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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

Wednesday, June  6, 2007


Notes from 2 Debates

"If they want someone who doesn't believe in God, they have a lot of choices."
-Governor Mike Huckabee (REPUBLICAN-AR) on others running for President and how he perceives their belief in God.

Funny moments:
Dems: For those of you who use Closed Captioning on their television sets (and were paying attention), when the Democratic candidates were introduced and their names appeared in the CC test area, Dennis Kucinich came across as "Dennis Accuse Niche".
GOP's: Funny Moment: In response to CNN's Wolf Blitzer's question about the Providence, Rhode Island Bishop's opinion of Rudy Giuliani being pro-life, as the former New York City mayor began to speak, his microphone made an electronic noise and stopped working. Blitzer said that "it's the lightning striking the building". Senator John McCain, who was at the podium just to Giuliani's left took the opportunity to step away a couple of yards. I guess he didn't want to become "collaterally damaged".

On Iraq: The Dems
Hillary Clinton: This is George Bush's war. He started the war, he mismanaged the war.
Dennis Kucinich: Just say 'No money - the war is over.'
Joe Biden: Let's tell the truth...Ladies and gentlemen, you're going to end this war when you elect a Democratic President... we're funding the safety of the troops there until we get 67 votes.
Barack Obama: We are not going to be able to throw our troops into a civil war and be able to succeed.
Mike Gravel: (Accusing the other candidates): (They should be disqualified from being President because they gave President Bush their authorization to go to war.) They don't have moral judgment.
Clinton (in response to Gravel, and on Bush not allowing the inspectors to finish the job to find, or not find Weapons of Mass Destruction): What was wrong was the way this President misused the authority given him.

On Iraq: The GOP's
Rudy Giuliani: We need to look at nation-building as part of our army.
Duncan Hunter (in response to a woman who lost her brother in Iraq's question as to how we will get out of there. Hunter's son is serving his third tour in the are as a Marine - 2 in Iraq, 1 in Afghanistan): (Your brother's sacrifice), it's worth it.
Sam Brownback: (My plan is to make Iraq a) three state nation.
McCain: This war was very badly mismanaged... I believe we have a fine General. I believe we now have a plan to succeed. His sacrifice will not be in vain.
Giuliani (to a similar, follow-up question): I believe that your service is keeping us safer.
Giuliani (again): Overthrowing Saddam Hussein was one of the greatest victories in American history.
Ron Paul: The biggest incentive for (the Iraqi government and people) to take it upon themselves is just for us to leave... We can't enforce our goodness with an armed force... It doesn't work and we should admit it.

MADMAN: Congratulations! All you Dems are right. The truth of the matter is that the President did abuse his moral and, I believe, his legal authority in sending troops into Iraq. The intelligence was, no doubt, spun to fit the desired position. But Gravel is also right. many of those on the stage with him didn't stand up until it was too late, but it doesn't disqualify any of them from being President. (Otherwise it would be between Kucinich, Gravel and Obama.) It might be political suicide for the Democrats as a party if they were to stop all funding for the war at this time. If the Republicans can use that effectively against them in the upcoming election, anything else that they might have accomplished would be lost and the war would go on even longer! Although none of them would say it, or were even asked by Blitzer, the truth is that by giving the President the money now, along with some other programs that they were able to get through (none of which stood a chance on their own), he ball is now firmly in the GOP court. If by the early Fall, when General Patreus gives his next assessment to Congress, all is not well in Iraq, the time will be right to stop the funding, at least without a date for withdrawal and there might be enough Republicans in the Senate willing to stand up (or at least have enough fear of losing their Senate seat) to override the inevitable filibuster.
Right now, the way the GOP operates, we can't allow then to be the party in charge. We have seen what they can do when they're in the majority and the initial way to stop them is to deny them that majority. Anyone who doesn't realize that politics play a part in this simply doesn't get it.
And what about the GOP chorus (except for true Libertarian, Dr. Paul) and their views on the war. Any way they put it, it still sounds like "Damn the torpedoes - Full speed ahead", "Stay the course," to me. Giuliani, who many thought was a bastion of saneness in a roomful of acorns just a couple of months ago, is actually praising the Bush administration because they got rid of Saddam Hussein. Does anyone believe that the world is a safer place with him dead and the current situation still boiling over "over there"? How about his "Army of the Future"? Are we really going to be throwing our troops into fire after fire in the name if nation building? So much for minding our own business.
It was nice of those who spoke to thank the sister of a dead solder for his service, but in the same breath, more than one offered up the lives of others to be sacrificed so those who died wouldn't have died in vain. If these lives were money, we'd be saying "Stop throwing away good money after bad." Even after conceding the failures of this administration in the handling of President Bush's war, the candidates didn't want to state the obvious. McCain believes that throwing more American lives into Iraq will be the big difference maker. To paraphrase Blue Collar Comedy Tour Comedian Jeff Foxworthy, "You might just be a GOP Presidential Candidate if you still believe we can win this war militarily." Someone should ask Senator McCain," Just how many more need to die to make one death important"?
At least Ron Paul wants us out of there.

Health Care: Dems
John Edwards (referring to the Democratic candidates varying plans to solve the nation's health care crisis): It's a very healthy thing that we have Democrats that have come out with health care plans.
Hillary Clinton: I'm thrilled that universal health care is back on the agenda...
Edwards (on how to pay for his health care plan, which covers all Americans): I don't think you can do all of those things for nothing... (To pay for it, I'll) eliminate the tax break for those earning over $200,000...
Clinton: All the Democrats are saying this (national health care) has got to be a national goal...
Clinton: You have to have everybody standing firm when the insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies... come calling...
Chris Dodd: What's been missing in all of this is the ability to bring everybody together.
Dennis Kucinich: I reject this whole approach. There's only one way to get coverage for all people... Single Payer Universal Health Care... I'm ready to challenge the Health Care insurance Companies.
MADMAN: It appears that John Edwards read every other candidate's health care plan and it should be noted that Barack Obama's plan, while covering every child, still wouldn't cover all adults. Kucinich is the only one ready to do away with private health care insurers immediately.
And kudos to all of the Democrats seeking this nomination. They didn't allow Wolf Blitzer to simply ask them how they would fund their health care plans. They stood up, talked about their plans, their differences and similarities, and they talked about the urgency to get health care reform done for all Americans.

Health Care and the Pharmaceutical Companies: GOP
Giuliani: Health insurance should be like home owners insurance of car insurance. You don't pay for the things you don't need.
Giuliani: There's a man in California who said to me '"When you make medicine free, wait and see how expensive it will be."
MADMAN: Rudy Giuliani said he wants to give every family a tax break of $15,000 per year so each and every one of us can pay for our own health care insurance. With approximately 110 million households in the United States, Rudy would be taxing (and I do mean "taxing") our treasury for about $1.65 trillion (and, yes, I said TRILLION) dollars each and every year to pay for it. Let's just hope that, in Rudy Giuliani's al a carte health insurance plan that you don't need what you didn't pay for. Rudy doesn't want to wait and see how expensive health care coverage could be, he wants to see how expensive HE can make it.
Duncan Hunter (paraphrased): We pay for the drug's research so third world nations like Mexico can get their drugs cheaper.
MADMAN: Rep. Hunter noted that the reason our drug costs are so high is because we're paying for the cost of research so third world nations like Mexico don't have to. It's up to us to pay for the drugs the world uses. Hunter failed to mention that there are other rich nations whose drugs are either paid for by a Single Payer Universal health Care Program (England) or who negotiate with the drug companies for a better price for their programs to pay (Canada). I guess when you're in bed with Big Pharma, you stay in bed with Big Pharma.
Tommy Thompson (in response whether or not he would support a single Payer Health Care System -a question he still didn't answer): (after thanking the questioner) (Paraphrased) Going paperless will save 10 percent of the money spent on health care.
MADMAN: Governor Thompson believes that the answer is to stay healthy. He wants to prevent people from getting sick. Now, that's all well and good, but what happens to those who get sick even when they follow the rules? What happens to those who don't follow those rules when they get sick. "Oops, sorry. You didn't follow the rules so you have to die."
Mitt Romney: (It should be noted that the Massachusetts health Care Plan which was put into law by Romney was actually vetoed by the Governor. The veto was overridden and eventually, Romney signed it): We're going to have insurance that's theirs, that's portable. They're never going to have to worry about losing it.
MADMAN: Again we hear a bold idea from a Republican who wants to keep health care in the hands of private industry but fails to tell us all how he's going to pay for it. How are you going to make sure that all Americans can afford health care coverage when they can't afford meat, gas, milk and their rent or mortgage?

In response to the worst threat to Morality: The GOP (only)
Giuliani: Are we able to share those gifts (our American freedoms) with the rest of the world?
MADMAN: Even if we have to shove it down their throats, Rudy Giuliani wants to make every nation a Democracy, now. It amazes me that these guys still don't get it - some nations just aren't ready for our brand of Democracy and they detest us for not realizing it.
Sam Brownback: All life is sacred... It applies to the child in Darfur.
MADMAN: So how come an influential Senator like Brownback hasn't mentioned Darfur until this debate. He has been a leader of the majority party for quite some time now. Did he just get the news that there are children dying in Darfur? Maybe he just found out that a Janjuweed killed an expecting mother after raping her, and the fetus died as well. That must have been it.
Ron Paul: We now promote preemptive war.

Immigration: The Dems
Bill Richardson: I would not support legislation that divides families... Increase border patrols... Earned legalization program... learn English... Penalize employers that knowingly hire illegal workers.

Immigration: The GOP
Rudy Giuliani: They (immigrants) should have an ID card... make sure they're not here for a bad purpose.
MADMAN: That would force every American to get a card as well. how are you going to tell who we should ask for a card apart from who we shouldn't ask for a card? I guess Rudy wants to go back to the good old days of profiling again. Oh, wait... we never left those days.
Mitt Romney: Almost every illegal gets to stay here, under this bill... Enforce the (immigrations) law as it exists.
MADMAN: Just how does Romney figure to get rid of all these illegal immigrants? It would cost billions of dollars and take a number of years to remove all of the estimated 12 million illegal aliens from within our borders And if we didn't fix our borders first, they'll come back in as fast as they go out.
McCain: People came across here to New Jersey from our southern border and tried to kill our people.
MADMAN: They did not, Sen. McCain. They came here legally and made a plan to gain entry to a New jersey military base. Their plan was to get one man inside as a pizza delivery man; have him sneak his friends in... somehow; take control of various vehicles while killing every soldier in their path; then escape unscathed. These are the same guys who had to bring their plans to a Photomat because they couldn't figure out how to use their DVD- recorder.

English as a National Language and Being an American: The GOP
It should be noted that only the Republicans were asked the softball question, "What does it mean to be an American?"
Although the Democratic candidates were asked this question as well, the show of hands option used by Blitzer resulted in a unanimous "No".
All but McCain said they wanted to make English the official language of the United States.
McCain: Everyone knows that English has to be learned.
MADMAN: He followed that up with a bit about the Navajo Indians and their native tongue which isn't English. He is slowly turning into that crazy, old uncle no one wants to talk about.
Question to Romney: Why are you airing ads in Spanish" if you want to make English our official language?
Romney: Let me make this clear. I'm not anti-immigrant.
MADMAN: Also noted by Blitzer was that Romney has a Spanish mirror website with his son speaking in Spanish. I was hoping for a Richard Nixon moment here. Too bad Mitt left the word "perfectly" out.
Tancredo: No, I would not advertise in Spanish. Bilingual countries don't work.
MADMAN: That's it, stick to your guns, Tommy. By the way, take a look to the north at Canada. How many languages do they speak? it should be noted that most educated Europeans speak more than one language.
McCain: Look at the name engraved on black granite (the Vietnam Veterans memorial in DC) where a lot of the names are Hispanic.
MADMAN: McCain went on to mention that many Hispanics serve in our armed services now and that his state of Arizona spoke Spanish before English. Note: The first capital in what is now the United States was New Spain's Sante Fe in what is now New Mexico. Good for Senator McCain. Even our crazy uncle gets it right now and then.
Tancredo: Being an American means you cut your ties with the past.
Maybe we should all dress alike and get plastic surgery so we can all look alike as well.

The Gas Crisis
John Edwards: Can America finally stop spending 3 billion dollars a year subsidizing gas companies?
MADMAN: Edwards also wants to begin investigating the record profits that the gas companies are making. He also noted that the same companies that own the refineries are selling the gas, making profits on both ends.
Ron Paul: I object to subsidies to big corporations
MADMAN: Both Rudy and Romney stated that the gas crisis is more than just big oil making money, it's a national security issue. Of course, Romney grouped Amedinejad (Iran) and other terrorists (as perceived by Rudy) with Putin in Russia. I guess Diplomacy isn't his thing either.

More tomorrow

-Noah Greenberg

Bush Loves... Bush

From Bill Gallagher in the Niagara Falls Reporter:

Columnist Georgie Anne Geyer reports (others have, too) a chilling episode that rattled even Bush's cronies. Bush's megalomania, narcissism and delusion that God anointed him to bring democracy to the Middle East mold his madness.

Geyer wrote, "Friends of his from Texas were shocked recently to find him nearly wild-eyed, thumping himself on the chest three times while he repeated 'I am the president!' He also made it clear he was setting up Iraq so his successor could not get out of 'our country's destiny.'"

That is the rant of a mentally disturbed man incapable of self-doubt and reflection. What we know about Bush is frightening. What we don't know is simply terrifying.


Has Bush gone totally insane? Impeach him for the good of the world, the nation and quite honestly his own good.

-Forwarded and commented by Robert Scardapane

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-Noah Greenberg