Josh Barro Profile picture
11 Oct, 5 tweets, 1 min read
Being "pot committed" is a useful poker concept that should be used more in non-poker contexts. It's especially useful at times like this, when we approach an election where one candidate is strongly favored to win.
You are pot committed when you are highly unlikely to win, but there is such a large number of chips in the pot relative to the number of chips you have left in front of you that you might as well keep betting and hope for the best.
How does this relate to our current situation? Suppose you're a commentator who's made some large bets on a hand that isn't looking so great. Maybe the cards you're holding say "Joe Biden is senile." Or they say "Joe Biden can't win because of enthusiasm." Sucks to be you. But!
If you fold now, you already look like an idiot. You threw so many of those chips (your credibility) into the pot and if you fold, they're gone. But you can keep calling, repeating your stupid line, and who knows? Maybe you'll get lucky and win the whole pot!
Pot commitment can explain some of the seemingly inexplicable commentary you will hear over the next three weeks. Someone who's saying something that *seems* idiotic may actually just be making the only logical play with a weak hand and few chips facing a large pot on the river.

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More from @jbarro

4 Oct
In some instances, the president being a moron has mitigated the effect of him being a very immoral person. In this instance, the effect has been exacerbating.
Also, I’m not sure I can recall an instance where the president’s supporters have been harder on the wrong end of public opinion as when they describe shit like this as brave and COVID mitigation as cowardly.
The public has a bias toward being fearful of threats — something the president demonstrates he understands when he talks about crime. But here, he commits to a position that is both ridiculous and very unpopular.
Read 4 tweets
3 Oct
If the president’s testing timeline was exculpatory, would his Conley have refused to describe the testing timeline? He said he wouldn’t get into that when asked when the president’s last negative test had been.
It seems obvious what happened here: The president knew or had good reason to believe he had COVID, he didn’t want to admit it, and he just hoped it would be a mild enough case that he could just muddle through without disclosing it, superspreading all the way along.
He’s like COVID Corey, all the way down to the obnoxious social media presence.
Read 4 tweets
29 Sep
I'd like to see more specifics on how the city and the state are engaging Orthodox Jewish communities to contain these outbreaks, which are heavily concentrated there. This has not been a core competency of city government in the past.
If the city and the state fail to enforce educational standards at Yeshivas, that's a problem for Orthodox youth. But if they fail to get buy-in on COVID prevention, that's a problem for everyone.
Of course, the data we're seeing largely reflect how bad the COVID situation already was before the high holidays...
Read 4 tweets
28 Sep
I keep hearing people say "who does the president owe so much money to?" but we already have such a list of debts and creditors from his financial disclosure form. It's Deutsche Bank, etc. Am I missing something?
Some of the stuff some of you are describing about how you think the Deutsche Bank loans work doesn't make any sense.
I think some of you are referring to this allegation, but this isn't what "underwrite" means, and your source is the non-banker son of a late DB banker. He was also a source for the NYT's David Enrich, who didn't follow this angle, presumably for a reason.…
Read 5 tweets
28 Sep
Stop saying Donald Trump is “broke.” Does a broke guy have a private 757? Trump isn’t broke, he’s a rich guy with a high income who doesn’t pay nearly as much income tax as he should.…
If you see a tax document that says Donald Trump has no net income, you should take it seriously, but not literally.…
If you call Trump broke, he'll deny it, and most people won't believe you, bc look at him, he's rich. His best ratings in polls have to do with business/economy. But say he pays little tax on his high income, he won't deny it, and his refusal to release taxes will support you.
Read 5 tweets
26 Sep
The Minneapolis pledge to abolish the police department really looked like vaporware at the time, which it was, overhyped by its supporters and its detractors alike.
Read 4 tweets

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