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On Tuesday, California Gov. Jerry Brown finally won a 40-year fight to end cash bail. The bill, SB10, abolishes the process of "paying bail" to avoid getting locked up before a court date, and instead establishes a system to gauge whether or not someone accused of a minor crime should be locked up like a Trump campaign staffer. Leave it to Californians to make government actually work for the people.


The bill is a bit wonky, but it works like this: Rather than forcing people to cough up fat stacks of cash after being accused of five-finger discounts at the local 7-11, the new system evaluates people on a "risk assessment" established by local judicial systems.

A person whose risk to public safety and risk of failure to appear is determined to be “low" would be released with the least restrictive non-monetary conditions possible. “Medium-risk" individuals could be released or held depending on local standards. “High-risk" individuals would remain in custody until their arraignment, as would anyone who has committed certain sex crimes or violent felonies, is arrested for driving under the influence for the third time in less than 10 years, is already under supervision by the courts or has violated any conditions of pretrial release in the previous five years.

The bill was originally co-sponsored by the ACLU, but they pulled out after judges insisted they have final say in who is considered a risk. The ACLU is now panning the bill hammered out by legislators and the judiciary, arguing it gives local courts and probation officers unchecked power to decide who goes home and who rots in pretrial detention. In other words, Devin Nunes would definitely get locked up for fucking a cow in LA, but there's a good chance a judge in Fresno would call that animal husbandry.

Bail reform has long been a goal for Gov. Brown -- and we mean long. Way back in his 1979 State of the State Address, he called for a bail system the was "just and fair." He was emboldened earlier this year when an appellate court ruled the state's current system was condemning poor folks to prison by setting bail amounts higher than they could be expected to pay.

"A debtor in Fleet Street Prison, London"Thomas Hosmer Shepherd

While California is the first state to abolish cash bail, others have been flirting with reform measures for years. Since 1992, DC courts have rarely imposed bail conditions; instead they send people through a gauntlet of counseling and drug testing programs. Over the last few years, New Jersey and Alaska have gotten rid of cash bail for most lesser crimes. Other states have been toying with bail reform, like squeezing out the for-profit bail bond industry. The results aren't always pretty, but they do have the added benefit of keeping reality show douchebags off the streets.

Nationally, bail reform measures are nothing new. Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris actually partnered with Republican Sen. Rand Paul last year to introduce the Pretrial Integrity and Safety Act. The bill would have given grants to states and Indian tribes to stop using cash bail as a release condition. They even got Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu to introduce a companion bill in the House. In January, reps Danny Davis, Sheila Jackson Lee, and Bobby Rush introduced a bill that would have made states release people charged with misdemeanors "on non-monetary conditions" following court adjudication, just like California. And just last month Sen. Bernie Sanders jumped on the bandwagon with his No Money Bail Act that encourages states to use things like GPS monitors, and made the DOJ compile a report on the effectiveness of pretrial alternatives.

Naturally, the prison and bail bond industries see this as bad for business. Prison lobbies argue this creates crime sprees, as if a hustler busted for a dime bag is going to knock over a bodega, sodomize the cashier, and swear allegiance to ISIL after a few hours in lockup. Bail bondsmen complain that their shady businesses will collapse if states stop hiring them to hunt people down like the "Hounds of Zaroff." They've trotted out Dog the Bounty Hunter to flip around his bleached mullet and yammer on about how "poor people don't break the law," because, "they don't have the money to run."

California's bill isn't perfect, and certainly needs to be tweaked before it goes into effect in October 2019, but it's a big step in the right direction. With legislative gridlock and tribal partisanship keeping Congress locked down on reform, states are increasingly looking at the high cost of incarceration as a way to claw back some of their budgets and ease pressure from the overburdened prison system. It's just a damn shame it took decades for people to finally listen when Jerry Brown said poor people shouldn't be doomed to debtors prison just for getting a parking ticket.

[ Sacramento Bee / Mother Jones]

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Dominic Gwinn

Dominic is a broke journalist in Chicago. You can find him in a dirty bar talking to weirdos, or lying in a gutter taking photos.

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Once upon a time... about ten years ago, a group of entirely ridiculous men burst onto the scene wearing stupid hats and telling men that wearing stupid hats and telling men that walking up to women in bars and insulting ("negging") them would get them laid. This did not last long, as women also had televisions and computers and were completely aware of these tricks as well, so when some ass came up to us in a bar and said "Hey, nice nails, are they real?" we would laugh and laugh and loudly announce "Oh my god, this guy just tried to neg me! Can you believe that shit? HEY EVERYONE, THIS GUY JUST TRIED TO NEG ME!" and then refer to him as "Mystery" the whole night.

Most of the men who tried that shit only did so a few times before realizing that it wasn't going to work, and thus moved on to other things. Perhaps things that did not involve furry hats and coming off as a huge creep. We may never know, because I would assume that those who tried it are now extremely embarrassed and would never, ever admit to this to us.

Still, there were a few men willing to eat that shit up, as well as some grifters willing to take advantage of that. Said grifters tended to be extremely misogynistic and seemed more like they were teaching men how to be as despised by women as they were than teaching them how to actually be liked by women.

Some of them, like Roosh V, a creepy weirdo who actually does live in his mom's basement, actively encouraged men to rape women who were intoxicated to the point of being obviously unable to consent.

However, even that branch of the PUA tree is wilting away. Many "self-help" style PUA forums like Nextasf and RSDnation are shutting down or have already shut down. In March, Chateau Heartiste, a batshit crazy PUA turned White Nationalist/Alt-Right blog was shut down by Wordpress. This week, rape advocate Roosh V (whom you may recall once called yours truly a "Wonkette typist/clown face, would not bang") announced that he was renouncing his PUA ways and devoting himself to Jesus. He explained to the forum he manages that he would no longer be allowing anyone to discuss premarital "fornication."

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'Baby Geniuses' star Jon Voight took to Twitter early this morning to proclaim his undying love for Donald Trump, probably because there is no one left in his life who will listen to him talk about this, or anything else, in person. In this video rant, Voight encouraged members of the Republican Party, whom he apparently thinks are the only real citizens of the United States, to stand by Donald Trump and "acknowledge the truth" that he is the best President since Abraham Lincoln.


Part ONE:

People of the Republican Party, I know you will agree with me when I say our president has our utmost respect and our love. This job is not easy. For he's battling the left and their absurd words of destruction. I've said this once and I'll say this again. That our nation has been built on the solid ground from our forefathers, and there is a moral code of duty that has been passed on from President Lincoln. I'm here today to acknowledge the truth, and I'm here today to tell you my fellow Americans that our country…

Oh no, not our absurd words of destruction!

Part DEUX:

is stronger, safer, and with more jobs because our President has made his every move correct. Don't be fooled by the political left, because we are the people of this nation that is witnessing triumph. So let us stand with our president. Let us stand up for this truth, that President Trump is the greatest president since President Lincoln.

Does Jon Voight not know there have been... other presidents? Can he name them? Because really, it does not sound like it. Does he also not know that a very big chunk of the Republican Party actually does not care very much for Abraham Lincoln? Namely those defenders of Confederate statues that Trump called "very fine people?" Also, did he intentionally diss their beloved Ronald Reagan?

Who can know? Who can even tell what he is trying to say or why he is trying to say it. He doesn't appear to have tweeted much since 2016, so I'm guessing whoever's job it was to keep him from tanking his career quit. Either that... or after filming the seventh season of Ray Donovan, he found out it's going to be canceled or his character is getting killed off or something and he is now free to be a jackass? I don't know, I haven't watched the show, although my parents are very into it and mad that I haven't watched it. Literally all I know about it is that it has something to do with Boston, because they keep mentioning that to me like it's a selling point.

It seems useless at this point to note that the people who scream their faces off about how bad it is for Hollywood celebs to support liberal causes, and how they should keep their politics to themselves, etc. etc. make a way bigger deal than normal people do whenever a Big Time Hollywood Celebrity like Jon Voight or, uh, Scott Baio, supports their cause. Mostly because they're the only ones who have elected a reality TV star and the star of Bedtime for Bonzo (who by the way, also once practically ruined a perfectly good Bette Davis movie with his bad acting. Which is not to say that Dark Victory is not fantastic and probably the best thing to watch if you want to sob your face off, but he was very bad in it.) to run the country.

But we might as well do that anyway, because it actually never stops being funny.

[Jon Voight Twitter]

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