Feb 24, 2017: Restlessness on the Right | Pot Shot | L.A. Lawless

Pot Shot - Red for the Blue newsletter

1. Rising Impatience on the Right?

Donald Trump has signed a whirlwind of executive orders, but there is growing impatience in the Red Media about the progress (or lack thereof) -on repealing Obamacare and passing tax reform.

On Tuesday, Conservative Review asked: “Why is the GOP just sitting around on repealing Obamacare after winning the impossible?”

Then, the former House Speaker, John Boehner, set off a storm of threats on Twitter when he told Politico yesterday that any changes to The Affordable Care Act would likely be modest, at best.

Mark Romano, who has 50k followers @TheMarkRomano wrote:

John Boehner: Republicans won't repeal Obamacare.

If they don't, it is time for a new party!!!

Source: https://t.co/mcoMTXmmcU

— Mark Romano (@TheMarkRomano) February 23, 2017

Wayne Allyn Root, with 109k followers at ‏@WayneRoot,  wrote:

This is why 62 MM voted 4 Trump. Screw Boehner. Trump will make him look foolish. Or we'll have all their scalps.https://t.co/SGPopb08T5

— Wayne Allyn Root (@WayneRoot) February 23, 2017

This morning, Alex Jones’s Infowars asked its audience: “How angry Will You Be If the Republicans in Congress do not Repeal Obamacare?”

Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin took it on the chin from Rush Limbaugh yesterday when the ex-Goldmanite told FOX Business that tax reform would take until August.

Said Limbaugh:

“I mean, there are no excuses. Republicans have the White House, they have the House, they have the Senate. The Democrats cannot stop the Republicans with votes. They cannot stop. In the Senate there’s the 60 votes thing, but they can’t stop this. (Rush reading from a newspaper here) ‘During an interview with the FOX Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the administration is ‘focused on an aggressive timeline‘ to produce a tax reform plan by August.’ Now, wait a minute. There’s nothing ‘aggressive’ about a tax reform plan being produced by August.”

Why We’re Watching: 
Ted Cruz warned CPAC that the Republicans better start moving on these two issues -- or pay the price. Is the price coming due sooner than expected?

2. The Opiate Connection

Apparently, the Obamacare Medicaid expansion is not only a botch, it’s the villain for the opioid crisis as well. The neocon bible Commentary ran a piece by Nicholas Eberstadt that cited Sam Quinones’s award-winning book, “Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Problem.” An excerpt from the Commentary piece:

How did so many millions of un-working men, whose incomes are limited, manage en masse to afford a constant supply of pain medication? Oxycontin is not cheap. As Dreamland carefully explains, one main mechanism today has been the welfare state: more specifically, Medicaid, Uncle Sam’s means-tested health-benefits program.

Meanwhile, two occasional Trump advisors, Chris Christie and Newt Gingrich, have both hitched their careers to solving the Opioid crisis. Christie has been running ads for substance abuse programs in New Jersey and supposedly discussed a new task force with Trump at a recent meatloaf lunch. Gingrich, who has pointed to “Dreamland” in the past and Medicaid’s role in the opioid epidemic, continues to lead Advocates Group for Opioid Addiction, which has been running a hashtag campaign, #letsTrumpaddiction. The group writes of its mission: “President Trump has the opportunity now to break the social and institutional stigma surrounding addiction and save lives.”

A video to support the cause says: “In all too many cases, the patient is literally just doing what the doctor told them to do… and their lives are destroyed.”

Some tweets on behalf of #LetsTrumpAddiction below:

The opioid crisis claims nearly 100 lives every day. Add your voice to @AORecovery's movement: https://t.co/Vz7sZMzECC#LetsTrumpAddiction pic.twitter.com/a16m2RbGNy

— Patrick J. Kennedy (@PJK4brainhealth) February 23, 2017

Join me in supporting this campaign to help people get the opioid addiction treatment they need. #LetsTrumpAddictionhttps://t.co/0tbZ2CzuC7

— Sloane Reed (@SloaneReed) February 24, 2017

What We’re Watching:
Christie made the case to Trump that the opioid crisis affects the president’s voters disproportionately. But substance treatment is expensive. So is this an excuse to cut Medicaid or to increase substance abuse money? Meanwhile, studies like the one NBC recently published, suggesting that doctors are not checking patient prescription records and are prescribing painkillers to the very people who should not be getting them mean the opioid crisis is one not easily solved.

3. Marijuana Is the New Opioid

Speaking of opioids, according to Press Secretary Sean Spicer we now have a potentially new drug crisis to be concerned about -- legalized recreational marijuana, the ultimate gateway drug. Said Spicer yesterday: “There’s a big difference between [medical] and recreational marijuana… And I think that when you see something like the opioid addiction crisis blossoming in so many states around this country, the last thing that we should be doing is encouraging people.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has also been a critic of legalized recreational marijuana. Meanwhile, conservatives in states like Idaho have raised concerns, too. As reported by The Idaho Statesman, this is what Idaho’s governor, Butch Otter, said about legalization in neighboring states.:

“The price Idahoans are paying, according to Otter, is that people are bringing marijuana into the state. The illegal marijuana affects Idaho youths, taxpayers, law enforcement officers, jails and health care systems,” said Elisha Figueroa, administrator of the Idaho Office of Drug Policy.”

Why We’re Watching:

The Right and Left have reported on a number of studies that show that marijuana can potentially help in the fight against opioid addiction.

4. Keith Ellison: Hot Target

We knew that once the Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison became a leading contender to head the Democratic National Committee, he’d become a hot target. His appearance in a debate with other candidates on CNN Wednesday night teed off shooting time:

“If going completely insane is one of the qualifications for being head of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Keith Ellison has it all wrapped up,” wrote The Federalist Papers Project. “The Minnesota leftist said during a CNN debate that Donald Trump should be impeached.” 

What We’re Noticing:
The Mainstream Media started the term “fake news” and the Red Media co-opted it. The Mainstream Media started asking questions about Trump’s mental stability and now the Red Media is beginning to ask whether Democratic leaders are mentally unstable. Will they have co-opted this as well soon?

5. Law and Disorder in L.A.

The Red Media thrive off of reports of chaos -- especially in liberal strongholds. That probably explains why a battle between protesters and the Los Angeles police drew lots of attention yesterday. The conservative Independent Journalism Review (IJR) reported:

A confrontation between an off-duty LAPD officer and Southern California teenagers ended in ugly fashion with the officer discharging his firearm, prompting anti-police protests that devolved into violence and rioting. The original incident took place in the officer’s Anaheim neighborhood, where it is reported that he has an on-going feud with bands of teens trespassing on his property.

Alex Jones’ InfoWars -- no surprise here -- went with a more sensational approach, using this headline with hysteria-inducing capital letters: “ANTI-POLICE RIOTS EXPLODE AFTER OFF-DUTY LAPD OFFICER CLASHES WITH TEENS.” But it amounted to the same thing.