URLs du Jour

2021-01-03

[Amazon Link]
I think our Amazon Product du Jour is a repeat. But that's OK.

  • Jonah Goldberg reports on The Mad Rush To Be on the Stupid Side of History.

    A lot of stupid things are said about history. 

    For example, there is no “right side” of history, if by that you mean events are destined to play out in some sort of preordained way. 

    But there is such a thing as being on the stupid side of history—and there’s a mad rush to be on it. 

    President Donald Trump’s lawyers failed to convince a single judge, Trump-appointed or otherwise, that there was systemic fraud in the 2020 election, never mind sufficiently outrageous fraud to warrant literally disenfranchising millions of voters. So Rep. Louie Gohmert is suing Vice President Mike Pence to force him to do exactly that. 

    The lawsuit is premised on an idea very popular in the more feverish corners of the right. It holds that because the vice president has a ceremonial role in receiving the certified votes from the states, he actually has the authority to reject any votes he doesn’t like. There are people who want Pence on January 6 to take the official, certified, and approved electoral votes and say, in effect, “Nope, these don’t count. Send me electoral votes for my boss, Donald Trump.”

    OK, that's bad enough. But …


  • … it gets worse. Patterico notes the latest: UnAmerican Senators Proudly Proclaim Their Intent to Challenge the Results of a Free and Fair Election.

    I woke up this morning to news that at least eight sitting Senators and four Senators-elect plan to challenge the results of the free and fair 2020 presidential election. On what basis? That there was rampant fraud that likely swung the outcome? No, they don’t allege that, because that didn’t happen. Instead, they cite the fact that some citizens distrust the election results — while failing to mention that they themselves have sown that distrust, with no basis whatsoever.

    The abhorrent Ted Cruz will be part of this unAmerican group, and he’s super excited to tell you about it:

    And you can follow the link if you'd like. But Pat is pretty irate about it:

    My reaction to this is unpublishable. All I can say is that I hope this life affords me at least one opportunity to meet Ted Cruz face to face, so I can tell him that I supported him for President and gave him money — and now, I’m sorry I ever said a kind word about him and would like to personally tell him to go straight to hell.

    I didn't give him money, but… well, here's what I tweeted in response:

    And I also need to quote…


  • Just One Minute's dumbfounded query to the GOPeople: "Can You Please Get A Grip?".

    They want an "emergency audit" because state government don't know how to count and Trump's lawyers failed to release the Krakpot, or something.

    This is playing with fire. In four or eight years when the Reps win the Electoral College (again) and the Dems win the popular vote (again) and AOC is screaming that some of the swing state results should be tossed because "the billionaires" corrupted the result, Republicans will regret this performance art. However it should help Hawley and Cruz with their 2024 Presidential aspirations, so first things first.

    Hey, it could work. There seem to be a lot of folks out there whose primary membership is in the Trump Personality Cult. And this is seen by Cruz et al as some sort of loyalty test they gotta pass, or doom their election hopes.

    Feh.


  • OK, let's move on to cheerier subjects…

    Hey, wait a minute. This, from David Bernstein at the Volokh Conspiracy isn't cheery at all! “Diversity” Nonsense Cost Tens of Thousands of Lives.

    CNBC in September (but I just saw this today): "One of the developers in the lead for a vaccine to prevent Covid-19, is slowing enrollment slightly in its large clinical trial to ensure it has sufficient representation of minorities most at risk for the disease, its chief executive said."

    This is particularly egregious because apparently Moderna felt the need to ensure sufficient representation of Hispanic Americans. Even if you buy the dubious notion that there is a significant chance that vaccines will have significantly different effects by "race," what race are Hispanics supposed to be, exactly? The average American Hispanic is about 3/4 European by descent, based on DNA studies. Essentially, then, Moderna allowed tens of thousands of people to die to ensure that "enough" white people who happen to have Spanish-speaking ancestors were included.

    At least Ted Cruz isn't killing thousands of people. Right? Or is that next, Ted?


  • Scott Aaronson writes at his blog Shtetl-Optimized on vaccine crackpottery. Which doesn't sound like crackpottery at all, but I want to quote this recently-added bit:

    If you want a sense of the on-the-ground realities of administering the vaccine in the US, check out this long post by Zvi Mowshowitz. Briefly, it looks like in my post, I gave those in charge way too much benefit of the doubt (!!). The Trump administration pledged to administer 20 million vaccines by the end of 2020; instead it administered fewer than 3 million. Crucially, this is not because of any problem with manufacturing or supply, but just because of pure bureaucratic blank-facedness. Incredibly, even as the pandemic rages, most of the vaccines are sitting in storage, at severe risk of spoiling … and officials’ primary concern is not to administer the precious doses, but just to make sure no one gets a dose “out of turn.” In contrast to Israel, where they’re now administering vaccines 24/7, including on Shabbat, with the goal being to get through the entire population as quickly as possible, in the US they’re moving at a snail’s pace and took off for the holidays. In Wisconsin, a pharmacist intentionally spoiled hundreds of doses; in West Virginia, they mistakenly gave antibody treatments instead of vaccines. There are no longer any terms to understand what’s happening other than those of black comedy.

    Let me repeat: Scott gave those in charge way too much benefit of the doubt.

    Reader, run your life the way you want. Mask up, or not; either way, accept responsibility for the consequences.

    But I strongly urge you to turn up your government skepticism up to eleven. It's the smart way to bet.