Good Morning!

It was Tolstoy who said, “It is easier to produce ten volumes of philosophical writings than to put one principle into practice.”

We may soon find out if the pro-life principles and convictions of one man will win the day:

1. Manchin: Reconciliation ‘Dead on Arrival’ If It Doesn’t Include Hyde Amendment

From National Review:

House Democrats have pushed forward in their reconciliation bill with creating a new “Medicaid-like” program that lacks the Hyde amendment, a measure that generally prohibits federal funding of abortion. But West Virginia senator Joe Manchin, a pro-life Democrat, says reconciliation is “dead on arrival” in the Senate if it doesn’t include the longstanding pro-life protection.

National Review: Senator, you’ve been very firm on keeping the Hyde amendment on the appropriations bills. Are you concerned about that issue at all in reconciliation—

Manchin: Certainly—

NR: —with this new Medicaid program?

Manchin: Yeah, we’re not taking the Hyde amendment off. Hyde’s going to be on.

National Review: In the new Medicaid program?

Manchin: It has to be. It has to be. That’s dead on arrival if that’s gone.

  1. Infrastructure Bill on Brink of Failure Ahead of Thursday’s Vote 

From The Daily Citizen:

For months now, Congress has been debating and voting on a bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure bill.

The bill, termed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (HR3684), was first passed by a 221-201 vote on July 1 in the U.S. House of Representatives. The U.S. Senate approved the bill on August 10 in a 69-30 vote.

The House is now considering the Senate’s version of the bill due to differences in the legislation between the two chambers.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has scheduled a vote on the bill in the House for September 30.

But in a surprising development, according to The Washington Times, “At least 60 House progressives currently plan to vote against the infrastructure bill – more than enough to tank it – and Republicans are whipping against the legislation to help the far-left Democrats bring down the bill.”

The Times notes that “at least 10 GOP lawmakers have publicly stated they will support the bill.”

3. Even if the Constitution is silent on abortion, nature and science have a lot to say about it.

From the Wall Street Journal:

The Supreme Court opens its new term Monday with six nominal conservatives appointed by Republican presidents. But conservatives have been shaken in their confidence that those six will yield majorities on issues that deeply matter.

That declining confidence comes along with a serious argument within the conservative family over the nature of “conservative jurisprudence.” Conservatives are united in taking as our coordinates the original meaning of the text of the Constitution. But some of us have argued for “a better originalism,” as opposed what we call the “truncated originalism” that has predominated. We see the latter as detached from the understanding that the American Founders, the true originalists, had of the moral ground of the Constitution and laws they were shaping.

Having simmered a long time, this argument was heated to a boil by Justice Neil Gorsuch’s opinion in Bostock v. Clayton County (2020). In that case, Justice Gorsuch (joined by Chief Justice John Roberts ) broke away from his conservative colleagues on the issue of “transgenderism.” Somehow Justice Gorsuch found that the Civil Rights Act of 1964, in barring discriminations based on sex, also barred discrimination against people who claim that in their own sense of themselves, they had changed the sex marked in them by their organs of reproduction, the structure of their bodies and their hormones.

Conservatives were in disbelief and outraged that Justice Gorsuch, a self-proclaimed “textualist,” would extract such a meaning from the text. It’s hardly imaginable that the lawmakers who enacted the Civil Rights Act thought they were protecting from discrimination persons who were crafting their own view on what their sex was.

But merely appealing to dictionaries about the meaning of “sex” in 1964 wasn’t an adequate rebuttal. The challenge could be answered most decisively by appealing to the meaning of sex that will never change—to those objective and inescapable truths, grounded in nature, about the way we are constituted, of necessity, as males and females. Yet for the past 50 years conservatives have been treating it as anathema to move beyond the text to truths that were there before the Constitution—what Chief Justice John Marshall called the anchoring “axioms” of the law, and Alexander Hamilton called “primary truths . . . upon which all subsequent reasonings must depend.”

4. Wrong Then, Wrong Now: The Fake Abortion History of Roe v. Wade

From Public Discourse:

In Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the docketed Supreme Court case about Mississippi’s fifteen-week abortion ban, lawyers challenging the Mississippi law claim in their legal brief that the “common law permitted abortion up to a certain point in pregnancy, and many states maintained that common law tradition as of the late 1850s.” A friend-of-the-court brief stamped with the imprimatur of the American Historical Association and the Organization of American Historians makes much the same argument, insisting that “under the common law, a woman could terminate a pregnancy at her discretion prior to physically feeling the fetus move.”

The truth is nearly the opposite: common law judges always treated abortion as unlawful even if unindictable for evidentiary reasons. In the 1850s, the American Medical Association led a nationwide effort to translate common law rules about abortion into state statutes, often clarifying and strengthening criminal prohibitions in the process.

It is not surprising, because the history put forward in abortion litigation by advocates of abortion has never been about history. In the scholarship that originally underwrote Roe’s historical claims, Cyril Means made what he acknowledged were two utterly novel historical claims at the time: (1) that protecting unborn human life was not the purpose of state anti-abortion statutes in the nineteenth century and (2) abortion was a protected common-law liberty at the time of the American founding. Means claimed that he had revealed “for the first time” the real purpose of anti-abortion statutes, and that he was the first scholar to recover the story of a purported traditional common-law liberty to abort that had been “untold now for a nearly a century.”  

  1. Federal Judge Blocks Arizona’s Ban on Down Syndrome Abortions 

From The Daily Citizen:

The Arizona legislature’s effort to defend children with Down syndrome against discrimination includes those still in the womb. A recent law levying criminal penalties against doctors who knowingly perform abortions based solely on genetic abnormalities, as well as people who coerce pregnant women to obtain such an abortion or finance the procedure, was blocked this week by a federal judge.

It’s not all bad news, however. Other pro-life provisions in the law were allowed to stand for now, as the case proceeds to trial.

Senate Bill 1457 (SB1457) was passed earlier this year and signed into law by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. It was set to take effect on September 29, until U.S. District Judge Douglas L. Rayes temporarily blocked its enforcement, saying that the part of the law prohibiting abortions based on genetic abnormalities posed an “undue burden” on women seeking an abortion. “Undue burden” was the standard created by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1992 case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

“The mechanism Arizona has chosen is not designed to encourage women to choose childbirth,” the judge wrote, as reported by the Daily Independent. “It is designed to thwart them from making any other choice.”

  1. Obesity Rates Rise During Pandemic, Fueled By Stress, Job Loss, Sedentary Lifestyle 

From NPR:

It is official: The pandemic’s effect on America’s waistline has been rough.

New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed 16 states now have obesity rates of 35% or higher. That’s an increase of four states — Delaware, Iowa, Ohio and Texas — in just a year.

The findings confirm what several recent research studies have found: Many Americans have gained significant weight since the COVID-19 crisis started, likely fueled by an increase in sedentary behavior, stress and troubles such as job and income loss that make healthy eating harder.

And those rates are rising faster among racial minorities.

“Obesity continues to be a significant public health crisis,” says Nadine Gracia, a physician and president and CEO of Trust for America’s Health, a health policy group that recently analyzed the CDC’s 2020 data. And growth in childhood obesity, she says, projects a worsening trend.

  1. McAuliffe criticized online after saying he doesn’t believe parents should tell schools what to teach 

From Fox News:

Terry McAuliffe and Glenn Youngkin sparred during the second and final debate of Virginia’s governor’s race on Tuesday, but it was one comment on schools by McAuliffe, the Democratic candidate, that drew the ire of conservatives.

“I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach,” McAuliffe, who previously served as governor of Virginia from 2014 to 2018, said during the debate in Alexandria, Virginia.

McAuliffe made the remarks in response to Youngkin, the Republican candidate, who argued that parents should be more involved in the decisions of local school districts. Conservative social media responded.

8. ABC Omits Obama’s Criticism of ‘Open Borders’ from Televised Interview

From National Review:

ABC News omitted former president Obama’s claim that open borders are “unsustainable” from the televised portion of his interview with the network.

“Immigration is tough. It always has been because, on the one hand, I think we are naturally a people that wants to help others. And we see tragedy and hardship and families that are desperately trying to get here so that their kids are safe, and they’re in some cases fleeing violence or catastrophe,” Obama said in a segment of the interview that was edited out of the televised version but appeared online.” At the same time, we’re a nation state. We have borders. The idea that we can just have open borders is something that . . . as a practical matter, is unsustainable.

  1. Don’t Follow Your Heart 

From the Gospel Coalition:

These cultural mantras are well-intentioned. Some contain elements of truth. Nevertheless, it must be said: the Bible simply doesn’t talk this way. In fact, it’s striking just how differently Scripture employs the same words:

World: “Follow your heart.”
Jesus: “Follow me” (Matt. 10:38).

World: “Love yourself.”

Jesus: “Love the Lord your God [and] your neighbor” (Mark 12:30–31).

World: “Discover yourself.”
Jesus: “Deny yourself” (Luke 9:23).

World: “Believe in yourself.”
Jesus: “Believe in me” (John 6:35).

So what’s the solution? Do we just need to reject the modern view and get back to the good old days? No. The Scriptures crash into and challenge the prevailing intuitions of every culture, old or new.

10. ‘Chat checkouts’ created to combat loneliness among the elderly

From Dutch News:

Some 200 Jumbo supermarkets will be opening up tills where clients can stop for a chat rather than pay for their shopping as quickly as possible.

The first ‘Kletskassa’, or chat checkout, as it has been dubbed, was opened in 2019 in Vlijmen in Brabant. Its success prompted the group to plan for another 200 to be operative by this time next year, particularly in shops in areas where loneliness is an issue.

‘Many people, the elderly in particular, can feel lonely. As a family business and supermarket chain we have a central role in society. Our shops are a meeting place and that means we can do something to combat loneliness. The Kletskassa is just one of the things we can do,’ Jumbo CCO Colette Cloosterman-Van Eerd said.