Today's Note From a Madman

Monday, January 31, 2005


The Fight Against AIDS


AIDS is almost non-existent in newborns in the United States.


Its sounds so nice, I'm going to say it twice.


AIDS is almost non-existent in newborns in the United States.


In 1990, 2000 babies were born with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Today, that number is at 200. In 2003, only five babies were born in New York City with the virus.


At the core of the issue is EDUCATION. We are talking about real education like teaching mothers to learn if they are infected with HIVprior to giving birth.


"What we were grappling with was death," said Dr. Stephen Nicholas, a pediatric AIDSspecialist at Harlem Hospital Center, remembering the late 1980's and early 1990's. "We were preoccupied by death."


AZT is the drug that has done the trick. After much debate, the National Institute of Health (NIH) decided to let pregnant women use the drug to remove the virus from their bloodstream.


After President Reagan initially ignored the AIDS problem, mostly because it was a "gay" disease, President Bill Clinton took control over the issue and made programs like needle exchange, condoms and education a part of everyday life.


It is no coincidence that both HIV and AIDS were attacked in the 1990's and teenage pregnancy and abortion rates decreased.


With rising drug and health care costs, abstinence only programs and a penchant for ignoring problems that don't fit in with the Political Right's "agenda", what do we have to look forward to today?


-Noah Greenberg

Here's the deal as I see it.


If President "G"lobal "W"arming Bush doesn't tell us what his "EXIT STRATEGY" is in Iraq when he addresses the nation for "The State of the Union" address, it then becomes painfully obvious that, not only does he not have an "EXIT STRATEGY" for Iraq, but the rich kid from the "Rich Part of Connecticut", by way of Crawford, Texas never did.


The President has to say things like:

"This is what we have to do to be able to leave Iraq in the hands of its new government."

"This is our plan."

Then he needs to fill in the blanks.


We can't afford the same old rhetoric of harsh words and no intentions.


Yeah, yeah... We all know it's "HARD WORK."


You just can't keep using the words "LIBERTY" and "FREEDOM" to mask poor planning and bad management.


It's time to put up or shut up G.W.


-Noah Greenberg

Perspective On Iraqi Elections


I am glad that Iraqi people  had their first successful election. As an American,  I wonder  when the military operation in Iraq will end? To date, the standard litany of answers has been:


Don't expect a timetable.

Can't tell you our plans.

When the mission is over.


But, such answers are evasive and ultimately unsatisfactory. Americans deserve a straight answer to this question.


Furthermore, I am disturbed by news that the Pentagon plans to build 14 permanent bases in Iraq. The latest 80 billion dollar

appropriation request contains funding for these bases. How can I believe there is an honest intention to leave Iraq when the military wants to dig in?


Meanwhile, the domestic agenda is geared to dismantling vital social services while cutting taxes further. The net result is a toxic combination of warfare, debt and unraveling of social services. Such a mixture is the essence of future misery.\


-Robert Scardapane

FDR, Republicans and the Bully Pulpit


There was a good discussion on C-Span yesterday. James Roosevelt testified that the "pirateers" have been using clips of his father, FDR's speeches in commercials for their privatization flip-flam scheme. He has asked that they stop doing that and they have done so! 


Two social security administrators testified about a massive effort to politicize the agency. "G"lobal "W"arming Bush is using tax payer dollars to propagandize his scheme. This is both unethical and against the law. The Democrats are on it!


There was also good testimony from Peter Orzag of the Brookings Institute and others about the health of the system - it is in good shape - and what can be done for the future. Everyone, except Tanner from CATO Institute, is against privatization. At most, small tweaks are recommended such as raising the salary cap.


The Republicans and White House were invited to this conference. They refused to attend. Instead, they use the bully pulpit to bully everyone while claiming they want to work with the Democrats.


-Jack Kashinsky



Alberto Gonzales, who was

Against the Geneva convention, and was therefore responsible for

Abu Ghraib, was rewarded by being nominated for

Attorney General.


Attaboy, George.


-Eddie Konczal



"Alas, there were no Fox News cameras to capture what may have been the week's most surreal 'salute' to the troops, the 'Heroes Red, White and Blue Inaugural Ball' attended by Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz. The event's celebrity stars included the Fox correspondent Geraldo Rivera, who had been booted from Iraq at the start of the war for compromising 'operational security' by telling his viewers the position of the American troops he loves so much. He joked to the crowd that his deployment as an "overpaid" reporter was tantamount to that of an "underpaid hero" in battle. The attendees from Walter Reed and Bethesda Naval Hospital, some of whose long-term care must be picked up by private foundations because of government stinginess, responded with 'deafening silence,' reported Roxanne Roberts of The Washington Post. Ms. Roberts understandably left the party after the night's big act: Nile Rodgers and Chic sang the lyrics "Clap your hands, hoo!" and 'Dance to the beat' to 'a group of soldiers missing hands and legs.'"

-Frank Rich, The new York Times


Okay, I am glad they are voting today in Iraq and I won't rout against a failure. As Frank Rich points out, where is the end game?  I think even Frank Rich may be missing an obvious painful possibility - there is no exit strategy because we don't plan on ever completely exiting!


I find it alarming that the Pentagon is asking for funding for permanent bases.  I wonder:

Did the President ever explain that to Congress? I am sure he never made that case with the American people.

What will be the cost in blood, money and our standing in the world of maintaining permanent bases in Iraq?

Is this merely the first step in a sequence of wars in the region launched from bases in Iraq?


We better get straight answers to these questions soon. But, is there anyone in Congress with the courage to ask them, let alone demand answers before spending another dime?


-Eddie Konczal



All you're hearing out of the Right Wing media today is "This is a victory for President "G"lobal "W"arming Bush (Okay - I put in the "G"lobal "W"arming part).


Maybe it's just me, but...

I thought it was a victory for the Iraqi people.

I thought it was a vistory for self-dependence.

I thought it was a victory for Democracy over Tyranny.


General Jay Garner told President Bush that, as the first Iraqi Administrator, he was going to:

A- Keep the Iraqi Troops together as a police force and

B- Hold in 90 days to assure stability


He was fired for his foresight.


President Bush, you are a day late and about 8.8 billion dollars short.

 More Hannity


Sean Hannity said, while speaking about the Democrats, "You make a mistake, and you admit it. Then you're forgiven and you go on."


What mistake has "G"lobal "W"arming Bush admitted, Sean? I thought there was only one man who ever lived without sin. I just didn't know his name was George.

 Even More Hannity


Heard on Hannity's show:

Jerry Falwell went back on his purple Teletubie statement. He stated that he never said that he thought the purple, androgynous "guy" with the hanger on his head and a pocketbook on his arm was "gay." It seems that the good Reverend has a newsletter (Hey! So do I!) and, on that particular day, he didn't read it before it was published.


Sounds like the "My dog ate my homework" excuse, doesn't it.


So now, a couple of years later, Falwell is backtracking like the hypocrite he really is.


Way to stick up for your "principles", Jerry.


-Noah Greenberg



Doug Forrester is the Republican Nominee and will run against John Corzine to become New Jersey's next Governor.


Just ask him.


A commercial heard on Sean Hannity's show today had Forrester attacking the "Acting Democratic Governor," as an unnamed, faceless evil-doer of Democratic policies rather than use his real name (by the way, it's Acting Governor Richard Codey, Dougie).


Forrester ignored his five opponents because, I guess, he doesn't consider them worthy. I hope Brett Schundler isn't too ticked off. He's such a "Compassionate Conservative" that it may make him cry.


The man-who-would-be-anything was blasting the "Acting Democratic Governor" for appointing someone who "can't find corruption in government." He then said he would make the position "and elected position" and "they would find corruption."


Will you find corruption even if you have to make corruption of your own Dougie?


-Noah Greenberg



"We believe that the Iraqi security forces did do a good job in helping to provide a secure environment for the elections to take place."

- Scott McClellan, White House Press Secretary


"Iraqi Security Forces." Is that what we call the US Army now?


-Noah Greenberg

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-Noah Greenberg