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This is What Democracy Looks Like

Weekend Madman

Friday-Sunday, February 23-25, 2007



Jeb and the Neo-Cons

Eleanor Cliff of Newsweek said that Jeb Bush would be pushed into the Vice president's spot on the GOP ticket. It reminded me of an article I had written for Note from a Madman a couple of years ago where I predicted that an unpopular, or ill Dick Cheney would resign his position (although not his influence), stay on as an advisor to President bush thus allowing Bush the opportunity to keep the legacy alive and place his brother, Jeb, as his new VP. of course, that prediction was predicated on the fact that the GOP had a majority in the House and that Jeb would pass through like a hot knife through butter. That prediction will not happen.

But Senator John McCain (REPUBLICAN-AZ), the odds-on favorite to win the 2008 GOP presidential sweepstakes, is obviously being hard-pressed to join the "dark-side" and support Bush's policies in Iraq, regardless of their stupidity and carelessness for human life. There can be no doubt that McCain, and the other Republican front-runner, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, have promised Bushco that they will support his "strategy" of "stay the course no matter what the cost". And there can be no doubt that former Florida Governor Jeb Bush will be the GOP favorite for the number two spot.

If a McCain-Jeb Bush ticket could pull out a victory in 2008, look for McCain to be a one-term president. The senior Senator from the Sun State will be 72 years old on election day 2008. This means that, if elected to two terms, McCain would be retiring at the ripe old age of 80, older than even the ancient Ronald Reagan. McCain would not run for a second term if elected to a first and Jeb would be able to run as a sitting Vice President.

Now if McCain were to bring the troops home in his only term, look for Jeb to take full credit for it. Of course there will be those who recall Jeb's association with PNAC (The Project for a New American Century), the group of Neo-Cons who called for a "New Pearl Harbor", and got it, but their voices will be drowned out by the likes of Fox News Channel, CNN's Barbara Star (and others who "repeat" rather than "report") and a White House press corps which will willingly sacrifice credibility for accessibility .

Gas prices today have risen while prices pre barrel have fallen. In just the past week, my regular station in New Jersey has raised their price from just under two dollars per gallon to almost $2.30 per gallon. That's about fifteen percent in just one week. Gas, home heating and other staple of American life items have risen far beyond the rate of almost anyone's income has (unless we have some of Bush's "base" of "have and have mores" reading Madman now) under this brand of Bushies. If McCain could keep those prices rising at a livable pace from January 2009 through January 2013, you may also look for VP Jeb to take credit for lowering the rate at which gas prices have risen.

I just love Bushco double-talk. Get ready for more.

McCain could be looking at his term - or maybe even terms - as a ay of making right what George Bush and company made so very, very wrong. He could have even jumped into bed with the devil (the Bushies) just so he can get elected. McCain may have even have convinced himself that doing anything to get elected will allow him to set forth policies which will benefit the nation as a whole and mankind in general. But once a maverick changes into someone willing to compromise his principles, there is no going back.

In the end, Ms. Cliff is right. A Republican nominee will be hard-pressed to choose Jeb Bush as his number two. Allowing any member of PNAC - especially a Bush - an path to the presidency is a huge mistake. Like their present front-man, George W. Bush, they'll stick to their idealistic ways and "stay any course" which will benefit their stated and unstated ends.

-Noah Greenberg



As I see it, we are witnessing the end of the American Empire.

When Kennedy, Johnson, and even Nixon was President the American zeitgeist was "we can do anything we set our minds to," and the Government, in Lincoln's immortal words, was "of the people, by the people, for the people."

This idea, invoked by Lincoln at Gettysburg, and invoked as the justification for the Civil War - so "this Government, of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from this earth" was the American zeitgeist from FDR to Nixon. But beginning with Watergate, incubating during the Carter administration, and vocalized by Reagan our current national identity is the opposite.

Reagan shifted the anti-war / anti-Watergate sentiment into an anti-government sentiment. He is fondly remembered by the Conservatives for saying "the 10 most frightening words are 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'" (March 22, 1988, Remarks to state and local Republican officials on Federalism and Aid to the Nicaraguan Democratic Resistance, http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/speeches/1988/032288d.htm.) But if you hold this view, how can you run an agency like FEMA? Or the Dept of Homeland Security? Or the Dept of Defense?

And how can you expect any response to a Katrina-like event other than the response of our Federal Government to Katrina?

So yes, a Conservative will say, proudly, Brown was incompetent as the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. But how can we expect otherwise?

Ditto for Rumsfeld.

This will be Dubya's legacy.

And Nader will be believed to be proven right - in order for change to happen things will have to get really bad. Of course we can't test any alternate hypotheses.

Lenin would smile. Stalin would laugh. And Putin is laughing.

-Larry Furman


We have become a Thanatos (Greek mythology's God of death) nation. In the words of Bob Dylan, "instead of learning to live, we are learning to die." And I would add, learning to kill. Why is it that we are spending billions of dollars to kill people on the other side of the world, most of whom were never even interested in us to begin with?

And yet, we say we "can't afford" to have universal health care. . . . .a plan that would cover everybody and leave nobody out.

Our love of money and our greed for energy that doesn't belong to us is leading us straight to Hell in a handbasket.

If we could rid ourselves of this obsession with death and reaffirm life, we would be far, far better off.

-Billie M. Spaight

I response to, "our allies realize the futility of staying in Iraq," Pat Thompson writes:

After Britain pulls out, we will have very few allies. But they are sending Prince Harry to Iraq. He is 3rd in line from the throne, the younger brother of Prince William. So when will the twins be shipping out? There is still a news blackout concerning those two, even though they are long past age 21.

In response to, "What the hell is going on at Walter Reed Hospital's Building 18?" Pat Thompson writes:

Am I being taken in, or is this new Defense Secretary Gates less of a substandard human being than his predecessor? He's new, hasn't been around long enough to blame for the Walter Reed mess, and acted like he wanted to get it fixed. Maybe I just feel grateful when he says that there are no plans to invade Iran. Can he be believed?

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-Noah Greenberg