Tuesday, January 27, 2015

2016 Thoughts.

As presidential contenders will announce their candidacies in within the next few months, I thought I would just add some of my thoughts surrounding candidates and strategy to win.


  • I hope Joe Biden runs for president just so I can watch the Democratic debates for a good laugh.
  • The Republican who will emerge victorious not only from the primary, but also to the presidency, is someone who will make the electorate vote on economic issues.  Bring up the debt.  Bring up jobs.
  • And that Republican will be the one who is most effective at shaping the debate.  What issues dominate the election will ultimately decide the candidate.
  • The Republican has to capitalize on the diminishing support the Democrats have on the younger generation.  (*cough* Rand Paul - or at least his strategy) 
  • Elizabeth Warren may have the same base as Barack Obama, but she certainly doesn't have the likability factor he does, which would hurt her greatly.
  • Though the electoral map is slightly tilted against the Republicans.  Polling during the 2014 election shows that it is moving back into fairly even play.  Iowa has shifted from a slightly leaning blue state to a leaning red state.  Almost all states Republicans need to focus on in 2016 had a Republican victor.  Colorado went red.  North Carolina looks to remain fairly red.  There was a slight win for the Republican in Florida, but it'll be a tough state for both candidates.  Republicans almost pulled off a surprise defeat in Virginia from a double point deficit a week before the election.  And then there is Ohio - I'm sorry Ohio voters, but 2012 is going to be happening again.
  • Republicans need Nevada, which is a fairly Republican state.  We also need to send a message by getting a Republican in Nevada who can defeat Harry Reid in 2016.
  • Pennsylvania has been fool's gold for Republicans for a long time.  Unless we are actually winnable, don't bother with us.
  • Republicans need not fret Hillary Clinton.  Lest you forget, every time she opens up her mouth, the American people like her less and less.  If she does run, she'll have to eventually open her mouth, and it will be like 2008 all over again.  She's not a good politician; she's no Bill Clinton.
  • Can the Republicans please not have 10 people all fighting for the presidency?  Only get in if you're serious.
  • No inspirational figures.  No matter how much I like Ben Carson as a person, he has absolutely no political experience.  I'm not talking about office holding, I'm just talking about getting through an election.
  • Charles Krauthammer has put his bets behind Marco Rubio; Nate Silvers has put his behind Scott Walker;  I'm putting mine behind Rand Paul.
  • My vice presidential pick is Susana Martinez of New Mexico.
  • Other good vice presidential picks include: John Kasich of Ohio, Mike Pence of Indiana, Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Brian Sandoval of Nevada, Terry Branstad of Iowa.  Additionally, there is Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, but I want a governor.
  • Whoever our vice presidential pick is, I think we need to draw inspiration from the past and pull another "Checkers" speech like Nixon did on the Eisenhower ticket.  This time, I say we buy airtime nationwide the day after we announce our vice presidential pick so that we allow our candidate to define him- or her-self, not allow Saturday Night Live pull another 2008 on us.
  • Don't vote for these people - Bush, Christie, Romney, Rubio, Cruz, Huckabee, Jindal.  I have my reasons, and I will address every single one of these candidates individually at a later time.
  • Of course, there is no secret.  I've been promoting the Paul-Martinez ticket for over a year now.
Now, we're to my big idea.  I've been toying with it for over a year now, and it might actually come to fruition.  While I think Sarah Palin will not actually run for president, over the weekend she said that she is "seriously considering" it.  My advice to the Republican Party is to have her run, and here is why.  Have Sarah Palin run a very low cost presidential run so as to not take many votes from the viable conservative candidates.  She doesn't have the kind of support to actually win the primary, but her just being in the primary does two very important things.

1)  She gets the conservative base very excited.  From there, when she does bow out, she can give a wonderful speech as to how she throws her support behind the Republican nominee, and therefore transfer the base that stayed home in 2012.

2)  She keeps the liberal news preoccupied.  Even almost seven years after her vice presidential run, Sarah Palin still fires up the liberal news more than ever.  Therefore, let her preoccupy them.  If they're infatuated with her, they won't have time to tear down our actual candidates.  Then, when she does bow out, they'll be forced to take a tone saying something to the tune of, "Well, at least the Republicans didn't choose her.  She's way out there."  This in turn makes our actual candidate appear much more moderate in comparison, while they are actually conservative, just due to the fact that the liberal media cannot help but portray Sarah Palin as the most far-right person in human history.

It's just an idea, but maybe it would work.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

All Lives Matter.

All lives matter... because everyone deserves the opportunity to experience the joys of life.

All lives matter... because those in their mother's womb do not deserve to feel pain during their murders.  This is a universally accepted fact even for the worst of our citizens, those on death row.  Yet, the most vulnerable in our society are not spared a torturous, painful murder.

All lives matter... because we are guaranteed by the 14th Amendment, "[N]or shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law..."  What happened to life?

All lives matter... because Thomas Jefferson reminds us, "The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.”

All lives matter... because no amount of false "compassion" can justify a genocide.

All lives matter... because the number one killer in the black community is abortion.

All lives matter... because we all have the opportunity to achieve great things if we are just given the chance at life.

All lives matter... because Mother Theresa reminds us, "The greatest destroyer of peace is abortion because if a mother can kill her own child, what is left for me to kill you and you to kill me? There is nothing between."

All lives matter... because babies have survived outside the womb now at 20 weeks.  Yet, the US still is one of only seven countries, including the likes of China and North Korea, that allow abortion after that time frame.

All lives matter... because Dr. Seuss reminds us, "A person is a person no matter how small."

All lives matter... because it could have been you.




Abortion is the biggest underlying issue of our time, in which we allow days to go by and millions of babies to be killed by their own mothers.  That's why I'm so thankful the House voted today to once and for all prevent taxpayer dollars from funding abortions.  Additionally, they plan to bring back a bill ending abortion after 20 weeks, a bill two-thirds of the country supports.

Even more appropriately, or coincidentally timed, was the release of Kelly Clarkson's new single "Heartbeat Song," which was revealed to have used a slowed-down version of her daughter's heartbeat while in the womb as the beat.  The single dropped the same day as two "heartbeat" bills were making their way through two state houses.  Whether intentional or incidental, Clarkson showed that every child, even within the womb can be inspirational and have a purpose in life.

Check out River Rose dancing to her own heartbeat.


And you can check out the song in it's entirety (especially the last chorus).


May God help us end the silent genocide that is abortion.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Scott's State of the Union Drinking Game: 2015 Edition.

It's time to play America's favorite game - and by that I mean nobody's.  It's time once again for the 2015 Edition of the State of the Union Drinking Game.  (I just want to say I am not held liable if you actually play this.)


Starting the Game

When Barack Obama arrives and addresses Speaker John Boehner, Vice President Joe Biden, and the members of Congress, pour your glass and take your first drink.  You're going to need it to get through another long-winded Obama speech.

Choosing Your Key Words

Before the game, you must choose three categories Obama has the possibility of addressing in tonight's speech.  If your category comes up during the night, take two drinks when it begins and one additional drink for every key word that follows.  Every statistic Obama gives on your topic also results in a drink.

Taxes
- capital gains taxes
- trust funds
- the rich
- pay their "fair share"
- when he lies and says he want to give a tax cut to the middle class

The Internet
- net neutrality
- South Korea
cyber security
- North Korea
- broadband access

Education
- "free" college
- 9 million students
- two years
- community college
- $3,800

Work
- paid family and medical leave programs
- sick leave
- the mentioning of any European country
- 6 weeks extra federal worker leave
- the "right thing to do"

War on Terror
- France
- extremists
- Australia
- ISIS/ISIL
- insert Obama comment about how these terrorists are not Islamic

Choosing Your Key Phrases

Choose four from the following miscellaneous list.  If Obama mentions it, take another drink.

- Let me be clear
- Folks
- I
- we
- gas prices
- bi-partisan
- change
- pivot
- discrimination
- executive action
- Cuba

Choosing Your Audience Members

Choose five audience members that could appear on television.  If they appear, take another drink.

- Justice John Roberts
- Justice Sotomayor
- Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg
- Justice Clarence Thomas
- Justice Kagan
- Justice Alito
- Justice Scalia
- Justice Breyer
- Justice Kennedy
- Nancy Pelosi
- Ted Cruz
- Rand Paul
- Mitch McConnell
- Chuck Schumer
Paul Ryan
- Mia Love
- Cory Gardner
- Lindsey Graham
- John McCain
John Kerry
- Eric Holder
- Michelle Obama

(If your home state Senator of district Representative are shown, take a drink.)

Choosing Your Reach Phrases

Choose two of the following phrases.  If Obama mentions it, finish off the glass and pour a new one.

- Keystone Pipeline
- Constitution
- Balanced Budget
- if Obama quotes Thomas Jefferson
- the cost of this "free" education - which is $60 billion over 10 years
- Islamic Extremists
- Obama admits he made a mistake

Refilling Your Glass

When Obama mentions one of the following phrases, refill your glass.

America
- Congress
- Republicans- the Supreme Court
- Obama tells a story about someone in the audience
- veto

A Double Drink

When Obama blames others while on one of your chosen key words, you must take a double drink.  An example would be if Obama was talking about tax reform and mentioning "Republicans," "Congress," or "Fox News."  This can also include phrases not directly aimed at the group, such as "those who do not agree with me."

When Obama Says "Republicans" or "Conservatives"...

When Obama says "Republicans" or "conservatives" take a drink to show how the Republicans want to reduce our spending, just like the drink in your glass.

When Obama Says "Democrats" or "Liberals"...

When Obama says "Democrats" or "liberals," refill your glass to signify how Democrats continue to increase spending.  Then, take a drink because you'll need it after you see the national debt.

When You Know Obama is Lying

Just take a drink.

Bonus Round

When Joni Ernst (my favorite new Senator) responds to Obama, here are the rules.

1)  One drink if she mentions your topic.
2)  One drink if she mentions your reach topic.
3)  One drink if she mentions one of your audience members.

Losing the Game

There is no winning, only losing.  Losing the game results in finishing off the rest of the alcohol.

1)  You lose the game if Hillary Clinton appears to announce her candidacy for president.
2)  You lose the game if Joe Biden or John Boehner fall asleep in the background.
3)  You lose the game if Joe Biden unveils a "Binden 2016" banner in the background.
4)  You lose if Joe Biden drops the f-bomb on television, again.
5)  You lose the game if Joni Ernst mentions hog castration in her response. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Abortion, the Church, and Politics.

I'm not a very emotional person, but if there is one issue that can make me emotional, it is abortion.  I've talked time and time again how abortion is ethically wrong.  However, I've also stressed the need to argue abortion on biological and Constitutional grounds because the pro-abortion crowd cannot hold weight when facts, and only facts, are presented.

That is not what this is about though.  Lately, I've seen this deeply disturbing trend to either brush the topic of abortion under the rug or people coming to the mentality that it is not an important fight.  On the contrary, I think the topic is of very high importance to the 56 million lives that never got to experience the joys and blessings of life.

I first encountered this last year when talking to a group of Republicans on how the GOP can re-brand itself.  One of the suggestions was to drop the pro-life stance on abortion.  Immediately, I spoke out because no other issue is of more importance to me than another human life.  To tell you the truth, I don't care if the pro-life stance is the anchor to sink the GOP.  I, as well as a huge chunk of people, would leave the GOP if it were to drop its pro-life stance.  I could not vote for someone who is not pro-life.

Just to clarify, the pro-life stance is not the anchor to sink the GOP.  The US is split 47-46 on the issue of abortion.  The pro-life crowd has made tremendous gains since Roe v. Wade and will continue to in the future.  If Republicans were to drop their pro-life stance, that would sink the GOP.

Even more though, it is particularly troubling to me when I see people saying that the religious landscape is changing and therefore the Bible has no influence on the issue of abortion.  This can be seen through an Episcopal Church from Wichita, Kansas hosting an event, sponsored by Planned Parenthood, that is celebrating the 42nd Anniversary of Roe v. Wade.  What?

I've also heard arguments from liberal Christians saying something along the lines of "Well, touching a pig skin is a sin, so the Bible is no longer relevant."  However, if you would actually take the Bible in context to understand why it was a sin, then these arguments would no longer be relevant.  It was a sin to touch the skin of a dead pig because they carried bacteria from rolling around in the mud as well as the carcass being dead; therefore, it was likely the animal would have spread disease to the people.

However, even forget all those arguments.  Can you honestly tell me your loving God would support abortion?  Abortion:  The process where it is acceptable to end a beating heart.  Abortion:  Where babies are dehumanized by being called "fetuses" so as to create a  barrier for emotions.  Abortion:  Where tiny babies are pulled out in pieces and then thrown away like trash.  Abortion:  Where up until 2003, a legal procedure for the second or third trimester could be performed by bringing the baby's body out the birth canal where the abortionist punctured the skull of the child and extracted the brain.

Your God would support a process like this?  Your God could be the same as my God and allow such atrocities to happen without it being a sin?  I don't believe that.  And if you believe that, then either we don't have the same god, or you are twisting your religion to fit your views.  I think the second.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Never Happy Conservatives.

It was Day 1 of the 114th Congress.  For the first time since 2006, Republicans control both houses of Congress.  The Senate was already getting down to business.  You would think conservatives would rejoice for the fact that they can now show the American people how they can govern and actually pass some bills.  But not for those hard right conservative talking heads;  they can never be happy.

"What was it this time?" you may be asking yourself.  Well, it was the fact that John Boehner was chosen as Speaker of the House for his third term.

Their first argument was that John Boehner is too moderate; we need a "real" conservative to be Speaker of the House.  That's utter hogwash, and Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and Mark Levin should all be ashamed for spreading such a blatant lie just because they would rather have anyone other than Boehner in there.  If you actually look at how John Boehner votes on the issues, you would see that he is about as conservative as they come.  Even Louie Gohmert, who "ran" against Boehner, and Trey Gowdy, another popular choice for Speaker, are considered more moderate when it comes to the men's voting records.

Next, they cited the argument that 60% of Republican voters didn't want Boehner to be Speaker of the House.  I used to be a statistics major;  don't try to throw a false or misleading statistics at me and expect me not to pick up on them.  Therefore, I did some research on the survey.  Turns out the survey was done by telephone, which has some skew to it, and only had a sample size of 100.  Additionally, it didn't seem like they got a good representation of the Republican Party as a whole when 46 of those surveyed were Strong Republicans.  It also included 6 members of "other", 1 "not strong Democrat", and 11 "Independents".  That leaves just 22 "not strong Republicans" and 13 that "Independent - lean Republicans."  Knowing how the political landscape falls, the largest chunk of people now are Independents.  Therefore, I would argue that a large group that feels represented by the GOP are not given their respectable size in the survey.

To continue, I would say the sample would therefore explain where this 60% statistic comes from.  The 60 actually breaks down into 26 that "probably" want someone new and 34 who "definitely" want someone new.  Well, it's pretty safe to assume the 1 Democrat and 6 others voted against Boehner, and with the over-representation of strong Republicans in the sample, I would argue that the extremely small sample size effectively does not capture the entirety of the Republican population and is therefore misleading.  Another statistic that was left out was that 11 of the people who took the survey didn't even know who John Boehner was, yet they still selected an option on that question.

Another argument they used was that people who campaigned against John Boehner as speaker went back on their word.  I'll give them this one if there were candidates that promised to vote against Boehner and did not.  As a representative of your people, it is your job to keep your promises to your constituents.  Without your constituents' trust, how can you effectively govern?

After going through the arguments, I would actually like to pose two theories.  The first of which is that John Boehner is better for conservatives as Speaker than on a committee.  I would prefer Boehner as Speaker because he is constantly being watched by the other representatives in the legislator.  If he is the RINO these conservatives make him out to be (which he's not), then I wouldn't want him drafting important bills.  Leave that job to your "real" conservatives.  Your Trey Gowdy and Paul Ryan.  Oh, wait... I'm sorry.  You wrote Paul Ryan off as a RINO when he actually worked with Democrats to pass a real, long-term spending bill, and you wrote off Trey Gowdy when he said he would have voted for Boehner today.

This leads perfectly into my second theory.  The liberal media is laughing hysterically because these conservative talking heads took the bait.  I finally got to watch The Five today, and Greg Gutfeld made an excellent point.  How do you get a liberal elected?  You don't focus on the liberal; you focus on tearing the Republicans apart.  With this vote today and with these talking heads attacking their own conservatives, the liberal media had a frenzy.  They finally got to continue the narrative that was destroyed in the 2014 midterms.  The Republicans were united for the midterms, but they could effectively argue now that Republicans are a divided party.

I can see the headlines for the next two year: "How Can Republicans Govern if They Cannot Even Agree Themselves?"  It began today, and I guarantee you that it will continue until the presidential election next year.  The liberal media will effectively just argue that Republicans will be ineffective with the presidency because we cannot even work within our own party.

This leaves the door wide open for a Hillary Clinton or, dare I say it, Andrew Cuomo or Elizabeth Warren.  The Democrats have an extremely weak bench for 2016.  Hillary Clinton becomes less and less likable the more she opens her mouth.  Andrew Cuomo is just a too liberal, too divisive candidate, and Elizabeth Warren might as well run on the Communist Party ticket.  The only way for the Democrats to win in 2016 is not to choose a good candidate (they don't have one), but to make the Republican Party look like such an awful alternative that voters will have to vote Democrat.

Because of this, the Glenn Becks and Sean Hannitys and Rush Limbaughs and Mark Levins of the world are only playing right into the liberal media's hands by continuing to divide the Republican Party by pushing unwinnable battles so as to prove they are the most conservative and compete for the views of the far right faction on the political spectrum.

If we keep this up Republicans, what's the point of even running a candidate in 2016?  Don't waste the money.  You might as well just give the presidency to the Democrats and wait until the people trying to hold this purification of the Republican Party can quit their temper tantrum.

I write this as a conservative, not a moderate Republican.  However, as days go by and Republicans continue to move further to the right (as Democrats continue to move further to the left), this conservative starts to sound less and less like a conservative and more like a moderate.  It's time to stop and examine the true battles that are worth fighting.  What is really important?  This would not be one of them.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Year in Review: Important Events.

It's time to recap all of the important events, and as always, you get my witty, insightful comments to go along with them.

January

  • Obamacare goes into effect after intense battles in late 2013.  With a terribly designed website, over 5 million canceled healthcare plans, navigators with criminal records, and illegals signing up, you could say the implementation didn't go as smoothly as was expected.  However, that's government for you.
  • The polar vortex comes to the US breaking temperature records across the country.  Citizens respond in unison: "What's this global warming crap, Al Gore?"
  • Andrew Cuomo says conservatives aren't welcome in New York.  I respond, "Trust me.  If my college wasn't here, I'd be out of liberal New York in a heartbeat."
  • Obama delivered his State of the Union.  It was crap like every president's is, but you should check out my drinking game again.
February
  • The Seahalks crush the Broncos at the Super Bowl 43-8.  Worst Superbowl ever.  At least we got this awesome Budweiser commercial.
  • The US goes to the Olympics.  However, the real story was when NBC praised communism by calling it "one of modern history's pivotal experiments" and praised their "collective hearts."  When was NBC taken hostage by MSNBC?
  • The Employer Mandate of Obamacare is delayed again.  Gee, all the sudden it goes into effect after the election.  What a coincidence.
  • Obama signs an Executive Order to raise the minimum wage for federal contract workers to $10.10.  The first of many to come.
  • A Volkswagen plant in Tennessee votes against unionization.  MSNBC is outraged, but it's a good day for right to work.
March
  • Turns out Sarah Palin could see Russia from her house as Vladimir Putin invades the Ukraine.
  • Flight 370 mysteriously disappears after taking off from Malaysia.  Many theories are thrown out, including Don Lemon suggesting the plane could have possibly been swallowed by a black hole in CNN's unceasing news coverage.  The plane is still missing.
  • Bossy women trying to #banbossy terribly backfires on them when people feel it is an infringement on their First Amendment rights.
  • Open enrollment for Obamacare ends, and they actually reach their 7 million mark.  America responds by saying, "Yeah, when 5 million people are kicked off their plans, an additional 30 million don't have insurance and their is a tax for not buying insurance, we're so excited for you reaching 7 million.  Great job."
April
  • The term "check your privilege" takes off, trying to make people feel bad about themselves for being white, male, heterosexual, etc.  Wait.  I thought liberals were supposed to be tolerant.  Well, that is of course if you aren't white, or male, or heterosexual, etc.
  • The Supreme Court strikes down campaign finance restrictions.  Speech is finally freer.
  • 22 students are stabbed in a Pittsburgh high school.  Wait.  I thought schools were gun and knife free zones.
  • The Supreme Court upholds a decision that bans affirmative action for public education, employment, and contracting written in as an amendment for Michigan state law.
  • Donald Sterling is banned from the NBA and fined $2.5 million for racist comments.  People wonder how the owner of a basketball team could be a racist.  Isn't the whole team basically black?
May

  • The Supreme Court rules that opening meeting with a prayer does not violate the Constitution.
  • It is exposed that veterans died because workers at veterans hospitals were crafting secret waiting lists in order to receive bonuses.  Scum.
  • "Check your privilege" continues.  Why can't people see the privilege of being an American?
  • A misogynistic, racist, troubled youth goes on a killing spree in Isla Vista, California.  He leaves behind a manifesto, showing how troubled and deeply disturbed he truly was.
  • Bowe Bergdahl, a deserter, is swapped for five top terrorists in Guantanamo, without Congress members being even alerted of the swap.  It was completely unconstitutional and stupid, but that's Obama's tone of the year.
June
  • Democrats go crazy over guns for the thousandth time.
  • Eric Cantor is defeated in a primary by unknown, Tea Party-backed David Brat, proving the Tea Party is anything but dead and the American people are fed up with the elite Washington class.
  • Thousands of illegals cross the Mexican-American border.  The Obama administration doesn't care.  Why would a party care if the illegals will vote for them by an 80-20 margin?
  • #YesAllWomen trends, showing feminists believe all men are exactly like a schizophrenic, misogynistic teen who went on the rampage in California.  Does someone hear the word misandrists?  
  • 300 military advisors are sent back to Iraq to deal with ISIS.  Not so JV anymore, are they Obama?
  • The Supreme Court sides with Hobby Lobby.  Liberals freak out over the decision.  Religious freedom is restored, and Obamacare will be seeing more legal challenges like these.
July





  • It is discovered the CIA spied on Congressional staffers.
August



  • A video of James Foley, an American journalist, being beheaded by ISIS surfaces online.
  • Celebrity nudes are hacked through their Clouds.  I ask why they would take nudes in the first place knowing they are celebrities, and then, if they were going to take them, why would they save them to the Cloud?
September
  • 56 million could be at risk due to the hack of the Home Depot, proving once again Lowe's is a better company.  (I may be a little biased since I worked there, but no, Lowe's is a better company.)
  • Scotland votes against independence.  As if England couldn't lose anymore of its territories, it almost lost part of it's country.
  • Ebola.  Ebola everywhere.  The world is overtaken with fear of Ebola, but it was a healthy fear.
October
  • Texas healthcare professionals contract Ebloa from a man from West Africa, but the US still wouldn't implement a travel ban.  The fear is real.
  • UNC finds itself in a cheating scandal for "nonexistent classes" created for athletes.
  • A police officer is shot in Pennsylvania as a manhunt for the killer ensues for weeks in the PA woods.
  • The mayor of Houston ordered pastors to turn over sermons.  Where's the free speech?  It's okay though, Mike Huckabee got the last laugh when he encouraged his television viewers to mail in Bibles.  Thousands poured in to the city of Houston, and the order was eventually dropped.
November



  • Obama sends 1,500 troops back to Iraq to help with ISIS.  So much for no troops on the ground.
  • More beheadings occur.  How many people can we see die before we actually do something?\
  • Obama announces he will issues an Executive Order to grant legal status to illegal immigrants. The founding fathers turn over in their graves.  When did we get a king?
  • Buffalo gets extreme lake effect snow before Thanksgiving, almost leaving me stranded in Rochester for the holiday.  I made it back though, with a picture from Buffalo to prove it.

  • Darren Wilson is not indicted for the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, which with all the evidence we have seen is the the correct decision.  That didn't stop riots across the country and Ferguson's burning though.
  • Rolling Stones publishes a rape story from the University of Virginia, but it turns out the journalist made up facts in the story.
December
  • Sony is hacked, and the FBI launches an investigation into North Korea's involvement.  Now, it is though it might not have been North Korea, but an internal job.
  • The NYC Police Officer who strangled Eric Gardner to death is not indicted.  It does not look like the Grand Jury made the correct decision in this case, but this is how our legal system works.  It's not 100% correct because we are all humans.  The protests continue, along with chants for dead cops.
  • Senate Democrats release the "torture reports" despite not checking their information with the CIA.  Personally, I find nothing wrong with water boarding.  It got us information we needed when we thought another attack could come at any time after 9/11.  Also, these are terrorists flying planes into buildings, slaughtering thousands, raping women, and beheading our citizens.  Why don't we just play them some of Nicki Minaj's annoying voices?  They'll be begging for the water.
  • Obama announces a move to normalize relations with Cuba after the more than 50 year embargo.  For once, I agree.
  • Two NYPD police officers are shot at point blank range.  I hope Al Sharpton got what he wanted.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 in Review: Music

Another year meant new music, which pleasantly surprised me.  However, rather than focusing on the songs everyone knows after all the airplay, I thought it would be better to focus on the songs that just didn't quite make it into the national spotlight, but had the potential and deserve the recognition.  Obviously, personal preference will be a major factor in my list, so it is notable to mention that it is clear to mention the noticeable skew toward pop and EDM in my selection.

In choosing my songs, a song became eligible if it was released in the US but did not receive significant airplay, if the song was released in another territory but not the US market, if the song was supposed to be a single but that never came to fruition, or if the song was off an album released this year but has little chance to become a single.

20. "Scarecrow" - Alex & Sierra



Alex & Sierra became fairly well-known after winning the third season of The X Factor, before the show was canceled, through their popular rendition of the song "Say Something" by A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera.  Then, they dropped "Scarecrow" as their first single off their record back in June.  Despite the success of the duo, their debut single failed to gain traction in the mainstream market.

19. "Sweet Talk" - Samantha Jade



"Sweet Talk" is a single released late in 2014 by winner of The X Factor Australia, Samantha Jade.  The single has been released only in Australia so far.  It uses many elements found in Katy Perry's "Birthday" from earlier in 2014, bringing back a somewhat disco flavor fused with the synth pop track.  Any song that can give me trumpets is a winner in my book.

18. "Gypsy" - Lady Gaga



It was the song that got away in 2014.  With a promotional performance of the song on SNL late in 2013, "Gypsy" seemed to be poised as the next single off Lady Gaga's deteriorating album ARTPOP.  With weaker than expected performances from "Applause" and "Do What U Want" along with the scandal surrounding R. Kelly resulting in the scrapping of the "Do What U Want" video as well as much of her management team leaving, Lady Gaga needed a good pop song to return to the charts.  As the only collaboration on her album with Red One, who had helped produce her smash hits such as "Just Dance," "Poker Face," "LoveGame," "Bad Romance," and "Alejandro," it seemed the most likely contender for the job.  However, "Gypsy" was passed up for the unsuccessful "G.U.Y." and any plans left with the album were ultimately scrapped.  The album was good; this song was best; however, the unfortunate circumstances and the adult nature of the album ultimately made the album a flop single wise, and many will never know "Gypsy."

17. "She Ain't You" - New Hollow



Before this fall, I had no idea who New Hollow was.  However, it turns out "She Ain't You" is actually a song from 2013.  Still, nobody would know that because the band didn't gain any traction until they were signed by L.A. Reid in 2014 and re-released this song.  What makes the song stand out is definitely their voices and the emotion behind the lyrics, but the song didn't really go anywhere.

On a side note, I do have one problem.  I cannot stand songs that reference the song they're singing in the song they're singing.

16. "Why Try" - Ariana Grande



As an artist releases song after song from his or her album, it becomes apparent when your favorite songs will never become singles.  This can be both good and bad.  However, Ariana Grade seems to continually choose any song besides the ones I actually like.  Whether it's the David Guetta penned track "One Last Time," the simple ballad "Just a Little Bit of Your Heart," which pains me to admit was written by Harry Styles, or this Ryan Tedder written and produced "Why Try," the only songs I like on the album are passed up.  Here's to one of these songs becoming a single in 2015, but since it seems unlikely, "Why Try" makes the list.

15. "Blink" - Cascada



Like many of Cascada's songs, "Blink" is an updated cover of the song, which was originally done by U.V.U.K. back in 2012.  However, clean the track up and add an EDM style to it, and you get the Cascada version released back in May.  However, the song never gained traction, which is a shame considering the group's previous success.

14. "Pulses" - Karmin




Ever wonder what happened to the group that created your 2012 jam "Brokenhearted"?  Well, Karmin finally released their debut album this year.  However, they strayed from their original formula or singing with slight rap in order to go in a more hip hop root.  Although "Pulses" did fairly well, it's a far cry from the duo we loved back in 2012.  Here's to hoping Karmin goes back to their roots in the future.

13. "The Sun is Rising" - Britt Nicole



This song actually comes from Christian artist Britt Nicole and is actually from 2012.  Even though I've been listening to the song since then, nobody would know that because the song gained popularity through the film The Other Woman, released in April of this year.  Though gaining some popularity on the iTunes chart, the song failed to impact mainstream radio or the general public.  But let's all take a moment to thank God that a Christian artist is getting some recognition in the pop world not only through this song but through her 2012 into 2013 song "Gold."

12. "I Bet You Don't Curse God" - Christina Grimmie



Back in 2013, Christina Grimmie released her album "With Love" to a fairly large fan base for a YouTube star.  However, she stepped into the spotlight when she placed third on the popular singing competition The Voice early in 2014.  After that, she went on to release some songs from the album that had little to no success.  Unfortunately, "I Bet You Don't Curse God" never went on to be a single.  Although, the girl has never been too good at choosing singles.  When she released her own EP independently before "With Love," she didn't release "Liar Liar," the most popular song on the EP and which charted on Billboard's Top Heatseekers singles chart, until popularity for the song had already died down.

11. "Super Love" - Dami Im



Dami Im is another winner of The X Factor Australia.  Back in May, I ran across this song due to a BuzzFeed article and instantly loved it.  The big chorus and the fun nature of the song instantly made me think it would be a great song for the summer, but alas the song was only released in Australia and South Korea.  I still enjoyed it though, and still do.

10. "Let Go for Tonight" - Foxes



If I could choose only one song that was not released in the US to have been released this year, Foxes's "Let Go for Tonight" would be my choice.  Foxes is a somewhat recognizable name after her collaboration with Zedd on "Clarity," and this powerfully fun anthem I believe would have done well.  Despite only being released in England, the song charted in Australia, Belgium, Ireland, Japan, the Ukraine, and even for all of Europe.  It's fun; it has a good video; it was a loss for America.

9. "Not on Drugs" - Tove Lo



Tove Lo is definitely one of my favorite artists of 2014.  However, after listening to her album "Queen of the Clouds," I think "Habits (Stay High)" is one of her weakest songs.  (Additionally, the album should be listened to holistically, instead of single by single, because it's one giant story and the singles are out of order.)  I guess you could therefore feel my pain when my favorite song of her's, "Not on Drugs," was originally slated to be the second single only to be scrapped for "Talking Body."  I haven't been too lucky with singles picks this year.

8. "Outside" - Calvin Harris ft. Ellie Goulding



Now, we get to two of my favorite artists of the year.  Ellie Goulding's "Burn" and Calvin Harris's "Summer" were my two favorite songs of the year, so you could imagine my enjoyment in knowing they had joined forces again for a collaboration.  However, despite the song's release in October and the video's release in November, the song has not gained its mainstream success yet.  However, there is still hope because the song is set to impact contemporary hit radio in 2015 despite already being released worldwide.

7. "Jealous (I Ain't with It)" - Chromeo 



Going to school in Rochester, sometimes you stumble upon Canadian pop songs.  That was when I stumbled upon Canadian electrofunk duo Chromeo.  I knew from the first time I heard this song that it would be one of my favorites.  I just heard it in the background of a television ad, but I forget what it was for.  However, I think this song might have the chance of becoming a sleeper hit like Fun.'s "We are Young" or Alex Clare's "Too Close" if it gains attention through the commercial.

6. "Everything Burns" - The Righteous Young



Of all the songs on the list, this one is probably the least known.  I stumbled upon it completely by accident and instantly knew this dark ballad was a song I would be listening to for a long time.  The song is very unique in an industry that seems to be concentrating to a single formula when making a popular song.  All this one took was a little imagination and some great vocals.

5. "I Will Never Let You Down" - Rita Ora



At this point, you've got to start feeling a little bad for Rita Ora.  She's an amazing artist that just cannot break into the US market no matter what she does.  She's had amazing songs with "How We Do (Party)" and "R.I.P," and now even with the Calvin Harris produced "I Will Never Let You Down," she still has been unsuccessful in the US besides her collaboration with extremely popular Iggy Azalea on "Black Widow."  The song topped charts around the world, but not in America.  "I Will Never Let You Down" only reached number 77 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

I personally blame the curse of long song titles in the summer.  In an interesting study done by Billboard, songs with short titles tend to perform much better than their long-titled counterparts in the summer.  The top three songs of the summer this year were "Fancy," "Rude," and "Problem."  Songs "Wiggle," "Happy," and "Summer" also were in the top 10 making 6 out of the top 10 summer songs one word long titles.  Let's maybe go with a shorter title next time or avoid the summer months.

4. "Ghost" - Ella Henderson



"Ghost" is finally starting to perform somewhat well on the charts, so I wish it all the luck in 2015.  However, for a song released in July, it's easy to see how this song was overlooked this year.  Ella Henderson has a very distinctive voice that has the potential to carry her very far in the music industry.  If she keeps making songs like "Ghost," she should have a very good career ahead of her.

3. "All the Way" - Timeflies



Ever hear one of those songs and instantly think it's going to do so well in the market?  I've made some very good predictions in the past, such as when I called "What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger)" as a number one single the first time I heard the demo version that leaked online and "Burn" a hit when it was released on Ellie Goulding's SoundCloud on July 4, 2013, but I was dead wrong on this one.  It's an uptempo beat, great for summer.  However, the song just never caught on.

2. "OctaHate" - Ryn Weaver



This was the track nobody saw coming but has floored everybody who has heard it.  For being an unknown artist, Ryn Weaver certainly has friends in high places because the song was mixed by Cashmere Cat as well as written by Charli XCX, who not only had her own hit this year with "Boom Clap" but was featured on "Fancy," which she also penned.  The song craftily fuses her alternative style with synth pop, while also drawing inspiration from trap music in the chorus.  However, it took too long after the song became popular on SoundCloud for it to be released on iTunes and then for a video to be made.  Maybe the song has the potential to be a sleeper hit in 2015.

1. "Alone" - Armin Van Buuren ft. Lauren Evans



I really thought this song was going to make it when it was released back in February.  They made a new, shortened radio version and a video to go along with it.  He is one of the most well-known DJ's in the world, but alas, "Alone" would not see the light of day it so rightfully deserved.  It had a great beat to go along with its great message, but the collaboration would never see the mainstream success.  I guess if there is one silver lining it would be that I have a great workout song that nobody else has.


Honorable mentions go out to Odessa's "I'll be There," Tiesto's "Red Lights," Nicki Minaj and Skylar Grey's "Bed of Lies," Maroon 5's "It was Always You," and Ellie Goulding's "Goodness Gracious."


However, the year would not be complete without my best of and worst of lists.

The Best Songs of 2014
1. "Burn" - Ellie Goulding
2. "Summer" - Calvin Harris
3. "Birthday" - Katy Perry
4. "Say Something" - A Great Big World ft. Christina Aguilera
5. "Black Widow" - Iggy Azalea ft. Rita Ora
6. "Rather Be" - Clean Bandit ft. Jess Glynne
7. "Chandelier" - Sia
8. "Pompeii" - Bastille
9. "Fancy" - Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX
10. "Bang Bang" - Jessie J ft. Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj

The Worst Songs of 2014
1. "Hello Kitty" - Avril Lavigne
2. "Rude" - Magic!
3.  "La La La" - Naughty Boy ft. Sam Smith
4. "Shower" - Becky G
5. "All of Me" - John Legend
6. "Wiggle" - Jason Derulo
7. "Booty" - Jennifer Lopez ft. Iggy Azalea
8. "Stay with Me" - Sam Smith
9. "Anaconda" - Nicki Minaj
10. "Steal My Girl" - One Direction