I finally figured out why the Biden transition hasn’t started yet…and it’s not really either what the Ds or the Rs claim. The Ds claim it is because the President hasn’t conceded the election and is trying to steal it while the Rs claim that the vote was rigged and illegal votes were counted. Then there’s the whole brouhaha over whether the transition delay will “impact 10s of thousands of people with CoViD and result in many more deaths”, whether “National Security will be affected due to the delay in Intelligence briefings”, and “the President refuses to concede”…but I’ll get to those in a minute.
The actual fact is that Mr. Biden almost surely will be the winner but as of today (November 22) is not. Yes…most of the media pundits have “called” the election for him…but the last time I checked CNN, NYT, and politico.com aren’t the folks who actually get to make that decision…and based on their rather poor results in estimating (a) the turnout in favor of the President, the actual closeness of the election in an overall state by state Electoral College view; (b) the complete inaccuracy in predicting the “blue wave” where the Ds would take over the Senate and increase their majority in the House thus paving the way for the Green New Deal and a whole bunch of other tax and spend progressive demands; and (c) the overall political divide in the country…well, let’s just say I’m not sure that taking the media’s word for it is the proper thing to do.
The actual declarer of the “apparent winner” of the election is actually the head of the GSA…and there is precious little precedent or legal guidance on how the GSA head is to make this determination. Yes…she is a political appointee and likely doesn’t want to go against the boss…but from everything I’ve read after filtering out all the pro/con bias…she seems to be a pretty straight shooter and a lawyer who is trying to follow the limited guidance and precedent she has. She even talked to the guy who was in charge of the GSA in 2000 about when he gave his certification for the “apparent winner” which actually came in early December after the SCOTUS decision regarding the Florida recount.
So…all of those brouhaha claims above.
- Yes…the Covid will continue regardless of the transition and more people will get ill and some of them will die. However…the vaccine research and approval process will continue regardless and it will be approved when it is approve regardless of the transition. Since the President doesn’t have the legal authority to shut down the country completely or to order a mask requirement nationwide…public health is actually a state by state responsibility…it’s hard to see how having the transition start or not really affects the progression of the virus. Yes…Mr. Biden has appointed his new task force…but we’ve already got a task force and the guy pretty much running things is Dr. Fauci…who the Ds have held up for the past 6 months or so as the only Trump administration official who is actually doing his job and worrying about the pandemic. So…this one is just a bunch of posturing and spin.
- National Security won’t be affected. The new administration doesn’t take over until January 20…and delaying the Intelligence briefings until early December or so won’t really affect the ability of a Biden administration to execute National Security. The vast majority of the National Security apparatus is composed of career bureaucrats who will continue to function and do what they’re doing regardless. Besides…Mr. Gore didn’t get any briefings in 2000 until after the outcome of the SCOTUS case either…and while the 9/11 Commission said that the delay “may have contributed to the 9/11 attack”…they presented no actual evidence that it did or did not and could have just as easily said that Mr. Gore’s tie color may have affected it…and neither is particularly relevant.
- The President refuses to concede. Yes…he does…but again that is irrelevant. His term runs until Jan 20 and then ends regardless of a concession. The EC will meet and elect the new President in December regardless of the concession. Speaking of concession and poor losers…which the President most certainly is…Stacey Abrams has never conceded the GA governor election from 2 years ago either. So…another case of spin and posturing for the media.
My personal belief is that as soon as 270 EC votes have been certified by the states for Mr. Biden that the GSA will make the “apparent winner” determination and the transition will happen from there. As of today…11 states have certified their totals…4 for Mr. Biden and 7 for the President and the President is leading the EC count 63-35. No…I’m not saying that he will win or has won either…but most of the states that have certified are smaller states where the winner was pretty clear. Looking at the other 39 states…21 have Mr. Biden in the unofficial lead and 18 the President. You can look
here [Editors note: I normally hate the NYT and would never typically link to anything they write as they are a very biased outlet and lie/distort/misinform…but this is just a tabulation of actual verified results so hopefully they can at least report these numbers accurately and without bias. Besides…it was the only place I could find that has an actual EC tally to date.]. to get the updated count as we go on but another 21 or so certify by early December and another 7 by December 11…that will get us up to 40ish states by early December and my guess is the the 270 EC vote number will have been certified by then…and the GSA will name the apparent winner and things will move along.
So…take a deep breath and let the process play out…I know that is hard for progressives who are used to just stamping their feet an holding their breath until they get their way…but deal with it. America will survive the delay…and democracy will be preserved…although I keep wanting to remind progressives of a couple of actual facts.
- We do not live in a democracy. In a democracy everybody gets together and the citizens make the decision then the government executes the decision. The United States has never…ever…been a democracy. What it is…well, it’s a federated democratic republic…an organization of states with a Constitution that assigns particular rights to the states and the federal government, sets up the branches, and delegates powers granted to and denied to the branches. So get off of it already.
- We also don’t give a damn about the popular vote…never have. President’s are elected by the EC…which was a compromise that the founding fathers made in order to get a Constitution that could be ratified in the first place. Without the EC…there would not be a United States because the 10 colonies outside of MA, NY, and VA would have never ratified it since without the EC those 3 states would have elected every President they wanted based on population and the other 10 states would have no say. The EC ensured that all of the flyover states populated by chumps who cling to their guns and religion would be adequately represented in the Presidential election and that the President would need to win states sufficient to win the EC.
So…what else is new around Long Pond Road…easy answer…nuttin’.
Big Red is still in the shop getting fixed…2 of the under the hood wiring harnesses got snacked on by mice…we think it’s all done but our service rep left early Thursday and was off on Friday. He said we would get a call when it was done but nope…didn’t happen so we’re hanging around until Monday.
Neil picked up groceries from the Walmart pickup on Friday.
And that’s it.
Interesting things found on the net…both Covid and Turkey Day related…and some that are both…so ya get a mix today.
Things that might only interest me.
Where’s the biggest waterfall in the world? Most folk know that it’s Angel Falls or Kerepakupai Merú in the native Pemon language meaning “the fall from the highest point”…it is located in the middle of nowhere in Venezuela…it has an uninterrupted plunge of 807 meters (2,648 feet) and a total height of 979 meters (3,212 feet)…it essentially flows over the side of a cliff…well the edge actually…of Auyán-tepui mountain in their Canaima National Park. Here’s what it look like…image from wikipedia.
Except…it’s actually not the tallest waterfall in the world…the American Heritage Dictionary says that a waterfall is “A steep fall or flow of water from a height; a cascade; a cataract”.
So…what is the actual largest waterfall in the world? It’s name is the Denmark Strait Cataract…at over 3,905 meters it is 3 times as tall as Angel Falls and it carries 2,000 times more water per second than the flow over Niagara Falls of about 85,000 cubic meters per second…or about 17,000,000 cubic meters per second.
So…how come you’ve never heard of this waterfall? Simple…it is underwater. The Denmark Strait is the are between the east coast of Greenland and the west coast of Iceland and it is about 300 miles long and 180 miles wide and you’ve probably heard of it from the tales of the sinking of the HMS Hood by the German battleship Bismarck during WWII…that battle took place at the southwest/south end of the strait.
As you can see in the picture below…the Atlantic Ocean is to the left and the Arctic Ocean to the right with a steep peak at the southern portion of the strait only about 2,000 feet deep which is pretty shallow as oceans go. As you know…in the Atlantic there is a current named the Gulf Stream with a northern extension known as the North Atlantic Drift that flows with warm tropical water from the Gulf of Mexico, around Florida, up the east coast of North America then at surface level both northward through the Denmark Strait but also through what sailors call the GIUK gap for Greenland, Iceland, United Kingdom gap…with most of the flow going north east of Iceland…and no, the GIUK Gap has no other name as it’s too wide at about 500 miles to be a strait.
So all of the water in the Gulf Stream…I couldn’t find the flow rate on google but it’s about 90 miles wide on average and flows at 5 knots or 5.625 nautical miles per hour or about 6 miles per hour. Figure it’s on average 2 miles deep to make the math easy and that’s 90 times 2 times 6 cubic miles per hour or 1080 cubic miles. Converting to cubic feet per second…that’s 0.3 cubic miles per second or somewhere in the neighborhood of 125 million cubic feet per second. The only problem with that inflow into the Arctic Ocean is that there’s nowhere for the water to go as the Arctic Ocean is essentially landlocked. Yes…some could sneak around the top of Canuckistan and southward through the Bering Strait…but that is a narrow and shallow strait so not much could get by there. Some could head north around the top of Russia but again the only southward possibility there is the Bering Strait. Some could go through the Davis Strait on the west side of Greenland and some could conceivably go around UK into the North Sea and thence through the English Channel to the Atlantic…but again both of those paths are pretty narrow and not all that deep. That leaves just one outlet for the water that the Gulf Stream is jamming into the Arctic Ocean…and that is southward at the bottom of both the GIUK Gap and the Denmark Strait…and that’s exactly what happens.
And you know…as Paul Harvey used to say…the rest of the story.
Another thing that might only interest me…pareidolia…an interesting concept of the human mind that lets us see images in random stuff…for instance the Man In The Moon illusion, the Old Man of the Mountain formation that used to be up in the White Mountains of New Hampshire at Franconia Notch, among many others. So…look at the picture below quickly and let me know what you see.
So…what did you see?
Like most of us…the first thing you saw was some sort of clown/Mardi Gras mask face with eyes, nose, ears, and an open mouth.
Then…maybe…you noticed that it is really just a strange view of a shark underwater…or maybe not.
Our friend Bill sent us this one…
Although…actually nurses probably don’t know how to set it up either. They know how to hook it up to the patient and adjust the controls…but setup and connection was almost surely done by the IT staff at the hospital…who were in turn assisted by the tech reps from the various companies that make the equipment. Nurses are good, Doctors are cool…but Medical Laboratory Scientists…i.e., the lab techs…are the true rulers in the field. MLSs are usually at least as good at analyzing test results and figuring out what the patient probably has as the doctor is since the MLSs live and breathe the lab tests every day.
Thanks Captain Obvious.