Throughout the Jan. 6 committee’s hearings, former President Donald Trump has maintained his spiteful brand of slamming anyone who dares go against him. He stayed the course following Tuesday’s hearing in which former Mark Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified about Trump’s involvement in the violent insurrection that inspired the committee’s investigation in the first place. Among the standout details of Trump’s behavior on Jan. 6? The president had a full-blown tantrum while in one of the presidential vehicles, screaming expletives at his staff over their refusal to get him to the Capitol. At one point, Trump grabbed the steering wheel of the vehicle and even tried to assault a Secret Service member.
He wasn’t done taking out his rage and even threw a cheeseburger at the wall of the West Wing, its ketchup grotesquely dripping down until some lowly staffer cleaned up Trump’s mess. Thanks to Truth Social, Trump is free to throw the same type of fits on social media. There is no clean-up crew, though there are plenty of positive comments from members who are so far gone in MAGA-Land that they support Trump supporting their own calls to hang Make Pence. Truly, it’s a love-fest on that platform, as you can see from the more than a dozen “truths” or posts Trump sent in the wake of the hearing concluding.
Trump plays the hits with his predictable attacks against Hutchinson.
Trump claimed not to know Hutchinson, though her office when she worked under Meadows was a 10-second walk from the Oval Office. He slammed her firing his hand-picked attorney and replacing him with an ally of Jeff Sessions. He even claimed that Hutchinson was a bullshit artist, a phony, and was unstable because of her handwriting. The handwriting was visible in a note displayed as evidence during the hearing. Hutchinson took down statements from Meadows’ on his own stationary the night of Jan. 6, in which the former Trump Chief of Staff called for a statement to be put out condemning the illegal actions of the insurrectionists storming the Capitol. That statement was ultimately never given. But Trump’s criticism sure is rich given his signature looks like an EKG, he’s sleazier than a used-car salesman, and his lying is so legendary that entire fact-checking teams have formed just to monitor his outbursts.
It also hurts Trump’s non-existent credibility in claiming he didn’t melt down by being unable to lead his own attempted coup. There is nothing more believable to me than Trump being driven around like a screaming toddler in an attempt to soothe his horrid temperament nor is it at all surprising that the White House continued to work around the president instead of alongside him as he issued statement after tweet after statement condemning Vice President Mike Pence, whom he secretly said “deserved” to be hanged after catching wind his own followers were chanting, “Hang Mike Pence!” Even the cheeseburger detail adds up given Trump’s own penchant for overdone meat with ketchup on it. In taking to Truth Social to speak his piece, Trump is only further digging his own grave.Read More
The culture war raged most hotly from the ’70s to the next century’s ’20s. It polarized American society, dividing men from women, rural from urban, religious from secular, Anglo-Americans from more recent immigrant groups. At length, but only after a titanic constitutional struggle, the rural and religious side of the culture imposed its will on the urban and secular side. A decisive victory had been won, or so it seemed.
The culture war I’m talking about is the culture war over alcohol prohibition.
It took 14 years, but public opinion turned so viciously against Prohibition that a Constitutional Amendment was passed to make sure rural Christianists could no longer attempt such an outrage. And this was booze, not a core freedom to keep medical decisions private between patients and their doctors.
Kerry Eleveld and I will discuss this thermonuclear political bomb, dropped months before a critical election that will determine whether we survive as a functioning democracy. We’re already seeing generic congressional ballot polling shifting in the Democrats’ direction, and hints of renewed activation amongst our core base.
You can watch the show live right here on Tuesdays at 1:30 PM PT/4:30 PM ET, while the podcast version goes live Wednesday mornings at all the usual places, including Apple Podcasts and Spotify. A full list of places to download the show is available here.
We have so much to discuss. I’ve written about how midterm elections go to the party out of power. But what happens when the majority power is so objectively and viscerally disenfranchised? Kerry has been tracking the shifting polls (more here), and talking about privacy as a core Democratic value in the battle for public opinion.
Like Prohibition a century ago, big-government conservative theocrats have imposed their radical, unpopular agenda on the rest of the nation. Let’s hope history repeats itself, but let’s do it in less than 14 years, please. Winning in November would be a big first step toward reversing this travesty.Read More
On Tuesday, Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, provided the committee with testimony that was absolutely jaw-dropping. During her relatively brief appearance, Hutchinson recounted how:
Trump tried to keep his followers from being scanned for weapons.
Trump physically assaulted a member of his security detail in an effort to force the presidential limousine to go to the Capitol, where the crowd had already broken through police lines.
Trump approved of the crowd’s call to “hang Mike Pence.”
Everything pointed to Trump wanting to personally lead the assault on the joint meeting of Congress from the steps of the Capitol. It was testimony that should shake even Trump’s most fervent supporters.
But as the committee hearing was wrapping up, Rep. Liz Cheney interrupted the closing moments with her own version of “Just one more thing.” That thing? Evidence that members of Trump’s team had attempted to intimidate witnesses appearing before the committee and attempting to suborn false testimony.
When Cheney leaned into the microphone for a final statement, she made it clear there was yet another bombshell coming in a day that had already left craters across everything Trump. That final salvo turned out to be evidence that Trump. or someone close to him, has been attempting to engage in witness intimidation.
First message displaying attempt at witness intimidation
Second message displaying clear attempt at witness intimidation
If all this sounds like the most blatant, least subtle, absolutely obvious attempt to say, “You better clam up if you know what’s good for you,” there is something else it sounds like: It sounds exactly like the way Trump has always spoken to his employees at Trump Corporation.
As former Trump attorney Michael Cohen explained in his 2019 testimony, this baldfaced intimidation is absolutely classic Trump.
Sign the petition: Don’t let the Jan. 6 Committee’s work go to waste. DOJ must investigate and prosecute Donald Trump.Read More
Former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson delivered bombshell testimony to the Jan. 6 committee Tuesday afternoon, in particular confirming in graphic detail that Donald Trump was glad to hear his supporters chanting “Hang Mike Pence” as they attacked the U.S. Capitol.
In a video recording of an earlier interview with the committee, Hutchinson was shown describing her boss, then-Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, discussing the “Hang Mike Pence” chants of the Capitol insurrectionists with then-White House Counsel Pat Cipollone.
“I remember Pat saying something to the effect of, ‘Mark, we need to do something more, they’re literally calling for the vice president to be f’ing hung,’” Hutchinson said, “and Mark had responded something to the effect of, ‘You heard him, Pat, he thinks Mike deserves it, he doesn’t think they’re doing anything wrong.’ To which Pat said something, ‘This is f’ing crazy, we need to be doing something more.’”
Committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney segued out of that video, saying, “Let me pause here on this point. As the rioters chanted ‘Hang Mike Pence,’ the president of the United States, Donald Trump, said that, quote, ‘Mike deserves it,’ and that those rioters were not doing anything wrong.”
Cheney went on to air a clip of a Trump interview with ABC News’ Jonathan Karl, in which he responded to a question specifically about the “Hang Mike Pence” chants by saying:
“Because it’s—it’s common sense, Jon, it’s common sense, that you’re supposed to protect. How can you—if you know a vote is fraudulent, right—how can you pass on a fraudulent vote to Congress?”
Trump’s pivot away from the chant to his anger at Pence showed that, yes, he supported those chants. As did his 2:24 PM tweet on Jan. 6, next flagged by Cheney:
“Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!”
But while both of these earlier public statements from Trump told anyone who was willing to hear it what they needed to know about his response, there were still people out there—prominent people—giving Trump the benefit of the doubt on his response to “Hang Mike Pence.” Hutchinson’s testimony has to pull some of those people off the fence of denial.
Donald Trump didn’t think the mob violently attacking the U.S. Capitol was doing anything wrong, even when they expressed a desire to murder his own second-in-command, a man who had spent more than four years lavishly tongue-bathing him, because on this one thing Pence had reluctantly concluded he had to follow the law rather than Trump’s wishes. Hutchinson’s account of the conversation between Meadows and Cipollone shows how explicit Trump’s reaction was—it might have been thinly veiled when he talked to Karl, but it wasn’t when he talked to his top aides in the moment—and the degree to which everyone around him knew it.
Sign the petition: Don’t let the Jan. 6 Committee’s work go to waste. DOJ must investigate and prosecute Donald Trump.Read More
In some of the most astounding testimony produced so far in the public hearings concerning Jan. 6, Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testified to how everyone involved—from Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy to White House attorney Pat Cipollone—worked to keep Donald Trump from joining in the riot already underway outside the Capitol. In spite of this, Trump reportedly insisted on going, and even attempted to grab the wheel of the presidential limousine and assault security chief Robert Engel in an effort to make the Secret Service take him to the Capitol, where members of the Proud Boys had already led the crowd through police lines.
As he was leaving the rally at the Ellipse, Trump reportedly instructed Engel, the head of his security detail, to take him to the Capitol. When Trump got into the limo, he had reportedly been told by Meadows that they were going to the Capitol, but Engel told him it wasn’t a secure location and they would instead would go back to the White House. Trump had a “strong, very angry” response to this. When Hutchinson returned to the White House, she was told what happened next by White House chief of operations Anthony Ornato.
Hutchinson: “The president said something to the effect of, ‘I’m the f’ing president, take me up to the Capitol now!’ To which Bobby responded, ‘Sir, we have to go back to the West Wing.’ The president reached up to the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel. Mr. Engel grabbed his arm and said, ‘Sir, you need to take your hand off the steering wheel. We’re going back to the West Wing, we’re not going to the Capitol.’ Mr. Trump then used his free hand to lunge toward Bobby Engel. And when Mr. Ornoto told the story to me, he motioned toward his clavicle.”
Throughout her testimony, Hutchinson made it clear that others were aware that Trump appearing at the Capitol would be seen as a signal authorizing the assault on Congress. Hutchinson reported that Cipollone had visited with her before Trump’s speech, begging for her to make sure he did not go, and that Kevin McCarthy had called her backstage at the rally, angered that Trump was still telling the crowd to march on the Capitol and that he would join them here.
Previous testimony indicated that Alex Jones and members of the Proud Boys had called on the crowd to move to the east side of the Capitol, where they claimed that “Trump would join them” to deliver another speech. Everything in Hutchinson’s testimony indicates that this was absolutely Trump’s plan. Even as they were leaving the rally, Trump still fully intended to go to the Capitol and personally lead the attack.
The testimony reporting that Trump planned to go to the Capitol followed earlier testimony from Hutchinson in which she said that Trump wanted magnetic metal detectors (aka “mags”) taken down so that his supporters could go armed, because they were there to support him.
Hutchinson: “I overheard the president say something to the effect of, ‘You know, I don’t f-ing care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me. Take the f-ing mags away. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here. Let the people in. Take the f-ing mags away.”
Everything about this testimony invites further questioning—of Meadows, of Ornato, of Engel, and of just how it was that Jones and the Proud Boys seemed to be aware of Trump’s plan. Which certainly now appears to have included personally leading an armed insurrection from the steps of the Capitol.
Sign the petition: Don’t let the Jan. 6 Committee’s work go to waste. DOJ must investigate and prosecute Donald Trump.Read More
The Jan. 6 committee hosts its sixth public hearing Tuesday, a decision that arived at the 11th hour in large part due to security threats posed to the day’s chief witness: Cassidy Hutchinson.
Hutchinson once served as an aide to former President Donald Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows. This position permitted a unique vantage point into the happenings inside the Trump White House and, the committee argues, it has been her cooperation that has better illuminated how the 45th president and his allies in Congress rallied behind a bid to usurp the will of millions of voters and overturn the results of the 2020 election.
The former White House aide has testified that at least six Republican lawmakers sought pardons from Trump before and after Jan. 6 in hopes of avoiding any possible criminal charges they might face later. And she has offered some—albeit scant—details on an advance warning of violence that Meadows received from the Secret Service a few days before the Capitol assault.
Her testimony will unfold live Tuesday and a stream is available below. Additional hearings are to come in July, but an exact schedule has yet to be announced.
Aide with info on pardons, Trump overturn scheme set to testify before Jan. 6 committee
Hutchinson’s testimony has been major and paints a bleak picture of how close Trump came to wreaking even further chaos at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
The major takeaways from the first hour of today’s hearing have been the moment Hutchinson described a temper tantrum Trump had as he and members of his security team and staff sped away from the Ellipse. Security sought to take him back to the White House but Trump wasn’t having it.
The former president was insistent on going to the Capitol, having told his supporters during his hourlong speech littered with threatening language just moments before that he would join them there and that they should “fight” to secure his victory.
Huge takeaways from the 1st hour of today’s public hearing per witness testimony: Frmr Pres. Trump was aware the mob had weapons and encouraged they be ushered past security measures like magnetometers so he could get a photo op of the crowd appearing as large as possible— Brandi Buchman (@Brandi_Buchman) June 28, 2022
Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022 · 6:17:31 PM +00:00 · April Siese
Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022 · 6:17:40 PM +00:00 · April Siese
Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022 · 6:17:49 PM +00:00 · April Siese
Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022 · 6:17:57 PM +00:00 · April Siese
Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022 · 6:27:55 PM +00:00 · April Siese
During Tuesday’s hearing, Cheney played footage showing her questioning Mike Flynn on whether the violence on Jan. 6 was justified and whether he believed in a peaceful transition of power. The former general and former Trump security advisor pleaded the Fifth throughout his questioning.
Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022 · 6:34:40 PM +00:00 · Brandi Buchman
Meadows had to be ‘snapped out of it,” according to Hutchinson as the rioters got closer. But he was non responsive and instead sought out a phone call with Rep. Jim Jordan:
Meadows was sitting on his couch on his phone as the rioters got closer to Cap. Hutchinson asked Meadows if he was watching the TV? He says, yeah. She says rioters are close. Have you talked to Trump Meadows says no Trump wants to be alone right now— Brandi Buchman (@Brandi_Buchman) June 28, 2022
Meadows said all right, I’ll give him a call. Pat Cipollone tells Meadows, Trump must do something the rioters are going to get in. Meadows said, Trump doesn’t want to do anything Cipollone says its getting out of control and tells Meadows the blood will be on his hands.— Brandi Buchman (@Brandi_Buchman) June 28, 2022
Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022 · 6:35:06 PM +00:00 · Brandi Buchman
Pat is saying to Meadows, they’re literally calling for the vice president to be f-ing hung. You heard him Pat, he thinks Mike deserves it and he doesn’t think they’re doing anything wrong. Cipollone says, this is f-ing crazy.— Brandi Buchman (@Brandi_Buchman) June 28, 2022
Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022 · 6:49:52 PM +00:00 · April Siese
We see a note written by Hutchinson on Jan. 6. Meadows and WH counsel Herschmann wanted this to be the statement that went out during the siege. It never went out. Meadows told her further action was not necessary pic.twitter.com/ZsItRPa48Q— Brandi Buchman (@Brandi_Buchman) June 28, 2022
Hutchinson described how the note dictated by Meadows included condemning the actions of insurrectionists as illegal and “without proper authority.” Ultimately, the statement never went out.
Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022 · 6:57:21 PM +00:00 · Brandi Buchman
As today’s hearing comes to a close and Meadows’ former aide has appeared to tie Trump inarguably to the attack on the U.S. Capitol and a direct failure to quell the violence when given the chance, we also learn from investigators that witnesses have been pressured by the former president before they appear.
Cheney says while the cmte has seen many witnesses, incl. many Republicans testify fully, they’ve rec’d evidence of a disturbing practice: Former colleagues try to contact witnesses to influence their testimony. Here’s one witness stmt: In effect, Trump is watching them. Always. pic.twitter.com/RFz3iWx62m— Brandi Buchman (@Brandi_Buchman) June 28, 2022Read More
Claimed Ukrainian tank kills per day:
June 27: 20
June 26: 21
June 24: 4
June 23: 3
June 22: 8
June 21: 0
June 20: 19
June 19: 9
June 18: 3
If you keep going back, you’ll see that zero to nine is about the usual range, with a few bigger days here and there, like June 20. I don’t recall ever seeing two 20+ tank days in a row.
Now, it’s reasonable to suspect these numbers. Combatants have an incentive to exaggerate the losses of their enemy. If you asked Russia, they’ve destroyed more tanks than Ukraine had at the beginning of the war, three times over. It’s hilarious. Ukraine’s numbers are more reasonable, but there’s no way to confirm. For context, Ukraine claims 1,440 total tank kills. Oryx’s list of visually confirmed kills puts the number at 789, and the guy is on vacation without updates for the past week. So we can confirm 55% to 60% of Ukraine’s claims, which is actually quite remarkable. It lends some credence to the numbers. So assuming we can at least trust the trends, what’s going on these past two days? Combat isn’t any heavier than it has been for the past two weeks. Those lower numbers from previous days make sense given the current shape of combat operations: 1) Russia reduces ground to rubble, 2) Russia sends infantry to see if anything is left. If they die, then go back to one—otherwise, 3) proceed to next objective. There is zero “maneuver combat” in which armor columns face off against each other in open combat.
On the southern fronts—Kherson and southern Donbas—counterattacking Ukrainian forces are assaulting prepared entrenched defensive positions and Russian artillery, so again, little chance to destroy Russian armor. In that kind of environment, it makes sense that few Russian tanks meet their demise. The ones that do, more often than not, are hit by Ukrainian artillery.
#Ukraine: A Russian T-72B-series tank was destroyed by Ukrainian indirect fire in the East. It is claimed M777 155mm artillery was used. pic.twitter.com/3y6gQKxd0E— 🇺🇦 Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) June 26, 2022
Needless to say, artillery isn’t the most efficient way to kill tanks.
So if the shape of combat operations hasn’t changed these last two days (i.e., we haven’t seen the emergence of new maneuver combat), and the intensity remains the same, where did those 41 new claimed tank kills come from?
Ukraine ain’t specifying, but I bet it has something to do with Ukraine’s targeting of Russian supply and command-and-control centers. With the arrival of HIMARS long-range rocket artillery, Ukraine appears happy to blow through its remaining supply of Tochka-U ballistic missiles. Between those two systems, Ukraine has made short work of Russian depots, giving us spectacular pyrotechnic displays. (Click the link above for many examples.)
One of the fires was so dramatic that it was initially thought to have caused a secondary fire 10 kilometers away.
Today’s Sentinel satellite imagery shows massive fires all around the targeted ammunition dump. Fires, likely started by a secondary explosion, can be seen up to 10 km around the targeted facility. Impressive image. https://t.co/aKnW7ZSe07 pic.twitter.com/zBPSjSm9uh— Benjamin Pittet (@COUPSURE) June 27, 2022
Yet as the Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) crew dug in, they made a surprising discovery:
[email protected] shared an image of the base taken today at 10.53 UTC. I made a GIF with both images, it looks like the base was totally destroyed. https://t.co/bA7aTvMeGA pic.twitter.com/ARxKmp8omT— Benjamin Pittet (@COUPSURE) June 27, 2022
“Totally destroyed” is an understatement. What was once a series of roads, buildings, vehicles, and emplacements is now literally a dirt pit.
Click here (48.550551, 39.002990) for a Google Earth view of the location before Russia set up shop—you can see the dirt roads and plenty of shrubbery that no longer exists. This spot is about 65 kilometers (about 40 miles) from Ukrainian territory, well within HIMARS’ 85-kilometer range.
These strikes wouldn’t have provided the dramatic light and sound shows like the nearby ammo depot. This is near a small hamlet, not a major city, making it less likely to deliver cellphone footage from the locals. And since HIMARS is operating at night, any cell phone footage would merely be flashes of lights with no hope of geolocation. And while the ammo depot burned all day, leaving a smoke trail over 100 kilometers long, vehicles wouldn’t smolder much past morning.
Had this one OSINT guy not dug into those curious fires near a major depot strike, we would’ve never known this base even existed. Yet Ukraine knew the base existed and what was parked there. Their drones and access to military-grade satellite imagery would assure that. So while we may not have the evidence (yet) to tally whatever was destroyed at that site, Ukraine would know, and add them to their public tally.
Meanwhile, this guy apparently has insight into what was happening on the other side of the HIMARS delivery. (“ZSU” is Ukrainian army. This is from Russian Telegram.)
A message by some user “Don’t Make the Russian Bear Angry”: “ZSU guys, bastards, have delivered the first 80 km strike using the US MLRS M142 HiMARS. Many warriors of ours were killed, i have no words. God, what for?” – No reason, just for fun of course. pic.twitter.com/yMn0GCTTjc— English Luhansk (@loogunda) June 27, 2022
What possible reason, indeed? Has to be sadistic “fun,” can’t be anything else. Why would “warriors” be struck in the middle of a war?
I’m really coming up empty here, guys …
Large shopping mall in Kremenchuk with hundreds of civilians inside has been hit by a Russian strike. Russia is a disgrace to humanity and it must face consequences. The response should be more heavy arms for Ukraine, more sanctions on Russia, and more businesses leaving Russia. pic.twitter.com/Uvi6fbyShK— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) June 27, 2022
That mall was hit midday to maximize the number of civilian deaths. If Russia really thought it was a military facility, it would’ve struck at night, when vehicles would be stored for the night with soldiers sleeping near them.
Russia wanted to kill as many civilians as possible. They are terrorists.
That alone is good reason to strike Russian forces behind the front lines, and it’s just one of thousands of similar reasons.
Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022 · 6:23:12 PM +00:00
BREAKING: Turkey satisfied with Sweden, Finland response in NATO talks. Turkey is likely to give the two countries the green light to join NATO. 🇸🇪🇫🇮🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/VGZD0j6EqJ— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) June 28, 2022Read More
Across the country, the horrific news of the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturning Roe v. Wade has resulted in distress, protests, and shock. However, while most Americans are mourning the loss of reproductive health rights, some are celebrating the end of the federal constitutional right to an abortion.
Of course, at the front lines of the celebration is Fox News, which published a piece by Republican Sen. Josh Hawley’s wife, Erin Hawley, headlined: “Why Supreme Court abortion decision empowers women.”
“This case finally reverses Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision in which seven male justices put forth a dim view of motherhood, saying it ‘forced’ on women ‘a distressful life and future.’ All mothers know that’s a demeaning and untrue picture,” Erin wrote.
She continued, using religion as a reason as well. “We know that life begins at conception. And at just fifteen weeks, when Mississippi’s Gestational Age Act applies, a baby can move and stretch, hiccup, and quite likely feel pain … the Lord gives different callings to women – each of them glorifying to him. In my case, a calling first and foremost to my family.”
Erin’s presence in the political field goes beyond being married to Josh Hawley. Not only are both of them strongly against abortion, but Erin helped shape the arguments in the Mississippi case. According to Axios, Erin Hawley serves as senior counsel to the appellate team at the Christian legal advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom. She is also a legal fellow with the Independent Women’s Law Center and clerked for Chief Justice John Roberts in 2007.
In addition to her op-ed published in Fox News, Erin Hawley joined Fox News anchor Trace Gallagher Friday to not only hate on former President Barack Obama, but continue her false claims that abortion actually empowers women.
“As the court’s decision lays out so eloquently, there was never a right to an abortion in the Constitution. And moreover, this decision doesn’t take rights away from women. It allows states to protect the unborn—and also to empower women,” Erin said.
Trust us, it’s really a good thing for women. pic.twitter.com/De4LZVQe4A— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) June 27, 2022
But despite successfully overturning Roe v. Wade, Republicans are not stopping the battle on abortion. In conversation with MSNBC host Katy Tur during a segment, former chairman of the Republican National Committee Michael Steele confirmed fears that the Republican Party would move to ban abortion if they retook Congress.
“Senator Chris Murphy said that if Republicans are able to retake the House and Senate, they will pass a federal ban on abortion. Do believe that would happen?” Tur asked.
“Yes. Without hesitation. They will set the marker.”
“Will they overturn the filibuster to do it?” Tur asked.
“Absolutely,” Steele replied without hesitation. “Because it’s in their base’s interest to do so. That’s the difference politically between the two parties. Republicans will go, ‘Oh, yeah, the Constitution and the filibuster, all the tradition, the sanctity of the Senate.’ They don’t give a rat’s patootie about that when it’s the bottom line in politics and power.”
He continued: “So absolutely, a national ban on abortion will be one of the first pieces of legislation probably next to impeaching Joe Biden.” Steele was the chairman of the RNC between 2009 and 2011.
“@ChrisMurphyCT said that if Republicans are able to retake the House and Senate, they will pass a federal ban on abortion. Do you believe that would happen?”@MichaelSteele: “Yes.”@KatyTurNBC: “Will they overturn the filibuster to do it?” FORMER RNC CHAIR: “Absolutely.” pic.twitter.com/6AjDPw6nch— Will Ragland (@citizenwillis) June 27, 2022
The news isn’t surprising. Immediately after Roe v. Wade was overturned, Republicans across the country, including former Vice President Mike Pence, called for a national abortion ban.
“Having been given this second chance for Life, we must not rest and must not relent until the sanctity of life is restored to the center of American law in every state in the land,” Pence said in a statement.
Several states have passed abortion bans that have either gone immediately into effect or will do so within the month following Friday’s ruling. If Republicans take back control of Congress in the 2022 midterms, passing a ban by lifting the filibuster is possible as Steele predicts, but it would likely face a White House veto.
Add your name: I support people seeking abortions, abortion funds, and abortion providers.Read More
The end of abortion rights for huge swaths of America is going to have an “enormous” impact on the economy, the experts say, and not in a good way. “This decision will cause immediate economic pain in 26 states where abortion bans are most likely and where people already face lower wages, less worker power, and limited access to health care,” Heidi Shierholz, president of the Economic Policy Institute, said in a statement released Friday. “The fall of Roe will be an additional economic barricade.”
It’s not hard to figure out why. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen spelled it out for the Senate Banking Committee last month. “Roe v. Wade and access to reproductive health care, including abortion, helped lead to increased labor force participation,” Yellen said. “It enabled many women to finish school. That increased their earning potential.” It also provided an educated, motivated chunk of the workforce.
A number of blue states are banking on large businesses recognizing all of that. While blue states are seeking to become safe havens for people who need abortions, they are also seeking to become safe havens for companies who want to protect—and keep—their valuable workforce. At a news conference Friday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom along with other state officials detailed what the state has done so far to protect abortion rights, and promised: “I will be signing over a dozen of pieces of legislation in a matter of weeks that will codify our values.” That includes incentives for businesses to either return to California or set up shop there anew.
Contribute now to support abortion funds providing financial assistance to people seeking abortion care.
“We’ve got your back, but come back,” Newsom said. “Some of you may have left the state, come on back. Some businesses may have left, come on back. It’s a point of pride that we welcome you back, we want to celebrate that we have you back.” The state’s 2023 budget, which will be enacted this week, already includes incentives for businesses to relocate from states that don’t protect abortion and LGBTQ rights.
Connecticut’s Gov. Ned Lamont issued a similar appeal last year, when the writing was on the wall with the Supreme Court. “We don’t have oil and natural gas, but we have one of the most productive, best trained, most innovative workforces in the world. And that starts with the fact that we have more women participating in our workforce than just about anywhere else,” he said in a September video. “Look, any of you business owners thinking about making a move—give me a call.”
Plenty of companies have promised that they’ll make sure their employees can travel if necessary to get abortions, including Starbucks, Tesla, Yelp, Airbnb, Netflix, Patagonia, DoorDash, JPMorgan Chase, Levi Strauss & Co. and Reddit. For those employees, however, actual relocation to a safe state is a better bet. They’d not just get abortion protections, but likely would get stronger worker protections all the way around.
Kate Bahn, one of the economists who signed an amicus brief in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization wrote about that for MSNBC. “Bodily autonomy interacts with self-determination across society, including the economy,” she said. “When workers of any gender don’t have a voice or control over their lives, they are disempowered in the labor market, too—and this can have a negative effect on the American economy writ-large.”
An economy where workers don’t have power is also one rife with market failures. Declining worker power has exacerbated – https://equitablegrowth.org/kate-bahn-testimony-before-the-select-committee-on-economic-disparity-and-fairness-in-growth-on-imbalance-of-power/ – monopsony -, where workers are paid less than the value they create. This then distorts the economy, as it suffers from deadweight loss and operates under its potential. In this way, giving workers more power over their lives and jobs is corrective; when the economy is balanced to give workers more power, economic outcomes improve.
The effect is already in play in the U.S. Pre-pandemic, Brookings Institute -surveyed the economies of congressional districts from 2008-2018, and found that “red and blue America experiencing two different economies, but those economies are diverging fast.” It wasn’t looking good for red America.
In personal, household income, Democratic districts saw an increase from $54,000 in 2008 to $61,000 in 2018 while income level in Republicans districts actually declined over the decades, from $55,000 to $53,000. That’s a result of “eye-popping shifts in economic performance. Democratic-voting districts have seen their GDP per seat grow by a third since 2008, from $35.7 billion to $48.5 billion a seat, whereas Republican districts saw their output slightly decline from $33.2 billion to $32.6 billion.”
The pandemic has caused disruption in that, definitely, but likely not at the foundations. It makes good sense for companies who care about economic performance and a solid economic environment in which to operate to think about relocating to states that aren’t in economic decline. That’s setting aside any moral obligation they have to their workforce.
But it also means they’re operating in a national economy where the declining states have all the political power, thanks to 50 years of concerted effort by Republicans to cheat their way into power. So they could get a Supreme Court to do what they just did.
Republican minority rule has killed Roe. 5 of the 6 GOP-appointed justices were confirmed by senates where the GOP majority won fewer votes & represented fewer people than the Dem minority. 3 were also appointed by a president who lost the popular vote.https://t.co/H7iqVmtltk https://t.co/ia8eWo3EWi pic.twitter.com/dCV85F5wAm— Stephen Wolf (@PoliticsWolf) June 24, 2022
Economic warfare might be the only way to avoid a shooting civil war—corporate America deciding that a stable economy and a stable workforce are more important to their long-term prospects than tax cuts. That’s what states like California and Connecticut and Illinois and New Jersey are hoping with their efforts.
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In the days since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, abortion providers have taken the fight to the states, where reproductive rights will now be determined. They’ve had early wins in Louisiana and Utah, where judges temporarily blocked statewide bans from going into effect.
Providers in Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Texas have filed similar lawsuits and are seeking injunctions. With help from the federal courts all but off the table, lawyers are looking at state constitutions and state court decisions to find protections.
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The effort to prevent pre-Roe abortion bans from being enforced in Texas is at least temporarily successful, with a state court blocking enforcement. But again, the Texas six-week ban with vigilante enforcement is still in effect.
In Louisiana, Hope Medical Group for Women argued in its lawsuit that the state’s trigger laws (which got their needed trigger with the Supreme Court decision) “lack constitutionally required safeguards to prevent arbitrary enforcement.” Orleans Parish Civil District Court Judge Robin Giarrusso issued a temporary restraining order allowing abortions to resume in the state.
Third District Judge Andrew Stone granted an injunction in Utah, acknowledging that the case would be appealed to the Utah Court of Appeals or Utah Supreme Court.
In Mississippi, providers are suing, emphaziing a 1998 state Supreme Court decision said that abortion rights are protected in the state constitution. If upheld, that would supersede the state’s 2007 trigger law.
“The Mississippi Supreme Court’s 1998 decision interpreting the Mississippi Constitution exists completely independent of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions about the federal Constitution. It is binding precedent.” Rob McDuff of the Mississippi Center for Justice, an attorney on the 1998 lawsuit, told Mississippi Today. “As confirmed by the Mississippi Supreme Court in that case, the decision about whether and when to have children belongs to individuals and families, not to the state’s politicians.”
According to that court’s decision, “The right to privacy in article III, § 32, of the Mississippi Constitution encompasses the right to autonomous bodily integrity. The right to choose to have an abortion, like many other medical procedures, is included in the right to autonomous bodily integrity. While we do not find the Mississippi Constitution to provide an explicit right to an abortion, abortion is protected within the penumbras of the right to privacy.”
Texas still has its six-week abortion ban in place, but additionally a trigger law banning all abortions—passed last year in anticipation of the Supreme Court doing what it just did—is set to go into effect 30 days after the Supreme Court’s decision, and in the meantime, long-indicted state Attorney General Ken Paxton has said that the state would enforce a pre-Roe abortion ban still on the books. Providers in the state are challenging enforcement of old laws in court, trying to eke out at least a little more time for even the limited possibilities under the SB 8 vigilante law.
This is how it goes at this point: Patient advocates look for any angle to knock down one state law, or postpone it going into effect, or carve out a loophole. Anything to reduce the human suffering that is going to result from abortion bans, from the increase in maternal mortality (particularly for Black women) to widespread economic hardship, with damage not just to those who need abortions for unplanned pregnancies or because of fetal anomalies, but also to those with ectopic pregnancies and in need of miscarriage care.
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Ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage are bad enough. Abortion bans make them worse
‘A ban on abortion increases maternal mortality by 21% … Black women face a 33% increase’Read More