blueollie

Do the Republicans continue to threat the needle?

I am struck by something: Medicaid is very important in West Virginia: percentage wise, they have the highest reliance on Medicaid/CHIP in the nation (29 percent, versus 20 percent nationally, or 19 in Illinois).

Trumpcare would some of its worst effects there.

And yet, West Virginia gives Trump the highest approval ratings in the nation: 60 percent! (as opposed to below 40 percent elsewhere)

So, of course, that is where he went for a rally yesterday. Go figure.

That is a fine needle to thread, isn’t it? At the heart of the GOP agenda is “tax cuts for the financially elite”; you might say that attempts to reform the ACA were “ok, you need to die earlier so the wealthiest can have bigger tax cuts”. I doubt that is the message that they deliver to states like West Virginia.

So…they peddle false promises (“coal is coming back”) and hatred of…well, people like me (“it is those liberals getting in the way of America being Great Again”)

Will this continue to work? In some states, I am sure that it will.

I suppose that some are fine with being pissed on so long as they are praised in the process?

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August 4, 2017 Posted by | politics, politics/social, republicans, republicans political/social, social/political | | Leave a comment

Oh boy…dark days ahead

Tomorrow, Georgia 6’th Congressional District will vote on a replacement for Tom Price’s old seat. He won 62-38 in 2016, but resigned to take a post in the Trump administration. Though Trump narrowly won the district 48-47, this seat was considered safe..until..recent events.

The Democrat Jon Ossoff got more votes than anyone else in the primary, but narrowly missed the 50 percent threshold to avoid a runoff. So now he is locked in a tight battle with Karen Handel with the polls being so close. Ossoff did have a 7 point lead in one of them, but most have been 0-2 points with Ossoff leading; the latest had Handel up by 2 (but the day before, Ossoff was up by 1 and 2 points).

In other words: toss up.

And in the Senate, Mitch “the Turtle” McConnell won’t let anyone outside of his narrow circle see the Senate’s bill, and he will force a quick vote on it.

My guess is that he wants to avoid public scrutiny AND to keep Trump out of the loop. And if it fails..well, he wants to move on to tax cuts.

I think that is the way to read this: whatever gets them to tax cuts the quickest…that is, tax cuts for the wealthiest among us.

I am not sure how much he will put into the health care bill itself.

Workout notes Bonus walk with Barbara after weights (2 miles)

rotator cuff, hip hikes, calf raises
pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (ok)
bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 190, 8 x 170
incline: 10 x 135
military: seated, 15 x 55, then 10 x 45, 10 x 40
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 55, 10 x 60
yoga: abs, 1-2 sun salutes, headstand (good?), plank for 2:30

I saw Barbara on the way home and so walked a leisurely 2 miles with her.

Note: I am getting the old “piriformis tingles” again; brought on by the onset of longer, faster walks, I think.

June 19, 2017 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social, republicans, republicans political/social, republicans politics, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Removal of Trump from office: yes, there is a downside

First of all, I have no training in law; I do not know (for sure) whether Trump did anything impeachable or not. It appears to me that he violated his oath of office in at least 3 areas: violation of the emoluments clause, obstruction of justice (trying to hinder the FBI’s investigation into possible collusion with Russia during the election) and his grotesquely reckless giving “beyond top secret” information to Russia (though he DOES have the power to do so).

I have read that while the Constitution says “High crimes and misdemeanors” as the standard,

Fifth, this may well be a violation of the President’s oath of office. Questions of criminality aside, we turn to the far more significant issues: If the President gave this information away through carelessness or neglect, he has arguably breached his oath of office. As Quinta and Ben have elaborated on in some detail, in taking the oath President Trump swore to “faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States” and to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” to the best of his ability. It’s very hard to argue that carelessly giving away highly sensitive material to an adversary foreign power constitutes a faithful execution of the office of President.

Violating the oath of office does not require violating a criminal statute. If the President decided to write the nuclear codes on a sticky note on his desk and then took a photo of it and tweeted it, he would not technically have violated any criminal law–just as he hasn’t here. He has the constitutional authority to dictate that the safeguarding of nuclear materials shall be done through sticky notes in plain sight and tweeted, even the authority to declassify the codes outright. Yet, we would all understand this degree of negligence to be a gross violation of his oath of office.

And yes, I find this convincing.

The downside: the biggest one for me is that if Trump leaves office before his term is up (whatever reason) then:

1. He is going to be replaced by a conservative, and almost certainly, one with a lot more political skill. That is, the Republicans will still control both chambers of Congress and the executive AND have someone who is better situated in getting their agenda passed.

2. The replacement will have a good shot at reelection and

3. The Republicans in Congress can play the “we placed patriotism over party” card and probably better positioned to retain their seats.

So there are political minefields here. BUT, right now, I am worried about disaster and would trade Trump for some conservative who is more emotionally stable and rational, even if it hurts us politically.

I still see impeachment as a longshot though:

And yet, outside the inner circle of Republicans with access to the commander-in-chief, Trump’s popularity remains respectable, even solid. The conservative base is largely unaware of the constant revelations of Trump’s gross incompetence, or has been trained to ignore them as propaganda emanating from the administration’s enemies in the deep state or the liberal media. In red America, Trump remains a hero at best, and a competent, normal president at worst.

Recognizing competence is not a strength of red America. Remember that Trump was elected by people who see Trump as themselves, had they been born into money. And many of them probably sincerely believe that THEY could do a competent job as president.

Workout notes weights, 2 mile run, 3 mile walk.
weights: rotator cuff, 5 x 10 pull ups, incline presses: 10 x 135, 7 x 150, 3 x 160 (strict hips), military: 20 x 50 dumbbell (seated, supported), 2 sets of 10 x 45, rows: Hammer: 3 sets of 10 x 200. headstand.

run: 20 minutes (2.08) 10:38 mile 1, 19:16 mile 2 (6.7 at 8 minutes then up by .1 ever .25 miles)
walk: 5K Bradley Park course (easy)

May 17, 2017 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social, republicans, republicans political/social, running, social/political, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Ok, Obamacare repeal passes the House..what next? Malthus lives on…

Here are a couple of good articles which explain what must happen for this bill to become law: it needs a CBO score, then it needs to be determined if this bill meets the rules for reconciliation AND it can even get 50 Republican votes. (Washington Post, Scientific American)

My guess: House moderate Republicans changed their minds because, unlike the ACA, this is unlikely to become law in its current form. So, while the ACA passage cost the Democrats many, many seats, this bill, if it dies or becomes unrecognizable, might not cost the Republicans nearly as much.

Besides, the biggest threat to many Republicans is a primary challenge, NOT the general election.

My guess: the Senate will have to make some tweaks to both get to 50 votes AND to meet reconciliation rules, and that tweaked bill might not survive a second round in the House. I’ll be watching carefully.

Oh, my feed is full of “those heartless Republicans” but these pleas are likely to fall on deaf ears. The elite Republicans have always had a bit of a social Darwinist element to their reasoning.

You see life is hard, it is risky and many do not make it. If you are one of those, well, that is sad, and perhaps a charity might help you out. But that is NOT “our problem”.

This sentiment is expressed by former US Representative Joe Walsh:

Republicans in office cannot say this directly, but he can. Believe me, many of the wealthy Republicans think this way.

There are assets and debits. If you cannot contribute due to either age or disability AND aren’t wealthy, well, you are a debit, not a credit. So society is better off not supporting you. Reverend Malthus would be proud.

Workout notes:
rotator cuff, pull ups (ugly got 10-10-10-10-(5-5), incline presses (10 x 135, 5 x 135, 4 x 135, strict hips), military: 20 x 50 (dumbbell) seated, supported, 2 sets of 10 x 45 standing (dumbbell), 3 sets of 10 x 110 row machine.

2 mile run: 10:36/19:14 via 8 minutes of 2-2-2-2, then 6.7 until mile 1, 6.8-7.1 and 7.2 for the last 46 seconds.

Then goblet squats (100 meter walk recoveries) 50-45-50-60-50-65 (5 reps). Took two sets to get to the proper depth.

Now: onward to see my daughter graduate and finish final exams.

May 4, 2017 Posted by | health care, Personal Issues, politics, politics/social, republicans, republicans political/social, republicans politics, running, social/political, weight training | Leave a comment

Trump: being deliberately divisive in an unprecedented way

I’ve never seen anything like it from ANY President Elect from either party in my lifetime:

And these are only the ones from New Year’s Eve onward!!! I am not talking about his “private citizen” tweets.

This is NOT how to show that you want to be President of *all* of America. I’ve never seen anything like it.

Don’t expect much from the Republicans in Congress…their hypocrisy knows no bounds:

I’m sorry, but uniting the country starts at the top…and President Elect Trump and the Republicans in Congress are failing…Bigly.

And please spare me all of this “President Obama was divisive” bullshit. Neither he nor President Bush acted anything like this.

Americans must agree:

obamabushpoplarity

This is from the Gallup Presidential Approval Center.

January 13, 2017 Posted by | barback obama, political/social, politics, republicans, republicans political/social | , | 1 Comment

Not the Republicans I grew up with…

Well, in 2017, a new President of the United States will be sworn in, and not the one that I had expected.

I am having a hard time processing this election; in some ways, the result is one that perhaps we’ve been trending toward in a long time. Gone is the articulate, well spoken, intellectual and enter the “fly by the seat of his pants” “rough spoken” rabid so-called “populist” who lives…here?

goodjoblibtards

And that brings me to the subject of my post: this is not your old time “Republicans vs. Democrats” any longer.

When I was young, the Republicans were regarded as people who were proud of their educations and people who insisted on proper public deportment. Public humility was expected; women were to be ladies and the spoken word was to be measured.

And NOW, this is what we get:

melania-trump-nude-gq-2

(note: CPI went up in November..based on October data…interesting he is taking credit for improvement under President Obama, but never mind)

And the split in the vote was NOT along economic lines (save the poorest category); it was pretty much 50-50 at most income groups. The split was along racial lines AND educational lines.

exitpolleducation

exitpolleducationandrace

exitpollincome

(exit data via CNN)

What an interesting country this has become; Republicans are no longer the “classical music” party; they are the “Duck Dynasty/Ted Nugent” party.

newrepublicans

Note: I know that Trump also parts ways with traditional Republicanism on things like free trade, but is all on board with things like “tax cuts for the rich” (aka “supply side economics”).

January 1, 2017 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social, Republican, republicans, republicans political/social | 3 Comments

Debate remarks: Fox News moderator, Trumps “middle finger”, Political Correctness, etc.

Debate wrap up:

Fireworks: Trump vs. Kelly

Christie vs. Paul

I disagree with this New York Times assessment. Bush did well by not screwing up and Trump did well by giving the “middle finger” to the “establishment” and to “political correctness”. Trump actually showed some political savvy. It was up to the other candidates to shine.

Kasich: maybe came across as “sensible” but this debate was really more for the GOP base. Cruz did nothing to distinguish himself. Carson was terrible, and Huckabee appeared to be interviewing for “first minister” I’d say that Rubio and Fiorina (first debate) helped themselves the most whereas Bush and Trump (and perhaps Walker) “held serve”.

Here is what struck me as odd: in previous elections, the debate seemed to be about the “establishment candidate” with some “fringe candidate” attempting to break out. Here, this debate was more centered on the fringe candidate (Trump) vs. “which one will be the not-Trump”; the fringe appears to be in control.

And notice that no one on stage paid any attention to Bernie Sanders at all, save one remark by Jindal in the JV session.

The Fox News moderators did frame the debate via current Republican orthodoxy. There wasn’t quite as much “Reagan worship” as there had been in past GOP debates (time marches on?), Benghazi wasn’t repeatedly brought up and the “repeal Obamacare” stuff appeared to be half-hearted.

I’ll talk about Trump’s attack on “political correctness” at a later time; I do think that is an issue.

August 7, 2015 Posted by | politics, republicans, republicans political/social | , | 1 Comment

I’ve alienated almost everyone….:-)

Workout notes: it was a bit sticky when I went out: 80 F, 71 percent humidity at the start, 82 F, 67 at the end. But that was better than the 98 F, 71 percent humidity that we had yesterday.

So I did my hilly 8.1 mile Cornstalk course in 1:54 (58/56)..walking.

house8milecornstalk

Sadly, my slowest run of this course was about 20 minutes faster. 🙂

But it was a decent clip for such a sticky day and hilly course. And more importantly, my knees didn’t hurt afterward.

Post I’ve made some FB people angry. How?

1. Applauded the Obama administration Iran deal (yes, we need to see how it works out, but I feel that we have to try and this is a good first step).
2. Said that Hillary Clinton was not the same as the Republican candidates.
3. Wondered (asked the question) if it is appropriate for an obese person to be a personal trainer at a gym.
4. Said that I would patronize a restaurant that didn’t allow young kids.

Oh well, perhaps I’ll anger some more people. 🙂

I think that Charles Krauthammer wrote a good column.

Dick Morris attacked Jeb Bush for his “Americans should work more” remarks. Oh, he did the old “Obamacare is killing full time jobs” attack. Uh, no. But never mind.

No, it is NOT TRUE that 71 percent of Obama voters regret voting for him. Here is where that 71 percent came from:

YouGov polled about 1,000 voters over two days in early February, asking voters of Romney and Obama if they would make the same decision today that they did in November 2012. YouGov found 90 percent of Romney voters would vote for Romney again, while 79 percent of Obama voters said they would stick with Obama.

Of the remaining 2012 Obama voters, 10 percent said they would not vote for him again, and 11 percent said they were unsure.

The 10 percent who would not vote for him again got a follow-up question: Do you regret voting for Obama?

Of 35 people in that group, 25 said yes. That’s 71 percent.

So of the people who voted for Obama, 396, 6 percent said they had regrets.

Note: some of those regrets come from the left.

Cranks Dinesh D’Souza is one of the biggest. Yes, that D’Souza. Well, as part of his sentence, he has to get psychological counseling:

“I’m not singling out Mr. D’Souza to pick on him,” Judge Berman said. “A requirement for psychological counseling often comes up in my hearings in cases where I find it hard to understand why someone did what they did.”

He continued: “That Mr. D’Souza committed this crime involves a colossal failure of insight and introspection. The case notes also say Mr. D’Souza has weaknesses in controlling his own impulses and that he is prone to anger in reaction to criticism.”

July 15, 2015 Posted by | 2016, republicans political/social, social/political, walking | , , | Leave a comment

Mike Huckabee: please go to North Korea

He really said this:

Not content to make just one questionable quote in the last 24 hours, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee decided Saturday to suggest that North Koreans living under an oppressive regime might have more freedom at times than Americans.

According to reporters at the New Hampshire conservative summit where Huckabee spoke, the potential 2016 candidate cited airport security measures by the Transportation Safety Administration as proof.

Screen shot 2014-04-13 at 1.46.33 PM

Please go there and try it out.

April 13, 2014 Posted by | republicans political/social, republicans politics, social/political | Leave a 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