3/14/23 - Newsletter
Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, poised to announce his 2024 bid at the end of the Florida legislative session in May, went on Tucker Carlson's show last night and said that aiding Ukraine is not a "vital" U.S. interest. This rebuke aligns with former President Donald Trump, another critic of spending for Ukraine, who also called Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine "savvy" and "genius" at the start of the war.
The culture war warrior was not so adamant about assisting Ukraine in 2014, when Russia illegally annexed the peninsula of Crimea, as a freshman in the U.S. House of Representatives voting for a resolution to sanction Russia and voting for legislation sending $68 million to Ukraine. DeSantis even criticized then-President Barrack Obama for not arming Ukraine:
“We in the Congress have been urging the president, I’ve been, to provide arms to Ukraine. They want to fight their good fight. They’re not asking us to fight it for them. And the president has steadfastly refused. And I think that that’s a mistake…”
“I think that when someone like Russian President Vladimir Putin sees Obama being indecisive, I think that whets his appetite to create more trouble in the area. And I think if we were to arm the Ukrainians, I think that would send a strong signal to him that he shouldn’t be going any further…”
Read more on what else CNN unearthed from its KFile review of DeSantis’ once devoted support for Ukraine.
President Biden has vowed to support Ukraine until the war's end with the unwavering support of Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other top GOPs in Congress.
Marcus Silvia, of Galveston, Texas, is suing his ex-wife's friends for "wrongful death" after helping her obtain abortion pills in July 2022. Silvia is seeking $1 million in damages from each woman. He alleges that the friends helped his then-wife learn the process of obtaining a medically self-induced abortion. Current Texas law shields the mother from being sued under SB 8, banning abortion after six weeks. Mifepristone and misoprostol were approved by the FDA 20 years ago. Today more than half of abortions are done by the regimen of abortion medication since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last June.
For the first time since a woman's constitutional right to bodily autonomy was stripped away, five women are suing their state's abortion ban. The Texas Heartbeat Act (SB 8) allows abortions to be performed only when the mother's life is in danger, with no exceptions for rape and incest.
"The women who are bringing the suit contradict stereotypes about who receives abortions and why. Married, and some with children already, the women rejoiced at their pregnancies, only to discover that their fetuses had no chance of survival — two had no skulls, and two others were threatening the lives of their twins." Doctors refused to perform abortions on the women for fear of facing 99 years in jail with fines of $100,000 for providing abortion care under Texas law. Read more about their stories here. (Gift link)
Because it relates to the fallout of Roe in America today, a court in Poland convicted and sentenced Justyna Wydrzynska, an abortion activist, to eight months of community service for delivering abortion pills to a victim of domestic violence. The Polish Constitutional Tribunal banned abortion in October 2020. Though Poland has a profound history of reproductive healthcare rights.
The Interior Department authorized three drilling sites in northwestern Alaska for the controversial Willow project led by ConocoPhillips, the state's largest crude oil producer. The administration said the project would produce 240 million metric tons of carbon dioxide over the next three decades. Carbon emissions contribute to climate change. The move certainly enraged progressives and environmental and conservation organizations.
Today in Monterey, California, President Biden announced a new executive order that would direct the attorney general to double down on gun sellers who don't require or perform background checks before gun purchases. Biden aims to increase the number of background checks following the passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act and to bolster the support of "red flag" laws. The EO also encourages "the independent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to issue a public report analyzing how gun manufacturers market firearms to minors and how such manufacturers market firearms to all civilians, including through the use of military imagery."
From supporting the GOP-led resolution blocking DC's revised criminal code to new asylum restrictions, President Joe Biden's recent policy shift to the center-right is unsurprising, as he is a moderate himself. Appeasing the independents and moderate Republicans is good politics.
As a result, some House and Senate Democrats are growing weary of the Biden administration's lack of communication and coordination regarding immigration and border policy changes. A group of over 30 House Democrats issued a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas urging the "DHS and the Department of Justice to reverse course on the proposed rule published on February 23, 2023 that would ban most migrants from asylum protection in the United States."
Democrats are also demanding that DHS review the CBP One app, the "sole means" for migrants to have the opportunity to seek asylum. The lack of indigenous languages offered on the CBO app is among the many barriers for migrants who might not understand Spanish, English, and Haitian Creole. More here.