To Democrats

Now THIS is the kind of ad that will get you a donation from me.

September 16, 2010 Posted by | 2010 election, Ad, Barbara Boxer, Democrats, economy, Political Ad, political/social, politics, politics/social | Leave a comment

A couple of political videos

President Obama catches “friendly fire” from those who want an end to “DADT” (as do I)

The Republicans are running this “attack ad” against Senator Boxer.

That is, uh, rather tame.

Here is a Democratic attack ad:

Evidently, Gov. Pawlenty is considered a front runner for the GOP in 2012.

September 2, 2010 Posted by | 2010 election, Barack Obama, Barbara Boxer, Democrats, Political Ad, Republican, republicans, republicans politics | Leave a comment

2 September 2010

Evolution: here is a debate on the “inclusion fitness” concept in evolutionary theory. Roughly speaking, “inclusion fitness” means that there is some advantage to looking out for your non-immediate kin as they carry a percentage of your genes. This was disputed in a recent Nature article by scientists using a mathematical model. Of course, the debate started about how inclusive the model is; mathematical models are always more simple than what they are trying to model and the issue is whether or not the simplification diminished the relevance of the model or not.

Stephen Hawking has a new book. Of course I will read it. Of course, the religious woos are upset over his saying that “god” didn’t have a role in the model of creation. Jerry Coyne and friends delight in the ensuing LULZ.

Politics I’ll watch the Boxer-Fiorina debate later tonight. Of course I back Senator Boxer, but Carly Fiorina is also a sharp lady. I love smart women!

September 2, 2010 Posted by | Barbara Boxer, cosmology, evolution, nature, political/social, politics, religion, science, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

30 March 2010 (am-later)

Workout notes yoga, then 4000 yard swim: 500 warm up (8:47), 500 drill/swim (fins), 20 x 50 on the :50 (45-47 each), 500 3g/swim (fins), 10 x 50 fist on 1, 500 in 8:37 (achy left shouder), 10 x (25 back, 25 fly) easy.

Injury: physical therapy appointment this Thursday.

Academia: Frequently, students who are doing poorly in our classes will lie about how good their grades are in other courses. 🙂

Politics Some numbers for the morning via Real Clear Politics:

Note the Senate races; (side of the top screen shot); the “safe” Democratic seat is Connecticut. I am surprised to see Boxer as a toss-up.

March 30, 2010 Posted by | Barack Obama, Barbara Boxer, Democrats, health care, injury, politics, politics/social, swimming, training | Leave a comment

Carly for California

Carly for California” has an ad on Daily Kos.

But there is no reference to the fact that she is a Republican on her front page; it isn’t all that easy to find.

Why is that? 🙂

November 12, 2009 Posted by | Barbara Boxer, politics, republicans | Leave a comment

Settling A Question

I had posted this on facebook:

And a friend replied:

The general was calling the male senators “Senator,” not “Sir.” Implicit in the different mode of address is the notion that gender trumps rank. She was right.

Of course a very cynical politician of either party might have said, “Excuse me, we sold our souls to become senators, so please address me as such.”

Emphasis mine.

My friend was wrong, period.

Here is the full video from the Senate web site.

The general starts his statement at 29 minutes and answers questions at 39 minutes. Senator Boxer was the first one to talk to him and they went back and forth. The famous clip occurs at about 42 minutes.

Yes, she referred to him as “General” and he answered as “Ma’am” and “Madam Chair”. She was the first one to talk to him; this was NOT a case of him referring to males as Senator and to her without her title.

Later, when talking to Senator Vitter, he sometimes refers to him as “Sir”.

I like Senator Boxer, but in this case, she just had a bad moment, IMHO.

Note: the hearing itself was interesting, believe it or not. It was about getting a better system to control flooding and was a discussion over which option was better to use.

July 14, 2009 Posted by | Barbara Boxer, politics, politics/social | Leave a comment

3 July 09 (am)

Security: This is a big time security fail. 🙂

This is a case when denying information (in the name of security) has gone too far. Senator Barbara Boxer wanted to make some data available so as to help people understand the environmental hazards that they might be living next to; her idea was nixed by the Department of Homeland Security.

Science and Religion


Believe it or not, there are some who actually are persuaded by such bad comedy.

Here is a more high profile wingnut being interviewed by Alan Colmes.

Why do I read Republican stuff from time to time? This is why. I have to admit that many of the Republicans (or Conservatives) that I have come in contact with (mostly on facebook) are pretty clueless and ignorant; Dr. Andy is a big exception (which is why I love it when he checks in, even if it is to take me to task).

Health Care
Do you want a public option in the upcoming healthcare bill? Sign Senator Bernie Sanders’ petition.

Paul Krugman: sees an opportunity a health care bill (that is an improvement) to pass. Note: there is a good article in the recent issue of New Republic magazine that explains what is going on.

July 3, 2009 Posted by | atheism, Barack Obama, Barbara Boxer, Democrats, economy, health care, obama, politics, politics/social, religion, republicans, science, Spineless Democrats | Leave a comment

A couple of comments

President Obama’s weekly address:

An “issue” for the conservatives

Things are not going well for the conservatives hence they are trying to make a big deal out of this:

My guess is that the General probably shrugged and said “ok”. Yeah, this came across as being a bit snooty but I don’t know if the General was addressing males by “Senator” and not her (it does happen).

My guess is that Senator Boxer was overreacting; feminists seem to take pride in “finding” sexism in the most innocent of exchanges:

Barbara Boxer schools general in sexism
by John Aravosis (DC) on 6/18/2009 07:13:00 PM
Oh my. This is a great short video. Now, I feel a bit sorry for the general, because he may call all men “sir” and all women “ma’am.” I don’t per se find any problem with that. But still. I suspect women like Senator Boxer have been on the receiving end of sexist treatment for decades, so they know it when they see it.

(emphasis mine)

See the “know it when they see it” phrase? That is typical of the dogmatic person, be they religious fundamentalists, feminists, or whatever. If they have some inner conviction that something is true, in their “minds”, it must be so.

I suspect that reality is more like this: Senator Boxer really has encountered sexism in her life and is therefore more sensitive and possibly reacts to things that really aren’t sexist. My guess is that she is hardly unique.

But this demonstrates the value of diversity: one’s life experiences influences how one perceives things which is one reason I am glad that President Obama nominated a female to the Supreme Court.

I’ll give you one example from my blog: during the primary campaign, I had ridiculed then Senator Clinton being affable with Senator Obama on one day and then “angrily” calling him out the next day. I chuckled about Senator Clinton’s “mood swings” meaning that I thought that she was being deliberately calculating.

Other women saw my post and thought I was making a cruel reference about women being “moody” during PMS or during menopause; that was NOT my intention. I had no idea that women would see it that way.

June 20, 2009 Posted by | affirmative action, Barack Obama, Barbara Boxer, politics, politics/social, republicans, SCOTUS | Leave a comment

This is what a Democrat is supposed to act like

March 31, 2009 Posted by | Barbara Boxer, Democrats, politics, politics/social, pwnd, republicans | Leave a comment

Peoria Democrats Dinner Tommorow; Schock’s statement on the Stimulus Bill

Annual Democrats’ Presidents’ Day Dinner
Feb. 16th, 2009
5:30 – 8:30pm
Planned for the ITOO Hall on Farmington Road

Featuring Key Note Speaker/Entertainer R. J. Lindsey – “FDR Impersonator”

$500 sponsor, $300 table of 8, $30 per person ($35 at the door)
Tickets are required

Make check payable to:
Peoria County Democrats

and send to:
Peoria County Democrats
P.O. Box 258
Peoria, IL 61650-0258

Any readers want to get a table? 🙂

On the other side of the coin: here is the latest statement from our “representative”

Aaron Schock’s excuse for voting against America’s interest

I was compelled to vote against the stimulus bill on Friday because it was a fundamentally bad bill. My opposition was compounded by the fact members of Congress were given less than 12 hours to study such a voluminous bill involving such a large sum of money.

Ok, Mr. Shock. The next time you vote “yes” on something, I’d like to know if you’ve read the whole bill. Also, I wonder if Mr. LaHood read every line of the Bush items he voted “yes” on (e. g., the decision to go to war in Iraq?)

Let me point out that the recent federal bailouts and pledges of support from the FDIC, Treasury, Federal Reserve and this stimulus total enough to pay off 90 percent of this nation’s mortgages. It is a shame that so much has been wasted. I cannot be a part of wasting more. This money will have to be paid by U.S. taxpayers eventually, with compounded interest.

This bill has nothing to do with the bailout…but read on…

Some commentators have said no Republican has the right to talk about the overspending in this package because of the overspending under President Bush. Not only do two wrongs not make a right, but to combat massive overspending in the previous administration with another exponential increase is akin to treating an alcoholic with a warehouse of whiskey.

This isn’t an exponential increase.

By far the biggest imperative for me in considering this legislation was the need to get it right. Our workers are hurting. Savings and investments have taken a painful dive. Our federal government responded with a stimulus bill last winter of $145 billion, which was followed by the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), more commonly known as the “bailout” bill.

While our federal government took what many felt was needed and swift action in passing TARP, it’s becoming clearer that Washington got it wrong. Our economy continues to flat-line. We don’t even know where the money is being spent. As much as I agree with President Obama on the need to act quickly, getting it right is more important.

I support stimulus measures that create real jobs and invest in lasting infrastructure. I cannot support vast increases in pork-barrel spending that do not stimulate the economy but simply stimulate government.

Ok, here comes the typical Republican claptrap. Here is a rebuttal:

2. Government spending in the bill is not stimulus

Several media figures, including CNN correspondent Carol Costello, CBS Evening News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson, and ABC World News anchor Charles Gibson, have all uncritically reported or aired the Republican claim that, in Gibson’s words, “it’s a spending bill and not a stimulus,” without noting that economists have said that government spending is stimulus. Indeed, in his January 27 testimony, Elmendorf explicitly refuted the suggestion that some of the spending provisions in the bill would not have a stimulative effect, stating: “[I]n our estimation — and I think the estimation of most economists — all of the increase in government spending and all of the reduction in tax revenue provides some stimulative effect. People are put to work, receive income, spend that on something else. That puts somebody else to work.” Additionally, Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, has said, “[S]pending is stimulus. Any spending will generate jobs. It is that simple.”

Robert Reich puts it very well:

Yet at this very moment, Senate Republicans are seeking to strip the President’s stimulus package of many of its spending provisions and substitute tax cuts. Part of this is pure pander: They know tax cuts are more popular with the public than government spending, even though spending is a far more effective way to stimulate the economy (more on this in a moment). Another part is pure partisan politics: Republicans are emboldened by Obama’s willingness to court Republicans (taking three Republicans into his cabinet, bringing Republican leaders into the White House for consultations, putting all those business tax cuts into the stimulus bill in order to gain Republican favor) without getting anything at all back from the GOP. House Republicans snubbed the bill entirely. So, Senate Republicans say to themselves, what’s to lose?

Plenty. Millions more jobs and a full-fledged Depression, for example.

Can we get real for a moment? Take a look at this chart, which comes from calculations by Mark Zandi and his colleagues at You see that each dollar of spending has much more impact than each dollar of tax cut.


There are three reasons for this. First, most people who receive a tax cut don’t spend all of it. They use part of it to pay down their debts or they save it. Most of us did one or the other last spring with that tax rebate. From the standpoint of any particular individual, paying down debts or saving may be smart behavior — even commendable. But what’s intelligent for an individual does not necessarily translate into what’s good for the economy as a whole. The only way to get businesses to create or preserve jobs is through additional spending. And unlike tax cuts used to pay down personal debt or add to savings, every dollar of government spending flows directly into the economy and adds to overall demand.

Second, even that portion of a tax cut we might actually spend doesn’t necessarily go into the American economy. It goes all over the world. I have nothing against creating or preserving the jobs of Asians who assemble those flat-panel TVs you see at the mall, for example, but right now we’re trying to create or preserve jobs here in America. Sure, the retail workers at the mall who sell the flat-panel TV’s might benefit, but remember we’re talking about how to get the biggest bang for every dollar. When government spends to repair a highway or build a school or help pay for medical services, the money and the jobs stay here in America.

Finally, those who say cutting taxes on businesses is the best way to create or preserve jobs forget about the demand side. Even with a tax cut, businesses won’t hire workers unless there are customers to buy what those workers produce. A government stimulus that creates jobs is a necessary precondition.

Back to Mr. Schock:

When this legislation left the House, its infrastructure spending was around 7.5 percent. The returning bill was to contain much more. Instead, the word “infrastructure” has simply been redefined to include the same programs under different titles. Real infrastructure spending now only accounts for 6 percent of this bill.

The bottom line is I will not vote for something that is 90 percent wasteful just to get the 10 percent that is good.

Good? For whom?

Let me add some further perspective. For the past four years there has been widespread support for a state government capital bill to repair and build infrastructure in Illinois. Our previous governor and the General Assembly could not agree, largely due to the profound distrust legislators of both parties had for the governor. State engineers have identified $50 billion of needed infrastructure spending in Illinois.

Unfortunately, there has been no movement on a capital bill in the past 10 years. The amount that achieved bipartisan consensus last year was $35 billion. Contrast the power that would have to stimulate jobs with the only $1 billion allotted to Illinois for highways and $1 billion for mass transit in this federal stimulus bill. That $2 billion for Illinois infrastructure does not warrant putting our nation on a supersonic course to bankruptcy.

Uh, “supersonic course to bankruptcy”? Doing nothing will put us there, guaranteed. Your party put us on that path.

Our nation’s founders designed a system of government that has served us well for more than 200 years. It involves a process of committee hearings once bills are proposed. This was completely short-circuited for this bill.

This is misleading, at best. This bill had been drafted some time ago and gone in and out of committee. To claim that one had only a few hours to read it is misleading, at best.

On Thursday, I had the honor of traveling to Peoria on Air Force One with our president, who was to address workers at Caterpillar. As I sat in the audience surrounded by hard-working employees, the president called me out by name and urged those in attendance to share their opinions on the stimulus with me. The message they delivered, however, was to oppose this bill.

I sincerely want to work with President Obama on jump-starting our economy and other issues, but I could not support him in good conscience at this time. Rather than being a rubber stamp, I am more helpful to our president and our people by using my own best judgment and representing the views of my constituents, as I am empowered to do by our Constitution.

Aaron Schock represents Illinois’ 18th Congressional District in the U.S. House

February 16, 2009 Posted by | 2008 Election, Aaron Schock, Barbara Boxer, IL-18, Illinois, obama, Peoria, Peoria/local, politics, politics/social | 1 Comment