Let’s See What’s Going On With the Presidential Election.

As we know, there is a lot going on with our favorite motley crew.

By Michael Vadon [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Michael Vadon [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
“Ben Carson by Gage Skidmore 3” by Gage Skidmore. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
“Donald Trump September 3 2015” by Michael Vadon – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Commons
“Chris Christie at the 2015 CPAC by Gage Skidmore” by Gage Skidmore
“Carly Fiorina by Gage Skidmore 3” by Gage Skidmore. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons
“Ted Cruz by Gage Skidmore 6” by Gage Skidmore. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Sen. Lindsey Graham by United States Senate [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Sen. Lindsey Graham by United States Senate [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
“Mike Huckabee speaking at HealthierUS Summit-uncropped” by United States Government – http://www.healthierus.gov/steps/photo/. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons
“Bobby Jindal by Gage Skidmore 4” by Gage Skidmore. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons
By Michael Vadon (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 ]
Gov. John Kasich by Michael Vadon (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 ]
“Rand Paul by Gage Skidmore 8” by Gage Skidmore. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
“Former Governor George Pataki by Christopher Peterson” – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons
“Ringo Starr (2007)” by Tina 63 – Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons
“Marco Rubio cpac 2012” by Gage Skidmore
Jim Gilmore courtesy of Gage Skidmore https://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/12999393015
Jim Gilmore courtesy of Gage Skidmore https://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/12999393015
“Rick Santorum CPAC FL 2011” by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America – Rick Santorum. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Gov. Martin O'Malley - See page for author [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Gov. Martin O’Malley – See page for author [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
“Hillary Clinton speaking to supporters – New York Oct. 15th 2007” by Veni Markovski from New York, USA – Hillary speaking to supporters, New York. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
“Bernie Sanders by Gage Skidmore” by Gage Skidmore. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons

(Blink, blink, blink, blink)

(Scratches head)

(Sighs.)

Forget it. I’m going to Magic Happy Bunny Land. Those who want to join me are more than welcome.

Photo courtesy of jennicatpink. https://www.flickr.com/photos/jennicatpink/5643862337
Photo courtesy of jennicatpink. https://www.flickr.com/photos/jennicatpink/5643862337

One Year Later…

Getting ready...
Getting ready…

It was around this time last year that I attended the Chicago Writers’ Conference without much of a clue of what I wanted except that I eventually I wanted to write and somehow make a living out of it eventually.

I walked into the kickoff party held in a packed “Irish” pub in the middle of The Loop.  People could hardly get through because of the conference organizers were doing early check-in of attendees.  The early arrivals got the primo spots on the small wooden tables and uncomfortable stools with laminated index cards as conversation starters.  I managed to overhear someone read a card about Hemingway being detrimental to the craft.  I didn’t think Star 80 was that bad.

But they could have been talking about Tolstoy for all I truly knew.  Flightlines with running F-15s were quieter than this place was.  I am not going to make that same mistake tonight.  There will be plenty of opportunity to drink at the Live Lit reading tomorrow.

Regarding the conference itself, I learned a lot, took a bunch of notes, and was left even more overwhelmed and baffled than when I started.  The writing and publishing world is a business in flux, to say the least.  Despite my complete lack of schmoozing skills and my anxiety about large social situations, I did manage to make some small talk with some hopefuls.  Imagine the shock when they asked me for business cards.

I had nothing to give them.

So I ended up going to an Office Depot that was shutting down, bought a pack, and wrote my details on them.  I was such a dork.

I learned from that too. There is a back to this.
I learned from that too. There is a back to this with more information.

It was time and money well spent because I was smacked with reality.  I could research for hours.  I could seek advice from a myriad of writers and editors.  I could read how-to books and articles.  I could get samples of putting the perfect pitch together.   I could catalog and index all sorts of information.  But that was not going to change one thing.

I was afraid.

I was afraid of putting my words out in public.

Until I could do that, everything else was pointless.  And it took going to this conference and some Come to Moses talks with The Boffin to make me dig down into the vulnerable gelatinous areas of my psyche.   You know, the part that tell you that you are woefully inadequate.

Starting small was key.

Hence, here I am on WordPress.

And where do I go from here?  Freelancing is still a good option, but I admit there are times when the old-fashioned route of conveniently dying and having The Sprog deal with my work is appealing.  Hey, it is a valid career path for writers.  They don’t have to worry about networking or promotion.

But for now, I am at the conference this year knowing I don’t have to make business cards with crayons.

Let’s Check in with the Presidential Election So Far…

With the Republicans, I would say we were at the gorilla exhibit at the zoo, but the gorillas are usually far better behaved.

image
Bobo is not impressed.

It’s the Trump show right now, and there are a cluster of people who are liking his “tell it like it is” rhetoric.  Well, what you see is what you get, and what you get is a narcissistic, pompous dickwad with an “America First” agenda who thinks any publicity is good publicity.  What some people don’t seem to get is that this is not the student body president election in high school.  Electing someone because he is popular and you like his style is not enough.  The stakes are much higher here and someone who is just going to barrel through with the “my way or the highway” attitude when dealing with all the issues will do more harm than good when we are so interconnected on a global scale.  But, hey, at least, he is entertaining.

Meanwhile the other Republican candidates, bless their souls, are trying to get everyone else to pay attention them and only demonstrating just how out of touch they are with the American people in the process.  Rand Paul took a chainsaw to the federal tax code.  OK, he may get the lumberjack vote.  Lindsay Graham destroyed his phone after Donald Trump gave out his number.  The American reaction?  Why would we want a President who still uses a flip phone?  Ted Cruz had a go at Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell for being a liar in session (A big no-no. You call your colleagues liars to the press. Silly Ted.); McConnell saw it as the attention-grabbing stunt for what it was, and we did too.  Mike Huckabee, in his critique of the Iran deal, is invoking Holocaust imagery by saying it would “basically march them (the Israelis) to the door of the oven”.  Nice to know he is keeping his usual level of tact.

Scott Walker just wants to start World War III by reneging on the whole Iran deal. All I know is that Scott Walker will be in Philadelphia today and will be sampling cheesesteaks from Pat’s and Geno’s.  Considering that both places are highly overrated and cater to the tourist crowds, he deserves whatever he eats.  I wouldn’t say I hope he chokes on it because I am not evil, but I wouldn’t mind if he receives a bit of verbal flak on behalf of the natives from my home region. Because they can give it good.

Meanwhile, there is Jeb! Bush who is trying to tell everyone to get along and stop all this infighting, which is admirable.  But then when he opens his mouth to address an issue, he is 12-years behind the times.  Phasing out Medicare when private healthcare costs are skyrocketing?  Riiiiiiiiight. His gilded upbringing is showing through in spades here.

So what is going on with the Democrats?  They are doing more conventional campaigning and letting the Republicans duke it out in their steel cage match.  It’s the smartest move on their parts, as far as electability.  Hillary Clinton just made a speech on climate change in Nashua, NH, but nothing of substance came of it. To be honest, I am not holding out any hope for her. I have always wanted a female president ever since I was watching Free to Be…You and Me in elementary school, but she is the political equivalent of a cheap American chocolate bunny. Hollow and leaves a foul taste in your mouth. Bernie Sanders is trying to hold Hillary’s feet to the fire like he was setting out to do, but she is still being rather evasive about her goals at this point on a lot of key issues. I understand the campaign strategy, but the country wants to know who can demonstrate proper leadership. Lingering in the background when the country is in flux only shows you are a slave to opinion polls.

To sum it up, I think Bobo should put his hat in the ring.

That’s Not What We Wanted.

I had fun at the expense of the Republicans yesterday and their dozens of ego-driven Presidential candidates.  In all fairness, let’s try to keep the books balanced here and bring the Democrats into the fold.

If I can make any generalizations about our two Name Brand party Presidential candidates, it’s this.  With a Republican candidate, what you see is basically what you get.  And what you get is basically an asshole who sometimes does the right things.  With a Democratic candidate, it seems like you don’t know what you are getting.  Most party loyalists hope there is that possibility that perhaps, just perhaps, this one could have a heart or a sense of social justice.  The jaded voters already know that the end result is going to be yet another asshole who sometimes does the right things.

In the end, you just hope whoever gets elected happens to throw the breadcrumbs that you want your way.

Segueing from breadcrumbs, if we were to have some sort of comedic hijinx with the Democrats, it would be more of a cooking competition like Master Chef.  Why?  Because if they are asked to make particular dishes with specific ingredients, they would completely, utterly screw them up.

“Hillary, we asked you to make orange sorbet.”

“I know.  I did.”

“It melted.”

“Bernie Sanders was hogging the ice cream maker.  Some socialist he is.”

“This doesn’t even taste like orange.”

“Republicans tampering with subsidies and a drought caused an orange shortage in Florida and California respectively.”

“It’s lemon water!  There isn’t even sugar in it!”

“The sugar will increase your risk for diabetes.  I should know.  I tried to do something about healthcare years ago before Obama came into the picture.  This orange sorbet is what you really wanted and needed.”

“But it’s LEMON WATER!”

It's supposed to look like this, Hillary.   http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/colors/images/34691824/title/orange-sorbet-photo
It’s supposed to look like this, Hillary. http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/colors/images/34691824/title/orange-sorbet-photo

I’m not singling out Hillary.  Insert almost any other Democrat into that scenario, and you would get the same snow job.

But the reason why things keep running is that sometimes politicians do make good decisions because we hold their feet to the fire. We, the people, just have to turn the flames up more.

“I Hope I Get It!”

It’s June of 2015, and the Republican Presidential candidate roster is longer than the list of people Kanye West offended.  We have to find a way to narrow this bunch down, or our debates are going to become even more tedious than the Oscars.  Well, they are already. Not even Neil Patrick Harris can save us.

2008-0903-RATM-pan02
What the Republican Presidential field looks like. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

But I believe I have a solution, and it does have a fabulous sort of quality that NPH would probably endorse, I hope.   For those of you who love musicals, you would know A Chorus Line.  For those of you who don’t, all you need to know is the basic plot line.  A choreographer (who is off stage) is auditioning 17 dancers for said chorus line, and the dancers pour out their guts and life stories in the process in order to get this elusive work.

You can see where I am going with this.  Of course, I would be the auditioner in this case because it is my idea.  I also have no love for the Republicans or the Democrats, so no one can accuse me of bias.  The questions are already forming in my head.

“Where did you hide the moderate Republicans’ bodies?”

“What do you have as far as credible differences from the other candidates apart from your haircut?”

“Why the hell do you want to be President in the first place?  What is wrong with you?”

After I assess the answers and choose the candidates, I will have them put on glittery costumes and perform “One”.  Of course, they will get rehearsal time and work with a choreographer.

If they want to really be President, they will do it. If these people expect us to swallow their foolishness, they can humble themselves in the process too.

It’s either this option or wrestling Lucha Libre-style.