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      Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – August 25, 2019 by Tony Wikrent Economics Action Group, North Carolina Democratic Party Progressive Caucus Strategic Political Economy Give No Heed to the Walking Dead [The Scholar’s Stage, via Naked Capitalism 8-18-19] The People’s Republic of China is wealthier than any rival America has faced. Its leaders are convinced […]
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Maybe I’m crazy but . . .

poster5_228

Barry sez "Puff, puff pass!"


Today I see this news story in the SF Chronicle:

The state legislative counsel on Wednesday concluded that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger exceeded his authority when he cut hundreds of millions of dollars from state health and welfare programs before signing a package of bills to solve the state’s huge deficit.

and it reminds me of this one from the Merced Sunstroke:

Authorities discovered and destroyed more than $50 million worth of marijuana during a weekend sweep in western Merced County.


Holy Smoke!

Holy Smoke!


and then it hit me :


idea_bulb


What if the State of California took the weed and sold it? Not just the batch found over on the other side of Merced County, but all the illegal pot/ganja/herb/maryjane/sinse/skunk/hydro/pakalolo/wacky tobbacky/homegrown/wildwood flowers that are found growing around the state each year?

Medicinal marijuana is legal here, so why not turn a profit? It would help our budget crisis and some sick people too.  Even better, legalize it completely and tax it.

Quit protecting people from the dangers of drugs by introducing them to the dangers of prison.  Quit spending millions of dollars to investigate, arrest, prosecute and incarcerate people who aren’t hurting anyone except maybe themselves.

And quit wasting all that gift from nature.


BTW:  You can order your copy of that “Yes We Cannabis” poster from NORML here

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A pox on both their houses

Sparky bird


I find myself in an unusual situation these days.  As I watch the Great Astroturf War of 2009 between Kool-aid swilling progressives that are organized and partially funded by Obamacrat special interest groups and “angry mobs of unregistered self-lobbyists” that are organized and partially funded by the GOP and the Healthcare lobby, I am cheering for both sides to lose.

On one side you have the unprincipled members of a cult of personality advocating undemocratic ideas and corporatist-approved legislation  and on the other side you have misguided people who think Obama is a socialist, liberalism is a communist plot and feminism is designed to get women to practice witchcraft, become lesbians and murder their children.

It’s like watching an NFL football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Denver Broncos.  Both teams are divisional opponents of the Oakland Raiders (my team) so one minute I can chortle with glee seeing the Bronco QB twitching on the ground following a blindside hit from a 300lb defensive lineman and then the next moment be high-fiving my fellow Raider fans when the Chief’s wide receiver makes a leaping catch in the end zone but gets separated from the ball, mouthpiece and consciousness before his feet touch down due to a bone-crushing pop from a 250lb strong safety.

I don’t want to watch a race, I want to see a destruction derby.  I want carnage, a high body count, a steel-cage death match.  I want to see a duel in a closet with hand grenades.  F**k ’em all and let Koresh sort ’em out!

/rant

Whew!  Sorry about that, where was I?  Oh, yeah – health care reform.

Obamacare is in deep doo-doo because the Republicans seem to have finally found their mojo again.  If there is one thing those GOPers are good at it’s being against stuff.  That’s okay with me, because Obamacare IS deep doo-doo.  A big steaming pile of it.

Obamacare is better off dead.  Kill it, start over and this time do it right.

Teh Precious needs health care reform as badly as we do, but he only needs something he can call reform – we need the real deal.  If Obamacare 1.0 goes down in flames he’ll have to come up with a better plan of he’ll go down in flames with it.

That’s okay too.  If the current version of Obamacare (aka: The Health Insurance Industry Protection Act) passes it won’t start to kick in until 2013 so by the time people realize how bad it is we’ll be looking at another GOP administration.  That pushes real health care reform off another decade or more (Hillarycare was killed in 1993 – 16 years ago.)

We need single payer – nothing less will do.


common-sense


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Thursday Morning News and Note to the DSCC

The last time I saw Paris...

The last time I saw Paris...

Before we get to the cafe au lait and croissants, I’d like to relate an encounter with the remnants of what *used* to be my party.  A few days ago, the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, the DSCC, called me at home to hit me up for a donation.  Almost immediately, I told them to save their breath.  I had no intention of contributing money to any arm of the Democratic party after what transpired during the primaries last year.  I told the phone guy (and it’s ALWAYS a guy) that I had left the party over the primary debacle.  He sounded confused, like a boyfriend who can’t possibly understand why you are mad at him for acting like a jerk.  He asked me to explain so he could pass the information on.  So, I told him: I voted for Hillary in the NJ primary, a primary she won by more than 10 points, and watched every one of our delegates go to Obama during the convention.  Does my vote count or not?  If it doesn’t count, then why does the party expect me to give it money?  I’m not stupid.

The guy laughed at me.  It was a laugh of both nervousness and contempt.  Contempt, I suspect, because old, uneducated, working class, sino-peruvian lesbians aren’t supposed to really count even when they are not old, not uneducated, and are professional straight, scientific researcher women such as myself.  If you’re not twenty three and impressionable, I guess you might as well apologize for living and forcing people to gaze upon your aging visage.  Your intellect is of no interest to the guys of the Democratic party.

The nervousness was new.  Yep, the guy tried to pull off a mocking laugh, the kind you reserve for losers, but there was something behind that mockery that belied the confidence.  I don’t know how many women had turned this guy down on the phone but maybe I was the first that gave him an actual reason that made sense.  It must suck to find out that you’re no longer the guy you thought you were and women are on to your lies and your secret viagra stash.

Get a clue, guys.  You took our votes and forced Obama down our throats in your primary rape fantasy and we’re not ever going to forget it.  He turned out to be exactly what we said he was: an overly ambitious, shmoozing, political opportunist without a political philosophy, experience and hard earned relationships necessary to get things done.  There’s no 11 dimensional chess going on here.  Just a bunch of jerks who thought they could write off the votes of millions of people, many of them women, and get away with it.  Go ahead and laugh.  You’ll never get a penny from me.  And you may never get my vote again.  You don’t have to be a crazy nutcase birther to know the devils by the look in  their eyes.

Now, onto the news:

Slate’s The Big Money is behind the curve when it comes to Sheila Bair.  I believe we covered this months ago.  (In January, and  July, not to mention Dakinkat‘s stuff from two days ago) But, hey, it’s nice to see other media types are getting with the program and realizing that sexism costs.

The NYTimes reports White House Affirms Deal on Drug Prices.  I’m not sure what that means ultimately.  As I have pointed out before, the pharmaceutical industry has some very legitimate reasons for wanting to work with Congress and the WH on issues concerning the drug industry and health reform.  But it’s really cutting its throat going with a lobbyist like Billy Tauzin and jumping in with the health insurance industry’s public relations team.  Big Pharma’s concerns are not the same as the health insurance company’s concerns.  We actually produce something of value, remember guys?  Ah, Jeez, there are those *guys* again the ones who run the drug industry.  The clueless ones who still think that the most important activities in a pharma company happen in marketing, advertising and acquisitions instead of the lab.  Just forget it.  Lay us all off now and get with dismantling the US research community and moving it overseas.  Just get it over with already.

Jon Corzine is still behind and Christie’s lead seems to be widening. Cue the schadenfreude. {{snicker}}  Corzine’s campaign is planning to launch a spot featuring Pres Barack Obama himself when he came to NJ to rally for the governor.  Polls indicate Obama’s appearance mattered not a whit.  But this little bit from Obama on Corzine’s accomplishments had me laughing:

“Jon Corzine has not only protected funding for New Jersey schools, he reformed them with tougher standards and now students in New Jersey rank at the top of the country in reading and math because of Jon Corzine.”

Yes, indeedy. If your kid is an average to bright learner in NJ, or if you have a special needs kid, NJ public schools are pretty good. Not the best with clear, concise, non fuzzy standards that over romanticize the child. But not bad.
However, if you have a kid who is very gifted, you enter into a Kafkaesque nightmare of educational ideology exacerbated by almost complete lack of funding from state and local governments. How much non-funding of the state’s gifted and talented program is unclear at this time. There is no information on whether there was any funding for these underserved students for 2009 but recent years indicate that these programs in the state of NJ got zip, zilch, nada. There are also virtually no standards or mandates regarding their education, leaving them at the mercy of teachers who have never been trained in the care and feeding of gifted youth.

Yep, here in NJ, the home of Einstein and Edison, the birthplace of telecom, the home to research laboratories that crank out cures for cancer and schizophrenia, the gifted and talented students are treated as inconveniences. As the mother of one of these kids, who absolutely hates school here, I can attest to the whack-a-mole approach to getting her educated at her developmental level. I and many of my colleagues have had to scramble to meet our gifted kids’ educational needs through a series of summer courses at local prep schools, distance learning through programs for gifted youth at Stanford University and by homeschooling. That’s what my outrageous property taxes in NJ buy me in NJ- a school system and education department that is completely unresponsive to the needs of my kid. And Corzine during his tenure, has done less to improve this situation than many states in the south to service this population of students who could potentially solve the energy crisis, invent a new cure for cancer or be our next political leader. Your gifted kid gets better treatment in Texas and Georgia than in NJ. NJ ranks right down there with Alabama.

Gifted by State

Gifted by State

Thanks for nothing, Jon. It’s just one more reason to skip the election this year.

Well, that and the clueless idiots of the Democratic party.

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