This is a little surprising. President Jimmy Carter is on record opposing the legalization of marijuana. Full details below, courtesy of Smart Approaches to Marijuana:
(Atlanta, GA) - President Jimmy Carter, at a meeting that included state legislators and regulators from Colorado and Washington, as well as most of the states targeted for legalization in 2016, and attended by the nation's premier public health scientists like former White House Deputy Drug Czar Thomas McLellan, announced that despite mischaracterizations, he "opposed the legalization of marijuana" and predicted the experiments in Washington and Colorado would go badly. He also said that he didn't believe in imprisoning users of marijuana, but favored SAM's approach of arrests with treatment referral and health assessments.
President Carter has been falsely characterized as supporting legalization by pro-marijuana lobbyists nationwide. Today, he set the record straight:
"I do not favor legalization. We must do everything we can to discourage marijuana use, as we do now with tobacco and excessive drinking," President Carter told the crowd. "We have to prevent making marijuana smoking from becoming attractive to young people, which is, I'm sure, what the producers of marijuana....are going to try and do."
I too would love to one day drown government in a bathtub, but while unemployment is still over seven percent, let's hold off on cutting aid to society's most vulnerable.
As The American Prospect's Monica Potts reports, cutting the budget for food stamps puts already at risk families in a terrible position:
I spoke with Christie Irizarry, 22-year-old mother in Camden, New Jersey, who volunteers for Witnesses to Hunger, an advocacy organization affiliated with the Center for Hunger Free Communities. Christie works at Popeye’s Chicken part-time, and her manager won’t increase her hours. In fact, no one at the restaurant is getting the hours they want, but the manager keeps hiring part-time workers. Like most part-time workers, her hours are unpredictable, which makes childcare a challenge for her four-year old daughter.
For a long time I've propounded the theory that the main thing wrong with the economics of American health care is that insurers are too weak. Somebody has to discipline providers. They have amply proven they will not discipline themselves. It's unrealistic to expect patients to apply the discipline. I'd prefer not to have government do it. That leaves the insurers.
David McNew/Getty Images
That's an unpopular view, because insurers themselves are unpopular. It's the insurers who deny people coverage for pre-existing conditions or apply lifetime coverage limits. But why do they do it? They do it because they confront costs they have no power to control. Lacking sufficient market power to discipline providers, they instead turn their power against their members - patients.
Think of healthcare economics as a three-party negotiation: patients-insurers-providers. (Providers here means not doctors and nurses, but the larger hospital corporations that increasingly employ those doctors and nurses.) Right now, the market empowers them in roughly this order: providers are strongest, patients are weakest, insurers are in between - and so generally prefer squeezing their patients to tussling with the providers.
A couple of disclaimers here. The Toronto Star is a paper notoriously hostile to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. The video in question comes from unreliable sources. Etcetera and etcetera. Caveat lector.
Now to the shocker:
A cellphone video that appears to show Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine is being shopped around Toronto by a group of Somali men involved in the drug trade.
The most interesting part of Politico's report that a House immigration bill will be here soon is that it will be a comprehensive bill.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images
With the exception of whether immigrants on provisional status would qualify for ObamaCare, the House will be eschewing the piecemeal process.
This is a departure from earlier reports, and leaves me scratching my head a bit. I anticipate a far nastier fight over this bill in the House than in the Senate, and while Harry Reid wants the House to do a comprehensive bill, piecemeal legislation would probably have a better chance at passage.
Socialism has caused a shortage of toilet paper in Venezuela, and the Atlantic's Jordan Weissmann says it like it is:
While the government prefers to blame shadowy political enemies for the shortages -- according to the AP, Commerce Secretary Alejandro Fleming said the toilet paper crisis was the result of "excessive demand" sparked by "a media campaign that has been generated to disrupt the country -- the explanation is much more straightforward.
In 2003, then President Hugo Chavez slammed currency controls into place to prevent money from fleeing the country while government seized land and corporate assets. Those rules have made it harder to buy imports. Meanwhile, price caps meant to make basic staples affordable to the poor are so low that, for many products, they don't pay for the cost of production.
Nobody's going to make toilet paper if they'll lose money selling it.
The comments section is once again open. Apologies on the downtime.
Noah Millman with a very interesting liberal perspective on immigration and wages over at The American Conservative. Best passage:
[I]f we’re going to argue that mass immigration isn’t going to create a fiscal problem so long as we don’t allow class divisions to deepen and fester, then shouldn’t we be doing something to make sure class divisions don’t deepen and fester? Like, make sure wages, even for relatively low-skill manual labor, are high enough to allow a semblance of a middle class existence? If you believe that low IQs are partly caused by growing up poor, then isn’t a low-wage policy even more pernicious than it would otherwise appear, as it hobbles a substantial portion of the next generation as well? Wouldn’t a low-wage policy wind up making it seem like Richwine was right after all?
The Census Bureau is projecting that international migration will soon be the primary driver of U.S. population growth, which hasn't been the case since 1850.
Alex Wong/Getty Images
I'll confess that my arguments against this immigration reform bill run into a wall when dealing with America's natalism problem. Absent a (very unlikely) change in our homegrown demographics, America is set to become a dramatically older society, an outcome we ought to avoid if possible. Immigration can help alleviate the costs of this change, and done properly - say, dramatically favoring high skilled workers - we ought to include immigration as a tool to keep America dynamic and growing. Those are positive things.
Here's part of the Census Bureau report:
The Wall Street Journal recounts the history of the federal government's war on the apostrophe:
The no-apostrophe rule has been reaffirmed five times, yet punctuationists fight on. At a 2009 meeting with place namers from the states, the names committee was flayed for its "isolationist stance" toward "the perpetually punished apostrophe."
"The apostrophe has a function," says Thomas Gasque, an English professor who spent years on South Dakota's Geographic Names Authority. "It can imply things other than possession," he says. "We talk about a winter's day. The day doesn't belong to winter."
As Prof. Gasque sees it, map makers should prize locally used apostrophes as mainstays of history. "Place names are the autobiography of a nation," he says.
This should be fairly obvious, but can we not spend the next year so filled with rage that we forget to offer the public an agenda of our own? Kudos to National Review for urging caution among the conservative ranks:
[T]hough the AP story has angered some progressives, and the IRS story some vulnerable Democrats, it will fall on the Republicans to lead the way.
We urge them to do so with vigor, but also with a keen sense of the limits of political scandal. Republicans must guard against the temptation to count on scandal to deliver election victories in 2014 and 2016.
It is a lesson they should have learned in 1998.
Republicans expected to make large gains in Congress that year but ended up losing five House seats and standing pat in the Senate. The problem was not so much that Republicans “overreached” in pursuing the impeachment of President Clinton, as the conventional wisdom has it. The Republicans that year did not really run on a promise to remove Clinton from office — or on any other agenda. Their strategy was to assume that the scandal would redound to their benefit, and that they merely had to sit back and let victory rain o’er them. It didn’t.
I'm not sure I'd pay this much for KFC's subpar fried chicken, but ok:
The French fries arrive soggy, the chicken having long since lost its crunch. A 12-piece bucket goes for about $27 here — more than twice the $11.50 it costs just across the border in Egypt.
And for fast-food delivery, it is anything but fast: it took more than four hours for the KFC meals to arrive here on a recent afternoon from the franchise where they were cooked in El Arish, Egypt, a journey that involved two taxis, an international border, a smuggling tunnel and a young entrepreneur coordinating it all from a small shop here called Yamama — Arabic for pigeon.