Open Thread

Thanks to everyone who sent me well-wishes last month. Baby Ava is doing great and despite being incredibly busy, I’m enjoying every second of it. Here are a few items on my mind these days:

– I just finished reading Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow“, an incredibly well-researched and well-argued book that explains how the war on drugs has created a new form of racial segregation very similar to the original Jim Crow laws of the south. The racial separation in the drug war comes from having much higher levels of drug law enforcement in black communities along with differences in prosecutorial discretion and the inability of many black drug defendant to adequately defend themselves from even totally bogus charges. The end result is a mass incarceration crisis with hundreds of thousands of black Americans saddled with felony convictions for the kinds of small-time drug violations that whites are almost never charged with.

I had this in mind as I heard the news today that THC was found in Trayvon Martin’s system after he was murdered. For a 17-year-old to have THC in his system is far from unusual, about a quarter of all teenagers have used pot in the past month. But because Martin was a young black man using marijuana, the likelihood of him being saddled with a felony for making that choice is significantly higher than it is for a white teenager. And once you’re saddled with that felony, finding employment, housing, and education becomes nearly impossible for the rest of your life. As Alexander points out in her book, people in that situation have all the doors of opportunity closed on them and usually fall into a criminal lifestyle and return to prison. The reality that her book should make clear is that even if George Zimmerman hadn’t ended Trayvon Martin’s life that night, there’s a good likelihood the war on drugs would’ve done it a short time later.

– I don’t think the lawsuit against the liquor privatization initiative has much of a chance of succeeding, but if it did, it would be really bad news for I-502, which also appears to do the “two separate things” that the liquor privatization initiative does. And for good measure, I-502 does a third thing, establish new DUI per se limits for marijuana. But again, I don’t expect this lawsuit to be successful. And as for the DUI issue, the Colorado legislature once again failed to pass a bill that would establish a 5ng/ml limit because of concerns over its lack of scientific backing.

– Scott Morgan has been wondering whether or not Romney would be worse for medical marijuana than Obama has been. As bad as Obama has been (and he’s been terrible), I could certainly envision Romney being worse. Particularly when it comes to U.S. Attorney appointments. Jenny Durkan hasn’t been as aggressive as some of Obama’s other USA’s in going after state-sanctioned medical marijuana distribution. Under Romney, it’s possible we could find someone far less progressive in that post. But it’s also possible he’d tap a progressive Republican in the Dan Satterberg mold. For those of us who actually want the DOJ to respect state marijuana laws, Gary Johnson is likely our only hope.


  1. 1

    Puddybud spews:

    Seems Obummer has edited official presidential histories by adding some vain comments. You can read them yourself…

    So here are some tweets to honor his “achievements” from!/search/%23ObamaInHistory

    @stevenfhayward: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth. And President Obama was there to say it was good. #obamainhistory

    @huds_d: In Greek mythology, Narcissus gazed into a pond and saw Obama’s face #obamainhistory

    @JohnSantorelli: Christopher Columbus discovered the New World in 1492 and Obama was there to apologize and bow to the natives. #ObamaInHistory

    @CuffyMeh: In 1803, Jefferson bought the Louisiana Purchase for $233 million in today’s dollars, which Obama spent while you read this. #ObamaInHistory

    @EthanMyers007: 30,000 Americans died on the Oregon Trail due to lack of health insurance. #ObamaInHistory

    @iowahawkblog: #Obamainhistory Washington could not tell a lie, Nixon could not tell the truth, Obama can’t tell the difference

    @red_red_head: Obama assured Henry Ford the Volt would be a great idea, but Ford wasn’t sold on the idea of exploding vehicles. #ObamaInHistory

    ‏@AllanRofer: Prior presidencies are merely the canvas upon which Obama’s administration masterpiece is writ. #ObamaInHistory

    @syruss: If you can’t have good history, why not rewrite [others’?] #ObamaInHistory

  2. 2

    Liberal Scientist is a slut who occasionally wears a hoodie spews:

    Yeah, puddles, I can hear Carly Simon singing in the background…

    From your link, which goes to a list of Presidential bios, not to anything that supports what you say, AGAIN. We find this there:

    With a father from Kenya and a mother from Kansas, President Obama was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961. He was raised with help from his grandfather, who served in Patton’s army, and his grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle management at a bank.

    That inflammatory braggery is typical of the few paragraphs on Obama. Where’s the vanity?

    Or is he an uppity nigger just for being President?

    I think that’s the meme that puddles and his fiends, er, friends on the right are trying to inject into the veins of political thought this morning.

  3. 3

    Liberal Scientist is a slut who occasionally wears a hoodie spews:

    This is another howl from the depths of the right’s id – the deep deep offense taken at Obama’s mere existence – that that man would have the temerity to even consider himself good enough to be our President.

    It comes in context of “taking back America” – but from whom?
    ‘Others’ who don’t count as ‘real Americans’

    It comes in the context of Rmoneys meme of ‘he’s a nice guy but in over his head’, the sly corrosive suggestion that Obama is not qualified for the job – the black guy got the job unjustly via Affirmative Action and took it from a white guy.

    This is all stirring up the seething hatred and resentment of the working-class, race-conscious white male – appealing to the lowest motivation and tribalism. It’s all the Republicans got – make people frightened and angry about some ‘other’ who has taken their stuff.

    Reprehensible, and typical.

  4. 4

    Liberal Scientist is a slut who occasionally wears a hoodie spews:

    This is apropos of this discussion – it’s from an excellent article that’s linked on the Kos ‘pundit of the day’ diary:

    Thankfully, the right people have taken notice and are attempting to exploit the fears of white, conservative Americans in a campaign designed to topple Barack Hussein Obama through emasculation and racial associations. Whoa, sorry, that sentence was a typo. What I meant to say was that certain exceptional patriots are addressing the perfectly reasonable, justifiable, not-at-all racist or bigoted or xenophobic concerns that real Americans have about the state of this great nation under the so-called “presidency” of Barack Hussein Obama.

  5. 5

    Liberal Scientist is a slut who occasionally wears a hoodie spews:

    I think there are people who, given their genes and the environments they grow up in, tend to be motivated and shaped by fear, and who tend to see the world in tribal terms – ‘us’ and ‘them’.

    Moreover, there are people with sociopathic tendencies – grandiose, self-centered, remorseless, ruthless, deeply greedy, but charming and superficially attractive.

    I think the modern Republican party is an unholy amalgam of these two groups.

  6. 6

    Liberal Scientist is a slut who occasionally wears a hoodie spews:

    Wow, this underhanded, under-the-radar race-baiting is all over the place!

    Here’s a columnist at BET, and an excerpt:

    Even though the plan isn’t going forward, the proposal itself shows they’re out of touch with reality. First, they talk about “literate” Black people as if that’s a rare occurrence. Second, they think Elder will persuade people. And third, they want to attack the president for being a “metrosexual.” Really?


    And though the official Wright ad campaign will never see the light of day, the racist undertone will persist through November. This is not about winning independents. This is part of a dog-whistle campaign to reach out to those crazy conservatives who think Obama is a radical socialist Muslim Kenyan with no birth certificate and no right to be president.

  7. 7

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Republicans again demonstrate they either have no concept of what “due process” is, or they have no respect for your constitutional rights.

    GOP’s Bottom Line: It’s okay for the government to kick your door in, drag you off to a military prison, and detain you there forever, without trial or access to an attorney; but health insurance is unconstitutional.


    Roger Rabbit Commentary: Thank the Great Mother Rabbit Spirit that our president is a constitutional lawyer who has promised to veto this monstrosity if it somehow makes it through the Senate.

  8. 8

    Liberal Scientist is a slut who occasionally wears a hoodie spews:

    Republicans again demonstrate they either have no concept of what “due process” is, or they have no respect for your constitutional rights.

    Both. But especially the latter.

    They’re all for small, ineffective government, except when they’re not.

    And that ‘not’ usually includes militarized police forces for kicking in doors and incarcerating brown people, and getting all up in as many uteri as possible.

    What is wrong with these people?

  9. 9

    rhp6033 spews:

    Regarding consequences of a felony conviction:

    * Unable to get employment at any number of firms. Yea, I know it’s not supposed to be an automatic disqualifer, but somehow those resumes never make it through the initial “cut”.

    * Unable to get a job requiring travel outside the U.S.

    * Unable to legally travel outside the U.S. to many countries without getting a special visa waiver.

    * Must register with law enforcement upon arriving at some locations within the U.S. (Los Vegas, etc.).

    * Excluded from attendance at most private universities where admission is discretionary and competative. No ivy league for you – unless you have the right “legacy” Mom or Dad who contribute to the endowment, etc.

    * If convicted of a crug offense, ineligible for most federally financed student aid (which seems counter-intuitive to me – you would think you would want to get someone off the streets, rather than permanantly exclude them from education).

    Of course, as I’m sure the referenced book mentions, there’s a wide disparity as to how drug offenses are handled. Getting caught giving out Momy’s prescription drugs will likely end up with a wealthy suburban teenager being referred to couseling. Getting caught sharing the same drugs with your friends in the ‘hood will get you a felony drug conviction.

    Remember the movie “Trading Places”?

  10. 11

    Michael spews:

    The geological community is threatened by the idea of catastrophic flooding because the most obvious interpretation of the fossil record is a global flood. Unfortunately geologists cannot correctly interpret the world’s geology because today the community is comprised exclusively of naturalists. The Bible says there was a supernaturally-based global flood and animals are only alive due to an act of supernatural intervention. Contrary to this testimony, the deposits that cover the world must be explained by naturalists as though these animals survived the formation of the flood deposits naturally. Although the earth is completely covered in hundreds of feet of flood sediment, they must instead propose that it all accumulated so slowly and gradually that life was able to exist atop that material during its formation. If geologists cannot recognize that the Channeled Scablands were the result of a flood, how can they recognize the Biblical global flood?

    So… Throw out the Missoula Floods and the ice ages. The Channeled Scab Lands were the work of God and The Flood. Never mind that there’s no evidence of God’s Flood and plenty of evidence for the other ones.

    These people are thick and there’s no way to reason or work with them.

  11. 12

    No Time for Fascists spews:

    House Republicans ignored the requests of the generals and a White House veto threat today, passing their bloated defense spending authorization bill, 299-120.
    The bill breaks the spending agreement made last year as part of the Budget Control Act, and spends much more than the Pentagon has asked for on programs it opposes.

    I guess THIS is their version of a Republican Jobs bill. Pork pork pork Pork PORK pork pork Porketty Pork.

    5% puddy bob, you must be proud of your brethern.

  12. 13

    Blue John spews:

    Lee, I know it’s a trivial thing, but next time, can we have a date stamp on the Open Thread?

  13. 15

    Randroid spews:

    “Exploratory oil well off Cuba comes up dry.” Oh sure. That’s what they want you think. Just what to expect from the left wing media. I only listen to Fox News and that’s not what THEY say. They said some people are saying there is LOTS of oil.

  14. 18

    Steve spews:

    @16 There are asshole thieves and there are really stupid asshole thieves. I went through all the evidence released on the Trayvon Martin shooting and came across a report mentioning the theft of copper wire from an air conditioning unit at the residentional community. There’s got to be all of $1.50 worth of wire in one of the cheap A/C units one would find in a place like that.

  15. 19

    Steve spews:

    I saw on the page “The 12 Cars Men Lust After Most” and thought, “What the hell, let’s see how bad they screwed this one up.” To my surprise, the car pictured first was a 1957 Jaguar XK-SS, the car I lust after most.

    Only 16 were made before a fire destroyed the factory. Even if I had won the Megamillions jackpot I would likely have had to “settle” for buying a Jaguar C or D type race car.

  16. 20

    Puddybud spews:

    How do you know Lib the moron is an idiot? Read what he writes… Never makes any sense in the real world, always spinning from the libtardo left! From one biography

    In a June 28, 1985 speech Reagan called for a fairer tax code, one where a multi-millionaire did not have a lower tax rate than his secretary. Today, President Obama is calling for the same with the Buffett Rule.

  17. 23

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @20 looks like a bunch of pixels got scrambled by someone trying to hacksaw through a power cable. It happens.

  18. 26

    Puddybud spews:

    Did you know the Obummer Sadministration knew about the GSA wasteful spending and did nothing about it.

    Golly this is going to be a great campaign season!

  19. 28

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Bloomberg Business Week, a commie-symp publication if there ever was one [sarcasm], says the hole came up dry.

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: The newest wingnut magic trick is to conjure oil where there isn’t any, kind of like the old-time water well guys with their divining rods.*

    * Here’s how that trick was done. When you’re standing on top of an aquifer, it doesn’t matter where you dig, because water will come up anywhere you dig. So, the divining rod can’t miss — unless you’re in a desert.

  20. 29

    Puddybud spews:

    In 1803, Jefferson bought the Louisiana Purchase for $233 million in today’s dollars, which Obama spent while you read this. #ObamaInHistory

    Seems like the only President’s history that Obama doesn’t want to be associated with is his own #ObamaInHistory

    Not only discovered 7 more states he also found a new earthquake region thru Washington DC called Bush’s Fault. #ObamaInHistory

    He celebrated the first Thanksgiving w/ Elizabeth Warren’s ancestors who brought him maize. #ObamaInHistory #Fauxcahontas

  21. 30

    Puddybud spews:

    Ronald Reagan went to Berlin and said “tear down this wall!” Barack Obama went on The View and talked about the Kardashians. #ObamaInHistory

  22. 34

    Puddybud spews:

    On that fateful day in 1937, Obama offered to fly Amelia Earhart’s Model 10 Electra to Howland Island. She refused. #ObamaInHistory

    On August 21, 1959 Hawaii became a state of the union so Obama would be eligible to be President. #ObamaInHistory

  23. 35


    I wonder if it would be good for Mitt #Rmoney’s campaign if they posted video of his baths in his giant pool of $100s? #smcdc

    Mitt #Rmoney says he wants Wall St regulations to only go after “the bad guys.” PROBLEM: He WAS one of the bad guys, sooo… #irony #p2

    Who says *scare the dickens* out of people? #Rmoney

  24. 37


    Former GOP Governor Hits Romney’s Tax Plan: ‘You Can’t Do Just Tax Cuts’ #RMoney

    #Rmoney claims he doesn’t remember “other classmates pinned him to the floor, as the victim screamed” while apologizing for it. #wtf

  25. 38

    Puddybud spews:

    John Kerry’s wealth mentioned 2 times all the presidential season

    Already Mitt Romney’s wealth has been mentioned 27 times.

    13X because the slobbering left wrong media wants Obummer reerected.

  26. 39

    Puddybud spews:

    As Japanese planes bombed Pearl Harbor, Tojo admonished: “Watch out for Obama’s future home!” #ObamaInHistory

  27. 40

    Puddybud spews:

    There is hope for HA crazed data-debazed moron!

    Assuming you have no degree but are willing to do some advanced training, such as attending a technical school, you could earn around $30,000 a year as a beginner, if you are sharp.

    Well I guess I was wrong. The idiot isn’t sharp!

  28. 41


    Rich elite cough up $50,000 each for #Romney. What will they want in return? #Rmoney

    She just told me a difference between #PBO n #Rmoney : #PBO got swag when he’s walking, #Rmoney looks like a rock being pushed. LOL, hahaha.

  29. 42


    @MittRomney hmm how does a president repeal a law? I must have missed that part in civics class.. #Rmoney #checksandbalances

    #Rmoney accuses Obama of character assassination, he who called what he did at Bain “creative destruction.”

  30. 43


    #Romney I’m not concerned about the very poor #IStandByWhatISaidWhateverItWas

    Romney: I am a registered Democrat voting for Paul Tsongas. #IStandByWhatISaidWhateverItWas

    #Romney: “I will preserve and protect a woman’s right to choose” .. #IStandByWhatISaidWhateverItWas .. “I have consistently been pro-life.”

  31. 44

    Puddybud spews:

    Jeremiah Wright sez about The Obummers:

    ”Church is not their thing. It was never their thing.”

  32. 45

    Puddybud spews:

    Noticed the crazed one isn’t interested in a job. Then he wouldn’t be on this blog all day!

  33. 47

    Puddybud spews:

    Today, in 1856, Senator Charles Sumner spoke out against slavery so that today we could have Obama as president #ObamaInHistory

    I come to bury America, not to praise her. #ObamaInHistory Et tu, Baracka?

  34. 48


    Romney’s Prep School Days: More Evidence of a Destructive Us vs Them Mentality | AlterNet #RMoney

    #IstandbywhatIsaidwhateveritwas When Mitt Romney worked at Bain Capital he […] every employee he could and send their […] to China #gop

  35. 52

    Puddybud spews:

    It’s so refreshing to see how I own the mind of the crazed data-debazed moron known as ylb, HA’s #1 idiot! He’s a slave that hasn’t realized he’s a slave!

  36. 53


    #Romney: “I like mandates.” … #IStandByWhatISaidWhateverItWas.

    #Romney: “I believe that #abortion should be safe and legal in this country.” … #IStandByWhatISaidWhateverItWas.

    #Romney: “I was a SEVERELY #conservative Republican governor of #Massachusetts !!!!!!!” … #IStandByWhatISaidWhateverItWas.

  37. 54


    #Romney: “I’m not Reagan-Bush !!” … #IStandByWhatISaidWhateverItWas.

    #IstandbywhatIsaidwhateveritwas Mitt Romney: “I believe that climate change is occurring” #topprog #tcot #gop

    #IstandbywhatIsaidwhateveritwas Mitt Romney: “I’m not a partisan republican… My views are progressive” #topprog #tcot

  38. 56

    Puddybud spews:

    The Little Engine That Couldn’t Without Government Assistance #ObamaBedtimeStories

    Alice in the Unemployment Line #ObamaBedtimeStories