Oct 17


Monday Morning Read

What you probably don't know about Joe Biden's pot pardons and Russia's latest outrages in Ukraine. Plus an excerpt from Bob Dylan's new book.

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President Biden’s decision to pardon those convicted on federal marijuana possession charges is a big deal — to a degree. How many people will get out of federal prison as a result? Zero. How many are held with similar convictions in state prisons? 30,000.  Still, it’s a step forward to reverse the damage the war on drugs has inflicted on Black people.

Bombing, raping, executing and otherwise terrorizing civilians. Russia’s savagery in Ukraine knows no limits. But it gets worse. Now the Associated Press reports the Russians are kidnapping children and shipping them off to Russia for adoption. Authorities are also grabbing men off the streets and sending them off to war. All this is shocking,  but, as The Atlantic points out, brutality has a long, sorry history in Russia.

Meanwhile, back in New York, Ken Kruly has campaign finance numbers for you political junkies, along with news that Stefan Mychajliw has once again violated state election law, this time by failing to account for the money he raised and spent in the closing days of his unsuccessful race last year for Hamburg town supervisor.

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Are efforts to seed upstate with high-tech industries starting to gain traction? Politico seems to think so. My take: The successful efforts have involved obscenely huge subsidies which represent a squandering of public funds. But they make for good press for politicians.

Two political stories from The New York Times: State Democrats unexpectedly have their hands full in upcoming Congressional elections and election deniers fill the ranks of Republican candidates across the nation.

The Guardian reports that the worldwide population of animals is down a stunning 70 percent in the last 50 years.

John Oliver made some pointed remarks about how the press too often takes the claims of police at face value.

Elon Musk has cozied up to the Russians and Chinese. Anything for a buck I guess, even if it involves people’s freedom.

Whose stolen Native American land are you living on? NPR has a map to help you answer the question.

Bob Dylan has written a second book. Here’s an excerpt.