A Gallup poll conducted mostly after the draft of a Supreme Court decision addressing abortion rights was leaked finds a marked shift in public attitudes over the past year. After a decade in which Americans' identification as "pro-choice" varied narrowly between 45% and 50%, the percentage has jumped six points to 55% in the latest poll, compared with the prior measure a year ago.
Pro-choice sentiment is now the highest Gallup has measured since 1995 when it was 56% -- the only other time it has been at the current level or higher -- while the 39% identifying as "pro-life" is the lowest since 1996.
Similarly, for the first time in Gallup's trend on the moral acceptability of abortion, originating in 2001, a majority of Americans (52%) consider abortion morally acceptable, while a record-low 38% call it morally wrong.
The latest survey was conducted by telephone May 2-22 with a nationally representative sample of 1,007 U.S. adults. A leaked draft of the Supreme Court's opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization was reported by Politico on the evening of May 2, shortly after the start of interviewing for the new poll.
The opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito provides the court's reasoning behind its preliminary decision to uphold a Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. In this first draft, Alito argues that the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that affirmed a constitutional right to seek abortion was wrongly decided and must be overturned.
The increase in pro-choice identification over the past year is mainly driven by Democrats; 88%, up from 70% last year, consider themselves pro-choice.
The poll also shows significant increases in pro-choice identification among Democratic-leaning groups, including younger adults and women. Pro-choice identification increased by nine percentage points to 61% among women, 12 points to 67% among adults aged 18 to 34 and nine points to 58% among adults aged 35 to 54. The percentage "pro-choice" did not change significantly among Republicans, independents, men or older Americans.
Thursday, June 2, 2022
The instant availability of rifles in Gunmerica means people can just buy deadly weapons and then use them to kill.
An assault-style weapon found at the scene of Wednesday's deadly shooting in an Oklahoma medical building had been bought that day, according to three federal sources briefed on the investigation.
A gunman -- who was later found dead -- opened fire on the second floor of a medical building on the campus of Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa on Wednesday afternoon, killing four people. Fewer than 10 others were injured, authorities said.
The assault-style weapon was an AR-15 style firearm, a source said. A different weapon -- a handgun -- was purchased on May 29, a source told CNN.
The two firearms -- a semiautomatic rifle and a semiautomatic pistol -- were both found at the scene, Tulsa police Capt. Richard Meulenberg told CNN earlier.
"It was just madness inside, with hundreds of rooms and hundreds of people trying to get out of the building," Meulenberg told CNN.
The mass shooting is among the latest instances nationwide of first responders and civilians coming face-to-face with the threat of gun violence in public places. It comes more than two weeks after a racist assault at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, and a bloody attack at a church in California; and eight days after a heartbreaking massacre at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
The Tulsa shooting was one of the 233 mass shootings that have happened in the US this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. CNN and the archive define a mass shooting as one in which at least four people are shot, excluding the shooter.
Law enforcement received a call just before 5 p.m. Wednesday about a person with a firearm at the Natalie Medical Building, a physicians' office facility on the Saint Francis Hospital campus, Tulsa police Deputy Chief Eric Dalgleish said at a news conference.
Responding officers who arrived within minutes "were hearing shots in the building, and that's what directed them to the second floor," Dalgleish said.
The gunman was found dead by police as they worked their way inside the building, Meulenberg said, and has not been publicly identified.
Police suspect the gunman's fatal wounds were self-inflicted. Two of the deceased were found in the same room as the gunman, the police captain said.
It was unclear whether the four people killed were medical staffers, patients or visitors, said Dalgleish, who said the shooting took place at an orthopedic center in the building.
In addition, fewer than 10 people suffered non-life-threatening injuries, Meulenberg said. Authorities are trying to determine if they were wounded by gunfire or during the chaos of escaping the scene, he said. No officers were injured.
Investigators are working to determine the gunman's motive, although the shooting was not believed to be indiscriminate, Meulenberg told CNN's Don Lemon.
"He very purposefully went to this location, went to a very specific floor, and shot with very specific purpose," he said. "This was not a random shooting by this individual."
Video recordings of Republican Party operatives meeting with grassroots activists provide an inside look at a multi-pronged strategy to target and potentially overturn votes in Democratic precincts: Install trained recruits as regular poll workers and put them in direct contact with party attorneys.
The plan, as outlined by a Republican National Committee staffer in Michigan, includes utilizing rules designed to provide political balance among poll workers to install party-trained volunteers prepared to challenge voters at Democratic-majority polling places, developing a website to connect those workers to local lawyers and establishing a network of party-friendly district attorneys who could intervene to block vote counts at certain precincts.
“Being a poll worker, you just have so many more rights and things you can do to stop something than [as] a poll challenger,” said Matthew Seifried, the RNC’s election integrity director for Michigan, stressing the importance of obtaining official designations as poll workers in a meeting with GOP activists in Wayne County last Nov. 6. It is one of a series of recordings of GOP meetings between summer of 2021 and May of this year obtained by POLITICO.
Backing up those front-line workers, “it’s going to be an army,” Seifried promised at an Oct. 5 training session. “We’re going to have more lawyers than we’ve ever recruited, because let’s be honest, that’s where it’s going to be fought, right?”
Seifried also said the RNC will hold “workshops” and equip poll workers with a hotline and website developed by Zendesk, a software support company used by online retailers, which will allow them to live-chat with party attorneys on Election Day. In a May, 2022 training session, he said he’d achieved a goal set last winter: More than 5,600 individuals had signed up to be poll workers and, several days ago, he submitted an initial list of more than 850 names to the Detroit clerk.
Democrat Janice Winfrey, who serves as the clerk, would be bound to pick names from the list submitted by the party under a local law intended to ensure bipartisan representation and an unbiased team of precinct workers.
Separately, POLITICO obtained Zoom tapings of Tim Griffin, legal counsel to The Amistad Project, an self-described election-integrity group that Donald Trump’s former lawyer Rudy Giuliani once portrayed as a “partner” in the Trump campaign’s legal efforts to overturn the 2020 election, meeting with activists from multiple states and discussing plans for identifying friendly district attorneys who could stage real-time interventions in local election disputes.
On the recording, Griffin speaks of building a nationwide network of district attorney allies and how to create a legal “trap” for Winfrey.
“Remember, guys, we’re trying to build out a nationwide district attorney network. Your local district attorney, as we always say, is more powerful than your congressman,” Griffin said during a Sept. 21 meeting. “They’re the ones that can seat a grand jury. They’re the ones that can start an investigation, issue subpoenas, make sure that records are retained, etc.,” he said.
Usefully enough, Rep. Mo Brooks has now stepped forward to confirm this. And the Alabama Republican’s corroboration is noteworthy in light of emerging details about a complex new GOP plan to make this principle actionable in future elections.
Brooks’s latest comes in a New York Times piece that reports on the selective approach that Republicans take with charges of voter fraud. As the Times notes, this exposes a “fundamental contradiction,” in which those charges are used to challenge GOP losses but not GOP wins.
Brooks deserves particular scrutiny on this point. He was central to Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, widely claiming election fraud. Yet when he made the runoff in the GOP Senate primary in Alabama last week, he didn’t discern any such problems.
When the Times questioned Brooks about this, he essentially gave away the game:
Mr. Brooks offered a simple answer to why he’s not worried about his race: There’s no fraud in Republican primaries, he said.
“I’m in a Republican primary, and noncitizens don’t normally vote in Republican primaries,” Mr. Brooks said. “In a Republican primary or a Democrat primary, the motivation to steal elections is less because the candidates’ philosophy-of-government differences are minor.”
Pressed further by the Times, Brooks blithely suggested that in Alabama, the fraud took place “in predominantly Democrat parts of the state.”
You see, in primaries decided by Republican voters in red areas, the voting is pure and unsullied. By contrast, in general elections that Democrats are trying to steal from Republicans, the voting in blue areas is marred by widespread fraud.
That form of fraud alleged by Brooks happens to be virtually nonexistent. But the point is that the mere assertion that something illicit happened is the coin of the realm here. It’s meant to give some kind of patina of a public rationale for naked efforts to subvert election losses.
We're going to hear this time and again in November: "massive voter fraud" in the "predominantly Democrat parts" of the country. Lawsuit after lawsuit flooding the airwaves and social media with Republican bullshit, leading to outright nullification of Democratic wins by Republican Secretaries of State.
"Democrat voter fraud" then becomes the default heading into 2024, and the declaration of the Republican candidate as the winner months before the polls open.
Understand that if this isn't fought and defeated, that's it for the country. We'll be under permanent Republican rule.
Vote in numbers they can't possibly steal.