Repub Venality Open Thread: Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, Still A Monster

While everyone was busy gawking at the noisier acts in Donny Dollhand’s Thirteen-Ring Circus, the Malevolent Leprechaun decided to cosplay Marcus Welby, M.D. The current uptick in white suburban narcotic deaths doesn’t change the party line for Sessions’ biggest fans: Addicts are weak-willed parasites, led down the wrong path by swarthy drug cartels and shuffling ghetto drug pushers!

For the rebuttal, Julia Lurie at Mother Jones:

At a Heritage Foundation event celebrating Ronald Reagan’s birthday this week, Jeff Sessions made a familiar argument: Easy access to marijuana is helping fuel the opioid epidemic. The Drug Enforcement Agency says that the vast majority of heroin addiction starts with prescription painkillers, he acknowledged, but “We think a lot of this is starting with marijuana and other drugs, too.”

Accordingly, last month, Sessions rescinded the Obama-era guidance to deprioritize prosecuting dispensaries in states that had legalized marijuana.

But a growing body of evidence suggests that legal access to medical marijuana could in fact help reduce overdose deaths. The latest study, published by the RAND Corporation this week, found that states that allowed liberal access to marijuana through legally protected dispensaries saw reduced deaths from opioid overdoses. States that legalized the drug but didn’t allow dispensaries didn’t see the same pattern.

Among states with dispensaries, those that legalized medical marijuana before 2010 saw larger reductions in opioid deaths than those that legalized it afterwards. The authors hypothesize that’s because the late adopters tend to have more stringent rules that make it harder to get marijuana, requiring patients to take additional steps such as registering with the state or repeatedly seeing a doctor to confirm a need for medical marijuana. (The researchers examined state-level data from 1999 to 2013, so weren’t able to gauge the effects of legalizing recreational marijuana altogether.) “The key feature of medical marijuana law that facilitates a reduction in overdose rates is a relatively liberal allowance for dispensaries,” the researchers concluded…

131 replies
  1. 1
    jharp says:

    I want to know what drugs Sessions ingested before unspooling this monologue

    Me too.

    Remind me again why Sessions, Trump, and members of Congress aren’t drug tested like every other federal employee.

    And I’m all in. Betting my entire stack. That some wouldn’t pass.

  2. 2
    Raoul says:

    “We think a lot of this is starting with marijuana and other drugs, too.”

    IOW: We don’t give a shit about evidence based policy. We don’t give a shit about medical science. We don’t give a shit about epidemiology or decades of public health history and analysis or any of that namby pamby fancy learnin’ stuff.

    We have guts, and our guts tell us things. Dangerously wrong things, but the gut cannot be ignored!

  3. 3
    Baud says:


    like every other federal employee.

    Drug testing doesn’t apply to every federal employee. Not even most, I think.

  4. 4
    Shana says:

    Perhaps interesting side point: the actor who played Marcus Welby, Robert Young, was an alcoholic, who was treated by the same doctor who treated my father for his alcoholism. Successfully for several years, and then not successful (my father, I have no idea how successful he was with Robert Young).

  5. 5
    Gin & Tonic says:

    I think Sessions thinks Reefer Madness was a current documentary.

  6. 6
    Adam L Silverman says:

    I’ll just leave this here:

    Also, to avoid stomping on this post, I’ve pulled mine back. It will reappear at 11 PM EST.

  7. 7
    Baud says:

    I blame Cheech.

  8. 8
  9. 9
    dmsilev says:

    At a Heritage Foundation event celebrating Ronald Reagan’s birthday this week, Jeff Sessions

    That’s a sentence beginning which really deserves to be ended with “was struck by a meteor” or “was swallowed up by the Earth”.

  10. 10
  11. 11
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Too bad. It was a lot more fun than this one.

  12. 12
    Schlemazel says:

    To the best of my knowledge most if not all have to pass a 12-panel test before being hired. Contractors also. I have done some gigs for agencies & they were all like that except the Department of the Navy. But then I wsa not really working for the Navy but for a DoD contractor

  13. 13
    Baud says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I think the two posts are related.

  14. 14
    efgoldman says:


    We don’t give a shit about evidence based policy. We don’t give a shit about medical science. We don’t give a shit about epidemiology or decades of public health history and analysis or any of that namby pamby fancy learnin’ stuff.

    I think we should check Oliver Sachs’ writing. These RWNJ assholes have some kind of verbal and written dyslexia where, when presented with facts, they hear or see “praise god can’t hear you lalala”

  15. 15
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    Just political appointees, will do.

  16. 16
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I saw Orrin Hatch making excuses for this clown, and thought it was time for Mrs Hatch, Willard and the Gov of Utah to take the keys to the Buick and the Senate office away from Orrin. I still kinda think that, I think he’s been in decline for a while, but…

    Natasha Bertrand @ NatashaBertrand
    Wow. White House officials were scrambling to muster outside support for Porter through Tuesday night, and told Hatch that the accusations were the product of a Lewandowski-led smear campaign,

    I’ve seen a few other reports that Lewandowski is the source for this story. Makes me wonder if this is some kind of sick triangle, or if this is some Bannon wing oppo operation, or both.

  17. 17

    The pure derp on display in this fucking tweet is actually physically painful to read.

  18. 18
    Kelly says:

    I spent the afternoon in the woods down by our swimming hole cutting, stacking and where possible digging up non-native invasive holly. Not the sort of thing you want in a spot that is so much fun to go barefoot with the grandchildren in the summer. It’s a lovely patch of woods. We spend time every year controlling ivy, scotch broom, himalayan blackberries and holly. We’ve been at it over 20 years. We’ll always need to keep plugging away at it. This is how I now think of the Republican Party.

  19. 19
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Baud: Yeah, I looked at the video in the missing one, and, well, I’m no equine expert, but I thought that pony could use to cut back on the Twinkies and Doritos, if you know what I mean. And maybe spend a little time at the gym. Maybe the pony’s a toker, too.

  20. 20
    Baud says:


    Most random and routine drug testing within the federal workforce occurs with jobs related to national security and law enforcement, while other employees are generally tested only when supervisors have reasonable suspicion that they’re using drugs at work.

    Practically, the government may have a hard time enforcing its rules for other employees, since many agencies do not give them regular drug-tests.

  21. 21
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: It will return. In about an hour.

  22. 22

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: If it’s a Lewandowski smear, how does he explain the picture? And multiple women?

    Day after day, this administration asks if I’m going to believe them or my lying eyes.

  23. 23
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Baud: Not one of his better appointments.

  24. 24
    oatler. says:

    Give that Confederate cocksucker half an ounce of lead and four feet of hemp like we should have done in the Reconstruction. A thorough, FINAL job.

  25. 25
    Baud says:

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD): Stock market put its hands over its ears and said “I can’t hear you!”

  26. 26
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Baud: All Federal employees – civilians and military – and contractors are subject to random drug testing.

  27. 27
    Mornington Crescent says:

    My latest ear worm: Password Theme Song

  28. 28
    NotMax says:

    Lede from a news article found at the present day end of a wormhole from the not so distant future:

    Following months of investigation, Kellyanne Conway announces son of Mayberry Sheriff Taylor “probably not” responsible for increase in opioids.

  29. 29
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Fuck these fucking people.

    Wipe them out. All of them.

  30. 30
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: All of this, without any regard to who is responsible, is what makes Vlad happy.

  31. 31
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Obligatory I-am-not-a-lookist-but disclaimer:

    Every picture I see of Kellyanne Conway, she looks like a poster child for meth or opioid addiction. The gaunt face, the lank hair, the slapped-on blurred eye makeup (much too black for a pale-skinned blonde IMO). I don’t intend to sound mean, although I expect I do; she looks seriously ill (in an over-prescribed way).

  32. 32
    lollipopguild says:

    @Baud: Are you Herbert Hoover Jr Jr?

  33. 33
    jonas says:

    Well, if you still find folks in these areas hard-hit by the opioid epidemic standing by Trump, then I think it will settle once and for all the old “economic anxiety” vs. “put the boot in on n*CLANG!s” question. Sure, they’re doing 10 to 15 for trying to treat that broken ankle, but you’re building the wall, right?

  34. 34
    lamh36 says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): and I swear I saw a report on CNN that Porter actually admitted the pics were real…and he took the pictures? I swear I saw something like that on CNN? But haven’t seen it elsewhere…so hmmm

    Still..yeah… Lewondowski went back in time…to take pictures of Porter’s ex-wives, before even knowing Trump was gonna win AND put Porter in a place of power?

    Sure…that’s it…sure

  35. 35
    Arclite says:

    It’s as if Sessions has no idea what cannabis is and what it does.

    I bet if Jeffy and I sat down with a big spliff to hash this out, I could get him to understand.

  36. 36
    GregB says:


    While President Needy Child plots bigly parades, the world is moving inexorably towards some really bad conflagration in the Middle East.

    Apparently Erdogan’s fight against the Kurds isn’t the peaceful cake walk he was expecting.

    The US, Russia, Iran, Turkey, Israel and Hezbollah are all vying to carve, co-opt, occupy up Syria to their advantage.

    And as part of that gambit, Israel and Hezbollah are putting the pieces in place for a third go at each other. (There is an interesting synopsis of this in online version of the Jerusalem Post.)

    Thank God we have our A Team in place.

  37. 37
    chris says:

    Science is for losers and we are winners winningly winning. Christ, what an asshole.

  38. 38
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Raoul: Time to lay the gut out on the sidewalk and let the rats have their fill.

  39. 39
    lamh36 says:

    Damn…wait…so they are blaming Rose McGowan in part with Harvey Weinstein EQUALLY?

    Rose is a victim…and yes she’s been crazy ever since (not surprisingly)…for the family to put EQUAL blame on Rose & Harvey is just wrong…IMHO…

    Condolences to the family, and RIP, but smh…

    Follow Follow @Variety
    Producer Jill Messick died on Wednesday of an apparent suicide

  40. 40
    Sab says:

    @lamh36: Isn’t she the person who knowingly set young actresses up for what Weinstein did to them? Sorry she can’t take the heat for her actions, but whatever.

  41. 41
    kindness says:

    So many people are using the chaos of Trump to drive their own lunatic policies. And there are so many of them at the same time all coming from different directions…..they are using confusion to further their grabs. I have no doubt we’ll do well in the 2018 elections. I just don’t know what is going to be left by then.

  42. 42
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I am often ambivalent about Lawrence O’Donnell, but man am I glad he’s here to tee off on John Kelly.

    It’s like some kind of Boston Irish grudge, like Kelly’s old man blackballed O’Donnell’s uncle from the Sons of St Bridget lodge or something

  43. 43
    lamh36 says:

    @Sab: that is what McGowan alledges…the family statement says she wasn’t silent, but tried to do something, but seems to me, it just the usual face saving that families’ tend to do in these cases

  44. 44
    patroclus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Well, sort of. Prior to the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, cannabis was regulated/prohibited at the state level by a majority of states that had enacted versions of the Uniform Narcotics Act. Some made it illegal (i.e. a crime); some merely regulated the pharmacists who provided it or the doctors who prescribed it. And the federal statute just imposed a small excise tax – criminal penalties at the federal level were only really applicable if doctors/pharmacists/users were determined not to have paid the tax. And, during WWII, with paper products in short supply, federal benefits were provided to farmers to grow hemp, which could be used as substitute paper. It wasn’t until the 60’s and early 70’s that marijuana dealing and possession became criminal at the federal level – when Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act and amendments to the Narcotics Acts after the Marihuana Tax Act was partially declared unconstitutional and repealed in lieu of the re-definition of it as a controlled substance.

    Yes, the FBN played a historical role and yes, House Ways and Means Chairman Robert Doughton bears some responsibility as the author and pusher of the federal tax act in 1937, but the real culprits for the criminal stuff (at the federal level) were the powers that be that prevailed in the 60’s when all we younglings grew our hair, listened to cool music, protested for civil rights and against the war and talked back to our parents a lot. And, as we’ve seen in the de-criminalization and legalization movement recently, the real fight has been in each individual state.

  45. 45
    Another Scott says:

    Relatedly (kinda-sorta) – Stan Collender on the impending doom of the House Freedom Caucus

    Indeed, all of HFC’s major reasons for existing at all could be eliminated if the [Senate’s 2 year budget] deal is approved.

    Consider the following:

    1. The budget deal effectively raises the debt ceiling for a year and, therefore, removes the prime legislative weapon the Freedom Caucus was hoping to use multiple times to get what it wanted in other policy areas.

    2. The deal includes a key HFC priority of higher Pentagon spending. That means the HFC demand for increased military spending won’t be considered again this year or next.

    3. The deal completely thwarts the key HFC priority of cutting domestic discretionary spending. In fact, the agreement does the opposite by increasing the level of domestic spending for both 2018 and 2019. Any new HFC-demanded cuts won’t be considered seriously or at all.

    4. Yet another HFC priority—tax cuts—won’t happen again any time soon. With the House and Senate leadership effectively deciding not to do a budget resolution this year, there will be no reconciliation and, therefore, no chance to get a tax bill through the Senate. This includes the “technical corrections” bill some Freedom Caucus members had hoped to use to cut taxes further.

    5. No reconciliation also means the GOP has punted on another (or the) top HFC priority: repealing what’s left of the Affordable Care Act.

    6. Yet another Freedom Caucus priority—cutting Medicaid and other mandatory programs—which was already going to be very difficult, is also all but impossible without reconciliation.

    7. Threatening a government shutdown, a favorite Freedom Caucus tactic, will be far less likely with the two-year agreement on spending levels in the deal.

    In other words, there will be less for the House Freedom Caucus to do, less opportunity to do it and far fewer reasons for others to listen to anything it has to say. Even if it continues to exist, today might well be the day we point to as the moment when the HFC stopped being important and anyone cared about it.

    Make it so!

    (via Nancy LeTourneau at WaMo)


  46. 46
    No Drought No More says:

    If the problem begins with too many people smoking grass, why hasn’t Sonoma county (or northern California in general) also seen the fantastic profit margins enjoyed by pharmaceutical corporations? What is it, exactly, that our pot farmers are doing wrong?

  47. 47
    jl says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: ” It’s like some kind of Boston Irish grudge, like Kelly’s old man blackballed O’Donnell’s uncle from the Sons of St Bridget lodge or something ”

    You saying O’Donnell is turning into Chris Matthews? No way. Creepy and nauseating. But, after it’s all over, I might watch a time lapse of it on youtube.

  48. 48
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Hatch is clearly not all there anymore.

  49. 49
    lamh36 says:

    damn…that place leaks like a sieve…

    53m53 minutes ago
    Pic of memo Kelly sent to WH staff about Porter

  50. 50
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: crypt keeper. just creepy to look at.

  51. 51
    NotMax says:

    Jim, Foolish Literalist

    O’Donnell has grown into the job. When he is good he is very, very good and when he is bad he is adequate.

  52. 52
    lamh36 says:

    In emotional interview, Rob Porter’s ex-wife Jennie Willoughby described the “low grade constant terror” of married life togethr (Video)

  53. 53
    chopper says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    well, “subject to random drug testing” doesn’t actually mean much of anything.

  54. 54
    Tenar Arha says:

    Both my parents needed painkillers at different times of their lives, including their ends.Jeff Sessions thinks the answer to pain is a couple of Bufferin and bed. & I think one of the biggest reasons I’m probably going to be angry with these vile men for the rest of my life is that I now think things like this about them:

    It is hard not to imagine Jeff Sessions getting his karmic due, which would be to develop a medical condition so painful that cannabis and opiods are the only effective options for relief… and to be told by his doctors to just take two Bufferin and go to bed.

  55. 55
    Another Scott says:

    TheHill (from an hour or so ago):

    Following the lead of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), a growing number of rank-and-file House Democrats are saying they will oppose a budget deal unless they get a commitment from Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) for an immigration vote.

    After huddling in the Capitol basement just hours before the government is set to close, House Democrats appeared to be leaning heavily against a sweeping bipartisan budget deal to keep the government open, despite the deal’s endorsement by Senate Democratic leaders. They are citing the absence of a commitment from Ryan to vote on legislation to protect the “Dreamers,” young immigrants brought to the country illegally as kids.

    Pelosi supports the underlying budget deal — indeed, she helped to craft it — but is withholding her support unless Ryan guarantees a vote to shore up the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which President Trump is terminating in the first week of March.

    By all accounts, Pelosi is not twisting the arms of her troops to join the opposition. But in making her case during Thursday’s meeting, she seemed to be having a persuasive effect.

    “I woke up this morning thinking I was a yes, because I’m pleased with the many things that are in it,” Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) said leaving the meeting.

    “On the other hand really the only leverage we have right now is not giving Paul Ryan our votes, if he doesn’t need them.”

    Beyer said he’s now voting no.

    “Anyone who underestimates Pelosi’s ability to influence the Democratic caucus shouldn’t be in the business that you’re in,” said Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.). “Pelosi is a very persuasive person.”


    Good, good. (Beyer is my rep.)

    The Republicans have the majority. It’s their responsibility to pass a budget. Make them do it, or make them beg for Democrats votes and give them something important in exchange. That’s the way legislatures work.


  56. 56
    Brachiator says:

    White House is responding to the opioid crisis by cutting budgets, sidelining D+R experts in favor of an ad hoc group of political operatives w/no organizational capacity, no expertise in opioids, no experience in public management. I don’t understand any of this.

    The Trump Administration has consistently demonstrated that they don’t give a shit about facts or reality. How can anyone claim to be shocked about any of this?

    This shit almost makes me feel nostalgia for Dubya’s love for faith based organizations. Almost, but not quite.

  57. 57
    lamh36 says:

    Follow Follow @jdawsey1
    Top White House officials — including lawyer Don McGahn and chief of staff John Kelly — knew of Rob Porter accusations for months. FBI findings arrived last summer. McGahn knew for a year. Porter was encouraged to stay and took on more responsibility.

  58. 58
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:


    Sarah Boxer @ Sarah_Boxer
    Per @ PamelaBrownCNN, Trump was “not happy” when Shah, in a moment of honesty during the WH briefing, admitted that the Porter situation could have been handled better.

    probably not coincidentally, somebody leaked– that sieve thing again– emails from when Shah worked for another campaign and unironically referred to trump as “a deplorable”

    Before joining the Trump administration, the White House principal deputy press secretary, Raj Shah, called President Donald Trump “a deplorable” and referred to the release of the Access Hollywood tape as “some justice,” according to private messages independently obtained and verified by New York. Shah, who worked at the Republican National Committee during the 2016 election, also asked an RNC colleague to dig up an old video clip of Trump that shortly afterward showed up in a Jeb Bush commercial.

  59. 59
    Brachiator says:

    Meanwhile, Trump wants to double down on hurting immigrants. From Reuters.

    The Trump administration is considering making it harder for foreigners living in the United States to get permanent residency if they have received certain public benefits such as food assistance, in a move that could sharply restrict legal immigration.

    The Department of Homeland Security has drafted proposed new rules seen by Reuters that would allow immigration officers to scrutinize a potential immigrant’s use of certain taxpayer-funded public benefits to determine if they could become a public burden.

    For example, U.S. officials could look at whether the applicant has enrolled a child in government pre-school programs or received subsidies for utility bills or health insurance premiums.

    Let your child starve or die from an illness and we might let you become a citizen.


  60. 60
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @lamh36: Yep. It’s like this scene. Specifically the dialogue at 1:58:

  61. 61
    lamh36 says:

    @Adam L Silverman: smh…just ridiculous…I already have a low opinion of the entire admin, but for folks who still love them…smh…delusional

  62. 62
    lamh36 says:

    Follow Follow @matthewjdowd
    I am hoping this latest insight in Gen. Kelly (and previous insights into Gen. Flynn) will allow us to stop reflexively giving folks with military service a pass on questioning them and their integrity. Military service does not make a man or woman honorable on its own.

    5:54 AM – 8 Feb 2018

  63. 63
    Yutsano says:

    @Another Scott: Whoops. Seeing reports that Paulie Boy needs between 50-60 Democrats to move forward. Keep the pressure up Nancy.

  64. 64
    noncarborundum says:

    White House is responding to the opioid crisis by cutting budgets, sidelining D+R experts in favor of an ad hoc group of political operatives w/no organizational capacity, no expertise in opioids, no experience in public management. I don’t understand any of this.

    This is how they respond to literally everything. If he finds this surprising, he hasn’t been paying attention.

  65. 65
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @lamh36: “This moron is giving me everything…”

    By the way, the best part of the reporting on the allegedly forthcoming wall separating the Republican and Democratic staffers for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, brain child of Devin Nunes – Certified Genius! – was the fact that the entire GOP staff for the committee is under ethics investigation for leaking. Technically this should have led to their clearances to be suspended, their access to be terminated, and being sent home until the investigation is concluded.

  66. 66
    lgerard says:

    Kris Kobach, #1 on my list of people I would like to punch in the face, makes the news again

    Kobach sits on board of veterans group that isn’t using money to help veterans

    What kind of moron joins the board of an organization he knows nothing about, and makes no effort to learn anything about it for 6 years?

    It seems this particular scam is run by long time right wing barnacle Richard Viguerie.

  67. 67
    Redshift says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    I think Sessions thinks Reefer Madness was a current documentary.

    I think one of the definitions of “conservative” is an unwavering certainty that whatever claptrap was current when you were young is still true, regardless of anything that’s happened since.

  68. 68
    lamh36 says:

    @Adam L Silverman: this entire administraiotn is a HOT fuq’n MESS

  69. 69
    lamh36 says:

    John Kelly knew what Rob Porter is. He had to have known. And I find it really hard to believe he was the only one in that White House who did.

  70. 70
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @lgerard: Unfortunately there are several of these scams out there.

  71. 71
    patroclus says:

    @Another Scott: Congressman Gutierrez gave a powerful argument on one of the cable shows that the Dems should vote no late tonight. But the problem with that is that Ryan has already said that he will bring up a DACA bill – which is what Pelosi is demanding. And the problem with that is that Ryan keeps adding his caveat that it will be a bill that Trump will sign, which signals that at least the first version (in the House) is going to contain poison pills like undermining family re-unification and destroying the green card visa system which would vastly alter the entire structure of legal immigration. And then, the next problem is that the Senate might not pass a bill and it might not be good enough or strong enough. And if the Senate bill is good, does Ryan let it go to conference. And what happens there? Does the Senate bill prevail? And if it does, will Ryan promise to bring a conference bill to the Floor?

    It’s all uncertain and Ryan’s “promise” may be meaningless and can he be trusted? (probably not). So, the question is, do the Dems take yes (for now) as an answer and let the process be started, not knowing what the outcome will be. It’s a tough call and it’s complicated by the fact that one of McConnell’s pre-conditions to the Senate moving to a bill depends on whether the government stays open now. So, it it all goes down and the government shuts down, then we’ve lost even the progress we’ve made in pressuring McConnell to promise a vote.

    I’d vote yes because the budget agreement contains a lot of good things and the Dems will still have leverage (future CR’s and appropriations bills) going forward. But I can see why Gutierrez takes the position that he does. We’ll see what happens in the next few hours. This is what they get paid for.

  72. 72
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @lamh36: McGahn has known for a year.

  73. 73
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:


    Katherine Miller @ katherinemiller
    “Talk about Porter’s past started spreading throughout the White House after a former girlfriend told McGahn in November that he should investigate the abuse alleged by his ex-wives”

    ETA: @Adam L Silverman: O’Donnell said in an earlier segment that Priebus would have had to know about Porter’s problems getting clearance

  74. 74
    danielx says:


    Actually, the part about an ad hoc group of political operatives with no experience or expertise sounds exactly like something out of Dubya’s administration. Like, say, reorganizing the civil government of Iraq and figuring out what to do with the former Iraqi army.

    Besides, not to sound conspiratorial, but Big Pharma is not exactly happy about the proliferation of legal ganja. After all, how the hell are they supposed to control the market for something that can be grown damn near anywhere, and that doesn’t require a shit ton of industrial equipment and people in white suits? If they can’t get their collective beaks wet to the exclusion of everybody else, it’s just…unAmerican. Damn near soshulism, from their point of view. So they are making efforts to stamp out this menace to the bottom line, at least until they can figure out how to control it. Tobacco and alcohol producers aren’t real big on legalization either, but they don’t swing as much weight in DC and state capitals.

  75. 75
    debbie says:


    I can’t believe she has resurfaced.

  76. 76
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @NotMax: Did you know he was on the staff of the Senate Finance Committee? I know he hides that really well, like McCain his POW status, so you may be unaware.

    I’ve always found him insufferable, and the passage of time has not alleviated that.

  77. 77
    Brachiator says:


    Isn’t she the person who knowingly set young actresses up for what Weinstein did to them?

    No. She’s not.


    Messick apparently suffered from depression and her condition may have been aggravated by the news stories that she felt were unfair, including some of Rose MacGowan’s charges. I don’t know whether Messick’s parents are trying to save face. They certainly have a right to try to defend their daughter, who can no longer defend herself.

  78. 78
    eemom says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    We are living in a reverse Dorian Gray world. All the trumpers’ faces express the rancid rot and evil that lies within.

  79. 79
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Either he or his Deputy Chief of Staff. McGahn would have told one or both of them. The Director of Personnel and the Special Security Officer should also have known.

  80. 80
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @debbie: If she sees her shadow we have six more weeks of winter.

  81. 81
    Patricia Kayden says:

    How is Kellyanne Conway qualified for a position handling the opioid crisis?

  82. 82
    Aleta says:

    I’m sure Sessions will opt out of medications when he breaks a hip, has one replaced or else his knees. Or breaks a wrist or shoulder, forearm or ankle in a fall. Or why not test his ideas now by volunteering for experimental exploratory abdominal surgery.

  83. 83
    danielx says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    Trying to come up with an response that doesn’t sound like a Bart Simpson line.

  84. 84
    Brachiator says:


    Who knows what Big Pharma fears about pot. But your theories could have some foundation. However…

    Tobacco and alcohol producers aren’t real big on legalization either, but they don’t swing as much weight in DC and state capitals.

    Tobacco companies are more interested in international markets. But the liqour industry has big bucks to throw at legislators. The new tax bill has a number of special breaks for the industry.

  85. 85
    NotMax says:

    Topically related:

    GOP lawmakers from pot-unfriendly states have sidelined legislation in the House and Senate that would allow marijuana businesses to conduct transactions with federally regulated banks. These also include state and community owned banks that are part of the Federal Reserve System.
    For the cannabis industry and states that have legalized marijuana, the stakes are considerable. Cannabis businesses generate about $8 billion in annual revenues, a figure that is projected to reach $24 billion by 2025, according to New Frontier Data, a D.C.-based analytics company that monitors the industry. An estimated 70 percent of cannabis businesses have no relationship with a financial institution and thus use cash for all transactions, including salaries for employees.
    The cannabis industry’s reliance on cash is also complicating tax collection efforts. In California, Proposition 64 was sold to voters with the projection it could generate more than $1 billion yearly in state and local tax revenues.

    Yet for government agencies, it is harder to track sales from all-cash businesses than it is for those who rely on credit cards, and it becomes tougher still when those businesses can’t use banks. To pay their taxes in Sacramento, some 30 city-approved marijuana shops have to stuff cash into backpacks and duffel bags and haul it to a set location each month, kept secret for security reasons.

    “It is a far-from-ideal setup,” said Joe Devlin, Sacramento’s chief of cannabis policy and enforcement. “When someone comes in to pay a parking ticket in cash, that is one thing. When someone is coming in paying $30,000 in taxes, it is something else.” Source

  86. 86
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @chopper: For me, it meant once a month guarantied when I was in a nuclear capable artillery unit and never while I was working for a federal court.

  87. 87
  88. 88
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I’ve probably said this before, since I think you’ve used that clip before, but Scarlett’s Russian is, um, not very good.

  89. 89
    Adam L Silverman says:

    I rest my case from earlier:

  90. 90
    Mary G says:

    For my sanity’s sake I stayed off the computer and news today until now, and I am totally confused. Rand Paul is filibustering the agreed Senate deal, because it adds to the deficit he helped blow up by a trillion and a half in the tax scam bill?

    And Paul Ryan can’t pass anything with his majority and wants Nancy to bail him out? And she is very sensibly declining?

    And if nothing happens in the next hour, the government will shut down?

  91. 91
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I’m not watching that scene for her pronunciation.

  92. 92
    efgoldman says:

    @Another Scott:

    all of HFC’s major reasons for existing at all could be eliminated if the [Senate’s 2 year budget] deal is approved.

    They could still hold their breath until they turn blue

    ETA: They don’t know how to legislate, they don’t know how to debate. “compromise” is blasphemy


  93. 93
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Mary G: And Paul Ryan can’t pass anything with his majority and wants Nancy to bail him out? And she is very sensibly declining?

    and all he has to do is let his members vote on a bill

  94. 94
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Everybody’s got their kink.

  95. 95
    chopper says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I’ve been a fed for 20 years and neither i nor anyone I know at work has ever had to deal with a random drug test. even when I have to deal with a security reinvestigation. this can change under guys like trump and sessions so i avoid the shit anyways now. thanks republicans.

  96. 96
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    When you take a US Federal government job, isn’t there a deadline for getting any security clearances you need to do the job? It seems to me that failure to get a required clearance would normally be grounds for termination.

  97. 97
    chris says:

    MarketWatch says the senate has recessed until 12:01AM Friday, shutdown almost certain.

  98. 98
    sukabi says:

    @lamh36: Kelly’s memo…it’s a fishing expedition. He’s looking for the person (woman) who leaked the Porter info.

    According to reply tweets there is no hr office that Kelly cites… And no phone # is given…they have to contact Kelly to get ‘counselling’.

  99. 99
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mary G: Yep, pretty much.

  100. 100
    NotMax says:

    @Amir Khalid

    This administration sustains fewer norms than the bar in Cheers.

  101. 101
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I have had that identical thought!

  102. 102
    B.B.A. says:

    @efgoldman: How can the republic survive another year of these imbeciles? Even setting aside how Congress has become a lifetime appointment for any wingnut who can draw a district full of dittoheads… how do we even get through the end of the fiscal year under these circumstances?

    Eyes on November, but nine months is a very long time.

  103. 103
    Aleta says:

    In Kelly’s world, MOTIH (“a man of true integrity and honor”)” is a military acronym that means “keeps his mouth closed” and “won’t rat us out.”

    Trump, Kelly (police, mobsters) also believe that “a man of true integrity and honor” can terrorize and threaten women, no problem, because women are wrong about many things.

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    Amir Khalid says:

    And it’s about to drive your country off a cliff.

  105. 105
    sukabi says:

    @Patricia Kayden: from her changing appearance over the last 2 years, I’d say she has a great deal of personal experience with addiction.

  106. 106
    Aleta says:

    As for “a trusted professional. I am proud to serve alongside him.” –Kelly
    A suggested translation: ”I trust he will—I sure hope he will— take one for the team underworld.”
    “I’m not mad, I’m proud of you. You did it right. You told ‘em nothing and they got nothing.”

  107. 107
    jl says:

    How did that nitwit manage to hold everything up by himself? I’d look more,but I’m so tried I need to go to sleep. Figure it out tomorrow.

    US government heads to shutdown as Congress misses funding deadline for second time in a month
    Jeremy B White,The Independent

    ” the bill stalled in the upper chamber for hours as Kentucky Republican Rand Paul held up a vote to protest increases in the federal deficit. His Republican colleagues became noticeably more frustrated as the night wore on, accusing him of grandstanding and of wasting their time. ”

  108. 108
    danielx says:


    True. But over time, the pharmaceutical industry spends more, and probably gets more for their money. Congressional refusal to allow Medicare to use its pricing power probably a David Anderson question, but has to amount to many billions a year for the industry as a whole.

  109. 109
    Steve in the ATL says:

    I want to know what drugs Sessions ingested before unspooling this monologue.

    He’s always high on racism and self-righteousness

  110. 110
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Amir Khalid: Yes, but… Each Special Security Officer, on behalf of each convening authority, has digression discretion about how long to allow someone to function on an interim clearance. I’ve found that most Special Security Officers provide very little leeway. But, and again, what we’re dealing here in the White House is that the President can share any information, regardless of classification, with anyone he wants. Clearance or not.

  111. 111
    Sab says:

    @Brachiator: Says who?

    I would love for her not to be implicated, but who was Rose McGowan’s manager or agent when all this stuff went
    down. Somebody was. She had an agent who sent her out amongst wolves. I don’t want the wrong wolves implicated, but I cee rtainly want the right ones to be. All we have got is Rose McGowans accusation , and her manager’s suicide. Hopefully others
    who know more will weigh in.

  112. 112
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @chris: That’s half an hour from now. Under the rules Paul has to stop his stunt by 1 AM EST. They’ll vote then. It’ll go over to the House and the House will vote between 3 and 6 AM. So about a 2 to 4 hour shutdown. Unless Ryan can’t get the votes.

  113. 113
    chris says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Ah. Thanks. A few hours in the middle of the night won’t be too bad. Maybe.

  114. 114
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @lamh36: The place is filled with people like Donald, who have loyalty to no one but themselves.

  115. 115
    jl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: So, Ryan is up there trying to get a filibuster off the ground? I haven’t been following, and so sleepy now, it all seems like a really bad dream. Hey, I’ll wake up soon and it will all be gone away.

  116. 116
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Adam L Silverman:


    You meant to say “discretion”, right?

  117. 117
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @sukabi: He’s not going to find anything.

  118. 118
    danielx says:


    Then too, keeping weed illegal has allowed the federal, state and local constabulary to use it as a societal control mechanism for decades, in fact to this very day, allowing them to fuck with and ruin the lives of brown people, hippies, and anyone else who is in disfavor with the powers that be.* And confiscate their possessions and money too! What’s not to like?

    *Edit: and/or whoever pisses off the cops, for whatever reason.

  119. 119
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @jl: There are no filibusters in the house.

  120. 120
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Amir Khalid: Yes, been a long day. But I discret…

  121. 121

    @jl: Did you get some of Kellyanne Conway’s “cough medicine” jl?

  122. 122
    danielx says:


    Did you get some of Kellyanne Conway’s “cough medicine” jl?

    And if so, can you tell us where we can get some?

  123. 123
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I believe that the Speaker and Minority Leader have unlimited speaking privileges. Hence Polosi’s recent DACA epic.

  124. 124
    efgoldman says:


    How can the republic survive another year of these imbeciles?

    We survived the War of Southern Treason over Slavery, after hundreds of thousands of deaths

  125. 125
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: They do, but those aren’t technically filibusters. They’re referred to as magic minutes.

  126. 126
    sukabi says:

    @Adam L Silverman: doesn’t mean he’s not fishing. Also a good way to ‘wrap up and contain’ other potential leakers…

    Pretty sure no one is going to accuse any of the asshole$ in the WH of being smart.

  127. 127
    B.B.A. says:

    @efgoldman: I hate to think it’ll come down to that…then again, sometimes I wonder if the problem is that 150 years ago we left too many white southerners alive.

  128. 128
    Brachiator says:


    Then too, keeping weed illegal has allowed the federal, state and local constabulary to use it as a societal control mechanism for decades

    I live in California. We got legal weed now.

  129. 129
    Aleta says:

    Counter-thought about why the WH would keep Porter on.

    Kushner trusted him; may have brought on his (lawyer) college friend to be in the WH with him; and god knows what Porter has seen, done and now knows.

    I think the work of Kushner’s media guy Raffel is visible in the early September stories about Porter. (Interesting that the stories landed a few days ahead of a major NYT story praising Kelly.)

    By early fall it was known that his clearance would fail. (My guess is the whole story began before the women spoke out, when reporters began to look into his security clearance after Kushner’s problems.)

    Porter tried damage control from the beginning. Even before/during the FBI interviews, Porter sent a lawyer who (I think) had done intelligence work and (I think) WH work. Later Porter himself called his ex-wife and asked her to take the blog entry down. (Chilling; but she bravely refused. One ex-wife was eventually persuaded to make today’s positive statement.)

    At some point Porter learned news of his abuse would be coming out. (The Daily Mail stories might even have been leaked to control at least the beginning headlines of the wretched story. But maybe that’s going off the track.).

    By mid-November, Mueller was said to be about to interview WH staffers, including Hicks.

    Porter is manipulative and so charming that everyone even strangers love him. By Thanksgiving his girlfriend was gone. The story now is that he’d moved on to a so-called “romance” with Hicks.

    In January the Daily Mail got a tip, paps were sent to where they could get photos of him with Hicks. He romantically kissed her neck in a taxi for the cameras. Got out of the taxi, went into her apartment, later came out, each time in front of the cameras.

    But maybe that part is wrong, and he is sincere (though incapable of love or empathy).

    Still, now that he’s left the WH, he may seem even more of a problem. I doubt they ever wanted him loose like this Especially if he’s been useful to the lowdown operation.

  130. 130
    Sm*t Cl*de says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    kelly played down accusations & believed the officer served a greater goal
    – per NYT

    That’s entering “Night of the Generals” territory. “Yes, I occasionally rape and murder a prostitute, but it clears my mind for better generaling, so their deaths serve the greater goal.”

  131. 131
    Aleta says:

    @Aleta: Made a mistake in the 2nd line above. Porter isn’t a lawyer. Confused that with someone else in his story.

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