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(CNN) – Democratic congressional leaders Wednesday demanded Republicans join them in condemning a spate of threats and vandalism that has followed Sunday's vote on a sweeping overhaul of the U.S. health care system.
More than 10 Democrats have reported trouble since the weekend vote, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters. Windows have been smashed at Democratic offices in at least three states, and federal agents were investigating whether a cut gas line at the home of a Virginia congressman's brother was related to the lawmaker's yes vote.
Democracy "is not about violence," Hoyer said at a news conference with South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn, the No. 2 Democrat in the House of Representatives. FULL STORY
Other top stories:
California could legalize pot
It's an historic step forward for pot supporters – California could become the first state to legalize marijuana for non-medicinal purposes. The measure will be on the ballot this fall. Our Dan Simon is in Oakland talking to people on both sides of the issue.
Relaxing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'
Big changes are expected to the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. The Pentagon is set to announce this morning that the military will no longer investigate gays who are outed by third parties or complaints made anonymously. We'll get reaction from soldiers in the field.
Sound off: Join the conversation on today's top stories. What do you think about health care reform threats, relaxing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," or legalizing marijuana? Add your comments to the LIVE blog below and we'll read some of them on the show.
Thanks everyone for the great LIVE blog discussion today! I hope you all saw that we read a bunch of your comments on the show using CNN's super cool Magic Wall. Tune in tomorrow for much more!
Legalization of marijuana could create alot of money in taxes, and could also create jobs. Someone would have to grow it so that would be good news for farmers. People who smoke marijuana are going to smoke it anyway the money made from it might as well be going to good causes instead of drug dealers, it is no worse than alcohol. Not to mention there are many other uses for the hemp plant clothing etc. Then there are the medical benefits. It would also free up our court systems and jails to pursue more serious criminals. I hope it passes and many other states follow.
As to the issue of repealing "don't ask don't tell"
I find it utterly rediculous that everyone interviewed is some officer or others with a high rank. What no one is talking about is the little guy forced to live in close, extremely close quarters where it isn't so simple. I was aboard a USN vessel in the early 1990's and this thing was running ramped, and very uncomfortable. I tried to play softball for our ship, and could never understand why no one would talk to me, same with basketball. It wasn't until a considerable time later, that it was made clear to me that both those teams were "dikes". As was my berthing. You need to understand this was 1992! The gays/lesbians had no fear and made me and others very uncomfortable in the only home they navy would provide. I have no problem neccessarily with someones' sextual orientation. Prior to joining the Navy I played six nights a week ( YES IN CHICAGO) with a mirage of different types of players, but never, never did I feel out of place until I tried to carry that love of softball and try to play for a Naval Ship's team, that was controled by woman that disliked "ME" because I wasn't a LESBIAN!
It is great that all these people that have their own staterooms or better, but for us that must live in shipboard environments, it just isn't that simple!! I can't even imagine the thoughts of those that have to share a tent. It isn't phobia, but it is an entitlement attitued of others that already impeades on others, and it has been since the early 1990's
Are you kidding! We have a never ending war on two fronts, a horrible economy, huge gaps in our homeland security, our national education is not where we should be in the world, college costs to much for our youth, and the list goes on and on. But all we can think of is how to legalize a drug??? How can I expect my children to make smart decisions, when adults are being stupid! There is so much wrong going on, why can't anyone see that, instead of fighting for their selfish desires.
I was in the military for 24 years in the infantry as a sergeant Major. There has always been gays in the Military. And I have always found them to be great soldiers. I would serve with them anytime anyplace. They are part of the military and we need to thank them for their serve
I live in Humboldt County CA, where we have a false economy due to illegal pot grows. We have houses on every block that are growing legally (medical marijuana)and illegally. There is so much marijuana in this area that I hear there is a glut on the market!! It's very easy to obtain a medical marijuana perscription and set up a grow in your home. The problem is, most of these are obtained under false pretenses, the grows overload the electrical system, and the taxpayers/utility ratepayers are footing the bill for law enforcement (for the illegal activity) and repairs to the electrical system. Then there are the problems like the Mexican Mafia being involved. How long before we have major drug violence on our streets? I say legalize it!! We can benefit from the tax revenues and maybe get our neighborhoods back.
The members of the Republican Party who are threatening children and our elected officials should be jailed if they break the law. But CNN and other media outlets have some responsibility in what is going on for their failure to report what the Tea Party movement is really about. Something that media outlets have fail and continue to pretend like they have no knowledge of.until they were caught on film shouting racial slurs at our elected officials. The problem is if news outlets are not going to report the whole truth about the Tea Party movement then don't report about them period. CNN like other news outlets with their pundits have been shoving these groups of racist outlaws down Americans throats for over six months 24/7 on cable news as if they really represented a majority of hard working Americans citizens. Shame on you CNN and shame on you for thinking that the average American citizens is that stupid!
A neighbor around the block started growing marijuana for herself and others. Yes, she apparently is able to grow a number of plants legally. At harvest time I can't even spend time in my backyard, because the stench is overwhelming and triggers my own lung condition. This home is just four blocks from two schools.
In addition, the number of teenagers going in and out of the home and parking all along the street is unbelievable. Law enforcement in this rural area is always busy. When did the medical condition of the marijuana growers outweigh anyone else's? Breathing is sometimes hard enough without this added impact. For those that say move, I have resided in my home over thirty years. Californians, wake up!!
It really is hard for me to understand why we watch the celebrities die from prescription pill overdoses, and achohol related problems. But as soon as you mention marijauna it is horrable. I would think that it is of more danger to get into a vehicle than to eat a marijauna brownie, of course don't do them at the same time. Maybe the only bad thing I could foresee is the "munchies' adding to the all ready bad obesity problem.
Can CNN find any pot related deaths or serious crimes that weed has been the cause? Or Could you show one of those cool statistics that would show the differences between the dangers of marijauna and other things?
Don't ask don't tell.. all I want to know, is how is this discrimination still legal? This is wrong and immoral. Immoral.
As an outsider looking in from Canada, it seems more and more that Americans are are devolving into a very dangerous state. The current controversy here involving Ann Coulter has brought home to us the truly frightening prospect that some Americans have no respect for other's points of view, religion or race. While there will always be some dangerous people in any society, the U.S. seems to be teetering on the edge of chaos due to the influence of these people in politics and media.
I abhor violence and absolutely felt such pain for Bart Stupak as he was getting such hate while he withheld his vote for the Health Bill and now is getting hate for changing his vote. The common thread in all comments is wait for November, but in the meantime the Democrates are running roughshod over the citizens' of the US of America and people are so angry about not having a voice. When given the chance to voice concerns, such as at townhalls, comments are minimized are even ignored. Those who come forward are called names by even the Speaker of the House. I am very frightened by what the future holds when so many people of this nation are being trivialized by the current party in power and the mainstream media. Where was the media when voters were threatened at the voting booth. I have been threatened in several situations in the past and still have nightmares about a gun being brought to my workplace to kill me. Violence is never the answer...
It is with astonishment and deep concern that I watch the anger and lack of civility in a country that I love.
Who is John Baehner to stand up and ask for calm. His vitriol for so long has been awful, and he is no role model.
I have lived in Canada too, and cant believe that health care that is so dear to all Canadians, and indeed Brits, and Europeans, etc., has met with so much opposition in the US.
My gut says that its the insurance cartel who has injected fear into Mr. and Mrs. America, as well as deliberately confusing the facts to ratchet up the fears.
And then you get the rudderless GOP who are looking for salvation in November! Its time for Congress to behave like grown ups, and become role models for the nation. We do not need to be threatening our own people – it is bad enough that we are fighting two wars! And one Civil War was one too many!
Maybe it's just me but legalizing marihuana seems like a slippery slope. Why not legalize medicinal cocaine or heroin or any other drug? You think this might be extreme but where does it stop and who are you to say where it stop? Those who are calling for a change in the law? Seems a bit hypocritical to me. Moreover, let’s listen to the people who are telling us to sell our values and morals because it's profitable...great idea. Maybe people should be less concerned about getting high and more concerned about following the law. This is just like Healthcare Reform. The liberals will shove it down our throats and pass it despite a majority opposition by the American people and the rest of us will suffer the consequences.
Not condoning driving under any influence!
keith.. every Dumbocrat in office at the time the war vote – voted right along with BUSH. Learn some FACTS.
On the abortion strictures in the health care reform bill: I don't think those who say that abortion is wrong except in the case of rape or incest know how idiotic they sound. We still don't have definitive proof of when life begins. If it does begin at conception, then it shouldn't matter what the circumstances are surrounding the conception. If, as I believe, it doesn't begin at conception, then abortion is simply a medical procedure which should be legal for a wide variety of reason, including the mother's ability to support the fetus once it's born.
Funny how the violence most always seems to be from the Right toward the Left. There are so many questions that go unanswered. What would Jesus do? Why don't the Republicans tell their supporters to stop? I do applaude John McCain for his weak attempt to ask for civility because it can cause more backlash.
Why is it that the Republicans seem to attract more people who think violence is the way to set forth their agenda? Why do the ultra conserveatives think violent tactics are the only way to advance their opinions?
The list is endless...
I find it unacceptable, that in this day and time, we are HATING. I must have been dreaming, when we ALL came together and elected the first Black President, and ALL of us were PEACEFUL, even the protesters. i had tears in my eyes, as I truly believed this world was changing. That people loved each other. That people wanted change.
Now , I wake up to find people in America, calling people names. Spitting on people. Threatening the lives of people.
How can we get back to where we were, just a few months ago?
This doesn't necessarily effect the ones of you, who have insurance and want to keep it. Remember the President's words: "If you like your insurance that you have, you can keep it." This Health Care Reform, is ALL about those who have NO insurance, or insurance that needs to be upgraded.
It is HIGH time, we start thinking about others. This world isn't ours alone. Sometimes we have to compromise. I am going to go back to sleep. When I wake up, I hope to find that ALL of this Hate mess, was only a DREAM.
My opinion on marijuana is that prohibition hasn't worked just as prohibition on alcohol didn't work. Case in point look at the violence on the U.S. And Mexican border over drugs. Legalize it, tax it and enjoy it and get stock in munchie manufacturing companies.
I've seen no one in my 50 years that's become violent on marijuana, just on alcohol.
Marijuana being legal needs to happen. Not only in California but nation wide. We would save hundreds of millions of dollars from people going to prison for the use/possession of marijuana. Not only saving money but bringing in billions of dollars at the same time. When marijuana was made illegal in an ill lying manner in 1937 there was no research and there were scare tactics used by politicians and corporate identities based on nothing but hearsay.
Alcohol is worse than marijuana and statistics around the world prove this fact. Have you ever seen a pot-head driver crashing their car on the news? Have you ever in your life heard of an overdose of marijuana? Look up something yourself, how many people in the United States alone use marijuana.
What is one reason why the United States of America is here and populated by what we call Americans now? Hemp/Marijuana was used to create the sails that moved us in ships and it was also used to cover our.. you've guessed it, our Covered Wagons.
We import hemp everyday and people will still smoke/eat marijuana every day. No it doesn't have to be smoked, that is just remedial to think that it's worse than smoking cigarettes.. its 2010, not 1937 people against marijuana need to GET THEIR FACTS STRAIGHT.
NEW BILLION-DOLLAR CROP
That was 1938 that issue was printed... How about NEW TRILLION DOLLAR CROP in the currency of today.
Personally, I want to see in my LIFETIME the deficit be eliminated.
As for the threats on the Representatives, republicans can't get their way anymore so they tactic they are using are scaring the people that are for health care reform. If there's something they can do now, it is to try and weed out the Democrats that they can so they can recruit more Republicans come next election. Not everything is right here right now and for the moment. I bet they have been planning this since Obama first said something about reforming health care.
The Republican Party is finally showing their true colors of being the low class, racist, animalistic, criminals they really are. This is the party that claims to be "pro life and christians" that's threatening Democratic lawmakers lives, their families lives, and vandalism!!! I have never witnessed such unprofessional, contradicting, disgusting, racist behavior from the Republican party in my life. This party and their followers are a JOKE and any blogger (including that babbling idiot Palin) that encourages such criminal behavior should be arrested!!!! This behavior is beyond freedom of speech; it's criminal if not terrorist behavior and they should pay the consquences for such classless, trashy, juvenile behavior!!!!!
Criminals should be brought before the courts. Hate crimes or terrorism need a lot of time in jail for their efforts.
That said, it maybe time to look at the racial slurs with out support to bite the accuser on the rear. To long minorities have been about to play the race card by just saying it happened. With cell phones, the media, et al, a makebelieve action is as terroristic as an actual action.
Lastly major concern, Va rep, is he going to work with reb. reps to operate government? I doubt it. His concerns are valid but his comments only add fuel to the division that is taking place in American politics. Demo or Rep. they need to be able to work together AFTER health care, I fear lines have been drawn in the sand and the American People will suffer for it.
Marijuana should be legal and man made alcohol should be against the law. Drunken people destroy and pot smokers just relax.
I am so disappointed at the behavior of a minority of my fellow Americans since the election of our President. I believe all this behavior from the very beginning had nothing to do with any policy but has everything to do with some citizens inability to accept a black man as our President. We all so afraid to call this exactly what it is .... old fashion racism.
I live in Congressman Perriello;'s district, and I attended one of his town hall meetings last fall. A whole slew of these Teabaggers showed up and hijacked a meeting that was supposed to clarify and accept suggestions for health care reform. They yelled obscenities, repeatedly called him a liar, and threatened to call in "their friends with guns" if Perriello voted for reform. He listened patiently, even preventing some of his aides from having them removed from the auditorium. They demanded that he tell them on the spot that he would not vote for reform, as if their opinions were the only ones that mattered when, obviously, they had not voted for him in the first place. Rep. Perriello's problems are the result of strange congressional district lines in Virginia that combine the forward-thinking, more liberal Charlottesville area (University of Virginia territory) with a backward, redneck, Bible-thumping area that is its diametrical opposite. It's an explosive mixture.
Legalized Pot, think about this, the gangs that sell it would be required to to pay taxes, provide health care insurance to all their employee/gang members and permits to grow pot versus growing it illegally in our national parks. The public in general are more afraid of the IRS than the local authorities. This would be a financial windfall for the a poorly managed state.
I"ve voted Republican for the past few years, but I find it most disturbing that on the recent Health Care debate (and other bills also) – almost 100% Democrats and 100% Republicans voted either for or against the bill. To me this shows these people are not "voting for what's best for our country, but voting for what their Party is pushing." I think our country needs some Big Time Thinkers in Washington. Independent candidates are probably going to be looked upon more favorable in the future.
Back when I was just starting out and I couldn't afford health insurance, I got a second job. My Daddy taught me not to take handouts. Provide for myself, that was the American way. Something about that way of thinking has died, along with America.
It is a true disappointment to see the actions of these people who disagree with the healthcare reform. Their message is being trumped by their idiotic and uncalled for threats. I'm disgusted continually by the anti-abortion groups that feel they need to hurt, threaten, destroy property to make their point and I am floored that they think they are actually making a positive statement for their cause. I feel sorry for their ignorance.
I sincerely wish our government and the American people can start looking past party lines and work together for the good of the
people. This healthcare bill was the chance to create great reform and it has been hurt by the constant bickering by both parties. Grow up and put your differences aside... you are supposed to be representing us, the common American citizen; you are not supposed to be keeping you and your parties' best interest at top of mind!
It's not just healthcare that needs reform, it is the entirety of the American political system.
It amazes me that even with all the violence in Mexico, on Tuesday Secretary Clinton was asked:
"And Madam Secretary, you spoke about looking at anything that works in this problem. I’m wondering, has there been any discussion of decriminalizing drug as one strategy for undercutting the power of the cartels. If you could both address that, that would be great. Thank you.
SECRETARY CLINTON: No to the second.
To the first, I don’t see Gil, who – where’s Gil? Oh, there you are, right in front of me, Gil. The Obama Administration’s new drug policy is going to be released very soon. And it will include specific recommendations about how to decrease demand. Gil gave us a short summary of that, and I think it’s fair to say that with the level of resources that President Obama put into the budget, it is a high priority for us. We know how hard it is. I mean, I think we’ve lived long enough to know that this is not easily done, but we’ve learned a lot of lessons and we’re going to try to apply those lessons. And we’ll – I’m sure Gil would be happy to talk with you, Andy, further about some of the specifics, except it’s embargoed, I guess, right? Yeah, it’s embargoed. So we’ll get to you, though, as soon as we’re free to tell you specifically.
It was supposed to actually be released today and Gil wasn’t going to be able to come with us today. But because we got the healthcare bill through, the President decided to sign it today, so we – that was what was taking the attention in Washington. And we think this is such an important issue that it’s going to be released and highlighted very soon. "
I read elsewhere in an article about the same thing:
"Napolitano said Calderon made the right decision to use military force against the drug organizations, but in the U.S. view it will take a broader effort, to include more civilian law enforcement agencies and deeper U.S. assistance, to prevail in the long run. "
PREVAIL IN THE LONG RUN?
WTH? Seriously they have to realize that continued Prohibition isn't going to ever work.
The health reform is good for the people of this country but does need some changes such as the pre-existing for adults.
As for the violence that is going on, come on people this is not productive and is not getting your opinion across. There is a better way. Elections are coming up and you can better get your opinion across by voting the encumbers out and voting new people in.
Consider this? Politicians wrangle, misdirect, talk speciously, promote illusion, and work more for the party than the electorate, AND cry foul when a frustrated electorate lashes back. Spitting, throwing items, physical violence, and other unmannerly actions are to be punished with the full meaqsure of the law; however, some should be expected with the economic situation politicians allowed to a great extent. Just something to think about.
The GOP is really showing their true colors. I think before it is all over there will be fighting in the street.The GOP will have no-one to blame except themselves. Can you now see this country with John McCain and Palin in the white house. They would take this country back to the fifties with all the raceism. Palin is a racese and the American people can see her for what she is.. The GOP should be ashame of the way they are conducting themselves. They will be the party out of office this November. Most of the people aren't blind. Kick all the bums out of office
I remember being out on the Santa Monica Pier working as a sound tech on a "Columbo" episode. A petitioner came by with a petition to get the legalization of marijuana on the ballot. Everyone was "ignoring" him. However, I approached him and signed it. After that, the director, the actors and many others signed it. It just takes someone to break the ice.
Just like prohibition of alchohol, prohibition of marijuana has been completely unsuccessul. Even if you don't believe people should do it, you should recognize that the laws have not prevented it. Instead, they have created a black market that funds the Mexican Mafia and increased violence. With the legalization of marijuana, this drug could be regulated, taxed to the highest levels to help pay down deficits, and companies providing the product could be mandated to market against themselves just like cigarrette companies are required to do. There are already laws in place for alchohol that would apply to marijuana to keep people from going to work or driving while intoxicated. Those laws would just need to be updated to include marijuana in addition to alcohol. Keeping marijuana illegal has also created a huge bottle neck in our court system clogging it up with tons of insignificant cases. It also clogs up our jails so that our violent offenders must be let out. You can look on the web to see all of the child molesters and rapest living around you because there is not enough room to hold the molesters and the marijuana users in these jails. We aren't going to build more jails. So, we need to decide if we would prefer a child molester to live next to us who my harm our children or a marijuana user living next to us who may harm themselves. Don't forget that there have been many successful marijuana users including Presidents of the United States and eight gold medalist winners.
Correction! California is NOT the first state to legalize marijuana for non-medicinal purposes! Alaska legalized it in the late '70s, repealed it several years later. Similar/same rules as California..
The Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy has been working for years. If somethings not broken why try and fix it? The military has much more important things to worry about then allowing gays to serve openly in the armed forces.
I just finished reading Stephen King's "Under The Dome." It was over 1000 pages (and 2 inches thick) and took me two weeks. The Health Care Bill was over 3000 pages.
I want every legislator who voted "yea" to report to their constituents that they read it, understand it and agree with it. A bill that massive has to have conflicts between page 345 and 2,456 (as an example) and find a deal-breaker.
I don't have the faith in Congress I should have that they did this for Nancy Pelosi and not for us.
I graduated from a prestigious high school, graduated magna cum latte from my university, and I was just accepted to an Ivy League school to pursue a PhD in the biological sciences. I would consider myself academically and socially successful, and, although I am a contributing member of society and have never been in legal trouble, I am considered a criminal by our society because every once in a while, I smoke a joint. What is the logic in that?
I just watched the interview you had with Tom Perriello and I must say, What did you expect? To get a kiss on the check for the way your party forced this bill into affect. I would think he had enough common sense to expect these threats. To hold the republicans at fault is a ton of B-S. Your average US citizen in your district has told you long before the bill was signed, they did not want this.You sir went against their wishes and voted as your party told you to. A bill this big should have been a people vote like California and their pot bill. We the people of this country don't work for you. You work for us, and us say no to this bill. If you don't beleive that, let the polls decide. Your future in politics will be short, you may as well start looking for a job ASAP because like myself, you will be unemployed come NOVEMBER.
All of these (for the lack of a better word) people that are threating death and violence in general are all PRO LIFE christian conservatives. They must not believe in the words of their own bible. Thou shalt NOT KILL!
In their eyes that just means that, Thou shalt NOT KILL christians. It is okay to kill muslims, hindus, jews, buddists etc. Perhaps they need to revisit history and get the reality of the crusades and how poorly that turned out for them!
When I was age 13-16, and it was cool and fun to smoke, it was more easy to find a bag of weed than it was to get a pack of cigarettes. Cigarettes and papers took 3-5 hours to get (if even possible), the pot took 15 minutes to get-and you could shop around! The marijuana dealer has no laws or regulations to follow, while you must be eighteen to buy the addictive murderous tobacco.
I am happy to tell you all that I quit cigs after ten years of smoking when cigarettes became fire safe cigarettes because they made me sick to smoke them! And I feel better than ever!
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