One of my favorite little cultural factoids is that a very high percentage of white Americans self-identify as “Irish.” But an awful lot of them, especially in the South, are actually of Scots-Irish extraction, which basically means they were imported into Ulster by the English to oppress the Irish for a couple of centuries, and then soon decamped to America, bringing with them a taste for whisky, combat and bigotry (I can say this because it’s my people we’re talking about). The last color Protestant Ulstermen will sport on any public occasion is green, so it’s a bit ironic to watch their American cousins get all hooched up and wear shamrocks and sing Rebel Songs once a year.
Here’s some midday news/views treats you can consume along with the corned beef and cabbage:
* Oregon goes a step beyond Motor-Voter and will automatically register voters who are doing business at DMV.
* Over half of eligible Israeli voters had cast ballots by 6 PM; polls are open until 10:00.
* Successful Democratic filibuster of antitrafficking bill with anti-abortion language added in spills over into Lynch confirmation, creating a potentially long delay.
* James Pindall struggles to describe Jeb Bush’s personal style on campaign trail, and settles on “zen.”
* James Fallows meditates on the revival of Chickenhawk Nation in demands for war with Iran.
And in non-political news:
* Spirit Airlines leaving little to imagination in its oral sex-themed $69 fare sale.
As we break for lunch, here’s Luke Kelly with “Join the British Army.”