What is your goal?

Apropos of nothing, a quick Separated at Birth for ya…

Matt Williams - Boomer Esiason SAB 01

State Senator Matt Williams of Gothenburg…and Boomer Esiason!
(Well, maybe that’s what Boomer has coming in a few years…)


The Medical marijuana bill is going to the full legislature.

Few would doubt that there may be or are medical benefits to marijuana. But many want to know, specifically, what those are.

And, hey you know what? It’s 2015! Fifteen years AFTER the Newmannium! Twenty-three years after Bill Clinton said he didn’t inhale! Forty-five years since Brewer & Shipley went “One toke over the line”.

Hey FDA, howsabout a definitive report on medical marijuana? What it can affect. How, if at all, it should be dispensed. How, if at all, the drug companies should be involved. This has been accomplished with opiates. Why not cannabis?

Because right now, as one of our esteemed commenters put it, all the medical marijuana and decriminlaization and Colorado talk is mainly about weed smokers wanting to get their buzz on without hassle. Which is fine, if that’s the discussion you want to have. But if it’s purely medical, then let’s have THAT disscussion, without the b.s. of dispenseries, and a note from your doctor, and the like.

Anyway, good luck on that Senator Garrett.


In their 100 Days story on the Governor, the OWH quotes Democrat state Senators , saying…

“He’s focused on seeking solutions to problems rather than playing politics like the former governor,” said State Sen. Heath Mello of Omaha, the chairman of the Legislature’s powerful Appropriations Committee.

“Compared to the last governor, (Ricketts) has done a lot more listening and a lot less barking,” said Omaha Sen. Burke Harr, who, like Mello, is a registered Democrat in the officially nonpartisan Legislature.

Uh huh.
When your political opponents — and make no mistake, they are OPPONENTS — criticize you for being “too tough” or “too political”, take that as a point of pride.

When they start telling everyone how awesome you are, then you can start worrying.
Especially when things don’t seem to be going your way.


For those of you (at the OWH) who are still high-fiving yourselves about the esteemed Brad Ashford, Member of Congress, take a look at this transcript from a recent House committee hearing:

The chair is now recognize the gentleman from Nebraska, Mr. Ashford, for five minutes.

If this has been asked, I apologize I was a bit late. But the — the global strike force in Offutt, the functional component command, could you just — if you’ve already talked about that, but could you just — if you have, I’m sorry to ask it again, but could you talk about that, the Offutt Air Force Base Joint Command, functional command facility just (inaudible) future and how it — how you see it evolving.

I could ask, General, if you’d talk about that or…

(Inaudible) security.

Well, Sir…

…and if that — if that question is too — up too, I apologize.

Not really a…

Well, the joint functional command component at Offutt and how do you see that evolving into the future and whether it has the capability or the resources moving forward.

Unfortunately, Sir, I’ll have to get back to you for the record on that.

I don’t have anything else.

The chair now recognizes the gentleman from Oklahoma, Mr. Bridenstine, for five minutes.

I’d say Ashford’s final comments there pretty much sum things up.
If only there were someone around town who had some sort of expertise on Offutt.
You know, maybe even someone willing to run for office…


By the way, could someone remind Brad or whomever the new press person is who writes his Facebook posts, that in the House of Representatives, the bills are known as “H.R”, and not “LR”.

Ashford LR2

I guess that’s a step up from calling them “LB”.


Don Walton is his usual self in his weekly column (though maybe it’s just because of his miserable Yankees). He says, “Oh, no, the 2016 presidential race has begun and it is going to be ugly, negative and dispiriting for the next year and a half.

Really? That’s the takeaway? Everything is awful?

Heck, it’s barely started, and I’m already enjoying it.
Just a hop and a skip over in Iowa, they’ve already had numerous events for the candidates, a few or more where multiple candidates showed. And they talk about their vision for America.

There’s a great sorting going on, particularly in the Republican party. Guys like Cruz and Paul and put themselves proudly on the right, and are talking to all the media. They are contrasting themselves with Bush and Christie and Walker and Perry and Jindal, who aim to show their accomplishments as state Executives. Others such as Rubio and Carson and Fiorina and Graham are introducing themselves. Huckabee and Santorum are re-introiducing themselves, hoping to catch fire again.

Now maybe you like some of them, or all of them or none of them.
But let’s relax with the “ugly, negative and dispiriting” talk, because it’s just not true. Or, of course, you’ve chosen not to pay attention and come up with your own narrative.

Unless of course, you’re talking about the Hillary primary, where you ride around in a mis-named van, go into Chipotle undercover and don’t take any questions from the press.

I suppose that hits all of Don’s marks.
(Which also works if you’re talking about the Yankees.)


My $.02 on the Mayor Jean Stothert and texting:

I get why they want to say text messages should be part of open records. But it might be time for things to be re-written for the modern age of communications.

Do we require every official phone call to be recorded? Should we? What about if a phone call — or a message — IS recorded? Is that the standard? Should it be?

Nowadays, text messages are the equivalent of a live conversation. Why are they treated like a letter — which an email is equivalent to?

How about this: Text messages are exempt, but who you sent one to, and any attachments are public record.

And I have no idea how those should be kept.

Someone fetch the intern to come up with a plan.


For those of you interested, there is a new episode of The Wheels Down Politics Show up, with my interview of Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley. Hear it here:

(Click above to play in the browser or Direct download by clicking here, or by searching Wheels Down Politics on iTunes.)


  1. Note, I wrote “there may be…”.

    The AMA is against legalization of recreational use.

    For medicinal they say:
    Our AMA calls for further adequate and well-controlled studies of marijuana and related cannabinoids in patients who have serious conditions for which preclinical, anecdotal, or controlled evidence suggests possible efficacy and the application of such results to the understanding and treatment of disease.

    My point is, Why the hell is it taking them so long?

  2. Anonymous says:

    GH, are you that naive? 20% of the AMA’s budget is funded by the pharmaceutical lobby. Do you think that lobby wants a much cheaper, competing product to be available to the public? You need to get out of your protective academia bubble occasionally.

  3. Pete says:

    Grundle King couldn’t be more wrong with the Jimmy Johnson comment. Johnson looks nothing like either of the two men pictured above. Methinks Grundle King has been into the medicinal pot.

  4. Second Hand says:

    I wish those state senators who want to casually toke up would just come out and admit they just want to legalize it completely. The overwhelming majority of people who support legalization, including state senators on both sides of the aisle, honestly don’t give a damn about the kid with the brain tumor in Gothenburg. They just want to fire up without getting busted.

  5. warhorse says:

    As a member of courts martial boards, I sent people to prison for selling and using pot. In the profession of arms, there is no room for getting high. DWIs are career killers and just smoking pot gets you two years in prison. Our troops understand this because after Colorado and Washington legalized pot for civilians, the numbers of drug test positives among military servicemen in CO and WA actually dropped per DoD studies. They were betting mil drug use would rise. It dropped.

    The point is, I’m no softy on crime, or on drugs, and I don’t get high. But I am for medical marijuana.

    Why? That’s simple. My spouse has glaucoma that has already required surgery to both eyes. Cannabinoids’ first known medical benefit was its relief of ocular pressure leading to blindness.

    Secondly, I have a systemic disease characterized by pain and ulceration and have for years I been prescribed a bone marrow suppressive normally used as chemotherapy, and also powerful steroids which have since made me osteoporotic, and right now on my shelf I have oxycodone which is just this side of hellish morphine. My specialists have been unsuccessful at tapering these damaging drugs they must prescribe, each attempt sending me into metabolic shock.

    Would we wish to try marijuana cannabinoids as an alternative to any or all of this? Hell yes we would. But it’s against the law, so we don’t.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Marijuana, tobacco and alcohol have all been routinely consumed by people for at least 10.000 years. The AMA already knows the side effects of nicotine and booze is that they kill you dead as a doornail. So what’s the problem with marijuana again? That it might a the cure-all panacea and fountain of youth wrapped in a ball? Get real.

    TV ads constantly tell you to “tell your doctor” to give you this or that drug to cure your whatever, followed by a list of horrible side effects from coronary to stroke and from explosive bowel to spontaneous combustion.

    You can keel over dead from taking what the FDA and AMA already allows drug companies to sell to you and you are worried about pot?

  7. TexasAnnie says:

    Thanx! Street Sweeper for reporting to Gerard what the AMA really wants: the means to legally study this herb. The Epilepsy Foundation is already solidly behind the use of cannabinoid CBD.

    But why the “esteemed” accolade for Gerard? He is wrong on this issue just as he has been on so many issues. While I don’t doubt that some want to legalize medical marijuana on pretense, there actually are many, many medical conditions evidently relieved by it’s use. Just because Gerard doesn’t believe marijuana has any beneficial use doesn’t make it so…

  8. Bob Loblaw says:

    Legalize it completely. Get over this ridiculous waste of money we spend on law enforcement and incarcerations for marijuana sale and use. I’ve never used it and wouldn’t even if it was legal, but why do we waste so much time and money on this failed war on drugs? Legalize it and move on.

  9. Et tu, Sweeper?

    The American Medical Association opposes legalization, including state-based ‘medicinal marijuana’ programs. The policy is H-95.952 Cannabis for Medicinal Use. An endorsement of further research is not an endorsement of legalization.

    The medical use of a dried herb, with the attendant impossibility of accurately ascertaining delivered dose, constituents, and absorption, is never going to be endorsed by a repuatable scientific or medical association.

    As for TA, she as usual is prattling on about a subject of which she knows nothing, and attacking anyone who disagrees. Perhaps she’s been doing a little self-medication herself.

    CBD (cannabidiol) is not THC; in fact, CBD has been bred out of most modern cannabis, because it actually antagonizes THC. The effectiveness of CBD to treat epilepsy is doubtful: google “Marijuana Extract for Children With Epilepsy Is Questioned”.

    This is the problem with all these half-assed, anecdotal opinions, They are essentially useless. Until a proper series of double-blind trials are complete, assessing both risks and benefits, it’s just yak-yak-yak, or in other words, another TA post.

  10. The Grundle King says:

    Hey Pete, I encourage you to contact your local police department, so that they may begin searching for the villainous scoundrel who shoved that stick up your ass. I hope they catch him.

  11. RWP,

    Nebraska est omnis divisa in partes tres.

    I wrote, “Few would doubt that there may be or are medical benefits to marijuana.”
    You countered with, “include the AMA in the ‘few'”.
    I noted that the AMA is still in favor of further research, no matter their current “official” position.
    Ergo(!), I would include the AMA with those who feel there MAY be medical benefits (pick your favorite form of the drug).

    Again, my beef with all of this is that it’s NOT settled — apparently since groups like the AMA want to study it more — when we’ve had millenia to study it.

  12. Well, actually, a lot of it is settled. We know a lot about cannabinoid receptors and their pharmacology. But no researcher is ever going to tell you you shouldn’t spend even more money in their particular area, Just as no AD will ever tell you they couldn’t use a better weight-room.

    No non-quack is going to advocate administering the messy, complex mixture of bio-interacting chemical compounds that is the oily component of cannabis. No non-quack is going to tell you to light it and smoke it, when there are ways of getting it into the body that don’t mutate your lungs. ‘Medical’ marijuana is a scam.

  13. Funny, slightly relevant story.

    Back when I was doing graduate research in a lab at MIT in the 1980s, there was a visiting scientist from U. Conn. who was looking at the effect of THC on biological membranes. At the time, the cannabinoid receptors had not been discovered, and a popular hypothesis was that THC, a very hydrophobic (oily) molecule, worked by interacting with the hydrophobic core of brain cell membranes. Anyway, he kept this Class I controlled substance in the lab refrigerator. One Friday evening, the lab. tech., who was a hard-core stoner, pulled the bottle out and said “Look at this. Like someone would keep actual THC is a lab fridge!” No, we assured him, that was real THC. There had been a lot of jokes about making brownies, but I don’t think anyone had touched it until then.

    About 6 months later, Alex, the visiting scientist, frustrated at his inability to detect any effect of THC at all on biological membranes, decided to check the purity of his THC. It was pure, all right. Pure lab alcohol. Someone had ripped off the THC and replaced it with ethanol.

    He was of course furious, but couldn’t do much about it, because the first question the DEA would ask was why he had a controlled substance in the general lab refrigerator (Answer: he was too cheap to buy a dedicated locked fridge for his samples). So several thousand dollars worth of incredibly pure dope simply disappeared, and no one said anything.

    That might be one reason for my slightly jaundiced view of cannabinoid research.

  14. TexasAnnie says:

    Gerard: Of course CBD is not THC; that was my point. I want the CBD for my daughter, as I had already stated. I want it because: 1) the Epilepsy Foundation supports it, and 2) because my daughter’s neurologist has spoken about it’s efficacy. I also saw the CNN specials on the subject: Weed, Weed2, and Weed3. In states where medical marijuana is already legal, special cannabis plants are being breed to magnify CBD (and minimize THC). The oil extracted is being administered with a dropper, orally. And it’s working!!! Safely, even for very young children. (My daughter is well into adulthood.)

    Yet you keep insisting that marijuana has no medical value, and that persons such as myself who want it, must be potheads. Do you think I should acquire a degree in chemistry before opining about seizure control? Or do you think I should tell my daughter’s neurologist her opinion is meritless?
    Do you, Gerard?

  15. No, it doesn’t support it.

    If you get your medical information from CNN, that’s too bad. I suggest you get a second opinion on the CBD. The medical trials so far aren’t persuasive.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I’m not advocating going back to the snake-oil days, but a substance doesn’t have to be tested to an extreme before people are allowed to use it. And there are plenty of examples where the testing was faulty and missed devastating side effects. Now marijuana has been used by quite a few people over quite a long period of time with minimal side effects discovered by these human guinea pigs. I have a close relative who switched from a pharmaceutical to smoking marijuana with very positive results and less side effects. Call it a placebo effect if you want, but it works for him. It’s only the arrogance of science (and people like GH) that don’t want you using something unless they declare it safe and effective. (And don’t forget the profit motive of existing pharmaceutical manufacturers that don’t want a cheap competitor. This has often resulted in completely erroneous “research”.)

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