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Cup of Joe – 5/5/22

“Opponents and supporters of abortion rights had expected for months that the Supreme Court would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, but the leaked draft opinion late Monday came as if out of the blue, setting off shock, outrage and jubilation on both sides of the nation’s deeply polarized abortion debate,” the New York Times reports.

“Activists took to the streets to declare their intention to fight harder, especially over control of Congress in this year’s midterm elections. Candidates sought to raise money off the news. And in states that are poised to ban abortion or guard access to it, politicians and governors declared that they were ready to act.”

“Yet many Americans woke up stunned, not realizing — and some still not believing — that Roe and the constitutional right to an abortion that it has guaranteed for five decades could disappear within a matter of weeks.”

Washington Post: “A ruling on abortion rights could turn the campaign into a massive mobilizing effort over the issues of abortion, individual rights and the contrasting philosophies of the two major political parties.”

“Not yet 24 hours after the publication of a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that would overturn constitutional protections of abortion rights, Democrats at every level across the country were capitalizing on a potentially seismic shift in the political landscape that could upend what was to be a bloodbath of a midterm election for an otherwise disillusioned party,” NBC News reports.

“Attacks on Republican candidates are underway, as are a flurry of pleas for donations. Ads defending abortion rights are rapidly populating social media. The Democratic National Committee launched a text messaging campaign to move people to the streets, while some of the most powerful Democratic groups in the nation were huddling to reshape their messaging.”

Associated Press: Sudden abortion focus shakes midterm election landscape.

“Before Monday evening, when Politico scooped that the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling was on the verge of being overturned by the conservative majority on the Supreme Court, abortion was barely registering as a blip on the political radar,” the Punchbowl News reports.

“The big, overwhelming issues for 2022 were the economy, inflation, Covid-19, crime, immigration and Ukraine, according to numerous polls. Economic concerns – driven by soaring gas, food and housing prices – were what Americans wanted Congress and President Joe Biden to address, and Democrats were getting clobbered over their failure to do so.”

Once the Supreme Court hands down its now-expected ruling that will overturn Roe v. Wade and leave abortion rights up to the states, abortion will be banned in 23 states, per analysis by NBC News.

13 of those states have “trigger laws” that enact their bans once Roe gets struck down.

On the flip side, states like California, New York, Oregon and Washington have enshrined abortion rights into law.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) vowed during a press conference on Tuesday that the Senate will vote to codify abortion rights next week after a leaked draft of a Supreme Court majority opinion revealed that the high court is on track to strike down Roe v. Wade.

Schumer acknowledged that the vote won’t actually go anywhere, at least not where it truly matters. By his own admission, the main point would be to get every lawmaker’s stance on abortion “on record” ahead of the 2022 midterms.

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) made it clear on Tuesday that Roe’s now-inevitable demise hasn’t changed their minds about clutching onto the filibuster. And in Manchin’s case, why would it? He voted with Republicans to filibuster a bill that would’ve codified abortion rights in February, and he was the only Democrat who voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in 2018.

Axios, as helpful a resource for this kind of thing as ever, obtained talking points currently being circulated by the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) in the face of the Supreme Court being on the cusp of dismantling Roe.

One point argues that “elected officials, not unelected judges, should reflect the consensus of the people.” Hmm, okay.

Another fun part is the deliberately vague language about giving women (and other people who can give birth) “some assistance” in the adoption process that they’ll be forced to resort to (on paper) when anti-abortion conservatives get their way.

“Senate Republicans gathered behind closed doors on Tuesday afternoon for the first time since a bombshell draft Supreme Court decision that would strike down Roe v. Wade was leaked,” CNN reports.

“But rather than celebrating a milestone that most of them have spent decades trying to achieve — banning abortion — Republicans instead focused on another issue: How the document became public, underscoring the political sensitivity of their potential and long-awaited victory.”

Washington Post: Republicans reluctant to tout Roe decision they have long sought.

“For nearly half a century, Republicans have railed against ‘unelected judges’ making rulings that they claim disenfranchise voters from deciding for themselves what laws should govern hot-button issues,” the Washington Post reports.

“But since the release this week of a draft Supreme Court opinion that would overturn the long-standing constitutional right to abortion, Democrats have been the ones embracing that complaint, flipping the script as the party vents its frustration with elements of the U.S. system that have empowered a minority of the country’s voters to elect lawmakers who have successfully reshaped the high court.”

“I don’t think they were being honest. Most of them said they were going to go with past precedent and that simply wasn’t the case.”  — Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), when asked by CNN, whether Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett were truthful on respecting precedent over Roe v. Wade.

“I don’t know who did it, their motives. I don’t care what your motives were. You did a lot of damage to our country and I don’t know if we can repair this, but we’ll try.”  — Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), quoted by Politico, on the Supreme Court leak.   Lindsey Graham is suddenly concerned about not breaking norms.

“We are going back through all the things we have — we had meetings with him — to find out what he said and how it was actually presented to us.”  — Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who was lone Democrat to vote to confirm Justice Brett Kavanaugh, when asked by CNN if he believed Kavanaugh was telling truth on Roe v. Wade in 2018.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) declared that “women will remain protected here,” after a leaked draft opinion showed the Supreme Court is poised to overturn the landmark abortion rights case Roe v. Wade.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) pledged to call a special legislative session if Roe v. Wade is overturned in order to “bolster” the state’s trigger law, including helping “make sure pregnant mothers are protected from being pressured or coerced across state lines to have their babies’ lives terminated,” the Helena Independent Record reports.

“Amazon.com, the second-largest U.S. private employer, told its staff on Monday it will pay up to $4,000 in travel expenses annually for non-life threatening medical treatments including abortions,” Reuters reports.

Mark Barabak: “The Supreme Court may be arguably the country’s most important branch of government… The Supreme Court is also inarguably the least democratic of the three branches, and not just because its members enjoy lifetime tenure and never have to face voters.”

“By the narrowest of margins, five justices appear ready to overlook nearly 50 years of precedent and reverse the court’s landmark Roe vs. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide — a ruling, polls have consistently shown, favored by a majority of Americans.”

“Three of those justices were nominated by President Trump, who failed to win the popular vote. Each was then approved by a Senate that Republicans controlled, despite the fact the party has represented only a minority of the population for the past quarter-century.”

Ruth Marcus: “The court has overruled decisions before, but it has never removed an existing, established constitutional right. Now, we have every reason to believe it is prepared to do so, and in a way that would give states maximum leeway. If the draft becomes the law of the land, state legislatures will be free to restrict all abortion, in almost all circumstances.”

Bret Stephens: “A half-century is a long time. America is a different place, with most of its population born after Roe was decided. And a decision to overturn Roe — which the court seems poised to do, according to the leak of a draft of a majority opinion from Justice Samuel Alito — would do more to replicate Roe’s damage than to reverse it.”

“It would be a radical, not conservative, choice.”

“What is conservative? It is, above all, the conviction that abrupt and profound changes to established laws and common expectations are utterly destructive to respect for the law and the institutions established to uphold it — especially when those changes are instigated from above, with neither democratic consent nor broad consensus.”

“This is partly a matter of stare decisis, but not just that. As conservatives, you are philosophically bound to give considerable weight to judicial precedents, especially when they have been ratified and refined — as Roe was by the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision — over a long period. The fact that Casey somewhat altered the original scheme of Roe, a point Justice Alito makes much of in his draft opinion, doesn’t change the fact that the court broadly upheld the right to an abortion. ‘Casey is precedent on precedent,’ as Justice Kavanaugh aptly put it in his confirmation hearing.”

“The Federal Reserve approved a rare half-percentage-point interest rate increase and announced plans to shrink its $9 trillion asset portfolio starting next month in a double-barreled effort to reduce inflation that is running at a four-decade high,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The Federal Reserve is set to ratchet up on Wednesday its efforts to withdraw the unprecedented stimulus it showered on the U.S. economy after the coronavirus pandemic upended global economies two years ago,” the Wall Street Journal  reports. “Fed officials are poised to raise their benchmark rate by a half percentage point and approve plans to start shrinking their $9 trillion asset portfolio.”

“Job openings and the number of times workers quit reached the highest levels on record in March, as a shortage of available workers continued to pressure the U.S. labor market,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“President Joe Biden on Wednesday said that the federal government will pay down the national debt this quarter for the first time in six years,” ABC News reports.

“His remarks on economic growth came ahead of the Federal Reserve announcing a hike in interest rates Wednesday afternoon in an attempt to manage soaring inflation.”

Said Biden: “Bringing down the deficit is one way to ease inflationary pressures in an economy, where a consequence of a war and gas prices and oil, food, and it all – it’s just a different world right this moment because of Ukraine and Russia.”

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on Wednesday that the E.U. is proposing a ban on Russian oil imports as part of another round of sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

The crude oil supply would be phased out in six months under the proposal, according to Leyen.

All E.U. member states still need to approve the proposal, however.

An appellate court on Tuesday shot down Trump’s request to stay a New York judge’s contempt order that requires the ex-president to pay a fine of $10,000 per day until he complies with the New York state attorney general’s subpoena. Trump made the request as he appeals the contempt order.

So those $10,000 daily fines will keep racking up until Trump either complies with the order or until at least May 23, which is when the appellate court is scheduled to hold his appeals hearing.

Trump was stuck with the $80,000 in fines he owed on Tuesday as a result of the appellate court’s rejection of his request.

“The Trump family business and President Donald Trump’s 2017 inauguration committee have jointly agreed to pay $750,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by the attorney general for the District of Columbia, who claimed that the Trump International Hotel in Washington illegally received excessive payments from the inauguration committee,” the Washington Post reports.

“The settlement in the civil suit came with no admission of wrongdoing by the Trump Organization, the former president or the inaugural committee.”

“Trevor Noah joked about the event becoming a superspreader — and now the cases are rolling in,” CNN reports.

“In the days since WHCD weekend, reporters and staffers from CNN, ABC News, NBC News, CBS News, Politico, and other participating news organizations have tested positive for the virus. Most notably, ABC’s Jon Karl, who shook hands with President Biden and who sat next to Kim Kardashian, has fallen ill.”

“A top Trump political appointee delayed a report on Russian election interference in the 2020 election in a way that created the perception that intelligence was politicized, according to a new report by the Department of Homeland Security watchdog,” NBC News reports.

The probe also found that employees made changes to the analysis “that appear to be based in part on political considerations.”

“North Korea launched a ballistic missile toward its eastern waters on Wednesday, South Korean and Japanese officials said, days after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowed to speed up the development of his nuclear weapons ‘at the fastest possible pace’ and threatened to use them against rivals,” the AP reports.

“The launch, the North’s 14th round of weapons firing this year, also came six days before a new conservative South Korean president takes office for a single five-year term.”

“President Biden would be on shaky legal ground if he were to pursue broad-based student debt cancellation by executive action, President Barack Obama’s former top Education Department lawyer wrote in a legal analysis,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Using executive action to cancel debts for student borrowers without tying relief to their individual needs and using regulatory procedures would put the Biden administration at risk of having its plan overruled in court.”

President Biden attacked Donald Trump’s “Make American Great” movement as the “most extreme political organization” that has existed in recent American history, the Financial Times reports.

Eli Stokols: “That’s the most deliberate Biden has been yet in trying to define the GOP as ‘extreme’ ahead of the midterms, seizing on Rick Scott’s agenda and the Supreme Court draft overturning Roe. But he avoids saying ‘Trump,’ going instead with ‘this MAGA crowd’ and ‘my predecessor.’”

“In early 2020, many companies said the pandemic would change everything for consumers. And it did—for a while,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Now many Americans are resuming their prepandemic habits: rocking out at crowded concerts, doing deadlifts next to strangers at the gym and stocking a standard supply of toilet paper. Airlines, restaurants and child-care centers, which relied on government loans to stay afloat during Covid-19’s peak, can now hardly keep up with demand.”

“The resiliency of the American consumer has been a hallmark of modern history. After events such as Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans or the attacks of 9/11, people have shown they will snap back to doing many of their favorite things, given time. Rarely has it happened so broadly and rapidly as now, two years after a devastating global pandemic began.”

“A location data firm is selling information related to visits to clinics that provide abortions including Planned Parenthood facilities, showing where groups of people visiting the locations came from, how long they stayed there, and where they then went afterwards,” Motherboard reports.

Motherboard: “SafeGraph, a location data broker, has stopped offering data related to Planned Parenthood and other similar family planning centers after Motherboard found it was possible to buy information on how many people were visiting the facilities, where they came from, and where they went afterwards, something that experts saw as highly concerning in the wake of the Supreme Court’s potential plan to repeal Roe v. Wade.”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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