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Despite History of Deceptively Edited Videos, Right Wing Videographers Still Taken Seriously

By Admin Mugsy - Last updated: Monday, July 27, 2015
 

Right-Wing activists have a checkered history of posting deceptively edited video to suggest events are taking place that in fact aren’t, and despite acknowledging that these videos have been selectively edited by the author, The Media still takes them seriously and gives their “findings” an aire of legitimacy & respectability by suggesting they are evidence of something terrible. Then the accused is paraded around TV defending themselves having to point out (again) that the damning video was chopped & spliced within an inch of its life, and STILL the accusations are taken seriously.

Anyone else remember Shirley Sherrod? In 2010, an intentionally deceptively edited video of her talking about overcoming past prejudices and treating everyone with respect was promoted by a Right-Wing smear site called “Breitbart.com” (named for it’s RW ambush-videographer founder who had a history of doing this very thing) as PROOF of an openly racist appointee of the Obama Administration bragging of refusing to help an elderly white couple. Another infamous hack wannabee ambush-videographer named James O’Keefe used seriously & deceptively edited video to get the Social Services Organization “Acorn” defunded and put out of business by posting a video of himself claiming to be a pimp seeking housing assistance for him & his hoes, going so far as to post a ridiculous video of him and his girlfriend dressed like a cartoonish caricature of what he believed a pimp & prostitute looks like. Truth was, O’Keefe did NOT in fact wear his ridiculous costume during his interview, editing out responses by the dubious Acorn agent, not even AWARE of the phone call the agent made to authorities after O’Keefe left after playing along with his little ruse.

Seeking a return to the spotlight, craving his sudden fame from 2010, O’Keefe again tried to peddle yet another deceptively edited video during the 2012 election claiming to have evidence of undocumented immigrants and even “the dead” were casting ballots in South Carolina as evidence of the need for “Voter ID” laws. But O’Keefe’s reputation proceeded him, and further investigation found his claims to be utter horseshit.

Two more questionably edited videos were released in the past two weeks: one, showing the traffic stop & arrest of “Sandra Bland”, who was pulled over for “changing lanes without signalling” (an incredibly petty offense considering she appeared to be simply moving out of the way of the officer’s cruiser). An understandably annoyed Bland was screamed at, ordered out of her vehicle, wrestled to the ground and arrested, only to end up dead three days later, found hanging by the neck in her jail cell. The video of the event released by the police department was clearly edited, with passing vehicles appearing & disappearing) in a manner that raised questions about what was omitted and why. But one wonders why the video had to be chopped up (not just trimmed) in the first place? No news organization would show an entire FIVE minute arrest video live on the air without editing it themselves. Why did the Hempstead (TX) PD feel the need to release an edited version of the video?

And more recently, another deceptively edited video by “Pro-Life” activists discussing the purchase of fetal tissue for their research laboratory, was made public last week, creating a firestorm. While Planned Parenthood acknowledged and apologized for the “flippant” manner by which some of the people in the video discussed the subject, the video… which the authors claimed was PROOF of PPA profiting off fetal tissue donations (which is illegal)… “innocently” clipping out the ten times the agents pointed out that PPA does not profit from the “sale” of fetal tissue and that all payment simply goes to recoup the costs of getting the tissue/organs to the recipient intact and viable.
 

Republicans truly believe that if we closed every abortion clinic in the country, women would simply stop having abortions. Closing abortion clinics doesn’t prevent abortions, just SAFE abortions. It’s the whole reason they exist.
 

But “Planned Parenthood of America” (PPA) is FAR more than just an “abortion clinic”. Despite inviting on famed Medical Researcher Carly Fiorina (yes, that’s snark. Fiorina is the failed former tech CEO turned failed Senate candidate turned soon-to-be-failed 2016 presidential candidate) onto Fox “news” Sunday yesterday to criticize the organization, host Chris Wallace had to point out that “abortions” are only a small percentage of some of the healthcare services provided by PPA:
 

PPA Services
Wallace points out some PPA services that would be lost if their funding was cut

 

Fiorina’s snarky response: “I thought that’s what ObamaCare was for?” So now she NEEDS ObamaCare to allow her to eliminate a medical services provider? Besides being a monster hypocrite, let’s not forget that Fiorina (like EVERY Republican), wants to do away with “ObamaCare” too. And the REASON that PPA provides these services is because many clinics do not. Certainly not as cheaply.

(BTW: If you Google Fiorina’s exchange with Jess McIntosh of “Emily’s List” on FnS yesterday, Fiorina apparently “DESTROYED” McIntosh despite making bizarre non-sequitur arguments about “fetal heartbeat” in a discussion about donating tissue from deceased fetuses, and choosing instead to ignore any discussion regarding the lives that are SAVED by these tissue donations, instead complaining bitterly that the people outraged by this “highly edited” video didn’t seem to mind attacking “Mitt Romney” over his “heavily edited [97%] video or Edward Snowden.” Huh??? Unless someone spiced Romney’s words to form a sentence Romney never actually spoke, or left out him saying “of course we must care about everybody!”, she’s sounding pretty desperate by this point. And I have NO idea what she’s talking about regarding Snowden… whom, to the best of my knowledge, has only released documents, not a video.)

Outraged Republicans (are there any other kind?) are now demanding that we discontinue ALL Federal funding to PPA (something they’ve been looking for an excuse to do for years) over this video, claiming it is PROOF of crimes being committed by the organization. Actually, it’s more the flippant & cavalier attitudes of the agents filmed that is the source of their outrage. But just as in ANY social situation, we REFLECT the attitudes of the people we are talking to. The videographers were flippant & cavalier (even joking) about what they were requesting, and the agents unfortunately responded in kind. Most people don’t respond to smiling happy guests with the stern & dower seriousness that quite possibly might be called for in that situation.

So these clearly chopped up videos are shopped around, the mainstream media catches wind of them via a flurry of Right Wing outrage on The Twitter Machine, and they are hyped on the network news hoping to spur the very outrage & controversy the authors intended. Willing patsies, and one wonders if they even realize they are being used… or for that matter, if they even care.
 



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Filed in Abortion rights, Civil Rights, Crime, fake scandals, myth busting, Right-wing Facism, Scandals July 27th, 2015 by Admin Mugsy | • No comments | Add/View

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Party That Swift-Boated John Kerry in 2004 is Outraged By Trump’s Attack on McCain

By Admin Mugsy - Last updated: Monday, July 20, 2015
 

Maybe you remember this from 2004:
 

RNC Conventioneers mocking John Kerry's Purple Heart
Attendees at the 2004 RNC Convention mocking Sen John Kerry’s Purple Heart
by wearing “Purple Heart Band-Aids” and claiming his injuries were little more than a scratch.
Campaign officials told Conventioneers to stop, but Bush/Cheney never publicly condemned them.

 

“Donald Trump Slams John McCain’s Military Service!”  The Sunday shows yesterday all covered the OUTRAGE over Donald Trump’s “offensive” comments regarding John McCain’s military service (after demanding to see the presidents’ birth certificate for six years, and slamming an entire race of people, NOW they’re outraged?) Here they are in case you missed them:
 

Trump: “John McCain is a hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

Now, everyone listening to those comments knows EXACTLY what he meant:

There is no question THAT is what Trump meant. (And listening to him respond to the parade of reporters detailing McCain’s service, it is also clear the only thing he knew about McCain’s service was that “he was a POW.” Far be it for me to take Sen. McCain’s side on just about anything, but there is no question his heroism post capture earned him that distinction.)

But instead, he defended himself… NOT by defending his comments but by implying he was saying something different from what everyone KNOWS he meant. Trump… live via phone on ABC’s “ThisWeek”… told Martha Radditz that “I didn’t say [McCain] wasn’t a war hero. I said he WAS a war hero [pause] becausehewascaptured.” Radditz followed up by asking what he meant by: “I like people who weren’t captured”? Trump’s response was to suggest he felt troops that aren’t captured don’t receive the Media attention that captured soldiers do.

He never explained why one should have any reason to “prefer” one over the other. Likewise, Trump will NEVER apologize because THAT would mean admitting he made a mistake, and Conservatives are completely phobic over even the possibility of admitting to a mistake.

But all that is but a side-show in the GOP circus. What gets me is the sudden feigned OUTRAGE by the GOP and the other Republican candidates over how Donald Trump “denigrated the service of a military hero.”

I’m sure Secretary John Kerry, watching the news last week, had to hold his eyes shut with both hands to keep them from rolling out of his head.

Give me a freaking break! Conservative reverence for our troops starts & ends with the soldier’s [perceived] Party affiliation. We already know this to be the fact. During the 2004 Presidential race, throughout most of 2003, it appeared Liberal hero Howard Dean was going to be the Democratic nominee, with Kerry running in 3rd place. But when the race turned nasty between the top two Democratic front-runners on the eve of the New Hampshire primary, Kerry filled the void as unsophisticated primary voters believed Kerry’s war hero status would be impossible for the Draft-dodging duo of Bush/Cheney to defeat. Silly them.

Rank & file Republicans found it difficult… if not impossible… to defend President Bush’s “military record”, so the solution was to neutralize Kerry’s “war hero” status by latching onto the claims of a longtime Kerry critic… another Vietnam “swiftboat vet”… that never actually served with John Kerry, claiming to know for a fact Kerry’s medals were not “earned” and “unjustified”, claiming his injuries were “self-inflicted”, and that he never actually killed the enemy soldier for which he earned him his Silver Star (Kerry also earned a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts.) BTW: If you can find a copy of “Going Up River”… a documentary about John Kerry volunteering for military service in Vietnam only to return to champion the fight to end it… I highly recommend it. I came away far more impressed with him than expected.

(Note: Rewatching movie now and was reminded of how Republican Senate candidate Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)… whom never served… compared his opponent Max Cleland… who left three limbs on the battlefield in Vietnam,,, to Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. Chambliss won.)

By the time you read these words, we should already know if Right-Wing talk radio has decided to stand by Trump or throw him under the bus. But my prediction is that because so many of them are fellow racist Chicken-Hawk draft dodgers like him that likewise despise John McCain, and still feel their beloved Birther King represents them on the issues, they’ll either defend him or find a completely different reason to toss him overboard (such as his comments about “religion” in the same speech.)
 

Birther King

 



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Filed in Election, Politics, Predictions, Right-Wing Hypocrisy July 20th, 2015 by Admin Mugsy | • No comments | Add/View

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15 Questions That Should Be Asked of Every Presidential Candidate

By Admin Mugsy - Last updated: Monday, July 13, 2015
 

Exactly three weeks from today, Fox will be hosting the first of nine GOP Presidential debates (Democrats have yet to settle on a debate schedule). While everyone is busy questioning Fox’s right to choose which of the 16 declared GOP candidates makes the cut (debate performances should decide the polls, not the other way around), no one seems to be discussing the TOPICS they should be asked about. Should we build on the Obama Administration’s efforts to undo the disastrous policies of the Bush Administration or return to them? Now that the GOP has alienated every non-white demographic there is, what positions do they think will lead to their recapturing the White House? Every election season, Republicans only ask the questions they think matter to Republicans (“Elvis or Johnny Cash?”), and Democrats only ask the questions they think matter to Democrats (“Obama & Flag-pin gate“). So while Republicans this year are asked about “BenghaziTM” and “repealing ObamaCare”, Democrats are asked questions about their support for the removal of the Confederate flag from Public grounds. Then, once the two (three?) candidates face off in the cross-Party debates, the subjects that matter most to most Americans haven’t even been brought up yet. They’ll dance around the issues, do their best to avoid giving straight answers, and in the end, the need to “move on before the next debate” will ensure those questions are never answered.

Below is a short list of the 10 12 15 questions I believe should be asked of every presidential candidate this cycle (no dumb questions like: “Name your favorite Supreme Court justice?”):

  1. The War in Afghanistan, which is about to begin its 15th year… almost as long as World War II and Vietnam put together… how will we know when the war there is over? How do you see that result being brought about?
  2.  

  3. Do you believe in Man-Made Climate Change? If so, do you believe Man is the leading contributor, and what… if anything… should be done about it?
  4.  

  5. Do you support the right of gay couples to marry? If not, do you support a Constitutional Amendment to ban it?
  6.  

  7. Do you believe “in-person” voter fraud (the kind “Voter ID” laws are intended to thwart) is a problem in this country? And if so, do you believe the risk of disenfranchising tens of thousands of eligible voters is offset by the number of “ineligible” voters who are stopped?
  8.  

  9. Do you believe if we shut down every abortion clinic in the country, women would simply stop having abortions?
  10.  

  11. Describe in detail your plan for Immigration Reform.
  12.  

  13. How do you account for the widening gap in “income inequality” over the past 30 years?
  14.  

  15. During the 2004 presidential race, the nominees Bush & Kerry agreed that “a nuclear armed Iran” was the most serious threat facing our nation. During the 2008 race, Senator McCain joked how he’d “Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” if they didn’t halt their nuclear ambitions. How do you explain the apparent disconnect between the looming “immediate” threat of a nuclear-armed Iran and the fact that such fears are now in their 12th year?
  16.  

  17. Do you support a path to “legal status” for the over 10 million undocumented immigrants already in the country illegally? If not, what is your solution?
  18.  

  19. What lessons have you learned from the decision to invade Iraq in 2003? Do you believe the chaos currently inhabiting that region can be traced back to that decision?
  20.  

  21. Do you believe we need to repeal The Affordable Care Act, ie: “ObamaCare”, and if so, what is your solution to providing care to the 50 million people who now have insurance as a direct result of the law?
  22.  

  23. Do you support or oppose a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines like the ones used in the Aurora, CO theater shooting, the Giffords campaign shooting in Tuscon, AZ and the massacre of twenty 1st graders and six adults in Newtown, CT?
  24.  

  25. Which do you believe costs the American Taxpayer more each year: Food Stamps or subsidies to major corporations?
  26.  

  27. JUST FOUR of the largest banks in the U.S. (thanks to mergers & acquisitions following the 2008 crash) control more than a third… nearly $7.5-TRILLION… of the U.S. economy. Propose a solution to prevent another $700 Billion dollar bailout of Wall Street.
  28.  

  29. Should corporations that move their operations overseas to avoid paying income taxes be allowed to import their goods back into the United States tax free?

That’s just off the top of my head. I’m sure you can think of some more. Add your own questions for the candidates in the Comments.
 



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Filed in Election, Politics July 13th, 2015 by Admin Mugsy | • No comments | Add/View

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What the “Trump Bump” tells us about today’s GOP

By Admin Mugsy - Last updated: Monday, July 6, 2015
 

Two weeks ago (June 16th), “dead rat toupee enthusiast” Donald Trump officially announced his candidacy for the GOP presidential nomination before a crowd of paid-to-cheer casting extras in one of the most offensive, bigoted, dystopic announcement speeches since Strom Thurmond ran for president in 1948 as the “States Rights” Party (sound familiar) nominee vowing to fight efforts to end segregation. The week before Trump’s big announcement, he stood at 4% support among GOP primary voters, just between Chris Christie (4.8%) and Rick Perry (3.0%). Five days later, a Fox “news” poll shows him in second place at 11%, just below Jeb “what’s-my-last-name?” Bush (15%). Lest you believe it was simply the standard “post-announcement bounce” EVERY candidate enjoys (as one person tweeted me), Christie & Jindal both also announced last week. Christie fell from 4% to 3.8% following his announcement and Jindal… who still polls 50% lower than the margin of error… saw a “bump” from 1.2% to 1.3% (ibid). “Trump’s Bump” is (was?) not some “hmm, let’s hear him out” sudden mild rise in interest, this is cheering enthusiastic support as a DIRECT result of his offensive race-baiting speech. And that speaks volumes about who his supporters are.

When other mega-corporations, from Univision to Macy’s… all who cater to a large minority population… started to sever ties with the real estate mogul, Trump did what any offensive deluded bigot with no self-awareness would do, he doubled-down. During a national news talk program, when asked specifically about calling Mexican immigrants “rapists”, Trump’s response was Somebody is doing the raping!” Can’t be white guys, and it’s impolitic to accuse “the blacks” (that love him so), so it MUST be the Mexicans. They’re all that’s left. Since race has little-to-nothing to do with how likely a person is to be a rapist, such statistics are typically not tallied, but in the last report for which we do have data… a survey conducted in 1995 (pdf):

56% of arrestees for rape in 1995 were white, 42% were black, and 2% were of other races. White arrestees accounted for a substantially larger share of those arrested for other sex offenses, composing 75% of those arrested for these types of offenses in 1995. (ibid)

Somebody is doing the raping!” It must be the “illegals”. Actually, 47% of victims are raped by someone they know, making it less likely to be someone that entered the country recently.

But why the sudden concern for “raping”? Are rapes suddenly on the rise to the point it has become a presidential campaign issue? If Wiki can be trusted, between 2003 & 2010, reported incidents of rape have declined from 32.2% to 27.3%, including a 0.1% uptick in 2004 and the greatest decline from 2009 to 2010 (and “reporting” has gone up not down over the last 20 years, so it’s not that.)

So why is Trump suddenly decrying “Mexican rapists”? Because he knows his audience, that’s why. And clearly, it worked.

Of course, Trump didn’t just complain about Mexican “rapists”. According to him, they’re “drug dealers” and “murderers” too. Setting aside for a moment that the most egregious & lethal drug dealers in this country are the billion dollar pharmaceutical companies with a network of licensed pushers around the country (you call them “doctors”) that’ll dispense 100% legal narcotics so long as they have a brand name stamped on them (like “Pfizer”), in fact, if you are white and middle-class, you are seven times more likely to use drugs yet less likely to go to prison.

Even if we give Trump the benefit of the doubt and claim all those poor white folks are victims of Mexican pushers (and if there is one thing we’ve learned over the years, it’s how deep “white victimhood” runs in GOP-Land), there is almost no way for him to know statistics regarding the race of Drug Dealers because it is not widely reported. We DO know however that if you’re a white drug dealer, you’re more likely to get off. More people of any particular race being arrested does not necessarily mean more of them are actually committing crime, they are just more likely to be found guilty (by juries that… by simple math… are more likely to be white.)

Ditto for murderers.

It bothers me that after becoming The Birther King, demanding to see the birth certificate of the nations first black president, Trump wasn’t called out for his blatant racism, and NBC continued to carry his “reality” TV show for five more seasons, only to suddenly be “Shocked! Shocked!” by Trump’s comments about Mexicans years later.

There is no statistical data to support Trump’s racist claims. If the numbers were on his side, one could at least argue he was simply stating a documented fact. He isn’t. He’s doing what all racists do and that’s make a broad generalization about a group of people that makes him feel “oogy” because he knows his audience… an entire sub-class of low-information racists looking for someone to blame for the “hellhole” they have been told America has become (a place where unemployment “really isn’t” 5.3%, the National Debt is over $22-Trillion and ISIS is hosting gay weddings in an abandoned North Texas Wal*Mart.)

(UPDATE 1: 12 More notorious racist Trump comments.)

(UPDATE 2: Trump says the “initial” response to his comments were “overwhelmingly positive” and he received “numerous calls & letters of congratulations”… only making my point.)

(UPDATE 3 – 7/17/15: Trump now leads the GOP field at 18%, ahead of long-time leaders Walker & Bush, up 7% in just one week. Adding credence to my claims that Republican’s embrace a “victim” mentality and “persecution” complex, rallying around a guy they now perceive as a “victim” of the Media.)
 



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Filed in Election, myth busting, Partisanship, Politics, Racism, Right-Wing Insanity July 6th, 2015 by Admin Mugsy | • No comments | Add/View

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Beginning of the End for Religious Bigotry Laws

By Admin Mugsy - Last updated: Monday, June 29, 2015
 

Last weeks’ historic Supreme Court ruling declaring no legal basis to justify discrimination against Same-Sex couples was condemned by every single GOP presidential hopeful (sans Rand Paul who has a history of waiting to test the political mood before commenting on controversial issues) as being in violation of “religious liberty” laws protecting the right of bigots to be bigots. But in fact, the Supreme Court did NOT rule on so-called “Religious Freedom” laws passed in individual states. They only ruled on the rights of the targets of those laws… and even then… only a very specific subsection. However it is clear that they will have to (sooner rather than later) rule on the Constitutionality of such laws. It’s not just the baker that refuses to bake a “gay” wedding cake, or the caterer who refuses to cater a gay wedding, it’s also the County Clerk who refuses to issue marriage licenses to gay couples (Huckabee asserted this right yesterday on ABC’s ThisWeek), or the pharmacist who refuses to fill your prescription for Birth Control pills because it offends his/her religious sensibilities. If an employee cites “religious grounds” as the reason they can’t fulfill the duties of their job, then can their employer then fire them for not doing the job for which they were hired? What about refusing to hire someone if you think their religion might prevent them from doing their job? (that “pharmacist” link includes a response from CVS declaring their right to do just that.) Then, does the employer get sued for religious discrimination or violating their former employees’ Religious Freedom?

These attempts by individual states to circumvent the U.S. Supreme Court WILL eventually be challenged in the courts and They. Will. Lose. This nation fought a Civil War over whether or not Federal law superseded “states rights” (“The South” lost BTW, and Federal Law reigns supreme.) The Federal government passed a law banning Slavery, and the South would have to abide by it. (How ironic that we also saw a fight over the Confederate flag this past week as the EXACT SAME anti-federal government Southern bigots talk of “secession”, “armed revolt” and “states rights” by morons oblivious to the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War that just came to pass last April.)

We’ve had “equal housing” laws in this country since President Lyndon Johnson signed the “Fair Housing” Act into law in 1968. It was intended to protect African-Americans from being discriminated against when seeking housing, but over the years it has been expanded to prohibit discrimination against ANYONE for almost any reason. The Reagan Administration added the “Disabled” to the Act in 1988. So what happens now if someone tries to deny housing to a gay couple citing their “religious freedom” as their justification? How would that be any different than denying an inter-racial couple for the same reason? (Note: Justice Thomas, who voted in favor of allowing people to discriminate against marriages they object to on religious grounds, himself has an interracial marriage.)

The High Court will be *forced* to step in, and I can’t see how they could side against an employers right to fire someone who refuses do the job for which they were hired. An employee could cite “religious reasons” for everything from showing up late to work to drinking on the job, then what? The days of these nonsense “religious freedom” laws are now numbered. It’s inevitable. That case will go to the Supreme Court and those laws will be struck down. You have a right to worship as you wish in your personal life, but NOT “on the job”.

Such a case will pit “Big Business Conservatives” against “Religious Right Conservatives.” Get the popcorn.
 

BONUS:

Sen. Sanders discusses his record on Civil Rights (1:40)

 
Bernie responds to Hillary Clinton’s reported 91% to 3% lead among minority voters. Hillary comes in with a built-in advantage of minority support for her husband, while Sanders is still a relative unknown. Bernie talks about a life dedicated to Civil Rights, getting arrested in the 60’s protesting Segregation and marching with Martin Luther King Jr. (but left out the fact he witnessed King’s “I Have a Dream” speech in-person.)

 



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Filed in Civil Rights, Partisanship, Predictions, Religion, Seems Obvious to Me, Unconstitutional June 29th, 2015 by Admin Mugsy | • No comments | Add/View

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Let’s Face Facts: Spike in violence against Blacks tied to Right Wing hostility toward Obama

By Admin Mugsy - Last updated: Monday, June 22, 2015
 

After news broke of the mass murder of nine African-American members of the AME Church of Charleston, SC last Thursday, the “discovery” that the shooter was a Confederate Flag waving racist gun nut, surprised no one. What WAS surprising was the lengths to which Fox “news” went to to suggest that this might have been an attack on Christians by a possibly “liberal” youth driven to hatred of “religion” by The Left rather than a racially motivated crime driven by hatred towards blacks. And the impetus is obvious: the Shooter shares much in common with Fox’s core demographic: White Southern Conservative, loves guns, with some obviously racist views. Yes, the Right was openly suggesting this redneck jackass was not necessarily motivated by racism but by hatred of religion. And we all know why: Because one view makes Conservatives look bad while the other makes “Libruls” look bad. It has become political. And why might that be? We all KNOW why but it seems like no one is willing to admit it: Open hostility towards President Obama is feeding open hostility towards blacks in general. Trying to attach a political ideology to the S.C. shooter wouldn’t be necessary if there wasn’t already a reason to believe politics played a role in this latest mass murder. Think about it.

I mean, seriously. If “politics” played “No” part in shaping the motivations of the S.C. Shooter, then it wouldn’t matter if he were a Conservative, a Liberal, a Communist or an anarchist. The very fact Fox tried to shed doubt on the motivations of the shooter is (frankly) an ADMISSION that politics likely played a part in this crime.

A string of unarmed black people… several of them children for Christ sakes (Tamir Rice, Travon Martin and a bikini-clad black girl in McKinney, Texas) have been assaulted (or worse) by enraged white authority figures (numerous cops and two wannabees) that can’t fathom the idea of relating or even empathizing with blacks as equals that might make them less quick to draw their gun or wrestle a black person to the ground. And I can only attribute this to one thing: a lack of respect for our Commander-in-Chief, often couched in the subtle language of racism.

When a fight between two mostly white rival biker gangs broke out in Waco last month, police sat with the bikers and calmly arrested them. How many in the media called them “thugs” and questioned why “leaders of the biking community” hadn’t come out to “condemn” these rogue elements? “Where are the parents?” A biker jacket on a white guy is apparently less anti-social than a “hoodie” on a black kid.

A Facebook page of the shooter turned up with photos (video?) of him flying “White Power” & “Confederate battle” flags as well as photos of him burning the American flag. The day of the shooting, we already had photos of him in a jacket sporting the “Apartheid-era” flags of South Africa and Rhodesia (modern-day Zimbabwe) with a novelty Confederate flag license plate on the front of his car. If you’ve seen the photos, The Shooter is clearly in the woods, unquestionably nowhere near the downtown area. And yet, Fox “news” would have you believe this poor misguided (by Liberal hated of Christianity) God-fearing youth with a healthy love of guns (which in itself doesn’t gibe with the “Liberal” label) couldn’t find a church closer to his home and apparently had to drive 15-20 miles into the heart of downtown Charleston, where he just happened to choose an almost exclusively black church “by accident” so he may start killing “Christians”.

Seriously. Did Fox really believe the downtown Charleston AME church “just happened” to be the most convenient church to where the shooter lived? There weren’t dozens more churches along the way in which he could have stopped in to carry out his brutal Liberal-influenced attack on Christianity? Anyone that buys that desperate stretch of tortured logic is lying to themselves… and knows it.

I forget who said it yesterday (during the Sunday shows), but “guns make the weak feel powerful”. We now have an entire network dedicated to convincing people they are victims, and that the Federal government is their enemy. They already horde guns like a squirrel hording nuts for Winter, and the NRA makes Bank convincing the paranoid that the government is coming to take their guns away. With a mostly white Southern Conservative demographic that (unquestionably) already tends to lean a bit racist to begin with, linking their dislike of “blacks” to their dislike of “government” has become painfully easy now that the head of that government just happens to be black.

The S.C. Shooter told one black woman in the AME church that “[blacks] are taking over the country“. Now if you believe a 20-year old kid is upset over losing a string of jobs or college admission to “Affirmative Action” candidates, or had one-too-many black bankers turn him down for a loan, you’re sniffing glue. No, there is only ONE “black” in this kid’s mind that epitomizes having “taken over the country”, and that’s President Obama.
 

Nightly Show on Fox whitewashing of Charelston shooting

 

I’ve often said that “if a Conservative accuses you of doing something, it’s only because they’ve either done it themselves or thought of doing it and assume you’re every bit as devious as they are”, be it “election rigging” or “false flag” operations. Trust me.

And that second one, that belief that everything that makes Conservatives look bad is in fact a “false flag” operation meticulously carried out by “The Other Side” is actually a thing. In any other era, these candidates for the rubber room would be holding meetings in basements to discuss the fact the U.S. military is hiding alien bodies in a hangar in “Area-51″. Instead, these delusional paranoids have their own 24 hour cable news network that tells them, “No, you’re not paranoid! The government really is building FEMA interment camps where they plan to hold you prisoner for… well, that’s really not clear. Till you agree to give up your guns and sign up for socialized medicine? I seriously can not come up with a SANE explanation for why the Federal government might suddenly be building (“in total secret” mind you) internment camps to house hundreds/thousands/millions(?) of Americans or planning an invasion of Texas via secret underground passages in vacant Wal*Marts. For how long and what purpose? There’s not enough tinfoil in the world to explain that one.

But one thing is brutally clear, latent Conservative racism is being linked and stoked towards President Obama specifically and that racial animosity is bleeding over into the general population.
 



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Filed in Crime, Guns & Violence, myth busting, Party of Life, Politics, Racism, Rants, Religion, Seems Obvious to Me, Terrorism June 22nd, 2015 by Admin Mugsy | • No comments | Add/View

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STUNNING VIDEO: Iraqi soldiers say if US sends more troops, “We’ll fight them too!”

By Admin Mugsy - Last updated: Monday, June 15, 2015
 

Iraqi soldiers: “If Obama sends more troops to fight ISIS, we’ll fight ISIS AND the Americans!” (2:48)

The full clip shows what a chaotic mess Iraq has become since the 2003 invasion. Not just from the constant fighting, but with the rise of Islamic militancy (women completely covered, schools closed, Christians threatened). America turned Iraq into this mess, and in Iraq, the thought of more American troops returning to reoccupy their country would be about as welcome as Dick Cheney at the DNC Convention. (Key section begins at the 2:05 mark.)
 

The latest entry into the GOP Presidential Clown Car, Sen. Lindsey Graham, is one of the few people left on Earth who still believes invading Iraq wasn’t a mistake (though he concedes in retrospect that if it were 2003, he “probably” wouldn’t support the 2003 invasion), and everything was going just great until Obama took over. He, and about a dozen other GOP contenders have all criticized President Obama for (standing by President Bush’s “Status of Forces Agreement” regarding) pulling our troops out of Iraq “too soon.” I’ve written about this absurd rewrite of history on several occasions (ibid), pointing out the fact that “Yes, technically, President Obama could have ignored the SoFA agreed to with the “sovereign” Iraqi government (remember when that was a big deal?) and just kept thousands of American troops there against the Iraqi’s wishes, but there is a reason President Bush agreed not to. Part of the agreement to let them stay was on the condition that American troops be shielded from prosecution for past “crimes”. The Iraqi’s said, “No. And if an American soldier accused of crimes is spotted on the streets, he/she will be arrested and put on trial before an Iraqi court.” So, President Bush agreed to pull out ALL troops “by the end of 2011.” President Obama abided by this agreement to the letter.

Now, just imagine if President Obama HADN’T withdrawn American troops from Iraq, only to have an American soldier turn up on TV, standing trial before an Iraqi court, forced to account for American atrocities against the Iraqi people (and there are many.) “This is how Obama ‘Supports the Troops!'”, they’d cry. “Shameful!”, “This wouldn’t have happened if only he had pulled our troops out like President Bush had so wisely agreed to do before leaving office!”, they’d shout in protest.

Graham isn’t the only warhawk calling to resend American combat troops back to Iraq (though he is the only one specifying an exact number of “10,000”) where they aren’t wanted (and keep them there “indefinitely“). Former NY Gov George Pataki and current Ohio Governor John Kasich both want to send an unspecified number of American troops into Iraq “right now”, and now that’s his handlers have finally told him how he is supposed to feel about the decision to invade Iraq in the first place, Jeb Bush is noncommittal on whether or not we should send more troops back into Iraq (if he didn’t, he’d be the first President Bush NOT to invade Iraq, so there’s THAT), but his assertion that “Obama refused to sign a plan to leave 10,000 troops in Iraq”, rated only one step above “Pants-On-Fire” on Politifact.com. Another GOP noncommittal commitment from Gov. Chris Christie, The Pompous One probably didn’t do himself any favors yesterday by using President Bush’s ridiculous “Coalition of the Willing” catch-phrase to describe his plan for securing Iraq. Chuck Norris’ favorite candidate, Mike Huckabee won’t say what he thinks Obama should do about Iraq, only to suggest that no one should join the military until after we’ve replaced Obama with a Republican Commander-in-Chief… where U.S. troops had a mortality rate that made a street-fight between the Crips & Bloods look like a stroll down the Champs d’Elysees.

Neither Gov. Scott Walker nor Hillary Clinton are willing to commit to whether or not they’d send troops back into Iraq, while youngster Marco Rubio… having perhaps watched one-too-many commando movies… thinks we can wipe out the whole lot of them by sending in a Special Forces Unit… which is essentially Donald Rumsfeld’s “small footprint” strategy that led to the disaster in Iraq in the first place.
 

Troops in Iraq say how they really feel about Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld (July 15, 2003)
 

 

But hey, as Rummy noted:

“Death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war.” – Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld – date unknown

 

Iraq is a mess. And it is impossible to fathom how sending in more troops into a place where they are not wanted… even by the people they are being sent there to help… would make things better. No one ever becomes more welcoming of you after you stick a gun in their face, kill their father/mother/brother/sister and turn their once peaceful & functioning nation into a basket case. Many Iraqi’s still hold hatred for all Americans simply for what we did to their country, and would welcome another opportunity to kill American soldiers. And that anger won’t go away simply because we are helping them fight ISIS… an enemy that wouldn’t exist had we not invaded in the first place. All of the GOP candidates… sans Rand Paul… seem to think sending troops back into Iraq is a great idea, and Hillary Clinton is the only Democratic candidate that has yet to come out against it. In the first video at the top of the page, the Iraqi soldiers still fighting consider American troops their enemy, while the lone former Iraqi solder… who hadn’t been paid in seven months and quickly decided it wasn’t worth risking HIS life to keep fighting ISIS… would like American troops to return to do the fighting for him.

And this is where we are. The decision whether or not to send American troops back into Iraq isn’t as cut & dry as most of the GOP candidates would have you believe. There is a VERY good chance they might be attacked from BOTH sides.

And I still don’t hear anyone proposing a NON-military solution to ending our wars in the Middle East (possibly Lincoln Chafee, but I can’t confirm). If all it took was sending in troops, the war would have ended 15 years ago.
 



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Filed in Election, Middle East, National Security, Politics, rewriting history, Right-Wing Insanity, Terrorism, War June 15th, 2015 by Admin Mugsy | • No comments | Add/View

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Iraqis Showing the Route to Peace/Progress with Massive Infrastructure Project?

By Admin Mugsy - Last updated: Monday, June 8, 2015
 

After 12 years of war, Iraq may be showing America and the rest of the world the path to peace: Iraqi’s are building an entire city, Bismayah, just outside Baghdad. The massive infrastructure project has already created hundreds (thousands?) of new construction jobs (and hundreds more tangential jobs, related and non to construction) and once completed will provide 100,000 middle-income homes to over 600,000 Iraqi’s. The plan is to eventually build one million such residences across Iraq as part of a massive Infrastructure & Revitalization project. Running these cities means still more jobs, from grocers to law enforcement. South Korean construction company “Hanwha” won the $8 BILLION DOLLAR bid to build the city (another American opportunity lost) and expects to have the first 7,000 apartments ready by the end of this year (with completion of the city scheduled for 2019). And while ISIS… most of whom are Iraqi’s themselves… is still a threat to workers, they don’t seem to be interested in bombing the newly constructed buildings that are bringing hope to so many Iraqis. The Turkish corporation “Enka Insaat” won an additional $3 Billion dollar contract to build a gas-powered Power Plant for the city, and another South Korean firm, LS Industrial Systems, won an additional $150 Million dollar deal to build the Power Grid to link it all together.
 

Construction of Bismayah (3:24)

 

Author Rita Mae Brown (not Einstein) coined the popular phrase (for AA): “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over & over, and expecting a different result each time.”  And famed 18th Century Irish statesman Edmund Burke warned us: “Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.” And here we are, now in our 15th year in the Middle East, and I don’t hear anyone questioning our strategy of how to end the wars and get us out of there.

Though I was never a fan on Rep. Dennis Kucinich, I have long thought that his idea of appointing a “Secretary of Peace” to find NON-military solutions to end & avoid war would not only make the world a safer place, but save literally HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS that could be put to better use here at home. Last January, I proposed a non-military solution to ending the wars in the Middle-East (specifically, Iraq, Afghanistan and Israel/Palestine): “Infrastructure”. Build schools, roads and hospitals. And if the enemy blows them up, build them again. Locals will get very tired of the anarchists very quick, doing nothing to help, only serving to make their lives miserable, and turn on them quickly (Just how many wanna-be Jihadi’s do you think ISIS will be able to recruit if they are seen as the ones doing nothing positive, serving only to make people’s lives miserable? Reconstruction projects mean jobs that revitalize the community, and Americans will be seen as a people of “hope & peace”, not “misery & war”. The cost of rebuilding infrastructure would be magnitudes cheaper than war, not only in blood & treasure but in greatly reducing the length of time we occupy those countries. And all the money saved could be spent on desperately needed infrastructure projects here at home.

“Tens of thousands of bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. A third of the nation’s highways are in poor or mediocre shape. Massively leaking water and sewage systems are creating health hazards and contaminating rivers and streams. Weakened and under-maintained levees and dams tower over communities and schools. And the power grid is increasingly maxed out, disrupting millions of lives and putting entire cities in the dark.” […] It gets worse. A New York Times report found that “a significant water line bursts on average every two minutes somewhere in the country”—or 720 times daily! – RealTruth Magazine

Throughout the country, many urban roads and highways built decades ago now carry five to 10 times the traffic the original engineers expected and require constant emergency repair — creating horrible traffic jams. Water and gas pipelines laid in the first half of the 20th century are failing, leading to explosions and floods. “Some of this infrastructure is more than 100 years old,” said Rick Grant, owner of a Maryland structural engineering firm, “but it wasn’t designed with more than a 50-year life span in mind.” – The Week, Aug 22, 2014

And as I noted recently: China and Japan are currently competing to build America’s very first bullet train between Los Angeles & San Franciso… a contract estimated to cost around $67 Billion dollars.

Tap the “Military Industrial Complex” to build bridges instead of bombs. Hospitals instead of Command Posts. Roads instead of rockets. You get the picture. I assure you, there is WAY more money to be made building infrastructure around the globe and in all 50 states than there is building bombs to kill a wedding party of two-dozen innocent by-standers.

All eyes will be on Iraq to see whether a job and decent place to live in peace can trump anarchists mad at the world for making their lives miserable and bent on destruction.
 



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Filed in General, Jobs, Middle East, National Security, Right-Wing Insanity, Seems Obvious to Me, War June 8th, 2015 by Admin Mugsy | • No comments | Add/View

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Hastert Bribery Scandal Belies Troubling Question: Coach turned Politician turned Lobbyist has Millions in bank?

By Admin Mugsy - Last updated: Monday, June 1, 2015
 

It’s the question everyone started to ask once the news that former Speaker of the House Denny Hastert was in the process of paying out millions in hush money” to a former male student claiming he “sexually molested him decades ago”: Where in the heck did a former High School wrestling coach turned Congressman turned Speaker of the House come up with “over $3.5 million” to spare ($1.7 million of which had already been paid), just sitting in the bank with enough left over that he could pay out that kind of cash without conspicuously impacting his standard of living?

Congress has been reluctant to pass significant legislation banning outgoing politicians from “cashing in” by becoming K-Street lobbyists after they leave office. Why is that a bad thing? Because a Congressperson with the intent of becoming a lobbyist may push legislation favorable to the people they hope to land a lobbying job with once they leave office… or worse, a corporation might promise a lucrative job in exchange for favorable legislation. The road from First Ave (Congress) to K Street may be few minutes by car, but that’s nothing compared to the express lane between the Capitol Building and plush leather chair in some lobbying firm. And Denny Hastert didn’t rake in millions for his ability to make a persuasive argument:
 

Hastert: “Middle-Class probably won’t get a tax cut”, but millionaires who will barely notice the extra dough, will. So vote for it!

I’m still trying to figure out Hastert’s line of reasoning here: If you make $40K a year, you won’t get a tax cut because you “probably don’t pay taxes anyway”. But you should support this budget-busting bill to give a $40K tax break for millionaires that’ll barely notice it anyway?
 

“Where are those 20,000 tons of Yellowcake, Mr. Speaker?” – Hastert on Fox “news” Sunday claiming the
uranium President Bush said Saddam bought in Africa is indeed there, in barrels, just waiting to be found.
(July 20, 2003)

 

But probably only about half of Denny’s millions were made lobbying after leaving office. The bulk of his wealth he made while still serving as Speaker of the House.

Now, this is by no means primarily a Republican failing, nor am I suggesting Conservatives are more likely to cash-in. Actually, the K-Street revolving door spins both ways fairly equally. But I’m not here to rant about the scourge of lobbying. What I want to know just how a former High School coach makes SO much money he can afford to pay out MILLIONS without his family/friends noticing?

Hastert entered Congress in 1998 with a net worth of about a quarter million dollars. As a Congressman in 2000, his annual salary was just over $161,000/year. Nothing to sneeze at, but definitely not enough to turn someone into a multi-millionaire just six years later. As Rachel Maddow pointed out last Thursday, one of Denny’s most lucrative deals took place while he was still speaker: earmarking a highway interchange that went directly through land that he just happened to own. By the time he left office in 2007, Hastert was worth between $4 million and $17 million dollars from “various” sources.

Upon leaving Congress, Hastert first started his own “Consulting” (read: lobbying) firm as well as worked as a lobbyist for others firms on behalf of Big Tobacco, earning him a few million more. But it was those land deals he made while in charge of the U.S. Congress that stuffed his piggy bank.

Revelations of Speaker Newt Gingrich’s marital affair while condemning President Clinton for his own, led to Newt’s ouster. The man picked to replace him, Bob Livingston, was forced to turn down the job upon revelations that he too had been caught cheating on his wife (BTW, Clinton’s chief critic in the Senate, Henry Hyde, was also found to be having an extra-martial affair at the time.) Hastert was picked to replace them because he was deemed “Mr. Clean” (whom now it appears was the dirtiest of them all.) This is your “Family Values”, obsessed with “Traditional Marriage” Party, folks.

We have a serious problem in this country when Members of Congress can legally cash-in on their jobs like this. Molesting a child and paying millions to cover it up may make the evening news, but the ability of members of Congress to “legally” use their jobs for lucrative personal gain should be every bit as controversial a story.
 



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Filed in Crime, mystery, Politics, Right-Wing Hypocrisy, Scandals June 1st, 2015 by Admin Mugsy | • No comments | Add/View

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GOP Desperately Needs You to Forget How the Iraq War Started. Woodward: I found no lies.

By Admin Mugsy - Last updated: Monday, May 25, 2015
 

First it was “Benghazi!”, and the unmitigated OUTRAGE on the Right over the deaths of four Americans on 9/11/12 on the watch of a Democratic president (9/11/01? Four THOUSAND dead under a Republican President and Republican Congress? That’s not an “outrage”, that’s something to campaign on!) Next was Jeb Bush last week desperately hoping to convince everyone that “everybody” thought Saddam had WMD’s and war was unavoidable (this lie is still being pandered but mercifully, appears to be dying on the vine.) And now, the History-Revisionists are at it again, out to convince you “Iraq was… if not peaceful… on the road to recovery when George Bush left and President Obama screwed it up.” I’ve already compared this to an arsonist blaming the firemen for not doing a better job of putting out the fire he started.) And, naturally, Republican history-revisionists have a very good reason for this sudden spate of attempts to rewrite the history of Iraq: the coming elections and the Right-Wing’s desperate hope that enough time has passed that voters have either forgotten, or were too young to remember, how they got us into this mess.

Fox “news” Sunday invited on The Mustache of Fear, former “Ambassador” John Bolton (the very idea anyone picked this paranoid delusional war-monger, openly hostile to the U.N., to be our Ambassador to the U.N., is still beyond belief.) Astoundingly devoid of self-awareness (check out that link BTW), Bolton declared his belief that “ISIS is winning” and “President Obama is losing the war in Iraq”… a statement echoed by GOP candidate Mike Huckabee later in the show. Fox host Chris Wallace helpfully provided the following graphic to help “support” the Huckster’s point:
 

Territory now under ISIS control:
ISIS mostly in Syria not Iraq

 

But look closely at that map. More than half of the territory controlled by ISIS (which I’ve circled in green) is in SYRIA, not Iraq. And that’s significant for two reasons: 1) We have the support of the Iraqi government to fight ISIS in Iraq and provide Iraqi soldiers with arms & training, and 2) We don’t have that authority (nor do we want it) in Syria. Worse, by fighting ISIS in Syria, we’re actually HELPING Assad, the brutal dictator in charge of Syria. In fact, it was Assad’s attacks on the Syrian rebels in the East that gave rise to ISIS in the first place (drawing disenfranchised former Iraqi solders across the border to fight on their behalf.) I have yet to hear a Conservative pundit explain how to defeat ISIS in Syria without helping Assad. They’re REAL GOOD at pointing out problems they created (once they’ve been handed off to Democrats), but never very forthcoming with solutions (as a general rule, that goes far beyond Iraq, applying equally well to economic issues, usually beginning & ending with “tax cuts”.)

So let’s recap how we got here:

Yes, Saddam was a bad guy. But the world is FULL of bad guys (this one just had the misfortune of sitting atop a lot of oil.) Not only is it clear now his Strong-Man tactics probably kept a Civil War at bay for decades, but the very arguments at the time for why he was a global threat were being knocked down one-by-one. Bob Woodward, a frequent guest of Fox “news” Sunday declared yesterday that in all his investigations of how the Iraq War was started, “while you can make a strong case that mistakes were made that shouldn’t have been”, he “never found any evidence that anyone [knowingly] lied us into war. Seriously. Either Bob doesn’t know how to use The Google Machine, or he’s being deliberately obtuse. Let’s see if we can’t help Bob out, shall we? (This is an extremely annotated list):
 

Seven big lies used to sell the Iraq War:

First, President Bush KNEW the famed “sixteen words” claiming Iraq sought to purchase “uranium from Africa” (presumably to build a nuclear bomb) were not true when he said them during his 2003 State of the Union address. He was told the claim wasn’t true, yet he made the claim anyway during a national address carried by all three networks where it was sure to have maximum impact, to help stoke the public fears into supporting his war.

Second, those “mobile labs” Saddam was supposedly using to produce chemical & biological weapons? Those too had already been found to be nothing of the sort when President Bush told the world that we had found those same mobile WMD labs (though to be fair to Woodward, their discovery and subsequent lie took place AFTER the invasion.)

Third, remember those “aluminum tubes” with “anodized coating” found by U.N. inspectors that the Bush Administration claimed were intended for use in a “nuclear centrifuge” to breed Plutonium? Well, not only were the tubes totally inappropriate for use in a nuclear centrifuge (poor quality, cracks, etc) but that damning “anodized coating” they made sure to cite, would actually have to be milled off before anyone could even think of using them for such a purpose. Despite that, they knowingly pandered that lie frequently & easily (the small tubes were actually for building conventional short-range rockets).

Which brings us to #4, VP Cheney’s “leak” to “reporter” Judith Miller about those tubes. While technically not a “lie”, it was unquestionably evidence of willful deception when VP Cheney cited the NYT investigative journalist’s reporting that Saddam had acquired the aluminum tubes for use in a nuclear centrifuge. What Cheney did not reveal was that HE was Miller’s source for the claim. Despite unquestionably knowing the VP was disingenuously quoting her quoting him, Miller continued to defend her reporting and chose to go to jail rather than reveal that Cheney was her source once the excrement impacted the rotary ventilator.

Fifth, how about Dick Cheney’s “Pretty well confirmed” lie about 9/11 ringleader Mohammed Atta “meeting with Iraqi Intelligence in Prague”? While Cheney now hedges on the assertion, it’s a claim he refuses to admit was total BS even to this day (saying now that the once “pretty well confirmed” claim, though never proven, has never been “disproven” either.) That’s the level of intellectual dishonesty we’re dealing with here. My finger one inch from your nose technically isn’t “touching you.” Mom!

Sixth, the Bush Administration’s key source for intel on Iraq’s WMD program was a man they dubbed “Curveball“… a mid-level Iraqi intelligence advisor with an ax to grind, who German Intelligence had already labeled “highly unreliable”. But they chose… not only to heavily rely on his unsubstantiated claims of WMD production… but publicly cite those unreliable & unsubstantiated claims whenever making their case for war.

Seventh, if accurate, investigative journalist Ron Suskind revealed that the Bush Administration knowingly & purposefully directed the CIA to fake a link between Iraq and 9/11 in order to drum up support for an invasion:
 


 

The GOP needs you to forget all of this. “War with Iraq? President Bush is the REAL victim here! Blame all the bad intel the CIA was feeding him!” (Google the phrases “stove-piping” & “cherry-picking” for a refresher. Go ahead, I’ll wait.)

Seriously Mr. Woodward? You couldn’t find ANY evidence that the Bush Administration knowingly lied us into war? Here are seven (six?) good leads for your next book. I’m seriously beginning to doubt you ever broke Watergate.
 

ADDENDUM from Mother Jones: “George W. Bush’s CIA Briefer: Bush and Cheney Falsely Presented WMD Intelligence to Public“.May 19, 2015
 



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Filed in Election, Middle East, myth busting, National Security, Politics, rewriting history, Right-Wing Hypocrisy, War May 25th, 2015 by Admin Mugsy | • No comments | Add/View

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GOP Candidates All Adopting Language of Democrats to Remain Relevant

By Admin Mugsy - Last updated: Monday, May 18, 2015
 

Last week, Jeb Bush found himself in Damage Control mode after telling a Fox “news” anchor that he’d still have gone into Iraq in 2003 despite “knowing what we know now”. His GOP opponents pounced, denouncing the very idea that anything good came out of the invasion of Iraq that mitigated the mind-numbing disaster to follow. In another Through-the-looking glass moment, Mike Huckabee again tweeted that, as president, he would stand for “all of us, not Wall Street”, two weeks after Jeb denounced the rise in “income inequality”. On Fox “news” Sunday yesterday, Marco Rubio defended supporting President Obama negotiating with Iran (“I don’t know WHO wouldn’t be in favor of a deal” he tells Chris Wallace (he should have asked Netanyahu when his Party invited him to DC). This came minutes after he blamed “the last election” (the GOP’s big 2014 victory) for why Congress “can’t muster the votes to pass comprehensive immigration reform”. Huckabee is also running ads that use the words “Maximum Wage” in big letters… echoing a Progressive idea to cap the wealth of the absurdly rich (but look closely, he’s not calling to cap “extreme wealth”, he’s suggesting there’s a “Maximum wage” for ALL of us, in ads intended to APPEAR deceptively Progressive.) ThinkProgress also noticed the sudden rise in the number of Republican candidates adopting Progressive positions on the issues. Even Hillary Clinton hit the campaign trail sounding a lot like Warren on the subject of “income inequality”. It is clear, if you want the voters to take you seriously, you’d better adopt adopt the language of Democrats on the big issues… and not just ANY Democrat, but Elizabeth Warren (and Bernie Sanders too BTW).

The Republican candidates are disavowing the policies of the last Republican candidate (though Jeb insists he isn’t), and while they love to invoke St. Reagan, there really isn’t a single specific policy of his they can cite that they’d like to revive should they win the nomination. No, the only policies that resonate with voters in this election are those of our side: the Democratic Left.

Watching the Republican candidates tie themselves up in knots trying to avoid denouncing their own Party’s failures while still trying to take credit for not supporting them, has been a wonder to behold. Fox “news” Sunday’s host Chris Wallace asked Marco Rubio the exact same question Jeb was asked: “Knowing what we know now, would you have invaded Iraq?” Hilarity ensues:
 

Rubio refuses to admit invading Iraq was a colossal mistake (1:54)

 

You “don’t understand the question”, Marco? Puhleez. The invasion of Iraq and overthrow of Saddam has left the Middle East in chaos. Iran is FAR more powerful as a result; ISIS (the remnants of Saddam’s Mahdi Army) only exist today because of it; we took our eye off the ball in Iraq rather than focus on wiping out alQaeda; and we find ourselves in the uncomfortable position of helping Syria fight ISIS. Rubio tells one interviewer that “the world is a safer place without Saddam in it” (clearly it isn’t), while telling Charlie Rose that… “knowing what we know now”… invading Iraq was “a mistake” (how can it be a mistake if we’re “better off”?)

When Jeb suggested he’d still have invaded Iraq despite “knowing what we know now”, the GOP cringed. Even a majority of Republicans now admit invading Iraq was a mistake. Jeb tried to suggest he “misunderstood the question”. Five days later, he was in full take-back mode, telling reporters that “mistakes were made”. Now Rubio is too-cute-by-half pretending he “doesn’t understand the question” when asked if invading Iraq has made the world less safe (Funny, because many of these SAME people question the wisdom of Obama “taking out” Gaddafi and destabilizing Libya, with no sense of irony.)

So we have Huckabee, Bush-3, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Ben Carson, Chris Christie (ad infinitum) all talking about “income inequality” (let’s not forget Mitt Romney too), all adopting the language of Warren & Sanders, and trying to pass themselves off as the Champion of the Little Guy.

Rubio says negotiating with Iran is a good thing. All the GOP candidates are suddenly against the Iraq war too.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader (cough) Mitch McConnell praised President Obama for bucking his own Party as Republicans joined with him in supporting the disastrous “Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty” (TPP). (As an aside, there’s a part of me that wonders if President Obama didn’t actually pull a fast-one, outsmarting the GOP, noting last year that the moment he agrees with Republicans on something, suddenly they oppose it. So he publicly announces his support for the TPP, even calling Warren “wrong” on the issue, and watches the bill tank while earning some good will among Republicans in his final two years. If he really supported the idea, he’d be telling Congress to renegotiate to find something both sides can support. He isn’t because he’s glad it failed. But is he really that damned smart? We may never know.)

The GOP isn’t adopting the rhetoric of the Tea Party cranks as the path to victory in 2016. No, they’re all adopting the populist language of Democrats, and THAT, dear reader, more than anything else, should tell you where this election is going.
 



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Filed in Election, General, Middle East, myth busting, National Security, Partisanship, Politics, Right-Wing Hypocrisy, Seems Obvious to Me May 18th, 2015 by Admin Mugsy | • No comments | Add/View

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Fox Tries to Pin Baltimore Poverty On Electing Democratic Mayors

By Admin Mugsy - Last updated: Monday, May 4, 2015
 

As Bill Maher explained it last July, a “Zombie Lie” is a lie told by Republicans that is proven false & widely discredited, yet they keep telling them“, telling their idiot followers that the lie is in fact true. “Zombie Lies” include “ObamaCare will/has cost jobs” (ditto for “raising the minimum wage”), “no consensus on Climate Change” (a claim two Right-wingers advanced in the WSJ last year but couldn’t do more than claim the number wasn’t as high as 97%, and whose OWN conclusions were challenged by Scientific American), Keystone XL will create “a million jobs” and make us “energy independent”, “we need Voter ID laws to protect us from Voter Fraud“, ad infinitum. A year and a half ago, I wrote about Newt Gingrich informing former Labor Secretary Robert Reich that “Every major city which is a center of poverty is run by Democrats.” A majority perhaps, but the people in these cities aren’t poor because they vote Democrat, they vote Democrats because they are poor… typically minorities unwelcome by the GOP. But, as I pointed out, it’s a BS statistic because nearly every single desperately chronically poor STATE in the country is a Red State. So it should come as no surprise to anyone when 18 months later, Chris Wallace, host of Fox “news” Sunday, tried to suggest to Congresswoman Donna Edwards that Baltimore electing only Democratic mayors for the past 50 years might be proof Democratic polices don’t work:
 

Fox Tries to Blame Democratic Mayors for Black Poverty (2:08)

 

Since I already debunked this nonsense 18 months ago, there’s no need for me to kill the zombie again. But when Wallace asks if “Democratic” policies have failed because the lives of the people voting for them have not substantially improved, he’s suggesting that if they had just tried voting Republican, maybe they wouldn’t be so poor. Conversely, poor cities run by Republican mayors should show more signs of improvement than those run by Democrats. Let’s challenge this theory, shall we?

Earlier this year, CBS News listed The 11 Poorest Cities in America (slightly changed from 18 months ago):

1. Detroit, Michigan – Percentage of incomes under $25,000: 48%
2. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
3. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
4. Memphis, Tennessee
5. Tucson, Arizona – New
6. Baltimore, Maryland
7. Fresno, California
8. El Paso, Texas
9. Indianapolis, Indiana
10. Boston, Massachusetts – While #6 in wealthy residents, also has 29% of its population with incomes below $25,000.
11. Louisville, Kentucky – Percentage of incomes under $25,000: 29%

And as I pointed out 18 months ago, yes, most do indeed have Democratic mayors. Not all, but most. Not surprising when the poorest cities are also majority minority. Though Detroit’s entire city government was stripped of all power by its Far-Right Republican governor Rick Snyder. But what about those towns that elected Republican mayors, did it make a difference? Did their lives improve? And did stripping Detroit’s local government of all power turn the city around? Detroit is still #1 on that list two years running, so clearly the answer to the latter is No.

Tucson, Arizona… a purple city in a red state… is new to the list, electing a Democratic Mayor in December 2011 to replace a Republican one. Ouch, that looks bad, and if I were a Republican, I might stop there to suggest that is proof of something. But in fact, unemployment there has FALLEN from 7.9% to 4.9% (lower than the national average) since their Democratic mayor was elected. But wages aren’t rising to keep up with inflation, so poverty grows. And local mayors don’t control the Federal Minimum Wage (raising the Minimum Wage doesn’t just help the poor, IT RAISES THE FLOOR, raising wages across the board. Republicans don’t get this and continue to fight raising it.)

Miami fell off the list. A Republican mayor in a state with Republican governor. Like Tuscon, Miami’s unemployment rate has fallen 3 percentage points from 8.5 to 5.5. Another ouch for Democrats. Or is it? Miami made the list last September when, under its current Republican mayor, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that the median income for a household in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metro area was just $46,946 in 2013… the second lowest level in the nation’s top 25 metro areas. That’s “median”, not “average”. Because between Bill Gates and I, we have a combined average net worth of $30 Billion dollars. Trust me, I don’t have $30 Billion dollars. I’m as broke as a $2 watch. In 2013, the percentage of Miami residents living in poverty was 31.7%. Last March, the Dade County government reported that that percentage hasn’t changed (roughly 30% earning below $24,250.) So why was Miami removed from the list seeing as how the poverty rate has not changed? The explanation is that it didn’t. It’s a different list. The 2013 list from Wikipedia counted all cities with a population of “over 200,000″. The CBS report cites a study of “the 33 Poorest US cities with a population over 500,000“. The population of Miami: 417,000. Miami isn’t off the list because life substantially improved under a Republican mayor. It didn’t make the list because it was too small.

Indianapolis is new to the list. Their Republican mayor has been serving since January of 2008. Unemployment there did skyrocket following The Great Recession of 2008, piquing at 10.6% in March of 2010 (more than a year after piquing at 10.0% nationally), briefly came down as low as 7.4% in Sept. 2012 before rapidly climbing back up to 9.0% just four months later, but has slowly climbed back down as the U.S. economy improved as a whole, to 5.5%. The graph of Indianapolis’ unemployment rate (you’ll have to build it yourself) follows the same trajectory as the U.S. Unemployment Rate as a whole… though with a much “bouncier” ride… but indicates no benefit to electing a Republican mayor vs a Democrat.

What all these numbers demonstrate is that mayors of small poor, mostly minority cities have very little political power to affect the economic fortunes of their city. THAT power comes from the economic power of the citizens within these cities themselves. “Money” = “Power”. And poor people, whether they elect a Republican or a Democrat, don’t have a lot of political power to improve their lives. When your citizenry is mostly minority, you’re poor to begin with. And in a country where Republicans have decided that the wealthy can spend as much as they want influencing politicians, the only politicians with any REAL power to change the lives of the poor at the ones with at the higher levels of government. That’s not your local mayor.
 

Bill Maher: Zombie Lies (2014)

 



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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Filed in Crime, Economy, myth busting, Politics, Racism, rewriting history May 4th, 2015 by Admin Mugsy | • No comments | Add/View