Good News on the Medical Marijuana Front

Glenn has the rundown and the implications. I think the most important part of Glenn’s piece is the recognition of how out of touch our policies are with the rest of the world. It is going to be hard to keep a very profitable and lucrative drug war going, what with all those nice property seizures for government agencies, when no one else in latin and central america wants to be as crazy as we are about marijuana.

BTW- I’m sure this happened despite strong objections from Rahm Emmanuel and Barack Obama, because they have spent every day trying to stick it to the progressives. Sure, they mouth the right words and platitudes, but do they ever come through? This was just an accident, I’m sure, and somehow or another they will screw the netroots this week. I mean, after all, if they really wanted to change marijuana policy, they would have done it by executive fiat the day after the nomination. AMIRITE?

/disgusted sarcasm






104 replies
  1. 1
    mr. whipple says:

    I’m sure this happened despite strong objections from Rahm Emmanuel and Barack Obama, because they have spent every day trying to stick it to the progressives.

    This just shows they are wimps, because until hemp is totally legal Obama is just chipping at the edges. /hemp people

  2. 2
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Sounds like someone is outta weed.

  3. 3
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    I am stoned but I didn’t miss it. ;)

    Great, one less worry for me and my provider! Thanks Obama!!

    Oh, no complaints here. States right bitches!! ;)

  4. 4
    Max says:

    @John Cole – I’m liking your attitude this morning.

    Seems you’re a little fired up and ready to go.

  5. 5
    valdivia says:

    thanks John for that last bit. And because I never go to Glenzilla, am I wrong in thinking he was one fo the people freaking out a few months ago and is he now saying he was wrong to freak out or claiming his freak out is what made this happen?

    I know Glenn is not all outrage I just get tired of the screams and the failure to acknowledge the screaming was about nothing.

  6. 6
    The Moar You Know says:

    I’m sure this happened despite strong objections from Rahm Emmanuel and Barack Obama, because they have spent every day trying to stick it to the progressives.

    Obama shot a liberal in Reno just to watch him die.

  7. 7
    cleek says:

    damn you, bong boy

  8. 8

    All I can say is, about damn time. And no, that wasn’t a slam at Obama–just at the previous presidents.

  9. 9
    Why oh why says:

    You know who else decriminalized medical marijuana? Hitler.

  10. 10
    mistermix says:

    The trick to reading Glenn G is skimming. If someone would start a “shorter Glenn Greenwald” site that summarized his posts, it would probably get more hits than his blog.

  11. 11
    Svensker says:

    @valdivia:

    I know Glenn is not all outrage I just get tired of the screams and the failure to acknowledge the screaming was about nothing.

    Since Glenn mostly writes on anti-torture and civil liberties — which Obama has given lip service to but has either not followed through or has actively worked to hamper — he has reason to be outraged. I encourage him to keep yelling about these issues.

    It is not possible to be too shrill on torture or illegal detention.

  12. 12
    Redshirt says:

    State’s Rights?! Well, I suspect our Conservative Brethren to be outraged – OUTRAGED I TELL’S YA! – by any focus on State’s Rights.

  13. 13
    stacie says:

    @Why oh why:

    You know who else decriminalized medical marijuana? Hitler.

    Also, the Jews — betrayers of Christ — used to stone people. Also.

  14. 14
    meh says:

    I lol’d – tyvm

    You know who else decriminalized medical marijuana? Hitler.

  15. 15
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    I have become a fan of Oath Keepers. When the Oath Keepers observe this policy just announced on marijuana, a drug which the President has admitted to enjoying personally, they will probably ask themselves a question:

    Why did the Commander in Chief spend his time to expand the use of a drug that he enjoys, while the troop request sent from General McChrystal made back in August, remains unaddressed?

    A soldier, recently killed in action, passed through my town this week. There was a large motorcade. Marijuana is probably a fun drug. I am sure people enjoy it.

  16. 16
    ellaesther says:

    On this morning’s news on WXRT (Chicago’s finest rock, bitches!), they made a point of mentioning the fact that Illinois is not a state in which medical marijuana is legal.

    Just, you know, in case.

  17. 17
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    Since Glenn mostly writes on anti-torture and civil liberties—which Obama has given lip service to but has either not followed through or has actively worked to hamper—he has reason to be outraged.

    I just found it ironic that a lawyer, who asks his client to wait years before his case is settled, won’t extend the same courtesy to a President with a helluva lot more on his plate.

  18. 18
    Leelee for Obama says:

    Wonder if we could possibly remove the ban on growing hemp soon? There are endless products that are being made from the modest hemp plant that other countries are able to sell us, instead of their being produced here in the good old US of A. Jefferson would be happy as a pig in mud-paper, lotions, makeup, fuel, food, animal feed and I don’t know what-all. The argument that hemp would mask cannabis growing is bogus, because hemp overtakes the weaker plant-there’s at least one Native American Tribe that had to destroy their crops over this stupid law-time for America to grow the f up!

  19. 19
    4tehlulz says:

    @The Moar You Know: Barack Obama will kill you like a cat in a box.

    MAYBE

  20. 20
    GReynoldsCT00 says:

    John, did you put pepper in your coffee again?

  21. 21
    gnomedad says:

    I was initially disappointed with Obama on drug policy, not because of “not moving fast enough”, but with what I perceived his policy to actually be. Perhaps I was mistaken. Perhaps actual sanity on drug policy, not merely in terms of what you actually do but in terms of what you are perceived to want, is political poison. So maybe change can only come via incrementalism and stealth. Obama’s got a much more powerful brain than me (no surprise there) if he can keep consistent track of what he wants vs. what he can be publicly perceived to want and any given time.

    It would be great if, in this country, a politician could say, “This is what I personally believe and want, but I realize that public opinion will not support it, so here is what I support as policy at this time. And frankly, I’m gonna try to change public opinion, but I promise not to get too far ahead of it, because this is a democracy, after all. And I don’t think I’m a hypocrite for taking this approach.” But of course, such a politician would be hammered from both sides. So they learn to lie. It’s a job requirement.

  22. 22
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    Everybody wants to be a blog star these days. But there are just so many fainting couches to go around.

  23. 23
    inkadu says:

    Given the United States stance on pre-emptive war, torture, the death penalty, health care, and global warming, I don’t have much hope for the “out-of-step with the world” argument.

  24. 24
    gnomedad says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:
    I have become a fan of Oath Utterers. I practice when you post.

  25. 25
    GReynoldsCT00 says:

    Obviously I didn’t configure my pie filter properly…

  26. 26
    jeffreyw says:

    Bah, morning again.

  27. 27
    valdivia says:

    I am going to say again what I keep saying–I don’t have a problem with people pressing on torture and DADT, and whatever issues we need to get resolved during the Obama tenure. What I cannot understand is the immediate “he is dead to me” attitude, the instinct to call him a traitor and a failure and all of this 8 or 9 months in to a 4 year term. Also, the sense that people actually *know* what is in Obama’s mind and that he has bad intentions. So my take is, argue passionately for what you believe but the Obama=Bush stuff just makes me think the person arguing in that vein is really more about posturing than actually making things happen. (I refer here too to Kay’s (I think) excellent post on Guantanamo and how Glenn Greenwald and other screamers failed to get outraged at *congress* when they started dragging their feet, not even a post calling out to people to do shit to get congress moving on this. Holder did it, and now it looks we will have the closing even if a bit late, because he made it happen by pushing behind the scenes).

  28. 28
    Svensker says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:

    I just found it ironic that a lawyer, who asks his client to wait years before his case is settled, won’t extend the same courtesy to a President with a helluva lot more on his plate.

    If you read Greenwald regularly, you would know that the Obama administration has actively tried to impede cases involving torture and indefinite detention. It’s not that they haven’t had time to deal with them — they’ve SPENT time trying to either follow in Bush’s footsteps or do him one better.

    IOW, you are blowing it out your ass.

  29. 29
    valdivia says:

    does anyone know how to use the pie filter with chrome? Now that I am using it I have to read BOB all the time instead of his comments about pie. Sigh. Help?

  30. 30
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @valdivia:

    We need a Pizza Pie filter.

  31. 31
    Redshirt says:

    Obama lets the ground move around him, throws out an idea and let other people run with it; let’s consensus form in the direction he intends, and once the momentum is big enough, he strikes.

    Drug War is a perfect subject. Its outrageous, but O has to pick his battles, and if he picked this one for a full on confrontation, he’d be fighting the “weak on crime” meme from day one, which would contribute to a lot of other memes as well.

    Not the best fight to pick first — healthcare really is the one. So, he moves in the background, and makes small incremental changes/comments, and lo and behold, before you even realize it, change is a’foot.

    Change I can believe in, no doubt.

  32. 32
    Svensker says:

    @valdivia:

    What I cannot understand is the immediate “he is dead to me” attitude, the instinct to call him a traitor and a failure and all of this 8 or 9 months in to a 4 year term.

    If you are saying Glenn has said this about Obama then you are absolutely wrong. He has called O out about many things and said he is very disappointed in his obstructionism on indefinite detention and torture investigation — who wouldn’t be? He also praises the O administration when it does the right thing, as today.

    I do agree we all need to call out Congress more than we have been doing. The Guantanamo closure ran directly into Congress’s Chicken Little NIMBY crap, and has slowed substantially because of that. OTH, some of Rahm’s famous arm-twisting might have done some good there – a lot of us just doubt that Rahm would get out of bed to help shut down Guantanamo, but maybe that’s unjustified cynicism on our parts.

  33. 33
    ericvsthem says:

    @valdivia: I read Greenwald regularly, and he has blasted Congress as well for concerning the closing of GITMO and their bullshit about moving those prisoners to federal supermax prisons.

    My only problem with Glennzilla is his tendency to beat a topic to death.

  34. 34
    liberal says:

    @valdivia:

    Also, the sense that people actually know what is in Obama’s mind and that he has bad intentions.

    What he has in his mind is irrelevant as it cannot be measured. What counts is actions. And in continuing the handout of trillions to the banks and their bondholders, his actions are atrocious.

  35. 35
    MH says:

    BOB, you ignorant slut, it’s because the Commander-in-Chief’s opinion overrides a general’s. You would know that if you didn’t hate the military, though.

  36. 36
    Sly says:

    I’m sure the Neo-Confederates will find something wrong with this policy. States’ rights is only good when it supports outcomes you like and, after all, they are the most vocal supporters of Federally-mandated Tort Reform.

    As for Greenwald: Shrillness, in defense of liberty, is no vice. Especially when it’s laden with some primo snark.

  37. 37
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    If you read Greenwald regularly, you would know that the Obama administration has actively tried to impede cases involving torture and indefinite detention.

    And Greenwald knows when he makes these arguments why the Obama administration is impeding specific cases. They don’t currently have anywhere to send these people, who the Bush administration’s torture policies may have radicalized. But instead of offering real-world solutions, which is hard, Greenwald just restates the same criticism in a thousand different ways, which even Brick Oven Bill can do.

  38. 38

    The left, the progressives, the DFH, whatever you want to call them need to learn one thing, and you’d think it would be painfully obvious to them, cause, you know, he’s black, and the first guy to do this was black too:

    Obama floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee.

    Bitchez. Also.

  39. 39
    valdivia says:

    @Svensker:

    I think you and I see eye to eye on this. I really cannot read Greenwald because the tone just puts me off. he is at 11 every day. Even from the beginning he has implied that he thinks Obama and Bush are the same (I remember he was one of the first to make the Obama is failing comment at his blog not even a week or so into his admin). If I am wrong about that I am happy to stand corrected. Maybe it was someone else but I remember a very long thread about that here, and even Glenn coming over and commenting.

    The thing that really really gets me is that there is all this yelling at Obama when a lot of the focus should be somewhere else. Also as much as Rahm can arm twist, there is a congress leadership that should be doing its job as well as committee chairmen etc. We focus way too much on the Executive, pressure should be applied everywhere for things to happen with long lasting effects. And sincerely I have not read anything that tells me that Rahm is against closing Guantanamo. I know a lot of people hate him and maybe I am just naive, but unless we know he is against the closing because he said he is against it, why not let things play out without calling people out on things we do not know they feel?

  40. 40
    eric says:

    Here is my singular and fundamental problem with anti-dem progressives….to win as a dem in a statewide or national election, you have to neuter your progressive tendencies, period. So, you have someone like Obama, who is by any sane measure center-left, and particularly neo-liberal with respect to finance policy. This is as it was, as it is, and likely as it will be given the anti-democratic nature of the Senate and the nature of corporate media ownership.

    So, you run as a center left dem and you win….and then, you are supposed to have the biggest balls ever and ram through real progressive change because that is what the people want. Progressives tell you what you SHOULD do as if there would be no political fall out.

    Yet, were it that simple, Obama would have run as a real progressive such that he would have a more progressive mandate (though you can never discount the anti-representative Senate).

    to the people that bash Obama, run and win an effing statewide or national race on a progressive ticket and get back to me. Not some house race…a real statewide race.

    I am a real progressive. I cringe at the way we treat the poor here and abroad. We have the means, financial and technlogical, to wipe out real poverty and suffering. We dont.

    We have to fight the entrenched powers, but we can never forget that, as in science, the “initial condiitions” effect outcomes. right now we have a center-right media and a center-right Senate. Until those institutions change (and they may never), we will have to be angry, but pragmatic incrementalists.

    I have criticized Obama for his failings on torture and finance policy (see Summers), but I am ever so grateful every single day that my daughter lives in a country with President Obama and not a President McCain.

    I will fight for progressive ideals, but I will never sacrifice the good for the perfect….

    eric

  41. 41
    anonevent says:

    @valdivia: This.
    Valdivia is calling out those who like to use the “Worst. President. Ever.” type statements on Obama, which are totally useless. It’s more than OK to pressure the President – as long as you are pressing him on something he can change, as opposed to pressing Congress when it’s the right body – but denouncing him as useless is useless.

  42. 42
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    @ellaesther:

    On this morning’s news on WXRT (Chicago’s finest rock, bitches!), they made a point of mentioning the fact that Illinois is not a state in which medical marijuana is legal.

    Cook County is moving closer to decriminalization of small amounts (less than 1 ounce).

  43. 43
    valdivia says:

    @anonevent:

    you put it better than I did. I really think pressure is very important I just don’t understand why pressure has to be dressed as failure and treason. HuffPo has been very bad at this. Blaring headlines every day about how Obama is failing. To my mind this is just stupid.

  44. 44
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    MH correctly notes that the Commander in Chief’s opinion over-rides a General’s opinion. This is called the Chain of Command.

    Thus, when a General, appointed by the Commander in Chief for a specific mission, offers his opinion, and makes a request based on that opinion, a responsible Commander in Chief would consider that General’s opinion. He would then either accept it, modify it, or replace the General with one with whom he feels more comfortable with.

    He would not sit there with a dumb look on his face.

    A responsible General, having performed his analysis, made his recommendations, and who continues to send home the dead, would observe the President’s dumb look, and new marijuana policy initiative, and think to himself: what is going on?

  45. 45
    Svensker says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:

    And Greenwald knows when he makes these arguments why the Obama administration is impeding specific cases. They don’t currently have anywhere to send these people, who the Bush administration’s torture policies may have radicalized.

    Sorry, wrong. Apples and oranges. Here is Glenn on a torture case that has nothing to do with Congress’s obstruction on placing detainees, but everything to do with Obama being on the WRONG side of the torture issue:

    http://www.salon.com/opinion/g.....index.html

  46. 46
    John Cole says:

    Reading this thread, it appears that there are a lot of people who have very strong opinions about Glenn Greenwald while having read very little of what he has to say. When Glenn criticizes the administration, it is done so in excruciating and exacting detail.

    What honks me off are the “Obama suxxors” or the “just words” crowd who pay no attention to what is going on, no attention to political realities, scream and bleat loudly and stupidly (and in many cases weakening the administration), and then when it turns out the admin was doing the right thing, they proclaim victory and say it is all due to the pressure they put on the admin., failing to realize that screaming and whining incoherently isn’t pressure at all, but good for Obama because it makes it look like he is independent and not being pushed around by the fringe.

    See also, DADT, when last week there was a two day freakout, an article shows the folks at SLDN (folks who actually know something) knew the Obama admin was working behind the scenes and that a bill was several weeks off, and then when the hyperventilators found out the Obama team was in fact moving, they proclaimed it was because of their “pressure.”

    Fucking idiots, the lot of them.

  47. 47
    inkadu says:

    @eric: There’s no better use of a progressive’s time than getting involved in the machinery of the Democratic party; at a minimum that means getting involved in primary campaigns (and if your state has closed primary the local town committee).

    Wingnuts took over the GOP school-board by school-board.

  48. 48
    eric says:

    @John Cole: take a look also an increased regulatory enforcement (SEC)….in a center-right media world, we are lucky to have a center-left government. It is by no means left enough, but we never got to crazy right in 8 months either — it took an unsustainable dot.com bubble coupled with an unsustainable real estate bubble to create irrational faith in markets and it took 9/11 to create irrational fears to allow the harsh erosion of civil liberties.

    I’ll give the black guy a couple of years to get that stuff back.

    eric

  49. 49
    Svensker says:

    Vote for Bitsy.

    Also, here’s a doggy who is really mad because his toy has been hidden.

  50. 50
  51. 51
    eric says:

    @inkadu: agreed. and it is why i hate the effing greens. you wanna be a player, well raise some money and field some candidates for school boards, for water districts, for state house/senate races. And do it nation wide. its hard? no shit! dont have corporate dollars? no shit! that is my whole point as to how the intitial conditions have deformed the playing field.

    There is no way an outsider party can break through.

    In truth, i think it will require something cataclysmic to break the hold of the “two” party system.

    eric

  52. 52
    valdivia says:

    @John Cole:
    Mea culpa. I am one of those who have very strong feelings about Glenn without reading him every day. I just can’t read him. I follow the summaries provided by Sulli and you and others on what he writes and maybe I am wrong in thinking that he assumes the reasons why things are happening in cases when he may not have the complete picture. I will be the first one to say I was wrong about him if at the end of Obama’s first term things have not worked out as I thought they would and he proves to be right that Obama has no intention of reversing Bush on torture.

    The rest of what you say is right on. As usual.

  53. 53

    If you read Greenwald regularly, you would know that the Obama administration has actively tried to impede cases involving torture and indefinite detention. It’s not that they haven’t had time to deal with them—they’ve SPENT time trying to either follow in Bush’s footsteps or do him one better.
    IOW, you are blowing it out your ass.

    You don’t know what you’re talking about, Svensker.

    It is the responsibility of the lawyers in the Justice Department to argue the government’s case when it is challenged – they are, after all, the government’s lawyers – unless they are given new policy direction from above.

    In other words, Justice Department lawyers defending the status quo is exactly what we would expect to see if the White House was not sending down policy guidance.

  54. 54
    geg6 says:

    @John Cole:

    SWOON.

    I think I love you, John Cole. ;-)

  55. 55

    Glenn Greenwald is smart and educated enough to know how the Justice Department operates.

    I think he’s found himself a comfortable niche that brings him a lot of attention.

  56. 56
    Maude says:

    @John Cole: Uisrite.
    They have spoiled brat syndrome.
    It isn’t covered by the health plan and so Obama has failed yet again.

  57. 57
    Sly says:

    What honks me off are the “Obama suxxors” or the “just words” crowd who pay no attention to what is going on, no attention to political realities, scream and bleat loudly and stupidly (and in many cases weakening the administration), and then when it turns out the admin was doing the right thing, they proclaim victory and say it is all due to the pressure they put on the admin., failing to realize that screaming and whining incoherently isn’t pressure at all, but good for Obama because it makes it look like he is independent and not being pushed around by the fringe.

    On this, we agree.

    Any Democratic President needs a cogent and politically literate left to prevent them from throwing the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to negotiating with lawmakers, who are individually responsible to the local concerns of their constituents. Sometimes in that process the resulting policy becomes so bad that it’s not the case of “the perfect being the enemy of the good,” but rather it becomes the benefits of addressing an issue at all, even if it results in a policy that is incredibly bad (but you get to say “Hey, I did something!”) outweighs fighting the good fight.

    I think Greenwald and others do this fairly well, but they’re not the ones who are really effective in terms of actually creating good policy. As inkadu said, it’s the progressives who get involved in the party machinery that have the real influence.

    PUMAs, who are basically trying to relitigate the 2008 Democratic Primary, have none. Which is fine, because good policy outcomes aren’t their concern. It’s all just a pity party of hurt feelings for them.

  58. 58
    Waynski says:

    BoB continues to baffle.

  59. 59

    I’ll make a slightly different point here. Obama’s justice department has IMo done the right thing here. However, what bothers me (though I have no solution) is that he had to do this. I could point out the following three decisions and they all have the same problem as far as I can tell:

    1.Justice under Obama filing a strong defense of DOMA

    2.Justice under Bush making prosecuting voter fraud cases a priority and prosecuting discrimination cases not a priority

    3.Today’s statement about marijuana.

    And please let’s not argue about how they are all different – the details are different but they are all cases where an administration has chosen what laws to focus on and not focus on.

    I wish I knew how to avoid the enforcement of laws being subject to who is in the White House. It just seems wrong. I mean, we could pass laws legalizing marijuana and controlling it like cigarettes and alcohol and the next republican administration could make it a point to push the “control” part of it.

    As I said, I don’t have a solution. And I applaud Obama for doing what I believe to be the right thing. I just wish it was harder for a President to do this sort of thing.

  60. 60
    Leelee for Obama says:

    @Waynski: BOB continues to be ignored.

    Fixed for you.

  61. 61
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    Here is Glenn on a torture case that has nothing to do with Congress’s obstruction on placing detainees, but everything to do with Obama being on the WRONG side of the torture issue:

    Even Mohamed’s lawyers don’t believe this:

    July 29 article

    The CIA letter was couched in vague language and Miliband’s interpretation of the US claims was completely unreasonable, lawyers for Mohamed and the media said.

  62. 62
    Fern says:

    @John Cole:

    Indeed – “progressives” tend to dramatically overestimate their influence. You folks have a system in which obscene amounts of money are needed to run for national office, and progressives just don’t come up with enough money or represent a big enough voting block to have much of an influence.

  63. 63
    Catsy says:

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Obama plays the long game. The people who play musical fainting couches every time they don’t like the news cycle on their pet cause look awfully silly, and it’s a good thing Obama ignores it.

    That’s not to say that pressure to do the right thing is out of line. Quite the contrary; it’s essential, and Obama himself has repeatedly exhorted us to hold his feet to the fire when he doesn’t look like he’s living up to his promises. But there’s a difference between constructive pressure and “Obama hates teh gheys/troops/hippies/postmen” hyperbole and five-minute-hates because his priorities don’t match up exactly with yours.

  64. 64
    pharniel says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    Wow. Evel LGF calls the 3%’s Seditionests and borderline treasonus, which of course we would expect you to just love them.BoB might want to actually read their website. Death camps, concentration camps, anti-vax nutjobs etc.

  65. 65

    1.Justice under Obama filing a strong defense of DOMA… they are all cases where an administration has chosen what laws to focus on and not focus on.

    Not that one. That is a case of the Justice Department defaulting to defending the existing law, which is just what the Justice Department does.

  66. 66

    @joe from lowell

    I brought that up because it illustrates the point. I am not trying to say that the DOMA defense somehow indicates that Obama is in favor of DOMA. I am saying that defending an existing law or not is a choice justice departments make. Even though it might have made the marijuana decision not possible, I would prefer it if there were a way to keep political entities from having to make this kind of decision.

  67. 67
    Don says:

    I can’t get too thrilled with this, given what to me looks like Holder’s hedging.

    “It will not be a priority to use federal resources to prosecute patients with serious illnesses or their caregivers who are complying with state laws on medical marijuana, but we will not tolerate drug traffickers who hide behind claims of compliance with state law to mask activities that are clearly illegal,” Holder said

    We’ll honor the state laws, except when we don’t. This just to me seems like a wide-open option for them to exercise against any dispensary/grower who they get a hate-on for. Oh, they were just pretending to be within the letter of the California (or wherever) laws.

    In those cases let the state deal with the state’s laws. If someone is flouting the local regulations then let those mechanisms deal with them. Saying the DEA will only go after folks for law X when someone isn’t playing nice with law Y is malarkey.

  68. 68
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @cleek:

    Don’t you pack another bowl, you mary jane monster!

  69. 69
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    The Oath is to a document, not a man pharneil. This is because of the experience of the Founders, their appreciation of Natural Law, and their Belief that Aristocracy should be based upon Talent and Virtue, rather than Wealth and Birth.

    There are three categories of Treason, as the Founders were very skeptical about government, and therefore defined the three Treasonous actions narrowly in the Constitution:

    1. Waging war against them [The Constitution];
    2. Adhering to their enemies;
    3. Giving Aid and Comfort to their enemies.

    Pledging to honor one’s Oath is not Treasonous, it is quite the opposite. Personally I cannot understand how someone can swear an Oath to a Constitution that they believe to be fundamentally flawed. This would be an issue of Virtue.

  70. 70
    Original Lee says:

    @John Cole: Thisity thisity this this this.

  71. 71
    MobiusKlein says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:
    BOB, there is no FUCKING Aristocracy!

    It’s America, and any royalty out there wanting my admiration can kiss my flag tattoo on my ass.

  72. 72
    inkadu says:

    @eric: As I am tired of explaining to people, a winner take all system as we have here makes it practically impossible for a third-party to be effective. The only viable route is a constitutional ammendment (and you call that viable??) or the complete and utter collapse of a national party that is aligned on your side (which isn’t so much a route as a stupid hope).

    They don’t understand that Greens have a voice in Europe because Europe has a parliamentary system. 20% of the vote gets you 20% of the parliament. In the United States, 20% of the vote gets you a pizza party from your candidate.

  73. 73
    gnomedad says:

    @John Cole:

    then when it turns out the admin was doing the right thing, they proclaim victory and say it is all due to the pressure they put on the admin.

    Hmm, would “rain dance” be a good metaphor for this? I recall a claim from my childhood “Golden Book of Weather” that con men would once appear in a drought-stricken area when rain was expected, put on a “rainmaking” show and collect a fee when it rained.

  74. 74
    Cain says:

    @valdivia:

    I am going to say again what I keep saying—I don’t have a problem with people pressing on torture and DADT, and whatever issues we need to get resolved during the Obama tenure. What I cannot understand is the immediate “he is dead to me” attitude, the instinct to call him a traitor and a failure and all of this 8 or 9 months in to a 4 year term. Also, the sense that people actually know what is in Obama’s mind

    People want to see a repeat of Clinton when he aggressively started pushing his agenda from a top down perspective. How well did that work out? The left is not looking at what happened during the Clinton era. You cannot make change immediate without first creating an atmosphere to accept that change and that takes time. You must first squash the opposition and makes them look like fools. Clinton fell into that republican trap so easily as soon as they started kicking up dirt.

    Keep that in mind, when you start bitching about Obama and how slow things are going. This guy isn’t going to be caught like that. Learn from history.

    cain

  75. 75
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    There always is a FUCKING Aristocracy MobiusKlein. This is Natural Law and can be denied only by the naïve or envious. The goal of the Constitution is to establish the American Aristocracy upon Talent and Virtue. This is in contrast to Europe where Aristocracy was historically based upon Wealth and Birth, or non-metallic societies where Aristocracy is based upon Bodily Strength.

    Jefferson explains it here.

    Modern Liberalism, again, is the attempt to impose Artificial Law (wealth, birth) and suppress the free exchange of ideas. Bodily strength does not stand a chance due to gunpowder. Talent and Virtue will prevail over Wealth and Birth because of it.

  76. 76
    valdivia says:

    @Cain:

    I am not bitching cain I am totally with you on this. I am all for the Obama style of doing things.

  77. 77
    Fern says:

    @inkadu:

    I don’t know about other places, but here in Canada 20% of the vote will only get you seats if the vote is unevenly distributed across the country. The Bloq gets a fair number of seats because they are a regional party. The Greens end up with next to no seats because they are trying to be a national party. 10-20% of the overall popular vote gets you seats only if you are particularly strong in one part of the country.

    I think in some countries, at least some of the seats are allocated based on national popular vote, but not here.

  78. 78
    Cerberus says:

    @John Cole:

    I can understand greatly and I agree with you profoundly that the Obama revealing himself from behind his Jackie Robinson enigma beginning is one I am greatly proud of.

    I have never partaked of marijuana, the hardest drug I have abused is caffeine, but I believed pushing the White House for saner drug laws was a good idea and I am greatly pleased and heartened that either by listening to the arguments or internal conviction (either of which would be hallmarks of wise and virtuous leader) he has made a positive step he didn’t necessarily have to towards making us a better nation.

    Such a step also heartens me towards other things I care about and I feel more confident about him with each passing day. I’ll still push him and encourage others to push him, shrill though some may be because of one simple fact, it can’t hurt. If he’s on our side, he’ll politely ignore it, but can point to it if he needs moderate cred. If he’s making up his mind, it can remind him what the right side is as the conservadems of the Senate try and make everything about what will make the Republicans cry the least. And if he is ever against us, maybe it will shame him towards making the right choice.

    I would agree emphatically on people being a bit more sane in this pushing, certainly in the queer community of which I am part, though. Be rough, but don’t yell betrayer regardless of whether what they say is positive or negative.

    It is true it is better to not get complacent and assume they’re all emphatically on your side, but you can give props where needed. Like say his support of the right side in Washington and Maine and the tangled mess of hate crimes and ENDA in congress. Woot!

    Also, yay you tokers!

  79. 79
    fraught says:

    Is it true that John Aravosis just bought Katherine Jean Lopez’s old used fainting couch on ebay as a Christmas present for sully?

  80. 80
    gwangung says:

    People want to see a repeat of Clinton when he aggressively started pushing his agenda from a top down perspective. How well did that work out? The left is not looking at what happened during the Clinton era.

    Those people are not looking at the world, PERIOD.

    Top down, autocratic moves gets things done in the short term. But I really don’t think they work in the long term–they get reversed very easily by the next guy in.

    Why is this so hard to understand?

  81. 81
    Cat says:

    So when Obama’s admin says its changed an internal policy that is purely up to the discretion of Obama’s admin and can be changed at any time or by the next Admin people herald it as a step in the right direction.

    When DADT/DOMA opponents ask for for the same ephemeral policy changes people say it would be a huge waste of time, not a long term solution, or congress should act.

    Double standard or what?

  82. 82
    MobiusKlein says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:
    Feh, the folks in congress & such are mostly schlubs like us, just with fancier titles. They only display virtue an merit when the people demand it, and vote that way.

    When we start voting based on family name (looking at you, GWB) we get the Trouble.

    So in short, once again, anybody with visions of aristocracy can kiss my shinny tattooed ass.

  83. 83
    wasabi gasp says:

    This is good news relative to Bush. So it’s not really good news, it’s just not bad news.

    Until legalization, it’s all fucking stupid news.

  84. 84

    @Sly: Malkin and Gay Patriot are driving around in 57 Snits because a) this policy isn’t really new so what’s the big deal yawn who cares? b) Healthcare reform and prosecuting people who committed torture in the name of making sure the terrorists don’t win.

    No post titles screaming of drug gangs engaging in drive by cancer patient throwing. Yet.

  85. 85
    Cain says:

    @valdivia:

    I am not bitching cain I am totally with you on this. I am all for the Obama style of doing things.

    Oh, I know. I wasn’t bitching at you, more of a “I agree with your comment and let me add my own 2 cents to it.” :-)

    cain

  86. 86
    Cain says:

    @Cat:

    Double standard or what?

    The Obama administration was simply respecting state law on drug policy. The war on drugs laws are in respect to detention, and police powers in order to keep criminals in jail or rehabilitate them or whatever. Obama has asked prosecutors not to prosecute in states that have their own drug laws. There is no double standard. Since he’s only asked prosecutors not to waste their time, there is no need for executive order since you’re not formally asking for a law not to be pursued.

    cain

  87. 87
    inkadu says:

    @Fern: Hm. I didn’t know that about national party apportionment in Canada. But I’m a lazy thinker; all I have to know is that less than a majority gets you nothing.

    How does it work on a province level? Part of the problem is that the United States is winner-take-all at every level, making it impossible for third parties to get any momentum. I know a green who won at the alderman level — about the lowest elected position in the city — but quickly switched to the Dems because she wanted in on actual politics.

  88. 88
    BigSwami says:

    @mistermix: Is this the sort of thing you were talking about?

  89. 89

    @valdivia

    I am going to say again what I keep saying—I don’t have a problem with people pressing on torture and DADT, and whatever issues we need to get resolved during the Obama tenure. What I cannot understand is the immediate “he is dead to me” attitude, the instinct to call him a traitor and a failure and all of this 8 or 9 months in to a 4 year term.

    Well I for one am tired of the “Obama, he’s so much smarter than you, he’s playing 11 dimensional chess, blah, blah, blah, blah. Just wait and see, you won’t be disappointed” bullshit that goes on and on from some of his supporters. I’m not willing to say that Obama = Bush yet, in fact I’ll never be willing to say that because Jesus, the man isn’t as fucking stupid as George W. Bush was and he’s in charge of the executive, unlike Bush who was a figurehead at best, but I’m getting sick and tired of a lot of the Obama supporters who when they insist that Obama is playing 11 dimensional chess, blah, blah, fucking blah are starting to sound every bit as inane as Assrocket did when he wrote:

    “It must be very strange to be President Bush. A man of extraordinary vision and brilliance approaching to genius, he can’t get anyone to notice. He is like a great painter or musician who is ahead of his time, and who unveils one masterpiece after another to a reception that, when not bored, is hostile.”

  90. 90

    @Brick Oven Bill

    There always is a FUCKING Aristocracy MobiusKlein. This is Natural Law and can be denied only by the naïve or envious. The goal of the Constitution is to establish the American Aristocracy upon Talent and Virtue. This is in contrast to Europe where Aristocracy was historically based upon Wealth and Birth, or non-metallic societies where Aristocracy is based upon Bodily Strength.

    BOB, you’re nothing more than a sniveling little political submissive who wants a uniform wearing daddy figure to tell him what to do and organize his life. It’s obvious, from nonsense like this or your gushing (and kind of creepy) idolization of Sully Sullenberger that you’d probably be a lot happier wearing a leash and collar and polishing boots with your tongue in a leather bar than you would be at any of the idiot Beckapalooza events you keep nattering on about.

    Oh, and your pizza looks like shit, I’ve made better pizza with Boboli and an electric oven and your brick oven looks like someone took a fugly, concrete shit in your yard.

  91. 91
    srv says:

    I’m sure any changes Obama tosses to progressives would happen if they all just got in a row and behaved themselves. Some of that is true – torture, MJ and what-not reform ought to be pretty trivial issues in the grand scheme of things when the status quo is literally pretty close to textbook insanity. Some of this is his fault – if you’re going to talk big about changing DADT, WTF do you think Sully is going to do?

    As a DFH, I have every faith that Obama might stop torturing people (or at least give them a hearing before they get rendered somewhere), might get some health reform that a majority of folks wanted a long time ago, and might stop a multi-agency Fed assault on grandma’s pot plants in her back yard in Berkeley. Actually do something about Goldman? Regulate derivatives? Stop an insane policy in Afghanistan? Not so much.

    It’s good the John Cole’s of the Left find all these people who don’t embrace The Pragmatic Center so objectionable. We wouldn’t want anyone doing anything radical.

  92. 92
    sparky says:

    @srv: also.
    @Wile E. Quixote: also.

    sometimes the perfect can be the enemy of the good, but this seems like just complaining about complaining. who cares if people want to whine? if it’s effective, that’s great, and if not, then ignore it. does anyone think that the marginal types being complained of here actually derail their own policy goals by striving for perfection? if so, example, please. otherwise this is just buying into an opposition talking point. it’s like the Village, but with different colored glasses.

  93. 93
    eemom says:

    Lotsa good sense being spoke on this thread. Me likey.

    “Fucking idiots, the lot of them.”

    A-fucking-men to that.

    I am so thankful for this blog. It is a whisper of sanity amidst the deafening roar of lunatics.

  94. 94
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    Sullenberger has more Talent and Virtue than Geithner. This makes him the Alpha.

  95. 95
    BigSwami says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: You are seriously one of the best trolls I’ve ever seen in my life. Talent ++, Virtue –.

  96. 96
    srv says:

    @sparky:

    it’s like the Village, but with different colored glasses.

    POTD.

  97. 97
    cat48 says:

    This new policy was actually announced in March by Holder. Did anyone else notice that? They are just sending out the rules for the local law enforcement to use. I really think that you guys give Rahm way more power and influence over decisions than he actually has, but I suppose it is better for you to hate Rahm than the Prez like the rest of the population.

    That Greenberg report about conservatives freaked me out last week. I read the entire thing last night, and these people seem like really sick puppies.

  98. 98
    Cat says:

    “The perfect is the enemy of the good.”

    Scew you and scew your justification for not having any values.

    This same justification forgives the institution of slavery in America. Would anyone argue abolishing slavery and giving slaves freedom wouldn’t have been the perfect thing to do back when the US was being founded. Instead we get merely the ‘good’ solution of letting slavery to continue for almost 100 years so we can have a unified nation. I don’t consider that a good solution, nor do I think the millions who lived in slavery for 100 years after that would either.

    Womens right to vote? Equal pay for equal work? We can’t have that, its to devisive. So we have more examples of “The perfect is the enemy of the good” justifications where the ‘good’ solution is repulsive to people who believe in equality for all.

    The notion that everyone is equal under the eyes of the law isn’t the ‘perfect’ solution it is merely the best solution we have for making sure everyone gets treated fairly. You will always have individuals who discriminate subtly against people they don’t like for whatever reason, but when the discriminiatition is codifed in law and lets people discriminate openly, you don’t have a solution, let alone a ‘good’ solution, you have a terrible problem that needs solving.

  99. 99
    oh really says:

    Finally, some sanity.

  100. 100
    mai naem says:

    I expect a lot of Obama and not because I was any kind of Obamabot but because there is a very good possibility that he will lose in 2012 and so actually only have 4 yrs. Of the 4 yrs the last six months of the four years are wasted because its too close to the election. At least a third of next year is going to be wasted,again, because of the midterms. So he’s actually got about 3 yrs. Of the 3 yrs he’ll probably lose another 6 mos. because of low popularity due to whatever(economy,Iraq,Iran,Afghan-Pak, some yet unknown scandal.) That leaves 2.5 yrs of which 6 mos. has already been used up on the economy. The point is that there is not a whole lot of time to pull off what I would like him to pull off and I do not want a WJC 2.0 where he moves the right to left meter by just a few degrees.

  101. 101
    Paula says:

    @ joe from lowell

    I think this is what feels icky about reading GG. I’ve gotten the same points reading Dahlia Lithwick and listening to Nina Totenberg — both of whom work for dreaded MSM outlets like Slate and NPR — that I have from reading a GG column, with about 1/3 the verbiage and no ridiculous speculation on the evil of men’s souls. (If you want deeper coverage, I think Marcy Wheeler has a lot of it covered.)

    He’s smart enough to know about institutional biases, and has admitted as much that there’s a lot going against reform. But from the way he writes, it’s always about the “bad guys”, where he gets to have the satisfaction of pointing out that they are “bad” without taking responsibility for, say, the fact that the American people know jack about security issues and that our gov’t plays on that ignorance. Because it would mean that GG’s image of himself as some kind of advocate is questioned by the fact that he seems to enjoy speaking to his choir and nothing more.

    Which gets to my real pet peeve: the guy writes like he thinks he’s the most critical guy of Obama out there. He isn’t, but he likes to give other bloggers pats on the head when they are critical like it’s such a surprise. He insults other bloggers on the left who aren’t on FDL, he can’t admit to being wrong (like his stupid mini-blog-war with Dana Goldstein over Ron Paul, or the fact that he bought into anonymous source reporting over John Harwood’s pajama-blogger-comment), and judging by how he chooses to respond to some of his naysayers on his own damn blog, is as thin-skinned as some of the journalists he mocks regularly (like Joe Klein). All this, and he wonders why everyone isn’t somehow lined up behind him on security and civil liberties issues.

    However, what do I know? I don’t read him regularly and I’m not a civil liberties lawyer. So shoot me for avoiding someone who’s seems to ooze self-aggrandizement.

  102. 102
    MNPundit says:

    Actually not hard. The US weed is better quality, and the Mexicans are funding their own startups timed to produce during the offseason so when the US supply slacks they can fill the gap. Also they are now paying US people to farm the stuff.

  103. 103

    I still think Obama’s deal with the whole ‘executive branch claims power to torture, imprison etc etc’ is this: he’s like, I cannot give this power away and I’m not going to. My part is to hang on to it as hard as Bush did. YOUR part is to take it away from me and make sure the executive branch cannot claim such powers in the future, either.

    The idea that he can fix things by making an executive decree that THIS week all that stuff is out of fashion, is retarded. He’s absolutely right to play it out this way, because the OFFICE of the executive has to be limited to prevent that stuff from recurring.

    I don’t blame him for being like ‘all right, except we stop the torturing right now. I’ll keep the people for the sake of the structural thing but we stop torturing them, I won’t do that even to stir the pot’.

    Trust me, Obama will hang on to the Bush powers (within his standards of morality, anyhow) BECAUSE he doesn’t think the President should have had such powers. If it’s his job to unilaterally relinquish such powers, that’s executive fashion and the next guy gets to change the fashion back to torture and war etc again.

    Obama WANTS you to take that stuff away from him- but he has to put up a real fight, not a pretend fight.

    Trek nerds? Obama is in the Riker role of the TNG show “Measure Of A Man”. He’s gotta do his level best to hang on to obscene, system-unbalancing powers because it is somebody else’s job to play defense and prove he can’t have them.

  104. 104
    Karen says:

    I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and have great pain. Someone else I know with the disease uses medical marijuana for her pain and it works really well for her. Maryland is one of the 14 states that has relatively lax medical marijuana laws so hopefully it will be legal here. It could make a huge difference in my life.

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