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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

Tuesday, March 6, 2007


Guilty Libby and a Disappointed Veep

"I am very disappointed with the verdict,"
-Vice President Dick Cheney regarding the guilty verdict of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby on four counts of big time fibbing

This guy really has some nerve, doesn't he? Instead of being disappointed with his former Chief of Staff for lying to the FBI and a Grand Jury, Cheney is disappointed with the "verdict". Upon hearing this, I was expecting the hear "and I'll get even with all of you!" from the Veep.

Funny how Cheney never expressed his disappointment with all of the lives lost in Iraq;
Funny how Cheney never expressed his disappointment with the lack of planning the Pentagon supplied prior to the invasion of Iraq;
Funny how Cheney never expressed his disappointment with the loss of good paying American jobs to Communist China and India;

Let's face it, there's a lot of "funny" going on in Cheney's head.

By the way, how do you spell pardon?


Now, let me ask you all this rhetorical question (feel free to answer it, if you like):
What's worse:
Martha Stewart's lying about her sale of stock OR
I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's lying about - well - everything?

and we all know that Libby isn't going to go softly into that good night, but imagine the message it would send if he did. Imagine if Libby were to have the epiphany which we all wish he would have and come clean about: (a) His involvement in Plame-Gate; and (b) Everybody else's. How many of you would like to hear Libby say something like this:

"After searching my soul, I realize that what I did was wrong. I have no idea how many lives were lost because of my lying to federal prosecutors and the American people; nor do I have any good excuse for not offering my boss and friend, Vice President Dick Cheney, the sound and solid advice of just letting this vendetta against former Ambassador Joe Wilson go. I will not appeal the verdict, nor will I ask for a presidential pardon. I will cooperate fully with the rest of the investigation and will do my time in prison."

Okay... Now back to reality. Libby, and those other Neo-Cons and pawns of the Bushies will never see what they did as wrong. They will never understand that the laws of our land are made for all to follow, not just us little people (or even Martha Stewart). This is their America and we just happen to be the ones who fix the roads, server them dinner and fetch their car.

"We have every confidence Mr. Libby ultimately will be vindicated,"
-Libby's attorney Theodore Wells

Translation: We're going to attempt every trick in the book, and if all else fails, President Bush will pardon him.

"We believe Mr. Libby is totally innocent and that he didn't do anything wrong."

This may be the truest statement any of the Neo-Cons or their lawyers will ever make. These crooks and liars truly don't believe they did anything wrong. They don't view anything they do, from lying to stealing to sending our troops overseas without armor to indirectly funding al-Qaeda, as even simply inappropriate. It's damn he torpedoes and full speed ahead, regardless of whether or not the good of the American people is at stake.

"The results are actually sad. It's sad that we had a situation where a high-level official person who worked in the office of the vice president obstructed justice and lied under oath. We wish that it had not happened, but it did."
-Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald

It's past sad, Mr. Fitzgerald. It's an atrocity. Forget about that cute, little line they all say when they spew, "I work for the American people." They don't mean it. These people, more than any administration that I remember, work for their special interests and for themselves. I remember a line form a movie (without remembering the name of the movie, of course) where one of the characters asks another why a man who is so rich wants to enter politics. The answer was, "Because that's where the big money is."

The jury felt that Libby was a scapegoat, but a guilty scapegoat. They even expressed sympathy for him. But they all wanted to know about the rest of the story.

"It was said a number of times... 'Where's Rove? Where are these other guys?' I'm not saying we didn't think Mr. Libby was guilty of the things we found him guilty of. It seemed like he was, as Mr. Wells put it, he was the fall guy."
-Juror Denis Collins, a former Washington Post reporter

Maybe "patsy" is a better word.

This verdict ought to be the beginning. There can be no doubt that Valerie Plame's name was released in retribution for Wilson's New York Times Op-Ed piece which revealed that President Bush had lied about terrorist evidence. Mr. Collins is right. It's now time to bring the rest of the Neo-Con Guard to justice. At the very least, It's time to make them testify, under oath, in front of the Senate, the House and Congress.

Oh sure, the Bushies and Fox News will say this is all a Democratic vendetta intended to make the GOP look bad. But judging by the last election, the Republicans don't need any help in that area. The truth has to come out and those responsible need to be brought out on the carpet. This trial opens the door and needs to be just the beginning. There is no possible way that it ends with "Scooter" Libby.

Somebody make sure Cheney's pace-maker's functioning properly. We don't want any excuses.

-Noah Greenberg

Same Ol' Stuff

Meet the new General, same as the old General. Lt. Gen. Kevin Kiley's in charge (still and again). He's the guy who's going to oversee Maj. General George Weightman's folly. Weightman was fired as the head of Walter Reed Army Hospital for, what amounts to, ineptitude. In Weightman's defense (pardon the pun), it should be noted that he was on the job for all of six months. Weightman predecessor, of course, was none other than Kiley.

Now, to put things in perspective, Weightman was in charge of our troops health for less time than George W. Bush was in charge of our nation's security prior to 911. Remember that Bush was inaugurated almost nine months before the terrorist attacks of that day.

In essence, the Pentagon is trying to tell us all that the problems confronting Walter Reed Hospital, and how it treats its soldier-patients. has all occurred during the past six months. Using their logic, it must have been Nirvana under Kiley.

"complex, confusing and frustrating,"
-Kiley, answering a Rep. Christopher Shays (REPUBLICAN-CT) question regarding outpatient care at Walter Reed

They should have stopped the hearing right then and there. There is something which ought to be done to Generals who are put in charge of our heroes' treatment and do nothing (or make things worse). It's called a courts martial. Similarly, there are things that should be done to presidents who perform similarly. It's called impeachment.

As Frank Rich noted on Imus in the Morning's show today, the comparisons to Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans is astonishing. There were reports regarding the Hurricane prior to its hitting the Gulf Coast and there were warnings and reports about the squalor living conditions for our hero-outpatients at Walter Reed as well. With all of the visits to our wounded troops at the Army's signature hospital, one would have thought that someone would have had to have seen something. This was not the time to keep their mouths shut.

Imus also noted that Kiley actually lives near building 18, the one which has been the focus of the problems brought to light by the Washington Post story. As Imus put it, "He lives across the street!" Kiley's defense to that was, in his position, he "doesn't do barrack inspections."

It appears that Kiley doesn't do much of anything.

Gates fired Army Secretary Francis Harvey this past week as well, putting the blame squarely where it belongs: On the shoulders of his underlings. I find it funny that no one is asking former Defense secretary Donald Rumsfled any questions about this whole mess.

And as we go along, Fox News Channel is still on Anna Nicole's funeral. They always seem to have their priorities straight, don't they? By the way, has anyone found Natalee Haloway yet? Get Chris Wallace right on that, will ya'?

I can't wait for Weightman and Kiley's Medal of Freedom award ceremonies.

-Noah Greenberg

Queer Doings

Ann Coulter called John Edwards a "faggot." And, where is the outrage? It's here on this blog--with more of it coming from me--but Victoria Brownworth is right that the mainstream media don't seem to be fussing over it. Had Coulter used another word about Barack Obama or yet another one about Joe Liebermann the hue and cry would be resounding all over the nation. This just proves that we all still have a long way to go before we as a nation recognize gay civil rights.

What amazes me is how people feel so threatened by homosexuality--as if it made some kind of difference in their own lives whether or not other people are gay. Frankly, I feel threatened by the sex police in my bedroom and by the faith police trying to get in my head.

No gay person ever tried to stop me from being heterosexual. No gay person ever forced a way of life down my throat nor made snarky comments about my being straight. And no gay person ever took anything from me.

WHERE is the threat? I wish that these homophobes who see these gays under their beds would show them to me. I'll be happy to guide them out from under the bed and introduce them to the gays I know. Only things under my bed are a few books, an old crossword puzzle that fell down there when I fell asleep doing it, and a few dust balls.

-Billie M. Spaight


It has been suggested on these pages that an immediate withdrawal from Iraq would provide enough money for a single payer health system.

It might be worthwhile to consider that for a moment. Assuming that over the next four years we continue the profligate spending on Iraq that we have devoted to it over the past four, we could earmark $ 700,000,000 new dollars for health care.

That is what, 1/3 of the money needed?

I agree with Mr. Scardapane's view that the national priorities are skewed and that this is a good start, but Iraq hasn't yet eclipsed health care in the magnitude of its cost.

-Robert Chapman

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-Noah Greenberg