Patterico's Pontifications


Tiger Woods in Single-Car Wreck in Rancho Palos Verdes

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:42 pm

I didn’t do it. I promise.

Rancho Palos Verdes is actually a fairly sprawling town, and the presence of hills and gated communities means that even places separated by about six miles as the crow flies can take 20+ minutes of driving to get to. Such is the distance from my house to the location of Tiger’s accident, and I was finishing dressing after a shower and getting ready to walk the dogs when it happened. Not guilty.

In all seriousness, though, as of this writing this could be a career-ender for Tiger, which is a real shame. As Brotherico noted to me, there will be inevitable comparisons to Ben Hogan’s awful car wreck, and Mac Engel at the Startlegram obliges with this story: Ben Hogan came back from a terrible car crash and hopefully Tiger Woods can, too:

On Feb. 2, 1949, Ben and his wife, Valerie, were driving near Van Horn, Texas, on their way back to Fort Worth in foggy conditions when their car was hit head-on by a Greyhound bus.

Hogan reportedly stretched out across the seat to save Valerie. The left side of Hogan’s body was crushed. He sustained injuries to his pelvis, ankle, knee, ribs, collarbone and shoulder.

Hogan did not receive medical attention for 90 minutes, and then it took another two and a half hours before he was taken to a hospital in El Paso.

Some of his internal organs also sustained injuries, and his left eye would grow worse as a result of this crash.

The initial reports said Ben Hogan was dead. When the full details of the injury became known, the prevailing thought was that he would be lucky to walk again, and his career as a professional golfer was over.

He was 36.

Sixteen months after the crash, Ben Hogan won the 1950 U.S. Open at Merion near Philadelphia. He would have to play five rounds in four days, and it became known as the “Miracle at Merion.”

There was no fog in RPV this morning, though . . . and Tiger Woods is 45, not 36.

Also, fog is an understandable cause of a car crash. Tiger’s crash is much harder to understand. Reportedly, his car went over a center median, hitting a “Welcome to Rolling Hills Estates” sign on the way (but see below: I think this is wrong), crossed onto the other side of the road, and then went off the road, flipping an undetermined number of times before ending up in an awful-looking wreck. It’s a miracle he survived.

Here is a Google Street view of the area where Tiger’s crash began. I found it based on searching Google Maps and comparing it to footage of the crash. I won’t go into all the details I used to prove this is correct, but the Washington Post says that “[a]n extended stretch of Hawthorne Boulevard, running from Blackhorse Road to Palos Verdes Drive, remained blocked off Tuesday afternoon” and this is in that area. Find any aerial footage you like and compare it to the street view below

Tiger Woods Crash Area

About a minute earlier, Tiger would have passed Palos Verdes Peninsula High School, where my daughter graduated nearly three years ago, on his left.

Initial reports were that Tiger was going northbound, which is the view you have in the picture above. They are apparently saying he hit the sign in the center divider here — which is interesting, because it’s actually a “Welcome to Rancho Palos Verdes” sign — at least on Google Maps. You’re looking at the back of that sign in the above photo. Click on the street view link and cruise it yourself if you don’t believe me. He then crossed the center divider, crossed briefly into the lane of oncoming traffic, and then left the road on the left, I believe a good 50 feet off the road to the left of a telephone pole — I think one further down the road from you see beyond the back of the welcome sign.

At the press conference, they said this is a frequent site for car accidents. It’s downhill, and the terrain invites cars to go much faster than the posted 45 mph speed limit. On the right side of the photo above you can the “runaway vehicle escape lane ahead” sign. The deputies said they often clock people doing 80. There were no skid marks and I get the impression Tiger was flying down that road. He was wearing a seatbelt, which probably saved his life. No indication of whether drugs, alcohol, pain meds for his back, sleepiness, distracted driving, or some other cause explains the accident.

I’m not optimistic for him, but I wish him the best.

NRSC Chairman: The Republican Civil War Is Now Canceled

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:07 pm

[guest post by Dana]

A quick post about how the National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman has started the enormous job flipping the Senate back to the GOP in 2022 with an announcement that the GOP civil war is canceled:

Democrats, and their friends in the media, have spent every day since the 2020 election hyping up a perceived rift in the Republican Party.

Today, NRSC Chairman, Senator Rick Scott, released a memo that will be sent to elected officials, activists, donors and voters across the country outlining his focus on the future and how we win back the Senate majority…

The long running impeachment show is now over. This political theater should have been held at the other end of Washington in the Kennedy Center instead of the US Capitol. It was an unserious circus. It’s over. Now it’s time to look ahead.

First, let’s evaluate our situation: The Democrats control the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives. In other words, they control Washington.

Here is what they have done and are in the process of doing so far: cutting border security, granting amnesty to illegals, cancelling the Keystone pipeline destroying thousands of jobs, allowing males to compete in women’s sports, banning fracking on federal lands making us less energy independent and using tax dollars to pay for abortion in foreign countries. And they have built an amazing military-style wall around the US Capitol, at the same time they are stopping construction on the wall at our southern border.

Oh, and they also want to cancel us, not simply from social media, but they also want to get you fired from your job, get your bank to drop you, make you unemployable in the future, re-educate you, and completely silence anyone who disagrees with their new woke version of socialism in America.

And yet, at the very same time these far-left radicals are trying to remake America in their image, and lead us into a disastrous, dystopian, socialist future, we have a parade of pundits and even Republican voices suggesting we should have a GOP civil war.


This does not need to be true, should not be true, and will not be true. Those fanning these flames, in both the media and our own ranks, desire a GOP civil war.

No, we don’t have time for that: The hour is late, the Democrats are planning to destroy our freedoms, and the threat in front of us is very real.

After previously declaring the impeachment trial “unconstitutional,” Scott said that the second impeachment of Donald Trump was “a complete waste of time,” and voted to acquit the former president. In December, Scott doubled-down on his support for Trump in 2024. Scott also offered cover to Liz Cheney after her vote to impeach Trump, saying that “people ought to respect how people vote. You might disagree with how they vote, but you ought to respect how they vote”.

Another reason why Scott is aiming to unify Republicans and get them to turn their fire on the Democrats has to do with none other than Donald Trump:

Rabble-rousing rank-and-file House members like Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., are aiming to elbow out any Republicans who don’t fully support the former president, including House GOP Conference Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., recently embarked on a media tour trashing the former president for his behavior after the presidential election.

“There is no question former President Trump bears moral responsibility,” for the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol, he wrote in the Wall Street Journal. “His supporters stormed the Capitol because of the unhinged falsehoods he shouted into the world’s largest megaphone.”

Trump then unleashed on McConnell in a strikingly personal and scorched-earth press release.

“Mitch is a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack, and if Republican Senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again.” Trump said. “Where necessary and appropriate, I will back primary rivals who espouse Making America Great Again and our policy of America First.”

If Trump follows through on that threat, it could put Scott and the NRSC in the awkward position of having to decide whether to support an incumbent Republican and spend money essentially opposing the former president in a primary, or to let the incumbent face the primary challenge on his or her own. Scott has reiterated in recent days that that NRSC will support incumbents.

Stay tuned.


Confess Your Unpopular Opinion: Clarence Thomas Was Right About the Election Cases

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am

I don’t know anyone who is angrier than I am about the Big Lie that Donald Trump tried to use to steal the election — a lie that motivated a mob to storm the Capitol for the express purpose of disrupting the electoral vote count on Trump’s behalf.

But I see a lot of lazy takes about Clarence Thomas’s dissent (click and scroll to the end) from the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear certain election-related challenges.

This post is not the place to dive into the merits and demerits of the specific litigation. Suffice it to say that I disagree with this take:

That’s not what Justice Thomas says, actually. He says “the risk of fraud is ‘vastly more prevalent’ for mail-in ballots” (my italics) — and it’s hard to disagree.

Mr. Stern’s hot take and mischaracterization of Justice Thomas’s opinion aside, this is a federal constitutional issue. As Justice Alito states in his separate dissent, the cases “present an important and recurring constitutional question: whether the Elections or Electors Clauses of the United States Constitution, Art. I, §4, cl. 1; Art. II, §1, cl. 2, are violated when a state court holds that a state constitutional provision overrides a state statute governing the manner in which a federal election is to be conducted.” Justice Thomas explains: “The Constitution gives to each state legislature authority to determine the ‘Manner’ of federal elections.” I have always said that the one Trump argument that might have had some merit — but which was not enough to swing the election to Trump even in Pennsylvania alone — is the argument that the Pennsylvania state supreme court has no authority to extend the deadline by which ballots could be submitted.

I do not here express an opinion on whether that is a winning argument. Clearly, at a minimum, a state legislature has authority to determine that electors shall be chosen by a vote of the citizens of the state. I don’t believe that necessarily extends to every jot and tittle of how the election is conducted, but I don’t find it to be a frivolous argument that it extends to a hard and fast statutory deadline for the submission of ballots, for example. In the usual situation, a state constitution trumps any legislative action, but in an area where a state legislature is given primacy by the federal Constitution, I don’t think a state supreme court has authority to overrule the legislature. So the only remaining issue is whether such a deadline is part of the “Manner” of the election. Maybe it is. Maybe it isn’t. I would not be surprised to find a majority of the Supreme Court saying it is.

My beef with the Court’s majority is its finding that these cases are “moot.” There is an exception to mootness for cases involving situations that are likely to recur but that evade review. This strikes me as exactly such a case. If you think this issue is not going to come up again, you have not been paying attention. Why not get some hard and fast rules about what authority state legislatures have under the federal Constitution — whatever those rules may be — to avoid the potential disaster coming down the road at us?

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