Abortion is currently legal in Florida up to 15 weeks of pregnancy so, obviously, reducing the window to six weeks would be significant. As abortion is effectively outlawed in nearby Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, Florida has become something of a safe haven for pregnant people in other states who must travel to undergo the medical procedure. The Florida bill has some exceptions—including in instances of rape or fetal abnormalities, and if two doctors “certify in writing that…the termination of the pregnancy is necessary to save the pregnant woman’s life or avert a serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman”—but, incredibly, “psychological condition[s]” don’t count. It’s not clear if being suicidal would fall under that umbrella but it sounds like it might. (The legislation generously states that if only one doctor is available to determine the risk of death or “irreversible physical impairment,” that physician’s sole recommendation would suffice.)
As Laura Goodhue, executive director of the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, said in a statement, the bill “means many pregnant people will never have the option to have an abortion. Moreover, between the 24-hour mandatory delay and two appointment requirements, even patients who realize they are pregnant before six weeks may be unable to access abortion care before they run out of time.”
Newt Gingrich— yes, that Newt Gingrich— dubs Florida’s blogger bill an “insane” “embarrassment”
Like the long-debated philosophical question “Which came first, the chicken or the egg,” it’s difficult to give a definitive answer to the lesser-known prompt: “Who is more awful: Newt Gingrich the individual or Newt Gingrich the professional politician?” In his personal life, Gingrich was once so famous for cheating that he signed an actual pledge in 2011 promising that he would be faithful to his third spouse if elected; arguably more loathsome than his penchant for infidelity is the fact that he divorced his first wife when she had cancer and left his second wife just months after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Meanwhile, as Speaker of the House, Gingrich impeached Bill Clinton over the president’s affair with Monica Lewinsky while running around on his own wife; shut down the government because Clinton didn’t pay enough attention to him on Air Force One; and “turned partisan battles into blood sport,” paving the way for the rise of Donald Trump. (In his later political years, he signed an anti-gay marriage pledge and claimed homosexuality is a choice.) All of which is to say, Newt Gingrich is a bad, bad man—and the fact that he’s vocally opposing the latest Republican insanity out of Florida should make Florida Republicans pause and reflect!
Weighing in on a proposed Florida bill that would require bloggers writing about Ron DeSantis (or other elected officials) to register with the state, Gingrich tweeted: “The idea that bloggers criticizing a politician should register with the government is insane. it is an embarrassment that it is a Republican state legislator in Florida who introduced a bill to that effect. He should withdraw it immediately.” The bill, which was introduced by Florida state lawmaker Jason Brodeur, states that “If a blogger posts to a blog about an elected state officer and receives, or will receive, compensation for that post, the blogger must register with the appropriate office…within 5 days after the first post by the blogger which mentions an elected state officer.” And it doesn’t stop there! As the text of the bill insanely notes:
Upon registering with the appropriate office, a blogger must file monthly reports on the 10th day following the end of each calendar month from the time a blog post is added to the blog, except that, if the 10th day following the end of a calendar month occurs on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the report must be filed on the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. If the blogger does not have a blog post on a blog during a given month, the monthly report for that month does not need to be filed.
Failure to comply with the bill, should it pass, could result in fines of up to $2,500 per story. Speaking about the bill last week, Brodeur falsely claimed that “Paid bloggers are lobbyists who write instead of talk. They both are professional electioneers. If lobbyists have to register and report, why shouldn’t paid bloggers?” While Florida governor Ron DeSantis does not appear to have commented on the bill, he presumably supports it given his desire to crack down on the free press.
As The Guardian noted on Monday, Gingrich really can’t complain, given that he “made his name as a ruthless partisan warrior” and is “widely held responsible for the coarsening of American politics and the deepening of social and geographic divisions which resulted from it.” But his offense at it should nevertheless make Florida Republicans stop and think. To be clear, they won’t—but they should!
Donald Trump’s reported VP short list is a who’s who of uniquely awful Republican women
Back in January, we learned that Donald Trump was reportedly considering GOP representative Marjorie Taylor Greene to be his 2024 running mate. As a stark raving lunatic—who, among other things, believes there’s some truth to what QAnon says about Democrats being Satanic cannibal pedophiles, has insisted there’s no evidence a plane crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11, and claimed the Clintons had JFK Jr. killed—the Georgia Republican is obviously a perfect complement to the most deranged president in modern history. But apparently, Greene isn’t the only certifiably insane candidate Trump has his eyes on.
That’s right, Axios reports that Trump is also mulling over Kari Lake as a VP pick. Like the 45th president, the former news anchor also has exactly zero government experience, although unlike Trump, she’s never actually won an election. But don’t tell her that! Since losing the Arizona gubernatorial race last November, Lake has insisted the whole thing was stolen from her; despite having her claims rejected by two different courts, she apparently believes the Arizona Supreme Court will rule in her favor. That defiance, in the face of utter facts, is presumably a large part of what Trump sees in her, in addition to liking that, per Axios, “she has shown she’s willing to defend him vociferously, no matter the issue or controversy.” (Ahead of the 2022 midterms, Lake called for her opponent to be thrown in jail for certifying the 2020 election results, which Trump surely loved. More recently, she called Maricopa County election officials “crooks” who need to be “locked up” for not buying her own election fraud claims.)
Incidentally, Trump is not the only one who thinks Lake would make a great vice president: Over the weekend, she won the Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll for GOP VP candidates, beating out Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Mike Pompeo, Ted Cruz, and Mike Pence. Her response?