June 28, 2024


Golf Distillery’s guide to handicaps:

The handicap index is a one-decimal number used to compare golfers regardless of where they play golf or which sets of tees they use. A golfer with a low handicap index will be better than a golfer with a high one. Very good golfers whose handicap index is better than 0 are assigned a + sign in front of their index number. For example, a golfer with a handicap of +2.0 should score better than one with a handicap index of 2.0, and much better than one with 10.0.

Richard Haass, Handicap:

It is tragic that things were allowed to reach this point. Biden should not be the Democratic candidate. He should have announced sometime in early 2023 that he would not stand for a second term. Yes, that would have made him a lame duck, but it also would have given him the ability to do the right thing about the border and the Middle East without having to worry about how activists in the Democratic Party would have reacted. … The critical difference between Biden and both Bush 41 and Carter is that Biden would be losing to someone who constitutes a grave threat to an American democracy that has served this country well for close to 250 years and a world order that has served this country well for 75 years. If Biden loses to Trump in November, it would overshadow all of his achievements over the past four years and define his legacy. To allow it to happen would be irresponsible and unforgivable. If democracy is truly on the ballot, as Biden and his campaign often argue, then he owes it to the country to step aside.

Sam Kahn:

The question is whether Biden has the self-awareness to realize how devastating his debate performance was and to step aside. My guess is that he’s not even close to it. My heart sank yet again when I saw a clip of him thanking supporters immediately after the debate, and he was gracious and optimistic — exactly as if he hadn’t just spent the previous hour-and-a-half struggling to get to the end of his sentences in full view of 100 million Americans. The only hope is for the people who have any possible influence over him — let’s say Barack and Michelle Obama, Jill Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, maybe the Clintons — to sit down with him in the Oval Office and break the hard news to him. They can wait for the next round of polling to come out — if there’s a swing of five or even ten points against Biden, as there may well be, there’s a chance that that can get through to Biden. For the sake of the country, I hope it’s ten points — whatever it takes to get the message across. And it does have to happen very, very soon. The point is that the Democrats have a losing hand right now. There is no other shoe that will drop between now and November — Trump is not going to go prison or drop dead, Biden will not magically rejuvenate. The only thing to do is to reshuffle the deck, but it will take Biden to do that and Biden won’t do it unless he is very firmly pushed.

Counterpoint from Heather Cox Richardson:

Immediately after the debate, there were calls for Biden to drop out of the race, but aside from the fact that the only time a presidential candidate has ever done that—in 1968—it threw the race into utter confusion and the president’s party lost, Biden needed to demonstrate that his mental capacity is strong in order to push back on the Republicans’ insistence that he is incapable of being president. That, he did, thoroughly. Biden began with a weak start but hit his stride as the evening wore on. Indeed, he covered his bases too thoroughly, listing the many accomplishments of his administration in such a hurry that he was sometimes hard to understand.

What a fucking mess.