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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Thanksgiving Madman

December 3, 2007



How bad is it? Just how bad is our national debt problem as we look towards a new president in 2009? Well, by the time that George W. Bush leaves office on that Winter day, the National Debt will have climbed to a figure in excess of TEN TRILLION DOLLARS!

How bad is it? The National Debt clock in New York City's Times Square will have to be removed to make room for a new clock to add the extra digit to accommodate the new figure.

The way the Bush administration has been playing fast and loose with our money has reminded me of a show I saw on cable TV this week. A credit expert examined a 23-year-old woman's spending habits and gave her some advice: Cut it out. The young woman was actually spending over hundreds of dollars a month over her actual income; her credit cards were maxed out (but, somehow, she still was receiving even more credit); and she owed her grandmother about $25,000. George W. Bush is that 23-year-old woman.

Somewhere along the line, the Bushies figured out that they have a credit card issued by the American middle class that doesn't have a limit as either.

The debt is accumulating at $1 million per minute, or $1.6 billion a day. The cost (in dollars) of the war in Iraq pales in comparison to the cost of how George Bush is running our government. If you boil those figures down to the American population, each one of us, man, woman and child's chare of the debt is $30,000. And when you take into account that the tax burden, which used to be shared more evenly among the rich, extra-rich, ultra-rich, Bush "base" of "haves and have mores" and the middle class has been more and more shifted to the latter group, you can bet your last $30,000 that the middle class is going to cover even more of that debt.

And there is no ceiling being thought of, or any idea out of the Bushies to curb spending in sight. And why would there be? after all, it is that very same "base" of "haves and have mores" who are benefiting by the spending of George w. Bush's government. That base included war profiteers like Blackwater and Halliburton and their political contributions and promises of future consideration that will keep the debt dollars rolling.

"Our estimate is that the national debt will hit 350 percent of the GDP by 2050 under unchanged policy. Something has to change, because if you look at what's going to happen to expenditures for entitlement programs after us baby boomers start to retire, at the current tax rates, it doesn't work,"
-David Wyss, chief economist at Standard and Poors

Everything that the Bushies do seems to go towards killing the future for our children and our children's children. Global warming? a myth. National Debt? It's just a number. There has never been a government led by such a group that has little or no respect for the future as this administration has shown.

"The government is in the same predicament as the average homeowner who took out an adjustable mortgage," said Stanley Collender, a former congressional budget analyst and now managing director at Qorvis Communications

The Bushies have been a plight on our society and have been dismantling the middle class since day-one. And in the end, it will be their "base" who benefits at our demise.

-Noah Greenberg

More Bilking

The good ol' boy network is BILKING US ONCE AGAIN, transferring our hard-earned taxpayers' dollars to one of their own kind.

We can be confident that John Ashcroft has all the qualifications these bozos require: (1) he lost the 2000 Senatorial election to a dead Democrat who'd been killed in a convenient air crash two weeks before the election and whose wife took his seat in Congress; (2) having proven his incompetence in an elected office, being out of work and the President and V-P's old-time golf crony, he was non-elected as Attorney General, (3) he hates the U.S. Constitution, and in the highly misnamed Patriot Act took the first steps to destroy it, (4) his sneaky night-time passage of that foul law indicts him as a NeoCon-man, (5) he scorned and discarded clear warnings of imminent attack on the US just before 9/11, simply because the report was made by the other party. NOT LEAST (6), he has been hired to receive this new lucrative contract by a former Justice Department employee. Worst of all from an esthetic viewpoint, music lovers will cringe on remembering his appearance in Fahrenheit 9/11, which brings us to qualification (7). He writes wretched lyrics, lousier tunes, and can't sing.

In other words, John Ashcroft possesses the same kind of preparedness that put Big Mike Brown-noser in charge of the Katrina evacuation. The GOP's nickname should change to GOI--Grubby Old Incompetents. Oi! What a sorry bunch of Gois they are!

Jenny Hanniver

Dubya on Rudy, Mitt, and Huckabee
Dateline: Camp David. Nov. 23.

Being a member of 'Skulls and Bones,' I checked with Dubya on his picks for '08.
This is what he said to me and my partner: "Well now lil-feller and listen up lil girl,'
"Rudy, He's kinda stubborn, loyal. But the old boys on Wall St like him, them that he didn't arrest. Putting the Emergency Response office in the World Trade Center was kinda dumb. But he made out OK. And that boy Kerik. But the Log Cabin guys like him, and like how he dresses up sometimes. He's ok, but he's not really one of us. Still, we can use him.

"And Mitt, He's one of them Mormon Christians. And kind of wishy-washy. Must be that Massachusetts thing. He shoulda stayed in Oklahoma, or Minnesota, or Michigan, or wherever. I do like how he pretends to forget that Obama-guy's name, calls him Osama. I would say 'him running for President, he's Barakin up the wrong tree. Get it - Barak - Bark. Heh, heh. (At this point in the interview he scratched Barney's ears.) Anyway, Mitt calling Barak 'Osama,' that's good. Not Karl Rove 'McCain had a illegitimate girl good,' not 'Lee-Atwater / Willie-Horton good,' but it's good. I wonder if his people are behind that 'Obama is a Moslem' thing. That's good. Real good. Maybe even Rove Atwater good. He's ok, but he's not really one of us.

"Now Mike Huckabee, he's misguided. He's kind of like a Damn-o-crat. But he's a Christian, so he can't really be a Damn-o-crat. Do you think Jesus would be a Damn-o-crat? Buildin' schools? Helpin' the poor? Give people health care? Create jobs? Protect the enviro-mint? Why that boy Huckabee actually believes that the purpose of Gov-mint is to provide for the consumers, who he calls 'citizens' when actuality it's jist to funnel taxpayer money from people who work fer a living to your friends and mine who own and manage large corp-rations and live on stock dividends and bond coupons. He's not really ok. I don't know how he calls his self a Christian. He even claims he's a minister.

The thing is, who-ever wins for our side don't matter. We might even give them 4 years of Hillary so they think things is ok. So they believes their precious Cons-Stit-Too-Shun is working. Then Jeb'll run in 2016 and Jenna in 2024. Squash that Cons-Stit-Too-Shun theory like Evolution.

"But don't tell anyone.
"And remember, we're listening. You think it's only China what is monitoring the Inter-anet?"
Copyleft 2007. X B ColdFingers. This is satire. Any resemblance to the facts is purely tragic.

In response to Victoria Brownworth's comments, Robert Scardapane writes:

I agree that there have been low blows against Hillary Clinton in the media. However, she isn't the only candidate who has been a target of mean spirited attacks. Take the ridiculous attacks on Barack Obama that he was "secretly" raised as a Muslim. Even after this was proven false, a whisper campaign continues to this day. Then, consider the attacks on John Edwards that he should spend more time with his sick wife and spends too much money on haircuts. When it comes to these crazed attacks on Democrats, rarely if ever Republicans, the mainstream corporate media needs to give it a rest.

I don't agree that Dennis Kucinich is not a progressive liberal. He is the only candidate who is in favor of a single payer health care system and will end the Iraq occupation immediately. I find the claim that Dennis is a centrist at heart to be just plain wrong. Yes, I am aware that he changed his position on choice some time ago.

I'll support Hillary Clinton if she is the Democratic candidate but I refuse to cede the nomination to her. John Edwards is my choice for President and I am sticking to that. I like Dennis Kucinich but sort of hope he stays in Congress to keep everyone honest. For Vice President, I think Bill Richardson would be an awesome addition to any ticket.

In response to "All the Democratic candidates are either to the right of Sen. Clinton or exactly in the same place," John Lynn writes:

Not true...has Ms Brownworth not heard of Dennis Kucinich and Bill Richardson? I believe both are for immediate withdrawal from Iraq, and have never supported Bush's immoral war [unlike HRC].

From Robert Scardapane:

In response to "Over Half the Families in America Are Not Poor", I'll quote from Chris Hedges as I couldn't possibly say it better. I hope Madman prints these words as Mr. Hedges diagnoses our situation. George W. Bush is just a symptom of a nation bled dry pursuing the dreams of Empire:

The American working class, once the most prosperous on Earth, has been politically disempowered, impoverished and abandoned. Manufacturing jobs have been shipped overseas. State and federal assistance programs have been slashed. The corporations, those that orchestrated the flight of jobs and the abolishment of workers' rights, control every federal agency in Washington, including the Department of Labor. They have dismantled the regulations that had made the country's managed capitalism a success for ordinary men and women. The Democratic and Republican Parties now take corporate money and do the bidding of corporate interests.

Philadelphia is a textbook example. The city has seen a precipitous decline in manufacturing jobs, jobs that allowed households to live comfortably on one salary. The city had 35 percent of its workforce employed in the manufacturing sector in 1950, perhaps the zenith of the American empire.
Thirty years later, this had fallen to 20 percent. Today it is 8.8 percent.
Commensurate jobs, jobs that offer benefits, health care and most important enough money to provide hope for the future, no longer exist. The former manufacturing centers from Flint, Mich., to Youngstown, Ohio, are open sores, testaments to a growing internal collapse.

The United States has gone from being the world's largest creditor to its largest debtor. As of September 2006, the country was, for the first time in a century, paying out more than it received in investments. Trillions of dollars go into defense while the nation's infrastructure, from levees in New Orleans to highway bridges in Minnesota, collapses. We spend almost as much on military power as the rest of the world combined, while Social Security and Medicare entitlements are jeopardized because of huge deficits.

Money is available for war, but not for the simple necessities of daily life.

Nothing makes these diseased priorities more starkly clear than what the White House did last week. On the same day, Tuesday, President Bush vetoed a domestic spending bill for education, job training and health programs, yet signed another bill giving the Pentagon about $471 billion for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1. All this in the shadow of a Joint Economic Committee report suggesting that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been twice as expensive than previously imagined, almost $1.5 trillion.

The decision to measure the strength of the state in military terms is fatal. It leads to a growing cynicism among a disenchanted citizenry and a Hobbesian ethic of individual gain at the expense of everyone else. Few want to fight and die for a Halliburton or an Exxon. This is why we do not have a draft. It is why taxes have not been raised and we borrow to fund the war.
It is why the state has organized, and spends billions to maintain, a mercenary army in Iraq. We leave the fighting and dying mostly to our poor and hired killers. No nationwide sacrifices are required. We will worry about it later.

It all amounts to a tacit complicity on the part of a passive population.
This permits the oligarchy to squander capital and lives. It creates a world where we speak exclusively in the language of violence. It has plunged us into an endless cycle of war and conflict that is draining away the vitality, resources and promise of the nation.

It signals the twilight of our empire.


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-Noah Greenberg