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New Feature: “Link of the Day” (updated)
Mar 31st, 2010 by Admin Mugsy

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I have added a new page to “Mugsy’s Rap Sheet”: a “Link of the Day” page (see toolbar link above) where I will post links to news stories or sites of interest encountered throughout the day.

Enjoy! – Mugsy

(Note: I am still working on the email notification problem, which also affects Comments. If you are unable to post a comment, please let me know. Thanks. – Mugsy)
 


 

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The “Blame America First” Crowd.
Mar 30th, 2010 by Admin Mugsy

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After the Health Care Reform Act passed last week, unhinged Tea-Baggers went on a rampage, trashing the offices of Democratic leaders, blurting profanities and racial slurs, and then claiming that they were being framed by Democrats (no, I’m not kidding). One visitor to my latest YouTube video documenting the outbreak of violence following passage of the bill hurled a half dozen profanity-laden comments at me for three days, accusing the Media of “lying” about accounts of “spitting” and using racial epithets, until I finally “conceded” that he had convinced me there “there was no way tea-baggers could be guilty of such incivility”.

As amazing as these “deniers” are, there is a bigger group arguing that the violence and acts of aggression were “justified” because they had been “provoked” by Democratic lawmakers that refused to listen to them. Republicans in both the House and Senate accused Democrats of bringing this violence upon themselves “by fanning the flames” (you mean like this, or this?). Of course! What else could they have done but go on a rampage like King Kong’s bratty two-year old younger brother? It’s the “they had it coming” defense… or more precisely, the “rapists” defense.

Conservatives becoming violent in response to imaginary threats is nothing new. Oklahoma City and the outbreak of Militia groups in the 90’s proved that. The stunning thing is how completely oblivious these people are to their own hypocrisy.

Monday in Moscow, two female Chechnyan suicide bombers murdered more than three dozen people in two separate attacks in the Moscow subway during rush hour. The shocking response from Neo-Conservative leader Bill Kristol (if anything from Bill Kristol can be described as “shocking” anymore) is that he actually laid some of the blame on Russia for the attack on Moscow, blaming military incursions into Chechnya. His hypocritical defense? The Russian military was committing acts of brutality in Chechnya… unlike the U.S. in Iraq or Israel in Gaza.

During one of the first RNC Presidential debates in 2007, GOP candidate Ron Paul was alone to argue that America’s meddling in the Middle East helped provocate the attacks of 9/11. The other Republicans on stage jumped at the opportunity to feign outrage that Paul would “blame America” for its own attack upon itsef. Kristol decried Paul for suggesting the United States “invited” the attacks of 9/11. And Rudy Giuliani blasted Paul for something he never said… blaming America for 9/11.

Both Democrats and rational Republican Paul supporters have always acknowledged that life does not occur in a vacuum, and what we do in other countries has consequences, often provoking desperate people to do bad things. To deny that simple fact is to deny reality.

So it is even more astounding for people like Kristol and Tea-Baggers who denounced “the blame America first crowd”, to now blame the victims for their own attacks… whether it is Democrats who were spat upon, called racial epithets or had their office windows broken, or now to blame Russia for the attack on its subway Monday morning, the hypocrisy is almost beyond belief… if it weren’t for the fact we know what a bunch of rationalizing, vicious, moronic hypocrites these people are.

MediaMatters also reported Monday that Fox’s Bill O’Reilley accused the media of focusing on the “few” scattered “nuts” within the Tea-Party committing acts of violence and misbehavior (Sarah “gunsight map” Palin also accused the Media of “lying” about Tea Party violence) in an attempt to defame “the entire movement”. This from a man who calls MoveOn.org a “racist hate group” because someone submitted a video to their 2003 “Bush in 30 Seconds” video contest comparing President Bush to Hitler. O’Reilley also frequently equates the “DailyKOS” website with “the KKK” based upon several anonymous comments out of the literally thousands of comments posted to that site each day. But when scores of Tea-Baggers holding signs depicting President Obama as a Nazi parade up & down Pennsylvania Avenue brandishing guns, “don’t tread on me” flags, who hang banners threatening gun violence should the health care bill pass, the “Librul Media” is unfairly singling them out to make the entire movement look bad.

Hutaree Christian Militia The FBI arrested members of a self-described “Christian warrior” group in Michigan (why is it always “Michigan”?) Monday calling itself the “Hutaree Christian Militia” who:

“…viewed all law enforcement as the enemy. It said members planned a violent act to get the attention of the police, possibly by killing an officer at a traffic stop, then attacking the funeral procession with explosives.”
[…]
“We believe that one day, as prophecy says, there will be an Antichrist,” their website says. “All Christians must know this and prepare, just as Christ commanded. . . . Jesus wanted us to be ready to defend ourselves using the sword and stay alive using equipment.” – LA Times

Why do I mention this? Evangelicals with a passion for guns & violence, that view Government as the enemy and fear the imminent arrival of “the anti-Christ“? I dunno. Call me crazy, but with Republicans ratcheting up the fear & violence over the “Socialist takeover of our country” by “a foreign-born Muslim in the White House”, I don’t think these guys would fit in very well with the Democratic Party or express support for President Obama. Call it a hunch.
 


 

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They said it would be Armageddon. Was that a warning or a threat?
Mar 25th, 2010 by Admin Mugsy

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A brief follow up. Despite childish Republicans wasting the taxpayer’s time and money by calling for 23 separate votes on nuisance changes to the Reconciliation bill (like changing the date on certain pages) before it could come up for a vote, the Senate toiled late into the night voting to “fix” the problems with the Senate’s Health Care Reform bill passed by the House last Sunday night. The process dragged on so long, they decided to continue the voting through the end of the week.

Conservatives warned that disaster would strike if the bill passed. With no sense of hyperbole, House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-Oompa Loompah) told cameras that the health care bill spelled Armageddon and that the country was “24 hours from ruin”. Geez. Try switching to decaf, Boner.

Last January, CNBC’s Jim Cramer… the investment guru that told everyone “Bear/Stearns wasn’t going anywhere”… told anyone who would listen that a victory for Scott Brown in the Massachusetts Senators race, which would deny Democrats their crucial “60th vote”, would sink Health Care Reform and therefore result in a “huge stock market rally”. Not only didn’t the market “rally” the next day, it plunged 190 points (not over health care but over an issue with China… but no “Brown Bounce” was there to counter it.)

So did the market plunge after Sundays’ vote? The next day, the DOW closed UP just under 44 points. It closed up the next day as well… 102 points… to close at 10888, an EIGHTEEN MONTH HIGH and the tenth gain in eleven trading days.

Okay, so maybe economic “Armageddon” isn’t what he was talking about? Social “Armageddon”? Hard to see how society could be “24 hours” from a total meltdown simply by passing a single bill that makes “pre-existing conditions” a thing of the past, and allows parents to keep their children on their insurance for five additional years (the college years).

The only thing left then is the complete destruction of the American way of life “Armageddon”. Before voting on Sunday, Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Palin-wannabee) announced from the House floor that we were just hours from “the death of freedom”… presumably because your right to not purchase health insurance and become a drain on society should you become seriously ill or tragically disabled… was about to be taken from you. Actually, if you don’t want to buy insurance and prefer to gamble on becoming a drain on society, you still have that right, only NOW it’s going to cost you. $695 a year OR as much as 2.5 percent of your annual income, which ever is less. You want to gamble? Fine. But you can no longer do it with the house’s money (and “No”, they can’t throw you in jail if you refuse to pay. They’ll simply take it out of your tax refund until you do. Failing that, you’ll be fined. Now, I suppose you COULD refuse to pay your taxes, and THAT could land you in jail… but not if all you owe is $695.

Anyway… the HCR bill passed Sunday. The stock market didn’t plunge into the abyss, the poor didn’t rise up and seek vengeance upon their overlords, the seas didn’t boil and the moon didn’t turn to blood. But what DID happen? Wingnuts everywhere lost their F’ing minds. Offices were vandalized, members of Congress received threatening phone calls, and in one extreme case, the gas line was cut at the home of the brother of Congressman Tom Perriello. Why “his brother“? Because one moron Tea Party tool posted the wrong address (I’m guessing he looked Perriello up in the phone book without knowing his first name) on his blog encouraging his fellow baggers to “drop by” and pay Perriello a visit. The irony is that had he of posted the correct address, there would of been no way to connect the potentially deadly vandalism to what this one jackass posted on his blog. But since they attacked the brothers‘ house, there’s no question where they got the address/idea from.

The Democrat (Bart Stupak) who nearly derailed heath care reform that will benefit hundreds of thousands of pregnant mothers and young children, over a nonexistent provision to fund abortions, eventually reconsidered ONLY AFTER he was promised a secondary “reaffirmation bill” signed by President Obama that no Federal Funds would go to pay for abortions. The reaction from the Right? These supposed Christians left messages such as: “you baby-killing mother f***er… I hope you bleed out your a**, got cancer and die, you mother f***er.” Nice. Do you kiss the baby Jesus with that mouth?

The Rabid Right, driven to a frothing rage by the Right Wing Media, is becoming unhinged. We saw this in the 90’s when Bill Clinton was elected, only then it was over “gun control” and “Waco” (“Ruby Ridge” happened in ’92 under Bush-41, but the wingnuts still blamed Clinton.) Only this time out, they have an entire cable network (Fox “news”), hate-radio super-celebrities like Rush Limbaugh (who was only starting to become famous in the 90’s) and Glenn “pending-on-air-mental-breakdown” Beck, conspiracy-theory advancers like Michelle “FEMA camps” Bachman, Glenn “Progressives are a disease” Beck, and Sarah “gunsight target map” Palin telling followers to “RELOAD!” rather than retreat in the face of defeat), and of course, the Internet to bring them all together.

If you though the 90’s were bad, hang on tight. A noxious mixture of religious extremism, guns and racism, I fear these lunatics have only just begun.
 


 

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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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Health care bill passes (but I may never eat sausage again).
Mar 22nd, 2010 by Admin Mugsy

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Hooray! History was made Sunday night as the House passed the (ugly) Senate health care reform bill, as well as the “Reconciliation” bill to strip out all the ugly stuff. The first bill goes to President Obama to sign while the Reconciliation bill goes back to the Senate for them to agree to the changes made to their bill (Majority leader Reid says they have the votes).

I tried to watch the House proceedings all afternoon. I really did. But it was so noxious, I had to keep turning it off. This, coming from a guy that watches and reports on “Fox news Sunday” every week for “Crooks & Liars“. They describe watching the Democratic process “like watching sausage being made”… ie: don’t watch if you don’t want to be turned off from ever eating sausage again (fortunately for us, most sausage isn’t made that way any more). But to call the House debate “sickening” is like calling the Ebolla virus “a bad case of the sniffles”.

If Congress hadn’t been debating Health Care Reform (HCR) for over a year now, one might think from watching that the entire debate started this morning. Every… Single… Republican talking point that has been asked and answered a dozen times over was repeated and asserted as gospel all afternoon: “this bill is going to bankrupt the country”, “fund abortions”, and that “the majority of Americans are against this bill”. Well, no, this bill will NOT “bankrupt the country”. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office reported that it will CUT the deficit by $1.2Trillion dollars over the next ten years. Republicans love to quote the CBO when it says something they like. But when it doesn’t, suddenly everyone at the CBO are a bunch of morons that can’t tell when “the Democrat Party” is putting one over on them.

Karl Rove argued with former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday morning and kept comparing the HCR bill to “a Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme”. Funny that, because Madoff was a creation of DEREGULATED PRIVATE ENTERPRISE… the same people Rove & Company want to turn your health care over to. So who would you rather have in charge of your health care? The people that have run Social Security successfully for 70+ years and Medicare for 40+, or Wall Street?

Second point… the bill “will fund abortions”. Total nonsense. Not only does the bill go to great lengths to deny women the right to purchase abortion coverage even if she pays with her own money, but the “loophole” pro-lifers opposed was the fact “poor people receiving government assistance to buy insurance… even though they’d be forbidden from buying abortion coverage with that money… they could still purchase insurance from a company that DOES cover abortion for other clients, and therefor, tax dollars would (in theory) be going to “fund abortions”. Yes, they really are THAT obsessed with “abortion coverage”… or at least, when it comes to tax dollars. Apparently, state-level GOP Parties has no problem with its OWN insurance covering abortion for its staff members. The hypocrisy is palpable.

And lastly, that “the majority of Americans are against health care reform”. Nonsense. There are some polls stating that more people oppose “this particular” bill, but not reform in general. In fact, if you break those “No” votes down, you’ll find many actually wanted a STRONGER bill, preferably something that includes a “Public Option”. But Republicans have been citing ALL the opposition to this bill as a consensus against ALL health care reform in general. And that’s just not true. Obama won the election campaigning on health care reform. TEN Bush states fell his way, giving him a huge mandate. To try and argue now that all those people “didn’t want health care reform” when they voted for him is laughable.

One last thought before I finally turn in for the night after such an exhausting day… AFTER the Senate bill passed the house, and AFTER Republicans spent ALL AFTERNOON complaining about the unamended Senate bill, with its “Corn-husker Kickback”, “Louisiana Purchase”, and whatever other cutesy name they came up for the special deals in the Senate bill, EVERY SINGLE REPUBLICAN then voted AGAINST the Reconciliation bill that strips out most of those “special deals”. Hey guys, I get that you don’t like the Senate bill, but once it had passed, why would you vote against stripping out all the things you complained about all afternoon??? If you ever needed proof of Republican obstructionism simply for the sake of obstructing Democrats… even when it is in their own best interest to go along with them, “Reconciliation” was the vote.

Sorry for the dearth of links. I will try to follow up after the Senate vote on Wednesday.
 


 

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Rove’s faulty memory on Iraqi oil revenues funding reconstruction. A Quick List.
Mar 17th, 2010 by Admin Mugsy

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Iraq War Anniversary Edition

Last week on Meet the Press, Karl Rove made the following astounding assertion:

“No one in the Bush Administration ever said the reconstruction of Iraq could be paid for with Iraqi oil revenues.”

Really? Are you F-ing kidding me? That little bit of revisionist history may fly with your neo-Conservative buddies, but here in the real world, that kind of BS flies like a drunken penguin on meth. MediaMatters was able to quickly dig up the following quote from then Deputy National Security Adviser Paul Wolfowitz within minutes of Rove’s assertion:

“The oil revenue of that country could bring between 50 and 100 billion dollars over the course of the next two or three years. We’re dealing with a country that could really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.

I noted last week the absurdity of Rove’s statement. I, and I’m sure you as well, recall Bush Administration officials repeatedly making that very assertion… that we needent worry about the cost of the war because Iraq would be able to finance its own reconstruction though the sale of its oil. I noted at the time that I expected that chewy little nugget from Rove to turn into a huge embarrassment as a tidal wave of Bush Administration quotes citing “Iraqi oil revenues” to finance their own reconstruction, were sure to follow.

So where are they? I guess it’s up to me.

A certain amount of “liars fatigue” has set in since Bush lied the country into an unnecessary war seven years ago this Saturday (March 20th), to the point where proving that a liar is lying seems like an awful waste of time & effort. But some things have to be done. Lies from these guys need to be squashed like a bug as fast as possible before the Right-Wing echo chamber turns them into “common knowledge”. A quick Google News Archive search turned up the following quotes:
 

  • ”Oil will be the engine of Iraq’s reconstruction,” said Gregg Sullivan, a spokesman for the State Department, which has set up working groups to develop plans for a post-Hussein Iraq. ”No one is talking about a Marshall Plan for Iraq because oil will take care of that.”PETROLEUM; Stable World Oil Prices Are Likely to Become a War Casualty, Experts Say, New York Times, Oct. 2, 2002
  •  

  • WASHINGTON — The Bush administration says the U.S. won’t be faced with a huge bill for reconstruction of post-war Iraq, in large part because Iraq’s oil wells can be tapped to help defray the costs.
     
    […]
     
    When Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld went before the House and Senate spending panels to lobby for the money last week, he made it clear that he believes the cost of reconstructing Iraq should not fall to the United States. That bill should be paid by allies, Iraq’s seized assets and Iraq’s oil revenues, he said.
     
    “I don’t believe that the United States has the responsibility for reconstruction,” Rumsfeld said. – “Bush’s plan to rebuild Iraq using oil revenues met with skepticism” – St. Louis Post Dispatch, Apr. 1, 2003
  •  

  • WASHINGTON – To hear some Bush Administration officials tell it, the reconstruction of Iraq will largely pay for itself, thanks to a post-war gusher of petroleum revenue.
     
    “The one thing that is certain is Iraq is a wealthy nation,” White House Press Secretary Ari Fleisher said.
     
    […]
     
    Office of Management & Budget Director Mitchell Daniels Jr. asserted that oil and gas revenues would provide “abundant” resources for reconstruction. – “Oil May Not Shore Up Iraq“, LA Herald Tribune, Apr. 5, 2003
  •  

  • The United States took its postwar plans for Iraq to the United Nations on Friday, […] U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte introduced the eight-page resolution in a closed Security Council meeting on behalf of the three cosponsors, the United States, Britain and Spain. […The United States] would take control over Iraq’s vast oil revenues away from the United Nations and give it to the U.S.-led coalition that ousted Saddam Hussein’s regime. The money would finance the country’s reconstruction — with international oversight. – “U.S. wants to lift sanctions on Iraq”, USA Today, May 9, 2003

But by September, the damage Iraq sustained in the invasion quickly revealed the country was in worse shape than (they) anticipated, and the war that we were told “would only cost $1 Billion dollars” now had the Bush Administration before Congress begging for a whopping $87 Billion dollars to help finance Iraq’s reconstruction. (Remember when that was considered a lot of money? That’s before the Bushies introduced us to figures like $700B to bail out Wall Street.)

Iraq’s newly appointed “Viceroy” (and Cheney protege’) L. Paul Bremmer appeared before Congress to ask for more money:

SEN. BYRON DORGAN: Why would we not use the Iraq oil revenues to collateralize loans from the IMF or the World Bank to pay for the reconstruction of Iraq?
 
L. PAUL BREMER: I believe it would be a mistake to lay any more debt onto the backs of the Iraqis. They are under a burden, an extraordinary burden, about roughly $100 to $120 billion of debt, entered into by Saddam’s regime over the last 20 years or so, and another $90 to $100 billion in claimed reparations from countries because of Saddam’s wars. – PBS News Hour, Sept. 22, 2003

But that didn’t stop other Bush officials from CONTINUING to suggest some of Iraq’s oil revenues would eventually go towards their reconstruction:

  • Last week, appearing again before the Senate committee, [Secretary of Defense] Mr. Rumsfeld said, ”I don’t think I did misjudge” Iraq’s oil capacity. According to current projections, he said, the country’s oil revenues will grow to $12 billion next year from $2 billion this year; they should reach $19 billion in 2005 and $20 billion in 2006.
     
    ”So, their oil revenues will be contributing,” Mr. Rumsfeld said. – New York Times, “THE STRUGGLE FOR IRAQ: RECONSTRUCTION; Report Offered Bleak Outlook About Iraq Oil” – Oct.5, 2003
  •  

  • Evans was asked about Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz’s comments to Congress in March that Iraq could finance its own reconstruction. […] Evans said if Iraq’s oil production increases and world oil prices jump substantially, such figures would be possible. – Secretary of Commerce Donald Evans, appearing on CNN’s “Late Edition”, Oct. 20, 2003
  •  

  • [A]dministration officials emphasized that the money pledged here [$33 Billion from Congress] would be supplemented by future pledges and by $15 billion in oil revenues from 2005 to 2007, assuming that the Iraqi oil industry gets back on its feet. – New York Times, Oct. 25, 2003
  •  

  • Almost $9bn (£4.7bn) of Iraqi oil revenue is missing from a fund set up to reconstruct the country.
     
    The BBC’s File On 4 programme has learnt that out of over $20bn raised in oil revenues during US-led rule, the use of $8.8bn is unaccounted for. – “Iraq reconstruction funds missing”, BBC News, Jan. 30, 2005

No one in the Bush Administration ever said the reconstruction of Iraq could be paid for with Iraqi oil revenues? Really Mr. Rove? The motto of “Mugsy’s Rap Sheet” and its accompanying video archive on YouTube: “Recording history for those who seek to rewrite it”. Sometimes, this blog seems to exist specifically for the likes of Rove and Cheney.
 


 

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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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Time traveling with Karl Rove and the Bush Rehabilitation Crew
Mar 15th, 2010 by Admin Mugsy

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Time

A little secret about me: I love time travel movies. Time After Time, Time Rider, Frequency, Back to the Future, and even JCVD’s TimeCop. I love imagining what might happen if one could travel into the past and change events in the future.

But one thing I absolutely DESPISE are people who try to rewrite history by lying about it. If it didn’t happen, you can’t just lie and say it did (or vice versa) and expect to get away with it. But that is EXACTLY what the “Bush Rehabilitation Crew” has been doing ever since George W left office with a 22% approval rating. Of course, it wouldn’t be so maddening if the “media” didn’t constantly allow these shysters to get away with it.

In recent weeks, the worst of the lot has been been Dick Cheney’s demon spawn Liz Cheney, who has made it her life’s mission to rewrite her father’s legacy from the most corrupt, fascistic (I don’t use that word lightly) Svengali ever to shoot a lawyer in the face. NYT’s Frank Rich wrote an excellent Op/Ed on the Bush revisionists. There was Bush’s bobbleheaded Spokesmodel Dana Perino claiming “we had no terrorist attacks under Bush”. followed by Rudy Giuliani making the nearly identical assertion that we had “no domestic terrorist attacks under Bush”… both of which make perfect sense seeing as how… according to former Dole campaign adviser Mary Matalin… “George Bush inherited 9/11 from Clinton” (a claim repeated by Fox “news”).

Former Bush speech-writer Marc Theissen defended President Bush on The Daily Show for allowing the use of torture on military detainees by citing the “fact” that “there were no more terrorist attacks for seven years after 9/11”. When Stewart pointed out that there had been “no terrorist attacks for seven years after the 1993 World Trade Center attack” without resorting to torture, Theissen cites foreign terrorist attacks in Jakarta and Bali after the ’93 bombing as evidence that terrorist attacks DID in fact continue after the first WTC attack… unlike after the attacks on 9/11, when the London Subway was bombed on 7/7/05, the Madrid train bombings in 2004, or the wave of terror attacks in Mumbai, India two years ago. There was also the Domestic-terror Anthrax attack, not to mention Richard Reid, the infamous “shoe bomber” who was only caught because… like under President Obama… the attacker’s device failed to explode, not because of any intel gathered through the use of torture.

And now there’s Rove…

Karl Rove is making the rounds this week pimping his new book, not only trying to rewrite Bush’s legacy, from hyper-partisan neo-Conservative nitwit to a shrewd aisle-crossing diplomat, but telling whopper after whopper about the Iraq War, smearing President Obama in the process as an inept hyper-partisan… worse, because (he claims) President Obama has gone on to “prove Bush was right” on everything from “The SurgeTM“, military tribunals, and (of course) the economy (please don’t ask me to explain Rove’s twisted logic).

The man known as “Bush’s Brain”… aka “Turd Blossom” (tomato, tomahto), made the Sunday show rounds yesterday telling some real whoppers. And whadayaknow, no one called him on it. Color me surprised.

First, on “Fox news Sunday”, Rove told host Chris Wallace that Barack Obama campaigned for President as a “non-partisan” but has legislated as a “hyper-partisan”. You know you are to the EXTREME far Right when President Obama looks like a “hyper-partisan” to you. Regular readers of “Mugsy’s Rap Sheet” know that one of my chief criticisms of President Obama is that he reaches out too much to the Right, wasting time thinking he can “win over” a group of people that call him a Communist/Socialist/Marxists/Fascist that is “out to kill Grandma”. Health care legislation would of been passed a long time ago if he hadn’t wasted an entire year making concessions and giving away the store until we are left with craptastic “Romney-Care Lite”. President Obama has met with Republicans more times in his first year than Bush met with Democrats in eight. THIS is what Rove calls “hyper partisan”. You want to see a presidential candidate who campaigned as a “non-partisan” only to rule as an extreme “with us or with the terrorists” ideologue? I give you Texas Governor George W. Bush:
 


 

Candidate Bush called himself “a uniter, not a divider”, and that he would bring a “kinder-gentler foreign policy” that didn’t engage in “nation building”, to the U.S. Presidency.

Later in the broadcast, Rove defended the decision to invade Iraq despite the existence of Weapons of Mass Destruction “based upon what we knew at the time”. According to Rove, EVERYBODY BELIEVED that Saddam had WMD’s and that he was unwilling to give them up, and therefore, left with no other option, President Bush rightly made the decision to invade Iraq. Of course, video shows us THE EXACT OPPOSITE was true, and not only was war avoidable, but the Bush Administration did everything in its power to ensure it happened:
 


 

Next stop: “Meet the Press”, where Rove was “interviewed” by retired newsman Tom Brokaw. I know many had high hopes for the Brokaw interview, even citing “Frost/Nixon“, but I knew it would turn into just another soft-sell puff piece… and Brokaw didn’t disappoint (disappoint ME that is).

When Brokaw brought up the cost of the Iraq War and how the Bush Administration suggested the cost of reconstructing Iraq would be paid for with Iraqi oil revenues, Rove actually said with a straight face that “[n]o one in the Bush Administration ever said the reconstruction of Iraq could be paid for with Iraqi oil revenues”. Whaaa? One thing I love about lies this big, bold and brazen is that people will be digging up video for WEEKS of Bush Administration officials claiming the very thing Rove denies. Hell, it only took MediaMatters two minutes to dig up the first quote from then Deputy National Security Adviser Paul Wolfowitz:

“The oil revenue of that country could bring between 50 and 100 billion dollars over the course of the next two or three years. We’re dealing with a country that could really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.”

USAID’s Andrew Natsios, though not a Bush Administration official per se, latched on to the “Iraqi oil will finance the war” meme coming out of the White House to dish up the biggest whopper of them all to Nightline’s Ted Koppel in early 2003: the entire Iraq War… not “could” but “would“… cost the U.S. taxpayers “only $1 Billion dollars“. (To be fair, Natsios was only off by 3/4 of a TRILLION dollars.)

Next, Brokaw asks Rove to explain President Bush’s deep unpopularity upon leaving office last year. Rove attributed Bush’s unpopularity… not on the economic crisis, the two wars that had gone on for years with no end in sight, the collapse of the auto industry, the home mortgage crisis that led to the failure of thousands of banks and a $700 Billion dollar bailout of Wall Street, not his uber-Constitutional wiretapping of every American, or allowing gas prices to crack $4 a gallon the year before. No, according to Karl Rove, President Bush was simply a victim of “daily attacks by Democrats” coupled with “the unpopularity of The SurgeTM“.

Now, I don’t remember “The SurgeTM” being wildly unpopular the day Bush left office. And if “daily attacks by Democrats” were unfair partisan attacks simply to drive down Bush’s poll numbers, what are we to make of the constant barrage of attacks against President Obama by Republicans? According to Rove, criticisms of Bush were simply “unfair partisan attacks” while criticism of President Obama is justified because he’s a “hyper-partisan legislating from the far Left”.

These people are shameless. No news there. We’ve known that for nearly a decade now (since Bush v Gore in late 2000). But the fact the Mainstream Media keeps giving them a platform to disseminate their lies and then never calls them out when they do is beyond frustrating. Thank Gawd for bloggers.
 


 

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The Party of NO claims mantle of bipartisanship
Mar 8th, 2010 by Admin Mugsy

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More often than you might think, I’ll start off writing the weeks blog entry, only to end up writing something else entirely. This is one of those weeks.

This particular blog entry started off noting the eerie similarities between the dramatic rise in Right Wing extremism and the very people they claim to hate: Muslim extremists. There was the shooting at the Holocaust Museum last year, an attack on the Pentagon last week, the dive bombing of a plane into a major financial institution (the IRS in Austin), and now a Texas militia group calling itself the “Army of God” (ie: “Hezbollah”) is terrorizing every “un-Christian” business in the town of Amarillo, Tx.

They take their children out of the public schools to focus on a religious-based education (aka: Madrasah) and train them to be “holy warriors“.

They wish death upon anyone that doesn’t think like them.

And what do these nuts have in common? They all call themselves “Patriots“… and “God is on their side”.

Then came Sunday…

Every Sunday I watch three of the major broadcast morning shows, “Meet the Press”, ABC’s “This Week”, and “Fox news Sunday”. And this week I saw a repeating theme across all three shows: Republicans bemoaning “the lack of a bipartisanship” in Congress. (well, whose fault is THAT?)

Mitt Romney (Fox), Rich Lowrey (ABC) and Orin Hatch (NBC) all practically bragged about how when Republicans were in charge, THEY were able to get “bipartisan support for THEIR bills”, while accusing Democrats of “ramming health care reform down our throats”.

Now, maybe it’s just me, but doesn’t that suggest Democrats are more willing to compromise and work with Republicans than Republicans are willing to compromise and work with Democrats?

It takes it takes a set of brass ones to try and claim “moral superiority” for being more obstructionist than your rival Party. What’s worse is that NO ONE EVER CALLS THEM ON IT. No one ever stops and says, “Excuse me, but how can you complain about the lack of bipartisanship when it is YOU saying NO to everything?”

The health care reform bill (HCR) coming out of Washington is looking more and more like a Conservative bill every day. They are threatening to strip out even their weak ineffective “Public Option”; “Single Payer” was never even on the table, and Anti-choice Democrats are threatening to derail all of HCR if it doesn’t specifically deny “federal funding of abortion”, which not only isn’t even in the bill, but contains specific restrictions against it.

Let this be a lesson to Democrats. If the Republicans ever regain control of Congress… maybe I should say “officially” since they seem to control Congress even with a “Super-minority”… Democrats must stop “crossing Party lines” and supporting the GOP’s agenda. Because not only will voters not respect you for doing so, but Republicans can then brag about how THEY can “get things done” while bragging about “bipartisan support” for their legislation. Meanwhile, with Democrats in charge, Republicans simply say “No” to everything… even voting against bills that contain their own Amendments… slow Washington to a crawl… even blocking legislation that would extend unemployment benefits and government jobs programs under false pretenses… and then expect to be REWARDED in November by campaigning against a “do-nothing Congress” that is incapable of getting anything done, or else accuse Democrats of ramming legislation “down your throat” when Democrats finally realize they have no choice but to go it alone if they want anything to get done.

If there is one thing George Bush taught us: You can’t negotiate with terrorists.
 


 

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BSC Republicans: A Review of Election Night, Texas 2010.
Mar 3rd, 2010 by Admin Mugsy

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SPECIAL EDITION

It is election night and the Texas Primary returns are still coming in. If you didn’t think the Republican Party was Bat “$#!+” Crazy before, the primary results seem to all but confirm it. How else does one explain away such huge support for a manifestly insane governor and a series of embarrassing state propositions even making it onto the GOP ballot let alone winning HUGE support among Republican voters?

First off, Governor Rick “Good Hair” Perry, who was Lieutenant Governor under George W. Bush from 1994 until Bush was awarded the Presidency in 2000, became Governor of Texas at that time, where he has been ever since.

In 2007, Perry and the GOP lobbied HARD to put “tort reform” on the November ballot (with frequent ads ridiculing the “hot coffee in the lap” judgment that made headlines years before). The GOP, along with their buddies in the health care lobby, ran ads for months promising that “if we capped injury damages at $5 million dollars, the cost of health insurance would go down and more people could afford to buy insurance.” Opponents of the bill pointed out that they already tried this in California, and it was a miserable failure. But Perry got his way and the motion passed.

The result? Insurance rates did NOT go down (big surprise) and Texas now has the highest percentage of uninsured in the entire country at 26.9%. To make matters worse, the arbitrary “$5 million dollar cap for a lifetime of care” they passed is the same whether the victim is 7 or 70. A seriously injured child can burn through $5 million rather quickly in this era of skyrocketing health care costs (where the GOP “solution” is still “tort reform”.)

As of this writing, Governor “Good Hair” has defeated his equally insane opponent, Senator Kay Baily Hutchinson, despite mercilessly slamming him with a barrage of negative ads. In Perry’s own ads, he slammed KBH “for voting for the $700B Bailout”… which he himself begged her to pass according to KBH. In one ad, Hutchinson is seen telling supporters that she “wouldn’t give anyone a $700 Billion dollar blank check… not even Ronald Reagan”, followed by video of her voting Yea for the bailout the very next day. Hutchinson’s defense in an interview Monday night: “I said I would never give anyone a blank check, and I didn’t. It was limited to $700 Billion.” But as clearly seen in Perry’s ad, it wasn’t “the amount” she was concerned with, it was not knowing what it would be spent on.

In another ad, Perry comes out as a Tenther, pronouncing his “firm belief in the Tenth Amendment” to keep “broken Washington” from “interfering in State government”, and that he would always “fight for the Tenth Amendment”.

Perry already earned his place in the Tea-bagger spotlight when he “threatened that Texas might succeed from the union” if the Government forced health care reform upon the state of Texas. When it was pointed out that “Texas does not have the power to succeed” (a common misconception of many Texans with no more than a tenth grade education), only to “divide itself into as many as five separate states”, Perry responded “that is what I meant all along“, arguing that the federal government “would throw Texas out of the union” before it gave it eight more Senators. Riiiiiiiiiiiight.

Perry managed to draw 51% of the vote and thus avoid a run-off with KBH in April. The “anti-Perry” vote was split between Hutchinson (31%) and Tea-bagger Debra Medina (18%). With 66% of precincts reporting, the local news asked Medina if she was ready to concede the race. “No way!” was her response. “We will wait until ALL the returns are in to see if Perry falls below 50%”, she tells the reporter. Why? You’re not in second place, moron. Even if Perry falls below 50% and there’s a run-off, it will be with the second highest vote getter, and that’s KBH… who leads Medina by 13%. No one ever accused Tea-baggers of living in the “Reality-based community”.

Then there are the Ballot initiatives. On the GOP ballot exclusively, There are five propositions. NONE OF THESE INITIATIVES were on the Democratic ballot, so I have NO idea what the point was of them even being on there… except maybe to draw more pro-Perry Bat-crap crazy Republicans to the polls. The five Propositions on the Texas State ballot might be laughed off any other state ballot, but in Texas, which ranks 49th in Verbal SAT scores, 36th in number of High School graduates, and 40th on education expenditures per child, the results are still surprising (though, I supposed, they shouldn’t be):
 

Proposition 1: Require voters to show a “Photo ID” before they may vote. 83% of Republicans support this proposition. A fix to a problem that doesn’t exist anywhere but in the minds of Republican voters. There is no mention in the ballot initiative where people are to obtain this photo ID. Despite being a big state, not everyone drives (eg: many seniors) so not everyone has a drivers license. Other “unofficial” forms of photo ID are meaningless, so just who is to issue these ID’s and at whose cost? Do you charge voters for a State-provided photo ID? That’s a poll tax, which is illegal. And how do you obtain photos of those who can’t get to their “local” government office to have their picture taken? Does the government now have to offer taxi service to bring people to the “photo ID center”, or do they just go door-to-door with a camera? I wonder what all this would cost? Something tells me these morons didn’t exactly think this thing through.
 

Proposition 2: “Control Government Growth”. A proclamation limiting the growth of State government by a formula based on population and inflation, which can only be overridden by public vote or in cases of emergency. 92% are voting Yes. I see a few problems with using such a narrowly defined formula to calculate state spending, but for the most part, this is probably the least bat-crap crazy initiative of the five.
 

Proposition 3: Cut Federal Income Taxes. A demand that the U.S. Congress “stimulate the economy by cutting taxes.” 93% agree with this measure… you know, because the Bush tax cuts worked so well. I guess no one has told these asshats that 95% of them already GOT a tax cut under President Obama. And when you have Tea-baggers in the streets protesting the size of the deficit, what smarter move is there than to cut tax revenue so the government will have to borrow more money to operate?
 

Proposition 4 (my favorite): Decree on the “public acknowledgment of God”. This initiative would “allow the word ‘God’, prayers, and display of the Ten Commandments in all schools, public buildings, and public gatherings“. 95% of Republicans voted yes on this measure. The remaining 5% are Scientologists (/snark). I suspect this vote says more about the make up of the GOP than anything else… that is, no Muslims, Hindus, Buddhist or Atheists. No one but “the Big Two”: Christians and Jews. And since when ars religious displays/speech/activity prohibited at “public gatherings” outside of schools or government buildings? And if just ONE of these Right-wing tools can explain the legal justification for displaying Commandments such as “Keeping the Sabbath holy” or “No other Gods before Me” in a government building, I’m all ears.
 

Proposition 5: Mandatory Sonograms (and forced viewing) for women seeking an abortion. 69% voted Yes (surprisingly low in this BSC state.) This ballot measure is truly offensive. As if the entire abortion process isn’t traumatic enough already… between the protesters calling you “baby killer”, and (in some states) forcing women to watch videos showing aborted fetuses, followed by the abortion procedure itself and the shame many women are already feeling… let’s heap on top of that, forcing women… some of them rape victims… to view the fetus they are about to abort. Let’s see how deep we can dig those emotional scars. Seriously now, isn’t that the precise goal of such a law… Either change you mind or be deeply traumatized for life? Republican pro-lifers have this delusional image of smiling young women skipping to the abortion clinic on their way to homeroom.
 

With Perry winning 52% of the vote and a run-off now unnecessary, it will be Perry (who won re-election in 2007 with just 39% of the vote thanks to a carefully orchestrated 4-man race splitting the anti-Perry vote three ways) vs. the former Democratic Mayor of Houston Bill White (who was just replaced with the city’s first openly-gay mayor Annise Parker).

And those GOP Ballot Initiatives… since they weren’t on the Democratic ballot, their purpose clearly was not to see if they appear on the November ballot… I have NO CLUE what their purpose was other than to entertain Republican voters while they cast their ballot. A fun activity to attract wingnuts to the polling station. Cheaper than coloring books I suppose.

It’s going to be a fun next eight months. 🙁
 


 

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NBC Healthcare Report fraught with MAJOR errors.
Mar 1st, 2010 by Admin Mugsy

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Last Thursday, NBC’s Nighly News opened with a two-part story on the “Obama Bi-Partisan Health Care Summit” held at Blair House in Washington D.C.. The opening segment talked about “strategy”, and how “the Democrats objective seemed to be to appear reasonable”, while the Republican strategy was “to distance themselves from the Democrats bill”. Various clips were played of the exchanges between the two Parties and how far apart they appeared to be at times, all the while Democrats keep repeating “how close” we really are in agreement on so many issues. Nothing major there.

The second segment was a travesty unto itself. All about the cost of health care reform, the second report then incorrectly reported… in both pictures and words… “the cost of President Obama’s proposed health care reform package” as $900 TRILLION dollars over ten years instead of $900 Billion dollars over ten years… off by a mere 1000x (or 100,000%):
 


 

Now, I know that it was probably “an honest mistake”, when people are tossing around the “T”-word like it was just another big-government expenditure. But when you are doing a report on the COST of health care, and you’re playing clips of Republicans claiming “we just can’t afford this”, getting something like that THAT wrong is simply inexcusable. Opponents are already screaming bloody murder over the supposed cost of the HCR bill, and when a major news organization misreports a figure like that, it only adds fuel to the fire. They did not correct the mistake on-air during the program, nor did they correct it on the next nights newscast. One person told me they they did correct the number in the online video version (but as some have pointed out, you can’t unring a bell, and how many people will see the online version, let alone watch the same report a second time online to discover the error?), but the online report replaced the old error with a completely new… and far less excusable… one, now reporting the size of the presidents’ reform package as “$1 Trillion dollars over ten years“… now off by a factor of only 10% (or $100 BILLION dollars). Accidentally saying “Trillion” instead of “Billion” might be an honest “spelling” mistake, but ADDING $100 BILLION dollars to the CBO’s OFFICIALLY stated cost of reform with NO basis borders on DELIBERATE misinformation. (Were they thinking simply wiping two zeros from their report rather than change the “T” to a “B” makes them look less incompetent?)

During that same report, they play a clip of Senator John Boehner (R-Coppertone) claiming that the HCR bill “as it now stands” would “provide federal funding of abortion for the first time in history”. Now unless something has changed since President Obama said this before a joint session of Congress last September:

“…under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place.”

…Boehner is talking out of an orifice slightly lower than his belt-line. And naturally, NBC said absolutely nothing to contradict or even challenge his assertion. They simply let it go as fact.
 

It is difficult enough for Democrats to fight the constant barrage of misinformation being pushed by the Republican Party and their corporate overlords, let alone having a lazy (or even deliberately stilted) mainstream media giant like NBC spreading GLARING errors and allowing seriously questionable claims to go unchallenged.
 

 


 

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