URLs du Jour


  • I promise this is the last time I'm gonna do this. At least until 2024. At National Review, John McCormack does the math and… The Election Came Down to 42,918 Votes in Wisconsin, Arizona, and Georgia.

    In 2016, Trump owed his Electoral College victory to 77,744 individual votes spread across Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.

    In 2020, Biden owed his Electoral College victory to 42,918 individual votes spread across Wisconsin, Arizona, and Georgia.

    John doesn't draw any tsk-tsk conclusions from his calculation, but I will: If Trump had been just slightly less … well, Trumpy, he could have won. A few less irritating/silly/dishonest/insane Tweets. A little more honest about Covid. A little more careful about not catching Covid. I could go on… but won't. You know that stuff as well as I do.

  • At his Tuesday column, Kevin D. Williamson writes on Elector Shenanigans. But let's skip down to…

    Goodness, gracious, the world is mad at Joseph Epstein.

    Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Epstein made the perfectly obvious point that “Dr.” Jill Biden is showing bad form in insisting on being referred to as “Dr.” Biden. She is not a physician, or even a Ph.D., but the (too) proud holder of an Ed.D., the so-called doctorate for vice principals, an academic distinction one step removed from the Cracker-Jack box. Using the honorific Dr. “sounds and feels fraudulent, not to say a touch comic,” Epstein wrote.

    Cue the shrieking.

    Epstein has been unpersoned by Northwestern University, where he had been a lecturer, his biography now purged from the university’s website. Northwestern then released a Maoist-struggle-session statement denouncing Epstein as — inevitable term — “misogynistic.”

    You know what to do: read the whole thing.

  • At the Volokh Conspiracy, David Post provides a crash course in Statistics, and How the World Works.

    Imagine we are back in February 2019, at the start of Spring Training for the 2019 baseball season. I offer you the following wager:

    I have $20 that says that the winner of the 2019 World Series will (a) lose 31 of its first 50 games; (b) find itself behind in in the 7th inning of each deciding game of each postseason series; (c) not win a single game in the Series at home; (d) have a starting left fielder from the Dominican Republic and a starting pitcher whose eyes are two different colors; and that (e) game 6 would be played before a crowd of precisely 43,384, and (f) game 4 would be played in precisely 4 hours 3 minutes and 41 seconds; and that (g) the first base umpire's brother-in-law would be hospitalized right before the start of the bottom half of the 6th inning in game 2; AND that (h) the Dow Jones Industrial Average would decline precisely 140.46 points to close at 27,046.23 on the date of the final Series game.

    What odds would you have given me, at the start of the 2019 baseball season, that all of those conditions would be met?! Not a single one of them had ever come true in the prior 100+ years of baseball history; how likely was it that all of them would come to pass in a single postseason?!! Gotta be a quadrillion to 1, no?

    So the Nationals must have cheated! Wake up America! How much more proof do you need?!

    And (yes) this is the kind of argument Texas AG Paxton included in his SCOTUS suit to overturn the election results.

    Ditto for this idiotic argument that purports to use a "statistical model" to show that Trump "actually won" a number of states that … well, that he actually didn't.

  • Is Jacob Sullum belaboring the obvious at Reason? You be the judge: Trump’s Election Conspiracy Theory Requires Followers To Join Him in an Alternate Universe.

    No matter how many times Bullwinkle J. Moose fails to pull a rabbit out of his hat, he remains optimistic. "This time for sure!" he exclaims, disregarding his sidekick's exasperated complaint that the trick "never works."

    If President Donald Trump has any skeptical friends like Rocky the Flying Squirrel, he plainly does not listen to them. Otherwise he would not be demanding that all true patriots join him in an alternate universe where he won reelection.

    Many of Trump's supporters seem to live there, notwithstanding a long series of disappointments for litigants trying to demonstrate that the presidential election was illegitimate, culminating in two unanimous rejections by the Supreme Court last week. According to a recent Fox News poll, 68 percent of Republicans and 77 percent of Trump voters believe "the presidential election was stolen."

    No foolin'. I think a fraction of pollees will tend to answer randomly out of sheer self-amusement. But 68% is way too high for that explanation to work.

    That link in the first paragraph above will take you to a YouTube clip that brought back fond memories for me.

  • Ann Althouse notices a Glenn Greenwald tweet, and it's perceptive about MSNBC and its ilk:

    CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, should all just die.

  • And in Wired wokeness today, we have: 24 Gifts We Love From BIPOC-Owned Businesses (2020).

    It's always important to support BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color), and it's at the forefront of many peoples' thoughts this year due to the many conspicuous instances of police brutality brought to public attention. Systemic racism and racial injustice is nothing new—but 2020 sparked a wave of unrest across the United States.

    Well there you go. I especially like the BIPOC explanation.