blueollie

I see why many liked Michele Bachmann, twitter and package deals

Yes, she hasn’t even been seated yet, but she has been attacked by the right wing and lionized by many on the left. Of course I am talking about the soon to be seated Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D, NY-14) who became a sensation when she pulled off a huge upset in the Democratic primary, taking down a well funded, seemingly entrenched member of the Democratic establishment.

And for now, she is a bit of a sensation. And, well, she frequently gets facts wrong when she speaks in public. Here is a nice list. Here is another one.

She really strikes me as a bonehead, though some with high standards grade her on a curve:

Krugman is a bit harder on Republicans who say stupid things.

And yes, there are plenty of Republicans who say stupid things. And to my knowledge, AOC isn’t planning to bring a snowball onto the floor, nor will she claim that an island is in danger of tipping over if loads put on the island are unevenly distributed.

Members of Congress do not strike me as especially bright; in fact, in her book Living History, Hillary Clinton says that some that she talked to really didn’t know the difference between Medicare and Medicaid!

So, AOC seems to be in good company.

But here is why I can’t seem to just ignore her: she pops up on my feed all of the time and, well, I actually LIKE the direction of some of her big ideas: a “moon shot” level commitment to green energy, and her goal of universal health care (and her noting that, as of right now, health insurance companies are the true “death panels”).

And, to be fair, no one has won over the public with white papers and spreadsheets.

So, whatchagonnado???

She is a bit like Twitter I guess: there are several people I follow because either I find value in *most* of what they post, or find that they post a gem every so often (but mostly post duds). The rest is “scroll past” stuff.

Workout notes: 5 mile treadmill walk in 1:00:10. I weight 194 on my home scare before walking, but 189.2 on the gym scale prior to lunch? Oh well..probably variability in scales (gym scale is higher end) and in what is in my belly.

December 5, 2018 Posted by | Democrats, political/social, politics, politics/social, walking, WTF | Leave a comment

Pelosi wars.. ugh…

First things first: 58 minutes for 5 miles walking; my weight loss to just around 190 has helped. Dropping 10 more pounds would help even more.

And last night, Bradley basketball won 74-65 over a pesky Jackson State team that would not go away; every time Bradley got a double digit lead, JS hit some 3’s to get right back in it. Bradley’s big guys had good nights (20 and 15 points) and several players had double figures.

Politics: great, now that the Democrats have the House (still more seats to be determined; 7 appear to be up in the air right now), there appears to be a fight over who should be Speaker. Normally, the caucus votes and then the winner of the caucus moves forward to the whole House voting, at which case whoever gets the majority of votes wins. Evidently some want a change where someone needs 218 votes (out of 230-235 or so) to be advanced out of the caucus, a very high standard. That strikes me as nuts.

So we go to the arguments. Much of the anti-Pelosi sentiment appears to be “too old”, “old guard”, “grip on power”, “corporate”, “establishment”, etc. But the pushback, or at least MUCH of it is “sexism, misogyny”, etc. It is a battle between two “woke” factions. At times I wish I believed the trickle down economics bullshit so I could just be a Republican and be done with it.

About Pelosi: sure, the threading of the needle for the ACA was a historic feat; IMHO she’ll go down as one of the great Speakers for that feat. But is her time past? I do not know. Should we groom new leaders? Of course.
But do we need to change at the moment? Well, “would someone else be more effective”, to me, is the ONLY consideration (and yes, there is some debate as to what “more effective” means). No, she is NOT “owed” anything AND “change for the sake of change” is stupid.

We will see how it plays out, but the quality of the discussion is lacking.

November 15, 2018 Posted by | basketball, Democrats, politics, politics/social, social/political, walking | | Leave a comment

Liberal outrage, antics, etc.

Mississippi is having a run off between a Democrat and the Republican incumbent. And something has been made of one of her statements:

In a video posted on Twitter over the weekend, Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi is seen complimenting a supporter by saying, “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.”

Ok. Now, of course, a racial angle is being made of it but yes, for much of human history, public executions were a popular event, and still are in some parts of the world.

Now had Hyde-Smith been a high ranking official of a public business, she would probably get fired; collectively liberals have money to spend and the threat of economic boycotts carries some punch.
But this is an election in a southern Republican state and liberal outrage could well backfire; after all, much of current Republican appeal, at least to the non-well off, is “sticking it to the libs”.

I really think that much of our power for social issues rests with spending power; this is why many companies are more progressive than the law requires them to be.

Now about those elections: results are still trickling in and the Democrats DID so well. In terms of popular vote, this was an impressive result. In terms of number of seats gained, this isn’t what the Republicans had in their waves, but much of that was because the Democrats in Congress didn’t lose seats they way the Republicans did in 2006, 2008, 1992, etc. So there were fewer pick ups to be had.

And yes, we lost the “star elections”. But I was fully prepared for that and said so.

And yes, we have our kooks. And many liberals love our kooks.

Update: there is another interpretation to the last story I linked to. Oh, it is couched in the usual millennial “woke” bullshit but the thread makes a valid point: (follow the thread).

November 14, 2018 Posted by | Democrats, politics, politics/social, social/political | | Leave a comment

2018 midterms and letdowns…

I wrote this on October 30. It aged well.

Yes, Beto’s Texas campaign paid dividends for some in House races, and yes, the Democrats did pull off some upsets in House races and flipped some statehouses. Not every result is in, but we have at least 220 House seats and will realistically pick up 7-10 more.

But some have mentioned that there is sadness, and it isn’t about the “genuine political stars” going down in flames.

Gin and Tacos wrote a post “I know why you’re sad.” And no, that isn’t it for me.

For me, almost every election, I end up voting for people that, well, I’ve worked for much of my life to AVOID being like them. Some of it is serious (e. g. the corrupt Senator from New Jersey), some absurd ( the unqualified but mega-rich governor elect of Illinois) and some of it petty (obese and in debt) Yes, I voted for one of these (though not in the primary) and would have voted for the others, had I lived in those respective states.

I suppose the dirty secret is that I really don’t like many that I’ve made political alliances with. At times, it appears that some who vote the same way that I do celebrate underachievement. Many can be just as sanctimonious as any religious nutter.

But, ultimately..I’ll let a Brit describe how I felt:

Note: I do not pretend it is any better on the other side. And yes, when I complain how the Senate gives way too much power to small states (small in population), I have no desire to listen to someone with a business degree from Bo Diddly Tech “splain” to me that “We are a Republic, not a Democracy”.

Workout notes: glorious but slow 10K run through Bradley park; leaves, hills, morning sunshine.

November 7, 2018 Posted by | Democrats, political/social, politics/social, running, social/political | | Leave a comment

Uniting with those you do not like: 2018 midterms

Ok, I have no political science credentials. But at least lately, it seems that we are in the following cycle: Republicans govern (or attempt to). Republicans crash the economy (or at least make things worse). People get disgusted. They vote the Democrats in. Things get better but a combination of Democratic infighting and the Democrats championing unpopular stuff gets them voted out of power and the Republicans take over again, only to run things into the ground, again.

I’ll talk about the Democrats championing unpopular causes at another time (but IMHO, this is a combination of the Ant and the Grasshopper and “Beggars can’t be choosers” in action)

But right now I will just say this: I find my fellow Democrats to be very annoying. For one, we are as prone to “argue by slogan” as anyone else. For example, take the current debate as to whether to keep Nancy Pelosi as the leader of the House Democrats.

As I see it, there are many pros and cons: she is a good fundraiser and she has had some great accomplishments (e. g. getting the ACA through the House). On the other hand, the House Democrats have steadily lost seats and many feel that her time is past. And it is clear that the GOP thinks that she is a good thing to run against in the red Congressional Districts that are closely contested.

You’d think that this is worthy of debate, right? Well, no..not for some:

You see: it is all misogyny. (eyeroll).

Never mind that many Democrats who don’t want Pelosi would be happy with another female. Now if you want to talk about ageism…maybe that could be PART of it.

But in the upcoming midterms, none of this really matters. If you oppose Trump, vote for the Democrat, period. Opposing Trump IS enough (and yes, one Jill Stein backing idiot tried to tell me it wasn’t enough).

August 10, 2018 Posted by | Democrats, politics, politics/social, republicans, social/political | , | Leave a comment

Taking the bait vs. fighting back

First, I found this amusing:

There are 6 I do not recognize. But still, #walkaway is some program that uses Russian bots to convince Trump supporters that Democrats are just leaving in droves.

But notice whose photo is NOT there? I think that there is a reason for that.

Now among the rank and file “internet” liberals there appears to be two schools of thought as to what to do socially. One is to try to make it toxic to be a Trump supporter in public. People claim that Maxine Waters said to do that, but she was clearly talking about *Trump officials*. No, I do not approve of that. But that was NOT a call to harass Trump supporters.

But yes, some liberals DO approve of restaurants turning away those with MAGA hats or even doing direct harassment.

I do not approve of that and.. frankly, I find it politically counter productive.

Seriously, some people think that screaming “oh, I just HAAAAATE YOU” is going to convince somebody, or at least change their vote?

And yes, Trump is just eating it up…trolling the hell out of us, mocking “me too” and even slurring Maxine Waters:

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I said it the other day, yes, she is a low IQ individual, Maxine Waters. I said it the other day. High — I mean, honestly, she’s somewhere in the mid-60s, I believe that.
(APPLAUSE)

Yes, these sorts of statements would get one fired from many types of jobs and many Trump supporters know that. But Trump can say them with impunity …so it must feel good to the MAGA crowd to watch the liberals writhe with outrage.

Guess what: they are enjoying this!

I think that our only recourse is political pragmatism; win as many down ticket elections as we can and win in 2020. And saying “if you voted for Trump you are a HORRIBLE human being and I just HATE you” isn’t a winning political message. At least, I don’t think it is.

Nevertheless, many will continue to “take the bait”.

July 6, 2018 Posted by | Democrats, politics, politics/social, republicans, republicans politics, social/political | , | Leave a comment

Something of a social/political change

You’ve probably heard about the “intolerant left”. That usually applies to people on college campuses, students, liberal arts professors and the like. But until relatively recently, the mainstream rank-and-file Democrats have wanted their lawmakers to reach compromises whereas the Republicans have stressed “our way or the highway”.

Well, a combination of Trump, The Turtle and noxious right wing media have lead to a change of attitude:

You know: if you keep reaching out only to get your hand bitten off (as Obama did) and to have the Republicans act so horribly, well, there are consequences.

And yes, there has always been an intolerant right wing…

(and no, I do not like it)

Religion
The results of this Pew Poll are interesting. Though there is certainly a correlation between belief in a type of deity and belonging to a religion, there ARE atheist Catholics and believing “none of the aboves” and “atheists who accept some sort of higher power”. A lot of belonging to a religion is ..well…social.

Workout notes

Kind of tired; last night: I went to the 5:30 core strength class instead of the 6:30 yoga class (Ms. V. put us through a good ab routine).

This morning: swim (low intensity): 500 free, 250 of fly drill/fly (fins), 250 of free/back, 250 of breast/free, 250 of side/free (last 50 side), 250 of 3g/free (fins) 250 pull then 100, 50 back, 50 free (strained in vain to keep up with Jason)

weight: 199.1 before, 197.5 after.

Then running: 2 miles of .25 froggy: 5.1-5.8, then 1 mile at 5.8 (10:20 pace), retreat to 5.1-5.4 (43:50 at 4 miles), last mile in 10:35 (54:25 for 5). No foot pain. Not that hard; not in the mood to push.

April 26, 2018 Posted by | Democrats, political/social, politics, politics/social, running, social/political, swimming | , , , , | Leave a comment

Winning will be tough for liberals …

I really don’t care much about award shows, but at the Grammy awards, Hillary Clinton made a cameo appearance (via video) and read a tiny bit from Fire and Fury and, well, poked fun at Trump’s lack of intellectualism (noted that other presidents and politicians have won Grammy awards for reading). Well, some liberals…actually took exception:

The whole premise was, of course, cooked up to give the show an excuse to display its TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome). It’s bad enough that there’s a gratuitous slur at Trump at the Grammys, one that had nothing to do with music, but when his opponent in the election reads about his predilection for McDonald’s burgers, well, it’s not only not funny, but it’s unseemly. And it surely won’t make middle America like the Democratic Party any better. Perhaps the advance word that the show would be politicized accounts in part for the huge drop in viewership compared to last year.

Now, yeah, I found it a bit unseemly too, but…really…SO. FUCKING. WHAT. Trump has never hesitated to sling insults at private citizens. And who gives a damn what Trump supporters would think? They are utterly unreachable; trying to talk to them would be like giving a science argument to a Bible beater. There is an outside chance that we can flip just enough of the “I didn’t like Trump but I absolutely LOATHED Hillary” voters.

But there you have it…liberals criticizing liberals for taking the low road (in a benign way). When have you seen Republicans do that to other Republicans?

Or..let some liberal make fun of Sarah Sanders or Kellyanne Conway in the “wrong way” and some SJW will ride in to attack you for your “misogyny”.

Even worse: our very mindset of taking up for the perceived underdog is not politically popular. Liberals vocally support: the poor, the homeless, the mentally ill, the Dreamers, rights for illegal aliens…the rights for ex felons to vote, rights for transgirls to shower with genetic girls, etc. And any semblance of a discussion will be met with “oh, you are just a bigot” or “that is just bigotry”, blah, blah, blah.

Oh well…..

And speaking of bleeding heart causes: some advocates are pushing for …pet food to be covered by food stamps!

Now ..hear me out..there are times when a pet can lead to increased emotional and mental health..and the pet might be cheaper than other therapies. So that being covered by services for the indigent might not be a bad idea..but I think that the funding ought to come from another pot (Medicaid? “Paws for the poor”(ok, I just made that up))

Sexual harassment: This is an interesting article about how, at times, the harassed may well have, on some level, “enjoyed” the harassment, which is still improper. This is in the context of a yoga class ..and let me be perfectly clear: this applies to NO ONE that I’ve ever taken yoga from.

Had the notorious “Yoga Sex Scandal” (as it was called by the New York Times) gone down six months ago, I might have jumped on the shock-and-horror bandwagon with nearly everyone else in the blogosphere. But as a new transplant to Santa Monica (a city I often refer to as 2nd chakra central), I was hardly surprised. At the very first class I took in L.A., a male teacher unexpectedly caressed—OK, more like groped— my ass in Downward Dog. There I was, minding my own ujjayi breath, when suddenly I felt a hand sliding over my spandex covered thigh.

At first I was shocked. He was supposed to be a professional, and here he was caressing my butt cheek in a public yoga class. But as he walked away, I felt my hips involuntarily sway back a little bit, almost as if silently asking for more. I felt a flutter in the pit of my stomach, my cheeks flushing red hot. My mind couldn’t believe the way my body was responding … had I actually enjoyed that?

[…]

But another part of me—and this is something I feel a bit embarrassed to admit—knew that I hadn’t spoken up because, well, because it felt good. Something in me had enjoyed the touch, relished in the intimacy of a tender caress. It had felt tantalizing, almost intoxicating to be the object of that teacher’s affection. I felt wanted, desired, and, counterintuitive as it may seem, it made me feel powerful.

Workout notes:

usual PT, pull ups (5 sets of 10..good), bench press: 10 x 135, 6 x 185, 8 x 175, incline: 10 x 135, military: 10 x 50 dumbbell standing, 10 x 50 dumbbell standing (ugly), 10 x 180 machine, rows: 2 sets of 10 x 50 each arm, 10 x 110 machine. 25 twist crunch (each side, 50 total), moving bridge (2 sets of 10), 10 yoga leg lifts, headstand, side plank, 2 minute plank (hover),

treadmill: (some heel pain, left heel..at first) warm up with 11:30 mile, then 8:46 mile (6.7, .8, .9 7.0 every .25 miles). 20:15 total.

The second mile wasn’t as horrible as I feared it would be.

January 30, 2018 Posted by | Democrats, political/social, politics/social, running, walking, yoga | | Leave a comment

DACA and popularity

Ok, the Democrats are negotiating a budget deal without conditions for DACA. Now some are decrying the “spineless Democrats” or not sticking up for what most Americans want (for DACA to be renewed; this old poll has it at 73 percent).

But what many people do not get is that “we want this” does not mean “we want this at any price”:

So shutting down the government in order to get our way on DACA is NOT worth it to even most supporters.

Now will we get a clean DACA bill? Personally, I think it is worth it to try even if POTUS vetoes it.

Workout notes pretty weather so I was planning on a decent treadmill run followed by a walk outside. Well, the run wore me out (10K in 1:10:21, 1:07:20 for the first 6 miles); I did “froggy” on the 1/2 mile from 0 to 4 miles then played with speed; quick walking break for .1 miles after 5. (56:20) But walking home..I had no desire to walk at even a deliberate pace. So I called it a day.

Dang, I am in sorry shape.

January 25, 2018 Posted by | Democrats, politics, politics/social, running | Leave a comment

NOT “going along to get along”

One of the things I’ve found (I think that I have anyway) is that various “tribes” have dogma that they implicitly expect others to accept. This can make it difficult to fit in at times.

I’ll just describe some of the tensions I feel.

1. All of the “metoo” stuff: yes, of course, I believe that everyone has a right to work and live their lives free from sexual harassment. However I feel that much of the discussion is intellectually dishonest. For one, we DO have a human nature; our behaviors are not simply the result of socialization. Example: why doesn’t “abstinence only” sex education work?

So, any time you hear “ok, women should….” the feminists get enraged. I sincerely believe that the human mating ritual does have some roles that are genetically hardwired (women send out signals of interest; men respond to such signals that they think that they see) and that can lead to confusion: sometimes a woman’s simple friendliness is misinterpreted and some women DO have a “flirty manner” about them (if you are one of my female friends reading this: I am NOT talking about you; I’ve seen it in others though). So a friendly “be careful how you act” isn’t really a bad thing.

OF COURSE none of this absolves men from the responsibility of not harassing, and OF COURSE, even the most careful woman might get harassed. Men need to hear “keep it professional” in the work place and “don’t over assume her interest” in social setting.

2. Transgenderism: I was reading about a case in Chicago where a transgender girl, who still has male genitalia, wants to be able to openly use the girls locker room: “I want to be treated like any other girl”.

Ahem: you are NOT “Like any other girl”: you are a biological male who “identifies as a female”.

I cannot say “X is a Y” if I honestly do not believe that it is so; this sort of post-modernism is madness IMHO. Sure, I believe that the mind/body mismatch is genuine.

And in this case: my vote (at the poll) is that the privacy rights of the biological girls come first..otherwise why have separate locker rooms to begin with?

3. Women’s marches: my issue here isn’t the protests; protesting is as American as apple pie. And I too enjoy gathering with crowds of similarly-minded friends; it feels good to see that one isn’t alone. And yes, President Trump is an unmitigated disaster; he is well worth protesting.

Pussy hats: well, I might roll my eyes, but hey, I have no room to talk as I watch professional football where people wear much sillier things.

The issue for me is how people react to them: no, the numerically large marches do NOT point to some sort of wave that will sweep Trump from office. Yes, the Democrats had some victories, but those were based on local factors. In Alabama, Sen Jones DISTANCED himself from the national Democratic party; in this case black people showed up in unusually large numbers. White women still went for Moore by 68 percent. These marches, which some exceptions, are still largely an educated, somewhat affluent white women’s event (though I did know of a few black women who went).

Oh well, I just wanted to get that off of my chest. The good news is that no one will read this. 🙂

January 24, 2018 Posted by | Democrats, politics/social, social/political | 1 Comment