An unhelpful guide to the 2016 election

Well folks, it’s finally time for the 2016 election. I’m going to be spending my Election Day bouncing between panic attacks, so I figure I’d might as well have a little fun on one of my favorite days of the year.

If you’re bored enough to be a regular reader, you probably noticed that I haven’t posted since getting a full-time job. There are various reasons for that, but since it’s Election Day Eve, I’ve never felt like I had more job security/willingness to get fired.

To be safe, though, I should note that the views expressed in this blog do not reflect the views of anyone I work with or for. They also don’t interfere with my ability to do my job professionally, and any assertions to the contrary are silly.

With that out of the way, I’m going to break down my ballot here in Old Orchard Beach and give as much expert analysis as I can muster. Long-time reader Matthew Thomas Lauzon requested that I also look into the Massachusetts ballot, but it’s late and I’m tired and I missed my exit driving home from work, so I won’t be doing that.

Let’s get started.

National

U.S. President/U.S. Vice President

Hillary Clinton/Tim Kaine vs. Donald Trump/Mike Pence vs. Gary Johnson/Bill Weld vs. Jill Stein/Ajamu Baraka

This is the most important decision on the ballot, but it’s also probably the most straight forward.

I voted for Gary Johnson in 2012, but I was on a Libertarian kick through most of college, and I’m over that now. And speaking of college, I was pretty good with Baraka freshman year, but I don’t think I’d ever vote for Shao Kahn to be President.

That leaves me with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and trust me, I wanted to believe.

I wanted to believe that Donald Trump the candidate was performance art. I wanted to believe that Trump was using his experience from Wrestlemanias 4,5, and 23 to convince the unwashed masses to vote for him.

And I was actually willing to vote for Trump if it meant I could point and laugh at all the marks that were duped by the Donald. Like The Immortal One once said, I worked myself into a shoot.

The only person truly qualified to run the country left in this race is Hillary Clinton.

I know that she’s an unlikable robot try-hard who feels the need to convince us she registers emotions. I didn’t say she was my favorite person, just the one with the credentials to be President.

Playa Hater’s Pick: Hillary Clinton

U.S. Representative

Mark I. Holbrook vs. Chellie Pingree

I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t know Pingree was up for re-election until last week. And I know nothing about her opponent.

If I do know one thing about U.S. Representative races, though, it’s that the have some of the best commercials. So let’s see what Mr. Holbrook’s got.

Not a good look, dawg.

Playa Hater’s Pick: Chellie Pingree

State

ME State Senator

Justin M. Chenette vs. Timothy N. Sevigny

This race has been marred by some nastiness directed at Chenette’s sexual orientation by the Chairman of the York County Republican Committee. As far as I know, Sevigny had nothing to do with that.

The problem with Sevigny is that he’s an enigma. The dude doesn’t even have a picture on Ballotpedia.

He could be a lizard. I’m not taking any chances.

Playa Hater’s Pick: Justin M. Chenette

ME State Representative

Michael E. Coleman vs. George Hogan

Whenever I head down to the beach, I end up getting food at the place Hogan used to own. These are the stupid rationalizations that lead to critical votes in local elections.

Playa Hater’s Pick: George Hogan

Question 1

Legalizes marijuana for persons over 21 years old, subject to state regulation and taxation.

I was pretty torn on this question. On one side, you have stoners, whom I loathe. On the other side, you have pearl-clutchers and super-hippies afraid of BIG WEED taking their business.

Let me be clear, if you smoke weed, that’s cool. It’s when smoking weed becomes your identity as a human being that you tend to lose me.

Have you ever talked to a hardcore stoner abut weed? I don’t want to give that person any validity.

You don’t need drugs to be cool, you guys.

In the nature of full transparency, I would also outlaw craft beer or anything else that brings others joy.

Playa Hater’s Pick: No

Question 2

Raises taxes by 3% on income over $200,000 to create a fund for K-12 student support.

This is an awesome tax increase because I know it will never affect me. And if it did, that would be an awesome problem to have.

Rich people, it’s time for you to pay for schools, or whatever this says. I don’t care, tax them 900 percent.

Playa Hater’s Pick: Yes

Question 3

Requires background checks on gun sales between non-licensed dealers.

Guns are spooky, and I’m not above voting out of fear.

Playa Hater’s Pick: Yes

Question 4

Raises the minimum wage.

While raising the minimum wage to $12 by 2020 won’t affect me, this question does allow for “annual cost-of-living increases thereafter.”

My hope is that eventually, minimum wage will exceed what I earn, and I can get a raise without going through the awkward process of asking for one.

Playa Hater’s Pick: Yes

Question 5

Allows ranked-choice voting in federal and state elections.

Now THIS is something to get excited about.

Question 5 would introduce voters to one of earth greatest concepts: power rankings.

It’s deceptively simple. All you have to do is rank your candidates.

  1. Hillary Clinton
  2. Gary Johnson
  3. The other two

It’s that easy! And you can power-rank anything, from NHL teams to Canadians.

Playa Hater’s Pick: Yes

Question 6

Issues a $100 million bond for transportation infrastructure.

I blew a tire yesterday. It’s nice to see the state do something about it.

Playa Hater’s Pick: Yes

Local

York County Register of Probate

Carol J. Lovejoy vs. Allen R. Sicard

I think someone named “Lovejoy” is more than qualified to register probes.

Playa Hater’s Pick: Carol J. Lovejoy

York County Judge of Probate

Bryan M Chabot vs. Bernard J Broder III vs. Robert M. Auclair Nadeau

You may not know this, but Robert Nadeau is the bad boy of probate judges. He’s been reprimanded multiple times, and he’s coming off a 30-day suspension just in time for the election.

This is the kind of local politics that I can get behind. An official who does a job that I don’t understand, and yet I can still point to that official as an example of how corrupt our political system is, man.

Playa Hater’s Pick: Robert M. Auclair Nadeau

Song with a depressingly short shelf life

Get Hype Game of the Night!

Don’t watch sports tonight. Keep your eyes glued to quality election coverage all night long.

I got a promotion!

Hey guys!

This is my obligatory blog post announcing that I’ve climbed the corporate ladder sufficiently enough to start earning a salary. Good for me! And you, I guess, if you’ve supported me in the past. Good for you.

I will now be going by the spiffy new title of Web Content Producer. This position comes with a whole host of benefits and other corporate things that I don’t completely understand. I can’t wait to meet with HR today so I can smile and nod my way through that conversation.

I start as soon as they hire someone to do my current job. I start my normal hours as soon as they hire someone to work weekends. So if you’re looking for a job in news, the least you can do is help me get the ball rolling on this.

Now, I know a lot of you are concerned about what this means for my Pirate’s Cove career. Fear not, as the most talented person on that roster, I will be returning to help whenever they need me.

Well maybe not whenever. I’ll be able to help if they need me during times that aren’t Mon-Fri, 3-11 p.m. It seems like a good compromise to me.

That’s all I’ve really got for you today. Feel free to leave the likes and comments that I’m so desperately fishing for with a post like this.

Song for when things are finally how they’re post to be

Get Hype Game of the Night!

North Carolina vs. Louisville – 7 p.m. – ESPN

The whole downside to this new job situation is that I’m pretty sure there isn’t a TV on the web desk. I’m going to miss watching games on a desk TV.

200 blogs and nothing to say

If you’ve read anything I’ve ever written, you know what this intro paragraph is about. I blog, and then sometimes I don’t blog, and then I write about how I’m going to blog again. I’ve done this so many times that I’m not even sure which comeback gimmicks I’ve already used.

This is despite the fact that my last comeback gimmick was a list of said gimmicks. It’s a great way to knock out 75 words.

Anyway, here’s the part where I tell you why I’m blogging again. It’s not because Matt Lauzon asked me too. It’s not because I like clogging your Facebook feed with my nonsense. It’s not because I secretly hope that someone of importance will discover my writing, like it, and put me on the fast track to never having to work again.

I do this because it makes me feel better. There’s a catharsis in being able to write about whatever I want, whenever I want. And there’s nothing better than when someone reaches out and tells me that my blog wasn’t the worst thing they read that day.

Do your part, people.

What I’m trying to say is that I’ve enjoyed all of the ups and downs that have come with 200 posts on the Playa Hater’s Blog. Maybe not enough to shell out the $18 for a domain name, but I’ve enjoyed it enough to type 200 more.

Eventually.

Song for debuting in the Royal Rumble

Get Hype Game of the Night

Spurs vs. Warriors – 10:30 p.m. – NBA TV

The two best basketball teams in the world square off in what will surely be a Western Conference Final preview. San Antonio comes into Oakland riding a 13-game winning streak. Golden State is 20-0 at home this season. Something has to give on a channel you might not have at a time you might not be awake.

College football rankings that will be obsolete within 24 hours

Today is conference championship Saturday, which is a great excuse to stay at home and watch too much football.

Eyes across the nation will be glued to the SEC, ACC and B1G games to see who will make the College Football Playoff. That’s both a good and a bad thing.

The inherent problem with college sports is that the postseason is so subjective. There too many teams competing for too few spots.

One way to fix this would be a universal scheduling system handed down from the NCAA big wigs, but that seems like a pipe dream. In an ideal world, each conference champion could then be seeded into a 10-team playoff.

But for now, we’re stuck with the idea of a committee getting together and trying to determine who the four “best” teams are. There is all sorts of criteria, but it’s still pretty subjective.

So before tonight’s games change everything, I’m going to give you my top four seeds.

1. Alabama

When Alabama lost this season, there was an excitement in the air. Alabama was out. Maybe this was the year we’d see someone else come out of the SEC. Maybe we’d have some variety.

Nope.

Alabama is the best team in the country from the best conference in the country. They deserve the top seed in the College Football Playoff.

2. Oklahoma

Oklahoma is an incredible offensive powerhouse. Baker Mayfield leads a unit that averages nearly 46 points per game. Even in the Big 12, that’s pretty special.

Oklahoma does the football equivalent of getting buckets, and for that, they get the second seed.

3. Ohio State

This is probably a controversial pick. Ohio State is a long shot to make the playoff since they’re not playing in the B1G Championship Game. The truth is, though, Iowa is the fourth-best team in the conference. I’m pretty sure the Hawkeyes played my high school at some point this season.

Michigan has three losses, so they’re out. That leaves Michigan State and Ohio State. Sparty played a tougher schedule, but Ohio State has better numbers (better than Bama!). In the end, I’m going to go with the team that didn’t lose to Nebraska.

4. Clemson

The ACC is the weakest of the 5 big conferences, but an undefeated Clemson is better than a two-loss Stanford. Clemson’s reward for a perfect season is getting Alabama in the first round.

Song for when tonight’s games ruin your rankings

Get Hype Game of the Night!

Michigan St. vs. Iowa – 8:17 p.m. – Fox

Because life is imperfect and unfair, the winner of this game will got to the College Football Playoff. You might as well watch.

What do I have against Kobe?

Kobe Bryant announced his retirement on Sunday with a terrible poem on a terrible website, and I’ve been through a range of emotions ever since. I’ve smiled with glee at all the hit pieces saying Kobe could never truly reach all-time greatness, and I’ve cringed at anything saying the opposite.

In fact, just this morning, I found myself yelling (internally) at Reggie Miller for suggesting that Kobe was a top-3 guard of all time.

None of this makes sense. Kobe Bryant has never done anything to me personally. He is the 5th-ish best player of his generation, and has had a top-20 NBA career. I readily admit that. Heck, I own a pair of his sneakers.

So what’s my beef with Kobe? I’m not saying this solely to setup the rest of the blog, I’m genuinely asking this question. Maybe if I put my thoughts in writing, we can discover the answer together.

The first, and most obvious answer, would lie somewhere in Eagle County, Colorado. For those of you who are unaware, that’s where Kobe Bryant was charged with sexual assault over a decade ago. The charges were eventually dropped when the accuser failed to testify in court.

Now, it’s perfectly reasonable to not like an alleged rapist. Rape is a bad thing to do. The problem I’m having, and I don’t know what this says about me as a person, is that I don’t think this is the reason I dislike Kobe.

There are people (probably too many people) that have done terrible things and I’ve given passes to. There’s some cognitive dissonance that happens when you appreciate someone’s work and ignore their deplorable actions. I mean, does anyone really get on their high horse when “Ignition” starts playing?

If we ignore the sexual assault (not a great phrase to use out of context), there’s the fact that Kobe Bryant is a lifetime Laker. It’s hard to ignore my irrational disdain for the Lakers. And this is where the Derek Jeter comparisons really start to take hold for me.

Other, non-New-Englander, people have compared the two as great players who got a lot more recognition than they deserved. I agree with that, and I’ll get to it a little bit later, but there’s an extra link between the two for me. They are the face of the enemy.

That sounds stupid, and it is. There is nothing objectively right or wrong about rooting for one team over another. I should not dislike any person based on where they go to work, but it’s an idea that’s hard to shake. And Kobe might actually be the last roadblock. I don’t think there’s anyone else on the Yankees or Lakers that I actively dislike, despite irrationally wishing that both organizations fail to achieve success.

If it’s not that, there’s only one thing I can think of. Kobe is Michael Jordan Light. He looks like him, he acts like him, he plays like him, but he’s not Michael Jordan. Kobe was never as good as Michael Jordan.

Full disclosure here, like many kids my age, I grew up worshiping MJ. Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player I’ve ever seen. LeBron’s probably close, but Kobe’s way behind.

Even this, though, is stupid. Comparing players is stupid. Comparing eras is stupid. Hatred is stupid.

I don’t know why I have this dislike for Kobe Bryant, but I’m glad he’s retiring so I don’t have to think about it anymore.

Song for when you’re done thinking about Kobe Bryant

Get Hype Game of the Night!

Maryland vs. North Carolina – 9:30 p.m. – ESPN

It’s like an ACC rivalry, but it’s not. Marcus Paige is back for North Carolina after missing their first 5 games.

Pick: Maryland +7

The Playa Hater’s NBA Preview

Hello, everyone! I’m back to lead you astray with another season preview. This time, I’m talking about basketball.

That video is ridiculous.

On a more serious note, professional basketball has a unique distinction among the major american sports. It’s almost fluke-proof. Better teams will win games based entirely on the premise that they are better. There’s nothing to change a game dramatically like a touchdown, home run, or goal. The game centers around a large sample size of possessions.

That being said, my predictions are going to look a lot like last year’s standings. It’s just the nature of the beast. I need you to remember that I’ll probably be wrong, though.

Atlantic Division

  1. Toronto Raptors*
  2. Boston Celtics*
  3. Brooklyn Nets
  4. Philadelphia 76ers
  5. New York Knicks

The Atlantic is a lot like the Northwest, in that it’s a weak division that will only yield two playoff teams. The Celtics show signs of improvement, which means they’ll inexplicably finish fighting the Detroit Pistons for the last playoff spot.

Central Division

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers*
  2. Chicago Bulls*
  3. Milwaukee Bucks*
  4. Indiana Pacers*
  5. Detroit Pistons

I like Indiana to make the playoffs. I think getting Paul George back will give them a leg to stand on.

Southeast Division

  1. Atlanta Hawks*
  2. Washington Wizards*
  3. Miami Heat
  4. Charlotte Hornets
  5. Orlando Magic

If the NBA preseason means anything, the Charlotte Hornets will win the championship. The NBA preseason does not mean anything.

Northwest Division

  1. Portland Trail Blazers*
  2. Oklahoma City Thunder*
  3. Utah Jazz
  4. Denver Nuggets
  5. Minnesota Timberwolves

Maybe I believe in Damian Lillard too much. Maybe I don’t trust the Thunder to stay healthy. Maybe I just wanted to throw in one crazy prediction so I could point to it if it hits. No one knows.

Pacific Division

  1. Golden State Warriors*
  2. Los Angeles Clippers*
  3. Phoenix Suns
  4. Sacramento Kings
  5. Los Angeles Lakers

I don’t think there’s anything I like more than the Lakers being awful.

Southwest Division

  1. San Antonio Spurs*
  2. Houston Rockets*
  3. Memphis Grizzlies*
  4. Dallas Mavericks*
  5. New Orleans Pelicans

Poor Pelicans. I just don’t think they can stay healthy enough to get back into the playoffs.

Playoffs

Screenshot (2)

MVP: James Harden

Song for making you google “Jose Feliciano”

Was wrestling good last night?

Yes.

Get Hype Game of the Night

Ravens vs. Cardinals – 8:30 p.m. – ESPN

The Cardinals lead the NFC in scoring. Both teams lost their last game.

Crying is hard, and other sad details about my life

I debated for a long time about whether or not I wanted to open up and write about this today. I know that just last week I was writing about how everything was going well for me, and that the world was going to be sunshine and rainbows from here on out. But life is just not that easy when you have an inferiority complex.

I struggle a lot with self-doubt, and sometimes that’s all it takes to bring a person down. I do my best to try and cover up when I’m feeling this way . I try to use humor to keep people from noticing that I’m lost and scared and these jokes are just a cry for help and blah blah blah blah blah.

Yesterday wasn’t that bad. I actually think I did a good job at work. What I couldn’t escape though, was this constant fear that maybe I was a detriment to the people both at work and in my life. This fear was so great that I reached a full-blown hatred of myself by the time I got to the parking lot.

“So,” I thought, “maybe it would be cathartic to have a bit of a cry on the way home.” I hopped in my vehicle, put on some DMX (The Great Depression album, obviously), and tried to make water come out of my face. It didn’t go very well. All I really managed to do was obscure my vision for much of the drive home.

You can add “crying” to the list of things I’m not very good at.

I did get one tear out, though, which vastly improved my mood because I felt like Denzel Washington.

What I’m trying to say, the point I’m trying to make, is that with all the misery I put myself through every single day, nothing makes me more upset than the fact that the Los Angeles Clippers are going to play an entire NBA season with these uniforms.

They are just hideous.

Link for you to click on

Fantasy Basketball

Song for after you dig into your soul to write a “Clippers have bad uniforms” joke

Get Hype Game of the Night!

Blue Jays vs. Royals – 8:07 p.m. – FS1

David Price has lost all of his career playoff starts. He’ll try to end that curse tonight against Ventura.