive complaints. They simply set up straw men and knock them down.

Quirk in Illinois sentencing is counterproductive

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A quirk in Illinois sentencing laws means some nonviolent prison inmates can't trim their sentences by getting a GED or undergoing drug treatment, but some violent criminals can.

That's because state sentencing laws are a hodge podge collection that's been assembled piecemeal over the years without much overall research or reflection.

An example: At one point, the Legislature decided that people convicted of the most serious offenses - Class X crimes - aren't eligible to get good time for GEDs or drug treatment. At another point, the Legislature added some nonviolent drug crimes into the Class X category.

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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