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This is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Quotes

"The next six months in Iraq - which will determine the prospects for democracy-building there - are the most important six months in U.S. foreign policy in a long, long time."
-New York Times foreign affairs (and Bush whore) columnist Tom Friedman,11/03/03

"What we're gonna find out...in the next six to nine months is whether we have liberated a country or uncorked a civil war."
-New York Times foreign affairs (and Bush whore) columnist Tom Friedman,10/03/04

"I think the next six months really are going to determine whether this country is going to collapse into three parts or more or whether it's going to come together."
-New York Times foreign affairs (and Bush whore) columnist Tom Friedman,12/18/05

"We're going to find out...in the next year to six months - if a decent outcome is possible there.."
-New York Times foreign affairs (and Bush whore) columnist Tom Friedman,05/16/06


Yet they never have to pay a price for their ongoing Nancy Grace guarantee that victory is at hand.

-David W.



MPG

It's just time for individual states to make their stand against the stupidity and cronyism of the Bush administration, and the battle lines should be drawn in the automobile market. When California was being overrun by the pollution-turned-smog a generation ago, their automobiles had to be manufactured and sold with different emission standards than the rest of the country. Individual states have got to make their own gas mileage standards separate and more restrictive than that of the federal government.

"G"lobal "W"arming Bush might says that "Americans are addicted to oil.." He ought to know, after all, he is an oil (drug ?)dealer.

Back in the seventies, President Jimmy Carter (D-GA), in order to combat the oil producing nations of the middle east, forced auto makers to raise the mileage standards by 7.6 miles per gallon in six years. According to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. "Our economy grew by 27 percent during that period. Detroit, predictably, figured out how to build more fuel-efficient cars largely without reductions in size, comfort or power." That was no coincidence.

By 1986, the US actually had an over-abundance of fuel. It was President Ronald Reagan that decided to eliminate Carter's CAFE Standard policy (Corporate Average Fuel Economy), which benefited the average American, and make the oil companies rich again. American car manufacturers began making bigger, less fuel efficient cars and the oil company big-wigs were getting their hefty checks once again. Again we were reliant on the oil rich nations of the middle east.

If we had kept the CAFE standards established in the 1970's, our big, comfy American cars, SUV's and minivans would be reaching the 40 miles per gallon mark by now. That means:
-No foreign oil
-No No wars for oil
-More money in the pockets for the Average American

Sounds like a plan to me.

Someone might ask how would state CAFE standards change the way auto manufacturers make their cars? Well, in the 1970's it made them build special "California Edition" autos which had to meet certain smog standards in order to pass California State Inspection. Why couldn't that be done in crowded states like New York New Jersey, Massachusetts, etc. where cars are the main contributor of pollution and the cost of living is through the roof?

If New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, the area known as the "Tri-State Area Area" were to get together and make this law in their states, the auto manufacturers would have no choice but to improve their auto's gas mileage.

Here's how the plan would work (using New Jersey as the example state):
-No car could be sold in NJ which didn't have these (city) MPG requirements:
-by 2008: 25 MPG
-by 2009: 30 MPG
-by 2010: 35 MPG
-by 2011: 40 MPG
-Older cars (built after 2007) would be unaffected until 2011. Then those drivers would have the opportunity of keeping their cars and paying a penalty (a sliding scale tax, depending on MPG), or turning their cars over to the NJ state government and receive a state tax deduction or a NK State rebate for the purchase of a new car.
-Anyone moving into New Jersey with an old car would have six months to decide on their actions


It would be good to see some entrepreneur figure out some device that would make the older cars conform to a new law such as this. Perhaps, if we provided an incentive such as a tax break or exclusive, multi-year contract for state-owned vehicles, some entrepreneur might do it.

The new regulations that the Bushies are proposing to "cure" our "oil addiction" are puny, to say the least. Their plan would raise gas mileage standards a measly 1.8 miles per gallon by 2011. It is, simply put, pitiful.

Te new rules "underestimated the technologies and ignored important benefits, such as the ability to significantly reduce our global warming emissions."
-Pat Gallagher, director of the Sierra Club's legal program

Yesterday, President Bush said that we are making "incremental progress" in Iraq. Maybe the Bushies want to see "incremental progress" here, too. I don't know if would could stand or afford the Bushies definition of "progress" anymore.

-Noah Greenberg



Suckered By The US Chamber Of Commerce

"-Provide an earned pathway to legalization for undocumented workers already contributing to our economy, provided that they are law-abiding and prepared to embrace the obligations and values of our society.
"-Create a carefully monitored guest worker program to fill the growing gaps in America's workforce recognizing that, in some cases, permanent immigrants will be needed to fill these gaps.
"-Refrain from unduly burdening employers with worker verification systems that are underfunded or unworkable.
"-Ensure the continuity and expansion of H-1B and L-1 visas for professionals and highly valued workers."

Are these the talking points of Liberal groups supporting open borders - No!
These are from the ultra-conservative United States Chamber of Commerce!
(http://www.uschamber.com/issues/index/immigration/default)

It's truly sad that liberals once again were suckered by the corporatists. Liberals made the same mistake with free trade. What was the result? The American worker was trashed by outsourcing. So now, we are making the same mistake with immigration.

I think this is why the American working class deserted the Democratic party. Of course, they were suckered by Republicans as well who are just as bad but for different reasons.. With the sour mood in the country, I wonder if the disgruntled American worker may decide to sit it out in 2006. Democrats sure haven't given them reason to be excited. "Had Enough?" is the lamest party platform I ever heard. Where is the platform that the DNC promised in 2005? Is it that hard to craft a message?

Democrats really blew it on the immigration issue. The GOP was on the ropes. All we had to do was come out against Sensenbrenner's draconian criminalization of illegal immigrants and support an increase in border patrol guards. Instead, Democrats got suckered by the United States Chamber of Commerce agenda.

We are told there are jobs that Americans won't do, jobs that Americans aren't trained to do, jobs that American are too lazy to do, jobs that Americans aren't smart enough to do. When are going to reject these lies that are used to justify unlimited cheap labor?


-Robert Scardapane



Estate Tax - There They Go Again!

You thought the GOP was through with their antics. But, greed knows no limits. From the AFL-CIO:

After passing a $70 billion tax giveaway that goes mostly to the wealthiest Americans, Congress is already at it again. While that $70 billion boondoggle will cost working families in cuts to student loans, child care, job training, services for the elderly and many health programs, Congress is set to give another big break to the richest of the rich.

Congress is debating repealing the estate tax, which affects just the richest one-quarter of one percent of the population. And while only the very wealthiest would benefit from a repeal of the estate tax, the cost to working families would be enormous: $1 trillion in the first 10 years, according to government figures.


-Forwarded by Robert Scardapane



A Few Americans Are Doing Just Fine
by Rep Brad Miller
Tue May 23, 2006 at 10:02:08 AM PDT


docangel's diary here (DailyKos) on Thursday praised Barney Frank for besting Secretary of the Treasury John Snow in a contest of wits in a Financial Services Committee hearing a couple of weeks ago. Snow bragged that wages last year had gone up by 3.8 percent, the best increase in almost five years. Barney asked Snow whether that increase was adjusted for inflation.

Snow actually said he didn't know.

The answer is no, the increase was not adjusted for inflation. Inflation last year was 5.1 percent, which makes a wage increase of 3.8 percent not so much to brag about.

The contest of wits between Barney Frank and John Snow reminded me of the Harlem Globetrotters' games against the Washington Generals, a team that existed to travel around the country losing to the Globetrotters. The contest was entertaining, but the outcome was never really in doubt.

We probably can't get John Snow to travel around the country with Barney. Too bad.

The stagnation of wages for American workers is nothing new to anyone who reads DailyKos. I've pointed it out, and bonddad makes the point regularly, including a diary here on Friday. But a few Americans are doing just fine, thank you very much.

According to a recent CEO compensation survey in Corporate Library, the median total compensation for CEO's increased by 30 percent in fiscal 2004.

The average increase was 91 percent, but that number was skewed because 27 CEOs received compensation increases of more that 1000 percent.
***


Rep. Miller is a good man but he fails to reach the root cause. CEO pay is outrageous but it's not the reason why wages are stagnant. The value of labor goes up as the supply goes down. Just read any financial report and you will quickly discover that business types worry about wage inflation when unemployment decreases.

This is why liberals must pay attention to The United States Chamber of Commerce tactic of using foreign labor to increase the labor supply. That labor often comes from countries with lower standards of living that are pre-disposed to work for less money. With the effects of outsourcing jobs to cheap foreign labor in addition to over-immigration, wages are guaranteed to stagnate. This is nothing new. What has changed is to ability of companies to outsource labor and the number of people ready and waiting to immigrate. There is potential to make this country into a third world nation over the next twenty years. We are well on the way.


-Forwarded and commented by Robert Scardapane



In response to, "That would be my choice as opposed to some poverty stricken Mexicans looking for a better life doing jobs 'real' Americans don't want to touch," Robert Scardapane writes:

There are no jobs that Americans won't do if the pay is fair. In fact, Americans still do quite a bit of landscaping, construction and hotel/restaurant work. Will the open borders advocates please stop repeating this myth! This is the same sort of speak that the United States Chamber of Commerce uses to advocate for a constant supply of cheap labor.

My objection to open borders and amnesty remain firm. It is not rooted in racism or xenophobia. I have common sense concerns about what open borders will do to our standard of living. The open borders advocates have yet to address any of the these concerns.

Ask yourself: why does every nation in the world have immigration limits? The answer is very simple - it's called being responsible! Just as parents bear the economic responsibility for bringing children into this world, our elected officials, heaven help us, bear the economic responsibility for bringing immigrants into this country.



In response to "Outrage is demanded over these secrets and lies. Outcry is needed to stop the approval of Hayden to the CIA post. There are two more years left in this Administration and if we don't protest loud and long, by the time George Bush leaves office our government will look more like a dictatorship than a democracy," Rhian writes:

If things get too bad, you know, like with storm troopers going from house to house taking prisoners, buried communication trunk lines are fairly easy to cut.

It might be a good idea to keep a couple thousand in cash in the house.



In response to "According to this breaking AP story, Alberto Gonzales said on This Week that he believes the First Amendment right to a free press is not absolute, and that reporters should be prosecuted in certain cases. He also announced that the collection of phone records would continue against reporters' calls," Rhian writes:

During and immediately after WWII approximately 300,000 documented Germans emigrated to Mexico City. Among those were several thousand Nazi's fleeing prosecutions for war crimes.

You may be asking yourself, what has this to do with Alberto Gonzales?

Alberto Gonzales's grandparents were illegals from Mexico. It should be no surprise at all that most illegals from Mexico have more than a little Nazi influence. Gonzales is no different than Chavez.

There are 30,000 words in the Mexican language. They have very few ways of expressing themselves when compared with English and European lingual structures. They still do not have much in the way of education. How long would it take for the hardline, educated Germanic influence to seep into attitudes of Mexicans? 10 years? 20?

How about 50? And who would ever think that the Germans would emigrate to Mexico and assimilate into a culture that at the time, consisted of chickens in a dusty back yard, and the Catholic church at the plaza, rather than organizing an impact, centralized in Mexico City, that would produce, from educations systems established by them, more Nazi's?

If you are aware that most of the emigrates had been paid and awarded to bear and raise aryan children for the Fuhrer, that most had been steeped in the early days of Hitler, when communism was the admired utopia of the elite whites, it is easy to understand the situation of the Mexican government today, the racism that is rampant in Mexico, the lack of schools except for Mexico City, and the actions by the federales on Fox's orders to level towns of dark people and order them to head North.

It is even easier to understand the limited thinking of Alberto Gonzales, as well as that of Ceasar Chavez. The historically uneducated are easily impacted by an educated foreign pressure, and find it impossible to seperate that impact, from closely held traditions of family history. The Mexicans are historically uneducated and easily impacted by foreign pressure and find it impossible to seperate that impact from closely held family traditions.

What is difficult to understand is the lack of knowledge of history on the part of the Bush family who are showing themselves in their choice of appointments to be either colossally stupid, or inherently fascist themselves and deliberately heading the US in the direction of a fourth reich.

If I had to bet money on which was right, I would bet on the latter.

Just remember, there was a time when Hitler could have been stopped. And, no one stopped him. When impeachment of the Bush administration is considered, it is well to apply the lessons of the past to the near future and tarry not till the time is too late, and another juggernaut of facism, is rolled out around the world.

As for me and my house, the pronouncement of Alberto Gonzales, in violation of the Constitution, does not change one whit the truth of the Constitution. He is wrong. Hopefully dead wrong, and his position of power in this country, because of his statement, perilous.


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-Noah Greenberg