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Showing posts from June, 2023

Abortion Bans are Not Doing the GOP Any Favors

I don't think it's an accident that one year after the Dobbs decision, roughly zero women have been prosecuted for obtaining an abortion. Not that this is cause for celebration. There is nothing good about that decision, and its effects continue to ripple through the culture in destructive, completely unnecessary ways. Too many women have already been forced to carry unwanted pregnancies to term. Too many women with pregnancy complications have nearly died for lack of medical attention from doctors fearing prosecution and imprisonment. Too many women have had to resort to obtaining abortion pills by clandestine means, leaving them in legal, as well as medical, jeopardy. But the fact that no woman has actually been punished for aborting a fetus is indicative of the range and magnitude of the problems now confronting red state governments as they try to implement their forced-birth laws. They passed these laws, unencumbered by the thought process, and they're now face

Could Jack Smith Secretly be Happy with his Trial Judge?

If you were writing a screenplay about a president who steals classified documents as he leaves the White House, then refuses to return them, then gets indicted on multiple counts of espionage, you might think you have enough drama for one movie. So you might think twice before writing in a judge who was appointed to the bench by that very president, and who had blatantly manipulated the law in his favor in the run-up to that very indictment.  Your agent would surely make you drop that character as too far-fetched. But the random selection of Judge Aileen Cannon to the trial of Donald Trump is now part of the script. It's real, if not exactly believable. This is the judge who, just last year, put her professional integrity on the line, intervening in the Mar-a-Lago investigation in ways that were so legally dubious — remember the special master? — that even her district's notoriously conservative appeals court had no choice but to overrule her. Not for her blatant partisans

Democracy Might be in Trouble, But Probably Not Today

As I post this piece at my usual time — Tuesday, 7 a.m. — I am fully aware that Trump's arraignment will be taking place at 3:00 this afternoon, and that Trump has posted "SEE YOU IN MIAMI ON TUESDAY" on his social media network. An obvious stochastic provocation. Since I don't do breaking news, I won't delay my post. But I will make a prediction, and we'll know whether I'm right or wrong by end-of-business today. I certainly hope I'm right when I say that democracy will not be sorely tested today. Hysteria in the media notwithstanding, I don't expect we'll see much of the Proud Boys or the Oath Keepers, or anything more violent than Kari Lake spouting QAnon-ish gibberish, which I won't be watching. That's not because I don't consider Trump a clear and present danger to the nation. It's not because I don't think his zombie followers might want to mix their politics with alcohol and firearms. And it's not because I

"Catastrophe Exposure" is Getting a Lot of Exposure

Ron DeSantis probably doesn't want too many people to know this, but he just signed a new law that brings sweeping regulation and oversight — two words to which Republicans are known to be allergic — to Florida's insurance industry. Yes, you read that right. Florida insurance carriers are used to having their own way in Tallahassee, which has allowed them to get away with an assortment of consumer-hostile practices over the years, including restrictions on the right of policyholders to sue over claims. But thanks to a March exposé in The Washington Post — the same journal I was bashing just two weeks ago — even dimwit Florida legislators had to sit up and take notice. Too many Floridians were furious, and it wasn't about drag queens or wokeness or banning books their kids can't read anyway. It was about Hurricane Ian having destroyed their homes, and their insurance carriers having chiseled them on the claim payments. This was a clear call from real people in rea