Archive:

November 2016, Part 4

Jim Miller on Politics




Pseudo-Random Thoughts



"Regular Milk May Beat Low Fat for Kids"  According to a Canadian study, summarized in the New York Times.
After controlling for age, sex, outdoor play and other factors that affect both vitamin D levels and weight, they found that children who drank one cup of whole milk per day had a vitamin D level comparable to that of children who drank 2.9 cups of 1 percent milk, but their body mass index was lower by 0.79 points.  The higher the fat content of the milk they drank, the lower the children’s B.M.I. and the higher their vitamin D levels.  The study is in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
For what it is worth — very little — I switched to whole milk from 2 percent about a year ago, and have it most mornings with with cereal and fruit.  I did that partly for the taste, and partly because I think the extra fat might help me absorb more Vitamin D, since it is one of the fat-soluble vitamins.

(The "lactose free" milk I have been drinking for years seems identical to non-treated milk, except that it tastes a little sweeter.)
- 3:44 PM, 30 November 2016   [link]


The Best Single Piece On Fidel Castro's Death I've Seen Is By Richard Cohen:  The best, because Cohen is a man of the left, the democratic left.

After criticizing President Obama's morally vacuous statement on the death of the Cuban dictator, Cohen continues with this:
Trump, on the other hand, awoke on Saturday twittering.  In a tweet, he remarked that Castro had died and in a statement he denounced him as a 'brutal dictator."  It is an odd and sad day when I agree with Trump and disagree with Obama and feel, moreover, that the learning-unabled president-elect has expressed American values while the president has expressed no values at all.  Here, once again, Obama ignored the past and all its complications and instead focused on the future.  "During my presidency, we have worked hard to put the past behind us," the president said.  The past, possibly.  Memory, never.
I can't be the only one who suspects Obama would have liked to attend Castro's funeral, but chose not to for political reasons.

Unlike Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Obama didn't make a complete fool of himself, so I suppose we can be grateful for that small favor.

(The most comprehensive indictment of Castro's career that I've seen is by Peter Hitchens.

Andrew Stuttaford reminds us that Castro urged Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev to start a thermonuclear war with the United States, which most of us would consider a blot on Castro's record.

The funniest reaction to Castro's death I've seen comes from the BBC, though I am reasonably sure they weren't intending it to be funny.)
- 2:02 PM, 30 November 2016   [link]


Nancy Pelosi Wins Another Term As Minority Leader:   Defeating the first serious challenge she's had, in years.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi swept aside a challenge from Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan Wednesday to win another term atop the Democratic Caucus, ensuring continuity for Democrats despite their poor performance on Election Day.

Pelosi beat Ryan in a 134-63 vote, securing the two-thirds support within the caucus she had claimed earlier this month before Ryan officially jumped in the race.
Pelosi has not had a serious challenge before this year.  Considering her string of losses, in 2010, 2012, 2014, and now 2016, that's surprising.

She had the support of a group that usually does not endorse Democrats.
Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi has received support for the House minority leader position from an unlikely source.

In a back-handed endorsement, the National Republican Congressional Committee announced they were backing Pelosi for House minority leader.
Republicans believe — correctly — that Pelosi has helped them win elections; I think she would have done the nation (and her party) a favor, if she had retired, long ago.
- 9:56 AM, 30 November 2016
Correction:  I originally wrote that Pelosi had had a serious challenge in 2002, when she first ran for Minority Leader.  I've corrected that in the text above.  (I must have mis-read something in her Wikipedia biography.)

Before this year, her worst result was after the 2010 election, when 43 Democrats voted against her in the caucus — and 20 voted against her in the House.
- 2:45 PM, 2 December 2016   [link]


Here's A Mistake To Avoid in a job interview.
- 6:11 AM, 30 November 2016   [link]


According To The Bettors, François Fillon has a 69 percent chance of being elected president of France, next year.

(Since I pay only casual attention to French politics, I had to look up Emmanuel Macron and Manuel Valls.)
- 3:56 PM, 29 November 2016   [link]


Another Attack On A Domain Name Server?  Early this morning, I had no problem accessing the Internet.  And then, starting about 8 AM, I was unable to, for hours.

I suspect, from the error message I received, that there was another attack on a Domain Name Server in this area.

If so, it wouldn't be the first time.
- 3:28 PM, 29 November 2016   [link]


How Does Trump's Win Compare To Bush's in 2004?   Poorly.

At first, Trump may seem to have a slight edge, since he is now at 62,454,708 votes, while Bush won 62,039,572 votes.

But that does not allow for the growth in the electorate, during the last 12 years.

In an earlier post, I suggested that about 1 percent a year would be roughly right; in his regular column in the Wall Street Journal, Karl Rove noted that the census found that the voting age population rose 5.5 percent between 2012 and 2016.

There are complexities, because not everyone of voting age is eligible to vote, so, since we are only looking for a rough estimate, I'll assume that the number of potential voters grew between 10 and 15 percent between 2004 and 2016.

So, if Trump had done as well as Bush in 2004, he would have received between 6 and 9 million more votes.

Roughly.

(You may want to apply this adjustment to other recent presidential elections, though I would caution you about applying it to the two Perot elections, 1992 and 1996.)
- 4:35 PM, 28 November 2016   [link]


The Indomitable Lionesses Win Again!  This time against South Africa.
22/11/2016 The indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon have thrashed the Bayana Bayana of South Africa in a 1-0 game during their second game at the ongoing 10th edition of 2016 Women AFCON games taking place in Cameroon.

The win at the Yaounde Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium this Tuesday 22nd November 2016 helped Cameroon grab the qualification ticket to the semi finals stage after playing two games, grabbing six points and three goals.
See, there is some good news.

(Minor correction:  The South African team is actually Banyana Banyana (The Girls).)
- 3:37 PM, 28 November 2016   [link]


No, "Millions" Did Not Vote Illegally For Hillary Clinton:  From much experience, we know that thousands did, perhaps even tens of thousands — just as we know that thousands, perhaps even tens of thousands, voted illegally for Donald Trump.

From previous experience, we also know that Clinton, almost certainly, received more illegal votes than Trump, but not enough to make a difference in any state.

Two obvious points:  Republicans now control most state governments, and have very practical reasons to reduce vote fraud, as they have been trying to do.

Second, most illegal immigrants have a strong reason not to vote:  They don't want to attract the attention of authorities.

So, why is Trump making this claim?  Probably because he is hurt that he lost the popular vote — and because he doesn't care whether it is true or not, just whether some of his followers will believe it.  And, as always, whether he can get attention for a tweet.

(This article by Glenn Kessler is probably correct on the dubious origins of Trump's claim.).
- 7:28 AM, 28 November 2016   [link]


Things Look Different from a tree's perspective.
- 6:44 AM, 28 November 2016   [link]


François Fillon Won The Republican Run-Off Today:  By such a large margin that he must be considered the favorite in next year's presidential election.
With virtually all the results counted, Mr Fillon won Sunday's run-off with nearly 67% of the vote.

Mr Fillon promised to build a fairer society, saying France wants "truth and it wants action".

He is likely to face a Socialist candidate and the far-right's Marine Le Pen in next April's election.
According to the BBC, he is a practicing Catholic — something rare in modern France — and a fan of Margaret Thatcher's economic policies.

He is attracted to risk; his hobbies include "motor-racing, mountaineering and the bullfight".

According to Leonid Bershidsky, Fillon is also a fan of Vladimir Putin.

So, he's a risk seeker (in spite of a rather bland career in politics), a practicing Catholic, a fan of Thatcher — and a fan of Putin.

If I knew what to make of that combination, I'd say so, but I don't, so I won't.  But I will keep looking for more clues to explain this curious man.
- 6:17 PM, 27 November 2016   [link]


Britain's Equality Commission Believes That Everyone Has Civil Rights:  Even Christians.
The Government’s equalities watchdog has hit out at politically correct public bodies and employers who victimise Christians because they fear offending others.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is to publish a major new report next week, seen by The Mail on Sunday, criticising overzealous organisations that unnecessarily drop references to Christmas or discipline believers who wear crosses at work.
Or, as in the case of a cinema chain, refuse to accept a Christian advertisement.

One can only hope these radical ideas make it across the Atlantic
- 10:58 AM, 27 November 2016   [link]


Locavores May Find this calendar cartoon of interest.
- 10:39 AM, 27 November 2016   [link]


Leftover Turkeys:  According to the Wall Street Journal, turkey eggs are good to eat, but expensive, and often hard to find.

On Thursday, the New Yorker paid tribute to Norman Rockwell's famous turkey (though with more snark than I would have used).

"Ironman" calculated how much cheaper turkeys have gotten since Rockwell's painting — and linked to the original, which is less a celebration of Thanksgiving than a World War II propaganda poster.  (Note that there are no young men at that table.)
- 2:36 PM, 26 November 2016   [link]