Thanksgiving With My Conservative Family Explains A Lot


When you’re the only Liberal in a family of Conservatives living in the South, getting together for the holidays can be a tricky thing. But mostly, it has taught me a lot about the Conservative Mind and particularly why they believe what they believe. First, you start with a foundation of bigotry. It may not be very deep, but it is always there. Mexicans, blacks, gays, Muslims… basically anyone that frightens them… which is just about anyone they don’t have anything in common with. And when something annoys them, it’s always the fault of one of these groups. Lots of crime? Blame the blacks. Bad drivers? Typically “foreigners” but not a hard & fast rule. Perceived immorality? Mexicans, Blacks and/or gays. You know the drill.

THEY (ie: White religious Conservatives) are the “oppressed minority”. The rest of the “Liberal Media” keeps trying to force them to accept blacks, Mexicans, gays, Muslim Refugees, etc as “equals”. They already know what’s true just by observing the world around them, and IF they consume any news at all (and believe it or not, they don’t watch a lot of Fox. In fact, they watch almost no news at all. It only angers them), Right-Wing Media merely confirms what they already believe to be true. For example, Donald Trump is CERTAIN that he saw ON TV “THOUSANDS” of Muslims IN NEW JERSEY cheering the fall of the WTC Towers on 9/11. Now, if it were “on TV”, SOME television station somewhere would have tape of it (archival footage is NEVER destroyed), but no one has produced any such footage because IT DOESN’T EXIST. Never happened. (He’s also implying that “thousands” of Muslims already living in the U.S. are terrorist sympathizers that had inside knowledge that this was an attack.) But it doesn’t hurt Trump’s poll numbers because Conservatives all believe they saw it too. Trump is merely confirming what they already believe is true, and no amount of evidence (or lack thereof) is going to sway them.

Conservatives all believe themselves to be “victims”. It’s the ultimate “victim mentality”. When in fact they are far more often the victimizers. Oppressing minorities and bullying the political system till they get their way. In their world, there is a “War on Christmas” if Starbucks removes the reindeer from their Xmas cups. But just why did Starbucks ever offer Xmas themed cups in the first place? Not Hanukkah cups or Kwanzaa cups, but ONLY cups with Christian Christmas themes on them. I never heard a Jewish person accuse Starbucks of a “War on Hanukkah”. No Atheists protested the use of Christmas cups in the first place. But take away a “privilege” they enjoyed that they never had to ask for in the first place… like being wished a “Merry Christmas” by the sales girl… and suddenly they are the victims of “Liberals” out to “destroy Christmas”.

And yet, the great irony is that they ARE victims. Not of The Media or Liberals, but of deliberate misinformation campaigns by the rich & powerful to get the reactionary, ill-informed Conservative masses to do their bidding. Just look at the list:

  • “ObamaCare”: Just before leaving for home, one of my family members said they were “refusing to buy ObamaCare even though the government was telling them they had to” because doing so “would only suggest I approve of it.” In what little time I had, I tried to explain, “You don’t buy ObamaCare. ObamaCare is not health insurance. It’s just a set of rules & regulations telling the insurance company they can’t deny you care or jack up your rates.” The reaction: “Then why are they telling me I have to to buy it?” “They aren’t. You only have to buy insurance. ANY insurance from any old insurance company.” A hand goes up about half-way. “Whatever!” as I was dismissed. My explanation didn’t comport with the “reality” she has been spoon-fed for years. I must not know what I’m talking about.

  • Planned Parenthood: Another Right-Wing lunatic with a gun murdered three people and wounding nine others last Friday at a Colorado Planned Parenthood, ranting about “President Obama” and “No more baby parts”… clearly a reference to the highly edited video disseminated by an anti-choice group earlier this year that falsely accused PPA of “profiting” of the sale of “baby parts”. Once again, reality was deliberately twisted to convince easily duped Right-Wing lunatics that something they already believed to be true to in fact be the case. It doesn’t matter that the facts don’t bear them out. Someone has already “confirmed” what they always believed to be true, and anyone trying to convince them otherwise is actively trying to deceive them. Meanwhile, yet another lunatic Evangelical white guy with a gun goes on a killing spree, but it’s desperate homeless Syrian refugees seeking shelter that we have to be afraid of.

  • Global Warming: There are some very powerful interests that don’t want you to believe it is true; the oil industry and the mega-church industry. And in the Deep Red South, there’s about a 99% chance you’re< connected to one or both. And despite the fact we are still seeing hurricanes nearly a month past the end of hurricane season and temperatures near 80′ for Thanksgiving in Houston, ANY cold weather is proof Climate Change isn’t real… because every “Snowmageddon” they’re told “How can there be both Global Warming AND record snowfall?” Don’t bother explaining concepts like “evaporation” and that “warm air holds more moisture” to them because they just tune you out. “Facts” mean nothing when it conflicts with what they already WANT to believe is true.

  • Tax hikes on the Wealthy are a tax increase on THEM no matter how poor: Despite being about as middle-class as can be, ANY tax increase…even on billionaires… is a tax increase on them personally. There are two reasons for this: 1) They think THEY are in the “Top 1%” if they own their own home. And 2) Tax increases are ALWAYS just passed on to the Consumer (despite their faith in the “Free-Market”.) This is what they’ve been told for years by the people manipulating them and what they already believe to be true.

While watching TV, over the Thanksgiving holiday, a promo for a new reality show came on. Only this one stars an Indian family living in California (IIRC). This quickly drew some agonized groans of annoyance from family members with the response, “this is what they do now. Put on shows about foreigners…” I quickly pointed out, “Not ‘foreigners’. Ethnicities. They’re not foreigners, they’re Americans that just happen to be Indian”, I said in exasperation. The Kardashian girls are Lebanese, but they are attractive, so that doesn’t count (until they bring home their black boyfriends that is.)

Critics of Donald Trump are wondering if his latest indefensible moment caught on video mocking a disabled reporter will finally be the thing that takes him down. Seriously? We’re talking about the same group of people who rushed to the defense of Rush Limbaugh when he mocked Michael J. Fox in nearly the exact same fashion in 2009. “If you can’t laugh at that, you’re just a politically correct Liberal buzz-kill.”

I noticed a few weeks ago that a lot of Fox “viewers” don’t actually listen to the program. It plays in the background while they do something else, occasionally flashing a glance at the TV to read the chyron when a particular word catches their ear. In one recent incident, they did a story about the political leanings of the latest round of students attending college. Their own polling showed that most new college students “tend to be Liberal both politically and Socially”, yet the chyron on the TV read, “College students more Conservative”. How? Well, while the poll found more students overall to be “Liberal”, the same poll found the number of students identifying as “Conservative” had grown over the year before by a few percentage points. Ergo, students are now “more Conservative” than they were a year ago (though still badly outnumbered.) But if you’re the typical Fox “news” viewer who only glaces at headlines without paying attention to the entire story, you might very well come away thinking there are “more” Conservative college students than Liberals. It only confirms what they already want to believe is true, and why study after study confirms Fox “news” viewers are the least well informed of all (less informed than even people who watch no news at all.) It’s also how Fox gets away with saying, “Hey, our stories aren’t biased! We defy you to find a clip where we lied!”
Two Fox “news” Chyrons following the conviction of Dick Cheney’s Chief of Staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby on 7 of 8 counts in March of 2007:

Libby Not Guilty Libby Not Guilty


Guilty on 7 of 8 counts, but Fox focused on the ONE count he was NOT convicted on, and the casual “glancing” Fox viewer only sees “Not guilty” then grumbles something about how “Librul’s” persecuted this poor man for months.

Oh, and by the way… that nut who shot up the Colorado Planned Parenthood last Friday? When he first moved into town, he recommended to a neighbor that he put a metal roof on his house “so the government couldn’t spy on him.” Why bother with a tinfoil hat when you can put a tin roof on your entire house?

He was then allowed to legally purchase an AR-15 assault rifle, a 9mm pistol and a .357 revolver.

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November 30, 2015 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: General, Healthcare, Partisanship, Party of Life, Politics, Right-Wing Insanity, Seems Obvious to Me

Home of the Brave? Govs & Congress Terrified of Refugees. GOP Front-runners Channel… you know who.


Following the Paris attacks, if anyone had just cause to fear strangers from a war zone entering their country, it was the French. Instead, they said to the world, “We will not be intimidated!” and recommitted themselves to accepting 30 Thousand additional Syrian Refugees (which, as I pointed out last week, is a very smart move.) Meanwhile, cowardly Republicans (and a handful of Democrats), in Congress, in governorship’s… and EVERY GOP candidate for president… who once ridiculed The French as cowardly for not supporting President Bush’s unwarranted invasion of Iraq… is now quaking in their boots over the possibility that some of these “wretched refuse” might actually be secret Daesh (ISIS) infiltrators sneaking into the country to do us harm. “Home of the brave”? Hardly. These terrified piss-ants have telegraphed to the world that we are so cowardly we’ll turn our backs on everything our nation once stood for out of fear of what Daesh might do to us. Accepting the Refugees would be a sign of STRENGTH. So what does turning them away tell the world? Worse, what does it confirm to the Refugees themselves about everything Daesh has told them about us? That we “hate & fear Muslims.” That we are “at war with Islam.” That Americans are “cowards” & “hypocrites”.

And if that weren’t bad enough, the extreme political neophytes leading the GOP presidential race appear to be channeling… of all people (with apologizes to Godwin) Adolf Hitler. Donald Trump wants a national databaseto start… of every Muslim living in the United States, forced to carry ID while we put every Mosque under surveillance. And how does he intend to pull off yet another Herculean task of rounding up every person of a particular ethnicity for identification/registration? “Management” [ibid].

Ben Carson, no slouch himself when it comes to dehumanizing people so that he can demonize them, compared the Syrian refugees to “rabid dogs” (now, he’ll say he was only calling Daesh rabid dogs, but he draws no distinction between the Refugees and Daesh to justify turning his very “Christian” back on people in need. Carson & Trump both believe we should bring back “waterboarding“… a particularly worthless & time-consuming means of obtaining information. Upon whom will we be subjecting these torture techniques? We don’t have any ISIS prisoners in our custody. France isn’t likely to turn over their own… not that it would matter since none of them were Syrians to begin with. So WHY exactly do we need to bring back waterboarding?

Ted Cruz took personal offense to President Obama saying all the GOP candidates are terrified of fleeing “women & children”. Says a swaggering Ted Cruz to the TV cameras, “Come and tell that to my face.” If Obama won’t, I will. You’re a terrified, bed-wetting coward and an embarrassment, Mr. Cruz. You’re a frightened little child whose racist xenophobia is endangering the security of this country, and if you can’t see that, you have no business even looking at the White House let alone running it. You’re calling out President Obama for calling you a coward. Well, he’s not the one soiling his shorts over a few refugees. Where’s your “Freedom Fries” now, tough guy?

Meet the Press included an incredible “Nerdscreen” segment yesterday:

Hysteria over Refugee “threat” unfounded (2:15)


As Chuck Todd points out in the video, “Since 9/11 (14 years ago), only 1/1000th of a percent of foreign refugees have been arrested on suspicion of terrorist activities.” Adding that “there are FAR easier ways to enter the U.S.” than to subject ones self to the Refugee process for months (if not years) with less than a one percent chance of successfully entering the country. And as the Paris attacks demonstrated, “the terrorists” are far more successful at convincing willing locals already in the country to do their bidding. NONE of the Paris bombers were Syrian or Iraqi citizens. They were ALL European Nationals. How do we know? Beside the fact we know their identities, the fact they didn’t attack THE freaking EIFFEL TOWER… the most recognized French landmark there is, confirms it. I mean, if you were going to travel 1,000 miles to attack Paris, wouldn’t the most obvious target be the Eiffel Tower? Not if you’re a local to whom it’s “no big deal.”

The GOP has become a national embarrassment. The same cowardice they once attributed to The French are now being shamed by the bravery & wisdom of those same French people. Meanwhile, their stark-raving terror of “Muz’lums” has them calling for more “papers please” laws, ID badges, registration of anyone of a particular religion and putting houses of worship under surveillance… all the while turning their backs on a community that could help us the most, potentially turning them into enemies.

Writers Wanted Got something to say? Mugsy’s Rap Sheet is always looking for article submissions to focus on the stories we may miss each week. To volunteer your own Op/Ed for inclusion here, send us an email with an example of your writing skills & choice of topic, and maybe we’ll put you online!

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November 23, 2015 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: Election, Immigration Reform, Middle East, myth busting, National Security, Politics, Racism, Religion, Right-wing Facism, Right-Wing Insanity, Terrorism, War

Why we NEED the Syrian Refugees (SPECIAL EDITION)


My letter to President Obama:

Dear Mr. President, Tx Sen. Ted Cruz said we would be “crazy” to allow in the Syrian Refugees right now. I say we would be “crazy” NOT TO!

Refugees are like an INOCULATION against domestic terrorism. They have seen the horrors of ISIS first hand, then integrate into their communities sharing their stories and dissuade others from supporting those who seek to do us harm.

They can become valuable resources, reporting to authorities when they see/suspect questionable activity, acting as translators and being more familiar with local customs/euphemisms.

ISIS sees the refugees as traitors and wish them harm. Barring refugees from safe haven only plays right into their hands as we do these people more harm. Turning them away only makes them like us less and more sympathetic to the terrorists, not to mention reinforcing the idea America is “at war with Islam”.

Not only is it the humanitarian thing to do, but it’s the SMART thing to do as well. Not only should we let them in, we NEED them!


UPDATE: Following attacks, Paris agrees to admit 30,000 more refugees.

Syrian Terrorists


November 18, 2015 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: Civil Rights, fake scandals, Immigration Reform, Middle East, myth busting, National Security, Racism, Religion, Right-Wing Hypocrisy, Right-Wing Insanity, Seems Obvious to Me, Terrorism

Paris, Freedom Fries and The Problem of Jihadi Recruitment.


The terrorist attacks in Paris last Friday brought back memories of 9/11 for a lot of people. But for me, I was more reminded of how all this leads back to George Bush’s disastrous decision to invade Iraq in the first place… and the fact France warned us not to do it, calling military intervention in Iraq: “the worst possible solution.” (I bookmarked a great column back in September of 2003, six months after the invasion, comparing France to a “designated driver” that tried to “take away they keys” from drunk driver Bush. Recommended reading.)

Because of their opposition to invading Iraq, Republicans lambasted the French, calling them part of “the Axis of Weasel”, noting how “WE” rescued THEM from “Hitler” but THEY wouldn’t help us “defend ourselves” from “today’s Hitler: Saddam Hussein”. One outraged Republican demanded the Capitol cafeteria rename French Fries to “Freedom Fries”, and Bush himself renamed the French Toast aboard Air Force One : “Freedom Toast” (yes, that IS every bit as childish as it sounds) because of France’s opposition to the invasion of Iraq as long as inspections appeared to be working (and they were). Republicans called the French “surrender-monkeys”. France’s response: “We think that military intervention would be the worst possible solution.” And they were right.

Friday’s attack was just the latest catastrophe to come out of Bush’s reckless & unwarranted invasion of Iraq 12-1/2 years ago. To paraphrase, the definition of insanity is believing that after 14 years of war, the way to end the war is by more war. That’s just nuts… pardon my French.

If the Paris attacks confirm anything, it’s that the greatest threat to peace comes from ISIS SYMPATHIZERS more than ISIS itself. As I’ve written MANY, MANY, MANY times before, the people in these countries simply want a better life. When you bomb the areas where they live, you don’t just make martyrs out of those you kill, but you make enemies of the innocent who see their lives… their homes… their country left in ruins by foreigners dropping bombs on them… and you attract sympathizers in other countries. It’s a great recruiting tool.

President Obama said earlier this year that we had “stopped the expansion of ISIL.” But ISIL/ISIS doesn’t need to control huge swaths of land to “grow”. ISIS now “expands” via recruitment. Our goal should NOT be helping them recruit sympathizers by turning them into martyrs.

Many (most?) Republicans already talk about Muslims like they are all terrorists. Even when they don’t… qualifying their statement by saying things like “not all”… there is still that sense of having to “prove your innocence first”. They feel unwelcome even in their own country, only making it easier for groups like ISIS and alQaeda to recruit them, giving them a sense of belonging from a fellow group of outcasts. Even willing to die for their new found friends/family.

I proposed a question to all the presidential candidates last July: “How will we know when the war over there is over?” I mean, think about it. After 14 years, one thing we know is this isn’t going to end with the signing of a declaration of surrender on the Battleship Missouri. You can’t win a “war on terror” anymore than you can “win” a “war on drugs”.

So how do we end the war? Simple, by taking the wind out of their sails and crippling their ability to recruit. Invest in building schools and hospitals and roads and bridges. IMPROVE their lives. ISIS & alQaeda can’t expand if they can’t convince people to attack the people making their lives BETTER. And it’ll cost a HELL of a lot less. Eventually the radicals will become marginalized, societies will stabilize, and the war will truly be over. (Ironically, this method also works on Red-State Republicans. Just ask FDR.)

I knew when I work up Saturday morning that Republicans would find a way to blame President Obama for the Paris attacks. And sure enough, later that morning and during the Sunday shows yesterday, the Republican presidential candidates were already blaming the president’s “weak foreign policy” for the tragedy. Now let’s be clear, these are the same Republicans who just last month were praising Vladamir Putin’s aggressive foreign policy, only to see one of Russia’s passenger jets blown out of the sky with over 200 civilian passengers on board.

By Sunday morning, I added the Syrian refugees to that list of people the Right Wing wack-a-doodles would blame for the Paris attacks, and indeed, all the major network Sunday shows asked their guests what impact the Paris bombings would/should have on any decision to allow Syrian refugees into our country. Germany allowed in FAR more refugees than France, so why France? Russia is tough on ISIS and they are brutally attacked. France is far less involved and gets attacked too. So just whose “foreign policy” do Republicans think we should mimic to stay safe?

Speaking of which, what exactly do the Syrian Refugees have to do with the Paris attacks? Well, apparently, a passport was found belonging to one of the suicide bombers, revealing they were from Syria and had traveled through Greece (one of the lead destinations of the Syrian refugees.) Now, I’m not sure why a refugee would even HAVE a passport. It’s not like they entered the country through a checkpoint. It would be as if a Mexican immigrant was caught illegally crossing the border with a perfectly good passport in their back pocket. It makes no sense. Greece doesn’t issue Syrian passports, so why is anyone assuming this one terrorist was a refugee?

Two other bombers were identified as “French nationals” [ibid]. Evidence that they’ve even been to Iraq/Syria is sketchy at best, yet here they are killing Parisians in the name of ISIS. THAT is “expansion through recruitment” and is also why sending troops into Syria isn’t going to solve anything. I’m reminded of the old joke of the man searching for a lost quarter under a street light nowhere near where he dropped it only because “the light is better over here.” Bombing ISIS in Syria because of the actions of sympathizers in France is no less stupid.

Donald Trump said last January following the “Charley Hebdo” attack… and repeated last Saturday… that it somehow “is no coincidence” that ISIS would attack a country with “some of the strictest gun laws in all of Europe”. We’ve heard this before. It’s the: “mass murderers target gun-free zones” & “if only they had allowed guns in movie theaters” nonsense all over again. And I find myself wondering what his point is here. If France had the same lax gun laws as the U.S., France could enjoy 30,000 deaths a year instead of just 150? WTF are you talking about, Donald???

During the GOP debates last Saturday night, only Senator Sanders advocated for LESS U.S. military involvement in Syria… though not going as far as my “infrastructure-based” solution to ending the war… instead proposing to shift more of the burden onto those most directly affected by all this chaos in the Middle-East: The Middle-East itself.

As for the rest: Why on Earth would we elect anyone that thinks the way to end 14 years of war in the Middle East is thru more war?

MLK: Darkness can't fix Darkness


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November 16, 2015 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: Infrastructure, Middle East, myth busting, National Security, Right-Wing Insanity, Seems Obvious to Me, Terrorism, War

CORRECTION UPDATE on Last Week’s Jobs Report


I‘m on sabbatical this week, but a quick follow-up on last weeks “expectation” that the October Jobs Report was going to be “disappointing” to say the least, only for it to in fact be spectacular. Serves me right for listening to pundits of the Obama Administration.

One of the main reasons for the pundits expecting a disappointing jobs report: “low gas prices” (resulting job cuts in the oil industry), which… as I’ve pointed out previously… cheap gas is like a shot of adrenaline to the U.S. economy. Cheap energy actually DOES for the average consumer what Republicans THINK tax cuts for the rich do. It leaves consumers with more money to spend on other things. I need point no further than what $4/gal gas did in the final months of the Bush Administration.

Media Matters notes how Fox “news” hilariously tried to spin last months amazing jobs report by reporting that “ONLY 271,000 jobs were created last month.” (If I had the time to research, I’m almost 100% positive that the Bush Administration never once broke the 2K mark (let alone near the 3K threshold.)

“I shall return!”… to my regular posting duties next Monday. Be sure to join me! – Mugsy.

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November 9, 2015 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: Economy, Jobs, Predictions

Analysts Expect a Weak Jobs Report Friday. Why that Concern is Misleading


Next Friday, the Federal Reserve is expected to release it’s latest “Jobs Report” for October, and the expectation is that it will show underwhelming job growth of probably less than 130,000 new jobs created… a figure the GOP Presidential candidates are sure to pounce upon, citing it at every opportunity as “evidence” of a “weak Obama economy”. But is it?

The economy needs to create roughly 110,000 jobs a month just to keep up with “population growth”. That’s young people entering the economy for the first time and immigrants moving to our country. Anything over that is growth. In a bad economy that has seen a lot of job losses, low job growth is a very bad problem. But that’s not what’s happening here.

Low job growth numbers aren’t great when there are still a lot of people unemployed/underemployed, but just because the number of jobs created is low, it’s not always proof of a bad economy. Quite the reverse in fact.

Imagine for a moment that we miraculously hit 0.0% unemployment and every single “job-aged” citizen had a job. A company could advertise that they were hiring all day and not create a single new job because everyone already had one. The number of jobs created in that extreme scenario would be ZERO, yet we certainly wouldn’t say “zero jobs created is evidence of a bad economy” (at least no one SANE.)

So we’ve established that just because the job creation numbers are low, that’s not always evidence that the economy is doing poorly. But what does it mean in THIS case?

The same month Republicans will be pointing to next week (October) as evidence the economy is floundering under Obama also set a four year record for Stock Growth, with the Market rising nearly 1,000 points in just one month. This, following the disastrous crash of the Chinese Stock Market last August that sent shock waves around the globe. Yet the resilient American economy under Obama emerged virtually unscathed.

During the GOP debate last week, Carly Fiorina… whom like Palin & Bachmann before her… appears to get all her talking points from Right Wing Talk Radio (and then never bothers to fact check them), repeating the 2012 Romney claim that women have been particularly devastated by President Obama’s economic policies (You may remember this as part of his “binders full of women” gaffe), citing a 2012 stat that “92% of job losses from 2009 to 2012 were among women.”

There are a number of problems with that claim (that were already pointed out to Romney three years ago). First (as the linked video points out), you can’t blame President Obama’s economic policies for jobs lost in January 2009 when he didn’t take office until the 20th, nor before his policies were even passed by Congress in early 2009. The reason so many of those early job losses disproportionately affected women in Obama’s first term was because MEN were typically hit first, losing their jobs back when Bush was still president. Thanks to income inequality, men typically earn more and were the first to go. Lower-paying jobs more commonly held by women came later.

By 2012, the employment situation for women had rebounded under President Obama’s economic policies (a fact Fiorina was forced to concede last week) and have steadily improved ever since. So if your big talking point is how bad Obama has been for women and the facts end up proving otherwise, what else can you do but go on network TV and argue that the “facts” are on your side! (ibid)

The very idea that the GOP has a leg to stand on when it comes to “what it takes to create a successful economy” is utter nonsense. The “Gingrich Revolution” of 1994 retook Congress by campaigning on the claim that Democrats raising the top tax rate from 34.5% to 39.6% on top income earners would result in “another Recession” (the last one being the end of the Bush-I Administration) and destroy the economy. Instead, the exact opposite happened. The economy boomed and the Federal Government took in so much money it was able to balance the budget and start paying off the National Debt.

George W Bush, running for President in 2000, couldn’t very well credit Bill Clinton for the economy, so instead he credited the GOP controlled Congress… the same Congress that said raising the rate would be a disaster and then never attempted to repeal it. He told supporters that, while the economy was good, to “imagine how much better the economy could have been if only we had had a Republican president in charge with a Republican Congress for the last six years!” He cited our ability to start paying down the [National] Debt as evidence that people were being “taxed too much” (and why NO Republican will EVER pay off the Debt because the moment we have a surplus, they’ll use it as an excuse to cut taxes) and promptly undid the Clinton tax hike they said would crash the economy (but didn’t.)

So Bush got his Republican presidency with Republican congress… the EXACT SAME Republican controlled Congress under President Clinton that Bush credited with the booming economy… and it was an absolute disaster. As I’ve pointed out before, Bush & Cheney “talked the economy into a Recession”, and the DJIA had already fallen nearly 1,000 points by September 10th, 2001. Who did they blame for THAT? Bush? No. Perhaps the GOP Congress whom Bush credited for the Clinton economic boom? Of course not! No, THIS was “Bill Clinton’s fault!” His predecessor “handed him a Recession!” they railed. But unlike Obama, the economy never improved under George W. Bush the way it has under Obama.

By the time Bush left office, the Stock Market was actually LOWER than the day he took office (the only other time that has happened was under Herbert Hoover during The Great Depression) and his “jobs reports” revealed that we were hemorrhaging 700,000 jobs a month.

So when the “jobs report” with those low job numbers comes out next Friday, keep in mind that low job growth during a period of low unemployment isn’t terribly surprising, nor is it necessarily indicative of a weak economy. Could the numbers be better given our current situation? Of course. But the fact we have positive job growth at all despite a hostile Republican-controlled congress avoiding doing anything that might make the president look good in an election year, and despite the economic earthquake in China barely a month ago that rattled Europe to its core, any growth at all is quite remarkable…

…and is yet one more example of how Republicans just don’t understand basic economics.

(UPDATE: Report released today/Friday reveals the RW naysayers were full of crap. The US economy added 271,000 jobs in October, about 90,000 more than expected. The unemployment rate dropped to 5%. Serves me right for listening to them. – Mugsy)

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November 2, 2015 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: Economy, Jobs, myth busting

Dr Carson Revives Dangerous “Health Savings Account” Zombie from 2012


I have a long standing rule not to criticize truly awful GOP Primary candidates when they are winning. “When your opponent(s) are digging themselves into a hole, the only thing you should hand them is a shovel.” I’m going to break that rule this week because Dr. Ben Carson has decided to bring back a dangerous (and arguably deadly) idea from the 2012 election that a disturbing number of Conservative voters think is a good idea: doing away with Medicare/Obamacare (remember “Keep your government hands off my Medicare“?) and replacing them with “Health Savings Accounts”, only this time with a convoluted scheme that would impress even Rube Goldberg.

The GOP version went something like this: instead of everyone paying into Medicaid (an astoundingly safe & successful single-payer health insurance program run by the government), let people choose to “opt out” of Medicaid and put their money into a tax-free “Health Savings Account”, similar to an IRA, from which you pay your medical bills should you ever get sick. The “advantage” of such a scheme Conservatives argue is that the money remains in your possession should you ever need it for something else. Now, if you have a brain larger than a walnut, you can probably already see the (multitude of) problems with that. THAT is the GOP plan from 2012 (pdf). Carson’s new version supposedly “fixes” those flaws. Try to follow along as he “explains” his version of HSA’s to NBC’s Chuck Todd yesterday:

Carson explain his “Health Savings Account” scheme (2:18)


(Quite honestly, I could have dedicated this week’s entire post to Carson’s insane interview, but that could take weeks. This segment was following an equally disturbing ten minutes defending his prolific use of Nazi analogies to justify his positions on just about everything. From arguing that the Second Amendment exists to protect us from our our own government (it doesn’t), questioning the value of a mother’s life over that of her unborn child, to saying rape/incest victims should be forced-by-law to carry their unborn babies to term. (Whom exactly he’d prosecute if she didn’t was never asked and remains unclear.)

Todd never asks Carson the most obvious question about Medicare, “What’s wrong with the existing system?”, because HE KNOWS the answer he’d get: to a Conservative ANYTHING connected to the government is bad regardless of how successful it is, because in their mind, a government that “provides for the general welfare” is tantamount to “slavery” (a position he shares with the OTHER Right-Wing nut doctor in the race, Rand Paul.)

So let’s see if we can’t diagram Carson’s “alternative to Medicare”:

Step 1) Make everyone independently wealthy thanks to a roaring economy under his leadership. (You think I’m exaggerating? Watch the video.) That way, we “negate the need for Medicare”. So right off the bat, his plan relies on everyone suddenly striking it rich such that they will be able to pay cash for their health care needs. And just how do we accomplish that? Tax-free “Health Savings Accounts” that can be passed down from Generation to generation. And we KNOW this works because look at all the people who became stinking rich inheriting IRA’s from their parents (that’s snark by the way.) Somehow, I just don’t see a lot of people living paycheck-to-paycheck suddenly being able to sock away enough spare cash to pay for unregulated… because he does away with “ObamaCare” AND the buying power of Medicare… rising medical costs out-of-pocket with enough left over to leave to their children (a plan that doesn’t seem to take into account the prolonged medical costs of aging, people pilfering those accounts like a tax-free piggy bank, or unforeseen economic crisis’ that always seem to pop up during Republican administrations.)

In fact, Carson actually advocates allowing family members to raid their own HSA in order to help another family member pay their medical bills. Carson is a big believer in the Power of Prayer, and you’d better be too if you pilfer your trust fund in hopes you won’t need it. What was it Rep. Grayson said? The Republican Plan: Don’t get sick. But hey, everyone suddenly becoming wealthy enough to pay cash for all their medical expenses could happen, so let’s give him the benefit of the delusion… er, doubt, for a moment.

BTW: Carson acknowledged the “Liberal” meme that “we pay twice as much for our health care than the rest of the world”, but offers no explanation on how to counter it. In fact, quite the opposite. He wants to kill off the two government programs keeping those costs under control. If I had to guess, Carson appears to blame insurance companies for those outrageous healthcare costs. Yet the solution… “single payer” programs like Medicare… would wither & die under his “divert money from Medicare” scheme. Moving on…

Step 2) Insurance companies still have a role though: covering “catastrophic illness” that would decimate most HSA’s. Get them out of the business of covering more lucrative “basic health care” and instead limit them to covering only the mega-costly health care bills. Carson argues that by not having to cover “basic” heath care needs, it’ll save the insurance companies tons of money and drive down premiums. You buy that? No? You’d better because you’re going to have to (literally). Okay, so now you’re now pouring money into TWO forms of medical insurance: your personal HSA AND “catastrophic illness” insurance.

Those “basic” health care policies are where insurance companies make their biggest profits. Carson actually believes that insurance companies will make MORE money… AND charge you less for catastrophic care insurance… if you eliminate all that rarely-used coverage customers pay into and limit them to covering just the most costly long-term procedures. What do you think THOSE premiums will look like? There is nothing more expensive than “end-of-life” care… a cost 90%-95% of us will incur. “Wow” doesn’t begin the capture the mind-numbing stupidity of that Palinesque plan. If we’re all going to strike it rich under President (cough) Carson, it’d better happen damned quick.

Step 3) We don’t actually eliminate Medicare, we just allow people to “opt out”… which underfunds the program, which bankrupts it. It’s not Carson’s fault if underfunding Medicare kills it off. That just proves it wasn’t fit to survive in the first place (“survival of the fittest” seems like an odd defense for someone who doesn’t believe in evolution.) In the Jewish & Muslim faiths, it is a sin to take a life… any life… (“Thou shalt not kill”), so to kill an animal for the meat, they slit it’s throat so they can rationalize that the moment of death does not occur at their hand. It’s the same thing here. Carson doesn’t “kill” Medicare, he just slits its throat, and if it (and the people who depend upon it) dies, well that must have been God’s Will.

The Carson Plan: 1) Everyone becomes fabulously rich. 2) Puts their “spare” cash, once wasted on Medicare, into a Christmas Club. 3) Prays like hell they don’t need it. 4) Buys insurance anyway to cover “catastrophic care” which will be dirt cheap thanks to benevolent insurance companies saving a bundle on checkups and passing the savings onto you. 5) What you don’t spend, you leave to your children. 6) Repeat.

Remember “Let him die!” from the 2012 debate? If a person doesn’t pay into Medicare and refuses (or simply can’t afford) to put money in an HSA or buy insurance and suddenly gets sick, what do we do? Let them die? Conservatives like Carson think Medicare will just take care of people that never paid into the system. Ron Paul believed the burden should fall upon the churches. Who would put money in an HSA or buy insurance if you could be guaranteed care that way?

The raging stupidity of Carson’s plan should come as no surprise. It’s just one more drop of water in the Bucket-o-Crazy that is Ben Carson. Quite honestly, I can’t be entirely certain he wasn’t making it up as he went along. It really sounds like he hadn’t given it a lot of thought.

And you were wondering what it would take to dethrone Donald Trump.

Iowa GOP just as crazy as Carson
Iowa GOP poll 151023

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October 26, 2015 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: Economy, Election, fake scandals, Greed, Healthcare, Money, myth busting, Politics, Right-Wing Insanity

Obama Extends The Longest War in U.S. History. Here’s How to End It


Last week, President Obama was forced to reluctantly concede that the War in Afghanistan was not going to end on his watch as hoped. One of his first acts upon entering office in 2009 was to send an additional 30,000 troops into Afghanistan (Side note: Republicans blame the continued fighting in Iraq on President Obama withdrawing our troops. So what’s their excuse for the continued violence in Afghanistan?) In 2011, the war looked much closer to being over as U.S. forces located and killed Osama bin Laden in neighboring Pakistan. I argued at the time that we should have then “declared victory” and came home (I said the same thing about Iraq after Saddam was found in late 2003). It was clear there was nothing more to be gained in Afghanistan, and the U.S. could have exited the region with the powerful message that “if you hurt us, we won’t rest until you’ve been brought to justice.” But we didn’t. Instead, we allowed Conservatives to drive the debate, arguing that the war would not be over until we had “crushed” OBL’s enabler’s: The Taliban and somehow ensured they could never return to power. How exactly would one go about doing that? And how would you know when you were done? It was a dubious unattainable goal set by the NeoConservative war hawks in Washington and their friends in the defense industry. The result? The war in Afghanistan is now in it’s 15th year with no end in sight. Bin Laden is gone but ISIS has moved in to take his place, enabled by the destabilization of the entire region. And what is the only “solution” under consideration? Staying longer and possibly sending in even more troops… ie: putting out a fire with gasoline.

In 1781, the British Army surrendered to the colonists in Yorktown, VA. ending the 6 year long Revolutionary War. British government soldiers a long way from home fighting an undisciplined army of locals with the home-field advantage. The foreign military lost only to return 31 years later for a rematch in 1812. Again the foreign invaders lost.

In 1939, Hitler’s Third Reich invaded Poland on their way to Russia, starting World War II. After attempting to invade nation after nation, Germany ended up surrendering 6 years later in 1945, followed by Japan, whom also attacked first, surrendering four months after that.

Then came Korea, the first war with US in the role of foreign invader. That war ended in stalemate after 2-1/2 years in 1953.

Vietnam began as a minor French offensive in 1955, but our involvement didn’t explode until after the assassination of President Kennedy when a suspicious President Johnson turned it into a proxy war against the Soviet Union (whom he suspected of orchestrating JFK’s murder). America’s heavy involvement in Vietnam lasted 11 years from mid-1964 to mid-1975. Part of the reason the war went on so long? No one wanted to be the first president to “lose” a war. The goal was no longer clear, yet the war went on for years more despite President Nixon conceding it was unwinnable. Eventually the war was abandoned as America became consumed by Watergate.

After the attacks on September 11, 2001, it was another month before we took action as the Bush Administration was forced to suspend their plan to invade Iraq and create a plan to respond to 9/11. That “plan” entailed invading Afghanistan and capturing Osama bin Laden. When American forces had cornered OBL in the mountains of Tora Bora, the army only surrounded him on three sides. OBL escaped, and, looking for a “win”, the Bush Administration decided to turn it’s attention back to Iraq rather than finish the war in Afghanistan. After dropping the ball so catastrophically on 9/11, the Bush Administration thought it could use the excuse of preventing “the NEXT big attack” as justification for invading Iraq. So now, we were fighting TWO wars on foreign soil with the U.S. in the role of “invader”. But the whole thing blew up in their face, and the Bush Administration found themselves mired in TWO wars with no exit strategy. As Iraq devolved into chaos, by late 2006 (sites like “” would report over 100 U.S. troop deaths a day for months), the decision to send in 20,000 reinforcements into Iraq in 2007 brought the death toll back down to a dull roar. But it didn’t last. alQaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (“AQAP”)… also known as “alQaeda in Iraq”… moved into neighboring Syria, now in civil war, to help the rebels overthrow President Assad, where they continued to grow. The new Shia government in Iraq made life miserable for the Sunni’s (of which ISIS belonged), denying them employment or even representation in government, so AQAP returned as “ISIS” to take back what was once theirs. And once again, just as in Vietnam, no one wants to be the president that “lost the war.” With no change in strategy, the war goes on forever.

Insert definition of “insanity” here.

It’s a topic I’ve returned to again & again this past year: The wars in Afghanistan & Iraq (and now Syria) will continue as long as our only strategy for fighting them continues unchanged as well. These are untraditional wars. They require an untraditional solution.

Be it Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan or even the United States, people want just ONE THING: A better life. For FAR less money, all of our wars in the Middle East could be brought to an end if we sent in engineers instead of bombardiers. Tractors instead of tanks. Hire local housing contractors instead of flying in thousands of military contractors from Halliburton or Black Water to act as mercenaries. People just want a better life, and they are going to embrace & defend those who are making their lives BETTER by building roads and schools and hospitals and a working power grid.

Do you know that the largest country in South America… Brazil… speaks Portuguese not Spanish? With all the Spanish Conquistadors all over The New World, why did the largest South American nation adopt the language of tiny Portugal? Because while Spain sent conquerors, Portugal sent merchants looking for TRADE. The Brazilian locals willingly learned the Portuguese language so that they could conduct trade with the Portuguese merchant sailors rather than adopt the language of the people that came to conquer them.

And because of that, 500 years later, the largest nation in South America speaks Portuguese while everyone else speaks Spanish. There’s a lesson to be learned there.

If we help the locals build a better life, just how long do you think they’ll tolerate groups like ISIS or alQaeda coming in and blowing things up? Locals who were once taking up arms and joining ISIS to fight the American invaders making their lives miserable are suddenly more apt to defend the people there making their lives better. Instead of breeding enemies plotting the next 9/11, we create friends seeking to replicate us and bring Democracy to their country. The end to the wars may finaly be within sight once we turn former enemies into friends. And that “magical flourishing spread of Democracy across the Middle East” that George Bush thought he could achieve at the barrel of a gun might actually take root once we put down the weapons and start making lives better instead of worse.

Oh… and besides being multitudes cheaper than what we’re doing now, shortening the length of the war would save us Trillions as well. Not creating any more disabled vets will save us millions. The reduction in global instability would reduce the threat to us here at home, saving us still more money. Military contractors can still reap their rewards if they shift from building weapons of war to building infrastructure… both abroad and here at home. And the cost burden won’t be 100% on us anymore as other nations would gladly hire former military contractors to come in to rebuild infrastructure.

The wars are finally brought to an end, we save Billions (Trillions?) of dollars and tens of thousands of lives, we create lifelong friends instead of lifelong enemies looking to do us harm, military contractors make out like bandits providing infrastructure rebuilding services here at home and abroad… talk about a WIN/WIN/WIN. All it takes is political will and a president that won’t allow themselves to be bullied by the same clueless warmongers whose policies have led to America’s longest war in history with no end in site.

NOTE: I updated the site last week, adding a “Search” function (upper right column) so that you may now search through our entire eight year collection of past Op/Eds.


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October 19, 2015 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: Infrastructure, Middle East, National Security, Seems Obvious to Me, Terrorism, War

Same People Telling Us More Guns Is Solution to Gun Violence Have Given Us 15 years of War in Mid East


WHILE President Obama was en route to Oregon to meet with families of the last mass school shooting at Umpqua Community College, TWO MORE school shootings took place, one at Northern Arizona University (one dead, three wounded) and one at Texas Southern University (one dead, one wounded). And as I pointed out last week, all the GOP candidates could do was shrug their shoulders and say “Hey, shit happens.” And these are the same people that want to be Commander-in-Chief of the largest military on the face of the planet (larger than the next ten militaries combined), saber-rattling against Syria, Iran, and… quite possibly… Russia (whom is now meddling in Syria after invading Georgia in 2008 and annexing Crimea in 2012.) They blame President Obama (not President Bush) for the rise of ISIS, saying he withdrew too early (ie: Bush’s timetable), hinting that if THEY were in charge, they’d be sending our troops right back into that meat grinder. I believe the majority of Americans want us OUT of the Middle East and an end to the wars there. Republicans think the solution to violence is more violence: more guns solves the problem of gun violence, and the way to end war is by sending more troops to war, back into Iraq, expand into Syria, destabilize Iran and play Chicken with Russia. Does ANYONE still wonder why the war in Afghanistan is now in its 15th year and why gun violence continues to spiral out of control?

So who’s to blame for all the gun violence breaking out in our schools? We’re not talking about “violent ‘inner-city’ public schools” as most Right-wing gun nuts would have you believe, but nice suburban colleges with a diverse student body. They try to blame the rising violence on movies & videogames, but those exist in other countries too. And it’s not just our schools. We also saw a mass shooting in a church earlier this year by a white kid seething with hatred towards blacks (wonder where he picked THAT up? Hint: It wasn’t movies & videogames) and yet another movie theater shooting, this time in Louisiana. “Hey, shit happens.” (also last week, a women decided to play vigilante and open fire on a shoplifter in a Home Depot parking lot last week. I assure you, that 46 year old woman didn’t decide that was acceptable behavior playing “Call of Duty III“.)

Following the Charleston, SC church shooting last August, and a spate of violence against blacks by white police officers, GOP candidate Ben Carson was hailed as “the GOP voice of reason” after chastising his fellow Republicans for failing to recognize that violence against blacks is still a problem in this country. But the pressure must have gotten to him, because following these most recent campus shootings, America learned that it IS possible to be both a “brain surgeon” AND a blithering moron simultaneously. Carson chuckled as he essentially blamed the victims of the Umpqua Community College shooting, arguably accusing them of cowardice, suggesting that more lives could have been saved if victims simply joined forces and “rushed the shooter” (like the thought hadn’t occurred to them). But when it was pointed out to him that one man, Chris Mintz, did exactly that and barely survived despite being shot SEVEN TIMES, Carson claimed it “proved his point”. NO. No it doesn’t you jackass! You suggested that rushing the shooter would “take him down and prevent others from being killed”, but this guy tried. The shooter was NOT taken down and Mintz nearly died while the shooter stepped over his bullet-riddled body and into his son’s classroom (I can’t confirm whether the three additional gunshot victims were shot before of after Mintz’s heroic act). His actions do NOT “prove your point.” It only proves what a clueless idiot you are.

(In a second interview the next morning, Carson admitted that when a robber shoved a gun in HIS ribs, HIS response was not “heroics” but to redirect the gunman to the cashier. My how brave!)

More guns. More troops. More tax breaks for the Rich. When reality fails to confirm your misconceptions, double-down. They create a catastrophe, and when the damage is pointed out to them, their “diagnosis” is that we just didn’t go in big enough. When I was a young teen, a neighbor’s infant son drank a half bottle of ammonia! I’d have thought that after the first sip, the child would have spit it out and knew it wasn’t drinkable, but it was explained to me that the child keeps drinking because they keep expecting it to get better. THAT’s the Republican Party! They are that child that sees the pretty glowing green liquid, concludes that something that appears so great can’t possibly be bad, then after they start to drink, no batter how bad it tastes or how sick they get, they just keep on drinking because they are certain if they just keep going it’ll get better. Thing is, the infant doesn’t go back later on and declare that the problem was that they just didn’t keep drinking long enough.

In 2006, then-President Bush visited Vietnam and actually compared the Vietnam War to Iraq… but not in the way you or I… or any sane person would. No, he argued that “the lesson of Vietnam” was that we left too soon. NO! “the lesson of Vietnam” was that WE NEVER SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE! Both wars were based on lies, we stayed FAR too long, and a lot of innocent young kids gave their lives fighting a war we had no business fighting in the first place! At the time, I tried to imagine being the President of Vietnam, sitting there in that room, while the President of the United States argues that your war didn’t go on long enough and enough of your people didn’t die for nothing. (On a side note, Fox “news” dedicated a segment yesterday to trashing a new Robert Redford film called “Truth”, about the firing of Dan Rather from CBS after he dare report on “60 Minutes” the fact that then Private George Bush had gone AWOL while serving in the Alabama National Guard (the “Texas Air National Guard” came later.)

Conservatives think the “solution” to any problem is to mitigate the damage AFTER it’s begun (eg: Firing back at a shooter AFTER they’ve opened fire on your classmates, finally taking notice of terrorism AFTER the worst attack on U.S. soil in American history, or “going to the ER after you get sick” is a reasonable alternative to the “preventative” care the Affordable Care Act offers.) At least ONE person must die AFTER a crazed gunman starts shooting people before other armed people nearby can pull out their guns and return fire in a campus classroom or crowded movie theater. Carson actually said he has never seen a bullet-riddled body that was worse than denying people the right to own a gun. Seriously. So naturally, being allowed to “own a gun” means we can’t deny a person with a history of violence or mental illness from obtaining an assault weapon with 30-round clip.

Completely irrational. And it should comes as no surprise that these same irrational people actually believe that Mr. Maniac would never attempt such an act in the first place if they knew we were all packin’. But when 50% of mass shootings end in either suicide by their own hand or “suicide by cop”, the nuts committing these crimes aren’t terribly worried about getting killed themselves. If Mr. Maniac is worried about getting shot himself, he’s not going to simply decide not to commit mass murder, he’s going to find another way to do it, like shoot at cars on the freeway from a distance, or fire upon students from a clock tower.

And these people are telling us THEY KNOW how to end the wars in the Middle East. A few months ago, Donald Trump actually pontificated that he’d actually get along well with (megalomaniacs like) Putin or Assad. Of that I have little doubt. But would it lead to peace? Only if their solution is that we switch sides.

More war doesn’t lead to peace any more than Syria, Iraq & Afghanistan have become bastions of tranquility thanks to all the guns that have flooded into those countries.

“Your kid was killed in a school shooting, movie theater, or fighting a war we had no business fighting in the first place? Hey, shit happens.”

(Postscript: The first Democratic presidential debate is tomorrow/Tuesday. The “15 Questions” I suggested for the GOP candidates last July still haven’t been asked/answered. A few should also be asked of the DNC candidates.)

Writers Wanted Got something to say? Mugsy’s Rap Sheet is always looking for article submissions to focus on the stories we may miss each week. To volunteer your own Op/Ed for inclusion here, send us an email with an example of your writing skills & choice of topic, and maybe we’ll put you online!

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October 12, 2015 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: Crime, Election, Guns & Violence, Middle East, National Security, Party of Life, Politics, Racism, Religion, Right-Wing Insanity, Seems Obvious to Me, Terrorism, War

GOP Perpetuating Deadly Myth States with Strictest Gun Laws Have the Worst Crime


Both Donald Trump and Chris Christie yesterday repeated a popular (and long debunked) Right-Wing myth that “states with the strictest gun laws have the worst crime”, and BOTH men cited the great state of “Chicago” as their “proof”. I wish I could simply say, “No, the exact opposite is true”, but it’s not that simple. While in fact states with the strictest guns laws DON’T have the worst crime rates, the improvement is surprisingly small and possibly attributable to other factors such as the poverty rate (Connecticut: strict laws, low crime, low poverty. DC: strict laws, high crime, high poverty.) Yet they go around proclaiming strict gun laws actually make things worse? That borders on criminal and definitely someone we don’t want anywhere near the White House.

In all due honesty, I’d probably fall short of analyzing the link between gun laws & crime, trying to make a broad assumption about such a complex issue without doing weeks of research on all the variables. So instead, I direct you to this excellent article on “” (though it relies a bit too heavily on Wikipedia for my comfort) released just last Friday. As they point out, the states with the strictest gun laws have marginally LESS crime than states with the most lax gun laws (eg one stat showing a “Gun homicide rate: 4.02 per 100,000 [in lax states], compared to 3.41 for the other [restrictive] states.”) One example of the complexity: a very rural yet very large state like Wyoming has a very low homicide rate despite very lax gun laws. Does this surprise anyone? You’re not going to see a lot of homicides when your closest neighbor is 3 miles away. Likewise, cities like Chicago & D.C. have a very low number of registered gun owners, yet an extremely high gun homicide rate. The guns are clearly already there. Is pouring MORE guns into Chicago or DC going to make things safer? The problem isn’t “strict gun laws keeping guns out of the hands of the virtuous”, it’s the easy availability of guns… period. Particularly “NON-hunting” weapons intended for “protection” but being used on the streets.

During The Cold War, Ronald Reagan tried to draw a distinction between nuclear weapons that are only used for “defense” vs “First Strike” nuclear weapons in order to justify his nuclear build up against the Soviet Union. But all it did was encourage an arms race with Russia. Increasing our stockpile of nuclear weapons didn’t make us safer, it only raised our anxiety over the likelihood of nuclear war (“Shall we play a game?”)

No, what I want to talk about is this reckless dangerous game Republicans are playing by perpetrating this deadly myth that strict gun laws make gun violence worse. It’s not true. Not even close. But Conservative voters are buying it, then electing politicians that believe it, who in turn start eliminating restrictions on guns that cost people their lives.

A prime example came just last week following the latest mass murder gun shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon. Within hours, the Republican presidential candidates were already defending gun ownership and shrugging their shoulders when asked “what can we do to stop this?”

Marco Rubio dismissed the idea of any more gun laws, stating that “Crazy people don’t follow gun laws.” True, but do we need to make it easier for them to get one?

Mike Huckabee: “I keep waiting for someone to tell me what new gun law would have prevented this”. Fact: the shooter purchased 13 weapons and a flak jacket inside of 3 years without raising any alarm bells. Why were those guns so easy to get so quickly? Someone that “needs” that much armament in such a short period of time should be required to have a “Dealers” license. Here’s an idea for you Huckster: If we were allowed to track the number of purchases by a single buyer over time, we could spot trends that trigger a more thorough background check. Even the most cursory “beyond medical/criminal” records search would have have found his Facebook page filled with violent rants and support for the defunct “Irish Republican Army” terrorist organization (if you’re going to say, “mass-murderers will just stop logging their intentions on Facebook”, I direct you to Rubio’s statement above about “Crazies” not behaving rationally.) Speaking of which…

Ben Carson also went the “unpredictable crazies” route, declaring “[Gun laws] doesn’t work for crazies.” This demonstrates a glaring stupidity with Republicans: the childish belief laws are only for criminals. As has been frequently pointed out: If your argument against gun laws is that “criminals don’t obey laws”, then why have ANY laws? Why have laws against speeding or stealing? Yet this same person would NEVER say the same thing about our drug laws. Simple game: substitute the word “drugs” for “guns” in ANY comment by ANY Republican on the subject of gun control and ask yourself if they hold the same position. Fun fun fun.

John Kasich followed suit, condemning gun laws with: “You take guns away from people who are law abiding, the people who are going to cause these horrible things are still going to have them.” First, NO ONE is arguing for “gun confiscation”. That’s a straw man argument. Second, clearly, the ONLY two options are Lots of guns or No guns at all. There apparently is no middle-ground in Conservastan.

Donald Trump, when asked what can we do, simply shrugged his shoulders and said “these things happen”, adding that sane people sometimes go nuts so “What are you going to do, institutionalize everybody?” Just what you want in a Commander-in-Chief. Someone, when faced with a difficult matter of Life & Death can’t define the problem, shrugs his shoulders helplessly, and proclaims if you can’t stop EVERYBODY, why bother stopping ANYBODY?

Likewise, Jeb Bush used the helpless “stuff happens” line… clearly channeling his brothers’ Secretary of Defense. My response to “Jebby” is the same as the video’s response to Rummy: “Irresponsible’s a pretty harsh word but basically irresponsible.” Imagine you’re the parent of one of the young people who were murdered last week in Umpqua, or the parent of a child killed at Sandy Hook, and your Commander-in-Chief responds “Hey, stuff happens!”

But Carly Fiorina wins the prize for going “the full Bachmann”, openly declaring as fact something she heard on Right Wing radio. Fiorina “pointed out” that the shooter “managed to get on campus with several guns” despite “being a gun-free zone”. Uh, no. UCC’s campus may of had a “rule” against guns on campus, but it was NOT a “gun-free zone”. In fact, a half-dozen students were carrying concealed weapons on campus that day, and Oregon state law forbids laws restricting “concealed weapons” *anywhere*… including schools.) Worse, the local County Sheriff had written an angry & defiant letter to Vice President Biden following the Sandy Hook massacre, proclaiming that he would refuse to enforce any new “gun-control laws”, which included restricting guns on campus. Now he has 9 more lives to answer for.

NOT ONE of the GOP candidates proposed a solution or even the tiniest suggestion of how to help prevent these things from happening again. Every answer was either “helplessness” or “we need more guns”. Wonderful.

A BIG part of the problem when it comes to passing laws restricting gun ownership is that there is a huge (“Euuuuugh”) number of BADLY misinformed people in this country who (wrongfully) believe the reason for the Second Amendment is “to protect the people from the government.” To protect themselves if “Big Brother” comes knocking on their door. And thus, any move by the government to deny people the right to own a gun gives government “the upper hand”, rendering the people helpless.

This paranoid, delusional fantasy that the U.S. military is going to come knocking on their door to enslave them, toss people that disagree with the government into “FEMA Camps” and force them to drink fluoridated water, is quite simply nuts. Yet these insane people are dictating U.S. gun policy, and people are dying because of it. These same Troglodytes believe every mass murder is a “false flag” operation conducted by the government in order to advance this not-so-secret agenda.

The Constitution does NOT say you can take up arms against the government. The Founding Fathers didn’t write “If you don’t like what we’re doing, you can shoot us.” That does NOT appear anywhere in the Constitution. What DOES appear in the Constitution? The word “treason“… seven times. Number of times “shoot your Congressman” appears? ZERO. Your defense against a government that does things you don’t like? The FIRST Amendment. The Freedom of the Press and your right to “Assemble” into groups and protest using your “Freedom of Speech”. Your right to “petition” the government for a “redress of grievances”. Shooting cops & Congressman? Not in there. I checked.

The people spreading lies & misinformation about a Constitution they angrily demand we “READ” every time the government does something they hate, yet clearly don’t know themselves, are tearing this nation apart. It’s a deadly game they’re playing. Their ignorance is costing people their lives, and they have no answers. Rendered impotent by people with a financial interest in selling military hardware in bulk to paranoid morons, convincing them something that’s simply flat out not true.

Writers Wanted Got something to say? Mugsy’s Rap Sheet is always looking for article submissions to focus on the stories we may miss each week. To volunteer your own Op/Ed for inclusion here, send us an email with an example of your writing skills & choice of topic, and maybe we’ll put you online!

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October 5, 2015 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: Crime, Election, Guns & Violence, myth busting, Politics

Boehner Ousted by the Tea Party He Helped Create. Lesson Learned? Doubtful.


In 2010 during the first mid-term election of Obama’s presidency, House Minority Leader John Boehner knew that in order for the GOP to retake the majority (and make him the Speaker), he would have to court the Tea Party crazies that were seizing control of the GOP, adopting their insane ramblings like “BenghaziTM, threatening to sue the president over… uh… I forgot already, and a willingness to shutdown the government over refusing to raise the Debt Ceiling to pay for the GOP’s own budget. (speaking of which, Rep. Tom Cole on Fox “news” Sunday yesterday defended the Speakers’ record by noting “he cut the Deficit by a trillion dollars.” The GOP has spent the last few years trying to convince everyone that the National Debt is “exploding” under Obama because of “runaway spending”.) John Boehner helped create this monster and it never loved him back. So when Tea Party darlings Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio announced Boehner’s resignation to cheering/applauding crowds, it came as a surprise to no one.

The Tea Party has hated John Boehner from the beginning. ANY move by him to “cooperate” with Democrats to keep the government functioning was branded “treasonous”. In Teanutistan, Speaker Boehner has been labeled a RINO… which I’m sure would come as a shock to most Democrats… and (worst insult of all) “Obama’s friend.” And it didn’t matter how much he tried to appease them with countless Benghazi hearings, turning the (appropriate investigative) actions of an IRS office in Cincinnati into a national scandal leading all the way to the Oval Office, or agreeing to shutdown the government in 2013 and then lambasted for bringing it to an end as the GOP was (rightly) blamed, Boehner has now resigned in advance of yet another asinine shutdown… this time over a demand to defund Planned Parenthood… the largest provider of health care to poor inner-city women… over a gruesome nonexistent depiction of an abortion that another Tea Party candidate, Carly Fiorina continues to insist is accurate despite being thoroughly debunked by just about every major newspaper and “fact-checking” organization (the “scene” she described is maliciously inserted footage of a miscarriage, NOT an abortion, and NOT at a Planned Parenthood clinic. The line Fiorina is frequently quoted from the last GOP debate… a nurse saying “we must keep it (the kicking baby) alive in order to harvest its brain”… is a (ridiculous) unsubstantiated claim made by a nurse earlier in the doctored video. And despite repeatedly being told this, Fiorina digs in her heels and insists she “saw the video” and knows for a fact she saw what she saw. Please explain to us why the baby would need to be alive in order to “harvest its brain”? And there’s no such thing as a “brain transplant” (as badly as some people clearly need them) in which such a bizarre procedure would be necessary. The fact Fiorina unquestionably believes this event to be real should automatically disqualify her for running for president (or ANY political office.)

And now the Tea Party wants to shutdown the government over it.

They want to shutdown the government because they “don’t want any tax payer money going to fund abortions.” They don’t. You know the facts, I won’t bore you with them here. This is not about Planned Parenthood. It’s about the inmates running the asylum… and the GOP that invited them in, handed them the keys and treated their every insane ranting as if it were legitimate and worthy of a Congressional investigation.

“Ever dance with the Devil in the pale moonlight?” asked Jack Nicolson’s “Joker” in the 1989 Batman movie. “What does that mean?” he was asked. “Nothing. Just something I like to say.” Dancing with the Devil. An apt description.

Boehner’s likely replacement? Current Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. You’re forgiven if you don’t know who that is. Most people don’t. He’s the “not-Steve-Doocy” of the “Young Guns”… the GOP trio that supposedly ushered in “a new brand” of (Tea Party) Conservatism in 2010. McCarthy, along with better-known Republicans Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan promised to reshape the GOP in the Teanut’s image. Cantor is now gone (also ousted by the Tea Party), and you didn’t hear anyone clamoring for former darling Ryan to pick up the Romney torch and run for president in 2016. McCarthy is the third-wheel of a tricycle that has already lost one wheel.

McCarthy has two options: either follow Boehner’s lead and pay lip-service to the Tea Party crazies while working with Moderate Republicans to get ANYTHING done during Obama’s final two years in office in which case he too will be run out of office in two years, or cater to the Teanut Crazies to protect his own job while driving his Party so far to the Right as to alienate… not just Independents but every Moderate Republican left in the country… turning them into a permanent minority.

Here’s hoping for the latter.

ADDENDUM 9/28/15: Boehner calls the Right Wing hardliners in his Party “unrealistic” and “false prophets“.

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September 28, 2015 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: Election, Partisanship, Party of Life, Politics, Rants, Right-Wing Insanity

The Tinfoil Hat Crowd Now Controls the GOP


“We have a problem in this country, it’s called Muslims.” proclaimed an angry bigoted man man at a Trump campaign event last Thursday. “We know our current president IS one” he snarks. “Right!”, responds the current GOP front-runner. “Wasn’t even born in America, YOU know THAT!” continues the supporter. “We have Training Camps growing, where they want to kill us…”A few audience members recoil in astonishment by the man’s unabashed bigotry. The man is 100% serious and 100% delusional. But The Donald isn’t about to set him straight… not just because he fears the backlash of displeasing a supporter, but there is little doubt Trump himself holds those same beliefs. YOU know THAT! He does. FEMA Camps, “Jade Helm”, “vaccines cause Autism”, “Obama is a Muslim born in Kenya”, “Death Panels”, “They’re coming for your guns”… you’ve heard them all, and they’re no longer the the GOP “fringe”. As Fox “news” Sunday pointed out yesterday, NEARLY HALF (43%) of all Republicans now believe President Obama “is a Muslim”. They also know he drinks, eats pork, shaves, gives money to Israel for its defense, and attended the church of Reverend Jeremiah Wright for 20 years. There is a reason why people such as Donald Trump and Sarah Palin can continue to say some of the most ridiculous things, flip-flop wildly without consequence, be exposed as total hypocrites without an ounce of shame, and remain Republican rock-stars, and that’s because they now TYPIFY the mainstream political Right. The new tinfoil hat crowd aren’t the “9/11 Conspiracists”, it’s the mainstream Republican Right. The self-identified Tea Party crazies who believe the most fanciful nonsense anyone with a microphone and seething hatred for all things Obama, can dream up.

Let’s face facts. The GOP is no longer controlled by any sane group of people. They’ve been spoon-fed fear & bigotry for eight years (and paranoia for over 20). And it wasn’t forced upon them either, they begged for it. Crazy people like being told, “No, you’re not crazy.” Problem is, the people telling them that are crazy themselves. They have a built-in motivation to encourage this nonsense: “ratings” & “votes” (depending upon whether you’re Fox or a politician.)

This is the Religious Right, for whom even The Pope… the freaking POPE… is “too Liberal” for them. And Climate scientists “have an agenda”… unlike the oil company executives that tell them Global Warming is “The Greatest Hoax” in Human history.

As I tweeted out yesterday:

GOP not on side of Pope OR science


It’s no coincidence that the same people leading the GOP field are also the least experienced (Trump, Carson & Fiorina have never held elective office) and offer the fewest details on how they’ll achieve their miraculous promises. Nor do GOP voters care. On at least two programs yesterday, Donald Trump criticized President Obama’s handling of Syria and the fact Russia now has Surface-to-Air missiles on the ground there, clearly intended to protect Assad from U.S./Allied warplanes. When asked how he would have dealt with Putin differently than the president, Trump simply said that “Assad & Putin would have ‘more respect’ for him than Obama” and therefore would not be taking the liberties with him that they’ve been taking with Obama. It’s the old “Iran released the hostages the moment Reagan was sworn in because they feared him” fantasy (see: Iran/Contra). Earlier in the week, Trump suggested that he’d probably “get along better with Assad & Putin” than Obama does. Somehow, arguing “Megalomanics luv me” hardly seems like a selling point when selecting a president.

Also yesterday, Ben Carson complained about President Obama’s failure to follow through on his “red line” threat against Assad in Syria and hasn’t pushed back against Putin’s stationing SAM’s there. Translation: “Why aren’t we starting another war… not just with Syria but with Russia?” Carson added that ISIS now controls the “oil-rich Anbar Province” of Iraq and that was somehow intolerable. If you’re a Republican, sending your kids off to die for oil is their first response, not suggesting that maybe we could use LESS OIL (depriving ISIS of funds, increasing our energy independence, saving the planet… and spare some American lives while we’re at it.)

No, their first response is their “snap-decision” gut response: “Bomb them!” When you’re a frightened child, all you care about is being protected from the scary people. When you’re terrified, you don’t care how they do it or how much it costs (which is the idea). Just “protect me! And if the neighbor’s kid has to die, then so be it.” No time to think things through! “They’re coming!” The typical GOP voter is not “details oriented”. Policy discussions bore them to tears. Just give me a snappy once sentence statement that you share my paranoid delusional fears, and assure me you’ll somehow make it all better. And I don’t need the details because you’re more successful than I am, so clearly you know what you’re doing.

I honestly believe the average Republican voter still has frequent nightmares about 9/11. Something in them snapped that day. So when President Bush told them we needed to invade an unrelated country to keep them safe, they didn’t ask questions. “Okay, you’ve sufficiently terrified me about those Iraqi’s, now go get’em. Do whatever it takes. I’ll wait right here and turn a blind eye while you do it.”

The “Lunatic Fringe”… now the “Lunatic Mainstream”… is pushing the Republican Party candidates to the FAR right, fatally wounding them in the General should they win the Primaries. Even if they eschew the positions of Trump, the fact so many Republicans are in agreement with him has helped ensure certain demographics will NEVER vote Republican.

And for that, Donald Trump has done us all a HUUUUUGE service.

Writers Wanted Got something to say? Mugsy’s Rap Sheet is always looking for article submissions to focus on the stories we may miss each week. To volunteer your own Op/Ed for inclusion here, send us an email with an example of your writing skills & choice of topic, and maybe we’ll put you online!

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September 21, 2015 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: Election, General, Predictions, Racism, Right-wing Facism, Right-Wing Hypocrisy, Right-Wing Insanity, Seems Obvious to Me