Ok, Democrats: what about the 2016 Presidential election

Ok, it was February 10, 2007 when then Senator Barack Obama announced that he was running for President. I was there in Springfield.

It is about a month later than that and, to my knowledge, no serious Democrat has yet to make the official announcement though, of course, most of the buzz has been about Hillary Clinton.

So, IF YOU USUALLY VOTE DEMOCRAT (no Republicans, Greens, etc.), what do you think?

March 8, 2015 Posted by | 2016, Democrats, hillary clinton, politics, politics/social | | 1 Comment

Obama and Iraq

It looks as if the media is playing up the difference of opinion between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on Iraq.

Basically, Secretary Clinton wanted more proactivity and President Obama was more conservative; personally I agree with the President. President Obama points out that much of what is going on with Iraq is a political problem that force isn’t going to solve.

August 11, 2014 Posted by | Barack Obama, hillary clinton, Middle East, world events | , , | Leave a comment

Fox News interviews Hillary Clinton: 30 minutes well spent.

If you haven’t watched it yet, you can here (4 shorter videos).

Secretary Clinton handled it very easily and comfortably though she got some tough questions.

June 21, 2014 Posted by | hillary clinton, politics, politics/social, social/political | | Leave a comment

Hillary Clinton, Drums, swimming and I got to quit screwing around!

Oh lovely. One of our new snowflake neighbors (across the street) is a drummer. Ok, he isn’t that loud and he doesn’t play late at night. But our stupid neighborhood is designed with massive sound channels; for example, if someone is on their porch having a regular conversation, you can hear it in our upstairs bedroom.

Workout notes
weights (leisurely pace)
pull ups: 15-15-10-10 (improvement) with hip hikes and Achilles exercises
incline press: 10 x 135, 4 x 155, 5 x 150, 10 x 140 (hard) with rotator cuff
military press: 10 x 85, 1 x 195, 7 x 85, 7 x 85 (barbell) with rotator cuff; failed with dumbbell 50’s
pull downs (low): 3 sets of 10 x 110
rows: 3 sets of 10 machine

Swim: 1000 free
4 sets of 250: (4 x 50 drill/swim fins, 50 free), (4 x 50 drill/swim fins, 50 free), (4 x 50 fist, 50 free) (4 x 25 side, 25 free, 50 free)
200 of fly/back.

Political posts:
This is more for the mainstream/conservative readers: there is a big fight among liberals over Secretary Hillary Clinton. Many liberals love her; others simply despise her. No, we aren’t talking about the stupid made-up stuff (e. g. the out of context “what difference does it make” quote; she was right on point when she said that as she was talking about the immediate reaction to the Benghazi consulate attack).

In a nutshell: many who like her focus on her intelligence, her grasp of the issues and solid performance as a Senator and Secretary of State. Those who don’t like her focus on her tendency to appear to try to have it both ways and her being pro corporate and her voting for the Iraq war and being slow to admit that she was wrong.

Personally, after a long time, I’ve decided that:

1. She is smart. It turns out that she has decent policy instincts too; after all the health care plan that got passed did have the mandate that she called for (and that Obama initially opposed) and she predicted that the Republicans would do everything they could to obstruct Obama from day one. Remember she ran as “the fighter”; Obama ran as the “let’s get along” candidate. Well, there is simply no getting along with a shark (the current Republicans) and HRC understood that.

2. She also is not a good politician; her 2008 primary campaign was a disaster and her “dead broke” comment was a major gaffe.

3. She is very ambitious…to the point where she throws low blows during a political campaign. Some see that as evidence of her fighting spirit (her fans) and her detractors see that as unchecked, unprincipled ambition.

I think that she would do fine as a President; I am less confident that she can run a good campaign and get elected. Fortunately, the Republicans are managing to try to “out nut-job” each other in the House and Senate races and that helps our 2016 Presidential prospects immensely.

If that sounds paradoxical: remember that Republicans are grossly over-represented in Congress on a per-capita basis. Hence, the type of campaigning that appeals to the emotional “Obama is a Muslim who hates our country and global warming is a hoax! Jesus controls the climate!” type voter might help win these relatively sparsely conservative Congressional Districts but doesn’t help in a general election which gives more equal representation to our population.

For the record: if she runs and if she wins the Democratic nomination, I’ll vote for her and give her campaign money. Basically, my (small) checkbook comes out when/if she ices the nomination and again when the primary is over.

And I’ll buy a Clinton t-shirt just to anger the mouth breathing knuckle draggers on the right that simply despise her. :-)

I anticipate sitting out the 2016 primary however, UNLESS there are Democrats on the downticket ballot OR if the Republicans still have a nutter in the Presidential campaign; in the latter case I’ll troll and vote Republican again (in the primary) and vote for the nuttiest one standing.

June 18, 2014 Posted by | hillary clinton, politics, politics/social, republicans, swimming, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Dumb Anti-Hillary Clinton PAC ad


Uh, if Hillary Clinton runs for President and “the American People don’t want her”, then, well…..uh….they won’t vote for her?


Here is a more accurate translation: “WE” (those in the PAC) don’t want Hillary Clinton but we are afraid that she might get more votes!”

This is what irks me: people see their own opinions and the opinions of those they hang around as “the opinion of the American people”, and yes, liberals do this too.

Note: there are some left leaning Democrats who don’t want her either; the fear is that she’ll appease the Republicans as much as President Obama does.

My main worry about her is her campaign skills; she really ran a horrible 2008 primary campaign. We need someone who will win the general election.

October 13, 2013 Posted by | hillary clinton, Political Ad, politics, politics/social | | Leave a comment

Photo/Cartoon Saturday


Ironically, from this angle, this could be Barbara and me, though both of us are slightly wider than Secretary Clinton and President Obama respectively.

Yes, I am hearing “Hillary 2016″ and I have mixed feelings. Yes, if I were appointing the next President, I’d probably pick her. But she ran a horrible 2008 primary campaign; she managed to squander a huge lead in the polls and in money and her husband did her no favors. My worry is that she’d get out-campaigned in the general election.


I find this interesting. There is a group of people that Paul Krugman calls “The Very Serious People”. To be one of these you need to:
1. go along with the conventional wisdom and
2. be completely wrong most of the time and
3. claim that the “smart people” would have also been wrong.

Think: Iraq (WMD?), the economy, the election (“razor tight”, they kept saying even though the nerds and hippies were right….AGAIN).


Yep…keep it up Republicans. :-)


I made 9 on this list. Talk about misusing the apostrophe! I admit that I still don’t understand what “fullutent” is….”falutin”, or someone who is…gassy? :-)


Even stone guys are…guys. :-)

February 2, 2013 Posted by | 2008 Election, Barack Obama, big butts, bikinis, hillary clinton, human sexuality, political humor, politics, politics/social, religion, republicans | , , , | Leave a comment

Snarky responses to things…and something useful

Not all mathematics professors are as useless as I am. Note that Andrew Hicks (Drexel University) created a side mirror (for an auto) which gives a wider view without the usual distortion that the “round mirrors” have:

Now for the snark (and fun):

Proof that God exists!

The Great Frog God (whose existence has been proven) now looks forward to your worship, adoration and money. Mostly money. :-)

(hat tip: Jerry Coyne)

Benghazi Attack Hearing
Colbert is annoyed that the Republicans looked so bad.



No, neither President Obama nor President Bush are/were tyrants.


Snark with Spandex

When I took my psychology course, I learned that some ads could be “too sexy” to be effective: that is, subjects remembered the sexy stuff but not the product. Could this be a case of that?


Well, if the product (what product? :-) ) was aimed at both men and women, this ad is probably wasted on the heterosexual males. But the heterosexual females might relate without being distracted, though I wonder what “183 percent less” means.

Someone thought that I’d like this. Hey, I am always willing to lend a hand.


No, this won’t get me into adventure racing; I’d probably end up torching my knees. :-)

January 25, 2013 Posted by | big butts, hillary clinton, human sexuality, mathematics, physics, political humor, politics, religion, republicans politics, science, spandex, world events | , | Leave a comment

Fact Checking, hominoid feet, mandates and anti-science…conservatives…er people…

Workout notes
Yoga with Ms. Vickie (uninspiring workout; I just wasn’t into it) followed by 1:08 worth of running. 21 minute warm up, 3.24 miles around the goose loop, 13 minute wind assisted run back. Call it 6.5 miles (easy). It was slightly chillier than it had been recently and somewhat windy; still great weather by “March in Illinois” standards.

Speaking of weather: so can we expect a hot “April/May” period followed by a brutally hot summer? Well, if past data is any indication….not really. The short: in the past, “warm March” does not correlate with “warm April” though this year might really be different.

Humor (I love the “butt” remark)

I’ve been following the Trayvon Martin killing some. Yes, I am astonished that Zimmerman has not been arrested as yet and his story makes no sense to me. BUT, some of the “arrest Zimmerman” crowd are saying things that make no sense at all. Here is such a case: listen to what Melissa Harris-Perry said on MSNBC.

[…]If trayvon martin had thrown a punch, you’re talking about a citizen unarmed throwing a punch at an armed man who was following him. Why wouldn’t stand your ground protect trayvon martin ? Why does have the right to impede on him, which the evidence is clearly beginning to look like it’s not. What’s most distressing is we have to explain why it is problematic for an armed adult to kill an unarmed child.

Emphasis mine. Note: evidently the transcript is generated automatically; Ms. Perry speaks more eloquently than this.
I have no problem with anything she said, except for the last sentence.

Come on, Ms. Perry: had Mr. Martin really been attacking you, I don’t see it as problematic at all why you might shoot him. He was a 17 year old boy, and I can assure you that I was far stronger and more dangerous (physically) when I was 17 than I am now. Just check out the football recruits for a NCAA team some time. That statement is stupid.

Still, I think that this kid was being hassled while minding his own business and that Mr. Zimmerman needs to be arrested (and yes, there is a lot I don’t know, so my opinion is, by definition, not an informed one).

Human evolution
There is new information available about a hominoid that lived about the same time as Lucy, though this one spent time in trees.

Conservatives and Science Yes, it is easy to show that conservatives are more likely to reject evolution and climate science than liberals, and that holds true if one corrects for education level.

But liberals are more likely to embrace nonsense and woo (e. g. homeopathy). I see it this way: conservatives tend to make type II errors (fail to reject a false null hypothesis) whereas liberals tend to make type I errors (reject a true null hypothesis).

Try an experiment: walk into a Unitarian church and see if anyone embraces creationism or denies climate change. Then look at their “adult education” programs; you are likely to find talks on subjects like Reiki, dousing, and the like.

Fact Checking
I have mixed feelings about sites like Fact or Politfact. Their written analysis is usually pretty good; I do use that. But their “grading” scheme is bogus (example: is Paul Ryan proposing to “end Medicare as we know it”? I say “yes” and someone else might say “no”; to me, the yes/no part is opinion. What isn’t opinion is that Mr. Ryan proposes replacing the current Medicare system with a private insurance backed system; whether one calls this an “overhaul of the current system” or “ending the current system and replacing it with another system” is really a matter of semantics.
Anyway, I found this article about “Fact Check” sites (in the United States) to be very good. Upshot: the analysis of the news is important; unfortunately people all-too-often used “fact check” to label someone a “liar” or “truth teller”. Yes, Paul Krugman has a point about Politifact, but I still think that their analysis is pretty good.

Speaking of health care: it sure looks as if the health care mandate will be struck down. But will some of the law be allowed to stand?

NOTE The health care plan that Barack Obama campaigned on did NOT have a mandate; Hillary Clinton’s plan did. Mr. Obama thought that if the insurance was a good enough deal, people would want to buy it and there would be enough business to offset the costs of “free riders” (who would get hit with big penalties if they got sick..)

March 29, 2012 Posted by | Barack Obama, environment, evolution, health care, hillary clinton, media, politics, racism, science, SCOTUS, social/political, yoga | Leave a comment

Farewell to August 2011

We’ll have politics (what else), a cool space photo of the earth and the moon together…and then a photo of a different sort of “moon”. :)

Moon one: science
Via Richard Dawkins: a NASA photo from the Jupiter probe showing the earth and our moon.

Barack Obama campaigned on “bringing people together” and working with Republicans. I felt that it was important that we had to try. There were those who said that it wouldn’t work:

But she managed to turn a huge lead in the primary campaign into a loss. So while she was right here…could she have won the general? Probably. But I wonder how she would gotten the Republicans out of their stubbornness.
In any event, though she has been classy, she has room to say “I was right and you were wrong”. Paul Krugman certainly says so:

Just go read his column today, which is very close to my own thinking. And not just on the economics. Martin is usually cautious on matters political, but this time he lets fly:

Mr Obama wishes to be president of a country that does not exist. In his fantasy US, politicians bury differences in bipartisan harmony. In fact, he faces an opposition that would prefer their country to fail than their president to succeed. […]

Quite. And yes, this was what worried me about Obama from the beginning, way back in 2007-2008, when I got huge grief from progressives for criticizing him.

Of course when you call the Republicans on this, they lie and scream bloody murder:

In Obama’s recounting, however, luck is only half the story. His economic recovery was ruined not just by acts of God and (foreign) men, but by Americans who care nothing for their country. These people, who inhabit Congress (guess what party?), refuse to set aside “politics” for the good of the nation. They serve special interests and lobbyists, care only about the next election, place party ahead of country. Indeed, they “would rather see their opponents lose than see America win.” The blaggards!

Yes, that asshole overrated hack Krauthammer actually told the truth for once, though he was intending to be sarcastic.

Darth Vader’s New Book
Ms. Condoleezza Rice Rice begs to differ with Mr. Cheney’s account of things.

Poor Drunken Ladybug (“drunken ladybug” reference from here)

She has had her troubles…but at least she was re-invited to a tea-bagger event that she was uninvited to:

In the tea party, one day you’re in, and the next you’re out:

Former U.S. Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell will not speak at a tea party event featuring former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in Indianola, Iowa, this weekend, an organizer told Washington Wire. “I made a mistake,” said Ken Crow, president of Tea Party of America. “I assumed there was an open slot and there wasn’t.”Monday night, Mr. Crow told Washington Wire that Ms. O’Donnell would appear.

Tea Party of America’s cofounder, Charlie Gruschow, said the group withdrew Ms. O’Donnell’s after receiving numerous “emails from a lot of tea party folks that were very disappointed that she would be speaking.”

And then? You’re in again:

Former Republican Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell will speak at a tea party rally Saturday in Iowa after organizers Tuesday night reversed themselves again and re-invited her, CNN has learned.

What do I take from all the drama? […]

Go ahead and read. Frankly, I find this to be more entertaining than anything else. Ms. O’Donnell is, well, dumb, but so are Palin supporters. She is closer to the average Republican primary voter than Jon Huntsman is.

Update The poor Ladybug is out again:


* In case you’re confused, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin is planning to speak at a tea party rally in Indianola, Iowa this Saturday after considering pulling out. Former Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell was invited, disinvited, re-invited, and re-disinvited from the event. Tea Party of America President Ken Crow told NBC News that he had to ditch O’Donnell after talking to Palin aides. On Palin’s side, staffers say there were also sorts of logistical issues. Crow appears not to really know what he’s doing.

Now what about the race?
Nate Silver (politely) calls BS on a model that predicts an Obama victory. Of course, Mr. Silver is right; this “model” is really classic overfitting. He goes on to make a statement that wouldn’t make sense to many but is true nonetheless:

These types of problems, which are technically known as overfitting and data dredging, are among the most important things you ought to learn about in a well-taught econometrics class — but many published economists and political scientists seem to ignore them when it comes to elections forecasting.

In short, be suspicious of results that seem too good to be true. I’m probably in the minority here, but if two interns applied to FiveThirtyEight, and one of them claimed to have a formula that predicted 33 of the last 38 elections correctly, and the other one said they had gotten all 38 right, I’d hire the first one without giving it a second thought — it’s far more likely that she understood the limitations of empirical and statistical analysis.

AMEN. This lesson can’t be stressed too much!!!

I am not saying that President Obama won’t be reelected; he still stands a decent chance, especially if Mr. Perry or Ms. Bachmann is the GOP nominee. Mr. Romney or Mr. Huntsman would be trouble. But could either make it past the primary?

I think that the Republicans are worried that Mr. Perry is gaining too much traction. This alarms Dick Morris (who badmouthed Mr. Romney’s chances, at first). Mr. Morris writes for the Newsmax crowd (uneducated Republicans) and frequently shills rather than reports. I think he is doing just that right now:

Governor Perry clearly did better than Governor Romney at creating jobs. But it is not two governors who will square off over the issue, it is two men with two lifetimes of experience to look at.

Ever since President Clinton drummed the concept of net job creation into our heads with his mounting claims of the millions of jobs “I created,” we have become accustomed to monitoring this figure as evidence of executive economic skill. But, in this case, Romney can point to a lifetime of actually creating jobs while Governor Perry can only cite his role in presiding over their creation as head of state.

It’s quite a difference. Perry’s Texas has had historically low taxes for decades and is one of only a handful of states without an income tax. In 1970, for example, Texas had 11 million people and Michigan had 10 million. Now Texas has 25 million while Michigan cannot find jobs for its current population of 11 million. The credit for Texas’ low taxes belongs not just to Perry, but to Governors George W. Bush and Bill Clements before him. (And even a nod is due Governor Ann Richards in between).

The job creation record is partially due to a surge in oil demand (one quarter of the new Texas jobs are in the energy sector) and some of the new jobs are due to the efforts of former Governor (and client) Mark White in getting the chip research industry to locate in Austin in the 80s.

Romney has actually, personally, financially created tens of thousands of jobs. His record of buying companies, fixing them up, selling off the unprofitable parts, obtaining financing to grow the money-making parts is invaluable in helping us to get out of the current job creation funk.

Just a note: I find the claim that Mr. Romney “created jobs” is a bit disingenuous given that what Mr. Romney did was what current CEO’s are doing: merging and laying people off thereby reaping a huge profit…for themselves. No wonder big money loves Mr. Romney.

Mr. Morris goes on in this pre-analysis of the upcoming debate video:

Social Humor
Some isn’t really that funny but….

Headline FAIL (via Friendly Atheist)

Yes, I get it. Some well intentioned people of the church decided to start a food bank, and the challenge of running it proved to be more than that group was capable of. No shame there; they tried (which is more than I am doing now…). But still the headline is a classic.

Computers: why your geeky friend who fixed your computer really doesn’t like you. :)
Yes, there is some truth there, but this article is written in a tongue-in-cheek manner.

Moon II: volleyball.

Yes, there is more at this link; this is a “what color of spandex do you like” post. ALL of them, of course!!! :)

September 1, 2011 Posted by | 2012 election, astronomy, Barack Obama, big butts, hillary clinton, humor, Mitt Romney, obama, political humor, political/social, politics, politics/social, Republican, republicans, republicans political/social, republicans politics, rick perry, sarah palin, science, Science Friday teachers, social/political, space, spandex, Spineless Democrats | Leave a comment

Game Change by John Heilemann Mark Halperin: a review

This is the book that I am talking about; I listened to the unabridged audio version on CD.

What it is about: it is the story of the 2008 general election. It picks up in 2006 and covers the primary and general election; it also has an epilogue which ends with then President Elect Obama talking Senator Hillary Clinton into accepting the Secretary of State position.

Though the book talks some about strategy and the events of the nation and the world during that time, it is mostly a “behind the scenes” look as to what was going on inside the respective campaigns at the time.

Most of the book dealt with the Democratic primary. Frankly, I didn’t learn much about the Obama campaign; then again I had already read Renegade by Richard Wolffe, Obama: From Promise to Power by David Mendell and The Promise by Jonathan Alter. About the only thing I didn’t already know was how deeply Joe Biden’s late campaign gaffes irritated Obama.

Much of my suspicions about the Hillary Clinton campaign were confirmed and elaborated on. I knew that she was a bit overconfident going in; she saw Obama as a flash in the pan, at first anyway. But I didn’t realize how much dysfunction there was on her campaign team and how much of it was the fault of the people that she took on from President Clinton’s 1996 team (Mark Penn, in particular). With a better team, she might have won.

What I learned most about was John Edwards. This book painted him as a previously humble man who made good who then let fame and prestige go to his head. It also drove home that Elizabeth Edwards was far from the saint that she was portrayed to be. I admit that I mostly blew off the National Enquirer articles; it turns out that they were substantially true.

The Republican campaign wasn’t covered as closely. Basically, they focused on John McCain and how his campaign melted down at first (couldn’t handle being the front runner status), reinvented itself in a stealthy, low key mode, and then came roaring back. It also brought out the obvious: that Sarah Palin was a desperate, unvetted pick. The book seemed to focus on her mental and emotional instability (at least from the point of view of the McCain staff).

It did talk about Rudy Guiliani’s lame campaign, a tiny bit about Fred Thompson’s half hearted effort, gave a word or two about Mike Hukabee and it did talk about how much the other candidates hated Mitt Romney. But mostly it focused on the internals of John McCain’s run. I wish that Mitt Romeny had been covered to at least the degree that John Edwards was; it did mention his reversing his previous “reasonable” positions to placate the rabid Republican base.

It also talked at length about John McCain’s idea to run with Joe Lieberman and why that idea fell through; it also talked about McCain’s idea to pledge to accept only one term as President, should he win.

About the general election itself: it did talk about the economic crisis and how McCain came across as unstable; Alter’s book discusses that in more detail.

One historical error: the book seemed to indicated that the Biden-Palin debate was viewed as more or less a draw.
Here are the insta-poll results: CNN: 51-36 Biden, CBS Uncommitted voters: 46-21 Biden.
Fox News had Biden winning 61-39.

THAT is not “more or less a draw”. It is true that Palin wasn’t quite as idiotic as the Republicans had feared that she would be.

However, the end of the book was very interesting; it talked about how Obama wooed a reluctant Hillary Clinton into accepting the Secretary of State position.

In all, I found it hard to stop listening; then again, I love politics.

August 8, 2010 Posted by | 2008 Election, Barack Obama, books, economy, edwards, hillary clinton, Joe Biden, John McCain, mccain, Republican, republicans, sarah palin, social/political | 2 Comments


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