Aug 222016
 

As I type, it is eleven weeks from Election Day. The conventional wisdom for the 2016 presidential election is that Hillary Clinton is all but inevitable. Don’t put a foot wrong, Hill—especially keep it out of your mouth—and you’re in.

Run out the clock.

But just how highly should we value conventional wisdom this time? Are you paying attention? We’ve been tumbling down the rabbit hole for months. And it’s not that up is down, it’s that up is purple.

Many have said it before me, and I’ll say it again here: in Donald Trump, the Republicans put up one of the only candidates Hillary Clinton could beat. In Hillary Clinton, the Democrats put up one of the only candidates Donald Trump could beat.

To say that we don’t have best feet forward here is an understatement.

So what could happen to Hillary? Here are two big opportunities for chaos:

  • Julian Assange says he’s still sitting on quite a lot of Clinton Foundation/campaign/DNC material, for which he’s promised staggered release over the remainder of the campaign. (He has suggested that just before debates would be ideal drop times.)
  • Trump could make a political master stroke. I’m still fleshing out exactly what I think that might look like, but consider with me: what would be the (seemingly) least likely trait for him to exhibit? How about humility? What about a somber delivery of something like “Look, folks. I know my mouth gets me in trouble sometimes, and I know a lot of you find me obnoxious. But please let me take a moment to talk about my love of this country, and why and how it motivates me…”

As crazy as this campaign has been, I have the gnawing suspicion that from here to the end will be the least predictable time of the entire cycle.

 Posted by at 9:42 am
Aug 192016
 

I happened upon a shorter version of this story in a comment this morning. I needed to read it today, and I also want to retell it.

Three years ago, Aaron and I were riding the elevator down from the beach condo at which we’d just had a vacation. It was the last elevator ride of the trip. It was time to drive home.

“Daddy?”

“Yes?”

“Do you think I could have one more hug before you turn back into your cranky self?”

He wasn’t being cheeky with me. (Wow, I’d have certainly felt better if he was.) He was asking me a sincere question from his perspective.

Ask me how long I hugged him.

I don’t often outright lose my temper with the boys. I never say hateful things to them, or make unreasonable demands of them. But I once inadvertently trained my nine-year-old son to expect and accept my “cranky self” as part of the way life is. Oh, and guess what? He doesn’t like hugging my cranky self as much.

It’s hard to avoid being cranky once in a while. But I’m quite certain I don’t want a cranky self.

 Posted by at 1:43 pm
Aug 182016
 

I remember when 386 meant an Intel 80386-powered desktop computer, and it was blazingly fast and thousands of dollars. I also remember that in 1989, our controller Sam at Madison Books & Computers rated one. It was a Toshiba. Did you know they only stopped production of the 80386 microprocessor in 2007? It’s been a […]

 Posted by at 7:15 am
Aug 172016
 

“You don’t get to decide what offends me!” This is, of course, true, but only trivially so. Any of us are free to be offended by anything we like. I’m offended when sesame seeds come on my hamburger bun. I’m offended by freight trains with an odd number of cars. I’m offended when the sun […]

 Posted by at 12:08 pm

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