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This is What Democracy Looks Like

Thursday Madman

Thursday, August 31, 2006

 

Due to the Labor Day Weekend, there will be no Note from a Madman this weekend.


BOOM Goes the Plan

Another bomb and another group of Iraqi civilians lose their lives. This will be the legacy of the Bush invasion into Iraq. After all, it is HIS invasion. At least 300 casualties have been reported by the new, Shi'ite led government, with at least 50 left dead. Those numbers might be well-underestimated, in what might have been a coordinated Sunni attack.

So, is there a civil war in Iraq?

And what happens after an attack like this? Does the new Iraqi government send in their police to track down the culprits? Do the police come forward and say, "We will take responsibility for the safety and security of our people," or "We will track them down and make an example of them"? Nah.

Why bother when you we all know that the Americans will come with their tanks and guns, to provide the temporary security to the area. Of course, they'll get there after the bombs go "BOOM" and the dead have been carried away. Even with the raise in our troop level "over there" to 140,000, and the forced "back-door draft" of soldiers who thought that they were done with their tours of duty, we simply cannot keep the peace in the mess that we have made.

Is there a civil war "over there" yet? WELL IS THERE?

"A Web site used by Sunni militants published a statement purportedly from al Qaeda's umbrella organization in Iraq. It renewed the sort of call for a holy war on the Shi'ite majority that many fear could help provoke all-out sectarian civil war."
-A Reuters article by Alastair Macdonald

So now, it appears, that "G"lobal "W"arming Bush can claim that al-Qaeda's terrorist organization is embedded in Iraq. The policies of the Bushies have led the Sunnis right into their arms. Every day that goes by makes the dis-union between Sunnis and Shi'ites that much farther away. I wonder what would have really happened had we killed Osama bin-Laden when we had the chance right after 9/11?

HEY, GW! OVER HERE STUPID! THERE IS A CIVIL WAR IN IRAQ AND IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT!

"If America were to pull out before Iraq could defend itself, the consequences would be absolutely predictable and absolutely disastrous. We would be handing Iraq over to our worst enemies."
"They would have a new sanctuary ... with huge oil riches."
-Bush


Bush and his "base" of "haves and have mores" are now posturing the US position in Iraq so the situation will stay at the new "status quo" even after they leave office. They want to make it impossible for our nation's children, our troops, to leave Iraq. The reason is simple: They aren't concerned that the resources of Iraq will go to the terrorists... They're concerned that it won't go to them. Can anyone say Halliburton?

Things get worse on the surface and stay just as planned for the Bushies.

-Noah Greenberg



The Bush Rewards

When will the Bush administration wake up and realize that economic policy based on tax cuts for the very wealthy has not led to broad-based economic gains for most American families? Recently, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said that growing inequality is "not a good trend," but does this mean that the administration will focus its attention on how to foster income growth for every one of us? Let's hope so. Then, this recovery could become a footnote, rather than a new chapter of economic history.
-From tompaine.com by Heather Boushey:

I really like most editorials in tompaine.com. Sometimes I wonder if the writers are a bit naive.,We should all realize by now that Bush accomplished many of his goals. He wanted to reward the "haves and the have mores" with huge tax cuts. He wanted to reward the oil companies with taxpayer subsidies He wanted to give taxpayer dollars to the religious right with so
called "faith based initiatives". In short, Bush rewards those who got him elected. It's no different than the relationship between politicians and lobbies. All you need to do is think of the "haves and have mores" and the religious right as lobbies.


-Robert Scardapane



The Two Faces of "Imminent Danger"

Cheney's line, which he has used before also, was that today's Jihadists are "not an enemy that can be ignored, or negotiated with, or appeased." Cheney speaks of the enemy as a "totalitarian empire," Rummy refers to it as "the rising threat of a new type of fascism."
-From tompaine.com

Totalitarian empire? Rising threat of a new type of fascism? These dudes should look at themselves in the mirror! The United States is in imminent danger of fascism and totalitarian empire from within. The rising fascism and totalitarian empire is a result of the neoconservatives - Crummy Rummy Shotgun Dick, that means you!


-Robert Scardapane



Those Darn "Internets" Again

 

CNN has confirmed that Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) has placed a hold on a bill that would require the government to publish online a database of federal spending.

I guess Stevens does not want the federal spending database to get tangled up with his personal Internet! After all, the Internet, as Stevens has described it, "is not something you just dump something on. It's not a truck. It's a series of tubes."


-Eddie Konczal



American Reality- from the AFL-CIO

The median hourly wage for America’s workers has declined 2 percent since 2003, after factoring in inflation—while productivity has steadily risen, according to yesterday’s The New York Times. Wages and salaries now make up the lowest share of the nation’s gross domestic product since the government began recording the data in 1947. But the top 1 percent of earners—including many corporate CEOs—received 11.2 percent of all wage income, up from 8.7 percent a decade earlier and less than 6 percent three decades ago, according to Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty, economists who analyzed the tax data.

The number of Americans without health insurance rose to a record in 2005—from 45.3 million in 2004 to 46.6 million in 2005, according to Census Bureau figures released today. This rate is higher than all but two years (1997 and 1998) since the data series began in 1987. Nearly 46 million are without health insurance—as medical costs increased three times as fast as wages, according to forecasts for a Census Bureau report today. The total has climbed every year since President George W. Bush took office—and that’s according to the corporate media mouthpiece, Bloomberg.com.

The Census Bureau also reports the percentage of uninsured children rose from 10.8 percent in 2004 to 11.2 percent in 2005. This reverses a trend that started in 1998 of declining uninsured rates for children.

Meanwhile, employer-provided health coverage dropped from 61.5 percent of workers in 1989 to 58.9 percent in 2000, sliding to 55.9 percent in 2004, according to the nonprofit Economic Policy Institute (EPI). “Less well known is the fact that those who still receive employer-provided coverage are now paying a larger share of those insurance costs,” economist Lawrence Mishel, EPI president, said in EPI’s biennial report, State of Working America, which will be released in full on Labor Day.

Inequality in the United States is on the rise, whether measured in terms of wages, family incomes or wealth, and is much higher than that of other advanced countries, according to EPI. The richest 1 percent of wealth holders had 125 times the wealth of the typical household in 1962. By 2004, they had 190 times as much or $14.8 million in wealth for the upper 1 percent compared with just $82,000 for the household in the middle fifth of wealth.

Census data show the median wealth of the average African American household ($11,800) is one-tenth that of white households.

The net worth of U.S. households is deteriorating, as Americans cope with rising debt, flattening real estate values and stagnant wages, according to EPI. The accumulation of stocks, bonds, bank savings or other assets aside from equity in their homes has eluded many Americans. In fact, about 30 percent of households have a net worth of less than $10,000.

The housing market—houses are the most significant form of wealth for most of America’s workers—is tanking. Housing inventory now stands at 7.3 months, the highest since 1993. New home sales are down 21.6 percent. According to economists quoted in The [London] Observer, this downturn in the U.S. housing market will force businesses to slash 73,000 jobs a month in the new year and could be more damaging to the world economy than the dotcom crash
****

Had enough of Conservative policy?


-Forwarded and commented by Robert Scardapane



... and More of the Same

One of the nation's most vexing public-health problems deepened last year as the number of Americans without health insurance jumped by 1.3 million to 46.6 million, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday.

Children accounted for 8.3 million of the uninsured, up from 7.9 million in 2004. Nearly 1 in 5 impoverished children lacked coverage in 2005, and 22 percent of Hispanic children were uninsured. In Kansas, 10.9 percent of people lack health insurance.

The new estimates, part of an annual census survey, mark the fifth straight year that the ranks of the uninsured have increased. The new data, which show that nearly 16 percent of Americans lack health coverage, caught many by surprise because unemployment rates were fairly stable last year.

"I thought we'd have a little reprieve," said Catherine Hoffman, senior researcher at the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. "But the problem doesn't seem to be abating even though the economy seemed to have settled in 2005."

The spike in uninsured children, from 10.8 percent in 2004 to 11.2 percent in 2005, is the first in nearly a decade, Hoffman said.

Most experts cited the cost-driven decline of employer-based health coverage and private insurance for the overall increase.

-From TONY PUGH writing in the McClatchy Newspapers:
***

Are we going to wait until the cost of health care exceeds what we can afford OR are we ready for single payer health care now?


-Robert Scardapane



Snarly-Pussuss Cheney is at it Again

Dean Democrats have defeated Joe Lieberman" with "a candidate whose explicit goal is to give up the fight against the terrorists" and a strategy of "defeatism in the face of determined enemies."
-Dick "Go <F---> Yourself" Cheney


So now I know what Dumbya meant he said that he won't attack the patriotism of Iraq war/occupation critics? What he meant is that Darth Cheney would do that job for him! Shotgun Dick, I have some advice for you - go back to where you came from - namely, hell!

-Robert Scardapane



She Should Have Punched Him

One year ago, Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu was so frustrated by Bush's inept response to Hurricane Katrina that she went on national television and threatened to 'literally punch him.' Now, a year later, Landrieu is still disgusted by the administration's "lack of follow through."
***

Senator Landrieu, you should have punched him! A good moment would have been when Dumbya made a speech from an artificially lit up Jackson Square. Dumbya promised to build New Orleans higher and better yet he hasn't even started to rebuild the ninth ward. In short, Dumbya is a liar ... was there ever any doubt.


-Robert Scardapane



Our Pocket Book

Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-NY) - Rethuglican NRCC - says that the "Thugs" will address pocket book issues. Really? This is the party that awards tax cuts to upper 1%, gives tax payer dollars to oil & gas companies and couldn't pass a minimum wage without tying it to estate tax repeal. He then says that the "Thugs" main issue is to make the Bush tax cuts permanent ... more fodder for haves and have mores. What irritates me the most is that the person interviewing him didn't even challenge his absurd statements. The Thugs have no credibility on pocket book issues, security and quite honestly on anything.

-Robert Scardapane



In response to, "We heard right after 9/11 that, had Al Gore been president during the terror attacks, there would have been no response and that "G"lobal "W"arming Bush was the only man who could get us through the nightmare. We now all know that this was, and is untrue. Had Al Gore been president, I feel confident that we would have captured or killed Osama bin-Laden when we had him surrounded in the Tora Bora Mountains of Afghanistan," Eddie Konczal writes:

It might not even have come to that. I don't think Al Gore would have ignored a memo called "Bin Laden Determined to Strike Inside U.S." Perhaps he, like Bush, could not have prevented 9/11 from occurring. But he might have tried, rather than clearing brush and watching his dog chase armadillos. As we know from "An Inconvenient Truth," Al Gore is not one to ignore imminent disasters.



And Robert Chapman adds:

I will take the risk of sounding like someone from the lunatic fringe, but I still have trouble accepting proposition that the full scale of devastation that occurred on 9/11/01 would have happened had Gore been President.

The 9/11 Commission clearly documented that the President received briefings warning of an imminent attack in the fall or late summer.
His response: to retire to Crawford for the longest Presidential vacation then on record.
The GOP apologists say the President was justified because none of the intelligence in the briefing was actionable.

Well, how does intelligence become actionable? By a new stoolie showing up and serendipitously providing exactly the right word at exactly the right time? Of course not! Intelligence becomes actionable because high level officials demand it.

Anyone who saw Bush's flummoxed face on video when he received the news of the 9/11 attack knows that Bush and his people were not demanding actionable intelligence prior to the attack. In large part, the attack came off successfully because the GOP Administration looked the other way.

NOT ONE SINGLE AMERICAN OFFICIAL HAS BEEN HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR ALLOWING THE LARGEST MASS MURDER IN AMERICAN HISTORY.

The GOP is about to launch a major PR campaign extolling President Bush his strength and tenacity on security matters. It is important to remember that 43 is the first President since 1813 to preside over an attack on the Homeland. It is not an accident that this happened on his watch. It is the result of his arrogant and sloppy approach to his duties as President.

During the coming weeks as the GOP politicians raise the grim scenario of burning ruins in American cities, remind the people listening, that this is not a dream, but a memory and that George W. Bush is the Commander-in-Chief who let it happen.



And Pat Thompson writes:

Al Gore would have proceeded legally against those who financed and planned the attacks, supposing they would have happened in a Gore presidency. Dropping bombs on innocent Iraqi citizens, destroying their country, and killing tens of thousands of their people, is not an appropriate action in retaliation for 15 Saudi Arabians hijacking our planes.

The fact that a significant percentage of Americans don't know that, don't know the difference between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, is a sad commentary on the intelligence of our citizens. "Support our Troops" is really an empty slogan when our troops have been sent to do the wrong job, and are dying in the crossfire of an exploded nation.

Terrorists are still in the minority, living amid innocent civilians. To think that we can wipe out terrorists by wholesale bombing of entire countries is akin to burning down your home to get rid of termites. As we all know, the actions of Bush in Iraq, and Afghanistan, has only increased terrorist recruiting. The tedious work of following the money, doing intelligence work, relying on information from friendly allies isn't Bush's "style".

Wanted Dead or Alive is more his level of intelligence...and then, "I don't think about Bin Laden too much anymore". He can't concentrate, his decision making is flawed, and he is just plain ignorant. And the tool of the powerful global weapons and energy industries who want wars and pipelines.



And in response to, "There are other things that I think would have happened had Al Gore not chickened out and fought a battle he might have won in 2000," Pat Thompson writes:

Al Gore knew he couldn't fight the Supreme Court. Where is the higher authority to appeal to?

I am always both amazed, and annoyed by people who blame Al Gore for what happened in 2000. He had been a terrific VP for 8 years, but the right wing slime and smear machine had gone to work on him years before 2000. He was also somewhat tarnished by the Lewinsky business. And somehow the machine, with the media doing their part, made him look like a foolish person, a person who exaggerated his accomplishments, who actually lied; none of which was true.

We wouldn't be doing what we do on the internet if it hadn't been for Al Gore's interest, actions, and accomplishments in moving it along from a tool used solely by the military, to what it is today. And he did win by over 500,000 popular votes. When the various news organizations did their own recount in Florida, after the fact, under the Freedom of Information Act, they found that under most scenarios of hanging chads and dimpled chads, that Gore had won Florida. That news was due to come out on September 12, 2005, but something else happened on September 11 that blew that news out of the water.

Just one more reason why I and lots of others have a lingering suspicion that the attacks of 9/11 were either allowed to happen, or caused to happen by this illegal government we now have. 15 of the 19 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia -- where Bush has some very good friends..... (watch Farenheit 911 again, if you haven't seen it lately. And read Another Pearl Harbor, or watch the on -line film Loose Change).

We can discuss Iraq, or Iran, or the Patriot Act, or anything else, but the bottom line is always: Is this a legally elected government, and did they solidify their position by engineering an attack to create fear and terror? Until we can safely say that neither of those suppositions are true, nothing else matters much, because we are no longer a Democracy, and we should be applying for citizenship in Canada or Sweden or the Netherlands.



In response to "Measuring the Difference" Michael Brandes writes:

Dumbya was clueless how to deal with 9/11, clueless with Iraq because he decided we needed to go there and fight a war over NOTHING (which has resulted in the loss of over 2500 soldiers). But the worst, brainless move he has made was having absolutely NO response to Katrina. He's a racist and it shows in his response to the poor people from New Orleans. You can bet that it would have been different if it had happened in is home state of Texas or to his rich base of "haves and have mores". He ignored it then and decided to state , one year later, that things in Louisiana were "good" even though so many people had not returned home and the area has been left the way it was from the disaster. It is an absolute disgrace.

ANYONE other than Dumbya would have done a better job and produced, at least, some results. The amount of money given to New Orleans to rebuild by the Bushies is an absolute disgrace. The working class citizens there cannot and should not be expected to pay for the rebuilding of the area entirely on their own.

Remember that a year ago, the Bushies, particularly George Dumbya, were on vacation, sitting on their behinds doing absolutely nothing when they could have sent relief down to Louisiana. A month after Katrina, Bush did respond when Rita hit his beloved Texas. Now, Dumbya actually shows a bit of concern in the rebuilding of New Orleans and says things are doing well there.

Let's face it, the only reason GW's showing such concern is because he's afraid that his base of haves and have mores in Congress will lose their majority come election time in November, resulting in his loss of power to do whatever he so pleases. Dumbya is dumb, but is smart enough to know that if he loses his majority in Congress, most of his sneaky schemes wouldn't be allowed by Congress. Using the example of Hurricane Katrina and its still-occurring aftermath should tell all American voters to vote Democrat this November

We need a change, just in case another disaster like Katrina strikes again.


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-Noah Greenberg