Today's Note From a Madman
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
New Definition: GREED - The Group to Re-Elect the Dufus
Isn't it time we started calling the Downing Street Memos what they really are? ----- Memo-Gate?
The Problem with the Followers of the Greed Over People Party
I saw a friend of mine today... a staunch Republican (Yes... I'm allowed to have Republican friends). The first thing she said to me was, "So how crazy is Howard Dean?" This is the first thing she cared about? I told her to stop watching Bill O'Reilly and to stop listening to Rush Limbaugh.
I asked her, "With all of the problems that the Bush administration has caused since January 20, 2001, that's the first thing on your mind?" There are 1,600 soldiers who died in Iraq. There are almost 10 times that amount wounded. And she is concerned about Howard Dean? Wow.
More on the Patriot Act (Uncensored)
Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) prematurely terminated the Judiciary Committee meeting on June 10th. I forgot to mention the "classy" move on his part to walk out with the gavel in hand and proceed to turn off all of the microphones. There were quite a few newspaper articles written June 10th on this subject but very little coverage in the TV media.
The GOP promised that the renewal of the Patriot Act would be publicly debated.
So why is it that:
. Nine closed committee and sub-committee meetings were held.
. The Democrats were not allowed to call one witness in these nine sessions.
. The Democrats were force to use a House rule that allows the minority to convene a meeting when none of their witnesses are called.
The end result was this terrible June 10 meeting where Sensenbrenner routinely broke House rules and accepted practices:
. Cut off witnesses in mid-sentence.
. Berated committee members while they were not in the room.
. Adjourned the meeting without a motion to adjourn.
. Repeatedly ignored points of order.
The Democrats should call for a new meeting. The renewal of the Patriot Act must not be debated in silence. People do not realize that not only is it up for renewal but the GOP wants to expand it's scope.
More on Big Al
The problem with Dr. Greenspan is that he makes symptoms of a faltering economy, lack of saving and debt, into the causes. In general, saving is down because there is little left to save. In many cases, increased debt became the substitute for increased wages. Dr. Greenspan should not decry the debt he helped to create through the seduction of cheap loans.
I suspect there is a debt bubble in this nation ready to burst. When it does, the end result won't be pretty. That's when the folly and inhumanity of the Bankruptcy Bill will be most evident. Excessive home foreclosures may even lead to bursting the housing bubble.
So, what will Monetarists, such as Dr. Greenspan, do then? Cutting interest rates probably won't be an option as unpaid debt leads to higher interest loans and a tighter money supply. In short, we may get trapped in a severe recession with few monetary policy options. As the economist Paul Krugman said, we are running out of bubbles to create.
The fix to this mess is found in restoring real wage growth not decrying the lack of saving. I don't know how to make that happen but we better get some smart people working on it soon.
Propaganda Defined by Lew Warden
There is a substantial difference between “propaganda” and “advertising,” a subject on which I have studied and delivered myself since WW-II. The Republican high command has always been heavily laden with people from the advertising industry, which is natural as they serve the business interests that control the Republican Party. But this, in my opinion, has been a source of weakness for the Republicans as it has moved them away from the only truly effective medium of political persuasion, grass roots, door to door, meet the people face to face neighborhood campaigns, and into the enormously expensive media campaigns on which both parties waste their financial resources.
It is my opinion, however, that even in their hired media campaigns, and certainly in their use of the media by their activists, the Democrats, with some notable exceptions, are by far the more skillful propagandists. The essence of propaganda is repetitive appeal to basic emotions, a classic example of which is Johnson’s attack on Goldwater, the little girl tripping through the daisies plucking the petals from a flower to the accompaniment of the countdown for the launch of a nuclear missile. Or Jack Kennedy’s missile gap, which played particularly well when the Soviets launched Sputnik and Khrushchev kept detonating 50 and 100 megaton hydrogen bombs. These campaigns scared the crap out of everyone, I can assure you. I was there.
About the only theme the Republicans harp on is money, cut taxes, blah, blah, blah. The only real Republican propaganda campaign I can recall was the attack on Massachusetts Governor Dukakis for the furloughing of the murderer Willie Horton who then went to Maryland and battered a man and a woman and raped the woman. (For a much fuller rendition of this abysmal Massachusetts program, see www.forerunner.com/forerunner/XO158_Dukakis_Willie_Hort.htm.) What made it even better was, or so I understand, that Horton was black and the woman was white. Of course, the Democrats screamed foul, but with the precedents of Kennedy and Johnson, they really weren’t in a position to complain as there was a much larger measure of truth in the Willie Horton story. (ibid.)
And, of course, in very recent history we find examples of negative propaganda, as when the Democrat’s convention in Boston went hysterical and scared the crap out of a lot of undecided voters. While this convention stirred a lot of enthusiasm in the hearts of the party’s extremists, it was quite counter productive, and undoubtedly influenced the Republicans in the conduct of their own, much lower keyed convention.
Effective propaganda reaches for the primal emotions; advertising is touchie-feelie.
And there is another major difference. Inside every box of soap sold by conventional advertising techniques, there is a product, a real bar of soap that performs a useful service. However, inside the glitzy presentations of the political advertisements there are only sound bites and slogans; we rarely get to see and know the real candidate, to learn if he has any substance that can render us useful service. Which is why we get these braying jackasses and bloated elephants in office today. Which is probably why half of our citizens who are eligible to vote don’t bother; they just tune out.
(There was some advice for me offered
by Lew, but I Chose not to publish it for varied reasons).
I disagree with Lew about the Republicans and their propaganda machine (Have you ever ehard of karl Rove?). Just look at “programs” such as the “Clean Air Act” which allows polluters to police themselves; the “Clean Water Act” which allows more cyanide and other carcinogens than was allowed in 1970; or the “No Child Left Behind” initiative which has done wonders for an unusually small percentage of students, but leaves many, many more in poor districts behind (it’s a lot easier to tell a child that he or she can go to a different school with no means of actually getting to that school.); not to mention the damage being done by "abstinence ONLY programs" (under GW, there has been a vast increase in teenage pregnancies). The names of these programs were chosen for propaganda purposes only.
Now, if we want to speak about propaganda in relation to the Nov 2004 election, let’s take a look at the colorful terrorist alert system so expertly employed by the Bushies and their Homeland Security Secretary, Tom Ridge. Not to mention what was done either by the Bushies or on their behalf in regard to John McCain in the 2000 South Carolina primary.
And that's just for starters!
Mean or Stupid or Obvious Quotes
Howard Dean is "over the top...''
-Vice President Dick "Go <F---> Yourself" Cheney
...and Dick Cheney lives under a rock. -NG
"And more important ... I think many of his fellow Democrats feel the same way.''
Hey... isn't the Veep's approval rating somewhere around 26 percent?
"not the kind of individual you want to have representing your political party.''
And more and more people every day feel that same way about "G"lobal "W"arming Bush "representing" our country. Please Mr. Vice President... pick the new Democratic National Committee leader for US. P-l-e-e-e-e-e-a-s-e.
"I've never been able to understand his appeal. Maybe his mother loved him, but I've never met anybody who does. He's never won anything, as best I can tell,''
-Cheney on "Hannity & Colmes."
No fooling... I thought he said that on Meet the Press! Wasn't Dr. Howard dean the governor of Vermont? Dr. Dean was "elected", not "selected" for that position, wasn't he Mr. V.P.?
"People want us to fight. We are here to fight.''
-Dr. Howard Dean
"We need to be blunt and clear about the things we're going to fight for. I'm tired of lying down in front of the Republican machine. We need to stand up for what we believe in.''
-Gov. Dean, in Iowa
The bottom line is this: Governor Dean speaks his mind in front of any audience. Dick "Go <F---> Yourself" Cheney needs the friendly confines of a Fox News Propaganda studio or a stacked auditorium to spew his lies and slanders.
In a bar fight, Cheney would be the guy screaming and yelling obscenities at his would-be opponent while begging his friends to "HOLD ME BACK! HOLD ME BACK!"
Governor Dean is the kind of man who wouldn't throw
that first punch, but will throw the last.
"a little stubborn"
-Senators Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Joe Biden (D-DE) regarding President Bush's policy toward North Korea
"Although I understand that there may be a need for some ambiguity in United States policy toward North Korea, it is not evident this ambiguity has been constructive or even intentional."
"As Secretary Rice said recently, we have no intention to attack or invade North Korea. We deal with North Korea as a sovereign nation in the six-party talks and at the United Nations."
-Christopher Hill, assistant Secretary of State for East Asian Affairs
North Korea wants to talk to the United States one-on-one (unilateral talks). How stubborn does President Bush have to be to not just puck up the phone? This is the same president that is going to meet with the Vietnamese leaders at the White House! Talk about an insult to our fallen heroes from the Vietnam War. Aren't we still looking for some of our fallen soldiers who are still missing from the 1960's conflict? It's just another outsourcing nation looking to steal American jobs. Cheap labor over the memory of the dead and lost in Vietnam.
I said it before and I'll say it again. President "G"lobal "W"arming Bush called North Korea, Iran and Iraq the "Axis of Evil". We know that Iran and North Korea have Weapons of Mass Destruction, but he decided to invade the one member of that "axis" who was contained, and without those WMD's (Iraq). Nuclear threat is a real concern, but the second largest oil producing nation and its vast natural resources were too much of temptation, I guess, right Mr. President?
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