TSN Open Mic for the week of 3/27/2023


Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

Related Post Roulette

93 Responses

  1. Jaybird says:

    Good news!


  2. Damon says:

    “agreed” in this case means that the Fedgov TOLD them to buy it.

    Best line in the tweet thread:
    “Ummmm, First Citizens was one of the banks that everyone said was about to fail because their balance sheets were trash

    How does one failing bank buying another bank that failed help anyone?”

    Large cash infusion by the Treasury?Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Damon says:

      Here’s how I understand a bank “buying” another bank works.

      You get all of their assets and liabilities. So if they have assets worth $X and liabilities worth $Y, those are merely on your books now. Hurray! You now have a bunch of buildings you didn’t have yesterday! Boo! If Joe Schmoe comes up and wants to withdraw $100,000 from his account, you have to give it to him!Report

      • DavidTC in reply to Jaybird says:

        In most cases, and I think it is true about SVB, they supposedly have the assets to cover everything, they just couldn’t make them liquid enough to avoid the bank run. Supposedly. So a larger bank buying them would hypothetically work, as long as they can get enough immediate liquid assets to cover stuff. (Note the word ‘supposedly’ in there. This is the theory. No idea if it’s true.)

        The thing that confuses me is how this works with FDIC.

        When an insurance company pays out on a loss, they now _own_ that thing, right? If someone steals an insured painting from a museum, and the insurance pays out on it, the insurance company now owns that painting if it’s recovered.

        Which logically means the FDIC now basically owns that bank, or at least should own whatever percentage of it that the FDIC insurance payouts in total would add up to. And they covered a _lot_ of it. Way more than they had to. So let’s say they own like 80% of the bank.

        So…the bank was bought by First Citizens, but who was it bought _from_? The FDIC? Or was it still owned by the stockholders whose mismanagement caused the collapse to start with? Who got that sales money?

        Or, alternately, does First Citizen have to pay back the FDIC payouts? How does FDIC work when a bank ‘recovers’ or is bought out?Report

        • Michael Cain in reply to DavidTC says:

          When an insurance company pays out on a loss, they now _own_ that thing, right?

          Not generally. When an insurance company pays out to repair damage to my house, they don’t own any of it. Think of it as a bet — I (and a million other homeowners) bet that our houses will be seriously damaged, the insurance company bets that the houses won’t.

          So…the bank was bought by First Citizens, but who was it bought _from_? The FDIC?

          When an insured bank fails, the FDIC pays off the depositers up to the legal limit (or higher in some circumstances) out of the Deposit Insurance Fund where they where they put all of the premiums banks have been paying, takes over the remaining assets and liabilities, then “sells” them. Sometimes the sale is straightforward, sometimes very complex. How do you value a non-performing real-estate loan? How do you value the branch buildings owned by a now-failed bank? The FDIC may chop things up in odd pieces.Report

          • DavidTC in reply to Michael Cain says:

            When an insurance company pays out to repair damage to my house, they don’t own any of it.

            No, because houses (plus property under it, which is the only way you can own a house) are basically never a total loss, because the value of a house is _way_ more than the cost to build it. There’s no way they’d come out ahead making you go buy another house. Also by law they’d have to pay to move you, so that’s an additional disincentive.

            But if they total out your car, they do own it. Yes, I know you can still ‘keep it’ if you do some stuff, but you actually do that by buying the totaled car _back_ from them out of your insurance payout.

            Insurance companies are not going to pay you full reimbursement for something being completely destroyed and _let you keep it_. That leads to really obvious abuse. If they are replacing something, either by actually replacing it or by paying the cost of replacement or the value if it cannot be replaced…they are replacing it, and thus you no longer own the old thing. You agree to that when you accept the insurance payout _for_ the thing.

            When an insured bank fails, the FDIC pays off the depositers up to the legal limit (or higher in some circumstances) out of the Deposit Insurance Fund where they where they put all of the premiums banks have been paying, takes over the remaining assets and liabilities, then “sells” them.

            …in other words, they are doing exactly what I pointed out insurance companies normally do with full payouts, and the stockholders _aren’t_ allowed to keep any of it, and you could have just said that.Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to DavidTC says:

          Generally not. What insurance companies bet on is that you and millions of others will pay premiums and never need to file a claim.Report

          • DavidTC in reply to Saul Degraw says:

            The FDIC isn’t a ‘real’ insurance company, it’s a government agency that doesn’t actually act much like an insurance company. As evidence by the fact that they covered _way_ more than they were required to, which is something no actual insurance company would do.

            And you don’t normally pay for insurance for _other people_, which is actually what banks are doing, paying for insurance for their depositors.Report

            • Michael Cain in reply to DavidTC says:

              For roughly half the people in the country, their employer pays the biggest share of their health insurance premium. And regularly decides to change insurance companies, with corresponding changes in providers, without consulting at all with the employees.Report

        • Brandon Berg in reply to DavidTC says:

          My understanding is that SVB was solvent only in a sense that involves pretending that interest rates are zero.

          That is, they bought a bunch of bonds that pay out (for example) $1,000 each in ten years. When market interest rates are 2%, the bonds trade at a price which translates to a 2% return over 10 years, i.e. $820, so that’s what they paid, and that’s what they had on their books a year ago. At 4% interest, they’re only worth $676. So when ten-year interest rates go up from 2% to 4%, the value of the assets they hold goes way down.

          I’m assuming zero-coupon bonds for simplicity, but maybe they weren’t. The basic logic works out the same either way.

          Theoretically, they could hold the bonds for another 9 years and they’d pay out $1,000, just like they would have at a 2% interest rate. The problem is that all their depositors are expecting the kinds of interest rates banks pay when interest rates are high, and SVB can’t afford that because they’re stuck with 10-year bonds yielding 2%. But if they don’t, their depositors are going to take their money elsewhere.

          $1,000 ten years from now is not worth $1,000 today, and the higher market interest rates are expected to be over the next ten years, the less that future money is worth today. There’s not really any meaningful sense in which a bank with bonds paying $250 in ten years and $200 billion in deposits is solvent in a 4% interest rate environment (numbers made up for illustrative purposes).

          Hypothetically, if there hadn’t been a run on the bank, maybe they could have eaten the losses from paying market interest to their depositors over the next year or two, and if interest rates came down quickly enough, they could have recovered. But once they had to sell those bonds they paid $820 for at $675 a piece, the losses got to be far too big for them to eat.Report

      • Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird says:

        They didn’t get everything everything. Gov is going to keep the bonds and just camp on them until they can be turned in.

        Not sure if that’s cherry picking or if it’s just the gov keeping the really bad bonds, but it’s not everything.Report

        • DavidTC in reply to Dark Matter says:

          Gov is going to keep the bonds and just camp on them until they can be turned in.

          Not sure if that’s cherry picking or if it’s just the gov keeping the really bad bonds, but it’s not everything.

          I thought they were mostly _government_ bonds to start with? Or, at least, that was the ‘bad stuff’?

          I thought that was mostly the problem, the bank bought a bunch of long-term government bonds at a low interest rate, and now that interest rates have gone up, everyone wanted their money out of the bank so they could put them in higher-interest-rate bonds, which obviously can’t actually work if the bank’s money is still tied up in low-interest one. And hence George Bailey is standing there futilely explaining that they can’t take their money out of the bank to buy government bonds because their money is already _in_ government bonds.

          But everyone keeps inexplicably talking about how SVB’s government bonds have ‘dropped in value’, and I’m reading that going, uh, no, they haven’t, unless I’ve really missed something. The bonds are going to pay out exactly what they were promised to pay out when they were bought…which we know because the US government has not accidentally collapsed while we weren’t paying attention, and thus the US government seems likely to continue to pay off their bonds! What people mean with ‘dropped in value’ is that the bonds are _not as good_ as bonds that could be bought now.

          It’s extremely confusing, though, I admit I might be completely misunderstanding this.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to DavidTC says:

            They dropped in *POSITIONAL* value.

            Why invest in a place that is going to give you a 4.378% return when you could invest in a place that will give you 4.492%?Report

          • Marchmaine in reply to DavidTC says:

            “SVB’s government bonds have ‘dropped in value’, and I’m reading that going, uh, no, they haven’t, unless I’ve really missed something.”

            Imagine you buy a $1000 bond that matures in 1yr at 10%… yield = $1,100

            But, you need money now… however, rates have increased to 20%

            Someone who has $1000 won’t give you $1000 because they can get $1,200 in a year.

            BUT, someone would give you, say, $800 now for your bond that matures in 9mos at $1,100… netting $300 – which is more than the $200 they’d get… and sooner.

            [simple math, and all that]

            So… that’s what they mean when they say that as interest rates increase, the ‘value’ of bonds [on the secondary market] decreases. You lose money by *having* to sell before maturity. If rates go down the opposite happens, you make money selling early… your bonds gain value as interest rates go down.

            If you need money now, with rates higher than your locked in yields, you have to sell at a discount. That’s what happened to SVB to cover the $40B run on the bank. No bank run, and they could have ‘rebalanced’ their portfolio — assuming no other shocks — over time.

            What I haven’t heard explained yet is how VC could organize a mass exit of their ‘clients’ amounting to $40B (25% of total assets) that wouldn’t topple every bank in the world. No bank could handle a 25% exit (I don’t think).Report

          • Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC says:

            everyone wanted their money out of the bank so they could put them in higher-interest-rate bonds

            No, the issue is the bank’s underlying capital has gone down.

            You put $1000 in the bank.

            The bank buys a $1000 bond. If there’s a bank run then the bank can sell that bond for $1000 so it’s effectively cash. If the bank holds onto that bond until maturity then they’ll get that $1k plus interest.

            However because interest rates more than doubled, if the bank needs to sell that bond right now, they’ll get a lot less than $1k for it.

            Now if you want your money back, then the Bank won’t be able to pay you.Report

  3. Saul Degraw says:

    Mass shooting at a Christian school in Nashville with 3 children and 3 adults dead. Shooter was a 28 year old woman and former student of the school. She is also dead.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Shooter’s name has been released. Social media appears to be scrubbed.

      I wonder why they scrub the social media…Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

        The victims’ names have been released:


        • Pinky in reply to Jaybird says:

          When did they start releasing the names of minors? Is it the rule that they don’t release minors’ names if they’re the culprits, but they do as victims? I don’t remember this being a common thing, but there are those things like Amber alerts and Caylee’s law, so I guess it happens. Am I misremembering things? I just don’t think we used to do this.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Pinky says:

            I thought it was something like needing to wait until the next-of-kin get informed.

            After that, it’s just a question of taste whether the names of the deceased get released.

            But, like, the name of the child who died as the result of injuries that occurred as a result of the Waukesha Parada Kinetic Vehicle Incident That Might Have Been The Result Of A Police Chase We Still Don’t Know has been released.

            So this has been going on for a while, anyway.Report

          • Philip H in reply to Pinky says:

            The names for the Columbine victims were released. Ditto Sandy Hook. Once the parents are notified.

            So yes, I believe the standard has been release as victims after appropriate notifications, but not as perpetrators.Report

          • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky says:

            Maybe they should suppress the names and put the families in witness protection, since Alex Jones is still at large.Report

          • Brandon Berg in reply to Pinky says:

            I think the prohibition or taboo on naming minor victims only applies to surviving victims. AFAIK murder victims usually are named regardless of age.Report

  4. Jaybird says:

    If someone were going to bribe me $40 million to do something and it would be easier for me to get them arrested than for me to do the thing?

    I’d probably go for the whole “get them arrested” plan.

    Though I say that only imagining that I would be in a position where it would be reasonable for someone to bribe me $40 million.


    • Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird says:

      Do we get to keep the $40M bribe? Seems material to the calculations.

      Else, it’s probably a ‘now that SBF failure is public, we’d better cover-up our bribe taking with new prosecutions, plus a few sub-bribes to allow us to do that’

      aka: How to turn a $50M bribe into a $40M bribe prosecution.Report

  5. Philip H says:

    Idaho joins the race to the legislative bottom regarding transgender youth and the rights of parents to seek treatment for them.


  6. Saul Degraw says:

    TN Congress twerp tells reporters that school shootings and murders of actual living children will not be stopped: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/mar/28/tim-burchett-republican-nashville-shootingReport

    • Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Ordinarily this sort of statement would be the deathblow to any candidate.
      But I doubt it will be here.

      I put this in the same category as the people who suffer as a result of Republican policies, whether it be farmers or low wage workers, yet who steadfastly vote R every time.

      This phenomenon demolishes the conventional wisdom that voters always vote for their rational economic wellbeing.
      Instead, Republican/Trump voters prioritize resentment over all other considerations and will happily endure almost any amount of suffering before sharing power with their hated outgroups.

      It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if some parent were to bury their child killed by gun violence, then go out and eagerly vote for a NRA-backed candidate who promised more guns, everywhere.Report

    • Dark Matter in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      So in other words he’s honest, rational, and realistic.

      One hopes that’s an advantage.Report

      • Philip H in reply to Dark Matter says:


        In 2022, after voting against Democratic legislation to fund police departments, Burchett attributed a “violent crime spike” to “liberal soft-on-crime policies and the radical Defund the Police movement”.

        Hardly. Like too many politicians, he’s a coward who care more about his own power then anything else. Afterall, he sees no congressional role in doing something Congress has yet to actually do.Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to Philip H says:

          Notice how when a liberal talks about how people just need to accept a certain level of shoplifting, this is a Very Bad Thing which obviously causes sensible people to vote against them?

          Maybe if shoplifters just gunned down the clerks while taking a bag of Cheetos, conservatives would understand why there simply is no way to stop this.Report

          • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            Oh if only there were Blue plantations where Team Blue could pass the simple anti-gun law that would totally fix school shootings. Maybe Blue can use this issue to take over some place like Chicago and finally fix the issue.Report

            • Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter says:

              Keep going with this thought.

              What might be the outcome, if a state like California actually passed some sort of gun control legislation?Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Ignoring that California already has gun control laws…

                Define “some sort of [additional] gun control legislation” and define what you expect from it.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Dark Matter says:

                I’d like to see that weighed against the argument that we also need prosecutors more willing to drop gun charges against alleged gun law violators. (e.g., George Gascón.)Report

              • Philip H in reply to Dark Matter says:

                100% background checks, including for private party sales, with seizures and fines for penalties.

                Requirements to store securely, have sufficient insurance for both theft and mishandling, and stiff fines for failure to comply.

                Mandatory training at purchase with the fire arm in question, and retraining every 5 years with licensed instructors.

                Significant changes to better link the background check system to mental health records, so that persons being actively treated for mental illness are not permitted to purchase new weapons while under treatment.

                Universal red flag laws for suspected domestic abusers and mandatory seizure laws for those convicted of domestic abuse.

                Of course I also want changes in education, and economic policy so that guns are no longer needed to protect turf in the inner city where illegal commerce is the only way many people can feed their families. But that’s not usually technically gun control.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Philip H says:

                In cases where legislatures pass laws where sentencing enhancements are given to people who commit crimes using guns, how much discretion should prosecutors have when it comes to dropping charges?Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Philip H says:

                Sounds like an interesting social experiment.

                My expectation is we’ll find out the bulk of gun violence comes from criminals who don’t obey laws.

                There may be other side effects.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter says:

                I was asking you to think through your own proposal.

                What happened when Team Blue in California did exactly as you suggest,, and passed an assault weapons ban?

                It, and most other gun laws, are blocked by Republican judges.

                So the there’s the answer to your question.

                You can agree or disagree, but the reason Team Blue doesn’t regulate guns is Team Red won’t allow it, anywhere.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                What happened when Team Blue in California did exactly as you suggest,, and passed an assault weapons ban?

                The Federal Gov passed an assault weapons ban for the nation for 10+ years to see what would happen… the data was so inconclusive that it rounds to zero effect.

                If you do a lot of data selection (i.e. cherry picking) you can see stuff, but that’s bad science.

                As for California’s 30 year ban being overturned in 2021, what was the effect before it was overturned? Did California not have any gun problems between 1991 and 2021?

                Hmm… looks like California did in fact have shootings and even school shootings during that time.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Im just responding to your question.

                There are no “Team Blue” gun laws.
                The only gun laws allowed to stand, anywhere, are the ones Team Red wants.

                Our status quo is what you guys fought so hard to create.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Are there any prosecutors out there doing things like dropping gun charges when they shouldn’t?Report

              • Philip H in reply to Jaybird says:

                Why do you think they shouldn’t? and what does that have to do with lowering the threat to children from guns?

                Does it surprise you that gun violence is now the leading cause of childhood death in the US?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Philip H says:

                Why do you think they shouldn’t?

                It depends on what I think the goal is.

                and what does that have to do with lowering the threat to children from guns?

                It has to do with the assumption that the threat not only comes from guns but from the people pulling the trigger.

                Does it surprise you that gun violence is now the leading cause of childhood death in the US?

                Not at all. Certainly not with prosecutors doing things like dropping gun charges against people who eventually go on to shoot children.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Philip H says:

                Does it surprise you that gun violence is now the leading cause of childhood death in the US?

                Probably means we’ve made strides at fixing car accidents and kiddy cancer.

                Let’s see… https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/12/14/magazine/gun-violence-children-data-statistics.html

                [school shootings] account for less than 1 percent of the total gun deaths suffered by American children.

                Last year, nearly two-thirds of gun deaths involving children — 2,279 — were homicides. Since 2018, they have increased by more than 73 percent. Most homicides involved Black children…

                Hispanic is slightly trending up, White slightly down, and Black way, way up.

                Suicide is a teenage white thing (see graphs). Gun accident rounds to zero for all races.

                If we’re going to talk about gun violence in general, then it’s suicide (if your kid is suicidal don’t have a gun in the house and get them treated) and homicide (don’t live in a dangerous zip code).

                The murder rate for my zip code holds steady at zero.

                The question should be “what do we want to do about the extremely violent sub-culture(s) which are fueling these numbers” and not “since this is a problem everywhere equally, what can we all do”.Report

            • Slade the Leveller in reply to Dark Matter says:

              To be fair, this Chicago resident can’t recall an incident where someone invades a school with a rifle and starts blasting away.Report

              • According to the Chicago Sun-Times:

                It’s difficult to track nonfatal shootings of children 17 and younger, some of whom could have been fatalities had the bullet hit differently. But in 2022, there were 41 shooting incidents, which can include multiple victims, involving children 19 and under within two blocks of a school. Police do not identify shooting victims by name and age, only by age group. This was the second highest number of nonfatal shootings for children 19 and under over the last 10 years. There were more shooting incidents in 2016.

                I imagine that we’d say something like “oh, so a guy shoots a 15 year old a block away from a school and you think that’s an example of someone invading a school with a rifle?”

                But we might also say something like “We’re talking about anti-gun laws. I’m not sure how going particularly narrow and saying ‘at least we are not like the shooting that happened elsewhere’ addresses the root issue.”Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Slade the Leveller says:

                In Chicago, someone like that would get killed some other way and it wouldn’t make national news. In Chicago it’d barely make local news.Report

          • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            You’re comparing something that happens in every store to something you want to prevent happening anywhere in the nation.

            This is not a rational argument, nor do you have a workable solution. I’d rather have a politician point out that we don’t have a workable solution instead of running around praying to God or proposing things that are unconstitutional and/or unworkable.

            We don’t have the resources to prevent every drowning nor every lightning death in the US. We can do a lot, we are already doing a lot, but there are serious limits and the numbers suggest this isn’t a big problem.Report

  7. Philip H says:

    A parent of a second grade student at North Shore Elementary in St. Petersburg filed a formal complaint March 6 requesting the removal of the 1998 movie “Ruby Bridges” from the school’s list of approved films. This came after the movie was shown to about 60 second-graders on March 2 as part of a Black History Month lesson, Isabel Mascareñas, a spokesperson for Pinellas County Schools, told CNN.

    The parent wrote that the film could teach students racial slurs, “how they are different” and that “White people hate Black people.”

    “The reason I think that second grade is not too young is that by that age, children are recognizing racial differences. Ruby was 6 years old when she desegregated William Frantz,” Johnson said.

    “If children are old enough to be called the N-word and learn what it means, then it’s my opinion that second graders who are 7 and 8 years of age can and should begin to learn about the history of racism in this country,” Johnson said.

    And all this hullbaloo from a parent given the choice to opt their kids out of the screening – which they apparently did. At the time Miss Bridges went to that school, many whites did, in fact, hate blacks. And that is an uncomfortable fact. But why should all kids be prevented form learning it?


  8. Philip H says:

    Better late then never:

    The Senate voted Wednesday to repeal authorizations for the use of military force against Iraq, a significant moment as lawmakers aim to reassert authority in military intervention abroad.

    The legislation now goes to the US House of Representatives for a vote. Speaker Kevin McCarthy has signaled support for it and said it would likely be brought to the floor. With bipartisan support for the repeal, the measure appears to have a good chance of passing the chambers, though it’s still unclear if lawmakers will try to amend it.

    The vote comes on the heels of the 20th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq.

    The White House said it supports the measure to repeal the 1991 and 2002 authorizations for use of force in Iraq. If it passes both chambers, it would mark a formal conclusion to the conflicts and a symbolic reassertion of Congress’ ability to declare war.


    • Marchmaine in reply to Philip H says:

      Yes. Thus concludes the Wars in Iraq.

      Ironically, those are the ‘good’ AUMF’s which are at least geographically and systemically bound to war against a state.

      The bad one is still the 2001 AUMF which is boundless and subjective.

      “(a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.”

      Need a justification for boots on the ground in Ukraine? It’s just a game of 6-degrees of separation… Syria / Wagner / Russia / Ukraine… who’s arguing we’re not fighting terrorism in Ukraine?Report

  9. Burt Likko says:

    If you can’t do the time, be a lot more careful with your unfinished burritos:

    The contents of the bag included a quarter portion of a partially eaten burrito wrapped in waxed paper, a soiled napkin, a crumpled napkin, a stack of napkins, the wrapper of the burrito, a crumpled food wrapper, four unopened hot sauce packets, and the brown paper bag itself [.]

    And here I tell my clients that real life law enforcement isn’t like what they see on CSI. I bet there was even techno music playing in the background while they tested the remains of the burrito for DNA in their spic-and-span clean state-of-the-art crime lab stuffed to the gills with Science! Stuff.Report

  10. Jaybird says:

    Those who support gun control but also want to take into account deeper issues of justice have good news:

    Jasper Wu was a toddler who was killed by a stray bullet during a rolling gun battle on the highway.

    The DA is searching for broader possibilities for healing and non-carceral forms of accountability.

    The AAPI community, of course, is being less thoughtful about this than the DA and her office.Report

    • Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird says:

      Previous link was background. This one is to what the family has heard the DA is trying to do in general.


    • Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird says:

      And this is where the DA’s head is at. This is her official policy, released 2023-03-02 (i.e. 27 days ago). Some highlight from this link… https://www.berkeleyscanner.com/2023/03/02/courts/alameda-county-district-attorney-pamela-price-leaked-memo/

      Barring “extraordinary circumstances” and approval by District Attorney Pamela Price herself, the penalty for most crimes in Alameda County will soon be restricted to probation or the lowest-level prison term.

      “This directive reduces reliance on sentencing enhancements and allegations as an effort to bring balance back to sentencing and reduce recidivism,” Price wrote. “This new directive captures the District Attorney’s Office’s vision of justice for Alameda County.”

      Alameda County voters elected Pamela Price in November on her promise to address racial disparities and “disrupt the system.”

      Going forward, if a case is eligible for probation, that “shall be the presumptive offer,” the directive reads. If it is not, the sentencing offer “shall be the low term.”

      The Price memo specifies that the new policies are “presumptive, not mandatory” — but makes clear that divergence from the path requires both extraordinary circumstances and multiple supervisors to sign off, including Price herself.

      What are sentencing enhancements? Sentencing enhancements and allegations are essentially add-ons to the main criminal charges that increase the penalties in the case of conviction. They often come into play when guns are used…

      Price wrote that firearm allegations, bail violations and gang enhancements “shall not be pursued in any case” without extraordinary circumstances and approval from multiple supervisors including Price.

      Price drew criticism from the families of crime victims in January when she dropped special circumstances in the case of a convicted killer facing multiple murder charges, then again in February when she dropped them as part of a proposed plea deal for a man who had been charged with committing three murders in 31 days.Report

      • Philip H in reply to Dark Matter says:

        And in this case it appears she has left the enhancements in place. SO what’s the issue?Report

        • Dark Matter in reply to Philip H says:

          If the system defaults to “there are too many blacks in prison so this specific black criminal is a victim of the system”, then the family is correct to assume they should be getting upset.

          The really interesting question is what she would have done without media attention.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Philip H says:

          At this point, the DA’s office is still discussing non-carceral forms of accountability in such a way that the AAPI community distrusts that the enhancements will continue to be left in place.

          Which you’d think that people who cared about Social Justice would appreciate instead of calling for the application of systematic racism against marginalized members of society.Report

          • Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird says:

            Social Justice is for the fair treatment and equitable status of all individuals and social groups. The key issue is whether they stress individual justice or the group justice. This DA has said a lot of things which suggest she’s more of a group kind of gal.

            Collective Justice and/or Collective Rights suggest, in this case, that they go light on the killer because he’s Black and there are too many blacks in prison. Further the dead baby is Asian and Asians are more successful than they should be so as a class they’ll be fine.Report

  11. Philip H says:

    IN a sign that Ron DeSantis is no smarter then DJT (!), it appears Disney made an end run around his attempted takeover of the local taxing district:

    The new board handpicked by the Republican governor to oversee Disney’s special taxing district said Wednesday it is considering legal action over a multi-decade agreement reached between the entertainment giant and the outgoing board in the days before the state’s hostile takeover last month.

    Under the agreement – quietly approved on February 8 as Florida lawmakers met in special session to hand DeSantis control of the Reedy Creek Improvement District – Disney would maintain control over much of its vast footprint in Central Florida for 30 years and, in some cases, the board can’t take significant action without first getting approval from the company.


    • Michael Cain in reply to Philip H says:

      …in some cases, the board can’t take significant action without first getting approval from the company.

      Yep. Key parts of the electric, water, and sewer systems that Disney operates under contract to the special district are without doubt in ironclad control of Disney. IANAL, just a humble former legislative budget staffer, but even I could have designed the arrangments for that.

      The state legislature has always been going to lose, at least in the sense that the only ways they could actually wrest control from Disney were going to be politically toxic. (Note that the state’s first plan, to simply dissolve the district, was too toxic for them to carry through.)Report

    • Burt Likko in reply to Philip H says:

      [High-pitched cartoon voice] Hah hah! Don’t Eff With The Mouse! [Trigger warning: clicking the link will produce a parody image of a cartoon figure making an obscene hand gesture.]

      [Regular voice] In fact, the clause indicating that the agreement will last for the duration of the lifetime of the descendants of King Charles III of England plus 21 years is a master stroke of legal drafting — it runs right up against the Rule Against Perpetuities, plus it guarantees that the revelation of the agreement will get lots of headlines. King Charles’ youngest descendent is, I believe, Princess Lilibet, daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who was born in 2021. (Also, the Royals tend to be rather long-lived.)

      [High-pitched cartoon voice, making Mickey Mouse giggling noises]Report

  12. Jaybird says:

    As it turns out, the outcome of the “don’t teach algebra to 8th graders” plan created more equity.


    • Philip H in reply to Jaybird says:

      When you make education a business, ruled by metrics, you engender this sort of thing.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Philip H says:

        Really? Because I thought that the justification for this change in the first place was “equity”.

        The article says:

        In 2014, SFUSD denied access to algebra 1 for all eighth graders, regardless of their preparation and motivation, justifying this with the word “equity.” SFUSD subsequently claimed success, but inquiring community members were denied access to supporting data. Obtaining data through public records requests, the district’s success claims were exposed to be grossly misrepresented.

        Wait, ruled by metrics?

        You mean stuff like “testing for proficiency”?


      • Dark Matter in reply to Philip H says:

        It’s the public school that is the problem here.

        On average, Math is a key to life success and it’s measurable. Without metrics the school would announce everyone was equal and successful when in reality they’re not.Report

    • Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird says:

      Point of order… 8th grade Algebra is:

      Solve for x the following equations.
      A) -x = 6
      B) 2x – 8 = -x + 4
      C) 2x + 1/2 = 2/3
      D) x/3 + 2 = 5
      E) -5/x = 2

      I get a little annoyed when people grab visuals that imply that 8th grade algebra isn’t pretty basic solve for x… not pre-calc. I feel it muddies rather than clarifies the situation.


  13. Saul Degraw says:

    Covenant Presbyterian appears to have covered up for a molester and so is the media: https://crooksandliars.com/2023/03/lets-talk-bit-about-history-covenantReport

  14. Jaybird says:

    See, this is what happens if you defund without reforming first:


    • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      From Nate Silver:


      • Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:

        Silver is still angry at all the people who told him that he was wrong with his predictions in 2022 and insists that his model works. This kind of stuff is basically from people who do not want to give any credit to Democrats or Winemoms ever because eww cooties. Neither Trump or DeSantis is acceptable. Both are immoral, vulgar, and cruel. Yet the media and overpaid pundit class has decided that DeSantis is somehow an acceptable alternative to Trump and would like to tsk tsk Democrats and Winemoms who say otherwise.Report

  15. Saul Degraw says:

    A Bush II appointee to the federal bench just declared that it is unconstitutional for the ACA to cover a wide number of preventive procedures. This is because a right-wing employer did not want to pay for Birth Control or PReP and the Judge declared that the coverage for those could not be severed from coverage for the following procedures: colonoscopies, pap smears, mammograms, smoking cessation, hepatitis C screenings, prenatal care.Report

  16. Saul Degraw says:

    Here is a story to unite liberals and libertarians, a girl raised a goat as part of a fair in Shasta County. The animals raised for the fair were put up for auction and eventually for meat. The girl grew attached to her goat and did not want it killed. The person who purchased the goat happened to be Brian Dahle, the 2022 Republican nominee for CA Governor. He had the common decency and sense to be willing to negotiate with the girl’s mother. Shasta County fair officials decided this was unacceptable because they were called out on social media and called deputies to get a search warrant and seize the goat from an animal refuge 500 miles away in Sonoma County: https://abc7news.com/shasta-county-goat-cedar-the-auction-district-fair-sheriff/12191244/

    Reason also criticized the action from officials of the Gilead of Shasta CountyReport