money and problems

Louisiana Leading Way in Prison Privatization, Rest of U.S. Catching Up

get it?A few weeks ago, we wondered if Louisiana had seceded from the Union or had been left to fend for itself, given that it has the highest infant mortality rate, the fifth-highest maternal mortality rate, the fourth-worst life expectancy rate, the fifth-highest violent crime rate, the second-highest poverty rate, and the fifth-highest obesity rate in the country, and on top of it all, seems to be eradicating public education. But nope, Louisiana, as it turns out, is as American as apple pie, running a gargantuan for-profit prison industrial complex that imprisons more people per capita than any other state in the country. All told, Louisiana spends $182 million a year to house inmates in local (overwhelmingly private) prisons, because private [anything] is better than public [anything] duh. Louisiana is divided into 64 parishes, and when all is said and done, the state spends anywhere between $200,000-$1,000,000 on prisons per parish depending on the scope and size of  operations. 

Inspired by the Times-Picayune’s eight-part series on Louisiana’s prison industry, the commie pinkos at ProPublica have done some reporting of their own and uncovered a lot of depressing statistics, the most depressing of which include the following:

1.6 million: Total number of state and federal prisoners in the United States as of December 2010, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics

Note that we have a total population of around 311 million people which means that about 1 in 100 American adults are behind bars. The good news: in 1980, there were around 40,000 people in jail for drug offenses and now there are approximately half a million, which means that our Job Creators have done a bang up job benefiting from the war on drugs, bless their hearts. Anyway, moving on….

66: number of facilities owned and operated by Corrections Corporation of America, the country’s largest private prison company based on number of facilities

Sponsored Video

$1.7 billion: total revenue recorded by CCA in 2011

$17.4 million: lobbying expenditures in the last 10 years, according to the Center for Responsive Politics

$3.7 million: executive compensation for CEO Damon T. Hininger in 2011

Your Wonkette is no business titan, however, might we humbly suggest that the enterprise be further monetized by getting inmates to take out Stafford loans to subsidize their stay. Also, the rest of the U.S. is doing pretty good, what with incarcerating 1 in every 100 people, but still falling behind Louisiana’s average of 1 in 85. We all have to make sacrifices to the Job Creators, people, so let’s get with the program.

[ProPublica]

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About the author

Kris E. Benson writes about politics for Wonkette and is pursuing a doctorate in philosophy. This will come in handy for when they finally open that philosophy factory in the next town over. @Kris_E_Benson

View all articles by Kris E. Benson

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208 comments

  1. Ryy

    If the Republicans really wanted to create jobs they'd go down to New Orleans, huff some glue and punch a cop.

    Hypocrites!

    1. OKthennext

      We just left. On vacation. Cause a storm's coming. Duh.

      Anyway, we are in Lancaster PA and my daughter asks me "Why do we live in Louisiana? Why?" Add privatized prisons and voucher school, it's getting damn hard to answer her.

      1. Hera Sent Me

        My father's family is from Louisiana. Redbones and Coonasses pepper that half of my family tree. The one thing they had in common is such an aversion to Louisiana that they moved to Texas.

        (Insert snarky comments here.)

  2. Barb

    Those caging Cajuns sure do know how to make something work in their state, don't they? Between that and the men who capture alligators that were just swimming around, minding their own business, I kinda want to go there to get me some of that toothless Bubba lovin'.

    1. Fare la Volpe

      The easier way would be to just cold clock Jeffers in the jaw and hope ya get lucky!

    1. scvirginia

      And 'A Hall of Mirrors'. Read that about a year ago & was rather saddened by how current it still is…

  3. not that Radio

    might we humbly suggest that the enterprise be further monetized by getting inmates to take out Stafford loans to subsidize their stay

    Jesus, Kris! Just mentioning that has now caused it to happen, retroactively. Expect some black helicopters, and a call from a collection agency, later tonight.

  4. LastGasp

    The growing prison population is a win-win for everyone — in the near future we'll all either work at a prison or be in prison. Either way, no need for anyone to ask silly questions like "How will I get by?" or "Will I have enough to eat?"

    1. Beetagger

      That's my retirement plan. When I hit 65, I plan to punch a congressman in the nuts.

      1. viennawoods13

        Choose carefully… you'd hate to waste that nut-punching on someone who didn't really really deserve it. There's Rep West, for instance.

  5. johnnyzhivago

    OT, but I was just at Walmart buying a shovel and an eyeglass repair kit. I went to the pharmacy window and this older woman is in front of me talking to the guy at the counter…. "Oh how terrible it will be if this Obama is re-elected" – "Obamacare will ruin everything" — "turning this into a socialist country" – "worse than the depression and all his fault" ….

    Must calm down, must drink heavily….

    1. not that Radio

      Funny Walmart story: I was shopping for one of those LR-44 batteries. I asked the Walmart clerk where I could find watch batteries.

      [Blank stare] "Whatchu want, honey?"

      You know, those small disk-shaped batteries?

      "Oh. You mean hearing aid batteries"

      Sure.

      "Yeah, they're over there. By the watches."

    2. DocChaos

      You should have told her: "Thank God, when Romney is President they'll get rid of socialist medicare, and those freeloading seniors sucking out $3 in care for every buck they put in will finally have to pay the difference out of their own pockets."

  6. PuckStopsHere

    Once again, you have neglected Michigan (The Vagina State) where we spend more money on "Corrections" than we do on higher education.

  7. Pragmatist2

    OK, Class. If there are 64 parishes and Louisiana spends between $200K and $1 million on prisons in each, how does it end up spending $182M a year on prisons.
    Answer: Its accountants were educated in Louisiana!

  8. Doktor Zoom

    Pro Publica may be just about the best thing to happen in investigative journalism in the last 20 years. They are actually doing the kind of digging that results in change, the kind of journalism that Aaron Sorkin's new TV fapfest only pretends to be about.

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      If Louisiana could just totally swap the prison population for the state's politician population, they'd improve things by an order of magnitude. With luck, Florida and Texas would be inspired by the success of the scheme.

  9. LibertyLover

    Imagine what Louisiana might be like if they spent $200,000 to $1,000,000 per parish on their schools…

  10. Rotundo_

    The legislative and judicial and soon the executive functions of government will be privatized, so the prisons come as no surprise. I'm just waiting for those legendary savings we are all supposed to see come rolling in. Of course I have been waiting 40 years for the money to "trickle down" too so I think I might just be waiting a good while for my savings to come down from on high.

  11. Dudleydidwrong

    Some of Louisiana's legal system still hearkens back to the Napoleonic Code, so it is easy to break a law while in the state. Mardi Gras is a quick way to fill up the prisons so the private companies don't start complaining.

    Maybe Bobby Jindal fancies himself as the New Napoleon. Hey, Bobby! I hear a song: "Waterloo, Waterloo…"

  12. Antispandex

    I'm sure that any thought of the possibility that someone might, say, imprison people, or keep them imprisoned longer, to make a profit, would be considered some form of a "conspiracy theory". I won't mention it then, because I have a feeling private asylums are next, and that scares me a little.

    1. not that Radio

      private asylums are next, and that scares me a little.

      Propublica is working on that, too. I guess they have to do everything.

      Poor supervision, understaffing and worker training played a role in patient rapes, beatings, riots and suicides, state and federal inspection reports showed.

    2. Dashboard Buddha

      Are there mental hospitals any more? Maybe it was just Maine, but Pineland was shut down and the sick folks were sent to "less restrictive" communities and served by private social service organizations. Of course, I kid when I say "served". Under-supervised medication, safety issues, highly restrictive small group homes (one made her charges call her mother or mommy – yeah, no issues here). Things seem to be improved but it took nearly 20 years just to get here. Oh, and between the cost of the services provided and the cost of better inspection from the state, they're not saving all that much money any more. Yay?

      1. BerkeleyBear

        Doing away with state homes for the mentally disabled or long term chronic mentally ill (not acute psychosis/crises) is a matter of civil rights and the ADA. Yeah, it has issues, but it is a hell of a lot better than the prison like settings of large state institutions.

        And it can save you money if you do it right, but it takes a lot more thought than a lot of places are willing to put in.

    1. Ms_Anthrope

      "Theys boiled eyeless shrimp, fried eyeless shrimp, eyeless shrimp cocktail….." etc.

  13. Callyson

    might we humbly suggest that the enterprise be further monetized by getting inmates to take out Stafford loans to subsidize their stay

    I have Joe Arpaio on line one to discuss the details…

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      That's what happens when you quote Jefferson in support of Dickens. (Being a Republican really should be a lot harder than it seems to be.)

      1. bikerlaureate

        If you can't trust an honorable man of integrity and sincerity such as former Governor Rmoney . . . . . .

  14. LionHeartSoyDog

    'The Battle of New Orleans.' ~
    "We fired our cannon 'til the barrel melted down,
    so we grabbed an alligator and we fought another round.
    We filled his head with cannon balls and powdered his behind,
    and when we touched the powder off, the gator lost his mind."
    -Jimmy Driftwood song.

    There's a metaphor in there somewhere…

  15. Goonemeritus

    “$1.7 billion: total revenue recorded by CCA in 2011”

    I find this hilarious, when was just a wee tike of an engineer I took a job with an unfashionable division of a Fortune 500. After a few months on the job I found out the corporations pet name on Wall Street was The Bomb Company. Turns out it got its start by three MIT professors who were doing tons of consulting work for the department of energy on nuclear weapons. A huge part of the corporation was still involved with it when I was there. The top line of the Corp. when I left was $1.7 billion. This leads me to believe the real money is in locking up brown people not blowing them up.

  16. GeorgiaBurning

    "See ya later Kazakhstan," says a proud Gov. Bobby Jindal, "And North Korea, you're next!"

  17. MilwaukeeKent

    CCA and GEO are pernicious and anything but free market. For-profit prisons, run on the tax payer's dime, with guaranteed profits on the tax payer's dime, and buying conservative legislatures (w/ the tax payer's dime) who not only ensure their continued contracts but happily welcome "tough on crime" maximum sentencing, eliminating probation/parole, and the creation of whole new laws to break. are members of ALEC. Hopefully soon the only members of ALEC. Bringing back debtors prisons and workhouses are wet dreams for this crowd.
    There is a very soft, tender and pettable underbelly that leaves them vulnerable, very vulnerable. This involves hitting Christian conservatives over the head, repeatedly, with the New Testament. again and again, using JC's own words against CCA, GEO and ALEC. The GOP base can be used to destroy this very GOP idea of for-profit prisons.

    1. PuckStopsHere

      Christian Conservatives don't give a fuck what Christ said. I've yet to see one turn the other cheek or do anything else remotely "Christ-like".

      1. MilwaukeeKent

        True that but, among the allies in this fight would or should be the same council of Bishops that the Right is trumpeting as champions of Conservatism, the pointy-headed dudes who are giving Obama such grief on birth control for 2% of female congregants. They're usually bending the long arc toward justice on a handful of social issues (poor/prisoners,etc.) despite being 100 years lost on love and sex. Also, if they're publicly owned, odds are some investment group like Bain owns a big chunk, but it turns out almost every time that the biggest stakeholder in that group is something like the Ontario Teachers Pension Fund. There's always a way in. Shit can be done. Hey, in this world the Koch Bros are in bed with an ACLU lawsuit against two clauses of the Patriot Act. Things happen. I mean, the NRA wakes up in a strange hotel room, looks at the face drooling on the next pillow and thinks, "Oh my God! Did I just sleep with Earth First!? What HAPPENED last night?" and sneaks out to find a cab home.

    2. BerkeleyBear

      And the best part is that if they do get caught breaking the law, the state winds up on the hook for the civil rights violations as the company just walks away chortling.

      Or if the state can't afford the population the contracted for, and has to release prisoners to relieve overcrowding/patch the budget? The company typically has clauses to ensure their profits are still locked in.

      Oh, and in a final kick to the law, they hire so many lobbyists that in a lot of Midwestern states the top firms are barred from taking cases for prisoners alleging any sort of issue with prison conditions. Which helps further ensure nothing changes.

    1. MumbletyRadio

      OT again: intensedebate won't let me reply to your other comment/ other thread about wsj on education. ("del'd by admin", twice)
      I was trying to link to this insightful commentary.
      As you were~

      1. not that Radio

        That's great. The animation style is reminiscent of those stupid UPS ads, which were stupid because they were ads, not because of the animation style. The style was great, it's just a shame that it had to be squandered on a UPS ad. I'll finish watching/listening later, after dinner.

        It was only a matter of time, statistically, until those random strings of characters in youtube links violated the text filters.

      2. RadioSlut

        You know who else is an educational theorist? That's right, Bill Ayers.
        But srsly, that was pretty cool. But come Monday it's back to feelings and emotions for me. Intellect for Dummies.

    2. bikerlaureate

      Anne Laurie at Balloon Juice said something nice about our Wonket and Josh's coverage of Joe Williams:

      Josh Fruhlinger at Wonkette points out (since this is Wonkette’s niche in the journalistic ecosystem) that the emperor is actually stark naked:

      1. not that Radio

        Every once in a while, some brave blogger will persevere, past all the poop and dick jokes, and see the unique brilliance that is Wonkette writing.

        1. wonkettkinkster

          I have it on good authority that Rachel Maddow has an intern combing through the poop and dick jokes for Real News®.

  18. Dashboard Buddha

    OT but just wondering: If and when the US slips into another civil war, where do you think the geographical boundary will be? Back along the Manson/Nixon line? East vs West? Scattered red and blue enclaves?

      1. bikerlaureate

        It's definitely low-hanging fruit, but the first seven words of your post just caused a minor causal loop here…

        1. not that Radio

          Oh, good. That was meant to be intentionally jarring.

          Glenn's map isn't actually all that different from LionHeartSoyDog's prediction, although Glenn no doubt overstates the redness of the map.

    1. LionHeartSoyDog

      ? The Left Coast and the North Eastern states + New Mexico
      vs The Flyover States ?
      This is just rough conjecture from looking at a map of projected Electoral votes.
      What do Wonketers think?
      (i think decent, civilized people greatly outnumber the sociopaths in Murka-usa#1!, but the wingnutz are much more dangerously vicious).

      1. Dashboard Buddha

        Along those lines, I'm reminded of a Nietzsche quote I read today.

        I have often laughed at the weaklings who thought themselves good because they had no claws."

        Of course, this is from the same dude that hectored us about staring into the abyss. Still, it might be a good time to grow some claws…you know, just in case.

      1. LetUsBray

        My guess is that it will look like Bosnia on too many levels. Or maybe RMoney and the Rethugs will sweep in the fall, and we'll be like a theocratic and more militarily aggressive China. Really, there's all sorts of awesome possible futures.

      2. scvirginia

        I agree that the divide is already less about geography & more about educational & economic status.

        People all over the country are increasingly isolated- whether voluntarily or not- into communities where there isn't much diversity. Group think is a little too easy when you're living in a place where everyone in your neighborhood looks like you, is in the same tax bracket as you & consumes the same media as you… So, yes- scattered red & blue enclaves.

    2. flamingpdog

      No geographical boundary. The next civil war will be fought on the internetz, and the youngz will annihilate the conservaturds, and Wonkette will win a glorious victory over Breitfart and RedState, with rusty chainsaws and cheese graters, sideways, and WITHOUT VOTES. I'll be hiding in my basement playing my 115,000th game of Free Cell solitaire.

      1. Fare la Volpe

        the youngz will annihilate the conservaturds

        We're workin' on it, we're workin' on it.

        1. BoatOfVelociraptors

          True. Geography becomes less relevant as ip/namespace becomes more relevant.

    3. flamingpdog

      If the divide is along the Manson/Nixon line again, I hope this time we show them the true meaning of "Union thugs".

      1. glamourdammerung

        If only Sherman had been allowed to continue the good work, then maybe these traitors would have learned their lesson the first time.

    4. MilwaukeeKent

      Well, since Arizona and Texas are slowly (OK, very slowly) turning Blue, I see a kind of trifurcated nation, with the Prairie States and the South as Red States separate from the rest of US. We need some kind of safe corridor, maybe through Canada, between the Rocky Mountain and Pacific States and the East/Midwest.

      1. Fare la Volpe

        The Blues could always merge with Canada and create a new head-crab shaped nation suckin' away on the empty noggin of the Reds.

    5. glamourdammerung

      It does not matter. How long are Republican areas going to last without sweet, sweet "blue state" welfare money going to them? How is a hospital system based on creationism going to work out? We would simply need to wait a couple of weeks for them to take themselves out when that got rid of those socialist food and water safety regulations.

      1. sewollef

        As far as I can recall [the last time I checked the statistics], every single southern state — every state — is a net recipient of federal tax money, i.e OUR money.

        That would put them in a serious bind if any devolving of the Union were to take place. What it boils to, with the possible exception of Texas and Florida, is a choice between raising taxes on a below national average income level workforce to replace the funds lost from the federal government, or cancelling the tax-free holiday they give to companies to attract business to the south.

        Both of those options are pretty certainly doomed to failure, for obvious reasons.

        Added to that is the whole issue of infrastructure financing. For example, the massive cable hubs for transatlantic communications [phone/internet] into and out of the United States make landfall in blue states [Rhode Island/New Jersey], or Nova Scotia/Newfoundland. Same obviously applies across the pacific, since they make landfall in California. And, er, all satellites are owned by the federal government.

        How are those devolved states going to communicate with the outside world after we cut their pipelines?

        Edit: Since the advent of fibre-optic cables, most cables now make landfall at four locations: Lynn, MA; Green Hill, RI; Long Island, NY; and the New Jersey coast, from where they connect to legacy communication systems. These landing stations carry absolutely massive networks and bandwidth — up above the 3.5 Tb/s range. NONE are in the south.

        In all locations on the Eastern seaboard, the south is fucked. We could turn them into the dark ages almost with the flick of a [rather large] switch.

        1. Chichikovovich

          What it boils to…is a choice between raising taxes on a below national average income level workforce to replace the funds lost from the federal government, or cancelling the tax-free holiday they give to companies to attract business to the south.
          Both of those options are pretty certainly doomed to failure, for obvious reasons.

          You forgot one. If they leave the union they won't have that pesky 13th amendment to interfere with their traditional institutions.

      2. Dashboard Buddha

        Well, my guess is that since the military is run by Taliban analogues and the rank and file trend right, they won't have to worry about running out of blue state resources. They'll have the firepower to take what they need. With God's blessing, of course.—

  19. Monsieur_Grumpe

    My mother worked with mentally disabled newborns in Louisiana. I visited the home she headed as a social worker and was just overwhelmed by the number of kids. She seemed to love the work. Being my MOM she “talked” me into performing some tunes for the whole facility. Best audience ever.

    Mom told me several times times that she felt the excessive amount of mentally disabled in Louisiana was due to the chemical companies dumping without regulation and inbreeding. I never questioned my mother on that.

    1. Guppy

      Yeah, I've got my own anecdotes about the surprisingly large population there.

      Has Nate Silver confirmed it?

    1. bikerlaureate

      The good (non-blah) people have nothing to fear, obvs.

      Don't want to be lost in CCA's gulag? Just keep your head down and your mouth shut and get out of the path of your betters.

  20. Serolf_Divad

    I hate to be "that guy" especially since math was never my strength*, but if we've got 1.6 million in prison out of a population of 311 million that means that roughly 1in 200 Americans is in prison, not one of every 100.

    *(If math had been my strength I'd point out that it's about 1 in 194, but fuck that, math is for nerds and losers and braniacs and stuff and I'm none of those things).

    1. Monsieur_Grumpe

      Mr. Divad,
      I am one of those nerds with math skills-N-stuff but I will always be in jealous awe of anyone with your writing skills.
      MG

      1. Serolf_Divad

        In all seriousness, though: I'm at least as jealous of your math skills as you may be of my ability to string a few worlds together to make a sentence. Being able to write is nice and all, but being able to add is where the real $$$ is these days. Putting together a mathematical model that allows your software to beat the market by a few milliseconds 51% of the time will let you retire rich at age 40.

    2. flamingpdog

      The post said one in 100 adult Americans. Assuming slightly more adults than younguns in the population these days, it's pretty damn close to KeeeeRECT!!

          1. not that Radio

            We can't alter the population of the country (well, not without getting our hair mussed), but we CAN alter the number of incarcerated people, to make the numbers work out. Glass half full!

          2. not that Radio

            It took several collaborative iterations, but I believe we finally got it! These numbers are solid.

      1. sewollef

        Wait, wait… I thought the children of the poors were all working as janitors and such these days… so they'd count, right?

        ps. Don't ask me to do the counting, since my maths skills rank lower than a snake's belly. And that's pretty low.

      2. Serolf_Divad

        Goddamit, now I'm back taking the SAT again. Trick question, sir… trick question!

  21. viennawoods13

    Ah.. so when the Canadian gummint under (All Hail) Stephen Harper asked advice of Texas about their reforms of the criminal code (201 pot plans= more time in jail than raping 5 yr old), they should have gone next door to Louisiana.

    1. Negropolis

      Harper worries me, and so long as the left-wing in Canada remains divided and doesn't find some smart way to co-operate, he'll be able to continue to do irreperable harm.

  22. Negropolis

    Does the sheriff's department in your area charge for jail stays? I hear they are going to do that around here, now. I guess they're taking pointers from the airlines.

      1. smashedinhat

        Sandusky is allowed 2 pairs of shoes, six changes of underwear and a bible. So yes.

        I assume the bible is so he can make a paper mache' gun and shoot himself.

    1. flamingpdog

      Charge for staying at dirty, dumpy jails? What a rip! Our prisoners-of-war in North Vietnam stayed at a Hilton, and there was no charge!

      EDIT: Jeebus, don' strikes me down for sayin' what I jus' said.

    2. LetUsBray

      I'm not sure what that will accomplish beyond increasing bankruptcies and recidivism. And no doubt government bailouts when jails say, "Oh noez, look at all this money owed us that we can't collect!"

      1. Negropolis

        Some quotes concerning what I was talking about:

        GENESEE COUNTY, Michigan — Facing a $17.6-million deficit, the county Board of Commissioners is considering charging inmates for their stays in the county jail.

        "When you go to the hotel, you pay. They get three meals a day and we're paying," said Commissioner Omar Sims, D-Flint. "It's time that the criminals of this town pay."

        Sims asked Sheriff Robert Pickell to report back to the county board about the feasibility of the idea, and Pickell said he was already looking at some kind of pay-to-stay proposal.

        Okay, even being generous here and conceding that a lot of the folks that come through the jail aren't exactly in the position to be paying local property taxes, ummm, WTF? Seriously, with that comparison? Really He then goes on to say what we already know, and it's that this isn't likely to generate any revenue.

        This nation is so going to hell.

        1. flamingpdog

          I remember this same idea being tossed around in various places across the country in years past, but I'm not aware of any place it has actually become policy. Like you said, it's kind of silly, really. Kind of like winning a $40 million civil lawsuit against some homeless person who murdered your spouse and who has also been sentenced to life in prison.

        2. MilwaukeeKent

          That could open a nice wedge toward debtor's prisons on down the line, and Hell, why not give 'em a chance to work off the debt in one of the new workhouses or a period of indentured servitude, sold by the State at auction. The Free Market is full of opportunities…

        3. not that Radio

          I suppose the bill for the lovely 3 meals and accommodations, which apparently the "criminal" chose to incur, will not discriminate against those who are wrongly arrested. Just as present prison conditions do not discriminate against those who are wrongly incarcerated.

        4. Negropolis

          The sad thing is that these are Dems advocating this shit. If they aren't capitulating, or actively working against their own ideology, they're being dumb as a box of rocks. We're screwed.

          You know, I know Flint is hard up (most violent city in the nation), but this is ridiculous. Maybe Commissioners Sims would be better using his time trying to find some jobs for Flint, methinks, instead of dreaming up ways to further victimize the often victimized who often victimize others, themselves, when times get rough. Flint is a town that has eaten itself because it was left with nothing else to eat.

  23. BarackMyWorld

    OT, but Mitt's not waiting until after the election to do do the reach-arounds.

    Major Romney donors rewarded at lavish Utah retreat: Top contributors to the Mitt Romney presidential campaign spend three days at what is billed as a 'senior leadership retreat' in Deer Valley.

    Billed as a "senior leadership retreat," the three-day gathering in Deer Valley was a reward for the wealthy GOP donors who have fueled Romney's fundraising, giving at least $25,000 each or raising at least $100,000 by June 18. Many of the more than 700 who attended had donated much more.

    $25,000? That exceeds the campaign donation limits for federal office, doesn't it? Unless they're giving to a SuperPAC (and coordination between the SuperPAC and the campaign is illegal), the donation limit is a lot less.

  24. BarackMyWorld

    Is it Rove's PAC these people are donating their $25000 and that Romney's rewarding?

    1. not that Radio

      I don't know enough about campaign finance law to know specifically what's wrong with this arrangment, except to know in a general sense that everything is wrong with it. Why do these people donate 10 x the legal limit? Is it because of the PACs? Who knows. We're getting into "distinction without a difference" territory, here. But it does seem to be the case that Karl Rove et al. have found the necessary loopholes to skirt any law that might restrict the flow of money into Romney's campaign, and the details of whether money went directly to the campaign or came in through a PAC door are largely irrelevant.

      1. BarackMyWorld

        I'm not ready to asume they've even found a loophole. Someone really needs to be digging into this.

  25. Comrade Wingtardd

    There's less reasons to live here (New Orleans) everyday. It isn't cheap anymore, the flood of hipster gentrifiers has fixed that. There's still aren't any decent paying IT jobs, unless you're willing to work for DHS or the Navy, the cops still arrest anyone and everyone as fast as they can, and the government has gone completely batshit. Where the fuck do I go? Houston? HOUSTON?

    1. James Michael Curley

      Houston? Too Close to New Orleans …
      New York? Has got the ways and means …
      But just won't let you be.

    2. HistoriCat

      Why the hell not come to Houston … although if you're smart you'll look just a little further west and try Austin. Houston's not bad considering that it's in Texas but Austin is far better.

      We were driving back from Florida yesterday and noticed that everyone dropped down to a crawl whenever they saw a cop on the highway (seriously – like 30 mph). Apparently driving near the speed limit will get you arrested in Louisiana?

  26. DahBoner

    They could use a Republican, like Booby Jindal to lead them further down the path to Third-World statistics.

    He knows nothing about volcanos. Perfect!!!!

  27. not that Radio

    I am reminded of this, a state whose economy depended almost entirely on the availability of prison labor, and whose laws were structured so that the supply might never be depleted.

      1. Comrade Wingtardd

        Is that surprising? The Rhodes Trust was set up to fund colonials' education so they would return home and rule in British interests. Now it's the G8 instead of Britain, but it seems to be functioning perfectly. There is a reason that whenever you see a Rhodes Scholar, you see someone from an exploitable backwater ruling in the interests of the very Upper Class.

  28. hippie13

    This way there will be plenty of jobs for the fired public school teachers…for some students it will be like they never left school for prison….except for less jeebusing and more rape…and even there I may be wrong.

  29. ttommyunger

    This activity is very old news. Did you know the Trail of Tears was contracted out to a private company? Injecting the profit incentive always adds a bit more evil to the mix.

  30. TribecaMike

    Considering how many Louisiana politicians end up in the jug, I'm surprised it's not $5,000,000 a year per prisoner. As Huey Long said, "Every man a king."

  31. Estproph

    "Your Wonkette is no business titan, however, might we humbly suggest that the enterprise be further monetized by getting inmates to take out Stafford loans to subsidize their stay. "

    Prisoner…student loan debtor…there's very little difference as it is.

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