Obama's Attorney General on Drugs

President-elect Obama has tapped Eric Holder, Jr for attorney general, and most of the opposition thus far has centered around Holder's role in the eleventh hour Clinton pardons. I get bored just typing about that. I'm much more worried about what Holder wanted to do 12 years ago, when he was U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia.

U.S. Attorney Eric H. Holder Jr. said in an interview that he is considering not only prosecuting more marijuana cases but also asking the D.C. Council to enact stiffer penalties for the sale and use of marijuana.

"We have too long taken the view that what we would term to be minor crimes are not important," Holder said, referring to current attitudes toward marijuana use and other offenses such as panhandling.

Now, people arrested in the District and charged with distributing marijuana, even large quantities, face only misdemeanor charges, a standard that has sparked repeated complaints by police officers.

He also told the Washington Post that "the District could learn from New York's 'zero-tolerance' policy." I wonder what people in the drug policy reform movement, who have so far been (relatively) optimistic about Obama, think of this.

(Hat tip: Ben Masel.)

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  • Boston||

    Fucking joy. He also sucks on obscenity. Great, just, Great.

  • ||

    I wonder what people in the drug policy reform movement, who have so far been (relatively) optimistic about Obama, think of this.

    Meet the new boss,
    ...

    CHANGE! LOL, fools.

  • ||

    How you feelin' now, Obama supporters? How's that optimistic feeling about a politician coming along?

    Having my cynicism proven right doesn't make me happy, but it does reinforce my natural superiority complex.

  • robc||

    Did Obama sell his soul to Bill Clinton? My one "hope" for "change" from this administration would be the ditching of the clintonistas.

  • Kyle Jordan||

    "I wonder what people in the drug policy reform movement, who have so far been (relatively) optimistic about Obama, think of this."

    The same thing that anyone else who's been optimistic about Obama has been thinking.

    Nothing.

    Nothing because they're completely incapable of mustering an actual thought. Just like the good little sheep they are.

    The ONLY thing good about Obama is that he's not Bush. And Obama may turn out to be far worse.

  • ||

    That reads more like statement about policing strategy than drug policy. If you say you want to go after Al Capone's bootlegging because his organization is a major part Chicago's crime in 1928, you aren't really saying much one way or the other about your opinion about prohibition.

    The reason "broken windows" policing focused on little stuff isn't because its proponents were gung-ho opponents of petty vandalism and littering per se, but because the presense of those minor crimes established an atmosphere where lawbreaking is tolerated. It could have been any other small-time criminal acts that they were seeking to repress.

    In DC's case, it was open drug dealing. When the pot dealers were up and down the street waving down cars without being stopped, everyone got the message that you could screw around in public and nobody would do anything about it, so actual dangerous crime followed. That's the broken-windows theory, anyway.

    If this guy was a true-believer drug warrior, I'd expect to see quotes from him about the actual dangers of marijuana as a justification for a crackdown.

    That said, it's still dispiriting to read that he's a broken windowser. It's an army-of-occupation style of policing. Hopefully, the new AG's thinking has developed more along mutually-supportive, community-policing lines.

  • Abdul||

    Look at the bright side: if you score a couple billion slinging weed, and get yourself a villa in Switzerland, Holder will totally have your back when you ask Obama for a pardon.

  • SpongePaul||

    HMMM. Seems like another DEA mouthpiece. Another person who does not listen to the will of the people, as 2/3 of Americans favor decrim or legalazation and regulation. Just another face to spew the LIES the Goverment throws at the people. We need reeal leaders who listen to science and thier own people. leaders who know the constitution and stand for our rights. or else we shall take them back, by force if need be!!!!
    I am a NORML member an EROWID supporter and a care carring LP member

  • ||

    *Power Chords*
    MEET THE NEW BOSS!
    SAME AS THE OLD BOSS!

  • ||

    That said, it's still dispiriting to read that he's a broken windowser.



    Come on joe, he's more than a broken windows guy. The broken windows theory people may have wanted a crackdown on vandalism, but they weren't (by and large) calling for petty vandalism to be made into a felony or increasing the statutory penalties, just quicker and more sure enforcement of the existing penalties to stop the crimes.

    Holder was not just calling for more arrests and prosecution, he was calling for increased punishment. That puts it in a somewhat different category.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Change! Yes. We. Can!

    I wonder if militant marijuana enforcement will be a job for Obama's Civilian Defense Corps?

  • robc||

    Epi

    Having my cynicism proven right doesn't make me happy, but it does reinforce my natural superiority complex.

    I agree.

    Your comment reminded me of this, which is one of my favorites:

    Pretension

    Also, saw this, which is most fitting:

    Government

    I will also point out that Im a fan of Tales from Topographic Oceans.

  • ||

    a standard that has sparked repeated complaints by police officers.

    OH NOES!!!

  • Abdul||

    I'll be a little fair to Obama & Holder: no way the first black guys to be in their positions could lighten up on reefer. The majority of our country would clutch their pearls for four years straight. Not saying it's right, just saying it's true.

    Just like only Nixon could go to China, you'd need a Huckabee or other politician with solid social conservative cred to decriminalize marijuana.

  • SpongePaul off meds and anrgry||

    Some Change. Obama is just replacing bushies with clintonistas. AND FAILED ONES AT THAT. He is Promoting people like rahm emanuel who could not cut it with clinton. This is the same ol same ol. no change the ruling powers got what they wanted. when will people see that the only differnce between the R's and the D's are the letters and how they want to socailize America. its no longer about WHAT WE THE PEOPLE WANT! I feel a real change is coming, and it will not be a good time in the country. we will either slide into socialism, which i would then relocate to another place or slide into a war against our own goverment to reclaim our Const. Rights which have been stolen from us. although i fear the most real reality will be socialism! WELKOME COMRADS TO THE SOCIALIST STATES AMERIKKA

  • ||

    John Thacker,

    In many cases, the broken-windowsers WERE calling for harsher punishment for petty crimes, especially in the sense of mandating some actual punishment instead of in-and-out "continued without a finding" for the same people over and over.

    I don't know how dime-bag pot dealers were being treated in DC in 1996, but I'm guessing that the first couple of offenses rarely resulted in trials or noticeable punishments.

    Of course, the actual answer is to take pot dealing out of the black market entirely, but it's probably a couple of bridges too far to expect someone who's on the record supporting that to be getting the AG nod any time soon.

  • SpongePaul now calm||

    Just an example on how far washington is out of step with the public on drug policy

    2008 MICHIGAN ELECTION RESULTS-

    MEDICAL MARIJUANA (YES)

    3,008,980 63%

    MEDICAL MARIJUANA (NO)

    1,792,870 37%

    BARACK OBAMA 2,875,308 (57%)

    JOHN MC CAIN 2,050,655 (43%)

    -MICHIGAN COUNTIES WON-

    MEDICAL MARIJUANA (YES) = 83 (100%)

    MEDICAL MARIJUANA (NO) = 0 (0%)

    BARACK OBAMA 48 Counties (57%)

    JOHN MC CAIN 35 Counties (43%)

  • ||

    Abdul | November 19, 2008, 10:48am | #

    I'll be a little fair to Obama & Holder: no way the first black guys to be in their positions could lighten up on reefer.


    Give the Ashcroft/Gonzo policy of sending the DEA to raid legal dispenaries in California is so out of whack with both public opinon and Obama's positions, I expect we'll see some "lightening up," it's just a question of how much.

  • KenK||

    Those who will be most surprised by what BHO does, or doesn't do, will be those who voted for him.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    The D.C. Council voted yesterday to toughen the maximum penalties for the distribution of marijuana, making it a felony subject to a five-year prison term rather than a one-year misdemeanor....Eric H. Holder Jr. began pushing for tougher marijuana penalties in the District in 1996, when he was the U.S. attorney.

    Link Here .

    joe, I didn't know that you had to believe in the inherent evils of drugs to be a drug warrior.

  • ||

    You didn't? So, you think there all of these hardcore drug warriors out there who don't think drugs are all that bad?

    What an odd thing to write.

  • ||

    The DA of Dallas would have been real change. I'm getting tired of beating this drum, but it would only take a few dozen FBI files to shepard a nobody through the Chicago political machine. However, I'm predicting Richardson as Sec. of State. The Hillary interview was nothing but cover.

  • ||

    Joe, I'm sure there are plenty of drug warriors that use drugs.

  • ||

    The Hillary interview was nothing but cover.

    I've considered that possibility, but it seems strange that they'd set her up like that. It's going to be egg on her face if she doesn't get it now. No?

  • VM||

  • BDB||

    Hillary is a dumb choice for Secretary of State.

    You're going to chose a woman to head up your foreign policy that you accused of getting the "single biggest decision since the Cold War" wrong? Uh ok. Yeah, Change You Can Believe In.

  • ||

    OK, James, of course there are hypocrites, but I'm talking about their public justifications. They're always on about "weed today is so dangerous" and whatnot.

    Holder, in the linked story and in the link TAO provided, is talking about the violent crime associated with the drug business, and there isn't any of the "smoking pot makes you run over little girls on bikes" stuff.

  • ||

    any questions?

    Can I substitute a fruit cup for bacon?

  • ||

    joe, I'm already hearing that she doesn't want the job. No egg there.

  • robc||

    joe,

    You didn't? So, you think there all of these hardcore drug warriors out there who don't think drugs are all that bad?

    I think many of them know that pot, at least, isnt that bad but have other reasons for being drug warriors. Look at the reasons the laws were originally passed. Almost entirely due to racism, not danger.

  • BDB||

    "James Ard | November 19, 2008, 11:05am | #
    joe, I'm already hearing that she doesn't want the job. No egg there."

    If that is true, there is egg alright. But it's on Obama's face.

    Again, the whole idea was just filled with stupid.

    This "Team of Rivals" stuff makes my teeth itch. You want to see what a "Team of Rivals" looks like? Look at the Washington/Adams administration. Yeah, that was sure harmonious.

  • VM||

    and egg beaters! don't forget for an extra $0.35 you can get the bottomless cup of coffee

  • Alice Bowie||

    Keep Dope Alive !!!!

  • ||

    I hear you, robc, and agree - in their heart of hearts, there are doubtless plenty who feel that way. Ever read anything from the CO's union in upstate New York? Yowza!

    I'm talking about their public positions, though, which tend to correlate better with their policy preferences.

  • ||

    That reads more like statement about policing strategy than drug policy. If you say you want to go after Al Capone's bootlegging because his organization is a major part Chicago's crime in 1928, you aren't really saying much one way or the other about your opinion about prohibition.

    And if you said you wanted to go after the customers of the speakeasies, give them criminal records and reduce their chances to be successful in life, you would be what?

    Oh yeah, a morally superior crimefighter who is just "upholding the law". Someone who is attacking the "root cause" of the drug problem.

    Or a delusional prohibitionist asshole.

    You make the call.

  • ||

    Your comment reminded me of this, which is one of my favorites:

    robc, I'm more arrogant than pretentious. But their arrogance poster is stupid.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    joe, if you ask some like Holder why, at root, drugs cannot be legalized, he'll probably give some utilitarian discourse (that will be tragically wrong) about how he is worried we'll all end up addicted to smack and America will collapse. Note that there is no moral angle.

    I know more than one drug warrior who believes this.

  • ||

    don't forget for an extra $0.35 you can get the bottomless cup of coffee

    Where do you go to breakfast where the coffee isn't automatically bottomless?

    Dinner places charge per cup, sure, but breakfast?

  • ||

    If that is true, there is egg alright. But it's on Obama's face.

    If he was serious about giving her the job, and would be left scrambling, that is. James Ard seems to postulating that this story was cover the Obama people cooked up. For something. Which would have to mean Hillary was in on it and is getting something out of it, because they'd never set up and for a fall like this.

    You have to admit, they haven't been a clown shoes outfit to date, so it would very out of character to screw this up.

    I dunno. We'll know soon enough.

  • VM||

    coffee isn't. wait-staff is.

    I have reconsidered breakfast joints.

  • ||

    BDB, Obama can't look bad if no talking head is willing to say he looks bad.

  • ||

    J sub D,

    And if you said you wanted to go after the customers of the speakeasies, give them criminal records and reduce their chances to be successful in life, you would be what?

    The links provide statements about Holder's proposals regarding drug dealers.

  • Invisible Finger||

    The reason "broken windows" policing focused on little stuff isn't because its proponents were gung-ho opponents of petty vandalism and littering per se, but because the presense of those minor crimes established an atmosphere where lawbreaking is tolerated.

    Said with tongue planted firmly in cheek or with cock planted firmly in cheek.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    the wait-staff is bottomless?

  • BDB||

    Again, even if she wants it, and takes the job, it is a huge "WTF?" choice. His whole primary campaign was based on campaigning against the Iraq War in general and Hillary specifically because she voted to authorize it. So, that's the purpose you chose to head up your foreign policy team? WTF?

    I understand "bringing her into the tent" and whatnot but why not on an area they actually, you know, agree on like Health and Human Services or AG?

  • ||

    Joe, any story that can recreate the rivalry myth helps throw off the scent.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    BDB - because Iraq does not really matter anymore, no one but people who care are going to view this as inconsistent.

    As a matter of fact, remember when the CW was "Hillary for VP"? Just as inconsistent...and yet the Ds were excited about it.

  • ||

    The Angry Optimist | November 19, 2008, 11:10am | #

    joe, if you ask some like Holder why, at root, drugs cannot be legalized, he'll probably give some utilitarian discourse (that will be tragically wrong) about how he is worried we'll all end up addicted to smack and America will collapse. Note that there is no moral angle.

    I know more than one drug warrior who believes this.


    But what is it that's making you conclude that Holder is such a drug warrior?

    The quotes that are supposed to indicate that he's one of those "pot is evil" types don't really seem to show that, but you're using them to conclude that he is, and then turning about and using the "fact" that he's such a drug warrior to draw a conclusion about the meaning of the quote.

    Have you see anything about his beliefs on drugs use other than these statements about drug dealing in DC in the mid-90s, or, like me, is this all you've seen from Holder on the issues?

  • B||

    I wonder what people in the drug policy reform movement, who have so far been (relatively) optimistic about Obama, think of this.

    Who the hell did they think Obama's AG might be, Marc Emery? Steve Kubby? I find it hard to believe that anyone paying an iota of attention was expecting serious reform on this front from an Obama administration. He didn't promise any, except (as I recall) mentioning that he would stop using the DEA to raid med MJ clinics (a promise for which he should absolutely be held accountable.)

    Those who will be most surprised by what BHO does, or doesn't do, will be those who voted for him.

    --

    How you feelin' now, Obama supporters? How's that optimistic feeling about a politician coming along?

    Having my cynicism proven right doesn't make me happy, but it does reinforce my natural superiority complex.


    Lots of libertarians voted for Obama (including myself) because some of us are actually pragmatists that don't weigh every issue equally. That he's imperfect on several (or even many) issues from a libertarian perspective doesn't mean that we were blind to who and what we were voting for, and it is the height of condescension to assume so.

    Sorry if that screws up your warm feeling of superiority...

  • ||

    Please, invisible finger, educate us about the REAL theory behind broken windows policing strategies, since my description is so obviously off-base.

  • ||

    BDB, you are going to end up pulling all of your hair out if you try to analyze Obama without considering who's pulling the strings.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    But what is it that's making you conclude that Holder is such a drug warrior?

    Ratcheting up dope-slinging from a 12-month misdemeanor to a 60-month felony?

    The quotes that are supposed to indicate that he's one of those "pot is evil" types don't really seem to show that

    I know.

    you're using them to conclude that he is

    No I'm not. I'm saying he's probably a drug warrior with no moral angle or opinion about drugs. He probably thinks drugs are "too dangerous", not that they are "evil".

  • ||

    Broken windows policing isn't bad. It is what made New York a livable city again. There is nothing wrong with the police going after petty vandals and vagrants. The problem is the law not the enforcement. If we had sane drug laws in this country, marijuana possesion and use wouldn't be a broken window.

  • VM||

    TAO - sure are.

    it's the best way to get the "morning innie". (or at least that doesn't involve a reflex hammer)

  • ||

    I find it hard to believe that anyone paying an iota of attention was expecting serious reform on this front from an Obama administration. He didn't promise any, except (as I recall) mentioning that he would stop using the DEA to raid med MJ clinics (a promise for which he should absolutely be held accountable.)

    I agree. What were these promises about radical drug legalization that I'm supposed to have heard from Obama and believed would be forthcoming?

    Link, Episiarch? Either to any such statements from Obama, or statements from any Obama supporters indicating that they thought
    he would do such things?

  • ||

    I don't know how dime-bag pot dealers were being treated in DC in 1996, but I'm guessing that the first couple of offenses rarely resulted in trials or noticeable punishments.

    Sure. But the DC Council, perhaps partially in response to Holder's repeated urgings, did change pot possession from a one-year misdemeanor to a five-year felony.

    He also was strongly in favor of mandatory minimums, and criticized the DC Council for dropping them, according to links here.

    To me, his actions do seem a bit "beyond the call" of just going along. I don't know what he personally thinks about it relative to thinking that it's good politics, but I'm not sure I care too much about such speculation anyway.

  • ||

    Sorry if that screws up your warm feeling of superiority...

    Nope. Because I just get proven more right every day. It's been cold here in New England, but I'm plenty warm.

  • ||

    TAO,

    Ratcheting up dope-slinging from a 12-month misdemeanor to a 60-month felony?

    Once again, that indicates that he is harsh on running a drug business, and doesn't say anything about whether he's drunk the "Killer Weed!" kool-aid.

    In case it wasn't clear, "such" in the sentence you quoted from me was meant to mean "that type."

  • GG||

    Just like only Nixon could go to China, you'd need a Huckabee or other politician with solid social conservative cred to decriminalize marijuana.

    Maybe informing them that the WoD undermines marriage and causes the number of abortions to rise would help.

  • ||

    Link, Episiarch? Either to any such statements from Obama, or statements from any Obama supporters indicating that they thought
    he would do such things?


    joe, does being absolutely, iron-clad predictable bother you even one iota? Do you have no sense of embarrassment?

    What am I asking? Of course not.

  • ||

    I don't trust anything a politician says, so I think Sullum is getting upset over nothing. I'll wager $100 Obama will be a net positive on mj, ancient statements made by the new AG notwithstanding.

  • ||

    John,

    Keeping a lid on the small stuff isn't, in and of itself, bad. The problem is when it's done in isolation, without the positive-interaction, friendly-neighborhood-beat-cop aspects of neighborhood policing.

    If the only time you interact with the police is when they are constantly harrassing people over petty stuff, you come to see them as hostile outsiders.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    In case it wasn't clear, "such" in the sentence you quoted from me was meant to mean "that type."

    Ohh. Well,there's no disagreement.

    He's still a drug warrior; he's just a drug-warrior from the typical progressive viewpoint (People can't handle it) than reactionary viewpoint (Alterations of Consciousness is TEH SIN!).

  • ||

    What were these promises about radical drug legalization that I'm supposed to have heard from Obama and believed would be forthcoming?

    I'm sure you can find some supporters who believed he would do such a thing. There are always people who believe that a politician "really intends" to do something different from his public statements. (And they might either be hoping for or fearing the politician doing so.)

    The President-elect, as befits any candidate of "change," was sufficiently vague that lots of different groups of people seem to contradictory things about what he'll "really do." Trade policy, farm subsidies, and immigration are just some examples. The speed of withdrawal from Iraq is another. That's not getting into issues of more outlandish beliefs about whether he'll prevent foreclosures, pay people's mortgages, or make gas prices go down.

    Of course, it's an entirely separate claim of whether he actually has any blame for people believing in their hopes rather than carefully parsing what he actually said.

  • ||

    The links provide statements about Holder's proposals regarding drug dealers.

    joe,
    I used to buy pounds and sell ounces. I also used to go to war, pay taxes (still do), contribute to society in myriad ways (still do) and am smart enough to know who gets busted in these "go after the dealers" crackdowns.

    21 year old J sub D gets their fucking life ruined in these "go after the dealers" crackdowns.

    You and Eric Holder Jr know that too.

  • ||

    joe, does being absolutely, iron-clad predictable bother you even one iota? Do you have no sense of embarrassment?

    What am I asking? Of course not.


    So the answer is "No." You have no evidence for your assertion, your entire smug feeling of superiority is utterly without support. As usual.

    That's what I thought.

    Which makes it pretty funny to see you calling anyone else "predictable." Episiarch, using a paper-thin argument to conclude that he was right all along about something? Wow, you don't see that several times every day.

  • ||

    The problem is when it's done in isolation, without the positive-interaction, friendly-neighborhood-beat-cop aspects of neighborhood policing.

    Entirely agree. DC, in particular, would do better to adopt *all* NYC policies, including getting some cops out of their cars and walking the beat, rather than just some. (DC is also an example showing that just making more of the cops the same skin color as the inner city residents alone does not engender trust.)

  • The Angry Optimist||

    joe, does being absolutely, iron-clad predictable bother you even one iota? Do you have no sense of embarrassment?

    I have no doubt in my mind that this discourse with joe would be of an entirely different mood, nature and course if this were Alberto Gonzales we were talking about.

  • SpongePaul||

    Drugs that are non addictive and safe when used with repect
    Cannibis- no ld 50 non addictive, many medical benifits from many many studies
    lsd- mind expanding, not for weak minded people, never known anyone to have a "bad trip" non addictive ld50 is unatinable by most
    shrooms- non addictive FUN short acting grows wild
    mdma- pure not street adulterated- can lead to water toxicity if too much is drunk. not addictive, but taxing on brain and liver. safe to use once in a while at low doses. most negatives are from adulterants pure crystyaline mdma is amazing!
    2cb 2ct 21 and the 2c analouges. the analoues 2ci 2ce 2cd are legal 2cb and 2tc21 are schedule 1. synthetic hallugeninects in the phenylene class.
    opiate cocain, procces but not leaf, which is safe and others SHOULD REMAIN UNLAWFUL. But the softer safe drugs shuld be available for everyone who wants to experiment or mind expand or meditate

  • ||

    Which makes it pretty funny to see you calling anyone else "predictable."

    joe, you have no idea how much I am enjoying this. None. God, you are like a wind-up toy. I have been waiting for this, but I didn't realize how short the wait would be.

    Awesome.

  • ||

    John Thacker,

    I can attest that there are certainly people who think, or thought, that Obama's positions on "Trade policy, farm subsidies, and immigration...The speed of withdrawal from Iraq" were much more leftish than they actually are, but I haven't seen the same thing on drug policy on the sites I go to, or among the people I talk to.

    Everyone seems to get that he's not going to be leading a big charge to end the Drug War, just making some minor rollbacks from the uberhawkishness of Bush/Ashcroft.

  • BDB||

    Joe, is it a good idea to have Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State? I'm still waiting for someone on the left to give a halfway honest defense of it. Weirdly, the biggest boosters I've seen for Clinton as Sec. of State have come from places like the Weekly Standard (!)

  • The Angry Optimist||

    you know the reason TallDave and joe don't get along all that well? They're basically the same person; they just cheerlead and apologize for different teams.

    "Isn't it obvious? Lokai is white on the right side. All his people are white on the right side."

  • ||

    joe, you have no idea how much I am enjoying this. None. God, you are like a wind-up toy. I have been waiting for this, but I didn't realize how short the wait would be.

    Awesome.


    I quote this, just to note that you are STILL unable to provide even the slightest evidence for the entire argument on which you are basing your juvenile back-patting..

    None. Not a quote, not a link, not a word, but someone, this is supposed to make me look bad.

    'kay.

  • ||

    robc,

    How funny--I linked to the "Consulting" Demotivator in another thread this morning. It's one of my favorites: "If you're not a part of the solution, there's good money to be made in prolonging the problem."

    Clinton as SoS is a total joke. Obama read somewhere that Lincoln put his former political opponents in his cabinet, so Obama is going to do the same--consequences be damned. The fact that the woman has no experience of note in foreign affairs makes no difference, I guess. At least Holder has experience. He's likely going to prove deficient--name an AG in the last thirty years who hasn't been--but I don't know of anything just blazingly bad. Though this piece and the pardon issue are areas of concern, of course.

  • ||

    BDB,

    No, I think she would be a terrible choice. Even if he wanted to give her a top job, that would be the worst one he could pick.

    Barack Obama has to know this, which is why I don't dismiss out of hand the theory that this is a smokescreen. Making Hillary SoS, and letting it leak like this before she was on board, would be so out of character.

  • ||

    None. Not a quote, not a link, not a word, but someone, this is supposed to make me look bad.

    Oh, joe, I don't have to do a single thing to make you look bad. You do that all by your lonesome.

    So. Fucking. Entertaining.

  • dhex||

    i don't see what this potential asshole general's view on the evils of drugs versus his actions actually means at the end of the day. i would say "nothing" because, well...the metaphysics of the drug war are less important than the actual physics of handcuffs and cages and flashbangs. (oh my)

    whether he's in the evil camp or the merely bad for mind and body camp, he's still a fuckhole.

  • ||

    BDB, you are struggling with an idea that was never really a consideration. Plain old stagecraft. The Thomasas are really pretty good.

  • ||

    "Joe, is it a good idea to have Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State? I'm still waiting for someone on the left to give a halfway honest defense of it. Weirdly, the biggest boosters I've seen for Clinton as Sec. of State have come from places like the Weekly Standard (!)"

    They only reason they think it is a good idea is because it is fun watching people like Joe have to defend it. I don't think Hillary is that bad. She certainly no worse than the President Elect and if she can feed herself and speak in complete sentences she has to be better than Albright was.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    whether he's in the evil camp or the merely bad for mind and body camp, he's still a fuckhole.

    No, no, dhex! He's just "disappointing" because of his "policing philosophy".

    See! There is change with Obama! We traded the Evil Party for the Stupid Party.

  • BDB||

    Who leaked it then? That is what I don't get. If Obama leaked it, and then turns her down for Richardson, not only does it make Richardson look small it just rips open the wounds of the primary.

  • ||

    joe,

    I'd agree that the leak could be a smokescreen, except that he's launching trial balloons on the other cabinet posts as well. Holder's appointment got out early, for instance.

    What's distressing to me is that if Obama stumbles in his appointments, the Senate is likely to merrily confirm whatever fool he suggests, because they're all a happy family of Mandated Leaders™. At least for the first few months.

  • jtuf||

    He also told the Washington Post that "the District could learn from New York's 'zero-tolerance' policy."

    Former president and pot head Bill Clinton excluded.

  • ||

    you know the reason TallDave and joe don't get along all that well? They're basically the same person; they just cheerlead and apologize for different teams.

    I've made actual arguments, using evidence and logic, to back up the statements I've made. If I were in the thrall of partisan delusion, it should be pretty easy to find somewhere that my evidence or logic is faulty.

    So far, all you and Episiarch have done is write "Oh my God, it's so obvious you're wrong," without being able to point to anything actually that's not right. Instead, you point to the fact that my argument doesn't fit in with your pre-conceived notions, and goes against the worst-possible reading of the evidence for Obama.

    In other words, I must be wrong and wearing partisan blinders, because while you can't even attempt to show that I'm wrong, what I've written doesn't fit in with your own take on partisan politics. Well, that's not good enough..

    C'mon, a link? A quote? A word? Something?

    No? Didn't think so.

  • BDB||

    Joe isn't the left wing TallDave. He is the left wing John. There's a difference between being a partisan and being an obnoxious cut-and-paste troll (TallDave).

  • ||

    There were no wounds in the primary, everything went exactly as planned.

  • VM||

    "We traded the Evil Party for the Stupid Party." QFT.

    ProGLib - HRC's "international experience" is from her NGO meeting in copenhagen where she plumbed new depths to "brown nosing". *shudder*

    BDB - get with the "egg" theme - who POACHED it. ?

  • ||

    Episiarch | November 19, 2008, 11:39am | #

    None. Not a quote, not a link, not a word, but someone, this is supposed to make me look bad.

    Oh, joe, I don't have to do a single thing to make you look bad. You do that all by your lonesome.

    So. Fucking. Entertaining.


    Still nothing. Yes, I'm terribly embarrassed that someone who wrote that I must be wrong and can't offer any reason why keeps calling attention to himself.

  • Cracker||

    Jeebus Christ!! First one half-neeeegrooo in the white house, now another full-neeeegrooo running justice.

    The world is comin to a fuckin end, I tell you!

  • ChrisO||

    Wow, Obama hasn't even taken office yet, and joe's already having to make excuses for him.

    It's going to be an entertaining four years...assuming we still have electricity to power the Internet by 2012.

  • BDB||

    "James Ard | November 19, 2008, 11:44am | #
    There were no wounds in the primary, everything went exactly as planned."

    Oh man. You're telling me the rise of Barack Obama is a Kilnton Konspiracy? It really is going to be the 90s all over again, isn't it?

  • ||

    Joe if Obama isn't going to name her, where did the rumor come from? Are the Clintons just fucking with him for fun? If they are, that is pretty damn funny putting that rumor out there.

  • BDB||

    "Are the Clintons just fucking with him for fun?"

    If he didn't leak it, I'm going with that. They're going to fuck with him a lot over the next four years if that is true.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    I wonder what people in the drug policy reform movement, who have so far been (relatively) optimistic about Obama, think of this.

    In fairness, that was 12 years ago and the leopard may have changed his spots. Not likely, but it can happen.

    Secondly, when you are as old as I am you realize that nothing anyone says or theorizes means squat until the rubber meets the road. Optimism is a fine quality, but unqualified optimism about how things will play out with the new guy running for president is about as meaningful as the love of an alley cat.

  • ||

    Still nothing. Yes, I'm terribly embarrassed that someone who wrote that I must be wrong and can't offer any reason why keeps calling attention to himself.

    Oh god, joe, I think I am going to overdose on entertainment. Don't ramp it up so quickly! There's going to be so much more of this. I feel like Tony Montana with a little mountain of joe-musement.

  • ||

    You guys have way too high standards for incoming AGs, especially Democratic ones. The question is not what will he do about the drug war. The question is instead, does he plan to burn a bunch of people to death on national TV. If he can avoid that, he is already ahead of the last Dem AG.

  • ||

    If that is true, there is egg alright. But it's on Obama's face.

    If he was serious about giving her the job, and would be left scrambling, that is.


    Everyone else let this one slide joe, but I won't.

    Boo!

  • The Angry Optimist||

    In other words, I must be wrong and wearing partisan blinders

    Not saying you are wrong.

    But I still have no doubt that this would be an entirely different conversation if we were engaged in President-Elect McCain bashing.

    And no, joe, I'm not going to prove that you're an apologist. You're doing that all by your lonesome.

  • BDB||

    John, I don't think its possible he can be worse than Reno, Ashcroft, or Gonzales. So he will naturally look good by comparison.

  • ||

    John | November 19, 2008, 11:40am | #


    They only reason they think it is a good idea is because it is fun watching people like Joe have to defend it


    joe | November 19, 2008, 11:38am | #

    BDB,

    No, I think she would be a terrible choice. Even if he wanted to give her a top job, that would be the worst one he could pick.


    Ha ha! Note the times of the comments. I love it when I pre-but people.

    God, you're a hack, John. So, if would have shown what a partisan apologist I am had I defended the pick, the fact that I did the opposite proves, what?

    And the fact that you were so wrong about what I would write, proves what about you?

  • ||

    The Angry Optimist | November 19, 2008, 11:41am | #

    whether he's in the evil camp or the merely bad for mind and body camp, he's still a fuckhole.

    No, no, dhex! He's just "disappointing" because of his "policing philosophy".

    See! There is change with Obama! We traded the Evil Party for the Stupid Party.


    *shrug* I think it's meaningful whether the newt Attorney General is, or is not, likely to expand or roll back the drug war. YMMV.

  • ||

    On the plus side, Holder has a glorious mustache.

  • ||

    | November 19, 2008, 11:52am | #

    John, I don't think its possible he can be worse than Reno, Ashcroft, or Gonzales. So he will naturally look good by comparison.
    _________________________________________
    That much is true he can do no worse than them, but that is a MIGHTY LOW BAR TO SET!

  • ||

    He hasn't made the pick Joe so you really don't have to defend it. You just have to say "I think that would be a terrible idea." Since he hasn't done it, you really are not criticizing him. You are just saying "if he did that, it would be wrong". Well, if he shot a few people like sporting pigeons that would be bad to. But since he hasn't done either, pointing out that such would be a bad choice is not really criticizing him. The day you come in here and go after Obama for something he has actually done, is the day I will stop accusing you of always being a partisian apologist.

    A little sensitive today are we?

  • SpongePaul||

    Mo | November 19, 2008, 11:54am | #

    On the plus side, Holder has a glorious mustache.
    _________________________________________
    so did hitler mussolini and stalin

  • ||

    BDB,

    Going with the smokescreen theory, it only makese sense if Hillary is in on it, and gets some other kind of soft landing. There's no way he'd hang a Democratic Senator out to dry like that.

    Pro Lib,

    I'd agree that the leak could be a smokescreen, except that he's launching trial balloons on the other cabinet posts as well. Holder's appointment got out early, for instance. The story about Holder got out a day before they all-but-confirmed it.

    We've been doing this "will he or won't he? Will she or won't she?" act for almost a week now. Different deal.

  • NotThatDavid||

    Mo - I'm not sure I'd call that "glorious." It's certainly respectable, though.

  • ||

    So, who would make a good SoS?

  • ||

    Now ChrisO joins the chorus.

    You needn't consider whether what I wrote is write, you can tell it's just partisan excuses, because...

    And that's where the whole thing falls apart.

    Let me explain this to the three of you: saying someting must be true/false because of your feelings about political parties makes YOU the ones wearing the partisan blinkers.

  • ||

    Let me explain this to the three of you: saying someting must be true/false because of your feelings about political parties makes YOU the ones wearing the partisan blinkers.

    Christmas has come early this year. And it'll just keep coming. I haven't been remotely good enough to deserve this, but I'll take it.

  • VM||

    Sugar - those were great egg comments by joe. that's why BDB had to stick with the theme.

    SoS - Bill R? Dick L. for SoD?

  • BDB||

    "Pro Libertate | November 19, 2008, 11:59am | #
    So, who would make a good SoS?"

    Bill Richardson.

  • BDB||

    And Bill Richardson, you know, was actually anti-war and actually put his neck out by endorsing Obama in the primaries.

  • ||

    John | November 19, 2008, 11:55am | #

    He hasn't made the pick Joe so you really don't have to defend it. You just have to say "I think that would be a terrible idea." Since he hasn't done it, you really are not criticizing him.


    So let me get this straight: because I've criticized the pick before it is (if it happens) officially announced, that doesn't count.

    However, John has no problem criticizing my (supposed) lack of criticism beforehand.

    Sure. That makes sense.

    John knows I wouldn't criticize the pick, if it happened, despite the fact that I criticized it before it happened, and is so certain that he is already attacking me for not criticizing it before it happened, while noting that I criticized it before it happened, but dismissing that criticism, because I made it before the pick was officially announced.

    You must get terrible headaches, John.

  • Gene Callahan||

    "You didn't? So, you think there all of these hardcore drug warriors out there who don't think drugs are all that bad?"

    Of course there are, Joe. The drug war is really about power, not about drugs.

  • ||

    VM,

    I stand by my unserious "boo!"

  • ||

    John | November 19, 2008, 11:46am | #

    Joe if Obama isn't going to name her, where did the rumor come from?


    Going with the smokescreen theory, the rumor came from the Obama camp. That's how a smokescreen works - you set it off, on purpose, to conceal something else.

    It's notable that the Obama camp hasn't tried to dial back the coverage, which means they're ok with the story being out there. This either means she really is going to be the pick, or that it's a smokescreen, or that they're for some reason ok with this story being out there and then falling through, in the processing pissing off the entire Clinton universe and making themselves look bad.

    I'm pretty sure it's either A or B.

  • ||

    NTD,

    By modern standards it is. He's no John Bolton, but he's pretty good.

    Teddy Roosevelt is not walking through that door, fans. Grover Cleveland is not walking through that door. William Howard Taft is not walking through that door. If you expect them to walk through that door, they're going to be gray and old.

  • BDB||

    Using someone like Hillary as a somekscreen? You're saying they have a bigger name than "Clinton" for SoS?

  • BDB||

    You would use John Kerry as a smokescreen. Not Hillary Clinton.

  • ||

    Episiarch | November 19, 2008, 11:49am | #

    Still nothing. Yes, I'm terribly embarrassed that someone who wrote that I must be wrong and can't offer any reason why keeps calling attention to himself.

    Oh god, joe, I think I am going to overdose on entertainment. Don't ramp it up so quickly! There's going to be so much more of this. I feel like Tony Montana with a little mountain of joe-musement.


    Still nothing. Shall we take this as your acknowledgement that you're wrong?

  • PC||

    a standard that has sparked repeated complaints by police officers.

    So do warrants.

  • ||

    "So let me get this straight: because I've criticized the pick before it is (if it happens) officially announced, that doesn't count."


    Only if it really happens Joe. If Obama actually names her as SofS and you get on here and say "Obama should have never done that", then you really are criticizing him. As it is there is no indication that Obama really intends to name her to anything and in fact you seem to think that it won't happen. So you are saying that something thinking that he won't really do it. That is not criticism of Obama. They only thing you have said on here is that Hillary Clinton would be a bad Sec of State. That is progress for you, since it is the first time I can remember you ever saying anything bad about any Democrat.

  • ||

    You would use John Kerry as a smokescreen. Not Hillary Clinton.

    I agree, except that the mere suggestion by your administration of John Kerry implies that you're borderline retarded.

  • ||

    Still nothing. Shall we take this as your acknowledgement that you're wrong?

    Oh please please please claim victory and do some chest-beating. Please. And if you claim to have slept with a female member of my family I may pass out from delight.

  • ||

    BDB | November 19, 2008, 12:04pm | #

    And Bill Richardson, you know, was actually anti-war and actually put his neck out by endorsing Obama in the primaries.


    I like Bill Richardson for SoS, too, but he initially supported the Iraq War, and signed onto some neo-con outfit. He recanted pretty quickly, though - when the WMDs didn't turn up.

    Using someone like Hillary as a somekscreen? You're saying they have a bigger name than "Clinton" for SoS?

    Who says it would have to be someone bigger? ?But that's the hitch - why would they have smokescreen at all?

  • BDB||

    The only person you could possibly use Hillary Clinton as a smokescreen for SoS would be Al Gore, and I don't see that happening. He is the only one that wouldn't look smaller after the mere suggestion of a Clinton.

  • dhex||

    "*shrug* I think it's meaningful whether the newt Attorney General is, or is not, likely to expand or roll back the drug war. YMMV."

    obviously i think that's important - and judging by his past history, what screams "rolling back" here? i don't see it.

  • ||

    I'm glad you're enjoying yourself so much, Episiarch.

    Most people would be bummed out by being shown up so badly on a thread.

    So, once again, you told me that what I wrote about the implications of Holder's statement is obvioiusly wrong, my views twisted by partisan blinders.

    And you have been completely unable to offer anything to back that position up, or rebut anything I've written in support of it.

    Wait, wait, let me guess - that's incredibly funny, and somehow, demonstrates that you're right. Did somebody say something about predicatable?

  • ||

    dhex,

    What suggests rolling back to me are some of the statements Obama himself has made - not anything mind-blowing, but at least, movement in the right direction instead of the wrong one, or even the Bush-era status quo.

    The fact that Obama picked this guy suggests to me that he's at least willing to work for such a president.

    My point about Holder's statement is that Weigel reads it as indicating that he's likely to ramp up the drug war, while I think it's a more neutral statement, about a different issue.

  • BDB||

    Any illusions people had about Obama "easing up" on the drug war should have died when he chose Biden as his VP.

  • VM||

    "Did somebody say something about predictable?"

    it's deja vu, of course...

  • ||

    Most people would be bummed out by being shown up so badly on a thread.

    It's like you're a robot programmed solely for my amusement. Do you know a Dr. Noonien Soong?

  • ||

    Epi,

    Joe is like the black knight. He is the king of denying the obvious and claiming it is just a flesh wound. Once you realize that fact, he really can be quite amusing.

  • ||

    If it's so obvious, why can't anyone offer a single reason why my argument is flawed?

    Lol, joe yoor so crazy, can't you see you must be wrong because mumble mumble mumble Democrats lol. What a partisan!

    C'mon, a word. A quote. Some sort of ackowledgement of the content of the argument that is so obviously incorrect, and an indication of what part of it is wrong, and why?

    No?

    Nothing?

    What, are my partisan blinders stopping me from seeing your bullet-proof rebuttals, too?

  • Tom Daschle||

    Come on, people. Let's not get out of our comfort zones here.

  • ||

    Joe,

    It is not that you are necessarily wrong. It may well be that Obama has no intention of naming Hillary Clinton Secretary of State. It is that you are trying to claim that your objection to her being named and belief that Obama will not do it is somehow a criticism of Obama. Yeah, you are really giving Obama hell today.

  • ||

    Just like only Nixon could go to China, you'd need a Huckabee or other politician with solid social conservative cred to decriminalize marijuana.

    I think this is how it will have to happen. And, to use the analogy, it will have to be some kind of hyperbolic Nixon drug warrior that will have to be the ambassador of change. What makes me think this is the Mirror, Mirror epsiode of Star Trek.

    It is a lot easier for a rational person to fit in among fascists than for fascists to fit into rational cultures. I have never witnessed a drug warrior being able to handle libertarian thought without some kind of apoplectic spasm sooner or later.

    So whoever the Nixon is going to be, he or she will have to have some history as a rabid drug warrior. I would expect a person, if he really was ethical, to have a history of a lot of blow hard, windy pronouncements without actually doing any, damage of sending innocents to prison (well maybe a couple because the fascists would get suspicious if you didn't acutally hurt someone.)

  • ||

    Oh, and I, for one, am glad joe is back from vacation.

  • ||

    TRoy,

    I have met a lot of prosecutors over the years and rarely do I meet one who privately won't agree that the drug war is stupid. If you get passed the politicians and the union bosses to the people who actually have to fight the drug war, you find a lot less support than you would think.

  • dhex||

    My point about Holder's statement is that Weigel reads it as indicating that he's likely to ramp up the drug war, while I think it's a more neutral statement, about a different issue.

    i am hopeful that, at the very least, the feds will stop doing the whole pointing guns at people in wheelchairs routine. i am not certain this will actually happen, but it is at least possible. it will not be a priority, and it may get shouted down depending on how spineless the administration ends up being on the neverending evils of those savage people who don't want to vomit up their medication.

    but holder, outside of the whole broken window worldview, seems bent on describing what are minor drug crimes with as large a scarequote as possible - i.e. "so-called minor crimes" - like every other typical brick in this particular wall. sure, it's the foundation of broken window approaches, but it's still a minor crime even in the larger context of many small pebbles making a mountain of lawlessness.

    the pardon thing is a big whatever for me. newsflash: the rich and powerful get treated differently than the peons. just ask spitzer!

  • ||

    I actually regard the trial balloon about Hillary as Secretary of State as a fine bit of politicking.

    It gives him some cover with the Clinton wing of the party, after snubbing her for VP, of course, but more importantly -

    If she takes it, she's not running against him in 2012. She just can't do both, and quitting as his Secretary of State after two years to do the rubber chicken circuit in NH and Iowa will just look really bad.

    If she doesn't take it, well, that doesn't look good either, especially since the chatter now is that she can't/won't go through the vetting or take the job because it would bring all of Bill's post-Presidential dirty laundry into the light of day.

    Its a no-lose for Obama, and a no-win for Hillary. Well played, IMO.

  • Ravac||

    *shrug* I think it's meaningful whether the newt Attorney General is, or is not, likely to expand or roll back the drug war. YMMV.

    Apparently his past success in getting a 12-month misdemeanor expanded to a 60-month felonies is meaningless.

  • Ravac||

    Bugger! Beaten by dhex and responded to bu joe already. Man you guys are quick today!

  • ||

    Troy,

    I don't think drug law reform, when it happens, will be a Nixon-goes-to-China moment.

    I think it will be carried to widespread, thunderous applause, and that public opinion will, after a period of gradual movement in favor of ending the drug war, will suddenly and dramatically flip, so that the need to end it will one day be said to be convention widsom that everyone always knew.

    I don't think it will take a special leader to put it through when that happens. The public is going to lead, and giving in to them is going to be incredibly easy.

    Further, I think the shift in pubic opinion, once the floodgates open, will be so sudden that even a year or six months before it happens, we won't see it coming.

  • ||

    How you feelin' now, Obama supporters? How's that optimistic feeling about a politician coming along?

    Not a Big-O supporter, but my tenuous feelings of optimism were pretty much dashed by the Holder announcement. My only hope is that the next President will set better policies than his predecessors and that the new AG will be a good soldier.

    Having my cynicism proven right doesn't make me happy, but it does reinforce my natural superiority complex.

    I'm too bummed even to take a shot at the Reason Pinata, aka Joe.

  • ||

    Ravac,

    Not meaningless, not even harmless, but indicative a different sort of problem.

    I suppose it's possible, Ravac and dhex, that we could see a sort of "border security as part of comprehensive immigration reform" dynamic, where enforcement is ramped up in one area while the laws are liberalized.

  • ||

    Joe,

    I wish you were right, but I am not that optimistic. I know a lot of very smart, educated and otherwise open minded people who absolutely cannot be reasoned with when it comes to drugs. Also, there are a lot of people out there who had a close friend or relative's life destroyed by drugs.

    Back when I was a prosecutor I did a lot of drug cases. I did five or ten jury trials involving drug offenses. When I would voir dire the jury I would always ask if any of then had had any experience with a friend or relative having a drug problem. At least two out of every 12 jurors had some kind of horror story. I mean real horor story involving drugs. Those people never made the jury because they looked at drugs as poison and anyone who sold them as evil. Granted that is a small sample, but it is a sample of high ranking military people who mostly came from middle class stable homes where you wouldn't think that kind of stuff went on. But they were there none the less. Don't underestimate the large number of people in this country who will never support legalizing drugs.

  • dhex||

    two steps forward, one step back is always possible when it comes to the glories of force.

    or sideways, or wherever it goes.

    honestly, reasonable drug policy will come when a swat team that looks so militarized as to be cartoonish kills a little girl or three so lovely, sweet and upper middle class that the entire country gets a real taste of that naked lunch.

    if pointing guns at people in wheelchairs with MS didn't do it, what's left? murdering children. maybe shooting pregnant women as they try to run away, and it gets up on youtube later that day.

  • BDB||

    The thing is, John, you could find an equally large number of people with alcohol or tobacco horror stories. My aunt died at the age of 50 with oxygen tubes stuck up her nose because she smoked three packs a day, but I don't want to lock up people for smoking. I just don't understand the logic.

  • ||

    Like I said, John, it's going to seem impossible until all of a sudden it will seem inevitable.

  • ||

    BDB,

    I am not saying they are right. I am just saying that is what they think. I have known people who were drug addicts and seen their dealers send them free drugs the day they got out of rehab in hopes of getting them hooked again. There are some real nasty things out there.

    Honestly, I think the people who are addicts would be doing something else equally destructive if there were no such thing as drugs. It is the addictive and irresponsible personality that is the problem, not the drugs. Plenty of people use drugs without abusing them. Most addicts, if they don't address their underlying addictive behavior, will just replace one destructive habbit with another like stop drinking but start gambling or eating too much.

  • ||

    I'm too bummed even to take a shot at the Reason Pinata, aka Joe.

    "Buck up little camper, we'll beat that slope pinata...together."

  • ||

    I used to have a boss who cleaned himself up, and immediately started wrecking sports cars.

    Addictive personality? Oh yeah. If it's not one thing, it's another.

  • ||

    joe, you used to work for James Spader? Kinky.

  • ||

    I had no "hope" that Obama would ease up on the WOD. My hope is that there will be a depression like we have never seen. I hope that the economic downturn will be so great that we can no longer afford the WOD. That is why I voted for Obama. Hell, I pray for another dust bowl. The more that these evil people who suport the WOD suffer the happier I am.
    P.s. has anyone tried this "spice diamond" stuff?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    "It's going to be an entertaining four years...assuming we still have electricity to power the Internet by 2012."

    I defy you to provide a link to where Obama or any of his supporters claim we'll still have electricity in 2012.

  • ||

    John:

    I don't doubt that. But there are a number of people who think drugs should be illegal for another reason. One is jobs. We have a nice criminal-industrial complex going.

    Oh, and I worked for a prosecutors office. It is another reason I got the mirror mirror meme. I would say byperbolic things like, "damn, I wish we could just shoot them on sight." Never, I mean never was my hyperbole mocked as being excessive. And proscutors don't want to have to do jobs where you actually have to prove mens rea. I mean pleeeeze, they'd have to actually think.
    And during our voir dire, we'd kick anyone who even had a glimmer of an idea that drugs should be treated medically rather than by cops. I only wanted stupid people who would obey my Authoraaataaaa.

    Joe:

    I certainly hope you are right. And that is a possible modality of change. But like John, I am not optimistic. My dad thinks drugs should be illegal because of what people "might" do while they are on drugs. Never mind that law enforcement can't even deal with whatever people "do", like in reality, do.

  • Ravac||

    We have a nice criminal-industrial complex going.

    And with asset-forfeiture laws still on the books, they get paid twice.

  • ||

    Mmmmm...feel the Hope and Change!

    I'm thinking that O actually thought he'd do a different brand of politics and, when he actually won, said "Oh Shit. I don't really know anyone who knows anything about anything! Hey guys, can you help me pick my cabinet?" At which time, the establishment started with the full-on salivation fest. They get a newb that they can mold and direct at their whims. What a great new day! Woohoo!

  • ||

    I suspect joe is right about the only way we will ever be shed of the war on drugs (a paradigm shift in the public at large). I just have lost any optimism that we will ever get to that point.

  • ||

    if pointing guns at people in wheelchairs with MS didn't do it, what's left? murdering children. maybe shooting pregnant women as they try to run away, and it gets up on youtube later that day.

    Or change will have to be done this way. But even then, I am not hopefull. Because of the "my-dick-is-bigger-than-your-dick" contest of who is tougher on crime between republicans and democrats this scenario is just as likely to happen under a democratic regime as a republican one. after all, didn't the Clinton administration lock up a bunch of potheads? And didn't Reno help fry all those children at Waco under Clinton?

  • ChrisO||

    From everything I've read, Holder was a water-carrier for every indefensible thing the Clintons did, from the last-minute pardons to Elian Gonzalez. The drug thing is unsurprising to me--how many DOJ vets from either party are out there calling for an end to the drug war?

    I'm not surprised that Holder would be considered for the AG pick, since he's one of the leading Democratic legal eagles and has the appropriate skin tone, but there must be some other highly qualified Democrats out there without so much Clinton baggage. Moreover, I would think that Obama would want to get away from the Clintons as much as possible politically. The PUMA vote turned into a fizzle on Nov. 4--he owes the Clintons and their hardcore supporters nothing.

  • ||

    What suggests rolling back to me are some of the statements Obama himself has made - not anything mind-blowing, but at least, movement in the right direction instead of the wrong one, or even the Bush-era status quo.

    If we are an arrogant nation, they will resent us; but if we're a humble nation, but strong, they'll welcome us.



    Psst. Wanna buy a bridge?

  • ||

    J Sub D,

    Get with the program. We are about the have a President we can be proud of and the world will love us again. Can't you feel the love already?

  • ||

    "If we are an arrogant nation, they will resent us; but if we're a humble nation, but strong, they'll welcome us."


    Did that really come from an Obama speech? That reads like dialog from a bad Western. Cowboy meets Indian Chief and tries to negotiate peace.

    Indian Chief: "Why do your people raid our settlements and kill our women and children?"

    Cowboy: "Because we must be a strong nation and protect ourselves"

    Indian Chief: "But that is arrogant not strong. You kill our buffalo. Take away our land the great one gave to us. Violate your treaties. That is not strength that is arrogance and that is why we fight you.

    If you are an arrogant nation, we will resent you; but if you are a humble nation, but strong, we welcome you."

    It fits doesn't it? Who is writing his speeches, Louis Lamore?

  • Fluffy||

    Joe,

    I find your choice of approaches to defend Holder a little surprising.

    After all, you're saying that it's possible he doesn't really believe pot is evil - he just thinks that aggressively prosecuting people over marijuana is an effective policing approach at making a city safer.

    Basically that means that he was an attorney who didn't care if the laws he was applying were just, as long as they had the "beneficial result" of clearing the streets of the "wrong sort" of person.

    Frankly, I'd rather deal with a deluded fanatical drug warrior than a cocksucking weasel who would, with his eyes open, argue for harsh punishment for something he doesn't really think is that bad, if it puts "the right people" in jail.

  • ||

    John,

    That reminds me of dialogue from The Outlaw Josey Wales:

    Ten Bears: These things you say we will have, we already have.
    Josey Wales: That's true. I ain't promising you nothing extra. I'm just giving you life and you're giving me life. And I'm saying that men can live together without butchering one another.
    Ten Bears: It's sad that governments are chiefed by the double tongues. There is iron in your words of death for all Comanche to see, and so there is iron in your words of life. No signed paper can hold the iron. It must come from men. The words of Ten Bears carries the same iron of life and death. It is good that warriors such as we meet in the struggle of life. . .or death. It shall be life.

  • ||

    Pro,

    I love that movie and that scene in particular. That scene and the one where the bounty hunter comes to get him and tells Josey he has to make a living and Josey says "son, dying aint much of a living". Greatest Western ever made.

  • ||

    I'm not sure which western is my favorite, but that one is way up there. Chief Dan George was awesome in that film, too.

  • ||

    Did that really come from an Obama speech? That reads like dialog from a bad Western. Cowboy meets Indian Chief and tries to negotiate peace.

    Sorry, I thought the reference obvious.

    Year 2000. Presidential debate. George W. Bush, speaker.

    I've got plenty of bridges, and joe seems to be a likely purchaser.

  • ||

    J Sub D,

    I never listen to political speeches so I didn't get the reference. Boy was that a stinker of a line. Bush must have still been snorting coke in 2000 or at least drinking. No sober person could say that line with a straight face.

  • ||

    Maybe that line is why bin Laden attacked.

    Or not.

  • ||

    I don't know Pro. It is hard to pick a favorite Western. My top five would probably be in any order, Red River, The Searchers, Outlaw Josey Wales, Unforgiven, The Horse Soldiers. Honerable mention goes to all the Man With No Name movies. They would make the list, especially the Good the Bad and The Ugly, but they are so out there and unlike every other western ever made, I consider them fantasies rather than Westerns.

    Speaking of Clint Eastwood movies, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot is a great movie that rarely gets any credit.

  • ||

    Unless he's singing, Clint Eastwood hasn't been in a bad western. I love all of the Spaghetti westerns, especially The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

  • ||

    Pro,

    I saw an interview with Eastwood about making the Dino De Laurentis Man with no name movies. He went to Spain in between shooting Rawhide to film a fist full of dollars. The first week on the set, he kept thinking, how wrong everything was and how it was so unlike the real West. Finally after a while he realized Laurentis wasn't making a Western he was making a fantasy and just went with it. Laurentis gave the world those movies and Giada. Now that is making a contribution to humanity.

  • ||

    I thought Giada was his niece.

    Yes, there's no question that pretty much all of those films--including most of the ones he directed himself later--had a strong fantasy/allegorical side to them. He's arguably a ghost or angel in two of them, for instance. Great mini-genre.

  • ||

    De Laurentiis was born Giada Pamela De Benedetti in Rome, Italy, the eldest child of actress Veronica De Laurentiis and her first husband, actor-producer Alex De Benedetti, who was a close associate of his wife's father, the film producer Dino De Laurentiis.[1] Her parents were married in February 1970, just months before her birth.[2] After their parents' divorce, De Laurentiis and her siblings moved to Southern California, where Giada and her siblings took their mother's surname.[2]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giada_De_Laurentiis

    Grand daughter Pro. He was definitely a ghost in High Plains Drifter. I remember watching the last scene of that movie where he just disapears into the heat waves. Creeped me out to no end.

  • ||

    Oh, okay. I don't know where I heard the niece thing.

    I think Eastwood was supernatural in Pale Rider, too.

  • ||

    I disagree with Pro Lbiertate. What kind of name is Lbiertate, anyway? Polish?

  • A Libertarian Is Like A Prett||

    Wait, you guys actually thought that Obama was voted in because of some truly progressive anti-drug promise?

    Of course, you don't. You're merely slamming the panic button, and hoping for some kind of awesome effect.

    This is politics gentleman. The country didn't elect a revolutionary. They elected someone who they thought was a shift in the political culture. This doesn't mean that they expected him to completely alter the practice of pandering. He still has to play politics, just to get people to trust him.

    This preemptive condemnation of Obama is merely a strawman. The vast majority of people who are for Obama don't care about these issues. They're marginalized topics.

    I certainly don't remember any vehement declarations that Obama would be an anti-drug warrior on here. If there were, then they were certainly coming from a very small population.

    So, what we're left with, yet again, is Libertarians simply talking to themselves. Of course Obama wasn't going to ever be Libertarian enough for most of you to speak positively about him before the inauguration, and certainly not after.

    So, stop pretending that you're getting something over on anyone. These people are mostly imaginary.

  • ||

    Who cares if the majority of people want to watch government expand and their liberties contract? Lots of stupid doesn't make stupid any less stupid.

    What's sad is that Obama was sold and is perceived by many as something different, when, in fact, he's just a face for the machine and even less independent than Bush or, for that matter, Clinton. The proof of that is confirmed with each hack appointment.

    Trust me, disappointment and disgust will be by no means limited to libertarians. Or to Republicans.

  • ||

    My only hope is that the economy crashes so hard that the war on some drugs is not even an afterthought because tax money is needed for other things, like paying off the debt, because no one will loan us the money to keep the country going. The forfeiture laws do not create enough revenue to run the war on some drugs by themselves.

  • Famous Mortimer||

    There will always be money for the war on drugs, just like there will always be money for any kind of military venture.

    Everything else would be stripped before those two coffers were emptied.

  • ||

    In a fantasy world, "broken windows" is applied first to politicians and "law enforcement" officers at every level.

    Wouldn't that be sweet? Some congresscritter is fined thousands and sentenced to months in jail for accepting an expensive dinner from a lobbyist, or a police officer is fired and imprisoned for lying (even small lies) about his reasons for searching someone's car. After all, allowing little things to slide will result in larger things happening.

  • Famous Mortimer||

    "What's sad is that Obama was sold and is perceived by many as something different, when, in fact, he's just a face for the machine and even less independent than Bush or, for that matter, Clinton. The proof of that is confirmed with each hack appointment."

    He was not elected to end the war on drugs, or to grant any Libertarian wish for that matter.

    We get it, he's not Libertarian. The people who voted for him did not expect him to be Libertarian. In fact, if he was billed as being a Libertarian, then he would not have been elected.

    If Libertarianism is the only established standard, then your commentary becomes fairly pointless because every non-Libertarian person will fit this profile.

    Sometimes I wonder if many of you understand politics. Your expectations seem woefully naive.

    People aren't going to take you seriously if this is how you respond to every single person who enters office. It's wasted energy, and shows a clear lack of maturity.

    If you want to change things then get off the computer and become a catalyst. The Libertarian philosophy could not be that important to you, since you clearly don't do anything meaningful to promote it. How could you? You have to spend that time arguing with people who already agree with you.

    I doubt many Libertarians vote, but somehow they expect people who do vote to elect someone of their standards. Talk about laziness.

    I constantly see all of this talk about the productive vs. the non-productive on here, and I am left to wonder what many of you are doing with your lives? You can't be doing much since you're on here a lot of the time. So, what is it that you're doing that should be considered so productive?

    What, you have a job? Most people have jobs. If that's your standard of productivity, then I know batshit crazy leftists who are more productive than you.

    Internet Libertarians are nothing more than coddled, middle to upper class wimps too precious to get their hands dirty.

    Ivory Keyboards 'n all.

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