• A trippy idea or fiscal genius? Two pols idea to smoke away the deficit

    Top Line

    What if the United States could shrink the federal deficit and get high at the same time? Two congressmen calling for the legalization of recreational marijuana say it's not such a trippy idea.

    Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) say marijuana legalization is a common sense fiscal policy that could save the government billions of dollars through a combination of tax revenues and savings from not pursuing costly enforcement and incarceration.

    “We are trying to rationalize federal drug policy,” Blumenauer tells Top Line. “We're spending too much money on enforcement for something most Americans think should be legal, and we're losing revenue. And we're going to create federal train wreck if we don't fix it.”

    They say the federal government is behind the curve of states like Washington and Colorado, where recreational marijuana is regulated and taxed.

    "Colorado and Washington voters agree, as do I, that the proper policy with regard to marijuana is to

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  • Game changer: Maj. Gen. Abrams on the “homegrown” rejection of Taliban in Afghanistan

    On the Radar

    Maj. Gen. Robert B. Abrams, the top U.S. and NATO commander in southern Afghanistan, is confident the country won’t fall back into the grips of the Taliban and other extremists when international forces pull out in two years—pointing to what he calls a “homegrown” rejection of the Taliban and the readiness of the Afghan security forces.

    “No one expected it to happen in the place we're today,” the commanding general of the 3rd Infantry Division tells On the Radar, standing in the same region of Afghanistan where al Qaeda trained many of the 9/11 perpetrators just over a decade ago.

    “All the places in southern Afghanistan considered the heartland for the Taliban, no one expected that the people here would rise up against the Taliban in a sort of homegrown, anti-Taliban movement, and it happened here. It is real,” Abrams says.

    Abrams tells the story of a village in the Panjwai region, located in the Kandahar province of southern Afghanistan, where a village elder pushed the

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  • Karl Rove on Bush legacy: “He got the big things right”

    Politics Confidential

    Karl Rove, who has been described by former President George W. Bush as “the architect” of his 2000 and 2004 election victories, isn’t backing down in his defense of the former president’s legacy, saying “he got the big things right.”

    “He kept us safe after 9/11, he moved to modernize our tools, provide the tools to fight terror, he called terror for what it was, he tackled the big issues of trying to reform Social Security, Medicare, immigration, education,” Rove tells Politics Confidential, standing outside the new Bush library and museum.

    When asked if he has any regrets about the Iraq War, knowing now that Saddam Hussein did not actually possess weapons of mass destruction that were given as the main justification at the time, Rove says he still thinks the war was the right decision.

    “I do believe that the Iraq War was the right thing to do and the world is a safer place for having Saddam Hussein gone,” says Rove, who points out that there was a “bipartisan

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