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!”

areyousure.gif

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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The Fix Is In

In a bizarre twist, the thing I’ve missed most about British TV has been the prolific amount of panel shows on the air. I understand that their rise has seen a drop-off in scripted comedy, but in recent years the genre has championed young and alternative comics, and I miss that.

America’s first real panel show is now live on Netflix — The Fix is hosted by panel show veteran Jimmy Carr, and captained by Katherine Ryan and D.L Hughley. The premise is that they discuss a major issue effecting society today, and offer comedic solutions, or “fixes”, to the problem at hand.

Jimmy Carr’s monologue at the top of the show is familiar, as it’s in the same style as his 8 Out of 10 Cats openers. Even the delivery of the questions posed, and the back and forth between captains feels the same — To the point where I’m wondering if they brought a few of the writers Stateside along with the on-screen talent.

There are two elements that give this panel show its unique hook. The first is the to-camera arguments made by the team captains each week. They’re pre-written in an almost Daily Show correspondent-esq way. With the use of on-screen graphics and over the top arguments for ridiculous, tongue-in-cheek solutions.

These segments play into the strengths of D.L Hughley, and has him competing for most laughs with panel show experts like Jimmy and Katherine.

The second hook, and perhaps best part of the show, is the inclusion of Mona Chalabi in a statistics segment each episode.

My concern when reading the premise of The Fix was that it would be an irresponsible, lighthearted, almost dangerously flippant discussion of serious modern issues that effect real people in very real ways.

And it sort of is that, in a way. It definitely would be without the inclusion of Mona, who adds legitimacy to the topic of the week by providing raw data, and her excellent brand of easily digestible, graphics-based presentation.

Check out her credentials and career history, she’s doing great things and is a welcome inclusion on The Fix — And perhaps even the crux of its potential long-term success.

monachalibi

The guest comics have been a mixed-bag in the four episodes I’ve watched so far, but that’s to be expected of the panel show format. Some people have looked nervous, while others have displayed confidence and competence.

The key thing about the guest choices, whether they landed or not, is that they’re all stand-up comics. When panel shows work well they champion the current stand-up scene and act as a format for promoting new and touring comics.

And who knows, maybe some American comics just need to get used to the format, and they’ll be much more comfortable on a second appearance. Ron Funches, Al Madrigal and Nikki Glaser were the names who felt at home in this new environment.

The Fix also doesn’t shy away from dark, self-aware jokes that would make some of the great “shock” comics of the past blush. It’s clear that both Carr and Ryan haven’t been toned-down in any way. With Jimmy playing the WASP patsy to many jokes, and Katherine playing her usual role of privileged white-woman who’s very aware of that fact.

Netflix has done an excellent job of booking comics from different backgrounds, and I think that’s the only reason they can get away with some of the jokes being made.

With a diverse cast of comics all poking fun at issues surrounding race, sexuality and immigration, it sticks two middle-fingers to all those who say that “You can’t make jokes about anything anymore, everything is so PC and nanny-state.”

No, it turns out if you invite everyone to the table and not just middle-aged white guys, you can pretty much still make jokes about anything.

The Fix might not end up being the greatest panel show of all time, or even the best one produced in America when all is said and done (and by “all” I mean the human race in 2046). But the key thing is that Netflix have put their best possible foot forward in establishing the genre to American audiences.

By taking experienced panel show performers, not straying too far from the British structure, and using (almost exclusively) American comics, Netflix has hopefully secured the first successful show of the genre.

If you’re a fan of panel shows then you won’t be disappointed with The Fix. If you’re new to panel shows then try to watch as much QI and Would I Lie To You? as possible. Cats Does Countdown is also great for championing alternative comics, although I sometimes think it’s too bizarre a premise for a starting point.

I give The Fix, 5/7 or 7/9, but not 8/10. Maybe like a 7.5. I haven’t settled on a ratings scale yet. Just watch the show for an easy, and surprisingly responsible, bit of tele.


Today is Monday, December 17th and women’s wrestling is currently better than men’s wrestling.

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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.

Screen Shot 2018-12-12 at 08.55.30

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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Brexit, Democratic Socialism and Ocasio-Cortez

So, it has been twenty-four hours and I still don’t fully understand the ramifications of the Brexit deal proposal. Many top Torys have resigned, but others have stood by Theresa May. Some are calling for her to quit, others are saying that she’s the one to see this through to the end.

I wonder if the Brexitiers who’re unhappy with the proposal also bought their own BS in regards to the leave campaign. It all seems okay to me, given the circumstances of the situation.

You don’t buy a ticket to the Museum of Human Shit, and then wonder why there’s shit everywhere. You deal with all the shit, because you bought the ticket in the first place. You should only be outraged if a curator starts flinging fist-fulls of faeces at your face. But so far, at most, Britain is simply throwing itself head-first into the museum’s prize exhibit — Bullshit Mountain.

I’m aware that actual bull waste wouldn’t be found in the “Museum of Human Shit”, but Bullshit Mountain is made up entirely of kind donations from longtime museum patron, Nigel Farage.

I’m sure everything will become clear by March — A statement I’m making with the same blind optimism the British government currently has.

What I actually want to write about this morning is Democratic Socialism and Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. I’ve already blown two-hundred words on Brexit, and another thirty-five writing this sloppy segue, but here we are.

The other day I saw the headline, “Ocasio-Cortez Puts DC On-Blast with Her Instagram Stories.” I knew from that moment that Millennials had arrived in government.

She’s been doing things like making Mac n Cheese whilst streaming live and complaining about the government, which is so accurate to the experiences of a modern twenty-something.

Ocasio-Cortez beat out a long-serving Democrat in her primary, where she was funded entirely on small donations. She’s also a self-described Democratic-socialist — A political ideology that without the spin from various media outlets, most people would want.

It’s all about looking after everyone in society. Democratic socialism asserts that rampant capitalism is incompatible with a Democracy. Toxic, unregulated capitalism serves those at the very top extremely well, but not so much for everyone else.

Large institutions become publicly owned, everyone has a stake and a say in the world around them. Taxes increase, but fewer general bills exist. Universal Healthcare for all would mean paying more tax, but developing something en-masse for the people costs less than several private companies competing to offer you the “most competitive” price.

So therefore you’d pay less overall, for the same coverage. And if you don’t get sick that year, your tax has gone to help save people’s lives. Or it’s building up for when you’re old and you need more medical care. Whichever way you prefer to think of it.

Does Democratic socialism have weaknesses? Yes, absolutely. The idea of a perfect political ideology, a utopia for us to strive towards, is a fools dream.

It’s as open to corruption as any other political movement. Just as capitalism has been corrupted by the 0.1% at the top of the food chain, Democratic socialism can easily be taken advantage of.

The Right like to point to Venezuela as an example as to why socialism doesn’t work. Whilst making flimsy “what-about?” comparisons in an attempt to form an argument is sort of their MO, Venezuela is not the United States.

A first-world, rich country that decides to start looking after its people, where votes are still (mostly) democratic and the economy is stable, is entirely different to tyrants capitalising on an impoverished nation by preaching a brand of populism in order to gain power.

Now that I mention it, if socialism is “un-American”, then so is the entire Trump presidency, for the same reasons! Lady America, if you can skew this far right, then you can also bend back to the left a little.

The way to avoid corruption in Democratic socialism is to appropriately champion multiple leaders from an early stage. If one person came around preaching ego and authority in the name of the ideology, then I’d be suspicious. But so far we have a Representative who is making Mac n Cheese in her studio apartment.

I believe that Ocasio-Cortez has a bright future in American politics, but her greatest achievement will be this first victory. Other, likeminded people from humble backgrounds and strong communities, will now have the courage to run for office in the next decade.

Ocasio-Cortez said recently that she can’t afford to move to DC until her salary kicks in, unlike the majority of her colleagues. And she says that’s one of the key problems in government today — That those who rule us have more wealth than us.

I’m not saying politicians shouldn’t be paid well, because they should. But the fact that so many of them are from wealthy backgrounds, when the majority of America is lower middle-class, well, it’s absurd. They’re supposed to represent us.

A reporter attacked Ocasio-Cortez for wearing a dress after claiming she had no money, to which she responded with:

That’s the calm and measured response of a leader, and one that I hope many Democrats will look to as an example on how to answer hate.

Only rich people could think that owning some nice clothes means you’re as rich as they are. Ocasio-Cortez isn’t claiming to be impoverished, just from a lower middle-class background, like most of us. We can all afford a few decent dresses, just not, you know, a house.

I hope she serves the people of her district well, and lives by example, as those are the kind of leaders America needs right now — Public servants who spent their college years watching Parks and Recreation. Inspired to serve and not to rule.

Given the support she has from left-leaning young people, I’m certain that her future is bright. She’s still too young to be President, and I’d like Gen-X to have someone in the White House before all is said and done.

The last four Presidents have been Baby Boomers. That’s twenty-six years of rule for a generation that should only be in charge for twenty. I think it’s time for the generational hand-over to take place. 

I mean, it was time about five years ago, but now it’s really time. Beto is Gen-X, just throwing that fact out there for the people.

Anyway, generational studies is an entirely new topic and I’m out of time. The morals of the story are — Don’t believe what one news outlet says about socialist principles, keep your leaders in check as pubic servants, Ocasio-Cortez is a great leader and Brexit is an absolute shambles.


Today is Friday, November 16th and look after each other.

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Conservative Does Not Mean Far-Right

When I use the term “far-right” to describe someone or something in politics, it’s partly as an accurate description of the shift towards nationalism, race-baiting policy and figurehead populism, but partly as a get-out clause to my conservative friends and family.

I have no issues with conservative, centre-right or right-wing ideologies.

Well, that’s not strictly true, I do have issues with them, but ones that deserve debate and discussion because some conservative ideas have merit and are worthy enough of discussion. And we can’t all be the same, because that would be dull.

America is becoming increasingly politically divided, largely due to the ruling party and their pesky nationalistic tendencies. I really shouldn’t use the word “pesky” to describe nationalism. It’s like saying Hitler was a naughty little boy who didn’t play well with others — It just sounds so wrong.

With these divisions I fully understand that people who’re politically centre-right and right-wing exist. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that the majority of people who voted for Trump in 2016 belong to one of these two groups.

Only the zaniest group of his supporters actually want immigrant children to be caged, American children to be shot as a “price for freedom”, and innocents to be murdered in the name of their political beliefs. Only his absolute far-right followers want to commit acts of domestic terrorism.

I bet that most of the people who voted for him even understand that the giant wall is a false-promise pipe-dream, of a man who goes all-in on the first solution that comes to his demented mind.

Besides, it’s a totally redundant idea. Construction wouldn’t finish until 2030, and Elon Musk invents teleportation in 2036. So it’s billions of dollars for what? Six years of hard-border security? Come on.

I use the term far-right to describe the people who actively want, and support, the above causes, because those are far-right solutions to very real problems. Maybe the whole “build that wall” policy could be argued as classic right-wing, if it weren’t conceived as an idea in chant-form, that then spread around rallies as a populist slogan for a man to achieve political office.

But allowing the slaughtering of American children in exchange for the illusion of freedom? Threatening news organisations with violence? Taking the commands of your leader and acting without specific instruction? Shooting your fellow American citizens because you believe that’s what your orange god would want? These acts, however bizarrely they may be worded, are acts of the politically far-right.

So I say far-right to describe these acts. I don’t use far-right to describe other Trump policies, because they’re not and that would be reductive.

If you hate Trump for all of the above things, but are still glad you voted for him because he; Provided tax-breaks to the rich, backed-out of climate change agreements, defunded public services, and supported Republican candidates in the midterms. Well then congratulations! You’re a conservative. Classic right-wing all the way.

Of course I have issues with those policies, but I’m a filthy liberal, so of course I do. But right now I would absolutely take a ruling party that’s nothing more than classic conservative. There are issues to be debated, arguments to be proven right or wrong, protests to be had that would fight for the continued existence of our very planet.

There’s barely any debate or discussion to be had with someone who fundamentally thinks that you shouldn’t be in their country because you don’t share their beliefs or skin colour. How do you debate tax policy with someone who genuinely believes that some humans have more of a right to life than others? You can’t.

Politics in a strong democracy should be an eternal balancing act based on the genuine will of the majority of citizens. It shouldn’t be a race to the bottom; A popularity contest to see who can drum up the most support through vague statements and nationalistic slogans.

American politics should be purple — A group of elected officials who argue on behalf of the people who brought them to the dance. Poorer districts should send strong leaders from their own communities, who will fight tooth and nail for funding. Instead, they have historically sent lesser, rich outsiders who will say anything for a shot at power.

Leaders can be charismatic, absolutely. A strong public speaker will presumably then use that voice to fight on behalf of their constituents. But if that charisma is used only to serve an individual ego, that’s when the danger shifts occur.

“Danger shifts”, I used a lot of decent and appropriate terminology and then I go and write something like “danger shifts”. Language is about communicating a point though, and I think “danger shifts” does so effectively.

When the majority of us use the label of far-right, we don’t mean all Trump voters, conservatives or Republicans. Maybe some people do, but they don’t represent centrists, liberals or lefties. Just like the far-right, domestic terrorists and their enablers don’t represent the traditional right-wing.

We don’t have to be who people at the top say we are.

Although a lot of people who sit in the old-school right-wing territory are going to have to ask themselves some questions before 2020, particularly if terror attacks in the name of their president increase during that time.

How long will I stand by and put my name beside the party that encourages this?

How much does winning matter to me? And am I genuinely getting the policy I want from my party?

Should I protest my incumbent president by rooting for a genuine conservative politician to take his place?

I want the old debates back, I want tax-cuts for the rich vs tax-cuts for the poor. I want funding social services vs cutting. I want regulated immigration vs limited immigration.

“Beat the hell out of them”, “Enemy of the people”, “Nazis are good people”, “Proud nationalist”, “Grab ’em by the pussy” — I can’t handle that stuff anymore. I never thought I’d say this but… I really miss George Bush.

I use the term far-right to describe the far-right, and the only way we remove that cancer from our country is by unanimously agreeing that certain things are just too-far. I promise I’ll do the same if a communist leader ever takes office, because I happen to like being able to say whatever I want about the government.


Today is Tuesday, November 13th and I didn’t post anything yesterday and that’s okay.

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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.

bodyguard

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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Election Day Anxieties

I’m writing this on the morning of the US midterms, so if you’re reading these words after the results have already been announced, then please excuse my current, probably inaccurate, demeanour. Although I’m always anxious, so there’s probably no change.

I’m a realist, or at least that’s what I’ve come to accept, so I think that Democrats will take the house and Republicans will hang on to the senate. This is fine. Taking back some control from the Republicans is all that matters here, as America is never healthy when one party holds all the cards. Government should be purple.

There’s no senate seat up for grabs in my home state of Colorado, so nothing overly exciting has been happening locally. We’ve had our fair share of attack ads though — I still can’t believe those exist in a country that claims to be a great democracy.

Our Democratic candidate for Governor is Jared Polis, who is a rich (I’m talking two-hundred million dollar rich), white, career politician. Although he is openly gay, so no, he didn’t run for the wrong party by mistake. Currently LGBT people, who make up 5% of American citizens, hold around 1% of elected positions.

I wish I could say that Jared Polis would be helping to balance that figure out, but he is currently an elected member of the house of representatives, so it’s more like he’s moving from one end of the 1% to another.

That’s funny, as a gay man in government and a multi-millionaire, he’s a member of two 1% clubs. Both are depressing for completely different reasons. So good luck Jared, and try to do something ethical and humanitarian with all of that unnecessary wealth you’ve acquired.

It has been interesting to watch the Beto vs Cruz senate race. It’s perhaps the most high-profile election in these mid-terms, due to Cruz’s high-profile status. From an outsider’s perspective it looks like a no-brainer. Beto supports the right to own a firearm, but wants a ban on assault rifles. He wants to encourage business and support entrepreneurs, but still protect the social rights of Texas citizens.

Meanwhile Ted Cruz is…well…Ted Cruz. A man who decided to start saying the word “y’all” as a way to appeal to voters in Texas. How patronising. Here is the data, displayed in a wonderful graph by reddit user mvoviri.

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Also, Beto was a bassist in a punk rock band in the early 90s, which means you can trust him with just about everything, except your girlfriend.

Trump has been holding even more rallies, despite the fact that his name isn’t on the ballot. It makes sense from the Republican perspective, as his was the brand that won them the presidency. The hope from them is that the people who suddenly became Republicans for Trump, will also vote for their candidates if he backs them.

His backing has been the kiss of death in several special elections in the last two years, with many stating that the mid-terms will be seen as a vote of confidence on the walking embarrassment to both America, and our species.

Last night he had Fox “News” host Shaun Hannity appear live on stage and rally for Trump and his candidates. Not that they had any to begin with, but this should eliminate any and all credibility from Fox as a news outlet. Not that it’s really a news outlet, as it isn’t eligible for journalism awards, or recognised as one by anyone other than its viewers. That, my beautiful friends, is propaganda.

Just to be clear, a “journalist” endorsing a political candidate nullifies that persons status as a journalist. They can privately support whoever they want, but if they’re campaigning on behalf of a party then they can no longer accurately perform to the ethical standards of their job description.

Not that Hannity ever had standards, or ethics. You know what, this was actually very on-brand behaviour from the frontman for the ham-faced disenfranchised middle-classes. And no, that wasn’t the name of Beto’s punk band.

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Automated racist messages have been left on the answering machines of voters in Florida and Georgia. They use slurs in an attempt to undermine candidates and drum-up support from the rising nationalist-core of America.

As a sidenote, I’m glad that Trump outed himself as a nationalist, because now nobody can call me ridiculous for comparing his version of the Republican party to the rise of populist nationalism in 1930s Europe. Nazi is such a reductive term though, so 20th century. I think Trumpist, MAGA-head or Nu-Republican make more sense for our times.

I’m hoping that nobody is influenced by these messages, and they’re seen by all as pathetic attempts at trolling the electorate. It’s typical of racists to hide behind an automated answering machine message, instead of owning their beliefs and values.

Even with a self-proclaimed nationalist in the White House, you still can’t own your backwards opinions? You spineless, snowflake, safe-space, (Gab, Gab is your safe-space, you literally have your own branded safe-space) sycophantic, small-minded shits.

I feel as though I’m going to puke, and I’ll probably feel like this until we get a real sense for how the election has gone. I’m prepared for all eventualities. Especially as during the eight years of my active political participation, the world has taken a gradual shift towards right-wing politics.

America has the opportunity to draw a line in the sand today, to show the world that we don’t have to bend to nationalistic populism anymore. That it’ll take another several years, especially considering who Brazil have just elected, but we can start to fight back from this position.

Rational, free-thinking, empathy-filled citizens are currently being pushed off a cliff by a barrage of vitriolic hatred, backed up by lies and misinformation — And I’m going to level with you, I’m starting to get the sense that our fleshy bodies won’t survive the visceral splatter onto the jagged rocks below.

But what if we all link arms? Just as they did in 1970s Coca-Cola commercials, like the filthy progressives we are. What if we did that, dug or heels in and started to push back against the tide?

We do that by voting, by encouraging others to vote, and by informing each other as best we can. Democracy is beautiful, but only when we all participate.

Look after yourselves and each other. You do that today by voting for the people who will look after the most vulnerable citizens. It’s not my fault they’re usually Democrats.


Today is Tuesday, November 6th and I can’t cope. I’m emotionally crippled by the unknown.

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If you like what I write and can spare a dollar, then it’d be a greatly appreciated act of kindness! If you like what I write and can’t spare a dollar then I greatly appreciate you! If you hate what I write and also can’t spare a dollar, then why are you still reading this?

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