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Monthly Archives: December 2010

Pat Robertson is known for his wacky positions on global politics and his on-the-fringe Christian beliefs. But here is a position I never thought he would espouse. He is pro-pot:

“We’re locking up people that have taken a couple puffs of marijuana and next thing you know they’ve got 10 years with mandatory sentences,” Robertson continued. “These judges just say, they throw up their hands and say nothing we can do with these mandatory sentences. We’ve got to take a look at what we’re considering crimes and that’s one of ’em.

“I’m … I’m not exactly for the use of drugs, don’t get me wrong, but I just believe that criminalizing marijuana, criminalizing the possession of a few ounces of pot, that kinda thing it’s just, it’s costing us a fortune and it’s ruining young people. Young people go into prisons, they go in as youths and come out as hardened criminals. That’s not a good thing.”

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Before there was the alleged “government takeover” of health care known as Obamacare, there was the Republican takeover of health care in Massachusetts–– let’s just call it “Romneycare.” So how is all that hopey, changey stuff working in Massachusetts? Very well, thank you. Ezra Klein reports:

The health-reform bill President Obama signed into law this year was explicitly based on the Massachusetts reforms. The theory was this: A plan that a Republican governor could sign into law would be a plan that could attract Republican votes.

The theory was wrong. An approach to universal coverage that represented “health insurance for everyone without a government takeover” when it was signed by a Republican governor in Massachusetts was spun by congressional Republicans as the missing final chapter of “The Communist Manifesto” when Democrats tried to scale it nationally.

Given that the plan was enacted anyway, it’s time to check in on how Massachusetts is doing. And the answer, basically, is pretty well. This week, the state’s health and human services agency released the results of a new, independent survey examining coverage in Massachusetts. More than 98 percent – 98 percent! – of the state’s residents now have health insurance, as do more than 99 percent of the state’s children.Remarkably, those numbers have gotten better in recent years, with the number of uninsured residents in the state falling to 1.9 percent in 2010 from 2.6 percent in 2008.

What does the overturn of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy tell us about a McCain-Palin White House? Quite a bit. Even when the Gay community thought Obama was just paying their cause lip-service he and his Republican Secretary of Defense were using their respective pulpits to fight for this issue. Even a few Senate Republicans in this not-so-lame duck congress eventually embraced the cause. However, McCain has been the passionate defender of the status quo. Andrew Sullivan summarizes:

Like 2009’s removal of the HIV ban, which was as painstakingly slow but thereby much more entrenched, this process took time. Without the Pentagon study, it wouldn’t have passed. Without Obama keeping Lieberman inside the tent, it wouldn’t have passed. Without the critical relationship between Bob Gates and Obama, it wouldn’t have passed. It worked our last nerve; we faced at one point a true nightmare of nothing … for years. And then we pulled behind this president, making it his victory and the country’s victory, as well as ours.

We also know now what a McCain administration would have done: nothing. The disgraceful bitterness and rancor and irrationality that the Senator has shown these past few months reveal just how important it was to defeat him and his deranged, delusional side-kick in 2008.

Obamacare has been overruled. At least, by one court. Here is the Daily Beast’s take on the 63-year-old conservative firebrand that made the ruling:

When his critics learned last summer that U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson of Richmond, Virginia, would hear a Republican lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Obama health-care bill, many assumed the case’s outcome was a lock.

For reasons ideological and political, they predicted, Hudson would find a way to satisfy his longtime friends and supporters in the GOP and declare the bill unconstitutional. And that is exactly what the staunchly conservative 63-year-old judge did Monday, knocking down the bill’s keystone provision requiring tens of millions of Americans to obtain health insurance. Hudson said the requirement exceeded the regulatory powers given to Congress under the Constitution, a ruling that makes him the first judge in the country to invalidate any part of the law. Two other federal judges have upheld the legislation.

That’s right. Obama has caved in to the Republicans on expending the Bush Tax Cuts for millionaires. While most Liberals are letting the Prez have it, Pelosi tried to side step the issue:

The most astounding message came from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, just weeks before she is to become the minority leader. In a statement released by her office Tuesday morning, the California Democrat didn’t even address the deal, saying that “the tax proposal announced by the president clearly presents the differences between Democrats and Republicans.”

“We will continue discussions with the president and our caucus in the days ahead,” Pelosi said in the statement. “Democratic priorities remain clear: to provide a tax cut for working families, to promote policies that produce jobs and economic growth, and to assist millions of our fellow Americans who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.”