Wednesday News: Gilead approaches


SC REPUBLICANS STRIP RAPE AND INCEST EXCEPTIONS FROM ABORTION BAN BILL: A proposal to outlaw abortions in South Carolina after about six weeks of pregnancy got a first round of approval in the state Senate on Tuesday after Senate Republicans removed protections in the bill for women who become pregnant from rape or incest. Those exceptions were added by the S.C. House, which passed the bill earlier this year, after state Rep. Nancy Mace, R-Charleston, told the story of her rape as a 16 year old. Republican Gov. Henry McMaster has said he would sign the bill into law if the Senate passes it. The bill would outlaw the majority, or 55%, of abortions performed in South Carolina. Doctors would face criminal charges for performing abortions after a heartbeat has been detected, typically around the sixth week of gestation — before many women know they are pregnant.

SCHOOL CHOICE LOBBYIST ELEVATED TO UNC BOARD OF GOVERNORS: A fourth of the seats on the UNC Board of Governors, which is appointed by the N.C. General Assembly, will be held by current or former lobbyists once the N.C. House fills a vacancy as planned Wednesday. Reggie Holley, a statehouse lobbyist and a former staffer for U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole, was the only applicant to replace new state Sen. Rob Bryan on the board, House Republicans said Tuesday. Holley's nomination moved through committee Tuesday with bipartisan support and is scheduled for a full House vote Wednesday. He'll be the sixth current or former lobbyist on a 24-member board that sets policy for the state's university system. Holley founded The Longmire Group, and he represents a range of interests at the General Assembly, including developers, a school choice group and the N.C. High School Athletic Association. The House and Senate share appointments to this board, and the seat opened when former member Rob Bryan was appointed to fill U.S. Rep. Dan Bishop
's Mecklenburg County seat in the state Senate. Bishop won a special congressional election last month.

ANONYMOUS TRUMP STAFFER WHO WROTE COLUMN THAT ENRAGED THE PRESIDENT NOW HAS A WHOLE BOOK: The book, titled “A Warning,” is being promoted as “an unprecedented behind-the-scenes portrait of the Trump presidency” that expands upon the Times column, which ricocheted around the world and stoked the president’s rage because of its devastating portrayal of Donald Trump in office. The column described Trump’s leadership style as “impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective,” and noted that “his impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions that have to be walked back.” The author of the column, which was titled “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration” and was published Sept. 5, 2018, was known to the Times but identified by the Times only as a senior official in the Trump administration. The person has not been publicly identified. Trump lashed out at the anonymous author after the column’s publication. The president questioned both whether the author existed and whether the author had committed treason. He also demanded on Twitter that the Times turn over “the GUTLESS anonymous person” to the government “at once.” The Times did not.

ACTING AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE GIVES DAMNING TESTIMONY BEFORE CONGRESS: Taylor had taken the job of acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine reluctantly, he said in congressional testimony Tuesday. His decision came only after assurances from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in late May that President Trump was committed to helping Kyiv hold off forces, armed and funded by Moscow, that had besieged the country for nearly five years. Now it was July and Taylor was already doubting both his decision and his country’s intentions. The Trump administration's official policy, which had bipartisan backing, was to support a young democracy “struggling to break free of its past” and battling Russian aggression. But it was becoming increasingly clear to Taylor that those noble intentions were being “fundamentally undermined by an irregular, informal channel of U.S. policy-making” in which Trump and a handful of allies were withholding desperately needed military aid in exchange for political favors that would benefit Trump’s reelection campaign. Taylor was so troubled by the dissonant signals that he reported the conversation to Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent, putting his concerns in a memo that presumably now resides among the files at the State Department that Pompeo has not yet furnished to impeachment investigators.

GLOBAL POWDER KEG: VIOLENT PROTESTS ERUPT IN CHILE OVER SUBWAY FARE INCREASE: Banks destroyed. Subway stations burned. Supermarkets looted and set afire, and pharmacies destroyed. Chile, traditionally seen as one of Latin America’s most prosperous and stable nations, is in a state of turmoil. It began on Friday with a fare increase of 4 cents for a subway ride in Santiago, the capital. Within days, violent protests were taking place around the country. Even after the government backed down on the fare increase, the protests raged on. On Tuesday, protest marches filled the streets of Santiago. Schools remained shut. And many Chileans lined up to stockpile food. Poor and middle-class Chileans say they are fed up with the rising cost of utilities and stagnant wages. Center-left opposition legislators have been discussing a number of responses, among them caps on the price of medicines, electricity and water, and lowering the salaries of lawmakers and officials. (This is a photo-heavy story, check it out)



Anti-scientific Insanity

That's the only way to describe these fetal heartbeat bills that have been passed in several states. They show a profound lack of understanding of fetal development or any other aspect of biology. A six-week-old embryo (it's not even technically a fetus yet) is only at Carnegie stage 16 or 17 and the heart doesn't actually do all that much yet, even though it does start to exhibit a sinus rhythm. Meanwhile, the entire central nervous system is just barely developing and exhibits none of the activity we equate with an independent organism. Simply put, the embryo is not yet anything like a human being, though it may become one after considerable further development. All of this nonsense being pushed as law has nothing to do with any of the biological facts, but is rather an effort to control women and their bodies under the cover of concern for a lump of tissue that may or may not ever become a human being no matter what interventions already living human may choose to make. We can only hope that science will, in the end, prevail over religious dogma and the desire to subjugate women.

It's more important than ever

for us to keep NC from devolving into the same nonsense. If this passes, South Carolina women need to be able to drive an hour or two North to have their procedure done, whether it's Charlotte, Fayetteville or Wilmington.