Nevada has a serious drug problem — Shops are running out of marijuana

❝ Nevada officials have declared a state of emergency over marijuana: There’s not enough of it.

❝ Since recreational pot became legal a couple of weeks ago, retail dispensaries have struggled to keep their shelves stocked and say they will soon run out if nothing is done to fix a broken supply chain.

❝ In declaring a state of emergency late last week, the state Department of Taxation warned that “this nascent industry could grind to a halt.”

As bad as that would be for marijuana consumers and the pot shops, the state has another concern: tax revenue. A 10% tax on sales of recreational pot — along with a 15% tax on growers — is expected to generate tens of millions of dollars a year for schools and the state’s general fund reserves…

❝ In the run-up to last year’s state referendum over legalization — which was overwhelmingly approved by voters, allowing people aged 21 and over to buy or possess up to an ounce of marijuana — the state’s powerful alcohol lobby worried that legalized weed would cut into liquor store sales.

So in a concession to the the alcohol industry, the ballot measure stipulated that for the first 18 months of pot sales only wholesale alcohol distributors would be allowed to transport marijuana from cultivation facilities to the dispensaries…

The state Department of Taxation, which regulates legal marijuana, said it had received about half a dozen applications from alcohol distributors but that none had so far met the state licensing requirements, which include background checks and security protocols.

As a result, the dispensaries have had to rely on marijuana already in stock…

❝ All four of the other states where recreational pot is legal — Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska — allow the dispensaries to transport marijuana themselves, with no privileges given to alcohol distributors.

The same “moderate” Republican governor who vetoed the Medicaid For Everyone law passed by the Nevada legislature fought to give a handout to the booze distributors. He approves of them. Not the weed growers. Which says something about so-called moderate Republicans being just as afraid of democracy as the Tea Party Trumplets.

New York State tells insurance companies to offer Obamacare — or else

New York is sending a clear message to its health insurance plans: Stick with Obamacare’s insurance marketplace — or else.

The state announced Monday that it will bar insurers who quit the marketplace from bidding for future contracts with New York health programs. That’s a big deal: 6.4 million New Yorkers have Medicaid coverage, making those contracts lucrative opportunities that health plans won’t want to miss out on.

I wonder how many years it will take for politicos in New Mexico to stand up on their hind legs and back working folks, this way. Our state has a higher percentage of children born under Medicaid than anywhere else in the United States.

New York already has a competitive marketplace, so it’s not clear how much this step will matter. The state hasn’t had trouble attracting insurers to its marketplace in the way other states have. Every New York county had at least two plans signed up to sell coverage in 2017…

This type of provision would be a lot more meaningful in a place like Missouri or Iowa, two marketplaces badly in need of more competition. New York isn’t likely to struggle with empty Obamacare counties regardless…

New York isn’t the first state to tether Medicaid contracts to marketplace participation…Nevada has a similar regulation on the books. That state gives preference to health insurance plans that want Medicaid contracts if they also sell on the state marketplace.

The provision seems to have been successful in convincing two additional health plans to participate in the Nevada Obamacare marketplace. Medicaid is a lucrative enough program, it seems, that states can use it as a lure to bring insurance plans into other smaller programs like the marketplace…

If you run away – then stay away!

Nevada’s legislature just passed Medicaid for all

❝ Nevada, with little fanfare or notice, is inching toward a massive health insurance expansion — one that would give the state’s 2.8 million residents access to a public health insurance option.

❝ The Nevada legislature passed a bill Friday that would allow anyone to buy into Medicaid, the public program that covers low-income Americans. It would be the first state to open the government-run program to all residents, regardless of their income or health status.

The bill is currently sitting with Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, a Republican. His office did not respond to an inquiry about whether he would sign the bill or veto it.

❝ Democrats in Washington have previously proposed a similar “Medicare for all” scheme, which would open up the public program for the elderly to Americans under 65. The idea has always fizzled out, however, due to a lack of political support.

“Medicaid for all” offers an alluring alternative to those proposals. For one, Medicaid coverage generally costs less than “Medicare for all” because the program pays doctors lower rates. This might make it a more alluring option for price-sensitive consumers worried about their monthly premium.

Because states have a large role in running Medicaid, they can move these proposals forward with less involvement of the federal government. A public option program like this has always failed at the federal level. But a liberal state such as Maryland or Connecticut — or, in this case, even a more centrist state like Nevada — might explore the option unilaterally.

A good chance to watch the 2 wings of our craptastic political establishment flounder about nationwide – trying to avoid doing something similar. Republicans are doubly stuck in knee-deep political manure with all their years of using states’ rights as a pet excuse to avoid anything as modern as, say, the horseless buggy – or equal rights for anyone below corporate CEO pay grade. Interested to see what copouts we’ll get from self-identified centrist Democrats.

A woman died from a superbug that beat all 26 antibiotics available in the United States

A culture of Klebsiella pneumoniaeLarry Mulvehill/Getty

❝ If you had any doubts about the “nightmare” and “catastrophic threat” of antimicrobial resistance, take a look at this new field report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Nevada public health officials tell the story of a Washoe County resident who appeared at a Reno hospital in August 2016 with sepsis. Doctors found out that she was infected with a type of carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, superbug called Klebsiella pneumoniae and quickly put her in isolation. Tests showed that the bacterium, which spread throughout her body, was resistant to 26 different antibiotics — or every antibiotic available in the US.

In early September, the woman, who was in her 70s, developed septic shock and died.

❝ What makes this case particularly alarming is that the infection probably didn’t originate in the US. The woman had spent significant amounts of time in India, and while there, was hospitalized on several occasions over two years for a femur fracture and later, bone infections.

India has a major superbug issue, particularly in its hospitals. The authors of the report suggest the patient may have picked up her infection while in hospital there…

❝ This is a frightening story of a deadly bacterium doctors couldn’t control — and the real limits of our antibiotic arsenal. But it’s also a reminder of how tricky the superbug problem will be to solve without a lot of international collaboration.

RTFA, especially if you think the GOUSA can solve all its own problems alone. Mobility, communications, ease of travel compared to what was available a half-century ago, all mean little to someone who thinks the world begins and ends at their county line.

The rest of us have to be concerned with staying alive.

Cops finally bust closet Confederates in Oregon

The FBI has established checkpoints around a national wildlife preserve in Oregon where some armed activists still are believed to be holed up, saying the decision came out of “an abundance of caution.”

Authorities arrested the leaders of the small group that has been occupying Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for more than three weeks during a traffic stop where gunfire erupted and one man was killed late Tuesday…

The FBI said early Wednesday that anyone leaving the refuge would have to show identification and submit to a vehicle search. Only ranchers who live in the area surrounding the preserve will be allowed to pass the checkpoints.

The takeover at Malheur that started Jan. 2 was a flare-up in the so-called Sagebrush Rebellion, a decades-old conflict over the U.S. government’s control of millions of acres of territory in the west. Protesters say they are defending the Constitution.

Like most closet Confederates, the Bundy militia is populated by liars. They have as little care and comprehension of the standards, purpose and foundation of the US Constitution as any Klavern of right-wing nutballs.

The FBI said gunshots rang out after officers stopped a car carrying protest leader Ammon Bundy and others near the refuge. Activists said Robert LaVoy Finicum, a rancher who acted as a spokesman for the occupiers, was killed.

Federal officials said they had probable cause to arrest Finicum, who told NBC News earlier this month that he would rather die than be detained.

Protest leader Ammon Bundy and four other senior members were taken into custody following the confrontation along Highway 395, near the reserve in northeast Oregon around 4:25 p.m. local time…

All of those arrested face federal charges of conspiracy to use force, intimidation or threats to impede federal officers from discharging their duties, the FBI said.

Old, out-of-date dudes figure their guns and God make them immortal. They will never get it. What they have learned is that constitutional due process and legal challenges have ruled against their anarchist belief system for decades. Most citizens of the United States do not consider cowboy movies to be anything more than romantic [usually racist] cornball. Not something to live or die for.

Ranchers stealing from taxpayers ain’t any less criminal than corporations stealing from taxpayers. The corporations own more politicians and better lawyers – so they usually get away with it. This clown show isn’t even capable of a half-serious soap opera.

Though probably ended by the time this post appears, Kelly House has been live Tweeting from the press conference w/FBI, Sheriff, local law enforcement following the arrests.

Gun nut rampage – couple murders two coppers and a WalMart shopper in Las Vegas

saluting dead comrades
Click to enlarge

The man and woman suspected in Sunday’s Las Vegas shopping center attack that left two police officers and a shopper dead often talked about killing officers and didn’t believe in the government, a neighbor says.

“They always talked about murdering cops,” neighbor Krista Koch told ABC affiliate KTNV-TV…”They were going to kill as many officers as they can, and then they were going to do away with themselves.”

Investigators searched an apartment overnight believed to be related to the shooting, trying to uncover clues about the midday attack. Police are looking into the couple’s links to the white supremacy movement after finding swastika symbols during their initial investigation…

Investigators say the man and woman, armed with guns and ammunition, walked into a CiCi’s Pizza Restaurant, where they opened fire on officers Alyn Beck, 41, and Igor Soldo, 31.

Police say one officer fired back, but both died from their injuries.

Sheree Burns, who witnessed the shooting, says the officers didn’t stand a chance

The pair then fled across the street to a Walmart, where the male suspect reportedly yelled, “Everyone get out.” Shots rang out inside the store at 11:27 a.m. By then police were already on the scene. A third victim was found dead inside the store’s front door.

Police say the man and woman then went to the back of the store, where they killed themselves in an apparent suicide pact. The female suspect reportedly shot the male suspect, then took her own life…

“It’s a tragic day, it’s a very, very difficult day,” Sheriff Doug Gillespie said at a news conference. “But we still have a community to police, and we still have a community to protect. We will be out there doing it with our heads held high, but with emptiness in our hearts.”

It’s always useful to see the Board of Directors of the NRA/Tea Party get out in public.

Yeah, that’s a smartass remark. What else? You know about the nutball gun culture in the United States. This is just one more time I’m embarrassed by creeps who turn their reliance on firearms as a substitute for real achievements – into death. Embarrassed because I’ve been a gun owner, an occasional hunter, for decades.

My family has worked in the firearms industry more often than any other. Growing up in Connecticut – the arsenal of America – that’s where employment was most often available. But, even the most conservative members of my extended family never turned out to be the kind of crazies that dominate the NRA, the Tea Party, the most paranoid cowards in the history of American libertarianism.

Las Vegas coppers suggest this couple had ties to racist politics – and that fits as well. The new Confederacy still prides itself on bigotry even with their adoption of the diplomatic use of code words instead of traditional hatespeak. I imagine if you spend Friday night in a country-western bar in Mississippi, Texas or Arizona – you’ll hear the good ol’ boys at their traditional best.

Oh, and you can expect the public dregs of our rightwing to busy themselves immediately making excuses, trying to turn these thugs into heroes. I expect we’ll all hear the predictable line from Fox News to The Blaze by midday.

Cadet attending Federal Law Enforcement Training Center? You probably should leave your meth stash home


A student at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia was arrested on a drug charge by agents of the Pecos Valley Drug Task Force, the Carlsbad Current-Argus reported.

Tyler Wilson, 29, of Love Lock, Nev., was reportedly observed by another student to be in possession of methamphetamine, according to a news release.

An investigation determined that Wilson had 3.2 grams of meth, which he allegedly admitted he had brought with him from Nevada, the release said.

Back in the day, when I worked in the engineering department of a teaching hospital, I was astonished when a young electrician told me he was quitting to join the local police force. Good jobs with decent pay were hard to find at the time.

When I questioned his decision, he told me that he could always do electrical jobs on the side for cash – meanwhile he could score all the drugs he would ever want for free. So, I’m not exactly surprised at this case.