Congress is Addicted to War on Drugs

Most people assume that the Drug War began when President Nixon declared a War on Drugs 38 years ago on June 17,1971. In fact the first drug law enacted in this nation dates back all the way to 1875 where in the City of San Francisco Opium Smoking was banned. The first Federal drug law was passed over 92 years ago in 1915 with the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act. Which made it illegal to possess Opium (Heroin & Morphine) and also Cocaine.


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All Carter said is what most Americans are thinking:

So says Joe Sudbay (DC) at AMERICAblog

and ain't that the truth?

It's of course also a truth that many prominent Democrats seem to fear bar fights with bullies as much as they fear a supposed backlash that might occur should they flat out tell Bush, "no more funding."

... or if they justifiably pursue impeachment of presidents, vice presidents and the most incompetent attorney general in our history.

I don't know who they are afraid they will offend and why such an imagined offense might be catastrophic  to their political futures. Backbone is not birthed out of indecisiveness and courage does not emerge from timidity and a failure to act.

Remember the videos last week of the mugger behind the open car door reaching around the door to punch a helpless 90-year-old  car-owner in the face before stealing his car?

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Democrats Ready to Bloom in Nevada

Cross posted at Daily Kos

This weekend, Democrats Work will be in Reno to start building a new style of political action based on service and, well, actually doing tangible stuff that helps our communities throughout the year.  On Saturday, May 19th from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m., blue-shirted Nevada Democrats will beautify Bicentennial Park in downtown Reno as part of this new, national effort to get Democrats involved in community service . . . as Democrats.

Democratic volunteers will work at a park beautification and flower planting project organized by Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful. The Young Democrats of Nevada and State Assemblywoman Sheila Leslie are co-hosting this Democratic service opportunity with Democrats Work.

Who's in?  You can sign up here.

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The John Edwards Transformational Issue

I'm prompted to write this diary by a post Matt Stoler wrote the other day called "The John Edwards Trust Issue." I was struck by Matt's use of the now-popular term "transformational":

To really buy into the idea that John Edwards can be a transformational candidate, you have to buy into the idea that he himself has transformed.  And while he has certainly shown signs of rethinking his approach to politics, and in particular dropping the centrism that once characterized his persona, he's not there.

Matt's post concerns Edwards' views (or possible views) on foreign policy.  Matt is very dubious of the foreign policy thinkers who have (or may have had) some influence on Edwards' current thinking, and he constructively suggests some names of thinkers he wishes Edwards would be influenced by.  Commenter georgep helpfully fleshed out the actual views of thinkers like Anatol Lieven that Matt would like to see Edwards adopt.  This makes it easier to understand what Matt is really arguing:  Matt is wary that Edwards' foreign policy philosophy may not be radically different from the traditional view that America is "exceptional" and must act and must be seen as the leader of nations rather than as simply a humble partner in the community of nations.

If I've properly understood Matt's wariness, this leads to a number of questions:  Can a president who is influenced by a traditional view of American exceptionalism do more good than ill, or is this president's foreign policy bound to do more ill than good?   Is it politically feasible for a presidential candidate not to express a traditional view of America's leadership role in the world?   Is the traditional view always and necessarily imperialist?

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Book Review: Jason Carter "Power Lines: Two Years on South Africa's Borders"

Cross-posted from Turn Tahoe Blue


In Gogo's mind, she translated the word "hope" to the zulu word themba. "Themba" means not only "hope" but also "believe." For Gogo, "hope" is not a possibility but a certainty.
Too often, perhaps, we lose hope because we fail to look for it where we least expect it - among poor black people in a South African homeland or an American inner city, or poor white farmers in clapboard shaks in south Georgia. But there it is.

Hope and believe, or "themba," that's what it is ultimately all about. Jason Carter, the son of last year's Nevada U.S. Senate candidate Jack Carter and brother of blogger Sarah Carter, comes to this conclusion at the end of his book, at the end of two years in South Africa.

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