Shutdown (Reprise)

We’re on the brink of a government shutdown and it’s all because The Actual President of the Actual United States of America can’t secure money for his giant wall on the Mexican border.

The House has passed a bill with a budget for the border wall, but it’s expected to fail to get through the senate today.

To briefly recap to anyone out of the loop — Back in 2015 Trump promised his band of exploited and disenfranchised followers a giant wall to help keep illegal immigrants out. He promised that Mexico would be the ones to pay for the wall. He has spent the last twelve months trying to get US taxpayers to pay for the wall.

Trump and his usual group of petrified yes-men in congress are the only people in government who actually want the wall. All Democrats, and a surprising portion of Republicans recognise it as either amoral, unethical or simply a waste of money.

It’s an entirely symbolic solution, and not one that contains a remote amount of practicality.

Many estimates have been put forward over the last three years in regards to the cost of the wall. With experts claiming anywhere between $15billion and $70billion in construction, and $150million and $750million in annual upkeep.

Not to mention the fact that all of the money America currently spends on border security — Armed patrols, officers, detention centres, concentration camps — They will still need funding on top of these new wall budgets.

You can’t just put up a 30ft high wall and then leave it alone, people will still try to climb and cross as they do now. So to feel safe, the American people will still need all of the existing security as well as the wall itself.

Even if we take the lowest estimates, of which I can only find FOX as a source for. But even if we just take those figures, that’s still a lot of money the American people will have to fork out in order to fulfil the dreams of an insane man.

“I’m going to build a wall, it will be 30ft high and Mexico will pay for it!”

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So the government is set to go into shutdown if this funding can’t be secured, with certain departments and branches closing as early as Friday night.

Both sides will blame each other, as is tradition, and both will have a legitimate reason to do so. You see, strangely, this shutdown isn’t entirely Donald Trump’s fault, even though he’s the one making the ridiculous demands in regards to immigration.

Do you remember how Democrats complained that Republicans stopped them from passing legitimate healthcare reform? And now (some) Republicans are complaining that Democrats are stopping them from building a wall.

Neither of these things are bad, it’s just democracy doing its thing. As much as I want Universal Healthcare for America, I can’t be too mad about Obama’s failure to pass strong and decent reform, because it failed in a democratic process.

So the wall needs to fail. Not because this liberal, snowflake cuck says so, but because the majority of elected officials do. As well as the majority of Americans themselves. So this isn’t really anyone’s fault (or it’s everyones), democracy is just doing its thing and Trump will have to concede that America does not want this wall.

If, by some evil miracle from the dark lord himself, funding is secured for the wall and construction starts before 2020, I think it’ll help Trump with his original core base of voters, and Trump knows this.

Even if it’s paid for by taxpayers and costs drastically more than Trump has estimated, and also doesn’t solve any legitimate immigration issues, his core followers will see that he promised a wall, and a wall is what they’re getting.

Imagine you’re promised a free meal by your boss, to say thank you for all the hard work you’ve done this year. Except after you arrived at the restaurant, and ordered your meal, your boss announces that you’re now paying for the meal.

You shrug and think, “Oh well, I guess that’s okay, I only ordered a pasta salad.” But then the boss says you have to pay for his meal as well — A real vanity plate of wealth, with lobster, caviar and golden truffles.

You’re pretty angry at this point, but you feel as though you can’t say anything because he’s your boss, and he’s fired people in the past.

You pay the extortionate bill at the end, nervously wondering how you’re going to pay for Christmas for your family this year. But hey, at least you’ve been fed, you’ve had a meal out with the boss and he likes you.

Then, he slaps you on the arse and says in an excited voice, “Come on, let’s go puke it all up onto a homeless dude while you thank me over and over for a wonderful dinner!”

As you push two fingers down your throat, you squeak out little “Thank-yous”, before sicking up onto your own shoes. That’s them ruined.

I think the analogy ran away from me a little there, but the point is that this grand plan isn’t what was originally promised, and while his followers should continue to support him on his other policies (name one?), this is one they should fight back on.

If I were a MAGA-head, I’d be so mad that Mexico wasn’t paying for the wall that I also wouldn’t want this bill to pass. If I were a MAGA-head, I wouldn’t want to be puking on my own shoes.

I suppose the one good thing about the wall potentially being built, is that when we crawl out of this facist-lite hole most of our species are currently in, we can collectively bring down the wall as an act of unity and Make Earth Great Again.

See, that even spells MEGA — An actual word!

In the age of austerity, it’s probably only fitting that tattered walls are the new golden statues built to the sky to glorify one man.


Today is Friday, December 21st and it’s always better to try something and fail than to never try at all. That whole thing Yoda said is American Dream BS.

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Youthquake

I was reminded of the word “Youthquake” on a podcast this week. It was a word used to describe the young voter turnout during the UK General Election in 2017. Whether young people are better represented or not is up for debate, but something that’s clear to me in the dying days of 2018, is that we badly need a youth movement in politics.

I’m sat watching highlights from a discussion in the Oval Office between Trump, Pence, Pelosi and Schumer and I’m embarrassed for a generation that has refused to hand over power to people in their forties and fifties, let alone my generation.

I’m sorry, I just checked — Mike Pence is 59 years old. Although given the fact that he just sat there like a barely sentient showroom dummy, I don’t think he’s doing any favours for the fifty-somethings of America.

The squabble, and it was a squabble, was over the approaching government shutdown. This shutdown is due to happen because Trump can’t secure funds for his wall on the border between the US and Mexico.

Trump was the least surprising of the group, given that he was just his usual self. His sort of wound-tight ego never changes — And why would he? It got him to the highest office in the land.

He’ll be at the end of all things and still be bragging about something he just did.

“I do the most solid s**ts — Nobody has seen s**ts as solid as mine. The nursing staff love dealing with my s**t!”

— Trump, aged 76

Pelosi and Schumer are still playing the game that Trump beat in 2016. They might be closer to my political stance than others in the room, but they’re still from that old-guard of politician.

The sort that see it all as one big game, complete with addressing the TV camera instead of your colleague because that’s how you best reach the people; The illusion of a strong democratic discussion.

They’re ill-prepared, with a lack of facts, statistics and case studies. Instead of explaining coldly, calmly and concisely why a border wall is a populist idea that’s designed to secure the votes of extremists and tear lives apart in the process — And that we see through it. We instead get…

“Your wall bad, you cause shutdown.”

“No I don’t, build wall.”

“Won’t build wall.”

“Then shutdown.”

“Your wall bad, you cause shutdown.”

And so on.

Those aren’t their exact words, I should point that out. Although the gaps between each of those lines could be the words of Mike Pence, because he said absolutely jack all in that entire meeting.

The older guard, the Pelosi’s and Schumer’s of the world, don’t want to challenge the status-quo of politics. They want to keep everything as a points-scoring system, so that they can read about how they won in the morning papers.

Trump claimed to play a different game in the 2016 election, and to an extent he did, but he’s still a part of the swamp he promised to drain. He parades around as though public service is a birthright and not a civil duty. And he still watches the morning news to see if he won.

For better or worse, the public can hear your political opinion and “winning” viewpoint via social media. What we want during official meetings is progress, otherwise cracks start to form in this whole illusion of power thing you have going on.

Can’t make progress by agreeing? Then have gritty, intellectual discussions and see who comes out on top then. These one-liners and childlike arguments are getting tiresome.

When the young elected officials are saying more in 280 characters than the four of you can in a televised discussion, then something is wrong with the way you’re doing things.

I just realised that I started talking to them directly, even though they’re not here. That’s how fired up this makes me.

Yes, we have members of congress and the house who will be in their early thirties when they begin serving the public. This is an excellent start, and probably also the point in the piece that I should use the term “youthquake” again.

I know it’s tempting to single-out specific names, because some are living up to the job description of elected representative of the people extremely well. But the way we change the game is to empower the ideas over the individuals.

If we want this whole social-democracy to work, in which people receive fair representation and treatment by the government, we can’t put individuals on too high a pedestal.

But what we can say, with confidence, is that one of these images looks more like modern American society than the other.

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Screen Shot 2018-12-12 at 08.55.41These are the new members of the house of representatives for the Democrats and Republicans. I’ll leave it to you to decide who best represents America.

And to all the fragile caucasian men out there, we still make up the equal-biggest demographic in the top image.

Politicians should represent the views and will of the people. And while you don’t have to belong to the same specific demographic as someone else to represent their views, a democracy is healthy when people from all backgrounds are represented.

Now, back to the whole age thing. Youthquake and all that.

After watching four baby boomers squabble like point-scoring children whilst sat in the highest office in the land, I couldn’t help but see that four members of the same generation currently represent the entire county.

That feels wrong, and it sounds wrong when you listen to them. The vast majority of people born before 1961 are now retired, and they should have their views represented by a proportionate number of people.

Instead, most of the people in office are representing them and playing their old game on their behalf.

I don’t know, maybe a Youthquake is coming and everything will be fine. The point is that it should’ve happened already. The last four Presidents have been Baby Boomers — Let that one sink in as well.

It’s not that we don’t love you baby-boomers (I really do), it’s just that it’s time other generations had a crack.

We also need to find a better word than Youthquake. It was tedious to type out, and on top of that I’m probably going to make it the title of this flimsy and disjointed morning jumble of words.


Today is Wednesday, December 12th and my 2018 Spotify playlist has more new music than 2017 did.

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Election Day Hangover

I ended up watching a stream of the BBC election night coverage. I gave the American channels a go, but they were either too loud or too dumbed-down. Election night is supposed to be a mix of complex issues, tight races and bright colours, and the BBC provides all of that.

Don’t give me any grief about illegally streaming the BBC News Channel. I paid my licence fee as a student, where many others did not, and so I feel like I’m owed the occasional broadcast in my life overseas.

Don’t worry Tony Hall, I’m not illegally watching your precious Bodyguard. I bet you can’t believe your luck, can you? That the hot-guy-generic-plot formula has worked for you yet again.

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I’m feeling sort-of neutral about the mid-terms, because everything happened as expected. You’ll hear both sides claiming victory, and they’re right to do so. Neither party did anything unexpected, but Democrats had to take the House and Republicans had to hold on to the Senate.

Trump is seeing this as a personal victory, due to the fact that the “blue wave” was a mere blue ripple. Only getting covered in a little bit of bird shit is not a victory, it’s just not quite as bad as falling head-first into a cart full of manure.

Although, if you’d been told by the media for months that you are to expect a head-first dive into a steaming pile of horse dung, and all that happens is a seagull craps on your left shoulder — Then I guess you’d be celebrating.

“We have the best, American-made seagulls, okay? I welcome the white substance that is now upon my person. This creamy puddle of waste even says it’ll vote for me! Sean Hannity, get up here and talk to the people!”

Trump says that the candidates who kept to his party-line were re-elected and those who didn’t are now gone. That’s not strictly true, as most Floridian candidates distanced themselves from Trump on issues such as climate change and immigration, and many Republicans found re-election there.

A huge positive for America as a whole is the higher-than-usual voter turnout. It’ll be some time before we see the official figures, but most are predicting that they’re extremely high for midterm elections. A higher voter turnout means a stronger Democracy, and while 50-60% is far from perfect, it’s better than the usual 40%.

There were still huge pockets of eligible voters who didn’t cast a vote this time around, and that’s okay. We have two years to convince them otherwise. Especially as those who support nationalism (he said it, he called himself a nationalist) are already casting their votes.

In theory those who remain are the apathetic middle, who’re sick of the back and forth of American politics — Which is a fair viewpoint to have. What I would say to those people is that you can make all of that go away by voting against the party who is currently trying to divide America in ways we haven’t seen for decades.

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Beto O’Rourke didn’t win in Texas, but he fought the incumbent Ted Cruz to within 250,000 votes. Texas is officially purple. Either that or they recognise that Beto is a good human being regardless of his party affiliation. He had an uphill battle, like most Democratic senate races this time around, but fought respectfully to serve the people of his state.

This certainly won’t be the last we’ll hear of Beto. If you can nearly turn Texas blue in a senate race, then you’ll be making a presidential campaign bid in the future, perhaps as early as 2020.

I wouldn’t be mad at this, what the Democratic party needs more than anything else right now is youth. Every time I hear Nancy Pelosi or Joe Biden speak, I can feel how out of touch they are. Their hearts are in the right place, but their time has been and gone. I probably shouldn’t be saying that about the future speaker of the house but, for me, it’s the truth.

Bernie Sanders is about the only member of the old-guard who still sounds like an idealistic thirty-year-old, albeit with the surly undertones of a hippy grandfather who has been through some serious political battles.

I want Bernie to act as the Professor-X to a whole team of young Democrats who’re all under the age of fifty. They can call them the B-Men, or the S-Men, or maybe a more gender-neutral term. Even though I’m fairly certain the term ‘X-Men’ is gender neutral because many of them are women.

Young people voted somewhat this time around, but many still dread the idea of casting a vote for some old guy who doesn’t inspire them. Get Beto on stage with his bass guitar and have him finger-away for seven-minutes straight and I guarantee that’ll get young people to the polls. He might have to stream Fortnight on Twitch for a few weeks to gain some extra credibility, but I’m sure that’s a sacrifice he’s willing to make.

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Arizona’s senate race is still officially too close to call, but either way Arizona will be sending their first female senator to DC, and that’s a huge step towards equality. It was a battle billed as activist vs veteran, with the Republicans spending millions on vicious attack-ads against Kyrsten Sinema.

The truth of the race is that both women are ideologically strong, and both are good choices for the state of Arizona. I just always side with the candidate who isn’t launching attack-ads, and is instead stating what they stand for. It’s not my fault they usually happen to be Democrats.

In a way, these midterms have kept everything business as usual. Democrats were expected to take the house and Republicans were expected to hold the senate. These events are typical of the first elections following a new President.

I know many were hoping for a blue wave, but personally all I hoped for was Democratic control of the house. For what it’s worth I read a lot of blogs from people on both sides of the aisle, and it has only been right-wing blogs who have been touting the “laughable idea of a blue wave”, whereas liberal bloggers have remained quietly optimistic at most.

Before I sign-off for the day, I want to warn my fellow filthy lefties about the right-wing controlling our narrative. They think we want communism and so they brand us as communists.

In reality we want someone left of centre who makes most people happy and tries their best, so we can all go back to talking about the politics of Game of Thrones, instead of this impossible Game of Trumps everyone seems to be playing with our lives right now.


Today is Wednesday, November 7th and if anyone rats me out over the licence fee thing I’ll be livid.

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