Archive for July, 2016


I can’t do it. I had planned to do the same kind of mocking of the Democratic National Convention as I had the GOP National Convention. I even started to write it….and it was turning into more of a college paper summarizing the thing than anything else. To be fair, in my eyes, this year’s GOP Convention was just so easy to mock. And really, I do mean this year’s, because in all fairness, generally in the past, you give either party four nights to put their best foot forward, they do exactly that. That this particular GOP convention was so uniquely odd this year is yet another flag against Trump having the skills to be President.

So instead, I’m just going to mention my favorite quotes from the Democratic National Convention and leave it at that:

  • “To the Bernie or bust people, let me just tell you, you’re being ridiculous.” Sarah Silverman
    Hey, I voted for Bernie too, so I get it. And I think we should push for many of things Bernie had stood for, including changing the nomination process. But you do have to realize that he lost. And you really generally don’t change the rules for any current contests midstream, you have to change them for the next time anyway. Make no mistake though, Bernie did good, he got some nice things into the Democratic platform.
  • “How we explain that when someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don’t stoop to their level. No, our motto is, when they go low, we go high.”Michelle Obama
    This is what she tells her children when they are subjected hateful language from public figures and people questioning their dad’s citizenship and faith. More high road please!
  • “I want someone with the proven strength to persevere, someone who knows this job and takes it seriously, someone who understands that the issues a president faces are not black and white and cannot be boiled down to 140 characters.”Michelle Obama
    I thought this was a very effective summation and take down of Donald Trump, all without even mentioning his name. Very succinct too (still too long for Twitter, though, 231 characters).
  • “That is the story of this country, the story that has brought me to this stage tonight, the story of generations of people who felt the lash of bondage, the shame of servitude, the sting of segregation, but who kept on striving and hoping and doing what needed to be done so that today I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves. And I watch my daughters, two beautiful, intelligent, black young women playing with their dogs on the White House lawn.”Michelle Obama
    I’m not sure I would have even included this had it not been for the reaction of people who either don’t know history, don’t understand history, or want to hide from history. What I heard was a recognition of how far we have come as a nation. What other people apparently heard was ‘omg, she said ‘slavery’ and that’s probably not true and why did she even mention that and she should probably not even bring that up’. Or Bill O’Reilly’s odd point in “fact-checking” that the slaves building the White House were “well fed” and had “decent lodging”, which is so beside the point that it’s absurd.
  • “I can say with confidence there has never been a man or a woman, not me, not Bill, more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as President of the United States of America”President Barack Obama
    I have been giving some thought lately in regards to how unique it would be to have somebody serving as President who spent 8 years as First Lady (and let’s be honest, we all know she wasn’t a ‘Good Housekeeping’ first lady baking cookies), 8 years as U.S. Senator, and another 4 years as Secretary of State and would have a former President as her spouse. Whether that’s all good or not, that seems like a much better background than Trump’s career as a celebrity, scam-artist, and at best very mixed business record.
  • “Let me ask you: Have you even read the Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy. In this document, look for the words ‘liberty’ and ‘equal protection of law’.”Khizr Khan
    This is the father of a Muslim man who served our military and was killed in the line of duty. Most times this would be ridiculous, but with Trump, I think it’s a fair question. After all, at one point Trump declared he would defend Articles of the Constitution that don’t even exist. Trump responded with appreciation for this family’s sacrifice before…..yeah, of course that’s not how Trump responded. Instead he insulted the mom, saying she had “nothing to say” and maybe she wasn’t “allowed to have anything to say”. Ghazala Khan, the mom in question, responded that she was still in too much pain to speak, though she thinks she said that without saying a word…..but that would take empathy to recognize, which I’m not sure is in Trump’s DNA.
  • “None of us can raise a family, build a business, heal a community or lift a country totally alone. America needs every one of us to lend our energy, our talents, our ambition to making our nation better and stronger.”Hillary Clinton
    This is a vision for the country that we need to get back to in my opinion. We are all in this together.

To me, the difference between the two Conventions was night and day (or should I say midnight and morning). The GOP’s Convention was a disorganized mess pushing the politics of fear and division with a solution of a savior to save us all. The Democratic Convention was a well-ran (which again is typically true for both parties…) event that while warning against a potential Trump administration given his shortcomings, pushed a message of optimism and unity for moving forward to the future. That message is much more appealing to me, and right now I don’t see this choice as being close.


He’s totally going to add a “Trump” sign over the White House if he wins, isn’t he?

The Republican Convention was this past week, and if you are like most people, you didn’t really have time (or want to make the time) to watch. Well fortunately for you, I watched* so you didn’t have to. (*Ok, I didn’t really watch, I did what any sane person does if they want to pay attention but doesn’t want to spend hours watching cable news television, I read about it just like you did. Just go with it….I did watch Trump’s 15 hour acceptance speech and you know you didn’t, so I think I deserve a little credit!) Here’s everything you need to know:

  • Day 1: Make American Safe Again: Oh, they had themes for each night. But no worries, by-and-large, the speakers ignored the theme and talked about whatever they wanted to anyway. By which generally speaking was about how Hillary will get us all killed. And Benghazi! (No, that’s not from The Big Bang Theory. You’re thinking of “Bazinga!” Pay attention.) Lock her up! And then there was Melania Trump. I guess she told her speechwriter she wanted to sound like the first lady, and the speechwriter took it as literally exactly like the first lady….has happened to us all! (seriously, how do you think you can rip off a convention speech that was only eight years ago and think you won’t be caught?)

    Numbers: Number of speakers who were/are television stars? 4 Number of speakers who were/are “Charles in Charge”? 1 Number of speakers with last name of Trump? 2

    Line of the Night: “He will lead by leading.” – Rudy Guiliani

  •   Day 2: Make American Work Again: First, the Trump campaign spent much of day pretending that Melania’s speech wasn’t partially plagiarized, even though they were caught red-handed. Second, the “Never Trump” movement finally succeeded……in delaying Trump’s nomination by about 15 minutes! But alas, Alaska’s last-ditch effort in procedural protest failed and Trump became the official Presidential nominee of the Republican party. This was also the night where party leaders made their obligatory appearances while somehow saying Trump’s name as little as possible (looking at you Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell). Not much talk of jobs, unless the jobs being made available are for lynch mob to go after Hillary Clinton, led by Chris Christie’s “trial”. (Hey, the pitchfork and torch industry does need a pick-me-up!) Oh, and then Ben Carson dropped the pretenses and just pretty much said directly that Hillary is one with Satan. Hey, if you are going to claim somebody is evil, may as well go all the way, amirite?

    Numbers: Number of speakers who were/are television stars? 2 Number of speakers who are mediocre (by LPGA standards) golfers? 1 Number of speakers who run fighting organizations? 1 Number of speakers with last name of Trump? 2

    Trolling of the Night: Donald Trump Jr. used lines almost word-for-word from an article in The American Conservative by F.H. Buckley. When the internet took the bait and shouted ‘plagarism!’, Buckley pounced to say ‘aha, but I wrote Trump Jr’s speech!’. Well-played sir.

  • Day 3: Make America First Again: Wow, this was straight out of WWE. Ted Cruz is making a speech, maybe he’s going to go “face” and endorse Trump and the crowd is digging it. But as the speech continues, he totally turns and goes “heel” and urges everyone to “vote their conscious”. The crowd turns on him and eventually starts chanting “we want Trump!” And then Trump appears in the crowd! The only thing missing was Trump rushing the stage with a steel chair to chase Cruz off the stage and then playing some theme music and the victorious Trump poses to the fans. Also, Mike Pence accepted the VP nomination, and proved he can fill the role of conventional VP candidate. Plenty of making sure you still remember that Hillary is a bad, bad person.

    Numbers: Number of speakers who were/are television stars? 0 (hmm, must have been an oversight) Number of speakers who gave an awkward wave that sorta looked like a Nazi salute? 1 Number of speakers with last name of Trump? 1

    Line of the Night: “A tsunami is coming! His name is Donald Trump!” – Phillip Ruffin, apparently in support of Trump and not warning of an impending disaster.

  • Day 4: Make America One Again: And that one America? It’s the one you are going to totally die in! The GOP turned the fear volume up to eleven. Danger Will Robinson Danger. But there’s one man, and one man only, who can save us all, Trump. And Trump accepted the Presidential nomination….after a very, very long speech that meandered all over the place…that I listened to. Mostly. It was definitely on my television. Anyway he used a lot of words, whereas if he just wanted to get to the point, it would have been ‘Clinton = danger, Trump = savior, Trump out’. But getting to the point (ever really) is not really Trump’s style, is it?

    Numbers: Number of speakers who were/are television stars? 0 (guess TV stars are just for openers) Number of billionaire speakers? 2, bringing the total to 4 for the whole convention….with 1 one more being a former billionaire. Number of speakers with the last name of Trump? 2

    Line of the Night: “Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it.” – Donald Trump – explaining why he is the savior.

    So Trump has basically laid out his strategy, Hillary is bad and evil incarnate and he is the savior (just trust him, he is). It definitely felt like the GOP was more uniting behind an anti-Hillary movement rather than pro-Trump. It will be interesting to see what balance the Democrats strike this week between pro-Hillary versus anti-Trump in response.




Even during the horrible event in Dallas, humanity shined through as seen as these civilians surround a buggy to help protect a baby.

Here’s what I believe (I would like to say that ‘we can all agree’, but given some of what I’ve seen said on television and online, it doesn’t seem to me to be given that we all agree). No one should be shot and killed because they were selling CD’s in a parking lot. No one should be shot and killed because they were driving with a broken tail light. No kid should be shot and killed because they were playing with a toy gun in a park. No kid should be shot and killed because they showed up for school. No one should be shot and killed because they are providing escort and traffic control services for protestors exercising their first amendment rights. No one should be shot and killed because their chosen profession happens to coincide with those who may be guilty of negligence or worse. In fact, short of self-defense or the defense of the lives of others, no one should be shot and killed, period.

All that said, if we believe life is precious, I think it’s beyond time to maybe see if we can reconsider how things currently are and see if there are any improvements we can make to better protect life.

  • So far this year, over 500 people have been killed by police. That seems to be way too many to me. While specific cases help bring the issue to light, I think sometimes getting too caught up in any given incident or two means we don’t see the forest for the trees. In my opinion, we need to take more of a systematic approach. Are there flaws in the way we approach policing in general? Campaign Zero is an organization that studies and seeks policy-based solutions with the goal of minimizing fatalities from police interactions. Whether you agree with their proposed solutions or not, I do think that should be the goal. (From what I’ve read so far, they do seem like pretty reasonable ideas to me.)
  • So far this year, 26 police officers have been shot and killed. That also seems to be way too many. I know I’ve talked about it before, but in my opinion, it does speak to the gun culture of this nation. We can talk about “good guys” with guns and “bad guys” with guns, but at the end of the day when you are a stranger, you are just somebody with a gun to us. And with so many of us with guns, it can be understandable why officers may be on edge. (I can also point out in Dallas, there were a whole lot of “good guys” with guns that failed to stop the “bad guy” with a gun before he shot 13 people, 12 of which where literally “good guys” with guns. In fact, it wasn’t a “good guy” with a gun that stopped the primary “bad guy” at all, but rather a “good guy” controlling a robot with a bomb.)
  • This should not be used as an excuse to shut down the exercise of free speech and dialogue. Guns can’t solve problems, but words and understanding can. No good can come from fear of letting people express their opinions and frustrations.
  • Prayers are great for comfort, strength, and healing. But they don’t solve problems. Talk about the “immorality” of the nation doesn’t solve problems either. We can express the need of “better parenting”, but I’m not sure there’s any evidence that “better parenting” (whatever that is supposed to mean) would make any difference and it’s not really an actionable solution anyway. I don’t mean to offend, but when presented as things we need, I find it akin to saying “yeah, all of these are terrible, but the world sucks so what can you do”.
  • We also need to be more willing to put egos aside, allow that we all have room for improvement, and ideally all work together toward solutions. One thing that will also involve is to be willing to accept even very micro incremental steps toward improvement and not worry about who gets credit for ideas. For example, in the latest round, the GOP proposed a bill which would have added more mental health information to the background check database. The Democrats argued that this provision didn’t go far enough, which I agree with such as it is, but I would say it did go farther than the nothing that passed. Personally I think this was politics, as there was no way the Democrats were going to allow a GOP bill to be the one that passed for gun control. If so, that’s got to stop. But even if the Democrats did just honestly think the bill didn’t go far enough, then I think they need to realize that any progress is better than no progress at all. There can and will be more debates and bills later.

I guess the tl;dr version of this is that I’m tired of reading stories about people getting shot and killed and then nothing changing. That’s the very definition of insanity.