Does the [Working Families Party] exist primarily for the purposes of contracts and pensions, or for the broader ideals of economic and social justice? … Is there any line an official can’t cross, if that official is willing to cut deals at election time? —
Capital New York
A recent poll found that a remarkable 24% of voters in New York would support a progressive third party candidate in the upcoming gubernatorial race. The presumptive Republican nominee, Rob Astorino, also polled at 24% in a hypothetical three-way contest. Democrat Andrew Cuomo holds a decisive lead regardless of who he’s running against, but a progressive candidate would cut his margin of victory in half. The question then is whether a progressive third party should serve the purpose of squeezing as much out of conservative Democrats as possible or if it should, at least in some instances, run against conservative Democrats in order to both make a statement and establish itself as a force to be reckoned with.
If progressive third parties conclude that all Democrats are worth supporting because hell, at least they’re not Republicans, then third parties serve no purpose. But if they run against every Democrat to the right of Bernie Sanders, then they risk becoming borderline irrelevant (like the Green Party, for instance). Unlike virtually all other progressive parties, the Working Families Party has some momentum behind it, thanks, in part, to the elections of Mayor Bill de Blasio and Public Advocate Letitia James. And if the WFP were to run their own candidate against Cuomo, it would hinder, if not destroy, any possibility of Cuomo running as a liberal alternative to Hillary Clinton in a Presidential primary. So the WFP is in the unique position of being a third party that could significantly damage a prominent Governor’s second term as well as potentially effect a national election.
My feeling is that the WFP, if it can find a respectable person to oppose Cuomo, should nominate its own candidate. If progressivism cannot assert itself now, in one of the most liberal states in the country, than it will remain a fairly impotent force nationwide. And if anyone deserves to be challenged from the left, it’s Cuomo, whose Clintonian strategy of being fiscally conservative and socially liberal deserves a harsh rebuke. Whether it’s refusing to raise taxes on the wealthy, dithering on fracking, undermining public schools, failing to implement campaign finance reform, or supporting a ridiculous plan to revive upstate New York’s economy by building a bunch of casinos, Cuomo has proven himself to be a disappointing and uninspiring Governor. He’ll likely be Governor for at least a few more years, but it’s not in the interest of working class New Yorkers to help him maintain his power.
Study of Pot Smokers' Brains Shows That MRIs Cause Bad Science Reporting -
Researchers at Northwestern University and Massachusetts General Hospital used MRIs to compare the brains of 20 young adults who reported smoking pot at least once a week and 20 controls who had used marijuana no more than five times in their lives and had not consumed it at all in the previous year. The pot smokers had higher gray-matter densities in the left nucleus accumbens, and there were “significant shape differences” between subjects and controls in that area and in the right amygdala. The differences were more pronounced in subjects who reported smoking marijuana more frequently. “Because this is a cross-sectional study,” the authors noted, “causation cannot be determined.” In other words, it is not clear whether the brain differences were caused by marijuana. It also is not clear how long the differences last or whether they have any functional significance.
A nice rebuttal to exaggerated media claims about the effects of marijuana use.
For hundreds of years, Easter weekend was the time for European Christians to go into Jewish communities and wreck everything in sight and beat anyone who was in public. Family members I knew when I was young (who have since passed away) had horrific stories about watching Christians butcher their parents and siblings during pogroms and about their families adopting children who had been orphaned in previous attacks. And for the very few Jews still left in Europe, every time things start go badly (like in Ukraine, or in Hungary over the last few years) they face the same threats of violence from the same people. No idea what to do about this or how to help them. Feel so incredibly lucky that I’m one of the first generations of my family to have absolutely no risk from pogroms.
Two months after legal marijuana sales began in Colorado, its legalization has become more popular in the state. 57% of Colorado voters now say they think marijuana usage should be legal to only 35% who think it should be illegal. That 22 point margin in support represents an increase since the November 2012 legalization ballot measure that passed by 10 points with voters in the state. — Public Policy Polling
Ending white supremacy isn’t really in the American vocabulary. That is because ending white supremacy does not merely require a passive sense that racism is awful, but an active commitment to undoing its generational effects. Ending white supremacy requires the ability to do math—350 years of murderous plunder are not undone by 50 years of uneasy ceasefire.
A latent commitment to anti-racism just isn’t enough. But that’s what we have right now. With that in mind, there is no reason to believe that a total vanquishing of white supremacy is necessarily in the American future. — Ta-Nehisi Coates
kohenari asked: I've been laughing about the Sienfeld/Seinfeld thing. I assume it's a photoshop, right?
I suspect it is. But if it was real, it would probably still rank among the least embarrassing/terrible things CNN has done.
1. This isn’t breaking news.
2. You spelled “Seinfeld” wrong.
Otherwise, great work.
[The advance of gay rights] is ultimately a triumphant story, but not because politicians finally came to their senses. Instead, activists and citizens made politicians feel safe enough to do what they should have done years earlier. — Isaac Chotiner
New Jersey casinos brought in 15% more from online gambling in March over the previous month, but it wasn’t nearly enough to offset the diminishing revenue from Atlantic City’s long-struggling brick-and-mortar casinos. —
The Wall Street Journal
Andrew Cuomo thinks casinos will revitalize upstate New York tourism and jump-start local economies. Considering that the east coast mecca of gambling, Atlantic City, has a 13.1% unemployment rate and is the second “most violent city in New Jersey,” I’m going to go ahead and disagree.
Police Unit That Spied on Muslims Is Disbanded -
The New York Police Department has abandoned a secretive program that dispatched plainclothes detectives into Muslim neighborhoods to eavesdrop on conversations and built detailed files on where people ate, prayed and shopped, the department said.
This is a big deal.
[E]lements of the US government blew up three New York skyscrapers in order to destroy Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah and to launch the US on the neoconservatives agenda of US world hegemony. —
Paul Craig Roberts, writing for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. Roberts served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under President Reagan and is a former columnist for The Wall Street Journal.
Because nothing fosters “peace and prosperity” like accusing your own government, without any evidence whatsoever, of murdering thousands of people. Also, one would hope that Ron Paul’s staff would think twice before publishing insane editorials (you know, after this whole thing) but apparently that lesson has not yet been learned.
So no liberal is going to win a debate that big government freed the slaves. In fact, it was Abraham Lincoln, the very first Republican, who took this on as a cause and a lot of it was based on a love in his heart that comes from God. —
Jim DeMint, head of the Heritage Foundation, helpfully proving that he does not understand how slavery ended in the United States. Lincoln’s love, while real, needed millions of troops and workers to enforce, for example.
Ht: Lawyers, Guns and Money
Warpaint in Washington, DC (photo by Matt Condon)
1. I love this band.
2. Their new music video is terrific (or at least the first half is).