What does the current occupant of the White House have in common with John Quincy Adams, Rutherford B. Hayes, Benjamin Harrison and George W. Bush? They all were elected president after having lost the popular vote. In the 2000 election, Al Gore received over a half-million more votes than Bush. In 2016, nearly three-million more votes were cast for Hillary Clinton than the winner. As we all know, the only votes that count are those cast by the Electoral College.
Fun fact: According to the Brookings Institute, the fewer-than-five-hundred counties that Clinton won nationwide combined to generate sixty-four percent of America’s economic activity in 2015. The more-than-twenty-six-hundred counties that Trump won combined to generate thirty-six percent of the country’s economic activity last year.
Gore lost the Electoral College vote when the Supreme Court stopped vote counting in Florida, giving the state’s decisive electoral votes to George W. Bush.
The state of Texas is doing something about all those women cluttering up history books. After years of fighting the battle against left-wing bias in classrooms, the State Board of Education, acting on the recommendation of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills committee, voted to eliminate some non-essential historical figures from its curriculum. The committee said the state required Texas schoolchildren to learn about too many historical persons.
Purged from Texas textbooks is the first deaf-and-blind person – of any sex – to earn a Bachelor-of-Arts degree (Helen Keller) and the first woman to run for president as the nominee of a major political party (you know who).
So who cares what Texas does?
The Texas Board approves textbooks for use in all the state’s schools. The Texas market is large enough for textbook publishers to accede to their requirements. Local districts in other states do not have the Lone Star State’s leverage of volume purchases. Thus what publishers make available to your school district has already been decided by Texas.
President Donald Trump sent out a Twitter message celebrating the milestone: “Congratulations America, we are now into the second year of the greatest Witch Hunt in American History…”
Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani told Fox News (sic) viewers, “It’s about time to get the darn thing over with. It’s about time to say, ‘Enough. We’ve tortured this president enough.’”
Vice-President Mike Pence said, “And in the interest of the country, I think it’s time to wrap it up. I would very respectfully encourage the special counsel and his team to bring their work to completion.”
Eyewitness testimony has been the bedrock of our justice system. Studies have repeatedly shown, though, how unreliable our recollections can be. False memories can be slipped into our memory by third parties. Or we see what we expected to see and our mind fills in missing detail and that becomes our memory. We tend to re-tell a story according to the listener. Defense attorneys know this. With retelling, we become more certain that an erroneous recollection is true.
Researchers at Stanford University had volunteers review suicide notes and decide which were real and which were made up. They were informed of their scores; some were told they were correct in almost every instance, others that they were wrong on most of their choices. Except all the scores were fictitious and had no relation to the subjects’ actual performance. Even after being informed their scores were bogus, subjects originally given high scores still persisted in believing they were exceptionally perceptive, much better than average in determining what was true.
Which brings us to Fox News and its loyal viewers…
Right-wingers have been frothing about the nefarious deal Hillary “Lock her up!” Clinton made, selling U.S. uranium to Russia in exchange for large contributions to the Clinton Foundation. Fox News has been relentless in promoting the story, feeding the outrage against Mrs. Clinton. But then Fox talking head Shepard Smith went on the air and, point by point, took apart the story. He dispassionately pointed out that Clinton was not Secretary of State when the sale occurred, that the State Department was only one of nine Federal agencies involved, that the company, Uranium One, was mostly Canadian owned, that none of the uranium in question would leave the United States. Et cetera.