This is What Democracy Looks Like

Weekend Madman

Friday-Sunday, January 27-29, 2006

 

A Thought
Having Republicans run the government, which they do not believe in, is like having atheists in charge of churches.
-David W.



Today's Bush Quote in the Lead

"If you've retired, you don't have anything to worry about -- third time I've said that. (Laughter.) I'll probably say it three more times. See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda. (Applause.)"
-GW Bush


Tell them it's propaganda, promise to tell them three more times, and they applaud.

"Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth."—F.D.R.

I forget that Junior actually said that. Now, can we catapult the lying criminal Bush-itas.

-Robert Scardapane



The Truth, Big Brother and "G"lobal "W"arming

Just to start this off on the right foot, Dr. James E. Hansen is, what one might call, a genius. Hansen is the longtime director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space studies and is arguable the foremost authority on climate change in the world. He even knows more about climate change than fiction writer Michael Crichton! That being said, one might want to hear what Dr. Hansen has to say about the future of our planet and the causes and corrections necessary to make it habitable for the coming generations. One might want this if one weren't part of the "G"lobal "W"arming Bush administration, that is. The question is why would Bush, Dick "Go <F---> Yourself" Cheney and their minions want to silence the good doctor?

"He (Hansen) really is not about concerning himself with whose administration is in charge, whether it's Republicans, Democrats or whatever. He's a pretty down-the-road conservative independent-minded person.

"What he cares deeply about is being a scientist, his research, and I think he feels a true obligation to be able to talk about that in whatever fora are offered to him."
-Mark R. Hess, director of public affairs for the Goddard Space Flight Center


In other words, Dr. Hansen, who is THE TOP CLIMATE SCIENTIST at NASA is non-political. He has disagreed with the Bush political machine on climate change, and has even said that he would vote for John Kerry, obviously hoping for a (climate) change in the right direction. Conversely, he has had run-ins with other politicians and political appointees, including environment-friendly Al Gore. The man obviously calls it like he sees it, and that, in itself, is refreshing.

(In 2004, Dr. Hansen feels that government-employed scientists are being "muzzled" by the Bush administration and that he was going to vote for Kerry come election day.)

This past December, James Hansen called for a prompt reduction in the emissions of greenhouse gasses which AN OVERWHELMING MAJORITY of CLIMATE SCIENTISTS have LINKED to GLOBAL WARMING. Unless you're somehow tied to the oil industry, say, like President Bush, Dick Cheney or Condoleezza Rice, you might want to actually listen to Dr. Hansen over Michael Crichton. (By the way, if anyone wants to take a look at the footnotes included in Crichton's book "State of Fear", you'll notice that the majority of "research" the "made for TV" novelist obtained was predominately from one reported source.)

Since that last lecture, the White House has been attempting to shut the good doctor up. He will have none of that. "Directives" were sent via phone calls so as not to leave a "paper trail". (You all know how the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party feel about "paper trails", don't you? They're "unnecessary" in "directives" or "elections".)

"They feel their job is to be this censor of information going out to the public,"
-Dr. Hansen

Hey Dr. Hansen, try to stay off Wellstone Airlines when you travel. The landings can kill you and put a Republican in your spot.

"That's not the way we operate here at NASA. We promote openness and we speak with the facts."
-Dean Acosta, NASA's deputy assistant administrator for public affairs

Of course, while "speaking openly with the facts", Acosta added that policy should be left for policy makers and appointed spokesmen. In other words, political appointees spewing out the Bush administration agenda will tell US THEIR truths, regardless of what the real scientists have to say about it.

This is the kind of philosophy that brought us a Medicare Drug Bill written by the Pharmaceutical industry; an Energy bill written by Enron and others in the energy industry; and bankruptcy laws written by the Banking industry.

"To understand and protect our home planet"
-The first line of NASA's Mission Statement

"to benefit the quality of life on Earth"
-More from NASA's Mission Statement

"Global climate change may threaten our way of life"
-A statement from NASA's "Vision" Document

"Understanding the Earth’s system and its response to natural and human-induced changes"
"Enabling a safe, secure, efficient, and environmentally friendly air transportation system"
"Investing in technologies and collaborating with others to improve the quality of life and to create a more secure world"
-NASA Subheading listed under "To understand and protect our home planet"

Oddly enough, the White House's attempt at silencing Dr. Hansen and other REAL SCIENTISTS cut these missions to the bone.

There's no official "order or pressure to say shut Jim up," but ""hat doesn't mean I like this kind of pressure being applied."
-Dr. Franco Einaudi, Hansen's boss

"After that speech and the release of data by Dr. Hansen on Dec. 15 showing that 2005 was probably the warmest year in at least a century, officials at the headquarters of the space agency repeatedly phoned public affairs officers, who relayed the warning to Dr. Hansen that there would be 'dire consequences' if such statements continued, those officers and Dr. Hansen said in interviews."
-The New York Times

The "dire consequences" obviously refers only to Dr. Hansen. How about the planet itself? Aren't there going to be "dire consequences" if all we have are voluntary measures by polluters and merely a "slowing" of human controlled emissions, and not a reversal?

This is why I think the President, Vice President and all of their cronies truly have no religion. If someone has
God in their heart, surely they would want to keep HIS planet as HE left it, or better after they are gone. The Bush administration treats the Earth the way New York Jet fans treat the Meadowlands after the last home game of a 3-13 season. Garbage everywhere!

As far as interviews go, if anyone wants to talk to Dr. Hansen, and they go through NASA's Public Relations Department in Maryland, they'll simply get a flat-out "NO". When an N.P.R. (National Public Radio) producer asked for the interview, that was the response

"the most liberal" media outlet,
-George Deutsch, a new (as in GOP) public affairs officer at NASA in
Maryland, according to Leslie McCarthy, a public affairs officer at the Goodard Institute in New York, where Dr. Hansen works

Deutsch's boss, that same Dean Acosta who believe that political appointees should have more say in climate policy that NASA scientists said that Deutsch never used the "L" word about N.P.R. Deutsch, himself, wouldn't comment referring all interview requests to Acosta.

"Why am I going to go out of my way to make this up and back up Jim Hansen? I don't have a dog is this race. And what does Hansen have to gain?"
-McCarthy, after being called a liar
by Acosta

I wonder what would have happened if Fox news had asked for the interview with James Hansen. maybe it would have gone something like this"

BRIT HUME: So Dr. Hansen, it says here that you're a Communist. What have you got to say for yourself?
DR. JAMES E. HANSEN: I'm not a Communist. I'm a scientist.
HUME: A scientist, eh? Do you believe in Intelligent Design?
HANSEN: What? I'm a physicist. I work for NASA.
HUME: So, you don't believe in God, you Commie bastard? I bet you love Osama bin-Laden too. Where were oyu on September 11, 2001?
HANSEN: What are you talking about?
HUME: A confused, gay-loving commie muslim... Thank you for your time, Dr. Hansen, (under his breath) you heathen. This is Brit Hume... SIG HEIL! (nazi salute)

"He's not trying to create a war over this, but really feels very strongly that this is an obligation we have as federal scientists, to inform the public, and this kind of attempted muzzling of the science community is really rather dangerous. If we just accept it, then we're contributing to the problem."
-Larry D. Travis, Dr. Hansen's deputy at Goddard

According to Travis, Ms. McCarthy also received a verbal beating from Deutsch about keeping a better handle on Hansen.

Isn't it amazing what could happen when someone actually stands up against the Bush White House? It's simply a gang mentality that treats honesty with contempt and blind loyalty and faith to the "cause" with reward. It is safer, in the Bush regime, to view the truth as an "enemy of the state" and to give in to the abuses of the power that the Bushies flail at them than to stand up and say that the "Emperor has no clothes".

Similar to what the Bush administration is trying to do to NASA scientists is what happened to NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). Whereas in the past, all those seeking interviews with NOAA scientists had to do was to place a phone call, today there needs to be a public relations official (a "handler") on the line to "listen in".

Big Brother is truly watching you, NOAA and NASA scientists.

Who else is her watching?

-Noah Greenberg

(most quotes and the idea of the article were taken from the New York Times Online, Saturday, January 28, 2006)



More "Chutzpah" From the White House

"Insuring the uninsured is a fine objective, but how will this control the health costs that are hobbling our global competitiveness? Health savings accounts will increase coverage, and that's great. But they are being touted as a way to control costs, and I very much doubt that claim."
-Regina E. Herzlinger, a Harvard Business School professor

I only partially disagree with Professor Herzlinger. Insuring the uninsured is truly a fine objective, this much is true. But how will Health Savings Accounts (HSA's) insure more people? People like Prof. Herzlinger must feel that giving someone a tax break will loosen up their purse strings to finally allow them to purchase their very own health care. But when reality seeps in we see a whole other likely scenario (discussed below).

"Health care purchased by an employer is done on a pretax basis, before your payroll taxes, before your income taxes. If you work for an employer who cannot afford to provide health insurance and so you go out and buy it, you have to use after-tax dollars."

"Another unfairness is that if you buy health care with your insurance, you use pretax dollars. If you pay for it out of pocket, you have to use after-tax dollars. That encourages you to insure health care events that are routine. Insurance was never created to deal with the routine."
-Allan B. Hubbard, assistant to the president for economic policy

Well, aren't Hubbard's points (both 1 and 2) the same, single, misleading point? Hey, are there any doctors at work in the White House who aren't named "McClellan?

"It's the opposite of federal control. It is patient control."
-Bush, to a group of small business owners

First, when was it ever under "federal control"? And second, just what will be in the patient's control? Whether to eat or see a doctor? Whether to pay rent or go to the emergency room? Whether to let your child die of an illness or starvation?

"Health savings accounts are brought to you by the same people who brought you the confusing, special-interest-driven Medicare prescription drug bill."
-Rep. Nancy pelosi (D-CA), House Minority Leader

"a bit of a gamble,"
-Stuart M. Butler, The Heritage Foundation's Vice President, regarding the tax break for HSA's proposed by GW

Wow... If the Heritage Foundation thinks it's "a gamble", then it must be a complete sham.

"Our medical bills are growing at over twice the rate of inflation. Rising costs are a special nightmare for our small businesses," and that "health care costs will devour more and more and more of our budget."
-President Bill Clinton, 1993

Health care costs account for one-sixth of the US economy. This means that for every six dollars an average family earns, one of them will be spent towards health care. Now imagine if you have a sick child. What do you suppose that does to those numbers?

Now, back to the "likely scenario" I mentioned earlier. Take the average American family,. for example  In relation to the Census of 2000, that family earned about $43,000 per year. In today's dollars, let's round it out to about $45,000, just to make my life a little bit easier.

So "Daddy" (I'm going with the traditional family here, boys and girls) comes home with his "enhanced" paycheck on a Friday night. His weekly pay, amounts to about $865, but he Takes home about $735. Let's say that GW's HSA scheme will remove ALL federal taxes (with the exception of the SSI and Medicare payroll tax of about $66 per week), That leaves mommy and daddy about an extra $65, or about $280 per month to pay for their health care coverage. Assuming you work for the average American employer who pays for only a part of your health care coverage today, you are probably paying more than that now simply for your "employee contribution". I want to see one, just one health care plan that will insure a family for a whole year for about $3,400. Some of you who are self-employed know that $3,400 wouldn't cut it for one-quarter of the year.

"Government policy has got to aim at the increasing cost of health care... so the government needs to address the cost."
-GW

The government needs to provide unfettered health care to the sick and well visits to doctors for everybody. The healthier we keep our citizens, the lower the cost of our health care. If an individual doesn't go to see their doctor with "that little thing growing on my back" for a simple surgical, in-office removal, that "little thing" could grow to become a huge problem. It will end up costing more for hospital visits, specialists, surgeries, and, quite possibly, that "little thing", could end up costing that person his or her life.

Now I know why the Bushies were so intent on grabbing that Social Security Trust Fund (aside from its alluring wealth). They wanted to claim, after eliminating the weekly payments, that we all had more disposable income. So with the loss of the "payroll tax" for SSI, and the "ability" to save more in taxes to purchase health care, the average American citizen would have had no retirement money and no health care in their golden years while banks, investment companies and insurers would be raking in the dough! Brilliant!

Health Care savings Accounts, or HSA's are just another way of "making government small enough to drown it in the bathtub". The problem with smaller government is that it relies on a market strategy to take care of its less fortunate. We all see who wins and who loses when corporations have to decide between profits and people (profits do, if you were wondering). Much like the Social Security Privatization scheme which was "suggested" by investment companies, and the energy bill which was written by (get ready for a surprise!) the energy companies (like ENRON) and the bankruptcy bill which was written by THE BANKS, one wonders just who thought up the HSA idea. Can anyone say Health Insurers?

-Noah Greenberg



Bush, Hamas and Hate

Let's just put this in perspective a bit, shall we? With the whole world stunned and scared about a Hamas controlled Palestinian state bordering (and if they have their way, surrounding) Israel, the world asks just one thing of it: Say publicly that Israel has the right to exist.

At no other time in the world's history has the sole purpose of one nation's democratically elected ruling party been to eliminate another nation off the face of the Earth, or as Hamas, the new leaders of the Palestinian Authority say, "To drive the Zionist infidels into the sea".

What will the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world do with Israel gone? Who will they have to be the Bain of their existence with that tiny, but influential country, and, of course, all of US Jews wiped off the face of the Earth?

Peace in the Middle East begins with the Palestinian recognition and acceptance of the State of Israel. After over fifty years of trying to destroy it, it is simply time to stop. If Hamas wants to be recognized as legitimate by the world community, it is time for them to live in the world community.

I fear, however, that other Arab leaders prefer to have Israel as the central hating point. When you can control hate, it gives you the ability to control the masses. It is a way that you can divide your people for the purpose of keeping yourself in power and relevant. Religious and political leaders the world over practice carry out this strategy with great success, even here in the United States.

The practice of perpetual hate for Israel is similar to the "Divide and Conquer" philosophy of the Bush administration and religious leaders like Pat Robertson and Jerry Farwell. It is also what Osama bin-Laden preaches. Find a hate focal point, such as Israel, if in the Arab world, or Gays and Pro-Choice women here in Bush-Ville, then attack that center. Make it so there can be no compromise on the issue. Make is so that "either you're with US or again' US". make it patriotic to hate and taunt and steal and judge.

Osama bin-Laden learned well from the Bush administration. He saw what dividing the people of the United States along religious lines has meant for the Right Wing, ultra-rich elitist agenda. Before the attacks of 9/11, the destruction of Israel was a minor point in his rhetoric. Now he uses it as a rallying point to help stir up support for his cause in the middle east. In case you don't remember, bin-Laden originally just wanted US troops out of Saudi Arabia. Believe it or not, while fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980's we actually supplied him with weapons and training through the CIA. And just why are our bases in Saudi Arabia? Well to protect Bandar Bushes middle eastern brothers, the House of Saud from the likes of Osama bin-Laden, of course. Hate keeps bin-Laden string and hate keeps GW in office.

So I say to the new leaders of the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, keep you minds open because your first move will be your most important move for years to come.

-Noah Greenberg



... and More from Robert

Democracy is growing in the middle east. In some places that is a scary thought. For example, the Bush administration is pushing for Egypt to become a more Democratic place.
***

The Bush-itas called for a second political party in Egypt. Well, they got their wish - the second party is the Islamic Brotherhood! Junior is succeeding magnificently at radicalizing the region. Freedom is on the run in Middle East.

-Robert Scardapane



Killing Us With the Global Economy

The rich and powerful are holding their yearly meeting at Davos, Switzerland to set the ground rules of the "global economy". Those rules are designed for precisely one global citizen - the multi-national corporation. Both political parties in our nation are devotees of Milton Friedman's Chicago School of Economics that preaches the mantra of free enterprise and free trade. The difference between the parties is that Democrats hand out Band-Aids to the walking wounded while Republicans hand out platitudes.

All in all, I rather get the Band-Aid! But, until one of our political parties is willing to part company with the assumptions of Milton Friedman nothing much will change.

-Robert Scardapane



A Letter From The "Other Side"

The following was sent to comments@nationalview.org. It is being published verbatim. No judgment is being made by me (Noah Greenberg) about this letter. I leave it to you all to judge. However, please note my response to Dan below (note: I did not change a thing including grammar or spelling, I thought it best to leave this letter "as is."):

Lie's

You people are so stupid(not ignorant)---STUPID!!!!!!! You hate President Bush so much that you are willing to sacrifice every citizen in this country for the right to control the mind’s of the people and make it a HITLER LIKE COUNTRY. You people are the dangerous one’s and you play to the people that don’t keep up with what is going on, I do, as do many other’s, THANK GOD! I have gut’s enough to say what I think and you bunch of pansie’s all wear pantie’s(not to downplay a woman’s role in society, that’s what they wear) as do many of the men today because of the the thing’s they are taught by academia. Get a life or you may wake up one morning with a nuke in your backside. All the peace love dove will not save your stupid --- if we are infiltrated with enough of these terroist that want to KILL US(YOU INCLUDED). SO, get off your propaganda stool and get with the program and tell the people of this country what is going on in the most responsible way. You don’t have it in you. If we are ever invaded inside our border’s, I would almost gurantee that you bedwetter’s would be the first to go because you are weak. Love will not conquer these ANIMAL’S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They have a demented outlook on life and you and your follower’s as well as myself and other’s that may believe as I do, are in the sight’s of these misguided HEATHERN’S. That is what they have been and alway’s will be{especially since people like yourself give aid and comfort to them in your voice and print]. That’s all I have to say about this ,except; Make sure your bottom pucker’s tightly should the afore mentioned ever happen so you won’t lose your innard’s. Thank’s for giving me the opportunity to respond and may GOD bless and enlighten the misguided people in this country. Quit telling lie’s.

-Dan

Madman's Response

 

This is an automated response from www.nationalview.org and Today's Note from a Madman

Thank you for subscribing to Today's Note from a Madman. We hope you enjoy the free and open forum provided for you to express your thoughts and ideas to a mostly progressive audience. Your reply to Madman will appear in its entirety in Weekend Madman.

Sincerely,
Noah Greenberg



Media Madman
No News is "NO" News


Where is Patrick Fitzgerald and why have we heard nothing further about Rove and Libby? As far as MSNBC and Larry King on CNN are concerned, the biggest news story is that newlywed who fell overboard on the cruise ship is still dead, as well as that girl in Aruba. The American people will get what they deserve, unfortunately.

-Pat Thompson



Coincidence or Strategy?

Bush has nominated Chief Prosecutor, Noel Hillman, to the federal bench. Why is this important? Because Hillman is (was) the chief prosecutor for the Justice Department’s integrity division and the person in charge of the investigation of Abramoff. As a result, Prosecutor Hillman has stepped down from his involvement in the Abramoff case.

What happens when you take the most knowledgeable person off a case and replace with someone that has to come up to speed? Is it believable that the transition will be seamless and that an impartial person will take Hillman’s place. The Justice Department would have us believe that this departure will not affect the investigation.

This has prompted Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) to say that the timing of Hillman’s nomination “jaundices this whole process” and called for the appointment of a special prosecutor. Scott McClellan, White House spokesman, tried to suggest there were no politics involved and ask us to believe the unbelievable – coincidence. Sorry Scotty, “no politics involved” is the last possible explanation from an administration where everything is strategic and political.

I ask, if it were the middle of a competitive Super Bowl game would a coach ever pull their best, most seasoned, reliable, and crucial player and replace with someone new? This is an easy question to answer without a thought. Why would it be anything different to remove the most valuable player from the Abramoff case? No sane person would do this unless they were magnificently incompetent, naïve, stupid, or it was a double cross.

Colleagues at the Justice Department say Mr. Hillman has been involved in day-to-day management of the Abramoff investigation since it began almost two years ago.

"Mr. Hillman would be temporarily succeeded as head of the public integrity office by Andrew Lourie, a career prosecutor in Florida." Wonder if he is connected to Jeb or other Florida republicans (ala Schiavo, Gore v. Bush, Kathryn Harris, etc.)? Another unfolding story to watch.

-Casey Sweet



In response to "the "Choice" debate, Pat Thompson writes:

In the early 70's, there was a procedure called "menstrual extraction". If a woman missed her regular menstrual period, and did not wish to become pregnant, she could have a menstrual extraction, which was not surgery, and involved a plastic tube and suction. Her menstrual blood and any microscopic embryo were evacuated. She was no more than two weeks pregnant if she kept good track of her monthly cycle. Some women's groups were even providing self extraction kits. It appears that as abortion was legalized, clinics opened, it became big business and later and later abortions were done. Today, the "morning after" pill would provide the same service. Or RU-496, the European abortion pill. A recently fertilized ovum would not implant.

This is far, far removed from the image of aborting, killing a live 6 month fetus, that might live outside the womb. There is no reason for partial birth abortion. And no reason for Democrats to support "abortion on demand". As President Clinton said, "abortion should be rare, but safe". And the rate did go down during his presidency. The Democratic Party should not lose all of the good people who would not be Republicans if it wasn't for this issue. It is very hard to think of a mother killing an unborn child, or a society that would allow it. It is reasonable to provide many kinds of birth control, including very quick methods for after unprotected sex.


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-Noah Greenberg