Sandbox (4)

Sometimes very active discussions about peripheral issues overwhelm a thread, so this is a permanent home for those conversations.

I’ve opened a new “Sandbox” thread as a post as the new “ignore commenter” plug-in only works on threads started as posts.

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2,773 thoughts on “Sandbox (4)

  1. phoodoo,

    It raises interesting contradictions with the respective roles of religion and science in Republican thought, too, with some apparent cognitive dissonance on both sides. It’s not just a suspicion of the state that has been played on, but a suspicion of science. Populism gains authority by sowing suspicion of authority.

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  2. Quite astonishing to find that not all Christians are arch-Capitalists. Funny how most, if not all, evangelicals tout the US Constitution as if something God-given, and consider any sign of weakening the Second Amendment or the tax-exempt status of churches or the homeschooling as if from the Devil.

    Why is Jesus’ and the apostles’ example completely forgotten when it comes to politics? Jesus said “Render unto Caesar” certainly implying that, even if God comes first, do not whine about whatever obstacles there are on the way of rendering unto God.

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  3. phoodoo:
    Allan Miller,

    I think this is true.The republicans have always sold themselves as protectors of freedom and limited government,and individual rights.

    Not freedom and individual rights, as protectors of certain rights and certain freedoms. Conformism and unfettered capitalism. Everything else is a corruption of divinely sanctioned Manifest Destiny.

    They can sell this baloney because their base is mostly clueless saps.

    Certainly they are when it comes to their own best interests, they believe once the undeserving are eliminated ,manna will fall from the heavens, they just need to send any money they can spare and support to those who do the “Lord’s Work of Making America Great Again”.

    They love government control,they are the architects of the surveillance state.

    If the the proper people are doing the surveillance, but surveillance is power and that transcends republicanism . We are willing to surrender privacy for convenience or safety. We are all clueless saps at times.

    It is a lot easier to sell policies to people who are loathe to deep thought. They just like slogans.

    Even better is to convince people they are having deep thoughts ,have access to some secret knowledge.

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  4. Erik:
    Quite astonishing to find that not all Christians are arch-Capitalists. Funny how most, if not all, evangelicals tout the US Constitution as if something God-given, and consider any sign of weakening the Second Amendment or the tax-exempt status of churches or the homeschooling as if from the Devil.

    Why is Jesus’ and the apostles’ example completely forgotten when it comes to politics? Jesus said “Render unto Caesar” certainly implying that, even if God comes first, do not whine about whatever obstacles there are on the way of rendering unto God.

    A Louisiana pastor, who is under house arrest after allegedly threatening to run over a man protesting his ongoing church services, was back in the pulpit on Sunday, yet again defying his state’s stay-at-home order.

    “There should be nobody scared right now but the devil,” he said to loud applause. “Don’t let a man run by himself. The chains that used to bind me, they’re not gonna bind me no more!”

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/tony-spell-church-service-ankle-monitor_n_5ea5c9bcc5b6b0c47fc7e643

    “ Louisiana pastor Tony Spell defied stay-at-home orders to hold in-person services. Now, he wants congregants to donate their stimulus checks to churches.“

    https://www.insider.com/tony-spell-asks-congregants-donate-stimulus-checks-churches-2020-4

    So far only $ 3,500 in his GoFundMe fundraiser,

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  5. Allan Miller: I have seen a text dump, but don’t wish to undermine copyright by posting it in full.

    I have seen the whole thing. Yes, it was good.

    I guess somebody was willing to ignore copyright. But it is in a private forum, so I cannot give a link.

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  6. J-mac asked if viruses are dead or alive. The question of the hour however is:

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  7. Las Vegas Odds makers on Kim Jong Un Successor.

    https://www.legalsportsbetting.com/news/betting-odds-on-who-will-replace-kim-jong-un-in-north-korea/

    Bovada – Who Will Replace Kim Jung Un As Supreme Leader Of North Korea?

    Kim Yo-Jong (Sister) -125

    Kim Pyong-il (Uncle) +150

    Choe Ryong-hae (Party Elder) +800

    Pak Pong-ju (Party Elder) +800

    Kim Jong-chul (Older Brother) +1500

    Any One Of Kim Jung-un’s Offspring +3300

    Kim Kyong-hui (Aunt) +3300

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  8. former Senate Majority leader Reid says Pentagon UFO report only scratches the surface:

    https://www.newsmax.com/thewire/harry-reid-pentagon-ufos/2020/04/28/id/964999/?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=mixi&utm_campaign=newsmax

    If we assume constant speed of light (which I don’t assume, but for the sake of argument), aliens from another galaxy would be en-route for 2 billion years. Not likely. Worm Holes are a fictitious solution, my professor of General Relativity pointed out Worm Holes would imply negative mass (not likely)….

    Soo, the UFOs are likely some other phenomenon that space aliens.

    https://youtu.be/2o4fdX8gUMY

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  9. stcordova: If we assume constant speed of light (which I don’t assume, but for the sake of argument), aliens from another galaxy would be en-route for 2 billion years. Not likely. Worm Holes are a fictitious solution, my professor of General Relativity pointed out Worm Holes would imply negative mass (not likely)….

    Soo, the UFOs are likely some other phenomenon that space aliens.

    So, to be clear, you’ve come to the conclusion that UFO’s are not space aliens because something you don’t believe shows that they would be travelling for 2 billion years?

    So, something you don’t believe shows that something else is actually false?

    So, if we assume the speed of light is not constant, as you believe and have stated many times (you even had a forum called Young Cosmos where you set out the ‘evidence’ for your case: https://web.archive.org/web/20090130100411/http://youngcosmos.com/ )
    then it’s clear these are much more likely to be UFOs.

    Nobody is interested in your opinions in what you don’t believe. Starting from the point of view that the cosmos is actually young, are these more or less likely to be actual UFO Aliens Sal?

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  10. It’s like even they know it’s nonsense at some level. If that point of view had value Sal’s default would not be the consensus view. Sal would be rubbing it in everybody’s face that this new fact X is better explained by the cosmos being young then old. And yet Sal’s go-to is to argue from a position he believes is false in order to come up with his desired conclusion.

    Very, very confused thinking.

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  11. For petrushka:

    Mid Dec – Intelligence agencies brief Trump on virus in China
    Dec 18th – House Impeaches Trump
    Jan 8th – First CDC warning
    Jan 9th – Trump campaign rally
    Jan 14th – Trump campaign rally
    Jan 16h – House sends impeachment articles to Senate
    Jan 18th – Trump golfs
    Jan 19th – Trump golfs
    Jan 20th – first case of corona virus in the US, Washington State.
    Jan 22nd – “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. It’s going to be just fine.”
    Jan 28th – Trump campaign rally
    Jan 30th – Trump campaign rally
    Feb 1st – Trump golfs
    Feb 2nd – “We pretty much shut it down coming in from China.”
    Feb 5th – Senate votes to acquit. Then takes a five-day weekend.
    Feb 10th – Trump campaign rally
    Feb 12th – Dow Jones closes at an all time high of 29,551.42
    Feb 15h – Trump golfs
    Feb 19th – Trump campaign rally
    Feb 20th – Trump campaign rally
    Feb 21st – Trump campaign rally
    Feb 24th – “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA… Stock Market starting to look very good to me!”
    Feb 25h – “CDC and my Administration are doing a GREAT job of handling Coronavirus.”
    Feb 25h – “I think that’s a problem that’s going to go away… They have studied it. They know very much. In fact, we’re very close to a vaccine.”
    Feb 26th – “The 15 (cases in the US) within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.”
    Feb 26th – “We’re going very substantially down, not up.” Also “This is a flu. This is like a flu”; “Now, you treat this like a flu”; “It’s a little like the regular flu that we have flu shots for. And we’ll essentially have a flu shot for this in a fairly quick manner.”
    February 27: “One day it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.”
    Feb 28th – “We’re ordering a lot of supplies. We’re ordering a lot of, uh, elements that frankly we wouldn’t be ordering unless it was something like this. But we’re ordering a lot of different elements of medical.”
    Feb 28th – Trump campaign rally. “This is their new hoax.”
    March 2nd – “You take a solid flu vaccine, you don’t think that could have an impact, or much of an impact, on corona?”
    March 2nd – “A lot of things are happening, a lot of very exciting things are happening and they’re happening very rapidly.”
    March 4: “If we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work — some of them go to work, but they get better.”
    March 5th – “I NEVER said people that are feeling sick should go to work.”
    March 5th – “The United States… has, as of now, only 129 cases… and 11 deaths. We are working very hard to keep these numbers as low as possible!”
    March 6th – “I think we’re doing a really good job in this country at keeping it down… a tremendous job at keeping it down.”
    March 6th – “Anybody right now, and yesterday, anybody that needs a test gets a test. They’re there. And the tests are beautiful…. the tests are all perfect like the letter was perfect. The transcription was perfect. Right? This was not as perfect as that but pretty good.”
    March 6th – “I like this stuff. I really get it. People are surprised that I understand it… Every one of these doctors said, ‘How do you know so much about this?’ Maybe I have a natural ability. Maybe I should have done that instead of running for president.”
    March 6th – “I don’t need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn’t our fault.”
    March 7th – Trump golfs
    March 8th – Trump golfs
    March 8th – “We have a perfectly coordinated and fine tuned plan at the White House for our attack on CoronaVirus.”
    March 9th – “This blindsided the world.”
    March 13th – [Declared state of emergency]
    March 17th – “This is a pandemic,” Mr. Trump told reporters. “I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic.”
    March 18th – “It’s not racist at all. No. Not at all. It comes from China. That’s why. It comes from China. I want to be accurate.”
    March 23th- Dow Jones closes at 18,591.93
    March 25th – 3.3 million Americans file for unemployment.
    March 30th – Dow Jones closes at 21,917.16
    April 2nd – 6.6 million Americans file for unemployment.
    April 13 – 561,103 infected with COVID-19, 22,000+ deaths in US.

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  12. In my county of about 500,000 people, there are now 53 death.

    With a rule of thumb 1-2% fatality rate from all causes pre-Covid19, we would have had 5,000-10,000 die anyway in 2020. Though we mourn the loss of 53 souls, in the statistical sense, this is not armageddon by any stretch of the imagination. There are about 3,000 confirmed cases, so a confirmed infection proportion of about 0.6%. If we guestimate the real number of infections being 10 to 20 times the confirmed proportion, that equates to an infection proportion of 6-12%.

    We’re still under lockdown, but it really doesn’t look like a lockdown in my town. Traffic is heavy, and Home Depot is packed every day!

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  13. Credible reports that Kim Jung Un is alive.

    However, there has been a marked decrease in incidence of Elvis sightings.

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  14. stcordova,

    Don’t forget the perils of exponentiation, and the fact that many more suffer than die. It’s not Armageddon, but nor is it a walk in the park.

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  15. Not that I’m deep into chess, but this was Bobby Fischer’s (at age 13) famous play where he deliberately sacrificed his queen (black) by moving his bishop (black) and eventually beat a grand master (white)!

    The explanation is in this video:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M624T3PTggU

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  16. Watch Corey Booker on Stephen Colbert, (President of his class at Stanford, Rhodes Scholar, lawyer, Senator…) and tell me how he is not the Democratic nominee for President.

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  17. One might say the same of Elizabeth Warren, or Kamala Harris. I did.
    However, I reckon that the primary voters took the (overly narrow) view that they needed to pick the candidate who would do best at reclaiming the voters that they lost to Trump in 2016.
    So brown skin or lack of a Y chromosome are disqualifying: they needed a nice, nonthreatening, centrist white male.

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  18. Neil Rickert,

    Well, regardless of the facetiousness of the reply, part of the problem is the nature of primaries. You have votes divided up between so many different candidates, that it is hard for the newcomers to grab a majority. So many of the voters who might have been spread out over Buttigieg, Warren, Harris, Yang, etc.. If it came down to just one choice would all be probably just as happy to have Booker.

    Biden got his block, because like Jock said, a certain percent were just looking for the safe bet, so old, tried and tested seemed easiest. But again, virtually none of those voters would be unhappy having Booker. The process throws weight early to the guy with name recognition, but it doesn’t mean that is the most universally liked one. Its the same thing that happened with Hillary. She was also the most disliked.

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  19. phoodoo: Well, regardless of the facetiousness of the reply, part of the problem is the nature of primaries.

    Do you have any good alternatives.

    At one time, the process was more tightly controlled by the party. We have the current system because of pressure to open it up. And we still see people complaining that it is too tightly controlled by the party.

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  20. Neil Rickert,

    I think the intention of the primary should be to find the most universally liked candidate across a broad spectrum, not the one most liked, because the most liked can also be the most hated. So even though it might be a little more difficult, I would like to see a ranking system. Voters could vote not only on their first choice, but also could select candidates that would accept and candidates that they would oppose. In that way, the person who appeals to the broadest range of voters would win, not the most polarizing candidate. If for example Biden got the most selected voters but also got the most opposed votes then he would have to concede to the guy who rolls higher from both ends of the electorate. If nobody said they disliked a Booker, even if he wasn’t their number one choice, he would get a higher accumulative rating. Because after all that is who you want running in the general election.

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  21. phoodoo: So even though it might be a little more difficult, I would like to see a ranking system.

    I would also like a ranking system. Biden would probably do well with such a system.

    What I see as the bigger problem, is that our elections are long and drawn out. They are too expensive (because they are long and drawn out). And, partly because of this, they are too much affected by TV advertising.

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  22. Neil Rickert,

    I am not so sure how well Biden would have faired in a ranking system compared to some of the younger candidates. I am sure Hillary would not have done well in such a system. She was the most disliked amongst those who didn’t vote for her in the primary.
    I can imagine the type of democrats who might not like Sanders or even Warren very much (and Biden) . I have a hard time thinking of many voters who would say they dislike Booker. I doubt there are even many republicans who would say they hate him.

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  23. phoodoo,

    In a ranked system, Biden would be the second choice of most people. Joe is very much liked, but not the top preference of many.

    It’s hard to say with Hillary. She was not much liked. But there were only poor choices in 2016. Perhaps a ranked voting system would have resulted in better choices.

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  24. Neil Rickert,

    I somewhat disagree. I think your Hillary comments hurt your case. She was far and away the most hated candidate of the democrats who didn’t vote for her. I don’t think there has been any democratic nominee more disliked than her in recent history. Even to this day, she is extensively derided by many liberals.

    As far as Biden, I think if you take all of the supporters of people like Harris, Buttigieg, Warren, Yang, Castro, Williamson, O’Rourke, Booker, Gillibrand, DeBlasio…I think their next choices would be someone else in that contingent. I don’t think their next choice would be to jump to Biden. People who voted for them are looking for something new. And the Sanders people, there is no way their next choice is Biden. That’s a lot of people.

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  25. Neil Rickert,

    In fact, I think if you look at it realistically, Biden got the votes as the “safe” candidate. But that pretty much means everyone who didn’t vote for him didn’t want the “safe” candidate. Because he was the obvious one for those who were looking for that. If you voted for pretty much ANY one else, you were not looking for the safe candidate, you were looking for someone new. So why would the ones who didn’t vote for the safe guy, next choose the safe guy? I think that doesn’t really make sense.

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  26. phoodoo,

    Personal experience.

    I was in a university mathematics department. They decided to switch to a ranked voting system for the department advisory committee. It was roughly based on the Australian electoral system.

    At the next election — I think it was for 5 members — three of the five elected were the “safe choices”. The other two were department stars.

    The department switched back to the old voting system after this, because they did not like the result.

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  27. Neil Rickert,

    Yea, but the thing is, the purpose of the primary (at least in this era) is to find the person who will win your ticket against the republican, or other party. By having the most “universal” candidate, your increase your chances of winning a lot. Hillary was not universal at all, and that is how she lost. Her unfavorablility rating was probably just as high or higher than her favorability rating.

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  28. I know a mathematician who is an expert on ranked voting systems. He told me this story: once the faculty members in his department was voting on the members of an important committee. They didn’t like the slate they picked, so someone suggested they do the vote again using a ranked voting system. My friend FRM suggested one. They voted again and got a completely different slate. Someone suggested that this was not the only possible ranked system, so FRM suggested a different ranked voting system, they voted again, and got a result completely different outcome. After another attempt or two, they simply stopped listening to FRM. Moral: there is no such thing as “the” ranked voting system.

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  29. Joe Felsenstein,

    You don’t start with the formula, you start with the objective; To find the most universal, least disliked candidate. You then model the system around that objective, not the other way around.

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  30. phoodoo: You don’t start with the formula, you start with the objective; To find the most universal, least disliked candidate.

    Wishful thinking.

    If there are, say, 200 million voters then you start with 200 million different objectives. There is no such thing as “the objective.”

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  31. Neil Rickert: If there are, say, 200 million voters then you start with 200 million different objectives.

    That’s nonsensical. We already know the objective of Presidential primaries. Its the method of achieving that under discussion.

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  32. phoodoo: That’s nonsensical.We already know the objective of Presidential primaries.Its the method of achieving that under discussion.

    Do we now? I suppose if you had to list your objectives in terms of importance, you’d put electability at the top, because if that candidate is not elected, no other qualities matter. But what makes a candidate more electable? Is it experience in government (and it so, should it be legislative or executive experience)? Should it be demonstrated ability to form and keep a qualified and effective team? Should it be a widely-approved platform of policies and proposals?

    In practice, it’s the ability to win primaries. And what does this require? Probably the most important factor is money, followed by name recognition. We see people emerging from the initial pack of candidates because they’ve been known quantities for years (Biden, Sanders), or because they’ve become famous through other media (Reagan was an actor, Trump a reality TV personality). Conversely, highly competent wonks like Hillary or Warren come across as shrill and brittle. Likability is worth more than gold.

    It’s been noted often enough that the ability to win elections is unrelated to the ability to govern – these are distinctly different abilities rarely both found in the same person. I doubt most of those who worship Trump would go anywhere near him if they were presented with his record and policies but didn’t know whose those were. Polls back in 2016 showed that Hillary’s platform, considered in a vacuum, was overwhelmingly approved by the voting public of both parties. Attach that platform to an actual person, and you get something very different. Why was Hillary hated by so many, who really knew nothing of her record or platform and didn’t care? Why is Trump worshiped by so many equally ignorant? These intangibles are what wins and loses elections.

    I’m sure Booker is a good choice, I’d have no problem supporting him, but this election is not FOR any candidate, this election is a referendum on Trump. That’s generally true when incumbent Presidents are running for a second term. So people aren’t looking to experiment with an unknown (Hickenlooper? Bennet? Booker? Gillibrand? To quote Butch Cassidy, who ARE these guys?) Most voters not under Trump’s spell of lies and false narratives understand the nation would be better off electing their neighbor’s dog.

    In another four years, some of that pack of hopefuls will be remembered. Yang, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Harris made good showings, and that will give them a leg up in name recognition and donor appeal.

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  33. Wonderful wishing thinking, phoodoo.
    You assert that the objective in the primaries is “To find the most universal, least disliked candidate.”, because ” By having the most “universal” candidate, your increase your chances of winning a lot.”.
    I too wish that that were true. But it isn’t.
    Presidential electoral calculus is more complicated than that. The vast majority of voters do not matter, so “universal” appeal is not germane.
    You also seem to think that any alternative voting scheme would have assured Corey Booker’s nomination.
    Two problems with that assertion: 1. as others have pointed out, there are a variety of voting systems, each with their own problems. They are likely to produce different results.
    2. “One might say the same of Elizabeth Warren, or Kamala Harris.”
    Everybody likes to think that their preferred candidate would have secured the nomination, if not for [insert nefarious skull-duggery here]. Bernie supporters had a point, four years ago.

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  34. DNA_Jock: You assert that the objective in the primaries is “To find the most universal, least disliked candidate.”

    That’s phoodoo’s objective. It isn’t “the objective”.

    Maybe phoodoo is finding it hard to be objective about objectives.

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  35. DNA_Jock,

    Oh Bullshit. It has nothing to do with “my” candidate. You had maybe 12-15 candidates who held similar appeal to many voters. You then had one candidate who had appeal to one segment of the voters-so he got all of that segment, while the other 15 split votes amongst a larger pool of voters. So you end up with a candidate that is popular (even that is doubtful-its more like tolerable) among maybe only 20-30% of the democratic party. That is not a good system.

    If you asked how many voters “love” Biden you might get zero yeses. I would love to see a poll which asked, who would you rather have as President, Biden or Harris? Or who would you rather have as President, Biden or Booker? Or who would you rather have as President Biden or Yang? I bet you Biden loses in any of those one-to-one comparisons.

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  36. It’s exactly Hillary all over again.

    The only good news is the baby turnip’s psychotic flaws are even more evident now.

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  37. phoodoo: Oh Bullshit. It has nothing to do with “my” candidate. You had maybe 12-15 candidates who held similar appeal to many voters. You then had one candidate who had appeal to one segment of the voters-so he got all of that segment, while the other 15 split votes amongst a larger pool of voters. So you end up with a candidate that is popular (even that is doubtful-its more like tolerable) among maybe only 20-30% of the democratic party. That is not a good system.
    If you asked how many voters “love” Biden you might get zero yeses. I would love to see a poll which asked, who would you rather have as President, Biden or Harris? Or who would you rather have as President, Biden or Booker? Or who would you rather have as President Biden or Yang? I bet you Biden loses in any of those one-to-one comparisons.

    Ooooh. Do you have any data to back up your wonderful, wishful assertions?
    Sadly, neither Booker nor Harris nor Yang made the cut into the YouGov head-to-head’s that I could find, but Sanders > Warren > Biden = Klobuchar > Buttegieg > Bloomberg, with no Condorcet paradoxes whatsoever. Given that Bernie, all the way on the left, is less likely to be a victim of vote-splitting, you SHOULD be asking why HE is not the nominee. Or if you want to claim that vote-splitting damaged a candidate, then Warren is the poster child.
    But it has nothing to do with “your” preferred candidate. No sirree.

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  38. DNA_Jock: But it has nothing to do with “your” preferred candidate. No sirree.

    Phoodoo was a big Yang fan for a while.

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