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March 27, 2014
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A new study from University of Toronto public health researchers finds that middle school and high school students who smoke only marijuana do better in school than their peers who smoke tobacco. The study, in the Journal of School Health, isn't a small one, either — lead author Michael Chaiton and his team examined 30 years of data involving about 39,000 Ontario 7th, 9th, and 11th graders who participated in surveys from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

What the study doesn't conclude, though, is that marijuana is better for you than tobacco or even makes you a better student. First of all, 92 percent of tobacco users in the study also smoke weed (while only 25 percent of marijuana tokers also smoke tobacco). Marijuana-only users' academic performance is "relatively better" than that of tobacco and tobacco/pot smokers, explains Chaiton, because the students who still smoke cigarettes these days come from "a fairly marginalized population, quite a vulnerable population."

Basically, tobacco has fallen out of vogue in schools, he adds. "Social norms have changed and the population of people who use marijuana are more like the general population." That's mildly good news for pot enthusiasts, since it suggests weed is now considered normal and tobacco deviant. But it doesn't mean students should feel good about waking-and-baking on school days. Or, probably, ever. Tobacco and marijuana are "similar drugs in many different ways," Chaiton says. "People dramatically underestimate the risks associated with cannabis use, particularly among youth." Peter Weber

10:38 a.m. ET

Following Friday's canceled vote on the American Health Care Act, the GOP plan to reform ObamaCare which failed significantly because of intra-party opposition, the finger pointing has begun.

President Trump has blamed Democratic leadership as well as the House Freedom Caucus, which organized conservative resistance in Congress. In a tweet Sunday morning, he extended that attack to two conservative advocacy organizations, the Heritage Foundation and the Club for Growth, which he charged with helping Planned Parenthood and ObamaCare.

Privately, the president is believed to share the critique of House Speaker Paul Ryan's leadership which other Republicans have begun to publicly level. On Saturday, he recommended his Twitter followers watch a Fox News show episode that called for Ryan's resignation from his post.

Outside of Washington, the AHCA was generally unpopular, but its demise — coupled with Trump's assertions that ObamaCare will now "explode" on its own — has produced widespread uncertainty. Bonnie Kristian

10:19 a.m. ET
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A crash in Tempe, Arizona, on Saturday has led ridesharing company Uber to suspend its self-driving car program. No one was seriously hurt in the incident, but the self-driving Volvo was flipped on its side after another vehicle "failed to yield" appropriately at a left turn.

"There was a person behind the wheel" of the Volvo at the time of the crash, said an Uber representative, and it "is uncertain at this time if they were controlling the vehicle at the time of the collision." The vehicle had two "safety drivers" in its front seats because, as Uber said at its pilot program's rollout, driverless cars "require human intervention in many conditions, including bad weather."

Before the crash, Uber's self-driving cars were being tested in its Arizona, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco markets. Bonnie Kristian

8:32 a.m. ET
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Violence broke out at a Make America Great Again rally south of Los Angeles on Saturday as supporters of President Trump scuffled with counter-protesters. About 2,000 Trump fans were gathered in Huntington Beach, California, when multiple fights erupted in the crowd.

At least one Trump supporter was pepper-sprayed by a Trump opponent wearing a black mask, who was then tackled, punched, and kicked by multiple rally attendees. Four counter-protesters were arrested, local law enforcement said, three of them for illegal pepper spray use.

Attendees described the event as a celebration of Trump plus Vice President Mike Pence, veterans, first responders, and patriotism in general. "Thanks you for all of the Trump Rallies today," Trump tweeted Saturday night. "Amazing support. We will all MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!" Bonnie Kristian

8:15 a.m. ET
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"Watch @JudgeJeanine on @FoxNews tonight at 9:00 P.M.," President Trump tweeted Saturday morning — hardly an unusual post for a president known for his love of cable news shows. But in that evening's episode, Judge Jeanine Pirro kicked off her program with a demand for House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to resign.

"Ryan needs to step down as Speaker of the House. The reason, he failed to deliver the votes on his health-care bill, the one trumpeted to repeal and replace ObamaCare," she said, insisting the de facto demise of the bill — backed by Ryan and Trump alike — "is not on President Trump" because "no one expected a businessman to completely understand the nuances, the complicated ins and outs of Washington and its legislative process. How would he know on what individuals he could rely?"

Pirro said she did not discuss her message with the president before the show.

While Trump has not explicitly blamed Ryan for the defeat, the House speaker is in a difficult position after his legislation alienated the most conservative and moderate wings of his party alike. Bonnie Kristian

7:34 a.m. ET
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At least one person is dead and another 14 injured after gunfire broke out in a Cincinnati, Ohio, nightclub around 1 a.m. local time on Sunday. Police are actively investigating the incident at the Cameo Night Club and say they have no reason to suspect terrorism.

"It's a large and complicated homicide scene," said Cincinnati Police Department Sgt. Eric Franz. "At this point we have multiple witnesses we're interviewing and we have nobody in custody." "It's going to be a long night for our homicide units to investigate this incident, but right now things are stable," Cincinnati Assistant Police Chief Paul Neudigate told NBC News.

Early reports suggested multiple shooters, but police later indicated there may be just a single attacker. Several victims are undergoing emergency surgery. Bonnie Kristian

March 25, 2017
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President Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), and other GOP supporters of the failed American Health Care Act cast the vote as a strict with-us-or-against us scenario: Either support this plan or you're stuck with ObamaCare while the White House "agenda moves on" to other issues. More than 30 House Republicans had other ideas.

As The New York Times details in a breakdown of which GOP lawmakers in the lower chamber opposed the AHCA and why, the proposal came under a diversity of criticism from left and right alike — and that's just within the Republican Party. It's a scenario which leads Paul Kane at The Washington Post to observe the rise of a new paradigm of power in the GOP:

[The AHCA's de facto defeat] suggested a new dynamic in which both the right and left flanks of the Republican conference are emboldened to challenge leadership. And that could make each future negotiation more difficult as the issue matrix gets more complicated and the pockets of internal GOP resistance continue to grow, not shrink, in the new era of Trump’s Republican-controlled Washington. ...

This new combination, with Ryan’s right and left flanks willing to buck him and the new president, presents deep concern for the long-term effort to take up the more complicated effort to overhaul the corporate and individual tax codes. [The Washington Post]

Read the rest of his analysis here, and for more context, check out this piece from The Week's own Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry on why the AHCA defeat can be good for the GOP. Bonnie Kristian

March 25, 2017

President Trump reiterated on Twitter Saturday his argument that the health-care system set up by the Affordable Care Act will "explode" of its own accord — after which, he added, Republican lawmakers will successfully pass the replacement plan they could not swing without the added pressure of political explosion.

Trump's tweet echoes his Friday suggestion that the "best thing politically speaking is to let ObamaCare explode" so Democrats are forced to "come to us." Bonnie Kristian

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