What Is He Doing? Trump’s Agenda and Our Despair (an Overview)

Donald Trump, Trumps agenda, GOP, an overview
Image via Flickr by cornstalker. Some Rights Reserved.

I wanted to write something today and the easiest thing to do was to write up an overview for my upcoming series about Donald Trump and the Republicans. This series is going to be a doozy, and I’m not just talking about the research. Anyway, here is a summary of how I plan to steer the subsequent posts in the series.

All the Wrong Reasons: A President with No Real Ideology

This post will go over aspects of the 2016 presidential election, as well as Trump’s overall history. I will discuss what might have pushed Donald Trump to run for president, how he used dog whistles to woo a percentage of voters, and how the press played a role in the 2016 election. I will also talk about Mike Pence and how his agenda is a danger to the American public.

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The Moral Quandary of Using Internet Services

internet services, Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, Strategic Communication Laboratories, Donald Trump, debate, ethics, Google, you are being watched

I’m taking a break from my break to make some posts. This first one concerns the Internet, particular internet services, and the arguments that arise from it all.

Some Background Information

This weekend, I was on Twitter when I saw a trending story about Cambridge Analytica. The story was covered by The Huffington Post, among others.

Apparently, CA and its parent company had been suspended from Facebook for violating user privacy rules.

For those who don’t know what Cambridge Analytica is, it’s a political data analytics firm. CA is also part of Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL), a British company. In 2016, Cambridge Analytica was paid millions of dollars by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and it was extremely effective.

From the information I already had about CA, the company used data from various sources, including from social media. The employees from company bragged about their processes and information-gathering, saying that they had information from virtually all American voters. However, according to this new information, the company may have taken information from Facebook through unethical means.

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What Is He Doing? Trump’s Agenda and Our Despair

Donald Trump, Trumps agenda, Republican Party, American politics, what is he doing, yet another series
Donald Trump was at the CPAC in 2011. Seven years later, he’s our president. Yuck. (Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr. Some rights reserved.)

This week, news about Friday Donald Trump’s comments about certain countries made the rounds. He referred to Haiti, and African nations as “Sh*thole countries.” Now I was planning on talking about this is a News Roundup, but I felt it needed to be part of a larger discussion about Trump’s agenda.

That is what we should be focusing on: the far right-wing agenda. While the criticism is of what Trump just said is of course justified and it is proof of his prejudicial attitudes, those are just words. What is worse than what Trump says is what he does.

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OMG, Republicans Are Disgusted by Trump!

Republicans, Donald Trump, Jeff Flake, Bob Corker, Barack Obama, George W. Bush
Sen. Jeff Flake (pictured at the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s Annual Legislative Luncheon in Phoenix, AZ in 2014), announced his retirement on Tuesday, October 24, 2017. Picture by Gage Skidmore via Flickr. Some rights reserved.

This afternoon, I caught the tail end of a news report concerning the pending departures of two Republican Senators, Jeff Flake and Bob Corker. The news comes days after George W. Bush made statements that were understood to be against President Donald Trump. After the news segment, I knew I had to blog about my reaction to these Republicans’ reactions.

Currently, I am looking at the problems within the Democratic Party. But I would also like to look at the problems of the other major party in American politics. These developments provided a prime opportunity.

What do I have to say? There are three things, actually. But first, let’s discuss what transpired over the past few days.

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The Rift on the Left: We Have to Revisit the 2016 Presidential Election

Trump & Clinton

Finally! After months of research, I can now present my in-depth breakdown of the 2016 presidential election. In keeping with the overall theme of this series, this post will cover a lot of the narratives an immediate fallout.

Originally, I wanted to take a look at the highlights I can remember from the past election, beginning in the spring of 2015. However, I thought about it and realized that I needed to simplify things for myself by separating the overall themes and making a timeline later, for my own purposes. I still ended up putting some extra work in.

Unfortunately, it’s hard for me to summarize the election without going through all the important highlights (and there are so many to mention). Therefore, I am skipping to the end and pointing out some things I feel are important.

That said I cannot get into the aftermath without first looking at the important issues leading up to the 2016 presidential race and discussing the three most important players in the race. And after that, I want to discuss the following narratives that came out of this election.

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Should We Mix Sports and Politics?

sports and politics, NFL protests, Donald Trump, ESPN
President Barack Obama is seen playing basketball with members of Congress and Cabinet secretaries on October 8, 2009. Obama kind of mixed sports and politics occasionally, when he talked about the Chicago White Sox and submitted his NCAA brackets for March Madness. (Photo taken by Pete Souza for the White House. Via Flickr)

Yesterday, I watched some NFL football games but the day was dominated by the news surrounding Donald Trump’s comments about NFL protests and the league’s response. Today, I tried to watch ESPN but I was greeted by the continuous discussion of yesterday’s events — i.e., the response to the response to Trump’s comments about NFL protests. As a result, two things jump out to me: One was the number of empty seats in NFL stadiums across the country and the other was the mix of sports and politics.

What Do I Want to Say About Sports and Politics?

That’s the hard part. I know that I want to say something, but I need to know more first. Unfortunately, I have not been keeping up with the related topics as well as I should have. However, I have certain views about the NFL protests and I take exception to some of the blowback.

I believe there are valid arguments to be discussed here, although I might not agree with all of them. There are politics involved within sports themselves (and, as I’ve said before, within the cable networks that cover sports), but I think it’s fair to ask whether or not sports and governmental politics should mix. As such, I would like to visit these topics in the following weeks:

I just wanted to make a quick post because so many thoughts were swirling in my head but it’s hard for me to gather my thoughts. Of course, I have visited some aspect of this before (via Colin Kaepernick) numerous times, but I haven’t been able to say what I want to say on the matter.

I might add more topics to this list as more thoughts come to mind.

News Roundup Special: North Korea Update (September 24, 2017)

news roundup, North Korea, hydrogen bomb

Hello, readers! For this week, I’m going to do something a little different. For this post and a few more I plan to do this week, I will discuss in-depth sections dedicated to a few important stories around the world. This News Roundup Special concerns North Korea.

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About Hillary Clinton’s New [Burn] Book

burn book, Hillary Clinton, What Happened, 2016
You’re not alone, Hillary. I couldn’t believe what happened on Election Night. Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr. Some rights reserved.

This is a couple of days late, but I wanted to weigh in on What Happened, a new book that dropped on September 12. Well, after looking at a number of reviews and find a buttload of quotes, I would call this a burn book because it contains a series of essays where Hillary Clinton unloads on a bunch of people including James Comey, Jill Stein, Vladimir Putin, The Bohemian Professor, and The Sad Bambino.

The Reception of this book was mixed (even before the official release), which is to be expected of the offering of such a polarizing figure.

The have been a number of memes where Twitter users shared photoshopped images of the book.

There was even a controversy with Amazon reviews.

But the book tour has been selling out in blue states and sales of the book itself have already set 2017 records.

Now what do I think of the book? Well, I haven’t read it. However, I have found some in-depth reviews and I have found quite a few quotes from the book to boot.

Based on the limited information I have, this is a non-review. But it looks like the book is covering everything Clinton has already said about this past election ad I do have thoughts on those areas.

Here goes.

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Stealing Votes: How Our Rights Are Under Attack!

stealing votes, election fraud, voter fraud, Kris Kobach, Donald Trump, election integrity commission
Kris Kobach (right), is the current secretary of state for Kansas. He is heading a commission that is designed to steal votes by shutting out eligible voters.

What do you think is the biggest problem with American politics and our democracy? Do you think it’s partisanship, third parties, apathy, or general ignorance (or Russia)? I’ll agree with three of those factors, but the people who are stealing votes are the biggest threat to our democracy.

Why I am saying this now? Well, as I said last month, fair voting is one of my top two issues. Also, I fully intended to make this post sometime, but one post I viewed in particular pushed me to post this today.

Here’s a Recap:

I was responding to a meme CalicoJack posted in April about voting third-party. This is part 2 of my response to CalicoJack. As I was writing, I realized I needed to make two posts.

On Sunday, I talked about whether or not third-party voters were to blame for Trump’s victory. Many may say they were, but I explained why the numbers might not have add up the way we think they would.

In order to make my points in that post, I looked at the numbers in the “Rust Belt” states, but I stopped short at looking at voter suppression there. For this post, I’ll even throw in North Carolina and Florida, because those are two states Barack Obama won in 2008 and there were funny things going on in those states, too.

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Are Third-Party Voters to Blame When Democrats Lose?

third-party voters, Greens, Libertarians, Democrats, Republicans, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, 2016 Presidential Election
Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party) and Jill Stein (Green Party) are often blamed for taking votes away from Hillary Clinton in 2016. Why are third-party voters often blamed for Democratic defeats?

In April, CalicoJack posted a meme based on last year’s presidential election. In short, the meme equated a vote for third-party candidates to being a vote for Trump. Third-party voters were being blamed in advance throughout 2016 and with all due respect, I disagree with that notion.

Basically, a vote for Trump was a vote for Trump. Of course, there are plenty of people throwing shade at Trump voters. Others have decided to retract their claws when dealing with those voters and instead go after other liberals, third-party voters, and nonvoters.

Just today, I got an angry post from an ignorant person because I questioned the efficacy of liberals biting each other’s heads off because of what happened in November 2016. That person also proved all my points, though.

You wanna know why this person was ignorant? In 2016, I told others that voting for Clinton (at least in the states where she needed the electoral votes) gave them a better chance getting some of their progressive platform items passed. I just wanted Clinton to each out more to disaffected voters (instead of Republicans who hated her guts). So I don’t know why this … individual was getting mad at me.

Speaking of third parties, though: A vote for a third-party candidate was more complicated then it looked on the surface. Don’t believe me? Well, let’s look at why people may have voted third-party. Let’s take a look at the numbers while we’re at it.

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