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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Rudy Speaks on Letterman

"The situation in the middle east... don't have enough refineries... we haven't pursued ethanol the way we should... we haven't taken advantage of the oil that's within our control..."
We need "as much energy diversity - as much energy independence as we can..."
-Rudy Giuliani, answering Letterman's question on rising gasoline prices

Isn't this the same ol', same ol' we've been hearing from the Right side of the aisle since the Bushies got into office? Let's face it, the Bush administration has given big oil a free pass at raising prices anytime they want to. Enron was the test. It began with creating a faux-crisis that ended up blowing up in the Houston energy giant's face and it has been perfected since. Instead of allowing traders carte blanche with the theft of billions of dollars of their customers' money, today we see oil and gas prices rising when the price of a barrel of crude increases and we see them rise just a little less when the price decreases.

It's easy to blame the war in Iraq for oil prices, but those such as Rudy Giuliani and other GOP hopefuls and faithfuls fail to mention that billions - that's right, billions - in the world's second largest oil producer have been stolen right from under their sandy feet.

They blame the lack of newly-built refineries while at the same time talk about finding new oil and oil sources, especially those "within out control." Well which one is it, Mr. Mayor of America? Do we have enough oil but lack the ability to refine it? Or do we have too much oil sitting in barrels somewhere waiting to be refined.

Someone other than me, please, think back to the near-four dollar per gallon price of gasoline right around the first week of September, 2005. You might remember it as the days following Hurricane Katrina when, all of a sudden, as stations increased their prices by about one dollar per gallon; many of those stations ran out of gas; there were lines at stations all over the nation; and prices kept on rising numerous times in the same day. That was noting more than gouging.

DAVE LETTERMAN: Do you go to bed every night thinking "it's going to be me and Hillary, me and Hillary
RUDY: That is not my last thought before I go to sleep.
MADMAN: My last thought before I go to sleep is the real possibility of a Giuliani-Bush (as in Jeb) ticket in 2008. Part of that thought sees the continuation of a never-ending war in Iraq, more jobs being outsourced overseas and the continued removal of the most important economic stimulant in all of the world: The US middle class.

Letterman then asked Rudy if he were president in 2001, would we have gone to war with Iraq. Instead of saying "The war was a mistake" or we didn't prepare properly for the aftermath of the war," Rudy took a different tact. he said that it was President Clinton who pushed for regime change in Iraq and, in fact, President Bush was just continuing in that vein. Is it possible to be shocked and not surprised all at the same time? I have grown used to this new band of Republicans making sure to deflect blame at every turn, but I truly didn't see this one coming. Somehow, Rudy is trying to make Bush's war into Bill Clinton's war. Letterman didn't follow up, but would I have loved to see Rudy try to get that one passed a real journalist (if there are any remaining, I mean).

Regime change in Iraq would have been a great idea, especially had it happened in 1991 after the first Gulf war. It would have been a great idea before President Bush (41) allowed Saddam Hussein to kill many more Shi'ites and Kurds after that war ended. It was even a great idea up to and until Saddam was found in a spider hole and taken into custody. We had a chance, but greed, obstinance and the complete ineptitude of an administration gone awry made sure Iraq turned into what it is today.

The questions wouldn't have been "Would you have gone into Iraq had you been President?" The question should have been "Where did we go wrong and how would you have changed things when they did?"

And where were the likes of Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, and the rest of the GOP field when all of these errors in judgment were happening? I certainly don't remember any of them asking to speak to President Bush on their ideas to make things happen different. Even today, they're sticking with the same old "Stay the course" crap that the Bushies are projecting. Maybe it's just their way of "Catapulting the propaganda". In any respect, these guys can't be allowed to continue the Bush (43) presidency.

-Noah Greenberg

Caving In(?)

Senate Democrats, and possibly enough House Dems, appear ready to give President Bush what he wants: An emergency war funding bill which includes no hard timelines, only benchmarks aimed at the new Iraqi government, with nothing substantial to back them up. The Democrats are looking towards this September as their go-to date. What are their plans when the Autumn comes?

"The president has made it very clear he's not going to sign timelines (for withdrawing troops). We can't pass timelines over his veto,"
-House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (DEMOCRAT-MD)

Was collapsing the only thing that the Democrats could do? Probably not. Passing a bill to give the President $100 million to keep up the prosecution of his (and this war is his, regardless of what Rudy Giuliani says) doesn't appear to be the best of ideas.

Many have said the Dems could have just kept on throwing up (yeah, I know how that sounds - appropriate) bill after bill after bill and having President Bush constantly veto them. Veto after veto after veto, so to speak. The Republicans would just keep throwing up (there's that phrase again) the "O" (for "obstructionist") word. They would keep telling all of us that the Democrats are "playing politics" with our soldiers' lives. In fact, that is just what the Republicans are doing.

"Democrats have finally conceded defeat in their effort to include mandatory surrender dates in a funding bill for the troops,"
-House Minority Leader John Boehner (REPUBLICAN-OH)

Boehner's statement (pronounced BANER, not BONER, as he is apt to tell everybody) is exactly what's wrong with everything those in the GOP who still support Bush's "Stay the Course" war. By taking this as a victory, he and his GOP brethren are conceding a never ending occupation of a nation where we're simply not wanted anymore. What will Boehner (no, no.... not BONER!) do when September rolls around?

The President has already stated that the troops would suffer if he didn't get his money to continue his war in Iraq. What he fails to see is that without a clear goal and exit strategy, we are going to be stuck in this was as a war of attrition. An occupiers never win wars of attrition. EVER.

What happens if things aren't better in Iraq come September? Will they ask for even more money to spill our children's blood "over there?" Will the Republicans, at least enough of them to make a difference, finally stand up and say "Enough already?" They hadn't done so in their six years in the driver's seat. So what makes anyone think they would now?

Those on the Left who want the war to end now may be angry at the Democrats for giving in. However, are an additional three months really giving in?

The time has come for someone to really organize everyone who wants this war to end as soon as possible to come forward. We can actually use this time - these next few months - to organize and make sure that ALL of our Representatives know exactly where we all stand on Bush's war.

Any takers?

-Noah Greenberg

In response to "Speaking Ill of the Dead", John Lynn writes:

Just wanted to say "Brava Victoria A. Brownworth!"

She so eloquently stated what so many of us feel about Jerry Falwell. Thank you.

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-Noah Greenberg