Open Thread

- Publicola provided an update on the ongoing friction between the ACLU of Washington and Sensible Washington regarding legalization initiatives. Last year, the ACLU didn’t like the way the initiative was set up and refused to endorse it. Sensible Washington is once again planning to file an initiative and there are two issues that continue to keep these two organizations apart.

The first is the lack of regulation language in the bill. After the failure of Proposition 19 in California this year, it should be pretty clear that an initiative that doesn’t adequately address the regulation aspect of ending marijuana prohibition is a ripe target for effective “scare” ads. I think the ACLU is absolutely right to pressure Sensible Washington to include some language to that effect.

The other issue involved the timing of an initiative. I’m not in agreement with the ACLU that there’s much to be gained by waiting until 2012. When I crunched the numbers to compare demographic turnouts between 2008 and 2010 in California, I found that it would’ve only made a 2.4% difference in the percentage of Yes votes. But those two years represented two opposite extremes in which types of voters came out to vote. As Publicola points out and Dawdy backs up, off-year elections don’t tend to be skewed too greatly either for or against liberal causes in this state. And it’s not clear that 2012 will have as heavy a liberal turnout as 2008 did. It’s very likely that the difference between running in 2011 and running in 2012 would be negligible.

– The Cannabis Defense Coalition was curious about how the Washington State Department of Revenue arrived at their recent decision to send out tax notices to the state’s still-illegal medical marijuana dispensaries, so they did what they do best and filed a public disclosure request. After reading through the documents, there are few surprises to be found. The Department of Revenue was contacted several times (the first time in 2006) about whether dispensaries should collect sales tax on what they sell to patients. The DOR investigated and found that: a) it doesn’t matter that the money is being made illegally, and b) medical marijuana is not a prescription, so it isn’t exempted by the existing laws that don’t allow a sales tax on prescription drugs. Despite this, the internal emails among the DOR did reveal some interesting discourse.

– Some data was released recently showing that 59 police officers across the United States were shot and killed in the line of duty this past year. That figure includes federal, state, and local officers. To give some perspective on the Mexican drug war, nearly 70 municipal police officers were shot and killed in Juarez alone in 2010.

Comments

  1. 1

    Bluecollar Libertarian spews:

    I have my questions about the timing, but my clipboards are ready to go.

    be that as it may, this youtube video http://www.youtube.com/user/ye.....t3NaKc8oKA
    mentioned in the comments section needs to be available in another format so that we can show it or use it to explain why this is being done the way it is, or summarized on paper to be handed out.

  2. 2

    Zotz sez: The microchip in Klynical's ass was transmitting 6... 6... 6... spews:

    2011 vice 2012:

    I read the Publicola piece a while back — it left me without a warm feeling that Dawdy and company actually want to play to win. I know the ACLU guys can be kind of priggish but making the acrimony public isn’t very smart politics.

    A lot of people worked really hard last time and it would be good to be sure of making the ballot. Aren’t folks worried about what happens if we come up short — again?

    To me that means more than all the statistics you can cite. If it means waiting til 2012 to be REALLY ready, then so be it. Do Dawdy and SensibleWA have at least $300k on hand? Are we really ready?

  3. 3

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Maybe The Teahadists Were Right About Obamacare

    We should have been suspicious when we saw Bush Pioneers raising money for Obama on Wall Street. We should have been even more suspicious when Obama said he would close Guantanamo, then didn’t. And when Obama caved on issue after issue — continuing to ban Medicare from buying cheaper drugs from Canada, extending Bush’s billionaire tax cuts, and so on — we should have realized then that Obama is a liar and his 2008 election victory was nothing more than a Bush third term.

    Here’s what a California emergency room doctor says about Obamacare:

    “The health care proposals generated under the Obama administration take as given the profound inequalities in the distribution of medical care in the United States. Both House and Senate plans fall within … options that legislate for even more money to be paid into the private system in return for only minimal concessions. … With insurance mandatory and non-coverage penalized, millions more would be required to pay into the private system, while tens of millions … would remain without coverage ….

    “Health care in America is the civil rights issue of our time. … Some believe there is no harm in taking what we can ge and going from there; but this is probably not true. The insurance industry makes great gains in the current plan that will be hard to reverse. More, the proposals validate much of the profoundly unjust current system, which …, up till now, has never been explicitly sanctioned … by the federal goverment. To tolerate a disastrous bricolage is one thing, to extol its virtues quite another.”

    For complete article (which you definitely should read), see

    http://www.newleftreview.org/?view=2819

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: This doctor seems to be suggesting that Obamacare is worse than no reform at all, because it (a) strengthens the private insurance industry, (b) institutionalizes the existing inequities in our health care delivery system, and (c) makes it harder to get true reform in the future. If that’s the case, then the shortest path to true reform is to elect a Republican congress and a Republican president pledged to repeal Obamacare in 2012, and work to defeat them and elect true reformers in 2016. The Tea Partiers are not the rich and well-connected who are assured of their gold-plated health plans. They’re, by and large, people whom health reform was supposed to help. So why are they so vehemently against Obamacare? Maybe they know something we haven’t figured out yet.

  4. 4

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    It did seem to me at the time that Obama agreed to take public option off the table a little too willingly and quickly.

  5. 5

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Everywhere we look, Obama is lying to us, saying one thing and doing another.

    The 2012 primary season is only a little more than one year away. It’s time to start making noise, lots of it, to let the Democratic Party poobahs know they can’t take our votes for granted and Obama hasn’t earned our support for re-election.

  6. 6

    spews:

    @2
    I read the Publicola piece a while back — it left me without a warm feeling that Dawdy and company actually want to play to win. I know the ACLU guys can be kind of priggish but making the acrimony public isn’t very smart politics.

    I agree, and this was part of my main issue with the ACLU last year. I agreed with them on the merits of their stance. Having some sort of regulation language in the initiative would’ve produced a stronger initiative. But I didn’t agree with how they openly opposed Sensible Washington once they chose a different path. Even an imperfect initiative making the ballot would have moved the ball forward. My perspective this year has changed. Proposition 19 moved that ball forward enough (as well as the amount of media attention that Sensible Washington generated). Now I want to play to win.

    A lot of people worked really hard last time and it would be good to be sure of making the ballot. Aren’t folks worried about what happens if we come up short — again?

    I certainly am. This is Sensible Washington’s last shot. If they can’t get on the ballot this year, people will gravitate towards whatever the ACLU and others (possibly MPP) do in 2012.

    To me that means more than all the statistics you can cite. If it means waiting til 2012 to be REALLY ready, then so be it. Do Dawdy and SensibleWA have at least $300k on hand? Are we really ready?

    They think they can get on the ballot with volunteers. If they do that, and big donors think they can win it, they’ll get the money they need for the election campaign. But I don’t expect them to be able to pay gatherers this year unless the initiative language is improved.

  7. 7

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Maybe we should start wondering how a Chicago machine politician got promoted from state senator to U.S. president in four short years. There had to be somebody’s fingers in this.

  8. 10

    harry poon spews:

    Lee. Don’t worry about pot. It will always be available.

    And, it’s not really a medically type medicine because you cannot control the dose.

    What we need is a pot pill that willl have medicinal effects without producing any joy or pleasure.

    That’s the American Way.

  9. 14

    Steve spews:

    Bow Down to Washington,
    Bow Down to Washington.
    Mighty are the men who wear the Purple and the Gold,
    Joyfully we welcome them within the Victor’s fold.
    We will carve our name in the Hall of Fame,
    To preserve the memory of our Devotion.

    So, heaven help the foes of Washington,
    They’re trembling at the feet of mighty Washington.
    Our boys are there with bells,
    Their fighting blood excells,
    It’s harder to push them over the lines than pass the Dardanelles.
    So Victory’s the cry of Washington
    Our leather lungs together with a Rah! Rah! Rah!
    And o’er the land, the loyal band
    Will sing the glory of Washington forever!

  10. 15

    K spews:

    troll is a silly liar, most likely a 15 year old in Mom’s basement, posting between dominating whatever the current X-box hot game is.

  11. 16

    proud leftist spews:

    Steve,
    Can you believe the lads pulled that one out? I just wanted them to beat the point spread, yet they knocked the fuck out of that red state team. Eternally-blue Washington (with another electoral vote) creams eternally-red Nebraska (which will never acquire another electoral vote). Go Dawgs!

  12. 17

    delbert spews:

    @7

    I see the scales finally fell from Roger’s eyes about Obama. Too bad you wouldn’t listen in 2008 when I was telling y’all this.

    I told you so.

  13. 18

    YellowPup spews:

    When the left complains about the Bush tax cuts, the right’s response is, “You want to pay more taxes, go ahead.” Well, it looks like there is a way to calculate your Bush tax cut and give the money back… to a charity that (unlike the tax cuts) will actually help grow the economy:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....02909.html

    I’ve checked out the site, giveitbackforjobs.org, have used the calculator, and I’m giving the Bush-bribe/Obama-compromise cash back to where it should have gone in the first place.

    BTW, I prefer to give locally, so I’m supporting Seattle Education Access, the Low Income House Institute, Northwest Harvest, and Seattle Senior Services.

  14. 19

    Liberal Scientist spews:

    @18
    I think that that is a mistake.

    I’m well familiar with the yawping from the right about, “If you like taxes so much, why don’t you write a check?” and then the pivot that comes next is that if you don’t write the check you’re complicit with them in defunding government. It’s an effective (to a point) and typically dishonest tactic.

    One important point with taxes is that it affect – it binds – all of us together. Part of the point of democratic government (small ‘d’) is that we’re all in this together – we make decisions together, identify problems and priorities, and agree to fund responses via a progressive tax system. And it’s done with a one-person, one-vote egalitarian system.

    Central to right wing philosophy, and consequent attack, is delegitimizing government, allowing defunding and debilitating government. A similar tactic appears with Cyn and Pud’s calls for charity over government action – and what they want is to both limit control to the people with the money to donate, and getting their jollies being magnanimous – earning Jesus points while lording over someone less fortunate.

    So, no, I don’t think that the appropriate response to an unjust and plutocracy-oriented tax system is to take good-intended peoples’ money and channel it privately. (And, since speech is money and money is speech – spending your money that way has the added benefit of leaving you with less speech – a win-win for the fascists)

  15. 20

    Michael spews:

    @17

    Obama’s a shitheel, but McCain and Palin were bigger shitheels. What ya’ gonna do…

  16. 21

    your wife's pimp spews:

    @19

    you fool. how can it bind “all of us together” when a large portion of the population doesnt even pay income taxes????

    you are either a liar or a fool. and strangely, its the portion of the population(goldy) that doesnt pay any federal income taxes thats shouts the loudest about everyone else to pay more.

    if we were truly all “in this together”, then everyone would pay the same percentage in taxes, regardless of income.

    way to own yourself there commie boy.

  17. 22

    mikekinseattle spews:

    Back to Sensible Washington. I worked really hard collecting signatures last year, every weekend, many weeknights, and frankly, I’m burned out. Without a lot of money, I think we’re going to have a repeat of last year. We gathered 200K signatures, but our goal was 320K, so we were only 2/3 of the way there. I don’t understand what is significantly different this year that makes us think we’ll get 320K signatures this time around. I’m going to help collect signatures again, but what I really think is needed is some time to take stock, continue to solicit funds and ideas, and work with the ACLU and others who want to see us legalize marijuana, but who have issues with the initiative we tried last year, and don’t want to see us become the Dino Rossi of the legalization battles. We’re on the cusp of getting this done, and we really need to be hard headed, and play to win. (Like the Dawgs last night. Go Dawgs!)

    The other big sticking issue, and my wife, who also helped out with signatures, really thinks this is a killer, is making the age 18. I understand Doug Hiatt’s reasoning, even agree with it, but if you want to see scare tactics, wait until the other side gets their teeth into 18 year olds in high school getting weed for their younger friends. Most 18 year olds are still in high school, after all.

  18. 24

    spews:

    Too bad you wouldn’t listen in 2008 when I was telling y’all this.

    Yawwwwn.. Yeah we didn’t listen to the “idiot wind” about Ayers, Khalidi, Wright, Kenya and Madrassa schooling..

  19. 25

    Liberal Scientist spews:

    @21
    Your name alone reflects your intent: to offend, to anger, to destroy dialog.

    Gawd how I wish there were someone serious on the right with whom to have a real discussion/argument. Someone serious and open-minded and intelligent, unlike you YWP.

    However, while there are many for whom there is no net tax paid, and often a rebate, a la EITC, those people still pay FICA, and state income and sales and property taxes. Your derogation of such citizens is a variation of the Reagan “Welfare Queen” attack, and is vile and dishonest and all too typical.

    if we were truly all “in this together”, then everyone would pay the same percentage in taxes, regardless of income.

    Wrong again. Pick your source, be it economics and the marginal utility of income inversely proportional to income, to communists/utopians Marx and de Saint Simon and Morelly, to Luke 12:48, all argue that those who have more should contribute more. Moreover, given your stance, and the effects of Washington’s regressive sales tax system disproportionately hitting the poorer among us, I assume that intellectual honesty led you to support the state income tax initiative? Yes?

    In addition, given your suspicion regarding my assertion that we’re all in this together, that you consider tax paying as a prerequisite for civic participation? For voting? Are you part of the wingnut right that pines for a system in which only property owners have the vote?

    you are either a liar or a fool. and strangely, its the portion of the population(goldy) that doesnt pay any federal income taxes thats shouts the loudest about everyone else to pay more.

    Honestly, I’m neither, and you certainly have not demonstrated the contrary. I in fact pay some hefty federal taxes, and mine would have gone up substantially had not the Senate Republicans rallied to my rescue, much to my disappointment. I think allowing the Bush Tax Deceit to continue was a horrible development for the country, and have said so loudly and repeatedly.

    As far as my big tax break, I intend to devote a large part of that to fueling progressive/liberal/socialist political activities.

  20. 26

    YellowPup spews:

    LS @19: I totally agree with you. There should be a careful distinction between tax cuts posing as economic stimulus and the conservative/libertarian ideal of individual philanthropy.

    “Economic stimulus” is a fig leaf for the great giveaway to the rich and dismantling of government you describe. There is a lot of research suggesting that tax cuts are a feeble and lazy stimulus instrument, particularly tax cuts for the rich.

    Obama has already thrown us under the bus on this, and we’re going to get a tax cut whether it’s a good idea or whether we want one or not. So the point is, why not put the money into something that might actually stimulate the economy somewhat, and empower a little the folks being worst ground up under the wheels?

    I’m not sure how seriously to take conservatives on philanthropy, but I don’t have a lot of confidence. A site like this at least invites them to put their money where their mouth is.

  21. 27

    spews:

    25 – tehchickenshit troll @19 is not worth it LS. He’s another Mark1, Puddybud and that worthless piece of shoe mess that Goldy just banned.

    He believes in a utopia where everyone pays the same tax rate whether you make minimum wage or you run a multi-billion dollar hedge fund. Nothing will budge that blockage in the colon that passes for his head.

  22. 28

    your wife's pimp spews:

    @27

    lol…coming from the basement dweller who’s wife has to carry the load of taking care of the family, I can see why you think its OK for others to pick your tax burden…

    did you write the state a bonus check to help out the queen?…nah, didnt think so.

    @25
    yes, I would support a state income tax, but only on the basis that ALL other state taxes be eliminated…

  23. 29

    spews:

    @22
    The other big sticking issue, and my wife, who also helped out with signatures, really thinks this is a killer, is making the age 18. I understand Doug Hiatt’s reasoning, even agree with it, but if you want to see scare tactics, wait until the other side gets their teeth into 18 year olds in high school getting weed for their younger friends. Most 18 year olds are still in high school, after all.

    This is another really good point I’d forgotten about and I’m hoping to chat with Douglas about it today.

  24. 32

    your wife's pimp spews:

    @30

    yet another epic fayle for YLBasements databayze……I did not post anywhere in your lame little link.

    oh well, I am sure failure is something you are used by this point in your life.

  25. 33

    your wife's pimp spews:

    time to run up to the mountains and do a little boarding…have fun in your basement today tenderhands…

  26. 34

    mikekinseattle spews:

    @25
    I’m with you. The battle lines are starkly drawn, and I cast my lot with the socialists who believe that we are our brother’s keeper, the government that we have set up (of the people, by the people, and for the people) exists to create a more just society for the benefit of all of us and our descendants. Progressive taxation is one of the primary ways we fund such an endeavor. The Scrooge-like nature of many on the right is an embarrassment to the ideals of this country, and of their so-called ‘Christian’ values.

  27. 35

    spews:

    @tehchickenshit – Yes true human beings are known to get offended at bigoted, hateful people who have been known at times to wear hooded white robes and throw necktie parties.

  28. 36

    spews:

    @tehchickenshit again – Did I say you posted in that thread?

    Be careful not to land on your head on the slopes – you might unloose that blocked colon er.. head..

  29. 38

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @21 Why should a family earning $25,000 a year have the same obligation to pay taxes as a family earning $250,000 a year? The rich family gets more from our society, so why shouldn’t they pay more?

    I might support a flat-rate tax if everyone truly paid the same rate. This means giving everyone a basic deduction for subsistence necessities and eliminating all other deductions, exemptions, and tax credits. If the basic deduction for a family of four was $25,000 and the tax rate was 15%, then the family earning $25,000 would pay no taxes and the family earning $250,000 would pay $33,750 of taxes. We would have no more millionaires enjoying zero tax liability through tax shelters.

    By the way, as long as SCOTUS feels corporations are persons entitled to their shareholders’ money in unlimited amounts to exercise their free speech rights under the First Amendment, we should not allow two thirds of our corporations to pay no taxes.

  30. 39

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Maybe we should institute a Free Speech Credits system under which corporations can spend no more on lobbying, campaign donations, and political advertising than they pay in federal income taxes. Thus, if Boeing pays no taxes, they can’t hire any lobbyists or buy any political ads. If XYZ Corporation pays $1 million in corporate income taxes, then they can spend up to $1 million on political speech.

  31. 41

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    An even better system would be to limit corporate political spending to what average Americans spend on campaigns and candidates, as a percentage of taxes paid. For example, if a typical American family pays $5,000 in federal income taxes and donates $100 to political causes, then a corporation that pays $1 million in corporate income taxes would be limited to 2% of that, or $20,000, in its political spending. This would ensure parity between natural and corporate persons in political influence.

  32. 42

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I suppose some troll will come along and argue that’s unconstitutional. To which I would reply, since when did they care whether anything is constitutional? The constitution didn’t stop them from waterboarding people, or a whole raft of other things.

  33. 43

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @40 Let’s crack down on the Republican SUV drivers not paying attention because they’re busy texting and talking on their hand-held cell phones. That’s against the law, too.

  34. 44

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @25 “I in fact pay some hefty federal taxes, and mine would have gone up substantially had not the Senate Republicans rallied to my rescue, much to my disappointment. I think allowing the Bush Tax Deceit to continue was a horrible development for the country, and have said so loudly and repeatedly.

    At least we know who to blame for runaway deficits and escalating public debt. And Republicans, once again, prove themselves to be the flaming hypocrites they are.

  35. 45

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @27 “He believes in a utopia where everyone pays the same tax rate whether you make minimum wage or you run a multi-billion dollar hedge fund.”

    Actually, that would be an improvement over the current system, under which even Steven Schwartz admits he enjoys a lower tax rate than the janitor who empties his wastebasket.

  36. 46

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @33 “time to run up to the mountains and do a little boarding”

    On a Friday? Which is a work day for most people?

    Another hard-working conservative being dispossessed of the fruits of his own labor, I see.

  37. 47

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @33 Btw, thanks for buying gas from my oil company. I appreciate your business! Gas prices are climbing and so are my oil stocks. I made another $650 in the stock market today. Sure beats working for Republican wages!

  38. 48

    Liberal Scientist spews:

    So yes, YLB and mike, YWP is an idiot, and is not interested in solving problems, building community, or even honestly defending whatever weird belief system he/she embraces.

    And he’s a liar – said he was going skiing and 30 minutes later is still posting his drivel here.

    The thing about many (all?) of our local trolls – they’re clearly not respected, not appreciated, don’t engage in intelligent discourse – yet they won’t go away. What sort of social ineptitude or dishevelment leads to this sort of behavior? Why would these seemingly maladjusted and emotionally violent persons choose to hang out here, rather than the echo chamber like RedState or wherever else such “ideas” as theirs are valued.

    I think there’s a baseline anger and frustration that leads to outbursts, and leads to a love of destroying – in this case destroying conversation and the development of ideas. I think the notion that well-meaning people get together to discuss politics, answer questions about why the world isn’t better, try to come up with solutions, laugh, share outrage – essentially have a community – is incredibly provocative for them and they cannot stand it – if they’re so marginalized and alone, then nobody else is going to have community either – MUST DESTROY!

    I’ve made this criticism of Puddy before – I’ve likened it to a party where a group of people is enjoying each others company – and then the weird guy from across the street bursts in, takes a dump on the coffee table, and runs out laughing insanely HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

    In fact, I’ve noticed in some of the syntax of YWP’s posts things reminiscent of Puddy, like this:

    yet another epic fayle for YLBasements databayze

    I’ve noticed that Pud hasn’t been around for a while – nice thing, that – and perhaps this idiot is Pud in another guise.

  39. 49

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    We still have about 45 minutes before the market closes, but this being the last trading day of 2010, I think we’re near enough to the end of the year for me to post performance numbers. Unless the market takes a huge dive in the next few minutes, I’m going to earn a 20.5% return on my investments in 2010. That’s nowhere near my best numbers in the past, but I consider it respectable in an investment environment where people are flocking into corporate bonds to get 3% yields, and banks are paying 1/10 of 1% on passbook savings.

  40. 50

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I’m not bragging, because I’m sure there are people out there, include some on this board, who did considerably better than me. I’m not exactly killing Wall Street. I’m just a journeyman retail stockpicker.

  41. 51

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @48 “The thing about many (all?) of our local trolls – they’re clearly not respected, not appreciated, don’t engage in intelligent discourse – yet they won’t go away. What sort of social ineptitude or dishevelment leads to this sort of behavior? Why would these seemingly maladjusted and emotionally violent persons choose to hang out here, rather than the echo chamber like RedState or wherever else such “ideas” as theirs are valued.”

    Self-loathing.

  42. 52

    Liberal Scientist spews:

    In fact, I haven’t see Pud post since I schooled him last Sunday here, and here, and here, and here.

    I haven’t seen him since – anyone else? Good riddance, I say – unfortunately, YWP showed up at the point Pud dropped off…

  43. 53

    mikekinseattle spews:

    @34
    What do Mao and Stalin have to do with what we’re talking about? If that’s your idea of clever, I’m even more embarrassed for you.

  44. 54

    Liberal Scientist spews:

    @51
    Yes, I think you’re right. There’s deep seated psychotic issues with the wingnuts – they do seem twisted by their anger and alienation. And there’s a lot of unresolved closet cases among them too – that’s a recipe for disaster.

    Which reminds me – just got an email from Dan Savage and Terry Miller thanking me for my support. I would strongly recommend the “It Gets Better” project for anyone here interested in helping gay teens survive to adulthood in one healthy piece – it’s a good cause.

  45. 55

    spews:

    perhaps this idiot is Pud in another guise.

    No way. Puddybud’s style is distinctive and he’s a shameless self-aggrandizer. That other guy is a paranoid, knee-jerk, pop-gun waving dumbass who chickened out of a bet with GBS. He makes Puddybud look like a genius.

    Frothing at the mouth, unhinged right wing freaks come here because they can. Goldy has no time to monitor these threads. Darryl does what he can from time to time.

    Right wing trolls hate anyone to the left of Dino Rossi. We are all communists to them.

    Do we have anyone so unhinged from the left hang out here? Any Eugene anarchists or lefties quoting Lenin or Marx or Mao or advocating seizing of private assets? Shit no. People like that aren’t interested in the modestly left of center liberal talk that goes on here.

    Goldy’s style certainly inspires the trolls to do their worst as we saw with that depraved nutcase that was just banned. Should Goldy change his style? Absolutely not. Goldy’s a treasure. And the troll’s worst behavior we see here is a good indicator that Goldy is doing something right.

  46. 56

    spews:

    Self-loathing.

    Absolutely. That’s quite common if not an absolute given with just about all the long term trolls.

    They hate themselves because they are not materially wealthy (or not as wealthy as they’d like to be). Instead of blaming themselves, they blame “the gubmint”, “the emmessemm” and “those people”.

    In other words, they are chronically poor in spirit.

  47. 57

    Daddy Love spews:

    I am all for the plan by the Republicans who are taking over the House of Representatives next week to read the constitution out loud in its entirety.

    It will give them a chance to familiarize themselves with what it actually says.

  48. 58

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @57 I think you’re overestimating their ability to comprehend what they read. What inevitably will come out of this is an insistence that we return to the lifestyle of the 1800s. That’s what they’ve wanted all along. Health care was cheap back then — nobody had any.

  49. 59

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Which brings up a thought. The latest wingnut mantra is that health care isn’t a constitutional right, because the Constitution doesn’t mention it. Well, they’re right … nobody had health care when the Constitution was written. In those days, medical care consisted of amputation and leeches, and most people didn’t see age 50. I’m sure that guaranteeing access to CAT scans and immunizations never occurred to Ben Franklin, John Hancock, Tom Jeff, and their ilk. Shame on them for not having more foresight! So, because health care isn’t guaranteed by the Constitution, we’ll have to make do by guaranteeing it in statutes.

  50. 60

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    If state laws making people buy car insurance are constitutional, it’s hard to see why a federal law making people buy health insurance wouldn’t be constitutional, too. State constitutions usually are more protective of individual “freedoms” than the U.S. Constitution is.

  51. 61

    tort lawyer spews:

    roger, be fair. the federalism issue isn’t present in the state law scenario.

    also driving is acting, and the argument is acting versus not acting.

    i do not agree with right wingers but making lame arguments against them doesn’t help. the second clause in your first sentence is profoundly uninformed in view of the structure of the federal government as having enumerated powers only.

    you are a lawyer, aren’t you? make an argument about which power it is. here are some:

    tax
    commerce
    necessary and proper

    hint: there’s no provision in the us constitution for a national bank……….

  52. 62

    PierceCoEmp spews:

    @60-
    You don’t have to get a drivers license or drive.
    I think that’s the main difference.

  53. 63

    tort lawyer spews:

    @62.

    When you make a decision to self insure, you’re acting. You’re choosing an insurance company that’s undercapitalized and is a poor calculator of premiuns and risk and that has a risk pool that’s waaaaaaay too small. Your choice has impacts on interstate commerce just like growing wheat for your own consumption does. These are direct impacts like the big insurers don’t get your premiums and direct yet delayed impacts like when you’re dying in the street because of your heart attack you ARE going to get a subsidized ride to the subsidized hospital with subsidized doctors saving your subsidized ass.

    There is no ONE SINGLE conservative who ever, ever (a) went around proclaiming they should be free to not buy insurance, (c) then got sick and paid for it till his money ran out and then said (C) okay, I am a man of principle. I reject the benefit of that law saying hospitals have to take me even if I can’t pay; nope, I am a free market lover and I didn’t save enough therefore I CHOOSE TO ACT BY DYING IN THE STREET without care.

    Not ONE.

    Conservatives: show me one. Just one. One person who believed in the free market so much when push came to shove they let themself die rather than accept life saving forced gummint required care that they didn’t pay for.

    One.

    I am waiting……

  54. 64

    spews:

    Hi Lee.

    re: 2011 vs 2012

    Over time, support for legalization will continue to increase. Waiting longer increases the likelihood of success.

    Would a marijuana legalization initiative on the ballot help motivate voter turnout (for our side)? The trogs use the hate initiatives to get out the cave dweller vote. It’d please me if our side also used those tactics.