After watching CNN for an hour last night, I have thoughts on our President who has evolved into King Lear. Recreational marijuana can’t come soon enough. Plus we offer a preview of the coming 2020 legislative session
Special Saturday, Oct 19, 8am-9am Pledge Week Edition of Retake Our Democracy with me (Paul) in studio moderating the Richard Wolff show from 8 am-8:30 am and offering observations on the state of the state throughout the regular 8:30 am-9 am hour. I’ll be commenting on the President’s continued disintegration, produced water, PNM and rumors of their plans for natural gas in four corners and a framework for a plan for NM’s just transition.
But the most important thing is that I am hoping a ton of you will call in with donations. Retake has a reputation for being among the very top in donations received and we want to keep that going. KSFR is invaluable to this community. If it isn’t just the jazz, classical, opera, country or rock or even the BBC, Democracy Now!, News Hour and Wake Up Call, Here and There. KSFR also keeps the focus on state and local issues and perspective with an endless number of shows on local state politics, culture, and art. While KSFR relies on volunteers, it also relies on you to keep the lights on, so right now, set up your alarm for Saturday at 8:30 and make a plan to call me at 428-1393, say hi and make a donation.
Retake Look at 2020 Legislative Session
Yesterday, we updated our Response Network web page, replacing the 2019 MUST PASS/Priority Bills with a preview of what is likely to come in the 2020 legislative session. This page will be updated as more and more information emerges on bills that are likely to be introduced. Click here to check out what might be coming.
You will also find a link on that page to an entirely updated report on the final outcome for every one of our 46 MUST PASS/Priority bills in 2019. We highlight the committees in which these bills died and suspect you will be astonished at the number of times you see the words “Senate Finance (Sen. John Arthur Smith, Chair).” Check it out.
King Lear Lives
I generally watch Democracy Now for news and CNN or MSNBC for election returns, rarely watching CNN or MSNBC other times, except for debates. But the set was still on CNN from the prior night’s debate, so last night I got sucked into the end of Chris Cuomo’s segment and then Don Lemon’s show that followed.
It was stunning how one report, interview or observation by panelists after another showed not just a growing impeachment inquiry, but a president who appears to have completely unraveled. King Lear anyone?
Frankly after about 75 minutes, it seemed to me that this presidency may not last the year. Between a totally impulsive, uninformed, and now tragic move in Turkey that has infuriated Republicans, and mounting evidence of corruption, the noose is tightening. Based upon reports from Sen. Chuck Schumer and Speaker Pelosi, the president became completely unhinged in a meeting with them. The meeting was supposed to be a briefing on the Syrian crisis, but devolved into a stream of inappropriate Trump insults until the Democrats just left. But that was only one report from last night:
- By a 354-60 vote, with over 2/3 (129) of House Republicans voting with the Democrats, Congress delivered a stunning rebuke of the President’s abrupt pull out from the Syrian-Turkish border. This offers intriguing evidence that there are limits to what even the GOP will take from the President. The fortress is showing signs of cracks.
- A letter from the President to Turkish President Erdogan was published that could have been written by a 5th grader with silly boastful language and a threat to destroy the Turkish economy, that closed with “don’t be dumb” and then “talk soon.” Commentator after commentator reported being incredulous it was actually a real letter as it was wrong in tone, substance and level of discourse. Bizarre. The letter led US foreign relations expert and University of Connecticut historian Brad Simpson to comment: “I am a historian of U.S. foreign policy. I have read many, many letters from U.S. Presidents to foreign leaders, and I have never read a letter from the U.S. President so unhinged, so threatening, so bizarre, so completely lacking in basic etiquette. Trump is deeply, deeply unwell.”
- Staunch ally Sen. Lindsay Graham added: “this is a complete and utter national security disaster in the making” and “the blood of our allies is on the President’s hands.” This report was followed by Republican after Republican blasting the President.
- When questioned about the crisis Trump had caused in Syria, he replied: “It’s a lot of sand. They’ve got a lot of sand over there so there’s a lot of sand that they can play with.” Really? That is a response? From an adult? Seriously, the Lear reference may be too kind.
- All of the above was then capped with Speaker Pelosi’s shaken appearance after leaving the White House and her comments that Trump was not dealing with reality and that she was very sincerely praying for his health.
My prediction: as the waters continue to rise, sometime before January Trump resigns in indignation, saying he is fed up with the witch hunt, blaming the Democrats for a coup that is a rebuke of the “landslide” of voters that impelled him into the presidency and Pence pardons him of all transgressions. And we will seethe. And the 2020 election changes in a very big way. What do you think? Where does this end?
Marijuana Panel Publishes Recommendations
It seems very clear that the Governor will put legalizing recreational marijuana on the call for the 2020 legislative session. Hopefully with a suggestion to Senate Floor Leader Peter Wirth to find a less treacherous path through Senate committees, bypassing Senate Finance and Sen. John Arthur Smith and Senate Corporations and Transportation and Sen. Clemente Sanchez.
The 16-page report called for New Mexico legalizing recreational marijuana and generating more than 13,000 new jobs, $850 million in annual sales and $100 million in annual revenue for state and local governments, not to mention providing New Mexicans with a needed medication for coping with the daily news.
The panel also incorporated an “equity” lens, recommending that all convictions for marijuana arrests be expunged and a number of other implementation strategies designed to promote local, small scale operations, including “microbrew” style licenses creating small, locally owned shops in all parts of the state. From the Governor:
“I want New Mexico’s introduction and management of recreational cannabis to be the envy of the country,” Grisham said in a June statement. “We can and will incorporate lessons learned from other states so that New Mexico provides for a well-regulated industry that, crucially, does not infringe on or harm our expanding medical cannabis program, upon which so many New Mexicans rely.”
Certainly sounds like recreational marijuana will be on the call with a clear signal from the Governor: “Get this done.”
In solidarity, Paul & Roxanne (and please tune in on Saturday at 8:30 and make a donation to KSFR.