Archive of Articles for July, 2014

Six Californias? Well, Maybe Not.

[ Posted Thursday, July 17th, 2014 – 16:54 UTC ]

In two years, barring any unforeseen circumstances, the citizens of California will have the chance to vote on a new scheme to divide their state into not just two new states, but six. "California" as a political entity will cease to exist under this plan, but the name would be preserved in four of the new states (North California, as well as South, West, and Central Californias), while two of the new states will have entirely new names: Silicon Valley and Jefferson. But while it will be interesting to see what the voters think, the rest of the country should rest assured that this is not actually going to happen. It's a fun thought experiment, but nothing more.

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Boehner's Laughable Lawsuit

[ Posted Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 – 16:32 UTC ]

Speaker of the House John Boehner now seems pretty committed to his effort to bring a lawsuit against President Obama. This is ridiculous on a number of different levels, and a majority of the American people already see it as nothing more than a political stunt (which is good to hear, since that is exactly what it is). If Boehner keeps to the timetable he's set out, this sentiment may even grow right before the midterm election. The Republicans believe that suing Obama will excite and turn out their base voters, and they're betting that this benefit will be larger than any political blowback (which would excite and turn out Democrats and Independents to the polls to vote against Republicans). Whether they're right in this political calculation or not remains to be seen. But what is undeniable is that, so far, this lawsuit is nothing short of laughable.

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Take Me Out To The Ballgame

[ Posted Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 – 15:56 UTC ]

I'm playing hooky today.
This is actually the first year in a long while that I won't be traveling and hobnobbing this week, as for various reasons I decided not to attend the Netroots Nation confab this time around (I personally think next year will be the one to attend, since likely Democratic candidates may be [...]

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Boehner's History Of Inaction On Border Control

[ Posted Monday, July 14th, 2014 – 17:13 UTC ]

Speaker of the House John Boehner seems to be in need of a refresher course in how legislation is supposed to happen in the American system of government. Over the course of the past year, Boehner has gone from confidently touting his and his fellow House Republicans' upcoming leadership on the issue of immigration (and border security, in specific), to now doing nothing more than groveling for President Obama to solve the problem using his executive authority -- which is an ironic enough stance for a Republican to take, these days. The House is obviously incapable of action, Boehner is now all but admitting. That's a pretty stunning turnaround, politically.

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Friday Talking Points [311] -- First Marijuana TV Ad Created

[ Posted Friday, July 11th, 2014 – 18:10 UTC ]

Plenty of stuff happened in the past two weeks in the political world, but we'll get to all of that in a minute, because first we'd like to highlight (pun intended, of course) what is being billed as "the first marijuana television commercial." It's not on the air yet, but Canadian company Crop King Seeds has released this first look at their ad (they do admit that they'll likely have to edit out one bit of profanity before the ad airs). Without further ado, here is their ad (used with full permission, as they would really like the ad to go viral):

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Obamacare Attacks Fizzle

[ Posted Thursday, July 10th, 2014 – 16:20 UTC ]

Not so very long ago, Republican candidates foresaw a single-issue campaign for the 2014 midterms. The race would be won, they assured themselves, on stoking the public's seething hatred of Obamacare. Republicans didn't need to do anything else this year (something House Republicans excel at: doing nothing), and in fact they didn't want to hold votes on any other contentious issue (like immigration reform), since all that would do is distract people away from the single campaign issue of Obamacare.

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Border Backlog Crisis

[ Posted Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 – 16:28 UTC ]

In all the fulminating going on about the children in the current border "crisis," there is one problem I have yet to hear addressed, by either side in the debate. Mostly, I suspect, because it would cost a lot of money to fix. Americans who are unfamiliar with the problems immigrants face and who have never personally had to deal with an immigrant can be excused for not even being aware this problem exists. Conjuring up gauzy images of Ellis Island, such Americans wonder: "Why don't the immigrants follow the law and come in legally?" One of the big answers to that question is the monumental backlog they face. A backlog it would take a lot of political effort -- and a whole lot of money -- to fix.

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I'll Believe Corporations Are People When...

[ Posted Tuesday, July 8th, 2014 – 16:54 UTC ]

I'll believe corporations are people...

...when one is baptized.

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Marijuana Legalization Update

[ Posted Monday, July 7th, 2014 – 17:17 UTC ]

Tomorrow, Washington state will become the second state with a legal recreational marijuana market (look for a whole bunch of stoner jokes on tomorrow's television news, in other words). While Colorado and Washington both passed their legalization laws at the same time, Colorado's was fully implemented at the start of this year, while Washington waited until now to completely implement the new law. So it seemed like a good time for an update on which other states are moving towards full legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes, since there is news from a handful of other states as well.

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From The Archives -- The Rockets' Red Glare, The Bombs Bursting In Air

[ Posted Thursday, July 3rd, 2014 – 18:22 UTC ]

What separates humans from animals can be summed up as one simple thing -- the mastery of fire. Even "using tools" doesn't cut it anymore, as apes have been shown to use their own tools to achieve their own modest goals. When you get right down to it, the sole dividing line between us and the other creatures which crawl this planet can be drawn at the mastery of fire. Animals are still scared of fire. Humans, now, are not.

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