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Republican to English dictionary
Feb 22nd, 2010 by Admin Mugsy

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About a week ago, a Right-Wing caller into one of the major Progressive radio-shows I listen to called President Bush “a Liberal”. Saturday, one of my YouTube videos drew the same “accusation”. Of all the things George W. Bush was, “a Liberal” was not one of them. Liberals don’t view government as “evil”, but as a potential force for good (I’ve always wondered about politicians who condemn government while running for office, or the voters that elect those same politicians in the mistaken belief they will somehow make government better.) The reasoning of both men was that Bush’s fiscal irresponsibility automatically made him “a Liberal”… because in their mind, that’s what a Liberal is. Take the test:

President #1 President #2
  • Dramatically increased the size of government.
  • Quadrupled the National Debt
  • Raised taxes 4 of his 8 years in office trying to bring the Debt under control.
  • Shrank the size of government to it’s smallest size since before President #1.
  • Balanced the budget and left with a smaller National Debt than when he entered office
  • Cut taxes for the middle class.


 

So which is the “fiscally irresponsible Liberal” and which is the “frugal Conservative”? President #1 is Ronald Reagan. President #2 is Bill Clinton.

But this isn’t the first time I’ve heard this. Conservatives equate “big spender” with “Liberal”, because that is the extent of their knowledge of what “Liberal” means. Spend money like a drunken sailor, increase the National Debt and expand the size of government, you must be a “Liberal”.

George Bush wasn’t a Conservative, that’s true. But spending doesn’t make one a “Liberal” either as the above test points out. Bush was a NeoCon… “neo-Conservative”. His Administration went on a deregulatory binge that led to the financial disaster on Wall Street and a 3/4 of a Trillion dollar bailout while employment was already tumbling. And while the markets were struggling to stave off the coming economic collapse on Wall Street, Bush went on a cross-country speaking tour in 2006 trying talk the county into privatizing Social Security. That’s not “Liberal” by anyone’s definition.

So this got me thinking of all the other Right-Wing Talking Points that we hear but no one ever asks them to explain:

Here in Texas, Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson is in a mudslinging contest with incumbent Governor “Good Hair” Rick Perry, who was Dubya’s two-term Lieutenant Governor before Bush ran for President in 2000 and has been our governor ever since (winning reelection in 2007 with just 39% of the vote in a carefully orchestrated four-way race). Outside of Texas, Perry is a punchline, openly joking about “secession”. And now, he is running a TV ad (currently not online) where he comes out, unambiguously, as a Tenther (defined)… which is code for rejecting “Government healthcare” if offered.

In 2006, Joe Lieberman’s reelection website was “ConnecticutForLieberman.com”… not “Lieberman for Connecticut”, because, as was later noted, “It’s all about Joe”. It’s always been all about Joe. As we’ve seen in the health care debate, the Iraq War and supporting the Republican candidate for President, the only person Joe cares about is Joe.

Here in Texas, the top two Republican candidates for governor, Rick Perry and Kay Bailey Hutchinson have their own websites. You guessed it: TexansForPerry.com and TexansForKay.com. To be fair to Perry, a cyber-squatter is sitting of “PerryForTexas.com”, but “KayForTexas.com” and “KayForTexans.com” both redirect you to “TexansForKay.com”. Something about those Republicans that think “it’s all about them“.

Hutchinson won reelection in 2006 by throwing GWB under the bus, criticizing Gitmo and citing the need “to bring our troops home and end the war in Iraq”. Of course, with her reelection, she joined the GOP chorus to criticize then-candidate Obama in 2008 for wanting to end the war in Iraq and now attacks his support for terrorism trials to be held in civilian courts instead of Gitmo. If you’re surprised by the about-face, you probably WERE born yesterday.

Anyway, Hutchinson quickly picked up the “Health Care Reform would be a government takeover” football and has been running with it ever since. I doubt a campaign stop has gone by where she didn’t vow to “stop the government takeover of health care.” I would just LOVE the chance to ask her about this because there’s no way to defend the accusation without sounding like Michelle Bachman’s even-crazier half sister. So without further ado, I give you my…

“Republican to English dictionary”:

1) Talking Point #1: denouncing Health Insurance Reform as a “government takeover of health care” despite the fact that the government isn’t threatening to seize control of hospitals or put a single doctor on the government payroll. Here’s how they explain it:

If the government offers insurance, it will be SO cheap and SO popular it will put private insurers out of business, leaving people with no choice but the government from which to buy insurance. Eventually, with all insurance companies out of business, there’s nothing to stop the government from taking over the entire health care industry.

Yes, the government insurance that would lead to “death panels” and “rationed care” would be SO popular, “everyone” would sign up and put the private insurance industry out of business. Got that? Me neither.

And how long before this “takeover”… this eventual total collapse of the entire health insurance industry followed by the government socializing all hospitals and doctors… is complete? One year? Five? Ten? Well, actually, even IF this far fetched scenario took place, it would likely take 30-50 years. How do I know? The court battles alone over “seizing” privately owned hospitals could tie up the courts for decades. And I don’t see the Federal government going on a “construction binge” building brand new government-owned hospitals across the country simply to circumvent buying existing hospitals. I’d also like to point out that despite warning labels, high taxes and city ordinances, the government has yet to put the tobacco industry out to pasture. The GOP would like you to think this would all happen virtually over night.

But it’s a ridiculous scenario to begin with. Other nations with a “public option”, most notably Japan, have thriving a private insurance industry. Will they have to adjust? Of course! That is the point after all of including a public option. Prices come down, insurance companies cut costs and coverage increases. If you can’t do that, then you deserve to go out of business.
 

2) Claiming “the Stimulus hasn’t created one (net) new job“. I put “net” in parenthesis because that word was added only just last week as millions of people were pointing to their job as either being created or saved by the Stimulus. The Republican argument before that was “we’re still losing jobs”, ergo, the lack of positive employment numbers was “proof” the Stimulus “hadn’t created any new jobs”. Because in Republican-Land, if you haven’t gone from losing 700,000 jobs a month to zero in just one year, whatever you are doing isn’t working.

The Obama White House wisely put out the following graph showing that job growth is clearly moving in the right direction:

Job growth graph

Many pundits pointed out the number of Republicans citing jobs in their state that were created by the Stimulus. Even President Obama ridiculed them to their face for bashing the Stimulus while posing for publicity photos with giant Publishers-Clearinghouse sized checks. Their credibility on the issue plummeted quickly, forcing them to revise their wording at last week’s CPAC convention, now claiming “the Stimulus hasn’t created one NET new job.”

Looking at the above graph, who would you rather have in charge of the economy? The Party that spent eight years getting us here, or the one that’s digging us out?
 

3) Teabaggers screaming President Obama “raised our taxes” even after getting a tax cut. President Obama cut taxes for 95% of Americans (and holding steady for another 3%), so unless there are FAR more corporate titans in America than anyone thought… enough to populate these Teabagger rallies with hundreds of protesters in cities across the nation, chances are President Obama didn’t raise their taxes. So how do they explain this disconnect?

When I asked a Conservative friend, the argument was that “taxes raised on the so-called rich simply get passed along to the rest of us in the form of higher prices.” Ah! So much for their faith in the “Free Market” to keep prices low. Paris Hilton can protest her taxes going up as much as she wants; I don’t foresee ticket prices for her movies going up any.

Maybe it’s just me, but wouldn’t it follow then that prices would go DOWN if we just cut their taxes? We tried that under George W Bush. Funny, but I don’t remember things getting cheaper as a result. Nor did they create more jobs with all that extra untaxed income… which was the original argument for cutting their taxes.

There is a new (?) viral email making the rounds right now “pointing out” that the economy didn’t tank “until Democrats took charge of Congress in 2007″… a myth I debunked all the way back in March of last year, and the fantastic economy under Bill Clinton was when Republicans controlled both houses of Congress.

While this is an interesting rewrite of history, the most glaring question is, “I thought you said Clinton left Bush with a Recession?” For how many years did we hear Republicans deflect blame for the pitiful Bush economy by blaming Clinton? Who now, again, was in charge of Congress when Bush was supposedly “handed a Recession”? You can’t have it both ways, folks. Either the Clinton economy was great while you were in charge or it wasn’t. Make up your mind. And if I remember correctly (and I do), those exact same Republicans were still in charge when Bush took office and the economy continued to sink. The Market wasn’t exactly on the rebound either by September 10th. To the contrary, the DOW continued to lose another 1452 points over the next seven-and-a-half months.

It’s a common theme to condemn Democrats who were elected to fix Republican-caused disasters, for not fixing those disasters fast enough. Republicans need people to believe their disasters are the Democrats fault because Democrats are in charge when their economic timebombs go off. Radio’s Thom Hartmann calls this “the two Santa Clauses Theory“, where Republicans promise voters “tax cuts” and “government services” while borrowing frightening sums of cash to pay for it all, and then demonizing Democrats for raising taxes and borrowing additional money (at a much slower rate) to fix the mess they left. Then voters, unhappy with having to live within their means, return to the people promising both low taxes and more services (while ratcheting up the National Debt).

What happens to all that hysteria over the Debt while Republicans are in charge? The GOP does an amazing job of rallying their “low information” voter base to take to the streets and feign outrage over something that has been a problem for years once they are no longer in charge.

The very first video I ever posted to YouTube was when the National Debt broke the $10Trillion dollar mark in mid 2006 (before Democrats retook Congress btw). Where were the Teabaggers then??? Less than five and a half years after President Clinton left a less than $5Trillion dollar Debt that was shrinking thanks to a balanced budget and budget surplus, Bush and the Republican controlled Congress had more than doubled the National Debt and turned the surplus into a record deficit. So pardon me when I question the Tea Parties sincerity over controlling the size of the Debt. But now, with fewer tax dollars coming in, the government needs to borrow more money to get the economy moving again. And the Baggers are in hysterics.

I used to write a lot about the size of the National Debt under George Bush. I haven’t written much on the subject since. Why? Am I giant hypocrite? No. Let me explain:

It takes money to run the Federal government. Lots of money. And when you have high employment and lots of people paying taxes into the system, you don’t need to borrow that much to make up the “difference”… which we call “the deficit”. The biggest drains on our economy now are the Bush Tax Cuts and the two Bush Wars. President Obama has taken Defense Cuts off the table and shifted part of the Bush Tax Cuts over to lower income Americans, so that leaves just borrowing and spending to make up the difference.

Now everyone thinks we can cut spending. But two problems with that: one, you can’t cut spending without cutting someones job, and two, there just isn’t that much left to cut after you take Defense off the table. Republicans would then have us make deep, vain gushing cuts into “entitlements”… namely, things like the “Medicare” that Teabaggers demand the government to keep its hands away from… and Social Security… which Bush campaigned to privatize the year before the Stock Market collapsed.

So now you have to borrow. And if you want to create jobs and fund new industries, it has to be a lot. The irony is that this wouldn’t be such a huge problem if George Bush hadn’t added $6 trillion to the National Debt with nothing to show for it. More money was lost to the Bush Tax Cuts than the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. The tax cuts that they said were “necessary to create jobs”… how’d that work out for ya?
 

Quote of the Day:

When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him.” – Jonathan Swift


 


 

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Putting the “Snowpocalypse” into perspective with maps
Feb 18th, 2010 by Admin Mugsy

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Recently, the Right-Wing echo chamber has been in a lather over record snowfall in the American North East, suggesting that it is “proof” of the nonexistence of “Global Warming”. Last week, I noted how famed Conservatives Sen. Jim Inhoff (R-OK), Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), Sean Hannity and Sarah Palin are all giddy over how foolish Al Gore must now feel in light of the massive amount of moisture dumped on DC this Winter in the form of snow. Add dead-squirrel-toupee enthusiast Donald Trump to that list, who suggested that the Nobel Prize committee “take back” Al Gore’s award in light of “the coldest Winter ever recorded” (total nonsense. No such claim has ever been made.)

On last weeks “Fox news Sunday“, regular panelist Bill Kristol said of the Winter blizzard, “It’s awfully convenient to have a theory that predicts both less snowfall and more snowfall at the same time.” I defy Mr. Kristol to name a single scientist that ever said Global Warming would produce “less snowfall”. In fact, the opposite is true. In 2006, when he and Boss Limbaugh were pointing to “increased snowfall in Greenland and Antarctica” as “proof” that Global Warming didn’t exist, the response was the same then as it is today: that increased snowfall means more water is evaporating. The scientific community has been absolutely consistent on that point… unlike the Deniers.

Meanwhile, as the American North East digs itself out from under record snowfall, the Vancouver Winter Olympics on the West Coast is being plagued by unusually warm weather disrupting the event schedule. So let’s put the Deniers “proof” in perspective with some maps (click on map for interactive version):


(two more maps on linked page)

 
(If you have any reports I’ve missed, post them in the comments and I’ll add them to the maps. – Ed)
 


 

Please REGISTER to post comments or be notified by e-mail every time this Blog is updated! Firefox/IE7+ users can use RSS for a browser link that lists the latest posts!
WRITERS WANTED – Keeping this blog current can be a bigger job than for just one person. “Mugsy’s Rap Sheet” is looking for VOLUNTEER guest writers to contribute to our blog to help make it worth visiting more than once a week. To contact us, please send an email to the address on our About Us page along with a sample and/or link to your writing skills. – Mugsy


 

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Go ahead and laugh Republicans, but record snowfall IS from Global Warming.
Feb 11th, 2010 by Admin Mugsy

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Just a quicky.

The North East is currently suffering its THIRD blizzard in two months. Giddy conservative Global Warming deniers like Jim Inhofe (R-OK) were photographed building an “igloo” in his front yard with his grandchildren, mockingly calling it “Al Gore’s new home.” Sean Hannity of Fox “News” claimed on his show Monday night that the North East snowstorms “seem to contradict Al Gore’s hysterical Global Warming theories”. And Wednesday, that towering intellect known as Sarah Palin called global warming studies ‘snake oil science.’

(ADDENDUM: Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) laughingly said it would “continue to snow in DC until Al Gore cries Uncle.”)

I have but one question for all these “authorities” on climate science: WHERE DO YOU THINK ALL THAT MOISTURE CAME FROM?

Breaking News: It’s not Winter EVERYWHERE, dipshits. El Nino, that massive buildup of warm water off the Pacific coast of South America… where it is currently SUMMER… is pumping Billions of gallons of evaporated seawater into the atmosphere, where the jetstream then carries it to the North East (where it is Winter) and falls as snow. If it were Summer, it would be pouring rain, but since it is Winter, it falls as snow.

Now, the deniers equate “snow” with “cold”, thereby “contradicting” Global Warming. So I did a quick Google News search for “record low temperature” and found exactly ZERO reports of record cold associated with this blizzard. Meanwhile, Seattle just had its “warmest January in history“, and Vancouver… home of next weeks Winter Olympics, is having to truck in snow from neighboring towns in time for the event.

While Ms. Palin is on the road belittling climate science, someone might want to ask her why the Kuskokwim River ice road in South Western Alaska is cracking up in December?

As I’ve explained here previously, there is a difference between “climate” and “weather”. Florida has a warm “climate”, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t get cold there in the Winter.

In the 2006 movie “Jesus Camp“, a mother that was homeschooling her children ridiculed reports that “global temperatures may rise by 7/10th of a degree…” “Doesn’t sound like very much, does it?”, she says snarkilly to her children.

Is 7/10th of a degree very much? Ask an ice cube what the difference is between 32′ degrees and 32.7′ degrees.

UPDATE: Beck thinks Climate Scientists should stab themselves to death.

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Myth Busting: “In Search Of…” 1970’s “Global Cooling” hype.
Feb 8th, 2010 by Admin Mugsy

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While Washington D.C. and the surrounding area attempts to dig itself out from under “The Snow-pocolypse”, Global Warming deniers are back at it again, pointing to it and the unusually blizzardly (pardon the new word) Winter we’ve been having… mixed in with last Falls “leaked Climate-Gate emails” as PROOF that “Global Warming” is actually a giant fraud (or, according to Utah State-Representative Mike Noel, a secret plot by Liberals aimed at “population control”… because Republicans are SO concerned about Liberal attempts to suppress the number of brown people in the world… unless they think “Global Warming” exists everywhere EXCEPT the United States. Nah. That can’t be it.)

The DailyKOS released a poll last week echoing what we’ve all known for quite sometime now: these people are NUTS! But the KOS poll left out one CRUCIAL question IMHO: Level of Education. Because I’m certain if you asked, the less educated you are, the more likely you are to be a Right-wing loon with ridiculous views. (One corollary to this rule… the richer you are, the easier it is for a dumb person to graduate from a prestigious school… eg: Dubya attending both Harvard and Yale.)

Anyway, back on topic:

Climate Change deniers love to cite “1970’s hysteria” over “Global Cooling” and articles written at the time predicting “the coming ice age”. Conservative columnist George Will loves pointing to “Global Cooling” reports in the ’70s frequently as a way to ridicule “Climate Change” science today. That’s a bit like ridiculing The Internet today because Bill Gates once called it “a passing fad” in his 1995 book “The Road Ahead” (or was it during a Presser for “MSN: The Microsoft Network” that same year?).

I personally am old enough to remember claims of “the coming ice age” in the 70’s. I remember reading an except in Readers Digest about The Great Blizzard of 1888, where over 4′ of snow (40″-50″ inches) fell in the space of one week over New York, New Jersey, and parts of Connecticut. That was but one example given as “proof” the Earth was cooling and we were headed for another ice age (“every 10,000 years” they claimed, thus we were due.)

So I did a little research regarding these “Global Cooling” claims in the 1970’s and found some fascinating stuff.

One of my favorite TV shows in the 70’s was “In Search Of…”, a weekly 1/2 hour pseudo-science series hosted by Leonard Nimoy (of Star Trek fame… which pre-dated me). Among topics like the search for Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster, Season Two included an episode entitled “The Coming Ice Age”, of which I found a copy online on the Usenet (binary newsgroups. Don’t ask me to explain). The entire basis for the “Global Cooling” argument consisted almost entirely of anecdotal evidence:

Opening (1:07)

First broadcast in May of 1978, I watched the entire episode (twice) listening for their “proof” upon which they were basing their claims. “Canada, the Northern United States, and much of Europe were buried under a two mile thick sheet of ice some 18 thousand years ago”, Leonard remarks. “The world’s population has flourished to over 5 billion people during this interval of abnormal warmth“, we are told. Presumably, a warm Earth just isn’t natural. So another “ice age” is therefore inevitable.

Warm is abnormal. (1:12)

“Proof”? Forgedaboudit. “Evidence”? There was none to be found. No facts. The “coming ice age” was simply a foregone conclusion.

“This glacier was still expanding 100 years ago.” (1:07)

“Arctic temp readings show a 2’C drop over the past 30 years.” (:46)

The only evidence the program presented to support the claim were “Ice cores” drilled in the Antarctic supposedly showing that “89,000 years ago” there was “a sudden and abrupt change in the climate…” resulting in “widespread freezing occurring with dramatic suddenness.” How did this happen? One scientist theorizes that “volcanic activity” put enough ash into the atmosphere to block enough sunlight to cause an ice age.

“Volcanic ash caused the last one.” (1:54)

As to why we should expect this to happen again…? “We’re due.” We are told repeatedly in the program that there have been “eight ice ages” in our history, and “we know how long between each ice age”, therefore, “we’re due”.

“Ice Age is inevitable.” (:36)

Why a coming ice age? “We’re simply due.” (1:55)

And THAT, dear reader, was the extent of the “Global Cooling” science in 1978. Not years of temperature data from around the globe showing a gradual drop in yearly average temperatures, or even photographic evidence of increased ice accumulation or growing glaciers (though the scientist in vid#2 did claim to have evidence the Greenlandic glacier he studies is/was still growing “100 years ago”). No, the entire argument was simply: “we’re due”.

The “volcanic ash blocking the sun” argument supporting “global cooling” gained the most traction in the late 70’s when “volcanic ash” was replaced with “pollution from cars, trucks and factories”. The argument at that time was that “all that pollution would block the sun, reflect the heat and cause the next ice age.” They were observing the same phenomena we see today and drawing the exact opposite conclusion. But the fact air pollution had the power to affect global temperatures was evident even then.

One prescient climatologist towards the end does warn that attempts to “fix” Global Cooling could backfire and cause more trouble than it solves:

“The cure could be worse than the disease.” (1:49)

The remaining half of the program was dedicated to describing the consequences an ice-age would have on the United States. Not providing evidence demonstrating that the climate curve was bending downwards.

Today it’s the “Snowpocolypse” or “Snomageddon” as some places are calling it, tongue planted firmly in cheek. A record breaking snowstorm has struck the North East! A snowstorm! In the middle of Winter no less! Finally, the proof “Global Cooling” advocates have been longing for since the 1970’s!

…unless, of course, you factor in El Niño… the notorious warm-water formation off the Pacific coast of South America, which is being blamed for the increase in moisture that is dumping all this snow on the North East.

Oops! Sorry Climate-Change deniers. Once again, reality tracks mud all over your nice shiny picture of reality.

(UPDATE: A more scientific look into the “Global Cooling Myth” can be found here at “RealClimate.org”. Thanks to DU’s “Dead Parrot” for the link.)

The full episode of “In Search Of… The Coming Ice Age” can be seen here on You Tube.
 


 

Please REGISTER to post comments or be notified by e-mail every time this Blog is updated! Firefox/IE7 users can use RSS for a browser link that lists the latest posts!
WRITERS WANTED – Keeping this blog current can be a bigger job than for just one person. “Mugsy’s Rap Sheet” is looking for VOLUNTEER guest writers to contribute to our blog to help make it worth visiting more than once a week. To contact us, please send an email to the address on our About Us page along with a sample and/or link to your writing skills. – Mugsy


 

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GOP: The Party of Lawlessness. Four Decades of Criminal Behavior.
Feb 1st, 2010 by Admin Mugsy

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I‘m probably not telling you anything that hasn’t crossed your mind already, but sometimes we just need to say things out loud for them to sink in: For all their talk about “patriots” and “love of America”, the GOP really HAS become a party with a total lack of respect for the law (apologies to Sheriff Buford T. Justice).

Two recent events helped put a punctuation mark on this: the arrest of Conservative filmmaker James O’Keefe, and the recent decision by the Conservative-controlled Supreme Court overturning over 100 years of precedent regarding “corporate campaign contributions”, giving Corporations… even foreign owned ones… the same First Amendment rights as American citizens.

Now, you’d be perfectly justified in thinking me brain-dead if only now, after eight years of Bush & Cheney’s law breaking, I was just beginning to realize Republicans have no respect for the law. But The Bush Years were mere straws on the camels back. This has been going on for decades.

The O’Keefe break-in, where he and three friends (two of whom dressed as telephone repairmen) accessed Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu’s office in an apparent attempt to bug her telephone, has been dubbed “Little Watergate”, referring to Nixon’s botched break-in/bugging of the National Democratic headquarters in 1972. So now we’re looking at a 38 year history of Republican disregard for the Rule of Law. (You’re excused if you don’t know too much about this story, as there has been a near media-blackout regarding it. O’Keefe’s first “story”, a questionable and highly edited condemnation of a select few ACORN workers suggesting things they shouldn’t have, made ALL the major networks. And Fox turned O’Keefe into a minor celebrity. Flash forward a few months to his arrest last week, and it’s “O’Keefe who?”)

Republicans LOVE to preach to others about law & order… citing it frequently in the late 90’s as the justification for impeaching Bill Clinton over something as trivial as lying about having an affair with a young intern. The argument was that “the affair itself is irrelevant. He lied about the affair UNDER OATH, and therefore is guilty of a Federal crime” (the reason “the affair itself was irrelevant” is because several of President Clinton’s chief critics, including House Speaker Newt Gingrich and prominent Senator Henry Hyde were BOTH having extra-marital affairs and publicly lying about it at the time. But neither had to testify to that fact “under oath”. Lucky for them.)

Vice President Dick Cheney outed an undercover CIA Agent (obliterating an entire undercover operation dedicated to monitoring Iran’s nuclear weapons program, jeopardizing the lives of all involved) because her husband called him out for lying about Iraq’s WMD capabilities in the New York Times. His Chief of Staff Lewis “Scooter” Libby was convicted of “obstruction of justice” while investigating the outing of said CIA Agent.

President Bush’s chief adviser and campaign guru Karl Rove decided for himself that he (and Bush’s personal lawyer Harriet Myers) could ignore subpoenas ordering them to testify before a Senate inquiry regarding their role in the outing of CIA Agent Plame. Since nether bothered to show, and the Democratic Congress seems unwilling to press the issue, we may never know what role they played (I would add “if any”, but there is no question… by his own admission… that Rove played a role.)

In 1987, Ronald Reagan… the heart & soul of today’s Republican Party… testified “I can’t remember” 57 times (or was it over 100?) during the Iran/Contra hearings, where it was finally concluded that St. Ronnie really had traded “arms for hostages”:

REAGAN (videotape, 3/4/87): A few months ago, I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that’s true. But the facts and the evidence tell me it is not.

By the time the Reagan Administration was over in 1989, 132 Reagan administration officials had either been indicted or subjects of either “misconduct” or outright “criminal” investigations.

Speaking of “criminal investigations”, who can forget Kyle Sampson, the Chief of Staff for Bush’s Attorney General Alberto Gonzales pleading “I don’t remember” 122 times before a Congressional investigation into the illegal firing of eight (Wiki says “seven”) federal prosecutors in December of 2006 because they wouldn’t do the Bush Administrations bidding to pursue frivolous prosecutions of Democrats engaged in close mid-term election races.

The Bush Administration was certainly a high-water mark for skirting the Rule of Law, from warrantless wiretaps of American citizens, the use of torture to extract information from “enemy combatants” held in legal limbo at Gitmo, “free-speech zones”, suspending Habeas Corpus for American citizens accused of “terrorism”, crafting the “Patriot Act” that gave them sweeping unconstitutional powers hurried through in the wake of the attacks on 9/11, not to mention the illegality of the invasion of Iraq itself (hearkening back to Kissinger’s illegal invasion of Cambodia in 1969).

But I’m not looking here to rehash all the crimes of the Bush Administration specifically.
 

This week also saw the conviction of Scott Roeder, the Right-wing Anti-abortion extremist that murdered Dr. George Tiller… or, if you live in Mankato, MN, it was Doctor Tiller who was convicted in his own murder according to their headline: “Tiller Convicted in Abortion Doctor’s Murder“. Dumb mistake or Freudian slip? I’ll let you decide.

Roeder proudly regaled his crime for the jury, making his conviction all but certain (this was Kansas after-all). “Justifiable homicide” seems to be a recurring theme on the Rabid-Right, or hadn’t you noticed? But so is “blinding fear of the outside world”.

After weeks of Republican outcries over the “insanity” of putting accused terrorists “on trial like common criminals”, the Obama Administration finally relented on trying alleged 9/11 mastermind “KSM” in New York City at the request of NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. To his credit, Bloomberg did not back down in response to Right-wing pressure against trying “terrorists” inside the United States, instead citing “rising costs” and “logistics” making such a trial there impractical. If I had my guess, I’d say the rising complication of holding the trial in NYC is more due to RW crazies protesting the trial and possibly threatening the courthouse with “bomb threats” than any alleged fear of “terrorist reprisals”. (THINK: these people have been in Gitmo for eight years. How many attempted terrorist attacks have there been on that facility?)

I received a RW email chain letter last week suggesting that the reason President Obama was so eager to try/convict terrorists in civilian court was to avoid having to personally sign their death warrant (presumably because he’s “a fellow Muslim”) vs conviction via military tribunal. I responded with a lengthy reply pointing out how, after World War II, we put the Nazi’s on trial, publicly, before cameras and on radio. We gave them lawyers and even allowed them to take the stand where they could “spout their Nazi propaganda”. Suddenly, 60+ years later, we’re all frightened children that cower in fear over the idea of letting an accused terrorist hang themselves with their own words on the stand? Sorry, I don’t get that. No, instead, these “Rule of Law” Republicans prefer “military tribunals” conducted in secrecy where hearsay and “confessions” obtained through torture are admitted as evidence.

Rush Limbaugh once called drug abuse “abhorrent behavior” on his radio show, and that those who wish to “legalize drugs” should go “to London and Zurich”, before it was discovered that Limbaugh himself was a degenerate drug abuser, using his maid to buy his illegal drugs for him.

You must understand. To Republicans, law breakers are degenerate scum with no respect for “America, for which it stands”… until it’s THEM at odds with the law, and then suddenly it’s “liberal activism” obstructing them, and therefore the law can be ignored, giving them a clean conscious. It’s how two Supreme Court justices can swear to uphold “precedent” and “not legislate from the bench” one day, and overturn 103 years of precedent the next. It’s how a “documentary filmmaker” can don disguises and engage in likely criminal (certainly dishonest) behavior in the name of “exposing criminal behavior” without a hint of irony. It’s how a man can proudly defend murdering a doctor he accuses of “murdering babies”. It is how Republican critics of “illegal immigration” can employ undocumented workers with a clear conscious. It’s how indicted felon and former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay can appear on “Dancing with the Stars” without an ounce of shame. And it is how the Fox Opinion Channel can call itself a “News” organization with a straight face.

PETITION ALERT: Be sure and vote for our Economic Stimulus Program recommendation to “Green-ify thousands of Federal office buildings and order thousands of American-made hybrid mail trucks, creating jobs that provide new job skills and encourage industrial development, all while reducing our energy costs, cutting greenhouse emissions and building infrastructure”. Link on left. Sign and pass it on.

 


 

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