blueollie

Is this storm here to stay?

1979:  The Great Red Spot, in the region of Jupiter which extends from the equator to the southern polar latitudes, as seen by the space probe Voyager 2.  (Photo by MPI/Getty Images)

1979: The Great Red Spot, in the region of Jupiter which extends from the equator to the southern polar latitudes, as seen by the space probe Voyager 2. (Photo by MPI/Getty Images)

I know when there is a rainstorm, I think: “it can’t last forever”. Well, here is Jupiter’s “Red Spot”. It has been observed for 187 years and was thought to have been observed 350 years ago. Yeah, in terms of astronomical time scales, that is perhaps a nano-second. But it is a long time for a human.

And so I come to something that has been on my mind a LOT lately: our new “so-called” president.

Yes, in my bubble, Trump is an unmitigated disaster, headed for either impeachment, removal via the 25’th Amendment, or destined to resign because he wants to take his ball and go home.

Ah, I’d love that. But I really do not see that happening.

Yes, Trump’s numbers are at historic lows for someone this early into his administration. (40 percent by the Gallup). But he is at 86 percent among Republicans. And the reality is that many (most) who voted for Trump simply do not care about the things that we care about.

Now, I disagree with some of what is in this Isaac Simpson blog post, but there are some good observations here:

Here’s a fact you that might surprise you: most Trump voters do not care if he collaborated with Russia to take down Clinton. If that was what was necessary to destroy Washington, then it was worth it. Trumpians, many of whom have had their lives destroyed by Wall Street and by an establishment that, fairly or not, they connect directly to the MSM, are so angry that they’ve entered means-to-an-end mode.
To put yourself in the mind of a Trump voter, a good analog would be if a country known for meddling in American politics, let’s say Israel, had hacked the RNC on Hillary’s behalf, then exposed some corruption-containing RNC emails to the public. These emails were then used to defeat Trump. As a Hillary supporter, would you care? Would you really call for Hillary’s head?
The point is, if you think Trump supporters are going to be like Nixon supporters and lose faith in their candidate if it’s proven that he acted nefariously, think again. They won’t care. They’ll interpret a Trump impeachment as a nothing but a usurpation.

And many have lost trust in the mainstream media:

In Trump’s case, you have a paradigmatically anti-establishment candidate versus a powerful and brazenly biased media known to be as corrupt as the politicians it covers. The New York Times has admitted that it ignored Trump supporters during the election, and has essentially acknowledged its own bias. The people funneling money into politics are often the same ones who own the media companies that are doing the reporting, i.e. George Soros. It’s not a stretch to believe that MSM was so threatened by Trump that it spent tens of millions of dollars trying to find a way, any way, to take him down. By being outwardly hostile to the MSM, Trump, the ultimate outsider, baited them into this battle. If the MSM takes down Trump, it’s hard to see it as anything besides Goliath defeating David. And, no matter what the facts are, it will be Goliath defeating David in the mind of the Trump voter.

As incredulous as it sounds to me (and to most of my friends), Trumpkins view Trump as “David” rather than Goliath! (wrap your head around that one).

And Trump supporters really do think that he is doing a great job and simply do not understand what the problem is.

But less than one month into Trump’s term, many of his supporters say they once again feel under attack — perhaps even more so than before.

Those who journeyed to Trump’s Saturday evening event on Florida’s Space Coast said that since the election, they have unfriended some of their liberal relatives or friends on Facebook. They don’t understand why major media outlets don’t see the same successful administration they have been cheering on. And they’re increasingly frustrated that Democrats — and some Republicans — are too slow to approve some of the president’s nominees and too quick to protest his every utterance.

“They’re stonewalling everything that he’s doing because they’re just being babies about it,” said Patricia Melani, 56, a Jersey native who now lives here and attended her third Trump rally Saturday. “All the loudmouths? They need to let it go. Let it go. Shut their mouths and let the man do what he’s got to do. We all shut our mouths when Obama got in the second time around, okay? So that’s what really needs to be done.”

And hey, things have changed.

At last night’s Peoria Democrats Presidents Day Dinner, I hung out with a lot of like minded friends, and was shocked to learn that Trump carried MY OWN CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT (IL-17); one that Cheri Bustos won easily. Yep, it is true: Trump won 47.4-46.7 in a district that Obama carried by 17 points.

Bustos warned that Democrats appeared to be indifferent to those affected by the loss of manufacturing jobs; not showing up in areas hit by factory closings and the like. She noted that she was the only Midwestern Democrat on her committee.

Now of course, I do not approve of lying about those lost manufacturing and good paying blue collar jobs; they are NOT coming back (example). And there is a reason that liberals migrate to the coasts; I sure wish I could too! Hell, I was at a Democratic dinner, and it was opened with a highly sectarian prayer (FATHER GOD, “In Jesus Name”)…it seemed like an Onion parody of the Bible beaters.

So, that is my gripe. My solution? From what I’ve read, right wing populists in Europe have been taken down by ordinary, hum-drum politics. Oh, we won’t win that 40 percent the consistently approves of Trump. Forget about that. But by holding President Trump accountable for the outcomes of his policies, we might just pick off enough of the “mushy middle” to win it back in 2020.

Yeah, screaming about Trump’s noxious personality and his social sins might feel good to us, and while that won’t actually help Trump, it won’t win the election for us. The professional politicians have their work cut out for them.

Upshot: I’ll continue to vent with my friends, but I also realize that my venting, while being a nice stress release, is NOT part of the hard work of winning the next election. I have to ask myself: do I REALLY want to do more political walk routes in “broken sidewalk” neighborhoods? (If you are a Democrat, you will always do walk routes in the poorest neighborhoods…it would be nicer to be a Republican!) I did these from 2004-2012 and I have NOT done it since…hmmm…

Oh well, the gym and academic work calls…

February 21, 2017 Posted by | Cheri Bustos, Democrats, IL-17, political/social, politics, politics/social | , , | Leave a comment

Peoria Democrats Presidents Day Dinner 2017 version

It was the usual; good food, nice company, VERY sectarian prayer (have any of these pastors ever heard of the word “ecumenical”?), Cheri Bustos was the main speaker and she filled us in as to what is going on in Washington. She alerted us to the fact that Trump won IL-17 (Obama won it easily).

Socially, it went much better for me than last year, though I did socialize a bit more with others already at the dinner.

This time, Tracy was available and Larry met us there.

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The largest crowd ever: almost 500. Open seating was in the back.

There was a lot of fried chicken there. Yeah, this photo was a bit blurry.

chickenbuffetpeoria

Maria got this one of me.

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Here I am with Tracy.

tracyandmepeodinner

I won the flower place setting in the raffle.

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Here is Larry and Tracy together.

tracywithlarrypeodemdinner

Oh, I did work out in the morning: 6 miles easy and some “no weight” squats.

February 21, 2017 Posted by | Democrats, Friends, IL-17, Peoria, Peoria/local, running | | Leave a comment

How long will the Democratic display of backbone last?

Well, we are hearing talk of filibustering the Trump Supreme Court nominee, of Democrats gumming up the works by boycotting Senate committee meetings and the like.

Well, these are not normal times, as David Frum points out in his long, long, but on point article.

And don’t expect much from the Republicans, as Trump supporters support what he is doing. And, as I recently found out, many conservatives really do not know what is going on (e. g. with the travel bans) and how it impacts universities, businesses and the like. They are just clueless.

January 31, 2017 Posted by | Democrats, politics, politics/social, social/political | | Leave a comment

I was duped by President Obama….

I remember the doom and gloom after the crushing 2004 defeat:

dumbfuckistan

Ah, we had those “Kerry” states to fall back on…Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin.

Then came Obama in 2008:

electoralcollege2008-svg

And he won reelection, though losing Indiana and North Carolina the second time.

Well, the “Kerry States” I thought was a “firewall”. Those, plus Virginia, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado…and it is IN THE BAG, Florida and Ohio be damned.

2016results

Ooops. Kerry States Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are gone; Michigan remains too close to call. Yes, there were warnings about Pennsylvania that the Clinton campaign failed to heed.

Think about this: Clinton underperformed Kerry, at least in the Electoral College (not in popular vote, where she, as of this writing, has a 700,000 vote lead that continues to grow). The army of women who were going to lead her to victory never materialized:

 The class divisions between women came to a head in the 2016 election, when Big Feminism failed women, big-time. Mainstream feminists sold women a bill of goods, arguing that the election of a woman president would improve the lot of women as a class. Echoing Sheryl Sandberg’s dubious thesis, they claimed that leadership by women will as a matter of course produce gains for all women—though actually, the social science evidence for this claim is mixed at best. There was also a lot of talk about how having a woman president would “normalize” female power.

The class divisions between women came to a head in the 2016 election, when Big Feminism failed women, big-time.
But if you’re a woman living paycheck to paycheck and worried sick over the ever-diminishing economic prospects for you and your children, you’re unlikely to be heavily invested in whether some lady centimillionaire will shatter the ultimate glass ceiling.

So what happened? I’ll have to think long and hard about this, but, more and more, it appears that we are the same sorry collection of losers that we always were. We don’t show up unless we are entertained.

david-horsey-cartoon-2014-elections-squishy-Democrats

We wag the finger at others. We think that our throwing public temper tantrums will change…something. We think that screaming “=ism” or “misogyny” is going to change something…and it didn’t even get us the white women vote.

Evidently, there were more white women like this one than there were angry white female feminists who were just going to TAKE IT to Donald Trump.

trump_talk_dirty_shirt

Oh, yes, “Bernie would have won” (yeah, sure).

Obama fooled me. Yes, he was a smart, hard working, effective president. But he won because HE was good, not because the Democrats have come back. Without Obama, we continue to be the same old rag-tag collection of sorry losers. Hell, I don’t even like being a Democrat right now. And no, I want nothing to do with the bat-shit crazy green party.

Just call me a sucker for lost causes.

lostcauses

November 15, 2016 Posted by | Democrats, political/social, politics, politics/social | | Leave a comment

One big way I was wrong…(among others)

I’ve already talked about the polls and the betting lines; together these things fooled me. And turnout: yes, Trump, as of this time, had fewer votes than either Mitt Romney or John McCain…and yes, fewer votes than Hillary Clinton too. But that is for another post.

Today: one way I was suckered is that I sincerely believed what Paul Krugman wrote:

Greg Sargent interviews Hillary’s chief strategist about the coming general election, and finds him dismissive of claims that Donald Trump can repeat his march through the Republican primary. You never know — but it does seem obvious, except to the political pundits completely flabbergasted by Trump’s rise, that the general election is going to be a very different story. For the truth is that Trump’s Republican rivals fought with both hands tied behind their backs, and that just won’t happen from here on in.

Greg summarizes the case very well, but let me do it a bit differently. Think about Trump’s obvious weaknesses, why Republicans couldn’t exploit them, but why Democrats can.

First, he’s running a campaign fundamentally based on racism. But Republicans couldn’t call him on that, because more or less veiled appeals to racial resentment have been key to their party’s success for decades. Clinton, on the other hand, won the nomination thanks to overwhelming nonwhite support, and will have no trouble hitting hard on this issue.

Second, Trump is proposing wildly irresponsible policies that benefit the rich. But so were all the other Republicans, so they couldn’t attack him for that. Clinton can.

Third, Trump’s personal record as a businessman is both antisocial and just plain dubious. Republicans, with their cult of the entrepreneur, couldn’t say anything about that. Again, Clinton can. […]

Clinton, on the other hand, is not ludicrous. She can think on her feet; she’s tough as nails. Do you really think the person who stared down the Benghazi committee for 11 hours is going to wither under schoolboy taunts?

The news media will, I fear, try their best to pretend that the contrast isn’t what it is. We’ll hear endless explanations of why Trump’s vanity, ignorance, and lack of moral fiber somehow prove his “authenticity”, which Clinton somehow lacks. And maybe that will stick with voters. But I don’t think it will. In the end, it will be a race between a tough, smart lady and someone who is obviously a yuge, um, Antonin Scalia School of Law. And voters will notice.

And yet….the Democrats did not show up.

votes20082016

Michael Moore, who isn’t my favorite person, got it right. Democrats need someone charismatic to motivate turn out:

david-horsey-cartoon-2014-elections-squishy-Democrats

And so we are disappointed…both in those who voted for Trump and those who didn’t show up.

Workout notes rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10), bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, 7 x 170, incline: 10 x 135, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 (each arm), military: 7 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 (seated, supported), 10 x 45 standing, head stand, 2 sets of 10 x yoga leg lifts, 12 twist crunch.

run: 21 minutes for 2 mile, 14:30 track mile, 14:50 hill treadmill mile.

November 11, 2016 Posted by | Democrats, political/social, politics, politics/social, running, Uncategorized, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Why Sanders path to the nomination is so narrow…

Workout notes: walked my Cornstalk 8.1 + 2.05 in 2:40; legs were sore and achy at the start so I made it an easy Easter Walk to take advantage of the great weather.

Nomination
I used figures from the New York Times and Fivethirtyeight.com and Nate Silver’s analysis of the demographics of the remaining states.

Basic Assumptions:

1. Hillary Clinton has 1267 pledged delegates and Bernie Sanders has 1037. I came up with this number by using the New York Times figures which included the Alaska and Hawaii primaries but NOT the Washington results and I assumed that, from Washington, the delegate split was Sanders 74-27 (based on 101 delegates and the percentage of the vote).

2. There are 4051 pledged delegates available and it takes 2026 to get a majority of these.

Model Assumptions
1. Sanders wins 60 percent of the delegates in Wisconsin. Note: Hillary Clinton is actually forecast to WIN Wisconsin with a probability of 85 percent, though the demographics are friendly to Sanders.

2. Sanders wins 75 percent of the 204 delegates in the following states: Wyoming, Oregon, Montana, South Dakota and North Dakota. This model assumption is based on the Hawaii-Alaska-Washington results in terms of demographics.

3. There are 1527 delegates left from New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Indiana, Guam, West Virginia, Kentucky, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, California, New Jersey, New Mexico and D. C.

Model assumptions 1 and 2 has that, after the Sanders friendly states, Sanders with 1037 + 138 = 1175 pledged delegates and Clinton with 1267 + 66 = 1333 pledged delegates.

Sanders would need 851 of the remaining 1527 delegates, or 55.7 percent. Clinton would need 693 of the remaining 1527 delegates, or about 45.3 percent (numbers add up to more than 100 percent due to rounding).

Note that Clinton is expected to win California, New York, Maryland and Pennsylvania; these states have 1016 of the remaining delegates. Remember that if Sanders loses any one of these, or does no better than “break even”, he falls further into the delegate hole.

Below is a screenshot of my spreadsheet with the relevant data.

delegatemath

March 27, 2016 Posted by | Democrats, political/social, politics | , , | 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

Trump rolls in South Carolina; Clinton holds off a tough Sanders surge in Nevada

Well, it was smiles for me in the political arena too. Hillary Clinton held off a tough challenge from Bernie Sanders to win the Nevada Caucuses 52.7 to 47.2 and Donald Trump rolled to an easy 33-22-21 win over Rubio and Cruz.

And poor Jeb Bush: is out. I never dreamed he would bomb out so badly. The “top 2” (Bush and Walker) really proved to be weak candidates. Here are some Bush lowlights.

February 21, 2016 Posted by | Democrats, politics, politics/social, republicans | , , , , | Leave a comment

Nevada, Sanders, and the personal upswing continues

Weight before lifting: 183.5.
rotator cuff
pull ups: 15=15-10-10
bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 185, 10 x 170 (strong sets)
incline presses: 10 x 135 (easy)
military: 3 sets of 10 x 40 dumbbell
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 55 (singe arm dumbbell)
abs: 2 sets of 12 twist crunch, 2 sets of 10 yoga leg lifts, moving bridge recoveries, headstand (easy)

Swim: 500 free, 500 drill/swim, 5 x 100 (25 fly, 25 free, 25 back, 25 free), 3 x 100 (alt side, free) 100 pull, 100 free, 100 pull, 100 fins.
It was sort of a play-day swim.

Later: saw the Bradley women lose to Indiana State; they were within 4 late in the game 68-59. They were within 4 late in the game, but ISU knocked down some huge 3 point shots late in the game to put it away.

Posts
The Democratic Nevada Caucus is tomorrow. In the betting line, HRC is a 8/13 favorite, with Sanders at 11/8.

nevadacaususodds

But I’ll say this: Nevada is very hard to poll, so I see that race as a toss-up:

For starters, when it comes to surveying public opinion, Nevada is still very much the Wild West, and pollsters may be unwilling to gamble their reputations on the state: Nevada is among the hardest places to poll in the nation, with a spotty track record to prove it. Going into the 2008 Republican caucuses, the polling average gave Mitt Romney just a 5-point advantage over John McCain; Romney ended up winning by 38 points. In 2010 when Republican Sharron Angle challenged Harry Reid, then Senate majority leader, for his seat, the polling average showed her beating the incumbent by a 3-point margin; she lost to Reid by nearly 6 points.

According to Mark Mellman, a Democratic pollster who’s done extensive work in the state on behalf of Reid, caucus polling is “excruciatingly difficult” to begin with, but the fact that Nevada’s caucuses are relatively new makes polling them even more fraught with uncertainty. After the 2004 election, the parties moved from primaries to caucuses, and Nevada was bumped up to a higher spot in the primary calendar, a play to incorporate a broader swath of the American electorate in the candidate-winnowing process.

But that means that Nevada populace’s is still pretty unfamiliar with caucusing, making for difficult polling work. “

So I take this with a grain of salt:

demnevada

And Trump is a prohibitive favorite to roll in South Carolina.

Now back to Sanders vs. Clinton.
Things have gotten ugly. And yes, those who say “his assumptions just don’t add up…they are not plausible assumptions are vilified as being Hillary shills and the like. Guess what: not having power doesn’t make you right. I know: I graded undergraduate student exams today. If anything, the line to support Sanders’ numbers is a much shorter one.

Look for yourself at what Sanders is assuming:

021916krugman2-tmagArticle

Seriously, we’d be rolling our eyes if Republicans made such assumptions.

February 20, 2016 Posted by | Democrats, economics, economy, politics, politics/social, swimming, weight training | , , , | Leave a comment

Democratic Race: who is ahead in the polls?

You’ll hear lots of things such as “Sanders is virtually tied with Clinton”. Well, one should look at ALL the polls: (here are the 2016 National Polls from Real Clear Politics)

bernvictimsarecute

South Carolina:

southcarolina

Nevada: (which really IS tight…toss up as of right now)

nevadafeb2016

So, I’ll listen to the crowing about the close race in Nevada.

This is a good read about how the Democrats break down. In 2008, the fault lines were white working class vs. minorities and the educated/affluent. They are a bit different this time around. Note that I fall into several of the demographics most likely to support Clinton. But, of course, no classification is perfect, and there is variation in every demographic subcategory.

While I am a Sec. Clinton supporter, I think that her having to work for it is a good thing; no one is entitled to the nomination and she needs to win the primary. And I have to give Sen. Sanders a lot of credit for being a tough, but noble opponent. I have a lot of respect for him, though I think that the numbers on his plans simply do not add up.

February 18, 2016 Posted by | Democrats, politics, politics/social | , , | Leave a comment