ChrisWeigant.com

Sessions Orders Tide To Turn Back

[ Posted Thursday, January 4th, 2018 – 18:59 PST ]

While I do realize there are all kinds of things happening in the political world right now -- not least among them the juicy slugfest between Steve Bannon and Donald Trump -- all of that is going to have to wait for another day (which is to say, tomorrow's column). Instead, I feel compelled to again write about the same subject I wrote about yesterday. Because Attorney General Jeff Sessions seems to have cast himself into the role of King Canute, desperately ordering the incoming tide to halt and turn back. This didn't work out so well for Canute, and it is not going to work for Sessions, either.

I'm speaking, of course, of the news today that Sessions has overturned the Obama Justice Department's "live and let live" rules on prosecuting marijuana laws in states which have instituted their own laws, in protest of the irrationality of current federal law on the subject. To be blunt, Sessions is picking a fight he is going to lose. The only real question is how much political blowback he causes before he (and/or Donald Trump) realize what a mistake it is.

Sessions longs for an earlier age in the War On Weed. He has made no secret of his views, except when he was asked under oath by the Senate about them, during his confirmation hearing. The number of lies he told during these hearings is already notable on other subjects (Russia, for instance), but he also explicitly promised a Republican senator from Colorado that he would respect states' rights on the marijuana question. That same senator is now extremely upset, and he's not the only Republican to react in a similar way.

We are fast approaching a point where support for reforming marijuana laws is seen as truly bipartisan. This is mostly due to both national political parties being too chicken to take the issue on directly, by creating a strong platform plank in support of legalization on the federal level. This has left it up to individual members to voice their support, which is only going to grow over time, on both sides of the aisle.

What else are you going to do, after all, if you represent a state where the voters overwhelmingly support legalization? Unlike the appointed Sessions, senators and representatives must face those same voters from time to time at the ballot box. So ordering the tide of public opinion to turn back is nothing short of political suicide for them. And they're increasingly realizing it.

Sessions can continue in his attempt at living in the past, but the public has notably moved on from the days of Nancy Reagan's "Just say no." From when the Gallup organization first started nationally polling the question of support for legalization (in 1969) through the end of Bill Clinton's term in office, less than 30 percent of the American public supported the idea. That puts it outside the mainstream of political thought, obviously. But since the movement for medicinal marijuana began (in the mid-1990s), support has steadily been getting higher and higher. By the time Barack Obama was elected, it was breaking 40 percent. By the time his first term was over, support had hit 50 percent. Right now, national public support for outright legalization of marijuana stands at an astounding 64 percent. Astonishingly, even 51 percent of Republicans now support it. This is the tide Sessions is ordering to turn back, folks. Almost two out of every three people are now on the side of legalization, which means the backlash will actually now be the mainstream political position, which is a major shift. Furthermore, if the Republican Party were looking for the perfect issue to further drive away Millennials, this would be it. Young people are already fleeing the GOP in horror, and the announcement by Sessions is only going to exacerbate this political problem.

Sessions even risks a sterner rebuke by prosecuting marijuana businesses and customers. Federal juries might just begin refusing to convict, due to "jury nullification" of the federal laws involved. Support for legalization is at 64 percent nationally, but it is likely much higher in states that have already legalized either medicinal marijuana or recreational marijuana. Meaning it may actually be hard to find 12 peers of the accused who would be willing to convict.

Congress, of course, could solve the problem once and for all, and yank the rug out from under the new Jeff Sessions War On Weed. This could even begin very quickly, because the deadline Congress now faces over the budget is also a deadline to decide whether to continue the "Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment" (what used to be called the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, before Sam Farr retired). For the past few years, Congress has exercised its constitutional "power of the purse" to rein in the Justice Department on the specific issue of medical marijuana. Tucked away in the Department of Justice's budget appropriation is language which absolutely forbids them from spending a single dime on prosecuting federal cases against purveyors and customers of medical marijuana in the 29 states that have changed their own laws on the subject. While marijuana of any type is indeed flat-out illegal under federal law, the Justice Department prosecuting anyone for breaking that law in medical marijuana states is now also illegal under federal law. Catch-22 for the drug warriors.

This amendment is still in force, but it expires along with the rest of the short-term budget extension in a few weeks. Now that Sessions has thrown down the gauntlet, it will be up to Congress to decide whether to continue the amendment -- or even to expand it to include recreational marijuana (in states where it is legal by state law). Doing so -- even just for medical marijuana -- would send a very strong message by pushing back against what Sessions announced today.

Republicans in Congress are already quaking in their boots over the 2018 midterms. They see the strong possibility of a Democratic wave election on the horizon, and they certainly shouldn't be interested in making their problem worse. So it's even conceivable that the party will latch onto the issue (leaning heavily on the "states' rights" argument, one assumes) and do the right thing. Of course, what really needs to happen is for Congress to unequivocally move marijuana off the list of controlled substances altogether, and hand over regulatory powers to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. That's where it logically should be in the federal structure, and it is where it eventually will be, once the politicians finally notice how fast public opinion has shifted. It's doubtful Republicans will be smart enough to make such a bold move before the midterms, but doing so is really the only way to shut Sessions down for good.

The tide has already turned, to put it another way. Since Barack Obama was first elected, public support for outright legalization has risen from 40 percent nationally to 64 percent. That's an astounding turnaround in a very short period of time, politically. As state after state changes its laws to reflect reality, people have seen that all the dire consequences predicted by the drug warriors simply have not come to pass. Life goes on, in other words, even in states with legal weed. Even in states that elect Republicans to Congress.

If Jeff Sessions is really serious in his efforts to reboot the federal War On Weed, he'll have plenty of targets to go after. They're operating in plain sight, after all. But this time around, the public at large isn't going to see them as "drug traffickers" anymore. Instead, they will be "industry leaders," or (as Republicans like to call them) "job creators." Marijuana is already a multibillion-dollar industry. It already employs hundreds of thousands of people. To politicians, these are not just "businessmen" or "employees," they are also now constituents. This, obviously, vastly changes the political equation.

Today, Jeff Sessions hauled his throne down to the seashore and plunked it on the sand at water's edge. He then sat down and commanded the tide of public support for marijuana legalization to turn back. But time and tide wait for no man. The only question, really, is whether members of Congress stand next to Sessions as the water climbs above their necks, or whether they retreat to higher ground for their own self-preservation. They can either be politically drowned by the new reality, or they can point out the futility of Sessions channeling his inner King Canute. The only thing that seems certain is that the tide is not going to pay the slightest attention to Sessions telling it to turn back. When Nancy Reagan was leading the drug warriors back in the 1980s, public support for marijuana legalization was below 30 percent. It is now at 64 percent and climbing. Even if Sessions does manage to goad federal prosecutors into launching another surge in the War On Weed, it may in fact be that war's last battlefield. Because the tide has permanently turned. We're just never going back to the 1980s, no matter how nostalgic for the era Sessions happens to be.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

53 Comments on “Sessions Orders Tide To Turn Back”

  1. [1] 
    neilm wrote:

    The main difference between King Canute and Jeff Sessions (apart from the fact that both their political careers are stone dead) is that King Canute was proving the limits of his power and to show up the sycophants.

  2. [2] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Sessions just killed any chance of the Republican Party pulling in any new, young voters in the near future! Washington state’s AG and governor both said Sessions refused to meet with them regarding the pot issue despite multiple requests being made by them — the first request being made right after he was confirmed.

    On a lighter note, this may be one of my favorite quotes from the new Fire & Fury book so far - Steve Bannon stating that Breitbart isn’t really that “legitimate” of a publication:

    Any information, he said, could then be “dump[ed] … down to Breitbart or something like that, or maybe some other more legitimate publication”.

    That is so delicious it has to be fattening! Funny how Conservatives seem to all pretend to live in that reality bubble that they all know is bullsh*t; yet every now and then they slip up and have a moment of honesty when they come up for air in the real world!

    In the immortal words of Gomer Pyle, “Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!!!”

  3. [3] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    Oh man, I hate to type this. I want to pile on Sessions more, but....

    Sessions "promised" Gardner to not do this in a conversation outside of the confines of his sworn testimony to the Senate.

    In the Senate, he merely indicated that this wasn't something he was looking to at that point in time.

    In other words, this one of the few cases that doesn't qualify as one of his many acts of perjury.

  4. [4] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    To get serious, BATFE is not where this belongs. This is purely a State's Right's issue. In fact, CW, you made a mistake in yesterday's column about the way the decision to make this Federal happened. In fact, it was perfectly constitutional.

    In the mid-70's, the Supreme Court ruled that the "War on Drugs" was important enough to create a "compelling government interest," as defined by the Constitution.

    Oddly, the case itself wasn't about drugs. It was a religious rights issue (talk about irony). The Court ruled that the Gov't had a compelling interest and could prevent some Native American tribes from using Peyote as part of their religious ceremonies and rituals.

    However, the reasoning enabled the Feds to include Marijuana as a federally controlled substance, outside of the jurisdiction of the States (Commerce Clause, and all).

  5. [5] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    As such, the solution is obvious and it "deletes" the BATFE from being in the mix.

    The case needs to head back to the Supreme Court as a State's Right's issue.

    The Court doesn't even have to admit error. Simply put, the "War on Drugs" did create a compelling Gov't interest in the 70's (I don't agree, but whatever). However, now that there are 29 states with Med and 20% of the population with Rec, it no longer qualifies as a compelling Gov't interest.

    That simple.

    BTW, thanks for mentioning the funding issue. You're the first I've seen to mention that today. I wondered about it from the first thing I saw. I wasn't certain about the date of the end of the prohibition on the DOJ spending $.

  6. [6] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    Final Post without replies: Would the (conservative) Supreme Court rule this way. In fact, I think so.

    Roberts has shown that his raison d'etre is to reduce the scope of the Commerce Clause. In truth, he voted with the majority in the first ACA case because he got to call the mandate penalty a tax in exchange for a majority of the Court agreeing that the Commerce Clause was too limited in scope to enable the federal government to create such a policy.

    In this case, I bet he'd give in again if he could rein in the Commerce Clause some more.

    Add a second from the right wing: Thomas. Let's face it, Thomas is absolutely get-table on this. The faux-libertarian streak he has could give him license to vote for this. In truth, one can never tell with Thomas. He has been on the losing end of more 8-1 and 7-2 votes than any other supreme court justice in history.

    Last, Kennedy. Without Scalia to convince him, Kennedy won't vote against Roberts on this.

  7. [7] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @speak,
    interesting take on conservative jurisprudence. sometimes we view their decisions through a partisan lens, but they seem to have a larger legal arc in mind.
    JL

  8. [8] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    Speak2
    [3]

    Corey Gardner is righteously pissed over the Sessions reversal on marijuana. See his impassioned speech on the senate floor 1/4/18:

    https://www.c-span.org/video/?439290-9/senator-gardner-threatens-hold-justice-department-nominees-marijuana-policy-reversal

    He finishes by saying:

    "I will be putting a hold today on every single nomination from the Department of Justice until Attorney General Jeff Sessions lives up to the commitment that he made to me in my pre-confirmation meeting with him."

    There are currently 29 states that have enacted laws pertaining to some form of marijuana legalization. I don't think Corey Gardner is going to be alone in his opposition to this stance by Sessions and it will only take two republican senators, himself and one other, to block any legislation they choose in order to put pressure on both Trump and Sessions.

    I hope to see the same activism by republicans in the US House. It will make for a very interesting second session of the 115th congress.

  9. [9] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    As they say in Alabama- ROLL TIDE!

  10. [10] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    About 15 years ago I was working in a supermarket (merchandiser traveling to different stores) and the store had the reggae channel on. A song came on that was at least a half-hour long and the only words were "smoking the ganja" over and over again (don't know if it was Bob Marley). I wondered if the store manager was listening or knew what that meant.

    I also had a drug song, inspired by an ad by the Partership for a Drug Free America (the this egg is your brain folks) that showed a bunch of kids saying what they wanted to be when they grew up and ended by saying no one wants to grow up to be a drug addict.

    Purple haze made Hendrix fly and
    cocaine took The Dead for a ride.
    Famous people and the drugs that they do
    I want to find a drug to make me famous, too.

    refrain:
    So I smoke a lotta weed
    I do coke and take off on speed.
    Famous people and the drugs that they do
    I want to be a famous drug addict, too.

    Speedball was Beluschi's last deed and
    Alice says says that it's your head that you feed.
    I need a drug to make me famous, too
    Has anyone ever written a song about glue?

    (short instrumental with breaks for sniffing)

    Judy Garland was known to take pills, she got
    over the rainbow when her prescription was filled and
    Don't forget Edgar Allen Poe
    and you know that Janis Joplin was never straight for show.

    Elvis Presley, a druggist's delight, he took
    more in day than I took in my life.
    It wasn't drugs that made those critics rave
    but it sure was drugs that put him in his grave.

    refrain:
    So I smoke a lotta weed
    I do coke and take off on speed.
    Famous people and the drugs that they do
    I want to be a famous drug addict, too.
    I want to be a famous drug addict, too.
    I want to be a drug addict- and famous. too.

    -Famous Drug Addicts
    Don Harris
    My Friend's Band

    note: when Beluschi died I replaced the line "Heroin is a song by Lou Reed" with the line about Beluschi.

  11. [11] 
    Paula wrote:

    Sing it Don!

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    While I do realize there are all kinds of things happening in the political world right now -- not least among them the juicy slugfest between Steve Bannon and Donald Trump -- all of that is going to have to wait for another day (which is to say, tomorrow's column).

    The author of the explosive new Trump book says he can't be sure if parts of it are true
    http://www.businessinsider.com/michael-wolff-note-says-he-doesnt-know-if-trump-book-is-all-true-2018-1

    BBBWWWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

    Ya'all have been had once again.. :D

    Aren't ya glad ya didn't jump the gun, CW??

    Ya would have looked like an idiot.. Like all the rest of these morons who are salivating.. :D

    Gods, it's good to be an American.. :D

  13. [13] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    The relevant quote rather than the click bait headline. I know, I know, who can be bothered to read the actual article...

    "Many of the accounts of what has happened in the Trump White House are in conflict with one another; many, in Trumpian fashion, are baldly untrue. These conflicts, and that looseness with the truth, if not with reality itself, are an elemental thread of the book.

    "Sometimes I have let the players offer their versions, in turn allowing the reader to judge them. In other instances I have, through a consistency in the accounts and through sources I have come to trust, settled on a version of events I believe to be true."

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    The relevant quote rather than the click bait headline.

    Yer right, Bashi..

    It's A relevant quote..

    many, in Trumpian fashion, are baldly untrue

    So, basically, the author is admitting that much of the book is "baldly untrue"...

    Ya'all have been suckered... AGAIN!!!!

    BBBWWWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    Spin it all you want, Bashi..

    Because SPIN is all you got!!! :D

    We have the author himself stating that many instances in the book are "baldly untrue".... :D

    Once again, ya'all got NO FACTS.....

    BBBWWWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA :D

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    Other people mentioned in the book have also disputed claims made about them.

    Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, whom the book said warned Trump that he may be under surveillance from British spies, issued a statement describing the claim as "categorically absurd" and "simply untrue."

    Anna Wintour, the longtime Vogue editor, also dismissed the claim that she lobbied Trump to be his ambassador to the UK as "laughably preposterous."

    :D

    That's this entire book... "laughably preposterous" :D

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    You gotta wonder.. Does President Trump set this all up, just to pull the rug out from under the hysterical NeverTrumpers???

    "Does he plan it all out, or does he make it up as he goes?”
    -Leftenant, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN

    :D

  18. [18] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    The biggest obstacle facing legalization is that the infamous "war on drugs" gave rise to a huge bureaucracy, AND a huge industry, both of which now constitute "vested special interests" (comparable to the health insurance industry in the health-care system), and vested special interests always fight reform by the most effective system ever invented, aka "campaign contributions, but more properly described as 'bribing legislators'!!

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    CRS,

    The biggest obstacle facing legalization is that the infamous "war on drugs" gave rise to a huge bureaucracy, AND a huge industry, both of which now constitute "vested special interests" (comparable to the health insurance industry in the health-care system), and vested special interests always fight reform by the most effective system ever invented, aka "campaign contributions, but more properly described as 'bribing legislators'!!

    Can't argue with the logic...

    But I bet there will be nimrods here who will.. :D

  20. [20] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    And yet if a similar book had been written about Hillary you would believe every word, or at least parrot all the relative parts here in bold as though you did.

    I know discussions with you are impossible when you are in hysterical mode but I would have to see how the book is written. Does the author differentiate between the "these are the various stories I heard, you decide" and the "This by various sources and research I believe to be true"?

    One thing I have heard: it is a very well written book that draws you in, at least according to a co-worker who was reading the first chapter posted on reddit yesterday...

  21. [21] 
    Paula wrote:

    https://www.axios.com/the-wolff-lines-on-trump-that-ring-unambiguously-true-2522675021.html

    There are definitely parts of Michael Wolff's "Fire and Fury" that are wrong, sloppy, or betray off-the-record confidence. But there are two things he gets absolutely right, even in the eyes of White House officials who think some of the book's scenes are fiction: his spot-on portrait of Trump as an emotionally erratic president, and the low opinion of him among some of those serving him.

    Why it matters: Wolff captures the contempt some Trump aides have for the president and his family. Axios' Jonathan Swan notes that this includes people you see trumpeting their loyalty to him.

    ...In the past year, we have had many of the same conversations with the same sources Wolff used. We won't betray them, or put on the record what was off. But, we can say that the following lines from the book ring unambiguously true:

    The key concepts:

    How Trump processes (and resists) information

    Instinct over expertise

    Ill-preparedness

    Low regard by key aides

    Good times!

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    And yet if a similar book had been written about Hillary you would believe every word, or at least parrot all the relative parts here in bold as though you did.

    What's this?? Whataboutism??? Denial??? Projection??

    BBBWWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    You have been HAD, Bashi..

    I have got the facts.. You got nothing but spin.. :D

    I know discussions with you are impossible when you are in hysterical mode but I would have to see how the book is written. Does the author differentiate between the "these are the various stories I heard, you decide" and the "This by various sources and research I believe to be true"?

    https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/kyle-drennen/2018/01/05/wolff-journalists-clothing-i-said-whatever-was-necessary-get-story

    One thing I have heard: it is a very well written book that draws you in, at least according to a co-worker who was reading the first chapter posted on reddit yesterday...

    Of course a hysterical NeverTrumper would say that..

    Just like Nimrod Neil said that HIS book "PROVED" that Trump colluded with the Russians..

    All you have is BS, rumors, innuendo and out and out lies...

    You don't have a SINGLE fact to your name.. :D

    Oh I am going to have fun with this.. :D Hundreds and hundreds of comments on how badly ya'all have been had.. :D

    Good thing it's going to be a slow weekend.. :D

  23. [23] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    C. R. Stucki-

    If weed turns out to be vastly more profitable to more numerous parties, that could quickly turn things the other way. And weed has one advantage. States are getting a nice increase in tax revenue. Politicians will fight for that without campaign contributions or lobbying. And other states are noticing that new tax revenue stream.

  24. [24] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Michale-

    Can you show where in the two posts above about this book where I put in any bias at all? I think it is too early to decide one way or the other.

    Of course a hysterical NeverTrumper would say that..

    Actually my co-worker is a solidly in the "I strongly disliked both candidates" camp. Nice to see you are jumping to assumptions due to blind political bias bla, bla bla...

  25. [25] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Well, at least America: the Reality TV Show is starting season two with a bang...

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    Can you show where in the two posts above about this book where I put in any bias at all? I think it is too early to decide one way or the other.

    But that didn't stop you from trying to spin that this is a true and factual assessment of President Trump.. :D

    For example, you left Paula's bullshit comment go unchallenged, so it's clear where your biases are..

    Actually my co-worker is a solidly in the "I strongly disliked both candidates" camp.

    Suuuure he/she is.. :D

    Nice to see you are jumping to assumptions due to blind political bias bla, bla bla..

    I *ALWAYS* point out the bias of your blind political bigotry...

    Nothing has changed in that regard....

    Duh....

  27. [27] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Speak - 4

    "The Court ruled that the Gov't had a compelling interest and could prevent some Native American tribes from using Peyote as part of their religious ceremonies and rituals.

    However, the reasoning enabled the Feds to include Marijuana as a federally controlled substance, outside of the jurisdiction of the States (Commerce Clause, and all)."

    The US Congress did some reasoning of its own and enacted 42 U.S. Code § 1996 to allow states to regulate use of peyote by The Native American church.

    https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/42/1996

    What was cooked-up-without-compelling-pharmacological evidence damning pot during the War on Drugs Hysteria Era may not seem so compelling now. Similar Congressional reasoning might be applied to marijuana regulation by the states. Sessions certainly knows this.

  28. [28] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    But that didn't stop you from trying to spin that this is a true and factual assessment of President Trump.. :D

    Did I? Please point it out...

    For example, you left Paula's bullshit comment go unchallenged, so it's clear where your biases are..

    Yawn.

    I also did not challenge your link from "NewsBusters: Exposing and Combating Liberal Media Bias" where one of the authors quotes start off with: "Wolff sneered"...

    So by ignoring both your and Paula's overly biased links I remain neutral with regards to this story :D

  29. [29] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    How could anybody of normal intelligence NOT recognize the reality that Trump is an immature, egotistical, narcissistic, none-too-right guy who is way over his head at his current job.

    I'm certain that when Doris Kearns Goodwin's great granddaughter does her historical analysis of the 2016 presidential election, she will conclude that a slight majority of the electorate voted FOR Hillary, and everybody else voted AGAINST Hillary, and damn near nobody voted FOR Trump. No other conclusion makes any sense.

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    So by ignoring both your and Paula's overly biased links I remain neutral with regards to this story :D

    Whatever you have to tell yourself to sleep at night.. :D

  31. [31] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    I *ALWAYS* point out the bias of your blind political bigotry...

    Nothing has changed in that regard....

    And then go on to commit a whole bunch of your own. I'm familiar with the cycle...

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    And then go on to commit a whole bunch of your own.

    Once again, whatever you have to tell yourself to sleep at night. :D

  33. [33] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Are tired old memes all you got?

    Yawn.

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    Yawn.

    Are tired old memes all you got?

    Yawn :D

    You just don't get it, Bashi...

    Now run away and hide like you always do after you have been spanked.. :D

  35. [35] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    You just don't get it, Bashi...

    I do get it. You can't handle discussion with me so you jump to tired old petty insults and memes instead of backing up your rhetoric.

    Now run away and hide like you always do after you have been spanked.. :D

    Case in point. My six year old can dish out better.

    Now who has really gotten under whose skin?

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    I do get it. You can't handle discussion with me so you jump to tired old petty insults

    Only after you went there first...

    When are you going to get it thru your head... I respond to ya'all exactly like ya'all respond to me..

    Now who has really gotten under whose skin?

    Apparently, I have gotten under your skin because yer still coming back for more.. :D

  37. [37] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Bashi-
    Despite the benefit of legalization, the downside of the tax revenue angle and Big Money interests developing in the weed industry is that it will be designed to benefit the Big Money producers and raise tax revenue so small producers or growing your own could be extremely limited and/or require expensive permits.

    Unlike alcohol it just requires growing and not a brewing or distilling process so it's easier for people to do on their own.

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    Apparently, you hysterical NeverTrumpers never get tired of being wrong.. :D

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    But I'll give ya'all a break and let ya'all lick yer wounds from the huge let down that was this YUGE Trump expose'.. :D

    Rut roh.. I think I broke Weigantia...

  40. [40] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Only after you went there first...

    The "imbecile" comment from years ago? Man, I really did get under your skin. I had not realized you were such a delicate flower...

  41. [41] 
    Kick wrote:

    Now here is a guy who gets it exactly right (excerpt):

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/bannon-banished-for-telling-truths-about-trump-as-maga-monsters-turn-on-each-other?ref=home

    *****
    Bannon Banished for Telling Truths About Trump
    Rick Wilson

    Trump is a furious, shallow, weak man reacting in a spasm of self-indulgent fury to excerpts from a book repeating the taped, verbatim views of some of his most senior aides.

    Their views were consonant with what White House reporters know to be true: shock, contempt, and dismay at Trump’s mental and moral vacuum, and that they’ve pledged themselves to a man so spectacularly incapable of executing his duties as commander in chief they can hardly believe the unique mixture of horror and absurdity they feel toward their boss. This is a White House populated now by the weakest survivors of the “As hire As and Bs hire Cs and Trump hires Omarosa” management philosophy—none of whom have the stature or judgment to control the worst excesses of his behavior.

    Trump’s ugly breakup with soon to be Psycho Ex Steve “I Won’t Be Ignored, Don” Bannon came because the Wolff book is too intimate and accurate, not because it’s fake news created by an angry ex-aide. Bannon’s animus toward Don Jr., Ivanka, and Jared has been made abundantly clear to dozens of other reporters and was no secret. Hell, the president knows the apple of stupidity didn’t fall far from the Trump tree with Don Jr., and he’s obviously not a huge fan of Jared.

    It was Bannon’s quote that the meeting with the Russians was treasonous; that was the end for Donald. It was the admission that the No. 1 political streetfighter in the Trump White House knew the truth about the Trump team’s Russia connections. Bannon was willing to say it to a reporter. On tape. In Trump’s mind, that is the sin of sins.
    *****

    Nail meet hammer; Rick Wilson absolutely nails it.

    Lest we forget that Rex Tillerson called Trump a "f'ing moron" and a whole lot of what has been reported in the book is NOT remotely news and is widely known in the halls and corridors in Washington, DC. It's not a secret that there was a near-unanimous vote by Congress that forbids Trump from reducing or removing sanctions against Russia without their consent... ask yourself why Congress would vote near-unanimous on anything.

    Trump is losing it because Bannon divulged some truth.

    Is there anyone out there with two brain cells to rub together who doesn't understand the fact that "All the President's Men" will eventually have to choose sides? Anybody? Even Dementia Donald is aware of this fact, and I think Poor Donald is concerned that Bannon may have already done that. It's called "consciousness of guilt." How much does Mueller know already?

  42. [42] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Michale,

    Did you bother to read the Business Inside article or is this again one of those times that you link a story because the headline says what you want it to say but you have no clue what the article reports?

    The author says that he isn’t sure that everything in the book is the truth, which any author who quotes Trump would need to disclose! And face it, those people who still work for Trump are not going to admit to statements that might anger Trump if they want to keep their jobs.

    Face it, Michale, Trump is an idiot who never wanted the job that he has. He is a danger to this country and to its people. His lack of self-control is obvious. He babbles on like someone in a nursing home in need of a diaper change. Trump might not have been mentally unfit when he committed the crimes, but sadly he will likely be too far gone to pay for his crimes.

    And if he isn’t mentally unfit to hold office, which at least gives him an “out”, who attacks the credibility of an investigation prior to the investigation’s completion? Someone with nothing to hide? Nope! Are you going to claim Mueller’s investigation was biased if Trump is found not to have committed any crimes? When people claim an investigation is tainted before the investigation is over (and without any evidence) then it is a tainted investigation regardless of the outcome. Trump knows that an investigation will find that he has committed crimes against this country.

    Do you honestly believe baby Huey would allow Putin’s representatives to visit Trump Tower without giving them the honor of getting to meet Trump, the man, in person? Let’s face it, no one sells Trump better than Trump can! And what do you wanna bet that Bannon’s comments regarding that meeting are part of the recorded interviews he kept?

    Try as you may, you are running out of excuses to make for Trump’s incompetence.

  43. [43] 
    Paula wrote:

    [41] Kick:

    Is there anyone out there with two brain cells to rub together who doesn't understand the fact that "All the President's Men" will eventually have to choose sides? Anybody? Even Dementia Donald is aware of this fact, and I think Poor Donald is concerned that Bannon may have already done that. It's called "consciousness of guilt." How much does Mueller know already?

    It's looking like top repubs ARE choosing sides -- they're choosing to prop up Blotus, and every move they make to do that makes them look like they're trying to cover their own guilty asses. Just what have these people been up to themselves?

  44. [44] 
    Kick wrote:

    Paula
    43

    It's looking like top repubs ARE choosing sides -- they're choosing to prop up Blotus, and every move they make to do that makes them look like they're trying to cover their own guilty asses. Just what have these people been up to themselves?

    As I said before, Mueller's Ace in the hole is the fact that so many on the Trump "team" have an absolute scorn for each other... always have. They've soiled themselves in their rush to praise Trump while phoning the press and leaking out sordid details on their foes in the White House in order to one-up each other and gain Trump's favor. Bannon was the worst leaker in the White House due to his contempt for the "Democrats"... Jared and Ivanka... who are in it up to their necks, both of them.

    So knowing that, isn't it painfully obvious that it was only a matter of time before some of them "leaked" to Mueller?

    Robert Mueller may have a Deep Throat witness on Russia

    http://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/367581-robert-mueller-may-have-a-deep-throat-witness-on-russia?__twitter_impression=true

  45. [45] 
    Paula wrote:

    [44] Kick: I have no difficulty believing some people surrounding Blotus have squealed to Mueller, although I think they'd be doing so to save their own hides, not because of patriotism or respect for the rule of law.

    I'd be great if there was a Deep Throat in that snake pit, but I doubt it. Be glad to be proven wrong, though!

    That it could be Bannon seems especially unlikely.

  46. [46] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Just what have these people been up to themselves?

    Propping up the man-child, and trying to change the subject. Chuck Grassley today referred Christopher Steele to the FBI for investigation, which they'll presumably do in tandem with investigations into Uranium One and The Clinton Foundation (again).

    This is such third world behavior. The GOP should be ashamed of the way it's let itself get its principles so twisted. They've allowed themselves to be put into an ideological box that's both unpopular and inescapable by Trump and Fox News.

    If Congress manages to accomplish anything other than this tit-for-tat this year, I'll be astonished. If Democrats fall short in the midterms, leaving the House or Senate or both in Republican hands, I don't expect much in the way of accomplishment coming out of Congress (other than more scandal) in the out years of the Trump presidency, either.

    So all of those Republicans who are supporting Trump just to advance their agenda have to ask themselves: was the tax cut worth it? The economy was already roaring when Trump came into office, all the tax bill accomplished was to pour sugar all over it. The Dow just hit an all-time high, and the tax bill hasn't even taken effect yet. How much sugar can the system take? Maybe Neilm can tell us what the economic equivalent of diabetes is..

    Because only the legislation (and lifetime Court appointments) matters. Executive branch actions can all be undone (although I fear that Trump is starting a dangerous cycle of partisan slate-wiping that will harm America's interests in the long run). Moderate Republicans have nothing more to gain from continued support of Trump.

  47. [47] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Paula [45]: I'd be great if there was a Deep Throat in that snake pit, but I doubt it..

    Who needs a Deep Throat when WH staffers keep reporters on speed dial? If Mueller wants inside dope on Trump's circus, he only needs to pick up the NYT or WaPo.

  48. [48] 
    Paula wrote:

    [47] Balthasar: I don't think Mueller needs a Deep Throat for stuff that's been going on while Blotus has been in office.

    Pre-election might be a different matter though.

  49. [49] 
    neilm wrote:

    The Dow just hit an all-time high, and the tax bill hasn't even taken effect yet. How much sugar can the system take? Maybe Neilm can tell us what the economic equivalent of diabetes is..

    You've pretty much described it.

    When you get excess money thrown off it seeks crazier and crazier places seeking return, and people believe more and more outrageous nonsense to tell themselves. We get bubbles and businesses load up on weak employees and spend money on more and more frivolous initiatives.

    "It is different this time."

    "You just don't get [xxx]." (This time round, [xxx] probably equals Bitcoin.)

  50. [50] 
    neilm wrote:

    Well I got my copy of "Fire and Fury" delivered to my Kindle this morning.

    I'm at page 115 (of 300) and it is an easy read. Most of the most exciting bits have already been broadcast widely, so the only thing that I can add is that the book reads like a standard "insiders" account with banal details like Bannon rushing to be the first to the White House after the inauguration to claim the office he wanted, and how everybody wanted to be in every meeting, so the oval office was full all the time.

    Like every organization I've ever worked in, everybody gossiped continually.

    The kindle version of the book is free of footnotes, etc. so I don't expect it to be a seriously referenced source.

    The most important role the book might play is the secondary effect of the money it will make Michael Wolff - if you listen closely you can probably already hear the cogs of Sean Spicer's mind thinking "I want me some of that".

    I expect more "insider's tales" - there is obviously a market for volumes of 45's stupidity.

  51. [51] 
    Kick wrote:

    Paula
    45

    I have no difficulty believing some people surrounding Blotus have squealed to Mueller, although I think they'd be doing so to save their own hides, not because of patriotism or respect for the rule of law.

    So think of it like this, then: Saving your own hide and having a respect for the rule of law aren't "either or" propositions that have to be necessarily mutually exclusive of each other.

    Looking back on Watergate, what was it that motivated Mark Felt? It was Felt's reverence for Hoover and his strict bureau procedure and Felt's contempt for the "president's men" and their manipulation of the bureau for political reasons. When Hoover died suddenly and Nixon passed over Felt and made a political appointment in Gray, Felt felt he needed to protect the office.

    Patriotism, scorn, and revenge can indeed coexist. :)

  52. [52] 
    Kick wrote:

    Oh, yes, one more thing before I "turn" the page:

    The GOP for better or worse are tied to Trump; they are praying for "better" but are expecting "worse," and in the meantime they are simply throwing up whatever roadblock they can in an effort to stall the entire process because midterms.

  53. [53] 
    Kick wrote:

    Balthasar
    46

    Yes, yes, and exactly right.

    It'll be near impossible but not completely impossible for Democrats to take back the Senate, but the House is on fire while the GOP does everything they can to stall the investigations because Speaker Ryan is implicated and Devin Nunes... ignorant tool... is in this up to his eyeballs.

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