I was duped by President Obama….

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


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

Then came Obama in 2008:


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.

I used figures from the New York Times and 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.


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.

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


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:


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:


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)


South Carolina:


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


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

On the Sanders vs. Clinton debate…

I’ve been following this “Sanders vs. Clinton” debate both online and with various friends. Though I have some Clinton supporters as friends, I haven’t really seen the attacks her supporters have made on Sanders supporters. So I won’t comment on them.

I have heard and read what some of the Sanders people say, and they say some interesting things. For one, they are prone to cherry picking the polls that tell them what they want to hear.


I suppose that is a very human thing to do; we do that in, say, relationships all the time. Oh yes, fans of given sports team do that too. 🙂

Here Paul Krugman talks about the “electablility” issue. I understand why that is a valid concern.

But it isn’t for me. IF I knew that the Democrat nominee would win the election (and I strongly thought that in 2008) I would still vote for Hillary Clinton this time. Reason: I give a lot of credit for being smart, well rounded, knowledgeable and having political skill. I think that she is more realistic about how our country is. No, even if Sanders wins the Presidency, Mitch McConnell isn’t going to see a massive protest outside of his office (Sanders said something to this effect at a debate; he says that this must happen for the country to get behind his proposals).

So here is Krugman’s piece:

But what happens even more, in my experience, is an intellectual sin whose effects can be just as bad: self-indulgence. By this I mean believing things, and advocating for policies, because you like the story rather than because you have any good evidence that it’s true. I’ve spent a lot of time over the years going after this sort of thing on the right, where things like the claim that Barney Frank somehow caused the financial crisis so often prevail in the teeth of overwhelming evidence. But it can happen on the left, too — which is why, for example, I’m still very cautious about claims that inequality is bad for growth.

On electability, by all means consider the evidence and reach your own conclusions. But do consider the evidence — don’t decide what you want to believe and then make up justifications. The stakes are too high for that, and history will not forgive you.

I say this for the benefit of the neutral reader. Of course, the “true believers” will just say that I am either a sellout or someone who has been bamboozled or duped; that somehow I just don’t have their insight, powers of perception, or am, well, less principled? I have to laugh.

I’ll make this clear: if Sen. Sanders wins the primary, I’ll vote for him and open up my (meager) checkbook for him. I like the man and respect him. And there are many Sanders supporters that I like (even love?) and respect. But this time around, I honestly believe that Hillary Clinton is the better choice.

February 8, 2016 Posted by | Democrats, politics/social | , , , | Leave a comment

Democratic Debate: tough, fair and with substance!

I just finished watching the Sanders vs. Clinton debate. Yes, both candidates stood their ground. Both pushed back against attacks.

This was a nice debate of ideas and approaches: you have the “get the torches and pitchforks” approach from Sanders. For example, he said that you can’t negotiate with Mitch McConnell; McConnell needs to look out the window and see people saying…xyz..”

And you had the “let’s be realistic about what can actually get done approach.

This was a classic “Krugman vs. Reich” type of debate. The moderators (Chuck Todd and Rachel Maddow) did very well and kept themselves out of it.

I was proud of our party tonight. Yes, Sanders did well. Yes, Clinton did well.

This was far better than the cliche-fear fest than the Republicans ran.

It ran 2 hours long, and didn’t seem to drag.

February 5, 2016 Posted by | Democrats, politics, politics/social | , , , | Leave a comment

So, what is going to happen in Iowa tomorrow?

Five Thirty Eight: gives Clinton about an 73-78 percent chance. Think of it as a good NBA player taking a free shot.

But caucus states are hard to predict; Sam Wang weighs in.

What about the Republicans? If you wondered why their debates sound like “I’m gonna kick the ass of ISIS” over and over again, it is because Republicans value “perceived strength”. It is interesting reading..and it is hard for me to not feel contempt when I read the write ups on the individuals.

I’ll close with what Paul Krugman says (and he admits that this is just personal opinion)

The appeal of the Sanders campaign, at least to people I know, is that it brings a sense of possibility. For those who were joyful and uplifted on inauguration day 2009, the years that followed have been a vast letdown: American politics got even uglier, policy progress always fell short of dreams. Now comes Sanders — very different in personal style from Obama 2008, but again someone who seems different and offers the hope of transformation. And some people really want to hear that message, and don’t want to hear that they’re being unrealistic.

But there’s something else, which I keep encountering, and which I’m sure I’m not the only one to notice: even among progressives, the two-decade-plus smear campaign against the Clintons has had its effect. I keep being told about terrible things the Clintons did that never actually happened, but were carefully fomented right-wing legends — except I’m hearing them from people on the left. The sense that where there’s smoke there must be fire — when the reality was nothing but Richard Mellon Scaife with a smoke machine — is very much out there, still. […]

On the other hand, that history is, I think, one factor behind a phenomenon we saw in 2008 and will see again this year: there’s a lot more passionate support for Clinton than either Sanders supporters or the news media imagine. There are a lot of Democrats who see her as someone who has been subjected to character assassination, to vicious attacks, on a scale few women and no men in politics have ever encountered — yet she’s still standing, still capable of remarkable grace under fire. If you didn’t see something heroic about her performance in the Benghazi hearing, you’re missing something essential.

And Clinton’s dogged realism, while it doesn’t inspire the same kind of uplift as Sanders’s promise of change, can be inspiring in its own way.

Emphasis mine. I support Clinton for a couple of reasons: one is her intelligence and knowledge of the issues, and the other is her realism. We can’t afford those who peddle fantasy.

February 1, 2016 Posted by | Democrats, politics, politics/social, republicans | , , , | Leave a comment