Lindsey Graham Goes For a Nationwide Abortion Ban - The Wednesday AM Quickie 9/14/22

Abortion bills, fires, stocks, political deaths, and war. This is just me keeping shorthand notes of what I've got to write down later on in the newsletter. I'm typing it up here, in the intro box. Here it is. That's what's coming. Anyway, Corey is with you tomorrow! I'm out after this one. - Jack

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Lindsey Graham Reveals the Republican Plan to Ban Abortion

Yesterday's teaser is the big news today: the GOP, through Lindsey Graham, now has a full bill on the books to ban abortion after 15 weeks.

The bill, the full text of which you can read here, is both a statement and a provocation by the GOP. It would trump local laws that allow abortion past 15 weeks of pregnancy, an absurdly low amount of time and five weeks lower than the expected 20-week ban that many predicted would be first on the table for the GOP.

And yet, this mask-off moment (which my Discourse Blog coworker Rafi Schwartz covered earlier today) almost immediately backfired: the Times reports that Graham's senate allies almost immediately backed away from his proposed bill, which is further acknowledgement that even the GOP hard-liners realize running on gutting abortion rights is a losing proposition for November.

It's also worth noting that the 15-week ban is more permissive than the true abortion hard-liners want. Social conservatives have been pushing for a six-week ban without exceptions for rape, incest or the health of the mother, which isn't what's in Graham's bill. But knowing the GOP, what this bill is is a stepping stone toward that more restrictive project: a proof of concept that shows that the party can flex its weight and get this kind of social bill passed.

For now, of course, all the bill is is symbolism: Graham doesn't have a chance of getting it passed in the Senate or House. And the rest of the GOP seems committed to the "uhhh it's state's rights" line of thinking on abortion, largely because they don't have the guts or the safe seat that Graham does to just come out and say what the party really wants.

Ken Starr Dead

Wow. Rest in peace to the man who made the Monica Lewinski trial one of the most unpleasant political episodes in recent history, who covered up sexual assault at Baylor University, defended Jeffrey Epstein, and later served as a lawyer for Donald Trump. He later wrote in his memoirs that he "regretted" the whole thing, but that it "had to be done." OK! Thanks Ken. I guess you had to do it! My sincere hope is that he and the Queen of England are in the same place right now.

Russia Burned $300 Million Trying to Influence Foreign Elections

Ok look. We have to start with a disclaimer on this story that as far as the CIA goes $300 million is probably chump change as far as election rigging money goes. And yet – the Washington Post reports that over the past eight years, since 2014, Russia has spent some $300 million on foreign political parties and candidates in order to promote its interests. I've long thought that the most logical way to view Russia is as the less-subtle version of the worst-possible future of the U.S. – open corruption and greed mixed with general incompetence and shameless imperialism. That's basically what we're seeing here. Per the Post, "Countries where such activities were identified included Albania, Montenegro, Madagascar and, potentially, Ecuador, according to an administration source familiar with the matter." I don't want to downplay this by referring only to the U.S.'s miserable record of doing the same thing – two wrongs don't make a right, and we've seen what other forms Russia's imperialism takes if these elections schemes don't work.


  • Peltola Sworn In, With Eight Weeks To Defend Her Seat Alaska's special election means Mary Peltola has just a two months in Congress before she has to win another election. via NYT.
  • MyPillow Guy Gets Searched As Part of 2020 Probe National freak Mike Lindell was reportedly searched and had his phone confiscated by the FBI in relation to his correspondence with a Colorado election official. via NYT.
  • Hard Right Former Trump Press Aide Wins GOP Primary in NH Three cheers for Karoline Leavitt, the 25-year-old candidate who will face Democrat Chris Pappas as the latest former Trump official to run for office. You go girl (she is a fascist). via NYT.
  • NY State Regents Enact New Rules to Try to Counter Private Religious School Problem They're at least trying to ensure the private Hasidic yeshivas teach kids to, you know, read. via NYT.



Number of acres that California's Mosquito Fire has currently consumed; not a huge one by CA standards, but rapidly growing and still in its early stages.


9/14: Sam and Emma host Jane McAlevey, Senior Policy Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley's Labor Center, to discuss her recent video for The Nation "You Voted To Form A Union. Now What?" Then they are joined by T.J. Kitchen, Organizing Director for the Teamsters Joint Council #43, to discuss the recent organizing efforts at a Chipotle franchise in Lansing, Michigan.


Biden Administration Making Last-Minute Push To Prevent MASSIVE Railroad Strike

Can President Joe Biden prevent a massive railroad strike? The Majority Report crew discusses how two major railroad unions, which make up more than half of rail union participants, will strike for better working conditions.

CNN's Pivot To News For Never Trumper Republicans Is Now Complete

CNN’s Erin Burnett interviews Andrew Rice, the contributing editor at New York Magazine, who had access to Hunter Biden’s laptop. The Majority Report crew discusses how Burnett fails to ask if there was corruption or if Joe Biden is implicated.


“We are not out of the woods yet. We can’t even see the edge of the woods from here.”

Luke Tilley, the chief economist at Wilmington Trust, on an upcoming recession.

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