Worried about the Supreme Court? Here are 6 things you shouldn't do and 3 you should.

The Supreme Court's a pretty big deal, and with President Trump's second nominee about to enter the confirmation process, some are a little freaked out.

Adding members to the Supreme Court is one of the longest-lasting legacies a president can have. For decades to come, the Justices of the Supreme Court of the U.S. (SCOTUS) will shape the country and its laws in powerful ways.

That's enough to make anyone feel a little anxious, regardless of their political views. It's especially worrisome for anyone who has anything less than complete trust in Trump's judgment or worries about any of the specific issues (abortion rights, LGBTQ rights, civil rights generally) likely to come before the court in the near future.


In the wake of Trump's nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, a lot of people are asking themselves what can be done to stop his confirmation. From the outside, it looks like a pretty hopeless endeavor. Even if every single Democrat votes against Kavanaugh, as long as Republicans stick together, he'll be put on the court.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks to protesters in front of the SCOTUS on July 9 in Washington, DC. Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images.

Ezra Levin, co-executive director of Indivisible Project and former Congressional staffer, used his Twitter account to share some advice for people opposing Kavanaugh.

After the announcement, there were a lot of ideas thrown out into the world to stop Kavanaugh's confirmation. Most of them were pretty bad, so Levin, also the former deputy policy director for Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas), stepped in to give people an insider's look into how members of Congress make decisions and what influences them.

His list starts out with six things that aren't helpful.

After all, if you're going to engage in some activism, you want to be as efficient as possible. Levin urged people not to waste time trying to pressure senators outside of their states or members of the House, generally.

Petitions and "antagonistic" social media campaigns aimed at senators are usually just dismissed as "noise," and aren't likely to move any votes, either.

The last two items on his list are some of the most frustrating.

For one, there are no tricks the Democrats could pull on their own to stop Kavanaugh's confirmation like Republicans did with Merrick Garland. The Republican party was only able to do that because they had control of the Senate (which they still do).

And finally, as hard as it is, he urged people not to give in to apathy.

Enough with what won't work, though. Let's look at the three things Levin recommends people actually do.

Simply put, the only people members of Congress care about are their own constituents. Contacting your senators and letting them know that you want them to vote "no" on Kavanaugh's confirmation is a great place to start.

Levin also noted that there's definitely a hierarchy of effectiveness for getting messages to Congress: in-person messages and protests are at the top.

Beyond that, he recommended that people do things that will get local media attention. Protests are a great example of this. He then linked to a page on the Indivisible website where people can learn about events happening near them.

Levin understands that none of this is likely to actually stop Kavanaugh's confirmation. But he thinks it's a battle worth fighting anyway.

In an interview, he describes Indivisible's plan as a two-step strategy: First, Democrats need to try to defeat Kavanaugh's nomination; second, they need to take back control of the Senate. "If we defeat this nominee but fail to take the Senate, Trump will simply use the GOP senate majority to appoint a different extremist to the court," he says.

That means Democrats need to present a united front both in opposing Kavanaugh and at the midterms. "This is a big test of his leadership," says Levin of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY)'s ability to get all Democratic senators on board. "He wants to be majority leader next year, so he needs to prove he can lead now."

Beyond that, Levin sees opportunities for Democrats to pick up Senate seats in Nevada, Tennessee, Arizona, and Texas. If Democrats don't lose any seats they currently hold, and they're able to pick up at least two of the four "vulnerable" Republican-held seats, they'll retake control.

Levin thinks that's doable, so Indivisible is lending its resources to the fight.

Ezra Levin speaks at a March 2017 rally outside the U.S. Capitol to urge Republicans to vote "No" on the "Trumpcare" bill. Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for MoveOn.org.

"Unlikely" doesn't mean "impossible," as history is quick to remind us.

A lot of extremely unlikely things have happened the past few years. Trump's election was considered extremely unlikely, until it wasn't. The Democrats' defeat of Trumpcare was considered extremely likely, until it wasn't. Picking up a Senate seat in Alabama was considered extremely unlikely, until it wasn't. Passing Medicaid expansion in Virginia was considered extremely unlikely, until it wasn't.

Stopping Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court is considered extremely unlikely, but stranger things have happened.

"Political life over the past two years has been defined by surprises — defeating Kavanaugh and retaking the Senate would just be two more surprises added to the list," says Levin. "Success isn't guaranteed, but if we give up, we will certainly lose."

Learn more about Indivisible Project here. For information on how to contact your senator, click here.

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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