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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Texas’ Republicans aren’t done making medical decisions for women.

Fresh off their victory of banning abortions after the 20th week — even in cases of rape and incest — and implementing unnecessary regulations that could shut down a majority of the state’s clinics that offer abortion services, there’s another bill coming, according to the Houston Chronicle:

Reps. Phil King (R-Weatherford), Dan Flynn (R-Van), and Geanie Morrison (R-Victoria) proposed a so-called “fetal heartbeat bill” in the hopes that it could be rushed through the Texas legislature before the special session ends on July 31.

Fetal heartbeat bills are even stricter than the bill that was signed into law yesterday in Texas, as they attempt to detect the heartbeat of the fetus in the first 6 weeks of a pregnancy, when heartbeats have been shown to begin. This bill defines a heartbeat as “cardiac activity or the steady and repetitive rhythmic contraction of the fetal heart within the gestational sac.”

The new bill would place further time constraints on the legal abortion time period, as well as make women undergo mandatory ultrasounds to examine the heartbeat of the fetus.

Only North Dakota currently has a law this prohibitive on the books.

With the 20-week bans, Republicans may have the public on their side. However, the polling on bans in the first trimester are pretty clear. People don’t want them:

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Texas’ Democrats have come up with a new strategy to prevent abortions without making decisions for women. They’re calling for looking into how birth control can prevent unintended pregnancies. This — along with a bill that would ban abortion restrictions until the death penalty is repealed — force Republicans to justify how their so-called “pro-life” beliefs aren’t just anti-choice.

Other points:

I’m pretty convinced that Scott Walker paid Time magazine to write a story about how his new budget isn’t right-wing enough. It includes mandatory ultrasounds and unaffordable tax breaks for the rich. And it keeps intact all the cuts that have made his state fall from 11th to somewhere in the 40s in job creation. Believe me, he’s right-wing enough.

Could Ted Cruz beat Hillary Clinton? Salon‘s Jonathan Bernstein says “yes.” The Daily Beast‘s Michael Tomasky just laughs.

Speaking of Ted Cruz… he’s great at making headlines and terrible at getting what he says he wants, says Slate‘s Dave Weigel.

And here’s some good news for liberals. Former Reagan advisor Bruce Bartlett sees a new age of enduring liberalism dawning if the right leader makes the right arguments.

Do you think Ted Cruz has a shot in hell? What are you reading?

Donald Trump Jr.

Screenshot from Twitter

You've probably heard about Donald Trump's claim that his Democratic rival got "a big fat se onhot in the ass" before delivering a nearly perfect performance on a recently televised town hall. Or his more recent demand that Joe Biden get a "drug test" before their debate on Tuesday night. Having spent months lowering expectations for Biden, the Trumps are now busily defaming him as a junkie.

But that particular slur backfired spectacularly over the weekend when the Trump campaign posted a bizarre video of Don Jr. -- seemingly in a condition that called for rehab services. As his father might put it, "many people are saying" that the presidential spud looked and sounded like someone abusing a controlled substance. (His slurred message was disturbed too, something about an "army of able-bodied men and women" to intimidate voters).

It's both funny and sad to watch Don Jr. decompensate on Twitter. (More funny, though.)

Click and judge his condition for yourself.