Thoughts on Trump’s Inaugural Address

Today, Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States.

The ceremonies were meh. Everyone knew what was going to happen ahead of time – who was going to pray, who was going to read Scripture, who was going to sing and play music.

The real attraction was Trump’s inaugural address. America was eager to hear the vision Trump would offer for our nation. Trump’s address started and closed with appeals to national unity, sandwiching more policy-oriented statements. Let’s take a moment and unpack exactly what he said. Continue reading →

A Comprehensive List of Every Trump Flip and Flop since Election Day

America has put Trump into the Oval Office. It’s now on us to hold Trump accountable, and keep abreast of what he says and does. We owe it to America and our posterity to do our part as engaged and informed citizens.

This post is an effort to do so. If Trump makes a campaign promise, then reneges on it, that’s something the people of America deserve to know.  Continue reading →

Why a Ban on Semi-auto ‘Assault’ Rifles is a Dumb Idea

Photo by brian.ch on Flickr

A slew of deadly school shootings took place this October. In response, Senator Bernie Sanders, a Democratic presidential candidate, proposed a blanket ban on all semi-automatic rifles, which he labeled ‘assault’ weapons. He cited support from the ‘vast majority’ of Americans.

“Instead of people yelling at each other, we have got to come together on commonsense approaches which, in fact, the vast majority of the American people support. [… There is] widespread support to ban semiautomatic assault weapons, guns which have no other purpose but to kill people.”

Bernie Sanders

However, his logic is fundamentally flawed. Here are six concrete reasons why. Continue reading →

Why Trump Will Not Make America Great Again

Donald Trump’s catchphrase is “I’m gonna make America great again.” On the surface, he’s got a lot to back it up. He’s a wealthy businessman. He knows how to handle a crowd, get attention, and say the right words to fire up crowds. He’s moderately conservative, with ultra-conservative stances on immigration balanced out with moderate stances on Planned Parenthood, guns, and gay rights, thus well-positioned to keep the right happy while stealing moderate voters from the left.

But his ‘ability’ to “make America great again” is shallow, and doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. His business savvy and crowd appeal is only a mirage. Even supposing he manages to make the Republican nomination, and by a miracle beats the Democratic nominee, his four years in office will sink America’s foreign policy and financial policy. Continue reading →

Guns in schools

On October 1, 1997, 16-year-old Luke Woodham began to shoot his fellow-students and classmates at his school – Pearl High School in Pearl, Mississippi. Earlier that day, he had murdered his own mother, then retrieved a .30-30 lever action deer rifle and ammunition. As soon as the gunshots began to ring through the school facility, Vice Principal Joel Myrick ran to his truck to retrieve his Colt .45 pistol to fight back. While he did so, Principal Roy Balentine called 9-1-1.

Woodham’s rifle was neither semi-automatic nor automatic, requiring reloading after each shot. Woodham methodically thumbed rounds into the gun, “all business, no play […] just shooting and reloading, shooting and reloading.” (Laugesen, “A Principal and His Gun”) He shot until he could hear police sirens, than ran to his car to escape. Woodham later confessed that he had planned to drive to Pearl Junior High School and shoot even more kids until the police could show up. This plan was foiled by Principal Myrick. Two people had already been killed and seven more injured before Myrick returned to find Woodham racing to his vehicle to escape to Pearl Junior High. Myrick drew his pistol on Woodham and brought him to bay. Continue reading →

Don’t Forget the Rest of Your Ballot

Early voting began on Friday in Washington, and ballots should start showing up in your mailbox in the next few days.

This year, the presidential race has been brutal and nasty. I’m personally backing a third party candidate, but I know many are seriously considering leaving the President and Vice President slots on their ballot blank. I sympathize with them, even though I don’t fully understand their choice.

Regardless of where you stand on the presidential election, though, one thing should be indisputable for all American voters, and that is that the down ballot matters.

The message of this post is simple – don’t forget the rest of your ballot. Vote the down ballot, and get informed about the down ballot. Continue reading →

LIVE BLOG: October 19, 2016 Presidential Debate

Tonight, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will face off in the final official presidential debate of the 2016 election.

This debate could prove critical for Trump and Clinton, but even more is at stake for the entire nation. A major misstep by Clinton in this debate could dramatically erode her gains from the last few weeks, whilst a major blunder by Trump could seal Clinton’s victory in November.

I will be live-blogging my reactions to the debate on this post, starting at 9pm EST (6pm PST).

The debate itself is free to watch – a live stream provided by YouTube and NBC is embedded below for your convenience.

Header photo originally by ABC News. Used under the fair use doctrine for nonprofit educational purposes.

I-1501 – The Trojan Horse Initiative

I-1501 is an unnecessary bill that doesn’t do much of anything, except benefit unions and special interests.

I strongly urge a NO vote on this Trojan Horse initiative. It uses public sympathy for victims of identity theft to pass a highly specific union-backed policy change. Several bills incorporating that same mandate were introduced in the state legislature, but failed to pass. The people of Washington should accept the judgment of their elected representatives, and vote down this dangerous initiative. Continue reading →

LIVE BLOG: October 4, 2016 Vice Presidential Debate

Tonight, Senator Tim Kaine and Governor Mike Pence will face off in the first Vice Presidential debate of the 2016 election cycle. They are the Democratic and Republican candidates for Vice President of the United States.

They both face the same difficult task – persuading disaffected and undecided voters to join their side and vote for their ticket. Pence has the dubious distinction of running alongside Trump – he therefore has the responsibility for salvaging Trump’s disasters last week. Kaine has the unenviable job of defending Clinton and her policies from Pence’s attacks.

I will be live-blogging my reactions to the debate on this post, starting at 9pm EST (6pm PST).  Continue reading →

LIVE BLOG: September 26, 2016 Washington Gubernatorial Debate

Photo by Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times. Used under the fair use doctrine for nonprofit educational purposes.

Tonight, Bill Bryant and Jay Inslee will face off in the second debate of the 2016 Washington gubernatorial election, immediately following the presidential debate earlier that night.

I will be live-blogging my reactions to the debate on this post, starting at 8pm PST.

The debate itself is free to watch – a live stream provided by MyNorthwest.com is linked to below for your convenience.

WATCH: Washington state governor’s debate

LIVE BLOG: September 26, 2016 Presidential Debate

Photo by Gage Skidmore and Krassotkin. Used under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license.

Tonight, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will finally face off in the first official presidential debate of the 2016 election. This debate could prove critical for Trump and Clinton, but even more is at stake for the entire nation.

I will be live-blogging my reactions to the debate on this post, starting at 9pm EST (6pm PST).

The debate itself is free to watch – a live stream provided by YouTube and NBC is embedded below for your convenience.