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Political Wire logo The Democratic Bench Is Deeper Than You Think
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Abortion Issue Puts North Carolina in Play
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DeSantis To Make It Official Next Week

Being an unofficial-but-everyone-knows presidential candidate has not been working out so well for Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), and so next week, he is expected to make it official. Reportedly, there will be a big event at the Four Seasons in Miami. Wouldn't it be great if that ended up being Four Seasons landscaping? That would be comedy gold for months and months.

Although DeSantis is doing very poorly in polling right now (we'll have a closer look at that issue next week), we doubt that is what is behind the timing of his announcement. He's just about to sign the bill that will change Florida law so he doesn't have to resign the governorship in order to run for president. Surely that has been the main holdup, since for weeks he's been doing everything a candidate does, short of file the paperwork with the FEC.

Anyone who wonders what a DeSantis presidency might look like got some useful reminders this week. To start, there are the actions; the things he'll do if he ends up in power. Yesterday, the Governor signed an extremely assertive anti-trans bill, one that forbids gender-affirming treatments for minors, prohibits "adult live performance" in places where children might watch (this is understood to be a ban on drag shows), prohibits transgender people from using bathrooms that don't match their birth certificate, and forbids the use of pronouns in schools that do not match the student's birth certificate. The latter prohibition applies to both students and staff (teachers, administrators, janitors, etc).

Readers of this site know well that anti-trans activists argue that gender-affirming treatment does harm to young people, and that allowing trans people into non-birth-certificate restrooms facilitates rapes and other sexual crimes. These same folks then bend over backwards to turn drag shows into some great evil, one that confuses young people or facilitates grooming or... something. But even if you grant all of these things, why does the government need to get involved in policing pronouns? Is there any argument whatsoever that honoring a request to use "she" or "they" instead of "he," for example, has ANY negative impact? If a teacher doesn't want to honor that request, they can decline without the government's help, just as they can decline to call Timothy "Tim" or to call Jennifer "Jenny." But is there any compelling justification for making it illegal for a teacher to so much as consider that courtesy? Or for students to do so? If there is a good answer to that, we are not clever enough to figure it out. This sort of overreach makes it all-but-impossible for us to take seriously that such legislation is really and truly meant to serve the public good, or to do right by young people.

Of course, actions have consequences, and there have also been some pretty good reminders this week of the consequences of DeSantis' actions. Let's start with the biggie, which broke yesterday. The other shoe has fallen, and Disney has announced that it is canceling plans to build a new, $1 billion facility in Florida. That's a rather sizable chunk of change, not to mention 2,000 jobs, all gone because the Governor threw a temper tantrum. Disney's still going to build the facility of course, but now it will be in... well, some state whose governor doesn't use his power to engage in petty score-settling.

And then there is the harsh new immigration bill that DeSantis signed into law, which goes into effect on July 1. Reader C.T. in Cape Coral, FL, brings to our attention this news item, which addresses the entirely predictable effects the bill is already having. Quite a few mixed families (some documented, some not) are packing up and leaving the state because it's just too risky to stay (remember, anyone who transports or harbors an undocumented immigrant, even if they are a family member, can be sent to prison). And as it turns out—who knew?—these immigrants, undocumented or otherwise, are a rather important source of labor in Florida. As a result, construction, food harvesting, cleaning, and other such work is already going un-done because there aren't enough people to do it. And wait until people actually start getting arrested for driving their undocumented sibling to a job site, or a field where the crops are ripe.

Our sneaking suspicion is that quite a few voters will take a look at all of these things and will decide that DeSantis is not their kind of leader. That's just a guess for now, although there was that mayoral election in Jacksonville that sure looks like a repudiation of the Governor. Also, Florida Democrats—who surely have their finger on the pulse of this particular question much more than we do—are feeling pretty good right now, and are thinking their return from the dead will happen much more quickly than expected. Maybe Jesus speed (3 days) as opposed to Voldemort speed (15 years). We'll soon see what happens, polling and otherwise, once DeSantis is an official candidate for president. (Z)

The Perils of a 51-Vote Majority

The good news for the Democrats is that, at least of this moment, their Senate majority is back at full strength and available to push through presidential nominees without Republican support. The bad news is that a successful confirmation requires at least 50 votes from the Democratic caucus, a 51-person group that includes, among others, Joe Manchin (D-WV), Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), and Jon Tester (D-MT), along with a number of members who are very sensitive to the concerns of progressive voters and/or women voters. So, it's not always possible for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to herd the cats.

Case in point is Michael Delaney, who was tapped by Joe Biden to serve on the First Circuit Court of Appeals. He served as chief counsel for the governor of New Hampshire for three years, from 2006-09, and then as the state's AG from 2009-13. Given this résumé, and the elbow-rubbing it entails, he had the enthusiastic support of New Hampshire's two senators, Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen (both D).

However, Delaney also has some liabilities. Since leaving office, he's worked for the law firm of McLane Middleton. In that capacity, he defended a school (St. Paul's) that was sued by a student for looking the other way during a sexual assault. He's also done work that had him lining up with anti-choice, anti-regulation, and global-warming-denial interests. That's not such a great list, as far as most Democrats are concerned, and quite a few senators were not enthused about putting Delaney on the federal bench for the rest of his life. The return of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), as it turns out, was not enough to drag the nomination over the finish line, even with a few anticipated Republican votes. So, it is expected that the nomination will be withdrawn sometime this week. Which, given that it's Friday, kind of implies today.

Meanwhile, Secretary of Labor-designate Julie Su has the opposite problem that Delaney does. As tends to be the case with would-be secretaries of labor, she's pretty lefty, and has, in her career, been an advocate for... labor. In particular, while she was running California's version of the Department of Labor, she backed gig workers in their efforts to organize. Also during that time, to her detriment, she oversaw a COVID relief program that was quite a mess, and that saw lots of fraud. Of course, clumsily implemented, fraud-prone COVID relief problems were hardly unique to California.

Su is pretty clearly the most qualified candidate, since she was deputy to now-departed Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. In view of Su's lefty record, she got zero Republican votes when she was confirmed to her current position, and she'll get none when she's considered for the big chair. She did get all 50 Democratic votes the last time out, but these days, there are several senators who are looking to burnish their "maverick"/centrist profiles in highly visible fashion, among them the aforementioned Manchin, Sinema and Tester. So, even though the blue team has one vote to spare as compared to 2021, Su's confirmation is on much shakier ground.

The Biden administration really, really wants Su. Again, she's extremely qualified. She diversifies the Cabinet in a politically helpful manner. And given the imminent loss of the Delaney nomination, Team Biden doesn't particularly want two black eyes in short order. So, the White House is currently putting on the full-court press to try to get Su confirmed. Will it work? Well, clearly it's not hopeless, or the Su nomination would have already been pulled. On the other hand, she must not have the votes at the moment, or else Schumer would have already scheduled a vote. So, it's anyone's guess as to how this particular drama ends. (Z)

Democrats Wrestle with Their (Self-Created) New Hampshire Problem

The Senate is not the only place the Democrats are dealing with a bit of drama right now. As readers will recall, the DNC, with encouragement from Joe Biden, took steps to move South Carolina up in the primary process—right up to the front of the line. The problem is that New Hampshire has a law that says that it must always have the first primary, regardless of how early the state secretary of state has to set the date. New Hampshire governor and SoS are both Republicans, and not inclined to help change the law. And even if Democrats were running the show, they probably wouldn't want to change the law, either. Hence the problem.

As a result, at the moment, New Hampshire is scheduled to have its primary first, in defiance of the DNC. In theory, that means the DNC will punish the state, forbidding candidates from appearing on the ballot/campaigning there, and slashing or zeroing out the number of delegates the state is entitled to at the party's convention. In practice, it's not so simple. The blue team basically has three options right now, and none of them are great:

  1. Stick to Its Guns: The DNC could allow events to unfold as they are currently set to unfold. In that case, Biden would ignore the state and would not appear on its primary ballot. This would give an opening for Robert F. Kennedy or Marianne Williamson to "win" and get some attention, something the Democrats really don't want. It would also alienate voters in a swingy state. Just remember, if Al Gore had won New Hampshire, he wouldn't have needed Florida.

  2. Stage Its Own Primary: The DNC could ignore the state-run primary and stage its own primary on its preferred date (roughly 2 weeks after the state-run primary). However, this would cost something like $7 million, and would require the party to lay hands on several thousand voting machines, which is not so easily accomplished. Too bad they can't ask Donald Trump for a favor; we hear he has connections in Georgia when it comes to laying hands on voting machines. In any case, this option would also aggravate New Hampshire voters, who take no small amount of pride in their first-in-the-nation status.

  3. Surrender: The DNC could also yield, and allow New Hampshire to dictate terms. This would solve most of the problems we outline above, but would also send the message that states are laws unto themselves, and need not listen to the Party or to its leader (i.e., Joe Biden). Also, the point of moving South Carolina up in the order is to signal to Black voters that they are really important. Making that promise and then failing to follow through would have a real "40 acres and a mule" feel to it.

None of this should be a surprise. We wrote all about this on Jan. 30 and again on Feb. 6, the latter time with the headline: "The DNC Announces the 2024 Primary Calendar It Would Like" rather than "The DNC Announces the 2024 Primary Calendar." From day 1 it was crystal clear that New Hampshire, where the Republicans control the trifecta, was never going to agree to the Democrats' plans. What took them 5 months to figure out there was a BIG problem here?

At the moment, the Democrats' solution is to give New Hampshirites more time to straighten things out. But since New Hampshirites don't want to straighten things out, more time isn't exactly going to do much good. In the end, the blue team is probably going to have to settle for option #3, but with the caveat that a conversation has begun, and that there's going to be a serious discussion about the ordering of primaries in 2028. In the end, it's not terribly fair for a small, not especially representative state to exercise so much influence in each cycle. And one of these days, New Hampshirites are going to have to accept that other states should get a turn sometimes.

And as long as we're on the subject of primary scheduling, we'll note one other thing that is interesting, but not quite significant enough to be worthy of its own item. New York usually holds its primary a little on the late side; sometime in late April or early May (in 2020, it was initially scheduled for April 28, but was then moved to June 23 because of the pandemic). For 2024, the Empire State is taking a long look at April 2. This would not conflict with Passover, which is always a consideration for New York (in 2024, Passover will run from April 22 to April 30). In addition, neighboring Pennsylvania and Connecticut are also thinking about moving their primaries to April 2. If three neighboring states all hold their primaries on the same day, that creates a "regional primary" and the three states get extra delegates to the national convention, per DNC rules. So, New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut readers who like to cast primary ballots in person, you'll want to make sure your umbrellas and raincoats are in good working order. (Z)

Talking about Abortion, Part V: Physicians Weigh In

Predictably, we got a lot of response to the latest set of questions and answers from the three anti-abortion readers. We'll be running some of those on Sunday, of course.

That said, we do want to address one point. We got a fair number of messages pointing out that we criticized CNN for bothsides-ism last week, and suggesting that by giving perspectives on both sides of the abortion issue, we are guilty of the same. We get plenty of unkind and/or critical e-mails, and that's not a problem because it comes with the territory. But we are not pleased by the implication that we are hypocrites.

When CNN has a town hall with Donald Trump, or when The Washington Post runs the knee-jerk columns of Hugh Hewitt, or when MSNBC sticks some Republican into their lineup of talking heads on election night, we are not left with the impression that there's an honest attempt to illuminate things for viewers/readers. No, we are left with the impression that they are trying to be all things to all people, in search of eyeballs/ratings, and/or that they are trying to undermine criticism that they are "biased." Maybe our impressions are right, and maybe they are wrong, but when we look at something like the Trump event, we have a very, very hard time believing that CNN staged that out of some sense of civic duty.

By contrast, as we have already explained, these abortion questions and answers came about because we got a questions in the mailbox about "what anti-abortion advocates think" that we were not in a position to answer. We eventually built up so many of these that we sought out people who are able to answer. In response to the feedback we got to the first installment of that, it occurred to us that it would be best to also hear from some readers who serve as a counterpoint. To the extent there's any bothsides-ism going on, it's that we added the pro-choice perspectives, not that we ran the anti-abortion perspectives in the first place.

But the fact is that it's not bothsides-ism. Our motivation isn't to drive page views or attract subscribers or any of that. We are not making a largely empty gesture in response to criticism from outsiders. We are both educators, and we concluded that, for at least some readers, this exercise is instructive. That's where our motivation begins and ends. We have plenty of e-mails that suggest we are correct about this; they are far more numerous than the unkind e-mails.

Today we are going to run a couple of messages we got from physicians. We expect to run two more items with comments from the anti-abortion readers, and we hope to run one more item with the experiences of people who needed an abortion (or who needed to strongly consider it), and one more with the experiences of physicians in the post-Dobbs world. We already have some letters in the former category, and would welcome more. We don't have any more in the latter category; we'll see what happens if we give a little bit more time. Here's the place to send those for readers willing to be a part. If you have questions, or you need to be anonymous, you can send messages there, too, and we can have the necessary discussion.

And with that out of the way, let's hear from the doctors, starting with a response to the account from the story of T.C. in St. Paul, MN:

A.R. in Raleigh, NC, writes: T.C. shows great bravery and vulnerability in sharing her personal pregnancy termination story. We are all enriched by hearing her first-person account of the trauma faced by those who seek abortions, and the difficulty with which they arrive at their decision. Her story is of course her own, representing powerful testimony, even though the level of evidence is anecdotal. But I think there are several themes that can be identified within her record that I would like to expand upon as they segue into the greater body of abortion-care data.

While many Republican legislators attempt to soften abortion bans by permitting abortion for the health and life of the mother, it is not as humane a policy as they might make it appear. For a woman to receive an abortion legally under this clause it, unfortunately, requires the pregnant person to first become ill prior to an abortion becoming a legal option. It prevents individuals from making an informed decision based upon their current health status, medical history, and medical comorbidities on whether the risks of continuing the pregnancy are justified, or whether a pregnancy termination is the right choice for them in order to prevent an illness from occurring (or worsening). As T.C.'s account indicates, she had a plethora of studies performed yet no diagnosis was identified as the cause of her symptoms; without a diagnosis, a provider would not be able to justify a pregnancy termination using a "health and life of the mother" exception. If her suspicions were correct and she did have early and undiagnosed stages of a developing cardiomyopathy and her cardiomyopathy were to worsen as the pregnancy continued, she would've likely decompensated, had a multiple day hospitalization, and spent some of the time in the cardiac intensive care unit at a tertiary care center. She would've likely required invasive monitors, vascular access lines, and other urgent/emergent procedures. She very well might have died—cardiovascular disease is the #1 cause of maternal death in pregnancy and the postpartum period in the United States.

Which leads to another critically important point in T.C.'s account: how family and loved ones impacted her decision. When her best friend said "Don't sacrifice yourself to give your daughter a sibling," T.C. chose to end the pregnancy in order to maximize the chances that she will be around to care for her daughter and to be in the lives of her friends and loved ones. There is an unfortunate stereotype that women who receive abortions are immature teenagers who simply do not want to face the consequences of their actions. In fact, the data show that the majority of women who choose to have a pregnancy termination are in fact mothers. They are choosing to terminate a pregnancy so that they can dedicate themselves to their existing children. These women are thinking of what is best for their family.

T.C. also reports that this pregnancy was unplanned, but once she learned she was pregnant she was excited to carry the pregnancy. There are many, many stories of women who truly wanted to grow their family, yet are heartbroken when they feel forced to terminate their pregnancy because an issue arose in the pregnancy. Many second-trimester abortions are performed after ultrasound studies identify a fetal anomaly, or the woman develops a high-risk obstetric or medical problem. Thus, abortion bans with gestational age cutoffs in the late first or early second trimester and uniquely cruel as they reduce only a handful of abortions (as the great majority of abortions are performed in the first trimester), and disproportionately affect women who truly wanted to have a baby but find themselves in high-risk medical situations. It adds an additional level of emotional and psychological trauma when those women are forced to travel to another state to terminate the pregnancy.

The final point that is worth noting in T.C.'s record is that she was truly surprised to find herself pregnant because she assumed her risk of pregnancy was low. Over half of pregnancies in the United States are unplanned. Women who previously struggled with infertility, are perimenopausal, or are using an effective form of contraception get pregnant all the time despite assuming that they could not. Unfortunately most women don't notice the early symptoms of pregnancy or assume it couldn't be a pregnancy because of these aforementioned conditions. These women, as well as others (for instance, those who are using contraception that prevents them from having periods or those with irregular menses), are essentially excluded from ever having access to an abortion in states with 6-week abortion bans, and many may not realize they are pregnant for many weeks beyond that. The end result is that the state unintentionally, but effectively, discriminates against these women as a consequence of their existing medical comorbidities.

Again, I want to recognize the courage that T.C. demonstrated by describing her abortion experience, and we should all be grateful for her openness and honesty with an experience that many would deem to be incredibly private. Thank you for sharing.

J.D. in Portland, OR, writes: In medical school, I did an elective rotation at an abortion clinic, purely out of my political support for choice (full disclosure). I remember the range of women who came in through the security doors into the bullet-proof-glassed waiting room—almost all of them openly struggling with what was such a difficult decision for them: young, affluently-dressed, professional women struggling with shame, shame that they probably rightly-assumed a male medical student could not fathom, women struggling with poverty, women struggling with addiction (later, as a child psychiatrist who would work with the sometimes-relentless consequences of in-utero substance exposure, I would come to see such women in particular with deep respect for their choices either way). The great privilege of the many years of medical training is the sheer range of people from all walks of life and experience that you get to meet—even the most well-traveled person cannot imagine it.

The case that affected me the most was a blue-collar mother of three. She worked as a prison correctional officer (I volunteered in prisons and jails before medical school and later worked for a time as a prison psychiatrist with both teens and adults, and so I have a special affinity for such colleagues), and she had taken time off work to drive well over an hour for the procedure. (I know—nothing like the distance other women travel.) In blue scrubs, my soft-voiced attending knelt down between her legs and performed the procedure with the utmost kindness, as this mother sobbed her heart out, about how she and her husband could not afford to have this baby. You can imagine how often I think of her when reading about economic policy on this site.

Thanks to A.R. and J.D. for their perspectives. Again, we'll have responses to this week's entries on Sunday. (Z)

This Week in Schadenfreude: Mortarboarded

There are about 4,300 universities in the United States, assuming we include USC. Each of those universities has at least one graduation ceremony each year. Most of them have more than one, and some of them have dozens. To take the UCs, as an example that is particularly familiar to us, it is not practical to have 10,000 people graduate at the same time. So, each college and each professional school usually has its own graduation ceremony. It's also become increasingly common for individual departments to have their own ceremonies, and for student groups (say, Samahang Filipino or the Muslim Students Assocation) to have graduation ceremonies as well. (Z) has known many people who "graduated" 5-6 times over the course of graduation week, though he successfully managed to avoid all but one graduation ceremony for himself (and he didn't particularly want to go to that one).

Part of the custom, when it comes to graduation ceremonies, is to have a graduation speaker. The bigger the name, the better. And when a top-tier university is staging one of its major graduation ceremonies (say, the law school graduation, or the graduation for the college of letters and sciences), they really want a star. This has created a situation where prominent politicians are often engaged to provide the commencement speech. The politician gets a photo-op in academic robes, and a captive audience for whatever they want to say, and sometimes an honorary degree to boot. The school gets a high-profile person they can brag about and, depending on the goals of the administration, perhaps an opportunity for some propagandizing.

Despite the fact that graduation is ostensibly their day, students get virtually no say in all of this. It's hard enough to land a commencement speaker, and then trying to hold some sort of vote would be a logistical nightmare. Further, if a person is rejected by the students, then what does the school do? "Sorry, governor, the students decided to yank the invitation. Sorry about that, and please don't cut our funding! Maybe next year?"

The result of this dynamic is predictable; sometimes students get to spend one of the biggest days of their lives watching as someone they find odious is feted, and treated as some sort of conquering hero. And any sort of pushback is frowned upon, since the commencement speaker is an "honored guest," after all. Plus, the parents and the alums are watching.

This graduation season, however, there have been a number of cases of students deciding that, custom be damned, they weren't going to passively accept an objectionable commencement speaker. Three examples:

  • New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) was the commencement speaker for the law school graduation at City University of New York (CUNY). We will likely have an item on this next week, but he's one of those Democrats who has decided the secret is to govern as a Republican. Then EVERYONE will love you, right? Maybe not so much. The graduates were not interested in what Adams in selling and, in particular, they were upset about the Mayor's response to the Jordan Neely incident. And so, while Adams spoke, some of the grads booed, while many more stood and turned so that their backs were facing him.

  • Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R-VA) is very obviously anti-education. Or, more accurately, he is someone who has created a fantasy version of how the educational system really works, and then weaponized that in order to accrue political power. It turns out that many students at George Mason University, where he was commencement speaker for the main undergraduate ceremony, have noticed this. They circulated a petition to have him removed. When that failed, many students either turned their backs on the Governor, or walked out of the ceremony.

  • New College, which has become Ron DeSantis' propaganda project, chose an absolutely radioactive commencement speaker. That would be Scott Atlas, the "Baghdad Bob" science "advisor" to Donald Trump whose job was to go on camera during the pandemic and tell everyone that all was well. Atlas is not an appropriate choice for any graduation, we would say, but certainly not for New College. That's like sending Dylan Mulvaney to speak at the commencement for Bob Jones University. The administration doesn't give a damn what the students think, or at very least is too scared of DeSantis to push back against him, so the graduating class didn't bother with petitions or protests. Nope, they just held their own, independent graduation.

A lot of these political graduation speakers are obnoxious people, and while they should leave the politics at the door, they often don't. Meanwhile, university administrations have gotten far too comfortable with not considering the needs and concerns of students, even on a day that is supposed to be for the students. So, we commend those students who clawed a little bit of that power back, and did what they could to graduate on their own terms. (Z)

This Week in Freudenfreude: Now That's a Civics Lesson

We're going to start this item with a quiz. This is a list of state "things"; the first item in each list is the state fruit, the other two are things we selected that we think are pretty big clues as to the mystery state's identity:

  1. Vine Ripe Pink Tomato; fiddle (state musical instrument); diamond (state gem)
  2. Avocado; denim (state fabric); Bodie (state ghost town)
  3. Pear; Widmer Brothers Hefeweizen (state beer); Tabitha Moffatt Brown and Dr. John McLoughlin (state mother and father)
  4. Pumpkin; "The Old Man of the Mountain" (state song; one of 10); granite (state rock)
  5. Strawberry; gumbo (state cuisine); Natchitoches meat pie (state meat pie)
  6. Kalo/taro; Humuhumunukunukuapua'a (state fish); surfing (state sport)
  7. Apple; apple muffin (state muffin); yogurt (state snack)
  8. Cranberry; cheese (state dairy product); polka (state dance)
  9. Blackberry; Bourbon Festival of Bardstown (state bourbon festival); coal (state mineral)
  10. Blueberry; magnolia (state flower); Natchez silt loam (state soil)

Some of these are easier than others; the full list appears at the bottom of the page. For now, however, we will note that #10 is Mississippi, because that's the one that is relevant to this particular item.

See, until recently, Mississippi did not actually have a state fruit. That's not unique; although every state has adopted some state symbols, including some very unusual ones, there are at least a dozen states that have no state fruits (among them Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Pennsylvania). However, fourth-grade teacher Lisa Parenteau read a story about a group of students from Kansas who successfully persuaded their legislature to get the Sandhill plum named the Kansas state fruit. And she saw a teachable moment.

Parenteau brought the article she had read to her class at Mannsdale Upper Elementary School in Madison, MS, and they discussed whether or not Mississippi should also have a state fruit. The students thought that would be a swell idea, and so they got to work trying to figure out what Mississippi's state fruit should be. They learned that the state's most-produced fruit, by a wide margin, is the blueberry. And thus was born Project Blueberry.

The next step, of course, was to find a member of the legislature who was willing to introduce a resolution in the state House. Madison is in MS-SD-73, and the occupant of that seat, Jill Ford (R), was happy to help out. Her co-sponsors were Stacey Hobgood-Wilkes (R), who sounds like a character in a Dickens novel, and Otis Anthony (D), who doesn't. HB 1027 passed the state House 110-1 and the state Senate 52-0. This raises the obvious question: What was up with that one member who voted "nay"? They must be bankrolled by Big Peach.

Many of the students in Parenteau's class were present for the votes in the state legislature, and when Gov. Tate Reeves (R-MS) signed the bill into law. Speaking as teachers, there is no better approach to education than to learn by doing. And introducing young people to the political process, and letting them see how it works? That's a great first step towards creating informed, engaged citizens. So, kudos to Parenteau and her students. And have a good weekend, all! (Z)

The other states above are (1) Arkansas, (2) California, (3) Oregon, (4) New Hampshire, (5) Louisiana, (6) Hawaii, (7) New York, (8) Wisconsin, and (9) Kentucky.

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
May18 A Court Hearing Full of Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing
May18 Talking about Abortion, Part IV: More Questions and Answers
May18 Abortion Appears to Be Wrecking Republicans at the Polls
May18 Trump Legal Blotter, Part I: His Documents Problem Just Keeps Getting Worse
May18 Trump Legal Blotter, Part II: What About the Stolen Voting Machine?
May18 House Punts on "Santos"
May17 The Results Are In
May17 North Carolina Legislature Overrides Governor's Abortion Veto
May17 EMILY's List... Kingmaker?
May17 Progress in Debt Ceiling Talks?
May17 Feinstein Appears to Have Gone from Bad to Worse
May17 Rep. Robert Garcia Introduces Legislation to Expel Rep. "George Santos"
May17 The Greatest Political Movies Ever Made, Part II
May16 Today in Republican Sham Investigations, Part I: The Durham Probe
May16 Today in Republican Sham Investigations, Part II: The Case of the Vanishing Informant
May16 Whaddya Know? Giuliani Is a Sleazeball (Allegedly)
May16 Why Would Anyone Want to Be in Politics?, Part I: Gas Prices
May16 Why Would Anyone Want to Be in Politics?, Part II: Congressman's Staff Attacked
May16 Governance, DeSantis Style
May16 The Greatest Political Movies Ever Made, Part I
May15 DeSantis Receives, Gives Punch in the Mouth
May15 The Trump Problem Returns, Part I: Pollsters
May15 The Trump Problem Returns, Part II: Republican Politics
May15 Today's Longshot Presidential Candidate News
May15 U.S. Senator Denounced as "Profoundly Ignorant Man" over Remarks on Mexico
May15 There Are Some Elections in the U.S. This Week...
May15 ...And There Was One This Weekend in Turkey
May14 Sunday Mailbag
May13 Saturday Q&A
May12 Title 42 Gets Deep-Sixed... Or Not
May12 FBI to Comer: F*** Off
May12 CNN Town Hall: The Day After
May12 Trump and E. Jean Carroll Are Not Finished with Each Other
May12 Another Day, Another Poll (or Two)
May12 Tuberville Doubles Down
May12 This Week in Schadenfreude: Good Riddance
May12 This Week in Freudenfreude: Whitecloud Dispels Storm Clouds
May11 Lucky Number 13 for "George Santos"
May11 Trump Goes to Town on CNN
May11 Interesting Information about "Juror No. 77"
May11 GOP Launches Latest Smear Campaign against Biden
May11 Tuberville's Staff Clarifies His Comments on White Nationalists
May10 Trump's a Loser
May10 "Santos" Is Indicted
May10 DeSantis unPACs
May10 She's Baaaaaack!
May10 He's Baaaaaack!
May10 Lake Is Maneuvering for a Senate Run
May09 The Daily Debt-Ceiling Drama
May09 What Is McConnell Doing?