MR Daily Review
Wednesday, September 7th
1. Judge strikes down Michigan’s 1931 abortion ban.
Months after suspending Michigan’s 1931 anti-abortion bill, the same court has now struck the law down. To quote from the case “a law denying safe, routine medical care not only denies women of their ability to control their bodies and their lives – it denies them of their dignity. Michigan’s Constitution forbids this violation of due process.” The 1931 law made it a crime to perform an abortion except in cases where the life of the pregnant person was in danger. Now the question is whether the Michigan Supreme Court will allow a ballot initiative to add abortion protections to the state constitution to go forward. This is just the latest turn in the battle for abortion rights post-Dobbs. State-level organizing and activism to protect abortion rights is incredibly important and even though there are 30 or so states with bans in place or incoming where it might seem like an impossible uphill battle, the recent vote in Kansas to protect abortion rights shows it can happen even in the reddest of states. The fight to protect abortion rights is too important to sit on the sidelines and hopefully Michigan will have another opportunity to allow people to protect that right through direct vote.
2. The Fed appears poised to raise interest rates another .75%
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Fed is set to raise interest rates another .75 basis points in its misguided fight against inflation. In reality, the fight the Fed is waging is full out class war, citing increased wages as a concerning trend they intend to reverse by increasing interest rates. The hike will bring the Fed’s targeted overall interest rate to 3% to 3.25%, and increase the chances of a recession that will almost certainly disproportionately impact workers. Remember a couple months ago when former economic advisor to President Obama said we need 10% unemployment for multiple years? This move will make that more likely. The Fed could encourage the White House to fight inflation another way, and the White House could take those steps (like antitrust enforcement or deflationary spending like BBB would have been) but they are choosing to take a hands off approach – and let the Fed ‘fight inflation’ in the most anti-worker way possible. The move comes as inflation has been slowing but not enough to satisfy Fed chairman Jerome Powell.
3. Brooklyn Prosecutors seek to throw out over 300 convictions based on criminal activity from the police involved.
Today the Brooklyn District Attorney announced 15 dismissals of cases dating back to 1999 in a broader effort looking to dismiss cases based on police misconduct. Ultimately, the office is seeking to dismiss 378 criminal convictions for mostly low level drug and traffic offenses. A similar effort is underway in Queens where 60 such convictions have been exonerated. In the Bronx, over 496 such convictions are expected to be exonerated. These moves are part of a broader national effort built on curbing and police and prosecutorial misconduct. It’s a good step but the police and prosecutors are cogs in irredeemable institutions that must be abolished. Only until the resources spent policing and prosecuting our communities to death are refocused on ensuring everyone can prosper instead of leaving them trapped in jail and prison.
4. Ukrainian military chief writes nuclear war can’t be ruled out.
Since February the war in Ukraine has waxed and waned but largely has stood stuck at a stalemate, with the number of civilian casualties alone increasing every week. This has left some looking for ways to break that stalemate, no matter how deadly – including nuclear war. Ukraine has the moral right to self defense, but displacing tens of millions and killing thousands is not a great way forward. We’ve seen what the proliferation of U.S. money and arms will do as billions of dollars is funneled into the conflict seemingly weekly. Ukraine’s top military chief Valeriy Zaluzhnyi has now suggested that “limited” nuclear strikes should be on the table in order to turn the tide of the war. He wrote in one of Ukraine’s top papers “there is a direct threat of the use, under certain circumstances, of tactical nuclear weapons by the Russian Armed forces. It is also impossible to completely rule out the possibility of the direct involvement of the world’s leading countries in a ‘limited’ nuclear conflict, in which the prospect of World War III is already directly visible.” This is the cost of letting the war wage on. A negotiated settlement must be on the table, otherwise this can only lead to significant cost of life. The writing is on the wall and all involved should be pushing for an end to the fighting lest Zaluzhnyi’s predictions come true.
5. Steve Bannon to face charges in border wall case despite pardon from former President Trump.
Steve Bannon’s “border wall” case is a funny microcosm of the grifting, ineptitude, and criminality that courses through the conservative movement. The case centers around a private effort by conservative financiers to collect funds for a private effort to build a border wall. The charges allege fraud and that no such effort was possible or plausible. Donald Trump pardoned Banon for very similar charges flowing from the same case raising potential novel legal questions about the parameters of a presidential pardon. Bannon is expected to surrender himself on that case sometime this week – and then it will remain to be seen what protections, if any, Trump’s pardon can provide.