Mike Pence roadmap for the first 100 days of the Donald Trump administration

The Wall Street Journal has an article about an interview they did with Vice President elect Mike Pence over what the Donald Trump administration hopes to accomplish in the first 100 and 200 days.

The new administration’s first priorities would include curbing illegal immigration, abolishing and then replacing Mr. Obama’s signature health-care system, nominating a justice to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court, and strengthening the military, said Mr. Pence …

This is, indeed, and ambitious — but ultimately impractical — plan. While I don’t want to rule out any possibility, especially considering that Donald Trump actually won against all conventional wisdom, the Donald Trump administration has very little chance of actually getting these things accomplished.

Let’s look at repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Repeal should be fundamentally possible through the process of reconciliation. That would allow the effective repeal of Obamacare, but it would not allow for its replacement to be implemented. While I won’t argue that this is a likely strategy for the Republican House, Senate, and White House, there are already some Republicans worried about the consequences of repeal without a replacement.

Nominating a Supreme Court judge doesn’t seem to be too difficult either. And as long as the Supreme Court nominee isn’t too ideologically partisan, it doesn’t seem to be any great stretch that they would get Senate approval. If, on the other hand, they are too extreme, you can count on a Democratic filibuster.

The ideology of the Republicans also has to do with whether they can get anything passed with respect to immigration reform and military spending. Neither of these topics is anathema to the Democrats. As long as the Republicans are willing to work with the Democrats, then compromise — and therefore progress — can be made. If, on the other hand, the Republicans choose to attempt to implement the type of “reform” that Donald Trump was famous for in his campaign, then they can expect the Democrats to filibuster that type of extreme legislation for the sake of the country.

2016 Election – The Loyal Opposition

This was an incredibly close election. While the polls initially showed that Hillary Clinton would win, in the end it was Donald Trump that was victorious. Not only did Donald Trump win the White House, but Republicans also maintained control of the Senate and House of Representatives. Democrats have lost the reins of power in Washington. We are now the loyal opposition.
Continue reading 2016 Election – The Loyal Opposition

Still can’t process this election

Donald Trump has won the election.

One of the things that I have heard is about how Democrats are now in one of the five stages of grief. I don’t know if it is true for everyone, but it is true for me. But there are other emotions raging other than denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance; for me, there is also fear.

The road to the future has never been smooth. Often, the road to the future is bumpy and filled with U-turns. And it is in those U-turns that my fear lies. We as a nation had been making so much progress on various fronts. LGBTQ rights — while far from complete — were advancing, healthcare was becoming a reality for those at the lower end of the economic spectrum, people were beginning to believe that we were damaging our planet through the use of fossil fuel, and a plethora of other small steps toward progress. Now, I fear that all the progress that has been made will be undone.

But the thing that I fear the most is the people that brought this tragedy upon the United States. Donald Trump made no secret of whom he was when he was running for President. His sexism, narcissism, exclusionism, incompetence, and general hatred of others was right out in the open for everyone to see. His lies and falsehoods were so outrageous that even the fact checkers had trouble keeping up with them. And yet this is the person selected by the enough people to become the next President of the United States.

The realization that there are enough people to willing to hurt every non-white, non-straight, non-cis, non-rich, non-male has returned to me the fear that I used to feel around others.

Today I weep for myself, my country, my neighbors, and everyone else that suddenly wonders whether our country will continue to welcome us.

Electoral College as of October 21, 2016

The Presidential debates are over.

We can all sit back and breathe a sigh of relief — especially if you are a Hillary Clinton supporter. Hillary Clinton has come out on top in all three of the presidential debates.

Here is my view on how the electoral college looks as of right now.

Electoral Vote as of Oct. 21, 2016

And here is a link to the above map located at 270towin.com.

There are still two states that are so close that I consider them to be tossups: Arizona and Ohio. It is also clear that Hillary Clinton doesn’t need either of these states to win the election. Without either Arizona or Ohio, I project that Hillary Clinton will win 323 electoral votes. If that is accurate, that would give her 53 more electoral votes than necessary to win.
Continue reading Electoral College as of October 21, 2016

will.i.am, Apl.de.ap, and Liane V music video that you must see

I love a good song. will.i.am featuring Apl.de.ap and Liane V have a video out that not only is fantastic music, but also offers a good message and sound advice. Take a few minutes to watch it. You won’t be disappointed. But please, don’t blame me if you end up humming the song for the rest of the day.

A pro-lgbtq Republican party?

I’m just catching up on the news from the final night of the Republican National Convention. As a liberal, there wasn’t much for me to like, but there was one thing that really stood out to me even if it was overshadowed by other issues: the LGBTQ wasn’t used as a boogeyman.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that the Republican party has turned over a new leaf with respect to the LGBTQ. The Republican platform is still the most anti-LGBTQ platform in Republican history. Donald Trump — while seeming to change opinions over time — last said that he would appoint judges to the Supreme Court of the United States that would overturn the marriage equality ruling.

Despite all that, the founder of PayPal, Peter Thiel, said he was ‘proud to be gay’ from the in a speech at the RNC. This was the first time in history that someone from the LGBTQ actually talked about LGBTQ issues at the RNC.

The Verge also reports:

In his speech pledging support for Donald Trump, Thiel also referred to North Carolina’s controversial transgender bathroom law, asking the audience, “Who cares?”

Further, Donald Trump also made an overature to the LGBTQ in his speech. While it wasn’t about domestic policy, he said that he would defend the LGBTQ from the hostilities from foreign countries. When there was cheering from the floor of the convention, Donald Trump said that, as a Republican, it was good to hear them cheering that point.

Do I believe that the Republican party has turned the corner and is now supporting LGBTQ people? No. But I do hope that it is the first step in the death of the culture war that many Republicans still continue to fight.

Clinton vs Trump: May 16 – June 22, registered voters

It’s still too early to do any real number crunching on the United States general election. There aren’t a lot of polls out, and the ones that are out are subject to dramatic change as time goes by. With that in mind, the only thing I am looking at right now is the overall mood of the United States.

I have used the data available from Huffington Post Polster to compile a list of registered voters’ preferences. The best this chart can do is give a general feeling of the way people are thinking of voting right now. To make the data easier to interpret, I have included trend lines into the graph.

160625ClintonTrumpRegisteredVoters

While Hillary Clinton gets a larger percentage of the registered voters in virtually every poll, the numbers are still quite close. It should also be noted that because of the high initial polling at around 173 days until the election, the trend line could easily change directions for Donald Trump in the upcoming weeks when I update the date range.