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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 27,034
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here's a non-pdf version - http://www.democracyjournal.org/arguments/2013/09/politicians-think-american-voters-are-more-conservative-than-they-really-are.php
When we compare what legislators believe their constituents want to their constituents’ actual views, we discover that politicians hold remarkably inaccurate perceptions. Pick an American state legislator at random, and chances are that he or she will have massive misperceptions about district views on big-ticket issues, typically missing the mark by 15 percentage points.
What is more, the mistakes legislators make tend to fall in one direction, giving U.S. politics a rightward tilt compared to what most voters say they want. As the following figures show, legislators usually believe their constituents are more conservative than they actually are. Our attitude measurements are most accurate on the questions about same sex marriage and universal health insurance – and in both instances the legislators’ guesses about their constituents’ views were 15-20 percent more conservative, on average, than the true public support for same-sex marriage or universal health care present in their districts.
Our study also found that politicians don’t learn in the normal course of events. After November 2012, we posed the same questions again to some candidates. Even after conducting campaigns and seeing the results, politicians did not arrive at more accurate perceptions of constituent views—not even those who had spent more time talking to voters. Much remains to be learned about why U.S. legislators think constituents are more conservative than they truly are, but researchers have found that politically active citizens tend to be wealthier and more conservative than others. Politicians who want to represent all the people in their districts need to keep this in mind.
Our findings also suggest that progressive groups might be able to use a simple lobbying strategy—just let legislators know the truth about what their constituents think and want! Most of the time, legislators will discover that their constituents are more liberal than they suppose. Would that lead to policy change? It is an open question, but some research suggests that public opinion can influence what politicians do. Perhaps helping representatives perceive their constituents correctly could pave the way for public policies closer to what Americans really want.
Posted by RainDog | Fri Oct 4, 2013, 03:44 PM (29 replies)
D.C. councilman David Grosso plans to introduce legislation Sept. 17 that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana in the city — with a dance with Mary Jane possibly replacing the played-out Potomac two-step.
"If we're going to have alcohol legal in this country, I don't see any reason why we couldn't have marijuana legal," Grosso said — bluntly.
The bill will outline a plan for regulating and taxing marijuana sales and create licensing requirements for the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration, Grosso told The Washington Times.
Grosso, who is still working on the bill, thinks a few attempts might be needed before the legislation passes, but hopes this first round will spark a debate.
Here we go...
Posted by RainDog | Fri Sep 13, 2013, 12:17 AM (4 replies)
“It’s Not About Politics. It’s About my Son’s Health.”
“He had 200 seizures the night before we began his cannabis regimen, and none the next day.”
Colorado Springs, Colorado mother of two, Heather Jackson: “By the time the fourth conventional drug didn’t work, you have a .8% chance of any other pharmaceutical working,” Jackson told me there on the statehouse steps. “Those are just the facts. I was desperate after the fourth drug failed – that was Felbatol.”
But Jackson, working with Zaki’s neurologist Dr. Brian Grabert and networking with other parents of epileptic children, kept researching options. “By this point, in late 2010, we’d tried plenty of remedies that might be considered alternative, from chiropractics to acupuncture,” she said. “I came to cannabis, with no experience with it, the same way I came to every pharmaceutical and other treatment that we tried: after tons of research. I brought it to Dr. Grabert and we probably discussed it for a year. By the end of 2011 Zaki’s EEG was not looking good. He was in a real valley. He would stop breathing during some of his seizures, which was terrifying. So I showed up at the doctor’s appointment holding our (state cannabis program) application, and told Dr. Grabert that he could sign it or not. He said ‘it’s worth a try.’ Thank God for that.”
Using an orally administered tincture made from a CBD-rich strain called Charlotte’s Web (developed in Colorado by breeders The Stanley Brothers for a young epileptic girl named Charlotte) that she obtained from a dispensary under Colorado’s medical cannabis program, Jackson said, “He had 200 seizures the night before we began his cannabis regimen, and none the next day.”
Imagine if you were that parent. Now imagine if you couldn’t acquire that effective remedy. That’s why Jackson has formed an outreach organization called Realm of Caring Foundation, which she explained as a place for nervous parents of an ill child to make that first call. “People can speak to someone on the phone, ask questions, and get the paperwork rolling if their doctor agrees that cannabis can help, whether it’s epilepsy, cancer or other serious conditions,” she said. “We’ve had ten families relocate to Colorado to have access to this strain just in the last month. That’s amazing to me.” Recent profiles of Zaki’s story in the Washington Post and on CNN didn’t hurt.
- See more at: http://nationalcannabiscoalition.com/2013/08/medical-cannabis-its-not-about-politics-its-about-my-sons-health/#sthash.QWYWqrEq.dpuf
Jackson describes herself as a political conservative. I wonder what she thinks of Republican Grassley's Tues. performance during hearings about marijuana regulation in Colorado in which he stated that the current prohibition is based upon science. This prohibition states that marijuana has no medical value.
How many children are you willing to sacrifice for your lies, Grassley?
I guess we'll find out.
Posted by RainDog | Thu Sep 12, 2013, 01:16 AM (1 replies)
A deputy attorney general told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that the Justice Department had begun working with Treasury officials and financial regulators to clarify how it legally deals with banks and other businesses that serve marijuana dispensaries and growers in states that have legalized the drug for medical or recreational use.
The deputy attorney general, James M. Cole, said the Obama administration was dedicated to enforcing federal drug laws and was choosing the best among a number of imperfect solutions by relying on states to regulate marijuana “from seed to sale.”
Financial institutions, security providers and landlords that serve marijuana businesses can be prosecuted for racketeering, money laundering and trafficking under current federal laws, which Mr. Leahy said also hinder states in regulating the banking and taxation of growers and dispensaries.
But Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the panel’s ranking Republican, said the Justice Department move was a step toward broad legalization of marijuana that would result in disastrous consequences for public safety and might violate international treaties. More broadly, he and other critics said, the Justice Department’s new policy was another example of the Obama administration’s picking which laws to enforce and which to disregard.
Grassley went on to claim prohibition of marijuana was based upon science, not a whim. Of course, Grassley was also lying out his ass or else too stupid to know that the reality of marijuana prohibition was entirely based upon the whim of racists and, later, yeah, still racists.
Is Grassley too fucking stupid to be in office if he can deny the claims of medical benefit in decades of research? Should someone ask him why the U.S. holds a patent for cannabinoids based upon medical utility if marijuana has no medical benefit? Should someone ask him if he knows how to read an abstract from a scientific journal?
Should someone ask him why he denies the scientific record?
Is this person competent to do the job required of him?
Or does the beltway just sooo entirely not give a fuck about truth that any one of them will lie in a hearing and not care if their claims can be disputed in less than 5 minutes?
What sort of govt. has such imbeciles deciding the life and death of anyone?
Posted by RainDog | Wed Sep 11, 2013, 07:00 PM (6 replies)
edit to post actual video for my journal
Posted by RainDog | Wed Sep 11, 2013, 06:50 PM (2 replies)
Source: Huffington Post
A broad coalition of law enforcement officers who have spent the past three decades waging an increasingly militarized drug war that has failed to reduce drug use doesn't want to give up the fight.
Organizations that include sheriffs, narcotics officers and big-city police chiefs slammed Attorney General Eric Holder in a joint letter Friday, expressing "extreme disappointment" at his announcement that the Department of Justice would allow Colorado and Washington to implement state laws that legalized recreational marijuana for adults.
If there had been doubt about how meaningful Holder's move was, the fury reflected in the police response eliminates it. The role of law enforcement is traditionally understood to be limited to enforcing laws, but police organizations have become increasingly powerful political actors, and lashed out at Holder for not consulting sufficiently before adopting the new policy.
"It is unacceptable that the Department of Justice did not consult our organizations -- whose members will be directly impacted -- for meaningful input ahead of this important decision," the letter reads. "Our organizations were given notice just thirty minutes before the official announcement was made public and were not given the adequate forum ahead of time to express our concerns with the Department’s conclusion on this matter. Simply 'checking the box' by alerting law enforcement officials right before a decision is announced is not enough and certainly does not show an understanding of the value the Federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement partnerships bring to the Department of Justice and the public safety discussion."
Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/30/police-eric-holder-marijuana-_n_3846518.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false#sb=807241b=facebook
I'm sure the reality that the war on marijuana funds so many state law enforcement agencies has nothing to do with this. Next thing you know, Holder will go after asset seizure laws, that other pork, like, you know, the constitution mattered or something.
Posted by RainDog | Sat Aug 31, 2013, 12:22 AM (82 replies)
...you know what you're going to hear from those who want to end prohibition. what about the other side of the divide?
Critics accused Attorney General Eric Holder of dereliction of duty and called for him to be fired.
“He’s not just abandoning the law, he’s breaking the law because he took an oath of office to uphold the Constitution,” said Peter Bensinger, former head of the Drug Enforcement Administration. “He’s putting the people of Washington and Colorado at risk. He’s violating the treaty obligations of this country. He’s telling the world we don’t really follow the law here.”
Calvina Fay, executive director of the Drug Free America Foundation, said Holder should be dismissed because he “ignored the cries of law enforcement, the cries of treatment professionals… the cries from parents.”
Holder has created a “tsunami that will most likely result in far too many young people becoming victims of chemical slavery,” Fay said. “It’s really unforgivable.”
I'm a parent. I would rather have weed regulated in the same way that alcohol is. I don't understand parents who think they're doing their children any favors to make the most popular intoxicant in the world only available through people who also sell more dangerous intoxicants.
I think it's important to stress that teenagers' brains are developing, still, and, just as with alcohol, it's not a good idea to use either until you're older, and anyone who has certain medical histories in their families should take this into consideration too. We provide treatment for teenagers who spend too much time getting intoxicated - and this, in itself, indicates some other issue, generally.
That's how we deal with alcohol in society with teenagers. Why should marijuana be any different?
Posted by RainDog | Sat Aug 31, 2013, 12:14 AM (5 replies)
...the policy also represents something larger. "It's a loud statement from the Obama administration that their intent is to let the experiment happen," said John Davis, executive director of the Washington state-based Coalition for Cannabis Standards and Ethics.
"It's huge," he said. "The fact it mentions adult recreational use is historic."
"We're finally reaching a point where we can look at alternatives to prohibition," she said. "It's become very, very clear that the war on drugs has failed and we need to look at alternative ways to deal with illicit drugs. I'm hoping this will inspire the federal government to treat drug abuse as a health issue, rather than throw in jail and leave them there."
Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis called states "laboratories of democracy." A "state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country."
A huge "Thank you!" to the voters in Colorado and Washington State for creating just such laboratories for democracy with their votes to legalize marijuana for adults. May this prohibition soon be a tale about the olden days, as are stories of rum runners in the 1920s today.
Posted by RainDog | Fri Aug 30, 2013, 12:18 PM (10 replies)
Honestly, I cannot tell you how disappointing it is to see members of the Kennedy family first spreading lies about autism (this truly irks since I have an autistic son), and now Patrick has given himself over to propaganda.
He's the equivalent of a copper-haired maiden in a bodice buster and prohibition is the big man he wants to bust its rippling muscles out of that tight, tight shirt.
...but I digress.
A relatively new group, Project SAM, is warning the nation to brace itself for the terrible consequences of legal marijuana.
“We can look forward to more drugged driving accidents, more school drop-outs, and poorer health outcomes as a new Big Marijuana industry targeting kids and minorities emerges to fuel the flames,” said former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, a co-founder of the organization.
“This is disappointing, but it is only the first chapter in the long story about marijuana legalization in the U.S. In many ways, this will quicken the realization among people that more marijuana is never good for any community, which is what happened after the Ogden memo was issued in 2009,” added Kevin Sabet, the co-founder and director of Project SAM.
Apparently no, if someone doesn't pay you to lie about research concerning just such issues.
A 2011 Report shows fewer traffic fatalities after states pass medical-pot laws
The passage of state medical-marijuana laws is associated with a subsequent drop in the rate of traffic fatalities, according to a newly released study by two university professors.
The study — by University of Colorado Denver professor Daniel Rees and Montana State University professor D. Mark Anderson — found that the traffic-death rate drops by nearly 9 percent in states after they legalize marijuana for medical use. The researchers arrived at that figure, Rees said, after controlling for other variables such as changes in traffic laws, seat-belt usage and miles driven. The study stops short of saying the medical-marijuana laws cause the drop in traffic deaths.
Rees said the main reason for the drop appears to be that medical-marijuana laws mean young people spend less time drinking and more time smoking cannabis. Legalization of medical marijuana, the researchers report, is associated with a 12-percent drop in the alcohol-related fatal-crash rate and a 19-percent decrease in the fatality rate of people in their 20s, according to the study.
The study also found that medical- marijuana legalization is associated with a drop in beer sales.
I think SAM made a mistake choosing the heir of an alcohol fortune to speak about the dangers of legalization of marijuana.
Again, the only arguments available at this time are lies and, really, the most idiotic argument of all... liquor is legal. We don't need another legal substance. Well, if you simply look at stats about which one is safer, this is a stupid argument. When you see that alcohol usage declines, that indicates a net health benefit since alcohol is such a dangerous drug with so many negative consequences attached.
Oh, and look!
Another report indicates that, in 2013, so far Washington State traffic fatalities are down to their lowest levels since 1980. Recreational marijuana possession has been legal since Dec. 2012.
we'll have to see if the trend continues, of course.
Another argument from the prohibitionists is that legal marijuana encourages kids to smoke more reefer.
oops! wrong again!
Despite warnings from opponents of medical marijuana, legalizing the drug for medical purposes does not encourage teens to smoke more pot, according to new research that compared rates of marijuana use in Massachusetts and Rhode Island after the latter state changed its laws.
Rhode Island legalized medical marijuana in 2006, but Massachusetts did not. “We wanted to pair these two states because they have so much in common culturally and geographically,” says Dr. Esther Choo, assistant professor of emergency medicine at Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School and emergency medicine physician at Rhode Island Hospital.
Choo’s analysis used data collected from 1997 to 2009 for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual Youth Risk Behavior Survey. The analysis involved nearly 13,000 youth in Rhode Island and about 25,000 in Massachusetts. In each state in any given year, the study found, about 30% of youth reported using marijuana at least once in the previous month. (iow, no change based upon change in the law.)
These results are consistent with a 2005 analysis conducted by Mitch Earleywine, associate professor of psychology at the State University of New York–Albany, for the Marijuana Policy Project. He found that between 1996 — when California passed its medical marijuana law — and 2004, previous-month pot use by ninth graders declined by 47%. That was a slightly steeper decline than seen nationally during the same period, and Earleywine found a similar effect in all of the medical marijuana states he studied.
Paddy - drop the over-the-top fiction, please.
Posted by RainDog | Thu Aug 29, 2013, 11:27 PM (12 replies)
Poverty itself drives poverty
Human mental bandwidth is finite. You’ve probably experienced this before (though maybe not in those terms): When you’re lost in concentration trying to solve a problem like a broken computer, you’re more likely to neglect other tasks, things like remembering to take the dog for a walk, or picking your kid up from school. This is why people who use cell phones behind the wheel actually perform worse as drivers. It’s why air traffic controllers focused on averting a mid-air collision are less likely to pay attention to other planes in the sky.
We only have so much cognitive capacity to spread around. It's a scarce resource.
This understanding of the brain’s bandwidth could fundamentally change the way we think about poverty. Researchers publishing some groundbreaking findings today in the journal Science have concluded that poverty imposes such a massive cognitive load on the poor that they have little bandwidth left over to do many of the things that might lift them out of poverty – like go to night school, or search for a new job, or even remember to pay bills on time.
I support a minimum income for all Americans, regardless of their need. Not a means tested program - a program that allocates funds for every American to have a guaranteed minimum to survive.
This would be more cost effective than all the various programs that are now in place, by reducing the bureaucracy around such issues.
Martin Luther King's Case for a Guaranteed Basic Income
One of the demands at the March on Washington was for a $2 minimum wage, which would be $15.27 an hour adjusted for inflation today. But later in life, Martin Luther King Jr. endorsed a different idea—a guaranteed basic income—which as I've said before is the real smart solution to the low-wage dilemma.
The minimum wage typically gets debated in terms of econometric studies about disemployment impacts. But the problem with the minimum wage isn't the alleged disemployment, it's the freedom. Imagine a worker earning just slightly above the minimum wage, and also working under some kind of conditions that he finds annoying. He goes to the boss and asks for a change. Turn the heat up a little in the winter. Or let him pick which music plays rather than sticking with some dumb playlist that's been assigned from the top down. Or get a more comfortable chair. Or manage the line this way rather than that one. There are dozens and dozens of little non-wage decisions in any given workplace that impact a person's happiness and life satisfaction. But the manager looks at it and says there are sound business reasons for sticking with the status quo. Now the problem with the minimum wage is that even if the worker values the change much more highly than he values an extra 2 cents an hour, he's not allowed to trade 2 cents an hour for an improvement in his working conditions.
Since labor has been decimated, the govt. would provide working people with some bargaining power in the workplace.
For this reason and others, we need universal health care.
Which means the wealthy need to pay more in taxes - even tho they'd also get their 15k.
What's going on now is not working for most people. I would rather have legislative/policy changes than social unrest - and the suffering that always comes before that unrest - which we see today.
Posted by RainDog | Thu Aug 29, 2013, 10:46 PM (1 replies)