This is What Democracy Looks Like!

Today's Note From a Madman

Monday, January 2, 2006


A Bush Quote in the Lead
The Line in the Sand

"We're working to persuade more of our fellow Americans of the rightness of our cause, and this is a cause that appeals to the conscience of our citizens and is rooted in America's deepest principles -- history tells us that with such a cause, we will prevail."
-Bush to his Religious-Right-to-the-cause-and-diversion faithful


So this is how it begins The 2006 election line has been drawn by the Bushies and they are daring good Americans to step over it. Well let me be the first to take off my shoes and socks and cross over that line. Karl "The Traitor" Rove and the rest of the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party corporatists have decided that their failures in Iraq; their fraud involvement in the with Jack Abramoff and friends; their outing of an undercover CIA operative; and their spying on their fellow Americans (not to mention their complete and utter Medicare fiasco and the impending privatization of the whole Medicare and Medicaid system known as "HSA's") are not to be the issues. Instead we are going to be fed a steady diet of Gay Marriage, a woman's right to choose and school prayer to divide and conquer US.

Let's see... Late January... The Democrats vying for Primary Position to run against weak "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party candidates... It's as good a time as any for the "Rovian" President to get his troops together in his "Crusade against the Un-Bush-Believers (US)".


This is Bush's new War: Not against Iraq or Iran or "Terror", but against those of US who could bring this country back together.

One question I have about this is how will the main stream media play this? We already know what Fox News is going to do, but hat about CBS, ABS and CNN? Are they going to allow themselves to be perverted by the almighty advertising dollar or are they, finally, going to stand up? Will the New York Times and the Washington Post hold stories at the Bush administration's request or will they be the investigative reporters who exposed The Pentagon Papers and Watergate? I quiver when I think of the more-probable downside.

There is a good chance US bloggers and Newsletter Publishers are going to have to stand up and be counted, because we are going to be counted on.

Grab your pens and papers, you Letter to the Editor writers. It's time to step over Bush and Rove's "Line in the sand".


By the way, how does it make all you you feel when George W. Bush uses the word "Principle"?

-What about the "principle" of a good, free education for every child regardless of their parents' beliefs or economic situation?

-What about the "principle" of being able to see a doctor when you are sick, without having to sell you home, car and belongings in order to afford it?

-What about the "principle" of counting every vote? Have we all forgotten about that "principle" the way the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party have?

-Noah Greenberg

"The Thin Green Line"

A report commissioned by the Pentagon says that our all-volunteer army is stretched way too thin, calling it a "thin green line" which could "snap". The report was prepared by a retired Army officer, Andrew Krepinevich under a Defense Department contract.

They needed a contract for that? Every reader of Note from a Madman knows that. Every Democrat in the Senate and the House of Representatives said that. Even most of the generals on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, when questioned have said that. I wonder how much money that report cost?

In his report, Krepinevich cited as evidence the Army's inability to recruit new forces. Gee... I guess a signing bonus of $60,000 just isn't worth risking one's life for anymore.

"You really begin to wonder just how much stress and strain there is on the Army, how much longer it can continue,"

You also have to wonder how the reservists and National Guard are holding up knowing that, not only are they being out in harm's way, but that when they get home, their jobs might be gone, along with their family's health insurance.

"Whether they're broken or not, I think I would say if we don't change the way we're doing business, they're in danger of being fractured and broken, and I would agree with that,"
-Four-Star General George Joulwan (Ret.) , former NATO commander

I guess the only way one could see the condition of the army is by leaving it. Perhaps that's the reason why recruitment is way down.

-Noah Greenberg

Abramoff's Sticky Little Fingers in Another Pie
(Is Abramoff Little JACK Horner after all?)

When the debate over prescription drug coverage picked up in the late Clinton years, the pharmaceutical lobbying group PhRMA (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association, pronounced "Farma") went so far as to establish a faux grassroots organization that putatively represented the elderly: "Citizens for a Better Medicare." Despite the lofty title, Citizens for a Better Medicare had few, if any, actual citizens on its rolls Its main activity was to spend millions of PhRMA dollars on slick ad campaigns supporting an industry-friendly drug plan. When Citizens for a Better Medicare came under fire, PhRMA switched its "grassroots" efforts over to the United Seniors Association, a conservative direct-mail organization that had cut its teeth with frightening scare letters to senior citizens. The United Seniors Association board included, among other GOP political operatives, Jack Abramoff .
-From Hacker and Pierson's book, Off Center: The Republican Revolution and the Erosion of American Democracy

Abramoff was involved in Medicare Part D! Hardly a surprise.

-Comments by Robert Scardapane, Forwarded by Robert Scardapane and Casey Sweet


Casey's Thoughts



Bush was asked by a college student yesterday why the Student Loan Program was reduced by $1 Billion and it was pathetic to hear Bush’s response that went something like this – “no I don’t think we did that (Bush snickers and snorts while the crowd laughs in knowingness)…did we? (asking an aid)…oh, we did…(snort, snicker)…well, we reduced it to make it work better blah, blah, blah …” of nonsensical talk. He rambled on with his stupid, made up answer on an important issue that 2 seconds before he wasn’t even aware of. What an embarrassment and the crowd made up of many college students was laughing and oo’ing and ah’ing the whole time in amazement. Now that is a clip for future ads!!!


Ran across some great quotes from a while back:

“Ten years ago, Republican congressional candidates like me were running as Washington outsiders promising to balance the budget and pay off the federal debt. We campaigned against the Imperial Congress and promised Americans that if we got elected, we would be different. We lied.” Joe Scarborough, “Pork,” Wall Street Journal, September 23, 2004

What a difference a decade makes. From Representative David Dreier:

“While the majority party always has the right to establish the rules and legislative agenda for the House, it should recognize the need to place responsible limits on those powers which permit all Members to fully participate in the truly deliberative process and of all the people to be fully represented in their national legislature.” Chairman Dreier and Republican Rules Committee, Congressional Record, April 21, 1993, p.H 1956.

“We have had to do some of the things we criticized once…But now that I’m in the majority, I have this responsibility to govern. It’s something I didn’t completely understand when I was in the minority.” Andrea Stone and William M. Welch, “GOP Comes Around to a Majority View,” USA Today, June 17, 2004.


Conference Report

and Final Passage on House Floor

# of Pages in Report Time between report submitted and passed on House floor Avg. amount of time per page to review before vote (in seconds)
FY03 Ominibus Appropriations 1,507 12.0 29
Dividend Tax/Reconciliation 299 3.8 45
FY04 Department of Defense Auth 898 5.0 20
Energy Bill 571 10.0 63
Prescription Drugs/Medicare 852 20.0 85
FY04 Omnibus Appropriations 1,186 6.5 20
FSC/ETI Tax Package 821 6.3 28
FY05 Department of Defense Auth 938 25.5 98
FY05 Omnibus Appropriations 1,645 7.0 16
9/11 Commission Recommendations 244 4.0 59

As an indication of how much time is spent in thoughtful, open consideration – it is scary to see how these reports were shoved through the process with barely a few seconds per page. And now we are seeing that even the miniscule 85 average seconds spend on each page of the Prescription Drug bill wasn’t even worth it! It seems the Omnibus Appropriations are the longest reports (1,645, 1,186, 1,507 pages) and receive the shortest amount of time for consideration (16 seconds, 20 seconds, 29 seconds), never mind the insufficient amounts of time for consideration of the other reports. Isn’t this where all the earmarks are? It doesn’t make me proud of the House of Representatives and I surely don’t feel like I’m getting my money’s worth in paying their salaries, rich perks, and generous retirements.

This combined with the fact that the 108th Congress was in session only 243 days, the fewest since the GOP takeover, insults all hard working Americans.


-Casey Sweet


In response to "the March for Life Rally" and it "all being choreographed to distract the press from the Abramoff, Rovegate, Katrina, Iraq, and other scandals that are squarely the domain of this Bush administration and, hence, all Republicans", Stephen J. Spiro writes:

Casey Sweet is a conspiracy-theorist. I was in Washington today to protest abortion, as I have been every almost every January for about thirty years. This is something decent people do every year; it was not staged as a distraction by the Bush/Republican gangs.

Yes, there will be anti-abortion ballot issues in many states, as there have been every year since 1973. Ms. Sweet's allegations of "choreography" by the Bush/Republican gangs are either dishonest or stupid, maybe ignorant, but that is less likely. Mr Sweet's unstated assumption that all of us who oppose the bloody-fisted baby butchers are Rebublicans is dishonest or stupid, but definitely not ignorant.

I spent the day visiting congresscritters. This year, I tried to make them aware that almost every time an underage girl gets an abortion, there is a conspiracy to conceal a statutory rape. This is serious child abuse, and hardly anyone cares. Their "boyfriends" don't want to be charged criminally, and they certainly don't want to be responsible for 18 or more years of child support! So, having seduced an underage girl, they then pressure or coerce --or seduce -- her into killing her baby. In Kansas and Indiana, the only places where the state Attorney Generals are investigating abortions on underage girls, Planned Parenthood is trying to stop them on the basis that these abused, raped girls' privacy is being violated!

I visited the offices of NJ Senators Lautenberg and Menendez, and Congressman Frank Pallone, as the head of a delegation from the Catholic Peace Fellowship in New Jersey. The Catholic Peace Fellowship is a "seamless garment" organization. We oppose war, abortion, fetal stem cell “research”, euthanasia, assisted suicide and capital punishment, and we support workers' rights, hospitality for immigrants and "the preferential option for the poor".

God bless us all!


I've printed this sentiment almost verbatim. Like I said before, this is an open forum, and it will remain so. -NG

In response to Rhian's "Never mind democracy in the middle east. Muslims only see that effort as a tool to be used against anyone they can. What we should be worried about is containment of Islam, and eradication of Islam among free societies," Victoria Brownworth writes:

This could have been written by Rev. Pat Robertson or some other right- wing ideologue or neo-con. There are those in many parts of the world--most of Europe, for example--who think the same about America and/or Christians and the same about Israel and/or Jews.

As much as I might personally abhor the gruesome and inexcusable "tactic" of suicide bombings, as much as I might cringe at seeing how women and queers are treated in Muslim society, the last time it was suggested that one religion be eradicated (Judaism and Jews) for the world to be "cleansed' of the Jewish "filth," the Holocaust (Shoah) was born.

First six million Jews--a third of the world's Jewish population--were slaughtered in the most horrifying of fashions. (The best deaths were simple gassing; Josef Mengele's medical experimentation, detailed in the Nuremberg Trials were the stuff of X-rated horror movies.) Then the "cleansing" progressed to the friends and protectors of Jews and the to other "undesirables," like Romanies (gypsies), queers, Catholics and others heretical to the Third Reich's dream of racial purity.

Events of recent years might make many of us feel queasy about Islam, but suggesting "eradication" of any group or religion is dangerous, dangerous territory. And it is absolutely not territory any thinking person should enter into. Not now, not ever.

Send your comments to: or

-Noah Greenberg