Cigarette and Coffee Breakfast 2/5/14

– A new study in the American Journal of Public Health has some findings that back up what seems to be intuitively true. The study claims:

The researchers took a close look at state-level suicide data over a 17-year period, from 1990 to 2007, from the National Vital Statistics System’s mortality detail files. They analyzed data from the 12 states that had legalized medical marijuana during that time and compared it with states that continued to criminalize the drug. In states that had legalized marijuana for medical use, there was a 10.8 percent reduction in the suicide rate of men in their 20s and a 9.4 percent reduction in men in their 30s, the study found.

The researchers continued, “The negative relationship between legalization and suicides among young men is consistent with the hypothesis that marijuana can be used to cope with stressful life events,” the authors wrote. “However, this relationship may be explained by alcohol consumption.” In essence, as people are able to smoke more Marijuana, they drink less alcohol. Marijuana, being the far less dangerous drug in just about every way, leads to less deaths via drunk driving, overdose etc when people marginally switch from alcohol to Marijuana consumption.

– All of liberal media is ablaze with defenses of what CBO said about Obamacare yesterday, so I guess I’ll join the act. CBO did, in fact, say that people will work less hours as a result of Obamacare. In fact, over two million people will either work less, or decide not to work at all because of Obamacare. As Bob Corker, Republican Senator from Tennessee said, “Today’s CBO report gives a sobering outlook on our economy,” Corker said in a statement. “It confirms what we’ve known all along: The health care law is having a tremendously negative impact on economic growth.”

You see, what Corks from Tennessee said there is, at best,  a massive stretch, at worst a disingenuous lie put forward by a smart man hoping that you are dumb. You see, what CBO is saying is that, because of the “health security” felt by many lower class people as a result of Obamacare, they will no longer feel that they must work that extra shift to get over 40 hours and earn a spot on the company health plan, in lieu of staying home and taking care of the family. As WonkBlog put it today, “in an implicit rebuke of GOP talking points, the CBO said that there was little evidence the health-care law is affecting employment and that businesses are not expected to significantly reduce head count or hours as a result of the law.” Now, a mother who would like to stay at home to raise her children, but cannot because she must find a job with health insurance, can do exactly that. Now, the employee who wants to leave her large, soul-crushing firm and start her own shop, but won’t because she is afraid to lose health insurance from her firm, well she can go start the next great American business.

– One of the Democratic caucuses most conservative members, and that’s OK, because he was able to win the party a seat out of deep red Alaska, Senator Mark Begich, seems like he may be able to hold on to his seat. You may remember that Begich won his seat when conservative Joe Miller decided to run a third party bid in the 2008 election, splitting the votes of Republicans and giving the seat to the Democrat. That will likely not happen this year, and Mark Begich has the race of his political life on his hands. As it stands right now, Begich leads his closes competitor Dan Sullivan 41-37.

– In a little news that affects someone right down the street from me, Republicans have begun grilling President Obama’s nominee for the Surgeon General’s job, Vivek Murthy. Murthy, 36, who works at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, is taking heat for her former advocacy for a pair of conservative bugaboo’s: Obamacare and gun control. Makes it hard to believe she will get by the Senate for nomination, and since the “nuclear option” only applies to judicial appointees currently, I’m predicting that the first Indian-American ever to be nominated Attorney General will never get the job.

– Martha Coakley is cruising in Massachusetts again, here’s hoping she doesn’t become complacent and decide it’s a good idea to insult Red Sox fans in her hope to represent the people of Massachusetts, like when she almost killed the Affordable Care Act by losing to Scott Brown in a 2010 special election to replace the late, great Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy. Here’s hoping Coakley doesn’t go around making fun of her opponent for, you know, campaigning (albeit, in former Playgirl model Scott Brown’s ridiculous pickup truck), while her lead slips and slips away. The state’s Attorney General once again starts with a lead, this time over former healthcare executive Charlie Baker, who took the Republican ticket for Governor last time, only to lose to two-term governor Deval Patrick. Coakley leads 44-31, yet EVERY other Democrat polled in the state would actually be LOSING their matchup, as hard as that is to believe!

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