Mugsy’s Pre-Debate Analysis: Four Candidates. Zero Winners.

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Four candidates are left in the presidential race and all four have serious judgement issues that renders them ill-equipped to lead the most powerful nation on Earth. Most depressing of all is that one of them will win. At this point, all that is left is to hope the Congress elected along side them ensure “the least bad” candidate elected president doesn’t do anything so stupid it can’t be fixed before the 2020 election.

The names of four candidates left in this race are: “Not Trump”, “Not Clinton”, “Conservative Not Trump or Clinton” & “Liberal Not Trump or Clinton”.

That’s no joke. In this election, more people picked their candidate because of who they’re NOT than are actually enthusiastic about their choice. Are there people who genuinely LOVE their candidate this year? Of course! I’m not claiming “everybody hates their candidate”. But these people are NOT the majority.

So let’s examine those four choices and why they have none of them have any business serving as president…
 

Birther King
  Donald Trump.

I call him “Toddler Trump” because he exhibits all the maturity and critical thinking skills of a 14 year old boy entering puberty. Like most Teabagger Republicans, Trump believes there’s an easy answer to every problem without ever stopping to ponder the consequences. Like most Republicans, Trump is a racist that doesn’t think he’s a racist if he is friendly with a select few black people. I actually had to inform a racist Trump supporter that there there are more races than just “black”. You can still be a racist if you are prejudiced against “Mexicans”, “Muslims”… even “blacks” despite being friends with “a few of them”. When Trump described life in the black community as “poor” with “high crime” and “rampant unemployment” and should therefore vote for him because “what have you got to lose?”, he was describing a stereotype of what he believes life is like for most black people. “Things have never been worse” for blacks he tells them. Seriously. Let’s not forget that Trump is pandering to a Party that believes “slavery” was actually a good thing because it brought them to this wonderful land. They should be thanking us for the free boat ride over.

His campaign was launched in a tirade labeling Mexicans immigrants as “rapists & drug dealers” (but “some” he diplomatically added might be “good people”.)

He called to “ban all Muslims from entering the United States”. Republicans are terrified reactionary children, so when they heard this, they swooned. Never mind the fact this is logistically impossible. I’ve joked that “lucky for Trump, ‘Muslims’ can be easily identified on sight by their purple polka-dotted skin.” How exactly would one verify a person is “Muslim”? It’s a religion found in nearly every nation on the globe… including the United States (some of whom are serving this country in the military.) But don’t worry, Republicans can spot a Muslim on sight. They all have slightly brown skin, wear pajamas as clothing, and have scraggly beards with no moustache (like the Amish.) Oh, and some wear turbans (because Shiek’s and Hindu’s are “A’rabs” too.)

But long before he declared his candidacy, Trump first endeared himself to Republicans by questioning Barack Obama’s place of birth (and therefore, his eligibility to be president.) Let us not forget that at the time, Obama’s opponent… John McCain… was born on a military base in Panama (two years before a bill was passed confiring citizenship upon such births.) Arguably, McCain was the one whose eligibility was legitimately in question. But McCain had white skin.

A significant number of Trump supporters still believe President Obama is “a secret Muslim”… including Donald Trump… who has repeatedly suggested the reason he has yet to defeat ISIS is because he secretly sympathizes with them. If he didn’t secretly sympathize with ISIS & alQaeda, he would have just “nuked” them years ago.

Let there be no doubt. That IS Donald Trump’s “secret foolproof plan to win the war”, which he said would be “100 percent” effective and defeat ISIS “quickly”, is to simply drop a nuclear bomb on them. Because in the tiny minds of simplistic terrified Republicans, all of ISIS lives in one place, attacks our troops and plots acts of terrorism from 9 to 5, and then goes back to their fort (or “crawl into their cave”) for the evening. And all we need to do is just drop one bomb to turn the entire Middle East to glass, take their oil, and be done with them forever & ever. Pfffft.

Now, as I’ve pointed out several times before, ISIS is spread across two countries (mostly Syria, put partly in Northern Iraq… which is now a U.S. ally… in an area that is mostly occupied by our long-time friends The Kurds.) Certainly our allies won’t mind if we drop a nuclear bomb on them if it means getting rid of ISIS “once and for all”. Nuking a region of 30 million people just to get 30,000 ISIS fighters… 0.1% (it’s not like no one else would ever take up arms against the United States after something that, right?)

Okay, so Trump is a dangerous threat to global stability that heaps praise upon megalomaniacs like Putin & Kim Jong Un, with no compunction against using Genocide to achieve peace, BUT he’s “a successful businessman” that’ll know how to “fix” our economy!

First off, anyone who thinks out economy is worse today than it was eight years ago has no foothold in reality. No need rundown the disaster that was George W. Bush. You already know. But I have long doubted that Trump is anywhere near as rich & successful as he claims. Quite honestly, I think he’s broke and deep in debt. This video from ShareBlue makes the same case as I do that Trump is actually a lousy businessman, with an endless string of failed businesses, bankruptcies and lawsuits against him. Everything about him says “con man”… most notably, using other people’s charitable donations to purchase items for himself at charity auctions and then bragging about how charitable he has been (not a dime of his own “fortune” to charity in the last 8 years.

Remember eight years ago when Republicans complained that “the presidency isn’t an entry-level position” and Barack Obama’s lack of political experience was a handicap? Flash forward 8 years later and Trump’s total lack of political experience is exactly what they love about him and think is a huge asset.

A dangerous con-man who lies without shame (still says he opposed the invasion of Iraq despite being on tape supporting it), political novice with no core principles and an itchy trigger finger ready to blow up the Middle East. Oh, and did I mention “Climate Change denier” too? He thinks it’s a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. If you’re a Conspiracy nut who believes our president is “a secret Muslim born in Kenya, plotting the invasion of Texas by way of tunnels beneath vacant Wal*Marts, who staged the murder of 20 school children and 8 faculty at an Elementary school in Connecticut as part of a secret plan to take away your guns… have we got a Party for you!

Which brings us to…

Majority of Clinton vote is just anti-Trump
 Hillary Clinton

According to a CNN poll last May, slightly more than half of Hillary Clinton’s support is simply “anti-Trump”:

For someone as unpopular as Hillary Clinton, she is incredibly lucky… not just to be running against someone as wholly unfit to be president as Donald Trump… but for a Republican electorate that is SO removed from reality that saner candidates that actually stood a chance of defeating her were turfed out early (most never polling beyond single digits) in favor of the more irrational, disconnected-from-reality candidates. Let’s not forget who came in second in the GOP Primary: Ted Cruz. An evangelical end-times nut who wasn’t even born in the United States! Had Cruz of ended up the GOP nominee, he would not be doing any better than Trump is now. Hillary’s best friend in this election isn’t Trump, it’s an insane GOP.

Hillary is not Trump. That’s her biggest selling point. Next is the novelty of becoming “the first woman president”. She’d be the least likeable presidential nominee in half a century (since Nixon) if she were not running against Donald Trump.

I first critiqued Hillary back in February, so there is no need to rehash that again.

Clinton is a closet Conservative. As I’ve pointed out numerous times before, her first instinct on every issue is to take the Conservative side of an issue first, tacking Left only once that position proves unpopular and she is shamed into retracting it… kinda. It all depends (she eventually flip-flopped on her support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, only to say a month later that she only opposed it “in it’s present form”. Like most Conservatives, she still supports the idea of “Free Trade”, and would support another disastrous free trade bill like NAFTA approved by her husband, if it reaches her desk. But much like George Bush never actually claimed Saddam was connected to 9/11, Hillary is more than happy to leave the misimpression out there that she is (now) opposed to Free trade deals and would veto one if it reached her desk as long as it gets her what she wants.

Here is a quick rundown of major policy positions Hillary took the Conservative position on first only to flip-flop on later:
 

Hillary's Conservative flip-flops

 

We all know she authorized the use of force against Iraq (which she later had to apologize for), but Hillary is a hawk. She has always been quick to threaten the use of military force. She was on the “pro” side of aiding the ouster of Kadaffy (which left a giant power-vacuum in Libya that was quickly filled by ISIS, threatened the use of force against Iran on multiple occasions, bragged of being praised by her “friend” Henry Kissinger, and believes the key to success against ISIS is a sustained aerial bombing campaign using drones that are notorious for the amount of innocent collateral damage they inflict.

Hillary feigned an appeal to Sanders voters to close out the primary, but since then, she has reached out FAR more to Conservatives than Bernie supporters (and Clinton’s own supporters are STILL openly hostile to Sanders supporters.) And you will see in the next month as we near Election Day, Hillary will move further & further to the Center-Right, attempting to appeal more to disaffected Conservatives than Bernie supporters that she believes she already has enough of “locked up” that she can scrape by with what she already has of them.

She says she believes in Climate Change, yet hemmed & hawed for months waffling on whether or not to support the Keystone XL pipeline (the greatest threat to the environment since the invention of the Atomic Bomb) because she believed the nonsense it would create “a lot” of jobs (damn the consequences.) Maybe we should bring back DDT while were at it? That would create “a lot” of jobs too! In the end, it wasn’t the warnings of environmental apocalypse that changed her mind, it were revelations that the claimed number of “jobs” it would produce were total nonsense, coupled with wild claims of “energy independence” that weren’t based in reality that finally convinced her it “wasn’t worth the risk”. But you know, if it has just meant a few more jobs, maybe approving “a carbon bomb” that would have spelled “game over for the environment” might have been worth considering?

She asks us, “What is he hiding?” when Trump refuses to release his tax returns, yet SHE has yet to release the transcripts of her Wall Street speeches (42 of them at more than $225K a pop.) If you don’t think these corporations were hoping to buy access to the likely next president of the United States, then you probably also believe they kept inviting her back at tremendous cost because they enjoyed listening to her criticize them and threaten to “break them up” and “investigate them” should she become president.

Even if you believe there is nothing to the “controversy” surrounding Hillary’s emails, the secrecy regarding her email server is disturbing. One question I have repeatedly asked that I have yet to hear anyone ask her is: “Why? Why did you set up a private email server in your home at great personal expense when the State Department provided you with a secure email server (maintained by the State Department) for free? Setting up & maintaining a server at home is neither “convenient” nor “free”. Even if you are a hacker like myself, building and maintaining a private server is time consuming. But Hillary didn’t build/maintain her server herself. She had to hire someone to do it for her. And the expense grows exponentially when it must be a “secure” server that requires an “on-site” technician with enough security clearance to enter the home… not just of the acting Secretary of State… but the home of a former president as well.

So why the secrecy? We may never know. My own suspicion is it has something to do with circumventing FOIA (the “Freedom of Information Act) that mandates that all government-owned records must be made available to the public upon request. A private email server in a person’s home is not subject to FOIA. Now what exactly she might have wanted to shield from prying eyes is anyone’s guess. Maybe nothing. But the almost Nixonian need for secrecy seems to be a recurring theme with Hillary Clinton.

Having a private email server? Yeah, that’s “a mistake” she admits to now, just like her vote to entrust the invasion of Iraq to George W. Bush. Oopsie! Saying she believed “Marriage is between a man and a woman?” Yeah, that was a mistake too. The problem is there are no “Backsies” when you’re president of the United States. You’re first instinct is all that counts. And on a host of issues, from Civil Rights to war, Hillary’s first instincts tell her to fall on the Conservative side of an issue first.

Polling guru Nate Silver has predicted that no matter who wins the election, there is a 52% chance they will have a Republican Congress (both House and Senate). The idea of Trump with a Republican Congress is almost too abhorrent to bear, but a President Hillary with a Republican Congress is a certain nightmare as well. Endless investigations and gridlock for the next four years ensuring little to nothing gets done. If you thought the “do nothing” Congress under Obama was bad, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Besides both being Conservative, Clinton & Trump are two of the most secretive presidential nominees in history. They both lead to the same destination: a more Conservative America, still at war four years from now with Wall Street dictating the global economy. The only difference is whether you wish to get there by rocket sled or rowboat.
 

$1,200 cornflake
Jill Stein

I don’t have as much to say about Green Party candidate Jill Stein for several reasons, but primarily because much of her platform in the way of “actionable” policy simply doesn’t exist. And by that I mean, she has lots of aspirations, but few details on how to achieve those aspirations. And with the absolute certainty of being strapped with an uncooperative Congress, Stein has yet to put forth a case for HOW she achieves ANY of her goals.

Without question her goals are noble, but a goal of moving America to “100% renewable energy by 2030″… a mere 13 years upon taking office, just isn’t going to happen. Such an extreme position likely isn’t even necessary. If we simply cut global carbon emissions in half, we can arrest Global Warming and even start to see a decline in rising temperatures. Such childlike naivete is no less silly than Donald Trump thinking we can “ban all Muslims” or “nuke our way to peace” in the Middle East.

Two other positions that drive me crazy about Stein: Her support for “Reparations” and basically calling Edward Snowden a hero.

First, “Reparations”… the call to financially compensate black people for the scourge of slavery and civil rights violations inflicted upon them.

Once again, Stein finds herself every bit as disconnected from reality as Donald Trump. Every bit as unworkable as Trump thinking he can spot a “Muslim” on sight, how does Stein intend to determine whether someone is the descendant of a slave? Many Northern states NEVER permitted slavery, so just having an American lineage going back 200 years doesn’t ensure someone is the descendant of slaves. And do we compensate people whose ancestors moved to America in the last 100 years less than those who lived here longer? And where does the money come from to pay these “Reparations”?

“Reparations” are also hugely insulting, thinking someone can be “bought off” to compensate for what was done to their ancestors (not they themselves). Believing most blacks are eager for a government payoff is no less insulting than Donald Trump assuming all blacks like in deep poverty is crime riddled urban wastelands.

They’re also dangerous. Much the same way racists argued that the election of the first black president proved “racism is over” and therefore programs like “affirmative action” and the “Voting Rights Act” were no longer required (and they got part of the later repealed… to disastrous consequences.) Not only would “Reparations” stir up animosity between blacks & whites (over whether such compensation is fair or justified) but also between blacks questioning how much compensation some truly deserved. Is a half-black person deserving of compensation too? Just as much or half as much? It’s a ridiculous logistical nightmare people like Stein clearly never think through. But in their child-like simplicity, it just sounds like the right thing to do.

Stein’s admiration for Edward Snowden irks me to no end as well. Over two years ago, I wrote “A Liberal look: Snowden no hero” pointing out that he wasn’t “a whistleblower”, he took a job that gave him access to NSA computers with the deliberate intention of stealing information because he wanted to be a hero. He didn’t “stumble” across information he believed the public had a right to know. He stole the information first… not knowing what he would find… leaved through that information, then decided for himself what he believed we had a right to know. He’s a Glory Hound.

And Stein wants to pardon him and appoint him to a cabinet position. That’s just stupid beyond words. Yes, by all means lets put a man who can’t be trusted with Top Secret information and give him the highest security clearance. It’s not like he might jeopardize national security because he wants to be a hero or anything, right?
 

American-flag barcode tattoo
 Gary Johnson

Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities” begins: “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times”> That’s Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. Something for everyone to love. Something for everyone to hate. Progressives like Johnson’s non-interventionist (aka: “isolationist”) foreign policy position, his belief in legalizing marijuana and his support for gay marriage. Conservatives love his “free market ideology” that believes there’s nothing the private sector can’t do better than the government. Privatize everything. No more public schools. No more government services. Turn Social Security over to Wall Street and get rid of “ObamaCare”. The government serves only ONE purpose: “security”. Military and the police. Period.

Like Trump & Stein, Johnson has his own naive beliefs. One is the idea that if we cut the Minimum Wage in half, we’ll create millions of new jobs. No. Employers don’t suddenly out of the goodness of their heart suddenly double their workforce (and liabilities) just because you suddenly cut their payroll in half. No, they hire based on NEED, and if their current workforce is big enough to meet their needs, they will just keep the number of employees where it is and pocket the savings.

So now, you’ve cut people’s wages in half, but the price of things like oil/gasoline are set on the world market and don’t get cheaper just because tens of millions of people had their wages cut in half. So now they must work twice as long to afford they things they must buy.

And even if you don’t make Minimum Wage, don’t think YOUR wages won’t be affected. Your own wages are based on the Minimum Wage. If your own wages are not cut in half, you can forget about that raise for the next few years. Don’t like it? They will be a long line of people waiting to do your job for less money.

Eventually, you dramatically gut the money supply. The amount of money flowing in the economy is severely cut. As people buy less, the demand for employees plunges. This is what happened when the price of gasoline broke $4.00/gallon in July of 2008. Everyone was spending so much more of their income on gas they has less to put into the economy. Eventually, the demand for Goods & Services crashed, taking the economy and millions of jobs with it.

This is Johnson’s plan to revive our economy.

Johnson is a supporter of the “Fair Tax”… a national sales tax in place of our dysfunctional Income tax. This would be something I could get behind if it were done properly… and by “properly”, I mean exempting staples like unprocessed food & drink basic clothing and other necessities of life. But that’s not the Johnson/”Fair Tax” plan which calls for an unworkable “prebate” that compensates people in advance to offset the taxes they will pay on the first $1,000 or so worth of purchases. I’ve never understood having the government pay you back for money they never should have taken from you in the first place.

In any case, some may spend more on staples than others. We would of course have to give families with more children a larger prebate (cue the cries of “Welfare!” and accusing racial groups of having more children just for the larger prebate checks.)

Johnson is also a Climate Change denier that doesn’t believe the government should be spending one thin dime to prevent it. In Johnson’s world, if Climate Change turns out to be real and we start having problems, that’s just a business opportunity for dealing with what was once a preventable problem now at 10x the cost.

No matter who wins this election, Americans are screwed. There is little enthusiasm for ANY of these candidates because voters know: 1) Trump & Clinton will say whatever they think voters want to hear at the time, and 2) Stein & Johnson haven’t a clue what they are doing. Four candidates, zero good choices.

Enjoy the debate Monday night.
 



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September 26, 2016 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: Election, Politics, Rants

Why No One is Buying Trump’s Renouncement of Birtherism

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Last week, in a desperate bid to attract minority voters and assuage whites he isn’t a bigot, Donald Trump finally, after 8 years, conceded that Barack Obama was born in the United States, giving NO explanation for his sudden reversal. It was absolutely comical listening to Trump surrogates over the weekend trying to defend Trump’s 8-year campaign of questioning the birthplace/legitimacy of the first black president. His new campaign manager, Kelly Ann Conway, even tried to claim on “Meet the Press” yesterday that Trump IS NOT a “Birther” and was “only reminding people” that Hillary questioned Obama’s provenance first. Trump NEVER believed Obama was born in Kenya! Where would anyone get a crazy idea like that?

All of this was brought about of course when major Trump supporter and campaign surrogate Rudy Giuliani made the ridiculous and easily disprovable claim on several news shows a week ago that “Donald Trump admitted President Obama was born in America two years ago!” Except that he hadn’t. As recently as last month, Trump called Obama “the founder of ISIS”literally. Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt repeatedly tried to “Trump-splain” what his guest actually meant, suggesting to Trump that what he was really saying was that President Obama’s foreign policy failure resulted in the formation of ISIS. But Trump stuck to his guns and repeatedly rejected Hewitt’s attempt to put words in his mouth, instead implying that Obama was somehow sympathetic to ISIS, thereby explaining his reluctance to go after them in a way in which Trump believes needs to be done to defeat them once & for all (ie: “nukes”), thereby suggesting a connection between the two. It’s all part of the “otherness” Trump supporters attribute to Obama. “He’s not like us!” “He’s a Muslim!” (that spent 20 years in Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s church. Wright is also a “secret Muslim”.) “He was born in Kenya” and therefore ineligible to be president of the United States. Yesterday on “Meet the Press”, another Conservative radio host, Alex Castellanos rejected the idea Trump was a racist, explaining that “there’s an ‘otherness’ about Obama” that explains away Trump’s questioning the president’s place of birth that isn’t steeped in racism. An “otherness“? Hmm. I can’t quite put my finger on it. What is it about the first black president of the United States makes him an unrelateable “other” to Conservatives like Castellanos? Figuring out that mystery is going to keep me up tonight. Not.

It’s all quite ludicrous of course, and NO ONE that previously believed Trump was a bigot because of his Birtherism, is suddenly going to vote for him now thinking maybe they misjudged him.

On my Facebook page, one angry Trump supporter felt the need to defend his candidate against accusations of bigotry (even though the thread was not about Trump nor racism), posting a photo of Trump with his arm around a black Conservative radio host and citing support from other incredulous African-American Conservatives like Ben Carson and former Congressman Alan West. Then, just to make sure he made his point, he punctuated it with a photo contrasting neatly pressed police officers on parade to some angry black rioters smashing a police car (because “it isn’t racist if you’re simply stating a fact”.) Of course, if these racists idiots weren’t idiots, they wouldn’t be racists now would they? Chalk one more up to a total lack of self-awareness.

So why is it no one is buying Trump’s 11th hour conversion to renounce Birtherism? What does a bigot have to do?

When I was 9 years old, my new step-mother was incensed that I no longer believed in Santa Claus. One might guess it had something to do with depriving her of the joy of playing Santa and missing the wonderment in a child’s eyes. But no, this was a joyless person, and threatened that I would not receive a single Christmas present if I didn’t renounce my disbelief in Santa (and don’t doubt for a minute that she didn’t really mean it.)

As any child would upon being threatened with “no toys for Christmas” if they didn’t play their silly game, I caved. I declared that I suddenly “believed in Santa” and… in an explanation that was as much to convince myself as it was my tormentor… I attributed my epiphany to “they wouldn’t have written all those songs if there were no Santa!” It was enough. I got my Christmas presents (all labeled “From Santa”) and I was never asked again. And don’t think for one moment she was bluffing. You had to know her (but be glad you didn’t.)

Listening to Conway, Pence and Christie tie themselves up in knots trying to convince voters (and themselves) that the REAL Birther in this race is Hillary Clinton, was almost painful to watch. But, as I pointed out last April [ibid first link], it WAS someone inside the Clinton campaign in 2008 that first released a 2006 photo of then-State Senator Obama dressed in ceremonial garb during a visit to Kenya that started “a whisper campaign” that Obama was “a secret Muslim”. The Obama Campaign attacked the Clinton Campaign for releasing the photo with clear malicious intent, to which Clinton responded indignantly that Senator Obama was “trying to change the subject”, yet never outright denied that someone from inside the Clinton Campaign leaked the photo. Nor did they try to correct the misimpression they created (reminiscent of how the Bush Administration never outright claimed Saddam was responsible for 9/11, yet they certainly gave that impression, and were more than happy to leave that misimpression out there to gin up support for the invasion of Iraq.) So when Trump claims Hillary “started the Birther movement”, there is a case to be made (though Trump turned her spark into an inferno.)

And so it is with Trump declaring that “President Obama was born in America. Period!” In the back of everyone’s mind, they are noticing he didn’t preface it with: “I am now convinced that…” Add to that, Trump gave no explanation for his sudden turn-around on the matter (even suggesting he NEVER believed Obama was not born in America, ergo there’s no reason to explain his reversal since this isn’t actually a reversal.)

But I will bet you a years salary that if you asked most Trump supporters if they believe Trump truly believes Obama was born in America, or is only saying it to get The Lib’rul Media off his back, they’d say the later. I’m even willing to bet most of Trump’s supporters themselves still believe Obama was not born in America despite what Donald Trump is now saying. Trump is a Conspiracy Theory aficionado… as is, I’m certain… most of his supporters: Small minds who see enemies everywhere and therefore “cling to their guns & religion” are also typically Conspiracy Theorists (FEMA Camps, Jade Helm, fluoridation of our drinking water, etc). Lovers of Conspiracy theories don’t suddenly reject their core beliefs of the last eight years.

He’s not fooling anyone. I doubt he’s even fooling his supporters. “Obama was born in America!” declared Trump. Yeah, and Santa Claus is real.
 

Trump flip-flops (to date):
Trump flip-flops

 



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September 19, 2016 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: Civil Rights, Election, myth busting, Racism, rewriting history, Right-Wing Hypocrisy

15 Years After 9/11. Doesn’t Anyone Know How to End a War? A 21st Century “Marshall Plan”.

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Last week, NBC hosted their own “National Security Forum”. Only Trump & Clinton were invited, and neither provided a unique solution to ending nearly two-decades of war in the Middle East. With only an hour of airtime, each candidate received less than 30 minutes to answer questions regarding National Security. Host Matt Lauer wasted most of Clinton’s time talking about emails, and allowed Trump to (again) falsely claim he was opposed to the invasion of Iraq while failing to get him to provide even the smallest details of his “secret plan” (shades of Nixon) to “win the war”. The third party candidates were not invited as there clearly was no time, but made up for the unfairness by inviting them to various “morning shows” to make a case of their own:

To summarize:

Hillary: “No ground troops… in Iraq. Period. Do it from the air”. Translation: a massive escalation of the Drone Warfare program. Maybe ground troops in Syria, but definitely not in Iraq.

Trump: “I have a secret plan to end the war, and it definitely isn’t to simply drop a nuclear bomb on them (even though I said last May that I had a “foolproof plan” that would “100 percent” defeat ISIS “quickly”.)

Gary Johnson: “Aleppo? What’s Aleppo?” Later tried to claim he was thinking it was an acronym, but even when he was told it was “in Syria”, he didn’t suddenly go, “Oh! Aleppo!” He was still clueless what Aleppo was.

Jill Stein: “Stop funding ISIS. Stop buying their oil. Stop selling weapons to the Saudis.” And how does that result in the defeat of ISIS? That’s an aspiration, not a plan.

After 15 years of war, you’d think SOMEBODY could express a coherent plan to actually end the longest war in U.S. history. President Obama’s dramatic escalation of the Drone Warfare program has raised serious concerns regarding International law. True, American lives are spared by having fewer troops on the ground, but “bombs” are hardly “precision weaponry”, often resulting in dozens of innocents being injured, dismembered or killed. Wanna make some lifelong enemies? That’s the way to do it. We want a sanitized war with no American casualties. But there’s no such thing as a “clean” war, and thinking you can kill people without getting your hands dirty has a lot to do with why this war has gone on so long. (I’m reminded of the Star Trek episode: “A Taste of Armageddon” where a war between two planets had continued for hundreds of years because they had sanitized it to the point of making it easy.)

Donald Trump recently said he had a “foolproof” plan [ibid] to “quickly” “defeat ISIS” once and for all. The only method I can fathom that (in Trump’s mind) would result in a guaranteed and swift end to the war would be to do something like drop a nuclear bomb on the region. Trump himself DID say last November that he’d “bomb the shit out of them”, repeatedly asked during a security briefing why we can’t just use nuclear weapons, and his opponent Ted Cruz pondered finding out “if sand glows in the dark”.

Indeed, Genocide… murdering some 30 million people in the region of Eastern Syria & Northern Iraq just to vaporize some 30,000 ISIS fighters would certainly produce immediate results. But it would by no means be “permanent”, creating millions of sympathizers and angry survivors of the innocent lives lost now vowing to “fight to the death” to destroy the “infidels” who attacked them (the United States of America.) 15 years after 9/11 and we are still mourning the events of that day with some still vowing revenge. Do you think people on the other side of the world are any different? Suicide bombers in shopping malls, car bombs in rush-hour traffic jams, more mass shootings thanks to an endless supply of easily available firearms. George Bush justified invading Iraq on the grounds of “fighting them over there so we won’t have to fight them over here.” And yet, Republicans now believe we are indeed fighting them “over here”, so I guess that plan of his failed too. But you haven’t seen ANYTHING yet if we greatly increase the number of innocent casualties killed by bombs launched by an American president that can’t come up with an original solution to ending the war. And right now, NOT ONE has a unique and well laid out plan to ending the war in the Middle East (read mine below.)

Trump now insists his plan isn’t to simply drop a nuclear bomb on “them”… though I can assure you, if you asked his supporters, that’s exactly what a majority believe and want. So where exactly would Trump nuke? All of ISIS does not reside in just one city, or even one country. More than half of ISIS controlled territory is in Syria… a close ally of Russia. Is #ToddlerTrump going to start World War III with his new buddy Putin by nuking their ally Syria? Now that the Press has openly criticized Trump “IF” that’s his plan, he’s suddenly scrambling to come up with a new plan… yet insisting it’s not “new”, that it’s the same plan he has had all along… but it includes “asking the generals” what they think we should do, and if he likes their plan better than his own (which he doesn’t have), he’ll consider the General’s plan… after he’s fires a bunch of them first.

Hillary Clinton’s plan is just Donald Trump’s plan on a smaller scale. Can’t just drop one giant nuke, so we pepper the region from the air using planes and targeted drone strikes.

Of course, we’ve all heard the stories of dozens killed at a wedding party that was innocently mistaken for a meeting of al Qaeda. And quite honestly, if you shy away from targeting sites due to their proximity to innocents, you only ENSURE that more ISIS gatherings will take place in/near public venues, next to schools & hospitals, market places, etc. But Hillary has vowed no boots on the ground… in Iraq, ensuring plenty of wiggle-room for sending troops into Syria (not to mention the fact we ALREADY have troops on the ground in Iraq.) The “loophole” Clinton left herself by citing “Iraq” specifically is a prime example of why so many voters just don’t trust Hillary and see her as “just another politician.”

Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson’s campaign ended with that “Aleppo” gaffe. Just like Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones, he’s already dead, he just doesn’t know it yet. The genocide in Aleppo two weeks ago made front page news, and the photo of a shell shocked traumatized young boy pulled from the rubble went viral on the Internet. But even before that, Aleppo was known as the epicenter of the Civil War in Syria. And for Johnson to be so totally clueless about what “Aleppo” is was an instant disqualifier. I’ve heard people say they found it “refreshing” to hear a politician admit ignorance on a topic. That might be acceptable if it were some Joe Schmo running for a lower office. But not a person running for the highest office in the land where Syria will be on the front-burner.

Part of this is due to the fact Libertarians are “isolationists” when it comes to military intervention. To them, the genocide in Syria is not our concern. Ergo, Aleppo was not on his radar.

Green Party candidate Jill Stein did not fair much better. And while I agree with many of her platform positions of “stop making trouble in the rest of the world”, “enough of the militarism”, “stop empowering dictators” and “stop turning a blind eye to the despicable acts of people we call our ‘allies’ because we need their oil”, these are only aspirations, not actionable plans for dealing with an active genocide.

As a Sanders supporter during the primaries, much of Stein’s platform is appealing: increasing America’s focus on developing a green energy economy, phasing out fossil fuels (which in itself would help get us out of the Middle East and stop enabling dictators and human rights abusers), making advanced education at public colleges & universities tuition free, closing tax loopholes for the ultra-wealthy and tightening regulations on Wall Street, but one needs a record of political experience and a coherent plan on how to achieve those goals. Stein has none of that.

So, as you might imagine, with less than two months to go, I’m still at a loss for a candidate for president of the United States.

Several times last year, I wrote a few columns on how to end the wars in the Middle East through “infrastructure”. I don’t care if you’re alQaeda, ISIS, a redneck Republican, Progressive Democrat or a Green Party hippie, everyone wants the same thing: to live in peace. And they will put the world through hell to achieve it.

Anyone who thinks people who have had (or will have) their cities bombed into crumbing ghost towns will just peacefully “surrender” to the people who did it, haven’t been paying attention these past 15 years.

Instead of more bombs & killing… which has DEMONSTRABLY FAILED… let’s go into the towns of our FRIENDS & ALLIES and start building roads and schools and hospitals and an electrical grid and a working sewer system. Rebuild their destroyed infrastructure. A 21st Century “Marshall Plan”. START MAKING LIVES BETTER FOR OUR FRIENDS instead of making lives miserable for our enemies (spilling over onto our allies). Take the wind out of ISIS’s sails. It’s difficult to recruit people to attack those helping to rebuild your county and make life BETTER instead of worse. And No, we wouldn’t be “rewarding our enemies”. We reward our friends and later those who renounce terrorism and welcome us in. Soon, cities that were once openly hostile to the United States will be eager to become our friends, welcoming us with those flowers George Bush promised 13 years ago.

And it would be massively CHEAPER too. Compared to using $20 million dollar drones to fire million dollar missiles to take out a Toyota pickup truck with homemade rocket launcher in the back, the cost of rebuilding all the lost infrastructure can be done for pennies on the dollar. And the Military Industrial Complex that presently makes their money building bombs & bombers can build planes & runways. Literally “building bridges”. And unlike war, you’ll know when you are done rebuilding a city.

And while we’re rebuilding over there, how about putting some of that savings into rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure over HERE?

It’s not that complicated… and yet, I haven’t heard a single presidential candidate suggest it. It’s an actionable plan that could be implemented immediately with almost instant tangible results. It’s cheaper, and not only makes the world better but safer.

And apparently, it’s too complex of an idea for four people running for leader of the most powerful nation on Earth to come up with on their own. So I offer this idea to whomever wants it. No charge.
 

Question on 2007 gameshow “The Power of 10”
Pessimistic Americans under Bush
By end of Bush’s presidency, more than a quarter of all Americans believed the United States would no longer exist in 100 years.
(the contestants guessed too high.)

 



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September 12, 2016 · Admin Mugsy · One Comment - Add
Posted in: Election, Middle East, National Security, Right-wing Facism, Right-Wing Insanity, Seems Obvious to Me, Terrorism, War

Friday FBI Doc Dump on Email Investigation Reinforces Belief Clinton’s Play By Own Rules

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Under the Bush Administration, the “Friday night news dump” became common practice. If the news was really bad or potentially embarrassing, the Administration would release it on a Friday night just as most people (especially reporters) were headed home for the weekend and most Americans were paying the least attention to the news. And if the news was really bad, they waited until the Friday before a three-day weekend to release it. Last Friday, just ahead of this Labor Day weekend, the FBI released their notes on their investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails. Her statements to investigators paint an unflattering picture of someone who willingly took unnecessary risks and failed to acquaint herself with procedure. Definitely not a first for the Clinton’s.

We all remember when Bill Clinton took unnecessary risks to have an affair with a young White House intern while he was president, and then minimized his behavior by trying to draw a distinction between “oral” sex and “intercourse”. And in Hillary’s case, her defense has been to plead ignorance, telling investigators “I do not recall/remember” a total of 39 times regarding aspects of her training on the handling of classified materials. “I thought the (C) label was referencing a paragraph” she told investigators despite previously being a senator on the Armed Services Committee. She cited “convenience” as her excuse for going through the effort & expense of having someone setup & maintain a private email server in her own home when the State Department already provided a secure email server for free. As a computer tech myself, I only go through such trouble when I’m looking to hide information from people that otherwise might have legitimate access to it. The entire industry of “Cloud-based storage” was built on this concept. And they thrive because most people don’t try setting up “file clouds” in their own homes.

The Clinton Foundation is shaping up to be another of those “inconvenient conveniences” that is creating problems for the Clinton’s. With recent scrutiny over whether or not “foreign big-money contributors” might be trying to curry favor with the likely future president, Bill has announced that “Should Hillary become president, the Foundation will no longer accept donations from foreign donors” (so get your donations in now while there’s still time!)
 

Foreign donors on pause

 

However, the Foundation continued to accept donations while Hillary was Secretary of State. Was that not also a potential conflict of interests? Defenders say no one can point to a single example of Hillary “changing her position” based on someone making a donation to her Foundation.
 

Donors bought access

 

In 2004, Elizabeth Warren once argued how moneyed interest convinced then-Senator Clinton to flip her vote in favor of the Conservative (anti)-bankruptcy bill that makes it essentially impossibly for the poor to file bankruptcy and get out from under heir debts. She staunchly opposed the bill in 1998 and likely convinced her husband to veto it, but when it came up again for a vote while she was Senator, she voted FOR it because she was afraid to anger a wealthy & powerful constituency.

Let us not forget that many of use are STILL waiting for Hillary to release the TRANSCRIPTS from those 41-42 Wall Street speeches she gave in 2013 at more than $225K a pop. She says she has nothing to hide, and that there is nothing in them that she wouldn’t want anyone to see, yet she keeps coming up with excuses for why she continues to keep them secret (first it was, “I will when everyone else does”, now it’s, “I will when Trump releases his taxes”… knowing he never will.) Remind me again Madam Secretary why I’m supposed to trust you enough to elect you president?

There’s an old saying: “It’s easier to get forgiveness than permission”. Far too often it seems, politicians will do things they KNOW are circumspect and would be pilloried if they announced their intentions in advance (see: Bush Before & After on Wiretaps), yet do them anyways because they know it’ll personally benefit them with only minimal consequence should they get caught. It’s the reckless behavior of a child… the kind of reckless & secretive behavior we have come to expect from Donald Trump, but the fact is, The Clinton’s aren’t much better. Highly secretive and engaging in risky behavior for personal gain. I believe Hillary once described her life with her husband as “Me & Bill against the world” in one of her books (referring to the Right-Wing Media’s bloodlust at taking them down.) Them against us. Outside world Keep Out.

It may “take a village”, but you have to be willing to allow that village into your personal affairs if you expect them to trust you back. And so far, we don’t.
 



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September 5, 2016 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: Crime, Election, Politics, Rants, Scandals

Tell me how More Guns would have prevented crossfire shooting death of Wade’s cousin?

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Over the weekend, Donald Trump was rightly excoriated for politicizing the death of Nykea Aldridge, cousin of Chicago Bulls superstar Dwyane Wade, after tweeting (natch) that such incidents would win him the African-American vote. Now, Trump rightly deserves condemnation for politicizing Aldridge’s death (and no, I’m not doing the same. I’m attributing no benefit/harm from this tragedy), but no one seems to be asking the bigger question: Just HOW does Trump’s position on guns… the NRA’s position that “more guns make us safer”… translate into less violence that might have prevented this tragedy from happening?

In case you don’t yet know the story, Ms. Aldridge was pushing her baby stroller down a Chicago sidewalk when two gang members attempted to chase down & kill a driver for a rival gang. Details are sketchy at this point, but this mother-of-four was caught in the crossfire, struck in the arm and head, killing her (her baby “unharmed”).

Supporters of the NRA… like Donald Trump… have attempted to link/blame “strict gun laws” in states like Illinois, to the rise in gun violence there, arguing in effect that somehow knowing their victims are less likely to be “packing” makes them ready targets for gun violence, and “if only more people carried guns, there would be less gun crime” as criminals would be more fearful their victims might shoot back.

Nice theory.

Only in this case, the intended target was a gang member. The killers in this incident clearly were not concerned whether or not their target might be carrying a gun. He almost certainly was. And Aldridge? How would carrying a gun have prevented her from being caught in the crossfire and this tragedy from happening?

Let’s imagine for a moment a completely different scenario… a robbery. Picture an armed mother pushing her baby stroller up the street when she is suddenly accosted by a man demanding money at gunpoint. At what point does this mother… child between her and her attacker… pull out her own gun (preferably an AK47 semiautomatic assault rifle with folding stock) and start threatening to reenact “Gunfight at the OK Coral” from behind her infant child? Even if guns were ubiquitous, do criminals start mulling over whether or not a mother with baby-stroller might be crazy enough to brandish a gun around her child? Or perhaps the pro-gun crowd thinks an innocent bystander with a gun would have rushed to her defense, pulling out his own gun in front of the child ready to start a firefight with two gang members in order to protect a stranger with her child? And also, have we now just inadvertently made “people with children” preferred targets for armed robbery?

It would be ridiculous if it weren’t so tragic. We have a 14 year old prepubescent Twitter junkie trapped in the body of a 70 year old man running for President of the United States who will say stupid things off the top of his head, and when later confronted, tries to spin his statement in a way in which “that’s what I meant all along” to avoid admitting a mistake (I’ve often pointed out Bush’s “Can’t get fooled again” is a textbook example of Republican paranoia over even entertaining the possibility of admitting a mistake. Palin was likewise paranoid about this when she ran for VP in 2008, resulting in a steady stream of ridiculous word-salad as she desperately tried to sound smart on camera.)

But, that’s hardly unique to Donald Trump. How do you think we got into Iraq without an Exit Strategy? Republicans just don’t think things through. If they did, they wouldn’t be Republicans.

During ABC’s “ThisWeek” yesterday, Conservative radio host Alex Castellanos… an advisor to the Trump campaign… became visibly agitated by all the criticism of Trump “flip-flopping” (or as he put it: “Change & Grow”) on his signature issue of deporting 11-million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S., and tried to change the subject by bringing up what he felt FOR CERTAIN was an issue Democrats have no good argument against: “School Choice”.
 

Castellanos thinks Democrats who oppose school choice are hypocrites (2:26)

 

“Why not let students pick what school they wish to go to?” he kept asking over & over, clearly believing he is exposing some undeniable Liberal hypocrisy. “School choice” is an upper-middle-class pipe-dream. In Republican Utopia, every child lives relatively close to a high-achievement, low-cost, efficiently run private school (or perhaps a public school in a more affluent neighborhood with better teachers and less crime.) And the tiny government voucher every parent receives covers 100% of the costs, every child is guaranteed admittance, and the parents have plenty of time to drop the child off on their way to work (because buses can’t be crisscrossing routes all over the city). That’s Republican Fantasy-Land.

The problem with Castellanos’ “challenge” (beyond the unrealistic belief private schools don’t reject under-performing students and charge more to keep out “the riff-raff” to maintain those high ratings, and aren’t always conveniently located), the fact is most privately run schools are RELIGIOUS schools. I’d REALLY like to hear Castellanos make the case to Republicans that their tax dollars should go to funding an American madrassa, or even a “Church of Satan for troubled youth”.

Trump thinks another shooting death will convince blacks to vote for a man whose solution to gun crime is “more guns.” And Castellanos thinks there’s no legitimate argument against “school choice” (so long as it’s the kind of school THEY approve of.) Republicans never think things through (because thinking is hard and tiresome.)
 



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August 29, 2016 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: Crime, Election, Guns & Violence, myth busting, Racism, Right-Wing Hypocrisy, Right-Wing Insanity

Trump is the Living Embodiment of Plato’s ‘Republic’

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I was watching the latest episode of “Trump-splaining” on TV last week (where people from both sides of the aisle are trying to tell me what Trump “really” meant when he said XYZ) when it suddenly dawned on me that Trump himself is a microcosm of everything the GOP has been evolving into over the past two decades. All the bigotry, xenophobia, quick tempered anti-intellectualism that defines the modern GOP rolled into one ridiculously immature man-child. “Where have I seen that before?” An entire society reduced to a single entity sounded awfully familiar. Then it dawned on me: Plato’s ‘Republic’!” College was a long time ago, and archaic Greek fiction doesn’t exactly stick with you, but I remembered the concept.

A little over 2,300 years ago, Greek philosopher Plato wrote a book called “Republic” where he attempted to explain different aspects of life using a series of “thought-experiments”. In chapter (“Book”) two, his main character (Socrates) was challenged to prove that “justice” is its own virtue using an ingenious technique: Pointing out that things are easier to see when magnified, he applied all the characteristics of an single individual to an entire society (“kallipolis”) where a flaw in one man was present in EVERY man, and what impact… positive or negative… that would have on society as a whole. So, for example, if you want to know if it’s okay for a hungry man to steal a loaf of bread, what would be the consequences if EVERY man stole a loaf of bread when hungry? It’s much easier to see the impact is negative when it is multiplied by thousands. And that is Donald Trump. A magnification of everything The Republican Party has become over the past 20 years. To paraphrase the 2012 RNC platform: “You built this!”

Donald Trump IS Plato’s “kallipolis”. In “Republic”, the antagonist believes the selfish crook would be happier than the honest man because he can do/say/take whatever he wants, whenever he wants, while the honest man feels constrained by the rules and must make sacrifices. And indeed, that is how most of Trump’s supporters describe him. “No filter”, saying what he wants, when he wants, without regard for the consequences or what the “politically correct” police think is appropriate. With all the impulsiveness & self-assuredness of a 14-year old boy, Trump is the epitome of the modern GOP… as much as they refuse to believe it. Conservatives all believe that “greed” is a virtue and “poverty” is a sign of some moral failing.

But Plato/Socrates demonstrated how the chaos that results from every man, woman & child impetuously doing their own thing, taking unnecessary risks that endanger those around them, committing crimes, lying, cheating and stealing… would quickly make life miserable for everyone, and how justice creates rules that bring order to society that make obtaining happiness possible. The problem is the Trumptonions think one can achieve order & prosperity through greed & belligerence. Plato proved them wrong over two-millenia ago, yet they persist.

During the 2012 presidential campaign, “Mitt Romney” was the GOP nominee because: “He’s incredibly rich, so he MUST know what he’s doing!” Didn’t matter HOW he made his money. “Wealth = Intelligence/Superiority” in GOP Land. And it’s how I knew way back in December before the race ever began that Trump would be the GOP nominee. The majority didn’t love him, but there is a “floor” of support for wealthy Republicans that ensures they’ll always just tread water. Romney was briefly topped by Herman Cain; Trump was briefly topped by Ben Carson. Romney had his apocryphal religious nut rival Rick Santorum, and Trump had his apocryphal religious nut rival Ted Cruz. We had seen this movie before. And I had read this book before.

Trump is a bigot. But he doesn’t think he’s a bigot. “Black people love me!” he declares, and to prove it, he points to once awarding “Arsenio Hall” the winner of an episode of “The Apprentice”. Trump is a misogynist, and to prove he isn’t, he points to the Beauty Pageant he’s owned/promoted for the last 20 years. He has the same grasp of foreign policy as the kid who sat in the back row of your High School geography class (remember when schools taught “geography”?) playing games of “paper-football” with his buddy in the desk next to him, then blames his failing grade on “the teacher didn’t like me!”. He has all the patience of a toddler wondering why he can’t touch the hot stove. He doesn’t pause before blurting whatever crosses his mind. He is totally unfazed by the magnitude of the role bestowed upon him by becoming the GOP presidential nominee, and how 7-BILLION people analyze his every utterance for clues as to what it might mean for global economic/militaristic/environmental security. And like any other moody ‘Tween, he picks fights on Twitter over things someone said about him on Facebook. He’s immature, has a depth of understanding of the issues that wouldn’t soak a frog’s kneecaps, he’s rude, impulsive, obnoxious, childish, more than a trifle racist, dishonest, reckless, and clueless about just out of touch he truly is. Today’s Republican Party. He is them. They are him.

And that is why Donald J. Trump is the GOP nominee. Plato proved it over 2,000 years ago.
 



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August 22, 2016 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: Election, General, mystery, Politics, Right-Wing Insanity, Seems Obvious to Me

Lack of Quid Pro Quo Doesn’t Make Soliciting Donations to Clinton Foundation Ethical or Legal

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Hillary’s supporters Senator Claire McCaskill and former DefSec Leon Panetta were on the Sunday Talk Shows yesterday defending her in light of revelations she may have solicited donations to The Clinton Foundation while she was Secretary of State… at the minimum, an ethics violation, and at worst, a crime… citing a “lack of evidence” that she did anything in exchange for these donations. As the old detective saying goes: “The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” But their argument completely misses the point (and they know it). It is entirely improper for someone so high up in any administration to be asking for support of a pet cause when they are in a position of power. Rarely is political “quid pro quo” in exchange for donations as obvious as when the (Bill) Clinton White House was accused of gifting stays in “The Lincoln Bedroom” to donors to his re-election campaign. And in 2004, it was discovered that “104 of 246 ‘Pioneers’ (largest contributors to the Bush campaign) ended up with either a job or appointment in the Bush Administration. But another reason such fundraising is taboo is the concern that White House officials soliciting donations puts our political friends/allies in the awkward position of feeling obligated to donate to stay in the good graces of the powerful person soliciting them… OR… every bit as worrisome… the potential problem that WH officials themselves might feel “obligated” towards the donor in some way.

It’s like The Boss asking if you’d like to buy some of his/her daughter’s Girl Scout Cookies. No pressure, right? But who’s going to say “No” to someone you’d like to please? Buying the Boss’ daughters cookies may not result in anything so obvious as a prime parking space or a pay raise, but simply not being excluded from principal meetings, being invited to play golf with The Brass, or not being fired the next time you show up late to work, are ALSO possible perks that might sway you to purchase 30 boxes of over-priced cookies you neither want nor need. But short of contacting every donor to The Clinton Foundation between the years of 2009-2013 to ask if they felt pressured to donate (and expect an honest answer), or auditing the Secretary’s phone logs to see if donors calls were put through or returned more quickly/frequently than those of people whom refused to donate, how exactly does one “prove” such donations had no influence?

Back in 2008, there was a minor “scandal” when it was discovered Bush Administration officials had used government resources to engage in partisan political activity (using government resources to get Republicans elected in the 2006 midterms)… a violation of the 1939 “Hatch Act”. And in 2004 it was revealed:
 

[D]eputy director of political affairs Scott Jennings gave a PowerPoint presentation that included slides listing Democratic and Republican seats the White House viewed as vulnerable in 2008, a map of contested Senate seats and other information on 2008 election strategy, GSA Administrator Lurita Doan asked how GSA could help “our candidates.”

 

Since Hillary is not accused of fundraising for her own political campaign, soliciting donations for her Foundation would not likely be a violation of the Hatch Act specifically, but the ethics of using one’s political position to fund-raise is no less unethical. Ethics rules are clear: “The Code of Federal Regulations says government employees should not participate in matters in which they have a personal financial interest.” The problem is, The House Ethics Committee has only defined “personal financial interest” as “campaign activity”, so whether or not any laws were broken might be a matter for the Supreme Court… of which Clinton is likely to have at least one (the current) vacancy to fill (if not more.)

In 2008, when Clinton was picked to be Obama’s Secretary of State, she pledged to provide him with an annual list of donors to The Clinton Foundation “to ease concerns that… as secretary of state… she could be vulnerable to accusations of foreign influence.” But after just one year, in 2010, donations to the “Clinton Health Access Initiative” (CHAI)… which accounts for more than 50% of the Foundation’s donations… were excluded from that list. No explanation for the exclusion has ever been given despite requests. [Ibid]

Last week, the NY Post published an article accusing the former Secretary of State of running “a shocking pay-to-play scheme” out of the State Department, where “fat cat donors” were granted “favors and access to Clinton’s inner-circle.”

Last April, the GOP posted a video of ABC’s Jon Karl asking White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest if he could “categorically deny” that donors to the Clinton Foundation or paid Bill Clinton speaking fees received “favorable treatment from this administration or the State Department [while Hillary was in charge]?” Earnest seemingly dodges the question, citing a “memorandum” that was drafted to outline “all of the existing ethical guidelines” to ensure Hillary’s State Department was not in violation of those guidelines. But when a second reporter notes that “The Clinton Foundation” was specifically exempted from that memorandum, Earnest dismisses “accusations [that] have not been accompanied by much evidence.” Feel better now?

I’m reminded of the fact Debbie Wasserman Schultz was “rewarded” with role in the Clinton campaign after being ousted when it was revealed she used the DNC to aide the Clinton Campaign to defeat Bernie Sanders… another serious breach of ethics. Such an act would make Schultz political poison anywhere else. To the Clinton campaign, ethics violations in the name of loyalty is what it’s all about.

When Hillary’s defenders demand her critics provide “proof” of quid pro quo in exchange for donations, they are setting up a straw man argument… something you thought only Conservatives did… you know, like skirting the rules then making excuses.
 

I'm voting Democrat but don't know who

 



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August 15, 2016 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: Election, mystery, Politics, Scandals

Someone at the DNC needs to go to jail. If the Clinton campaign wants Sanders voters, they must.

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There has been a lot of discussion lately over just WHO hacked into the DNC’s email server to expose the fact that the DNC subverted democracy, actively aiding the Clinton campaign and deliberately sabotaging the Sanders campaign to ensure Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic nominee (despite polling worse against all the GOP candidates), but NO discussion whatsoever about the revelations themselves and what (if anything) should be done about it.

When news of these hacked emails broke last June, I agonized over “How does one support Hillary without rewarding the DNC for subverting democracy?” I’m even more ambivalent today about the idea. In one of my first Op/Ed’s this primary season (last February), I stated how if Clinton were to win the nomination, I would vote for her despite the fact I know her to be a closet-Conservative, a hawk, and an opportunist whose positions on the issues shift like the desert sands because the alternative… no matter whom it was going to be… would be far worse.

But now, I’m not entirely certain I can keep that promise as a result of these revelations regarding the DNC. My ambivalence having more to do with ensuring the DNC is held to account for undermining the election of the next president of the United States than any dislike/mistrust I have for Hillary Clinton. Electing a political wind-sock would not be the worst thing so long as that wind-sock tends to drift Left when pushed. But “rewarding” the DNC by actively supporting their hand-picked candidate only encourages them to do so again in the future. Someone needs to be held CRIMINALLY responsible. The simple resignation of DNC Chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz is not enough. A self-inflicted slap on the wrist is meaningless. Nothing so toxic that the Clinton campaign wasn’t willing to appoint her “honorary chair of [the Clinton] campaign’s 50-state program”. Schultz’s career in Washington is anything but over.

No, someone needs to GO TO JAIL over what happened if we are to ensure this never happens again. If I’m to cast my vote for Hillary next November rather than vote 3rd Party or leave that space blank on my ballot, someone in the Clinton campaign needs to step up and say, “That’s not right what they did! People need to know they can trust our elections and that their own Party does not actively sabotage the candidacy of fellow Democrats to promote one candidate over another!”

But instead, the Clinton Campaign is leading the charge in misdirecting the media to focus on the leakers rather than the revelations themselves. Their charge is that “this is Russia attempting to aide Donald Trump.” We actually have little-to-no evidence that that is the case. What if the “leaker” turned out to be Edward Snowden? Plenty of Democrats love Snowden. He IS after-all living in Russia. But you never hear anyone from the Clinton camp blaming Snowden for the leaks. Why? You know why as well as I do. Because it would make things very difficult for both the Clinton campaign AND supporters of Edward Snowden now supporting Hillary.

The silence and misdirection surrounding this story feels every bit as orchestrated as the primaries themselves. Meet the Press yesterday conducted an interview with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who mentions how skillfully the Clinton campaign has changed the subject from “how the DNC subverted the Sanders campaign” (“pushing fake stories that Sanders supporters were violent, etc.”) to instead get everyone to focus on the leakers themselves instead. MtP host Chuck Todd spends the entire 10 minute interview trying to get Assange to reveal the identity of the leaker while Assange keeps trying to bring the focus back to the revelations themselves… that “the DNC actively sabotaged the Sanders campaign and disenfranchised millions of Sanders voters” by undermining his campaign and nullifying their vote:
 


 

Not once during the interview did Todd discuss the revelations inside those leaked emails. Instead, he begins the interview with the false claim Assange was being being detained pending being tried for “child rape” (he has long been cleared) and ends the interview with the false charge that a Wikileaks revelation was responsible for the failed deadly Turkish coup last month… both obvious attempts to impugn the integrity or Assange and the value of Wikileaks itself.

Lately, I’ve been seeing these memes from Hillary supporters trying to “pre-blame” a potential “Trump victory” on Sanders voters who are threatening to vote for Trump. Total nonsense. The number of Bernie supporters that will vote for Trump would probably fill a phone booth with room left over to hold another convention. If Hillary loses to Trump, it won’t be because Sanders voters gave him the win. It will be because the DNC hand-picked the weakest candidate in the race to go up against him despite the fact she never polled beyond the single digits against ANY GOP candidate since the race began in mid-2015.

Some have tried to argue that the DNC was only promoting Hillary over Sanders because “Hillary was a Democrat and Sanders was not”. Even if that were true (it’s not. Sanders changed his Party affiliation before running), Maryland governor Martin O’Malley was ALSO in the race, so now, justify the DNC taking sides to push Clinton over O’Malley before a single vote had been cast. If anyone has a case against the DNC, it would be Governor O’Malley (whom has said nothing other than his lack of surprise that Russia may have been the ones who hacked the DNC.)

Hillary supporters don’t GET (and likely don’t care) that the DNC *undermined our Democracy* by actively promoting one candidate over another, while simultaneously actively *suppressing* the others. If they were REAL Democrats, that should raise serious concerns in them. But it doesn’t so long as their candidate is the one who benefited. But just imagine if Hillary had decided NOT to run again and Donald Trump… who once said he would be more likely to run as a Democrat, had in fact done so, and the DNC decided to ensure “The Donald” was the Democratic nominee? It could have happened. How would all these blase’ Hillary supporters feel about DNC malfeasance THEN? The neo-Democratic Party of today has become indistinguishable from the GOP of 40 years ago, where manipulating elections was once the exclusive purview of Republicans. But now, as long as it is THEIR candidate benefiting from this anti-Democratic misbehavior, they are just fine with it.

They undermined the Sanders campaign. They made sure Sanders would lose and then get Hillary to adopt his most popular positions in an attempt to assuage his supporters into supporting her. Am I supposed to just accept that because the alternative is worse?

I’m also repeatedly annoyed by the (false) claim that this Democratic platform is “the most Progressive platform in history” to try and mollify me. FDR had a FAR more progressive platform than what Hillary is proposing this election. Arguably, even Nixon’s platform of ending the war in Vietnam, creating the EPA and promising a National Health Insurance program was every bit as Progressive.

But far worse is the nonsense claim Hillary is the “most experienced candidate in history!” Even President Obama said it in his Convention speech last Wednesday, and we KNOW he knows better. Hillary was a Senator for 8 years and Secretary of State for 4. Thomas Jefferson… who wrote the Declaration of Independence, served as Governor of Virginia, was appointed both Vice President AND our first Ambassador to France… was FAR more experienced than Hillary… as was every other Founding Father who went on to become president. Every former governor or senator that went on to become VP and then president had more “experience” than Hillary Clinton does now. Hell, even Al Gore… who was also a Senator for 8 years, then VP for 8 years, and in the House of Representatives for 5 years before that had more “experience” than Hillary. She’s not even “the most experienced candidate of the last TWELVE years” let alone “in history.”

But I digress.

The DNC hand-picked the most vulnerable Democratic candidate, and now tries to guilt Sanders voters into supporting Hillary with the threat of a Trump victory. The only option left available to us is to make good on that threat.

It was only the threat of a “contested convention” that got the DNC to incorporate much of the Sanders platform into the official Party platform. And it is only the need of Sanders voters to vote for Hillary in November that will ensure she doesn’t lose in a razor-thin election defeat to Donald Trump. If they believe this race is going to be close, they are going to need the support of every Sanders voter. And right now, they think they have enough of us “locked up” that they don’t have to court our votes anymore. In a PBS interview from the floor of the DNC Convention, Senator Barbara Boxer said, “We have about 95% of Sanders voters, so I think we’ll be okay.” Translation: “We don’t need to worry about that last five percent. We’ll win without them.”

It’s a giant game of chicken, and the DNC is betting that Sanders voters will blink first. But Sanders voters have more leverage. We know a Democratic Congress will block every insane thing Trump might try to do (and block his SCotUS picks). The Generals have publicly stated they would “refuse” any unconstitutional order (such as ordering them to resume using “torture”.) And a Trump victory makes winning the all-important 2020 election ever more likely (“2020” will be a HUGE deal because it’s a Census year when redistricting takes place. And the Party in charge of Congress draws those maps. Before Obama, this country had never had more than two presidents serve two 8-year terms back to back. Now we’ve had three (Clinton-I, Bush-II, Obama). The likelihood of Hillary being re-elected to a second term to be the fourth straight two-term president are incredibly unlikely, making 2020 likely to be a big Republican year. So there is a small argument to be made that a Trump victory now might actually help Democrats in 2020 (and beyond.) That gives us leverage.

So, to the Clinton Campaign I say: The ball is in your court. Do you hold the DNC accountable (calling for a criminal prosecution?), or do we hold you accountable for doing nothing?

It’s hard not to think of Pastor Niemöller’s famed “first they came for the…” poem. Hillary supporters be warned. Ignore the DNC’s crimes now, and you have no recourse next time when the candidate they undermine is yours.
 

Silverman-ridiculous

 



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August 1, 2016 · Admin Mugsy · One Comment - Add
Posted in: Crime, Election, myth busting, Partisanship, Politics, Scandals, voting

Media FINALLY concedes DNC pro-Clinton bias ten months after Sanders supporters pointed it out.

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When the Democratic National Committee announced in Late August of last year that there would only be FOUR debates between the Democratic candidates (later increased to six under pressure from voters), scheduled for Friday & Saturday nights (including one opposite an NFL Playoff game) to ensure the smallest possible audience, there wasn’t a doubt in any Sanders’ supporters minds that this was deliberately done to protect Hillary Clinton and keep her opponents obscure while protecting her from looking bad in the days prior to the 2016 Primaries. And we said so. Loudly. But our protests fell on deaf ears. In the last few months of 2015, the blogosphere was replete with stories questioning the perceived coordination between the DNC and the Clinton Campaign and their obvious attempts to protect her. So how this is suddenly “news” to the Media following a WikiLeak of 19,252 stolen emails from the DNC but not released until the eve of the DNC Convention, is a mystery unto itself. Last September, the Huffington Post was already asking: “Why Is DNC Chairwoman Wasserman Schultz Afraid of Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley Debating Hillary Clinton?“. The hashtag “#AllowDebate” exploded on Twitter late last year as Sanders supporters posted graphics like:
 

DWS rigging primary for Clinton

 
Someone I have learned to loath in recent months is a blogger named Brad Bannon of the famed “Brad Blog”. Brad is a lawyer whose claim to fame is reporting GOP election fraud and voter suppression… a major issue for me, and Brad’s reports were must-read reading for anyone following election fraud closely. However, on June 3rd, Bannon… a frequent guest of talk radio… made the point on “The Leslie Marshal Show” that “Even if Bernie Sanders received more [of the popular] votes than Clinton, Sanders STILL would not win the nomination because (quote) “The Super Delegates are all Hillary’s friends and will NEVER vote for him” (end quote.) He did NOT say this in defense of Sanders or even in critique of Clinton. He said it in DEFENSE of Clinton as a Hillary supporter following a lengthy trashing of Bernie Sanders, urging him to concede the race prior to the California primary while criticizing “unrealistic” Sanders supporters. This long time fighter against GOP election theft, just admitted live on the air that he fully supported theft of the Democratic nomination by the “Super Delegates” so long as HIS candidate emerged victorious. That makes Bannon a raging hypocrite in my book and anything he reports on “election fraud” from here on out to be disingenuous & suspect. Marshall… also a Clinton supporter… was genuinely surprised when I admonished her for not taking Bannon to task for advocating “election theft” live on the air with her, clueless how anything Bannon said could be (mis)interpreted as unfair to Bernie Sanders or an insult to his supporters.

The fact “the fix was in” for Hillary from the very beginning is news to NO ONE… not even the Media now breathlessly reporting this “damning revelation”. And Senator Sanders… the clear victim in this travesty… has remained as magnanimous as ever, continuing to endorse Clinton (as he should) and calling for her support to ensure the defeat of Donald Trump. If anyone had reason to be bitter and threaten to pull a “Ted Cruz” at the Convention (refusing to endorse the Party frontrunner and eschew unity), it would be Sanders following this news, but he has not… and will not. Because this race was NEVER about Bernie, his “ego”, or “personal ambition”. The Media STILL does not get that. It’s one more thing we Sanders supporters have known all along. There’s a reason Bernie remains the only candidate in this race rated MORE honest & trustworthy than “dishonest” by voters on BOTH sides of the aisle:
 

Poll: Honest and Trustworthy

 
69% say Hillary dishonestTrump rated more honest than Clinton

 
And yet, Bernie will remain true to his word and endorse Hillary on the first night of the Convention. Any hopes that the Super Delegates will apologize to Sanders for their role in torpedoing a good man and nominate him instead of Clinton are still zero. As Bannon bragged: “They are all Hillary’s friends” and no scandal or trust-deficit is going to convince them to do the right thing and nominate Sanders. (I tweeted during the RNC Convention that “After courting Sanders voters & 4 days of trashing Hillary, Trump would be SO screwed if DNC nominated Bernie.” #RNCinCLE)

I‘ve been looking for a clear example of the benefits of IRV (“Instant Runoff Voting”) for years, and I don’t think I could find a better example than this election season. If I could pass ONE law tomorrow, it would be to make IRV the law of the land. No other single change we could make to our democracy would have as much a positive impact on our nation as “Instant Runoff Voting”. (For those unfamiliar with IRV, watch this short video on YouTube. No more spoilers. No more “two-party system”. Mitigates much of the influence of Big Money in politics, and would actually help increase voter turnout as people once again begin to feel like their vote actually counts.

If we had IRV, Sanders supporters could vote for Bernie without fear of him being a spoiler that could potentially help Trump win. Why? Because with IRV, no one wins with less than 50% of the vote. If your first choice doesn’t win 50%, your vote goes to your second choice… and so on until there are only two candidates left in the race. So you could vote for who you REALLY wanted without fear of helping someone like Trump win with as little as 30% of the vote. You could vote for Bernie, Jill Stein, and even Gary Johnson before voting for Hillary and still defeat Trump. And Bernie wouldn’t feel the need to swallow his pride and endorse the benefactor of DNC election fraud just to prevent a Trump victory.

But that’s another story for another day.

The news that “the DNC took sides and aided Hillary over her rivals” is about as Earth-shattering as last weeks’ weather report. We said it. A number of mainstream news sources reported on it. CNN’s Wolff Blitzer pushed a visibly frustrated Debbie Wasserman Schults to explain why they would not agree to more Democratic debates last December. The Right-wing Washington Times reported on Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley accusing the DNC of “trying to preordain the outcome” LAST AUGUST.

Several weeks ago, I advocated for Hillary to “call for the resignation of DWS”. She didn’t. And it took this “shocking revelation” for Schultz to do so on her own. Meanwhile, Clinton campaign surrogates were out yesterday trying to shift attention to just WHO released this information and blaming THEM for exposing what the DNC did on their behalf (“sure they rigged the election and we were the direct beneficiary of their thwarting of democracy, but the REAL criminals here are the ones revealing their crime!”)

This was news to no one. The Media is “shocked! shocked!” by this “revelation”? “Your winnings, Madam Secretary.”
 



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July 25, 2016 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: Election, Partisanship, Politics, Scandals

Why Sanders Endorsement of Hillary is Smart, maybe even brilliant

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Last week, Senator Bernie Sanders “finally” endorsed Hillary Clinton, much to the dismay of millions of Sanders supporters, but it was the smart… possibly even brilliant… thing to do, and my advice to him (as a Sanders supporter) is to do more of it. If I were Bernie, I’d be out there every day in support of Hillary as her biggest cheerleader. What he gets in return is FAR greater than anything he could hope to achieve by continuing to challenge her for the nomination.

This is NOT a prescription for Bernie being selected as Hillary’s running mate. I don’t want that. HE doesn’t want that. This is not about trying to get in Clinton’s good graces.

First, a cold splash of reality: the “Super Delegates” are not going to suddenly come to their senses and nominate Bernie over Hillary in a Contested Convention. The DNC didn’t lie, cheat & steal for 15 months to make sure the candidate who polled worse against Trump would be the Party nominee, just to throw her under the bus at the Convention. I think nothing short of Hillary being down by 20 points could make the Super Delegates suddenly worry more about winning than making sure Hillary is the nominee, and presently, even in her worst polls, the two candidates (Clinton & Trump) are tied just two weeks out. Short of an indictment (with nothing on the horizon) or catastrophic injury, Hillary will be the Democratic nominee (much to my dismay.) Personally, I’m more focused now on ensuring strong Progressives retake Congress, pushing for Progressive legislation and even keeping Hillary in check.

But coming out in support of Hillary has already aided Bernie in achieving a few major victories. The big wake-up call two weeks ago was when Democratic members of the Senate (ALL Super Delegates and 90% for Hillary) openly “booed” Bernie upon entering Congress for having not yet endorsed Hillary. This told us a couple of things: 1) If Bernie is to become a leader in the Senate, he needs the support of the very people that booed him, and 2) There is no way those Clinton supporters were going to cast their vote for Bernie in a Contested Convention if they are already booing him.

By endorsing Hillary, he makes those members of Congress happy. If for some reason Hillary did not have a lock on the nomination come the Convention, you don’t want 400 angry Democrats in the House & Senate voting against you out of spite. This way, they could vote for a candidate they have good feelings towards. And THAT is why, if I were Sanders, I’d be praising Hillary 24/7 between now and the end of the Convention (even if I had to paint a smile on my face to do it.)

Endorsing Hillary has already earned his campaign some historic concessions from the Clinton Campaign. Some of Bernie’s signature policy goals were adopted as part of the official Democratic Party Platform… something no other losing candidate has accomplished in the last 100 years (if ever.) First, where Bernie proposed “every public college & university be tuition free” and Hillary only went so far as to call for making college “affordable” (asking, “Do you want to pay for Donald Trump’s kids to go to college?”), the two sides brokered a compromise, promising a goal of tuition-free public college to “any family earning less than $125,000/year.” That’s a huge victory.

The second Sanders policy integrated into the Party Platform was a call to move towards a “$15/hr Minimum Wage”. Hillary was only willing to go as far as $12 nationally during the campaign… a position that proved both inconvenient and embarrassing when she was repeatedly caught embracing the idea of a $15 Minimum Wage (once when the SEIU was caught distributing fliers claiming she supported it, and again when she was invited to appear with the governors of New York & California to praise the passing of $15 MinWage legislation in those states despite being on the record as supporting only $12 “Nationally”. Clinton danced madly to deflect criticism, saying she “ALWAYS supported a $15 Minimum Wage… just not ‘nationally’.” But now, a promise to move towards “$15 Nationally” was made a part of the Party platform (basically a “gimme” for Bernie since the country would have to move towards $15 nationally “eventually”… but with no specific timeline AFAIK.)

The Clinton campaign did agree to investigate “the fossil fuel industry for misleading the public about the causes & dangers of climate change” and a call for “a massive investment in renewable energy” that sets the ambitious goal of “obtaining all U.S. energy from renewable fuels by 2050.” BUT they refused to call for a ban on “fracking” or for a “carbon tax”. Because, after all, this neo-Democratic Party is Nixon’s GOP of 50 years ago.
 

Nixon/Clinton

 

With the Hillary supporters in Congress now on his side, Bernie will become a leader in the Senate. And as a high-profile leader with the voters on his side, he can push for the very legislation he has already called for, making sure it ends up on Clinton’s desk to sign (like the “college tuition” bill, a “$15 minimum wage” bill, or “climate change” legislation)… possibly even rallying enough support to override a Clinton veto should it ever come to that (highly unlikely.)

“The Powers That Be” want Hillary to be the Democratic nominee. That’s not going to change. And we can complain about it being “a rigged system”, but it’s of little use complaining to the people who did the rigging. “The Pied Piper” didn’t have to “like” rats to get them to follow him out of Hamelin (Germany), he just needed to convince them to follow him. Like I said, “If I were Bernie, I’d be out there like Elizabeth Warren defending Hillary from the likes of Trump & Pence. The more Good Will he earns among her supporters, the more it helps him achieve his goals… and that is what we want after all, right?
 

NOTE: This week is the Republican Convention. Don’t bother looking for a Party coup to reject Trump and nominate someone else. They have already resigned themselves to the idea Trump will be their nominee this election and are praying Congress would keep a “President Trump” in check. Ditto for the Democratic Convention next week. Short of a catastrophe, Hillary’s supporters are every bit as married to the idea of her being “the first woman president” that not even the threat of being behind by “double-digits” would convince them to abandon her at this late stage. And while most pundits are doubting it, I do think Hillary is likely to pick Elizabeth Warren as her running mate. And while I think that would be a huge mistake (opening up a secure Democratic Senate seat and turning a Senate leader into someone who attends State funerals for a living), if Warren were to leave, that would make Bernie’s new role as THE Progressive Leader in the Senate all the more powerful.)
 



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July 18, 2016 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: Election, Politics

Dallas and The Slippery Slope of Allowing Police to Play Executioner

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Last week was another tragic week following the deaths of two black men at the hands of police under dubious circumstances and five police officers in Dallas by a disturbed black man using a #BlackLivesMatter protest as cover. But just as disturbing was the method used to “stop” the Dallas shooter… not “capture”, “arrest” or “subdue”, but the outright “execution” of the gunman… former military and possibly suffering from PTSD. After shooting and killing FIVE of Dallas’ finest, the man HAD to be stopped. There is no question of that. But the “final solution” (pun intended) was to bypass DUE PROCESS and simply execute the gunman by sending in a robot to plant a bomb and detonate it with him inside.

Now, NO ONE is defending the life of the gunman over the lives of the officers he killed. If you think that’s what this story is about, you’re sadly mistaken. No. This is about the “slippery slope” of granting an already overly-militarized police force the power to perform summary battlefield executions without benefit of trial.

Back in the 1976, an obscure British comic book anti-hero was created called Judge Dredd (you’re more likely to know the mediocre 1995 Stallone film of the same name [or its 2012 remake].) Dredd was a future police officer in the far-off year of 2000. Thanks to an over-burdened court system due to too many criminals thanks to the collapse of society, officers like Dredd were bestowed the power of “Judge, Jury & Executioner“. Don’t bother arresting a person if caught red-handed, simply sentence them to “death” and execute them on the spot based solely on the officers own judgement. No muss. No fuss.

Police officers in this country have the SOLE job of apprehending criminals to stand trial. Officers may carry guns to protect themselves and others. They may NOT simply execute a suspect, denying them “due process”, and certainly not by planting a bomb. to blow them up when they won’t surrender.

Again, I repeat my point about not defending the shooter nor his actions. That’s not the point. His crime is not the point. Whether he deserved what he got is not the point. This is about power we are ceding to an already over-militrized police force that is looking more and more like an occupying army with each passing year. Gone are the days of “Officer Bob” patrolling his beat… the same city-street day after day, getting to know the residents by name. Urban sprawl has made that all but impossible today. And with a Congress that is unwilling to deny the mentally impaired or even terrorist suspects from purchasing a firearm, no wonder our streets look more like warzones and our police like soldiers.

The late Pierre Salenger, former Press Secretary to President Kennedy (later reporter for ABC News) once told the following story: “Back in 1962 during The Cuban Missile Crisis, President Kennedy had to leave an event early to deal with an emergency. Rather than tell the Press he had matters to attend to without the inevitable Q&A, Kennedy instead lied to the Press about why he had to leave early. A little white lie. No big deal, and no one would think twice of it today. But it marked the first time a president willfully lied to the American people.” And so the “slippery slope” began. Soon it became totally accepted that a president may just lie to the country and no one thinks twice about it. We may even tell ourselves “they’re doing it for our own good.”

Following the scandalous Nixon presidency, Jimmy Carter ran for president vowing to “never lie to the American people”. No way to know if he kept that promise, but we KNOW no one else since has. Whether or not it is ever justified is not the question. It’s a power we surrendered to those who have proven they can’t be trusted with that kind of power.

Right now, there are several million paranoid white NRA members that are stockpiling guns & ammunition for the day “the gub’ment” is coming to “take their guns away”. How different are THEY from the “Black Lives Matter” people in fearing for their lives from the government? And how many of those white NRA members do you think sided with the government against the BLM protesters? (I reiterate that the Dallas shooter was NOT affiliated with BLM. Reports are that he had been planning an attack on police for months, well before the killings of Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile. The shooting may have triggered him to snap, or he may have simply used the protests as cover.)

In the Dallas Shooter case, WHAT IF police had instead pumped the building full of tear-gas or sleeping-gas, allowing them to take him alive? If that were an option, would you STILL have advocated the use of a BOMB sent in by robot to execute him? Would it matter to you if this were a former soldier suffering from PTSD? We’ve all seen police in riot gear with bullet-proof plexiglass shields. If the police could not go in after him, could a “hostage negotiator” have talked him into coming out with his hands up (don’t shoot)? Was the weaponry he was using too deadly to make that worth risking? And if so, whose fault is THAT? If you’re asking why an irrational man committing an irrational act didn’t rationally surrender to spare his own life, that in itself is not rational. And just how certain were they he didn’t have a hostage or that no one else was in that building before setting off that bomb?

I stress again that this is NOT about defending the man who killed five police officers. It is about deciding whether or not we want to confer the power to deny Due Process… a right established in our Constitution and reserved to the COURTS… to a police force that already behaves like an occupying army in the middle of a warzone (and further justifying the sale of military-grade hardware to the general public). It’s a slippery-slope… or so the gun nuts keep telling me.
 



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July 11, 2016 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: Civil Rights, Crime, Guns & Violence, Racism, Unconstitutional

If Hillary Wants My Vote, here is what she must do.

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How many times have Hillary supporters (and Hillary herself) tried to guilt Bernie supporters into voting for her simply to “Stop Trump”? Following up on last weeks’ unanswered question of how Bernie supporters could possibly be expected to vote for Hillary without rewarding the questionable tactics of the DNC to suppress support for Senator Sanders… be it either by denying him debates so the he remained a relative unknown for as long as possible, or outright voter disenfranchisement (as seen in NY, AZ & PR to name only a few examples)… this week we take a look at just what Hillary herself can & must do to avoid being materially harmed for things the DNC did on her behalf.

At least once or twice a week now it seems, a Hillary supporter will tell me to “face reality”, that if I don’t vote for Clinton, I’m only “helping Trump win.” Sorry. Call me crazy, but I need a better reason than “not as bad as the other guy” to vote someone President of the United States. Why should I vote for someone whom they themselves can’t give me a good reason to vote FOR them better than “the other guy is worse”? Or that I would be “obstructing history” by not electing the “first woman president” (yet they didn’t “obstruct history” by not nominating the first Jewish candidate? But I digress.) Presently, my fall-back candidate is Jill Stein of the Green Party, so I’ve got the “first woman” thing covered.

So here is my brief (and undoubtedly incomplete) list of things Hillary Clinton should consider doing if she intends to draw any significant proportion of the 13 Million Sanders voters (whom she can’t defeat Trump without) over to her side:

  • Call for the resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz as head of the DNC. This is more of a symbolic gesture than anything else, but it would register the disapproval of Sanders voters with how the DNC conducted themselves and show that there are consequences for that misbehavior. A lack of ANY consequences demonstrates tacit approval of the DNC’s highly questionable (bordering on downright illegal) handling of the 2016 Primaries, giving them the green light to do the same in future elections. It will also demonstrate to Sanders voters that you acknowledge the nomination process was handled poorly, “unnecessarily” casting a cloud over your “victory”.
  •  

  • You claim to “support a $15 Minimum Wage, just not nationally by fiat. Only $12 Nationally” while supporting higher rates on “a state-by-state basis.” But the country MUST raise the minimum wage to $15 eventually, and as long as a person working full-time for “minimum wage” still qualifies for public assistance (food stamps, housing, child services, etc), all you are doing is subsidizing corporate-America by shifting the burden from businesses to the taxpayer. So, please tell us how quickly do you see us getting to a $15 national “Minimum Wage”?
  •  

  • What is your plan to invest in infrastructure? This country is still trying to squeeze out the last drops of value from our last investment in infrastructure during The Great Depression. Millions of Americans are driving across Depression-Era built bridges, children being educated in Depression-Era built schools, trains running on tracks that date back to the 19th century transporting people & deadly cargo (oil trains) at speeds that also date back to the 19th century, and trying to power a 21st century society using an electrical grid that dates back to the early 20th century.
  •  

  • What about promoting GREEN technology as both “business opportunity” and to fight “Climate Change”? Do you have a strategy?
  •  

  • Speaking of which, what IS your plan to fight Climate Change? Senator Sander made the point that Climate Change is a greater threat to humanity than gnat-like terrorist organizations like “ISIS”. Do you share his urgency?
  •  

  • You say you want to see the “Citizens United” Supreme Court decision overturned, noting in fact that it was a judgement AGAINST YOU personally and you therefore are motivated to see it overturned. Yet you took full advantage of the “SuperPAC” provisions and virtually unlimited cash flowing from Corporate America into our political campaigns made possible by “Citizens United”. You chose not to eschew SuperPAC money in THIS election, will you fight to overturn “Citizens United” before you have a chance to take advantage of it again in 2020?
  •  

  • RELEASE THE (BLEEPING) TRANSCRIPTS of (all 42) paid speeches given after resigning as Secretary of State. You claim there is nothing embarrassing or potentially harmful to your campaign in them, yet you keep finding new excuses not to release them. First it was, “I will when everyone else does” (when there was no evidence anyone else had), then it was “in exchange for Trump’s tax returns.” Trump not releasing his returns is TRUMP’S problem. Refusing to release your Transcripts only HELPS him by allowing him to point to YOUR OWN avoidance of transparency.
  •  

  • You say you are for “Universal Health Care”… just not “Universal SINGLE-PAYER Health Care”, going so far as to say it “will never ever happen.” You may be unaware that we ALREADY have a “Universal SINGLE-PAYER Health Care” system. It’s called “Medicare”, providing basic full coverage to Seniors and beloved by even 80% of Republicans. WHY NOT propose “Medicare for All?” How often have we all watched late night infomercials for “St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital” where tearful families call it a “miracle” to simply receive the same free medical care other industrialized nations take for granted? It’s pathetic.
  •  

  • You only propose making higher education “affordable”, while Senator Sanders campaigned on making “public colleges & universities free (again.)” Why are you against free public college? Presently, we have a system where tens of thousands of young people find their only way to afford college is to risk their lives by enlisting in the military to earn the money… once not a huge deal, but in this new age of Endless War, it is yet one more of this nation’s great shames that the poor must risk life & limb just to afford college while the wealthy do not.
  •  

  • Call to put an end to disgraceful private for-profit prisons. Your campaign cut ties with the private prison industry late last year, even criticizing the practice, yet you have not said you would do anything to abolish the industry (unlike Sanders, who introduced a bill to ban the Federal Government from using them [ibid]). The United States actually has MORE people in prison than China (which has quadruple our population plus political prisoners.) We spend more on prisons than we do on Education (yes, there’s a connection), and the corporations that run these prisons spend millions lobbying Congress for more & stricter laws to fill their prisons and their coffers. Even a majority of Republicans agree matters of “security” should not be privatized. It’s time for the industry to go.
  •  

  • You stated that you oppose “reinstating Glass-Steagall” (repealed by your husband) but instead call for a “21st century Glass-Steagall” (unlike Sanders who wants the old law reinstated.) Why? What “deficiencies” are you aware of in the old law that need updating? What changes do you believe are needed? And if Democrats don’t regain control of Congress, do you trust Republicans to help write that new regulation of all things financial without filling it full of loopholes & goodies for their friends in the financial industry? Assure us you’re not looking to do the same for YOUR friends in the financial industry.
  •  

  • You are squishy on the subject of “Free-Trade”… particularly the TPP. You tell critics you “oppose the TPP”, but in an interview last May, you added the caveat “in its current form”. What assurances can you give Sanders voters that you will oppose all destructive free-trade agreements? When Americans must compete with lower-wage workers in other countries with lower standards of living, there is no way we can compete, and the American worker ALWAYS loses.

In any other election year, a candidate such as yourself with an “Honest & Trustworthy” rating below that of Used Car Salesman wouldn’t have a prayer of winning the presidency if it were not for your “good fortune” (cough) to be running against an opponent “less popular than head lice”…
 

Hillary: Only 33% say she's trustworthy
 
Trump less popular than lice

 
I’ve noted previously on here that despite being an ardent Bernie supporter, I’m not “Bernie or Bust”. I don’t like giving myself ultimatums, boxing myself into a position I may be uncomfortable with later. I also happen to live in a state (Texas) with no “write-in vote” capability… not that I’d utilize it if we did because write-ins have a success rate just South of snowballs in Hell. I’m also a realist. I accept that it would likely take an Earth-shattering revelation to convince enough Super Delegates to back Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton this late in the game. A few examples of what those revelations might be come to mind:

  • Someone (“Anonymous”, “WikiLeaks”, Snowden) leaks damaging video from one of Hillary’s infamous “Wall Street speeches” (that she continues to refuse to release the transcripts of despite insisting there’s nothing damaging in them.)
  •  

  • It is revealed that she solicited donations to “The Clinton Foundation” WHILE Secretary of State, and evidence of that (criminal) act was among those 30,000 “personal, non-work related” emails she deleted.
  •  

  • A major health issue incapacitates her.

Madam Secretary, so far, I have yet to see you reach out to Sanders supporters in any way beyond simply fear-mongering over the need to “defeat Trump”. You have addressed NONE of our concerns and continue to couch your entire campaign in secrecy as you embolden the DNC to drift ever further to the Right as it fills the void left behind as Trump & his psychotics drag the GOP to the far FAR Right. I’m not on the Right. I’m not in the Middle either. And I’m not interested in voting for either. To date, you have yet to provide me with a compelling reason for me to give you my vote. There are 13 Million of us (yes, “13 Million”), and despite what so many of your foolish enthusiastic supporters believe, you won’t be able to defeat Trump without us. It’s time you started taking that seriously. Give us a reason other than “stopping Trump” to trust you with the presidency. As noted in the intro, we’ve already got the “first woman president” thing covered should we decide to vote for Jill Stein. Millions more may simply stay home on Election Day, unmoved by threats of what a Trump presidency might mean if the alternative is voting for someone they neither trust nor whose policies they support. Stop giving us reasons to NOT vote for “the other guy” and tell us why we should vote FOR you.

Because right now is your last chance.
 



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June 27, 2016 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: Election, Partisanship, Politics, voting