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.

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.


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

Bustos hits back; religion and state and economics….

IL-17 race: Bobby Schilling is running dishonest ads; Cheri Bustos hits back.

Presidents and the economy What do the metrics themselves say about the modern Presidents? You might be surprised at what the numbers say.

Religion and State
No, Reza Asian didn’t “take down” Bill Maher.

Our church and state issues are not as serious, but we do have them nevertheless.

October 5, 2014 Posted by | 2014 midterm, Cheri Bustos, economy, Political Ad, politics, religion, social/political | , | 1 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

Dueling Hipsters (political)

Ok, I admit: I’ve talked about nothing of substance lately. So, I’ll mention something about some new ads the Republicans are running:

Ok, so this says NOTHING about demand on how “trickle down” has never worked. But this is a hipster. And let’s turn to a simplistic ad about energy:

Uh, there are environmental impacts, costs, potential, waste storage, etc. But hey, it is a hipster.

Now for the spoofs:

(hat tip: Hunter at Daily Kos, and Pareene at Salon)

March 23, 2014 Posted by | Political Ad, political humor, republicans political/social, republicans politics | , | 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

Alien Life, facts and local…

Workout notes 10K run on the track; I was a bit meat-headed about it though.
9:05/8:39/8:23/8:23/(34:32) 1:05 (4 miles plus one lap): 35:38 Then a drink from the fountain.
8:55/8:34 (17:30) 1:06 (2 miles plus one lap). total time spent running: 54:13; make it 56:13 with a 2 minute penalty for stopping.
Still, last year, I couldn’t sustain this during races. I am improving, though my piriformis acted up a bit.
Yes, this pace WAS work for me.

I talked to Tracy a bit afterward and stretched, did back PT, etc.

Alien life: we have lots of red dwarf stars “nearby” (in astronomical terms) and some of these stars might have planets that sustain life. Reason: these stars live longer than our sun. But: the life is probably different from ours as the planets that orbit these stars might be locked into an orbit in which one side always faces the star, and the red dwarf plantes are subject to higher variation of stellar output:

The researchers said that a habitable planet circling a red dwarf would be markedly different from Earth: It would probably be locked into an orbit that kept one side of the planet perpetually facing its alien sun. Charbonneau said the heat could conceivably be transported around the globe via a thick atmosphere or ocean.

Also, red dwarfs are known to be quite variable in their emissions, with occasional strong flares of ultraviolet light. “If that were to happen on Earth, it would cause havoc,” Charbonneau told journalists.

But Dressing said alien life could conceivably adapt to such stresses. “You don’t need an Earth clone to have life,” she said.
Red-dwarf planets might have at least one edge over Earth in the habitability department: Astrobiologists have estimated that our planet could be rendered inhospitable to life in the next couple of billion years, due to a long-term increase in solar radiation. Red dwarfs are different in that regard. “They are incredibly long-lived,” Charbonneau told journalists. “They never show their age.”

World Events
Tensions mount between Japan and China over the Senkaku Islands:

Japan’s Ministry of Defense is upset with the Chinese navy frigate that locked onto a Japanese navy ship with radar usually used to target and shoot missiles. No shots were fired, but this passive aggressive fighting over their simmering territorial dispute is getting pretty serious. The incident happened on January 30 near the chain of islands in the East China Sea that have been claimed by both nations and now Tokyo has filed a formal protest with Beijing, reports the BBC.

Again, there was no harm done this time, but apparently just turning on your weapon-targeting radar is a big no-no, especially between two neighbors in a near constant state of aggression. The disputed islands—known as the Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China—were the reason for those massive anti-Japanese protests on mainland China this past August, the beginnings of a trade war this past September, and another game of chicken—this time involving Japanese fighter planes in December.

Locking your fire control radar onto another ship is “fighting words”.

Tidbit: back in 2006 when James Webb debated George Allen (for the US Senate Seat in Virginia), the candidates were allowed to ask each other a question. Webb asked Allen about the Senkaku Islands; Allen hadn’t a clue of what he was talking about.

The Allen-Webb debates ended much as they began, on an island.

This time Webb found one of his own: the Senkaku Islands, which are in Asia in the East China Sea north of Taiwan. They are critical to the future of the United States, Webb said, in part because China and Japan dispute ownership.

They aren’t Craney Island, he said, and that allowed Allen to remind voters of the moment in the first debate when Webb couldn’t answer a question about Craney Island in Portsmouth, where a new marine terminal is under construction.

Craney Island is critical, Allen said. But this time, he was stumped by the Senkaku Islands.

He shouldn’t have been, Webb said.

“If George Allen is on the Senate Foreign (Relations) Committee, this is an issue that’s come up several times,” Webb said. “It’s a foreign policy concern. I’ve known about the Senkaku Islands since I was 28 years old.” *

US Politics
John Boehner: seems to forget that the debt wasn’t a problem until Ronald Reagan, and was starting to get paid down under Bill Clinton.


Hmm — it sort of looks as if the US was sharply reducing its debt during the presidency of a guy named, I don’t know, Bill something or other.

OK, joking aside, this is important. Republicans have invented a history in which it has been fiscal irresponsibility all along — and far too many centrists have bought into the premise. The reality is that we had low debt and no fiscal problem before Reagan; then an unprecedented surge in peacetime, non-depression deficits under Reagan/Bush; then a major improvement under Clinton; then a squandering of the Clinton surplus via tax cuts and unfunded wars of choice under Bush. And yes, a surge in debt once the Great Recession hit, but that’s exactly when you should be running deficits.

Local I am no longer in IL-18, but Aaron Schock is under investigation by the House Ethics Committee:

The House Ethics Committee said Wednesday it will continue an investigation of Illinois Republican Rep. Aaron Schock over allegations he solicited donations of more than $5,000 per donor to a super political action committee. The committee also said it’s continuing a probe of whether a trip New York Democrat Bill Owens took to Taiwan was arranged by lobbyists for the country’s government.

Both cases had been referred to the House committee by the Office of Congressional Ethics, a separate, outside ethics office. The House committee announced its decision to continue looking into each case on Wednesday, while releasing OCE’s report on both cases.

In a statement, the ethics committee said that in both cases merely “conducting further review … does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred, or reflect any judgment on behalf of the committee.” The committee also said it would refrain from further comment pending completion of initial reviews.

Both Schock and Owens said they expect to be exonerated by the House committee.

Schock’s case involves an allegation he asked House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., to contribute $25,000 from his leadership PAC to a super PAC that backed Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., in a House primary against Rep. Don Manzullo. Kinzinger won the March 2012 primary. Redistricting following the 2010 census put the two congressmen in the same and the primary.

According to the OCE report, the Super PAC backing Kinzinger, the Campaign for Primary Accountability, received a minimum of $115,000 that came from “efforts of Rep. Schock and his campaign committee.” The report says that Cantor told investigators that Schock had asked him if he would give the $25,000 donation to back Kinzinger. Cantor said he then gave money from his committee to the super PAC backing Kinziger in the primary.

Yes, this is just an investigation. But I can’t help but wonder if some of Mr. Schock’s potential Republican opponents in the next Illinois governor’s race are putting bugs in the ears of people higher up. Note that the Republicans are running anti-Schock ads:

Note: the ad is nonsense; however it is designed to smear him in the eyes of Republican primary voters: note the ominous image of President Obama in the background at one point. Since Mr. Schock is popular in his district and especially popular among Republicans in his district, this ad isn’t being run with the 2014 US House primary in mind (in my opinion).

February 7, 2013 Posted by | Aaron Schock, astronomy, economy, Political Ad, political/social, politics, running, science, space, world events | , , , | 1 Comment

OMG: conservative attack ad blasts Aaron Schock (ad is nonsense but…)

First of all, I am now in IL-17 instead of IL-18 so Mr. Schock no longer represents me in the House. But he is a Bradley U. grad and I’ve seen him in person a few times and have written to him; I’ve always gotten a polite, detailed response.


Note: whereas the ad is technically correct, uh…you could probably say the same thing about ANY member of Congress; the ad gives you no useful information about Mr. Schock. And yes, it is an “attack” from the right.

What is going on???

My guess: Republican groups are probably trying to make him unelectable in a statewide Republican primary (say for Senate or Governor); call this a “shot across the bow”. Perhaps there is something else that they don’t like about him?


Anyway, if you want to be a Republican politician these days and stay anywhere near sanity…good luck in the primary.

January 20, 2013 Posted by | Aaron Schock, Political Ad, politics, politics/social, republicans, republicans political/social, republicans politics | | Leave a comment

5 November 2012: calm before the storm?

Workout notes
Heavy legs from yesterday, but I had enough in the tank to do a weight workout followed by 2 easy miles on the treadmill (10:10/9:00); I last .5 mile was 8:30.

Weights: shortened a bit:
pull ups: 5 sets of 10; last set was broken 7/3 (change grip to rotated)
rotator cuff
bench: 10 x 135, 3 sets of 5 x 170.

military: 2 sets of 15 x 45; curls: 2 sets of 10 x 30 dumbbell, 2 sets of 10 x EZ curl (one set with 10/5 on each side, one set with 2 10’s on each side)
pull downs: 3 sets of 10; 1 with 162.5, 2 with 150
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 60 lb. Also crunches.

My favorite Obama ad of this election season:

This is a good Dave Koehler ad:

Cheri Bustos

The bookies
Election odds:

3 bookies have it 1/4 or 4/17 Obama
5 have it 2/9 Obama
1 has it 21/100 Obama
7 bookies have it 1/5 Obama
2 have it 2/11 Obama
1 has it 1/6 Obama

November 5, 2012 Posted by | 2012 election, Barack Obama, Cheri Bustos, Political Ad, politics, poll, running, weight training | Leave a comment

Insultingly Simplistic Mailer from the Pat Sullivan Campaign

Just when you thought it was safe to pick up your mail, I see this in my mailbox:

Oh good grief. This is Mr. “Put Illinois on an Oatmeal Diet” Pat Sullivan who is running on a platform of “complicated problems have simple answers.”

Ah, the joys of living in a town like Peoria.

Hey, we are making the national news, due to our local Catholic “Bishop” who is trying to turn his churches into a branch of the Republican party. Such buffoonery comes with living here.

November 3, 2012 Posted by | 2012 election, economics, economy, Peoria, Peoria/local, Political Ad, politics, politics/social | 1 Comment

Republican Dirty Tricks in IL-17, with video (and yes, I voted today!)

Workout notes Weights plus an untimed 5 mile walk. Weights: 5 sets of 10 pull ups, rotator cuff, 3 super sets of (rows: 10 x 200 Hammer machine, 10 x 160 pull downs, 10 x 52.5 curls (pulley)), bench press: 10 x 135, 8 x 165, 6 x 165, 5 x 165, incline: 2 sets of 7 x 135, 2 sets of 15 x 45 (dumbbell) military press (seated). I did vertical ab crunches as rest between sets.

IL-17 is a redistricted Congressional District in Illinois; it was redrawn after Illinois went from having 19 Congressional Districts to 18.

Historically: Lane Evans won it in 1982 and represented it until Phil Hare won it in 2006. But in 2010, Phil Hare was upset by a Tea Party Republican named Bobby Schilling.

However the district has been redrawn to be even more Democratic; currently Barack Obama leads by 15 points.

The Bustos-Schilling race has been close; by Election Projection:

10/25/12 Stuart Rothenberg Pundit Change: Tilt DEM to Toss-up
10/15/12 Public Opinion (R) Schilling 51% – Bustos 44%
10/18/12 GBA Strategies (D) Bustos 49% – Schilling 45%
10/13/12 RATING CHANGE: Weak Schilling to Weak Bustos
10/09/12 WeAskAmerica Bustos 46% – Schilling 46%
10/10/12 RATING CHANGE: Weak Bustos to Weak Schilling
10/04/12 Anzalone Liszt Research (D) Bustos 45% – Schilling 44%

So, the Republicans are fighting tooth and nail to hold this seat. So watch out for the dirty tricks!

We have this ad from the NRCC:

Wow! There are some problems here though. For one, Ms. Bustos isn’t a member of that country club and never was. Also, this improvement was for water main repair, and had started BEFORE she took her seat.

More here.

Now there is this:

What you are seeing is a newspaper tabloid style mailer called “The Illinois Democrat” which is an extended ad for Bobby Schilling. You have to dig deep into the ad to find a mention that Mr. Schilling is the Republican candidate.

That isn’t a surprise; at the last Schilling-Bustos debate, Mr. Schilling failed to mention Mitt Romney once, but did have a few good words to say about President Obama.

Here is my (7 minute) video commentary.

October 28, 2012 Posted by | 2012 election, Cheri Bustos, IL-17, IL-18, Illinois, Peoria, Political Ad, political/social, politics, politics/social, republicans, walking, weight training | 3 Comments