Failures of Planning

Pot is legal to consume and sell in two states, Washington legalized medical marijuana and Colorado legalized recreational use. The potheads won, they thought. Then…reality appeared. While those two states legalized marijuana within their borders, the Feds still considered it an illegal substance.

The potheads set up business, opened store fronts, acquired suppliers (who? From locals or from the cartels?), and started selling. Problems appeared the first day. Customers wanted to pay with plastic like all too many consumers. When the potheads tried to open bank accounts to allow credit and debit card payments, the banks refused! It seems the banks would be in violation of a number of federal laws and regulations.

Oops!

One entrepreneur in Washington state, following state law, paid his taxes as required. He and several others departed his business, each taking separate routes, taking extreme care to evade possible hijackers to…deliver a $51,000 tax payment—in cash. With no bank accounts, the potheads must do business in cash.

Just consider the dilemma. All that cash. Where to store it? How to guard it? Who guards the guards? All that cash will be an attractive target. Potheads will have to hire guards, have oversight on those guards, provide premise security, and all of it eats into the profits.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the potheads’ stores morphs into bullet-proof kiosks. The customer enters, places his order via a speaker, deposits his cash in a drawer and receives his purchase, via another drawer. All without any personal contact between buyer and seller…except for the predators who have staked out the kiosk knowing that a lot of cash will be arriving.

It reminds me of the old Willie Sutton quote. Willie was a well known bank robber in the early 20th Century. A reporter once asked Willie why he robbed banks. “Because that’s where the money is,” he replied.

The potheads have gotten marijuana legalized in two states. Now their troubles are just starting.

***

I hadn’t intended to make today’s post solely on marijuana but it’s turned out that way. First, I have to declare this: my wife and I are mythical. We attended and completed college in the 1960s and never once, either of us, smoke pot or use any illegals drugs. we have never done so in all our lives. Some folks will declare that is an impossibility because, “Everyone did it.”

Not true.

It wasn’t until years after we had graduated, at a concert in Kansas City’s Music Hall, that I smelled something like burning leaves and suddenly realized that was what pot smelled like. Why my ignorance? My wife and I didn’t associate with drug users. We didn’t travel in concert with those who had ‘dropped out’ and become society’s losers.

No, we had goals, a new family, we both had good jobs at that time, we had friends at our church who were like us. We associated with those like us. We reinforced our solidarity and our goals for our lives and our family. In short, we had much better things to spend our hard-earned money on than to spend it on drugs. We had plenty of examples of those who had chosen that other life style. They and their children now populate the welfare rolls.

I was going to close this post until I saw this column in the American Spectator. It doesn’t match my views on marijuana but it does have truths, truths the pro-marijuana crowd refuses to acknowledge.

Thus Spake the Potheads

By Selwyn Duke, January 13, 2014

It’s starting to appear as if marijuana users have become the homosexual lobby of the chemically dependent. What do I mean? Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson could mention one sexual behavior (adultery) as disqualifying someone from the “kingdom of God,” but mentioning that “other” sexual behavior? That’s a boycottin’, pardner! Likewise, there’s no shortage of articles about the perils of smoking tobacco — about how it causes lung cancer, emphysema and premature aging; about how it’s a dirty, nasty habit — all without indignant smokers crawling out of the woodwork to protest, between hacking coughs, that their passion is being unfairly demonized. But dare imply that inhaling copious amounts of marijuana smoke may not be one of Dr. Oz’s top ten health recommendations, and, well, the potheads cometh.

Let’s begin here with a simple but apparently radical premise: habitually sucking into your lungs hot gases containing carbon particles probably isn’t the most healthful practice. This is true whether the source is a Marlboro, a truck’s tailpipe or a bong loaded with cannabis. Agreed?

Apparently not. As with this article about pot use’s correlation with psychotic behavior, such assertions not only bring out the potheads — who do seem to have the ambition to defend their vice — but also some apologists who claim that marijuana smoking is actually a good. It’s for medicinal purposes, you see.

So we hear about how negative reporting on pot is all Puritan propaganda, about how tobacco is far worse, about how I’m 49 and toked since I were a teen and I funkshun fein, about how if you purge the THC, it’s a perfect drug (somehow every pothead is Linus Pauling). And then there’s the old standby: alcohol is legal and is worse. Alcohol is more addictive. Alcohol this and alcohol that. Potheads love the alcohol comparison. Okay, then, let’s compare the two.

While most agree that casual drinking — one or two drinks — is fine and may even offer health benefits, it’s universally acknowledged that drunkenness is destructive, ugly and reckless. In accordance with the old PSA, “If you have to drink to be social, it’s not social drinking,” it’s accepted that if you have to get inebriated to deal with life, you have a problem. Even drunkards tend to acknowledge this (they just usually deny that they have a problem). And we certainly shouldn’t exercise double standards.

So I’ll say that if you want to have one or two small puffs of a marijuana cigarette, fine.

But you’ve crossed the line if you get high.

Deal?

This puts the lie to the alcohol/pot comparison. There are millions of casual drinkers who may have a beer or glass of wine with dinner but have no intention of getting tipsy. Except, however, for the few who use pot for legitimate medical purposes (and I’m dubious about the necessity of this, mind you), the goal of a marijuana smoker is ever and always to get high (drunk). The intention is always to alter his mental state.

Always.

This is why the proper comparison is not pot smoking and “drinking,” but pot smoking and drunkenness. It is why legal marijuana doesn’t correspond to legal alcohol as much as it does to legal cocaine, another drug that takes you from sober to stewed with one dose.

And it’s why there’s no such thing in the real world as “casual” marijuana use. Millions of “drinkers” can honestly say that they have no chemical dependency issue, but not one regular pot user can. By definition, pot smokers’ goal is to get “drunk.”

So one drink doesn’t equal one joint — one bottle does. But to further cement the point, imagine alcohol really was pot’s equivalent, that even just one six-ounce drink got you plastered. Would we find any degree of alcohol consumption tolerable? Would Prohibition ever have ended?

Note here what I am not doing. I’m not making any claims about whether pot is more unhealthful than tobacco; I’m not denying that a pothead is a safer driver than a drunkard, or opining on whether or not marijuana use increases the incidence of psychosis or lowers I.Q. when used by the young (as another study indicated). I’m not weighing in right now on whether or not the drug should be legal. I’m simply pointing out that the main arguments used to legitimize pot are pap.

And “legitimize” is the operative word. When people editorialized against Prohibition, their argument perhaps was of the nature G.K. Chesterton presented in a 1935 radio talk when he opined, “The free man owns himself. He can damage himself with either eating or drinking; he can ruin himself with gambling. If he does he is certainly a damn fool, and he might possibly be a damned soul; but if he may not, he is not a free man any more than a dog.” But I don’t know of anyone who claimed that drunkenness should be considered a desired state or even acceptable. Yet this notion runs through pro-pot commentary: the idea that potheads’ form of drunkenness is okay. And it has to run through it — because, again, to advocate pot use is to advocate “drunkenness.”

So while we may argue about whether pot is a gateway drug, advocacy of it is certainly a gateway idea. Inherent in it is the notion that altering your mind is okay, getting high is fine. Of course, some potheads might tell us that their form of drunkenness is different, that the acceptance of it won’t lead to the acceptance of getting high via other means. Hey, all these things occur in a bubble, there is no slippery slope, and precedents don’t precede. (And where have we heard that before?)

Wherever you stand on pot legalization, about legitimization there should be no debate. A nation that does not maintain stringent social prohibitions (in the least) against chemical dependency will not likely remain strong. Thus, we always must be able to unabashedly say: if you’re using marijuana habitually, face it, you’re a pothead. You’re self-medicating. You’re chemically dependent. You have a problem. And drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.

This is true whether it’s by bottle or bong.

Opening shots in the GOP civil war

Mitch McConnell is feeling the heat. Consequently, he’s lashing out in all directions, flailing against conservatives, the Tea Party and most of all the Senate Conservative Fund started by Jim Demint. In this morning’s news, McConnell’s proxies, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the NRSC, accused the SCF of being a front man for selling Mark Levin’s books. Levin has been outspoken about his opposition to McConnell and McConnell’s spineless and ineffective opposition to Obama, Reid and the liberals in Washington.

Erick Erickson, writing in Red State, is no McConnell fan. He, like Levin, has endorsed Matt Bevin, McConnell’s primary opponent. Erickson wrote the column below in response to the attacks against Mark Levin.

The Single Biggest Thing You Can Do to Clean Up the GOP

Erick Erickson (Diary)  | 

If you have not heard, the National Republican Senatorial Committee has attacked nationally syndicated conservative radio host and best selling author Mark Levin.

They publicly attacked Mark Levin because the Jim DeMint created Senate Conservatives Fund (“SCF”) gives out copies of Mark Levin’s book. The NRSC alleges a quid pro quo relationship to help drive up the popularity of Levin’s book. The book was published in 2009 before SCF was a significant force and had already become a best seller before SCF gave out copies.

This attack follows the National Republican Senatorial Committee (“NRSC”) attacking conservative businesses and threatening to drive them from business because they happen to do business with the Senate Conservatives Fund. The NRSC’s tactics mirror the harassment the IRS inflicted on tea party groups.

Those attacks came after US News and World Report columnist Brian Walsh leveled attacks on conservative groups, including the Senate Conservatives Fund, for daring to hold Republicans accountable for their promises. Subsequent to that column US News and World Report had to admit Brian Walsh is on the payroll of the NRSC.

The Chamber of Commerce, the Main Street Partnership, the NRSC, and lobbyists galore in Washington are coordinating attacks on conservative groups and conservative candidates for daring to champion limited government and hold the GOP accountable for breaking promises. These groups have no interest in supporting limited government and free markets. They support their government and their markets with your tax dollars.

The GOP in Washington has decided that the problem is not government, but Democrats in charge of government. And they’ve decided to punish any conservative who points out government itself is the problem. Conservative groups are attacked by Republican leaders. Conservative candidates are attacked by Republican leaders. Conservative talk radio hosts are attacked by Republican leaders.

The single biggest thing you can do to clean up the GOP is to defeat Mitch McConnell in Kentucky by supporting Matt Bevin. The NRSC attacks all came after the Senate Conservatives Fund decided to support Bevin. The attacks on Mark Levin came after he spoke kindly of Matt Bevin. The attacks on conservative candidates came after Matt Bevin became a credible candidate.

All these attacks came because Mitch McConnell would rather rule in Hell than serve in Heaven. He would rather a Senate GOP minority with himself in charge than a Senate GOP majority with himself retired.

You beat Mitch McConnell, you will find many Republican squishes with squishy soiled underwear. Until you beat Mitch McConnell, these guys in Washington will neither respect you nor fear you.

But when you beat the sitting Senate Republican Leader in a primary, suddenly Washington knows the grassroots are in charge. The attacks on conservatives will only get worse until conservatives beat Mitch McConnell.

And we have our chance with Matt Bevin.

But, it’s not just McConnell and the NRSC, it is also, now, the rank and file Washington ‘Pubs attacking those who helped elect them. Missouri Representative Blaine Leutkemeyer (R-MO-9) is another ‘Pub biting the hand that elected him.

Republican Congressman, Blaine Leutkemeyer is the latest to attack the Tea Party

It appears as if the Republican Party has developed a practice of deflecting criticism by casting blame at the Tea Party. Now, Missouri’s 3rd District Congressman, Blaine Leutkemeyer, is taking fire for attacking the Tea Party and accusing the them of “undermining” the Republican agenda. On a St. Louis, conservative, talk radio station, KFTK 97.1 FM , Leutkemeyer specifically accused the Tea Party groups, Heritage Action, Freedomworks and Club for Growth of working in opposition of conservative values and of being liberal organizations whose only interest is to raise money for themselves.

During a press conference in December, the Speaker of the House, John Boehner took a stab at Tea Party groups and various members have followed suit. Congressman Blaine Leutkemeyer rallied to Speaker, John Boehner’s defense for his comments attacking the Tea Party in his radio interviews with Randy Tobler.

“They are misleading their followers. They’re pushing our members in places where they don’t want to be, and frankly I just think they have lost all credibility. You know they pushed us into this fight to defund Obamacare and to shut down the government. And most of you know, and my members know, that wasn’t the strategy that I had in mind.”

~John Boehner

Leutkemeyer specifically targeted Heritage Action as being a non-conservative organization and outlined that they were thrown out of the Republican Conservative Study Group because they were seen as undermining its members, and acting in opposition to the caucus agenda. Leutkemeyer went on to say Heritage Action is actually a liberal organization in conservative clothes. In an interview, with Randy Tobler, on January 4, 2014, Leutkemeyer cited Democrat, Nancy Pelosi, scored a 70% rating on what he, and his staff, considered the most important 20 bills of last year’s session, and 100% on the top 10 bills. He failed to cite specific bills in the interview, or if the bills were also Heritage Action identified bills.

On the Heritage Action Scorecard website, Pelosi actually scored a 16%, which is also equal to the House Democrat average. Leutkemeyer scored 63%, two percentage points below the House Republican average, and he is also the lowest ranking Missouri House Republican, according to the HA scorecard. Heritage Action calculates scores by awarding percentage points to members who vote for and/or co-sponsor bills. Voting against and not co-sponsoring does not negate percentage points in the calculation.

“These groups have a different agenda, that is not a conservative agenda. They do not understand the concept of how to be part of a team.”

~Blaine Leutkemeyer

The criticism began during a December 28, 2013, interview, on the Randy Tobler show, on KFTK 97.1 FM. Tobler took calls from grassroots listeners and fielded a variety of civil but irate comments, so he gave Leutkemeyer an opportunity to return, the following week, to clarify his statements. Leutkemeyer minced no words for his disdain for the three organizations.

Ben Evans, the St. Louis Regional Coordinator for Heritage Action for America, believes Leutkemeyer is falling into lockstep with establishment Republicans, and mimicking the Tea Party attack tactics, because he may be receiving a great deal of heat from his district’s constituents.

“None of these guys want to have conversations about the bills that are in play, right now. They just want to focus on the fight between the grassroots and the GOP. So they use this sort of thing to get the conversation away from what is actually going on in the bill. So you think about what Boehner said before they passed the budget deal, The reason why he made that comment was not because we were fighting him. It was because he didn’t want anyone to see what was going on in that bill, and of course, once it was passed we saw that it cut pensions to the military, and didn’t cut pensions to current government employees. That is the tactic that Leutkemeyer is using right now. They are doing this sort of thing to distract from the real issues.”

~Ben Evans

The column continues with comments by Randy Tobler who attempted to mend the fences destroyed by Leutkemeyer and his Washington puppet-masters. I can see some of Tobler’s viewpoints, but, sadly, he’s mistaken. It is not miscommunication, as Tobler believes. It is purposeful attacks by the Washington establishment who have suddenly realized they could all be tossed out of office. If that happens, they have no where to go, having burned their home-state bridges many times. No where except to admit they never were conservatives and to go to the dems for salvation like other RINOs who have been removed from office.

Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie

We were singing,
“bye-bye, miss american pie.”
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.

— Don McLean, 1971

The Republican Party had great potential, building on the massive failure of Obamacare. All throughout 2013, the political forces were beginning to tilt against Obama and the democrats. Until…the Republican establishment turned against their core and attacked the Tea Party and conservatives. The ‘pubs in Washington betrayed their core, siding, time after time, with Obama, democrats and liberals. We now see the results of that betrayal in polls being released this week.

The latest Gallup Poll has some startling news. Only 25% of voters now identify themselves as Republicans. Where did those who disappeared go? 42% say they are now Independents.

Record-High 42% of Americans Identify as Independents

Republican identification lowest in at least 25 years

by Jeffrey M. Jones, January 8, 2014

PRINCETON, NJ — Forty-two percent of Americans, on average, identified as political independents in 2013, the highest Gallup has measured since it began conducting interviews by telephone 25 years ago. Meanwhile, Republican identification fell to 25%, the lowest over that time span. At 31%, Democratic identification is unchanged from the last four years but down from 36% in 2008.

Party Identification, Yearly Averages, 1988-2013

The trend, if you examine the chart above, proves the allegations that the more the ‘Pubs switch to and supports the left, the more members they lose. Historically, elections have been won by the party who wins the most of the independents. Rather than gathering those independents into the party, the ‘Pubs are alienating their core causing them to leave the party.

If that 42% suddenly decided to become a 3rd party, they would have enough members to beat both the ‘Pubs and the dems. That realization has not occurred to the ‘Pubs in Washington, and more and more, the ‘Pubs in the states. When it is time for the ‘Pubs to go to the well of core voters, they may discovered that well is dry. They’ve driven that Chevy to the levy one time too many.

The column below from the Washington Times expands on the shift of voters to independence and describes just how deep into denial are the Washington establishment

Inside the Beltway: Don’t worry, be happy, Republicans

By Jennifer Harper, The Washington Times, Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Republican foes were eager to spring upon new Gallup poll findings revealing that a mere 25 percent of voters currently identify with the Grand Old Party, compared to a record high 42 percent who call themselves independents and 31 percent who were Democrats. Is it time to gnash teeth and panic as midterm election season sets in? No, Republican strategist Matt Mackowiak tells Inside the Beltway.

“There are many dynamics at work here. You have to remember how many people also identify as conservative or liberal, and that the generic congressional ballot currently favors Republicans. You also have to consider voter motivation and enthusiasm, a force which will likely sway the election in GOP favor,” he observes. “And yes, the party must woo independents to win a national election.”

“One survey doesn’t mean more than a Democrat in a red state choosing to retire,” Mr. Mackowiak says. “I pay more attention to the decisions of Mike McIntyre than I do one Gallup poll.”

Interesting to note that a YouGov/Economist poll also released Wednesday finds that 62 percent of independent voters would not re-elect their current local representatives. So indeed, the demographic is up for grabs.

46 percent of Americans would not re-elect the current member of Congress in their district if the election were today; 45 percent of Republicans, 37 percent of Democrats and 62 percent of independents agree.

49 percent of conservatives, 40 percent of liberals and 49 percent of moderates also agree.

30 percent of Americans overall are not sure yet if they would re-elect their local member of Congress; 27 percent of Republicans, 33 percent of Democrats and 22 percent of independents agree.

27 percent of conservatives, 31 percent of liberals and 20 percent of moderates also agree.

Washington Times.

Will the ‘Pubs see the writing on the wall and reverse their attacks against their core and the party conservatives? Truly, I doubt it. They’ve embedded themselves too deeply into the Washington Ruling Class to reverse their course now.

Wednesday’s Notes

I’m not sick, I just have the symptoms of the bug that’s going around. I had hoped to be at our state capitol in Jefferson City today. Unfortunately, during my visit to the doc yesterday, he told me to go home and stay there. For me, that’s a cough that I’ve had since a week before Christmas. I thought I was getting better, several times, but I wasn’t.

So, while my friends and acquaintances are at the MO Legislature Opening Day Rallies for Right-to-Work, Voter-ID, Abolish Common Core. I’m at home.

Crud.

***

Chris Christi is in hot water. It’s been disclosed that he used the power of his office to apply pressure against the Mayor of Ft. Lee, NJ. Christi wanted the Mayor to endorse Christi’s reelection so that endorsement could be used to say Christi had the support of ‘Pubs and dems. Christi’s Chief of Staff called the head of the New York and New Jersey Port Authority, a Christi appointee, and suddenly the bridge and main highway between NY and NJ at Ft Lee was reduced to two lanes causing massive traffic backups.

It’s just another reason I’ll never vote for Christi for ANY office.

I know the article is from the NY Slimes, but, in this case, it’s believable.

Emails Tie Top Christie Aides to Lane Closings, Despite Denials

Cough, Cough, Part II

Finally broke down and went to the doc. I’ve had these symptoms since a week before Christmas. Everytime I thought I was getting better, I didn’t.

The clinic was a mad-house. There were new ‘Obamacare’ forms to fill out. The clinic was backlogged processing people. I finally got to see a nurse 30 minutes after my appointment time. I’m not complaining, I thought I was seen faster than I expected when I arrived.

‘Scribed a Z-pack and two inhalers. I was told to expect to cough for possibly another week.

Crud.

Cough! Cough!

Today begins the first full week of 2014. I am not sick, I just have a few symptoms…like coughing up a lung, or so it feels, every day and night. Apparently, changes in position, changes in air temperature, walking up stairs, walking down stairs, can trigger a coughing jag.

Definition: Coughing Jag, non-stop coughing intermixed with throwing up.

So here I sit, Monday morning, ribs and stomach aching from a coughing jag last night and another this morning. I’m worn out. I think I’ll call it a day.

See you, **cough, cough**, tomorrow.

How do you like it now?

Obamacare is in force. Not surprisingly, there are…issues.  Yeah, let’s call them issues, it sounds so innocuous.

It seems some hospitals, attempting to use Obamacare, had problems. A surgeon, attempting to get permission to perform a surgery, spent hours trying to verify a patient’s insurance…and finally gave up.

Paperwork problems almost delayed suburban Chicago resident Sheri Zajcew’s scheduled surgery Thursday, but Dr. John Venetos decided to operate without a routine go-ahead from the insurance company. That was after Venetos’ office manager spent two hours on hold with the insurer Thursday, trying to get an answer about whether the patient needed prior authorization for the surgery. The office manager finally gave up.

“I’m not a happy camper,” said Nate Zajcew, the patient’s husband. The couple signed up for a Blue Cross Blue Shield bronze plan through the federal HealthCare.gov site on Dec. 16. — CBS News.

In other locations, people arriving for care at some ERs were left in frustration because the ER could not verify their insurance.

‘They had no idea if my insurance was active or not!’: Obamacare confusion reigns as frustrated patients walk out of hospitals without treatment — UK Daily Mail.

  • MailOnline spoke with patients who were told they would have to pay their bills in full if they couldn’t prove they had insurance
  • One was faced with a $3,000 hospital room charge and opted to leave the hospital after experiencing chest pains
  • ‘Should I be in the hospital? Probably,’ she said
  • Another, coughing in the cold, walked out without receiving a needed chest x-ray
  • Consumers face sticker-shock from medical costs under the new Obamacare system, made worse if they can’t prove they’re insured
  • As many as one-third of new enrollees’ applications have seen problems when the government transmits them to insurance companies

No, it’s not an auspicious rollout for Obamacare. In fact, it’s so bad, the rats are jumping ship. A second Obamacare official quit this week.

The man who led Oregon’s problem-plagued health insurance exchange has submitted his resignation.

Rocky King has been on medical leave since Dec. 2. His resignation is effective at the end of his leave, March 5.

The news came in a letter sent by King to the board of Cover Oregon on Wednesday. The board wrote to the agency’s staff on Thursday that it would begin looking for a permanent director.

King is the second official connected to the exchange to resign. He came under fire when the online enrollment system failed to go live in October. Technical problems with the exchange have been an embarrassment to the state and forced Oregonians to apply using paper applications. The state had to hire or reassign nearly 500 people to process applications by hand. — FOXNews.

Even for libs, it is not going well. A woman, an icon for publicizing Obamacare was astounded to discover she could not afford insurance under Obamacare as she assumed

Assumed. When I was in the Air Force, I was quickly taught the consequences of ‘assume’. It is a lesson I’ve never forgotten. Perhaps if this lib had spent a few days in boot-camp, she, too, would have learned the consequences of ‘assuming.’

PORTLAND, Ore. (CBS Seattle/AP) — One Oregon mother says that she is unable to afford health insurance for her and her 18-month-old son because it’s too expensive.

Kate Holly, 33, tells KOIN-TV that she originally championed President Barack Obama’s signature health care law because she thought it would help people in her situation.

“I’ve been a cheerleader for the Affordable Care Act since I heard about it and I assumed that it was designed for people in my situation,” Holly, a freelance yoga instructor, told KOIN. “I was planning on using the Affordable Care Act and I had done the online calculator in advance to make sure I was going to be able to afford it.”

Holly’s husband works for a non-profit organization that pays for his health care, but the couple is unable to afford to have her and their son covered under his plan. And she’s been told their combined income is too much to qualify for a subsidized health care plan under Cover Oregon.

“It wasn’t until I started the process and got an agent that I started hearing from them I wasn’t going to qualify for subsidies because I qualify on my husband’s insurance,” she told KOIN.

Holly is hoping things work out but she doesn’t know if she will have health care for her and her son.

“I guess I’m hoping that I will find out there’s a way around this, but I don’t know yet,” Holly told KOIN.

It’s always a wake-up call to libs when they discover their assumptions are nothing more than vapor. Reality bites.