Republican Primary 2016


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

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

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

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

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

avoiding tedium

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

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

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

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

Random Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New office chair and

I got tired of my back hurting all the time when I sat in my office chair. So I got this one:


Assembly was easy.

Workout notes weights plus an untimed 4 mile run with some yoga afterwards (10 minutes?)

I didn’t feel stable enough to try a head stand.

Run: Cornstalk classic to and from Markin; no stopwatch. I didn’t want to know.
Weights: rotator cuff.
Pull ups: 4 sets of 10
bench: 10 x 135, 4 x 180, 7 x 170
incline: 10 x 135
pull ups: 10
Super set: military (standing with 40 lb. dumbbells), row (machine, 110), pull down (machine, 140)
3 sets of 10 each.

We’ll see.

The run wasn’t as warm as I had anticipated.

Jeb! is running.


Here is my favorite Jeb Bush photo:


As Katherine Harris reminds us, it is white skirt/dress season:

(via: Danny is Back on Flickr) Click on the thumbnail to see on Flickr:




June 16, 2015 Posted by | big butts, butt, politics, politics/social, running, weight training | | Leave a comment

Journalists not understanding politics

One outlet says this:


So what was this “attack”?

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: How are you even gonna get into the pole position right now? I mean, Bernie Sanders– taken out a lotta the same progressive positions you have– has kind of shot up– in both the national polls and– and Iowa and New Hampshire the last– few weeks. Is– that’s a challenge to your candidacy.

GOVERNOR O’MALLEY: Well, I think it’s an encouragement to my candidacy, and for this reason. I think that– the public is looking for new leadership, leadership that doesn’t apologize for having progressive values.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: –why should progressive voters pick you over Bernie Sanders?

GOVERNOR O’MALLEY: Because I have a track record of actually getting things done, not just talking about things.

THAT was ugly? Please. This was nothing more that the classic “Governor vs. Senator” rhetoric that has been going on since we’ve had primaries. There is nothing to see here.

Mike Huckabee’s joke Yes, Mike Huckabee made the old “I with I would have pretended to be a girl so I could have showered with them” joke. That is not new; nor is it particularly offensive to me.

But many are having vapors over this:

The political mind of former Arkansas governor and 2016 Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee must be a very interesting place — a place that looks and feels a lot like 2004.

BuzzFeed spotted a video of Huckabee’s February address at the 2015 National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Nashville, Tenn. The video was posted online this weekend by World Net Daily. In it, Huckabee shared some thoughts on transgender Americans.

“Now I wish that someone told me that when I was in high school that I could have felt like a woman when it came time to take showers in PE,” said Huckabee. “I’m pretty sure that I would have found my feminine side and said, ‘Coach, I think I’d rather shower with the girls today.’ You’re laughing because it sounds so ridiculous doesn’t it?”

For most people, Huckabee’s comments seem a little out of date, perhaps even bigoted. This is a country in which a gold-medal-winning Olympian and one-time mascot of American masculinity just revealed that he is a transgender Republican, and then posed for the cover of Vanity Fair to share a new name, Caitlyn Jenner, along with a new gender identity and personal story.

Newsflash: Gov. Huckabee is running in the Republican primary and is openly targeting the elderly voter (witness his positions of Medicare and Social Security, which have put him to the left of his party and drawn the ire of his fellow Republicans)

Folks: the world of the Republican party is not an oversensitive college campus. :-)

June 3, 2015 Posted by | 2016, political/social, politics, republicans | , | Leave a comment

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.

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

Some political reality

If we listen to the detractors, EVERYONE hates President Obama.

But what is reality? If one looks at the cold, hard facts, President Obama’s approval ratings:

1. Track very well with the historical ratings of previous presidents (who have served two terms)

2. Are well above those of President Bush (at this point in his presidency) but below what President Clinton’s were. President Reagan had better ratings for much of his presidency but, at this point, his approval ratings were similar to President Obama’s (remember Iran-Contra)


Dotted line: average of all presidents. Light green: President Obama. Dark green: President Bush.

Screen shot 2015-05-24 at 5.13.45 PM

Again, light green is President Obama, darkest green is President Reagan (with the big dip); the middle green (and highest ratings) is President Clinton.

From here

Now the Republicans turn their sights on the 2016 elections. Yes, some are bloviating about the instability in Iraq (President Bush left a stable situation!) evidently forgetting that the Status of Forces agreement to get the US out of Iraq was negotiated with Iraq by President Bush. Yes, the region was more stable with us there, but were we to stay there in perpetuity?


May 24, 2015 Posted by | 2016, Barack Obama, political/social, politics, republicans, republicans politics, world events | , , , | Leave a comment

Nice answer Secretary Clinton…

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

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

Nuclear energy; gaffes, free speech for professors, etc.

Nuclear Energy It has been a very long time since I had anything to do with nuclear power plant operation. Back then we had main coolant pumps, higher power reactors and the submarine had a screw.

Now-a-days; the subs have less powerful reactors, some rely less on coolant pumps and the Virginia class submarine uses a pump jet propulsor instead of a screw.

What I knew is obsolete. :-) Sort of. More here.

Here, Paul Krugman, who is a “lukewarm opponent” of the TPP, pushes back on some of the Obama administration push back to TPP opponents.

College campuses and free speech
In an effort to be accommodating to many different types of students and faculty, some colleges have tried to restrict free speech and to keep faculty from saying anything that might “offend” students, at least in a certain way.

Here is one professor’s push-back.

In today’s world; what faculty say, even on line and in newspaper column comments is subject to scrutiny and possibly negative consequences.

Now I don’t like what either of these professors said. But are we getting to the point in which professor’s public comments on the big issues of the day are subject to being straight jacketed?

Now I don’t want to conflate issues. Yes, I’d be fore firing a creationist biology professor or astronomy professor for incompetence, just as I’d fire a mathematics professor who tried to teach mathematical nonsense like this or this.

Competence matters.

So, if you want to fire, say, a holocaust denying history professor, well, good. That person would be too incompetent to teach history.

But what if I had genuine doubts and expressed them in public? (no, I am not a history professor) Would that be a fireable offense? By the way: I don’t have any doubts; to me, simple arithmetic seals the deal. Just look at the Jewish population before and after, as well as mountains and mountains of documents, much of which the Nazis generated.

What if someone really gave some credence to, say The Bell Curve (the book) stuff and they wanted to honestly discuss this in public?
Personally, I’d enjoy the challenge of having an honest discussion and debate with someone who honestly holds such ideas.

Now of course, others in other professions (e. g. politicians) should have more PR savvy than this.

Yes, this is a Democrat and yes, this was stupid. She is probably toast.

May 17, 2015 Posted by | education, politics, politics/social, social/political | , , , | Leave a comment

Hersh’s new “Bin Laden raid” conspiracy “conjecture”

Yes, some are abuzz over Seymour Hersh’s story about the Obama administration’s story being false.

Needless to say, there are some problems with this conjecture:

Hersh’s story is amazing to read, alleging a vast American-Pakistani conspiracy to stage the raid and even to fake high-level diplomatic incidents as a sort of cover. But his allegations are largely supported only by two sources, neither of whom has direct knowledge of what happened, both of whom are retired, and one of whom is anonymous. The story is riven with internal contradictions and inconsistencies.

The story simply does not hold up to scrutiny — and, sadly, is in line with Hersh’s recent turn away from the investigative reporting that made him famous into unsubstantiated conspiracy theories.

A decade ago, Hersh was one of the most respected investigative journalists on the planet, having broken major stories from the My Lai massacre in 1969 to the Abu Ghraib scandal in 2004. But more recently, his reports have become less and less credible. He’s claimed that much of the US special forces is controlled by secret members of Opus Dei, that the US military flew Iranian terrorists to Nevada for training, and that the 2013 chemical weapons attack in Syria was a “false flag” staged by the government of Turkey. Those reports have had little proof and, rather than being borne out by subsequent investigations, have been either unsubstantiated or outright debunked. A close reading of Hersh’s bin Laden story suggests it is likely to suffer the same fate.

Oh sure, the usual “the Obama administration always lies” crowd will run with it, tut-tutting that those stupid members of the media fell for the administration line “hook, line and sinker”.

Some will like the fact that Hersh was rude to “shitty journalists“.

So what do I think?

Ok, I am biased toward the Obama administration, but then again, I immediately rejected the 9-11 conspiracy conjectures as well. Hersh does have a distinguished record…a long time ago. So is this merely some old “has been” desperately trying to relive past glories?

Now I do NOT put it past ANY administration to lie or to get things wrong.

But this is the primary reason I am skeptical.

The Republicans hate Obama and I’d imagine that some of the more conservative elements of the military hate him too. Had this been this grandiose lie….wouldn’t the Republicans and other conservatives brought this to light at some strategic time prior to the 2012 election?

My goodness; look at how the Republicans tried to play up a non-existent Behghazi “scandal”.

May 17, 2015 Posted by | politics, politics/social, world events | | Leave a comment

Misunderstandings…social, political and personal

Workout notes: damp, humid (80 percent), 67 F and it took me 1:33:27 to do my 8.1 mile course; my “pick it up” final mile was 11 minutes! I was about 45:40 half way; this was…well, less than a strenuous effort.

But..this effort is well in line with what the Oregon Pace Wizard has for someone who does a 25:30 5K.


That is reality. Yes, I enjoyed the run, but at times, well…if I went any slower, I’d be growing moss.

Final exams: some students have trouble understanding that their grades are

1. something that they earn and
2. reflect their performance and not what they think that they deserve.

Well, I might understand a 18-20 year old having trouble with the concept. Unfortunately, all too often, parents and administrators have trouble with this concept as well.


Some conservatives don’t like what Michelle Obama said here:

Or here.:

“You see, there are so many kids in this country who look at places like museums and concert halls and other cultural centers and they think to themselves, well, that’s not a place for me, for someone who looks like me, for someone who comes from my neighborhood. In fact, I guarantee you that right now, there are kids living less than a mile from here who would never in a million years dream that they would be welcome in this museum.”

Then, she went on to laud the Whitney for its efforts at inclusion and diversity: “And with this inaugural exhibition, the Whitney is really sending the same message to young people and to people of every background across this country. You’re telling them that their story is part of the American story, and that they deserve to be seen. And you’re sending that message not just with the art you display, but with the educational programming you run here. You’re reaching out to kids from all backgrounds, exposing them to the arts, showing them that they have something to contribute.”

It was a rather mild, if not flattering way to acknowledge a disparity while also encouraging efforts to counter it.

It is true; sometimes we are “class bound” when it comes to thinking “this activity isn’t for people like me”. In fact, it is useful to inform people that “yes, this place is for you too, IF you want it to be.” As far as the video, I hear what she is saying and I think that her message is positive.

She isn’t making excuses; she is acknowledging the discomfort that some of our neighbors have to push through.



To me, this is a sign about what sort of people this business wishes to attract and that they wish to keep people like me away; it is a nice signal for me to look elsewhere. I have no problem with it.

May 15, 2015 Posted by | politics, politics/social, running, social/political | Leave a comment


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