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One Key Way To Rein In Sessions

[ Posted Thursday, February 9th, 2017 – 18:21 PST ]

Jeff Sessions is now America's attorney general, in charge of the Justice Department. This turn of events strikes fear in the hearts of many Americans, for numerous reasons, due to his own political history. On many of these issues we're all just going to have to wait and see whether Sessions turns out to be as bad as feared, but there is one big issue which could simply be taken away from his purview altogether, if Congress acts soon. Today, a Republican congressman from California introduced a bill to do just that.

Dana Rohrabacher just filed a bill that he's filed in previous sessions of Congress, but never has it been more important than now. The snappy title of the bill is the "Respect State Marijuana Laws Act," and in a few quick sentences would essentially place state laws on marijuana above federal laws, for states that have already reformed their legal approach towards marijuana.

The text of his new bill (HR-975) is not available as of this writing, but it will probably be pretty close to the bill Rohrabacher filed in the last Congress, in 2015. Here is the complete text of this previous bill:

To amend the Controlled Substances Act to provide for a new rule regarding the application of the Act to marihuana, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.
This Act may be cited as the "Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2015".

SEC. 2. Rule regarding application to marihuana.
Part G of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

"SEC. 710. Rule regarding application to marihuana.
"Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the provisions of this subchapter related to marihuana shall not apply to any person acting in compliance with State laws relating to the production, possession, distribution, dispensation, administration, or delivery of marihuana.".

That's it. It adds a single sentence to the federal Controlled Substances Act which says state laws on marijuana supercede all other federal laws on marijuana. That's it. Nothing more, nothing less. State law overrules federal law. It's a pretty simple concept, and would write into law the situation that basically already existed under the Obama administration. The Obama White House had some stumbles while coming around to this position, but eventually took a hands-off approach to state laws which legalized marijuana for either medical purposes or recreational use.

That is all in jeopardy now. Jeff Sessions has a history of extreme hostility towards reforming marijuana laws, at one point joking that marijuana users were worse than KKK members. He views all pot smokers as bad people, and is unafraid to say so in public. As with other important legal issues, nobody is sure how he will act as attorney general given his own history of opposition.

Over half of the states have legalized (in some form or another) medical marijuana. Eight states plus the District of Columbia have now fully legalized recreational marijuana. This means around one-fourth of all Americans either now live or soon will (not all the legalization laws have fully been implemented yet) in states where buying some weed is legally no different than buying a six-pack of beer. And yet all of these people still live with the uncertainty and fear that the federal government could crack down at any time it chooses -- because as things stand, all these state laws are completely at odds with federal laws, which treat marijuana as more dangerous than crystal meth.

There are other, more permanent things Congress could do to change this inherently unstable situation. Marijuana could be rescheduled under the Controlled Substances Act, or descheduled entirely and given to the federal agency that controls alcohol and tobacco. Those would truly represent an end to the federal War On Weed, but while support for doing so continues to build, Rohrabacher's bill seems a perfect answer to change things for the better in the meantime.

Many aren't aware of the history of banning marijuana use, but echoes of this past remain even in the text of Rohrabacher's bill. Marijuana bans were enacted roughly a century ago for multiple reasons, but one big one was racist overreaction to Mexican migrant laborers who smoked it. This is why America calls it "marijuana," in fact, while the rest of the English-speaking world calls it "cannabis." Cannabis comes from the biological classification of the plant (such as in cannabis sativa or cannabis indica), but marijuana is obviously what people who spoke Spanish at the time called it (the historical echo is the archaic spelling "marihuana" which still exists in many federal legal references). Fear of immigrants was a major motivating force behind the original War On Drugs, in other words.

Jeff Sessions sees himself as a strong drug warrior, there's no doubt about that. What this is going to mean going forward now that he's the nation's "top cop" is anyone's guess, really. Democrats may not have any way to rein in Sessions on other important legal issues, but Rohrabacher's bill gives them one route to remove power from Sessions before he even has a chance to abuse it. The bill was filed by a Republican with cosponsors from both parties, so it won't even have the stigma of being a partisan issue. Rohrabacher himself is a medical marijuana patient, and he's certainly not the only Republican to be sympathetic to such patients.

Rohrabacher has tried before, but the last time around his bill -- sadly and shamefully -- only got 20 cosponsors in the House. Back then, though, his bill wouldn't have immediately had any real impact, since Obama's attorney general wasn't launching a new War On Weed in the states that had reformed their marijuana laws. It is now far from certain that this will continue to be the case, however, which means the bill is now more important than ever.

I would encourage everyone who cares about this issue to contact their House member (whether Democratic or Republican) and urge them to cosponsor HR-975 today. Check the list of current cosponsors and see if your representative is on it. If so, call them up and congratulate them for their support (they love to hear such positive feedback from the public). But if they aren't yet on the list, call them up and demand to know why not. If enough Democrats got behind this bill and started making a big stink about it in public, it could actually have a chance at passing. By doing so, Democrats would be stripping power from Jeff Sessions before he even had a chance to abuse it -- which, these days, seems like a valid cause for Democrats to be fighting for.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

71 Comments on “One Key Way To Rein In Sessions”

  1. [1] 
    taramaster wrote:

    Equal if not more importance is support for
    H.R. 371: Presidential Conflicts of Interest Act of 2017 / S. 65: Presidential Conflicts of Interest Act of 2017

  2. [2] 
    neilm wrote:

    Thanks for alerting me CW. I checked and my Rep. wasn't on the co-sponsor list, so I emailed him.

  3. [3] 
    michale wrote:

    Dana Rohrabacher just filed a bill that he's filed in previous sessions of Congress, but never has it been more important than now. The snappy title of the bill is the "Respect State Marijuana Laws Act," and in a few quick sentences would essentially place state laws on marijuana above federal laws, for states that have already reformed their legal approach towards marijuana.

    Good luck with that... :D

    The Federal Government is VERY protective of it's priority status...

    It's also very short-sighted of the states to support this legislation..

  4. [4] 
    neilm wrote:

    Somebody needs to buy the PR department at Nordstrom a dictionary. They stated that they dropped Ivanka's line because of poor sales, not the #grabyourwallet boycott.

    Word of the day Norstrom: boycott (noun) - a punitive ban that forbids relations with certain groups, cooperation with a policy, or the handling of goods.

  5. [5] 
    michale wrote:

    Is the Left turning on Nordstrom??

    I thought yesterday that Nordstrom was the cat's meow for standing up to that big bully, Trump...

    Today Nordstrom is in the doghouse..

    This partisan/ideology stuff is cornfusin'...

    boycott (noun) - a punitive ban that forbids relations with certain groups, cooperation with a policy, or the handling of goods.

    Sounds very... um... intolerant to me... :D

  6. [6] 
    neilm wrote:

    Is the Left turning on Nordstrom??

    No, unless I'm missing the point, the left is boycotting Ivanka and the high end store that carry her goods are dropping them like hot cakes.

    As I said earlier, 45 has the reverse Midas touch. It is simply safer not to be associated with his brand - and companies are deciding to take one episode of pain now rather than risk getting tarnished by being associated with the next crazy brain fart coming out of the White House.

    Plus, the boy has cried wolf too often, and the tweets that were so devastating to a company's stock are turning out to by a mild blip for two reasons:

    1. There is little or no lasting effect - 45 doesn't have the attention span to stay focused on one company for more that a week

    2. The anger has shifted from the right wing to the left wing - and people react to anger

    On that point, the right wing are now the smug creeps that they accused the left of being, and the left are now the irrational angry that they accused the right of being.

    As the right will discover, anger drives votes more than smugness.

  7. [7] 
    michale wrote:

    Plus, the boy has cried wolf too often, and the tweets that were so devastating to a company's stock are turning out to by a mild blip for two reasons:

    OK, so your claim that Trump can devastate companies is no longer valid..

    Can I quote you on that?? :D

    As the right will discover, anger drives votes more than smugness.

    So, you WANT the Left Wingery to be angry and lash out from anger...

    Didn't you just tell Al yesterday that acting out of anger may work for the short term, but long term it's undesirable and should be avoided..

    I am *REALLY* cornfused now...

    Are we still at war with East Asia???

  8. [8] 
    michale wrote:

    No, unless I'm missing the point, the left is boycotting Ivanka

    Why is the Left boycotting Ivanka?? Just because of who her father is???

    That seems kind of pissy and childish to me...

  9. [9] 
    neilm wrote:

    More blowback from the short-sighted:

    Central Valley farmers who supported 45 are worried that his immigration plans might turn out to be real - devastating their businesses.

    They are counting on 45 being a businessman and realizing that he can't deport their illegals, otherwise their business model is going belly up. Without cheap illegal labor they will have to hire Americans and that just ain't going to work.

    Supply currently is high because the obvious solution to illegal immigration has never been enacted (putting business owners in jail if they hire illegals or have illegals working in their farms or businesses via subcontractors).

    Demand is high because real businesses aren't going to hire illegals, so field, domestic and construction work are the most available options - the grey labor market.

    If 45 and his minions really cared about illegal immigration and illegal immigrants in the country they could solve it without putting one brick on the Southern border. A few high profile perp walks followed by some stiff jail time for selected ranchers, food processors, hotel owners and property developers would get the message out. Everybody would start using e-Verify and the demand for cheap illegal labor would evaporate overnight.

    Do the 45 supporter(s?) here ever wonder why a simple and basically taxpayer free solution like this is never suggested?

  10. [10] 
    neilm wrote:

    Didn't you just tell Al yesterday that acting out of anger may work for the short term, but long term it's undesirable and should be avoided..

    Anger from self-hatred is self-defeating - anger at 45 is the clarion call we need.

  11. [11] 
    neilm wrote:

    Why is the Left boycotting Ivanka?? Just because of who her father is???

    Yup, and boo-hoo - it is their money and if they choose not to spend it on a tarnished brand, it is their choice - or do you want to force them to buy her rags and trinkets?

  12. [12] 
    neilm wrote:

    Well Price has been confirmed, proving that even blatant insider trading is fine if you are in the House of Representatives. So much for the swamp draining the orange clown promised us.

    However, didn't we get a promise from the ol' straight talker that he'd release his ACA replacement bill as soon (maybe the same hour) as Price was confirmed and the day one (will maybe twenty-one) Obamacare repeal was voted though and signed.

    I wonder what pathetic excuse we'll hear from the White House as to why "the worst piece of legislation in the history of our great country" needs to stay on the books?

    Could it be that even 45 doesn't want 44,000 dead bodies on his doorstep?

  13. [13] 
    michale wrote:

    If 45 and his minions really cared about illegal immigration and illegal immigrants in the country they could solve it without putting one brick on the Southern border. A few high profile perp walks followed by some stiff jail time for selected ranchers, food processors, hotel owners and property developers would get the message out. Everybody would start using e-Verify and the demand for cheap illegal labor would evaporate overnight.

    And I would have absolutely NO PROBLEM with this...

    Yup, and boo-hoo

    OK.. So we are in agreement that the Left is being pissy and childish..

    Anger from self-hatred is self-defeating - anger at 45 is the clarion call we need.

    Ahhhh.. So, CONSTRUCTIVE anger, anger that allows us to change ourselves is bad..

    Anger directed at a specific person or group of people is not only acceptable, but desired...

    But ONLY if that person or group does not toe the ideologically correct line..

    OK, I think I am beginning to understand where ya'all are coming from.. :D

    I like this new and improved Weigantian comments section.. :D

  14. [14] 
    michale wrote:

    Anger directed at a specific person or group of people is not only acceptable, but desired...

    In other words, Love does NOT trump hate except when and where it's politically/ideologically acceptable to do so...

    I am really getting the hang of this.. :D

  15. [15] 
    neilm wrote:

    I really don't care what you are getting the hang of, but anger at injustice is valuable. Look at what the LGBTQ community has achieved over the last couple of decades because everybody knows that if you mss with them they will shout about it.

    Look at the success of the Tea Party.

    I expect there will be some blowback and anger will be directed that those who are not deemed sufficiently pure by the extremists.

    The reason I'm not for it is because I've watched what it has done to the Republican Party over the last eight years. The reasonable elements of the Republican Party have been hounded out - primaried from the right - resulting in a band of nut cases and crooks. I don't want reasonable rank and file Democrats to face the same fate.

    However anger that drives action is the most potent force in politics, and probably always has been. The politicians don't need to prove a purity test devised by the extremists, they will follow the will of the people - they only need money to cajole a lackadaisical electorate - corporate money and lobbyists lose their power when popular anger is rampant.

    This is why 45 was able to spend less money, because his marks were angry.

    The boot is on the other foot now, but instead of a clown as our leader, I want a true visionary - he or she is out there.

  16. [16] 
    neilm wrote:

    Hate and anger are different things. The emotionally stunted might find this a surprise, but you can be angry at an injustice without needing to punish innocent people because you can only express your anger through misguided revenge fantasies.

  17. [17] 
    michale wrote:

    I really don't care what you are getting the hang of, but anger at injustice is valuable.

    It depends on WHOSE injustice we're talking about. Ya'all castigated and denigrated the Right Wing for their hate, but NOW you claim that hate is perfectly acceptable...

    You see why I take what ya'all say with a huge grain of salt..

    Because I know for a fact (and have the proof to back it up) that it's ALL based on partisan ideology.

    The Left's lack of response towards Obama's drone and domestic surveillance programs are but two of HUNDREDS of examples of partisan/Party based "principles"..

    Now, there ARE outliers who call a spade a spade regardless of Party designation.. Glenn Greenwald is one.. Our own Altohone is another... CW hisself has his moments as well..

    But they are simply the exceptions that emphasize the rule...

  18. [18] 
    neilm wrote:

    Everybody would start using e-Verify and the demand for cheap illegal labor would evaporate overnight.

    And I would have absolutely NO PROBLEM with this...

    Then tell your congressperson and Senator. Write a letter to 45.

    You will discover that the right wing that you worship are the least receptive to this idea.

    Do you know why?

  19. [19] 
    neilm wrote:

    hate, but NOW you claim that hate is perfectly acceptable...

    Hate and anger are not the same thing. You can't be that emotionally stunted.

  20. [20] 
    michale wrote:

    Hate and anger are not the same thing. You can't be that emotionally stunted.

    That's just spin...

    Hate begets anger... Anger begets hate.. Six of one, half dozen of the other...

  21. [21] 
    neilm wrote:

    Back to Obama again. Oh dear. Fail!

    I'm not a fan of the drone policy, but it is a lot better than a new ground war.

    The left wing was more angry about domestic surveillance than the right who cast Snowden as a traitor and wanted him punished for exposing the domestic surveillance programs. Just because the 'left' wasn't pure enough for you doesn't bother me - I expect compromises and don't throw a self-hatred hissy fit if I don't get all the puppies and free ponies I want.

  22. [22] 
    neilm wrote:

    That's just spin...

    No - you can be angry at your kids but not hate them. Or at least I hope you can.

  23. [23] 
    michale wrote:

    No - you can be angry at your kids but not hate them. Or at least I hope you can.

    You are correct. In THAT regard, there is an exception...

    But we're not talking about a familial relationship between the Left Wingery and the Right Wingery..

    Therefore that exception does not apply...

    But kudos on that exception.. Good work.. Nice response.. :D

  24. [24] 
    michale wrote:

    Back to Obama again. Oh dear. Fail!

    You used to get mad at me when I made statements and conclusions that weren't backed up with facts and examples..

    NOW that I DO provide facts and examples, you STILL get pissy...

    I'm gonna cry.... :`( Heh

    I'm not a fan of the drone policy,

    Yet, you remained silent...

    Just because the 'left' wasn't pure enough for you doesn't bother me - I expect compromises and don't throw a self-hatred hissy fit if I don't get all the puppies and free ponies I want.

    EXCEPT....

    Except when it's someone with a '-R' after their name who is not giving you your puppies and free ponies..

  25. [25] 
    neilm wrote:

    Yet, you remained silent...

    In the future, instead of deciding that not specifically stating my position on every subject means whatever you need it to mean, why don't you just ask?

    It isn't like I keep my opinions to myself or anything.

  26. [26] 
    neilm wrote:

    Except when it's someone with a '-R' after their name who is not giving you your puppies and free ponies..

    You get puppies and free ponies from everybody with an -R after their name?

  27. [27] 
    michale wrote:

    In the future, instead of deciding that not specifically stating my position on every subject means whatever you need it to mean, why don't you just ask?

    But, that's my point..

    When you denigrate and castigate the Right, I don't HAVE to ask... You just lay it all out there... :D

    And you do that because.......????????

    Because you don't want to be seen as Anti-Obama...

    It isn't like I keep my opinions to myself or anything.

    THAT opinion, you did...

    And THAT is my point... :D

  28. [28] 
    neilm wrote:

    You are correct. In THAT regard, there is an exception...

    No, it isn't an exception. I'm angry with Russia, and I'm angry that their people keep voting in Putin, but I don't hate them. I'd not like anything bad to happen to them. I hope we don't go to war with them. Frankly I'd like to visit them and get to know more of them.

    I really like just about every Israeli I meet or work with, but I'm angry about the settlements because they are harming the peace process and I also happen to not hate the Palestinians who are suffering.

    I'm angry about 45 and the people who turn their anger into hatred, but I see them as Americans and hope they learn the lesson about division being counter productive. In fact I need enough of them to, because I want them to vote differently in 2018. I'd hope they did that because the Democrats put a vision of hope in front of them, because we saw how much wallowing in 45's world of hatred turned off enough voters to lose last November.

    The one thing that most people notice about Americans when they spend time in America is how positive and hopeful they are. Seeing our political leader utter words like "American Carnage" hints at the true change in America - the loss of the key optimism that makes this country great.

  29. [29] 
    neilm wrote:

    When you denigrate and castigate the Right, I don't HAVE to ask... You just lay it all out there... :D

    Because I'm on a left wing blog. I can express myself here in a way I can't elsewhere.

    I can't talk politics at work (or at least politics used to be off limits at work - now our CEO has to repeatedly point out that our international and diverse company will stand up for all our employees, partners and customers, regardless of what the President of the United States says).

    I can't talk politics on Facebook because I don't want to get into pointless fights with friends on what is meant to be a puppies and pictures medium.

    My friends have a "no more than 10 minutes on 45" rule because we want to talk about other things than politics now the election is over.

    So my left wing blog site is where I get to vent for an hour or two a day. I don't really care if I'm not meeting a right winger's view of what is fair by criticizing the left. I'm happy and I don't seem to be pissing off the rest of the community, even though I post way too much.

  30. [30] 
    michale wrote:

    The problem here is not that ya'all give the Left Wingery a pass... It's human nature to give a break to the "good guys" and hold the "bad guys" to a stricter standard...

    The ends justifies the means and all that..

    No, the problem here is that ya'all DENY doing it...

  31. [31] 
    neilm wrote:

    Michale: I don't know why you hate Arsenal because I've never seen you complain about Chelsea!

    I mean why didn't you call our Mourinho last year when he trashed the gunner's boss?

    Your silence shows that you are completely unfair.

  32. [32] 
    michale wrote:

    Because I'm on a left wing blog. I can express myself here in a way I can't elsewhere.

    OK, that is what I have been wanting to hear... :D The bias acknowledged

    I can't talk politics on Facebook because I don't want to get into pointless fights with friends on what is meant to be a puppies and pictures medium.

    I ran into that myself recently.. My wife pointed out that all my pro President Trump facts were being read by everyone who has a link to me...

    In my particular field, I have a lot of illegal immigrants as customers.. :D

    So my left wing blog site is where I get to vent for an hour or two a day. I don't really care if I'm not meeting a right winger's view of what is fair by criticizing the left.

    But that's just it. It's not that you are not meeting a "right winger's view" because there are no right wingers here..

    The issue is that you are claiming to be fair and not bigoted when the facts clearly show that you are...

    If you could incorporate this non-fair bigotry into your comments, as I do, then you would probably eliminate about 80% of my comments, as I would have nothing to hang my hat on...

    I'll be happy to give you some tips as to how it's done..

    All I ask is that you DON'T do it during the holiday fundraiser.. :D

  33. [33] 
    michale wrote:

    Michale: I don't know why you hate Arsenal because I've never seen you complain about Chelsea!

    Whose Arsenal and I have complained about Chelsea (I assume you mean Clinton) several times. Within the last week or so....

    I mean why didn't you call our Mourinho last year when he trashed the gunner's boss?

    Who???

    Com'on.. We're not talking about some obscure thing or person that no one has heard of...

    You really think Mourinho is comparable, known-wise, to Obama's drone program or domestic surveillance program?? Hell Obama has the honor of the biggest lie of the year for that little gem...

    You are comparing apples and eskimos...

  34. [34] 
    neilm wrote:

    No, the problem here is that ya'all DENY doing it...

    No, we don't. But we can't get good internecine arguments going because they are hijacked and twisted.

    Every week CW has his MDDOTW award. How many right wing web sites have MDROTW awards? Yet we come here for that sort of insight.

    You keep bringing up false equivalencies and make everything hyper partisan. It is stifling the conversations that many of us want to have. I'd like to spend more time going back and forth with Altohone because I have my mind changed by these discussions, however we get pages of interference that break up the discussions. That is one of the reasons I want one layer of hierarchy, so we can roll up the tit-fot-tat nonsense when I want to follow another conversation.

  35. [35] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hey CW (and gang)

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-to-win-back-obamasanderstrump-voters_us_589cf582e4b0e172783a9a6b?wlm7ypd1c9g5a02j4i&

    He correctly focuses on the economics.

    It could use some edits for spelling and clarity though.

    neil-
    There seems to be a discrepancy between the numbers he cites and the one you've been using?

    A

  36. [36] 
    michale wrote:

    No, we don't.

    Yes, ya'all do. Constantly...

    But we can't get good internecine arguments going because they are hijacked and twisted.

    It's very easy to avoid this alleged "twisting", which is actually nothing more than facts stated in such a way as to show the bias..

    Simply concede the point..

    "Yea, I know I am biased in favor of Democrats, but blaa blaaa blaaa blaaaa"

    A simple little concession like that and you would negate ANY alleged twisting or hijacking..

    Every week CW has his MDDOTW award. How many right wing web sites have MDROTW awards?

    And how many here follow up CW's MDDOTW award with a kudos for a dead on ballz accurate award??

    Me and sometimes Altohone....

    How many follow up CW's MIDOTW award... Everyone has at one time or another..

    You keep bringing up false equivalencies and make everything hyper partisan.

    The problem is that they are NOT false equivalencies as the facts clearly show..

    But you want to believe that they are false equivalencies so you don't have to come to grips with the fact that your Democrats are, at times, exactly as you accuse the Republicans of being...

  37. [37] 
    neilm wrote:

    Altohone [34]

    By the numbers discrepancy, I'm assuming you are talking about this:

    Hillary Clinton underperformed Barack Obama by minus 290,000 votes in Pennsylvania, minus 222,000 votes in Wisconsin and a whopping minus 500,000 votes in Michigan.

    The difference is that this is the number of fewer voters Hillary got wrt to Obama. I'm saying that she only got about 160,000 votes less than 45 so if 80,000 voters had voted Hillary instead of 45 everything would be sugars and spice and all things nice ;)

    Also note that I've become depressed about the seriousness of the average American voter - I though, like many people, that enough would vote sensibly for a competent professional. However now I see we need to activate a more emotional response to overcome complacency. That is why I'm pleased with the crowd sizes at Women's Marches and airport protests. If it takes anger at the injustice (e.g. pointless Muslim ban) and stupidity (e.g. pointless wall) of 45 and his little minions, so be it.

  38. [38] 
    neilm wrote:

    I strongly agree with Les Leopold's focus on inequality. I'm hoping to make the Gini as important an indicator as unemployment, interest rates and inflation.

    If we could show that inequality has been rising to all time highs in this country, and that this country is matched only by the U.K. in prosperous nations in our level of inequality then we might be able to get a national discussion going on solutions.

    This is not to degrade that value of Women's rights, immigration, etc., but inequality impacts 90+% of America directly so it is personal to just about everybody.

  39. [39] 
    michale wrote:

    If it takes anger at the injustice

    ANGER AT INJUSTICE

    UC Berkeley Student Paper Publishes Five Op-Eds Defending Violent Riots
    http://www.mediaite.com/online/uc-berkeley-student-paper-publishes-five-op-eds-defending-violent-riots/

    'nuff said....

  40. [40] 
    michale wrote:

    How we doin' so far, Liz?? :D

  41. [41] 
    neilm wrote:

    UC Berkeley Student Paper Publishes Five Op-Eds Defending Violent Riots

    "I'll beat the crap out of you."

    "Part of the problem ... is nobody wants to hurt each other anymore."

    "The audience hit back. That's what we need a little bit more of."

    "In the good old days this doesn't happen because they used to treat them very, very rough."

    "Try not to hurt him. If you do, I'll defend you in court, don't worry about it."

    "I'd like to punch him in the face."

    "Knock the crap out of them."

    "Maybe he should have been roughed up."

    "I don’t know if I’ll do the fighting myself or if other people will."

    Guess who these quotes are from?

  42. [42] 
    neilm wrote:

    Violence is wrong.

    45 incites violence. Idiots at Berkeley defend violence.

    At least there is a hope Berkeley students will grow up, and at least they aren't sitting in the Oval Office.

  43. [43] 
    michale wrote:

    Guess who these quotes are from?

    Probably from Right Wingers..

    Which, if we were TAKLKING about Right Wingers, the quotes would be relevant and you would have a valid point/rebuttal..

    But we were talking about angry Left Wingers....

    Violence is wrong.

    That's your opinion.. I happen to agree with that opinion..

    But my point is you only espouse that opinion when there is Right Winger violence to condemn..

    You keep that opinion to yourself when there is Left Winger violence that needs condemnin'...

  44. [44] 
    michale wrote:

    Even CW condemned the Left Winger Berkeley riots without any prompting...

    Why is this such a hard thing for rank and file Weigantians to do???

    I mean, ya'all have gone on and on about the number of my posts and such..

    One would think ya'all would be willing to enjoin with some reality to LESSEN the number of my posts.. :D

    I'm just sayin'....

  45. [45] 
    neilm wrote:

    Guess who these quotes are from?

    Probably from Right Wingers..

    They are all from 45.

    Stop claiming again and again that nobody has condemned the Berkeley riots. You are the one who supports an inciter of violence as President. You just can't admit it.

  46. [46] 
    michale wrote:

    They are all from 45.

    OK, NOT from a Right Winger..

    Still not relevant to the discussion..

    Stop claiming again and again that nobody has condemned the Berkeley riots.

    Nobody but CW *HAS* condemned the Berkeley riots.. Not without prompting and even then, it was milquetoast, generic, Traffic-Cop-On-Valium "I condemn all violence" type crap... None of the specifity and none of the passion ya'all seem to find inside yerselves when condemning Right Winger violence..

    You are the one who supports an inciter of violence as President.

    Saying that President Trump is an inciter of violence is like saying the Republicans were an inciter of violence when they opposed and tried to disband the KKK.

    Which, if I recall my history correctly, were all Democrats....

    How is President Trump an "inciter of violence" when *ALL* of the violence is being committed by Left Wingers??

  47. [47] 
    altohone wrote:

    neil
    36, 37

    Oooh... my bad on the numbers. Sloppy.

    I agree about the inequality issue as you know, but the policies supported by the neoliberal Democrats in collaboration with Republicans that cause it or make it worse need to be the focus... though I am fine with using the Gini as one of the tools to hammer it home.

    And, the DNC can't be run by a Dem who supports the policies, the current crop of Dems needs to be pressured to abandon them or primaried out of office if they won't be swayed.

    An admission that this is a major factor in the massive electoral losses by Dems and that Obama and Hillary were insufficiently serious on these issues would raise the bar for future candidates.
    Future, future, future :)

    Big tent good... but the compromise position on policies opposed by a huge majority of Dem voters is to go with that majority, not Big Money.

    A

  48. [48] 
    michale wrote:

    'HE WILL NOT DIVIDE US' PROTEST CLOSED
    Due to Potential Violence

    http://www.tmz.com/2017/02/10/shia-labeouf-he-will-not-divide-us-protest-ends/

    More Left Winger violence... This asshole beats people up who supports our President...

    THIS is today's Left Winger.....

  49. [49] 
    altohone wrote:

    neil
    41

    I'm not sure about the idiots defending the violence, but someone here noted that the group involved in most of the violence in Berkeley isn't a left wing group.

    It's a bit of a convenient false narrative being used for political purposes by right wing ideologues... and others who support them.

    A

  50. [50] 
    neilm wrote:

    Leopold's four horsemen of the Neoliberal Apocalypse are:

    1. Tax cuts (especially for the wealthy);
    2. Government deregulation (especially for Wall Street);
    3. Cuts in social spending (especially for programs and infrastructure that benefit the rest of us.); and
    4 . Free trade (which gives corporations the tools to destroy unions and hold down worker wages.)

    Let me take these individually.

  51. [51] 
    michale wrote:

    I'm not sure about the idiots defending the violence, but someone here noted that the group involved in most of the violence in Berkeley isn't a left wing group.

    It's a bit of a convenient false narrative being used for political purposes by right wing ideologues... and others who support them.

    Exactly.....

  52. [52] 
    neilm wrote:

    1. DEATH: Tax cuts (especially for the wealthy);

    Taxes are essential to pay for the infrastructure, services, welfare, etc. that a modern economy needs to run. Taxes can be too high, or can be counter productive. Currently in the U.S. we are following an asinine tax policy based on the Laffer Curve which has been proven wrong time and time again, but because it purports to justify lower taxes for the rich (trickle down) it is very popular with the people that own our politicians.

    I think we need to have a sensible discussion about our tax levels, and that this will result in far higher taxes on the wealthy coupled with lower but simpler and more effective corporate taxation.

    Any Democrat that wants to propose a tax cut that benefits the above $250K crowd would not get my vote. Also any Democrat the does not want to raise taxes to generate more revenue for social programs would not get my vote.

  53. [53] 
    neilm wrote:

    2. PESTILENCE: Government deregulation (especially for Wall Street);

    I have a lot of sympathy with banks - the overlapping, contradictory, and often counter-productive regulations they have to deal with are more complex than just about any other industry.

    On the other hand, the volumes of transactions (e.g. $5T for FX) and the total outstanding value of instruments (e.g. $11T in CDS) means that any breakdowns have huge consequences.

    Most important would be the U.S. leading international standards for regulations, simplifying the landscape but also incorporating the viewpoints of far more conservative governments (e.g. Germany) than the U.S. has been in the past.

    This alone would make the regulatory structure so much simpler for U.S. banks that it would generate big savings. The price they have to pay is higher capital reserves for certain types of trading, reducing systemic risk.

    There are ideas around counterparty credit risk (i.e. a central registry) that would also lower the risk of economic injury.

    I would support any Democratic candidate that had a sensible approach to banking regulations, including ways to work with Wall St to simplify the World regulatory landscape. The candidate should also work with independent experts (e.g Larry Tabb) to construct tighter regulations on high volume/outstanding markets regardless of perceived risk.

  54. [54] 
    neilm wrote:

    3. FAMINE: Cuts in social spending (especially for programs and infrastructure that benefit the rest of us.); and

    We need to shift focus from the military and corporate welfare to help for Americans.

    I'd support any candidate that streamlined the military, eliminated corporate welfare programs and invested the saving (plus additional taxes that should be raised) in welfare for people - and by welfare I also incorporate free college, single payer healthcare, etc.

  55. [55] 
    neilm wrote:

    4. WAR: Free trade (which gives corporations the tools to destroy unions and hold down worker wages.)

    I have no problem with free trade. I have a problem with people who know that free trade creates winners and losers, but ignore the losers. Sadly the losers are going to lose anyway (between low cost foreign labor and automation, that is just a fact of capitalism). Most of the time this is no fault for their own - they are 'collateral damage' not 'flawed humans', in other words.

    The candidate I would vote for understands the skills needed for the next generation workforce and invests training Americans to be the best workforce for the future. Protecting the weak from rapacious companies is important, but I see that as a justice issue rather than a free trade issue - and it disappoints me that corporations use free trade as a way to tip the playing field.

  56. [56] 
    altohone wrote:

    neil
    52

    Jumping the gun before you got to 4...

    "Most important would be the U.S. leading international standards for regulations, simplifying the landscape but also incorporating the viewpoints of far more conservative governments (e.g. Germany) than the U.S. has been in the past"

    Clarification... do you mean the actual definition of "conservative" in that sentence... not the political misnomer?

    A

  57. [57] 
    neilm wrote:

    I'm not sure about the idiots defending the violence, but someone here noted that the group involved in most of the violence in Berkeley isn't a left wing group.

    It's a bit of a convenient false narrative being used for political purposes by right wing ideologues... and others who support them.

    I'd heard whiffs about this - do we know who committed the violence and what their motives are? Who the "black bloc" are?

  58. [58] 
    neilm wrote:

    Clarification... do you mean the actual definition of "conservative" in that sentence... not the political misnomer?

    Yes. Small 'c' - like "controlled" or "fuddy duddy" ;)

  59. [59] 
    michale wrote:

    I'd heard whiffs about this - do we know who committed the violence and what their motives are? Who the "black bloc" are?

    UC Berkeley Student Paper Publishes Five Op-Eds Defending Violent Riots
    http://www.mediaite.com/online/uc-berkeley-student-paper-publishes-five-op-eds-defending-violent-riots/

  60. [60] 
    michale wrote:

    Federal agents conduct sweeping immigration enforcement raids in at least 6 states
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/federal-agents-conduct-sweeping-immigration-enforcement-raids-in-at-least-6-states/2017/02/10/4b9f443a-efc8-11e6-b4ff-ac2cf509efe5_story.html?utm_term=.4bc8ba352875

    President Trump is keeping another campaign promise..

    Please don't act all shocked and surprised...

  61. [61] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    altohone,

    (carrying over from our previous conversation) -- You brought up the large amount of legal payouts that police departments and cities have been forced to pay victims of shootings and alleged misconduct as proof for why the police need civilian oversight. This is where I do not think you realize just how the system works.

    It is the insurance pools that the cities are insured by that decide whether to fight a case or whether to make an offer to bring closure to the subject. They, and they alone make the call. Our court system allows for feelings to trump facts when it comes to jury verdicts in civil cases. Because of this, cases that get the public's attention may result in huge payouts against the police even if the evidence is clear that they did everything by the book. We have come to associate "settling" a case as being an admission of guilt by the city, when that is not always the case. Because these cases can go for months, the legal fees in the millions of dollars, the insurance pools see it as a financial "win" to offer to settle a case, even if they believe they would win the trial! A $1 million settlement in a case that would last a year saves the city probably another $5 million in just legal fees! They don't care that it damages the reputation of the police, because they don't put a price on that.

    If you have never done a ride along with your local police department, I would encourage you to do one. It's a good way to see just what the police in your area do and they can answer any questions you might have.

  62. [62] 
    neilm wrote:

    UC Berkeley Student Paper Publishes Five Op-Eds Defending Violent Riots

    Thanks Michale, but there was only a passing reference to "Black Bloc" and little explanation of its purpose. Obviously their history is anarchist/anti-fascist, but are the American idiots just a bunch of violent thugs or do they have a political purpose?

  63. [63] 
    neilm wrote:

    President Trump is keeping another campaign promise..

    Please don't act all shocked and surprised...

    I'm not, but Central Valley farmers in California are:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/09/us/california-farmers-backed-trump-but-now-fear-losing-field-workers.html?_r=0

    More 45-regret. Silly Billies.

  64. [64] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    altohone,

    As for the Intercept article on the FBI investigation of the infiltration of white supremacists into law enforcement, that article uses a lot of words but says very little in terms of FACTS! It is based on heavily redacted reports from the FBI that were noting areas of concern to be watched for possible terrorist groups trying to infiltrate. What it never states is that they have found lots of police officers that are actually known to be members of these groups.

    I am sure that there are police who members of these groups, and that reflects horribly on all police, but I do not see it being anymore than the number of doctors or even teachers who are members of hate groups.

    Take the part that describes how in law enforcements nationwide criminal database (NCIC) people should not be listed as being "possible terrorists" or on a watch list simply for actions that are protected under the Constitution. The article then asks what about police officers, when the same rules clearly apply to them as they do any other citizen. Whatever actions would get someone placed on the terrorist watch list do not change simply because the person is a police officer.

    This is an article that reads real scary, but seems to rely on "what-if's" more than actual stats supporting the claim. It did show that departments have attempted to fire individuals found to be part of these hate groups. If the author knows of officers involved in hate groups, then they should make that list public. I look at how the liberal press reports stories regarding the police with the same skepticism as I do comments the GOP makes about Islam -- the actions of one person should never be used to stain the image of every other member of their group.

    The press loves to report that we never know just how many police shootings occur nationally because there aren't laws requiring the police to report their stats to the FBI. So which departments don't report them? Seeing how less than 5% of the 18,000 law enforcement agencies had even one officer-involved shooting in 2015, shouldn't it be easy to point to the department's that are not reporting their stats?

    All police departments rely on federal money to survive. All federal grants require that the police report their stats to the FBI. So while the press makes it sound like the police aren't reporting their stats to the FBI, maybe it would be more productive if they would name the departments that do not so that the public can demand that they do!?!? Most departments have the federal reporting as a section on their local electronic reporting software that they use on every report they turn in. I know Florida is the one state that does not do that because they couldn't get their software to play nice with the FBI's, so they have to do it separately.

  65. [65] 
    neilm wrote:

    So if the police are allowed to be members of white supremacist groups, are they also allowed to be in Black Lives Matter?

  66. [66] 
    michale wrote:

    Thanks Michale, but there was only a passing reference to "Black Bloc" and little explanation of its purpose. Obviously their history is anarchist/anti-fascist, but are the American idiots just a bunch of violent thugs or do they have a political purpose?

    They are specifically protesting President Trump..

    I think their political purpose is well established..

    Put another way...

    If it was a Right Wing group protesting President Obama, it's political purpose would ALSO be well-established..

  67. [67] 
    michale wrote:

    I'm not, but Central Valley farmers in California are:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/09/us/california-farmers-backed-trump-but-now-fear-losing-field-workers.html?_r=0

    Maybe those farmers should quit hiring illegals, eh??

    I have ZERO sympathy for them...

  68. [68] 
    michale wrote:

    Maybe those farmers should quit hiring illegals, eh??

    I have ZERO sympathy for them...

    I believe that you also castigated employers who hire illegals..

    Are you on their side now, because now they are grumbling about Trump??

    The enemy of your enemy is your friend??

    "The enemy of my enemy is the enemy I kill last."
    -Klingon Proverb

    :D

  69. [69] 
    altohone wrote:

    Listen
    60

    There is actually misconduct behind many of the massive payouts.
    Trying to shift the blame on to the insurance company decisions doesn't square with the reality.

    I'm sure that is true in some cases, and I'm also sure that juries would award even larger payouts in some of the cases if they went to trial.

    I'm well aware that the burden of proof is lower in civil cases, but it doesn't come down to "feelings".

    63

    The Intercept article mentions the 2006 report which was heavily redacted, but the article is based on a more current un-redacted report which was leaked.

    I'm not sure what your rant about the liberal press is about in this case. I don't remember seeing anything in the TI article trying to smear all police.

    You need to look into the claims you made about mandatory reporting by the police... they are not accurate.
    See Comey's statement on the issue.
    There have been some recent efforts to improve it, but many believe Trump will put an end to it.

    "Seeing how less than 5% of the 18,000 law enforcement agencies had even one officer-involved shooting in 2015"

    Seems like a pretty good reason to end the opposition to independent review boards.

    A

  70. [70] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    neilm,

    So if the police are allowed to be members of white supremacist groups, are they also allowed to be in Black Lives Matter?

    Yes. Yes they can.

  71. [71] 
    MHorton wrote:

    As always, I agree that Michale's lies, hate, slander and hyper-partisanism makes these forums pointless to participate in.

    He's a troll, and I can't believe he's allowed to behave like this for so long.

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