Ask President Obama to Proclaim Darwin Day!

Workout notes swim: 11 x 500 on the 9, then 1 hour on the elliptical (7.1 miles): varied the incline on the 8, then on the 4. I also varied my direction.

Swim: First 500 was in 9:03, but I got rest after number 2, and then got 12-29 seconds on each of the rest. 5K total: 1:38:48.

At the start there was a group of women trying to do a swim practice; they’d do a 50-100 and well…it takes a while to learn that the idea is to move forward and not just to wiggle and kick.

Why this affected me: when I swim and the pool starts to get crowded, I move so as to take only half a lane so that a swimmer who shows up will feel welcome to share the line. But one of the, well, “wider” ladies didn’t exactly keep her legs on her side of the lane and I smacked them pretty hard on one lap (completely unintentionally).

Later I got a lane mate who I lapped repeatedly during the last 500, but it turns out that though he looked very fit body wise, he is, well, old. But given how healthy he is, this gentleman is doing something right. 🙂

Darwin day

If you’d like for President Obama to proclaim Darwin Day, you can do so here.

January 31, 2010 Posted by | Barack Obama, evolution, science, swimming, training | Leave a comment

Mother Night: the Movie

Find the trailer here. I wrote about the book here. Watch it…highly recommended. My comments about the book apply to the film. Excellent; just excellent.

January 31, 2010 Posted by | books, movies | Leave a comment

I agree with Governor Palin!

From her facebook group:

We’re called obstructionists and made to feel uninformed in the Obamacare debate “

I agree 100 percent with that statement.

January 30, 2010 Posted by | health care, republicans, sarah palin | Leave a comment

A Modest Suggestion for Senator Orrin Hatch

Senator Hatch is belly-aching about the possibility of the Democrats using reconciliation to fix some of the problems with the current Senate Health Care Reform Bill (which passed the Senate and could be signed into law IF passed intact by the House…but changes could be made by a process that cannot be filibustered):

GOP Senator Orrin Hatch is now warning that if Dems pass health care reform via reconciliation it will lead to permanent “war” between the two parties — even though he voted for more than a half dozen GOP bills passed through the process known as…reconciliation.

Here’s Hatch, in an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune, claiming that if Dems use reconciliation it would constitute one of the most despotic acts in the history of the republic:

Hatch said Thursday that using reconciliation would be “one of the worst grabs for power in the history of the country” that would permanently impact relations between the two parties.

“It is going to be outright war and it should be, because it would be such an abuse of the reconciliation rules,” Hatch said. “If they abuse those rules it is going to lead to even more heated animosities between not just the two parties, but even between individual senators.”

Which is interesting, because Hatch voted for…

And there are 7 times when he did; all are budget related, and the aspects of this HCR bill that would be subject to reconciliation would be.

Here is an idea Senator Hatch: why doesn’t your party quit abusing the filibuster rules to block everything that you don’t like? Unfortunately, it is your party that will take its ball and go home every time you don’t completely get your way.

But go ahead and throw yourself on the ground and hold your breath, if you must.

January 30, 2010 Posted by | economy, health care, politics, politics/social, republicans | Leave a comment

30 January 2010 (early pm)

Workout notes After weights: 2.2 miles on the treadmill (20:30). Things worked better because I started off at 0 elevation and 5.5 mph; I then increased by .1 mph at 0 until I got to 6, then gradually I increased by bigger jumps until I was at 6.7 mph. Then I went elevations: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, increasing very minute; then 5, 4 at 6.8 mph, 3 at 7 mph and finished at 7.4 mph.

Then 1 hour, 30 seconds on the AMT (5.4 miles), then 22:30 on the Stairmaster (2.5 miles).

Weights: sore left elbow hampered me; best sets were 45 dumbbells for the military, 70 for the bench, then some free bar bench presses: 135, 155, 175 all pretty easy. I also did curls, pull ups, pull downs, yoga leg lifts (20).

Politics/Economics: I’ve got to link to papers that talk about economics and rabbits (here and here)

The principle is there, all right. But, I mean, rabbits?

If this sounds cryptic: this paper talks about the notion of taxing an industry that worsens the surrounding environment (e. g., a factory might well employ people but also cause pollution, so it would be appropriate to add a tax to help clean up the pollution).

Speaking of Kruman, he does have a point: sure, he showed that he was much smarter than the Congressional Republican leadership, but that isn’t a surprise. What we need from him right now is leadership. Of course, I give the President more benefit of the doubt than Dr. Krugman does.

President Obama’s talk with Republicans

The one Republican that I did come away with respect for is Paul Ryan, R-WI. He is a smart guy, even if he is too conservative for my tastes. Rep. Pence, Rep. Hensarling and Rep. Blackburn came across as insipid mediocrities who could do little else but repeat Fox News talking points.

January 30, 2010 Posted by | Barack Obama, Democrats, economy, republicans, training | 3 Comments

Vote for Bill Edley, Democrat, 18’th Congressional District Committeeman

I’d like to make a plug for a friend of mine:

Bill Edley for 18’th Congressional District Committeeman

Experience: Mr. Edley served in the Illinois House from 1989 to 1995
(from a relatively conservative district) and founded the USA Patriot Corporation Project, which was taken up in the Senate by Senator Sherrod Brown and cosponsored by then Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

(References: The Nation article)
The Senate Bill.

Mr. Edley has served in other governmental post, including as the director of the Illinois Shared services Center.

Here is a short testimonial as to why I find his candidacy appealing:

I met Mr. Edley during the 2004 general election campaign. We went to
Iowa a couple of times to campaign for Senator John Kerry and we did a
walk list for Ricca Slone. Here is what I noticed: he has an unusual
ability to relate to people.

We would walk into an establishment (say, to eat lunch) and he would
be able to engage others in a way that encouraged themto open up and
express their views and feelings. In doing this, he made others at
least willing to listen to our message. I still don’t understand how
he did it.In many of these cases, I would have dismissed these people
as being “hopeless right wingers”, thereby missing an opportunity for

In private, I’d express a typical “gee, aren’t these people idiots”
sentiment, to which he’d gently remind me: “no, people aren’t stupid;
after all many of these people have set up and run businesses; that
isn’t easy to do. It is more of a matter that many just don’t pay
attention; he have to get them to pay attention.”

In short, I feel that Mr. Edley has the “people skills” that we need
in this post and I recommend him highly.

January 30, 2010 Posted by | Democrats, IL-18, Illinois, Peoria, Peoria/local | Leave a comment

Racewalking: Women’s One Mile

This is what fast, legal walking looks like:

January 30, 2010 Posted by | racewalking, walking | Leave a comment

30 January 2010: Get a Report From Each Cabinet Member

Workout notes Yesterday, 2 miles on the treadmill, 1 on the elliptical, followed by 2200 of routine swimming.
Note: my right elbow is a bit sore (where the joint meets the upper forearm).

TMI note (remember this is my physical journal): I’ve had trouble with reflux over the past couple of days, and my lower GI system has not felt right over the past week or so. I note that I’ve come off of dairy products during this time.


The President’s Weekly Address:

Like Robert Reich, I don’t like it that he continues to use the right-wing “governments are like a family” meme. But I’m ok with the nuts and bolts and I’m ok with his calling out those who cosponsored this creation of a fiscal commission bill voted against cloture (53 “for” but it fails?”). The filibuster is being overused.

Yes, I know: the party in charge is always the one that wants “up or down” votes. But the use of the filibuster has risen recently.

More politics Do you want a short 1 minute summary from each member of the President’s cabinet? Surf here, click on the Cabinet member’s face in photo (or click the photo at this site which takes you to the photo at and watch a short video to hear a short summary of the activities of that department.

January 30, 2010 Posted by | Barack Obama, Democrats, injury, politics, politics/social, republicans, science | 1 Comment

The President Holds an Open Discussion Across the Aisle | The White House is the official web site for the White House and President Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States. This site is a source for information about the President, White House news and policies, White House history, and the federal government.

Watch the 85 minute video (higher quality, with opening remarks) here.

Youtube version (some servers are crashing)

January 30, 2010 Posted by | 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Democrats, politics, politics/social, republicans | Leave a comment

President Obama Q&A session with House GOP – Full Video & Transcript – Daily Kos TV (beta)

President Obama met with House Republicans today for a 90 minute Q&A session. Here is the full video of the Q&A session:

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Note: this is just over 1 hour long but is well worth listening to. President Obama takes on tough questions, admits fault at times, but doesn’t put up with nonsense either. Anyone who thinks that President Obama is not intelligent and well informed is ignorant or just plain stupid.

Of course, intelligent conservatives will disagree with him on what the root causes of some of the problems are or on what the best course of action is; that is to be expected.

If you are a Democrat who is frustrated with Republican boilerplate and talking points, watch this to see them blown out of the water.

But if you reflexively dismiss Republican ideas (not the crap put forth by Fox News, but genuine, well thought out Republican ideas) as being wrong, well, President Obama deals with that attitude as well.

This was not some “pick up points by calling the Republicans obstructionist idiots” scold either.

He points out that demonizing the other side leaves one no room to negotiate with the other side. And yes, he has been saying this for a long, long time, and yes, he has said this to liberals, even when the Republicans were in power.

Update: this reaction is unfortunate. Perhaps the Republicans that showed up should have been better prepared or should have shown up for a serious debate rather than to show up trying to make him look bad by using talking points. Had they done that, they might have made a case for some of their ideas. Instead, they tried to act like tea baggers and it didn’t go so well for them.

January 29, 2010 Posted by | Barack Obama, Democrats, health care, politics, politics/social, republicans | Leave a comment