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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Charlestown Dems complete their endorsements for state candidates

CDTC calls on town Democrats to support endorsed slate in the September primary
By Will Collette
I wear two hats in Charlestown, and not just because I’m bald. One hat is as co-editor of Progressive Charlestown. The other is as a member of the Charlestown Democratic Town Committee (CDTC). 

This is one of those occasions where I am reporting on decisions that I was part of making. It may not make for the best journalism, but so it goes.

After interviewing nearly every candidate running as a Democrat for state office, the CDTC finalized its list of candidates it recommends to Charlestown voters who go to the polls in September’s primary:

Chemistry is Delicious

The accidental origins of artificial sweeteners 
By Andy Warner in The Nib 

Click here to learn how artificial sweetner was invented.

Save Lives - immunize!

Anti-winders keep blowing

By FRANK CARINI/ecoRI News staff

PEACE DALE — Both sides of a recent debate held at the Lily Pads Professional Center agreed on one thing: climate change is being caused by human activity. However, they disagreed whether industrial wind, specifically the proposed wind farms off the coast of Rhode Island, is a solution to curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

Deepwater Resistance
, a grassroots effort dedicated to “preserving and protecting the environment from detrimental intrusion of offshore wind power into Rhode Island and its waters,” organized the April 15 discussion. 

Two members of the political action committee (PAC) debated the pros and cons of the proposed Block Island wind farm with two Sierra Club members — Abel Collins, program manager for the Rhode Island chapter, and Drew Grande, who runs the Beyond Coal Campaign for the Massachusetts chapter.

The Block Island Wind Farm’s five turbines would produce 30 megawatts of electricity. The wind farm would be located entirely in Rhode Island waters — some 3 miles southeast of Block Island — and generate about 125,000 megawatt-hours annually.

Deepwater Wind also is actively pursuing the development of a 200-turbine project in 285 square miles of federal waters off Rhode Island that would provide power to Rhode Island, Long Island and Massachusetts.

Deepwater Resistance member Gerry McCarthy said his organization is concerned about the way Deepwater Wind pushed the projects through state government.

“The PUC (Public Utilities Commission) said no because the project wasn’t economically viable, so Deepwater Wind then went through the back rooms of the Statehouse,” McCarthy said. “It creates in the public mind a sense of mistrust. They’re not being transparent.”

McCarthy’s group calls Deepwater Wind a “Wall Street financial creation that intends to make a fortune at our expense (just like 38 Studios),” using offshore wind energy financial incentives currently offered by state and federal government. [EDITOR'S NOTE: Pul-eeze! The government currently subsidizes EVERY form of energy - coal, oil, gas, nuclear - but it seems as if only green energy has to prove it is completely self-sufficient].

Bacon Is Not a Vegetable

You can't encourage other people to eat a diet that's better for them and the planet by getting all vegangelical on them.

As a vegetarian, I have to walk a fine line.
Really, I’m not judging you. But I often find it necessary to establish myself as “not a threat” to meat eaters. I also occasionally bump up against militant vegans.
Consider this collision I had the other day with a devout vegangelical. While at a potluck among an omnivorous group that included a woman who raises and slaughters chickens and turkeys for meat, I tried to politely excuse myself for not partaking in most of the food.“I’m vegetarian,” I said. “Well, mostly vegetarian.”
Then I tried to crack a bad joke. “I’m vegetarian except for when I eat bacon.”
Big mistake. Vegangelicals have no sense of humor.

Seeking the truth about gun violence

Meet the Doctor Who Gave $1 Million of His Own Money to Keep His Gun Research Going

by Lois Beckett, ProPublica

fail animated GIFFederal funding for research on gun violence has been restricted for nearly two decades. President Obama urged Congress to allocate $10 million for new research after the Newtown school shooting. But House Republicans say they won't approve it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's budget still lists zero dollars for research on gun violence prevention.

One of the researchers who lost funding in the political battle over studying firearms was Dr. Garen Wintemute, a professor of emergency medicine who runs the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California, Davis. Wintemute is, by his own count, one of only a dozen researchers across the country who have continued to focus full-time on firearms violence.

To keep his research going, Wintemute has donated his own money, as the science journal Nature noted in a profile of him last year. As of the end of 2013, he has donated about $1.1 million, according to Kathryn Keyes, a fundraiser at UC Davis' development office. His work has also continued to get funding from some foundations and the state of California.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cathy Collette inducted into the Rhode Island Hall of Fame

Thank you to all the friends and family who turned out
By Will Collette

Last Saturday, I saw my life companion of 44 years, Catherine O’Reilly Collette, inducted into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame, one of nine people so honored this year. 

Cathy is the first Rhode Island woman from organized labor to earn this honor and was recognized largely for her years of international work to promote the rights of women workers throughout the world.

I was moved by how many people came out to support Cathy. In addition to family and our Charlestown friends, there were trade unionists, labor historians and political leaders from all over Rhode Island. In all, they filled ten of the tables and then some. If there’s one thing that Cathy and I have learned to appreciate during our lives as activists, it’s turn-out.

I also want to thank the Westerly Sun and Cynthia Drummond for the article they ran that did a nice job of capturing the broad sweep of Cathy’s career.

What do you expect?

The comic about the GOP's historical unconcern about public health.

Rhetoric versus reality

Debating the Heritage Foundation

Stephen Moore, conservative economist 
who doesn’t understand Rhode Island.
Stephen Moore, the Royal Economist at the Heritage Foundation came to town last Saturday, to debate me in an event sponsored by the Rhode Island Center for Freedom, Prosperity, and Apple Pie. Was it an educational experience?  Well, possibly.

I did learn, for example, that Moore knows pretty much nothing about Rhode Island politics, economics, the history of its manufacturing sector, or even the legislative history of the past 25 years.

And he admits it, too, though he very much wants our state to take his advice. For example, he made repeated references to the way we “demonize” business owners and tax them at high rates without being able to be specific about what he meant, or to contradict the long list I gave him of tax cuts for rich people we have enacted over the past 20 years. In fact, the number of broad-based tax increases enacted by the state legislature since 1993 is zero, while taxes were cut for rich people in 1996, 1998, 2001 (twice), 2005, 2006 and 2010.

Beach passes ready for sale

Pass prices for Charlestown Town Beach and Blue Shutters Beach

Rhode Island Hospital study challenges medical marijuana assumption

Legalizing medical marijuana doesn't increase use among adolescents, study says

Parents and physicians concerned about an increase in adolescents' marijuana use following the legalization of medical marijuana can breathe a sigh of relief. 

According to a new study at Rhode Island Hospital which compared 20 years worth of data from states with and without medical marijuana laws, legalizing the drug did not lead to increased use among adolescents. The study is published online in advance of print in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Here's a tip: $2.13 an hour is not a fair wage

The Secret Sauce Behind Leading Opponents of a Minimum Wage Increase

By LeeAnn Hall and Saru Jayaraman 

There's a heated debate going on in Congress and many state capitols this spring over raising the minimum wage. One of the key players -- and a vocal opponent of wage increases -- is the restaurant lobby, led by the National Restaurant Association (NRA).
time animated GIF
So, when the Restaurant Association holds its annual lobby day in Washington, DC in late April, topping its agenda will be this: to stick a fork in the proposed federal minimum wage increase.

The NRA has an impressive track record on this score: Congress hasn't voted to increase the minimum wage since 2007, and the tipped minimum that applies to many restaurant workers remains frozen at $2.13 an hour... where it's been stuck since 1991.

Whose interests does the NRA represent? Its membership includes a kitchen sink list of corporate chains, including Darden Restaurants (parent company of Red Lobster, Olive Garden, and Capital Grille), YUM! Brands (parent of Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut), Walt Disney, McDonald’s, Marriott, Sodexo, Aramark, Starbucks, and Coca-Cola -- all members of the Fortune 500 or Global 500.

Monday, April 28, 2014

SRIV takes over supervision of Charlestown Community Garden

Garden poised to grow
Beware, Charlestown vampires - the garlic is coming up!
By Will Collette

In a quiet and noncontroversial way, the Charlestown Town Council approved the transformation of the Charlestown Community Garden from being a quasi-municipal program to becoming a part of the network of services run by the non-profit Southern Rhode Island Volunteers (SRIV). The measure was included in the Council’s “consent agenda” for April 14 and was approved unanimously without discussion or debate.

The Garden was started in spring 2011 in Ninigret Park and has been producing up to 3,000 pound of fresh vegetables and fruit each year. That produce is distributed among local food panties and programs including SRIV’s senior meals program.

SRIV Director Deb Tanner said “SRIV is already delivering meals on wheels and food from local food pantries to elders, disabled adults, and families in need.  SRIV also provides rides for senior citizens to RICAN and the Jonnycake Center food pantries to pick up food.  The garden’s purpose just fits our mission of service to our neighbors in need across Washington County.”

Vaccination saves lives

Wednesday - Environmental Lobby Day at the State House

Citizen lobbyists are needed more than ever, given this year's change\
in the House leadership
By ecoRI News staff

PROVIDENCE — On the afternoon of April 30 — to cap off Earth Month, and as state lawmakers begin the last leg of the 2014 legislative session — the Environment Council of Rhode Island (ECRI) will be holding its annual “Earth Day at the Statehouse.”

With the General Assembly considering legislation to cap global warming pollution, expand renewable energy, ban plastic shopping bags and implement statewide composting, this event, from 2:30-4:30 p.m., will feature environmental advocates, activists, organizations and concerned citizens lobbying for Rhode Island's environment.

This Saturday, pitch in by pitching out

Join the conversation

Lynn Baker-Dooley, South County Habitat for Humanity, URI student volunteers discuss Home for a Hero project during Google+ Hangout, Apr. 30

KINGSTON, R.I. –Student volunteers from URI Habitat for Humanity joined South County Habitat for Humanity last fall on the Home for a Hero project to build a home for disabled veteran, James LeShane. 

As the home’s completion date nears, the University of Rhode Island will host a Google+ Hangout with a panel of guests involved in the latest URI-sponsored project on Wednesday, April 30 from 1 to 1:30 p.m. to learn more about the initiative and the home’s progress.

DEM stops fish-stocking at Carolina trout pond

Dam needs repair

cat animated GIFPROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management's Division of Fish & Wildlife announces that the stocking of trout will be suspended at the Carolina Trout Pond, Richmond, until dam repairs can be made.

Due to the heavy rains this spring and a drainage system failure, the stability of the earthen dam at the Carolina Trout Pond has been compromised. Anglers are being asked to stay off the dam. Repairs are due to begin soon.

Fish stocking which includes the May 3rd & 4th - Free Fishing Weekend, the Golden Trout stocking at the Carolina Trout Pond will be suspended. An alternative site will be Browning Mill Pond, in Exeter.

Free fishing May 3 & 4

Anglers Can Catch a Golden Rainbow Trout and Win a Prize

PROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management announces that Saturday, May 3 and Sunday, May 4 are free fishing days in Rhode Island. During those two days, all Rhode Islanders and visitors can fish in freshwaters without a fishing license or trout conservation stamp. The free fishing weekend does not apply to saltwater fishing or saltwater licenses.

"Free fishing weekend is a terrific incentive to get outdoors and try something new, especially after the long, cold winter we've endured this year," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "Grab a fishing pole and head out to Rhode Island's lakes and ponds on the first weekend in May to catch the beautiful brook, brown and rainbow trout raised in DEM's hatcheries. A few lucky anglers will catch the gorgeous golden trout that we've stocked in fishing areas across the state for this free event."

Sunday, April 27, 2014

VIDEO: Charlestown Tapas

Lots more tasty tidbits of local news
By Will Collette
Misquamicut Beach project starts late

dog animated GIFAs of April 23, no sand had been moved from Botka’s sand pit at the north end of Pasquiset Pond down Routes Two and One to Misquamicut. The federally-funded beach restoration project requires 84,000 cubic yards of sand mined in Charlestown to be moved via thousands of truck round-trips to the beach by June 1 via Route Two to Route One and back again. Click here for earlier details.

They were supposed to start in early April but blew at least two weeks of an already tight window of time. They’ve finally started moving the sand and, so far, plan to work Monday through Friday, though they just got Westerly's approval to work on Saturday too. The contractor, MZM Construction of New Jersey, is subject to daily penalties of $2,385 if the job isn’t done by June 1.

Charlestown unemployment dips slightly

White (+ guns) make right

Rancher Bundy
By Tom Tomorrow

Click here to see Rancher Bundy take on the fascists who want to take away your freedom.

How about skipping the lawn chemicals this year?

This bank is your bank, this bank is my bank. Really.

Making Banking Work for Everyone

Editor’s Note: in the interest of full disclosure, Keith is an old friend of mine; I finished out my career working with Keith at the textile workers union.  Keith is now an executive at Amalgamated Bank, the only bank in the United States that was founded by and is run by a labor union and its members. - WC

Finally, Congress and state officials are working to crack down on the payday loan industry was welcome--and overdue. For too long, America has been facing a crisis hiding in plain sight: Nearly 1/3 of the U.S. population is unbanked or underbanked. These are men and women who either don't use banks at all, or rely on check cashing services, payday loans, money orders and pawn shops for most of their financial needs.

We have to change

IPCC concludes: Renewable energy shift is a must

Animation Domination High-Def animated GIFFrom: ENN Editor 
Conclusions from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's are simple: rapid shifts to renewable energy are needed to avert catastrophic global warming. The IPCC's report was produced by 1250 international experts and approved by each major government in the world. 

The report documented increases in human-caused greenhouse gases, the source of those gases, and their climatic effect. The most significant conclusions resulting from IPPC report are:

- Current efforts to reduce greenhouse gases are not enough.
- Energy supply is not the only thing driving emission increases.
- Big changes will be needed to avoid disaster scenarios.

Apparently, not the silver bullet

Green Bullets Bill Misses Target

By TIM FAULKNER/ News staff

PROVIDENCE — A bill that would take the lead out of hunting ammunition was effectively shot down during its first Statehouse hearing. “I don’t think we are particularly ready for this particular bill at this time,” said Rep. Donna Walsh, D-Charlestown, a member of the House Committee on the Environment and Natural Resources. 
From the start of the April 17 House hearing, Walsh questioned the ban, noting that alternative ammunition such as tungsten and bismuth are no safer than lead. She also questioned whether animals killed by lead bullets pose a risk to humans.

“I’ve eaten a lot of game pheasants, rabbits, deer, the whole thing and I think my brain is still pretty good. I’m OK," she said.

The bill 7838 seeks to remove all lead hunting ammunition in Rhode Island by 2017. It mimics a California law, the only full ban on lead ammunition in the country, passed in 2013. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service banned lead from waterfowl hunting in 1991. Lead is allowed for land-based hunting, sport shooting and fishing tackle.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

How to make $27.5 billion and pay no taxes

You Pay Taxes -- Why Doesn't General Electric?
By Frank Clemente 

You pay your fair share of taxes. Small businesses do too. It's the price we pay to educate our kids, protect our communities and have some security in retirement. Why shouldn't some of Americas largest corporations pay their fair share too?

Corporations are making record profits. But 111 profitable Fortune 500 companies paid zero federal income taxes in one or more of the past five years, according to a recent report by Citizens for Tax Justice. What's worse -- 26 of them, including Boeing, General Electric and Verizon, paid nothing over the entire five-years. Astoundingly, they got tax refunds instead.

General Electric, which in the past has been the focus of media attention because of its record of paying an extremely low income tax rate, provides a vivid example. GE earned a whopping $27.5 billion in profits between 2008 and 2012, but claimed $3 billion in tax refunds -- a federal income tax rate of negative 11 percent.

Put another way, GE paid less in federal income taxes than you paid over five years.

Campaign Finance Deforms

The side effects of pumping even more money into elections

Click here to see what you have to look forward to (thank you, Supremes)

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Massive Nearby Spiral Galaxy NGC 2841 

It is one of the more massive galaxies known. A mere 46 million light-years distant, spiral galaxy NGC 2841 can be found in the northern constellation of Ursa Major.

This sharp view of the gorgeous island universe shows off a striking yellow nucleus and galactic disk. Dust lanes, small, pink star-forming regions, and young blue star clusters are embedded in the patchy, tightly wound spiral arms. 

In contrast, many other spirals exhibit grand, sweeping arms with large star-forming regions. 

NGC 2841 has a diameter of over 150,000 light-years, even larger than our own Milky Way and captured by this composite image merging exposures from the orbiting 2.4-meter Hubble Space Telescope and the ground-based 8.2-meter Subaru TelescopeX-ray images suggest that resulting winds and stellar explosions create plumes of hot gas extending into a halo around NGC 2841.

VIDEO: Day-O, we have no bananas

Get Ready to Say Goodbye to Bananas
By Susan Bird, Care2, in ENN.comMore from this Affiliate 

Who doesn't love a nice banana? They're tasty portable snacks, they make a great daiquiri, and they’re wonderful additions to a green smoothie or bowl of oatmeal. Well, eat your fill now, because if history is any indicator, global banana production may soon be in serious jeopardy.

The culprit is disease. Specifically, a strain of a tropical fungus is targeting the most popular form of banana, and there is currently no effective treatment.

Governor's race: Dems lay out plans for the environment, Republicans don't even show up

By ecoRI News staff

PROVIDENCE — The four Democratic candidates for governor laid out their plans on how they would 
prepare Rhode Island for climate change during a 90-minute forum April 24 hosted by the Environment Council of Rhode Island (ECRI) and ecoRI News and held in Brown University’s List Auditorium. Republican candidates Ken Block and Cranston Mayor Alan Fung declined to participate.

The forum opened with presentations by two climate change experts, John King, professor of oceanography at the University of Rhode Island, and J. Timmons Roberts, professor of environmental studies and sociology at Brown. Their presentations outlined the scientific consensus regarding the rapid increase in carbon dioxide emissions and translated that data into expected local impacts, including sea-level rise, temperature increases, warming urban centers, loss of coastal habitats, increased frequency of extreme weather events, ocean acidification and the potential for species extinction at a level rarely recorded in Earth’s history.

Companion Animal of the Week

Meet Cassie

Hi, I am Cassie, a young beagle mix who will warm your heart. Being part beagle and a puppy yet means I am a bundle of energy, so I'd love to find a forever home with lots of room to run and companions who take me out for lots of walks and games of catch. 

I'm not all playtime though, once I have gotten a good workout I am ready to relax alongside my new family. 

Can I be a new part of your family?  I will undoubtedly bring a whole new level of excitement and love if you give me a chance.  Thanks!

Please stop by our shelter located at 506B Curtis Corner Road in Peace Dale or call 401-783-7606 for more information about cute Cassie or our many other adoptable pets waiting for their new forever homes. You can also visit our new website at

Friday, April 25, 2014

VIDEO: We deserve a break

Why the Minimum Wage should really be raised to $15 an hour
Momentum is building to raise the minimum wage. Several states have already taken action  — Connecticut has boosted it to $10.10 by 2017, the Maryland legislature just approved a similar measure, Minnesota lawmakers just reached a deal to hike it to $9.50. A few cities have been more ambitious — Washington, D.C. and its surrounding counties raised it to $11.50, Seattle is considering $15.00

Senate Democrats will soon introduce legislation raising it nationally to $10.10, from the current $7.25 an hour.

All this is fine as far as it goes. But we need to be more ambitious. We should be raising the federal minimum to $15 an hour.

Here are seven reasons why:

Hate, hate, hate

Power to the Plutocracy
By Bill Day

Click here to read the hater's primer.

Explain this!

Science Skeptics
By Adam Zyglis

Click here to learn why you can't trust scientists.

"The Most Massive Woman Wins"

URI students, graduates perform in play that explores body image for women

KINGSTON, R.I. – April 3, 2014 – If you’re a woman chances are you’ve looked in the mirror and fretted that you're overweight. Or maybe you’ve worried that your hips are too wide or your legs too thick.

Help is on the way. The “Out Loud Theatre’’ group is touring throughout the state with a show that helps women of all shapes and sizes learn how to accept and, ultimately, embrace their bodies.

How do you like your burger?

Hamburger hazards and emotions

by Marc Abrahams, Improbable Research 
hamburger animated GIFComes news about how some people in some places react to hypothetical questions about photographs of hamburgers. The study, freshly published online, is:

Hamburger hazards and emotions,” Nina Veflen Olsen, Elin Røssvoll, Solveig Langsrud, Joachim Scholderer, Appetite, vol. 78, 1 July 2014, pp. 95–101. (Thanks to @Neuro_Skeptic for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at Nofima, Oslovn, Norway and Aarhus University, Denmark explain:

“Previous studies indicate that many consumers eat rare hamburgers and that information about microbiological hazards related to undercooked meat not necessarily leads to more responsible behavior.

Saying ‘no’ to not drugs

Industrial hemp and marijuana law reform

When the RI General Assembly passed a law prohibiting smoking in public places, it made our restaurants and bars healthier places for their patrons and employees. Sure was a step in the right direction, but what was not a widely publicized fact after the law passed was that the following year, organizations like Save the Bay and Keep America Beautiful noticed a distinct uptick in the amount of cigarette butts cleaned up from our beaches and waterways. 

As it happens, when you make people smoke outside, they tend to throw their cigarette butts on the ground.

Anyone with a basic understanding of, well, life in general, is familiar with unintended consequences. They are the unforeseen hiccups and downright disasters that accompany all decisions made. Most of the time, they are quite bad, but sometimes they can be good. The law of unintended consequences certainly rears it’s head when laws get passed without adequate scrutiny, but there is a very serious positive aspect to legalizing, taxing, and regulating marijuana use that no one has mentioned in the debate.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

In Memoriam: Barry Greever

Pioneer in research techniques for community organizing
Barry Greever (photo circa 1980 by Will Collette)
By Will Collette

A few days ago, I learned that an old friend of mine, Barry Greever, had died. Barry’s name is hardly a household word, but within community and labor activists of a certain age, Barry is known as a pioneer of an important craft, that of strategic and tactical research. 

His 1970s pamphlet, “Tactical Investigations for People’s Struggles,” influenced a generation of organizers by providing a vocabulary and a framework for how to do research that increases the ability of an organization to fight and win.

Before Barry, unions and community groups would collect information during the course of a campaign, but often without any precision or planning, leading groups to rely almost exclusively on turning out as many people as possible and having them yell as loud as possible.

Now, turn-out and loudness are still essential elements, but what Barry introduced was a way to be more focused and disciplined by adding intelligence gathering to the picture. That factor added greatly to the ability of people to gain some measure of power and control over their lives.

Supreme stupidity

Get your words' worth
By Jen Sorenson

Click here for a new way to think about golden tongues.

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Orion Nebula in Surrounding Dust 

What surrounds a hotbed of star formation? In the case of the Orion Nebula -- dust. The entire Orion field, located about 1600 light years away, is inundated with intricate and picturesque filaments of dust. 

Opaque to visible light, dust is created in the outer atmosphere of massive cool stars and expelled by a strong outer wind of particles.

The Trapezium and other forming star clusters are embedded in the nebula. The intricate filaments of dust surrounding M42 and M43 appear gray in the image below, while central glowing gas is highlighted in brown and blue.

Over the next few million years much of Orion's dust will be slowly destroyed by the very stars now being formed, or dispersed into the Galaxy.

Sunday - get out there and muck out the ponds!

Everybody's got the right to live

A Living Wage is an Equal Voice

By Luz Vega-Marquis 
ADWEEK animated GIFTake a look at your bills: What do you pay for food, housing, clothing, health care, utilities and transportation? How much would it take for your family to just get by? Could you make it on $15,000 a year? $21,000? What would your family have to do without to make ends meet?

What exactly does it take to make it in America?

The working poor are not fundamentally different, nor do they practice some kind of magical math that allows them to support their families on wages that would sink your own.

Brain changes associated with casual marijuana use in young adults

More 'joints' equal more damage
arnold schwarzenegger animated GIFThe size and shape of two brain regions involved in emotion and motivation may differ in young adults who smoke marijuana at least once a week, according to a study published April 16 in The Journal of Neuroscience

The findings suggest that recreational marijuana use may lead to previously unidentified brain changes, and highlight the importance of research aimed at understanding the long-term effects of low to moderate marijuana use on the brain.

Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States, with an estimated 18.9 million people reporting recent use, according to the most current analysis of the National Survey on Drug Use and Mental Health. 

Marijuana use is often associated with motivation, attention, learning, and memory impairments. 

Ryan’s Joke Is on Us

The Wisconsin Republican's budget scheme slashes job training, education, infrastructure repairs, medical research, public broadcasting, the arts, and pretty much anything else that regular people want and need.

My guess is that Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican Party’s highly touted budget guru, doesn’t have a very tight grip on the concept of irony.

Otherwise, why would he choose April Fools’ Day to release the latest version of what the GOP intends to do to federal programs (and to the people who count on them) if it takes total control of Congress? 

But there he was on April 1, declaring with a straight face that, “We [Republicans] believe that we owe it to the country to offer an alternative to the status quo. It’s just that simple.”