A constitutional question. Why do people who think Donald Trump won the 2020 election think he’s eligible to run again in 2024, when the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution says, “No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice.”? (Gary Trudeau wonders this too.)
An ID theft ‘prevention’ question. What is the point of (for pay post-website-breach) so-called ID-theft-prevention services sending me notices that my email has been found on some (unspecified) hacker site and I should change my (unspecified) password? I have few emails and many passwords, all unique except the worthless ones. How am I supposed to figure out what to do? Why not send me the password if it’s compromised anyway so I could search my password manager and password spreadsheet and change it?
A basketball question. Why does the NBA penalize teams for taking good shots that miss when it doesn’t penalize bad shots? The NBA uses a shot clock to force teams to move quickly to score. Ordinarily a team has 24 seconds from getting possession to attempt a shot on pain of losing the ball. If they miss but hit the rim and rebound, the clock is reset to 14 seconds. That makes sense if the offense took the shot with fewer than 14 seconds remaining on the shot clock, and matches how the clock is reset if the other teams fouls or kicks the ball when there are fewer than 14 seconds left on the shot clock. But unlike fouls and kicks, where taking the ball out on the side never costs a team shot-clock seconds but only adds to them if the shot clock is running down, when a team shoots with more than 14 seconds on the clock, misses but hits the rim, then the short clock is shortened to 14 seconds. This just penalizes a team for quick offense. The absurdity of it is even clearer when you consider what happens to a team that attempts a shot when there are more than 14 seconds on the shot clock, but the shot is so bad that it doesn’t hit the rim — that wild shot has no effect on the shot clock at all! The incentives are all wrong: the NBA should reward good shots more than very bad ones rather than the other way around.
A religion in the public sphere question. How come more evangelicals don’t entertain the idea that COVID was a plague sent to punish us for electing Trump?. Goodness knows they’ve claimed all sorts of earlier natural disasters were chastisement for progressive policies.
A shopping question. You have to figure Gatorade is suspicious given the origin story with U. Florida…but this bad? Maybe it’s a good thing G2 is missing from stores? And is lemon-lime G2 cancelled? It does seem to have gone missing from the G2 website.
One more item like this and I’m going to declare a trend.
According to Axios, a bunch of Democrats are planning to play ethics offense against lawyers who signed complaints or phony electoral returns in the meritless attempt to overturn the last election. They’ve created the “65 project“, so named because the courts kicked all 65 lawsuits filed on Trump’s behalf unceremoniously to the curb.
The 65 Project is targeting 111 attorneys in 26 states who were involved to some degree in efforts to challenge or reverse 2020 election results. They include lawyers at large national law firms with many partners and clients and lawyers at smaller, regional firms.
It will air ads in battleground states, including Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
It also will push the ABA and every state bar association to codify rules barring certain election challenges and adopt model language stating that “fraudulent and malicious lawsuits to overturn legitimate election results violate the ethical duties lawyers must abide by.”
It plans to spend about $2.5 million in its first year and will operate through an existing nonprofit called Law Works.
[David] Brock [, founder of Media Matters for America] told Axios in an interview that the idea is to “not only bring the grievances in the bar complaints, but shame them and make them toxic in their communities and in their firms.”
When I saw the storming of the Capitol live on TV (we had turned on the TV on a whim to see the certification of the vote, not suspecting anything untoward) I had some trouble taking it sufficiently seriously: a man cosplaying as shaman? Really? Surreal, yes, but the end of an era? Rioters moving almost single file between the ropes in a visitors’ area a bit like a tour group? Surely not an invading army. It wasn’t until we saw the violence, the noose, and then read about the parts we had not seen that I started thinking ‘Beer Hall Putch”.
And then, slowly, the drip, drip of revelations–there was a lot more planning for a coup than it had seemed. And Vice President Mike Pence’s finest hour might not have been just refusing to play along with a coup, but his refusal to get into a car and let the Secret Service drive him away from the Capitol.
In general, I’m of the view that we have too many jails and prisons (and far too many private prisons!), and that this is an industry, or social practice if you prefer, where supply tends to create demand for reasons economic and social.
But I’ve learned that we are short of one jail we need. In today’s New York Times explainer on executive privilege (a non-constitutional doctrine invented by courts, but don’t get me started), author Charlie Savage has an aside in his explanation of the convoluted and uncertain way in which Congress enforces its finding of contempt by non-cooperating witnesses:
(In theory, lawmakers could also direct the House sergeant-at-arms to arrest recalcitrant witnesses and detain them until the end of its session, but that “inherent contempt” authority is viewed as obsolete; the Capitol has no prison cell and lawmakers have not tried to use this power since 1935.)
So here’s my very modest proposal: Congress should either build its own little jail, or it should contract with a nearby jurisdiction–or a private prison company–to guarantee to hold anyone arrested by the Sergeant at Arms. I doubt they would actually have to use it; rather, having this capacity on tap would provide a much greater in terrorem effect than the current system which requires first that the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia take up the case, and second that the court fights over it happen quickly–the latter being highly unlikely.
Surely a contingency contract with a per diem per prisoner if required would be a very minor budget item. Stick it in the reconciliation bill please.