One nation, circling the toilet, with prison and injustice for too many

Before I get into the topic at hand, I want to set something straight. The five months since I’ve last posted to this blog have been bad. I mean, really bad. The election of DJT by a minority of the people, thanks to this outdated means of electing a president called the Electoral College, has been a disaster for this country.

I saw a campaign fueled by hate of those of different races and religions, and by ridicule of those with differing abilities. I held out hope that decency would prevail, and as much as I really didn’t want her either, that Hillary Rodham Clinton would be our 45th President and 2016 would be a history-making year as the first time a First Lady was elected to be president herself. (I really wanted Bernie Sanders. A lot of those who wouldn’t dare vote for Hillary, from what I have heard, would have voted for Bernie.)

I made a fully informed vote, as much as voting Democrat in Texas could possibly matter, and voted for Hillary. Unfortunately, DJT was seen as the protest vote by way too many for that to possibly matter, here in Texas and the other states that traditionally lean red or swing.

The confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, in spite of his predatory history and his demeanor on the stand, is the most nauseating and infuriating failure of the Senate I have seen in my entire life. The votes of John Cornyn and Ted Cruz in favor of confirmation honestly make me a bit ashamed to be a Texan (the latter is, by the way, up for election this year, and you can help vote him out if you live in Texas).

I’m ashamed to be an American when we have a so-called president that the other world leaders at a UN meeting actually laughed at. The President of the United States should never be in a position to be laughed at by other world leaders. To do that, (s)he should act like a world leader. Clearly, DJT didn’t do that at this UN meeting. Clearly, the people that voted for him, whose votes actually counted to swing the ass-backwards Electoral College vote in favor of him (despite Hillary clearly being the popular vote winner), didn’t think this through and did not realize just who DJT really was prior to the election (and still is today).

To me, it says everything that we haven’t even seen his tax returns yet. Honestly, I’m starting to think we never will, and that is unfortunate. The vast majority of candidates for president have had no issue with this. The swing state voters elected a pig in a poke. And we still have, from a financial standpoint, a pig in a poke sitting in The White House, at least the nominal leader of our country (though, clearly, he has done a very poor job of behaving like a leader).

I know a lot of people do not like to talk about politics. But there is simply too much at stake in the elections this year to not talk about politics. The Republicans have had their chance, and they’ve blown it. I hope as many of you as possible can join me this November in sending them a message they won’t forget, by voting Democrat for every seat where there’s a Democratic candidate. Together, we can get our country back out of the toilet bowl before it completely goes down the drain.

Thoughts on the 2016 election season

A bit late, I know, but I want to get something out there for many reasons.

As alluded to in the previous entry, I have not ignored the goings on with the 2016 presidential race. I voted in the Democratic primary for Bernie Sanders. Though he did not win Texas, and eventually conceded the nomination to Hillary Clinton, I still feel Bernie would have been a far better choice for president.

When I read Bernie conceded the nomination, it was the biggest letdown I have ever felt over a candidate in the primaries. That day was the first truly sad day of a pretty sad week. It became obvious, of course, that those in charge of the Democratic party wanted Hillary to win at just about any cost–something which sparked outrage within the party, and which led to the eventual resignation of DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and not a moment too soon.

As bad as that may have been, what happened on the Republican side is far more terrifying. I have never in my lifetime seen a candidate so obviously unqualified to be president actually win the nomination. I noticed Donald Trump running for the Republican nomination, and I thought it was one of those joke campaigns that had no realistic chance of winning, and that we’d at least see the Democratic candidate (this is before Hillary won) face off against someone remotely qualified to run the country sitting in the White House come next January.

And then, excuse my French, the shit really hit the fan. Mr. Trump showed he was a jerk with no regard for the law on so many occasions it’s hard to remember them all. The “highlights”, some of which happened before Trump actually won the nomination, include inciting a riot in North Carolina, the infamous “grab ‘em by the (genitalia)” tape leaked, instructing security to eject protesters out into subzero temperatures without their coats, and demonstrating a terrifying lack of understanding of foreign policy by asking “why can’t we just nuke Russia”. There’s also building a wall at the Mexican border, his anti-Islamic statements, and last but certainly not least, Mr. Trump has refused to release his tax returns sparking all kinds of speculation. I could go on and on, but the bottom line is, Mr. Trump is the personification of everything that’s wrong with the Republican party as we know it today.

I’m not even going to get into the whole emails debacle. I’ll just say there’s a huge double standard, and that when the Republicans do what Hillary did with emails, they have no problem with it. Yes, that’s ludicrous and hypocritical. No, it doesn’t surprise me anymore.

Adding to the frustration is that the system is horribly broken regarding third-party candidates. When I feel more like diving into details, I may go into this more in another post, but suffice it to say that today, the way presidential debates are organized, only the Republican and Democratic candidates are invited. They are organized by the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is run by leaders of the Republican and Democratic parties. Worse, so many states do a “winner take all” allocation of electoral votes. Meaning, in theory, if Donald Trump has one more popular vote than Hillary Clinton in a state like California or Florida, it’s the same as if he wins by a 90%-10% margin or a 60%-40% margin.

And the rest of the world wonders why the USA is so messed up sometimes.

Perhaps the worst part about it is, the polls showed that Bernie would have crushed Mr. Trump in the general election. Yet Bernie is not who the Democratic Party put out there; Hillary is. Granted, at least Hillary has some idea what the job entails, having been in the White House during her husband’s two terms, and is somewhat qualified having been a senator and Secretary of State in the past. The flip side of that is the awkward truth embodied in the old joke that Bill Clinton is the best Republican president we’ve had (he ran as a Democrat). I wasn’t eligible to vote yet in the 1992 election, and honestly I’m not sure who I would have voted for even if I did. (I used to lean much farther right than I do today.)

I’ll be honest, I don’t like Hillary Clinton a whole lot. But I really, really, really don’t like Donald Trump, and I’m horrified he’s made it this far and that the Republican Party has given him this long of a leash. The presidency is not a damn reality TV show! This is not a four-year-long taping of The Apprentice! Sheesh! (Yeah, I voted for Hillary. I could not risk voting a third party with some of the last polls saying Texas was effectively a toss-up or swing state.)

So, why did it take so damn long for me to write this post? The few times where I had time to start writing a post about the election season, I actually got a bit queasy. It was still difficult getting it all out there today. I’m not sure how to fix this hot mess we call the presidential elections, but I do know there’s a lot that needs fixing.

If anyone has any good ideas on where to begin, feel free to comment below.

Unbelievable GOP shenanigans in a census year

I know I’m running a bit behind on this one, but this is an egregious enough example of political manipulation and misuse of the term “census” that I feel I need to say my piece about it.

Several blogs, including MOMocrats and PRWatch, covered a ruse by the Republican National Committee. The RNC made this survey and sent it out in the form of a fake yet vaguely official looking “census.” While the post does not reproduce this fake “census” in its entirety, what is there shows that it’s a clear attempt to deceive (for those that really want it, the whole thing as sent to someone in McKinney, TX, was posted to Scribd and other copies and stories abound by searching on phrases like “rnc fake census.”).

I’m all for political surveys and a political party trying to reach out to its members. If the Republicans want to grow their numbers, so be it. (I’m personally a somewhat moderate Democrat. “Somewhat moderate” means I frequently side with the Democrats, but most notably I’m pro-life and support the Second Amendment.)

But this is wrong. The RNC stops just short of misappropriating the official title and logo of the US Census Bureau. In fact, the official looking envelope and a reference to a $15 “processing fee” appear to be a heavily veiled attempt at deceiving the less thorough into contributing to the RNC without knowing it.

Perhaps most horrifying is the following (quoting the PRWatch entry):

A RNC spokeswoman defended the document, saying it was clearly marked as an RNC mailer and it was not an attempt to mislead voters.

I beg to differ. The notification that it’s not an official government document is rather easy to miss, especially to someone who’s forgotten what the real census looks like. An RNC spokeswoman actually defending this horrid tactic is, in all honesty, an embarrassment to the Republican party and makes me proud to be a Democrat.