A South Carolina woman “was arrested earlier this week and charged with performing or soliciting an abortion,” the Columbia State reports.
“The incident report says the woman told medical personnel she had taken abortion pills to end a pregnancy. State law prohibits self-medication to abort a pregnancy. The fetus was stillborn and was determined to be 25 weeks and four days, according to the incident report.”
“The nation’s second-largest pharmacy chain confirmed Thursday that it will not dispense abortion pills in several states where they remain legal — acting out of an abundance of caution amid a shifting policy landscape, threats from state officials and pressure from anti-abortion activists,” Politico reports.
“Nearly two dozen Republican state attorneys general wrote to Walgreens in February, threatening legal action if the company began distributing the drugs, which have become the nation’s most popular method for ending a pregnancy.”
At a conference today in New Delhi, Russia Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, even now the smiley face of the Russian state, was discussing the Ukraine war as the “the war which we’re trying to stop, and which was launched against us using the Ukrainian people.” The comment was met with a round of guffaws and laughter from the audience. Even in the global south it’s not playing well. See it after the jump.
Two Americans were arrested in Kansas City for allegedly sending U.S. aviation technology to Russia in violation of U.S. export controls, Reuters reports.
“A Belarusian court found Nobel Peace Prize winner Ales Bialiatski, the country’s most prominent human rights activist, guilty of smuggling and financing protests and sentenced him to 10 years in prison,” Axios reports.
“In his quest to prove the federal government has been ‘weaponized’ against conservatives, Republican House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan has touted the allegations of what he claims are ‘dozens’ of whistleblowers who have come to his office with stories of discrimination and bias,” CNN reports.
“While little is known about them, Jordan’s reliance on these whistleblowers is already emerging as an early flashpoint, with Democrats raising questions about their legitimacy as actual whistleblowers and the relevance of their testimony.”
“Three of Jordan’s witnesses have come in for private interviews with committee staff so far. None of them appear to have had their claims validated by government entities that grant federal whistleblower protection.”
New York Times: “Instead, the trio appears to be a group of aggrieved former F.B.I. officials who have trafficked in right-wing conspiracy theories, including about the Jan. 6, 2021, attack at the Capitol, and received financial support from a top ally of former President Donald Trump.”
“A newly introduced Texas House bill proposes property tax cuts for couples who get married, stay married, and have lots of children,” Rolling Stone reports.
“There’s a catch though. In order to qualify for the tax benefit, couples need to be heterosexual, never divorced, and their children born or adopted after their date of marriage. LGBTQ couples, single parents, divorced parents, and blended families will not qualify for full benefits.”
“Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has found a comfort zone as he moves closer to launching a campaign for president: America’s bluest states, where he is brawling with liberal governors and mingling with donors as he tiptoes around a direct conflict with Donald Trump,” the Washington Post reports.
“DeSantis has used his blue state trips to contrast them with Florida — using statistics that sometimes mask far more complicated debates — and present himself as a combatant against the ‘woke’ left. The arguments he has advanced serve as a foundation for the presidential campaign many expect him to launch later this year, though DeSantis has not said publicly if he is running.”
Florida state Sen. Jason Brodeur (R) wants bloggers who write about Gov. Ron DeSantis and other top officials to register with the state or face fines, WFLA reports.
Playbook: “With the veto threat off the table, expect Senate Democrats to back the resolution in big numbers when it comes to the floor as soon as next week. And expect vulnerable House Democrats who opposed the measure to face a surge of political attacks back home.”
“Meanwhile, Biden has once again made it clear that he believes criticism from the right over increases in crime is a serious vulnerability for Democrats — it drove the Dems’ House losses in New York in November — and that his party should insulate itself, even if that means violating a core principle about self-governance.”
William Saletan: “Every time one of these racially incendiary arguments comes along, the cycle repeats itself. The offender gets canceled. His opinion is dismissed as unthinkably repellent. He and his allies seize on that dismissal as evidence that the establishment is suppressing dissent. Nothing should be unthinkable, the dissenters argue. There’s some secret truth, some taboo insight, that the cancel culture is hiding from you.”
“Sorry, but there’s no great insight here. You can watch hour after hour of Adams’s livestreams, as I have, and you won’t find that nugget of forbidden truth. His reasoning is as sloppy as his research. In every way, he’s just wrong.”
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) told Hugh Hewitt that the foreperson of the Georgia special grand jury investigating Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the state’s 2020 election results “did a lot of damage” with her recent media appearances, The Hill reports.
“A senior staffer to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy met this week with Micki Witthoeft, mother of Ashli Babbitt, the woman shot and killed by police as she breached a set of doors to the Speaker’s Lobby on Jan. 6, 2021,” CBS News reports.
The Justice Department said that Donald Trump can be held liable in court for the actions of the mob that overtook the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, the Washington Post reports.
“Two officers with the U.S. Capitol Police, joined by 11 Democratic House members, are seeking to hold Trump liable for physical and psychological injuries they suffered during the riot. Trump has argued he is protected from the lawsuit by the absolute immunity conferred on a president performing his official duties.”
“One day after news networks declared President Donald Trump lost the 2020 election, his campaign had a request for the Proud Boys: Members of the extremist group should attend rallies pushing Trump’s false claim that the election was stolen — but not in their recognizable black-and-yellow gear,” the Washington Post reports.
Said Proud Boys leader Henry “Enrique” Tarrio: “The campaign asked us to not wear colors to these events.”
Michigan’s Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) was targeted last month by a “heavily armed” man who threatened injury and death to Jewish members of the state’s government, NBC News reports.
“House Democrats have experienced some growing pains as their old guard of leaders hang on, supporting their successors but also not totally letting go,” Politico reports. “Yet lawmakers insist it’s working, in its own weird way.”
Politico: “As the new Congress enters its third month, Democrats are full of bluster about their chances of recapturing the majority next year and handing Jeffries the gavel. Some lawmakers made possibly intentional verbal flubs, referring to their ‘majority’ leaders, as they talked about efforts to unite behind a winning 2024 message.”
“This year’s Baltimore gathering marked a fresh test not just for Jeffries, but for the entire new troika of leaders, including Clark and Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar (D-CA). While lawmakers wouldn’t draw direct comparisons to their former head trio, they were endlessly optimistic that the new generation of leaders would usher in a younger, more diverse and unified caucus — the last aspect essential if they want any hope of winning the House majority next year.”
Associated Press: Echoes of Pelosi as new leadership era begins for Democrats.
“Nearly three years after criminals first set their sights on the government’s generous coronavirus aid programs, President Biden on Thursday called on Congress to approve $1.6 billion to combat fraud, hoping to empower federal prosecutors and prevent such historic theft from targeting taxpayer money again,” the Washington Post reports.
“The new request for funds foreshadows the years of costly and complicated work now ahead of Washington, after malicious actors set their sights on the more than $5 trillion that lawmakers intended for workers, families and businesses amid the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.”
“Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX) is facing a censure vote this weekend from the Texas Republican Party for actions including voting in favor of a bipartisan gun-control package during the last Congress after the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, which is in his district,” the Washington Post reports.
“The state party’s expected censure would follow a similar move by a county party in Texas, which also cited Gonzales’s support for same-sex marriage legislation in the last Congress and votes against a House rules package and border legislation in this Congress.”
“The White House is giving all federal agencies 30 days to wipe TikTok off all government devices, as the Chinese-owned social media app comes under increasing scrutiny in Washington over security concerns,” the AP reports.
“A Nebraska Democrat has vowed to filibuster every bill her state Senate colleagues introduce if they support a measure that would restrict certain transition-related health care for minors,” NBC News reports.
“State Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh began to filibuster — or talking for as long as possible to stop legislation from passing — during a Senate meeting on Thursday night.”
“House and Senate leaders are intensifying pressure on the leader of the federal government’s personnel agency after two high-profile hires to senior roles were found in separate investigations to have a substantiated history of sexual misconduct in previous jobs,” the Washington Post reports.
“On Wednesday, two Senate leaders called the hiring decisions ‘particularly problematic’ in a letter to Office of Personnel Management Director Kiran Ahuja that demanded details of her agency’s vetting practices for new employees.
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