NPR Rallies the Righteous this evening

From an immigrant friend on the East Coast:

I drove to my [athletic] club today and listened to NPR to get my pulse up.

Started counting how many times they said “democracy is on the ballot”, “election deniers”, “threat to democracy” and so on

47 times in 50 minutes

What was the period covered by this study? 5:20-6:10 pm. In other words, there was enough time for the righteous listener to wipe the sweat off his/her/zir/their brow after a demanding day of pretend-to-work-from-home and respond to these threats by driving the working-class-subsidized electric car to the still-open polls.

Sadly, the call was not heeded by the righteous in Florida. The candidate who warned of fascism rising and democracy ending if he were to be defeated actually was defeated, even in counties where the majority of voters are registered in his party.

From The Google:

Charlie Crist lost in traditionally Democrat Miami, abandoned by his Latinx brothers, sisters, and binary-resisters, despite having been endorsed by the Miami Herald. It isn’t surprising that Mr. Crist won in Tallahassee, where everyone works for the government or a government-run university. It would be interesting to try to figure out what made Orlando and Fort Lauderdale outliers. Why don’t they love Ron?

Suppose that you are concerned about the end of democracy here in Florida. The New York Times has us covered.

I do like the Science-based “Take a deep breath and then plunge your face into a bowl or sink filled with ice water for 15 to 30 seconds” idea, but I would prefer “Put your head deep into a toilet and close the lid on your back to feel safe, making sure not to compress your breathing straw.”

How are things going back in our former home state? History was made:

The Human Rights Campaign applauded Healey’s win, saying, “as one of our nation’s first lesbian governors, she will not only be a champion of pro-equality policies, but also a role model for the entire LGBTQ+ community.”

The U.S. also has a chance to see its second openly lesbian governor elected on Tuesday. Tina Kotek, Oregon’s Speaker of the House, is running for governor of her state against Republican Christine Drazan and independent candidate Betsy Johnson. Oregon has had a Democratic governor since 1987.

Maybe this new role model can find some common ground with Ron DeSantis? From Healey’s campaign page on immigration:

Maura has been a leading advocate for immigrant rights. As Governor, she will ensure that all Massachusetts families can thrive.

  • Ensuring that eligible undocumented residents can receive a driver’s license, regardless of immigration status.
  • Ending state and local law enforcement’s involvement in federal immigration matters.
  • Expanding the state’s capacity to meet the language access needs of our communities.
  • At the federal level, providing a meaningful pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

She wants to take care of migrants and the Florida legislature has appropriate funds to help migrants to where go to where they will be welcomed.


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Will Democrats have to move if Republicans win in their states?

Democrats say that Americans will lose their democratic rights and be subjected to “fascism” if any Republicans are elected to positions of power today. Here’s an example from the Tyrant of Tallahassee’s opponent:

By implication, if Ron DeSantis wins Florida will be plunged into fascism and there won’t be any more democracy in Florida (it is almost gone and could be “saved” only via a Democrat victory). Surely Mr. Crist himself wouldn’t wish to stick around and live in a fascist state, right. Just as those who didn’t want to be subjected to school closures, lockdowns, mask orders, vaccination papers checks had to move to Florida in 2020-2021, won’t those in Florida who love Democracy and oppose fascism have to move to a Democrat-run state, e.g., California, New York, or Maskachusetts?

I assume that the same rhetoric is being ladled out by Democrats in other states. Let’s check in with neighboring Georgia:

Suppose that the hated Republican who has made Georgia unsafe is reelected. Georgians will continue to be “afraid to drop their kids off at school, attend a religious service or even go to the grocery store.” Wouldn’t it be logical for Stacey Abrams to move out of Georgia and into a safe state?

If Republicans, supporters of the January 6 insurrection, are as bad as Democrats say, nobody can be safe after this election in any state where Republicans control either the legislature or the governorship. Any Democrat who is physically able to move, therefore, should immediately flock to comfort in a state where there is no possibility of Republican political influence.

Update: In Charlie Crist’s concession speech, he opened with a “good congratulations to Governor DeSantis on his re-election” (YouTube). Instead of describing his plans to move away from fascism, in other words, he actually congratulated the fascist!

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Voting advice from the Norwegians: Women vote for Women

From the Nasjonalmuseet in Oslo:

Kvinder vælg Kvinder. If your Norwegian is a bit rusty, the museum provides an English translation of this 1916 poster:


  • “Women Are So Fired Up to Vote, I’ve Never Seen Anything Like It” (NYT, 9/3): Especially since the ascension of Donald Trump, numerous tragedies and extreme policies have been met with little political consequence: schools targeted by mass murderers, immigrants treated as subhuman and autocratic regimes around the globe affirmed as allies. … In the weeks following the leak of a draft ruling in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, which all but guaranteed the end of abortion protections under Roe v. Wade, it initially seemed this pattern would hold. … But once the actual Dobbs decision came down, everything changed. For many Americans, confronting the loss of abortion rights was different from anticipating it. In my 28 years analyzing elections, I’ve never seen anything like what’s happened in the past two months in American politics: Women are registering to vote in numbers I’ve never witnessed. … In the six months before Dobbs, women outnumbered men by a three-point margin among new voter registrations. After Dobbs, that gender gap skyrocketed to 40 points. Women were engaged politically in a way that lacked any known precedent.
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Stock market performance since Joe Biden took office

I wonder if the Democrats are going to lose even some of their elite support in this week’s election (or maybe we should say “last week’s election” because so many people voted early?). Elites own stock and the S&P 500 is down nearly 2% in nominal terms compared to January 20, 2021 (closed at 3,799; compare to 3,771 today). We don’t have official CPI numbers for October yet, but this is down more than 15% if adjusted by official CPI. If we adjust for inflation in the prices of goods and services that elites buy, e.g., houses, cars, travel, etc., the S&P 500 is down 20-25%.

Democrats have been running the White House, the House, and the Senate. Unless they can claim that a reduction in abortion care for pregnant people at reproductive health centers has resulted in the losses suffered by investors, it will be tough to blame those losses on Republicans.

Speaking of early voting, here’s an epic line in Austin, Texas:

The city of Austin and Travis County, which is essentially the same group of people, is overwhelmingly Democrat (72% Biden and 27% Trump in 2020). Every elected official in Travis County seems to be a Democrat (to the point that most run unopposed by any Republican). Democrats say that Republicans are guilty of voter suppression by making it difficult to vote, but how can Republicans be responsible for the long lines and inconvenience in Austin/Travis County?

(This is not to say that Democrats are incompetent everywhere. I early-voted by biking over to the Abacoa “honors” campus of Florida Atlantic University (next to Scripps and Max Planck) and, thanks to the Democrats who run Palm Beach County, was voting within about 2 minutes after parking the bike. Then it was time for a Cuban sandwich at an outdoor table at the nearby cluster of restaurants in our fake downtown (shops, restaurants, bars, mini golf, escape room; no trash, pit bulls, unhoused people, pit bull poop, sidewalk tents, and the rest of the features that make California cities so vibrant and exciting).)

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Would Republicans be better off losing this election?

Late-night political thought… If prices are guaranteed to keep spiraling upward due to everything the government spends being indexed (see Can our government generate its own inflation spiral?), might Republicans be better off losing all of the Senate and House races on Tuesday? Even if the Republicans earned majorities in both sides of Congress, Joe Biden would likely veto any legislation that cut spending or removed inflation indexing from spending. So the Republicans have no realistic chance of reducing inflation, any more than the Inflation Reduction Act. If they’re totally out of government, only the Democrats will be blamed for the next two years of inflation and maybe that would help Republicans win the White House as well as Congress in 2024.

A Nobel laureate who is always right agrees with me: “Republicans Have No Inflation Plan” (Paul Krugman, New York Times, 10/27).

If we ignore the government inflation spiral-from-indexing effect, how much pent-up inflation is there? I remarked on the price increase for frozen peas (Peaflation at Publix). On a more recent trip, the supermarket shelves were entirely bare for all brands of frozen peas. The market-clearing price for peas is obviously higher than even the new high-ish prices. Similarly, canned pumpkin was sold out. Our 42-inch-wide built-in fridge is dying. Is a Sub-Zero a ripoff at $14,000? Actually, it is underpriced and should go up further according to Econ 101 because it will take a year (a year!) for them to build and deliver one. The company is giving away fridges right now for way less than the market-clearing price.

Isn’t there a good chance that Americans will become disenchanted with whoever wins in 2022? And some might remember Republicans’ absurd campaign promises. Here’s a medical doctor promising to “fix” inflation, which is as plausible as a Scientologist being significantly helpful at a car accident scene (Tom Cruise video; go about 1 minute in).

Even if Dr. Oz was in possession of an economic policy that would Whip Inflation Now, Joe Biden would surely veto it. Sprinkling a few Republicans into Congress isn’t going to turn around the policies that got the U.S. into this inflationary mess. Will Republicans truly gain by promising to stop inflation and then not stopping it?

Here are the House Republicans implying that voting for them will somehow stop “the highest inflation in 40 years”:

Here’s a promise from the Republican House leader to “lead the way” on inflation:

On the Senate side, here’s Mitch:

But Congress has never been able to cut spending (which spirals upward with inflation automatically). And the Republicans won’t support tax increases. So the deficit spending will continue even if Mitch McConnell and fellow Republicans can win a majority.

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Abortion Care Art?

Abortion care for pregnant people seems to be the principal topic among Democrats running for office in the upcoming election. Examples:

(Certainly the decision to continue incubating Joe Biden’s granddaughter was the biggest economic decision that Lunden Roberts has made so far ($2.5 million tax-free downpayment plus unspecified monthly revenue); note that an abortion can often be sold at a discount to the net present value of the expected child support cashflow so it isn’t necessary to have a baby to profit economically from a baby.)

I’m not an expert on reproductive health care, of which we are informed that abortion care is the most critical component, but I had a thought while viewing Love and Birth at the Musée D’Orsay (Georges Lacombe, circa 1895):

Where is the abortion-care-themed art for Democrats who own Hunter Bidens and want to demonstrate their passion for this most important aspect of reproductive health care?

Separately, a Hero of Faucism at the jammed art museum fights an aerosol virus with a humble surgical mask…. worn over a beard:

A masked Follower of Science in front of a sculpture titled “Redneck and Alligator” (well, maybe it is actually a crocodile scene set in Africa):

Here’s an overview of the converted train station:

The ceiling of the museum restaurant:

This prompted our almost-9-year-old to say “Hey look, there’s a peacock. Dad, you need to give me a shotgun and then…. problem solved.” (Readers: If you are having problems with ornamental peafowl on your estate, let me know and we’ll send the youth over to deal with the birds directly.)

Speaking of problems, like most of Paris, the museum is afflicted with gender binarism:

On the other hand, they do give a lot of floor and wall space to Kehinde Wiley:

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Twitter won’t suspend a politician who lies to get money?

Twitter banned Marjorie Taylor Greene for saying, without seeking cash, that the COVID-19 “vaccine” did not prevent infection and transmission (CNN). Let’s look at a politician who asks for money and supports his request by saying that he’s 1% behind in the polls:

Charlie Crist and ActBlue wouldn’t lie to us, surely? The FiveThirtyEight summary of the polls, captured on November 1:

The $5 sought doesn’t seem as though it would help bridge the 8-14-point gap in the polls. More likely, Crist would need the miraculous help of Christ in order for Science (with the explicit promise of mask orders, forced vaccination, school closures, and lockdowns) to prevail.

Why aren’t Crist and ActBlue deplatformed for spreading misinformation, particularly since they seem to be spreading misinformation in order to get money.

Maybe the argument is that Representative Greene was putting lives at risk spreading misinformation about COVID-19 by falsely claiming that the pandemic-ending vaccines would not end the pandemic. But people with less money live shorter lives. Every person who donates to Charlie Crist can expect to live a slightly shorter life as a result. Maybe the sacrifice of lives would be worth it in order to avoid the Nakba of a second DeSantis term. But if there is no practical chance of a Crist victory, lives will be shortened without any compensating benefit.

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Invite to an election night party

Here’s part of an invitation that I received to an election night party:

The party is here in South Florida, but the host is a lockdown refugee from San Francisco. Some political signs have gone up in our town. There is a lot of enthusiasm for Governor DeSantis and a bit for Congressman Brian Mast (a Republican who is somewhat hostile to civilian gun ownership). Marco Rubio is predicted to win, but I haven’t seen any signs for him (compare to 50+ for DeSantis and a handful for Mast).

Charlie Crist has run a 99% negative campaign. Here’s a recent example:

Twitter unpersoned Marjorie Taylor Greene for saying that the COVID “vaccines” did not prevent infection or transmission. Why is it okay for this Democrat to say that Ron DeSantis has “banned” abortion care for pregnant people when Florida reproductive health care providers are providing abortion care to pregnant people every day? From

If you’re 15 weeks, 6 days pregnant or less, it is legal for you to get an abortion in Florida.

This rule allows for more abortion care than almost anywhere in the European Union (Germany has a 12-week limit, for example.) Doesn’t Crist’s statement at least merit some kind of warning sign to users that the facts are “missing context”?

Despite Crist’s crusade for freedom of the press (undoing DeSantis’s purported “banned books” action) and freedom of speech (undoing DeSantis’s purported “banned saying ‘gay'” action), he apparently has failed to generate excitement among people who live in Jupiter. I have seen no signs for him.

Who else has been invited to an election night party? I can’t remember this much excitement for the typical mid-term election. I wonder if it is because government has become larger and more pervasive and therefore there is now much more at stake than in previous decades. For example, if you have a student loan outstanding the outcome of this election can determine whether you’re going to be $10,000 richer or not. That’s a tax-free bonanza, right? If the election doesn’t go well, the gender studies graduate might have to work a second job to earn $20,000 pre-tax to be equally well off compared to if Democrats prevail and the college debt can be shifted onto the backs of the working class?

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Florida Gubernatorial Debate Notes

Charlie Crist and Ron DeSantis debated tonight, moderated by Liz Quirantes, a TV anchor and “Hispanic Woman of Distinction for South Florida”. Here are my notes…

The local NBC station had a pre-debate show in which they attributed Charlie Crist being behind in the polls solely to Ron DeSantis having more money to spend. If Crist had more money, in other words, his all-abortion-care-all-the-time message would have persuaded voters. Ron DeSantis has so much money that he hasn’t even bothered to spend most of it (over $100 million just sitting in the bank ready to be spent on original Hunter Bidens to decorate the campaign HQ).

Crist accuses DeSantis of being responsible for high prices for insurance, gasoline, and other essentials. The Tyrant of Tallahassee turns it around and blames Joe Biden for discouraging domestic fossil fuel production. “You deserve a governor who has your back,” says Crist, in promising to lower insurance rates (but the insurance companies haven’t been making a lot of money in Florida, so how would this work?). He sounded fantastic when he said this. I was ready to vote for him because I want a politician who “has my back” and will lower all of the prices that I find painful to pay. For at least a few seconds of warm feeling, it did not occur to me to question the ability of any governor to deliver the marvelous things that were being promised.

Crist accuses DeSantis of not “encouraging” Lee County to order a mandatory evacuation earlier, which definitely would have saved 100 lives from Hurricane Ian. This assumes the same model of the world as used by the Covidcrats: the population will comply with whatever authorities say to do. But if that is the correct model, the population would have evacuated in response to the orders that actually were issued (more than 24 hours prior to landfall). DeSantis responds that everyone thought it would hit Tampa until the morning of the day prior to the hurricane and the evacuation orders were issued as soon as the forecast track had shifted. He doesn’t duck the question as he might, given that it is solely the job of the countries to issue evacuation orders. Nor does Ron point out that you have to budget for human nature when dealing with humans and assume that not everyone will follow the “mandatory” order. Nor did he point out that the weekend prior he told everyone on the west coast of Florida to prepare and be ready to go at a moment’s notice and that it wouldn’t be easy to predict the hurricane’s track.

When inflation comes up and how the FL governor is going to help Floridians cope, DeSantis points out that Crist says Biden is the best president he’s ever seen and, therefore, Crist is responsible for the Biden policies that have created runaway inflation. DeSantis offers to make all baby products and pet food free of sales tax. (Why not just lower the sales tax rate instead of indirectly paying people to have more kids?)

“Don’t Say Gay” (Parental Rights in Education Act) comes up. Crist had called it “heinous”, notes the moderator. Crist complains that teachers aren’t paid enough in Florida. I would have expected Ron D to point out that this is a county function and counties can and do pay whatever they want, but instead he hits Crist for supporting teaching sexual orientation and gender identity to kindergartners and also crows about protecting “girls” from transgender athletes horning in. (Maybe the state actually does determine teacher pay to some extent? This press release suggests that there is some state function. I am a long way from figuring out how Florida’s government works.)

Critical Race Theory is brought up because apparently Florida bans teaching young people to feel guilty based on stuff that folks with the same skin color did in the old days. Crist says we should teach “facts” and “the truth.” He says slavery will come back if we don’t teach history properly and completely. (An odd prediction given that the trend is for Americans not to work at all.) Ron responds by saying that Crist’s running mate wants to teach kids that America was built on stolen land (exactly what I would tell kids! Except for South Florida, nearly all of which was a mosquito-infested swamp that wasn’t used by the Native Americans because it hadn’t been drained).

Crist says that something he did when he was a (Republican) governor of Florida 10+ years ago is actually the reason that the Sanibel bridge was able to be rebuilt quickly. (Everyone can take credit for the quick bounce-back from Hurricane Ian.)

Crist says governor doesn’t care about women and their right to choose or their right to vote. DeSantis points out that Crist didn’t want women to be able to choose whether to get the “COVID shot”.

Moderator asks about public health and says that the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade is the biggest “public health” issue (a softball for Crist!). Ron talks about a Jamaican woman who contemplated abortion care, but eventually decided not to get one and how the not-subjected-to-abortion-care baby grew up to get appointed to the Florida Supreme Court. (As in Star Wars, Democrats will say “This is not the Black woman we are looking for”?)

Crist says DeSantis has made Florida “unaffordable to most of our citizens” (true, but he had a lot of help from Andrew Cuomo, Gavin Newsom, and other lockdowners!). Crist doesn’t say how he is going to get rid of all of the Californians and New Yorkers bringing money into the state and bidding up prices. And what if Science-following Beto O’Rourke wins Texas and the lockdown-averse from there begin migrating to Florida, which does have some limits to growth?

Moderator points out that Crist called for stay-at-home orders and mask orders and asks whether he sticks by his. Crist says he would have “listened to Science”. You take a “commonsense approach and listen to health care providers.” Crist blames DeSantis for at least half of the COVID-19 deaths suffered in Florida. Crist says over 6 million Floridians have gotten COVID under DeSantis and implies that it is his fault.

Now it is gender transitions for minors. DeSantis points out that Europeans have backed away from “genital mutilation”. Crist says that this reminds him of DeSantis’s position on a woman’s right to choose. DeSantis imagines that he knows better than doctors, the ultimate example of sinful pride. DeSantis says “we’re talking about 15-year-old kids” and they can’t get a tattoo under Florida law and they also shouldn’t be able to decide if they want a double mastectomy. Crist works the woman’s right to choose into almost every response, regardless of apparent relevance.

Moderator talks about “illegal immigration” (a false premise, since it is not illegal to walk across the Rio Grande and ask for asylum) and the Martha’s Vineyard migrant deposit. Crist said it was “inhumane”. Moderator asks if Crist wants to make Florida a sanctuary state. Crist responds that he wants to secure our border (not with a wall, I hope!) and points out that the migrants transported included a pregnant woman and a 1-year-old baby (we are informed that migrants boost our economy by adding workers; when will this currently pregnant woman be entering the workforce and paying taxes? And the yet-to-be-born baby?).

What will you do to protect Floridians from drug overdoses and related problems? DeSantis talks about providing NARCAN, harsher penalties for fentanyl dealers, and addiction treatment (does that work?). Crist says he will be tough on crime and that crime is up under DeSantis (the population has grown a lot; is he talking rate or absolute numbers?). Ron D replies that “Charlie was tough on crime about six political parties ago”.

Asks about the death penalty for Nikolas Cruz. Crist says Cruz should have gotten the death penalty (i.e., the jury was stupid?). DeSantis agrees that Cruz should have gotten the death penalty and that it was a travesty that one juror was a holdout. DeSantis stresses that the shooting happened before he was governor and then talks about increasing school security, firing the cowardly and incompetent sheriffs, and other actions in response. (I personally would not have supported the death penalty for Cruz, 19 years old at the time. And I disagree with Ron DeSantis on the merits of ugly chain link fence around every school (I would work on making it easy for all of the children to run away from the school, e.g., with an exit door in every classroom, rather than rely on making it impossible for a motivated criminal to get in; the Uvalde school was fenced and had defenses against entry).)

One-minute closing statements…

Crist: I want to unite Florida, not divide it like the bad man is doing. I want women to have the right to choose, especially in the cases of rape or incest. He says that when he was governor, he lowered insurance rates and property taxes (how? aren’t they set by the counties?).

DeSantis: We have accomplished a lot in the past four years. Talks about the massive budget surplus. Largest increase in teacher pay in Florida history. “I led based on facts, not based on fear,” says DeSantis regarding coronapanic. “I took a lot of flak, but I protected your job and wasn’t worried about saving my own.”

My impression of the 66-year-old Crist was improved by watching. He seemed to have a fully-functioning brain, which is more than one can say about a lot of top Democrats. He exuded empathy, which seems to be the Democrats’ strong point. Maybe hyperinflation will wipe out all of your savings, but Joe Biden and Charlie Crist will care deeply about your plight and that will make everything okay from the point of view of more than half of us. Ron DeSantis seemed fairly humble and not too harsh/mean so my impression of him was also improved. Given that Americans want the appearance of empathy above all else in a politician, I was not convinced by his debate performance that he is presidential material.

Crist, the old guy, came off as perhaps the better choice for old people. (He’s also the better choice for unionized teachers, presumably, since he running mate is the president of the Miami teachers’ union.) Crist’s vision is to try to dial back prices to what they were before all of the rich lockdown-averse New Yorkers moved in (“The Manhattan residents who moved to Palm Beach County had an average income of $728,351, IRS data showed.” (NYT)). If he can deliver on his promises, most of which assume the full powers of a central economic planner, it would be a huge help to the elderly on fixed incomes. The “abortion care in every health care facility” concept is also good for reducing pressure on housing!

DeSantis, the young guy, came across as the better choice for children and working-age Floridians. He’s all about making sure that kids have a school and people who want to work have jobs. The result will be explosive growth, but it is better to try to help people adjust to that growth rather than try to strangle the growth in its crib.

Speaking of growth and the invasion of the rich, here’s a McLaren (720S?) in our neighborhood, built for the middle class and 30 minutes away from the rich parts of Palm Beach County (Palm Beach island itself and the horse farms of Wellington).

If the McLaren owner can afford $300,000+ for two seats and no baggage space, he/she/ze/they is presumably driving up prices for a range of goods and services. Crist wants to send him/her/zir/them back to California. DeSantis wants to build him (Ron is not pronoun-compliant) a garage.

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Will the Latinx vote for the Party of Abortion Care?

I hope that everyone had a good Latinx Heritage Month (September 15-October 15 because the Mayan calendar is used?). The Democrats seem to have rebranded themselves the “Abortion Care for Pregnant People Seeking Reproductive Health Care Party”. We flipped on the TV after school last month so that the kids could enjoy a U.S. Open match. A commercial for Val Demings came on. Mx. Demings is challenging Marco Rubio for a U.S. Senate seat. During a spot that mentioned no issues other than abortion care, our 7-year-old learned the following words and phrases: abortion, rape, abortion, incest, abortion, sexual assault, incest, and abortion. The ad was then repeated multiple times during the match. No ads for Mx. Demings that were not abortion care-related were shown. I’m sure that the transition to focus on abortion care over all other issues has been carefully tested by Democrats with respect to motivating voter turnout, etc., but I wonder how well it will work with the Latinx. Consider that in Latinx America, where democracy is the prevailing form of government, abortion care for pregnant people in all stages of pregnancy, as is available as part of reproductive health care in a variety of Democrat-run U.S. states, is not available. In fact, voters in many Latinx American nations have settled on near-total bans on abortion care for pregnant people in reproductive health care settings. If the Latinx in Central America are not passionate about offering abortion care to every pregnant person, why will the Latinx in the U.S. vote for politicians whose principal promise is abortion care for every womb?

And she was again “fighting like hell” four days later:

In case Twitter implodes one day, screen shots of some of the above:

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