Matthew Lynn / Spectator:
If the EU disliked Boris, they’ll hate his successor
Three, five, or perhaps even ten whole minutes. In a more civilized, parallel universe, perhaps Europe’s big wigs would have allowed a slightly more dignified period of silence following Boris Johnson’s resignation speech before cracking open the foie gras and champagne. In this one, however, the gloating started immediately.
‘The departure of Boris Johnson opens a new page in relations with Britain,’ wrote ex-chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier. ‘Boris Johnson’s reign ends in disgrace, just like his friend Donald Trump,’ tweeted the former Brexit coordinator of the European parliament Guy Verhofstadt. No doubt we will see a lot more in that vein in the hours and days ahead. But hold on. As so often in the past, the Brussels elite is badly mis-reading British politics. Whoever succeeds Johnson as PM will be tougher for Brussels to deal with, not easier.
David Rothkopf / Daily Beast:
Boris Johnson’s Comic Downfall and the US-UK ‘Special Relationship’
The Brexit architect’s political collapse was a classic of British political satire.
The British are masters of political satire. From Jonathan Swift in the 18th century, to the cartoons of George Cruikshank in the 19th, to the puppetry send ups of the Thatcher Era on Spitting ImageBrits have always seen the humor in their politics. Seldom however, did life imitate the art of low comedy as it did during the administration of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who on Thursday announced he would be stepping down from his office.
Johnson was always something of a comic figure. From his absurd chronic case of bed head to his unceasing embodiment of the Monty Python ideal of the upper class twit, Johnson almost made one want to laugh through the damage he was doing to America’s closest ally. Almost. That said, having been responsible (with a little help from his friends in the Kremlin and British ultra-nationalists) for Brexit, history may one day conclude that Johnson drove the final nail into the coffin of the influence the British Empire once had.
Brexit was Johnson’s signature failure, but it was by far from his only one. His tenure since he arrived at No. 10 Downing Street in 2019 was marked by scandal, extravagant lying, mishandling of the COVID pandemic, and in the end a scandal over lying about how his team handled COVID (which is to say with parties that included top officials, ignoring quarantine protocols they promoted to the British people).
The problem Donald Trump did not see coming
Former staffers are often forgot about in White House meetings, noticed only by a select few. Now those invisible twentysomethings are coming back to haunt the people they were tasked with serving
If you look at photos of White House meetings, there’s always an outer ring of chairs populated by people who staff the decision-makers – or the principals – seated around the table. People with titles such as Special Assistant and Deputy Assistant and Assistant this-or-that will often circulate between offices while making arrangements and relaying messages between the bold-faced names they serve.
Yet those principals often forget that the young staffers – often no older than their mid-20s – are in the room. The twentysomethings who keep Washington running are often invisible to all but a select few (usually reporters) who know to pay attention.
That’s one reason why the testimony that former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson gave at a surprise January 6 select committee hearing was so utterly devastating to Trump and his allies, not least the man she reported to, ex-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.
Atlanta Journal Constitution:
Georgia Democrats rally against ‘extremist’ Supreme Court
While much of the Democratic outrage has focused on the court’s abortion ruling, other momentous 6-3 decisions focusing on gun rights, voting policy and environmental regulations have fueled liberal efforts to turn the court into an election-year foil.
The court struck down a New York law limiting guns in public places and agreed to hear a case that could give state legislators more power to shape federal elections.
Other far-reaching decisions expanded the role of religion in everyday life by establishing more protection for public displays of faith and limited the federal government ability to cut greenhouse gas emissions. ”
Many Georgia liberals now frame the court as a proxy for Trump, since the three conservative justices he appointed have emerged as a bulwark against the Democratic control of the White House and Congress.
It is also an attack that President Joe Biden is eager to promote as economic turbulence and high inflation complicates Democratic efforts to maintain power in November.
Lindsay Beyerstein / Editorial Board:
Even if Griswold stands, states are likely to ban contraception
How? By saying it’s the same as abortion.
Five states already prohibit abortion from conception onward. These states have decreed that pregnancy begins at the moment of fertilization.
However dramatic a sperm’s entrance may be, fertilization does not guarantee a pregnancy. Medically speaking, pregnancy begins at implantation. Half of fertilized eggs fail without birth control. That means unprotected sex dooms more fertilized eggs than any birth control does
In any case, preventing a fertilized egg from implanting is contraception, not abortion. Even the notorious Hyde Amendment allows the federal government to fund contraceptives that prevent implantation.
Nevertheless, state legislators will probably get away with their capricious redefining of key medical concepts like “pregnancy” and “abortion,” because the Supreme Court usually defers to their views on socially contested concepts.
Tobe Jaffe / American Prospect:
How Much Will the Abortion Police State Cost?
In addition to the obliteration of privacy and criminalization of women’s health, it’s a waste of money
For now, the “War on Abortion” will be led, and paid for, by state governments. Some states, most infamously Texas, had already begun pumping in money to set up authoritarian anti-abortion programs before the Dobbs decision. Most prominently, the state established the so-called Alternatives to Abortion program in 2006. Through the program, the Texas state government currently sends $ 100 million in taxpayer dollars to Christian anti-abortion “crisis pregnancy centers,” which use deceptive tactics to talk pregnant people out of having an abortion. Until 2017, neither lawmakers nor the general public were able to access even basic information as to what these crisis pregnancy centers did with taxpayer money. Moreover, specific data about pregnancies, abortions, and the general well-being of patients as it relates to these centers remains elusive. What is known is that the budget for the Alternatives to Abortion program in Texas grows every year, as a percentage of the overall budget. As a University of Texas law student named Audrey Gow pointed out In 2020, while COVID decimated the Texas state budget for social spending, the Alternatives to Abortion program was left untouched.
Texas has also spent millions of dollars in recent years on abortion-related legal fees.
Greg Sargent / WaPo:
In Louisiana, a dark turn in the post-Roe wars signals danger ahead
Barely moments after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, jubilant activists excitedly turned to the next step: criminalizing abortion to the maximal extent possible. This includes blocking women from seeking abortions across state linesand even empowering citizens to punish people who help those women by hitting them with vigilante lawsuits.
But that’s not all. The rush to criminalize abortion is also opening up a separate front in the abortion wars that involves the treatment process itself. At its core is an unsettling question: How can a doctor be certain whether conducting an abortion to protect a woman from grave injury or death might constitute a crime?
Sherelle Jacobs / Telegraph:
I am beginning to fear that Brexit will be crushed
Ultra-Remainers are on the war path, and this Tory chaos is giving their case a new lease of life
“Know thyself, know thy enemies. A thousand battles, a thousand victories ”. So goes the warning of the ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu. With the implosion of Boris Johnson, the Brexit war threatens to start anew. Tory Leavers must accept their vulnerability. The Prime Minister who ended the last battle by getting a Brexit deal done has just fallen in ignominious circumstances. Meanwhile, Remainers – who will never give up the fight – scent weakness.
Oh, dear. The Brexiteers are jolly well crossed because the Tories have gone wobbly.