Barack Obama

Ending the War on Pot is Obama's Best Hope for a Legacy

He knows it's wrong, so why won't he do something to change federal policy?

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This article appeared at The Daily Beast on January 21, 2014. Read it there.

David Remnick's new, long profile of President Barack Obama in The New Yorkeris filled with all sorts of revelatory tidbits, none more interesting than the ones about his vast ambition—"He didn't want to be Millard Fillmore or Franklin Pierce"—and his softening, though still ambivalent, attitude toward marijuana legalization at the state level. "It's important for it to go forward," he said, reversing past statements that were anti-pot.

With just three years left in office and a possible Republican landslide in the fall's midterm elections, Obama must be in something close to panic mode. His health care plan seems like it's imploding, his foreign policy and civil liberties record is awful, and the economy is still barely stumbling forward into an uncertain future. Enthusiastically winding down the federal war on pot would be popular with voters and, as important, wouldn't require immediate cooperation from Congress.

Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin tells Remnick that in 2007, Obama explained, "I have no desire to be one of those presidents who are just on the list—you see their pictures lined up on the wall. … I really want to be a President who makes a difference." But Obama's approval ratings are mired in the low 40s, a reality he partially—and unconvincingly—attributes to racism: "There's some folks who just really dislike me because they don't like the idea of a black president." AsHotAir's Ed Morrissey notes, the existence of rump racists completely fail to explain Obama's two electoral victories and his 60 percent-plus approval ratings at the start of his presidency. A far better explanation is simply that he's failed to accomplish much of anything the public likes.

But there's one thing left Obama could do to finally become the change he wanted to be: declare a swift and honorable peace in the decades-long war on pot. The drug war in toto has been a long-running and ineffective disaster that disrespects individual autonomy, corrupts law enforcement, and undermines the rule of law. By ending the war on pot, he would be remembered as a true visionary.

It wouldn't be hard. Focus on the issues of fairness and basic common sense that already have fully 58 percent of Americans in favor of legalization. The president told Remnick that he doesn't think marijuana "is more dangerous than alcohol." That hasn't stopped Obama from conducting more raids on medical marijuana dispensaries in California than George W. Bush and speaking through a drug czar who announced that "legalization is not in the president's vocabulary." But now Obama recognizes that, "It's important for society not to have a situation in which a large portion of people have at one time or another broken the law and only a select few get punished."

About 750,000 people are arrested each year for pot, with almost nine of 10 arrests being for simple possession. Those are huge, disturbing numbers made all the more troubling by something else Obama is finally grokking. "Middle-class kids don't get locked up for smoking pot, and poor kids do," he told Remnick. "And African-American kids and Latino kids are more likely to be poor and less likely to have the resources and the support to avoid unduly harsh penalties."

If Obama announced that he was de-prioritizing the federal government's war on pot—not even on all drugs, but just marijuana—he would almost certainly be joined by a growing number of libertarian Republicans who think drug policy is a state-level issue. Indeed, if Obama framed the issue explicitly in federalist terms, he could likely count on the support of characters such as Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan.

As important, he wouldn't need congressional buy-in to get this party started. It's fully within the president's power—power that he has happily exceeded when it comes to waging wars overseas and delaying aspects of Obamacare—to start the process to reclassify pot from a Schedule I drug to something more credible (a Schedule I drug is deemed to have a high potential for abuse, no known or accepted use as medicine, and no reliable safe dose). That alone would kickstart a long overdue national conversation about the costs and benefits of prohibition.

If Obama really thinks pot is no more dangerous than alcohol and that the war on pot systematically screws over minorities, why should he have any hesitation in liberalizing the federal policies over which he has control? And using the bully pulpit to push for broader legislative change at the federal and state level? What is he waiting for, a third term?

Time to get moving, President Obama. Unless you're willing to share wall space with Millard Fillmore and Franklin Pierce.

This article appeared at The Daily Beast on January 21, 2014. Read it there.

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  1. “President Barack Obama apparently doesn’t want to be “one of those presidents who are just on the list” – a Millard Fillmore or Franklin Pierce.”

    Right now, that may be his best option.

    1. Fillmore got off easy. Instead of being known as the signer of the Fugitive Slave Act and the Know-nothing Presidential candidate, he’s a byword for obscurity.

    2. The question is, which list will he be on?

      In his mind, of course, he is on the very shortest and bestest list with Lincoln, FDR, etc.

      I suspect he will wind up on an entirely different list.

    3. A president that doesn’t think much about lists, or legacy, but instead concentrates on “doing the job” – executing the functions of government as determined by Congress in an efficient and effective manner – that would be a president that tops the list, in the end.

      We’re not getting that President any time soon.

  2. I could be induced to vote if a Presidential candidate credibly announced an aspiration to be “one of those presidents who are just on the list.”

    1. The most benign presidency in US history was that of William Henry Harrison: no new wars, no new taxes, no new regulations, no new programs of oppression. Native Americans may not be so fond of him, but his success in not making things worse is something to which all politicians should aspire.

      1. A President who doesn’t make things worse would be a big step in the right direction.

      2. Hard to judge much for a presidency that lasted a month, though.

        1. The length of tenure probably had a lot to do with why he is history’s most benign president. If he had lived longer, he probably would not have been so successful.

      3. Well, Harrison’s election actually ended the alleged plan to roll back the federal government over 24 years concocted by Jackson, Van Buren, and Benton.

        But Harrison died of pneumonia 30 days after his inauguration, so it is not like he had enough time or health in office to do any damage. His successor, John Tyler, was actually pretty benign though.

  3. I won’t forget him.

  4. I think President Obama has nothing to worry about his long and lasting legacy. It won’t be a positive legacy, but remembered, oh yea, we won’t soon forget.

  5. The president told Remnick that he doesn’t think marijuana “is more dangerous than alcohol.”

    But he also believes that a drug-fighting budget and an enforcement army fed by it is much better than none at all, so…

  6. Enthusiastically winding down the federal war on pot would be popular with voters and, as important, wouldn’t require immediate cooperation from Congress.

    As much as I’d like to believe this possible, the ugly truth is that there is so much inertia in the current system reversal is impossible. Will the worthless douchebag put a twenty first century Alfred Kahn in charge of the DEA with specific instructions to dismantle it?

    What a fucking joke.

    1. Yeah, what are they gonna do with those guys?

      There are plenty of people who get paid to do nothing in Washington DC. Growing up in DC, I heard lots of government workers complaining about having nothing to do all day.

      So, maybe, if they put in a hiring freeze, we can just pay those DEA agents to sit around and do nothing all day until the whole agency goes the way of the buggy whip.

      It might be worth it to on a cost/benefit basis. If the DEA would just stop doing anything, I suspect it would be of tremendous benefit.

      1. You are not thinking of the 2nd order results of the DEA. All those union jobs running prisons, what happens to those workers when there isn’t a sold influx of drug related criminals to keep the jails full ?

        The Congresspeople with prisons in their districts won’t want the cashflow to cease. Must find some group to keep occupancy up.

        1. Yeah, it’ll be like base closures at the end of the Cold War.

          1. 1. Who cares? As you pointed out, they cut military by nearly 50% after the cold war. The. Horror.

            2. By legalizing drugs one at a time any impact will be spread out over a long period. When pot is legal, there will still be plenty of vicious junkies to put the jackboot to.

            3. I’m pretty sure prisons aren’t a net plus to the economy. (Of course, politicians know little of economics and care even less.)

            1. 1. They cut the military almost in half, but spend more now in inflation adjusted dollars. That is a horror.

              1. That’s because they needed to build back up to support the wars.

      2. Yeah, what are they gonna do with those guys?

        Umm, fire them?

        1. Not from our perspective!

          From our perspective, the people who run the DEA should be given the right to remain silent, warned that anything they say may be used against them in a court of law, and told that if they cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided.

          But what about from their perspective.

          What do the bastards that run the DEA–from their perspective–expect to do with all their own useless agents?

          1. Drug War Crime Trials. There’s a town in Pennsylvania named Nuremberg. Sounds about right.

        2. There are very few people that work for the government–outside of the military or without PhDs–that are employable outside of government.

          The only redeeming quality most of them have is that they’re meticulous. Other than that? They’re not customer friendly, they may not get along well with other employees, they’re not self-starting independent workers, they have shitty attitudes, they’re lazy…

          There’s 11,000 people working for the DEA. Where do they go after we get rid of the DEA? What good are they? They’re human buggy whips–and they know it!

          After I’ve seen “10 years working for the government” on your resume, I really don’t need to waste any more of my time.

          I think it’s a common problem with laying off government employees. The budget setters, and the public employee unions those budget setters answer to, know those government employees are unemployable after they leave the government–and that’s part of what makes them cling to keeping them on the government payroll.

          If we want to see a smaller government, for reals, we may have to think of a way to incentivize those government employees into leaving.

          Personally, I’d give them full retirement–right freaking now–if they’d just stop working! …and, of course, if the cuts were permanent.

          It’s the only thing we can offer them that’s better than what they have now. They certainly don’t enjoy their work–government employees are some of the most miserable, unsatisfied with their jobs people on the planet.

        3. You don’t even have to fire them. I’ve seen companies with onerous union contracts take useless people and make them sit in a room all day doing nothing.

          Some just sit and get paid – so what? At least they are no longer driving company vehicles, making OT, etc…

          Some transfer into other jobs in the company and some get bored and find jobs elsewhere.

          All good alternatives to the present.

      3. if they legalized marijuana, the DEA would redouble their efforts at stopping opiates, etc.

        1. “Redouble”? I guess you’d be surprised at how little of the US DEA’s business has to do with marijuana. It was more when more of the product was imported. Now as pertains particularly to marijuana, DEA has been involved off & on with aerial eradication programs and occasional prosecutions.

          If anything, legalizing marijuana will increase DEA’s involvement as it will then fall under the purview of their diversion programs, monitoring diversion of drugs from legal businesses. Once it’s legal for OTC sale, there may be practically none of that going on, but DEA will still employ people to monitor it as if it amounted to something.

    2. As much as I’d like to believe this possible, the ugly truth is that there is so much inertia in the current system reversal is impossible.

      There’s no inertia at all. Congress has to frequently reauthorize paying folks in the DEA and whatnot, and the President has to sign that legislation or have a veto overridden.

      Since the WoD is clearly not an enumerated power of the feds under the Constitution, a single president who fired everyone prosecuting the WoD on the grounds that their employment is unconstitutional could end it.

      The only “inertia” is in the minds of voters who keep electing statist drug warriors.

    3. I would dearly love to ask Obama two questions:

      1. Where would you be today had you been arrested for drug possession?

      2. What do you have to say to the millions of Americans whose lives have been deliberately and systematically destroyed because they got caught doing the exact same thing you got away with?

  7. “President Barack Obama apparently doesn’t want to be “one of those presidents who are just on the list” – a Millard Fillmore or Franklin Pierce.”

    To me, he’ll always be the man who had the courage to promise to shut down Guantanamo Bay–but not enough courage to actually shut down Guantanamo Bay.

    Incidentally, to me, Bill Clinton will always be the man who executed a retard just to prove that he was tough on crime.

    1. Courage? President goal post probably never felt that in his life.

  8. Michelle Leonhart will laugh in his face if he tells her to ease up on enforcement.

  9. With just three years left in office and a possible Republican landslide in the fall’s midterm elections, Obama must be in something close to panic mode.

    You see evidence of the size of his preoccupation by the aggressiveness with which his minions cling to the most trivial of things (like income inequality or the “libido” comments) in the vain attempt to distract the public from his terrible health insurance plan.

    1. Definitely, their hand waving is meant to distract us.

    2. I don’t think the minions are moving to the left in an attempt to distract the public but to rally the base.

      The smart, more practical Democratic operatives already know there will get hammered this election cycle. The question is how badly ?

      The Hardcore proggies are in full retreat with their holy grail, Obamacare failing on all fronts, the NSA trampling on peoples rights, the drone war still moving in full force, Afghanistan in flames, the Arab Spring a total failure, I can go on and on. In a valiant attempt to rally the downtrodden marxist, the red flag of “Equality” will be waved in their face, with a return to the “war on women”, both of which are like waving a red cape before a bull.

      Their hope is to just prevent a complete bloodbath, but I think Obamacare has already sealed their doom…

      1. Obamacare is the icing on the shit cake. If you think about it, Obama is so fucking terrible of a president that it’s kind of stunning. TEAM BLUE is going to have to deal with how abjectly awful he has been for a long time. It’s actually pretty funny once you get past the level to which he’s fucked all of us.

        1. In a way, it’s been kind of impressive. He is almost the Platonic Ideal of a shitty politician. Yet because of their “reverse” racism, the Left has to deny what a mendacious fuck-up he is.

          1. “White Guilt” is a truly powerful weapon. Some otherwise intelligent people will simply not move beyond it.

          2. Well, it makes him even that more terrible. He’s absolutely awful, yet they are going to go FULL RETARD about pretending that he isn’t, because they’re total racists. It’s kind of fascinating that they’ve gone all in on someone so appalling solely because he’s half black. It’s the dumbest, most pointless reason in the world to support someone, and they do it with absolute and total enthusiasm.

          3. It’s not reverse racism. Progressives are just racists and we should make that clear every time those disgusting trolls stick their heads out from under their bridges.

            I hate the term reverse racism because it implies that the ‘natural’ sort of racism is white racism. That’s obviously ridiculous to anyone who isn’t a total moron, but it’s what progressives actually believe.

            1. Agreed, Irish. Let’s call a spade a spade*, and call them what they are: racists. It’s amazing how they act completely as racists, and then pat themselves on the back for not being what they are explicitly being. I guess that’s just part and parcel of their completely made up fantasy world.

              * RACIST!

            2. Wiki’s definition of Progressivism:

              “Many activists joined efforts to reform local government, public education, medicine, finance,insurance, industry, railroads, churches, and many other areas. Progressives transformed, professionalized and made “scientific” the social sciences, especially history,economics, and political science.

              In academic fields the day of the amateur author gave way to the research professor who published in the new scholarly journals and presses. The national political leaders included Theodore Roosevelt, Robert M. La Follette, Sr., and Charles Evans Hughes on the Republican side, and William Jennings Bryan, Woodrow Wilson and Al Smith on the Democratic side.

              Initially the movement operated chiefly at local levels; later it expanded to state and national levels. Progressives drew support from the middle class, and supporters included many lawyers, teachers, physicians, ministers and business people.

              The Progressives strongly supported scientific methods as applied to economics, government, industry, finance, medicine, schooling, theology, education, and even the family. They closely followed advances underway at the time in Western Europe and adopted numerous policies, such as a major transformation of the banking system by creating the Federal Reserve System in 1913.”

              1. The Progressives strongly supported scientific methods as applied to economics, government, industry, finance, medicine, schooling, theology, education, and even the family.

                They fail to point out that in half of those examples, the scientific method proved completely incapable of improving things. In fact, in many of those examples the scientific method was used to murder large numbers of people ‘for the greater good.’

              2. If the scientific method were being used, wouldn’t it seem a little silly to replace the economic ideas that led to the greatest expansion in American history with a bunch of European stuff?

        2. TEAM BLUE is going to have to deal with how abjectly awful he has been for a long time.

          You mean the way he expanded medical coverage for millions, fought the good fight against the demonic 1%ers, became the Vagina Whisperer, ended the Iraq War (how can you deny that?!), healed the Earth, and stopped the seas from rising?

          TEAM Blue has so many precious oxen that it’ll be a long time before they realize how badly the herd has been culled. And like all good progs they will blame any future failures on the fact that we just wouldn’t let them fix all of the problems.

          1. Sad, but so so true?..

  10. Goals are good.

  11. Can’t be just build a colossal pyramid for our great pharaoh Obama? It would be far cheaper than Obamacare.

  12. I don’t think the genius who destroyed healthcare and set about a “lost generation” of Americans is going to be soon forgotten. But he does have the first blackish president thing going for him, history book-wise. (Unfortunately for him that won’t matter forever.)

  13. Public Service Announcement:

    Real racing is back!
    Twenty Four Hours of Daytona will commence in a couple of hours.

    1. Real racing on TV is already over…the Dakar was over days ago.

    2. I LOVE endurance racing, but IMSA’s sandbagging BS is getting under my skin.

  14. Thanks to our racism, Obama will always be remembered as a “first”. The first African-American President, as if that were a quality worthy of notice. Do we give a shit about was the first left-handed President? Or the first President to sport a beard while in office? The amount of melanin present in Obama’s epidermis is of no greater import than the other qualities I have mentioned, yet it is something he will always be remembered for.

    1. Well, the US doesn’t have a history of enslaving and lynching people because they were left-handed or bearded.

      So there’s that. But Obama is still a really incompetent president and, even more important, he is unsuccessful. Well, he’s unsuccessful by normal measures of success like robust economic growth, low unemployment, international prestige, widespread sense of confidence that future generations will enjoy the prosperity of the present, and virtually every objective measure of economic and personal liberty. I really don’t know how Obama actually benchmarks success, but I’m not entirely sure this is wrong.

      1. Since Obama is a sociopath who, in his mind, can never do wrong, he feels he has done great things that either have failed to be adequately messaged to us proles or whose failures were totally someone else’s fault, namely Republicans.

    2. Why does your First Bearded President question link to Garfield and not Lincoln?

    3. How about the 1st president to have appeared on TV? (Herbert Hoover, while he was Commerce sec’y.)

  15. Won’t happen Nick.

    His unprincipled and unpopular stands are making him toxic politically. An energetic effort on his part to end the war on drugs could just as likely solidify opposition to its abolition at this point.

    1. I disagree. He’d have support from a large portion of his own party along with a good number of libertarian leaning Republicans.

      If he has his party on his side and gets people like Rand Paul to vote with him, I think they could make this happen.

      1. Since ending the WoD is politically popular among voters, I think enough nervous politicians would read the polls and decide to mouth lies about how this is something they have to reluctantly or even enthusiastically vote for, while trying behind the scenes to sabotage it in committee or whatnot and then blame the failure on someone else.

        At least, that is exactly how it worked in the Hawaii legislature — stuff that failed to get enacted despite everyone voting “yes” on the record every time it got to a vote, but damn it, it just kinda died in conference committee.

        1. That’s because of all those SoCon Republicans in the Hawaiian legislature!

  16. Which President had the blackest heart?

    I lean toward Jackson.

    Discuss.

    1. I’m going with ‘wage and price controls’ Nixon.

    2. Yeah, I’d probably say Jackson.

    3. No one’s said FDR?

      Anyway, I vote Nikki. She’s the worst.

    4. Teddy Roosevelt?

      1. Teddy Roosevelt was “clearly insane in many ways and insanest upon war and its supreme glories” in the cogent words of Mark Twain.

        Mark Twain on Teddy R.

    5. Reading about Jackson made him pretty sympathetic to me. Still quite the asshole, and certainly shares much responsibility for an atrocity, but I’m hesitant to say he had a black heart.

      Maybe I just need to read more about Wilson to see his softer side, but from what I have read, he seemed like a straight-up dick.

      1. LBJ – Vietnam. Easy win there.

        1. Yeah, I always seem to ignore LBJ. Probably the winner.

        2. If it could be proved beyond reasonable doubt that LBJ murdered people who he found inconvenient, I’d go with LBJ.

          But I’m sticking with Wilson. WW I was worse than VN, and even less excusable.

        3. Medicare, Medicaid, Unification of the SS trust fund and the general fund, Vietnam, Head Start, the rest of the War on Poverty.

          The only other ones that come close are Wilson and FDR.

        4. I bet if you polled a sample of the US pop., Nixon would get more blame for Vietnam than LBJ.
          I know people who think Nixon got us into Vietnam.
          I recall Kerry’s comment before Congress about “Nixon’s war”

      2. What’s bizarre about Jackson is that he could be individually kind to people while being horrible to people at other times.

        He spared the life of a Red Stick chief who had attacked white settlements. He also adopted two Native American sons, one of whom he adopted after his parents were killed in the Creek War.

        It’s hard to figure out how the same guy could be responsible for the Trail of Tears.

        1. See my comments below.

    6. Wilson, hands down. The Sedition Act was pure evil. The 17th Amendment destabilized the Constitution and he signed Prohibition fercryinoutloud. The man was Satan for libertarians.

    7. Wilson.

      War-monger and commander of a slave army
      Racist
      Income taxer
      Counterfeiter
      Nanny-state regulator
      Prohibitionist
      Statist opposed to all constitutional limits on government authority
      Vindictive asshole who imprisoned people for exercising rights of free speech and freedom of the press.
      Self-righteous Progressive who laid the foundation for the modern welfare/warfare state.

    8. The blackest heart was probably Andrew Johnson who sought to go back to pre-states war status quo. But there’s no doubt in my mind the most destructive President in history is Woodrow Wilson.

    9. Don’t fall for the modern blackguarding of Jackson. His removal of the tribes from the SE territories was pivotal in establishing property rights–a concept most of the native tribes did not understand or respect. The tribe members that respected property rights were not forced off their land. Also, the trail of tears was of the tribes own choosing. The government offered to move them to the Indian territories by boat, but they refused because of religious-based fears of boats. I grew up on Oklahoma and learned these facts in OK history before the progressives took over.

      1. Also, the trail of tears was of the tribes own choosing. The government offered to move them to the Indian territories by boat, but they refused because of religious-based fears of boats.

        This does not make the government look better but in fact worse.

    10. No one for GWB? He sat up the shit storm we have going on now. Why not him?

      1. He would be tied with Hoover then.

    11. Woodrow Wilson was a monster.

    12. Such a tough choice between Jackson, Wilson, L. Johnson, and Nixon. I just know it’s gotta be a ‘son; Andrew Johnson wasn’t so nice either, but not in Lyndon’s class. Wilson I might let off the hook for being a true believer, and even Nix believed in some of what he did. I guess I gotta go by the will to fuck people over the worst for the basest of reasons…yeah, Lyddie Byrd.

  17. The one time I agree with Obama it turns out he’s only doing it because he’s a narcissist who doesn’t want to be forgotten.

    Oh well. Good actions come out of disgusting intentions all the time, so I guess this would be one of them.

  18. President Barack Obama apparently doesn’t want to be “one of those presidents who are just on the list” – a Millard Fillmore or Franklin Pierce.

    Well that is his duty as president. That’s why we elect them – so they will have a whole chapter in the history books!

  19. “Best Hope for a Legacy”? Uh, he won a fucking Nobel Peace Prize buddy. What, you think they just hand those out for no reason? Don’t be ridiculous! He obviously must have accomplished something substantial in the promotion of world peace, regardless of what he does on the comparably trivial issue of marijuana.

    Also he killed bin Ladin.

    Yeah, his legacy will be fine, despite what you pot-smoking Republican racists think.

    1. “Also, he killed Bin Laden.”

      AND General Motors is alive.

      1. AND the economy is still dead!

    2. Yeah…the first Nobel Prize for Merely Existing.

      I didn’t know he was a Navy SEAL, though. Cause I’m pretty sure they killed Bin Laden.

      Imagine…Obama in SEAL training? Oh my god, I just knocked the ole laptop off the table in my fit of hysterical laughter.

    3. An honorable, thoughtful man would have rejected it. When the word got back to him that he was a strong contender in consideration for it, he would have felt it his duty to send back word he would reject it, and not to embarrass him or themselves by nominating him. It is an insult to him that he would be considered without accomplishing anything worthy of it, and it demeans the prize as a mere popularity contest and participation ribbon.

      Obama is no such honorable man. He could not resist the temptation, to bask in the glory of being a media darling, to give yet another speech in service to his greater glory. It was despicable that he accepted it, and low of character of those who bestowed it.

      1. Of course, they revealed the later when thy gave it to Al Gore for his factually weak, fear mongering documentary. God damn.

        1. What exposed the Nobel Peace Prize for the laughable farce that it is was the award to Gorbachev for strategic arms reductions and “leading the peace process” while conspicuously ignoring Reagan (without whom, none of that shit would have happened).

          Gorbachev is/was a Communist true believer who honestly thought his reforms could save the Soviet Union. He had to be dragged to the negotiations table and forced to acquiesce to real, substantial reductions by Reagan. Without Reagan’s intransigence on seeing the Soviet’s commit to real reductions in return for the same from us rather than using the negotiations to get us to reduce our capability while allowing the Soviets to merely offline obsolete systems with no actual reduction in deliverable nuclear weapons (like had happened before with that weak dipshit Carter) nuclear reductions simply wouldn’t have happened.

          And “peace?” The world became more peaceful mainly because the Soviet Union imploded, which was not one of Gorby’s goals.

          1. At least for me.

            When I got older and learned about its historical recipients, notably two of America’s most inveterate warmongers I realized it was never anything other than bullshit.

      2. Oh please, do you expect the megalomaniac-in-chief to refuse a completely absurd and bullshit honor like that?

        It’s a measure of his narcissism that he accepted it. If you offered me a Nobel Peace Prize for doing nothing, I’d just ask for the prize money and nothing else. I’d be embarrassed to be awarded something like that for doing nothing. Plus, being in the same class as Yasser Arafat would be a bitter pill to swallow.

        But not Obama. Nope, he ate that shit up with a spoon. Enjoy being one of the worst presidents ever, asshole. You sure earned it.

        1. If it were me, I’d probably think like you do at 1st. But then I’d think, if a committee decides I deserve it, who am I to say they’re wrong? They could’ve given it to anybody, but they picked me. And it’s not like the POTUS has anything special to give back to Nobel committee members, so I wouldn’t think they were trying to buy me off.

      3. Obama may actually believe that he deserves it though. Surround yourself with people who are constantly telling you how great you are and you start to believe that you are a messiah.

        1. I think he completely believes in his soul that he deserves it. He is fucking Ghandi bringing the US out of the repressive control of The Constitution to bask in the light of a benign and truly gifted leader, lowering the fucking oceans in the process.

          1. Leaving ships high & dry is something to brag about?

  20. Speaking of ‘real racing

    1. I hate the fact the the FIA continually comes up with new rules to slow down the cars, but I love the fact that the engineers continually find new ways around them.

      1. The FIA perfectly illustrates the ills of bureaucracy and over-regulation. Every decision they make is awful and facilitates the perpetual degradation of the sport.

      2. What is up with that? I’d think you’d want F1 cars to go as fast as cars can possibly go.

  21. California knows how to party.

    Jerry Brown may have declared a drought emergency statewide and called for rationing, but that didn’t stop a homeowners association in San Lorenzo from fining residents for having dead lawns, KTVU reported.

    1. Don’t talk about dead lawns, you’ll summon playa manhattan to complain about my front yard.

      1. I’ll do it for him:
        Your front yard sucks!

        1. You have no idea. I take care of the back yard. It’s lovely!

  22. IMSA has put into place a new rule that effectively penalizes a team or manufacturer that is found to be sandbagging, with a minimum stop-and-hold plus five-minute in-race penalty for anyone displaying a level of performance beyond the expected result.

    WTF? This is basically a rhetorical question, but how do they continually seek out people this dumb to run these organizations?

    Al Holbert used to say the whole point (especially in endurance racing) was to win the race at the slowest and least mechanically destructive speed possible. Ever since the beginning of multi-car teams it has been a widely accepted strategy to designate a “rabbit” car in hopes of getting the other teams to break their cars trying to keep up.

    Sometimes the rabbit runs all day and wins the race.

    1. I understand what they’re trying to do, but it’s always amazing to me how often governing bodies immediately lurch towards control of everything. They already have several classes competing. I say, if your car meets the requirements for class X, go out and race. If you win, the other teams didn’t do a good enough job. If you lose, you didn’t do a good enough job. Handicapping every car in the field to give every competitor a “sporting chance” is antithetical to the very spirit of racing. They may as well just give out participation ribbons.

      1. It’s like giving a guy who can’t walk very well a golf cart to ride in so he can play PGA.

  23. “We are the mediocre Presidents.
    You won’t find our faces on dollars or on cents.
    There’s Taylor, there’s Tyler, there’s Fillmore and there’s Hayes,
    There’s William Henry Harrison.”

    Obama wishes he was Hayes.

    1. Trying to sing that to “The True Wheel”.

  24. Obama will not start winding down the war on drugs until and unless it costs him more to support it than oppose it. He didn’t even change his tune on gay marriage until Dick Cheney did. The war on drugs is a massive government power-grab, and Obama loves him some usurpations!

    -jcr

  25. “Ending the War on Pot is Obama’s Best Hope for a Legacy”

    Saying multiple times “Do what I want on this issue and you’ll be well liked” seems a shabby way to argue a point. It might be the right thing to do, it might even be true, but it seems to be extremely self-indulgent and single-minded.

    1. …”Saying multiple times “Do what I want on this issue and you’ll be well liked” seems a shabby way to argue a point.”…

      Agreed, but look at the person you’re dealing with. “Shabby” may well be the highest argument that works.

    2. Why is it self-indulgent and single-minded, exactly, to push for the reforms you want and argue that they will be politically popular?

      Exactly what is the alternative?

  26. President Barack Obama apparently doesn’t want to be “one of those presidents who are just on the list” – a Millard Fillmore or Franklin Pierce.

    The best presidents are the ones who wind up on such a list — Calvin Coolidge, Grover Cleveland — because they presided over peace and prosperity because of their policies of limited government.

    Obama wants to make the “fucked things up royally statist” list of Lincoln and FDR and Wilson who caused wars and depressions and civil rights violations and yet are still revered by most.

    1. I find that I’m usually in agreement with the general sentiment on here about various topics, but I can’t come to grips with the Lincoln disdain.

      Is the general feeling on here that Lincoln should have let the Southern states secede and let them continue with slavery?

      1. Don’t think most commentators here know that much about Lincoln. The 16th Pres. started a number of bad precedents, but you are right. He ended slavery which the Founders badly booted. Its 20/20 hindsight but Hamilton, Adams and Madison should have waited to have their war until the colonies could win it without Jefferson and the Virginians.

        1. Maybe. Or things might’ve ended without independence but just increasing autonomy, as they did with the dissolution of the Dominion of New England a century earlier. Basically we could’ve been Canada.

  27. Meanwhile, in the land of left wing authoritarianism:

    But besides questioning Obama’s reasons for supporting state moves toward legalization, Americans may wonder if the person who oversees enforcement of the federal Controlled Substances Act should be encouraging people to violate it. In addition, the president has not helped parents of teens who look for moral backup from elected leaders in arguing against pot use.

    A president should be more concerned about statistics like this: About one in six 16-year-olds who tries marijuana becomes addicted to it, according to the National Institutes of Health. And a few studies show long-term damage to teens who have used pot regularly.

    Also, federal law enforcement officials are increasingly concerned that pot smuggling is increasing out of states that have approved sales of marijuana for medicinal use.

    This is what we’re up against. Lies.

    1. And a few studies show long-term damage to teens who have used pot regularly.

      Those teens’ lives will be much improved if they’re thrown into jail for a few years.

    2. Damn, posted my soccer mom comment before I read this.

    3. Also, federal law enforcement officials are increasingly concerned that pot smuggling is increasing out of states that have approved sales of marijuana for medicinal use.

      I’d rather have random people in Colorado smuggling weed into neighboring states than have pot smuggling primarily done by drug cartels.

      1. Yeah, thanks to medical MJ in CA and other places, there is quite a bit of pot moved around the country without the involvement of violent gangs and without finding organized crime and terrorists. That sounds like a good thing.

    4. …”In addition, the president has not helped parents of teens who look for moral backup from elected leaders in arguing against pot use.”…

      I know when I was a yute, my parents always pointed out what the President thought just before I got a ‘pat on the back.

  28. There’s no inertia at all. Congress has to frequently reauthorize paying folks in the DEA and whatnot, and the President has to sign that legislation or have a veto overridden.

    I don’t know if you’re being a contrarian, or just utterly delusional.

  29. Efficiency is bad, children, mmmmkay?

    For years, the bargaining power of American workers has also been eroding due to ever-more efficient means of outsourcing abroad, new computer software that can replace almost any routine job, and an ongoing shift of full-time to part-time and contract work. And unions have been decimated. In the 1950s, over a third of private-sector workers were members of labor unions. Now, fewer than 7 percent are unionized.

    All this helps explain why corporate profits have been increasing throughout this recovery (they grew over 18 percent in 2013 alone) while wages have been dropping. Corporate earnings now represent the largest share of the gross domestic product ? and wages thesmallest share of GDP ? than at any time since records have been kept.

    We need government incentives to get businesses to behave inefficiently.

    1. “All this helps explain why corporate profits have been increasing throughout this recovery (they grew over 18 percent in 2013 alone) while wages have been dropping”

      You mean printing money and bailing out industries who lose their shirts aren’t the reasons?

  30. A man worried about his legacy should not be trusted.

  31. A man worried about his legacy should not be trusted.

    1. What the heck? Squirrels.

  32. Wayne Allen Root, RACIST

    I don’t dislike Obama. I dislike his beliefs and his policies.

    Here come the excuses. Obama desperately wants to believe it’s all because he’s black. Because if he didn’t have that excuse, it would have to be based on his performance.

    When Obama blames “some folks” for not liking him because he’s black, he refers to conservatives and white Americans. I’m an unapologetic member of both groups.

    It’s an interesting excuse.

    If we disliked him for the color of his skin, that would excuse his failed performance as president. How convenient. That would excuse everything he’s done to damage or destroy American exceptionalism, capitalism, and the U.S. economy.

    If this was about race, it would excuse his dismantling of the economy. It would excuse the 92 million working-age Americans not in the workforce.

    It would excuse all-time record lows for workforce participation. It would excuse tens of thousands, and in some cases, hundreds of thousands of Americans dropping out of the workforce every month.

    It would excuse the fact that only crummy, crappy, low-wage part-time jobs are being created because of Obama’s policies.

  33. Even if he had the balls to do it, the “What about the children??!!!” soccer moms across the political spectrum would scare him back to his political senses.

    I was watching a culture way type segment on Fox this week and there was a woman arguing about the importance of free birth control.

    We’re doomed.

    1. “We’re continuing to do something that has been proven not to work. [I’d use the forcing of people to register their pseudoephedrine purchases as an example, since that’s done nothing to stop the production of meth.] How can it possibly be a good message to children to tell them to do things that demonstrably don’t work?”

  34. For fuck’s sake, he’s a statist through and through. In 2008 it was perhaps forgivable to expect anything of him, but now?! Get the fuck over it. Wake up.

  35. the president has not helped parents of teens who look for moral backup from elected leaders in arguing against pot use.

    HA HA HA HA HA!!! Anyone who is looking to elected “leaders” for morals, especially in guidance for a child, is delusional and deserves for their kid to turn out to be a criminal who breaks their heart.

  36. Working with druggies is dangerous and alcohol is a drug. I refuse to work with these people and I’ll stake my life on this. To the warm and fuzzy people who think there’s no problem I hope a druggie does your next blood work in the lab or read your next X-ray , good luck.

    1. You just refuted this guy:

      http://thesciencedog.files.wor…..n-full.jpg

  37. I won’t be forgetting Obama’s name for a very, very long time.

  38. For Cripes sake, can you stop with the marijuana articles? The amount of pot headlines that I see (percentage-wise) on my RSS feed is WAY outsized. Fundamentally, I agree with Reason’s stance, but I don’t need that much stoner click-bait. Get your priorities straight!

  39. Oh, I think Obama has quite a legacy already: the deficit, unemployment, a health care reform disaster, and handouts to the auto industry and banks. Wiping out the private mortgage market and replacing it completely with a government-run system alone would be a big legacy.

  40. the president should invite the congressional leadership to the white house, get in his motorcade, go to the bad area of dc and buy some pot for all of them. all of this after signing pardons in advance. it could be the thaw in bipartisanship we’ve been waiting for.

  41. My Uncle Michael just got an awesome six month old Ford Edge only from working part time off a home pc. hop over to this web-site W? o? r? k? s? 7? 7? .? ?? ?? ??

  42. before I saw the check ov $4298, I didnt believe that…my… sister was realy earning money part-time at there computar.. there moms best frend has been doing this for only 23 months and just now took care of the loans on their appartment and got a top of the range Acura. you could try here W? o? r? k? s? 7? 7? .? ?? ?? ??

  43. Before I agree with Obama,but it turns out he’s only doing it because he’s a narcissist who doesn’t want to be forgotten.

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