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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 28,784
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of course, he wasn't dealing with the foaming-at-the-mouth John Birch gets a teabagging current Republican Party, either.
Reagan's Liberal Legacy (Washington Monthly)
Reagan began his first term with a major tax cut on marginal rates and also began funneling tax dollars to the defense. His first budget intended to cut 41.4 million from federal programs... a first round.
But after his initial victories on tax cuts and defense, the revolution effectively stalled. Deficits started to balloon, the recession soon deepened, his party lost ground in the 1982 midterms, and thereafter Reagan never seriously tried to enact the radical domestic agenda he'd campaigned on. Rather than abolish the departments of Energy and Education, as he had promised to do if elected president, Reagan added a new cabinet-level department--one of the largest federal agencies--the Department of Veterans Affairs.
As Lou Cannon, the Washington Post reporter who covered Reagan's political career for 25 years, put it in his masterful biography, President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime, "For all the fervor they created, the first-term Reagan budgets were mild manifestos devoid of revolutionary purpose. They did not seek to 'rebuild the foundation of our society' (the task Reagan set for himself and Congress in a nationally televised speech of February 5, 1981) or even to accomplish the 'sharp reduction in the spending growth trend' called for in Economic Recovery Plan." By Reagan's second term, the idea of seriously diminishing the budget was, to quote Stockman, "an institutionalized fantasy." Though in speeches Reagan continued to repeat his bold pledge to "get government out of the way of the people," government stayed pretty much where it was.
Reagan EXPANDED social security. And to pay for it RONALD REAGAN TAXED only THE RICH via payroll taxes.
One year after his massive tax cut, Reagan agreed to a tax increase to reduce the deficit that restored fully one-third of the previous year's reduction. (In a bizarre bit of self-deception, Reagan, who never came to terms with this episode of ideological apostasy, persuaded himself that the three-year, $100 billion tax hike--the largest since World War II--was actually "tax reform" that closed loopholes in his earlier cut and therefore didn't count as raising taxes.)
Faced with looming deficits, Reagan raised taxes again in 1983 with a gasoline tax and once more in 1984, this time by $50 billion over three years, mainly through closing tax loopholes for business. Despite the fact that such increases were anathema to conservatives--and probably cost Reagan's successor, George H.W. Bush, reelection--Reagan raised taxes a grand total of four times just between 1982-84.
From: 10 Things Conservatives Don't Want You to Know About Reagan
1. Reagan was a serial tax raiser. As governor of California, Reagan “signed into law the largest tax increase in the history of any state up till then.” Meanwhile, state spending nearly doubled. As president, Reagan “raised taxes in seven of his eight years in office,” including four times in just two years. As former GOP Senator Alan Simpson, who called Reagan “a dear friend,” told NPR, “Ronald Reagan raised taxes 11 times in his administration — I was there.” “Reagan was never afraid to raise taxes,” said historian Douglas Brinkley, who edited Reagan’s memoir. Reagan the anti-tax zealot is “false mythology,” Brinkley said.
2. Reagan nearly tripled the federal budget deficit. During the Reagan years, the debt increased to nearly $3 trillion, “roughly three times as much as the first 80 years of the century had done altogether.” Reagan enacted a major tax cut his first year in office and government revenue dropped off precipitously. Despite the conservative myth that tax cuts somehow increase revenue, the government went deeper into debt and Reagan had to raise taxes just a year after he enacted his tax cut. Despite ten more tax hikes on everything from gasoline to corporate income, Reagan was never able to get the deficit under control.
3. Unemployment soared after Reagan’s 1981 tax cuts. Unemployment jumped to 10.8 percent after Reagan enacted his much-touted tax cut, and it took years for the rate to get back down to its previous level. Meanwhile, income inequality exploded. Despite the myth that Reagan presided over an era of unmatched economic boom for all Americans, Reagan disproportionately taxed the poor and middle class, but the economic growth of the 1980′s did little help them. “Since 1980, median household income has risen only 30 percent, adjusted for inflation, while average incomes at the top have tripled or quadrupled,” the New York Times’ David Leonhardt noted.
4. Reagan grew the size of the federal government tremendously. Reagan promised “to move boldly, decisively, and quickly to control the runaway growth of federal spending,” but federal spending “ballooned” under Reagan. He bailed out Social Security in 1983 after attempting to privatize it, and set up a progressive taxation system to keep it funded into the future. He promised to cut government agencies like the Department of Energy and Education but ended up adding one of the largest — the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, which today has a budget of nearly $90 billion and close to 300,000 employees. He also hiked defense spending by over $100 billion a year to a level not seen since the height of the Vietnam war.
Don't believe the bullshit mythology about Reagan, even tho he continued with sustain his delusions to the grave, most likely.
Posted by RainDog | Fri Dec 28, 2012, 07:56 PM (14 replies)
In the run-up to the invasion of Iraq by George H.W. Bush, one of his good friends engaged in propaganda directed toward American citizens. Testimony before Congress included lies by a woman who claimed babies were tossed from incubators. She was not accountable for lying to Congress (perjury) b/c she was under the umbrella of Bush's buddies.
Hill & Knowlton, then the world's largest PR firm, served as mastermind for the Kuwaiti campaign. Its activities alone would have constituted the largest foreign-funded campaign ever aimed at manipulating American public opinion. By law, the Foreign Agents Registration Act should have exposed this propaganda campaign to the American people, but the Justice Department chose not to enforce it. Nine days after Saddam's army marched into Kuwait, the Emir's government agreed to fund a contract under which Hill & Knowlton would represent "Citizens for a Free Kuwait," a classic PR front group designed to hide the real role of the Kuwaiti government and its collusion with the Bush administration. Over the next six months, the Kuwaiti government channeled $11.9 million dollars to Citizens for a Free Kuwait, whose only other funding totalled $17,861 from 78 individuals. Virtually all of CFK's budget - $10.8 million - went to Hill & Knowlton in the form of fees.
The man running Hill & Knowlton's Washington office was Craig Fuller, one of Bush's closest friends and inside political advisors. The news media never bothered to examine Fuller's role until after the war had ended, but if America's editors had read the PR trade press, they might have noticed this announcement, published in O'Dwyer's PR Services before the fighting began: "Craig L. Fuller, chief of staff to Bush when he was vice-president, has been on the Kuwaiti account at Hill & Knowlton since the first day. He and Dilenschneider at one point made a trip to Saudi Arabia, observing the production of some 20 videotapes, among other chores. The Wirthlin Group, research arm of H&K, was the pollster for the Reagan Administration. . . . Wirthlin has reported receiving $1.1 million in fees for research assignments for the Kuwaitis. Robert K. Gray, Chairman of H&K/USA based in Washington, DC had leading roles in both Reagan campaigns. He has been involved in foreign nation accounts for many years. . . . Lauri J. Fitz-Pegado, account supervisor on the Kuwait account, is a former Foreign Service Officer at the US Information Agency who joined Gray when he set up his firm in 1982."
...The more television people watched, the fewer facts they knew; and the less people knew in terms of basic facts, the more likely they were to back the Bush administration." (same as it ever was in regard to right wing positions, btw.)
In fact, the most emotionally moving testimony on October 10 came from a 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl, known only by her first name of Nayirah. According to the Caucus, Nayirah's full name was being kept confidential to prevent Iraqi reprisals against her family in occupied Kuwait. Sobbing, she described what she had seen with her own eyes in a hospital in Kuwait City. Her written testimony was passed out in a media kit prepared by Citizens for a Free Kuwait. "I volunteered at the al-Addan hospital," Nayirah said. "While I was there, I saw the Iraqi soldiers come into the hospital with guns, and go into the room where . . . babies were in incubators. They took the babies out of the incubators, took the incubators, and left the babies on the cold floor to die."83
Three months passed between Nayirah's testimony and the start of the war. During those months, the story of babies torn from their incubators was repeated over and over again. President Bush told the story. It was recited as fact in Congressional testimony, on TV and radio talk shows, and at the UN Security Council. "Of all the accusations made against the dictator," MacArthur observed, "none had more impact on American public opinion than the one about Iraqi soldiers removing 312 babies from their incubators and leaving them to die on the cold hospital floors of Kuwait City."
Nayrirah was actually a member of the Kuwaiti royal family who lied to Congress to gin up support for a war against a guy that Bush and Reagan had loved when they were selling arms for hostages to Iran, but still opposed.
Then there was the issue of selling nuclear weapons components to Pakistan.
That was the doing of George H.W. Bush, as well.
Read up on BCCI if you want to know the full extent of the damage George H.W. Bush did to this nation. What an entitled ass. So entitled he thinks his family should be able to buy the office of president at will. Look for Jebbie in the future.
Posted by RainDog | Fri Dec 28, 2012, 02:59 PM (34 replies)
LOS ANGELES — ...No matter that its recreational use remains technically against the law. Marijuana has, in many parts of this state, become the equivalent of a beer in a paper bag on the streets of Greenwich Village. It is losing whatever stigma it ever had and still has in many parts of the country, including New York City, where the kind of open marijuana use that is common here would attract the attention of any passing law officer.
“It’s shocking, from my perspective, the number of people that we all know who are recreational marijuana users,” said Gavin Newsom, the lieutenant governor. “These are incredibly upstanding citizens: Leaders in our community, and exceptional people. Increasingly, people are willing to share how they use it and not be ashamed of it.”
... “In a Republican year, the legalization came within two points,” said Chris Lehane, a Democratic consultant who worked on the campaign in favor of the initiative. He said that was evidence of the “fact that the public has evolved on the issue and is ahead of the pols."
Still, there are limits. No matter how much attitudes in California may have changed, it remains illegal in most of the country — as Californians have been reminded by a series of crackdowns by the Justice Department on medical marijuana here. People who use the drug recreationally, who said they would think nothing of offering a visitor a joint upon walking through the door, declined to be quoted by name, citing the risks to career and professional concerns.
And Happy Holidays to everyone here on DU. Let's hope for better tomorrows on all kinds of issues in this nation.
Posted by RainDog | Mon Dec 24, 2012, 01:23 AM (5 replies)
If someone smokes a joint or a few puffs on a pipe or whatever and doesn't do it again, the effects may be noticeable as "high" usually two, maybe three hours. Four is the outlier.
This was for tests of driving under the influence of mj compared to alcohol. Alcohol is worse, even if someone is somewhat impaired by mj.
After that time, the mj has a calming effect but not really a psychotropic one.
Saliva tests for thc are available in Australia and New Zealand, iirc.
The test MUST check for THC, not THC metabolites. Immediately after someone smokes mj, the body starts to break down the TCH to a metabolite that does not have measurable psychotropic effects, even tho it may stay in the body and slowly disperse. This is why there is no hangover and no withdrawal, other than psychological - the drug leaves the system slowly.
This is also the reason why blood tests are not good indicators, but are better than urine tests - which are the worst for THC b/c they are only measuring what is no longer psychotropic but has been metabolized and is being excreted.
Posted by RainDog | Thu Dec 13, 2012, 09:21 PM (1 replies)
Let there be no mistake about it.
The fucking drug war is over. NO ONE in the ATTN. Gen's office has ANY CREDIBILITY TO GO AFTER ANYONE IN THIS NATION AFTER THIS BULLSHIT DEAL TO PROTECT DRUG BANKERS AND THEIR CLIENTS WHILE STUDENTS LOSE VOTING RIGHTS AND STUDENT LOAN RIGHTS FOR POSSESSING A JOINT.
Any cop who arrests anyone on a drug charge is colluding with drug dealers and terrorists to make the world safe for them to lie, murder, steal and whatever the fuck else they want to do with impunity.
If you have to arrest a cancer patient, or shut down the clinic that denies that person medicine, while you let the bankers and terrorists go - WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?
As Tiabbi notes on his blog post:
Outrageous HSBC Settlement Proves the Drug War is a Joke
Assistant Attorney General and longtime Bill Clinton pal Lanny Breuer... signed off on a settlement deal with the British banking giant HSBC that is the ultimate insult to every ordinary person who's ever had his life altered by a narcotics charge. Despite the fact that HSBC admitted to laundering billions of dollars for Colombian and Mexican drug cartels (among others) and violating a host of important banking laws (from the Bank Secrecy Act to the Trading With the Enemy Act), Breuer and his Justice Department elected not to pursue criminal prosecutions of the bank, opting instead for a "record" financial settlement of $1.9 billion, which as one analyst noted is about five weeks of income for the bank.
...When you decide not to prosecute bankers for billion-dollar crimes connected to drug-dealing and terrorism (some of HSBC's Saudi and Bangladeshi clients had terrorist ties, according to a Senate investigation), it doesn't protect the banking system, it does exactly the opposite.
...the executives who spent a decade laundering billions of dollars will have to partially defer their bonuses during the five-year deferred prosecution agreement? Are you fucking kidding me? That's the punishment? The government's negotiators couldn't hold firm on forcing HSBC officials to completely wait to receive their ill-gotten bonuses? They had to settle on making them "partially" wait? Every honest prosecutor in America has to be puking his guts out at such bargaining tactics. What was the Justice Department's opening offer – asking executives to restrict their Caribbean vacation time to nine weeks a year?
In the meantime, asset forteiture laws make sure people lose money WHEN THEY DIDN'T EVEN COMMIT A FUCKING CRIME.
Go read the link - read about the guy in Indiana who lost his own money because he was carrying cash, even tho he could document a chain of provenance to prove it was not drug money.
Read about the kids in NYC who get put into the criminal justice system for possession in urban areas while suburban kids get stoned in the jacuzzi out back.
FUCK THIS SHIT.
TIME TO STOP THIS BULLSHIT. NOW.
The Federal Govt has no moral authority anymore regarding the so-called "War on Drugs." Close up the DEA, send home the Drug Czars. The Drug War is over because you can't be on the side of the so-called enemy and then treat citizens as though they are worse than terrorists.
BUY A CLUE, Democrats. You will alienate the entire youth vote and the majority of the Democratic vote if you don't stop this bullshit NOW. This story is all over the web. People who vote for Democrats know about this issue.
So, you decide, Democrats. Are you going to be just as corrupt as Bush and his uncle the money-launderer for Pinochet the student-killer (who, oh, yeah, was Milton Friedman's wet dream) or are you going to realize that you will lose if you keep fucking with American citizens?
I am pissed.
Posted by RainDog | Thu Dec 13, 2012, 09:09 PM (12 replies)
The Christian Science Monitor has a quiz about marijuana. How do you score?
I missed one...number 9, I think it was, about national usage. (I won't say how I voted since it wasn't correct.)
I have one nit with the quiz. I think one question is incorrect - it's almost a difference in terms - de facto vs legislative - but they don't have the correct year as a possible answer so I knew what they were thinking about.
Posted by RainDog | Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:25 PM (22 replies)
Just a post to mark this historic moment.
Of course, this is just the beginning of the end.
Don't bring anything federally illegal onto federal property. Be a good neighbor. Wait to drive.
Posted by RainDog | Thu Dec 6, 2012, 01:40 PM (11 replies)
The article begins with the recent death of
Savita...a 31-year-old married woman, four months pregnant, who went to the hospital with a miscarriage in progress that developed into a blood infection. She could easily have been saved if the already doomed fetus was aborted. Instead, her doctors did nothing, explaining that "this is a Catholic country," and left her to suffer in agony for days, only intervening once it was too late.
Savita's death is just the latest in a long line of tragedies directly attributable to the doctrines and beliefs of the Roman Catholic church. I acknowledge that there are many good, progressive Catholics, but the problem is that the church isn't a democracy, and those progressives have no voice or vote in its governance. The church is a petrified oligarchy, a dictatorship like the medieval monarchies it once existed alongside, and it's run by a small circle of conservative, rigidly ideological old men who make all the decisions and choose their own successors.
This means that, whatever individual Catholics may do, the resources of the church as an institution are bent toward opposing social progress and positive change all over the world. Every dollar you put into the church collection plate, every Sunday service you attend, every hour of time and effort you put into volunteering or working for church organizations, is inevitably a show of support for the institutional church and its abhorrent mission. When you have no voice, there's only one thing left to do: boycott. Stop supporting the church with your money and your time. For lifelong Catholics, it's a drastic step, but it's more than justified by the wealth of reasons showing that the church as an institution is beyond reform, and the only meaningful response is to part ways with it. Here are just a few of those reasons:
more at the link, above...
I've wondered here, more than once, why ANY woman, especially, would associate with patriarchal religious institutions. It looks like I'm not the only one...
Posted by RainDog | Sat Dec 1, 2012, 08:01 PM (9 replies)
Another reason we need to examine our drug schedules to allow more controlled studies and access for medical use in safe, therapeutic settings.
Hundreds of soldiers have contacted a husband and wife research team.
The soldiers have no interest in traditional talking cures or prescription drugs that have given them little relief. They are lining up to try an alternative: MDMA, better known as Ecstasy, a party drug that surfaced in the 1980s and ’90s that can induce pulses of euphoria and a radiating affection. Government regulators criminalized the drug in 1985, placing it on a list of prohibited substances that includes heroin and LSD. But in recent years, regulators have licensed a small number of labs to produce MDMA for research purposes.
In a paper posted online Tuesday by the Journal of Psychopharmacology, Michael and Ann Mithoefer, the husband-and-wife team offering the treatment — which combines psychotherapy with a dose of MDMA — write that they found 15 of 21 people who recovered from severe post-traumatic stress in the therapy in the early 2000s reported minor to virtually no symptoms today. Many said they have received other kinds of therapy since then, but not with MDMA.
(Work from this same couple appeared in 2010)
Here's the latest one- jop.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/08/29/0269881112456611.full
...Given the scarcity of good treatments for post-traumatic stress, “there is a tremendous need to study novel medications,” including MDMA, said Dr. John H. Krystal, chairman of psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine. A handful of similar experiments using MDMA, LSD or marijuana are now in the works in Switzerland, Israel and Britain, as well as in this country. Both military and civilian researchers are watching closely. So far, the research has been largely supported by nonprofit groups.
“When it comes to the health and well-being of those who serve, we should leave our politics at the door and not be afraid to follow the data,” said Brig. Gen. Loree Sutton, a psychiatrist who recently retired from the Army. “There’s now an evidence base for this MDMA therapy and a plausible story about what may be going on in the brain to account for the effects.”
The MDMA enhanced treatment found standard measures of PTSD symptoms were more than twice as effective as psychotherapy alone - with a 75% reduction in anxiety, depression, hypervigilance and arousal and nightmares.
More info at the link.
We cannot allow our prejudices to keep useful treatment from vets and other people who may find relief from suffering in substances that initially scared the powers-that-be.
Posted by RainDog | Sun Nov 25, 2012, 07:19 PM (19 replies)
...Lawmakers are waking up to the fact that their constituents are clearly calling for some kind of change in the nation's drug laws. A group of congressmen is urging the federal government to leave Washington and Colorado alone for now. Additionally, some lawmakers have filed legislation to amend the Controlled Substances Act.
"It's just a matter of time for the laws to catch up to reality," Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., told CBSNews.com.
For the time being, individual marijuana users in Colorado and Washington should be "well insulated" from federal authorities, according to Sam Kamin, a professor at the University of Denver's Sturm College of Law who researches marijuana policy.
...supporters of recreational marijuana shouldn't hold their breath. The establishment of a commercial marijuana market, he said, "is exactly what the federal government has said it won't permit."
A good article worth reading. I can't post all the points, pro and con, the article mentions b/c of fair use, so...
More at the link...
Posted by RainDog | Sat Nov 24, 2012, 06:12 PM (9 replies)