The Deep Rig

Was the 2020 presidential election stolen? That question continues to reverberate through our public life. Today I downloaded a new book by Patrick Byrne called The Deep Rig. It purports to tell the true story of how the Democrats stole the election, and why the Trump administration and the GOP bungled their opportunity to do something about it.

I am half-way through the book, and am not prepared to express an opinion on it. I will say this: Byrne is not a nobody. And he describes events in detail, like his account of a meeting with President Trump in the Oval Office. In his telling, the heroes are quants and hackers like him, along with General Michael Flynn, Sydney Powell, and one or two others. Villains (if only on account of their haplessness) include Rudy Giuliani, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, and most of those who tried and failed to do something about the election.

Byrne’s account is riveting and contains links to videos, spread sheets, etc. Is he correct in alleging that Democrats in a handful of key swing state counties used electronic mischief to swing the election to Joe Biden? I don’t know. I hope that over the next year or two the truth will emerge. Meanwhile, Byrne’s book is a good place to start. I would suggest that you buy it fast, before it is banned.

Google under attack for insufficient recruiting at HBCUs

Google is under fire for the way it recruits engineers from colleges. According to the Washington Post:

For years, Google’s recruiting department used a college ranking system to set budgets and priorities for hiring new engineers. Some schools such as Stanford University and MIT were predictably in the “elite” category, while state schools or institutions that churn out thousands of engineering grads annually, such as Georgia Tech, were assigned to “tier 1” or “tier 2.”

But one category of higher education was missing from Google’s ranking system, according to several current and former Google employees involved in recruitment, despite the company’s pledges to promote racial diversity — historically Black colleges and universities, also known as HBCUs. That framework meant that those schools were at a lower priority for hiring, even though Google had said in 2014 that it wanted to partner with HBCUs as a way to recruit more minority talent.

In lieu of a tier, Google’s University Programs recruiting division, responsible for forging partnerships with universities, labeled these colleges “long tail” schools, in reference to the fact that it could take a long time before they would produce a large number of graduates qualified to work at Google, according to the Google employees.

If Google is in hot water, that’s fine with me. However, it did nothing wrong by prioritizing its recruiting based on the academic quality of colleges. Google’s policy would be problematic only if HBCUs were producing prospective engineers who, as a group, are comparable in quality to those produced by schools like Georgia Tech and the “state” schools in tiers 1 and 2.

The Post provides no reason to believe that the HBCUs have been doing so. Indeed, the Post’s article provides evidence they have not been.

According to the Post, Google has tried for years ago to recruit HBCU students capable of working for the tech giant. It found, however, that “HBCU computer science students struggle with the most basic of coding, algorithms and data structures.” In response, again according to the Post, Google partnered with Howard University, to address the problem at that one school, at least, but with mixed success at best.

The struggle to generate good engineering candidates at HBCUS isn’t surprising, given the race-based admissions policies of non-HBCUs. We know that elite schools are admitting Black applicants with good but not great credentials. With the pool of these applicants diminished, schools at the next level are forced, if they want to meet their racial quotas, to accept mediocre Black applicants. Schools one level down from that must accept borderline Black applicants to achieve “diversity” at the desired level.

Where does this leave HBCUs? A few very well-credentialed Black applicants might choose to attend HBCUs due to family history or feelings of racial solidarity. But by and large, HBCUs are left to select from a pool of applicants with credentials insufficient to warrant admission to good non-HBCUs even with the benefit of racial preferences. Absent racial preferences, the pool of Black applicants from which HBCUs could select would be more impressive.

To make matters worse, the Black applicants who are admitted to high quality schools despite having less than top credentials tend to drop out of challenging programs like engineering because they are “mismatched” with their colleges. They opt instead for less rigorous programs in the humanities. Blacks do this at twice the rate Whites do.

Thus, race preferences in admissions tend both to shrink the pool of quality Black engineering prospects and to render HBCUs less of a good source for engineering prospects than they should be. Google wasn’t wrong to believe it would take a long time before HBCUs would produce a large number of graduates qualified to work at Google. The race-based preferences of non-HBCUs virtually guarantee this outcome.

The Post laments that Google’s approach to recruiting was “replicated across the industry as competitors copied [it].” Did they adopt the policy because Google employed it or because it made sense? Probably the latter. If Google’s competitors thought Google had shortchanged a source of quality recruits, it’s likely that at least one of them would have exploited that source to gain a competitive advantage.

Blacks with the potential to work as engineers in companies like Google are being shortchanged — but not by Google. They are shortchanged, as a group, by their family structure, by the poor quality of the public schools they attend, by a culture that discourages studying because it is “white” and, these days, even disparages mathematics for the same dopey reason.

And, as we have seen, they are shortchanged by race-based preferences that are counter-productive, if the goal of the preferences is to help Blacks succeed and flourish in rigorous fields of endeavor.

Chauvin trial day 1

I anticipated that Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill would take up the prosecution’s motion to reinstate the third-degree murder charge against Derek Chauvin first thing this morning at 8:00 and then commence jury selection at 9:00. Instead the state moved to stay proceedings until the state’s effort to reinstate the third-degree murder charge results in a final judgment in the Court of Appeals or the Minnesota Supreme Court. The attorney for Chauvin announced that he would promptly seek review of the Court of Appeals decision requiring Judge Cahill to consider reinstatement of the third-degree murder charge under the Court of Appeals opinion in the Noor case in the Minnesota Supreme Court.

This threw a wrench into the commencement of jury selection today. It appeared that Judge Cahill unsuccessfully sought guidance from the Court of Appeals with the input of the parties out of sight of the media this afternoon. Absent such guidance, Judge Cahill heard motions in limine over the course of an hour early this afternoon. The hearing concluded with his statement that “unless the Court of Appeals instructs me otherwise, we’re going to keep moving.” I believe it is the right thing to do.

The prosecution is led by Assistant Minnesota Attorney General Matthew Frank. Chauvin is represented by defense attorney Eric Nelson. Meeting over the lunch hour, they agreed that 16 of the first 50 prospective jurors summoned to serve should be excused for cause based on their answers to the 14-page jury questionnaire I linked to yesterday in my pretrial notes. This suggests to me something of the difficulty of protecting Chauvin’s right to a fair trial in the lynch mob atmosphere that pervades the case.

Before his appointment to the bench by Governor Pawlenty, Judge Cahill worked both as a public defender in private practice as an attorney specializing in criminal defense. He also worked on the other side of the fence in the Office of the Hennepin County Attorney, where he rose to the level of Chief Deputy Hennepin County Attorney. Asking around town last week among those who know him, I was told he is “uniquely qualified” to handle the case.

Even so, the case raises fair trial challenges that I believe to be beyond the capacity of the judicial system. Perhaps a change of venue to Thief River Falls in northwestern Minnesota might mitigate the problem. Short of that, however, I don’t see it. The process of voir dire should in any event shed some light on this issue.

Can defunding the police be squared with fear of insurrection?

Like most cities, Washington, D.C. is plagued by an increase in homicides and other violent crimes. Nonetheless, the city council seems determined to keep cutting D.C.’s police force.

Last year, the size of that force fell to around 3,500, well below the number once considered the minimum needed to enforce the law in the city. This year, some on the city council seek further cuts as they “reimagine” policing.

But the storming of the Capitol on January 6 may cause a rethink about the reimagining. That, at least, is the hope of D.C. officials still interested in fighting crime.

The city’s new acting police chief claims that the alleged growing and persistent threat of domestic terrorism warrants a strengthening of the police force. He says that a force of 4,000 officers is required “in light of the things we need to contend with now.”

Actually, that’s the number of officers needed to deal with the things the D.C. police has always had to contend with. D.C’s mayor sought a force of 4,000 back in 2019, before the loose talk about an insurrection commenced.

Domestic terrorism is not something the D.C. police force will have to contend with going forward. But by invoking the specter of it, the police chief hopes to force anti-police politicians to acknowledge that the city might need more police.

The trap proved easy for at least one police defunder to avoid. Council member Charles Allen said that the January 6 event shouldn’t influence the size of the police force because it’s not likely to be replicated. Allen gets high marks for honestly to go with low marks for concern about public safety.

Radical activist Christy Lopez, who led the DOJ’s investigation of the Ferguson, Missouri police force, took a shrewder approach to dealing with arguments based on January 6. She claimed that the policing failures of that day weren’t caused by lack of available officers or restrictions on what they could do. Instead, they were caused by lack of leadership, training, and — wait for it — “unconscious bias” that resulted in a failure to anticipate and prepare for “White terrorists.”

Clever as she is, Lopez still didn’t explain how a shrinking police force will be able to cope with a rise in violent crime and future “White terrorism.”

The reality is that a shrinking police force won’t be able to cope with traditional crime. The other reality is that D.C.’s left-wing politicians and activists don’t care.

NeverTrumpers back radical DOJ nominee

There are two types of NeverTrumpers. The first type hates Trump, but that hatred doesn’t cause them to abandon long-held conservative principles. The second type’s hatred of Trump leads them to shift positions on matters of policy.

Bret Stephens is an example of the first type, I think. Max Boot and Jennifer Rubin are extreme examples of the second.

I had assumed that Bill Krisol and Mona Charen, both long-time stalwarts of the conservative movement, were in the first category. But after reading this article in the Washington Post, I’m not so sure.

According to the Post, an organization whose founders and directors include Kristol and Charen is “spearheading” a campaign to confirm Vanita Gupta as associate attorney general. Gupta’s policy positions are radically leftist. It’s difficult to imagine that Kristol and Charen would be part of the charge to get Gupta confirmed if their positions on important policy matters hadn’t changed dramatically as a result of Trump’s ascent.

Before turning to specifics, let’s look at the stated rationale of this campaign to confirm Gupta. It’s fraudulent.

According to the Post, the ad states:

Gupta has a record of building bridges across partisan divides. So let’s stop playing politics. Confirm Vanita Gupta and let’s build an America we can all believe in.

“Gupta has a record of building bridges across partisan divides”? Nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, Gupta is a hyper-partisan operative. She has relentlessly attacked Republican nominees with whom she disagrees on policy.

Take Brett Kavanaugh. Upon hearing that President Trump intended to nominate him for the Supreme Court, Gupta declared Kavanaugh, a judge on the prestigious D.C. Circuit, “unfit to serve on the Supreme Court.” She stated:

Brett Kavanaugh is a direct threat to our civil and human rights and is unfit to serve on our nation’s highest court. Like President Trump, he would protect the rights of the wealthy and powerful over the rights of all – a fact verified by his prominence on Trump’s vaunted short list of potential nominees.

Earning a spot on this list of anti-civil and human rights all-stars required satisfying the ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation and Federalist Society and passing Trump’s ideological litmus tests. Trump promised that, if confirmed, his nominee would overturn Roe v. Wade, and undermine the Affordable Care Act, which would have a devastating impact on those with pre-existing conditions, people of color, women, people with disabilities, and millions of others for decades to come. Access to health care is a civil and human rights issue of profound importance.

Kavanaugh believes that the president is above the law, and he would not be a check on Trump’s abuse of power.

And so on.

Are these the words of a bridge builder?

Kavanaugh has, in fact, been willing to reject some of Trump’s positions. And Kavanaugh is less conservative than Justice Scalia. It always seemed to me that Kristol and Charen considered Scalia fit to serve on the Supreme Court.

If anything, Gupta was more hysterical when Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett to the Court. Here is how she greeted that nomination. Here is her intemperate statement following Barrett’s confirmation.

Gupta also slandered Eric Dreiband, Trump’s choice to head the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division. Eric had previously served as General Counsel of the EEOC, where he gained the respect of liberal attorneys. Three such liberals of my acquaintance spoke highly of Eric when I asked about him before he came to work at the firm I was with. Rick Seymour, a pioneer Title VII plaintiffs’ lawyer, wrote a glowing letter in support of Eric’s DOJ nomination.

But Gupta raged against Eric’s nomination. Notwithstanding his excellent work enforcing civil rights laws at the EEOC, she called him “woefully unqualified to lead the Civil Rights Division.” In the same letter, she denounced him for “defending corporations accused of employment discrimination.”

Apparently, Gupta’s bridge building doesn’t extend to lawyers who defend clients she disapproves of, or presumably to those clients.

Gupta also falsely characterized the breadth of Eric’s experience with anti-discrimination laws. And she neglected to note that she did not have experience with the full range of these laws when she took over the Civil Rights Division during the Obama administration — the very charge she leveled at Trump’s nominee.

This is not a bridge builder. This a character assassin.

I wonder whether Gupta supported any standalone Trump nominee. I’m not aware of one. Leftists like Chai Feldblum and others who were on bipartisan slates don’t count.

Now let’s turn to Gupta’s substantive views. They can be found on the webpage of her organization, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, which she runs. They are also clear from public statements and from her record when she was in charge of the Civil Rights Division.

Sen. Tom Cotton has reviewed Gupta’s record. He points out that she favors decriminalizing all narcotics, including fentanyl. He also found statements in which Gupta called for decreasing funding of the police and shrinking its responsibilities. Last summer, she declared:

While front-end systems changes are important, it is also critical for state and local leaders to heed calls from Black Lives Matter and Movement for Black Lives activists to decrease police budgets and the scope, role, and responsibility of police in our lives.

When I knew Bill Kristol, he didn’t favor decriminalizing all narcotics and decreasing police funding.

It was with Kristol’s kind encouragement that I wrote an article for the Weekly Standard opposing lenient sentencing legislation (with the Weekly Standard out of business, the article is accessible at the Washington Examiner). Gupta wants more leniency for felons than that provided by the legislation I denounced in my article. In fact, even with the leniency Congress granted, Gupta still considers our criminal justice system “a stain on our democracy.” Check out her beyond-wokey criminal law “vision” here.

Do Kristol and Charen believe that opposing the nomination of someone who takes the extreme positions Gupta does constitutes “playing politics”? Based on the pro-Gupta ad they are backing, it appears they do.

Gupta supports race-based preferences for Black college applicants, at the expense of White and Asian-American applicants. That’s clear from her praise of the decision against the Asian-American plaintiffs in the Harvard case.

Are Kristol and Charen on board now with these kinds of egregious racial preferences?

Gupta is a leader in the crusade to allow biological men into women’s rest rooms, locker rooms, and showers. She filed the Obama Justice Department’s lawsuit against North Carolina for resisting this crusade.

There’s plenty more to Gupta’s radicalism. I may have occasion to discuss some of it as the Senate takes up her nomination this week.

In the meantime, I suggest that the support for Gupta of the organization Kristol and Charen head shows either ignorance of what the nominee stands for or an abandonment by both of important views they held before Trump obtained power.

It’s possible to favor the confirmation of a presidential nominee with whom one disagrees on important policy matters — the theory being that a president should be served by officials of his choosing.

But it’s odd, and probably unprecedented, to launch an ad campaign for such a nominee. And it’s disingenuous to claim that this particular nominee is a bridge builder and that conservative opposition to her confirmation is just “playing politics.”

Unfortunately, this seems to be where their anti-Trump sentiments have led Bill Kristol and Mona Charen.

Speech police continues to intrude on sports [UPDATED]

Two recent examples are worth noting. First, Creighton University’s excellent basketball coach, Greg McDermott, is suspended from coaching his highly-ranked team as it bids for glory this month. McDermott’s suspension stems from a comment he made to his team after a very disappointing loss. Calling for unity, McDermott said:

Guys, we got to stick together. We need both feet in. I need everybody to stay on the plantation. I can’t have anybody leave the plantation.

Perhaps McDermott meant to say “reservation,” not “plantation.” That would have been more in accord with common usage. But it too would have been politically incorrect.

McDermott recognized the inappropriateness (mild in my view) of saying “plantation.” He says he offered to resign, but his players didn’t want him to. He therefore coached the team’s next game, before being suspended by the school.

The Creighton players work with McDermott on a daily basis. They know whether he’s a racist. Evidently, they don’t think he is.

The team’s star, Marcus Zegarowski, who is mixed-race I believe, has spoken up on behalf of his coach. The player stated:

I know he made a really sensitive mistake, a really bad mistake with what he said but only I know everything that he’s done for me as a player, but more important as a human being. And he loves me, he loves everybody in that locker room and he’s shown that every single day I’ve been on this campus since June of 2018.

That’s my coach and I love that dude. But people make mistakes. That’s my guy.

This should be the end of the matter. Come on Creighton. Let the man coach his team.

The second case involves tweets by American soccer star Paul Arriola from 2012, when he was a teenager. Arriola, now 26, plays for Swansea City, on loan from DC United. He also appears regularly for the U.S. national team.

Cardiff City is the arch rival of Swansea City. Both Welsh teams play in England’s second tier and both are battling for promotion to the Premier League this season.

Apparently, a Cardiff City fan decided to dig into Arriola’s Twitter history. He found four offensive tweets from 2012. According to the Washington Post:

In one, replying to a friend, Arriola used the n-word and referred to someone who he said was “darker than an indian.” In another, he repeated a lyric from a song by Rick Ross and Drake that includes the n-word.

One included hashtags apparently directed toward a high school friend and said, “I didn’t know black people liked swimming?” And in another, Arriola wrote, “Women commentators, that’s a no no.”

Arriola has apologized profusely for these tweets. Fortunately, it seems he won’t be “cancelled.” Swansea City says it supports him and his decision to apologize. The U.S. Soccer Federation says “it’s important Paul recognized and acknowledged that those expressions, though made long ago, are not acceptable.”

DC United apparently plans to let Arriola off with nothing more than “bias training,” which it will give to all members of its organization. It’s unfortunate that Arriola and others will have to endure this, but United operates in D.C., so the team must have felt it had to do something.

It really didn’t. After all, it’s not like Arriola is up for a job enforcing America’s civil rights laws.

All the Arriola incident really demonstrates is how vicious British soccer fans can be. Soccer hooligans have been priced and policed pretty much out of committing thuggery in Britain, but they can still scour the internet in the hope of harming opposition players.

My favorite story of over-the-top fans trying to get hated opponents into trouble involves Everton, I’m sorry to say. Tommy Smith was a star defender for Liverpool in the 1960s and 70s. Late in his career, he played for Swansea City.

Smith’s style of play was, shall we say, uncompromising. Everton fans despised him.

By the end of his career, Smith had serious knee problems and eventually applied for and received disability payments from the government. The story goes that when he came back for an old-timers’ event, Everton fans spotted him kicking the ball around.

One (or maybe more) reported him to the government in the hope of ending Smith’s payments. The attempt was unsuccessful, according to the version I’ve heard.

Trying to terminate Smith’s disability benefits seems pretty low. But at least there was an allegation, perhaps credible, of defrauding the government. In Arriola’s case, the offense was a less serious one — insensitive tweeting as a teenager.

UPDATE: The suspension of coach McDermott has been lifted. He will coach Creighton in the Big East and NCAA tournaments.

Swalwell Sues [with comment by Paul]

The Democrats intend to ride the mini-riot at the Capitol on January 6 for all it is worth. One aspect of their strategy is lawsuits by people like Eric Swalwell. Swalwell has sued President Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., Rudy Giuliani and Congressman Mo Brooks for, among other things, intentional infliction of emotional distress. Is there any chance the rest of us can sue Swalwell for the emotional distress he has caused us? I suppose not.

Swalwell’s complaint goes on and on, for 65 pages. It recites all of the Democratic Party’s talking points about the election and its aftermath. It isn’t worth critiquing in detail, but here are a few observations.

Swalwell’s complaint is weirdly pseudo-religious, referring repeatedly to “sacraments” and the “sacredness” of the U.S. Capitol. I am not sure that is what the Founders had in mind. It begins:

The peaceful transfer of power is a sacrament of American democracy. Donald Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr., his advisor Rudy Giuliani, and Congressman Mo Brooks, together with many others, defiled that sacrament through a campaign of lies and incendiary rhetoric which led to the sacking of the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021.

This is Swalwell’s real grievance:

Donald Trump lost the 2020 presidential election; he was unwilling to accept defeat.

Just like Hillary Clinton, the FBI, the CIA, the Washington Post and the New York Times in 2016.

After his electoral defeat, Trump and the other Defendants conspired to undermine the election results by alleging, without evidence, that the election had been rigged….

There is a great deal of evidence, Swalwell just prefers not to mention it. As I have said before, we probably will never know whether the Democrats stole the 2020 election, but we know for sure that they tried hard to steal it.

By his own account, Swalwell cowered in fear before the “insurrection” led by the guy with a fur hat and horns:

The Plaintiff prepared himself for possible hand-to-hand combat as he took off his jacket and tie and searched for makeshift instruments of self-defense. He listened in shock as the House Chaplain—a veteran of war herself—began praying for the members from the Rostrum.

I suppose it is too politically incorrect, even for me, to suggest that “hand-to-hand combat” between the detestable Eric Swalwell and the guy with the horns and the nipple tattoos would be worth the price of admission. Swalwell continues:

As the Plaintiff watched this horror unfold, he texted with his wife in what he felt could be his last moments, telling her “I love you very much. And our babies.”

No word on whether he texted the Chinese spy Fang Fang.

The complaint goes on and on. In my opinion, President Trump did some dumb things following the election along with others that were not at all dumb. He did not, however, incite a riot on January 6, as Swalwell’s complaint confirms. The most incendiary language he can quote from Trump’s speech is:

Trump implored the crowd to “fight like hell” and “walk down Pennsylvania Avenue . . . to the Capitol.”

That is weak tea, obviously. Swalwell apparently overlooked the part where Trump said, “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun!” Now that is a real incitement to violence. But wait–that wasn’t Donald Trump, it was Barack Obama.

The salient point, if there is one, is that the Democrats intend not just to defeat Donald Trump but to spend the rest of Trump’s life persecuting him. Attorneys General in states like New York are insistently demanding his tax returns, his accountant reportedly is under severe pressure to turn state’s evidence, and ridiculous lawsuits like Swalwell’s will continue to provide talking points for those who hate Trump, for years to come. The Democrats want Trump to be like Hector, not just killed in battle but dragged around the city walls behind a chariot. Repeatedly.

So that no one who is not a member of the club will ever be so bold as to seek the presidency again. Spill secrets to a Chinese spy as a member of the House Intelligence Committee? No problem! Stand up for the interests of working Americans? Call out the FBI.

PAUL ADDS: I hope the case will be dismissed, but only after Swalwell, having put his emotional state at issue, submits to an examination by a mental health professional of the defendants’ choosing.