Missouri GOPer Trying To Crack Down On Out-Of-State Abortions

INSIDE: John Eastman ... Whitmer Kidnapping Plot ... Cruz
Republican state representative candidate Mary Elizabeth Coleman canvases for votes in Windsor Township near St. Louis, Missouri on November 1, 2018. - Days before deeply polarizing US midterm elections, Democrat Cl... Republican state representative candidate Mary Elizabeth Coleman canvases for votes in Windsor Township near St. Louis, Missouri on November 1, 2018. - Days before deeply polarizing US midterm elections, Democrat Claire McCaskill is tearing through Missouri, trying to entice Republican voters with her middle-of-the-road politics -- even as rabble-rouser-in-chief Donald Trump whips up support for her rival.Missourians are largely socially conservative, which leads to a "push and pull," explained Mary Elizabeth Coleman, a Republican candidate for state representative. As the national Democratic Party "got more and more progressive... it's been harder for those in the Midwest to follow along with them," Coleman said while doorknocking in Arnold, in the same Republican district as O'Fallon. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.

No Escape

Missouri state Rep. Mary Elizabeth Coleman (R) has proposed a measure that would deter people from leaving the state, which bans abortion after eight weeks of pregnancy, to have the procedure.

  • Coleman’s proposal would set up a vigilante system of civil liability similar to what Texas has, enabling private citizens to sue anyone involved in facilitating an out-of-state abortion.
  • WaPo: “The measure would target anyone even tangentially involved in an abortion performed on a Missouri resident, including the hotline staffers who make the appointments, the marketing representatives who advertise out-of-state clinics, and the Illinois and Kansas-based doctors who handle the procedure.” 
  • The measure would also criminalize the possession, transportation or distribution of abortion pills.
  • Some 10,644 Missourians have gotten abortions at the Planned Parenthood clinic on the Missouri-Illinois border that opened in 2019 after the state passed the ban.

First Jan. 6 Insurrectionist To Go On Trial Found Guilty

A federal jury in D.C. found 49-year-old Guy Reffitt of Texas, the first Jan. 6 defendant to stand trial, guilty of all five charges on Tuesday, including obstruction of an official proceeding and carrying a firearm on Capitol grounds.

  • Reffitt was also convicted of witness tampering for allegedly threatening his own teenage kids to scare them into silence after the insurrection. However, his son turned him over to the FBI and testified against him.
  • Reffit is also tied to far-right extremist groups: He’s a member of the Texas Three Percenters militia.
  • Reffit’s conviction came on the same day Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio was indicted on conspiracy charges in connection to the Jan. 6 attack.

Russia’s Isolation Deepens

Biden announced a ban yesterday on all Russian oil and natural gas imports to the United States.

  • BBC: “West hits Russia with oil bans and gas curbs”
  • New York Times: “Food companies like McDonald’s and Coca-Cola, symbols of the West in Russia, will pause operations there.”
  • The Washington Post: “U.S. to ban oil imports from Russia as White House explores drastic plans to buffer economy from energy shock”
  • Reuters: “EU agrees new sanctions against Russia over Ukraine invasion, France says”

Eastman’s Argument: I’m Not The Only One Who Recommended Trump Do A Coup!

Over the past several days, one of the arguments that ex-Trump legal adviser John Eastman’s been making is that his plot with Trump to steal the 2020 election wasn’t criminal because there were other people besides Eastman who were feeding Trump conspiracies theories about voter fraud.

  • And since Trump heard the conspiracy theories from multiple advisers while some other advisers were telling him the conspiracy theories weren’t real, Trump was just hearing a debate between two sides, Eastman argues.

Debunking GOP’s Whitewashed Narrative Of Trump’s Ukraine Aid Pressure Scheme

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) would have you believe that in 2019, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thought Trump was an awesome guy and that it was totally fine for Trump to freeze U.S. aid to Ukraine because he handed it over eventually, which was a very nice thing Trump did that gave Ukrainians the help they needed to fight Russia now.

Washington Post analyst Philip Bump compares here Scalise’s rosy characterization of Trump withholding the aid to what actually happened: The then-president tried to weaponize the aid to coerce Zelensky into giving him damaging material on future 2020 challenger Joe Biden.

Must Reads

“Texas Youth Gender Clinic Closed Last Year Under Political Pressure” – The New York Times

“The hidden billion- dollar cost of repeated police misconduct” – The Washington Post

Michigan Guv Kidnapping Plot Trial Begins

The criminal trial of the four men charged with conspiring to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) starts today after the judge selected the jury yesterday. There’s an additional complication involving two undercover FBI agents who infiltrated the group in their investigation into the plot.

Cruz Claims Airline Workers Regularly Shower Him With Love

During his and Sen. Ron Johnson’s (R-WI) meeting with the “People’s Convoy” trucker protest leaders on Tuesday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) shared this inspiring and very real story of airline captains and flight attendants giving him a hero’s welcome every time he flies:

Twitter Bot Exposes Companies’ Phony International Women’s Day Posts

The U.K.-based Gender Pay Gap Bot is hard at work retweeting various British organizations’ International Women’s Day celebration posts with data revealing said organizations’ pay gaps:

  • The data comes from a British government website that gathers gender pay gap reports that employers with 250 employees or more are legally required to turn over, the bot’s creator explained to Vice.
  • Some companies deleted their posts after they got exposed by the bot. It was very funny.

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