What did they expect?

Remorseful trump supporters should have known what they were getting into.

Let’s give credit where it’s due: Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger did his job and did it well. Whenever an elected Republican these days puts his duty before his party, as Raffensperger while overseeing the 2020 elections in his state, they deserve some applause. Because, God knows, it’s rare enough.

And yet, when I read his USA Today op-ed bemoaning the fact that his preferred candidate for President has turned on him - even calling him an “enemy of the people” now - I can’t help wondering what he thought was going to happen:

By all accounts, Georgia had a wildly successful and smooth election. We finally defeated voting lines and put behind us Fulton County’s now notorious reputation for disastrous elections. This should be something for Georgians to celebrate, whether their favored presidential candidate won or lost. For those wondering, mine lost — my family voted for him, donated to him and are now being thrown under the bus by him.

[…]

When I took office, I committed to running elections in Georgia with integrity. After any election, half of the voters will be happy and the other half will be disappointed. But I wanted to make sure everyone felt confident in the process and confident in the outcome.

And as Nov. 3 came to a close, Georgia’s voters had every reason to be. Again, short lines on Election Day. Record turnout. Record early voting and record absentee by mail voting.

In the days that followed, a losing presidential campaign refused to accept the facts, following a playbook written by a failed gubernatorial candidate two years before. A failed senate candidate with nothing to do tried to undermine the integrity of Georgia’s elections. A self-described “attorney for the damned” took up the cause. An onslaught of fake news and unrepentant disinformation threatened to tear the fabric of our country apart. People on both sides of the aisle generated controversies out of nowhere to stir up trouble.

(“Both sides” is doing a lot of work there, at least for the 2020 elections. It’s the 2018 Georgia elections that Dems insist were rigged.)

Donald Trump got into politics by spreading racist “birther” conspiracy theories about President Obama, shrieked that any 2016 primaries he didn’t win were rigged, personally insulted and belittled any Republican who didn’t promptly bend the knee, kept personally insulting and belittling even Republicans who did bend the knee, went through unprecedent staff turnover and leaking in his White House, insisted that everyone he had hired and subsequently fired was always terrible, and throughout it all, assumed absolutely no responsibility for anything - explicitly, in the case of a rapidly spreading pandemic. Donald Trump can never be wrong, he can only be wronged.

When you vote for the Face-Eating Leopards Party, don’t be surprised when the Leopard starts eating your face. Same thing for people who contributed millions of dollars to his scam election-fraud litigation, and especially for Charlie Kirk:

Republicans are pointing fingers after President Donald Trump’s dismal performance with young voters in the 2020 election, Politico reported.

[…]

Some Republican operatives that spoke to Politico said Trump turned off young voters with his divisive approach to cultural issues, race, and climate change. They expressed hope that the GOP’s standing with younger voters would improve when Trump eventually cedes the stage.

Others blamed groups like Turning Point USA, the pro-Trump youth group led by Charlie Kirk, for being far too obsequious to connect with new voters.

Two Trump campaign aides “described Turning Point’s messaging as too sycophantic to bring in young voters who might align more closely with conservatism but remain apprehensive about Trump himself.”

A “person close to Kirk” fired back in a comment to Politico: “Instead of trying to scapegoat Turning Point Action, a completely outside, separate and independent entity that’s still fighting for election integrity, maybe that’s what the campaign should be doing.”

After all Kirk has done to support his hero, now he finds himself a scapegoat for his election loss.

Aside from the famously scummy Kirk, I don’t want to dump on remorseful Trump supports too much. They should be encouraged to come around, instead of being forced further on the defensive. But resisting the urge to say “I told you so” is very tough indeed.


Remember a few years ago, when the Carolina Hurricanes had to use a Zamboni driver as their goalie against the Leafs, and he actually won?

Now, imagine a situation like that, only the guy who had to play in goal hadn’t actually been a goalkeeper since his second year in university. Oh, and instead of the perennially cursed Toronto Maple Leafs, he was forced to play against one of the best teams in the league.

That should give you an idea of what Kendall Hinton was up against on Sunday:

The Denver Broncos have run out of quarterbacks ahead of Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints due to the NFL's COVID-19 protocols, and the team has had to search deep down its roster to find its expected starter under center.

Enter Kendall Hinton.

The undrafted rookie - a wide receiver on Denver's practice squad - is reportedly expected to take most of the snaps at quarterback for the Broncos. He'll be doing so against one of the NFL's best teams and with little-to-no preparation. But playing quarterback isn't entirely new to the 23-year-old.

[…]

Hinton was once thought to be Wake Forest's quarterback of the future.

The dual-threat signal-caller appeared in nine games (two starts) as a freshman until mononucleosis ended his campaign prematurely. He then suffered a knee injury that limited his sophomore year to just three appearances.

Hinton was expected to become Wake Forest's starting QB in his junior season, but a three-game suspension for violating team rules kept him sidelined for the start of the campaign. The delay cost him the starting role and pushed him to become a wide receiver.

His move to full-time pass-catching in his senior year couldn't have gone better: Hinton led the Demon Deacons with 73 receptions for 1,001 yards while catching four touchdowns.

Hinton didn't hear his name called during April's draft, but he signed an undrafted deal with the Broncos days after the event. Despite a positive training camp, he failed to make the regular-season roster and was waived in September.

The Broncos didn't forget him, though, adding the wideout to their practice squad on Nov. 4.

Hinton has never taken the field as an NFL player - let alone as a quarterback. The Broncos can't really expect anything from him; he was their only choice if they wanted any quarterbacking experience under center this weekend.

Emphasis added. I’d love to tell you Hinton played lights out and led the Broncos to an unlikely win, but, um…

Hinton completed one pass, for 13 yards, and was intercepted twice. Once the Broncos’ actual quarterbacks are cleared to play, he likely won’t be back.

And yet, I was absolutely riveted by this blowout game. I actually cheered from my living room when he finally completed that pass. Hinton took on an insurmountable challenge, almost certainly knew it was going to end in a blowout loss, but stepped up when the team needed him anyway. And now he can say he was a starting quarterback in the NFL.

Someone on Reddit said Hinton will be the answer to a trivia question someday. Maybe so, but will you be one?


Suck it, Toyota:

Toyota lost its seemingly unshakable perch atop the closely followed Consumer Reports Auto Reliability rankings, usurped by previously second-place Mazda for the first time in the 2020 list.

[…]

Mazda achieved the highest overall score among 26 rated brands, due in part to what Consumer Reports called an iterative approach to vehicle redesign. In other words, Mazda doesn't change a lot when it redesigns its vehicles, making it less likely that its vehicles will experience unexpected flaws and defects due to new technology.

But Mazda still has a stylish design that ensures its vehicles aren't stodgy, said Jake Fisher, senior director of automotive testing for Consumer Reports.

"When it comes to reliability, it's always been this argument of making the cars exciting or making them reliable," Fisher said. Mazda "shows you can make cars that are fun and reliable."

One factor boosting Mazda's scores: It hasn't invested heavily in modern infotainment systems, which tend to generate complaints about flaws.

"They’re just about the only manufacturer that’s launching new models without a touch screen," Fisher said.

Ironically, the only thing I don’t like about my 2019 Mazda 3 is that it doesn’t have a touchscreen. Even after a year and a half, I’m still getting used to the console-mounted knob that controls the radio and Apple CarPlay. But if touchscreens are that troublesome, maybe I’m not missing much.

Lincoln came dead last. Nothing alright, alright, alright about that. (Note: I am legally obligated to make an “alright, alright, alright” reference whenever Matthew McConaughey is even tangentially related to a news story.)