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California’s Billion-Dollar Weed Boondoggle
Plus, Trump’s Real Record on Rail and Chemical Safety
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CHARLIE SYKES: Why Trump Is Targeting Trans
JVL: ABP: Always. Be. Projecting. 🔐
JOE PERTICONE: Trump’s Real Record on Rail and Chemical Safety.
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A.L. BARDACH: California’s Billion-Dollar Weed Boondoggle.
It wasn’t so long ago that visitors to bucolic Santa Barbara County were greeted with an aromatic spray of ocean breezes perfumed by citrus. Oh my, they crooned.
These days, you are more likely to get whacked by a wall of rancid skunk as you glide across the border from Ventura County to Santa Barbara County. In other parts, the olfactory distress is accompanied by a blaze of visual blight: Where once there were fields of green there are now seas of white plastic tents.
So much has gone so wrong with California’s ballyhooed venture into the cannabis business, it’s impossible to pinpoint its most singular failure. For all those states preparing to plunge into the weed business—caution: California is a flashing red light.
The 79th mass shooting of the year occurred early Sunday morning, when a gunman killed one person and left seven injured in Memphis, Tennessee. (The Gun Violence Archive defines mass shootings as involving “a minimum of four victims shot, either injured or killed, not including any shooter.”) This was less than a week after three Michigan State University students were killed in a firearms rampage on campus—and five years to the day after seventeen people were gunned down at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. With hundreds of millions of firearms in circulation in the United States—a 2018 analysis put the number over 390 million, meaning that there are more guns than there are Americans, and that was before the huge pandemic-era spike in gun sales—the upward trend of senseless gun massacres in America shows no signs of abating.
Fox isn’t news, and it isn’t propaganda. It’s about getting the biggest audience it can, to make the most money it possibly can. And Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity are more powerful than elected GOP leaders — even if they’re afraid of their own audience. Brian Rosenwald joins Charlie Sykes.
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ZANDY HARTIG: Lying Liars and the Lyonne Who Catches Them.
My dad liked company on the couch while he watched his favorite television shows, so at a very early age I was watching Kojak, The Rockford Files, and, if we were lucky, Columbo. In fact, my dad got in trouble with my first grade teacher, Miss Roberts, when she found out the reason I was falling asleep on my school desk was because I was staying up until 11 p.m. to watch these rather-inappropriate-for-a-six-year-old TV shows with my father. Naturally, he charmed his way out of the doghouse, and he and Miss Roberts ended up becoming friends.
The point of this story is that those wonderful ’70s procedurals—with their charismatic, ironical lead actors, and their brilliant guest stars and masterful writing and direction—bathe me in a warm, nostalgic glow. And as I viewed the first six episodes of Poker Face (streaming on Peacock), I experienced the same feelings of delight and enchantment.
BRENT ORRELL: Heeding the Warning from the Future.
In case you weren’t aware, America is in the midst of a dramatic, internet-driven resurgence of the fanatical belief that our beautiful, oblate spheroid is in reality a flat plane whose edges are rounded up by an ice barrier hundreds of feet high, topped by a dome. Those who hold this view believe that we’re all living in The Truman Show, the subjects of a massive, all-encompassing conspiracy to deprive all eight billion of us of the most basic truth about physical reality.
In Off the Edge, out this week in paperback, Daily Beast reporter Kelly Weill offers a very capable survey of the resurgent flat earth movement. Her book is insightful and sympathetic, meeting conspiratorial doctrine with sympathy and without condescension.
Happy Thursday! It’s been a beautiful day here in the D.C. area, with highs of 80 degrees! Though snow might be in the weekend forecast, spring has sort of sprung. We hope you’ll join us tonight for TNB.
Today in 1945… Marines raised the flags on Mount Suribachi in Iwo Jima. As it turns out, since the day was so gorgeous, I played a quick round at the home of the Marine Corps, MCB Quantico. Medal of Honor golf course, where each hole is named after a recipient, has a hole named for John Basilone (whom you may remember from The Pacific), who died five days earlier on Iwo Jima.
The global divide over the war in Ukraine… Is deepening.
This protest in London outside the Russian embassy… is awesome.
Emily Kohrs… Should stop going on TV, but she’s not single handedly going to ruin the cases.
I feel seen. A parody(?) of IKEA husbands.
Conservatives of TikTok… A platform that doesn’t seem to show people at their best.
The Moon, Mars, and beyond… Our friends at Connors Forum bring a JPL scientist on to talk about the American space program on the Utterly Moderate podcast.
Profane anti-Biden bitcoin a bust? Shocking.
A-B snuffs out another local microbrewery… And mines its products.
Meanwhile, in the “free state of Florida”… Lee County Republicans are asking state legislators to ban the COVID vaccine. With Ron DeSantis and his Surgeon General, anything is possible. Don’t count them out!
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