Part of my morning ritual includes having a strong cup of coffee as I strap on my radio and watch CNN while I clear the dye packs from the night before out of my head. I've seen the picture of the tunnel on CNN that came up underneath Chapo's shower about 100 times now, but I'm still amazed every time that I see it. Apparently, Chapo found a contractor who was not only sober, but who was also willing to work weekends. I'll bet that he brought the job in under cost too, and turned in all of his receipts from Casa Depot too. He probably didn't think it would be too healthy to get caught padding Senor Sinaloa's bill.
Then in a 2015 twist, El Chapo took time out of his busy kilo-selling day to threaten Donald Trump on Twitter. With everybody from Ted Cruz to Selena Gomez hating on him for his recent comments on immigration though, Trump probably thought to himself, "Choo wanna keel me, Shorty? Well geet in line!!!"
Then later in the week after all this spitter on Twitter, President Obama visited a federal prison. It is the first time that a sitting President has ever visited a prison, and to be honest, I still can't believe that he did it. Ever since July of 1973 when President Richard Nixon established the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and began The War on Drugs with the stroke of his pen, the cycle of punishment in America has gotten harsher and harsher. Politicians have made being "tough on crime" part of their political platform and played a game of political one-upmanship, creating stricter and stricter drug and gun laws. The result is that the American federal prison population has exploded from 24,000 in 1984 to 220,000 in 2015. America now accounts for 25% of the entire world's prison population. And minorities have been the ones most affected by these laws.
I live in a subculture that's predominately made up of minorities. We are the world's disenfranchised, and no politician is going to champion our cause because it goes against their political self-interest to do so. But President Obama is a lame duck with no more offices to run for. I'm no big Obama fan, but I will give it to him on this. He saw what he feels is an injustice and he has set about to use his power to break the cycle. What he has done more than anything though (in my opinion), is to create a national conversation on this subject and create a dynamic for politicians to run on a Justice Reform platform and look altruistic doing so.
President Obama visited a medium custody Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in El Reno, Oklahoma, met with six inmates with sentences for drugs, and said, "I could've been one of you guys." And he could've. I'm also told that he toured a cell block, but that it was empty at the time because the prison administrators ran the inmates out to the rec yard. Apparently, they didn't want them yelling obscenities like "Michelle has a nice a*s!!!" Or even worse, "I voted for Romney!!!"
It is commonly mistaken that in American politics, Democrats are for the poor and/or Common Man, while Republicans are for the Rich. But I can tell you that next to Ronald Regan, no President in history has done more to incarcerate people, especially black people, than Bill Clinton did. As Obama toured FCI El Reno, former President Clinton admitted "I made mistakes." 120 federal prisons and 2 million people later, Slick Willy finally says, "My bad. I was the problem." Now his wife's supposed to be the solution. That's politics though. By comparison, Bank robbery is a downright honest vocation. And where am I through it all? Still doing time in this honky-tonk prison.
Before I take off my El Bloggo hat and retreat from my Penal Pulpit, I'd like to tell you about some cool things going on with some fellow writers. One of the great dark gods of international underground literature is my fellow MSP author uv ray. His novella THE MIGRANT was recently nominated for a Saboteur Literary Award for Best Novella of 2015. The bad news is that he came in second. But the good news is that you can pick up a copy of THE MIGRANT in the Murder Slim Press Shop (or on Amazon) for just a few quid. While you're there, also put in your cart the latest book by fellow MSP writer Mark SaFranko. Mark's a great writer with a great voice.
Although they're not in the MSP stable, a couple of friends of mine are near completion on a really cool historical fiction novel about a gold coin that was found aboard the first Confederate submarine of the American Civil War, the C.S. Hunley. You can read about it and surf the cool picture gallery for Sammy Garwood and Dr. Jonathan Jackson's forthcoming historical novel, THE LAST CONFEDERATE COIN, at http://thelastcharlestonconfederate.weebly.com. That is if you can manage typing a web address that long.
I'm almost finished with my novel THE LIFE OF RILEY. You can follow me on Twitter for updates at @bankblogger2. I used my "Crimestoppers Pose" for my graphic. I can't promise you that I'll do anything as fun as threaten Donald Trump though. The last threatening thing I wrote that was under 140 characters got me an indictment.
See you guys next week.
Jeffrey P. Frye
A.K.A. El Bloggo
Bank Robber's Blog