Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Liberals hate the Constitution

The Constitution of the United States has failed
This is not fine.

What kind of nation allows the loser of a national election to become president — and then does it again 16 years later?

What kind of nation retains an electoral process that was originally designed to inflate the influence of slaveholders?

What kind of nation permits its Congress to write a time bomb into law that periodically forces rival factions into a game of chicken that could wreck the world economy?

What kind of nation fights a civil war over the question of whether people of African descent are people or property, and then looks the other way when the loser ignores the resolution of that war? What kind of nation waits until 1965 to guarantee black people’s right to vote?
Americans speak of our Constitution as if it were a religious text. To label a law “unconstitutional” is not simply to say that it violates some procedural rule or legal technicality, it is to label it fundamentally unAmerican. To do so is to question the values of any lawmaker despicable enough to support such a law, and to suggest that those values are at odds with who we are as a nation.

But our Constitution has not served us nearly as well as we would have been served by other systems adopted by our peer nations. Nor has it lived up to the expectations of its drafters.

Now, our country is facing a man of superlative ignorance. A racist. An admitted sexual assaulter of women. A man poised to violate the Constitution the very instant he takes the oath of office. A man who openly encouraged Russia’s efforts to usher him into the White House. A man who owes his election to the underhanded efforts of deep state actors within our nation’s internal police agency. A man who lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes. And the Constitution has placed this man in the White House.

The Constitution gave Donald Trump command of the world’s most powerful military and an nuclear arsenal that can eradicate all life on Earth. It let him name a racist as our nation’s top enforcer of its laws. It let him use his office to sell hotel rooms to foreign diplomats. The Electoral College has voted. Trump will be our next president. This is what the Constitution hath wrought.

It did this because our Constitution remains the product of a compromise with moral monsters who believed that human beings could be owned as property. It did this because our Constitution offers no guarantee, or even much in the way of likelihood, that the men and women elected to lead the country will share the preferences of the nation as a whole. It did this because our Constitution fosters voter ignorance. It did this because our Constitution can be gamed — and was gamed quite successfully by the Republican Party.

The price of peace

There are competing theories for why America has an Electoral College. One, offered by Alexander Hamilton in an advocacy document written to persuade the nation to support its new Constitution, is that it would allow “men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to” the presidency to determine who should hold that crucial job.

Another theory, which Hamilton did not include in his sales pitch for the Constitution, is that the Electoral College was part of the price northerners had to pay in order to form a union with states whose entire economic model depended on slavery.

Regardless of which theory you prefer, it is undeniable that the Electoral College now serves the second goal of giving a leg up to racists far better than it serves the first. In 2016, the electors themselves are almost entirely obscurities — party activists who are typically selected more for their willingness to cast a vote for their party’s candidate than for their ability to analyse the qualities best adapted to the presidency. Even if they’d wanted to elect someone other than Donald Trump as the president, they lack the stature necessary to quell unrest that would likely ensue.

What the Electoral College has done is steal the presidency from the woman who won it, and given it to a man who openly campaigned on racism and nativism. It’s the sort of outcome that would make many of the Founding Fathers smile — the ones who demanded a terrible price as the cost of Union.

To be sure, there were good men at the Philadelphia convention that drafted the original Constitution. There were men who, as Gouverner Morris said in a speech to the convention, saw slavery as a “nefarious institution” and “the curse of heaven on the States where it prevailed.” There were also delegates from large states who stood for the very simple proposition that a vote from Virginia should count exactly the same amount as a vote from Delaware.

Yet these good men traded away their convictions. The new Constitution explicitly protected slavery. It allowed slave states to count each slave as three-fifths of a person for purposes of calculating representation in the House and the Electoral College, even though those slaves could not vote. And it created the Senate, an anti-democratic body which today counts each person in Wyoming as 67 times more important than each person in California.

The good men in Philadelphia agreed to these terms in service of a singular goal: peace through Union. As Yale’s Akhil Amar explains, the Articles of Confederation, the loose alliance of states that preceded the Constitution, conceived of the United States as “an alliance, a multilateral treaty of sovereign nation-states.” Pennsylvania was as much a separate a sovereign nation from Virginia as Russia is today separate from China. The Articles largely bound these nations into a pact of mutual commerce and defense.

Nevertheless, the framers were well-versed in European history. They knew of the frequent warfare which plagued that continent, and they came to see Union as the best defense against a similar fate. As Amar describes their concerns, “each nation-state might well raise an army, ostensibly to protect itself against Indians or Europeans, but also perhaps to awe its neighbors. America would then recreate continental Europe — borders, armies, dictators, chains, and all.”

The threat from such armies, moreover, was twofold. As Hamilton warned, these armies could themselves be turned against the people, becoming “engines of despotism” that would lead the states in a “progressive direction toward monarchy.” Standing armies were a threat, not just to rival states, but to the people of their home states.

More than two centuries later, the Founding Fathers’ belief that their Constitution would keep America from keeping a standing army is quaint. The United States has the most powerful military in the world, in addition to a network of federal police, intelligence agencies, and an entire cabinet department devoted to internal security. Perhaps these institutions will balk if Trump orders them to impose the kind of tyranny Hamilton feared, but the Constitution sure did not stop them from being built.

It also didn’t save us from war among the states. The early history of the United States was an uneasy peace broken by regional conflicts and near-misses — the Nullification Crisis, Bleeding Kansas, John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry. And then the war came, a four year conflict that killed between 2 and 3 percent of the nation’s entire population.

Our Founding Fathers traded away democracy. They traded away the fundamental principle that every American’s vote is equal. They traded away every person’s inalienable right to freedom. And they’d traded it away for nothing.

Three generations of lost rights

If you go to the American South today, and you speak to a black person over the age of 50, you are most likely speaking to someone who was born into an apartheid state. If you speak to someone over the age of 70, that person probably had their voting rights stolen from them by a white supremacist regime.

This is not ancient history. These are flesh and blood Americans who live and work among us. America became a liberal democracy in 1965, when President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act. Free and fair elections, at least at the nationwide level, are not something we have all that much experience with.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. When the Civil War was won, the victors demanded a new covenant. They wrote slavery out of our Constitution. They wrote freedmen’s right to vote into the Constitution. And, in the most sweeping and radical change that has ever been written into the Constitution, they completely reworked the balance of power between the states and the people.

The Fourteenth Amendment declared, for the first time in American history, that everyone born in the United States is a citizen and that every citizen enjoys certain rights solely because they are an American (without this amendment, states were free to violate the Bill of Rights). It provided that no one can be stripped of their liberty without appropriate legal process, and it insisted on equal treatment along racial lines.

Yet, for much of the next century, the South gleefully ignored these guarantees. “Black codes” relegated freedmen to a status that was often difficult to distinguish from actual slavery. Black men were arrested for minor or even fabricated offenses, then rented out to whites as cheap labor. Jim Crow segregated African Americans and stripped them of their vote. And if anyone dared to question white supremacy, they were quieted by terrorist groups like the Ku Klux Klan, which often worked in close coordination with the state.

There are many villains in this saga. The resilience of white supremacist government in the South occurred because the Supreme Court largely sat on its hands, often explicitly embracing the South’s most odious practices. It happened because the rest of the nation lost its nerve, abandoning Reconstruction for a peace built from the bones of black Americans. It happened because of immoral men willing to use murder as a tool of political control. But white supremacy also thrived because of the Founding Fathers.

Remember that compromise? The one that gave Alabama exactly the same number of senators as New York? It also prevented Congress from enacting a single civil rights law from 1875 until 1957.

The Civil Rights Act of 1875 was one of Congress’ final serious attempts to reconstruct the South. Enacted just over a year before Rutherford B. Hayes sold out black America in order to secure his presidency, the Act banned racial discrimination by “inns, public conveyances on land or water, theaters, and other places of public amusement.” It survived eight years before it was struck by the Supreme Court.

Though new civil rights legislation sometimes passed the House — five such bills did so in the 12 years following World War II — none of this legislation survived contact with the Senate. The same Senate malapportionment that, for many years, gave slave states parity with free states in Congress’ upper house, despite the fact that the free population in the North significantly exceeded that of the South, now gave the Jim Crow states a far louder voice in the Senate than their population warranted.

That thumb on the scale, combined with the filibuster, was enough to keep civil rights bills from becoming law.

Nearly six decades after the Senate finally ended its blockade of all civil rights laws, malapportionment continues to advantage conservatives and stymie progressives. To give just one example, the 54 senators who make up the current Republican majority (and who effectively kept the Supreme Court in Republican hands by preventing Chief Judge Merrick Garland from being confirmed to fill its vacant seat) represent fewer than 150 million people. The 46 senators in the Democratic majority, meanwhile, represent more than 170 million.

What’s more, according to the group FairVote, “the 46 Democratic caucus members in the 114th Congress received a total of 67.8 million votes in winning their seats, while the 54 Republican caucus members received 47.1 million votes.”

The ungovernable nation

Even setting aside the undemocratic Senate, the United States is an outlier among our peer democracies because of the unusual number of roadblocks our Constitution places before any bill that seeks to become law.

America’s separation of powers, which typically requires consensus among the president, two houses of Congress, and the Supreme Court — not to mention the cooperation of congressional leaders and committee chairs who have outsized power to hold up legislation — is generally taught to schoolchildren as if it were divine wisdom delivered to the Founding Fathers at Mt. Sinai. But it is a highly unusual system, in no small part because so many democracies that adopted similar models failed.

In his seminal essay “The Perils of Presidentialism,” the late Yale political scientist Juan Linz warned about the danger inherent in a constitutional system, like the one in the United States, which elects the nation’s chief executive separately from its legislature. In such a system, it is easy for two irreconcilable factions to each gain control of at least one veto point that enables them to halt the legislative process. Moreover, because both sides “derive their power from the votes of the people in a free competition among well-defined alternatives,” there’s no “democratic principle” that can be cited to break such an impasse.

As one Republican lawmaker defended his party’s actions in the lead up to the 2013 government shutdown, “I too won an election. You want me to just disregard all of my voters and all of the promises that I made and how I got elected?” The shutdown happened because both our Democratic president and our Republican House had an equal claim to democratic legitimacy.

The shutdown is an unhappy memory, but it is hardly the worse case scenario for what can happen if the president and the legislature face a unsolvable disagreement. It is “no accident,” Linz recalled of other nations that have faced such an impasse, “that in some such situations in the past, the armed forces were often tempted to intervene as a mediating power.”

The United States, fortunately, did not reach the point where Obama and former House Speaker John Boenher (R) needed to start counting their loyalists among the nation’s generals and admirals. But there’s still plenty of evidence of the issues that Linz is referencing in U.S. government.

Our stagnant, imperfect democracy leaves many problems — crumbling infrastructure, a job market that still has not fully recovered from the recession — unaddressed or underaddressed. It also denies voters much of the feedback that they need in order to cast their ballots wisely.

A likely reason why Republicans felt hornswoggled when President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law is that they had good reason to believe that such a thing wasn’t possible. After all, every Democratic president since Harry Truman (as well as Republican Richard Nixon) promised a universal health plan. Yet, for more than six decades, they failed. Failed health care reform plans were as American as baseball and capitalism. It’s hard to blame Obama’s opponents for thinking they were safe from the horrors of affordable health care for the less fortunate.
Meanwhile, the Republican Party’s fiscal proposals, which include deep cuts to Medicaid and food stamps, a plan to charge seniors up to 40 percent more for inferior health coverage, and big tax cuts for the highest earners, are unpopular with the general public, unpopular with Republicans, and unpopular even with most Republican donors. Pretty much the only people who like these proposals are rich Republican donors.

And yet, somehow, the American people just elected a Republican Congress that is poised to enact these unpopular proposals and a president (albeit not with anything close to a majority vote) who is likely to sign them into law. How can this be? Why did so many voters condemn themselves to policies that they hate?

Vox’s Sarah Kliff offers one explanation for this dichotomy. In a recent trip to a Kentucky town that voted overwhelmingly for Trump, despite the fact that many of its residents depend upon Obamacare for health coverage, she heard a frequent refrain. In Kliff’s words, these voters “just couldn’t fathom the idea that this new coverage would be taken away from them.”

In one of the most heartbreaking interviews in Kliff’s piece, a voter whose husband is waiting for a liver transplant was able to get health insurance for her family thanks to Obamacare. Yet she told Kliff that she backed Trump because “I guess I thought that, you know, he would not do this, he would not take health insurance away knowing it would affect so many people’s lives.”

In 2012, a Democratic super PAC convened a focus group to assess whether Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s support for the GOP’s fiscal proposals could be used against him. Yet the focus group’s reactions to these proposals resembled the conversations Kliff had with Trump voters in Kentucky. When the super PAC “informed a focus group that Romney supported the Ryan budget plan — and thus championed ‘ending Medicare as we know it’ — while also advocating tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, the respondents simply refused to believe any politician would do such a thing.”

The Constitution of the United States, in other words, built a nation where elections frequently don’t have significant consequences. In doing so, it lulled many voters into a false sense of security. It taught them not to believe politicians’ promises because, chances are, those promises won’t be implemented anyway.

And then, when a party actually does bring about sweeping radical change, the same voters seem flabbergasted that the government they elected actually did what it said it would do.

The risk of permanence

One good thing that can be said about unified Republican control of Congress and the White House is that it is likely to break this cycle. If Republicans succeed in repealing Obamacare, replacing Medicare with a voucher program, slashing Medicaid, cutting Social Security benefits by 20–50 percent, and using the savings to put more money in the wealthiest Americans’ pockets, then it will be hard to pretend that elections don’t matter. Or that voters shouldn’t pay attention to a party’s ideas before they cast a ballot for its candidates.

But the biggest danger arising from unified Republican government isn’t that it will enact bad policies that might be repealed later. It is that the GOP will use its moment at the apex of power to ensure that it can never be displaced from this position.

In many ways, this process began long before Donald Trump even declared his candidacy. Over the last several years, voter suppression laws thrived in Republican-led states. Meanwhile, these laws — many of which are unconstitutional — have survived judicial review thanks to a GOP-dominated Supreme Court that even went so far as to gut a key provision of the Voting Rights Act.

There are also strong arguments that partisan gerrymandering violates either the First Amendment’s protections against viewpoint discrimination, or the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection under the law. Yet Republicans on the Supreme Court also thwarted efforts to combat such gerrymandering in court. These decisions, combined with geographic factors that advantage Republicans, prevent Democrats from enacting legislation even when they win. In 2012, for example, Democratic House candidates won nearly 1.4 million more votes than Republicans. Yet the GOP kept control of the House.

There are many good things in our Constitution. But they don’t mean very much if the Supreme Court is unwilling to enforce them.

Once Trump adds another Republican justice to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia, one of the Court’s first orders of business will probably be a long-pending dispute that seeks to hobble public sector unions’ ability to fund themselves — it is highly likely that Trump’s nominee will provide the fifth vote to inflict this wound on unions. That not only means lower wages for government workers in the long run, but also means Democrats will lose much of the political infrastructure that these unions provide.

And enabling voter suppression while carving up unions is really only a small part of the damage a truly partisan Supreme Court could inflict upon democratic governance. In the worse case scenario, a Supreme Court stacked with Trump justices could recreate the early twentieth century, when minimum wage laws, child labor laws, and much of the New Deal were blocked by an ideological Court that did not feel especially constrained by the text of the Constitution.

Despite all the obstacles laid by voter suppression and similar tactics, Democrats could claw their way back into congressional majorities and the White House — only to discover that their efforts to roll back Trump era legislation will be struck down by Republicans on the Supreme Court.

Learning the wrong lessons

If America holds a free and fair election in 2020, and if that election places a Democrat back in the White House, there’s a danger that liberals will learn the wrong lessons from four years of Donald Trump.

To be sure, some of the right lessons are obvious and unlikely to be missed. The Electoral College, for example, is a pathology that will have few informed defenders outside of the party that has twice seen its losing candidate declared the winner.

But conservatives also spent much of the last century spinning a fairly consistent narrative about what’s wrong with the American system of government. In their mythology, the problem with the United States is that it is too democratic. That it is too easy for the federal government to enact new programs and regulations. And that the way to save America is to erect barriers that make it harder for elected officials in Washington to govern.

This narrative is likely to have some appeal to liberals reeling from four years of Trump. The idea that Obamacare, or Medicare, or Social Security, could have been saved if only there’d been more veto points in our system will be appealing. We are likely to see just how bad things can get if government is able to move quickly.

If Brexit does prove to be a calamity, British voters will at least know who to blame.

But liberals will shoot themselves in the foot if they succumb to the appeal of a left-libertarian alliance whose sole goal is to keep future Presidents Trump from doing too much, too quickly. In the short term, they are likely to freeze government in the weakened state that four years of Donald Trump will produce. In the long term, such a single-minded alliance would exacerbate the constitutional defects that brought America to the point we find ourselves in today.

Today, as President-elect Donald Trump waits to take the oath of office, the nation of Great Britain faces a similar crisis. The Brexit campaign, which appealed to much of the same racism and nationalism that drove Trump’s campaign, is victorious. A web of alliances that helped end centuries of warfare within Europe is now at risk. British workers are expected to “make £38 less a week than their E.U. counterparts by the year 2030 once the country leaves the E.U.”

The British parliamentary system, which typically places a single party in charge of the entire government, did not prevent these outcomes. But if Brexit does prove to be a calamity, British voters will at least know who to blame. It was a Tory prime minister who allowed the Brexit vote, and a Tory government will manage the nation’s transition out of the European Union.

There can be no doubt in London that elections have consequences. And no further doubt about who foisted these consequences upon the British people.

And, if Tory candidates campaign on a plan to dismantle their nation’s universal health care system, British voters will know damn well that they better believe that these candidates will actually do it.

They won’t vote, as so many Americans did, to dismantle our social safety net by accident.


Monday, December 19, 2016

NORML issues open letter to incoming Vice President

From The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML):

Tomorrow, Michigan NORML will release an open letter to Vice President-Elect and presidential transition Chairman Mike Pence calling upon the incoming administration to declare their intentions on federal marijuana policy. Over 50 state and local NORML chapters representing tens-of-thousands of supporters have already co-signed.
The letter, combined with National NORML's petition to President-Elect Trump, is a powerful way in which we can influence the new administration as well as leaders in Congress in order to protect the rights of those in states that have instituted legalization, decriminalization, and medicinal marijuana.

Add your name to the thousands demanding cannabis clarity from the incoming administration.
With mixed signals coming from Donald Trump and his cabinet picks, the future of cannabis law reform has never been more uncertain. At times on the campaign trail, Trump has indicated support for states rights in regards to medicinal marijuana, yet his choice of Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General, the man who will be the nation's prosecutor-in-chief, sends a conflicting message.

As you may know, Sessions throughout his career has been militantly opposed to marijuana law reform and would, if empowered by President Trump and Congress, will have the ability to reverse all the hard fought protections that we have achieved to protect responsible marijuana users rights and freedoms.

Join the thousands who have added their name to find out if President Trump will reverse our progress.

Only when we stand together and speak with one unified voice, clearly demanding an end to our nation's outdated and unjust marijuana prohibition, will we win.
Thank you for all that you do,

P.S. Did you see our email about Local 420: The Marijuana Consumers Union? Sign up to be a monthly supporter of NORML and you will get awesome NORML gear, special updates from NORML staff, and invites to policy calls with leading marijuana experts and policy makers. Sign up today!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Let's tell Congressman Paul Ryan that we do want to talk about marijuana reform

Congressman Paul Ryan

It seems that one of the many things that are taboo for discussion in the House is marijuana reform. Why is that? Because Speaker of the House Congressman Paul Ryan doesn't want to talk about it. On the other hand the American people do want to talk about marijuana reform. In fact they want more than mere words from Washington. They want action. This last election confirmed that. With the voters from a state deciding for themselves while ignoring the federal government. There are more states that day by day decide to put it to the people so the people can decide what they want. Obama even admitted it a few days after this last election. It's only a matter of time before it becomes a federal issue so let's contact the Speaker and tell him that We The American People want marijuana legalization and that we want the House to take this issue up. The more of us they hear from the better.

Rohrabacher Farr Act extended until April 28,2017

From the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML):

Members of Congress have re-authorized a federal provision prohibiting the Justice Department from interfering in state-authorized medical cannabis programs. The provision, known as the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, was included in short-term spending legislation, House Resolution 2028, and will expire on April 28, 2017.

Initially enacted by Congress in 2014, the amendment maintains that federal funds cannot be used to prevent states from "implementing their own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana." In August, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that the language bars the federal government from taking legal action against any individual involved in medical marijuana-related activity absent evidence that the defendant is in clear violation of state law.

Because the provision is included as part of a Congressional spending package and does not explicitly amend the US Controlled Substances Act, members must re-authorize the amendment annually. However, House leadership may prohibit federal lawmakers from revisiting the issue when they craft a longer-term funding bill this spring. Such a change in House rules would require members of the Senate to pass an equivalent version of the legislation, which would then need to be approved by House leaders in conference committee.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Trump adminstration may be hostile to Net Neutrality;individual privacy.

From Open Media:

The Internet is at a turning point: Under Donald Trump, Net Neutrality now ‘faces extinction’ at the FCC,1 and the NSA is poised for a dramatic expansion in spy powers.2 Either we stand up now for our digital rights, or we accept a world where everything we do online is monitored by governments and ISPs, free expression is quashed, and Internet access gets more expensive.

The United States has always been a trend-setter for Internet policy across the globe. If we stop fighting for our values then the door flies open for oppressive regimes the world over to follow our regressive lead.

Our nimble team is ready for this fight -- and we’ve received some seriously good news: a generous donor has just offered to double your donation every single month for a whole year if you sign up as a monthly donor right now.

This could make a huge difference in our fight against some of the most powerful and well-funded interests on the planet.

At OpenMedia, we’re experts in using cutting edge digital tools to force decision-makers to pay attention to citizen voices. But building and sharing these tools takes a lot of time and resources.

Our fight wouldn’t be possible without the strength of our grassroots donors: it’s their donations that enable us to run high impact campaigns to defend the Internet in the United States and around the world.

And if you donate today the Internet Society and TunnelBear have generously agreed to match the value of your donation. Please, give $10, $20 or whatever you can and double your impact protecting the open Internet!

Here’s what we’re up against in 2017:

A President and Congress intent on dismantling Net Neutrality consumer safeguards.1

Out-of-control government surveillance threatening to turn the Internet into something it was never intended to be: Big Brother.3

A president-elect who says he wants to “close down parts of the Internet” and who actually will have the power to make that happen.4

An AT&T-Time Warner mega-merger that will result in less competition and Internet price hikes for average Americans.5

If we are going to keep the Internet open, we’re going to have to fight to protect it. To succeed we need you to donate today so we can unlock essential matching funds. Please join for this time-sensitive opportunity.

The open Internet is under constant threat, but because of people like you we know we’ll be there to protect it.

With gratitude for all you do,
on behalf of your OpenMedia team

P.S. The open Internet empowers everyday people in an unprecedented way--to create, share, communicate, learn, invent, challenge government, support a cause, and express ourselves. Big Media, Big Telecom, and governments all want to put you and the free Internet on a leash.Please donate now before our special matching funds program ends — for just this short time, we can double your impact.

[1] Net neutrality faces extinction under Trump. Source: CNBC
[2]FBI and NSA Poised to Gain New Surveillance Powers Under Trump. Source: Bloomberg News
[3] US: Case Challenges Mass Internet Surveillance. Source: Human Rights Watch
[4] The Law That Could Allow Trump To Shut Down The US Internet. Source: Forbes
[5] Open Internet groups open letter to Trump and Clinton to stop the merger. Source: Coalition Letter

Nominate Dr. Ron Paul, to the U.S. Federal Reserve's Board of Governors

From Campaign For Liberty:


Even as the results poured in on Election Day, articles with headlines just like the one above began popping up in the press virtually every hour.

And even as I write you today, Wall Street banksters, Big Government apologists, and their pals in the media are screaming at the top of their lungs to tell Donald Trump "HANDS OFF!" of the biggest enabler of statism in Washington, D.C.


Their goal is to win the battle for the corrupt big spending status quo in Washington, D.C. before Donald Trump is even sworn in!

If President-elect Trump is serious about "draining the swamp," and returning this country's glory days as a beacon of freedom and prosperity, there are TWO THINGS he can do right now to prove it...

1) Nominate my father, Dr. Ron Paul, to the U.S. Federal Reserve's Board of Governors; and

2) Double-down on past promises to make Audit the Fed part of his first 100 days in office!

If you agree, we simply must rally NOW to ensure Mr. Trump gets our message LOUD-AND-CLEAR, even as Washington, D.C.'s slick lawyers, banksters, and media elites are attempting to sink their fangs into him.

So will you please sign your petition urging Mr. Trump to take these two critical actions right away?

And, if possible, will you agree to your most generous contribution of $15 IMMEDIATELY?

Even if all you can do is chip in $10 or $5, it would be a TREMENDOUS help.

The truth is, there is no bigger enemy of liberty today in Washington, D.C. than the Federal Reserve.

From foreign-policy misadventures -- to crushing Big Government boondoggles like ObamaCare -- it's the Fed that foots the bills for Washington, D.C.'s madness when taxing and borrowing don't make ends meet.

Not only that, but the Federal Reserve system leads to:


Centrally-planned interest rates and money manipulation lead to one economic bubble after another -- just as we saw in the housing crisis;


As the cost of everyday necessities soar, those who are NOT on the government dole are forced to make do with less as the value of their money sinks;


History shows us that riots, violence, and full-scale police states can result when people finally realize our money isn't worth the paper it's printed on and REFUSE to accept it.

What better way for President-elect Trump to take a SLEDGEHAMMER to the Washington, D.C. Leviathan than by nominating my dad to the Fed's Board of Governors and passing Audit the Fed?

Monetary policy is what first inspired my father to leave his career as a medical doctor for the rough-and-tumble world of politics in the early 1970s.

Exposing the Federal Reserve has been his life's mission.

And there's not a crook, crony, corrupt bankster, or bureaucrat who leeches off this system that doesn't fear the very mention of the name RON PAUL.

Placing my father on the Fed's Board of Governors and passing his Audit the Fed Bill would be nothing short of earth-shattering...

But the truth is, America has already seen the earth shatter once on election night, with the jaw-dropping defeat of Hillary Clinton!

Of course, as always, the national media and insiders in Washington, D.C. are trying to co-opt and bend Mr. Trump to their will.

They're praising the parts of his plan to grow government (he certainly has some), while urging him to place on the back burner anything like Audit the Fed that would "rock the boat."

They're urging him to use "caution" and show "magnanimity" even as rioters all over the country are still destroying property, growing more violent, and issuing death threats.

They're attempting to build a cocoon around him, so that the only voices he hears are theirs...

That's why you and I have to take action NOW.

Please sign your petition right away.

And, if possible, please agree to your most generous contribution of $15.

Your generous gift will help Campaign for Liberty mobilize an army of patriots all over the country to ensure our message grows louder, louder and LOUDER!

How many times have we seen the American people cast their votes for freedom at the ballot box -- only to have it dashed?

How many times have promises been broken?

And how much more can our country take?

We have to take this opportunity to strike at the very heart of the Washington, D.C. Leviathan.

We have to finally end the Fed's grip on our economy.

If you agree, please sign your petition.

Please agree to your most generous contribution right away -- whether that's $15, $10, or $5.

Your action and support would mean the world to me.

In Liberty,

Ronnie Paul
Chairman of the Board

P.S. If President-elect Trump is serious about "draining the swamp," and returning this country's glory days as a beacon of freedom and prosperity, there are TWO THINGS he can do right now to prove it...

That's nominate my father, Dr. Ron Paul, to the U.S. Federal Reserve's Board of Governors, and double-down on past promises to make Audit the Fed part of his first 100 days in office!

But with Washington, D.C. insiders attempting to bend Mr. Trump to their will, we must act IMMEDIATELY!

So please sign your petition and agree to your most generous contribution of $15, $10, or $5a right away!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

We defeated the National Internet SalesTax Mandate

From Campaign For Liberty:

The tax-hikers are furious at you!

That's because -- thanks to our dedicated supporters -- Campaign for Liberty has prevented the National Internet Sales Tax Mandate from passing in the Lame-Duck Congress.

Thank you!

As you know, Congress' lame-duck session is a dangerous time -- when Liberty is most vulnerable to attack!

When Congressmen don't have to worry about re-election, they're most vulnerable to trading votes for personal gain.

But Campaign for Liberty and its supporters overwhelmed Congress with a barrage of phone calls and tens of thousands of fax-petitions.

With your help Campaign for Liberty made it impossible for Congressmen to ignore their constituents.

The National Internet Sales Tax Mandate is backed by some of the most powerful special interests in the country, making Campaign for Liberty's success is all the more remarkable.

And Campaign for Liberty was the only organization to mobilize opposition against this tax.

On Friday, I heard from a Congressional staffer whose boss shares our opposition to the National Internet Sales Tax Mandate:

"Campaign for Liberty has been crucial in the battle to stop the National Internet Sales Tax Mandate. Please make sure your members know how crucial their efforts were in stopping this new tax!"

Even in the face of behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing, Campaign for Liberty managed to prevent the National Internet Sales Tax Mandate from even hitting the House or Senate floors!

But none of this would have been possible without the support of Liberty-minded individuals like you.

This is an enormous victory for Liberty, and one that sends a message to Big Government cronies trying to sneak legislation through back channels.

While this is certainly a cause for celebration, it's equally important we don't let our guard down.

There will always be Big Government shills trying to make their fortunes by restricting our liberties, and while we may have sent them packing this time...

...They are still skulking in the shadows, waiting for the next opportunity to chip away at our Constitutional rights and line their pockets.

That's why I want to say "Thank You!" But I also hope that you will continue to stand with Campaign for Liberty.

Without Liberty-minded individuals like you, Big Government lobbyists would be the ones celebrating today.

It has been a long, hard road but thanks to hard-working activists like you, we earned victory over the National Internet Sales Tax Mandate.

I hope we can count on your support in the future.

Thank you for all that you've done.

In Liberty,

Norm Singleton

P.S. With the support of Liberty-minded individuals like you, Campaign for Liberty has claimed victory over the National Internet Sales Tax Mandate!

Campaign for Liberty overwhelmed Congress with a barrage of phone calls and tens of thousands of fax-petitions.

As the only voice on Capitol Hill decrying the National Internet Sales Tax Mandate, Campaign for Liberty made it impossible for Congressmen to ignore their constituents.

Although this is a huge victory for Liberty, it is important that we don't rest on our laurels.

With Big Government lobbyists already plotting their next assault on our Constitutional rights, I hope you'll consider chipping in $25 or $10 to help us prepare for the coming battles in 2017.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

According to CNBC even Jeff Sessions can't stop the marijuana train

In November, the country elected a new president who promised to shake up Washington. At the same time, the cannabis industry took a giant leap forward with seven states voting yes to measures further legalizing marijuana. In total, California, Nevada, Massachusetts and Maine legalized recreational use, and Florida, North Dakota and Arkansas legalized medical use, bringing the total number of states with legal marijuana to 29.

The recent slate of successful marijuana-related measures at the state level could be viewed as a national referendum on cannabis. The "yes" votes cut across party lines and presidential candidates. Today, two-thirds of Americans live in states with legal access to cannabis.

California, the first to pass medical marijuana two decades ago, is arguably the most significant bellwether state in the evolution of cannabis. It is the country's most populous state, the sixth largest economy in the world and a cultural trendsetter. California's Proposition 64 legalizing adult use of marijuana passed with 57 percent of the votes.

As President-elect Donald Trump nominates members of his cabinet, some have conjectured about what U.S. Attorney General appointee Jeff Sessions, a Republican senator from Alabama, might mean for the future of the cannabis industry. The sober conclusion? Very little.

It is true that Mr. Sessions publicly has expressed contempt for marijuana users, but it is a giant leap to equate one's personal stance with a public policy position that will impact millions of lives. You can be a teetotaler, but still believe that the best way for government to control alcohol consumption is to regulate it, not ban it.

"The cannabis industry is on track to reach $23 billion by the end of the decade, it is already a major economic engine employing more than 100,000 and generating millions in tax revenue."
What we do know, from a policy perspective, is that Mr. Trump is on the record saying marijuana policy is something best left to the states, a position consistent with Republican Party's core doctrines.

U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), a long-time supporter of marijuana policy reform in Capitol Hill, told reporters recently that he trusts that Mr. Trump's hands-off approach is likely to prevail.

In fact, Mr. Rohrabacher may hold more sway on federal policy than anyone in the executive branch when it comes to marijuana. The Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, which he co-authored, prohibits the U.S. Department of Justice from prosecuting those who engage in state-sanctioned use, cultivation and dispensing of medical marijuana. It was first passed in 2014 with bipartisan support and again in 2015. It needs to be renewed each year, but it is currently the law.

Others have pointed out that the president cannot nullify state laws, and only Congress has the power to pass federal laws. And Congress' attitude toward marijuana is likely to reflect the U.S. electorate. The vast majority of Americans today favor legalizing marijuana, about 60 percent, the largest percentage ever, according to recent polls.

There are currently several bills working their way through Congress that could further ease Prohibition, including the Marijuana Business Access to Banking Act that would update federal banking rules to resolve conflicts between federal and state laws and allow banks and credit unions to provide services to legitimate marijuana businesses. U.S. Rep. Denny Heck (D-Wash.), a co-author of the banking bill, has said the results of this year's elections could give his bill a boost.

As more and more states legalize marijuana, the federal stance will be become untenable in the long run. It is fundamentally unfair that the same act of consuming marijuana can be perfectly legal in one state, and land you in prison in another. President Barack Obama made that very point during a recent interview with Bill Maher telling the television host that the time will come when the federal government must review its stance on cannabis.

With all due respect to President-elect Trump and Mr. Sessions, this debate is larger than one administration or one cabinet nomination. The cannabis industry is on track to reach $23 billion by the end of the decade, it is already a major economic engine employing more than 100,000 and generating millions in tax revenue.

The way for progress is not to turn back time, but to continue institutionalizing this space with professional standards and reasonable regulations that protect consumers and citizens.


I added "According to CNBC" to the original title. The original title might just poke the bear too much and too hard. If that happens that bear will swipe his paw and cause marijuana dispensaries nationwide to be closed down. If you were not around in the 80's you are not familiar with the prohibitionist mindset being mainstream. Where the DEA had society's blessings and those that used marijuana were labeled as "drug addicts","stupid potheads" and "waste cases". The police could act on a tip by an informer (there have been cases where the informer was a fictional character) breakdown you front door. Making you lay down on your stomach as they ransack your house. They didn't find anything but they are going to take your home,cars and other property away anyway under the asset forfeiture laws. Your children will be taken away from you and given to strangers. Those were the days of the 80's. The same 80's Sessions wants to return this country to.

Let's ask Trump to clarify his position on marijuana

From The National Organization for the Reform Marijuana Laws:

Over the last several weeks, we have received dozens of calls from journalists with the same question: "What does NORML think that President-Elect Trump and his Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions will do in regards to marijuana once in office?"

However, the best public indicators we have to go on give mixed messages. Additionally,in nearly all of the articles
that NORML has been quoted in about Trump and Sessions, not one indicates that the writer had even attempted to contact the presidential transition team or Sen. Sessions.

So we've released our own request for clarification and we NEED you to join us in demanding answers as to how the federal government is going to respect the will of the voters in states that have ended prohibition.

Add your voice to the thousands calling on Trump to provide cannabis clarity TODAY.

On the campaign trail, Trump promised to take a federalist approach to marijuana stating:
"In terms of marijuana and legalization, I think that should be a state issue, state-by-state... Marijuana is such a big thing. I think medical should happen - right? Don't we agree? I think so. And then I really believe we should leave it up to the states."

Yet his nomination of Sen. Sessions sends a very different signal. At a Congressional hearing just this past April, he stated that "good people do not smoke marijuana." His legislative track record and public comments show no intentions of ending marijuana prohibition or respecting the millions of responsible cannabis consumers throughout the country. If Senator Sessions' personal beliefs were allowed to dictate the policies of the Justice Department, we could be in for a rough four years.

With 8 states now having legalized the adult use of marijuana and over half the country having medical marijuana programs, the American people deserve to know what President-Elect Trump's policy towards these states will be.

Join thousands of others in signing the petition to ask President-Elect Donald Trump to answer this question and clarify his position on respecting state marijuana laws.

Going forward we must be vigilant to protect the progress we have made, keep fighting to protect the rights of responsible adults, and end finally end the prohibition of marijuana nationwide.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Chelsea Clinton: Hillary's revenge

“The Clintons are like herpes,” actor Tim Allen said last month, “Just when you think they’re gone, they show up again.”

As if on cue, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has come back to life with a new plan to continue her family’s political dynasty – and she’s anointing her daughter, Chelsea Clinton, as our country’s next leader.

Hillary stopped sobbing over her defeat long enough to speak at Harry Reid’s retirement this week, where she announced that she’s throwing a  “thank you” dinner inside the Plaza Hotel’s elegant Grand Ballroom on December 15.

Of course, she’s not thanking her voters like President-elect Donald Trump is.

That’s not the Clinton’s style.

Instead, Hillary is making the event ultra exclusive, inviting only the most elite of her financial donors to the six-figure gala.

To get on this list, you not only had to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for her campaign, but you also had to host an event introducing her to other donors. The bar is so high that even longtime Clinton pals are complaining about being snubbed, according to The Washington Post.
What’s behind all this? According to sources closest to her, it’s plotting her next move to put the Clinton family back into power ASAP – and it links straight back to Chelsea Clinton.
Since voters rejected her last month, Hillary has tried everything from hopeless state recounts, to claiming Russians hacked U.S. voting machines, to trying to sway faithless members of the Electoral College in order to steal the 2016 election.

Still, she’s walking away a loser – this time.

But the Clintons never go away, no matter how much the American people demand it. Journalist Ron Fournier, a Clinton confidante, wrote on Twitter that “sources close to her” told him that “raising doubts about legitimacy of election, even w/out overturning result, is part of Clinton’s plans to keep her options open for 2020.”
That’s right; Hillary Clinton is considering another run for president four years from now, at the age of 73!

But critics says that announcement may just be a smoke screen
For once, Hillary may be doing something that doesn’t benefit her own political career — she’s trying to convince her top donors to shift their money to her daughter, Chelsea Clinton, the Clinton’s cartel’s ace-in-the-hole.

A source close to the Clintons told The New York Post that “the Clintons need some time to regroup after Hillary’s crushing loss,” but “they will not give up.”

“Chelsea would be the next extension of the Clinton brand,” the Clinton insider said.
The plan is for Chelsea Clinton to run for Congress, maybe as early as 2018.

Chelsea will run for the seat of Rep. Nita Lowey, a 79-year-old far-left Democrat from New York, when Lowey retires.

Lowey’s district has two advantages: It’s a Democratic safe seat. Chelsea is unlikely to run into any serious competition there. And Lowey represents the city of Chappaqua, where the Clintons have a home. Chelsea doesn’t live there – she lives in Manhattan with husband Marc Mezvinsky – but that’s no problem for the Clintons. After all, Hillary didn’t live in New York before becoming its U.S. senator.

So, the plan is to put Lowey out to pasture and install Chelsea in her place.
So far, Chelsea has made a comfortable living by cashing in on her family name and access to power, and has been groomed for years by her power hungry parents.

Chelsea Clinton is vice chair of the ethically challenged Clinton Foundation, where she has taken a special interest in its fundraising operations. Coincidentally, she has an estimated net worth of $15 million and owns a $10.5 million apartment overlooking New York City’s Madison Square Park.
And like her parents, Chelsea’s media connections run deep. For example, in 2011 NBC News paid her $600,000 as a special correspondent, although she had no experience in journalism – or, as far as we could tell, any talent, either.

Chelsea only faces one major problem: Lowey is not stepping aside quietly. She says she has no plans to retire, Chelsea’s future plans be damned.

“You’ll have to ask Chelsea” where stories about her retirement are coming from, Lowey said. “I’m running for office. I currently serve, and… I will keep running.”

In fact, a New Rochelle newspaper first published reports that Chelsea plans to run for Lowey’s seat five years ago – but still Lowey hasn’t budged.

If Chelsea wants her seat, it will be over her dead body (which rumors say can be arranged in Clintonland).

But at a minimum, Chelsea will have to work for it, which is more than this 36-year-old grown child has done for anything else in her life.


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Where does the Donald stand on marijuana?

Where does President-elect Donald Trump stand on marijuana-medical and recreational,state's rights and the nomination of Jeff Sessions,staunch prohibitionist extraordinaire,for Attorney General?
NORML is asking that same question. That is why they are sending Trump a letter asking him to clarify his position. NORML would love it if you added your signature to the letter.
Trump has stated that he will respect the laws the states have enacted concerning marijuana. Yet his nomination of Jeff Sessions contradicts that position. I have written on Sessions and posted news stories about him when it concerns marijuana legalization. Sessions longs for the old days of police brutality,broken in doors,destroyed families and properties. Not to mention legally stolen items that have nothing to do with the crime but good luck proving your innocence. Wait,I thought it was innocent until proven guilty. Not in military court martials and asset forfeiture hearings.

Legal bud reams the alcohol industry

Beer sales are taking a hit in states where marijuana is legal.
So far this year, beer volumes have dropped roughly 2% in Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, which have all legalized recreational pot, according to Neilsen data cited in a recent report from Cowen & Co.

At the same time, marijuana consumption has grown in those states.
The data indicates that many beer drinkers are swapping their six-packs for marijuana instead, and that has major implications for the beer industry — especially for makers of cheaper beers like Anheuser-Busch and Molson Coors Brewing Company.

"Mainstream beer" including Bud Light, Coors Light, Miller Lite, is "under siege" from legal marijuana, with volumes down 4.4% in the states studied, according to Cowen and Co. analysts. 
Craft beer sales growth is slowing in those states, but not to the same degree. 

The trends show significant overlap between buyers of cheaper beers and users of marijuana. 
"The pressure we are seeing on lower-priced beers is consistent with the trends we are seeing in cannabis use by income group nationally," analysts wrote. "Indeed, while cannabis incidence has been on the rise nationally, over the last 10 years (through 2014, the most recently available) we have seen the biggest increases among lower-income households, where cannabis use is also highest."

As additional states consider legalizing marijuana, beer companies will be at an even greater risk. 

"With Anheuser-Busch and Molson Coors Brewing Company controlling roughly 70% of the overall beer category in the US, there is clear risk that growing cannabis use will weigh on their businesses," analysts wrote.


A lot of groups brought up the so-called disadvantages when it comes to marijuana. Most were just blowing hot air out of their asses. The alcohol industry is the most angry because they are finding out that legal marijuana is a wealth detriment-detriment to their wealth. When given a choice between a manmade concoction that causes health problems,broken marriages and abused children. Not to mention possible police involvement. That goes from the police arresting the drunk driver to a possible domestic disturbance. Or a natural plant that has been used for centuries from medicinal use to recreational use. This plant does not cause the problems that are mentioned above. Let's look at their following death rates: For alcohol: which category do you want to go with? Death by drunk driving? Cirrhosis? Other health problems? Criminal acts against family members? We're talking a lot of deaths here. I would say into the 1,000's. For marijuana: zero,nada,nilch,nothing. Which one of these is the wiser choice?

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Americans For Safe Access sue the DEA

From American For Safe Access:

Today, Americans for Safe Access (ASA) took a major step to stop the DEA’s misinformation campaign on cannabis once and for all. And as an ASA member, you helped make it happen!

ASA filed a new petition under the Information Quality Act (IQA)  on behalf of our members that could force the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to update its outdated and unscientific information about medical cannabis. If this new effort is successful, it will be a watershed moment in the effort to end the conflict between federal and state law. This important step will also mean politicians will no longer be able to use this misinformation to fight against medical cannabis.

ASA has worked with the prestigious international law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe to file the petition on behalf of our 100,000 members nationwide. U.S. Department of Justice guidelines require a response to IQA petitions within 60 days of filing. That means that the Obama Administration can still act on our members’ IQA petition and instruct the DEA to grant the request before Inauguration Day on January 20th.

The IQA requires federal agencies to employ reliable and sound science when making regulations and disseminating information. It also provides a mechanism for people and companies to challenge government information they believe to be inaccurate. Business, consumer, environmental and conservation groups have all used the IQA to pursue changes in government policies. Now is our chance to use this tool to make a real difference in federal policy.

Forcing a change in federal policy towards medical cannabis before Obama leaves could make all the difference when it comes to rescheduling and changing federal law during the new Administration.
ASA cites 25 violations under the IQA, alleging that the DEA website currently contains inaccurate statements that do not meet informational standards required by the law. Making matters worse, the DEA continues to distribute statements about the efficacy of medical cannabis and its risks, which have been refuted by the DEA itself in the recent “Denial of Petition to Initiate Proceedings to Reschedule Marijuana,” issued August 12, 2016. If this petition is successful, it means that the DEA will no longer be able to use misinformation about cannabis on issues such as the gateway drug hypothesis, irreversible cognitive decline in adults, and how cannabis can be linked to psychosis or lung cancer to deny patients access to medical cannabis.

If you want to be a part of history, it is not too late to join ASA and be a part of this amazing moment. If you are already a member, you can also help by making a generous one-time donation or affordable monthly contribution to help us fight for your IQA petition – all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary. Please know, we cannot do this without you!

Now is the time to act! We need all ASA members and allies to join together and take the offensive in the effort to finally change federal medical cannabis policies. Do not miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity to make a difference in medical cannabis policy!

We need all of our voices to be heard to get this petition approved right now or in the federal courts next year. Please contribute today to support this effort.

Thank you in advance for being a part of the IQA campaign. Together, we are getting closer and closer to our goal – safe and legal access to medical cannabis for everyone who needs it.

Steph Sherer
Executive Director, Americans For Safe Access

For more information on the IQA petition please refer to this webpage.

P.S. – You can make a tax-deductible contribution to support the educational and legal work of Americans for Safe Access Foundation, including the IQA petition campaign, online or by mailing a check or money order to Americans for Safe Access Foundation, 1624 U Street, NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20009.