See updates through January 28, 2023, at end of post.
If, in the over 50 years I lived in and around northern California, you had told me I would ever miss the California Highway Patrol, I would have told you you were nuts, out of your mind, and I don’t even want whatever drugs you’re on. Read more
See update for January 23, 2023, at end of post.
Ruth Marcus still wants an answer to Sonia Sotomayor’s question:
“How is your interest anything but a religious view?” Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked the lawyer for the state of Mississippi during oral arguments in the case [Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization] that would later eliminate the constitutional right to abortion. “So when you say this is the only right that takes away from the state the ability to protect a life, that’s a religious view, isn’t it?”
I don’t find Marcus’ op-ed especially well argued. She relies, rather, on cases making their way through the courts arguing that the state abortion bans that Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization enabled infringe on other (than conservative Christian) groups’ religious rights, as if the mere existence of these cases, which have yet to be decided, is sufficient. Read more
I have heard it said from time to time that politicians fear their own
police white supremacist gangs. I’ve always been skeptical. These gangs act principally to protect property, especially the property of the wealthy, including politicians. Try driving a ratty old car across a wealthy neighborhood, for example, and just see how quickly you have a black and white on your tail, ready to pull you over on the slightest pretext. Read more
Fig. 1. A flag for the would-be state of Jefferson is seen along the Klamath River Highway in California. Photograph by MPSharwood, September 9, 2012, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0
There are a lot of secession movements around the United States. I’ve focused on those in California, which fall broadly into three categories: 1) secession from the Union; 2) secession from the state; and 3) breaking California into smaller jurisdictions, but as Colby Galliher and Edison Forman observe in a Brookings Institution article, such movements exist all around the country. A common theme is functional disenfranchisement, which Galliher and Forman fail to properly explain. Read more
See update for January 7, 2023, at end of post.
Of the chaos of the House of Representatives’ so-far failed attempts to elect a Speaker, Molly Jong-Fast writes,
This intrinsic weakness in the GOP allowed the base to run wild, embracing everything from anti-science stupidity to paranoid conspiracy theories. Perhaps, in 2015, [Donald] Trump led the base. But by 2020, Trump had lost control of the monster he created. The base decided to reward social media stunts with small-dollar donations. Fox News and the right-wing internet ecosystem created a world of mini Trumps, little congressional bomb-throwers like [Lauren] Boebert, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Matt Gaetz. More motivated by fame than governing, these members seem to want what Real Housewives want: to build their brands. These congressional Kardashians don’t have a governing principle beyond obstruction and attention, of which they’ve all been getting amid this week’s party meltdown.