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Today’s GOP Putting King’s Dream Back to Sleep
Aug 26th, 2013 by Admin Mugsy

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Fifty years ago this Wednesday, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his rousing “I Have a Dream” speech (text) to a crowd of 250,000 (give or take 50K) mostly (but not exclusively) black supporters. King spoke of “Negros” not being seen as equals “in the eyes of the law”. He spoke of economic injustice that restricts “basic mobility […] from a smaller ghetto to a larger one”, and that Negros “cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote”. If you’re a Republican, you’d probably point to the fact that this country elected a black man… not once but twice… to the Presidency (no thanks to them), and we therefore may now pass some of the most discriminatory voting regulations since The Voting Rights Act became law in 1965. (It’s an awful lot like when Republican politicians attend ribbon-cutting ceremonies for Stimulus projects they tried to kill, touting how great they will be for the community.) How many Conservatives argued “If only Trayvon Martin had had a gun?” Fox “news” Sunday yesterday continued their clueless positing of just why “President Obama and Al Sharpton” were not “speaking out” in response to the “Thrill Kill” murder of an Australian tourist by three f-ed up teenagers… one of whom was white, the same way they spoke out following the murder of Trayvon Martin (uh, maybe because no one is out there DEFENDING the teenage murderers, and the fact the victim wasn’t targeted for his race, Jackasses?) But it’s not just that Republicans seem clueless on matters of race today, but that ever since the election of our first black president, they suddenly feel they have Carte Blanc to be openly & unashamedly racist. “It’s okay” to say openly racists things now because “the election of a black president proves we’re not racists.” So suddenly, we can roll back voting rights, question the birthplace of the president to label him an “other”, even openly disrespect him during his first address before a joint session of Congress (Rep. Joe Wilson’s “You lie!” outburst in 2009) all because America is “no longer a racist country.” Got that?

Last week, the New York Times printed the results of their “racial equality” poll where they asked people across the racial spectrum what they thought of race-relations today. They also included a number of statistical facts as a basis for comparison. Fewer than “one in three” black Americans felt we have made “a lot” of progress towards racial equality since King gave his historic speech in 1963. Forty-five years later (since 1967), the average three-member black family earns just 59 percent of what the average three-member white family earns (ibid)… not because they are paid less for doing the same job (though I’m sure there’s some of that going on as well), but mostly due to the average black worker working at lower paying jobs than most whites. 50 years ago, a black man was 5 times as likely to go to prison than a white man. Today, that ratio is SIX-to-one (ibid). Why? Because we now have a justice system that’s tilted heavily in favor of the rich, and (as noted above), if you’re poor in this country, you’re nearly twice as likely to be black.

The Conservatives on the Supreme Court gutted the 1965 Voting Rights Act, citing the apparent lack of need for it in the age of Obama. And within hours, we already had Southern states clamoring to pass an avalanche of voter suppression laws that would have been illegal literally minutes before.

It seems to me (and probably you as well) that only recently (since the 2008 presidential campaign) that closet-racists that used to keep their true feelings hidden suddenly feel that they can now say & do openly racist things and not fear any backlash because so many of their neighbors are saying it too. But don’t you DARE call them “racists”! They’ll point to the black Tea Party member giving a speech before a sea of white faces. They’ll point to all the black NRA members (the ones that don’t look “Gangsta”) they are “friends” with (yet whose home they’ve never visited nor shared a beer with.)

How white do you have to be to wonder aloud if a “fist bump” might be “a Terrorist fist jab?” because the first people you’ve ever seen do it happened to be black? I’m a 40-something white guy and even *I* had seen (and performed) a “fist bump” before. That remark was just downright embarrassing.

What I don’t understand is: why do they still act like there’s something WRONG with being called a racist? Accusing a racist of being a “racist” is still an open invitation to a punch in the mouth. Why? They certainly don’t have to worry about offending their friends, and a growing number of them are saying & doing things in public without a scintilla of shame or even self-awareness that we didn’t hear with such regularity even a decade ago. Rush Limbaugh sings “Barack, the magic negro” on his radio show and his fans leaped to his defense, arguing that the song wasn’t racist (if racists could recognize racism, they wouldn’t be racists). Donald Trump, who made a second career of questioning President Obama’s legitimacy because he believed Obama’s “birth certificate” was faked to cover up the “fact” he was born in another country and was therefore ineligible to be president, has been uncharacteristically quiet following the announcement that Ted “Jose McCarthy” Cruz, whom appears to be eying a run at the presidency in 2016, was ADMITTEDLY born in Canada. Cruz’s response? His mother was born in America so therefore he’s an American citizen too (unlike President Obama, whose mother was born in the distant nation of Kansas.) And when Birther opponents of Obama are asked about the inconsistency of supporting Cruz, hilarity ensues their rationalization is that “Canada isn’t foreign”.

“Who us? Racists? Just because we prefer Paula Dean over Martin Luther King (73% to 59%)? What kind of N-word lovin’ question is that to ask?”
 

BTW: If you used to enjoy following my real-time highlights during the “Sunday Morning Roundup” over on Crooks & Liars before they attacked me and stripped me of my editorial privileges because I didn’t “volunteer enough” during my mothers’ illness to be so presumptive as to ask for some common courtesy, I’ve resumed my duties on my Facebook page every Sunday morning. Be sure to drop on by and “friend” me.

 


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When Republicans Start to Agree with Me on Egypt, I Get Nervous
Aug 19th, 2013 by Admin Mugsy

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We’ve all seen the famous photo of the Egyptian Sphinx with its missing nose. I learned as a child that the nose of the Sphinx was shot off by Napoleon’s Army using it for target practice when they invaded Egypt in the early 1800’s. It’s an historical fact. A bit of trivia I’ve carried around in my mental Rolodex for decades.

It’s also not true.

And so it goes in politics, just when you are SURE that the two Parties are hopelessly split by ideology, something happens to surprise you. For me, that surprise was the support of many in the GOP of President Obama’s reluctance to cut off financial aid to Egypt. And when I find myself agreeing with the likes of Bill Kristol and Sen. Bob Corker, my first instinct is to question my own thinking.

 

[T]here still are things within Egypt that are very much in our national interest. And we need to keep the lines of communication open. … I think, [not] a suspension but a recalibration.” – Senator Bob Corker (R-TN).
 
“What better thing is going to happen in Egypt or in the region if tomorrow morning the president got on TV and said we’re cutting off the aid?” – Bill Kristol

Both comments during ABC’s ThisWeek yesterday (8/18/2013)

 
Now (of course), I disagreed with just about every other comment to spew from these two men’s mouths during the program, but in this one regard, we agree (as much as it pains me to say it). We can & should reevaluate our funding of Egypt’s military, and flat out cutting off aid to Egypt would be cutting off our nose to spite our face (you were wondering when I’d get around to the Sphinx reference).

My own position on continuing to give $1.3 Billion dollars a year to a nation on the brink of Civil War while its military continues to slaughter literally hundreds of its own citizens, has been just as complex as President Obama’s own thinking on the matter. On one hand, it buys us influence where we otherwise would have none (my position on Foreign Aid in general). On the other, the Egyptian military is using that money to fund their slaughter. The best solution, in my opinion, has been that we attach strings to the money, demanding that none of it goes towards the purchase of weapons or munitions. Yes, they may violate the agreement and just buy those munitions from someone else, but if they do and we find out, bye-bye aid.

On “Meet the Press” yesterday, intrepid roving reporter Richard Engle pointed out the obvious:
 

[D]oes Washington really want to back the Muslim Brotherhood? At the end of the day, we can talk about process and our love for the democratic process, but now that is broken and the choice is binary. Do we want to be with the military or do we want to be with the Brotherhood? Israel doesn’t think we should drop the military and side with the Brotherhood. Neither does Saudi Arabia, neither does Jordan, neither does the UAE. I don’t know why Washington would want to go against so many of its key allies.

 
Despite the slaughter, most Egyptians still support the military. The crackdown is against supporters of ousted (and currently imprisoned) President Morisi and The Muslim Brotherhood.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-Bachmannville), the newest “Amigo” of the McCain/Graham Trio since Lieberman took a powder in 2012, ACTUALLY said (after acknowledging that our aid buys us influence) that we should “cut off” that aid. Not “threaten” to cut it off, but flat out cut it off, because doing so would motivate the Egyptian military to do whatever it takes to get that funding back:
 

“[T]hey are obviously getting the impression that no matter what they do, our aid will continue, so we do need to exercise our influence by saying we’re going to follow the law [the 1980 Camp David Peace Accords], particularly in light of your recent violent crackdowns, suspend aid until you restore democracy.

 
“No aid till you restore democracy!” So we suspend aid to Egypt, they tell us to F-off and turn to Russia for their funding. Brilliant! Think Putin might demand Egypt cede some control over the Suez Canal in exchange? Nah! He’d never do that! Putin’s a pussy cat.

Oh, but it gets better (worse?), dear reader.

Senator Rand Paul (R-Chucky Cheese) pointed out on Fox “news” Sunday yesterday that we can safely cut aid to Egypt because not all that money is going to fund Egypt’s military anyway:
 

“I don’t think we’re buying any love of the Egyptian people when they see an American tank on the street, when someone is shot down or rolled over by a tank that was purchased with American money, do you think that buys any friendship with the Egyptian people? What happens with foreign aid is basically foreign aid to Egypt is more likely to buy a lavish chateau for a dictator or a general in Paris than it is to buy bread for people in Cairo.”

 
So I’m confused here. Is the money going to buy weapons to kill Egyptians or is it (quote) “more likely” being spent by Generals on lavish chateaus on the French Riviera (which kills no one yet continues to buy us influence?) Setting aside for a moment that in (literally) the same breath, Paul expresses more concern over the waste of taxpayer dollars on a “lavish chateau” than tanks used to kill civilians, I understand not wanting to waste Taxpayer dollars so some tinpot dictator can live like a Pharaoh, but if your justification for defunding Egypt’s military is because it’s using that money to kill its own citizens, only to then argue that very little of the money is actually going to do that, haven’t you just destroyed your own argument? And just how many of these “lavish chateaus” are Egypt’s generals buying? You think there’d be a way to find out.

Who knew the GOP loved The Muslim Brotherhood so much? Well, you know what they say about “your enemy’s enemy”? They hate Obama more than they hate TMB.

Naturally, the GOP is split between those who attack President Obama for his continued support of Egypt’s military, and those who believe that our aid to Egypt buys us leverage we otherwise would not have.

We’ve listened to the GOP blast the president for over a week for his “failure” to “act decisively” on Egypt, yet now suddenly, many in the GOP seem to be switching gears faster than a NASCAR driver on the final lap of the Daytona 500 (author bows for the apt redneck metaphor.) But Democrats are likewise split on whether or not we should continue funding Egypt’s military… though their hesitation has more to do with whether or not what happened in Egypt is indeed a “military coup”, which would make funding that coup illegal. I don’t like when people allow “semantics” to drive policy. “Yes” it’s a coup, and “yes” funding a coup is technically illegal. But does stopping that aid put us in a stronger or weaker position? A few Republicans seem to be willing to side with the President on this one and give him a pass on the issue.

But wait for it: this tenuous “support” for the president by members of the GOP cannot and will not stand. If I had to make a prediction, I foresee a call for “military intervention” in the near future… something President Obama would NEVER support short of quelling a genocide. Very soon, dear reader. Because the Republicans that want war always win out over the ones who don’t.
 


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A Quick Thought on the Wildfires & Floods As We Pause For a Week.
Aug 12th, 2013 by Admin Mugsy

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Hey folks. Sorry to say M.R.S. is going to have to take a sabbatical this week. Fortunately, there wasn’t much new to report in the news last week. If I had to write anything about this past week, it would be about the massive deadly floods that have been reigning/raining down upon Middle-America all last week at the same time, huge wildfires decimate California and the Western states. Years ago, I noticed a pattern (one that Al Gore brought up in his documentary “An Inconvenient Truth”) of how often we see Wildfires in one part of the country and simultaneous flooding in another. This is because excessive heat from Global Warming is sucking all the moisture out of one region and then dumping it in another. I had collected about a half dozen TV news clips before I lost them all in a computer crash. But the theory is dead on, proven repeatedly year after year with alarming frequency now (and by the way, when this happens in the Winter, all that moisture comes down as “record snowfall”… to the bemusement of moronic Climate-Change Denying Conservative jackasses like Jim Inhoff (R-OK) who think being buried under 15feet of snow in the Wintertime makes Gore look dumb).

Just something to think about until I return next week.
 

PS: Oh, and thanks to everyone for asking about Mom. We finally got her out of that deathtrap of a hospital and into a Rehab facility. I’m currently searching for a good malpractice attorney that’s willing to take on an entire hospital (and maybe her HMO to boot.) Don’t know what the hospital has to fear. Mom’s can’t testify against them. They saw to that! – Mugsy


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Thinking Outside the GOP Box: Creating New Jobs Without Resorting to Tax Cuts
Aug 5th, 2013 by Admin Mugsy

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Last Tuesday, President Obama began his “Better Bargain” jobs tour promising to “overhaul business taxes” in exchange for jobs created here at home. Every time I hear a Democrat using the language of Republicans, suggesting “tax cuts” as a way to create jobs, I cringe. There are PLENTY of ways to encourage job growth here at home without destroying the tax base. Corporations are ALREADY paying next to nothing in taxes (see blue line in chart on left) by exploiting the dozens (hundreds?) of tax loopholes already provided them by the GOP (see: Arthur Andersen/Enron). “Why do they need more tax cuts?” It seems like the only solution anyone in Washington (BOTH parties) can think of the encourage businesses development here at home rather than overseas is to give huge tax breaks to corporations (destroying the greatest source of tax revenue we have) and shifting the tax burden to workers so that they end up footing the bill for all public services (including roads, security and fire safety of the business itself). And in the end, the companies that receive these imperious gifts rarely produce enough jobs to make up for the lost tax revenue. There’s a better way. Zero interest loans, Free use of publicly owned buildings and/or land, faster/easier licensing, local infrastructure improvements (roads/bridges/beautification) that benefit the surrounding area around a business to make it more attractive (which also creates public jobs), for starters.

I find it appalling that many Democrats… even Moderate ones like President Obama… are quick to jump onto the “tax cuts create jobs” bandwagon. Lord knows there’s ample evidence that “corporate tax cuts do nothing to promote job creation” and actually do more harm than good. If there’s one thing Progressives are good at is thinking “outside the box”, so it is maddening when a Democratic president and head of our own Party continues to promote the GOP gospel of “tax cuts” as a panacea for job growth.

Over the years, I have written extensively about ways to create jobs without resorting to budget-busting tax cuts. Yet still, the myth persists.

Sign my petition on the White House website:

Corporate tax cuts do NOT create jobs. Here’s a half dozen ways to create new jobs without resorting to costly tax cuts:

Be sure to click the link at the bottom of the petition to promote it on Facebook & Twitter. Thanks to Teabaggers and “9/11 Truthers”, it now takes 100,000 signatures in 30 days to reach the president’s desk, and 150 signatures just to get on the Front page of the White House’s Petition website. So please help out by spreading the word.
 


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