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This is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note from a Madman

Friday-Sunday, April 27-29, 2007



A Must See for anyone with a political, moral or any other sort of conscience:


Bill Moyer's "Buying the war" which you may also watch at: www.pbs.org


THE PREMIERE OF BILL MOYERS JOURNAL, "BUYING THE WAR" (http://www.pbs.org/moyers/moyersonamerica/index.html)


Thanks to Jenny Hanniver and many. many others.


What's Getting Done?


So, you may ask, just what is getting done for the American people? (Go on. Ask!) Well, as we examine the headlines in the major newspapers we can come up with an answer.




Education: After the hoopla over the "No Child Left Behind" act passed early on in the bush presidency, a bill that even Senator Ted Kennedy (DEMOCRAT-MA) approved of, we see an education system that has benefited no one. In fact, the requirements of the NCLB act have left states and municipalities often turn down the federal money because: (A) It doesn't aid in benefiting ALL of the children, and; (B) NCLB requires much more funding than provided for by the Bush administration. The standards are so out of whack with reality that even the President's brother, Jeb Bush, while the REPUBLICAN governor of Florida, said it wasn’t working out. Jeb noted that his students performance rate, if judged by the standards his state used in the past, was somewhere around 80 percent; while using NCLB standards, they fell way short at a mere 20 percent. Sure there were some Charter schools doing well, but in the long run, No Child Left Behind turned into No MILLIONAIRE'S Child Left Behind as the program seemed to only benefit the more affluent schools and school districts.


Jobs: For the first time sine the last great "Decider's" Presidency (that would be President Hoover), a president spent four years in office and actually had a JOB LOSS at the end of those four years. Of course the Bushies now point to a "growing economy" which has grown his "base" of "haves and have mores" into "have mores and even much, much mores", but what of the rest of us? Have we grown from the "haves just a little" to even the "haves just a little mores" or have we now become the "haves nothing much at alls"? It's a rhetorical question: we have become the latter. In fact, jobs have been on the rise for much of "The Decider's" second term, but they have not kept up with the growth in population or the influx of immigrants into America. And with all of the rhetoric the bushies have brought forth concerning protecting our borders, they have some little to make sure our nation's jobs actual stay with our nation's citizenry. Real wages have plummeted while CEO salaries have escalated; the "jobs of tomorrow" have been created, then moved off to India and any other nation which speaks some form of broken English, where the workers will work for pennies to our dollars; and up to 48 million Americans are left without the means to see a doctor when they are sick, something that many jobs provide in the form of health care. Much like No Child Left Behind, the Bushies have a No worker Left Behind program which leaves all but the very rich behind.


Health Care: What can I write about the state of health care in this country that all of you don’t already know? As mentioned earlier,. up to 48 million Americans, at any one tome, don't have basic health care overage and as many as 83 million have not had health care while President Bush has occupied the White House. The only "solution" which GE has come up with are HSA (Health Savings Accounts" which would leave an already underfunded population even more underfunded. And it isn't even the poorest among us that are having the problems today. The Middle Class, which this nation needs to strive, have been for4eing health care due to it's cost. In most places, if one doesn't have health care through his or her job, the cost of individual health care could be thousands of dollars a month. In a time when the national median income is somewhere around $45,000 per year (for a family of four), that's an impossible number.

A SPUHC (Single Payer Universal Health Care) Plan isn't even one of the options on the table, believe it or not. This administration has convinced even the poorest of its supporters that the way to go is the way in which we have been going with private insurance and a multitude of health care insurance companies who, now even more so that before, are reaping almost incomprehensible profits. Their overhead costs are near 40 percent while, at the same time, a government run Social Security Administration runs at less than two percent.


The Size of Government: For the group that says "Government is too big" and "We must get it to the size where we can drown it in a bathtub", this administration has steadily grown the size of itself since it came into office, while at the same time making sure private contractors, part of the Bush "base" of "haves and have mores" are reaping great profits at the American Middle Class' expense. Someone ought to explain to them that while creating jobs is good, creating more government is not what we're looking for. For an administration constantly looking to private industry for the answers, there have been preciously few, other than the answer to the global corporatists' question "How may you help us even more?"


Pollution: The Clean Air Act and similarly named Water Act have allowed polluters to police themselves. Recently, the EPA head touted a rise in pollutants in our air as a "victory" for the Bush administration policies and the fact that the rise in gas prices have helped towards that end. One wonders if these people live on the same planet as we do, or if they have some other planet to occupy in mind. ALL ABOARD!

Forgetting about the refusal of the Bushies to join the Kyoto Pact, they seem intent on making sure that we never reduce our "addiction to oil" as the President said during a revelation of sorts. The day before the Bushies were closing down an alternative fuel research facility, they toured that same facility to tout alternative fuels. Amazing, isn't it? A mere six years into their reign, the Bushies now say things like the infamous "addicted to oil" remark. However, you'll all be happy to know, Hummer is making the H3, a slightly smaller and more gas efficient monster SYV which will get marginally better gas mileage than the H2. Bush must call that "Progress".


Terrorism: Are we safer to day than we were on September 10, 2001? Well, let's check the Department of Homeland Security's DHS) color code scale created by the Crayola Crayon company, shall we? Today's color: Chartreuse! The only thing the color code was useful for was as an aid in getting President Bush re-elected in 2004 as, after the 2004 Democratic Primary, a magical alert was raised by then-Secretary Tom Ridge which put the nation's alert status at Orange, taking the Dems off the front page and putting the face of Osama bin-Laden back on it. And speaking of bin-Laden, isn't it funny (as in ironic) how after he alluded our troops in the mountains of Tora Bora, bin-Laden has become more elusive than the one-armed man in the 1960's TV series The Fugitive? Even as the DHS (shouldn’t that be pronounced "D'oH's" as in the way Homer Simpson might say it?) colored in their scale in 2004, President Bush was sating how he wasn't "concerned" about bin-Laden, the man who orchestrated the worst attack on US soil EVER.

Since 911, we haven't had another terrorist attack in the lower 48, Alaska or Hawaii, but our allies haven't been as lucky. Just ask the families of those killed in London's Underground or on the commuter trains in Spain. And as President Bush speaks of "emboldening the enemy" if we make a timetable to withdraw from Iraq, he fails to mention that he is the greatest "emboldener" of them all. Al-Qaeda is now in Iraq, a place where they did not have a home prior to Saddam Hussein's removal from his tyrannical seat of power. Al-Qaeda has used the US occupation of Iraq as a recruiting tool and George W. Bush as some kind of "Uncle Sam in reverse" towards that end. Iran has found it easier to defy UN scrutiny and Syria has joined the administration's famed "Axis of Evil". We have never been so loathed by the international community as we are today and all of the goodwill which was gained after 911 is now gone. The French newspaper Le Mond stated in its headline of September 12, 2001, We Are ALL American Today. Theta feeling id gone.

Because of President Bush, Dick Cheney and the rest of the lying and deceitful Neo-Cons, we live in a much more dangerous world with wedges seemingly intentionally thrown between groups to keep it that way.


We could talk more about Medicare (the Prescription Drug Benefit Plan which only benefits the pharmaceutical companies); Medicaid (and the growing number of participants in all but nine states who have to pay a deductible, forcing them to chose between health care and food); gasoline prices (who rise for seemingly no reason and fall, ever-so-briefly when a Republican needs to get back into office); agriculture (for a nation with an almost unlimited ability to grow its own food, we are importing more crops than we export or can use for ourselves); immigration ("the jobs Americans won't do", as the Bushies put it, are the same jobs we used to do - What gives?); outsourcing (You actually have to pay more from Dell Computers, in the form of their "Gold Warranty", to get to speak to a technical support representative in the US versus India); and the list goes on and on. This administration doesn't do the work of the American people - they do the work of big business at the expense of the American people and we are just now waking up to that fact, as a nation. Let's hope our eyes stay open for, at least, the near future.


-Noah Greenberg                


The Case for Impeachment - Short & to the Point   


According to the U. S.  Constitution, the Congress must impeach the President and the Vice President for “High Crimes and Misdemeanors.”  The U. S. Congress impeached President Clinton for lying under oath about events which had no bearing on national security. 


George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney lied to the citizens and the Congress of the United States regarding the justifications for attacking and waging war in Iraq.  The Bush administration ignored the intelligence about Al Qaeda prior to Sept. 11.  The Bush - Cheney White House identified to the public a covert agent of the Central Intelligence Agency.  The administration repeatedly violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, FISA, and continues to ignore the Geneva Convention. As the response to Hurricane Katrina shows, this Administration is incompetent when faced with natural disasters.  As the unprecedented midterm firing of Eight Federal Prosecutors illustrates, this administration uses a purely political agenda when investigating and prosecuting political corruption.


In the words of Bruce Fein, Associate Deputy Attorney General under Ronald Reagan, “President Bush presents a clear and present danger to the rule of law.”


An impeachment should never be prosecuted lightly, nor should it ever be prosecuted for “political” reasons, which may have been the case with President Clinton.  However, in a situation such as this, with what appears to be an overwhelming preponderance of evidence, for the good of the Republic, and in order to preserve the Constitution as the rule of recognition by which the United States exists, George W Bush and Richard M Cheney must be impeached and if found guilty, removed from office.


-Larry Furman


In response to Condi Rice's shoe buying trip while New Orleans was drowning, Victoria Brownworth writes:


Thanks for remembering that stuff goes on in Washington. Plus I loved the graphic Of a cartoon Condi purchasing shoes), as usual. Remember that she was buying shoes during Hurricane Katrina and got accosted by a woman at Ferragamo who screamed at her,” why are you here when people are dying?!"