Monday Madman

Monday, March 28, 2005


The Texas "Exterminator"

Tom Delay helped "pull the plug" on his own father's life in 1988. Delay and other family members decided not to put his dad on a dialysis machine, just one of the things the "holier-than-thou" leader of the House of Representatives could have tried to save the life of his only father.

I guess there was no political gain in it for a congressman from Texas just starting his third term.

“There was no point to even really talking about it. Tom knew... his father wouldn’t have wanted to live that way.”
-Maxine DeLay, Tom Delay's 81-year-old mother to the Los Angeles Times

That leaves just one question, Rep. Delay, "Don't you think that Michael Schiavo, the husband of Terri Schiavo knows that "Terri wouldn't have wanted to live that way" too?

I wonder what Tom Delay would have done if the Rev. Patrick Mahoney, would have come with his Christian Defense Coalition to the bedside of the Charles Delay and demanded that he be put on all sorts of life-support mechanisms to keep the senior member of the Delay family alive. Would Tom Delay have rushed into the halls of Congress to demand a federal law to fight his and his family's wishes? Would Delay have suggested that the life-ending accident was brought to us by God to elevate the visibility of what's going on in America (Remember Delay's quote, "One thing God has brought to us is Terri Schiavo to elevate the visibility of what's going on in America,")? Or would the "Exterminator" made sure his father died with the dignity and respect that his family members felt he deserved.

By the way, Tom. Where were you when that mother of a six-month-old child wanted her baby's life spared, to see if the child's lungs might grow? Where were you Mr. Delay when the hospital, with the "blessing" of a 1999 bill signed by then Texas Governor George W. Bush, took the child off life support, partly due to financial reasons?

-Noah Greenberg

From the Mouth of Senator Bill Frist


"We will defeat them (the Democrats)"
-Sen. Bill Frist, recorded

-An interesting thing for a guy who wants to be president of the United States to say about, at least 48% of the population. So much for "working together" or "a feeling of cooperation" and "bipartisanship".

"I always take with me, even out in the bush of Africa... where there's no electricity and there's no automobiles, there are no generators even, I take a little picture of the Capital of the United States of America, where I'm blessed to work every day... and it's amazing, even out in the bush, when I pull that picture out, and whatever dialect they happen to they say "America" and then right after that, they say "Freedom".
-Sen. Bill Frist, recorded

-WOW! I didn't know Senator Frist spoke any of the native languages of Africa, and I'm also amazed that these people in the "bush" know what the "Capital Building of the United States" looks like. Not to mention that they all seem to know how to speak English... well, at least two words of English.

"We speak to the world by liberty and democracy and freedom." Our symbols "touch the souls of people who live in the darkness of poverty, the darkness of war and the darkness of tyranny around the world. Our symbols provide that hope."
-Sen. Bill Frist, recorded

Well, it's a good thing that our symbols will provide hope because nothing we do here at home provides any hope for those who need poverty relief, health care or prescription drugs for the people of the United States. Shine a little light this way, Bill.

Harold Ford for Senate in 2006. As Forest Gump would say, "That's all I have to say about that."

-Noah Greenberg

Free Trade Revisited


To my amazement, the Democrats responded on free trade. Hillary Clinton. Charles Schumer and Harry Reid, along with five Republicans , have introduced Senate Bill S.295 which targets China with a 27.5% tariff. Holy Toledo Ohio! But, it gets even better as reported in The Nation:

"Fred Bergsten, the multinationals' leading economic authority, warns that the United States is in "big trouble," taking on foreign debt beyond anything any industrial nation has experienced and comparable to Mexico and Thailand just before they crashed in the 1990s."

For the High Priest of free trade to admit we are in "big trouble" is chilling.

So, does this mean that "free trade" as we know it is dead? Perhaps, it's the beginning of the end. Bergsten still believes in free trade but acknowledges that something must be done about the trade deficit. Thus far, the classic fix of devaluating the dollar has failed. This bill gives China six months to conform to trade agreements. Bergsten thinks we must work outside of the WTO and IMF as they are too slow. I would add that we never win a case in the WTO anyway.

This is monumental issue that is both exciting and frightening. I have no doubt that Bush will oppose change to "free trade". That will put him in an untenable political position as he has no solution to the trade deficit.

-Robert Scardapane

In response to Lew Warden's plan to revitalize the tax structure and Social Security, Jack Kashinky writes:

I have a simpler plan. Remove the Social Security tax cap so that EVERYONE pays the same percentage, rescind the onerous giveaways to the wealthiest and the Corporate racketeers, re institute the estate tax, and pass a long past due SPUHC (Single payer Universal Health Care). We also would close all loopholes and stop allowing Corporate America to set up dummy offshore operations to avoid paying their share of taxes.

Apply some of the trillions saved to an irrevocable, and untouchable Social Security trust fund, and use the other trillions to provide incentives for small businesses tax relief, and incentives for companies not to ship our jobs oversees.

This is what I refer to my trickle up theory. When the consumers have more purchasing power, the economy expands, and more revenue is generated.

Lew has asked Madman to publish his email address. I guess he is truly a madman, as well. -NG

In response to Rao Kocharlakota, "A New Strategy", Jack Kashinsky writes:

Unfortunately the PR and communications people working for the Dems appear to have never heard of the term pro-action. They consistently allow the Repugs to frame the issues, spend the rest of the time playing catch up, and wonder how the public can be so uninformed.

We need to stop wasting valuable money on these people who never appear to learn anything except to have their hands out on payday.

Could be, he's drinking again.....Pat

George W. Bush has been acting like a man liberated from the American presidency.

At an event in Denver last Monday, he mused that sending out quarterly statements for the individual investment accounts he wants to add to Social Security could encourage people to pay more attention to government but then chuckled that investors might conclude from tepid returns that "maybe we ought to change presidents or something."

At a news conference last week, Mr. Bush joked that he did not have the time "to sit around and wander, lonely, in the Oval Office, kind of asking different portraits, 'How do you think my standing will be?' "

And at the end of an interview with a Belgian television correspondent last month, Mr. Bush blurted out to the young woman that she had "great eyes," glanced away slyly and then a little sheepishly, but for the most part seemed sorry that the session was over.

Is this a new George Bush?

White House officials insist not and say that the frisky president people are seeing in public is simply the one he has kept private for the last four years. "In the first term he wanted to have the American people see his heart and his policy agenda and his seriousness, and not that he's an impishly fun, very clever guy," said Margaret Spellings, the secretary of education and the president's former domestic policy adviser.

But White House officials, Mr. Bush's friends and Republicans allied with the administration readily say that re-election to a second term has made Mr. Bush more confident in office and changed the tenor of his presidency as well. The president has been buoyed, they add, by the elections in Iraq and recent stirrings toward his hope of democracy in the Middle East.

One statistic is telling: since he defeated Senator John Kerry last November, Mr. Bush has held a solo news conference every month - still fewer than many previous presidents, but a big jump, if he continues the pace, from the 17 solo news conferences he held in a first term known for an iron curtain between the White House and the press.

-Pat Thompson

Galveston Vs. the Real World

Three Texas counties' municipal employees are able to "opt-out" of Social Security and invest their money in a private plan. This works for some, and it doesn't work for others.

It worked for Ray Holbrook, a retired county judge who said he "didn't hit the jackpot" but insisted that the private plan let him live "more comfortably."

It didn't work for Evelyn Robison, a retired Galveston clerk. Ms. Robison earns about $640 per month under Galveston's private plan. Had she stayed with Social Security, she would have over $1,000 per month.

"I personally don't know anyone that has lived to retire that is in better shape with the alternate plan than they would have been in if they stayed in Social Security,"
-Evelyn Robison

If it were not for a separate retirement plan for county and state workers, she would not be able to make ends meet today.

"That shouldn't be what retirement is about, to have to worry whether you are going to be able to pay your light bill this month or pay for your groceries. I am afraid that has happened for some people."
-Evelyn Robison

What's worse is that the Galveston plan doesn't address the very real possibility that retirees could outlive their benefits.

"We have essentially a privatization experiment and it doesn't work very well, not if you think Social Security should provide basic protections to all American workers,"
-Eric Kingson, a professor of social work at Syracuse University, and one who has studied the Galveston plan in depth

What I find funny ("funny as in ironic, not "funny" as in ha-ha) is that the guy who retired as a high-paid judge found the plan marginally better while the clerk who might have worked for him is struggling.

The Galveston plan, as a microcosm of what the Bush plan might look like (that is if he ever comes up with a plan) is looking like a boon for the wealthy and a bust for the rest of US.

-Noah Greenberg

Stupid Quotes


"I think questions had to be answered as to why we were so wrong. We needed to have recommendations as to how to prevent something like this from ever happening again."
-Senator John McCain (R-AZ)

That was a bold statement Senator McCain made. Too bad he had to follow it up with a bunch of rhetoric by saying, "You're going to hear a lot in the future about weapons of mass destruction, including next week," referring to the failures of the Bush administration before going to war. What's more, the Arizona senator didn't even mention all of the failings by President Bush and his corporate apparatus once the invasion began.

Sure, Democracy around the world is a great thing. But that isn't the reason we went to war, as told to US by the Bush administration. Does one big lie followed up by a bunch of slighter lesser lies make the ends justify the means?

I guess if you're the senior senator from Arizona, it does.

That, or the promised endorsement of a lying administration and its leader, GW Bush.


It never ceases to amaze me how the promise of power will make a man of integrity, like Senator McCain whore himself in lust of that power.

-Noah Greenberg

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-Noah Greenberg