green new deal?
June 12, 2019

The Green New Deal is still the talk of the town, but behind the scenes it might be losing a little bit of steam, The Atlantic reports.

The deal, championed by rising star Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), is still focused on broad ideas, and end goals — such as upgrading infrastructure and becoming 100 percent reliant on clean and renewable energy sources on a national scale — rather than the details of how to get there.

The think tank driving the policy-side of the Green New Deal is called New Consensus, which has no formal affiliation with Ocasio-Cortez, but reportedly was formed out of the same group of progressives activists which brought the congresswoman into the political fold. New Consensus, though, is a small team with little experience in the realm of energy or environmental policy, The Atlantic reports, which is likely part of the reason why the group is moving at such a "deliberate" pace while putting together policy — they now aim to have a playbook featuring "an appropriate level of detail" about the Green New Deal by Jan. 2020.

There's some skepticism about the think tank, as well. New Consensus invited numerous climate-focused organizations who might help advise the think tank to a meeting in March, but some attendees were reportedly surprised by the "broad lack of climate-policy among the assembled," while other groups were upset they were not invited. New Consensus is also reportedly secretive about where their financial backing comes from, which has raised some eyebrows among climate activist groups, such as the Climate Justice Alliance. Read more at The Atlantic. Tim O'Donnell

February 11, 2019

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) might be down to roll up.

The 2020 contender appeared on morning radio show The Breakfast Club on Monday, where she said any claims that she's opposed to legalizing marijuana are "not true." "Half my family's from Jamaica, are you kidding me?" she joked, before saying that "I have" smoked, "and I did inhale." Harris wouldn't say whether she would've kept smoking if it was legal, but she did laughingly say "it gives a lot of people joy, and we need more joy."

Harris isn't as forthcoming on weed as fellow 2020 contender Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who's introduced a federal legalization bill, touted legalization as a hallmark of his 2020 run, and made a pretty good joke about sending pot brownies to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has backed and introduced a number of bills to loosen federal pot restrictions and lighten consequences for marijuana convictions, partnering with Booker on two of them. Newly campaigning Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) hasn't said much about the issue, but she brings a "tough on crime" background to the race like fellow ex-prosecutor Harris.

Potential 2020 Democrat and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is all for legalization, former Vice President Joe Biden probably is not, and Michael Bloomberg has said weed legalization efforts are "the stupidest thing anybody has ever done." While former Rep. Beto O'Rourke hasn't decided whether he's running in 2020, he did reveal that he "smoked pot, but not habitually" in his first few post-college years. Kathryn Krawczyk

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