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This is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

Thursday, March 23, 2006


Quotes of the Rumsfeld

"I've avoided predicting the timing,"
-Donald Rumsfeld, regarding (what we hope will be) when (and if) the troops will come home from Iraq

Let's get this one point perfectly clear. It was "Rummy" who had no problem telling experienced generals that they didn't need the troops that they asked for. It was "Donnie-Boy" who insisted on a "limited war". Although the buck stops at President Bush (you'd never know it, however), it made a long pit-stop at the Pentagon.

"It is unknowable how long that conflict will last. It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months."
-"Rummy" to the troops in Italy, February 7, 2003

Sure, there are many in the Bush administration who deserve blame, but Rumsfeld is at the top of the list. Depending on who you lsten to, he is the architect of the bad plans and no foresight that has led to where we are today in Iraq. He needs to be the first one to go.

"...as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know."
-"Rummy", in one of his more "creative" moments

Here's the "Rummy-Square" (Yeah, yeah... I know it looks more like a rectangle):

KNOWN - KNOWNS UNKNOWN - KNOWNS
KNOWN - UNKNOWNS UNKNOWN - UNKNOWNS


Okay, so here's what I know:
KNOWN KNOWN: Rumsfeld help put us in a situation in Iraq without taking the advice of exactly the people he should have taken the advice from
KNOWN UNKNOWN: The good some of our troops might have done had they been given the chance to grow up rather than die in Iraq
UNKNOWN KNOWN: The next stupid thing out of "Rummy' mouth
UNKNOWN UNKNOWN: The fate of every soul fighting and/ or living in Iraq, and the fate of those touched by the loss of someone they love in Iraq, yet to come.

"I would not say that the future is necessarily less predictable than the past. I think the past was not predictable when it started."
-"Ronald Dumsfeld"

Makes you want to take this guy to Vegas and play some futures, doesn't it? I wonder where on the "Rummy-Square" Saddam Hussein was when Rumsfeld's company was selling armaments to Iraq? Was that an UNKNOWN KNOWN? Remember that on December 20, 1983, Rumsfled met with Hussein as President Reagan's special envoy to assure the dictator that America is behind him, including with military technology.

"I believe what I said yesterday. I don't know what I said, but I know what I think, and, well, I assume it's what I said."
"Now, settle down, settle down. Hell, I'm an old man, it's early in the morning and I'm gathering my thoughts here."
-"Rummy"

Too bad that no one can believe what he's going to say tomorrow. Get this guy a secretary or a digital voice recorder or a notepad. Maybe he should just tie a string to his finger.

"There's another way to phrase that and that is that the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence. It is basically saying the same thing in a different way. Simply because you do not have evidence that something does exist does not mean that you have evidence that it doesn't exist."
-Rumsfeld regarding the WMD's that never exsisted, and thus, were never found

That was just about my favorite Rumsfeld-ism. The logic is that because we never found WMD's in Iraq, we can't prove that they aren't there Now, let's take this logic(?) to another level: We now can invade and occupy any nation we wish, as long as we never find any Weapons of Mass Destruction. Get it?

"I don't do quagmires."
"I don't do diplomacy."
"I don't do foreign policy."
"I don't do predictions."
"I don't do numbers."
"I don't do book reviews."
-"Rummy", the anti-Bo Jackson

"Those kinds of calls have been going on for five-plus years. The president has asked me not to get involved in politics, and that's politics."
-Rumsfeld, in answer to calls for him to leave office

Rumsfeld can no longer be entrusted with the stewardship of our nation's armed forces. He is obviously unqualified, especially in a time of prolonged war.. He is a man who can't handle his job, plain and simple. Rumsfeld needs to be the first to go because his ineptitude makes him the most dangerous of the Bush-ites.

"If I know the answer I'll tell you the answer, and if I don't, I'll just respond, cleverly."
-Rumsfled stating the Bush administration montra of never admitting mistakes or telling the truth

-Noah Greenberg



The REAL "Evil Empire": Big Pharma

The entry about the Canadian pharmacies is not just witty but it has even more truth underlying it.

First, the drugs are the exact same drugs, made by the exact same companies as the ones we use in the United States. Yet, the FDA says that the drugs are "not safe." I haven't noticed a rash of Canadians dying from use of the drugs nor have I noticed any lawsuits in Canada about these drugs.

Second, U.S. citizens pay more for their drugs than people in any other developed nation in the world. This is not only because we do not have a national, single-payor system as these other countries do. It is also because the manufacturers are making US pay for the profits they cannot make in the other countries, which also have sensible price controls.

Third, ever wonder about those big "research and development" budgets the pharmaceutical industry talks about? Well, if one considers market expansion part of R&D, perhaps the budgets make sense. But the companies put off doing studies in order to keep their patents beyond the normal 5-year expiration limit. And if finding out how much one needs to line the pockets of politicians to keep policies in line with the industry's desires for ever expanding profits, are part of R&D well then the budgets make even more sense. But let's not fool ourselves--almost none of this is about science.

Fourth, just how concerned is Big Pharma with safety? Well, studies on the effects of Vioxx were held back and it wasn't until the level of lawsuits were unacceptable to the company that the drug was recalled. And, the recall itself was not done with any concern for patients who did do well on the drug nor for those who were hurt by it. It was all about the money not the safety. Ditto the makers of a nasty drug called Rimadyl which is sometimes given to dogs for pain. The drug's profile stipulates that it is not good for some breeds and yet veterinarians are encouraged to use it indiscriminately. And the manufacturer does not answer pet owners' questions about the drug. It has killed a lot of dogs.

One gynecologic surgeon I know coined a fascinating term back in the 1990s. He called our system "the medical-industrial complex." It's totally and completely true. And to that I would add that the pharmaceutical industry is truly the "evil empire."

-Billie M. Spaight



Cheney Minus Kean (Jr.)

I really got a chuckle out of this story. Shotgun Cheney was just in town to raise money for Kean, Junior. Junior didn't bother to show up. I wonder - was it because of the rumor that Shotgun Dick was giving shooting lessons or his 18% approval rating?

Cheney got a gun, dark days have begun.
When Cheney got a gun ...

-Robert Scardapane



In response to "'If you want to report that 4.7 percent of Americans have lost their jobs, you have to also report that 95.3 percent have not.' -Neil Cavuto, March 20, 2006", Robert Scardapane writes:

Actually, it all depends on what survey you use. If you use the survey from corporations, the unemployment rate is considerably higher (1-2% higher).

About a couple of years ago, the Bush-itas switched to the so-called "household survey" because it yielded nicer looking numbers. This survey is based on calling people's homes and asking them if they are employed. Well, you can bet that isn't too accurate. First off, people don't like to admit to being unemployed. Second, can you say that someone who is self-employed making working less than 20 hours is really employed? They would be based on the household survey. I think the unemployment rate is at least 2% higher than what the Bush-itas claim. Now, let's not even get into wage growth ...


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-Noah Greenberg