Morning Report: Affordability takes a hit

Vital Statistics:

 LastChange
S&P futures4,1554.25
Oil (WTI)103.72-1.59
10 year government bond yield 2.93%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 5.49%

Stocks are marginally higher as we begin the two-day FOMC meeting. Bonds and MBS are up.

Job openings hit a series high, according to the JOLTs report. The quits rate rose to 3%. Quits are important because they are a good predicter of future wage growth. Quits jumped in construction, reflecting the dire shortage of workers in this area. Overall, this report gives the Fed the comfort to raise rates, which is what they are going to do tomorrow.

Home prices rose 22% YOY in April, according to the Clear Capital Home Data Index. On a quarterly basis, home prices rose 6%, which means that we are seeing an acceleration in home price appreciation. Some of the usual suspects like San Jose saw a 10.7% increase. The South and the West Coast were the leaders, however even the Midwest and Northeast saw improving conditions.

Rising home prices and mortgage rates have taken a bite out of affordability. The percentage of median income that a mortgage payment taken out on the median home has jumped to about 26% from 20% late in 2020. While this is a huge leap compared to recent history, it is about average going back to the early 1980s. In fact, during the 81-82 recession, when mortgage rates were in the high teens, the P&I payment accounted for 50% of the median income.

Separately, CoreLogic reported that home prices rose 21% in March, although it forecasts that home price appreciation will slow to 6% over the next year. “The annual growth in the U.S. index was the largest we have measured in the 45-year history of the CoreLogic Home Price Index,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic. “Couple that price increase with the rapid rise in mortgage rates and buyer affordability has fallen sharply. In April, 30-year fixed mortgage rates averaged nearly 2 percentage points higher than one year earlier. With the growth in home prices, that means the monthly principal and interest payment to buy the median-priced home was up about 50% in April compared with last April.”

Redfin noted the same thing, saying that the typical borrower’s monthly payment has increased 39% YOY. “Rising mortgage rates are taking a bite out of pending sales as both buyers and sellers take a step back from the turbulent market,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. “It seems as though the ratio of buyers to sellers remains mostly the same, which is why we have yet to see a substantial drop in bidding wars or the share of homes selling quickly. It’s still early days though when it comes to 5% mortgage rates. The number of buyers willing to pay such high mortgage payments could evaporate by late summer.”

113 Responses

    • Jut how devoid of thought are the Roe supporters that Greenwald called out? I mean….overturning Roe is anti-democratic? Seriously? These people either know nothing, or think that their audiences know nothing.

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    • Greenwald’s piece is quite good, but this isn’t entirely accurate:

      “Thus, the purpose of the Bill of Rights is fundamentally anti-democratic and anti-majoritarian. It bars majorities from enacting laws that infringe on the fundamental rights of minorities. Thus, in the U.S., it does not matter if 80% or 90% of Americans support a law to restrict free speech, or ban the free exercise of a particular religion, or imprison someone without due process, or subject a particularly despised criminal to cruel and unusual punishment. Such laws can never be validly enacted. The Constitution deprives the majority of the power to engage in such acts regardless of how popular they might be.”

      Technically, it would require them to have a large enough majority to amend the Constitution before proceeding.

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      • Fair point. Although I once had a weird Constitutional debate with someone who was making a substantive due process argument which led him to assert that it was possible for SCOTUS to rule that a duly passed Constitutional amendment was itself unconstitutional. I thought it was complete nonsense, and demonstrated the ultimate emptiness of the notion of SDP. But I suppose if you accept SDP, you could pretzel-logic your way into believing that even a Constitutional amendment supported by a massive majority could still be legitimately dashed by SCOTUS.

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        • “it was possible for SCOTUS to rule that a duly passed Constitutional amendment was itself unconstitutional.”

          This may be germane in terms of the push to consider the ERA as having been ratified despite the deadline having expired.

          I believe that there is currently a lawsuit against the archivist of the United States for failing to certify it, relying on a Trump DoJ opinion.

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        • With regard to the ERA, I think the issue is strictly a question of process, not substance. In other words, the question SCOTUS would be called to rule on would be whether or not it was in fact “duly ratified”.

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      • It’s not entirely accurate. The concern was that the government couldn’t be trusted—by definition a minority with power. This the rights of the public needed to be made explicit, as restrictions on government power. The anti-democratic effect is entirely coincidental, IMO.

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    • Greenwald was spot on about how “democracy” is being used in the opposite sense of it’s actual meaning in the press reporting:

      “In draft opinion on abortion, Democrats see a court at odds with democracy

      The critique follows decades in which Republicans demanded that “unelected judges” stop blocking the public will.”

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/05/04/draft-abortion-ruling-democrats-see-court-odds-with-democracy/

      The result in the case is literally upholding a law that a state legislature voted on and enacted, not overturning it.

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      • It’s the same abuse of the language from the far-left you see everywhere. Usually with similar redefinitions: democracy means “the left gets what they want”. Authoritarianism and fascism are “the left not getting what they want”. There is nothing more to the definitions of those terms for them.

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  1. Hah, I’m not interested in Greenwald’s opinion What I am interested in is that women across the country will be energized to vote now. Whomever leaked that has done democrats a huge favor. You guys spend too much time in the “Legal Weeds” and forget that women don’t really give a crap about your “Manly Bullshit”

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    • idk. i think abortion is a huge deal to feminists and religious zealots. I don’t think it is a high priority issue one way or the other with most voters. plus, it isn’t banning abortion, it is just throwing the issue back to the states.

      you might get an uptick in women voting this fall, but they are probably concentrated in heavily blue districts so it won’t matter too much in the grand scheme of things.

      democrats have managed to piss off damn near everybody over the past few years, so there will be a backlash.

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      • It might not be a huge deal to some voters but it is a major issue to women and about 60% of the voters. All the dems needed was a cause and the SC gave them one. We’ll see how it plays out but 50 years of freedom overturned won/t sit well with a lot of us! And now we’re looking at protests across the country so I think conservatives might be facing a larger challenge than they anticipated in the mid-terms! Sorry………..not sorry!

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        • i don’t really care one way or the other. i would rather the right spend its energy overturning wickard v filburn.

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        • That’s the case right there. Roe v Wade is a sideshow. Real change will come with that and with reversing Chevron Deference.

          But hey, elected Republicans have been a major disappointment so from my point of view so if the broads get pissy and vote en mass for Democrats, won’t break my heart. Clean out the losers.

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        • Is there a good example of a previous SCOTUS decision radically influencing midterm results or presidential results? I know there’s a lot of talk about appointing new justices and how important that is but is there a political backlash in, say, midterms to a controversial SCOTUS call?

          I can’t think of a great example but it doesn’t mean there hasn’t been any. This will certainly make a pretty clear test case.

          I would think the GOP and various Republican politicians would greatly prefer this hadn’t happened at this particular time.

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      • And BTW, there are already about 13 or more states ready to ban abortion completely which……………again, won’t sit well with a lot of women. Conservatives shoot themselves in the foot with this kind of stuff. Women don’t like to be dictated to……….even some conservative women…..we’d like to move forward not backwards.

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        • i think the left is catastrophising to whip up enthusiasm for the issue. i bet nothing changes for the most part. maybe a few bible belt states ban it.

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        • Vote em out! Haven’t done shit for me to be honest.

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        • Those 13 states are mostly pretty deep red and in most cases I believe the majority of women voters in those stars are pro-life. In any case, elections will allow them to change those politicians unresponsive to the will of the people on this issue.

          That said, to be clear, I’m not a fan of the “trigger bans” or the abolition of abortion generally. Would prefer the Republicans didn’t do that stuff.

          Eh, maybe one day. Maybe the end of Roe and returning the determination of abortion laws to the states and the voters will put and end to the bitter and acrimonious debate. Certainly wasn’t getting any better as things stood.

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      • LOL, I understand your issue Brent, but this is now the issue of the day and AFAIC, conservatives have blown the advantage they might have had. I remember fighting and marching and advocating for Health Care during the Obama years and it was a lot of women marching for their families…………..don’t underestimate us now!

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        • i think guys have grown tired of hearing angry women over the past 6 years and now just tune it out. i don’t think women will get the mileage out of it that they think they will.

          at least thats jmho.

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        • Don’t forget there are plenty of dudes thanking their wallets due to legal abortions.

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        • Well we will definitely see. I would NEVER underestimate the ability of Republicans to fuck things up.

          Kind of depends how much Republicans let this dominate the debate. If they go along with it, then they are probably screwed—if though the vast majority of elected Republicans and running Republicans don’t have any real role in the abortion debate. If overturning Roe sets the tone through November the. You are probably right.

          However, inflation and supply chain issues … and rising crime … will need to have improved for Roe v Wade to be a top issue for the general electorate.

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      • Brent:

        i think abortion is a huge deal to feminists and religious zealots.

        Aren’t they sort of the same thing? Lol.

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        • Different side of the same Karen coin!

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        • Forget Karen you guys. This is a real issue for women and not just feminists. How do you think women became such a force in the work force???? Family Planning Anyone?

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        • lms:

          This is a real issue for women and not just feminists.

          Probably, but your assumption that “women” all agree with you about this issue is just plain wrong. Again, I ask, why do you presume to speak for “women” with regard to abortion?

          Liked by 1 person

        • Look, I’m hoping legislative solutions are found that provide access to abortion for women. And I’m all for family planning—although obviously I prefer birth control to abortion. But I expect access to abortion is not going to change a lot.

          Anyway, most of us aren’t arguing for greater restriction on abortion or for banning abortions. I do think Roe was badly decided and a bad way to create law by judicial fiat. And feel that in the absence of Roe we might have had all this shit sorted out by now.

          But in the whole: I want everyone to have complete bodily autonomy.

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        • KW:

          But in the whole: I want everyone to have complete bodily autonomy.

          Everyone, it seems, except those who are not yet born.

          Even beyond that rather glaring and notable exception, I am skeptical. Do you want the mother of a new born baby to have the “bodily autonomy” to take her body on vacation for a week and leave her new born at home alone to die?

          And feel that in the absence of Roe we might have had all this shit sorted out by now.

          I completely agree on that. It is hard to overstate the corroding and corrupting impact that Roe has had on our body politic. A lot of the divisiveness and polarization that we see in the nation today is a result of the Constitutional atrocity that was Roe.

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        • And speaking of the divisiveness of Roe, the Dems are trying to cook up ways of codifying Roe through statute at the federal level, which will likely have an even more divisive impact than Roe has had.

          I’ve always thought it was dumb that abortion politics often played a role in campaigning for elective office at the federal level, given that the feds have literally no direct control over abortion policy. Under the Roe/Casey regimes, policy is largely controlled by SCOTUS, and to whatever extent it isn’t, it is controlled by state legislatures. So voters electing federal representatives based on their abortion politics were just being stupid.

          However, if Roe is codified into federal law, and particularly if it is accomplished via the elimination of the filibuster rule, then abortion is going to rightly play a major role in every federal election going forward, and abortion policy will never be stabilized. We can look forward to abortion policy being the subject of political debate constantly, and changed every time one party or the other controls both houses and the presidency. Regardless of policy desire, it will be far less divisive an issue if it is controlled at the state level, where any given policy, whether it be an outright ban, full-on 9 month legalisation, or something in between, will be more likely to find solid and enduring majorities.

          I get that both both sides of the issue want to have a national “win”, but in the absence of a strong nationwide consensus (which ironically Roe itself has helped to prevent), especially over an issue that generates such passion on both sides, anyone who values national cohesiveness should be glad to see it pushed out to individual states to resolve. Those who are pushing for federal codification are really just exacerbating the fracturing of the nation that we have been witness to over the last 15 or so years.

          BTW, I am not even sure how anyone expects to be able to codify Roe at the federal level in any event. Since laws exist to make things illegal, not to make things legal, any such codification will have to be written so as to make it illegal for state governments to regulate abortion. This will of course bring with it Constitutional challenges from states, and under what Constitutional authority will Congress claim to be legitimately restricting state action? I would assume it would be the infinitely elastic Commerce Clause, but in the absence of a majority of lawless progressive Justices, I find it hard to see how such a claim could win the day at SCOTUS.

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        • What do you think about restricting states from punishing or fining people who receive abortions out-of-state? It seems to me that that is something the federal government could do and have it stick. Not sure how many Republicans (especially nationally) want to get on the “punish women who get abortions” bandwagon.

          Would also think the federal government could come up with some sort of women’s health initiative to pay for transporting women to sanctuary “abortion tourism” states? Funding might come and go based on who was in power but that seems less disruptive than legislation designed to somehow guarantee abortion “rights” that then gets overturned in the next election.

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        • KW:

          What do you think about restricting states from punishing or fining people who receive abortions out-of-state? It seems to me that that is something the federal government could do and have it stick.

          Agreed. Indeed that would seem like one of the rare, legitimate uses of the Commerce Clause.

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        • “Everyone, it seems, except those who are not yet born.”

          Even them. It is a conundrum.

          Ideally, avoiding all circumstances which lead to abortions—that vast majority of which are avoidable—would be the best way to do that.

          Failing that, morning-after pills. Failing that, some arbitrary time limit like 15 weeks and then the window is closed.

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        • KW:

          Even them. It is a conundrum.

          I just think the whole “bodily autonomy” frame is specifically designed to avoid confronting the very thing to which those who are opposed to abortion actually object. I agree that reconciling the rights of women with the rights of any humans inside of them can indeed appear to be a conundrum (albeit not one without a solution), but framing the issue around “control of women’s bodies” is merely an attempt to assume the latter’s rights, and hence the conundrum, away.

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        • “ Do you want the mother of a new born baby to have the “bodily autonomy” to take her body on vacation for a week and leave her new born at home alone to die?”

          You tempt the shitposter in me to be glib. But no. Just as I would assume the life-of-the child doesn’t justify chaining the mother to a chair for 24-7 breast availability should the infant prove hungry.

          That said, I feel the best argument against abortion and bodily autonomy are not extreme extrapolations but the numerous tools to ensure you don’t get pregnant, starting with abstinence. But there are many other tools that allow you to control your reproductive system and none involve termination of an existing pregnancy. Up to and including the iffy-ish (but I’m entirely fine with it) morning after pill.

          Why does abortion have to be such a major issue when there are so many ways to control your reproductive system? And more coming online, it seems, every few years?

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        • I absolutely do not presume I speak for all women………..I’m actually a churchgoing girl myself. I’m only saying that the SC may have awakened a sleeping giant………..not 100% giant but majority giant perhaps.

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        • lms:

          I absolutely do not presume I speak for all women

          You seem to. You keep lecturing us about what “women” care about and what “women” think, as if 1) women are a political monolith and 2) you have insight into what this monolith thinks.

          I’m only saying that the SC may have awakened a sleeping giant

          The SC hasn’t actually done anything yet. Some leaker has.

          But I do wonder why you think that this leak will alter anyone’s voting habits. It isn’t going to change yours, is it? Is there some large constituency of women who are really passionate about being able to kill unborn babies and who usually vote for Republicans but are now going to vote for Dems?

          BTW, assuming that SCOTUS does overturn Roe, won’t it make sense for passionate legal abortion advocates to vote in state, not federal elections, since that is where policy will be made?

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        • Scott I only speak for myself and the women I know………….if I gave you a different impressions I’m so regretful and sorry!

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    • Time will tell. I’m functionally pro-choice and expect abortion bans will be fought at the state level and a lot of them won’t make it. I’m just not sure how much it will bend the electorate. There are plenty of pro-life women out there by the polls—-they just don’t get the same coverage in the press.

      You may be right. Ultimately, I think it would be better for abortion legality to be enshrined legislatively than by fiat in SCOTUS. And I expect that’s what will happen in most places. And you’ll have abortion sanctuary states that will pay money to assist people with expenses to come get abortions.

      So it will be all right, I think.

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    • lms:

      Hah, I’m not interested in Greenwald’s opinion

      I am, so I was glad he posted it. (BTW, given your extremely rare appearances here, I’m not at all sure why you would assume that something was posted for the sake of your interests.)

      What I am interested in is that women across the country will be energized to vote now.

      You think women are only “energised” to vote over abortion? Strange. Lots of women I know have been energized to vote well before yesterday’s leak, and for reasons entirely unrelated to abortion politics.

      Whomever leaked that has done democrats a huge favor.

      I doubt it. The official ruling is scheduled to be announced well before the election anyway, so whoever would be especially compelled to vote for Dems because of it would have been so even without the leak.

      But I am curious what you think about the fact of the leak. Does it bother you at all that members of the court and/or their staff would attempt to create outside political pressure in order to influence how justices vote on a given issue?

      You guys spend too much time in the “Legal Weeds” and forget that women don’t really give a crap about your “Manly Bullshit”

      What “manly bullshit” are you referring to, exactly? And more interestingly, why do you assume that you can speak for what “women” in general do or don’t care about? Do you think that all or even most women think exactly like you?

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      • I’ve got plenty of manly bullshit in my posting history I’m sure, so I can definitely take the hit there. 😂

        That said polls indicate that women and men are pretty close in their positions on abortion. There is an effort among those who embrace identity politics (the media, Hollywood, the left) to frame abortion like everything else as an argument between identity groups—between victim group and abuser group—so the abortion debate is often framed as evil men trying to oppress victimized women. But almost as many women are pro-life as men, and in deep red states typically a majority of women are pro-life and I heard some podcast (so have not independently verified) noted that in at least one of those states more women than men vote, and more of those voting women identify as pro-life than in the general population.

        But that’s not a clean-cut, us-vs-them narrative, so is less appealing.

        Regarding the leak: while bad I thought it was inevitable this happened at some point. There’s a whole new crop of millennials in DC now and they are incentivized very differently, in general.

        That there would be a hero leaker at some point was just a matter of time.

        Security will have to be radically locked down and very different or it will happen again. And again.

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      • I’m sorry Scott I really just can’t respond to your issues right now!

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        • lms:

          I’m sorry Scott I really just can’t respond to your issues right now!

          lol

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        • Scott……….I have no assumption that anything was posted here or elsewhere for me………….

          And no, I’m sure there are many other important issues for women to support but autonomy is a biggie!

          And yes it bothers me that the document was leaked. It’s just another indication that the SC has lost it’s luster!

          And again…….I seriously doubt that most women agree with me or give a crap about what I think….just expressing my own opinion but I think the R’s may have some trouble with women in general this year. I’m just a bystander now though so who cares WTF I think right?

          I barely care what I think……….LOL

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        • lms:

          just expressing my own opinion

          Sure, but it seems to be your opinion of what “women” think and care about. And that opinion seems to be that they think and care about abortion in the same way that you do.

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        • It’s just another indication that the SC has lost it’s luster!

          Thank goodness. I’m with Andrew Jackson on this.

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    • Lol!

      My bitches will bear my bastards!

      What I love is that if it were legal, a lot of men would force women to have abortions.

      As Wham UK said “This young gun says abortion pays!”

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      • Making a mockery of such a serious issue is not that helpful McWing. I always try to respect your opinion but you lost me on this one!

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        • I’m 100% serious. Why should people be forced to pay for kids they don’t want?

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        • It’s a mockery because you’re assuming it’s up to men to force women to have abortions. It’s just the opposite side of the same coin……..force them to have one or force them not to have one. It’s not your decision……………

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        • Nor should it be a males obligation to pay for a kid he doesn’t want.

          I’m seeing agreement here, don’t you?

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        • I also agree with this. Unless they’ve put a ring on it. Then they both get a say in child-having and obligations in child-paying-for.

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        • At no point do I think it’s up to me what decision a woman makes regarding abortion.

          I believe in bodily autonomy and that abortion decisions should be left to the woman.

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        • KW:

          I believe in bodily autonomy and that abortion decisions should be left to the woman.

          Do you believe the man should have to pay support if she chooses not to kill her unborn baby?

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        • If she didn’t get a ring on it—if they aren’t married—then no. No obligations. That’s for them to sort out or not. If married and within that implied contract there should be both a financial obligation on the part of the man and he should get a say in regards to their child-having decisions. And if he or she doesn’t like that arrangement they shouldn’t get married. Just my opinion!

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        • KW:

          If she didn’t get a ring on it—if they aren’t married—then no. No obligations.

          That is the logical consequence of “her body her choice”.

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        • Agreed. And I don’t have a problem with it but it should be a principal consistently applied. Dude has no say in the having of the child, he has no financial obligation.

          Also bodily autonomy is, IMO, a legit principle that should be observed. In terms of at least early-term abortions (in that case I would think there should be some cut-off time where you’ve had plenty of opportunity to exercise your bodily autonomy rights) … and you also have a right not to undergo vaccinations, gene therapies, or other medical procedures mandated by the state. Nor to make or authorize permanent body-altering decisions for children below the age of consent.

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        • KW:

          and you also have a right not to undergo vaccinations, gene therapies, or other medical procedures mandated by the state.

          I don’t think those are analogous to abortion. First, if abortion is outlawed, nothing is being “mandated”. No one is being “forced” by the law to do anything. They are simply being prevented from doing something.

          Second, none of those issues have a third party directly implicated. Abortion clearly does.

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        • Third party issue is the non-analogous part.

          I don’t see a huge difference between mandating or forbidding something in regards to bodily autonomy.

          But the 3rd party issue of the future-child (as Biden recently referred to Roe as “the right to abort a child”) will always be there. With abortion there is always an implication of infanticide as in most cases one could reasonably expect the non-aborted fetus to proceed into becoming a autonomous human being with rights of their own.

          So—no easy answers. But clearly Roe was an exceptionally poor answer.

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  2. I think you guys miss the point…………women just want to have control over their own bodies and there are still a lot of men out there resisting the notion. Here’s a synopsis of a conversation my super intelligent and accomplished daughter in the oil industry had last week on a visit to Occidental to introduce herself to some of her compatriots there. She’s a level 3 geologist now and a big project manager. She set up a meeting with the head geologist and he was………..”Why are you here?” She said she thought it might be time to meet and for him to see what she’s doing in CO/WY and he said………”Don’t expect a promotion”, then he told her she was like a dog to him……………she could bring him the paper and he would feed her and pay her but she wasn’t allowed to read it…………I know this has nothing to do with abortion or body/family control………….but it might give you skeptics a reality check re……………what women still have to deal with. Abortion rights are about control…………pure and simple!

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    • I think abortion proponents think people are against abortion because they sympathize with the man. I don’t think that is the case. I think they sympathize with unborn baby.

      i guess women will blame men regardless, but that’s just my sense of the matter.

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      • Brent:

        I don’t think that is the case. I think they sympathize with unborn baby.

        That is of course true. But feminists can’t acknowledge it because it doesn’t support their victimhood narrative.

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        • That’s total bullshit!

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        • lms:

          That’s total bullshit!

          What is…that people who oppose legal abortion have empathy for the unborn baby, or that feminists can’t admit that empathy exists because to do so would run counter to their victimology narrative?

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    • Seniority in a company, a union or in the Senate sucks, no doubt about it.

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    • Plus I’m with you on bodily autonomy. If I want to sell a kidney, or if a woman wants to sell a baby, they should be allowed. If I want to shoot smack or snort coke it’s nobody’s business. And if I want to be irresponsible and not take care of my own medical needs via insurance or savings then I should be left to die on the side of the road. Welcome to our side LMS!

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    • lms:

      women just want to have control over their own bodies…

      And they have it. There is literally nothing about the reversal of Roe that would reduce women’s control over their own bodies. This is such a nonsense rhetorical device.

      (And again I ask you…why do you think you can speak for what all women want?)

      I know this has nothing to do with abortion or body/family control………….but it might give you skeptics a reality check re……………what women still have to deal with.

      What makes you think men don’t have to deal with abusive/obnoxious bosses? Do you necessarily interpret every negative thing that might happen to a woman to be a function of her being a woman?

      Abortion rights are about control…………pure and simple!

      I don’t understand. Are you suggesting that the only reason anyone ever opposes legal abortion is out of a desire to “control” women?

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    • I will note dudes have to deal with being treated like shit, too. I’ve had men and women do it to me, in equal number. People with real or imagined power over you can be horrendous assholes.

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    • BTW lms…you use the word “women” a lot. Can you clarify what you mean by the term? It’s become unclear what progressives mean these days when they use it. Even our new progressive Justice-to-be claimed not to know how to define it!

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  3. “What I am interested in is that women across the country will be energized to vote now.”

    Given their numbers, if they act as single issue voters on this they should easily carry the day.

    Abortion rights based on legislation enacted democratically is probably a firmer foundation than relying on creative interpretation of the Constitution. What judges give, judges can take away.

    I’m still aligned with Ayn Rand’s substantive position on this:

    “An embryo has no rights. Rights do not pertain to a potential, only to an actual being. A child cannot acquire any rights until it is born. The living take precedence over the not yet living (or the unborn).

    Abortion is a moral right — which should be left to the sole discretion of the woman involved; morally, nothing other than her wish in the matter is to be considered. Who can conceivably have the right to dictate to her what disposition she is to make of the functions of her own body?”

    But I also acknowledge it has nothing to do with the Constitution.

    Politically, when the Democrats split on this and are unable to pass federal legislation codifying a right to abortion and are also unable to muster a majority to change the filibuster rules, I think it will result in further infighting and demoralization.

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    • I agree. And I have no objection to rational limitations on abortions (and treating it like a surgery, and having it be done in a hospital). Third trimester abortions should be largely unnecessary and polling suggests the majority opinion is against late-term abortions. And I’m okay with that as a democratic consensus. But, yes, limitations (and the implied freedoms not constrained) should be legislated, not imagined into being by creative jurisprudence.

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    • Vis-a-vis the politics of this, I think this writer speaks for a lot of Democratic voters right now:

      “Democrats Can Go Scorched Earth on Abortion Rights, or Go Home

      Don’t ask me again for my vote if you’re just going to sleepwalk through the end of reproductive freedom—and democracy.

      Meredith Shiner
      May 4, 2022

      Democrats should at least try to eliminate the filibuster in Senate to show that they have the will to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act and expand the Supreme Court. Taking a stand and backing it up with action, even if those actions might ultimately and valiantly fail, is the morally correct thing to do. It also could engender more support from prospective voters than another empty “It’s November, stupid” cheap shot from Democratic leaders. Or they can stop asking for my vote. There is no pussy hat, catchy slogan on a poster board, or pithy tweet that can save us now. Only the people who have power can try to leverage it, and as these out-of-touch elected officials have clearly demonstrated, women and marginalized Americans across the country don’t even have political power to motivate them to do the right thing. Maybe today is the wake-up call. Or maybe the Democratic Party is going to keep hitting the snooze button and hope the republic holds until morning.”

      https://newrepublic.com/article/166293/democrats-abortion-rights-roe-2022

      It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the overturning of Roe v. Wade ends up mattering less in the November election than predicted if:

      A. The Democrats set up a vote on national legislation to codify abortion rights and/or vote to eliminate the legislative filibuster to do it and fail to succeed

      and

      B. The limited attention span of Americans comes into play. By leaking the opinion early, the backlash may peak too soon for ideal political timing for Democrats.

      Like

      • There is no pussy hat

        I’m just glad we can say pussy again.

        Like

      • “they have the will to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act and expand the Supreme Court”

        The problem is they can’t focus. How about passing the act WITHOUT packing the court?

        Like

      • To reverse the ask, look at a right-winger demanding Republicans pass a flat tax, build a wall, deport all illegal immigrants, outlaw CRT in education, reverse Obergfell and repeal Obamacare NOW or they can forget about ever getting that right-wingers vote again. How many Democrats or independents are going to listen to that and say; oh, well, that makes sense.

        Like

    • jnc:

      I’m still aligned with Ayn Rand’s substantive position on this

      Even though Rand’s position is scientifically illiterate? After all, she says:

      The living take precedence over the not yet living

      The unborn are, in fact, living. It is scientifically illiterate to say otherwise. And if you include her parenthetical addendum, ie “(or the unborn)”, it is just a completely unsupported and non-rational assertion, akin to saying “because reasons”.

      I am a fan of Rand too, but on abortion she needed to heed her own advice…check your premises. Her position has literally nothing to recommend it.

      Like

      • I tend to be more persuaded by this part:

        “Who can conceivably have the right to dictate to her what disposition she is to make of the functions of her own body?””

        and as a practical matter I don’t think having the government involved in the decision to end or not end a pregnancy will lead to better outcomes.

        Like

        • jnc:

          I tend to be more persuaded by this part:

          But that is a straw man. No one claims to have the right to dictate to her what disposition she is to make of the functions of her own body. What they claim is that she does not have the right to dispose of someone else’s body at her whim.

          Rands approach was to simply assume away the central objection to abortion. She never addressed the actual arguments from those who oppose it.

          Like

        • She goes into it in more detail in her other writings, which are pretty easy to find.

          And yes, I suppose by declaring the actual pregnancy to be a function of the mother’s body that does assume away the central objection.

          So be it. I’m unwilling to support using the coercive power of the state to force a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term. Just like I’m unwilling to support using the coercive power of the state in a lot of other instances.

          As an aside, it is amusing on social media to watch a lot of people adopting Randian arguments about the illegitimacy of these sorts of regulations only with regards to abortion and nothing else. Especially vis-a-vis their positions on vaccine mandates.

          Like

        • jnc:

          She goes into it in more detail in her other writings, which are pretty easy to find.

          I’m well familiar with them.

          I’m unwilling to support using the coercive power of the state to force a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term.

          Or, more briefly, you are in favor of legal abortion. That much is clear. But it’s the rationale for it that I don’t understand.

          Just like I’m unwilling to support using the coercive power of the state in a lot of other instances.

          I am sceptical that it is “just like” those instances. Do any of those other instances involve killing another human being?

          As an aside, it is amusing on social media to watch a lot of people adopting Randian arguments about the illegitimacy of these sorts of regulations only with regards to abortion and nothing else.

          Agreed. But progressives pretty much as a matter of course make disingenuous arguments of convenience rather than consistent arguments of principle. As you said earlier…Calvinball.

          Like

        • “Do any of those other instances involve killing another human being?”

          No, but they do involve allowing people to kill themselves either quickly or slowly. I.e assisted suicide and drug use.

          The “causing harm to others” moral issue hinges of course on whether or not you view the unborn child/embryo/fetus as a separate individual or still inextricably tied to the mother.

          Whatever else we disagree on, I think we both identify the crux of the issue as when do rights attach to the unborn child/embryo/fetus separate from the mother. The line I would draw is after birth.

          Like

        • jnc:

          Whatever else we disagree on, I think we both identify the crux of the issue as when do rights attach to the unborn child/embryo/fetus separate from the mother.

          Indeed.

          The line I would draw is after birth.

          I understand, but I don’t think that is rationally defensible. I have never seen any rationale that recommends thinking that rights magically spring forth due to passage through the birth canal.

          Like

  4. Insights you can only glean at the NYT:

    “Polls suggest an overturning of Roe might not carry political consequences in states that would be likeliest to put in restrictions.”

    Like

  5. This is funny, but unfortunately shows how little most people actually understand how the US government works at a basic civics level.

    Like

    • jnc:

      This is funny, but unfortunately shows how little most people actually understand how the US government works at a basic civics level.

      It is depressing how completely ignorant most people are. And even worse, how adamant and sure they are of their ignorant positions.

      Like

      • Those things always go together. They are profoundly sure of themselves and simultaneously profoundly sure of the facts. I compulsively check the facts when someone says something that sounds factual but contradicts what I think I know. And I’m often mistaken or my knowledge incomplete.

        Like

    • I love Greenwald. I’d totally go gay for him.

      Like

      • LOL, no you wouldn’t…………but I’d go for him regardless….J/K

        Like

      • He’s honest and consistent, which is incredibly rare in the media these days.

        He’s been the same since his days criticizing the Bush administration and I’ve come around to his views about the excesses of the War on Terror measures that were taken at the time.

        This was when I realized he wasn’t a typical rationalizing progressive:

        “The vindication of Dick Cheney

        Obama has won the War on Terror debate — for the American Right. And they’re quite appreciative

        By Glenn Greenwald
        Published January 18, 2011 11:19AM (EST)

        Conservatives would love to bash Obama for being weak on Terrorism so that, in the event of another attack, they can blame him (and Cheney, in last night’s interview, left open that possibility by suggesting Obama may suffer from unknown failures). If it were at all possible, they’d be out accusing him of abandoning critical programs that Keep us Safe; that’s what they do best. But they cannot with a straight face claim that Obama has abandoned their core approach, so they do the only thing they can do: acknowledge that he has continued and strengthened it and point out that it proves they were right — and he was wrong — all along. If Obama has indeed changed his mind over the last two years as a result of all the Secret Scary Things he’s seen as President, then I genuinely believe that he and the Democratic Party owe a heartfelt, public apology to Bush, Cheney and the GOP for all the harsh insults they spewed about them for years based on policies that they are now themselves aggressively continuing.”

        https://www.salon.com/2011/01/18/cheney_72/

        Like

    • Shows how dumb our media is too.

      Like

  6. Haha, I’m not a huge media fan these days but I can tell you guys missed your dumb blonde here. I’ll try to engage with you for entertainment purposes at least.

    Like

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