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Medical marijuana games in NJ

Personally, I never liked pot and don’t care much about it. But when I was so constantly nauseated by the antibiotics I was on recently, and the strongest drug they gave me didn’t help, well, I would have been damn glad to have a couple of joints. So this is just disgusting. Should sick people have to buy pot off street corners? Yeah, Christie’s a jerk, but the Obama administration is cracking down on medical marijuana, too:

Gov. Chris Christie and the state health department have intentionally delayed New Jersey’s medical marijuana program in an effort to sabotage it, the CEO of one of the state’s six medical marijuana dispensaries claims in a letter sent this week to Christie’s office.

And now, he’s ready to quit.

“I would like to withdraw from the program,” Joe Stevens, the head of Greenleaf Compassion Center in Montclair, said during an interview with The Star-Ledger Thursday.

Health department officials have broken several promises to Greenleaf, Stevens claims, all while his group has incurred $170,000 in costs with no idea of when it can open for business.
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World Bank

This is great news, and not just because it was widely rumored that Larry Summers had the job in the bag – we wouldn’t want him doing to the rest of the world what he’s done here. (Robert Kuttner: “For Larry Summers, Obama’s nomination of Jim Yong Kim ends a winning streak of falling upwards.”)

No, it’s good because a real development professional, and not a Wall St. banker, will be overseeing the bank:

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will nominate Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim to head the World Bank, a surprise pick for the international financial institution’s top job, senior administration officials said.

The Korean-born Kim is a physician by training and a prominent figure in global health and development circles. Officials believe his experience will help counter criticism from developing countries that have grown weary of the U.S. stranglehold on the World Bank presidency.

Obama took a strong personal interest in filling the World Bank vacancy after current president Robert Zoellick announced in February he was stepping down. Obama and his advisers considered more than a dozen candidates, including well-known figures in the administration. But in the end, officials said, Obama pushed for a nominee with broad development experience and was particularly drawn to Kim’s innovative work fighting the spread of AIDS and tuberculosis.

The 187-nation World Bank focuses on fighting poverty and promoting development. It is a leading source of development loans for countries seeking financing to build dams, roads and other infrastructure projects.

[…] Obama picked Kim over several more well-known candidates, including Susan Rice, current U.S. ambassador to the United Nations; Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.; and Lawrence Summers, Obama’s former director of the National Economic Council.

Out of those people, only Larry Summers was known to be interested in the job.

Aren’t they sweet

Don’t you just love racist Republicans?

WEST MONROE, Louisiana – At a campaign stop at a firing range, while Rick Santorum was firing off some rounds, a woman shouted, “pretend it’s Obama.”

Santorum, who was far from the woman, couldn’t hear the comment as he proceeded with his target practice. Neither could his staffers.

But the yell – the identity of the yeller is not clear, although the words were clearly audible – was in close proximity to journalists traveling with the candidate.

“It’s absurd,” Santorum said of the woman’s outburst when reporters told him about it. “No we’re not pretending it’s anybody but shooting pistols. It’s a very terrible and horrible remark and I’m glad I didn’t hear it.”

The scale of the universe

Very cool!

Little boxes

Walk Off The Earth with a wonderful rendition of the Malvina Reynolds song – played on little boxes!

Big Coal

Paying attention to the things Obama no longer saysabout coal:

[…] Even if he understands the very real impacts of coal on the global climate, public health, and worker safety, it’s not clear that he’s doing everything about those issues that he could.

For example, note that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reissued its permit for streamlined approval of strip mines. Or go back and recall that the presidentpersonally overruled a measure government scientists said was needed to reduce coal’s air pollution impacts.  President Obama signed into law a measure that prevents the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration from enforcing tougher coal dust limits meant to end deadly black lung disease.  We haven’t heard a word from the president himself about MSHA’s failures at the Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster. Coal-miner safety appears off the agenda.

Just because the president isn’t talking about coal doesn’t mean he’s doing all he could to reduce the impacts of mining across our nation’s coalfields.


by Susie

I don’t know whether to believe this story. But then, I don’t know whether to believe the official U.S. version, either. We’ve seen so many fabricated stories come out of our Mideast excursions (Jessica Lynch, anyone?), that I simply don’t know. But I do think it’s important to at least note the continuing insistence both by villagers and the Afghan parliament’s investigation team that there were more than a dozen troops involved in the Kandahar massacre.

The incongruous stories surrounding the March 11 massacre on Afghan civilians in two villages took another turn today, with reports from witnesses in Mokhoyan, one of the two villages targeted, that they were threatened by U.S. troops just days before the massacre.The witnesses say that troops rounded up all the men from the villages after a roadside bombing, lined them up against a wall, and told them they would “pay a price” for the attack.The witnesses put the date of the bombing at either March 7 or 8.

Previous stories had massacre suspect Robert Bales supposedly “upset” about a bombing in which one of his friends lost a leg.The military would neither confirm nor deny any bombings in the area, only insisting that they would investigate anything that might be related to the shootings. They likewise gave no comments about the threats in Mokhoyan.

If confirmed, the threats would also appear to support the Afghan probe’s version of the massacre, which had an organized group of over a dozen U.S. troops carrying out the massacre, as opposed to a lone man, as the U.S. maintains.

If the banksters don’t want her

It’s good enough for me.

I’ve been following the community radio fight for a long time, and this really is good news. Expect to hear more diversity on the airwaves as various organizations take advantage of this opportunity:

A Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decision issued Monday (PDF) will clear the runway for hundreds of new community radio stations that broadcast on low-power FM signals, bringing progressive, community voices to urban areas that have for decades only known what’s being broadcast by major corporations and America’s political right.

In other words, the dismantling of Rush Limbaugh was just the beginning, and the whole FM dial is next.

The FCC’s decision on Monday wipes away a massive backlog of applications for FM repeater stations, which are transmitters that repeat signals broadcast by corporate and religious radio operators — many of which rake in big listening audiences for right-wing syndicated talk shows.
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Misdirected outrage

Bill Maher can be a bore when he brags about being an atheist, and when he beats the war drum for Israel. But sometimes he has a good point to make. More here.

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