Well done to Sorensen

Mr. Sorensen won a tough fight in the IL-17 district to keep the district in the Democratic column: this was a Trump +1 district that Cheri Bustos had to fight for. He was very strong in the Quad Cities area.

We still don’t know if the Democrats will keep the Senate; it appears likely..somewhat likely. The tight spots: Nevada and the upcoming runoff in Georgia; I think Warnock is favored..slightly. So…wonder where the uncounted votes in Nevada are from?

House: good fight, but a lost cause; we lost a few seats.

Workout notes: shook off the sleepies to do PT, my usual 50 reps of pull ups (3 sets of 10 singles, 4 sets of 5), push ups (4 sets of 25: time to step it up), and PT

deadlifts: 10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 228 low handle

presses: 3 sets of 10 x 94 Swiss bar, 2 sets of 10 curls.

Two mile walk, then two mile commuter walk; walk felt faster than recorded.

Why I think the Democrats are in deep trouble…

Yes, I know, the President’s party usually loses seats in the first midterm, but often that is compensating for the President’s “coattails” in the previous election.

But in 2020: there weren’t really any of those; Biden outperformed down ticket Democrats, probably because Trump was so unpopular.

The situation looks grim (per FiveThirtyEight)

Some are claiming that the abortion issue will help us. I am deeply skeptical.

Reason: where abortion rights have popular support, those rights are protected by state laws. Where abortion rights are not protected by state law, well, that isn’t a winning issue in such places. That is my reasoning. I could be wrong.

Then I think about how Democrats speak to the public.
This is how I think it SHOULD be done:

Notice what he does:

  1. He makes Social Security PERSONAL; it affects YOU immediately, either directly or indirectly (do you want gramps moving in with you?)
  2. He stays away from identity politics: race, sex, gender identity are NOT mentioned. None of this “and this especially affects demographic X” that so many Democrats like to say.
  3. He talks about Social Security as an *earned* benefit. People LIKE to earn things.

It appears to me that Democrats are likely to say “feel sorry for X” and you should sacrifice for their welfare.

I sure hope my pessimism is unwarranted.

You need to practice

PT, 2200 yard swim…my 250 swim, 250 pull set (20:02) was pathetic. It came after 700 yd of strokes (including some breast) and 500 of swim drills/swim with fins. My 1000 was easy..but 20??? That is where going to 1 swim a week got me.
Weight: 198.0 before, 196.8 after.

Then a 5K walk that went GREAT, I mean zero pain at all until 2.8 or so..then the side of the left hip ache came back.

Was it due to the increased pace?


To me, this came across as powerful. But notice what he did NOT do: he did not say that the loss/reduction of Social Security would be especially harmful for one demographic or another (e. g. “people of color”, “women”, etc.) as Democratic politicians tend to do.

IMHO, that made his message much more effective; it was aimed at everyone.

Political Thoughts

I haven’t talked politics in a while. And I’ve become *very* disinterested in policy, at least at the federal level.

Here is why: at the present moment, what matters is what party controls Congress and the White House, and any policy that gets passed has to be approved by the party national level; in some sense it doesn’t really matter what policy nuances my US Rep may or may not support.

And right now, the Republicans are so awful that the important thing is to elect a Democrat.

Demonstrators attempt to enter the U.S. Capitol building during a protest in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. The U.S. Capitol was placed under lockdown and Vice President Mike Pence left the floor of Congress as hundreds of Demonstrators swarmed past barricades surrounding the building where lawmakers were debating Joe Biden’s victory in the Electoral College. Photographer: Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Until the Republicans can agree to accept the election results, I want absolutely nothing to do with them.

So, IL-17 is a tight race between Eric Sorenson (a Quad Cities weatherman) and Esther Joy King, the Republican who ran in 2020 and held Cheri Bustos to 52 percent (though Trump was on the ballot..that helped her a bit). Obama won the district by 17 points in 2012, Trump won by 0.7 points in 2016 and 1.6 points in 2020. It is sort of Iowa like, with a couple of urban areas (Peoria, Rockford) added to give a boost to the Democrats.

In 2020, Peoria gave Bustos her margin of victory.

Joy-King is running a Bush style campaign (right wing issues, social issues), but as of right now, distancing herself from Trump; she is not running as a MAGA. That is one of her biggest challenges. And she has a ton of money and so do the Republican PACs.

Sorensen is a political rookie, and I think it shows. It appeared that he fell for the age old Republican trick: some campaign surrogate (or PAC) makes a bigoted cultural attack (Sorensen is gay and open about it). The Democrat responds with a cultural counter..instead of focusing on the fact that the Republicans, as a party, want to reduce taxes on the wealthiest, deregulate business and cut services, Social Security, Medicare, etc.

Such cuts are deeply unpopular with the public, so the focus is on cultural stuff .

Note the images of Biden and Pelosi.

Here is a fact check by a Democratic PAC ad:

Ok, one of the PAC’s claims was false.

So, how will it go? The race is viewed as being very close. (via Fivethirtyeight.com)

The big problem, as I see it.

I’ve posted this several times. It still applies.

It is frustrating.

I think one of the divides is by education.

On a college campus, anything that smacks of xxx-ism or bigotry is immediately and loudly denounced; deans and administrators leap into action.

It doesn’t work that way off campus.

Here are a couple of incidents:
In one of the games, there was a very questionable “roughing the passer” call:

Troy Aikman responded on the air with a suggestion that the NFL competition committee “take off the dresses” on the quarterback.

Most blue collar fans wouldn’t have a problem with that statement (“gee, the NFL IS too soft”) but college educated people ..let’s say would respond immediately “that’s misogynistic“; we are trained to react that way (any hint that women are weaker and need more protection then men is just awful, etc.)

But college graduates …especially recent college graduates, are not the bulk of the voting population, and if you want to win an election, you have to know how to talk to non-college graduates and do so in a way where you aren’t “educating them out of their …” whatever.

I am not sure that Democratic politicians, on the whole, do that well.

And then you have this:

There is that Republican trick again: bait Democrats into fighting about culture, while they strip away Social Security, Medicare and other services.

Yes, the Democrats make it easy with moronic slogans like Defund the Police (and yes, some favor reparations) but no Democrat is “pro-crime.”

Of course, the people to which this “Senator” is referring to (poor urban Black people) are the victims of said crimes, and they certainly aren’t in favor of it. In fact, if you live in an urban area and pay attention, there is *always* some anti-crime program going on, often funded and supported by the churches and the people who live in the area. They are constantly pleading for help from the city to stop it.

So, the Senator’s statement is not merely “impolite”; it is false. It is a smear.

But it is also a distraction from the agenda that Sen. McConnell wants to enact and it behooves the Democrats to note that.

Will we fight back effectively? I am not optimistic.

Near the end of summer

Personal note: I think that I know where I want to go..IF I can get there.

Issues posts: I am not a high profile person. But many who work in high profile science posts catch heat from a wide assortment of quacks, conspiracy nuts and morons, and it can take a toll. In this case, the scientist was talking about public health and COVID related issues.

Sadly, when it comes to pandemic, what a crackpot does affects others; this isn’t a simple matter of “well, they get sick and may die..that is their problem.”

Politics In the Texas governor’s race (not a close race, so it really doesn’t matter in this case) Beto O’Rourke cursed out a heckler. NPR published an article which basically says “this doesn’t help his election chances..it turns people off” and of course, there were responses such as “it shouldn’t matter”, “I like it,”, etc. Liberals are always going on about tone policing or about how “civility aids the oppressor”, etc.

But what is undeniably true is that you cannot make someone vote for you; you have to persuade them and there are some actions that turn more people off than they persuade. Same holds for MAGA candidates.

But liberals who should know better struggle mightily with this concept; my guess is that they are used to yelling and getting their way (sort of) on college campuses. But it does not work that way in the voting booth.

Today’s workout: this might be what my early semester workouts look like: PT, swim, PT 2, walk.

The swim: 500 meters of off strokes.
400 meters of 50 drill, 50 fins (new Zoomer fins …these really work well)

100 meter with zoomers 1:43 (they way I should swim without them)

200 3:59 followed by 100 side

100: 1:54, 1:55 (on the 3)
50: 54, 55, 54, 55 (on the 1:30)

100 side

cruise 200: 4:10 keeping it long.

Then the walk; no discomfort at all until 1.7 or so into it and even then, it was mild.


They are going after culture

So, some well known Republicans are speaking at a Turning Point USA conference, a group for conservative college students. And it is easy to see what road they are taking:

Of course, some clueless liberal wondered why he did not get booed… LOL


Politics, culture wars and all that

I’d like to give a prediction about the upcoming midterms but..well, cannot. For one, the abortion rights issue could be a game changer, and yes, the President’s party often loses seats, many of the losses come from Congressional Districts where the incumbent party overperformed in the Presidential Election due to coat-tails…and we didn’t see coat-tails in 2020.

It is as if the old models might not be relevant.

And, contrary to popular opinion, Biden has not done that bad:

Still, I tend to agree with this:

But the culture stuff might end up killing us. Observe:

Now, the NPR listeners/UU Church/Liberal Arts crowd are saying how she just “OWNED” or “Schooled” Sen. Hawley. But to the average voter who isn’t immersed in that lingo….her answers sounded..ridiculous.

Yes, of course, Sen. Hawley was playing politics with his “simple question”; I am not naive enough to think he was asking in good faith. He WANTED to pick that fight for the cameras.

And what a better foil than a Berkeley prof with nose rings…

On a college campus, “calling out” someone as being “transphobic..etc.” wins you points, but it flops in the public.

You see something different going on here:

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez was going up the Capitol steps when a professional provocateur (a real jerk) decided to make remarks about her behind (and throw in an anti-choice remark).

He posted the video but it was taken down from Twitter. But I saw it because ….the Representative POSTED IT HERSELF!!!!!!!

Why would she do that?????

Then she posted this:

In the second video, she appears rattled but didn’t appear so in the first. Given that she was not exactly sheltered in her previous life…my guess is that she is scoring points with the “me too” crowd. But it does make her look easily rattled..I’d imagine a leader quality woman just saying “oh, grow up” to the professional jerk.

But, here I am talking about this sort of stuff when there are more serious things to ponder:

That is huge; there is a negative impact in the lives of women. And there is this:

I support BLM, but yes, sometimes the armed person in a standoff who was trying to kill/had killed others is a black guy. This in no way negatives that black guys are sometimes unfairly profiled or treated poorly.

But not every police shooting should be an incident to be hijacked by “activists” with an agenda.

Like voting: not all unicorns and rainbows

It has now been two weeks since my injection. So the report: definitely better, but not perfect.

Example: I walked home from the gym without fear of pain; I wasn’t limping when I got home. I can handle six 2 mile walks per week. Less pain when doing the crawl.

BUT some pain is there (in dulled form) and I have to mind my posture. And it is still 40 minutes of PT every danged day… that is not going to change.

I can sympathize with those who hate working out at all; my PT is like that: unrewarding but necessary.

And voting is like that. You aren’t going to get everything you want. If you get even a 1/3 or even a 1/4 of what you want, you chose wisely, especially if that fraction is from your most important items.

Workout notes: started my PT late and didn’t walk before..didn’t want to walk in the rain after.


600 of the usual alternating side and back

200 of the usual front kick, free

200 in 3:38 with 50 back (too slow but I had no one to chase)

200 in 3:32 with 50 back (better)

100 in 1:42 with 50 back

100 in 1:42 with 50 back

50 in 0:48 with 50 back

50 in 0:47 with 50 back

200 pull in 3:36 (easy effort)

Weight: 205 afterward (probably bloated again)

Not throwing your political money away..

I’ve wondered w-ehat purpose political bomb throwers serve; by “bomb throwers” I mean MTG, Boebert, “Gym” Jordan, and on our side, “The Squad” (AOC, etc.), Bernie Sanders, etc.

They tend to come from “safe districts” (very unlikely to lose in the general), are very, very noisy, seek out cameras, but, ultimately, don’t do anything. Their legislative records are all but non-existent, at least in terms of bills signed into law (they may well “introduce” nonsense bills that never see the light of day).

Part of me thinks that all they are doing is taking up space that might otherwise be filled by a more competent politician.

BUT…there is this:


That would be throwing money way. Boebert represents a “solid Republican” district (per Cook Report and just about every reputable political ratings source)

Sorry to say but outside money supporting the Democrat is basically throwing away said money.

It would be FAR better to take that money and give it to a toss-up race.

I know it is far sexier to feel you are a part of “taking down” some camera hungry blowhard but ..not only is the likelihood low, there are far less sexy but important races where said money would make a real difference, like this one.

Overall the Republicans lead the Congressional generic ballot by about 2.5 points, which is bad news since the D’s typically underperform (Democratic districts tend to be super D, R’s not quite as much)

Game changers

Potentially massive shocks to the system here. One of course, is the pro-life ruling from the Supreme Court (I think the pro “can lead prayer in public schools” ruling might have lesser impact).

Then today’s Select Committee testimony was..OMG.

Bottom line: Trump knew the people marching to the Capitol were armed and he WANTED them to go anyway. I did not include the video where Hutchinson said that someone else told her that Trump lunged at the Secret Service driver and had to be restrained; she was reporting what was told to her. I’ll suspend judgement on that part.

Now about the claim it is just hearsay:

Well, these things are coming along BEFORE midterms and can the Democrats capitalize? Maybe..maybe not.