July 21, 2022

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“Of all the selfish things he does every minute of every day, it would probably be the most.” — A prominent Republican strategist on Donald Trump possibly announcing a presidential campaign before the 2022 midterms. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/07/14/trump-2024-announcement-fall/

July 13: Quite a day in Congress, House Rs voted no on benefits for vets exposed to toxic substances, no on an Amber Alert system for active shooting situations & no on combating neo nazis in our military. Because Dems have a majority in the House, these bills passed, but we need more senators to enact these as laws. https://twitter.com/BillPascrell/status/1547418538356445184

“She would have had the baby, and as many women who have had babies as a result of rape, we would hope that she would understand the reason and ultimately the benefit of having the child.” — Indiana lawyer Jim Bopp on the 10-year-old Ohio girl who crossed state lines to receive an abortion. https://www.politico.com/news/2022/07/14/anti-abotion-10-year-old-ohio-00045843

“I am old enough to remember when it was right-wing Republicans who were hellbent on tearing down Democratic presidents like Barack Obama and Clinton; now the progressives are practically doing the GOP’s job for them. I have a radical proposal for my progressive friends: Stop attacking Biden and start attacking Republicans. If you think Biden is too weak, don’t weaken him further for goodness sakes. Strengthen him, so he can lead the way forward.” — Paul Begala https://www.cnn.com/2022/07/14/opinions/progressives-mad-joe-biden-begala/index.html

“This is yet another example of an extreme and radical Republican elected official. It is unthinkable that this public official would sue to block women from receiving life-saving care in emergency rooms, a right protected under U.S. law.” — White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, denouncing Texas’ attempt to block the national mandate requiring physicians to provide abortions in medical emergencies. https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2022/07/14/texas-sues-biden-emergency-abortion/

“It’s important that every young person, every activist, the majorities of this country who are demanding climate action understand very clearly this is not the Democrats… This is one man named Joe Manchin. When it comes to the most important existential issue of our time, this man is a wrecking ball.” — Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA). https://www.politico.com/news/2022/07/14/manchin-rejects-climate-tax-elements-of-party-line-dem-bill-00046018

"Don't poke the bear" is good advice if the bear is sleeping peacefully. However, if the bear is running around stealing food and killing people, you shoot the bear until it is dead. — Matas Maldeikis, a member of Lithuanian Parliament. https://mobile.twitter.com/MatasMaldeikis/status/1542762944349495298

“If Trump runs, the smart move is for him to declare on 1/6/23. The anniversary of the riot at the Capitol will be about him anyway, so he might as well seize the day and make it his.” -- Former Bush White House press secretary Ari Fleischer. https://twitter.com/AriFleischer/status/1547914574686326786

“The Big Lie has been good only for Trump and has brought him millions in donations, which some evidence suggests may have been mishandled. The Big Lie, and the related violence, election interference and other perceived misconduct, was and is an affront to this nation and its first principles. It has permanently soiled the history pages and deepened the abyss that divides our country and continues to expand due to the delusions and lack of accountability of politicians in both parties.— Former White House attorney Ty Cobb. https://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/meetthepressblog/former-white-house-attorney-ty-cobb-big-lie-good-only-trump-rcna38318

Dobbs is a proclamation of absolute judicial dictatorship. The judges may choose not to take certain rights away quite yet. But if rights exist solely at the whim of five robed tyrants, then no one really has any rights at all. We don’t live in a democracy; we live in a judgeocracy. Our rights, our votes, our marriages, and our very lives can be taken from us on a whim. — Aaron Rupar and Noah Berlatsky. https://aaronrupar.substack.com/p/scotus-tyranny-dobbs-kennedy-bremerton

“Trump would say anything, he would lie about anything to win whatever exchange he [is] having at that moment.” — Steve Bannon, quoted in a new book, "The Big Lie: Election Chaos, Political Opportunism, and the State of American Politics After 2020" by Jonathan Lemire. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2022/jul/16/steve-bannon-trump-would-lie-about-anything-book-jonathan-lemire

The Supreme Court was "clearly wrong" when it decided in a historic 2015 ruling that same-sex marriage was legal under the Constitution. — Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) https://www.newsweek.com/ted-cruz-says-scotus-clearly-wrong-legalize-gay-marriage-1725304

“This isn’t some imagined horror…. Imagine being that little girl. Just—I’m serious—just imagine being that little girl. Ten years old. Does anyone believe that it’s the highest majority view that that should not be able to be dealt with, or in any other state in the nation? A 10-year-old girl should be forced to give birth to a rapist’s child? I can tell you what: I don’t. I can’t think of anything as much more extreme.” — President Joe Biden announcing an executive order on protecting women’s reproductive rights. “https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2022/07/child-rape-case-ohio-draconian-abortion-restrictions

“Donald Trump has made it clear that he doesn’t mind not telling the truth. Let’s just put that mildly. He lies all the time. I wouldn’t put it past him to even lie under oath, so I’m not sure what the value is there.” — Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) https://thehill.com/homenews/sunday-talk-shows/3563188-kinzinger-says-trump-would-probably-lie-under-oath-to-jan-6-committee/

In wave elections, having bad candidates at the top of the ticket often acts like a jetty, breaking up the wave as it reaches shore. And guys like Dr. Oz, Herschel Walker, and Blake Masters are walking, talking jetties. -- Joe Trippi https://thetriad.thebulwark.com/p/crazy-can-break-a-wave


Do you want these men making decisions about your health care? - House Judiciary Dems.

“We’re up against the ruthlessness of the Republican Party .. Democrats need the Democratic PARTY, not the president, to organize with more ferocity of focus, more determination to set the agenda, and put the other party on the defense.” — Governor Gavin Newsom https://twitter.com/RonFilipkowski/status/1548639694707105803@foxla

Herschel Walker falsely claims that he is an FBI agent. It gets worse. He proceeds to tell an unhinged story about angrily grabbing a gun with the intent to kill a man. https://twitter.com/AccountableGOP/status/1549167131400384512

Hershel Walker bragging about playing Russian roulette. https://twitter.com/accountablegop/status/1438909384239816705

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) dismisses the marriage equality bill, approved in a 267 to 157 vote, as "simply the latest installment of the Democrats' campaign to delegitimize and attempt to intimidate the United States Supreme Court.” https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1549430387323060224


Pending Criminal and Civil Cases Against Donald Trumphttps://www.justsecurity.org/75032/litigation-tracker-pending-criminal-and-civil-cases-against-donald-trump/





Andy Borowitz: Tucker Carlson Claims Secret Service Texts Were Deleted by Hillary Clinton

In a bombshell report that could upend the probe into the Capitol insurrection, Tucker Carlson has claimed that the missing Secret Service texts from January 5th and 6th were deleted by the former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“Hillary is extremely tech-savvy,” Carlson said. “She has her own server. She can delete anything from anywhere at any time.”

The Fox News host said that he arrived at his incendiary accusation after a lengthy investigation and “only after eliminating Hunter Biden as a suspect.”

As for Clinton’s motivation for deleting the Secret Service’s texts, Carlson said, “That’s for the January 6th committee to investigate. I can’t do everything.”https://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report


Justice Department probe into Trump won’t stop if he announces 2024 run: Deputy AG

The Justice Department’s investigation into various efforts by Donald Trump to undermine the 2020 election will continue regardless of whether the former president announces his intention to again seek office in 2024.

“We’re going to continue to do our job, to follow the facts wherever they go, no matter where they lead, no matter to what level,” Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said Tuesday in response to questions after speaking at a cybersecurity conference in New York.

“We’re going to continue to investigate what was fundamentally an attack on our democracy.” https://thehill.com/policy/defense/3565878-justice-dept-probe-into-trump-wont-stop-if-he-announces-2024-run-deputy-ag/

Maryland Republicans Go Extreme Right

A man who organized buses to Washington on Jan. 6, tweeted during the Capitol Riot that Vice President Mike Pence was a “traitor,” tried to impeach Maryland Republican Governor Larry Hogan over his actions to stem COVID-19, and spoke at a QAnon conference this spring, just won the Republican nomination for Maryland governor.

And he’s not even the most extreme candidate Maryland Republicans nominated for statewide office on Tuesday.

Michael Peroutka—a Christian nationalist and former board member of the neo-Confederate, secessionist League of the South whose extreme views are almost too numerous to enumerate—win the GOP’s nomination for attorney general. ” https://www.vice.com/en/article/epzxpa/maryland-gop-primary-dan-cox-michael-peroutka

Documents show the secret strategy behind Trump's census citizenship question push

Former President Donald Trump's administration spent years trying to add a census citizenship question as part of a secret strategy for altering the population numbers used to divide up seats in Congress and the Electoral College, internal documents released Wednesday by the House Oversight and Reform Committee confirm.

Long kept from the public, the Trump administration memos and emails were disclosed by lawmakers following a more than two-year legal fight that began after Trump officials refused to turn them over for a congressional investigation. Citing the "exceptional circumstances" of the case, the Biden administration, which inherited the lawsuit last year, agreed to allow House oversight committee members and their staff to review the documents. https://www.npr.org/2022/07/20/1044944618/census-citzenship-question-history-oversight-committee

Half of Americans anticipate a U.S. civil war soon, survey finds

Violence can seem to be everywhere in the United States, and political violence is in the spotlight, with the 6 January 2021 insurrection as exhibit A. Now, a large study confirms one in five Americans believes violence motivated by political reasons is—at least sometimes—justified. Nearly half expect a civil war, and many say they would trade democracy for a strong leader, a preprint posted today on medRxiv found.

“This is not a study that’s meant to shock,” says Rachel Kleinfeld, a political violence expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace who was not involved in the research. “But it should be shocking.” https://www.science.org/content/article/half-of-americans-anticipate-a-us-civil-war-soon-survey-finds

Putin Finds a New Ally in Iran, a Fellow Outcast

President Vladimir Putin left Russia for a rare international trip on Tuesday to meet with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, who issued a declaration of support for Mr. Putin’s war in Ukraine of the kind that even other countries close to Russia have so far stopped short of making.

Mr. Khamenei’s embraced Mr. Putin’s claim that the West had left the Kremlin no choice but to act. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/19/world/europe/putin-ayatollah-erdogan-summit.html

Intelligence Agencies Say Russia Election Threat Persists Amid Ukraine War

Top national security officials warned on Tuesday about the continuing threat of election interference from abroad, emphasizing that Russia could still seek to meddle or promote disinformation during the 2022 midterm races even as it wages war in Ukraine.

“I am quite confident the Russians can walk and chew gum,” Christopher A. Wray, the F.B.I. director, said during a cybersecurity conference in Manhattan, where he spoke alongside Gen. Paul M. Nakasone, the head of the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command.

Iran and China also remained potent threats, mounting their own campaigns to undermine American democracy, the officials said. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/19/us/politics/fbi-nsa-russia-midterm-elections.html

Doctor in 10-year-old’s abortion case takes legal step against Indiana AG

Attorneys for the Indianapolis doctor who helped a 10-year-old Ohio rape victim obtain an abortion took the first legal step Tuesday in a possible defamation lawsuit against Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita (R) for his comments in a story that has captured international attention.

Kathleen DeLaney filed a notice of tort claim against Rokita on behalf of her client, Caitlin Bernard, for “false and misleading statements” about the obstetrician/gynecologist in the days after she shared how she helped the child, who traveled to Indiana for an abortion.

“Mr. Rokita’s false and misleading statements about alleged misconduct by Dr. Bernard in her profession constitute defamation per se. The statements have been and continue to be published by or on behalf of Mr. Rokita and the Office of the Attorney General,” the notice reads. “To the extent that these statements exceed the general scope of Mr. Rokita’s authority as Indiana’s Attorney General, the statement forms the basis of an actionable defamation claim against Mr. Rokita individually.”  https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/07/19/abortion-doctor-lawsuit-bernard-rokita-indiana/

US agencies temporarily barred from enforcing LGBTQ guidance

A judge in Tennessee has temporarily barred two federal agencies from enforcing directives issued by President Joe Biden's administration that extended protections for LGBTQ people in schools and workplaces. https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/us-agencies-temporarily-barred-enforcing-lbgtq-guidance-86937868

Justice Department Steps Up Jan. 6 Probe of Those in Trump’s Orbit

The Justice Department is adding prosecutors and resources to its investigation into the actions of former President Donald Trump’s allies to overturn the 2020 election, according to people familiar with the matter, as the related congressional hearings have turbocharged interest in Mr. Trump’s own role in that effort.

A Justice Department team focusing on elements of the investigation beyond the violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, has in recent weeks been given more personnel, office space and an expanded mandate. https://www.wsj.com/articles/justice-department-steps-up-jan-6-probe-of-those-in-trumps-orbit-11657974467

At Least 120 Republican Nominees Deny The Results Of The 2020 Election

FiveThirtyEight finds that out of 340 Republican nominees for Senate, House, governor, attorney general and secretary of state so far, 120 are full-blown election deniers (35 percent). An additional 48 nominees (14 percent) have expressed doubts about the election despite the multitude of evidence that it was legitimate.

In total, almost half of the GOP’s nominees for these offices have at least dabbled in false election claims.

As some of those candidates lose their own races, they are reaching new frontiers in election denial by insisting that those primaries, too, were rigged. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/at-least-120-republicans-who-deny-the-2020-election-results-will-be-on-the-ballot-in-november/

House Republicans plot investigative revenge on January 6 panel as Trump itches for payback

House Republicans are plotting revenge on the select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection, as the GOP weighs a broader effort to re-litigate some of Donald Trump’s biggest election grievances if it recaptures the House majority.

The former President has been itching for payback and leaning heavily on his Capitol Hill allies to defend him against a recent slew of damaging revelations about his role in the deadly attack on the US Capitol. Now, as Republicans search for ways to undermine those findings, their party has started to lay the groundwork to investigate the select committee itself.

The GOP’s growing desire to craft a counternarrative on January 6 – and shift the blame away from Trump – comes as the former President is gearing up to soon announce another White House bid. Pursuing that effort could also be politically advantageous for McCarthy, whose expected bid for speaker would be made easier with support from Trump. https://www.cnn.com/2022/07/15/politics/house-republicans-investigation-plans-trump/index.html

Jan 6. Committee spotlights Trump’s efforts to get Justice Department to back the Big Lie

Former President Donald Trump’s relentless efforts to influence the Department of Justice into promoting baseless claims of fraud in the 2020 presidential election, and the refusal by former senior department officials to go along with his scheme, took center stage Thursday afternoon.

Lawmakers investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol held their fifth hearing with a focus on Trump’s efforts to influence Justice Department officials and use the department for partisan purposes.

Trump attempted to get the department to publicly state there was fraud in the 2020 presidential election and he threatened to dismantle department leadership who rejected his lies.

The then-president pushed for the department to work in tandem with his campaign to contest the election results in court and tried to get conspiracy theorist Sidney Powell appointed as a special counsel to investigate claims of voter fraud that had no basis for existing. https://www.courthousenews.com/next-focus-of-jan-6-panel-trumps-efforts-to-influence-justice-dept/

Media Confidence Ratings at Record Lows

Gallup: Americans’ confidence in two facets of the news media — newspapers and television news — has fallen to all-time low points.

Just 16% of U.S. adults now say they have ‘a great deal’ or ‘quite a lot’ of confidence in newspapers and 11% in television news. Both readings are down five percentage points since last year. https://news.gallup.com/poll/394817/media-confidence-ratings-record-lows.aspx

Pulitzer Board Says NY Times and Wash. Post Russian Collusion Stories Stand Up

The Pulitzer Prize Board upheld the 2018 prize jointly awarded to The New York Times and The Washington Post for their reporting on the investigation into Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential campaign, finding no contradictory information that came out since the prize was awarded.

Two separate reviews converged in their conclusions: that no passages or headlines, contentions or assertions in either of the winning submissions were discredited by facts that emerged subsequent to the conferral of the prizes. https://www.pulitzer.org/news/statement-pulitzer-prize-board-2

GOP fears Senate debacle

Top Republicans, once confident about winning control of the Senate in the midterms, fear they'll blow it after nominating several deeply flawed candidates in winnable states, according to conversations with GOP strategists, pollsters and other officials.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has been sounding this alarm for months: electing fringe candidates with checkered pasts could squander a golden chance to reclaim power. Now, McConnell is left hoping for a red wave so wide and powerful that candidate quality is irrelevant. https://www.axios.com/2022/07/15/senate-republican-candidates-herschel-oz-masters

GOP Sen. James Lankford Blocks Bill Protecting Right To Interstate Travel For Abortion

Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) blocked legislation that would protect the right to travel freely from state to state to seek abortion care, the HuffPost reports.

Lankford, who supports instituting a national ban on abortion, dismissed it as unnecessary.

This is the same senator who once argued that a 13-year old girl could consent to sex. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/senate-abortion-roe-v-wade-travel_n_62cffc22e4b0e6251b39738a

Some House Dems are trying to outrun a potential red wave

Some of the most endangered House Democrats are hoping to inoculate themselves ahead of a potentially brutal November by going up on TV months before the typical end-of-summer ad rush. Nine incumbents in battleground seats were already airing ads by early July, according to a POLITICO analysis — and some plan to keep going straight through to November.

It’s much earlier than House candidates typically start their general election advertising, and it’s a sign of Democrats’ political reality: Republican candidates and big-spending allied super PACs are ready to capitalize on deep economic unease and President Joe Biden’s sagging approval ratings by contesting dozens of blue districts this fall. But the second-quarter campaign finance reports due Friday will show that most battleground Democrats in Congress are flush with cash, and a growing number have responded by unleashing a steady stream of advertising early, seeking to define themselves before the attacks start — and while the airwaves are less expensive or crowded. https://www.politico.com/news/2022/07/15/house-democrats-campaign-ads-midterm-gop-wave-00046003

Idaho Republicans poised to reject 2020 election results

The Idaho Republican Party will consider 31 resolutions at its three-day convention starting Thursday, including one already adopted by Texas Republicans that President Joe Biden isn’t the legitimate leader of the country.

The Idaho resolution in the deeply conservative state that Donald Trump won with 64% of the vote in 2020 is nearly identical to the Texas resolution that was passed last month, stating: “We reject the certified results of the 2020 presidential election; and we hold that acting president Joseph Robinette Biden was not legitimately elected by the people of the United States.”

Both the Idaho and Texas resolutions contend that secretaries of state circumvented their state legislatures, even though both states have Republican secretaries of state. https://apnews.com/article/2022-midterm-elections-biden-donald-trump-united-states-texas-74470f52173627eba7692821d0182308

Texas sues Biden administration for requiring abortions in medical emergencies

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) sued the Biden administration over federal rules that require abortions be provided in medical emergencies to save the life of the mother, even in states with near-total bans. https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2022/07/14/texas-sues-biden-emergency-abortion/

Prominent conservatives issue report rebutting Trump election claims

A group of conservatives, including prominent lawyers and retired federal judges, issued a 72-page report on Thursday categorically rebutting each of the claims made in court by former President Donald Trump and his supporters over the 2020 election results. https://www.cnn.com/2022/07/14/politics/conservatives-report-trump-2020-election-claims/index.html

The great realignment

Shifts in the demographics of the two parties' supporters — taking place before our eyes — are arguably the biggest political story of our time.

Republicans are becoming more working class and a little more multiracial. Democrats are becoming more elite and a little more white.

Democrats' hopes for retaining power rest on nonwhite voters remaining a reliable part of the party's coalition. Democrats' theory of the case collapses if Republicans make even incremental gains with those voters. https://www.axios.com/2022/07/14/republicans-democrats-hispnanic-voters

Trump's PAC asked fans to donate money while announcing his ex-wife Ivana's death

Former President Donald Trump’s Save America PAC included a fundraising link in an email to supporters announcing the death of his first wife, Ivana Trump. https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-pac-seeks-donations-news-ivana-trump-death-email-2022-7

Russia’s disinformation war expands through Eastern Europe

As bullets and bombs fall in Ukraine, Russia is waging an expanding information war throughout Eastern Europe, using fake accounts and propaganda to spread fears about refugees and rising fuel prices while calling the West an untrustworthy ally.

In Bulgaria, the Kremlin paid journalists, political analysts and other influential citizens 2,000 euros a month to post pro-Russian content online, a senior Bulgarian official revealed this month. Researchers also have uncovered sophisticated networks of fake accounts, bots and trolls in an escalating spread of disinformation and propaganda in the country.

Similar efforts are playing out in other nations in the region as Russia looks to shift the blame for its invasion of Ukraine, the ensuing refugee crisis and rising prices for food and fuel. https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-nato-bulgaria-misinformation-eastern-europe-0e87db7fef9263a465d6cf40d3287efe

Fulton County DA sends 'target' letters to Trump allies in Georgia investigation

In the latest sign she is moving rapidly in her investigation into Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has sent so-called ‘target letters’ to prominent Georgia Republicans informing them they could be indicted for their role in a scheme to appoint alternate electors pledged to the former president despite Joe Biden’s victory in the state. https://news.yahoo.com/exclusive-fulton-county-da-sends-target-letters-to-trump-allies-in-georgia-investigation-152517469.html

Half of G.O.P. Voters Ready to Leave Trump Behind, Poll Finds

Far from consolidating his support, the former president appears weakened in his party, especially with younger and college-educated Republicans. Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida is the most popular alternative.

As Donald J. Trump weighs whether to open an unusually early White House campaign, a New York Times/Siena College poll shows that his post-presidential quest to consolidate his support within the Republican Party has instead left him weakened, with nearly half the party’s primary voters seeking someone different for president in 2024 and a significant number vowing to abandon him if he wins the nomination.

By focusing on political payback inside his party instead of tending to wounds opened by his alarming attempts to cling to power after his 2020 defeat, Mr. Trump appears to have only deepened fault lines among Republicans during his yearlong revenge tour. A clear majority of primary voters under 35 years old, 64 percent, as well as 65 percent of those with at least a college degree — a leading indicator of political preferences inside the donor class — told pollsters they would vote against Mr. Trump in a presidential primary. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/12/us/politics/trump-approval-polling-2024.html

Dr. Oz and his sisters are embroiled in a multi-million-dollar inheritance battle in the US and Turkey

New court papers in Manhattan reveal that TV personality-turned Pennsylvania GOP congressional candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz is embroiled in an intensifying inheritance battle in the US and Turkey — complete with accusations of a forged will and millions of dollars looted from an Istanbul bank account. https://www.yahoo.com/video/dr-oz-sisters-embroiled-multi-225020527.html


Marjorie Taylor Greene had the man who sexually harassed AOC on her podcast and called his “big booty Latina” comments, “quite the compliment.” Marjorie implied AOC should have said, “thank you.” https://twitter.com/patriottakes/status/1547746130506592256


Here is a video he posted of the incident. I was actually walking over to deck him because if no one will protect us then I’ll do it myself but I needed to catch a vote more than a case today. -- AOC. https://twitter.com/AOC/status/1547397629260226560

“Why did the Biden administration — speaking of lying — just repeat a story about a 10-year-old child who got pregnant and they got an abortion or was not allowed to get an abortion when it turns out the story’s not true?”  — Fox News prime-time host Tucker Carlson. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/07/14/10-year-old-rape-story-fox-news-criticism/


But there was no lie at all: The Columbus Dispatch reported on Wednesday that a Columbus man — 27-year-old Gerson Fuentes — had been charged with rape of a 10-year-old. The newspaper cited a police official as testifying that the girl had undergone a medical abortion on June 30 in Indianapolis. Ohio bans abortions after pregnancies reach six weeks, and the 10-year-old was six weeks and three days into her pregnancy when she was examined. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/07/14/10-year-old-rape-story-fox-news-criticism/

“It’s so hostile. If I pull this off, it’s going to be a miracle.”— Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R) on winning his GOP primary election after testifying before the January 6 Committee. https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2022-election/rusty-bowers-was-star-jan-6-committee-witness-says-ll-take-miracle-win-rcna38597


The Arizona GOP Executive Committee formally censured Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R), saying “he is no longer a Republican in good standing.” https://www.12news.com/article/news/politics/arizona-republicans-censure-house-speaker-rusty-bowers/75-66991122-dda0-4df7-9155-8efc31404a75

Laura Bassett: Just 3 Weeks Post-Roe, The Stories Emerging Are Worse Than Anyone Imagined

Reproductive rights advocates have long warned that women would die if abortion were banned again—that children would be forced to give birth to their rapists’ babies. I’ve been covering abortion rights for over a decade, and I expected these horrifying, dystopian stories to trickle out over the next six months to maybe a year, forcing people to acknowledge a reality that had long been just hypothetical.

Instead, the stories have sprayed out like a firehose: A 10-year-old rape survivor had to travel to another state to get safe abortion care, and politicians immediately went after the doctor who helped her; a Texas hospital let a woman with an ectopic pregnancy bleed until she almost died to avoid getting sued; Idaho Republicans overwhelmingly voted to let women die before giving them health care. The dystopia is upon us, and it arrived faster than anyone expected.

Then in Texas, a hospital refused to save a woman’s life until her ectopic pregnancy ruptured, because the fetus still had a heartbeat. Texas, meanwhile has sued the Biden administration for the right to let pregnant people die rather than save them in these situations, and Idaho Republicans voted overwhelmingly this weekend to reject a “life of the mother” exception from its abortion platform.

Meanwhile, pregnant women in Missouri are barred from getting a divorce, as state law does not recognize the fetus as a person—meaning a mother has to wait until the baby is born to deal with custody rights. You read that right: Republicans, who are trying to argue that fetuses are people, do not recognize fetuses as people when that means that it would accidentally give a woman freedom to leave her husband. Heads I win, tails you lose.

Senate Republicans blocked a bill that would protect pregnant people’s right to travel to states where abortion is legal to have the procedure.

There’s not much to add about this, except that if lawmakers ever tried to block an American from traveling to any other state to access a legal right that’s not abortion (say, to buy a gun), Republicans would absolutely melt down. https://jezebel.com/just-3-weeks-post-roe-the-stories-emerging-are-worse-t-1849188588

Bess Levin: “Pro-Life” Idaho Republicans Declare Women Should Be Left To Die To Save Fetuses

Over the weekend, the Idaho Republican Party voted against adopting an amendment that would have added an exception to its official policy on abortion for cases to save the life of the mother. Scott Herndon, a Republican running unopposed for a state Senate seat, argued to delegates that “for the last 49 years we have essentially lost the argument in the culture because we have focused on abortion as the termination of a pregnancy and not the termination of a living human being.” He added: “We will never win this human rights issue, the greatest of our time, if we make allowances for the intentional killing of another human being.” Obviously, he did not note that withholding life-saving care from a pregnant person, knowing they could die, is also an intentional killing, because that would apparently require too much reflection on his part. The decision not to add an abortion exception to save the life of the mother was decided 412-164; as The Independent notes, the party platform “is used to direct policy within the state’s GOP-controlled legislature.”

Elsewhere in reports of horrifying repercussions from the Supreme Court merely kicking the abortion question to the states, a woman bled for more than 10 days after suffering an incomplete miscarriage because a Wisconsin hospital wouldn’t perform the procedure; a woman with an ectopic pregnancy had to seek emergency, out-of-state care because a doctor in her home state was worried he’d run afoul of the law; administrators at a Kansas City, Missouri hospital temporarily required “pharmacist approval” before prescribing medications that stop postpartum hemorrhages—as in hemorrhages that occur after someone has given birth—because they are also sometimes used for abortions; and a 10-year-old rape victim in Ohio was told they must give birth to their rapist’s child or seek care elsewhere. https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2022/07/idaho-gop-abortion-life-of-mother


Barbara McQuade: The case for charging Trump with manslaughter

Five people died in the Jan. 6 attack. Officer Brian Sicknick sustained a fatal stroke a day after rioters sprayed him with a chemical irritant. Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt was shot by police when she tried to climb through a window and enter the House chamber. A Georgia woman, Rosanne Boyland, was crushed by fellow rioters as they pushed their way against the police outside a Capitol door. Kevin Greeson, an Alabama man, died of a heart attack in a sea of Trump supporters on the sidewalk west of the building. Benjamin Philips of Pennsylvania died of a stroke during the assault on the Capitol.

The loss of life was predictable in light of the size of the mob, their emotional state and their use of force. We recently learned from Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony another key fact — then-President Donald Trump knew that the crowd was armed, adding to the risk that someone would be killed. According to Hutchinson, this risk was also foreseeable to White House counsel Pat Cipollone, who urged White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to persuade Trump to take action to stop it. According to Hutchinson, Cipollone told Meadows: “Something needs to be done or people are going to die and the blood’s going to be on your f---ing hands. This is getting out of control.”

Donald Trump once said he could “stand in the middle Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody” and not lose any voters. Can he also cause the deaths of five people and not lose his liberty? https://www.msnbc.com/opinion/msnbc-opinion/did-trump-commit-manslaughter-jan-6-committee-doj-should-find-n1297314

Stuart Rothenberg: Confused about 2022? You should be

I’ve seen more than a few election cycles, but I’m not certain I have seen many that are more confusing than the one we are now in.

It has been relatively easy to handicap individual races and entire election cycles when nothing out of the ordinary happens. In those cases, the old rules still apply.

But it’s more difficult to sketch out the trajectory of an election when outlandish events occur — and outlandish events seem to have occurred each day since Donald Trump announced he was running for president in 2016.

Some Democrats want to spend their time complaining about what Biden has not accomplished, even though he doesn’t have a working majority in the Senate, and therefore can’t possibly do what he’d like.

Yes, I know what the old rules of thumb say is going to happen in the 2022 midterms. And I haven’t given up entirely on those old rules. But we live in such a crazy time that I have no idea where the country is headed. https://rollcall.com/2022/07/18/confused-about-2022-you-should-be/

Tim Miller: If Ron DeSantis is Actually Less Dangerous Than Trump, Maybe He Should Say So

There’s a weird proxy debate happening right now in the pundit class regarding the hypothetical Trump vs. DeSantis death match, a contest that is looking more and more likely following the former guy’s reveal about his intentions during an interview with Olivia Nuzzi, published yesterday.

The question at hand is whether Ron DeSantis would be less dangerous, less anti-democratic, and/or less authoritarian than Trump.

On one side of this debate you have the Trump-skeptical conservatives, ranging from good faith Never Trumpers trying to navigate this question, to not-so-good-faith Trump apologists who have spent seven years kicking and subtweeting—but who always seem to find their way back into Trump’s ample embrace. They argue that Trump is clearly more dangerous than DeSantis; some demonstrate disdain over the notion that this is even a question. (In the case of the anti-anti-Trumpers it turns out that some of them are finally willing to admit that Trump was dangerous—but only as a way to own the libs by plumping for DeSantis.)

On the other side you have the TDS-afflicted, the liberals, the people who don’t think it’s a great sign that King Ron is using the power of the state to force gay teachers back in the closet. They worry that DeSantis might be a more effective autocrat than Trump.

Honestly, I think a reasonable case could be made for either view. You can peruse the various links above if you want to decide for yourself. As for me, gun to my head, I’d side with the people saying DeSantis would be less of an existential threat.

To be clear—saying someone is less of an existential threat to democracy than Donald Trump might be the faintest praise ever uttered in American politics. It doesn’t carry with it any rejection of the many legitimate concerns that we small-“l” liberals have about a potential DeSantis administration. It merely acknowledges that Trump’s psychopathy is so extreme as to put him in a category all of his own. And as such, anything that keeps him from darkening the halls of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue again is almost certainly an improvement.

Maureen Dowd: Irish Eyes Aren’t Smiling

Ireland had a harsh abortion law, shaped by the views of the Catholic Church. The Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution, added in 1983, gave fetuses rights equal to the mother’s, ensuring abortion would be illegal, even in cases of rape or incest. Anyone getting the procedure or buying abortion pills online faced up to 14 years in prison. Women were forced to sneak out of the country and go to London if they wanted abortions. Some women went to loan sharks to get the money to travel.

In 2018, a referendum on repealing the Eighth Amendment roiled Ireland with turbulent arguments on a subject that had been subterranean for eons. Edna O’Brien captured the tortured drama in her novel “Down by the River,” based on the sensational 1992 case of a 14-year-old who was raped by a friend’s father and became suicidal when she was barred from leaving the country to get an abortion. She later miscarried.

There was also the heart-wrenching 2012 story of Savita Halappanavar, who rushed to a Galway hospital in distress the day after her baby shower. She was told that her 17-week-old fetus was going to die. As she went into septic shock, she begged the medical team to remove the fetus and save her life. One midwife coldly reminded her that she was in “a Catholic country.” She died after her stillborn infant. The horror of that case galvanized the Emerald Isle.

I felt grateful as I covered the referendum, which passed resoundingly, that I lived in a more enlightened America, which had long had the protection of Roe.

Now I am back and stunned that Ireland and the United States have traded places. Ireland leaped into modernity, rejecting religious reactionaries’ insistence on controlling women’s bodies. America lurched backward, ruled by religious reactionaries’ insistence on controlling women’s bodies.

Once, Ireland seemed obsessed with punishing women. Now it’s America. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/16/opinion/ireland-abortion-roe.html

Asawin Suebsaeng & Adam Rawnsley: ‘I Keep Waiting for the Feds to Come’: The Jan. 6 Investigations Have Trumpworld on Edge

After a jaw-dropping Jan. 6 committee hearing and a string of aggressive moves by the Biden Justice Department, Donald Trump’s associates are realizing what the ex-president can’t admit: The dual investigations into the efforts to overturn the 2020 election are far more than show trials — and there may be serious legal consequences for the people involved.

“I keep waiting for the feds to come raid my shit,” says a current close adviser to former President Trump, who was also intimately involved in the effort to overturn the 2020 election results. This person spoke on the condition of anonymity to candidly address their ongoing anxieties. “I’m not sure how high on the food chain the Department of Justice considers me, but it wouldn’t be the most out-of-the-blue thing if I … got subpoenaed or served a search warrant.”

Some of Trump lawyers past and present, as well as some of his administration’s legal brass, are acknowledging that the hearings are showing just how much Trump and his cronies opened themselves up for potential charges. “I do think criminal prosecutions are possible. Whether they are advisable is a more difficult consideration for the country,” says Ty Cobb, a former top attorney in the Trump White House. “Possible for Trump and Meadows certainly. And for the others, including lawyers, who engaged fraudulently in formal proceedings or investigations.” https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/jan6-hearing-congress-trump-justice-department-1376063/