Tuesday, July 17, 2018

America Disgraced by the President in Helsinki: How Long O' Lord Before the GOP Admits Putin Has Something on This Malevolent Clown

We knew the meeting with Putin was going to be bad after the disaster in Brussels late last week. How else could it go after the President of the United States, for the first time in the history of NATO, publicly chastised practically every member state and accused them all of, not being fair, to America?

Then came the surprise press conference after the Brussels get together. On the podium he stated the meeting with U.S. allies had been highly successful. while at the same time hinting, none to subtly,  America might go its own way if the rest of NATO doesn't pony up not only on defense spending, but through trade concessions. One talking head on MSNBC noted it was like watching a mob boss working a protection racket shakedown.

Finally during the same presser came a moment, so bizarre and disturbing no Hollywood screen writer would dare come up with it. In front of God, the international media, and millions of viewers, Donald John Trump proclaimed himself a, "Stable genius."

It was a statement which prompted the 94 year old WWII veteran living on Pheasant Lane to declare, "He's the craziest son of a bitch I've ever seen." This from a man who voted for Ronald Reagan twice, George H. W. Bush once, Bush the younger two times, and John McCain.

Later, after hobnobbing with the Queen of England, Mr. Trump took a quick little trip to Scotland for a round of golf at one of his resorts--proving everyone prepares for a one on one sit down with a ruthless autocrat differently.

What followed yesterday on a Helsinki stage was the single most obsequious performance by an American head of state, ever. In truth the only thing missing was a Presidential blow job, although for all we know that happened during the closed door two and a half  hour meeting held earlier.

The reaction was swift, vitriolic, and not just from democrats. Senator Jeff Flake, R-AZ said, "I never thought I would see the day when our American President would stand on the stage with the Russian President and place blame on the United States for Russian aggression. This is shameful."

John McCain wrote, "Today's press conference in #Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American President in memory."

Senator Jim Lankford, R-OK tweeted, "I trust the assessments of Dan Coats, Gena Haspel & their teams more than I trust a former KGB agent, Vladimir Putin. U.S. Presidents should meet w/ foreign leaders. But we must unequivocally denounce Russia's election interference attempts & human rights abuses around the world."

Newt Gingrich called Trump's performance, "...the most serious mistake of his presidency..."

The outrage continued. The wife of the American ambassador to Russia accused the President of throwing his own people and country under the bus. Another retired pol aimed a tweet at Trump's cabinet, it read, "Resign, if you have any honor." Obama's former CIA director called his actions, "...nothing short of treasonous"

Trump's initial response was to blame the harsh criticisms on--who else--the media. This morning he tweeted, "While I had a great meeting with NATO, raising vast amounts of money, I had an even better meeting with Vladimir Putin of Russia. Sadly, nothing is being reported that way--the Fake News is going Crazy!"

This afternoon he finally seemed to realize how deep he'd stepped in it. In other words it dawned on him the media hadn't reported anything. They simply aired the joint news conference, letting him expose himself as a Russian dupe. During an impromptu meeting with the press he claimed he had inadvertently used the wrong word--would vs wouldn't--when questioned about why he didn't think Russia interfered with the election.

What he said on Monday, with Putin standing next to him, was, "I have President Putin. He just said it's not Russia. I will say this, I don't see any reason why it would be, but I really do want to see the server." He then continued with a lengthy whine about--that's right--Hillary Clinton's missing emails which included, "What happened to Hillary Clinton's emails? 33,000 emails gone--just gone. I think in Russia they wouldn't be gone so easily."

No, but plenty of dissident Russian politicians and journalists certainly are.

He rambled on, but what is the use? It was pure Trump bullshit. He was the wronged party all along while Hillary Clinton was the evil one. Yes, that's the ticket, there was a huge criminal, deep state, conspiracy and she was at the center of it.

Today he also offered that Obama and the FBI knew about the Russian interference prior to the 2016 election, but did nothing because they assumed Mrs. Clinton would win. When she lost they suddenly made the hacking a big deal. His administration, on the other hand, is on top of the situation. Oh, and by the way, as I said yesterday, Vladimir Putin has offered to help with Robert Mueller's investigation into the perfidious behavior of, uh, Vladimir Putin. All we have to do is turn over Mueller's sources of information to the Russians.

Right.

How long O' Lord will it take for republicans to admit Putin has something on this malevolent clown? It is the only way to explain behavior such as this. My best guess is his properties served as a money laundering conduit for Russian mobsters and oligarchs. Although honestly, I would prefer it to be something more lurid--you know--tapes of him and a former Miss Universe contestant performing sex acts so incredibly deviant they would shock even Howard Stern. Hey, it's the romantic in me.

Well, I can always hope.

Ladies and gentlemen, as you can guess, the bar is open.



7-17-18


Monday, July 16, 2018

The Gutting of Oklahoma State Question 788

You have to hand it to outgoing Oklahoma Governor, Mary Fallin. She is a sly one.

Think not? First she flummoxed the NRA and that vast gaggle of state legislators who are in their pocket. This summer, right before the state house and senate adjourned for the year, both chambers overwhelmingly voted to allow anyone--including the dude who shot up Louie's Grill and Bar after hearing demonic ducks--to openly carry a handgun without any sort of training, or permit.

Fallin waited until after the session ended before vetoing the measure, thus avoiding the ugliness and humiliation of having her veto overridden, which it surely would have been. Her act forced the gun fetishists to do one of two things. Either call a special session themselves, which would have stranded them in Oklahoma City during the middle of the primary election season, or wait until next year when she is out of office to pass it again. They chose the latter.

So, good for her right? I mean at least she temporarily foiled those demented goofs who are convinced they can't have sex if the government messes with their, "right," to unrestricted possession of firearms.

Yeah, well, besides being against untrained idiots packing guns she also opposed State Question 788, which legalized marijuana use for medical purposes. Unfortunately for her and the rest of the anti cannabis crowd, that bill went before the voters rather than the state legislature. In June it passed big time.

However, the new law wasn't very specific when it came to rules and regulations concerning the distribution and makeup of medicinal pot. Everyone, including myself, assumed she would be forced to call a special session of the legislature to hash out, so to speak, the details.

Silly us.

Fallin immediately saw such a move was fraught with danger for not only herself, but the GOP rubes in the senate and house. First, there are still some runoff races a few of the law makers have to deal with in late August and then the general election arrives in November. Second, the very last thing your average Oklahoma legislator wants to do in an election year is hand the public yet another reason to throw their ass out.  Let's face it, even they know fouling up a measure which was just approved in a landslide by voters isn't particularly smart politics.

Indeed, you almost could smell the ads coming, Ladies and gentleman the incumbent is imposing impossible sanctions and regulations on a measure you, the voting public, passed by a large margin. He, or she is deliberately subverting your will! Elect me, because I will never betray you in that way!

No that's not something a local pol wants to deal with when the prevailing popular sentiment already is to oust everyone at NE 23rd and Lincoln on general principle alone.

In addition, Fallin had her own problem with a special legislative session. Once those crazy bastards got back to the capitol building there wouldn't be anything stopping them from moving past the marijuana question to, you guessed it, scuttling her veto of the aforementioned gun bill.

So what does she do? Why, hand the whole business off to Department of Health bureaucrats who not only aren't accountable to voters, but also vehemently opposed State Question 788 in the first place. In other words the same people who ran anti SQ788 ads so perversely false and misleading no reputable TV station should have aired them, were given free rein to regulate it.

Within days, after a series of secret, not to mention possibly illegal, meetings, all sorts of new, "rules," meant to hamstring the distribution of medical marijuana were put in place. Like the one that bans licensed outlets from selling pot which can be smoked. Or another which forbids edible marijuana to come in the form of candy, or any sort of confection which, "might" appeal to children. Then there are restrictions on the amount of THC each product can contain--it is a level so low at least one wag compares it to the state law which says cold beer can only be sold if it contains less than 3.2% alcohol. (A law which voters repealed two years ago, but still hasn't been acted on thanks to legislative fol-de-rol) My personal favorite, though, is a stipulation which states each dispensary must have a pharmacist on duty during operating hours.

All this in a state where highly addictive opioids, manufactured by an amoral multi-billion dollar industry, are handed out and consumed as if they are M&Ms and the most profitable rural business is manufacturing meth.

The only good news to come out of the right wing subterfuge is a spike in support for State Question 797. It is now over two thirds of the way to the required number of signatures which would land it on the ballot in November. That's right, Governor Fallin and the rest of you assholes, fuck with us and we the people will fuck with you. If it passes SQ 797 will legalize marijuana for recreational purposes throughout the state of Oklahoma.

If it makes it to the ballot does it stand a chance? Conventional wisdom says no, but then that's what many said about the now gutted SQ 788 and it won with over 57% of the vote.

Evangelicals, arch right wing corporate types, and slaves to big pharma shouldn't worry though. Even if it were to pass the same slime who are in the process of neutering State Question 788 will be in charge of regulating recreational marijuana.

And if they are willing to screw over the chronically ill and dying like they are now, just think what they'll do when it comes to recreational users.

It is a scary thought.




7-16-18

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Trump on the Road: Pissing Off Friends and Kowtowing to Putin

Here is how insane it has become. Donald J. Trump, the President of the United States of America will show up in the United Kingdom Thursday after publicly insulting the 28 other members of NATO yesterday and today. The tension between Trump and the British--really all Europe plus Canada--is such the U.S. embassy warned American travelers in the U.K. to, "keep a low profile," while he is in the country.

That's right, citizens of this nation who are abroad have been officially told by the State Department they might incur the wrath of locals if they reveal themselves as Americans, not in Beijing, or, Moscow, or even Pyongyang, but, God Bless the Queen, London, England.

Trump's latest assault on NATO began right before he left for Brussels. It came primarily through Twitter during what many of us assume was a wild bender fueled by multiple Big Macs, massive amounts of fries, plus heavy doses of Kellogg's Frosted Flakes, and untold toots of uncut Colombian cocaine.

One read, "We do have a lot of allies, but we cannot be taken advantage of. We are being taken advantage of by the European Union." He went on to add that U.S. spending, "...helps them a lot more than it helps us."

The howling didn't stop there. "On top of that," he wrote, "we lose $151 billion on trade with the European Union who charge us Big tariffs (&barriers).

The obvious theme here, as always, is an appeal, or rather an affirmation of what the trailer park fascists have come to believe as gospel. Our supposed allies are ungrateful leeches out to fuck America. He continued, "NATO countries must pay MORE, the United States, must pay LESS. Very Unfair."

Just in case anyone didn't get the message about how the poor old U.S. is being ruthlessly scammed by those crafty con artists in Europe he added, "The United States is spending far more on NATO than any other Country. This is not fair, nor is it acceptable."

Then, right before boarding the big blue and white bird to jet off to Brussels, he told reporters, "NATO has not treated us fairly."

Finally, he delivered a Trumpian shot which, off the subject of NATO, still displayed his utter disregard for one of our closest allies. He accused the Germans of becoming a, "captive," to Moscow because they are getting ready to sign a natural gas pipe line deal with the Russians.

Ah yes, now there is some real 21st American diplomacy.

In response to his caterwauling 50,000 Britons have pledged to take to the streets tomorrow, accompanied by a giant balloon which portrays Donald Trump as a diapered baby in the midst of throwing a tantrum.

It is hard to argue their point. Not to mention highly tempting to start a, "GoFundMe," account so we can get that damn balloon over here in time for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.

A nice thought, but let's get back to that whole captive to Moscow thing. On the heels of this craziness The Big Orange Guy is set for a one on one sit down in Helsinki Monday with his pal/idol/blackmailer, Vladimir Putin. God only knows what form of kowtowing El Don will be shamelessly performing in Finland that day. Whatever shape it takes we can be assured it will drive the wedge begun by him even deeper between America and the people we've called friends for nearly a century.

Well, you do what you have to when dealing with an ex Russian spymaster who has the goods on you.

Indeed, we can say many things about Vladimir Putin, but you have to acknowledged he has accomplished what Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev, and even Herr Hitler couldn't--he has split western Europe and the U.S. farther apart than they've been since about 1900.

And all of it is thanks to Donald John Trump and his prior criminal enterprises involving Putin's oligarch buddies.

Hey, as the Trumpster himself put it the other day, "Putin may be the easiest (meeting) of them all. Who would think?"

Actually, Don, given what has transpired the last couple of years, that would be just about every last one of us.

Ladies and gentlemen, the bar, for obvious reasons, is now open.



7-11-18

Friday, July 6, 2018

Scott Pruitt Finds Out the Hard Way the National Media Isn't Quite the Same as Oklahoma's

Given who Scott Pruitt worked for and the cast of vile characters around him, it takes a lot to earn the reputation as the most corrupt, self serving, venal, beast in the current administration. Our man, Scotty pulled it off though with an imperial aplomb not seen since Dick Nixon, Spiro Agnew, and John Mitchell were roaming the halls of power in Washington D.C.

Fortunately for the environment and common good he's gone now. He announced his resignation yesterday in a letter to his boss which was heavily laced with religiosity and appallingly devoid of responsibility. Well, what should we expect from a guy who twice authored state legislation to establish a father's, property rights, over their wives, lovers, and victims unborn fetuses?

Anyway, that's all in the past. The only truth now is, at the moment he quit yesterday, both the former Administrator of the EPA and the President of the United States carefully avoided the fact, Scott Pruitt is just another Donald Trump appointee proven too arrogant and criminal to survive in the national spotlight.  

Mr. Pruitt hit the mean streets of Washington 17 months ago without any real national footprint. Coming from a small, bright red state, his political history was just sparse enough to make him seem like one of those Washington Outsiders the new Trump administration claimed to value so highly. He had spent eight years in the Oklahoma state senate and another six as its attorney general. His main claim to fame during those formative years was his obsessive need to sue the Environmental Protection Agency nearly as often as he changed ties.

We now know it was during this stint in state government he acquired an insatiable taste for old fashioned graft. Yes, behind the scenes, he discovered how incredibly easy and profitable it is to work closely with big money and lobbyists.

He partnered up with GOP donor and local nabob, Bob Funk to buy Oklahoma City's AAA baseball club. His share of the purchase was financed by a loan he took out through SpiritBank which is based in what, at the time, was his senate district. Pruitt's official salary back then was a little over $38,000 a year. The team reportedly cost $11.5 million. His exact stake in the franchise remains unclear, as does the amount of the loan and interest rate he had to cover.

Later he and four of his pals bought a furnished home in OKC from a telecommunications industry lobbyist for $100,000 less than market value. One of those friends was another lobbyist, a second was a health care executive, a third was the head of his local PAC. The fourth was a fellow attorney who worked as yet another registered lobbyists for business interests seeking to gut Oklahoma's worker's compensation laws. Pruitt and the attorney, Ken Wagner, shared living in the house while on, state business and Pruitt was promoting legislation to, you guessed it, radically change the state's worker's comp laws in ways Wagner was cheerleading for.

Both the ball club and home were eventually sold for hefty profits. Then, after Pruitt took over the EPA he hired Wagner as a regional affairs advisor.

None of this wildly reprehensible shit was made public at the time, because every major news organization in the state, both print and television, are nothing more than republican propaganda outlets--think minor league versions of FOX News. It wouldn't be until the big boys at places like CNN and other national media sources finally began digging into the sordid business that the average Oklahoman would find out about any of it.

Now we can understand why, when he made it to Washington, ol' Scott went around doing things like renting a $50 per night condo from the wife of a lobbyist who represented industries with matters pending at the EPA. Why not? He had done it before and no one in the media had blinked so much as an eye.

Unfortunately for Brother Pruitt, MSNBC isn't Oklahoma City's KWTV and The Washington Post and New York Times will never be confused with The Oklahoman, or The Tulsa World.

One can suppose the rest of it, the horrid record of hubris and complete disregard for federal regulations--not to mention a predilection for spending money on bizarre luxuries which you normally see only in run amok lottery winners and third world dictators--can be blamed on an ego unhinged by office and surroundings. However, it is easy to see where the beginnings of his behavior came from. It was rooted in Scott Pruitt's earliest political life and his conviction he could get away with whatever the fuck he wanted.

We can also see why Donald Trump appointed the guy to be the head of the EPA. Not only were his politics correct, but so was his utterly amoral attitude when it came to making deals with questionable people in order to rake in untold amounts of cash.

Indeed, in the end, Scott Pruitt was and is nothing more than a reflection of The Big Orange Guy himself. It's just too bad that son of a bitch won't follow his former EPA director's lead and also slink off into the night.

Well, we can't have everything can we? No, at least not yet.          




sic vita est


7-6-18

Monday, July 2, 2018

Jarrod Ramos Murdered Journalists Because He is Nuts: Cruel Trolls Torment Survivors Because They Believe in Don Trump

In July, 2011 a journalist for the Annapolis, MD based paper, The Capital Gazette wrote a column which was titled, "Jarrod Wants to be Your Friend." The editor at the time, Tom Marquardt approved the piece and ran it in the publication with, we can assume, no reservations about its content, or subject, Jarrod Ramos.

Ramos, after all,  had just pleaded guilty to harassing a woman who, according to the Gazette filed three separate restraining orders against him, all of them successful. He was hit with a 90 day suspended sentence and 18 months probation. In addition he was ordered to be evaluated by a shrink and attend counseling by either a psychologist, or psychiatrist. He was also instructed to stay away from the woman and her family. It never dawned on anyone to tell him not to go near the newspaper.

In 2012 Brother Ramos filed a defamation suit against The Capital Gazette, Marquardt, and the reporter who wrote the story, Eric Hartley. For unknown reasons he represented himself during the proceedings, although, given the guilty plea, it is easy to guess he couldn't find a lawyer to take up his case.

He lost in court, but didn't forget, or cool down. Over the next few years, through social media, he posted increasingly aggressive and threatening messages condemning the paper and its employees. Even though over time Marquardt retired, relocated to Florida and Hartley moved on to another job, Ramos' Twitter campaign continued. In fact, the tweets and Facebook entries become so concerning, Gazette execs reported him to the police. The cops took a look at the tirades then quickly came to the conclusion this grudge obsessed guy didn't pose any threat to the company's employees.

His last post on the Twitter account came Thursday afternoon at 2:37pm. It read, "Fuck you, leave me alone."

We all know what happened next. A scant few minutes later, Jarrod Ramos, first barricaded the back door to the paper's offices, then went in the front firing away with a pump action shotgun. Before he was captured, reportedly cowering beneath a desk, four journalists and one sales rep were dead.

President Donald J. Trump immediately sent out his, "thoughts and prayers," via, what else, Twitter. Later he told an audience, "Journalists, like all Americans, should be free from the fear of being violently attacked while doing their job."

His words sent Reuters' on line, " Breakingviews," editor, Rob Cox into a rage. He took to Twitter with a message that read, "This is what happens when @realDonald Trump calls journalists the enemy of the people. Blood is on your hands Mr. President. Save your thoughts and prayers for your empty soul."

It didn't take long for Reuters to renounce Cox's tweet. The ultra conservative Washington Times gleefully reported, Reuters is considering taking action against him because of his outburst.

What the Washington Times didn't report, but The Gazette did is that after the shooting the reeling publication received an unspecified number of anonymous phone calls and emails threatening further violence against journalists while others cruelly celebrated the killings. At least one demanded the paper fire a reporter because, after witnessing the murders of her friends and co-workers, she cursed on air during a TV interview.

Obviously Jarrod Ramos was bat shit nuts long before Donald Trump began routinely trashing the media by incessantly calling them, "Fake News," and "...the enemy of the American People!" In truth there is no evidence at this time Ramos had any political beliefs one way or the other--although within a few days it is pretty much guaranteed right wing trolls will be telling every Trumpist on Facebook and other places he was a former Clinton hit man; probably the guy who offed Vince Foster.

No, Jarrod Ramos isn't a product of Donald Trump, he is a product of America itself and our insatiable lust to settle every argument with a gun. On the other hand, those vile fuckers who made the vicious phone calls and wrote the emails are. You can smell Trump's anti first amendment stench all over them.

Rob Cox later apologized and deleted his tweet. He said he wrote it before he knew the real circumstances behind the shooting. We probably won't ever know if he is telling the truth, or just attempting to save his ass.

What we do know for sure though is none of the monsters who called and wrote The Capital Gazette will be apologizing for anything. Those geeks revel in their brute ignorance. And--just like, The Big Orange Guy, they will remain steadfastly convinced, no matter how compelling the evidence, any news which does not validate them, or their politics is fake--while the purveyors of it are, forever, The Enemy of The American People.



sic vita est


7-2-18    

Friday, June 29, 2018

Oops! Oklahomans Now Have A Choice: It's Either Guns, or Grass

The headline in today's The Oklahoman reads, "Federal Law Bars Rx Marijuana Users From Legally Owning Guns."

Oops.

I'm not sure the breaking news would have changed the outcome of the vote on medical marijuana the other day, but I can guarantee the proponents of the measure are exhaling a long sigh of relief this morning. It is one thing to go up against Christian Fundamentalists, the Chamber of Commerce, and crazy politicians who do their bidding in this state, but when you fuck with gun ownership in any way, shape, or form you are asking for real trouble.

The authors of the measure knew it too. That's why there is a provision in the bill which specifically says, "No person holding a medical marijuana license may unduly be withheld from holding a state issued license by virtue of their being a medical marijuana license holder. This would include such things as a concealed carry permit."

The only question at the moment is, did the framers of the new law know about the federal statute before hand, or not? I like to think they were cagey enough to realize they needed to include that useless wording to cut off another, extremely potent, avenue of attack by the anti SB788 forces.

You can almost hear the conversation. For God's sake tell them they can carry their fucking guns somewhere in there, then pray no one actually reads the federal law until it passes.

Come on, one must assume the people who came up with the law did their due diligence and knew the ramifications of a medicinal marijuana law when it came to federal gun prohibitions. They also had to know large swaths of Oklahoma would vote against it no matter what--in fact the question carried less than 50% of the state's counties--so they couldn't afford to take any chances  Indeed, one shudders to think what would have happened if The Oklahoman and others had started screeching about second amendment rights. Caterwauling like that might have even dragged the NRA and all their cash into the fray.

Luckily for the pro crowd nobody, including the crack investigative staff at the incessantly anti SB788 publication, thought to look into the connection. At least not until it was too late.

As it stands now the ATF form which must be filled out prior to purchasing a gun--any gun--asks, "Are you an unlawful user, or addicted to marijuana, or any depressant, stimulant narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?" That is followed by a warning: "The use, or possession of marijuana remains unlawful under federal law regardless of whether it has been legalized, or decriminalized for medicinal, or recreational purposes in the state where you reside."

If you choose to lie about the issue, well, you've just committed a federal felony. In today's paper, Oklahoman staff writer, Randy Ellis quoted ATF spokesperson Meredith Davis as saying, "If you have a license to use marijuana for medical use, there's no exception for that prohibition under federal law." She went on to tell Ellis, "If you possess a medicinal marijuana card it's presumed you are a user. So you cannot possess, you can't transfer, you can't ship firearms, or ammunition if you hold that license."

That's right. Even if you already have a legally purchased gun and ammo, you've got to get rid of it all before you obtain that permit to fire up a joint, or down a magical chocolate chip cookie. Ms. Davis suggested gun owners contact a lawyer, or the ATF to find legal ways of disposing their arsenals before applying for a medicinal weed license.

Oh yeah, that's going to happen.

The truth is there are so many weapons out there right now it is doubtful ATF agents are going to swoop down on everyone who owns one and applies for a marijuana license in Oklahoma. Let's face it, they're awful busy investigating mass shootings, especially during the school year. However, there is hope the law might slow down new gun sales by a small percentage.

Hey, when you're up against those beasts at the NRA any victory, no matter how minuscule, is worth celebrating.

So there it is. You now have a choice Oklahoma. Get rid of your guns so you can score some legal grass, or break the law.

I, for one, can't wait to see how it shakes out.



6-29-18  

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Don't Light Up Just Yet, Oklahoma

The headline writers at OKC's daily paper, The Oklahoman just went all cute on us. After voters overwhelmingly passed a bill legalizing the sale and use of marijuana for medical purposes yesterday, the bold print this morning proclaimed, "High Turnout."

Get it? I tell you they're a bunch of real wits down at, The Oklahoman. This journalistic bon mot came after the paper spent feet, not inches, of copy telling everyone how awful the passage of State Question 788 would be for Oklahoma, it's children, and more importantly the way businesses keep tabs on their employees personal lives.

Those of us who have spent most of our existence in this state and are of a certain age watched the campaign unfold rather like a Franz Kafka short story. Oh sure the polls said the measure was in the lead from nearly day one, but deep down there was a part of us which kept whispering in our ear, It will never pass, not here.

Personally I was going to vote for it from the beginning, but in truth I was only lukewarm about the issue. I will admit to an affinity for cannabis laced edibles, but I'm not an avid consumer and I don't go out of my way to purchase them--unless we are someplace where they are legally sold to the adult public. And I certainly wasn't planning on jumping into a conspiracy to commit medical fraud with an iffy physician in order to score some here.

That being said, the anti SB788 campaign took a nasty turn in the two weeks, or so prior to last night's election. OKC cable TV--and presumably every other market in the state--was inundated with ads spewing the most vicious and outlandish lies about the bill imaginable. The breathtaking scope of the misinformation was so epic it sounded as if it came straight out of a Donald J. Trump political rally.

That's right ladies and gentlemen, this bill has nothing to do with medical marijuana. It is meant to legalize recreational weed. Stoners will be allowed to fire up joints at tables next to you in restaurants where you're eating with your kids. Anyone will be able to get a two year license without a doctor's approval to not only buy and smoke pot, but cultivate it in quantities so huge it will dwarf what they're able to do in Colorado. College freshman will even be able to grow it in their dorm rooms for God's sake. 

Just to make sure Oklahoma's sea of ultra conservative loons got the message, words ran across the screen at the end of each spot saying, "This will be the most LIBERAL marijuana law in the country." Then below those words, "Let's do this the right way by voting No!"

The Oklahoman trotted out print ads and op-ed pieces only slightly less frantic and hysterical. Everyone from U.S. Senator and Opie Taylor impersonator, Jim Lankford to medical professionals and Better Business Bureau poohbahs showed up on the pages of the daily telling everyone education, health, and industry is doomed, fucking doomed I tell you, if the dope fiends get their way.

Suddenly people like myself who had actually read the bill, but remained taciturn about it became energized--not because we were going to immediately go out and find some quack to give us a license, (although some of us might now, solely out of spite) but simply because of the crude and terrible lies being spread about the law.

It became so weird social media rumors started to swirl yesterday afternoon that dark forces at some polling sites were attempting to withhold the separate ballot which contained the measure from voters. It speaks to the age we're in that many of us thought these tales might be true. Luckily for the electoral process, as of now, the rumors remain completely unconfirmed and more than likely are just another instance of internet bullshit.

When the smoke, so to speak, cleared the tally was 497,164, or 56.8% pro vs. 377,995, or 43.2% against with less than 30 precincts left to be counted. The totals matched what the last pre election polls had predicted almost perfectly.

Don't light up just yet though. Lame Duck governor Mary Fallin is promising to fill the loopholes and reign in loose strings with a special session of the legislature. The people may have spoken, but by God that doesn't mean they know what is good for them. We, however, do and before we're done we'll have restrictions and penalties in place so draconian it will make your head spin.

Also, don't think this begins some tectonic shift to the left in Oklahoma politics. When added together the top three republicans in a 10 man field running for the gubernatorial nomination pulled in more votes than the outright winner on the democratic side and he won with over 61% of his party's support.

Yes, the victory was significant in ways, but for the cynical it feels as if nothing has really changed. Come November we're still going to end up being stuck with a bunch of rabid ultra-right wing werewolves in the legislature and a governor who thinks Don Trump is a really swell guy.

Trust me that's the way things roll around here.


sic vita est


6-27-18