Opening Act: A Vicious Cycle of Poverty, Criminality, and Incarceration

Eric Holder says mandatory minimum drug sentences “do not serve public safety.”

Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

I’m in Iowa and have filed a story about the surprisingly firm GOP consensus that 1) the campaign for 2016 is underway and 2) Ted Cruz should win it. That’ll be up later. Meanwhile:

Today Eric Holder will do what liberals and libertarians have pined for, and mandate that low-level drug offenders won’t be hit by mandatory minimums.

Paul Krugman has the latest and greatest liberal snark about Rand Paul apparently not knowing what Milton Friedman thought about QE.

He argued that the Fed could have prevented the Great Depression — with no need for new government programs — if only it had acted to save failing banks and pumped enough reserves into the banking system to prevent a sharp decline in the money supply.

This was, as I said, a move toward realism (although it looks wrong in the light of recent experience). But realism has no place in today’s Republican Party: both Mr. Paul and Mr. Ryan have furiously attacked Ben Bernanke for responding to the 2008 financial crisis by doing exactly what Friedman said the Fed should have done in the 1930s

Eric Lipton explores the worth of a seat on House Financial Services.