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andym's Journal
andym's Journal
March 22, 2020

Trump and the off-label drugs as a treatment for covid-19 is an easy "win" for him

If science shows the drugs work subsequently he will tout his heroic leadership in "curing" the pandemic. If they fail, then he will say he never touted the drugs at all. This is his M.O. and this kind of politicking seems to work for him. So, the correct response is to state that the French/Chinese/Italian clinical trials will hopefully prove the drugs are useful and to state they are doing the heavy lifting, thereby removing potential credit from him.

March 18, 2020

We know Joe's VP will be a women, but how to balance the ticket? On what principle?

The ticket is typically balanced on geography. However, in reality the ticket should always be balanced on helping to gain voter blocks that the candidate doesn't attract as well.

So which voting blocks did Biden have a weakness with during the primary?
African Americans? NO. Women? NO Latinos (Somewhat), Younger voters (less than 45) (Yes).

Basically those younger than 45 according to the well documented "age gap" in the primary. Joe's running mate should be someone who can increase turnout and enthusiasm among younger voters--maybe not the teens to 20'a crowd, but those 30-45 who vote more reliably than the 18-29 demographic.

In these troubled times, there is another key qualification, Joe has to pick someone who is viewed as experienced and competent enough to take charge in an emergency.

March 16, 2020

Biden is far more like FDR in political temperament than Sanders

Consider FDR in 1932. He ran providing few details of what he would do to help the Depression economy. That's because he really didn't know what he would do once in office, although he did foreshadow some of his programs while Governor of NY. The key was that he was incredibly open-minded to finding solutions that would work which included experimenting with various untried ideas. After he assumed office he assembled an innovative team, the "brain trust", and they went to work to create the New Deal.

Biden has always been practical: trying to find a workable solution within the framework of what's possible politically. Note how Biden has now taken on Warren's bankruptcy and free public college plans-- flexibility to find a solution that goes beyond his previously held positions.

Sanders is an ideologue, a point he kept making in the debate-- he has been more consistent than Biden in his positions. He has very specific prescriptions for implementing his vision and is somewhat dismissive of variants like Warren's plans. But consistency implies inflexibility, not much like FDR at all.

We may need an FDR-like leader in the aftermath of the damage the virus does to the USA and its economy.

March 6, 2020

The Age Gap and preference for Democratic Nominee--a poll. Explanations?

The latest poll from Morning Consult shows a large age gap in candidate preferences. 70% of Democrats over age 45 favor Joe Biden, while 57% of those younger than 45 favor Bernie Sanders.

So what is your preference and to which age group do you belong?

Please post any comments on why you think there is an age gap.

March 5, 2020

Elizabeth Warren's email about her campaign to her supporters.

I’m going to start with the news. I wanted you to hear it straight from me: today, I’m suspending our campaign for president.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for everything you have poured into this campaign.

I know that when we set out, this was not the news you ever wanted to hear. It is not the news I ever wanted to share. But I refuse to let disappointment blind me — or you — to what we’ve accomplished. We didn’t reach our goal, but what we have done together — what you have done — has made a lasting difference. It’s not the scale of the difference we wanted to make, but it matters — and the changes will have ripples for years to come.

What we have done — and the ideas we have launched into the world, the way we have fought this fight, the relationships we have built — will carry through for the rest of this election, and the one after that, and the one after that.

So think about it:

We have shown that it is possible to build a grassroots movement that is accountable to supporters and activists and not to wealthy donors — and to do it fast enough for a first-time candidate to build a viable campaign. Never again can anyone say that the only way that a newcomer can get a chance to be a plausible candidate is to take money from corporate executives and billionaires. That’s done.

We have shown that it is possible to inspire people with big ideas, possible to call out what’s wrong and to lay out a path to make this country live up to its promise.

We have shown that race and justice — economic justice, social justice, environmental justice, criminal justice — are not an afterthought, but are at the heart of everything that we do.

We have shown that a woman can stand up, hold her ground, and stay true to herself — no matter what.

We have shown that we can build plans in collaboration with the people who are most affected.

This campaign became something special, and it wasn’t because of me. It was because of you. I am so proud of how you fought this fight alongside me: you fought it with empathy and kindness and generosity — and of course, with enormous passion and grit.

Some of you may remember that long before I got into electoral politics, I was asked if I would accept a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that was weak and toothless. And I replied that my first choice was a consumer agency that could get real stuff done, and my second choice was no agency and lots of blood and teeth left on the floor. In this campaign, we have been willing to fight, and, when necessary, we left plenty of blood and teeth on the floor. I can think of one billionaire who has been denied the chance to buy this election.

And we did all of this without selling access for money. Together, you and 1,250,000 people gave more than $112 million dollars to support this campaign. And we did it without selling one minute of my time to the highest bidder. People said that would be impossible. But you did that.

Together, we built a grassroots campaign that had some of the most ambitious organizing targets ever — and then we turned around and surpassed them.

Our staff and volunteers on the ground knocked on over 22 million doors across the country. We made 20 million phone calls and sent more than 42 million texts to voters. That’s truly astonishing. It is.

We also advocated for fixing our rigged system in a way that will make it work better for everyone.

A year ago, people weren’t talking about a two-cent wealth tax, Universal Child Care, cancelling student loan debt for 43 million Americans while reducing the racial wealth gap, breaking up big tech, or expanding Social Security. And now they are. And because we did the work of building broad support for all of those ideas across this country, these changes could actually be implemented by the next president.

A year ago, people weren’t talking about corruption, and they still aren’t talking about it enough — but we’ve moved the needle, and a hunk of our anti-corruption plan is already embedded in a House bill that is ready to go when we get a Democratic Senate.

And we also did it by having fun and by staying true to ourselves. We ran from the heart. We ran on our values. We ran on treating everyone with respect and dignity. But it was so much more. Four-hour selfie lines and pinky promises with little girls. A wedding at one of our town halls. And we were joyful and positive through all of it. We ran a campaign not to put people down, but to lift them up — and I loved pretty much every minute of it.

I may not be in the race for president in 2020, but this fight — our fight — is not over. And our place in this fight has not ended.

Because for every young person who is drowning in student debt, for every family struggling to pay the bills on two incomes, for every mom worried about paying for prescriptions or putting food on the table, this fight goes on.

For every immigrant and African American and Muslim and Jewish person and Latinx and transwoman who sees the rise in attacks on people who look or sound or worship like them, this fight goes on.

For every person alarmed by the speed with which climate change is bearing down upon us, this fight goes on.

And for every American who desperately wants to see our nation healed and some decency and honor restored to our government, this fight goes on.

When I voted on Tuesday at the elementary school down the street, a mom came up to me. She said she has two small children, and they have a nightly ritual. After the kids have brushed teeth and read books and gotten that last sip of water and done all the other bedtime routines, they do one last thing before the two little ones go to sleep: Mama leans over them and whispers, “Dream big.” And the children together reply, “Fight hard.”

So if you leave with only one thing, it must be this: Choose to fight only righteous fights, because then when things get tough — and they will — you will know that there is only option ahead of you: nevertheless, you must persist.

You should be so proud of what we’ve done together — what you have done over this past year.

Our work continues, the fight goes on, and big dreams never die.

Thanks for being a part of this,


March 1, 2020

538 now predicts a 3 in 5 chance that no one wins on the first ballot-- caucus-like convention

1 in 4 chance for Bernie to win outright
1 in 7 chance for Biden to win outright
less than 1 in 100 chance for any of the others to win outright


So what happens is that to a large extent the convention will become like a caucus-- with inviable candidate thresholds etc, on subsequent ballots. There is one difference: superdelegates could play a role as well as on the second ballot there would be 764 (771?) delegates added to the pool-- which would presumably raise the threshold for winning. It might be interesting if superdelegates decided to sit out subsequent rounds, forcing the campaigns and their elected delegates to negotiate.

1991 delegates required on first ballot
2375.5 delegates required on second ballot
source: ballotpedia
are these numbers correct?

March 1, 2020

Two votes in my family for Liz in CA by mail today.

Hope she does well on Super Tuesday.

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