Obama Signals on Drug Reform

Marc Ambinder's new article suggesting Obama will shift his position on the War on Drugs if he gets re-elected doesn't offer much.

Since the United Ststes isn't about to legalize or regulate the illegal narcotics markets, the best thing a president can do may be what Obama winds up doing if he gets re-elected: using the bully pulpit to draw attention to the issue. But he won't do so before November.

The article is more a review of the documentary The House I Live In, which I wrote about in January here than it is about Obama.

I have no expectations Obama will ease up on the War on Drugs. But since we know that Republicans will keep escalating it, as they will our over-reliance on incarceration, the choice in November on this issue is clear: Obama.

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    A (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by lentinel on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 04:37:45 PM EST
    new slogan for 2012:

    I have no expectations

    Where do I sign?

    What (5.00 / 3) (#47)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 06:00:20 PM EST
    this post says to me is Obama is not credible and he sux but Romney sux 2 times more. I'm just can't wait until campaign season goes into full swing---NOT!

    Our choice is: not a Republican (none / 0) (#1)
    by koshembos on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 12:39:42 PM EST
    "the choice in November on this issue is clear: Obama." Obama will not change anything elected or otherwise, promising or not. My choice is to vote against Republicans across the board. If this means voting for Obama I'll do it extremely reluctantly.

    The convention surprise (none / 0) (#2)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 12:40:30 PM EST
    Since Joe Biden took gay marriage off the table.

    I rather doubt that (none / 0) (#3)
    by andgarden on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 12:54:56 PM EST
    but I think some movement on this issue is not impossible with Obama.

    Depends (none / 0) (#4)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 12:58:02 PM EST
    on the Congress he gets if re-elected.

    If he wants a real legacy... (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 01:02:52 PM EST
    of achieving real progressive change, drug policy is the arena to do it...but I don't think he has the cajones to do what is right and come what may.

    Obama's loss, if he wants to hang his hat on health care and/or financial reform as his legacy, history will not be kind.

    The choice is clear all right...none of the above.

    Well He Could... (none / 0) (#11)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 01:46:18 PM EST
    ...stop raiding legitimate MM places of business and let the people in the industry write-off expenses, like every other business.

    He could move to the left of GWB on MM instead of to the right if was serious.

    That statement is about as useful as the gay marriage declaration.  Benefits no one but Obama at the ballot box.  Could he get anymore desperate, acting like an R until he needs votes, then magically all the policies he's fought are now his own.

    Just waiting for a declaration that GITMO prisoners deserve rights.

    And all of it forgotten November 7th when he goes back to being republican-light.


    Not putting much stock... (none / 0) (#12)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 01:51:24 PM EST
    in "the real Obama" standing up once he has no re-election to worry about, eh Scott?

    Me neither;)  But if he wants to go down in the record books as a pres who accomplished something of worth, this issue is ripe for the picking.


    Unlike Last Election... (none / 0) (#17)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 02:14:32 PM EST
    ...we have seen where his priorities are.

    For christ sake, the first black President can't even be bothered to help black people, what makes anyone think he cares about any of us.

    The only reason he stands a chance is because the other side is even more pathetic.  Which almost seems impossible when you look at Obama's record.  But he did kill a lot of bad guys I am told.

    I would love to see Mitt and Barrack on the front lawn with pistols counting paces, like Old Hickory, proving they take their responsibility seriously.  It would certainly rid the White House of these special interest cream puffs.

    It will be interesting to see what Mexico does, unlike us, they don't have untold fortunes to keep blowing on this charade.


    Our drug war... (none / 0) (#20)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 02:24:47 PM EST
    means a fair chunk of change in handouts to the Mexican govt, not to mention the diplomatic hell to pay if they had the nerve to do what is right and necessary for them and the world. There will be no big change.  

    I see Mexico pulling back the military involvement in policing, reversing the Calderon debacle, and hopefully a decline in bloodshed, but thats about it.


    Maybe Not Now... (none / 0) (#25)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 02:53:53 PM EST
    ...but those poor Latin countries are going to have make change and as much as we given them, it's not nearly enough.

    Mexico at least seems open to the idea of change, unlike us.  Not saying legalization, but who was it, the Nicaragua or El Salvador who was seriously flirting with making trafficking legal.  Or maybe it's all a ploy to get more $$$.

    Leadership change in Mexico can't make it worse IMO.


    Maybe we should (none / 0) (#46)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 05:48:27 PM EST
    1. Quit giving them money.

    2. Close our borders so that we cease being the safety value for their excess population.

    Let them work out their own problems.

    Representing black people (none / 0) (#35)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 04:18:29 PM EST
    who are supporting him in a massive way, we think Obama is doing a pretty darn good job and will be voting for him without reservation.

    Most black people understand what is possible and not possible politically and we judge him according to a realistic scale.


    - Angry Black Guy, occasional, uncertified but undoubtedly on safe footing, representative of all black americans everywhere


    Oy (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by sj on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 04:40:25 PM EST
    - Angry Black Guy, occasional, uncertified but undoubtedly on safe footing, representative of all black americans everywhere
    A foolish comment no matter who made it, or who one claims to represent.  But in your case, I think Bruce Dixon might disagree with you.

    So we have to be black to understand? (5.00 / 3) (#43)
    by nycstray on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 05:33:43 PM EST
    Got it.



    So then (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by jbindc on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 08:52:26 AM EST
    ABG should never, ever again comment about what is sexist and what isn't because he isn't a woman.

    Have any of the women here (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 09:09:51 AM EST
    ever claimed such global knowledge of, or spoken for, all women?

    ABG is free to speak for himself, to express what he thinks - just as we all are free to do the same.  He doesn't speak for all black people, and his comments that purport to do that, to express what the entire black community thinks or feels about Obama - or anything else - are not even worth reading.

    ABG's comment was ridiculous on its face, and your defense of it is, too.


    We'll See (none / 0) (#50)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 08:34:56 AM EST
    Can we expect 50% turnout by this group you seem to have designated yourself the speaker of ?

    But that wasn't my point ABG, not even close, he has done nothing specifically for black people unless you count the great beer summit.  Which pretty much sums up his Presidency, giving the aholes a pass in the name of coming together.  Which of course he has finally figured out, is a fool's dream.

    And as much as you think the rest of us don't know any black people, that you are our only conduit to the black mind, it's not true.  And I can attest that at least here at work, some of my co-workers don't share your never ending devotion.  And while I am not close enough to ask if they will be voting for him, I can attest that what you say is pure BS and I am positive you know it.


    So, what will you do if Obama does (none / 0) (#6)
    by Anne on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 01:08:56 PM EST
    escalate?  If he becomes a proponent of more drone technology in the War on Drugs?

    Vote for him anyway, would be my guess. And that lack of pressure is pretty much going to ensure that the kinds of changes that the LGBT and Latino communities brought to their issues so successfully aren't going to be coming to these areas anytime soon.

    Not to mention that I just don't believe that the president who has one of the most rabid, anti-drug Bush holdovers heading the DEA is going to be making any moves in the other direction anytime soon - not even if he is re-elected.  He is too judgmental, a trait that has gotten in the way of a lot of policy changes he made noises about in the last election, on this and other issues.

    As for the "clear choice" thing, the only thing that's clear to me is that the GOP is no choice at all; but in many ways, voting for Obama is like rejecting homelessness in favor of living in your car:  the car is better, but not by much.

    Why would he change? (4.00 / 3) (#7)
    by redwolf on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 01:15:28 PM EST
    Have you all ever considered that drug prohibition is a progressive policy?  Taking away things from people that are bad for them has been the gold standard of progressive policy for ages.  Obama being a decent progressive has no reason to deviate from the norm.

    It's definitely authoritarian policy... (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 01:34:52 PM EST
    progressives are far too nonchalant about the eggs they break to make their omelettes, same as conservatives...no argument here...liberty has so few friends, probablt because she is a slob and makes a mess sometimes, but what a glorious mess it is.

    I don't consider less individual freedom and more prisons full of non-criminals "progress" myself.  

    Handcuffs are bad for people...thats what we need to treat like a controlled substance, handcuffs!


    Good One (4.00 / 3) (#14)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 01:57:26 PM EST
    Taking away things from people that are bad for them has been the gold standard of progressive policy for ages.

    And using the Bible to demonize and eventually illegalize just about anything that feels good is the gold standard of conservative policy for about... 2000 years.

    Unless you are reading these Texas history books, it's established fact who is behind prohibitions, from alcohol to weed to opium to cocaine, and it ain't progressive, no matter how much you want it to be.  Either it's the good lord, saving industrial interests, or saving white women from the drug crazy colored man.

    Take that non-sense over to Drudge where it might actually fly.


    And For the Love of God... (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 02:00:34 PM EST
    ...quit acting like Obama is a progressive.

    A little harsh Scott... (2.00 / 1) (#16)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 02:12:00 PM EST
    "progressives" can run just as tyrannical as the bible-thumpers, just the motives are different.  Some lefties in this here community support drug prohibition.

    Some progressives wanna save people from themselves, even if they adamantly don't want saving, and they'll put you in chains to "save" you...conservative bible-thumper motivations lie more in prohibiting their definition of sin, and by extension punish the sinners. All imo of course.

    Look at Europe, far more "progressive" or "liberal" than us for the most part, and drugs are prohibited there too, Netherlands excluded but maybe not for long.


    But It's Not a Progressive Policy... (none / 0) (#19)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 02:24:40 PM EST
    ...that's just dumb.

    Too chicken sh1t to go against the status quo is not the same as purveyors of policy which of course is a democrat trait, not a progressive one.

    And at this moment in time, the democrats might be right there with them, but had conservatives never pushed this policy onto American (cough, Nixon, cough, Reagan) they wouldn't be a policy for democrats, not to be confused with progressives, to be too scared to fight.

    Their idiocy on prohibition is out of control and now instead of admitting their mistakes, they pull the classic conservative move, rewrite history and lay the blame at someone else's feet.


    I think (none / 0) (#36)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 04:20:31 PM EST
    that Obama is promoting a healthcare bill and a stance on gay marriage that threatened to do him real political harm over the past few months.

    The idea that he doesn't have the fortitude to do the right thing despite the polling has an enemy in reality.


    Good Gravy (none / 0) (#51)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 08:42:27 AM EST
    If he could have ran from ACA, he would have.  He certainly has let the other side take something most Americans wanted, and turned into something most don't like.    

    Now I know your joking, fortitude and Obama have never went together.  He is clearly trying to get his base off the couch to vote with declarations backed by nothing.  Why now with these declarations about marriage, immigrants, and drugs ?  He had 3+ years, and now is when he decides to do the right thing, pleaze.


    Huh?? (none / 0) (#55)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 09:19:29 AM EST
    He certainly has let the other side take something most Americans wanted, and turned into something most don't like.

    Well, Pelosi was right.

    Obama had to sign the bill before he knew what was in the bill.

    You know, it is most interesting to what you folks justify your vote for Obama.


    Justify ? (none / 0) (#57)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 10:26:48 AM EST
    Jim you are not on hear every day, but I am not justifying anything.  I bought a bill of goods that didn't deliver as promised.  I was duped.

    I, while not happy to admit it, certainly have never run from my vote or the reality of the last 3+ years.  If I could do it over, I would get behind HRC.

    That being said, and as much buyers remorse as I have, there is simply no way in hell I would have ever voted McCain/Palin.  And as much as I keep mouthing off about staying home, it seems unlikely.  Back then or in November.

    Here's the thing, some of us are capable of admitting fault in our party, something I saw none of when GWB was up for re-election and try as they might, no one will ever fail like GWB.  Sure Obama has failed in so many ways, but nearly all of it is because his predecessor failed infinitely worse.  Funny how the republicans want to follow Obama's lead in forgetting the past and moving forward, forgetting the nightmare they unleashed onto this country.

    And when I say our party, I mean my former party.  Unless they decide that the principles that attracted me are still important enough to fight for, I will remain partyless.  Not to be confused with 'Independent'.  

    And really Jim, lecturing Obama on reading a bill, where was that intellectualism when GWB was signing anything they put in front of him ?  why is there is a different set of standards for Obama than GWB ?


    I think everyone agrees (none / 0) (#58)
    by lousy1 on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 10:55:13 AM EST
    GWB will not be elected this November.

    Actually Scott (none / 0) (#60)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 12:26:35 PM EST
    I wasn't thinking of you in specific, but one of many. However, your comments are specific and interesting.

    Let me respond.

    I read TL every day. Some days I don't comment.

    If you were duped on Obamacare, whose fault was that? Certainly enough information was available to say, "No. This isn't what we want."

    So, you would have never voted Repub. Back then, or November. Okay, fine. And your reason is that Obama is a better choice than Romney. Okay, fine. But remember that you get the whole package, not just some parts. Obama's "enemies list" is yours. "Fast and Furious" is yours.

    And a healthcare plan that destroys any chance at a true single payer plan based on the Medicare model is yours.

    As for Bush, as noted below, he won't be on the ballot. Are some Repubs unhappy with some of the things he did? Yes, I have friends that are. But, I have told them the same as I told you. They got the whole package. And yes, I was/am unhappy with some of the things he did and didn't do.

    You say that you are "partyless" but not an Independent. I'm not sure what that means. To me, a registered Independent, me for example, is saying that they will vote for who they like and do not support the "Party." As an Independent I am more likely to just stay home than a registered party member.

    And though we both may disagree, the fact is that each of us is confronted with Hobson's Choice because each see the other candidate as totally unacceptable. We can vote the lessor of two evils or stay home.

    You, whether you want to say it or not, are justifying voting for Obama.

    I'm not. I've been ABO since I first took a look at him back in 2007-08.


    Good to know (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Yman on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 08:58:15 AM EST
    So, you would have never voted Repub. Back then, or November. Okay, fine. And your reason is that Obama is a better choice than Romney. Okay, fine. But remember that you get the whole package, not just some parts. Obama's "enemies list" is yours. "Fast and Furious" is yours.

    "Wide Receiver" is yours.  9-11 is yours.  The Iraq and Afghanistan Wars are yours.  The response to Katrina is yours.  The worst recession since the depression is yours.  Medicare Act of 2003 is yours.  The highest disapproval ratings of any POTUS ...

    ... yours.

    And on, and on ...


    OK (none / 0) (#61)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 01:02:17 PM EST
    Fast & Furious is actually Bush's baby.

    And if you remember, Obama actually campaigned on single payer.  But later took if off the table as the starting point for negotiating.

    And I am not an Independent, because we all know self-proclaimed Independents are republicans, right there with the Tea party, acting like they are different.  And Jim, Independents don't spout off republican talking points every chance they get.  You are exactly why no one want to be labeled Independent.  You have deluded yourself into believing it when nothing could be further from the truth.   But if you must label me, I am the the No Party voter who leans very left.  Does that work.  Toss me the most leftist progressive who actually believes in progressive policy and they got my vote.  Voting for the lesser of two evils is not what I would call a real choice is it, now.

    And giver me a break, when a candidate tells me one thing and does another, that's hardly taking the good and the bad.  It's why I find his current line of BS so much harder to swallow.  Sure he's gonna start dialog about an effective drug policy.  Which really means that I will use all my power to make sure their budget is even larger.

    Your fellow republicans might be unhappy about Bush now, but in 2004 not a bad word was said about him on the right.  Which was my point.

    And yeah, I know GWB isn't on the ballot, if he were we'd get all the morons giving us another 4 more of hell claiming he walks on water.

    I am out, enjoy your 4th and stay hydrated, it's going to be a hot one.  

    And as one infamous Mayor Vaughn once said,

    Martin, it's all psychological. You yell barracuda, everybody says, "Huh? What?" You yell shark, we've got a panic on our hands on the Fourth of July.

    No Scott (none / 0) (#63)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 01:53:12 PM EST
    Fast and Furious under Bush was shut down.It was dumb then. It was reopened under Obama and expanded. That was dumber. And the stonewalling, the concealment and lying.... that's even dumber.

    Yes, I remember Obama claiming to be for single payer.... But what negotiations???? He had a huge majority.. He took it off because he wanted Obamacare.

    And an Independent can't agree with some things Repub??? H/She must only spout Demo points?

    Really??? ;-)

    Scott, no Repub would embrace what I have supported for over 9 years.

    I think kdog said it best. The "progressives" are just as quick to want to control as the "Far Right."

    Enjoy the 4th!


    kdog swung wildly (none / 0) (#64)
    by jondee on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 04:34:37 PM EST
    which is of course, right down your ally..

    But the devil's in the details.

    Progressives mainly want to control the behavior of those who want to take a toxic dump on the land, the poor, women, and workers.

    The teabaggers and scrotched-earth Libertarians basically wanna take us back to some idyllic time when the law of the jungle reigned supreme in this country.


    Lets not make it so (none / 0) (#21)
    by jondee on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 02:32:17 PM EST
    black and white and absolutist, dog: they prohibit some things, but the devil's in the details: how do the different countries specifically deal with addiction problems; what are their rates of violent, "drug related" crime and recidivicism; what are their approaches to sentencing and alternative sentencing; their attitudes in regard to prison and other detention facility conditions? etc

    I hear ya... (2.00 / 1) (#22)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 02:39:43 PM EST
    a kinder gentler drug tyranny in Europe, definitely worth mentioning.  

    My main point is lets not pretend there aren't many who call themselves progressive or liberal of leftie who support prohibition and assuming nannyship of other people's sovereign bodies.  In fact, this type of prohibitionist may be the most dangerous, because their intentions are good.


    Just don't take the next (none / 0) (#23)
    by jondee on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 02:49:09 PM EST
    Libertarian leap and start talking about how protecting old growth forests is paternalistic nannyism, as I'm thinking the wolfman upthread might..

    And... (none / 0) (#28)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 03:05:28 PM EST
    ...how much they spend and how far across they globe they go to chase their failed policies.

    Sure Bulgaria has the same policies, but they aren't dedicating the cash per capita nor are they turning into a nation of private prisons locking up perpetrators of minor infractions.  Smoking a J might be nearly illegal across the globe, but which ones will toss you in the slammer for it ?  That's where policy meets reality.  Even here, apparently in Oklahoma that's right up there with robbery, but in Colorado it's down there with speeding.  So while the policy is the same, the reality of it is vastly different.

    I wonder how many other nations we use the stick and carrot mentality to get them on board, countries that may long ago may have changed gears if it weren't for our 'influence'.


    Holy moly...why do people still insist on (4.00 / 4) (#41)
    by Anne on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 05:27:32 PM EST
    describing Obama as a progressive?  Because that's what the political sensibility of someone on the other side of the aisle is supposed to be?  Have you not watched this president pander to conservative, corporate interests for at least the last four years, not seen him go into so many issues already compromising his position in order to reach some mutually agreeable, generally craptastic result?  

    Good Lord...this man is not a progressive. He is so judgmental it's ridiculous.  Women need men to help them make reproductive health decisions, people who fell victim to an insatiably greedy mortgage industry don't deserve help because they might be getting away with something, but banks and lenders who committed fraud thousands of times a day get billions - and no one gets punished.  The president who promised transparency leaks like a sieve for purposes of shameless self-promotion, and goes after whistleblowers with a vengeance.

    Oh, wait: Sotomayor and Kagan - how could I forget them?  Well, maybe because of this:

    I especially like the recycling of talkingpoints like "Vote for Obama because OMG Romney's Supreme Court choices!" This was tired and discredited when it was trotted out 4 years ago. Since then Obama has put two people on the Supreme Court, both corporatists. The main difference is that Sotomayor is a technician whereas Kagan believes in the doctrine of vast Executive powers. Neither is liberal, neither is even remotely progressive. So we are being told to vote for Obama because he will nominate people to the Supreme Court who don't represent your views. And this is supposed to induce me to vote for him how exactly?

    Another term and I think people will be surprised at how non-progressive, non-liberal Obama's next nominations are.  I mean, this is the president who has left in place some of the worst of the Bush US attorneys, and it's hard to come up with a justification for doing so if Obama is the progressive people keep insisting he must be.

    Obama may be the best friend the GOP/conservatives have had in a long time, which makes him very bad for progressive/liberal interests and issues.  Not as bad as a "real" Republican, but bad enough that the "choice" we're facing in November is no choice at all.


    1) Obama is no progressive, (none / 0) (#18)
    by jondee on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 02:19:25 PM EST
    when, among other things, his stance on the drug war is juxtaposed with the position most progressives today take on that issue. Labeling Obama a progressive is about as intellectually honest as when Anal Cysts Limbaugh calls the Clintons and Joe Biden Leftists.

    2) Don't simplistically reduce intervention in the law-of-the-jungle, socioeconomic anarchy liberatarians want with some unnecessary, paternalistic "taking things away from people that are bad for them."



    Are seatbelt laws progressive? Helmet laws? (2.00 / 1) (#24)
    by redwolf on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 02:50:34 PM EST
    Prescription drug laws?  All of these measures were passed by self described progressives and all over them were about stopping people from being harmful to themselves.  I freely admit that Conservatives are usually much harsher when it comes to enforcing such laws, but it doesn't take away from the fact that it's progressive who get these types of liberty taking away laws in the first place.

    in the first place, (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by jondee on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 03:00:22 PM EST
    can you back that assertion up with anything other than the logic of "it was proposed, so it must have been proposed by progressives, because progressives are the only ones who propose such things"?

    This seems to be a heavy-handed Liberatarian (and, is there any other kind?) to narrowly redefine "progressive" as anyone who favors limiting indivual's freedoms.


    Seatbelts... (3.67 / 3) (#30)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 03:22:58 PM EST
    ...were insurance industries babies.  And most helmet laws didn't last, but I suspect the same forces were behind those as well.

    Prescription drug laws all derive their power from Nixon's Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act.

    But you're dipping into laws that most people like and then claiming they are progressive plans.  Thanks, I guess, but not accurate.  I like knowing it's a hell of a lot safer in a car today then 20 years ago regardless.  But that's probably one area in which all people agree with, safer is better.  Certainly not a progressive cause or policy.

    Progressives champion for laws to protect people from industry for the most part, not from themselves.  It's why we champion clean air and water, global warming, the environment, peace, regulation, and on and on.


    That explains California so well! (3.50 / 2) (#34)
    by redwolf on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 04:18:03 PM EST
    "Progressives champion for laws to protect people from industry for the most part, not from themselves.  It's why we champion clean air and water, global warming, the environment, peace, regulation, and on and on. "

    So that's why in the great progressive state of California I have to wear a seat belt/motorcycle helmet, treated like a criminal if I try to get proception pain meds, endure nazi like police road blocks searching for people who had a drink, get pulled over and have my car searched for drugs, and worry about getting charged with felony if I want at night with a gun in my pocket for protection.  The progressive 100% control this state.

    I don't mind progressive forcing cleaner cars and better cars on us.  I like the natural parks and prusives they helped to create. I like clean water and a trash free environment.  What I do mind is my personal liberties being stomped on my people who tell me it's for my own good.


    There's no law (5.00 / 3) (#49)
    by NYShooter on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 03:26:32 AM EST
    prohibiting you from riding a motorcycle without a helmet...........in your backyard, basement, or attic. But, just like when you're a guest in my house you'll follow my rules, the roads, bridges, tunnels, Police, Emt's, Hospitals, etc. can be, metaphorically, thought of as being owned by "the People."  

    And, the People, rightfully, don't want to assume the cost of what your stupidity would inevitably cost them, so they have a very real vested interest, and a right, to impost certain rules to mitigate those costs.


    I see your point but (none / 0) (#56)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 09:26:41 AM EST
    the question is, how far should this go??

    Sooner or later cocaine use will kill a large number of users.

    Does that justify all drug laws?

    Unprotected sex spreads STDs, should condoms be mandated for all sex that is not creation specific? (Now, that would be an interesting license.)


    Well, thank you (none / 0) (#65)
    by NYShooter on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 12:23:26 AM EST
    For seeing my point so "right back at you," I see yours too.

    My answer to your question, "how far should this go?" is, I don't know.

    But, if I may be so simple, I would use the analogy of "how would/should you raise your children?" There are no absolute Rights, or Wrongs.

    One would hope, first of all, that the decision makers operate from a heartfelt position of good faith. That they would enter into the process with an open mind, show respect to all parties, let logic, experience, and compassion guide their thinking. They should understand that their final decision, by definition, will be, not just objective, but subjective, and necessarily imperfect also. Understanding this, they should commit themselves to monitoring the results of their decision so as to ensure that they didn't do more harm than good.

    I have found that if you're entering a negotiation regarding contentious,
     "personal" issues, it's best to bring a little humility to the table. Ego is best left at home.


    There's a common thread to (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 09:03:42 AM EST
    what you like and don't like: the impact and effect on people other than yourself.

    As much as you want to be free to drink and drive, refrain from seatbelt and helmet use, carry a gun, etc., others of us would like more certainty that the car speeding toward us in the other lane isn't being driven by someone who's drunk - or only had "a few" - or that, if we're out walking at night, some cowboy with a gun isn't going to take it upon himself to shoot us.  Your unbelted and unhelmeted self costs us - the taxpayers - millions of dollars in medical expenses when you don't have insurance.

    You wouldn't appreciate it if your neighbor, who just wants to be free to be himself, started throwing his garbage over your fence; his freedom doesn't trump yours, anymore than yours trumps mine.

    As for seatbelts and helmets and driving after drinking, are you as cavalier and freedom-loving when it's your kids who are driving the car or riding the motorcycle/bike and just driving on their own - or riding with other new drivers?  I would guess not: I know plenty of people who once chafed against the restriction of these kinds of  freedoms, but parenthood changed that.


    Perhaps a very appropriate quote (none / 0) (#62)
    by Zorba on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 01:02:57 PM EST
    "The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins."

    Often attributed to Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., but apparently first said by Zechariah Chafee, Jr.  And it covers a number of situations.  If what you do is going to result in harm to others, whether physical or monetary (with no benefits to anyone, other than yourself and your own gratification), perhaps you should strongly reconsider doing that.  At least, if you want to be part of a civilized society.
    (Although, Holmes did say a whole lot of tremendously wise things.)

    There are other states you could (4.20 / 5) (#42)
    by nycstray on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 05:31:54 PM EST
    move to.

    Just sayin'


    Yes, I wonder if (none / 0) (#45)
    by KeysDan on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 05:45:50 PM EST
    Mittens is considering selling his La Jolla house (so as not to get them all mixed up, this is the one that needs an elevator for his Cadillacs).  The California ban on fois gras, signed into law in Sept 2004 by Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger,  kicked in yesterday.  The availability of a Bain household staple has now fallen due to bleeding heart concerns for ducks and geese.

    FYI (none / 0) (#33)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 04:03:37 PM EST
    Motorcycle helmets don't actually have to pass a test to get certified.  They just have to believe they can pass to use the Snell logo.

    That to me is nutz, especially with all the trendy motorcycle stuff out there.  Even if it would pass, it's pass/fail making the ability to compare helmets nearly impossible.

    There is a European certification, ECE 22-05, which actually ranks helmets in several categories.  But like many products, we only share a small amount of models with Europe.  So it's really hard to find a good, affordable helmet in the US that has actually been properly tested.

    And no one tests different size helmets.  Often a manufacturer might uses the same inter-padding for say a L and XL helmet, and make the shell on the XL larger.  Well physics tells you a XL head has more mass and should have more padding.  Nope, the rating hold true for all the helmets in the line.


    I'll give you one. (3.50 / 2) (#29)
    by redwolf on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 03:21:09 PM EST

    Congress passes a nation motorcycle helmet law during one of the most progressive congresses in history:

    For most of my short life every time the american state decided to take something away from the people it's been a progressive was leading the charge and then a Conservative comes later organize the jackboots to make sure the law was enforced.

    The progressive says I'm doing it for your own good and a Conservative smashes my face in telling me the law is the law.  The effect is the same.  It's almost like good cop, bad cop.


    as Scott says (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by jondee on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 03:34:46 PM EST
    behind it was the Insurence Lobby and their (and Liberatians) "money = speech"..

    You don't want to take away the "liberty", "freedom", and "rights" of the people in the Insurence Industry to make an honest living, do you wolf?


    Redwolf (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 03:36:41 PM EST
    Well as mentioned, my two longest lived states of residence, Texas and Wisconsin have since repealed those laws.  I wear a helmet, but I don't have to in either state. LINK  About half the states have helmet laws, and there is no Federal helmet law.

    "Taking away things from people that are bad for them has been the gold standard of progressive policy for ages."

    Some State Helmet Laws is your proof of that statement ?


    "Taking things from people that (none / 0) (#26)
    by KeysDan on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 02:56:24 PM EST
    are bad for them has been the gold standard of progressives for ages."   The "ages" would need to begin in this context, sometime after ratification of the 18th Amendment and the Volstead Act which enabled its enforcement.  While there were wets and drys in both political parties, the Volstead Act was passed over the veto of President Woodrow Wilson. Andrew Volstead (R. MN) the Act's namesake and promoter, with the support of Wayne Wheeler of the Anti-Saloon League, worked diligently to take things away from people that were considered bad for them.

    Indeed, the wets argued that rural Protestants wanted to extinguish a pleasure of urban immigrants and Catholics--not unlike some arguments today that the war on drugs is a war on minorities. And then, as now, there is an element of hypocrisy to it all, as Will Rogers 'joked' back then, "The South is dry and will vote dry, that is, everybody sober enough to stagger to the polls."  Of course, after the nation had enough, the 18th Amendment was repealed in 1933, with the signature of the Democratic president, FDR.


    I consider (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by lentinel on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 05:34:12 PM EST
    it to be far more progressive to present people with full, unbiased information so that they can choose to do or not do something that someone says is bad for them.

    I can't see an analogy between being forced to wear a seat belt, and being forced to go to jail for smoking a joint.

    Maybe I have misread or misunderstood what you wrote above, but I can't see prohibition as a progressive stance.

    And if the people foisting prohibition upon us call themselves progressive, I guess it's no different that politicians voting for the patriot act, endorsing drones and tolerating kill lists calling themselves "liberals".


    A "miscommunication," (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by KeysDan on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 06:02:27 PM EST
    but to clarify, I do not see prohibition as a progressive stance.

    Funny (none / 0) (#59)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 10:59:40 AM EST
    I can't (none / 0) (#40)
    by lentinel on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 04:44:25 PM EST
    even honestly say that a second Obama term would be better than a Romney first term.

    Maybe under Romney the Democrats would wake up from their Bush-induced coma and begin representing the people they purport to represent.

    Maybe the Democrats would begin opposing Republicans policies instead of embracing them.

    Faint hope.

    I wonder whether the Democrats even remember what it once felt like to be a Democrat.


    Partisans seem to prefer stereotypes to results (none / 0) (#8)
    by lousy1 on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 01:28:49 PM EST
    Marijuana veto in New Hampshire

    (Reuters) - New Hampshire's Democratic governor on Thursday vetoed a bill passed by the Republican-controlled legislature that would legalize medical marijuana in the state, bucking a trend towards legalization in New England.

    In NY State... (none / 0) (#10)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 01:37:16 PM EST
    Republicans put the kibosh on a Democratic plan to ease up a little on the tyranny.

    Can we trade Republicans with NH? ;)


    Probably (none / 0) (#13)
    by lousy1 on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 01:51:53 PM EST
    We have a secret. We don't pay our legislators a salary and keep the sessions short enough so that they can hold a real job. Very high turnover.

    Consequently with incumbency mooted, politicians tend to shift toward consensus, which represents the population or lose.

    In NH, historically when the dems flirt with bigger government( no sales or income tax) they lose. Same for the republicans when the become too social conservative.


    The system where (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 04:23:04 PM EST
    populism rules because of short terms and part time legislatures can be a bad thing.


    ABG, resident of Georgia and Victim of the Crazy ** the Legislature Does Down Here


    It won't matter what they claim (none / 0) (#67)
    by 1Greensix on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 11:22:58 PM EST
    It doesn't matter what anyone says Obama WILL do next term.  He's not going to be re-elected.  He hasn't done a single thing to endear himself to most Americans, other than the health care issue, which the Republicans aren't going to fund anyway.  They'll gut it like a fish.
    The one and ONLY way Obama will stay in office is if he drops the whole Drug War as a waste of time and effort, and completely legalizes pot.  If he does, he gets re-elected.  If he doesn't, he won't.  Pretty simple.  It's one thing that brought out young voters in 2008, as they mistakenly thought he would show some compassion and common sense, but he sold out like a cheap side show.  They've turned their backs on him in HUGE numbers and his advisors had better tell him so soon.  I won't vote for him because he lied about closing down Guantanamo and bringing torturers to justice, but pot is the issue for youngsters all over the rest of the country.  To me he's just another lying lawyer, politician with no more ethics than Bush.