THE NEWSLETTER

Today's Note From a Madman

Thursday, June 30, 2005

 

 

Fix Iraq (Sounds Familiar, No?)

 

An open ended approach toward Iraq is disastrous. The Iraqi people will not be motivated to stand on their own if they believe that the United States will stay indefinitely. Therefore, we must move expeditiously on several fronts. These are some ideas that come to mind:

. A viable economy must be established. Stop using Halliburton war profiteers and mercenaries when the Iraqi people can do the jobs.
. The infrastructure must be repaired. The money has been allocated but thus far not used.
. The surrounding nations must get involved in the reconstruction, peacekeeping and securing the borders.
. Outside nations such as Jordan, Kuwait, Germany and even France have offered help with training Iraqi troops - let's work with them.
. Establish honest metrics on Iraqi troop readiness and clearly articulate a goal for trained Iraqi troops.
. The new constitution must be approved by August, 2005. The Sunni must participate in the process.
. Establish further milestones and share them with the people of both nations.
. State for the record that there will be no permanent United States military bases in Iraq. Our goal is to transfer power to the Iraqi people and then leave.


This newsletter has spoken consistently about the need for an exit strategy and suggested a number of concrete ideas. But, it's a Republican ballpark and they don't have a good record. Asking Americans for indefinite patience on an unjust war is simply wrong. I concur with Senator Feingold and Speaker Pelosi that we need an exit strategy now. No more cute word games, no more pep talks.

-Robert Scardapane


 

We Don't Pay Attention to Polls, Do We?

"Thanks to the Downing Street Memos, we now know that George Bush deliberately and systematically lied about his reasons for invading Iraq. Iraq had no stockpiles of WMD's and no ties to Al Qaeda, and George Bush knew it. Bush even lied about the start of the war, which began with bombing 'spikes' in June 2002,"

"
George Bush lied about Iraq to Congress, the American people, and the world. He lied before the war, he lied when he claimed victory on the U.S.S. Lincoln in May 2003, and he's lying today when he claims Iraqi insurgents will be defeated soon,"

"
Bush's lies have had an enormous and tragic cost. So far, 1,744 brave Americans have died for Bush's lies, along with tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis. American taxpayers have borrowed $200 billion that our children and grandchildren will struggle to repay. And despite this enormous cost in lives and dollars, Iraq is hardly better off than it was under Saddam,"

"Just like Lyndon Johnson and
Richard Nixon, George Bush blindly believes he can win a faraway war that was based on lies. And rather than face reality, Bush unleashes harsh partisan attacks on his critics. The American people gave Bush two years to win the 'hearts and minds' of the Iraqi people, but that effort has failed. Bush should listen to the 82 members of Iraq's parliament who recently urged Bush to remove all U.S. troops,"
-Bob Fertik, President of Democrats.com

Here is what the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll has to say about things:

-More than half of America believes the fight in Iraq has not made the United States safer
-Americans rank Iraq second to the economy in importance
-Close to three-quarters of Americans say the number of casualties in Iraq is unacceptable
-Almost two-thirds of Americans say the U.S. military is "bogged down" in Iraq (See "Quagmire")
-Just about six out of 10 Americans say the war in Iraq was "not worth fighting" in the first place
-More than 40 percent of Americans say that they see American's fight in Iraq and the fight in Vietnam as "analogous"


Here's a big one:
-52 percent of Americans say the war in Iraq has not made American safer over the long haul

And the biggest poll answer of all was...
-52 percent of Americans disapprove of the way "G"lobal "W"arming Bush is handling his job (That's bad, isn't it?)
-56 percent of Americans disapprove of the way the Republicans in congress are handling their jobs as well

And on other "fronts":
-Six in 10 Americans say "G"lobal "W"arming Bush and the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople Party leaders (See DeLay and Frist) are not making progress on the problems of the United States
--The final count on this one was: 67 percent blamed congressional Republicans (see MAJORITY party) while only 13 percent blamed the Democrats (the MINORITY)
-58 percent of Americans say that President Bush isn't concentrating on the things that matter to them most
-55 percent of Americans disapprove of the way GW is handling the embryonic stem cell funding question while only 37 percent approve

What about the Great Uniter?:
-55 percent of Americans say President Bush has a done more to "divide" the nation than "unite" it

From March of this year to now, Independents have changed Bush's approval rating on the fight against terrorism from 63 percent to 40 percent!

And down from 56 percent, Americans now are just about evenly split on GW's handling of the war on terrorism - 50% to 49%

"These data suggest we will soon reach the point, if we haven't yet reached the point, where that kind of language will seem too out of touch."
-James Burk, a Texas A&M University sociologist

What's the matter, Professor Burk, don't you like senseless rhetoric?

President Bush's priorities are so misplaced that only 12 percent of Americans call the threat of terrorism the nation's top priority. Here are those numbers:
1- The economy (Stupid)
2- Iraq
3- Health care
4-
Social Security
5- Terrorism

This tells me two things. First is that Americans are smart enough to be able to separate Iraq and terrorism, no matter how hard Bush , Dick "Go <F---> Yourself" Cheney and company try to convince US otherwise; and that the failed Social Security privatization scheme push isn't working either.

"It appears that Americans are coming to the realization that the war in Iraq is not being won and may well prove unwinnable. That conclusion bleeds over into a conviction that it may not have been necessary in the first place."
-Retired Army Colonel Andrew J. Bacevich, a Boston University professor

"You hear a lot about Saddam but nothing about Osama bin Laden. I don't think he [Bush] does enough to deal with the problems of terrorism. . . . He's done a lot of talking, but we haven't seen real changes. People are getting through airport security with things that are unbelievable. . . .
I don't think he learned from 9/11."
- Kathy Goyette, a San Diego nurse and poll respondent

I couldn't have said it any better myself, Kathy.

-Noah Greenberg



Big Al's Place

Today, the Federal Reserve Bank raised it's benchmark rate for the ninth consecutive time. The Federal Funds rate was increased by 25 basis points to 3.25%. In addition, the discount rate, charged to commercial banks on regional Federal Bank loans, was raised to 4.25%. Based on the committee's language, most analysts believe that the rate increases will continue.

-Robert Scardapane



Quotes

"For almost two years, I've protected my confidential sources even under the threat of jail. So while I understand Time's decision to turn over papers that identify my sources, I'm obviously disappointed by what they chose."
-Matthew Cooper, the Time Magazine writer who won't go to jail because his employer will tell the source of the CIA leak

Time Magazine doesn't want to pay a fine, plain and simple. Mr. Cooper says he sill still wants to go to jail to prove his point. Judith Miller, of the New York Times will go to jail even though she never published a word; and Bob Novak won't go to jail even though he DID publish Mrs. Wilson's name.

Section 421(c) basically says that the only reason an undercover operative's name could be published is if there is some kind of scandal and that person is involved in it. Mrs. Joe Wilson has never done anything but server her country honestly and admirably.

 

So, let me get this straight, if you publish and don't tell, but someone tells for you, you don't go to jail even if you want to go to jail; however, you do go to jail even if you didn't publish a word because you won't reveal your source and your employer stands with you; AND you won't go to jail even if you revealed the name without revealng the source.

Got it?

 

-Noah Greenberg


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-Noah Greenberg