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

Women

Jen Psaki

Photo by White House

Today was White House Secretary Jen Psaki’s final day. Karine Jean-Pierre will be taking Psaki’s place in front of the press during the daily briefings. Jen Psaki has been a steady and welcome fixture in an administration that has been tasked with cleaning up the catastrophic destruction of the previous administration. It was a sad day in some respects, as Psaki has been a highlight for many, offering up witty and solid rebuttals to the steady fact-free propaganda of the right-wing media sphere.

Psaki began her final briefing by thanking the Biden administration, the Biden family, the press, and her husband, saying that anyone with children knows that they cannot execute any of their professional work without the support of a spouse. It was an emotional thank you that Psaki handled with the same level of grace that she has been able to apply to her daily press briefings over the past 16 months. Psaki opened the floor to questions and answered questions about abortion, inflation, supply shortages, and COVID-19, and then she signed off.

Here is Psaki’s opening statement on her last day.


White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki delivers her final press briefing www.youtube.com

After covering all kinds of questions about subjects domestic and global, Psaki showed some of the flair that made her a hero to many Americans. A reporter asked a leading question about how President Biden’s Department of the Interior had recently canceled three oil and gas leases, and how this might be a sign that the Biden administration wasn’t doing what was needed to be done to lower oil prices (forget about the fact that fossil fuel companies are very clearly gouging consumers), Psaki gave a fact-filled extravaganza of an answer, detailing how oil and gas companies are sitting on fallow leases already, doing nothing but asking for more cheap public land leases.

At one point someone in the press asked Jen what wisdom she has gained in her position over the last year and a half. She reiterated what the nature of her job was, that she needed to make sure she spoke as frequently as possible with President Biden to understand what he wanted to say and what his policy ideas were. She also gave an important note to the press that learning about the policies being talked about, knowing exactly what are in any given policy, what it is trying to accomplish, and how, is fundamental in being able to ask meaningful questions or even criticizing those policies (I’m looking at you, Peter Doocy).

She said she was confident that Karine Jean-Pierre had also internalized many of those lessons as Deputy Press Secretary and that in the weeks ahead, she “will bring her own magic,” and style of communication to the position. Karine also assuaged many in the press by saying the plan was to continue holding daily press briefings, as being a fascistic dictatorial propaganda machine like the last administration is not an option.

Jen Psaki talks about her advice to others after having been WH Press Sec. for over a year www.youtube.com

Finally, Jen Psaki said her very quick good bye.

Jen Psaki leaves the White House Press Briefing podium for the last time www.youtube.com

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

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Now may be a good time to max out your investments in airlines, car rental agencies, and intercity bus companies. Travel has picked up as the pandemic has ebbed, but the Supreme Court could give it an extra boost by revoking the constitutional right to abortion.

If that happens, a lot of American women are going to find that "shop local" is a useless slogan when it comes to this type of commerce. The pro-choice Center for Reproductive Rights has predicted that with Roe gone, "abortion would remain legal in twenty-one states and likely would be prohibited in twenty-four states."

Vast swathes of the continent would become abortion-free zones — free of legal abortions, anyway. But Americans have been traveling to get what they want since the Pilgrims arrived, and women with unwanted pregnancies are no exception.

In the days before Roe, when the procedure was illegal in most of America, places like New York and Washington state had lots of visitors who didn't come for recreation. Some 40 percent of all abortions were performed on patients outside their home state.

Already, liberal states are a destination for desperate abortion-seekers. Illinois, surrounded by states that have greatly restricted access, saw nearly 10,000 women come from out of state to get abortions in 2020, the Chicago Tribune reports. Planned Parenthood says that number may quadruple if Roe falls. We are on the verge of a wave of abortion refugees.

But anti-abortion advocates are not likely to accept this outcome as inevitable. A bill was introduced recently in the Missouri legislature to bar its residents from getting abortions out of state.

Republican Rep. Mary Elizabeth Coleman told Politico: "If you believe as I do that every person deserves dignity and respect and protection whether they're born or unborn, then of course you want to protect your citizens, no matter where they are." Though her measure didn't pass, it will undoubtedly inspire other states to enact their own bans.

That would be a radical step, but "radical" is a term of endearment in the anti-abortion movement. It would be a terrible idea, though, and one at odds with our entire system of federalism.

One of our fundamental freedoms, long recognized by the Supreme Court, is the right to travel within the United States and be treated as an equal citizen from sea to shining sea. A state government can no more burden the freedom of its residents who venture out of state than it can burden the freedom of migrants from out of state.

In 1969, the court struck down a California law imposing a residency requirement for public assistance. It said the rule violated the right to travel and amounted to "an unconstitutional discrimination which violates the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment."

For a state to assert its power over citizens beyond its borders would be an act of extreme presumption. Decades ago, when Nevada was the only state with legal casinos, everyone could go there and gamble without fear of bluenoses back home.

The same limits apply today. Utah can ban recreational cannabis, but its residents may drive to Colorado to get high. California may forbid the open carry of guns, but it can't stop Angelenos visiting Arizona from packing in public view.

As University of Pennsylvania law professor Seth Kreimer has written, one basic principle of American federalism is "that each citizen may take advantage of the liberties offered by any state." This arrangement also contributes to our national civic peace by accommodating a diversity of policies.

Anti-abortion advocates may argue that their cause is different because it involves life and death. Not so. A New Yorker who kills a fellow New Yorker in Atlanta and is acquitted under Georgia's "stand your ground" law cannot be convicted under New York's less lenient statutes.

Conservatives, who champion state sovereignty, should recognize that only one state can be sovereign within its borders. Otherwise, every state could extend its policies into the other 49 states.

The right should also beware of handing a new weapon to progressives. If a state can punish conduct that takes place in another state, Connecticut, which bans "assault weapons," could imprison a resident who uses one for target shooting in Maine. The possibilities for liberal mischief are endless.

If and when the enemies of Roe win their greatest victory, they will be tempted to seize every possible method of exploiting this success. But even the long reach of the law needs limits.

Reprinted with permission from Creators.