Pot Rules – NYTimes.com

Maureen Dowd
Maureen Dowd

WASHINGTON — IN the last chapter, I covered how not to get high. In this one, I will cover how to get high.

After my admission that I did a foolish thing in Denver — failing to realize that consuming a single square, about a quarter, of a pot candy bar was dicey for an edibles virgin — many in the pot industry upbraided me for doing a foolish thing.

Justin Hartfield is the California founder of Marijuana.com and Weedmaps.com (a sort of Yelp for pot), and an entrepreneur involved in some of the nation’s top marijuana-technology companies. As The Wall Street Journal noted in a profile last March, the 30-year-old former high school pot dealer wants to be “the Philip Morris of pot.”

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Ross Douthat: There Is No Alternative – NYTimes

Ross Douthat

IF the excerpts currently circulating in the press are any indication, Hillary Clinton’s latest memoir will resemble pretty much every recent political memoir from a potential presidential candidate: That is, it will be chloroform in print.

Which no doubt troubles its “author” not at all. Clinton has every incentive to bore us, sedate us, lull us to sleep — to hit the snooze button, in effect, for as long as our politics makes possible. She is the rare presidential hopeful who has nothing whatsoever to gain from making news. Leading the Democratic presidential field by a Secretariat-esque margin; leading every potential Republican candidate by around 10 points; running far ahead of President Obama’s job approval numbers … if she had her way, all the months from here till 2016 would be consumed by devouring time without anything altering her current image.

And her desire converges almost perfectly with the interests of her party, even if not every liberal quite realizes it yet. That’s because Clinton’s iconic status is, increasingly, the only clear advantage the Democratic Party has. If her position is weakened, diminished or challenged, the entire coalition risks collapse.

Liberals don’t see this clearly yet because they tend to regard the Obama coalition as a left-of-center mirror-image of Nixon’s and Reagan’s conservative majority — a natural, settled and, thanks to demographic trends, growing presidential majority (if not a congressional one) that should deliver the White House to their party reliably for cycles to come.

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Congress Versus Hobbit – NYTimes.com

Gail Collins

Come back! This is going to be really interesting. Or at least I will try to trick you into feeling that it’s interesting by making copious references to popular culture.

We should begin with Representative Dave Camp, a Republican from Michigan who is the current chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. Camp has been on a quest to make the tax system cleaner and simpler. In this matter we might think of him as a Hobbit, facing great danger in his search for the golden W-2 form.

“I aim to launch and fight the tax reform battle once again,” Camp announced, rather grandly. After many, many hearings and discussions, he unveiled a proposal to reduce the nation’s high corporate tax rate by eliminating loopholes that allow a number of corporations to avoid paying anything at all.

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