What I don’t like about Trump…and it isn’t what you might think

Yes, Trump says a lot of stuff, some of which…yes, I actually like:

Oh, what about “Mexico sending rapists” remark? Well, CUBA did exactly that: they emptied their jails and tried to send their prisoners to the United States. And yes, *some* illegal immigrants from Mexico are criminals; there is no evidence that they are more criminal than anyone else though (any substantial population of people will contain at least a few miscreants).

Protesters? No, I don’t have respect for those who disrupt or try to impede one’s progress to the rallies. Calling women “fat pigs”? Well, people do that to Chris Christy all of the time.

But…Trump is running for President of the United States and a President should have a certain temperament, which he lacks. Lashing out simply isn’t presidential. In 1990, Massachusetts citizens thought it wasn’t becoming of a governor either.

What about his “telling it like it is”? Well, the problem here is that I want a President to mull things over prior to speaking; too many times he just “says stuff”:

And what “internal governor” does he have on his actions? As Hillary Clinton said: someone who gets baited by a tweet…how will he act as President?


The world is complicated. The details matter. Language matters…even something as avoiding the phrase “Radical Islamic terrorism” matters. We have to be concerned with how the rest of the world sees us; we can’t just beat our chests in a vacuum.

There is, of course, the matter of knowing what one is doing. Yes, Trump is good at making slick real estate deals which he benefits from. But that is very different from trying to get Congress to send you something that you can sign, and very different from working with nations that have their own interests. Trump won’t be able to fire members of Congress, nor will he be able to fire foreign leaders that do not cooperate.

So, there you have it.

I want a thoughtful president who thinks carefully before they speak.
I want a level headed president.
I want one with the correct skill set.

And please, spare me the “Hillary’s e-mails make her just like Trump” in terms of honesty. She is reasonably honest, at least by politician’s standards. Yes, she spins. Yes, she puts herself in the best light possible…sometimes performing a few logical gymnastic steps along the way. Here is Politifact’s score. (also here for more detail).

What is going on, I think, is the nature of spin. Trump exaggerates whereas Clinton spins when she is on the defensive. And she sometimes mixes in true statements in her spin

Clinton’s deceptions tend to be defensive — her reputation is under attack and she’s trying to save face. As determined by PolitiFact, a political fact-checking service, her false statements often come in response to scandals and allegations against her. For instance, with regard to her private email server, she has said she “never received nor sent any material that was marked as classified” and that the server “was allowed” at the time. Both proved false.

Trump’s deceptions, by contrast, are more on the offensive, more self-promotional. He exaggerates his successes in the business world. He called his book “The Art of the Deal” the “best-selling business book of all time.” It’s not, according to PolitiFact.

And he creates allegations against his political opponents and minority groups out of thin air, making himself appear better by comparison. Among his false statements, according to PolitiFact: Hillary Clinton “invented ISIS,” even though the group predates Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state. The United States is allowing “tens of thousands” of “vicious, violent” Muslim terrorists into the country every year. This attempt to justify his ban on Muslim immigration was also found false.

That distinction between Clinton and Trump — offensive vs. defensive — has major implications for whether people view their lies as “legitimate” and morally acceptable, according to Matthew Gingo, a psychology professor at Wheaton College.

“Me lying to get myself out of trouble is not nearly as bad as me lying to get someone else in trouble,” Gingo said. “People view defense as more legitimate, such as physical self-defense.”

This has long been the consensus of psychological research. A 2007 study presented scenarios where people lied with varying motivations and interviewed people about how “acceptable” each lie was. They found self-protective lies (think Clinton) to be more acceptable than self-promotional lies (think Trump on his business record), which are more acceptable than self-promotional lies that harm others (think Donald Trump on Mexicans). A similar 1997 study of women found the same result, as did a 1986 study.

So Clinton’s omissions of fact, research tells us, should be perceived better than Trump’s flagrant scapegoating. Especially considering this disparity: PolitiFact has evaluated 203 of Trump’s statements and 226 of Clinton’s. It rated just fewer than a third of Clinton’s as “mostly false” or worse but rated 71 percent of Trump’s the same way.

But there’s another layer of complication here.

With Clinton, “there’s a lot more interleaving of truth and lies,” says Kim Serota, a marketing professor at Oakland University who has studied deception and political communication.

No one will ever know what exactly Clinton’s intentions were with her private email server, but anyone could find that the majority of Mexican immigrants are not, in fact, criminals and rapists. This makes Clinton’s deceptions appear more like “cover-ups,” Gingo says, which harms her public perception.

August 11, 2016 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social | , , | Leave a comment

Fun hike and other topics

I did my 7 mile hike from the Heights Tower with T. Yeah, she took a tumble and I had a momentary ankle twist, but for a couple of old people, we got through it ok. It took us 2:25 but it was done at a “social” pace. It was 77 F with 90 percent humidity at the start; 85 F, 77 percent humidity at the end. Yes, I was soaked and T was also “dewy”. I really, really enjoyed it.


Marathons: The Olympic marathon will be run on the next two consecutive weekends; women this Sunday and men the next weekend. Though it is “winter” in Rio, the conditions will not be ideal for a fast time.

Politics Lessons from previous era: a political campaign is tough stuff and the politicians need to bring brass knuckles …or they will lose. Michael Dukakis found that out the hard way.

And temperament matters, as the 1990 Massachusetts race showed. (thanks Carmen!)

August 11, 2016 Posted by | Friends, hiking, political/social, politics, walking | Leave a comment

I am actually bored with this election

I never dreamed that I’d be bored with an election. In this case, I was surprised at how interested I was in the primary but …how bored I am with the general. Basically, the general is Trump saying one dumb thing after another. And the electoral math looks terrible for him:


(via Electoral Vote) The betting lines are running 3-1 to 4-1 for Hillary Clinton. The various models are showing Clinton having an 81 to 88 percent chance of winning.

No one knows what will happen, of course. But I’ll make these predictions:

1. Hillary Clinton will win the popular vote by between 7-8 points (the largest margins of the last few “no incumbent in the race” elections, similar to Dukakis vs. Bush I or Obama vs. McCain)
2. Hillary Clinton will win at least one state that Obama did NOT carry either in 2008 or 2012. I think that Georgia, Arizona or Mississippi are the best candidates for that; or perhaps Missouri or Kansas.

But November 8 is a long way away …so long in fact, that my favorite football teams have yet to be eliminated from playoff contention.🙂

August 11, 2016 Posted by | football, political/social, politics | | Leave a comment

And I am a slug today

I am having a ton of trouble with motivation …I just don’t like the math results that I have to write up. But I may have something to perk it up.

Workout notes: weights and an easy two mile walk outdoors.

rotator cuff
pull ups: 5 sets of 10
incline press: 10 x 135, 8 x 150 (lame effort), 10 x 135
squats: 4 sets of 10 (0, 45, 65, 85)…these ARE getting better.
goblet squats: 3 sets of 5 x 50, 5 x 30
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 (each arm)
military press: 8 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 40 standing (all with dumbbells)
abs: 2 sets of 12 twist crunches, 10 yoga leg lifts.
head stand: shaky at first.

Then the walk outside.

Politics Much to my surprise, I am losing interest. Oh, yeah, I’ll vote but increasingly, I am having trouble taking Trump seriously. Many lines have Clinton a 4-1 favorite.

But strange things have happened in the past.

August 10, 2016 Posted by | political/social, politics, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Warm run and other topics

I got a late start; I left about 9 am and finished about 11 am.



Now I am catching some Olympics; I’ll write on my paper in just a bit.

Olympics and Politics
Trump is getting whipped in the polls and is now a 3-1 to 4-1 underdog in the betting lines. So he is already making excuses about the election being “rigged”.


(Thank you Carmen!)

And yes, I love the sports and the Olympic bodies.



But my (straight) women friends are also enjoying it too. And now, even gay men are coming out to say what they like.

Hey, in general, you have the finest athletes in the world, wearing very form fitting (or very little) clothing. So, I’ll play a game:

What I would want MY body to be like: boxers or sprinters (200 to 400 meter runners)
What I enjoy seeing: yes, the volleyball players (court or beach; I know the butt hangs out of the beach volleyball outfits but the court players have beautiful bodies too) and..believe it or not:


I admit it. Their uniforms aren’t that revealing, but I love their legs.

August 9, 2016 Posted by | big butts, political/social, politics/social, running | , , | Leave a comment

Poll watchers: don’t let “convention bounces” fool you…

For those unfamiliar, a support for a presidential candidate appears to go up right after the convention for that party. For example, you can see that Trump’s support appeared to go up after the Republican Convention. Now you can see a similar uptick in Hillary Clinton’s support now that the Democratic convention is over.

poll bounce

from here

That uptick is called a “convention bounce”. Political scientists have wondered why this occurs. Here is the reason: a polling outfit gets its data by making random calls. Of course, only a certain percentage of voters take the calls and only a certain percentage of voters are willing to be polled.

It turns out that right after a party’s convention, a higher than normal percentage of people who support that party’s candidate are willing to be polled! In other words, right after the Republican Convention, the sample had a higher than normal percentage of Trump supporters whereas, right now, a higher than normal percentage of Clinton supporters are answering the pollster’s questions.

This is called “sample bias”.

Upshot: we really won’t have an accurate read of the election until a couple of weeks from now.

August 2, 2016 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social, poll | , | Leave a comment

What is Trump’s appeal?

Obviously, one can’t answer this question fully in one little blog post. And yes, there are plenty of well-to-do people who will vote for Trump; many probably like him.

But if you look at where his support is coming from, it appears to be strongest from “white people without a college degree”. (here and here). From the latter link:

The list of voting groups generally alienated by Donald J. Trump is long: Hispanics, women, the young, the college educated and more. How is it that he’s in such a close race with Hillary Clinton?

The answer lies with a group that still represented nearly half of all voters in 2012: white voters without a college degree, and particularly white men without a degree.

Mrs. Clinton is showing enormous weakness with this group. And these voters are supporting Mr. Trump in larger numbers than they supported Mitt Romney four years ago. It’s enough to keep the election close. It could even be enough for him to win.

So, why is his support so strong in this group? An article in the American Conservative posits an answer:

The two political parties have offered essentially nothing to these people for a few decades. From the Left, they get some smug condescension, an exasperation that the white working class votes against their economic interests because of social issues, a la Thomas Frank (more on that below). Maybe they get a few handouts, but many don’t want handouts to begin with.

From the Right, they’ve gotten the basic Republican policy platform of tax cuts, free trade, deregulation, and paeans to the noble businessman and economic growth. Whatever the merits of better tax policy and growth (and I believe there are many), the simple fact is that these policies have done little to address a very real social crisis. More importantly, these policies are culturally tone deaf: nobody from southern Ohio wants to hear about the nobility of the factory owner who just fired their brother.

Trump’s candidacy is music to their ears. He criticizes the factories shipping jobs overseas. His apocalyptic tone matches their lived experiences on the ground. He seems to love to annoy the elites, which is something a lot of people wish they could do but can’t because they lack a platform.

The last point I’ll make about Trump is this: these people, his voters, are proud. A big chunk of the white working class has deep roots in Appalachia, and the Scots-Irish honor culture is alive and well. We were taught to raise our fists to anyone who insulted our mother. I probably got in a half dozen fights when I was six years old. Unsurprisingly, southern, rural whites enlist in the military at a disproportionate rate. Can you imagine the humiliation these people feel at the successive failures of Bush/Obama foreign policy? My military service is the thing I’m most proud of, but when I think of everything happening in the Middle East, I can’t help but tell myself: I wish we would have achieved some sort of lasting victory. No one touched that subject before Trump, especially not in the Republican Party. […]

What does it mean for our politics? To me, this condescension is a big part of Trump’s appeal. He’s the one politician who actively fights elite sensibilities, whether they’re good or bad. I remember when Hillary Clinton casually talked about putting coal miners out of work, or when Obama years ago discussed working class whites clinging to their guns and religion. Each time someone talks like this, I’m reminded of Mamaw’s feeling that hillbillies are the one group you don’t have to be ashamed to look down upon. The people back home carry that condescension like a badge of honor, but it also hurts, and they’ve been looking for someone for a while who will declare war on the condescenders. If nothing else, Trump does that.

This is where, to me, there’s a lot of ignorance around “Teflon Don.” No one seems to understand why conventional blunders do nothing to Trump. But in a lot of ways, what elites see as blunders people back home see as someone who–finally–conducts themselves in a relatable way. He shoots from the hip; he’s not constantly afraid of offending someone; he’ll get angry about politics; he’ll call someone a liar or a fraud. This is how a lot of people in the white working class actually talk about politics, and even many elites recognize how refreshing and entertaining it can be! So it’s not really a blunder as much as it is a rich, privileged Wharton grad connecting to people back home through style and tone. Viewed like this, all the talk about “political correctness” isn’t about any specific substantive point, as much as it is a way of expanding the scope of acceptable behavior. People don’t want to believe they have to speak like Obama or Clinton to participate meaningfully in politics, because most of us don’t speak like Obama or Clinton.

(emphasis mine).

Believe it or not, I’ve seen that on my own Facebook wall. When I discuss an issue, I tend to discuss an issue narrowly and use technical language when appropriate. Often a complicated issue has a complicated answer that is conditional, based on the current parameters at that time. I have little patience with listening to someone’s “common sense answer” (something that makes sense TO THEM), especially if we are discussing something that they have no expertise in.

And I’ve seen some of this from Sanders supporters; they get very annoyed when you tell them that “Nobel prize winning economist X says that Sanders’ proposals just don’t add up.”.

And THAT is probably why I’ll stick to discussing the “horserace” aspect to this election. There is no way in the world I am going to convince a Trump supporter to switch to Hillary Clinton, and I won’t even try. I might try to get a disgruntled Republican friend to vote for her, but these friend are from my “tribe”, so to speak.

And forget the religiously conservative people; we don’t even speak the same language.

The horse race (the state of the election).

Upshot: Clinton, 70 percent.


Current state of the polls: Clinton 284-207, with 49 tied (Florida and Ohio)

Betting lines; Clinton is back to 1/2 (2 to 1 favorite)

It looks as if the Democratic Convention bounce has compensated for the Republican Convention bounce.

August 1, 2016 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social | , , | Leave a comment

DNC wrap up…Democrats snatch “American Dream” paradigm from Republicans

Ok, the Democratic National Convention is over. I admit that I enjoyed it. The upshot: it appears that the Democrats have rallied around “Love of Country” and “The American Dream” whereas the Republicans have become something of a personality cult. Trump didn’t handle it well; he spoke of wanting to “hit” some DNC speakers. He has shown himself to be unsuitable to be President.

As far as the day itself: well, Chelsea’s introduction was, well, in my opinion, forgettable. Ivanka’s introduction of her father was much better. But Hillary Clinton’s speech, while not as good as Bill’s or either Obama speech, was good enough at, at least, watchable. She carried the day. Many were moved, especially many middle aged to old women.

For me, the most moving part was Khizr Khan’s speech concerning his son, who died in battle. He just nailed it; he called out Trump pointing out “you’ve sacrificed nothing” and invited him to read our Constitution (re: freedom or religion).

Will this change the course of the election? I don’t know; it appears that the betting lines have moved slightly in Hillary Clinton’s favor (most lines being lower than 1/2) but we’ll have to wait a week or so to see if there is any “bounce” in the polls.

On a lighter note, I loved Katy Perry’s tight dress…got to love frontal VPLs.

July 29, 2016 Posted by | political/social, politics, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Day 2 of the DNC convention, etc.

Yes, my workout first. Just scroll past.
rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10), squats: 3 sets of 10 (2 weightless, 1 with 45), goblet squats: 5 with 35, 3 sets of 5 with 50
incline press: 10 x 135, 10 x 150, 10 x 140
military press (dumbbell) 8 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 200 machine
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 50 single arm dumbbell, 1 set of 10 x 200 machine
abs (2 sets of 12 twist crunch, 10 yoga leg lifts), headstand (so-so; I’ve done better, I’ve done worse)
easy 2 mile walk to loosen up.

The DNC day II
The highlight was Bill Clinton’s “spouse speech”

He kept the focus off of himself but instead made it all about Hillary. He focused on the many “behind the scenes” things you might have known about.

There were other minor talks. One was the “Mothers of the Movement” which are black mothers who have had a kid killed by violence (some at the hands of law enforcement, one was suicide, some were killed by criminals)

And yes, they were introduced by the Pittsburgh Police Chief, who made some good remarks:

Of course, some conservatives bellowed on about “mothers of criminals”; in fact, one person’s encounter with the police was started by an improper lane change (and yes, she didn’t behave well when stopped; she appeared to have some mental/emotional illness), one was shot by a murderer for playing his music too loud, and one was just a kid walking home, minding his own business when he was stopped and hassled by a thug. Yes, Michael Brown’s mom was there too…that made me cringe a bit.

You can read some of the fact-checks here and here. I see some spin to be sure, but nothing egregious.

The state of the race Hillary Clinton remains a modest favorite at about 2-1.

But yes, Trump has a bonafide shot of winning the election, as President Obama acknowledges. But he has to have a lot of things go his way…and sweep almost all of the toss-ups.

THAT will be a tall order…though possible.

July 27, 2016 Posted by | political/social, politics, walking, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

Warm run, bounces and day one of the DNC

Run: 1:47:05 for my 15K course. It was 76 F, 79 percent humidity at the start, 82 F, 62 percent at the end. I was 46:13/46:42 for my 2 “halves”; 14:10 for the 1.25 lower loop. Every time I was in the shade, I felt fine; I got hot out of the shade though.

Afterward, I did some more yard work, and my goodness do I stink. (TMI) I know that my online persona is that of a goat, but I’ve gone too far.🙂

Presidential Race
This is what a “convention bounce” looks like; note that after Hillary Clinton’s numbers fell over the winter/spring (e-mail stuff) she maintained a steady level of support and Trump was down. But his numbers have trended up, very sharply.


Still, the long term forecasts mostly favor her, albeit narrowly.

Her betting odds are just over 1/2 (lower odds means a stronger favorite)

I watched the major speeches (Michelle Obama’s, Warren’s and Sanders’) and they were pretty good. You can find the highlights AND the full speeches here. If you only want to watch one, watch Michelle Obama’s.

Cory Booker’s speech was pretty good too:

Now there are some hard core “Bernie of Bust” people out there. Yes, they were called out:

But there are some Sanders supporters who will never vote for Hillary Clinton. Ed of Gin and Tacos fame explains what he thinks is going on (and I agree with him):

The more I listen to them, the more it’s clear that the fundamental disconnect between Sanders supporters who will vote for Hillary and Sanders supporters who will not vote for Hillary is not an ideological one. It is a difference in worldview. And while not all of the “No Hillary” Sanders supporters are young, they seem to share in common a worldview that is often stereotypically ascribed to “millennials” (if that term even means anything anymore). There have been moments in my career dealing with college students in which I’ve been left speechless – you can appreciate how rarely I’m unable to fill the air around me with words – by their worldview. It’s not a liberal-conservative thing, it is the apparent expectation that the world somehow has to make itself appealing to them. For example, I’ve had exasperating conversations with students who refuse to accept their only job offer because it either doesn’t pay them what they have decided they’re worth or it isn’t “fun” enough for them. And I ask them sincerely, “So do you expect to just wait until the job market gives you what you’d like it to give you?” And you’ll have to take my word on this: Some of them say yes. Some of them really do move back in with mom and dad and not work at all for years – years – waiting for something they think is worthy of them to come along. And of course it never does.

Of course, you can always posture and tall others how much more insightful and principled you are than everyone else. But oddly enough, that never shows up in their actual lives.🙂

July 26, 2016 Posted by | political/social, politics, running, social/political | , , , | Leave a comment


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