Archive for the ‘election’ Tag

Riots in the streets and pigs on the wing   Leave a comment

17 March 2016 — Bellingham, WA.

So, Donald Trump is threatening riots if he doesn’t get the Republican nomination.

It will happen. I’m sure. I’ve been saying it all along. People in Jerusalem last month asked me what I think is going to happen as a result of the primaries, and invariably I would say, “Riots.” Well, that’s not entirely true. Sometimes I’d say, “Chaos.” But that was the general theme of it.

I firmly believe the powers that be — the conservative hard-core insiders, the ones who refuse to hold hearings for Supreme Court Justice — will also refuse to award Donald Trump the nomination of the Grand Old Party. Just picture a Trump-Kardashian ticket next to the (R) on your ballot. Even Reince Priebus is tweeting  #NeverTrump in fake Twitter profiles. This year (R) might stand for Reality TV, and there’s going to be plenty of it on CNN.

This morning another major development happened, and it seems that indeed pigs can fly, as Lindsey Graham announced he’s throwing an AIPAC fundraiser for Ted Cruz, someone he’s admitted on CNN and elsewhere he doesn’t really like. Calling Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a liar on the Senate floor doesn’t get you many points. Graham was careful to say that he’s not endorsing Cruz, but that Cruz was the only mainline Republican who has the chance to keep Trump off the ballot.

Ohio Governor John Kasich, the hometown boy, the convention and riots being in Cleveland, is a very dark horse to sneak in under the wire, and only if he wins Pennsylvania or Wisconsin and gets a healthy injection of charisma. If you ask me, Kasich, who’s known to fly off the handle, couldn’t attract the media with free sandwiches and an open bar. He began going negative against Trump today. Watch out – the mud’s flying.

It’s funny. The last time there were real riots at a convention, it was 1968, in Chicago, at the Democratic convention. Now, all the action’s going to be in Cleveland, with the Trump supporters. They have the capacity to go full zoohouse. I don’t want to be within a hundred miles of Cleveland during the Republican Convention. The best seat’s going to be in front of a TV anyway.

But what about Philadelphia?

On the Philadelphia side, the prune-faced screaming banshee has an insurmountable lead over Bernie Sanders, who authored most of her ideas, especially in her last month’s speeches. Saying this is sure to get me branded a blatant sexist, and so be it.

I’ve met Hillary Clinton, in 1991, 1992, and 1996, when I worked for her husband’s campaign in Colorado. She was cordial in the way upper class types condescend to normal everyday people, except when I had to use the bathroom after she just hopped out of the shower (visual: Hillary in a bathrobe and towel) at a Clinton friend’s house during motorcade downtime.

Excuse me if I’m biased, but I’m a child of the sixties: Bernie Sanders holds the emotional torch for the Democrats. His followers haven’t been as loud as the Trump people who want to revolt against the Republican elite. And it remains to be seen if Sanders’ supporters are driven enough to get tough. I can’t imagine a Texas death match between Trump’s people and Sanders’.

But the Sanders people are adamant in their support. My social media feed is full of Bernie stuff from Bernie people, non-stop Bernie stuff, always upbeat. You would think the superdelegates, the Party faithful — I know a lot of them — will turn and feel the Bern like their contemporaries. Will the hard-line Bernie people be as hard-line during and after the Convention?

I’ve come across a lot of older and younger “hippies” who would never think of holding a physical revolution. But I’m sure they’re out there. You wonder if there would actually be an Independent or Third Party Revolution. I’m sure that would cause riots in the leadership offices of both parties.

But that’s what it may come down to for both parties come this summer, so it may be time to start thinking about what might happen in a four-way race between Clinton, Sanders, Trump, and whomever the Republican establishment anoints. Or at least tumbling the idea around in our minds.

For too long, the American public have been complaining about too little choice in Presidential candidates. Maybe this year, we’ll have four to pick from.










April 20, 2015
Bellingham, WA.

Esteemed Senators, Congressmen, and in-state officials:

I am writing you on behalf of Medical Marijuana Patients in Washington state, including myself.

In my 60 years, I’ve given many of those years to my Party, and I’ve worked with and for many outstanding legislators, their policy people, and their political advisors.

I’m writing you about the backlash that will occur amongst Washington state medical marijuana patients, many of whom are Veterans or Disabled Veterans, if Governor Jay Inslee fails to VETO 5052, a bill on his desk right now that would greatly injure — some say destroy — the rights of medical marijuana patients in this state.

This would occur right in the middle of 2016, just when everyone in the country is focused in on the Presidential campaign and of course the Congressional elections.

I phoned each of your Washington, D.C., offices on Friday afternoon and informed your people of Jay Inslee’s intention to sign 5052 and how it would backlash against the Democrats in this state.

I know of no other instance in my life where a chief executive with a (D) after his name would hurt patients to this degree. The voters are no doubt going to remember. This is a serious threat to the Party. And Inslee’s got really bad timing.

The Republicans in Olympia, to their credit, had compassion and empathy, and tried to kill this bill, but the supposedly forward-thinking Democrats in the legislature pushed it through.

They were incentivized by growers and lobbyists for 502 store owners. There’s a lot of green circulating in The Evergreen State. Weed, grass, you name it.

Washington MMJ patients have been safely covered by the Compassionate Care Act of 1998, which morphed into the current RCW 69.51a et al. It is as advertised; compassionate.

We oppose this 5052 bill because the State Liquor Board are not to be trusted with patients’ HIPAA-protected medical records and treatments.

These include psychiatric records in some cases. These are PRIVATE; not for appointed uncredentialed desk jockeys who know nothing about health care or medicine. The State LIQUOR Board are untrained and unqualified. Patients’ medical records are our classified information.

Have they not seen the Colorado model? Three million dollars extra each month to the schools, tax REBATE checks TO the people. Booming economy. Why not try it? Deaf ears.

Medical marijuana is NOT recreational marijuana. I use it when I NEED IT. This morning I didn’t. Yesterday I did. Tonight I will, because I feel the pain increasing.

I use a high CBD strain for pain. If I used oxycodone or hydrocodone, both opioids, I wouldn’t be able to express myself clearly. And I would only need the toilet once a week. Unhealthy.

Medical marijuana should be taxed, we all agree. We’re cool with that. But be FAIR.

It should NOT be taxed like recreational marijuana, which is what the State seems to want. The taxes on that are outrageous! Has anyone seen the Colorado model? They treat people like people! This state’s Democratic leadership has been asleep at the wheel!

IF 5052 is not vetoed, it will, among other things:

Force patients to get prescriptions from their primacy care physician. No doctor will write a prescription as long as the DEA has marijuana unfairly classified as having no known medical use. The DEA would immediately cancel their licenses! So that’s a deal-killer right there. But wait! There’s more.

Force medical marijuana patients to go to 502 retail stores and mingle with recreational users, and be forced to pay up to TRIPLE what we’re paying now.

Force patients to register with the State. Not acceptable. This is not Russia, China, or Myanmar! I don’t believe I would agree to that. I don’t have to register my concealed carry weapon, so I don’t think I have to register my pain medication. Would I have to register my insulin too?

Allow any state law enforcement agent to knock on a patient’s door and must be permitted to come in and inspect their growing space. Doesn’t this sound unconstitutional to you?

So, I’m afraid it’s come to this: If Inslee fails to VETO 5052, he is endangering all seven Democratic seats in the House. Medical marijuana as we know it will disappear in the middle of 2016. Right squack in the middle of Convention Season!

Voters will remember when their ballots arrive what the Democrats in Olympia did, and they’re not going to connect those little arrows next to your names or anyone’s name with a [D] next to it.

I don’t want to live in a RepubliCon dominated country. I don’t want to live in a theocracy.

It is within your power to help. Please call Jay Inslee and tell him to turn on his shredder most riki-tik and throw that garbage 5052 bill into it before he causes a disaster bigger than the one in 2014, which was the worst since Truman was president.

Our medical marijuana patients will be forced back to the black market or to some other state where the governor doesn’t drink Fukushima spring water. The Party does not need this kind of name recognition in a presidential election year.

On behalf of my fellow medical marijuana patients and voters in The Evergreen State, many of whom are Veterans seeking relief from severe PTSD, and other physically Disabled Veterans seeking relief from severe pain and don’t want to get hooked on opioids, I thank you very much for your kind attention.

I look forward to your comments and hopefully your swift action.

Warren S. Levine
Humble patient

Get ‘Em Champ: A Time to Celebrate, Appreciate, and Trust Joe Biden   Leave a comment

Get ‘Em Champ: A Time to Celebrate, Appreciate, and Trust Joe Biden.

Joe Biden is often the forgotten man in the White House. He’s out of the news for two or three weeks before popping back up to make some salient point or at least provide an interesting sound byte. In many ways, Joe Biden has been reduced to that news capsule existence.

With the vice presidential debate on tap for Thursday night, it’s time to celebrate Joe Biden, appreciate Joe Biden, and most of all, trust Joe Biden.

The Joe Biden life story has been told many times by people who have had the pleasure of spending a few hours with the man. It’s one worth repeating, though, and it is a life story worth celebrating by those who believe in the profound strength that builds when one overcomes life’s trials.

Joe Biden’s childhood was typical in many ways and atypical in many others. He grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he lived with both his parents and grandparents. His father was not wealthy. In fact, a run of bad business luck brought financial ruin to the Biden doorstep, forcing Joe’s father to lean on other family for support.

It was there, they say, that Biden developed some of the qualities that shaped him into a six-term senator and vice president of the United States. In a 2008 article about Biden’s childhood, the AP’s Michael Rubinkam wrote:

In his 2007 memoir, “Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics,” Biden said he learned politics at his grandfather’s kitchen table, where the Finnegan clan — Irish, Catholic and staunchly Democratic — would “argue local politics, state politics, world events, Truman against MacArthur.”

Joe Biden was an adventurous, athletic kid. He loved football, baseball, sledding down Fiske Street, and carving his name into the walls of his childhood home. Joe Biden’s childhood wasn’t all rosy, though. He was often bullied in his youth because of his debilitating stutter. John Broder of the New York Times captured Biden’s response to the incessant neighborhood bullying:

He relished the one he shared with delegates at the Democratic National Convention about his mother instructing him to retaliate against some neighborhood boys who had roughed him up. He even acted out the punch he said he delivered to one of the boy’s noses. “I went ‘Bam,’ ” he said, aiming a punch at your correspondent’s face, “and they all ran away.

Biden learned to beat his stuttering problem with a now-famous poetry routine, where he would repeat lines from Ralph Waldo Emerson. Biden went on to college, where he earned historically low marks at the University of Delaware. He spent much of his time on academic probation, but eventually made his way to law school at Syracuse. Later, he worked as a public defender – an experience that undoubtedly shaped much of Biden’s legislative future.

When Joe Biden’s father nicknamed his “champ,” he slapped on Biden a moniker that he continues to wear proudly today. Biden has been a champion of the working class and a champion of the poor. He has been a champion of many people who otherwise might not have a voice. Some of his legislative accomplishments include:

*Voted no to limiting class action lawsuits to empower consumers
*Voted no to making it harder for death row inmates to appeal
*Co-sponsored the hate crimes prevention act
*Established a domestic violence volunteer attorney network to assist victims
*Introduced a law to support second chances for offenders in hopes of lowering recidivism among first-time criminals

Biden also understood one of the many problems in the justice system when he was in the Senate. He once said:

The vast majority of gun crimes are almost all related to drugs. And what we do is we, instead of incarcerating our young blacks and other folks in the inner city who are arrested for a violent crime, instead of separating these juveniles, we put them in with adults. They go ahead and they learn the trade. They learn the trade and they come back out.

Joe Biden has been a champion for his family. After losing his wife and child in a car accident, Biden made the decision to take the Amtrak home to Delaware each night to care for his sons, who were also injured in the wreck. He continued doing that during the entirety of his Senate career, often sacrificing fundraising to be at his sons’ baseball games.

It is high time that we appreciate Joe Biden the man and Joe Biden the politician. That’s because Biden is one of the rare men who allow those things to overlap. His kind heart has guided him over a long legislative career. His down-home roots and friendly demeanor have helped the administration connect with working class and middle class voters in places like Ohio, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. Joe Biden connects with people because he is a person. He’s a real, genuine person.

When Biden engaged in a famous hug with a young man during a Florida campaign event, it got to the core of what the man is all about. The young man was Kobe Groce and he communicated his appreciation for what Biden and the President had done to help his family. Groce told Biden of his single mother’s struggles and of his brother’s ambitions. He told Biden of his own goals and his own determination to overcome challenges. Biden’s response was real and powerful. After a tear-soaked hug, he told Kobe to “keep the faith.” Those words relayed an understanding of what it’s like to struggle. More aptly, those words communicated a sense of unrelenting hope from a man who has overcome tragedy, personal struggles, and socioeconomic barriers to reach the near-summit of American politics.

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Biden handled tremendous loss with dignity. He overcame childhood stuttering with tenacity. He worked through a brain aneurism with courage. He is a man chiseled into something greater than himself by the tools of determination and the sheer erosion that accompanies life.

This is the time to trust Joe Biden. For four years, he has had the President’s back. He’s been the faithful adviser, waiting in the wings with a laugh, a smile, and a few thoughtful words. Few people get to hear what’s said between Barack Obama and Joe Biden. But the President chose Biden for a reason. He chose Biden because he trusts that when he needs a man the most, this Vice President will come through.

Joe Biden has an opportunity to look the bully in the face on Thursday night. He has a chance to hit the bully in the nose and make them “run away.” Here’s to hoping he delivers a knockout performance, full of the things that make Joe Biden special. From unscripted normalcy to unforgiving honesty to a sharp understanding of the real problems faced by real people, it is time for Joe Biden to answer the bell. As for us, let’s keep the faith.

Get ’em, Champ.



Children of the Corn State: Winner Loses by 3-1 Margin   Leave a comment

Dedicated to Edith and Carolyn from Clinton County, Iowa.

Willard Romney, the winner of Tuesday’s Iowa Republican caucus, while relishing a victory by an even slimmer margin than Gore had over Bush, should also be very cognizant of the fact that members of their own party voted against them by a 3-1 margin. I’d be looking over my shoulder if I won any kind of election by 8 votes.

So, how is this a victory? What kind of mandate did Iowa Republican caucus-goers issue Tuesday night? Apparently that even party regulars are not real pleased with the current crop of candidates. Of the seven ears of corn, all of them got stale and dehydrated on the stalk. (Conjures up images of an old Bible story, doesn’t it? Speaking of seven thin years….)

The only good thing to come as a result of Iowa was the raucous extended New Year’s after-afterparty that ran until well after midnight Pacific Time on CNN. The only thing missing was Kathy Griffin. It was great entertainment — enough for me to pass up watching a recording of the Giants beating the Cowboys to win the NFC East on Sunday night. By night’s end, even Ari Fleischer got a good line off. (Doesn’t Ari Fleischer look like Colonel Klink from Hogan’s Heroes?)

The kicker was that John King and Wolf Blitzer cornered a county chair and a precinct committeeperson who had been awakened by the State party from their sleep, and they gave CNN the scoop — Romney won by the slimmest margin — even before the Iowa State Republican Party officially acknowledged it. This is significant, especially given that the 3rd place finisher isn’t even eligible to be President because he’s from another galaxy.

Rounding out our trio of Texas losers, Rick Perry is Texas Toast. Miserable loves company, and Miserable Michele from Minnesota is going to drop out next.

Gingrich, who’s expected to dig his claws into the former moderate Massachusetts governor right in his own back yard in a desperate attempt to save face. But his candidacy is not viable either. Earlier Tuesday Gingrich literally called Romney a liar, crossing a significant political line in the sand.

I’m looking forward to this weekend’s Wild Card Debates, but I’m hoping Jon Huntsman comes in with at least a few guns blazing. I’d like to hear what he’s got. The guy’s rational. And that’s about the best I can say about anyone in that entire sorry crowd.

A New WPA With Wind in its Sails   1 comment

I followed a link provided by ThinkProgress and Markos Moulitsas this morning, and decided to put the post I’d been putting together on hold. Here’s the link from the original article:

My suggestion for a federally subsidized nationwide construction program would include roads, bridges, schools, and hospitals, but would also feature new jobs creating sustainable energy solutions. Specifically, wind turbines.

It only makes sense.  Harnessing nature’s energy doesn’t stop with creating hydroelectric power — and we haven’t even begun to tap into tidal power — the volatility of the weather around the country can also be turned in our favor by providing cheap, limitless energy to millions of Americans.

The government already has programs like Wind Powering America — this needs to be expanded, and we need to put Americans to work building the machinery and the infrastructure. Do the letters WPA mean anything to anyone? It was FDR’s best idea, and it helped bring America out of the Great Depression.

A glance at some of the maps on the site will show where wind is the strongest and wind farms would be most lucrative:

But when put side-by-side with the Anemometer Loan Program, administered by WAPA, the Western Power Administration Program, only five of the fifteen states with the highest sustained winds had an active program. There are ten states, just filled with unemployed Americans who would line the streets for the opportunity to get a job. Why is WAPA sitting on its ass?

How many jobs could be created if the Dept of Energy, who oversees all of the above agencies, would get anemometer loans going in Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and New Mexico?

I’m afraid we’re not going to get an answer from any government official on those questions — the issue will be skirted around, maybe never even brought up, and maybe never latched onto by the mainstream media, as much as I despise that term.

The more relevant question to the politicians who hold corporate millions and our futures in their hands, and the more likely to get answered would be: “How many electoral votes are up for grabs in those states?”

Because that’s what it all comes down to, every single time. Politics and politicians before people. The junior Hoffa may have had a point. I hope he doesn’t have to apologize for it.

“This is the Obama campaign….”

Some human fast-talk machine called me this afternoon, pretty much out of nowhere, as I was watching a replay of one of last night’s meaningless pre-season football games. I’ll try to paraphrase as best I can:

“Hi, may I speak to Mr. Levine?”

“You are. Who’s this?”

“Good afternoon, Mr. Levine. As you know, this year’s elections are –”

HEY! Who’s this?”

“GoodafternoonMisterLevine. This is the Obama campaign, and as you know, this year’s elections are…” Oh, shit. Mute the TV. “…yak yak yak, yak yak yak, and we really need your help. Can we count on you for a small donation to show your support?”

“No. I’m on a fixed income. I rely on my Disability and Medicare. If Mr. Obama continues to support those programs, I will vote for him. I’m sure not going to vote for any of those right-wing nut-jobs with Jesus signs and tea bags on their heads. So, you’ve got my vote, but I can’t afford to make–” She cuts ME off.

“Well-Mr.-Levine-we-appreciate-your-support-we-really-do-but-what-we-really-need-is-the-money-to-counter-the-lies-the-Republicans-are-spreading-in-the–” I went a little Brooklyn on her:

“Well, Ms Obama Campaign, I just told you I’m on a fixed income and I can’t afford to make a donation. Social Security and Medicare. That’s what I really need. Support it, you got my vote. That’s what YOU really need. Why don’t you ask the goddamn corporations who can give you all kinds of money because they’re not paying taxes on it and the Supreme Court lets them?”

“No, it’s not like that,” she says. No, huh? I let her go on. “I understand where you’re coming from. Mr. Levine, we need donations from people just like you… yak yak yak … with a small two-hundred twelve dollars a year–” *click*

So, that was the end of my involvement with the Obama re-election campaign. A SMALL $212 per year donation. WTF? Whatever happened to five or ten bucks!?

Now, though, if they want as much as the space on my rear window for an Obama meatball logo, they can send a volunteer over here to lick the seagull shit from my rear window and stick it on themselves. Obviously their scriptwriters haven’t got the idea yet.

Next time, I’ll keep ’em on for a while and make them earn their hangup.

Posted 08/21/2011 by warrenlevine in Experiences, Politics

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