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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

www.NationalView.org's Note From a Madman

December 23, 2008



"If you let the Big 3 collapse, the GOP will be remembered for years again as the party of Herbert Hoover."
-Sitting Vice President Dick Cheney

Are there any sweeter words than "The outgoing Vice President Dick Cheney"? Perhaps "Former Vice President Dick Cheney" would fit that bill.

In a little less than a month, Dick Cheney will be the ex-Vice President, a title that many of us thought might never come.

"The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January,"
-The 20th Amendment to the US Constitution

And we can hardly wait.

Remember those Conspiracy Theorists who were sure that, come November 2008, Dick Cheney would find a way to use the state of our nation's security to keep him and President George W. Bush - a.k.a. the Puppet-master and his Puppet, respectively - in office? It wasn't that long ago some said that this pair will use national security as the issue they would need to rid themselves of that pesky little Term Limit Amendment, the 22nd, put into out Constitution in 1951.

This past week, Cheney appeared on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace to take the first of what will be numerous parting shots at his successor Joe Biden and anyone else Wallace decided to pitch softballs about for him to hit out of the GOPark.

Wallace asked Cheney about Biden's statements regarding the dangers of Cheney in office. Here's what Biden said:

"Vice President Cheney's been the most dangerous vice president we've had probably in American history."
-Vice-President-Elect Joe Biden

Bush relied on Cheney for everything from policy down to who to trust. His involvement in the day-to-day duties at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue was unprecedented and in the world of Washington, DC politics, new isn't necessarily better. Here was Cheney's response to Biden's criticism:

"Well, I just fundamentally disagree with him. He also said that the all the powers and responsibilities of the executive branch are laid out in Article 1 of the Constitution. Well, they're not. Article 1 of the Constitution is the one on the legislative branch,"

Cheney's wrong here and Biden happens to be right. While Cheney went on to blast Biden for not knowing the Constitution ("Joe's been chairman of the Judiciary Committee, a member of the Judiciary Committee in the Senate, for 36 years, teaches constitutional law back in Delaware, and can't keep straight which article of the Constitution provides for the legislature and which provides for the executive." -Cheney), it's Cheney himself who hasn't got a clue.

"The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided."
"As the presiding officer of the Senate, the vice president may vote only to break a tie."
-The US Constitution

And other than the forty-fifth Amendment, which better defined the succession of the Vice President to the Presidency, the duties of the VP are laid out only in Article Number one.

"In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President."
-The US Constitution, as included in the 45th Amendment

Funny how Wallace failed to follow-up on that, isn't it?

The Time-Machine moment in the latest Wallace-Cheney interview came when Wallace asked Cheney this:

"If the president during war decides to do something to protect the country, is it legal?"

Cheney's response was very Frost-Nixon-like in its tone and meaning:

"I think we're perfectly appropriate to take the steps we have,"

In other words, and as Richard Nixon told David Frost some thirty years ago, "When The President does it, it's not illegal."

With all that this administration has done to harm the United States and destroy its middle class, it's just too bad that the only venue Dick Cheney felt safe enough to speak out on was a Fox News talking head show. Certainly the most powerful Vice President and the main policy-maker of worst administration since Hoover's owes us more of an explanation than "Things happen."

If only they had been able to predict anything prior to its occurrence. If only those that were there weren't ignored. If only...

-Noah Greenberg

Why a Chimp?

Some more thoughts on the "shoe thrower" and the reaction it sparked on this newsletter.

I realize that some people don't like calling the President names out of a sense of respect for the office. I don't think offices merit respect. The people that hold them must earn respect. In my opinion, George W. Bush violated the public trust by lying into an unjust war. For that reason, I call him a "Chimp" - meaning, he is a stupid person. I intend no offense to Chimps!

I also realize that some people don't like seeing objects thrown at the President. Rachel Maddow said as much this week on her show. I don't wish Bush any harm but I believe he brought this situation on himself. He was incredibly callous taking a "victory lap" around Iraq where thousands are dead and as mush as 1 million are refugees. Iraq is literally a destroyed nation. For that, Americans will have to live with the shame that we did this to Iraq with no just cause. Of late, Bush has been on a tour making disingenuous speeches about his Presidency in an attempt to rescue his legacy. It's too late for that. This event was the fitting punctuation point to that "tour".

Finally, I am not un-subscribing though I admit to being irritated on reading direct attacks against writers on this newsletter. There is plenty of room for disagreement but there is no reason writers should call each other names.

I sure hope that none of us will be mad enough at the next President that we will start conjuring up names. We simply can't afford another 4 years of failure. But, we should separate how we communicate about the politicians from how we communicate about each other.

Have a nice holiday all!

-Robert Scardapane


What is Chimp Bush babbling about when he says that the auto industry could go bankrupt as long as it's orderly? There really is no such thing as an "orderly bankruptcy". Once a bankruptcy occurs, all parties line up for their share of whatever loot is left over. Plants close across the country. Workers lose their jobs.

Now, if he was talking about a "debt swap", as they are doing at GMAC, that would make more sense. Basically, the bond holders would take a hit but lower interest on the "substituted" debt would save the company money. Bottom line though is that a "debt swap" will not save GM in the short term. They need a bailout coupled with a long term adjustment of their business model (building fuel efficient green cars).

I found it instructive that Chimpy made his remarks at the Mecca of Milton Friedman "free market" capitalism - the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). Bush was a right wing ideologue from day one and he is going out that way.

Wishing Bush a speedy retirement and be sure to look out for flying shoes.

-Robert Scardapane

A Different Christmas Idea

The Grinch, as you know is a chubby green fellow who hates Christmas.

He hated all the frills of Christmas, such as the bows, presents, trees, lights, the endless assault of television adds that start way too soon, the music that is played in every store and even in the airport etc, etc.

What he discovered was that Christmas isn't really about all those things. It isn't about the presents and the candy in stockings. It isn't about the crowded shopping malls and heavy traffic. It isn't about the toys and bicycles. It's about unity and love, tolerance and acceptance, Peace and good will and friends and family. What the Grinch hated was what made Christmas so troublesome and hard to bear. That, my friends, is commercialism. The greedy bastards of big business who want us to spend more money we have on stuff nobody needs.

Join me and fight the idea that Christmas can only be enjoyed by buying presents and getting stuff. Don't go to the mall and buy anything unless it's for a kid. They wouldn't understand what I'm trying to say, and children are what makes Christmas fun anyway. So take the little boys and girls to visit the mall Santa and buy their presents online. Make sure you don't buy anything from China, of course. And remember the Grinch didn't steal Christmas commercialization did!

-Sean O'Neall

In response to, "It should be noted that something needed to be done in the aftermath of Lehman Brothers' collapse and that the jobs lost by a number of other Big Finance Giants, added to the $25,000 jobs lost at Lehman, would have been catastrophic.
"Still jobs were lost, but not at the top where heads should have rolled. The only reason, in my opinion, to distribute such large sums of US taxpayer dollars was to save those middle-class jobs," David W. writes:

Ii remember after 9/11 the airline industry was in bad shape. The fed gave my tax dollars to them and what t=did they do? Gave each other bonuses and laid off 15,000 workers.

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-Noah Greenberg