Glenn K. Beaton is a writer and columnist living in Colorado. He has been a contributor to The Wall Street Journal, RealClearPolitics, Powerline, Instapundit, American Thinker and numerous other print, radio and television outlets.
The White House last week leaked word of Justice Stephen Breyer’s imminent retirement. The leak forced Justice Breyer to accelerate his plan to the following day, rather than waiting until the end of the Supreme Court term in June, as typically happens.
Accelerating Justice Breyer’s plan was not an incidental outcome of the White House leak. It was the intended outcome.
And it worked, for a moment anyway. Attention has been diverted from Joe Biden’s ongoing bungling of Ukraine, the economy, COVID, the border, Afghanistan and his plummeting poll numbers, by a renewed focus on his campaign promise to nominate a black woman for the next Supreme Court opening.
Indeed, the very next day Biden repeated that promise. He explicitly stated that he would replace Breyer with a black woman. Anyone not a black woman need not apply for the job.
Joe Biden announced on the campaign trail a couple of years ago that he intended to nominate a black woman to the Supreme Court. He re-affirmed that intention today in the wake of Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement announcement.
It’s not that Biden has a particular nominee in mind who just happens to be a black woman. No, it’s that being a black woman is the main criteria.
This is not unprecedented for Biden. In the Democrat primaries, he announced he intended to choose a woman for his running mate. And then he did. We got Kamala Harris, who is reasonably qualified for the job – if the only qualification is being a woman.
Scientists are still debating whether we should try to “flatten” the COVID curve. The curve is a plot of deaths on the vertical axis versus time on the horizontal axis. The graph above is an example, showing daily deaths worldwide from COVID since the advent of the pandemic.
If you add up the daily deaths, you of course wind up with the total deaths – currently over 800,000 in the U.S. This is the “area under the curve.” (Calculus, anyone?)
“Flattening the curve” means lowering the peaks – lowering the daily deaths. Scientists on one side of the “flattening” debate – call them the Flatteners – say that we can accomplish that by taking preventive measures such as mask-wearing and social distancing, as we have for the last two years to varying degrees.
On its face, that sounds prudent. It was certainly prudent two years ago when COVID infections threatened to overwhelm hospitals.
Other scientists – call them the Non-Flatteners – contend that, with Omicron now the dominant variant, we should do the opposite. (Yes, “follow the science” is a meaningless platitude when scientists disagree, as they frequently do.) The Non-Flatteners point out that the Omicron variant is highly transmissible, and so preventive measures are futile.
After another loss at the Supreme Court and on the verge of more losses at even the Democrat-controlled Senate, the guy who used to be Joe Biden read a speech last week that someone wrote:
“The next few days … will mark a turning point in this nation’s history. Will we choose democracy over autocracy, light over shadows, justice over injustice? I know where I stand … I will defend … our democracy against all enemies – foreign and, yes, domestic.”
“Where will the institution of the United States Senate stand? … “Will you stand against voter suppression? Yes or no? … Will you stand against election subversion? Yes or no? Will you stand for democracy? Yes or no?”
“I ask every elected official in America: How do you want to be remembered? … Do you want to be … on the side of Dr. King or George Wallace? Do you want to be on the side of John Lewis or Bull Connor? Do you want to be on the side of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis?”
This is unadulterated crap. The Georgia voting laws he’s demagoguing as fascist and racist are less strict than in Biden’s liberal home state of Delaware and less strict than in uber-liberal New York State.
Let’s be clear what the issue is here. The issue before the court is not whether vaccination is good or bad. All nine of the Justices have been fully vaccinated and have also received boosters (as I have). It’s fair to conclude that the Justices all think vaccinations are good, at least for people of their demographic.
Nor is the issue whether state or federal government can impose vaccine mandates on the population. They probably can, and occasionally have. In oral argument yesterday, Justice Gorsuch noted in passing that he recently rejected a challenge to a vaccine mandate imposed by the state government of New Mexico. Similarly, Congress could pass a law imposing a vaccine mandate or authorizing the Executive Branch to impose one.
What’s at issue in this case is much narrower. It’s whether the Executive Branch via the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) can impose vaccine mandates without specific authorization from Congress.
The six conservative justices signaled that they think the answer is no.
New York Congressperson Alexandria Ocasio Cortez can’t get enough of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. She harps obsessively on his purported mismanagement of COVID, including his refusal to mandate masks against the will of the people in the state he was elected to govern.
And so it was interesting that AOC was recently photographed in Florida. Did she come to stalk DeSantis? If so, she might have stalked in the wrong place. The photograph of her was taken in a drag bar, which is probably not the type of place DeSantis frequents.
Upon hearing the news, DeSantis good naturedly welcomed AOC to his state. Other Republicans, however, pointed out the contradiction between AOC’s words criticizing DeSantis’ management of COVID in Florida and and her actions in coming to Florida for bar entertainment in close quarters.
AOC tweeted her defense, of sorts: “It’s starting to get old ignoring the very obvious, strange, and deranged sexual frustrations that underpin the Republican fixation on me, women, & LGBT+ people in general. These people clearly need therapy, won’t do it, and use politics as their outlet instead. It’s really weird.”