# blueollie

## Newt, Give it up!!!!

LAKELAND, Fla. — The Newt Gingrich campaign has a robocall out in Florida claiming that Mitt Romney once took kosher food away from Holocaust survivors.

The allegation made in the call, obtained by anti-robocall activist Shaun Dakin, is undoubtedly targeted at Florida’s large Jewish and elderly populations.

The text of the call:

As governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney vetoed a bill paying for kosher food for our seniors in nursing homes. Holocaust survivors, who for the first time, were forced to eat non-kosher, because Romney thought \$5 was too much to pay for our grandparents to eat kosher. Where is Mitt Romney’s compassion for our seniors? Tuesday you can end Mitt Romney’s hypocrisy on religious freedom, with a vote for Newt Gingrich. Paid for by Newt 2012.

So is this what happened?

The call is referencing Romney’s veto of a 2003 bill. It came at a time that some nursing homes were considering eliminating their kosher kitchens during a period of budget cuts. Their plan was to instead bus in kosher food from other locations. The bill Romney vetoed would have given an additional \$600,000 in funding to nursing homes, therefore making it possible for them to continue cooking kosher food on site.

Note: then Gov. Romney didn’t cut the budget; he was vetoing an increase, which was passed anyway and part of that increase was used by the nursing homes to continue to cook kosher food. If the veto were upheld, residents would have still had kosher food; it just wouldn’t have been cooked there.

I am loving this! :)

Oh, here is an intentional joke:

January 31, 2012

## Jumping….Long Jumping and Jumping to conclusions

Workout notes I made yoga class again with Crazy Ms. Vickie. Then I lifted weights (50 minutes) and then ran outside (50:52 for my 5.1 mile course along the river).

The weights: I changed the order due to the free weight area being busy; circuit one was three sets of pull downs, curls and rows. Circuit two was 3 sets of seated military press (40 lb. dumbbells; sets of 15) and pull ups (4 sets of 6). Circuit three was bench press (10 x 135, 8 x 155, 2 x 170) and sets of 20 sit ups. Circuit 4 was incline (5 x 135, 4 x 135) and more sit ups (enough to get to 100).

I also did my rotator cuff.

Then I went outside and did my 5.1 mile (8.2 km) course in 50:52; it was sunny, in the high 40’s (6-7 C) and breezy. Note: I saw about a half dozen bald eagles near the marina dam. That was neat.

Note: my gluteal cheeks are very sore, even to the touch. Yesterdays very mild set of push-backs, slow lunges and light squats were enough to make them sore. I need to strengthen this part of my body. In other words, I’ve been paying too much attention to women’s butts and not enough attention to mine! :)

So, I love the warm winter. But this might not be such a good thing; global warming continues no matter what the Wall Street Journal says. According to Phil Plait at Bad Astronomy:

The first was in the Wall Street Journal. The article, called No Need to Panic About Global Warming, is a textbook example of misleading prose. It’s laden to bursting with factual errors, but the one that stood out to me most was this whopper: “Perhaps the most inconvenient fact is the lack of global warming for well over 10 years now.”

What the what?

That statement, to put it bluntly, is dead wrong. It relies on blatantly misinterpreting long term trends, instead wearing blinders and only looking at year-to-year variations in temperature. The Skeptical Science website destroyed this argument in November 2011, in fact. The OpEd also ignores the fact that nine of the ten hottest years on record all occurred since the year 2000.

Here is the graph:

One of the things deniers do it to cherry pick some hot year in the past (a local peak) and compare it to a recent valley. Presto!

Mathematically speaking, global warming might be represented by a function of the variety: $T(t) = at + bsin(pt)$ where $a > 0$ and $b > a$. So an earlier peak might well be hotter than a later valley; this does not dismiss the overall trend.

Spandex butts and jumping:

Wow…you get a brief shot before the jump and a longer look afterward:

January 31, 2012

## Whores: attention, political and otherwise

Workout notes
Leg weights followed by an 1800 yard swim.
Legs: 3 circuits of: push backs (130), adduction (190) abduction (190)
lunges + squats with 45 pounds: 10 front, 10 back, 10 squats, done 3 times with hip hikes inbetween
Then toe raises
Then 4 x 30 sit ups.
Yes, I got sweaty! I didn’t realize it would take 55 minutes.

Then the swim: 1000 in 19:38, 5 x 100 on 2 (1:50-52 each), 3 x 100 IM.
Not good, but it felt good.

Inspiration

I am not sure as to why they were those tiny little spandex bun huggers that creep all over the place, but I am not complaining. :)

Sex and fetishes A couple of days ago I mentioned finding this photo in this stream of photos.

Well, it turns out that this has nothing to do with yoga; some of the so-called poses in this stream are terrible! But that isn’t the point; these women are from an outfit called AbbyWinters.com (the site is NOT, NOT safe for work; it is a soft-core porn site). That is unremarkable. But what is remarkable is what they list as fetishes. They have the usual…and then they have this:

That’s right: glasses!!!! I admit that I’ve always liked women in glasses but I didn’t know that was a common thing to like. Yes, I know; Sarah Palin wears glasses…and visually, I admit it. I find her attractive….physically.

Political Whores
I am enjoying the Republican race to see who is going to lose to President Obama this fall. One has Willard “Mitt” Romney:

Watch him run away from his successes in Massachusetts!

Then there is the “converted” Newt Gingrich (who is trailing badly in the Florida polls). He caught on with the right wing religious types in South Carolina (New York Times):

n 1999, shortly after the Senate voted to acquit President Clinton on two charges of impeachment stemming from his affair with the intern Monica Lewinsky, Paul Weyrich — mastermind of the union of the Republican Party and the Christian right, a founder of the Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority and the Free Congress Foundation — threw up his hands in despair.

In a letter to his ideological allies, Weyrich declared: “I no longer believe that there is a moral majority. I do not believe that a majority of Americans actually shares our values.”

Weyrich declared defeat:

Cultural Marxism is succeeding in its war against our culture. The question becomes, if we are unable to escape the cultural disintegration that is gripping society, then what hope can we have?

In the face of this onslaught of moral corruption, Weyrich counseled withdrawal from society at large. A “legitimate strategy for us to follow is to look at ways to separate ourselves from the institutions that have been captured by the ideology of Political Correctness, or by other enemies of our traditional culture,” he wrote. “We need to drop out of this culture, and find places, even if it is where we physically are right now, where we can live godly, righteous and sober lives.”

What would Weyrich, who died in 2008, make of the fact that Newt Gingrich — who was himself having an adulterous affair during the Clinton impeachment proceedings (one of several conducted by the former speaker, according to his own testimony and a number of lengthy journalistic investigations, including this one from CBS and that one from the Daily Beast) — won the 2012 South Carolina Republican primary with a plurality of voters who described themselves as evangelical or born-again Christians?

Exit polls show that Gingrich beat Romney by 44-22 among born-again and evangelical Christians, and by 46-10 among voters who said the religious convictions of the candidates mattered “a great deal.” His margins were equally strong among supporters of (and sympathizers with) the Tea Party, a constituency that closely overlaps with religious conservatives.

In fact, the Gingrich campaign reveals the current state of the Christian right, its status anxieties, its desperation, its frustration and in particular its anger. The extreme volatility of Gingrich’s primary season bid reflects not only the success and failure of his own tactical maneuvers and those of his opponents, but also the ambivalence of the Republican electorate in choosing between ideology and pragmatism — an intraparty struggle dating back to the candidacy of Barry Goldwater in 1964.

But not all Tea Party types in Florida are buying it: (Christian Science Monitor)

A straw poll of Florida tea party supporters taken Sunday night, following a tele-forum hosted by the Tea Party Patriots with three GOP presidential candidates, showed Mr. Gingrich ahead with 35 percent of the vote. Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania came in second with 31 percent, and Romney was third with 18 percent. Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who is not campaigning in Florida and did not take part in the tele-forum, got 11 percent.

But more-scientific polls of likely Florida GOP primary voters show a different picture. A Quinnipiac poll released Monday shows Romney beating Gingrich among self-described tea party supporters, 40 percent to 35 percent (and winning among all Florida Republicans 43 percent to 29 percent). Although an NBC/Marist poll released over the weekend shows Gingrich slightly ahead of Romney among Florida tea party supporters, 36 percent to 34 percent, it also found Romney winning in Florida overall 42 percent to 27 percent.

And there is even some word that some Sarah Palin supporters are unhappy with her supporting Mr. Gingrich.

I still think that Mr. Romney is the heavy favorite for the nomination.

Attention Whores: no, not Ms. Palin:

Donald Trump’s camp says he’s talking to “high level political operatives.”

I can confirm that over the past two weeks I have spoken with many high-level political operatives, campaign managers, finance directors — some of whom I have spoken to in the past. Most are new people from all over the country,” said Michael Cohen, executive vice president at the Trump Organization and special counsel to the reality TV star.

“Until the time Mr. Trump decides to either endorse a candidate or run himself, I am exploring on his behalf the possibilities of ensuring Mr. Trump appears on the ballot in all states, and to develop a team of professionals who could ensure a potential victory,” Cohen added.

If he runs, I wonder if he can make 1 percent of the popular vote. Will he pick Sarah Palin as his running mate? :)

Oh yes, here is one of the best:

Anti-tax activist Grover Norquist has long held a tight grip on the marionette strings of the GOP. Wielding undue influence as the head of the Americans for Tax Reform, Norquist ensures that Republican lawmakers sign his anti-tax pledge and threatens them with electoral defeat should they even think of deviating from it. Norquist has marked a successful few years, killing the deficit super committee agreement, batting down a tax increase on millionaires, and, of course, ensuring the extension of the Bush tax cuts.

Pleased with his headway, Norquist is now mapping out how he can ensure further anti-tax victories by securing Republican majorities. In an interview with the National Journal, he mused that a GOP mandate would obviously enact an extension of the Bush tax cuts, work to maintain a repatriation holiday for corporate profits, and even pass House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) plan that jeopardizes Medicare. But when asked what Republicans should do if faced with a Democratic majority that won’t keep the tax cuts, Norquist had a simple answer: “impeach” Obama.

NJ: What if the Democrats still have control? What’s your scenario then?

NORQUIST: Obama can sit there and let all the tax [cuts] lapse, and then the Republicans will have enough votes in the Senate in 2014 to impeach. The last year, he’s gone into this huddle where he does everything by executive order. He’s made no effort to work with Congress.

I am not sure as to which “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” he is talking about. But hey, he can talk about anything he wants…and I can talk about making the New England Patriots football team. :)

On a more uplifting note

I’m not sure when “giving back to the country that gave you so much” ceased to be a conservative virtue. But today’s conservative political leadership is intellectually and morally bankrupt.

January 31, 2012

## Politics and Science (what else?)

Science Jerry Coyne at Why Evolution is True recommends this Evolution Poster:

(click for the full size poster)

Virus Evolution
Some viruses can mutate to become more contagious very quickly. Carl Zimmer in the New York Times explains:

Viruses regularly evolve new ways of making people sick, but scientists usually do not become aware of these new strategies until years or centuries after they have evolved. In a new study published on Thursday in the journal Science, however, a team of scientists at Michigan State University describes how viruses evolved a new way of infecting cells in little more than two weeks.

The report is being published in the midst of a controversy over a deadly bird flu virus that researchers manipulated to spread from mammal to mammal. Some critics have questioned whether such a change could have happened on its own. The new research suggests that new traits based on multiple mutations can indeed occur with frightening speed.

The Michigan researchers studied a virus known as lambda. It is harmless to humans, infecting only the gut bacterium Escherichia coli. Justin Meyer, a graduate student in the biology laboratory of Richard Lenski, wondered whether lambda might be able to evolve an entirely new way of getting into its host.

The standard way for lambda to get into a cell is to latch onto its outer membrane, attaching to a particular kind of molecule on the surface of E. coli. It can then inject its genes and proteins into the microbe.

Mr. Meyer set up an experiment in which E. coli made almost none of the molecules that the virus grabs onto. Now few of the viruses could get into the bacteria. Any mutations that allowed a virus to use a different surface molecule to get in would make it much more successful than its fellow viruses. “It would have a feast of E. coli,” Dr. Lenski said.

The scientists found that in just 15 days, there were viruses using a new molecule — a channel in E. coli known as OmpF. Lambda viruses had never been reported to use OmpF before.

Surf to read the rest; nature can be very efficient….and it is indifferent to the comfort of humans. True, nature cares about our being able to reproduce so we do evolve some defenses against diseases that kill prior to our child bearing years.

Politics
Republicans are fed a mess of lies and distortions from the right wing media. Here is one whopper (surf to the Salon article by Michael Lind to read more)

Here is misleading argument No. 1:

Spending on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Obamacare alone currently account for 46 percent — or nearly half of — federal spending, excluding interest payments. Over the next 25 years, that percentage will explode to 66 percent, or close to two-thirds, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

This claim, while true, is misleading. This statistic, without any measure of how the projected federal spending grows (relative to GDP) is meaningless. Here is why: suppose next year, we completely cut military spending and we keep the above programs exactly the same. Guess what: the spending on those programs, as a percentage of the federal budget, would go way up and we wouldn’t be spending any more money! Of course that is an extreme example. A more honest statistic would be how much spending on these programs would grow AS A PERCENTAGE OF GDP.

I am not saying that we shouldn’t try to reform Medicare because, well, more of us are living longer and most medical expense comes at the end of life. But we should be honest about the numbers.

Other lies you might hear: “Obama is taxing you more” (no, he isn’t; he is taxing you LESS), “Obama Raised Taxes 19 times”; here is what Mr. Romney really meant by that:

We’ll list the 19 provisions in four groupings that reflect how much consensus there seems to be from our reporting.

Items that are clearly taxes, and that are already in effect

• Increasing the federal excise tax on tobacco. Obama signed legislation raising taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products soon after taking office; that money goes to pay for children’s health insurance programs. The law went into effect in 2009.

• A 10 percent excise tax on indoor tanning services. This tax is narrowly targeted at tanning bed users, but it is still a tax. This took effect July 1, 2010.

• Increasing corporate taxes by making it more difficult for businesses to engage in activities that reduce their tax liability. This appears to refer to the closing of a half-dozen existing exemptions and credits relevant only to large international corporations. (We wrote about this recently.) While this is a provision targeted narrowly at big conglomerates — and while it’s popular as a way to keep deep-pocketed countries from sheltering excessive amounts of income — our experts said it does count as a tax increase. Obama signed the bill into law on Aug. 10, 2010.

• Imposing an annual fee on manufacturers and importers of branded drugs, based on each company’s share of the total market. While some industry-specific levies are intended to help foot the bill for regulatory processes, this one is more of a revenue raiser for the more general goals of the health care overhaul. It took effect on Jan. 1, 2011.

Follow the link to see the rest; it is in dispute whether some of the changes really are “taxes”.

You might also hear about how “Obama grew government”. Actually we have fewer non-military employees than when President Reagan was in office (automation?). If you are talking about spending (Paul Krugman):

One of the things everyone knows right now is that Obama has presided over a huge increase in government spending. But like so many of the things everyone knows, it isn’t true.

A few considerations to bear in mind:

1. You don’t want dollar amounts, especially when comparing over time; you really want to scale spending by the size of the US economy.

2. But even dividing by GDP isn’t quite enough, because we’re still a deeply depressed economy, so government spending as a share of GDP will look high even if actual spending hasn’t risen at all, simply because it’s divided by a smaller number. So a better guide is spending as a share of potential GDP, for which I use the CBO measure.

3. You really want to consolidate federal spending with state and local — especially because a significant part of the stimulus was aid to state and local governments designed to help them limit spending cuts.

It just isn’t true: President Obama isn’t a big government president.
NOTE: this graph is “spending vs. POTENTIAL GDP which is currently below the actual GDP due to the recession, so many being out of work, etc.”

Obama Derangement Syndrome
The bottom line, many conservatives hate Obama for, well, doing stuff that he didn’t actually do:

The right’s core case is that Obama has governed as a radical leftist attempting a “fundamental transformation” of the American way of life. Mitt Romney accuses the president of making the recession worse, of wanting to turn America into a European welfare state, of not believing in opportunity or free enterprise, of having no understanding of the real economy, and of apologizing for America and appeasing our enemies. According to Romney, Obama is a mortal threat to “the soul” of America and an empty suit who couldn’t run a business, let alone a country.

Leave aside the internal incoherence—how could such an incompetent be a threat to anyone? None of this is even faintly connected to reality—and the record proves it. On the economy, the facts are these. When Obama took office, the United States was losing around 750,000 jobs a month. The last quarter of 2008 saw an annualized drop in growth approaching 9 percent. This was the most serious downturn since the 1930s, there was a real chance of a systemic collapse of the entire global financial system, and unemployment and debt—lagging indicators—were about to soar even further. No fair person can blame Obama for the wreckage of the next 12 months, as the financial crisis cut a swath through employment. Economies take time to shift course.

Obamacare? That was really the Heritage Foundation’s plan that was offered by Bob Dole to President Bill Clinton (with some modifications, of course).

So, liberals hated President George W. Bush too, so what is the difference? Well, as Bill Maher points out: we hated President Bush for what he REALLY DID DO: run up a ton of debt, attack a country that didn’t attack us and do so under false premises and give big tax cuts that mostly benefited the wealthy. He really did do these things.

There is nothing wrong with disliking President Obama (though I like him very much); there is a lot wrong with pretending that he did things that he didn’t do.

January 29, 2012

## Spring 2012 Sports, what to do?

Workout notes

Today: the course had scattered, isolated patches of snow/ice; none was longer than 20-30 meters or so. It took me 2:25:43 to do the course (10.5 miles; this was 13:52 minutes per mile) and I was walking at a very relaxed effort. I noted some soreness in my RIGHT hip (the one without the piriformis issue). Whether I like it or not, I’ll have to do regular PT for it. My butt muscles are weak.

I am ashamed that I even thought about walking inside today; it was sunny (9 am), slightly breezy and right around freezing.

I wore my trail shoes (Brooks Cascadias) and tried to focus on posture and on staying upright. The knees were fine though I made no effort to “stay legal” on the ice/snow patches nor on the very steep uphill near mile 10. This course featured 360 feet of climbing.

On the way back I saw one of my differential equations students; he runs for the cross country team and makes fast running look so easy.

Spring 2012: goal setting
I am mostly over my infection; I’ll give myself one more “general week” to recover prior to thinking about training. But then I’ll have to focus on something…or make the decision to not focus on anything and just do what I can, when I can and perhaps push my goals back to fall.

Who says that one needs a goal? I am enjoying my current round of “doing a little bit of everything” though I won’t like the race results I’ll get from doing this. :)

So the possibilities are:

1. No goal at all. The upside: I get to vary my training. The bad: my results will not be good.
2. Running: run a sub 24 5K. The upside: easy to train for in that I have an indoor track and a hilly course; I’ll have plenty of time to put in base, run hills, run a few tempo runs and then start racing hard in May. Also, this type of training is easy on my piriformis. The downside: I’ll have to keep my long walk “moderate” (e. g., like today’s).
3. Running: finish the Steamboat 15K “respectably” or perhaps a half marathon. The upsides and down sides are similar to 2, though I might combine this with 2.
4. Walking: walk a marathon (5:20) or a 50K (6:30). Upside: there is a “Walkers only” marathon/50K in Minnesota this May and I can make it this year. If you get DQ’ed for knees in the racewalk division, they’ll let you finish as a “general walker”. Downside: I’ll need to really up my long walk (I have the time) and add a medium long “tempoish” walk midweek; this means reducing the number of runs I can do per week. But mostly: I don’t know if my piriformis can handle the training. I’ll really have to take time to stretch it and PT it.

Where I am: 2:34 half marathon walk and about 56:50 for the 10K run; these are training like baselines.

I suppose I can just ramp up my general program (gradually) and make a decision by the end of February.

January 29, 2012

## The Stupid: it burns….just burns…

Chris Christie should know better
Christie is upset that a gay marriage law might end up on his desk; he threatened to veto it. He thinks that gay rights ought to be decided by popular referendum? (uh, we have a liberal democracy, not a “majority rule” but never mind). But he said something that was incredibly stupid:

The fact of the matter is, I think people would have been happy to have a referendum on civil rights rather than fighting and dying in the streets in the South.”

Uh, he really thinks that southern whites of that time period would have “granted” rights to the blacks? What planet is this clueless idiot person living on? Ok, Mr. Christie isn’t an idiot but he sure screwed up when he said that and he isn’t known for admitting to making mistakes.

As far as those who aren’t in politics
Our newspaper decided to publish this letter to the editor as “in the spotlight”; they said that this woman (Gina Zindt) is an “administrator in higher education”; in fact she is a human resource director for Knox College (NOT an academic).

She doesn’t like President Obama (nothing wrong with that) but she goes on to blame HIM for gridlock in Congress???

The absence of effective leadership from Obama has directly caused the immeasurable dysfunction of Congress. First, Obama doesn’t know his sport. He has no meaningful leadership knowledge or experience. He refuses to visualize outcomes from both Democratic and Republican perspectives. Rather, he continually fuels the division between them by blaming Republicans. Congress has never been more polarized: They are deadlocked on almost every issue because of his inability to inspire or motivate. It’s no wonder that Congress has its lowest approval rating ever.

Like Congress, we the people are more polarized than ever before. From the Tea Party to the Occupy movement – and all the passions in between – voters are beyond disappointed. We are disgusted and angry. But we can’t get lost in the seemingly endless infighting that will go on during all the campaigning this year. We simply must stay focused on the goal: removing Obama from our White House.

Uh, well, thought I don’t like John Boehner, even HE can’t keep his own caucus in line. From David Frum

At some point, Speaker John Boehner was going to have to show the most conservative members of his caucus that he would get work done in the House without them.

Yesterday revealed that day has not yet come. The ramifications of the failure to pass the Continuing Resolution (CR) for FY12 in the House will be far-reaching. It’s true that Democrats took advantage of the Tea Party defections from the GOP leadership and aided in killing the CR. But this was the second embarrassment on a critical vote for the House Republican leadership this year.

Rep. Eric Cantor had predicted that the votes were there to pass the CR. “All is well.” It wasn’t.

In blunt terms, the Speaker asked his caucus to endorse a deal that the House of Representatives had made with the Administration. The CR conformed to the Budget Control Act that was passed to increase the debt ceiling. The House and its Speaker had made a deal. The CR was the natural legislative result of that deal.

This was not perfidy on the part of the President, or some RINO conspiracy. This was the word of the House of Representatives, given and vouched for by the Speaker to the President. For members of his own caucus to publicly fail to help the Speaker keep his commitment shows that Republicans in the House (and in the country) are divided. They are in danger of becoming the equivalent of Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Albania, Macedonia, and Kosovo after the Third Balkan War.

If the United States had a parliamentary system, the Speaker would have to step down. His leadership of his own party has been repudiated by the right of the right.

My goodness; to think that people like this live among us.
In this woman’s “mind” (or what passes for a mind), President Obama is some uncompromising liberal. WRONG.

January 28, 2012

## Indoors and distractions

Workout notes
The morning came up icy (just below freezing, an inch of snow lead to slick morning roads). So I passed up the outdoor 5K run and did a lifting workout followed by a 10K on a track (50 laps of an indoor track).

Lifting
I did my usual routine at a slightly slower pace.
Circuit one
rotator cuff (pulley), rows (Hammer Machine), curls (pulley), pull downs (lat machine)
row: 10 x 180, 10 x 230, 10 x 230
curl: 10 x 42, 10 x 47, 10 x 50
pull down: 10 x 140, 10 x 160, 10 x 160

Circuit two
Bench press plus sets of 20 sit ups (one after each bench press set)
10 x 135, 3 x 175, 5 x 170

Circuit three
Pull ups followed by sit ups (20 at the highest incline)
7, 7, 6, 6. The 7’s were done with knuckles facing me, the 6’s were done in a shoulder friendly position (knuckles facing sideways)

Circuit four
Incline bench press with one more set of sit ups:
7 x 135, 6 x 135

Circuit five

I finished with dumbbell rotator cuff exercises and two sets of 15 x 40 lb. dumbbell military presses.

Then I stretched and ran 10K on the track: my time was 56:50 for 50 laps (about 6.25 miles, slightly longer than 10K)

9:38, 9:21 (18:59), 9:12 (28:11), 8:57 (37:09), 8:47 (45:57), 8:40 (54:38), 2:12 (56:50)

Note that I was mostly by myself for the first 4-4.5 miles and then I paced off of one young woman for about .5 miles (4.5 to 5) and then took it in on my own.

Evidently I am almost over my illness; this 56:50 was only 30 seconds slower than what I did at a 10K race this September, and I had a warm up prior to that and I didn’t lift weights first. Then again, this was a springy track with no wind, hills, pot holes, etc. But it wasn’t a bad workout.

One funny note: near the track there is a mat where people can stretch or work with an exercise ball. As I completed one of the middle laps I saw a woman with a larger butt doing this (facing away from the track, almost perpendicular to it:

(click on the thumbnail to see the full size photo).

I got distracted for just a moment and regretted not having a camera. Well, not really.

Then again, had I seen this, I might have gotten a heart attack:

(click on the thumbnail for the full size photo)

January 28, 2012

## Snowy Saturday…sort of

Ok, it was just an inch and the roads are somewhat clear. Nevertheless, I’ll be lifting and then doing a short run on the track this morning.

Posts

Note: Presidents of both parties have been complaining about his “hold” policy for years. Yes, I thought it was dumb even when President Bush was in office. There might be some breakthrough in reaching an agreement to at least amend some of these procedures.

I don’t have the data on Senate holds but I do know that the Republicans have used the filibuster at an unprecedented rate.

Newt Gingrich and his Super Pac “Winning our Future”

(note: Mr. Huckabee said that he was taken out of context and did NOT endorse the ad)

Notice how slick this ad is and how is very quickly slips in the appropriate disclaimers; Mitt Romney is never exactly accused of any direct wrongdoing. In fact, this ad presents what is old news in Massachusetts. But the tone is designed to scare the voters rather than to inform them. Very devious…:)

So how well are the candidates themselves doing on truthfulness? Here Nate Silver makes an analysis; one should read Mr. Silver’s cautions though.

January 28, 2012

## What they didn’t do and what they didn’t say….

Workout notes
Slept in but made the 7 am swim. 1000 in 19:38 (way slow), 5 x 100 on 2 (1:50-1:53), 3 x 100 IM.
The swim felt pleasant but wasn’t much exercise (just over 1 mile)

I was a bit surprised to see atheists being upset over this:

Gawker’s substantial Mormon readership has come through for us: Two readers have sent us confirmation that Edward Davies, Mitt Romney’s militantly atheist father-in-law, was indeed posthumously converted to Mormonism by his family, despite the fact that when he was alive he regarded all religions as “hogwash.”

Just to set the record straight: this is NOT lying about a “death bed conversion”; no one is claiming that this man DID anything. And no, this isn’t desecrating a burial place as nothing physical was done. (I said these two things right off of the bat because I got remarks such as these).

My question: why does any atheist care who does what ceremony in whose name? Sure, right now, I’d be a bit concerned if some religious leader condemned me to death in some spiritual sense but ONLY because some whack job might attack me. But aside from direct physical acts, who cares? Really…those nut jobs who baptized the dead are DOING NOTHING AT ALL. It is the same as some kid pretending to cast a spell or something. Really….

They didn’t say that
Though I sometimes talk politics, I don’t like it when people repeat stuff that isn’t true. One of the favorite memes of the polyester pants set is that Al Gore said that he “invented the internet”. He never said that. He was clearly talking about policy and legislation and while you might argue that he took too much credit, he clearly was not talking about “inventing it”.

But this is not a left-right issue.
Dan Quayle never intimated that people in Latin America speak Latin; this meme came from a comedian’s joke.

And no, Spandex Sarah (Sarah Palin) never said that “she could see Russia from her house” though she did (correctly) say that you can see a part of Russia from a part of Alaska. The “seeing Russia from her house” was a Tina Fey joke.
This is what she really did say (which was bad enough):

Living in a Bubble
Joe Paterno died recently. My view: he was a good coach who did a lot right (gave back to community, got his players to graduate, etc.) but what he did wrong (NOT calling the police) was inexcusable; he should have been fired IMHO. It appeared to me that he was more concerned with his job and legacy than stopping a horrendous wrong.

Nevertheless, at the funeral, you are seeing much sentiment at how Paterno was giving a raw deal (example, example)

The pro-Paterno people are living in some bubble, I think. My guess is that this will hurt them in the long run; note that this year the got the Big Ten 7’th pick (8’th if you count the Michigan Sugar Bowl team) despite their fine on the field record. Some of that was the scandal, but this type of blind loyalty to Paterno isn’t helping.

January 28, 2012

## Last Night’s Debate: Newt is finished, Santorum does well, and Paul’s Bike ride challenge

Last night: I thought that Mr. Gingrich imploded; he looked terrible. Mr. Santorum got the better of Mr. Romney but is now all but irrelevant (broke).

But here was a funny part:

I had to laugh; right now I am “debating” who would win that ride. Surely Mr. Romney could afford the best bike. :)
But though I don’t like her politically, Ms. Palin would beat all of them easily and not even break a sweat.

January 27, 2012