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This is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

A correction:
In regard to "They Want to Forgive the Killing of Our American Troops", Jenny Hanniver sent this:
Noah: I think the analysis you credited to me came to me from Chris Tennant--or maybe Victoria Brownworth. I didn't write more than the last 2 sentences, just forwarded it.

Oops... Sorry. -NG

Welkome to Amerika, Herr Citizen!

They just never cease to amaze me, these "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party operatives who run our nation. A Pentagon (that's Donald "We Don't Know What We Don't Know" Rumsfeld's Department, for those of you who aren't paying attention, or have just awaken after a five-and-a-half year slumber) wrote a memo stating that gay people are crazy. That's right, the memo, which was uncovered by the University of California at Santa Barbara's Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military says precisely that.

This is Bush and Rumsfeld's way of getting rid of those nasty gays that threaten the very existence of... well... nobody. Saying that gays are mentally defective allows the military to work their way around "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" to weed out those who prefer the intimate company of a same sex partner. Of course, usually the homophobe would prefer the traditional way of getting rid of something or someone they don't understand: But it's still against the law to shoot other Americans... at least for the time being.

I often wonder what people like Rumsfeld's opinions are of the American people, and those soldier-citizens who serve under him. Does he think that the US Army can't function with a gay man or woman at his or her post? Does he think that it's too much of a distraction? Or is "Rummy" simply a pandering putz who will do anything to divert attention away from his poor policies and Bush's mismanaged war?

Maybe Rummy feels threatened. After all, he does consider himself a great military leader (that makes one person who thinks that)...and Alexander the Great, possibly the greatest military leader of all time was supposedly gay... So maybe he's a little bit nervous. After all, it's hard to resist a man in uniform, right Rummy?

Never mind that the medical and psychiatric community doesn't classify homosexuality as a "mental disorder", Rummy's is the only opinion that counts.

"It is disappointing that certain Department of Defense instructions include homosexuality as a 'mental disorder' more than 30 years after the mental health community recognized that such a classification was a mistake,"
-Representative Marty Meehan (D-MA)

"Based on scientific and medical evidence the APA declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder in 1973 _ a position shared by all other major health and mental health organizations based on their own review of the science,"
James H. Scully Jr., head of the psychiatric association

But none of that makes a difference to bigots like Rumsfeld, Bush and I do believe Cheney. Let's look back at the 2004 election. Do you remember how defensive Cheney got when his gay daughter, Mary was merely mentioned? And how about Mrs. Lynn Cheney, Dick's wife, who scolded Cokie Roberts and yelled "Mary has never declared such a thing," in reference to her "coming out". Is it possible that Lynn has an issue with gay people or is she confusing denial with a river in Egypt.

And if Rumsfeld and the Pentagon report is right, then shouldn't Mary Cheney be put in an institution or be allowed to collect SSI due to her "disability"?

This could start a trend. Any crime a person commits can be fought in court with the "Not guilty by reason of mental defect" plea and cite Rumsfeld's Defense Department memo as proof.

Wasn't it the Nazi's who put gay people in institutions, jails and concentration camps saying that they were "mentally defective"? There is no difference between Bush and Rumsfeld's conclusions and those of Adolf Hitler's Nazi's in the 1930's.

Be careful of what you wear. The Gay Police may be coming for you.

"Log Cabin Republicans stand on the front lines of today’s most important battle for the civil rights of gay and lesbian Americans. We need to work together as a powerful voice for inclusion in the GOP. Our Take Action Center makes it easy to have your voice heard. You can contact elected leaders at the state and federal level. Thanks for joining us in the fight for freedom, fairness and equality."
-The Log Cabin Republicans Web Site



I wonder how the Log Cabin Republicans feel now?

-Noah Greenberg

On Health Care

The solution to our problem is really quite simple - we need a national single payer system. Once we have a national health care system, Medicare, Medicaid and a variety of other patches would become irrelevant.

There are two ways forward - HR 676 which transform Medicare into a system that covers everyone. John Kerry's 2004 health care proposal where everyone can buy into the government health care program. Either method will get us toward the goal we really - universal health care coverage.

Is this without cost? Of course not! Every working person would need to pay a percentage of their salary into the system. This percentage would be matched by business (similar to social security). This would be coverage that can not be taken away and lasts even when you retire.

I am suspicious of proposals to decentralize Medicare. They sound awfully like decentralizing social security - i.e., privatization. Besides, don't the states already have a health care program called Medicaid?

Pushing the burden of Medicare on to the states would saddle them with two programs.

Clearly, the Republicans would love decentralizing Medicare as it would allow them to divide and conquer. They could attack Medicare in more conservative states and may even succeed in destroying popular support. We must not allow ourselves to become divided on the health care issue.

-Robert Scardapane

(Knock, Knock, After the Fact)

The Supreme Idiots just ruled that no-knock searches are OK

Once upon a time in the sixties, no-knock searches were deemed okay by many state courts.

Problem was, cops doing no-knock searches at night, were being shot and killed by homeowners, who were acting completely in accordance with law, by defending their homes with lethal force against armed, hostile people who were in effect, breaking and entering, regardless of status of profession or bearers of a warrant.

The courts decided that as long as the homeowner/occupier did not know there was a warrant, they could not be held liable for anything, as they were acting in self defense.

The courts in Oregon solved the dilemma by ruling that no-knock searches were unsafe, therefore, prohibited in that state. Other states followed suit and most officers were relieved to be off the hook on orders to conduct no-knock searches, especially at night. Most especially the ones who were going in 'under cover.' (no uniforms or badges)

One particularly obscene case was a homeowner near Portland, who accosted over a dozen of them in plainclothes busting through his door after breaking out the doorjambs. It was 3 am and the cops were 'anxious' to make a drug bust. The man didn't have drugs but did have daughters, didn't want them raped, didn't know the men breaking into his house were cops. He killed six of them with a handy home protection firearm before they knew what hit them. They scuttled back out of his house post haste, got on their radios and started talking about a warrant. No charges were filed in the case. No charges could be. An 'informant' had fingered the man, because the man had fired him from his employment for possession of marijuana.

All this information is available to Supreme Court judges, about the effect of no-knock searches.

Today, fewer homeowners are ready to defend their homes with lethal force, but the ones who are, are more likely to kill intruders, and in a couple of years the nation is going to be inundated with fully trained, and very uneasy military killers who would drop a home intruder, cop or not, without thinking even once, much less twice.

While the Supreme Court and cops who can't remember the sixties make their deals, mostly to set precedent for future raids on American citizens who dissent with the neocon Fourth Reich, it is really too bad that cops and citizens are set against each other by this ruling, when all should try to unite against what is wrong, no matter who rules it, including the Supreme Court.

And what happens when they are all cops from different jurisdictions, and they all shoot each other, unaware of that fact? How many stray bullets kill sleeping kids/wives?

How many wars do neocons need anyway?


by Victoria A. Brownworth
copyright c 2006 Journal-Register Newspapers, Inc.

When George Bush gave his chatty little press conference in the White House Rose Garden on Flag Day, he began by lauding himself for his first real trip to Iraq (the first was a photo op in the Baghdad airport with a fake turkey on Thanksgiving 2003) since he invaded the country three and a half years ago.

As Bush press conferences go, this one was splendid: there were few gaffes (he did chide a blind reporter for wearing sunglasses) and even fewer non-sequitur. But what there also weren't were answers to the most compelling questions, including the one all polls say is the single most important issue to Americans on either side of the aisle: ending the war on Iraq.

Bush may have been jazzed from his trip, but the rest of the country wasn't there with him. Thus the upbeat presentation of a war that has cost America more than 2,500 lives, the maiming of another 20,000 and $500 billion from an decimated economy and the concomitant calls for staying the course enraged rather than placated.

What exactly, I and many other Americans want to know, does staying the course mean? What exactly is the course? Because from the war's inception to today, there seems no plan at all.

What Bush told reporters on Flag Day is that it's going to cost a lot of money to get Iraq into democracy mode. And in case Americans think that the violence is going to end any time soon, Bush was careful to say that there was no immediate sense that the violence would or even could stop.

That last comment is the first honest thing the President has ever said about this war. But although it was honest, it was also an egregious understatement.

The Administration is still basking in the self-proclaimed glory of finally killing Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, titular head of al-Qaeda in Iraq. But as is always the case with this Administration, key points have been ignored.

Yes, al-Zarqawi, a terrorist best known for slicing the heads off his captives on live video-feed, provided constant exacerbation of the violence in Iraq. But what the Administration failed to acknowledge, is that al-Zarqawi would never have been in Iraq if it weren't for the U.S. invasion. He was a Jordanian national who slithered over the unsecured border of Iraq after the U.S. invaded and destabilized the country.

Al-Qaeda had no foothold in Iraq prior to the U.S. invasion. That came with us, and with al-Qaeda came mayhem, further destabilization and ethnic violence. And al-Qaeda is now and has always been a political hydra: chop off one head and ten more grow back in its place. No sooner had al-Zarqawi been killed than a new leader was announced on the website (because terrorists have websites these days): Abu Ayub al-Masri, who, like his recently deceased predecessor, is also not an Iraqi.

If a pattern is beginning to emerge for you as you read this, then you are already leap years ahead of the Bush Administration in realization: the terrorists are coming from *outside* of Iraq. And no one–including U.S. troops–are stopping them.

According to the newly appointed President of Iraq, Jalal Talabani, Iraq will be stabilized in 18 months. At least that's what he said 36 hours after taking office in April. But then President Talabani, like al-Zarqawi and al-Masri, is only tutelary an Iraqi. He's a Kurd–the group Saddam Hussein practiced annihilating and the group that wants to have their own state in Iraq. Kurds are not Arabs, which makes Talabani the only non-Arab to head an Arab country in the Middle East.

In a nation and region torn by sectarian violence, how do you think that will go over in the neighborhood, long-term?

But a Kurdish president of an Arab country actually seems the least of the problems facing Iraq. Of greater import is the so-called insurgency. The U.S. and its little band of allies in the war have adopted this term as if it means something, but it doesn't. The so-called insurgents are Iraqis. They are Sunnis killing Shias and Shias killing Sunnis. (No one seems to be bothering the Kurds, which is about the only good news for Talabani.) Think of Iraq like Northern Ireland, with Catholics versus Protestants, or like Israelis versus Palestinians. Those conflicts have raged for decades, with no end in sight, despite occasional calls from both sides for cease-fires.

Are we prepared to "stay the course" of decades of unfixable sectarian violence? Or is it time to get out now?

Consider that Bush just signed onto another $94 billion for Iraq, because, as he stated in the Rose Garden, "America keeps her promises."

That's nice, that we keep our promises. It sounds so patriotic, especially on Flag Day. But do we really keep our promises? Because the President promised the war was over three years ago in his Mission Accomplished speech. And the President promised that Afghanistan would be a democracy after our war there, and that was nearly five years ago. Afghanistan is now run by a combination of war lords and leftover Taliban with some al-Qaedans thrown in to even out the mayhem. But they have a president who wears a very nice fur hat and cape all the time.

Where is the glowing success of Afghanistan that was supposed to be the model for Iraq?

It hasn't materialized. And like our soldiers who are there and the Afghanis who are suffering in the poorest nation on earth, Afghanistan has pretty much been abandoned by the U.S. after having been carpet bombed into virtual rubble as a response to 9/11.

So much for keeping our promises.

And what about the promises made to Americans? Bush was complimenting himself in the Rose Garden on the booming economy predicated on his tax cuts that only a tiny percentage of wealthy Americans ever received. For the average American, the economy remains a defining issue because the middle class is evaporating in America, supplanted by the working poor and poor. That's how the economy reads to majority America.

Americans are also still waiting for health care, because 42 million Americans don't have it and another 30 million are under-insured.

Americans are also still waiting for some help with crime in our cities–the murder rate is up all over–and with education: One in three public high school students in the U.S. drops out before graduation.
Gas prices are holding steady at a dollar more than they were this time last year. And the price of other necessities has increased far faster than cost-of-living increases in the wage market.
So much for those promises.

Let's look closely at Iraq and ask ourselves if we really want to stay there another ten years, because that's what the experts say it will take to quell the violence.

There's one American soldier in Iraq for every 1.3 square miles. Does that sound like a blockade against insurgents?

There's a whole town–Sadr City–run like an armed insurgent camp by Muqtada al Sadr, a radical Shia cleric who hates Americans. He's not giving any ground away. Nor are his opponents. The Shia were oppressed under Hussein; they aren't going to allow the Sunnis advantage. Nor will the Sunnis, used to years of power, submit to the Shia.

Explain exactly how the U.S. will fix this, Mr. President?

Also at issue in the violence is the continual "leaking" of weapons from the police force to the so-called insurgents. And then there are the calls for amnesty for insurgents–a call Bush has decided to echo.
What exactly are we doing there? Agreeing to granting amnesty to the people who are massacring women and children (and American soldiers and journalists) on the streets of Baghdad every day? If we are such pals with the insurgents that we'll give them a pass on mass murder (it was our refusal to give Hussein a pas on mass murder that was another excuse for the invasion, remember?), then why can't we just tell them to stop slaughtering people?

Let's review, again: The U.S. invaded Iraq predicated on a now widely-exposed lie that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). The second lie told about the invasion was that Iraq was linked to 9/11. It wasn't. The third lie about the invasion was that Iraqis wanted America to invade: apparently they did not and the majority resent every minute we are there and kill our soldiers every chance they get, but will settle for maiming them.

So: We are in Iraq based on a series of lies. We have helped establish a titular democracy, but have been utterly unable to staunch the non-stop carnage. We have a tiny and pretty insignificant cadre of allies fighting the war with us, but the coalition is weakening and wavering and mostly wants to pull up stakes and go home, which is what most will be doing by year's end.

Our allies might have soldiers in Iraq–not even ten percent of what the U.S. has there–but they aren't footing the bill for the war. So that $500 billion that might be spent on health care for Americans or other domestic needs, that's just the tip of the Iraq war's spend-and-bleed from the Bush Administration.

Where, exactly, are Iraq's neighbors in this conflict? Why have none of the Arab nations in the Middle East taken a scintilla of responsibility, financial or diplomatic, for ending this conflict and why have none of these countries made any effort to keep their terrorists at home, instead of letting them flood into Iraq?

As with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, these other Muslim nations seem to have little concern for the subjugation and/or killing of their fellow Muslims. Nowhere in the Middle East is there an outcry to the leaders of the Sunnis and Shia to stop the violence and get on with democracy. (Of course none of the other nations has a democracy, so that might be an issue.)

There is only one course in Iraq: Stop aiding and abetting the violence which is made more egregious by our presence. For months there has been international hand-wringing over whether Iraq had devolved into civil war. Wake up and smell the carnage: When upwards of 100 car bombs are exploded every day on the streets of Iraq and between 20 and 100 people are being killed and countless others maimed every day, it's civil war. Stop pretending it isn't.

We were enmeshed in the civil war in Vietnam for more than 16 years before we pulled out in the hideous fall of Saigon. It's never going to be pretty when we leave Iraq, just as it wasn't when we left Vietnam. But that's the problem when you are someplace you shouldn't be—bad things happen.

The war on Iraq was more than a political mis-step: thousands upon thousands of Americans and Iraqis have died or been horribly wounded in this war which seemingly has no end.

An upbeat little chat with reporters in the Rose Garden in no way changes the fundamental truth about the war on Iraq: It was a colossal mistake that cannot be corrected. George Bush can try to flog his plummeting approval ratings with as many sorties to Baghdad as he wants, but it will not, cannot, alter the reality that this war is, like Vietnam three decades ago, unwinnable for the U.S.

We don't belong there, we never did and since we cannot seem to stabilize the country that was stable before we invaded, then we should leave. Thousands of years of ethnic hatred fuels the incendiary blasts in Iraq. We can't alter that historical reality, much as we might want to. All we can do is continue to toss our young soldiers into the mayhem and watch them bleed and die.

On June 15th the Pentagon announced the 2,500 mark of our dead in Iraq. The House held a moment of silence for those fallen before they began a partisan debate on the war. The Republicans still don't get it, however. Each remarked on how Iraq is a lynchpin in the war on terror. They have forgotten that there was only one terrorist in Iraq before we arrived: Saddam Hussein. Now there are legions–and none of their leaders is from Iraq.

It was our invasion that created more terror, not the obverse.

Let Iraq's neighbors, who should have a vested interest in the country's stability, take responsibility for re-stabilizing the country. We should know by now, nearly five years after 9/11 with no democracy in Afghanistan nor capture of Osama bin Laden, that we have not been able to keep our promises. More lives, more money and more years won't alter that reality. It will just create another festering wound in our own nation, like the one that has yet to heal, Vietnam.

Atrocities like the ones some of our soldiers committed in Vietnam are now being committed by our soldiers in Iraq: We are creating ever more monsters with this war, even among our own as the specters of Abu Ghraib and Haditha besmirch us further.

How much longer, Mr. President, will we hemorrhage over your misguided war? How much longer till we bring the troops home?

Rocky Words


This is from a speech given on April 29 by Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson:

We are gathered here today to say, "No more!"

No more killing.
No more expenditures of almost $6 billion per month on this tragic war.
No more denial of health care coverage for over 42 million Americans, when we are paying more for this outrageous war than what it would cost for universal health care throughout the US.
No more dependence on foreign oil, while we could become independent if we focused resources wasted in the Iraq war on clean, renewable sources of energy.
No more attacks on immigrants who work so hard to build better lives.
No more inaction by Congress on fixing our hypocritical and inconsistent immigration laws and policies.
No more complacency by our news media, much of which has served as little more than a bulletin board for false government propaganda.
No more raping and pillaging of our people by the outrageous profiteers in the oil industry, by the health care insurance industry, and by the billionaire buddies of Bush and Cheney like the crooks at Enron and Halliburton.

No more war in Iraq.
No more reliance on fiction rather than the science of global warming.
No more historic deficits forever demonstrating that our President and our Congress are total hypocrites and liars when they call themselves fiscal conservatives.
No more torture of human beings.
No more holding people in detention camps without charges without lawyers without any semblance of due process.
No more sending people off to be held and interrogated in countries where torture and brutality is expected to occur.
No more arrogant, blundering, incompetent leadership of our military.

Which means no more Donald Rumsfeld.

No more manipulation of our media.
No more arrogance and incompetence posing as leadership in the White House.

Which means no more Bush and Cheney.

And no more arrogance, incompetence, and timidity posing as leadership in the United States Congress.

No more illegal wiretapping without warrants.
No more complacency by the American people.
No more members of Congress who voted to turn into felons 12 million people our nation has encouraged to come here to work.
No more disastrous cuts in funding for those most in need in our cities. . .
No more lies about a tie between Iraq and 9-11. . .
No more butchering of the English language.

Which means, of course, no more George Bush.

No more killing thousands of innocent people.

Which means no more of the Bush Administration.

And no more of those in Congress who have sat passively by while the slaughter continues. . .

No more apathy by the American people.

And no more refraining from saying "No more"!

We are gathered here today because we care deeply. We are gathered today because we can't and won't remain silent in the face of tragic dishonesty, tragic violations of international law and human rights, outrageous war mongering, and continually shifting excuses for beginning the war a war that has resulted in the unnecessary deaths of probably more than 100,000 Iraqis and almost 2400 American members of the United States armed forces. . .

We are not gathered here because we seek to divide this nation. In fact, we seek to unify this great country behind principles of justice, compassion and an end to an outrageous, unnecessary war.

And we are not here because we are "nut cakes.". . .

Nazi Germany was a society comprised of millions of people who did not question and who did not object. They followed. They followed blindly. They left it for their leaders to make the decisions even the decisions as to what each individual would do, including the most inhumane treatment toward other people.

That culture of blind obedience was not one where most people asked themselves, "What should I do?". The answers were already furnished by leaders bent on world domination leaders who thought nothing of torturing, killing, and maiming millions of innocent men, women, and children.

People were not gathering together to say "No more." Rather, they were calling out "Heil Hitler," abdicating to political leaders the moral choices they each could have and should have made as individuals. In short, they forfeited the most important part of what makes each of us human.

We are gathered here to assert our moral autonomy our moral power our moral insistence that we will not be a part of the dishonesty, the brutality, and the hypocrisy behind the current war of aggression. And we will call out together for an end to the insanity an end to the obscenity known as the Iraq war.

At times like this, silence is complicity. Silence is an affirmation of the status quo. We will only see change when the people assert their own moral authority and no longer leave it to the self
-serving, shiftless, sycophantic servants of the corporate rapists and pillagers of our people, like Dick Cheney's buddies at the sole-source-contracts-in-Iraq-profiteer Halliburton; like Exxon, the plunderer of almost every person in our nation; and like the pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies that have made certain the American people do not have affordable, universal health care coverage.

Rwanda was a culture of blind obedience. Tens of thousands of people heeded the call to slaughter their Tutsi and moderate Hutu neighbors, most of whom used machetes to hack men, women, and children to death. These were not people who asserted their personal moral authority. . .

No more can any person asserting free agency stand by in good conscience. . .

Let us each embrace our moral authority, let us each embrace our humanity, let us each embrace our responsibility and insist in every way within our means: no more human and civil rights violations; no more hatred and inhumane treatment toward hard-working immigrants and their families; no more killing and maiming. No more Iraq war

-Forwarded by Pat Thompson

Stossel Vs. Sirota

KUDLOW: All right. John Stossel, author of "Myths, Lies and Downright Stupidity" and Dave Sirota, author of "Hostile Takeover." We're going to look at the minimum wage. According to Mr. Stossel, the myth is: A higher minimum wage helps workers. The truth is: A higher minimum wage helps some workers but hurts others. John, your thought.
Mr. STOSSEL: We all want to raise people's wages, but assuming the government can just set the wage is--better than supply and demand--is such nonsense. It assumes every employer has a fixed number of workers. But we don't have people washing windshields in gas station anymore because the minimum wage makes it foolish to hire a kid, to give an entry level worker a shot.
KUDLOW: This thing's back in Congress. A lot of states are either passing it or discussing it. How many people get the minimum wage across the country?
This is a data from your own book.
Mr. STOSSEL: Three percent.
KUDLOW: Bingo. Dave Sirota, 3 percent, and it hurts some people. What's your take?
Mr. SIROTA: Well, listen, John, I would encourage you stop reciting these dishonest talking points and the chatter you're hearing on the cocktail party circuit because the stats don't bear that out in any way at all. And here are the stats that you cannot dispute. In states that have raised the minimum wage, above the federal level, those states have created jobs at a far faster rate than the states that have not. That is because, when you raise the minimum wage, you put money into the pockets of people who will spend it and it spurs the economy. Now, that might not be heard in your book which purports to debunk lies, but those are the facts.
Mr. STOSSEL: Well, if those are the facts, why stop at $7. We should pay everybody 20 bucks, 40 bucks an hour. Then we'll really have buying power.
It's just...
Mr. SIROTA: You're changing the subject. You're changing the subject because you know you're wrong.
Mr. STOSSEL: Well, the study side, and I now realize who you are because you, on my Amazon page, he came on and said, `I'm a smarmy-looking liar.'
Mr. SIROTA: You are.
Mr. STOSSEL: But that one study was from Robert Reich, former employee. And it's been widely discredited by every serious economist who looked at this.
Mr. SIROTA: That's not a study. If you--if you look at the states. Just look at the states. That's not a study. If you look at the states, the states that have raised their minimum wage higher than the federal level have created jobs faster than states that haven't. That's a fact. That's not a study. That's a fact.


I love this exchange between pathological liar John Stoessel and my new hero David Sirota:


By the way, Edward Kennedy plans to offer a bill on raising the federal minimum wage (assuming the Rethuglicans don't kill it before it even hits the floor).

-Forwarded and Commented by Robert Scardapane

There is no doubt in my mind that John Stossel's is attempting to become the next Geraldo Rivera. Exchanges like these and his lies about things like outsourcing (*see below) is  probably how Stossel is auditioning for Fox News after ABC throws his lying ass out. -NG


{*John Stossel Says:

A Dartmouth study found that outsourcers actually create jobs in America at a faster rate than companies that don't outsource. The same study found that companies that outsourced abroad ended up hiring twice as many workers at home.


And now, the Truth:

The “Dartmouth Study” wasn’t commissioned by Dartmouth University. It was a study by Associate Professor, Matthew Slaughter of Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business. And guess who actually DID commission the study? The Coalition for Fair International Taxation (C-FIT) commissioned it. And who are the members of C-FIT? There are 26 members of the C-FIT including Hewlett-Packard, Dow Chemical and Electronic Data Systems. Just ask the citizens of Houston, Texas what happened to their city when Hewlett-Packard outsourced their jobs. The 26-member coalition is lobbying for tax breaks, provided by Rep. Bill Thomas, the Republican Ways and Means Committee Chairman’s Bill, to keep jobs and money outside of the USA. Paying taxes outside of the USA does the USA and its citizens no good.


-Noah Greenberg}

In response to "The Minimum Wage", Billie M. Spaight writes:

Robert Scardapane is right. I just participated in an e-action in which I told my congress-people that not only should they accept the Kennedy amendment but then after that they should double the minimum wage. I told my congress-people that some people have to live on the the same amount as the INCREASE. This is disgusting. Nobody could live on even the amount proposed. Nobody, nobody should make under $15.00 an hour because even that is too little to make.

These elitists in Congress should not be permitted to give themselves raises until all their constituents--and I mean every single one--makes as much or more than they do.

Try getting that to pass in Congress...hah! But we have to try to keep voting these people out until we get people that are at least more progressive than these fossils we have there.

I was just reading about Barack Obama--he's supposed to be the Great Liberal Hope. Yet, he says he did not initiate any legislation of importance because as a junior senator he didn't want to step on any toes. Well, I say let's vote for people who will not just step on toes but mash them into the ground and kick butt besides. Maybe it will knock some of the cobwebs out of their brains.

In response to trashing Medicare and setting up a state-run system, Jo Davis writes:

Hi Noah, I normally welcome your recommendations with open arms, but your suggestion to scrap Medicare and give the responsibility to the states would be a catastrophe for the working people of Oklahoma. The Republicans have finally taken over here and Democrats consistently get only about 34% of the vote. That means that Medicare would be designed and administered by Republicans who never miss a chance to find new customers for their campaign donors. The Republicans just rewrote the Medicaid rules and regulations and now Medicaid folks have to pay a copay for their doctor's visits and prescriptions. Most of them will be forced into private insurance plans that do not have to cover all illnesses. The state is also establishing health savings accounts for some these people and they will be required to use the accounts to pay for their copays and prescriptions. The private insurers that get the bid on these so called health savings accounts get to use the state's money without paying any interest. I could go on and on but I think you get the picture. I didn't vote for the Republican swindlers (I'm part of a sane but dwindling minority) but if your plan is accepted, everyone in my state will suffer because of it.

Thanks for all the other great ideas you have tossed out there though.

... and Robert Scardapane writes:

I don't think we should scrap federal Medicare. If you do that the burden on less wealthy states will be too high. We should instead expand Medicare to all all Americans and make it is funded properly. In addition, we should scrap Medicare Part D and come up with a plan that allows us to negotiate the lowest price just as the Veterans Administration does.

We shouldn't be so quick to scrap our successful social programs. Instead, let's work at really strengthening them.

Send your comments to: NationalView@aol.com or comments@nationalview.org

-Noah Greenberg