Yes, it’s Frisco. . . . In Colorado.

I’m hitting publish on this issue. It isn’t getting any fresher, although I’m far behind. Making it all worse is that my room in Kansas City, Missouri, has a desk, but no chair, and my Internet connectivity is pathetic. Not a good working environment.



Fig. 1. I lived in San Francisco for many years, but I finally made it to Frisco. Photograph by author, August 3, 2022.

Herb Caen, the now long-deceased and rarely remembered San Francisco Chronicle columnist, famously objected to folks referring to his beloved San Francisco as ‘Frisco.’ On reading this and digging around a bit, I learned that Frisco is a town in Colorado.

I made it there Wednesday (figure 1) and in fact ate dinner there as I saw I would be arriving in Colorado Springs too late to get dinner.

Google had suggested Interstate 80 from Salt Lake City but said the route using U.S. Highway 6 would only take five minutes longer. I was hoping for better scenery with the latter route, but as it turned out I had to endure a lot of desolation (figure 2) before I got high enough in the Rockies that there were enough trees to be satisfactory.


Fig. 2. The view from Crescent Junction Rest Area in Utah. The sky wasn’t, to my eyes, anyway, really quite that blue. Photograph by author, August 3, 2022.

I’ve driven across the Mohave Desert a couple times. I don’t remember it being so desolate as some of what I encountered Wednesday.


Gilead

Abortion

No, this[1] is not what I meant when I wrote yesterday,

There’s reason to doubt[2] the claim that this [Kansas election] result [affirming abortion rights] has implications for the midterm elections in November.[3] But I do think it might have implications for a similar effort in Pennsylvania.[4] The process is drawn out over a longer time period in Pennsylvania, however, so we shall see.[5]

First, comparing the Kansas election, which was directly about abortion rights,[6] to the November election, which is about electing politicians who will likely, at best, fail, as they have for decades, to protect abortion rights,[7] is an apples and oranges comparison. What we might see with the Kansas result is that when voters are asked to weigh in on abortion rights, they may resoundingly vote to protect them. What we will see in November is how many voters can stomach voting for abject failure and, as it happens, there’s reason to doubt that they will.[8]

The way constitutional amendments work in Pennsylvania is that the legislature has to approve a proposed amendment in two consecutive sessions. The governor does not get a veto. It can then go to the voters for approval. The legislature has done this in the first of the two required sessions but the governor is suing because of the procedure the legislature used to ram the package through.[9] I am not a lawyer, but Governor Tom Wolf’s case seems like a bit of a stretch to me. If, however, he wins, presumably after the present session has ended, the legislature would presumably have to start again in the next session, delaying but not preventing the process, as white Christian nationalists can be expected to remain in control of the legislature for the foreseeable future, even without rigging the system to ensure they never again lose an election.

It’s the potential Pennsylvania constitutional amendment question that I think is a better fit for any implications of the Kansas vote and Jonathan Tamari does delve into why we shouldn’t read too much into that Kansas result:

“Voters made clear in a state much redder than Pennsylvania that they don’t want the GOP’s toxic agenda to take away the rights of Pennsylvania women to make their own health-care decisions,” James Singer, a spokesperson for House Democrats’ campaign arm, said Wednesday. . . .

Of course, there are limits to what we can extrapolate from the Kansas vote. It was one state on one night, and there’s a difference between a vote on a single issue and wider campaigns in which voters will be weighing a collection of different policies — along with individual candidate attributes and records. [U.S. Representative Susan] Wild’s House race or the gubernatorial contest is unlikely to be decided on just one thing.[10]

But Tamari’s assignment seems to have been to talk about November and there, he notes, the economy seems to be, by far, the top concern..[11] After all, babies are cheap and gas is expensive, right?

Annie Gowen and Colby Itkowitz, “Kansans resoundingly reject amendment aimed at restricting abortion rights,” Washington Post, August 3, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2022/08/02/kansas-abortion-referendum/

Jonathan Tamari, “What the Kansas abortion vote might mean for Pennsylvania’s key 2022 races,” Philadelphia Inquirer, August 3, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/kansas-abortion-vote-pennsylvania-2022-midterm-elections-20220803.html

Police White supremacist gangs

Donald Trump

Coup attempt

Hannah Knowles, “Several election deniers backed by Trump prevail in hotly contested primaries,” Washington Post, August 3, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/08/02/primaries-arizona-michigan-missouri-washington/

Lisa Rein, Carol D. Leonnig, and Maria Sacchetti, “Homeland Security watchdog previously accused of misleading investigators, report says,” Washington Post, August 3, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/08/03/homeland-security-joseph-cuffari-watchdog-report/


  1. [1]Jonathan Tamari, “What the Kansas abortion vote might mean for Pennsylvania’s key 2022 races,” Philadelphia Inquirer, August 3, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/kansas-abortion-vote-pennsylvania-2022-midterm-elections-20220803.html
  2. [2]Hannah Knowles, Emily Guskin, and Scott Clement, “Americans dismayed at end of Roe are less certain they will vote, poll finds,” Washington Post, July 29, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/07/29/abortion-roe-midterms-poll/
  3. [3]Annie Gowen and Colby Itkowitz, “Kansans resoundingly reject amendment aimed at restricting abortion rights,” Washington Post, August 3, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2022/08/02/kansas-abortion-referendum/
  4. [4]Mark Scolforo, “Gov. Wolf sues to stop GOP-backed amendments on abortion, voting,” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 28, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/pennsylvania/governor-wolf-sues-amendments-abortion-voting-20220728.html
  5. [5]David Benfell, “Uber claims to have made a profit. Really, this time,” Irregular Bullshit, August 3, 2022, https://disunitedstates.com/2022/08/03/35636/
  6. [6]Annie Gowen and Colby Itkowitz, “Kansans resoundingly reject amendment aimed at restricting abortion rights,” Washington Post, August 3, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2022/08/02/kansas-abortion-referendum/
  7. [7]Anna North, “Abortion has been treated as a fringe issue by Democrats for decades. This is the result,” Vox, May 5, 2022, https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2022/5/5/23057317/abortion-supreme-court-roe-v-wade; William Rivers Pitt, “Democrats Had 50 Years to Save and Protect ‘Roe.’ They Failed,” Truthout, May 6, 2022, https://truthout.org/articles/democrats-had-50-years-to-save-and-protect-roe-they-failed/
  8. [8]Hannah Knowles, Emily Guskin, and Scott Clement, “Americans dismayed at end of Roe are less certain they will vote, poll finds,” Washington Post, July 29, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/07/29/abortion-roe-midterms-poll/
  9. [9]Gillian McGoldrick, “Pa. Legislature approves constitutional amendments to declare residents don’t have the right to an abortion, to require voter ID,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 8, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-state/2022/07/08/pennsylvania-senate-advances-constitutional-amendments-residents-rights-relating-abortion-require-voter-id/stories/202207080102; Gillian McGoldrick, “Pa. Senate GOP committee advances late-night amendment to restrict abortion, require voter ID,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 8, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-state/2022/07/08/pennsylvania-senate-republicans-advance-constitutional-amendment-to-restrict-abortion-and-call-for-voter-ids-roe-v-wade/stories/202207080073; Katie Meyer, “Fight gears up over Pa. constitutional amendment to protect ‘every unborn child,’” WHYY, July 1, 2022, https://whyy.org/articles/pennsylvania-abortion-rights-constitutional-amendment-fight/; Mark Scolforo, “Gov. Wolf sues to stop GOP-backed amendments on abortion, voting,” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 28, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/pennsylvania/governor-wolf-sues-amendments-abortion-voting-20220728.html; Rodrigo Torrejón, “What the Pa. constitutional amendment package could mean for abortion and elections,” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 8, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/pennsylvania/pa-senate-constitutional-amendments-abortion-elections-voting-20220708.html
  10. [10]Jonathan Tamari, “What the Kansas abortion vote might mean for Pennsylvania’s key 2022 races,” Philadelphia Inquirer, August 3, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/kansas-abortion-vote-pennsylvania-2022-midterm-elections-20220803.html
  11. [11]Jonathan Tamari, “What the Kansas abortion vote might mean for Pennsylvania’s key 2022 races,” Philadelphia Inquirer, August 3, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/kansas-abortion-vote-pennsylvania-2022-midterm-elections-20220803.html

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