First Cuppa Coffee – April 20, 2012: 420 Edition

by on April 20, 2012 · 4 comments

in Civil Rights, Culture, Economy, Election, Energy, Environment, San Diego

Ducks quack when stoned, sez ESPN…  In honor of the fact that it is “420”, which is some sort of secret doper code for “let’s all go lose our short term memory” here’s an amazing story torn from the web pages of ESPN. It seems as though about half the University of Oregon football team played the Rose Bowl stoned. And get this: they won, but nobody can remember who they beat.

Alright, already, enough with the stoner jokes… True story:

Oregon state police pulled over a Nissan Altima after clocking it at 118 mph about 45 miles north of Eugene on Interstate 5. The car, which carried three passengers, smelled of pot, according to the police report. At the wheel was Cliff Harris, Oregon’s standout cornerback/punt returner on the team that lost the 2010 national championship game to Auburn; also in the car was Ducks starting QB Darron Thomas.

 “Who’s got the marijuana in the car?” asked the officer, who would later note Harris looked tired and that his eyes were “blown.”

Harris’ reply? “We smoked it all.”

 House Republicans have finally found a tax they like…  House Majority Leader Eric Cantor says it’s time to tax the poor.  While drumming up a tax break for NASCAR and NFL team owners Cantor took time out yesterday to drag out this old canard, the one that goes like “…over 45 percent of the people in this country don’t pay income taxes at all, and we have to question whether that’s fair.” Anytime you see “Cantor” and “fair” in the same sentence you can be pretty sure something not right is going down.

Sure enough, it takes about three nano-seconds on the web to discover that the 45% number being bandied about are mostly people who are poor; or students; or retired. They do pay federal payroll taxes. They do pay highly regressive sales taxes in most states. And they do pay a larger share of their income in taxes than rich people do. On the other hand, two dozen or so Fortune 500 companies avoided corporate income taxes altogether in 2011. So what Cantor and his Republican cronies are really saying is that they need to take even more money away from poor Americans and give it directly to “those that have been successful.” That’s the GOP version of redistribution of wealth. That’s the GOP version of class warfare. And that’s just. plain. wrong.

A couple of headlines that I saw yesterday kinda tell this story:  (With ledes for clarification)

Americans Who  ‘Really Need Help’ Are A ‘Small Segment’

WASHINGTON — One of the Senate GOP’s leading budget mavens unveiled Wednesday the party’s plan for cutting aid to the poor by $440 billion, saying the people “who really need help” in America make up a “small segment of our society.”

Homeless Children Living On The Highway To Disney World

According to the U.S. Department of Education, at least 2,000 children live in the hotels of Central Florida, and that’s not counting the untold numbers who are too young to go to school, or who have dropped out, or who have otherwise escaped notice, as many undoubtedly have. Families make up the fast-growing segment of America’s homeless population. Thousands live in hotels. The Department of Education has identified 47,000 hotel kids in schools around the country, and says that the number of homeless kids in public schools has increased by 38 percent since 2007. In Central Florida, it isn’t uncommon to hear of 19 or 20 hotel kids in a class of 22 at the local schools.

Religious right joins in the fight against bullying…  Matt Barber, of Liberty College fame, on the nationally syndicated “Faith and Freedom” radio program Wednesday:

  “…the “secularist left” in general is nothing but a bunch of bullies who intimidate the righteous and push “religious bigotry” on everyone else.  And like all bullies, they just need to be punched in the mouth…”

 I beg to disagree with the headline… On Andy Cohen’s story right here in the OBRag about the Mayoral debate last night. (Watch it here.) I think one candidate did step up last night: Carl DeMaio. I understand that campaigns are rough and tumble affairs; I’ve even worked on a few. But DeMaio’s failed “ambush” of Nathan Fletcher last night proves that the GOP contender’s style is beyond rough and tumble: he’s mean and nasty. It may not be stepping up to the plate in terms of serving the voters of San Diego, but it certainly was a home run in the dirty tricks sweepstakes.  DeMaio’s actions kinda remind me of somebody…Who could that be?…

For those of you without the time or energy to follow up, DeMaio unloaded an “are you now or have you ever been?” question, asking Fletcher if he was under investigation for ethics violations.  It turns out that that there was a complaint, one that the ethics board head told reporters “Fletcher could not have known about…”. Furthermore, this particular complain was dismissed on Wednesday. None-the-less, DeMaio’s handed out copies of the original complaint the press at the debate… Oh, Snap! Now I know who he reminds me ofRichard Nixon!

 Have you seen the TV ads where BP Oil is bragging about the Gulf of Mexico?…

Don’t look too closely at all the ‘tasty seafood’ coming from BP’s cleaned up waters: two hundred million gallons of oil and the dispersants required to ‘clean it up’ have left their mark. Fishermen are bringing in shrimp with no eyes, fish with lesions, and clawless crabs.  Scientists believe that shrimp, fish, and crabs in the gulf have been deformed by the chemical released to disperse oil during the spill. Here’s some extra tasty video, courtesy of Al Jazeera:


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Andy Cohen April 20, 2012 at 11:41 am

Something struck me this morning…….I don’t know how and I don’t quite know why…….but I had quite a bit on my mind early this morning, but another great parallel to DeMaio hit me: He and Maricopa County, AZ, Sheriff Joe Arpaio have an awful lot in common.

Sheriff Joe is notorious for, and is currently under investigation by state and federal authorities because of the way he likes to deal with people who challenge him or oppose him and his policies. It seems that Sheriff Joe doesn’t like it when people question his methodologies, so in return he likes to have said people charged with some sort of crime–whatever he can find–as an intimidation tactic.

During the debate last night after DeMaio accused Fletcher of being under investigations for ethics violations, Fletcher threw it right back at him, noting that when Carl DeMaio was fined by the ethics commission, DeMaio retaliated by trying to de-fund the commission. The guy is really a piece of …………something.


avatar Christine Schanes April 20, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Thanks for your articles, Doug.

You make me laugh and think, sometimes at the same time!

Best Wishes,


avatar doug porter April 21, 2012 at 1:19 am

laughing and thinking is much better than burping and hiccuping at the same time.


avatar Jack April 21, 2012 at 8:51 am

After reading your snippet about Matt Barber, I of course went back to the Gospels to find the place where Christ tells us the remedy for bullying is to punch the bullyi in the mouth. I could not find it anywhere in his teachings. Now I am far from a theological expert like those found at Liberty College, but perhaps Mr. Barber could enlighten those of less educated where the lesson in mouth punching can be found. (I am spritually “leftist” I guess and without worry of being punched in the mouth…at this point).

By the way Doug, I wasn’t thinking Nixon…I was thinking of the frim of McCarthy, Cohen (not Andy), and Kennedy.


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