blueollie

more later…maybe much more? :-)

Workout notes
Riverplex. Weight: 182.0 before

Weights: 5 sets of 10 pull ups (4 sets of 10 then one more set of 10 after bench pressing); rotator cuff recoveries.

bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 180 (better), 10 x 160

Note: I once thought that the Riverplex benches were different or something; then I realized that I almost always lifted at the RP AFTER a 5K (or longer) race; that accounted for the weakness.

military press: 2 sets of 10 x 40 dumbbells (standing), 10 x 85 standing (barbell)

rows: 3 sets of 10 x 70 machine (45 + 25)

Then to the treadmill (rainy outside); 10 minutes slow then 6.7 to 1, 6.8, 6.9, 7.0, 7.1 then at mile 2, I had to back off a few seconds and then resume at 6.7-6.8, then up again to finish at 7.1. Time: 28:21 for 3 miles, 29:11 for 5K; then walking to get to 3.25
Then 6 more laps around the track.

Yep; that is it; I’ve had a very easy week and an even easier few days coming up.

Life
Uplifting: reception for Cheri Bustos at Colleen Callahan’s place (and her husband). Barbara was one of the “official” hosts.

Yes, she is more conservative than I am. But I don’t go by “policy only”; I also look for political skill. I have no use for someone who agrees with me on most (all?) positions but can’t get any bills passed or any policy enacted.

That is one reason I am not supporting Senator Bernie Sanders even if I like his policy positions. I think that Secretary Clinton has more political skill and savvy.

Somber: memorial service for one of Barbara’s long time friends at the UU Church. Yes, he had a great life and a whole church (overflowing) with people. But his death is a genuine loss to the community.

May 30, 2015 Posted by | Cheri Bustos, IL-17, politics, politics/social, running, weight training | | Leave a comment

Schock, snowflakery, dishonesty on different levels.

Aaron Schock is stepping down from his US House seat (IL-18); he was my Congressman for 4 years (and Illinois State Representative for 4 years prior to that) until I got redistricted into IL-17.

Each time, I voted for his opponent.

Well, now he is under investigation by the FBI for a number of things; witnesses are being subpoenaed and a Grand Jury has been formed.

I admit that I never liked him and that was for reasons beyond his being a Republican.

But I did wonder to myself: “how much of this dislike is just simple envy?” After all, much of his resume was impressive: school board as a teenager (elected), school board president, winning the Illinois State House (close election the first time) and winning it again in a very blue district and then running for, and winning Ray LaHood’s old seat.

He finished his undergraduate degree in 2 years and made money in real estate, and, at least at first, much of it was above board.

Yes, he is fit, though my Steamboat 15K best (1998, 1999) is about 7 minutes faster than his. He is a heck of a lot faster than I am now though. :-)

But..I wondered “how much of your dislike is that he is/was ambitious, attractive and successful?”

Still, in his debates, he was quick with statistics and data..but it was almost all cherry picked. He reminded me a bit of a young Paul Ryan.

Now I never cared one way or the other about his Instagram photos and the like; I know that when it comes to social media, I enjoy my friend’s vacation and adventure photos, especially those that show me what they are seeing.

So, as much as I’d love to tell you “I told you so”, I really don’t know if my dislike stemmed from tribalism (“other political party”), envy (his success and ambition) and from personality; there was something that seemed phony about him (as it does, to be fair, with Bill Clinton who I mostly liked). He just struck me as a frat boy who used slick power point slides to bluff through a presentation of stuff that he really didn’t understand that well.

So I really can’t crow “I told you so” and there is about 5-10 percent of me that is genuinely disappointed that he didn’t put his considerable talent to better use. And yes, there is about 50 percent of me that is gloating; I am not proud of that. :-)

Speaking of entitled snowflakes Randazza has a laugh about this:

NH Lawmakers Crush Fourth Graders Bill. Good.
And I applaud them for it.

In the spirit of learning by doing, students drafted a bill to learn the process of how a bill becomes law. They proposed House Bill 373, an act establishing the Red Tail Hawk as the New Hampshire State Raptor. Even though it passed through the Environment and Agriculture committee with a majority vote, some representatives were far from receptive.

(source)

Cue the outrage.

In fact, the headline was “NH lawmakers brutally kill 4th-graders’ bill in front of them”

Rep. John Burt, a Republican from Goffstown said, “Bottom line, if we keep bringing more of these bills, and bills, and bills forward that really I think we shouldn’t have in front of us, we’ll be picking a state hot dog next.”

Exactly.

Yes. Just because you think your kids are “smart” and “cute” doesn’t mean that their ideas warrant being taken seriously. Really. I feel the same way when someone posts some video of some pre-teen or teenager “owning” someone on an issue.

Really. I teach college. I’ve seen the work of 60-70 undergraduates per semester for 24 years. The vast majority of them don’t know what they are doing, just as I didn’t when I was that age.

When it comes to laws, issues, etc., if you want me to take an idea seriously, give me someone who knows what they are talking about and who is respected by others in the field. I am not interested in what your little snowflake has to say.

Now of course helicopter parenting isn’t unique to the United States; check his out:

Cheating in school tests is an old Indian problem.

But the malpractice literally scaled new heights this week in the eastern state of Bihar when relatives of 10th-grade students climbed the wall of a school building and perched precariously from windows of classrooms as they handed cheat sheets to children writing the tests inside.

Videos also showed school inspectors slapping young girls as they pulled out cheat sheets from under their tables.

Cheating is common in schools in remote rural areas in India, where jobs and seats in college courses are few but competition is fierce. But the sight of parents risking their life and limbs to climb the walls shocked many Indians.

I’d like to think that we aren’t that bad.

Why your Republican friends sound so nutty
If your Republican friend watches Fox News, they are often only getting part of the story. The government issued two reports about Ferguson, one which showed that it was a very bad idea to use Michael Brown as some sort of innocent martyr and one that showed that there WAS systemic racism within the Ferguson city government and police department. Guess which one Fox News emphasized and which one was downplayed? (though NOT totally ignored)

Bonus Read Randazza’s CNN post on why the racists at the University of Oklahoma have free speech rights, which include their right to NOT be kicked out of school. Note: I have no problem with the Fraternity being kicked off of campus and their charter being revoked.

March 20, 2015 Posted by | Aaron Schock, education, IL-17, IL-18, racism, social/political | , , , | Leave a comment

I was wrong about Cheri Bustos

Yes, I voted for Cheri Bustos and gave her campaign a token about of money. But I was not happy about her becoming a Blue Dog.

I am still not happy about that, in terms of policy.

But she did win reelection, and she won by a larger amount than she did in 2012. In 2012, she won 53-47. This time, she won 55-45, and this was in a hard year for Democrats and in an election where President Obama wasn’t on the ballot.

Yes, President Obama carried her district by 17 points in 2012.

Still, she pitched a “moderate” image and won with that.

November 5, 2014 Posted by | 2014 midterm, Cheri Bustos, Democrats, IL-17, political/social, politics | , | 3 Comments

My life as a new IL-17 Republican: toward November 4

I got a couple of mailers; one was from Bobby Schilling and one was a letter signed by several “prominent” Republicans (Aaron Schock was one) saying how bad Cheri Bustos is and how great Bobby Schilling is.

It wasn’t as bad as the stuff I got in 2012.

But it was still bad.

This also reminded me of the stuff conservatives pulled in 2004 (I cannot say that the Republican party did this):

peoriavotesupression

I find it interesting that they are trying to rely on deception and suppressing the vote.

I suppose they can justify the latter by saying that “it is better if only the “worthy” vote” and the former….trying to trick not-so-informed people into thinking that your candidate is a Democrat….hmmm…not sure as how I would justify that. Why wouldn’t you brag about how super-duper conservative your Tea Party nutjob is?

I am no fan of Cheri Bustos as she is a Blue Dog in what should be a more progressive district. But Bobby Schilling is a 14’th Century regressive and a dishonest campaigner.

She remains a modest favorite to win reelection.

IL-governor: toss up. Nate Silver has Quinn up by 1 but the election well within the “toss up” range. Same for Election Projection. Though Dick Durbin is comfortably ahead in his US Senate Race, the overall balance: Republicans will probably end up with 51-53 seats, depending on how the post November 4 run-offs go.

November 1, 2014 Posted by | 2014 midterm, Cheri Bustos, IL-17, IL-18, Illinois, political/social, politics, politics/social | , | Leave a comment

Bobby Schilling’s dishonesty continues unabated….

Back in 2012, then Rep. Bobby Schilling did some very dishonest campaigning. The classic was the “Illinois Democrat” ad he sent out on his behalf, under the guise of being a newspaper of some sort.

And that was merely a continuation of the blatantly misleading NRCC ad that was run on then Rep. Schilling’s behalf. (Cheri Bustos was criticized for voting for money to repair a water main along a road that ran past her house to a Country Club…never mind she was NOT a member of that club or that this was the second half of an already in progress project).

Mr. Schilling has NOT gotten more honest. Get a load of this load of BS:

Oh, but what was the real story?

In fact, the cut in question was not a reduction in veterans benefits at all, but rather a cut in the pensions of military retirees. Further, the reduction was one part of a bipartisan budget deal that averted another government shutdown last December. And more important, Bustos was among the many House and Senate members of both parties who voted to repeal the cut a few weeks later, a fact the ad fails to mention.

[…]

The ad refers to the bill introduced last Dec. 10 by Republican Rep. Paul Ryan and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, chairs of their respective budget committees in the House and Senate. Ryan, who was also the GOP vice presidential nominee in 2012, said at the time: “I’m proud of this agreement. It reduces the deficit — without raising taxes. … I ask all my colleagues in the House to support it.”

And the deal was approved overwhelmingly, by a vote of 332 to 94 in the House on Dec. 12, 2013, with 169 Republicans and 163 Democrats voting in favor. The Senate followed suit a few days later, passing the package on Dec. 18 by a vote of 64 to 36. This time, all 55 members of the Democratic caucus voted in favor, but only nine Republicans did so.

The deal avoided any tax increase or revisions to Social Security, Medicare or other major entitlement programs, and restored some earlier “sequester” cuts to the military budget. But one of the offsetting cuts was a reduction in future cost-of-living adjustments to the pensions of military retirees that would cut spending by an estimated $6.2 billion over 10 years, beginning in fiscal year 2016.

But these small cuts weren’t popular, and so they were restored in a subsequent bill…that passed with bipartisan support…and

The House voted Feb. 11 to restore the old cost-of-living formula for all who had signed up for military service prior to 2014. The vote was 326 to 90, and Bustos was among the 120 Democrats who voted in favor. The next day, the Senate voted 95 to 3 for final passage, and the president signed the repeal into law on Feb. 15.

Given all that, we find the ad to be shamefully misleading. The man in the ad who says, “Shame on you, Congresswoman Bustos,” might accurately have said instead, “Thank you, Congresswoman Bustos, for restoring our full military pensions.”

Evidently Mr. Schilling can’t win by running an honest campaign.

September 20, 2014 Posted by | 2014 midterm, IL-17, Political Ad, political/social | | 1 Comment

A cheap shot at David Brat

Professor David Brat is a Republican running for Congress in VA-7; he upset incumbent Eric Cantor.

Since his victory was a surprise one, he is getting new scrutiny. This is a cheap shot:

David Brat, the libertarian professor who rocked US politics when he beat House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) in Tuesday’s GOP primary, regularly touts his experience as an economist to bolster his political credentials. He notes on his campaign website that his economic expertise has been “recognized by his peers”—but some of Brat’s colleagues in academia are not impressed with his academic résumé. They say that the few journals that have featured his work in the past decade are obscure; one of them is published by a local economics association Brat once headed. Fellow economists also point out that his published research isn’t often cited by other scholars in his field.

Brat, who chairs the economics and business department at Virginia’s Randolph-Macon College, published his most prestigious papers in 1995 and 1996, each of these two cowritten with his Ph.D. adviser at American University. These two papers appear in Google Scholar and are cited by other academics. Since then, Brat “has published in places of little consequence to the profession,” says Dr. Nicolaus Tideman, an economics professor at Virginia Tech.

All of the above appears to be true, but guess what: if you teach at a university that has a high teaching load, your research will be, at best, second rate (with extremely rare exceptions).

Think about it: those at Division I research universities direct graduate students, maybe either run a seminar or teach a single graduate class; some might teach an undergraduate class and a graduate class, tops. I know that my dissertation advisor didn’t teach a single undergraduate class in the 6 years I was there.

Those professors turn out the top research and how in the world is someone teaching a 12 hour load (or even 9 hours) supposed to compete? Get real.

PS: I am no fan of Dr. Brat as a politician; if I didn’t have a local competitive race between a Blue Dog (Cheri Bustos) and a Tea Partier (Bobbly Schilling), I’d contribute to Dr. Brat’s opponent.

June 16, 2014 Posted by | IL-17, political/social, politics | , , | Leave a comment

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

Bustos joins the Blue Dogs: bad move

Let me get this straight from the start: I am supporting Cheri Bustos in her election against tea party extremist Bobby Schilling. I’ve even given her campaign a small amount of money. But I am bothered by her joining the “Blue Dog” democrats (a group for moderate to conservative democrats)

But: if she really is conservative, then I suggest we look for someone else; remember that in the 2012 election, Barack Obama won her district by 17 points. She won that district by 6.

So this isn’t a case of, say, having a Democrat in a red region; I can completely understand accommodating conservative Democrats in Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, the Dakotas, Montana, etc. That is NOT the situation here.

Unfortunately, on appearances, her embrace of this group appears to be a reaction to being in what might be a tight race.

That might be a misreading of what a tight race means.

Many think that a close race means that there are a sizable number of “unpersuaded” voters who will decide the election. In such a case, appearing to “move to the center” might work. But there are also races that are tight because the region is genuinely split between people who are highly unlikely to change their mind (think: North Carolina). In the latter case, one wins by getting people to the polls and they need a reason to show up.

President’s Truman’s words were very wise:

I’ve seen it happen time after time. When the Democratic candidate allows himself to be put on the defensive and starts apologizing for the New Deal and the fair Deal, and says he really doesn’t believe in them, he is sure to lose. The people don’t want a phony Democrat. If it’s a choice between a genuine Republican, and a Republican in Democratic clothing, the people will choose the genuine article, every time; that is, they will take a Republican before they will a phony Democrat, and I don’t want any phony Democratic candidates in this campaign.

But when a Democratic candidate goes out and explains what the New Deal and fair Deal really are–when he stands up like a man and puts the issues before the people–then Democrats can win, even in places where they have never won before. It has been proven time and again.

I hope that Bustos doesn’t continue down this path.

February 4, 2014 Posted by | Democrats, IL-17, Illinois, politics, politics/social | , | 1 Comment

Politics: Toward the 2014 mid term elections

It is no secret that Republicans do a better job of getting out the vote than the Democrats, at least in the mid term elections.

Many liberals cheered when Michele Bachmann announced that she wouldn’t be running for reelection in 2014, but I wasn’t one of them. Reason: with Ms. Bachmann in the race, we had a chance to pick up a red district. Now, that chance has been greatly diminished, possibly to the point of hopelessness.

Yes, it is easy to pick up on her crazy comments and her general lunacy. What we sometimes miss is that she had enough influence with the Tea Party crowd to get enough people to take crazy conspiracy theories “seriously” and to give cover to like minded Republicans who share the same policy goals but are more restrained in their public statements. Other GOP candidates can benefit by looking “sane by comparison”.

Rachel Maddow sums it up very well here.

IL-17 There is some talk that Bobby Schilling might run again. As far as IL-17, remember that President Obama won this district 57.6-40.6 but Bustos only won 53-47. One might infer that 4-5 percent of the voters in this district voted for both Obama and for Schilling (?); I also noted that Schilling was careful to keep some distance between his campaign and Mitt Romney’s, even though Mr. Schilling is a dyed in the wool tea party Republican.

So, this race is far from certain; GOTV operations will be essential.

May 31, 2013 Posted by | Cheri Bustos, IL-17, politics, politics/social, republicans | , , | 1 Comment

2012 Elections by Congressional District

The data is here

For example, you can see that President Obama won 11 Texas Congressional Districts in 2012. I haven’t ground through the numbers to see how a CD decided election would have gone (Romney, but I don’t know the final score). One note: there were fewer “voted for a Congressional D but voted for President Obama” districts. However my district went for a Democrat (Bustos) by 6-7 points but went for President O by 17.

Note: if you are wondering how Democrats keep getting more votes but Republicans keep getting more House seats: part of that is gerrymandering and part of it is that Democrats tend to run up huge margins in their districts (mostly urban) whereas the Republicans win more districts but by somewhat closer margins. So the Democrats have more people behind them, but we tend to live clumped together.

April 10, 2013 Posted by | 2012 election, IL-17, Illinois, politics, politics/social | , | Leave a comment

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