1. Cruel reality. You know, I’m starting to feel less and less sorry for Merrick Garland. The man who should have been confirmed as a member of the Supreme Court has revealed himself as an ultra-political and partisan Attorney General. His latest is to darkly hint of scrutinizing “post-election audits to ensure they abide by federal statutory requirements to protect election records and avoid the intimidation of voters.” He wrote in part,
“As part of its mission to protect the right to vote, the Justice Department will, of course, do everything in its power to prevent election fraud and, if found, to vigorously prosecute it. But many of the justifications proffered in support of these post-election audits and restrictions on voting have relied on assertions of material vote fraud in the 2020 election that have been refuted by law enforcement and intelligence agencies of both this Administration and the previous one, as well as by every court — federal and state — that has considered them.”
That’s simply a lie. The claims have not been “refuted,” nor has the Federal government shown sufficient curiosity about “election fraud” to investige any of the many suspicious events related to mail-in ballots counted in Democratic strongholds in closely contested states.
Republicans take this as a veiled threat to interfere with the limited audits taking place in Arizona and Georgia. Arizona state Senator Wendy Rogers (R) minced no words in her response to the almost-SCOTUS justice, saying in part,
“You will not touch Arizona ballots or machines unless you want to spend time in an Arizona prison….The free state of Arizona will not tolerate this federal meddling. If Attorney General Merrick Garland thinks he has a right to our ballots and machines he should go to court. If he uses force when multiple courts have already authorized this audit he will be in violation of the law.”
Translation: “Bite me.”
2. Cruel history! One of Clarence Darrow’s best quotes was “History repeats itself, and that’s one of the things that’s wrong with history.” How right he was! Commenter Curmie, who scored an excellent Comment the Day today, also alerted me to a story from 2011. Like the race-charged valedictorian mess I just covered here and here, it involved multiple botches and school administrative incompetence. Luckily for all concerned, it also occurred in 2011 and not ten years later. Read all about it at Curmie’s blog.
3. Dear Asheville: Teasing is cruel. In North Carolina last June, the Asheville City Council unanimously approved a resolution to address slavery and racial discrimination by distributing reparations to black residents. Or let’s say “reparations.” The plan did not “mandate direct payments,” but instead directed the city to invest money in areas of the city where black residents “face disparities,” whatever that means. Now, a year later, the city finally approved a grand total of $2.1 million for “reparations,” allowing news media to report “a multi-million dollar reparations” plan. $2.1 million is just barely over the “multi-million” line. There also isn’t really a plan. “There was a question about, well, how will this be spent? What are the projects?” City Manager Debra Campbell said. “We don’t know yet. What we do know is that we have asked the commission once it is formed, to provide us with short, medium and long-term initiatives.”
Oh. Here’s a surprise: advocates of reparations for slavery don’t think $2.1 million is enough. But $2.1 million is definitely too much for empty virtue signaling, which is what this is, and all it is.
4. How stupid is the cruel world? An article from last September posits that the average IQ worldwide is only 82. Not surprising, there is a correlation between how smart a nation’s population is and how likely the people there are to cheat. Here’s a chart:
The highest national IQ score, according to these studies, belongs to Japan at 107 (100 is supposedly “normal”), followed by five more Asian nations (if you count Hong Kong as a nation.) The US is tied with Belgium, Norway, Sweden and France at 97. Here’s that whole chart: