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Archive for October 24th, 2009

Biden On Cheney Criticism: “Who Cares?”

The Huffington Post |  Rachel Weiner
First Posted: 10-23-09 05:21 PM   |   Updated: 10-23-09 08:10 PM

Asked about criticism from former Vice President Dick Cheney, current VP Joe Biden had a simple response: “Who cares?”

Actually, he said, “Who cares what — ” and then stopped himself.

“Yeah, yeah, I can see the headline now,” Biden said. “I’m getting better, guys. I’m getting a little better, you know what I mean?”

Cheney said in a speech Wednesday night at the Center for Security Policy that President Obama is “dithering” on Afghanistan “while America’s armed forces are in danger.” He claimed that “signals of indecision out of Washington hurt our allies and embolden our adversaries.”

The vice president did elaborate on one of Cheney’s arguments — that the last administration left Obama with a review of Afghanistan.

“A whole lot has changed in the last year,” he said. “Let’s assume they left us a review that was absolutely correct. Is that review relevant and totally applicable to today in light of the changes that have taken place in the region, in Afghanistan itself? So I think that is sort of irrelevant. Not sort of — I think it’s irrelevant.”

VIDEO & MORE HERE

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Guards escort a prisoner inside the privately run Saguaro Correctional Center in Eloy, Ariz

Guards escort a prisoner inside the privately run Saguaro Correctional Center in Eloy, Ariz

The New York Times- By JENNIFER STEINHAUER
Published: October 23, 2009

FLORENCE, Ariz. — One of the newest residents on Arizona’s death row, a convicted serial killer named Dale Hausner, poked his head up from his television to look at several visitors strolling by, each of whom wore face masks and vests to protect against the sharp homemade objects that often are propelled from the cells of the condemned.

It is a dangerous place to patrol, and Arizona spends $4.7 million each year to house inmates like Mr. Hausner in a super-maximum-security prison. But in a first in the criminal justice world, the state’s death row inmates could become the responsibility of a private company.

State officials will soon seek bids from private companies for 9 of the state’s 10 prison complexes that house roughly 40,000 inmates, including the 127 here on death row. It is the first effort by a state to put its entire prison system under private control.

The privatization effort, both in its breadth and its financial goals, demonstrates what states around the country — broke, desperate and often overburdened with prisoners and their associated costs — are willing to do to balance the books. Arizona officials hope the effort will put a $100 million dent in the state’s roughly $2 billion budget shortfall.

MORE HERE

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