web statisticsRealtime Web Statistics

Kirsten Gillibrand Is No Longer Taking Corporate PAC Money

She announced this yesterday, and I have lots of thoughts on this. This post is seemingly going to be all over the place, but I have a lot to say and a lot of ancillary points to make so bare with me.

Before I get to her announcement, I’d like to share my thoughts in Gillibrand. Before she ran for Hillary’s senate seat, Kirsten Gillibrand was a congresswoman from a conservative congressional district in upstate New York. During that period, she described her own congressional voting record as “one of the most conservative in the state.” She was endorsed by the NRA, who gave her a 100% rating so she was the bestest kind of ammosexual who loved to brag about the gun she kept under her bed. She was not for marriage equality, but instead supported civil unions.

Needless to say, I had no interest in voting for Annie Oakley to become our next senator. I knew that there was no chance that she wasn’t going to win, but she wasn’t going to do it with my vote. By the time she ran for that senate seat again in 2013, her voting record in the senate had won my vote.

I changed my mind, based on new facts (so much more on this later.)

I wouldn’t say that at that (or any) point, that I was an enthusiastic supporter. She’s certainly never impressed me like Bernie or Elizabeth Warren but nonetheless, she impressed me enough to get my vote. I have always had a healthy skepticism about her for a couple of reasons:

  • She’s clearly a chameleon, capable of becoming anything she needs to become.
  • She’s pretty entrenched in the democratic establishment, which always makes me wary. I’m especially wary of democratic establishment candidates from the tristate area, since we’re the epicenter of special interest political contributions.

Healthy skepticism. That’s pretty much how I look at all politicians.What does that really mean? It means that I look at every vote they cast, every statement they make, and every action they take on an individual basis, completely siloed from every previous statement, vote, and action. So when a really scummy politician like Jan Brewer takes the Medicaid expansion money in the ACA, thereby expanding access to insurance for hundreds of thousands of her constituents in Arizona, I give her credit for doing the right thing. This doesn’t mean that I’ve forgotten every loathsome thing she had done prior to that day, nor does it mean that I became a fan of hers. It simply means that my mind can process each act on its own merit, and that my brain doesn’t short circuit when it needs to hold two seemingly (but not really) contradictory facts in my head. Jan Brewer made a string of terrible decisions that hurt the people of Arizona. She disrespected the president in a disgusting and racially tinged way and she helped hundreds of thousands of Arizonians get health care. My brain is perfectly content holding all of these facts for me to rely on later.

I don’t have the compulsion to lionize or demonize politicians because politics should not be emotional. When you do anything emotionally, you make the worst decisions.

Here’s another thing I don’t care about: why Jan Brewer took that Medicaid money. I don’t care. I don’t care if she did it for craven political aspirations, or if she did it with the purest of motives. Her thought process is irrelevant to the bottom line, which is that she helped her constituents in a monumental way that day. I am not capable or attributing motivations to people without projecting my own feelings on them, and neither are you. When we start to play the motive game, it’s really nothing more than a tool that we use to avoid that whole short-circuit-of-the-brain thing that happens when you have to hold two seemingly contradictory thoughts in your head.

She did a good thing with bad motivations, so I don’t have to process a good thing since I’ve skillfully negated it and therefore saved my brain the pain of embracing nuance.

This was a difficult habit for me to break, and I must admit that I haven’t entirely broken it but I’m close. We all need to learn to break this habit because it’s poisoning our political decision making process.

If there’s any one thing I’m trying to do with this platform, it’s to get people to think more critically. It’s also an exercise in refining and improving my own critical thinking skills.

I used to love Bill Clinton because he made me feel warm and fuzzy. And then I objectively looked at his record, and his part in shaping the direction of the democratic party. I no longer love Bill Clinton (expect when I’m talking to him – the man can charm like no human on earth should be able to). I have mixed feelings about Bill Clinton, as I do about every politician. So should you.

Now back to Gillibrand. She posted this to Twitter yesterday:

If you’re a longtime follower of mine, you would know that money in politics is my central issue. It is the issue that if solved, solves the lion’s share of our other issues. If you’ve been following me for a couple of years, you would never know this because American is a giant dumpster fire at the moment and I have to dedicate all of my time to addressing the Chief Arsonist. But I digress.

The fact that she has made this move is massive. She’s obviously seriously considering a presidential run. I sincerely hope she does run, because that would make her the second candidate in modern history not to take barrel fulls of corporate money. I want this issue to appear prominently in this next presidential election.

I haven’t spent a single second thinking about her motivations because she’s doing the best thing here.

I was a strong Bernie Sanders supporter in the primaries. He’s also clearly gearing up for a presidential run. Unlike most people, I’m not automatically supporting Bernie because I got so emotionally invested in him last time around that he’s my daddy now. No, I’m going to look at the options before me and reassess. I’ve already vetted Bernie, so the good news is that I don’t need to do that again. But as an informed member of the electorate, I must vet the options I get next time around and give each person running an earnest assessment without projecting my emotions on to them.

I am enthusiastically going to consider someone that I once referred to as “the Annie Oakley of New York” for president because what she’s already done furthers my central issue. I have no compulsion to negate that progress on my core issue by attributing nefarious intentions to her. It simply doesn’t matter to me, because I’ve already won.

So my  point in this post is twofold:

I wanted to share my own evolution of thought with you, and hopefully encourage you to leave your emotions behind and think critically about political decisions you make.

I wanted to let you know what a great thing Kirsten Gillibrand is doing, and hope that you take a look at her if she does indeed run for president.

This last presidential election fell apart for two primary reasons: corruption and emotional voting. I sincerely hope we don’t all go through that again (or worse, in perpetuity).


Shithole Countries

I haven’t posted in a long time because my day job has had me really busy, but I had an exchange yesterday on my Facebook page that prompted me to make time for this post.

The exchange came about because a Trump supporter didn’t want to comment on the article I posted about how Trump’s condos are increasingly being purchased by shell companies (and in cash), which are tell tale signs of money laundering. This commenter instead thought that it would be more convenient for him to talk about how the (legal) immgrunts are robbing him blind with their welfare and such. That didn’t turn out very convenient for him when, after he posted some erroneous (and on it’s face, suspicious) data suggesting that them rapey Mexicans are mooching the majority of that welfare money. I then produced data from several sources demonstrating that the “data” he presented was completely wrong, and selectively manipulated to make racists and xenophobes angry. It’s hard to imagine that it’s possible to find manipulated data, designed to bolster a nefarious agenda on the internet, but it is true. This particular source has a long history of not only bias, but flat out racism.

Anyway, I’m not going to get into any of the government assistance program data. Doing so would entail writing a 16 part series that needs to encompass not only laying out all forms of government assistance (but let me assure you that 86% of us are getting something), demographic consumption of said government assistance, institutional racism that keeps certain demographics from anything resembling equality of opportunity, and results (meaning, what happens to people at incremental stages of receiving public assistance). I will write that 16 part series some day when I’m retired and living in France, where I can get some of that sweet, sweet socialist healthcare (and delightful wine) in my old age.

I want to focus this post in on what I know from living and working in the three largest cities in America. Don’t worry, there will also be some very valuable data! As some of you know, I’m an HR professional. Throughout my career, my focus has largely been on talent acquisition, although I did do a good amount of consulting on benefits packages. I currently live in New York, but I’m working with a company in San Francisco. I’ve recruited engineering professionals on and off in the bay area since the mid 90s so I’ve been intimately aware of the labor market for “highly skilled” workers through a few booms and busts.

I always joke that I’ve been recruiting in the tech space, since Java was a child. It’s true. When I first started hiring Java developers, Java was fairly new and it was just a web development language. C++ developers didn’t take it seriously, and never thought that it would be usable on enterprise applications. The point is that Java was brand new, but in extremely high demand at that time (it was 1995) because that’s the language that the internet was going to grow on.

Here are some of my experiences and observations over the past two decades:

  • In 1995, the most experience with Java that anyone could have had, was around 3 years. At that time, I was offering candidates with two years of Java development experience (in the bay area) between $130k – $150k. A senior developer (five or more years of experience – some of which would had to have been in C++) would get between $150k – $160k.
  • Today, an entry level (meaning fresh out of their masters program) developer in the bay area will start at $125k. Senior level developers (five or more years of development experience) are making between $160k – $190k. That’s not much of an increase over the past twenty years. I’m going to get back to this in a minute.
  • Back then (as is the case now), there were nowhere near the number of US citizens needed to fill these positions. That’s just a fact. And anyone who claims otherwise has never been responsible for filling an engineering position in any major city (you know, where all the jobs are) in America. Americans are simply not getting computer science degrees in the numbers that we need them to. If you don’t believe me, invest $350 on a job ad on Monster, Dice, or Indeed and see who applies. You will pay to re-up that post for months, waiting for a qualified native born American to apply.
  • An interesting observation I made when I started off, was noticing that different types of engineers seemed to be concentrated in different countries. India was largely bringing us developers. Networking engineers were largely coming from China. QA engineers were mostly coming from Eastern Europe. These patterns largely held true until about five or six years ago. Those patterns still exist, although there does seem to be more diversification. We’re getting lots of developers from Russia, Ukraine, Iran, and China. Experts in Machine Learning (that wasn’t a thing twenty years ago) are mostly Chinese and Russian. Each country had their own ideas where the big money or big growth was going to be in the technology ecosystem.
  • The entrepreneurs were largely immigrants, even in the early days of the internet (Sergey Brin and Jerry Yang come to mind off the top of my head).
  • That brings me to data.  A recent Yale study found that 44 out of 87 privately held companies valued at over $1 billion had at least one immigrant founder. It estimates that each of these immigrant-founded companies created 760 jobs.

Here’s another article that says that immigrants start twenty percent of the new businesses in America. They account for thirteen percent of the population, but are creating twenty percent of the new businesses. Twenty percent of Inc’s Fortune 500 CEO list in 2014 were immigrants. From the article:

Immigrant-owned businesses pay an estimated $126 billion in wages per year, employing 1 in 10 Americans who work for private companies. In 2010, immigrant-owned businesses generated more than $775 billion in sales. If immigrant America were a stock, you’d be an idiot not to buy it.

By the way, those numbers and all of the numbers in all of the studies I’m posting don’t encompass the jobs created by first generation Americans, born to immigrants because I guess they’re old news or something?

Here’s another study that demonstrates that immigrants create jobs without lowering wages. From the study:

Each immigrant creates 1.2 local jobs for local workers, most of them going to native workers, and 62% of these jobs are in non-traded services. Immigrants appear to raise local non-tradeables sector wages and to attract native-born workers from elsewhere in the country.

And here’s yet another study from The Pew Research Center that reinforces the conclusions of the previous studies and articles, and adds that immigrants are self employed at a slightly higher percentage than native born Americans.

Okay, I can post data from a variety of credible sources all day but you get my point (also, you can find it on your own). Now back to me and my experiences.

The xenophobe from yesterday who inspired this post, made the assertion (naturally sans data) that the legal foreign workers are suppressing wages. That would appear to be bolstered by the wage numbers I shared above. But those numbers don’t tell a story. They’re just single data points. Immigrants categorically do not lower wages in “highly skilled” (meaning a degree is required) professions. Not exactly. What I left out of the wages I shared above, is what happened between 1995 and today. In both 1995 and today, we’re damned near the top of the employment market so the wages I shared are as good as it gets. Now, right after an economic bubble bursts, those wages go down for the same jobs. So an entry level developer will start at $90k – $100k instead of $125k. A senior engineer’s salary will drop to $150k – $160k for the same job because there aren’t thousands of startups or large, VC funded enterprises competing for the talent. So in 2001, Google will lower the wage for a senior engineer from $190k to 160k and they will collude with Apple and Amazon (among others) to make sure that $160k salary sticks. They will squeeze out the engineers making the 1999 salary of $190k (and that guy’s next job will pay $160 because he doesn’t have a choice). That’s why the wages for even professionals with graduate degrees aren’t going up. It’s not the immgrunts fault, it’s the never ending greed of corporate America and unless you know that Hadoop isn’t a Disney character, no one is taking your job or suppressing your wages.

Do I think that undocumented immigrants are lowering wages for unskilled workers. No, I’m not buying that, although I’m open to reviewing any credible evidence you might want to offer. Here’s that happened in Georgia when they cracked down on eye-legal immgrunts. Even with a high unemployment rate, and the possibility of earning $20 an hour, Americans don’t want to work in the fields. The same thing happened in Arizona, Arkansas, and South Carolina. Some of those farmers were offering the $20 an hour salary, and a 401k. This was still no bueno for unemployed native born Americans.

We do not have a manufacturing based economy. We have a consumption based economy, so we need as many consumers earning as much as they can to keep chugging along.

So to summarize, we have legal immigrants creating jobs and filling jobs that we don’t have the native born work force to fill. We have undocumented immigrants doing jobs that Americans simply won’t do. Are there jobs somewhere in the middle that are being adversely affected by immigrants? Perhaps, but I frankly can’t think of any, and my expertise really isn’t at the lower range of the wage spectrum.

So the xenophobe from yesterday kept asking me if I wanted to do something about immigration. I do. I want to incrementally increase it every year, with a review on ROI every ten years. The bottom line is that this is a country of immigrants, and if it hopes to survive, it needs to embrace its roots. Two hundred and fifty years of immigration has made America a place where very smart or very hard working (or very smart and very hard working) people from other countries want to come.

I say, that no immigrant comes from a shithole too big to deny entry to this country.

With that, I will leave you with Chinedu Echeruo. He came to the US from that shithole, Nigeria and rather than go back to his “hut” founded HopStop which he subsequently sold to Apple (which came to be because of a confluence of events that started with a refugee from Syria coming to America) for $1 billion dollars.


Nobody’s Fault

There aren’t many things I dislike more than litigating the last presidential election. Actually, that’s a lie – I hate watching other people relitigate the last presidential election more (much more). I hate it because the “analysis” that everyone presents somehow manages to make every decision they made from the primaries to election day the correct decisions, therefore everyone else fucked up. I presented my thoughts on what went wrong shortly after the election. There were plenty of mistakes made all the way around, and very few people made all of the right decisions.

The pie of blame in this last election has hundreds of slices. I have always maintained that the largest single slice belongs to Hillary. She was the candidate, so to blame anyone else is absurd and childish. She made so many mistakes like focusing on Trump instead of middle class and poor Americans, not going to Wisconsin, not trying to get the forty-three percent of Bernie’s primary voters, but instead focusing in on the mythical moderate republican voter. And the emails. That was the biggest fuck up of all. Decades of being attacked put her in a position of having the lowest trustworthy numbers of the vast majority of politicians in America, and she thought that setting up a private email server next to the Cuisinart in the kitchen was going to help with that? And what the fuck was anyone thinking when they voted for her in the primary anyway? That is was going to be fine? It was never going to be fine, and you were all giant hypocrites for voting for her after being outraged when Bush did the same thing. I can go on and on and on, but I won’t because either you saw what I saw, or you didn’t want to and never will want to.

So why am I writing this post now? Because Hillary’s new book appears to do a lot of finger pointing. The early peeks at the book seem focused in Bernie, but I’m sure she also points at misogyny, Russia, my cats, and a slew of other things that aren’t her for why she lost the election.

I have a lot to say in this post, so bare with me. But let me start with the ways she blames Bernie. Here’s a quote from the book that really steams my beans:

“That’s what it was like in policy debates with Bernie. We would promise a bold infrastructure investment plan or an ambitious new apprenticeship program for young people, and then Bernie would announce basically the same thing, but bigger. On issue after issue, it was like he kept promising four-minute abs, or even no-minutes abs. Magic abs!”

Magic abs? You mean like the magic abs they have in Europe where everyone has medical coverage? Magic like that? Or magic like in Finland, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Slovenia, and France where their magic abs get to go to college without that mound of debt that our flabby stomachs get to enjoy? I’m sorry Hillary, but it is not unrealistic to want the things that our own lying eyes can see are working in other parts of the world.

This right here, is why democrats have been getting pummeled in election after election for the past ten years. Democrats had been losing their base long before Bernie ever announced that he was running for president. Neither Bernie nor his magic abs is responsible for losing over 900 seats across the country over the past ten years. If democrats aren’t going to fight for the things that are going to improve our lives, they can’t expect blind loyalty to the party. I’m not on “team democrat”. I’m on Team Bitchy, and I will always vote my own self interest. My self interests in the primaries lied with Bernie and his platform. In the general, my self interest was in stopping Trump and supporting Hillary.

Ross Perot taught republicans, who are already predisposed to authoritarianism, that they have to follow their leader no matter what. They will never split their vote again. Liberals have no such predisposition to protecting Daddy at all cost. If Daddy is abusive, liberals will not show up to support him (or her). So when democrats refer to commonplace programs that are working in the rest of the developed world as “magic abs”, they can expect the trend of the past ten years to continue. And before you scream gerrymandering! at me, remember that you have to win certain seats before you can ensure that your party can’t ever lose those seats again. Republicans did that.

Now onto the next thing that Hillary said that I think is complete bullshit that only hurts democrats in the long run:

“Bernie isn’t a Democrat. That’s not a smear, that’s what he says. He didn’t get into the race to make sure a Democrat won the White House, he got in to disrupt the Democratic Party.”

You’re goddamned straight he did. If by “disrupt”, you mean “bring the party back to it’s former platform of representing the working people”, then you are correct. I have said this thousands of times over the past couple of years, but let me go ahead and say it again: when a seventy year old man with no money, no comb, and no tailor comes in and takes forty-three percent of your primary voters, you’d better pay attention to what he’s saying. Ignore his message at your peril. The “he’s not a democrat” argument is ridiculous, and demonstrates that you have no idea what’s happening in this country. Half of Gen X, and all of the millennials have no regard for the team mentality argument she’s making here. Politics is not sports. You don’t pick a team and stick with them no matter how many times they shit on you. Politics is about your own health and well being. I am laser focused on my own needs, and I will not blindly follow anyone who isn’t interested in protecting my self interest.


“I’m with her”. That pretty much told you most of what you need to know about the current version of the democratic party. It wasn’t “She’s with you” or “She’s for you”. No. It was “I’m with her”. That’s pretty much what the democratic party establishment is sticking with. That and “Trump is terrible”. That’s the extent of the platform.

There was one other thing she said that made me laugh at her cluelessness:

“That’s what it was like in policy debates with Bernie. We would promise a bold infrastructure investment plan or an ambitious new apprenticeship program for young people, and then Bernie would announce basically the same thing, but bigger.”
She served in the senate with Bernie, so she should have a better understanding of where he’s coming from than I do but she’s so wrapped up in her own victimhood, that it’s made her stupid.
Please watch this video all the way through:

Now tell me if you can find any daylight between his presidential platform and his agenda from nineteen freaking ninety. Bernie didn’t go bigger to outdo you. Bernie thinks big, and he always has. Wanna know who else thinks big? Republicans. They have taken this country so far right that Reagan couldn’t run on his own record in a republican primary. The amnesty for eye-legals alone would be a nonstarter. So while democrats are going for incremental changes, republicans are going for the gold and they’re getting it.

There is no more consistent politician in the world. He’s been talking about the same issues for forty years. The country just finally caught up with him. Notice how I said the country, and not liberals or democrats? Voters on both sides of the aisle are increasingly feeling more populist, and Trump knew it. He was making preposterous promises and assuring us that unicorns and rainbows were going to come shooting out of his ass to take care of everyone who has been suffering for far too long. She in the meantime, was focused on telling you how horrible he is.

Hindsight is supposed to be 20/20. That is not what’s happening anymore. No one seems to be learning any lessons from what happened in 2016. Hillary voters can’t see that they made a horrible mistake in supporting her during the primaries, and they don’t seem at all concerned with the hypocrisy of assuming that the private email server was no big deal. Hillary doesn’t seem interested in exploring why it is that Bernie took such a giant chunk of the primary vote away from her. She just wants to blame him for being mean to her and “enabling” Trump’s “crooked Hillary” narrative. Never mind the fact that she spent the better part of 2008 calling Obama a child (remember the infamous 3 am call commercial?) The Bernie or busters can’t accept any of the responsibility for setting their votes on fire, rather than sucking it up and voting for Hillary to save the republic.

So to summarize: no one is to blame for Trump. So I guess that must mean that he won because he’s just all sorts of awesome.

People, we all need to start reflecting. There is nothing to be learned if everyone digs in and insists that they didn’t make any mistakes. My Twitter feed is full of people bashing Bernie and Kamala Harris because I guess they think that a two year election cycle is too short, and prefer to instead start the whole nightmare of presidential elections on the day after election day. Stupid.

Bernie Sanders is the most popular politician in America, and he’s a liberal. Why the hell would self described liberals be tearing him down? And when Kamala Harris (or any democratic establishment member) embraces single payer health insurance, why would you bash her for that? If you’re on team Bernie, this is a win for you. Just fucking embrace it. Bernie didn’t get into the 2016 race to become president. He got into it to influence Hillary and pull her to the left. He didn’t start running in earnest until February. Wanna know how I could tell? He didn’t have a single field office in South Carolina at the time that the Iowa caucus happened. So take the win, Bernie supporters. He’s managed to move democratic presidential contenders into much more liberal positions than we could have even dreamed of two years ago.

I’m not remotely interested in the 2020 election at this point in time, and neither should anyone else. I’m not hopeful about 2020 or even 2018. Nothing that I’m seeing or reading gives me any reason to hope because no one did anything wrong so therefore, there are no lessons to be learned. Democrats aren’t going to develop a platform beyond “Trump sucks”, Hillary supporters will continue to vote for the least popular candidate in the primary, and Bernie or busters will enable the next W or Trump.



Jason Chaffetz Is Destroying The Last Shred Of Democracy

I bet you thought that Trump was responsible for this, but it’s actually Chaffetz. Let me walk you through my thought process. I read this story yesterday, concerning the war that our intelligence community has declared on Trump. I’m not sure that we needed a formal declaration, since they had just finished taking down Michael Flynn. The war was pretty clearly underway, and probably just getting started. Thus my despair for the state of our democracy continues to grow.

Let me start with a recap of the events that we’re all familiar with at this point: it all started last summer when we learned that the Russians hacked the DNC as part of their efforts to influence our elections. This happened in conjunction with Putin’s army of internet trolls pushing out pro-Trump propaganda. At the time, we had no real evidence that Trump was working with Putin on any of this, but we did have plenty of reasons to suspect that was the case.

Let’s start with Paul Manafort, who had to resign as Trump’s campaign chairman back in August because we found out that he was lobbying for a foreign government, without having formally registered as a lobbyist for that foreign government (as he’s legally obligated to do). That foreign government was of course, Russia. Manafort got a giant pile of cash from Ukranian Prime Minister (and Putin puppet) Viktor Yanukovych.

So that was weird.

A month later, one of Trump’s foreign policy advisors (Carter Page) had to leave the campaign because we learned that he was talking to senior Russian officials about lifting the Obama sanctions on Russia.

So that was weird.

Actually at that point, it had gone way beyond weird when you combined those two resignations with Trump’s effusive and persistent praise for Putin. And yet, Trump supporters and die hard Bernie-or-busters soldiered on with their denial of the kremlin connections and all played their parts in giving Trump (and Putin) the White House.

And then we had the pee-tape leak, which was information gathered by a well respected former MI6 operative who was hired by republicans to gather everything he could find on Trump. Do I know for sure that there’s a pee-tape? I don’t. Do I believe there’s a pee-tape? I believe it’s possible, but I’m waiting for the actual tape to appear on Youtube. The only thing I’m certain about is that if it exists, I will end up on my computer. I do strongly suspect that Putin is blackmailing Trump with something. Nothing else explains all of this.

And then we get to Flynn last week. He was the third person close to Trump who had to resign over improper (and very likely seditious) conversations with Russian officials.

Now, I know that it’s easy to get caught up in the scandals. I did. But when I  took a step back and reflected on the events, I realized that our intelligence agencies are basically running the country right now, and that’s terrifying. They are responsible for all of the information that we know about Trump and Putin, and they let us know by leaking to the press for the better part of a year.

That’s not how this is all supposed to work. When I start thinking about what we don’t know, I become flat out terrified for this country. I don’t know if the intelligence community briefed the Obama administration on what they knew last summer. I don’t know if Loretta Lynch was given the opportunity to investigate. I don’t know if the DOJ knew the full extent of all of this. If they did know, why didn’t they gear up to prosecute? Was the house oversight committee briefed? I don’t know what the fuck happened while Obama was still in office.

I do know that the FBI have been battling themselves in an internal civil war where the NY bureau went rogue in doing their best to put Trump in the white house, which has left the DC bureau steaming mad. I do know that the intelligence leaks that have been coming from the FBI are coming from the DC bureau. I don’t know if the CIA and the NSA are also leaking, or if this is all coming out of the FBI.

I do know that all three agencies have a lot more information than what they’ve leaked so far. It would be completely inconceivable to assume otherwise. Remember the story about Trump turning off the recording during his call with Putin a couple of weeks ago? Well, I’m pretty certain that our intelligence agencies, Germany’s intelligence agencies, the UK’s intelligence agencies, and every other intelligence agency in the world didn’t stop their recordings.

Here’s what I know beyond a reasonable doubt: there is no chain of command left for the intelligence communities to follow with this information. We do know that they did went to the Justice Department with the information they had on Flynn back in January. That’s how it’s supposed to work. Our intelligence agencies don’t have the power to prosecute anybody. The intelligence agencies investigate things and then bring the results of their investigation to the Justice Department. The Attorney General then decides if a prosecution is warranted. Our current Attorney General is Jeff Sessions, who was appointed by Trump. That doesn’t seem like a viable route for the intelligence community to take if they want to expose treason on the part of the president and his staff.

There is another avenue. The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform can investigate. Unfortunately, the head of that committee is a republican tool, who has announced that he’s not willing to do his fucking job. Now, Jason Chaffetz is not the sharpest tool in the shed. He’s a lot like a lobotomized bulldog who bypasses any thinking and goes straight to attacking  democrats, just because he can.

That half-wit bulldog is the only hope we have of salvaging the small slivers of democracy we have left. I want to believe that if he decides to earnestly investigate Trump’s relationship with Putin, the intelligence community wouldn’t have to leak like a sieve to the press. We can’t keep going down this dangerous road, where random spies and analysts are basically running the country with raw intelligence information that hasn’t been vetted and reviewed. I know that it’s tempting to be grateful for these leaks right now but trust me, this is not going to turn out well for any of us if we embrace this as the new normal.

I am unfortunately convinced that Chaffetz is entirely too dimwitted to realize that what he’s doing isn’t actually protecting his beloved party, but rather blowing up our democracy. Trump is going down either way. I just don’t see how he can turn any of this around for himself.

So why do I put our fate in Chaffetz’s hands rather than in Jeff Sessions? Because Chaffetz needs to win an election in less than two years. We have some leverage on him. Sessions isn’t directly accountable to a single American Citizen, since he sits in an appointed position.

Chaffetz’s offices in both DC and Provo need to be surrounded by thousands of concerned citizens every single day until he relents. I know that this isn’t likely to work, since Chaffetz has historically demonstrated a complete and utter lack of concern for public opinion, but we have to do something. Our democracy is literally falling apart before our very eyes, and anyone who isn’t in full blown panic mode about this doesn’t fully understand what the big picture looks like.




A Bitchy Message For The Alt Right

You’re Nazis. The only reason I referred to you as the “alt-right” in the title, is for SEO purposes. You’re fucking Nazis, and the only reason I will include the term alt-right in this piece is to search optimize this post.

As Nazis are historically wont to do, you’re a sad sack of self loathing losers who are a disgrace to your race. Why do I say you’re self loathing? Because you’ve told us that you can’t compete for jobs against immigrants (especially the eye-legal ones) so you need for them to all leave so that you can get a job. How fucking pathetic. And yet in the same breath, you claim your racial superiority. Really? I’m flummoxed as to where said “superiority” can be witnessed, since you can’t compete with a non English speaking eye-legal for a job? When someone has to point to the color of their skin as their only source of “superiority”, that seems like a clear sign of self-loathing to me.

In all of your poorly educated fervor in regard to your superior race and whatnot, you’ve failed to ask yourselves who it is employing all of these brown people that you can’t compete with. Is it brown people trying to give their fellow “inferiors” a leg up. Nope. Corporate executives in America are super white. Did I say super white? I meant super white men. And as the country is becoming more of that icky brown shade you’re so superior to, executives are getting even whiter. So maybe you should ask yourself why they don’t want to hire you. Do they perhaps know something about your superiority that you don’t? Maybe that it’s a joke perpetuated by people who have literally no other source of pride?

I live in Harlem. Harlem is a part of Manhattan that is dominated by brownstones, rather than high rise apartment buildings. There were a few decades there where no one wanted to live here. By the early nineties, it was impossible to give away one of the beautiful brownstones like the one I live in. The property taxes were literally higher than what anyone was willing to pay to buy one. As a result, they all started falling apart. By the late 90s/ early 2000s, they were selling like hotcakes. The gentrification process had begun and developers were snatching up the brownstones and renovating them. That process is still going on. Two brownstones on my block are being renovated right now. One of them is directly across the street from me. I see the workers show up every morning between 6:15 and 6:30 to start work. This is true of both renovation projects. They’re usually done around 6:00 in the evening. None of them speak much English. Every day, one of their wives shows up with a cooler full of home made food for the whole crew. It’s a different wife each day, so they have a schedule. Mind you, there are around a dozen places to grab a quick, cheap bite to eat within a two block radius. At least one of the wives I saw dropping off food, was wearing a maid’s uniform and a name tag so she was on her way to work. They work every day but Sunday. On Thanksgiving, they were all at work at their usual time, 6:30 am. Since it was a holiday, they ended their day at 4:00 instead of 6:00. On the day after Thanksgiving, they worked their usual schedule of eleven plus hours. Wanna guess who the bosses are? Yep, they’re super white guys.

So if you’re having trouble finding a job, you should definitely come to New York City. There’s literally never a time when there aren’t hundreds of construction or renovation jobs to be had. I’m positive these jobs pay what one would expect the type of job that has you working over eleven hours a day, six days a week, and on holidays. So come and get them, Nazis. There’s a fabulous life here for you and your Nazi wives.

Now, I don’t have the skills to build a house. I don’t have anything remotely resembling the skills to build a house. I do have a job that pays six figures, provides me with good benefits, and paid me for binge watching Westworld on Thanksgiving. I have never been able to figure out why what I do is considered more valuable than what the workers who are building the house across the street from me do. So unlike you Nazis, I don’t have any delusions of grandeur despite the fact that it’s society telling me I’m more valuable, rather than just racist voices in my head. But I’m positive that many of you have these awesome home building skills I lack, so come on over and take your jobs back from the eye-legals who have “stolen” them from you.

Now at this point, I have to confess that I’m Jewish and probably used my sneaky Jew ways to get a good paying job. I should also tell you that I’ve never worked in the financial industry, and have turned down dozens of requests for interviews for that industry. I just can’t do that in all good conscience. I also accidentally interviewed for a job I was recommended for that turned out to be with a News Corp company. I didn’t realize it was News Corp until I showed up for the interview and saw that I  was entering the News Corp building. I turned down that job. So I’m not one of those Jews who runs the banks or the media, but wanna know who is? Herr Trump’s chief advisor and your Nazi leader, Steve Bannon. That’s right, he was an investment banker for an uber Jewy firm you may have heard of: Goldman Sachs. He then went on to start his media empire. So when you’re deriding the Jew bankers and media executives, don’t forget who your leader is.

Since I’m filling you in on things you don’t know, I have some terrible news for you. Terrible news that I’m positive you’re clueless about since many of you are the same dolts who took to the streets in February 2009, and called yourselves teabaggers, leaving me no choice but to refer to you by your own chosen name. Since you were so fucking clueless about what a teabagger is, I’m pretty sure that I’m about to drop a bombshell on you: your Vice President elect is super gay. He’s not just a little bit, maybe-you-can-tell gay. He’s super fucking gay. When a well coiffed republican man advocates for gay conversion therapy, they’re coming out to you. You idiots are just to stupid to realize it. Mike Pence started off as a right wing radio host before he became governor. Most people don’t know this, because his show never really got out of Indiana so he ran for governor and proceeded to run that state into the ground. I would not be at all surprised if someone told me that he agreed to be Herr Trump’s running mate, so that he could finally raise his profile enough to contend for the position of Liza Minelli’s third gay husband. That’s how super freaking gay Mike Pence is.  Now I don’t expect you to believe me, because you couldn’t really be alt right Nazis if facts registered even a little bit. But I will enjoy mocking you for being so damned blind again over the course of the next four years.

So as you’re going around the country committing hate crimes against the dreaded gays, just know that you elected a super gay vice president. Now maybe you’re all absurdly claiming that being gay is a perversion in order to deflect from your own actual sexual perversions? I’m talking to you, Nazi cucks. Every time one of you shows up on one of my social media pages to call me or my followers cucks, you’re telling me a lot about yourselves. You see, I know where the term comes from even if you don’t. Let me clue you in (from the link):

“I describe cuckolding as a marriage where the husband derives sexual pleasure from watching his wife have sex with a man who has a larger penis.”

Now I don’t know why you would feel compelled to clue me in about your sexual fetish (and shortcomings), but they’re of no concern of mine. Whatever you and your consenting partner decide to do in the privacy of your own bedroom is none of my business. Please try and keep it that way. I have no desire to picture your tiny little prick during the course of a political discussion on my social media pages. Get a pump, learn to use your tongue, get some therapy, or get yourselves as many well-endowed men as you can find to pleasure your women. But stop making your sexual problems part of my life.

In closing, I just want to say that you’re all just sad little people. From your inability to compete for jobs, to your cluelessness about what’s going around in the world around you, to your misguided over sharing regarding your tiny penises. You’re very sad people, and I’m sorry that being anonymous assholes hiding behind your keyboards is all you have in this world. Must be hard, typing out all of that hate, what with your tiny hands and all. I rejoice in the knowledge that you have to live the rest of your miserable lives knowing that a black man was President Of The United States, and all you have is a tiny prick and a keyboard to make yourselves feel better about it.



I’m not going to sugar coat this: the next few years are going to be some of the worst in the history of our country. I have been having a hard time letting mind do what it does: making calculations on everything that is going to be destroyed by Trump. My mind just can’t wrap itself around all of it.

The Supreme Court is lost to us for another thirty years. Not by a 5-4 majority, but probably by a 6-3. That, we know. Trans Canada has already released a statement about how they’re looking forward to working with Trump to finish Keystone. The Dakota Pipeline will definitely be moving forward, since Trump is a big investor in that project. I can go on and on, but I’m not going to.

If Mitch McConnell kills the filibuster, we and the democrats (even if they found their spines) would be powerless. We all just need to accept this situation.

This piece is about what you can expect from me, and where the focus of this blog and my social media presence will be.

Let me start by saying that I do intend to shift the focus more toward the issues of the blue collar base that elected Trump. Yes, I will continue to bring attention to the environmental devastation that this administration will bring, but I just feel that focusing in on issues that only matter to liberals isn’t the best use of my platform at this time. There will be plenty of outlets who will be laser focused on those issues. We are going to have a myriad of issues that are going to have immediately dire consequences, and they’re going to be issues that we never thought we were really going to have to deal with (like what’s about to happen to social security, the repeal of a bunch of LGBTQ rights, Obamacare, etc). This won’t be a major shift in the content I provide you, but it will definitely be a shift.

I will be very very cautious about posting anything that resembles speculation about what Trump is going to do. He’s an extremely volatile person who has clearly demonstrated two things about himself:

  • He doesn’t have any real convictions on most issues (for example he was pro life until he was anti choice) so his views turn on a dime.
  • He doesn’t understand very much about either domestic or foreign policy issues.

I saw an article about how Trump’s wall is already turning into a fence yesterday. As I read the story, I learned that congressional republicans are meeting with Trump with a proposal to turn the wall into a fence. I won’t be sharing stories like that, because they don’t contain anything substantive. I will be posting more about things that have happened, and what they mean to you. Events will be unfolding in a fast and furious way over the next six months. I don’t see much value in anticipating the next terrible thing, when I can spend that time delving deeply into the ramifications of the terrible thing that has already happened.

I will limit the “character” stories. Trump is a terrible person. We all know that. I will be focused on the terrible things he’s doing to you, more than on the terrible person that he is. I will not be posting about the rape allegations unless something actually happens. I will not be writing about the groping, stealing, cheating, and general douchiness unless something tangible happens because of it.

Why the shift? Because I want to arm people who follow my content with information that can be discussed with republicans in the form of issues that are actually affecting them. I want you to be able to listen to someone who feels they’re getting screwed by their country, and be able to walk them through exactly why what’s happening to them is happening.

I will be writing more about my thoughts on the path forward. I’ve written about this in the past, but not recently. We have to work toward a constitutional amendment to remove corporate personhood and get money out of our political system. I will write more on this later.

I do not advocate this insane notion of petitioning the electoral college to go rogue. The electoral college is an inane system that we need to fix legislatively. But asking them to take matters in their own hands will come back to bite you in the ass, and it’s just as destructive to our democracy as cheering on a senate that won’t let a democratically elected president seat a Supreme Court justice. I’m not interested in further deteriorating what’s left of our system to solve an immediate problem. Part of living in a developed country is that you sometimes have to eat a shit sandwich that your fellow citizens have prepared for you. I suggest you stock up on breath mints.

Trump won under our asinine system, and we need to accept that.

We all need to start communicating with our local and state legislators because that’s the only place where anything good could happen for the next two years. I will need your help on this, since I can’t be in every county of every state. Please share important legislative issues that are happening locally around you. I will take a look at them and share to my social media outlets.

As a sunny optimist, I believe that the suffering we’re about to experience will bring us to a much better place. Political shifts come in cycles. During the primaries when Hillary was winning almost exclusively with people over fifty, I said that the baby boomers were never a particularly liberal generation. They were once proud Reagan Democrats. They weren’t all that liberal because they didn’t have to be. The homes they grew up in, the college money they had, the relative equality of opportunity that they enjoyed was made possible by FDR’s flaming liberal policies. Conservatism is a luxury item that people (both democrats and republicans) tend to buy when they can afford it. You don’t have to fight for something that you already have. And even liberals’ capacity for empathy is limited. Hence the sudden realization that black people are being killed by police all across the country, despite the fact that they have been telling us this for decades. Now that we can see it, we can empathize. Frank Luntz referred to millennials as “terrifying liberal”. That’s because they don’t have the opportunities that the boomers had. It’s cyclical. After four years of Trump, “terrifying liberal” is going spread beyond the millennials. My generation (Gen X) is split pretty evenly. We’re not going to be split evenly a year from now, I promise you that.

But we have to play the long game, and not try to find instant gratification like that crazy electoral college thing. We also need to stop with the #notmypresident crap. This is what they did to Obama. Stop being petulant. After every election, about half of us get a president we find appalling. That’s just life. You can oppose Trump, you can expose all of the sleazy and destructive things that he does, you can speak out against him every day but don’t be a child about it. If we do this, after they did this, it will become a normal thing to delegitimize a president who was legitimately elected. Peaceful protest is good, and I completely support it. But petulance is not. Wait for him to do things that warrant protest, otherwise you just become background noise.

We need not to give birth to a lunatic left that resembles the (now) entirety of the right wing. Lunacy grows like pancreatic cancer. That’s the really bad kind that spreads quickly and always kills you, in case you’re not familiar. You need to stop engaging your lunatic #jillnothill friends who were sharing breitbart links in an effort to demonize Hillary. They’ve lost their minds and moved so far left, that they’ve actually looped around and joined the ugliest parts of the right. The only way to stop this particular cancer is to quarantine it. They are dark, hateful, and batshit crazy. Trust me, they will only cause you grief.

Now I’m going to say something seemingly contradictory: you should listed to opposing opinions. As long as someone is willing to have a respectful discussion with you, and provide credible links for what they say, you should make an effort to listen but only if they’re not crazy. Sharing links from fringe sites and disregarding actual journalism is a sign of crazy. If someone is willing to have an intellectually honest conversation with you, you should be able to engage them and consider what they say.

And for the love of god, stop projecting motives on people. When I posted stories demonstrating that Jill Stein and Gary Johnson were dolts, it’s because they were dolts. It had nothing to do with my advocacy that we needed to save the republic by voting for Hillary. I was very adept at making that point as a stand alone, if you recall. I don’t view politics emotionally. I form every opinion and make every observation with no emotional attachment at all. I remember when the second half of the Nevada primary happened, and Bernie ended up winning because Hillary’s (she won the first half of that primary) delegates didn’t show up. I posted the results and shared my opinion that I didn’t think it was fair even though I was still supporting Bernie at the time. If something is fair when it works for you, it’s fair when it works against you. This is not complicated. If a private email server enraged you when the Bush administration did it, it should have enraged you when Hillary did it. This isn’t complicated. I was enraged both times, and still concluded that I had to vote for Hillary in the general. Mind blowing, I know. But I sincerely wish it weren’t. None of us, not you, not me, and not anyone we know are uncomplicated. We are all a mix of good, evil, rational, nuts, and every combination of character traits that exist in the human race. If you don’t understand why someone would be enraged about Hillary’s emails and then advocate for supporting her: listen to them. And if they give you an explanation, listen to it. Stop projecting your bullshit on other people in order to award yourself an imaginary intellectual victory because that’s where communication breaks down.

I did a lot of blocking of self professed liberals through this election cycle, and I’m sure you did too. Don’t be a douchey liberal, that’s all I’m asking. If you don’t like something someone posts on social media, debunk it. Don’t name call. You’re not tearing them down, you’re demonstrating that you’re a douche.

I’m going to stop here for now, but I have a lot more to say regarding the election. For now, please go to:



our revolution.com

These will both give you clues on what I plan to advise in terms of a path forward.


What The Hell Happened With This Election?

So I’ve started to look at the data that’s available right now. Please note that we don’t have anything resembling all of the data that we will have in the coming weeks so I reserve the right to change my analysis as new information becomes available because that’s what I do. I change my opinions as more information becomes available to me. More people need to learn to be open to new information, and allow their thinking to evolve based on new facts as they materialize.

So what the fuck happened on Tuesday? Well, it was a confluence of events (some unforeseen and some planned) and bad judgment. Before I get into all of that, I want to say something. Yesterday, I had to endure a day of hateful finger pointing, absurdly unfounded gloating, vitriol and general douchebaggery. None of it was intended to be productive. It was all intended to make the person doing it feel superior by shitting on someone else because they didn’t agree with them every single step of the way to election day. Trump’s deplorables let their freak flags fly, and a lot of so-called liberals behaved deplorably. It was a generally appalling day.

Let me be clear: I will never be compelled to shit on someone who thought they were doing the best thing, but turned out to have bad judgment. I’m specifically referring largely to Hillary primary supporters, but also other groups of people (I will elaborate later). Shitting on people who are shell shocked and dismayed isn’t particularly liberal or inclusive in my opinion, and it isn’t going to “teach” anyone to have better judgment. Those of you who did that yesterday are deplorable, and you’re going down the same road that republicans embarked on over thirty years ago.

This post is not about finger pointing (well there will be a little of that, but I’m doing my best to limit my inclination to be small and petty). This post is about unpacking what happened in a productive and (hopefully) instructive way so that we can learn something and figure out how to move forward.

I’m going to walk through the events that all led up to this, and then I will get into the election data. The first event in the shit storm chain happened over three years ago, when the Supreme Court gutted part of the Voting Rights Act. Remember all of the fuckery that happened in the democratic primary with voter rolls being scrubbed, polling places being closed en masse and everything else that people attributed to Hillary rigging the primary? Well that wasn’t Hillary, it wasn’t the DNC, and it wasn’t done with the intention of rigging the primaries for any particular candidate. Trust me, the five right wing Supreme Court justices had no idea (nor did they care) who would be running in the democratic primary and neither did the republican election officials that made moves to suppress the vote. They were laser focused on the general elections, where they know that republicans only win when voter turnout is down. I looked into every situation where fuckery happened in the primary (Arizona, New York, and all the rest). In every instance, I figured out that the wheels to suppress the votes had been in motion before Bernie ever announced he was running.

Did these voter suppression tactics cost Bernie the primary? I don’t know, but do know that not every state was in exactly the same situation. The hard data simply isn’t there to inform me in a way that I feel comfortable making that call. I don’t believe that the results in New York (for example) were impacted in any significant way by the scrubbing of the voter rolls. Hillary won New York in the 2008 primary by a slightly larger margin than she won in 2016. Those who were scrubbed were very likely to vote in roughly the same proportions as those who got to vote. I’m speculating (so take that for what it’s worth) that Bernie may have lost a few points in states like Arizona, where 2/3 of the polling locations were gone. Why do I think that? Because Bernie’s base was largely made up of first time voters who aren’t used to the idea of spending four hours casting a vote. Yes, some people become more determined to vote when voting becomes harder, but many more people simply don’t have the luxury of that determination because they have work, kids, or a myriad of different things that are more immediately urgent in their lives than voting.

We had eleven states where democratic voter turnout set records. None of those states took the opportunity the Supreme Court gave them to suppress votes. I believe that we would have seen much higher turnout in several more states, had SCOTUS not fucked us. And I believe that increased turnout was because of Bernie’s candidacy. You will see why I believe that when I share the general election data. Does that mean that I believe that Bernie would have won the primary without the SCOTUS decision? I earnestly don’t know, and I’m not going to project my pro-Bernie emotions into my analysis. It’s possible (and in my opinion likely), but the evidence to make that proclamation isn’t there so I’m not going to make it.

And then there was the voter suppression in the general. 300,000 people in Wisconsin alone showed up to vote, but weren’t allowed to because of the voter ID laws that Wisconsin passed in order to prevent people from voting.

So the first factor was voter suppression. The second factor was that Hillary simply wasn’t a good candidate. Her untrustworthy numbers were very bad going into the primaries, and they just got worse. I kept hearing over and over again from Hillary supporters that it wasn’t her fault that people didn’t trust her, and that the distrust was a product of twenty years of republican propaganda. That’s definitely true, but it didn’t change the fact that people don’t trust her, and I never saw the value in handing her the nomination to make it all up to her. Trustworthiness numbers always go down for every candidate who is running for office, and they keep going down through the whole election cycle. That’s just a fact. Bernie’s trustworthiness numbers went down too, but he didn’t start with such a massive deficit to begin with. Assuming that his trustworthiness numbers were going to drop at the average percentage that every other presidential nominee’s numbers drop, he would have still been significantly higher than past presidents elect. Hillary’s were always going to be far below previous presidents elect because they started off so low. Her primary supporters dismissed a very significant fact because they were emotionally invested in her.

She also ran a terrible campaign more focused on “he’s the devil” than “here’s what I plan to do for you”. She was trying to appeal to moderate republicans, rather than Berniecrats. Well guess what? There aren’t any moderate republicans, because they all stuck with Trump. She thought that moderate republican women would vote for the. They didn’t.

That brings us to the unbelievable and terrifying events that are next in the shit storm chain.

Russia. That was real. Donald Trump was working directly with Vladimir Putin, and just because Hillary and the DNC focused on that fact in their messaging didn’t mean it wasn’t true. This is the problem with the lack of critical thinking that goes on in America. All of the die hard Bernie or busters suffered from a particularly virulent strain of broken logic that very much resembles what’s been going on with the far right. The DNC and Hillary worked together to tip the scales in her favor, therefore Russia isn’t working with Trump! What the fuck kind of backward thinking is that? Kurt Eichenwald had the smoking gun that proved that Trump was working with Russia. Trump repeated some very stupid reporting that only appeared in one of Putin’s propaganda outlets (and only for a couple of days before it was taken down) and one very small Turkish outlet. The evidence was incontrovertible and yet on my very Facebook page, I had some Stein supporters sticking their fingers in their ears and shouting “LALALALALALA”. These are people who dismissed a very significant fact because they were emotionally invested despising Hillary.

And then we had the FBI. This is something I promise I will be writing more about in the future, but here’s the short version. We learned that the New York bureau of the FBI was working to manipulate our elections in order to select Trump to be the next president of the United States. Basically, the New York bureau of the FBI did to America, what the CIA does to other countries to manipulate their elections. That should terrify every American, but almost no one noticed because of their emotional investment in the outcome of the election.

Now we come to election night. The bottom line is that Hillary got nearly six million fewer votes than Obama got in 2012 and nearly seven million fewer votes than Obama got in 2008. There wasn’t a massive surge of Trump voters on the republican side either. He got nearly a million fewer votes than Romney did in 2012, but slightly more votes than McCain got in 2008. This is where both Hillary and Trump’s untrustworthy numbers come into play. A lot of people on both sides stayed home. Again, I don’t have the hard data on what I’m about to say, but I’m pretty confident that I will within a few weeks. I believe that moderate republicans stayed home in 2008 because of Palin (Nichole Wallace couldn’t have been the only one), and more of them stayed home in 2016. But I believe that Trump had a tranche of first time or seldom-ever voters in his back pocket. These would be the KKK and the “alt right” types that don’t vote. They made up for the moderate republicans that didn’t show up or voted for Hillary. Hillary simply didn’t have such a tranche.

Now let’s look at the third party voters. This was a pretty small number of people who were so emotionally invested in not voting for a major party candidate, that they were happy to let the house burn down. In the end, most people came to their senses. Gary “what’s Aleppo” Johnson got 4,042,291 or 3.2% of the vote. Little Equally Clueless Jilly Stein (quantitate easing for everyone!) got 1,207,141 or .96% of the vote. Did that matter? Here’s where I have some hard data and some educated assumptions to present. We know that Hillary got more of the popular vote, so we have to look at some specific states.

In Pennsylvania, Trump got 68,236 more votes than Hillary did. Pennsylvania hasn’t voted for a republican for president since 1988 so right off the bat, this tells you how bad a candidate Hillary was. She absolutely cost democrats a senate seat in Pennsylvania. But let’s look at the third party votes. Gary Johnson got 142,653 votes. Jill Stein got 48,912 votes. I think it’s fair to say that all of Stein’s voters would have voted for Hillary, had they not let their emotions tell them that they had a third (totally fucking unviable, sorry) option. I have a handful (not enough to create a gospel) of data showing that Gary Johnson was getting more votes that would otherwise have gone to Hillary, than he was from Trump by either a 3-1 or 4-1 margin. Again, I saw this on my own Facebook pages with some very confused Bernie supporters shifting to Johnson. So let’s assume the lowest 3 -1 percentage, with half of them staying home (I’m trying my best to skew my assumptions in Trump’s favor here). That would be 23,775 more votes for Trump and 96,422 more votes for Hillary. Hillary would have won Pennsylvania by 4,411 votes.

Ohio wasn’t close enough for me to have to do the numbers. Hillary would have lost Ohio either way.

In Florida, Trump got 119,770 more votes than Hillary did. Stein got 64,019 votes. Johnson got 206,007 votes. Applying my formula from above, Hillary would have won by 12,919 votes.

I don’t need to do the numbers on any other states because Pennsylvania and Florida would have put her at 277 electoral votes. We wouldn’t be in this mess had people (just like in 2000) not decided that this was the right time to get cute with their votes, despite the fact that the polls clearly demonstrated that the dolt they were voting for, wasn’t even in the stratosphere of viability.

This election was so close that if any one of the factors I went through weren’t present, it would have gone the other way.

To be clear, I have concluded that the polls weren’t wrong. The data regarding who was actually going to show up to vote was. And that’s usually where most of the error in polling lies. It’s true. Do a little research of your own, if you don’t believe me.

In the end, Michael Moore was exactly right in his belief that Trump was going to win the election and he was exactly right in his reasoning. I was right too, until I was wrong. Voters in America on both sides of the aisle are angry and deeply resentful of the establishment. Back in March, I cautioned against running a corporatist against a populist and I believe now more than ever that I was right. I miscalculated when I thought that Trump was so awful, that Hillary’s corporatist history wasn’t going to cost her the election. I still don’t know if Bernie could have won the primary if it weren’t for SCOTUS, but I’m positive that he would have crushed Trump in the general. He’s far more trusted, and has nowhere near the misogynist, business failure, scummy grifter…. I could go on and on….. baggage that Trump has.

So that’s what I believe happened on Tuesday.





Calm. We Need To Calm Down

I’m exhausted. I didn’t get any sleep last night, other than maybe two hours of fevered nightmare sleep (no really, I’m not being hyperbolic).

That said, exhaustion and shock doesn’t make for a state of clear thinking. I don’t know what happened last night yet, and neither does anyone else. We need to wait for more information that could take days or weeks to materialize. Any analysis you hear at this point is largely a product of projection, so I’m not going to offer you any just yet. I would rather offer clear headed analysis based on empirical facts, than to offer analysis ahead of the pack.

I will say this: my social media feed is full of self proclaimed liberals and progressives pointing fingers in one direction and directing their vitriol in that direction. There’s absolutely nothing to be gained by that sort of behavior. If you’re angrily pointing your finger at someone, just know that there’s probably an angry finger pointing at you. Many factors went into what happened last night, just as I pointed out a few days ago in regard to the 2000 election. If you’re angry or finger pointing, you’re not thinking clearly. What’s worse, you’re turning yourself into an angry red faced Trump supporter (who doesn’t support Trump), blaming “others” for what happened to you.

I understand that emotions are running high, but there’s literally nothing good that will come of this. We need to calm down, figure out what happened and learn some lessons. I understand that it’s way too soon for that ‘learning lessons’ part, but maybe reigning in the anger toward whoever you’re blaming for this would be a good idea right now?

As I said in the piece I linked to earlier in this post, there were definitely a myriad of different factors that led to this.

We all need to take a few days to calm down and not turn into the people who have disgusted us with their hate and anger over the past year and a half.

I’m probably going to take a social media mental health break day. You might want to consider doing the same. Maybe I’m going to do what I felt like doing a month ago, by posting cute pictures of animals on social media today.

Just stay calm and stop turning on each other, because I find that more troubling than Trump.

I will be back when I have something well reasoned and unbiased to say (don’t worry, it won’t be more than a few days) about how to move forward. Getting people to divorce emotion from politics has been one of my primary messages, and it’s a message that’s more important today than on any other day.

During the primaries, I told you why Hillary wasn’t a strong candidate, and why Bernie was clearly the better choice against Trump. And then when Bernie dropped out, I told you that Hillary was the only rational choice. When the situation changes, you have to realign your thinking based on that new information. That’s what sentience is all about: using your brain to recalculate your position as new information is presented to you. If you’re being emotional in that process, you’re probably not making intelligent calculations. If your positions aren’t constantly evolving, then you’re not thinking.

I never lionized Hillary while I was advocating for her because I didn’t have to turn her into awesome sauce in order to see that she was the only rational choice, given our circumstances at the time. I also never demonized her by posting any bullshit story about her that depicts her as the devil. I always told you the truth about what’s right with her, and what’s troubling about her because I don’t need to create a neat little package of monolithic thinking to make it easier for me to do what needs to be done.

I say all of that to let you know that when I start to unpack what happened here, I will do it with my brain, rather than with my heart. You’re not always going to like what I say (hello Jill Stein supporters), but you should know that I say things with as much objectivity as a human is capable of.

So if you want simple political analysis that points in one direction to either blame or credit a situation, you’re following the wrong page. If you want some nuanced thinking that is sometimes right and sometimes completely off the mark, but always thoughtfully reasoned, then you came to the right place.

I just need a couple of days to muster up some of that “thoughtfully reasoned” thing I work toward. I highly recommend that you all take a couple of days too. Anger isn’t the path you really want to take. Just look at videos of Trump rallies to see where that will get you.

So I’m just going to embrace a state of uncomfortably numb for a few days because I’m the Bitchy pundit. Not the unhinged, red-faced angry pundit.



Bitchy’s Guide To Election Night Drinking

Let me say off the bat that this is not going to be a nail biter. Hillary is going to end up with somewhere in the 320 electoral vote range. She’s actually going to do a little better than Obama did last time around.

Four years ago, I told everyone that it would all be over by 11:30 EST. The nervous among you didn’t believe me (and really, why would you?) but that’s fine. It was over a little before 11:30, and we didn’t even care how Florida voted. This time around, I can’t tell you what time the official call will be made.

But I can tell you when and why you can or should start drinking.

Once Pennsylvania is called for Hillary, you can start by pouring yourselves a glass of pre champagne bubbly (I recommend prosecco). It’s not a done deal at that point, but losing Pennsylvania means that Trump’s chances of pulling this off are so small that he can hold it in his tiny little baby hands.

Now if New Hampshire is called for Hillary (I believe with about 70% certainty that it will), you can start to eye the Veuve Clicquot you have waiting to celebrate with.

Trump is going to win Ohio. Do not panic, unless he also takes New Hampshire. At this point, you might want to take a small shot of whiskey or tequila to numb yourself, just a little.

If North Carolina, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania are all called for Hillary, you can turn off your TV, open a magnum of Veuve and let the celebration begin because it will be over. O.V.A.H. So over, that she’s going to exceed my 320ish electoral vote prediction.

If Trump takes North Carolina in addition to Pennsylvania, you might need to increase the numbing dosage of your tequila or whiskey, but know that he still has a hard road ahead of him.

So to recap the key bellwethers on the east coast and what they mean:

PA, NC, NH for Hillary = election is done and she’s going to be the next president.

NC, NH for Trump – it’s going to be a long night and he’s still not likely to win, but there’s a chance it could happen.

If a minor miracle happens and Florida manages to count its votes in a timely manner (you know, like every other first world country does) and it’s called for Trump, it’s time to take three more shots of your numbing agent and also start foraging for Xanax. I will be pulling out a defibrillator to get the sinus rhythm back into my heart.

But I’m very certain that won’t happen.

I’m not going to go state by state, but if Trump wins North Carolina and New Hampshire, we’re all going to have to wait until Colorado is called to breathe a sigh of relief because that’s where she will have gotten to the 270 she needs. Trump will have to sweep virtually all of the tossup (Michigan, Maine, Virginia, Georgia, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona) states to win. That’s just not going to happen.

I don’t think it’s going to get as far as the western states, but if it does, Colorado is the end of the road for Trump.

So everyone stay calm. This isn’t all going to go horribly wrong on us. I was very concerned about the transit union workers’ strike in Pennsylvania but now that it’s over, I’m positive we’re going to be just fine.

Tonight, we celebrate the fact that  we managed to save the republic from cinnamon Hitler. Tomorrow, we begin the process of pushing Hillary to the left and keeping her honest about some of the promises she made to stave off Bernie’s very real primary threat. We didn’t get Bernie, the way some of us wanted, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t make sure that Hillary feels the Bern for the next four years.


A Perfect Storm

I have several friends who have been in a panic over the possibility of Trump winning for a couple of months now. They have been texting me on a daily basis for weeks, wanting me to talk them off the ledge. And that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. Not because I was trying to keep them calm, but because I was positive that there was absolutely no chance that Trump was going to win.

Well, that’s no longer the case. I can see his path to victory now. Just like in the 2000 election, it’s going to involve a perfect storm. So many people love to point the finger in one direction and proclaim, “THAT’S why Bush became president in 2000”. Anyone who does that is wrong. I’ve lived long enough to understand that in most situations in life, when something terrible happens, there’s seldom one reason why that terrible thing happened. There are usually a number of contributing factors. In 2000, we had the perfect storm with Gore running a bad campaign, ridiculous butterfly ballots in Florida that made it impossible to figure out who you were voting for, Nader voters who decided to get cute with their votes in a tight election, Jeb Bush quietly scrubbing the voter rolls in Florida for a couple of years before the election, and then subsequently the partisan right wing hacks on the Supreme Court. All of these things were factors in what happened in 2000. What happened wouldn’t have been possible if a single one of these factors weren’t present.

I have a sick feeling that we’re looking at another perfect storm situation. All of the polls that have been taken over the past five days have tightened to the point where literally either candidate can win. I’m not going to go into a wonky state by state analysis of what’s going on because it’s complicated, and I can make my point without boring you with the details.

I will say this:

  • Trump is very likely going to win Ohio.
  • Florida can go either way.

Hillary has to win Pennsylvania to stop Trump. Now there are a few other states (Virginia, Colorado, North Carolina, New Hampshire) that need to fit together like puzzle pieces in varying configurations for her to win, but she must win Pennsylvania, or her chances of stopping Trump go down significantly. The polls tell me that she’s going to win Pennsylvania. What the polls don’t tell me, is that the public transportation (SEPTA) union in Pennsylvania is on strike. That means that the busses, subways, and trolleys that low income people depend on to get around aren’t running, which effectively throws the polls in Pennsylvania out the fucking window.

Remember the scrubbing of the voter rolls in Florida that I mentioned earlier? Well, republicans have quietly been scrubbing voter rolls just like Jeb did for a few years now so that’s another factor in play.

Now I know that four days worth of polls don’t constitute enough data to know what’s happening. I understand that you need an aggregate of the polls over a period of a couple of weeks to get an idea of what’s really happening. But we don’t have a couple of weeks. As someone who believes in data, I have to believe the best available information before me right now. I believed all of the polls that said that Bernie would do much better against Trump than Hillary would. Why did I believe them? Well for one, all of the polls said the same thing and also because that was the best information available to me at the time. And it was probably correct, because this election against the most ignorant, spectacular career failure, sexual assaulter of a candidate should not be close. And all of the primary Hillary supporters who kept insisting that she would clean his clock were wrong. They were wrong because they used conjecture to refute data, and that’s never going to turn out well for you.

Now I can dwell on their fuck up. I can dwell on how the DNC put their fingers on the scale in her favor. I can dwell on the sleazy tactics they used on Bernie (like calling me a “Bernie Bro”). I can dwell on everything that I didn’t do to put me in this situation. I can dwell on everything that I know is corrupt and broken about our elections, but none of that dwelling is going to change the situation before me.

That’s a fact.

One of two people is going to become the President Elect on Tuesday night. It’s either going to be Hillary or it’s going to be Trump. It’s not going to be anybody else. No matter what you do on Tuesday, you’re enabling the one who wins to become president. You can stay home, but then you just enabled the candidate that others (and possible a shut down subway system) chose. You can vote for your cat, or someone else who is definitely not going to be president, but then you just enabled the candidate that others (and possible a shut down subway system) chose. Whatever you do on Tuesday is going to enable either Trump or Hillary to become president.

That is just a fact.

You can tell yourself all the grandiose tales about your “conscience” and “picking evil” you want, but that doesn’t change the fact that you are going to enable either Trump or Hillary to win on Tuesday. No one else is going to be the next President Of The United States. The difference between you and I, is that I know who I’m enabling. You don’t. I have looked at the two options before me, and I have used my brain to make a calculation on who will damage my self interest less.

We very might well have another perfect storm situation on our hands. Looking back at everything that went into creating this storm isn’t going to change where we are today, and it’s not going to change the fact that every American is participating in the election of either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton on Tuesday. Personally, I can’t think of anything more stupid than being the hapless enabler. Let me repeat: whether you stay home or vote for someone who definitely isn’t going to be president, you are enabling one of the two major party candidates on Tuesday.

It’s time to decide. You can decide which candidate will benefit your self interest. You can decide which candidate will damage your self interest less. Or you can decide to be a hapless enabler for the eventual winner of this election, without knowing who you’re enabling when you cast your vote. No one is going to respect your “conscience” if you choose the latter.

It’s time to choose.