The world's most powerful turtle, Senator Mitch McConnell recently stuck his neck out to explain to a constituent why he was opposed to legislation, sponsored by Ron Paul and Barney Frank, which would legalize marijuana at the federal level. McConnell's reasoning? Weed Kills…
"Because of the harm that substances like marijuana and other narcotics pose to our society, I have concerns about this legislation. The detrimental effects of drugs have been well documented: short-term memory loss, loss of core motor functions, heightened risk of lung disease, and even death," McConnell wrote.
Everything about that statement seems accurate except for one common misspelling. I think the harmful substance McConnell described is spelled B-O-U-R-B-O-N and T-O-B-A-C-C-O, which Kentucky produces in abundance. The CDC reported 24,518 alcohol-induced deaths for the last year data was available. Cannabis-induced death doesn't exist as a statistical category, though in fairness to prohibitionists, Funyun-induced death is very much an issue considering our nation's obesity problem.
Nevertheless, many officials agree with McConnell. The Obama administration has been aggressive in shutting down medical marijuana operations, drug arrests during Obama's first year in office were higher than they were in George Bush's first year, and federal funding for the War on Drugs has risen.
Maybe the President, who like the two presidents before him has had experience with recreational drugs, believes that the state has to forcibly intervene lest young people be led down the same path he's traveled. If only Barack Obama's youth included an arrest record instead of benign neglect, he wouldn't have to deal with people like Mitch McConnell today. He's just protecting Americans from the outrageous stress that an arrest-free youth can bring in successful adulthood.
It's compelling logic, especially if you don't wait around for legalization while trying to follow it.
Related: Pat Robertson, Pothead
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Barack Obama, Barney Frank, Drugs, Marijuana, Mitch McConnell, Ron Paul
When U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy retired last year, it marked the first time in 63 years that a Kennedy did not serve in Washington D.C. Since then, their kingdom has really gone to hell in a hand basket. Just ask Republicans, who are being ruled by a ruthless outsider from across the sea (Hawaii). If you don't believe them, ask the Democrats, who are at the tyranny of an equally ruthless outsider from Loompaland.
If this were a fairy tale, now would be the time a young prince on a white horse rides in to save us all.
And so there is. Enter Joe Kennedy III, now officially running for Congress in the newly redrawn 4th Congressional District of Brookline, the one recently vacated by Barney Frank.
But what claim to the seat does this young upstart have? What is his pedigree? Kennedy the Red (as I shall henceforth call him) is the son of former U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy II, son of the late Robert F. Kennedy, brother of President John F. Kennedy (who was himself born in Brookline), son of Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. (of the Massachusetts Kennedys).
Impressive, sure, but this country was founded to escape the whims of lords and royalty. The people elect their leaders based on merit, not name.
Which must be why 31-year-old J.K. the Red is already said to have a 2-1 shot to win the election. Beware Congress, and behold your new king…
Photo by Kayana Szymczak/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Barack Obama, Barney Frank, House of Representatives, Joe Kennedy III, John Boehner, Massachusetts, Washing
Soon-to-be-retiring Rep. Barney Frank on the ascendent presidential campaign of his old House nemesis Newt Gingrich…
"I did not think I lived a good enough life to see Newt Gingrich as the Republican nominee… He would be the best thing to happen to Democrats since Barry Goldwater… It's still unlikely, but I have hopes."
This might make for a funny sound bite, but it's worth noting that "the best thing to happen to Democrats since Barry Goldwater" might not be all that effective against "the best thing to happen to Republicans since Jimmy Carter."
Tags: Barney Frank, Barry Goldwater, Newt Gingrich, Primaries, Quote Unquote, Republicans