A Supreme Court bombshell — abortion rights hanging by a thread.
The first assault conviction in the attack on the Capitol.
And will a sharp rise interest rates be enough to curb inflation?
I’m Paul Brandus — you’re listening to West Wing Reports from Washington — it’s Friday, May 6th.
In Washington, there are leaks, and then there are leaks. This one — was a doozy.
Someone, as you no doubt have heard, leaked to the news organization Politico a bombshell: That the Supreme Court has made a preliminary decision to overturn one of the most controversial rulings in American history: Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that legalized abortion in the United States.
The emphasis here is — preliminary decision — a FINAL decision will probably be issued in June. But based on what we know at this point — it certainly looks like Roe-V-Wade is toast.
Lots of reaction here. Let’s start with the president:
On the Republican side the likely overturning of Roe. v. Wade is NOT the issue — the leaking of the preliminary decision is. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell:
Of course it’s factual to note that this Republican outrage about a Supreme Court breach comes 15 months after the 2021 breach of he Capitol — by Trump supporters — many of whom say they were egged on by him. Many Republicans have no problem with that violent assault in which 140+ cops were injured — in fact the head of the Republican National Committee has called THAT — quote — “legitimate political discourse” — but now calls the leak of a Supreme Court document a grave crime — whose perpetrator must be punished. More on the Capitol attack in a moment.
Polls — by Pew, Gallup and others have consistently said that MOST Americans support, to SOME degree, the individual right of a woman to control her own body and make her OWN choices. Much of THEIR anger is directed at the three Trump-appointed judges who indicated during gather Senate confirmation hearings that the right to choose was settled law.
First: Amy Comey Barrett:
Next, Brett Kavanaugh:
And Neil Gorsuch:
Then, there’s Samuel Alito, who wrote the draft opinion that was leaked. He said this during his confirmation hearings nearly two decades ago:
Finally, Clarence Thomas — way back in 1991:
All five justices have now signaled that their true views are quite different than what they said during their confirmation hearings. After waiting for years, silently, they now have the majority, and can do what, in all probability, they intended to do — from the very beginning.
I mentioned the attack on the Capitol by Trump supporters.
So far, some 823 people have been arrested — and scores
charged with various crimes.
This week though canes the first conviction in an actual assault
case. A former New York cop — 56-year old Thomas Webster —
— was found guilty on six counts — including attacking a
DC police officer with a dangerous weapon — a metal flagpole.
He’s looking at up to 20 years in prison. Other assault cases are working their
way through the system.
To the economy now —
Inflation is a global issue. Europe, Asia, South America. Prices for food and
energy are up sharply. Here at home, the Federal Reserve has raised
Interest rates sharply — the biggest hike in nearly a quarter-century —
Higher rates can act as a brake on inflation — and Fed Chairman Jerome
Powell thinks it’ll work now — but says rates will have to rise even further.
In addition to Russia’s war on Ukraine, which is helping to push up food and
energy, inflation is also being caused by big labor shortages —
Competition for workers means higher pay — that’s good — but it also means companies paying those higher wages pass those costs along to customers — another source of inflation.
Here’s another source of inflation, by the way — too much government spending. It has soared during the pandemic — as both the Trump and Biden administrations showered cash upon individuals and companies to keep things afloat. But guess what — the deficit is now actually falling, and sharply. President Biden wasting no time in bragging about it:
That almost sounds like a campaign line for the November midterms.
A quick update on he war —
As you know, Russia has shifted its focus to Eastern Ukraine — after failing to take the Ukrainian capital off Kyiv and other cities. But its campaign in Eastern Ukraine doesn’t appear to be going much better. The usual problems — are at work again — poor planning, incompetent logistics, unencrypted communications and all the rest — not to mention low morale.
Ukraine even claims it has intercepted communications showing that Russian troops are beginning to rebel — or close to - against their commanders. NATO said last week that at least 15-thousand Russian troops have been killed — the war is now into its third month.
Now let's hear about another Evergreen podcast...
Time now to open up the West Wing Reports archives — and see what made history this week in the past:
1915: While golfing in Maryland, Woodrow Wilson was told that RMS Lusitania had been torpedoed by a German U-Boat. The sinking of the Lusitania killed 1,198 people, including an estimated 128 Americans. It pushing America closer to war with Germany. Until the ship was attacked, U.S. policy towards World War I had been neutral.
That was World War I.
There would be another world war a generation later:
1945 — President Truman announcing the great news to the American people:
Of course, the war with Japan had a few more months to go — two atomic bombs would bring it to an end in August.
Want more history? Check out my books on Amazon — I’ll sign ‘em for you too — just shoot me an email: [email protected]
And need a speaker for your event? I do that too — current events, economics, analysis — history — I connect the dots — would love to hear from you.
Speaking of books — I’ll send you one — IF you download my new app — it’s called — West Wing Reports — available in the Apple and Android stores — just download it on your phone or tablet — there’s a button called “What’s on your mind?” All you do is push, talk and send. That’s it. Leave a comment — and your name goes into a drawing for any of my books — your choice.
I like to end each week with a quote — something you might find thoughtful: This week: is’t from Andrew Jackson:
Any man worth his salt will stick up for what he believes right, but it takes a slightly better man to acknowledge instantly and without reservation that he is in error.
Think about it.
That’s all for this week. Follow me on Twitter — West Wing Reports.
West Wing Reports is a production of Evergreen Podcasts.
Special thanks to CSPAN for the audio clips.
Our producer and sound designer and engineer: Noah Foutz
Executive producers: Michael D’Aleoia and Gerardo Orlando.