blueollie

We are going to get creamed in 2014, and we deserve it.

Terrible news for Democrats:

Americans are angry at Congress — more so than basically ever before. So it’s time to throw the bums out, right?

Well, not really. In fact, Americans appear prepared to deal with their historic unhappiness using perhaps the least-productive response: Staying home.

A new study shows that Americans are on-track to set a new low for turnout in a midterm election, and a record number of states could set their own new records for lowest percentage of eligible citizens casting ballots.

And:

Turnout2

David Horsey has a point:

david-horsey-cartoon-2014-elections-squishy-Democrats

We are going to get creamed because we suck.

July 22, 2014 Posted by | Democrats, republicans, social/political | | Leave a comment

Conservatives are not all crazy….

First, we have the Detroit Water and Sewage company shutting off water to deadbeat accounts. This statement sounds reasonable to me:

Detroit’s emergency manager Kevyn Orr said Friday that said no residents who are unable to afford afford water are going without it.

The city said more than 50% percent of its 170,000 residential accounts are 60 days or $150 delinquent. In March, officials at the water department began notifying delinquent customers that service would be shut off unless arrangements were made to settle overdue bills.

Of the 15,266 accounts where water service was suspended, more than half were made current and had the water restored within 24 hours, the city said. The remaining accounts with suspended water service represent less than 4 percent of the water department’s residential customer base.

In other words, many of the shut offs were to people who simply NOT PAYING THEIR BILLS.

Yes, I agree that it is good to help those in genuine need, but many of these (not all) were simply not paying.

Unfortunately, too many have a knee jerk reaction to such stories; they are either unaware or unwilling to admit that lots of deadbeats exist.

We also hear about “war on the poor”; here is an article with that title from perhaps my favorite public intellectual.

There is no “War on the Poor”; no one is attacking the poor to take something from them. What we have is a debate on how much to give (or not give) the poor. My deciding to NOT give you something that I don’t owe you is NOT a “war on you.”

It just so happens that assisting the poor is part of my value system and I think that it is good for society in the long run (aid to kids makes them less likely to need it later in life) and it provides some stimulus to the economy.

Speaking of aid to kids: I’ve thought that feeding the kids is the responsibility of the parents. Why are people on public aid having kids? Yes, my attitude here puts me at odds with some who are close to me.

THIS is where the phrase “entitlement mentality” comes from, at least when it is addressed to liberals.

July 22, 2014 Posted by | poverty, republicans, social/political | | 1 Comment

Back at it…in Peoria

First my workout: I didn’t dare weigh myself; though I ate 3 meals a day and ate within my foodplan, I didn’t eat the usual fruit and yogurt stuff I usually eat. So I felt as if I gained 30 pounds over the weekend.

2 mile jog outside (neighborhood)
2 miles on the track: 5 x 400 with 200 walk/jog, 200 run
runs: 1:54-1:52-1:54 (9:12)-1:52-1:53-55 (19:13)
rests: 1:43-1:47-1:47-1:47-1:44

quick breakfast, then 6 mile walk in Bradley Park: modified cornstalk 4.2 (lots of cars at the theater), lower 1.2 loop, lower .6 loop, then extra (Past Markin to Bradley Ave.)

total: 4 run 6 walk. I did have two “soft” knee spikes in my left knee (not the one with the 2010 surgery). This is looking as if …oh 3-6 years I’ll probably have to have this knee done as well.

Social
Mano Singham: discusses a different kind of migrant worker. This is the older 60+ person who lives out of a RV and drives to seasonal jobs; they can’t afford to retire. I hope that isn’t me, of course. But if I CAN do this and don’t HAVE to….who knows?

But yeah, I imagine this is no fun for those who are trapped in this manner.

Politics
you might be hearing about one really low poll number for President Obama (37 percent). In fact, most of them have him in the low to mid 40′s. Personally, I am glad that we don’t have a President that is rushing to get us into new wars.

Still, the Senate: ugh…we’d be lucky to hold it to 50-50. The 95 percent confidence interval for Republican seats looks like 47-55 with perhaps 51 being the most likely outcome.

Right now, the polls for us in Georgia and Kentucky are probably fool’s gold.

Note: I was more confident about the 2012 Presidential election because we had a LOT more polls.

Locally: To the surprise of no one, Tea Party IL-17 candidate Bobby Schilling has the support of our “let’s send the police after someone who hasn’t broken the law Mayor Ardis”. I am shocked. I wonder what dirty tricks Mr. Schilling has up his sleeve this time?

July 21, 2014 Posted by | 2012 election, 2014 midterm, Aaron Schock, political/social, politics, republicans, running, social/political, walking | , , | Leave a comment

Conservative Cranks

Paul Krugman:

James Pethokoukis and Ramesh Ponnuru are frustrated. They’ve been trying to convert Republicans to market monetarism, but the right’s favorite intellectuals keep turning to cranks peddling conspiracy theories about inflation. Three years ago it was Niall Ferguson, citing a bogus source. Ferguson was widely ridiculed, by moderate conservatives as well as liberals — but here comes Amity Shlaes, making the same argument and citing the same source. The “reform conservatives” have made no headway at all.

Why this lack of progress?

The answer is that inflation paranoia isn’t a simple misunderstanding that can be corrected by pointing to evidence. It’s deeply embedded in the modern conservative psyche. Government action must, by definition, have disastrous results;

That’s pretty much it: conservatives have some core principles…sort of “nothing can shake my faith in…” types of things. Reams of evidence will not change their minds; they are extremely vulnerable to Type II error (failure to reject a false hypothesis).

The same holds for the Affordable Care Act; here Matthew Yglesias gives an “I told you so” …and he KNEW that he’d get ridiculed for his initial prediction.

Or there was the infamous 2012 election in which those conservatives weren’t going to BELIEVE that “scientific gobbledygook”: (30 seconds)

OR

Note: the conservatives were getting taunted PRIOR to the election; this wasn’t mere hindsight:

Remember how Rove and others were supposed to raise vast sums from billionaires and corporations, then totally saturate the country with GOP messaging, drowning out Obama’s message? Well, they certainly raised a lot of money, and ran a lot of ads. But in terms of actual number of ads the battle has been, if anything, an Obama advantage. And while we don’t know what will happen on Tuesday, state-level polls suggest both that Obama is a strong favorite and, much more surprising, that Democrats are overwhelmingly favored to hold the Senate in a year when the number of seats at risk was supposed to spell doom.

Some of this reflects the simple fact that money can’t help all that much when you have a lousy message. But it also looks as if the money was surprisingly badly spent. What happened?

Well, what if we’ve been misunderstanding Rove? We’ve been seeing him as a man dedicated to helping angry right-wing billionaires take over America. But maybe he’s best thought of instead as an entrepreneur in the business of selling his services to angry right-wing billionaires, who believe that he can help them take over America. It’s not the same thing.

Consistently being wrong seems to bother them not at all:

So, there was a fun moment on CNBC: Rick Santelli went on a rant about inflation and the Fed, and CNBC analyst Steve Liesman went medieval on him:

It’s impossible for you to have been more wrong, Rick. Your call for inflation, the destruction of the dollar, the failure of the US economy to rebound. Rick, it’s impossible for you to have been more wrong. Every single bit of advice you gave would have lost people money, Rick. Lost people money, Rick. Every single bit of advice. There is no piece of advice that you’ve given that’s worked, Rick. There is no piece of advice that you’ve given that’s worked, Rick. Not a single one. Not a single one, Rick. The higher interest rates never came, the inability of the U.S. to sell bonds never happened, the dollar never crashed, Rick. There isn’t a single one that’s worked for you.

Yet this screaming tea party type got applause.

Accuracy means NOTHING to these people. Nothing.

July 17, 2014 Posted by | politics, politics/social, republicans, republicans politics | | Leave a comment

Get your “I miss President Bush t-shirt for 27 dollars…”

Screen shot 2014-07-16 at 3.20.27 PM

No, 27 dollars isn’t much of a political contribution.

It should be NOTHING for a Republican.

Yet…we have Republicans…complaining about the price?

Screen shot 2014-07-16 at 3.20.52 PM

Brother, if 27 dollars is a steep political contribution for you, you have no business being a modern Republican!!!!

July 16, 2014 Posted by | political/social, republican party, republicans, social/political | , | Leave a comment

I wish that they would make up their minds….

whatisitgoingtobewingnuts

July 14, 2014 Posted by | politics/social, republicans, republicans politics | | Leave a comment

Politics: the silly and the serious

I admit to (all too often) engaging in political pie fights.

Morons will do something like this and, at times, my friends (or I) will do something like this.

This has even affected my diction. I find myself seeing things like:

teabagger

militia3

and saying “PATRIOT” as a type of slur. Even some of my virtual friends do this.

But none of that is serious.

What is serious is this:
(via Paul Krugman)

You might wonder why monetary theory gets treated like evolution or climate change. Isn’t the question of how to manage the money supply a technical issue, not a matter of theological doctrine?

Well, it turns out that money is indeed a kind of theological issue. Many on the right are hostile to any kind of government activism, seeing it as the thin edge of the wedge — if you concede that the Fed can sometimes help the economy by creating “fiat money,” the next thing you know liberals will confiscate your wealth and give it to the 47 percent. Also, let’s not forget that quite a few influential conservatives, including Mr. Ryan, draw their inspiration from Ayn Rand novels in which the gold standard takes on essentially sacred status.

And if you look at the internal dynamics of the Republican Party, it’s obvious that the currency-debasement, return-to-gold faction has been gaining strength even as its predictions keep failing.

Can anything reverse this descent into dogma? A few conservative intellectuals have been trying to persuade their movement to embrace monetary activism, but they’re ever more marginalized. And that’s just what Mr. Nyhan’s article would lead us to expect. When faith — including faith-based economics — meets evidence, evidence doesn’t stand a chance.

Krugman says:

The problem, in other words, isn’t ignorance; it’s wishful thinking. Confronted with a conflict between evidence and what they want to believe for political and/or religious reasons, many people reject the evidence. And knowing more about the issues widens the divide, because the well informed have a clearer view of which evidence they need to reject to sustain their belief system.

In other words, don’t expect the educated conservatives to learn ANYTHING from being wrong.

July 8, 2014 Posted by | political/social, politics, republicans | | Leave a comment

July 6 Politics

Well, I’ve been reading about how Americans view President Obama as being terrible. You probably won’t see news on the recent uptick in approval ratings though this rates as a “meh” when you look at the trendlines that Presidents have had historically:

Screen shot 2014-07-06 at 4.52.55 PM

(from here)

Love him or hate him: the worst ever: he isn’t.

I admit that back in 2012, I really thought that the country would learn something from failing to trust basic facts and statistics:

and here but I guess not. SFBs who trust “their gut” over science and math aren’t going to change. And this will cripple the next Republican Presidential nominee like it did the last one:

July 6, 2014 Posted by | Barack Obama, political/social, politics, republicans, republicans politics, social/political | | Leave a comment

Political Quips

Well, the economy added jobs again: 288K. Unemployment fell to 6.1 percent as well.

Still, we could do better if we had some infrastructure investment.

It appears that it has finally sunk in that the Republicans will not work with the President, AT ALL. So, he’ll do what he is able to do via executive actions. Sure, even our stupid little hometown hick paper editorial board doesn’t like it (though they blame Congress as well), but this isn’t a “both sides” type of thing.

What I think has happened: Republicans are over represented in Congress, and Republicans in Congress are out to please their bat-sh*t crazy base.

Example: a conservative webpage made this comment:

wingnutmuslims

wingnuts2

See that? The conservatives are saying that American freedom bothers the Muslims or that they are bothered by not having Sharia Law.

In fact, if you follow the link to the Asian Times article you see:

Nearly a year after the events of 9/11, the Attorney General announced the introduction of the National Security Exit-Entry Registration System (NSEERS). The “special registration” program applied to men aged 16 to 45 who were predominantly from Arab/Muslim countries residing in the United States on temporary visas. The men were required to report to Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) offices for multi-phase registration that included fingerprinting, photographing, and questioning. It has been found that this program failed in two very distinct ways. Firstly, the department failed to put out clear information regarding the requirements of the program, which led to many unnecessary deportations. Secondly, the program reportedly used harsh detention methods on participants. It is clear that this program resulted in mistreatment and rights violations. While this program is no longer active, the U.S. Patriot Act and the CLEAR Act have both been reauthorized and are used by law enforcement.

The national media very rightly noted that the results of these policies devastate the relationship between the Muslim community and the U.S. Government. Civil liberties groups had already declared that the U.S. Patriot Act and the CLEAR Act negatively impact the civil liberties of Muslim minority groups, particularly Arab minorities and Muslim immigrants. Muslim organizations maintain that these governmental programs and policies create feelings of anxiety, ostracism, and isolation that detach Muslims from the American mainstream. In addition, the government’s use of racial profiling encouraged media and organizational stereotyping.

Racial profiling was once widespread in the New York area.

Now, to widespread attacks, arson, killings and other harassments against the Muslims living in the United States not forgetting the most recently (June 2014) dropped surveillance program carried out by the New York City police department that severely harassed the Muslims in the area.

Anti-mosque incidents have escalated in recent years. In 2012 summer, a mosque in Joplin, Missouri, burned to the ground. In 2011, a man was arrested with explosives outside the Islamic Center in Dearborn, Michigan. An arson fire seriously damaged a mosque in Wichita, Kansas, in May 2011. And incidents of mosque vandalism have become more common.

Hate groups have been on the rise, too; one of the most horrific hate crimes was the murder of Shaima Alawadi, a young mother who had received anonymous notes calling her a terrorist.

In other words, the use of “free” is intended as irony; they are complaining of profiling, discrimination, campaigns to stop the building of mosques, etc.

If the conservative base is so stupid that they can’t even understand a short newspaper article, or if they are so sure of themselves that they can’t be bothered to read the article that they linked to, is it any wonder that it is impossible to get along with such people?

July 3, 2014 Posted by | economics, economy, political/social, politics, politics/social, republicans | | Leave a comment

Emotionally, I am a Republican. Intellectually, I am a Democrat.

Yes, I support stimulating the economy at the bottom rather than at the top; there is evidence that shows that Keynesian principles have worked rather well and that programs like SNAP reduce the chance of the offspring needing public aid when they grow up. And no, the playing field is far from level; we don’t have a meritocracy. Where you start has a lot to do with where you end up.

I also support science because…well, it is true. It works.

But I sometimes get sick of liberals. You see an “oh, no, utility companies will cut off services to those who don’t pay their bills.” You see people complaining that they don’t earn enough to support their kids (so, why did you have them to begin with?).

When conservatives complain that liberals sometimes enable irresponsible behavior….they have a valid point. Emotionally, I have a very active “inner Republican”.

But supply side economics is still nonsense though. That is why I remain a liberal, at least in terms of actual policy, if NOT in emotional make up.

June 25, 2014 Posted by | republicans, social/political | | Leave a comment

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