WTF

I don’t want to rant about politics for the next four years…. but that may just happen anyways.

KellyAnne Conway and Sean Spicer just blew my mind with their weekend logic. Or lack of.

To see Spicer’s press conference, which wasn’t a conference because he took no questions, but rather ranted and flat out lied, was pretty appalling.

He just flat out lies.  First off, that reporter corrected his mistake about the bust in under ten minutes.  Which is quicker than Trump corrects his posts. He also is lying about the white tarps, and, well pretty much everything in the rest of the briefing.  Even the numbers, the only facts he cites, are wrong.  The comments about the CIA speech, well Trump on twitter compared the CIA to Nazis. That was Trump, not the press. And his message wasn’t about support of the CIA, it was patting himself on the back and rambling.  With one line about supporting the CIA.  Oh, and Trump tried to say god made the rain stop as soon as he spoke at the inauguration, when in fact it continue the whole time.  Which is weird to lie about the weather, when the speech was broadcast, but Trump felt the need to.

KellyAnne Conway later went on Chuck Todd to say Spicer wasn’t lying, he had “alternative facts”.  Which are just lies. Facts are Facts, not negotiable, not false.  She said that we should be talking about a whole slew of other things.  What Chuck Todd didn’t point out was that the President didn’t send out Sean Spicer to talk about those things, rather just sent him out to lie and rant about the mediocre size of his crowds.

Look, its hard to give Trump the benefit of the doubt, to believe he will be a good president fighting for all Americans, when he sends his team out there to lie for him, when he lies, even little ones, as president. I don’t want a president that lies, or is upset at the size of his crowds. I want a president that will reach out to the other side, have a conversation with them and try to find some middle ground.  That’s what I want out of democratic president, republican president, or independent president.  That is what should be expected out of any American President, because they are not beholden to just their base, they should be beholden to all of the American people.

Until Trump at least attempts that, I can’t respect him.  So far in his 48 hours he has shown he is thin skinned, willing to lie to members of our intelligence agency, and pretty much lives in his own world where something called “alternative facts” exist.

And just like that…

I’m concerned about Jeff Sessions.

Not that there weren’t things to be concerned about before.  In fact for the majority of his confirmation hearing he answered how I expected him to answer.  Yes I’ll uphold the law.  If states laws conflict with Federal laws something needs to change.  The AG will uphold Federal laws.  Back peddle away from any race questions or questions about his past. Acknowledged that he would uphold laws that he doesn’t agree with as is the responsibility of the AG (Roe vs. Wade).

And then:

Sen. Whitehouse: “And a secular person has just as good a claim to understanding the truth as a person who is religious, correct?”

Sen. Sessions: “Well, I’m not sure.”

Sessions went on to say “We’re going to treat anybody with different views fairly and objectively” but that doesn’t negate his previous comment.

As an atheist this really concerns me.  Change the words secular and religious around, or to different religions.

“And a Christian person has just as good a claim to understanding the truth as a person who is Muslim, correct?”

“Well, I’m not sure.”

————-

“And a Muslim person has just as good a claim to understanding the truth as a person who is Christian, correct?”

“Well, I’m not sure.”

————

“And a Jewish person has just as good a claim to understanding the truth as a person who is Christian, correct?”

“Well, I’m not sure.”

————

“And a Buddhist Monk has just as good a claim to understanding the truth as a person who is Christian, correct?”

“Well, I’m not sure.”

————

“And a Hindu has just as good a claim to understanding the truth as a person who is Christian, correct?”

“Well, I’m not sure.”

————

Instant Outrage for any of these.  At least their should be.

Part of Congressional Hearings is that we should take these people spoken at their word.  What they say is what they believe to be the truth.  So we should believe Senator Sessions when he says he’s not sure a secular person can understand the truth like a religious person, but he’s sure gonna try hard to believe them anyways.  It is particularly worrying when you discover that in 2001 Senator Session rebuked Senator Leahy for swearing in a witness without requiring them to use the phrase “So help me God.”  When questioned on it Senator Sessions said “95% of people believe in God.”  Even if that is true, swearing on the Bible isn’t a constitutional mandate.

I want to take people on their word.  That they will say what they believe.  However, that doesn’t seem to be the outlook of this administration.  Kelly Anne Conway admitted that herself this weekend. We need to look at people’s hearts, not the words that come out of their mouth.  Just ignore those please.

 

 

Struggle

I think struggle the is right word.

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That’s how I feel right now.  Donald Trump is our presidential elect.  I understand and support the outcome of the election, just as much as the right of people to protest this election.  It was divisive and the popular vote shows that.  I don’t agree with any of the violence or property destruction at the protests.  That’s not called for.

I hope Donald Trump is a good president.  I hope what I thought when he entered the crowed republican field over a year ago is what comes to pass.  My initial thoughts were that I’d rather have a business man who knows that with any bill, law or legislation there has to be give and take, just like in dealings in the business world than any of the other hard line evangelical religious who don’t seem to understand that a government is not a religious institution, and who think their religion based values should be imposed on everyone, even those who are completely abstain from religion.

Of course that was crushed by all of the hard line rhetoric that came out of Trump on the campaign trail. Also maybe the racist, xenophobic and sexist comments made.

I’ve seen a lot of Facebook posts from Trump supporters saying things similar to this blog post here (some even just post a link to that blog).  Essentially saying I’m a Republican, not racist or sexist, but then never acknowledging that the candidate they voted for has made those racist, xenophobic or sexist comments.  In Cassie’s blog linked above she never acknowledges why a Trump presidency scares some people.  Why his comments, not words twisted but actual comments he has made lead people to think they will be belittled, shunned, marginalized or attacked because of their looks.  If you can’t acknowledge another’s point of view, and acknowledge that your candidate has said many repulsive things then you will never be able to have any sort of frank and honest discussion.

The easiest way to get around this for Trump supporters would be “I support some of Trump’s policies such as this and this and this.  But I absolutely don’t agree with his racist, xenophobic and sexist comments.  That said, I think that Trump is a better candidate for these reasons and hope he backs off or even denounces some of his earlier statements.”

Look, I didn’t agree with every about Hillary Clinton’s campaign.  Having an e-mail server at home that she used for government business was idiotic.  But I also read some of the leaked e-mails.  She not very technology literate. She clearly didn’t think that through nor understood what later implications would fall out from it.  It doesn’t excuse it, but it happened.  There will be books written about that mistake I’m sure.  The FBI investigated.  Twice now.  And found nothing to be prosecuted aside from poor judgement.   I think that the Clinton Foundation should have been run by other hands than the Clinton’s during her tenure as Secretary of State. But again, there was nothing in the e-mails that actually show collusion or pay for play.  Just smoke with no fire per say.

We haven’t seen any of Trump’s e-mails.  We haven’t seen his taxes.  We don’t know about foreign entanglements in his businesses. But what we do know about him and what we do know about Clinton led me to vote for her in this last election.  All of her flaws included.  Which I acknowledged and called out when speaking with friends.

If you are a Trump supporter and feel like you are still feel like you are being shunned and can’t talk about it around your peers or friends,  go ahead and acknowledge his racist and sexist comments, and then denounce them.  From there you can move the conversation onto why despite those comments Trump was the better candidate in your view.  If you can denounce those comments, and empathize with people feeling attacked and concerned by them, and maybe, even, say if time comes where your rights are infringed by my candidate, by our  president, I will stand along side you – you will come looking a lot better than Cassie does above, who essentially says “I grew up near the city – I’m not racist!”   That statement does nothing to alleviate or acknowledge others fears or concerns.

There were reasons to vote for Trump.  Even reasons I disagree with wholehearted that I can accept other may find worth voting for.

I am disappointed with the outcome of the election.  I didn’t vote for Trump.  His words used to describe women, ethnic Americans and Muslims disgusted me.  Those words, can’t be separated from the candidate himself, and while I’m not immediately called out by any of those statements, people I know and associate with are affected by those statements.

I sincerely hope that anyone who reads this blog supported Trump despite his racist, xenophobic and sexist comments, not because of them, and is not afraid to say so.

I’m not saying this will allow you to ‘win’ discussions with peers, with Hillary supporters, with anyone.  But it will allow you to be part of the discussion – not on the outside of it – and that’s how we move forward past this divisive election.


In other news – remember that time Trump ran on the slogan “Drain the Swamp” and then went ahead and had lobbyists, political insiders, and administration from previous candidates in his transition team and as potential cabinet members?

Draining the swamp indeed.

Politics

Its  no secret that I’m on the left end of the political spectrum.  I’m also a realist though.

One of the reasons I voted for Bernie in the primary was because I believe if you shoot for the left, and politics working like it is supposed, what you’ll actually get at the end of the day is something just left of the center, which is progress.

I believe if you follow the trends you’ll see where future and current policy should lay.  Trend data shows increased support for background checks for all guns, increasing acceptance of LGTB rights – including the right to marriage, and that abortion is a right and should continue to be legal.

I struggle to understand people who support a candidate without an understanding of their proposed policies, persona, and holding them to their words and actions.  I’m not saying a candidate can’t change, but I am saying you should know the issues of all of the candidates out there before voting.

I probably am more of a political news junkie than most.  Probably more of a news junkie in general than most.  My most visited sites are CNN, Politico, MSNBC and FoxNews (and yes some comic book and tech news sites).

I just don’t know how any well educated and well read person can support Trump.  I listen to his campaign rallies, read news reports on his speeches and press conferences, and in general am pretty well informed.  I watched as he said Megyn Kelly had “Blood coming out of her wherever“, and I watched as she brought up his comments about her in a one-on-one interview a few months later.  He didn’t apologize about those comments – he said “excuse me” and smiled. 

Just yesterday he started his campaign rally by insulting a fire marshal.  Trump said “the reason they won’t let them in is because they don’t know what the hell they are doing.” The fire marshal he insulted was  named Civilian of the Year last year for his actions at a shooting at planned parenthood.  Trump said it wasn’t his own fault the just showed up.  That apparently the occupancy capacity at a site his campaign choose and signed a contract for was indicative of what is wrong with the American government. He didn’t mention that his campaign signed a contract and knew the occupancy rate, or that they gave out 10,000 tickets for a 1,500 seat auditorium.

Stuff like that blows my mind.  At his press conference on July 27th he said his policies and proposals for education, security, immigration and more were all “3 to 4 weeks away”.  He’s been running for the presidency for over a year now and he is just starting to flesh these out?  His comments about Russia and Clinton’s e-mails were appalling.  Of course his pundits are right.  He didn’t come right out and say “Russia hack a US citizen’s e-mails,” he just said if you “can find her e-mails” you’ll be “rewarded by the press.”  Again, letting a foreign power know that if you hack us, it’s ok because you’ll be rewarded.  And again, I have to admit the next day he said he was being sarcastic, but I watched his press conference live and there was no sarcasm there when he said it.

Building a wall between the US and Mexico is ridiculous.  Not because it can’t be done, but for how insane of a price tag it would have and how long it would take.  Its not something Trump could do during his presidency.  And to continue to say he would make Mexico pay for it is just ludicrous.   How.  If you have a plan come out and say how.

His immigration views.  Lets hold a whole religion culpable for the extremist who claim to be part of that religion.  If that’s the case I would like to do the same with Christianity whenever someone says god made them do it.  Or whenever a christian attacks an abortion clinic.  But again, Trump now says he would stop immigration from countries that are in conflict instead.  So no more political asylum or refugees from countries in conflict.  He says we need a tougher immigration policies for refugees, we already have a crazy long process for refugees that is incredible successful by any record.  Refugees are first vetted by the UN before being vetted by 9 different agencies who then meet to compare their findings.  The whole process takes 18 – 24 months!  Only 50% of people who are referred by the UN are admitted and even than 2% are “single males of combat age.”   (taken from TIME magazine)

His business record is not great. I mean better than  mine because I don’t have a business record.  He has a lot of failures and yes some successes. He has assaulted at least one of his wives.  He has several rape allegations against him including an ongoing on. He can’t seem to continually tell the truth.  His Politifact rating has him at 4% True.  4%!!!  70% of his facts fall under Mostly False or worse. I get it though, every campaign will have statements that turn out not to be true, but he flat out lies on the campaign trail.  A lot.  Clinton on the other hand has 23% True rating and 28% of her statements fall under Mostly False or worse.

One of the comments I’ve heard from people and read/hear/seen on the news is that his supporters say he says what others are thinking.  I just wonder if that includes the things that are flat out not true, the sexist or racist comments or how he judges a whole group of people by a small percentage of their population.

Look, I get why people are hesitant on Hillary Clinton.  I get everything that is said about her.  Her  comments over e-mails that don’t line up (even though the FBI director himself said there was nothing to prosecute her over) and Benghazi (even though a Republican Congress found her not at fault and spent more time investigating the incident than Congress did 9/11, JFK, Watergate or other big events). Maybe you don’t like her time as Secretary of State (even though at the time she had high ratings).  Maybe her other ‘scandals’ are keeping you away.  I get it.  But if the Clinton’s are beholden to their past, then Trump should be too.  If Clinton’s words are used against her, Trump’s should be too.  It’d be hypocrisy to not hold that line.  I’m not saying you have to vote for her, I’m not even sure I’m going to vote for her. But knowing the facts is important.

There are other options out there.  Jill Stein with the Green Party.  Gary Johnson with the Libertarian Party.  And don’t think those options are throwing away  of your vote.  Third party candidates sway the election, and sway future policies of candidates.  The Libertarian Party is just a few percentage points away from being included in all presidential debates.

Or you could write in a candidate.

But Trump.  Why.  Defend your choice with facts and reason. Weigh pros and cons.  And then accept your choice.

Or accept that you are making an uninformed choice.

Super Committee

Did anyone really think the Super Committee would solve the debt crisis?

Wasn’t the whole point that they could get above the partisan rhetoric and ideals behind closed doors and make compromises that couldn’t otherwise be done without party fervor getting in the way? (mmmm…. Fervor)

It’s sad.  But I like that Obama is going to stick to the consequences of no deal being reached.  That needs to stay as a both a consequence and an incentive (negative one though) to make deals in the future.  I would respect Obama a lot more if he called out his party along with the Republicans for not making a deal.

I suppose no deal is actually good for each party.  Republicans can say “We didn’t give in on taxes, and Democrats couldn’t make the cuts needed for the economy.”  Democrats can say “Republicans want to keep giving tax breaks for Millionaires, and want to cut entitlement programs.”

Whatever.  I would have been impressed and reassured in our government if for some reason the Super Committee came to a huge deal with compromises on both sides.  In my mind politics was about making compromises and deals that were good for the whole, with both sides giving in.  Instead, with gerrymandering  and general voting apathy nothing will change.  I sure hope I get 32 more years of this exact same thing in American Politics.