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This is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Bush's Lunch With Rocky


THE PRESIDENT: I just had coffee with Rocky Vaccarella, St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana. He caught my attention because he decided to come up to Washington, D.C. and make it clear to me and others here in the government that there's people down there still hurting in south Louisiana, and along the Gulf Coast.

And Rock is a plain-spoken guy. He's the kind of fellow I feel comfortable talking to. I told him that I understand that there's people down there that still need help. And I told him the federal government will work with the state and local authorities to get the help to them as quickly as possible.

MR. VACCARELLA: That's right.

It appears that President Bush finally found someone in the New Orleans area he could talk to. The plain-spoken Rocky Vaccarella, or "Rock", as GW likes to call him is apparently a man of few words. Isn't that right Rock?

MR. VACCARELLA: That's right.

What a pleasure this guy must be, two word answers and all.

Here are some notes about "The Rock":
-Not only is he a registered Republican, but according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, he has run for public office as a Republican
-According to the man who answered the phone at the Morris VACCARELLA Real Estate Agency (est. 1958), "The Rock" is "our cousin". They are huge Republican party contributors

This isn't a guy whose family was spread out across the nation; This isn't a guy who doesn't have a penny to his name or clothes enough for his family. This is a guy who can afford to rent a few trailers, hire a chef (Jason Miller, whom they call him the "FEMA Gourmet) "and take a caravan halfway across the United States on the hopes that he'll be able to sip mint juleps and have some grub with President Bush in the FEMA-type trailer. He even has a film-maker following his group around to archive the trip.

And, get this, he had the Chalmette High School band there to play the theme from "Rocky" for him.

"FEMA had some problems with us towing our own FEMA trailer. So the trailer we're pulling is borrowed, but it's an exact replica of a FEMA trailer."
-"The Rock"

I bet. Would you want to take a FEMA trailer on a trip of over a thousand miles?

Funny how there were no people from New Orleans' ninth ward available to take this trip with Rocky. I'm sure the accounts of their own experiences would be quite different from his. After all, if there was one black man on the trip, you could bet your bottom dollar that he would have been to the left of GW (as "Rocky" was on the right) with GW's arm around his shoulder.

"Rocky lost everything. He lost -- he and his family had every possession they had wiped out."

Good thing that Rocky has a wealthy family to turn to. His cousin at the agency told me that they expected him in today. Either that trailer could be towed at unprecedented speeds or "The Rock" is taking a jet back home.

"It is. You know, it's really amazing when a small man like me from St. Bernard Parish can meet the President of the United States. The President is a people person. I knew that from the beginning. I was confident that I could meet President Bush.
"And my mission was very simple. I wanted to thank President Bush for the millions of FEMA trailers that were brought down there. They gave roofs over people's head. People had the chance to have baths, air condition. We have TV, we have toiletry, we have things that are necessities that we can live upon.
"But now, I wanted to remind the President that the job's not done, and he knows that. And I just don't want the government and President Bush to forget about us. And I just wish the President could have another term in Washington."
-The Rock

Some comments about the above statement:

St. Bernard Parish is less than ten miles from New Orleans, and, with over 65,000 people living there. It's more of an affluent suburb. Rocky's stating that he's a small town boy from ST. Bernard Parish would be like me saying I'm a small town boy from Coney Island.

The President being a "people person" is. more than likely, true. After all he loves all people that can contribute to him and his party. He loves all of his "base" of "haves and have mores", which, no doubt, "The Rock" is a member.

Regarding those thousands of trailers that Rocky thanked the President for, one has to remember that none of them were shipped inside "the bowl". That's the area where the ninth ward is and is mainly occupied by New Orleans' poor. This is the area where those trailers were really needed. Those people without the trailers were, instead, sent all over the United States. Hmm... I wonder if they'll be able to get back to vote?

Yesterday, Bush said he was going to "re-commit" to the rebuilding of New Orleans and to helping its people. My question is: When did he ever "commit"?

There can be no doubt that Rocky Vaccarella is going to be throwing his hat into a Louisiana race in the near future. "The Rock" is Attempting to play a hero by screaming at everybody "Look at me! Look at me!" It's like the shows that GW puts on ala Karl "The Traitor" Rove, but instead of donning a flight suit and landing on an aircraft carrier to state "Mission Accomplished", he managed to wear a trailer as a suit and disguise himself as the representative for all the gulf coast citizenry. He attempted to show himself as one of the disadvantaged.

Someday soon, "The Rock" will run for the title of "Governor Photo-Op of The Magnolia State."


(Note: I know that Rocky spells his name R-O-C-K-E-Y, but it looked stupid. I changed it for this article. Call it "Poetic License". -NG)

-Noah Greenberg

Bush's Kind of Progress

"Nine African-American students in Louisiana were ordered to move “to the back of the school bus by a white driver who designated the front seats for white children.” The NAACP is considering filing charges."
-From the Shreveport Times (http://www.shreveporttimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060824/NEWS01/608240332/1002/NEWS)

My question is why is the NAACP only considering filing charges? Surely Bush's visit couldn't have had that much impact. This little news item goes well with hearing that Pat Buchanan wants an immediate moratorium on immigration because he wants to preserve the white race in America. By the way, did anyone see the little singing Nazi twins called Prussian Blue on Nightline?

-Victoria Brownworth


Through Rose-Colored Glasses

Asked whether they approved of the job Bush was handling terrorism 55 percent of the sample said they did while 43 percent said they did not, as reported in yesterday's The Washington Post

It is hard for me to see why Rove or any other Republican would be encouraged by this number.

The President is once again stumping relentlessly, (activist politician, but absentee President that he is);

Our sole reliable Coalition ally has just indicted conspirators in after foiling a major terror attack;

The Dems are busy reenacting 1968;

And the Leader of the Free World can't get over the rock bottom patriotic 55% approval mark on his handling of GWOT from our embattled nation?

It almost seems as if the GOP political strategists are wearing the same rose colored lenses that their military advisers are.

-Robert Chapman

Pro Life?

Mel Gibson claims to be a devout Christian. But is he pro-life? Does he "love his neighbor"?

He was pulled over for allegedly driving 87 mph in a 45 mph zone. And he was allegedly over the legal blood-alcohol level.

Anyone who chooses to drive while drunk, or chooses to go at the ridiculously high speed of 87 mph is endangering the lives of others. He is not pro-life and he does not truly respect others.

Gibson is a selfish egoist with a fast car who thinks he owns Malibu. He apologized to the Jewish people for the comments he made while intoxicated. Did he apologize to the citizens of Malibu?

We should stop putting actors and pop stars on pedestals. They have been caught driving while intoxicated, shoplifting, sleeping with children, terrorizing ex-spouses, etc. We fawn all over them and they, in turn, behave like absolute jerks.

Gibson talks as if he's a religious expert in his interviews. He made a religious movie. Big deal. He's not a religious expert, no matter how many religious movies he makes -- not until he learns to call a cab and control his tongue when he's drunk. Drunken drivers kill people, and to love one's neighbor means to drive only when sober.

-JAHAN JACOBSON, as forwarded by Eddie Konczal, from New Jersey's Courier Post Online

Another Slap in the Face to Our Soldiers

I hear plenty of talk from the right about supporting the troops, but talk is cheap.

Congress appears ready to slash funding for the research and treatment of brain injuries caused by bomb blasts, an injury that military scientists describe as a signature wound of the Iraq war.

House and Senate versions of the 2007 Defense appropriation bill contain $7 million for the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center — half of what the center received last fiscal year.

Proponents of increased funding say they are shocked to see cuts in the treatment of bomb blast injuries in the midst of a war.

"I find it basically unpardonable that Congress is not going to provide funds to take care of our soldiers and sailors who put their lives on the line for their country," says Martin Foil, a member of the center's board of directors. "It blows my imagination."

The Brain Injury Center saw its budget grow modestly since 2001, but in 2006, the center devoted to treating and understanding war-related brain injuries will no longer get the support it has requested. Asked for an explanation, a spokesperson for the Senate Appropriations Committee said lawmakers "would have loved to have funded it, but there were just so many priorities." The Republican spokesperson added that it's "such a tight fiscal year."

You've got to be kidding me.

George Zitnay, co-founder of the center, testified on the Hill in May that even in instances in which body armor saves troops' lives, it leaves many with brain damage. "Traumatic brain injury is the signature injury of the war on terrorism," he testified.

And how much money did Zitnay request for the Brain Injury Center? A relatively paltry $19 million. Senate Dems endorsed the request; Senate Republican leaders concluded it's "a tight fiscal year."

Let's make this painfully clear to the public: the exact same GOP leaders who believe we can afford to eliminate the cost of the estate tax, at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars, also believe $19 million for a brain-injury center for troops wounded in war is too high a price.

I keep hearing a rumor about one party being considered "pro-military." Remind me which party that is?


Nothing but the best for our troops from the Administration that brought us the longest war since Vietnam.

-Posted by Carpetbagger and commented by Victoria Brownworth

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-Noah Greenberg