Primary Race: Sanders and superdelegates; Cruz and rats..

Right now, Hillary Clinton has a lead of around 300 pledged delegates. Today, there are contests in Hawaii, Alaska and Washington state, where the demographics (mostly white voters) heavily favor Sanders. He is expected to do well today, though April could be rougher.

The national polls: of course, his campaign touted the one national poll that is favorable to him:


But Sen. Sanders knows the score and is hoping to persuade…superdelegates (the very ones his supporters decry!) to help him close the gap in pledged delegates:

Bernie Sanders has launched withering attacks on the Democratic establishment for months. Now he appears to be asking its most entrenched members to hand him the nomination even if he loses at the ballot box to Hillary Clinton.

On Thursday, the Los Angeles Times published an interview in which Sanders suggested that superdelegates — the 712 elite party leaders and insiders who can support whichever candidate they want at the Democratic National Convention — should tip the nomination in his favor.

Sanders is being soundly beaten by Clinton among the “pledged” delegates whose support is determined by the popular vote, so turning to superdelegates may be his only option. But it’s still a surprising tack to hear him take.

Here’s what Sanders told the LA Times:

I would fully concede that we have a narrow path to victory. Your point is well taken. But it is a path. And the only thing that I would add to the arithmetic that we could all agree: Arithmetic is arithmetic, is momentum.

And it is also the fact that many super delegates have not yet declared, that’s number one. Number two, for the super delegates and others who have declared, as I said long ago, the key issue, you know, people like Hillary Clinton more than me. That’s fine. But what people are most concerned of in the world that I live in is that a Republican not get into the White House. I think we can demonstrably make the case, and I say this without one second of hesitation, that I am the stronger candidate.

And yes, there are polls that show him beating Donald Trump by a larger margin than Hillary Clinton does, though the Clinton campaign reminds us that Hillary Clinton has been in the public eye for a long, long time; she has already had everything in the book thrown at her. Hence it is reasonable to expect that Sander’s support might shrink a little.

By the way, I do not have a problem with superdelegates. A party can decide on a candidate anyway that they choose, and while it is nice to give the “rank and file” some voice via the pledged delegate route, there is a place for the party insiders to have some extra say. Of course, if the process is too undemocratic, there might be less enthusiasm for a candidate.

But there is no requirement that the party’s candidate be decided by democratic means.

So I have no problem with Sen. Sanders making this argument, though I am laughing at thought of some of his less thoughtful supporters spinning this development..especially after they grumbled about Hillary Clinton’s massive lead in superdelegates.

And speaking of the candidates: here is how each candidate’s tax plans affect you (you enter your income). Note: Sanders’ tax plan raises your taxes, but gives you Medicare so one would have to consider the effect of reduction in your health insurance premium.

Republicans Yes, Ted Cruz really did say “Donald Trump may be a rat, but I have no desire to copulate with him.”

March 26, 2016 Posted by | political humor, political/social, politics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

CIAND 5K 2016: barely

Ok, this time the weather was in the high 30’s, with little wind. The course was similar to the last two times I’ve run it (2015 (25:50), 2014 (25:09)) , though this time we circled the parking lot FIRST and finished on the street.

This was my slowest (25:59, 8:22 mpm) on this course, and slightly slower than the Interplanetary 5K last week (25:50). 15/54 overall, 10/24 male, 1/3 AG (M: 55-59).

But I’ve done no faster running to speak of; this is all off of base with perhaps a bit of “tempo” work from time to time.

I felt good warming up..though mentally/emotionally I am in a bit of a weird state. So at the start, I made sure that I stayed well behind Jerry and Dianne. That was to be the case all race; I closed the gap a little at the turn around point and then faded in the final 6 minutes of the race. Also, this very pretty 40 year old woman just blew me away in the final 10 minutes or so.

I walked 3 laps of the parking lot to cool down and then socialized a little.

I really don’t know where I am going with running and the like but right now, most things feel good and I suppose that will have to do. 🙂

Update: some photos: the group photo is of the age group winners and the overall winners. Dianne is to my immediate right; Jerry is the tall guy in the back to my right. The other photo: that was an inadvertent “photo-bomb”.



March 26, 2016 Posted by | running | , | 2 Comments

Adjusting to eating out

Ugh…bodyweight is now at 187; of course I ate at Golden Corral last night and am probably a bit bloated. Still…if I eat out this much, I need to keep my portions under control.

I can do this and have done it.

Workout notes: weights only; teaching an extra 8 am class.

rotator cuff
pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (first and last sets were tough)
bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, 9 x 170 (no spotter; didn’t try for that last rep)
incline press: 10 x 135
military: 2 sets of 12 x 50 seated, supported (dumbbell), 10 x 40 standing
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 (dumbbell)
headstand (not as easy as I’d hoped; not a struggle either)
twist crunch: 2 sets of 12
yoga leg lifts: 2 sets of 10
moving bridge recoveries.

March 25, 2016 Posted by | weight training | Leave a comment

Trump, Republicans and mass stupidity

Republicans. Yes, Donald Trump still leads the Republican race. And yes, the Republican establishment is gathering around a nut case who speaks at a slightly higher level. And some Republicans are already in mourning.

Yes, Cruz and Trump are already attacking each other’s WIVES..check out what Trump retweeted.


Yes, the REAL Trump retweeted this.


Of course, some of the reaction to Trump’s candidacy is downright embarrassing. Some students at Emory University felt “traumatized” that someone wrote pro-Trump slogans in chalk on their campus:

Well, all hell broke loose. As the Emory Wheel (the student newspaper reports):

Roughly 40 students gathered shortly after 4:30 p.m. in the outdoors space between the Administration Building and Goodrich C. White Hall; many students carried signs featuring slogans such as “Stop Trump” or “Stop Hate” and an antiphonal chant addressed to University administration, led by College sophomore Jonathan Peraza, resounded “You are not listening! Come speak to us, we are in pain!” throughout the Quad. Peraza opened the door to the Administration Building and students moved forward towards the door, shouting “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.”

They’re in pain! In pain! OMG, somebody soothe them!

Oh goodness. This is almost as bad as others feeling that they had the right to block streets that lead to a Trump rally.

Mass stupidity. The Onion came out with a photo shop of Air Force One with people standing on its wings; it claimed that the people were Cuban refugees.


Snopes ended up publishing a story reminding people that The Onion story was satire! What does it say that
Snopes felt compelled to publish this story?

March 24, 2016 Posted by | moron, morons, politics, politics/social, social/political | , , , , | Leave a comment

You are judged by your results, not by your intentions..

I’ll stick to talking about men for the moment. Lots of times you’ll hear some guy saying “I am a nice guy but the women just don’t like me” or “I can’t get friends”.
Well, to put it harshly, it appears that we are judged by, well, what we do…that is, our results:

For the rest of you, I want you to try something: Name five impressive things about yourself. Write them down or just shout them out loud to the room. But here’s the catch — you’re not allowed to list anything you are (i.e., I’m a nice guy, I’m honest), but instead can only list things that you do (i.e., I just won a national chess tournament, I make the best chili in Massachusetts). If you found that difficult, well, this is for you, and you are going to fucking hate hearing it. My only defense is that this is what I wish somebody had said to me around 1995 or so.


“What, so you’re saying that I can’t get girls like that unless I have a nice job and make lots of money?”

No, your brain jumps to that conclusion so you have an excuse to write off everyone who rejects you by thinking that they’re just being shallow and selfish. I’m asking what do you offer? Are you smart? Funny? Interesting? Talented? Ambitious? Creative? OK, now what do you do to demonstrate those attributes to the world? Don’t say that you’re a nice guy — that’s the bare minimum. Pretty girls have guys being nice to them 36 times a day. The patient is bleeding in the street. Do you know how to operate or not? (my note: the article started iwth a hypothetical situation of someone dying on the street and needing an operation to live; no one cares if a stranger is nice, but only if they can do the operation)

“Well, I’m not sexist or racist or greedy or shallow or abusive! Not like those other douchebags!”

I’m sorry, I know that this is hard to hear, but if all you can do is list a bunch of faults you don’t have, […]

Yep. Harsh. But in my opinion, it reflects reality.

I still remember a conversation I had with a female ex-friend. We were at an NFL game and she said “an NFL kicker has ONE job: make the kick”. And that is right; no one cares if the kicker is a good father, a nice guy, or feels remorseful if they miss a kick. They keep employment if they make kicks and get fired if they miss them, period.
And yes, she was a friend, in part, because she was attractive (shouldn’t matter, but it does) and had professional accomplishments. And she became an ex-friend when she proved to be unreliable (I don’t care about “social anxiety” or other such excuses; if you can’t be where you say you will be, and you don’t possess what you offer, don’t issue an invitation and don’t accept one).

March 24, 2016 Posted by | social/political | , | Leave a comment

How I sabotage my running…

Right now, my running is fine; long run is up to 15 miles (slowly) and it isn’t too much of a chore.

But instead of saying “great; I am on track for a fall marathon” I start thinking “maybe I should participate in one now!”

No, this isn’t 10-13 years ago when I averaged 50-60 miles per week with several marathon-50K events thrown in for training, aiming at the 24 hour/100 mile event.

I am *building up* and I am older, and by nature, I am not designed for such events. I weigh 185 lbs, not 135 lbs. And yes, I continue to swim and lift weights.

So, I need to respect the distance and respect the event.

So no, no trail event early April, and no, no April marathon. In fact, NO MARATHONS until 20 miles in training (slow pace) is what 15 miles is to me right now (mild challenge).

I can get there by fall. So, I might focus on the 15K this June; maybe a half marathon as well.

March 24, 2016 Posted by | marathons, running | | Leave a comment

Drizzle sizzle…

Ok, I didn’t exactly sizzle. But I was covering for Mat’s 8 am class and so I had to be deliberate: 54:11 for 5.23 miles (flat course); 43:15 for the final 4.2 miles. And yes, it did drizzle.


I now have my second serving of coffee and feel better.

The 8 am class went ok though; the students warmed up to me after about 15 minutes or so.

Workout notes: I’ve lost quite a bit on my maximum bench press since 1982 or so, even when corrected for bodyweight (250-260 then; 200-205 now). BUT I haven’t lost as much on “the weight you can do 10 reps with”; it was about 185 then; it is 170 now. I suppose that endurance lasts longer than max strength.

March 24, 2016 Posted by | running | | Leave a comment

Parties choosing their candidates: does NOT have to be a democratic process

Workout notes: weights, swimming (1800 yards)
weights: 5 x 10 pull ups, (ok), rotator cuff
bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, 10 x 170 (better)
incline: 10 x 135
military (dumbbell), 2 sets of 12 x 50 (seated, supported), 10 x 40 standing
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 each arm.
yoga headstand (ok)
abs: 2 sets of 12 twist crunch, 2 sets of 10 yoga leg lifts

swim: 500 free, 10 x (25 stroke, 25 free) (side, side, fly, back)
8 x 100 (2 x (100 free, 100 pull, 100 free, 100 fins)

Body weight: 186 (Chinese buffet last night)

Interesting note: back in 1982, when I weighed just under 190 pounds, I did 10 reps with 185. Now, at slightly lighter body weight, 10 with 170, so I lost a little in terms of reps. But my max has taken a much bigger hit; it has gone from 250 (in 1982) to 200-205 (now). My lifetime max is 310, but that is at a bodyweight of about 230 (45 pounds heavier than I am now).

Primary elections I’ve heard some complain about the primary process (be it a vote, or a caucus, or the existence of “super delegates”) “not being democratic”.

Political Parties have no legal requirement to choose their candidate in a democratic way; the party gets to make the rules. In fact, the binding primary election is a relatively recent innovation.

Of course, the public is free to reject the party’s nominee, so there is that.

But the rank-and-file have no inherent “right” to choose the candidate for a party, though the rules of the modern Republican and Democratic parties give the public at least some say in the process.

March 23, 2016 Posted by | Democrats, politics, politics/social, republicans, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Delegate math

Yesterday I reported that Sanders won the Democrats Abroad primary and won the battle of delegates (pledged) 9-4.
Last night: Clinton won Arizona 44-30 (58-40 percent) whereas Sanders won Idaho 17-5 (78-21 percent) and Utah 24-5 (80-20 percent).

So over the past 4 contests there were 138 pledged delegates available. Sanders won 80 of them; Clinton won 58.

At the start of this period Sanders needed to win 58 percent of the available delegates to cut into the lead; during this latest 4 contest period he won 58 percent of them.
So, he did catch up a little, at just the right clip. But that was given favorable ground.

(data from here and here.)

ON the Republican side, the Samoan delegates went uncommitted; Trump rolled in Arizona and Cruz won Utah with more than 50 percent, so Trump got 58, Cruz 40. provides some commentary:

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton won Arizona easily, while Bernie Sanders won Utah and (although it hasn’t been called officially yet) very probably will win Idaho — in both cases perhaps by overwhelming margins. Thus, it’s probable — likely if I had to guess — that Sanders will win more pledged delegates on the evening. (My note: on the evening, Sanders won 71, Clinton 54)

Not all the news is good for Sanders, however. He was expected to win more delegates on the evening based on our demographic targets — and more importantly, he’s far enough behind Clinton that he needs to not just meet but blow out his delegate targets the rest of the way to have a shot at eventually catching Clinton. Alaska, Hawaii and Washington will vote on Saturday, states where we expect Sanders to perform well.

President Obama’s approval ratings are probably helping Hillary Clinton:


March 23, 2016 Posted by | politics, politics/social | , , | Leave a comment

Before the spin starts: what are Clinton’s and Sanders’ targets for tonight?

From here:

Remember that Sanders has to make up a huge deficit in pledged delegates; he is over 300 behind at this point.

So to be on target to catch up, he needs to total 74 delegates (41 from Arizona, 14 from Idaho and 19 from Utah) whereas Clinton needs to total 57 (34 from Arizona, 9 from Idaho and 14 from Utah) to stay on target. There are no good forecasts giving the dearth of recent polling, though a recent poll (early March) shows Clinton with a healthy lead. But things may have changed since then.

The betting line for Arizona: Clinton 1/7, Sanders 4.

We shall see. I don’t have a great feel for how this will go, other than I expect Sanders to clean up in the Utah and Idaho caucuses just based on demographics. Arizona is the contest that interests me.

On the Republican side, I expect for Trump to roll and do better than usual with late deciders, given the publicity on the Belgium terrorist attacks.

March 22, 2016 Posted by | politics, politics/social | , , , , | Leave a comment