Archive of Articles for June, 2024

Maryland Governor Pardons 175,000 Marijuana Crimes

[ Posted Monday, June 17th, 2024 – 16:21 UTC ]

Maryland Governor Wes Moore today signed a blanket pardon that covers 175,000 marijuana crimes committed in the state, reaching back to the 1980s. It could wind up covering even more, since records older than that are stored on paper -- meaning they will not be automatically pardoned, but if people from back then apply for one they will also get a pardon. This already covers an estimated 100,000 people (some of whom have multiple marijuana offenses). Moore is following in the footsteps of other states and jurisdictions who have already either pardoned or expunged criminal records for simple marijuana possession or use. What this all means is that not only is the War On Weed ending in state after state, but in some places people are retroactively trying to heal the damage the War On Weed has done to millions of people.

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Friday Talking Points -- SCOTUS Season Continues

[ Posted Friday, June 14th, 2024 – 16:36 UTC ]

The biggest political news of the week by far was Hunter Biden being convicted in record time on all three felony gun charges lodged against him. The jury spent only about three hours before returning these verdicts, which completely undercut the narrative Donald Trump has been spouting about how the justice system is "two-tiered" -- by which he means: "weaponized against Republicans while Democrats get a free pass." Kind of hard to make that argument when the president's own son just got convicted of felonies and is facing up to ten years in prison.

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Mifepristone Wins, I.V.F. Loses

[ Posted Thursday, June 13th, 2024 – 15:13 UTC ]

There was significant news today on reproductive rights, from two separate directions. The Supreme Court unanimously (!) overturned a case that challenged the F.D.A.'s approval of mifepristone, one of the two most commonly used abortion pills in the country. The unanimity was possible because the high court essentially punted on the legal question and instead ruled that the plaintiffs had no legal standing to bring their case. Meanwhile, in the Senate, a bill to create a federal right to in-vitro fertilization failed, mostly on party lines. Last week a bill that would have given federal protections to contraceptives also failed. Both will be used in campaign advertising by Democrats to paint Republicans as being against both contraception rights and I.V.F.

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First Debate Will Be All About Style Over Substance

[ Posted Wednesday, June 12th, 2024 – 15:14 UTC ]

Two weeks from tomorrow, CNN will host the first general election presidential debate of the 2024 cycle. This is unprecedented, because it will happen so early in the campaign season. In fact, neither person on stage will officially be their party's nominee at this point, since the conventions will happen afterwards. It will be "Presumptive Republican Nominee Donald Trump" versus "Presumptive Democratic Nominee President Joe Biden." That alone sets it off from every other televised presidential debate.

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Joe's Response To Hunter Biden's Verdict

[ Posted Tuesday, June 11th, 2024 – 15:48 UTC ]

Today a jury in Delaware returned guilty verdicts on federal felony gun charges against the sitting United States president's son. This is unprecedented in American history. No close relative of any previous sitting president has ever been charged with criminal behavior, so Hunter Biden will go down in the history books as the first.

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Hunter's Jury Is Out

[ Posted Monday, June 10th, 2024 – 14:36 UTC ]

As I write this, the jury is now officially out on Hunter Biden. The jurors in the case against the president's son have heard all the evidence and have now retired to begin their deliberations. Although not as historical as Donald Trump being tried and found guilty of felonies, this is at least a historical footnote: the first member of an American president's close family to go on trial while his dad is still in office.

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From The (Friday Talking Points) Archives -- The Reclosing Begins

[ Posted Friday, June 7th, 2024 – 16:04 UTC ]

America, led by President Donald Trump and (mostly) Republican governors across the country, launched a grand experiment a few months back. Rather than following guidelines and milestones recommended by top epidemiologists, each state would reopen its economy as it saw fit. If your governor felt comfortable enough with the state of things, then the doors would be thrown open. This all started just before Memorial Day weekend, when Trump decided he was bored with the pandemic. And now it's becoming pretty obvious that this experiment has failed, and failed badly. And tens of thousands of Americans are paying a very steep price for this exercise in unfounded optimism.

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From The Archives -- Trump's Very Bad Week

[ Posted Thursday, June 6th, 2024 – 16:01 UTC ]

To President Donald Trump, today's Supreme Court ruling was not actually about the hundreds of thousands of young people whose legal residence in this country hung on this court case. Instead, it was about one thing and one thing alone, which is pretty much the same thing that everything is about for Donald Trump: himself. After learning of the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision denying Trump the ability to strip legal protection from the "dreamers," Trump petulantly took to Twitter to ask: "Do you get the impression that the Supreme Court doesn't like me?" Once again, Trump reduced an issue of monumental importance to the level of schoolyard gossip (about him, of course). Maybe if the Supremes really really liked Trump, things would be different? Because that's obviously what it's all about, not all that legal mumbo-jumbo or hundreds of thousands of young people's lives.

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From The Archives -- Colorado, Utah Show How Mail-In Voting Can Work

[ Posted Wednesday, June 5th, 2024 – 16:01 UTC ]

Every so often I like to tempt fate by writing an article which could easily (and monumentally) be proven wrong within mere hours. Today is one of those days, because I feel pretty confident in predicting that Colorado and Utah will essentially show the rest of the country how a mail-in election should be done. I seriously doubt we'll see scenes of frustrated voters not being able to cast their ballots in a timely way, because with universal mail-in voting, that's not really a problem. No long lines, no machines that don't work right, no poll workers who don't know how to operate the machines, no voter-suppression efforts (both overt and covert) at all. And while Colorado is at the end of a long journey from being a purple state to a very blue one, Utah is still about as staunchly Republican as it gets -- proving that mail-in voting is not a partisan issue at all. Or it shouldn't be, at the very least.

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From The Archives -- Will We Know Who Won On Election Night?

[ Posted Tuesday, June 4th, 2024 – 17:04 UTC ]

I know we all have plenty to worry about these days, so I apologize in advance for adding another possible item to the list. But we could be heading for a very worrisome situation indeed, because contrary to how Americans have experienced past presidential elections (well... other than in the year 2000...), we may not actually know who won on the night of the election. There are a combination of factors which have set up this rather unique situation, and it may not even come to pass if a few of these variables change by November. But the possibility now exists that we won't know for days -- or even weeks -- who won the Electoral College and thus the presidency. Which, obviously, could lead to chaos, especially considering what Donald Trump will be saying and tweeting in the meantime.

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