Of course, Fake President heads backwards on nuclear weapons


Kengo Nikawa’s watch. It took him 16 days to die.

Seventy-five years ago Thursday, the U.S. became – and remains – the only country in the world to detonate a nuclear weapon against an enemy…

The Hiroshima death toll reached an estimated 200,000 by 1950 as those who survived the blast succumbed to fatal burns, radiation sickness and various cancers…

The Trump administration has withdrawn from a 2015 nuclear accord with Iran and world powers designed to limit Tehran’s nuclear capabilities.

President Donald Trump-led talks with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un aimed at denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula have stalled.

The Trump administration has suspended compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, a Reagan administration-era initiative that slashed the number of midrange missiles held by the U.S. and Russia.

Trump has abandoned the Open Skies Treaty – negotiated by President George H.W. Bush after the collapse of the Soviet Union and designed to be a check on nuclear weapons by allowing surveillance flights over signatories’ territories.

Trump has signaled he may not renew New START, the last major U.S.-Russia nuclear arms control treaty, unless China also agrees to be bound by its constraints. Beijing has not committed either way. New START expires in February, just weeks after there’s a new, or renewed, U.S. president in the White House.

Marshall Billingslea, the top U.S. envoy for nuclear negotiations, has confirmed the Trump administration has discussed holding the first nuclear test since 1992. “I won’t shut the door on it, because why would we,” Billingslea said in late June in Vienna, Austria, although he said there is no reason to carry out a test “at this time.”

Reason has nothing to add to policymaking by the whim of an ignorant autocrat and his lackeys. Anyone think Congress has enough backbone to stand in opposition?

State revenue from marijuana is hazy at best

…Now that 10 states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana, officials are grappling with projecting collections from a new sin tax. Forecasting revenue from a product that was illegal just a few years ago, and remains so under federal law and in most states, presents a unique challenge for state budget planning. For example, in Nevada’s first six months of collecting marijuana taxes, revenue came in 40 percent higher than budget officials expected, but in neighboring California revenue was 45 percent below projections in the first six months of collecting marijuana taxes.

And with more states considering legalizing marijuana, forecasting and budgeting difficulties for revenue from recreational marijuana taxes are likely to become widespread. These challenges have consequences: If tax collections come in below forecasted amounts, for example, programs that are funded by these dollars could suffer.

The Yellow Brick Road may be paved with nothing more than yellow bricks instead of the gold forecast by libertarian optimism. Don’t spend it before you get it, folks!