Today's Note From a  Madman

Tuesday, August 9, 2005



A Health Care Moment

Does anyone else out there remember when drug companies used to try and cure diseases? Now it's a lifetime of treatment. We all know it's more profitable to keep people sick, without letting them die, and so does the pharmaceutical industry.

I'm sure the drug companies are excited about stem cell research and their possibilities... for making money, but don't get too happy too fast. They're just going to keep you healthy enough to buy more "product."

-Noah Greenberg

Pssss't - Is There a Leak Somewhere or is the Bubble about to Burst?

The Federal Reserve Bank boosted it's key interest rate for the 10th straight session to 3.5%. Banks are almost certain to raise the prime interest rate to 6.5% - the highest level in four years. The Fed retained the language that interest rates will be raised "at a pace that is likely to be measured." Translation - expect more rate hikes throughout this year.

One major concern is the effect on mortgage rates. Many economists forecast a 30 year mortgage of 6.25% by year's end and 6.50% by the summer of next year. That is still historically low but would it be enough to burst the housing bubble? Economist Paul Krugman in a recent New York Times article suggests that the housing bubble already burst in areas such as San Diego.

-Robert Scardapane

In His Own Words
Senator Harry Reid

"Yesterday, Senate Republicans gathered to unveil a new slogan and recap the last seven months. Looking back to January, they suggested this has been the "most productive 1st session" in the last ten years.

"If you're an Exxon lobbyist, a right-wing judge or a White House Leaker, then yes, this has been a productive session.

"But if you're a working family, struggling to afford health care and looking for help from Republicans in Congress, you must be wondering whose side they are on.

"For 101 days the United States Senate has been open for business. And for 101 days Republicans have put special interests ahead of American families.

"They found over thirty days to debate right-wing judges, but wouldn't give one day to making health care affordable or to improving our schools.

"They were willing to come to the Capitol in the middle of the night to intervene in the Schiavo matter, but they wouldn't set aside the needs of their special interest friends so that we could support our troops and guarantee Veterans health care.

"They even forced through a budget Protestant ministers called "immoral" - - one that cuts funding for education, nurses and initiatives that help the poor. Why? So they could give billions of dollars in tax breaks to corporations and those with the most.

"Republicans see the last seven months and think they deserve a pat on the back. But their record is nothing more than cause for alarm.

"Americans are losing faith with Republicans in Congress, and it's clear to see why. Working families don't need a new slogan; they need new leaders committed to progress.

"It's an abuse of power to have the ability to help the American people but to choose to do nothing instead. That's the choice Republicans have made - - but Democrats believe it's time for change.

"We're committed to reform, and a common-sense agenda that makes progress for America's families. One that builds a strong economy….strengthens retirement security…and does a better job of protecting Americans from the threats we face.

"As you've seen in the past months, it's Democrats who led the fight to give our Veterans the health care they need…

"Democrats who fought for real energy goals…

"Democrats who wanted to fund rail security and our first responders…

"And it's Democrats who worked to strengthen Social Security and protect it for generations to come.

"America can do better than a Republican Congress that ignores the needs of families. When the Senate returns in September, let's hope we give the people what they deserve."

George W. is Full of (Something that Smells Bad) and such a Sweet Neo Con

On their new album A Bigger Bang, the Rolling Stones are diving into the kind of political waters they usually avoid. They've recorded a song called "Sweet Neo Con" that seemingly attacks the current leadership in Washington, DC, with lines like, "You call yourself a Christian, I call you a hypocrite/You call yourself a patriot, well I think you're full of <s--->." Lead singer Mick Jagger intended the song to be taken exactly the way it sounds. He told Newsweek, "It is direct. (Singer-guitarist) Keith (Richards) said, 'It's not really metaphorical.' I think he's a bit worried because he lives in the US. But I don't." (From

Apparently the lyrics also go on to mock Condoleezza Rice.

Hooray for them to step out and use their platform to express a sentiment at least half of this country feels.

Casey Sweet


$8.8 billion missing in Iraq and not one contractor has been prosecuted. Since when was such thievery legalized? It is so extreme to be absurd.

-Casey Sweet


Rumsfeld announced today (Tues, Aug 9th) in a Pentagon Briefing that there will be a Washington freedom walk (in Sept, I think) and at the end of a tour of Washington monuments there will be a concert with Clint Black.

I’m wondering if this is inspired by the A.N.S.W.E.R. Stop The War March on Sept. 24th which I expect is building steam. There are many buses going to Washington from NYC ( for a reasonable fee of $35 roundtrip.

In response to a question at the briefing today we heard a classic Rummy answer to a question he didn’t want to answer: “We only know what we know.” How profound. As the comedians say – You can’t make these things up.

-Casey Sweet

In response to my Daughter, Bonnie, Casey sweet writes:

P.S. Love your daughter’s sense of humor!

Casey Quote


"Where do I begin?

"Today was a highly eventful day. This entry won’t be artful, but utilitarian.

I conservatively got 3 to 5 phone calls a minute. I did about 25 phone interviews and several TV interviews. I did several right-wing radio interviews. I was supposed to do:
The Today Show, MSNBC live interview, Connected Coast to Coast (MSNBC) and Hardball (MSNBC). The Today Show just never showed up and the other 3 MSNBC shows cancelled for no reason.

"Another big story that was going on today was about my first meeting with
Bush in June of 2004. For you all I would like to clarify a few things. First of all, I did meet with George, and that is not a secret. I have written about it and been interviewed about it. I will stand by my recounting of the meeting. His behavior was rude and inappropriate. My behavior in June of 2004 is irrelevant to what is going on in 2005. I was in deep shock and deep grief. The grief is still there, but the shock has worn off and the deep anger has set in. And to remind everybody, a few things have happened since June of 2004: The 9/11 commission report; the Senate Intelligence report; the Duelfer WMD report; and most damaging and criminal: the Downing Street Memos. The VERY LAST THING I HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THIS IS: Why do the right wing media so assiduously scrutinize the words of a grief filled mother and ignore the words of a lying president?"
-Spc. Casey Austin Sheehan's mother, Cindy Sheehan, Co-Founder of Gold Star Families for Peace - Casey Austin was killed in Iraq on April 4, 2004


The reason the media does this is that they are tools of right-wing politicians. They know that if the truth were revealed the entire house of cards would tumble. The American people would take out their anger on them as well. So, the politicians keep lying and the media keeps helping them.

-Robert Scardapane

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-Noah Greenberg