The last time the Democratic party held enough of a majority in all 3 branches of government for long enough to get a lot done was under Johnson in the 60’s.
They ended segregation in schools. They passed the Voting Rights Act so that black folks could vote. Passed the Civil Rights Act including provisions to protect those who aren’t old white men in the workplace. Passed Medicaid and Medicare which has helped all lower income a great deal. Secured critical funding for education infrastructure.
Since that time Republicans have been in power most of the time, and/or have held at least one branch in order to block the Democratic party from doing more. We Democrats did not even get two complete 2 year periods with a filibuster-proof majority.
Bill Clinton lost his after the first year, and Obama just barely had a filibuster-proof majority for a few months. The special election in Massachusetts caused Republican Scott Brown to be elected, which ended the filibuster-proof majority.
Even during this minuscule amount of time, they did an incredible amount of good work. The much-maligned bill that Bill Clinton passed on welfare reform is actually what got federal funding for many work and education programs, besides being absolutely necessary
The $840 billion stimulus package, the Affordable Care Act, the Dodd-Frank banking-reform bill, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and the Waxman-Markey climate bill all stand out as examples of the skill and professionalism that she has and they lack.
Millennial Democrats would like to send the following message to extremists of all shapes and sizes: It would be wiser to vote than sit out unless you want Republicans to keep making your lives harder. They’ve got an encyclopedia full of dirty tricks with which to do it, and they put all the mechanisms in place with Trump’s tyranny of a tax plan.
Top income federal tax cuts mean more taxes and cost increases for everyone else. The State doesn’t just do without lost revenue from top income, in a show of stately love toward citizen.
It is instead replaced at the local and state level through backdoor tax increases on low and middle income.
Most of us read Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle in high school; for those who didn’t, it was about a factory worker from Poland eaten alive by the meatpacking industry of Chicago. The reason people aren’t living like that now is government regulation.
Be that as it may, however, there is a tendency on both ends of the political spectrum to revile government. To label all government as tyranny or fascism is to make the terms useless. There are people out there who benefit from the existent state of polarity. People have been taught to hate their government for a reason, by specific people.
It’s not about the near future. It’s about what’s going to be happening decades from now and what kinds of limitations Democratic leaders will face in the near future.
The tax plan was forced on us like saddlebags on a racehorse. It was meant to handicap and even cripple our long-term prospects as a democracy. An understanding of this going forward is where discussions of policy must begin. The long-term goal of Republicans is to shrink government until it is so small it can be drowned in a bathtub, in the words of tax-cut crusader Grover Norquist.
Let’s try and keep our heads above water, just the same.
The news has been flying hot and heavy lately on a number of different topics. One that has inspired a gigantic response, from both left and right, is the recent news from the Supreme Court that immigrants can be held by U.S. immigration officials indefinitely without receiving bond hearings, even if they have permanent legal status or are seeking asylum, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
In a 5-3 ruling Tuesday, with one recusal, the court ruled that immigrants do not have the right to periodic bond hearings.
“Immigration officials are authorized to detain certain aliens in the course of immigration proceedings while they determine whether those aliens may be lawfully present in the country,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the majority opinion.
There has been an ongoing class-action lawsuit about this, spearheaded by Alejandro Rodriguez, an immigrant with permanent legal status who was convicted of possession of a controlled substance and joyriding. He was detained by immigration officials for three years without a bond hearing.
The ACLU took up his case, eventually winning his release and the cancellation of his deportation order. The government’s appeal was begun under the Obama administration, and continued after Trump took office last year. That set a precedent which has now been reversed.
What’s really worth paying attention to here is that a man with permanent legal status, a citizen for all practical intents and purposes, has been yanked off the street on minor charges and done more time than he would have for the charges themselves, just because he was originally from another country.
Besides this decision being absolutely lousy according to any sort of ethical code, it’s also very dangerous.
The right-wing, particularly the ones who’ve been screaming apocalyptically that President Obama was coming for their guns and putting us all in FEMA camps these last eight years, ought to know what it’s like to live in fear of an authoritarian American government running rampant over the rights of the citizenry.
The incident of Ruby Ridge comes to mind as an example of a time when the far right themselves have been on the receiving end. Republicans need to be reminded of this, and it might even get through to some. More people took it seriously in a debate than I’d expected.
The significance of this event is heightened considerably by where it appears on the timeline of all this. It’s another brick in the wall in every possible sense; the Border Patrol is building a piece of wall on California’s land, right now. It’s another big sign that things are terribly wrong, in Donald Trump’s America.
This concerns us all. It’s a slippery slope leading right to the end of our democracy if we’re not careful. There’s no doubt at all that we’re in trouble on many different levels right now, and all of them are based on a steady attack on our nation’s institutions by its own president.
Mike Rogers, our current CIA director, warned the nation today that Trump has literally not given him permission to do anything to prevent the Russian efforts geared at hacking the new elections.
It was also confirmed today the Russians penetrated voter data in seven states at least and targeted at least 21. Still, though, Trump refuses to admit it’s anything but a hoax.
He’s been going around recently, boasting about the seven more years he’ll be in office. Now that Rick Gates is testifying against Manafort, though, it might not be seven more months.
Millennial Democrats will be releasing a piece soon on how to best protect your right to have your vote counted within the next day or two.
As this continues, we’re going to have to record these things for posterity and help to spread awareness as best we can, with the ultimate goal in mind of getting people to vote.
They cannot cheat us enough to win if we show up in our tens of millions.
But what’s to stop him from pulling this again? What’s to stop him from grabbing any number of us, and holding our needs hostage to use against us later? DACA represents an obvious way to hijack us, but it’s not like there aren’t others; sooner or later, there’s something we all don’t want to lose.
Appeasement never works. Never. All throughout history, the only way to stop a bully from picking on you has been to knock his block off.
The White House threatened to veto the measure, which underscored the issue and emphasized what a hot button the issue has become, for both parties. The profound lack of partisan compromise remained as intractable as it’s been for years.
Even the focus on Dreamers, who polls show win wide public support, was not enough to overcome opposition by hard-line conservatives and far-left Democratic presidential hopefuls afraid of angering the voters they’ll soon be begging.
We are down to the line, folks. The long game of the opposition is becoming clearer by the day. The outline of a plot to reverse the entire trend begun by the civil rights outline is taking form as the dust settles.
If the people of this country go back to sleep this time, if we quietly sit back and allow Trump to be normalized, we will never get up again. It will not matter that we aren’t in favor of the awful things they’re doing because we will not have any power with which to stop it.
It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that we’ve got a year or two at most to turn this thing around. We will do this using the same means we’ve been using all along. Raising public awareness to expose and reveal these people for who they are and what they are doing. Hope is not lost, but it’s going to take a lot of hard work on the part of us all. Please join your strength with ours. Help us fix this. Before it is forever too late.
Democrats have roundly rejected Donald Trump’s callous new immigration plan, on the grounds of common sense and principle. As if we were all at a gigantic auto meet, he plans to pressure us to swap the future of our DACA recipients, or Dreamers, for that stupid wall of his.
The deal was to provide a 10-12 year pathway to citizenship for the 700,000 Dreamers already registered in the program, plus roughly another million undocumented young people in similar straits.
In exchange, Trump’s White House expects Democrats, and pro-reform Republicans, to accede to proposals that will cut even legal immigration by an estimated 50 percent. Particularly, it will be limiting the flow of non-white immigrants.
That’s a lot of extra taxes, but the Trump voters don’t seem to understand. It’s like they still think Mexico is footing the bill.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi summed up the plan simply as “anti-immigrant.”
Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Trump’s plan would institute Trump’s “hard-line immigration agenda on the backs of these young people.”
“President Trump and Republicans cannot be allowed to use Dreamers as a bargaining chip for their wish list of anti-immigrant policies,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).
As tempting as it is to give in to this, to protect our friends and our family, it would empower and embolden Trump immensely. The Wall was a signature campaign promise, and news of that $25 billion would have proved to his base once and for all that he’s their man- and many others too, most likely.
After that, they’ll be twice as greedy and twice as aggressive. We have no choice but to stymie them with steadfast resistance. This is the only logical way to proceed.
Trump would not stop with this, of course, even if we did give in. Tyrants never do.
It means giving in to brutal dictators, meekly giving in to bullying force.
Above all, it casts the image of the 1938 Munich agreement, where the British prime minister Neville Chamberlain feebly gave in to the outrageous demands of Adolf Hitler, agreeing to allow the violent annexation of Sudeten Czechoslovakia without protest.
Hitler had promised Chamberlain that this would be the last of his territorial demands in Europe but still attacked Poland just under a year later, destroying Chamberlain’s reputation and beginning World War Two.
Going forward, we are going to be raising awareness about what this plan actually consists of. We’re not going to accede to Trump’s insane demands. But we also have to make it clear why we said no.
Trump wants to use this proposed path to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants as an excuse to devastate the legal immigration system. This cannot be allowed.
“This plan flies in the face of what most Americans believe,” Schumer said on Twitter. While Trump “finally acknowledged that the Dreamers should be allowed to stay here and become citizens, he uses them as a tool to tear apart our legal immigration system and adopt the wish list that anti-immigration hard-liners have advocated for years.”
Schumer’s decision marks the strategic direction of the Democratic opposition.
We are not going to accede to any deal that’s going to hurt the country in the long run, and it’s really sad that our own President would put us in this position. It is sadder still that he sees nothing of value in all these people than a bargaining chip in political negotiations.
We have to find a way forward on immigration that will not come back to haunt us in the future.
The Senate vote to reopen the government was finally confirmed after it became clear Democrats were going to continue to block the spending bill over what do about young people affected by DACA until Republicans agreed to grow a soul.
The Republicans did not intend to compromise at all on this issue, and right now they hold all the cards. But ultimately, they did.
The last shutdown happened in 2013 and lasted 16 days.
Nearly 800,000 federal employees were out of work without pay.
More than a million other working employees had their paychecks delayed.
According to estimates by the financial services company Standards & Poor’s, the last government shutdown cost America $24 billion, or $1.5 billion a day.
Democrats forced the shutdown with a heavy heart. We demanded a vote on legislation to protect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients from deportation after Trump unexpectedly cancelled the program. The final agreement involved a vote on the issue by February.
GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina appeared alongside GOP Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Jeff Flake of Arizona, and made the following statement. “Here’s what I predict. Once we start talking about immigration and voting on immigration, we’ll find 60 votes to make sure these DACA recipients’ lives are not ruined by March 5.”
Still, it’s important not to try and cast a light on this whole incident as a win for us. It wasn’t. There was never any path to a victory here.
On Monday, a senior Republican aide told CNN that McConnell wasn’t planning to provide any firmer commitment on immigration than he already has.
“If that’s not enough for Democrats, then we’re in this for the long haul,” the aide added.
That leaves us with a hard road ahead.
It’s like the old Steinbeck book, In Dubious Battle. Sometimes you have to fight, even when you know you’re going to lose. And that’s what we just did. We took a stand. Many of our guys are up for re-election next year, in states that Trump won by a lot. It took a lot of courage.
Progressive holdouts are shrieking bloody murder, of course, but that was going to happen no matter what.
It’s a noble struggle that was just undertaken, actually. And the ones who kept on holding out were risking nothing in so doing; they’re not up for reelection this year. They’re just posing as presidential candidates.
There’s no doubt they’re doing all they can to make our lives difficult, and it’s becoming harder to hold the center because of them.
Here’s the thing, though- All of them are lemmings. The only thing that has stopped them from hurling themselves off a cliff so far is us. If we are not able to hold them back, they will all get rid of themselves. History has already proven this. George McGovern, the Bernie Sanders of his day, was slaughtered so thoroughly by Richard Nixon that his entire electoral concept- as visualized by him- was essentially refuted on the spot.
In the real world, adults who want to make actual progress have to be realistic. Sometimes compromises with people we’d rather not deal with are necessary.
Our Democratic leadership put their own necks on the chopping block and shut down the government for the sake of our Dreamers. They are now being raked over the coals from both angles, and that is just lousy.
They are national treasures, and we are very proud of them.
Going forward, we’ve got to raise awareness of how much we actually accomplished given the circumstances.
Democratic activist Sheila Jones wrote to us on the subject.
“The issue will not now be debated only behind closed doors in Congress. It will be decided in the public forum, and 87% of the public is for DACA. So we can wipe the floor with them.”
We’ve got to stick up for Chuck Schumer. And we’ve got to prepare ourselves to fight this whole battle again, in three weeks. See you in the trenches.
Schumer told reporters outside the Capitol: “We had a long and detailed meeting. We discussed all of the major outstanding issues. We made some progress, but we still have a good number of disagreements. The discussions will continue.”
Every time this comes up, it’s enough to blow my mind. I just can’t believe it. Who cares where they were born. These are Americans. Millennials, mostly. People we went to school with. To have them all ripped out of our lives, and sent tumbling backward into a place they’ve never even been to, over a wall that would be good for nothing but a big mess and an eyesore?
Leaving all the rest aside, fixed fortifications never work. The Great Wall of China is the one human creation we can see from the moon. Neat. But did it save the Chinese when the Mongols came to conquer them? No! They just hopped right over it!
Democrats and any other citizens of conscience have no choice here but to push for a solution for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and insist that it be addressed before the next deadline Friday evening. That is now about four hours away and counting- and it’s not clear whether the two parties will reach an agreement by then.
A senior White House official gave a rather miserable summary of the day’s meeting, confirming that a lengthy list of obstacles still remains. But he was eager to tell everyone it was “cordial”, i.e. Trump was wearing pants, and he did not hop up on his desk and defile the bipartisan proposal in the manner of a baboon.
That’s the progress Chuck Schumer was referring to.
Every federally funded agency, program, and service will be classified “essential” or “non-essential”.
If you’re a government employee, depending on which category your agency falls into, you may not be going to work tomorrow. Worse yet, you may be going to work tomorrow without compensation.
The military is essential, of course. But if the government shuts down tomorrow, servicemen won’t receive money for their work until it reopens.
Agencies and departments who are classified nonessential, including agencies that pay out small business loans and process passport requests,will cease to work until Congress is able to agree on a bill for the federal budget. Their employees will be on furlough.
The last time the government went through a shutdown was in 2013. Afterwards, everyone who stayed home was paid retroactively after an agreement was reached in Washington, but this administration couldn’t be more different than the one running the show in 2013. Trump is mean and vindictive. He will seek to punish and destroy. He will do everything he can to deny those people payment, so he can turn around
In the Art of the Deal, Trump writes, “Go for the jugular so they won’t wan’t to mess with you.”
And that’s all this is really about. Going for the jugular. Viciousness and cruelty as a legitimate means of deterrence. It’s the political equivalent of a countersuit. The ghost of Roy Cohn must be gnashing its teeth in glee, down there in hell.
One guy I know is really good at detailing cars. The very best.
Another man I know has had a kind word and a smile for me, every day I’ve known him. Some days I was really down, and it helped, just to have a human interaction, to be reminded that I wasn’t alone.
I would miss that man. Very much.
The situation is terrible, and the maniac in charge of it will not bend just out of spite. We can’t either. It’s impossible. Such a thing can never be.
It’s either stand up for our Dreamers or accept the end of every American value that has meaning.
As we proceed forward into these last few hours, it’s important to take stock of why this is happening- and to bear witness. Donald Trump, the Nero of our time, the tyrant and petty dictator who is gambling with the futures of 200,00 human beings, will be vilified by this for all eternity.
By glorious misdeed, he has made himself renowned. After this step, he will not turn back.
His frenzy, feeding on its own violence, with outrage ever fresh will mark his days.
But in the end, the people, sick and tired, will add his name to the list of his other victims. And in the days to come, his name will transform into a slight to cast at other wicked presidents.
U.S. President Donald Trump blasted the federal court system as “broken and unfair” on Wednesday after a judge from the heroic 9th Circuit blocked his administration’s vicious move to end the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals(DACA) program protecting young immigrants brought to the United States illegally by their parents.
Something in the federal system is broken and unfair, at any rate, and today, like every other day, we’re going to have to be talking about what.
We’re going to do what we always do, and have done for ten days short of a year now. Raise awareness of the fresh and daily travesties granted to us by the infinite wisdom of the president, and the ramifications they will have going forward.
What a lot of fun! I can’t tell you how pleased I am, every morning, to feel a sick pit of nerves in my gut every time I open up my computer, wondering what new horror the day is going to bring.
This time, Trump has tried to use the lives of 200,000 people as currency to trade for that stupid wall of his, by threatening to end the aforementioned DACA program. He knows we’ll never agree to it, trying for it is just posturing.
Even Trump knows what an ineffective waste of time that wall would be. It was never really about building anything. It was just some cool-sounding thing he liked to say.
The wall has become a symbol of Trump’s entire failure of a presidency. It’s representative of all the things he thinks he wants to do, but hardly understands, and is ruining with his ignorance and bullying.
He says he wants a great country, a safe country, a prosperous country. So do we! Isn’t that what everyone wants? He’s got the power to do it, too. All he’s got to do is resign.
At 70 years old, it is plainly and simply too late for him to realize that the only way that that will ever happen, is by creating an environment where everyone has a place and a share in happiness. Healthy people will do healthy commerce. Healthy commerce means a healthy economy, and so on.
But Trump is so greedy. He picks out at random the people who he physically resembles- nearly all of whom also want nothing to do with him- and he says to the world, Only these people are important, only they matter, everyone else can be thrown out like the trash because they do not look like Donald Trump.
In effect, that works out to mean that everyone will actually have less, so that a few might feel they’ve got more than a few others. And one or two leeches and ticks at the top like Donald Trump will have basically everything.
And he meant it. He lies to other Republicans routinely, he uses them as tools and then throws them away. That’s why they’re retiring left and right, like both Ed Royce and Darrell Issa of California. Those two guys were lied to very badly indeed.
Trump told California Republicans that he would not end the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals(DACA) program, but he very nearly did it already.
What has happened in this country, when following the precise dictates of the law has become something only outlaws do? When did patriotism become uncool? What has happened to the Republicans? Exactly when did the party of Ronald Reagan start letting the Russians waltz all over us?
Trump threatened Feinstein in the same bullying, childish tone about the “Tough Primary Challenge” she’ll be facing. It’s as if he’s saying, “Oh yeah, lady. That “Justice Democrat” (how much more do we need that these people are not on the level?)coming after you this year? It’s me you’re really up against.”
At the end of the day, California and other states put together a good lawsuit, and the Democrats came through for us again. In a victory for Dreamers, and all Americans, federal immigration authorities quietly announced they have resumed accepting requests for renewals in DACA.
“Until further notice, if you already applied for #DACA and it was expiring, this is your chance to reapply,” California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra tweeted Saturday night.
The government’s announcement was made without fanfare Saturday evening. This happy news came four days after a federal judge in San Francisco issued an order temporarily blocking the Trump administration’s decision to phase out the program.
Daddy Warbucks has been foiled again. That’s the only whole fair thing that ever happens anymore.
The 25th Amendment. Honestly, how many of us even knew what it was, twelve months ago? One person who didn’t is writing this article. But since then, a lot of things have changed.
What it is, is a type of political ripcord regarding the position of chief executive. A ripcord is what you pull to release a parachute, your last hope to not die if you’re in a plane that’s going to crash. Hopefully by now this metaphor requires no explanation. At any rate, the amendment allows for the removal of a President in the case of his being unfit to serve, for any reason.
Its purpose is to provide a failsafe, a legal mechanism outlining a process for the chief executive to be legally stripped of power and removed from office. This would require a vote by 13 Cabinet members and the Vice-President. Basically, it means there is hope beyond Russiagate, for getting out of all of this alive and before 2020.
People have been talking about this for a while now, but lately it’s been catching a lot of attention. Bob Corker, Tennessee’s junior senator, recently said in a New York Times interview that the White House is like an adult daycare center and that Trump could lead the country into World War III.
That statement resonated in hearts worldwide. Bipartisan support has exploded for Corker, who joins a growing number of Congressional Republicans in deciding not to seek reelection. Since announcing his retirement, Corker has spoken his mind thoroughly about the large orange infant stinking up the White House. It’s too bad more of the Republicans won’t join him. Long-time columnist Frank Rich recently referred to it as “the disgrace of Republican silence“. Well said.
On Monday, CNN host Michael Smerconish said Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) is “planting seeds” to call into question President Trump’s fitness for office.
“I’m thinking of the 25th Amendment, Section Four, which speaks to a president who’s unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” Smerconish said on CNN.
Several White House officials on Wednesday denied an NBC News report, that Trump said we needed 10 times the nuclear weapons we currently possess. This increase in the nuclear arsenal was proposed during the heated meeting that ultimately led to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson referring to the President as a “moron.”
Of course they denied it. What else are they going to do? Just come stark, and flat out say it’s true? Yes, the Secretary of State has indeed told the truth, and called our President the moron a moron?
Speaking in the Oval Office on Wednesday, Trump called the nuclear moron report “fake news.”
“When they said I want 10 times what we have right now, it’s totally unnecessary, believe me,” Trump continued. “It’s got to be in tip-top shape.”
Trump denied a rift has developed between himself and Tillerson.
“We actually have a very good relationship,” he said, going on to concede that his views on North Korea do differ from those of his top diplomat.
“I think I have a little bit different attitude on North Korea than other people might have. And I listen to everybody,” he said. “But ultimately my attitude is the one that matters, isn’t it? That’s the way it works.”
Well, maybe not.
Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has been telling people he thinks Trump has about a 30% chance of completing his four-year term.
Wednesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” host Joe Scarborough urged Republican senators need to “take immediate action” to limit President Donald Trump’s “ability to launch nuclear weapons. Criticism of Trump from Morning Joe is far from unexpected, of course. What was unexpected, is that the article was done by Breitbart News.
The situation at the White House has only gotten worse since Bannon crunched his number. Trump’s moods have grown even darker. There is verification that the President wanted to up the US nuclear arsenal tenfold. It was this suggestion that prompted Tillerson to call the President a moron.
Earlier this month Trump publicly said Tillerson was wasting his time, trying to open talks with North Korea. It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that no other sane option exists. Any military solution would cause the death of millions and involve nuclear weapons for a certainty. This is a no-brainer.
A sane and competent president would ask his secretary of state to try and start some talks with Kim. Nixon was not a big fan of North Vietnam; he dropped more bombs on it in his first week of reelection than all the bombs in World War Two combined. But he still sent Henry Kissinger to bargain with Le Duc Tho, Hanoi’s equivalent.
There is also the Iran issue. Trump is on the verge of scrapping the nuclear agreement we have with them, for reasons that remain unclear. Acting on such a concept would be inane beyond verbal description.
The downside would be that if we did back out of the deal, Iran would not give us our money back, and would start back up with their nuclear weapons program. The upside, at least in the mind of Trump, is that it would help him negate the legacy of Barack Obama. Robert Reich said in a letter to Rex Tillerson that Trump’s narcissism is endangering the world.
The last hope of the Republicans for getting something done with Donald Trump’s presidency is John Kelly, the retired Marine general serving as Trump’s second chief of staff. Kelly has managed to tighten up the flow of information and visitors to the president, bringing order to an unruly White House.
We’ve been here before, plenty of times. Trump melts down, others put him back together, and the lurching golem that is this abortive presidency slouches on for a few more miles. But we’re reaching the point of getting low on people to attend the repairs.
Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi were having good luck for a while, talking sense into him on the DACA deal, but Sean Hannity overruled them. Hannity pointed out that Trump’s base wants him tough on immigration. Trump went with Hannity.
The 45th president of America’s foolishness and incompetence will be legend throughout all of time. It will almost certainly lead to a career-ending blunder even if Robert Mueller does not have enough to bring charges.
If the Fates should prove cruel, and deny us justice with regard to an impeachment,we do have the 25th Amendment as a last hope to fall back on. If such a vote among the Cabinet ever does come to pass, Rex Tillerson, for one, has got to be inclined to cast his vote in the direction that gets rid of Trump. It’s the only rational choice.
The medical marijuana industry is in danger of suffering yet another assault on its livelihood and belief system by the federal government. If the new attack is attempted, it will be spearheaded by Trump’s pick for Attorney General, Jeff Sessions. Back in the 1980’s, Sessions said of the Ku Klux Klan that he thought they were OK, until he heard they smoked marijuana. He hasn’t changed.
In May, Sessions drafted a letter to congressional leaders. He was requesting them to repeal the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, which protects cannabis dispensaries in legal states from federal prosecution. Sessions has been looking for a way to get around this and go after medical-marijuana businesses from the first day he got the job.
Even among his fellow Republicans this approach has been roundly criticized. It is largely viewed as out of touch with the times, representative of a 1982 way of thinking that the rest of the party has long since abandoned. But Sessions recently doubled down on it.
He expounded on his anti-marijuana view in response to a reporter’s question during a press conference in San Diego recently. Building on previous comments he’s made, Sessions in effect was stating that use of cannabis is automatically the same thing as drug abuse, and that cannabis is anything but medicine.
According to Reuters, Sessions reminded everyone in the room that the federal law banning the sale of marijuana “remains in effect,” and that “I’ve never felt that we should legalize marijuana.” That’s pretty unequivocal, which is good. The enemy at the gates is less to be feared, for he wears his banner openly.
The War on Drugs did not start with Nancy Reagan, or even close to her time, although she is the one to make the phrase immortal. It has been in the process of evolving from the very start. Regulatory legislature is never far behind anything useful, fun, or cool.
By the late 1800s, cannabis extracts were sold in pharmacies and doctors’ offices throughout Europe and the United States to treat stomach problems and other ailments.
Drug use for medicinal and recreational purposes has been happening in the United States since the country’s inception, and in fairness, it should be stated that this does serve some useful function. A certain amount of conservatism is good for a society. However, there is a line past which any philosophy becomes a perversion of itself. When science and reason fall by the wayside to suit some agenda, that agenda has already ceased to be worthwhile.
The War on Drugs has been one of the cruelest and most catastrophic policies ever conceived of by a government on its people. There are over two hundred thousand people in the federal prison system today, and a solid half of them are currently there for drug crimes. Between October 2012 and September 2013, 27.6 percent of drug offenders were locked up for crimes related to marijuana. It’s a sickening state of affairs, and no mistake.
In 1919 the Supreme Court upheld the HNA decision and applied more rigorous standards to it, outlawing addiction-maintenance for pleasure or comfort. Then as now, this led to national restrictions on physicians and pharmacists, who were widely(and unjustly) held responsible for America’s ever-growing problems with drug addiction.
The Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) was the next step in their solution. It was an agency of the United States Department of the Treasury, after an act of June 14, 1930. Its purpose was to consolidate the functions of the Federal Narcotics Control Board and the Narcotic Division, the agencies responsible for the enforcement of the aforementioned legislature.
Under the leadership of its first Commissioner, Harry J. Anslinger, whom Jeff Sessions is often compared to, the FBN took an unfortunate and draconian position regarding addiction. It is not a disease, they said, and the person with an addiction, therefore, was not a patient. If the addict was not a patient, then according to the HNA, he must be a criminal.
It should be noted that there were many financial and trade-based reasons for the passing of these laws, but the big reason it scared the regular people so much is the way in which the addicts themselves were portrayed in the emerging national narrative. A great deal of disinformation was spread about these people, and the reality of their conduct was not a considered factor to the people in charge of pumping it out.
The HNA was passed and upheld for the same reasons described by Lee Atwater when describing the “Southern Strategy” he intended to get Reagan reelected with in 1984. The process by which rich whites take advantage of the malcontented poor ones, i.e. Trump voters, is deserving of the greatest attention we can give it. These are the techniques they use to keep us split up and squabbling.
Alerting people to the growing threat supposedly posed by cannabis was of paramount importance if the law was to have its desired effect. So a series of propaganda films were made on the subject. The most famous of these was 1936’s “Reefer Madness”.
After a lurid national propaganda campaign against the “evil weed,” Congress passed the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937(MTA). The statute effectively criminalized marijuana, restricting possession of the drug to individuals who paid a simple possession tax, for which you were then issued an official government stamp.
Anyone was allowed to have marijuana, so long as they had their Marihuana Tax Stamp. And all you had to do to get one was to go down to the courthouse with your pot and register it. The only trouble was, before you had the stamp, your grass could get you sent to prison. So once you got there, instead of a stamp, you’d get a hefty jail sentence. The first person in America to be caught with marijuana after the passing of the MTA was one Samuel R. Caldwell, of Boulder, Colorado. He was sentenced to four years hard labor at Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary.
Locking up drug offenders is one of the big stories behind mass incarceration. The other is that prison is a finishing school for people who have made bad choices to end up becoming lifelong criminals. Young people get into trouble with drugs, and have to go sit in the same holding cells as murderers and pederasts. They end up doing things they never thought they would have to, just to survive.
Once in the system, it’s hard to get back out. “The increase in U.S. incarceration rates over the past 40 years is preponderantly the result of increases both in the likelihood of imprisonment and in lengths of prison sentences,” the National Research Council wrote in one report regarding this matter.
At present, the war on drugs paradigm and the brutally unnecessary enforcement agencies created to uphold and maintain it are under greater attack than perhaps ever before. This is especially true for marijuana prohibition. Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska have passed state-level legalization measures. A developing legal market for marijuana is already thriving and healthy. Voters in Washington, D.C., have moved to do the same, despite pushback from Congress.
All of this has been made possible so far by federal adherence to the a bipartisan legislature which has blocked the use of federal funding to be used in the prosecution of cannabis companies. But in the end, it’s only a Band-Aid, and there are ominous signs that the tide may be shifting. All the chaos going on everyplace gives Sessions plenty of cover from the public eye, as he goes weaseling out the ammo he needs to shut down legal-weed operations.
The House Rules Committee last month blocked a vote on the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment. This may adversely affect exemptions for pot businesses in legal states. This amendment has to be voted on and added to the budget every year. The blockage of this vote by the House may keep the amendment out of the 2018 budget, paving the way for Sessions to wreak havoc by using federal dollars to prosecute medical-cannabis businesses.
And this is where we have to ask ourselves: Where do we draw the line? We have passed the point of no return. We are going to stand up together and let the government that we are done letting our children be dragged off to monster factories, over a joint. We’re done letting this natural and fun activity be dragged through the mud, and even used as a weapon to hurt liberals with. The whole thing was designed in the first place, as a strategy to hamstring the lives of voters who Nixon saw as reliably Democratic, according to White House tapes.
Nixon domestic policy chief John Ehrlichman said, “We had two enemies- the antiwar left, and the blacks. We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black. But by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs themselves? Of course we did.”
The 1830’s were now quite some time ago, and it is time for the country to move on. Two hundred years worth of debate, about a question that was answered before humans could write, is a good deal more than enough. Jeff Sessions is going to have to learn right along with the rest of the Trump administration that the 1980’s are over.
America has bigger problems, when it comes to its prison system. It needs to be doing all it can to remedy the fact of more than 700 Americans for every 100,000 being prisoners. We’re not going back to kicking holes in people’s futures over this kind of thing. Cannabis is a gift from the heavens, and we are very grateful for it. To Jeff Sessions, Mr Attorney General, sir, I respectfully request, on behalf of the entire cannabis community, that you just leave us alone.
Trump supporters are going berserk. The Democrats have managed to successfully appeal to Trump’s sense of mercy on the subject of the Dreamers. According to the nearly-finalized agreement, not only will there be no wall, but the DACA recipients will stay and get a legal path to citizenship. Ann Coulter is beside herself with rage, at the thought of it. Trump’s base now “hates him”, according to her. She went so far as to outright call for his impeachment.
The traditional base of the president have shown us that victory is nowhere near as important for them as being able to hold onto old misconceptions and illusions. Desperate for wins at any cost, Trump has perceived a lifeline before his eyes. He has happened across the one strategy guaranteed to pay off for him. By listening to us Democrats and helping us get our stuff done, he’ll score all the big victories he wants.
For Donald Trump, this has led to good things. For the first time since his presidency began, he is enjoying being hated less by the rest of America, the people not among his base, It is probable he will not give that up. This is very good news for America. But it is not good news for Trump’s base.
They want a return to the days of “Lock her up!” and “Build the wall!”. In the absence of these, politics is ceasing to be fun for them. What a shame.
Those “true Trump” voters –his most ardent supporters – comprised about 22 percent of registered voters in the poll. Their stance on issues like immigration and LGBT rights is far more ardent than their Republican brethren.
The Trump arm of the GOP has felt increasingly isolated, and left behind by the times they no longer understand. Many seem to be feeling acutely uncomfortable and overlooked with many of the changes of the past decade.
According to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll,
“The Trump arm of the GOP looks almost like an entity unto itself, one that is feeling acutely uncomfortable with many of the changes of the past decade and overlooked by the news media,” the poll analysis notes. “The attitudes among True Trump voters raise questions about the Republican Party’s direction. The energy in the GOP right now is with them and the data do not suggest they are a group looking for compromise or moderation.”
A Monmouth University poll released earlier this year, reported that six in 10 people who approve of President Donald Trump (61%) say that there is nothing Trump could do that would lose him their backing.
The cultural divide running through American politics has long had an undercurrent of partisan distrust between it, but the gaps grow even wider when one looks at the group of voters firmly behind President Donald Trump. Their devotion to him is unbounded by decency or reason.
Promising his base the things they think they want was successful. Following through on them, however, has proved an impossible disaster. The process of trying has made him the most reviled man on Earth, not to mention the most laughed at. And the Republican Congressmen he had planned to shoot for the stars with, were not able to put a repeal bill on his desk, let alone a replacement. The people who brought him to the dance have become a liability.
This is a president in desperate need of validation, affirmation, and success. Trump cares about winning more than he cares about anything else. The only wins of his presidency, were achieved for him through listening to Democrats and helping us actualize our plans.
Every indication suggests that Schumer and Pelosi had such an easy time handling him in regards to this most recent deal on the DACA program, because he wanted the same media members who he hates with such a passion to say pleasant things about him.
We got our fill of what True Trump voters call fun, after the Charlottesville tragedy that claimed the innocent life of our sister, Heather Heyer. Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi’s unexpected initial success in getting Trump to sign off on a worthy plan has opened a door for a number of different policies.
Proposals which would otherwise never have been possible have been put on the president’s table by Democrats. Due to this, things are looking as good as they have, since before January 20. If the cost of this tendency continuing is the unhappiness of hardcore Trump supporters, it is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that we can afford it.