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This Is Why We Said No to Invading Iraq in 2003. Those who pushed for war, please shut up.
Aug 25th, 2014 by Admin Mugsy

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Last June, The Rachel Maddow Show commented on the number of former Bush Administration figures that were suddenly being booked on the Sunday Political Talkshows to pontificate on the rise of ISIS, the Sunni-based terrorist organization:

Attention Media: Stop booking Yahoos to advise on Iraq! (4:52)

Yesterday on ABC’s ThisWeek, Bill Kristol (who apparently ABC got in the trade when George Will went to Fox to finally let his Conservative freakflag fly) bemoaned the fact that “President Obama didn’t leave 10,000 troops [behind] in Iraq” when he pulled them out at the end of 2010. I pointed out last June that the decision to pull ALL U.S. troops out of Iraq was not only what the majority of the American people wanted at the time (and that hasn’t changed), but the decision was made by the Bush Administration months before Barack Obama was elected president. It was President Bush that tried to convince the Iraqi’s to allow a contingency of thousands of American troops to stay behind in Iraq “in perpetuity”, but only if Iraq agreed to give them immunity for any perceived “past crimes” (read: Abu Ghraib.) Iraq said “No” and thus it was agreed that we would withdraw ALL U.S. troops by the end of 2010. After five years of lip-service about Iraq being “a sovereign nation” once again, we couldn’t very well just ignore their wishes and install our troops in the middle of a foreign nation without their approval, now could we?

But that still hasn’t stopped Conservatives… particularly people like Kristol who certainly know better… from continuing to blame President Obama for the rise of ISIS in Iraq. “If only we had left 10,000 troops behind in Iraq” then… what? ISIS wouldn’t have taken over much of Syria & Northern Iraq two years later? No, all that would have been accomplished is the death of several hundred more American soldiers. We’re talking about an army of more than a few hundred religious fundamentalist psychopaths that shoot children in the head because they pray to the wrong invisible man in the sky.

But can we all just pause for a moment and agree on one thing: NONE OF THIS MESS WOULD BE HAPPENING RIGHT NOW IF WE HADN’T INVADED IRAQ IN THE FIRST PLACE!

Can we all just agree on this one simple fact? Saddam was a Sunni Muslim, and gave Sunni’s all the political power in Iraq despite them being roughly only 10% of the Iraqi population. When we invaded Iraq and deposed Saddam, Rumsfeld & Bremmer made the seriously bad decision to disband the entire Iraqi military… probably the closest thing they had left to a trained police force… leaving nearly 200,000 pissed off soldiers with guns and no job to go out and go to war against the American invaders. That’s right, much of ISIS is made up of former Iraqi Army personnel disenfranchised by the Bush Administration. They are organized, with a Command Structure, raising funds and distributing propaganda. In the Iraqi government, the Shia took over and excluded Sunni’s from ALL political positions, pissing them off still further. In neighboring Syria, President Assad declared war on the Sunni minority, even (apparently) gassing small children to death. “ISIS” is a direct result of the invasion of Iraq and ostracism of the Sunni minority that had previously held power.

In 2002, I warned a Conservative friend of mine who was cheerleading for the invasion of Iraq that if we invaded Iraq, we would “unleash the gates of Hell”, either as friends of Saddam rushed to his defense, or as different groups fought over the scraps like wild dogs.

We are now seeing the latter.

The gruesome beheading of an American reporter last week kicked Conservative fear & paranoia (the hallmarks of Conservatism… which I plan to dedicate an entire Op/Ed to someday) into overdrive. “They’re coming for us next!” “They’re coming to America!” We must invade Iraq [again] to stop this threat [that was brought about by our first invasion eleven years ago.]

“Invading” Iraq started this mess. Re-invading Iraq now won’t make it better.

Terrified Conservative believe, “We won’t be safe until every small town in America looks like Ferguson, Missouri, with local police dressed in desert camo, carrying semi-automatic assault rifles and driving down Main Street in an up-armored mine-resistant Humvee.”

…Well, every BLACK town in America. We don’t want Furer Obama and his “jackbooted thugs” marching through OUR town, pointing guns at us and telling us what to do, norsiree Bob!

POSTSCRIPT: Also on ThisWeek yesterday, Bill Kristol happened to praise Texas Governor Rick Perry’s handling of his indictment, noting that Perry “has been out on the campaign trail” in Iowa “talking intelligently about foreign policy.” I’d just like to point out that Kristol is the former Chief of Staff for the dumbest VP in history, Dan Quayle. High praise indeed Bill.


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Where Are the Anti-Police State Cliven Bundy Supporters on Behalf of Michael Brown?
Aug 18th, 2014 by Admin Mugsy

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Last April, Federal agents from the Bureau of Land Management (BLS) arrived at the home of Cliven Bundy, a cattle rancher that has been grazing his cattle on public land for the last 20 years without reimbursing the government for upkeep of that land, to evict his cattle from said public land and demand he pay the $1 million dollars in back-owed grazing fees. This sparked a face-off between redneck anti-government armed militia “Freedom Riders” and federal law enforcement. Bundy supporters decried the “jack-booted” thuggary of Federal law enforcement and declared that THIS was “exactly why we have a Second Amendment!” (no, it’s not.) Four months later, an over-militarized police force in up-armored land-mine resistant vehicles with machine-gun turrets on top, launched teargas grenades and fired rubber bullets into crowds of protestors in Ferguson, Missouri, and the same people who vilified the authorities for attempting to force Bundy to comply with the law, are stunningly silent when it comes to defending the mostly black protesters being confronted by a paramilitary police force as they attempt to express their First Amendment right to publicly protest.

One can’t help but wonder what Bundy supporters’ reaction would be if hoards of armed black protestors were training their weapons on Federal law enforcement officers. Where are the militia teanuts rushing to the defense of black protesters in opposition to the heavy-handed police tactics being employed in Ferguson, Missouri? How is the almost-hyperbolic militaristic response to a public protest not a “call to arms” for every anti-government militia group in the country?

Rancher Bundy acknowledged that he was in defiance of the law and thumbing his nose at Federal Law enforcement, stating clearly that he simply “did not recognize the authority” of the Federal Government over him. He went to court numerous times to defend his right to use public land without paying for its upkeep, and lost every time. And when the BLS came knocking on his door, demanding he pay nearly a million dollars in 20 years worth of back-owed grazing fees, armed militia groups from neighboring states rushed to his defense, railing against the “Police-State” federal government’s “jack-booted thugs” persecuting a poor innocent cattle rancher. Yes, poor, innocent, admitted criminal, government welfare moocher Cliven Bundy. When those same supporters showed up with guns and trained them on police officers, the BLS wisely just backed off and said, “You’re not worth it.” Fox “news” gave the “Bundy Standoff” wall-to-wall coverage, sending camera crews to cast protestors in the most sympathetic light (until Bundy started talking about “the Neg’ras”.)
 

Protesters in Ferguson, MO defying police
Black protestors in Ferguson, MO

 

Protesters at Bundy Ranch in Nevada defying police
Bundy supporter Eric Parker from central Idaho
Militiaman in support of Cliven Bundy Militiaman blows war horn in Call to Arms Bundy supporters in defiance of Authorities

 

Let’s be clear about one thing: Those of us who defended the government against Bundy are NOT “hypocrites” for now criticizing the governments response to protesters regarding the shooting-death of an unarmed black teen (who was in the process of surrendering to authorities after already being shot twice, then shot three to six more times til he was dead) last week. Bundy was already in defiance of the law and there was no question of his guilt when federal authorities arrived to fine… not arrest… Mr. Bundy.

Despite a video released after-the-fact that appears to show Brown committing petty theft (taking a handful of cigars from a local convenience store), the officer who shot the unarmed Brown twice when he grabbed Brown through the window of his police car, then fired 3-6 more shots killing him as Brown attempted to surrender, did not know about the robbery when he confronted Brown. And regardless, YOU DON’T SHOOT AN UNARMED MAN EVEN ONCE (let alone EIGHT TIMES) while they are in the process of surrendering.

The always excellent Media Matters also noticed the hypocrisy of Fox radio host and frequent Fox “news” contributor Laura Ingraham, who chastised the Media for inflaming the situation in Ferguson, saying that their presence there was only making the situation worse as protesters were “playing to the cameras”, likening them to “a lynch mob”. But four months ago, Ingraham struck a very different tune as she appeared repeatedly on Fox to describe the pro-Bundy armed militia protesters as “engaging in an act of civil disobedience”, chastising the federal government for its “ridiculously disproportionate response.”

Quite honestly, when I started work on this op/ed and Googled “Cliven Bundy” “Michael Brown”, I expected to see… at the very least… a half dozen other sites questioning the stunningly different reactions towards the use of military-style police force against protesters… one white, armed to the teeth, defending a man in flagrant violation of the law threatening the use of violence against a very menacing-looking police force… the other black, unarmed (alleged reports of “Molotov-cocktails” being thrown at police have never been substantiated), teargassed and shot with rubber bullets by local police in military vehicles wearing camouflage (in the city?) in full riot gear. I didn’t. Not one single news story remarking on the disconnect, and not even a handful of stories on the web (perhaps three) commenting on the obvious hypocrisy. But I expect that number to grow quickly.

I also expect to see the NRA out there any day now defending the black protestors’ right to take up arms against local authorities.

NOT.

UPDATE: Almost on cue: Fox defends Ferguson police response as “What needed to happen”.

So predictable.

 


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If Republicans Sue Obama, Democrats MUST Impeach Bush for Commiting Same Crime
Aug 11th, 2014 by Admin Mugsy

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In 1867, two years after the assassination of President Lincoln, the Republican Party was in open revolt against a Republican president, threatening him with impeachment. In an attempt to reach out to the Southern states, President Lincoln replaced his 1st term vice president Hannibal Hamlin with Andrew Johnson… a Republican, but from the Southern state of Tennessee. Lincoln, who had just defeated the South, was barely a month into his second term (inaugurations were held in March back then) when he was assassinated and succeeded by the Southerner Johnson, who was quick to veto a series of bills he thought unfairly punished the Rebel states (okay, I admit, this is a bit of an over-simplification). Ironically, had Lincoln of lived, he probably would have done the same thing. But in the current climate, Johnson was branded a “traitor” that needed to be impeached. And they did. And for 222 years of this nations history, that was the one & only time Congress had ever attempted to impeach a president. (on this 40th anniversary of Nixon’s resignation, bear in mind he only did so to avoid an impeachment he was sure to lose.) Then came Bill Clinton, for whom Republicans went on a six year binge of dirt-digging to try and… first defeat, and when that failed, impeach him… NOT for any crime he committed as president, but for lying to a Grand Jury during one of those dirt-digging investigations that they had no business holding in the first place. And now, just one term removed since the last Democratic president, the GOP is at it again, threatening to “sue” President Obama (while others openly talk of impeachment) for refusing to “uphold the law” (in this case, delaying the ObamaCare mandate, something they actually wanted.) One has to wonder if this is going to be the GOP’s S.O.P. from now on every time a Democrat wins a second term?

The problem is, the “crime” President Obama is supposedly guilty of, just about every prior president is also guilty of (and far worse). So if President Obama is guilty of a crime, so is his predecessor, George W Bush.

First Republicans thought they had something with “Fast & Furious”… the FBI Code Name for an operation to track the legal “straw-man” sale of guns in this country only to be transported across the border into Mexico. But that went nowhere fast (which made Republicans furious).

Then came “Benghazi”. But that’s really more about derailing Hillary Clinton’s presidential aspirations than it is about President Obama. And now that a NINTH investigation… this one actually chaired by Republicans… has cleared the White House of any wrong-doing any chance of using it to impeach Obama are as remote as Sarah Palin’s chances of becoming president.

Any dreamt-of attempt to link the imaginary Cincinnati IRS “scandal” to President Obama was a desperate long-shot at best. Oh they tried. Mightily. But even the most rabid partisan Republican Congressman knew they were grasping at straws at the off chance that the White House might have actually been micromanaging tiny individual IRS offices. That’s why you probably heard occasional claims of other IRS offices in other states supposedly guilty of the same thing, in hopes of bolstering the idea that what happened in Cincinnati was just part of a nation-wide effort by the White House to instruct IRS offices across the nation to target “Tea Party” groups for extra scrutiny. But no “nationwide effort” was ever uncovered, and so went that as a possible route towards impeachment.

More recently, it was the possibility that President Obama might unilaterally bestow “amnesty” upon the tens of thousands of Central American refugee children flooding across the Mexican border. But you can’t impeach someone for something they haven’t done yet. Threatening to impeach him might keep him from doing something, but Republicans don’t want to simply keep President Obama “in check”, they want him GONE… like yesterday.

That just leaves “ObamaCare”… which to their dismay, withstood a Supreme Court challenge as Constitutional, making it “the law of the land”. When the law passed in 2009, Republicans demanded that it not take effect until AFTER the next election (in hopes that a newly elected Republican president would repeal it before it ever went into effect. Democrats agreed and put it in the bill. Despite this accommodation, not a single Republican voted for it anyway.) But when President Obama won re-election handily, their next big concern was that rapidly approaching “March 2013” deadline for the “mandate” that everyone must have insurance. “Too fast!” “Not enough time!” “We’re totally unprepared because we were positive we’d win in November and the law would never take effect!” So now, Republicans and Republican-friendly corporations started begging President Obama for “more time!” to comply with the mandate. Seeing as how such a task might require more time for the largest corporations, President Obama agreed and instructed the IRS to delay any noncompliance penalties for large corporations.

And despite doing exactly what Republicans and big businesses wanted, Republicans took the President’s gesture as PROOF that the entire law is bad and will hurt big business. And by “not enforcing [this portion of] the law”, he is guilty of “a crime”… which is an impeachable offense. But since an impeachment would be a pointless waste of time without control of the Senate (and be hugely unpopular with voters tired of their partisan nonsense), they have instead opted for just “suing” him for “not enforcing the law”… a law mind you THEY DON’T WANT ENFORCED.

So, what’s the logic here (as if there actually is any)? Sue the president for delaying the mandate, and if you win, screw over all those (once Republican-friendly) corporations into having to comply with the mandate… now with even LESS time to comply since they thought Obama had given them some breathing room.
 

Have you REALLY thought this out guys? (Look who I’m asking. The same people that rushed us into Iraq without an exit strategy.)
 

The problem is, if President Obama is guilty of a “crime” by unilaterally not enforcing part of his own health care law, then former President Bush is also guilty of the exact same “crime” when he delayed implementation of “MediCare Part-D” in 2006. So, if what President Obama did was “a crime”, then President Bush is every bit as guilty and should be impeached.

Now, a lot of people don’t fully understand that term: “impeached”. It doesn’t mean “removal from office” and it doesn’t just apply to sitting presidents. An “impeachment” is a “criminal prosecution” that takes place in the House of Representatives. That’s all. You don’t have to even still be in office to be “impeached”. So “yes”, we can still hold impeachment hearings in the House for President Bush (and Vice President Cheney too if we were so inclined) retroactively. Hell, we could even go back and impeach Andrew Johnson again… not that it would do any good.

The media has wasted a lot of energy the past two weeks breathlessly reporting President Obama’s “low approval rating of just 41%”. (It’s a nonsense figure of course, dragged down by absurdly unrealistic Republican disapproval of Obama.) “That’s George W Bush territory” they proclaim! Something odd about any group that believes the the surest route to victory is to acknowledge just how bad the former head of your own Party was.

Let us all hope the GOP does actually attempt to sue Obama before the mid-term elections. Probably the shortest route to Democratic control of The House in November.
 


Writers Wanted Got something to say? Mugsy’s Rap Sheet is always looking for article submissions to focus on the stories we may miss each week. To volunteer your own Op/Ed for inclusion here, send us an email with an example of your writing skills & choice of topic, and maybe we’ll put you online!

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Both Sides Are At Fault? Democrats Don’t Control the Senate. They Just Don’t.
Aug 4th, 2014 by Admin Mugsy

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Every time the news reported on how little Congress got done before embarking on their annual August Recess, some newscaster was always sure to point out the fact that “the Senate… controlled by Democrats…” likewise has been every bit as unproductive as the GOP-controlled House. The obvious implication being: “Both sides are equally to blame!”, followed by “The Democratically controlled Senate likewise went on recess without passing a bill [on XYZ subject]. Can’t blame just Republicans for doing nothing!” The hell I can’t. Since President Obama first took office in January of 2009, Democrats controlled Congress unobstructed for a total of just 24 working days. That’s it. Then the illness & death of both Sen. Byrd and Ted Kennedy denied Democrats of their “Super Majority” in the Senate, and Republicans Gerrymandered their way into majority control of the House in 2010. Other than those 24 days, Republicans have forced EVERY vote of consequence to require a 60 vote super majority just to pass, ensuring that Democrats can’t pass ANYTHING of consequence without the votes from the Republican minority. So while voters gave control of the Senate to Democrats (four times since 2006), and 50+1 votes is normally enough votes to pass anything, now even 55 votes (53 Democrats + 2 Independents that caucus with them) isn’t enough thanks to GOP obstructionism. Democrats don’t control EITHER half of Congress. They just don’t. Oh sure, Democrats may have the Majority in the Senate, and get to decide what bills they take up for a vote, but even then, there’s no point in even bringing a bill up for a vote without pandering to the lunatic fringe on the Right. The Minority is setting the agenda in the Senate. Meanwhile in the House, it’s strict “majority rules” over there. No “Super Majority” gamesmanship over there. Democrats are less-than-powerless in the House and castrated geldings in the Senate. So whenever I hear one of these talking heads tries to lay blame on “both sides”, pointing out that “the Democratically controlled Senate” is just as dysfunctional as the Republican controlled House, I want to reach through my TV and throttle them. The ONLY thing Democrats “control” is the White House, and Republicans are hard at work at bottling THAT up too, threatening to sue the president for doing anything on his own after they worked so hard to prevent Congress from getting anything done. So STOP apologetically “acknowledging” that “Democrats control the Senate” because they don’t. Except for 24 days back in 2009… and not all in a row mind you… Democrats have been blocked from getting ANYTHING of substance done.

Meanwhile, pollsters are asking people who probably couldn’t name the Vice President if you stuck a gun to their head, their opinion on who’s to blame for: [insert political issue here.] I heard one poll the Media breathlessly trumpeted that “33% of Americans think President Obama should be impeached” while “only 30% of Americans ever thought President Bush should have been impeached.” That’s because Republicans are insane. The poll in question reached 33% only because so many RepublicansFIFTY-SEVEN PERCENT… support impeachment while “just 35 percent of independent voters and 13 percent of Democrats” do. These are the same Republicans that still want to see President Obama’s Birth Certificate. It’s also the same Republican Party that is obstructing everything Democrats try to do, hoping Obama will get the blame. And those same people being polled… they don’t know why things don’t seem to be getting better fast enough, or in some cases, seem to be getting worse (eg: border security and Foreign Policy)… all they know is “Obama is in charge so he must be at fault.” They don’t know that our nation has been hijacked by a secret Republican coup ensuring nobody gets anything done.

And the Media plays the “both sides are to blame” game.
 


 

Fox “news” personality Greta van Susteren appeared on her home-away-from-home, ABC’s “ThisWeek” yesterday and demanded that President Obama “call Harry Reid and the Senate back into session”, yet made NO similar demand of Boehner and the GOP-controlled House.” Like the Senate could do anything with half of Congress still away on vacation. On a personal aside, Why do ABC, CBS & NBC have on so many Fox personalities on their shows as guest pundits week after week? You NEVER see pundits from any of the OTHER rival networks on FOX as guest commentators. When was the last time you saw Rachel Maddow on the “FnS Power Panel” or George Stephanopoulos guest-hosting “Fox & Friends”? But I digress. (BTW: That screenshot in the upper left is from the TV app on my PC listing information about ABC’s “ThisWeek”, but due to a programming flaw, longer descriptions of other programs aren’t erased by shorter ones, producing some rather comical descriptions.)

So the next time someone tries to “blame both sides” for the dysfunction in Congress by pointing out that “Democrats control the Senate”, correct them. On the spot. Don’t let them get away with it. Our country has been hijacked by Right-Wing ideologues controlling not only the House, but the U.S. Senate as well via unprecedented obstruction. One need look no further than the fact that before Bill Clinton, this nation had impeached only ONE president in our 222 year history. Now it looks as though this is what Republicans will do in the sixth year of EVERY Democratic presidency.

ANNOUNCEMENT: August 1st marks the 10-year Anniversary of Mugsy’s Rap Sheet. The site began life as a “Blogger.com” site back during the height of the 2004 Presidential election and in the wake of the invasion of Iraq over “WMD’s” that never materialized after a year of assurances with 100% certainty that they existed in great “stockpiles” being readied to be used against us. It has been the job of M.R.S. ever since to ensure that no Republican lies are ever forgotten, no misinformation goes unchallenged, and no hypocrisy goes unnoticed. – Mugsy

 


Writers Wanted Got something to say? Mugsy’s Rap Sheet is always looking for article submissions to focus on the stories we may miss each week. To volunteer your own Op/Ed for inclusion here, send us an email with an example of your writing skills & choice of topic, and maybe we’ll put you online!

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