FROM Michael Nachmanoff
Crack Sentencing Reforms Take Effect Twelve thousand inmates are eligible for release from federal prisons due to reforms of sentencing laws for crack cocaine. Cocaine is illegal in all its forms but, in federal sentencing law, there's a disparity between crack and powder. The penalty for possession or distribution of crack used to be 100 times greater than for powder. Critics called the old laws unfair, especially to African-Americans. Now, the difference is just 18 to one. Congress made the change a year ago. Now the Sentencing Commission has made the change retroactive . Michael Nachmanoff is the federal public defender for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?