Posts tagged elections
As potential 2016 candidates gather their policy advisors and begin to isolate their views on key issues, they may want to consider one above the rest — weed. 

You can make stoner jokes all you want, but marijuana policy stands to affect just as many Americans as immigration policy does in the coming years. And while Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have made their views on border control clear, the fast-changing weed landscape (a full 54 percent of Americans now favor legalization) has left Republicans and Democrats all over the map when it comes to toking. 

Some have been altogether mum on the topic — the last time Hillary Clinton spoke publicly about weed policy was during the 2008 campaign. In 2012, it was laughable to think that Colorado would legalize recreational weed. 

Less than two years later, 75 percent of Americans think legalization nationwide is inevitable. Even President Obama has deemed pot no more dangerous than alcohol. 

Suddenly, a majority of Americans are comfortable with their neighbors smoking pot, and politicians will have to decide whether or not they should embrace that or take a more cautious position. 

Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer tells The Wall Street Journal, “All of a sudden the ground is shifting, and it’s uncomfortable and complicated. Marijuana has become an issue that candidates have got to pay attention to.” 

Back in October, The New Republic’s Nate Cohn imagined how candidates could use the issue against each other in the primaries: “Many candidates will have incentives to use the issue, whether it’s a cultural conservative using marijuana to hurt Rand Paul among evangelicals in Iowa, or a liberal trying to stoke a progressive revolt against Clinton’s candidacy.” 

So will presidential hopefuls come out joints blazing in 2016? That remains to be seen. Here’s where the candidates stand now: 

Weed Is the Sleeper Issue of 2016 - The Wire

As potential 2016 candidates gather their policy advisors and begin to isolate their views on key issues, they may want to consider one above the rest — weed.

You can make stoner jokes all you want, but marijuana policy stands to affect just as many Americans as immigration policy does in the coming years. And while Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have made their views on border control clear, the fast-changing weed landscape (a full 54 percent of Americans now favor legalization) has left Republicans and Democrats all over the map when it comes to toking.

Some have been altogether mum on the topic — the last time Hillary Clinton spoke publicly about weed policy was during the 2008 campaign. In 2012, it was laughable to think that Colorado would legalize recreational weed.

Less than two years later, 75 percent of Americans think legalization nationwide is inevitable. Even President Obama has deemed pot no more dangerous than alcohol.

Suddenly, a majority of Americans are comfortable with their neighbors smoking pot, and politicians will have to decide whether or not they should embrace that or take a more cautious position.

Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer tells The Wall Street Journal, “All of a sudden the ground is shifting, and it’s uncomfortable and complicated. Marijuana has become an issue that candidates have got to pay attention to.”

Back in October, The New Republic’s Nate Cohn imagined how candidates could use the issue against each other in the primaries: “Many candidates will have incentives to use the issue, whether it’s a cultural conservative using marijuana to hurt Rand Paul among evangelicals in Iowa, or a liberal trying to stoke a progressive revolt against Clinton’s candidacy.”

So will presidential hopefuls come out joints blazing in 2016? That remains to be seen. Here’s where the candidates stand now:

Weed Is the Sleeper Issue of 2016 - The Wire

Guardian US: 
"In this week’s gallery of the best photojournalism from the week, we pay tribute to regular contributor Anja Niedringhaus. The Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer was killed this week covering the presidential election in Afghanistan. She worked in the conflict areas of the Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Libya from where she always displayed compassionate and courageous photojournalism." 
ZoomInfo
Guardian US: 
"In this week’s gallery of the best photojournalism from the week, we pay tribute to regular contributor Anja Niedringhaus. The Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer was killed this week covering the presidential election in Afghanistan. She worked in the conflict areas of the Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Libya from where she always displayed compassionate and courageous photojournalism." 
ZoomInfo
Guardian US: 
"In this week’s gallery of the best photojournalism from the week, we pay tribute to regular contributor Anja Niedringhaus. The Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer was killed this week covering the presidential election in Afghanistan. She worked in the conflict areas of the Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Libya from where she always displayed compassionate and courageous photojournalism." 
ZoomInfo
A printer error is to blame for the cutest “I Voted” stickers ever created in lucky Dorchester County, South Carolina. 

If any of you followers can track down and send nwktumblr some of these, we’ll be forever grateful.

A printer error is to blame for the cutest “I Voted” stickers ever created in lucky Dorchester County, South Carolina.

If any of you followers can track down and send nwktumblr some of these, we’ll be forever grateful.

I think that focusing so much on someone’s personal, sexual, or marital affairs is a distraction. It’s a matter of degree; if it’s above a certain point, yes. If you have someone who has lived a polygamous life, that would raise questions about their character and ability to obey the law. But the fact that somebody had been divorced and remarried—so what? Infidelity? If people want to put that into their evaluation, they have the right to do so. But the first thing I want to assess is your ability to lead and solve problems.
Herman Cain, he the one-time frontrunner of the GOP primary campaign, tells us about the role he thinks sexual behavior ought to play in evaluating candidates for public office. 
I think we have to seriously consider whether there is some sort of a Bradley Effect in the polling on gay rights issues, although one of the pollsters (PPP, which had a very bad night in NY-23) got it exactly right. As for the model, I think I’ll need to look whether the urban-rural divide is a significant factor in a state in addition to its religiosity: Maine is secular, but rural. At the end of the day, it may have been too much to ask of a state to vote to approve gay marriage in an election where gay marriage itself was the headline issue on the ballot. Although the enthusiasm gap is very probably narrowing, feelings about gay marriage have traditionally been much stronger on the right than the left, and that’s what gets people up off the couch in off-year elections.
For me, the biggest question raised by the results is this: if the Democratic candidates had run as “Obama Democrats” (in the vein of “Reagan Republicans”) what would that campaign look like? Can the appeal of the Obama ’08 campaign – change, hope etc - even be localized? Or does its very existence revolve around the enormous possibility of the Presidency? How do congressional or state office candidates take the Obama credo and reasonably apply it to local issues, like speed limits and playgrounds?