Biden’s Florida Test

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Biden may sink abortion in Florida: Each year, one in 12 American abortions are performed in Florida. Up until 2022, the state had allowed abortion up to 24 weeks, making the red state far more abortion-permissive than almost every European country (something many people don’t realize). All the way back in 1989, the Florida Supreme Court “ruled unanimously that Florida’s constitution—which guarantees a right to privacy—protected access to abortion,” per The 19th.

But then conservative Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis started running for president, and so in 2022, he set his sights on rolling back abortion, creating a 15-week ban, which allows all first trimester and some second trimester abortions. Then, “the Republican-run legislature passed a new law prohibiting most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, which would only take effect if the court overturns Florida’s abortion rights protection,” per The 19th. “Enforcement would kick in 30 days after a ruling.”

Just this week, the Florida Supreme Court cleared the way for the six-week ban to go into effect, but also (in a separate ruling) permitted the issue to go to voters as a ballot initiative this November, if activist groups can collect enough signatures to qualify.

“The campaign to put abortion access on the ballot, which is led by the Floridians Protecting Freedom committee, reached the state’s threshold of more than 891,000 state-certified voter signatures at the end of last year,” reports Politico. Now “the campaign has essentially six months to drum up support—60 percent of voters must approve it for it to pass. They have to do it in a state where Republicans out-registered Democrats by almost 900,000 voters.”

In other words, if they want permissive abortion laws, Democrats will have to convince a substantial number of Republicans to side with them. But President Joe Biden, who’s vying for reelection, keeps trying to intervene and campaign in Florida—as part of his new abortion-forward approach, for which he keeps deploying Vice President Kamala Harris—which Florida organizers fear will turn off Republicans.

“We are focused on making clear to voters the decision at stake: Should the government get to make these decisions for doctors and women, or not?” campaign organizer Lauren Brenzel told Politico. “Floridians of every party, including Republicans, do not want politicians making these decisions for them.”

Conflicting narratives: An Israeli military strike hit and killed seven World Central Kitchen (WCK) aid workers in Gaza on Monday night.

“I want to be very clear—the strike was not carried out with the intention of harming WCK aid workers. It was a mistake that followed a misidentification—at night during a war in very complex conditions,” said IDF spokesman Herzi Halevi. “It shouldn’t have happened.”

But the organization said that the group had been traveling in a “deconflicted zone” in WCK-branded vehicles, having coordinated route with the Israeli military in advance, which casts doubt on the IDF version of events.

Now, World Central Kitchen—the nonprofit started by chef José Andrés in 2010 following the earthquake in Haiti—is pulling out of Gaza. Andrés had been “working with the United Arab Emirates to land amphibious crafts, loaded with food, on the shores of Gaza,” per Axios. 

Scenes from New York: Incredible: “The [Metropolitan Transportation Authority] has quietly demanded roughly $750,000 a year from the organization that runs the marathon, to make up for the toll revenue that the authority loses when it closes the Verrazzano—North America’s longest suspension bridge—to vehicular traffic,” according to The New York Times. The two organizations are now in a standoff, and if the Marathon won’t pay the toll fees (and/or changes the route as a result), it will no longer be a five-borough race, as Staten Island would be excluded.


  • Good: “The White House has missed its deadline to publish a rule banning menthol cigarettes, raising ire among public health advocates that the policy will be indefinitely delayed by election year politics,” reports The Hill.
  • The insults of Latin America’s leaders (including plenty of zingers from Argentine President Javier Milei), from The Wall Street Journal: “small-penises club”; “murderous terrorist”; and instructions to “shove your opinions wherever you can fit them.”
  • A terrible earthquake, 7.4 magnitude, hit Taiwan early Wednesday morning local time. At least nine reported dead so far, but many hundreds injured.
  • I too have Havana syndrome:

Why are so many random government agents claiming to be suffering from Havana Syndrome?

The devil is in the details…

The HAVANA Act, which passed in 2021, gives an untaxed lump-sum payment of one years’ salary to government employees with a “neurological injury.”

— Jordan Schachtel @ (@JordanSchachtel) April 1, 2024

  • Nobody knows what things cost:

A few months ago a friend of mine said that though he supports Ukraine in theory he would rather us have spent that money to build a national high speed rail network. And, like, uh none of these people have any idea what anything costs.

— Ben Dreyfuss (@bendreyfuss) April 2, 2024

  • I could’ve told you this without needing to do any research:

“Living with parents reduces birth rates” is pretty close to a cross-cultural universal.

— Lyman Stone 石來民 ???????????? (@lymanstoneky) April 2, 2024

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