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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 01:08 PM
Number of posts: 45,210

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Environmental Scientist

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Washington Has More Pot Than It Can Smoke

Supply is outstripping demand in the unlikeliest place—legal recreational marijuana in the state of Washington. Growers who jumped into the new legal market hoping to make a killing in cannabis are now getting killed by a glut of product.

"There is going to be a lot of people who are going to be in trouble," said Ata Gonzalez of GFarmaLabs, which sells cannabis-infused products.

Much of the problem may be due to differences in the legal "adult use" marijuana markets in Washington and Colorado. In Washington, unlike Colorado, legal pot can be grown outdoors, and there was almost perfect weather last summer in the eastern part of the state, leading to a bumper crop.


Washington growers, processors and retailers are each taxed separately, accounting for as much as 75 percent of the retail price. Add in sales tax, and it's very hard to price a product that can compete with the flood of illegal pot coming up from Oregon and California as well as legal medical marijuana—which isn't taxed at all. Now that Oregon has voted to legalize recreational marijuana, a potentially lower tax rate there could hurt Washington even more.



Youtube flags cat purring as copyright infringement

YouTube's automated takedown tool is known for its flaws, but this week it crossed a line by attacking a purring cat. According to YouTube's Content-ID system both EMI Publishing and PRS own the rights to a 12 second purring loop. The cat in question, Phantom, has filed a dispute and hopes to reclaim his rights.

youtubesadsmallWeek in and week out automated bots detect and report millions of alleged copyright infringements, which are then processed by the receiving site without a human ever looking at them.

Unfortunately this process is far from flawless, resulting in many false and inaccurate DMCA claims.

For regular Internet users YouTube’s takedown process is particularly problematic. We’ve highlighted this issue before, but an example that reached us this week attacks one of the Internet’s darlings, a cat.



Happy Darwin Day!


206th Bday....

Top WH adviser reveals Obama’s ‘greatest trick’ on GOP’s 2016 field

Dan Pfeiffer, one of President Obama's most trusted advisers in the White House, has a special request for GOP presidential hopefuls: keep taking trips abroad. Please.

"Perhaps the greatest trick Obama ever pulled off was a successful foreign trip as a candidate, luring countless GOPers into trying the same," Pfeiffer wrote Thursday on Twitter.

Trips to the United Kingdom in particular have become a rite of passage for presidential hopefuls eager to bolster their foreign policy credentials. Obama himself made an oft-lauded foreign trip during the 2008 election -- but back in 2012, his GOP challenger Mitt Romney drew unhappy responses from elected officials in London when he suggested that city was unprepared to host the upcoming Olympics, and criticism over comments that cultural differences could explain why Israelis were more economically successful than Palestinians.

Pfeiffer's taunt follows several recent high-profile foreign visits by potential Republican presidential candidates which have also gone...less than smoothly.



Please Proceed.....repubbies.....

Ohio Governor wants to copy Kansas’ Disastrous Tax Cut Strategy

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) wants to mimic a tax cut experiment that has already brought fiscal calamity and public service cuts to a state 600 miles west of his.

Kasich describes his $696 million tax cut as a helping hand to small businesses. But the design of the cut would put the bulk of that benefit into the hands of just a few high-income business entities with a handful of employees while providing just a few hundred dollars each to the vast majority of the people who would benefit, according to an analysis by the Cleveland Plain Dealer. For nine out of every 10 companies that would benefit from the Kasich cut, the total yearly savings would be $364 or even less.

For the remaining 10 percent of companies affected, savings could be as high as $8,000 a year, a number that Kasich administration officials acknowledge is far too low to create even a single job per company. Instead of pitching the cut as a direct job creator, the officials are marketing it as an “every little bit helps” move for hardworking entrepreneurs.

The problem with such a move is that it doesn’t effectively target actual small-scale business enterprises that hire people and generate economic activity. The kinds of small businesses that politicians usually talk about would also benefit from the move, but the way the cut is designed means it would also be available to many business entities that are organized under small business sections of the tax code, but which do not operate as traditional commercial enterprises. Savvy individuals can structure their personal revenue streams under the business tax code using what are called “pass-through entities,” and then take advantage of preferential tax treatment like what Kasich is proposing.

Three-quarters of all tax entities organized as “small businesses” employ no one other than the owner. Just 11 percent of all taxpayers who report business income are small business owners with actual employees.


The latest scam by the greedy MF'ers

Arizona's New Governor: We Have No Money for Public Education, But Let's Fund This Private Prison

In his inaugural speech in January, Arizona's new Republican governor, Doug Ducey, struck a budget hawk's tone while staring down a $1.5 billion budget shortfall. "Fair warning: The budget will not meet with general approval among special interests." he said. "I can assure you that a more efficient government is not only necessary, but sensible." But there was one special interest group that must have been pleased when Ducey rolled out his budget proposal: the private prison industry.

Ducey's austere budget plan slashed $384 million in state programs, including $75 million in funding for Arizona's public universities. But it earmarked $5 million for a new, 3,000-bed private prison that even the state's most notorious law enforcement official, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, argues is unnecessary.

Last week, Arizona's state corrections director, Charles Ryan, went to the state Legislature to pitch the plan, claiming the new prison would accommodate a projected increase in inmates. Arizona already has the sixth-highest incarceration rate in the United States—Massachusetts, which has roughly the same population as Arizona, incarcerates one-fourth as many people. State experts blame draconian sentencing laws, such as the requirement that nonviolent offenders serve 85 percent of their sentences behind bars. In a statement to the Arizona Republic, Daniel Scarpinato, a Ducey spokesman, cast the plan as a safety imperative. "State prison beds are at capacity. More prisoners require more beds, and the governor is not going to risk public safety during a budget shortfall," he said.

Critics of the plan have argued that funding a private prison is not a one-time expense. The state would be locked in for $100 million in operating costs over three years, and as much as $1.5 billion over the next two decades, according to the Grand Canyon Institute, an Arizona think tank. Beyond that, depending on contract specifics, Arizona is required to keep private facilities at 90 to 100 percent occupancy—a burden that several experts believe could thwart Arizona's emerging criminal-justice-reform movement, which is targeting harsh sentencing laws, among other things, that add to the state's high incarceration rate.


Ruth Bader Ginsburg Thinks Americans Are Ready for Gay Marriage

(Bloomberg) -- Americans are prepared to accept a U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, pointing to what she described as a sweeping change in attitudes toward gays.

In an interview Wednesday in the court’s oak-paneled east conference room, Ginsburg also said President Barack Obama’s health-care law, which is under attack in a case before the Supreme Court next month, will be a central part of his legacy.

The 81-year-old justice discussed the public’s increasing acceptance of gays against the backdrop of resistance by Alabama officials to a federal court order that took effect Monday and made it the 37th gay-marriage state. With the high court set to rule on the issue by June, she said it “would not take a large adjustment” for Americans should the justices say that gay marriage is a constitutional right.

“The change in people’s attitudes on that issue has been enormous,” Ginsburg said. “In recent years, people have said, ‘This is the way I am.’ And others looked around, and we discovered it’s our next-door neighbor -- we’re very fond of them. Or it’s our child’s best friend, or even our child. I think that as more and more people came out and said that ‘this is who I am,’ the rest of us recognized that they are one of us.”



Thursday Toon Roundup 2- The Rest














Thursday Toon Roundup 1- The Daily Void

The Unbearable Glamour of Hillary Clinton

Her husband ran on reliability and charisma, two skills she notably lacks. So can Hillary’s one-percent charm win over voters?
It was the photo that launched a thousand memes: then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, sitting aboard a military aircraft, casually reading her phone from behind dark sunglasses. The picture, taken as Clinton flew to Libya in 2012 just a few short months before the horrific Benghazi attacks, undoubtedly exudes cool. I admit that though I’m no fan of Clinton, even I found the photo to be glamorous at the time.

In Virginia Postrel’s phenomenal book The Power of Glamour, she notes that glamour has the power to persuade us to make purchases—and cast votes—by tapping into our longings for something better and the hope we can reach there. President Obama ran his campaign fueled by the three elements she identifies as the pillars of glamour: a bit of mystery, a sense of ease, and the promise of escape to an aspirational future. We weren’t 100 percent sure where he stood, but he made running for president look easy and promised us hope and change.

Not all campaigns try to use glamour to their advantage, of course; Postrel notes that Bill Clinton’s campaigns in the 1990s were rooted in charisma rather than glamour, and she defines the concepts quite differently. Charisma is captured by “he feels my pain.” Glamour, instead, asks “isn’t he incredible?”

But to put it mildly, charisma has never been Hillary’s strong suit. Even if her campaign pushes the “Grandmother-in-Chief” narrative full strength, there’s the inevitable reality that Hillary Clinton exists in a point-oh-one percent bubble and has for decades. Last year, she said she hadn’t even driven a car since 1996. Being genuinely folksy and relatable will not be easy; being glamorous and aspirational may be her best or only path.

So then: can Hillary pull off glamour for the long haul? Consider Postrel’s three elements: mystery, ease, and the promise of a better future.


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