Friday Open Thread

Good Morning!!

I’m going to do a somewhat minimal post today. Three days in a row is a bit much for me.

Dakinikat is doing OK, but it looks like most of New Orleans is still waiting for power to be restored. LIST: Entergy released estimated restoration time for all of New Orleans area.

More power has been restored to the New Orleans area after Hurricane Ida caused widespread damage to the power grid.

As of Friday morning, Entergy restored power to more than 40,000 customers.

Entergy provided an update Thursday where officials said all damage assessments will be completed by Thursday night. So far, crews have identified 837 poles, 288 transformers, and 564 crossarms that need to be repaired, according to Entergy.

Entergy released the following information on restoration times:

“The estimated times of completed restoration come after an extensive damage assessment by thousands of workers, which has thus far revealed more than 14,000 damaged or destroyed poles, 2,223 damaged or destroyed transformers, and 155 destroyed transmission structures.

“The assessment continues in the most damaged areas, but in parallel, the restoration process is well underway. Thus, the preliminary estimates for restoration reflect completion dates, but service to many customers will be restored before these dates. Nearly 26,000 professionals from 40 states continue their around-the-clock efforts to restore power throughout the affected communities.

Hurricane Ida was quite a storm.

Even after devastating Louisiana and Mississippi, it was still raging enough to cause deadly floods in New Jersey and New York, and after that had enough strength left to dump several inches of rain in Massachusetts with a tornado on the Cape and flooding in lots of places. We got about 6 inches of rain where I am. I didn’t know this before, but one 1 inch of rain is equivalent of 13 inches of snow!

The New York Times: 43 Die as Deadliest Storm Since Sandy Devastates the Northeast.

The New York Times: Trapped in Basements and Cars, They Lost Their Lives in Savage Storm.

The Washington Post: Here’s what made the New York City flooding so devastating.

NBC 10 Boston: Ida Remnants Cause Tornado on Cape Cod, Bring Flooding, Power Outages to Mass.

The New York Times: Overlapping Disasters Expose Harsh Climate Reality: The U.S. Is Not Ready.

Parents whose children were murdered Newtown, CT years are ago are still being tortured.

This is horrific. Vice: Remington Subpoenas Report Cards of 5 Children Killed in Sandy Hook Shooting.

Gun company Remington has subpoenaed the report cards, attendance records, and disciplinary records of five kindergarten and first grade students murdered in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, according to new court filings in a civil lawsuit filed against the company.

“In mid-July, the defense served a subpoena on the Newtown Public School District seeking: ‘Any and all educational records in your possession including but not limited to, application and admission paperwork, attendance records, transcripts, report cards, disciplinary records, correspondence and any and all other educational information and records pertaining to’ each of the five first-graders whose Estates are plaintiffs in this case,” according to the motion filed today that sought to protect the victims’ families from further subpoenas. “There is no conceivable way that these [records] will assist Remington in its defense, and the plaintiffs do not understand why Remington would invade the families’ privacy with such a request. Nonetheless, this personal and private information has been produced to Remington.”

In addition, Remington subpoenaed employment records of four teachers who were killed in the shooting, in which a total of 20 children and six adults died. Some of the parents of the Sandy Hook victims have been suing the weapons manufacturer since 2014, alleging that the gun manufacturer advertised its line of semi-automatic weapons to civilians. Remington previously responded to a discovery request for its internal company communications by producing more than 18,000 unsorted files containing memes, cartoons, and ice bucket challenge videos.

“We have no explanation for why Remington subpoenaed the Newtown Public School District to obtain the kindergarten and first grade academic, attendance and disciplinary records of these five school children,” Josh Koskoff, one of the lawyers representing the Sandy Hook parents, told Motherboard. “The records cannot possibly excuse Remington’s egregious marketing conduct, or be of any assistance in estimating the catastrophic damages in this case. The only relevant part of their attendance records is that they were at their desks on December 14, 2012.”

More stories and tweets:

Local DeSantis considers implementing a Texas’ ‘fetal heartbeat’ abortion ban in Florida.

MIAMI – Gov. Ron DeSantis said on Thursday that he is going to consider following in the steps of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to implement anti-abortion laws. Abbott’s new controversial law prohibits abortions when the fetal heartbeat can be detected.

During a news conference to address early COVID treatment, DeSantis said he is pro-life and welcomes anti-abortion legislation. He said Texas used a “private right of action,” a private-lawsuit enforcement mechanism.

“What they did in Texas is interesting and I haven’t really been able to look at enough about it … It’s a little bit different than how a lot of these debates have gone, so we will have to look. I am going to look more significantly at it,” DeSantis said.

Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson expects Republicans to introduce a similar bill for the next session. This would allow anti-abortion group members to file lawsuits against a medical provider that performs an abortion.

Imani Gandy at Rewire News Group: Groundbreaking South Carolina Bill: Compensate People for Forcing Them to Give Birth.

If South Carolina lawmakers are going to ban abortion after six weeks’ gestation and force every pregnant person to carry their pregnancy to term, the state should damn well pay for the costs associated with giving birth to and raising that child.

That’s the premise behind a bill called the South Carolina Pro Birth Accountability Act that state Sen. Mia McLeod pre-filed Wednesday, and boy howdy!—it is a barn burner.

The bill, SB 928, demands that anti-choice lawmakers in South Carolina who have proposed banning abortion at six weeks into pregnancy put their money where their mouth is: If lawmakers are going to force people to carry their pregnancies to term, and if they are going to deem the development of an unborn embryo as more important than the life and rights of pregnant people, then South Carolina should compensate them for acting as a gestational surrogate for the state of South Carolina.

The law points out that given the surrogacy market, a pregnant person’s uterus is not unlike a rental property: People who commission surrogates pay that surrogate to carry a fetus to term and to give birth to a child. So why should South Carolina be permitted to force its citizens to act as surrogates for the state without compensating them?

According to SB 928, South Carolina shouldn’t, and the legislation hammers this point home by making several key points:

  • That from a medical perspective, there is no dispute that a six-week-old embryo cannot exist outside of the womb;
  • That South Carolina has deemed the development of a six-week old embryo governmentally more important than the life and rights of pregnant people; and
  • That the six-week ban will force pregnant people who otherwise could have elected an abortion to act as a gestational surrogate for the state of South Carolina, which—and this is my favorite part—cannot itself physically conceive or carry a child.

And here’s the kicker: “just as South Carolina may not constitutionally use a citizen’s rental property without just compensation, it may not constitutionally require a woman to incubate a child without appropriate compensation.”

That’s about all I have energy for this morning. What stories are you following?

28 Comments on “Friday Open Thread”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Have a nice weekend!!

    • Beata says:

      Take care of yourself, BB. Thank you for all your hard work (Dak and JJ too). I read the posts and comments here every day.

    • djmm says:

      This was a splendid post — not minimal at all!! Thank you for doing it!

      The Remington request sounds bizarre to me. Only the attendance records for the day of the massacre might be relevant. I hope they produced the records under a confidentiality order — otherwise, the parents might be bombarded by crazies that obtain the records.

  2. MsMass says:

    Here’s some brave women, my heart goes out to them.
    Now to inspire the brave women of America to protest the American Taliban, that would be the Republican Taliban.

    • quixote says:

      My jaw dropped when I saw that. They could be tortured and killed for that simple walk, and still they rise.

      Bravery beyond measure.

  3. dakinikat says:

    HI! thanks bb for all you’re doing to keep up with things! I’m probably back on Tuesday! I’m sitting here in the rec center charging up everything! The internet is down except when I set up a hot spot and it’s supposed to be all free until the 5th and electricity is the 8th. Anyway, I’m doing fine albeit it gets really hot. I’m glad for my time in the rec center where I can enjoy AC, hot food, and electricity. The SPCA has shown up with food and things for pets which is night. I kinda avoid the Salvation Army who wants to pray over you for a bit of food. Not really worth the grief!

    Anyway, I miss you all! I’m trying to post pics and updates on Facebook so you can check in with me there!

  4. Enheduanna says:

    Dak, if you have access to ice and a battery-powered fan (small one preferred) you can put together a makeshift air conditioner:

    Nothing worse than excessive heat – especially for sleeping. Hope things cool down at night at least.

  5. NW Luna says:

    Does Imani Gandy think “woman” and “women” are dirty words? In her article, instead of using the word for adult human female(s), she uses, in order:


    and only in the last sentence:

    This is no different than Republicans’ use of “host body.”

    • bostonboomer says:

      I didn’t notice that.

    • NW Luna says:

      Apparently using specific language which refers to biological reality is “cruelty.” (boggle) Who needs Republicans when leftists are erasing women already?

    • quixote says:

      Yeah. That glaring use of “people” was like being slapped with a dead fish for me too.

      Plus the gallows humor of how unignorant and uncruel it is to erase women while you’re all about validating a few XY people.

      All that aside though, I wonder if that usage might finally force people to visualise women when they hear the word “people.” Something like 80% of men visualise men, and I think it’s much the same for women. Very hard to visualise a pregnant-people-man though.

      • djmm says:

        On a visceral level, it comes across as an erasure of women to me.

        Maybe I could use the phrase, “women and women who are transitioning to men (or other genders) who can still get pregnant, some of whom do not want to be called “women”. Or “WaWWATtM(OOG)WCSGP, SOWDNWtbCW” for short. Because, ordinarily, women, some of them very young, are the only people who get pregnant.

        I did see an Aussie movie based on a Heinlein short story, where (spoiler alert) an orphan young lady with two sets of sexual organs gave birth to a child, which was stolen, and the birth damaged her, so they transitioned her to a functioning man. He went back in time, had sex with him/herself and fathered the child, which was returned to the orphanage at an earlier time and grew up to be it’s own mother and father.

        But, you know, that was sci-fi.

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      I’ve had a migraine for over 24 hours now, but I have to reply to this and the other comments regarding the use of people/persons…they are those who can conceive and carry a pregnancy… whatever they want to call and/or identify themselves as is not up to us to decide. Using the term people or person is being respectful of whoever is reading the article.

      The bottom line is this law is atrocious and seems like the beginning of the end for safe legal abortion…right now we need to be getting our shit together to fight for our/your/mine/theirs constitutional rights.

      • NW Luna says:

        JJ, I’m sorry that you have a migraine.

        People can identify as unicorns or whatever they want, but it is indeed up to me to decide that I’m not going to go along with their beliefs, especially when those beliefs are contrary to fact. Same as when a pope or prophet says he’s the infallible voice of a god. Nope, I’m not going to respect that.

        Men getting plastic surgery, taking exogenous hormones, wearing skirts and makeup aren’t women. They’re presenting as a stereotype of women. The same goes for women presenting as a stereotype of men. I have no problem with their presenting as whatever they want as long as they don’t insult my intelligence and expect me to call them what they’re not.

        No one will compel how I speak.

        Identities don’t get pregnant. Bodies do. And only women’s bodies can get pregnant.

        • Minkoff Minx says:

          Fair enough Luna…💜

          • quixote says:

            Another aspect of it is that self-ID takes away the right of the group involved to ID, if you see what I mean. Blacks, American Indians, Jewish people, everybody, gets to decide who they accept into the definition of their group. Except women.

            Women are such a huge group, that subgroups could easily have different delimitations. But that doesn’t let people off respecting the boundaries they want to have. Just as you or I wouldn’t crash a trans group if not invited.