Posts tagged ‘Marijuana’

Words Mean Something and Hyprocrisy

This morning the TV cut away to President DFF’s comments after some meeting.  First he comment on DACA saying we just need a few Democrats?  Say What?  A clean DACA bill would get 100% of all Democrats.  Then he launches into problems at the border.  First thought is what problems at the border?  Crossing are way down, but then he brings us a drug epidemic in America, conflating it with the border,  Say what?

Our drug epidemic is opioids and guess who manufactures them and lobbies against enforcement of laws to curb their easy access and over prescribing?  Oh, and as an aside, as anyone knows, opioids cause constipation, so now who is making a fortune on drugs for that symptom?  The opioid crisis is a real money maker for drug companies.

Then you get it.  DACA, a few Democrats, be afraid of drug mules, it is about a compromise that includes a stupid and frivolous wall.  The Press ignored all of that and failed to fact check his bullshit and false conflating, because they wanted to see what he would say about Steve Bannon.  SQUIRREL!

Meanwhile in hypocrisy land (Republicans), the Attorney General, little Jeffey Sessions, wants to take our drug policies back to the dark ages as he is rescinding an Obama executive order putting a cabash on federal prosecution of marijuana violations.  Note the Feds have put marijuana on the Schedule 1 list of drugs like heroin and cocaine.  Its beyond stupid and science, but that is Republican these days.

But the hypocrisy comes in when the boys and girls of the stupid Party used to shoot states rights because they liked that states were restricting freedoms like voting, gay rights, civil rights, but now when 30 states have reach sanity, they want to drag us back to the drug wars.  Of course Congress could do something about this, but who are they controlled by again?  It is like free speech and love of democracy for Republicans.  Everyone should have it unless you disagree with them.

Yes words mean something and we ought to pay attention to them.  Do we really think the White House is getting rid of personal cellphones for national security or is it because the truth is damning?

Why the Frustration with Government

Drip, drip, drip.  The Donald is said to be a manifestation of the frustration people feel with a government that doesn’t work for them, probably mostly driven by the economic insecurity most middle class Americans feel.  While that is arguable, it is mostly right although tossing out your brain to vote for a racist, misogynistic, pathological liar is a whole other question.  But this morning I was reminded why people are so frustrated and that is because we can’t even do the simple stuff that should not be partisan.  I will give my list:

  • The Feds (DEA) could not wake up to the fact the marijuana is legalized in many states and left it a Schedule 1 drug which total joke, even though they finally allowed some research to prove how stupid they are.  Meanwhile the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals told the Feds that if they could not show that the 10 cases in Washington and California violated any state laws, to quit prosecuting them.
  • Cuba, Cuba, Cuba.  Could we not finally quit posturing and allow open trade?  This is a no brainer, has been for about 40 years, and yet we are led around by our noses by dogmatic morons.  Can’t reward oppressive governments, right.  What about Saudi Arabia or China?  Seems we think open markets there opens their societies, but we can’t quite make the leap to Cuba?
  • It’s getting hotter.  Louisiana just had a 1000 year storm, oh, and a bunch of 500 year storms in the region, but hey, there is no climate change.  Just east of Los Angeles, the place is burning down.  And of course we have a string of hot years, each one hotter than the other, but global warming is a hoax.  On that alone we ought to ask the Republicans if they would like to immigrate to Syria.
  • Guns, guns, guns.  The one common denominator in almost all acts of extreme violence is assault style weapons.  Even the police are getting out gunned and yet, we can do nothing about it?
  • Here is the one I love, Etna just pull out of most Obamacare markets.  They find them to volatile to figure out how to charge to make a profit.  Think about that, making money on your suffering.  Republicans say, “See.  We need to get rid of Obamacare.”  Okay, and replace it with what, the for-profit model that doesn’t work in health care insurance (words are important, I did not say doesn’t work in providing health care, but in health care insurance).  Then there is all the noise about providing birth control. Why not just end it like the rest of the world with single payer?
  • Immigration is not going to go away, but that is the Republican approach which of course not only hurts our economy, but robs our tax base.  Why is reform so hard.  Oh, I forgot.  Like marijuana and Cuba, dogma is so much better than reality.  Rule breakers have to be punished.  If South Africa had not seen the folly in that we would see on ongoing race war there even today.

Well you get the drift.  I could add selling weapons to places like Saudi Arabia so they can bomb Yemen and have the Yemenis blame us for their war crimes, or not standing up to Russia in Syria, or …  Well on and on.  It is drip, drip, drip.  Now granted the last two are ripe with possible blow back, but the rest are no-brainers and we do nothing.  I wonder whose fault that is?

A Topsy Turvy World

Let’s See.  Nancy Pelosi wrote a nice op-Ed today in the NYT about how the balanced budget Republicans have blown up the budget with $2 trillion dollars in spending that is unpaid for.  Donald Trump, the Republican front runner, is winning due to his populist appeals (along with xenophobic and racist appeals) in a Party that labels the Democrats as populist.  Oh, and Republicans claim Democrats have ruined the country but refuse to even consider a moderate judge for the Supreme Court and will only appoint on if  the NRA approves him.  Who again is the problem?

In Cuba, the President is trying to open up the country to new ideas after 60 years of failure to do just that by ignoring them, and the Republicans just want to sit in a corner and pout.  Sooner or later they will break, right?  Our Republican geniuses deny that global warming even exists while the latest study finds that it is happening much faster and could be catastrophic for our kids, not our kid’s kids.  We are finding in Colorado and other states that legalizing drugs (marijuana) cuts the crime and impacts the Mexican Cartels, but we just can’t, because of our conservative nut jobs, transfer that lesson to the country as a whole.  Who again is the problem?

We live in interesting times, but one has to ask how did we get into such an Alice in Wonderland World where up is down.  By that I mean we have one political party, which should at this point be clear to anyone, is in total disarray, that has caused almost all of the problems they claim to want to fix, offers cartoon characters to run for office, offers plans and policies to fix our economic woes that 4th grade math will show does not add up, denies science and data, demands the other side compromise while they don’t give an inch, and attacks the other side’s plans and policies while have no viable plans or policies of their own, and yet we accord them equal respect in our media and pretend they are making sense?

And we wonder why the White Mob (Trump Supporters) are so oblivious to his lies and nonsense?  We wonder why we don’t just gape with an open mouth when the Republican Establishment can’t figure out how Trump and the White Mob were not their creation.  Maybe it is because the media once again failed to do its job in a world where viewer share defines journalism.  You think?

Who Won, Who Lost

That would be the news this morning, not the issues discussed.  Probably if we had a real news media instead of People Magazine rejects posing as political pundits, we could have had a real discussion about who presented sensible proposals for a way forward, but we don’t.  All of the usual suspects are anointing Hillary as the clear winner, which I am sure leaves a bad taste in their mouths, so she did well.  From their point of view, there is nothing more fun than beating up on Hillary.  But I am not so sure about her winning except with the chattering classes.

The first thing that should have been reported was that Democrats were discussing real policies and ideas, clearly lacking in Republican debates full of bashing Obama and anger.  But there was one question that was asked which is the crux of any way forward:  How does selecting you as President change anything if you still have the same Republican Congress?  How will you get anything done?  That is really the key to change.

Hillary’s answer was that she is an experienced politician and she can get people to work together.  I think that was tried by President Obama and totally failed.  Bernie’s answer was that we need a tide of people rising up to challenge and hold Republicans accountable.  His answer while seeming “revolutionary” is the only way America is going to change.  Hillary painted a picture of a liberal President hewing slightly more left than President Obama.  It is not the picture that says change.  Bernie paints a picture of really challenging the status quo that resonates better with the youth vote, so necessary for any change.

I also got the feeling Hillary was hedging and sometimes out of touch.  Bernie and Hillary clashed on regulating banks and that is really a function of her and Bill being cozy with the financial sector and Bernie seeing our present system as the basis of the economic inequality in the country.  Ezra Klein has an excellent analysis of this here.  Her answer on whether Snowden should be allowed to come home was a real insight into her failure to see how the system really works:

“He could have been a whistleblower. He could have gotten all of the protections of being a whistleblower. He could have raised all the issues that he has raised. And I think there would have been a positive response to that.”

You can’t seriously believe that.  The system likes to flatten those who want to speak truth to power.  He would have been treated the same or worse than was Bradley Manning and we would never have seen an open trial.  It begs the question if she really understands what us little people see everyday.  In a way her problem with emails is symptomatic of that.  She is getting a lesson on how the system works for most of us.

Her answers on the marijuana question, I thought was telling about Hillary and change.  Asked if  after  a year of seeing recreational marijuana in the states was she ready to legalize it federally.  No, she needs to see more.  I guess for me this is a defining issue (not marijuana) but being able to decide without polls and safety nets, what is the right thing to do.  It is really her greatest fault as a leader.  To me it says change under a President Clinton will be small when we need big bold steps.

I am prejudiced.  I believe Bernie has a better path forward, but I know Hillary is more electable.  Hillary came out tough last night, but what I saw really was a continuation of President Obama’s third term.  And I don’t think with her answers she is exciting the young people who need to get out and vote that Bernie calls his revolution, a real revolt against Republican control of Congress.  I hope I am wrong.  We will see in the days ahead how she does, not with the chattering classes but with the “revolutionary guard” that needs to get out to the polls to really change things.

Just Some Crazy Sunday Morning Thoughts

The first one, crazy thought that is, is how anyone could vote for Republicans who are demonstrating just how out of touch and opposed to progress they are. Timothy Egan wrote a great column the other day asking the critical questions:

Are Republicans really going to spend the first year of their new majority trying to undo everything the president has done — to roll back the clock? Will they defend isolation of Cuba against the wishes of most young Cuban-Americans? Will they restore a family-destroying deportation policy, when Obama’s de-emphasis on sending illegal immigrants home has already given him a 15-point boost among Latinos? Will they take away health insurance from millions who never had it before? Will they insist that nothing can be done on climate change, while an agreement is on the table for the world’s two biggest polluters, the United States and China, to do something significant?

I mean it just screams that they don’t have any ideas. Oh wait, pass the Keystone pipeline which doesn’t pencil out anymore. By starting to be aggressive and proactive, President Obama is drawing a clear line for most Americans between the differences between Republicans and Democrats and that bodes well for 2016.

On those older Cubans who are just horrified that we would try something else in Cuba, I can’t help wondering how many of them were in the favored upper classes with Baptista while the rest of the country languished in poverty as servants? No wonder they are unhappy. Castro took away their cookies and servants, educated most of the population, and gave them healthcare. Wouldn’t you be mad too? Here is probably the reality: Communism doesn’t work, but neither does pure capitalism. So it will evolve into some from of social democracy.

Did you see where Nebraska and Oklahoma were suing Colorado because the access to marijuana is spilling over into their states? I guess state’s rights only goes so far for some of these Republican states. They claim they are being overburdened trying to enforce their moronic laws against marijuana. I have a suggestion. Focus the police on more important crimes and get real about marijuana. It is so hard to make change and move forward when so many little scared people are trying to drag you back.

Everyone is shocked, shocked, shocked I tell you about the Sony hacking. Do you remember when the Feds wanted to pass a law requiring private industry to face reality in 2012? It was defeated by the Republicans:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, other business groups and a number of Republicans, including John McCain of Arizona, opposed the bill, arguing that the legislation would be too burdensome for companies. They continued to oppose it even when Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., agreed to water it down and make the security standards optional.

…The Republican senators in opposition didn’t even listen to Keith Alexander, director of the NSA, who urged the Senate to pass the bipartisan cybersecurity legislation. If they don’t heed the advice of one of the nation’s premier experts on the issue (he’s also commander of the United States Cyber Command), then perhaps they weren’t paying attention to the facts?

These are the people we have put in charge of our Congress. Kind of makes you feel all warm and cozy doesn’t it?

Finally there was a great article in the NYT about how constructive criticism in military hospitals has led to retribution for healthcare workers. As I like to say it is all about the incentives. Keeping cost low and moving patients on so the numbers look good is how you get promoted, and is how patient care gets shoved to the side. But my point is not just about how bad some military hospitals are but that if we want to change something, we have to look at the incentives and how they operate against us. See why change is so hard in the U.S. until we are almost face down in the gutter? The people in power like the way the system works because the incentives go to them.

Just another Sunday morning watching the rain come down. Now I have to walk my animals.

Madness Continuous

Mitt tells us that the loss at JPMorgan should not be a knee jerk for regulations, because if you are a good capitalist you hate all regulations. This is sauce for the goose for our feeble minded conservatives who live in an alternate reality.  Let’s see, this is what the Dodd-Frank Bill was suppose to prevent so first of all this is not a knee jerk reaction, but the banking boys managed to undermine the actual regulations.  But here is the big one Mitt:  ITS OUR FUCKING MONEY! These are government insured accounts and if the boys at JPMorgan go under, guess who gets the bill?

There is a plea in the New York Times in the editorial page for  legalizing Marijuana in New York to help cancer patients.  Meanwhile the DEA has cracked down on legal Marijuana dispensaries in California, putting many out of  business.  According to the Sacramento Bee, with nowhere to sell there CA legally grown marijuana, it is being dumped in massive quantities on the streets at record low prices.  Don’t you just love the war on drugs?  It’s that conservative mentality that we have to punish evil doers even if we just make all things worse.

John Boehner and the boys are saying they will not negotiate on extending the debt limit next time like they almost crashed the economy last time, and of course, no new revenues to pay for our debt.  These are the guys who ran up the deficit in the good times with the Bush Tax Cuts and wild spending on unfunded wars, and have offered the Ryan Budget which all analysis (except the American Enterprise Institute and Fox News) show will also break the bank.  The real question for Americans is, are you more afraid of a deficit that will just get worse under their policies, or do we need real jobs that might allow us to grow out of our deficit, you know, invest in our future?  If you are stuck in the home budget analogy, think of it this way:  If we don’t take on some debt to fix the hole in our roof, the house won’t be worth anything down the road.  The feeble minded think we care more about the deficit than having an income or a future.  We will see.

Finally I want to point you to a very telling blog in the Washington Post that tells you how we got feeble minded conservatives.  By the way feeble minded conservatives doesn’t mean they aren’t  smart.  They just live in an alternate reality.  Phi Beta Kappa Phyliss Schlafly is Exhibit A (Fought against equal rights for women among other stupid things).  Here is the blog in its entirety and here is what it tells you:  The Press is worthless and the requirement to have access to report he said/she said arguments has completely dumbed down reporting for fear of actually challenging these nimrods and losing access.  Whatever you do, don’t tell the emperor he has no clothes (WP Opinions)  (Also See Krugman):

Posted at 03:52 PM ET, 05/14/2012

Only one party’s to blame? Don’t tell the Sunday shows.

Last month, Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein published an Op edand a book making the extremely controversial argument that both parties aren’t equally to blame for what ails Washington. They argued that the GOP — by allowing extremists to roam free and by wielding the filibuster to achieve government dysfunction as a political end in itself — were demonstrably more culpable for creating what is approaching a crisis of governance.

It turns out neither man has been invited on to the Sunday shows even once to discuss this thesis. As Bob Somerby and Kevin Drum note, these are among the most quoted people in Washington — yet suddenly this latest topic is too hot for the talkers, or not deemed relevant at all.

I ran this thesis by Ornstein himself, and he confirmed that the book’s publicity people had tried to get the authors booked on the Sunday shows, with no success.

“Not a single one of the Sunday shows has indicated an interest, and I do find it curious,” Ornstein told me, adding that the Op ed had well over 200,000 Facebook recommends and has been viral for weeks. “This is a level of attention for a book that we haven’t received before. You would think it would attract some attention from the Sunday shows.’

Ornstein also noted another interesting point. Their thesis takes on the media for falling into a false equivalence mindset and maintaining the pretense that both sides are equally to blame. Yet despite the frequent self-obsession of the media, even that angle has failed to generate any interest. What’s more, some reporters have privately indicated their frustration with their editorial overlords’ apparent deafness to this idea.

“The piece focused on press culpability — it would be hard to find a more sensitive issue for the media than the question of whether they’re doing their job,” Ornstein said. “We got tons of emails from some of the biggest reporters in the business, saying, `We’ve raised this in the newsroom, and editors just brush it aside.’”

Ornstein, while stressing that he wasn’t casting any blame, noted that the topic hasn’t come up on Howard Kurtz’s weekend media show.

This is curious. Is “experts confirm that, yes, one side is more to blame than the other, and journalists should say so” really too hot a topic for the Sunday shows? Is it not relevant or interesting?

HowieDaveBobGeorgeCandy? No interest in this?



By   |  03:52 PM ET, 05/14/2012