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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Seen on the Street

In the working class neighborhood where we live, I see plenty of big, hulking pickup trucks sporting NRA emblems and old BUSH-CHENEY '04 bumper stickers. But the Chevy Silverado parked in front of me in the parking lot of the local Quick Check convenience store, quickly caught my attention. Below the Dale Earnhardt and NASCAR decals on the windows, were the two most lovely bumper stickers- "AT LEAST IN VIETNAM, BUSH HAD AN EXIT STRATEGY" and "1-20-09, THE END OF AND ERROR".

Who'd a thunk it??

-Hillary Greenberg

Bush, Politics and al-Qaeda

There he goes again. President Bush is equating Iraq and 911 just as he did in 2001 and just how he will keep on doing as long as he keeps breathe entering and exiting his lungs. I guess that in light of his "victory" over the Capital Hill Democrats, the President feels that he can keep up the heat with the politics of fear. After all, it is hard getting away from a winning strategy and, after his continuing failures in Iraq, on the economy and the loss of respect which the United States used to have in the world, the only victory which he can claim is this one over the Dems.

"President Bush portrayed the Iraq war as a battle between the U.S. and al-Qaeda on Wednesday and shared nuggets of intelligence to contend Osama bin Laden was setting up a terrorist cell in Iraq to strike targets in America."
-Deb Reichmann writing for The Associated Press

Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne was a guest on MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olberman last night. He stated that about 75 percent of the nation's Republicans are with the president and still support his Iraq war strategy. Dionne estimated that the rest of the GOP, and the whole of the Democratic party, joined in by all of the nation's independents are against the President's position.

Let's face facts here - the President and his advisors have decided to use, yet again, their political base (not to be confused with their "base" of "haves and have mores") for their own selfish, self serving, political reasons regardless of the cost in both human life and US middle class taxpayer dollars. Make no mistakes about it, President Bush is using the lives of our children fighting a no-goal war as cannon fodder. He will use any excuse; he will use any tactic to ensure that his war remains.

"Hear the words of Osama bin Laden: He calls the struggle in Iraq a 'war of destiny.' "He proclaimed 'The war is for you or for us to win. If we win it, it means your defeat and disgrace forever.'"

Translation to those who still support President Bush, or are swayed into fear by his words: Be afraid. Be very afraid
Translation for the rest of us: Sure... I said it again. What you gonna do about it?

There is one reason and one reason alone for the president to keep on a-foolin' Mr.. Dionne's 75 percent of the people all of the time: To keep that political base voting the way he says to vote. and most Republicans need that 75 percent to get back into the offices they occupy. And as the President keeps his 75 percent ready and on the leash. If Dionne is right about Bush's ever-loving political base, then the man who will get to face the eventual Democratic party candidate will, indeed, need the support of President Bush. After all, it is that "base" which will show up on the varying and encroaching primary days. In other words, they'll need to kiss Bush's ass in order to get the GOP top spot in November 2008. Why else would Rudy Giuliani, America's mayor, waffle on issues like abortion and gay rights; Why would former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, have to check his website to make himself aware of where he stands each and every day; Why else would Senator John McCain, once called "The Maverick" take up every position which the President takes as his own?

Pucker up boys. You know what you gotta kiss and who it belongs to.

If al-Qaeda is beefing up their efforts worldwide, it is President Bush fanning his fires. Whether Osama bin-Laden is actually pushing President Bush's buttons, or President Bush is using bin-Laden's words as the gas on his base's fire is of no consequence. it will be our nation's soldiers who will pay the ultimate sacrifice. They will be injured; they will lose limbs; they will lose friends; and they will die for George W. Bush's war and his politics. Plan and simple.

-Noah Greenberg

What Bush's War Bill Means

"Half-measures and equivocations are not going to change our course in Iraq. If we are serious about ending the war, Congress must stand up to this president's failed policy now — with clarity and conviction."
-Connecticut Senator and Democratic Presidential Candidate Christopher Dodd

Dodd, of course, is speaking about the bill already passed by the Senate and now being reviewed in the House of Representatives which gives the President the monies he wants for his war in Iraq. And it is necessary for all of us who oppose this war that it is his - President Bush's - war in Iraq.

The sounds from the Left are that the Democrats aren't doing what we put them there to do - end the war. The sounds from the Right are that the Democrats are week. Talk about a no-win situation! The funny thing is that the far Left who was screaming the loudest to get our troops out now, appeared to resign themselves to a phased withdrawal. That has now been taken away from them. The Far Right, at least those who still support President Bush, want their money and want Bush's war to continue. Somehow they've convinced themselves that this war can be won militarily and that keeping our troops in harm's way is the only way to make this happen.

Are the Democrats facilitators for the President's Iraq war? Maybe.

The media is reporting that the Democrats caved in. Had the Dems not given in to the President's demands for more money, without strings, so to speak, that same media would have blamed them for not supporting the troops. Certainly, the President has won the war of words.

How do we, the people who put the Dems into the majority remedy this? Step one is to wait until September to see what their next move is. we all knew that, in the end this war was going to be funded for a few more months, at least. But in this bill presented to the House and passed by the Senate were other important legislative moves which include some health care money for children and a $2.10 raise in the minimum wage.

We could have gone until the September with our troops in Iraq; with having the President and his GOP war-lovers calling them "obstructionists" and telling us all that "The Democrats don't support the troops"; they could have sat by and listened to the Main Stream Media ask why the Democrats won't fund the troops. And while they were standing up to the President the same lives would have been lost in Iraq. The only difference between the Democrats funding Bush's war in Iraq and not funding it is perception. Nothing else would have changed.

And while they approve another $100 billion, they get a couple of important measures of their own past President bush. There is no way on God's Green Earth that this president would approve a raise in the minimum wage or any money for health care (unless, of course, it made his "base" of "haves and have mores" have "even more) had the Democrats not been able to attach them to a bill like this.

It's shear genius by the Rove Republicans to split us apart.

The Republicans have made it clear that we're going to revisit the Iraq war this September. It is our job to make them live up to their promise.

-Noah Greenberg

Good News, Bad News

Interesting item on Jim Cramer in the morning. The host of Mad Money is occupying the Imus spot on MSNBC and New York's WFAN radio station and is also using Imus' news guy, Charles McCord as his own.

According to the on air chat between the two, Cramer had asked McCord to find some good news - anything at all - in regard to the Iraq war. McCord found this little tid-bit:

"A senior U.S. military official told me—confirming reports from several other sources—that there have been 'a couple of days recently during which there were zero effective attacks and less than 10 attacks overall in the (Anbar) province,'"
-Joel Klein writing in Time Magazine, as read by McCord

Cramer then stated something to the effect of "in all fairness, we have to report the good news as well as the bad."

How true.

After the lengthy commercial break, McCord came back with the morning news. The first item he reported was that two soldiers had been killed in Anbar Province. He glossed over it and continued to read whatever else came across the path of his eyeballs.

I picked up my cell phone and dialed 718-937-6666, WFAN's radio talk-line.

As my phone began ringing, Cramer stopped McCord in his tracks. The following isn't verbatim, but it's pretty close:

CRAMER: Didn't you just say that there were no deaths in Anbar Province?
MCCORD: Oh... I thought that was off the air.

And that's when I crashed my car into the guardrail, your honor.

-Noah Greenberg

In response to, "I wish I could have said Falwell died having devoted his life to uniting disparate people and preaching Jesus' gospel that we are all >equal and loved by God. But that would have been a lie," Eddie Konczal writes:

If Jesus came back today, he would have associated with the very people Falwell spent his life demonizing.

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-Noah Greenberg