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Tag: new york

New York's Hochul Wants To Enact Term Limits

NEW YORK (Reuters) -New York Governor Kathy Hochul will propose a state constitutional amendment that would impose a term limit on governors and other high-ranking officials, her office said on Monday.

The proposal, which Hochul will detail in her first State of the State address on Wednesday, would limit governors to two four-year terms.

Hochul succeeded Andrew Cuomo in November when he resigned in the wake of a report from the state attorney accusing him of sexual harassment and other transgressions. When he stepped down, Cuomo was serving his third term as governor.

The news was first reported by the New York Times.

(Reporting by Tyler Clifford; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

On 9/11 Anniversary, Trump Will Do Ringside Chatter For A Boxing Match

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, that killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C., and permanently altered life in the United States and the world.

And former President Donald Trump plans to spend that evening providing four hours of ringside commentary for a pay-per-view boxing event in Hollywood, Florida.

"I love great fighters and great fights," Trump said in a news release from FITE TV, the streaming network on which he'll provide commentary for a match between Evander Holyfield and Vitor Belfort. "I look forward to seeing both this Saturday night and sharing my thoughts ringside. You won't want to miss this special event."

There has been no word on what else Trump might be doing on Saturday.

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will spend the day at memorials in remembrance of those killed during the attacks, in which hijacked passenger planes were crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. A fourth plane, intended by its hijackers to hit a target in Washington as well, crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after passengers learned about the other hijackings and fought back.

In 2020, the final year of his only term in office, Trump spent the anniversary of the attack at a memorial at Shanksville, where he gave a speech. Biden visited Shanksville later in the day, as well as the annual ceremony at the 9/11 memorial in New York City.

Biden is scheduled to visit all three sites on Saturday, as did former President Barack Obama on the 10th anniversary of the attacks in 2011.

Harris will attend the ceremony in Pennsylvania, as well as the one at the Pentagon.

Meanwhile, two other former presidents will also be part of the commemorations.

Obama will attend the ceremony in New York along with former first lady Michelle Obama, CNN reported.

George W. Bush, who was president at the time of the attacks, is scheduled to make a speech at the ceremony in Shanksville.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

McEnany Won’t Say Whether Trump Will Send Federal Troops To Chicago And New York

One day after Donald Trump named several cities to which he would consider sending federal law enforcement, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany refused to say whether planning for such deployment is underway.

Asked Tuesday about a possible escalation of the tactics Trump is currently using in Portland, Oregon, McEnany said, "I think you're getting ahead of the president here."

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Choosing Economy Over Health And Safety Is Futile

Florida, Arizona, Texas and California are among the states that thought they could reopen early. They also got sloppy with requirements for wearing masks and social distancing. Now their ICUs are stretched to breaking with coronavirus patients.

And guess what. For all that putting the public's health in jeopardy to help their economies, their economies are sick as well.

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Video: How DeSantis Failed To Protect Florida From COVID-19

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

On May 20, Florida's Republican Governor Ron DeSantis was continuing a statewide victory lap that saw him bragging about his "success" in handling the COVID-19 pandemic in every henhouse, outhouse, and doghouse in the state—and on every right-wing media platform. Donald Trump held up Florida as the ultimate example of the benefits of reopening in a joint appearance with DeSantis on April 28 and was still at it on June 5, when Trump touted Florida for it's "tremendous success."

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Trump’s Food Aid Program Swindles Hard-Hit Northeast States

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica.

President Donald Trump's signature food aid program is sending less relief to New York and New England than other parts of the country, even though the Northeast has the most coronavirus cases. Some states — Maine and Alaska at least — have been left out completely so far.

The regional imbalances are an unintended side effect of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's strategy in hiring private contractors to distribute food, the agency said. It is now looking for ways to reach areas that were passed over.

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How New York Suffered Ten Times As Many Deaths As California

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica.

By March 14, London Breed, the mayor of San Francisco, had seen enough. For weeks, she and her health officials had looked at data showing the evolving threat of COVID-19. In response, she'd issued a series of orders limiting the size of public gatherings, each one feeling more arbitrary than the last. She'd been persuaded that her city's considerable and highly regarded health care system might be insufficient for the looming onslaught of infection and death.

“We need to shut this shit down," Breed remembered thinking.

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In New York City, World’s Marijuana Arrest Capital, Minorities Bear The Brunt

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

Last month, the Drug Policy Alliance released a report noting that marijuana arrests under New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio continue to be marked by shocking racial disparities, much as they were under his predecessors, Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg. Stung by the criticism, de Blasio is fighting back, but his response so far has consisted of attacking DPA as “legalizers” and comparing apples to oranges.

The DPA report, Unjust and Unconstitutional: 60,000 Jim Crow Marijuana Arrests in Mayor de Blasio’s New York,noted that while pot possession arrests are down under de Blasio from the numbers achieved under Giuliani (more than 40,000 arrests in 2001) or Bloomberg (more than 50,000 arrests in 2011), NYPD still arrested more than 18,000 people for pot possession last year, and a whopping 86% of them were black or brown, maintaining the racial disparities so apparent in earlier administrations.

That’s “a far cry from the mayor’s pledge to rein in NYPD’s targeting of people of color,” charged DPA New York State director Kassandra Frederique in the report. That de Blasio had managed to bring pot arrests down to an average of only 20,000 a year during his tenure shouldn’t be portrayed as progress, argued Frederique, instead describing it as “slower injustice, but slower injustice is still injustice delivered.”

De Blasio struck back Friday, releasing a statement calling the DPA report “misleading” and attacking DPA as “a group committed to legalization.” De Blasio’s statement emphasized that marijuana arrests had dropped significantly under his administration—something DPA never disputed—but failed to address the claim of continuing racial disparities in arrests. Instead, it merely noted that because pot arrests were down overall, arrests of people of color for pot were down, too.

But the takeaway sentence in de Blasio’s statement inadvertently makes DPA’s case:

As a result of this new policy, arrests for marijuana possession are down 37% — from almost 29,000 in 2013 to approximately 18,000 in 2016. This has translated into approximately 9,600 fewer arrests of black and Latino New Yorkers for marijuana possession in 2016 as compared to 2013.

In other words, a reduction of less than 11,000 total pot arrests between the two years resulted in about 9,600 people of color not being arrested. De Blasio’s own data and arguments show that the city’s minorities clearly take the brunt of marijuana law enforcement, his wriggling notwithstanding.

And now, DPA is returning fire at de Blasio.

“Mayor de Blasio is not disputing the data published in our report, he is trying to spin his poor record to look as though he has made some progress,” Frederique said in a Friday press release. “In reality, New York City was the marijuana arrest capital of the world under Bloomberg and still holds that dubious title under de Blasio today. The 18,000 arrests in 2016 alone and outrageous racial disparities are a disgrace to the city and a blight on the mayor’s record. The unjust and racially targeted arrests are devastating black and Latino communities across the city.”

Frederique also applied some political ju-jitsu to de Blasio’s “legalizer” attack.

“The mayor’s efforts to discredit the report and the Drug Policy Alliance by calling us legalizers, is a desperate attempt to distract the public from the facts of his abysmal record. Our report is based on data from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. Rather than attack his critics, the mayor should attack the problem of racially-targeted arrests,” she said. “For the record, the Drug Policy Alliance is committed to marijuana legalization to increase access for patients and end targeted policing in communities of color. And we’re not alone; nearly 60% of Americans also support legalization.”

Instead of attacking critics, the mayor should fix the problem, Frederique added.

“It’s time for the mayor to get out of the spin cycle and back to work,” she prescribed. “The mayor must end the biased policing practices that have ruined the lives of so many young black and Latino New Yorkers now.”

Phillip Smith is editor of the AlterNet Drug Reporter and author of the Drug War Chronicle.