President Joe Biden in a major action on Thursday announced he is pardoning thousands of Americans convicted of simple possession of marijuana, which is being seen as a major move toward federal decriminalization. Fox News is calling it a “blunt move” and “REEFER MADNESS,” and it is currently the right wing website‘s top story:
“As I’ve said before, no one should be in jail just for using or possessing marijuana,” President Biden announced, as Axios reported. “Today, I’m taking steps to end our failed approach.”
“I’m pardoning all prior federal offenses of simple marijuana possession. There are thousands of people who were previously convicted of simple possession who may be denied employment, housing, or educational opportunities as a result. My pardon will remove this burden,” the President declared in an unexpected move.
He added he is also “calling on governors to pardon simple state marijuana possession offenses. Just as no one should be in a federal prison solely for possessing marijuana, no one should be in a local jail or state prison for that reason, either.”
That move is expected to receive pushback from many GOP governors and lawmakers, despite support by a majority of Republican voters for cannabis legalization. In April the House of Representatives passed legislation to decriminalize marijuana. It passed 220-204, with just three Republicans voting for it and two Democrats voting against.
“We classify marijuana at the same level as heroin – and more serious than fentanyl,” Biden continued. “It makes no sense. I’m asking @SecBecerra and the Attorney General to initiate the process of reviewing how marijuana is scheduled under federal law.”
“Sending people to jail for possessing marijuana has upended too many lives – for conduct that is legal in many states. That’s before you address the clear racial disparities around prosecution and conviction. Today, we begin to right these wrongs,” Biden said.
Democratic nominee for governor of Texas, Beto O’Rourke, since at least 2019 has supported marijuana legalization. He has repeatedly stated this position as he did here in February.
When I’m governor, we will legalize marijuana. pic.twitter.com/yFTHNPNCMw
— Beto O’Rourke (@BetoORourke) February 12, 2022
Immediately after Biden’s announcement O’Rourke once again reiterated his support for legalization..
“When I’m governor, we will finally legalize marijuana in Texas and expunge the records of those arrested for marijuana possession,” said the Democrat running against Republican Greg Abbott.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) October 6, 2022
A Justice Department spokesperson said the DOJ “will expeditiously administer the President’s proclamation, which pardons individuals who engaged in simple possession of marijuana, restoring political, civil, and other rights to those convicted of that offense.”
Unlike his predecessor’s pardons, President Biden will arrange the pardons through the Office of the Pardon Attorney.
hell of an announcement: “I, Joseph R. Biden Jr., do hereby grant a full, complete, and unconditional pardon to (1) all current United States citizens and lawful permanent residents who committed the offense of simple possession of marijuana..” pic.twitter.com/uvLUDvvurX
— Michael McAuliff (@mmcauliff) October 6, 2022
Slate senior writer Mark Joseph Stern called the President’s announcement “the first step to rescheduling or descheduling marijuana on the federal level. HUGE deal. It’s a tectonic shift in federal drug policy.”
President Biden announces he intends to pardon all prior federal offenses of simple marijuana possession.
The White House also noted the administration plans to review marijuana’s classification as a Schedule 1 drug. pic.twitter.com/9cIvp6jN3F
— The Recount (@therecount) October 6, 2022
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‘Another Happy Jobs Day’: Economists Thrilled With ‘Amazing’ Report as Jobs Growth Beats Expectations, Wages Increase
The Biden economy added a whopping 263,000 jobs last month, crushing expectations of 200,000, and wages are growing as well, leading one economist to declare “another happy jobs day.”
The U.S.Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) adds that unemployment remains at a near-historic low of 3.7% in November, “and has been in a narrow range of 3.5 percent to 3.7 percent since March.”
University of Michigan School of Economics Professor Justin Wolfers exclaimed, “It’s yet ANOTHER happy jobs day. Payrolls rose +263k, well above expectations.”
“This expansion just keeps on rolling on,” added Wolfers, a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution.
Wolfers also takes on those who have been falsely pushing “recession” talking points.
“BTW, remember all that recession talk? It was nonsense. Bollocks. Cow dung,” he tweets. “There never was a recession. And the economy sure doesn’t look like it’s in one now. Job growth at this rate is the economy singing: ‘This is a robust expansion.'”
And he also slams the doom and gloom forecasters.
The flip from “Recession!” to “Overheating!” is just about the perfect example of the bad news bias in most economic commentary.
Look folks, if the economists you talk to are always gloomy, they’re only giving you half the story.https://t.co/mcD76jthvN
— Justin Wolfers (@JustinWolfers) December 2, 2022
Economist David Rothschild sums up where the Biden economy is compared to the rest of the world.
“Economy is far from perfect,” he writes, “but conditional on the worldwide pandemic and supply chain issues generated from pandemic: US economy has done *amazing* over last 2 years.”
In news alerts The New York Times reported hiring “continued to exceed expectations,” The Wall Street Journal called it “a sign of continued strength in the labor market,” and even Fox News reported it as “stronger-than-expected.” CNN referred to the jobs report as “robust” and “defying expectations.”
“America’s jobs engine kept churning in November, the Labor Department reported Friday, a show of continued demand for workers despite the Federal Reserve’s push to curb inflation by tamping down hiring, The Times reported. “The labor market has been surprisingly resilient in the face of successive interest rate increases by the Fed over the past year. Even sectors normally sensitive to borrowing costs, like construction and manufacturing, have been slow to back off the brisk pace of growth they posted coming out of the pandemic.”
The BLS also broke down unemployment numbers by demographics.
“Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.4 percent), adult women (3.3 percent), teenagers (11.3 percent), Whites (3.2 percent), Blacks (5.7 percent), Asians (2.7 percent), and Hispanics (3.9 percent) showed little or no change over the month.”
Image: Matt Smith Photographer / Shutterstock
‘The Law Is Clear’: Appeals Court Rules Trump Handpicked Judge Should Never Have Appointed Special Master
A three-judge panel on the conservative 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against Donald Trump, and effectively against his hand-picked federal district court judge Aileen Cannon in the ex-president’s “special master” case.
The judges, all three conservatives, two of whom appointed to the bench by Trump himself, ruled that Judge Cannon should never have agreed to Trump’s request to appoint a “special master” to review all the items the Dept. of Justice removed from his Mar-a-Lago residence by executing a legal search warrant.
Cannon had ordered the special master to specifically review approximately 100 classified documents, and blocked the DOJ from accessing them while they were under review. That block halted its investigation into Trump’s likely illegal retention of the documents and other items – over 10,000 – he removed from the White House and was string at Mar-a-Lago.
CNN calls Thursday’s ruling “a major defeat for former President Donald Trump.” The appeals court’s ruling halts “a third-party review of documents seized from his Mar-a-Lago estate,” and “removes a major obstacle to the Justice Department’s investigation into the mishandling of government records from Trump’s time in the White House.”
“The law is clear,” the judges wrote in their ruling Thursday, posted by NBC News’ Daniel Barnes. “We cannot write a rule that allows any subject of a search warrant to block government investigations after the execution of the warrant. Nor can we write a rule that allows only former presidents to do so. Either approach would be a radical reordering of our caselaw limiting the federal courts’ involvement in criminal investigations.”
“And both would violate bedrock separation-of-powers limitations,” they continued. “Accordingly, we agree with the government that the district court improperly exercised equitable jurisdiction, and that dismissal of the entire proceeding is required.”
They also wrote: “In considering these arguments, we are faced with a choice: apply our usual test; drastically expand the availability of equitable jurisdiction for every subject of a search warrant; or carve out an unprecedented exception in our law for former presidents. We choose the first option. So the case must be dismissed.”
“The district court,” meaning Judge Cannon, “improperly exercised equitable jurisdiction in this case. For that reason, we VACATE the September 5 order on appeal and REMAND with instructions for the district court to DISMISS the underlying civil action.”
Matt Gaetz ‘Wingman’ Joel Greenberg Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison – Attorney ‘Disappointed’ Others Not Prosecuted
Joel Greenberg, a former Florida tax collector and “wingman” to U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) was sentenced Thursday to over a decade in prison after the judge said he “has provided substantial cooperation to the government — more than I’ve seen in 22 years.” But Greenberg’s own attorney chastised the Dept. of Justice, saying he is “disappointed” after all the evidence his client provided, that others were not prosecuted.
Greenberg, 38, faced about three decades in jail. He “pleaded guilty last May to six of the 33 federal charges he was facing, including charges of stalking, identity theft, wire fraud, and conspiracy to bribe a public official, as well as one charge of sex trafficking,” ABC News reports.
DOJ has not brought any charges against far-right Republican Matt Gaetz.
“Mr. Greenberg has told federal authorities that he witnessed Mr. Gaetz have sex with the 17-year-old girl and that she was paid. In documents filed in connection with Mr. Greenberg’s sentencing, the Justice Department said he had ‘provided truthful and timely information’ that led to the charging of at least four other individuals and ‘provided substantial assistance on other matters’ that the government would address only in a sealed filing,” The New York Times reports.
Greenberg “had faced up to almost three decades in prison for a litany of crimes he had committed, including sex trafficking a 17-year-old girl, stalking a political rival and stealing $400,000 in taxpayer money to buy cryptocurrencies and purchase sports memorabilia. But in the hopes of receiving a lesser sentence, he had cooperated with the government in a series of investigations, including into Mr. Gaetz,” The Times adds.
Greenberg’s own attorney this week blasted the U.S. Dept. of Justice for not moving forward with prosecutions he apparently believes his client has provided sufficient information for pursuing.
“If the Government is so concerned with general deterrence, then why hasn’t it prosecuted the other individuals, including public figures, who were also involved in Greenberg’s offenses?” Fritz Schiller wrote in a memo, according to ABC News.
“Perhaps the DOJ are master strategists far beyond the capabilities of the undersigned. Or perhaps the DOJ is like Nero fiddling away as Rome burns.”
Schiller also told reporters, “I’m shocked – I am disappointed by a number of prosecutions that haven’t been brought.”
After pausing for a moment and saying he wanted to think about how he would answer a reporter’s question, Schiller said, “I think there’s a number of prosecutions that can be brought in the areas of the SBA fraud, the bribery and kickbacks, election fraud, and the sex cases.”
Reporter: “Are you shocked that [Rep. Matt Gaetz] hasn’t been arrested yet?”
Fritz Scheller, attorney for Gaetz associate Joel Greenberg: “I am disappointed by a number of prosecutions that haven’t been brought …” pic.twitter.com/5ibhjepEUK
— The Recount (@therecount) December 1, 2022
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