The Ledes

Wednesday, June 19, 2019.

New York Times: “David Ortiz, the former Boston Red Sox slugger, was not the intended target of a shooting in the Dominican Republic that seriously injured him last week, the authorities in the country said in a news conference Wednesday. It was a stunning revelation in a wild case that has captivated many in the baseball-crazed nation, and across the world. Jean Alain Rodríguez, the country’s top prosecutor, said Ortiz, who was shot in the back and underwent emergency surgery that night before being transported to Boston, was wearing similar clothing to a friend, Sixto David Fernandez, who was the intended target of the shooting. Fernandez was sitting at the same table as Ortiz at the Dial Bar and Lounge, a regular hangout for Ortiz in the eastern part of Santo Domingo. Rodríguez also revealed for the first time the man suspected of organizing the entire operation: It was Victor Hugo Gomez, he said, a wanted criminal in the U.S. and member of the Gulf Cartel.”

The Wires

New York Times: "... the Library of Congress has named [Joy Harjo] America’s new poet laureate. She will take over for Tracy K. Smith, who has held the position for two years.... Harjo, a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation, is the 23rd poet and first Native person to be selected for the role."

New York: "The mass of the metal 'anomaly' beneath the moon’s largest crater is five times greater than the big island of Hawaii, and according to a new study from scientists at Baylor University, it could contain metals remaining from an ancient asteroid impact, weighing in at around 4.8 quintillion pounds."

New York Times: "A skeleton in Siberia nearly 10,000 years old has yielded DNA that reveals a striking kinship to living Native Americans, scientists reported on Wednesday. The finding, published in the journal Nature, provides an important new clue to the migrations that first brought people to the Americas. 'In terms of peopling of the Americas, we have found close to the missing link,' said Eske Willerslev, a geneticist at the University of Copenhagen and a co-author of the new paper. 'It’s not the direct ancestor, but it’s extremely close.'... The DNA of [a group scientists call] the Ancient Paleo-Siberians is remarkably similar to that of Native Americans. Dr. Willerslev estimates that Native Americans can trace about two-thirds of their ancestry to these previously unknown people.”

New York Times: Navy pilots flying along the East Coast of the U.S. spotted UFOs "almost daily from the summer of 2014 to March 2015.... The sightings were reported to the Pentagon’s shadowy, little-known Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, which analyzed the radar data, video footage and accounts provided by senior officers from the Roosevelt. Luis Elizondo, a military intelligence official who ran the program until he resigned in 2017, called the sightings 'a striking series of incidents.'” In one incident, the UFO flew between two Navy jets "flying in tandem about 100 feet apart over the Atlantic east of Virginia Beach.... It looked to the pilot ... like a sphere encasing a cube."

Mrs. McCrabbie: This actually seems crazy to me:

New York Times: "A shiny stainless steel sculpture created by Jeff Koons in 1986, inspired by a child’s inflatable toy, sold at Christie’s on Wednesday night for $91.1 million with fees, breaking the record at auction for a work by a living artist, set just last November by David Hockney. Robert E. Mnuchin, an art dealer and the father of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, made the winning bid for Mr. Koons’s 1986 'Rabbit' from an aisle seat near the front of the salesroom."

Might as well just get this -- it's vintage! it's "authentic"! -- and give it pride-of-place in the front hall. Sure, visitors will think you're tasteless & nuts, but in such a vintage, authentic way.

UPDATE: (May 19): New York Times: Mnuchin would not reveal the identity of his client; i.e., the purchaser of Stainless Bunny is. During an NYT interview, "He was near tears when asked about his son Steve and refused to comment about their relationship. But friends said that he is in an impossible predicament, conflicted over his sense of duty about being a loyal father and his concern as a citizen that President Trump is bad for America."

David McCullough Is a Crap Historian. Rebecca Onion of Slate reviews his book on the history -- okay, make that "hagiographic platitudes" -- about the settlement of the Northwest Territory. "Its success (it is No. 10 on Amazon’s best-seller list for books, as of Friday) shows how big the gap between critical history and the “popular history” that makes it to best-seller lists, Costco, and Target remains.” Mrs. McC: Onion doesn't mention it, but I get the impression all the "settling" was done by men; apparently the women's tasks were of no account. Somehow I don't think most of the "ladies" sat around drinking tea & doing needlepoint in their pretty parlors.

Guardian: "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have introduced their newborn son to the world and revealed he is to be called Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. The name was announced shortly after the Queen met her eighth great-grandchild for the first time at Windsor Castle, where earlier the couple showed him off to the cameras."

Guardian: “The Duchess of Sussex has given birth to a baby son, weighing 7lbs 3oz. Mother and child were both doing well, Buckingham Palace announced. The Duke of Sussex was present for the birth, which happened at 5.26am on Monday. The child is seventh in line to the throne, and an eighth great-grandchild for the 93-year-old Queen.”

Washington Post: "Cheap Chinese caviar is flooding the U.S. market, causing prices to plummet, and with it, the product’s cachet. Wholesale prices have fallen more than 50 percent since 2012, down 13 percent just in the past year. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, the import price has gone from $850,000 per ton in January 2012 to $350,000 per ton in November 2018." Mrs. McC: This makes me very happy. I love caviar (I've only had the cheaper kind), but I seldom buy it because of the expense. I have some in the pantry now, but I'm going to check the price at the grocery store now in hopes it's something I can enjoy more often. Status symbol? I couldn't care less.

New York Times: "Pulitzer Prizes were awarded on Monday [April 15] to news organizations that uncovered instances of malfeasance and outright fraud in President Trump’s financial past, a nod to journalists’ perseverance in the face of the president’s ever-sharper attacks on a free press. The New York Times received the explanatory reporting prize for an 18-month investigation that revealed how the future president and his relatives avoided paying roughly half a billion dollars’ worth of taxes. The Wall Street Journal won the national reporting prize for disclosing clandestine payoffs by the president’s associates to two women who were said to have had affairs with Mr. Trump in the weeks before the 2016 election. The South Florida Sun Sentinel won the prize for public service, considered the most prestigious of the Pulitzers, for documenting the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. The paper’s in-depth articles revealed a series of failures by local officials and law enforcement that, the paper wrote, cost children their lives."

Saturday
May182019

The Commentariat -- May 19, 2019

Afternoon Update:

Even Computers Can Tell Trump & Kushner Might Be Crooks. David Enrich of the New York Times: "Anti-money laundering specialists at Deutsche Bank recommended in 2016 and 2017 that multiple transactions involving legal entities controlled by Donald J. Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, be reported to a federal financial-crimes watchdog. The transactions, some of which involved Mr. Trump's now-defunct foundation, set off alerts in a computer system designed to detect illicit activity, according to five current and former bank employees. Compliance staff members who then reviewed the transactions prepared so-called suspicious activity reports that they believed should be sent to a unit of the Treasury Department that polices financial crimes. But executives at Deutsche Bank, which has lent billions of dollars to the Trump and Kushner companies, rejected their employees' advice. The reports were never filed with the government.... Former Deutsche Bank employees said the decision not to report the Trump and Kushner transactions reflected the bank's generally lax approach to money laundering laws. The employees ... said it was part of a pattern of the bank's executives rejecting valid reports to protect relationships with lucrative clients."

Justin Wise of the Hill: "President Trump on Sunday ripped Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) for saying that the president had reached the 'threshold for impeachment.'... 'Never a fan of @justinamash, a total lightweight who opposes me and some of our great Republican ideas and policies just for the sake of getting his name out there through controversy,' Trump said on Twitter.... 'He would see that it was nevertheless strong on NO COLLUSION and, ultimately, NO OBSTRUCTION,' Trump said. 'Anyway, how do you Obstruct when there is no crime and, in fact, the crimes were committed by the other side? Justin is a loser who sadly plays right into our opponents hands!'" ...

... Senator Mitt Mealy-Mouth. David Beavers of Politico: "Sen. Mitt Romney on Sunday called a GOP congressman's call for impeaching ... Donald Trump 'a courageous statement' while maintaining that impeachment is not warranted based on the special counsel's report. Speaking to CNN's Jake Tapper on 'State of the Union,' Romney said, 'My own view is that Justin Amash has reached a different conclusion than I have. I respect him. I think it's a courageous statement,' the Utah Republican continued. 'But I believe that to make a case for obstruction of justice, you just don't have the elements that are evidenced in this document.'"

** Daniel Okrent, in a Washington Post op-ed: Jared "Kushner's new immigration plan, aimed at reducing immigration from specific nations through the virtual elimination of what he and others have disparaged as 'chain migration,' and the simultaneous valorization of the highly educated, is simply a version of a blatantly discriminatory effort [the aristocratic senator Henry Cabot] Lodge initiated more than a century ago.... The widening streams of emigres pouring out of the impoverished lands between the Baltic and the Mediterranean had broadened to flood stage, and Lodge determined that the best way to keep them out was to make them submit to a literacy test.... Lodge's literacy test bill passed with ease. But on President Grover Cleveland's very last day in office, he struck it down with a veto, and there were not enough votes in the Senate to override.... Only with anti-European fervor spiking on the brink of World War I, and new theories of 'racial eugenics' shaping public debate, was it finally enacted over President Woodrow Wilson's second veto, in 1917.... Jared Kushner -- and Stephen Miller and President Trump -- likely know very little about Henry Cabot Lodge. But he would be proud of them."

Bo Emerson of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "Billionaire Robert F. Smith, who received an honorary doctorate at Morehouse College's Sunday morning graduation exercises, had already announced a $1.5 million gift to the school. But during his remarks in front of the nearly 400 graduating seniors, the billionaire technology investor and philanthropist surprised some by announcing that his family was providing a grant to eliminate the student debt of the entire Class of 2019. 'This is my class,' he said, 'and I know my class will pay this forward.' The announcement elicited the biggest cheers of the morning." Mrs. McC: Yeah, I guess so. ...

~~~~~~~~~~

The Trump Scandals, Ctd.

Glenn Thrush of the New York Times: "Representative Justin Amash, an iconoclastic Republican of Michigan who has considered a run against President Trump in 2020, became the first member of his party serving in Congress to publicly suggest that the president's conduct had reached the 'threshold of impeachment.' Mr. Amash, 39, used Mr. Trump's favorite medium -- Twitter -- to join a groundswell of Democrats who have concluded that the president's behavior, including instances of potential obstruction of justice laid out in the report by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, meets the constitutional threshold of high crimes and misdemeanors. 'President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct,' Mr. Amash wrote in a series of messages after reading the redacted version of the 448-page report. Contrary to the public statements and summaries offered by Attorney General William P. Barr, 'Mueller's report reveals that President Trump engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment,' wrote Mr. Amash, who has been one of the president's most outspoken Republican critics."

By Trump Standards, A Quaint Scandal. Colby Itkowitz of the Washington Post: "Seated behind a desk on Air Force One, the presidential seal over his left shoulder, President Trump shot a short video Thursday, blasting New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's entry into the 2020 race.... Trump made the video while traveling to a fundraiser in New York.... Trump's use of taxpayer-funded transportation to post a political message raises some legal and ethics questions. But possibly the greatest crime ... is the breakdown of norms. It's entirely inappropriate, and it is against historical norms for a president to be campaigning from Air Force One,' said Paul S. Ryan ... of ... Common Cause, a nonpartisan watchdog group. 'Most presidents have had enough respect for the office to try to separate campaigning from formal duties. Donald Trump is not such a president.'" Besides being a potential campaign finance violation, "It is actually illegal under the U.S. code to use the [presidential] seal 'for the purpose of conveying, or in a manner reasonably calculated to convey, a false impression of sponsorship or approval by the Government of the United States.'" ...

     ... Mrs. Bea McCrabbie: We all know Trump is a fake president*, hence the asterisk. But -- as we find out nearly every day in one or more of a wide variety of ways -- he is so incompetent, he cannot even do a decent job of faking it.

Dahlia Lithwick of Slate: "This president is in a footrace against congressional Democrats currently seeking subpoenas, tax returns, and an unredacted Mueller report. He is in a footrace against state attorneys general seeking to forestall a pretend national emergency at the border. He is in a footrace against millions of Americans who stand to lose health insurance if the courts kill the Affordable Care Act.... And as [these cases] play out against the 2020 elections, this president is installing judges at lightning speed. He is doing that, and Senate Republicans are acceding to it, not just because he wants to turn the country into a theocracy, or a museum for lonely ethno-nationalists. He is doing it because his plan to evade judicial oversight requires that he control the refs. The faster Trump lards up the federal bench further with unqualified party operatives and loyalists, the more likely he is to draw judicial rulings in his favor. He's already bragged that he owns the Supreme Court, and that if Congress initiates impeachment proceedings he will turn there first to halt it.... With rare exceptions ... no judicial nominee is too extreme or unqualified for Senate Republicans."

Aid & Comfort to the Enemy. Frank Figliuzzi in an NBC News opinion piece: "On Monday, Attorney General William Barr, acting more like defense counsel for a cornered president than the nation's top law enforcement official, ordered a U.S. Attorney review the FBI's decision to open a counterintelligence investigation into alleged ties between Trump associates and Russia in 2016. This action, coupled with Barr's previous reckless conduct unwittingly promotes the interests of America's enemies as Barr perpetuates dangerous conspiracy theories about secret Washington cabals and FBI corruption.... When an adversary is aided in its cause by a fortuitous insider who required no energy or resources to cajole or coerce, the enemy views such serendipity as a gift. When that insider happens to be the attorney general of the United States, that gift is priceless.... Barr has become the kind of threat capable of doing severe harm; he has become a threat from within." Figliuzzi was a top FBI counterintelligence official.

Maybe the most important question to ask Bob Mueller when & if he testifies before Congress is what he thinks of Robert De Niro's impression of him:

Presidents use pardons to send messages. They recognize when a process wasn't just or when punishments were too extreme, like for some nonviolent drug cases. If this president is planning to pardon a bunch of people charged with war crimes, he will use the pardon power to send a far darker message. -- Margaret Love, former U.S. pardon attorney ...

... Pardon My War Crimes. Dave Philipps of the New York Times: "President Trump has indicated that he is considering pardons for several American military members accused or convicted of war crimes, including high-profile cases of murder, attempted murder and desecration of a corpse, according to two United States officials. The officials said that the Trump administration had made expedited requests this week for paperwork needed to pardon the troops on or around Memorial Day.... [An] official said while assembling pardon files typically takes months, the Justice Department stressed that all files would have to be complete before Memorial Day weekend, because the President planned to pardon the men then.... The fact that the requests were sent from the White House to the Justice Department, instead of the other way around, is a reversal of long-established practices.... Earlier this month, the president pardoned former Army First Lt. Michael Behenna, who had been convicted of killing an Iraqi during an interrogation in 2008."

Jacob Soboroff & Julia Ainsley of NBC News: "The Trump administration has identified at least 1,712 migrant children it may have separated from their parents in addition to those separated under the 'zero tolerance' policy, according to court transcripts of a Friday hearing. U.S. District Court Judge Dana Sabraw ordered the Trump administration to identify children separated before the zero tolerance policy went into effect in May 2018, resulting in the separation of over 2,800 children. Sabraw previously ordered those migrant families to be reunited, but the additional children were identified more recently when the Inspector General for Health and Human Services estimated 'thousands more' may have been separated before the policy was officially underway. Other potentially separated migrant children could still be identified. The government has reviewed the files of 4,108 children out of 50,000 so far." ...

     ... Mrs. McCrabbie: FedEx & even the U.S. Post Office keep better track of packages in transit than the DHS does of real, live human beings. Maybe they should have slapped shipping labels on these kids. What an unconscionable disgrace.

Rachel Frazin of the Hill: "U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) does not plan to send migrant families to Florida after reports about a Trump administration proposal resulted in backlash from local and state officials this week. A CBP official told The Hill on Saturday that the administration is not looking at transporting family units to Florida 'at this time' but said officials were looking at housing migrants in other areas across the country." See related story in yesterday's Commentariat.

Annals of "Journalism," Ha Ha Ha. Kevin Poulsen of the Daily Beast: "Founded and helmed by 77-year-old circuit-board millionaire Robert Herring Sr., [One America News Network] launched in 2013 as an answer to the chatty, opinionated content of mainstream cable news channels -- and a place for viewers too conservative for Fox News. Under Herring's direction the network embraced Trumpism enthusiastically starting in 2016, and in recent months the once-obscure cable news channel has been basking in a surge of attention from Donald Trump.... The segments, the interviews, the words the anchors are speaking and even the crawl at the bottom of the screen are a slurry of fake news mixed with genuine reporting; internet conspiracy theories blended with far-right rhetoric and drizzled with undiluted Kremlin propaganda." And it's a horrible place to work.

Presidential Race 2020

Maggie Astor of the New York Times: "Responding to a series of highly restrictive abortion laws aimed at overturning Roe v. Wade, several Democratic presidential candidates have called on Congress to codify abortion rights, signaling a newly aggressive approach in a debate whose terms have long been set by conservatives. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey was first out of the gate on Wednesday, telling BuzzFeed News that if elected president, he would pursue legislation to guarantee abortion rights nationwide, superseding state restrictions, even if the Supreme Court overturned Roe. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York promised the same on Thursday, and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts came forward Friday morning with a more detailed plan. The three senators also called for repealing the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding for abortions."

Jeff Toobin: "The human costs of these new [anti-abortion] laws can scarcely be overstated. Laws have never stopped women from getting abortions; indeed, the abortion rate in countries that ban the procedure is about the same as it is in countries that allow it. But, by driving the practice underground, the new laws will increase the danger to women's health." Toobin demonstrates that the Supremes are likely to overturn Roe. First, they can't possibly hedge of the new Alabama law: "The Alabama legislators wrote their statute in a way that will make it impossible for the Justices to uphold it while still pretending that Roe is good law." Second, "Just last week, in Franchise Tax Board of California v. Hyatt, the Court's five conservatives gave a stark preview of how they regard precedents with which they disagree." ...

... ** Rebecca Traister of New York writes about why women are enraged & who deserve to be hoisted on the blunt points of that rage. And no, it isn't just the white GOP men who explain that women still are legally allowed tol get abortions before they find out they're pregnant. ...

... Carliss Chatman, in a Washington Post op-ed, argues that when a state grants full "personhood" to a fetus, the state also should give that fetus all the legal protections & benefits a "real person" gets: child support, for instance, citizenship (no deportation), a Social Security number (and benefits).

Beyond the Beltway

Georgia. Prosecutorial Discretion. Jennifer Bellamy of WXIA-TV Atlanta: "District attorneys across metro Atlanta have said they would not prosecute a woman for seeking out an abortion in Georgia under the new 'heartbeat' law, which would criminalize abortion after six weeks -- when a fetal pulse is detected. Questions about the legality of the bill have been swift from the medical and legal community about how the law would be enforced.... The Fulton County District Attorney's Office said it has no plans to prosecute women under the new law. That extends to doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers as well. He intends to follow the Roe v. Wade decision.... The same is true in Gwinnett[, Cobb and DeKalb] Count[ies]."

Way Beyond

Australia. Damien Cave of the New York Times: "Scott Morrison, Australia's conservative prime minister, scored a surprise victory in federal elections on Saturday, propelled by a populist wave -- the 'quiet Australians,' he termed it -- resembling the force that has upended politics in the United States, Britain and beyond. The win stunned Australian election analysts -- polls had pointed to a loss for Mr. Morrison's coalition for months. But in the end, the prime minister confounded expectations suggesting that the country was ready for a change in course after six years of tumultuous leadership under the conservative political coalition."

Austria. Katrin Bennhold & Christopher Schuetze of the New York Times: "Austria's chancellor called on Saturday for snap elections after the country's far-right vice chancellor resigned over a secretly filmed video from 2017 that renewed questions about whether Russia had a direct line into a government at the heart of Europe. The video showed Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache of the far-right Freedom Party promising government contracts to a woman claiming to be the niece of a Russian oligarch." ...

... Matthew Karnitschnig, in Politico, puts it more bluntly: "Turns out Russian collusion isn't a 'witch hunt hoax' after all. At least not in Austria. The country's government collapsed on Saturday after Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said he was pulling the plug on his ruling coalition after just 17 months in office. The move came barely 24 hours after the release of a bombshell video showing Heinz-Christian Strache, the far-right leader of his junior coalition partner, trying to trade public contracts for party donations from a woman he believed to be the wealthy niece of a Russian oligarch." ...

     ... Mrs. McCrabbie: You might think an incriminating videotape would be the coup de grâce we need here, but we already have more than one: Trump's asking Russia to find Hillary Clinton's e-mails (hackers went after them within five hours of the ask); Trump's telling Lester Holt he fired Comey because of the Rusher thing (and -- though no video, telling Russian diplomats the pressure was off once he fired Comey); Trump's, at Helsinki, telling the world he believed Putin's claim (over U.S. intelligence) that Russian government operatives didn't interfere in the 2016 election.

Reader Comments (7)

Perhaps the element in Alabama's new anti-woman law that people find most repellent is that it lacks exceptions for cases of rape or incest. But I'm not too impressed with those rape & incest exceptions that show up in other draconian anti-woman laws.

Incest does present a particular problem inasmuch as children born to closely-related parents have a greater risk of birth defects. However, I'm guessing that the real reason for the incest exception is that the old white guy who write these bills imagine that incest is most likely to occur between & father, uncle or other older relative with a young, inexperienced and "innocent" girl rather than the consensual sex that may occur between siblings or cousins.

Of course in the case of rape, by definition, sex is not consensual. Indeed, the whole idea of statutory rape -- when a girl is too young to give informed consent -- and the more recent concept of date rape -- when a woman gives her consent to socialize or to engage in sexual activity short of coitus -- are based on the view that consent is essential to "culpability."

Ergo, the exceptions for rape & incest in anti-woman laws. The obvious implication of these exceptions is that a woman is not "responsible" for having non-consensual sex & therefore should not have to "pay" for it by bringing a pregnancy to term. This is morally obtuse. It emanates from the notion that the only purpose of sex is procreation. Even married couples who have an unwanted pregnancy must "pay" under this standard: if they didn't want a child, they should have abstained or "been more careful." The same prejudice is, of course, doubly true for women who have sex outside of marriage.

Today, we do have a number of ways to "be more careful," but that assumes we have the means & opportunity to "be careful," an assumption that is hardly always consistent with the circumstances.

All anti-abortion laws are designed to punish women for having sex for pleasure. Those that include the rape & incest exceptions do so explicitly.

May 19, 2019 | Registered CommenterMrs. Bea McCrabbie

Possibly due to the fact that my email address is relatively sex type neutral, I have suddenly been flooded with email advertisements for ED meds and various techniques to remain "harder, firmer, longer."
This makes me wonder if these latest, most terribly misogynistic laws against abortion come from somewhere very primitive in men:
women can enjoy sex and many enjoy the capacity for multiple orgasms; and while many men enjoy sex well enough, men generally need time between orgasms if they even are able to experience orgasms at all within a short amount of time. This can make men both awed and frightened by women's "insatiability." I suppose a few of these men would feel threatened by this seeming "power" of women.
In other words, it's entirely possible that this spate of hate has absolutely nothing to do with christianist beliefs about the sanctity of life, and everything to do with a realization that what these men believe is the most powerful part of their anatomy is nothing compared to what a woman can experience without trying too hard.
That must make them want to punish women, for sure.

May 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria

The Trump initiative to pardon war criminals is not a coincidence. It plays into his longtime effort to depict himself as a tough, manly man, not the cowardly traitor that he is, who excused himself from service via the sleazy fake story of phantom bone spurs, a supposed disability that has never impacted his ability to play golf. But Trump, in addition to being a traitor and a coward, is a bully and a hate filled racist. I will bet that not a single war criminal being readied for a pardon from the king killed or tortured white Christians. As long as they are only guilty of murdering dirty brown Muslims, that’s all Trump needs. This likely makes them heroes in his view.

On a daily basis, he demonstrates what a horrible monster he is.

May 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

@Marie: and another thing––something I asked about the other day: If, as some states have done or will do, make it doubly difficult to get birth control would that include prophylactics for males? Again–-all about power. It's extraordinary isn't it? Make abortion illegal and prevent or make it difficult to get the pills to prevent a pregnancy.

More women need to come out with their stories like Nevada Assemblywoman, Lucy Flores, who in 2013 testified to her colleagues that she was one of seven sisters not to have to have had a baby in her teens. Why? "Because at sixteen I got an abortion." She added that she did not regret it because "I am here making a difference." And I could add a multitude of other reasons.

Recall that Hillary Clinton's characterization of abortion was " a sad, even tragic choice." Or John Kerry's vow to make it "the rarest thing in the world." Both of these highly calibrated remarks were made in 2008. I'm hoping the Democratic hopefuls for 2020 will not be this timid or averse to the facts. (I'm being kind here with my hopeful sentence–-my fury about this I'm trying to keep in check–-it's Sunday, for Pete sake.)

There is a shooting range nestled in a tree laded field about three miles from our home. We hear on occasion the gun shots, accelerated especially after major shootings in this country or others. Yesterday we heard a different kind of noise–-machine guns–-ALL morning long. So one has to ask WHY? With news full of China, vaginas, and Iran, perhaps these shooters are getting ready for a showdown somewhere at sometime soon––at noon with a Gary Cooper-look-alike branishing his shiny object. And all the people will shout, "the Trumpeteers are coming, the Trumpeteers are coming! and the leader of the pack is our very own Attorney General on a horse of a different color.

Praise Jesus !

May 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

If the percentage of kids separated by the Trump administration were to remain the same for the rest the 50K that are being checked it would mean that 20k kids were separated before the policy even went into effect. Twenty Thousand kids that were taken from their families and then glossed over by our government. And where are they now?

May 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRAS

Evidently Balz had a deadline for an article, and this is the best, ummm the worst he could come up with. Pathetic.

"Nos. 44 and 45 broke the mold. What does that mean for the future of the presidency? a WAPO piece by Dan Balz " What an insult to Obama. "

May 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMAG

@MAG: Yeah, and I saw the byline, the headline, and that's as far as I got. Since I didn't bother to read Balz's premise, I never did find out what it was about Obama that "broke the mold." I considered him to be conventional to a fault -- too conventional. So could the mold-breaking thing be that he was black-black-blackity-black-black? Is the original mold designed for vanilla only? or what?

UPDATE: Holy crap! I just read a blurb of Balz's story on another site, & sure enough, that jerk actually did write that Obama's race is what "broke the mold." Thanks for putting racism on the front page of one of the country's most important newspapers, Dan.

May 19, 2019 | Registered CommenterMrs. Bea McCrabbie
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