Patterico's Pontifications


With A Straight Face, GOP Rep. Asks If We’ve Ever Seen A President Attack The Free Press Like Joe Biden Has??

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:32 pm

[guest post by Dana]

I really didn’t have much interest in this non-story, but because it’s turning out to be one of those situations where, amusingly, both sides of the aisle are scrambling to claim the moral high ground, I’m compelled to post about it. Anyway, yesterday President Biden was caught on a hot mic calling a Fox News reporter a “stupid son of a bitch” after Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy shouted a question at the president about inflation (a subject, I think it’s safe to say, that the president would rather not talk about):

President Biden appeared to call Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy a “stupid son of a b—h” after Doocy shouted a question the president found ridiculous.

“Do you think inflation is a political liability ahead of the midterms?” Doocey appeared to ask Monday at the end of a press event.

The president, seemingly not noticing he was still seated in front of a live microphone, looked off camera, repeated the question, then replied sarcastically.

President Biden later phoned Doocy to clear the air:

President Biden reached out to Peter Doocy on Monday night and “cleared the air” after calling the Fox News White House correspondent a “stupid son of a bitch” an hour earlier.

Doocy told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that the president called him on his cellphone and told the reporter, “It’s nothing personal, pal” after the hot mic blunder in the White House East Room.

Asked if Biden issued an apology, Doocy said he doesn’t need one and that the president simply “cleared the air.”

“I appreciated it. We had a nice call,” Doocy said of the communication.

“I don’t need anybody to apologize to me,” Doocy told Hannity. “He can call me whatever he wants as long as it gets him talking.”

I’m not going to post links, but suffice it to say that the right side of the aisle is in a tizzy because the alleged Great Uniter in Chief attacked a reporter who works for a conservative outlet and the left side of the aisle is in a tizzy because they want to know where the right’s outrage was when Trump repeatedly attacked members of the media.

I don’t see how calling a reporter a “son of a bitch” one time compares to Trump’s endless rants and rages against reporters that displeased him. And as far as I know, he never called the targets of his ire to clear the air. But maybe I missed it. So, while lofty pundits from both sides of the aisle are milking this for all it’s worth, I personally think Rep. Jim Banks takes the cake for the most brazen and opportunistic efforts by a politician to use the kerfuffle to increase his popularity with his base, and with Trump:

While it’s no longer startling that a Trump ally and member of Congress would actually say something like this out loud, this is a man who said that he would “never apologize” for objecting to the 2020 election results, so I’m pretty sure he’s not only comfortable tweeting what he did but did so with all the straight-faced seriousness of a true believer and crafty politician.


Biden Administration Reads Tea Leaves, Drops Vaccine Requirements for Businesses

Filed under: General — JVW @ 2:24 pm

[guest post by JVW]

From National Review Online:

The Biden administration announced Tuesday that it is scraping its vaccine-or-test mandate for large employers after the Supreme Court blocked the rule earlier this month.

“Although OSHA is withdrawing the vaccination and testing ETS as an enforceable emergency temporary standard, the agency is not withdrawing the ETS as a proposed rule,” the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration said in a statement. “The agency is prioritizing its resources to focus on finalizing a permanent COVID-19 Healthcare Standard.”

“OSHA continues to strongly encourage the vaccination of workers against the continuing dangers posed by Covid-19 in the workplace,” the agency added.

This decision, of course, comes on the heels of the Court’s 6-3 decision two weeks ago that the federal mandates exceeded the authority of the CDC, OHSA, and the executive branch to impose them, absent authorization from Congress.

This is all part and parcel of the curious and annoying tendency of the Biden Administration to push for policies which they know will either fail legislatively due to reluctance from their own nominal allies in Congress or because they know at heart that the policies are not a legitimate function of the federal government and that the judicial branch will eventually get around to nullifying them. President-elect Biden had ruled out a mandatory vaccinations and a national mask mandate back in December 2020, even though just months earlier (i.e. before he had been elected) he had looked favorably upon a federal masking requirement and claimed that his advisors suggested it would pass Constitutional muster. But even Team Biden should have had severe doubt that a Supreme Court majority would give their blessing to the nationwide vaccinate-or-test mandate that OSHA imposed upon private businesses with his tacit support. In the end, though, just like with the Biden flip-flop on the Constitutionality of rent moratoriums, it would seem that yet again the President was swayed by the more Warrenesque elements of the Democrat coalition or by the horrible political instincts of his utterly vacuous Vice-President, and he unsurprisingly charged straight into the cannon fire waving the banner of regulatory overreach.

The Administration now contends that they will focus their efforts on encouraging vaccination holdouts (advice: badgering them hasn’t worked; try something new) and focusing on small-bore efforts to combat the spread of the virus. Given their plunging poll numbers and the willingness of the science bureaucracy to promote the idea that the new omicron variant of COVID is starting to wane, it would appear more and more that the Biden Administration is looking for reasons and excuses for winding down the national hysteria and encouraging a return to normal — though naturally without giving up the expanded government powers that have been enacted in the name of public safety.


Planned Parenthood Drops Challenge to Lubbock’s Ban on All Abortion

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:26 am

Ed Whelan has the details:

In May 2021, the voters of Lubbock—the 11th-largest city in Texas—overwhelmingly approved a measure (Proposition A) that outlaws abortion in Lubbock. The ordinance took effect on June 1, 2021. Like the Texas Heartbeat Act, the Lubbock ordinance provides that it may be enforced only by private civil lawsuits brought against individuals who perform or aid or abet abortions in Lubbock, and it prohibits the city of Lubbock and its officials from enforcing its ban. Unlike the Texas Heartbeat Act, the Lubbock abortion ban applies from conception, rather than when a fetal heartbeat is detectable.

A judge dismissed the lawsuit for lack of standing and Planned Parenthood has abandoned the appeal. Ed’s conclusion:

In his concurring opinion in Webster v. Reproductive Health Services (1989), Justice Scalia lamented that it “appears that the mansion of constitutionalized abortion law, constructed overnight in Roe v. Wade, must be disassembled doorjamb by doorjamb, and never entirely brought down, no matter how wrong it may be.” But that ramshackle house of horrors finally appears to be collapsing.

I’m more concerned. There is no limiting principle here that says that this approach for avoiding court review applies only to phony and made-up constitutional rights. San Francisco could ban all private gun ownership tomorrow using this scheme. Portland could create a private cause of action against anyone who utters a statement that a specified minority group finds offensive. And under the Lubbock/Texas rubric, there’s not a damn thing you could do to stop it in federal court.

That should frighten everyone.

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