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Peace At the Barrel of a Gun. Is Threatening to Nuke Our Enemies the Way to Encourage Peace Talks?
Apr 30th, 2018 by Admin Mugsy

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In the movie “All the Presidents Men”, WaPo Editor Ben Bradley tells Woodward & Bernstein about Chuck Colson (special counsel to President Nixon): “There’s a cartoon on his wall. The caption reads, ‘When you’ve got ’em by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.'” That scene has always stuck in my mind as perfectly describing to me the Republican philosophy towards working with others. “I don’t care if you like me just so long as you bend to my will.” The complete lack of respect for anyone who doesn’t think like they think; want what they want. And they will achieve those ends by any means possible. Damn the consequences (see: “deposing Saddam.”) Bully your opponents until they bend to your will. It’s the story of the fastest gun in the West who must live with his back against the wall in constant fear that one day, someone is going to test just how good a shot they really are. It’s the proverbial “gilded cage”… which is just fine I suppose if you’re a xenoaphobic isolationist like most Republicans who live in constant terror of the outside world “invading” theirs.

This philosophy suits Trump to a T. Like any Toddler, Trump doesn’t behave like a rational adult. He throws a tantrum until he gets what he wants. And in the case of North Korea, he threatened “fire & fury, the likes of which have never been seen”… should they threaten the United States with a missile test. And “suddenly”, Kim Jong Un is talking to South Korea about “denuclearization”… even signing a “pledge” to do it… someday (details yet to be hammered out following the Summit with Trump.) Trump bragged in Michigan, “They [the Media] are asking ‘What… if anything… did Trump have to do with it? Uh… EVERYTHING! (insert obnoxious bouncing smirk here.)” And for this, some Republicans are already talking about “a Nobel Peace Prize for Trump” if he successfully denuclearizes North Korea. Shortly after Bush-43 took office, Dubya’s inclusion of NK in his “Axis of Evil” speech (before invading Iraq) pushed them into starting a nuclear weapons program, even testing their first ever nuclear weapon in 2006 (during the Bush Administration.) The result was to bring BUSH to the negotiating table (though to Bush’s credit, they DID convince NK to dismantle their lone nuclear facility. And they didn’t have to resort to threatening a nuclear strike.) NK’s missile testing slowed (but never stopped) during Obama’s eight years, and when Trump started saber-rattling his first months in office, NK’s nuclear weapons development switched into hyperdrive, producing an ICBM in record time capable of reaching the U.S.… all thanks to Trump ramping up the rhetoric against North Korea. And now, suddenly, North Korea is meeting with South Korea, “pledging” denuclearization, and agreeing to face-to-face talks with Trump. Why? Trump’s threats? No.

Do we REALLY want to normalize presidents threatening the Nuclear Annihilation of our enemies as an effective means of inducing negotiations? And is someone who threatens nations with Nuclear Annihilation deserving of a “Nobel Peace Prize”? Trump’s governing style always reminds me of this old “MadTV” sketch: “Drunk President“, where a drunk guy wakes up to discover he was just re-elected president after getting things done by being a reckless drunk no one dare offend:
 


“Cuba’s now part of the U.S.. Anyone got a problem with that???”

 

You think North Korea & Iran don’t remember Bush invading Iraq AFTER they agreed to dismantle their al Samoud missiles and allow in inspectors to confirm they’ve been disarmed? Belligerence may get you what you want… THIS time. But eventually, the empty threats will get old. The neighborhood kids will stop playing with you, and one day, some kid who is tired of being bullied is going to call your bluff and/or shoot you dead on the playground with a homemade weapon he’s been constructing in Daddy’s basement for the past 18 months plotting revenge.

Trump is also threatening to tear up the Iran nuclear deal. As much as Trump man-crushed on French President Macron during his visit here, Macron (along with every other European leader) is begging Trump NOT to blow up the Iran deal (pardon the metaphor.) If Trump reneges on the Iran Nuclear Deal brokered by Obama (another “If the black guy did it, it must be bad” spurious reversal), what nation would EVER agree to ANY deal with the United States ever again if there was a possibility that in 4-to-8 years, the next president will simply rip it up, declare it “null & void”, and demand more from them? That makes us LESS safe, not more.

And Republicans want Trump to win the Nobel Peace Prize… WHILE he’s threatening to further destabilize the entire Middle-East.

I believe I mentioned previously, it wasn’t Trump’s belligerence (in his August 2017 “Fire & Fury” speech) that suddenly finally brought North Korea to the bargaining table in 2018. It was the Summer Olympics in South Korea. Kim Jong Un had never set foot in South Korea before last week. When the Olympics came to Seoul, South Korea called the North and proposed their athletes compete as one team. Kim sent his sister to the Olympics instead of going himself, then watched the ceremonies on TV. The technical glitz & glamour, and the comfortable modern lives of those living in South Korea in stark contrast to the impoverished, near Dark Ages lives of people starving in North Korea. And suddenly discovering the rest of the world he has refused to visit doesn’t all live in the same daily misery North Korea does. Kim’s sister returned home, likely regaling her brother with stories of brightly lit neon skyscrapers, restaurants serving every kind of cuisine you could imagine, and shopping to her hearts content bringing home modern conveniences one could only dream of in the North.

And THAT dear reader is what got North & South Korea talking. NOT Trump’s saber-rattling. That is quite literally the Mission of the Olympics… to bring enemies together, to share cultures and make friends. And it worked.

Meanwhile, Trump is already prepping us for failure. AFTER he announced his desire to sit down and talk to North Korea about denuclearization (after HE himself instigated a rocket-propelled arms race), Trump fired his chief ambassador… Secretary of State Tillerson… and replaced him with the head of the freaking CIA… and not just ANY CIA chief, but a hard right Conservative like Pompeo who is CURRENTLY advocating we tear up the Iran deal (you think our agreement with Iran doesn’t loom large in Kim’s mind as he plans to negotiate with Trump?) THEN, to make matters worse, Trump appoints one of the most dangerous men on the planet, insane “mustache of truth” John Bolton, to be his “National Security Advisor”… an Iraq War hawk who once joked on Fox that the way you can tell a North Korean official is lying is “their lips are moving”, has nothing but contempt for diplomacy and famously said the ONLY thing that should matter to the UN was what is in America’s best interest.

So Trump appoints Pompeo & Bolton to his staff in key roles that will influence negotiations, announces his list of demands of North Korea before negotiations even begin (including NK agreeing to “complete & total denuclearization”), and then start preparing the public for his possible (read: inevitable) walk-out on negotiations should he decide they aren’t proceeding as he likes.

And then what? Threaten to bomb them again? Peace at the point of a gun. Would that be before or after they award Trump his Nobel Peace Prize?
 

Iran Deal vs NK Deal

 


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Trump Bombs Syria. Now what?
Apr 16th, 2018 by Admin Mugsy

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(Okay, we’re back. We were offline last week, and on Easter Break the week before that, so this is our first Op/Ed in two weeks. – Mugsy)
 

UN Ambassador Nikki Haley appeared on Fox news Sunday to comment on the U.S. strike on Syria Friday, and I was quite surprised by the way host Chris Wallace challenged her on some of her assertions. Halley revealed that Assad has used chemical weapons fifty times” since the rebellion began in 2011. So why was this attack so special? “Was it because it was caught on video?” asked Wallace. He also asked her if the message we were sending Assad was, “You can attack your own people using conventional weapons, just not chemical weapons?” Both excellent points. While I agree that a response was necessary and bombing Assad’s chemical weapons facilities was proper, I don’t feel like the Trump Administration has a strategy for what comes next. Do we just “hope” he doesn’t do it again? How will Russia react to further sanctions (after Trump spent the last year undermining them?) No answer to the question: “Okay, now what?” We hindered Syria’s ability to use chemical weapons against the Syrian rebels, but we don’t appear to be doing anything to resolve the conflict there or defend the lives of the Syrian rebels. What now?

Trump is suddenly criticizing Russia as it starts to dawn on him that Putin isn’t one of the good guys. Shocker, I know. The whole time Trump was talking nice about Russia and praising Putin during the campaign, Putin was ordering hackers to meddle in our election, breaking into DNC (and attempting to hack RNC) computers, was constructing a “super cruise missile” unveiled a few weeks ago, was behind the attempted poisoning of a former Russian double-agent now living in the UK, has been defending Assad… someone Trump now concedes is “a monster”, and now Trump is obsessed with rumors of a “blackmail tape” (to put it politely) supposedly filmed when he was in Russia for his 2013 Miss Universe pageant (I don’t know about you, but I’d be worried too if the story were true, and not the least bit concerned if I knew it weren’t.) And just like that, Trump appears to be realizing that maybe… just maybe… Putin isn’t the noble leader he though him to be.

Now, there seems to be a plethora of Nervous Nellie’s whom think the ultimate end result of ANY conflict… verbal, trade, whatever… will ultimately/inevitably lead to Global Thermonuclear War with Russia. No. Chill folks. Not every International disagreement leads to World War III. Dr. Strangelove isn’t in charge of the Pentagon (even with mustachioed lunatic National Security Advisor John Bolton advising Trump.) Hmmm. I don’t feel I made a very convincing argument there. Just trust me. Relax. Even Bush didn’t bungle his way into WWIII.

Okay, so we’ve sent a message to Assad… loud & clear… that we draw the line at “chemical weapons” but when it comes to ending the seven year long civil war in Syria, we have no intention of interfering (even if Russia is.) And under Trump, even awarding asylum to the victims of “monster” Assad is not being discussed. Again, I was struck by the fact Fox News Sunday (yes, I conferred upon them a well-deserved Capital-N) pointed out the seeming heartlessness of the Trump Administration’s parsimonious “no Middle-Eastern Refugees” policy:
 

Dwindelling admitted Syrian refugees

 
As you will note from the above graphic, while the GOP controlled Congress worked overtime to tie Obama’s hands, we WERE still able to allow in over 15,000 refugees in 2016. So far, we have allowed all of 11 refugees into the U.S. in the first 3-1/2 months of the year. At that rate, the U.S. will have allowed all of 35 or 36 Syrian Refugees into our country by years end. That’s unforgivable. To call Assad “a monster”, but to then tell those same victims, “Stay away! We don’t want you here! You must remain in that place where a ‘monster’ is committing war crimes against you” is profane.

But also consider, the GOP’s (claimed) justification for not allowing in refugees is that “terrorists might sneak in among them.” If “terrorists” had snuck into the U.S. among those 15,000 refugees admitted in 2016, we would know it by now. The (made-up) justification Republicans are giving for not admitting refugees just isn’t born out by the facts.

As for: “Where do we go from here”, I’ve already previously presented my own plan on how to resolve the current crisis in the Middle-East non-militarily for FAR less money than we are spending now, and finally bring the war(s) in the region to a close. We can still do it. The White House may not have a plan, but I do.
 


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The Path to Hell: Trump Proposes Right Ideas in Worst Possible Way Making Things Worse
Mar 12th, 2018 by Admin Mugsy

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Trump hosted a rally over the weekend for a Republican candidate for Congress in Pennsylvania, where he bragged about himself (natch) more than the candidate. Trump bragged that “Obama, Bush and [Bill] Clinton all talked about sitting down with North Korea, but only *I* got it done!” Yes, because those other presidents demanded concessions from North Korea first, and when they didn’t get them, THEY had the good sense to say “No”. And Clinton/Bush/Obama didn’t say No following a year of breakneck nuclear testing and the appalling death of an American hostage (Otto Warmbier) like Trump had. I keep thinking about the message Trump is sending other rogue nations like Syria & Iran by agreeing to meet with Kim Jong Un after such behavior? “Develop your nuclear capabilities, kill an American hostage, and threaten Washington DC, and Trump will meet with you too… without preconditions.” Good intentions. Worse outcome. I’m all for talking with your enemies, but you get CONCESSIONS first. And you send envoys first. Not the President himself. North Korea isn’t suddenly agreeing to talks because they fear Trump’s “bluster” (as Trump himself claimed over the weekend), they are agreeing because they want the SANCTIONS lifted (and seeing life in South Korea during the Olympics probably made them think a lot about their own miserable lives.)

Trump also declared… with no apparent forethought… to impose a blanket tariff of “25% on all steel and 10% on all aluminum imported into the United States” without regard for country of origin. Tariffs can be a GOOD thing… when applied on a case-by-case basis to deny impoverished nations an excuse to underpay their workers. But applying the same 25% tariff on German imports where workers are paid more than most American workers, as you impose on China where workers earn pennies a day, is wildly unfair. You’re punishing trading partners whom do us no harm. In fact, you punish some nations which we have a trade-SURPLUS with. And they WILL retaliate.

After an outraged Canada (our largest steel exporter) pointed out this was in violation of NAFTA, Trump amended his impulsive blanket tariff to “exclude Mexico & Canada”. Great! Now he just created a MASSIVE incentive for foreign steel exporters to move to Mexico. I’m sure Mexico is happy about that. American steel-workers? Not so much. So in the end, cheap foreign steel will continue to flow into the United states, but instead of by boat, now it’ll come in by truck/rail across our Southern border, lowering their export costs even more. Excellent work, President Dumbass. You may have just made things worse.

Following the (latest) school massacre in Florida, in a highly-staged meeting with both Republicans & Democrats on the subject of “gun control”, Trump bragged about how HE would “stand up to the NRA”, that HE wasn’t “afraid of them” and that HE would succeed where all his predecessors failed. Then he impulsively proposed “if someone is believed to be a danger, he’d even support taking the guns away first and “worry about Due Process later” (right sentiment. Wrong policy. If a Democrat had said that… OMG! Republicans would be rioting in the streets!), pretty much ensuring nothing gets done on gun control as Trump is forced to walk back his impetuous remark. So then he talks to a VERY upset NRA and they convince him the “solution” is MORE guns and to arm every teacher. Once again, right idea delivered in the worst possible way, resulting in a “compromise” that may actually end up making things worse. What did THE NRA concede? Nothing… though they did “lose” the fight to protect “Bump Stocks”… though they didn’t really put up much of a fight. I’m sure they are delighted that’s ALL they lost. They gladly soldout “bump stocks” (giving Trump his faux “victory”) to save the AR15.

Trump also declared recently that we need to invest in “infrastructure”. Democrats said this for a decade but Republicans repeatedly obstructed them (If you recall, just three days before the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minnesota, a bridge collapsed in MN killing four and injuring dozens more, yet STILL Republicans refused to support the Democratic call to invest in infrastructure. Then Trump starts making ridiculous promises of how we can get all of our infrastructure rebuilt on the cheap and Republicans swoon. Never mind the details. So then Trump announce his big plan on how to rebuild our infrastructure for very little money. We basically SELL-OFF OUR INFRASTRUCTURE TO CORPORATE AMERICA, who then turn our roads & bridges into TOLL roads & bridges, public schools into private schools. If you live in rural America where it would be harder for corporations to make their money back, tough luck. Your infrastructure is just going to have to wait. Once again, the right intentions implemented in the worst possible way, only ensuring to make matters worse.

He never actually “repealed” ObamaCare BTW. His followers think he did, but all he did was undermine it in a way that ensures MILLIONS of Americans will find themselves with no insurance (or inadequate policies where every claim is denied.) People were complaining that “costs had gone up too much” and (despite Obama’s assurances), if their doctor was not on their new plan, they could NOT keep their doctor. Well, policy prices went up because insurance companies could no longer sell you worthless “junk” policies where every claim is denied. And you COULD have kept your doctor if Conservatives hadn’t stripped out The Public Option. But now, thanks to “TrumpCare”, insurance companies can sell you worthless policies once again. You can even go totally without insurance if you so desire (driving rates up for everyone else.) But at least you’ll save a few bucks (until you get sick or injured.) And just like that, once again, Best Intentions resulting in a “solution” that makes matters far worse.

Trump rolled out his 2020 Campaign Slogan yesterday. Maybe he should consider “Trump 2020: Best Intentions Going Lousy Yesterday”… BIGLY.
 


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How to Avoid Another War with North Korea: Declare an end to the LAST one
Nov 13th, 2017 by Admin Mugsy

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Trump couldn’t help but poke the bear (not Putin, though he may have done that too) during his Asia trip, getting into yet another Twitter fight with North Korea’s own irrational, undisciplined BabyMan leader, Kim Jong Un. Much of the reason for North Korea’s belligerence towards the U.S. is because they fear invasion by the U.S. ever since George W. Bush included them in his “Axis of Evil” (“Iraq, Iran & North Korea“) shortly before invading the first of those three nations in 2003. As isolated and paranoid as North Korea is, it doesn’t help that The Korean War never officially ended. Only an “armistice” was declared, the war was ruled “a draw”, the Korean peninsula was split in two, and everyone just assumed it was “over.”

Everyone except for the North Korean’s, that is.

As far as they are concerned, the war is still going on, and a militaristic United States is just champing at the bit to invade and retake the North. And rhetoric from Donald Trump suggesting wiping them off the face of the Earth doesn’t help.

On Veterans Day last Saturday, ABC News asked Korean War Vets what they thought about the possibility Trump might restart the Korean War? To-a-man, each and every one of them said that would be a terrible mistake. They all agree that if we were to restart the war with the massive military might we wield today, there is no question we would win (not a sure bet. China would likely intercede on behalf of North Korea today just as they did in 1952.) The question then is who will be the adult in the room and AVOID war with North Korea? The very idea we might go back into NK all these years later and pick up where those Veterans left off… trying to win an unwinnable war… is insanity.

Speaking of “insanity”, I remind you North Korea endorsed Donald Trump in May 2016, after Trump criticized South Korea for not paying enough for its own defense… even threatening to pull support for South Korea till they do:
 

“It turns out that Trump is not the rough-talking, screwy, ignorant candidate they say he is, but is actually a wise politician and a prescient presidential candidate.” – Unnamed North Korean scholar in a NK newspaper column.

 

If you want to prevent the next Korean War, you can start by officially ending the last one.
 

Most (if not all) nations on the planet now recognize “North Korea” as a separate sovereign nation. It has been nearly 65 years since the “unofficial” end of the Korean War. It is time we finally accepted the fact there are now TWO Korea’s and whether or not the two nations ever become one again is entirely up to the people of those two nations.

Trump could take the wind out of Kim Jong Un’s sails by formally declaring an end to the Korean War, having representatives from both sides sitting down for a dramatic “Signing Ceremony” in Geneva, declaring that the United States now recognizes North Korea as a separate and independent nation and formally declare The Korean War over.

North Korean TV would happily show “Dear Leader” on the world stage, sitting across from Donald Trump as an equal, “forcing” the United States to “accept defeat” as they sign an agreement officially declaring an end to the Korean War. And after showing such an event nationwide on state-run TV, it would be difficult for them to then make the case the U.S. still wants to invade their country, justifying the need for further provocative action.

And for Trump (and his ego), he can proudly declare that HE finally brought the Korean War to an end after more than 60 years and how he is actually “a man of peace”, not the belligerent war-happy third-world Dictator his critics make him out to be.

The problem is we have two irrational, childish, trigger-happy lunatics in charge of each country. We desperately need someone to step up and be the adult in the room. Show of hands how many of you think Trump is up to the task?
 

Yeah, me either.
 


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Who Is Helping North Korea’s Lightning-Fast Evolving Nuclear Missile Program?
Sep 4th, 2017 by Admin Mugsy

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On New Years Eve, just before Trump took office, Kim Jong Un promised they were preparing to conduct their first test of an ICBM. Sounding an awful lot like that “Red Line” Trump blasted Obama for, Trump tweeted the next day, “It won’t happen!” It did. Just three weeks after Trump’s inauguration, North Korea test-fired a “Ballistic missile”… a modified version of their existing “Musudan” intermediate range missile, that landed unspectacularly 310 miles away into the Sea of Japan between the two countries.

Three weeks later, North Korea launched four more missiles all at once, again into the Sea of Japan. A fifth test two few weeks after that the rocket exploded seconds after launch. They were trying, but not making a lot of progress. Three more launches in April, the first flying a mere 37 miles before falling back to Earth, and the next two exploding shortly after launch.

Then suddenly, something changed.

Three more tests in May, the first, a rocket that reached an altitude of 1,312 miles… a distance great enough to potentially reach Eastern Alaska… was fired almost straight up, coming almost straight down… again into the Sea of Japan. Bear in mind that the month before, their only “successful” launch traveled a mere 37 miles, and all tests landed or crashed in the Sea of Japan between the two countries. Now suddenly they have an ICBM (promised on December 31st but were never able to deliver on.)

One test in June, two more successful tests in July, and two more in August. Of the August tests, the second flying over Japan… the first time since 2009. The big difference this time was that they did not warn Japan in advance before firing a rocket over their heads. Fortunately, this rocket broke up just over halfway into it’s 4,000KM flight, raining debris in the Pacific just off the East coast of Japan.

But in all of this, it was understood that an “Atomic” warhead… the pinnacle of their nuclear weapons development after over 20 years… would be just too big & too heavy to mount atop one of their notoriously unreliable missiles (who would put an atomic bomb atop a missile that might only travel 37 miles?) Even once they developed their first ICBM (the one Trump said would “never happen”… until it did five months later), it was understood they could not be armed with nuclear warheads due to size & weight… at least “not for another year” they were claiming barely a month ago.

And now, early Sunday morning, just four days since their test launch of an ICBM and their first test East of Japan since 2009, Japan detects the test of a Hydrogen bomb in Northern North Korea… which is significantly smaller/lighter… yet 10 times more powerful… than the old technology Atomic bombs they were previously capable of building. So now, in less than seven months time, North Korea has gone from short-range missiles that frequently exploded after launch, to ICBM’s capable of reaching the U.S., and from bulky/undeliverable “atomic” bombs to compact, massively more powerful hydrogen bombs that can be used as a nuclear warhead. No offense, but North Korea isn’t exactly known for their technical prowess. Someone HAS to be helping them. And who might that be?

There are only three “possible” candidates, all allies of North Korea and antagonistic towards the United States, and two of those can easily be scratched off the list. The three candidates are China, Iran and Russia.

Why would China wish to encourage nuclear war right on their doorstep between the United States and their ally North Korea? The United States’ firepower is so vastly superior to NK, they wouldn’t stand a chance even in a Conventional war let alone a nuclear one. America is also perhaps China’s biggest trading partner. An attack on the United States would almost certainly disrupt trade with China. Not to mention the fact that as an ally of North Korea, China would be drawn into a disastrous war with the United States. The very idea that China would want to provoke all that in their own backyard is nonsensical.

Iran is possibility #2. But to guide someone else on how to develop ICBM’s and hydrogen bombs, you first need to have already developed YOUR OWN “ICBM’s and hydrogen bombs”. Iran has neither. Scratch them off the list.

That leaves Russia. Now why would Russia want to see America… the lone remaining Super Power… in chaos? America is all over the Middle-East controlling much of the world’s oil. We lead NATO, a collection of European nations whose sole purpose for existence is to keep Russia in check. Installing a loose-canon, friendly to Russia and antagonistic towards NATO, as president of the United States has created chaos in this country. Expansion of the war(s) in the Middle-East into Syria provided “Distraction #2” (Trump being the first), and the rapid progression of North Korea’s missile & nuclear programs is providing “Distraction #3.”

Russia does almost NO trade with the United States, so chaos in America would not disrupt their economy (to the contrary, fewer U.S. oil exports would expand Russia’s market), and military action against North Korea only further weakens our military by stretching it too thin, making it less able to respond to further acts of aggression by Russia (like Crimea, Ukraine and Georgia.)

North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons program is accelerating at an astonishing rate… so fast it’s almost impossible to believe they are doing it all on their own. And if you want to know just who that is, one need only think of a country with the know-how, is friends with North Korea, and has the most to gain (and least to lose) from an America in chaos. And suddenly the answer is quite clear.

Having an unstable man-child, susceptible to blackmail and deep in debt to them, yet constantly speaks fondly of them, only makes such gamesmanship less risky for them and easier to pursue.
 


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Debunking This Syria Conspiracy Stupidity (and saying goodbye to the tinfoil hat brigade)
Apr 10th, 2017 by Admin Mugsy

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Back when all my friends were going bonkers over “Star Wars” in the late 1970’s, I was obsessed with “Close Encounters of the Third Kind“. I even wanted to become a “ufologist” like Dr. J. Allen Hynek. I bought/read dozens of books and was absolutely convinced UFO’s and alien hijackings were real.

Then I grew up.

Once I started asking questions, the stories started to fall apart. Nothing stood up to scrutiny. Have I mentioned lately that I used to be a Republican? I stopped believing what Republicans were telling me for the same reason. Nothing I was told ever stood up to even the lightest of scrutiny (not to mention frequently steeped in racism and religious dogma.) Asking questions saved me (and my sanity.)

Anyone who has been following this blog for a while knows two things about me: 1) I DESPISE “conspiracy theories” (note my thorough debunking of “The Four Basic 9/11 Conspiracy Myths” written nearly ten years ago), and 2) I don’t suffer fools well. If you are going to attack me and demand (additional) “Proof!” that something I tell you is true, you had better be on firmer ground than I with “proof!” of your own at the ready. And if your idea of “legitimate trustworthy journalism” is a pro-Russian blogger in Minsk, while calling The New York Times and Washington Post “fake news”, your opinion carries all the weight of a mouse fart as far as I’m concerned.

The VERY ELECTION of Donald Trump seems to have birthed an entire legion of tinfoil hat wearing “Conspiracy Theory” paranoids. Hey, I get it. I supported Bernie, and the fact Cheetolini occupies the White House today still defies belief. But there was no “conspiracy” against Sanders and the Media didn’t decide the Primaries OR the General Election winners. The Super Delegates & Electoral College did. If you read some of the vitriol I see on my Facebook pageSTILLsix months after the election… towards Hillary Clinton, it’s difficult to understand how so many of these same Troglodytes foaming at the mouth over their hatred for Hillary could believe Trump needed “The Media’s” assistance to win, or how they made Hillary popular enough to defeat Bernie.

Like others have said: if you could reason with zealots, there wouldn’t BE any zealots.

And now, with this counter-attack on a Syrian airfield in response to their use of chemical weapons… and let’s not gloss over that detail as we grow numb to the words. Chem-i-cal Wea-pons“. Death by chemical weapons is beyond horrific… burning eyes & skin, choking to death as your lungs are scorched by acid, people/CHILDREN writhing in agony, vomiting blood till death is a welcome relief… the tinfoil hat wearing crowd… with all the expertise as a 9/11 armchair physicist… appear to be more than eager to defend Syrian President Assad… a brutal dictator (like his father before him) who has been bombing entire cities full of people who’ve dared oppose him for the last seven years… on the grounds that suddenly… after seven years of slaughtering 400,000 “of his own people”… are asking, “Why would he use chemical weapons on his own people? Especially when he was so close to winning?” Instead they seem incredibly quick & willing to believe that in fact their OWN country… the United States (admittedly no angels ourselves)… is actually framing poor innocent Assad. (Note, in the April 4th attack, not only did Syrian fighter jets drop chemical weapons, they also bombed grain silos with the goal of starving the rebels… whom we know aren’t simply “ISIS fighters”, but entire cities that include women & children.

Seriously? Okay, let’s pause for a moment and use some common sense here.

What is more likely?

a) A man who has been bombing & starving rebel critics of his administration for seven years and has all but turned Aleppo to dust saw an opportunity to wipe out his opponents once & for all after Trump & Tillerson gave him the “regime change is no longer our policy” greenlight, by using chemical weapons we KNOW he had as of 2014…

OR

b) Less than 24 hours after Trump referred to Assad’s presidency as “acknowledging [a] political realit[y]”, he then disguises American fighter jets as Syrian S22’s and orders them to fly in and drop chemical weapons we DON’T have on Syrian children in an attack that all but destroys the friendly relationship he was building with Putin making Trump look like a naive fool? And in a massive conspiracy not seen since Roswell, not a single pilot with a guilty conscience over dropping chemical weapons on children to come forward and say, “No, it wasn’t Syria. It was me.”

…because those are your options.

Some disbelievers claim this was a distraction from the salacious approval of Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court via the “nuclear option”. Hardly. Republicans acting like Republicans isn’t a catastrophe worthy of committing secret war crimes by dropping chemical weapons on children that would result in the Trump Administration being tried in The Hague for War Crimes should the truth ever come out. The “risk/benefit” ratio is wildly off there.

I can’t tell you how many people I’ve bumped heads with these past few days demanding “Proof!”, then respond to me by posting links to unverifiable videos on YouTube that are impossible to verify and without attribution, or links to websites that look like they coded it in their mother’s basement, citing questionable sources, produced by people they know absolutely nothing about who could FAR more easily be producing complete fiction to cloud the evidence to protect the guilty. They simply accept these questionable sources as fact because they confirm what they already believe to be true. One of the most popular video “proofs” I repeatedly get are links to a “reporter” named “Eva Bartlett” “demolishing” critics that dare suggest Assad is the aggressor and the rebels are anything but devious terrorists. But Bartlett is NOT a “reporter”. She works for no news agency and isn’t on the ground in Syria. She’s a Canadian blogger that works for “Russia Today” and has dedicated herself to defending Assad (one popular video is of her responding to another Canadian reporter at a conference… hosted by the Syrian government and invited to speak at their behest… where she makes a number of claims, including a popular one among the pro-Assad crowd, that one girl… the same girl… can be seen being rescued in three separate videos. It’s not true of course [ibid], but as Mark Twain reminded us, “A lie makes it halfway around the world before the truth gets its shoes on.”

They are wildly untrusting of Western Media, yet readily accepting of what documented vicious tyrants like Assad & Putin tell them. I just don’t get that. Once you reach THAT level of mistrust of your own government, it’s time for you to go… another country or a padded cell. It’s your choice.

Now a bit of history…

Following the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979-80, our greatest enemy was Iran. And when the Reagan Administration took over in 1981, they decided “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”, so they befriended Saddam Hussein (who had been at war with Iran for years.) And they gave (conventional) arms (and money) to Saddam (and… as we discovered later… to Iran too as part of the “Arms for Hostages” deal they secretly brokered). As the Iran/Iraq War escalated, Saddam used chemical weapons on Iran and we did nothing about it.

Then, at the very end of the Reagan Administration, Saddam used chemical weapons yet again… this time on his own people. Iraq has always been a nation of three violently opposite religious sects: The Shia, The Sunni’s and The Kurds. The Kurds despised Saddam and wanted him gone. And apparently the feeling was mutual as Saddam actually dispatched agents to assassinate Kurds that dare leave Iraq to live in London or Germany. Sounds completely counter-intuitive, right? Why would Saddam want to murder the people he hated for moving away? Because that’s just the kind of guy he was. He couldn’t make their lives miserable living abroad. He wanted them in Iraq where he could make them suffer.

In March of 1988, Saddam attacked the Kurdish occupied town of Halabja with chemical weapons. Again, we turned a blind eye (until Bush Jr used it as an excuse to invade Iraq in 2003.) “Why would he attack his own people” some of you might ask? (As you are asking of Assad today.) Because, as I already pointed out, they hated Saddam, launching attacks trying to assassinate him (and years later, a Kurdish ex-pat named Ahmed Chalibi would convince a gullible George W. Bush to take Saddam out for him by claiming the existence of “stockpiles of WMD’s” that no one had seen or could prove the existence of), and the feeling was mutual.

In 1990, President George Herbert Walker Bush’s “Ambassador to Iraq” was a woman named April Glaspie. That July, Saddam delivered a message to President Bush that he wished for “friendship” between Iraq and the United States, then… just one month later… invaded the neighboring kingdom of Kuwait. The month after that (September), Glaspie personally visited Saddam, shook his hand, and gave him the greenlight, telling him: “We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait.” [ibid] (Kuwait had been accused of “slant-drilling” on the Iraqi border to steal Iraqi oil, and Saddam… still an American ally at the time… they felt was well within his rights to attack Kuwait over it.)

But the war in Kuwait dragged on… and on… and on… into 1991. The Kuwati’s had hardly no military to speak of (nothing to compare to Saddam’s “fourth largest army on the face of the earth” after the U.S., China, and Russia) offered little in the way of resistance. Then, news of “atrocities” (same real, some fake) begin to reach the U.S. Media, literally embarrassing the Bush Administration into responding.

And by late February 1991, Saddam had been kicked out of Kuwait and was now our sworn enemy.

Are you noticing the parallels yet? In December, then President-elect Trump appeared to side with Russia over the Syrian conflict and stated his opposition for any further support of the rebels, leading to the fall of Aleppo before he even took office. The result was the ratcheting up of an already ongoing war, yet four months later, rebel forces continued to hang on and Assad’s frustration continued to grow. The second largest city in rebellion against Assad, Idlib, became the new rebel stronghold.

And just as Saddam was told we wouldn’t interfere in 1990, Trump & Tillerson told Assad on April 4th that “regime change in Syria” was going to be left “up to the Syrian people” and that we would just have to live with Assad’s presidency as a fact of life. Given the green light of a new American president… friendly with their ally Russia… promising a non-interventionist policy regarding Syria, a frustrated Assad… who had a history of using chemical weapons (map)… even against his own people… leapt at the chance to crush the rebellion once and for all.

And this is where the doubters ask for “proof!” despite the fact there is nothing unusual or out-of-character for him here. “Assad would be “crazy” they proclaim to do this now “when he’s so close to victory”. That’s quite an assumption there. “So close to victory?” Says who? The fighting has been going on for seven years, and Aleppo fell four months ago, yet Assad’s opponents continue to fight.

First off, this was an aerial bombing. And launched just hours after Trump said we wouldn’t pursue regime change in Syria. Russia freely admits that. Russia (and Assad’s) defense against the accusation that Syria dropped “chemical weapons” (a war crime that, if true,… that would not only land Assad in the Hague, but Putin as well for being complicit in that crime. Russia actually has officers stationed at that Syrian base from which those planes were launched) on the rebels is that the rebel warehouses they bombed… unbeknownst to them… contained huge caches of chemical weapons that filled the air when they were bombed (in self defense.) So: “attack by air and by Assad”… not in dispute. Confirmed by Russia. And the very next day, Assad launched a SECOND aerial attack upon “Khan Shaykhun” from the very airstrip Trump ordered bombed the day before. ISIS doesn’t have an air force. Neither do the rebels. And if bombing the rebels “less than 24-hours” after Trump & Tillerson made their non-interventionist remarks made “no sense” to you before, then why are Syria & Russia admitting they did indeed do just that… launch an aerial strike against the rebels just hours later? (And I remind you that Russia & Assad are claiming they DID NOT KNOW there were supposedly chemical weapons in those warehouses they bombed, so they can’t use their presence as an excuse for why then went after them that day.)

Second question: Is it possible they are telling the truth about the chemical weapons released in the attack as belonging to the rebels, only to aerosol when bombed and carried away by the smoke? There are a number of problems with that scenario: One, the dispersal area is just too large to have come from individual warehouses being blown up and having the chemicals either rain down or spread by smoke. If this were the case, the chemicals would have dispersed downwind of the areas targeted, not localized at the point of impact. Yet maps of the areas that suffered chemical exposure are all localized with almost no drift:
 

WMD affected areas, Idlib Syria
WMD affected areas, Idlib Syria

 

It is impossible to verify whether of not every location where chemical weapon exposure occurred had a hidden cache of chemical weapons within it, but (Two) try to imagine the extraordinary stroke of good (bad?) luck required of all those Syrian fighter pilots to have stuck SO many hidden caches of deadly (and apparently wildly unstable) chemical weapons spread across Idlib province. They freely admit they had no idea they were there, and yet somehow they just happened to locate a dozen such caches precisely where they bombed? Assad needs to stock up on lottery tickets before his luck runs out.

Three, “Transporting” such dangerous chemical weapons for miles across Idlib Province would be incredibly dangerous with a high risk of accidental exposure that could kill thousands should an accident occur. So if the rebels produced those weapons, they didn’t move them around. They would have had to of been made locally… or more precisely at the very site that was bombed. Why? What use are they to them there?

Four, the ability to make such weapons is not a common skill, and not something you learn quickly. This would mean a merry band of wandering minstrels chemical bomb makers traveling from town to town to make a cache of chemical weapons for storage “right there” and then moving on. That seems unlikely… not impossible, but highly improbable.

And five, now we must ask, “How did they intend to use them?” As I’ve already pointed out, they don’t have an air force, and transporting large quantities of the weapons by ground is too dangerous. You’re not going to use them locally and risk exposing your own people, so that pretty much leaves one option: suicide bomber. Drive to Damascus some 300-350KM (4 hours) away in a vehicle loaded with deadly chemicals, pray you don’t hit any bumps along the way or get stopped by the Syrian police, and blow yourself up when you arrive. Sounds doable. So we check…

Number of suicide bombings in Syria over the past seven years that involved chemical weapons? ZERO.

Defenders of Assad keep asking “Why now when he was so close to victory?” So then, couldn’t we ask: If the rebels were “so close to defeat”, why would they sit on these huge stockpiles of chemical weapons and not use them? That makes even less sense.

Another popular question: “I thought Assad gave up all his chemical weapons in 2014?” That’s a fair question. Problem is, we just don’t know. According to their ally Russia, Syria turned over 1,300 tons of chemical weapons to them claiming it was their entire stockpile. It was also the job of Russia to close down all of Syria’s chemical weapons production facilities. Russia admits they were only able to shutdown 21 of 23 facilities because two of them were in warzones they could not safely enter.

As I’ve pointed out in other op/eds recently, the seething out & out boiling vitriol I read from Hillary haters on a daily basis now almost defies comprehension. I mean, I’m no fan of the woman and didn’t vote for her last November, but you’d think Hillary personally dropped by their house and boiled their bunny just to hurt them personally. I seriously think there are a few million alarmingly immature people out there in desperate need of psychotherapy… emphasis on the word “psycho”… driven to irrationality by the 2016 election.

It is now “a given” and forlorn “fact” to them that “Hillary Clinton gave those chemical weapons to the rebels” when she was secretary of state. So you ask simple questions like “How?”, “Where did she get them (since we don’t make them)?” and “How did she transport them to the rebels in Syria?” Often what I get in return are unrelated links to claims of what an evil person she secretly is, links to unrelated & debunked clams she sold 20% of our uranium stockpiles to Russia (not true, and has nothing to do with WMD’s or Syria), and inevitably childish name calling.

They like to compare the “false claims Saddam had WMD’s” to these claims against Assad, but when I point to the fact that both Saddam and Assad used chemical weapons against “their own people” numerous times before, they don’t see a connection. And while Saddam was only “accused” of having WMD’s, we have evidence here in this very attack in Syria that they actually exist (Russia and Assad admit it, claiming they belonged to the rebels but do not deny their existence)… only their “ownership” is in dispute.

During “Meet the Press” yesterday, Trump’s UN Ambassador Nikki Haley pointed out that Russia’s first reaction upon hearing the news of chemical weapons turning up in the attack was to defend Assad, not express horror or concern over victims of a chemical weapons attack. That seems quite disquieting in its own right. You hear civilians… including women and children… were exposed to chemical weapons, and your first reaction isn’t shock or questioning, but to defend someone THEY KNOW (remember, they admit to the bombing AND have troops stationed at that airfield) just dropped the bombs resulting in that chemical exposure? Lesson One in trying to convince people you’re not a cold-blooded killer: show a moment of sympathy for the exposed children and make a few calls before you rush to defend the bombers.

And on a personal note, people bashing “The Media” as “an enemy of the American people” is an anathema to the 1st Amendment and a greater threat to Democracy than anything these Conspiracy Theorists seem to think is actually going on.

People tend to not to ask questions about what they see/hear/read when that something tells them what they already want to believe to be true, is. Fox “news” has built an entire media empire on that very concept… and now I see people claiming to be “Progressives” doing it too. Fox viewers are repeatedly rated as the least well informed consumers of news in the country. Some polls have even shown that people who consume NO news at all are often better informed than Fox viewers because they come to a conclusion first, then look for a source to “confirm” it. And anyone who tells them differently is either “a liar”, “badly misinformed” because they don’t get their news from the “right” sources (like they do), or just don’t know what they’re talking about. “Facts be damned” and there’s no point in trying to present them with evidence to refute those beliefs.

And a greater question: In light of these recent brutal attacks, will Trump now recognize what the Refugees are fleeing from and show more sympathy towards letting them in? (If we go by Nikki Haley, that answer is “No”, calling for “even more” stringent background checks before even considering giving these people safe harbor. What have we become?)

Postscript: The past weeks insanity led me to do something I’ve never done before and delete nearly four dozen of my so-called “Facebook friends” who devolved into insult spewing, Conspiracy babbling, children. I just couldn’t take it any more. The head-pounding STUPIDITY was making my teeth hurt. But in return, I picked up about three dozen new “Facebook friends” and a couple hundred likes from people who agreed with me over the recent heightened level of insanity and coarseness of discourse. So to all my new friends, thank you and welcome.

Next weekend, M.R.S. will be on Easter hiatus, but I promise to return two weeks from now with more insights and history. See you then!
 


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Predictions for 2017: It’s the end of the world as we know it.
Dec 31st, 2016 by Admin Mugsy

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Okay. Maybe not the “The Apocalypse”. The election of a new president already provides lots of fodder for those making predictions. Literally EVERYTHING becomes an open question, but the $#!+storm awaiting us as a political novice with the impulse control of a toddler takes control of the most powerful office on the planet is difficult to quantify. No one (outside of the Trump campaign and his most ardent believers) thought he was going to win. But in the end, the Clinton campaign was a victim of its own success. They made Clinton’s victory seem SO inevitable, and Trump’s presidency SO unthinkable, that millions of Democrats didn’t even bother to vote, allowing a reality TV show star riding a wave of xenophobia to ascend to the presidency. And his choices to lead his Administration raise serious concern. Trump’s case for why he should be president was that… as a corporate CEO… he knows how to pick “the best people” to create an incredibly effective government. But instead, he has been awarding top-level cabinet-level positions to friends, lobbyists and far right ideologues the way other presidents awarded ambassadorships… not based on qualifications, but purely on their fealty to Trump himself.

We start off year nine of my prognostications as we do every year by looking back at the predictions of others. Always good for a laugh, I find myself wondering why anyone takes these people seriously with such miserable track records. Typically, most “psychics” make dozens… even hundreds… of incredibly vague predictions, then declare success when one of their predictions is twisted and massaged to where they can claim they accurately predicted some obscure global event. Some place no time-frame on their predictions, so they are never “wrong”, their predictions simply “haven’t come true yet.” I don’t do that. I don’t make “vague” predictions (the “Two moons will join as one” crap) and only make predictions for the coming year. If something I predict doesn’t happen within the next 12 months, that prediction is ruled “wrong”.

The Huffington Post declared “16 Shocking Predictions for 2016” written by clinical psychologist Dr. Carmen Harra. What a psychologist is doing making “psychic predictions” is anyone’s guess, but of her 16 predictions, I found none of them particularly “shocking”, and only one prediction… the election of a female South American president (Dilma Rousseff of Brazil)… appears to have come true. Even her “gimme” predictions (like “more extreme weather”) I’d classify as “wrong” because there were no widespread devastating weather catastrophes in 2016.

As many of you know, I live blog the top three political talk shows every Sunday: Fox “news” Sunday, “Meet the Press” and ABC’s ThisWeek. Typically, their final show of the year includes predictions for the coming year. I always find the predictions of Conservatives on Fox the most fascinating. It really is a window into their dark fantasy world. Simply put, Democrats will always usher in economic chaos, and Republican policies are always a resounding success:
 

Fox “news” Sunday’s Predictions for 2016 (8:57)

 

Some highlights:

  • “Common sense will prevail [within the GOP] and Trump won’t win the nomination”. – Oops. I guess it didn’t.
  •  

  • Economy will be down. “Recession.” – The U.S. economy continued to grow, growing at a remarkable 3.5% in the third quarter of this year.
  •  
    The political predictions end about halfway in, but I posted the full clip because it highlights just how routinely wrong the extremely partisan frequent guest panelist Mike Needham (of National Review Online) is. In previous years, “Bloody” Bill Kristol (of The Weekly Standard) was the Fox panelist that never got a single thing right before swapping places with George Will (a fixture on ABC’s ThisWeek for decades but became buttsore when they handed hosting duties over to Stephanopoulos). Like all Republicans, Needham is extremely sure of himself despite rarely ever being right on anything, and allows his partisanship to get in the way when making his predictions. Nothing connected to a Democrat ever turns out good. Nothing linked to a Republican ever turns out bad. I’m not sure Needham is EVER right on anything. But he tells Republicans what they like to hear, so he’s repeatedly asked back to give his opinions.

    Mike Needham:

  • “Low interest rates [are] maintaining the facade of Keynesian monetary policy.” – In Mike’s world, “Trickle-down” Reaganomics was a huge success while Keynesian “trickle up from the poor” economics is fantasy. Mike predicted that the Obama economy was being artificially propped up by low interest rates and once rates started to rise, the economy would start to implode. Interest rates are rising while Trump takes credit for the surge in the Stock Market.
  • Disagrees that Chicago (Hillary’s hometown) Cubs will win World Series. Instead picks the NY (Trump’s hometown) Mets. – While the Mets did okay in 2016, they came in sixteen games behind the World Series champion Cubs in the National League.
  • Picked “Batman vs Superman” to be the next big Hollywood blockbuster. – “Batman vs Superman” turned out to be a flop of epic proportions. Needham also predicted (noted Hollywood Liberal) Ben Affleck would go down as “the worst Batman in history.” To the contrary.

Give it up, Mike.
 

ABC’s ThisWeek predictions for 2016 (6:18)

 

Less drama (and fewer predictions) over on ABC’s ThisWeek. Everyone seemed to agree Trump had a better than average chance of winning the GOP nomination, with two of them even accurately picking “Tim Kaine” to be Hillary’s running mate.

Now let’s look back at my predictions from last year to give you some idea of just how seriously you should take me. Compared to “celebrity psychics”, even on my worst years, I totally crush them. The difference is that I freely admit that I’m no psychic. I’m just very good at spotting political trends and knowing how people think. So let’s take a look at my “Predictions for 2016”:

  • wrong – “Will we see another “France-style” terrorist attack in 2016? I don’t think so.” 2015 saw the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris (including a suicide bomber detonating just outside the National soccer stadium), so it seemed unlikely anyone would be able to pull off a similar attack in 2016. But unfortunately, last June, suicide bombers killed 41 in a siege of the Istanbul International Airport in Turkey, and France’s Bastille Day celebrations came to a tragic end when lone disturbed ISIS Sympathizer killed 84 and mowed down hundreds more using a large truck. Germany also saw a less deadly but no less tragic mass murder using a large truck driven by another ISIS sympathizer.
  •  

  • wrong – The establishment of “Safe Zones” inside of Syria & Iraq to counter the flood of refugees into other countries that were becoming increasingly unwelcome. Seriously, I am quite disgusted that six years later, we are still talking about the Syrian civil war. Unfortunately, the rest of the world found it easier to do nothing than to try and safeguard the civilian populations living in the region. The massacre in Syria has been a sticking point with me ever since I (incorrectly) predicted in 2011 massive international intervention to stop Assad from massacring his own people. But instead, Russia sided with their good friend King Assad, labeled the rebels “terrorists”, and made it impossible for anyone to intervene without risking a war with Russia. And instead, four years later, we’ve elected a president that sides with Russia on every controversy, and the city of Aleppo was pretty much obliterated and recaptured by Assad’s forces. Even more disturbing is the number of Trump supporters who believe photos like “Aleppo Boy” were “staged”. I’m not sure what has to die inside a person to look at that photo, call it a fake, and take the side of Syria & Russia.
  •  

  • right – ISIS will still be about the same size as it is today… roughly 30,000 fighters. – While it is difficult (if not impossible) to get an accurate reading on the number of people fighting on the ground in the region of Syria & Northern Iraq, most analysts seem to agree that “ISIS is shrinking”, not growing, preferring instead to try to inspire weak-willed outcasts feeling ostracized by society to commit “lone wolf” attacks in other countries and then take credit for those attacks. It is difficult to inspire Muslim sympathizers to the ISIS cause when the majority of their targets are fellow Muslims (see the Turkey airport attack above.) I fear Trump’s “take no prisoners” scorched Earth plans for dealing with ISIS will do more to create sympathizers and grow ISIS than actually serve to defeat it.
  •  

  • wrong – Russia WILL focus more on attacking ISIS and less on helping Assad destroy the Syrian rebels – I was wrong about Russia suddenly growing a conscience and pulling back in it’s support of helping Assad crush him political opponents, though I was correct that they would not JOIN forces with the U.S. in alliance to destroy who they claim is a common enemy: ISIS. Poor naive Donald Trump has bought Russia’s line of bull that the Syrian civil war is all about fighting terrorism. Russia has only become more bold in its international meddling in 2016 as Putin sees an opportunity to regain its Soviet-era dominance in the world as America’s influence wanes as we begin our 15th year of war.
  •  

  • right – Iran is likely to increase military aid to Assad as Russian support for the war wanes. – Iran “reportedly felt blindsided by the terms of the [Syrian] truce brokered in Turkey between Russia and the rebels.” Iran’s involvement in Syria has deepened as they disapprove of Russia focusing more on seizing more control in the region.
  •  

  • right – The Syrian conflict [will] still be raging throughout the year, eventually culminating in a treaty between Assad & the rebels. – The Syrian Civil War is only now being declared “coming to an end” here in the final days of 2016 as Russia brokers yet-another cease fire treaty. After years of conflict, it has become clear that we have are now incapable of bringing wars to an end.
  •  

  • wrong – We will see a MILD economic decline as the Republican controlled Congress stifles the economy to help the GOP presidential candidate. I’m actually quite stunned the GOP didn’t do more to cripple the economy to help the GOP nominee win the election. But then, I didn’t expect the GOP to be so unhappy with their candidate. In the end, they weren’t exactly enthusiastic about helping Donald Trump become the leader of their Party (and if you ask me, they are terrified of being branded “The Party of Trump”.) Instead, the Obama economy continued to grow at a remarkable rate.
  •  

  • right – Gitmo to still be in operation by the end of President Obama’s presidency, [though] steps will finally be in place to close it permanently before he leaves office. – Yes on both counts. Our POW camp at Guantánamo Bay is indeed still in operation (though currently down to just 59 detainees that will reportedly be down to just 41 by the time Obama leaves office. In February, he did send his Guantánamo Closing Plan to Congress, but no action was taken. And Trump has vowed… not only to keep it open… but to even EXPAND it, so our giant “middle-finger” to all our principles will continue to operate for the foreseeable future.
  •  

  • wrong – GOP will retain control of the House following the election but lose the Senate. – This did indeed become the conventional thinking in the final days of the election, and there’s no way of knowing if Russian meddling had any impact on the outcome, but Democrats did pick up two seats… three seats short of control of the Senate (under a Republican White House.)
  •  

  • right – The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio will be relatively uneventful. – No terrorist attacks, and despite concerns of rampant local crime, polluted water, and unfinished facilities, the Rio Olympics pretty much went off without a hitch.
  •  

  • right – Trump will be the GOP nominee. – I’m surprised (well, maybe not) that so many people believed Republicans would come to their senses and pull back from the brink before allowing this cartoonish man-child to come within earshot of the presidency, but I was one of the few that knew better. Before the first primary of 2016, I knew from the 2012 nomination of Mitt Romney, “wealth = good” among low-information Republican voters. Bush & Cheney ran as “businessmen” in 2000 promising a “CEO presidency”, and it was an absolute disaster. But that didn’t stop them from nominating Mitt Romney in 2012 (regardless of how he made his money.) Just as in 2012, Republicans didn’t like the GOP front-runner (Romney) and constantly kept looking for someone to take the nomination away from him. But as each new front-runner crashed & burned, Romney kept floating back up to the top of the bowl. The same thing with Trump in 2016. There were a couple of brief scares when Ben Carson and Ted Cruz became the front runners momentarily, but they always came back to Trump as his rivals crashed & burned.

    I also predicted that Trump will plan to delegate most of his responsibilities as he has no interest in actually doing the job, which he & his son both confirmed last May.

  •  

  • wrong – Expect Trump to name his running mate early if he finds himself struggling to win the nomination. – This didn’t happen… with Trump. But it bears mentioning that this is EXACTLY what Ted Cruz did all the way back in April. Also of note, I included the caveat that “if [Trump] gets locked in a battle with the Democratic nominee, his ego will rope him in until the election in November” seeing his candidacy through to the bitter end, win or lose. And I was absolutely right on that. All the polls were predicting an easy win for Clinton, and even Trump himself was surprised when all of the “must win” races started falling his way, yet he stayed in to the very end with most expecting him to challenge the result if he lost… completely unwilling to believe this country might choose Hillary over him.
  •  

  • right – Hillary to win the Democratic nomination. – Probably my most painful prediction as a Bernie supporter, but this is what separates me from Republicans who shape their predictions to fit their personal ideology. And this is why their record of predicting things is so miserable. They are SO sure their beliefs are right, the possibility they could be wrong never crosses their minds.
  •  

  • wrong* – the Democratic nominee will win the election in November. – It is difficult to know if Russian meddling in our election may have altered the outcome, but I’m not aware of even one legitimate poll that predicted a Trump victory. The entire Trump candidacy was one embarrassment after another, from making racist & sexist remarks during his campaign, the embarrassing Convention with guest speakers like Scott Baio, culminating in the “Access Hollywood” (“grab them by the [meow]” tape.) And despite needing to sweep nearly every single swing state to win, that’s exactly what happened… an achievement suspicious in itself. But I didn’t factor possible election fraud into my prediction.
  •  

  • right – As ISIS begins to feel the pressure of increased international focus on defeating them, they will in turn focus more on inspiring outside sympathizers to commit “lone wolf” terrorist attacks in their respective countries. I predicted at least three such attacks in the coming year. – Indeed, this was the case, with terrorist attacks by ISIS sympathizers in Istanbul, Turkey, Nice, France, and the Christmas Market attack in Berlin, Germany.

8 right, 7 wrong. 53%. Not bad. I’ve done worse. That keeps my lifetime average well over 50%. I was one of the few to predict the presidential race to come down to Clinton vs Trump when must people were predicting a “Hillary vs Jeb” contest. I’m pretty proud of that.

And now…

My Predictions for 2017:

With a totally new administration full of billionaires, ideologues and sycophants with no track record of public service whatsoever, the possibilities are endless as what to expect from the coming year. As “president-elect Trump” rejects the need for a “Presidential Baily Briefing” (on the grounds the information is “repetitive”), I’m frequently reminded of how President Bush in 2001 repeatedly dismissed his own PDB’s while our intelligence agencies were desperately (“Lights were flashing red”) trying to get him to pay attention to the threat of alQaeda until it was too late with the attacks of 9/11 just eight months into office. Now Trump is doing the same while ISIS attacks seem to be growing in magnitude & frequency. Predicting the first year of any new administration is one big crap shoot, but I know how Trump and his ilk think.

  1. Trump is already taking credit for a rise in the Stock Market since his election while Obama is still president, but once he takes office, if the economy does not continue to improve, he’ll stop taking credit and start blaming Obama (remember how Republicans berated Obama the first couple of years for “blaming Bush” for the deep hole we were still digging our way out of?) Trump will be handed an economy that’s 180 degrees from what Obama inherited (soaring stock market, unemployment falls to just 4.6%), and President Obama’s final budget will still be in effect until October, so it is unlikely the economy will turn South in Trump’s first year unless he does something extremely provocative to spook the global financial (or oil) market. We’ll have to wait & see if Trump becomes a “don’t rock the boat” president, or (more likely) an impulsive hothead that doesn’t consider the consequences before acting (which is the defining characteristic of Republicans.)
  2.  
    Trump’s coziness with the Russians continues to disturb me. His first campaign spokesman, Paul Manafort, was forced to resign when it was discovered that he had been paid millions lobbying for pro-Russian Ukrainian oligarchs… not because of his Russia connection, but because he worked as a lobbyist at a time when Trump was still trying to act as though he disapproved of lobbyists and the Russian annexing of Ukraine was unpopular with most Americans. Yet, despite being fired, Manafort continued to live in Trump Tower (along with another fired Trump staffer, former campaign manager Cory Lewandowski.) This tells me Trump doesn’t learn from his mistakes, he just tucks them away until after the heat blows over.

    His eventual choice for Secretary of State, Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson, wasn’t even on the original lists of nominees. The person that appeared to have to best chance was Mitt Romney… who called Russia “our #1 Geo-political enemy” when he ran in 2012. Then suddenly, Romney was out and Tillerson… a man who was awarded the “Russian Medal of Friendship”…. was in.

    His daughter Ivanka was even caught palling around with Putin’s girlfriend in Croatia.

  3. Trump’s Russian ties will continue to haunt him in 2017, but with a GOP controlled Congress, nothing will ever come of it. Every move that involves Russia will draw additional scrutiny. Investigative reporters may start to report on concerns of Russian influence on the Trump White House, but President-elect Trump has been working hard to delegitimatize the Media as “Fake News” so that… should they report anything critical of his administration, he can simply dismiss it as “fake news”.
  4.  
    George Bush appointed a single unqualified mega-donor sycophant to his Administration (Michael “Heckuva job, Brownie” Brown)… an Arabian horse judge… to be in charge of FEMA, and we all know how that turned out. Trump’s cabinet is FULL of unqualified “Brownies”. He has been gifting crucial administration posts the way other presidents once awarded “ambassadorships” to friends & big donors. This is particularly disturbing when one of the key arguments Trump and his supporters gave to justify electing a “CEO President” with NO political experience to the presidency was that he’d appoint only “the best people” to manage his administration. Among some of Trump’s other “So good, you won’t believe it” appointees so far:

    Former opponent Dr. Ben Carson… NOT as Surgeon General which might make SOME sense… but as the head of “Housing & Urban Development” (which Carson himself justified due to having “once lived in Public Housing”. By that standard, I should be piloting 747’s because I once flew in one.)

    Co-founder of the WWE (“World Wrestling Entertainment”) Linda McMahon to head the SBA (“Small Business Administration”.) I think we know how she got the job:

     
    Trump in Wrestlemania
     
    Trump wrestles McMahon

    (Remember all the Republicans who whined Bill Clinton was destroying the dignity of the Oval Office?)

    The former Attorney General from the Oklahoma oil-patch, climate change denier Scott Pruitt to head the EPA. Pruitt repeatedly sued the EPA’s “Clean Power Plan” and “Clean Water Rule” while OK-AG, and even tried to pass off a letter written by oil company lobbyists critical of the EPA as his own. And now he will be in charge of the organization.

    While not yet appointed at this time, Trump is reportedly considering billionaire eccentric “Peter Thiel” to head the FDA. Like Ben Carson who believes he’s qualified to run HUD because he once lived in public housing, it is reported that Theil once ate food and took medicine.

    Trump appointed Steve Bannon the head of alt-Right website “Brietbart.com”… probably the only “news” outlet to endorse Trump… to be his Chief Strategist. While Team-Trump is working overtime to delegitimize the legitimate news as “fake news”, Brietbart is the very definition of “fake news”.

    Former Texas Governor and “Dancing with the Stars” reject Rick “Oops” Perry… who famously forgot that the Dept of Energy was the third government agency he would close as president… was appointed Trump’s Secretary of Energy. He will be replacing nuclear physicist Ernie Moniz.

    …to be continued.
     

  5. With so many incompetents put in charge of so many prominent offices within the Trump Administration, the chances of another “Brownie”-like disaster in the next few years increases exponentially. I predict at least one of Trump’s incompetent appointees will have their appointment questioned and perhaps even be forced to resign due some inexplicable cock-up that embarrasses the incoming Trump Administration.
  6.  

  7. Trump detests having to answer questions. He considers having to explain himself an indignity and the Press exists solely to try & discredit him. This is why he adores Twitter where he can simply ignore any question he doesn’t like. Trump will hold a record low number of Press Conferences, preferring instead to use Twitter to communicate with the American people. He, his staff, and his supporters will herald this as “a new era in unprecedented access to the Commander-in-Chief” that supposedly makes him more “accessible” by the American people, when the truth is it will quite the opposite: a new era of secrecy in presidential administrations that closely controls just how much access the fourth-estate has to it. (August 10 edition of “60 Minutes”, former Chief Strategist Steve Bannon praises Trump’s use of Twitter as “circumventing Big Media and speaking directly to the people.”)
  8.  
    In these final days of 2016, we keep seeing situations where the incoming Trump Administration is publicly disagreeing with… not just the outgoing Obama Administration, but U.S. foreign policy of the past 30 years when it comes to Israel and the pursuit of a “two state solution” to bring peace between the Israeli’s and the Palestinians. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is a neo-con, and his continued illegal building of settlements in occupied territory threatens to jeopardize any hope of peace in the Middle East. Secretary of State John Kerry condemned the recent construction of new Israeli settlements as provocative and not in the interests of achieving peace in the Middle East. Netanyahu… who never liked the Obama Administration and vocally condemned it for agreeing to lift sanctions on Iran… basically told the U.S. to mind its own business. Trump… breaking with decades of “one president at a time” tradition (an unwritten rule where the incoming administration doesn’t publicly contradict the outgoing administration, instead declaring “the U.S. speaks with one voice”), Trump again publicly criticized the outgoing Obama Administration, taking the side of Israel and declaring “things will be different” come “January 20th.”

  9. Taking the side Israel so publicly, there is NO way the U.S. can be seen as an honest broker in any possible future peace negotiations between Israel & Palestine. Trump’s chosen Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, is a pro-settlement bankruptcy lawyer with no relevant experience other than the fact he is president of the US fundraising arm for Bet El, a settlement built on occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank. Both Trump & Friedman have taken the unimaginably provocative position of calling to move the capital of Israel to the disputed city of Jerusalem… nothing short of spitting in the eye of a billion Muslims. Indeed, Osama bin Laden even cited the “Israeli occupation” and part of alQaeda’s justification for 9/11 and their war with the West. Trump has just made his job of achieving an end to the wars in the Middle East infinitely more difficult. Couple that with his pledge to “quickly, easily & completely” defeat ISIS, I have great difficultly in seeing how he can “defeat ISIS” and end the war in Afghanistan without doing something monumentally insane like declaring war on the entire Middle East and conquering it using nuclear weapons. No matter how nuts he may be, there are still enough sane people left in Congress to stop him from starting World War III. As such, I have little doubt that as Commander-in-Chief, Trump will still deploy between 100,000 and 300,000 troops back into Iraq & Afghanistan (and possibly Syria) by the end of the year, greatly expending the war rather than helping to resolve the conflict and bring America’s longest war to an end (cooler heads will prevail among his generals not to introduce nuclear weapons into this war, but reports will emerge that it was discussed).
  10.  

  11. In 2015, increased pressure on ISIS resulted in various domestic terrorist attacks overseas, and (as I correctly predicted) there were at least three more such incidents of domestic terrorism around the world as that pressure continued to grow. If Trump does indeed greatly expand the war in the Middle East, coupled with openly taking Israel’s side in promoting illegal settlements, expend the number of incidents of domestic terrorism committed in the name of ISIS to grow. I predict at least five such deadly mass casulty attacks across the world in the coming year.
  12.  

  13. The election of the first black president allowed a stunning number of closeted racists to feel liberated, coming out as openly racist, cloaking their racism as nothing more than “political differences”. The election of an openly bigoted xenophobe like Trump will worsen this three-fold as Trump-supporters feel they now have carte-blanc to be openly bigoted against Mexican’s and Muslims as well.
  14.  

  15. Which reminds us of Trump’s promise to “build a border wall along the U.S./Mexico border and make Mexico pay for it”, and deport… not just 11 million “illegal immigrants”, but in many cases their American-born children as well. There will be NO significant border wall construction in 2017 as the issue falls by the way-side. However, the Trump Administration may try to claim plans for a border wall are “in the works”. And rather than Mexico paying 100% of the cost, to save face, the Trump Administration will rely on some creative accounting to try and claim Mexico will be paying for it when they are in fact not.
    UPDATE: 1/6/2017 – Not even president yet, “Trump asks Congress, not Mexico, to pay for border wall.
  16.  

  17. During the primaries, a number of countries were so appalled by Donald’s Trump’s “racist & sexists remarks”, they went as far as to say the GOP candidate was “not welcome” in their country. Scotland declared Trump “unwelcome” in that country the day after the election and urged him not to visit. In January of 2016, the British Parliament had already discussed banning Trump from the UK. And in October (just before the election), Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau banned Trump from entering Canada until he apologized for his offensive remarks about Muslims & Mexicans. I predict that in the coming year, at least one nation will say Trump is not welcome in their country.
  18.  

  19. As I’ve been pointing out since the day he declared his candidacy in 2015, Trump only wanted to prove he could win the presidency if he wanted it, but has no interest in actually doing the job. Early on, he will appear to be doing his job, but gradually over time, we will see less & less of him as he tries to delegate more & more of his job over to others in his administration, setting up a Constitutional crisis.
  20.  

  21. Calls for investigations into all of Trump’s conflicts of interest will grow along with demands that he fully divest himself of his empire (which he’ll never do) as it becomes clear foreign countries are trying to curry favor with the American president though his investments. Trump’s massive ego will never permit him to sell off his empire. All those skyscrapers with his name on them feed his massive ego. If it becomes a serious enough problem for him, he’d resign his presidency before selling off his empire.
  22.  

  23. Speaking of which, every building with Trump’s name on it will become an instant terrorist target the moment he’s sworn in, and the cost of protecting those buildings will become a serious matter.
  24.  

  25. Beyond foreigners trying to get on the good side of America’s president by renting out his hotels & casinos and possibly giving him favorable treatment when his companies seek construction permits in foreign countries, simply being president gives Trump an unfair advantage over his American competitors that will open him up to all sorts of lawsuits. Expect at least one American company to file an “unfair trade practices” lawsuit against Trump.
  26.  

  27. Trump’s Climate-Change-Denying policies of promising to “greatly expend the use of coal” and “complete the Keystone XL Pipeline” will be met with a resounding thud as both projects prove to no longer be cost effective in the modern era. There just aren’t that many workers looking to get started in the lucrative business of digging coal (yes, that’s snark) in the 21st century, and for the mining/conversion of tarsands to “oil” to be cost effective, oil needs to be up over $70/barrel again. George W. Bush destroyed the global economy and brought the United States to the brink of economic collapse by pushing the price of oil from $30/barrel to nearly $150/barrel in six years. Oil prices are (at this writing) just above $50/barrel after having been much lower in recent years, and some analysts fear that if Trump greatly expands the war in the Middle East, the price of oil could shoot back up to over $100/barrel which would make both energy sources financially viable again. But if that happened, it would absolutely crush the U.S. economy. As friendly as the Trump Administration clearly will be with Big Oil, I have my doubts that even THEY could be THAT fiscally irresponsible.
  28.  

  29. Russia may find themselves wondering if they made a mistake by cozening up to Trump (and possibly aiding his election) as they quickly learn how erratic and vindictive he can be. Early in the primaries, Ted Cruz leaped into second place when he refused to criticize GOP front-runner Donald Trump like all of the other candidates. Just before the start of the 2016 primaries, Cruz even tweeted: “@realDonaldTrump is terrific. #DealWithIt” Then the race began, and as soon as Cruz became a threat, the bromance was over. By the Convention in July, the two were already the worst of enemies. I expect Trump’s relationship with Russia to become strained as he grows increasingly erratic.
  30.  

  31. As much as Trump and his supporters may want it, he will not be able to amass enough Republican votes (and zero Democratic votes) to repeal “ObamaCare” without having a replacement program ready to go first. Republicans will try (repeatedly) throughout the year to immediately end the program despite having no alternative, but Democrats need only three Republican Senators to stop any repeal from reaching the president’s desk. And while Republicans honestly believe Americans want to see the entire program scrapped, they are in for a rude awakening if 20 million Americans are suddenly faced with the potential loss of their insurance. Trump says he won’t allow insurance companies to deny patients with “preexisting conditions” from getting coverage again, but there is NO way to do that without the “mandate” they so deplore. And in eight years, no Republican has been able to devise a system that covers everyone that doesn’t include a mandate. So, no ObamaCare repeal. They will try. They will get close. They may even pass a bill severely limiting it, but no full repeal of the law.
  32.  

  33. Early on, Russia will test their new found relationship with the new administration to see just how much they can get away with and what reaction (if any) they get. Democrats in Congress will demand action. Republicans will not. And the public will be evenly split, ensuring nothing gets done.
  34.  

  35. Trump didn’t remember half of the promises he made during the campaign. He had completely forgotten he promised to stop the export of over 1,000 jobs at an Indiana “Carrier” plant until he heard a plant worker on TV state that he had personally promised them he’d save their jobs. He also forgot HOW he said he’d save them (by threatening to charge “Carrier” a reimportation tax.) Likewise his ridiculous threat to “lock her [Hillary] up” was quickly dismissed following his victory, the deportation of “11 Million illegal immigrants” quickly became only “a few million with criminal records” (illegal immigrants with criminal records are already deported upon capture), and his “border wall” was scaled down to “a fence in some locations.” Trump has a very short memory when it comes to his promises, so don’t be surprised if focus on many of his campaign promises are overshadowed by new catastrophes that develop in his first year.
  36.  

  37. In the final week of 2016, Trump startled the world by suggesting that we need to start expanding our nuclear arsenal again… reversing more than 30 years of American nuclear policy. Will Trump start a new Nuclear Arms Race? That takes money. Sadly, I don’t see enough sane Republicans in Congress willing to say “No” to Toddler-Trump and reject the possibility of attracting a few thousand defense industry jobs to their states, but I DO see just enough to side with Democrats to stop any such proposed increase in our nuclear stockpiles. No expansion.
  38.  

  39. And rounding on for an even 20, 2017 will be declared “the hottest year on record”.

 

Wow, that’s one incredibly dark miserable year I foresee. But Toddler-Trump is just too immature, too erratic and too impulsive to see things becoming anything other than a total mess in 2017.


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15 Years After 9/11. Doesn’t Anyone Know How to End a War? A 21st Century “Marshall Plan”.
Sep 12th, 2016 by Admin Mugsy

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Last week, NBC hosted their own “National Security Forum”. Only Trump & Clinton were invited, and neither provided a unique solution to ending nearly two-decades of war in the Middle East. With only an hour of airtime, each candidate received less than 30 minutes to answer questions regarding National Security. Host Matt Lauer wasted most of Clinton’s time talking about emails, and allowed Trump to (again) falsely claim he was opposed to the invasion of Iraq while failing to get him to provide even the smallest details of his “secret plan” (shades of Nixon) to “win the war”. The third party candidates were not invited as there clearly was no time, but made up for the unfairness by inviting them to various “morning shows” to make a case of their own:

To summarize:

Hillary: “No ground troops… in Iraq. Period. Do it from the air”. Translation: a massive escalation of the Drone Warfare program. Maybe ground troops in Syria, but definitely not in Iraq.

Trump: “I have a secret plan to end the war, and it definitely isn’t to simply drop a nuclear bomb on them (even though I said last May that I had a “foolproof plan” that would “100 percent” defeat ISIS “quickly”.)

Gary Johnson: “Aleppo? What’s Aleppo?” Later tried to claim he was thinking it was an acronym, but even when he was told it was “in Syria”, he didn’t suddenly go, “Oh! Aleppo!” He was still clueless what Aleppo was.

Jill Stein: “Stop funding ISIS. Stop buying their oil. Stop selling weapons to the Saudis.” And how does that result in the defeat of ISIS? That’s an aspiration, not a plan.

After 15 years of war, you’d think SOMEBODY could express a coherent plan to actually end the longest war in U.S. history. President Obama’s dramatic escalation of the Drone Warfare program has raised serious concerns regarding International law. True, American lives are spared by having fewer troops on the ground, but “bombs” are hardly “precision weaponry”, often resulting in dozens of innocents being injured, dismembered or killed. Wanna make some lifelong enemies? That’s the way to do it. We want a sanitized war with no American casualties. But there’s no such thing as a “clean” war, and thinking you can kill people without getting your hands dirty has a lot to do with why this war has gone on so long. (I’m reminded of the Star Trek episode: “A Taste of Armageddon” where a war between two planets had continued for hundreds of years because they had sanitized it to the point of making it easy.)

Donald Trump recently said he had a “foolproof” plan [ibid] to “quickly” “defeat ISIS” once and for all. The only method I can fathom that (in Trump’s mind) would result in a guaranteed and swift end to the war would be to do something like drop a nuclear bomb on the region. Trump himself DID say last November that he’d “bomb the shit out of them”, repeatedly asked during a security briefing why we can’t just use nuclear weapons, and his opponent Ted Cruz pondered finding out “if sand glows in the dark”. And Trump also suggested that the only reason President Obama has yet to do this himself must be because he’s sympathetic to ISIS (translation: “a secret Muslim.”)

Indeed, Genocide… murdering some 30 million people in the region of Eastern Syria & Northern Iraq just to vaporize some 30,000 ISIS fighters would certainly produce immediate results. But it would by no means be “permanent”, creating millions of sympathizers and angry survivors of the innocent lives lost now vowing to “fight to the death” to destroy the “infidels” who attacked them (the United States of America.) 15 years after 9/11 and we are still mourning the events of that day with some still vowing revenge. Do you think people on the other side of the world are any different? Suicide bombers in shopping malls, car bombs in rush-hour traffic jams, more mass shootings thanks to an endless supply of easily available firearms. George Bush justified invading Iraq on the grounds of “fighting them over there so we won’t have to fight them over here.” And yet, Republicans now believe we are indeed fighting them “over here”, so I guess that plan of his failed too. But you haven’t seen ANYTHING yet if we greatly increase the number of innocent casualties killed by bombs launched by an American president that can’t come up with an original solution to ending the war. And right now, NOT ONE has a unique and well laid out plan to ending the war in the Middle East (read mine below.)

Trump now insists his plan isn’t to simply drop a nuclear bomb on “them”… though I can assure you, if you asked his supporters, that’s exactly what a majority believe and want. So where exactly would Trump nuke? All of ISIS does not reside in just one city, or even one country. More than half of ISIS controlled territory is in Syria… a close ally of Russia. Is #ToddlerTrump going to start World War III with his new buddy Putin by nuking their ally Syria? Now that the Press has openly criticized Trump “IF” that’s his plan, he’s suddenly scrambling to come up with a new plan… yet insisting it’s not “new”, that it’s the same plan he has had all along… but it includes “asking the generals” what they think we should do, and if he likes their plan better than his own (which he doesn’t have), he’ll consider the General’s plan… after he’s fires a bunch of them first.

Hillary Clinton’s plan is just Donald Trump’s plan on a smaller scale. Can’t just drop one giant nuke, so we pepper the region from the air using planes and targeted drone strikes.

Of course, we’ve all heard the stories of dozens killed at a wedding party that was innocently mistaken for a meeting of al Qaeda. And quite honestly, if you shy away from targeting sites due to their proximity to innocents, you only ENSURE that more ISIS gatherings will take place in/near public venues, next to schools & hospitals, market places, etc. But Hillary has vowed no boots on the ground… in Iraq, ensuring plenty of wiggle-room for sending troops into Syria (not to mention the fact we ALREADY have troops on the ground in Iraq.) The “loophole” Clinton left herself by citing “Iraq” specifically is a prime example of why so many voters just don’t trust Hillary and see her as “just another politician.”

Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson’s campaign ended with that “Aleppo” gaffe. Just like Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones, he’s already dead, he just doesn’t know it yet. The genocide in Aleppo two weeks ago made front page news, and the photo of a shell shocked traumatized young boy pulled from the rubble went viral on the Internet. But even before that, Aleppo was known as the epicenter of the Civil War in Syria. And for Johnson to be so totally clueless about what “Aleppo” is was an instant disqualifier. I’ve heard people say they found it “refreshing” to hear a politician admit ignorance on a topic. That might be acceptable if it were some Joe Schmo running for a lower office. But not a person running for the highest office in the land where Syria will be on the front-burner.

Part of this is due to the fact Libertarians are “isolationists” when it comes to military intervention. To them, the genocide in Syria is not our concern. Ergo, Aleppo was not on his radar.

Green Party candidate Jill Stein did not fair much better. And while I agree with many of her platform positions of “stop making trouble in the rest of the world”, “enough of the militarism”, “stop empowering dictators” and “stop turning a blind eye to the despicable acts of people we call our ‘allies’ because we need their oil”, these are only aspirations, not actionable plans for dealing with an active genocide.

As a Sanders supporter during the primaries, much of Stein’s platform is appealing: increasing America’s focus on developing a green energy economy, phasing out fossil fuels (which in itself would help get us out of the Middle East and stop enabling dictators and human rights abusers), making advanced education at public colleges & universities tuition free, closing tax loopholes for the ultra-wealthy and tightening regulations on Wall Street, but one needs a record of political experience and a coherent plan on how to achieve those goals. Stein has none of that.

So, as you might imagine, with less than two months to go, I’m still at a loss for a candidate for president of the United States.

Several times last year, I wrote a few columns on how to end the wars in the Middle East through “infrastructure”. I don’t care if you’re alQaeda, ISIS, a redneck Republican, Progressive Democrat or a Green Party hippie, everyone wants the same thing: to live in peace. And they will put the world through hell to achieve it.

Anyone who thinks people who have had (or will have) their cities bombed into crumbing ghost towns will just peacefully “surrender” to the people who did it, haven’t been paying attention these past 15 years.

Instead of more bombs & killing… which has DEMONSTRABLY FAILED… let’s go into the towns of our FRIENDS & ALLIES and start building roads and schools and hospitals and an electrical grid and a working sewer system. Rebuild their destroyed infrastructure. A 21st Century “Marshall Plan”. START MAKING LIVES BETTER FOR OUR FRIENDS instead of making lives miserable for our enemies (spilling over onto our allies). Take the wind out of ISIS’s sails. It’s difficult to recruit people to attack those helping to rebuild your county and make life BETTER instead of worse. And No, we wouldn’t be “rewarding our enemies”. We reward our friends and later those who renounce terrorism and welcome us in. Soon, cities that were once openly hostile to the United States will be eager to become our friends, welcoming us with those flowers George Bush promised 13 years ago.

And it would be massively CHEAPER too. Compared to using $20 million dollar drones to fire million dollar missiles to take out a Toyota pickup truck with homemade rocket launcher in the back, the cost of rebuilding all the lost infrastructure can be done for pennies on the dollar. And the Military Industrial Complex that presently makes their money building bombs & bombers can build planes & runways. Literally “building bridges”. And unlike war, you’ll know when you are done rebuilding a city.

And while we’re rebuilding over there, how about putting some of that savings into rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure over HERE?

It’s not that complicated… and yet, I haven’t heard a single presidential candidate suggest it. It’s an actionable plan that could be implemented immediately with almost instant tangible results. It’s cheaper, and not only makes the world better but safer.

And apparently, it’s too complex of an idea for four people running for leader of the most powerful nation on Earth to come up with on their own. So I offer this idea to whomever wants it. No charge.
 

Question on 2007 gameshow “The Power of 10”
Pessimistic Americans under Bush
By end of Bush’s presidency, more than a quarter of all Americans believed the United States would no longer exist in 100 years.
(the contestants guessed too high.)

 


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Ted Cruz Promises Massive War if Elected. Vows to “get” ISIS using “overwhelming force”.
Mar 28th, 2016 by Admin Mugsy

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I agree with Andy Borowitz. “I’m concerned that our obsession with Trump is distracting us from how terrifying Ted Cruz is.” (link) As reported two weeks ago, Cruz is an Apocalyptic “End Times” evangelical nutcase. So when he started pledging a massive invasion of the Middle East using “overwhelming force” to “get ISIS”, I noticed. I’m not sure how many others did as well. Cruz was invited onto Fox “news” Sunday yesterday to rant about Trump criticizing his wife’s looks (and possible connection to claims of his infidelity by The National Enquirer), to fear-monger over the latest ISIS attack in Brussels, and then criticize the Obama Administration for failing to protect Europe from terrorism. Cruz then vowed… with all the simplicity of Sarah Palin… to “utterly defeat” ISIS once and for all by carpet-bombing an unspecified region of the Middle-East, “get” ISIS, and come home. I have no doubt that to Ted, it really is just that simple.
 

Cruz: If elected, I promise a massive war (:55)

 
This was following a long fear-filled rant about how “the terrorists are coming to get us!” But don’t worry! Elect me and I’ll go in and “carpet bomb” the entire region, wiping “them” out so you can go back to living in your happy little bubble where the outside world can’t hurt you! Hey, you’ve got a gun, right? So what are you so afraid of?

It was pointed out to Cruz during one of the GOP debates that “carpet bombing” is a war crime (when he said he would “carpet bomb” the city of Raqqa… population: 300,000… to “get” several thousand ISIS fighters (by no means ALL of them) hiding within. He explained that by indiscriminate “carpet” bombing, he actually meant “targeted” bombing… the exact opposite of “carpet bombing”. But now, here he is again, responding to criticism of his calling for “carpet bombing” by vowing to “carpet bomb” till we “get” ISIS. WHERE exactly does he plan to “carpet bomb”? He never actually says in that clip. (Remember this is the same many who “joked” about “finding out if sand glows in the dark” last year.)

But no matter. “Carpet bombing” wasn’t the only war crime Cruz promised to commit if elected. No more of this “refusing to torture prisoners” nonsense either. If elected, he vowed (like Trump), to end all this “political correctness” regarding our refusal to torture prisoners to collect insanely unreliable and dubious intel from prisoners using a process that takes twice as long as established & more reliable means. (Speaking of “political correctness”, Cruz also whined… yet again… over “President Obama’s refusal to use the words ‘Radical Islamic terrorism.” This is a popular complaint on the Right. Apparently, ISIS is like Beetlejuice. It doesn’t work unless you say their name.)

Part of his plan to “go in” involves “arming the Kurds”… something our close ally Turkey… the largest Muslim Democracy on the planet… would just adore us for. Turkey has been fighting Kurdish incursions into South East Turkey for decades (longer?) But who cares about Turkey? They’re just another Muslim nation that needs to fear us, right? It’s not like they’re helping us over there.

Cruz said he wants to “go in with overwhelming force”. “Go in?” Where? He seems to think all 30,000 ISIS fighters commute back home (to Raqqa?) each night. They probably share a split level condo, watch “Syria’s Got Talent” on Al Jazzera, and in the morning, pack a PB&J for lunch before heading out for a day of “terrorizing”.
 

ISIS lies mostly in Syria
ISIS mostly in Syria

 
ISIS resides mostly in Syria… which is not just a sovereign nation, but a close ally of Russia, protected by Russia, of whom would not hesitate to rush to their defense if the U.S. invaded in the name of “getting” ISIS. So (just as with Hillary Clinton and her “No Fly Zone”), you now have the U.S. at war with Russia. Iraq is also a sovereign nation (like it or not Ted), and they DON’T want U.S. troops back in their country. Could Ted get permission to send in a massive military force to get ISIS strongholds in Iraq? Possibly. But he ISN’T going to get permission to send hundreds of thousands of American troops into Syria. And… pardon the analogy… that’s like trying to kill your dogs fleas by washing only his hind legs.

So we send in hundreds of thousands of American troops. Where do they all come from? Hey, it’s not HIS kids he’ll be sending in as part of that “overwhelming force”. What’s a few thousand dead soldiers if it means saving the lives of… uh… how many Americans have died on U.S. soil at the hands of ISIS fighters who traveled here from the Middle East? Oh yeah. ZERO (no, the San Bernadino couple does not count. They were ISIS sympathizers, loners already in the U.S..) But according to Ted Cruz… an apocalyptic “End Times” religious radical, all we have to do is send in hundreds of thousands of YOUR kids into a war zone to get a bunch of apocalyptic “End Times” religious radicals. I’m sure they’ll all return safe & sound. And after we “get them”, that’ll be it. We can just come home. That was George Bush’s plan for Iraq, wasn’t it? There’s ZERO chance their angry followers, family members and orphaned children will follow in the footsteps of their beloved martyrs. They’ll be too terrified of President Cruz (cough) to risk us coming back to do it again. At least, that’s how it plays out in “Cruz Land”… the most delusional place on earth.

Everyone talks about how disastrous a Trump presidency would be (mostly for the GOP.) The fact that Ted Cruz is a terrified, paranoid, anti-Islamic, apocalyptic, Evangelical “End Times” xenophobe that talks of war like it’s something we can do in an afternoon and be home in time for supper concerns me FAR more than Trump’s clownish antics, racism and foppish misbehavior. No question both would be disastrous presidents, but I fear Ted Cruz for what he openly says he WANTS to do, not the catastrophic blundering Trump might stumble us into because thinks he has all the answers.. just so long as you don’t bother him with details.
 


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I’ll Support Hillary, BUT… Making the case against Clinton (without helping Republicans)
Feb 8th, 2016 by Admin Mugsy

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First, the obligatory disclaimer: Though I am a Bernie supporter, if Hillary is the nominee, I will vote for her (2017 update: I didn’t. Events changed and I ended up writing in Bernie.) Quite frankly, I resent even having to say that. My Democratic bona fides have never been in question, but for some reason, every criticism of Hillary Clinton has been deemed “sexist” and her critics “misogynists” (but for some reason, I can’t accuse them of being “anti-Semites” for attacking Bernie.) In 2004, I was an outspoken supporter of Howard Dean… an unabashed & unapologetic Liberal. I made the case for choosing Dean over his rivals, but when John Kerry became the Party’s nominee, I campaigned for him, even volunteering at the local DNC, making and distributing Kerry yard signs and manning the front desk at my local DNC campaign office. But before that, no one ever accused me of launching “personal attacks” against Kerry for questioning just how Liberal he truly was. In 2008, my preferred candidate was former UN Ambassador Bill Richardson because after eight years of George Bush’s war-mongering, I wanted a diplomat for president. I must admit I’ve never been a fan of Hillary Clinton because she has always been a “hawk” when it comes to using military force. Even now, as she tells audiences she would only use force “as a last resort, not first”, she is inconsistent (more on that below.) Yet, despite her vote for the Iraq War (a misnomer), when Richardson dropped out after the New Hampshire primary, I threw my support to Clinton, in part because of her history of supporting “Universal Health Care” (I also foolishly believed this nation was not ready to elect a “black” president, and also some concern his nomination would drive racist Republicans to the polls en masse to defeat him.) But as the race tightened and her “inevitable win” started to look less & less “inevitable”, her rhetoric became more and more aggressive as she saw the presidency slipping away. The capper was March 3, 2008 when she told reporters that “[Republican front-runner] John McCain” was “more prepared to be president” than Barack Obama. That day, I switched my support to Barack Obama and never looked back. I have not seen anything since that demonstrates she won’t throw fellow Democrats under the bus if she thinks it will help her politically. To the contrary, she has only reinforced that belief.

When it comes to foreign policy, Hillary has always been a hawk. During the 2008 campaign, she was already saber-rattling against “Iran’s nuclear program”, threatening military action if they didn’t abandon their pursuit, to distinguish herself from Senator Obama who advocated “negotiations” (aka: “diplomacy”):
 


 
Then upon winning the presidency, Obama made her his chief diplomat (a decision that still baffles me), directing her to open a channel to begin negotiations with Iran… the very thing she criticized him for and is now taking credit for as making Obama’s historic nuclear agreement possible. YET, while she was Secretary of State, she was STILL publicly denouncing Iran as “a state sponsor of terrorism” and pursuing nuclear weapons… which might be true, but isn’t something your chief diplomat should be saying publicly when they’re trying to bring them to the negotiating table. Arguably, her adversarial rhetoric endangered the very diplomatic victory she now seeks to take credit for, and had she stayed on as “Secretary of State”, I’m not so confident we would have achieved the first disarmament agreement between the U.S. & Iran in nearly 40 years. In 2010, she told an audience:
 

“The United States is committed to pursuing [a] diplomatic path. But we will not compromise our commitment to preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons.”

 

Translation: “We’re using diplomacy now, but don’t push your luck.”

In 2014, barely a year & a half out of office, Hillary joined with Republicans… siding with John McCain (once again?) against her former boss… to publicly criticize President Obama for failing to “help [ie: arm] the Syrian rebels” to mitigate the growing crisis in Syria (note, a significant number of Syrian rebels turned out to be ISIS.) She is now running as the best person to continue President Obama’s policies.

During the CNN “Town Hall” two weeks ago, Clinton responded to criticism that she accepted $650,000 in speaking fees from Goldman-Sachs. Her defense was that “at the time [she] didn’t know if [she’d] be running for president”. So then, why was she siding with Republicans to publicly criticize her former boss in 2014? Who was she trying to appeal to? Republicans have admitted that their BenghaziTM “investigation” was all about derailing her inevitable run for president. Even they knew she was going to run. If you aren’t planning to run for president, why would you care what Republicans think? Was she trying to get on the good side of the BenghaziTM Committee? If so, how naive can you get? And who wants a president who will turn on their “friends” for personal gain?

She is still calling for a “No Fly Zone” over Syria, something both Sanders AND President Obama oppose. Not only is it provocative, but Russian fighter jets have performed some of those bombing runs. Do we start shooting down Russian MIG’s and start WWIII? Clinton says she would only go to war “as a last resort”, but foolish policies could push you into something whether you want it or not.

Her first instincts always seem to tend towards “threats of force” first. Even her explanation two weeks ago as to why she voted in 2002 to give President Bush unilateral authority to declare war against Iraq… “to give him leverage in order to finish the inspections”… raises concern. Check that photo at the start of this column. It’s a copy of the ad MoveOn.org ran the month before the invasion of Iraq. It points out inspections WERE working and warned what might happen if we invade Iraq (with eerie accuracy.) It’s not like no one knew what might happen when she cast that vote. Hillary thinks her mistake was “trusting Bush” (already disqualifying in my book), NOT “threatening to go to war” when it clearly wasn’t necessary. I was one of the millions in early 2003 protesting the idea of invading Iraq.

Example: During that Town Hall two weeks ago [ibid “explanation” above], a young father expressed his concern of Clinton having “a history of interventionist foreign policy”. She assured him that she would only use force as a “last resort, not first”, but she keeps advocating actions that could inadvertently draw us into a war whether she wants it or not. IN THE SAME BREATH, after attempting to quell this mans fears of being too “interventionist”, she told him:
 

“I will not send American combat troops to Iraq or Syria. That is off the table. That would be a terrible mistake. We will continue to use Special Forces, and we have to because of the kinds of threats we face.”

 

Now, if sending “Special Forces” into another country isn’t “interventionist”, I don’t know what is. Remember the law of unintended consequences. What if those “Special Forces” are killed or captured? Once again, we find ourselves drawn into an unwanted military conflict despite claims of wanting to avoid military conflict. In 2004, John Kerry… the man who would later replace Clinton as Secretary of State… argued that “terrorism should be treated as a law-enforcement issue, not a military one”, a position that I still agree with to this day and think we would be MUCH further along if only we had taken his advice. THAT is the voice of a diplomat that seeks to avoid war.

Consider this: By the end of the next president’s first term, children who weren’t even BORN on 9/11 could be fighting in Afghanistan against other children who hadn’t even been born yet on 9/11. If your goal in choosing a president is to see the U.S. finally extricated from the Middle East, Hillary is not your candidate.

I add this without comment: Hillary Clinton Calls Henry Kissinger a Friend, Praises His Commitment to Democracy.
 

But “foreign policy” isn’t the only area in which I have grave concerns about Secretary Clinton. “Economic policy” is also a major issue with which we disagree.

Sanders has made “Campaign finance reform” a big part of his campaign (no SuperPAC). As mentioned above, Hillary has accepted over $650,000 just from Goldman-Sachs (and perhaps as much as $25 Million in 2014 alone) then “dared” anyone to find “evidence” she changed her position on an issue because or it.

Whether someone changes a particular stated position on an issue just because they were paid to speak is not the point. That rarely happens. Clinton has not been in office since early 2013, and hasn’t voted on any legislation since 2008, so daring people to find evidence of her changing her vote based on who gave her money is a safe challenge. No, the concern is not that she “flipped” a stated position after being paid to speak, it’s that money will influence her position on FUTURE legislation. When a company pays you that much money to speak privately, it’s for one of two reasons:

  1. Either they consider you an expert that will teach them how to make more money.
  2.  
    – OR –
     

  3. They are hoping to buy *influence*.

Now you tell me, do you think a major Wall Street investment firm was looking for “investment strategies” from a former “Secretary of State”? Or do you think they were hoping to “influence” the presumptive Democratic nominee and likely “next president of the United States”? (more on who is contributing to the Clinton Campaign below.)

McDonald-Douglas doesn’t advertise during the Sunday News Shows because they’re hoping to sell me a Stealth Bomber, they do it because they know their money makes the network less likely to criticize them.

Something else that bugs the hell out of me:
 

Hillary's 2016 Logo

 

There is NO doubt in my mind that Hillary’s “Red Arrow” logo was an intentional subliminal reminder to GOP voters of her Conservative tendencies. I mean, how does one NOT see that when asked to approve the logo? Does anyone believe for one second the designers of that logo… an expert team of graphic designers that spend millions researching how the public responds to the images they see… didn’t know EXACTLY what they were doing when they came up with that design? I noticed the moment I first saw it. And once the Hillary Campaign started taking criticism for the design, first they denied its obvious implication, and then suddenly started offering attendees at her rallies an alternative poster using a blue arrow (but still pointing right):
 

Both Red and Blue arrows

 

And this is the Hillary campaign last Saturday in New Hampshire:
 

Only blue arrows now
Only blue arrows in NH

 

Tell me again that the arrow’s color & direction is just a coincidence.
 

Hillary has a history of voting with Conservatives. She opposed Same-Sex marriage, even taking to the Senate floor to declare she believed “marriage was between a man & a woman.” During last Friday’s New Hampshire debate, she (albeit reluctantly) restated her continued support for the Death Penalty (which affects minority voters disproportionately.) She voted for the Patriot Act in 2001, and again for the “revised” Patriot Act 2 in 2006. It was her husband who undid “Glass-Steagall”… enacted by FDR to prohibit banks from gambling with depositor’s money… in a futile bid to appease Republicans when they were trying to impeach him, so as you might expect, she is unwilling to admit that was a mistake or call for its reinstatement. However, during Friday’s debate, she did call for a “twenty-first century” version of the act. She originally supported the Keystone XL pipeline but now claims to oppose it. And perhaps most famously, she called the TPP (“Trans-Pacific Partnership”)… supported by every GOP candidate and most Republicans in Congress… “the Gold-Standard” of trade agreements before deciding she was against it just last year.

She says she wants “Universal Health care”, but then spent the two weeks leading up to the Iowa Caucus to attack Bernie Sanders for advocating a “Single Payer Universal Health Care system”, even going as far as to say Single-Payer will “never ever” happen, continuing to suggest a President Sanders would dismantle The Affordable Care Act before replacing it with an entirely new system built from scratch. She has been attacking Sanders on his support of some seemingly “pro-gun” legislation, singling out a vote to “allow firearms on Amtrak” trains. But she is knowingly committing the sin of omission by leaving out the fact that the law only permits firearms to be transported as “checked luggage” in the baggage compartment or trains, not carried around by passengers (Sanders comes from a rural state and hunters needed to be able to ship their weapons with them while traveling.) And during the New Hampshire debate, she made the disingenuous (and wholly Conservative) accusation that Bernie’s health care plan “would cost over a trillion dollars” (it wouldn’t.) As I pointed out above regarding her 2014 attack on Obama, Hillary has never been afraid to adopt Republican talking points to attack fellow Democrats for personal gain.

While touting her desire for “Clean Energy” to fight Global Warming, the Clinton campaign has yet to reveal her position on Fracking (even attending a fundraiser two weeks before Iowa in the headquarters of a major investor in Fracking) and her SuperPAC’s website brags about “Clinton’s aggressive pro-fracking record” [ibid]. When told her campaign received $150,000 from the oil & gas industry, she plead ignorance.

Most polls seem to indicate Clinton has the “African-American vote locked up”, in great part due to her husband being bestowed the label of “our first black president” for addressing minority issues. But Hillary may not be so worthy of their unquestioned support. During the 2008 race, she was the only candidate who refused to “retroactively reduce/repeal extended penalties of those convicted of using ‘crack’ cocaine vs ‘powdered’.” and she is presently only willing to consider “more research” on the legalization of medical marijuana despite a “sentencing disparity” that disproportional affects African-Americans. She opposes raising the Minimum Wage to $15/hour (only willing to go to $12) which affects more minorities than whites. And one might also wonder why the Private Prison industry is raising cash for the Clinton campaign (private prisons push for more & more “minimum sentencing” laws to fill up the prisons… and their coffers)… the scourge of African American voters.

In 2008, as the race tightened between her and then-Senator Obama, her attacks became more personal. I noted in the intro how she suggested John McCain was more ready to be president than Barack Obama… not once but twice, first stating McCain had more experience, and then dismissing Obama’s qualifications as nothing more than a speech he gave in 2002.” This is the same person now bemoaning criticism from Senator Sanders as “personal attacks”, and how “disappointed” she is that he has resorted to them. But as we are presently seeing, it appears she is quick to resort to misleading attacks and disparaging the character of her opponent as she sees the possibility of the presidency slipping away. I have no qualms against a “fighter”, but please don’t take pages from the Conservative playbook to do it (see: “Amtrak” above.)

Hillary IS a “Progressive”, though not exactly a strong “Liberal”. Her civil rights bona fides go back to 1972, when she investigated school discrimination in Dothan, Ala., for the Children’s Defense Fund. In 1980, she condemned prisoner abuses in Arkansas prior to her husband becoming governor. She had a “75% lifetime rating” with the ACLU prior to the 2008 election (though it took a bit of a nose-dive to just 67% in 2007 as she campaigned against Barack Obama for president (I’ll let you decide if that means anything.) Both she & Sanders have a 100% rating with NARAL Pro-Choice America and (while Senator) she had an 89% rating with the “Human Rights Campaign” (who endorsed her over Sanders with a 100% lifetime rating.) “Crowdpac”, the voter education website, rated Hillary at “6.5L” (or 65% Liberal) behind O’Malley (6.7L) and Sanders “7.6L” (for reference, Trump has a “0.4L” rating and Ted Cruz rates “9.5C”… 95% Conservative rating.)

Early last year, when people like me were urging Senator Sanders to enter the race, the thinking was “even if it is futile… with a Clinton victory already appearing inevitable… the idea of her running unopposed with no one there to push her to the Left was a distressing thought.” If nothing else, a competitive campaign would be good Debate-Prep for the General election. The last thing anyone wants is for their candidate to go in cold, having not participated in a “real” debate in nearly eight years. Simply forcing Hillary… with her Conservative tendencies… to track Left has already been a huge victory for the Sanders campaign.

Now, if it turns out Hillary wins the DNC nomination, as I stated in the intro, I will vote for her. I’m hoping my saying that doesn’t work against Sanders with people thinking the safe vote is Hillary since Bernie supporters have promised they’ll vote for her anyway. Bernie was right at the pre-New Hamphire debate last Friday that “both of us are 100x better on our worst day than anyone on the other side”, and the next president may end up nominating as many as THREE Supreme Court Justices (at least two of whom would be from the Liberal wing of the court.) I have FAR more faith in a President Hillary nominating a Progressive justice than a lunatic like Ted Cruz or Donald Trump. Even the seemingly benign Marco Rubio has repeated his support for a “fetal personhood Amendment that would outlaw many forms of birth control and turn every miscarriage into a murder investigation.

Before Clinton supporters start attacking me, I’ve backed up every accusation with links & sources. I invite you to draw your own conclusions.
 


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GOP’s Slide Toward Fascism Has Become Impossible To Ignore
Dec 14th, 2015 by Admin Mugsy

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As a Democrat, the obvious Republican shift towards “Corporatism” for the past 15 years has been painfully obvious. For years, it has been a struggle just to avoid violating “Godwin’s Law” against using Nazi analogies in a political debate with Conservatives. But just as the election of our first black president allowed so many closet-racists to finally be openly racist by hiding behind “politics”, the rise of corporate mogul Donald Trump to become the GOP’s indomitable front-runner has made the GOP’s shift towards Fascism impossible to ignore. Donald Trump first exposed the root racism hiding within the GOP during the 2008 presidential campaign. His first foray into politics was to question Barack Obama’s eligibility for president, questioning his place of birth, suggesting he was/is actually “a secret Muslim” born in Kenya (a suggestion he still makes to this day). So began Trump’s political career, with a race-baiting fueled attack against the first black president. And Republicans are suddenly appalled by his racist comments about Muslims? Please. Within a few months, the “TEA-Party” was born, showing up at “ObamaCare” protests waving signs depicting the president as a witch-doctor (complete with bone in the nose). (I know. I can hear you already: “Racism isn’t all there is to Fascism.” I know, bear with me, I’ve barely begun.) I have no doubt you, dear reader, already know that Mussolini famously called Fascism “Corporatism”, noting how it was a mixture of corporate power & politics. The GOP’s front-runner is a corporate mogul egomaniac whom is using hate & bigotry to stir up his supporters.

Trump began his 2015 political campaign by promising to “round up & deport” over 20 million undocumented Mexican Immigrants AND their U.S. born citizen children, and building a giant wall on the Mexican border (at Mexico’s expense.) But Trump wasn’t the first to vilify Mexican immigrants. In 2008, the GOP Presidential nominee John McCain ran ads of him walking the Mexican border with a Texas sheriff demanding we “Build the danged fence.” Following the terrorist attacks in Paris last month, anti-Muslim rhetoric exploded on the Right with nearly all of the GOP candidates in a 15-way fight to see who could be the most xenophobic. Then the terrorist attack by an Muslim-American couple in San Bernardino, CA two weeks ago only ratcheted up the anti-Muslim rhetoric to new heights. GOP candidates feigning being appalled by Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric aren’t exactly pure on the subject themselves. Jeb Bush… walking a tightrope between trying to appear compassionate towards the Syrian Refugees while trying not to offend the anti-Muslim bigots in his Party said he would allow in only “Christian” refugees (logistically impossible). Chris Christie said that in the current climate, he wouldn’t allow in “even Muslim orphans under the age of five” into the country. Donald Trump decided to go The Full Hitler by demanding that all American Muslims be “registered, forced to carry special ID cards,” and that we “put all mosques under surveillance.” Not to be outdone, Marco Rubio went even further, saying we should not just surveil mosques, but shutdown ANYPLACE Muslims congregate… including restaurants & cafes. But when The Public… followed by the critics… followed by The Media… followed by the GOP itself… was aghast by Trump’s comments and started to openly condemn him, only THEN did those same GOP competitors… who just called for the exclusion & surveillance of Muslims themselves… denounce Trump for his “un-American” comments about Muslims. This *really is* how Republicans feel. The only reason Cruz is in 2nd place Nationally among GOP voters (and now 1st place in Iowa), is because he’s the only GOP candidate repeatedly defending Trump’s bigotry. Trump isn’t “embarrassing” the GOP, he’s EXPOSING IT for the “racist, pro-corporatetax-cuts for the rich“, cut services to the poor, vilify minorities and those of differing religions Party that it has become. And I have now found it impossible to avoid pointing out the GOP’s obvious descent into Fascism and the Republican Party’s appetite for that kind of rhetoric.

While many Republicans are now openly using “The F-Word” (Fascist) to describe Trump, plenty more dare not, insisting that “Trump does not reflect the majority views of the GOP”. But the truth is clear: between them, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz represent nearly half… 49 percent… of the GOP:
 

Trump/Cruz hold 49% of GOP

 

…and the rest of the GOP field isn’t exactly in total disagreement with Trump on “the issues” because if they do, they risk alienating 65% of Conservative voters:
 


Trump’s poll numbers among GOP voters go UP after announcing his Muslim ban:
65% of GOP supports Trump's ban
 


(video link if above does not play)


 

The ancient Greek philosopher Plato, in his masterwork “Republic”, pointed out that the easiest way to spot the flaws in something is to magnify it. For example: Is it okay to steal a loaf of bread if you’re hungry? What if everyone if the city did it? Would it still be okay? Trump IS that magnification of the GOP. The latent racism, xenophobia, love of money  and “Cafeteria Christian” values who cherry-pick the Bible to justify their bigotry while worshiping the Almighty… Dollar. It’s all there in the majority of Conservatives, and why Trump has long held a 20+ percent lead Nationally over his next closest rival… another bomb-thrower named Ted Cruz whom… even when he (rarely/barely) criticizes “The Donald”, still finds time to kiss his ass:
 

The Establishment’s only hope: Trump & me in a cage match.

Sorry to disappoint — @realDonaldTrump is terrific. #DealWithIt@TedCruz

 

Former Trump supporters that are growing concerned by his questionable comments and lack of discipline are shifting their allegiance to “Trump-lite” Ted Cruz, the “Tea Party” darling who not only bears a striking resemblance to Joe McCarthy, but made his Senatorial debut by announcing that he “has a list of Communists who have infiltrated Harvard Law”, doesn’t get the point of Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs & Ham”, and jokes about “carpet-bombing the Middle-East till we know “if sand glows in the dark.”

TheWeek” magazine asked the “Trump/Fascist?” question as well last week (and you know what they say: “If you have to ask the question…”). Those who defended Trump against comparisons to Hitler or Mussolini compared Trump to those men at the height of their power, not during their rise to power. The GOP’s “sky-is-falling” rhetoric, preying on peoples fears, hyping that fear until common sense is tossed out the window, rallying around men who promise “greatness” once again, blaming all of societies problems on “inferior classes of people” and those of a particular religion… sound familiar?

As if to drive the point home, just below the aforementioned column where Republicans “pish-tosh” suggestions of the GOP descending into fascism, in an “Only-in-America” box, Alabama state Congressman Alan Harper warns his constituents not to shop at “anti-Christian owned” convenience stores because the owners are “using their profits to fund terrorism.” (Remind me again: How much oil do we buy from the Middle-East each day?) He concluded with a “Merry Christmas” and “God Bless”. Call me crazy, but something tells me his “Merry Christmas” is NOT being offered with love in his heart. Harper suffered no damage due to his comments, with the state GOP refusing to even take away his seat as Chairman of the State Board of Tourism (no, I’m not making that up.) “Welcome to Alabama! No, not you! Go back where you came from!”

In the 1930’s, the German people didn’t have a “Hitler” reference to look to to see what was coming and try to avoid going down that path. Today’s GOP does not have that excuse.

ADDENDUM: Trump asks his supporters to report on their neighbors. ‘Most likely you’ll be wrong, but that’s OK’, says Trump.

In George Orwell’s classic novel “1984” about a Fascist-controlled England, he described a government-mandated daily ritual known as 2-minutes of hate” where citizens stood and screamed at images of their enemies broadcast over video screens in their home, stoking Nationalism and hatred towards the people they are told to hate (and love for “Big Brother” who promises to protect them from those enemies). In today’s GOP, we have Fox News and Conservative (Hate) Talk Radio broadcasting that “2-minutes of hate” 24/7. In the novel, the job of the main character was to “eliminate unnecessary words from the dictionary” under the guise of “efficiency” but was actually a means of keeping people dumb with no words to express themselves. Today, we have Conservatives that want to eliminate the Department of Education and promote “home schooling” (where unqualified parents that lack basic math & science skills choose to teach their children theology as science.)

I find it fascinating that the same people who fear Bernie Sanders because they think “Socialist” means he’s a Nazi, are flocking to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz with their fascist rhetoric.

“Godwin’s Law” be damned, this is who the GOP is now. They are quite literally devolving into the Nazi Party. #DealWithIt.
 

Postscript: If you’ve never seen it, this ABC “After-school Special” entitled “The Wave” aired in 1981 (and remade into a German feature film in 2008) based on the amazing true story of a California high school classroom experiment on fascism in 1967 that went horribly awry. If you have a spare 44 minutes, WATCH THIS MOVIE! It explains a lot:
 

 


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Home of the Brave? Govs & Congress Terrified of Refugees. GOP Front-runners Channel… you know who.
Nov 23rd, 2015 by Admin Mugsy

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Following the Paris attacks, if anyone had just cause to fear strangers from a war zone entering their country, it was the French. Instead, they said to the world, “We will not be intimidated!” and recommitted themselves to accepting 30 Thousand additional Syrian Refugees (which, as I pointed out last week, is a very smart move.) Meanwhile, cowardly Republicans (and a handful of Democrats), in Congress, in governorship’s… and EVERY GOP candidate for president… who once ridiculed The French as cowardly for not supporting President Bush’s unwarranted invasion of Iraq… is now quaking in their boots over the possibility that some of these “wretched refuse” might actually be secret Daesh (ISIS) infiltrators sneaking into the country to do us harm. “Home of the brave”? Hardly. These terrified piss-ants have telegraphed to the world that we are so cowardly we’ll turn our backs on everything our nation once stood for out of fear of what Daesh might do to us. Accepting the Refugees would be a sign of STRENGTH. So what does turning them away tell the world? Worse, what does it confirm to the Refugees themselves about everything Daesh has told them about us? That we “hate & fear Muslims.” That we are “at war with Islam.” That Americans are “cowards” & “hypocrites”.

And if that weren’t bad enough, the extreme political neophytes leading the GOP presidential race appear to be channeling… of all people (with apologizes to Godwin) Adolf Hitler. Donald Trump wants a national databaseto start… of every Muslim living in the United States, forced to carry ID while we put every Mosque under surveillance. And how does he intend to pull off yet another Herculean task of rounding up every person of a particular ethnicity for identification/registration? “Management” [ibid].

Ben Carson, no slouch himself when it comes to dehumanizing people so that he can demonize them, compared the Syrian refugees to “rabid dogs” (now, he’ll say he was only calling Daesh rabid dogs, but he draws no distinction between the Refugees and Daesh to justify turning his very “Christian” back on people in need. Carson & Trump both believe we should bring back “waterboarding“… a particularly worthless & time-consuming means of obtaining information. Upon whom will we be subjecting these torture techniques? We don’t have any ISIS prisoners in our custody. France isn’t likely to turn over their own… not that it would matter since none of them were Syrians to begin with. So WHY exactly do we need to bring back waterboarding?

Ted Cruz took personal offense to President Obama saying all the GOP candidates are terrified of fleeing “women & children”. Says a swaggering Ted Cruz to the TV cameras, “Come and tell that to my face.” If Obama won’t, I will. You’re a terrified, bed-wetting coward and an embarrassment, Mr. Cruz. You’re a frightened little child whose racist xenophobia is endangering the security of this country, and if you can’t see that, you have no business even looking at the White House let alone running it. You’re calling out President Obama for calling you a coward. Well, he’s not the one soiling his shorts over a few refugees. Where’s your “Freedom Fries” now, tough guy?

Meet the Press included an incredible “Nerdscreen” segment yesterday:
 

Hysteria over Refugee “threat” unfounded (2:15)

 

As Chuck Todd points out in the video, “Since 9/11 (14 years ago), only 1/1000th of a percent of foreign refugees have been arrested on suspicion of terrorist activities.” Adding that “there are FAR easier ways to enter the U.S.” than to subject ones self to the Refugee process for months (if not years) with less than a one percent chance of successfully entering the country. And as the Paris attacks demonstrated, “the terrorists” are far more successful at convincing willing locals already in the country to do their bidding. NONE of the Paris bombers were Syrian or Iraqi citizens. They were ALL European Nationals. How do we know? Beside the fact we know their identities, the fact they didn’t attack THE freaking EIFFEL TOWER… the most recognized French landmark there is, confirms it. I mean, if you were going to travel 1,000 miles to attack Paris, wouldn’t the most obvious target be the Eiffel Tower? Not if you’re a local to whom it’s “no big deal.”

The GOP has become a national embarrassment. The same cowardice they once attributed to The French are now being shamed by the bravery & wisdom of those same French people. Meanwhile, their stark-raving terror of “Muz’lums” has them calling for more “papers please” laws, ID badges, registration of anyone of a particular religion and putting houses of worship under surveillance… all the while turning their backs on a community that could help us the most, potentially turning them into enemies.
 


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