Sunday, June 08, 2014

"Right Away" She Felt A Tingling All Over

Actress Eva Longoria is no ignoramus, dolt, imbecile or knucklehead.  She couldn't be, given that she was selected as a co-chairperson for President Obama's campaign and thus must have more going for her than talent and physical beauty.

But she does play one on TV.  The Daily Beast reports (video, below)

On Friday morning, former Desperate Housewives star and Barack Obama campaign co-chair Eva Longoria announced that there’s only one presidential candidate for whom she’d be willing to volunteer in 2016: Hillary Clinton.

“I was so exhausted after 2012,” Longoria said during the Latina Power panel at Newsweek and The Daily Beast’s 2013 Women in the World Summit, shortly after Clinton herself left the stage. “I was thinking I would never volunteer for another campaign, and then someone said, ‘How about Hillary?’ And right away I was like, ‘Unless Hillary runs.’”..

Longoria’s admission came near the end of a conversation about the power and potential of America’s fast-growing Latino community—a population that’s set to double by 2050. 

Admission, as Daily Beast reporter Andrew Romano termed it, is the right word.  Presumably, Longoria likes Mrs. Clinton because the latter supports comprehensive immigration reform, a cause dear to the actress' heart.  Presumably but not necessarily, because

A ninth-generation Texan, Longoria didn’t realize that she was “the Mexican” until leaving her home district in Corpus Christi to attend a gifted-and-talented school as a child. “I got on the bus and I had a tortilla, and everyone else had Pop Tarts,” she said. “I was like, ‘What is that?’ and they were like, ‘What is that?’ I kind of live on the hyphen between Mexican and American.”

But Longoria added that with legislation pending in Washington, “the tide is changing.”

“And I think it’s in the hands of women,” she said. “The messaging is in the hands of women, because we’re just better at it.”

And on second thought, Clinton's stance on immigration reform does not separate herself from other likely Democratic contenders, nor even from (arguably) any national Democrats, for whom support for illegal immigrants undocumented workers is a must.

Other than that issue, and the claim that women are better at "messaging," there is little known of Ms. Longoria's views on issues.   Perhaps that doesn't matter, because Clinton's stance- as compared to that of Joe Biden,  Martin O'Malley, Brian Schweitzer, Andrew Cuomo (gasp) or any other Democrat tangentially interested in the presidency- appears of little interest to her.

We've been here before, when some activists preferred a particular candidate because of demographic factors.  In this case, it's gender, as it was race previously.  There are a hundred reasons that was a bad idea, one of which is reflected in a story from the Boston Globe which begins

US Drug Enforcement Administration investigators have visited the homes and offices of Massachusetts physicians involved with medical marijuana dispensaries and delivered an ultimatum: sever all ties to marijuana companies, or relinquish federal licenses to prescribe certain medications, according to several physicians and their attorneys.  

The stark choice is necessary, the doctors said they were told, because of friction between federal law, which bans any use of marijuana, and state law, which voters changed in 2012 to allow medical use of the drug.

The DEA’s action has left some doctors, whose livelihoods depend on being able to offer patients pain medications and other drugs, with little option but to resign from the marijuana companies,where some held prominent positions.

The Globe this week identified at least three doctors contacted by DEA investigators, although there may be more.

“Here are your options,” Dr. Samuel Mazza said he was told by Gregory Kelly, a DEA investigator from the agency’s New England Division office. “You either give up your [DEA] license or give up your position on the board . . . or you challenge it in court.”

Mazza, chief executive of Debilitating Medical Conditions Treatment Centers, which won preliminary state approval to open a dispensary in Holyoke, said the DEA investigator’s visit came shortly after state regulators announced the first 20 applicants approved for provisional licenses for medical marijuana dispensaries.

Labeling the DEA's action "just stupid," Charles Peters asks

Would it be that hard for Eric Holder to whistle up the DEA and say, look, dudes, how about not doing this part of your jobs for a while. (It's exactly what he did as regards marriage equality and the Defense Of Marriage Act. When the states started acting on their own, he declined to use DOMA to interfere.) These doctors are being asked to choose between their ability to prescribe drugs that help with the symptoms of, say MS, and their ability to prescribe marijuana for medicinal purposes. This is not a choice any physician should have to make -- and certainly not under the force of federal law -- and the DEA's meddling in medical practice is way outside its brief, and it is both clumsy and utterly inappropriate...

The president should pull them back from this. He knows better.

We have a  president who as a candidate supported labeling of genetically modified food ingredients and of a food's country of origin "because Americans should know where their food comes from" who now has a Food and Drug Administrator who

reportedly likened the problem of overuse of antibiotics in livestock—which can lead to drug-resistant bacteria in animals as well as in humans—to having your “hair on fire”; but late last year, when the FDA finally took steps to address the problem, its program was voluntary. The FDA has also failed to deliver on Obama’s 2008 campaign pledge to label genetically modified food.

And it's not just a matter of unfulfilled promises. On some food policy issues, the Obama administration has actually managed to lose ground. In 2012, the USDA began the regulatory process of allowing poultry lines to increase their speed from a maximum of 140 birds per minute to 175. At the same time, the program decreases the number of required federal food-safety inspectors, who are responsible for spotting unsanitary or diseased birds, on each line from four to one.

“What is the Obama administration’s food policy?” asks Dave Murphy, head of the group Food Democracy Now and a prominent Obama supporter during the 2008 campaign. “The answer, I’m afraid, is that it’s status quo and industrial agribusiness as usual.”

So unlike on same-sex marriage, Barack Obama appears to have devolved, rather than evolved, on drug and agricultural policy.  He has done so without fear of political retribution from Democrats who have loyally backed him partly because, as one GOP Senator once admitted, "If he was for it, we had to be against it."

With nearly unwavering devotion from his left flank, President Obama has been concerned primarily with his right flank.  And now, even before she is nominated- much less elected- Hillary Clinton has the luxury of hearing from breathless admirers like Eva Longoria.

Activists from Hollywood usually have little worthwhile to add to the political debate, though there are some notable exceptions.  Celebrity admirers like Longoria who support Clinton because- oh, maybe just "because"- would encourage a President Clinton to avoid progressive policy. We've only recently been down this road- and it's a dead end.

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