Open Thread Plus Bites & Pieces

I’m still catching up from last week’s news and propaganda but I did read a couple of pieces that I thought were pretty interesting.

This was from the AP Friday.

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Abortion is still legal but getting one in many states will be difficult if laws passed this year are upheld by the courts. In a march through conservative legislatures, anti-abortion Republicans passed a wave of new restrictions that would sharply limit when a woman could terminate a pregnancy and where she could go to do so.

The push brought the anti-abortion movement closer to a key milestone, in which the procedure would become largely inaccessible in the three-fifths of the country controlled by Republicans even if still technically legal under Roe vs. Wade.

But rather than continuing to roll across the GOP heartland in synch with the pro-life movement’s plan, the effort may now be hitting a wall. The obstacle comes not from opposing Democrats but from GOP leaders who believe pressing further is a mistake for a party trying to soften its harder edges after election losses last year.

The resisting Republicans include governors and top legislators in more than a half-dozen states, including some of the largest and most politically competitive in the party’s 30-state coalition. They are digging in to stop the barrage of abortion proposals, hoping to better cultivate voters not enamored with the GOP’s social agenda.

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This one’s a little long but a fascinating read on our 40 year war against marijuana.  I don’t indulge but it’s pretty clear, I think, that it’s time to change our policies.  I loved this Nixon quote.

President Nixon had already made up his mind. In May 1971 he told H.R. Haldeman, “I want a goddamn strong statement about marijuana. Can I get that out of this sonofa-bitching, uh, domestic council? I mean one on marijuana that just tears the ass out of them.” And Nixon told Shafer directly, “You’re enough of a pro to know that for you to come out with something that would run counter to what the Congress feels and what the country feels, and what we’re planning to do, would make your commission just look bad as hell.”

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I’m pretty sure this isn’t going anywhere but it’s the thing I’ve been talking about since 2009…………..jeeze.  Medicare for all.  Here’s the money quote that makes it dead on arrival.

“Paradoxically, by expanding Medicare to everyone we’d end up saving billions of dollars annually,” he said. “We’d be safeguarding Medicare’s fiscal integrity while enhancing the nation’s health for the long term.”

Friedman said the plan would be funded by maintaining current federal revenues for health care and imposing new, modest tax increases on very high income earners. It would also be funded by a small increase in payroll taxes on employers, who would no longer pay health insurance premiums, and a new, very small tax on stock and bond transactions.

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And since we have peppers coming out of our ears (garden) here I thought I’d post my Baked Jalapeno Poppers recipe.

I use a combination of whatever peppers we have in the garden.  I can usually get about 15 to 18 poppers from this recipe.

Slice peppers in half lengthwise and remove seeds and membrane.  I like to leave part of the stem on.

Combine:

8 oz cream cheese

1 1/2 cup mozarella, jack or pepper jack cheese

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp or less cayenne

Stuff peppers with cheese mixture.

Bowl one:  1/2 cup seasoned flour

Bowl two:  2 eggs

Bowl three:  1 cup seasoned bread crumbs (I use plain bread crumbs and season them myself)

Seasoning:  salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper and Mexican oregano to taste.  I just wing it and add to both flour and bread crumbs.

Roll peppers in flour, then dip in egg and finally dredge with bread crumbs.  Refrigerate several hours and then bake in a 350 oven for about 1/2 hour……………..yummy

Friday 11/9/2012 Open Thread

Since it appears that Brent is still on the left coast, I figured I would do an open thread for today.

First up, the drug war ramifications of the election.

Mexico says marijuana legalization in U.S. could change anti-drug strategies

Should this be true, it’s a major vindication of the ballot initiative process as a way to end run around the two parties on specific issues.

Run Silent, Run Deep

The NYT’s is reporting that the drug cartels are building submarines.

This is the new challenge faced by the United States and Latin American countries as narcotics organizations bankroll machine shops operating under cover of South America’s triple-canopy jungles to build diesel-powered submarines that would be the envy of all but a few nations.

This reminds me a bit of Medicare fraud. It’s a game of whack-a-mole. Here, however, it seems like we’re wasting resources. If you can not stop the demand isn’t it better to spend the time and resources on treating the fallout from a health perspective. Instead, we’ve got the Coast Guard chasing more and more capable and advanced semi-submersible crafts and submarines loaded with drugs.

In the movie, Run Silent Run Deep, an American Commander, portrayed by Clark Gable, puts his crew at risk because he is blinded by the need to avenge a lost sub. Here we seem incapable of considering other options, even when those conducting the anti-sub/trafficking operations all but admit defeat.

From the Times:

Even so, three-quarters of potential drug shipments identified by the task force are not interdicted, simply because there are not enough ships and aircraft available for the missions. “My staff watches multi-ton loads go by,” Admiral Michel said.

Cops Fishing for Cash With Bogus Drug Stops

Just add this to the list of reasons to avoid Illinois. Alas, they are hardly the only place stopping folks for things they didn’t do in order to attempt to confiscate their cash and cars.

Asset forfeiture is the process by which law enforcement agencies can take possession of property suspected of being tied to illegal activity. Under these laws, the property itself is presumed to be guilty of criminal activity. Once the property has been seized, it’s up to the owner to prove he obtained the property legitimately.

In about 80 percent of civil asset forfeiture cases, the property owner is never charged with a crime. And in Illinois — like many states — the law enforcement agency that makes the seizure gets to keep the cash or the proceeds of the forfeiture auction (in Illinois, the prosecutor’s office gets 10-12 percent).

Critics say civil asset forfeiture is rife with poor incentives, and violates the Fifth Amendment’s protection against seizure of property without due process of law. Police can seize a car, cash, even a home on the flimsiest of evidence.

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