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National Editorial & Columnists

Decisions that will make the old noggin spin

After legal pot, Hillary and kid immigrants, what’s next?

Texas Gov. Rick Perry
The governor's hairstyle has columnist Ann McFeatters bewildered; other confusing issues, from legalized marijuana to child immigrants, are also on her list.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry The governor's hairstyle has columnist Ann McFeatters bewildered; other confusing issues, from legalized marijuana to child immigrants, are also on her list.

WASHINGTON – It used to be, a few weeks ago, that as an adult you were responsible for making big, personal decisions: Do you want to marry? If so, whom? Do you want children? Where do you want to live? What do you want to do to support yourself? Whom do you want to vote for to be president?

And that was about it.

Life has become more complicated.

It’s not just whether or not you believe states should permit marijuana sales. Now you have to decide how government should regulate such sales.

Should it be about how much THC there is in the weed? Should the sale of marijuana food products be permitted?

How will children be protected? Are increased DUI arrests higher, so to speak, in Colorado where recreational marijuana sales are legal (along with the state of Washington) just because method of intoxication is now being catalogued?

Are we just getting more realistic about grass, or are we becoming a society where anything goes?

Yesterday you could decide whether you want Hillary Clinton to run again for president. But now you have to decide whether she’s earned too much money writing books and giving paid speeches to understand the rest of us.

You have to figure out whether she took on the defense of a rape suspect when she was a private lawyer in Arkansas as a favor to someone or because the court assigned her the case. Does her unsympathetic handling of the 12-year-old victim diminish her support for women?

Is Wall Street going to give a Clinton campaign a) no support; b) tepid support; c) all the money she needs? Was she a great secretary of State or did she spend 4 years racking up a million frequent flyer miles?

Is she going to separate herself from President Barack Obama and, if so, will they still speak to each other?

Just a few days ago, all you needed to know about our latest humanitarian crisis was that thousands of foreign children without their parents were descending on southern U.S. borders because of gang violence in their home towns.

Now you have to worry whether Obama knew this problem existed months ago and ignored it. We must fret about whether the anti-immigration-reform Congress will provide $3.7 billion Obama seeks for the crisis.

Should the president meet or not meet with homeless children he wants to deport, go on fundraising trips, drink a beer and play pool with the Colorado governor, and spar with Gov. Rick Perry in Texas?

Speaking of that, what is up with Perry’s hair? Sometimes poufed and sometimes flat, is it black, brown or gray?

But I di-­gress. Back to 52,000 children seeking asylum. Now you have to know that an anti-human trafficking law signed in the waning days of the George W. Bush presidency created this crisis because it offered protection to unaccompanied children (not from Canada or Mexico) from being sent back immediately to their country of origin. Now they must get an immigration hearing and preferably be appointed a lawyer. (The Lawyer-Protection Act?)

Not too long ago, you could exult that Osama bin Laden was dead. Now you have to worry about a guy you never heard of (ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi) who wears a stolen $6,500 watch, says he’s the caliph of all Muslims, and hates us even more than perhaps bin Laden did. And threatens us while in Mosul, Iraq, where a lot of Americans fought and died.

He may be the new most dangerous man in the world, but he doesn’t make much sense: “I am the leader who presides over you, though I am not the best of you, so if you see that I am right, assist me. If you see that I am wrong, advise me and put me on the right track, and obey me as long as I obey God in you.”

Oh dear. What’s coming tomorrow?

Note to readers: Ann McFeatters is an op-ed columnist for McClatchy-Tribune. Readers may send her email at

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