Other Writers: Dems too liberal; feds slow pot business
Democrats have moved too far left
Peter Wehner in the New York Times: Among liberals, it’s almost universally assumed that of the two major parties, it’s the Republicans who have become more extreme over the years. That’s a self-flattering but false narrative.
This is not to say the Republican Party hasn’t become a more conservative party. It has. But in the last two decades the Democratic Party has moved substantially further to the left than the Republican Party has shifted to the right. On most major issues the Republican Party hasn’t moved very much from where it was during the Gingrich era in the mid-1990s.
To see just how far the Democratic Party has moved to the left, compare Barack Obama with Bill Clinton. In 1992, Clinton ran as a centrist New Democrat. In several respects he governed as one as well. He endorsed a sentencing policy of “three strikes and you’re out,” and he proposed adding 100,000 police officers to the streets.
In contrast, President Barack Obama’s former attorney general, Eric Holder, criticized what he called “widespread incarceration” and championed the first decrease in the federal prison population in more than three decades.
One of the crowning legislative achievements under Clinton was welfare reform. Obama, on the other hand, loosened welfare-to-work requirements. Obama is more liberal than Clinton was on gay rights, religious liberties, abortion rights, drug legalization and climate change. He has focused far more attention on income inequality than did Clinton, who stressed opportunity and mobility. While Clinton ended one entitlement program (Aid to Families With Dependent Children), Obama is responsible for creating the Affordable Care Act, the largest new entitlement since the Great Society. He is the first president to essentially nationalize health care.
Law the least diverse profession
Deborah L. Rhode in The Washington Post: From the outside, the legal profession seems to be growing ever more diverse. Three women are now on the Supreme Court. Loretta Lynch is the second African American to hold the position of attorney general. The president and first lady are lawyers of color. Yet according to Bureau of Labor statistics, law is one of the least racially diverse professions in the nation. Eighty-eight percent of lawyers are white. Other careers do better — 81 percent of architects and engineers are white; 78 percent of accountants are white; and 72 percent of physicians and surgeons are white.
The legal profession supplies presidents, governors, lawmakers, judges, prosecutors, general counsels, and heads of corporate, government, nonprofit and legal organizations. Its membership needs to be as inclusive as the populations it serves.
Part of the problem is a lack of consensus that there is a significant problem. Many lawyers believe that barriers have come down, women and minorities have moved up, and any lingering inequality is a function of different capabilities, commitment and choices.
The facts suggest otherwise.
Women constitute more than a third of the profession, but only about a fifth of law firm partners, general counsels of Fortune 500 corporations and law school deans. The situation is bleakest at the highest levels. Women account for only 17 percent of equity partners, and only seven of the nation’s 100 largest firms have a woman as chairman or managing partner.
Feds make pot business difficult
Ross Kaminsky in The American Spectator: Dozens, perhaps hundreds, of families have moved to Colorado seeking help and hope in the smoke or oil of what the federal government still classifies as a Schedule I controlled substance, meaning that according to Uncle Sam it has “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”
While pot is on Schedule I, meaning that doing medical research on it is nearly impossible, drugs on Schedule II — laughably categorized as less dangerous and more useful than weed — include oxycodone, methamphetamine, and cocaine.
Politicians outside of Colorado are starting to pay attention. Three U.S. senators, Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, and, not surprisingly, Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, have introduced the CAREERS Act which would, among other things, move marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II within the Controlled Substances Act, remove CBD from the definition of marijuana (thus removing high-CBD low-THC strains from current regulation as controlled substances), abate the risk of federal prosecution for marijuana-related activities that are legal under state law, and prevent banks or banking regulators from discriminating against marijuana-related businesses that are operating legally under state law.
The banking issue is critical: Without an ability to deposit the cash from its sales at a bank, a legal marijuana business becomes an obvious target for violent crime while being tempted toward tax evasion.
But banks, being federally regulated, are wary of becoming involved with a business selling a Schedule I substance directly to consumers.