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The GOP’s Abortion Evasions
Plus: Why Did the Opioid Epidemic Start in the Rust Belt?
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WILL SALETAN: The GOP’s Abortion Evasions.
AS A PRO-CHOICE BACKLASH against the Dobbs decision sweeps across the country—defeating pro-life ballot measures, passing pro-choice referenda, and taking down Republican candidates—the GOP is scrambling for safe ground. The National Republican Senatorial Committee is telling candidates to oppose a federal abortion ban. The chairwoman of the Republican National Committee is advising them to settle for “reasonable limitations.”
In the Republican presidential race, the two men who stoutly advocated a federal ban on abortions—Mike Pence and Tim Scott—are gone. The candidates who remain on the debate stage or who don’t need it—Chris Christie, Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Donald Trump—are hedging or downplaying the issue. They still call themselves pro-life. But they’re finding ways to pretend that they’re not a threat to abortion rights.
THE U.S. SUPREME COURT released a document this week, a “Code of Conduct” for justices, signed onto by all the current members of the Court and accompanied by a brief prefatory statement and five pages of commentary. You don’t have to be a close observer of the Court to recognize that this unprecedented action comes in response to news coverage of—and widespread public outrage over—certain justices secretly accepting lavish gifts from billionaires, including some with business before the Court, and engaging in other troubling behaviors.
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DANIEL MCGRAW: Why Did the Opioid Epidemic Start in the Rust Belt?
IN JANUARY 2018, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE DAN POLSTER gathered litigants representing nearly four hundred cases in his Cleveland courtroom to address the horrible realities that had brought them there. Cities and counties and states were suing businesses at all levels of the opioid drug industry—prescription drug painkiller makers, distributors of such drugs, and the pharmacies that put them in the public’s bathroom medicine cabinets—to help pay for costly crises that pain meds like OxyContin had brought upon their communities.
Judge Polster pointed out that more than 50,000 opioid users were fatally overdosing each year, about 150 deaths a day from the opioid crisis. And the rate of death—and the associated costs, which include everything from hospital and morgue expenses to the cost of foster care—were only increasing. “I don’t think anyone in the country is interested in a whole lot of finger-pointing at this point,” he said, “Because sadly, every day more and more people are being addicted, and they need treatment.”
DENNIS AFTERGUT: Punching Politicians and Trump’s Belligerence.
WHEN THE 118th CONGRESS GOT UNDERWAY, one of the first actions of the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives was to remove the magnetometers that former Speaker Nancy Pelosi had had installed outside the House chamber following the January 6th attack.
After Tuesday’s events on Capitol Hill—when deposed House Speaker Kevin McCarthy allegedly sucker-elbowed a fellow Republican who called it “a clean shot to the kidneys” and Senator Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) dared a witness in a Senate hearing to a fistfight—maybe it’s time to bring those magnetometers back.
Remember when, back in September, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) referred to Republican infighting as a “civil war” and everyone understood him to be speaking metaphorically? Maybe not so much.
Happy Thursday! Remember: No TNB tonight, as we’re live at the Klein Theatre in Chinatown. Hope to see some of you tonight! As such, tonight’s Overtime will be very short.
Read the George Santos ethics report… Only Fans, Botox, Hermes… It’s as bad as we were told! Expect votes to expel after Thanksgiving.
The fantastic ad… That led Elon to fling the mask in the air.
Ugh, the pandas might be coming back… If it’s a true gesture of friendship, they’d give us the pandas. Are we giving them John Deeres that have mandatory and costly software updates? The only good pandas are red pandas.
Arthur the King… Your feel-good dog movie of the spring.
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