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Barack Obama’s Flip-Flop On Decriminalization

NOW THE WHITE HOUSE SAYS POT LEGALIZATION IS A “STATES’ RIGHTS” ISSUE The administration of Barack Obama has been a huge disappointment when it comes to marijuana policy. In 2008 then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama was asked point black whether he would stop the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)’s senseless raids…

NOW THE WHITE HOUSE SAYS POT LEGALIZATION IS A “STATES’ RIGHTS” ISSUE

The administration of Barack Obama has been a huge disappointment when it comes to marijuana policy.

In 2008 then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama was asked point black whether he would stop the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)’s senseless raids on medical marijuana facilities.

“I would because I think our federal agents have better things to do, like catching criminals and preventing terrorism,” Obama said at the time.

Unfortunately, Obama was not true to his word.  Not only did he fail to stop the DEA’s efforts – his administration actually ramped up medical marijuana raids and prosecutions.  Obama also deliberately targeted medical marijuana growers who were in compliance with state law – even though he vowed in 2008 not to use Justice Department resources to “try and circumvent state laws on this issue.”

As public support for the decriminalization of marijuana soars “higher,” though,  Obama is changing his tune.

Now his administration thinks the matter should be left to state governments, saying a GOP effort to block decriminalization in Colorado, Washington State and Washington, D.C. “undermines the principles of States’ rights and of District home rule.”

Really?  

Actually, it undermines more than that … it undermines the right of free American adults to make grown-up choices with their own money, and do as they see fit in their own homes or private businesses.

This is an individual liberty issue more than a “states’ rights” issue.

Still, decriminalization advocates hailed the policy shift.

“It is great to see the White House accepting that a majority of Americans want marijuana law reform and defending the right of D.C. and states to set their own marijuana policy,” one national decriminalization group said in a statement. “The tide has clearly shifted against the failed war on drugs and it’s only a matter of time before federal law is changed.”

Let’s hope that’s true …

Also, with growing numbers of people acknowledging the unmitigated failure of government’s 43-year-old “War on Drugs,” so-called “Republicans” in Washington run the risk of further marginalizing themselves by opposing decriminalization.

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59 comments

Jackie Chiles July 17, 2014 at 9:29 am

You’re right. Republicans should just be consistent with their message and see it as what it is- a states rights issue.

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Jackie Chiles July 17, 2014 at 9:29 am

You’re right. Republicans should just be consistent with their message and see it as what it is- a states rights issue.

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idiotwind July 17, 2014 at 9:45 am

it is current federal law that marijuana cultivation and sale is illegal. obama is being sued by the GOP house for not enforcing US law as enacted. whatchwant him to do? ignore house legislation just because it was written by a bunch of fools?

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Original Good Old Boy July 17, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Not enforcing a stupid law is better than enforcing it for the sake of enforcing it.

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Native Ink July 17, 2014 at 9:52 am

If we stopped our pointless war on drugs, we also wouldn’t have to deal with these kids crossing the border. The only thing our foreign intervention does is chase the drug lords into new territories, where they destabilize the local society by fighting for dominance.

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The Colonel July 17, 2014 at 10:11 am

Not related in any way – if the influx were from Columbia or Mexico you might have a point.

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Native Ink July 17, 2014 at 10:58 am

Tell that to Honduras. We spent hundreds of millions to make the drug business a little more difficult in Colombia (or did you mean Columbia?). The drug gangs just moved to Honduras.

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The Colonel July 17, 2014 at 10:59 am

Colombia – stupid word suggestions…

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The Colonel July 17, 2014 at 11:29 am

Using your same graph, Guatemala’s violence is going down so why the influx?

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The Colonel July 17, 2014 at 11:36 am

Again, proving my point… The Orange bar is for various Mexican states, they’re violence levels are astronomical compared to the rest of Central America.

euwe max July 17, 2014 at 3:45 pm

states in Mexico
——
contiguous state – N/A.

The Colonel July 17, 2014 at 4:18 pm

Not really.

euwe max July 17, 2014 at 4:28 pm

Any unaccompanied child from non contiguous state

The Colonel July 17, 2014 at 4:31 pm

All of Mexico is considered contiguous for that test, what’s your point? If violence were the issue, why isn’t there a flood of Mexicans since Mexico is FAR more violent as shown by your graphs. Mexico has more murders than all the others depicted on the graph combined.

The Law was actually written to address sexual trafficking, not civil strife the U.N. refugee rules address civil strife.

euwe max July 17, 2014 at 6:32 pm

Because we don’t have to process children from Mexico by law.

The Colonel July 17, 2014 at 6:35 pm

And around the circle wee go…. if violence is the issue then U.N. refugee standards apply, TVPA only applies in sex trafficking/slavery, no one has made the case that is what’s going on.

euwe max July 17, 2014 at 6:50 pm

It doesn’t matter what’s going on – Bush’s law requires ANY unattended minor from non-contiguous states to be processed.

The Colonel July 17, 2014 at 8:10 pm

I will grant that TVPA 2008 requires a “process”. Since none of these illegal immigrants are claiming TVPA status or requesting T-visas, we should get their name, get their address and send them the hell back.

euwe max July 17, 2014 at 8:20 pm

(D) PLACEMENT IN REMOVAL PROCEEDINGS- Any unaccompanied alien child sought to be removed by the Department of Homeland Security, except for an unaccompanied alien child from a contiguous country subject to exceptions under subsection (a)(2), shall be–

(i) placed in removal proceedings under section 240 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1229a);

(ii) eligible for relief under section 240B of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1229c) at no cost to the child; and

(iii) provided access to counsel in accordance with subsection (c)(5).
—————

section 240B of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1229c)

(c) Decision and burden of proof

(1) Decision

(A) In general

At the conclusion of the proceeding the immigration judge shall decide whether an alien is removable from the United States. The determination of the immigration judge shall be based only on the evidence produced at the hearing.

(B) Certain medical decisions

If a medical officer or civil surgeon or board of medical officers has certified under section 1222 (b) of this title that an alien has a disease, illness, or addiction which would make the alien inadmissible under paragraph (1) of section 1182 (a) of this title, the decision of the immigration judge shall be based solely upon such certification.

(2) Burden on alien

In the proceeding the alien has the burden of establishing—

(A) if the alien is an applicant for admission, that the alien is clearly and beyond doubt entitled to be admitted and is not inadmissible under section 1182 of this title; or

(B) by clear and convincing evidence, that the alien is lawfully present in the United States pursuant to a prior admission.

In meeting the burden of proof under subparagraph (B), the alien shall have access to the alien’s visa or other entry document, if any, and any other records and documents, not considered by the Attorney General to be confidential, pertaining to the alien’s admission or presence in the United States.

(3) Burden on service in cases of deportable aliens

(A) In general

In the proceeding the Service has the burden of establishing by clear and convincing evidence that, in the case of an alien who has been admitted to the United States, the alien is deportable. No decision on deportability shall be valid unless it is based upon reasonable, substantial, and probative evidence.

(B) Proof of convictions

In any proceeding under this chapter, any of the following documents or records (or a certified copy of such an official document or record) shall constitute proof of a criminal conviction:

(i) An official record of judgment and conviction.

(ii) An official record of plea, verdict, and sentence.

(iii) A docket entry from court records that indicates the existence of the conviction.

(iv) Official minutes of a court proceeding or a transcript of a court hearing in which the court takes notice of the existence of the conviction.

(v) An abstract of a record of conviction prepared by the court in which the conviction was entered, or by a State official associated with the State’s repository of criminal justice records, that indicates the charge or section of law violated, the disposition of the case, the existence and date of conviction, and the sentence.

(vi) Any document or record prepared by, or under the direction of, the court in which the conviction was entered that indicates the existence of a conviction.

(vii) Any document or record attesting to the conviction that is maintained by an official of a State or Federal penal institution, which is the basis for that institution’s authority to assume custody of the individual named in the record.

(C) Electronic records

In any proceeding under this chapter, any record of conviction or abstract that has been submitted by electronic means to the Service from a State or court shall be admissible as evidence to prove a criminal conviction if it is—

(i) certified by a State official associated with the State’s repository of criminal justice records as an official record from its repository or by a court official from the court in which the conviction was entered as an official record from its repository, and

(ii) certified in writing by a Service official as having been received electronically from the State’s record repository or the court’s record repository.

A certification under clause (i) may be by means of a computer-generated signature and statement of authenticity.

(4) Applications for relief from removal

(A) In general

An alien applying for relief or protection from removal has the burden of proof to establish that the alien—

(i) satisfies the applicable eligibility requirements; and

(ii) with respect to any form of relief that is granted in the exercise of discretion, that the alien merits a favorable exercise of discretion.

(B) Sustaining burden

The applicant must comply with the applicable requirements to submit information or documentation in support of the applicant’s application for relief or protection as provided by law or by regulation or in the instructions for the application form. In evaluating the testimony of the applicant or other witness in support of the application, the immigration judge will determine whether or not the testimony is credible, is persuasive, and refers to specific facts sufficient to demonstrate that the applicant has satisfied the applicant’s burden of proof. In determining whether the applicant has met such burden, the immigration judge shall weigh the credible testimony along with other evidence of record. Where the immigration judge determines that the applicant should provide evidence which corroborates otherwise credible testimony, such evidence must be provided unless the applicant demonstrates that the applicant does not have the evidence and cannot reasonably obtain the evidence.

(C) Credibility determination

Considering the totality of the circumstances, and all relevant factors, the immigration judge may base a credibility determination on the demeanor, candor, or responsiveness of the applicant or witness, the inherent plausibility of the applicant’s or witness’s account, the consistency between the applicant’s or witness’s written and oral statements (whenever made and whether or not under oath, and considering the circumstances under which the statements were made), the internal consistency of each such statement, the consistency of such statements with other evidence of record (including the reports of the Department of State on country conditions), and any inaccuracies or falsehoods in such statements, without regard to whether an inconsistency, inaccuracy, or falsehood goes to the heart of the applicant’s claim, or any other relevant factor. There is no presumption of credibility, however, if no adverse credibility determination is explicitly made, the applicant or witness shall have a rebuttable presumption of credibility on appeal.

(5) Notice

If the immigration judge decides that the alien is removable and orders the alien to be removed, the judge shall inform the alien of the right to appeal that decision and of the consequences for failure to depart under the order of removal, including civil and criminal penalties.

(6) Motions to reconsider

(A) In general

The alien may file one motion to reconsider a decision that the alien is removable from the United States.

(B) Deadline

The motion must be filed within 30 days of the date of entry of a final administrative order of removal.

(C) Contents

The motion shall specify the errors of law or fact in the previous order and shall be supported by pertinent authority.

(7) Motions to reopen

(A) In general

An alien may file one motion to reopen proceedings under this section, except that this limitation shall not apply so as to prevent the filing of one motion to reopen described in subparagraph (C)(iv).

(B) Contents

The motion to reopen shall state the new facts that will be proven at a hearing to be held if the motion is granted, and shall be supported by affidavits or other evidentiary material.

(C) Deadline

(i) In general Except as provided in this subparagraph, the motion to reopen shall be filed within 90 days of the date of entry of a final administrative order of removal.

(ii) Asylum There is no time limit on the filing of a motion to reopen if the basis of the motion is to apply for relief under sections [1] 1158 or 1231(b)(3) of this title and is based on changed country conditions arising in the country of nationality or the country to which removal has been ordered, if such evidence is material and was not available and would not have been discovered or presented at the previous proceeding.

(iii) Failure to appear The filing of a motion to reopen an order entered pursuant to subsection (b)(5) of this section is subject to the deadline specified in subparagraph (C) of such subsection.

(iv) Special rule for battered spouses, children, and parents Any limitation under this section on the deadlines for filing such motions shall not apply—

(I) if the basis for the motion is to apply for relief under clause (iii) or (iv) of section1154 (a)(1)(A) of this title, clause (ii) or (iii) of section 1154 (a)(1)(B) of this title,, [1]section 1229b (b) of this title, or section 1254 (a)(3) of this title (as in effect on March 31, 1997);

(II) if the motion is accompanied by a cancellation of removal application to be filed with the Attorney General or by a copy of the self-petition that has been or will be filed with the Immigration and Naturalization Service upon the granting of the motion to reopen;

(III) if the motion to reopen is filed within 1 year of the entry of the final order of removal, except that the Attorney General may, in the Attorney General’s discretion, waive this time limitation in the case of an alien who demonstrates extraordinary circumstances or extreme hardship to the alien’s child; and

(IV) if the alien is physically present in the United States at the time of filing the motion. The filing of a motion to reopen under this clause shall only stay the removal of a qualified alien (as defined in section 1641 (c)(1)(B) of this title [2]pending the final disposition of the motion, including exhaustion of all appeals if the motion establishes that the alien is a qualified alien.

The Colonel July 17, 2014 at 8:26 pm

Granted that there is a process, let’s get to it and send everyone over 18 home on the next thing smoking.

Even the process places a burden on the immigrant:

2) Burden on alien

In the proceeding the alien has the burden of establishing—

(A) if the alien is an applicant for admission, that the alien is clearly and beyond doubt entitled to be admitted and is not inadmissible under section 1182 of this title; or

(B) by clear and convincing evidence, that the alien is lawfully present in the United States pursuant to a prior admission

(B) won’t apply to any of these folks.

euwe max July 17, 2014 at 8:30 pm

Actually, the Bush law says the unaccompanied child is immediately and by definition eligible, so that burden does not rest with the child.

Tazmaniac July 17, 2014 at 10:22 am

What are you going to do about all the pissed off, out of work Welfare workers, Cops, Judges, Lawyers, Prison Guards, and Parole Officers? The idiot in chief has been reality smacked by what a huge part the “War on Drugs” makes of our economy.

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Smirks July 17, 2014 at 9:59 am

I do agree that this should be a states rights issue, but the feds still have a tight grip on marijuana as it is. They have it scheduled alongside heroin still, and even though they’ve loosened regulations regarding pot dispensaries opening bank accounts, some still get fucked over.

http://www.wbur.org/2014/06/30/mass-medical-marijuana-banking-issues

If we are going to turn pot over to the states to decide, the feds need to let it go first.

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The Colonel July 17, 2014 at 10:08 am

“U.S. Sen. Barack Obama was asked point black” https://www.fitsnews.com/2014/07/17/barack-obamas-flip-flop-on-decriminalizing-pot/#bHf33DkWXJE5DJkq.99

RACIST! Why does he have to be asked “point black”? Because he’s the first black president – what are you trying to say? Wait, what, you meant “blank” – oh, never mind…

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SCBlueWoman July 17, 2014 at 12:03 pm

Freudian slip…..

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euwe max July 17, 2014 at 4:30 pm

Sometimes a cigar isn’t just a cigar

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The Colonel July 17, 2014 at 4:37 pm

The really funny thing is he still hasn’t fixed it right hours later.

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euwe max July 17, 2014 at 4:41 pm

He’s proud of it

The Colonel July 17, 2014 at 10:20 am

This two sentence excerpt captures the entirety of the Obama administration:

“…I would because I think our federal agents have better things to do, like catching criminals and preventing terrorism,” Obama said at the time.

Unfortunately, Obama was not true to his word..”.

I’m ambivalent to the whole pot issue, don’t smoke it, never have. That said, we demonized it beyond any reason. Stoners frequently (somewhat) correctly point out that marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol – they also point out that the penalties are out of line with alcohol abuse (conveniently forgetting the whole Prohibition and moonshine days).
The time has come to allow the “hemp economy” to get on with it – legalize the production, sale and use of pot, tax the bejeebus out of it and include marijuana in the “operating under the influence of” rules then lets move on to an important issue like the national debt, our porous borders, whether T-Rav will marry what’s her name…

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euwe max July 17, 2014 at 10:49 am

don’t smoke it, never have.

——–
You’re out of step, sir. Don’t be a Jack Wagon.

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The Colonel July 17, 2014 at 11:02 am

No, Yes, no. Course I was a “noncom” at the time of the “spit swapping”.

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euwe max July 17, 2014 at 11:08 am

What was his rank?

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The Colonel July 17, 2014 at 11:25 am

She was a sergeant. She had just gotten promoted and immediately bought a ’72 Cadillac because “…it had a big back seat..”. [Now singing badly] …oh what a night, I remember…what a lady, what a night…”

euwe max July 17, 2014 at 4:29 pm

Been to Germany?

The Colonel July 17, 2014 at 4:35 pm

Yes, many times.

euwe max July 17, 2014 at 6:34 pm

Pirmasens, Karlsruhe, Maßweiler – Dahn Cave.

The Colonel July 17, 2014 at 6:40 pm

No, yes, no, yes. Lots of time in Parsberg, Neumarkt

euwe max July 17, 2014 at 6:52 pm

DAHN CAVE? YES???

you was an engineers? I was in signal… 32DH20. Red phone, supported crypto.

Your beer, sir?

The Colonel July 17, 2014 at 8:03 pm

I was a crypto tech (31SX9-20) before I got commissioned. Caves can be very interesting places and you’ll find them in interesting places as well.

euwe max July 17, 2014 at 8:12 pm

I was stationed at Dahn Cave, lived in the second floor barracks. 75-76.

Did you ever get a GS#?

The Colonel July 17, 2014 at 8:13 pm

Damn you’re old, I started in ’82.

euwe max July 17, 2014 at 8:27 pm

my lottery number was 11. It was either 2 years in the Elephant Grass, or enlist. I took four years, and signal. Trained at Fort Monmouth, NJ. Painted trucks at Pirmasens, and spent the rest of the time at Dahn Cave. They decommissioned that whole complex since.

I made it a point not to grow up. Got more pussy that way.

The Colonel July 17, 2014 at 8:57 pm

I remember the battalion re up NCO, one of my greatest joys was flipping that bastard off when I handed him my clearance papers. He tried to give me the pitch and I said “…read the papers bitch you’ll be saluting me next year…”

euwe max July 17, 2014 at 9:09 pm

You said bitch? You said that?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LGEiIL1__s

The Colonel July 17, 2014 at 9:37 pm

That was the lyingest dude who ever lived, he screwed more off my buddies than the slut in the Battalion PAC. He’s one of the reasons I always tell potential recruits that “..you can always tell when a recruiters lying by looking at his mouth, if it’s moving he’s lying…”. I’ve learned that the lies are actually two part: the exaggerations the recruiter tells and the stuff the kid heard cause that’s what he wanted to hear…

euwe max July 17, 2014 at 9:53 pm

I wondered about the lump sum 12k… I had been told before that they add it to your paycheck throughout your tour of duty… and giving me a stripe without an interview? Sounds like a tall tale – but I didn’t care.

A guy that re-upped did buy himself a murdercycle, though… got drunk and wrecked it the same week.

Kind of like getting a painful balding hair transplant from your ass, and before the pain has even gone away, lose a drunken bet to shave your head.

The Tax Man Cometh July 17, 2014 at 2:38 pm

I think its humorous how all these anti Tax Republicans are falling all over themselves to “tax” marijuana.

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SCBlues July 17, 2014 at 7:47 pm

“I’m ambivalent to the whole pot issue, don’t smoke it, never have”
I think smoking a big fat joint would do you a world of good . . .

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The Colonel July 18, 2014 at 7:34 am

Not really, illegal drug use and security clearances don’t exactly go together…

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aqwassss July 18, 2014 at 1:18 am

I use pot (successfully) to treat schizophrenia. Why should I be forced to pay unreasonable and excessive taxation. It’s like if you put a fifty dollar tax on a tomato. I object ..

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The Colonel July 18, 2014 at 4:42 pm

I’m glad it works for you. Do you pay taxes on the other medications you use?

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aqwassss July 18, 2014 at 10:55 pm

When you consider that 95% of the cost of an item is in the hidden taxation, it is impossible not to, or when does too much taxation become enough This is robbing the people of vast wealth..

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The Colonel July 18, 2014 at 11:20 pm

Like to see the math on the 95% taxation.

aqwassss July 19, 2014 at 9:37 am

Take most manufactured products.First the each raw material is sold at a price. Minerals originally dug up with taxed equipment,transported on gasoline also taxed. Each component is in turn a tax levy. Some products have hundreds of parts produced each with their own tax cycle….etc…etc…Get the picture? In the end about 95% goes towards this tax cycle and into the governments pocket. .

euwe max July 17, 2014 at 10:52 am

Where are Hearst and Anslinger when you need a patriotic American?

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Thomas July 17, 2014 at 10:03 pm

There is a struggle for every human paycheck, and Big Prison is winning. Without non-violent conspirators to possess or traffic in medicinal flora derivatives, substances, and 60 proof liquids, entire US Departments, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, city/metro police departments, county sheriff departments, solicitor’s offices, prosecutor’s offices, judges and staff, prison construction contracts, prison and jail staff would all be out of a paycheck with lifetime medical care and generous pension. They must have a ready supply of 18-30 year old non-violent offenders “breaking the law” to justify those budgets and paychecks. White collar crimes, tax cheats, sex offenses, and jay walkers with the intent to get to the other side of the road simply are not meeting the quota of felons they need to keep those paychecks coming. Illegal drugs…yea baby.

Btw, wtf is a Mexican Drug Trade Organization (MDTO)?

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aqwassss July 18, 2014 at 1:12 am

RENEGADE LAW ENFORCEMENT ON A MISGUIDED AND ILL FATED CRUSADE.
Who are these people that set themselves up like some Micro God demanding absolute blind obedience and offering total subjugation, deciding what is good for everyone. I object. The D.E.A.and State law enforcement are a group of evil authoritarian sociopaths., Completely out of control and way over the top. Billions in public grant funds are being misdirected and commandeered by these Authoritarian Sociopaths. This is funds intended for the well being and benefit of the American people. Instead used to to buy weapons used for mass destruction, targeting mostly pot smokers and the homeless. This theft of public funds must stop. The grant funding helps empower them to make war on the American people. These are funds taken from us all. Many of us object, and everyone should, to this greedy commandeering of public funds.

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