June 25, 2022

"Kleinfeld began taking the women out of the waiting room, one by one, to deliver the news.... Since she opened Houston Women’s Reproductive Services in 2019, Kleinfeld had worked hard..."

"... to create a space where her patients would feel comfortable. She keeps a vase of lilies in the waiting room and lines the walls with motivational posters in various pastel shades. As Kleinfeld told patients about the ruling, a Spotify playlist called 'Peaceful Guitar' played in the background. Meanwhile, other patient advocates turned to the phones: They had 35 scheduled patients to call.... Some of the patients took the news in stride, calmly asking questions about various clinics in other states. Others asked if she was sure about the ruling. One begged. 'I can pay extra,' the woman said.... The phones kept ringing through much of the morning with new patients calling to schedule appointments, completely unaware of the Supreme Court’s ruling.... Finally, Kleinfeld decided that she needed to record a new outgoing message. 'I’m sorry to report that as of today, Friday, June 24, 2022, Roe v. Wade, the right to legalized abortion, has been overturned,' Kleinfeld recited. 'As of today, we are no longer able to provide abortion services.' She paused, then added one more thought. 'We hope you all remember this when it’s time to vote.'"

Long sentence of the day.


Is the author just dumping his thoughts on the page raw — expecting us to follow along? Or is this form perfection? Are you a strong enough reader to understand it on first read? Or is it better to read it, wander around in it, go over and over your favorite parts, then sweep through the whole thing?

When you do finally grasp it — sooner or later — does it seem to relate to American politics today? That's a whole second matter I'd like to discuss.

That paragraph was photographed by my son Chris. He and I have had conversations about the perceived problem of reading slowly, and I have taken the position that the best reading experiences have to do with slowing way down inside a single sentence. Of course, the worst writing slows you down too. The question is whether there's really something in there worth the journey.

Althouse photographs a sandhill crane.

Meade's photo of me:

My photo of the crane in flight:


"Is OREO in today’s #NYTXW?"

That's a Twitter account: Is OREO in today’s #NYTXW?

But: spoiler alert if you have done today's puzzle (and you care).

I got there from Rex Parker's write-up of today's puzzle.

"There are a lot of things that are too cowy to run on National Public Radio, like talking about cow poop too much. For example, I can have someone slip in poop, but not have someone slapped in the face with it."

Said Baxter Black, quoted in "Baxter Black, Who Elevated Cowboy Poetry to Folk Art, Dies at 77/His wide-ranging work, including books, speeches and regular appearances on NPR, celebrated cowpokes, feed lots and life on the range" (NYT).

"As President, I will codify Roe v. Wade and my Justice Department will do everything in its power to stop the rash of state laws that so blatantly violate a woman’s protected, constitutional right to choose."

Wrote Joe Biden, June 29, 2020. 

Later that year, Biden was elected President. 

Two years from that date, the Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade. 

Because Roe v. Wade was not codified, abortion is now illegal in many of the states.

"It feels like Democrats owe their people an apology for being bad at their jobs..." — writes Andrew Yang, taking for granted that Democrats have the "job" of doing the things they have not done.

A key I use to understanding puzzles like this is: People do what they want to do. What have they done? Begin with the hypothesis that what they did is what they wanted to do. If they postured that they wanted to do something else, regard that as a con. Work from there. The world will make much more sense.

So Yang is only half way there. Apologies are not enough. They would necessarily be premised on an assurance that Democrats really did mean to do what they said they wanted. It's just as bad as a plea for votes to "undo our failures." If you use my key, these were not failures. These were achievements — achievements of ends that were kept hidden.


Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

June 24, 2022

At the Milkweed Café...


... you can talk about whatever you want.

"I want to get out and protest right the fuck now - thinking of heading to the Capitol with a sign + my rage and hoping others join in."

Said one commenter — an hour ago — in the r/madisonwi discussion at Reddit.

An hour ago is about exactly when I walked through the Wisconsin Capitol Square, past the "Forward!" statue, loomed over by the spire of the Episcopal church:


I thought I'd find at least a few people with signs, getting the protests rolling, but there was no one (other than a state employee watering the nearby flowers).

But you'll find some links at that Reddit link post. One goes to Facebook, where there's an announcement of a march to begin at the spot you see in my photo, beginning at 5 p.m. You're told to "[b]ring your loved ones, your rage, and your grief."

UPDATE: We drove up to the Capitol around 5 and there were lots of people with signs converging on the place. Traffic was blocked off.

"The dissent, which would retain the viability line, offers no justification for it either...."

Writes Chief Justice Roberts in his concurring opinion, rejecting the viability line without rejecting the right to abortion or finding a new line to replace the old line.
The viability line is a relic of a time when we recognized only two state interests warranting regulation of abortion: maternal health and protection of “potential life.” Roe, 410 U. S., at 162–163. That changed with Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U. S. 124 (2007). There, we recognized a broader array of interests, such as drawing “a bright line that clearly distinguishes abortion and infanticide,” maintaining societal ethics, and preserving the integrity of the medical profession. Id., at 157–160. The viability line has nothing to do with advancing such permissible goals. Cf. id., at 171 (Ginsburg, J., dissenting) (Gonzales “blur[red] the line, firmly drawn in Casey, between previability and postviability abortions”).... 

"The dissent is very candid that it cannot show that a constitutional right to abortion has any foundation, let alone a '"deeply rooted'" one, '"in this Nation’s history and tradition."'"

"The dissent does not identify any pre-Roe authority that supports such a right—no state constitutional provision or statute, no federal or state judicial precedent, not even a scholarly treatise. Nor does the dissent dispute the fact that abortion was illegal at common law at least after quickening; that the 19th century saw a trend toward criminalization of pre-quickening abortions; that by 1868, a supermajority of States (at least 26 of 37) had enacted statutes criminalizing abortion at all stages of pregnancy; that by the late 1950s at least 46 States prohibited abortion 'however and whenever performed' except if necessary to save 'the life of the mother,' and that when Roe was decided in 1973 similar statutes were still in effect in 30 States. The dissent’s failure to engage with this long tradition is devastating to its position. We have held that the 'established method of substantive-due-process analysis' requires that an unenumerated right be '"deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition"' before it can be recognized as a component of the 'liberty' protected in the Due Process Clause. But despite the dissent’s professed fidelity to stare decisis, it fails to seriously engage with that important precedent—which it cannot possibly satisfy."

Writes Justice Alito in the majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization (citations omitted).

"The Supreme Court on Friday overruled Roe v. Wade, eliminating the constitutional right to abortion after almost 50 years in a decision that will transform American life, reshape the nation’s politics and lead to all but total bans on the procedure in about half of the states."

"The ruling will test the legitimacy of the court and vindicate a decades-long Republican project of installing conservative justices prepared to reject the precedent, which had been repeatedly reaffirmed by earlier courts. It will also be one of the signal legacies of President Donald J. Trump, who vowed to name justices who would overrule Roe. All three of his appointees were in the majority in the 6-to-3 ruling. The decision, which echoed a leaked draft opinion published by Politico in early May, will result in a starkly divided country in which abortion is severely restricted or forbidden in many red states but remains freely available in most blue ones."

ADDED: What's most interesting at this point, other than examining Alito's opinion to see what differences there may be from the leaked draft, is the Chief Justice's concurring opinion. What was this elusive middle position that he struggled to identify at oral argument and failed to sell to any of the other Justices?

SCOTUSblog has just gone live, covering the Supreme Court's case announcements.

Nine cases still remain to be decided, with more opinions coming a half hour from now.... 
I am not expecting all nine remaining opinions to be issued today. But I think there is an outside chance we get the press release at the end telling us that the next session will be the last, when the court would announce all remaining opinions "ready" from this term.

ADDED: The first case, Becerra, is too complicated to discuss here. It's about Medicare payments. But it's interesting that it's a 5-4 case, written by Kagan and joined by Thomas, Breyer, Sotomayor and Barrett. It's only the second case this term where Roberts and Kavanaugh haven't been in the majority. If Kagan is writing, that means she was assigned the task by Thomas (the senior Justice in the majority).

AND: Roe and Casey are overruled! 

Alito writes — here.

Roberts concurs.

"Thomas writes separately to reiterate his view that the due process clause also does not protect a right to an abortion."

"The Court says that only gun laws which have historical precedent are constitutionally permissible, and then the Court dismisses..."

"... all of the historical precedents for heavy restrictions on concealed-carry laws as outliers. The Court says that it is going to look to history, but dismisses early English common law as too old. The Court says that it is going to look to history, but dismisses any laws that were adopted after the mid-eighteen-hundreds as too young. The Court says that it is looking to history, but also says that shall-issue permitting is constitutional, even though shall-issue permitting is a twentieth-century invention. So the Court says that it is doing history and tradition analysis, but conveniently ignores any history it doesn’t like."

"People talk about the fact that we’re coming in and ruining women’s sports — but there are way bigger issues that women’s sports face...."

"The idea that a few trans women coming into a sport – and often times not even winning – and that’s what’s going to ruin women’s sports is pretty horrifying.... Because people are so focused on the advantages, they kind of ignore the fact that there actually are disadvantages that also come along with a transition.... Beyond all of this, as a society we need to build understanding and acceptance for queer people before we should even worry about sports."

Said "Transgender mountain biker Kate Weatherly slams ‘horrifying’ new rules on trans athletes" (NY Post). Weatherly was talking about the new rules in swimming and anticipating a similar development in mountain biking.

Within this argument sports are both very important and very not important. Similarly, gender difference is considered very important and, simultaneously, very not important. 

"In the early 1970s, Burton preached that members needed to immerse themselves in high art, such as opera and literature, in order to get rid of negative thinking.”

"He relied on ‘44 Angels’ — who included the spirits of historical figures such as William Shakespeare, Benjamin Franklin and Italian poet Dante Alighieri — to lead him in enlightenment." 

From "Inside the ‘love fest’ cult that’s allegedly infiltrated Google headquarters" (NY Post)("Google has been infiltrated by a 'destructive' California cult led by a 'pedophilic' leader, according to a lawsuit").