blueollie

One of Hillary Clinton’s strengths …

I looked at this clip from the bruising 2008 Democratic Primary. Yes, I was a strong Obama backer and I am glad that I voted for him. But this little speech by then Sen. Clinton stuck with me:

At 40 seconds, she gets on then Sen. Obama for being naive about the nature of the opposition. Here she was talking about “special interests” but she could have been talking about the Republicans. Obama had campaigned on the idea that if you met them half way and went with the better Republican ideas, they’d go along. In fact, when the opposition said that their main goal was to make him a “one term President”, they weren’t kidding.

These bastards had zero interest in actual governing. And Hillary Clinton understands that.

But at the time, I felt that the country had to try.

Later, at roughly 2 minutes into the video, she talks about the health care plan and Obama’s plan NOT having a mandate, whereas hers did. At the time, I said that I was indifferent as to which plans as both were better than what we had. But I thought that we’d get whatever we could negotiate with the Republicans. It turns out that the negotiations were with the “blue dogs” in the Senate. But the final plan did have a mandate.

I think that Hillary Clinton can do a bit of “I told you so” during the 2016 campaign while not alienating the Democrats.

July 30, 2015 Posted by | 2016, hillary clinton, politics, politics/social | , | Leave a comment

Clinton: better stance on science than Sanders

When it comes to science and GMOs, Hillary Clinton seems to understand science better than Bernie Sanders does.

This is a woo-woo article attacking Hillary Clinton:

Speaking at a conference in San Diego last week for the world’s largest trade organization of biotechnology firms, potential presidintial candidate Hillary Clinton backed GMOs and Big Ag, further displaying her allegiance to the industry in the eyes of sustainable food and organic advocates.

While trumpeting her endorsement of GMO seeds when she served as Secretary of State, Clinton told the crowd that the term “‘genetically modified’ sounds Frankensteinish,” and thus turns people off to GMOs. “Drought resistant sounds really like something you’d want,” she said, encouraging the industry to improve their semantics. “There’s a big gap between the facts and what the perceptions are.”

Sanders, on the other hand:

There was concern among scientists at the FDA in the 1990s that genetically engineered foods could have new and different risks such as hidden allergens, increased plant-toxin levels and the potential to hasten the spread of antibiotic-resistant disease. Those concerns were largely brushed aside. Today, unanswered questions remain. In the United States, resolutions calling for labeling of genetically engineered foods were passed by the American Public Health Association and the American Nurses Association. In Canada, a landmark independent study by Canadian doctors published in the peer-reviewed journal Reproductive Toxicology found that toxin from soil bacterium engineered into corn to kill pests was present in the bloodstream of 93 percent of pregnant women. There is a great need for additional research because there have never been mandatory human clinical trials of genetically engineered crops, no tests for carcinogenicity or harm to fetuses, no long-term testing for human health risks, no requirement for long-term testing on animals, and only limited allergy testing. What this means is that, for all intents and purposes, the long-term health study of genetically engineered food is being done on all of the American people.

Uh, Senator Sanders, G<O foods meets the same tests that organic foods; they just "sound" icky.

I'd go with the science community says rather than what some "activists" say, but hey, that is me. And, evidently, Hillary Clinton. Good for her.

July 23, 2015 Posted by | 2016, Democrats, hillary clinton, science | , , , | 1 Comment

Iran deal and politics

Iran deal Personally, I like the deal as it cuts off Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon; it was designed by those who know how to make such weapons.

But alas, in the opinion of some conservatives it..well…isn’t “tough enough” on a country that we don’t like. Oh, there is that troubling notion of getting other countries to agree to go along.

Politics

Bernie Sanders: I think that this short article lays out the pros and cons very nicely.

Barack Obama: yes, he set out to be “transformational” in that he wanted there to be “Obama Republicans” just as there were “Reagan Democrats”

He failed. Nevertheless, he got some really big stuff done and ultimately he helped the country more than President Reagan did, at least in my opinion. As far as the opinion of others: well, his approval ratings track rather well against the average approval ratings of past 2 term presidents. Here is the graph; the dotted line shows the average and the darker green line was President Bush (II).

Screen shot 2015-07-20 at 7.57.39 AM

Graph generated from here.

No, he didn’t have the charm of President Reagan or President Clinton. But I happen to like his approach. Note: I think that President Clinton (II) will be more like President Obama in that she’ll take a measured, calculated approach.

Republicans Trump might be in the lead in a few polls, but that can be very deceiving when there this many candidates diluting the support for a front runner. The “anyone but Trump” action is strong.

I think that Gov. Walker, Gov. Bush and Sen. Rubio are their strongest candidates. If I had to pick a Republican to be President, I’d probably pick between Gov. Jindal, Sen. Rubio or Sen. Graham.
But I can’t envision a Democrat being nominated that I wouldn’t vote for. And I’ve already given Sec. Clinton a donation.

July 20, 2015 Posted by | 2016, Democrats, hillary clinton, politics, politics/social, republicans politics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sorting it out

My summer is at a cross roads; I am not sure as to what to spend my time on. I’ve gotten stuff done though.

Workout notes: easy 6 mile run (6.4-6.5 really) that I didn’t time; I didn’t want to know. I just beat the rain storm (barely).

I watched the Chiefs game last night; they won 1-0; the starter pitched 6 innings and allowed 1 hit, 0 runs and struck out 8; the relievers struck out 4 more. The visiting team: they only gave up 4 hits and struck out 8. So this was a defense dominated game which featured good pitching, great fielding and terrible base running.

Posts
President Obama: visited Oklahoma City and Durant. Some people were flying “Confederate flags”. What I remember is that there is a rest stop with a “Confederate Memorial Museum” off of highway 75/69 near Durant. I visited there and was pleasantly surprised at the display they had on evolution and geology; it was genuine science and worth seeing. The other stuff was mostly historical; I suppose it could be renamed “local history museum” but would then draw fewer visitors.

Iran nuclear deal: this was just about the bomb; many nuclear scientists see this as exactly what is needed to keep them from getting one.

Politics: from the Hillary Clinton campaign: you can see who they think are the best people to fundraise against. I don’t see Sen. Cruz as a threat; I do see the other 3 as serious contenders. Notice which Republican is NOT there.

hrccampaign

This latest poll shows that people would consider voting for a “qualified” gay person at about the same rate as a “qualified” evangelical Christian (73-74 percent). Atheists and Muslims are rated closely as well (58-60 percent) with socialists rated last (47 percent).

Elections do have consequences: Gov. Walker has made changes to the University of Wisconsin university system..and these are changes that many see as bad.

July 16, 2015 Posted by | education, hillary clinton, Political Ad, political/social, politics, politics/social, running | , , | Leave a comment

Republican Primary 2016

1july2015republicans

Among the Republicans: I think that the top 3 (Gov. Bush, Gov. Walker, Sen. Rubio) will yield the eventual GOP winner. I don’t see any of the remaining candidates as being viable.
If I had to pick one at gunpoint, I’d go with either Sen. Rubio or Gov. Jindal (Rhodes Scholar, politically savvy enough to get elected in Louisiana) even though I don’t like their policy positions. Gov. Christie is too thin skinned to win a long, grueling campaign.

But my chances of voting for any of them: well, I suppose if the Democrats nominate David Duke, I’d vote for one of them, but I don’t see that happening.

On the Democrat side: I see no viable challenger to Sec. Clinton. So, for now, she is my choice, though I haven’t given money as yet. I’ll probably be giving my political money to Rep. Bustos (already have) and Rep. Duckworth who is running for Senate.

Hmmm, it just dawned on me: the three “top of the ticket” candidates I am supporting are females. Times have changed!

July 1, 2015 Posted by | 2016, Cheri Bustos, hillary clinton, politics, politics/social | | Leave a comment

avoiding tedium

No, I can’t avoid it all, but I am taking a quick break.

Today’s workout: 2 mile warm up walk (33 minutes); this included drills.
24:18 for 2.15 miles (5 x .43)
14 minute walk home

Call it 5 miles. 60 F, drizzle; somewhat chilly.

Later tonight: with the group; IF we walk. Total: maybe 2 miles, as Steamboat is on Saturday. Weather: who in the heck knows? We’ve been rained on pretty heavily, though I could go for the 60 F temperature at the start. This year: jog the 15K “with the group” just to “finish with dignity”.

Random Thoughts

I have a new office chair, though I could really go for one of these treadmill work stations.

Yes, I am doing college stuff. I am glad that I teach mathematics. The atmosphere here isn’t that bad, but I am seeing stories about administration being oversensitive to students being oversensitive. At times, it appears that one can earn “PC cred” by creatively finding a way to be offended by something.

Yes, there are also budget crunches and: well, faculty are asked to teach more students (“while not lowering quality”) because budget constraints preclude hiring new faculty, though not from hiring new administrators. Yes, the article I linked to is “parody…which represents truth” so to speak.

Politics I am pretty bored at the moment, at least with the Presidential election.
Democrats: I don’t know what effect that Senator Bernie Sanders will have; he might be a good debating partner for Secretary Hillary Clinton.
Republicans: I am not sure if I could list all of the “official” and “soon to be official” candidates. I’ll let a conservative sort if all out for you.

Who I am taking seriously: Gov. Jeb Bush, Gov. Scott Walker, Gov. Chris Christie (not announced), Gov. Bobby Jindal, Sen. Marco Rubio. My guess: Bush vs. Walker…not sure who wins. Robert Reich thinks that Walker will win.

It is WAY too early to make a prediction
I’ll just say it: I think that the 2016 map looks a lot like the 2012 one; basically Hillary Clinton was stronger than Barack Obama in all of the so-called “toss up” states except for Virginia. My “ridiculously too far out to mean” much call is for her to get somewhere between 320-360 electoral votes (270 needed to win).

June 17, 2015 Posted by | 2016, hillary clinton, political/social, politics, racewalking | , , | Leave a comment

Nice answer Secretary Clinton…

Direct and to the point…they way I like it.

May 20, 2015 Posted by | 2016, hillary clinton, politics, politics/social | | 2 Comments

Semester is over and I opine on politics, Fox News, etc.

Politics and Social Issues

Yes, President Obama called out Fox News for distorting the debate about poverty:

Of course, Fox News complained (and probably grinned ear to ear, enjoying a viewer surge) but..well, the DO say the kinds of things that he accused them of saying.

I am beginning to think that Fox is secretly hoping that Hillary Clinton will win the Presidency.

Now speaking of the election: let us not forget how bad Gov. Jeb Bush would be. Think of who is advisers would be and of how awful they were the last time they were in power. The Democrats must remind people of this.

Yes, I am hearing about the Bush vs. Clinton “dynasties”. Please. This article gets it right..at least mostly right. But it does leave one thing out: the Bush sons come from a super wealthy, very connected family whereas the Clintons are self-made.

Yes, I was never a big fan of Secretary Clinton as a presidential candidate in 2008; you can read my (sometimes scathing) opinion of her campaign and campaign tactics elsewhere on this blog. But here is something you can never take away from her and her husband: these were NOT silver spoon people. Bill grew up poor, and Hillary grew up middle class. Both excelled academically but this was NOT a matter of some outrageously wealthy, connected family pulling the strings for them. They made it under their own steam, period (as did President Obama). There is no comparison between their story and the story of the Bush family. Period.

And yes, I see her as a worthy candidate and I’ll support her if she wins the Democratic nomination, as expected. And no, I know of any other credible Democrat challenger and…forget the Republicans. Every Republican who has announced is a loon (at least, with respect to politics; many have achieved in other professions).

Social/Political snark

Yes, 32 percent of Republicans think there is something to the “Obama wants to take over Texas” conspiracy. That’s right..and this isn’t just Texas Republicans either.

PPPJadehelm

Note who these people tend to favor for President; there is an interesting correlation, no?

Now, yes, sometimes a famous Democrat will speak out after a major event (in this case, the Amtrack crash in Philadelphia), and yes, in this case, the train was going 100 mph in a 50 mph maximum zone. And yes, often said famous Democrat will have no qualifications in that field. What is funny is that this offends some conservatives …I wonder how many of these listen to Chuck Norris or Ted Nugent? Heck, even Joe “the Plummer” has a following. :-) Pot: meet Kettle.

Academia: stuff like this gives academics, and the humanities in general, a bad name:

An incoming Boston University professor has apologized for her controversial remarks regarding White males on Twitter, Fox News reports.
Saida Grundy, an Assistant Professor of Sociology and African-American Studies at Boston University who identifies as a “feminist sociologist of race & ethnicity,” was hit with criticism after calling White college males a “problem population” on her social media page.
Many slammed the professor and called her tweets bigoted after she stated she wouldn’t contribute to White-owned businesses on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and called St. Patrick’s Day a “made up holiday.”

“Why is White America so reluctant to identify White college males as a problem population?” she wrote.
“Every MLK week, I commit myself to not spending a dime in White-owned businesses. And every year I find it nearly impossible.”
“Can we just call St. Patrick’s Day the White people’s Kwanzaa that it is? This is not a thing in actual Ireland. It’s completely made up.”

Her tweets have since been deleted.

OF COURSE, she claims that …well..her comment was “nuanced”. That is how the game is played; cry foul if it appears that YOUR group is being attacked, but turn around and make similar statements about other groups and claim to be “misunderstood”.

Yes, we in academia (especially us lefties) to have to clean up our act and this is a step in the right direction, as is this.

May 15, 2015 Posted by | 2016, hillary clinton, politics, politics/social, poverty, racism, republicans | , , , | Leave a comment

Running on fumes…

Physically, I feel reasonably good. But mentally; well we are nearing the end of the semester and I am bringing together the end of Calculus III and topology…and I botched a calculation in Calculus III. I did send out some corrected notes; I got the “right answer” but for the wrong reason.

Swim: 500 easy, 5 x ( 50 front kick with fins, 200 free); timed was 3:38. then 50 kick with fins (body position), 4 x 50 on the 1:10 (52; did long on the out, harder on the back). 200 fly/back with fins.
It was ok.

Issues

Basketball
It is very hard to be successful; practices can be downright brutal and a good coach will drive his/her players past where they think that they are capable of going. Hence I am genuinely perplexed here: did this coach cross the line, or did she end up with “soft” players here?

The four players who quit the Wichita State women’s basketball team after the season have met with a university official who reports to president John Bardo to discuss their issues with coach Jody Adams.

Faculty athletic representative Julie Scherz is leading the inquiry and is charged to talk to current and past players, coaches and administrators, said Lou Heldman, WSU vice president of strategic communications. Michaela Dapprich, Moriah Dapprich, Alie Decker and Kayla White met with Scherz recently after leaving the team.

“Dr. Bardo took this seriously from the first report of it,” Heldman said. “He is very conscious of the standards of what universities owe to student-athletes, and really, to all students. He asked Dr. Scherz to look into this.”

Scherz and Bardo have had at least one conversation and plan another soon, Heldman said. Assistant athletic director for media relations Larry Rankin directed media inquiries to Heldman.

The players, according to a source with knowledge of the conversations and communications with Scherz and athletic department officials, described an atmosphere of anger, isolation and personal insults that caused the players to quit. The issues came to a head recently during offseason training when players ran more than an hour of “suicide” drills as punishment, several sources said.

But her teams played well on the court; evidently they weren’t showing up to games with dead legs. So it isn’t as if they were being overtrained or playing “tight”.

Politics

2016. I admit that I am not that interested in the Presidential race, at least in terms of getting involved. I might write a campaign check or two. I’ll vote both in the primary and in the general. But I don’t have the excitement I had in 1992, 2008, nor the grim determination I had in 2004 and 2012, nor will I get any joy in watching the nerds be right (again) and the pundits go down in flames (2012). This is sort of like 2000 for me when I had, at best, a passing interest (yes, I voted, for VP Gore but I (mistakenly) believed that George W. Bush was “not that bad”. Really. I was fooled by campaign statements such as this one:

My goodness, was I wrong.

Well, the 2016 race is heating up. Sure Mitt Romney is not running…but this…well, it doesn’t include Scott Walker or Carly Fiorina but..let’s just that that this makes Mitt Romney look good by comparison:

And on the other side: Hillary Clinton is running.

Now, there are Democrats who are in the “anyone but Hillary” bandwagon. I am not one of those. No, I am not strongly pro-Clinton either, but she did serve in the US Senate and performed ably as Secretary of State and has stature in the world. So I think that she is a worthy candidate and I don’t see another Democrat who is.

Her 2008 campaign was a disaster though; she had the lead and blew it by being overconfident and not planning ahead. I hope that she has learned her lesson.

But she is a Clinton and well…. here comes two articles that focus mostly on President Clinton’s charity fund.

Yes, charity. It turns out that Bill Clinton is good at raising money and some give to his charity in hopes of getting in Hillary’s good graces, and yes, Bill gets a hefty speaking fee. And yes, the New York Times has LONG story about how a Russian company bought a Canadian uranium mining company and..some of its officials gave to Bill’s charity as well.

I read these two articles which seem to drive home the fact that:

1. Bill gets a lot of money for a speech (if he wants it) and
2. Bill’s charity has a lot of donors, some of which hope to get in the good favors of the Clintons.

I really don’t see any more than that; I don’t see where it is claimed that Secretary Clinton did X because some donor gave Y. Well, let’s just say if that claim is there, I missed it...as did others:

“Political opponents” would have argued this had Ms. Rodham Clinton spent her pre-candidate career working with the Poor Clares. That’s why someone’s political opponents are generally found in opposition to them. That’s also why the Post formalized its relationship with a ratfker in the first place.

It looks as though the CGI, and the speaking fees, are going to be this cycle’s Whitewater, which brings us to the application of Clinton Rule No. 3 — if you have blown enough smoke, you then can claim that there is a “climate” of fire. Exhibit A here are the #inevitablehotpolitixtakez from Ron (Leadership!) Fournier, former Karl Rove life coach.

Gennifer Flowers. Cattle futures. The White House travel office. Rose Law Firm files. The Lincoln Bedroom. Monica Lewinsky. And now, the Clinton Foundation. What ties these stories together is the predictable, paint-by-numbers response from the Bill and Hillary Clinton political operation.
Actually, what ties five of the seven examples cited there together is the fact that they are absolute bullshit. (And the Gennifer Flowers business is more than a quarter-bullshit itself. Have we all forgotten that Ms. Flowers wrote about having had assignations with Bill Clinton in a Little Rock hotel that hadn’t been built yet?) Don’t take my word for it. Take Kenneth Starr’s. On November 19,1998, he appeared before the House Judiciary Committee and admitted that everything he’d investigated save the affair with Monica Lewinsky came to nothing. Barney Frank had a little fun with him.

Mr. Frank criticized Mr. Starr for failing to exonerate the President on Filegate and Travelgate in September when he sent Congress the 445-page impeachment referral related to Mr. Clinton’s affair with Monica S. Lewinsky. ”In other words,” he told Mr. Starr, ”you don’t have anything to say unless you have something bad to say.”
To single out the Clintons for having wealthy friends who might want favors later, especially in the political context brought to us by the destruction of campaign finance regulations, is a particularly laughable application of the Clinton Rules which, like the Voting Rights Act and McCain-Feingold, have been rendered irrelevant by Citizens United and its unholy progeny. I already hate this campaign, and maybe that’s the whole point. When pundits talk about “not wanting to go through” the whole Clinton sturm und drang, this, I suspect, is what they’re talking about. It is the job of oppo-researchers and ratfkers to exhaust the country’s patience through the techniques of scandalization. It is the job of the other candidates to try and take advantage of that. It is not the job of journalism to play along, or to despair of the effects on “us” of their own creations

Yep.

Yes, you can look at my 2007-2008 posts during the bruising Clinton-Obama campaign. I never hesitated to call out the Clintons when I thought they were trying to pull the political wool over the eyes of the primary and caucus voters.

But the above stuff (the attacks on the Clinton foundation stuff) is malarkey.

One thing to remember about Bill: one of the reasons he is a good fundraiser is that he believes in his causes and he had never been personally greedy. He isn’t above political pandering or stating things in a way that makes you think you are hearing one thing but he is saying another. He has faults.

But he is NOT greedy and never has been.

Let the games begin…:-)

April 25, 2015 Posted by | 2016, hillary clinton, politics, politics/social, swimming | , | Leave a comment

Hillary Clinton’s “I’m running for President” announcement ad

Now I admit that this makes me shake my head; then again, this ad isn’t aimed at me.

One thing for sure: I am sure as heck not going to vote for Jeb Bush.

April 12, 2015 Posted by | 2016, economy, hillary clinton | , | 1 Comment

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