Monthly Archives: August 2011

We can’t Let the Tea Party Win !

Are these people for real?

  • Rick Perry says Social Security is a “Ponzi scheme” and “monstrous lie.”
  • Michele Bachmann joked that God sent Hurricane Irene to warn against federal spending. Aren’t jokes supposed to be funny?
  • Eric Cantor says disaster relief must be offset with other spending cuts.

Republicans pander to the far right daily with ludicrous statements and attacks on President Obama. And these statements motivate Tea Party voters like nothing else. It’s not enough to criticize them – we need to fight back with a strong August FEC showing – 48 hours away.

We’re still $45,000 short, and a shortfall now is more than a red line on a budget. Every dollar we don’t raise is a dollar we can’t use to fight Republicans. So, if you believe in Social Security, workers’ rights, and helping the middle class, I need you to act right now:

Your $5 contribution before our midnight Wednesday FEC deadline will help put the Tea Party in the history books – and keep it out of Washington.

Defeat the extreme GOP. We can't let the Tea Party win. Help us win August. Goal $45,000  Deadline: 48 hours. Contribute

They’ll have outside help – Karl Rove and the Koch Brothers will make sure of that.  If we don’t all stand together now, they will gain an edge – and we saw in 2010 what happens when they do. That’s why we have to win August.

They’ve got their Big Oil benefactors. We’ve got half a million grassroots donors. And if our grassroots donors give just $5 each, we’ll have what it takes to win August – and keep fighting on the ground, on the air and online.

Your $5 before our Wednesday FEC deadline will help us reach our $45,000 goal – and keep our momentum going strong.

Perry, Bachmann and Cantor don’t speak for me – and I know they don’t speak for you. Let’s hit this August goal and show them just how wrong they are.


Guy Cecil

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President Obama has heard you loud and clear!

From the team

Dear Maggie,

President Obama has heard you loud and clear!

Just yesterday–on the heels of nationwide events criticizing his immigration policy–the administration announced reforms to his deportation policy–reforms that could help keep 300,000 out of deportation proceedings and stop the deportation of many young men and women eligible under the DREAM Act.1

This amazing turnabout would not have happened without members like you who have been writing, calling and chipping in to media campaigns calling the President out on this. Thank you for your activism.  We will closely moniter this new policy to ensure our voices are heard during its implementation.

But our work is NOT done. President Obama is still sticking by his dangerous S-COMM policy–a highly criticized law that forces police officers to act like immigration officials, puts countless immigrant families at risk and tears hundreds of thousands of families apart.  Yesterday’s announcement also does little to help the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants who are not currently in deportation proceedings.2

As long as S-COMM is still on the books, the administration will continue ripping our families apart–something he explicitly promised would not happen during his campaign in 2008.

So while we are pleased that some DREAMers may be saved from senseless deportation, we cannot forget about the millions of others who are still caught in a broken and unjust system–a system Obama has the power to fix by ending S-COMM.

Can you call the White House today? Thank them for taking a step in the right direction and helping the DREAMers but make sure they know that S-COMM needs to end.

While these problems remain, Presente members will continue to elevate the voices of the Latino community, mobilizing online and in our communities until justice becomes the law of the land

Thank you for making this possible and continuing to join in this fight.

Thank you and ¡adelante!

Favianna, Laurie, Felipe, Roberto, Carlos and the rest of the team

P.S. This is a step forward, but we still have a long way to go. Will you support’s work with a donation of $5, $10, or $20 to help us ensure that the deportations truly stop, and that harmful programs like S-Comm don’t continue?


1. “New Policy On Deportations Allows Some Non-Criminal Undocumented Immigrants To Stay,” Huffington Post, 8/18/11

2. “Secure Communities Nets Immigrants For Minor Offenses: Report,” Huffington Post, 8/19/11

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Constitution of the United States Bill of Rights

The following is a transcription of the first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution. Called the “Bill of Rights”, these amendments were ratified on December 15, 1791. Each amendment’s title is linked to a set of detailed annotations presented on the Findlaw website.

  1. Freedom of Speech, Press, Religion and Petition
  1. Right to keep and bear arms
  1. Conditions for quarters of soldiers
  1. Right of search and seizure regulated
  1. Provisons concerning prosecution
  1. Right to a speedy trial, witnesses, etc.
  1. Right to a trial by jury
  1. Excessive bail, cruel punishment
  1. Rule of construction of Constitution
  1. Rights of the States under Constitution


  1. Freedom of Speech, Press, Religion and Petition Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


  1. Right to keep and bear arms A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.


  1. Conditions for quarters of soldiers No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.


  1. Right of search and seizure regulated The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


  1. Provisons concerning prosecution No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.


  1. Right to a speedy trial, witnesses, etc. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.


  1. Right to a trial by jury In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.


  1. Excessive bail, cruel punishment Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.


  1. Rule of construction of Constitution The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.


  1. Rights of the States under Constitution The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

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Top 5 mental conditions treated with Marijuana

Top 5 mental conditions treated with Marijuana

1. Insomnia

Those suffering from insomnia should consider ingesting medical marijuana. A cookie or brownie can be taken before bed with a glass of milk, and should ensure good sleep throughout the night. Users should be aware that the effects of medical marijuana will not be felt for up to an hour. Medical marijuana is a desirablealternativetoaddictivedrugs such as Xanax, and is not habit forming. Many users report feeling clear-minded and relaxed, sleeping through the night, and having more pleasant dreams.

2. Migraines

Migraines can also be treated with medical marijuana, sometimes better than actual migraine medication. When consumed or smoked, retrogradeinhibitionwillhelptoslowtherateofneurotransmittersinthebrain. This is wonderful news for people who suffer from migraines–all too often, these horrific headaches are due to an overload of neural stimulation. Retrograde inhibition also relieves the pain and other symptoms which attend a full-blown migraine, including nausea and sensitivity to lights. Additionally, migraine medication has been flagged for dangerous side effects, including increased blood pressure. Migraine medication can also be rather debilitating to take, as it makes the user feel very tired and only want to sleep. Medical marijuana can make some users feel slightly sleepy but the doze can be adjusted so that the migraine sufferer will still experience relief from pain, nausea, and hyper-sensitivity, while not becoming as drowsy as they would with the alternative.

3. Anxiety

Mild anxiety is sometimes a side-effect for users, but some people experience mood-elevating effects, as well as a relaxing experience, allowing anxiety sufferers to have a normal life. Medical marijuana can also cause a desirable “slowing” down of thought processes, which can help to break up some of the upsetting cyclical thought patterns which plague anxiety sufferers.

4. Depression

Those who use marijuana once or more weekly have long reported fewer episodes of depression than the rest of the populace, but medical marijuana can also be smoked or ingested to elevate the mood and relieve those who specifically suffer from depression. As in anxiety sufferers, the lasting effects of medical marijuana help to break characteristic unproductive or negative thought cycles which so often spiral out of control for the sufferer until they hit “rock bottom.” Marijuana is not a miracle cure for depression or anxiety — it would not be healthy to mask the root problem instead of treating it — however, it can help one to live a happier, more fulfilling life while the patient works with a therapist to treat the root of their symptoms.

5. Bipolar Disorder

The friends and family of those with Bipolar Disorder will welcome this news as much as the sufferer — medical marijuana cansignificantlycalmthemoodswings exhibited by those with Bipolar Disorder. Cannabis works as a mood stabilizer for sufferers. Lithium, which has traditionally been diagnosed for sufferers, takes several weeks to begin working and also causes damage to the heart, kidneys, and thyroid gland. Often sufferers do not like to take their lithium, as it reins their emotions in to an unpleasant, deadening degree, an unpleasant effect not experienced by those who use marijuana instead. The marijuana smokers report feeling a pleasant effect long after the “high” itself has dissipated — this is the mood stabilizing effect of the drug.

In conclusion, medical marijuana should be of note to all those who are suffering from mental disorders, particularly the above mentioned five. Medical marijuana provides us with a safe, natural alternative to dangerous, habit-forming drugs. Many medicines traditionally prescribed by doctors actually damage the body and mind with long term use. Additionally, most people suffering from one health condition or another take more than one medication, and all too often these medications interfere with each other, exacerbating health problems, especially when the patient’s physicians are not in good contact with one another. Of course, when considering any sort of medication, be it marijuana or otherwise, you should be sure to consult with your physician first.

Marijuana deserves a second look for its medical applications. When used in conjunction with a good psychology program, medical marijuana is a natural, more affordable, and safer way to treat many mental health conditions.

Please post your comments on whether using medical marijuana and or seeing a psychologist is the best way to treat Insomnia, Migraines, Anxiety, Depression and Bipolar Disorder.



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Montana Appeals Decision Blocking Med Marijuana Restrictions

By Steve Elliott ~alapoet~

Wednesday, August 10, 2011, at 1:20 pm

Photo: Billings Gazette
Flowering cannabis plants at Montannabis, Inc., Billings, Montana, March 16, 2011.

​Montana on Tuesday appealed to the Montana Supreme Court a judge’s ruling which blocked tight new restrictions on medical marijuana on the state, and will argue there’s no constitutional right to sell cannabis for a profit. The new restrictions have been described by some patient advocates as a de facto repeal of Montana’s medical marijuana law, passed by 62 percent of the state’s voters in 2000.

The Montana Justice Department will ask the state’s high court to overturn portions of Helena District Judge James Reynolds’ decision from June 30, which suspended enforcement of several provisions of the tough new law passed the the Republican-dominated 2011 Legislature to crack down on the state’s growing medical marijuana industry, reports Mike Dennison at the Billings Gazette.

Conservatives in the Legislature claimed the law as needed due to the growing number of medical marijuana patients and businesses in Montana during the past two years. The number of patients in Montana ballooned from a few thousand to more than 30,000 earlier this year.
The new law made it illegal for suppliers of marijuana to charge patients for the product, limited each provider to three patients, and made it much more difficult for patients to get a doctor’s authorization to use cannabis medicinally.
The Montana Cannabis Industry Association is the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit filed this spring challenging the law’s constitutionality before it had taken effect.
district judge james reynolds (flip).jpg
Photo: Eliza Wiley/Helena Independent Record
District Court Judge Jim Reynolds on June 30 blocked implementation of key parts of a new restrictive medical marijuana law passed by the conservative Republican-controlled Legislature.
​ Judge Reynolds blocked the ban on charging for marijuana and the limit on patients per provider, saying the Legislature had made it too difficult for people “to obtain this legally authorized product” and had interfered with Montanans’ “fundamental right of seeking their health in a lawful manner.”
The state is “concerned” about the implications of Judge Reynolds’s ruling that seemed to say the Montana Constitution “protects the right to sell marijuana for a profit,” said Jim Molloy, the assistant attorney general leading the defense of the tough new law.
“We believe it’s necessary to have the Supreme Court determine the proper constitutional standards to be applied before the case moves forward to a new trial,” Molloy said on Tuesday.
Judge Reynolds’s ruling in June did not throw out the entire law. It only blocked certain provisions from taking effect until he could hold a trial on the law’s constitutionality.
Any such trial will now be delayed until the Montana Supreme Court rules on the appeal — which probably won’t happen until next year.
Meanwhile, Reynolds’s ruling that blocks portions of the law remains in effect while the Supreme Court considers the appeals.
Tuesday’s appeal notice by the state did not specify what parts of the Reynolds ruling the state will challenge, or on what grounds. The state’s first written arguments in the appeal likely won’t be filed until October.
A Bozeman-based attorney representing the Montana Cannabis Industry Association said on Tuesday that he’ll ask the state Supreme Court to overturn portions of Judge Reynolds’s ruling that upheld portions of the law that the industry and patients say are unconstitutional.
“In general, we (were) pretty pleased with (Reynolds’s) ruling, but as long as the state is going to appeal, we might as well tee up these other issues,” said attorney Jim Goetz.
The other issues include the law’s blanket ban on medical marijuana for anyone on probation, and tighter definitions of a physician’s “standard of care” when authorizing patients for medical marijuana, according to Goetz.
“We have a situation with the Legislature saying, on the one hand, you can have access to medical marijuana for qualifying patients, but on the other hand, they provide no reasonable access to it, with the severe restrictions on sale,” Goetz said.
“That’s nonsense, and that’s what Judge Reynolds found unconstitutional, and I think the Supreme Court will, too,” Goetz said.
Since the law took effect on July 1, the number of Montanans with medical marijuana authorizations has dropped from about 30,000 on June 30 to 27,335 on July 31.
The medical marijuana industry and supporters have also mounted a petition drive to suspend the new law and put it to a public vote in November 2012. They have until September 30 to gather more than 24,000 signatures needed to place the measure on the ballot.

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Exactly whats in the debt ceiling deal – HuffingtonPost

WASHINGTON — Congressional leaders and President Obama on Sunday night announced they’ve cut a deal to avert a historic U.S. default, saying they have assembled a framework that cuts some spending immediately and uses a “super Congress” to slash more in the future.

The deal calls for a first round of cuts that would total $917 billion over 10 years and allows the president to hike the debt cap — now at $14.3 trillion — by $900 billion, according to a presentation that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) made to his members. Democrats reported those first cuts at a figure closer to $1 trillion. It was unclear Sunday night why those two estimates varied.

The federal government could begin to default on its obligations on Aug. 2 if the measure is not passed.

The next round of $1.5 trillion in cuts would be decided by a committee of 12 lawmakers evenly divided between the two parties and two chambers. This so-called super Congress would have to present its cuts by Thanksgiving, and the rest of Congress could not amend or filibuster the recommendations.

But if the super Congress somehow failed to enact savings, the measure requires automatic cuts worth at least $1.2 trillion. Those cuts would be split equally between military and domestic programs. Social Security, Medicaid and programs for the poor would be spared, but Medicare providers — not beneficiaries — would take a hit.

White House officials confirmed that there would not be an extension of unemployment benefits as part of the final package. The administration had insisted that an extension be part of the grand bargain it was negotiating with Boehner. But when those discussions fell apart, so too did efforts to ensure that unemployment insurance was part of a final package. A senior administration aide added that the president would push for an extension in the months, if not weeks, ahead.

Some observers scored one victory for the president — the second round of cuts do not kick in until 2013, when the Bush-era tax cuts are set to expire. Having a fresh round of deficit reduction that is all cuts with no revenues could give the White House ammunition to end the tax cuts on wealthier Americans, as it failed to do last winter.

Though none of the leaders sounded pleased about the deal, they said they were relieved it may present a chance to avert default. President Obama seemed especially dissatisfied with the idea of the super committee, saying the leaders should have been able to accomplish all the cuts now.

“Is this the deal I would have preferred? No,” Obama said. “I believe that we could have made the tough choices required — on entitlement reform and tax reform — right now, rather than through a special congressional committee process.”

The two Senate party heads also expressed qualified support for the deal.

“Leaders from both parties have come together for the sake of our economy to reach a historic, bipartisan compromise that ends this dangerous standoff,” Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said on the Senate floor Sunday night.

“At this point I think I can say with a high degree of confidence that there is now a framework to review that will ensure significant cuts in Washington spending,” said Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)

“We can assure the American people tonight that the United States of America will not for the first time in our history default on its obligations,” McConnell added.

In spite of the guarded optimism, all sides will face quite a sales job in getting enough lawmakers in the middle to accept a deal.

Liberals were extremely displeased with the final result of the talks, which began with Democrats saying there should be no strings attached to a debt limit increase that would enable the country pay its bills.

Then they insisted that if deficit reduction was going to be linked to the debt limit, then closing loopholes and raising taxes on the rich had to be part of the deal.

They lost completely on both counts, and House Republicans managed to pull the entire deal further and further to the right, even inserting a requirement into the agreement for a vote on a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Both the Congressional Black Caucus and the Progressive Caucus in the House had called emergency meetings for Monday as details of the plan started to leak. They seemed likely to oppose the deal.

One top House aide said his boss would vote against the measure, and the aide predicted Minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) would not be eager to whip her members to get on board.

“This is going to be close. I think in the end, the president and Nancy are going to have to twist arms, and I’m not sure how hard she’ll work to do that,” the aide said, noting that Pelosi still remembers the infamous TARP vote where she delivered 150 of her members but Boehner did not get 100 of his.

Many of Boehner’s freshman Tea Party members also are likely to find the proposal tough to swallow, since many wanted no hike in the borrowing limit to begin with. They also wanted the passage of a balanced budget amendment to be a prerequisite for increasing the debt ceiling.

Both sides can afford to lose members if 217 representatives can still back the plan.

Boehner’s talk to his 240 members Sunday night had the greatest note of triumph.

“Now listen, this isn’t the greatest deal in the world,” he said, according to remarks his office sent out. “But it shows how much we’ve changed the terms of the debate in this town.”

He also sounded a note of vindication.

“There is nothing in this framework that violates our principles. It’s all spending cuts. The White House bid to raise taxes has been shut down,” Boehner crowed. “And as I vowed back in May — when everyone thought I was crazy for saying it — every dollar of debt-limit increase will be matched by more than a dollar of spending cuts.”

Notably, Pelosi was the only of the four congressional leaders not to pledge support for the plan.

“I look forward to reviewing the legislation with my Caucus to see what level of support we can provide,” she said in a statement.


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