Understanding Trump’s campaign violations

I recently learned that the Obama 2008 campaign was fined $375,000. If you’ve been under a rock recently, Trump is an un-indicted co-conspirator for making illegal payments to keep Stormy Daniels quiet, a violation of campaign finance laws.

So this morning, I’m trying to understand why Obama was only fined but Trump is being accused of a felony. This post will be my resource for understanding the issue.

From the Snopes article linked below but this seems to be the main difference that makes what Trump did a felony and what the Obama campaign did just a fine by the FEC:

Not only does the matter have to be something that is purposeful, but it [also has to be] a major violation. People often have reporting violations [and] that’s what the Obama ones were determined to be.

In [Cohen’s] case, what [the Department of Justice] determined is that there was a criminal intent to hide a campaign contribution … and so, it falls within a criminal violation, as opposed to just a civil one to be enforced by the FEC.

Hey Siri, what’s the internet mad about today?

I’ve been thinking a lot about my social media usage lately. Most of my friends are pretty liberal and they share and retweet all the awful, outrageous things that politicians, society and the world does.

I think it’s important that we’re aware of these awful things and that we’re thinking about them but the constant flow of awfulness makes me feel helpless and hopeless. For instance, what can I do about POTUS45 saying that we can’t possibly do anything about the targeted killing of the Khashoggi because there’s too much at stake? On its face, it’s such an awful thought… all a country has to do is spend enough money on tanks and fighter aircraft and they can assassinate people without any sort of response from the US. That’s super ugly and we had the leader of the free world standing up and saying that to all of us, with a straight face.

What can I do about the fact that a lady needing a heart transplant was denied said heart transplant because she didn’t have enough money to afford the medication she’d need after the transplant (link)?

What can I do about the fact that POTUS45 is still trying to use fear to divide and motivate people about the border (link)?

What can I do about the fact that “good guy” with a gun is just a racist lie (link & link)?

What can I do about our country’s utter lack of response about global climate change (link & link)?

It’s all so depressing and I’m afraid that I’ve been guilty of echoing that awfulness. I do it thinking this is is super important and everybody needs to know about it. I think there’s already enough messaging and my little bit of echo chamber isn’t helping with anything.

With all that in mind, I’m going to try to change my style of social media usage. Instead of being part of the social media outrage machine, I’m going to try to focus on things that I like and enjoy. Things like tattoos, foosball, bicycling, kombucha, coffee, metal music, infosec, coding and memes about those topics. Wish me luck.

So, I’m going to work on becoming a developer

I currently work as a Systems Administrator supporting SharePoint. My official job title is SharePoint Engineer. That job includes design, installation, server support and some tier 3 user support.

I can see the writing on the wall at my current company that there’s a push to move the on premises SharePoint environments to Office 365 / SharePoint Online. Additionally, they intend to outsource the management of the Office 365 tenant to a third party company.

I really enjoy managing the infrastructure pieces (design, build, maintain) but the favorite part of my job is developing automation scripts with PowerShell.  I believe I’m being presented with an opportunity to change career paths as I think supporting infrastructure will be something that fewer companies will elect to do. So, why not take this opportunity to try to get into a career doing something I really love?

With that in mind, I’ve decided to dedicate myself to becoming a developer. My intent is to follow this guide to teach myself the skills I need and to find a job actually coding.

I think I’ll probably have to take a step back in salary to switch career tracks as I’m pretty senior in the systems administration track. If I go slow and spend the next year learning the skills and paying down debt then I could be in a position to take a job for less money but with more satisfaction.

Two Visions of Patriotism Clash in the Midterm Elections – The New York Times

Denise Bubeck, a Republican in Grimes, Iowa, works for an advocacy group that promotes “family values” such as heterosexual marriage and opposition to abortion.

For her, standing to show respect for the flag is nonnegotiable. When she sees athletes kneeling in protest of police brutality during the anthem, she thinks of a grandfather who was killed in the battle of Iwo Jima. “People actually shed blood for the freedoms we have,” she said. “We need to show respect for this country.”

Dear Denise,

Your grandfather was killed, fighting for the rights the athletes are exercising. Isn’t it at all ironic to you that you’re trying to brow beat your fellow citizens into not exercising their rights? And really, kneeling is a pretty respectful way to protest.

Re: How to deal with fear in polyamory?

I have made a strategy for dealing with fear and maybe it’s wise for you to do the same. Sit down when you feel good and are not dealing with massive triggers. Think about what you need to feel safe. This is my strategy for dealing with fear:

  1. I’m not this fear I’m feeling. I’m reminding myself that I’m the observer of fear that is triggering me right now. Can I see the little girl inside me who’s afraid?
  2. Close your eyes and visualize this little girl. What is she afraid of? What does she need right now? What can I do to make her feel safe?
  3. Are there any emotions that want to be released? Do you want to cry or scream?
  4. Sitting inside makes me go inside. Go outside, into nature if this is possible. Look at the clouds and the stars. Remember that you’re not alone.
  5. Whatever you do, don’t drink alcohol and try to stay away from overeating. You know it makes you feel worse.
  6. Move your body. Go for a walk or do a soft, heart-opening yoga flow.
  7. What would make you happy? Do you want to draw, write, listen to music or watch a movie?
  8. If nothing helps, call friend A, friend B, friend C or friend D. Or call them anyway if you want to.

This is a really great article about dealing with fear/jealousy. I think lots of relationships can use some advice on how to deal with jealousy.

These practical strategies really appeal to me and my nature. I need to print them out and post them everywhere in my house!

Re: Trump administration orders closure of PLO office in Washington

The closure was announced by the State Department shortly before White House national security adviser John Bolton, in his first major policy speech, threatened U.S. punishment for individuals and countries that cooperate with the International Criminal Court, where the Palestinians have lodged complaints against Israel.

“The United States supports a direct and robust peace process,” Bolton said, “and we will not allow the ICC, or any other organization, to constrain Israel’s right to self-defense.

I’m honestly not sure how I still have the capacity to be shocked by this administration yet, here we are.

Frustrated with social media

I’m pretty frustrated with the current social media landscape. I personally prefer Twitter over Facebook but lately, I’ve been on Facebook a lot more for reasons I won’t get into here. Recently, I’ve been making a conscience effort to get back into my tweeting ways only to find out that Twitter is deprecating their API to make 3rd party apps less appealing. So let’s just go through my list of complaints.

Facebook

  • I’ve always felt very frustrated by Facebook’s stupid timeline. I want to see posts from my friends, in the chronological order those posts are posted. Instead, I get a weird list of crap, with ads that I don’t want to see.
  • Facebook is deprecating some of their API features so I can no longer use IFTTT to cross post content from my various sources to my Facebook timeline. So for instance, this blog post will need to be manually published to my Facebook timeline. Grrr. The problem of course is that this will just push me away from the platform, not make me decide to use their platform exclusively.

Twitter

  • Twitter is deprecating some of the features on their API too. This handicaps 3rd party twitter apps (my fav is Tweetbot). I believe this is a push to get users to use the official twitter app. No thanks. I don’t want another fucking company, telling me how to consume my timeline.
  • Vine. Fuck you Twitter. I miss vine.

I’m almost to the point that if you need to communicate with me, send me a text. I’ll be over here banging away on my blog like some old curmudgeon.

Re: Finding It Hard to Focus? Maybe It’s Not Your Fault

I’ve felt for years now that it’s harder to not be distracted by my technology. I’ve seen and know people who are so involved with their phones that it doesn’t seem they’re even 50% present and that’s not what I want for myself. So when I saw the article, Finding It Hard to Focus? Maybe It’s Not Your Fault, scroll by on my Twitter stream, it really grabbed my attention; pun intended.

My phone home screen. Trying to minimize distractions!

I’ve tried to set up my notifications to be pretty minimal. I’ve disabled Facebook notifications and generally feel that notifications are evil.

When I’m at work, I put my phone and my Mac both on do not disturb mode so that I can focus on what I’m trying to do instead of constantly looking at the notifications from my phone and Mac.

Recently, I’ve really felt that I’ve had an unhealthy addiction to Facebook so I uninstalled both the Facebook and Messenger applications. I’m surprised at how often I find myself just idly reaching for the phone to refresh the app. I was watching the latest episode of Sharp Objects last night and was irritated at myself at how many times I reached for my phone, while watching the show, to check Facebook. Grrr.

Even when I’m reading, it seems like I can only go a few minutes before I’m reaching for my phone to see if anybody has messaged me, to see if there’s any new likes on that dank meme I just posted… to see if anybody liked my selfie. Do. Not. Like.

What are some strategies that you use to decrease the distractions of our technologies?

I sometimes really hate night time…

I find that the wall I build up around my emotions to function during the day is the thinnest and weakest at this time. There’s about a three-hour window in the evening, before going to sleep where this happens. Not every night but more than I’d like and it can vary in intensity.

All the things that are on my mind and bothering me are really at the forefront of my thoughts and I’m unable to do much about it other than to just be with those feelings. That thing I can do during the day, where I’m able to compartmentalize, reframe and rationalize the negative emotions using my brain, just seems to be wore out after doing that all day.

I’m not sure what to do about it.

Re: Rudy Giuliani accuses Robert Mueller of collusion

The former New York City mayor said Mueller’s investigation is “illegitimate” and questioned why the special counsel wasn’t delving into the dossier compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele that contained unsubstantiated but salacious details about Trump.“

Can it get any worse? I mean, what do we need to know that this is a totally illegitimate investigation based on a report, a dossier that was paid for by Hillary Clinton and the Democrats — probably the biggest illegality so far, the biggest collusion so far,” Giuliani told Hannity.

Source: Rudy Giuliani accuses Robert Mueller of collusion

This is a completely false claim by Giuliani and is easily discredited.