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There's a link in that thread to an examination of Kennedy's record on cannabis. He appears to be a thoroughgoing hardliner.

"Dems Pick Anti-Marijuana Kennedy For Trump State Of The Union Response" | Marijuana Moment

Some observers see the young Kennedy, 37, as a rising political star. But he is starkly out of step with his party -- and a majority of U.S. voters -- on a key issue now emerging at the forefront of mainstream American politics: Marijuana.

In 2015, Kennedy was one of just ten House Democrats to vote against a measure to protect medical cannabis patients and providers who are following state laws from being prosecuted by the federal government. He was one of just 24 Democrats to vote the same day against a broader measure blocking the Justice Department from interfering with all state marijuana laws, including those allowing recreational use.

[. . .]

Going further than just refusing to block federal anti-marijuana enforcement in legal states, Kennedy voted three times against amendments to increase military veterans' access to medical cannabis -- just one of five Democrats to oppose the measure in 2016. Fifty-seven Republicans voted for it that year.

Kennedy even opposed a very limited proposal to protect children who use non-psychoactive cannabidiol extracts to treat severe seizure disorders from being targeted by the DEA. That amendment was supported by 118 Republicans.

[Continues . . .]
Politics and Current Events / Re: Trumpocalypse
The Office of Management and Budget has evaluated the Trump/Republican binge of deregulation:

"Trump White House quietly issues report vindicating Obama regulations" | Vox

President Donald Trump's administration has been on a deregulatory bender, particularly when it comes to environmental regulations. As of January, the New York Times counted 67 environmental rules on the chopping block under Trump.

This is not one of Trump's idiosyncrasies, though. His administration is more ham-handed and flagrant about it, but the antipathy it expresses toward federal regulation falls firmly within the GOP mainstream. Republicans have been complaining about "burdensome" and "job-killing" regulations for so long that their opposition to any particular health, safety, or environmental regulation is now just taken for granted.

For instance, why would the Environmental Protection Agency close a program investigating the effects of toxins on children's health? Is there some evidence that the money is wasted or poorly spent? Why would the EPA allow more unregulated disposal of toxic coal ash? Don't people in coal regions deserve clean air and water? Is there any reason to think coal ash is currently well-regulated?

These questions barely come up anymore. Republicans oppose regulations because they are regulations; it's become reflexive, both for the party and for the media the covers them.

As it happens, though, we know something about the costs and benefits of federal regulations. In fact, Trump's own administration, specifically the (nonpartisan, at least for now) White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), just released its annual report on that very subject. (Hat tip to E&E.)

The report was released late on a Friday, with Congress out of session and multiple Trump scandals dominating the headlines. A cynical observer might conclude that the administration wanted the report to go unnoticed.

Why might that be? Well, in a nutshell, it shows that the GOP is wrong about regulations as a general matter and wrong about Obama's regulations specifically. Those regulations had benefits far in excess of their costs, and they had no discernible effect on jobs or economic growth.

[Continues . . .]
Politics and Current Events / Re: Trumpocalypse
Nunes, contending in a very strong field, shows he's still got what it takes to compete for the title of "biggest chowderhead in Congress."

"Stephen Colbert Escalates Feud With Devin Nunes, Barges Into His D.C. Office" | Daily Beast

On Friday's Late Show, Stephen Colbert traveled to Washington, D.C. to grill lawmakers about the seemingly endless investigation into the Trump campaign's possible collusion with Russia. While he was there, he released his very own redacted memo about Devin Nunes.

"You remember about a month or so ago when America had memo fever?" the host asked Monday night. "There was #ReleaseTheMemo, which was about a memo written by House Intelligence Committee Chair and youngest man at the senior's brunch, Devin Nunes."

While on Capitol Hill, Colbert tried to get Nunes' colleagues to the fill in the blank on his redacted memo with an insult about the divisive congressman, but neither Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff nor GOP Rep. Jeff Flake would take the bait.

"So as much fun as we had down there, ultimately what we wanted was for Nunes to respond to us, a comedy show, but say what you want about that guy, he's not that what I thought," Colbert added.

That's because over the weekend, Nunes called into Neil Cavuto's Fox Business show and called Colbert's jokes a "danger" to the country. "The left controls not only the universities in this country, but they also control Hollywood in this country, and the mainstream media, so conservatives in this country are under attack," Nunes said on Fox. "They attack people who are trying to get to the truth."
The talking shite to yourself phase is such a tedious one.

Is 'grasping at straws' a recognized phase in the Socoverse?
Let's not get too hung up on "inner Asia". The article simply says:
A gravitating midpoint between eastern Africa and southeastern Asia
would situate the born of L3 in inner Asia

It says a lot more than that. The evidence it cites does not support the idea that L3 originated in the Middle East. Therefore your claim that it supports the "credibility of an out of the Middle East theory" is false.

The important point is it is plausible that L3 went INTO Africa, not OUT of Africa.

Why is that important?
Inner Asia is not the Middle East.
That changes nothing.

Very simply, the paper cannot be used to support your "out of the Middle East" claims. Are you now going to propose that anatomically modern humans originated in inner Asia, or are you just going to ignore the fact that your source doesn't do anything to advance your pet idea?

The point is that L3 went INTO Africa, not OUT of Africa.

The paper doesn't claim that the evidence conclusively supports the hypothesis that L3 originated outside Africa. It merely offers the "inner Asia" hypothesis as a possible explanation for the evidence. It also is unequivocal in supporting the African origin of anatomically modern humans.

After three decades of mtDNA studies on human evolution the only incontrovertible main result is the African origin of all extant modern humans.
Politics and Current Events / Re: Trumpocalypse
"Chain migration" is "NOT ACCEPTABLE" except when Trump's family benefits from it.

"Questions surround how Melania Trump's parents received US green cards, as President rails against 'chain migration'" | The Independent

The parents of First Lady Melania Trump have been granted permanent status in the US, a lawyer for the couple has confirmed, although questions remain about how and when they received their green cards.

Donald Trump has railed against so-called chain migration since he launched his bid for the presidency in 2016.

Immigration experts have suggested it is the likeliest way Viktor and Amalija Knavs obtained their residencies.

"I can confirm that Mrs Trump's parents are both lawfully admitted to the United States as permanent residents," Michael Wildes, the First Lady's lawyer, told The Washington Post. "The family, as they are not part of the administration, has asked that their privacy be respected, so I will not comment further on this matter."

Under family-based immigration rules, adult American citizens can apply for parents, adult married children and siblings to gain residency in the US. In the Knavs' case, Melania would have been their sponsor.

[Continues . . .]
Some may think that genetic evidence rules out an Out of the Middle East theory but the following reference would seem to support the credibility of an out of the Middle East theory:
An Asia center of origin and dispersal for haplogroup L3 has also been hypothesized based on the fossil record, the similar coalescence dates of L3 and its Eurasian-distributed M and N derivative clades (~71 kya), the distant location in Southeast Asia of the oldest subclades of M and N, and the comparable age of the paternal haplogroup DE. After an initial Out-of-Africa migration of early anatomically modern humans around 125 kya, fully modern human L3-carrying females are thus proposed to have back-migrated from the maternal haplogroup's place of origin in Eurasia around 70 kya along with males bearing the paternal haplogroup E, which is also thought to have originated in Eurasia. These new Eurasian lineages are then suggested to have largely replaced the old autochthonous male and female African lineages.[4]
This refers to an "initial Out-of-Africa migration of early anatomically modern humans around 125 kya". But that is not supported. The key point is that L3 haplogroup could have originated in the Middle East.

Not at all. If you read the only paper used as a reference for that Wikipedia paragraph you'll discover that's not what they're suggesting.

In this work, we assess the possibility that L3 could have exited from Africa as a pre-L3 lineage that evolved as basic L3 in inner Asia. From there, it came back to Africa and forwarded to southeastern Asia to lead, respectively, the African L3 branches in eastern Africa and the M and N L3 Eurasian branches in southeastern Asia. This model, that implies an earlier exit of modern humans out of Africa, has been contrasted with the results gathered independently by other disciplines.

Inner Asia is not the Middle East.
Politics and Current Events / Re: Goddamnit Al

gosh, is there nothing the insidious slav can't do?

I think I detect sarcasm in your take. If so, it may be justified.

"Newsweek, Ijeoma Oluo, and the Overhyping of Twitter Bots in Al Franken's Resignation" | The Stranger

And as Oluo noted on Twitter, the anti-Franken tweets citing her work came after the senator announced his plans to step down, not before. On that day, the Associated Press tweeted at 10:58 a.m that Franken planned to resign. Oluo told me over the phone that her piece went live at 12:47 p.m. (There are no timestamps on The Establishment, the site where here piece was published.) With this timeline in mind, the idea that bots weaponizing Oluo's work had any effect on Franken's decision is preposterous.
I'm not aware of any objective observer who says that the money the US was holding didn't belong to Iran. Forbes, for instance, can hardly be described as a pro-Obama source, nor even as one that leans toward the Democratic party.

The major issue between the two governments was a $400 million payment for military equipment made by the government of the Shah of Iran, prior to the 1979 uprising that topped him. The U.S. banned delivery of the jets and other weapons amid the hostage crisis, but froze the $400 million advance payment. "The Pentagon handled arms purchases from foreign countries," says Gary Sick, a former National Security Council official who served as the principal White House aide for Iran during the Iranian Revolution and the hostage crisis. "Defense took care of the details. So the $400 million scheduled purchase was a government-to-government transaction. The U.S. government was holding the money. That's why it was so difficult to resolve."

[. . .]

[T]he U.S. negotiators convinced Iran to move the dispute from arbitration to a private settlement. The two sides reached an agreement in mid-2015, at the same time as the U.S. and Iran reached a comprehensive pact on curtailing Iran's development of nuclear weapons. The financial deal called for the U.S. to refund $1.7 billion to Tehran, consisting of the original $400 million contract for military equipment, plus $1.3 billion in interest.

[. . .]

A stronger argument is that the U.S. had to make a big payment to Iran because of a 35-year-old deal for weapons that were never received. It wasn't a matter of if, but when and how much. Washington was worried that the tribunal would impose a payment of several billion dollars, as Tehran demanded, and grabbed the opportunity to settle for the $1.7 billion as part of a overall pact at the same time Iran was benefiting from the nuclear agreement.

It's also reasonable to ask why Iran would release hostages in exchange for $400 million, when--according to the deal's defenders--it was bound to get at least that amount from the Hague anyway, and could keep the hostages to boot. Of course, it's impossible to verify if Tehran was truly convinced a bigger, though later, settlement was likely. Still, it's clear that the payout from the $400 million dispute was coming, and would happen with or without a release of hostages.


The left-wing conspiracy theory that the Trump campaign "colluded" with Russian officials ahead of the 2016 presidential campaign continued to crash and burn Friday, with Robert Mueller's indictment showing the foreign nationals began meddling in US politics one year before Donald Trump announced his run for office.

Almost exactly a year after the above tweet: "Woman Who Helped Organize Miss Universe in 2013 Announced Trump's Presidential Run in January, 2015"

Go ahead and put your high-speed mind to work on the possible implications.
Politics and Current Events / Re: Brownbeck Resigns
Given Brownback's association with the dominionist New Apostolic Reformation, it will be interesting to see how he sees fit to define and promote religious freedom.
rural oregon is a very strange place.

It shares its values with the rest of what some have called the "Empty Quarter," so not all that strange. Ignorantly jealous of its supposed independence and myopically freedom-loving, yes. I agree that an inhospitable attitude is not notably common, though there is some racism.
A few months ago the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit found that breastfeeding was a protected medical condition under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Of course that involved an employer-employee dispute which is what the Pregnancy Discrimination Act specifically addresses, but perhaps it could be argued that the decision set a precedent in regards to civil rights of breastfeeding mothers.
Nope. In this thread it's been established that on this topic I don't know what I'm talking about and Pavlovs Dog does. I'm fine with that, and if I wish to learn more I'll do my own research, per his suggestion.  :)
Thank you. I know I'm not owed any lessons on civil rights law from Pavlovs Dog, but at least I've learned that there's no point to me trying to dispute anything in this topic with him.
At least three state laws protecting the rights of breastfeeding mothers specifically refer to their right to breastfeed in a "place of public accommodation." However when I referred to that term, I was told by Pavlovs Dog that "'accommodation' refers to the ADA" as if it was irrelevant to this topic. If he's a lawyer he knows that the term is used in civil rights law, not just the ADA. Still, I may be mistaken and am willing to improve my understanding.
Wouldn't it be funny if PD turned out to be a lawyer who litigated these types of cases?

He could very well be. In which case he should have no trouble pointing out where I've erred.
You have no idea what you are talking about.

Yes, you've said that more than once. However, you've yet to even begin to show that your understanding of this topic is superior to mine, nor have you done anything to actually support your assertions. Indeed, your apparent claim that the concept of "public accommodation" is only relevant to the ADA is a glaring falsehood. It's pretty clear that your posts in this thread addressed to me are just lame trolling. If you at least exerted yourself enough to show a spark of wit, I could respect that.
Yes, the potential conflict is go read about the civil rights act, the ADA, and protected classes and what the constitutional power is that is the basis for them.

Non-answer. If you knew the specifics of the conflict, you wouldn't be assigning me homework to try to discover it for you. I haven't invoked suspect classes or "protected classes."  I've pointed to the concept of public accommodation and its relevance to the state law. The state has decided it has an interest in protecting the rights of breastfeeding mothers in regards to public accommodations. Are you claiming that the state's decision is unconstitutional? If so, on what basis? Are you aware of any successful challenge to this sort of law (which exists in the statutes of nearly every state in the US)?
State law is not really relevant to the extent it conflicts with constitutional rights.  "Accommodation" refers to the ADA, which has the same type of constraints as the civil rights act.

"Public accommodation" is a relevant concept in regard to much more than the ADA.

Can you cite any possible conflict between this particular state law and constitutional rights?
The property rights belong in the same place all "property rights" are with respect to commercial activity in view of the civil rights act.  Which is not to say the answer is clear there.

"Commercial activity" is a rather vague category, while "public accommodation" is much less so. In regard to public accommodations (definitely including public restaurants) decisions by the Supreme Court of the United States have clarified the matter considerably.

It also is clear that the state in which this incident took place has a law protecting the right of a woman to breastfeed her child "in any location, public or private, where the woman and child are otherwise authorized to be." The opinion of the doofus Rob Port about the primacy of property rights in this case is empty blithering.

Christmas is over, but Darwimas is right around the corner!  :clap:

I am not in a position to say that Lincoln was the worst president in US history. I suspect that Lincoln wanted to do good for the country and I suspect he worked very hard to try to do what he believed was the right thing. I do believe it was a mistake to not let the South go and secede peacefully. I think eradicating slavery could have been accomplished in better ways. I think his critical bad decision that Lit the fire of the war was the decision to resupply Fort Sumter. I think he should have said hey, South Carolina has a right to secede, and it doesn't make sense for the feds to own property there anymore, let them have Fort Sumter. I also think he had no idea what the human cost of War would be.

Lincoln did let the South secede peacefully. In fact South Carolina had seceded before he was inaugurated, and it was clear that more southern states would follow. In his inaugural address Lincoln said:

The power confided to me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the Government and to collect the duties and imposts; but beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion, no using of force against or among the people anywhere. Where hostility to the United States in any interior locality shall be so great and universal as to prevent competent resident citizens from holding the Federal offices, there will be no attempt to force obnoxious strangers among the people for that object. While the strict legal right may exist in the Government to enforce the exercise of these offices, the attempt to do so would be so irritating and so nearly impracticable withal that I deem it better to forego for the time the uses of such offices. . . . In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The Government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the Government, while I shall have the most solemn one to "preserve, protect, and defend it."

Lincoln kept his word; the Civil War did not begin because the US government attacked the South, rather the South attacked the US government. If the South had not attacked it seems clear that Lincoln would have worked to bring about a peaceful reversal of secession.