Saturday, February 28, 2015

Mexican Standoff

This was a busy and somewhat goofy week in our State Capitol and our U. S. Capitol.

The most important story is the funding budget of the Department of Homeland Security.  The Senate passed what’s called a “clean” funding Bill but the House’s Homeland security Bill adds language that would gut President Obama’s plan for immigration reform. 

Ironically, the threat of shutting down Homeland Security has developed into a genuine Mexican standoff.  A Mexican standoff consists of three armed opponents.  Obviously, you don’t want to be the first to shoot and lose your tactical advantage.  Since it is the second opponent to shoot that has the advantage, everyone just stands there not wanting to go first.

There were many tense moments in the standoff.  Minutes before the deadline, it was agreed that the final showdown would take place in seven days.  In the meantime, the standoff will continue behind closed doors, instead of openly on the House floor.

 The standoff is between the Democrats (and some Republicans) standing with the President of the United States; and the plain ole conservative House Republicans.  The third opponent is the super conservative house Republicans representing the Tea Party faction.  The Tea Party faction has insisted that they will jeopardize the safety of America and shut down the Department of Homeland Security.  The Senate, by passing a clean funding Bill has sent a message to the House, “We’ve done our job, now we’re going home, adios!” So now the conservatives and ultra-conservatives in the House are in the standoff with each other and the Democrats.  At the time of this writing, it is unknown who will win this Mexican standoff.   However.  I know that the loser will ultimately be our country.

The next story I’d like to discuss is not particularly important, but it is a fine example of our dysfunctional government.  Every year, a Bill is introduced by a Georgia Legislator that makes you scratch your head and wonder, “How did this man get elected?”  This week, Tom Kirby, (Republican, Loganville) introduced such a Bill.   This Bill makes it unlawful to create a human animal hybrid.  We can’t make mermaids who are half fish, half woman..  We can’t make Centaurs that are half man, half horse.  No birdmen, and most disappointing to me, we cannot create were-wolves.  I bet this man checks under his bed at night for the bogeyman.

Finally, I have good news!  The Medical Marijuana Bill is half way to being a law.  It is now in the hands of the State Senate.  I have no way of knowing what encouraged Representative Allen Peake, (Republican-Macon.) to get back into the game after the Governor threatened veto.   However, I have reason to believe that Representative Peake caught so much grief from his constituents, he decided to buck Governor Deal.  Please give Representative Peake a pat on the back if you see him.

I read the entire Bill that passed the Georgia House. These are the most important things you should know.  House Bill No. 1, called Haleigh’s Hope Act, makes it lawful to possess up to 20 ounces of low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) oil from marijuana.  The oil must not exceed 5% THC.  You must have a registration card issued by the Department of Public Health and the oil must be in a properly labeled pharmaceutical container.  To get your registration card, your doctor must certify to the Department of Health  that you have at least one of the following conditions:  cancer, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease),  seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, Chrohn’s disease, mitochondrial disease, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s Disease, and sickle cell. 

Remember, this legislation still has to pass the Senate and get by Governor Deal’s veto pen.  Your voice and opinions can make the difference.

If this Bill survives intact, the Department of Public Health will start issuing registration cards as early as September 1, 2015.  I suppose it is a necessary evil, but yet another government agency will have to be created called the Georgia Commission on Medical Cannabis.  This commission will consist of 16 members, plus all necessary staff.  I think this chapter was placed in the Bill to provide incentive to the Governor to sign the Bill.  After all, the chance to appoint 16 patronage positions is a gold mine for your political party. 

I am delighted that some progress is being made towards legalizing marijuana for it’s healing qualities.  I have one suggestion, though.  I think the Bill should be amended to provide anyone over the age of sixty-five (65) medical marijuana; no questions asked.  We all have ailments and if there is a medicine that will give us relief, we deserve it!  Besides, it would cure “grumpy old men syndrome.”  We could call it, “Medicare Marijuana.” 

As for the “dress”, it is white and gold.

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