HomeUncategorized3/1-3 News Roundup & Open Thread
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Moving my stuff over from another diary

It’s weird that Crockett is backed by the WFP, Our Revolution, AND crypto moguls, but her platforms are progressive.


Texas 28th District: In the 2020 Democratic primary, Cuellar narrowly defeated progressive challenger Jessica Cisneros by fewer than 3,000 votes. Cisneros is back for a rematch this year in what will be the most-watched House race on the ballot tomorrow. This time around, Cisneros and her allies have seized on a recent FBI raid of Cuellar’s home in Laredo. While Cuellar has outraised his challenger, Justice Democrats, a progressive group, has spent more than $420,000 on TV, mail and digital ads via its independent expenditure arm.

Texas 30th District: Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson opened up a crowded Democratic primary in this seat when she opted to retire from the House. The longtime incumbent has endorsed a successor: state Rep. Jasmine Crockett, who is backed by Our Revolution, the Sanders-inspired group. But it’s a nine-way race, which includes an alum of President Joe Biden’s Texas campaign, a former state lawmaker and a Navy veteran. Super PACs linked to cryptocurrency moguls have pledged to spend $2 million to boost Crockett — by far the most significant spending in the primary contest. Protect Our Future PAC and Web3 Forward have each pledged to spend $1 million, although it’s not clear whether Crockett will be able to escape a runoff in the crowded race.

Texas 35th District: National progressives have rallied around Democrat Greg Casar, a former member of the Austin City Council, in this open-seat primary. (The seat became open after Rep. Lloyd Doggett swapped districts to run in the newly created 37th District). Also running are Democratic state Rep. Eddie Rodriguez and former San Antonio City Council member Rebecca Viagran. The deep blue district encompasses parts of Austin and stretches to San Antonio. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) recently visited Texas to boost both Casar and Cisneros.





More from Texas. I wonder if Susan Collins is “ troubled” by stuff like this.


In the days after the new Texas abortion law known as S.B. 8 took effect last September, Anna was planning her wedding to her fiancé, Scott. They’d set a date for this coming May — until Anna realized her period was almost two weeks late.

“I just remember laughing to myself because I was like, wow, for as responsible as I think I am all the time, I had no idea that I was pregnant — and that late,” says Anna. NPR is only using her first name because of the sensitivity of her story.

Doctors in Texas have been warning that S.B. 8 would make it harder for them to treat medical crises and would endanger their patients. Six months in, many say those predictions are coming true.

“I don’t want to be talking about this at all,” says Anna, who lives in central Texas. “But it’s important to share this story. Because somebody is going to die eventually.”

The law bans most abortions as soon as any cardiac activity can be detected, usually around six weeks of pregnancy, or about two weeks after a missed period. Most women don’t know they’re pregnant at that point.

For Anna, there would have been little to no time to get an abortion in Texas by the time she discovered her pregnancy. She and Scott were open to having a baby, even if a bit sooner than they might have planned, so they moved up their wedding plans to December.

When their wedding day arrived, Anna was 19 weeks pregnant. And she was in her wedding dress, getting makeup done with her bridesmaids, when she noticed something was wrong.

“It felt like something was coming out of me. So I freaked out. I literally wet my dress in the seat that I was in,” she says.

Anna had to race against time

Anna’s water had broken too early for the baby to survive. She and Scott spent the night of their wedding in the ER, trying to take in the heartbreaking news.

“Basically the doctor looked at me and was like, well, the baby’s underdeveloped,” says Anna. “Even with the best NICU care in the world, they’re not going to survive.”

And as painful as it was to hear that, the doctors told Anna there was another urgent concern.

“‘You’re at a high chance of going septic or bleeding out,'” she says the doctors told her — a risk of infection or hemorrhage, which could become deadly. “‘And unfortunately we recommend termination, but we cannot provide you one here in Texas because of this law.'”

In Anna’s situation, a patient would normally be offered two options: wait and watch for signs of danger; or terminate the pregnancy, which is usually the safest option and most guaranteed to preserve future fertility.

But under Texas law, abortions are only allowed at that stage for severe medical emergencies, defined as when a patient is “in danger of death or a serious risk of substantial impairment of a major bodily function.”

And because fetal heart tones were detectable, doctors told Anna they couldn’t offer her that option.

In the emergency room on their wedding night, Anna and Scott say the doctors appeared nervous and concerned, but could do little to help them.

“I remember being like, what, why can’t you just do this?” says Anna. “They couldn’t even say the word ‘abortion.’ I could see the fear in these doctors’ eyes that they were just so scared to even talk about it.”

“They were typing stuff out on their phones and showing it to us,” adds Scott, saying that the doctors were afraid to even be overheard helping them plan an abortion.

The next day, Anna’s OB-GYN needed a plan to get Anna to a place where she could get the procedure as quickly as possible. They ruled out some nearby states, including Oklahoma and Arkansas, with mandatory waiting periods as long as three days.

“So there’s two options,” says Scott. “There’s New Mexico and there’s Colorado. Would we rather have her go into labor on a plane or like, out by Midland in a car?”

“And I said absolutely not,” says Anna’s doctor, who spoke with NPR on the condition of anonymity over fears of facing lawsuits. “Because west Texas is at least 8 or 9 hours of desert. Sometimes you have hours with no cell phone reception, no gas station … in the middle of a medical crisis. So I requested she at least take a flight. And make it a direct flight if possible.”

But Anna says that plan came with its own set of risks. There’s a lump in her throat as she talks about what could have happened on the plane.

“I had to come up with a game plan with my OB in case I went into labor on the flight. And I made sure that I bought us front row seats so I could be close to the bathroom in case it happened. And I’m like, no one should ever have to do that.”

But even through tears, Anna says she knows she was lucky to have several thousand dollars in savings to cover the cost — and to get an appointment in Colorado at all.

Since her ordeal, Anna says she fears for the lives of other women.

“I’ve never in my life felt like I didn’t matter, that my life was expendable,” she says, but “I did in that moment.”

She’s especially worried about families without the resources to travel long distances for potentially life-saving treatment.

“I have a savings account and a job that I could have made this happen for myself,” she says. “There’s plenty of other people on this planet with uteruses who could not have done that. And what would they have done? Would they have just died? I think about that all the time.”


And more


For months, parents of transgender children in Texas have been fighting a historic wave of anti-trans legislation in their state, including dozens of bills that would strip rights away from trans kids and their families. So when Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) last week instructed state agencies to investigate families who provide gender-affirming treatments to their children — and to “refer for prosecution any such abuse” — it landed as a particularly devastating blow.

As news of Abbott’s move spread, Rachel Gonzales, a mother in Dallas, consoled her 11-year-old transgender daughter, who broke down in tears. Annaliese Cothron, a mom to a nonbinary transgender child in San Antonio, immediately felt gripped by fear, thinking of the harassment and abuse families such as hers could face. In Houston, Lisa Stanton’s phone began to fill with messages from friends asking whether Stanton and her family, which includes her transgender daughter, would be moving away from their home: You’re leaving Texas, right?

The letter to the state’s Department of Family and Protective Services followed a Feb. 18 opinion issued by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) stating that certain gender-affirming treatments for transgender children — including gender reassignment surgery and puberty-blocking medications — “can legally constitute child abuse.” The developments in Texas are the latest in an ongoing torrent of anti-trans legislation sweeping across the country, as conservative lawmakers have sought to ban medical treatments for transgender children and prohibit trans kids from playing on sports teams that match their gender identity.

The legal implications of Abbott’s directive are not clear — several county attorneys have already stated that they will not enforce it, and policy experts on trans issues have noted that Paxton’s opinion is not legally binding and that there is no existing law in Texas or any state that labels gender-affirming care as abuse.

But the reverberations are nonetheless profound for transgender children and their families. Cothron, Gonzales and Stanton are among the more visible and vocal advocates for the rights of transgender children in Texas — a position and privilege that all three said they take seriously because they know that many other families in less supportive communities and more vulnerable circumstances cannot safely speak out on behalf of their children. The three mothers spoke to The Washington Post about their response to Abbott’s directive and their plans going forward. These interviews have been edited for length and clarity.



Broad support for Build Back Better but ignorance about job creation.



At least 10 people were killed and 35 wounded in rocket strikes by Russian forces on the centre of Kharkiv today, Ukraine’s interior ministry adviser Anton Herashchenko said.

Similar strikes killed and wounded dozens in Kharkiv, the country’s second largest city of 1.5 million people, the previous day.

In a social media post, Herashchenko said:

The rubble is being cleared and there will be even more victims and wounded.

Ukrainian regional emergency services confirmed the death toll in a statement:

At least 10 people were killed and more than 20 were injured.

They added that 10 people had been discovered alive under rubble as rescue workers cleared debris.

Russia’s defence ministry is warning residents in Kyiv to leave their homes as it plans to strike targets in the Ukrainian capital, Russian state news agency Tass is reporting.

In a statement issued on Tuesday afternoon, the defence ministry says Russian forces are preparing to launch “high-precision strikes” against the “Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and the 72nd Center for Information and Psychological Operations (PSO)“ in Kyiv.

“We urge Ukrainian citizens involved by Ukrainian nationalists in provocations against Russia, as well as Kiev residents living near relay stations, to leave their homes.”







Of course


While the International Criminal Court in The Hague is being called on to open an investigation into potential war crimes committed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in Ukraine, QAnon followers around the globe are praising him and casting him in a positive light. Though it might sound macabre, adherents of the bizarre and all-encompassing conspiracy movement believe that a major global crisis such as the current one is intrinsic to something they call the “Great Awakening,” a prophecy that forms the crux of the massive conspiracy that claims top Democratic leaders will one day be arrested for running a global sex trafficking ring.

Hence, QAnon followers have taken to social media in droves to explain that what’s really happening in Ukraine and how the invasion by Russian troops is actually everything “going as planned.” Case in point: the Conspirituality podcast, which studies the intersection of right-wing conspiracy theories and faux wellness, shared on its Instagram account a screenshot of one user stating that the “harvesting and trafficking of humans and children….it is all being stopped for good” — because of the ongoing fighting in Ukraine. “The old central bank systems are to be switched off, humanity if being liberated from its slave masters, and true freedom, health and abundance is at our doorstep,” the QAnon adherent continued, adding “nothing can stop what is coming.”

As Newsweek reported, John Sabal, who previously went by the name QAnon John on Telegram, praised Putin in a series of Telegram posts positioning him as some kind of hero. “Putin is straight gangsta,” he wrote. “MSM (mainstream media) is totally losing their minds right now,”

This isn’t the first time a massive geopolitical event has been co-opted by QAnon’s all-encompassing conspiracy theory. Previously, global events ranging from Donald Trump’s presidency to the COVID-19 pandemic to Canada’s anti-vaccine trucker protests have all been integrated into the QAnon narrative. Indeed, QAnon followers have an indefatigable ability to fit any news item under its umbrella conspiracy that the world is run by a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles who just happen to mostly be Democratic leaders. And, as if it needed to be said, none of it ever manifests.