Category Archives: Government

The 2012 Republican Candidates on Marijuana | Marihuana | Cannabis | Hemp

As we approach the middle of January, Election 2012 is in full swing. Fresh off of the Iowa Caucuses, the six remaining Republican candidates move on to New Hampshire for their January 10th primary. As a non-profit organization, we are not permitted to endorse candidates for public office, but we hope this guide helps inform you of the marijuana policy positions of the various candidates.

(Note: I am not endorsing any of the candidates listed below and this is intended only as an educational overview of the candidates positions on marijuana policy.)

Republican Presidential Candidates 2012

Mitt Romney

Governor of Massachusetts (2003-2007)

Public Statements:

“People talk about medicinal marijuana, and, you know, you hear that story: People who are sick need medicinal marijuana. But marijuana is the entry drug for people trying to get kids hooked on drugs. I don’t want medicinal marijuana. There are synthetic forms of marijuana that are available for people who need it for prescription. Don’t open the doorway to medicinal marijuana.” 

(“Ask Mitt Anything” Event in Bedford, NH 2007 – source)

“We’ve got to not only continue our war on drugs from a police standpoint but also to market again to our young people about the perils of drugs.”

(New Hampshire Voter Event, August 17, 2011 – source)

“I believe marijuana should be illegal in this country. It is the pathway to drug usage by our society, which has made great scourges; it is one of the great causes of crime in our cities. I believe if we are at a state were, of course we are very concerned about people who are suffering in pain, and there are various means of providing pain management. And those who have had loved ones that have gone through an end of life with cancer know nature of real pain. I watched my wife’s mom and dad going through cancer treatments suffering a great deal of pain, but they didn’t have marijuana, and they didn’t need marijuana. Because there were other sources of pain management that worked as effectively.”

(Oct. 4 2007 at St. Anselm’s College, Manchester, NH – source)

“But having legalized [medical] marijuana is, in my view, an effort by a very committed few to try to get marijuana out in the public and ultimately legalize marijuana. They have a long way to go. We need less drugs in this society, not more drugs. I would oppose the legalization of marijuana in the country or legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes because pain management is available from other sources.”

(Oct. 4 2007 at St. Anselm’s College, Manchester, NH – source)

Prior Activity: None

Ron Paul

House of Representatives for Texas’ 22nd (1976-1977, 1979-1985, 1997-Present)

Public Statements:

“This war on drugs has been a detriment to personal liberty and it’s been a real abuse of liberty, Our prisons are full with people who have used drugs who should be treated as patients — and they’re non-violent. Someday we’re gonna awake and find out that the prohibition we are following right now with drugs is no more successful, maybe a lot less successful, than the prohibition of alcohol was in the ’20s.”

(Comments Post-Iowa Caucus, 01/04/12 – source)

“Well, removing [marijuana] from the jurisdiction of the federal government and allowing the states to regulate it, like they would alcohol. And this seems to be strange for a lot of people, but I’m only going back to 1937 when that’s the way it was handled. The states always did this, and I’m motivated strongly also because the states legalize it for the use of medicinal purposes and it is helpful to people who have cancer or are getting chemotherapy. So this is not a huge radical idea, it’s something that was legal for a long, long time. And the war against marijuana causes so much hardship and accomplishes nothing. So I would say that marijuana, as far as causing highway problems, is miniscule compared to alcohol, and yet we knew prohibition of alcohol was very bad. So this is just getting back to a sensible position on how we handle difficult problems. And, for me, it should be the states.”

(Kudlow Report, June 23, 2011 – source)

“The role of the federal government is to protect our liberties. That means they should protect our religious liberties to do what we want; our intellectual liberty, but it also should protect our right to do to our body what we want, you know, what we take into our bodies.”

(Jay Leno Show, Dec. 2011 – source)

Prior Activity:

Co-sponsored HR 2306: Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011

Sponsored HR 1831: Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011

Rick Santorum

House of Representatives for Pennsylvania’s 18th District (1991-1995)

US Senator from Pennsylvania (1995-2007)

Public Statements:

“There is a difference between legitimate issues of character — someone’s behavior — and the issue of whether someone who has done something wrong in their life, now because of those mistakes, can’t talk about what is the right thing to do. Politicians who have stumbled personally, are capable of making values-based arguments. I don’t think that’s hypocritical. That’s a dangerous line that many folks tend to cross over — that because you made a mistake, you can’t talk about this or that issue. We all make mistakes.

For example, I smoked pot when I was in college. Does that mean that I can’t talk about drug use? Does that mean that I can’t talk about how that’s a bad thing? Of course not. You learn from those experiences.

Even during that time, I knew that what I was doing was wrong. But just because I failed, that does not mean that I shouldn’t be able to talk about it. That’s a different issue. It’s not hypocrisy, as long as you don’t say, ‘I thought it was right, and now think it was wrong.’ If you knew what was going on, and most people do, you have moments of weakness. It happens to all of us. But that should not deter people from talking about what they believe is right.”

(National Review, March 2011 – source)

“Well, yeah, I admitted you know, back when I was running for the Senate, that when I was in college that I smoked pot and that was something that I did when I was in college. It was something that I’m not proud of, but I did. And said it was something that I wish I hadn’t done. But I did and I admitted it. I would encourage people not to do so. It was not all it’s made up to be.”
(Piers Morgan Tonight, August 31st, 2011 – source)

“I would think that [legalizing marijuana] would be an activity that is not consistent with American values.”
(Ames Straw Poll, September 2011 – source)

“I am adamantly opposed to the legalization of marijuana and other illegal narcotics I believe that this would lead to increased drug usage, especially among young people. While it is true that many Americans blatantly defy federal laws against the trafficking, sale, and use of illegal drugs, I believe a greater number of people are deterred from illegal drug use by the threat of arrest and prosecution.”

(1998 Constituent Letter Supplied to NORML – source)

“I believe that the drugs which are currently illegal should remain illegal. I am committed to maintaining the federal government’s role in the “war on drugs”, which is fought on many fronts by federal agents, local law enforcement, substance abuse counselors, teachers, parents, and concerned citizens.”

(1998 Constituent Letter Supplied to NORML – source)

Prior Activity:

Voted ‘Yes’ on HR 3540 in 1996 to add an additional $53 million (raising the total to $213 million) to international narcotics control funding, and pay for it by taking $25 million from international operations funding and $28 million from development assistance.

Newt Gingrich

House of Representatives for Georgia’s 5th District (1979-1999)

House Minority Whip (1989-1995)

Speaker of the House (1995-1999)

Public Statements:

“I think Jefferson or George Washington would have rather strongly discouraged you from growing marijuana and their techniques with dealing with it would have been rather more violent than our current government.”

(New Hampshire Voter Event, January 2012 – source)

“I would continue current federal policy, largely because of the confusing signal that steps towards legalization sends to harder drugs…I think the California experience is that medical marijuana becomes a joke. It becomes marijuana for any use. You find local doctors who will prescribe it for anybody that walks in.”

(Yahoo! News Interview, November 28th, 2011 – source)

“I don’t have a comprehensive view. My general belief is that we ought to be much more aggressive about drug policy. And that we should recognize that the Mexican cartels are funded by Americans. In my mind it means having steeper economic penalties and it means having a willingness to do more drug testing.”

(Yahoo! News Interview, November 28th, 2011 – source)

“I think that we need to consider taking more explicit steps to make it expensive to be a drug user. It could be through testing before you get any kind of federal aid. Unemployment compensation, food stamps, you name it.

It has always struck me that if you’re serious about trying to stop drug use, then you need to find a way to have a fairly easy approach to it and you need to find a way to be pretty aggressive about insisting–I don’t think actually locking up users is a very good thing. I think finding ways to sanction them and to give them medical help and to get them to detox is a more logical long-term policy.”

(Yahoo! News Interview, November 28th, 2011 – source)

Prior Activity:
Introduced and Sponsored the Drug Importer Death Penalty Act of 1996

Rick Perry

House of Representatives from Texas’ 64th District (1985-1991)

Lt. Governor of Texas (1999-2001)

Governor of Texas (2000-Present)

Public Statements:

“Crucial to understanding federalism in modern-day America is the concept of mobility, or “the ability to vote with your feet.” If you don’t support the death penalty and citizens packing a pistol, don’t come to Texas. If you don’t like medicinal marijuana and gay marriage, don’t move to California….”
(“Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America From Washington” by Rick Perry)

“When the federal government oversteps its authority, states should tell Washington they will not be complicit in enforcing laws with which they do not agree. Again, the best example is an issue I don’t even agree with—the partial legalization of marijuana. Californians clearly want some level of legalized marijuana, be it for medicinal use or otherwise. The federal government is telling them they cannot. But states are not bound to enforce federal law, and the federal government cannot commandeer state resources and require them to enforce it.”
(“Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America From Washington” by Rick Perry)

“[If] you want to go somewhere where you can smoke medicinal weed, then you ought to be able to do that.”

(Daily Show Interview, November 2010 – source)

“We can win the war on drugs but we have to fight it first. I know, I have to deal with this.”

(Republican Jewish Coalition 2012 Presidential Candidates Forum – source)

“The Governor does not support legalizing any drug. The Governor supports federal drug laws where appropriate. And while the Governor is personally opposed to legalizing the use of medical marijuana, if states want to allow doctor prescribed medical marijuana, it seems to him that under the 10th amendment, they have the right to do so.”

(Perry Spokesman Mike Miner to the Washington Post – source)

Prior Activity: None

Jon Huntsman

Governor of Utah (2005-2009)

US Ambassador to China (2009-2011)

Public Statements:

“Question: would you prosecute growers and sellers of marijuana in states where it has been made legal?

Jon Huntsman: I would let states decide that.”

(Townhall in Exeter, NH, June 2011 – source)

“I never saw him inhale.”

(Huntsman’s Childhood Friend in Politico – source) Read the rest of this entry

MoD unveils unmanned fighter jet ‘of the future’

MoD unveils unmanned fighter jet 'of the future'MoD/BAE Systems – This handout photo from the Ministry of Defence shows the Taranis, an unmanned jet capable of striking …

LONDON (AFP) – An unmanned jet capable of striking long-range targets has been dubbed the “combat aircraft of the future” by the Ministry of Defence.

The Taranis — named after the Celtic god of thunder — was unveiled at a ceremony at BAE Systems in Warton, Lancashire, on Monday. Read the rest of this entry

Operation Air Ball

The Cuyahoga County corruption scandal in NE Ohio continues forward with tentacles reaching into various suburbs surrounding Cleveland. The FBI has named their project “Operation Air Ball” — no one quite knows why this basketball term, for a very bad shot, was chosen.

social network analysis map of the organizations and businesses that have been searched by the FBI/IRS team is shown above. Two organizations are connected by a green link if they have done direct business with each other according to the FBI/IRS subpoenas. If a person connects two organizations, by being associated with each one, that relationship is not shown. Later, we will have a map of individuals and organizations with all of the interconnections.

T N T — The Network Thinker: Operation Air Ball.

Facebook Sets Up Dual-Class Stock Structure

The move by the social network is a rudimentary step down the path to becoming a public company.

Facebook Sets Up Dual-Class Stock Structure –

The E.U.’s New Top Leaders « almost 2 years ago

Bland Leading the Bland

By LEO CENDROWICZ / BRUSSELS | Thursday- Nov. 19, 2009
Newly appointed European Union President Herman Van Rompuy (left), poses with the newly appointed E.U.'s new foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton
Newly appointed European Union President Herman Van Rompuy, left, poses with the newly appointed E.U.’s new foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, right, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, second right, and Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt at the European Council building in Brussels, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2009.
Remy de la Mauviniere / AP

Until Herman Van Rompuy became Belgium’s Prime Minister 11 months ago, he was barely known even in his home country. But on Thursday night, the self-effacing former economist, whose hobbies include caravanning and writing haiku, was named the European Union’s first permanent President.

Read more:,8599,1941155,00.html?xid=yahoo-feat#ixzz0XarsNuNj

Similarly, until she was appointed Britain’s European Commissioner last year, only hardened London politicos were familiar with Baroness Catherine Ashton’s name. But she is now the E.U.’s Foreign Minister-designate, with the unwieldy title of High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.(See the 10 greatest speeches of all time.)

The duo may yet become household names, but today, most Europeans will be scratching their heads at the decision by the E.U.’s 27 leaders to anoint Van Rompuy and Ashton to the organization’s top two jobs. After all, the positions, which were created by the E.U.’s newly ratified Lisbon Treaty, were supposed to give a voice and a face to Europe on the world stage.

The choice prompted accusations that the E.U. had gone for the lowest common denominator. Van Rompuy was “bland” and Aston “unremarkable,” said Daniel Cohn-Bendit, a German Member of the European Parliament who heads the Green group in that body. “E.U. leaders have continued the job of weakening the E.U. institutions,” he said. “Europe is sinking to a low.”

Van Rompuy recognized that the wider European public sees him as an unknown quantity, and he addressed it head-on after the summit. “There has been a great deal of talk and comment about the future profile and image of the President of the Council,” he said. “But the key things are dialogue, unity and action: the image of the Council resides in strength through results.”

Van Rompuy’s career has been mainly that of a behind-the-scenes fixer in Belgian politics. And he emphasized that his position was not that of chief executive but, as President of the European Council, the body that gathers the E.U.’s leaders for summits, he is more of a chairman, whose role is to mediate across the E.U. “My personal opinion is totally subservient to the Council,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what I think. My role is to find a consensus.”

Indeed, his shunning of the limelight is probably what landed him the job. Although he is recognized in Belgium for defusing tensions between the country’s Flemish and French speakers — a quality that could come in handy with the 27-member E.U. — his low profile appears to have endeared him to his initial sponsors, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The two leaders are thought to have balked at a big name like former British Prime Minister Tony Blair as E.U. President, because they feared he could become a strong rival for the spotlight. Van Rompuy, by contrast, might have lightweight political credentials, but he was seen as the least aggressive candidate.

There was more to the choice of Van Rompuy and Ashton than their individual qualities. In the classic European tradition of horse-trading, the E.U. tried to balance out the top jobs according to political background, geography and gender. Indeed, the Lisbon Treaty states that the two jobs — and that of the European Commission President — have to take account of “the geographical and demographic diversity of the Union.”

Van Rompuy is a Christian Democrat, from the family of center-right parties that dominate European governments and the European Parliament. The President of the Commission, Portugal’s José Manuel Barroso, is also from the center right. Ashton was a dark horse, but she was seen as a consolation prize for Britain’s center-left Prime Minister Gordon Brown, after his attempt to secure the presidency for Blair was rebuffed. For E.U. leaders struggling to meet the criteria — a task that one official likened to “three-dimensional chess” — they could at least claim that the Van Rompuy-Ashton duo hit most of their buttons.

But Ashton roundly rejected claims that she had been catapulted from obscurity to meet the E.U.’s demands for a token, center-left woman. “Am I an ego on legs? No, I’m not,” she said. “Judge me on what I do, and I think you’ll be proud of me.”

Nonetheless, the choice of Van Rompuy and Ashton was seen as exposing the gap between the E.U.’s ambition and its grandiose rhetoric. “They might both be very capable, but neither has any sort of international profile or experience,” says Marco Incerti, Head of Communications at the Center for European Policy Studies (CEPS), a Brussels-based think tank. “At the moment, it looks like two nobodies. But this is what comes of trying to please everyone when you choose these jobs.”

Read more:,8599,1941155,00.html?xid=yahoo-feat#ixzz0XaqgEyUl

via The E.U.’s New Top Leaders « Global Reservation Network.

Will Face the Nation Factcheck Guest’s Healthcare Lies?

Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR)

Action Alert

Will Face the Nation Factcheck Guest’s Healthcare Lies?
CBS’s Schieffer owes audience the truth


CBS‘s Face the Nation (3/28/10) covered the passage of healthcare reform by inviting Democratic National Committee chair Tim Kaine and two Republican critics on the program–one of whom spread misinformation that went unchallenged by host Bob Schieffer.

What’s notable about this is that CBS has since posted on its website a debunking of the two claims made by the guest, conservative Republican Rep. Michelle Bachmann from Minnesota.

At the very beginning of the interview, Bachmann explained her opposition to the new healthcare law: “Now we have the federal government, Bob, taking over ownership or control of 51 percent of the American economy. This is stunning. Prior to September of 2008, 100 percent of the private economy was private.”

Schieffer’s response was to point out that some of what she appeared to be talking about–the TARP bailouts–began under the Bush administration. A more important point to make, though, is that Bachmann’s claim doesn’t make sense. Government spending as a share of the country’s gross domestic product is nowhere near Bachmann’s claim. What she was apparently trying to say is thatgovernment bailouts of various industries are the same as “taking over ownership” of about a third of the economy, and that the new healthcare law amounts to a similar takeover of 18 percent of the economy–which adds up to over half of the economy. Since the government is not in fact “taking over” healthcare or the financial industry, the analogy makes no sense.

Another bit of evidence against the healthcare law that Bachmann offered was this: “The New EnglandJournal of Medicine released a survey the week that President Obama signed Obamacare stating that over 30 percent of American physicians would leave the profession if the government took over healthcare.”

The Journal neither conducted nor released any such study. A private physicians search firm posted a press release claiming this finding on the NEJM CareerCenter website, part of an employment newsletter published by the same company that publishes the Journal.

So much of the national debate over healthcare reform was marred by these types of wild exaggerations, many of which were not factchecked by journalists. It was encouraging, then, to seeCBS publish a piece on its website by CBS associate news producer David Riedel (3/29/10) headlined “Bachmann Offers Big Numbers, Little Proof.” Making that information available to a Web audience is important. But if CBS believes Bachmann’s rhetoric was misleading, they should say so in the same place they gave her to make these claims. Correcting the record only on the Web–as ABC‘s George Stephanopoulos did when Rudolph Giuliani made inaccurate claims about 9/11 on Good Morning America (Extra!3/10)–does a disservice to your TV audience.

In an interview last year with Jon Friedman (Marketwatch5/15/09), Face the Nation host Schieffer expressed no tolerance for those who would mislead his TV audience: “When I asked him how he feels when subjects lie to him on the air or try to mislead the audience, he got right to the point. ‘I want to jump across the table and choke them,’ he said.”

If he meant that, then he should tell his audience the truth.

Encourage CBS‘s Face the Nation to share its Web debunking of Rep. Michelle Bachmann’s rhetoric on its upcoming April 4 broadcast.

CBS Face the Nation
(202) 457-4481

Please post copies of your letters or comments below for the world to witness.  Thanks

Three Key Lessons From Obama’s China Visit

By TONY KARON – Sat Nov 21, 1:05 pm ET
President Obama’s trip to China yielded precious little Chinese cooperation on the Administration’s key concerns, ranging from currency issues to Iran. That’s a sign of the shifting balance of power between two countries that have been locked in an uneasy embrace for more than three decades. “I underlined to President Obama that given our differences in national conditions, it is only normal that our two sides may disagree on some issues,” said China’s President Hu Jintao. “What is important is to respect and accommodate each other’s core interests and major concerns.”
China’s concerns, of course, have dramatically expanded in recent years, as was emphasized by Beijing’s anxiety over the implication for its own dollar-denominated wealth of U.S. budget deficits. At the same time, Beijing is in no hurry to play the “other” global superpower rule vacated by the Soviet Union two decades ago. (See pictures of Obama visiting Asia.)
Herewith, three key lessons to draw from the visit:

1. China’s Star Has Risen and America’s Has Ebbed, But the U.S. is ‘Too Big to Fail’
As the Washington Post noted, when Bill Clinton visited Beijing a decade ago, the U.S. owed more money toSpain than it did to China. President Obama’s America owes China some $800 billion and counting. China’s economy is humming again, while America’s is likely to remain sluggish for years. The sharp economic downturn, and the failure of the U.S. to impose its will in two very costly ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, have shrunk America’s global leverage. Today, far less powerful countries than China routinely decline to follow Washington’s lead. An ironic dividend of capitalism’s Cold War triumph has been the emergence of new power centers in the world economy – Brazil, Russia, India and, of course, China.
Given its economic health and growing influence, Beijing is not simply able to rebuff U.S. demands; it is making its own demands of the U.S., in whose economy much of China’s own wealth is tied up. For example, U.S. officials traveling with President Obama faced detailed questions about how the U.S. planned to pay for health-care reform, with China increasingly alarmed at the ballooning deficit and the gloomy economic outlook. The best thing going for the U.S. in its economic relationship with Beijing – which holds $800 billion in U.S. debt and some $2 trillion in dollar-denominated assets – is that for China, the American economy is simply “too big to fail”.
While the U.S. currently needs Chinese help on a raft of economic and geopolitical issues, Beijing is less dependent on U.S. help, although it balks at any hint out of Washington of protectionist trade policies. While some in Washington will criticize Obama for being too deferential and allowing the Chinese to stage-manage the visit to avoid any domestic discomfort, it is the shift in the real balance of power that has forced the U.S. to change its approach to China.


2. China Doesn’t Want to Run the World, But It Has Interests That Differ from America’s
Russia may be engaged in a geopolitical chess game with the U.S. aimed at recovering from the demise of itsgreat power status, but China is different. It pushes back against U.S. initiatives only when those are deemed inimical to its national interests. Iran is a good example. Beijing’s heavy investment in and reliance on Iran’s energy sector make it extremely averse to serious sanctions or strategies that create political turmoil in Tehran. While insisting on compliance with the non-proliferation regime, Beijing does not believe Iran represents an imminent nuclear weapons threat. And its response to North Korea going nuclear suggests that a nuclear armed Iran is something it could live with.
Obama went to China arguing that its emergence as a major power gives it greater responsibility, as a partner to the U.S., in helping run the world and tackle such global challenges as climate change and Iran. Indeed, there was a collective shudder in Europe’s corridors of power at the idea of global leadership being concentrated in a “G2” partnership between Washington and Beijing. They needn’t have worried. China’s response to Obama could be read as: “Running the world is your gig, we’re focused on running our own country, and ensuring security in our immediate neighborhood. We want harmonious relations with you, but don’t expect us to do anything that we deem harmful to our national interests.” That means no serioussanctions against Iran, regardless of what deals are struck between Washington and Moscow, because China’s national interests require growing Iran’s energy exports. (Read “For His Asia Trip, Obama Has a United Brain Trust”)


3. Personal Chemistry Can’t Change the World
The personal trust between President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev was indispensable in fostering the climate for a rapid, peaceful end to the Cold War. Presidents Clinton, Bush and now Obama have all tried to cultivate personal relationships with their Chinese counterparts in the hope of smoothing a tricky relationship. But the usefulness of personal chemistry in dealing with China has strict limits, for a simple reason: While the President of the United States is, in George W. Bush’s words, “the decider,” his Chinese counterpart is not. He’s not a figurehead, but executive power in Beijing is the preserve of a collective leadership in the form of the nine-man standing committee of the Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party – in which Hu is obviously the key player. Some observers say this is why the Chinese try to avoid informal one-on-one meetings with their U.S. counterparts, preferring more formal exchanges of talking points cleared with the Politburo. The problem of dealing with opaque foreign leadership structures is a recurring one for the Administration. Obama met with Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev last week to discuss sanctions against Iran, but nothing will happen unless Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is on board. And the Iranians themselves are even more complicated since the traditional balance of power between the government and the clerical leadership has been shaken up by the post-election turmoil. President Obama’s personal charm and charisma may be a national asset when dealing with many countries, but, through no fault of his own, China is not necessarily one of them.

See five things the U.S. and China agree on.


See pictures of the making of modern China.


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Obama’s Brother in Asia!

President Obama; family time

He’s still incredibly busy running the country, but President Obama found a little time this past week to catch up with his half-brother. While visiting Beijing on a diplomatic trip, Mr. Obama set aside a few minutes to talk with Mark Okoth Obama Ndesandjo, who shares the same father as the president. Mr. Ndesandjo made some headlines several months ago when he spoke about growing up with whom he called his “abusive father.” He and the president have rarely seen each other in person. After their latest meeting, Mr. Ndesandjo said he felt overwhelmed and “over the moon” about getting to see his famous sibling. Details of what was discussed were not revealed, but Searches still soared on both men's names, as well as “obama family tree.”

via The Buzz Log – Obama’s Brother, Elizabeth Lambert, and a Special Delivery: Buzz Week in Review – Yahoo! Buzz.

The Buzz Log – Obama’s Brother, Elizabeth Lambert, and a Special Delivery: Buzz Week in Review – Yahoo! Buzz

President Obama & family time

He’s still incredibly busy running the country, but President Obama found a little time this past week to catch up with his half-brother. While visiting Beijing on a diplomatic trip, Mr. Obama set aside a few minutes to talk with Mark Okoth Obama Ndesandjo, who shares the same father as the president. Mr. Ndesandjo made some headlines several months ago when he spoke about growing up with whom he called his “abusive father.” He and the president have rarely seen each other in person. After their latest meeting, Mr. Ndesandjo said he felt overwhelmed and “over the moon” about getting to see his famous sibling. Details of what was discussed weren't revealed, but Searches still soared on both men's names, as well as “obama family tree.”

via The Buzz Log – Obama’s Brother, Elizabeth Lambert, and a Special Delivery: Buzz Week in Review – Yahoo! Buzz.

Arson attack of Mayor Pizzi’s law office … by gimleteye

More on arson attack of Mayor Pizzi’s law office … by gimleteye

Yes, it is a real Miami mystery. The Herald reports that among the missing files in law office of the mayor of Miami Lakes; paperwork in a lawsuit against the county for rules on recall elections “imposed about three years ago that make it harder to bring forward voter ballot initiatives such as recalls.” (Mayor’soffice hit by arson attack, October 22, 2009). Pizzi was a leader in the effort to recall county commissioner Natacha Seijas that failed when a tidal wave of special interest money came to her defense.

The best public record of that citizen’s recall effort, the de facto chair of the county commission from Hialeah, is here on Eyeonmiami. (see our archive, under “Seijas”. No subscription necessary.). Pizzi, through the Seijas recall and other efforts– (on behalf of homeowners whose properties had been damaged by rock mine explosions in West Dade) — decided to run for public office and won. In this respect, he is one of a kind in Miami-Dade: smart, voluble, and committed to better government. He represented citizen intervenors, for example, in the case against moving the Urban Development Boundary in the Lowe’s application; a zoning change approved by the unreformable majority of the county commission and rejected by the state of Florida and which the county continues to litigate.

The attack on Pizzi’s law office left easily detectable traces of fuel. It looks amateurish and bizarre. It is not in the nature of the immoveable status quo to burn down a law office and attract the attention of federal law enforcement. In normal times, everything goes better when things are quiet and money works its magic behind the scenes. On the other hand, these are not normal times. Who needs this kind of attention?

via EYE ON MIAMI: More on arson attack of Mayor Pizzi’s law office … by gimleteye.

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