BREAKING: House Freedom Caucus Will Not Endorse Ryan 

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, following meetings with House Republican leaders and the Freedom Caucus members. Ryan seeking unity in a place it's rarely found, is telling House Republicans he will serve as their speaker only if they embrace him by week's end as their consensus candidate. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Elaina Plott reports: House Freedom Caucus members confirmed that they were not able to reach the 80% threshold required to endorse Paul Ryan for Speaker.

“Paul is a policy entrepreneur who has developed conservative reforms dealing with a wide variety of subjects, and he has promised to be an ideas-focused speaker who will advance limited-government principles and devolve power to the membership.”

— the caucus said in its statement

Representative Raul Labrador called it a “supermajority support” for Ryan. “We were not able to reach a consensus” on an official endorsement, he told reporters, but added that “two thirds of the caucus will be voting” for a Ryan speakership….(read more)

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, left, and Freedom Caucus members Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., center, and Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, walk on Wednesday from the U.S. Capitol to the Longworth House Office Building in Washington. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

Chair of the Freedom Caucus Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, left, walks with fellow Freedom Caucus members, Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., center, and Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, fright, from the Capitol to the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., seeking unity in a place it’s rarely found, is telling House Republicans he will serve as their speaker only if they embrace him by week’s end as their consensus candidate. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

‘Supermajority’ of House Freedom Caucus to back Paul Ryan’s speaker bid

Mike DeBonis and Robert Costa report:

...The Freedom Caucus met with Ryan for an hour in the Capitol earlier in the day. Many of its members had balked at the conditions Ryan attached to his decision to serve as speaker, and the meeting represented their first chance to question him directly on his intentions.

The meeting broke up without resolution, setting up a high-stakes decision for a group that played a key role in easing the current speaker, John A. Boehner, into retirement and blocking Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s bid to succeed him….(read more)

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Rep. Paul Ryan, center, arrives for a House GOP conference meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday. PHOTO: EVAN VUCCI/ASSOCIATED PRESS

House Freedom Caucus Offers Support But Not Endorsement for Paul Ryan

The Wall Street Journal reports:

…Members of the Freedom Caucus said their offer of support—less-resounding than what Mr. Ryan had sought—thrusts the decision back on Mr. Ryan, who has been publicly reluctant to take the job.

“Paul Ryan needs to decide now what he’s going to do,” Mr. Labrador said. “He’s got to decide whether that’s sufficient for him.”

Mr. Labrador also noted that the caucus had not agreed to a series of conditions Mr. Ryan had set, but declined to say which of the Wisconsin Republican’s demands had triggered the most concern. 

In a statement released Wednesday night, the group praised Mr. Ryan, who met with them earlier Wednesday. Read the rest of this entry »


Guns and Pot: Which States Are Friendly to Both?

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A Reddit user recently posted a graphic called “The Venn Diagram of Cultural Politics,” showing which states allow at least some citizens to use marijuana, which states recognize gay marriages, and which do both. The chart got us wondering: Which places embrace the personal freedoms beloved by the left andthe right? Where can you buy AnnieAnimatedboth a vibrator and a Big Gulp? Where can a gay couple not just marry but avoid a high sin tax on the cigarettes they smoke after sex? Where can you carry a gun while passing a joint?

The image above tackles that last question. If you include states that have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes only, there are now 24 states that permit pot. There are 42 states where an adult non-felon’s right to carry a concealed gun is either unrestricted or subject only to permissive “shall issue” laws. Sixteen states fall into both categories….(read more)

Reason.com


[VIDEO] Legal Marijuana in Washington State: Lone Pot Shop, Cannabis City, Opening in Seattle

LA Times reports: The sale of marijuana for recreational use began in Washington on Tuesday morning, the second state in the nation where the once-scorned drug is now legal for all.

Eager customers began lining up well before dawn at Bellingham’s Top Shelf Cannabis, one of about six stores statewide expected to sell on the first day. Licenses were issued to 25 stores, but not all are open.

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“I feel it is something people should have the choice to do, or not do, on their own,” said Cale Holdsworth, 29, the first in a line of about 100 people. The line snaked around the corner from the store through the industrial area of the city north of Seattle.

“This is a great moment. I am thrilled to be a part of this. It’s awesome. I love it.”

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Holdsworth, from Abilene, Kan., said he was visiting relatives and planned to smoke his purchase at their home. He described himself as a frequent user of pot, which remains illegal in Kansas. At present, only Colorado allows the sale of pot for recreational use, though Holdsworth said he hoped that Kansas would permit it at some point.

Holdsworth walked into the store shortly after it opened at 8 a.m. By 8:05 a.m., he was at the glass counter where pipes and other paraphernalia were on display. Because the Washington law does not allow the buyer to touch or sample product, Holdsworth sniffed the pot aroma from a bottle. Read the rest of this entry »


Why the Right Shouldn’t Fear Cannabis

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Michael Anissimov writes:  Cannabis has been legalized in Washington state and Colorado, causing apprehension among some on the right. Last August, Newt Gingrich said that general legalization would be a “huge mistake.” Chris Christie has long shown his disdain for medical marijuana, saying of a proposed law in its favor, “Here’s what the advocates want: They want legalization of marijuana in New Jersey. It will not happen on my watch, ever. I am done expanding the medical marijuana program under any circumstances.”

smoking-mad-guy-clEmily Miller at the Washington Times wrote recently that activists are “totally uneducated’ about the “severe consequences” of smoking cannabis, writing that it is “simply a toxin” which is “more similar to heroin and cocaine than alcohol in how it affects the body.”

Former Bush speechwriter David Frum has been sounding the alarm about marijuana use for years. In a September column at CNN, he implied that cannabis is harmful, but he didn’t say why.

On the other side of the issue, a number of Republicans have stepped forward in favor of legalizing marijuana. Rush Limbaugh admits that he used cannabis during his recovery from opiate addiction and says that the legalization of marijuana is “a great issue” for the GOP. Pat Robertson is famously in favor of legalization, saying “this war on drugs just hasn’t succeeded.”

In California, a majority now supports legalization, and a new law in favor of legalization is being floated. Now that support for legalization is rising nationwide, the right needs to ask itself: are we in support of legalization, or not?

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The critics of marijuana legalization have trouble getting their arguments straight, and oppose it based on a visceral cultural revulsion, rather than science or reason. There is no scientific evidence that marijuana is “similar to heroin and cocaine.” If anything, it is more similar to caffeine — the effects rarely last longer than 2-3 hours, and are extremely mild. The majority of users use it only occasionally, and daily addicts — if true addiction is even possible, which seems doubtful due to the way that marijuana works in the brain — will be able to get it on the black market anyway.

Alcohol causes 75,000 deaths per year, cannabis causes zero.

Read the rest of this entry »


Enough Pot Happy Talk

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Larry Kudlow writes:  There was way too much giddiness in the media about the first day of legal pot selling in Colorado. Instead of all the happy talk, I think it’s time for some sober discussion and a strong dose of education about the addiction risks of smoking marijuana — particularly among young people. It may start out as a party, but it often ends up as something much, much worse.

budbagWith the grace of God, I’ve been clean and sober for over 18 years — a recovery experience that still has me going to a lot of 12-step meetings. And I hear time and again from young people coming into the rooms to get sober how pot smoking led to harder drugs such as cocaine and heroin. Now, this is anecdotal, and I am not an expert. And I will say that many people can control alcohol or pot or other drugs. But I am not one of them. And I am not alone.

Talk to virtually any professional drug counselor, and they will warn that pot is a gateway drug. Or listen to left-of-center columnist Ruth Marcus, who has gathered important professional evidence about the risks of pot.

Ms. Marcus reminds us that the American Medical Association recommended against legalization, stating, “Cannabis is a dangerous drug and as such is a public health concern.” The AMA added that pot “is the most common illicit drug involved in drugged driving, particularly in drivers under the age of 21. Early cannabis use is related to later substance-use disorders.”

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Pot’s Black Market Backlash

potfranklin

How prohibitionists and nanny staters are trying to keep marijuana illegal—or at least inconvenient.

Nick Gillespie writes: In 2012, voters in Colorado and Washington passed full-on, no-hemming-or-hawing pot legalization by large majorities. Lawmakers in each state have spent the better part of the past year figuring out how to tax and regulate their nascent commercial pot industries, which will open for business in 2014 (until then, recreational pot is only supposed to be cultivated for personal use). The spirit behind the legalization efforts in both states was that marijuana should be treated in a “manner similar to alcohol.”

Unfortunately, it’s starting to look like both states are going to treat pot in a manner similar to alcohol during Prohibition. Not only are pot taxes likely to be sky high, various sorts of restrictions on pot shops may well make it easier to buy, sell, and use black-market marijuana rather than the legal variety. That’s a bummer all around: States and municipalities will collect less revenue than expected, law-abiding residents will effectively be denied access to pot, and the crime, corruption, and violence that inevitably surrounds black markets will continue apace.

Read the rest of this entry »