Republicans Want a Database of Pregnant People - The Monday AM Quickie 5/13/24

The UAW's southern union drive is receiving calls for solidarity from all over the world. -Jacob

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Republicans Introduce A Bill to Track Pregnancies

Led by Alabama Sen. Katie Britt, who released another poorly acted video that echoed her disastrous State of the Union response, 11 Republican senators introduced the MOMS Act, an anti-abortion bill masquerading as a public health measure. The bill provides "various prenatal and postpartum support for women," Axios reported, including grants for anti-abortion organizations. The Act calls for the creation of a website,, which would provide information on adoption and anti-abortion "crisis pregnancy centers" while explicitly prohibiting the inclusion of organizations that perform abortions or appear to endorse the procedure. The bill also introduces new requirements for child support payments throughout pregnancy, reinforcing the Republican notion that embryos are people. would be authorized to collect data on visitors and put them on a list for future "outreach." It's no longer implausible to think that a second Donald Trump administration could weaponize this information, or that he and his theocratic allies might train the country's formidable surveillance apparatus on pregnant people who violate increasingly restrictive state laws against abortion. Trump has already said that he would allow states to track people who seek out-of-state abortions. Alabama's attorney general recently threatened to prosecute healthcare nonprofits that help people travel out-of-state to receive abortions. A Texas man asked the state to subpoena his ex-partner for traveling to another state to abort a pregnancy; he may sue her. In Idaho, where abortion is banned, it's a crime to help a minor get an abortion out of state, although federal judges have pushed back on this and other similar laws, saying they violate the right of interstate travel.

While it has little chance of becoming law under the current Congress, Sen. Britt's bill shows how Republicans are determined to chisel away at people's reproductive rights – and are capable of doing so in the post-Roe environment. It's not just the banning of abortion that Republicans are after. In their distorted "pro-life" vision, personal autonomy and freedom are a distant second to forced pregnancies.

Geomagnetic Storm Offers a Solar Light Show and GPS Chaos

A geomagnetic storm painted the skies with spectacular swathes of pink, purple, and electric green over the weekend. People all over the northern hemisphere were treated to a supercharged version of the northern lights. The storm was the result of especially strong solar flares – coronal mass ejections and other moody star behavior – of a kind that hadn't been seen in at least 20 years. Along with the beautiful view, the storm disturbed the earth's magnetic field, causing problems for Starlink satellites and farmers who, thanks to the disruption to the GPS system, couldn't plant their crops. While there were concerns about possible effects on the power grid, there were no reports of major incidents. The storm was expected to weaken into Monday.

After Tepid Biden Criticism, Bibi Bombards Rafah

Israel continued its ongoing operation against Rafah, the southern Gaza city where more than one million people have sought shelter. The IDF continues to pound the city with air strikes and artillery shells. US doctors who volunteered in Rafah described horrific conditions where patients die for lack of supplies. An estimated 300,000 people have fled the city, with nowhere safe to go.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Israel needed a "credible plan" to protect Palestinian civilians. The Biden administration recently kinda sorta acknowledged that Israeli may have violated international law with US arms. The administration also "paused" shipments of some large bombs to Israel, but is still providing "military assistance." The media has portrayed Biden as traveling a "long, tortured road" to his break with Bibi, but the US remains basically in his corner. On Friday, 143 member states of the United Nations voted to introduce Palestine as a UN member. Nine voted no, including Israel and the United States.


  • Michael Cohen Won't Shut Up Despite repeated requests, former Trump consiglieri, lawyer, and hush-money man Michael Cohen, who went to prison for his part in the Stormy Daniels payoff, won't stop posting TikTok videos about his ex-boss's criminal trial. Judge Juan Merchan told prosecutors to tell Cohen to stop talking about the case. via Politico, ABC News, and NY Post.
  • X Reinstates Accounts of Creepy Right Wingers In line with his policy of welcoming back the worst of the worst who were banned under the old Twitter regime, X owner Elon Musk has reinstated the accounts of Stop the Steal organizer (and admitted groomer) Ali Alexander and right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos (who endorsed pedophilia). That follows Musk recently promising to reinstate the account of neo-Nazi Nick Fuentes. via Shayan Sardarizadeh and Axios.
  • Trump Could Owe the IRS $100 Million A new investigation reveals that Donald Trump may have tried to use the same lucrative tax break twice, which could result in a nine-figure tax bill. The tax dispute is part of a larger Trump audit that has been underway for years while shrouded in institutional secrecy. via ProPublica.
  • US Companies Are Making Billions Off Prison Labor Incarcerated people in the United States continue to provide billions of dollars worth of labor for US companies, doing everything from farming to upholstering furniture at high schools. Prisoners are paid a few bucks an hour – or nothing at all. via Bloomberg.



That's how many dollars the Department of Defense spent at Trump-owned properties between July 2017 and November 2019, according to the public watchdog group American Oversight. "As president, Trump’s refusal to divest from his businesses created an environment rife with the potential for abuse. And during his administration, Trump’s properties became vessels for self-enrichment," American Oversight's executive director told Forbes, which noted that "there’s no full public accounting of how much taxpayers shelled out to the Trump Organization during the Trump administration."


5/13: Happy Monday! Sam & Emma host Teresa Ghilarducci, director of the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA) at The New School, to discuss her recent book Work, Retire, Repeat: The Uncertainty of Retirement in the New Economy.


Desperate Bibi Turns to Dr Phil For Help

Wouldn't you do the same if you were accused of perpetrating a genocide?

Debunking Toxic Right Wing Myths About Migrants

César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández dials in to talk about the dangerous lies told about migrants, who are real people – in all their fullness and complexity – struggling for better lives.


"The merry dancers sprang up from the northern heavens, and at 10 P.M. the whole celestial vault was glowing with streamers, crimson, yellow, and white, gathered into waving brilliant folds, a little to the south and east of the zenith, affording a canopy of the richest tints and most magnificent texture. The light was examined by the polariscope, and found not polarized. The stars were so lost amid the effulgence as to render it somewhat difficult to make out the constellations. Print might be read by the aid of a small lens, and the time ascertained from the watch by the simple light of the aurora."

-- From a beautifully written account of a geomagnetic storm that caused a brilliant aurora in 1859. The storm was so strong that telegraph operators were able to disconnect their machines' batteries and still send telegraph messages for hours, using "the auroral current alone."

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