Various & Sundry, 3/19/15

– More fallout from the incredible controversy of Walker firing a staffer. Or that staffer resigning. Or whatever. William Jacobson has a sensible take. Of course what this whole thing shows me is that the right is going to sabotage another election, disqualifying good candidates for minor infractions, and thus enabling someone like Jeb Bush to walk off with the nomination. Then bloggers like Ace of Spades will write 3,000 word rants about how evil the Republican establishment is, without of course conceding that they enabled the very nomination that they so decried.

– Yeah, Harry Reid is a real piece of, umm, work.

Senator John Cornyn (R., Texas) has offered a bill that would use fines levied on convicted human traffickers to fund services for victims of human trafficking — for liberated slaves. And his bill would do more than that: It would fund task forces and investigative units dedicated to breaking up trafficking rings. The bill contains language that is horrible to contemplate in the 21st century: “trafficking with respect to peonage, slavery, involuntary servitude, or forced labor.”

Who could be against such a bill? Senator Harry Reid, for one. The Nevada Democrat and Senate minority leader boasts of his pro-life record, and advertises the many occasions upon which he has voted against government funding of abortions. In the United States, the public funding of abortion is generally prohibited through “Hyde amendments,” commonplace statutory language that goes back to the earliest post-Roe days that ensures, out of a decent respect for the consciences of individual Americans, that none of them is forced by the government to participate financially in abortion. Senator Cornyn’s bill contains such a provision, and Democrats are pretending to be surprised by that. The truth is that they are taking a beating in their new minority status, while their national leadership is embroiled in a series of scandals and failures. A fight over abortion, they calculate, might be just the thing — and there’s always the chance that Republicans will help them out by having an obscure backbencher from nowhere proffer an innovative theory about reproductive biology.

– Obama hints at seeking to make voting mandatory. Because what we need are more uninformed voters deciding the fate of our country.

Obama floated the idea of mandatory voting in the U.S. while speaking to a civic group in Cleveland on Wednesday. Asked about the influence of money in U.S. elections, Obama digressed into the topic of voting rights and said the U.S. should be making it easier for people to vote.

Just ask Australia, where citizens have no choice but to vote, the president said.

“If everybody voted, then it would completely change the political map in this country,” Obama said, calling it “potentially transformative.” Not only that, Obama said, but universal voting would “counteract money more than anything.”

Oh, and shocker of shockers, he’s full of, umm, bile.

Disproportionately, Americans who skip the polls on Election Day are younger, lower-income and more likely to be immigrants or minorities, Obama said. “There’s a reason why some folks try to keep them away from the polls,” he said in a veiled reference to voter identification laws in a number of states.

First of all, voter id laws, contrary to the scare-mongering of the deranged left, are not about disenfranchising legally eligible voters. Democrats know this, but they have to keep lying because lying is all they have left. Secondly, couldn’t it be reasonably inferred that efforts to make voting “mandatory” are politically motivated attempts to influence election outcomes? Nah, only Republicans and conservatives engage in that sort of thing.

– Speaking of The One, he’s now going to punish the people of Israel for defying him. Which I guess is consistent for a man with a Messiah complex.

While saying it was “premature” to discuss Washington’s policy response, the [Obama administration] official wouldn’t rule out a modified American posture at the United Nations, where the U.S. has long fended off resolutions critical of Israeli settlement activity and demanding its withdrawal from Palestinian territories. “We are signaling that if the Israeli government’s position is no longer to pursue a Palestinian state, we’re going to have to broaden the spectrum of options we pursue going forward,” the official said.

Well, when you’ve defied the will of a petulant, egotistical brat, I suppose you’ve asked for it.

Joy Pullmann looks at the fertility industry’s lack of oversight. I love this paragraph:

Lastly: How freakin’ many “third-rail” issues are there? Last I heard, that phrase applied to Social Security. Now it apparently applies to abortion, contraception, producing humans like so many cars, the national budget, military bloat, entitlements, ending marriage, you name it. Isn’t that practically everything our government is involved in nowadays? How can anyone govern if they can’t discuss what they’re doing!

– Now this is some really important analysis: does diving to first actually get you there faster? Answer: kind of.

They key to maintaining the advantage is technique. According to Rivas, “The average velocity reached by the runner in the last long step is 9.5 m/s. The average velocity of first .6 meter of sliding is 6.2 m/s, and the average velocity of full body sliding was 5.2 m/s.” Since the diver had a .81m headstart at the end of his dive (25.6 inches), it should take much more than a meter (three feet) of sliding for the runner to overtake the diver.

In other words, if the runner/diver has absolutely perfect technique, he has a fraction of a second advantage over the guy who runs through the bag. Considering that this analysis doesn’t weigh the injury risks of diving over running, my suggestion would be that the traditional view – that a runner ought to keep running – should prevail.

More to explorer


  1. How many days until January 20, 2017? Let’s see…..20 days in 2017, 366 days in 2016 and there are 287 days left this year……so 673 days.

    Barack Hussein Obama and Jorge Maria Bergoglio………punishment for our many sins.
    How often do these men open their mouths and say something irritating?

  2. I think Paul’s take is the right one. The Establishment wing of the GOP uses media straddlers like Jonah Goldberg and Erick Erickson (and Ace, too, I suppose), i.e. people who are (semi-) professional conservatives, so they have a foot in each camp to encourage conservatives to eat their own. And once the indigestion sets in, those same people sympathize with us about the lack of “qualified” conservative candidates, and how important it is to vote for the slightly to the left of the not quite to the right of the center candidate candidate because that candidate is more conservative of the left of center candidate.
    Which, while indisputabley true, is also irrelevant, since there’s no way such a exquisitely positioned candidate, even if he could inspire people to actually show up and vote for him, is going to be able to change the direction of the country in the unlikely event he’d actually win.
    I think I’ll start working on my plans to be busy come November 8 next year.

  3. What gets you is that the administration is populated with ‘officials’ who fancy (or pretend to fancy) that it matters one way or another what Mr. Netanyahu ‘pursues’ a ‘Palestinian state’. They talk to journalists who apply no critical intelligence to the question and utter inanities like ‘building more settlements’, when 80% of the settler population lives in settlements founded prior to 1987 and another 15% lives in a settlement founded in 1995 and smack on the Green Line. They cannot distinguish putting up another Quonset hut on an already existing settlement and founding a new settlement.

  4. The Establishment wing of the GOP uses media straddlers like Jonah Goldberg and Erick Erickson

    Actually, I think a political consultant is using her friends in the media to trash her old boss.

  5. (mandatory voting)…..would “counteract money more than anything.”
    Not true. votes can still be bought directly with cash and indirectly with bait; criminal skills in sabotaging machines could still be bought…etc, etc, etc…

  6. “More fallout from the incredible controversy of Walker firing a staffer. Or that staffer resigning. Or whatever. William Jacobson has a sensible take. Of course what this whole thing shows me is that the right is going to sabotage another election, disqualifying good candidates for minor infractions, and thus enabling someone like Jeb Bush to walk off with the nomination.”

    This also demonstrates how out of touch many of the conservative talking heads in the media are. Why should I be enraged that Walker bounced from his campaign a supporter of gay marriage, and why should I care about the makeup of Walker’s media staff in any case? Someone needs to tell the professional conservatives enraged by this, that no one cares about the phony baloney jobs of them and their friends, except them.

  7. Interesting; I’d only heard worries that Walker might be too prone to bowing to media pressure, in a things-to-watch-out-for sort of way, not anyone trying to act like it disqualifies him. Of course, I’d also only heard about it from Goldberg, who tends to avoid the “zomga unclean, unclean, unclean!” hissies and is likely just avoiding idealizing the guy. I already know that Jeb, as I keep thumbnailing it, has all of his brother’s flaws but not his strengths.
    Contrast Walker with, say, Rick Perry– where I know that he is not to be trusted from his “it’s because I’m pro-life” justification for forced vaccination for an STD.
    Hadn’t heard anything about her being poison on the social issues.
    I wonder if Obama has been given a clue that if there are mandatory voting laws, it will be a lot harder for the most loyal democrat voting block to vote? The dead tend to vote only on big elections– or maybe he’s figuring that it will force out the free-lancers who do a relatively small number in each area for their pet causes, giving more power to the machine, and that’ll be worth the extra cost of all the fraudulent ballots? ( example: )
    Diving for first may not get you there faster, but it may affect the guy who’s standing on first enough to gain an advantage– which would account for the popularity of it.

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