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This is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

Friday-Sunday, November 24-26, 2006

 

Meet Me in The "Lobby"

 

So I'm reading this article in the Washington Post about how scared the GOP-supported "K-Street" Lobbyists are due to the 2006 upheaval and it looks like they are really concerned. They're worried that their REPUBLICAN-ONLY business meetings will disappear into the dust which they came from and lobby groups, such as The Sierra Club, concerned more about the world we all live in rather than the profits which can be gained from raping it, now hole most of the chips.

 

They do, however, hold one big chip: They have more than 40 (49, to be exact) GOP votes left in the Senate which allows their agenda that filibuster which they bought, along with their GOP senators.

 

"K-Street", so called due to the street on which these Right-Wing bribers of congress do their business, is now a much sadder place. First there was the conviction of Ubber-Lobbyist Jack Abramoff, one of, if not THE Founder of the "K-Street Project". As a reminder, the "K-Street Project" was a revolving door idea designed to put right-wing lobbyists on the staffs of GOP lawmakers and ex-GOP lawmakers into right-wing lobby firms, thus allowing a small kabal of business "leaders" something more important than votes: Unbridled influence.

 

Oil and drug firms are shaking in their boots at the possibility, or probability (and it better become an inevitability) that the new DEMOCRATIC-LED House and Senate will end their frequent closed-door, need-to-know meetings and start governing for the people of America who put them into office. Let's hope that the new congressional leadership will make it their business to re-create the dividing-line between "K-Street" and themselves which has been so blurred over the past few years.

 

Next, there was the plethora of Congressmen and other political leaders who made it their job to make themselves richer at our expense. There was FORMER Rep. Tom DeLay (REPUBLICAN-TX) who has been indicted by an Austin, Texas grand jury; Randy "Duke" Cunningham (REPUBLICAN-CA), the former Vietnam war flying ace who made a killing with his "bribery menu; there was Tom Noe, the Ohio government official who ripped off the people of the Buckeye state and, very possibly, cost J. Kenneth Blackwell the state house. The list goes on and on.

 

What are the "K-Streeters" going to do? They're looking to hire former Democrats in their firms and hire experienced Democratic lobbyists to open these news blue-colored congressional doors. At the same time, they're going to keep their Republican lobbyists as well.

 

Brilliant, aren't they.

 

What we'll need now are leaders in both houses that will not only shun the advances of the "new-lobbyists", but will fight them as they endeavor to turn weaker Democratic office holders toward "the Dark Side". More specifically, I'm looking at current Rep. and Senator-elect Sherrod Brown (DEMOCRAT-OH), who ran on an honesty platform, to be one of "those guys" who will force his congressional club-members into doing the right (or is that "left"?) thing.

 

he new "K-Streeters" are lining up and they've covered their red armbands with blue ones. We can't allow our congress to be put under their thumb. The oversight that we, the American people, refused to perform must be done now. It's our responsibility to make sure that this new congress does OUR will, not the will of the ubber-lobbyist flavor-of-the-day.

 

Lobby reform is the key to getting anything done in this new congress, and there will be plenty of Republican AND Democrats ready to scratch and claw for, what they no doubt feel, is their right to their spoils.

 

"Where can you eat for $20 McDonalds?"

-Former and new GOP Senate Whip Trent Lott (REPUBLICAN-MS)

 

Here's what I expect from you, Senator Lott: I expect you to pay for your own meals. I expect you to not look upon your senate seat as a license to print money. And for $20? I expect change back form that. order from the dollar menu like many of your constituents do. Remember that your true "base" are not really made up of the "haves and have mores".

 

-Noah Greenberg

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Bush, The Elder

 

The Toronto Daily Mail carried a story earlier this week informing readers that GHW Bush, while attending a conference on security in one of the Gulf Emirates, got mad and made an angry speech stating W "is an honest man" and that he deserves respect.

 

A woman got up to rebut the former President's statement and said President Bush and the American policy in Iraq deserved nothing but contempt.  The crowd then spontaneously responded in a thunderous outburst that "left the 82 year old former President visibly stunned."

 

In his statement defending the current Iraq policy GHW Bush has publicly humiliated the US and through this flip-flop from his pre-war position of opposition to the invasion shows a level of nepotism un-exceeded since Napoleon sat his brothers on the thrones of Europe.

 

If it were constitutionally acceptable, I would advocate stripping the GHW Bush of citizenship.

 

-Robert Chapman

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In response to "Doctor, Heal Thyself", Carol Yost writes:

 

Noah, your idea for enabling lower-income medical students to become doctors is very good.  It will work as far as I'm concerned.

 

-

 

And Billie M. Spaight writes:

 

Legal and Medical Care--and the REAL Cost of Living

 

Good plan for the doctors. I agree with it. But there is one flaw in your reasoning with regard to lawyers and this is it: We have as much "right" to see a doctor as we do a lawyer actually. BUT, and here's the big BUT, the problem is financial. A person who is accused of a crime will be assigned a lawyer, just as somebody who is way, way below the poverty line will be treated in a hospital.

 

The big problem is that people who do not fall into the category of "poverty" will not receive any help from either doctors or lawyers. The category of poverty is so low as to be totally unrealistic. Who on this planet, I wonder, could live with a family of four for under a couple of hundred thousand dollars really? Maybe in the bowels of the Third World, but not in an American city? Not unless the family members are squeezed in somebody's basement and all eating nothing but rice and having no phone, no gas, and no electric! And probably no heat either....

 

And it's a heck of a lot cheaper to get a doctor than a lawyer. A plaintiff who has been genuinely wronged has no recourse unless his or her issue becomes a "cause celebre." The rest of us have to just forget about it. The law is totally out of reach for us whereas we might be able to land in a hospital and get care--at least on an emergency basis. I emphasize "might"!

 

I like your plan but my modification to it would be that everything has to start with a realistic view of how much it costs to live--and this needs to be regionally adjusted. This needs to be across the board for everything in life from the minimum wage to medical care to housing to legal representation and much much more. The bean counters in Washington live a really high life with all kinds of perks and have NO clue as to what real life is like. If they ever knew, they conveniently manage to forget.

 

I read an appalling statistic that middle class is considered under $75,000 per year. Well, I don't know about that! Between the mortgage, maintenance, and medical care, and double taxes it sure doesn't feel like that to me! Feels a lot closer to way low middle class. Not poor but living kind of on the edge.

 

The whole thing is all of this is the notion of real life expenses. If we can get these politicians to acknowledge this in a substantive way, I think the plan would be a gem. Or maybe we would not even need it because people would be able to live with dignity and have their needs met.

 

Needs work? Yes? Feasible? Maybe. Worth doing? Absolutely yes? And let's do much more!


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-Noah Greenberg