### The latest poll about Biden and Trump!

MONDAY, MAY 8, 2023

Happier days were (briefly) here again: For one brief shining moment this Sunday, happier days were briefly here again.

It was a crisp, clear, cool and sunny morning out on the deck once known as a porch. Recalling happier days, we briefly positioned ourselves out there and perused a favorite bit of text—a piece of text we hadn't enjoyed for at least several years.

For reasons we'll explain below, it's one of our favorite texts:

CHAPTER SIX
SPECIAL RELATIVITY
1905

Relativity is a simple concept. It asserts that the fundamental laws of physics are the same whatever your state of motion.

For the special case of observers moving at a constant velocity, this concept is pretty easy to accept. Imagine a man in an armchair at home and a woman in an airplane gliding very smoothly above. Each can pour a cup of coffee, bounce a ball, shine a flashlight, or heat a muffin in a microwave and have the same laws of physics apply.

In fact, there is no way to determine which of them is “in motion” and which is “at rest.” The man in the armchair could consider himself at rest and the plane in motion. And the woman in the plane could consider herself at rest and the earth as gliding past. There is no experiment that can prove who is right.

Indeed, there is no absolute right. All that can be said is that each is moving relative to the other. And of course, both are moving very rapidly relative to other planets, stars, and galaxies.

We love the camouflaged fuzziness of that text. It's one of our favorite bits of writing.

That's the start of Chapter 6 of Walter Isaacson's highly regarded biography, Einstein: His Life and Universe. We love that passage because it makes so little apparent sense, even though it contains nothing but perfectly well-formed sentences.

Consider:

"The fundamental laws of physics are the same whatever your state of motion?"

As presented, we're willing to call that strange! If they're really the fundamental laws, why wouldn't they be the same, whether we were sitting in a chair out on the deck or walking back into our crowded chambers? What would make them change?

With that small bit of puzzlement, Isaacson's effort begins. It seems like a basic point has been established in that opening paragraph, but has any such thing really happened?

In paragraph 2, we're suddenly talking about a pair of people, with no intermediate explanation provided. This switch in perspective continues from there—but why?

We have no idea.

(Also, why is that concept from paragraph 1 "pretty easy to accept" in that particular circumstance? On its face, it seems to us that it's completely easy to accept in any conceivable circumstance!)

Paragraph 4 begins with this: "There is no absolute right."

We think we know what Isaacson means by saying that in this particular context. We even think we probably know how to state the point more clearly.

We think we know what Isaacson means! But just that quickly, we're now looking at a string of words which don't really sound like an English language sentence—and the murky presentations, beautifully composed though jumping about, continue on from there.

Isaacson is a very smart, highly accomplished, very clear writer—until he starts trying to explain Einstein's most famous theories. At that point, a series of muddles quickly emerge, with the general state of muddlement disguised by the perfect sentence construction and the air of self-assurance.

As the chapter proceeds, Isaacson tries to explain special relativity; we'd say the effort goes poorly. So too last Friday afternoon, when Nicolle Wallace and a gang of her friends pretended to explain what Donald J. Trump had somewhat recently said.

We'll return to Wallace and her friends as the week proceeds. For now, we're going to show you where the numbers may be going as the floundering of our blue tribe tribunes, with their repetitive "songs sung blue," continues to power ahead.

The new poll comes from ABC News and the Washington Post. Longer story short:

In a head-to-head election matchup, President Biden trailed Donald J. Trump by six points in this poll—44% to 38%. Also, the president trailed DeSantis by five points—42-37.

This is only one survey, of course. This survey could be an outlier, and even if it isn't, the election is very far off.

Still, those numbers may offer a bit of a warning. Also, consider this scary passage from the Washington Post's report:

BALZ ET AL (5/8/23): Doubts about how well Biden would perform have risen since he ran in 2020. Today, 63 percent say he does not have the mental sharpness to serve effectively as president, up from 43 percent in 2020 and 54 percent a year ago. A similar 62 percent say Biden is not in good enough physical health to be effective.

Trump, the leading candidate for the GOP nomination, is no youngster. He would be 78 in January 2025 at the time of the next inauguration. But in contrast to Biden, most Americans (54 percent) say he is sufficiently sharp mentally to serve as president and 64 percent say he is physically fit enough to serve.

Let's state that point a bit more clearly. In this new survey, only 32 percent of respondents said that Biden has "the mental sharpness" to serve effectively as president.

By way of contrast, 54 percent of respondents said Trump does have the mental sharpness. That's what the survey said!

As numbers like these emerge, our tribe's cable pundits continue to sputter and pander and scream and yell, and they often embellish. Some are corporate multimillionaires. By rule of law, everyone else agrees to completely agree with whatever those tribunes have said.

In our view, Isaacson, like many others, can't really explain what Einstein did. Our cable stars, by and large, can't figure out much at all, except for Storyline's drifts.

They often remind us of children lost in a forest, naked and afraid. Trump Trump Trump Trump Jail, they say. They say it again and again and again, and they say amazingly little else.

Why would anyone vote for Trump? If you actually want to find out, you pretty much have to ask them, perhaps without calling them names.

That said, could it possibly be because of us? Because of the things we don't care about? Could it be that some people favor Trump because of what our own tribe seems to be like?

Happier days were here again. When we reviewed last Friday's Deadline: White House show, we'll admit that we sobered up fast!

1. Reading is a cooperative act between the author and the reader. Somerby illustrates what happens when the reader refuses to cooperate with the author. Somerby has always been deliberately obtuse when he chooses, excessively literal in service of nitpicks that ignore meaning.

If Somerby doesn't have the context and reference points to understand Einstein, he should accept responsibility for his own failings and move on. It is ridiculous that he blames Isaacson. A normal person reading a bio of Einstein would be more concerned with his life than his science and wouldn't insist that an ancillary discussion be moved to center so that he can learn phsyics from a biography. Somerby made this same mistake with Godel.

That Somerby returns to this book frequently in order to gloat over the supposed failure of Isaacson, says more about Somerby than anything else. Who needs to prop his own ego up this way? And if Somerby builds up Isaacson using flowery adjectives, how much greater must Somerby be to clearly see the flaws in this wonderful person's writing? Hubris!

1. If you can't be coherent about the science then you shouldn't be writing about the scientist.

2. The purpose of a biography is to write about the man and his life, not explain his science. Textbooks teach science. But Somerby is not making a good faith effort and he doesn’t explain what is wrong with Isaacson’s explanation.

2. 1. The right wing has been knocking Biden for years, portraying him as feeble, demented, incompetent due to age. Why wouldn't such a campaign affect polling?

2. A clue to the lack of validity of this poll is that 62% say his health isn't up to snuff. I've read the report released after the president's last physical. He has minor complaints and is doing extremely well for someone his age. Trump doesn't release his health info, but I doubt he is in as good condition, even though he is younger. Biden has no major conditions. This indicates that people aren't actually following Biden's health, but also reacting to that disinformation campaign about being too old.

3. Trump has never been mentally sharp. Why should he be more so now? In addition to being unable to think well, he is uneducated and stupid. There is no cure for stupidity. He cannot complete a coherent sentence.

Somerby does remind us that the election is far away, but why doesn't he point out these facts about Biden that are obvious to liberals? Somerby rolls over and plays dead when the right spreads disinformation. If Somerby can challenge Isaacson, why can't he challenge this obvious bunk?

1. Bob’s purpose is taking relativity as justification for his own extreme moral laxity. You know, like there was no absolute right in taking down Hitler’s death camps, or ending slavery (well, Bob appears to be shaky on that one).. Trump was trying to be inoffensive when he told the lawyer “hey, you are not my type either.” It appears to be his laminated get out of moral hell card.
At least we are spared any more rape friendly nonsense about Trump today.
In the coming year Bob will relish every pole that it is Trump friendly. These results claim they like Trump better than Biden, but also that Trump should be prosecuted (that’s not absolutely right!). Congress often gets about a fifteen percent approval rating, but it is also a huge challenge to unseat a sitting member.
2016 may have been the year people became comfortable lying to pollsters. Over time, the press may have taught the public hating the Clintons justified any garden variety dishonesty. Republicans have developed a massive problem in winning the popular vote in the Presidential Election, it’s so severe they will now go to absurd lengths in lying about the election results. They came close to destroying the Country over it.
It’s tough when all you have to offer the voters are billionaire friendly polices, terrible candidates and hatefulness. Is the best a Harvard grad can do is sit on his self satisfied can and muse about relativity? In Bob’s case, apparently yes.
The opening story on Wallace today is on the Texas massacre, where a five year old was killed. Bob, no doubt, cannot find the murder absolutely wrong.

3. "Why would anyone vote for Trump? If you actually want to find out, you pretty much have to ask them, perhaps without calling them names."

I have done that many times and I do not get reaonable answers. For example, one guy told me that he expected Trump's economy to help his business do better. I asked him how he could vote for someone who was immoral and mistreated women. He said "well, if you feel that way, you probably shouldn't vote for him." He didn't have to say it, but he clearly didn't care about Trump's morals.

When you get answers like that, what more is there to say? Other answers to my question have been worse. I had one guy tell me he thought Trump was a hoot. He didnt' say it this way, but he enjoyed the way Trump flouted conventions and rode roughshod over norms. With someone like that, there is nothing more to say either. I care about whether the White House has its annual easter egg hunt. Trump and his followers do not. I care whether other world leaders are laughing at Trump as president. Trump followers do not.

Somerby thinks that name-calling hurts election efforts. I think that's incorrect. The people who are called names may never vote for Biden, but they weren't going to do that anyway. Whether we call anyone names or not isn't going to have any impact on the next election.

Meanwhile, Somerby cannot resist applying mental health diagnostic labels to everyone he meets. That is name-calling too. And when Republicans, including Trump, do shameful things, it is important to point that out so that the boundaries between good decent behavior and disordered chaos remain clear.

1. I read this blog because Somerby is a hoot.

2. Well said. The average slob on the street (.like, it should be said, me) can be forgiven to an extent for not getting awful effect of Donald Trump. Big box religion and Fox will take their toll, they are probably working hard and trying to get a few laughs out of life. Both side shysters like Bill Maher don’t help either.
This blog used to be about poor media behavior in the realm of National politics. Bob gave up on this in any serious fashion a long time ago. .

3. "This blog used to be about poor media behavior in the realm of National politics. Bob gave up on this in any serious fashion a long time ago. "

You think MSNBC engages in good behavior?

I used to love watching them. Now I cringe at their always overstating everything all the time, and their constant name-calling and dumb appeals to emotion and rage.

It's not just me, either. Their ratings have fallen bigtime.

4. Not that it’s important, but here are the facts:

“MSNBC tops Fox in Prime Time ratings for key demographic and total viewers in the week after Tucker Carlson's exit”

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12042567/amp/MSNBC-tops-Fox-Prime-Time-ratings-week-Tucker-Carlsons-exit.html

“MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace led MSNBC on Friday and won the 4 p.m. hour in total viewers, scoring a rare win over Fox News.”

5. "When you get answers like that, what more is there to say?" B.S.

4. Are Happy Days Here Again? Only because Somerby is happiest when liberals are crying. That is his main reason for promoting right wing memes here.

Today's memes: (1) Biden is senile, (2) Trump is normal and might win again, (3) Republicans vote Republican because Northern liberals aren't nice to them.

1. You're kind of out of your mind, aren't you?

5. Who keeps rereading the same books over and over, without understanding them? Somerby sounds like someone with a brain injury.

6. Biden is not even allowed to give unscripted press conferences.

Like Harris, he is unable to answer questions normally.

1. That's the same reason why i never listen to anyone complain about the deficit.
If they can't articulate their problem with it, what makes them think i should care?

2. Well, you certainly can repeat garbage from Fox without flinching,eh. Biden was the First President to give the State of the Union while being hectored by clods from the other Party. He never missed a step, a hole.

7. Oh boy. Bob's trying to, yet again, sell the idea that there is some liberal in the world who is more condescending to Republican voters than Republican politicians are. It's a ridiculous theory, which is backed-up by zero facts.

8. The second amendment is evil.

9. As I've said before, I voted for Trump because I thought his policies would be better for Americans than Biden's policies.
Regarding Trump's character flaws, I agree IMO Biden also has severe character flaws. But, I can't say that that's why I didn't vote for Biden. It was the policies that determined my vote.

BTW IMO Trump is too old and Biden is much too old. The Presidential term runs into early 2029. How will their mental sharpness be then? Not good, I suspect.

1. We know Trump is a lying, grifting, narcissistic bully who tried to overturn the election to stay in power and who may be deranged. Now do Biden.

2. Republicans should support statehood for Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.

3. The presidency is not like a game of Jeopardy, where the contestant stands alone with a button and must come up with answers on his own, faster than the others. The presidency is a cooperative effort, where a wise leader surrounds himself with the best cabinet members he can find, draws upon the expertise of advisors and experts of all types, devises a strategy working together with his administration, rises to meet any crises with a cadre of the best support in our nation, and enacts the policies and programs recommended by his team. Trump never did that much. There is no reason why Biden cannot lead well, even if he isn't running any marathons these days. Trump never read his daily briefings! His closest advisor was Putin. We can do much better with Biden because he will be backed by the full strength of national expertise (something Somerby doesn't believe in).

4. No doubt, back in the day David had plenty of time for “ the character issue” on Bill Clinton. All heroes have feet of clay, Trump does not have “flaws” he has an openly criminal mentality.

5. Clinton engaged in a consensual blowjob with a woman who was of age and who pursued him (based on her sworn deposition). That has nothing to do with rape.

6. Yes, but your judgement is fucked up, David.

10. “Why would anyone vote for Trump? “

…”could it possibly be because of us?”

You could ask Trump voters. Or, you could assume with Somerby it’s because they hate us.

Has Somerby, the media critic, ever written about the way the economy is reported on, or Biden? Could that explain the poll numbers we see? Biden’s economic numbers would seem to contradict people’s opinions about his handling of the economy, and the way he has managed things contradicts any notion of his being mentally or physically unfit. Maybe someone should ask those poll respondents to explain their views.

Or, you could just assume that they respond to factual questions the way they do because … they don’t like us. (?)

1. It’s sad but, given the way Bob once wrote and reported, and stuff he tries to pass off now, it’s hard to ignore the possibility he was bought off. Look at what the right laid out for Clarence Thomas, you think they might not have a few bucks left for Bob? That or senility, that’s pretty much your choice.

2. How can you possibly deny that MSNBC doesn't embroider stories all the time? They've become positively cartoonish lately, and this Carroll story proves it.

3. Interesting Bob goes this route with the case likely to come back this week. With rape, it’s known as blaming the victim.

4. 6:21: That has nothing to do with the poll Somerby cited, or my comment.

11. We live in a giant spiral galaxy.

12. “If they're really the fundamental laws, why wouldn't they be the same”

Isaacson says:

“For the special case of observers moving at a constant velocity

This is important.

Physical measurements based on the laws of motion will produce the same results in any inertial frames of reference, ones undergoing no acceleration relative to another. Bodies “at rest” or moving at constant velocity are in an inertial frame. In non-inertial frames, ie those undergoing acceleration relative to one another, measurements will be different, which would seem to imply different laws of motion operating.

This is why Isaacson talks about a pair of observers.

As examples, the Coriolis force and the centrifugal force are fictitious forces introduced to reconcile the different results for bodies in accelerated motion relative to another. Newton’s laws do not predict these effects, but observed results can be reconciled to Newton’s laws via this device.

There are non-trivial difficulties in finding a universal method for measuring results in both inertial and non-inertial frames as it pertains to the general theory of relativity. (Einstein first occupied himself with the special theory of relativity.)

The history of physics has been a search to explain the natural world via observation. There isn’t any reason to assume, as a matter of course, that humans have discovered THE laws that exist throughout the universe, but when discrepancies arise, there is a need to explain them. Physicists have built upon the idea that our observations lead to predictions based on mathematics, and that there is a well-ordered mathematical way to account for discrepancies that arise via different frames of reference.

(The Earth is a non-inertial frame, just FYI.)

Somerby has had 60 years to try to read up and figure this stuff out.

1. Two events which are simultaneous for one observer may not be simultaneous for another observer.

13. It's galling this vileness about Biden. He's done a splendid job, all decisions thought out and done.

1. He hasn't done great at all. Drilling in National Parks. Squeezing the middle class while funding insane proxy wars abroad with hundreds of billions of our dollars. He's a creepy, old scumbag.

2. 7:01,
Be honest. Do you ever see yourself forgiving Biden for the lowest unemployment rate in over half a century?

3. We only have those numbers because labor participation tanked.

4. 10:53,
I may not agree with your feelings, but I support your First Amendment right to have them.

5. 10:53, labor participation for blacks is about at the highest level ever, and black unemployment rate at the lowest level ever. So, it looks like you're full of shit.

6. The highest labor force participation rate for Blacks was in 1999, when it reached 67.3%. It's barely 60 today.

7. The lowest recorded unemployment rate for blacks happened during the Trump presidency in 2019.

8. Not true, magat.

14. Democrats have become such McCarthyite jerks. We're all happy and praising a President who drills in our national parks? Who keeps Julian Assange in prison? Anyone who questions how great he Is we associate as being a Russian traitor?

What happened to us?

1. Re: Julian Assange.
What's with him hiding the hacked Republican National Committee files from the public for almost 7 years now?

2. Democrats in 2023 have the same values as Republicans in 2004. It took us 20 years to turn into Republicans.

3. If anything good came out of Trump it might be that people are more on guard against “progressive” twaddle like this.,

4. 9:42 don't waste your time arguing or answering. There's nothing you can do to change reality.

5. 9:40,
Republicans didn't support abortion rights in 2004. You're making that up.

15. Prime-age employment is at the highest level of the twenty-first century.

Wages are growing fastest at the bottom of the distribution.

Black unemployment is at the lowest level on record.

Women's employment rate is at the highest level on record.

1. Wages are growing so fast, the Fed had to raise interest rates to slowdown the economy, to try to give leverage back to capital over labor.