ALBANY, N.Y. — New York officially legalized weed Wednesday as Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that will regulate the sale of recreational marijuana for adults and expunge the records of people previously convicted of possession. Legislators approved the long-stalled measure late Tuesday, sending the bill allowing adults over 21 to use marijuana legally to the governor’s desk. “This is a historic day in New York — one that rights the wrongs of the past by putting an end to harsh prison sentences, embraces an industry that will grow the Empire State’s economy, and prioritizes marginalized ...
Advice for the lovelorn:
Dear Gov. Cuomo: Even if you're the boss—perhaps especially—when you're a 63 year-old man smitten by a lovely twenty-something at the office, there are several considerations to keep in mind:
First: It's crucial to wait for her to make the first move. Anything else, and you're just asking for trouble.
Second: Don't hold your breath.
See, normal old duffers are restrained by the primal male fear of being laughed at by beautiful women. After all, how keen were you to romance women in their sixties when you were 22? You're edging into grandpa territory. Of course, if you were a normal old fool, you probably wouldn't be governor of anywhere, much less New York.
Third, then: Keep your bait in the water. A man who's rich and powerful enough won't have to wait forever, although he'll probably end up wishing he'd never met the adventurous young thing who takes it.
(A corollary: if you were a handsome young prince instead of an aging politician, they'd be coming after you like murder hornets, 24/7. But that's perhaps a topic for another time, the whole subject of hereditary monarchs being more suitable for Disneyworld than the opinion page.)
Anyway, wasn't Gov. Cuomo reading newspapers during the Clinton administration? Apparently, he was not. Even at that, Bill Clinton was a comparatively youthful 49 when a 22 year-old former intern dreaming of "presidential kneepads" showed him her thong. And look what happened to him.
But then nobody ever learns, do they? And a good thing too, because what else would we do for entertainment?
If my tone strikes you as too jocular, that's because I think the entire Cuomo sexual harassment incident is vastly overblown. If he quits, he quits, although I suspect he's going to ride it out. Meanwhile, they're having a full-scale judicial investigation of a politician who stands charged with sending flowers to all the women in the office, hugging them too long, even asking a woman he met at a wedding if he could kiss her.
I'm with columnist Froma Harrop, who reacted with mock horror: "Imagine an Italian kissing people at a wedding party." The offended wedding guest pronounced herself 'confused and shocked and embarrassed,' a reaction the New York Times and Washington Post treated with grave solemnity."
Geez, I thought you were supposed to ask them. Me, I ended up getting married that way. But I digress.
"Sometimes a kiss is just a kiss, not an instrument of male domination in a patriarchal society," Harrop adds. "Or, in language sociologists might understand, it's 'a cultural construct.' Manhattan is home to a zillion cultures, each with its views and customs on kissing."
When my Uncle Tommy Connors married an Italian girl in Newark a million years ago, there was definitely a lot of kissing. Also wine and dancing. Not to mention amazing Italian food, a revelation to me at age ten. Aunt Mary turned out to be the warmest and kindest of my many aunts; a big hugger and kisser.
One woman says Cuomo put his hand under her blouse and fondled her, which if that could be proved would be the end of him. The governor says it never happened, and has issued a classic non-apology apology: "I now understand that my interactions may have been insensitive or too personal and that some of my comments, given my position, made others feel in ways I never intended," he said.
Oh, come off it, governor. You asked a young kid in the office if she'd consider having sex with a man in his sixties, and you're saying she misunderstood? No she didn't. "I understood that the governor wanted to sleep with me, and felt horribly uncomfortable and scared," Charlotte Bennett said.
Subjectively speaking, she's rather a knockout, Miss Bennett. She may need to get used to men acting like idiots in her company. But there are limits, even for egotistical politicians. Smile at her. Tell her how nice she looks today. The End.
Cuomo insists he never touched anybody impurely, as they used to say in the confessional booth. Unless somebody can prove that he did, he'll likely get away with acting like an old rake. People are a little tired of feminist Puritanism. A lot of this is happening because the governor has long been seen as a bully and a jerk -- and may have committed other, non-sexual offenses. Many New Yorkers are only too glad to see him taken down a few notches.
But he's not my governor; I can live with it either way. Any inclination Cuomo may have had to seek higher office is probably over.
Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos
Republican Rep. Tom Reed said yesterday that he would not run for re-election or for any other office in New York in 2022, an announcement that came two days after the Washington Post published a story where a former lobbyist named Nicolette Davis accused Reed of sexually harassing her at a Minneapolis restaurant in 2017.
Davis, who was a 25-year-old insurance company lobbyist at the time, recounted that she had briefly met Reed earlier on the day in question during a networking trip. Davis says she went to a restaurant with several of her colleagues later that evening that Reed also happened to be at, and she wound up sitting next to him at a table.
In the words of reporter Beth Reinhard, Davis says that the congressman put his "hand outside her blouse, briefly fumbled with her bra before unhooking it by pinching the clasp," which left her "stunned" and afraid to speak. Reinhard continued, "He moved his hand to her thigh, inching upward." Reed only stopped, according to Davis, after she asked another person at the table for help, who then "pull[ed] the congressman away from the table and out of the restaurant."
Davis showed the paper a text from that night in which she told her friend and coworker, Jessica Strieter, "A drunk congressman is rubbing my back," and later added, "HELP HELP." An unnamed witness also told Reinhard that "Reed was visibly intoxicated and put his hand on Davis' back before being escorted from the restaurant while the rest of the group remained."
Strieter says that Davis told her more about the incident after the trip, adding, "She was really shaken by it." Davis' supervisor at the time, Brad Knox, also said that he remembered Davis telling him about what happened. Knox added that he asked Davis if she wanted to file a complaint with the House Ethics Committee but says that she decided not to. Davis herself says she now regrets not pursuing that option, but explained, "I was afraid I would become 'that girl' who made a mess of things for a member, and that no one would ever want to associate with me."
The Post contacted Reed, who had been mulling a bid for governor of New York, with a list of questions for the story, to which he responded, "This account of my actions is not accurate." On Sunday, though, Reed published a statement apologizing to Davis and announcing that he would not be on the ballot for anything next year.
Please explain again why New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo must resign. Or, put another way, what gives his political opponents, many of them fellow Democrats, the right to undo an election on the basis of unverified assertions of sexual misconduct — some ridiculously trivial, none involving violence or threat to careers, several open to innocent interpretations.
The comments on news stories should warn the political swarm of growing public annoyance at this massive pile-on against a governor most New Yorkers still consider effective.
Cuomo made some missteps early in the pandemic, but when the dimensions of the crisis were known, he took a national lead in implementing painful measures to curb the spread. He calmed a scared public at a time when President Trump was clowning around. He won national respect and, for that, became a prime target of the right.
And so, are Democrats now to take him down on claims that he held a female staffer's hand too long? Or that he kissed a woman on the cheek at a wedding party?
Destined to live in infamy is a demand by New York's two Democratic senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, that Cuomo resign. "Due to the multiple, credible sexual harassment and misconduct allegations," they state, "it is clear that Governor Cuomo has lost the confidence of his governing partners and the people of New York."
First off, an allegation, the Cambridge Dictionary says, is "a statement, made without giving proof, that someone has done something wrong or illegal." If you find these claims "credible," why not wait for the independent investigation by the state attorney general?
And what are the allegations? The most serious one — that Cuomo groped a woman at the governor's mansion — comes from an "unidentified" aide. Since when did an unproven claim by an unknown accuser warrant the removal of a governor?
Some of the other charges would be laughable if anyone around here still had a sense of humor. The best one comes from accuser No. 4, who complains that Cuomo kissed her hand. Hand-kissing, in today's culture, is a vaguely comical gesture.
Cuomo understandably hit back at Schumer and Gillibrand. "The people of New York," he said, "should not have confidence in a politician who takes a position without knowing any facts or substance."
Once again, Democrats are devouring their own. Many see a repeat of the Al Franken debacle in which Gillibrand pushed the popular senator from Minnesota to resign over a stupid, jokey photo.
Recall the hysteria over a woman's complaint that Joe Biden nuzzled the back of her head? That set the woke herd on a stampede, and soon, media were taking seriously a woman's whacko charge that Biden had penetrated her with his fingers.
As The New York Times reported last September, "Last year, Ms. Reade and seven other women came forward to accuse Mr. Biden of kissing, hugging or touching them in ways that made them feel uncomfortable."
Reade, it was later learned, had a troubled personal history. If this had gone further, Democrats, you might have been into Donald Trump's second term.
Of course, Cuomo's political foes see opportunity in getting rid of a formidable foe without having to run against him. As of now, Cuomo is vying for a fourth term.
Reports that Cuomo hid the number of nursing home deaths from COVID-19 are more disturbing, but that's not what set off the cries for his head. It was, as Cuomo himself conceded, the "unwanted flirtation."
Whether Cuomo has lost the confidence of New Yorkers can be made clear on Election Day 2022. The voters should have a say in this, don't you think?
Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com
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