Posted: May 10, 2022 Filed under: just because
William Merritt Chase, Afternoon by the Sea
Chris Coons, so-called Democratic Senator from Delaware, worked with Texas Senator John Cornyn to introduce a bill to protect the families of Supreme Court justices from scary peaceful demonstrations against their efforts to turn American women into broodmares. Coons could be working to protect women from Republicans who want them to loose their constitutional rights, but apparently that’s not important to him.
The Hill: Senate passes security bill for Supreme Court family members.
The Senate on Monday easily cleared a bill to extend security protections to the immediate family members of Supreme Court justices.
The bill — spearheaded by Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) — passed the Senate by unanimous consent, meaning all 100 senators had to sign off in order for it to pass without a formal vote.
It still now heads to the House for passage.
“Threats to the physical safety of Supreme Court Justices and their families are disgraceful, and attempts to intimidate and influence the independence of our judiciary cannot be tolerated,” Cornyn said in a statement.
“I’m glad the Senate quickly approved this measure to extend Supreme Court police protection to family members, and the House must take up and pass it immediately,” he added.
Coons, in a statement, said that he was “glad to see this bipartisan bill unanimously pass the Senate in order to extend security protection to the families of Supreme Court members.”
Have there been “threats to the physical safety” of SCOTUS justices and their families? I haven’t seen it reported in the media. It seems to me that the people whose physical safety is threatened are women of childbearing age and their families. Apparently not. WTF?!
Chris Coons on getting rid the filibuster and reaction after SCOTUS leak at Raw Story:
After supporting Harry Reid’s filibuster reform as a freshman senator, Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) later wished he could take it back. But there are no take backs in Congress.
“I have come over time to regret…changing the rules,” Coons told his colleagues from the Senate floor back in 2017, right before McConnell and Republicans followed Democrat’s lead and destroyed the filibuster so they could swiftly seat Neil Gorsuch on the court.
Last week, after the leak-heard-round-the-world, Coons rebuffed Raw Story’s question about filibuster reform, regret, and Roe v. Wade.
“I’m sorry. I’m out of energy. I’m out of time. I’m tired. Leave me alone,” Coons said.
Fuck you Coons!! And this guy is supposedly close to President Biden.
Here are the scary protesters on Sam Alito’s street.
Catherine Rampell usually writes about economic issues, but today she has a column on abortion rights.
The Washington Post: These GOP politicians aren’t pro-life. They’re pro-forced birth.
Republican politicians working to overturn Roe v. Wade say they are pro-life and antiabortion. In fact, they are neither. What they are is pro-forced birth.
This distinction is about more than semantics. These officials have drawn a clear line, as evidenced by policies they’ve adopted in conjunction with their opposition to Roe. GOP-led states are making choices, today, that increase the chances of unplanned pregnancies and, therefore, demand for abortions; their choices also limit access to health care and other critical programs for new moms, endangering the lives and welfare of mothers and their children.
Mother and Child, Mary Cassatt
It was a Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks that has set the stage for the Supreme Court to roll back nearly 50 years of reproductive rights. If the court does overturn Roe, as a leakeddraft decision suggests it soon will, another Mississippi law would automatically “trigger,” banning nearly all abortions.
Some residents who find themselves with an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy might be able to leave the state to seek an abortion. But others without the means to travel or take time off from work will be forced to give birth. And in Mississippi, that is an unusually dangerous undertaking.
Here’s why that is:
The United States has the highest maternal death rate in the developed world; Mississippi has one of the higher maternal death rates within the United States. The odds are worse for Black women, whose risk of death related to pregnancy and childbirth are nearly triple those for White women in the state.
Mississippi also has the country’s highest infant mortality and child poverty rates.
Mississippi’s legislature recently considered whether to extend Medicaid postpartum coverage from 60 days to a full year after birth, as federal law newly allows states to do. If you care about the lives of new moms (and, by extension, their kids), this is a no-brainer. Roughly 6 in 10 births in the state are covered by Medicaid; 86 percent of the state’s maternal deaths occur postpartum. Pregnancy and delivery raise the risk of many health complications, including infections, blood clots, high blood pressure, heart conditions and postpartum depression. Giving low-income moms access to health care a full year after birth would save lives.
But Mississippi’s Republican leadership rejected the proposal. Not because the state lacks the funds (which would be partly covered by the federal government); one thing state pols did manage to get through this session was the state’s largest-ever tax cut.
Janet Yellen has weighed in on the abortion issue.
Politico: Yellen: Banning abortion would be ‘very damaging’ to U.S. economy.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Tuesday argued that banning abortion would be “very damaging” for the economy by reducing women’s ability to balance their careers and their families.
“I believe that eliminating the right of women to make decisions about when and whether to have children would have very damaging effects on the economy and would set women back decades,” she said in response to a question at a Senate Banking Committee hearing.
In her comments, Yellen said the 1973 ruling helped allow women to finish school and increase their earning potential, leading to higher participation in the workforce.
Research also shows that it had a favorable impact on the well-being and earnings of children,” she said. “There are many research studies that have been done over the years looking at the economic impacts of access or lack thereof to abortion, and it makes clear that denying women access to abortion increases their odds of living in poverty or need for public assistance.”
According to a new poll by Yahoo News/YouGov: Confidence in Supreme Court has collapsed since conservatives took control.
A new Yahoo News/YouGov poll shows that Americans’ confidence in the U.S. Supreme Court has collapsed over the last 20 months — a period that began with former President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans installing a 6-3 conservative majority ahead of the 2020 election and culminated last week with the leak of a draft opinion signaling that five GOP-appointed justices plan to overturn Roe v. Wade.
The last time Yahoo News/YouGov asked about confidence in the court was in September 2020, a few days after liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died and a few days before Trump nominated conservative jurist Amy Coney Barrett to replace her.
Back then, 70% of registered voters said they had either “some” (50%) or “a lot” (20%) of confidence in the court, and 30% said they had either “a little” (23%) or “none” (7%).
But the new survey of 1,577 U.S. adults, which was conducted immediately after the leak, found that registered voters have swung from mostly having confidence in the Supreme Court — by a colossal 40-point margin — to being evenly split on the question.
Today, just half of voters still express some (37%) or a lot (14%) of confidence in the court, while the other half now expresses either a little (24%) or none (26%).
And among all Americans — as opposed to just registered voters — most (53%) now say they have either no confidence in the Supreme Court (28%) or only a little (25%).
Mother and Child, Pablo Picasso
As usual, Trump’s negative influence on U.S. politics is in news. A journalist whose family arrived in Nebraska in 1856 weighs in on the damage Trump has done to the state.
Ted Genaways at The New York Times: How Trump Helped Transform Nebraska Into a Toxic Political Wasteland.
LINCOLN, Neb. — In the old days, Charles W. Herbster, a cattle baron and bull semen tycoon who used his fortune and influence to get into Donald Trump’s good graces, almost certainly would have been forced to pull out of Nebraska’s Republican primary for governor by now. In recent weeks, eight women, including a state senator, have come forward to allege that Mr. Herbster groped them at various Republican events or at beauty pageants at which he was a judge.
But this is post-shame, post-“Access Hollywood” America, so Mr. Trump traveled to Nebraska last week for a rally at the I-80 Speedway between Lincoln and Omaha to show his continued support for Mr. Herbster. “He is innocent of these despicable charges,” Mr. Trump said. And Mr. Herbster, in true Trump fashion, has not only denied the allegations but also filed a defamation suit against one of his accusers and started running a television ad suggesting that the claims are part of a political conspiracy.
Mr. Herbster sees conspiracies everywhere — conspiracies to destroy him, conspiracies to undermine Mr. Trump, conspiracies to unravel the very fabric of the nation. “This country is in a war within the borders of the country,” he told the crowd at the Starlite Event Center in Wahoo on Thursday, a few days before Tuesday’s primary election. Over more than an hour, Mr. Herbster, dressed in his trademark cowboy hat and vest, unspooled a complex and meandering tale of the threat to America, interspersed with labyrinthine personal yarns and long diatribes about taxes.
It was convoluted but (as best I can understand) goes something like this: The coronavirus was manufactured in a lab in China and released into the United States in early 2020 by “illegals” from Mexico who were also smuggling Chinese-made fentanyl across the border. One of the smugglers, he said, had enough fentanyl in a single backpack to kill the entire population of Nebraska and South Dakota. The goal of this two-pronged attack, he explained, was to create a panic, stoked by Facebook and $400 million of Mark Zuckerberg’s money, to justify allowing voting by mail. Then, through unspecified means, the Chinese government used those mail-in ballots to steal the election — though Mr. Herbster hates that word. “They didn’t ‘steal’ it,” he told the crowd, his finger raised. “Do not use that terminology. They did not ‘steal’ it. They rigged it.”
Read more at the NYT link.
Woman and child on the balcony, Berthe Morisot
Former acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper is still making the rounds to sell his book. Here are his latest revelations about Trump.
Business Insider: Trump wanted to court-martial the retired Navy SEAL who led the bin Laden raid for criticizing him, former defense chief says.
Former President Donald Trump wanted to take the extraordinary step of reactivating retired US Navy Adm. William McRaven so that he could court-martial the former Navy SEAL commander for criticizing him, Trump’s former Pentagon chief claims in his new book.
Former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper writes that he and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, had to talk then-President Trump out of a plan to recall both retired US Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal and McRaven to active duty as a way to open the two former senior military officers up to court-martial proceedings.
“Doing this ‘will backfire on you, Mr. President,’ we said,” Esper wrote of a May 2020 meeting in his book, “A Sacred Oath: Memoirs of a Secretary of Defense During Extraordinary Times,” which is out today.
Trump told Esper and Milley that McRaven and McChrystal were “so disloyal” because of what he thought they were doing and had said about him. Esper writes that Trump “was spun up” by media stories in Breitbart claiming that McChrystal was advising Democrats on how to use artificial intelligence to “track down and counter Trump supporters.”
Also from Business Insider: Trump was the ‘biggest leaker of all’ in his administration and it was ‘generally bad’ for the country, his former Pentagon chief says.
Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper in his new book said that “leaks were a chronic problem” in the Trump administration and former President Donald Trump was the “biggest leaker of all.”
“The individual motivations for the leaks ranged from advancing a preferred policy outcome to enhancing the leaker’s own role or credentials to currying favor with the president. It was a noxious behavior learned from the top. The president was the biggest leaker of all. It turned colleague against colleague, department against department, and it was generally bad for the administration and the country,” Esper wrote in “A Sacred Oath: Memoirs of a Secretary of Defense During Extraordinary Times.”
Esper said the leaks “damaged trust” and made people “far more reluctant to speak up and share their views.”
“Nobody wanted to see their name in the morning news, especially when the words were so often twisted, misinterpreted, and taken out of context,” he added. “In the Trump administration, this could get you blacklisted or fired.”
One more Trump-related story from The Daily Beast: OAN Finally Admits ‘No Widespread Voter Fraud’ After Settling Defamation Suit.
The right-wing cable network One America News Network on Monday ran a pre-recorded 30-second segment acknowledging that there was “no widespread voter fraud” by Georgia election workers in the 2020 presidential election. The segment appears to be part of a recent settlement relating to a defamation lawsuit brought against the network by two such workers.
The segment notes that an investigation by state officials into unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud made by ex-President Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani turned up nothing. “The results of this investigation indicate that Ruby Freeman and Wandrea ‘Shaye’ Moss did not engage in ballot fraud or criminal misconduct,” a narrator states.
“A legal matter with this network and the two election workers has been resolved to the mutual satisfaction of the parties through a fair and reasonable settlement,” the voiceover adds.
Mother and children, William-Adolphe Bouguereau
Freeman and her daughter, Moss, say they were harassed online and in person after baseless rumors began circulating online, due in part to content published by the conspiracy website The Gateway Pundit, which the pair also sued.
In January 2021, when Trump pressured Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to try to “find” votes to overturn the state’s election results, he mentioned Freeman’s name 18 times. Freeman was also visited by a publicist for Kanye West, who threatened her in an effort to extract a confession about committing election fraud.
And if that weren’t enough, video of the pair doing their jobs was hyped up by Rudy Giuliani—and Sean Hannity—who falsely claimed that it showed “blatant, clear, obvious” fraud. While speaking to Georgia State House Republicans about the video during a Zoom meeting in December 2020, Giuliani at one point can be heard saying, “We should try to get this on Newsmax and OANN.”
Freeman and Moss sued Giuliani as well, and that case is ongoing.
That’s it for me. What stories are you following today?