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Comments of the Week: Our Debate Chats and Mandatory Minimum Sentencing | The Nation

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Comments of the Week: Our Debate Chats and Mandatory Minimum Sentencing

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Comments of the Week: Our Debate Chats and Mandatory Minimum Sentencing

Storified by The Nation · Fri, Oct 26 2012 12:42:40

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Amid pressure from progressive and women's right organizations, President Obama has nominated Janet Yellen to head the Federal Reserve. 

After the Obama administration's historic announcement that it will expand labor protections to homecare workers, activists will continue to push for further protections for domestic workers on the state level.  

For each of the presidential and vice presidential debates, we held robust live chats with the Nation community. Readers were able to interact directly with our writers and editors as they cut through the spin with live analysis and fact checking. Each time, we were impressed with the thoughtful and smart commentary our readers had to offer. Below are some of the best from the last few weeks, along with readers comments on Judge Mark W. Bennett's article on his experience with mandatory minimum sentencing laws. On November 6th, be sure to come back to TheNation.com for a live chat featuring up-to-the-minute analysis and space to vent your election day anxiety. See you then! 
From the Townhall Debate on Tuesday, October 16th: 
scot nakagawa: 
Don't you wish that the war on drugs, the prison build-up, and the criminalization of race could be discussed? The black community is being destroyed by criminalization and we can't even talk about it. Sigh....Watch the Presidential Debate with The Nation! | The Nation
Kristen Merritt: 
Keep in mind that "tax cuts" aren't reflected in the real-life taxes paid, such as sales tax on purchases, vehicle tag taxes, etc., that make up a large part of the taxes paid by lower income people.Watch the Presidential Debate with The Nation! | The Nation
combabus: 
Shorter Romney: We have to make sure that our kids have $100M trust funds...oh you can't? Too bad for you.Watch the Presidential Debate with The Nation! | The Nation
Pete M: 
You might be able to grow GDP faster by helping the rich, but that growth never gets to the middle class or below. During the Reagan years, for ex, fast GDP growth, but the bottom 90% of earners only say 7% of income growth during the period!Watch the Presidential Debate with The Nation! | The Nation
Zora Tucker: 
I think he TOTALLY SHOULD talk about race. he has the base to do so, as long as he contextualizes racial inequality within class issues, he's fine. but he shouldve started in 08. but politically, he was advised a long time ago not to, and so it doesn't make sense for him to do it at this moment.Watch the Presidential Debate with The Nation! | The Nation
From the Foreign Policy presidential debate on Monday, October 22nd: 
Sylvia: 
I'm glad he's also focusing on supporting the troops when they get back as opposed to more Bush/Cheney policies of sending more to war while cutting benefits at home. Why do so many people forget how much was cut by Bush? Grrrr. It's infuriating.Watch the Foreign Policy Presidential Debate with The Nation! | The Nation
Kristen Merritt: 
and how many times, Phyllis, have the "right hands" we supported and armed became the "wrong hands" later?Watch the Foreign Policy Presidential Debate with The Nation! | The Nation
Ree Ree: 
Romney, America cannot create nations and societies...Watch the Foreign Policy Presidential Debate with The Nation! | The Nation
Dubya on Iran:
There's also the question of how we can accurately determine their possession/capability, and not fall into the same rhetoric that led to Iraq.Watch the Foreign Policy Presidential Debate with The Nation! | The Nation
@thenation and how what is the percentage of minorities that get these long sentences?Nyeisha
@thenation Thanx 4 reporting! I know some1 serving life w/no parole under 3 strikes 4 marijuana conviction from a state where pot now legal!Susie C
meyerf55: 
thank you judge for speaking out. i faced a 5-40 year sentence as a minor participant 1st time non- violent offender in the northern district of georgia in the early 90's. the prime movers testified that I was much more involved than i was and thanks to great legal help and the truth i was able to escape with just a 36 month sentence. it cost me 45K in legal fees, lost home, lost auto, lost job, convicted felon, lost reputation and more.  i have recovered, but most don't. all this for growing pot. many say shut up and do your time, but i should have been allowed probation and  community service and diversion so i could have learned my lesson. next time i mess up i've got no excuse.  i was lucky. i met guys at fed camp that had been in real prison for 10 years. some guys doing 10-15 years for pot crimes. anyway, judges and juries need more discretion.How Mandatory Minimums Forced Me to Send More Than 1,000 Nonviolent Drug Offenders to Federal Prison | The Nation
Powerful. Straightforward. Sensible. an Iowa judge on 'drug war' sentencing: http://bit.ly/Symgvy via @thenationKristy Hutter

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