blueollie

The liberal way

There was a recent article about Fitbit and how its use did NOT seem to make people fitter, in general:

The trial took place at the University of Pittsburgh between 2010 and 2012, and it involved more than 470 adults between the ages of 18 and 35. All of them were put on a low-calorie diet, had group counseling sessions and were advised to increase their physical activity. Six months into the intervention, all were given telephone counseling sessions, text-message prompts and study materials online.

At that time, though, half were also given wearable tech devices that monitored their activity and connected to a website to help provide feedback. All participants were followed for 18 more months.

At the end of the two years, which is pretty long for a weight loss study, those without access to the wearable technology lost an average of 13 pounds. Those with the wearable tech lost an average of 7.7 pounds.

It’s hard for many to accept, so I’m going to state the results again: Those people who used the wearable tech for 18 months lost significantly less weight than those who didn’t.

You may rightfully point out that the primary reason to wear the devices isn’t to lose weight — it’s to be more active. But even in this respect, it didn’t work nearly as well as we might hope. In the IDEA trial, those who employed the technology were no more physically active than those who didn’t. They also weren’t more fit.

Now this is a very narrow demographic (18 to 35) and most of the people that I talk to or who use this are considerably older than 35 years old. And yes, one of the fans of the fitbit is ..my wife. Nevertheless, Paul Krugman weighed in:

Notice: instead of panning a study that gave a counterintuitive result, he looked for other reasons as to why HIS individual experience might have been different. That’s the liberal way.

Now about the other people: People have been showing up at town halls and letting their members of Congress, often Republicans, hear from them. Democracy in action, right? Uh..

no…

That’s pathetic, Mr. President.

Weather and workouts

Was it warm today, by “February in Illinois” standards. Evidently, we aren’t alone. We are having “April/May” stuff right now.

I took advantage to walk a hilly 5K at 14:27 mpm (Bradley Hill course). That was after weights:

rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10, good), bench press (dumbbell) 10 x 70, 10 x 75, incline press: 10 x 135 (hips planted), military press: 10 x 50, 45, 40 (dumbbell), machine rows (10 x 110, 3 sets).
abs: 2 sets of 10 yoga leg lifts, 12 twist crunches.

lots of free squats; then 5 x 45, 4 sets of 5 x 50 dumbbell goblet, 10 x 230 leg press. Butt is getting stronger.

Right shoulder: slightly sore; back; ache came back briefly while lying down.

February 22, 2017 Posted by | health care, political/social, republicans, republicans politics, social/political, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

We see the Trump disaster…but do “they”? (hint: probably not)

Ok, Trump’s National Security adviser resigned under fire. But Trump knew for “weeks” that he had lied about the Russia calls. And this appears to be par for the course for this utterly incompetent administration.

Trump should have known this sort of thing would have been a problem BEFORE he nominated Flynn.

But don’t expect Congress to act anytime soon; remember that Trump remains popular among Republicans. And don’t expect that to change soon…if ever. For one, Trump supporters aren’t seeing the same news that you are. This is the bullshit that they are seeing:

obamasfault

And forget trying to confront Republicans on hypocrisy. Sure, Trump is playing more golf, taking more vacations and signing more executive orders than Obama ever did (in such a short period of time)..and you don’t hear much about the national debt and deficits do you? The upshot: they hated Obama (my guess: he was a well spoken, educated black guy who didn’t pretend to be all “aw shucks” and used college professor level diction.)

On the other hand Trump is what they would be were they born into money.

I think that our best hope is for corporate America to grow weary and fearful of Trump; THEY can take him down by influencing Congress to act.

February 14, 2017 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social, Republican, republicans, social/political | | Leave a comment

Expect to see more misspelled signs from liberals. And that is good!

Yes, I know…I laughed hysterically at the misspelled Tea Party protest signs. I wasn’t laughing so much after the 2010, 2014 and 2016 elections though.

Now we are seeing liberals taking to the protest in larger numbers. And as the number of people that join a group increases, the more that the statistics of that subgroup resemble the statistics of the larger group (i. e.: all Americans). And so we see things like this (at a protest in Peoria, IL..in this case “Darin” refers to Darin LaHood, IL-18.

resisttyrany

So I suppose the Republicans can now laugh. But that is what happens when a movement grows.

February 4, 2017 Posted by | IL-18, political/social, politics, politics/social, republicans, social/political | 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

Yes, Trump is my President. Maybe some hope here?

Seriously. And I insist that my Presidents treat political opponents with respect (at least public respect), so this is unacceptable:

And I will be a vocal critic. He wants to be President of the United States? Then he has to represent all of us.

Now, there may be a little bit of hope here:

Even Trump has sent mixed signals, telling The New York Times soon after his election that infrastructure wouldn’t be “the core” of his first years in the White House. “We’re going for a lot of things, between taxes, between regulations, between health care replacement,” he said at the time. He added that infrastructure wasn’t a big part of his plan to create jobs, saying, “I think I am doing things that are more important than infrastructure.”

So if his package is going to get a big push, lawmakers expect that it will have to come from Trump himself. “I think it’s going to be driven by the administration,” Senate Commerce Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) said Wednesday. “At some point they might come and consult with us about what that might look like.”

Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.), a Trump transition team member, indicated the same thing Tuesday.

DeFazio suggested Democrats may just bypass their GOP colleagues, saying: “We might have a dialogue with the Trump administration. I don’t think we’re going to have a dialogue with Republican leadership in the House. They’ve closed that door pretty well.”

This isn’t much, but who knows: perhaps the Democrats plus some moderate Republicans (if there are any left) might work with Trump on some sort of stimulus compromise?

And there is something else. Obstructing and “saying no” is pretty east. Coming up with good policy and getting it passed and signed into law is far more difficult Are THESE Republicans up to it? My guess: probably not. They are good at throwing tantrums; I am not sure they are good at anything else.

January 6, 2017 Posted by | economy, republicans, social/political, Uncategorized | Leave a 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

It is Trump’s Party and the GOP will cry if it wants to…

Well, things are looking terrible for Trump. This article explains why the Fivethirtyeight model gives Trump more of a chance than most other models (and is more or less in line with the betting lines). But I HAD to link to a popular article that mentioned “t-distribution”. 🙂

And so the Republicans start questioning themselves. But hey, let’s face it: the kind of crap that National Review and the wealthy donor class was pushing was never really popular enough to help a party win an election; who really is going to expend effort and sacrifice to help billionaires pay less tax? And so the Republicans just made stuff up, though they put it behind the veneer of think tanks and the like. And they told their base to “not trust” those “no common sense” academics and scientists who warned that cutting taxes at the top really did the economy no good at all and that climate change IS real and worthy of serious solutions. |

Oh hell, remember all of them telling their base not to trust the polls and the statisticians that Obama was well on his way to winning in 2012?

Ok, to be fair, the SFBs at NPR were also babbling about a “razor tight” election though it was nothing of the sort, as we tried to tell them PRIOR to election day.

So now, of course, then Trump tells HIS lies, the Republican establishment tries to counter it with..well, expert opinion, the very type of opinion the base was told to dismiss!

So yes, the modern GOP IS the party of Trump. The monkeys really are running the zoo.

I’d love to say that the rotten-to-the-core Republican party is on its death bed. But thanks to a Congressional system that gives an outrageous amount of overrepresentation to our rural population (many reasons: gerrymandering, clustering, a Senate that gives Wyoming the same number of Senators as California), they will live on, at least in Congress.

But in terms of the executive level, they are finished …in their current form. Maybe the Eisenhower Republicans will come back?

Workout notes: yesterday: 4 mile run (untimed; glorious weather; modified Cornstalk Classic); today 4 mile walk on the same course after weights.
Weights: rotator cuff, few weightless squats, pull ups (5 sets of 10< bench press: 4 x 185, 7 x 170, incline press: 10 x 135, military (dumbbell): 10 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 seated, supported; trouble getting under it at first, 10 x 200 machine, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 dumbbell, head stand, 2 sets of 12 twist crunch, 10 yoga leg lifts, moving half bridge.

October 25, 2016 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social, republican party, republicans, social/political | | Leave a comment

Trump, being PC and being Presidential…

Memories; from the first Republican Primary Debate:

When this happened, I told my wife that Trump answered very well, given his audience.

But now the audience is different.

And he wears a different hat.

Yes, I am not going to blow a gasket if citizen Donald Trump calls Rosie O’Donnell a “fat pig” or whatever he called her. But we have higher standards for Presidents.
Leading the country involves not issuing crude insults at citizens.

Remember the furor over then Senator Obama talking about some people clinging to “guns and religion” when times were tough? That wasn’t even in a campaign setting; that was meant to be a clinical observation.
Now the Republicans nominated someone who issues grotesque, schoolyard type insults. Again, that is fine for a citizen, but it is not presidential. It is not the kind of remark that any President in my lifetime would have deliberately made in public.

June 8, 2016 Posted by | politics, politics/social, republicans | , , | Leave a comment

Trump: the end of the modern GOP? Maybe not…

One thing I love about Donald Trump: he sure generates a ton of political discussion.

For one, to the uninformed, he comes across as being informed:

Think of it this way. Say you’re one of those people who is totally ignorant when it comes to cars, and your car is non-functional. I came over looking like the quintessential stereotype of a mechanic from TV – blue coveralls, grease stains, a name across my breast pocket, and wrench in hand. After fiddling with your car for a few minutes – and since you have not one clue about anything car-related, my various taps and fiddles will easily fool you into thinking I know what I’m doing so long as I’m a half-decent actor and I stay in character. I tell you that your car will never run again unless you replace your Pancake Manifold and fill the gas tank with Bensonol. If I’ve succeeded in exploiting your ignorance by portraying myself as a tough, efficient, brilliant mechanic, there’s no reason to doubt me…as long as you don’t know a sparkplug from a muffler.

That’s how Trump’s popularity works. The more he talks, the less anyone with half a brain is willing to support him. But to people for whom the ideas of politics are totally meaningless anyway, every sentence makes them love him more. His ideologically nonsensical ideas aren’t a bug. They’re his best feature.

And yes, his ideas really do not make sense, as Paul Krugman points out.

Truly, Donald Trump knows nothing. He is more ignorant about policy than you can possibly imagine, even when you take into account the fact that he is more ignorant than you can possibly imagine. But his ignorance isn’t as unique as it may seem: In many ways, he’s just doing a clumsy job of channeling nonsense widely popular in his party, and to some extent in the chattering classes more generally.

Last week the presumptive Republican presidential nominee — hard to believe, but there it is — finally revealed his plan to make America great again. Basically, it involves running the country like a failing casino: he could, he asserted, “make a deal” with creditors that would reduce the debt burden if his outlandish promises of economic growth don’t work out.

The reaction from everyone who knows anything about finance or economics was a mix of amazed horror and horrified amazement. One does not casually suggest throwing away America’s carefully cultivated reputation as the world’s most scrupulous debtor — a reputation that dates all the way back to Alexander Hamilton.

The Trump solution would, among other things, deprive the world economy of its most crucial safe asset, U.S. debt, at a time when safe assets are already in short supply.

Of course, we can be sure that Mr. Trump knows none of this, and nobody in his entourage is likely to tell him. But before we simply ridicule him — or, actually, at the same time that we’re ridiculing him — let’s ask where his bad ideas really come from.

Krugman goes on to point out that Mr. Trump is really channeling some of the other nonsense that comes from “more serious” Republicans, but doing so in a less polished way.

Some conservatives are furious. David Brooks decries the decline of competence and the decline of the very idea that compromise is a requirement for responsible governing.

Charles Krauthammer decries the idea that the head of the GOP ticket doesn’t feel bound by the usual trickle down ideas that the GOP establishment loves.

As to that, it is helpful to remember that “more tax cuts for the wealthiest” and cutting back on Social Security and Medicare were always unpopular ideas, even among the rank and file Republicans. Well, Mr. Trump doesn’t need money from the elites.

Nevertheless, there doesn’t appear to be any sort of GOP “crack-up” downticket, though a Trump loss in the general would be a setback.

So, how will the general election go? Obviously, no one knows, but remember that the “data journalism nerds” missed Trump’s rise due to ignoring the data because what the data predicted didn’t meet their “plausibility test”. Well, now the data is speaking:

How will the news media handle the battle between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump? I suspect I know the answer — and it’s going to be deeply frustrating. But maybe, just maybe, flagging some common journalistic sins in advance can limit the damage. So let’s talk about what can and probably will go wrong in coverage — but doesn’t have to.

First, and least harmful, will be the urge to make the election seem closer than it is, if only because a close race makes a better story. You can already see this tendency in suggestions that the startling outcome of the fight for the Republican nomination somehow means that polls and other conventional indicators of electoral strength are meaningless.

The truth, however, is that polls have been pretty good indicators all along. Pundits who dismissed the chances of a Trump nomination did so despite, not because of, the polls, which have been showing a large Trump lead for more than eight months.

Oh, and let’s not make too much of any one poll. When many polls are taken, there are bound to be a few outliers, both because of random sampling error and the biases that can creep into survey design. If the average of recent polls shows a strong lead for one candidate — as it does right now for Mrs. Clinton — any individual poll that disagrees with that average should be taken with large helpings of salt.

Hillary Clinton has a good lead in the general election and candidates in her position usually win. Of course, there is a ton of time between now and the actual election.

May 9, 2016 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social, republicans | , | Leave a comment

What some Trump haters don’t get (a great Trump ad…really!)

This only takes 2:30 or so to watch. But watch it: I could easily see a Democrat running this ad:

Up to now (at least in recent memory), the standard Republican response to companies leaving is “we have to lower their taxes even more (to even lower than you pay!) to persuade them to stay!”. Here, Donald Trump is offering a different solution; one that will have much better impact on the voting public.

Now COULD a President Trump actually do this? Well, that is another matter. But this is NOT something one usually hears from a Republican front-runner.

Anyway, those who think that Trump’s only appeal is to nostalgia, xenophobia and bigotry are wrong; there is a strong economic populist to his message.

April 14, 2016 Posted by | politics, politics/social, republicans, republicans politics | , | Leave a comment