“We need to rethink and decriminalize our marijuana laws.” Can you guess which 2012 presidential candidate said the above statement? You’d be forgiven for thinking Ron Paul, or even Gary Johnson, since both have publicly advocated for reforming our country’s drug laws. You’d be forgiven for guessing anyone but Barack Obama, based on his actions during the past few years, but it was. It may be hard to believe, but President Obama is the same person who once called for reforming our marijuana laws, and deemed the drug war an “utter failure” during his 2004 campaign for the US Senate. Despite previous calls for reform, on Monday night, when faced with over 70,000 individuals urging him to address the issue of marijuana prohibition, Obama's only response was his silence. NORML and Law Enforcement Against Prohibition posted two of the most popular questions submitted to the White House’s recent Q&A on YouTube, alongside hundreds of others on the topic of marijuana law reform, but Obama offered no response or acknowledgement. This recent attempt at citizen engagement, entitled “Your Interview With the President," was launched to coincide with the State of the Union Address. The concept was simple. Anyone could submit a text or video question through the White House YouTube channel, before the public voted on them over the course of the week. The highest rated questions would be selected for Obama to address. On Tuesday, January 24th, NORML submitted a question of our own, which inquired:“With over 850,000 Americans arrested in 2010, for marijuana charges alone, and tens of billions of tax dollars being spent locking up non-violent marijuana users, isn’t it time we regulate and tax marijuana?”The question exploded in popularity...
Tag Archives | President Obama
Megan Carpenter investigates the ties that bind, for RawStory (with thanks to DeepCough):
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Though Americans far and away identify economic problems as the biggest issue facing the nation, according to Gallup, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) has been gaining support by talking about the need to restrict the military industrial complex and end what he terms “war profiteering” — most recently in his victory speech after the New Hampshire primary.
By contrast, former governor Mitt Romney (R-MA), currently leading the pack of GOP candidates, called for a strong America and a strong relationship with Israel — rhetoric that has most often accompanied robust military spending. Meanwhile, back in Washington, President Obama thought last year that the prospect of automatic defense spending cuts would be enough to pressure the supercommittee into a deal on the debt: it wasn’t, and now he may be stuck with them.
Given all of that, and Romney’s pro-business platform, you would think he’d be the favored son of the defense industry, even in the early stages of the 2012 race.
Never one to mince words, James Carville has a simple message for President Obama: “Panic!” From CNN:
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People often ask me what advice I would give the White House about various things. Today I was mulling over election results from New York and Nevada while thinking about that very question. What should the White House do now? One word came to mind: Panic.
We are far past sending out talking points. Do not attempt to dumb it down. We cannot stand any more explanations. Have you talked to any Democratic senators lately? I have. It’s pretty damn clear they are not happy campers.
This is what I would say to President Barack Obama: The time has come to demand a plan of action that requires a complete change from the direction you are headed.
I don’t know how else to break this down. Simply put:
1. Fire somebody. No — fire a lot of people.
Journalists are not supposed to have political opinions and yet we all do. Our “biases” are usually disguised, not blatant or overtly partisan, and can be divined in what stories we cover and how we cover them.
Even ‘just the fact’s maam,’ journos for big media have to decide which facts to include and which to ignore.
Our outlooks are always shaped by our worldviews, values and experience, not too mention the outlets we work for.
Which brings me to the challenge of seeking truth and recognizing it when you see it.
I have to admit that I was seduced by the idea of Barack Obama.
The idea of a black President, the idea of a young President, the idea of an articulate President, and the idea of a man married to such a stand up woman from a working class family was hard to resist.
Here’s a guy who seemed really smart, not just because he went to Harvard, but because professors there I liked were impressed with him.… Read the rest
Want to know where Obama is? The White House has joined foursquare. You can now follow the president as he checks in Lower Hannah’s Bend Park, Seed Saver’s Exchange and, most recently, Northeast Iowa Community College. Via Information Week:
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The White House has joined the Foursquare location-based social networking service, a move that shows again the Obama administration’s support of a more transparent and tech-savvy federal government.
Users of the service–which allows people to virtually “check in” to various businesses, landmarks, and other locations around the globe–can now use the White House Foursquare page to follow President Obama as he travels and uses the service to let people know where he is, according to a White House blog post.
They also can themselves check in to the White House if they are visiting the presidential home or attending an Obama town hall event. The White House also has elected to use the tips feature, which can recommend places the president has visited and share what he did while he was there.
Is America’s bigger problem the economic decline or it’s political decay? Andrew Potter writes in Axis of Logic:
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The most telling moment of the recent standoff over talks to raise the American government’s debt ceiling came on July 22, when President Barack Obama called a press conference to announce that House Speaker John Boehner had backed out of the negotiations. “I’ve been left at the altar twice now,” Obama pouted. In case the image of the President as a jilted lover was not clear to everyone watching, he added that he had spent the previous day waiting for Boehner to return his phone calls.
The whole affair has left a lot of Americans in a state of bipartisan disgust, with citizens from all points on the political compass cursing out their elected representatives. Yet it doesn’t seem to have occurred to many people that there is something structurally flawed with a system that allows the head of just one legislative house to treat the supposed leader of the free world as his last choice for the senior prom.
As The Dog Days Of Summer Approach, Politicians Rest Before Returning To The Fray
Now that the debt drama is over for the moment, we can all safely retreat in what was once called the “Dog Days Of Summer” and chill out if the volatile weather allows us to. We can think back to that old song, “Summer time and the living is easy.” Even as we all know that for millions “the living” is anything but.
The House and Senate have become ghost-like chambers because all its members, so filled with strident indignation and inflexible talking points just a week ago, are now off on their paid vacations hyping their political war stories to grandchildren.
Imbued with a sense of triumph, the Tea Party is huddling to come up with ongoing tactics to hold the system hostage while the party leaders plan the new “super committee” with 12 chosen acolytes (how Biblical, that number 12!) to map the next round of fiscal blood-lettering.… Read the rest
Oh, the gnashing of the teeth. Oh, the flamboyant tactics. Oh, all the breaking news excitement on cable news as the debt ceiling countdown saga went down to the wire with an intense political confrontation of a kind we haven’t seen before…
Or maybe we had — in the TARP debate and so-called Obamacare vote, to cite but two moments of high political drama. Once again, all the key players knew the outcome but wanted to keep us guessing because it served everyone’s interests.
For Boehner and the boys on the GOP side it was the great leadership test subplot. He would prove how tough he was, demonstrate his leadership mettle, get equal time with the president, and even look presidential. The orange tan was gone. His moment had in the sunlight had come as he roped the Tea party kids into the politically correct corral. The Congressman from Ohio was now a national force to be reckoned with.… Read the rest
It’s not often that the White House endorses a bill before it goes through the Senate or House, but President Obama did just that when he endorsed the Respect for Marriage Act today. With same-sex marraiges becoming legal in more and more states, this bill is a step towards equal taxation and social security survivor benefits, since there are “more than 1,000 federal rights and responsibilities gays and lesbians do not have access to because of DOMA.” From Joe Mirabella at Change.org:
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Today President Obama endorsed the Respect for Marriage Act, a bill that would strike down DOMA and give legally married gays and lesbians the same federal rights and responsibilities as married straight couples.
Shin Inouye, a spokesperson for the White House, told Change.org, “The President has long called for a legislative repeal of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act,” which continues to have a real impact on the lives of real people – our families, friends and neighbors,” Inouye said.