Trump can win this election. But right now Clinton is winning.

Workout notes: 4 mile walk; easy. Cool weather; sure hope we have that on Sunday, but it does NOT look promising.


As it sits right now: the Electoral College map (via Electoral

The national polls: (via Pollster)


The bookies:


Trump’s paths to victory: he has less than half as many paths that Clinton does (via Upshot)


Sam Wang’s analysis (Princeton)


So it goes. To me, this is looking more and more like 2000 and 2004 (with Clinton being in the position that Bush was in) rather than 2008 and 2012…in the latter cases I was very confident that Obama would win.

I am not so confident this time around. I am not ready to call this a toss-up; Clinton does have the edge. But that edge could evaporate. It is far from being a comfortable lead.

Why I still have hope: though Hillary Clinton is NOT the campaigner that Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were, she isn’t as bad as Al Gore. And like him or hate him, George W. Bush was a good campaigner. Donald Trump isn’t the campaigner that he was, not at least as far as the “middle of the country” goes.

September 22, 2016 Posted by | 2008 Election, 2012 election, political/social, politics, politics/social, walking | | Leave a comment

Modern Conservative Culture: dupe the gullible out of their money

The Guardian is having a field day with the new Sarah Palin channel:

Given the content available and the affectedly simple presentation, it’s hard not to see the new Sarah Palin Channel as simply a moneymaking enterprise.

Her competitor Glenn Beck’s vertically integrated TV-website-dogwhistle aggregator, the Blaze, takes in $36m per year before ad revenue. And, as both Rick Perlstein and Alex Pareene have noted, one of the animating principles of the conservative movement over the last 40 years has been soaking every last dollar out of people whose intellectual incuriosity has never been an impediment to further rage and paranoia. It’s why places like WorldNetDaily run obnoxious flash ads in columns that, top to bottom, tell you to buy and hoard gold, to click here to join a paid newsletter that outlines the UN/Agenda 21 plans to annex Joe’s Crab Shack, and how your $25 check to FreedomWorks is the only thing standing between repealing Obamacare or toiling in the lesbian nose-earring mines while wearing Soviet-style tracksuits that give everyone frontbutt.

I wanted to see for myself, but I still can’t even sign in for the free sample of the Sarah Palin Channel. Each attempt ends with a server error and my desultorily trying to glean something from available teaser videos.

The author of this article went on to get a one month subscription (cheaper than the NYT!) and describes what he saw.

I am too cheap to subscribe to a pay service. But I do know that I get “buy gold now” and “your doctor doesn’t want you to read this” advertisements from things like and the like. They are *always* hawking something and they do this in a way that liberal groups do not. Liberal groups also constantly ask for money, but it is always to “fight those evil Republicans”, etc. It is never to buy this or that investment, health secret, blah, blah, blah.

But it isn’t just the lower economic class of conservatives who get conned. Consider this Paul Krugman article about Karl Rove and the ultra-wealthy conservative establishment..and this article was written days PRIOR to the 2012 general election:

The estimable Rick Perlstein has a fascinating essay about the seamless continuum from direct-mail marketing scams to direct-mail right-wing fundraising, and from there to the whole character of modern movement conservatism. Go read. I didn’t know, for example, that heroes of direct-mail fundraising like Richard Viguerie ended up delivering hardly any of the money to political causes; somehow it ended up swallowed by overhead, otherwise known as the fundraisers themselves.

And although Perlstein doesn’t make this point, I suspect that his analysis explains one of the great mysteries of 2012: the failure of the great Rove/Citizens United juggernaut to materialize.

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.

Krugman admits that he didn’t know how the election would actually go…not for sure anyway. But he had a great idea. But then:

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.

And while Rove the crusader is looking — provisionally, of course, until the votes are in — like a failure, Rove the businessman has just had an amazing, banner year.

And you know something: there is part of me, albeit a small part, that envies the people that con these fearful idiots out of their money. There are times when I wish that I had that skill. 🙂

July 31, 2014 Posted by | 2012 election, politics, politics/social, social/political | , | Leave a comment

Tina Fey’s anticipation of Sarah Palin’s network..

July 28, 2014 Posted by | 2012 election, humor, political humor, politics, politics/social | , | Leave a 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.

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.

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

Political Polarization again…

If you have family (or, gasp, “friends”) that watch Fox News, this is what they are getting a steady diet of.

President Obama’s administration is rocked by scandal and his presidency is IMPLODING!!!!

Well…it isn’t, but the old dinosaurs think so.

But this does, in part, explain the low approval rations. Right now, we are very politically polarized.

And yes, I feel into the trap at times; I had a tough time giving President Bush credit for things like TARP and his good faith attempts at immigration reform.

And I am part of the social polarization. For example, I won’t patronize stores where gun nuts make their “right to carry protests” and I approve of efforts like this one (in Missouri, no less)

Anyhow, this polarization affects things like Presidential approval ratings. Now-a-days, the Republicans will NEVER approve of President Obama, no matter what he does. So, in this climate, getting to 50 percent will be very difficult.

This may have affected President Bush too:

Screen shot 2014-06-18 at 8.29.06 AM

Of course, some of it is the economy as it was during President Bush:


Yes, I know: we still aren’t adding jobs fast enough to keep up with both the population increase and the disaster that President Obama inherited. But going UP is better than going DOWN though acknowledging that might be asking too much of a Fox News watcher.

Still, President Obama’s low numbers don’t spell doom for 2016; we’ll have trouble in 2014 but that is mostly because Republicans and conservatives are grossly overrepresented in Congress.

June 18, 2014 Posted by | 2012 election, 2014 midterm, politics/social, social/political | , | Leave a comment

People love democracy until they lose an election

Enjoy the butthurt:

Screen shot 2013-10-28 at 8.22.25 AM

If President Obama really were a tyrant, these idiots would be in jail or dead.

But…to be fair, many called President Bush a tyrant. I didn’t; I was upset at the country for electing him (the second time) but I acknowledged that the country did indeed elect him.

October 28, 2013 Posted by | 2012 election, morons, politics, politics/social | | Leave a comment

Krugman: the influence of the VSP on the decline?

Paul Krugman talks about Larry Summers:

Whatever happens with the Fed succession — and boy, did Obama’s inner circle make a gratuitous mess of this one — it’s been one heck of a revealing episode, and not just because of the sexism on display, which started out with thinly-veiled talk of “gravitas” and eventually went into full-blown masculinity panic. […]

Anyway, it’s also clear that Summers made some pretty big mistakes in his campaign. Neil Irwin points to his silence on monetary policy, which was supposed to be cagey but ended up looking slippery; John Cassidy points to his failure to offer any kind of mea culpa for past errors, which arguably was about preserving gravitas but ends up making him seem unreformed.

But why did Summers make these errors? In part because he is a whip-smart academic, the terror of the seminar room, who likes to play political operator — and as a political operator, he’s a great academic. But there is, I’d argue, a larger issue: Summers did not recognize the extent to which the political world has changed. He’s been carefully cultivating an image as a Very Serious Person, in a world where VSPness has gone from a source of cachet to being a liability on both right and left.

Think about it. Carefully cultivating a reputation for Seriousness does you no good on the right in a world where the Republican Party is more or less officially committed to crank economic doctrines, and where the GOP’s universally acknowledged intellectual leader is an obvious flimflam man.

Meanwhile, many if not all Democrats are well aware that the VSPs have been wrong about everything for the past decade or more, from the risks of financial deregulation to the fear of nonexistent bond vigilantes. Coming across as the return of Robert Rubin may have seemed savvy back in, say, 2008; it’s worse than useless now.

As far as the public goes: I’ll make a wild conjecture. Remember the 2012 election? The VSP said that the election was “razor tight”; you heard this from the talking heads at NPR all the way to Fox News.

Those who read the actual polls knew that this was not a close election. It was the nerds vs. the “very serious” and the neards won in spectacular fashion. Bottom line: the polyester pants set have been wrong…on just about everything.

July 31, 2013 Posted by | 2012 election, social/political | , , | Leave a comment

2012 Elections by Congressional District

The data is here

For example, you can see that President Obama won 11 Texas Congressional Districts in 2012. I haven’t ground through the numbers to see how a CD decided election would have gone (Romney, but I don’t know the final score). One note: there were fewer “voted for a Congressional D but voted for President Obama” districts. However my district went for a Democrat (Bustos) by 6-7 points but went for President O by 17.

Note: if you are wondering how Democrats keep getting more votes but Republicans keep getting more House seats: part of that is gerrymandering and part of it is that Democrats tend to run up huge margins in their districts (mostly urban) whereas the Republicans win more districts but by somewhat closer margins. So the Democrats have more people behind them, but we tend to live clumped together.

April 10, 2013 Posted by | 2012 election, IL-17, Illinois, politics, politics/social | , | Leave a comment

Wyoming State Rep. Hans Hunt has a point….

Via the Huffington Post: a new Wyoming state resident wrote to a junior state lawmaker about a House Bill which would allow for weapons to be carried on schools and college campuses; she mentioned that this bill, should it become law, might make her reconsider staying in the state. The state representative responded:

Mincing no words, Hunt responded thus:

I’ll be blunt. If you don’t like the political atmosphere of Wyoming, then by all means, leave. We, who have been here a very long time (I am proudly 4th generation) are quite proud of our independent heritage. I don’t expect a “mass exodus” from our state just because we’re standing up for our rights.

My guess: while the state paper critiqued the response, I am ok with it. But I’ll add to the bluntness: The United States had an election and the incumbent President won by a large margin (4.9 million votes). If YOU can’t accept that, leave the United States. Note: I am NOT saying “if you don’t like that”; I didn’t like it when President Bush was reelected. But I glumly accepted the verdict.

February 26, 2013 Posted by | 2012 election, politics, politics/social | | 2 Comments

Humor, Snark and Ridicule…


Ok, the above is funny.

Politics and statistical literacy

A facebook friend posted this.


Now someone on her comment thread doubted these statistics because he knew that just walking around was safer than being in a war zone. That is, of course, true. But that doesn’t mean that the above statistics are false. What it means: wars tend to be brief and the armed forces involved are far smaller in number than the population of the United States.

Interestingly someone tried to argue by just posting a link, and I admit (and admitted it there) I misread the number of countries that were being compared (with respect to homicide rates). But the person attempting to argue with me didn’t get that this was a comparison of European countries; after all this study (which was a competent one) talked about the “high homicide rate” of the Netherlands and Sweden. Yes, their homicide rate is about 1.1 out of 100,000 whereas ours is 4.8 out of 100,000. But this person didn’t know that and won’t accept it.

The point: statistical and numerical illiteracy hamstrings a person when it comes to being able to make an intelligent contribution to a discussion on the major issues.


I am happy to let Ted Nugent be the face of the Republican party:

Bill Maher: made a joke that he wanted to see Donald Trump’s birth certificate to ensure that he wasn’t fathered by an orangutan and joked that he’d pay 5 million dollars to charity if one were produced. Mr. Trump produced a birth certificate and is now attempting to sue Mr. Maher for a breach of contract. Just watch the response:


Sorry, my sympathy for “senior citizens” is very limited here. Why? Here is why.
Screen shot 2013-02-09 at 9.38.37 PM

You old people voted for the Republicans. You richly deserve what you get.

I generally like Daily Kos. It is one of the few places you can make a physics joke and someone will get it. There are some smart people there. But if someone from a “community” feels that people from that community has been insulted, a “this prejudice X is the last remaining socially acceptable form of bigotry allowed in America…people from community X are your {insert obligatory list of family, friends and professions here}”, etc. etc. You could write one of these diaries with a computer program.

Well, here is the “fat acceptance” diary (you know, anti obesity programs are just there to enrich the diet/weight loss industry, right?”) 🙂

I’d say that this opens our community to ridicule from the red staters, but fortunately the Republicans also have their share of obese people, though I wonder if they are as prone to blaming external forces for their situations as liberals are. Oh wait, of course they are; look at how they whine and complain when they lose an election; much of their strategy is to make the poor social conservatives feel like they are being victimized by “the libs”.

February 10, 2013 Posted by | 2012 election, humor, obesity, political/social, politics, ranting, republicans, social/political | , | Leave a comment