Category Archives: Politics

What the heck just happened?

It has been a week but the magnitude of the disaster of election night has not fully set in yet. I was extremely confident about which way this election would go. I thought America had a ton of racists, just not that many racists. It turns out I was wrong and  I gave America too much credit. It turned out we had exactly that many racist people in this country. 

Embarrassing is the only word I could think of in the moment. I don’t think there is a better word to describe what happened. Good people around the world are laughing at us and rightfully so. I have believed all along that Trump got into this for publicity. Even he didn’t that the GOP primary voters were that crazy. He was just as wrong as we were. He apparently told Chris Christie that he expected to be out of the race by October 2015

This election was a wake up call for a lot people. Included among them are people who immigrated here in the 60s and 70s. So many of them did absolutely nothing to make themselves a political force. They chose to try and assimilate as if that was going to make racists amongst us dissappear and accept them. Living in denial that something like this would happen here. They could’ve built a strong platform that would’ve strengthened their voting block but they didn’t. This  really was inevitable. 

I don’t want to hear any talk from Trump voters about not all Trump voters being racists. They voted for a guy who from the very first day of his campaign laid out a race war. He campaigned on a platform of bigotry. You embraced him. You own it now. Most of them were so uninformed that it would’ve funny if it went so scary. One thing 2016 made clear was it brought these people out of hiding. In some ways it is a great thing too. We all know people who were around us being fake all these years, at least we know fully the darkness and hatred that was inside them all these years. These people revealing themselves as Trump supporters has just confirmed a lot of the hunches we already had about them. 

There are a lot of dark days ahead. Donald Trump has given a voice to white supremacists everywhere. Hate crimes against Muslims were up 67% in 2015. The 2016 numbers will obviously go much higher. Racist incidents are getting reported at a crazy pace

Our local Mosque here held an active shooter training this week. Have to imagine Mosques around the country will be doing something similar in the weeks to come. 

So what exactly what went wrong? Van Jones spoke well on CNN about the “Whitelash“. The bigotry that was unleashed towards Barack Obama was no coincidence. They planted the seeds for hatred amongst people they could easily fool and take advantage of and that they did. The birther stuff wasn’t a coincidence. The Republican controlled congress doing absolutely nothing  was by design. The crazy talk of building a wall, banning Muslims and jailing Hillary Clinton was not an accident. How long until these people figure out they were duped? How much do hate crimes increase when these people figure out that there will be no wall? 

Even before so many in the media got caught up in her emails while giving Trump a compete pass, Hillary Clinton was a flawed candidate. By now we’ve all read about the questionable campaign strategy in the final days of the campaign. Basically handing her the 2016 nomination in 2008 was a mistake. I truly believe Joe Biden would have won this past Tuesday. 

Where do we go from here? A good starting point would be to not treat this as something ordinary. For the love of God don’t treat this like a regular Presidency. Way too many people treated him as a regular candidate and look at where it got us. Don’t normalize him. This is a bigot. He was a racist long before he became a candidate. It seriously goes back to at least the 1970s. He launched his campaign on a platform of hatred, bigotry and division. Ana Marie Cox brings up a great point, why would Trump change now? 

Don’t ask me to give him a chance. I tweeted this last week and stand by it. “We have to give the racist, sexist, sexual assaulting, violence promoting, hate spreading, money stealing fraud a chance” is a pretty weak stance.

I saw this great tweet yesterday. Couldn’t agree more with it. People who carry the Confederate flag around in 2016 commenting on the Anti-Trump is hypocrisy at its finest. 

In his very first statement from the White House Donald Trump lied. I can’t help but laugh at people who think him selecting Reince Priebus Chief of Staff is a sign of progress or him coming back to the main stream. In that very same press release he announced Steve Bannon of Breitart as his Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor.  He is literally a self proclaimed white supremacist

“Give him a chance!” 

Donald Trump really doesn’t even have the most basic idea of what he is getting into. Him and his team were surprised to find out that they have to hire a new staff. Did these guys not watch The West Wing?

One of his actions after winning the election was to send out a tweet condemning protestors. We still haven’t heard him say anything about the hate crimes being commuted in his name aside from a throwaway line during the 60 Minutes interview. 

“Give him a chance!” 

He has no clue about what kind of President he wants to be. In a matter of seconds he’s saying stuff that contradicts things he said just seconds earlier. 

His business dealings are extremely shady. He didn’t release his tax returns so God knows what dark secrets are there and who he is beholden too. He wants to get his kids security clearance? The same kids who are supposed to be running his business? He is going to make a ton of money doing shady stuff in office isn’t he? Remember his comments on the housing market crisis? Do you really think he wouldn’t take the opportunity to attempt to manipulate things so he gains financially? 

“Give him a chance!” 

Remember when Richard Nixon said “when the President does it it that means it is not illegal.” Donald Trump’s allies are already using the same talking points.  He has Pam Bondi on his transition team. The same Pam Bondi that he bribed to get charged dropped against him.

“Give him a chance!” 

Remember all that talk about Hillary Clinton receiving a debate question ahead  of time? Fox gave at least one question to Trump as well. The network covered Hillary Clinton/DNC extensively despite knowing they had done the exact same thing. Remember Hillary’s emails? Mike Pence is currently trying to keep his emails from becoming public

Barack Obama and Seth Myers absolutely humiliated Donald Trump at the 2011 White House Correspondents Dinner and rightfully so. Unfortunately now we as a nation are paying a price for it. 

I hate empty gestures. Don’t get fooled by Trump claiming to only take $1 in salary as President.  If he was that worried about taxpayers he would be paying taxes. If he was actually worried he would drop this ridiculous notion of commuting to Washington from New York City

We need to support good journalists. The next 2-4 years couldn’t be more important. In this election cycle when so many stood by and enabled Donald Trump there were a bunch that stood out for their great work. David Fahrenthold of the Washington Post was absolutely brilliant for the Washington Post. Katy Tur & Hallie Jackson of NBC, Chris Hayes & Rachel Maddowc of MSNBC, Sopan Deb of CBS & Daniel Dale of the Toronto Star. I know I am missing others but this group was a must follow for me daily and I’m sure they’ll remain the same in the days ahead. 

A lot of people are going to continue to tell us that we are a conservative country. Don’t let them lie to you. Hillary Clinton got more votes. You may see all that red in that middle of the country but relatively speaking not as many people  live there. 

Greg Popovich, Steve Kerr & Stan Van Gundy all spoke eloquently in the aftermath of the election. We need more people in prominent positions to do the same. Harry Reid was great too

There are 1,450 days left until Election Day 2020. The work needs to be under way already to fix this. That election couldn’t be more important. I am onboard for Cory Booker 2020. We all need to be more involved. Barack Obama’s decision to tackle gerrymandering post presidency became that much more important thisweek. 

Follow me on twitter @sahyder1 

Election 2016

Have you voted yet?    

I just had to put together some random thoughts on this election. This was the first US general election I have voted in having been a Canadian citizen during both of the Obama elections. 

The phrase “voting for the lesser of two evils” has never been more applicable then it has in this election. These two candidates are absolutely hated by most of the country yet the choice in this election couldn’t be more obvious. For all her faults (yes, there are many) Hillary Clinton has to and will be the next President. 

Those of you who follow me on twitter know that I’m not her biggest fan. She is an extremely flawed candidate but when the other choice is Donald Trump the decision for next President couldn’t be more obvious. 

I didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton because she will win in New Jersey comfortably. I couldn’t bring myself to vote her but there really wasn’t another choice. Jill Stein just doesn’t excite me. Gary Johnson is an absolute joke. I wrote in Cory Booker’s name. Sign me up for Cory Booker 2024. 

I have been fairly confident in the outcome of this election for a very long time. So much so that my brother mentioned the classic West Wing scene

This campaign has been enlightening in its own ways. It has opened our eyes to the racist and clueless people around us. We’ve all found one Co-worker, neighbor, etc. who is voting for Donald Trump for one stupid reason or another. The Republican Party has made being uninformed racists part of their pitch to voters for a while now. Donald Trump just brought it more to the mainstream. Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star said it best in this tweet last month. 

It’s become clearer and clearer and clearer: If you support Donald Trump, you are a sort of monster. Which kind, it doesn’t much matter.

Could not agree more with Bruce there. 

Unless you are a billionaire male racist Caucasian why would you vote Trump? He literally stands for everything that is wrong with this country. He’s been leading a cult and fortunately too many have blindly followed. You ask many Trump  supporters about their reasons to vote Trump and most of them don’t know why. Heck, Donald Trump himself has no idea why you should vote for him. He’s offered no real solutions to any problem. I have long said that he got into this for publicity. He didn’t think he’d win. He has no interest in governing. He thought it’d be great for his brand and he could make some money. It turned out to be quiet the opposite. GOP primary voters turned out to be crazier than we all thought (I’m guilty here too. I didn’t factor the craziness of the primary voters when making predictions during primary process) and put out him in a bind. His brand has taken a major hit. Whether it is his hotel business, Macy’s deal,a new golf course in Dubai, an old golf course in Scotland his businesses continue to take a hit. They aren’t even putting his name on new hotels

Donald Trump is a terrible person. By now everyone is aware of his attitude towards women, Muslims , Mexicans and African Americans but his despicable lies towards charity work are just as bad. If you haven’t been following the work of David Fahrenthold of the Washington Post you have missed out on some great journalism. Follow @fahrenthold on Twitter.

I am legitimately surprised that a journalist didn’t get seriously hurt this year at a Trump rally given how much he was inciting his cult. 

With all this being said I don’t think the Donald Trump problem goes away. I don’t think he concedes with grace today. Unfortunately Donald Trump is not going away. Sarah Palin lived out in Alaska and even she stuck around for a little bit. Donald Trump lives minutes from multiple TV studios. A lot of shows are going to continue to give him airtime. The racism and extermism that the GOP has let creep in for a while will continue to be a problem. Trump’s cult is so blindly devoted to him that many of them won’t accept the results of this election. Heck, so many of them still don’t believe Barack Obama was born in the US. It has been comical watching the GOP try to distance itself from Donald Trump when they’ve been doing the same things he has been doing for much longer. 

This is a party that welcomed the racism of the 2008 campaign. 

This is a party that unleashed Sarah Palin on this country in 2008. 

This is a party that questioned the patriotism of people who had literally given their limbs for their country like Max Cleland while supporting candidates who did their best to dodge military service. 

This is the party whose hypocritical leaders led investigations into Bill Clinton while being extremely flawed men themselves. 

This is a party that hasn’t been doing its job
This is a party that plans on continuing to not do its job

I also found the location of both campaign parties tonight pretty funny. Hillary Clinton is at a venue with a literal glass ceiling while Trump is across the street from one of the most successful Muslim owned businesses in America. Speaking of glass ceilings, did you see what is happening in Rochester? People are showing up at the cemetery where Susan B. Anthony is buried. 

I think Hillary Clinton wins easily tonight. Her getting close to 340 electoral college votes wouldn’t surprise me. Wonder if she can drive a big enough margin in popular vote so the Democrats can take congress. 

Creepy Dubya Billboard

A creepy billboard of George W. Bush has popped up (picture on the left courtesy of the NPR website) in tiny Wyoming, Minnesota. The sign has a picture of Dubya alongside the words, “Miss me yet?”. My answer to that question? “HELL NO!” Agree with the coffee shop worker in this CNN video. I want to know who put this billboard up. I can understand why the group wants to remain anonymous though. I mean, how dumb do you have to be to still publicly support Dubya at this point?

As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or Follow sahyder1 on Twitter.

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A Charge Kept: The Record of the Bush Presidency 2001 - 2009Decision Points

Cory Booker is awesome

Have I ever mentioned that Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, New Jersey is awesome? Yes, I believe I have.

For those who are not familiar with him, you should read up on the man. He’s definitely a rising star in the Democratic Party. He will be either the next Governor from NJ or the next Senator. One way or the other you will be hearing a lot of him if you haven’t already. He is without a doubt one of the finest mayors in the country. He turned down a job in the Obama White House. He has been a big part of the major transformation the the “Brick City” has taken over the past few years. He goes out on night patrol in the community with the Newark Police Department and personally sees to it that there is positive change in his Newark.

This New Year’s Day he once again proved why he is not like any other politician. He went out and shoveled snow for the elderly. Is it a nice political photo-op? Sure, it could be. But honestly I hadn’t seen it in any news up until I saw this CNN article. Once again a job well done Mr. Mayor. If you haven’t been following the Mayor on twitter, do so now?

As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or contact me via Twitter.

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Politics and Cricket: Pakistan wins the Twenty20 World Cup

It is easy to dismiss as sports as just that….sports. Fun and games even when competed at the highest of competitive levels. But that attitude couldn’t be farther from reality. Sports in the real world hold a far bigger significance.

Pakistan’s convincing win in today’s World Twenty20 final was the latest example of that. Their 3 biggest contributors to a win at this tournament (Shahid Afridi, the captain Younis Khan and Umer Gul) all hail from the war torn N.W.F.P region. Pakistan cricket is facing some major hurldes in the aftermath of the Lahore attack. They are facing the prospect of a long layoff from home games with war waging on the western front and the everliving possibility of one on the eastern one. While most of the cricket world looks at it as recent events Pakistan cricket has faced isolation for a long time before that. As Osman Samiuddin pointed out yesterday,

“consider how Pakistan came into this tournament. They had played a piffling 10 Tests and 50 ODIs since the beginning of 2007; no other side was that undercooked.”

This problem dates back to the 90s as the hypocrisy of the western world continues to live on; even when it is in sports. While they refuse to tour Pakistan over “security threats” they continue to expect countries especially ones that generate a lot of revenue for them like Pakistan does to tour them. The 7/7 bombings in London were during a cricket tour that went uninterrupted. When the conflict with the IRA was ongoing once again cricket went uninterrupted in England.

This team has been through a great deal of turmoil in recent years. Few can forget the disastrous 2007 World Cup where they were eliminated in the first round after an embarrassing loss to the lowly Irish team. If that defeat wasn’t enough their coach Bob Woolmer was found dead in his hotel room the very next morning.

All throughout this tournament Pakistan played in front of packed stadiums full of Pakistani supporters in England but the home crowd continues to face a long prospect of living without cricket. England which is sure to profit from it wants Pakistan to play “home games” all across the country. The irony in that invitation are many. Doesn’t England consider itself a terror target? Hasn’t it for years? For years we’ve listened to Tony Blair and Gordon Brown talk about the need for the “war on terror” because of those threats.

One can’t downplay the significance of today’s win. Pakistan once again shows the world that the sport needs it as much if not more then the country needs it. It holds arguably the most passionate fans of any sport in any country. The TV money Pakistan brings in is huge for a country of its size. Pakistan keeps producing charismatic stars that the sporting world very much needs. Shahid “Boom Boom” Afridi is as exciting an athlete to watch as any around the world.

Cricket will return to Pakistan and I am pretty sure it will be a lot sooner then people think. The economics of it will up pushing the issue soon enough. In the mean time though Pakistan cricket needs to keep going and having a lot more repeats of today. Winning cures all. The rest of it will sort itself out just like it always does in sports.

I was a 7 year old with a math final exam the next day when Imran’s cornered tigers pulled out that win in 1992 after an improbable run yet those images are still fresh in my mind.

There have been plenty of disappointment over the many years since then but the victory from today will rank right up there.

Just some quick thoughts for now. I’ll have another entry out tonight or tomorrow in regards to the future of Pakistani cricket.

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