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This is What Democracy Looks Like

Labor Day Madman

Monday, September 4, 2006


Crying DeLay

"I'm very disappointed in our justice system. There doesn't seem to be justice,"
-Former Rep. Tom "Whatever I did, I did out of love for my country" DeLay

DeLay is upset that a Texas judge won't let the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party in Texas replace his name on the Republican side of the ballot for his old congressional seat this November. Maybe the judge remembered what DeLay did in Texas with his TRMPAC money-making congressional-seat-stealing political action committee. Maybe the judge just followed the law.

"I am the law,"
-DeLay to a Washington, DC area waiter, after the waiter asked the Texas Republican to put out his cigar , as cigar smoking in restaurants there are against the law.

There are, of course, situations where a name on the Texas ballot can be replaced by a political party. They would require DeLay either:
1- To Die
2- To be convicted of a crime
3- To move away from Texas

As we all can see, DeLay isn't dead. Despite those dead, shark-before-the-kill eyes, rumors of his demise have been completely exaggerated. As for his political career, however, let's just say that no GOP candidate is asking "Tommy-Boy" to take a campaign picture with him.

Although DeLay has been indicted on a slew of charges, including using national GOP funds for Texas state elections; which turned the Democratic legislature into a Republican legislature; which allowed the gerrymandering of Texas' US congressional districts, resulting in more GOP congressional seats in the House of Representatives, he has yet to be convicted of a crime. Unlike Former Rep. Randall "Duke" Cunningham who, like Delay, has been caught doing some illegal stuff with his powers, "Texas-Tom" didn't see fit to admit his wrong-doings and accept his eventual fate of a real jail term for his misdeeds. Cunningham had admitted his crimes, asked for forgiveness and is spending eight-and-a-third in jail.

And finally, we come to this:

"We read the law and the law is very specific. You're ineligible if you die, have committed a felony and are convicted of a felony, if you are not mentally capable of serving or if you've moved out of the state."

DeLay has changed his formal address of record. You see, due to his fortunes "earned" as a GOP congressional leader, he has been able to afford a grand mansion in the DC area as well as in Texas. So, when confronted with the real probability at his party losing his house seat this November, DeLay "officially" changed his address from his Sugarland, Texas home to his DC area home. Bear in mind that DeLay already owned both homes and that his wife, who he's still married to, still calls Texas home, and the fact that he really hadn't "moved" at all, ask yourself what the judge must have asked himself: Just what has changed?

Since "option 3" (the moving thing) has been shot out of the water, DeLay can still benefit his Texas GOP brethren: He could call up the Austin, Texas District Attorney and confess, which would make him a convict, thus eliminating him from the ballot ("option 2"); or he could have himself "done in" (Option 1). I prefer DeLay use "option 2". It make better, long-lasting headlines.

-Noah Greenberg

Santorum: The Horse's Mouth (Or...)

SANTORUM: We have a great game plan,
MADMAN: No plan for an occupation and no exit strategy. Just how many NFL, NCAA, High School or pee-wee coaches plan to play their game forever, or until everyone is dead?

RUSSERT: Let me talk about a Pentagon report on Friday. Our ambassador to Iraq has said the principal problem is not foreign terrorists, it’s sectarian violence, Sunni vs. Shiite.
SANTORUM: The fact that not only do the Sunnis and the Shia, the, the radical Sunni terrorist groups, as well as nation-states, Shia nation-states like Iran, want to defeat the United States—and we’ve seen that very clearly, articulated just yesterday about submitting to, to their rule. And this was...
RUSSERT: But, but stay on Iraq, Senator.
SANTORUM: But understand, at the, at the heart of this war is Iran. Iran is the, is, is the problem here. Iran is the one that’s causing most of the problems in, in Iraq. It is causing most of the problems, obviously, with Israel today. It is, it is the one funding these organizations. And is the, is the country that we need to focus on in this war against Islamic fascism.
RUSSERT: So Iran now has more influence in Iraq than they did before Saddam Hussein?
SANTORUM: Just understand.
RUSSERT: Is that true?
SANTORUM: I would say that they have influence in, in, in a free country where you have an opportunity to express yourself, if you will. Yes. You can probably do more...
MADMAN: In a move that Sen. Santorum attempted all during the debate, the senator kept pushing the Bush administration line that Iran is now behind everything. If that truly is the case, then why was Iraq "thing one" on the president's hit list, and not Iran? Iran is a real threat, but it's not an end-all and be-all excuse for the Bushies, and their followers like Santorum to use. Iran should not be a Weapon of Mass Distraction.

RUSSERT: Senator Santorum, leading up to the war. In October of 2002, this is what Rick Santorum said, “Saddam Hussein’s regime, is a serious and grave danger to the safety of the American people.” “Given the threat posed to he world by his weapons of mass destruction programs...” Would you now acknowledge that that was not correct?
SANTORUM: What I would say is that we have found weapons of mass destruction, they were older weapons, but we have found chemical weapons. The report was just released not too long ago that, that said that there were over 500 chemical weapons found in Iraq.
RUSSERT: Senator, the president has accepted the report of his two task force and said, “That the chief weapons inspector has issued his report. Iraq did not have the weapons our intelligence believed were there.”
MADMAN: This must be one of those rare time that Santorum didn't agree with the president. During the time that he had a chance to stand up and be counted and show his opposition to the president's policies, Santorum has never voted against GW more than three percent of the time (on an annual basis, according to Russert and Meet the Press' staff). I fact. Santorum voted with President Bush 100 percent of the time in 2004. Today, he distances himself from Bush as often as he can, including being 130 miles away while the president campaigned in Pennsylvania for another candidate. But in this case, Santorum refuses to believe the evidence as it stands, and as President Bush believes it to be: That there were no Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq before the invasion and that the intelligence (if one can call it that) was wrong. Rick Santorum stays with the company line well after the company cut it loose.

RUSSERT: President Bush said that Iraq had “nothing to do with September 11th.” Do you agree with that?
SANTORUM: As far as we know, that’s, that’s the case. But... In fact, the Saddam Hussein government was giving bounties for killing Israelis, giving terrorists bounties for killing Israelis.
MADMAN: There is no "But,,," here. If invading Iraq was in response to Saddam Hussein's actions against Israelis and the Israeli government, than that reason either should have been stated or left to the Israelis to take care of. Santorum used the "Israeli Defense" for the invasion of Iraq. As Jew, I find this pandering to the American Jewish population, and the religious Right appalling.

SANTORUM: My, my opponent has, my opponent has, my opponent has no plan. The idea—all he’s suggested is his plan is Special...
CASEY: I just gave a plan. Where’s yours?
MADMAN: Stay the course, no matter where it brings you nor how many troops lost is Senator Santorum's preferred course. And, thanks to him we are dead set on it.

SANTORUM: the American people are not going to stand—are, are, are losing their resolve because of the tactics the terrorists are using. Understand, terrorists understand. What they, what they want to accomplish is every single day to kill people, and every single day make it hard for Americans to open up their papers, or turn on their television and find more death and more destruction. And it’s undermining our ability to prosecute this war.
We need to lay out for the American public what this war is, the fact that we are up against, I think, the greatest challenge of this, of this country’s history.
MADMAN: In other words, it's the media's fault for not telling the American people what the Bushies want us to hear. Sounds to me like Santorum wants to "Catapult the propaganda," like President Bush said.

SANTORUM: The bottom line is, are we going to get the focus right as to who the enemy is and how we, how we have to go after them?
MADMAN: So, after three plus years in Iraq we still don't apparently know who our enemy is? This is the true Bush tactic of a never-ending war that uses our troops as cannon fodder in an effort to keep Bush's and Santorum's war-profiteering "base" of "haves and have mores" in the money. It is the blood of the Children of American and the money supplied by our middle class taxes that keep Santorum's supporters rich and richer.

Much of the same rhetoric over and over again. Santorum uses the Bush line while, at the same time, tries to say that he differs from the president in many ways. The truth is that, with people like "Ricky-Boy" in office, we will never be out of Iraq. Sending Santorum home is a part of the first step in the American middle class' taking back America and it needs to happen this November.

-Noah Greenberg

The Terrorists Must Be Laughing

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Air passengers from Charlotte to Little Rock, Arkansas, had to hurry off their plane Friday after someone found a suspicious liquid on board.

The flight landed at Little Rock as scheduled Friday afternoon. But about seven miles before it landed, a crew member reported two passengers with two bottles of liquid. Police, firefighters and the bomb squad were called in, but the liquid turned out to be water.

-Forwarded by Sean (Mr. Blue-Sky)

Catapulting the Propaganda

President Bush may have analytical strengths, but his comparison of opponents of the Iraq War to pre=World War II appeasers shows he can be sloppy in applying them.

There is no rational historical comparison between the international relations in Europe in the late thirties to the present situation in Iraq, or even with the Global War On Terror. A more apt comparison would be the domestic politics of the United States with the early phase of the Third Reich when Propaganda Minister Dr. Josef Goebbels invented the technique now known as the big lie.

The technique is to tell a big lie and to repeat it so often and so authoritatively that the public will believe it. Clearly the President and his surrogate speakers have opted to employ Dr. Goebbels technique.

-Robert Chapman

Media Madman
"Iraq reports al-Qaeda's No. 2 captured"

Once again, we see the "number 2" headline.

How many Number Twos have been captured to date? Does anybody realize that every time we catch a Number Two, somebody else gets promoted to take his place? It's beginning to remind me of the 60's mod/sci-fi series "The Prisoner" starring Patrick McGoohan as "Number 6". At the beginning of every show, we heard this exchange:

No 6: "Who are you?"
No 2: "I am the NEW Number Two!"
No 6: "Where is number one?"
No 2: "You are Number Six."

They can keep catching Number Twos until the cows come home, but when it comes to Number One, fact emulates fiction all too closely. Remember what Bush said about Osama bin Laden on on March 13, 2002:

"I truly am not that concerned about him."

One thing is certain: the United States needs BOTH a new Number One and Number Two!

-Eddie Konczal

A Series of Tubes
Senator Stevens: How the Internet Works


Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) offers up this explanation for why he voted against net neutrality laws and offers up this amazing explanation of how the Internet works.

"There's one company now you can sign up and you can get a movie delivered to your house daily by delivery service. Okay. And currently it comes to your house, it gets put in the mail box when you get home and you change your order but you pay for that, right.

But this service isn't going to go through the internet and what you do is you just go to a place on the internet and you order your movie and guess what you can order ten of them delivered to you and the delivery charge is free.

Ten of them streaming across that internet and what happens to your own personal internet?

I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday. Why?

Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the internet commercially.

So you want to talk about the consumer? Let's talk about you and me. We use this internet to communicate and we aren't using it for commercial purposes.

We aren't earning anything by going on that internet. Now I'm not saying you have to or you want to discriminate against those people [...]

The regulatory approach is wrong. Your approach is regulatory in the sense that it says "No one can charge anyone for massively invading this world of the internet". No, I'm not finished. I want people to understand my position, I'm not going to take a lot of time. [?]

They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the internet. And again, the internet is not something you just dump something on. It's not a truck.

It's a series of tubes.

And if you don't understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and its going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.

Now we have a separate Department of Defense internet now, did you know that?

Do you know why?

Because they have to have theirs delivered immediately. They can't afford getting delayed by other people.


Now I think these people are arguing whether they should be able to dump all that stuff on the internet ought to consider if they should develop a system themselves.

Maybe there is a place for a commercial net but it's not using what consumers use every day.

It's not using the messaging service that is essential to small businesses, to our operation of families.

The whole concept is that we should not go into this until someone shows that there is something that has been done that really is a violation of net neutrality that hits you and me."

-Forwarded by Eddie Konczal

In response to, "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!" Rhian writes:

They were diagnosed with grandiose paranoia, today on NPR.

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-Noah Greenberg