- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 4, 2013

The old hippies would be pleased. A new Pew Research Center survey heralds this headline: “For the first time in more than four decades of polling on the issue, a majority of Americans favor legalizing the use of marijuana. A new national survey finds that 52 percent say that the use of marijuana should be made legal.” And as the old hippies would say, “groovy.”

But wait. The Grand Old Party does not stand for Grand Old Potheads. The poll also found that 37 percent of Republicans, and only 29 percent of conservative Republicans, say pot should be legal, compared to 59 precent of Democrats and 73 percent of liberal Democrats.

“Republicans and Democrats have similar views on enforcing marijuana laws: 57 percent of Republicans and 59 percent of Democrats say that the federal government should not enforce federal marijuana laws in states that permit its use. Substantial majorities of both Republicans (67 percent) and Democrats (71 percent) also say federal enforcement of marijuana laws is not worth the cost,” the poll says.

Meanwhile, a third of Americans also say smoking marijuana is “morally wrong” with 47 percent of Republicans and 26 percent of Democrats agreeing.


HBO has given the green light to a dramatic movie based on the life of Mikhail Gorbachev, to be produced for better or worse by Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio. Of note: HBO has hired Mr. Gorbachev himself to serve as a consultant. The former Soviet president, 82, is frail but feisty, most recently tweaking Russian President Vladimir Putin in a speech in Moscow, telling the audience, “politics is more and more turning into an imitation,” and suggesting Mr. Putin is on “a ruinous and hopeless path.”

The film will capture “the dissolution of the USSR” as Mr. Gorbachev sees it, speculates Deadline Hollywood writer Nellie Andreeva. But Cold War nostalgia and interest is growing these days. The project has competition. Already filming at Participant Media, it’s “Reykjavik,” detailing the 1986 talks between President Reagan and Mr. Gorbachev; Michael Douglas plays Reagan, Christoph Waltz will portray Mr. Gorbachev.


“I’m excited to tell you that Center for Strategic & International Studies Trustee and former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski has launched a Twitter account (@zbig) and as of today will be tweeting.”

— Announcement from the group’s senior Vice President Andrew Schwartz


Tasty brunches on President Obama’s schedule are not usually a showcase for, say, scrambled eggs and cornflakes. From the White House pool report, behold the menu for a private Democratic fundraiser in Atherton, Calif., on Thursday morning:

“Hamada Farms blood orange juice, verrine of Straus Family yogurt, Chef Laci’s house-made toasted organic granola, spring berries and mint ‘caviar,’ Boho Belle cheese, house fig sesame jam, wild arugula, balsamic open-faced citrus cured salmon gravlax on fresh sprouted rye bread with broken avocado and local “O” ruby grapefruit oil, Zuckerman’s Farm asparagus tips, fried quail egg, and blackened Hobb’s smoked bacon crisp.”

And the price for this rarified fare: $32,400 — per person.


The gun control debate will soon be louder, courtesy of Goucher College in Baltimore. On stage, it’s National Rifle Association President David Keene versus Josh Horwitz, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, plus Colleen Barry, an associate professor of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Jeffrey Swanson, a professor in psychiatry at Duke University.

“I am looking forward to a robust and thought-provoking conversation,” Mr. Horwitz notes. Organizers frame the April 15 debate as a “balanced panel of experts.” The event will be broadcast online at the campus website Goucher.edu.


Where is the broadcast coverage of the trial of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell, charged with the deaths of seven infants and a woman? That’s what Media Research Center president Brent Bozell wants to know. The conservative watchdog group reveals that ABC, CBS and NBC have given the story “zero seconds of coverage” since the trial began three weeks ago; and CBS has had only a single mention since the doctor’s 2011 arrest.

“The Gosnell case, in which his abortion clinic has been described as a ‘house of horrors,’ could have been plucked from the fever dream of Hollywood’s most depraved slasher film writer, and yet ABC, CBS and NBC have completely censored it out of the news,” Mr. Bozell says. “The horrific excesses of the abortion industry — exemplified by Gosnell and Planned Parenthood — are major, national news stories. But the pro-abortion liberal media are determined to hide them from the public.”

Mr. Bozell has demanded coverage in a letter to the three networks, signed by 20 fellow conservatives who include American Values President Gary Bauer, Citizens United President David Bossie, Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser, Hispanic Leadership Fund President Mario Lopez, Priests for Life director Father Frank Pavone and Family Research Council President Tony Perkins.


• 80 percent of Americans favor stricter border security; 93 percent of Republicans, 90 percent of conservatives, 76 percent of Democrats and 68 percent of liberals agree.

• 72 percent of Americans overall favor granting more visas to “high-skill non-U.S. workers”; 71 percent of Republicans, 70 percent of conservatives, 72 percent of Democrats and 78 percent of liberals agree.

• 57 percent overall support a “path to citizenship” for illegal immigrants; 35 percent of Republicans, 42 percent of conservatives, 73 percent of Democrats and 88 percent of liberals agree.

Source: An ABC News/Washington Post poll of 1,014 U.S. adults conducted March 27 to 30.

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