Today's Note From a Madman

Tuesday, May 24, 2005



The Next Word on the Judicial Nominees


One thing that we need to put in perspective about last night's 11th hour "Nuclear Option" before either- or- both sides take a victory lap is this:

These ultra-conservative, almost fascist, pro-big-business judges still need to be voted on.

Although William Myers and Henry Saad have been, shall we say, "tabled," the Senate is still going to go forward on an "up or down" vote on three terrible candidates in Janice Rogers Brown, William Pryor and Priscilla R. Owen.

"In the last 100 years – and particularly the last 30 – the Constitution, once the fixed chart of our aspirations, has been demoted to the status of a bad chain novel,"
-Janice Rogers Brown, at the IFJ Speech, August 12, 2000

So we now know what Justice Brown thinks of the US Constitution. If that isn't bad enough, you should hear what she thinks about the "militant elderly"!

"In passing the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), Congress did not identify any pattern or practice of unconstitutional State action, or for that matter, even a single instance of such conduct."
-William Pryor, in 2003, citing that the US Congress had no power to force states to enforce the American with Disabilities Act.

Well, since all laws passed by the Congress and signed by the president are supposed to be obeyed in the states, just who did Justice Pryor think this law was for?

"an unconscionable act of judicial activism,"
-Justice Alberto Gonzales regarding the Jane Doe case of parental notification and judicial bypass, in referring to the 3 dissenting justices which included Priscilla R. Owen

There is no way to "misinterpret" this statement, as the White House has said the remainder of the "free press" have done. Jane Doe, an minor seeking an abortion was granted the right to have that abortion by the Texas Supreme Court. The Texas Supreme Court was comprised of 9 justices, all Republican. Six voted for the majority opinion. The above quote by then Judge Alberto Gonzales was accurate and, more to the point, HE SAID IT!

The "judicial activism" that Judge Gonzales was referring to was in relation to Judge Owen's OWN VIEWS on abortion. Her intention was to ignore the law's written word and spirit, then to say she was "interpreting" the law to the letter of the law and re-write the law as she saw fit. in fact, if Judge Owen had her way, Jane Doe wouldn't have been able to use judicial consent for her abortion at all.

"In my more cynical moments, I suggest that, just as sports stadiums are now named after corporations, judicial seats are soon to follow. In that vein, I believe that Justice Owen could well fill the Exxon/Mobil or Wal-Mart seat on the Fifth Circuit."
-a member of the National Employment Lawyers Association

Maybe Justice Owens should rent out her body for big business advertising, just like the college co-ed in New York did a few days ago.

There are 45 (kind of, if you include Vermont's James Jeffords, and independent) Democratic Senators and 55 Republicans, 56 if you include Dick "Go F*ck Yourself" Cheney. If we can find six Republicans with a CONSCIENCE and a WILL OF THEIR OWN, then there is a possibility that the Three Stooges of the Judiciary could be rejected by what has been, to this point, an ineffective senate.

There were seven Democratic and seven Republican senators that made the No Nuclear Option deal yesterday. Is it possible that six of the Republicans could vote correct way on the Three Stooges?

Since Justice has been said to be blind, does that make Justices Brown, Myers and Owens, the THREE BLIND MICE of Judiciary nominees?

-Noah Greenberg

More on Justice Owen

(or is that Moron Justice Owen?)

When Willie Searcy's stepfather bought a new Ford pickup truck in 1988, he did not expect that five years later a shoulder belt mechanism would fail and leave his fourteen year old stepson a quadriplegic.

Yet that is exactly what happened on a rainy night in 1993 on I-35 in Texas.

Willie's family would later find out that Ford had known of the shoulder belt problem for years, and had ignored warnings from their engineers that it was widespread and could cause serious injury in a collision.

The family had more pressing problems. The hospital bill for Willie was $550,000 for just the first six months. He needed a ventilator to breathe, and would require round-the-clock nursing care for the rest of his life. Though the family had health insurance, they could not afford the medical care necessary to keep Willie alive.

Under U.S. law, Ford Motor Company was responsible for Willie's medical bills.

Ford refused to pay. Instead, their general counsel made a single lowball offer and told the family's attorney that if he did not accept, they would drag the case out until the kid died.

Which is exactly what they did, with the help of Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen.

In January of 1995 a Texas jury found the seatbelt failure responsible for Willie's injuries and awarded $30 million for lifetime medical care and $10 million in punitive damages.

Ford called the ruling an "aberration" and appealed all the way to the Texas Supreme Court.

Justice Priscilla Owen was selected by lottery to write the opinion. She took two years to issue a ruling that the case was filed in the wrong city in Texas and would have to be re-tried. The opinion was stunning. The Supreme Court had not agreed to consider the issue of venue when it took the case, nor had either of the lawyers mentioned it in their briefings or arguments.

Willie had struggled courageously with his paralysis, returning to high school and graduating; for years his mother had worked to pay Willie's medical bills and arrange 24 hour care through a patchwork of neighbors, friends, and Medicaid attendants.

Willie's case began all over again in Dallas, but time was against him. Willie was "aged out" of Medicaid when he turned 21; his mother's insurance refused to pay for attendant care.

Willie died in 2001 when his ventilator stopped working in the middle of the night. Five days earlier, a Dallas judge had finally issued a ruling that would have guaranteed payment for his health care.

"He did not pass away while the case was pending in my court."

-Priscilla Owen, showing no regret

Is this the kind of judge we want on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals?

-Deirdre Des Jardins

Friends Of Dennis


TYCO INTERNATIONAL LTD Nov 15, 1995 $5,000 RNC/Repub National State Elections Cmte
TYCO INTERNATIONAL LTD Aug 22, 1996 $5,000 NRSC/Non-Federal Account
KOZLOWSKI, DENNIS Sep 3, 1996 $1,000 Bass, Charles (R-NH)
TYCO INTERNATIONAL LTD Sep 30, 1996 $5,000 RNC/Repub National State Elections Cmte
TYCO INTERNATIONAL LTD Apr 30, 1997 $15,000 RNC/Repub National State Elections Cmte
KOZLOWSKI, DENNIS Oct 30, 1997 $1,000 Bass, Charles
TYCO INTERNATIONAL INC Jun 11, 1998 $5,000 NRSC/Non-Federal
TYCO INTERNATIONAL US INC Jan 21, 1999 $25,000 NRCC/Non-Federal
TYCO INTERNATIONAL Jan 22, 1999 $25,000 NRSC/Non-Federal
TYCO INTERNATIONAL US INC Feb 17, 1999 $300 NRCC/Non-Federal
KOZLOWSKI, DENNIS May 14, 1999 $1,000 Giuliani, Rudolph W
KOZLOWSKI, DENNIS May 14, 1999 $1,000 Giuliani, Rudolph W
TYCO INTERNATIONAL INC Jun 15, 1999 $500 NRSC/Non-Federal
TYCO INTERNATIONAL Jun 16, 1999 $10,000 NRSC/Non-Federal
TYCO INTERNATIONAL INC Jun 16, 1999 $20,000 1999 Republican S/H Dinner Trust Non-Fed
TYCO INTERNATIONAL LTD Jul 8, 1999 $15,000 RNC/Repub National State Elections Cmte
TYCO INTERNATIONAL US INC Aug 5, 1999 $5,000 NRCC/Non-Federal
TYCO INTERNATIONAL Feb 3, 2000 $25,000 NRSC/Non-Federal
TYCO INTERNATIONAL (US) INC Feb 29, 2000 $5,000 NRCC/Non-Federal
TYCO INTERNATIONAL (US) INC Mar 28, 2000 $25,000 NRCC/Non-Federal
TYCO INTERNATIONAL (US) INC May 12, 2000 $2,500 NRCC/Non-Federal
TYCO INTERNATIONAL INC May 18, 2000 $20,000 2000 Republican H/S Dinner Trust Non-Fed
KOZLOWSKI, DENNIS Jun 30, 2000 ($1,000) Giuliani, Rudolph W
TYCO INTERNATIONAL (US) INC Jun 30, 2000 $10,000 NRCC/Non-Federal
TYCO INTERNATIONAL (US) INC Jun 30, 2000 $5,000 NRCC/Non-Federal
TYCO INTERNATIONAL (US) INC Jun 30, 2000 $5,000 NRCC/Non-Federal
TYCO INTERNATIONAL (US) INC Jun 30, 2000 $2,500 NRCC/Non-Federal
TYCO INTERNATIONAL LTD Jul 6, 2000 $15,000 RNC/Repub National State Elections Cmte
KOZLOWSKI, L Apr 9, 2001 $1,000 Gregg, Judd
TYCO INTERNATIONAL INC May 7, 2001 $25,000 2001 President's Dinner/Non-Fed Trust
KOZLOWSKI, L DENNIS May 15, 2001 $1,000 Sununu, John E
KOZLOWSKI, L DENNIS May 15, 2001 $1,000 Sununu, John E
TYCO INTERNATIONAL INC Dec 20, 2001 $5,000 NRSC/Non-Federal
TYCO INTERNATIONAL INC Mar 22, 2002 $25,000 NRSC/Non-Federal
TYCO INTERNATIONAL INC May 21, 2002 $25,000 2002 President's Dinner/Non-Fed Trust
TYCO INTERNATIONAL INC Sep 24, 2002 $650 NRSC/Non-Federal
TYCO INTERNATIONAL INC Nov 4, 2002 $400 NRSC/Non-Federal


Over this same period, TYCO did give a mere fraction of the above amount to some non federal Democratic fund, but not a penny went directly to any Democratic candidate for anything.


This chart, researched from, shows the REAL relationship between Dennis Kozlowski, the former head of TYCO, and the Republican Party. Kozlowski is on trial for STEALING. Plain and simple, his statements on CBS' 60 Minutes notwithstanding.


The cries of, "I didn't know" and "I was shocked" make him sound like the Martin Short character being interviewed by Saturday Night Live's Mike Wallace impersonator. "What surprises me is that you didn't know that I knew that you knew what I was really up to."


This guy's a crook, plain and simple. I'm not surprised to see almost $350,000 going to his big-business supporting GOP buddies.


-Noah Greenberg

More from Bill Moyers

(And Others He Notes)


"Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?"
-Syme, one of the writers of that totalitarian society's dictionary, explains to the protagonist Winston, in George Orwell's 1984

"We're seeing unfold a contemporary example of the age-old ambition of power and ideology to squelch and punish journalists who tell the stories that make princes and priests uncomfortable."
-Bill Moyers of NOW on PBS

"They've been after me for years now and I suspect they will be stomping on my grave to make sure I don't come back from the dead. I should remind them, however, that one of our boys pulled it off some two thousand years ago—after the Pharisees, Sadducees and Caesar's surrogates thought they had shut him up for good. Of course I won't be expecting that kind of miracle, but I should put my detractors on notice: They might just compel me out of the rocking chair and back into the anchor chair."

"Who are they? I mean the people obsessed with control, using the government to threaten and intimidate. I mean the people who are hollowing out middle-class security even as they enlist the sons and daughters of the working class in a war to make sure Ahmed Chalabi winds up controlling Iraq's oil. I mean the people who turn faith-
based initiatives into a slush fund and who encourage the pious to look heavenward and pray so as not to see the long arm of privilege and power picking their pockets. I mean the people who squelch free speech in an effort to obliterate dissent and consolidate their orthodoxy into the official view of reality from which any deviation becomes unpatriotic heresy."

"A free press is one where it's okay to state the conclusion you're led to by the evidence."

"Those rules (the rules of 'Beltway Journalism') divide the world into Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, and allow journalists to pretend they have done their job if, instead of reporting the truth behind the news, they merely give each side an opportunity to spin the news."

The "rules of our game make it hard for us to tee up an issue...without a news peg. If Senator so-and-so hasn't criticized post-war planning for Iraq, then it's hard for a reporter to write a story about that."
-David Ignatius, The Washington Post, as repeated by Jonathan Mermin in the World Policy Journal

"the word occupation...was never mentioned in the run-up to the (Iraqi) war." Washington talked about the invasion as "a war of liberation, not a war of occupation, so as a consequence, "those of us in journalism never even looked at the issue of occupation."
-Jim Lehrer of Public Television, as reported by Mermin, as to why "journalists" don't discuss the "occupation of Iraq

"In other words, if the government isn't talking about it, we don't report it."

"American journalism has deviated from the First Amendment ideal of a press that is independent of the government."

"Objectivity is not satisfied by two opposing people offering competing opinions, leaving the viewer to split the difference."

"I came to believe that objective journalism means describing the object being reported on, including the little fibs and fantasies as well as the Big Lie of the people in power. In no way does this permit journalists to make accusations and allegations."

"the powers-that-be (Gworge W. Bush and Company) have appropriated the newspeak vernacular of George Orwell's 1984. They give us a program vowing 'No Child Left Behind' while cutting funds for educating disadvantaged kids. They give us legislation cheerily calling for 'Clear Skies' and 'Healthy Forests' that give us neither."

"The rise of a homeland security state meant government could justify extraordinary measures in exchange for protecting citizens against unnamed, even unproven, threats."

"Real news is the news you and I need to keep our freedoms."
-Richard Reeves, historian and corresponent, answering a student's question, as reported by Moyers

"Ideologues don't want you to go beyond the typical labels of left and right. They embrace a world view that can't be proven wrong because they will admit no evidence to the contrary. They want your reporting to validate their belief system and when it doesn't, God forbid. Never mind that their own stars were getting a fair shake on NOW: Gigot, Viguerie, David Keene of the American Conservative Union, Stephen Moore of the Club for Growth, and others. No, our reporting was giving the radical right fits because it wasn't the party line. It wasn't that we were getting it wrong. Only three times in three years did we err factually, and in each case we corrected those errors as soon as we
confirmed their inaccuracy. The problem was that we were getting it right, not right-wing—telling stories that partisans in power didn't want told."

"I've always thought the American eagle needed a left wing and a right wing. The right wing would see to it that economic interests had their legitimate concerns addressed. The left wing would see to it that ordinary people were included in the bargain. Both would keep the great bird on course. But with two right wings or two left wings, it's no longer an eagle and it's going to crash."


Evil Quote


Just For A Laugh / They Lie
From the Republican Party 2000 Platform:

[. . .] "There is no trust fund, just IOUs that I saw firsthand, that future generations will pay," Bush said after inspecting the storage site. "Imagine — the retirement security for future generations is sitting in a filing cabinet."

-"G"lobal "W"arming Bush


Over a five year period, as surpluses continue to grow, we will return half a trillion dollars to the taxpayers who really own it, without touching the Social Security surplus. That's what we mean by our Lock-Box: The Social Security surplus is off-limits, off budget, and will not be touched. We will not stop there, for we are also determined to protect Medicare and to pay down the national debt. Reducing that debt is both a sound policy goal and a moral imperative. Our families and most states are required to balance their budgets; it is reasonable to assume the federal government should do the same. Therefore, we reaffirm our support for a constitutional amendment to require a balanced budget.

Skip forward to 2005, Bush: Social Security Trust Fund "just IOUs", Using a government filing cabinet as a prop, President Bush played to fears that the Social Security Trust Fund is little more than a stack of worthless IOUs. (See the above quote)

T.H.E.Y. J.U.S.T. L.I.E! They say what they need to say at the time to get enough people to let them do what they want, and then they move on with their own agenda. It is just cover stories, sell jobs, smokescreens. See the forest: What they SAY has nothing to do with what they DO.

-Robert Scardapane

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-Noah Greenberg