Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Last Call For Cuomo's Mary Jane Moment, Con't

Regardless of whether you believe Andrew Cuomo cut the most progressive marijuana legalization deal with NY Dems in order to stave off repercussions of his twin massive sexual harassment and COVID-19 nursing home scandals (and I absolutely do believe that), it is a major victory for criminal justice in the state, and the NYPD is already howling, promising that they maybe just won't stop any other "crimes" either in order to own the libs or something.

New York’s move to legalize marijuana will create a “significant shift” in policing and everyday quality of life, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said Wednesday as he voiced concerns over people being allowed to smoke marijuana in public.

“I hope I’m missing something but it appears (the bill) is legalizing the smoking of marijuana outside,” Shea said on PIX11. “That’s not something that most other states did. They legalized marijuana but it was still illegal to smoke outside and in public.”

On Wednesday, Gov. Cuomo signed the legislation legalizing adult use of marijuana.

The bill, passed by both the Democratic-led Senate and Assembly on Tuesday, removes cannabis from the list of controlled substances and will eventually legalize, tax and regulate recreational pot for adults over 21. It also expunges past pot convictions.

A large percentage of tax revenue will be set aside for community reinvestment grants and social equity for minorities who have faced harsh penalties for marijuana possession.

The NYPD fields “10s of 10s of 10s of thousands” of complaints from the public about people smoking marijuana in public, Shea said.

Now it’s not going to be a police matter and that’s troubling,” Shea said. “I don’t know what we’re going to be telling New Yorkers when they call up and say there’s people smoking in front of my house or apartment building or I take my kids to a parade, whether its on Eastern Parkway or on Fifth Ave., and there are people smoking marijuana next to me as I try to enjoy the parade.”

“It’s a significant shift,” Shea added. “You pass new laws and you always worry about what the unintended consequences are. I have no doubt that they think they are doing the right thing but these are some of the things I worry about and New Yorkers are worried about.”

This is prety much "Would sure be a shame if anything happened to your nice city" territory, and Cumo and Mayor Bill de Blasio should tell Commissioner Shea that if he can't get his cops to do the job, he'll be replaced by somebody who goddamn well can. 

And guess what? their job is not to harass weed smokers anymore.

Ridin' With Biden, Con't

President Joe Biden heads to Pittsburgh today to sell his $2.2 trillion infrastructure plan paid for with corporate tax hikes, and it has absolutely zero chance of becoming law unless the Senate parliamentarian agrees to the bill being part of a budget reconciliation "revision" or the filibuster is destroyed.

President Biden will unveil an infrastructure plan on Wednesday whose $2 trillion price tag would translate into 20,000 miles of rebuilt roads, repairs to the 10 most economically important bridges in the country, the elimination of lead pipes and service lines from the nation’s water supplies and a long list of other projects intended to create millions of jobs in the short run and strengthen American competitiveness in the long run.

Biden administration officials said the proposal, which they detailed in a 25-page briefing paper and which Mr. Biden will discuss in an afternoon speech in Pittsburgh, would also accelerate the fight against climate change by hastening the shift to new, cleaner energy sources, and would help promote racial equity in the economy.

The spending in the plan would take place over eight years, officials said. Unlike the economic stimulus passed under President Barack Obama in 2009, when Mr. Biden was vice president, officials will not in every case prioritize so-called shovel ready projects that could quickly bolster growth.

But even spread over years, the scale of the proposal underscores how fully Mr. Biden has embraced the opportunity to use federal spending to address longstanding social and economic challenges in a way not seen in half a century. Officials said that, if approved, the spending in the plan would end decades of stagnation in federal investment in research and infrastructure — and would return government investment in those areas, as a share of the economy, to its highest levels since the 1960s.

The proposal is the first half of what will be a two-step release of the president’s ambitious agenda to overhaul the economy and remake American capitalism, which could carry a total cost of as much as $4 trillion over the course of a decade. Mr. Biden’s administration has named it the “American Jobs Plan,” echoing the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill that Mr. Biden signed into law this month, the “American Rescue Plan.”

“The American Jobs Plan,” White House officials wrote in the document detailing it, “will invest in America in a way we have not invested since we built the interstate highways and won the Space Race.”

While spending on roads, bridges and other physical improvements to the nation’s economic foundations has always had bipartisan appeal, Mr. Biden’s plan is sure to draw intense Republican opposition, both for its sheer size and for its reliance on corporate tax increases to pay for it.

Administration officials said the tax increases in the plan — including an increase in the corporate tax rate and a variety of measures to tax multinationals on money they earn and book overseas — would take 15 years to fully offset the cost of the spending programs
This bill will be the true test. It may not even pass the House. AOC is already calling $2 trillion over 8 years "not hardly enough", Blue state Dems in NY and IL want the SALT deduction restored before they'll even consider the bill, and climate advocates are pissed they have to wait until the second bill, which will deal with climate change and education, a bill that has even less chance of passage.
We'll see if Dems can get it together. 

Meathead Matt's Me Too Moment

So this story dropped yesterday morning about Florida GOP Congressman Matt Gaetz suddenly wanting to retire.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) has privately told confidants he's seriously considering not seeking re-election and possibly leaving Congress early for a job at Newsmax, three sources with direct knowledge of the talks tell Axios.

Why it matters: Gaetz is a provocative figure on the right who's attracted attention by being a fierce defender of former President Trump. The Republican also represents a politically potent district on the Florida panhandle.

What we’re hearing: Gaetz has told some of his allies he’s interested in becoming a media personality, and floated taking a role at Newsmax. One of the sources said Gaetz has had early conversations with the network about what a position could look like.

The backdrop: Many Republicans turned to the network after Fox News called Arizona early for President Biden. Some critics now say Fox is not conservative enough for their tastes, providing an opening for Newsmax and the One America News Network (OANN).
Gaetz has previously toyed with the idea of running for higher office.

I mean the right-wing noise machine does run the GOP's day-to-day operations, but Gaetz has a safe seat and Republicans freely say they're going to take the House back in 2022. Either Gaetz knows something we don't know, or he's looking for the exits fast from the House GOP.

Federal authorities are investigating potential sex trafficking violations by U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, a probe that emerged from the prosecution of former Seminole County tax collector Joel Greenberg, according to a report by the New York Times.

Citing three people briefed on the matter, the Times reported Tuesday that Justice Department investigators are looking into whether Gaetz, a close ally of former President Donald Trump, had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and paid for her to travel with him.

The probe of Gaetz reportedly stemmed from the investigation of Greenberg, who faces a slew of charges including sex trafficking of a child. He is currently slated to stand trial in June.

The Times report noted that many details of the Gaetz probe remain unclear, including how the congressman allegedly met the girl. The encounters allegedly occurred about two years ago and the investigation began in the final months of the Trump administration under then-Attorney General William P. Barr, the report said.

No charges have yet been brought against Gaetz. Neither the congressman nor his office could be reached for comment.

But in an interview with the news website Axios, Gaetz described himself as a generous romantic partner who had “absolutely” not dated underage girls.

Except there's enough smoke there for Bill Barr, the most corrupt AG in American history, to not kill a federal probe into it, and the investigation has been going for several months now. Gaetz hasn't been charged yet. The key word of course is "yet".

As with Andrew Cuomo, if there's enough for a federal investigation already, Gaetz should absolutely retire. 
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