Morning Report: A recession is looking more likely

Vital Statistics:

 LastChange
S&P futures3,9963.15
Oil (WTI)95.44-0.75
10 year government bond yield 2.81%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 5.72%

Stocks are flattish this morning on no real news. Bonds and MBS are up

The index of leading economic indicators fell 0.8% in June, after falling 0.6% in May. For the first half of the year, it is down 1.8%.

“The US LEI declined for a fourth consecutive month suggesting economic growth is likely to slow further in the near-term as recession risks grow,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director of Economic Research at The Conference Board. “Consumer pessimism about future business conditions, moderating labor market conditions, falling stock prices, and weaker manufacturing new orders drove the LEI’s decline in June. The coincident economic index which rose in June suggests the economy grew through the second quarter. However, the forward-looking LEI points to a US economic downturn ahead. Amid high inflation and rapidly tightening monetary policy, The Conference Board expects economic growth will continue to cool throughout 2022. A US recession around the end of this year and early next is now likely. Accordingly, we’ve downgraded our forecast of 2022 annual Real GDP growth to 1.7 percent year-over-year (from 2.3 percent), while 2023 growth was downgraded to 0.5 percent YOY (from 1.8 percent).”

Note that Ford just announced planned layoffs, and initial jobless claims rose to 250k so it looks like the labor market has probably peaked. The recent Atlanta Fed GDP Now index predicts the economy fell 1.6% in the second quarter. According to the classis model of recession (two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth) we are already in one. That said, the NBER makes the final call, and they can choose to ignore this if they want.

90 Responses

  1. My prediction is Bannon is convicted before noon, EST.

    Also, Judge will sentence him to the max jail time and sanction Bannon’s attorney’s as a message to all Trumpers.

    Lawfare.

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  2. This is great:

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    • Greenwald is awesome. Doesn’t care who he pisses off. I don’t know that Gaetz’s vote is defensible on federalism grounds but Glen is 100% right on what happens to anyone who doesn’t parrot the party line. Especially journalists.

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    • The responses confirm why I hate the Twitter left so much

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  3. I know none of you are particularly interested here in the J 6 hearings but in case you wondered what they outlined yesterday, here is the timeline of the 3 hours Trump spent in front of the tv watching events unfold.

    What Trump Did During Those 187 Minutes
    By Amanda Carpenter

    Let’s put the idea to rest that Trump “did nothing” during the 187 minutes the attack on the U.S. Capitol was underway. Thanks to the Jan. 6th Committee’s Thursday hearing, we have a very good idea of exactly what Trump did.

    Briefly, here it is:

    At 1:19 p.m., Trump arrived back at the White House after delivering his remarks on the Ellipse, in which he told his supporters to march to the Capitol and “fight like hell.” He was notified there was violence at the Capitol. Trump reacted by making himself comfortable in the White House dining room in front of a television playing Fox News. He ordered the White House photographer not to take any photos.

    At 1:49 p.m. D.C. Metropolitan Police declared there was a riot at the Capitol. At that same moment, Trump tweeted a video of his “fight like hell” speech at the Ellipse so his followers would hear his inciting message once again.

    The Senate adjourned at 2:13 p.m. At 2:24 p.m., Trump tweeted: “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done.” Two minutes later, Pence was evacuated to a secure location.

    As senators scurried out of the chamber, Trump dialed up GOP Sens. Tommy Tuberville and Josh Hawley to encourage them to delay counting Electoral College votes.

    White House call logs are mainly empty but show that he also called Rudy Giuliani twice that day. He did not call make any calls to the Defense Secretary, Attorney General, or Department of Homeland Security Secretary.

    Trump accepted a call from a then-House “scared” GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, who begged him for help. Trump promptly ignored McCarthy’s pleas for help and, according to Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, told McCarthy: “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.”

    As White House Counsel Pat Cipollone testified, Trump ignored all the staff who wanted the rioters to leave the Capitol. When specifically asked by the committee if Trump wanted the rioters to go, Cipollone could not answer “yes” and, painfully, struggled to invoke executive privilege. Cassidy Hutchison said her boss Mark Meadows heard Trump say, “He thinks Mike deserves it, he doesn’t think they’re doing anything wrong” about those who wanted to hurt Pence.

    Finally, at 4 p.m. Trump, reluctantly, recorded a video showering the rioters with love, perpetuating the lie about the stolen election, and asking them to go home. Outtakes shown by the committee showed that Trump stumbled to avoid saying the election was over, called the rioters “patriots,” and was careful not to accuse them of wrongdoing. By that point, Pence and congressional leaders–sans GOP leader Kevin McCarthy–were scrambling to take control of the situation. Trump was not part of those conversations, either.

    So now everyone can be clear on what Trump did during those 187 minutes. He watched TV, he lobbied senators to delay the vote count, he put a target on Pence’s back, ignored pleas for help, sat around while other leaders organized plans, and then blew the rioters a kiss on their way out the door.

    Trump chose not to secure the peace. He, alone, chose violence. He was derelict. That’s pathetic, but it sure ain’t “nothing.”

    https://morningshots.thebulwark.com/p/a-stain-on-our-history?utm_source=substack&utm_medium=email

    There was also a sort of funny video of Josh Hawley running from the rioters juxtaposed with his raised fist earlier spurring them on! It’s not really funny but I guess twitter had a field day with it last night and today. Also, I doubt Bannon will serve more than 30 to 60 days but I was happy to see someone in Trump’s orbit found guilty of something. He already received one pardon.

    And as I said after the first televised hearing, I respect Liz Cheney and others who have the courage to stand up to Trump et al! Some of them are doing it at great risk to their political, professional and personal lives. I probably wouldn’t agree with any of these men and women politically but I do value their commitment to the truth. Some of it’s a little late of course…………….LOL

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    • Rest assured LMS, Trump will be tried before but not convicted until after the convention.

      You won’t have to worry about him assuming office. I was right about 2020, if you’ll recall. It was a wipeout for Trump.

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      • And Bannon will be required to serve a year, minimum.

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      • That’s true it was a wipe out but I think he did a lot of damage along the way. I don’t want him or Biden to run again. It’s time to set things back to a debate around liberal versus conservative issues, not stolen elections that didn’t actually happen. We have a lot of issues to debate……………gun control, female autonomy, same sex marriage……………….bringing down the deficit, which both parties contribute to…………….taxes, health care, climate change, etc etc……………..I miss those arguments. I honestly think that Trump has subverted our democratic process and I wish he would go away. I’m not enamored with the dems either so not sure where I land in all of this but I guess we still have a couple of years to figure it out.

        As a side note…………….a woman who miscarried in one of the states with a very strict abortion ban had to wait 9 days for a D & C to have the dead fetal tissue removed. As the mother of a daughter who recently went through the same kind of miscarriage, I call that cruel. Cruelty towards women will backfire for R’s. If not in November then in 2024.

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        • Anyone who delayed a D&C because of any existing abortion law is doing something wrong. There are no actual laws against surgically removing a dead fetus.

          Where did this happen and who was the doctor? Kinda curious if it was sincere ignorance or an effort to create an event to prove how bad the abortion laws are by not doing something not made illegal by existing abortion laws in order to argue that “fear of potential liability for doing something clearly legal” mean the laws are bad and should be repealed.

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  4. You guys can read this story or not……………this is the reality in many states right now!

    https://www.cnn.com/2022/07/20/health/doctors-weigh-litigation-miscarriage-care/index.html

    When Marlena Stell had a miscarriage, she says she begged her doctor for help but instead was forced to walk around for at least two weeks with fetal remains inside her because of strict anti-abortion laws.

    Stell, who was 9½ weeks pregnant at the time, said she was “blindsided” when her doctor showed her an ultrasound image showing the fetus was no longer alive, and then refused to do the standard surgery to remove the fetal remains.

    “Why is this so complicated to just get care when it’s obvious to the doctor and me looking at the screen that this is not a viable pregnancy?” she told CNN.

    “She said, ‘There is no heartbeat. There is no viable pregnancy,’ ” Stell remembers.

    Stell said the doctor advised her to go home and pass the fetal remains naturally. She thought back to her miscarriage three years before in Washington and asked the doctor for a D&C, but the doctor declined.

    Doctors worry that online misinformation will push abortion-seekers toward ineffective, dangerous methods

    “She said, ‘Well, because of the new law that’s passed, you’re going to have to get another ultrasound for me to be able to even do anything for you,’ ” Stell said.

    She said her doctor didn’t advise her on where to go for a second ultrasound, so she was left to find one on her own.

    “I’m trying to grieve, I’m processing, but at the same time, I’m trying to find places to get me in,” she said.

    She found an imaging center, its walls covered with pictures of smiling babies.

    “The technician was like, ‘Oh, how far along are you? Are you excited?’ and things like that, and I didn’t even know what to say, because it’s like, ‘I’m here because I already know I lost the baby. This isn’t a happy occasion for me. I’m doing this because I’m required to,’ ” Stell said.

    Hearing for the second time that the fetus had died was “gut-wrenching.”

    “It was bad enough hearing it the first time,” she said.

    Stell arranged for the ultrasound results to be sent to her obstetrician. She said that for five days, she called the office to see if her doctor would perform the D&C now that the fetal death had been confirmed by a second ultrasound, but she said the doctor still wouldn’t do the surgery.

    By this time, Stell was in such pain that it had become difficult to walk. She said her doctor offered her a prescription for mifepristone and misoprostol, drugs used for miscarriages and abortions, but Stell preferred surgery.

    “I don’t want to see this happen. I don’t want to be alone at home without a doctor,” she said.

    In its practice bulletin, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists emphasizes the importance of considering patient preference for the three miscarriage treatment options: miscarrying naturally; taking the pills; or having a D&C.

    About two weeks after her original ultrasound showing the fetus was no longer alive, Stell found an abortion clinic to do a third ultrasound and perform the D&C. Like the other patients, she had a safety escort because of protestors outside the clinic.

    Abortion pills are becoming more commonly used but won’t be a post-Roe ‘panacea’

    “As I was walking into the clinic, there were people with signs yelling at me that I was a baby killer,” she said. “Seeing that was another just emotional blow because I wanted this baby, and (to) be told I’m a baby killer when it’s something that was out of my control, was humiliating and made me angry.” The answer lies in fear: The same surgical procedure used to remove a dead fetus is also used to remove a living fetus, and doctors in states with strict anti-abortion laws worry they’ll be prosecuted for performing an abortion when they were actually providing miscarriage care.

    “Doctors can’t just rely on the fact that they’re right,” said Dr. Sarah Prager, co-author of an early pregnancy loss practice bulletin for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. “They could still potentially be sued multiple times and be on the hook for a lot of money.”

    Just one story of many more to come!

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    • Sorry don’t believe a thing the liberal media says anymore…

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      • Thanks for the input Brent…………….I try to show up here occasionally to present a narrative different than what you guys seem to believe without any doubt. But obviously I’m not welcome here. I’ll try not to make the mistake again! No guarantees though because you guys make me crazy sometimes! And there are times i just need to call you all on your BS!

        BTW the story is from Texas, but it could be anywhere USA. Women are going to suffer, but obviously you don’t care and maybe no one here cares!

        I’ve tried to understand why you hate women but I have no clear vision regarding that…………….I just hope others here don’t share the same opinion.

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        • How does not believing what the liberal media is saying equal hating women?

          That’s like saying believing the liberal media means you hate men. Why do you Hate men?

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        • Kind of curious … but doesn’t it seem like a leap to you to say that Brent hates women? If you had said “hates the media”, I get how you had reached that conclusion. But I don’t get the sense that Brent just hates women. What is the criteria for hating women? Being pro-life? Then what about the 33% of women who are pro-life?

          Anyway I love women but that doesn’t mean I’m obligated to agree with them about everything. 😉

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        • lms:

          But obviously I’m not welcome here.

          It isn’t obvious to me.

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      • Yes, but we can approach progressive media (it’s not a liberal media any more, IMO—hasn’t been since 2016) stories in an academic, “well, what if it is true?”

        It could be true. Pro-choice or pro-life in ideology, government bureaucracy is often incompetent, cares little for how it inconveniences or penalizes citizens who are legitimately trying to do the right thing … and doctors can be dicks and medical care can be extremely poor.

        Second child we had a shitty OBGYN for the delivery who seemed pissed off that our having a baby was impinging on her schedule. She was honestly pissed the anesthesiologist was delaying the procedure to make sure my wife didn’t die during the procedure.

        So I can believe the story is possible, sure. Absolutely. But it won’t change my mind in regards to appropriate remedies—and royal decrees from unelected jurists who are legislating new laws when it is not their remit … that is not the appropriate remedy and never has been.

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    • No doubt—all that story was before the overturn of Roe v. Wade.

      The doctor in the case was not acting responsibly—or being a dick. I don’t understand why Stell didn’t seek out another doctor.

      That being said, the doctors that delay medical treatment for miscarriages because their fear over potentially getting in trouble trumps the health of their patients will find themselves quite reasonably sued on the other end. If there are real constraints imposed on the treatment of miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies, there will be lawsuits challenging state abortion laws on that basis, as well as the ever-present opportunity to elect better representatives to the state legislature or governor’s mansion.

      Nine unelected justices in robes aren’t the only way to address such issues, nor are they the best way, IMO. People truly concerned should run for office, campaign for good politicians, and show up to vote for people who will support the laws (or repeal thereof) they believe are important.

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      • Kevin it was pre the overturn of Roe but was under the rules of Texas re abortion is my understanding. And suing after the fact is not a real solution for women who have had to bend to the rules of the state regardless of their health. I can’t help but think of my daughter, who luckily lives in CO, and was able to terminate a non viable pregnancy immediately once it was determined that the fetus was gone. She had the D & C on her birthday last year because it was too unbearable to wait.

        I had 2 miscarriages myself but I guess I was lucky enough to pass the tissue on my own……………the SC court has no idea what they’ve unleashed on the women in America…………….

        The problem with the SC ruling is now that some states will criminalize all terminations of pregnancy, regardless of the life of the mother, rape, incest, etc. It’s already happening. I heard one governor say just this week that a child should still deliver a baby………….really?

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        • lms:

          the SC court has no idea what they’ve unleashed on the women in America…

          I think it is you who have no idea what the implications of Dobbs will be.

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    • You are so gullible.

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      • Thanks for that Scott!

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        • Insulting but I think men think it’s kind of cute that we’re so gullible………………sheesh!

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        • lms:

          Insulting…

          It wasn’t meant to be, but as insults go I think it is pretty mild. Certainly nothing close to calling someone a misogynist.

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        • I think it’s easy for people to accept uncontextualized assertions from often unconfirmed or unreliable sources when they confirm our priors.

          If this is gullibility it is a near-universal kind of gullibility. To avoid it requires that people constantly question those things that confirm their beliefs and that is an active effort people generally don’t make, because it seems like a waste of effort. Why expend energy confirming something we already know must be true?

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  5. I don’t hate women – hell I am married to one.

    But I have come to the point where I don’t believe a damn thing the feminist left says, and I think the “patriarchy” is a myth…

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    • I’m sure you love your wife the same why I know Scott loves his wife and 3 daughters. I’m not a feminist left but I do think some men, and obviously some ultra religious/conservative women are going to regret what they’ve unleashed thanks to the SC. There may be some legal justification (according to Scott) but I doubt that the majority of women in the US will stand by and watch whatever the states propose to stand. Remember when men questioned the story of the 10 year old who was raped and had to travel across state lines for an abortion………………shame on them for doubting that story………….pretty sure the liberal media proved that one. Women are going to die and they’re going to suffer. If you love women, you and everyone here should care about that. We know the R Senate/Congress will ban abortion nationwide if given the chance…………..huh, if you believe in State’s rights hopefully you’re not going to support that bullshit!

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      • But she didn’t have to cross state lines, there was no legal reason too. She was raped.

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      • And the Supreme Court expressly said that there is not a federal role in either banning or allowing abortion so it would be impossible for a Federal statute to ban abortion to be considered Constitutional.

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      • “I doubt that the majority of women in the US will stand by and watch whatever the states propose to stand.”

        Great! Vote the bums out. File lawsuits. Campaign for your preferred politicians. Run for office! The tools of democracy are all there.

        I think most of the folks on the right who supported the overturning of Roe on legal grounds (like me!) fully support pro-choice people working at the state level to get candidates elected and influence legislators. Even if I think the law is bad (keeping in mind I’m broadly pro-choice) if elected representatives who are ultimately accountable to their constituents get it through their legislatures … it is what it is. I’m good with that. I’d rather have that than feel as if we’re primarily ruled by 9 monarchs who, like monarchs of old, serve for life.

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    • Well there certainly was a patriarchy—meaning a male-dominated, male-led, man-is-the-head-of-the-household society (where some women often held a great deal of power, but had the manage that power through stealth).

      At present I think the patriarchy is essentially vanished (once you can criticize and “oppose” a structural power without consequence, and indeed enjoy praise and reward for doing so, it is no longer a structural power).

      Performative activists—which in a wealthy first-world society is almost all activists—primarily fight the battles that have already been won by others, decades before. And then try to squeeze in some of their fetishes under the umbrella of whatever already won “rights” they are fighting for.

      Feminism, like most cultural movements, suffer from the fact there is literally no end point for the war. There is no point at which they can say “we’re done, we’ve won”—no matter what they achieve. Which leads ironically to things like men displacing women in women’s sports and the insertion of predatory males in women’s prisons under the idea that their claims to be a woman makes them a woman, and confers on them all the rights and privileges of womanhood. Which they then use to prey on actual women. And that’s now feminism to some people!

      All movements for rights and freedoms eventually become battles over power.

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  6. I wish I was smart enough, and informed enough, to become your guys worst enemy here but we all know I’m not! I’ll check in now and then when I get pissed off I guess………….LOL

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    • BTW Kevin. The 10 year old rape victim had to go to Indiana because she was 3 days past the legal abortion time limit in Ohio!

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      • The Ohio Attorney general said he believed she would have been able to get an abortion in Ohio—life of the mother, danger of a ten year old carrying a baby to term. But experts say the law is vague so up to interpretation.

        That said, she was able to get an abortion so it was possible to do, just possibly not in her home state.

        Apparently the rapist was an illegal immigrant who was also the girl’s mother’s boyfriend (who was defending the boyfriend even after her daughter mysteriously became pregnant and had to get an abortion, and after her boyfriend had confessed to police that he had raped the girl). So (a) access to abortion sounds like the least of that girl’s problems and (b) leaving Ohio might have been as much to do with avoiding potential problems of illegal status as abortion access.

        https://nypost.com/2022/07/15/mom-of-10-year-old-ohio-girl-who-got-abortion-defends-rapist/

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      • The Ohio law includes rape exceptions.

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  7. Good observation about the use of experts in the media:

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  8. “Unattractive women who “look like a thumb” shouldn’t complain about losing abortion rights because they’re the “least” likely to get pregnant, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said in a jaw-dropping speech to college students at a conservative conference in Florida on Saturday.

    “Have you watched these pro-abortion, pro-murder rallies?” Gaetz asked the crowd at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit in Tampa. “The people are just disgusting. Why is it that the women with the least likelihood of getting pregnant are the ones most worried about having abortions?”

    Video of the speech has received at least one million views on Twitter.

    “Nobody wants to impregnate you if you look like a thumb. These people are odious from the inside out,” the congressman continued. “They’re like 5′2″, 350 pounds, and they’re like, ‘Give me my abortions or I’ll get up and march and protest.’”

    “A few of them need to get up and march — they need to get up and march for like an hour a day. Swing those arms, get the blood pumpin’, maybe mix in a salad.”

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    • Gaetz is a political attention whore, not serious about making legal or moral arguments. Such people exist on all sides of the ideological spectrum. Unfortunate but flawed humanity remains our only resource for politicians.

      Just because he’s unserious doesn’t mean serious legal or moral arguments don’t exist, only that he is not a source of them.

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    • Given the feminist lefts rhetoric about guys like me, I’m not going to get all bent out of shape about this.

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  9. True.

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  10. From the NY Times……………everyone’s fave publication……………LOL

    WASHINGTON — Before Sarah Matthews, a former deputy White House press secretary, even opened her mouth to testify Thursday before the select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol, the House Republican Conference attacked her on Twitter as a “liar” and a “pawn” of Democrats.

    The group did not mention the man seated beside her, Matthew Pottinger, a former deputy national security adviser, who was also there to issue a scathing indictment of President Donald Trump’s behavior on the day of the riot. Nor did Trump himself mention Pottinger when he lashed out hours later with a statement calling Matthews a fame-seeker who was “clearly lying.”

    The contrast highlighted how, in a series of revelatory hearings that have focused on issues of democracy, the rule of law and the peaceful transfer of power, another, less-discussed theme has emerged: the gender dynamics that have been a potent undercurrent.

    In the course of exposing Trump’s elaborate effort to overturn the 2020 election, the House select committee has relied on the accounts of several women who came forward to publicly tell their stories. Their statements, and the attacks that ensued, laid bare how women often still pay a higher price than men for speaking up.

    Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., vice chair of the panel — who herself has suffered heavy consequences for her insistence on publicly condemning Trump’s conduct — has been explicit about the role of gender in the proceedings. She has positioned herself as the champion of the women who have agreed to testify in public, comparing them favorably with the many men who have refused to do so.

    At the committee’s prime-time hearing Thursday, Cheney wore a white jacket, the color of the women’s suffrage movement. She invoked Margaret Thatcher, the first female prime minister of Britain, and the fight by American women to secure the right to vote as she described the women who had publicly appeared during the panel’s investigation as “an inspiration to American women and American girls.”

    She was referring to Matthews as well as Cassidy Hutchinson, another White House aide who appeared at one of the committee’s hearings; Caroline Edwards, a Capitol Police officer who testified about how she was assaulted by the rioters, sustained a concussion and continued to fight them off; and Wandrea Moss and her mother, Ruby Freeman, election workers from Georgia who told the panel about how they endured harassment and death threats after Trump named them in a false conspiracy theory about voter fraud.

    The result has been that as the committee unfurls the story of the Jan. 6 attack — playing footage of a mostly male crowd laying waste to the Capitol in Trump’s name, with the president looking on supportively from the West Wing — many of the witnesses who have emerged most prominently have been women, with Cheney as their defender.

    It is a notable strategy by Cheney, a tough and hawkish conservative who throughout her career has worked to avoid being viewed through the lens of gender.

    It comes as the Republican Party has labored to diversify and expand its appeal among female voters, a group that polls showed was a weak spot for Trump in 2020 and has only drifted from him since. A recent New York Times/Siena College poll found that 6 in 10 women believed Trump’s actions after the 2020 election threatened democracy, while men were almost evenly split, with 48% holding that view and 45% saying he was just exercising his rights.

    Cheney was the highest-ranking Republican woman on Capitol Hill last year when she broke with her party after the riot and called out Trump and his election lies, voting to impeach him for incitement of insurrection. Within months, she had been ousted as the No. 3 Republican in the House, and she is now at risk of losing her seat in Wyoming as she faces a challenging primary election next month against a Trump-endorsed opponent.

    It was difficult not to hear some parallels when Cheney described on Thursday how Hutchinson, the 26-year-old former White House aide who became a critical public witness, knowingly exposed herself to harsh criticism from former colleagues. Cheney said that Hutchinson “knew all along that she would be attacked by President Trump and by the 50-, 60- and 70-year-old men who hide themselves behind executive privilege.”

    “But like our witnesses today, she has courage and she did it anyway,” she added.

    After Hutchinson’s testimony, Trump dismissed her in an interview with Newsmax as “this girl” who was making up stories. “She’s got serious problems; let me put it that way,” he said. “Mental problems.”

    Amanda Carpenter, a former adviser to Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., said it was notable to see a conservative woman drawing attention to the gender dynamic.

    “I know how hard it is for these women under these circumstances,” Carpenter said. “I imagine it means a lot to the women being targeted. It means a lot to me just watching it.”

    The Twitter attack by the House Republican Conference on Matthews, who works as a House Republican aide, was quickly deleted. But Trump’s targeting of her and Hutchinson was in line with how the former president has often publicly treated women who challenge him, criticizing them in personal terms intended to call into question their credibility, sanity and self-worth.

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  11. BTW, I doubt this will cause a stir here but………………


    Claim
    As of July 2022, Ohio’s law banning abortions for people who have been pregnant for six weeks or longer has an exception for victims of rape.

    In late June 2022, after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortions nationwide, Ohio outlawed abortions for people who have been pregnant for six weeks or longer. Soon after, in July, several news outlets reported that Ohio’s law forced a 10-year-old girl who had gotten pregnant by rape to travel to the neighboring state of Indiana to legally terminate the pregnancy.

    Many people, including politicians and members of the media, questioned the veracity of the story. We reached out to its source, an Indianapolis-based OBGYN, and we did not receive a response. About a week after the story went viral, a 27-year-old man was jailed and charged with raping the girl, according to reputable news outlets.

    As news of that arrest circulated online, a rumor surfaced claiming that Ohio’s abortion law would have actually allowed the girl to legally terminate the pregnancy in that state — in other words, she supposedly could have avoided the trip to Indiana for an abortion. For instance, Glenn Greenwald, a journalist and lawyer, stated in a tweet thread, “Ohio has a rape exception in its law…”

    But that was not the case. Ohio’s law banning abortions for people who have been pregnant for six weeks or longer did not make an exception for rape victims, as of July 2022. For that reason, we rated this claim “False.”

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    • While I don’t necessarily trust fact check organizations at present, given there are no standards (or review, or rebuttal processes, or debate regarding their “fact checks” and they have more than once used “fact checks” as tools for narrative shaping rather than actual fact checking” … it appears to me there is no specific exception in the Ohio law as far as I have been able to determine, but there is a “life of the mother” exception that should clearly apply in the case of a pregnant 10 year old who was impregnated at age 9.

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      • Yost did indeed say the ten year old could have gotten the abortion (and depending when this is true, the law without the rape exception was a trigger law for after Roe v. Wade was overturned). I say this as far as I can tell because Ohio has a lot of anti-abortion legislation both on the books and proposed so it can get confusing.

        But even under the “no rape exception” law, life of the mother should have come into play. Which continues to overlook the fully functional alternative solution—travel to another state.

        Also the fact that the child’s mother is in a relationship with and continues to defend the illegal alien that was raping her child suggests worse things for the child than the burden of being forced to cross state lines of an abortion, but there wasn’t much conversation about that.

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    • Also, if I were in Ohio and the legislators that kept pushing these abortion bans were my representatives, I’d vote against them. Cuz that’s how a democratic republic works. And should.

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    • lms:

      BTW, I doubt this will cause a stir here but………

      Probably not. As the saying goes, hard cases make bad law, and this is a hard case squared, involving not just rape but child rape/pregnancy as well.

      Besides which, even if the Ohio law is bad law, that doesn’t change the fact that Roe was devoid of any legitimate Constitutional reasoning and that Dobbs was justified.

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      • Also the remedy to whatever is wrong in Ohio is not to have a shared monarchy of justices issues decrees that grant new rights without debate or (ironically) substantive due process.

        The most effective remedy is legislative, with as much left to the states as possible so—in a federal system—there is an easy remedy to oppression in Ohio or California—move to or at least travel to a less oppressive state.

        There is an opportunity for activism here. Win hearts and minds in Ohio. Make it electorally risky to support bills without rape exceptions or whatever other conditions are the worst oppressions of present anti-abortion laws. Then move on to the next set—fighting the battle of public persuasion and winning elected office all the way.

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    • It is interesting to me that people on the left think the case of the 10 year old rape victim is especially relevant to the abortion debates, but has no bearing at all on the illegal immigration debates.

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    • Worth noting:

      “Neither side is going to win the abortion fight with outlier cases

      By Megan McArdle
      July 24, 2022 at 7:00 a.m. EDT”

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/07/24/abortion-fight-edge-cases-rape-late-term/

      I am still a supporter of abortion on demand throughout the whole term of the pregnancy ( “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.” – Ayn Rand), but it’s not part of the Constitution.

      Should an amendment be proposed about protecting bodily autonomy from the state, I may well support it. But it will have consequences for things like vaccine mandates as well.

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      • I know this may sound sarcastic, I promise it’s not. I also want to be allowed to sell, for example, a kidney.

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        • I don’t think it’s sarcastic at all, and yes I would support that too.

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        • I understand why you can’t. Ultimately I think that’s probably an imposition against bodily autonomy that makes sense given the potential negative impact on society at large, and the government’s interest in not having society to devolve into a bleak Hellscape. That said there are lots of things we do allow that are moving us in that direction any way, so why not sell half your liver?

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      • jnc:

        “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.” – Ayn Rand

        Rand was wrong. She never made a rational argument for her position. She simply made assertions. And obviously wrong ones, particularly in light of modern medical knowledge.

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        • I think it’s consistent with Rand insofar as she advocated maximum autonomy and liberty. I think she either chose not to accept a fetus as a human with rights or that one human may not make a claim on another, even if it’s a baby. That relationship must be voluntary.

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        • In case you hadn’t seen this:

          https://newideal.aynrand.org/ayn-rands-radical-views-on-abortion/

          I find this persuasive:

          “In Rand’s view, human beings have a fundamental moral right to pursue their own individual lives and happiness. For this reason, they do not have an obligation to serve some alleged higher goal or plan. To suggest that a woman has a “duty” to undergo childbirth amounts to treating her not as an individual human being with personal values, but as a “brood-mare,” and — especially when she is forced to undergo risky childbirth — as “a screaming huddle of infected flesh who must not be permitted to imagine that she has the right to live.”

          Neither the embryo nor the fetus is even physically or physiologically individuated from the mother, as she is from other adults. In one of her earliest public comments on the topic of abortion, in a Q&A session after her 1967 lecture “The Wreckage of the Consensus,” Rand identified when she thought the life of an individual human being begins:

          The fact of birth is an absolute — that is, up to that moment, the child is not an independent, living organism. It’s part of the body of the mother. But at birth, a child is an individual, and has the rights inherent in the nature of a human individual.

          I assume you do not. But to say she didn’t have a rational argument for her position is not accurate. It just comes from a set of values that I don’t believe you share.

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        • jnc:

          But to say she didn’t have a rational argument for her position is not accurate.

          Sure it is. First of all, her argument was premised on nonsense assertions. Specifically:

          The fact of birth is an absolute — that is, up to that moment, the child is not an independent, living organism. It’s part of the body of the mother.

          And..

          An embryo has no rights. Rights do not pertain to a potential, only to an actual being.

          The idea that an unborn human is not an “independent living organism”, nor even an “actual being”, but is simply “part of the mother’s body”, is scientifically illiterate. All known science contradicts that claim.

          Beyond that, all Rand does is make assertions, not arguments.

          A child cannot acquire any rights until it is born.

          Why? Simply because Rand says so. No rationale needed.

          The living take precedence over the not yet living (or the unborn).”

          Why? Again, simply because Rand says so. No rationale needed.

          Note also that the primary object of her bald assertion – the not yet living – is a complete non sequitur, while the object of the actual issue in question – the unborn – is just a parenthetical aside. It isn’t clear to me whether she is simply making another scientifically illiterate assumption, ie that the unborn are “not yet living”, or if she was engaging in a rhetorical slight of hand equivocation, making a non-controversial claim unrelated to the debate while offhandedly pretending that agreement with that leads incontrovertibly to her parenthetical. Either way, it isn’t a rational argument.

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        • “The living take precedence over the not yet living (or the unborn).”

          I don’t object to this sentiment, but it is very much an arbitrary principle rather than a scientific one. If adopted as a general principle limitations and specifics still seem important: do we mean life and health of living taking precedence over the life and health of the unborn, or do we mean the convenience or luxury of the living take precedence over the life of unborn?

          There are very different ways to put that idea into practice.

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        • KW:

          I don’t object to this sentiment, but it is very much an arbitrary principle rather than a scientific one.

          I object to it not because it is arbitrary but because it is either 1) scientifically ignorant or 2) incoherent nonsense.

          For the statement to be coherent, one must understand the group “the living” to exclude the group “the unborn”. That is scientifically ignorant. Unborn beings are living beings.

          But if one understands that the unborn are indeed part of the group “the living”, then the statement can be reduced to “the unborn take precedence over the unborn”. Which is incoherent nonsense.

          All Rand was actually doing in her “arguments” in favor of legal abortion was to assert a specific a priori assumption, specifically that rights do not inhere in humans until they are born, and then surround that premise with a lot of word salad that was essentially just repetitions of the same assumption using other words, in order to make it appear that she was making an argument.

          Look, I understand why those who want abortion to be legal, especially objectivists/libertarians, often find it logically necessary to assert that rights do not inhere in human beings until after they are born. But that doesn’t make the assertion itself a conclusion derived from a rational argument, which was my original point to jnc. Neither Rand nor anyone else has made a rational argument for the case. She and they simply assert a tautology which constitutes their entire argument…unborn humans have no rights, therefore they can be rightfully killed.

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        • I get what you’re saying but I think you’re ignoring another leg in the stool that is Objectivism in that one cannot put a claim on another without the other party agreeing. Rand’s position was also that if the mother isn’t volunteering, is unwilling to mother than she does have the right to abort the baby. Rand was for maximum freedom and since she was an avowed atheist, her moral reasoning was always going to be founded on arbitrariness. Let’s face it, legally a fetus has never had rights until it was born and even then it doesn’t get all of them. It’s no great moral leap then to say it should have none until birth.

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        • McWing:

          I think you’re ignoring another leg in the stool that is Objectivism in that one cannot put a claim on another without the other party agreeing.

          True, but this “claim” arises almost exclusively out of the person’s own actions. It isn’t a “claim” that is imposed out of the blue by an outside actor against their will. Within Objectivist ethics, personal responsibility is also a moral imperative. Objectivists cannot simply violate the rights of others in order to avoid dealing with the consequences of their own actions. So if the consequence of their own actions is the creation of another rights-bearing being that, through no action of its own, is dependent on the Objectivist, the mere fact that they didn’t want this consequence doesn’t justify killing the creation in order to avoid it. This is why Objectivists who like abortion need to deny that the being has any right to life in the first place, not simply that it has no right to make a “claim” on their body.

          Rand’s position was also that if the mother isn’t volunteering, is unwilling to mother than she does have the right to abort the baby.

          This isn’t an additional position. It is simply a restatement of the same one…an unborn baby has no rights. This is why I said she doesn’t make an argument, she just keeps restating her original premise in different ways.

          Rand was for maximum freedom and since she was an avowed atheist, her moral reasoning was always going to be founded on arbitrariness.

          I’m not sure I would call it entirely arbitrary, but I think the real “first principles” foundation of Objectivism is that rights inhere in human beings, something that I agree with but that I could not establish purely through reason. But with regard to abortion, Rand changed the foundation from “rights inhere in human beings” to “rights inhere in only some human beings”. I think that proposition is a lot more arbitrary. And intellectually indefensible.

          Let’s face it, legally a fetus has never had rights until it was born and even then it doesn’t get all of them.

          Well, let’s be clear. We are talking here about the moral/natural right to life, which Rand agrees is the foundation for all other rights. I’m not at all sure you legal history is correct, but regardless, I don’t think legal history is relevant to the question we are talking about. In fact, the legal question only arises after answering the moral one.

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        • Unless raped the woman entered a tacit agreement to potential pregnancy by allowing a penis into her vagina.

          If the woman never consented to sex then indeed there is no contract with the fetus and thus eviction by the landlord remains a moral right of the woman.

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        • KW:

          and thus eviction by the landlord remains a moral right of the woman.

          But the question is not about eviction, it is about execution.

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        • If a fetus is a life with full rights from conception onward, is there ever a justified case for abortion? Even the life of the mother becomes a quandary since the baby, by it’s very nature, is innocent and requires protection.

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        • McWing:

          If a fetus is a life with full rights from conception onward, is there ever a justified case for abortion?

          I don’t think so. As I have said many times in the past, I think that the mother has at most the right to remove to fetus, but not to just kill it, which is what abortion is. If the fetus is unable to survive after being removed, so be it.

          Even the life of the mother becomes a quandary

          I agree, the very epitome of a moral quandary is when you have to choose between two distinct options and either one results in the death of an innocent person. But frankly I am skeptical that this particular quandary is based in reality. Even an aborted baby needs to be removed from the body of its mother, and I am unaware of any condition in which a pregnant woman’s life would be in danger due to the removal of a live fetus, but not a dead fetus. I suppose such a condition could exist, but I am willing to bet that if so, it is vanishingly rare.

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        • Fair enough.

          I think the argument works better (though still arbitrary) to argue the fetus is not fully human. Thus descriptors like “potential human”.

          There is a lot of swapping out of “human” for “life” in the argument. There’s an argument I suppose that the fetus is a proto-human and not fully human (and thus complete with human rights) until it breathes on its own, or has a beating heart, or the mother feels it kicking or whatever.

          The “life” argument—rather than human—is interesting. The world is full of living things with no rights at all. Although some people (generally the same people who assert a fetus has no rights) with argue cats, snakes, fish, even plants have rights.

          Still—even if you accept that life begins at birth or in the 3rd trimester, why does moving from proto-life to actually alive abruptly confer rights hitherto unavailable?

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        • “I think she either chose not to accept a fetus as a human with rights “

          Yep.

          “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).”

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        • My point would be that proceeding from different first principles isn’t the same thing as irrational, which is what I think the real difference between Rand (& myself) and Scott is.

          And also as you note being an atheist is probably a precondition to being full on Objectivist.

          “But if one understands that the unborn are indeed part of the group “the living”, then the statement can be reduced to “the unborn take precedence over the unborn”. Which is incoherent nonsense.”

          Except that’s not how people actually behave in practice. Classic example:

          “EZRA KLEIN: There’s a thought experiment you talk about in the book that seems particularly relevant to this question. Can you talk about the embryo rescue case?

          KATE GREASLEY: Yeah, sure. So just to say, it’s not my thought experiment. Other people have talked about this long before me. So the embryo rescue case, we posit that you are in, say, a hospital. The hospital is burning down very quickly. You’ve got to get out of there. And on your way out, you have a choice. You can grab and rescue and take with you either five embryos or one whole baby.

          Now, you pose that question to everybody. And unless the person is nuts, they’re going to say, of course, you take the baby. Of course, you don’t take the five embryos. So what superficially that thought experiment is supposed to show is that, really, for anyone who says, I’ll take the baby, not the embryos, you don’t believe that an embryo life is equal in moral value to the life of a baby.

          Because the usual rules about saving people, if you’re not personally connected to anyone — maybe you have some leniency there — but if you’re not, the rule is you save the many over the few, right? You would always save five people over saving one person. But here, you very clearly would save the one baby. So the suggestion is, well, that is betraying something about our commitments, about our ideas of the comparative moral value of babies versus embryos.”

          I think I posted this before, but it’s worth rereading in the context of this discussion.

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        • jnc:

          My point would be that proceeding from different first principles isn’t the same thing as irrational

          Agreed, but as I said originally, simply assuming the conclusion as a premise is not a rational argument. And that is what Rand does. You said you found her argument persuasive, and I said she doesn’t make any argument. She just asserts an a priori assumption.

          Her “first principle” seems to be that rights inhere in some human beings but not others, while mine is that rights inhere in all human beings. While neither of those could be said to have been established purely through reason, I think mine is significantly less arbitrary than hers.

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        • jnc:

          Except that’s not how people actually behave in practice.

          I didn’t say anything about how people behave, either in theory or in practice. I said that unless one takes the scientifically ignorant view that unborn babies are not “living”, Rand’s claim reduces to a meaningless nonsense statement, which it does.

          As for the classic pro-choice “gotcha” scenario, it isn’t relevant question at hand, which is not “faced with an unavoidable choice, which would you choose”, but is instead when do rights inhere in human beings”?

          To show how the classic “gotcha” scenario is irrelevant, imagine a similar scenario in which you can save either 5 geriatric cancer patients or 1 healthy baby. If we agree that we should save the one healthy baby, does that mean that geriatric cancer patients have no rights?

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        • In your hypothetical scenario I try and figure out a way to save both the baby and the geriatric patients and everyone dies because I won’t choose one or the other!

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        • Well if the choice is between the embryos and the baby, why can’t I take them both out? And die in the fire trying.

          Or I leave them both and raid the pharmacy for OxyContin and Vicodin. And save what’s truly important.

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      • I could make my peace with a lot of abortion frameworks. I would prefer on-demand for the first 15 weeks, life/health of the mother, rape exceptions (outlier cases) to term. But would accept what the duly elected state legislatures came up with or, if important enough to me, find a way to leave the state.

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