Monday, November 28, 2016

This song totally sums up 2016 (NSFW but very funny)

Man, 2016 has been a sh*tty year. I seriously don't remember a year, at least in recent memory, that's been so depressing -- at least politically and culturally (and, to a certain extent, personally).

So many cultural greats died. (I'm still in mourning for David Bowie, or the David Bowie of my youth.) And you all know how I (and a majority of Americans) feel about "President-Elect Donald J. Trump." (Even typing that makes me feel sick.)

But how to sum up all the pain and frustration, the anguish and the anger? And then I saw this post on Facebook*, titled "The 2016 Song," from the British-born sister act, Flo & Joan, and I had my answer.



Pretty much sums it up, dontcha think?

*H/T to my social media-savvy daughter and budding political protester, who was the one to spot this.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Russian PM congratulates U.S. on Donald Trump's big win

Greetings Comrades Citizens of the United States of Russia!

I am writing to congratulate you on your glorious revolution stupidity election. We have spent years grooming Donald J. Trump for this important position, and we are overjoyed to see that all of our hard work has finally paid off.

We have to admit, we were momentarily worried when our good friend Paul Manafort was dismissed as campaign manager. But we were delighted to see how incredibly gullible open the American people and Congress were to our other efforts to get Mr. Trump elected. (And here we thought you Americans were not so easily duped.)

Rest assured, we in Russia will do everything in our power to help Mr. Trump plunge the United States into chaos succeed. Our Syrian representative has already met with Mr. Trump's son, Donald Trump, Jr., and assured us of Mr. Trump's -- and the United States's -- future cooperation on important world matters. And our fearless leader President Putin is very taken with Mr. Trump's charming daughter, Ivanka.

Here's to four years of close cooperation between our two countries.

За нашу дружбу!

Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev and all of your friends in the Russian Federation

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The comic stylings of Joe Biden (post-election meme)

They say laughter is the best medicine (especially when you can't afford medicine). So as a bit of comic relief to our post-election nightmare I give you my favorite Joe Biden - Barack Obama transition-of-power memes (aka imagined pranks on president-elect Donald J. Trump).

[For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about -- i.e., people who do not have a Facebook or Twitter account and/or do not regularly peruse BoredPanda and/or BuzzFeed -- Hi Mom! -- several clever folks have been taking photos of Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama, aka BROTUS, huddled together, and creating imaginary conversations between the two, with Biden telling Obama about pranks he plans to play on the next White House tenant -- and posting these humorous images, or memes, on social media.]







Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Want change? Move Red, you Blue Democrats.

So here is the problem, fellow Democrats. Between self-selection and Republicans gerrymandering districts, we're all clustered together. So basically we got clusterfucked this election.

The solution: Have some of us from Dem heavy states (I'm looking at you, Massachusetts people, and you, Californians, and all you Brooklynites) move to swing states, states where a bunch more Democrats (and by "a bunch" I mean 10,000 to 100,000, or more) could make a yuge difference in the next elections*.

[To see the latest state-by-state vote totals for the 2016 Election, click here.]

Which states am I talking about? For starters, Florida. Where a lot of us Northeasterners plan on moving (eventually) anyway. But also Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin -- even Arizona (which was pretty close this election), North Carolina, or Texas. Better yet, find a county in those states that leans slightly Republican and move there.

We're doing our part (though we're not registered to vote in Florida... yet). Now it's up to you to do yours.

Also, please consider donating to environmental causes (I just gave $$$ to the Environmental Defense Fund), the ACLU (am about to give), Planned Parenthood (ditto), and other organizations that help protect people and our planet.

This has been yet another public service announcement.


*You know what could also make a huge difference? If people registered to vote and then actually voted. Especially all you young Democrats. Just look at these Election Turnout numbers. Pathetic.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The depressing numbers behind Election 2016

I don't consider myself a numbers person, but I have been fascinated by the numbers behind the 2016 Presidential Election, going back to the primaries. And the numbers behind what is being called the most surprising (and shocking) U.S. presidential election ever are pretty interesting. So I thought I'd share some of them with you.

Here are a bunch from the United States Elections Project:

Here are some other interesting numbers:

Number of Americans registered to vote: 146,311,000 (per Statistics Brain, which has more statistics about the election on its site).

Number of registered voters who actually voted: 133,331,500*

This means nearly 13 million people who could have easily voted did not. And over 85 million who could have voted by registering couldn't be bothered. 

[You want a better world, Millennials? Go register and VOTE IN THE MIDTERMS. No effing excuses.]

Popular vote totals* as of 8:35 a.m. ET on 11/12/16:

Hillary Clinton:  60,467,601**
Donald Trump:   60,072,551
Gary Johnson:      4,123,115
Jill Stein:              1,237,138
Other candidates:    820,695

For those too lazy to do the math, Clinton now leads Trump by nearly 400,00 votes.

[Donald Trump was right. The electoral college is a disaster.]

To see state-by-state popular vote totals, click here.

As I mentioned on Facebook the other day, less than (or just over) 100,000 votes separated Clinton and Trump in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania. But the only way the outcome of the election would change is if those votes for Hillary were cast in Arizona and Michigan and either Florida and/or Pennsylvania.

Interestingly, as of November 9, Arizona, which Trump won by less than 100,000 votes, still had over 600,000 ballots to count. And, according to Heavy:
As of November 11, the Secretary of State in Michigan was reporting the following totals:

Trump: 2,277,914
Clinton: 2,264,807
Johnson: 172,726
Stein: 51,420
Castle: 16,125
Soltysik: 2,231

That’s a margin of victory of just 13,107 votes. A margin of under 2,000 votes triggers an automatic recount in Michigan, but candidates can seek a recount even if the margin is larger.
Speaking of razor thin margins, check out this fascinating article from The Washington Post titled "How Trump won the presidency with razor-thin margins in swing states," which notes that "Of the more than 120 million votes cast in the 2016 election, 107,000 votes in three states effectively decided the election."

Another excellent numerical read is the New York Times's exit poll stats. As Samantha Bee noted, "it's pretty clear who ruined America: white people." Indeed, 63 percent of white men and 53 percent of white women cast their votes for Trump. (To which I say, WTF ladies?)

And that concludes this lesson on why it's important for those of you unhappy with the results of Election 2016 to register to vote (if you have not done so already) and to actually go out and vote on election day -- and why 2018 will be a very important election.

This has been a public service announcement.

11/13/16 UPDATE: As of 6:07 p.m. ET today, Hillary Clinton's lead over Donald Trump increased to more than 650,000 votes. And when I checked earlier today, votes were still being counted in parts of Michigan and Pennsylvania, both close races that were being called for Trump, and California, which broke heavily for Clinton. But according to various reports I've read, even if Clinton has a million or two million more votes than Trump, because of where those votes were cast, Trump is still going to be President.


*These numbers will go up as votes are still being counted.
**According to many/most predictions, Clinton's popular vote lead will exceed 500,000 -- and some say over 1 million votes.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Good day gloom: a post-election scary tale [UPDATED]

With apologies to Margaret Wise Brown...

In the great Oval Office
There was a telephone
A red telephone
And a picture of
Donald Trump, a yuge picture
And there was Giuliani, Gingrich, and Christie each in a chair
And two little hands
On some guy with cotton candy hair
And a model of Trump Tower
And a buxom blonde and brunette
And a tanning bed and a comb and a brush
And Kellyanne Conway who was whispering "hush"

Goodbye Hillary
Goodbye Bill
The popular vote counted for nil

Goodbye Obama
Goodbye Obamacare

Goodbye Roe v Wade
Goodbye women's rights for another decade

Goodbye big data
Goodbye polls

Hello Breitbart
And Internet trolls

Goodbye Muslims
and Mexicans and all you non-whites

Hello walls and guns
and buttons that make BOOM in the night

Goodbye science
Goodbye reason
Welcome to the crazy season

Goodbye environment
Goodbye regulation

Be scared all you LGBT
It's open season

Goodbye tolerance
Goodbye dreams
Hello bullying and children's screams

Goodbye to hope
Hello to fear
Hope we make it
through the next four years

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Final thoughts on the 2016 presidential election

I did not watch the third and final presidential debate of 2016 (though I did check out some of the comments on Twitter while it was going on). I may be a Metsochist, but I'm not a masochist. Besides, why stay up late and put yourself through 90 minutes of mental torture when you can spend just five reading Alexandra Petri's (way more entertaining) recap or wait for the (again more entertaining) Alec Baldwin-Kate McKinnon version of the debate on SNL this weekend, hombre?



Even before going into the third presidential debate, most people's (everyone's) minds were made up -- and pretty much nothing Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton would say was going to change that.* Even Donald Trump refusing to say if he would respect the outcome of the election -- despite the horror expressed by every mainstream news organization at that statement. (And no, the suspense is not killing me.)

(Seriously pundits, you really think people who have no problem supporting a questionably rich guy who brags about not paying his taxes and assaulting women are going to suddenly change their minds about Trump because he would not unequivocally state he would respect election results? Which election have you been following?)

So, I am not writing this to change anyone's mind. (See the asterisk, below.) But I did want to share some thoughts, or observations, about this election.

1. Those surprised by the rise of Donald J. Trump either slept through the last 50 years or were not paying attention to politics. Trump is the product, or by-product, of years of political demagoguery -- the bloated, orange, short-fingered, small-minded embodiment of everything bad and hateful about America.

2. Facts don't matter any more. A lot of people don't even know the difference between facts and opinions. As someone whose first job was as a fact checker -- and was taught in school and as a journalist and editor that the truth and facts were paramount, I find that deeply disturbing. (Oh, and for those who say it's hard to ferret out the facts in this election, no it isn't. Just go to PolitiFact or FactCheck.org.)

3. Civil discourse is dead. It's been dying for years, I know, much like fact checking, but this election may have been the final nail in the coffin.

4. If Donald J. Trump receives more votes than Hillary Clinton, then yes, I will believe the election was rigged.



*For anyone interested in the neuroscience behind why and how people make up their minds and why some (most?) people will never change them once made up, even when facts contradict their beliefs, read Idiot Brain: What Your Head Is Really Up To by Dean Burnett. It is both entertaining and enlightening. Also see "confirmation bias" and "cognitive dissonance," the two reasons I stopped arguing with people about politics (and religion) long ago.