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This is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Flying Paper

Do we trust our federally elected officials or don't we? And if you're a Republican, did you trust them when your Grand Old Party held the majority of seats in both or either house? If you answered yes to either question, then you have to allow full access for your elected representatives to all of the blacked-out material which has already been sent to, and newly subpoenaed by, our nation's House of Representatives.

"We have been patient in allowing the department to work through its concerns regarding the sensitive nature of some of these materials. Unfortunately, the (Justice) department has not indicated any meaningful willingness to find a way to meet our legitimate needs.
"At this point further delay in receiving these materials will not serve any constructive purpose,"
-Rep. John Conyers (DEMOCRAT-MI) in a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales which accompanied the subpoena

Conyers regards the subpoena as the last resort in dealing with the most secretive and partisan Justice Department in recent history. One wonders how AG Gonzales and his department will respond.


According to an anonymous Justice Department official (speaking on condition of anonymity has become a contagious Bushco disease since 2001), much of the 3,000 pages which the Bushies have called "unprecedented cooperation" has been blackened out. Many of those pages include "Classified(?)" information about the fired federal prosecutors. Some of those pages contain information about other "on the bubble" prosecutors whose jobs were on the line as well. The administration insinuated that their names were blacked out to protect their identities.

Or as they might have said in the 60's TV show Dragnet, "Their names have been blacked-out to protect the innocent."

"We are seeking to preserve the privacy and professional viability of those who are continuing to serve,"
-Acting Assistant Attorney General Richard Hertling

It's funny (as in ironic) how the Bushies zeal for vengeance and secrecy has caused this scandal to become what it is today: A festering, exposed injury. Had President Bush or Gonzales merely stated that "The President fired these eight prosecutors, and that's it." from the start, without attempting to ruin them, and their reputations, personally, this whole investigation might not have taken place. let's face it - this administration looks to punish and lie before even examining the truth.

I bet all the President's men (and women) wish they had a Mulligan on this one.

"not distinguished,"
-the anonymous source, regarding the evaluation of federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald was the prosecutor who convicted I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, VP Dick Cheney's former Chief of Staff. Just what does one have to do in order to gat a "distinguished" rating? I have a feeling that if Fitzgerald had lost, his rating would have been higher. They would have gone through the roof had Libby been a Democrat.

"I think the Justice Department has been working very hard to be fully responsive to the request, as the president asked them to do, so I don't know what's new here. We'll have to check it out."
-White House spokeswoman and Tony Snow fill-in Dana Perino, referring to the Bush administration's release of those 3,000 pages of documents

And the White House, still acting like a child who did something wrong, simply just doesn't get it. Sure they don't want to really cooperate. Why would they? Much in the same manner in which President Nixon tried to use (or not use) the missing eighteen minutes of (whoops!) erased tape recordings, the Bushies are attempting to use the missing, blacked-out areas of the 3,000 ages of documents.

"it is unfortunate that Congress would choose this (the subpoena) option,"

Boo, hoo, hoo. The big, bad Democrats are practicing their oversight responsibilities, as ordered by the US Constitution. Boo, hoo, hoo.

Maybe the Bushies could "accidentally" lose the original documents, emails and notes. It would be their very own "18 minutes of fame".

-Noah Greenberg

A Quick Note on the Duke Rape Case

Three men were accused of rape by a prosecutor gone political. The charges were dropped today as they should have been months ago. However, what no one seems to have noted is that these three players from Duke's Lacrosse team had something in common: They were all from northeastern states.

One has to ask these questions, "Why were boys from Maryland, New York and New Jersey singled out by Prosecutor Michael Nifong?" Was it because that northern boys make such easy targets of hate for southerners to hate? I wonder.

And you should wonder, too. Even if my son were to qualify to go to school at a southern college (in four years - he's a high school freshman), these events could keep me from sending him there.

If it turns out that Nifong abused his powers, then I certainly hope that he gets what's coming to him: Even if it means his being disbarred.

-Noah Greenberg


Democrats and Republicans

I came into this life in 1957, in the middle of Eisenhower's Presidency. Then there were Kennedy and Johnson from '61 to '69. Nixon from '69 until he resigned and Ford, his second Vice President until '77, because Agnew, the first one also resigned amidst scandal. Carter, a Democrat, for the next 4 years. Reagan and Bush for the next 12, Clinton for the next 8 and Bush since 2001.

Republicans were president for most of my life, 30 years, vs. 20 for the Democrats.

While I don't recall scandals during the administration of George. H. W. Bush, there have been scandals in Washington during the last 50 years.

Abuses of power scandals and financial improprieties under Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan, George W. Bush, and Carter.

Sex scandals under Clinton. And Kennedy's "appetite" is the stuff of legend.

Be that as it may, my income was much higher when Clinton, a Democrat, was President than at any other time in my life. My income for the first few years of G. W. Bush's administration was very low. When I lost my job I couldn't even collect unemployment. Medical insurance was out of the question.

So I guess I'm voting for the Democrat next year. I'd rather a President who is attracted to young adults than one who is attracted to my wallet.

-Dave, as forwarded by Larry Furman

In response to, "We occupy some of the most fertile land in the world, yet we import more food than we export. And to make matters worse, we import it from nations who don't have our safety standards in mind. It was just by sheer luck that the food poisoning our pets didn't poison us from wheat gluten which was added by Communist Chinese food suppliers. WHEAT of all things. I remember when we grew that here!" Robert Scardapane writes:

I am with Noah all the way on this one. I was simply disgusted when I read that the poison in the pet food came from Chinese wheat gluten. This nation used to be the largest exporter in the world of wheat products. Why would we ever have to import a wheat product from China? I hope that our leadership, meaning the Democrats, as Republicans are useless, will wake up on this issue. There is peril in making our nation dependent on the world to feed it. Insane free trade policies and suburban sprawl that destroys our farm land must be stopped now.

in response to Madman's take on the Imus issue, Joseph B. Juhasz, Professor of Architecture and Environmental Design at the University of Colorado writes:

Well sure, at one time American Jews were an oppressed groupóthatís hardly the case now. Blacks are an oppressed group in America right now.

I think itís one thing to knock down oppressed people itís another to knock down oppressors. However, knocking down oppressors is still not the right thing to doóI grant you that.

And Eddie Konczal writes:

With all due respect, the current controversy over Don Imus' comments has nothing to do with the past misdeeds of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. The controversy is about the reprehensible comments made by Imus regarding the Rutgers women's basketball team. I am aware that Jackson and Sharpton have gotten involved, but an effort to scrutinize their past comments does nothing to advance the current discussion, and only serves to diffuse the rightful criticism of Imus.

Imus' comment was a specific racial and sexist slur targeted at a group of individuals who did nothing to deserve these comments. He was making fun of their race, appearance, and gender in a despicable attempt to get laughs. How Imus' employers deal with him has nothing to do with anything that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton may have said or done in the past.

And Bob Driscoll states:

I'm about ready to check myself into rehab . . . you could not have said it better!

And Joe Burgess notes:

I presume that Essense Carson plays basketball better than she writes. Were I the athletics director at Rutgers, I would have had someone do Essence and the university a favor and work on the syntax of the publicly-released statement. -- perhaps teammate Heather Zurich, whose statement passes muster quite well. Idiots with decent command of the language will read what Carson wrote and think that Imus's crappy remarks had some merit.

In response to the "No Work for Americans" cartoon, lzee writes:

This cartoon translates to "I don't work for Americans."

If you wanted to say "there is no work for Americans"--No hay trabajo para americanos"

Now you tell me. -NG

And David W. suggests:

If "Lives of Others" passes your way, it is very good.

And Joseph B. Juhasz suggests:


"The Lives of Others"

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-Noah Greenberg