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Richard Goodstein is a Democratic campaign strategist, involved in the Hillary Clinton campaign. Of course, in a world where Carter Page is a Senior Foreign Policy Advisor, it’s difficult to know what that means. Is he just some rando volunteer padding his resume, did he actually get a paycheck from the campaign, or was he one of the inner cabal working to subvert the American electoral process? Who knows?
What we do know is that he’s a frequent talking head on the cable news networks, where he can be counted on to change the subject on a dime, and always reliably parrot the Democratic talking points of the day. I mention him because he’s been selling a particular talking point over the last week or so, a point that I have heard repeated by other Democrats, including a group of Congress critters in the wake of the report from the Office of Inspector General.
Much talk before the election was given to how much better another candidate (insert generic Republican here) would have been doing against Hillary Clinton. Such a debate is of course unnecessary now since Donald Trump has won (bigly even). But, the question still has cropped up if someone else would have done better than Trump has done. Such a question of course is impossible to really answer in any kind of objective way. Too many counterfactuals and possibilities exist to be able to account for them. Yet, one possible option to test this hypothesis, has occurred to me, and I decided to put it to the test.
The Hypothesis: Mitt Romney is the quintessential generic Republican candidate. If he ran again in 2016 vs. Clinton and received all the same votes he did in 2012 would this allow him to beat Clinton if she received all the votes she got in 2016?
Whenever you have Trump or Sanders types running in primaries, you hear the question “What if they decide to run as an independent?” This is usually uttered with a shudder of terror. “They’ll split the vote!” “The other side will win!” “Egad!” This year, of course, is different. The eccentric candidates in the race might […]
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As a child, the author would constantly ask his parents odd questions. They indulged and encouraged him, setting him on a lifetime path of curiosity, using the mathematics and physics he learned in the course of obtaining a degree in physics and working in robotics at NASA to answer whatever popped into his head. After creating the tremendously successful Web comic xkcd.com, readers began to ask him the kinds of questions he’d mused about himself. He began a feature on xkcd.com: “What If?” to explore answers to these questions. This book is a collection of these questions, some previously published on-line (where you can continue to read them at the previous link), and some only published here. The answers to questions are interspersed with “Weird (and Worrying) Questions from the What If? Inbox,” some of which are reminiscent of my own Titanium Cranium mailbox. The book abounds with the author’s delightful illustrations. Here is a sample of the questions dealt with. I’ve linked the first to the online article to give you a taste of what’s in store for you in the book.
- Is it possible to build a jetpack using downward firing machine guns?
- What would happen if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90% the speed of light?
- In the movie 300 they shoot arrows up into the sky and they seemingly blot out the sun. Is this possible, and how many arrows would it take?
- How high can a human throw something?
- If every person on Earth aimed a laser pointer at the Moon at the same time, would it change color?
- How much Force power can Yoda output?
- How fast can you hit a speed bump while driving and live?
Main belt asteroid 4942 Munroe is named after the author.