Browsing Tag: politics

    Miscellany

    Hypocrites everywhere

    January 22, 2017

    That’s very representative of the kind of things I’ve seen for the past 24 hours all over my Facebook and Twitter feeds. You probably heard the news that President Trump’s press secretary claimed that Friday’s inauguration was the most-attended ever, or something like that. It’s a total lie, and there’s plenty of visual evidence that it’s a lie.

    The left is OUTRAGED!!!!!!!!!!!

    The right, as best I can tell, is silent.

    All of them are hypocrites.

    To my liberal friends, explain to me why you’re so outraged that a government official lied to you this weekend about inauguration attendance, but when Hillary lied repeatedly about using a private server to send classified information, you were all, “It’s just email! I’m with her!” Why are you so outraged now, but you weren’t outraged when Hillary and Obama lied about Benghazi, saying that a terrorist attack was just a protest over a YouTube video?

    To my Republican friends, the opposite applies: Explain to me why you were so outraged by Hillary’s and Obama’s lies, but now you’re hush-hush about the complete fabrications that the Trump administration is already telling?

    (I’ll stop there; surely we could all think of innumerable examples of both parties lying to the American public.)

    We should all be outraged when our government lies to us. But it’s hypocritical to be outraged only when the other party is doing the lying. If you’re okay with your party lying, then you’re okay with lying. We’ll never get past our partisan problems if we refuse to hold our own party to the same standards we hold the opposition.

    Miscellany

    WTF is with these Fidel Castro reactions?

    November 27, 2016

    I absolutely can’t believe that I’m writing a blog post about Fidel Castro. But I also can’t believe what I saw when I fired up the Twitter machine today and saw tweets from several world leaders and statesmen — all liberals, mind you — offering borderline praise for Castro after his death.

    Consider this from former President Jimmy Carter:

    carter

    Or this from current President Barack Obama:

    obama

    Or this tweet from Green Party candidate Jill Stein:

    stein

    Or this from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:

    trudeau

    WTF is up with all that?

    Look, someone’s death is generally not something you celebrate. But Fidel Castro was generally not like almost anyone else who ever lived. His death is not something to be mourned. To be clear, he’s one of the most evil men who ever lived — a “monster,” as Human Rights Chairman Garry Kasparov called him.

    Let’s see what a few well-known people of Cuban descent had to say about him, starting with Florida Senator Marco Rubio:

    rubio

    But you don’t have to be a politician/statesman to understand what Castro was and what he did to his people. Here’s Cuban-American actor Andy Garcia, quoted on Billboard.com:

    garcia

    How about Cuban jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval:

    sandoval

    How about Cuban pop singer Gloria Estefan:

    estefan

    It’s astonishing that it takes people like this to speak the truth about Castro, while several (liberal) leaders offer platitudes and borderline praise, and express sorrow over the man’s death.

    #SMH

    Miscellany

    Random Thoughts on the 2016 Election

    November 13, 2016

    Let’s see if I can share my thoughts online here — on my own website — and avoid the wrath and threats that I’ve received on Twitter from both Trump and Clinton supporters.

    I’ll state this right from the start: I am not a Republican nor a Democrat. I haven’t voted for a Republican presidential nominee since 2004, and haven’t voted for a Democratic presidential nominee since 1996. I’ve been disillusioned with both parties and their stranglehold on this country for years. I treat every vote I cast on an individual basis, and I generally tend to vote about 60 pct. conservative / 40 pct. liberal — i.e., independent and moderate.

    This year, I didn’t vote for either Trump or Clinton. As soon as it became clear that these two were their respective party’s nominees, I knew I wouldn’t be able to vote for either. So I started researching other parties and candidates and found that I could support Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate. There were numerous areas where I didn’t agree with him, but there were far more areas of agreement than I had with any other candidate. That, combined with him having integrity in spades compared to Clinton and Trump made the choice an easy one for me.

    That said, it’s now about 24 hours (edit: I started writing this days ago, debated on posting it, and finally decided to do so) since the presidential election was called in Trump’s favor. I’ve watched more TV and read more articles about this election than any I can recall. Like most others I’ve come across, I’m stunned by the result. Just as I’ve done after previous elections, I want to put my thoughts down about this one.

    It’s Hillary

    Hillary has some very ardent supporters. But there’s an enormous disconnect between the level of admiration (I’d go as far as worship in some cases) they had for Clinton versus the level of dislike (or hatred in some cases) others felt toward her.

    As I see and read the reaction to Trump winning, it’s pretty obvious that Hillary’s fans are (or were) totally unaware of how many Americans can’t stand her and would never vote for her for president. Or dog catcher. Or anything, really.

    What Brokaw Said

    CNN’s Van Jones shared a poignant, emotional statement in which he wondered aloud how he’d talk to his kids about Trump’s victory.

    But of all the analysis I heard on TV (we switched mainly between CNN and NBC on election night), I thought the best came from former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw. I tried to paraphrase his thoughts on Twitter:

    cwznlanuuaa37mq

    I think there’s a lot of truth in that.

    Don’t Blame 3rd-Party Voters

    A lot of Clinton supporters are blaming her loss on people like me (well, the ones in swing states) who voted for a so-called third-party candidate. In many states, candidates like Johnson and Stein got more votes than what Clinton lost by … so clearly it must be those voters’ fault she lost!

    The mistake they make is assuming that all of these Johnson/Stein/etc. voters would’ve voted for Clinton. I think it’s arrogant to assume that, and it’s certainly not true. In fact, as some research has suggested, it’s likely that third-party voters helped Clinton in several states.

    Having supported Johnson for months — reading his Facebook and Twitter posts, interacting with other Johnson supporters, reading articles about him and his rallies — I know for a fact that a significant portion of Johnson supporters were moderates/conservatives who, like me, couldn’t vote for either Clinton or Trump. “Yeah, but what if there were only the two candidates, Matt? You would’ve voted for Clinton, wouldn’t you, because Trump is so terrible?” Nope. If there were just two candidates, I would’ve skipped that race on my ballot. I’m not going to vote against my conscience just because the system wants me to only consider two candidates.

    I’ve been criticized and even threatened with physical violence by random strangers who’ve seen me tweet support for Gary Johnson. People say I wasted my vote by not supporting Clinton or Trump. If you feel that way, I’d suggest reading D.M. Andre, who says you’re using a fear tactic to get people to vote against their will.

    “But look how Ralph Nader gave Bush the win in Florida in 2000!,” they say, offering that as proof that third-party candidates can sabotage an election. Nope. That claim has been debunked more than once. In fact, shortly after that election, a Salon article with the headline How Florida Democrats torpedoed Gore explained how Gore really lost:

    Now it gets really ugly for the Gore campaign, for there are two other Florida constituencies that cost them more votes than Nader did. First, Democrats. Yes, Democrats! Nader only drew 24,000 Democrats to his cause, yet 308,000 Democrats voted for Bush. Hello. If Gore had taken even 1 percent of these Democrats from Bush, Nader’s votes wouldn’t have mattered. Second, liberals. Sheesh. Gore lost 191,000 self-described liberals to Bush, compared to less than 34,000 who voted for Nader.

    Bottom line: There’s too much going on in a major election to declare that a third-party candidate steals votes that would’ve gone to one other candidate by default.

    Blame Evangelical Christians?

    The number I’ve seen going around is that 81 percent of evangelical Christians voted for Trump. And that’s always accompanied by some kind of criticism or question about how Christians could vote for someone like Trump, whose behavior is so often very un-Christian. It’s a great question/point, but I think I can provide some insight here because I know several Christians who voted for Trump. In one word: abortion.

    Trump had a lot of Christian support simply because they believe he’ll nominate pro-life judges to the Supreme Court. Personally, I wouldn’t be so confident if I were in their shoes — he’s changed his stance on abortion a few times over the years and seems unpredictable to me on this issue.

    But Clinton is not at all unpredictable. Her support of abortion is crystal clear, and she’s said that she wouldn’t want the government to interfere with late-term abortions, either. That’s a non-starter for evangelical Christians, and the possibility of President Clinton appointing one or more pro-choice judges to the Supreme Court was enough to get them to overlook Trump’s faults and vote for him.

    Final Thoughts

    It’s been a long time since I’ve been happy with the results of a presidential election. And it’ll be a lot longer still until that happens. I knew I’d be unhappy no matter whether Trump or Clinton won, so my hope was that Gary Johnson (or any third-party candidate) would get 5% of the popular vote, qualifying that party for federal funding in the next presidential election. That didn’t happen; Johnson ended up at about 3% — more than any non-Republican/non-Democrat candidate since Ross Perot in the 1990s, but not enough. So it looks like the next time we elect a President, we’ll be back to the same two-party dominance that we had this time. I can only hope the two major parties put up better candidates than they did this year. Hard to imagine any worse.

    Miscellany

    2016 General Election Voting Record

    October 28, 2016

    garyjohnson

    Sent my general election ballot off earlier today, and proudly filled in the Presidential section for Gary Johnson. He’s got no chance of winning, but that’s okay. Voting isn’t about choosing who you think will win, it’s about choosing who you think is the best candidate. And given that the two main parties are each running corrupt, pathological liars, this one was an easy choice.

    Johnson was the only third-party candidate I voted for this time. By my count, my overall breakdown of votes by party went like this:

    • Republican candidates/issues: 11 (or 61%)
    • Democratic candidates/issues: 7 (39%)

    We had several “races” where there was only one person on the ballot, so I didn’t bother counting those. But when there was a choice, I ended up going R about 60 percent of the time and D the other 40 percent. Based on my voting history, that seems to be pretty consistent in terms of how I tend to vote.

    Miscellany

    2016 WA Primary Voting Record

    July 24, 2016

    I’ve been trying to keep track of my voting record in the big election years to see which way I lean politically over time. I think I’ve typically tended to vote about 60% conservative, 40% liberal — which is about where I was during the 2012 primary election.

    We live in a vote-by-mail county, so I completed my ballot today and it’ll get mailed off tomorrow. I kept track of my votes, and they were as follows:

    • 7 Republicans
    • 3 Democrats
    • 3 Libertarians/Independents

    That’s 54% Republicans, and then 23% each for Democrats and Other. There were one or two races that were non-partisan, so I’m not counting those this year.

    This side of the state leans heavily conservative and every election there are several races that have only Republican candidates. I think there were three such races this year. So, who knows … things might be a little different if we had more variety to choose from. But I seem to be pretty consistent in voting 50-60% Republican and the rest Democrat/Other each big election year.

    And yes, I’m well aware this is probably only of interest to me. And that’s okay. It’s my blog, after all. 🙂

    Miscellany

    4 Thoughts on POTUS and the Supreme Court opening

    February 16, 2016

    1) I absolutely think President Obama should carefully weigh his options and nominate the most qualified candidate to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.

    2) I absolutely think my conservative friends should stop suggesting he not submit a nomination because it’s an election year. Since when do we stop governing the nation just because there’s an election coming up? The US Constitution specifically says it’s the President’s duty to nominate Supreme Court candidates. So what other parts of the Constitution should we just ignore in this election year?

    3) I absolutely think the GOP-controlled Senate should carefully weigh the merits of the nominee and either approve, reject or filibuster long enough to delay the issue, as is their right.

    4) I absolutely think my liberal friends should stop acting like the Democratic Party has never done to a Republican president’s nominee what the conservatives in the Senate are threatening to do with whomever Obama nominates. To wit:

    https://twitter.com/redsteeze/status/699470242947403776

    For background on the 2003/Estrada reference, here’s an old CNN article about the 2-year Democratic filibuster that blocked his appointment … and this wasn’t even for the Supreme Court, it was for a US appellate court position.

    For more on the Alito reference, note this ABC News post from 2009 pointing out that Obama is the first President to have previously voted to filibuster against a Supreme Court nominee.

    And lastly, how about what Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer said in 2007?

    So, to my liberal friends, please get over this idea that the Senate Republicans are doing something new and unsavory. They’re only doing what Senate Democrats have done several times in the past.

    And for my conservative friends, please get over this idea that President Obama has to stop governing our nation because this is an election year. You may not like him, but that doesn’t change the fact that he has a Constitutional responsibility to uphold.

    Postscript, Feb. 22: Turns out that, in 1992, Senator Joe Biden — currently our Vice-President — had some strong feelings on this same issue.