Wednesday, March 31, 2021

New Yorker Cover Captures Asian-American Angst

 (click to enlarge)

This is the poignant and striking cover of the April 5 issue of The New Yorker magazine depicting an anxious Asian mother and daughter waiting on a subway platform, looking around nervously. Violent assaults against Asian-Americans have increased by 150% in the past year, as many ignorant thugs falsely associate them with COVID-19, thanks in large part to bigot and lying incompetent Donald "Mango Mussolini" Trump.

On Monday, a man was captured on video brutally assaulting a 65- year -old Asian woman in Manhattan in broad daylight as witnesses watched and did nothing. The attacker was arrested early today and charged with felony assault as a hate crime. As someone who was out on lifetime parole for the stabbing murder of his own mother in 2002, this psychopath should be put away for the rest of his life.

(cover art: "Delayed" by R. Kikuo Johnson)

G. Gordon Liddy Dies, Making World A Little Better

We'd be remiss if we didn't expand on the passing yesterday of one of American politics' greatest evil miscreants, the notorious ratf*cker G. Gordon "Flipped His" Liddy (noted briefly below). He bungled the Watergate break-in, initiating the fall of Richard Nixon, served about 4 years in the slammer, and remained unrepentant to his dying breath yesterday. Liddy was a giant, zealous fascist supporter of Nixon, who once said that listening to Adolf Hitler speak on the radio sent "an electric current" through his body.

If only Liddy's epitaph could be his idol Nixon's assessment of him (from the transcript of the "smoking gun" tape, June 23, 1972):

(President Nixon): Well, what the hell, did [AG John] Mitchell know about this thing [ unclear?]

(Haldeman): I think so. I don't think he knew the details, but I think he knew.

(President Nixon): He didn't know how it was going to be handled, though, with [Rethug donor Ken] Dahlberg and the Texans, and so forth? Well, who was the asshole that did [ unclear?] Is it [G. Gordon] Liddy? If that the fellow? He must be a little nuts.

(Haldeman): He is.

(President Nixon): I mean, he just isn't well screwed on is he? Isn't that the problem?

Ol' Scratch will be tossing some coals on his fire to welcome his man home.  

(photo: Watergate had both burglars and bunglers; Liddy was in the latter group. AP) 

Today's Cartoons


(click on images to enlarge)

(Andy Marlette, Pensacola News-Journal, FL)

(Mike Thompson, USA Today)

(Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press)

(J.D. Crowe, Alabama Media Group)

(Rob Rogers,

(Drew Sheneman, The Star-Ledger, Newark, NJ)

(Ann Telnaes, Washington Post)

(Kevin Siers, Charlotte Observer)

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

And, from the new cartoonist (3 days/ week) for the Washington Post:

(Michael de Adder, Washington Post)

Tweets Of The Day


GaetzGate it is! --





A lower caliber of lunatic, criminal loyalists --



Yesterday's Derek Chauvin trial line of the day --


Mark your calendars --



Now walk the walk, Delta --



Reindeer cyclone --




Mid-Week Song: Midnight "Medicine"


The Foo Fighters' latest album "Medicine at Midnight" has some great alternative rock tracks on it, including the title track. The video is an homage to the craft of making sake, and the Tatenokawa brand is a favorite of the band's. It films the making of sake at Tatenokawa's venerable facility, in this instance, "Hansho" or "Midnight" sake. Enjoy (with sake if you like).

Biden Infrastructure Plan Unveiled Today


It's a big f*cking deal:

President Biden on Wednesday will unveil a sprawling, ambitious infrastructure proposal that, if enacted, would overhaul how Americans get from point A to point B, how their electricity is generated, the speed of their Internet connections, the quality of their water and the physical makeup of the schools their children are educated in.

The measure, called the American Jobs Plan, includes big infrastructure fixes that both major parties — as well as a majority of Americans — consistently say they want to see, including upgrades to bridges, broadband and buildings.

The $2 trillion proposal includes:

  • $115 billion to repair and rebuild bridges, highways and roads;
  • $100 billion to expand high-speed broadband across the entire country;
  • $100 billion to upgrade and build new schools;
  • and $100 billion to expand and improve power lines, and spur a shift to clean energy.

And embedded within the plan are efforts to build out U.S. clean energy infrastructure that, by itself, would rank as one of the most ambitious initiatives ever by the federal government to lower the country's greenhouse gas emissions; along with efforts to address racial inequalities and advance the U.S. economy to compete with China.

The plan would be paid for by increasing taxes for corporations and people earning over $400,000 a year. 

As we noted yesterday, the plan is expected to reap huge benefits to the economy over the next 4 years and beyond. (An additional $1 trillion will be proposed for universal prekindergarten and free community college tuition, expanding spending on child care, and extending for several years the expansion of the child tax credit recently signed into law for just one year as part of the stimulus plan.)

There are already some on the left saying the plan isn't big enough;  on the right, the bad faith Republican Party squeals that it's too big.  (To those on the left, we'll simply trot out the truism that perfect should not be the enemy of good.  To those on the bad faith right, we'll simply say get out of the way.)

It's likelier than not that this "American Jobs Plan" will have to pass under budget reconciliation, as did the recent American Rescue Plan Act.  If that's the route needed, it means passage would be delayed until fall, when a new fiscal year begins. 

Capitol Police Officers Sue Trump Over Riot


Two veteran Capitol Police officers have filed a civil suit in Federal Court in the District of Columbia against seditionist cult leader Donald "Mango Mussolini" Trump for his role in provoking the violent domestic terrorist riot at the Capitol on January 6. Each officer is seeking $75,000 in compensatory damages and an undisclosed amount in punitive damages (ed.-- hope it's in the many tens of millions). In their suit, Officers James Blassingame, 50, and Sidney Hemby, 59, allege that:

"...Trump was directly responsible for inciting a mob of supporters gathered at his 'Stop the Steal' rally outside the White House. Encouraged by Trump’s orders to march to the Capitol, the lawsuit says, the mob attacked officers and destroyed federal property as lawmakers met to certify Joe Biden as president. [snip]

'The insurrectionist mob, which Trump had inflamed, encouraged, incited, directed, and aided and abetted, forced its way over and past the plaintiffs and their fellow officers, pursuing and attacking them inside and outside the United States Capitol, and causing the injuries,' the suit states."

Officer Brian Sicknick died as a result of actions by the mob, two of whom have been identified and arrested for their possible involvement, while two officers later committed suicide as a result of the traumatic events of that day.  All three families of those officers have a legitimate claim to significant damages from Mango Mussolini. The Capitol Police Officers' Union has counted some 140 of its police officers who were injured that day, leaving open the real possibility that more civil suits will be filed on behalf of injured officers. Suffice it to say that DC is not the friendliest venue for Trump in terms of jury trials, so let the torts fly.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

BREAKING: Trumper Rep. Matt Gaetz Under Sex Trafficking Investigation

One of the former guy's most fervent and sleazy supporters is following in his master's footsteps:

Breaking news from the New York Times regarding an open investigation into whether Rep. Matt Gaetz [Seditionist-FL] "had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old and paid for her to travel with him."

If true, this would violate FEDERAL SEX TRAFFICKING LAWS. Inducing someone under the age of 18 to travel across state lines to have sex with you in exchange for gifts or money is flat out illegal. There is no grey area. Age of consent does not apply. And if found to be true, Gaetz faces an EXTREMELY lengthy prison sentence. Sex trafficking of minors is not something you can plea down to probation.

The New York Times reports that it is unclear how Gaetz, who is 38 now would have met a 17-year old two years ago. He would have been 36 at that time. Let's just think about that - a 36-year old MAN and a 17-year old girl (probably a high schooler). That is a 19-year age difference.

The investigation apparently started while Trump was still in office under the Worst AG Ever, Bill Barr. It has been reported that Trump was notified of the investigation. The New York Times further reports that the investigation is part of a "broader investigation into a political ally" of Gaetz' -- Joel Greenberg, who was indicted in the summer of 2020 for numerous charges, including sex trafficking of a child and giving money to a child in exchange for sex. One of those people he "financially supported" was an underage girl.
No wonder seditionist Gaetz has been eyeing retirement from Congress (to work at far right propaganda outlet Newsmax)! 

This is obviously a developing story, but in the meantime please join us in preemptively saying "Lock him up, lock him up!"  Also, alert low IQAnon-ers that one of those D.C. pedophile pols they've been searching for has been exposed:  #PizzaGaetz. (Alerted, some are still sticking by their pedophile man.)

BONUS:  Let's take a moment to recall his first (but perhaps not last) mug shot when he was arrested for DUI in 2008 --





(Top photo:  Gaetz and his mentor.)

Big Lie Guy The Favorite For GA Elections Chief

With the return to Jim Crow in Georgia after the Republican legislature and Governor legislated a blatant  attack on the voting rights of predominantly Dem voters, it's logical that a rabid right-wing Trumpist is the current favorite (read, "Trump's favorite") to be the new election chief: Jody "Heist" Hice. He currently serves as the Republican representative for Georgia's 10th Congressional district, and, if elected, he'll be willing to move mountains to rig future elections for his party and his Dear Leader. CNN's Daniel Dale writes that Hice is a "Stop The Steal" / Big Lie cultist whose campaign "platform" is to deny the legitimate election of President Biden and imply that massive fraud (i.e., large black voter turnout) tainted the 2020 election:

"Since November, Hice has been a vocal and frequent purveyor of inaccurate election claims -- baselessly saying or insinuating that the results were tainted by mass fraud and that Joe Biden did not legitimately beat Trump in Georgia."

Hice has a problem with absentee ballots which drive voter participation up (deadly for Republicans) and drop boxes, and would like to purge 700,000 voters from Georgia's voter registration rolls, impacting infrequent Dem voters overwhelmingly.

There is a small silver lining in that the Republicans' desperate moves are glaring. The Washington Post's Greg Sargent takes it from there:

"Perhaps we should be thankful that Rep. Jody Hice is running to be the new chief of elections in Georgia, with the enthusiastic backing of former president Donald Trump. That’s because the Republican’s candidacy is exposing vile truths about the GOP’s ongoing slide into authoritarianism with dispiriting but useful clarity.

We need to retheorize what’s right in front of our noses. Republicans have launched new voter-suppression efforts everywhere, while Democrats are pushing reforms to thwart those tactics and make voting easier. Yet this is often covered as a 'partisan' struggle, as if each side were trying to manipulate election rules to its advantage in a manner that was vaguely equivalent."

As Sargent notes, the Beltway media has already forgotten the lessons of the January 6 Trumpist seditionist insurrection and wants to play the "politics as a game" false equivalency when it comes to Republican roll  back of voting rights. Turning back to the lies about a stolen election in Georgia, Sargent writes:

"These lies aren’t just about re-litigating the past. They also seem designed to lay the groundwork to overturn an election result that Georgia Republicans don’t like in the future.

This is inescapably the real meaning of the core rationale of Hice’s candidacy. He’s running precisely because [GA Secretary of State] Raffensperger did not use those lies as pretexts to overturn the outcome. When Trump says Hice will 'fight' where his rival did not, he’s telling us Hice will do exactly that."

Whether in the courts or at the ballot box, this election tampering has to end, and the Republican onward rush toward cultish authoritarianism needs to be called out for what it is.

BONUS:  Of course, it's not just Georgia.  There's a Trump seditionist in Arizona who's running to do  the same thing.

(photo: Hice cradling his penis compensator, which no doubt he will bring to the polls to scare dark skinned people away)

Today's Cartoons


(click on images to enlarge)

(Kevin Siers, Charlotte Observer)

(Chris Britt,

(John Branch, Houston Chronicle)

(Ed Hall,

(Nick Anderson,

(Steve Breen, San Diego Union-Tribune)

(Jimmy Margulies,

(Gary Markstein,

(David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Daily Star)

(John Deering, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

Tweets Of The Day


The Republican road map --


Self-incriminating seditionist --


Say their names --


A mango- hued clue to declining church affiliation? --


The media, playing its part in amplifying Republican disinformation --


Fuji photo and sakura --




It's The Infrastructure, Stupid

The folks at Axios have been talking to Standard & Poors and Goldman Sachs about the impact of President Biden's proposed infrastructure bill and the recently- passed American Rescue Plan Act, and it's pretty eye- popping:

Economists are becoming positively giddy about the potential for economic growth this year as President Biden and Congressional Democrats look set to push forward a $3 trillion infrastructure bill.

What we're hearing: "Stimulus helps build the bridge for the recovery to reach the other side, but an investment in infrastructure is the fuel to jump start the economic engine," Beth Ann Bovino, U.S. chief economist at S&P Global, says in an email.

  • S&P predicts Biden's infrastructure plan will create 2.3 million jobs by 2024, inject $5.7 trillion into the economy — which would be 10 times what was lost during the recession — and raise per-capita income by $2,400.

State of play: Economists at Goldman Sachs again revised up their outlook for growth this year in a Sunday note to clients, predicting real consumption will grow by 9.5% in Q1 and 12.5% in Q2, citing retailer reopenings, the reversal of winter storm effects and a decline in new COVID-19 infections.

  • Further, they note that OpenTable restaurant reservations are nearing 70% of normal nationwide and are back above their pre-crisis level in Texas.
  • They also anticipate the pace of fiscal support to U.S. consumers will accelerate by $1 trillion on an annualized basis (or 5% of GDP) for March and the second quarter, relative to the previous six months.

This is another game- changing piece of legislation that, should Republicans attempt to block it in the Senate, Democrats should feel good about "ramming through" (i.e., allowing a vote on the Senate floor).  It would have broad support in the country, if not with the Republican sedition caucus which is dedicated to sabotaging Democrats in general and Biden in particular.  Going big will pay big dividends for the Democratic Party, but more importantly for the nation.

National Doctors' Day 2021


Now that we're past the one year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, it's good to remember not only the more than half a million deaths but the health care professionals who spent exhausting weeks and months in ICUs treating a never ending stream of patients. Many sacrificed their own lives to save their patients. It was a crushing and lonely job that continues to this day with hospitalizations increasing. 

Today is National Doctors' Day in the U.S., and you should consider sending your doctor an email or card thanking him or her for their invaluable humanitarian efforts and day-to-day work. Also, mark May 6 on your calendars for National Nurses' Day, nurses whose work this past year was nothing short of selflessly heroic.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Trump's Losing His "Legacy" War



Philip Bump in today's Washington Post:

"On Sunday evening, CNN aired a special featuring interviews with the senior officials involved in the early coronavirus pandemic response under President Donald Trump. No longer operating under the Trump political umbrella, they offered assessments of the past year that lacked any soothing veneer.

Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House response under Trump, expressed her belief that the deaths that occurred after the first wave of infections last spring were largely preventable. It’s a sentiment that matches recent research but was at odds with the sanitization practices of the Trump White House to which Birx had so often adhered. Anthony S. Fauci, the country’s top epidemiologist, suggested that it was government experts, not Trump, who had decided to push forward quickly on a vaccine to combat the virus in January 2020. That was months before the administration rolled out Operation Warp Speed, its push for vaccine development.

The former president got his say this weekend, too. He spoke for several minutes on Saturday night, excoriating the administration of President Biden in defense of his own.

The venue? A wedding at his private club in Florida."  (our emphasis)

Sociopathic seditionist cult leader Donald "Mango Mussolini" Trump engaged in such infamous lying and attacks on our democracy that social media giants like Twitter and Facebook finally pulled the plug on him. That hasn't kept him from issuing frequent "statements" that he provides to the media, but after that point most will fact check his predictable lying. 

Of course, he's talking about creating his own social media platform in "two or three months" much like his infrastructure plan or his middle class tax cut was coming in a couple of weeks. However, Trump's business model is using other people's money, buildings, etc. and having little of his own money at risk. His business failures -- from his casino to his steaks, airline and "university" -- have tanked, the latter enterprise being closed for fraudulent claims, so getting domestic investors might be hard. As long as he has the Fux family of sychophants and others, he can spew his venom. But his reach is primarily limited to reinforcing the beliefs of his hardcore cultists on conservative media.

The historians who will create the official historical record will describe his legacy as one of gross incompetence, division and a failed assault on our democracy among other things. Appearances on wingnut Laura Ingraham's lie fest won't change that.

BONUSSteve M. wonders if Trump even cares about his "legacy."


Pics: Festival of Holi

This gives you pause to see in a pandemic, but for hundreds of millions in India and the Indian diaspora, the Hindu festival of Holi (meaning "Festival of Love" or "Festival of Colors"), which ends today, is a beloved ancient celebration known for the colored powder tossed around and applied to everyone. Fortunately, given its huge population, India has been spared the brunt of COVID-19, with 162,000 deaths. However, only 6.6 million have been vaccinated, less than one half of one percent of their population. To have this joyous celebration of love turn into a super spreader would be the greatest tragedy. Let's sincerely hope it doesn't.

(click to enlarge)

(photos, all Reuters, from top: K.K. Arona, N. Kulkani, Amit Dave)

Tweets Of The Day


The central issue --




Profile in cowardice and expediency --


Lesson learned --



Brave Glenn Greenwald, defender of "impoverished criminal defendants" (a.k.a., insurrectionists), goes after journalist intern --


The Four Questions --




Today's Tomorrow Cartoon: MAGA Man's Mecha Suit

 (click to enlarge)


In the sci fi future, death-dealing "Mecha Suits" evolve from today's military grade weapons, and a MAGA man is still saying "thoughts and prayers" and "nothing can be done" (And the red MAGA cap has evolved into a red   MAGA helmet).

Support Tom Tomorrow's work here.

Monday Reading


As always, please go to the links for the full articles/ op eds.

Is the ship still stuck?  Not so much:

The giant cargo carrier blocking the Suez Canal was partly refloated early Monday morning, nearly a week after it wedged sideways, threatening the world's global economy.

Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi declared mission accomplished later in the day, saying in a statement that “Egyptians have succeeded today in ending the crisis of the stranded ship in the Suez Canal.”

He portrayed the efforts as a patriotic victory that assured the world that Egypt could be trusted with overseeing the 13 percent of all global trade that passes through the crucial waterway.

On the ground, the operation to fully free the vessel was still ongoing and appeared to be moving swiftly. The Suez Canal Authority said in a statement that the Ever Given had been 80 percent refloated, with the stern of the ship pulled away from the shore by roughly 334 feet. On Sunday, it was just 13 feet from the canal’s bank.

While the crew of this ship and others waiting to pass through the canal can now breathe a sigh of relief, it means the end to the cottage industry of memes and the web site produced about the incident.

Yesterday, we linked to the news that Trump coronavirus coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx concluded that hundreds of thousands of lives could have been saved in this country had the Trump regime had treated the pandemic more consistently and aggressively.  It bears repeating:

Dr. Deborah Birx, who served as the White House coronavirus response coordinator under the Trump administration, reveals her chilling conclusion in a new CNN documentary that the number of coronavirus deaths could have been "decreased substantially" if cities and states across the country had aggressively applied the lessons of the first surge toward mitigation last spring, potentially preventing the surges that followed.
It is a bracing retrospective from one of the top doctors who was tasked with halting the pandemic, and it comes at a time when many grieving families are still trying to understand how one of the wealthiest and most powerful nations in the world was unable to prevent the loss of nearly 550,000 lives.  [snip]
One area that is drawing new scrutiny is how long it took for former President Donald Trump and his Covid-19 advisers to declare a pause to slow the spread in March 2020 after the initial surge in coronavirus cases began -- and how many lives could have been saved if all Americans had really adhered to the restrictions on gatherings and social distancing. In the new documentary, Birx gives Gupta her gut-wrenching answer when asked how much of an impact it would have made if the US had paused earlier and followed through with the safety measures that were proven to slow the spread.
"I look at it this way. The first time we have an excuse," Birx says. "There were about a hundred thousand deaths that came from that original surge. All of the rest of them, in my mind, could have been mitigated or decreased substantially."

Of all the shameful legacies of Mango Mussolini/ President Pandemic, the incompetence and self- interest that cost the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives must come first.  Never forget that.

While we are preoccupied with the pandemic, gun violence, voting rights and so much more, it's easy to miss the fact that we've entered a new age of space exploration.  The Mars rover Perseverance is just one example of our return to space, and of the stunning pace of technological advancement in that field.  Infidel writes about one aspect of the Perseverance mission that's representative of that advancement, while paying homage to an earlier era. Here's a brief excerpt:

The current Perseverance rover mission on Mars represents yet another step forward.  It carries a helicopter, named Ingenuity, specially designed for flight on Mars.  When it first takes to the air (probably in early April), it will echo the Wright brothers by achieving the first powered flight by an aircraft on another planet, barely a century after we first managed it on this one.  I think the Wrights would have been impressed at how we've carried their work forward.

Designing a helicopter for Mars was a major challenge.  Mars's gravity is only one-third as strong as Earth's, but the atmosphere is only one hundredth as dense, offering little purchase for rotors.  Since low gravity cannot be simulated on Earth on a large scale, it was impossible to test-fly the machine under true Mars-like conditions.  Ingenuity weighs only four pounds and has a rotor span of four feet, so it's comparable in size to a large drone.  Unlike a drone, however, it can't be operated by remote control in real time, because radio signals take several minutes to travel from Earth to Mars (the exact amount of time depends on the positions of the two planets along their orbits).  Ingenuity has its own onboard computers and navigation sensors, enabling it to autonomously carry out instructions transmitted from Earth in advance.

Democrats in the Senate are preparing to go it alone again on President Biden's $3 trillion infrastructure and social safety net program, anticipating no cooperation or compromise from dead- end Republicans:

Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) is exploring additional use of the budget reconciliation process to pass parts of Biden’s costly “Build Back Better” agenda, according to a Schumer aide.

Such a move could allow Democrats to move forward without support of Republicans, as they did with the recently enacted $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. Biden is preparing this week to unveil parts of his next major legislative initiative focused on infrastructure and safety-net programs, which could have a combined cost in excess of $3 trillion.

While most bills requires 60 votes to advance in the Senate, legislation considered under the budget reconciliation process can move ahead with a simple majority.

These Democratic initiatives, like the COVID relief bill, have broad bipartisan support in the country, just not from the Republican sedition caucus in Washington.  Act accordingly!

The trial of Derek Chauvin starts today in Minneapolis:

Opening statements in the high-profile trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck as he lay dying in May 2020, are set to begin at 9 a.m. local time Monday.

Chauvin, 45, is charged with second- and third-degree murder as well as manslaughter in Floyd’s death. He has pleaded not guilty on all counts. 

Video recorded on a bystander’s cellphone and viewed millions of times across the world showed Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, crying out for help as Chauvin, who is white, and two other police officers pinned him to the ground.

Floyd’s killing sparked months of nationwide protests against police brutality and racism and led to a worldwide reckoning against racial injustice.

Not only a reckoning for Chauvin but for the American justice system. 

We finish again this week with the recommendation that a visit to Infidel 753's link round-up to interesting posts from around the Internet would be well worth your time.  As you will note from the excerpt on Perseverance above, you don't want to miss his essays, either.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Across The Universe, Cont. -- Heavily Armed Galaxy


(click on image to enlarge)

From NASA/ESA, March 22, 2021: This week’s Hubble/ESA Picture of the Week features NGC 7678 — a galaxy located approximately 164 million light-years away in the constellation of Pegasus (The Winged Horse). With a diameter of around 115,000 light-years, this bright spiral galaxy is a similar size to our own galaxy (the Milky Way), and was discovered in 1784 by the German-British astronomer William Herschel.

The Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies is a catalogue which was produced in 1966 by the American astronomer Halton Arp. NGC 7678 is among the 338 galaxies presented in this catalogue, which organises peculiar galaxies according to their unusual features. Catalogued here as Arp 28, this galaxy is listed together with six others in the group “spiral galaxies with one heavy arm”.  

Credit:  ESA/Hubble & NASA, A. Riess et al.


Today's Cartoons


(click on images to enlarge)

(Lee Judge,

(Dave Whamond,

(Steve Benson,

(Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press)

(Ed Wexler,

(Joe Heller,

(Jeff Koterba, @jeffreykoterba)

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

(John Deering, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

(Morten Morland, The Sunday Times, London)

(Mort Gerberg, @mortgerberg)

New York Legalizing Recreational Weed Sales

New York State is set to become the 15th state to legalize recreational marijuana sales, following an agreement reached last night among its state legislators. New York has tried and failed in the recent past to allow controlled sales of marijuana. The Associated Press reports:

"The legislation  would allow recreational marijuana sales to adults over the age of 21, and set up a licensing process for the delivery of cannabis products to customers. Individual New Yorkers could grow up to three mature and three immature plants for personal consumption, and local governments could opt out of retail sales."

However, don't take your bongs out of storage just yet:

"The legislation would take effect immediately if passed, though sales wouldn’t start immediately as New York sets up rules and a proposed cannabis board. Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes estimated Friday it could take 18 months to two years for sales to start."

Two years!? To coin a phrase, c'mon man. The state's treasury should reap a big windfall through taxes on the product, too, bringing in roughly $350 million in tax revenues annually:

"New York would set a 9% sales tax on cannabis, plus an additional 4% tax split between the county and local government. It would also impose an additional tax based on the level of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, ranging from 0.5 cents per milligram for flower to 3 cents per milligram for edibles."

It appears that they've done some serious thinking about the tax angle. What next, a "toke tax"?

(photo: Don't Bogart that joint.  Carlos Osario / Reuters)


Tweets Of The Day


American exceptionalism --




"Performative assholism" --



No shit, Sherlock  --



"If a grenade launcher fires in the forest and nobody hears it, will it still make an explosion?" --


It's a dude thing --



Sunday Reflection: Who We Say We Are

“It is about whether we are who we say we are. Either we’re a democracy or we’re not. Either we believe in the idea of one person, one vote, or we don’t. Either I’m a citizen or I’m not.” -- Rev. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) on the Rachel Maddow show Friday.  

Sen. Warnock is an incredibly powerful voice and presence in the face of Georgia Republicans / Trumpists' efforts to cancel out Dem votes (see post below) because they've lost the battle of ideas and values. He's warning voters all over the country that this fight is coming to their state capitol too, as long as right-wing Republicans control their state governments and fear losing power. They're attempting to rig elections in their favor, having given up (so far) on armed insurrection. This is a challenge to our democracy and whether we'll be ruled by a power hungry, cynical and right-wing authoritarian minority. 

To stop this subversion of our democracy, we must pass the For The People Act now.

(photo: Rev. Warnock and the late Rep. John Lewis. Richard DuCree)

The Worst Part Of The Georgia Jim Crow Law

Since it continues to get no attention in the media (or, frankly, from national Democrats), it bears repeating what Ari Berman pointed out as perhaps the worst aspect of the Georgia voter suppression law (spoiler alert: it's election nullification).  This time, let's let Zach Beauchamp amplify it:

Under current law, key issues in election management — including decisions on disqualifying ballots and voter eligibility — are made by county boards of election. The new law allows the State Board of Elections to determine that these county boards are performing poorly, replacing the entire board with an administrator chosen at the state level.

At the same time, the bill enhances the General Assembly’s control over the state board.

It removes Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican who famously stood up to Trump’s attempts to overturn the election results in Georgia, from his role as both chair and voting member of the board. The new chair would be appointed by the legislature, which already appoints two members of the five-person board — meaning that a full majority of the board will now be appointed by the Republican-dominated body.

To simplify: The state board, which now will be fully controlled by the Republican legislative majority, is unilaterally empowered to take over (among other things) the process of disqualifying ballots across the state. Given that Georgia Republicans have helped promote false allegations of voter fraud, it’s easy to see why handing them so much power over local election authorities is so worrying. 

So, even if all the voter suppression tactics fail, Republicans can still override election results through the Republican- dominated state board of elections.

Whether this particular provision, much less the law in general, survives court challenges remains to be seen.  The Justice Department under Merrick Garland has been tasked with looking at the Georgia law, presumably including this election nullification gambit (which is being copied in other Republican- run states with the same goal of disenfranchising Democratic -- Black and Hispanic -- voters).  Through litigation or legislation or both, this racist, anti- democratic crap needs to be stopped.

(Image: Merika-Imgflip)

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Today's Cartoons


(click on images to enlarge)

(Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press)

(Dave Granlund,

(Bill Bramhall, New York Daily News)

(Bill Day,

 (Matt Wuerker, Politico)

(Clay Jones,

(Steve Sack, Minneapolis Star Tribune)

(Ellis Rosen and Navied Mahdavian, The New Yorker)