What Happened really

Hillary Clinton has another memoir out. This one titled, “What Happened,” where she whines about why she lost the election.

I haven’t read it, nor do I plan to. I don’t need an entire book to know “What Happened.”

Nor am I interested in her blame game. Hillary’s going to accuse James Comey’s last minute surprise for her loss. She’ll blame the media for their unwarranted emphasis on her emails, for their lack of coverage concerning her stand on the issues, and for their wall-to-wall genuflecting of Trump.

Let’s clear the air on one thing, Hillary won the popular vote, a fact everyone seems to forget when they discuss the election. Hillary earned 3 million more votes than Trump.

How then, did Trump win the election?

The truth of the matter is, and she continues to attempt to debunk this, Hillary ignored the midwest.

She claims she didn’t, that she went on some sort of Rust Belt Tour. I don’t recall any tour. I do know Hillary lost four key states and those gave Trump his Electoral College victory.

I can’t speak for the other three states, but I can surmise that the reasons she lost Wisconsin apply equally to those others.

There is only one reason Hillary lost and that is, Hillary literally ignored Wisconsin. Completely. Totally. She visited our state once in 2016 and that was back in February. Just once.

Voters have poor memories and eight months is an eternity. Voters want to know what you did for us lately. What Hillary did was ignore us.

Voters want to be wooed. They want to know someone cares. They want to know someone is going to work hard for them, represent them, fight for them.

As much as Trump is a bigot, a misogynist, a homophobe, a hateful asshole, he understood the need to woo those same types of people to his side.

While Hillary treated Wisconsin as a flyover, Trump was here spreading his message of hate to the back woods rednecks. Hillary however, had an even larger pool of potential voters from which to draw from, but she ignored them.

Arrogance was Hillary’s downfall. Hillary, and her campaign arrogantly felt because Wisconsin hadn’t voted Republican since Reagan, and that Trump was no Reagan, that she was a shoo-in here.

She arrogantly took polls showing she was ahead by a good margin in Wisconsin, and those three other key states, as gospel.

But Wisconsin did vote Republican and the polls were wrong. Why? For one thing, the deplorables lied. They didn’t want to admit in public they were supporting a white supremicist who made fun of the handicapped, so they lied. For another, many of the voters polled as supporting Hillary never showed up to vote.

We could blame Voter ID laws and Republican attempts to suppress voters, which played a minor role, but the real reason no one showed up to vote was because they felt voting didn’t matter.

Neither candidate went to the inner city of Milwaukee. Trump visited Milwaukee, but mostly white areas. His message of hate and blame wouldn’t have gone over very well on 6th and Walnut.

And yes, Hillary was head and shoulders the better and more experienced candidate, as well as a better human being. Period.

But she never came to woo the key voters: the inner city minorities. One criticism leveled against these non-voters is Trump’s win is somehow their fault, they should have voted even if just to prevent a bigot from winning, but people don’t think like that. Voters shouldn’t have to think in terms of preventive voting or voting for the lesser of two evils.

Voters want a clear cut choice. They desire someone to vote for, not against.

Hillary should have campaigned in Milwaukee. Hillary should have walked the streets. Shaken hands. Told them she cared. Offered them hope. Explained how she planned on helping them economically. How she’d bring jobs. Make neighborhoods safe. Improve schools. How she could make their tomorrows brighter.

All Wisconsin voters wanted someone they could rally behind. Someone to get excited about. Someone who made them feel like human beings instead of polling statistics.

Had Hillary campaigned in Milwaukee, she could have drawn upon those voters who overwhelmingly put Obama into the White House twice.

But Hillary didn’t do anything. She never came to Wisconsin in the months and weeks leading up to the election. She never showed her famous “it takes a village” compassion.

And because she showed no interest in us, she received the same amount of interest from us and potential voters stayed home in droves.

In “What Happened,” Hillary will probably blame everyone else for her loss. What she needs to do is take a long hard look in the mirror.

Hillary has no one to blame for her loss other than herself.

The 2016 election is long gone now. Dwelling on it does nobody any good. Instead of books that dredge up the past, what we need to do is move forward and do everything in our power to resist and obstruct the current fascist regime, and work toward the ultimate goal of removing TheRump from office.

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Friday Rants

This Friday, I’m all ranty, and it all has to do with buyer’s remorse. But first:

A Friday Haiku

I cannot help it

Another weekend is here

That makes me happy

Rant 1 – Cellphone Buyouts

I’ve come to the conclusion that the biggest scam you could fall for is the “we’ll pay you up to $650 per line to leave your current cellphone company!”

We fell for it when we switched from Verizon to US Cellular.

The first problem you encounter is, you have to pay off your previous carrier first. In our case, that meant having to come up with over $1,200, which we didn’t really have.

Second, you need to prove you paid off the previous carrier, which means an itemized bill showing paid in full. It took me over six weeks before I finally could get our final Verizon bill. After several phone frustrating ohone calls, I eventually had to go to a corporate store to get it because I was locked out of my Verizon account almost immmediately.

Third, our new carrier has a waiting period, which no one mentioned. What are they waiting for? Who knows? But because we’re out that $1,200, we haven’t paid our US Cellular bill yet either.

Fourth, you have to turn in your old phones! No one told us that. We sold our phones so we’d have some spending money (for silly things, like food) while we waited for our rebate, because againz we’re in the hole $1,200. So now we’ve learned that because we didn’t turn in our phones, our possible rebate will be halved.

Fifth, we trusted the store reps to know what they were doing, but they didn’t. They didn’t tell us about turning in our phones, which we would have done on the spot if told, but additionally, the rep didn’t submit our claim properly. Only one phone, mine, was submitted and it looks like US Cellular, once that unspecified waiting period is over, is planning on giving me back a measly $40.

When all is said and done, the entire process cost us just under $2,000 and they think they’re going to call it square by giving me $40? Fuck you.

Rant 2 – Zagg screen protectors

The US Cellular rep talked us into buying Zagg Invisible Shield screen protectors for all our phones. (Well, mine is some other company, but same difference.) Each cost $50.

These aren’t the soft, flexible plastic screen protectors, these are some stiff product made from a hard glass-like substance.

My son managed to crack his the next day. My wife dropped her phone and the shield just popped off. Let me say that again: it just popped off! And mine has a crack in it as well.

They do come with free replacement warranties, but now I’m reading a ton of complaints about these Zagg shields.

So now I’m wondering if I should just take the $200 hit and chalk it up to experience because having to replace a poorly designed product every few weeks seems like an exercise in futility.

Don’t buy these hard glass protective shields. Find yourself the cheaper, flexible ones or go without one. Aren’t these new smartphones supposed to be made of near-indestructable Gorilla glass anyway?

Rant 3 – Fire and fury

The latest news is about a mentally unstable bully threatening to throw nukes around and a North Korean dictator who seems to know exactly which buttons to push.

TheRump has escalated tensions between the USA and North Korea by announcing we would respond to any missile attack with a fire and fury the likes of which the world has never seen. (Either he’s never heard of Hiroshima and Nagasaki or he’s trying to outdo those events. Considering how ignorant he is about everything, I’d go with the former.)

When the entire world balked at his words, that he was not helping things and his rhetoric was inflamatory, TheRump replied, his fire and fury comments weren’t tough enough! That our military is “locked and loaded” and if North Korea “does something in Guam, it will be an event the likes of which nobody’s seen before, what will happen to North Korea.”

In other words, TheRump can’t fucking wait to push The Button. He thinks this is a game. We’re all stuck in the middle of a standoff between two small-minded schoolyard bullies trying to see who has the bigger dick.

Nobody wins a nuclear battle. Russia and China, South Korea, Japan, they’ll all suffer from radiation fallout. And who isn’t concerned that dropping nukes on North Korea won’t cause a chain reaction? Russia will retaliate. China will retaliate. Missiles will fall like rain and the world will burn because we elected a moron.

You know, I warned you this would happen if the orange turd was elected. I wrote this the day before the election, and it looks like it could come true.

I’d ask if the trumpettes were having buyer’s remorse yet, but I get the feeling ya’ll are pumping your fists and whooping it up, believing you finally got a manly president who won’t take shit from all them pesky feriners.

Funny thing is, our Founding Fathers envisioned the Electoral College would protect us from electing an egomaniacal psychopath. Won’t they be surprised when we all turn up in Heaven with radiation burns.

“Well? How’s our great experiment in democracy doing?” Benjamin Franklin will ask.

“Sit down, Ben, have we got a story to tell you.”

Weekend

Didn’t want to leave you all depressed about our future, so here are The Dictators singing “Weekend.”

Have a good one.

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Topic Stew

Question: What do my ADHD and Friday blog posts have in common?

Answer: An inability to stay focused on one topic.

So fasten your seatbelt, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Running and judging progress

I suck at judging my progress in my exercising or weight loss programs. What I mean is, I forget where I started and focus on the now and often that now looks like I’m not progressing.

For instance, in running, if you were to ask me have I improved any, I’d probably say, “a little.” Because I can’t see, or remember, where I used to be. And I even keep a training log! I just don’t look at it.

So when Facebook wanted me to post a memory from last year, I was shocked. Shocked, I tell you, because I finally had concrete evidence that I have improved. Here is that memory:

2016-04-26 20.16.59

How things were back on April 26, 2016

That is from April of last year. My Facebook comment was something like, “Look what I did!” and I was proud of it. I had run one and a half miles in under twenty minutes at an average of 4.6 mph!

So when I saw that, I really was amazed to realize I had indeed made a ton of progress. Just recently I set a personal best running the 5k (3.11 miles) on the treadmill in 28:45 minutes at a 6.5 mph average.

Sometimes you need to look back to move forward.

Weigh-in Friday

I broke the 200 pound barrier! Whoohoo! 199.9, baby! Booyah!

Earbuds and driving

Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of people driving around with earbuds on. Seriously? You’re behind the wheel of a 2000 pound bomb! All your attention should be focused on safe driving, not distracted and deaf to everything around you.

Why do they do that? Do they think it makes for safe, hands-free phone use? Maybe, but now you can’t hear emergency vehicles and other sounds that could warn you of impending dangers.

If that’s the reason, then get a single-ear Bluetooth device so you still have one ear free to listen to the traffic sounds around you.

If, on the other hand, you’re listening to music, well, then you’re just an irresponsible asshole. Get off the road.

I thought for sure earphone wearing while driving was illegal, but I checked. Guess What? It’s legal in 35 states! That’s whack. And you’re still an asshole.

Another advantage to driving stick

Unless I chew gum or munch on candy (which isn’t good for my teeth or diet) while I drive, I have the unconscious habit of biting my nails and cuticles, often to bleeding. Hey, I said it was unconscious.

But I’ve been driving stick now for over a week and I just realized, I haven’t been biting my nails. I guess because I need both hands to drive there isn’t any time to gnaw.

Bluetooth woes

If you’re a regular reader of this blog you know how much I can’t stand my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge because of a whole laundry list of reasons.

Add “the Bluetooth sucks” to that list. It just won’t connect to the Blue&Me in my Fiat. I’ve tried deleting a ton of apps in case they were interfering and it finally manaves to pair, but it still won’t connect, which is weird, right? It’ll pair but not connect?

Red Sox fans hurling epithets

For many of us, the news this week of Red Sox fans shouting racial slurs and epithets is downright shocking. Seriously? We aren’t past this yet? Sure, I admit we haven’t eliminated racism, but many of us thought we had at least sent that sort of pig ignorance underground, made it so racists could no longer be overt about their hatred unless they wanted to be severely castigated by intelligent society for their repugnant views.

But now, it seems racist and bigoted thoughts have risen from under whatever rock they had been hiding under and are becoming normalized. Why? Because of Trump, that’s why. He’s made that sort of hatred and vile judgemental anger acceptable among his voting base. 

And that is why they are deplorable.

And speaking of deplorable pig ignorance

Hasn’t this man — sorry, Trump isn’t a man, he’s got all the emotional maturity of a child — hasn’t this illegitimate buffoon said, and done, enough ignorant bullshit to get him impeached? I mean, Andrew Jackson is just the latest in showing off his amazing stupidity. Hasn’t he embarrassed us enough on the world stage? Aren’t Americans fed up enough with his lying, cheating, and vacation golf every weekend to shout a collective “you’re fired!” yet? Haven’t we learned by now that “Make America Great” really means “Make America Great Again for Trump and his family and businesses at the expense of the poor and middle class?”

Isn’t it time to invoke Section 4 of the 25th Amendment and get this orange asshole out of office?

And speaking of orange assholes, Milwaukee has a statue dedicated to Trump:

20170504_103121

Trump’s orange anus

Thank god it’s Friday!

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Postal Service shouldn’t be losing money

The news is that the United States Postal Service had a third quarter loss of $2 billion.

Many think the Post Office is simply a losing proposition. The opposite is true. Revenues for the USPS are up overall 2.2%! Package deliver revenue rose 6.6%. Standard mail revenue was up 5.1%.

So you ask, if the Post Office is doing so well, why are they doing so poorly?

The answer is Congress. They just don’t have a clue. For instance, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrel Issa (R-CA) said, “The Postal Service’s latest reported loss illustrates the urgent need for postal reform to prevent a taxpayer funded bailout of the Postal Service. Unfortunately, some in Congress still have not come around to the need to allow the struggling institution to right size itself. In fact, just last week, 22 senators asked for a renewed moratorium on mail processing facility consolidations, consolidations that would enable the Postal Service to save hundreds of millions of dollars each year.”

Even Issa doesn’t get it. Or he’s deliberately ignoring the truth. The Post Office should be breaking even or even making a small profit, but it isn’t.

Why? Is it because Congress won’t let them downsize?

No! Its because the Postal Service is the only government agency that has to PREFUND its retiree health benefits under a 2006 law (which coincidentally is when the USPS started losing money). The Postal Service has to prefund those benefits to the tune of about $5.8 billion a year.

No other public or private entity is affected by that law — only the Post Office. All other government and most private companies have a “pay-as-you-go” system, whereby they pay the premiums as they are billed.

Because of this burdensome law, the Postal Service has operated at a loss 21 of the past 23 quarters. And those two quarters were when Congress rescheduled the prefunding payments!

So you have to ask yourself Why? Why is the Postal Service being singled out?

And why is Congress too stupid to realize they caused this mess in the first place?

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Final thoughts on Election 2012

Mitt Romney lost. Does that really surprise anyone? Honestly, the man was his own worst enemy with one of the worst cases of foot in mouth disease we’ve seen in a long time. He out-gaffed Biden and he out-flip-flopped Kerry.

I’m amazed he did as well as he did, which speaks far more to the bigoted and racist anti-Obama sentiment than it does of people’s positive view of Romney.

The Republicans have no one to blame for this election but themselves. First, they put forth a field of the most unlikable or unelectable candidates they could find. Candidates who were either reactionary right-wing, over zealous in their religious beliefs, or just too far from the mainstream.

Part of this is the party itself is in flux, trying to find an identity as the ultra-conservative Tea Party fights it out with the Christian Right, leaving the moderates without a rudder to steer the ship. Times are changing in America and the more the reactionary wing tries to turn back the clock, the more out of touch they seem to the general public.

In among that group of wild-eyed crazies Romney came across as reasoned and acceptable. It was only after he won and he was on his own that the public began to see the chinks in his moderate armor. I’ll spare you the details, there are enough memes on the Internet to show exactly how Romney and company self-destructed.

I will say that one error the Republicans made was in thinking Wisconsin was a battle-ground state. First, they chose Paul Ryan as his running mate thinking the congressman’s conservatism would appease the Far Right while at the same time delivering Wisconsin.

There were better choices for VP and Romney should have listened to his advisors and picked someone from a real battle-ground state. Someone better well-known and much more politically savvy than Ryan was. Because Wisconsin only votes for someone from Wisconsin if we like them. Nobody likes Ryan except his own district. The rest of the state see him as a whiney little putz and the faked photo op where he washed clean dishes was seen as more of the same from him.

But why don’t I consider Wisconsin a purple state like the Republicans did? Well, the Republicans were betting that the recent elections in Wisconsin were somehow an indicator that we were ripe for the picking. That the state was becoming more conservative.

We had not only elected a Republican governor, but when that governor started overturning years of progressive laws on worker, minority, and women’s rights, there was a bitter recall process that ended with the governor retaining his seat. This to them meant we were moving into the red not fully understanding the dynamics of the situation. The least of which was many in Wisconsin didn’t believe someone should be recalled for what essentially “doing his job” despite how distasteful his decisions were. He didn’t do anything illegal, just unpopular. So many in Wisconsin voted for Walker in the recall just for that reason. They didn’t believe in the recall itself, not that they were giving Walker some sort of mandate. Others of us were quite happy with keeping Tom Barrett, the man who ran against Walker twice, as Milwaukee’s mayor.

Wisconsin is and always has been a blue state. “But what about 1984 when Wisconsin went red for Reagan.” Are you really comparing Romney to Reagan? Nearly EVERY state went for Reagan. He was the Great Communicator. He was well-liked. Reagan was able to build bridges and get cooperation from both sides of the aisle. Romney? Well, he was no Reagan. His idea of cooperation was vetoing everything and forcing the legislature to override his vetoes.

And didn’t they ever hear of Reagan Democrats?

Wisconsin is proud of its progressive traditions. Many rights we enjoy today got their start in a Wisconsin. And not only are we proud progressives, we are fiercely independent. We’ll vote locally for a Republican while voting nationally for a Democrat. Two years ago we elected a staunch conservative to the U.S. Senate. This time around we elected not only one of the most liberal politicians to the U.S. Senate, but one that is openly gay.

So the odds were against Romney taking Wisconsin. He wasted time and money here.

With luck, everyone took notes. Don’t field a bunch of drips the primary. Give us a statesperson. Give us someone who acts, talks, and looks presidential. Give us competence. Give us someone we can respect. Give us someone who we feel can relate to our lower and middle class problems.

Both parties get a fresh start in 2016. They get to work from a clean slate.

Impress us.

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