Today's Note From a Madman

Tuesday, March 8, 2005


Health Care 1


HealthSouth's former CEO, Richard Scrushy is on trial for overstating the Southern Health care provider's profits. Scrushy allegedly started a seven-year scheme to make it appear that the health giant was exceeding Wall Street's estimates of where they should be. They over-estimated by some $2.7 billion dollars and Mr. Scrushy made a lot of money because of it on stock sales, salary and bonuses. The SEC (Security and Exchange Commission) doesn't like it when people do that, but I bet they are getting used to it.

Why is this important? Guess which Tennessee Republican Senator, who is also a doctor, the Senate Majority leader, and whose family owns its own, giant health care company south of the Mason-Dixon line counts HealthSouth as one of his largest political contributors?

That's right! It's Senator/ Doctor (and I suspect, man-about town) Bill Frist, the possible GOP presidential nominee in 2008.

In 1997, just after these deceitful practices Senator/ Doctor Bill Frist received over $33,000 for his Senatorial Campaign from HealthSouth. Chicken feed for a ga-zillioaire like Frist.

From 1994 through 2002, HealthSouth contributed somewhere in the neighborhood of $500,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Campaign, the RNC/Republican
National State Elections Committee and other worthy Republican causes. Talk about money well spent.

For your edification, here are some of Republicans and conservative organizations that Richard Scrushy and his wife, Leslie donated large sums of money to:
Orrin Hatch, R-UT
Nancy Johnson, R-CT
Robert Aderholt R-AL
John Ensign, R-NV
American Renewal PAC (A.K.A. People for the American Way)
Congressional Majority Committee (those are Republicans, too)

-Noah Greenberg

Health Care 2


Whenever we hear about healthcare from Republicans we hear about “frivolous lawsuits” and small towns losing baby doctors If Congress or President Bush are really  interested in reducing healthcare costs related to birth, they should first look to reduce the excessive number of procedures and unnecessary deaths and injuries caused by OB-GYNs.

350 to 1,000 women die every year in the United States around the time of birth. At least half these deaths are not reported. Nearly all these women die in the hospital rather than at home and that many if not most of these women need not have died.

Today’s OB-GYNs confuse technological advances with progress. Scientific medicine is practice based on the best scientific evidence, not practice that uses the most technology. Practicing doctors are not scientists and the technology is explained to them by medical equipment sales people.

In other industrialized countries, a counter-balance to the high tech approach of obstetricians is provided by the midwifery practice. For example, while the United States has 35,000 obstetricians and about 5,000 midwives, Great Britain has 32,000 midwives and less than 1,000 obstetricians. Midwives promote the use of less invasive, less risky, low-tech approaches. No such counterbalance exists in our country because the Obstetric Industry and it's lobbyists fight to keep childbirth under their absolute control. So we find far higher rates of unnecessary use of technology in U.S. maternity care than in any country in Western Europe, even though the United States loses far more babies and women around the time of birth.

The United States spends twice as much per capita on maternity care as any of the 18 other countries with lower mortality rates for women and babies around the time of birth. The financial waste of scientifically unfounded maternity care in the United States is enormous. By changing to more modern, more scientifically based maternity care with 75 percent of the births attended by midwives, the elimination of routine electronic fetal monitoring and a cesarean section rate in compliance with the recommendations of the federal government, the United States could save $13 billion to $20 billion a year.

“Frivolous lawsuits" are not being brewed up by families who suffer a loss at the time of childbirth. I hope America can see how terribly dangerous and wrong it is for a Presidential candidate to make such an accusation.

Randi Haley
ICEA Certified Labor Assistant and Childbirth Educator

Health Care 3


Of course the Insurance and the pharmaceutical lobbies rate higher with the Lipper (that would be GW, for those of who don't know or couldn't figure it out) than the sick, poor and elderly. Many of these people do not vote, and when they do, most of them vote for the Dems. What little money they do have to donate goes primarily to the Dems. On the other hand...

Every time I hear or read of another taxpayer rip off by Cheney's Halliburton, I believe I've now seen everything, and I am always proven wrong.

This shining example of Corporate America at its "best" has now been exposed to setting up dummy of shore "subsidiaries", and using them to illegally break the US Embargo on Iran. That's correct, these evil bloodsuckers are now illegally shipping material to Iran.

I wonder how many other corporate parasites are also involved in this despicable practice....Obviously the Reagan initiated "Irangate" is back in full force. To hell with security, profits come first.

-Jack Kashinsky

Ripping Us Off - The Story of the American Pharmaceutical Industry


Medicaid, its 50 million subscribers and the American people are spending too much on prescription drugs.

I have been saying that for years, but now the GAO (General Accountability Office) is saying so, too.

You see, there is a law on the books that says drug companies have to cut their prices on drugs for poor people (lower-income, less fortunate, financially challenged people). Oddly enough, it just slipped their minds!

And guess what! When the error is found out, the thieves-in-white-suits drug companies don't have to pay back a plug nickel, ven when they hide the "best-prices" they are required to meet BY LAW!

"The drug program has been badly mismanaged. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which administers the program, has been negligent. For 15 years, drug companies have been profiting from a system that costs taxpayers untold hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars annually."
-Charles Grassley (R-IA), chairman of the Finance Committee

Hey Mr. Grassley, it's your party, the Republicans that are in charge of all this. "The (GAO) report said the Bush administration had given drug companies no guidance on how to account for such concessions in calculating the discounts for Medicaid," the New York Times said.

And the drug companies are requesting "clear guidance" from the Bush administration.

"Clear guidance" or "stolen profits." I'm not believing these guys much, boys and girls.

-Noah Greenberg

Renditions - Part 2


In response to, "Here is the dilemma today. Many people are going to say, 'We have to perform these renditions for the sake of our country.' Others might say. 'We can't do these renditions under any circumstances because it's an infringement of human rights.' Then, others might say, 'We can't perform these renditions because we may detain and torture the innocent.'", Robert Scardapane writes:

And yet others might say that you won't get any valuable information that way. People being tortured will say anything assuming if they survive. Your examples of torturing witches is in essence the nature of the problem. The poor people being questioned that way didn't survive the "interrogation".

FBI agents will attest that valid information is obtained by subtle questioning not heavy handed tactics. There is no valid excuse for torture. By the way,
Bartlett is wrong as usual. Torture is a common place practice in America's increasing punitive prison system. Consider the case of that wonderful Sheriff in Arizona that killed a person by strapping them to a "restraint chair" for over 20 hours.

Nope, I won't back torture because it doesn't work and violates human rights. Renditions must stop as well. It's a matter of surrendering our moral principles as a people.

In response, Noah Greenberg writes:

I know this is a thing a progressive shouldn't say, but I still have many questions about what is going on in prisons worldwide. I think of this scenario: Imagine if the US had indisputable proof that
al-Qaeda was going to attack on September 11, 2001 (some people say that they actually did have it). Now imagine that an airport security guard in a northeast airport noticed Mohamed Atta acting strangely as he walked through a security checkpoint. Imagine, if you will, that by torturing Atta we could have stopped the 911 catastrophe.

I know it's a wild and unrealistic scenario, but I can't get it out of my mind.

"W" is for Wrong


John Kerry was right. The "W" in GW Bush does stand for wrong. There are only two ways to combat the ill effects of globalization:

1) Protectionism.
2) Innovation.

Dubya wants free trade so protectionism is out. But, how about innovation? Dubya de-funded the National Science Foundation (NSF) and eliminated the Advanced Technology Partnership (ATP).

So, (G)lobal (W)arming Bush, where do we go from here? If we can't protect our jobs and can't innovate, there is only one possible outcome - massive loss of high quality jobs.

Dubya can't even see the value in increasing broadband Internet access. You can bet that if oil was gushing out of it, he would get it and Cheney would sell it.

-Robert Scardapane

Friends of Bill J.


President Bill Clinton needs more surgery to remove some scar tissue in relation to his heart problems.

I think I speak for everyone who writes for and reads "Note From a Madman" when I say Get well soon and Godspeed in your recovery, President Clinton.

-Noah Greenberg

Stupid Quotes of the Day


"The administration supports the passage of bankruptcy reform because ultimately this will lead to more accessibility to credit for more Americans, particularly lower-income workers,"
-Trent D. Duffy, a deputy White House press spokesman speaking about the new bankrupcy bill that will aid credit card companies in taking the last of every "lower-income" American that it can steal from.

Lower-income, A.K.A. POOR PEOPLE don't need more access to credit, they need more access to jobs; they need more access to health care; they need more access to food; they need more access to affordable college tuitions for their children; they need more access to more time at home with their children and less time at work, etc.

I can go on, but I think you all get the point.


-Noah Greenberg

Send your comments to: or

-Noah Greenberg