Category Archives: News

elections

I find articles about the percent of Republicans and Democrats who support impeachment interesting.  They almost seem to suggest that Trump should be impeached if it’s the will of the people.  But we are going to have a new Democratically elected president in a mere 12 months.  Surely the people will be able to express their will at that time!  The impeachment movement almost feels as if the Democrats don’t expect to win.  Given their apparent disdain for Trump, this is puzzling.  If he is the devil incarnate, surely the Democrats can dig up one lousy candidate who can beat him!

Let’s examine our front runner.  She:

  • Favors single payer healthcare
  • Supports government making generic drugs, government negotiating prices on drugs
  • Wants to end cash bail, minimum sentences, and private prisons and wants ex-cons to be able to vote
  • Wants a $15 federal minimum wage
  • Supports reparations to AAs for slavery
  • Advocates a wealth tax and across the board tax increases
  • Thinks college should be “free”
  • Wants to cancel some student debt
  • Wants to eliminate the electoral college
  • Wants the government to regulate carbon emissions
  • Supports background checks, wants to ban assault weapons
  • Unlimited abortion rights
  • Decriminalize illegal immigration
  • Legalize marijuana
  • Slash defense budget
  • Nothing meaningful on trade
  • Paid maternity leave

(FWIW, I agree with many of her positions, strongly disagree on a few, and mostly think she won’t be able to pass the vast majority of it.  Just as the damage Trump has been able to do has been quite limited, Warren will also be very limited in what she can do, for better or for worse.  Slashing the defense budget, for example, sounds all well and good, but I’ll eat my socks if it happens.  What that really means is eliminating a whole heck of a lot of jobs and pissing off innumerable local politicians – not so popular or feasible.  A strong president with support, like Obama, can do one big thing, if he or she is lucky.  So what I’d like to know is, what is Elizabeth Warren’s one big thing?  I’m guessing women still won’t be getting paid maternity leave . . . again.)

Anyway, back to impeachment.  Could it be that the Democrats realize that most Americans don’t support the above platform any more than they support Trump’s platform overall?   And they expect to lose as a result?  And are therefore pursuing impeachment?  That’s what it feels like to me.

planes

Can someone explain to me how a cabin pressure irregularity can cause a plane to plunge 30,000 feet?  I mean, did the pilot observe the pressure problem and decide to descend to an altitude at which pressurization was unnecessary?  If so, why would he “plunge” 30,000 feet?  How quick exactly was this descent?  The whole thing sounds sketchy.  Planes have pressurization problems all the time without dramatic altitude loss.

30 weeks

I am now 30 weeks along.  I had my appointment with my doctor Tuesday and feel a lot better.  I had been told by the nurse that I would have to start going twice a week – negative, thankfully.  Doctor said the baseline, once a week from 32 weeks – which I admittedly still think is excessive – is fine.  She is fine on holding off on induction until the end of the 39th week, which for me balances the low likelihood I’d get that far (haven’t gotten beyond 38+0 yet), AMA and GD risks.  In addition, she thinks that in the unlikely event they did induce me at 40 weeks, it would likely be sufficient just to break my water.  You never know, of course – I think I had a lot more BH contractions with my last pregnancy.  And apparently uterine contractions become less effective with age and also with GD.  She also suggested I not attend the GD class since I am having no trouble measuring and maintaining blood sugar levels, so that is one less thing to do.

So all continues to chug along.  Two weeks until the next placenta check.  At this point, I am so exhausted by all the various issues I feel like a planned C-section wouldn’t be the end of the world.  I feel like vaginal birth is the ideal, especially if it’s quick, and an emergency C would be a nightmare (though obviously women have them every day).  A planned C I think would be tolerable.

What amazes me is how good I feel when I’m swimming.  Swimming is an incredible hassle.  I have to drive to the gym, change into my bathing suit, and then afterwards, shower, and get back into street clothes and drive home.  It takes like 90 minutes for a 45 minute workout.  Normally, that would be time I just don’t have, but I am making time (and billing fewer hours) because I think it’s important for my health and sanity.  But.  It drives me nuts.  I also hate getting into the water, those first few seconds of feeling cold and wet.  (Doesn’t everyone?)  But after that, I feel amazingly good.  About 50% of the time, I swim a full 1800 yards.  That’s a pretty decent swim.  Granted, I swim slower than I do when not pregnant (about 2:30 / 100 yards versus 2:05 or so).  I also take longer breaks between sets – when not pregnant, I generally take 60 seconds or 90 at most, whereas these days, I take a solid two minutes.  I am mixing up the strokes more to try and help with boredom, doing some backstroke and some kick, and lots of breaststroke in addition to freestyle.  But honestly, I feel like I’d be lucky to run a quarter of a mile.  Every time I have to stand for any length of time, I feel like I’m going to pass out – I’m honestly looking around for a place to sit down after 30 seconds.  How is it, then, that I can swim a mile?  I honestly don’t get it.  But I guess I am thankful for it.  At this rate, I will go into labor in the swimming pool again.  It’s funny to me that I went swimming the day I gave birth with both my previous kids.  You’d think I loved to swim or something.  Ha!

On a side note, why aren’t people asking Trudeau to drop out of the race?  Is it because he’s Canadian?  He’s now been found in blackface 3 times, with the most recent incident less than 20 years ago.  The Virginia governor, on the other hand, may have worn blackface 35 years ago (he denies it), and there were calls all round for him to step down.  For me, there’s a statute of limitations, not sure what it is, but it’s less than 35 years.  In other news, I find Democratic hysteria over Kavanaugh extraordinarily hypocritical.  Fairfax, the Virginia Lieutenant Governor and apparent rapist, has been accused by multiple women of sexual assault:

The two women have for months requested a public hearing before the General Assembly, where they could testify under oath about their allegations. Fairfax and Democrats in the General Assembly have sought to block efforts by Republicans to hold the hearing, claiming partisan antics and arguing in favor of law enforcement investigations.

He is still happily in office and is now apparently planning to run for governor.  Note that his first accuser is a college professor.  Apparently, sexual assault is only problematic for the Democrats if you are Republican.  I also wonder whether Fairfax’s accuser would find sexual assault more or less problematic than wearing blackface 35 years ago.  I am inclined to view the former as a far worse transgression, but being white, perhaps I’m missing something.

Biden rant

I realize that if you took down everything I said, you would come across some pretty inane comments.  If I had to do a debate, live, I’m sure I’d come out looking like an idiot.  Still, Biden!  (Did Obama ever say stuff like this?  Did Hillary?  I sincerely doubt it.)

The question: “what responsibility do you think that Americans need to take to repair the legacy of slavery in our country?”

Excerpts from Biden’s answer:

“Make sure that every single child does, in fact, have 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds go to school. School. Not daycare. School. We bring social workers in to homes and parents to help them deal with how to raise their children.”

“It’s not that they don’t want to help. They don’t — they don’t know quite what to do. Play the radio, make sure the television — excuse me, make sure you have the record player on at night, the — the — make sure that kids hear words. A kid coming from a very poor school — a very poor background will hear 4 million words fewer spoken by the time they get there.”

The first part of Biden’s answer is coherent, but I disagree with him.  I don’t think the solution to repairing the legacy of slavery is to put 3-year-olds in school.  Even if we neglect the question, I still don’t think putting 3-year-olds in school is the answer to much of anything.  3-year-olds should be playing, not learning their ABCs.  B, starting Kinder this year, learned her ABCs a week before school started, and I promise you, having learned them late will not negatively impact her at all.   For me, the Democratic urge to push preschool to younger and younger ages reeks of institutionalization of our children.   Offering impoverished to lower middle class working parents additional financial support so they can afford high quality childcare of their choice, which may or may not be “school”?  That I can get behind.

The second part of his answer, though, really takes the cake.  What, exactly, is he saying?  Parsing it carefully, it sounds like he thinks we should play audio recordings for underprivileged – black in this context – children at night so they hear more words.  Leaving aside the racist implications here, I sincerely doubt that children get much benefit from audio recordings.  It’s like plopping your kid in front of the TV – nothing wrong with doing that when you need a break, but don’t tell me it benefits the child.  To learn vocabulary, kids need back and forth with another human.

Mostly, though, he reminds me more of Trump than Obama in terms of ability to state ideas that make sense.  Obama could sell both of the above concepts, and even if you didn’t agree with them, you’d be forced to consider his logic.  Biden?  Not so much.

Honestly, I wish Biden had not run.  We do need a centrist candidate, but he’s filled that space and blocked other younger, fresher contenders.  Had Biden not participated, perhaps someone else might have emerged.  Sanders is a crackpot as far as I’m concerned, and that leaves us with Warren, who is simply too far left for me.

wealth tax

I find the wealth tax proposal interesting.  Unlike every other “tax the rich” scheme I’ve heard, it ACTUALLY taxes the rich.  (I don’t really think a family with 200K of income living in NYC or San Francisco or the other VHCOL areas of the country is rich.  Getting there, yes, but probably not living nearly as well as someone making 100K in my hometown.)  In Warren’s proposal, the wealth tax hits those with 50 million of assets at 2% per year.  I think it’s fair to describe someone with 50 million in assets as unambiguously rich.

Warren minimizes the impact of the tax.  My first thought?  2%, huh, that’s a lot.  You can expect to make 4 or 5% on your assets annually, so she’s taking half of that, was my rough guess. In fact, she would have halved the wealth of all the major billionaires – Bezos, Gates, etc.  I think the impact on those lower on the income spectrum would also be interesting to understand.  I would guess it would be greater, because they are probably less effective at growing their wealth.  In fact, she probably did more than halve the wealth of billionaires when inflation is accounted for.

Most interesting to me would be whether she could ever pass such a tax.  I always get so annoyed at people like Buffett or Gates advocating for higher taxes.  These guys have so many tax shelters that they basically don’t pay much in the way of taxes regardless of how the rates are set.  What they’re basically doing is advocating for taxes on other people – the upper middle class and slightly wealthy.  (It’s very popular to advocate for taxes on other people, of course.  Buffett is not unique in this pastime.)  However, a wealth tax is a whole different ball of wax.  That would actually affect these fat cats.   They have been surprisingly silent on the topic – what a shock.

The increasing gap between rich and poor and its negative affect on society is hard to deny.  It feels like a precursor to empire collapse, and something like this could really make a difference.  What gives me pause is that the income tax was initially only paid by the very wealthy.  I fear if this tax were introduced, our children or grandchildren would find themselves paying it on their upper middle class wealth accumulation.  (See – I am like everyone else, advocating for taxes on other people.)  Nevertheless, I think I would / could support it, EXCEPT that I find Elizabeth Warren’s proposals breathtakingly spendthrift in places.  That of course is why she is proposing the tax, not just for fairness, but because it is simply impractical to raise the amount of money she’s asking for through the existing tax structure, even if rates are increased.

swimsuit controversy

I find the swimsuit controversy in Alaska interesting.  Basically, a very fast swimmer was disqualified after winning the 100 m freestyle at a meet for not being adequately covered.  The swimmer is female and mixed race.  The judge’s decision has been more or less attributed to sexism and racism.

If I hadn’t spent the summer at swim meets with my daughter, I think my take on this would be a little different.  I would probably be horrified and disgusted by the judgment of women’s bodies.  However, I did spend my summer at swim meets, and things have changed in the last 20 years.  The swimsuits my daughters’ team has are pretty standard, similar to what I used to wear, but some of the teams we competed against would offer multiple swimsuit styles, one of which provided much less back coverage, which the older girls would often select.  Keep in mind this is summer swim, and we went to the B-level swim meets, in which the slower kids compete, so it’s not like girls are wearing these suits to qualify for the olympic trials.  In addition, many of the girls in the 14 and up range buy the suits in what appears to be 3 sizes too small.  As someone who is nearly 7 months pregnant and able to pack myself into my normal swimsuit without showing off any more of my body than usual, I do not buy that they can’t find a suit that would fit better and still allow them to swim fast.   I would go with my daughter to the starting blocks to make sure she knew where she was going (as was typical), and she’d often compete right after teenage girls, and yeah, I saw more of their anatomy than I would have liked to on occasion.  A lot more.

Should a male judge be evaluating whether a female high school girl’s rear end is adequately covered by her swim suit?  Sorry, no.  That just does not work.  It’s unacceptable.

But I do question why teams and teen girls are selecting such revealing swimsuits.

more politics

The country we live in.

If Obama, with a Democratic controlled Congress, couldn’t pass gun control legislation, there is no hope in hell that Trump can or will.  The only thing that can be done is executive orders, which rests solely on Trump.  You may remember he banned bump stocks (sp?) by this approach.

I suppose that is why the Democrats have been so focused on blaming Trump for the El Paso shooting rather than pushing for legislation that might bring change.