In case there was any doubt, let’s get one thing clear. If Brett Kavanaugh ends up on the Supreme Court—and, as Katha Pollitt wrote, he won’t get there without a political fight—he will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade and deny women the guarantee of reproductive rights they currently enjoy. That’s not a possibility or even a probability, it’s a fact. Kavanaugh wouldn’t have been on the Federalist Society’s magic list of nominees acceptable to the right if they weren’t absolutely sure of that, something the WaPo’s Jennifer Rubin explained in a column aimed at supposedly pro-choice Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME). So we know that Republicans want to take away women’s reproductive rights. They say it’s because they want to stop abortions. But here’s the thing: we already know how to do that, and the evidence shows that changing the laws and subjecting women to much greater risk in order to get the abortions they are going to get either way isn’t going to be particularly effective. First, let’s talk about individual states. Many states have since 2010 passed laws that seek to restrict access to abortion. An Associated Press report compared data from 2010 and 2014 drawn from all 45 states where numbers on abortion are comprehensively collected (California, Maryland, New Jersey, New Hampshire and Wyoming do not compile such data). Which states saw the biggest drop?: Five of the six states with the biggest declines — Hawaii at 30 percent, New Mexico at 24 percent, Nevada and Rhode Island at 22 percent, Connecticut at 21 percent — have passed no recent laws to restrict abortion clinics or providers. Know what else those five states have in common? They all accepted the Obamacare expansion of Medicaid, which took effect on January 1, 2014, thus increasing access to contraception after that date. Then-president of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, further explained: “Better access to birth control and sex education are the biggest factors in reducing unintended pregnancies. More restrictive abortion laws do not reduce the need for abortions.” Another report, this one from the Guttmacher Institute, examined similar data from 2011 to 2014 and likewise “did not find a clear and consistent relationship between state restrictions and changes in state abortion rates.” Here’s state by state data from 2010 to 2014 compiled by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
In these last days before the Trump-Putin summit, let's take a peek into how Donald is preparing himself for his (still-inexplicable) meet up with his one and only world friend. Oh look, he's praising Vlad Putin for putting on «one of the best» sporting events ever: xCongratulations to France, who played extraordinary soccer, on winning the 2018 World Cup. Additionally, congratulations to President Putin and Russia for putting on a truly great World Cup Tournament -- one of the best ever!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 15, 2018 ... while continuing to dismiss the new indictments of Russian military hackers as being Not His Problem. (He tweeted this one twice, possibly because it was twice as important as all his other thoughts.) xThe stories you heard about the 12 Russians yesterday took place during the Obama Administration, not the Trump Administration. Why didnÃ¢ÂÂt they do something about it, especially when it was reported that President Obama was informed by the FBI in September, before the Election?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2018 He also again referred to our nation's free press as «indeed the enemy of the people», just in case anyone had missed that particular spittle-flecked authoritarian phrase any of the other times he said it. x...over the years, I would return to criticism that it wasnÃ¢ÂÂt good enough Ã¢ÂÂ that I should have gotten Saint Petersburg in addition! Much of our news media is indeed the enemy of the people and all the Dems...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 15, 2018 So in short, he continues to suck up to Russia while brushing aside their (military) acts against the United States and demonizing the press that keeps insisting on reporting them. Oh, this is going to go swimmingly. I still say there's a nontrivial chance the Hate Pumpkin flees his staff and asks Putin for asylum. You can't honestly say you'd be that surprised.
We don't know what motivated Donald Trump's decision to pick longtime conservative activist Brett Kavanaugh for a Supreme Court seat, but it's a pretty sure bet that Trump, currently facing allegations that his campaign eagerly attempted to conspire with Russian government agents in a partnership to tip the scales of the American presidential election, picked Kavanaugh for Kavanaugh's unique (and nutty) premise that you cannot so much as investigate charges against a sitting president. It is, in fact, the distinguishing feature between Kavanaugh and the rest of them. Every one of the finalists selected from the Federalist Society's list of approved hard-right legal arsonists could each be assured of voting «correctly» on key conservative issues such as abortion, corporate rights, and limiting consumer and voter powers; Kavanaugh is alone, however, in stating such a blunt and convenient opinion on the single issue most dear to Donald Trump's own heart: Donald Trump's personal legal well-being. If it is up to a future Justice Brett Kavanaugh to rule whether a sitting president has to cooperate in a probe into Russian election hacking that has already implicated core members of his administration and campaign staff, and that is more likely to happen than not, Kavanaugh alone is on the record saying investigators can pound sand. And if you think that played no role in Donald's Trump choice to pick him as potential defender, you have not been paying attention to the man. Donald Trump is obsessed with shuttering this single probe; Donald Trump spends more of his time demanding the shuttering of the investigation than he does blustering on any other topic. According to his own staff, it consumes him. According to his Twitter feed, it is nearly always on his mind. So that is why Donald Trump has landed upon Brett Kavanaugh as his new pro-bono legal defender, but the story of just how Kavanaugh came to such an (ahem) unusual epiphany is both a wee bit bizarre and a wee bit unflattering to both the man and the movement. It is a microcosm of conservative «legal» thinking of the sort that the Federalist Society and other hard-right activist groups have so furiously pushed as the only «legitimate» judicial temperament, in that it appears to be entirely situational. Kavanaugh used to have one opinion, an opinion on which his then-current career was foundationally based. Then the presidency shifted hands, the persons under investigation switched places and—lo and behold—so did Kavanaugh's beliefs. It was most definitely not Kavanaugh’s opinion, though, back when he worked as one of the top lieutenants probing Republican conspiracy theories under Ken Starr.
Donald Trump's still-inexplicable meeting with Russian kleptocrat Vladimir Putin is nearly upon us and Donald, who is once again spending the weekend at one of his own golf resorts (in Scotland, this time), continues to Not Give A Particular Damn about the defining feature of that relationship: The Putin government's aggressive acts to elevate Donald Trump to the American presidency over his opponent. He continues to express both indifference to the indictment of specific Russian military officers involved in the plot and brush off the intervention as something that happened before he, Donald Trump, became president. JEFF GLOR: The Russians who were indicted, would you ask Putin to- to send them here? PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well I might. I hadn't thought of that. But I certainly, I'll be asking about it. But again, this was during the Obama administration. They were doing whatever it was during the Obama administration. And I heard that they were trying, or people were trying, to hack into the RNC too. The Republican National Committee. [...] Trump was briefed on the upcoming indictment of Russian officials «earlier in the week», according to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, so the White House has had, at minimum, days to formulate a response. Trump, however, allows that the White House hasn't «thought of that» at all, before immediately shifting into his standard refrain of well-gosh all that naughty stuff happened during the Obama administration, I don't see what the Russian hacking efforts aimed at tipping the scales of the election towards me has to do with me. As to the more general question of Trump's mood towards Russia and its attacks on this nation, he continues to be consistent; if Russia is a «foe», it's not quite as much of a foe as the rest of Europe. Well I think we have a lot of foes. I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade. Now you wouldn't think of the European Union but they're a foe. Russia is foe in certain respects. China is a foe economically, certainly they are a foe. But that doesn't mean they are bad. It doesn't mean anything. It means that they are competitive. “It doesn’t mean anything” may be the most lasting motto of the Trump administration. If we’re lucky, that is.
In 2005, I wrote my first piece on then Judge John Roberts’s confirmation hearing for his nomination to the Supreme Court. It was this one: In his opening statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Bush nominee to replace the late Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, John Roberts, drew an analogy between the Supreme Court and umpires in baseball: Judges are like umpires. Umpires don't make the rules, they apply them. The role of an umpire and a judge is critical. They make sure everybody plays by the rules. But it is a limited role. Nobody ever went to a ballgame to see the umpire. . . . And I will remember that it's my job to call balls and strikes, and not to pitch or bat. It is an interesting analogy Judge Roberts draws. And it seems to me to be an excellent argument for why Judge Roberts must answer the questions put to him by the Senate. As any baseball fan knows, umpires are not uniform in the delineation of the strike zone. Some are «hitters» umpires. Some are «pitchers» umpires. Some call the high strike. Some call the outside pitch. The strike zone has been changed by the clear theft of a seat on the Supreme Court by Mitch McConnell and the Republicans—the Garland seat. Now that Justice Kennedy has retired, this theft could be of generational duration. Everything we hold dear is at stake—not just what we have achieved, but what we aspire to. We are threatened with living in Robert Bork’s America, but delivered with John Roberts’s genial smile. So what do we do? In the short term, we of course fight against the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. But what happens after that? In my view, we have no choice: we can not follow norms that were blatantly violated by the Republican Party and Mitch McConnell. Those norms are no longer operative. Thus, we must plan to exercise all legal and constitutional power to undo the wrongs committed by McConnell and the Republicans. We must remake the Supreme Court.
Donald Trump will have a one-on-one summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, after Trump met with NATO allies (at least they used to be) and after a visit to the United Kingdom. Instead of the conventional approach with interpreters on both sides and a written record of what’s discussed, the talk reportedly will not have an official record and only a Russian interpreter. Before leaving on his foreign trip, Trump bragged that, of all of his meetings, the interchange with Putin might be “the easiest of them all.” Here is what might be discussed by the two men, which could resemble more of a performance evaluation of Trump by the Russian leader than an actual summit talk. Vladimir Putin: Ah, Donald! Zdravstvujtye, my friend. Donald Trump: Gesundheit. Putin: No, no, I was merely greeting you. That’s how we say “hello” in Russian. Better get used to it. Trump: Oh. Putin: How has your trip gone so far? Trump: Pretty awful, but I’m making inroads. Those NATO freeloaders whined that they couldn’t pay any more for defense, but I made ‘em. That Angela Merkel thinks she’s so tough, but like I told ‘em at the NATO breakfast, Germany is totally a captive of Russia because of that energy pipeline. Putin: (Chuckles) Donald, you shouldn’t make it so obvious. Germany might buy less oil and gas from us. Besides, the amount European members of NATO will pay for defense is the same amount they promised before. Trump: Yeah, but I took credit for it, like I always do. They learned it’s easier just to let me scream and then nod their heads. Putin: Shake their heads is more like it. And how was the trip to the U.K.? Trump: The people were very rude to me. But I created the same kind of chaos as in the NATO meeting. My Sun interview said Theresa May was awful, but then I called it fake news. No one knows what to think. Those Brexit agreements could be dead in the water—this could be killing European trade. All just like you wanted.
See the Doctor's new friends.
Tweet comes after diver accuses billionaire of engaging in a «PR stunt.»
Epic Games' battle royale game crosses over to the World Cup.
New or refurb, you can already save $100 or more off the regular price. Plus: A free (with purchase) Google Home Mini.
Commentary: There're so many reasons for the CGI show getting a special anniversary panel at SDCC.
Netflix has been killing competitors with its original TV shows and movies. A Morgan Stanley survey released back in May had 39 percent of U.S. consumers naming Netflix as offering the “best original programming” among subscription video services, with everyone else eating its dust, including HBO, which nabbed 14 percent, Amazon Prime Video (5 percent) […]
Once America had an unassailable advantage, an economic flywheel that spun off innovation and Fortune 500 companies like a perpetual-motion machine. Bring in the best, brightest, and most driven from around the world; educate them or their children at its universities; then watch them start companies, succeed wildly, give back to their alma maters, and […]
Jake Bright Contributor Jake Bright is a writer and author in New York City. He is co-author of The Next Africa. More posts by this contributor Nigerian logistics startup Kobo360 accepted into YC, raises $1.2 million Breaking down France’s new $76M Africa startup fund Three e-mobility startups are accelerating into the U.S. motorcycle market. Italy’s Energica and […]
Here is what you should take away from the state of the global venture capital market: late-stage deals dominated Q2.
For the last few years now, BMW has wrestled with the question of what it’ll mean to be a luxury car manufacturer in the age of electric cars, autonomous driving and rapidly changing — and increasing — customer expectations. What, after all, makes something the “ultimate driving machine” when the driver eventually stops driving? For BMW, […]
Surprise — it's twins! A near-Earth asteroid called 2017 YE5 turns out to be two separate rocks.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - «Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation» has checked into the No. 1 spot at the box office in its opening weekend and left the Dwayne Johnson action thriller, «Skyscraper,» in the dust. Sony Pictures estimates Sunday that the animated family movie earned $44.1 million from North American ...
Omega, the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer, has a rich tradition and is showcasing it in the Wrist-Chronograph Limited Edition Collection.The timepieces in the collection currently number 18 and importantly, each is going to feature a CHRO caliber that was created by Omega in 1913. Omega was founded in 1848 and since then the watchmaker has become a byword for high-quality manufacturing. The vaunted caliber that Omega created in 1913 has been refurbished and included in the new limited edition timepieces giving them a “dated” vibe.The company has been busy marketing the timepieces in the Wrist-Chronograph Limited Edition Collection by drawing on its history manufacturing the watches, and its campaign has starred models and clothes from the early 1900s. The launch party, named the “Museum Night,” was held on July 2 in Biel, Switzerland. Importantly, the timepieces are being described as a nice way to own a historic watch without having to make a sacrifice of longevity and durability.Raynald Aeschlimann, the President and CEO of the company, was at the Omega launch party and he unveiled timepieces from the collection. He also outlined how a meticulous process has been followed to rejuvenate the 105-year-old movement that will now feature in the ongoing story of the company.Importantly, the collection showcases how Omega was one of the first companies to manufacture a wrist-chronograph. As for other features of the timepieces in the collection, they include leather straps and a dial created from white enamel.Click on the slideshow for more details.http://www.blouinartinfo.comFounder: Louise Blouin
Parmigiani Fleurier has created 10 Kalpa timepieces to mark its ongoing collaboration with the Montreux Jazz Festival and partnered with Ryan Leslie.The Montreux Jazz Festival 2018 is in its 52nd year and Parmigiani Fleurier, the luxury watch manufacturer, has created special edition Kalpa timepieces for the occasion. Parmigiani Fleurier has a long-standing collaboration with the festival that is currently in its 11th year, and the company usually showcases musical aspects in timepieces that it creates for the occasion.This year saw Parmigiani Fleurier create a partnership with Ryan Leslie, the CEO of the company SuperPhone. Leslie is additionally a performer in the American music scene and has dabbled in songwriting, singing and has worked with various artists coming from a number of genres. The partnership with Leslie saw him visiting the manufacturing facility run by Parmigiani Fleurier, after which he spent time at the ongoing for Montreux Jazz Festival that runs until July 14.The two timepieces created by Parmigiani Fleurier for the festival are the Kalparisma Montreux Jazz Festival 2018 that has 46 diamonds positioned along the case and is targeted at women. The Kalpa Grande MJF, created for the festival, however is fashioned to appeal to masculine tastes and comes with a Tonneau shape that is characteristic of the lineup. Both models are capable of resisting water ingress up to a depth of 30 meters, have silver-colored finishes and alligator leather straps created by Hermes.Click on the slideshow for more details.http://www.blouinartinfo.comFounder: Louise Blouin
Microsoft has been shipping Notepad as part of Windows for more than three decades. It hasn’t really changed much in all that time. This week, however, Microsoft announced a bevy of updates and […] The post Microsoft Is Finally Showing Notepad A Little Love appeared first on Geek.com.
The Black Widow movie looks like it’s actually happening. And after only, what, eight years of asking for it? The movie just took a big step forward with the news that a director has signed […] The post MCU News: Black Widow Has a Director, Ant-Man Hints at the Future & More appeared first on Geek.com.
LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) - U.S. nuclear security officials have partnered with the National Park Service to offer pilot tours of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park in New Mexico. The once-secret city of Los Alamos was among the World War II sites where the U.S. developed the first atomic ...
With Vergne having sealed the drivers' title on Saturday, the teams’ crown was on the line between Techeetah and the Audi Sport squad.Vergne led after an amazing start from third to demote poleman Sebastien Buemi at the first corner, while Vergne’s teammate Andre Lotterer was judged to have jumped the start – even though he lost a place – and a 10s stop/go penalty dropped him to ... Keep reading
CLEVELAND (AP) Michael Brantley homered leading off the eighth inning, and the Cleveland Indians headed into the All-Star break with a 5-2 win over the New York Yankees on Sunday to split their four-game series.
MOSCOW (AP) The World Cup produced indelible images from across Russia, on and off the field. The home team's towering forward leading an unexpected run to the quarterfinal that captured the nation's affection. A golden-haired guy from England knocking the ball into the net six times to win the Golden Boot as top scorer. Standout goalkeepers saving shot after penalty shot. Neymar writhing.
SAN DIEGO (AP) The Chicago Cubs have placed outfielder Albert Almora Jr. on the family medical emergency list and recalled infielder David Bote from Triple-A Iowa.
MOSCOW (AP) The ball skidded across the pristine Moscow pitch and time seemed to slow. This was Kylian Mbappe's moment, at just 19, to become the youngest player since Pele to score in a World Cup final.