Barry Obama Leader of the Choom Gang, Hypocrite in Chief

Back in 2008 presidential candidate Barack Obama said that his views on medical marijuana was that it was a state rights issue best left up to state and local governments to decide.

“I’m not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws on this issue,” he said to the delight of many who utilize medical marijuana and it’s advocates. He also promised an end to Bush era raids on providers of medical pot, which is legal in 16 states and the District of Columbia.

But it didn’t take very for President Obama to go back on those words and unleash a multi­agency crackdown on medical marijuana that goes far beyond anything perpetrated  by George W. Bush. The feds are busting growers who operate in full compliance with state laws, promising to seize the property of anyone who dares to even rent to legal pot dispensaries, in addition to threatening state employees with prison time for regulating medical marijuana. With more than 100 raids on pot dispensaries during his first three years, the Obama is now on pace to exceed Bush’s record for medical-marijuana busts.

“There’s no question that Obama’s the worst president on medical marijuana,” says Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project. “He’s gone from first to worst.”

The estimated 730,000 patients nationwide, many of whom are seriously ill or dying, who rely on state-sanctioned marijuana recommended by their doctors are obviously being adversely affected by the crackdown. In addition, drug experts warn, the White House’s war on law-abiding providers of medical marijuana will only expand the black market for real criminals.

“The administration is going after legal dispensaries and state and local authorities in ways that are going to push this stuff back underground again,” says Ethan Nadelmann, director of the Drug Policy Alliance. Gov. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, a former Republican senator who has urged the DEA to legalize medical marijuana, pulls no punches in describing the state of affairs produced by Obama’s efforts to circumvent state law: “Utter chaos.”

Some might describe the president’s high school years as utter chaos. Those very same years when him and his friends were known as the “Choom Gang” for their marijuana smoking prowess.

In his 1995 memoir “Dreams of My Father,” Obama writes about smoking pot as a high school kid. He would smoke “in a white classmate’s sparkling new van,” he would smoke “in the dorm room of some brother” and he would smoke “on the beach with a couple of Hawaiian kids.”

Now a soon-to-be published biography by David Maraniss entitled “Barack Obama: The Story” gives more detail on Obama’s pot-smoking days, complete with testimonials from young Barry Obama’s high school buddies.

According to Maraniss, teenage Obama was not just a pot smoker, but a pot-smoking innovator.

“As a member of the Choom Gang,” Maraniss writes, “Barry Obama was known for starting a few pot-smoking trends.” One of which was “Total Absorption” or “TA”.

“TA was the opposite of Bill Clinton’s claim that as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford he smoked dope but never inhaled,” explains Maraniss. Here’s how it worked: If you exhaled prematurely when you were with the Choom Gang, “you were assessed a penalty and your turn was skipped the next time the joint came around.”

As one of Obama’s old high school buddies tells Maraniss: “Wasting good bud smoke was not tolerated.”

Another Obama innovation was called “Roof Hits.”

“When they were chooming in a car all the windows had to be rolled up so no smoke blew out and went to waste; when the pot was gone, they tilted their heads back and sucked in the last bit of smoke from the ceiling.”

Maraniss also says Obama was known for his “Interceptions”: “When a joint was making the rounds, he often elbowed his way in, out of turn, shouted ‘Intercepted!,’ and took an extra hit.”

So not only was the president a weed head but he was also a bogart.

A bogart and hypocrite who wrote about doing drugs enthusiastically in his youth, who promised to respect state laws on medical marijuana and who is ultimately hurting  those who rely on it to combat a variety of aliments.

A president so hip and cool he can laugh and brag about the fun times he had in his youth, while locking people away for doing the very same although not for fun but for relief from pain.

 

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Obama Defends His Flip Flop on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

President Obama defended his administration’s blatant flip flop when it comes to enforcing federal laws on medical marijuana dispensaries, saying he can’t ask the Justice Department to ignore federal law.

In 2008 candidate Obama said that he would not use federal resources to “try and circumvent state laws about medical marijuana.”

Attorney General Eric Holder later wrote in a 2009 memo that users and dispensaries that comply with state and local laws would not be a priority for the Justice Department.

More than 100 dispensaries have been raided by federal prosecutors in the last 3 years.

In 2010, Holder reversed course writing that his department would “vigorously enforce” federal laws after a ballot initiative in California sought, unsuccessfully, to legalize marijuana.

In an interview, with Rolling Stone the president said the following:

“I can’t nullify congressional law. What I specifically said was that we were not going to prioritize prosecutions of persons who are using medical marijuana.”

“I never made a commitment that somehow we were going to give carte blanche to large-scale producers and operators of marijuana, and the reason is, because it’s against federal law.” he added.

Federal prosecutors have targeted dispensaries in California, Colorado and other states.

Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), a supporter of eliminating restrictions on medical marijuana dispensaries, said that federal prosecutors should yield to state laws governing the businesses.

“The Justice Department has repeatedly made clear that dispensaries that are in compliance with state law are not an enforcement priority,” Polis said in a statement. “Colorado’s tough system of medical marijuana regulation is the best way to keep drugs out of the hands of minors.”

Obama also said during the interview that “large-scale, commercial” marijuana businesses that might supply both medical and recreational users present a problem for law enforcement.

“In that situation, we put the Justice Department in a very difficult place if we’re telling them, ‘This is supposed to be against the law, but we want you to turn the other way,’ ” he said.

“That’s not something we’re going to do.”

Too bad that’s exactly what he said they would do.

 

Obama’s Non-Existent Mortgage Relief Group

In his State of the Union speech, President Obama announced yet another task force that would investigate mortgage fraud and provide relief to the 12 million American families who are either losing or are in danger of losing their homes.

The new Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group, which is the sixth such group put together since 2009, would be co-chaired by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, U.S. Attorney John Walsh of Colorado and three members of the Justice Department and the SEC.

85 days since the president revealed the group’s existence there has been zero signs of any activity.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder held a news conference to announce that at least 55 Justice Department lawyers, agents, analysts and investigators would be assigned to work on behalf of homeowners. A news release promised 30 staffers would be joining efforts “in the coming weeks.”

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan appeared on a morning talk show and described the administration’s actions as “a coup.”

45 days after the speech and 30 days after the announcement, Attorney general Schneiderman had no office, no phones, no staff and no executive director. None of the 55 staff members promised by Holder had materialized.

Calls from the New York Daily News to the Justice Department’s switchboard requesting to be connected with the working group was met with a dead end.

“I really don’t know where to send you.” said the operator, and after being transferred to the attorney general’s office and asking for a phone number for the working group, the answer was, “I’m not aware of one.”

The president has once again shown where his loyalties lie and they’re obviously not with the 12 million American homeowners who are collectively$700 billion under water.

 

Justice Department, FBI Investigating Shooting Death of Trayvon Martin

Amidst growing public outrage, the Justice Department and the FBI have begun an investigation into the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, a Florida teen, by a neighborhood watch captain who local police declined to arrest.

More than 435,000 people, including celebrities such as movie director Spike Lee and musician Wyclef Jean, signed a petition on Change.org, a social action website, calling for the arrest of the shooter, George Zimmerman.

“The department will conduct a thorough and independent review of all of the evidence and take appropriate action at the conclusion of the investigation,” the Justice Department said in a statement.

The shooting occurred on February 26 when Zimmerman spotted Martin walking home from buying candy and iced tea at a convenience store.

Zimmerman, patrolling the neighborhood in his car, called the 911 and reported “a real suspicious guy.”

“This guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about,” Zimmerman told dispatchers, adding, “These @!$%#s. They always get away.”

The dispatcher, hearing heavy breathing on the phone, asked Zimmerman: “Are you following him?”

“Yeah,” Zimmerman said.

“Okay, we don’t need you to do that,” the dispatcher responded.

Several neighbors subsequently called 911 and reported a scuffle between Zimmerman and Martin. While some of the callers were still on the phone, cries for help were heard followed by a gunshot in the background.

“I recognized that (voice) as my baby screaming for help before his life was taken,” Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, told Reuters.

“(Zimmerman) was reacting to the color of his skin,’’ Fulton, said Monday on NBC’s Today show. “He committed no crime. My son wasn’t doing anything but walking on the sidewalk, and I just don’t understand why this situation got out of control.’’

Police declined to arrest Zimmerman. Prosecutors are reviewing it. Police cited Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, enacted in 2005. The Florida law allows a potential crime victim who is “in fear of great bodily injury” to use deadly force in public places.

Ben Crump, the victim’s family lawyer, said Zimmerman should not be protected under the Stand Your Ground law. “It’s illogical, you can claim self defense after you chase and pursue somebody,” he said. “That’s a courtroom defense. That’s not something the police accept on the side of the street.”

Five years after Florida’s Stand Your Ground law was enacted, a 2010 review by the St. Petersburg Times found that reports of justifiable homicides had tripled, and a majority of cases were excused by prosecutors or the courts.

 

 

Democratic Senators Issue Strong Warning About Patriot Act

For more than two years, several Democrats on the Senate intelligence committee have warned that the federal government has been secretly overstepping its bounds when interpreting the surveillance power granted to it under the Patriot Act. In fact some have stated that the American public, or even others in Congress, would be alarmed if they knew about it.

On Thursday, two of those senators, Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall of Colorado, took their warnings even further. They said a top-secret intelligence operation, based on that secret legal theory, that executive branch officials have claimed is crucial to national security is not actually all that crucial at all.

The senators, who also said that Americans would be “stunned” to know what the government believes the Patriot Act allows it to do, made their remarks in a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. after a Justice Department official last month told a judge that disclosing anything about the program “could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security of the United States.”

The Justice Department believes that any disclosure of information regarding its interpretation of the Patriot Act could alert enemies of the state to the methods used by the government to collect certain intelligence.

The Dept. is also seeking to have two Freedom of Information Act lawsuits dismissed. The suits were filed by The New York Times and the American Civil Liberties Union. They are related to how the Patriot Act is being interpreted.

The senators agree that certain operations must be kept secret. However they also said that the government in a democracy must act within publicly understood law so that voters “can ratify or reject decisions made on their behalf” even if that “obligation to be transparent with the public” creates other challenges.

“We would also note that in recent months we have grown increasingly skeptical about the actual value of the ‘intelligence collection operation,’ ” they added. “This has come as a surprise to us, as we were initially inclined to take the executive branch’s assertions about the importance of this ‘operation’ at face value.”

The dispute revolves around Section 215 of the Patriot Act, under which agents may obtain a secret order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court allowing them to get access to any “tangible things” such as business records that are deemed “relevant” to a terrorism or espionage investigation.

There appears to be both an ordinary use for Section 215 orders, like using a grand jury subpoena to get specific information in a traditional criminal investigation and a separate classified intelligence collection activity that also relies upon them.

The interpretation of Section 215 that authorizes this secret surveillance operation is not obvious from a plain text reading of the provision, and was developed through a series of classified rulings by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

The letter from Mr. Wyden and Mr. Udall also complained that while the Obama administration told Congress in August 2009 that it would establish “a regular process for reviewing, redacting and releasing significant opinions” of the court, since then “not a single redacted opinion has been released.”

Former Senators Graham and Kerrey Say Saudi Gov Likely Linked to 9/11

For more than a decade now anyone who questioned the official story behind the September 11th attacks was a labeled a crazy conspiracy theorist. Now sworn statements from two former senators with access to top secret information about the role played, by a so called U.S. ally, in the 9/11 terrorist attacks is sure to reignite the debate about who was ultimately behind it.

“I am convinced that there was a direct line between at least some of the terrorists who carried out the September 11th attacks and the government of Saudi Arabia,” former Senator Bob Graham, Democrat of Florida, said in an affidavit filed as part of a lawsuit brought by the families of the victims of the attacks against the Saudi government. Mr. Graham led a joint 2002 Congressional inquiry into the attacks.

Former Senator, Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, a Democrat who served on the 9/11 Commission, said in a sworn affidavit that “significant questions remain unanswered” about the role of Saudi institutions. “Evidence relating to the plausible involvement of possible Saudi government agents in the September 11th attacks has never been fully pursued,”.

Lawyers for the Saudis, who have already moved to have the affidavits thrown out of court, declined to comment on the assertions by Mr. Graham and Mr. Kerrey. “The case is in active litigation, and I can’t say anything,” said Michael K. Kellogg, a Washington lawyer for the Saudis.

The Obama administration is standing firmly in the Saudi’s corner, with the Justice Department attempting to have the lawsuits thrown out of court on the grounds that the Saudis are protected by international immunity.

The Saudis also say the case should be thrown out because American inquiries have exonerated them. A recent court filing by the Saudis prominently cited the 9/11 Commission’s “exhaustive” final report, which “found no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi individuals funded” Al Qaeda.

Mr. Kerrey and Mr. Graham said that the findings should not be seen as an exoneration and that many important questions about the Saudis’ role had never been fully examined, partly because their panels simply did not have the time or resources given their wider scope.

Unanswered questions include the work of a number of Saudi-sponsored charities with financial links to Al Qaeda, as well as the role of a Saudi citizen living in San Diego at the time of the attacks, Omar al-Bayoumi, who had ties to two of the hijackers and to Saudi officials.

Anonymous Retaliates Against Feds for Shutting Down Megaupload

Internet freedom fighting group Anonymous, have apparently crashed the Justice Department website in retaliation for prosecutors shutting down the popular file-sharing site, Megaupload.com.

“The government takes down Megaupload? 15 minutes later Anonymous takes down government & record label sites,” the group tweeted.

A Justice Department spokesman did not confirm whether the agency was a victim of a cyberattack, but justice.gov was not loading as of Thursday afternoon.

Anonymous also claimed to have crashed the site of Universal Music, which was also failing to load.

Prosecutors seized Megaupload.com on Thursday and charged seven of its employees with criminal copyright infringement, conspiracy to commit racketeering and other charges.

The crackdown came just one day after a massive online protest against the Stop Online Piracy and Protect IP Acts (SOPA/PIPA), both of which would dramatically expand the power of the federal government to shut down websites accused of infringing on copyrights.

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