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Category Archives: Dirty side of Politics



Ramsey Touchberry  3 hrs ago-Newsweek

As the White House repeatedly downplayed the state of the pandemic throughout the summer, its own coronavirus task force was quietly sending reports to states that directly contradicted the public remarks offered by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, showed documents that were unveiled Monday by a congressional panel.Donald Trump et al. standing next to a person in a suit and tie: President Donald Trump, with Response coordinator for White House Coronavirus Task Force Deborah Birx (L) and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci (R), speaks on vaccine development on May 15 in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC.© Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty President Donald Trump, with Response coordinator for White House Coronavirus Task Force Deborah Birx (L) and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci (R), speaks on vaccine development on May 15 in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC.

The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis released eight reports, ranging from June 23 to August 9, from the White House Coronavirus Task Force that were provided to states.

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Further, the Democratic-led committee concluded, “many states are still failing to comply with key Task Force recommendations, including some recommendations first made nearly two months ago.”

The panel specifically references four states—Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Oklahoma—that it said “acknowledged” receiving the private reports and recommendations, yet largely ignored them by not “implementing additional public health measures recommended by the Task Force to stop the spread of the virus.”

The earliest report to states on June 23 stated that seven states were in a “red zone” and that new cases were up by 70 percent in Arizona, 72 percent in Texas, 87 percent in Florida, 93 percent in Oklahoma and 134 percent in Idaho. One week earlier, on June 16, Pence penned an op-ed that “panic is overblown” about a second wave.

A July 5 report stated 15 states were now in the “red zone” and that Florida “has seen a significant increase in new cases and a significant increase in testing positivity over the past week continuing from the previous 4 weeks.” Two days later, on July 7, Trump rebuked a grim assessment by Dr. Anthony Fauci, a task force member and the country’s top infectious disease expert, saying that “we’ve done a good job” and “I think we are going to be in two, three, four weeks, by the time we next speak, I think we’re going to be in very good shape.”

A July 14 report said 19 states were in the “red zone” and that “more testing is needed.” That same day, Trump inaccurately claimed that “no other country tests like us. In fact, I could say it’s working too much. It’s working too well.”

An August 2 report said 23 states were in the “red zone” and warned about the spread in Louisiana, South Carolina and Oklahoma. The week prior, on July 28, Trump told Axios that “it’s under control as much as you can control it.”

“They are dying, that’s true. And you have—it is what it is,” the president continued. “But that doesn’t mean we aren’t doing everything we can.”

On August 3, Trump tweeted that “cases up because of BIG Testing! Much of our Country is doing very well. Open the Schools!”

An August 9 report showed that 48 states and the District of Columbia were in red or yellow zones.

The congressional panel concluded that many states refused to implement recommendations from the White House Coronavirus Task Force meant to curb the spread.

In a letter to the coronavirus subcommittee, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp (R), who recently dropped a lawsuit against the Atlanta mayor Kesha Lance Bottoms over a mask mandate, wrote that Americans in both Georgia and the U.S. “grew complacent.”

“Summer holidays coupled with televised protests caused many to let their guard down and abandon guidance provided by public health officials,” Kemp wrote.

In other examples, the committee noted that Florida has declined to initiate a mask mandate, despite the task force’s June 29 advice to do so; Tennessee refused a mask mandate and to close bars and limit restaurant activity in red and yellow zones; and Oklahoma rebuffed the task force’s mask mandate recommendation.

In total, the committee concluded after reviewing the task force reports, “14 states that have been in the ‘red zone’ since June 23 have refused to impose statewide mask mandates per Task Force’s recommendations—including states with severe case spikes like Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Tennessee.”

This is a developing story and will be updated with additional information as it becomes available

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There are millions of opinions in this country yet we have failed to learn from the past and we are suffering for it now. If the time were taken to look back on the past 50 years of government we could see the evolution of special interest groups, the conservatives and the “moral’ right. These are groups who have “their” interests which are not necessarily the interests of the country as a whole but they have influenced our elections and policies  which has affected us all up to this day. The ways these efforts have affected us: Botch McConnell- blocking legislation put forth by the Obama administration and taking a neutral stance on legislation by TOTUS. Underneath the public information are the backroom deals and many of those deals are not ultimately good for us and we have no input on their implementation. With all of this, these elected officials come to us each election season as people of good will and ask for another term. Our failure as voters is that we are wont to read the dull and long history of what each of these folks have done to us over time. Perhaps we should look at the ways these people who  we elected to serve ALL of us are serving just some of us on the backs of MOST of us.

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“The phrase was popularised in the United States by Mark Twain (among others), who attributed it to the British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” However, the phrase is not found in any of Disraeli’s works and the earliest known appearances were years after his death. Several other people have been listed as originators of the quote, and it is often erroneously attributed to Twain himself.”

No matter who said it first the statement explains the current administration and a majority of the current Congress. It has apparently become politically normal to lie to the people who voted for you and lie again to gain acceptance of the deceit. My sense of this is that we need to do our own research and not totally rely on the media to give us the complete picture. There are few politicians who have a squeaky clean background no matter how minor the issue may be but the major issues need to be outed by the candidate (in the spirit of honesty). We have now become  in the age of mass media  inured to the faux pas’ of our elected officials and do not equate that behavior to their actions (supposedly on our behalf) to how they vote on bills and enact laws. The most flagrant outrages as far as I am concerned is the law regarding their COLA (cost of living adjustment) which was enacted to side step the public airing of this publicly financed event. Couple this with their treatment of so called “Obamacare” by exempting themselves from the penalizing part of the act rather than doing the legislative work to make the legislation better. So to encompass this long time use of deception we should always keep in mind that there are “lies, damn lies and statistics (aka facts). 


The two (2) year slog of this administration to do the bidding of uninformed leader is beginning to wear on all of us who are paying attention beyond the rhetoric. Oddly enough that same wear is showing on the perpetrator of these flawed policies especially since he can’t run away or hide from them as he has done in his business life.  There is more to consider beyond personal beliefs and friendships. In a ship with many rats there is no escaping the inevitable turning on one another and desertion. The current issue (disaster?) is still the so called “witch hunt” aka the “Mueller Investigation”. In thinking about the lead up to this (mis) administration is the dissatisfaction by the voters  with the Congressional neer do wells who (we) they have elected on an ongoing basis. The fault for this poor administration started when Congress failed us by becoming extremely partisan to the extent of being at war with one another This war was fueled by the huge amounts of money allowed to be infused by the “citizens United” decision which removed all restraints on the amounts Corporations could donate to campaigns. This decision by our Supreme court in a partisan vote has allowed the rise of Trump and the re election of the worst representatives we have had in decades. It is bad enough that our “Representatives” years ago enacted a law that gives them a cost of living adjustment with no public scrutiny, they are also responsible for the U.S.Post office seeming to be insolvent but that appearance  is due to a law by Congress which mandated. The piece below explains the Post Office mess

“Congress, Not Amazon, Messed Up the Post Office
Legislators passed a law that made the USPS less competitive with the private sector.
By Barry Ritholtz
‎April‎ ‎4‎, ‎2018‎ ‎12‎:‎38‎ ‎PM‎ ‎CDT Corrected ‎April‎ ‎6‎, ‎2018‎ ‎2‎:‎59‎ ‎PM‎ ‎CDT
Before the news cycle gets consumed by the U.S.-China trade war in the making, let’s go back to something I find much more intriguing: the U.S. Postal Service. Specifically, is Amazon.com Inc.’s contract with the USPS kosher, or is it a sweetheart deal that amounts to a government giveaway?
Let’s get one thing out of the way up front: President Donald Trump’s endless grousing about Amazon is nothing more than a thinly disguised complaint about the Washington Post, which has done a fine job reporting on his administration, revealing its many warts and ethical lapses. He has made no secret of his hostility, as a brief review of his Twitter posts would show.
But let’s set that aside and try to answer whether the USPS provides an unfair subsidy to Amazon. To better understand these claims requires a fuller understanding about the Post Office.
Let’s start with the USPS mandate: It was formed with a very different directive than its private-sector competitors, such as FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc. Those two giant private shippers, along with a bevy of smaller ones, are for-profit companies that can charge whatever they believe the market will bear. The USPS, by contrast, is charged with delivering to every home and business in America, no matter how remote. And, they can only charge what Congress allows; increases require approval. It also has congressional pressure and oversight on where it must maintain postal offices. The USPS has been slowly closing sites where there is insufficient customer demand. But closing an obsolete or little-used facility invariably entails a battle with each representative, who in turn faces voter anger when the local post office is targeted for closing. FedEx or UPS can open or close locations with little problem as demand and package traffic dictate.
Then there is the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA), which some have taken to calling “the most insane law” ever passed by Congress. The law requires the Postal Service, which receives no taxpayer subsidies, to prefund its retirees’ health benefits up to the year 2056. This is a $5 billion per year cost; it is a requirement that no other entity, private or public, has to make. If that doesn’t meet the definition of insanity, I don’t know what does. Without this obligation, the Post Office actually turns a profit. Some have called this a “manufactured crisis.” It’s also significant that lots of companies benefit from a burden that makes the USPS less competitive; these same companies might also would benefit from full USPS privatization, a goal that has been pushed by several conservative think tanks for years.
Paying retiree obligations isn’t the issue here; rather, being singled out as the only company with a congressional requirement to fully fund those obligations is. It puts the USPS at a huge competitive disadvantage. Yes, a retirement crisis is brewing; most private-sector pensions are wildly underfunded. But the solution is to mandate that ALL companies cover a higher percentage of their future obligations — not just one entity.
What about lobbying Congress for changes to these rules? Unlike private-sector entities, the Postal Service is barred from lobbying. Similar restrictions do not apply to FedEx or UPS or other carriers.
Perhaps it helps to think of the USPS as two separate entities co-existing together: On one side is the congressionally mandated operation that delivers letters everywhere in the country. This is the side that helped knit together the far-flung cities, towns and settlements that defined the U.S. at the time of the nation’s founding. The modern innovations of email, texts and the internet helped turn this into a money-losing business.
The other side of the USPS is the parcel-delivery service, which is profitable. It both competes with, and provides services to, private-sector delivery businesses.
Indeed, both UPS and FedEx contract with USPS to perform so-called last-mile delivery for their rural and most-expensive routes. They leverage the existing infrastructure of USPS to provide services for their client base without having to build that same costly last-mile infrastructure for letters and parcels. Effectively, they arbitrage what would otherwise be low-margin or unprofitable deliveries.
The problem for the USPS isn’t the packages from the likes of Amazon, but rather, the rest of the Post Office’s mandate. In its annual report, the USPS noted that 2017 saw “mail volumes declined by approximately 5.0 billion pieces, or 3.6 percent, while package volumes grew by 589 million pieces, or 11.4 percent.” Amazon and other internet retailers are a source of profitable deliveries for the post office; the relationship is in no way a subsidy for the retailers. Incidentally, the PAEA bars the Post Office from pricing parcel delivery below-cost.
Pricing, locations, hiring, funding? The Post Office has broad limitations about making routine business decisions that its private-sector competitors do not.
Trump has raised a valid issue in pointing out the unfair conditions under which the USPS operates. He is looking, however, at the wrong side of the problem.”
(Corrects fifth paragraph of article published April 4 to delete inaccurate reference to 75-year retiree benefit funding obligation.)
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.
To contact the author of this story:
Barry Ritholtz at britholtz3@bloomberg.net
To contact the editor responsible for this story:
James Greiff at jgreiff@bloomberg.net
Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He founded Ritholtz Wealth Management and was chief executive and director of equity research at FusionIQ, a quantitative research firm. He is the author of “Bailout Nation.”

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Everyone has an opinion about something and everything. Agreement is just one or more having the same opinion or belief about a subject, person or situation. This act of agreeing while the basis of a group activity is not what we need in Judgeships from the Local level to the High Court. Our Federal Judiciary has many vacancies that require filling and our Neer do well Congress has done nothing to help that situation. There have been several times when a radical member of Congress has captured the national attention with an abnormal, even outrageous agenda which eventually proved to false and dangerous. Now it appears we have an administration that is even more dangerous and radical lead by a self promoting entertainer. Our erstwhile Congress has stood by and let it happen while blowing the proverbial smoke at the voting public. It has become the norm to defame or slur an opponent  no matter what the truth is. Are the people running for office who uses these tactics who we want to represent us?  The world is larger than just the U.S. and has been negotiable with discussions rather than arguments, now it appears that the in charge party is reverting to a stand alone vision in a global world. Currently the Right leaning Supreme court majority has and will eliminate the very reason for the high court and that is to serve ALL Americans. However our neer do well Congressional majority has seen fit to pack the courts with less than moderate judges who put their personal feelings above the overall rights of ALL Americans. Judges should and are supposed to operate on the basis of what is the rule of law for all not any party line. The current court being majority Dupublican and conservative has set a path of bias for years to come. Thank you Mr. McConnell.

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In the ongoing saga of  Administrative mismanagement, chaos and Congressional malfeasance anything that occurs in this current administration should be of no surprise to anyone who is paying attention. The supporters of this Resident will probably not see the light until  they are blinded by the long range effects. The recent tariff’s while not immediately, will affect many products  we send overseas and now China (one of our biggest trading partners) is imposing tariffs, if China decides to enforce more tariffs on items like Soybeans or automobiles, those 2 items would have a severe effect on many of TOTUS’ supporters. This Tariff issue is more about intellectual properties than physical issues and there are many. The installation of a vindictive child as Leader will over time push us ALL back 2 decades and alienate our allies. The rush to get things done with no apparent discussion is the wrong way to Govern. We already have an inept Congress lead by two self servers, adding a self aggrandizing child has only exacerbated our declining position on the world stage. There appears to be no understanding of how diplomacy  works or  what diplomacy is, yet policy is made and enacted much like a fleeting thought. Looking at the ongoing tweet storm method of Governing, we have a poor Tax reform enacted that on the face looks great but underneath the dirty end of the stick still falls to the mid to lower income Americans. Just because companies have given pay increases or bonuses to employees does not mean a boon to those employees and their families. More taxes will have to be paid on these increases and bonuses, the larger deduction will not offset these taxes. Larger deductions do not directly offset pay increases, there is only a percentage advantage. The Corporate tax cuts allow for the wage increases and bonuses but at the same time allows the investors and share holders to gain (how many low to middle income taxpayers own stock?). In the long run these tax cuts, tariffs and other executive orders will bite the low to middle class tax payers in many more ways that we never think of. For instance: The TOTUS has through his actions allowed for EPA regulations that protect our air and water but benefit the main polluters (our vehicles and certain industries), These actions do not produce any new jobs but have the capacity to cause and aggravate more illnesses for many of us. There is no upside for this Administration and the slide downward is getting slicker. To be clear we collectively do not have very good Congressional representation or Top down leadership and that falls on our shoulders because we as voters do not or will not investigate the people we vote for. The political ads are no more than buzzwords and soundbites that sound good enough to get someone elected but once in office, they do what is best for them and their party while our needs became tertiary or lower. This is again a call for all voters to forgo the entertainment value of our current administration and see behind the curtain. All of the actions of  “TOTUS” is for his edification and pursuit of adoration as evidenced by the ongoing campaign style meetings. Being adored is not the role of the Leader of our country, it is a thankless job if done as correct as possible and we see this administration tumbling into an abyss that will take many years to get out of and only if have the courage to make changes in our lackluster Congress along with electing a Leader (no matter which party) who is not Jar Jar Binks!

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Explain to me how can a program work when it is restricted as the Current administration has restricted the ACA (aka Obamacare). This program which benefitted many more people than the GOP wants you to believe has been under attack since it’s inception. The current administration has derided it as a failure but not telling the whole truth. Campaign rhetoric and promises that harm the public are as criminal as bodily harm. The administration will point to this decrease as a victory but ask the people who are affected by the loss or decrease of health care. If you are affected by these changes then you need to step up and engage in getting people elected who will do what good for you. MA.
Reuters 15 hours ago

CMS’s Verma says 11.8 million signed up for 2018 Obamacare exchange plans
(Reuters) – About 11.8 million consumers nationwide enrolled in 2018 Obamacare exchange plans, a 3 percent drop from last year when 12.2 million consumers signed up, according to a final government tally released on Tuesday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
The tally includes both sign-ups on the exchange run by the federal government for 39 states, which was released on a provisional basis late in 2017, and on the 12 other exchanges run by Washington, D.C. and the remaining states.
CMS said the average premium before tax credits in 2018 is $621 a month, an increase of more than 30 percent from last year.
However, those receiving tax credits – around 83 percent of consumers on Obamacare – will pay around $89 a month on average in premiums, the agency said. That is down 16 percent from $106 a month last year.
Private insurers sell strictly regulated individual insurance plans through the Obamacare online exchanges that the government subsidizes based on a person’s income.
U.S. President Donald Trump in October cut off billions of dollars in subsidy payments to insurers that help people pay for medical costs, causing insurers to raise 2018 premiums or drop out of selling plans in the Obamacare marketplace.
His administration also halved the enrollment period to six weeks and cut the federal advertising and outreach budget by 90 percent. It also has proposed putting cheaper insurance policies offering bare-bones medical coverage on the Obamacare market in 2019 or 2020.


I wonder what effect the ACA would have had to aid the sufferers of this disease in Mitch’s home state? MA

 

Black Lungs Cold Hearts
A new Kentucky law will make it harder for coal miners with black lung to get compensation
5:36 a.m. ET

Much of the drama in Kentucky’s legislature last week was around Senate Bill 151, an unexpected and fast-moving bill that Republicans pushed through to end pensions for new teachers, replacing the defined benefits with a 401(k) style system. But Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) also signed House Bill 2, which overhauls workers compensation in the state in a way that will make it harder for coal miners with black lung to get state benefits. The law allows only federally certified pulmonologists, not radiologists, to determine if X-rays show black lung.
The problem for coal minders, NPR reports, is that Kentucky has only six federally certified pulmonologists, “four of them routinely are hired by coal companies or their insurers” and one is semi-retired and losing his federal National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) certification June 1, leaving just one doctor who generally works for coal miners rather than coal companies. The law excludes radiologist Dr. Brandon Crum, for example, who helped uncover one of the biggest clusters of complicated black lung ever documented. NPR’s survey of Appalachia has counted more than 2,200 advanced black lung diagnoses since 2010.
“It is curious to me that the legislators feel that the pulmonologist is more qualified to interpret a chest radiograph than a radiologist is,” Dr. Kathleen DePonte told NPR. “This is primarily what radiologists do.” The lawmaker who sponsored the change, state Rep. Adam Koenig (R), said he was motivated by the disparity between pulmonologists, who tend to be conservative in their black lung diagnoses, and radiologists, who tend to diagnose the fatal disease more liberally. He told NPR that he “relied on the expertise of those who understand the issue — the industry, coal companies and attorneys,” adding, “All we’re doing is making sure that qualified doctors are making these determinations.” You can listen to NPR’s report from Sunday’s Weekend Edition online. Peter Weber

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The Resident has reached a new high in trying to achieve his agenda and as usual uses any misinformation he is told. His favorite target is still President Obama. The recent stretch is regarding 100 plus Judicial vacancies. These vacancies are primarily the fault of the Congressional majority and its leader Bitch McConnell, McConnell if we recall stated publicly that “this President (Obama) will be a one term President and to that end not much legislation submitted by President Obama got passed few Judicial appointments were approved. This is the party of President Trump. As a voter the actions of the current majority party and it Titular heads should enrage you. The current administration and the Congressional leaders have their own agendas and we as voters are not part of it. It is wise to remember that for many years most of our “representatives” on both sides have become increasingly self-indulgent and lie to us when election time comes. We now have the ultimate punishment :Donald Trump as President (in his mind Emperor). The effects of this Presidency will be chaos for a number of years and if we do not oust the current Congressional leaders we will fare no better. Forget the rhetoric, the tweets and finger-pointing. Pay attention to the actual facts, get these facts by reading a variety of publications because that’s where the truth lies. The entertainment “news” is merely the unilateral opinions of people who do not share your interests and are seeking ratings rather than the truth. If we ignore the activities of this administration and the long serving Congress we are doomed to have the same poor Governance we have now.

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Here it is again!: Mitch McConnell is getting himself or his GOP set for re-election or election this year. He is pushing for Marijuana legalization to pose as more liberal than he is. His MO is always the same: look our Mitch! He advocated for coal with lies about Obama killing coal jobs which were already dead and gone, he has purposely kept quiet on his part in passing the tax reform(?) and the recent spending bill. He and Paul (miscreant) Ryan have conspired to do their dirty work by allowing the “Resident” to rant and rave about anything he wants without comment. They allowed certain Democratic add ons in the spending bill to cover themselves. Essentially they are still the same old neer do wells they have always been. It is time to put your voting power to work and get new people elected no matter what party as long as they are moderate (which means they will work with the other side.MA

BRUCE SCHREINER,

Associated Press 16 minutes ago

Wisconsin taking applications to grow industrial hemp
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The U.S. Senate’s top leader said Monday he wants to bring hemp production back into the mainstream by removing it from the controlled substances list that now associates it with its cousin — marijuana.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told hemp advocates in his home state of Kentucky that he will introduce legislation to legalize the crop as an agricultural commodity. The versatile crop has been grown on an experimental basis in a number of states in recent years.
“It’s now time to take the final step and make this a legal crop,” McConnell said.
Kentucky has been at the forefront of hemp’s comeback. Kentucky agriculture officials recently approved more than 12,000 acres (4,856 hectares) to be grown in the state this year, and 57 Kentucky processors are helping turn the raw product into a multitude of products.
Growing hemp without a federal permit has long been banned due to its classification as a controlled substance related to marijuana. Hemp and marijuana are the same species, but hemp has a negligible amount of THC, the psychoactive compound that gives marijuana users a high.
Hemp got a limited reprieve with the 2014 federal Farm Bill, which allows state agriculture departments to designate hemp projects for research and development. So far, 34 states have authorized hemp research, while actual production occurred in 19 states last year, said Eric Steenstra, president of the advocacy group Vote Hemp. Hemp production totaled 25,541 acres (10,336 hectares) in 2017, more than double the 2016 output, he said.
The crop, which once thrived in Kentucky, was historically used for rope but has many other uses, including clothing and mulch from the fiber, hemp milk and cooking oil from the seeds, and soap and lotions. Other uses include building materials, animal bedding and biofuels.
Hemp advocates fighting for years to restore the crop’s legitimacy hailed McConnell’s decision to put his political influence behind the effort to make it a legal crop again.
“This is a huge development for the hemp industry,” Steenstra said. “Sen. McConnell’s support is critical to helping us move hemp from research and pilot programs to full commercial production.”
Brian Furnish, an eighth-generation tobacco farmer in Kentucky, has started making the switch to hemp production. His family will grow about 300 acres (120 hectares) of hemp this year in Harrison County. He’s also part owner of a company that turns hemp into food, fiber and dietary supplements.
Furnish said hemp has the potential to rival or surpass what tobacco production once meant to Kentucky.
“All we’ve got to do is the government get out of the way and let us grow,” he told reporters.
McConnell acknowledged there was “some queasiness” about hemp in 2014 when federal lawmakers cleared the way for states to regulate it for research and pilot programs. There’s much broader understanding now that hemp is a “totally different” plant than its illicit cousin, he said.
“I think we’ve worked our way through the education process of making sure everybody understands this is really a different plant,” the Republican leader said.
McConnell said he plans to have those discussions with Attorney General Jeff Sessions to emphasize the differences between the plants. The Trump administration has taken a tougher stance on marijuana.
The Department of Justice’s press office did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
McConnell said his bill will attract a bipartisan group of co-sponsors. He said the measure would allow states to have primary regulatory oversight of hemp production if they submit plans to federal agriculture officials outlining how they would monitor production.
“We’re going to give it everything we’ve got to pull it off,” he said.
In Kentucky, current or ex-tobacco farmers could easily make the conversion to hemp production, Furnish said. Equipment and barns used for tobacco can be used to produce hemp, he said. Tobacco production dropped sharply in Kentucky amid declining smoking rates.
Furnish said his family has reaped profits of about $2,000 per acre for hemp grown for dietary supplements, better than what they’ve made from tobacco, he said.
Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles, whose great-grandfather grew hemp for rope to support the war effort in the 1940s, said he hopes hemp’s legalization can “open the floodgates and we can see the true potential of this crop.”
“We hope to position Kentucky to maximize the benefit of this crop once legalized, so the economic activity stays right here,” he said.

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