End of week 1

workout notes: easy 2 mile walk after weights.
pull ups (5 sets of 10), rotator cuff, various squats and 1 set of leg presses
incline press: 10 x 135, 5 x 155, 10 x 140
military: 8 x 50 dumbbell standing, 15 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 40 standing
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 single arm
abs (2 sets of 12 twist crunch, 10 yoga leg lifts)

It was tough to get the back lose today.

Election: yeah, I am bored. Hillary Clinton is somewhere between a 70-90 percent favorite. Gary Johnson’s 7 percent is holding steady. But, for what it is worth, I don’t want to see either him or Jill Stein (LOL) taking up space during the debates.

I’ve got some baseball coming up and …next weekend….FOOTBALL!!!!

August 26, 2016 Posted by | politics, politics/social, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

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

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

Not writing Trump’s obituary but….

Screen shot 2016-08-05 at 7.24.32 PM

As of right now, 250 EVs for “likely Democrat or better”, 158 EVs for “likely Republican or better” according to Electoral Vote. Trump’s path is very narrow.

Bettors know that; hence Clinton is now a 3 to 1 favorite:

Screen shot 2016-08-05 at 7.21.12 PM

The standard models have Clinton a 77-85 percent favorite, though one still rates the race as a toss up.

But 3 months remain…an eternity in politics. Stranger things have happened.

August 6, 2016 Posted by | politics, politics/social | , , | Leave a comment

Melania Trump and “shaming”, etc.

Workout: waited too late; left at 8:15. 8.1 mile cornstalk classic. 75/90 at the star, 80/79 at the finish. 45:20/46:10. Ugh. Survived. But the cute grannies waved at me..and even gave me applause.

In all honesty, the hills felt slightly easier.

Oh noes, liberals are *shaming* Melania Trump because the New York Post published some nude photos of her.

I’ve frequently poked fun at the right wing religious extremists. The analogue on the left is the “social justice warriors”. The latter were wagging their fingers at those who were lampooning Melania Trump for her nude photos; those who did this were said to be “slut shaming” misogynists. I read that “Melania did nothing to deserve this”.

Personally, I think that she is nothing more than a trophy wife of a very rich man; it isn’t as if she had chosen to marry a bus driver or a school teacher.

And it is without apology that I claim that a Princeton/Harvard educated attorney is better FLOTUS material than a nude/erotic model.

But hey, perhaps we can do something with this “shaming stuff.”

Ok, here goes: by doing that photo spread, Melania was “body shaming” ordinary women and “poverty shaming” men that cannot afford to support such a high maintenance woman. And yes, pornography itself is misogynistic.

Then again…well, axiom one for these people is that women are NEVER at fault, for anything…it is always the fault of patriarchy. 🙂

Ok, ok, I “get it”; the idea is that this exposes the extreme hypocrisy of the right wing. And, yeah, it isn’t an issue I am going to make a big deal of.

August 2, 2016 Posted by | politics, 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: parting thoughts …

Ok, the DNC was over a couple of days ago. And yes, one of my Facebook Friends (and real life friend too) complained about my high number of tweets that appeared on FB. Well, I’ll have to work something out for the debates…maybe have a “goat debate watch party” on FB or something.

But I like using both FB and twitter…we’ll work something out.

Now to the Convention itself: Here is a fair fact-check of Hillary Clinton’s speech. I think that she comes out well. There is a “spin” here, “not the whole story” there, and in one case she used outdated data.

Now while many women preferred Hillary Clinton to Bernie Sanders, not all of them did…particularly the young women. It turns out that the dominating factor was “life experiences”; those who have had kids and those who have been discriminated against (for being female) preferred Hillary Clinton at roughly the same rates, regardless of age.

Sanders supporters at the convention: This was funny. Some really believed that, going into the convention, that Sanders still had a bona-fide chance. Some complained about “microaggressions” (aka “slights”) that hurt their feelings. And, as a group, they were unprepared for the Clinton supporters being prepared.

Some unsolicited advice: expect your opponents to be smart and prepared. That happened to me in 2004 when my “team” (Kerry) was out-campaigned by Bush. The Bush website was much better organized. And the Kerry organization was a disaster; I remember calling up people who had volunteered to find out that I was the first person to call them…IN SEVERAL MONTHS. And you had competing pro-Kerry rallies in close proximity to each other…it was a real mess. On the other hand, the Obama campaign was magnificently organized. If you said you’d do something, you had someone following up to see if you did. If you took a trip, you got a call the night before.

This was a great metaphor: on election day in 2004, I drove back from Iowa ALONE to get the bad news as I drove. In 2008, I drove home with friends and we cheered the good news TOGETHER.

Now about Trump: David Frum (NOT a Trump supporter) wrote this article to describe how Trump supporters feel. And here are some Trump supporters, telling you that they aren’t stupid, evil, blah blah blah.

Man, have things changed. Now the Democrats are the “patriotic” party pushing the “American Dream” and the Trump party (formerly known as the “Republican party”) is the party for those who “feel” marginalized …mistreated…etc.

And yes, I saw the “Hillary leads by 15 points” poll, but it is just one poll so the forecasts have not changed much.

Just Because Based on what I’ve seen …Trump’s disastrous press conference, comparing his “sacrifice” to that of a parent who had a kid killed in combat and making excuses for not debating Clinton (“she will rig it”!!), I think that he is going to get creamed.

He’ll found out that he isn’t in a Republican primary:

First, he’s running a campaign fundamentally based on racism. But Republicans couldn’t call him on that, because more or less veiled appeals to racial resentment have been key to their party’s success for decades. Clinton, on the other hand, won the nomination thanks to overwhelming nonwhite support, and will have no trouble hitting hard on this issue.

Second, Trump is proposing wildly irresponsible policies that benefit the rich. But so were all the other Republicans, so they couldn’t attack him for that. Clinton can.

Third, Trump’s personal record as a businessman is both antisocial and just plain dubious. Republicans, with their cult of the entrepreneur, couldn’t say anything about that. Again, Clinton can. […]

And there’s one last thing, which I suspect may make the biggest difference of all: Clinton’s campaign can go after Trump’s fundamental buffoonery.

I mean, he is a ludicrous figure, and everything we learn just makes him more ludicrous. So why couldn’t Republicans make that stick? I’d argue that it was because there was something fairly ludicrous about all his opponents, too.

Think about Marco Rubio: even before his famous brain glitch, it was just obvious that he was a prefab candidate, a nice-looking guy with no real convictions or experience reciting lines he was told to deliver. The infamous “We must dispel with …” wasn’t just vile and stupid (even the first time, let alone repeated); it was also, transparently, not something Rubio believed or even cared about except that his handlers told him to say it.

Or think about Ted Cruz, whose mean-spiritedness and self-centered nature evidently stand out even in today’s conservative movement, making him a hated figure even among those who should like his message.

Clinton, on the other hand, is not ludicrous. She can think on her feet; she’s tough as nails. Do you really think the person who stared down the Benghazi committee for 11 hours is going to wither under schoolboy taunts?

This isn’t JV; it isn’t “low A” baseball.


I say that Clinton holds all of the Obama 2012 states and adds North Carolina (Obama 2008), Arizona (Latino) and Missouri (close…and she actually leads in a recent poll. No, she isn’t “really” ahead in Missouri and Arizona right now, I predict that she will be by election day.).

July 30, 2016 Posted by | politics, politics/social | , , , | Leave a comment

Reality and Trump….

Have you ever seen those movies where there is a situation or problem that is too tough for the “established experts or specialists” to solve…and then comes the hero/heroine who just “throws away the book, operates by his/her gut” and “gets ‘er done” all the while the incompetent, “book smart” experts look stupid and helpless?

You’ve seen plenty of these: Dirty Harry, Rambo, etc. That is a common theme.

And THAT is one of the allures of Donald Trump. He doesn’t need the messiness of expert advice; the inherent messiness of an actually functioning democracy won’t affect him at all.

He’ll just ride into town and “get ‘er done”!!! And facts? They are whatever “agrees with your gut”.


My guess is that Trump is getting some of those old Perot voters (those still living anyway)

And yes, while I don’t know if this is an “election bounce”, the numbers have tightened a bit. Nate Silver’s “now cast” has Trump being a slight favorite to win the election if it were to be held NOW (though she is favored in his long term forecasts) and some of the betting lines have Hillary’s odds being above 1/2. Yes, she is still the favorite.



Is this a “convention bounce”? Maybe, but many said that there wouldn’t be one. We shall see what happens after the Democratic Convention.

And yes, the Debbie Wasserman Schultz stuff is a mess. She addressed the Florida delegation at a pre-convention meeting and got booed. So at least she is not “gaveling in” the convention and won’t be speaking.

Bernie Sanders got booed as well by HIS supporters as he urged them to vote for Hillary Clinton.

What a mess.

July 25, 2016 Posted by | politics, politics/social | , , | Leave a comment

Trump Speech: fantasy

Workout notes: yesterday, 2 extra walking miles (to check out my smart phone map feature) and to see what my “just walking” pace is like. It is about 17 minutes per mile. Then 5K more this morning (15-ish mpm) after lifting weights.

lifting: rotator cuff, pull ups: 5 sets of 10
squats: 2 weightless sets of 10, 10 x 45, then 4 sets of 5 goblet squats: 25, 35, 50, 50
The “tug” in my right inner leg was barely noticeable, at times.

bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, 10 x 170 incline press: 10 x 135
military: dumbbells, 7 x 50 standing (sloppy), 15 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 40 standing.
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 (dumbbell) each arm
abs: 2 sets of 12 twist crunch 10 yoga leg lifts
headstand (so-so)

Trump’s Speech and the election.
In a nutshell, you need to be SCARED and to understand that Trump is the ONLY ONE who can fix it.

Yes, better infrastructure (which I do want), less crime, a quick win of the war against ISIS and other terrorist organization, all the while cutting taxes and building that huge wall between US and Mexico. He is going to do ALL of that, VERY QUICKLY (though it took him 73 minutes to tell us that). How? Just trust him; just believe.

Red State Update gave more or less the same speech in 2008, but in a much briefer period of time:

Oh by the way, the world is NOT falling apart, crime is actually down overall (though up in some locations); you can read the rest of the fact checks here.

As far as how the race is going: this is a great resource. Upshot has its own model, and it links to many other models and betting markets. The map hasn’t changed much from the 2012 map.

You’ll read a lot about “Hillary’s support is sinking”. The reality is that “no incumbent in the race” elections tend to be close. As I told a friend:

In my lifetime, there have been 5 “no incumbent” elections. The popular vote margins (in percent) have been:
0.17 (1960 Kennedy vs. Nixon)
0.7 (1968 Nixon vs. Humphrey)
7.72 (1988 Bush I vs. Dukakis )
-0.51 (2000 Bush II vs. Gore, Gore won the popular vote)
7.27 (2008 Obama vs. McCain)
So if there is a poll or two that shows Hillary with a double digit lead…it is probably an outlier. So don’t be surprised to read “Hillary sinking in the polls”; that usually means that there was a favorable outlier followed by a more realistic result. Expect, for statistical reasons, to see a few polls here and there that show Trump leading. A typical margin of error is 3 to 4 points and that is the MOE for the SUPPORT of a candidate, not for the difference. Example (two way example) if she really leads 52-48, Hillary’s support in a single given poll will vary between 48 to 56 percent 95 percent of the time, so one can expect to see her trailing by 4 points in some polls and winning by 12 in others.

July 22, 2016 Posted by | politics/social, poll, walking, weight training | , , | Leave a comment


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