The Harris attack on Biden and swing states

Every so often I watch this to fire myself up:

“If you want to work here, CLOSE.”

That’s one cares that you are a nice guy, love your kids, etc.

I see the election in a similar manner: if you want to win, GET VOTES IN THE SWING STATES. Period.

So, what is going to work there? There appears to be three strategies:

1. Flip enough of the Trump vote in the key states.
2. Excite the large number of non-voters to show up and vote your way
3. Discourage just enough Trump voters to not show up.

I don’t see 3 happening. 2: well, I see no one exciting out there. Oh sure, some (e. g. Sanders supporters and some Warren supporters) will tell you that these voters will show if the plans are big enough..bold enough…they’ll show for THE FREE STUFF. Color me skeptical.

Ok, that is satire. Here is an honest article (non-voters in the mid-terms).

Edmond’s bottom line — her life hasn’t gotten better or worse since Trump took office: “I’m not really affected.”


Abramson, 36, calls himself a moderate Republican, but “I really don’t think it matters who is the president. People said the world was going to end when Obama was president — it hasn’t ended. People said the world would end when Bush was president — it didn’t end. People said the world would end with Trump — it isn’t ending.”

But then others go on to complain about government decisions (to shut stuff down) and then say it doesn’t matter.
You think enough of these will show up because of promises and plans?

So, I see our best option as “flipping a few voters”, probably by showing that Trump has conned them..hasn’t delivered on the promises he has made to them. Yes, the stock market is doing well..that is good for ME at the moment, but is it for everyone?

So, how are we going to do that?

I don’t think we will do it by calling Obama’s VP a racist. Yes, I heard the disclaimer at the start. Here is the video.

Oh, this did give her a temporary bump in the primary polls. But I can see the attack: “ah, those Democrats…they call EVERYONE racists…even Obama’s VP.” Why would this bring anyone into our tent?

Yes, ok, politics isn’t bean-bag, and she was trying to dig into Biden’s support…and he currently has a lot of black support. And as far as bussing….well, that is a complex issue..not sure one I’d want to raise.

Now about Biden’s response: this did put him in a “no-win” situation, as far as Democratic voters are concerned. Had he hit back hard, he would have been seen as “punching down” as he is a “OLD WHITE MAN” and she is a “WOMAN OF COLOR” (woke liberals are all about “privilege”, who has it, who doesn’t, and it is seen as bad form for someone “with privilege” to hit back at someone who is “not privileged.”

BTW, here is a humorous video about the debates:

And yes, Noah’s assessment of the Biden-Harris exchange is a popular one among woke circles.

BUT, somehow…I doubt if Trump will play by those rules…he’d just say that she was just another angry activist angrily playing the race card..winking at the voters.

Now how did things shake out?
Morning Consult poll (not just a “before/after poll of debate watchers)

Trend: Biden down a bit, Harris up (almost doubled her support), most everyone else stayed within MOE of their support.

BUT..the second choice is interesting: I’d expect Sanders supporters to have Warren as a second choice and Biden supporters to have another moderate as a second choice. That isn’t the case.

This sure smacks of “identity politics” but ..not only by the wokes.


Baseline walk

Well, am I in shape to train for a walking marathon? There was only one way to find out. Yes, it was warm; 70 F just prior to starting out (87 percent humidity) and 87 F at the finish. Whew. I was 1:01 at 4, 1:16 at 5, 1:29 at the tower and 2:05 at mile 8, and 4:09 at the end of the 15.75 course (took the goose loop) and added an extra .4 past Markin to get 16.

Amusing: I saw Jehovah’s Witnesses near the Farmers Market and outdoor stuff by the River..and animal rights protesters outside the restaurant. I also saw a few from this morning’s 5K.

My mind churned through election stuff while I walked. I saw a few runners here and there. Lots of sun..and some heat conditioning.

So, am I ready to start training? Ugh…15:56 mpm..but I was averaging right at 15 before the temperatures started to climb. The good news: it really wasn’t much of an effort. And training (and weight loss) will make me faster.

I’ll attempt a couple of more longish walks than then reevaluate.

Comment: ok, these are the days where I actually like Peoria: it was a pleasant (if warm) walk; got to see different neighborhoods, good views of the Illinois River, woods, mansions, Riverfront, Dozer Park, etc.

Democratic Debate Part 2: I get sick…

Ok, this started off ok but then the “kiddie table” candidates started to butt in…desperate to be heard. Gillibrand was one of the worst.
Biden was doing ok; Buttigieg was doing well and Harris was doing very well.

Then Harris admonished the ill behaved: “America does not want to witness a food fight.”

I felt good. Then came the question to Buttigeig about the civil unrest in his city: a white police officer killed a black guy. Hickenlooper and Swalwell got into it and went after Buttigeig.

Then Harris..the only black person on the stage, interjected.

Ok…heated but…

Then she turned to Biden and went after him about race: specifically his remarks about working with segregationists in the Senate and his stance on bussing (which is more nuanced than presented in the debate). Biden was more talking about who could enforce bussing and on which types of circumstances…and how effective was it in terms of integrating schools and on how well the children learn.

But this was a 1970’s issue!

I felt sick..absolutely sick. I unsubscribed from the Harris mailing list (I had sent her regret it). isn’t that I am wedded to Biden (he is 3’rd on my new list, behind Klobuchar and Booker). No, it isn’t that I think that the front runner should not be attacked.

But, despite “you aren’t a racist but…” she basically called him an out of touch racist..over a 1970’s issue! That is about a divisive of an attack as one can get; identity politics all the way.

Yes, Trump uses identity politics, but their block is bigger and more united. We need to build a coalition and these sort of attacks retard the formation of such coalitions.

And imagine her debating Trump: “oh, she will mop the floor with him” the wokes coo. Yeah…”Hey Trump, you are a racist” will be met by “LOL, you call everyone that, even Biden, who Obama picked as VP. You are just a nasty, angry woman.”

She sure got a short term bump, at least in the prediction markets, and there are LOTS of reactions like this one out there:

But there are some other types of reactions:

Well…I am dejected, just deflated. I am tempted to back Yang or Williamson just so I can have some fun.

anger and lifting (or tapas)

rotator cuff exercises
pull ups (5 sets of 10..good sets)
goblet squats (6 with 30, 30, 40, 50)
bench: 10 x 135, 1 x 185 (not into it), 3 x 185 (better)
inline: 10 x 135
decline: 10 x 165
military: 10 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 seated, 10 x 45 standing
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 single arm, 10 x 110
plank, side plank (some adjustment), head stand, knee stretches

more to come…some discussion about last nights s**t-show debate.

Weight: 191

First Half of First Democratic Debate and other topics

Workout notes; I surprised myself by waking up in time for yoga and then did the following:
Treadmill run: 30 minutes; 3.14 miles. 4-4-2 (5.2,5.3, 5.4), then 5-5-5-5 (6.7, 6.8, 6.9, 7.0) 20:02 at 2, 28:41 at 3, 29:34 at 3.1
5 mile (1:22 walk; maybe slightly short of 5) outside; it was pleasant. Total: about 8.

Debate: Fact Check: the Democrats did well.

The debate season for the 2020 presidential election kicked off with 10 Democratic candidates taking the stage in Miami and exaggerating or garbling the facts on Iran, wages, Medicare, the opioid crisis and guns.

Sen. Cory Booker claimed the Iran nuclear deal “pushed back a nuclear breakout 10, 20 years.” The deal pushed back the breakout time from two or three months to one year for at least 10 years.
Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio said the bottom 60 percent of workers “haven’t seen a raise since 1980.” But two analyses of wage growth for the bottom 50 percent show some increase in wages since then.
Booker claimed private insurance overhead was 15 percent, while Medicare’s was “only at 2 percent.” But the comparison is disputed, and not apples-to-apples.
Booker said when Connecticut enacted a permit-to-purchase gun law, “they saw 40 percent drops in gun violence and 15 percent drops in suicides.” Two studies did find an association with such drops in gun violence and suicides, but they didn’t say the decline was caused by that law.
Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke misleadingly said Purdue Pharma had paid “no consequences … not a single night in jail” for its connection to the opioid crisis. There hasn’t been jail time but the company and executives have agreed to pay hundreds of millions in fines and settlements.
Booker also said “about 30 percent of LGBTQ kids … do not go to school because of fear,” a statistic backed up by a 2017 survey that found those students missed one day of school or more in the prior month.

My take:

BASED ON THE DEBATE ONLY (not on resume, or prior position coming in)

I’d rank them:

1. Booker (full of energy, confidence, spoke accurately; looked Presidential)
2. Castro (very knowledgeable…well spoken)
3. Gabbard (yes, I am not supporting her, but she came across well and just tore into Ryan when he made his stupid “Taliban attacked us on 9/11” remark.
4. Klobuchar: no nonsense, steady..not sure she appealed to many
5. Warren (OMG, her voice and delivery makes me want to scream SHUT UP at the TV; I’d like her better if I muted the TV and put on subtitles. And too many outlandish promises)
6-9. The “whodis” group: De Blasio, Ryan, Inslee, Delaney
10. O’Rourke: he is toast. Not sure if this is a bad night or that he just got exposed.


1. Helped themselves and it matters: Booker. He may well break into the top tier.
2. Helped himself and it might not matter: Castro. He did generate interest.
3. Helped herself, but it won’t matter: Gabbard. She is a fringe candidate but, IMHO, came across very well.
4. Stayed the same; probably good: Warren. If you loved Warren coming in, you loved her performance. If you didn’t like her coming in, you still don’t. But how much she helped/didn’t help herself will depend on how Sanders and Biden do tonight.
5. Stayed the same: probably bad: Klobuchar. She needed to break out. She didn’t. Good, solid, smart, hard working, but she has a back-bench quality to her; maybe a good VP candidate?
6. Down in flames: O’Rourke. Looked over his head.
7. The whodis group: took up space. I hope the DNC kicks them out of the next debate.

Caveat: I don’t know why I react the way that I do. My reaction to Booker: it might be that he reminds me of a solid military officer or of the coaches that I liked. But he just resonates with me.
Warren: I don’t know why she grates on me so much; it isn’t the policy ideas. And yes, I will vote for her if she wins the nomination and yes, I’d choose her over much of the rest of the field. This might change after tonight but so far my choices would be:

1. Klobuchar
2. Booker
3. Biden
4. Harris
5. Warren
6. Buttigieg
7. Castro.

Snarky comment:

I understand this is political humor. And yes, Klobuchar is my first choice, and I’d pick Warren over Sanders any day of the week and, as you see, Harris is on my preferred list. Nevertheless…my knee jerk reaction to this sort of thing: “we have Trump in part because of the type of people who make such memes.” One can get in someone’s face and turn them against a position that they already hold! I wish the wokes understood this.

On the other hand, I if the meme is aimed at women and feminists, it might be good for a chuckle…and yeah..I did chuckle just a bit though I am not a feminist.

Before Debate 1, part I

Seriously, I wish the DNC just let the top 8 got at it.

But I will watch..and see.

Some interesting political tidbits

Yep…aside from Obama we’ve mostly taken a beating from Republicans. But we still won’t learn from them; at times, I think that some of us would rather keep our smug self-righteousness after a loss than do what is necessary to win.

Example of our unwarranted smug arrogance:

And yes, we are fully capable of losing this election.

About Trump In terms of policy, he is like Bush with the tax cuts. But in other areas, he is more moderate than, say, the 2000 Republicans.

I had not thought of it that way before.

Workout notes: 5 mile walk; main set was my 5 laps of the W. Peoria Track in 27:29, doing my usual “recovery segment”. I got a comical comment from another walker. Note: I was 11:30 after 2 laps; sped up a bit. I focused on form. 2.3 plus to get there, 1 back to Markin. Then miniweights: rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10) incline: 10 x 135, decline: 10 x 165, military: 10 x 45, 10 x 40 dumbbell, 10 x 180 machine, 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine rows, goblet squats: 6 x 35, 6 x 35, 6 x 40, plank, knee stretches. Weight: 188.

It was warm outside. I was tired but did ok.

Sanity and a possible backlash to wokeness?

I saw two things. One is this Think Progress tweet:

Then I saw what might be a regression FROM acceptance of gay rights..among our young people:

Young people are growing less tolerant of LGBTQ individuals, a jarring turn for a generation traditionally considered embracing and open, a survey released Monday shows.

The number of Americans 18 to 34 who are comfortable interacting with LGBTQ people slipped from 53% in 2017 to 45% in 2018 – the only age group to show a decline, according to the annual Accelerating Acceptance report. And that is down from 63% in 2016.

Driving the dilution of acceptance are young women whose overall comfort levels plunged from 64% in 2017 to 52% in 2018, says the survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD.

“We count on the narrative that young people are more progressive and tolerant,” John Gerzema, CEO of The Harris Poll, told USA TODAY. “These numbers are very alarming and signal a looming social crisis in discrimination.”

Among the findings:

• 36% of young people said they were uncomfortable learning a family member was LGBTQ, compared with 29% in 2017.

• 34% were uncomfortable learning their doctor was LGBTQ vs. 27% a year earlier.

• 39% were uncomfortable learning their child had a school lesson on LGBTQ history vs. 30% in 2017.

Note: overall there isn’t that much difference by age some cases the younger group was MORE concerned.

I wonder why. I do think that “here I am, dressed..well, weirdly…and I am NOT here to make you comfortable” approach can backfire. You cannot *force* acceptance and my *guess* is that “in your face” leads to backlash. I could be wrong.

Backlash to Me too? I do have questions about movements being on a hair trigger to lash out against any perceived slight. We saw what happened to Al Franken and we saw “me too” backlash against Joe Biden and against, well, bad sex.

So now, President Trump has a rape accusation. His defense: he denied it..even said “she isn’t my type.” (she isn’t tempting enough, you see). Others have said similar.

And yet, this doesn’t get much coverage, relative to the seriousness of the accusation and who is being accused.

But Carroll’s story, which first appeared in a New York Magazine excerpt released Friday night, got little traction on a busy weekend for political news — which included Trump’s response to Iran shooting down a U.S. military drone and Democratic presidential candidate South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg dealing with a police shooting crisis in his city.

As of Monday, Carroll had done interviews on two MSNBC programs with Lawrence O’Donnell and Joy Reid — both staunch critics of Trump — and an appearance on the CNN morning program “New Day.” Carroll also gave an interview to “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt,” and her story was reported on “CBS Evening News.”

(Trump has said he never met Carroll. But a photo in the New York Magazine piece shows them chatting at an event around the same time as the alleged incident.)

Carroll’s appearances were not enough for a number of media critics who started weighing in on Monday that the story had gotten short shrift — most notably by not getting discussed on the influential Sunday morning public affairs programs. (Trump taped an interview on NBC’s “Meet The Press” before Carroll’s story broke Friday night.)

“Carroll’s story got about as much coverage as the average Trump tweet,” Ryan Cooper wrote in The Week.

Representatives of CBS, ABC and NBC declined to comment.

“I can’t say I know what the correct amount of press coverage for this story should be,” added Jonathan Bernstein in Bloomberg Opinion. “I can say that if the president is a rapist, it should have scream-from-the-mountaintops importance.”

Part might be the old “it is Trump; what do you expect” reaction. But part of it might be; If you scream bloody murder about everything, then the truly serious thing that SHOULD generate screaming gets buried on page 3.

Biden: Oh, the poor wokes..they keep getting outraged and the voters don’t care.
Oh, Biden has his problems, and his age and energy level may well be part of those problems. But it won’t be because of the wokes getting worked up over nonsense or because, well, Biden had to work with racists in the Senate. Yes, “energy” might be a problem, but:

At the Planned Parenthood event, each of the candidates was asked a question by a preselected audience member. A 32-year-old Army veteran named Peshka Calloway, from Parkersburg, W.Va., stood up and, voice cracking, told Biden about being sexually assaulted by her abusive husband not long after having a baby.

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She became pregnant and needed an abortion, and later needed two more. Each was paid for by West Virginia’s Medicaid program, which stopped funding abortion last year. She wanted to know what Biden intended to do to protect and expand abortion access for people like her.

“First of all, a lot of you women, maybe a lot of men out here, don’t realize what incredible courage it took to stand up and say that,” he said. He spoke about his work on domestic violence, and then asked if they could talk privately afterward.

For some of the activists there, the moment was another Biden screw-up — they saw him mansplaining rape trauma to a room full of feminists. But Calloway, whom I spoke to after she met with Biden, was pleased with their discussion. “He’s centered himself on fighting for victims of assault and domestic violence victims,” she said, adding, “I felt relatively empowered in that space with him.”

That’s Biden at his best — undisciplined, but with a big heart.

The “you had better please me or you are toast in the election” type activists can go pound sand. They remind me a bit of students who are shocked when they wrote a bad evaluation on a professor..and then they see that the professor hasn’t been fired.

But the lack of energy…the shakiness…that could be a serious problem.

If we can get 4 in an inning, so can they.

I did yoga and then attempted an 8 mile course (8.3, swung around Gateway and the fountain, NO goose loop, up mausoleum hill, back, then up Prospect hill via the “rightmost path” course, then along Prospect, upper Glenn Oak Park, down the hill and then on Abdington, I conked out at about 10K (1:14) but walked 2.1 more miles (1:53) steadily to finish the distance. I did not drink..and I can’t get away with that in sticky conditions. Weight: 189 before.

Ball Game Sunday, I saw the Chiefs lose 8-6. The deal: Chiefs were down 4-2 in the bottom of the 8’th..but loaded the bases with 2 outs…GRAND SLAM.

So, the Chiefs lead 6-4 going into the top of the 9’th. But if we can get 4, THEY can get 4 even when the lead is 2 with 2 outs:

But Cedar Rapids answered with four runs in the ninth — all with two outs — off Chiefs relievers Freddy Pacheco and Edgar Escobar.

Pacheco walked Estamy Urena, and then Yeltsin Encarnacion followed with a triple to center field.

Gilberto Celestino walked during an at-bat in which Pacheco heaved a wild pitch that plated Encarnacion with the tying run.

Escobar was summoned, and Ben Rodriguez drilled a two-run double to left field for an 8-6 Cedar Rapids lead.

And so it went.

Wonks and Trolls

Workout notes: weights only. rotator cuff, pull ups (15-15-10-10) (good), bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185, incline: 10 x 135, military: 10 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 45, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 single arm. Goblet squats: 6 x 25, 30, 40, 50 (good depth..knees did not hurt), headstand, planks, crow, etc. Ah, forgot knee-stretches. Weight (after weights): 189.

Lots of gabbing today; this gave me more than the usual rest between sets.


I love Titania McGrath, the “fake woke” queen of Twitter.

Policy wonk politicians: beware. White papers don’t convince anyone. And..there is the fact that the current metrics might not reflect day-to-day reality. Example: employment can remain the same, but if the old higher paying jobs are replaced by low pay, low benefit service jobs, lives have gotten worse. Remember that metrics are a type of projection of reality onto numbers, and any projection loses information.

Democrats and Republicans: the rank and file don’t understand one another. Seriously. I have Republican and conservative friends, and often I am shocked at how much we agree on. One Republican friend of mine: is pro choice, pro science, supports gay rights, supports economic stimulus at certain times and is pro public investment…and is an atheist! On the other hand, she was shocked that I am a capitalist who is pro-personal responsibility. She accepts that environment can affect outcome, and I accept that personal agency matters also.

Here is what I think is going on:

Most of us are closer to each other than our politicians are to each other.

Walk and Think

Today: slept in late (6:30 am) after a play last night (based on the Hound of the Baskervilles) and did a very convoluted 12 mile course in West Peoria, St. Mary Cemetery, Moss/Bradley and Bradley Park. Pace: steady 15:45 ish, and I did stop to get drinks and coffee (needed to drink for this walk; it was a bit humid)

Along the way I thought about math (how to explain stuff to undergraduates) and about a social issue.

Two current events got me on this track:

1. Joe Biden and his talking about getting along with segregationists in the Senate in the 1970’s.

2. The move When They See Us. Yes, it appears that the “Central Park Five” were not guilty of the brutal assault and rape, but they were a part of a group of 30 who DID harass and assault others.

That lead me to think about some things.

One of my favorite boxers, Joe Frazier, used to steal cars (he admitted this in his book, which I enjoyed reading).

Jesse Helms, a bigot who served in the US Senate, adopted a disabled child.

William Jennings Bryan, who was so wrong about teaching evolution in public school, supported women’s suffrage.

Clarence Darrow, who was right about teaching of evolution, but grew disenchanted with women’s suffrage (due to its aligning with prohibition…note: Stone’s biography Clarence Darrow for the Defense had him ridiculing members of the suffrage movement, but it was a 1941 book)

In my own personal life: I’ve had relatives and in-laws express bigoted views from time to time…and yet give the shirts off of their backs. Personally: I was anti-gay as a young man; I lost it when I actually met some openly gay people..that is a story for another day.

My point: 1. No one is perfect; people have flaws AND are, in part, products of their environments. 2. People can change with time.

Sadly: it appears that on all sides, it is fashionable to focus only on the flaws AND to forget that sometimes people DO change for the better. And when we look at the past, we should think of context.