Today is Monday already?  How did THAT happen!  OK . . . so this is for what’s left of it but also for Tuesday because (a) there’s enough here for both and (b) I’m a rebel.


Showtime (free trial!) premiered “Compared To What: The Improbable Journey of Barney Frank” Friday.

The Boston Globe titled its review: “Getting Beyond Neatness: A Look At Barney Frank, In All His Rumpled Glory.”

. . . The story has a neat heroic arc, as Frank, after decades of feeling lonely and fighting tirelessly for the public good, finally finds a happy private life. Some of the best material in “Compared to What,’’ which is directed by Sheila Canavan and Michael Chandler, looks at Frank in his latter days in the House and after his retirement. We see him in a comfortable, low-key relationship with Jim Ready, and we see footage from their 2012 wedding, the first gay nuptials by a sitting member of Congress. The service, which appears to have been as lacking in fussiness as the couple, was officiated by then-Governor Deval Patrick, who had Frank and Ready pledge to love each other “on MSNBC or on Fox’’ and “in Congress or in retirement.’’ It’s a sweet denouement. . . .

The filmmakers emphasize Frank’s adult life, but there are a few notes about his childhood in New Jersey and the way the murder of Emmett Till in 1955 Mississippi mobilized him politically. There are also a few illuminating interviews with Frank’s roommates from his Harvard years, with one admitting he had a crush on Frank. Those interviews attest to the consistency of Frank’s irascible, practical, suffer-no-fools personality.

It is Frank, though, who summarizes himself best of all in the film: “Patience, in my judgment, is not a virtue.’’

Last week, as part of the launch for the film, Gawker hosted Barney and some friends for a Q & A — join the 80 members of the audience and watch it all here — in which it was revealed, among other thngs, that Barney can’t smoke weed so he eats it.

Personally, I think edibles are a terrible idea.  Anyone who can’t inhale should either “vape” — or wait until it’s sold in capsule form with clearly metrics and warnings.  Not in delicious cookies and candies that pose all sorts of potential risks if anyone accidentally leaves them out.

And while I’m on my soapbox, I think pot should be legal for adults everywhere, but that we should drastically restrict any advertising/marketing/promotion.  Sure, adults should be allowed to smoke cigarettes – but was it a good idea to let Philip Morris et al addict billions of people around the world to the leading cause of preventable death?  Sure, adults should be free to consume alcohol, but that doesn’t come without a lot of costs, tragedies, and downsides.

Weed is almost surely the least harmful of the three — tobacco, alcohol, or marijuana — yet it pretty well markets itself. It really doesn’t need advertising, promotion, sampling, product-placement in movies, etc.  We want adults to be free to pursue their own happiness — but do we want smart marketers with giant budgets working to have as many people as possible stoned as much as possible?  I don’t think so.

(And wouldn’t it work to the advantage and credibility of those of us who advocate enlightened drug policy to be kind of prudish when it comes to edibles and to marketing/promotion?  A sort of sensible middle ground more people and politicians can accept?)


Doug Schneller: “Further to your column Thursday, and in case you haven’t seen it, this is an excellent Newsweek summary/primer delving into the actual facts about Benghazi and debunks the various theories alleging a vast conspiracy.  For those who don’t like or trust HRC — or who see the Kenyan socialist as illegitimately holding the presidency — I suspect a careful analysis of the facts may be unpersuasive. Nevertheless, for those who are willing to plow through the article, I think it becomes hard to believe that HRC is culpable.  It’s almost as if Gowdy’s committee is trying to score political points!  Seriously: enough already (I know I’m preaching to the choir). If Gowdy et al. are going to persist in this Kabuki theater, the GOP should at least pick up the tab and pay for the obvious political advertising.”

(And this from Daily Kos regarding Sidney Blumenthal, Svengali and evil genius.)



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