America needs an enema

That was one of many great lines delivered by Jack Nicholson in Batman.  At one point, I would have suggested that Washington DC was that town.  Now, I think this entire country is constipated.  Just look at the way people interact with each other.  Check the differences in how media is disseminated or viewed.  We are in a state of utter chaos, and much of it is of our own doing.

For starters, VOX ran a very interesting article on the difference in news coverage on the Trump/Russia issue between the right-wing media outlets and everyone else.

The past week of Trump scandals for people reading mainstream news outlets has gone something like this: President Trump fired the FBI director who was investigating his campaign’s connection with Russia — and then the next day, Trump shared classified information with Russian officials.

But on conservative news outlets, the narrative was very different. It was about an FBI director whose firing was long overdue, and a liberal media desperate to take down Trump.

You can find the entire article here, and it is well worth the read.  The gist of the article shows that we are living in two different realities.  People who only get their news from one source or from within their own safe zone are talking entirely different incidents with people in other news circles.  When you hear Trump supporters dismissing the news reports, it’s not a defensive measure in as much as they believe something totally different because of what their media is telling them.

Then, there’s the sheer flood of “leaked” information.  As a federal employee, I find it difficult to believe that my colleagues have suddenly found it impossible to do their jobs without potentially violating the law by discussing classified information or other things.  When administrations change, the appointed positions change.  The rank-and-file workers don’t.  I was hired in under GW Bush, and if I remain until retirement, there’s no idea of how many other presidents I’ll serve.  That said, the person sitting in the WH doesn’t change my work ethic one bit.  I still try to do my job to the best of my ability now as I did when I was first hired.

The amount of the leaks makes part of me think it’s intentionally done to sow discord.  Let’s face it, there is enough discord in America right now to circle the world about a dozen times.  People are literally at each other’s throats.  A right-wing white supremacist killed two people on a commuter train in Portland after hurling slurs at two passengers who were thought to be Muslim.  There’s all kinds of crap going on everywhere, and it seems like it will only get worse.  The pejoratives fly out of people’s mouths like breath on a cold winter morning.  We’ve found out that even the FBI had false information that was meant to disrupt the system.

This country needs to take a massive dump.  We need to purge all the bulls**t out of our system.  Some of us need to be reminded that, regardless of ideological beliefs, we are not enemies.  I cringe whenever I hear Americans referring to fellow Americans as enemies.  I don’t even refer to football rivals as enemies.  That word carries powerful and dangerous connotations.  Someone needs to find an equivalent to a giant bottle of Fleet, shove it up the figurative ass of America, and squeeze that mofo until it turns to powder.

We’re full of sh*t, both figuratively and literally.  We cannot continue as a country like this without doing damage to our society as well as relationships to our allies.  If we don’t unclog the system, something is bound to happen.  We’ve gone from being an example of democracy to looking like a disturbed red ant hill.

I don’t like it.  I don’t like it one bit.  I honestly hope that the investigators take thing seriously and act appropriately on their findings.  If nothing has occurred, then everyone should be able to see the information from the investigation to see where that conclusion was drawn.  Likewise, if there was any bad behavior between Americans and outsiders to influence the election, there should be no sparing of the powers of the judiciary to give America the justice we deserve.  That’s the only way we will begin to remove this sh*t from our system in order to recover to what we were before.

Post 2016 Election: First thoughts


My first thought at 2:50 am on November 9th, was “What the f**k!?” when I rolled over in bed and heard the words “President-elect Trump” come from my TV.  I had always figured it was a very distinct possibility considering that we were voting for two of the most disliked candidates that I could ever remember.  I just wasn’t completely prepared to hear that announcement.  I knew all along that, no matter who won, I wouldn’t be skipping with joy over the thoughts of my incoming boss.

I wanted to write this yesterday, but it literally took more than 24 hours for me to get my thoughts together.  So, here goes…

Take our country back = Make America great again

White America got their country back.  We minorities got the message loud and clear.  Some have called this a “change” election, but I don’t buy that.  This was all about anger and resentment, plain and simple.  Trump basically rode that anger and resentment and used it to his advantage to end up in Washington DC.  The fact that he had minority support does not negate the fact that angry White America is what put Trump in office.  If you wanna accuse me of playing the race card, then that’s you and your opinion.  I’m just calling it as I see it from my perspective, and there are far many more Americans who agree with my assessment.

Look at the increased attacks on Muslim looking people.  Look at the increased intimidation of Blacks by people waving Confederate battle flags.  That stuff isn’t from patriotic duty to country.  That’s from people who hate minorities.  Trump fed that anger, whether intentional or not, and those who supported him are going to expect him to act on those promises he made from the southern wall to banning Muslims.  Interestingly, the ban Muslims part of his platform has disappeared from his campaign website.

America is angry, and rightfully so

As I said, this election was all about anger.  Trump stated “the forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer” as part of his victory speech.  Reading social media, some have taken that to be a *wink, wink* to middle America, aka White America in flyover country, among other things.  I’m going to take him at face value as I’ve done for the entire campaign and not read anything extra into it.  The angry people for the most part, however, have been White America though, so there may be some truth to this.

People are angry because of a perceived lack of economic growth and job loss.  Trump has promised expansive growth and bringing jobs back.  That’s not going to happen though.  The only way those jobs come back is if the wages paid in China are paid here.  I don’t see Americans working for $5 a day or something lower.  Immigration has also been an issue.  Immigrants are not the ones passing laws that have led to the top income percentile taking most of the benefits of our economic growth.  Trump has also promised to do many other things, some of them being very unconstitutional from the jump.

The bad thing about acting out in anger is that you usually regret those actions later on down the road.  I hope I’m wrong, but I have a feeling this will be the case for many people.  I don’t worry as much about the damage that a President Trump with a GOP Congress can do as much as I worry about the backlash when Trump screws his supporters.  People have overlooked his blatant lies and snake oil salesman presentation and have put faith that he’s going to do what he said.  What I don’t get is how does a large group of Americans buy the argument that Donald J. Trump is going to get rid of corruption, or “drain the swamp”, in Washington DC when he has a verified history of less than ethical behavior himself.  We’ve basically sent a billionaire who has taken full benefit of everything he could as part of that 1% to end the corruption that enabled the 1% to make out like bandits.  In other words, America sent the fox to not only guard the hen-house but to live there as well.

Republicans have to govern now

I know this is a long stretch, but it’s been one in the making.  Read any comment section, and GOP supporters brag about how many governorships, legislative seats, and other positions they hold.  Now, they control Washington DC.  There’s no Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, or Hillary Clinton to blame anymore.  The GOP has full control of it all, and the results are theirs, and theirs alone to be responsible for.  If we see growth based on their governance, then kudos to them.  If we see downfall, then it’s theirs to own as well.  They can’t simply say “No” or uphold legislation now and call that governing.  They have to actually do the jobs they get paid for.

I’m sure that anything negative will come with the “it’s Obama’s or Democrats fault” for the next four years, but that dog won’t hunt.  If Democrats play opposition to the effect that Republicans did against Obama, then it will still mean that Trump’s policies are failures.  That’s what we’ve seen since 2010, so the GOP has already set the precedent.  As the old saying goes, what goes around comes around.  If Democrats act just like Republicans have, I’ll have my criticisms about their actions, but I’ll still blame Republicans for not getting things done as they’ve blamed Obama.

In Conclusion

Do I expect change?  No.  Nothing will change from this election.  America is still going to be America.  Do I expect Republicans to effectively govern?  No.  They couldn’t pass legislation before, and they won’t do it now because the legislation they want to pass will directly affect the very people who put them all into office.  They won’t have Obama or the Democrats to blame for them screwing their own supporters.

At some point, Americans will have to come to grip with the changes that are happening around us.  We lost jobs that are not coming back.  Our economy has gone from a manufacturing based engine to one that is service based.  The wages in the service industry will have to change to reflect the new norm, or we’ll all continue to suffer economically.  We can’t continue to demand change in Washington DC and keep sending the same people back expecting different results.  In other words, the things that we’re angry about are directly caused by the actions we keep doing over and over.  We’re going to have to accept our changing demographics and know that we’re still America.

I’m praying for those who are angry and hope their situations get better.  I know that America will survive and keep going.

Election night thoughts

It’s finally here.  Thank God.  While I can only hope that the ignorance, bigotry, hatred, and other negative things that propagated during this election could be wiped out in one single night, I know that’s not the case.  For some reason, America is angry.  I honestly wish I knew why.

We’re still the top economy in the world.  We’re still the sole super power in the world.  We’re still the world’s reserve currency.  The only thing that has changed is our demographic makeup.  Since we’re a country of immigrants, that’s always going to be the case.  There will always be a new wave of immigrants.

My political preferences are generally centered, regardless to whether I lean right or left on something, I don’t venture too far from what used to be the center.  Now, I don’t know what the hell to think of my personal politics.  I guess I’ll have to recalibrate myself in the morning once I see the results of this election.

Speaking of results, can someone please help me with a question that’s been bothering me.  I’ve seen Trump get plenty of pop from the “drain the swamp” statement.  People are believing that DC is so corrupt that we need to send someone there to clean things up.  That’s all fine and good when you hear that, but if people seriously believe that, then why do they send the same damn people to Congress every election?

For example, Johnny Isakson has been projected to win his third term in the Senate for the state of Georgia.  He’s already completing year number twelve, and Georgians (who voted for swamp draining Trump) are sending the same twelve-year Senator back for another six years?  WTF people?  Seriously?  To top things off, Isakson has been in DC for four decades now.  If you think DC is corrupt, then maybe it’s because of the voters doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.  The people of Georgia who vote this way shouldn’t open their mouths about DC being corrupt.  In fact, I think all of Georgia’s Congressional delegation is pretty safe on returning back to office.

There’s some serious mental disconnect between the thoughts and actions of many Americans, and we’re going to end up screwing up a damn good country because of our spastic tendencies.  I wish there was an enema big enough to wash out all the fecal matter in this country so we could start fresh, but I don’t think it’s possible to make one.  Regardless of who wins, America loses.  We’re going to be a polarized angry population with a government to match it.  I hope everyone stocked up on alcohol or their favorite vice because the next four years are going to make the last eight seem like a cakewalk.

Bravo America.  We’re going to get exactly what we’re asking for.

Two more days

Just as I figured, there was nothing new in the recently found emails.  Director Comey is likely on his way out after this.  I honestly don’t know how he can salvage his career after this fiasco.  He can thank Rep. Chaffetz for speeding up his retirement.
Without knowing what was in those emails, there was no reason to notify Congress.  He should have known that Republicans wouldn’t be able to remain silent on anything remotely involving Hillary Clinton.  It will be interesting to see what’s said about Comey now.  He’s gone from hero to zero and back or vice versa depending on people’s ideology.  He should have just asked my opinion, and I would have said to remain silent until after November 8th.

 

Once again, another Clinton “scandal” dissolves into a pile of nothingness.  If/When she wins this election, get ready for 4 years of this crap.  We already know what’s coming.  She won’t be able to take a dump in the Oval Office bathroom without it becoming a scandal.

Comey messed up

There’s been lots of chatter from both sides over the political spectrum about the actions of FBI Director James Comey in regards to Hillary Clinton’s email investigation.  When he had his press conference on July 5, 2016 announcing that there would be no prosecution, people on the right went crazy.   When he sent a letter to Congress last week, the left turned their anger up to 11.

I’ve watched this entire ordeal unfold with a bit of confusion.  If there was not going to be a prosecution, why would he need to have a press conference to announce that when that’s not the job of the FBI to do.  It’s usually the responsibility of the Attorney General or another member of the Dept. of Justice responsible for prosecuting crimes that holds those press conferences.  I’ve seen far too many to count, and I don’t recall any members of the FBI doing the speaking.  It’s usually the AUSA or some other lawyer.

Likewise, the letter sent to Congress was pretty much a note of hot air.  If you don’t know what you have, how do you determine whether to notify Congress or not?  Seems like there would need to be knowledge of what was contained in those emails to justify notifying Congress that you may have to continue the investigation.

I won’t try to ascribe political motivation to Comey’s actions, but I think he royally screwed the pooch on this one.  He’s either whipped up a fury right before the election over nothing, or he knows what is in those emails and had knowledge of that prior to getting a search warrant to see what’s inside.  The former action would seem like a violation of the Hatch Act, while the latter would possibly make any evidence obtained worthless in a court of law.  There’s also the memo that’s been passed down within the Dept. of Justice from the past few Attorney Generals that state they will not announce investigations of political figures less than 60 days before an election or something to that effect.

Maybe Comey felt that he was acting within the scope of his authority and felt he had no other choice.  I honestly don’t know.  I can say that, if it was my decision to make, I would not have sent that letter without concrete evidence that the found emails were indeed connected to the Clinton investigation.  That’s what makes me think the FBI knows what is contained within those emails.  If they’ve already read through them without a warrant, then they are inadmissible in any court proceeding as well as any information found from the information contained within those emails.  If the contents of the emails are indeed unknown, then there’s no point in notifying Congress about investigations because it’s not known whether the investigation will be impacted.

Either way, Comey messed up in my view, and what has already been an election for the history books just added another chapter.  As far as him being charged for violating the Hatch Act, I think that is a bit of a stretch at this point because there is no information to show motivation.  Now, if you wanna charge someone with violating the Hatch Act if it were indeed possible, I would submit Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) as the prime violator.  However, members of Congress cannot be charged under the Hatch Act as it only applies to employees under the Executive Branch.  I find it interesting that employees under the Legislative and Judicial branches are not covered, but that’s another topic for another post.