One of my friends has a problem with a spouse prone to sudden rages, and since said spouse smokes a lot of weed, I started looking for information about a possible connection.
Spouse seems to fit the description of what they call “rapid cycling bipolar Type II” (previously I thought it might be hyperthyroidism, but the behavior sounds a lot closer to bipolar. Some researchers think the conditions are associated). Spouse is a lot more mellow after smoking, but “worse after it wears off.”
Turns out that at least some doctors think the weed might actually cause the manic/rage episodes, that it’s not immediately apparent because it takes a while for the pot to trigger the chemical cascade that results in the manic rage.
Since some bipolar people feel better when they smoke, they insist the pot is treating the disorder, not causing it, and that doctors are paid by the government to come up with reasons not to smoke.
Obviously, no one’s going to figure this all out anytime soon. Just thought it was interesting!
If there were any doubts about the health of the economy, two reports issued in the last ten days should have eliminated them. First the second quarter GDP showed the economy growing at just a 2.4 percent annual rate. Then the Labor Department reported on Friday that the economy created just 12,000 jobs in July after removing the impact of temporary Census employees. Both reports are really bad news about the economy’s near-term prospects.
So, we are sitting here with a moribund recovery that promises to leave tens of millions of people unemployed or underemployed for the indefinite future. And the political options at the moment seem to be between Democrats who tell us things are good and Republicans who say the economy stinks, but don’t have a clue on how to make things better.
Just to be clear, we do know how to make things better, we just lack the political will. Spending money creates jobs. Even Tea Partiers will work for money, in most cases even if the money comes from the government. Unless the private sector somehow will spend less because the government spends more (tell me the loony story, I love fairy tales), then more stimulus will create more jobs.
More stimulus does not have to create a debt burden for our children. The Fed can buy and hold bonds so that the interest is paid to the Fed and refunded to the Treasury. Japan’s central bank has done this and its interest burden is less than ours even though its debt is more than three times as high compared to the size of its economy. And, its main problem continues to be deflation – inflation is nowhere in sight.
The Fed can do more. It can set an inflation target of 3-4 percent. This would give businesses more incentive to invest. (Suppose that they knew all prices would be on average 15 percent higher in five years.) It also would alleviate the debt burden of homeowners by raising their nominal wages and house prices.
Finally, if we can’t boost the economy, we can restructure work. Germany and the Netherlands have both gone the route of work sharing, using unemployment benefits to give firms credits to shorten workweeks rather than layoff workers. The unemployment rate in the Netherlands is hovering near 4.0 percent. In Germany it is 7.1 percent, but that is lower than it was at the start of the downturn.
There is no excuse for the mass suffering the country is now experiencing. The people in charge messed up disastrously. They are still messing up disastrously. The public has every right to be furious at the incredible level of incompetence shown by those in charge. They should demand better.
The Obama team forgets that once the primary was over in 2008, the folks in the blogosphere and all the progressive groups were pretty united on helping Obama win the election. A pretty sizable share of the 13 million people on the Obama e-mail list were also reading blogs, getting e-mails from MoveOn.org or phone/mail from unions and other groups. Everyone had the same goal of defeating McCain and other right-wing Republicans, and we were all reinforcing (for the most part) what the campaign was doing and saying.
That sense of teamwork is pretty well gone, blown apart not only because of some policy decisions many progressives disagreed with, and not just by the series of insulting comments I spelled out in the first paragraph, but by a serious lack of outreach as well. The result is that Obama gets a steady stream of criticism from Markos, Arianna, Rachel, and many of the rest of us, and when good things happen, they rarely get played up positively as well as they should. I think that is one of the big reasons why online giving has been fairly weak on the Obama list (a person with knowledge of the list told me that the fundraising trend off their email list was “extremely worrisome”), why volunteer recruitment has been down, and why Democratic voter enthusiasm in the polling as been so consistently weak (obviously the bad economy has a lot to do with that as well, but don’t discount the bad relationship with progressive media and institutions).
Here’s the thing that drives me most crazy, though: the only thing making the Obama White House take the huge gamble of not reaching out to the professional left is their own arrogance. Engaging the “professional left” would be easy to do if they cared about it at all, and had a strategy to do it. In the Clinton White House, that presidency of NAFTA, failed health care, the 1994 election fiasco, and “triangulation”, the progressive community- the professional left as well as progressive voters- progressives never deserted Clinton. Through his two elections, special prosecutors, the Lewinsky mess and impeachment, the Democratic base stayed loyal to and enthusiastic about Bill Clinton (even when he didn’t always deserve it). Why? Because Bill Clinton cared about having a good relationship with progressives, and because we had a strategy for working effectively with them. President Clinton frequently asked me about who was happy with us and who was disgruntled in the progressive world, and we made sure to bring in everyone in the latter category for meetings and social events at the White House. At the height of the NAFTA fight, we organized a dinner for labor leaders where the President hung out with them for a long, social evening, telling them in his remarks “I know we are in a fight right now, but I want you to know that my White House will always be your house too, that we always will be friends.” We made sure progressives always had chances to have serious input into policy development. Whenever we had bad news to deliver to progressive groups on any issue big or small, we reached out to them before the announcement, talked about how to make the damage hurt less, and talked about what we could do to help them on other issues. And whenever there was good news, we made sure the folks who cared about it were part of the celebration. Continue Reading »
Let’s just say that once upon a time, there was a bunch of pot plants in a backyard and a litter of feral cats were living in them. And let’s just say that people were very, very happy with those plants.
So I’d check cat urine, too. Maybe the little buggers could sell it and start paying board!
Macy Gray’s heartbreaking I Try.
Ben Folds’ damned catchy Song for the Dumped probably pops into my head once a day. “Give me my money back/ Give me my money back you bitch/ And don’t forget/To give me back my black tee shirt.”
The much underrated Sam Phillips is the closest thing we have to a female Beatle — and Reflecting Light would have been one of the ballads on the White Album.
Dr. S. will make fun of me for this, but I do love Don Henley’s The Heart of the Matter. There, I’ve said it.
This was one of the first albums I ever bought, and I still love Poco’s Pickin’ Up The Pieces.
Who knew Vince Gill would go on to become a country music legend? I just loved the harmonies on Pure Prairie League’s Amie (Falling In And Out Of Love).
Son Volt’s Windfall is one of the most beautifully yearning road songs ever.
And of course, if we didn’t have Neil Young, we wouldn’t have Son Volt: Only Love Can Break Your Heart
Robert Gibbs should be fired. But please don’t confuse that goal with the larger problem, which is that the White House agrees with him. Punish Gibbs, by all means, but don’t stop there.
Gibbs is a weasel and always was, even back when he worked for John Kerry and was leaking attacks on Howard Dean. Don’t get distracted, it’s the guy at the top we need to watch. Personally, I think the poll numbers are so low, they’re going to have to appoint Elizabeth Warren in a frantic attempt to excite the base — but only after they fill up all the agency slots with Geithner minions, who will actively work to undermine her.