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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

www.NationalView.org's Note From a Madman

July 15, 2008

 

There will be no Note From a Madman Tomorrow.

Even Madmen need a day or two off occasionally. -NG


"Plandering" vs. A Good (Finally) Idea

When President Franklin Delano Roosevelt wanted to help end the Great Depression, one of the means he chose to meet this lofty end was The Public Works Project. The object of the project was to put Americans to work by investing in its infrastructure. It wasn't merely a means to put people back to work - it was a means to stimulate the economy and begin making the average American, so hurt by the bad policies of his predecessor and circumstances ignored, begin to feel good about him or herself and their future.

A few weeks ago I had printed an article about Iraq and their lack of any infrastructure projects financed with the second largest oil reserves in the world. sure Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki toured the streets of Baghdad handing out money to anyone and everyone he met; and sure our own US "Viceroy", former Ambassador L. Paul Bremmer, handed out pallets of hundred dollar bills in an effort appease the un-appeasable (like that's a word) way back in 2004, but that's not what was, or is, necessary there.

The Bushies and the Iraqi government obviously never heard the proverb:
Give a man a fish and he eats for a day
Teach a man to fish and he eats for the rest of his life

The Democrats in Congress have come up with an idea which is designed to teach our economy to fish. In what they want to be the next attempt at stimulating the flat-lined Bush economy, both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (DEMOCRAT-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (DEMOCRAT-NV) want to put America back to work. Their plan is to include in their next economic stimulus package a national infrastructure measure to do so.

"New legislation could include: additional tax rebates, heating and air conditioning subsidies for the poor, infrastructure projects, higher food stamp payments and aid to the states,"
-The Associated Press (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080715/ap_on_go_co/democrats_economic_stimulus)

Senator Reid, for his part, doesn't necessarily agree with Pelosi's more wide-ranging plan to include all of the above, but he is on board with fixing America while putting us to work at the same time.

"The first thing we need to look at before we look at tax rebates is, what can we do to stimulate the economy? And that's infrastructure development. That's bridges, highways, dams, and to put massive amounts of money into an infrastructure for renewable energy,"
-Reid

Whether you agree with the whole package or just the infrastructure as stimulus part is subjective. However there can be no doubt that any package designed to help save our economy must have it included.

The Republican leadership, and The President himself, however, disagree. Bush believes that the $600 to $1,500 given in the form of a rebate is the cure-all to our economic woes - that, along with gigantic tax cuts for millionaires, that is. The President wants to wait for the money which won't even get most Americans out of their credit card debt to "kick in" before doing anything at all that is short of making his tax cuts for his "base of haves and have mores" permanent.

"Let's see how this stimulus package works,"
-President Bush

House Republican Whip, Roy Blunt (MO), has his own ideas. In an effort to keep the Pandering Express rolling, Blunt said this:

"To my Democratic colleagues who want this Congress take up a massive, taxpayer-funded 'stimulus' package, I offer them this piece of simple advice: the best way to stimulate our economy would be to take meaningful steps to reduce the price at the pump,"
-Blunt

Of course, he offers no means toward actually accomplishing that.

While the President, John McCain-McBush and their GOP followers in Congress and in the main stream media clamor for more of the same "Stray the Course" strategy in Iraq, they offer only a "wait and see" when it comes to the American economy and its effect on us regular middle-class Americans. In their vernacular. "plan" and "pander" mean one in the same.

Perhaps we should call what they offer simply "Plandering".

It just saves time and gains the same, meaningless goal.

-Noah Greenberg



The Fed Speaks

Concerning the economy, I listened to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke bi-yearly Senate testimony yesterday on C-SPAN. He said:

"Many financial markets and institutions remain under considerable stress, in part because the outlook for the economy and thus for credit quality, remains uncertain."

That is hardly an endorsement of the economy. Of course, it's carefully worded to least impact financial markets. When you listen to the testimony, a picture emerges of an economy that is besieged by a variety of problems:
slumping housing market, housing devaluation, insolvent banks (IndyMac Bank of Pasadena failed on Friday and was the 5th largest failure in American history), tightening credit and growing inflation.

I like Bernanke much more than Greenspan. His "Fed speak" is at least intelligible while Greenspan tended to talk in riddles. Also, Bernanke has been reporting inflation statistics to Congress that include food and energy. He understands the problems that occur when financial institutions become insolvent. This is no psychological problem. It's all too real and will go on for awhile. No one knows for sure how bad it will get.

-Robert Scardapane



All in My Mind... Again

Let's see, a few months ago, I had let my car get down to empty. It cost $19.00 to fill er up. The other week, I was on empty again and it was $36.00 to fill er up.
But this was all in my mind, thank goodness.

My husband and I go to the mall near our house every Saturday to walk around. One Saturday not long ago, we got there and SEVEN - count em - SEVEN stores that we shopped in every week had CLOSED.
But that was all in my mind. Again, thank goodness. Just think of all the jobs lost if seven stores had REALLY closed.

Whew my imagination sure is fertile.

At the grocery store, one lemon is 69 cents.
Thank goodness that is all in my mind because not so long ago they were 3 for 50 cents. That imagination of mine sure brings up some stuff.

At the local pharmacy, my prescription had gone up $10.00 from last month and my co-pay is now $20.00.What an crazy imagination I have.

I think I am going to stop typing now and start whining about all the Democratic idiots (I am a loyal Democrat) who have just rolled over and caved to Bush on everything and they let the telecom companies off the hook for breaking the law.

But I could just be an imaginative whiner. I sure hope so.

-Sheila



In response to the comment that "Obama voted like McCain" on the FISA bill, Ginger writes:

McCain didn't vote. He was conveniently absent that day. Of course, many people, including me, would say he's absent most days... at least mentally.

Obama has said that this was the best possible bill. He did try to get the loathsome telecom provision removed but, failing that, decided in the end that there were other aspects of the bill that we definitely needed for now. There's nothing to stop him reversing that provision as soon as he's president. I expect enough Democrats in Congress after November to make passage fairly simple.


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-Noah Greenberg