Governor Pawlenty can take the lead in the GOP 2012 race!

No, I haven’t read that in a poll, but I have read this:

The Minnesota Supreme Court has just issued its long-awaited judgment in the Senate race, declaring that Democrat Al Franken is the winner.

The 32-page unanimous decision by the state’s highest court was released after a seven-months long battle over the seat formerly held by Norm Coleman. On every ground, the judicial panel rejected Mr. Coleman’s claims of trial errors or constitutional violations, and decided that Mr. Franken’s election should be certified by the state as valid.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty had indicated as late as Monday that he was willing to certify Mr. Franken as the winner once the state’s highest court decided the recount and Mr. Coleman’s battle. On CNN on Sunday, Mr. Pawlenty said: “I’m prepared to sign it as soon as they give the green light.”

Asked what he would do if Mr. Coleman decided to appeal to the federal courts, as had been mentioned before this ruling, Mr. Pawlenty added: “A federal court could stay or put a limit on or stop the effect of the state court ruling. If they chose, if they do that, I would certainly follow their direction. But if that doesn’t happen promptly or drags out for any period of time, then we need to move ahead with signing this, particularly if I’m ordered to do that by the state court.”

Some legal experts already are pointing out that the Minnesota Supreme Court did not issue a directive ordering Governor Pawlenty to sign the certificate. And there is, according to legal experts, a rehearing period of 10 days, under the Minnesota judges’ ruling. […]

If Governor Pawlenty signs the certificate he will encounter heat from the wingnuttiest of the Republican party. But my guess is that mainstream Republicans will see this as a good thing and this may well propel him to the top of the GOP heap in 2012.

Oh, what about “60 seats”? It means nothing; the Democrats have too many blue dogs for 60 to be really meaningful. After all, President Obama’s biggest obstacle will come from the conservatives in his own party, who are really Republicans at heart anyway.

June 30, 2009 Posted by | Democrats, politics, politics/social, republicans | Leave a comment

30 June 09 (am)

Getting ready to go to yoga class; instead of walking there and back I might walk at the track and do some controlled 2-1.

Update yoga, then 23 minute warm up (with drills), 12 x gooseloop (4 gooseloop miles with 40-45 seconds recoveries: 11:50, 11:37, 11:37, 11:27 focusing on pushing off and staying relaxed; return. Note: one “sort of attempted” divebomb incident; it isn’t enough to keep me off of the trail. Cool.


Ray shares some of his swimming coaching and inspiration. 🙂 (yes, that means a tiny bikini shot…and not of Ray)

Education: thank an English professor fail.

Healthcare Fail The trouble with many “for profit” plans: you get sick, they find a reason to refuse coverage. This is ok with Republicans but not with me.

Mind: There are supposed to be 12 or 13 men in this figure; I can only count 12.




Update: Dr. Andy directs us to a page that has a proper gif file that shows the illusion.

Humor: ladies, never trust a guy with a camera (or a couple of guys)

A lady bicyclist stretches


and gets distracted….and a guy gets a nice butt shot:


Never trust a guy with a camera. 🙂

June 30, 2009 Posted by | bikinis, economy, education, health care, politics, politics/social, racewalking, training, walking | 1 Comment

29 June 09 (pm)

Workout II: Forrest Park Nature Center Hike, outer loop; 1:06 for me, 1:07 for Olivia. Again, this was my normal leisurely pace; I didn’t have to slow down.

Dentistry I got my teeth cleaned; these days they use that highly pressurized water jet tool rather than the old hook. I prefer the old hook; that water jet thing feels yucky.

Wingnuts: watch Bill O’Reilly try to go head to head with Paul Krugman on economics; knowledgeable people shouldn’t be paired up with ignorant people.

June 29, 2009 Posted by | economy, hiking, morons, politics, politics/social, republicans, walking | Leave a comment

29 june 09 (am)

Workout notes 2000 yards; 500 easy, 5 x (50 swim/drill with fins, 50 swim), 10 x (25 fly, 25 swim) on 1:05, 10 x 50 on 55. The last set was harder than I thought it would be.


Pat Condell gives the best rants. Frankly, the burka should only be banned where one is required to show one’s face (for security reasons; e. g., if a mask is banned then the face screen should be banned as well). Otherwise, it is up to the individual.

Education: A young professor talks about the damage done to their careers by having to enable the snowflakes.

Edge of the American West: ridicules the right wing arguments that Barack Obama didn’t really write his book Dreams From My Father.

Nature: The Conservation Report has a spread on what appears to have been a successful hunt by an alligator: it got a deer.

Economy: two top notch economists (Paul Krugman, John Taylor) debate the economy with Fareed Zakaria.

Note: it looks as if I have a new show to watch. I didn’t do too hot on the Kakaria news knowledge challenge.

June 29, 2009 Posted by | Barack Obama, economy, education, health care, nature, obama, politics, politics/social, ranting, religion, republicans, science, swimming, training | Leave a comment

28 June 09 (am)

Workout notes Boredom via Columbia Terrace: 2:58 (2-1 from 30 minutes on); 29 at McClure and Sheridan, 1:29 at half way. Sunny, some wind; a few cars (started after 7 am; I need to start 1 hour earlier).

This is my course.

I had a few pings behind my right knee and on my right lower leg; they went away when I quickened by stride and focused on pushing off.

Here is what I want to look like eventually. I’ve got a ways to go yet. 🙂


Why romance in marriages is so hard.

Religion in the military: the evangelicals take things too far.

Science: A red supergiant star is contracting.

hat tip: science avenger.

Update A local blogger points out that states with “concealed carry” gun laws have higher rates of gun deaths.

Health Care: A Medical Doctor weighs in. He provides many examples; I’ll report one of them:

[…]Reflecting on the past week, a bunch of cases come to mind. While these stories may lack drama, it is nonetheless troubling to me how frequently my treatment recommendations are impeded by difficulties with health insurance. And I am sure my patients are not alone in suffering the consequences: […]

Mr. J, a security guard with diabetes, hurt his knee while fishing and had severe pain and swelling. When I initially saw him a few weeks ago, there did not seem to be any major structural damage to the ligaments, so I recommended a conservative approach with rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medications. Now, several weeks later, the pain and swelling had not subsided, so I ordered an MRI to evaluate for more subtle damage to the knee. After several attempts at prior authorization, the private insurance company refused to pay for the test. Baseball players get MRIs the same day for any bump or bruise, but even going through the appropriate prior authorization process, I could not order an MRI for my patient with private health insurance. I am not looking forward to all the phone calls that it will require to protest this denial of necessary diagnostic test. […]

I could fill many pages with stories like these of my patients whom are hard working, have private health insurance through an employer, but just cannot get the care that they need, because of unreliable coverage. It frustrates me that executives of health insurance companies spend millions on advertising to disparage public health insurance, and Republican politicians are stone walling meaningful health care reform because they are afraid that a public health insurance option would put private health insurance companies out of business. I do not care who provides health insurance for my patients. Whether they have public or private insurance, I just want them to get the best care possible. If private health insurance companies provide a high quality product, they will not be “forced” out of business by a public plan. […]

June 28, 2009 Posted by | health care, nature, Peoria, Peoria/local, politics, politics/social, racewalking, religion, science, training, walking | Leave a comment

Posts for June 27 (noonish)

Workout notes if the thunderstorms allow it, I am planning on doing one of the Galesburg Railroad Day races (5K ? 10K ?, run? walk?) One one hand I want to run at least a little bit to keep some semblance of conditioning but my walking technique is feeling better and part of me wants to establish a “baseline” so I can measure my progress.

I just got though working the Lincoln-Douglas 3 mile / 8 mile race finish line.

Local Stuff
A local teenager was killed when her SUV rolled off the road. The relevant details:

They held a candlelight vigil, they released purple balloons and they told stories, but nothing will replace their friend xxxx yyyy, who was killed when her car crashed Thursday afternoon. […]

Coroner Tim Ruestman said yyyy, who was not wearing a seat belt, was heading east on County Road 800 North but had traveled into the oncoming lane of traffic as the SUV headed up a hill. At the crest of the hill, yyyy turned sharply to avoid striking a vehicle traveling west toward her. The SUV went into the south ditch, where it overturned several times, ejecting her.

Information recovered from (her) cell phone revealed she was texting when the crash occurred. The 911 call – dialed by the driver in the car yyyy narrowly missed – and the last text message she received, were within seconds of each other, the coroner said.

Enough said.

From the letters to the editor section we have this rant at President Obama:

I support our military 100 percent, but when is this carnage going to end? Our men and women of all military branches are dedicated and follow orders because that is what they have been taught to do. To put our military in harm’s way because America constantly thinks the entire world should be democratic is a pipe dream. The constant waste of human life for countries where human life has no meaning is an abomination against the men and women of America who continue to put themselves in harm’s way. What gives the president the right to order our soldiers to die for causes we cannot win?

Fair enough, but look at what follows:

I’ll guarantee America right now that Obama and his socialist administration is taking America into ruination. Let Obama and his phony cronies serve on the front lines. Instead of just talking the talk, let them walk the walk to experience the price of freedom.

See, it is President Obama’s fault that we are at war!!!!! 🙂

This is why I don’t discuss current events with anyone but a select few.

One more letter to the editor is amusing, but for a different reason:

Not too long ago, Mayor Ardis was leading a group to pray away crime in Peoria. That, of course, didn’t work, as we’ve had five homicides so far this year.

Now he wants to permit concealed-carry of firearms, possibly ending up with a big shootout. Think about it – all the nut cases with road rage and a gun!

I ask the mayor to look in the mirror and ask himself, “What would Jesus do?” I don’t think he’d pick the concealed-carry route!

John Cullen

🙂 Well said; it is nice to know that not all Peorians are idiots. 😉

More national stuff

I found this video to be interesting:

Yes, President Bush’s religion isn’t as dangerous as President Ahmadinejad, and he didn’t cheat nearly as much during the elections. 🙂 (I was referring to 2000 election; Bush won the 2004 election fair and square).

But there are a couple of ironies here:

1. Christopher Hitchens made fun of Maher’s audience and said that “stupid people tell Bush IQ jokes.” But what does he do? He flips the audience off and says “fuck you”. Hmmmm, maybe Mr. Hitchens should look in the mirror when he talks about the responses that stupid people give? 🙂

2. As far as the video itself, finding out a bit about the differences of “end times thought” between some sects of Islam and your standard boneheaded Christian fundie WAS interesting.

But one comment for the viewer: President Ahmadinejad isn’t in charge of the Iranian military!!! He can’t start a war!!!!

Supreme Leader
Main article: Supreme Leader of Iran

Although he remains aloof from the competition of politics, the most powerful political office in the Islamic Republic is that of the Supreme Leader, of which there have been two: the founder of the Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and his successor, Ali Khamenei.

The Leader appoints the heads of many powerful posts – the commanders of the armed forces, the director of the national radio and television network, the heads of the major religious foundations, the prayer leaders in city mosques, and the members of national security councils dealing with defence and foreign affairs. He also appoints the chief judge, the chief prosecutor, special tribunals and, with the help of the chief judge, half of the 12 jurists of the Guardian Council – the powerful body that decides both what bills may become law and who may run for president or parliament.[9]

More assorted stuff

From the New York Times
3-quarks daily pointed us to this book review:

God has mellowed. The God that most Americans worship occasionally gets upset about abortion and gay marriage, but he is a softy compared with the Yahweh of the Hebrew Bible. That was a warrior God, savagely tribal, deeply insecure about his status and willing to commit mass murder to show off his powers. But at least Yahweh had strong moral views, occasionally enlightened ones, about how the Israelites should behave. His hunter-gatherer ancestors, by contrast, were doofus gods. Morally clueless, they were often yelled at by their people and tended toward quirky obsessions. One thunder god would get mad if people combed their hair during a storm or watched dogs mate.

In his brilliant new book, “The Evolution of God,” Robert Wright tells the story of how God grew up. He starts with the deities of hunter-­gatherer tribes, moves to those of chiefdoms and nations, then on to the polytheism of the early Israelites and the monotheism that followed, and then to the New Testament and the Koran, before finishing off with the modern multinational Gods of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. […]

Wright gives the example of the God of Leviticus, who said, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” and he points out that this isn’t as enlightened as it may sound, since, at the time, “neighbors” meant actual neighbors, fellow Israelites, not the idol-worshipers in the next town. But still, he argues, this demand encompassed all the tribes of Israel, and was a “moral watershed” that “expanded the circle of brotherhood.” And the disapproval that we now feel when we learn the limited scope of this rule is itself another reason to cheer, since it shows how our moral sensibilities have expanded.[…]

So I share Wright’s wonder at how nicely everything has turned out. But I don’t see how this constitutes an argument for a divine being. After all, even if we could somehow establish definitively that moral progress exists because the universe was jump-started by a God of Love, this just pushes the problem up one level. We are now stuck with the puzzle of why there exists such a caring God in the first place.

Also, it would be a terribly minimalist God. Wright himself describes it as “somewhere between illusion and imperfect conception.” It won’t answer your prayers, give you advice or smite your enemies. So even if it did exist, we would be left with another good news/bad news situation. The good news is that there would be a divine being. The bad news is that it’s not the one that anyone is looking for.


I’ll say it again: I have nothing to say about a deity that doesn’t directly interfere with natural laws or the business of this universe. My disgust is with those who believe that there is some cosmic “Godfather” who is going to pull strings on their behalf.

Paul Krugman: His blog has really grown on me. Yes, he is a consistent critic of President Obama; he views him as being too accommodating.

Here is what Dr. Krugman has to say recently:

On climate change denial types:

Year to year data has a great deal of variation; saying things like “Year X is cooler than year X – 1 therefore global warming is false” is downright ignorant. He also notes that the hottest day of the year in New York City was April 26, but this doesn’t mean that there WASN’T a heating trend from April to June; there certainly was!

On the latest sex scandals and the reactions of conservatives and liberals:

Yes, conservatives sin just as much as liberals. But they aren’t “socially permissive and casually tolerant” — at least not in the same way that liberals are.

First of all, there’s a difference in what bothers them. When a liberal politician engages in sexual betrayal, what bothers his erstwhile supporters is the betrayal. When a conservative politician does it, what bothers the supporters is the sex.

And after watching a series of scandals unfold, I’ve come to the conclusion that the liberal reaction — that the hypocrisy of the moralizers undermines their cause — just doesn’t come to grips with the conservative worldview.

From their point of view the cause, the need to police what people do in bed, is, by definition, right, because it’s literally God-given. So the fact that some of those trying to police what other people do in bed are themselves doing nasty things does not reflect on the cause itself — on the contrary, it shows just how necessary more bed-snooping is. […]

So left is left and right is right, and never the twain shall meet.

This last line probably best explains the difference between him (and those who supported Hillary Clinton, as he did) and others who supported Barack Obama.

Dr. Krugman types basically say: “hey, we aren’t ever going to see eye to eye with the conservatives anyway (and many of them are crazy) and we won the election. So to heck with them; let’s just steamroll them and do whatever we can; trying to compromise with the conservatives just waters down our plans (e. g., we passed a stimulus bill that was too small) thereby making them either ineffective or less effective that they could be.

On the other hand Barack Obama has always said that our differences are nowhere near as great as our similarities; there ARE Republicans that we can work with. That doesn’t meant that we shouldn’t point out incompetence. But, on the whole, most Republicans are not evil, insane people.

To be honest: in my heart, I agree with Paul Krugman. In fact, I’ll take it a step further: it is my knee jerk reaction to say “The Republicans are just stupid, ignorant or evil people. (or all three!)” My head tells me otherwise; in fact I know that my heart is wrong. In the 2007-2008 election I went with my head instead of my heart.

June 27, 2009 Posted by | 2008 Election, atheism, Barack Obama, economy, health care, hillary clinton, Middle East, morons, nature, obama, Peoria, Peoria/local, politics, politics/social, ranting, religion, republicans, Rush Limbaugh, science, superstition, world events | 1 Comment

27 June 09

Workout notes nothing yet; I am about to go to a race to work the finish line.


This is an Ed Current video, but check out the adorable toad 3:16 into it:

Back to President Obama: this is a Republican take on the energy bill that squeaked by the House: 🙂

June 27, 2009 Posted by | Barack Obama, evolution, frogs, humor, nature, obama, politics, politics/social, religion, republicans, science, superstition | Leave a comment

Glory For Christ Football League

Yes, this is a football league for those who can’t play in the regular leagues (due to being homeschooled, etc.)


Check out “academics” and “athletics”: you’d think that the sign maker would at least

1. Check their spelling or
2. Be inspired by their deity to spell these words correctly.

Note also how far down on the list of priorities they are; that might explain the misspellings? 🙂

Hat tip: Sandwalk.

June 26, 2009 Posted by | humor, pwnd, religion | 3 Comments

26 June 09 (noon)

The pool (university) was closed, so I did a 4 mile walking workout; to West Peoria, 1 laps of drills, then 5 laps of 2-1 (24:01), cool-down. It was sunny and 87 F, but the humidity was low.

I “felt” legal and I appeared to be legal when I saw my reflections; this is the rule that I have trouble following.

Afterward, I did some stretches and some push-ups.

June 26, 2009 Posted by | racewalking, training | Leave a comment

Keith Olbermann Scolds Fellow Daily Kos members; we respond

Many conservatives don’t understand liberals. We often have spirited disagreements with each other; here is an excellent example of that.

Keith Olbermann (a liberal MSNBC journalist who has the show Countdown) read some Governor Sanford’s “love e-mail messages” on the air. Many liberals were appalled by this (as it didn’t add any relevant information but appeared to be mean spirited gloating); my wife was one of those.

Some liberals (myself included) were ok with it; after all the e-mail messages demonstrate that Governor Sanford had ample time to break it off but instead carried on with it, all the while engaging in hypocritical moralizing about others.

Someone wrote a (recommended) diary that called on Mr. Olberman to apologize.

Mr. Olbermann (who is a valued Daily Kos member) responded to this diary and the discussion ensued.

June 26, 2009 Posted by | Democrats, politics, politics/social | Leave a comment