The TAKE with Rick Klein
President Joe Biden's promise as a candidate was to bring stability after chaos -- and his approval rating through the first six months of his time in office was nothing if not stable.
Then came August, and there that went. A wild month of national, international, meteorological and epidemiological events leaves Biden at the low point of his presidency, after an acutely low stretch for the country.
Biden's approval rating is down to 44% in the new ABC News/Washington Post poll out Friday morning, with 51% disapproval. His approval rating is down a striking 9-point drop among independents, and 10 points among men.
Afghanistan is the proximate cause -- notwithstanding fresh details about former President Donald Trump's late efforts to remove troops long before Biden did, as reported Friday by ABC's Jonathan Karl.
But the consequences of a weakened president loom over the Democratic agenda. West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin's vow to oppose "anywhere near" $3.5 trillion in spending cites in part concerns of a terrorist attack or international crisis; his vote, of course, is enough to make a "strategic pause" effectively permanent, and has progressives sparring with him yet again.
Democrats see opportunities to energize their voters virtually everywhere in recent headlines -- abortion rights, the Supreme Court, climate change, voting rights, COVID-19 responses and even the still-chugging efforts to invest trillions in infrastructure.
But a summer that defied predictions and expectations continues to roil the political landscape. The president has been along for a bumpy ride that's nowhere near over.
The RUNDOWN with Averi Harper
As women in Texas grapple with the impact of the Texas Heartbeat Act, Latina reproductive rights advocates are sounding the alarm about the disproportionate impact it could have on undocumented women in the state.
Some have pointed to the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol's internal checkpoints that operate within 100 miles of the U.S. border as a literal roadblock for undocumented women who would try to receive abortion care in another state.
"A lot of the conversation is, 'Oh well I'm just going to leave to another state to get that health care.' It's not that simple for a lot of people in Texas," Nancy Cárdenas Peña, director of Texas state policy and advocacy for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice, told ABC News.
Additionally, there are fears that anti-immigrant sentiment in tandem with incentives to take legal action against people who assist women with abortions will put a target on the backs of undocumented women and serve as another obstacle to receiving reproductive health care.
"We absolutely have to acknowledge that intersection of immigration, because we've had whistleblower tip lines and hotlines before in Texas to report people who are undocumented," said Cárdenas Peña. "We're seeing that pick up again with a website that picks up anonymous tips [for the Texas Hearbeat Act]."
The effects of the most-restrictive abortion law in the nation have yet to be seen, but advocates are bracing for that impact to be felt deeply in the state's most vulnerable communities.
The TIP with Oren Oppenheim
The new restrictive abortion law in Texas not only has consequences for women in the state, but national implications: Republican lawmakers in at least three states are trying to match the Texas rules.
Arkansas state Sen. Jason Rapert, who is running for lieutenant governor in 2022, tweeted on Wednesday morning, "I have ordered a bill be filed in Arkansas to update our law to mirror the Texas SB8 bill." And while Florida's state legislature is not in session right now, state lawmaker Anthony Sabatini confirmed to ABC News that he's planning to introduce a bill that is the "exact same" as Texas.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem tweeted on Thursday that she's asked her office to look how Texas' new abortion law compares to South Dakota's, because she wants her state to have "the strongest pro-life laws on the books."
Eleven other states besides Texas have six-week abortion bans that are currently not enforced, Elisabeth Smith, director of State Policy and Advocacy at the Center for Reproductive Rights, told ABC News Wednesday. But Texas could be a turning point. "What is stopping these states from using Texas' enforcement strategy to avoid accountability in the courts?" Smith said.
ONE MORE THING
It's no surprise that former President Donald Trump and his former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have condemned President Joe Biden's messy withdrawal from Afghanistan -- after all, the chaotic exit from Kabul has been deadly and deeply unpopular -- but the truth is that Biden accomplished exactly what Trump had tried to do in his final year in office. The only real difference is that Trump wanted to withdraw more quickly and with less regard for the Afghan citizens who worked with the United States. ABC's Jonathan Karl explores the Trump administration's push to get the U.S. out of Afghanistan even quicker than Biden's goal.
ABC News' "Start Here" podcast. Friday morning's episode features ABC News Chief Meteorologist Ginger Zee reporting on the catastrophic flooding from Ida in the Northeast. Then, a personal story from a woman directly affected by the new Texas abortion ban. And ABC News Transportation Correspondent Gio Benitez breaks down a Federal Aviation Administration investigation into Virgin Galactic. http://apple.co/2HPocUL
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS WEEKEND