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This is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

Monday, December 18, 2006


In response to, "As the Bushies attempt to raise a half-billion dollars for a 'W' library..." Robert Scardapane writes:

I didn't know that comic books cost that much money!

Ten Days Short

Even when these charlatans want to help their friends; even when these criminals lie and tell us all how great their friends are; even when all the proof points in the opposite directions, these guys still can't help themselves and, in the end, are only out for themselves.

Case in point: Now Former (again) Secretary of State Donald "We Don't Know What We Don't Know" Rumsfeld.

As "Rummy" was being air-lifted out of his seat at The Pentagon, his friend - the man he mentored during the Ford administration - Dick Cheney was singing his praises:

Donald Rumsfeld "is the best secretary of defense the United States has ever had."
-Vice President Dick "Go <F---> Yourself" Cheney

I wonder where Cheney would rank himself as Vice President? A good comparison to a past VP might be Aaron Burr. After all, both shot someone they knew during their terms.

Cheney said those flattering remarks as his pal, Rummy, was being relieved a mere ten days short of being the longest serving Secretary of Defense ever. One might ask (and I recommend that one does), "Why?"

If Rummy is the best ever, then why relieve him now? Aren't his plans working? Doesn't he have the foresight to "defeat the enemies over there so we don't have to fight them over here"? You would think that the greatest Secretary of Defense EVER would be worth holding on to, wouldn't you? Of course, you have to take into consideration the guy who said it: Cheney.
The insurgency in Iraq is "in the last throes,"
"We Will, In Fact, Be Greeted As Liberators,"
"In Iraq, a ruthless dictator cultivated weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them"

And we didn't get any flowers at our feet either.

Cheney, the do- or- say-anything President in charge of Vice never appears to have any problem lying when the need arises (sometimes, I think he just lies to keep in practice). Rummy was fired (yes, fired) by President Bush because the 2006 election was a referendum on the failures in Iraq. Rummy lost his job because he was worse than ineffective as Secretary of Defense: He was dangerous as Secretary of Defense. And it is my belief that had the predictions of Karl "The Traitor" Rove, who said that the GOP would hold onto their majorities in the Senate and in the House, come true, Rumsfeld would still be in his dangerous position. The mere fact that President Bush refuses to take the Iraq Study Group seriously; or make any decisions on Iraq until after the Holiday Season is over is proof enough to realize that Rummy is gone, not due to his military decisions, but for political reasons alone. If he was the greatest EVER, then Bush would have kept him in office for the rest of his Lame Duckness' term.

Looking at Rumsfeld's tenure, and realizing that the man who was both the youngest and the oldest Secretary of Defense EVER fell just ten days short of a Gehrig-Ripken-type record of longevity, one understands the depths of his failure. They couldn't even squeeze out another week-and-a-half! It brings back thoughts of Bush after Hurricane Katrina:

"and, Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job,"
-President Bush, just miles away from the destruction caused by Katrina, to an "Audience of the Willing" which included Michael Brown, the FEMA head who lost his job even though he was doing a "heck of a job"

Bush had similar words for Rumsfeld as he departed as well, making one think that he truly doesn't understand what over 70 percent of the American people now do understand: That Rumsfeld is, at the very least, a major part of the problem.

Hopefully, in 2008, that same American public will send even more of those Neo-Con liars to the showers.

-Noah Greenberg

More on The "W" Legacy

The concern with the W legacy is merely another attempt by the right wing to divert attention from the President's utter failure as a leader and as a policy maker.

Numerous spokesmen for the Administration and the GOP are currently filling the airwaves and the press with encomiums for Bush's historic vision, claiming that the President is working for historians who have not yet been born.

These people are busily comparing Bush with Lincoln.

The comparison is entirely false. After three years of staying the course, Bush has lost an election and, as a result, has decided the time has come to "study" his options on Iraq and come up with a "change of plan."

At Rumsfeld's resignation ceremony a senior military officer said that Rumsfeld had taken responsibility for disciplinary problems while simultaneously stating that the problems occurred far down in the chain of command.

Apparently in the Bush- GOP view of morality, taking responsibility means blaming subordinates.

The President and Administration's lack of a strategic vision for American foreign policy has made protecting the oil routes out of the Persian Gulf the end all and be all of our thinking and actions.

But most egregiously the right wing continues to refer to the "liberation" of Iraq. If liberation means near total demolition of the national infrastructure, the needless loss of hundreds of thousands of civilian lives, and the utter destruction of the institutions of civil authority, then the right wing may have a point. The right wing's pride in the so far untested and invalidated constitution and an electoral system so arcane and convoluted that the third place vote-getter won the election is misplaced and not helpful for the US strategic position.

The idea that any humane or fair minded person would view the Bush GOP version of democracy as desirable after the shambles they have created in Iraq would be laughable if not so pathetic.

The comparison of Bush with Lincoln is not merely unjustified, it is grotesque.

It is vital that the 110th Congress bring the Iraqi War expenditures into the normal appropriations process.

This will force the Administration to defend its decisions on the public record in the broad light of day, and will establish a record for posterity that will show the futility, cowardice and cruelty of President Bush's bellicose and reckless decisions regarding Iraq.

When Administration officials are forced to testify the justification for expenditures as part of the normal appropriations process, the bogus assumptions and fuzzy thinking that have characterized Iraqi policy will come into the light of day and at long last constructive discussion of the consequences of our actions and rational planning for extricating ourselves from the Iraqi quagmire will begin.

-Robert Chapman

On NJ Property Taxes

Reading the letters to the editor today, I am struck by the anger of NJ citizens on property taxes. I have to say that without a doubt this was the most talked about issue when knocking doors in 2006. People wanted to talk about NJ property taxes even though the 2006 election was about the federal government! This should send a message loud and clear to NJ legislators some of whom are up for election 2007. Failure to reform property taxes will have dire consequences to the NJ Democratic party. From an economic perspective, the NJ economy appears to have entered a vicious cycle of losing taxpayers followed by increased taxation. This can not continue. NJ citizens are saying loud and clear that business as usual is unacceptable.

On that same note, I am having fun reading letters from hot heads calling for a Governor recall election. To my knowledge that trick don't work in New Jersey. Now back to reality, there really is a pressing need for property tax reform. There is little doubt that high property taxes is harming the state's economy. The business world is reluctant to make New Jersey their home because they can not attract a pool of employees to an expensive state.

The 20% property tax cut recently proposed is a way to shift the homestead rebate into the tax code. That's a worthwhile objective that Corzine campaigned on in 2005. But, it's not enough. The local towns simply have to face the reality that average property tax increases of 8-10% per year are unsustainable. They need to find ways to cut costs; giving up on "home rule" and consolidating services with adjacent towns.

I agree with the Governor that public employee contracts should be negotiated with the unions. It's wrong to legislate around the contract process. However, this is not to say that negotiations shouldn't be tough. Some pension reform is needed. For example, I find it impossible to justify one person drawing multiple pensions from the state. There is already legislation in the works on this issue.

Governor Corzine has a tough battle to come. I hope he focuses on NJ issues and stops making reckless statements on increasing troop levels in Iraq.

-Robert Scardapane

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-Noah Greenberg