Friday, September 30, 2022
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Inside the Beltway: The grass grows greener



Time has marched on since the ancient days of the hippie generation — back in the 1960s when the young and restless gathered in secret spots to smoke marijuana — illegal at the time.

No more. Things change.

Consider that “cannabis business leaders” flocked to the nation’s capital on Wednesday to attend the National Cannabis Industry Association’s 10th Annual Cannabis Industry Lobby Day — which yielded over 100 meetings with congressional representatives, organizers say.

“Lobby Days participants advocated for the passage of the SAFE Banking Act (S. 910) in the U.S. Senate. The legislation, which has been approved by the U.S. House seven times, would provide safe harbor to financial institutions that bank legal cannabis businesses,” the organization said in a statement to Inside the Beltway.

“Current federal banking regulations have forced much of the legal cannabis industry to operate on a cash-only basis and have led to a rise in predatory lending, as industry operators are left without traditional financing options,” the group said.

“This is a public safety issue — when legal Montana cannabis businesses don’t have a way to safely conduct business and are forced to operate in all cash our communities become vulnerable to crime. Our bipartisan bill provides the needed certainty for Montana businesses to freely use banks, credit unions and other financial institutions without worrying about punishment,” said Sen. Steve Daines, Montana Republican, also in a statement.

“From now until the end of the year, there’s a real opportunity to take a meaningful first step in enacting some sort of commonsense cannabis reform. I implore my colleagues in the Senate to do so,” noted Rep. Ed Perlmutter, Colorado Democrat.

So where’s the action?

Fox News Digital has made a legitimate and thoughtful inquiry to a spate of “vulnerable Democrats” who are now seeking re-election in the U.S. Senate and House. And the network’s question to the lawmakers: When will the Inflation Reduction Act actually have a positive impact on the economy and foster lower prices?

That’s a viable inquiry, considering that the U.S. Labor Dept. has revealed that inflation is on the rise. None of the Democrats — who all voted for the aforementioned act — responded to the network’s request for comment.

They were eager, however, to attend a celebration at the White House to applaud the aforementioned act.

“But now they don’t want to talk about it. Fox News reached out to 18 House Democrats asking when the Inflation Reduction Act will lower prices but not a single one was willing to comment. When will Democrats finally admit they messed up and their bill actually made the economy worse?” asked Cally Perkins, press secretary for the Congressional Leadership Fund.

“It was bad enough that every House Democrat lined up to vote for a bill that sent prices even higher, but it’s worse that they threw themselves a party to celebrate it as families continue to struggle. Democrats made the economy worse — not better — and they won’t admit it because they’re completely out of touch with working families,” Ms. Perkins advised.

’1970s politics’

The much esteemed Competitive Enterprise Institute is a nonpartisan education and research organization in the nation’s capital that pushes back on government-created barriers to freedom, innovation and prosperity. It is also an organization that knows how to party when the time is right.

And party they will on Thursday in a swank and art-filled site not all that far from the White House.

“With the return of 1970s politics — staggering inflation, gas shortages, and cultural upheaval — the Competitive Enterprise Institute is hosting an era-appropriate bash,” the organizers say.

That would be their “Stayin’ Alive: Disco Night at the Museum” party.

Yes, it’s a disco-themed gathering, complete with sumptuous menu, disco ball decor and a hustle dance lesson from professional instructors. Yes, that’s hustle, as in the hustle, dance of yore. Guests have been encouraged to wear “themed” attired, or at least their cocktail best for an event which will feature a bubble bar, gelee shots and a menu that includes pan-seared beef and an array of classic cakes from the era — this according to a source who will attend the party in full regalia.

But wait. The annual event’s formal name is the “Julian L. Simon Memorial Award Dinner 2022,” which will indeed honor Bali S. Srinivasan, investor and technology entrepreneur. Tim Hartford — “The Undercover Economist” and BBC broadcaster — is the keynote speaker for the big doings — while National Review senior writer Charles C.W. Cooke is master of ceremonies.

Meanwhile in Texas

Do you follow Lone Star politics? Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has a 5-point lead — 45% to 40% — over Beto O’Rourke, his Democratic challenger according to a University of Texas/Texas Politics Project poll of 1,200 registered Texas voters conducted Aug. 28-Sept. 6 and released Wednesday.

Green Party Candidate Delilah Barrios and Libertarian Mark Tippets each earned 2% support; another 3% preferred “someone else,” and 8% were undecided.

Meanwhile, the survey also found that 52% of Texas voters support “Operation Lone Star“ — Mr. Abbott’s policy that sends incoming migrants out of Texas on commercial buses. Indeed, the governor has sent the would-be citizens to New York City and Chicago. Some 7,900 of the new arrivals are already in Washington, D.C.

It’s complicated.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has declared a public health emergency over these arrivals, though her request to activate the D.C. National Guard to assist in the situation was denied by the Defense Department. And while the Texas voters may approve of their governor’s tactics, Ms. Bowser does not — and has deemed the practice a “politically motivated stunt.”

Poll du jour

41% of U.S. adults are “not at all confident” that Americans will resolve their differences with one another in the next five years.

24% are “a little confident” that Americans will resolve their differences.

18% are “somewhat confident.”

9% are “very confident.”

9% are “not sure.”

Source: An IPSOS poll of 1,001 U.S. adults conducted Sept. 1-2 and released Monday.

Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.





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