Power Delegated is Power Lost

Most administrations in this great land of the United States have juggled the temptation to take power away from the states with the more conservative viewpoint that states should decide what is right for their people. Attempting to keep both balls in the air has brought tons of law suits and taxed the Department of Justice with major decisions and minor peccadillos.

Donald Trump has fallen into the trap quite nicely. His red meat rhetoric that he throws to the hungry masses will actually reduce some of his ability to get things done. He obviously doesn’t understand that the enumerated powers of Congress listed in the Tenth Amendment are not his powers, they are Congressional muscle.

And if you actually read that amendment, you will see that it is very clear: 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.

Focus on that last phrase, Powers that are reserved to the people. When Donald Trump wants to fix healthcare by giving the states more power to determine how it works and what can or cannot be done, he diminishes the power of the President and the federal programs he promised to improve to help people.

In the latest aberration of the Healthcare re-write, the compromisers have slipped a little stick of dynamite into the paragraphs. They are proposing to give a state the right to charge more for those who have pre-existing conditions. Wow, really? If a guy walks in with cancer, you can tax him just like a pharmaceutical company. Who the hell are these people?

With 4-20-2017 now just purple haze in the rearview mirror, we find another conflict looming on the horizon: the right of a state to regulate the growing and sales of marijuana. In Colorado, marijuana tax revenue hit $200 million and sales are set to pass $1 billion this year. What was once a judicial, social and medical over-reach has been turned into a windfall for the mountain state. Even college scholarship programs are being funded out of these taxes and revenues.

When our government was taken over by goodie-two-shoes in the 1920s, the religious right created a constitutional ban on the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages that remained in place from 1920 to 1933. The ban didn’t stop people from making, buying or drinking alcohol.  It just made America a dull place for 13 years. Finally, FDR decided that people should have a legal way to let off some steam.

Now some out-of-touch people in power want to take federal legal action against those states that have taken medical and recreational marijuana reform to the bank. The new Attorney General knows best about what marijuana is because he most likely has never smoked marijuana. Donald Trump has said he has never smoked pot or cigarettes and of course, he would be best to judge what smoking cannabis does. Full on irony here, folks.

When you say you want to give more power to the states, but you are selective in how you apply that philosophy, you create confusion. Just like when you ignore scientists’ evaluations on climate change, you seem out of touch. When you disregard the medical evidence that marijuana can help people, you are like those people back 100 years ago who thought they could defeat alcoholism by controlling everyone. The myths created about marijuana are slowly going up in smoke.

Some polls put the support for national legalization at 61%. That is clearly more people than who voted for Trump. Even Canada has taken the move to legalize the herb. What are we waiting for?

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on a radio interview, “I am really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the President of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and constitutional power.”

Back at you Jeff, I really am amazed that a non-elected cabinet member from a state that doesn’t even have a lottery gets to decide how a state handles its medical and recreational use of certain natural plants.

What we really need is for all those who have a vote on marijuana at the federal level to fire up a doobie and relax. It’s not ‘oxy’ or heroin. Keep your eye on the important stuff.





L.G.B.T.Q. F.U.

Trump Transitions to Discrimination

When Mike Pence, then Governor of Indiana, signed that state’s ‘religious freedom’ bill, he cemented his name on the short list of those politicians who would be considered for Trump’s Vice President.

The Republicans in the Indiana state government kept saying that this bill would not restrict the freedoms and liberties of the LGBTQ community, but it was certainly a way for businesses to use their religious viewpoint to restrict those who may not share their “normal” views on gender.

Within days, Pence was challenged and backed down, “After much reflection and in consultation with leadership in the General Assembly, I’ve come to the conclusion that it would be helpful to move legislation this week that makes it clear that this law does not give businesses a right to deny services to anyone.”

Proving that Pence, an astute politician, wasn’t going to let valuable dollars from major national events leave his state, he moderated. And now, we find another move to thwart the rights of a certain “kind” of person in America.

Trump revoked federal guidelines specifying that transgender students have the right to use public school restrooms that match their gender identity. Interestingly enough, his administration released the letter after the national newscasts were put to bed, but right before the Trump teams appears at the CPAC Meetings.

Obama, while in office, cited Title IX as the basis for why schools had to provide services, protection and restrooms for transgender humans.

Title IX says, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

One of things that the new Attorney General Jeff Sessions worries about is the difference between the words ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ and whether the title alone could make the Obama rule stick. And now we get to play an interesting little game of what words mean.

Gender means, the state of being male or female (typically used with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones) and Sex means either of the two main categories (male and female) into which humans and many other living things are divided on the basis of their reproductive functions.

So, if you thought Roe v. Wade was in jeopardy, you were right. Those who want to repeal Roe v. Wade are the same people pushing the “agenda” that tries to force LGBTQ people to kowtow to those meanings rather than reality. Lawmakers should focus on the word, “typically” because as we have learned, there is nothing typical about this situation. Typically means, “In most cases” and that does leave the door open to this might not be “in all cases.”

If the government gets to control what you do within your own gender-self view, could they then demand that you NOT look like the gender of your choice? It’s not a far reach to be nervous that those in power could decide what every woman, or man, does with her or his own body? As in repeal of Roe v. Wade, as an example.

Gay people are already in your restrooms Republicans. You just might not know which ones of YOU are Gay. And Lesbians use women’s rooms, because of how they view themselves, not because of any law. And Bi-Sexual people do what they want, not because of Title IX, but because they are free to be who they want to be.

NPR says there are as many as 1.4 million Americans who consider themselves Transgender. And if the United States doesn’t take a stand for all citizens, then we might as well burn the United States Declaration of Independence. All men are created equal, even when they may not want to be men, or women. Pretty clear to any thinking American, that Trump, Pence and Sessions are living in 1952.