This is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Today's Quote in the Lead

“In retrospect it looks like I got off easy,”
-Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), jokingly referring to
Cheney’s accidental shooting of his buddy and campaign contributor, Harry Whittington

He never thought he’d say it, but Sen. Leahy no longer thinks it’s such a big deal that Vice President Cheney told him to go you-know-what himself on the Senate floor last year.

Considering what happened to poor Harry Whittington (who remained in stable condition yesterday) this past weekend, Cheney’s "shot" at Leahy could have been a lot worse.

-Forwarded by Victoria Brownworth

Throwing Good Money After Bad

What could you do with almost $7 billion a month? Could we make sure every child in the US gets a good education? Could we make sure every American who needs to see a doctor gets the opportunity to actually see a doctor? Could we create a real jobs and job training program that would, eventually, employ every American who wants a job? Could we do all of the above at the same time? Maybe so.

What ARE we doing with almost $7 billion a month instead? We are financing a never-ending war whose self-perpetuilty (I really have no idea if I used the word right, but it sounded good) seems to be meant for the profit of those who we call the "haves", and George W. Bush calls his "base".

President Bush is asking for an additional $72.4 billion for "emergency funding" that wasn't included in the his new budget proposal.

"Emergency Funding?" Are the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan a surprise to the Bush administration? Does GW actually believe his Vice President Dick "Go <F---> Yourself Cheney" when he says the insurgents are in their "last throes"?

"This request provides the resources necessary ... so the Coalition can continue to hand over control of more territory to Iraqi forces,"
-GW in asking for the extra war money

Wasn't this war supposed to finance itself?

“Well, the Office of Management and Budget, has come up come up with a number that's something under $50 billion for the cost."
“I don’t know that there is much reconstruction to do.”
"Iraq has oil. They have financial resources.”
-Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld

"Iraq, unlike Afghanistan, is a rather wealthy country. Iraq has tremendous resources that belong to the Iraqi people. And so there are a variety of means that Iraq has to be able to shoulder much of the burden for their own reconstruction.”
-Then White House Press sEcretary Ari Fleischer

“There’s a lot of money to pay for this that doesn’t have to be U.S. taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi peoplw… We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.”
-Paul Wolfowitz, the architect of the Iraq war

Initially there was $8.8 billion dollars of "Iraqi oil money" that just seemed to vanish into thin air. POOF! Then we see the profits of Halliburton, the number one war profiteer increase by over 200 percent in the past couple of years.

Hey... Doesn't Dick Cheney still own stock in Halliburton? What a coincidence!

I know all of the reasons the Right Wingers says not to leave Iraq. My favorite is "we can't cut and run". The truth is we need to take care of our own here at home. We need to leave Iraq, if for no other reason because we simply can't afford it anymore.

(Not to mention the great loss of the lives of our American Children. The Bushies don't like to talk about that.)

Yes, you were right, former Secretary of State Colin Powell... We broke it and now we bought it.

Where's the return department?

-Noah Greenberg

Media Madman
Fox: Trapped by Its Own Facts

Fox News bit its own ass with two polls. In one poll, Fox viewers stated conclusively that the United States would be better off with Democrats in office. In the second poll, viewers went down the list of issues and chose which party aligned more closely with their opinions. Surprise! It's Dems again in a landslide!

Fox News Live had a Republican and a Democratic strategist on and tried all sorts of semantic acrobatics to turn this into a negative for the Democratic party. ("But the Dems admitted they're having trouble articulating a cohesive platform -- are the Democrats in trouble??" ... "But Hillary Clinton is the most visible Democrat in Congress, and more Fox News viewers strongly dislike her than strongly like her -- are the Democrats in trouble??") After sparring weakly with the Democratic strategist, anchor Gregg Jarrett turned to the Conservative talking head and did something very telling. He asked "is it bad news for your party, the GOP," and then, with a sarcastic, apologetic smirk, "I'm trying to be 'fair and balanced' here..."

After a rather flaccid attempt to spin its own poll, that came as a blatant acknowledgement of what a joke FNN's claim to "fair and balanced" really is.

-David W.

A Woman's Choice

Late-term abortions--third trimester abortions--are NOT "on demand" as one post claimed. in fact they are, according to the specifics of Roe-v. Wade, EXTREMELY difficult to get, requiring a panel of doctors and psychiatrists to determine that the life of the mother is involved in nearly all cases. What woman/girl would choose a late stage abortion?

i was diagnosed with cancer during a pregnancy. I chose to continue with the pregnancy and defer treatment, against my doctors' wishes. But at the end of the second trimester my health deteriorated to the point where both I and the baby were at risk of death. Unfortunately my baby was still-born and I had to have an induction to expell the now-dead baby.

Those who oppose late=stage abortion (which this fell under) would have had me carry the dead baby another two months--riskingwhat remained of my health and exacerbating my grief.

About half of late stage abortions (around 1,100 are performed in the US each year) are like this: the baby is either already dead, or has been found to be brainless (anencephalic). nearly all the others involve risk to the mother's health. often a woman has to decide to do this in order to be able to have another healthy child.

It's a terribly painful, hideous experience. The idea that babies are just randomly being "tossed in the trash can" is just not accurate. It frankly distorts the picture of abortion regardless of which side of the debate one is on, because late stage abortion is far more threatening to the life of the mother than giving birth.

I wanted my child. I was devastated by the loss as are most women in the terrible position I was in.

I personally believe abortion is wrong--that it is killing. it is not a choice I could make for myself. But I can't make that choice for another woman, even though it would be my hope and prayer that she would choose to have her baby.

-Victoria Brownworth

Maybe I was Wrong

(Maybe even Probably)


The following two responses oppose my views on the Paul Hackett affair in Ohio. I print both as they were sent to me because they oppose my views. The problem with them isn't that they oppose what I had written, but in the fact that they make as much sense to me as my own points do. I rushed to write an article without thinking through the whole issue and, although my point may be right, so may the opposing views. I don't know if Paul Hackett was telling the truth, but I assume that he is. Likewise, I don't know anything much about Rep. Brown, but I should. In the next week, I'm going to research the race between Senator Mike DeWine (R-OH) and Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-OH). I hope I do it justice. -NG


In response to "The problem with the old Democratic Party", Robert Chapman writes:

The problem with the Democrats is that no one has the guts to be loyal and arm wrestle the GOP out of their positions of power.

Karl Rove would not have let Paul Hackett slip by? Maybe, is Paul Hackett running for office as a Republican?

Winning an election is one thing, coming in second against a neophyte in an off year special election is something all together different. I have spent a few minutes reading comments about Hackett's resignation as a Senatorial candidate in the Washington Post and in this paper.

There seems to be a strong idea that Chuck Schumer somehow forced Hackett out of the race and that Hackett in a show of righteous indignation and disgust has dropped out of politics. Here in New York, we have a word for guys who pull stuff like that : the family version of it is wimp.

Von Klausewitz had it wrong, war is not an extension of politics, politics is war itself. Politics is the authoritative distribution of scarce resources. That means politics is where the big boys do their pushing and shoving.

Paul Hackett just didn't have the stomach for it. That is not the Democratic party's fault.

As for Cindy Sheehan, do you really want an unqualified egoist like her writing laws for you? She had a role and she could have been a historical figure of the stature of Joan of Arc. Instead she is reading her own press and attacking the opposition rather than continuing to speak truth to power.

When are people like the writer of the article above going to get it?

George W. Bush's game is divisit et impera, I used the Latin to emphasize the age old origins of the tactic: divide and conquer.

We have to stop playing into Bush's hands and attacking the opposition party, that is, the Democrats.

After the Democrats lead us into an optional war, use the defense procurement system to feather their nests, send our jobs overseas, and steal a few elections, it will be time to throw them rascals out, too.

Right now the GOP is in charge. The Republicans are running the country into the ground.

It might be easier to kick the guys who are down, but to improve things we are going to have take on the guys who are running the show.

In response to "Could you imagine if the Republicans could get a guy like Hackett in their ranks? Do you think a party hack like Brown would convince Karl "The Traitor" Rove to throw Hackett and his marketability away the way the Democrats did? I don't think so." Victoria Brownworth writes:

Well, uh, actually YES, the Republicans did EXACTLY that in 2000, but I guess America forgot, because it's always easier to slam the Democrats than attack the party of unrelieved vileness.

In 2000 the leading Republican contender for President was SEN. JOHN MC CAIN--a decorated Vietnam veteran and former POW with a long history in the Senate. And he was targeted in favor of George Bush. He was asked politely to step down, like Hackett allegedly was, but he refused. So Karl Rove suggested to the press that his wife, CIndy, was a drug addict and that the black child that McCain and his wife had adotped was actually his love child with another woman (the child wasn't).

So when you ask "can you imagine"? Not only can I imagine it, I can actually remember it. And we wonder how Americans were lured into Iraq? We can't remember yesterday.

(You know, Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is an excellent guy, just for the record.)

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-Noah Greenberg