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Why a Shutdown? Here is what it would be like if Trump got everything he wanted
Jan 22nd, 2018 by Admin Mugsy

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“The only reason the government is shutdown today is because Trump made dozens of ridiculous promises that were impossible to keep.” – overheard in Congress.

A shutdown falls on the President’s lack of leadership. He can’t even control his party and get people together in a room. A shutdown means the President is weak.” – Donald Trump in 2013 during the last government shutdown.

Donald Trump made a LOT of unkeepable promises to his angry low-information devotees during the 2016 campaign, chief among them, his ridiculous promise not just to Wall-off the entire United States Southern border with Mexico, but that he would (“easily”) get Mexico to pay for it so it would not cost the American taxpayers one thin dime. He was also one of the few Republican candidates who felt is WAS indeed possible to round-up & deport over ten million undocumented Mexican immigrants. But then, once in the Oval Office, things got complicated.

While Trump never put his plan on paper, I’m quite sure in his simplistic child mind, he thought “all we need to do it block all Mexican goods from entering the United States” and they would then BEG to meet any insane demand Trump was making… including paying for his ludicrous 2,000 mile long border wall (I’m sure he pictured razor-wire across the top and guard towers every 1,000 yards, too.)

Then reality sunk in. That would also mean no Mexican/South American farm-produce crossing the border, and no immigrant farm workers, meaning food prices in the U.S. would skyrocket (not a big deal for a wealthy man like Trump, but a much bigger deal for his lower-middle class base. Add to that, WE trade with Mexico too! They would block all American goods from flowing South (including American crude/gasoline.) American plants in Mexico looking to ship their products back to the U.S.? They could stop that too. His corporate backers would NOT be happy with THAT.

So “Mexico isn’t going to pay for any F—-ing wall” as former Mexican President Vicente’ Fox put it. They aren’t powerless to stop it the way Trump imagined, and the only one “begging” right now is Trump… begging Democrats and the American taxpayers to furnish the first $20 Billion just to start building his moronic wall while he figures out a way to get Mexico to pay for it… which he never will.

Reality bites.

And you know how it is once America starts paying for some ridiculously expensive project? They convince Congress that we must continue to fund the project just “so all the money spent so far doesn’t go to waste” and “it wasn’t all for nothing” (that’s partly why it took so long to end the war in Iraq… regardless of how many “advisors” have been sent back since.)

In addition, I’m still quite astonished that no one ever seems to bring up the “unfeasibility” of building a wall across the entire Southern border: “Where would you PUT it?” You can’t build it on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande because that is THEIR land (as is half that river.) Do we build it on OUR side of the Rio Grand and forfeit the entire river to Mexico? Do we build the wall right down the middle of the river (rendering it unusable?) Less than half of all immigrants here illegally came across the border on foot. Most came here on worker/student/tourist visas and simply never went home. An enormous wall would have done nothing to stop those people from getting in. Walls don’t stop airplanes.

They also don’t stop tunnels. Our Southern border looks like Swiss cheese deep underground with tunnels dug to smuggle both drugs and immigrants into the country. You can’t bury a wall deep enough to stop someone from tunneling beneath it.

But Trump promised his base, so now he’s stuck. Democrats actually said they’d agree to funding that first $20 Billion IN EXCHANGE for Trump renewing the #DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program and not turning the “Dreamers” into hunted animals. And according to Senate Minority Leader Schumer, Trump actually agreed to that deal. Then he walked out of the room. About two hours later, members of Trump’s racist (I call ’em as I see ’em) Party got to him and convinced him it was a terrible deal (Reverend Al Sharpton on PoliticsNation yesterday said Schumer’s mistake was leaving Trump alone because “he always agrees with the last person he talks to.”) But not only did Trump back out of the deal, he couldn’t help but poison the well, tweeting: “The Dems just want illegal immigrants to pour into our nation unchecked. If stalemate continues, Republicans should go to 51% (Nuclear Option) and vote on real, long term budget, no C.R.’s!” accusing Democrats of siding with illegal immigrants over the American People. Republicans had to change the rules to get Gorsuch appointed to the Supreme Court, now Trump wants them to do it again… because the only way The Great Deal-Maker can get anything done is by One-Party rule.
 

Trump the Deal-Maker (:32)

Some Republicans truly believe tens of thousands of children… even infants… should have refused to allow their parents to bring them to this country. “If they are here illegally, they are criminals and must go back” they say. And of course, their “illegal” parents would have to be deported too. But many of these “Dreamers” are adults now with families… children… of their own. American Citizens born in this country. So you deport Mom and/or Dad and leave the kids here? Do we start deporting American Citizens in order to keep families together? I have NO doubt plenty of Trump’s followers fully support that idea. “Send them home. Send them ALL home… back to Africa… er, I mean Mexico!”

Unless the Trumptonions want to repeal the 14th Amendment that declares anyone born here a U.S. citizen… a move that would never get past Congress let alone be ratified by 33 states… the U.S. is just NOT going to start deporting American Citizens just because their parents were brought here illegally when they were just children themselves (but if they DO repeal the 14th, might I suggest they make it retroactive and deport Trump, born to an Irish immigrant mother who was not yet a citizen at the time?)

And once again, reality much teach Toddler Trump another lesson. Oh, but there’s more dear reader!

Most of these undocumented workers are TAXPAYERS. While many pay federal income taxes (particularly Dreamers, many of whom didn’t even know they were undocumented), nearly all pay Sales tax (Just five states have no state-wide sales tax: Delaware, Montana, Oregon, New Hampshire and Alaska), registration & licensing fees, etc. The loss of tax revenue would be enormous, vastly adding to the Deficit (another shortfall the Middle-class taxpayer would have to pick up for the corporations in Trump’s America.) And what about our investment in their education? Did we spend all that money to educate them to become productive workers just to ship them back to Mexico? How is it we’ll continue to pay for a useless military plane, a “bridge-to-nowhere” or even an unwinable war just so that all the money we’ve put into it so far wasn’t for nothing, but we’ll educate the scientists & inventors of tomorrow just to deport them to make some other country rich? That’s crazy.

And so, because of these ridiculous unkeepable promises, we’ve shutdown the government until the angry hoards start assigning blame, at which point, the losing side will come begging the other for mercy.

And isn’t that how we got into this mess?
 


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Trump & Race on MLK Day. Conservatives rush to defend Trump’s bigoted remarks
Jan 15th, 2018 by Admin Mugsy

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The first time most Americans had ever heard the name “Donald Trump” was 1989 when a young (white) female jogger running through Central Park was brutally raped, sodomized, beaten and left for dead. Five young men (four black, one Hispanic) were arrested for the crime (and a rash of similar attacks also in Central Park) and dubbed “The Central Park 5” by the media. Donald Trump was the most vocal voice, paying out of pocket to purchase full page ads in all four of New York’s major newspapers calling for the return of the Death Penalty and demanding the execution of “The Central Park 5” PRIOR to their trial, potentially tainting the jury pool. The five men confessed to committing the crime (having much to do with their concern of being able to receive a fair trial thanks to all the publicity bought & paid for by Trump) and the wealthy young real estate mogul was dubbed a champion of decent “law & order” New Yorkers. People rallied behind him also calling for the execution of the five young men even after questions started to emerge about whether their “confessions” were coerced and the men started pleading their innocence.

In 2002, a convicted serial rapist already in prison confessed to the crime and a DNA test proved it to be true. “The Central Park 5” were indeed innocent and immediately released from prison after 22 years. When Donald Trump was asked if he felt he owed the men an apology for his role in helping convict them and continuing to call for their execution even after questions of their innocence started to emerge, Trump offered no apology, dug in his heels and continued to defend his support for Capital Punishment even if it would have led to the death of five innocent young men who had been coerced into confessing to a crime they did not commit.

Trump’s history of bigotry didn’t begin in 1989 though. In the 1970’s, Donald and his father Fred Trump were accused of “Housing Discrimination” against minorities. An investigation by The Washington Post alleged that Trump employees marked minority applicants with codes, such as “No. 9” (ie: “Section 9” housing) or “C” for “colored.” And the doorman of the apartment building Trump owned told reporters that: “if a black person came to 2650 Ocean Parkway and inquired about an apartment for rent, […] I should tell him that the rent was twice as much as it really was.”

Trump’s history of being a proud bigot was well known LONG before he called Mexicans “rapists & drug dealers” in the speech where he declared his candidacy for president in 2015, or started demanding the birth certificate of the very first black presidential candidate to win his party’s nomination in 2008 (despite the fact Obama’s GOP opponent, John McCain, actually WAS born outside of the U.S. on a Panamanian military base two years before Congress passed the law making such children “American citizens.”)

Today, Monday January 15th, the country recognizes/celebrates the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. (on January 20th), made all the more poignant by Trump’s Oval Office comment last week calling Haiti, El Salvador & “some African countries” “shitholes” (Conservative pundit Rich Lowrey says some claim he said “shit houses, not shit holes.“) “Why can’t we have more immigrants from countries like Norway?” (likely thinking of his meeting with Norway’s PM the day before.) Trump naturally denied he ever said such a thing (though I expect him to reverse himself any minute now and claim there would be nothing wrong if he *had* said it because the countries he named are indeed “economic basket cases”… as if the economic state of the country people come from has any bearing on their worthiness to come here. People living in great conditions don’t have a lot of incentive to immigrate to the U.S…. especially now with someone like Trump in charge.)

The reason I half-expect Trump to reverse himself from “denial” to “admitting & defending” his remarks is mostly because of the outrageous number of Republican members of Congress and Conservative pundits who rushed to Trump’s defense yesterday on the Sunday news talk shows. Even the few who dared criticize their Party leader still used muted language. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan called Trump’s comment “very unfortunate” and “unhelpful”… something one ABC News reporter said was “something you say about a parking ticket, not a racist insult towards millions of people.” Ryan’s remarks were still more than Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has yet to muster, who has yet to make ANY public comment regarding Trump’s latest racist remark.

Many Republicans in Congress who criticized candidate Trump are now quick to defend him. Former Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul… a staunch Libertarian who got in trouble himself prior to the campaign for stating he likely would NOT have voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act because “the federal government has no business telling private industry what to do” (ie: discriminate against an entire race of people)… vehemently defended Trump on “Meet the Press” yesterday, stating Trump simply stated a preference for people from “economically stable” countries (where the vast majority just happen to be white.)

On ABC’s ThisWeek, Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) was one of the six people present in the Oval Office and all but called Democratic Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL)… also present and stating categorically Trump did indeed call the mostly black nations “shitholes”… a liar, declaring “I haven’t heard any of those six sources other than Senator Durbin talk about what was said.” Stephanopoulos responded by telling Purdue that Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (also in the meeting) appeared to corroborate Durbin’s account of events, telling his co-Senator Tim Scott Trump’s comments were “unfortunate“, to which Purdue only called Durbin’s account, “a gross a gross misrepresentation” (no follow-up as to ask what the ‘correct’ language should have been.)

In addition to Purdue, another Deep South Republican senator, “Traitor Tom” Cotton, vehemently denied on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that Trump made the racist remark, stating, “Sen. Durbin has a history of misrepresenting what happens in White House meetings, though. So perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised by that.” There’s that word again, “misrepresenting“. Neither Cotton nor Puedue flat out call Durbin a liar nor state categorically that Trump never made any derogatory remark about those countries, yet seem to have no qualms slandering a fellow senator to defend Trump.

And how shocked do you think I was (answer: zero) to hear a representative of “The Christian Broadcast Network” go on “ThisWeek” to defend Trump for the same reason: He’s not a racist, he just prefers rich white guys like himself.

The REAL scandal last week wasn’t that a notorious bigot once again said something racist (as he seems to do at least once a month since the day of his announcement in 2015). It’s the number of Republicans… a Party already regarded as the refuge of bigots and unwelcoming of minorities… rushed to Trump’s defense, more than eager to try to convince us that his moronic bigotry was actually justified and/or not bigotry at all, simply “misunderstood”… just as they are.

Doctor King is surely rolling in his grave tonight.
 

Postscript: Also worthy of discussion this week but not mentioned once during the Sunday shows was the release of the “FusionGPS” testimony transcript. I am currently still reading the transcript (some 312 pages) and noticing some interesting details that I hope to report on in the future. From the 100+ pages I’ve read so far, the only reason I can see why Republicans fought so long/hard to suppress the release of the Transcript is that it shows former British MI6 agent Michael Steele’s role… whose “dossier” on Trump documented a plethora of troublesome contacts between Trump and Russia’s shady underground and numerous Russian officials… is hardly a substantial portion of the evidence against Trump. Most of the testimony is really just assessing the legitimacy of “FusionGPS” as a trustworthy research firm… of which by this testimony they clearly are.
 
Also of note: Friday is the latest “deadline” for Congress to pass a budget for 2018 (after agreeing to put it off for a month last month). If no agreement is made, we may once again be facing a “Government Shutdown by Friday. Democrats want a DACA agreement for the “Dreamers” to be part of any budget deal. Thanks to Trump’s latest racist remarks regarding black people from Haiti, El Salvador & Africa it seems unlikely Republicans will shutdown the government over a refusal to come to an agreement on the future of non-criminal minority immigrants. Particularly in an election year (where Republican Senator Jeff Flake admitted yesterday, “Republicans are no longer wondering IF they’ll lose the House in November, but by how much.”)

 


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Self-Proclaimed Protectors of America Hold Everything it Stands for in Contempt.
Oct 16th, 2017 by Admin Mugsy

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I think I’m running out of ways to say “The Far Right hates America.” Which is ironic because it’s the Far Right who continually accuses “The Left” of “hating America” for complaining about the direction it’s heading (headlong into Fascism.) I’ve been writing this blog since the end of Dubya Bush’s first term in office, and one thing I’ve noticed is that people have disturbingly short memories. I actually heard a progressive radio host last week say that he “didn’t remember the Bush Administration having as much contempt for the Freedom of Speech as the Trump Administration.” “SERIOUSLY?” I barked out loud. You don’t remember “Free Speech Zones”, “Loyalty oaths”, and “fake newscasts with actors pretending to be reporters using fake names” being produced in-house by the Bush Administration and distributed to small market low-budget TV stations across the nation who then played those fake newscasts without ever revealing their source and clearly unaware the reporters were actors? You telling me you don’t remember ANY of that? None of this is new. Trump’s contempt for “Freedom of the Press”, “Freedom of Speech“, “Freedom of Assembly” and a “Freedom of Religion” that only applies if you are Christian, are only the latest depths of Conservative anti-Americanism. Trump’s supporters openly spoke of “secession” when Obama was president, and hate immigrants (ironically, in a nation of immigrants… of which their forebearers almost certainly were) to a xenophobic level. Not only did Trump launch his campaign calling Mexican immigrants “drug dealers and rapists” (which his supporters cheered), and not only has he called for a ban on all immigration from the Middle East (to which he later tried to amend with exceptions based on religion), but they even tried to rewrite the story of the “Statue of Liberty” to claim the Lady with the Lamp guiding “the wretched refuse to our shores” was NOT intended to “welcome” immigrants, but instead was merely a monument to our greatness, adding that the famed poem describing the purpose of the statue “was added later.” If your hatred of the outside world is SO extreme you feel you must even rewrite Lady Liberty’s legacy, that’s beyond living in denial. They wave Confederate flags (the flag of rebels who broke apart from America and declared war upon it), hate half of the people who live here (blacks, minorities, non-Christians, Democrats) and think the purpose of the Second Amendment is to protect them from their own government. And the biggest problem is that the people who support all this anti-American activity ALSO claim to be America’s most fervent defenders/supporters.

As I’ve noted many times before, our Constitution mentions the word “TREASON” seven times and says the purpose of the 2nd Amendment is for its citizens to PROTECT AMERICA from those who seek to attack it. If you live here, it’s the FIRST Amendment that grants you the power to speak out against the government, petition it to redress your grievances, a free press to air those grievances and speak out against it, and a right to freely assemble/protest to bring about change. NO WHERE does it say “If you don’t like it, you can shoot your Congressman.” It’s there to guard against fascism (the merger of corporations, church & state). Guard against people who might seek to deny you your right of free speech. Guard against people who might do this country harm… by militarizing the police, polluting our air & streams, or keeping the nation in a perpetual state of war. The most fervent Second Amendment supporters are typically the same people who most live in fear of their own government, are the greatest supporters of those very same policies I just listed, and the quickest to threaten the use of force against it if the government strays from those very policies or endangers their right to own as much firepower as they can possibly amass over several lifetimes. The great irony in this country is that today’s Second Amendment supporters are the very people the Second Amendment was intended to protect us from.

These self-proclaimed “Protectors of America” hold everything this nation stands for in contempt: Immigrants, free speech, tolerance and a separation of Church & State.

With Trump’s new call for “Compulsory Patriotism” (demanding NFL team owners “suspend” any player who refuses to stand for the National Anthem in protest), we join the ranks of reviled dictatorships like Iran, North Korea, Nazi Germany and (of course) Soviet Russia. It should come as a surprise to no one that Trump admires dictators… fascists who don’t have to answer to anyone… and bemoans the fact he can’t just run the country the way a corporate tycoon runs his company… the lone decision maker where his word is law and everything is done by decree. (We all remember how bitterly Republicans accused President Obama of “acting like a dictator” by issuing “Executive Orders” to circumvent an obstructionist Congress. They declared that “Executive Orders” in and of themselves were “unconstitutional” for that very reason. So imagine my shock (sarcasm) when Trump did EXACTLY THAT, issuing an unconstitutional “Executive Order” of his own last week (for fun, type “Trump executive order” in a Google News search and see how many options come up) “decertifying” a key provision in “ObamaCare” to provide subsidies to help the working poor afford their insurance. And imagine my further surprise (read: none) when Conservative pundit Michael Needham on Fox “news” Sunday yesterday dared claim “Nobody ever said Conservatives oppose ALL “Executive Orders”, just the “unconstitutional” ones.” It’s not THEIR fault every single one of Obama’s “Executive Orders” just happened to be “unconstitutional” (because they were used to circumvent an obstructionist Congress, while Trump’s EO was done because… ah… oh… uh…)

Now, if you are a Conservative, you’re probably calling me a hypocrite for not yet mentioning recent college protests seeking to shutdown guest speakers who wish to perform/talk at their school. Typically, the object of their fury are Conservative hate-speech bomb-throwers like Ann Coulter or Steve Bannon, but they’ve also protested Left-Wing stand-up comics like Bill Maher whom they criticize for his criticism of Muslims as followers of “a hateful ideology”, though to be fair, he says the same thing about the religious Right (as do I.) So, “the Left” has its intolerant anti-free speech zealots as well. But while “the Left” has a few intolerant young college kids who should know better but don’t, the Right has ENTIRE ORGANIZATIONS (like The Family Research Council who just hosted Bannon’s latest little fascist-fest, the “AEI: American Enterprise Institute“, and most famously “The Heritage Foundation“) with multi-billionaire backers funding them dedicated to undermining the very principles of Democracy. A few intolerant kids at a select few colleges just doesn’t compare.

If you claim to “love America”, then you must also love everything it stands for. If only those who claim to be ready to fight to the death to protect the Second Amendment were as fanatical about protecting the First.
 


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Puerto Rico Crisis the Result of Years of Conservatism. Coming soon to a state near you.
Oct 2nd, 2017 by Admin Mugsy

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I will admit I know very little about Puerto Rico other than the fact it’s an island in the Caribbean, it’s not a state, and everyone there is an American citizen… which I’m certain is at least one thing more than Donald Trump knew before last week. So when Trump responded to the crisis in Puerto Rico by attacking them for their poverty instead of showing the same concern he showed Texas & Florida after their respective hurricanes, it was doubly insulting. Not only did he decide that the middle of a humanitarian crisis was the time to blame them for how poor they are, but the fact is, Conservative policies… like the one Trump is planning to roll out with his massive tax cut for the Super Rich… that are to blame for their economic state.

From the 70’s to the early 00’s, Puerto Rico was a haven for corporations looking to evade U.S. taxes:

In Puerto Rico, over a quarter of the country’s gross domestic product already comes from pharmaceutical manufacturing. That shouldn’t be surprising. According to the U.S. Federal Tax Reform Act of 1976, manufacturers are permitted to repatriate profits from Puerto Rico to the U.S. free of U.S. federal taxes. And by the way, the Puerto Rico withholding tax is only 10%.Counterpunch, 11/21/2006

(Reminder, “1976” was Ford, not Carter.)

But all those U.S. corporations relocating their headquarters to Puerto Rico wasn’t a boom to the Puerto Rican economy. They didn’t hire locally (many HQ’s were little more than P.O.Boxes), and paid little to nothing in taxes (thanks to Republican tax policies.)

Rather than dive into the weeds of tax policy and attempt to explain why all this was very illegal, just understand that all these Republican tax loopholes that allowed corporations to hide in Puerto Rico to avoid paying taxes and turn it into an economic black hole, was made even more devastating following the massive global economic crash Bush’s final year in office, putting what few corporations left hiding in PR out of business and taking what few jobs they provided with them.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, there was an effort by the GOP Congress to inflict mandatory “austerity” measures upon bankrupt PR until they repaid their massive debt to the government… with no say in the matter themselves. I wrote about this back in June of last year when Hillary supported the GOP plan and Bernie opposed it, visiting Puerto Rico before their primary to receive his usual large reception. (The mayor of San Juan… Carmen Yulín Cruz… whom we’ve seen on TV quite a bit recently after being attacked by Trump… made headlines last year when she joined with the former governor to switch her support from Hillary to Bernie, after which Hillary declared she too was now opposed to the GOP austerity plan and never really supported it. But I digress.

Turning Puerto Rico into a massive tax shelter where corporations moved there to avoid paying income taxes and consuming local resources without paying for it, was strike one. Resulting in few jobs and no tax revenue to put into rebuilding their infrastructure.

The GOP Congress imposing “austerity measures” upon them (with no say in the matter) when they were already bankrupt with an economy that was decimated by the crash on 2008, was strike two.

And… arguably… the devastation caused by two Cat-4 hurricanes just weeks apart was made even worse by Republican denial of Climate Change, making these storms exponentially more destructive. Strike three against Puerto Rico.

And now the GOP is about to do what they did to Puerto Rico to the entire nation. They’ve already kneecapped our efforts to fight Global warming, but now Trump’s proposed tax plan is “Voodoo Economics” all over again. In case you need a refresher, “Voodoo Economics” is what George Bush Sr. called Ronald Reagan’s claim that a massive tax cut would pay for itself by all the economic growth it would create. Poppy Bush was right, by November of Reagan’s second year in office, unemployment soared to 10.8% and he was forced to raise taxes TWELVE TIMES before leaving office to stop the bleeding (which never stopped but did significantly slow.)

They called it “Trickle Down economics”, the theory that giving massive tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy, all that wealth would eventually “trickle down” to the rest of us in the form of jobs and investment. The problem is, corporations don’t reinvest their savings back into the company without incentive (like a tax break in exchange for doing so) or unless there’s a need for it due to increased demand. As Keynesian economics proved, money doesn’t “trickle down” like rain, it is “absorbed up” like a sponge. Put the money in the hands of those who spend it and they create DEMAND, which forces companies to expand to meet that demand, hiring more people who buy more products, thus creating more demand.

It’s not just theory. We have decades of economic history… both Republican and Democratic… to prove it. Reagan cut taxes for corporations and created an economic crisis that tripled the entire accumulated 204 years National Debt in just eight. Poppy Bush tried to follow suit, but the man who coined the phrase “Voodoo Economics” tried to do it without the massive borrowing Reagan relied on to fund the government and ended up creating a nasty recession that cost him his job.

Then Bill Clinton took office and raised the top tax rate 3%… which Republicans claimed would throw us into an even deeper Recession than Poppy Bush put us in. The result? Not only did we see the healthiest economy in fifty years, but unemployment fell to a stunning 3.9% (which the Republican congress tried… and continues to try to this day… take credit for) and a balanced budget.

Then Bush Jr took office claiming that being able to pay off our Debt only proved we were “overtaxed” and therefore deserved a tax cut (which is EXACTLY why no Republican administration will EVER cut the National Debt… because the moment we do, they’ll argue it’s proof people are “over taxed” and therefore deserve a tax cut.) The result? Not one but TWO massive Recessions (the second nearly destroying the GLOBAL economy) and turning a budget SURPLUS into a $1.4 TRILLION annual DEFICIT.

That mess was handed to President Obama in 2008, who raised taxes on the wealthy again, cut the deficit, and took unemployment back down to under 5.0% again.

And here we go again. Trump’s new tax plan is “Voodoo Economics” on steroids. Trump’s Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin (who ironically needs a “new chin”) made the rounds yesterday pushing this ridiculous strategy once again like no one has ever tried it before, insisting that isn’t a massive tax cut for the rich and that “trickle down economics” works. In a move that was almost comical, Mnuchin started to qualify his plan as not a massive “INCOME” tax cut for the rich after it was pointed out that slashing the Estate Tax… which multi-millionaire Mnuchin kept using the GOP trick of calling it a “death tax” to make it sound ridiculous & unfair… from 35% to just 20%… meaning a loss of tens of billions in tax revenue all going to the top 2/10ths of 1%. Trump unveiled his tax plan a speech where he assured his idiot followers that it was NOT in fact “a huge tax cut for rich people like myself… Believe me.” A little tip: any time Trump says “Believe me”, he’s lying.

As George Stephanopoulos pointed out to Mnuchin yesterday, “Since Trump refuses to release his taxes, how do we KNOW his tax plan won’t benefit him?” Mnuchin’s non-answer answer was basically a reassurance that we can trust the Snakeoil-salesman-in-Chief, founder of “Trump University”, promised Mexico would pay for his wall, and told the “LGBTQ community” he had their back before proposing the military kick active duty soldiers out of the Service… when he says his plan won’t be a huge gift to himself, we can believe him. So there! (Though analysis of the only tax return of his that we have… the two pages he leaked earlier this year of a return that made him look as good as possible when he was seeking citizenship for Melania… still show his tax plan could save him over a billion dollars.)

And all these economic (and environmental) policies that decimated Puerto Rico are about to be tried on the U.S. as a whole. But don’t worry, they won’t fail THIS time.

Believe me.
 


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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With Arpaio Pardon, Trump drops pretense he’s not a racist
Aug 28th, 2017 by Admin Mugsy

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I write this under the persistent rain of Hurricane (now Tropical Storm) Harvey. I’m one of the lucky ones who saw no flooding and never lost power, but many around me were not so lucky. NBC Nightly News showed a highway intersection near me and noticed some “splashing” in the middle of the highway underpass not realizing it was a guy in a bathing cap swimming in 5 feet of water in the middle of the highway. People are weird.

Speaking of which, a mere 72 hours after “Glorious Leader” feigned offense at being criticized for defending Nazi’s & White Supremacists, Trump used the hurricane as a distraction to pardon racist former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio. Arpaio was convicted last month of criminal contempt for ignoring a judge’s order (because The Law does not apply to people like Arpaio & Trump) to stop detaining people he suspected were undocumented immigrants based merely on their race (or what race they appeared to be.) And I have NO doubt Trump believed Arpaio’s only crime was benign “profiling”, making it easy to excuse a fellow disgusting bigot for his “misbehavior”. It’s easy to forget that the controversy surrounding Arizona’s infamous Sheriff Joe goes all the way back to the Bush Administration, when he was charged in 2008 with using/abusing his office (and its financial resources) to target his political enemies (including arresting a reporter in his home in the dead of night after criticizing him, in 2007). Arpaio’s antics reached a fever pitch during the 2012 election when he became a problem for Mitt Romney, who didn’t want to be seen as defending Arpaio and Arizona’s horrendous “papers please” bill (that codified Arpaio’s “detain and ask questions later” way of doing business) while simultaneously not wanting to offend a key GOP demographic: racists & bigots.

160 people DIED in Arpaio’s custody… 73 of “unexplained” causes (ibid). In 2009, a pregnant Latina woman… and American citizen… was racially profiled and arrested by one of Arpaio’s goon squads. They shackled her hands and feet, and did not unshackle her even after going into labor (where was she going to go?), giving birth in the jail and separating her from her newborn child for 72 hours. This is the man Trump deemed worthy of a Presidential Pardon. Please note that the pardon was over Arpaio’s refusal to comply with a court order, which carried with it a whopping six months (some say only “60 days”) in jail. Trump deliberately angered millions and upset an entire minority population just to spare an old racist bastard 60 days in jail? #ToddlerTrump once again being intentionally provocative just to tick off his political enemies.

Of course, Arpaio was also a huge “Birther” (which pretty much goes without saying) and fan of Trump’s racist Birther crusade against Obama, creating his own “Birther Squad” where the Maricopa County sheriff concluded (with the help of World Nut Daily and “Swift Boater” jackass Jerome Corsi) in 2012 that president Obama’s birth certificate was “a forgery and a fraud”. Why was an Arizona sheriff investigating Obama’s birth certificate? Didn’t he have better things to do? Apparently not.

But Arpaio is just one example.

As I’ve previously mentioned, there are/were three conspicuous racists serving in Trump’s inner circle: his “Chief Strategist”… known “White Nationalist” Steve Bannon, military analyst and deputy assistant to the president Sebastian “Nazi Medal” Gorka, and “political advisor” “White Power hand gesture guy” Stephen Miller. Following Trump’s botched response to the Charlottesville protest, he fired Bannon (one of the founders of the “Alt-Right” movement)… a fellow loose-canon that reportedly did not get along with others (reportedly, “The Mooch”… during his brief 10 days on the job, wanted both Bannon & Priebus fired. Priebus got the ax first and many believe incoming Chief-of-Staff Kelly finished the job with Bannon.) Gorka says he quit. Everyone else says Trump fired him. Why? Because Gorka and Bannon were good friends, and Gorka was not happy about Bannon’s firing. And now only Miller remains.

After firing two prominent racists, Trump’s base needed some red meat. Following the conviction of Arpaio, Trump announced he was flying to Arizona for “a rally”, but it was widely suspected he was going there to pardon Arpaio. Like all racist cowards, Trump flinched under the white hot spotlight of criticism of possibly issuing his first-ever pardon to a ridiculous racist asshat like Sheriff Joe a mere three days after Trump was criticized for defending Nazi’s. Trump instead waited until 9pm EDT… just as a hurricane was making landfall in Texas and people were being killed… to announce he was pardoning him. If you wait until late Friday evening while the nation is distracted by a natural disaster to do something, you CLEARLY know you’re doing something wrong. Something you know you’d be roundly criticized for if the nation were not distracted by millions of people in mortal danger in Texas.

I was going to write about Trump’s childish attacks upon Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) for his lack of loyalty (there’s that word again), but the storm outside suddenly just got that much worse that I need to end this here.

It all seems like this all took place over the course of a month. It’s difficult to believe it was only one week ago. What a week.
 


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#TeleprompterTrump vs #UnscriptedTrump
Aug 21st, 2017 by Admin Mugsy

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It occurred to me yesterday listening to both Trump defenders and Trump critics that there are in fact two Donald Trump’s: #TeleprompterTrump & #UnscriptedTrump. Trump’s friends/defenders… like Jerry Falwell Jr on “Meet the Press” yesterday… only see “#TeleprompterTrump”… the Trump that has his comments carefully written out for him by a professional speech-writer that tends to say the right thing (most of the time) and earns kudos like “He sounded presidential today” (he’s president! Shouldn’t he sound “presidential” EVERY day?), and “#UnscriptedTrump”, caught in a candid moment by the Press anyplace other than the WH Press Briefing Room, who goes off script and says what he TRULY thinks/feels.

Last Monday, three days after neo-Nazi protests in Charlottesville left a female protester dead, Trump gave a speech… clearly read off a teleprompter… condemning “hate & violence” (though failing to even mention the words “White Supremacists” or “neo-Nazis”.) Trump explained he waited so long because he had to make sure he had all his facts straight before accussing neo-Nazi’s of being neo-Nazi’s (I can’t think of another time Trump waited “until he had all the facts” before rushing to Twitter to make a blanket condemnation.) In response to that criticism, Trump “went rogue” the very next day, condemning the violence “on both sides” and defending imaginary hoards of “very good people” who apparently didn’t realize the people they were marching with carrying Swastika flags and shouting, “Jews will not replace us!” were actually Nazi’s and White Supremacists. “Who knew?”

Every time I hear someone defending Trump, (unless they are a Nazi or White Supremacists) they ALWAYS cite “#TeleprompterTrump”. “He said the right thing!” said Charles Hurt of the “Washington Times” on Fox (natch), quoting #TeleprompterTrump (and his lesser known twin: #GhostTweeterTrump, where one of his speech writers is clearly tweeting “presidential” sounding messages from Trump’s twitter account) almost verbatim to suggest Trump is being unfairly criticized. Falwell praised Trump for “condemning Nazi’s and White Supremacists by name” when in fact Trump failed to even mention either group in his first comments three days after the riots, and then seemingly defending those same Nazi’s and White Supremacists the very next day. But all Falwell heard was the Trump he wanted to hear: #TeleprompterTrump. While the other side has critics citing #UnscriptedTrump, the Trump who attempts to answer questions on his own and ends up revealing EXACTLY what he thinks and how he truly feels (repeating talking points he read on Twitter by his his Alt-Right supporters the night before.)

I first noticed this effect right after Trump’s “State of the Union” address in February (not a true SotU because newly incoming prez’s don’t get one), when Trump read an hour long speech almost verbatim and the Media praised him as suddenly “sounding presidential” after 15 months of non-stop hate-mongering and childish remarks. But I became painfully aware of it last May when Bob Scheiffer (now on CNN) gushed how Trump “sounded presidential” when he stopped demonizing Muslims long enough to ask them for their help in rooting out terrorists.

Then there’s “#UnscriptedTrump”, the guy who is caught off guard, easily angered/offended by questions that he feels are critical of him, prompting him to lash out, spouting comebacks posted on twitter by his defenders (many of whom are the very people he gets in trouble for defending), or lame comebacks he thinks up himself on the spot (“Alt-Right? What about the Alt-Left???“) And it’s #UnscriptedTrump that is deserving of all the condemnation he is now receiving… on both the Left AND the Right. Long time Republican columnist and former Reagan speech writer Peggy Noonan was asked yesterday by MtP’s Chuck Todd how Trump “regains his moral authority” after saying what he did this past week. Noonan rightly responded (to my surprise), “You can’t regain that which you never had.” I was in the process of muttering that EXACT sentiment under my breath when she said that. Even Mitt Romney peeked out of his son’s basement (the address he gave in 2012 so he could vote for himself in MA) long enough to condemn Trump’s “false equivalency” for assigning equal blame to both Nazi’s and those who protested them.

And THAT is why it is so hard for the two sides to see eye-to-eye. Trump’s supporters SO desperately want to believe in “Trump’s promise“… the fictitious “brilliant not-a-politician businessman who’ll save our country by making dispassionate decisions on what’s best for the nation, devoid of politics or personal gain.” But what they got instead was this boorish four-time bankrupt manchild who is nothing but an easily bruised ego in a bright red tie who tweets like a 14 year old girl, grousing about every slight, calling his critics “fake news”, making up ridiculous lies about “crowd size” at his inauguration, and insisting “millions of illegal aliens MUST have voted illegally” because it is unfathomable to him that more people actually liked Hillary or Obama.

#ToddlerTrump has done everything but stick his tongue out at the cameras… and I expect that very soon.
 


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The Subtle “Implied Racism” of Trump’s Presidency
Aug 14th, 2017 by Admin Mugsy

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“On many sides.” Three little words that speak volumes.

After a White Supremacist “Nazi sympathizer” plowed his car into a crowd of counter protesters, killing a young female counter-protester (two police officers were also killed in a helicopter crash patrolling the protest) and injuring dozens more, it was HOURS before Trump responded to the attack, and when he finally did, reading from a printed script (because teleprompters are bad and prove you’re stupid), appeared to blame “both sides” for the violence:

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence… on many sides… on many sides.”

 

…never once using the terms “White Supremacists”, “Nazis”, “White Nationalists” or “terrorism”. Recall that all through the presidential campaign, Republicans roundly condemned President Obama for refusing to utter the words “Radical Islamic terrorism”? Trump himself repeatedly argued that “If you can’t say it, you can’t defeat it!” So what do we make of Trump’s inability/refusal to condemn Nazi’s and White Supremacists by name?

Does the tactic of plowing a car through a crowd of people sound vaguely familiar? That’s because that is the EXACT same tactic used by ISIS sympathizers across Europe over the past year to commit acts of terror. Is there ANY doubt that if the person driving the car in Charlottesville had been a Muslim, this would have been labeled a “terrorist attack” and condemned by Trump within minutes of it happening? So what’s different? You know, and so do I.

But it should comes as no surprise. Since the very day Trump announced he was running for president, his entire campaign & presidency has been peppered with subtle (and sometimes overt) acts of racism. As we all remember, Trump’s candidacy announcement included calling Mexicans “Drug dealers, criminals, rapists… and some… I assume are good people” (the qualifier tacked onto the end to avoid being overtly declared a racist.) And it was because of this (wildly overstated) rampant crime wave being committed by “illegals” that we needed to build “a wall” clear across our Southern border.

And so began the Trump campaign. And the racists swooned.

20 years ago, there was a lot less public tolerance of racism, and it remained mostly in the shadows. The election of the first black president started to provide racists with some cover, couching their overt racist hatred as merely being “political differences” with the Commander-in-Chief. They’d claim: “I don’t hate that Kenyan Muslim in the White House because he’s black! I simply have a legitimate difference of opinion on political issues!” For eight years, Trump stoked that racist hatred of Obama by championing the insane “birther” conspiracy theory that Obama was actually “born in Kenya” and therefore ineligible to be president of the United States… ergo, it was okay to hate him because his presidency was illegitimate.

I won’t go back down the “Birther” rabbit hole. You know the story: birth certificate, “long-form” birth certificate, newspaper birth announcements were “fakes”, Ted Cruz… who was ACTUALLY born in another country… was eligible because “his mother was an American”… unlike Obama’s mother who was born in Kansas. Never look for logic among illogical people.

Long before Trump became known as “the Birther Guy”, there was “The Central Park 5“. In 1989, a group of five black & Latino teenagers were accused of “assaulting and raping a white woman in Central Park.” Trump spent $85,000 of his own money taking out full-page ads in the four New York City daily papers, calling for the return of the death penalty for “muggers and murderers”, never mentioning the boys by name but everyone knew who he meant. 14 years later, the boys… now all grown up… were exonerated by DNA testing, yet Trump never apologized, citing the fact that “the police said they were guilty.”

Trump’s campaign rallies started to look like… well… maybe not “Klan rallies”, but unquestionably angry, with lots of shouting and peppered with violence. When protesters began showing up to condemn the racist dog-whistles Trump was sending out at every campaign event, his supporters grew violent, and rather than condemn the violence, Trump egged it on, saying things like “Throw the bum out,” “Get them out of here,” “Take his coat and throw him out in the cold,” and most famously, promising to pay the legal bills of anyone who might be sued for roughing up a protester.

That was his campaign. From birtherism, to demonizing Mexicans, “Black Lives Matter”, and Muslim Bans, Trump’s entire candidacy was catapulted by racists who heard a kindred spirit in Trump’s rhetoric… emboldened by how he’d “unapologetically” say exactly what they were feeling. For years they were made to feel embarrassed & ashamed for their primordial beliefs. Now they felt America had legitimized their beliefs by electing someone like Trump.

Trump’s first (and for a LONG time only) Congressional endorsement was Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions of Alabama. A Deep South congressman with a troublesome civil rights record of his own, once calling the NAACP and ACLUun-American“, criticizing “The Voting Rights Act”, and most famously (supposedly) saying he once admired the Klan till he found out “they smoke pot.” In any case, despite his record, because of his loyalty, Sessions was Trump’s very first appointee… naming him Attorney General, which put him directly in charge of enforcing the very Voting Rights Act he once criticized.

During the campaign, Trump was endorsed by none other than “David Duke”, the openly racist former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klowns Klan turned politician turned RW Talk Radio host. When Trump was asked if he accepted the endorsement of Duke, he feigned having any knowledge of who Duke was and did not directly reject the endorsement (at first) fearing to offend like-minded racists who make up a large proportion of his base. It was only after repeated & prolonged criticism that Trump… weakly… finally rejected Duke’s endorsement THREE DAYS LATER. CNN reported:
 

“David Duke is a bad person, who [sic] I disavowed on numerous occasions over the years. Do you want me to do it again for the 12th time?” Trump said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” – March 3, 2016

 

“A bad person”? Whoa there, Mr. Trump! Give a guy some warning before you go using language like that! “Who I disavowed on numerous occasions over the years” twelve times? Just three days earlier, he denied even knowing who Duke was. Now suddenly he recalls disavowing him “12 times over the years”? Which is it?

Duke “took credit” for White Nationalists like himself helping get Trump elected, responding to Trump’s (muted & delayed) condemnation of the events hours earlier in Charlottesville by criticizing Trump’s criticism, telling/threatening Trump to “remember who got you elected”… clearly implying Trump owes his election to the very White Supremacists and neo-Nazis he just condemned (albeit half-heartedly, evenly distributing blame for the violence and murders equally between the protesters & counter-protesters alike.) Trump never used the words “White supremacists” or “neo-Nazis” in his scripted response to the deadly rampage in Charlottesville.

Trump’s favorite show “Fox & Freaks Friends” (we know based on the number of times he comments & tweets about them) declared that Trump’s “both sides are to blame” condemnation of the Charlottesville riots & murders “nailed it”, repeating his “both sides” criticism, suggesting the Klan marchers might have a legitimate grievance that deserves being listened to, and asserting Trump’s remarks were the perfect response to the neo-Nazi march the day before that killed three.

When Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort was forced to step down, Trump hired the editor of the most popular “Alt-Right” online publication and his biggest fan/defender… Steve Bannon of “Breitbart News”… to be his new campaign manager. Bannon has been described as one of the “foremost peddlers of White Supremacist themes and rhetoric” on the Internet. Trump was a fan of Bannon for taking up his “Birther” attack on President Obama and carrying it to new heights. Once the election was over, Trump appointed Bannon to be his “chief strategist”… the job once held by Karl Rove in the Bush-43 administration.

As mentioned above, Trump had already announced Jeff Sessions as his pick to be AG. Another of Trump’s disturbing political appointees was “Stephen Miller” to be an “advisor”. You might know Miller as the “White Power” hand-gesture guy (see photo inset at top.) Vanity Fair magazine did a disturbing expose of Miller last month, from his early days as an unliked political provocateur (all Conservatives are. They get off on making others angry/upset) in High School, rising to fame defending the 2012 Duke University Lacrosse Team members in their Rape trial (where three white players were accused of raping a black stripper, chasing her (and another stripper) down shouting “N*gg*r, N*gg*r, N*gg*r!”, to his appointment to the Trump White House (where he ended a royal defense of Trump, declaring “The powers of the president to protect our country are substantial and will not be questioned! ending with that awkward aforementioned hand gesture.) And two weeks ago when Trump tweeted that he intended to institute “means testing of immigrants to the United States”… a slap in the face to the “Give me your poor…” poem placed on the Statue of Liberty, Miller was quick (without pause) to point out that poem “was added later” and not part of the original statue (does that matter?) which he said was merely meant as a symbol of America’s “guidance” of the rest of the world (Bullcrap. Liberty’s torch is the light that guides the world’s “wretched refuse” to our shores.) Anti-immigrant white supremacists like Miller & Bannon love to rewrite history to fit their personal views. Why they continue to do so in the age of the Internet when confirmation is just a key-click away, is a mystery. Still, they persist.

Another Trump advisor, his deputy counter-terrorism advisor, Sebastian Gorka, made news when he attended the Trump’s Inaugural Ball wearing the honorary medal awarded his late father by Hungarian nationalist organization Vitezi Rend, who are “believed to have been complicit in the murder of some of the hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews toward the end of World War II.” Gorka claims to have “distanced himself” from any white-supremacist or Nazi ideology [ibid]. Yet still, these are the people drawn to Trump, and whom Trump himself is drawn to when staffing his White House.

This is the bubble Trump lives in.
 


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Trump Has Been Great for Advancing Progressivism
Jan 30th, 2017 by Admin Mugsy

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They say you never appreciate what you’ve got until someone tries to take it away. One day after Donald J Trump was sworn into office, a massive GLOBAL protest took place condemning the new Commander-in-Chief on Women’s Rights. And just this past weekend, tens of thousands of protesters rallied to oppose Trump’s ill-conceived (and likely unconstitutional) “Muslim Ban” that singles out travelers from any of seven “red flagged” Middle Eastern nations, yet incredibly, excludes five nations, most with known links to terrorism inside the United States including Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia… where 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers came from, and Turkey, a close ally of the U.S. but where ISIS committed a brutal attack on the Istanbul Airport just last June (the fifth nation being the UAE, also linked to 9/11.) Perhaps unsurprisingly, Bloomberg pointed out Friday that the five exempted majority-Muslim nations all just happen to be countries in which Trump has business interests. Hmmm.

More people are talking about the potential negative consequences of enacting Trump’s extremist Conservative agenda in just the past week than have stood up and defended Progressive ideals in the past 30 years. When Obama took office in 2009, just WHO did we see taking to the street in massive protests? Teabagging idiots, carrying semi-automatic weapons, waving racist misspelled signs demanding: “keep your government hands off my Medicare!” If Hillary or (and it pains me to say this) even Bernie had won the election, just WHO would we see protesting in the streets today? The same racist teabagging idiots demanding we “build the wall”, take away their own health care, and “lock up” Hillary Clinton for something, something, BenghaziTM.

But instead, we see people flooding the streets demanding the protection of women’s rights, demanding fair treatment of non-Christian immigrants, welcoming refugees and pointing out all the problems with Trump’s ridiculous border wall with Mexico. Columnist Tom Friedman on “Meet the Press” yesterday pointed out that “Every time someone on the terrorist watch list flies into Mexico, the United States is notified. Just how willing will they be to continue such cooperation if Trump builds his wall?” And one of the proposed means of raising money to pay for the wall would be to “place a 20% import tax” on all goods entering the United States from Mexico. Well, who then pays that tax? YOU DO, not Mexico (of course, you could boycott all Mexican imports, but then YOU’RE STILL stuck with the bill since they’re not waiting for Mexico to pay for the wall before they start building it at YOUR expense.)

And because of all this Conservative stupidity, I’ve seen more Progressives on my TV in the last 8 days than I’ve seen in the last 8 YEARS.

On the flip side, there is one issue in which Progressives and Trump agree, and that’s the issue of “Free Trade”… or more precisely, OPPOSITION to it. Progressives have long railed against the nonsense of “Free Trade” while Conservatives have long championed it. In the 1990’s, President Clinton passed NAFTA with mostly Conservative votes. Republicans told us how “great” it would be for American business while Ross Perot warned of “a giant sucking sound” as American companies rushed to move their factories to Mexico for the cheap labor and then reimport it back into the US for sale. Trump’s opposition to NAFTA (or more precisely, Mexico since he never talks about “Free Trade” with Canada) and the TPP are driving Republicans nuts. Suddenly, they are forced to agree with their Party Leader that perhaps “Free Trade” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and Progressives were right all along.

So while Trump is ranting about “US sovereignty” and railing against foreign countries taking advantage of us only to sell their goods back in the U.S. without benefiting a single American worker, he then signs an Executive Order granting permission to two Canadian oil companies to build a pipeline through the U.S. to produce “oil” that very little of which we can even use. As part of the deal, Trump is demanding the pipeline “be built using American steel”, thus “creating American jobs”, but as I pointed out [ibid], most of that pipe has already been purchased and there is no requirement they scrap all that leaky Chinese pipe and purchase all new American steel pipe. As such, the number of jobs created from providing steel pipe will be minimal.

In addition to Keystone, Trump also restored the controversial “Dakota Access Pipeline” (DAPL) that had hundreds of protesters… including veterans… protesting in the freezing cold of Northern North Dakota a few months back against the building of a pipeline from Canada through native American land and endangering their water supply. President Obama, who initially supported the plan, relented to protesters and shelved the project. Enter Donald Trump who reignited the controversy by allowing the project to resume, promising it will create more temporary jobs over several years than the U.S. economy needs EVERY WEEK just to keep up with population growth.

Also announced last week, hundreds of thousands of scientists are planning their own “@ScienceMarchInDC” in April to protest the Trump Administration’s anti-science policies, not just their disbelief in Climate Change that leads them to believe they can build those pipelines without consequence and go ahead with plans to reduce regulations on coal production. But in addition to Climate Change, they are also protesting “slashing funding and restricting scientists from communicating their findings (from tax-funded research!) with the public“, calling it “absurd.”

For six years, Republicans railed against “ObamaCare” and vaguely promised to “repeal & replace” it with “something better”. During the presidential campaign, Trump said he was “working on a plan” for a replacement to “ObamaCare” that would still “cover everyone”, continue to prohibit exclusions for “preexisting conditions”, all without a mandate or possibly causing you to lose your doctor. And every time people asked Trump or Republicans about “their plan” to replace “ObamaCare”, they always assured us they were “working on it” but it would be great. Trust us. Barely two weeks ago, just as Obama was preparing to leave office, the new Congress made voting to “repeal ObamaCare” (for the 66th time) one of their very first acts. The big cowards passed the bill before Obama left because they knew he’d veto it. But they don’t DARE pass it again NOW, forcing Trump to sign it before they have a plan to replace it.

So then, just this past Wednesday/Thursday, at a “retreat” in Philadelphia, Republican lawmakers got together to discuss what to replace “ObamaCare” with now that they finally have a president that’ll sign whatever they pass. Audio of the meeting (93 minutes) was described as Republicans “freaking out” over the fact they HAVE NO replacement, no plan, no clear ideas, no agreement regarding what to “replace” it with, and that coming up with their own plan is going to be a matter of months not “weeks” as they had hoped, was leaked to the Washington Post.

This is what Democrats have been saying all along. “They have no plan!” They “can’t keep just the parts they like and get rid of the parts that help pay for it!” Conservatives are irresponsible children and they appointed a reckless Toddler promising them candy for dinner, only to wake up with tummy aches. Conservatives are just starting to realize how empty those promises have been all along.

Trump ran for office on being a successful businessman who was adept at finding “the best people” to run the government. Then he nominates people like Rick “Oops” Perry to run a department he was forced to admit in his confirmation hearing that he didn’t realize everything the department did when he proposed shutting it down four+ years ago, and Ben “Sleepytime” Carson (a surgeon) who has been tapped to run the office of “Housing and Urban Development” (NOT Surgeon General) whose sole experience is that he “once lived in Public Housing” (by that logic, I should be flying jumbo jets around the globe.) And in case you were wondering (as I was), No, Trump has not yet picked a Surgeon General… someone he could use as the GOP hashes out their “ObamaCare” replacement.

Even Republicans are expressive concern now that Trump’s Travel Ban “wasn’t properly vetted” before it was enacted and they clearly did not think things through. McCain & Graham, who have openly criticized their new Party leader before, are expressing concern that the backlash from this travel ban could actually do more to harm national security than help it as we anger the few allies we have left in the Middle East and leave interpreters & guides wondering why they should help a country that views them as “the enemy” simply for their religion?
 

Global protest supporting women's rights
Global Anti-Trump protest in support of women’s rights – 1/21/2017

 

Global protest supporting women's rights
Global Anti-Trump protest in support of women’s rights – 1/21/2017

 

Travel ban protests across country
Tens of thousands protesting Trump’s Muslim Ban across the country – 1/28/2017

 

People are starting to realize the emperor has no clothes, and Progressives are the ones pointing it out. Ignored once, but rapidly organizing & growing. And it took electing an incompetent, racist man-child to mobilize them.
 


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Why No One is Buying Trump’s Renouncement of Birtherism
Sep 19th, 2016 by Admin Mugsy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


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Tell me how More Guns would have prevented crossfire shooting death of Wade’s cousin?
Aug 29th, 2016 by Admin Mugsy

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

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

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

Nice theory.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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


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Dallas and The Slippery Slope of Allowing Police to Play Executioner
Jul 11th, 2016 by Admin Mugsy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Trump’s Antics Only Helping Ted Cruz Look Reasonable By Comparison
Mar 14th, 2016 by Admin Mugsy

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I didn’t think it could be done, but somehow, Donald Trump has managed to make Ted Cruz seem like a sane & rational alternative. While Trump is a bigot and an egomaniac, Cruz is downright delusional (if not outright dangerous). Ted Cruz is Conservative ideology on steroids. He truly believes all that Right Wing fiction the GOP has been feeding Republican voters for the last 35 years:trickle-down economics”, “Iran was so terrified of Reagan they released the hostages the day he took office”, we CAN “round up & deport 10 Million undocumented Mexican immigrants” and “Social Security is a Ponzi scheme”. But beyond ordinary GOP stupidity like that, Cruz is a “strict Evangelical fundamentalist” religious nut raised by a manifestly insane Messianic crank of the most bone-chilling degree: Rafael Cruz believes his son is ordained by God Almighty himself to bring about “The End Times”. And thanks to Trump’s Orwellian hour-long “2-minutes of hate” campaign events, every “establishment” Republican is looking to… of all people… Ted Cruz to “rescue” the GOP from a Trump nomination.

Trump has repeatedly pointed out that Cruz is SO disliked within his own Party, that not a single fellow Senator that has worked with him has endorsed him, but as of last week, that is no longer true as fellow Teabagging idiot Mike Lee of Utah (a state most people don’t realize is Redder than Texas & Oklahoma combined) endorsed him. If you are not familiar with Lee, he is Cruz’s ideological twin. In 2013, Time Magazine labeled him “The Man Responsible for the Shutdown”. Every bit as nuts as Cruz, in 2011, Lee called child labor laws unconstitutional, and is currently holding up aid to Flint, MI because (quote) “They have all the government resources they need”. This is the one & only Senator yet to endorse Ted Cruz for president (and even HE took his time doing it.)

Legally, Cruz isn’t even eligible to be president. Legal “scholars” debate on whether being born in Canada to an American mother granted him “dual citizenship” that renders him “natural born”, but they all overlook one very important fact: NOT A SINGLE FOUNDING FATHER WAS BORN AN AMERICAN CITIZEN. Whether or not Cruz is a “Natural Born” citizen is irrelevant. You had to be born on (what is now recognized as) U.S. soil. That includes American embassies & military based in foreign countries. It also provides exception to Americans “visiting” foreign countries at the time of their birth. It does NOT however include people who had taken up residence in foreign countries like Cruz’s parents had. Many people throughout history have been born to one or more American parents living in another country (Winston Churchill and Prince Hashim of Jordan were both born to American mothers on foreign soil. Were/Are they also qualified to run for president of the United States?) In a normal election season, Cruz would have been barred from even running in the first place, but thanks to Trump, “Read the Constitution!” Republicans are likely to rewrite the rules of elective office without so much as a challenge all because they are desperate to see anyone else but Trump win their Party’s nomination.

But back to what makes Ted Cruz such a dangerous figure.

Cruz is a Climate Change denier, calling it religious dogma, “not science”, and telling NBC’s Seth Meyers “Global Warming is a hoax.” Evangelicals like Cruz refuse to believe Climate Change is real because it contradicts an obscure Bible passage about the world always being here for our exploitation (but nothing about how long WE will exist to exploit it.)

People seem to have forgotten that only recently, Cruz was calling for the “carpet bombing” of an entire Syrian city (Raqqa) to “get” ISIS (a war crime), but clearly didn’t understand the difference between “carpet bombing” and “targeted bombing”, contradicting himself when asked about his call for the murder of tens of thousands of innocent civilians (including children) just to “get” a few hundred ISIS fighters hiding in a city of some 200,000 people. Just what you want in a “Commander-in-Chief”, someone that doesn’t understand the consequences of what they are ordering the worlds most powerful military to do with all that firepower.

It quickly became apparent upon his taking office that Cruz not only shares the face, but the paranoia of Joseph McCarthy. As a Senate candidate in 2012, Cruz declared that “Sharia law is an enormous problem”, and upon taking office in 2013, Cruz told reporters that “There were fewer declared Republicans in the [Harvard Law] faculty when we were there than Communists!

Keep in mind the man who raised him: the Cuban-born “Pastor” Rafael Cruz. A man who believes “Public education is a Communist Plot”, that “evolution is a Communist lie”, “Marxist Obama” should go “back to Kenya” (noticing a trend yet?), believes Sarah Palin was “maligned” for revealing the existence of “ObamaCare’s Death Panels”, has been invited to give speeches at various Fundamentalist churches across the nation to assure his fellow End Timers that his “anointed” son will be there to “fulfill God’s prophecies” and “return the spoils of war” back home to the wealthy, and just last week called the legalization of gay marriage “the work of Satan”. The Cruz campaign has stated that the elder Cruz “does not speak for his son’s campaign”, but have yet to disavow or refute anything his father has said (You know what they say about the nut not falling far from the tree.)
 

Ted Cruz’s Iowa victory speech, flanked by Steve King and Dad
Cruz flanked by King & Dad

 

I posted the above photo before. Cruz was flanked by close friend the despicable Rep. Steve King (who proposed building an electrified fence across our Southern border, and Cruz’s wacko-bird father (who held this exact pose for several minutes, staring straight ahead without blinking.)

Ted’s wife is similarly odd. Pastor Cruz told the Christian Fundamentalist program “Dove TV” that his son’s decision whether or not to run for president came after a “two hour prayer session” on their knees, when Ted’s wife Heidi said God told her to tell her husband to “seek God’s face, not his hand” by running for president, suggesting (AFAICT) her husband has (or would reveal) “the face of God” if elected. For a group of people who take the Bible literally, they sure love to talk in metaphor to describe their connection to it, so I can’t say “exactly” what Mrs. Cruz meant by that remark, though there is no question the two are implying “divine intervention” pending a Cruz presidency (one can’t help but wonder why The Almighty, who supposedly wants Cruz to win so badly, didn’t help him win more states or… at the very least… ensure he was born on U.S. soil to avoid any challenge to his eligibility. But hey, I’m not the one claiming to know the mind of God.

Senator Cruz now supports the ridiculous “Personhood” Amendment granting Constitutional rights to fertilized eggs, making many forms of birth control illegal and every miscarriage subject to a criminal murder investigation. Cruz recently stated: “I believe we should protect every human life from the moment of conception to the moment of death”, yet at the time insisted he didn’t support “Personhood”. That didn’t sit will with Evangelicals (his core demographic) who refused to support him until he relented. Cruz repeats at every stump speech that he won’t rest until we have “repealed every last word of ObamaCare” and replace it with the GOP alternative: “tax-free health savings accounts”. I’m not entirely sure how repealing The Affordable Care Act and bringing back denials over preexisting conditions “protects every human life from conception to death”, but I’m sure it is nothing short of “miraculous”.

People forget that very early on, when the GOP race still had some sixteen candidates, Cruz was very low in the polls (4%). But when his fellow Republicans started attacking Trump for his racists comments about “Mexicans”, Cruz refused to criticize Trump, resulting in a big bounce in his poll numbers. Pundits noted the ensuing “bromance” between Cruz & Trump, with the two of them repeatedly complimenting each other. Cruz even tweeted last December: “@realDonaldTrump is terrific. #DealWithIt”

While Trump’s own obvious bigotry & nastiness is out for the world to see, what we DON’T see are the number of Christo-Fascist racists coalescing around the Cruz Campaign as highlighted in this clip from The Rachel Maddow Show last February (jump ahead to 8:20 to skip the “Fundamentalist” setup):
 


 

The Cruz campaign did not reject the endorsements of the “kill the gays” pastor (though they did later admit, albeit quietly, that “attending the conference” was “a mistake”), the “God sent Hitler to hunt the Jews” pastor, or the insane rantings of anti-Semitic racist misogynist Ted Nugent. No, in fact they’ve proudly trumpeted those endorsements on their website [ibid video], knowing full well the kinds of Conservative voters they’d appeal to, hoping to take advantage of motivated Fundamentalist Christian activists that vote en masse for like-minded candidates. (Previously, it was enough to get a high enough percentage of them to the polls to win elections despite their low numbers (see: Bush 2000), but as their extremism drove larger numbers to the polls to counter their influence, we started to see the rise of “voter suppression” tactics like “Voter ID” to limit the opposition.)

Glenn Beck (who suggested Scalia’s death was God’s way of motivating Cruz supporters to the polls) says he fears for the future of our Democracy if Cruz is NOT elected president (the opposite of what every sane individual on Earth believes), and though Rush Limbaugh has yet to “officially” endorse a candidate, he has saved his highest praise for Ted Cruz.

Ye shall know him by his friends (and the man who bore him.)
 


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