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This is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

There may be no Thursday Madman this week. The job that pays the bills beckons. Just in case, let me say "Sorry" in advance. -NG

QUESTION: How did George H.W. and Barbara Bush create George W. Bush.
ANSWER: The "Mercenary" Position


"FOG"gy Economics

Inflation occurs when too many Americans are working. Yep, that's what those who are in power today believe, universally, about jobs. Too many working Americans want to buy too much stuff, creating a demand that would surely bring up prices, causing inflation numbers to rise, making everybody's dollar worth less.

Got it?

This is the supply-side economics spouted by candidate Ronald Reagan in 1979 that George H.W. Bush referred to as "Voodoo Economics".

The Reaganites, today called "FOG" (Friends of George) actually believe in the Herbert Hoover theory of "Trickle-Down Economics". You all might remember Hoover as the guy who was at the helm during the 1929 stock market crash which led to The Great Depression. It took a war to get us out of that.

I have an idea. Let's get everybody working to test these supply-siders' theory. Let's see families all across the board paying their bills, taking family vacations, taking their children to the doctors when they are sick and see what happens. Let's throw caution to the wind and allow workers to rise above the minimum-wage sub-poverty-level existence that too many of them are now locked into.

I'm just crazy that way.

-Noah Greenberg

Progressive San Francisco

Everybody in San Francisco will have access to health care.

Wow. This is a huge step for any city to take and it's what helps make San Francisco the single most progressive place to live in the United States.

Here's how it will work: Public hospitals, clinics and doctors who take existing HMO's will be participating. Employers will be required to make mandatory contributions for income-adjusted premiums. The plan would cover doctor's visits, x-rays, ambulance rides and even have a prescription drug plan.

Mayor Gavin Newsom and all 11 city supervisors are the ones responsible for this forward-thinking plan that will surely benefit them politically for the foreseeable future. It certainly beats the crap out of the rhetoric which comes out from Bush and the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party majority in congress, doesn't it?

Critics will say things like businesses will move out of the city as a result of this plan. I say that more people will move in, and businesses go where the people are.

"What feels very good is the full board and the mayor getting on board. That says the political will is there to make it happen,"
-San Francisco Supervisor Tom Ammiano, the first guy on board

We know that places like San Francisco have the political will. We have seen this "will" in the past get blown out of the water by powerful health insurance company lobbies. They most certainly can't be happy about this. I remember when San Francisco started allowing gay couples to marry. It was turned into a rallying cry by the GOP, which they used to energize their "religious right zombies".

One wonders how they will battle this one. Maybe something like "San Francisco is trying to take away your health care choice."

I can see it now.

-Noah Greenberg

Bush and Katrina: The Storms That Just Keeps on Taking

"Wielding government-issued credit cards, Homeland Security employees racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in unjustified expenses last year, including booties for rescue dogs, iPods, designer rain jackets and beer-making equipment, a congressional audit shows.
"More than 100 laptop computers and a dozen boats also bought by Homeland Security Department employees are missing, the investigators found."
-The Associated Press

Just last week seven religious leaders resigned from Bush's Katrina Committee due to this very reason. Included in the resignations were co-chairs Bishop T.D. Jakes, the Rev. William H. Gray III (former president of the United Negro College Fund) and the Rev. William Shaw (President of the National Baptist Convention, USA).

These guys were there for public relations purposes only. They were never to have any real power. Like most of Bush's appointees, the president thought that having this put on their resume would be good enough. What GW didn't realize is that these are men of character. They are men who put the well being of their flock and the nation as a whole before their own self interests. Instead of using them as an example and a resource, Bush decided to use them as PR cannon fodder.

"I've learned in life that if people say they want your advice and then they change it, ignore it, or undermine it, then they really don't want it."
-Rev. Gray

Bush wanted another "rubber stamp,"
-Imam Abdelhafiz Bensrieti, another committee member who resigned

"We would make recommendations and the staff would say yes, and without consultation they would change everything. The bottom line is Bishop Jakes and I agreed we're no rubber stamp."

Fox News reported the story as "Religious Leaders Resign From Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund Panel", willing to sacrifice the reputation of George Herbert Walker Bush and their favorite target (other than Hillary), former President Bill Clinton, in order to make it appear as if the past two presidents were at fault.

Ain't they cute?

Initially, the group of nine religious spiritual leaders were asked to make recommendations for the distribution of some $20 million to rebuild the Gulf area's churches, synagogues, mosques, and other houses of worship. They figured it would be able to distribute about $35,000 to each group. When fewer than anticipated organizations applied for the funds, the religious leaders wanted to give each applicant $100,000. The Bushies had a "better idea".

Without informing the committee that their request to increase the awards was rejected, the board's president, Mary Ann Wyrsch, denied their more than reasonable request. They found out when a minister called thanking them for the $35,000 gift.

"That's how we found out. I have no idea how many checks were sent out. The information was refused to us and our staff. Why, I don't know."

I know... It's because thievery is easier when honest men don't know.

-Noah Greenberg and Jenny Hanniver

In response to, "The National Asset Database, as it is known, is so flawed, the inspector general found, that as of January, Indiana, with 8,591 potential terrorist targets, had 50 percent more listed sites than New York (5,687) and more than twice as many as California (3,212), ranking the state the most target-rich place in the nation," Jenny Hanniver writes:

GRrrrrrrrrr! Everyone who lives in a city should be very very angry at this. Who in the federal establishment is protecting the United States of America? NOBODY! We have now several disclosures that show "Homeland Security" to be nothing but a boondoggle for incompetent low-level NeoCons.

In response to Billie Spaight's comments on going green, Carol Yost writes:

Billie mentions hybrid vehicles. I recommend the film Who Killed the Electric Car? It's playing now, and is a wonderful documentary--informative, entertaining, all the right things. What an eye-opener! Hey, I say--don't even go hybrid! Bring back the electric car!

In response to, "BUSH: See, the irony is what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this s**t and it's over," Eddie Konczal writes:

Everybody was shocked by Bush's use of profanity, but what really bothered me was his utter lack of table manners. I mean, the guy is talking to the Prime Minister of Great Britain, and he's talking with food in his mouth the entire time! What's the deal with that?!?

In response to "Cockroaches", Billie M. Spaight writes:

Speaking for the Roach Liberation Front ;)

I am definitely no fan of the Taliban. And I had no problem with us going into Afghanistan because that country refused to yield up Osama bin Laden right after 9/11. But something about your comparison of Talibans to cockroaches was disturbing to me.

The problem with the comparison is that it is uncomfortably reminiscent of the Nazis comparing Jews to vermin. The Nazis actually had films about vermin and talked about the Jews in that light to indoctrinate the populace.

It is never a good idea to compare people--even the most horrible and depraved people--to vermin or animals. This presupposes that some human lives are worth less than others. While it is true that some groups are so terrible and threatening that they must be eliminated, it is well to remember that they are responsibile for their actions unlike animals or insects. It is well to remember that the enemy--no matter how odious--is still human with all the potentials and problems inherent in humanity.

And, although roaches are disgusting and miserable (and carry disease), they are not engaging in deliberate destruction of other beings. They are just being their insect selves. It takes a human being to be really evil.

Let's apologize to the roaches ;) I would rather have a thousand roaches in my apartment than one Taliban member... seriously.

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-Noah Greenberg