Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: Continuing reactions to Texas abortion law.

Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: Continuing reactions to Texas abortion law.

Neelam Bohra of The Texas Tribune writes on the continuing reverberations of the new Texas law that effectively all but overturns Roe v. Wade for the time being.

Pregnant Texans are finding abortion providers despite the law. According to information from clinics in Oklahoma and even Minnesota, Texas patients began seeking information or even showing up weeks before SB 8 went into effect.

Leaving the state to receive an abortion is beyond the resources of many people. As a result, some patients are already returning to methods that may not involve doctors. But this time, patients have more options than the desperate measures used in the past when medical abortions were illegal or unavailable.

“Self-managed abortion,” referring to the practice of patients seeking abortions outside of traditional health care settings, has already increased in Texas and may see a drastic rise, said Abigail Aiken, a professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

“Self-management, as we historically thought about it, was very much this idea of a desperate last resort, a very unsafe measure, where you think about coat hangers or drinking household cleaning products,” Aiken said. “We’ve come a really long way since then. Now, when we talk about self-management — not to say those things couldn’t ever happen — but we’re more commonly talking about abortion pills … available from online telemedicine sites and online pharmacies.”

Michelle Goldberg of The New York Times writes that the Texas abortion law is an extension of an increasingly acceptable Republican vigilantism. 

Today’s G.O.P. made a hero out of Kyle Rittenhouse, the young man charged with killing two people during protests against police violence in Kenosha, Wis. Leading Republicans speak of the Jan. 6 insurgents, who tried to stop the certification of an election, as martyrs and political prisoners.

Last year, Senator Marco Rubio praised Texas Trump supporters who swarmed a Biden campaign bus, allegedly trying to run it off the road: “We love what they did,” he said. This weekend in Pennsylvania, Steve Lynch, the Republican nominee in a county executive race, said of school boards that impose mask mandates, “I’m going in with 20 strong men” to tell them “they can leave or they can be removed.”

Over the last several years, Republicans have taken a number of steps to legalize various forms of right-wing intimidation. Several states have granted immunity to drivers who hit people protesting in the street.


The Texas law should be seen in this context. It deputizes abortion opponents to harass their enemies. Texas Right to Life has already launched a “whistle-blower” website where people can submit anonymous tips. “One of the great benefits, and one of the things that’s most exciting for the pro-life movement, is that they have a role in enforcing this law,” John Seago, the group’s legislative director, told CNN.

Jesse M. Keenan of CNN notes that the infrastructure failures in Louisiana show a continuing need to adapt in an era of rapidly intensifying storms and our own concepts of disaster recovery.
As Hurricane Ida has demonstrated, there are limits to what emergency management can do. Over the weekend, New Orleans did not even have enough time to coordinate an evacuation. Off-the-shelf disaster management protocols take time to execute, and Hurricane Ida demonstrated, with the rapid climate-attributed intensification of hurricanes, there is less and less time to respond.
In practice, disaster resilience is a flawed concept that has given us a false faith in our ability to withstand extreme weather and climate change.
The concept was popularized after 9/11, when the federal recovery efforts sought to protect America’s infrastructure from future attacks. To plan for the next big attack, the government acknowledged that fail-safe systems could indeed fail and shifted focus to the idea that systems should be designed so that, when they do fail, they can recover as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. Power outages are already expected to last weeks or possibly even months.
By the time Hurricane Katrina hit, the Bush administration already believed in the power of disaster resilience as an organizing concept to bring stakeholders to the table to plan for the rebuilding of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. When the multibillion-dollar recovery efforts kicked off in 2005, the flag of resilience was hoisted up by consultants, engineering conglomerates, foundations and even state and federal agencies who all wanted a piece of the billion-dollar pie. From resilience conferences and awards to resilience protypes and even districts, it became the defining rally call for post-Katrina recovery.

Helen Branswell of STATnews reports on the evolving understanding and need for COVID booster shots.

U.S. health officials want you to get another shot of Covid-19 vaccine. But some experts in the vaccine world don’t think we should be using the “B” word to describe that extra jab.

Don’t call it a booster, they insist.

Instead they argue an additional dose of one of the messenger RNA vaccines should be termed a third dose, a part of the primary series of shots that awaken and arm immune systems to deal with the threat of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Is it semantics? Does it make any material or practical difference what we call it? Does approving use of a booster shot put the country on a slippery slope toward annual Covid vaccinations? STAT asked a number of experts for their views. Let’s explore what we learned in the process.

Renée Graham of The Boston Globe writes about the possibility of a new era in Boston.

On Sept. 14, acting Mayor Kim Janey, City Councilors Andrea Campbell, Annissa Essaibi George, and Michelle Wu, and John Barros, the city’s former chief of economic development, will vie in the preliminary election. The top two finishers will face off in November, but whatever the results, this much is already known: For the first time in Boston’s history, a person of color, most likely a woman, will be elected mayor.

If not quite a racial reckoning, it’s a critical moment for Boston. And even those who don’t live here feel as if they, too, have a stake in the outcome.

That’s been apparent since March when former mayor Martin J. Walsh departed City Hall to become President Biden’s labor secretary. As succession protocol dictates, Janey, then city council president, was sworn in and became Boston’s first person of color and first woman mayor. Even before she was the last candidate to announce her mayoral campaign, Janey garnered national headlines with her appointment, hers a different face representing what many hoped would lead to a different Boston.

Janey is one of nine Black women leading one of the nation’s 100 largest cities, including Lori Lightfoot (Chicago); Keisha Lance Bottoms (Atlanta); Muriel Bowser (Washington, D.C.); London Breed (San Francisco); LaToya Cantrell (New Orleans); and Tishaura Jones (St. Louis).

Finally today, The Angry Grammarian writes for The Philadelphia Inquirer on the use of the word “unvaccinated” as a noun.

This summer we’ve seen the explosion of unvaccinated as a noun, as in, “a pandemic of the unvaccinated.” The NOW (News on the Web) Corpus tracks 13.3 billion words of data from web-based newspapers and magazines from 2010 to yesterday, and while usage of the single word unvaccinated has unsurprisingly jumped more than fourfold from May to August 2021, the phrase the unvaccinated has exploded almost eightfold at the same time.

Even if the corpus can’t identify parts of speech, the addition of the article the indicates that, across our language, people are referring less to “vaccinated people” and more to “the unvaccinated.” That subtle shift from adjective to noun — what nerds call nominalization — affects how vaccinated people view the unvaccinated, and how the unvaccinated view themselves. Its implications are deadly.

This change moves away from person-first language and identity-first language, both of which have gained currency in recent years. Unpacking some offensive, outdated language to show how terminology has evolved: If old-fashioned language referred to the disabled or the handicapped, person-first language would use person with a disability; identity-first language would use disabled person. Because people often prefer that such a descriptor not define them, this reframing emphasizes one’s humanity.

Everyone have a good day!

From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.

More News Stories


More Political News