President Obama: Solitary confinement ‘not smart’ and ‘not going to make us safer’

President Barack Obama called for reduction of solitary confinement during a July 14 address to the NAACP National Convention in Philadelphia:

“I’ve asked my Attorney General to start a review of the overuse of solitary confinement across American prisons. “The social science shows that an environment like that is often more likely to make inmates more alienated, more hostile, potentially more violent. Do we really think it makes sense to lock so many people alone in tiny cells for 23 hours a day, for months, sometimes for years at a time? That is not going to make us safer. That’s not going to make us stronger.

Gun law push will face pushback

Then a gunman with an assault rifle murdered 26 people, mostly little children, at an elementary school in Connecticut. This atrocity, on top of other recent carnage, including two mass shootings in Wisconsin, is seen as opening the door to new gun laws.

TV ads reviled, but effective

Many voters insisted these ads had no impact on them. And some avowed that, when it came to them, the ads backfired. But Mike McCabe suspects these airwave-borne toxins are infecting the body politic “more than people realize or are willing to acknowledge.”

How do the Allens manage to get along? “We talk,” Keevin explains. Suzanne adds, “We don’t get personal when we disagree.”

A house divided

In the battleground state of Wisconsin, Suzanne and Keevin Allen do what much of the political establishment cannot — disagree without being disagreeable.