Archive for Washington

NYT's Maureen Dowd OD's On Marijuana And Blames The Candy

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cannabs edibles maureen dowd

There's nothing like trying something before writing about it. And that's what New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd did recently -- and not without some lingering effects. For an article she was writing on Colorado's legal marijuana culture, she decided to try some of the "edibles" which contain cannabis. So far so good.

So, she bought a caramel-chocolate flavored candy bar which she said looked so innocent, like the Sky Bars she used to love as a kid. After she took one bite, then another, she didn't notice anything happening. Perhaps she was disappointed but for whatever reason, she decided in her impatience to gobble down the rest of the bar.

She waited, and then it happened. The effects began. In her NYT article, she writes:

But then I felt a scary shudder go through my body and brain. I barely made it from the desk to the bed, where I lay curled up in a hallucinatory state for the next eight hours. I was thirsty but couldn’t move to get water. Or even turn off the lights. I was panting and paranoid, sure that when the room-service waiter knocked and I didn’t answer, he’d call the police and have me arrested for being unable to handle my candy.

Based on that experience, she's come to some conclusions. The biggest one being that the entire marijuana industry was set up for potheads, people who smoked frequently. This nascent business has to educate new or first time users prior to selling them the edible goods so people will know what to expect to feel.

That's not a bad idea. But her article goes on to condemn and point out the dangers of legalization, even trying to equate her unfortunate experience with people jumping off buildings and kids eating marijuana-laced goodies and ending up with irreparable harm. These are possible, but not probable. And the reason is, she OD'd because she lacked common sense.

The next day, a medical consultant at an edibles plant where I was conducting an interview mentioned that candy bars like that are supposed to be cut into 16 pieces for novices; but that recommendation hadn’t been on the label.

So in essence, she took 16 times the amount she should have taken. No wonder she got herself into a bit of a problem. If she had bought a fifth of scotch and drunk the whole thing, she would have gotten sick or drunk or both on that too. There's no suggested servings printed on a bottle of booze. So I find it a bit disingenuous that she faults the experience on her naivete. She's been around. She knows you don't go from one bite to the whole bar, just as you don't go from one shot glass of Glenlivet to the whole bottle.

Her suggestion that if this had been alcohol, she'd have known better doesn't really hold water. She claims in her article that people know you have to be careful in how much you drink, when only an idiot or the most simpleminded would think that taking too much of a marijuana laced edible wouldn't lead to some ill effects.

But that said, I do think the public has been so scared by lies and innuendos--the Reefer Madness syndrome--that more education of the public might not be such a bad thing. But Dowd's reckless accusations that it was the lack of full labeling or the implication that she needed more knowledge to safely ingest is a disservice to an industry. If she was new to this kind of purchase, why didn't she ask when she bought the candy bar how much she should take to feel some effects? The next day when she asked, she was told. A bad assumption on her part made an ass of her, not a better investigative columnist.

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Republicans Are Right - Obamacare is Closing Hospitals - And For Good Reason

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Obamacare

Death Panels. Cancelled insurance coverage. Long lines. Doctors refusing patients. Hospitals closing. The GOP pulled out all the stops in their multiple pushes to kill Obamacare. And of all of their warnings, threats and cautions, they actually were right in one of their many alarms. Hospital closings.

But I don't think this is what they had in mind. From Talking Points Memo:

On the last Wednesday in January, the RotaCare Tacoma free clinic in Washington state put away the chairs in the university janitor's lunchroom where it had made its home and closed its doors for the last time.

The clinic, served by volunteer physicians and registered nurses, had carried 150 patients at any given time to serve the uninsured population in this city of about 200,000. But after Obamacare took full effect in January, and this clinic completed its drive to enroll all of its patients in coverage, it didn't have anyone left to serve.

What? Obamacare has really done it now. In its attempt to bring health coverage to those that couldn't afford any, it has now caused a volunteer organization to close its doors, pull shut the drapes and send everyone home? Damn that Obamacare! It was supposed to be helping people!

How can we allow this socialist program to continue when it's causing such irreparable harm? Maybe this is just an isolated incident. Or maybe it's not.

That makes RotaCare Tacoma an unusual case, but not an entirely unique one. Free clinic directors in Iowa and Ohio said they haven't seen anything like it on a systematic level. But there is the story of a free clinic in Medina, Ark., which closed in April after seeing its numbers dwindle from 300 to 80 to three as people obtained coverage through Obamacare in the first three months of 2014.

Putting aside the stupid arguments the Republican healthcare Chicken Littles have expounded over the past five years, the Affordable Care Act is working, and in ways even better than expected.

So maybe the Republicans were right about the closing of health care facilities. Let's give them that. But let's also wallow over the fantastic reason this is coming into being. Millions who needed insurance are now getting it. And millions more who had it are now getting upgraded, fuller coverage. There's a long ways to go, but Republican governors are starting to hear the rebellious calls and realize they can not keep healthcare away from millions much longer.

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Apparently, the US Government Will Be Overthrown on Friday

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government US Capitol

The repost.us service is no longer available so we have removed that code from The Political Carnival.

Here is the original post on Liberaland

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The Book Booth: Valentine's Edition

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The Book Booth is a weekly feature at The Political Carnival, relating news, notes, and reflections from the world of books and publishing. SeattleDan, along with his wife, SeattleTammy, are operators of both an on-line bookstore, as well a brick and mortar in small town Washington State. Both have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

Booksw384h339

As I learned earlier this week, Valentine was sainted in AD 496 by
Pope Gelasius 1. Virtually nothing is known of him, other than he was
martyred on February 14 in 314. But somehow, that seems appropriate,
for who does know the mysteries of love?

Literature is replete with the stuff of love. Flavorwire had its top
25 great love affairs
. Be sure to check out number 8, which has the
Alan Ladd movie tie-in cover art for The Great Gatsby. If that doesn't
make you want to read it, I don't know what will.

Of course, nothing says I Love You like having it eternally etched
into your skin. BuzzFeed featured some "epic" literary tattoos here.

And book lovers suffer more than the world can understand. HuffPo

featured eleven "conundrums" that only we are aware of.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/10/book-lover_n_4562002.html?ir=Books

Not all love affairs endure. In fact, some writers are bold enough to
avenge themselves through their writings. MentalFloss shared some of
these misguided relationships here.

For whatever reason, love has often been linked to war. I suppose it
shouldn't be remarkable, if we remember the Greek god of war Ares was
the brother of the goddess of love, Aphrodite. In any event,
Publishers Weekly recently discussed ten of the best contemporary war
novels here.

If you are between books and wondering what to read, you might want to
check out Kim Stanley Robinson's discussion of three science fiction
novels with modernist overtones
.

Or if you are feeling more ambitious, one the librarians from the New
York Public Library offered up 25 books that changed the world. A
list, by the way, not everyone loved; check out the comments below the article.

A new offering in historical fiction comes from the author of
Fatherland, Robert Harris, who has just had published his take on the
affair Dreyfus, An Officer and a Spy. The Wall Street Journal examined
it here.

There has been something of a dust up this week when Penguin Books
India has decided to pulp religious historian Wendy Doniger's The
Hindus: An Alternate History. Doniger has long been a professor at the
University of Chicago and is well respected in the field. Of course,
she's none too happy. Story here.

Penguin Books India defended their decision here.

Finally, I wanted to share this very insightful essay from George
Packer in the New Yorker on the history of Amazon and its impact on
books and book selling. If you read no other links from today's post,
read this one.

I hope everyone enjoyed their Valentines Day with someone or something
you love. And I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that Monday is
Presidents Day. Ah, I remember the days when we got two days off from
school for both Washington and Lincoln's birthdays. Those days are
long gone. I shall spend Monday contemplating the presidential term of
the long-neglected William Henry Harrison.

Let us know what books you're enjoying this long weekend!

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Cory Booker Is In Da House -- Well, In Da Senate

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Cory Booker

Today Cory Booker was sworn in as the newest U.S. senator. He's only the fourth Black elected senator in US history. And he promises to be a great asset to the floundering political scene in Washington.

Booker, 44, was sworn in at noon by Vice President Biden. With his arrival, the Senate Democratic caucus now includes 55 senators — 53 Democrats and two independents — and Republicans have 45 seats. Take a look at history:

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Dems Won't Compromise -- We Already Did!

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elephant

What short memories the Republicans have. The GOP says the government shutdown is because the Democrats, especially the president, refuse to negotiate. WE ALREADY DID! I thought an elephant never forgets.

The compromise was the sequester, and the continuing resolution is to continue funding at those levels. Your negotiated levels. The Paul Ryan budget levels.

These working figures are crazy, but the Democrats agreed to give into them in order to keep the government funded despite Speaker Boehner's refusal to send the higher/saner budget bills to conference. The sequester numbers cut money from nearly every branch of the government. They literally are taking food out of the mouths of babies. It's prohibiting medical care for thousands. It's denying adequate safety in the skies and greatly contributing to high unemployment on the land. Did you forget that already?

So Boehner, quit your crying. As Harry Reid pointed out time and time again, you have to learn to take yes for an answer.

There is one small chance to save face, a slight glimmer of light coming from the crack in the door. Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and George Miller (D-Calif.) are planning to circulate a discharge petition. It is very iffy at best. It requires 218 signatures. But if they can achieve that magic number of representatives signatures, the full House will be forced to vote on the petition. In this case, it's a clean continuing resolution.

The trick is getting roughly 18 Republicans to go on record as standing up to Boehner. According to various reports, there are between 18 - 21 GOP'ers who have said they favor a clean CR in order to get the government back up and funded. Yet when they had a chance to vote before this, they got cold feet.

What the Democrats can take out of this most likely futile effort is bragging rights. They tried -- and the Republicans didn't. And those like Peter King and Scott Rigell who have been outspoken in asking for a vote on a clean resolution, will have to put up or shut up. I'm betting they won't sign and that means they'll be painted by the same brush as the rest of the obstructionist Republicans who have refused to listen to the people and kept this government shut. The Tea Party stink will be all over them.

Prove me wrong, Republicans. I dare you to!

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Nobody Does It Better, Bernie Sanders

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Nobody Does it better

Thank you Bernie Sanders. When rational thinking and sound judgement are called for, there's always your voice of reason to stand out among all the clamber and claptrap coming from extremists.

Bernie's words include this summation of furthering debate prior to passing a clean CR (Continuing Resolution):

Let us not tell men and women in the United States armed forces, who today are putting their lives on the line to defend us, that they’re not going to get paid. Let us not tell police officers here in Washington and elsewhere, they may not get paid. Let’s not tell working families, who take take their little kids into Head Start so they can then go out to work, that that program may be killed. Let’s not tell senior citizens, who are on the Meals on Wheels program who can’t leave their homes who depend upon a meal, let’s not punish them because you’ve got small number of extreme right wingers who want to get their way at the expense of millions and millions of people.”

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