Makes for an Awkward Christmas Card

House Speaker John Boehner’s daughter, Lindsay Marie Boehner, is engaged to a Jamaican construction worker, Dominic Lakhan, who has been arrested for marijuana possession.  Boehner opposes marijuana legalization, even for medical purposes.  And he’s probably not thrilled to have a son-in-law with flowing dreadlocks in the family Christmas card that goes out to his conservative donors and constituents.

The Epidemic of ADHD Diagnoses

How can this be?

Almost one in five of American high school boys is being diagnosed with ADHD.  In the South, it’s almost one in four.

Children on Medicaid are diagnosed at rates about one-third higher than those who are not.

Taking ADHD medication can result in drug addiction and even psychosis.

Diagnoses have gone up more than 50% in the last decade.

Something is disturbingly, dangerously wrong here.  And I think it’s with our parents, schools, and doctors, not with our children.

For more see “More Diagnoses of Hyperactivity Causing Concern,” Alan Schwarz and Sarah Cohen, NYT

Unsurprising News Story of the Day

From the New York Daily News:

“The missing Fox executive who disappeared last May after a reported affair with a cocaine dealers wife was most likely the victim of a homicide, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said Thursday.”

People, if you’re going to have an affair, not with a cocaine dealer’s wife, okay?

Ryan Lies to His Own Mom

Paul Ryan told seniors at The Villages in Florida today, with his mom right there, that his Medicare plan doesn’t cut their benefits, but that’s not true.  They would lose the closing of the “doughnut hole” for their prescription drugs and the free preventive care that are part of Obamacare.

Counter-Intuitive in Colorado

Talking Points Memo has a story up* that seems counter-intuitive at first, arguing that the referendum in Colorado to legalize marijuana might hurt President Obama.  After all, when measures banning gay marriage have appeared on state ballots, it’s helped the GOP.  So the pot measure should bring out younger voters, who will vote both for the measure and for Obama, who won Colorado in 2008 by 9%.

But it looks as if the pot measure might help Gary Johnson, the libertarian candidate who supports legalization of marijuana.  Yesterday’s PPP poll (which leans Dem) showed Johnson getting 6% among likely voters in Colorado.  That poll showed Obama over Romney by 6% with just the two of them in the race, but only 4% with Johnson included.

Today’s Quinnipiac/CBS News/NYT Colorado poll, which didn’t include Johnson, shows Mitt up over Obama, 50 to 45%.

It will be a little weird if Colorado votes for both Mitt and pot.

* “Poll:  Colorado Pot Amendment Could Pass — And Hurt Obama,” Tom Kludt

Maybe Some Good Will Come from Fast and Furious

All administrations have embarrassing episodes, and Fast and Furious is certainly one of those.

But there’s embarrassing and then there’s crazy.  If the GOP pushes their insane conspiracy theory that Fast and Furious was really designed to take away our Second Amendment rights, then maybe some good will come of it.   It will reveal how radical and how crazy the Republicans have become, how unworthy of being one of our two mainstream parties.  The GOP hasn’t just refused to stand up to the nuts, it has let them take over.

This conspiracy theory makes no sense to me.  We’re supposed to believe that our providing a bunch of guns to Mexican drug lords would result in so much killing of Mexicans that Americans would be begging for more gun control.

But, really, why would Americans care if Mexicans get killed?  The truth is that about 100,000 Americans are shot or killed by guns every year (some of them children sitting in their living rooms watching TV when a bullet comes through the window), and we don’t demand more gun control.

If shootings of our own people don’t spur us to action, why would Mexican deaths?

Judge With Cancer Pleads for Medical Marijuana

The New York state legislature is considering medical marijuana again.  In the past, it has been approved by the Assembly, but died in the Senate.    New York Judge Gustin L. Reichbach, who has been battling pancreatic cancer for over three years, today pleads for legalization in a moving, eloquent, and courageous op ed in the NYT, “A Judge’s Plea for Pot.”  Some excerpts:

“Nausea and pain are constant companions.  One struggles to eat enough to stave off the dramatic weight loss that is part of this disease. … Pain medication leads to loss of appetite and constipation.  Anti-nausea medication raises glucose levels, a serious problem for me with my pancreas so compromised.  Sleep, which might bring respite from the miseries of the day, becomes increasingly elusive.

“Inhaled marijuana is the only medicine that gives me some relief from nausea, stimulates my appetite, and makes it easier to fall asleep.  The oral synthetic substitute, Marinol, prescribed by my doctors, was useless.

“This is not a law-and-order issue; it is a medical and a human rights issue.  Being treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, I am receiving the absolute gold standard of medical care.  But doctors cannot be expected to do what the law prohibits, even when they know it is in the best interests of their patients.

“Given my position as a sitting judge still hearing cases, well-meaning friends question the wisdom of my coming out on this issue.  But I recognize that fellow cancer sufferers may be unable, for a host of reasons, to give voice to our plight.

“Because criminalizing an effective medical technique affects the fair administration of justice, I feel obliged to speak out as both a judge and a cancer patient suffering with a fatal disease.  I implore the governor and the Legislature of New York, always considered a leader among states, to join the forward leader and humane thinking of 16 other states and pass the medical marijuana bill this year.”