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This is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


I have been falling behind in the "responses section of Madman. I will catch up this weekend. My apologies. -NG
There will be no Note from a Madman tomorrow night. It's a traveling day. -NG

Another Bush Crook

It's not a government working for the benefit of the people, it's more like the King's Court, similar to that of Louis and Marie Antoinette's. Having a seat in this government certainly does have more than its fair share of advantages.

Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, the former head of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), has a new career. And he has a staff to do his bidding and friends to put on lucrative payrolls. It's not only good to be the king, but it isn't so bad being a loyal subject with benefits.

You all might remember that Tomlinson as the guy who said that PBS, subsidized by the government, has too much of a "liberal bias" and felt that it was his job to change that. Behind the scenes he went to work attempting to prove his theory of liberalism on the public's airwaves by giving money to a conservative "analyst" for his expert opinion. The little-known Indiana consultant was paid thousands of US taxpayer dollars to watch "Now With Bill Moyers" on TV and listen to "The Diane Rehm Show" on National Public Radio. He also hired lobbyists to change the structure of how the CPB was organized.

I can just see it now. Instead of "Now with Bill Moyer's", we could have "How to steal money and still act Pious" with Ralph Reed or "Having More Guns than You Need, but Less Guns than You Want" with former Texas Republican Senator Phil Gramm. Give the people what they want.

Kenneth Konz, CPB's inspector general took Tomlinson to task for his possible "procedure violations", which included his attempted hiring of former "G"reed "O"ver" P"eople party co-chairwoman Patricia de Stacy Harrison to be CPB's CEO and the possibility that the White House influenced the decision.

How dare he insinuate such a thing.

"The board does not believe that Mr. Tomlinson acted maliciously or with any intent to harm CPB or public broadcasting, and the board recognizes that Mr. Tomlinson strongly disputes the findings in the soon-to-be-released Inspector General's report. The board expresses its disappointment in the performance of former key staff whose responsibility it was to advise the board and its members."
-A Statement from the CPB Board upon his resigning

I guess that was the price of his leaving peacefully.

"There's no doubt in my mind that Mr. Tomlinson's legacy at CPB is a negative one and that he has done far more harm to the CPB than good."
-Senator Byron L. Dorgan (D-ND)

Now there's an understatement

So what, one may ask, is Tomlinson doing today? Why he's still making money and the rounds in the Court of King George (43). The former CPB head is running the agency which is in charge of overseeing foreign broadcasts such as the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe. In that position, he was able to hire a pal at an annual salary of $250,000 per year and use the agency's employees as messengers and charges to tend to his personal affairs.

Man, did I join the wrong political party, or what?

He even ran a stable of thoroughbreds, named for Afghanistan leaders like Hamid Karzai, using public employees and possibly public funds. I wonder, is there a Mullah Omar or Osama bin-Laden in that stable?

As of now, Tomlinson's lawyer, James Hamilton had no comment.

If you're wondering what the Tomlinson-Bush connection is, look no further than Karl "The Traitor" Rove. The two became friends when they served together on the Broadcasting Board years ago.

To go along with his stealing big, Tomlinson is also an expert at stealing small. He has requested compensation from the federal government for over 130 days worked and has filed, and received pay for 14 days in which he claimed to have worked for both the CPB and the other agency. Obviously, the man is so talented, he could do two jobs at the same time. This IS a great country... for some.

"Investigators who seized Mr. Tomlinsonís e-mail, telephone and office records found that he had improperly and extensively used his office at the Broadcasting Board to do nongovernmental work, including work for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and horse racing and breeding ventures. The material seized included racing forms and evidence that he used the office to buy and sell thoroughbreds."

-The New York Times, from the article "Inquiry Criticizes U.S. Broadcasting Official Over Hiring" by STEPHEN LABATON

You see, there are entitlement programs which the Bush administration no only can tolerate, but promote. Kenneth Y. Tomlinson is a participant.

-Noah Greenberg

Don't Let Them Get Away With It

This is the week to smack down Bush and the Republican rubber stamps hard on Katrina. As Think Progress reports, the state of New Orleans one year after Katrina is a disaster:

Less than half of the cityís pre-storm population of 460,000 has returned, putting the population at roughly what it was in 1880.
Nearly one-third of the trash has yet to be picked up.
Sixty percent of homes still lack electricity.
Seventeen percent of the buses are operational.
Half of the physicians have left, and there is a shortage of 1,000 nurses.
Six of the nine hospitals remain closed.
Sixty-six percent of public schools have reopened.
A 40 percent hike in rental rates, disproportionately affecting black and low-income families.
A 300 percent increase in the suicide rate.

Don't let the Rethuglicans get away with spinning. They have been kicking up a smoke screen in the media all week long The best way to combat them is by writing in blogs, letters to the editor, etc...

-Forwarded and commented by Robert Scardapane

Just What IS wrong With Kansas?

Kansas farm families are carrying heavy loads of medical debt, even though most of them are covered by some health insurance, a new study shows.

A survey of Kansas farmers by the Boston-based Access Project found that an overwhelming majority of farmers - about 95 percent - bought medical insurance. But many had purchased either minimal or catastrophic health policies that left them vulnerable to most illnesses or accidents.

"Isn't it good to have something? I am not sure. That something needs to cover the things you have to have covered, otherwise all those monthly payments are meaningless - you just threw your money away," said Bill Lottero, an analyst with The Access Project.

"It is unusual to see people with this level of insurance and yet having medical debt across the span - that was surprising to me," said Kim Moore, president of the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund.


So even in the nation's "heartland" the pinch is being felt. I am amazed that people in Kansas vote Republican. What are they getting for their vote? Certainly not a society with a shared risk and social justice. Would they trade their children's lives away just to stop civil unions and abortions? I find that trade off to be incomprehensible and yes I have read portions of "What's The Matter With Kansas?" by Thomas Franks. I think that Democrats at a national level just aren't working hard enough in Kansas.

It's odd that Democrats have done very well at a local level in Kansas.

That tells me, there is no reason why Democrats can't win at a national level - even in Kansas!

-Forwarded from an AP article and commented by Robert Scardapane

In response to, "Expect a massive media campaign from the Bushitas this week on Katrina. They will spin the so called "good news" just as they did with Iraq," Pat Thompson writes:

Listen in a little to right wing radio, if you can stand it. I've been hearing the spin that the money was wasted by people who took aid illegally, using more than one social security number. You know, the old "welfare cheat" routines. People taking aid money to go to Vegas and gamble, etc. That's what they're saying. Disgusting. And they are all criminals anyway, as evidenced by the higher crime rate in Houston since the Katrina evacuees got there.

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-Noah Greenberg