Good debate for Clinton

Hillary Clinton had a good night; throughout she had a command of the facts. She knew not only her position but also Bernie Sanders’ positions.
Sanders was asked the one time that Hillary Clinton had a vote or a policy dictated by Wall Street money and he couldn’t name one.

The only time I thought that she didn’t do well: when she was asked about her speeches to the financial firms. She did pivot to Sanders tax returns which he has been delinquent in getting out.

This was a contrast between the idealist who spouted platitudes and slogans and a serious policy wonk who knew details and knows the nuances of now things actually get done.

Sanders was called out for all of his showboating bills that he filed, few (if any) which have a chance of getting anywhere.

BUT: Sanders does deserve credit for running a good campaign; he is good at raising money and getting people excited.

Note: Clinton’s odds improved again, now at 1/2.


April 15, 2016 Posted by | politics, politics/social | , | Leave a comment

Democratic Debate watch party II

As far as the race itself, according to the New York Times, Hillary Clinton leads in pledged delegates 760-546, and Bernie Sanders has to win by large margins to catch up. This Tuesday: North Carolina, Ohio, Missouri, Florida and Illinois are coming up. Fiverthirtyeight has Hillary Clinton a heavy favorite in all of these (except Missouri, which is not forecast), but she was also a heavy favorite in Michigan, which Sanders won. Nevertheless, Sanders has to win at least some of these by a large margin in order to catch up.

So last night’s debate watch party was interesting. The turnout wasn’t what it was last time, but this time we had a larger crew at the table.





Last photo: standing: Lynn, Barbara and me. Seated: Larry and Scott.

At our table, HRC supporters outnumbered BS supporters 3-2 but regardless of how it turns out, these are 5 “D” votes in the fall.

As far as the debate itself: the moderators asked some very tough questions: Sanders about his good words about the old Central American and Cuban communists; Clinton about e-mail, losing Michigan and Benghazi. And there were some sharp exchanges. But IMHO, both candidates came across well; Sanders a bit better “from the stump” and Clinton a bit better with the in-depth knowledge (which appeals to me).

Personally, I am backing Hillary Clinton, but she isn’t the campaigner that Bill Clinton or Barack Obama were, though I think that she’d do great in office.

March 10, 2016 Posted by | Friends, political/social, politics | , , , | 3 Comments

Democratic Debate Watch Party

Yes, I am going to yet another one of these. Yes, Sanders supporters are putting it on, but I enjoyed myself the last time. But last time, I was with 1 friend.

This time, I will be with a spouse and 3 other friends (including one from this list), and our table, as of right now, will be 3 Hillary, 2 Bernie.

That just gladdens my heart.

I admit that I wondered if there would be much interest, but Sanders has done better than I had expected, though I believe that he is trailing too badly in pledged delegates to have a shot at the nomination; to catch up he’ll have to win many large states by very large margins. I don’t see that happening.

But I sure respect the campaign that he has run.

Oh yes, information about this can be found here. It is at the Bullpen Sports Bar, and the event has its own separate room with 2 large TVs and good service.

This is a photo of the last one; you can make me out (and my friend) in the background, to the right.


March 9, 2016 Posted by | Friends, politics, politics/social | , , , | Leave a comment

Last night’s Democratic Debate and Maine Caucus

The weekend ended up going slightly better (less bad?) for Sanders. He won the Maine caucus easily and got 15 pledged delegates to Clinton’s 7; so the net weekend result is Clinton + 3 pledged delegates. That is, Sanders is NOT catching up. But he is tough and holding his own; nothing to be ashamed of.

Last night’s debate was frustrating for me; in general I have little patience with “audience” questions. The one that asked about “prayer” and talked about her church services…grrr…I wanted to yell and tell her to go to the Republican debate and pester them. But the reality is that many (most?) Democrats are also religious.

Childhood poverty: uh…why are you having kids if you can’t afford to raise the ones you now have? Sorry, but PARENTS are (mostly) responsible for childhood poverty, though I understand that bad things can happen to people (domestic violence, lay-offs, diseases, deaths, accidents) and yes, there is evidence that things like SNAP can lower the likelihood that kids will need public aid later in life. So I remain in favor of such programs (and expanding them where necessary), though I hear what my Republican friends say and often agree with them. It makes me sick to see us cede this “personal responsibility” issue to them.

And you had the classic clash between the more nuanced Clinton and the bumper-sticker spouting Sanders. There are people who LIKE the latter.

Example: Clinton’s answer on fracking was the correct one (ALL energy extraction techniques have potential for disaster and ALL can be done properly or improperly). But if you say that…”what…you are ok with ruining drinking water?” For a proper “pro-and-con” discussion, see here.

Oh well…the answer to keeping myself serene during debates is to limit my discussion to people who evaluate claims by similar methods. I like talking about stuff, but I don’t care for people who “argue by spouting bumper stickers”.

Overall both candidates did fine; Sanders made a bit of a gaffe about the race question, but it wasn’t that big of a deal. All candidates make them and he has a long history of doing good things in this area.

March 7, 2016 Posted by | political humor, political/social | , | Leave a comment

Up too late again

I went to a debate watch party that was held by a local Bernie Sanders group.



I went with a friend (a Sanders supporter) and it was fun. Yes, I like Senator Sanders though I continue to support Hillary Clinton. The debate itself: she really worked with an eye toward the South Carolina primary (heavy focus on President Obama, who is popular among the largely black African American Democratic population in South Carolina) and she tried to impress that there are MANY issues facing our country, not just the hold that big money has on our politics.

I thought the debate was feisty and substantive and both candidates did well.

My friend and I exchanged comments throughout the debate; she was good company.

But that did put me up late and I wondered if I’d make my morning workout.

I did:

weights: pull ups 15-15-10-10 (strong)
rotator cuff
bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 185, 9 x 170
incline press: 10 x 135
military press (dumbbell) 2 sets of 12 x 50 (seated, supported), 10 x 40
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 (each arm)
abs: 2 sets of twist crunches, 2 sets of yoga leg lifts, headstand (ok)

Swim: 1000 free, 500 of drill/swim (fins) 5 x 100 (alt pull, free), 100 side, 75 back, 25 fly.
It all went reasonably well. Go figure. I am not sleeping all that well, and yet I appear to be doing well physically.

Weight: just under 183 after swimming (Bradley gym scale).

February 12, 2016 Posted by | Friends, swimming, weight training | , | 3 Comments

And I have teh sadz….(ok, sort of…ok not really)

Yes, my candidate (Hillary Clinton) took a beating last night; that was a 60-38 beat down by Bernie Sanders. We saw that coming. And Trump won big, to the surprise of no one.

And I am scheduled to watch the Democratic debate at a sports bar…with Sanders supporters. That is fine, but a dear friend rejected my invitation to watch the debate with me. 😦 (*)

And…I went to sleep 30 minutes earlier last night in hopes of getting 30 more minutes of sleep. The effect: I woke up 30 minutes earlier than normal.

Weight: 182.6 after swimming.

So I went to the Riverplex and swam 3100 yards: 2000 straight, 6 x (25 fly, 25 back), 4 x (25 catch up, 25 swim), 5 x 100 (alternate 100 pull, 100 swim), 100 side.
That took something out of me: weights:
rotator cuff
pull ups: 15-10-10-10-5
bench: 10 x 135, 2 x 185, 2 x 185, 5 x 170
incline: 10 x 135
military: 3 sets of 10 x 40 dumbbell, (standing)
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 dumbbell (each arm)
abs: 2 sets of 12 twist crunch, 2 sets of 10 yoga leg lifts, headstand, moving bridge.

Bradley basketball tonight.

(*) She is a conservative Republican so I asked her as a joke; ironically she is going to a yoga class instead. 🙂

February 10, 2016 Posted by | Friends, swimming, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

New Hampshire: Trump: big favorite. Sanders: HUGE favorite.


These are the odds. \frac{1}{41} odds for Sanders in New Hampshire!

From Sam Wang:

On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders is at a median of 55%, and Hillary Clinton is at 43%. For both of them, the one-sigma uncertainty is 2 percentage points. An upset victory by Clinton looks highly unlikely…but if she held Sanders to a single-digit margin of victory, that would be considered a strong showing in a state that is almost as white as Sanders’s neighboring state of Vermont.

Note: a local Sanders supporters group is having a debate watch party at a sports bar that is near a commitment that I have just prior. So I’ll probably go to that. I’ll be nice and keep my mouth shut and mostly just listen.

What I really want to do is to find a Republican watch group for a Republican debate so I can see how they view things.

February 9, 2016 Posted by | politics, politics/social | , , , | Leave a comment

Making the swim fun…

Ok, I stayed up too late watching Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders debate. I loved the debate; real differences were discusses and there were differences in both vision, approach and policy. Here was a good Fact Check: both candidates did ok. There were no egregious lies.

But I felt tired and run down prior to getting to the gym.

weights: rotator cuff
pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (decent sets)
bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 185 (risky), 9 x 170 (wanted 10, but the gym was empty and didn’t want to risk getting stuck, even with our bench having safety catches)
incline press: 10 x 140
military (dumbbells): 2 sets of 12 x 50 seated, supported, 1 set of 10 x 40
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 (dumbbell, each arm)
abs: 2 sets of 12 twist crunches, 2 sets of 10 yoga leg lifts, head stand (got into it right away, but a little unsteady)

swim: 1000 easy, 5 x 100 drill/swim (fins), 5 x 100 (alt pull/swim), 2 x 100 IM

During the 1000, I noticed that Jason was gaining on me. Yeah, he is 15 years younger and runs a 3:12 marathon and 23:xx for 4 miles. So he has a better “aerobic engine” than I have. I was faster in the water last year, but as his form improved, the predictable happened.

Well, dammit…I wasn’t going to let him catch me today and when I touched the wall just a few seconds before he could catch me, I did a fist pump! 🙂

February 5, 2016 Posted by | Friends, swimming, weight training | | Leave a comment

Democratic Debate: tough, fair and with substance!

I just finished watching the Sanders vs. Clinton debate. Yes, both candidates stood their ground. Both pushed back against attacks.

This was a nice debate of ideas and approaches: you have the “get the torches and pitchforks” approach from Sanders. For example, he said that you can’t negotiate with Mitch McConnell; McConnell needs to look out the window and see people saying…xyz..”

And you had the “let’s be realistic about what can actually get done approach.

This was a classic “Krugman vs. Reich” type of debate. The moderators (Chuck Todd and Rachel Maddow) did very well and kept themselves out of it.

I was proud of our party tonight. Yes, Sanders did well. Yes, Clinton did well.

This was far better than the cliche-fear fest than the Republicans ran.

It ran 2 hours long, and didn’t seem to drag.

February 5, 2016 Posted by | Democrats, politics, politics/social | , , , | Leave a comment

Krugman on Sanders vs. Clinton on health care

Paul Krugman explains what the Democratic health care debate is about. Yes, he has a preference and mine is the same. This is why the pragmatist (“let’s see where we can go from where we are now”) appeals to me more than the bold dreamer.

January 19, 2016 Posted by | health care, politics | , , , | Leave a comment