2016 feels like the worst year ever

Planet Earth has finished yet another full lap around the Sun. It’s now the year 2017. The chronological tank of unprocessed sewage known as 2016 is finally over. When people say 2016 was the worst year ever, they’re opening the proverbial bomb bay doors and dropping a 50 megaton truth bomb. I feel like 2016 was the worst year ever. Personally speaking, I was ready to drown 2016 in a bathtub after only a few months.

Historically speaking, I know 2016 was far from the worst year ever, but emotionally speaking, it sure seemed that way.

Presidential election

The 2016 presidential election, both the run-up and the aftermath, had a lot to do with the perception that 2016 was the worst year ever. I believe Donald J. Trump will go down in history as the worst president ever, and that’s saying a lot. Then again, if Hillary Clinton would have won, I believe she too would have gone down as the worst president ever. I think that’s what made the 2016 presidential election such a massive kick to the reproductive organs: both choices were terrible.

I’d be genuinely surprised if Trump finished out a four-year term. If I was a betting man, and I’m not, I’d wager that Trump will quickly grow bored and resign. Being president isn’t the same thing as running for president.

Islamic terror attack at the Pulse nightclub

In June of 2016, Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old US citizen born to Afghani parents, went into a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida with a SIG MCX assault rifle and killed 49 people and wounded 53. Mateen pledged allegiance to ISIS and on a 911 call said the attack was “triggered” by a recent airstrike in Iraq that killed an ISIS commander.  Thankfully, police killed Mateen in the nightclub. Mateen’s family buried his body at the Hialeah Gardens graveyard, the only Muslim cemetery in all of South Florida.

This attack bothered me on many levels. It made me very mad. First of all, I’m tired of gay people being picked on. For too long gay people have been singled out for discrimination and prejudice. I felt like things were finally getting better for gay folks when the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples cannot be denied the right to marry. It made me feel proud to be an American. Then, an Islamic terrorist goes into a gay nightclub and slaughters 49 people.

Secondly, it turned out that Omar Mateen had been on a terrorist watch list two different times. We’ve been at war with Islamists since 2000 when the USS Cole was attacked by Al-Qaeda while docked in Yemen. The attack killed 17 sailors and injured another 39. We’ve been at war with these assholes for 16 years, and it doesn’t seem like we’re getting any better at it. The only thing stopping people like Omar Mateen from doing something similar is a lack of will on the part of the terrorist.

And finally, it makes me angry that Mateen was buried on American soil. Once again, an Islamic terrorist who carried out an attack on Americans is laid to rest in a Muslim cemetery in the United States. That shouldn’t happen. If you commit a terrorist attack on Americans, your remains should be handled like the remains of Osama bin Laden, dumped at sea in international waters.

A lot of good people died

It seemed like 2016 was a popular year for good people to die. The people we lost this past year, but not limited to, include:

  • David Bowie
  • Alan Rickman
  • Abe Vigoda
  • Garry Shandling
  • Prince
  • Anton Yelchin
  • Pat Summitt
  • Kenny Baker
  • Gene Wilder
  • Steve Dillon
  • Gwen Ifill
  • Ron Glass
  • John Glenn
  • Alan Thicke
  • Craig Sager
  • George Michael
  • Carrie Fisher

Some of these people passed away after living a long, full life. Others died way too young. The one commonality the people listed above all share is that their passing made me feel sad. That’s a lot of people to feel sad about in one year.

Donald Trump still thinks he won in a landslide

Former reality TV star and our future president, Donald Trump evidently still thinks he won last month’s election in a commanding fashion. He did not. Trump received 306 electoral votes compared to Hillary’s 232 electoral votes. That’s a difference of 74 electoral votes. A candidate needs 270 electoral votes to be President.

Trump tweeted the following this morning:


Trump brings up the popular vote because Hillary got nearly 2.7 million more votes than Trump, just not in states where she needed them to be. That fact that 2.7 millian more Americans voted for Hillary and not him must realy be getting to Trump. Otherwise, why would he feel the need to tweet about the popular vote?

I’m not surprised by this because Trump is acting just like the man I thought him to be: vain, petty, and thin-skinned.

What does surprise me is how he seems to have no regard for math. The part of the tweet I find the most amazing is where he says, “I would have done even better in the election, if that is possible

If that is possible? Of course, it was possible. Instead of winning 306 electoral votes, he could have cleaned Hillary’s clock and won all 538 electors.

There has been a total of 58 presidential elections in this country. Of that, Trump ranks 46th in the win differential. There have been 45 elections with a larger win percentage than last month’s election.

Only a delusional blowhard like Donald Trump could look at 46th place as some historical achievement. He did make history, though. No other president in our country’s history has lost the popular vote by such a massive amount and still won the White House.

Russia hacked our election? I don’t think so

There’s been a lot of news lately about how Russia supposedly hacked our presidential election to ensure Donald Trump would be the next president. As much as I dislike the former Soviet Union and Donald Trump, I’m having a hard time believing this story is true. I don’t think Russia hacked the Clinton campaign’s email.

On March 19, 2016, someone sent Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta a fake email from Gmail telling him he needed to change his password. A Clinton campaign staffer told Podesta that the email looked legit, but he should not click on the link in the email. Instead, he should log into his Google account directly and change it there.

John Podesta didn’t do that. He clicked on the link in the fake email. He then entered his email address and password into a fake Google site and went through the motions of changing his password. In reality, he didn’t change anything. The person or persons who sent him the fake email then had his Google password. With that, they had full access to all his emails.

In what world is that considered hacking? What it was was a successful phishing attempt made possible by the stupidity of John Podesta.

Like most people living in the 21st century, I routinely get similar emails telling me I need to update my PayPal or Google password. Like most people living in the 21st century, I know better than to click on any of the links contained in these emails. I look for the typos, chuckle to myself, and then delete them.

This whole scenario seems ridiculous. Why was the Clinton campaign using Gmail for their email? At the very least, they should have had a private email server for campaign communications. Certainly, Hillary Clinton is no stranger to the idea of private email servers. The campaign should have had an email administrator, a person, who made certain campaign communications were secure. Evidently, they didn’t do any of that. A competent email admin would have ensured emails like the phishing email Podesta clicked on never would have made it to him to click on.

I just don’t see how this is necessarily connected to the former Soviet Union. Did Sarah Palin see it take place from her house? It doesn’t take a crack team of state-sponsored cyber hackers to send out a phishing email.

Over the weekend, I read over and over how the CIA confirmed that this “hack” was perpetrated by the former Soviet Union because Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted Donald Trump, not Hillary Clinton for president.

The problem with these news stories is they are all attributed to “multiple sources” within the CIA. None of the sources have gone on the record. I wouldn’t expect them to be since leaking the contents of a classified CIA report is a crime. Considering that, how trustworthy should these multiple sources be?

If Putin, in fact, favored one candidate over another in our presidential election, I fail to see how this is even newsworthy. Perhaps he saw in Trump a man cut from the same cloth as himself. Since Putin and Trump both seem like egomaniacal douche bags, so that makes sense.

The biggest problem I have with accepting this whole Russian hacking scandal is that even if you can connect it to the Russians, the emails leaked to Wikileaks were emails from people in the Clinton campaign. Nothing was concocted to make Hillary or her people look bad. Their actual words are what cast them in such a poor light.

Even if you were to hold another election, something some idiot on CNN actually suggested, everyone knows the content of the emails. By referring to this scandal as a cyber hack by the Russians, it seems the content of the emails is fake.

That’s not the case.

Like it or not, we elected Donald Trump as our next president. Personally, I don’t like it, but I’m not ready to blame the Russians for it. I blame the Democratic Party. It went to great lengths to make sure Hillary Clinton was its candidate, even though she was a severely flawed nominee. If the primary process had been more democratic, I believe a more electable candidate would have been chosen. From reading the leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee, it was clear the deck was stacked for Hillary Clinton. I think Donald Trump won the election because he was able to run against Hillary Clinton. If there was anyone else representing the Democratic party, I believe Trump would have lost.

Donald Trump will be president because of who he was able to run against. Russia had nothing to do with that.