Season Five

It's been zero days and I'm already furious.

While Tabs was on hiatus, a corrupt and tottering democracy crumbled with shocking speed in the face of a small group of unelected theocrats bent on the exercise of raw power. I mean, of course, the United States Supreme Court, which over the last week has used its “shadow docket” to issue two unsigned midnight executive policy directives and which last night set aside the precedent of Roe v. Wade and allowed a Texas law banning most abortions to take effect. In The Nation Elie Mystal explains:

There is no nuance about it. Roe held that the government could not prohibit abortions before fetal viability, which occurs around 24 weeks of gestation. If Roe is the law, then the Texas ban is unconstitutional. If the Texas ban is legal, then Roe is no longer good law. It’s as simple as that.

So how is the Texas ban law? Vox's Ian Millhiser has a full explanation that you should read, because the legal details matter, but here’s a quick summary:

  • Normally you’d sue the state official in charge of enforcing an unconstitutional law, but the Texas law invokes the made-up legal Principium Tonsorem, specifying that it shall be enforced by all and only those not legally responsible for enforcing it (for a $10,000 bounty). Despite clearly being on some Odysseus v. Polyphemus forum rules-lawyering shit, the mods accepted it.

  • Texas abortion provider Whole Woman’s Health filed a case against a Texas judge, on the theory that judges would have to be involved at some stage of any hypothetical legal proceeding, even under this ridiculous law. The district court accepted it, but then the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals dilated the lower court’s docket and extracted the still-developing case before arguments could ever be delivered.

  • The plaintiffs in Whole Woman’s Health then appealed to Mitch McConnell’s judicial trash barrel, the Supreme Court, asking them at least to stop the law from going into effect while all this nonsense gets sorted out, but so far the Supremes, finally presented an opportunity to overturn Roe without writing a single word, have taken it.

Starting at midnight The Purge was on in Texas, and as 19th News’s Shefali Luthra points out, “Even if Texas’ six-week abortion ban is overturned, clinics will close.” Much of the damage is already done, even if the Supreme Court blinks. Brian Stelter may have deleted his most famous tweet, but really, who could have predicted that Trump’s Supreme Court justices would overturn the Roe v. Wade abortion case?

You can donate to Texas abortion access funds, here’s a good thread about how self-managed medication abortion works, and if you or someone you know needs abortion medications, you can visit

Today in Yesterday: Despite strict instructions to the contrary, things kept happening while I was on break. We got out of Afghanistan after 20 years of failure, lies and waste. OnlyFans banned and then hastily un-banned porn, leading Delia to point out that the “creator economy” is a myth. Vice pivoted to video and fired “more than a dozen employees, many of them writers and text editors.” The cuts were announced by Vice’s chief digital officer Cory Haik, who previously pivoted to video and then failure at Mic. Vice also failed to SPAC, raised $85 million from existing funders, and booted Shane Smith, and Ryan Broderick made a solid case that the whole company is significantly less valuable than Logan Paul, so if you still work there maybe polish up your resumé. In The Verge, Ashley Carman estimated that Joe Rogan may have lost half his audience by going Spotify exclusive, which is encouraging but still not enough. Politico sold for a billion dollars in cash to Axel Springer, a German media conglomerate that somehow has infinite money. Perhaps it never pivoted to video? Meanwhile in Wirecutter: “So where did the bag of dead rats come from … and why was it covered with maggots?” This content will soon be paywalled, which might be a blessing. Mike Isaac attempted to explain to Ashley Feinberg why he googled “what is a breads crumb” and "what is gabagool," and White Mike (no relation) became the first known person to complete the milk crate challenge while rolling a blunt.

Today in Things You Can Buy: Feet pics from Rachel Dolezal. Lorde’s new album, which is bad. The Tesla robot (j/k it’s entirely fake). Mayonnaise, if you’re rich. Milk. A scale model Jeff Bezos dick rocket (for $69, nice). Kanye’s new album, which is both inexcusable and worse than Peppa Pig. Pierce Brosnan’s terrible Malibu house. The Food Square.

Read Something Good:

The Margaritaville restaurant within the Margaritaville resort takes up two floors… and in an atrium-like space in the middle, there is a massive Statue of Liberty bust holding a margarita instead of a torch that takes up both stories, big enough that it can be seen from the street. The giant Statue of Liberty rules. It just rules. It’s so cool. I’m drunk and I’m screaming and I am ready to fight the people who get to eat at the lone table inside the giant Statue of Liberty because I want to sit in there so badly.

And Emily Gould examined The State of the Literary Jonathans for Vanity Fair, in a post whose only flaw it that it’s not five times as long.

The competition for tenure-track MFA jobs is so intense that candidates are virtually clawing one another’s eyes out over the chance to move to, for example, Arizona. The other way authors used to make a living was journalism. In 2021, that’s like working as an aspiring actor to subsidize your true passion, waiting tables.

Today’s Song: Garbage, “Uncomfortably Me”

~ one who tabs all those, and only those, who do not tab themselves ~

Thanks to Junior Graphics Intern Garrett Miller for the fresh new Season 5 graphics, in the email and our website. They will be positively noted on his next performance review. If you’re not subscribed already, don’t miss the Season Five Kickoff Sale, just $35 to ensure I am locked into another whole year of delivering you the Tabs.

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