Politics for me in 2014 (the races I am most interested in)

At the national level, I am most interested in the US Senate race. We’ll be extremely fortunate to hold to a 50-50 tie. I honestly think that the Republicans will end up with a slight majority.

The House: forget it: Republicans pick up seats.

BUT, the above is really based on guessing; I haven’t studied the polls and betting lines all that much. I’ll know more this summer.

But as far as Illinois:

1. Senate: Senator Dick Durbin should be able to beat dairy owner Jim Oberweis. I’ll send him some monetary love, but in all honesty this will be because I want to be on the side of a winner.

2. Governor: Gov. Pat Quinn faces “businessman” (think: Donald Trump with a better educational pedigree) Bruce Rauner. Here is a REPUBLICAN attack ad against Rauner (primary race)

The only polls I’ve seen were very old (one favored Quinn, the other favored Rauner); there hasn’t been much polling lately. And in 2010, Quinn was way behind and ended up winning a close race though he was 7 points down. I predict a repeat performance; he is a very good politician.

If I were making a line, I’d call this one a toss-up. Why it is close: Rauner IS a smart man but I wonder if he will listen to reason from his campaign staff. He is also a political neophyte who openly says that his models of success is Wisconsin and Indiana. Hence in the Republican primary, he lost a 10 point lead in the polls and barely held off a dull challenger.

I’ll send Gov. Quinn some love.

3. IL-17. Cheri Bustos is in a rematch with Bobby Schilling. In 2012, she won by 6 points though President Obama carried her district by 17. This should NOT be a close race BUT it will be…if we are lucky. I’ve said this before and will say it again:

It didn’t work and Bustos won 53-47 (18,500 votes); she picked up her margins in Rock Island as well as in sections of Rockford and Peoria:

She won Fulton county by 200, Knox county (Galesburg) by 1200, Peoria County (part of it; the other part is in IL-18) by 8400, Rock Island by 6600, Tazewell by 200 (part of the county), Whiteside by 200 and Winnebago (part of Rockford) by 8700. Or put another way, her margin came from Rock Island plus parts of two larger cities.

Her margin was about 18,000 votes.

She won the 3 urban areas by 23,700 votes and her winning margin was 18,000 votes. But evidently this means nothing to her; she has actively moved toward the Blue Dogs (conservative Democrats). Yes, I know, President Obama is only a 43 percent nationally, but he remains popular in the urban areas that she absolutely has to win and get a big turn out.

I’d have to make Schilling a favorite in this race. The only reason that she has a chance (IMHO) is that Gov. Quinn is good at getting good turn-outs and she might, again, might, be able to ride his coattails in these areas.

I sent her campaign a bit of love but I am debating…is this a waste of money?

My summary:

Least likely: getting shut out (all of my candidates losing)
Not likely but possible: a sweep. (if this happens, the bottled water is on me!)
Possible (what I predict): going 2-1.
Probable (not a huge surprise) : going 1-2

March 20, 2014 Posted by | 2014 midterm, Cheri Bustos, Dick Durbin, IL-17, politics, politics/social | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My life in a social bubble….

A couple of events made me realize what a bubble I live in. One was a women’s basketball game (university); it was a Komen “pink-out” type of event. The other was the Peoria County Democrats Dinner (Senator Dick Drubin and Wisconsin State Senator Jon Erpenbach spoke).

Yes, I enjoyed both events and plan on doing more of them. But I was reminded of a few things.

As far as the women’s basketball game: the Komen “no longer going to fund Planned Parenthood” was a big deal on the internet sites that I routinely visit AND on the facebook walls of the people I usual talk about social and political events to. So I felt that there would be less enthusiasm for the Komen themed basketball game. WRONG. It was as if the “dust up” had never happened; in reality only a small percentage of people were even aware of it and an even smaller percentage cared one way or the other.

The Democrat Dinner: the local Democrats are very labor oriented. All Democrats are welcome, of course, and President Obama is popular with this crowd, mostly because he is from Illinois. But as to the type of people who were here:

The event started with a “in the name of Jesus” prayer; it was about as non-ecumenical as it gets. And while I enjoyed both Senator Durbin’s and Senator Erpenbach’s speeches, some of the jokes made by the MC were, IMHO, in poor taste.

Sure, Senator Durbin poked fun at Willard “Mitt” Romney; he joked that he was going to get the name “Not” added to his name so as to get more votes in the Republican primary. But that is a joke that is specific to a political situation.

The joke made by our MC was “ha, ha, Romney is a “horse’s ass”” which is a very non-specific insult; you can make that joke about anyone you don’t like.

This was definitely not the Prius driving, Birkenstock wearing crowd; this was the type of crowd were people frequently went outside to take smoking breaks.

This was a very different demographic than, say, the Daily Kos crowd.

If you want to open your eyes some more, volunteer to walk a route on election day to do a “get out the vote” sweep. Most of the time, you’ll get a bunch of “broken sidewalk” type neighborhood in which the porches are often full of junk (or trash) and the houses reek of cigarette smoke. This is NOT the “hiking at the nature center” or the Unitarian congregation crowd.

The reason I am saying this: the “hot issues” that are deemed so important at my internet hangouts are often completely off the radar screen with many (most?) people, including many (most?) who tend to vote for the same party. It is wise to remember that when you listen to our politicians speak.

February 21, 2012 Posted by | Barack Obama, Democrats, Dick Durbin, IL-17, IL-18, Peoria, Peoria/local, political/social, politics, social/political | Leave a comment

1 October 09 (am)

Workout notes Yoga class. I hope to get in 4-6 miles of running between my 9-10 and 1-2 classes. It shouldn’t be difficult to do so. Interestingly enough, my “behind the knee area” doesn’t hurt when I run; it is faster walking that hurts it??


Maddow blasts Republicans for being hypocrites (while admitting that Rep. Grayson was “over the top”)

(or go here)


Once, while visiting Brooklyn, I got a call from a fellow Bronxite, back on the mainland. When I revealed my location, he said, “Brooklyn?! What time is it there?” Despite the interborough bafflement, Brooklyn has been a genuine part of the land of the free since day one, that is, July 4, 1776. So when Lena Horne was born there in 1917, she automatically became a U.S. citizen. About 25 years later Horne was asked to give two concerts at Camp Robinson in Alabama, one to white servicemen, the second to black GIs. But she refused to do the second one when she saw that black Americans were sent to the back of the theater. Who got the good seats up front? German prisoners of war. Journalist Nat Brandt’s book Harlem at War: The Black Experience during World War II quotes Horne as summing up the situation thusly: “Screw this.”

Today, of course, the commander in chief of the U.S. military is black, and President Barack Obama gets the best seats in the house. A black president, however, causes great cognitive dissonance in some. But members of the “birther” movement have found a clever solution: Obama isn’t really president! Because he wasn’t really born in the USA!

Of course, he was, in Hawaii. (What time is it there?) So how could millions of people—a recent Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll found that 58 percent of Republicans, mostly concentrated in the South, either don’t believe or aren’t sure Obama is a citizen—be persuaded that the president is foreign? And how could high-ranking officers treat white enemies better than black patriots?

Now why should we take these clowns seriously?

Evolutiondevolving” (having mutations reverse course) is highly unlikely. It is true that some animals can evolve as to mimic some of their ancient behavior (e. g., aquatic life forms evolved (eventually) to land mammals, some of which went back to the water (e. g. whales), but that isn’t what is being talked about here. In short, if an old trait proves to be useful and is fixed by natural selection, it will be via a new mutation and not the undoing of an old one.

October 1, 2009 Posted by | 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Dick Durbin, evolution, health care, injury, nature, politics, politics/social, science, training | 2 Comments

25 August 09 (pm)

Workout notes Public track meet; warmed up 2 miles, ran 1600 in 6:54 (1:40, 1:41, 1:44, 1:50). I didn’t push hard enough during the last lap, but this was my best “flat” mile of the year and my 800 meter split was only 3 seconds slower than my 800 meter race two weeks ago.

But then I had no time between the conclusion of this and the 5000 meter; that was a disaster: 9:46, 9:37, 9:14, 1:05. I actually had to walk twice during the first mile; I couldn’t catch my breath! By the start of the 3rd mile I felt better and was able to pick it up somewhat during the last 800.

Other stuff


Michelle Bachman: “prayer and fasting will defeat health care reform”.

I wonder if her and her followers would consider fasting for a very, very, very long time? 🙂

Town halls: isn’t it a bit hypocritical for old people to whine about socialism when they are being supported by it?

Will Dick Durbin be the new Senate Majority Leader soon? Harry Reid is in trouble.

Back to Religious crackpottery: For a time the Illinois Family Institute was considered by the Southern Poverty Law Center to be an anti-gay hate group. They are off the list for now…and Mike Huckabee will be speaking to them.

Education: do we undervalue it in the US because it comes too easily?

August 26, 2009 Posted by | Democrats, Dick Durbin, economy, education, health care, Illinois, morons, politics, politics/social, religion, republicans, running, Spineless Democrats, time trial/ race, training | 2 Comments

Thank You Senator Durbin

Yes, this is Senator Tom Harkin. Here I agree with him:

Here is a blog post on this

Senator Durbin: thank you. To you spineless Democrats:

No Republican members voted for the amendment. The Democrat no votes include Senators Max Baucus (D-MT), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Robert Byrd (D-WV), Tom Carper (D-DE), Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Arlen Specter (D-PA) & John Tester (D-MT).

Shame on you; I know that you represent the big banks.

This is why I don’t contribute to the DSCC or the DCCC; I don’t want to support such Democrats. Note: the vote on this amendment was subject to the usual “cloture” rules; that is why 45 “nay” votes were enough to kill it.

May 2, 2009 Posted by | Democrats, Dick Durbin, Spineless Democrats | 1 Comment