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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

January 2, 2008


Through My Crystal Ball

With the Iowa caucuses about to take place, I thought it a fun idea to make my predictions as to the big winners and losers at the end of that day (Thursday, January 3, 2007). The Iowa caucuses allow voters to change their vote to their second favorite candidate if their first choice doesn't receive 15 percent of the vote in their meeting place. As a result, many should change their minds and hop onto a bandwagon prior to its leaving town. Bearing in mind that I'm using nothing but my own subjectivity disguised as objectivity, and some "gut feelings" mixed with my limited knowledge of Iowa politics, please only take my predictions as I offer them - as one Madman's view:

Headline: Edwards Takes the Buckeye State!: Yes, I'm going with the horse I've backed from day-one. John Edwards, the former Senator from North Carolina has won my support due to his inclusive health care plan; his care for those poverty stricken; and his willingness to back up his words with his wallet, as he has done in Eastern North Carolina with aid for those who can't afford to, but still wish to go to college. Edwards has stated that he will make health care for all his top priority and punish the Congress if they don't make it theirs by removing them, their families and the staff and their families from the very favorable health care plan which they all participate in thanks to our US middle class tax dollars. (How he will do this without the Congress' consent remains to be seen, but it'll be a fun watch.) Edwards plan is spelled out in detail on his website I believe Edwards' will be the first choice of many in Iowa and will take a large portion from those who do not make the magical 15 percent cut, and I believe that he will garnish about twice the number of second chance votes that either Senators Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama will tally.

Following Edwards will be Senator Clinton and it will be by just a few percentage points. Her organization, ability to raise money (yes, it does matter in the eyes of voters - that's why they publish it), and loyalty of her non-bending supporters will keep her a respectable second.

Following Clinton will be senator Obama. His third-place finish, two or three points behind Clinton, will be due to his newness and his ability to get those new Iowa voters to vote for him - even though only about half of them will show up.

Taking up the rear of the Iowa vote will be Senator Joe Biden, whose support will be string, but simply not enough, and Governor Bill Richardson. Senator Chris Dodd comes in a more distant sixth with Rep. Dennis Kucinich's spaceship not even making a landing.

The Republicans:
Rudy is gone (as in "not in Iowa") and his epitaph should read, "He didn't learn from Joe Lieberman." Many of you will remember Senator Lieberman abandoning Iowa to concentrate on New Hampshire. But with all of that focus on the heartland state and much less on the Granite State, Senator "Say it ain't so" Joe didn't stand a chance. Giuliani is concentrating on Florida to make his move, and he had better make it big here or it's so long Rudy. Even McCain, who felt that he had no shot in Iowa has been making the rounds as of late. And as of late, he has been gaining ground on the week sisters at the top, Governor Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney. So my headline for Iowa GOP caucus will be: McCain Slips In!

That's right, I'm predicting a win in Iowa for John McCain and the reason is simple - the people of Iowa aren't stupid. After you step away from the Religious Right and their support for Huckabee, and realize that he wins their vote on a default basis, the only real candidate left standing will be McCain. Huckabee will follow with his real talk and quick humor disguising his non-existent platform while Romney will suffer from the "I am really going to vote for this guy?" funk. When push comes to shove, I believe that Rudy, Romney and Fred Thompson might even pull about even in the end. Rep. Ron Paul's supporters won't defect him and sixth place will be his. Anyone else was a joke to begin with anyway. (Is there anyone else, Rep. Hunter?)

So that's it. Send me your "Are you out of your mind?" and ask me to take you off my mailing list. That's the way I see it and that's the way I've printed it.

Happy New Year and a very merry Caucus to all!

Noah Greenberg

In response to the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, Ginger writes:

I'm a firm Bush non-supporter, but I have to say that if a leader who has been threatened with assassination for years, having survived an attempt a short time ago, chooses to go out and wave out of a sunroof, it's not anybody's fault but her own.

And Madman Answers:


Of course, the use of this kind of logic is what kept demonstrators a mile away from President Bush during the 2004 Republican National Convention (which took place in "Liberal" New York City). Leaders need to be visible - they need to hear both jeers and cheers. While it is true that a similar situation JFK was assassinated (Dallas, November 1963) leaders shouldn't hide - not even George W. Bush. And if you were able to ask Benazir Bhutto, she most likely would say tell you the same thing. In fact, with the knowledge that she had already escaped an assassin's attempt just a short while before, her actions do just that.

If you were the people of Pakistan, would you want a leader such as Hamid Karzai - one who rarely ventures out of Kabul, his nation's capital? The result is a leader whose constituents won't take seriously of simply ignore. Think about this: Many in his own nation call him, jokingly, "The Mayor of Kabul" rather than the leader of his Afghanistan. In Karzai's case, however, the entire nation outside of his very own "Green Zone" is hostile with The Taliban back taking charge in much of it. But that is more of a problem caused by the Bush Administration's zeal to invade Iraq and forgetting about the necessary "Stay the Course" in Afghanistan, which would have let us finish the job there before sinking our feet into our current, never-ending quagmire.

Bhutto in Pakistan should not have ended up in that position. With the previous attempts on her life, Benazir Bhutto's request for more security should not have been ignored by Pervez Musharraf and been insisted upon by president Bush. Today we hear from inside "The Bush Circle of Spin" that Bhutto had reached out to the President and his minions in an effort to get that security which the current Pakistan Leader/ President/ Prime Minister/ General/ Dictator refused. The Bushies are even attempting to tell us all that they had voiced their "concerns" to Musharraf, in an effort to, no doubt, silence the critics who pin come of the blame for Bhutto's murder on our Oval Office. But what those Mouthpieces of the "So Wrong They Must Be Right", such as Fox News Channel, The New York Post, The Washington Times, etc, fail to point out is that President Bush, wit one phone call, could have, and should have, insisted that Bhutto be protected.

He didn't.

When one governs inside of a bubble, much in the way President bush does, and keeps only those with special interests close to him for "advice", then one has no alternative but to react after the fact. In the bizarre world of the Bush administration, nothing is planned for. Invade Afghanistan to take out the Taliban? Sure. But when we leave without this particular "Mission Not Accomplished", we open the door for our enemies' revival. Like cockroaches scattering away when the light of force is shined upon them, the Taliban is back when that light is turned back off again. And this time they're smarter and hungrier than before. By not taking them out when he should have (and by "them", I mean the Taliban and its blind Mullah leader as well as Osama bin-Laden who escaped the mountains of Tora Bora as the CIA, under orders, watched his plane fly away with the kidney machine keeping him alive), The President and his band of global saboteurs have allowed for Afghanistan to, yet again, be in the hands of this enemy.

And now they're in Pakistan en force, looking to make their own version of religious encumbrance the law there. When you add it all up and throw al-Qaeda in Iraq's presence into the mix, just what have the Busies been doing anyway?

Not preparing for the worst has been a Bush trademark for the past seven years. When the PDB (President's Daily Briefing) came across his desk in August of 2001, the Bushies ignored it, and after-the-fact called it "An Historic Document". When the plans came across his desk at the Pentagon, "loyal" Bushies, Donald Rusted, then Secretary of Defense, made CENTCOM Commander General Tommy Franks change it and lower the troops levels until we were fighting a war in a compact design. No thought whatsoever was given to the aftermath - the ensuing occupation. In fact, the only thought given to it apparently was how best to make a profit out of it for that now-infamous Bush "base of haves and have mores". THAT was their only success to date, and it's a gift from them to theirs which keeps on giving.

Even at home, no thought was ever given to disasters which the Bushies insisted that they planned for. When the Army Corp of Engineers recommended making the levies around New Orleans' Lake Pontchatrain withstand a Category 5 Hurricane, the Bushies, under the leadership of Michael "You're Doing a Great Job, Brownie" Brown stated that they had prepared successfully for this disaster. And that statement was made AFTER Hurricane Katrina hit! We all remember President Bush's birthday party appearance in Arizona for senator John McCain as Katrina hit; and his famous fly-over the Big Easy on his way back to DC by now. Even today, New Orleans and much of the Gulf Coast waits for rebuilding funds already earmarked by Congress for such reasons. Still millions aren't back home yet.

It's simply disgusting.

But when one lives in a bubble, like President Bush, one has only the ability to react after the fact. The bubble provides for protection, but not for preparation.

-Noah Greenberg

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-Noah Greenberg