Tag Archives: 2016 Presidential Election

Democrats Need to go to the Mattresses

At the end of the day, politics is about compromise and finding some sort of common ground. In the halls of power in America today, compromise has become a dirty word and common ground is a thing of the past.

The problem is twofold. The first is that most Republicans have become so radicalized that there is no talking sense to them. The second is that the Democrats are bringing a plastic food knife to a gunfight. The only way to get this country back on track is to go to the mattresses.

During the 2016 Presidential Election, former First Lady Michelle Obama said the following:

“When they go low, we go high”

The problem with this statement is that it assumes that the other side can be reasoned with. There is no reasoning with these people. Not that I am advocating that were completely lower ourselves, but playing nice doesn’t work anymore. We have to get our hands dirty and it means bloody knuckles, so be it.

Almost 250 years ago, our collective ancestors fought and died for this nation. If we give in to these radicals, what they fought for means nothing. Should that come to pass, we will have no one to blame but ourselves.

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Filed under History, Movies, National News, Politics

Playing with Myself Book Review

Overnight success is a misnomer. What is really is years of hard work and a few moments of luck that open the door to seeing a dream becoming reality.

Randy Rainbow‘s new autobiography, Playing with Myself, was released last month. Born in the suburbs of Long Island, he spent his childhood in both New York and Florida. Rainbow was a chubby, introverted child who was exposed to classic Broadway musicals at an early age. After coming out in his late teens, he returned to New York City and dreamt of being on Broadway.

When that didn’t come to pass, Rainbow took the out-of-work actors’ career route: working both at a restaurant and as a receptionist. Using his MacBook and the news as his raw material, he started creating videos. His career took off at the start of the 2016 Presidential election and the announcement that you know who was the Republican nominee. From there, he became the satirist, comic, and musical genius that has kept us laughing and sane for the last six years.

I loved this book. Rainbow is candid, funny, and authentic. He is uniquely himself in a way that is both universal, endearing, and charming. There is something universal in his struggle that I think we can all learn from while getting a few giggles in the process. And if anyone is still asking, that is his real name.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

Playing with Myself is available wherever books are sold.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Music, New York City, Politics, Randy Rainbow

Sinking in the Swamp: How Trump’s Minions and Misfits Poisoned Washington Book Review

During any major election season, there will always be promises made that may or may not come to fruition once that person is sworn in.

During the 2016 Presidential election, a certain person claimed that he would “drain the swamp” once he took office. As we all know, the exact opposite happened. In their 2020 book, Sinking in the Swamp: How Trump’s Minions and Misfits Poisoned Washington, journalists Lachlan Markay and Asawin Suebsaeng (co-host of the Fever Dreams podcast) take figurative deep dive into the self-made muck and mess that existed while you know who was President. In the book, they reveal an unfortunately recognizable list of people who joined the administration for personal gain, to spread conspiracy theories, or other reasons that are far from altruistic.

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What I found unnerving was that he who shall not be named allowed this to happen. Whether motivated by greed, not giving a shit, or easily taken in by a smooth talker, he opened the door to nearly destroying this country. For me. it is just another reminder of how close we can to losing our democracy.

My only complaint is that it is a little slow in the beginning. But when it starts to get good, that’s when I was hooked.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Both/And: A Life in Many World Book Review

It’s easy to think that we know someone famous based on the headlines and the soundbites coming from the press. The reality is that we don’t know them at all.

Huma Abedin‘s memoir, Both/And: A Life in Many Worlds, was published last November. Born to Muslim Pakistani and Indian immigrants in Michigan, she spent her formative years in Saudi Arabia. Taking a job with the Clinton administration in the late 1990s, she has worked for Hillary Clinton for more than two decades. She is also known for her troubled marriage to Anthony Weiner, a politician whose fall from grace can only be described as brutal.

The reader is taken on a journey across the world and across the spectrum of local, national, and international politics over the last few decades. Abedin’s tale is that a woman who has broken boundaries, redefines what it is to be American, and that of a survivor who has thrived in spite of the dark times in her life.

This book is so good. Abedin leaves nothing off the table, telling her story in an emotionally honest and open manner. Her narrative is nothing short of inspirational.

The part of the book that was the most challenging for me as a reader was the scandal that broke up her marriage and opened the door to he who shall not be named. It is akin to a rollercoaster that had no off switch. Given what was being thrown at her, she could have easily taken to her bed and soothed her grief with food or alcohol. Instead, she took it one day at a time and got through it with her head held high and her courage intact.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

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Republican Fuckery: MTG’s Gazpacho Comment & You Know Who’s Burning Documents

When it comes to the United States, we want to believe that the people who work at the highest levels of our government are good faith actors, even if we do not agree with them.

The last few years have proven us wrong.

Last week, Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene misspoke when she referred to Capitol police as Gazpacho police. Gazpacho is a type of soup.

“Not only do we have the DC jail, which is the DC gulag, now we have Nancy Pelosi’s Gazpacho Police spying on members of Congress,”

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What she meant to say was Gestapo. In Europe during World War II, they were the undercover arm of the police and were known for not being subtle or gentle in doing their job. I would love to laugh at her, knowing that this is not the first stupid comment she has made and it will likely not be the last. But I can’t. Once more the inappropriate use of Holocaust imagery is being used in a way that at best is misunderstood and at worst disrespectful.

In other news, he who shall not be named is accused of violating the Presidential Records Act. It requires all outgoing Presidential administrations to transfer all documentation to the National Archives. In a move that surprises no one, he is accused of taking boxes of classified documents to his home in Florida and destroying other paperwork along the way.

I don’t know about anyone else, this screams that he has something to hide. When someone is innocent of the crimes they are being accused of, they act in a certain manner. When they are guilty and know that they have done something wrong, they do anything and everything in their power to hide the evidence. The hypocrisy and silence from the right compared to the accusations leveled at Hillary Clinton during the last days of the 2016 Presidential election says it all.

Just another day of Republican fuckery in America.

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In Trump’s Shadow: The Battle for 2024 and the Future of the GOP Book Review

Just as in life, there are lessons to be learned in politics. Both the 2016 Presidential election and the 2020 Presidential election, were if nothing else, an eye-opening experience.

In Trump’s Shadow: The Battle for 2024 and the Future of the GOP, by David M. Drucker, was published last month. With you know who finally out of power (thank G-d), the question among members of the GOP is who will replace him? Will it be someone who is a die-hard and will potentially repeat the last four years? Or will it be another person who is a little more particular about the policy decisions they make?

If nothing else, this is a playbook for the 2022 Midterm elections, the 2024 Presidential election, and beyond. This book should be a must-read for every Democrat, both on the individual level and at the highest levels of power. If they are to retain control of both branches of Congress and the White House, they must not only know the other side inside out, but come together. Only then will the rule of law and some version of decency return to this nation.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

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Misfire: Inside the Downfall of the NRA Book Review

From the outside, it appears that the NRA is one of the most powerful non-profit and lobbying intuitions in the United States. But, like any image, what we see may not always be the complete truth.

Misfire: Inside the Downfall of the NRA, by Tim Mak, was published earlier this month. Back in the day, the NRA was simply a grassroots organization whose goal was to encourage gun safety among its members. But over time, it morphed into a company that has had a stranglehold over the nation and any attempt by those in power to enact reasonable gun control laws. Led by Wayne LaPierre, the book reveals internal conflict, misuse of funds by those at the top, and the idea that they are above legal and legislative reproach.

The first break in the chain came right after the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012. Instead of working with the powers that be, LaPierre and the NRA doubled down on their perspective on gun rights and gun control. This opened the door to the revelations about how low it would sink to retain power. Even if that meant working with Russian spies and manipulating those at the top of the political food chain.

It has been said that the bigger they are, the harder they fall. To say that this fall is spectacular is an understatement. If we are to balance the rights of gun owners while protecting the lives of Americans, the NRA must be dismantled. Mak’s book, I believe, makes this clear. If we don’t, we will continue to be a fractured nation that is continually grieving over loved ones lost to gun violence.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

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The Comey Rule Review

Politics is a strange push pull of personal needs vs. the needs of those who voted for you. It would be easy to say that you became a politician to serve the nation and your constituents. The harder aspect of the job is ignoring your gut instincts for prestige and press.

The Comey Rule premiered last year. Based on former FBI Director James Comey‘s 2019 book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership, Jeff Daniels steps in the role of the man whose held the fate of the 2016 Presidential election in his hands. The 4 part miniseries follows two different and important narratives in recent political history: the Hillary Clinton email scandal and the four year tenure of you know who in the Oval Office.

The discovery that Clinton used personal servers for government business sends Comey and his staff on a year long search to discover if anything untoward was located within her emails. When they come to the conclusion that it was just a mistake by the former Senator/Secretary of State/First Lady and her staff, Comey is torn as to how to proceed. He could keep it within bureau, or make a public statement. His wife, Patrice (Jennifer Ehle) and those who work under him advise Comey to not say anything to the press or or public. But, as we all know, he chose to bring this information into the light.

When a certain reality show star and businessman is elected President (played by a fantastic Brendan Gleeson), Comey does his best to do his job. But when it becomes clear that the new leader of the free world is underqualified, he knows that this man is different than any other who has held the role.

I loved this series. Combining news clips with scenes based from the real James Comey’s book, it is tense, dramatic, and reveals an aspect of the 2016 election that only a few at the time were privy to. If nothing else, it is a reminder of how important the separation of powers is and how democracy if not tended to as it ought to, can quickly disintergrate.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

The Comey Rule is available for streaming on Netflix.

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Disloyal: A Memoir: The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump Book Review

There are two kinds of loyalty: loyalty to one self and loyalty to others. The question is, where does one draw the line between listening to your inner voice and putting someone else first?

Michael Cohen, the former personal lawyer of you know who, published his memoir last year. It is entitled Disloyal: A Memoir: The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump. In the book, he writes in great detail about the years that he worked for the former President. The man he describes is one that cares only for himself. He will say anything and do anything to get his way, not caring about the consequences that other people will face. You know who is crass, crude, racist, cheap, and was known to fly off the handle when he did not get his way. As Cohen spent more time with his ex-employer, he began to lose himself in the job and the person he reported to.

Though Cohen calls it a memoir, I would call it a confessional. He puts everything on the page, leaving nothing behind. The book is well written. As I was walking in his shoes, I understood why he continued his employment in spite of the number of times that the legal and moral boundaries were crossed. Though he comes off as contrite, a part of me will never be able to forget or forgive his actions.

If nothing else, it is a reminder if why this you know who should never be allowed to get anywhere near any political office in this country again.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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What a Difference Four Years Make

There are some events in our lives that we never forget, regardless of how much time has passed.

The end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 were politically difficult. Like many Americans, I was shocked, angry, and questioning how a man like you know who could have been elected to the highest office in the land. At the time, I was told by someone to give him a chance. After all, he was a political virgin. There was a tiny glimmer of hope that with time and help from those who were experienced that he would grow into the job.

How wrong we were. The late and respected poet Maya Angelou once said the following:

When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. People know themselves much better than you do. That’s why it’s important to stop expecting them to be something other than who they are.”

The last four years having been a wake up call, to say the least. Real democracy is not given, it must be earned and protected. Watching the inauguration on Wednesday, I felt as if there was a weight taken off our collective shoulders.

The words “history making” have been used countless times since November. Watching Vice President Harris take the Oath of Office, I couldn’t help but cry. The generations who have fought for equality for both women and people of color have not fought in vain. Comparatively speaking, writing or changing laws is a thousand times easier than changing hearts and minds. She stood on that podium not because of any laws, but because of the old ideas of what is or is not “appropriate” for certain members of our society have begun to fade away.

I have to admire President Biden. This was his third Presidential election. Given his age and his long career in politics, it would have been easy to retire and let someone else take the reins. But he saw the opportunity and the need and he stepped forward.

I do not envy of the job that the Biden administration has in front of them. To say that is a Herculean task is understatement. But I have hope and faith that with time, they will guide us out of this darkness and back into the light.

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