November 14, 2016
So I’ve been reading way too many political articles on Politico, CNN, the Guardian, etc… and I’m starting to form a picture of what I might expect out of Donald Trump’s Presidency. Now these are just guesses and I’m going to try to avoid specifics on anything in particular. Also trying to avoid getting into the civil unrest and focus more on general policy, as I will likely derail myself and completely fail to make a point.
One of the the big things I noticed after his meeting with Obama was how Trump did appear to be legitimately humbled. On some level, I think he is just barely comprehending what he has gotten into. He’s already begun to walk back numerous promises–Obamacare, Immigration, Investigating Clinton–in the wake of winning the election and I wonder if this trend will continue. He’s also gone with a bit more extreme voices in his staff, but we will see about that. With that in mind, I wonder how much leeway he has with his supporters and the Republican Party in general.
Few people realize that Trump really barely won. Clinton in fact won the popular vote by a few hundred thousand votes. If not for the Electoral College and very slim victories in a handful of key states–a percentage point or less in a few cases, with him receiving less than 50% of the vote in those states–he would not have likely won. I could also speculate on how the Green Party and the Libertarians had an impact, but I’m just going to state the obvious that his victory over Clinton was deceptively narrow. Basically, more than half the country voted for somebody else, and he won as a result of the rigging he’s decried so consistently in the past. My point here would be, he does not necessarily carry the mandate of the people and won more on technicality than anything.
That’s another way I compare it to the Brexit. My understanding is that a lot of the British people who voted to leave the EU are currently feeling regret over their vote and that they were lied to by the Leave Campaign. I believe there are interviews where Nigel Farange and Boris Johnson admit a lot of the promises made by the Leave Campaign were empty ones. Also, the economy over there has taken a heavy hit and the pound is valued lower than ever. Coupled with the referendum being held up by a Supreme Court decision on whether Parliament should be voting on it, it is not necessarily having a favorable outlook. And the UK has yet to exercise Article 50 and begin the two years of negotiations to leave.
My point is, the UK is still a long way from figuring out if it really is worth it to leave the EU and right now they are not necessarily feeling that confident about it. Much like this election. In the past week I’ve noticed a few things that I find questionable. There are his walk backs. After wanting to “drain the swamp” of Corruption and lobbyists, he hires a bunch of lobbyists for his team. His “blind trust” will be run by his children, despite the obvious conflicts of interest.
I’ve got a few predictions.
- Trump’s Presidency will be rampant with distractions. Between his staff’s conflicting personalities, his twitter account, and the lingering affects of such a heated campaign, there will be high potential for this Presidency to get distracted. A lot of things can come up that could derail his agenda.
- As I said about the campaign, some of his more inflammatory rhetoric will come back to haunt him. With Lindsay Graham and Marco Rubio in the Senate, you have two people that he ran against that were very resistant to him. There’s also John McCain, who he rankled a bit. They’re getting along now, but how much patience will Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell have for him? Remember that Obama had a majority in the House and the Senate to work with and still had a hell of a time getting the Affordable Care Act written and passed, and that was without the aftershocks of a vicious campaign cycle. Basically I think it will be a short honeymoon.
- Trump will be out of office by some point in 2018. Throughout the campaigns, I always felt that Trump and Clinton were one term Presidents. One way or the other, I thought there would one term for them. Trump more so. I thought initially it would be impeachment or resignation after losing interest, but after the grueling campaign schedule I am wondering if his health might also be an issue. The couple of times I’ve seen him on television he does look more tired and weary. I just cannot foresee him lasting a full term. Mike Pence presents his own issues, however it comes about would definitely curtail his ability to do the job.
- The Democrats will retake the House and/or the Senate in 2018. I think the Republicans will have a lot more fighting amongst themselves than expected. Some of these personalities are destined to clash. The only question is how much it will impact the midterm elections. I think the Democrats are in better shape than most people think with the likes of Keith Ellison, Elizabeth Warren and Tulsi Gabbard forming a new progressive block. The trouble I see is resistance from the Old School Democrats, but it helps that Bernie Sanders is probably the most popular–powerful?–Senator in America right now.
July 27, 2016
A lot more politics than I intended–I really need to stop thinking about politics and focus more on other things–although there are some comic updates and a bit of thought about people thinking their smarter than everybody else–something I’m getting better at not doing.
- Started posting Order of the Dragon on Tumblr. Hoping to keep it rolling this time. I’m doing a lot of different things to keep me a bit more focused and on track this time around.
- So the Democrats are hopefully getting their collective shit together. Hillary Clinton seems to be inclined to make these decisions that make you wonder if she’s even trying to win this election. There have been concerns that the primary was rigged in her favor and the DNC chair resigned as a result. What does Clinton do in response? Names that person as an honorary chairperson on her campaign. It just seems she’s out of touch with reality, which is one of the reasons I have a hard time supporting her. For someone who’s been in politics since the 1960s, I feel like she just lacks a basic comprehension of how people perceive her and her history. It hurts the perception people have when she reinforces it like that. I will applaud Bernie if only because I do think he’s already more focused on getting people elected to congress than he ever was to getting nominated President.
- And then there’s Donald Trump. I cannot fathom how this man has garnered so much unconditional support–well, some it is Clinton trying her best to lose, but still. This guy has been strongly compared to Hitler while showing too much admiration for some remarkably horrible human beings, puts forth policy that experts on both sides agree will be disastrous and just in general is no one who should be near public office. I mean, look at the email thing with the DNC. The right may complain about Clinton’s numerous flaws, but I have to wonder how close Trump is to the Russians. I mean, two or three of his top staffers have strong ties to Putin or his allies and Trump has gotten a lot of money from Russian banks. I have to wonder how close he is to committing treason.
- Last political point. Vote Green Party or Libertarian? Why not? I’m been giving serious thought to voting for Jill Stein over the past month or two, but I will give Gary Johnson every chance to prove to me a Libertarian will get shit done. Our two major parties have given us the two most radioactive options at their disposal, so why not? Stein? Johnson? The guy with the boot on his head? If enough people say “Fuck this, I’m not voting for either of these clowns”, something might actually happen.
- In a lot of stories I write, there has been a tendency to explore this idea of the smartest person in the room. In the simplest terms possible: The ego and belief of that status often limits the implied superiority and stifles ideas. Kind of happens all over the place. In politics where you have the “True Believers” is a particularly dangerous spot, with the belief in ideology trapping each party in failed theories. It is important to have ideas, but also not to get trapped by them. I’ve known a few people that have gotten caught up in that. The number of problems that could have been solved simply by acknowledging that you don’t necessarily know everything… That somebody else might have a better idea… I know there have been a few times when the ideas that can solve a problem are right in front of you, but ego or belief prevents you from doing it. I feel like I’m beating my head against the wall in a couple of cases where this happens. The point is, being right doesn’t always get you what you want. Sometimes you might be better off being wrong. The important thing is to get the right idea in the end.
June 8, 2016
Some odd thoughts for the week, sunburn, politics, a year of being single, unfinished work.
- It really says something about this country when the two major political parties go out of their way to nominate the two candidates that the majority of the population has a negative opinion of. I cannot believe I am saying this, but I might end up voting Libertarian this year. I don’t necessarily agree with Johnson on a few major points–particularly the economy–but at least I can determine where he actually stands. And he seems less likely to start World War III. Of course I’m hoping for Sanders to pull off some kind of miracle.
- I mentioned in the kayak post it will be one year of being single this week. Figured out the official mark will be Friday. Maybe I should throw a party or something? Ha ha, that would be funny. Pretty cool with it. I suppose I’d like to get laid a bit more often, but whatever–did all that reading up on the Kamasutra last year, I’m a little saddened to not have taken more advantage of that. Saw a gym meme about men vs. women and how they handle a break-up. The joke was that months later the guy will be in the best shape of his life while the girl will be getting fat. I have put on ten pounds of muscle since then, so… I suppose on my side there is some truth to it. I’m just trying to enjoy life and wondering how much my gains would have increased if I was getting proper sleep. I just feel I’ve proven everything I’ve had to prove.*
- Got a bit sunburned the other day while kayaking. It’s settled down nice and now I am tanning gloriously.
- I think reviews at work should be done in the next week or two. Probably a lot of back and forth about me wanting to go back to pushing cheese. I can’t help but wonder, would things be better with a union in place? We do have a good pay rate and benefits without the presence of a union, but I have to wonder if this staffing shortage and the events leading to it would have even happened with a union? Or if a lot of the malcontents have lasted as long as they did? You wouldn’t think that about the malcontents, but I think the arbitration of disputes might have a lot more steps without a union and therefore take longer. Another side would fill in some gaps that create more bureaucracy? I don’t know. I think management has made a few missteps–not just on staffing matters, but overall–if only because they don’t really have a real check in place. Idle speculation mostly.
- Speaking of work, I had a bit of an interesting conversation there. An older guy was giving me some wisdom on women and he asked if I knew the origin of the c-word. It’s a word I rarely use, and if I have it was usually in reference to my coworkers. He explained it to me as meaning “can’t understand normal thinking.” Has that same feel as “fornication under consent of the king” to it. Given the number of people I know that seem to function on their own logic, I can understand that sentiment. Doesn’t change what a derogatory term it has become though.
- Might order another Flex Comics tank top or two at some point. The first one I got was awesome and helped that whole “Under Armour Spokesmodel” thing I had going. Having comic or nerd related workout gear is really just me. And brings balance to the force.
*Quick note: I just wanted to add in some ways I might have taken more responsibility for things that went wrong than I ever should have. Without passing judgement on anybody else, I can honestly say I tried to make things better.
June 1, 2016
Vacation is going. Selfie of my new tank top has been posted.
- Been getting a few drawings done, and have been working on comic pages. Vacation is going to be a bit of a catch-up phase. Should be able to make up some ground.
- Went kayaking, mostly just getting my feet wet–literally and figuratively. Probably didn’t spend much more than an hour of the time I was there on the water. Decided I probably will end up picking up crossbars for the top of my Jeep at some point. Mostly just getting a feel for the boat, making adjustments and reacquainting myself with the with it–I last did this on any kind of regular basis when I worked at Branbury State Park back eight or nine years ago. Has it been that long? Fuck, I feel old.
- I’ve been formulating this idea that Trump and Clinton are very much the same. When you think about it, they are. Trump won’t release his tax returns, Clinton won’t release her speeches to Wall Street–I won’t speculate too much on that but I suspect the reasons are very similar for withholding them. They have both taken money from Saudi Arabia–for different reasons, but I think it will be to the same result. The Clinton Foundation and Trump University have both come up heavy suspicion for various issues. I’m sure I could go for days on this if I really tried. But at the end of the day, you just have to look at the way they carry themselves. The way they talk. They really are the great Millenial Candidates. More the perception of Millenials–I do take some issue with that perception, although there is a bit of truth to it. With Trump and Clinton, it comes down to their sense of entitlement. To me at least, they come across as not really believing they have to earn people’s votes and should just be elected by supposedly obvious superiority. Crooked Hillary… Dodgin’ Donald… I look at the way they carry themselves and I think, “This is the way that Millenials are supposed to act, not seventy year-olds.” So yeah, my feeling is that unless Sanders somehow gets the Democratic Nomination, there will be a legit third party contender. Who that will be–The Libertarian Johnson or Sanders himself or someone else–I don’t know.
- My parents anniversary is today. I think it has been 31 years? Sounds right anyway, numbers tend to get jumbled in my head a bit. Suppose I should get a card. Might want to do something special, given the last week. My sister closed on the house her and her husband were buying, plus there was the stuff with my grandfather last week… It was a long week.
- Bought a Tank Top off of a website called Flex Comics the other day, a Deadpool themed shirt that says “Maximum Effort” across the chest. Fit perfectly in my usual size, if you’re ever interested in getting some of their gear. I’ll post a selfie at some point. The comic itself isn’t bad either. Anyway, I looked at the slip and there’s a hand written note that says “Thnks Ross”. Small gesture, but I found myself somehow very appreciative of it.
- Reflecting on relationships a bit. I feel very content to be single. This isn’t to say I won’t be dating or in a relationship soon, I just feel okay to be single. Really just acknowledging simple facts. I’m 29 and ready to actually settle into something that could go pretty far. Point is, I want to make sure whatever happens next isn’t caught up in making a point about the past. Avoiding that trap is part of why I won’t date until I’m done working midnights. I have entertained the idea of some kind of relationship with a couple of women, but there are certain aspects of those dynamics that I want to make sure I am more capable of dealing with. I have been in situations where I could not meet my own standards, I do not want to do that again. I don’t want to be in a relationship where I spend more time proving it is a good situation and that I made the right choices than just actually enjoying it.
- Saw something about how Nathan Fillion was apparently a real dick to people on the set of Castle, especially Stana Katic. A rumor, but it sounds like there was truth to it. Disappointing really, shatters that idealized image I had of him. Another reason I think that last season should never have happened.
- Glad I’m on vacation, I can actually get some of the things done that I’ve been meaning to do.
May 11, 2016
A little late with this one. That is what happens when I spend yesterday doing my best to throw up a lung. Stomach bug going around. Did make the last couple hours of works a bit more exciting…
- Been thinking about that story I posted the first chapter in a lot. I like this iteration better than the last draft by a considerable margin. Less of a clunky flow, more like diving right in. I’m going to keep going with it and the other stuff I’ve been working on. I think I work best when I have a variety of stuff to work on. Still no titles in mind yet.
- Trying to plan some stuff for my vacation time. One thing I’ve talked about doing is trying to plan a trip to see Hamilton. Unfortunately, my initial inquiries indicate the tickets are in the neighborhood of $700 a piece at the low end. Over $3,000 on the high end. Yeah, I’m a bit disappointed. On a side note, the Theatre where it is performed is the Richard Rodgers Theatre. Castle reference.
- So I was planning to buy a grill, a trailer for my Jeep and/or a kayak this weekend. I have a credit cards I got through Home Depot and Best Buy I rarely if ever use, so I figured I would put some of that to use. On top of that, I got a notice in the mail that the limit on both cards has gone up by $1500. Not that I’ve been using them that much anyway, there’s about $140 on the Home Depot card right now–most of that was from getting my chainsaw and is only still on there for budget management reasons–and the only thing on the Best Buy card is this computer. My unbelievably expensive computer, but still.* The higher limit does create a bit more opportunity for flexibility. Spending smart could create opportunities later on. So I might splurge a bit, try to offer out my services as a “grill-for-hire” or something like that. Basically just looking for ways to create new opportunities. Or just play with new toys.
- Thinking about the election a bit. If Hillary Clinton does indeed get the nomination for the Democrats, I have no idea who I would vote for. As I’ve previously stated, I see her and Trump as very much the same. What we have are two power hungry individuals on an ego trip. A lot of the same weaknesses. I don’t particularly believe either of them would be good for this country. Still hoping Bernie Sanders will pull off something special. Personally, I think he has the right ideas in a lot of ways. Whether or not he can accomplish them… Also, Maine Democrats voted to get rid of superdelegates? Or at least trying to. I need to read up on that. Anyway, I think it’s a good sign. Superdelegates have been a joke for a long time and it is good to see some steps away from them.
*Part of the reason I almost had an aneurysm when I spilled some tea on it.