Today's Note from 2 Madmen
Tuesday, January 4, 2005
By Robert Scardapane
In a 2002 memo, President Bush’s nominee for Attorney General, Alberto Gonzalez, warped the definition of torture. Subsequently on New Year’s Eve, a new memo asserts that the United States considers torture to be “morally abhorrent” and against both American and international law. Given Mr. Gonzalez's pending confirmation hearing in early 2005, the timing of this memo is suspiciously convenient!
Meanwhile, in late 2004, Congress eliminated a rule that prevents a representative from serving while under criminal indictment. This rule was already used to force a Democrat to stand down. But, when Republican House "Whip" Tom Delay felt the pain of indictment, he used his influence to erase that pesky “indictment” rule. Again, quite convenient!
Recently, Republican House leader Dennis Hastert backed changes that weaken the ethics committee. For instance, one proposal allows lobbyists to pay for a Representative's operating expenses. Seems like new ways are being invented to bribe with convenience.
I now have a new way of rooting for sports:
I root for the team from the BLUE state every time.
By Robert Scardapane
It's time to scrutinize the phrase "ownership society". This term was coined by the Libertarian think tank CATO Institute - those folks that are funded by financial institutions.
The definition from Cato’s web site is as follows:
"An ownership society values responsibility, liberty, and property. Individuals are empowered by freeing them from dependence on government handouts and making them owners instead, in control of their own lives and destinies. In the ownership society, patients control their own health care, parents control their own children's education, and workers control their retirement savings"
Sounds lovely, we all like responsibility, liberty and property. But, the only people who will ever achieve lofty levels of ownership are the extremely wealthy. We all want to be in the top 1 percent but face it 99 percent of us won't be. Let's examine this definition point by point:
"Patients control their own health care". Can you control your health care when you belong to a HMO? These companies trade off cost for sound medicine. When you can't afford health care at all, you have nothing to control.
"Parent controls their own children’s education". This is an argument for private schools. That's just fine if you have the money, most people do not. In effect, such a proposal is a recipe for a society of illiterate people.
"Workers control their retirement savings". By any other name, social security privatization. But, a person can invest in his or her own private accounts right now. Social security is a necessary safety net for those who can no longer worker and don't have enough money to stay alive.
After trying time and time again, Tom Delay and his lackeys, including the Rubber Stamp, Mike Ferguson (R-NJ, Dist. 7), have given up. They are no longer attempting to change the House Ethics rules. These rules, which haven't been enforced in almost a decade, were put in place to keep our representatives in Washington honest.
It's almost hard to say that with a straight face.
An Indicted Tom Delay (I like the way that sounds) would have to forfeit his role as the House Majority Leader. That is a real possibility. You see, three of his cohorts have already been indicted for their shenanigans and how they re-shaped the Texas State government with illegal acts and illegal funds.
Let's see if the new "House Ethics Committee" will have some teeth.
"...The Zionist enemy."
-Mahmoud Abbas, the would-be Palestinian leaders new description of Israel
Way to get on their good side, Mahmoud.
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