US Election:

Donald Trump is now 100% guaranteed to be the nominee. Kasich has nowhere near enough support EDIT: HAS DROPPED OUT!, and the distant second, Ted Cruz who had pinned his last remaining hopes to a brokered convention has suspended his campaign for President of the United States following a hammering loss in Indiana.

For those outside the US who don't understand the import - people don't "quit" running for President. For certain legal and accounting reasons, they "suspend their campaign" which allows them to continue collecting money and making payments to properly close out the failed bid. But let's be perfectly clear - Ted Cruz, whom the Internet has dubbed "El Rato", has quit.

And it was awful in a way to see how Ted Cruz's bid for President ended. The news story from the day before showed a Donald Trump supporter squaring off against Cruz, saying straight to his face: "We don't want you here." Indiana was supposed to be a place where Cruz had half a chance - where people were far less favorable to Trump. Cruz was soundly and squarely beaten and Trump was well over 1000 delegates by then: I think he was less than two or three hundred from winning the thing outright, with California to still vote.

There might be some Republican strategy to this. For a vote to take place in California might be to expose just how much anti-Trump sentiment there is in large parts of a place people jokingly call Mexifornia. One of Trump's main planks in his platform is the deportation of illegal aliens, many of whom are from Mexico, and to build a wall to keep further illegal immigration from happening.

People joke about it being "Trump's Wall" - but then again people talk derisively about "Obamaphones" as if Barack Obama had written the law giving poor people free telephones. That was actually an initiative from Ronald Reagan. Likewise, there's actually money set aside and plans drawn up for a border wall: it's just that they never actually got around to implementing this, because political reasons. Trump simply intends to pull the trigger on the existing plan, with existing funding - just as how his plans to keep illegal immigrants out just happens to be the actual LAW of the United States of America.

Trump did show up in California for a rally, and was greeted by throngs of angry Hispanic protestors, some of whom attacked police cars and of course arrests were made. Trump himself snuck into the venue by a back way, and joked to the crowd inside about it being like "jumping the border", which was a stab at the protestors outside. The LA Times was quite worried about the protests, however. Many people who showed up waved Mexican flags, and demanded total amnesty and more. Some of the protest was against Trump per se, and some was a larger demonstration in support of amnesty for illegal Mexicans, support for la reconquista, and a laundry list of other grievances. Some were heartfelt: a little girl held a sign saying "Forget weed, legalize my mom". Another had a sign that demanded jobs, but without paying taxes. Benefits, without any obligations. Because this land used to be Mexico, etc. And the LA Times and others worried that so many Mexican flags and so much emphasis on "taking over" America might play right into Trump's hand.

The Trump campaign pointed out that if America deported its illegal immigrant population, the lack of drain on the social services and other government expenditures would actually free up enough money to pay for free college. What they didn't say was just how much it would cost to find and deport every illegal alien. That being said, a lot of people are clogging up Homeland Security's queue to become citizens of the United States hoping to cement their citizenship before a Trump presidency.

There's really nothing much to report on the Democrat side. It looks like Hillary Clinton has everything completely sewn up and it's pretty much over for Bernie Sanders. He's started to bang the drum of the whole system being rigged, but there's no energy left in his constituency. They've either decided not to vote, or to vote Hillary against Trump, or Trump against Hillary.

Which brings to bear a really interesting point: the two nominees are the least popular politicians ever nominated by any party. There's large parts of the country with a reason to hate the other side. This is not going to be a narrative about who is the better candidate - it's most certainly going to turn into an argument over who is the worse candidate.

Which is good in one sense: it means that I'll be popping a lot of popcorn to watch the mud fly. Trump outsourcing his shirt manufacturing overseas to make money - the fact that many of his ventures really weren't that good, especially the disastrous "Trump University" which is about to go through the court system. Hillary on the other hand has Benghazi, the fact that we don't need to know what Goldman Sachs bribed her for gave her "speaking fees" to the tune of a quarter million dollars to tell them, and her having no qualms whatsoever about running top secret material through a private email server, which is a felony. There's also the legal implications of her and Bill Clinton having stolen furniture and other items from the White House when they were last there - an act which by strict legal definition bars her from seeking office. (Bill and Hillary quietly returned the items in question last week.)

The tweets are already getting good. Elizabeth Warren tweeted that Trump is more popular with the KKK than members of his own party. That was riposted with pictures of Hillary with her mentor, a politician who also happened to be a Grand Wizard in the Klan. There's a picture circulating of her early in her career, with a Confederate Flag on the wall behind her. Hillary Clinton tweeted: "The top 25 hedge fund managers make more than all of the kindergarten teachers in America combined. That’s not acceptable" to which someone quietly answered back "you were paid more for one speech than kindergarten teachers make in ten years".

But one unanswered question is going to be answered in the next little while: considering that Trump and the Clintons are personal friends, and Bill Clinton helped Trump launch his candidacy - are the two somehow in on this and is this a long con to get Hillary past far more electable competitors? Or is Trump going to hammer Hillary with everything he has, get into the White House, and show that the long con was against the Clintons all along?


 

 

 

Well, I'm home. Surgery went smoothly, so they only kept me overnight. This was a relief because a Jewish grandmother across the curtain from me spent the night moaning and repeating "Let me go. Let me go." I was somewhat unnerved by this until the next morning, when it became clear that she meant 'let me go to the bathroom' because she was having trouble urinating.

The surgery. I of course know nothing of it, I was under general anesthesia. I do know that I feel like I've been hit in the gut by a swung baseball bat, and that I feel like I'm having a heart attack. I was reassured prior to the surgery that this would happen - the former is because of the fourfive holes they had to make in me to put tools into, and the latter (cramps near my left shoulder) along with general ache and bloat are because after they do make the holes in you, they apparently inject high pressure gas into your abdominal cavity to give themselves more room to work. Although they do express the gas when done (read: push on your body and use you like a whoopee cushion) there are always some gas bubbles left that will be absorbed over the next few days.

I have been drinking, as instructed, using 1oz medicine dose cups. Four of those an hour is my required and likely maximum intake at least while my pouch is new and inflamed. Sigh. On the other hand, I'm too bloated and in pain to be hungry, so.

A zillion thanks to all my friends and family who have pitched in to support me, and that includes you, you know who you are.

As for now, well, they sent me home with a pint of liquid hydrocodone with instructions to 'just drink it every few hours to prevent pain.' I think I will take their advice and watch some TV while legally gorked out.

More updates later.

ouch.

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