Today's Note From a  Madman

Tuesday, August 16, 2005



Here's a thought:
Before the Bush Administration, I never thought of the Republican Party as corrupt or dishonest. Even as Newt Gingrich was poisoning everyone's minds and Rush Limbaugh began to sound out his "lies", I still never thought of the majority of Republicans as bad or not having the best interests of their constituents at heart.
Now that I consider the great majority of the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party disingenuous and selfish, I have but one thing to say:
I am sorry for my past naivety. This didn't happen overnight and I consider
Madman my penance.
-Noah Greenberg

The Alternate Universe

Imagine this:
A group of soldiers' families and other supporters plant flowers and crosses (or Stars of David) with the names of those lost in war in memoriam and as a reminder. Now picture a tree-hugging left-wing commie-pinko subversive coming along on his mountain bike or Toyota Prius and trampling these memorials (of course, being a good conservationist, he would use the wood as kindling and the flowers as mulch).

What would Rush "The Un-Arrested Drug Addict" Limbaugh have to say then?

Now what of "G"lobal "W"arming Bush standing on top of the World Trade Center rubble as a "photo-op"? Was that OK? How about "Mission Accomplished"? Was that OK? How about raising the Terror color code for political gain (yes, even Tom Ridge himself said he didn't know what was going on and he just did as he was told)? Was that alright as well?

What does Rush have to say about Karl Rove and Scooter Libby and the rest of the "Gang of 31 Leakers"? (Hey... doesn't Baskin Robbins have 31 flavors?) Are they OK in the books of Rush, Fox News and the Washington Times?

Cindy Sheehan has the right and feels she has a responsibility to ask GW the hard question: "What is the 'just cause', Mr. Bush?" (Not that GW would know what "responsibility" is)

While GW is peddling around Crawford with Lance Armstrong and "clearing Brush from the ranch of Bush", Cindy Sheehan will be asking the hard questions while receiving no answers.

I have a simple question:

Whether or not you believe in what Spc. Casey Sheehan's mother, Cindy is doing, along with the others who are braving the wave of intimidation, don't you think that some Republicans... or even A Republican should stand up and say' "Hey... It was wrong to run over the memorials of our fighting boys who gave the 'Ultimate Sacrifice', no matter who put it up and for what reason. We, the Republican Party stand behind any memorial for our fighting men and women and condemn this act by a Redneck imbecile."

But the members of the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople Party just don't have the guts or simply don't care.

And to add insult to injury, it appears that "G"lobal "W"arming Bush, Dick "Go <F---> Yourself" Cheney, Karl "The Traitor" Rove and the "Constitutional Destroyers" have asked the other millionaires of Crawford to make it illegal to park vehicles on any road outside of the center of town, some 70 miles away. So much for the right to "peacefully gather".

-Noah Greenberg

Oh, by the Way

He's Still Got To Go

That Tom DeLay


We shouldn't forget about our friend Tom Delay (R-TX) and his ties to lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Here is another sad story from the DCCC:

During the late 1990's, a small US territory called the Marianas Islands became what disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff would call "a microcosm of an overall battle." It would, in many ways, become a foundation of the modern Republican Party. Abramoff had been hired by the garment industry powerhouses on the island to ensure that Washington did not impose any pesky labor restrictions that would have interfered with their practices of forcing pregnant workers to have abortions, forcing women into prostitution, paying workers so little that they could not afford to leave the islands, and keeping workers fenced inside compounds where "Rats and cockroaches roamed freely."

When Tom DeLay jumped on board to support Abramoff's cause with a string of potentially unethical and certainly immoral maneuvers in Congress, it would begin a seven-year stint as partners in what was probably the biggest influence-peddling machine in American history, "DeLay, Inc." It would crystallize the Republican Leadership's fervent hostility to workers' rights, and DeLay's statement to a gala of sweatshop owners that "you represent everything that is good about what we are trying to do in America" would foreshadow an unflinching assault on workers that continues to this day. It would also later lead Marie Cocco to describe the episode in Newsday as "DeLay's worst: a dirty drama of bondage."

But we learned this week that the Marianas were not Abramoff's only island escapade. From the Los Angeles Times...
"U.S. grand jury in Guam opened an investigation of controversial lobbyist Jack Abramoff more than two years ago, but President Bush removed the supervising federal prosecutor and the inquiry ended soon after.

"The previously undisclosed Guam inquiry is separate from a federal grand jury in Washington that is investigating allegations that Abramoff bilked Indian tribes out of millions of dollars.

"In Guam, an
American territory in the Pacific, investigators were looking into Abramoff's secret arrangement with Superior Court officials to lobby against a court revision bill then pending in the U.S. Congress. The legislation, since approved, gave the Guam Supreme Court authority over the Superior Court.

"In 2002, Abramoff was retained by the Superior Court in what was an unusual arrangement for a public agency. The Times reported in May that Abramoff was paid with a series of $9,000 checks funneled through a Laguna Beach lawyer to disguise the lobbyist's role working for the Guam court. No separate contract was authorized for Abramoff's work.

"Guam court officials have not explained the contractual arrangement. At the time, Abramoff was a well-known lobbyist in the Pacific islands because of his work for the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas garment manufacturers, accused of employing workers in sweatshop conditions.

"Abramoff spokesman Andrew Blum said the lobbyist 'has no recollection of his being investigated in Guam in 2002. If he had been aware of an investigation, he would have cooperated fully.' Blum declined to respond to detailed questions.

"The transactions were the target of a grand jury subpoena issued Nov. 18, 2002, according to a copy obtained by The Times. The subpoena demanded that Anthony Sanchez, administrative director of the Guam Superior Court, release records involving the lobbying contract, including bills and payments.

"A day later, the chief prosecutor,
U.S. Atty. Frederick A. Black, who had launched the investigation, was demoted. A White House news release announced that Bush was replacing Black.

"The timing caught some by surprise. Despite his officially temporary status, Black had held the acting
U.S. attorney assignment for more than a decade."
And even that was not the end of the story, and certainly not the end of Abramoff's ties to the White House...


How can these hypocrites stand to look at themselves in the mirror? They claim to be the "culture of life" and then support lobbyists that campaign for labor practices that force women working in these offshore sweatshops to have abortions! Perhaps, they have no reflection in a mirror to look at. By the way, Abramoff was arrested today for bank fraud. What a thug!

-Forwarded and Commented by Robert Scardapane

Happy Birthday

Social Security just had it's 70th birthday. Of course, Bush did not say a word about it and I would bet he wants Americans to forget about it. But, that won't happen when there are wonderful groups such as NJ Citizen Action around.

NJ Citizen Action hosted a birthday party for social security in Roosevelt, NJ. That's right - there actually is a Roosevelt, New Jersey and I was fortunate enough to attend this event.

Congressmen Pallone and Senator Corzine, along with other guest speakers, gave some terrific speeches. They reminded us that the Republicans are still intent on privatization and warned that there will be another push when they return in September.

Please be vigilant and continue to speak out against privatization.

-Robert Scardapane

Wanting Answers

What I want to hear from Democrats (and, for that matter, Republicans) is:

€ What are they going to do to extract us from the situation in Iraq.
€ What are they going to do about the federal government's rush toward bankruptcy.
€ What can they do to make health care affordable and universally available
€ What can they do about the U.S. trade deficit, decline of manufacturing and other economic problems
and finally
€ What are they doing to stop the Bush administration's assault on the United States Constitution.

If their answers to these questions satisfy me, I don't care whether others call them left-wing, right-wing, middle-road or anything else. In the absence of satisfactory answers, I don't care about ideological labels.

-Phil Ebersole

Jenny's Thoughts

Hurrah, Bonnie (Noah's daughter) is home from the hospital!


Please note the Rush Limbaugh crapola. When he gets that abusive, you KNOW the right-wing nuts are beginning to be hurt!

Makes you wonder if it was FlushRush who drove his truck into that row of crosses at the Crawford, TX roadside? (Nah, just some peanut brain who listens to him.)

Who the bleedin' heck is this Robert (Michael) Patmas? Mr Naivety? Mr Stupidity? Listen, buddy, I've been laid-off twice and fired once, and my ex was fired from an engineering job for nothing more than posting a cartoon MAD Magazine cover (of Nixon with his big nose and unshaven chin) on his door. I'll bet Patmas is just like old George Bush, who'd never been inside a supermarket and didn't know what to do when he finally DEIGNED to enter one! Gee, it's nice to be rich. Wouldn't know. Never been there. Guess I was just too busy wasting my life serving my country in the Navy.

-Jenny Hanniver

I thank you... Bonnie thanks you... But Michael Patmas, I'm willing to bet, doesn't thank you, Jenny. -NG


I was touched by someone you were having a discussion with and what he said:

MICHAEL PATMAS: There may be some place...I don't know where....where you can pick up a newspaper and not find a single job in the classifieds.

I wonder what people are paying attention to and what they are reading when they think that jobs are easy to come by and life is an apple-pie story for everyone across the U.S. I conduct research across the U.S. and travel cities from Cleveland to Chicago to Nashville to San Jose. I hear women talk of financial problems, bills, and unaffordable medical coverage and how they ache with sacrifice.

I often have a questionnaire that is filled out and “financial problems” is frequently listed as a challenging issue. Women talk about taking part-time jobs that don’t pay a lot because their husband’s full time pay does not go very far to cover the family expenses. And every woman is buying everything with double coupons or on sale “because there is only so much money”. I hear versions of these heartaches in every study. Eight years ago it was not like this and people were much more upbeat about the present and their futures.

Friends who do studies with small businesses says it breaks your heart to hear what’s happening to them and their employees and by the end of the day they are depressed knowing how hard it has become for so many. Small businesses that can barely hold on and live on the edge just like many families, except when the business goes under so do a number of jobs and families.

Then there are those in the “protected” white collar professions that are doing well and boast of how high the economy is flying and can’t seem to eat out enough or buy enough. I was in real estate after the 1987 crash and watched the white collar meltdown around 1989 when white collar jobs started disappearing and those who were deemed indispensable quickly became dispensable. It shook the foundations of all their friends and family knowing that they could be next. People with big bank accounts were crying poverty because they felt they might have to scale back on amenities and in actuality they were feeling the pain – the pain of not knowing what could happen next. If I heard of one more friend “having to cut back” on their residential cleaning person and what a shame it was…

But at this moment in time the under and unemployed in this country live with “cutting back” every day on food and clothes and other necessities – not a cleaning person. They worry day in and day out if their job will stay especially as the white collar positions they serve start disappearing. Poverty has increased every year in Bush’s regime. Average pay has decreased while prices continue to increase. Medical coverage is astronomical ($700+ for a childfree couple in NYC which means you have to earn $1,200 or more before taxes to pay $700) and unaffordable, leaving families dependent on a broken medical system with packed emergency rooms. Only to be prescribed overpriced medication by the greedy pharmaceuticals that must be charged, bought instead of food, or not filled at all. Ask your Dr.s, there is a high percentage of prescriptions written today that are not even filled

And the majority of bankruptcies are a result of medical emergencies and lost jobs, yet, the republican administration portrays bankruptcies as irresponsible people spending for fun. This way they don’t feel so bad when they pocket the vast majority of the $50 million the credit companies invested in getting the new bankruptcy bill passed that puts people into servitude because they cannot pay 28% interest. When I was in banking we used to refer to 19% interest as usurious like mafia rates – what does that make the 28% + that now exists for lower credit risks? Immoral in my world.

A full time worker at Wal-Mart earns 30% below the poverty rate for a family. National guard commitments are destroying families financially, not to mention the devastating affects of injury or death. The Republicans’ lack of compassion motivated them to veto a small break for active national guard who went bankrupt because of their active duty. Republicans fight providing military benefits and even armor – but allow $9 billion to be pilfered in Iraq under this Bush administration not to mention all the Halliburton and other companies’ overcharges going unpunished. But let me know get too far off on where this government is focusing its selfish attention as that is a different huge subject.

There are humanitarian and compassionate ways to view the U.S. as a community of citizens that contribute to each other in different important ways. Sometimes that means people need encouragement or assistance and, in theory, communities care enough for each other to listen to the needs of everyone. And those who feel they don’t need anything should be on their knees at night thanking their
God for an easier life (Michael, sounds like you should have kneepads!). Looking deep in their hearts, listening to the real lives of others, and knowing as the “fortunate ones” (hey, there but for the grace of God go you or I) they can afford to be generous towards others – and if “generous” sounds like it means you have to sacrifice your money or toys…


-Casey Sweet


Following Up

Noah, if you choose to post the other writing I sent (see above), could you post this below it as I obtained these facts later. I don’t know if it will open Michael’s heart, eyes, and mind that he doesn’t have a grip on the reality of our U.S. community or maybe he doesn’t care. I would like to think he does care about others and that he is just uninformed about realities outside his own.


From Elizabeth Warren, Professor, Harvard Law School

Based on recent figures released:

30 Years ago the Median earnings family had ONE income and SAVED 11%.

Today the Median earnings family has TWO incomes, officially SAVES 0% and has 12% of annual income in short-term debt.

Adjusting today’s expenditures for those 30 years ago on average people are spending:
-22% LESS on clothes
-21% LESS on eating out
-44% LESS on appliances

Money is being spent on mortgages, health insures, day care, taxes, and a second car to make a second job possible.

This means, all in all, two people working today are worse off than ONE person working 30 years ago. Hey, Senator Santorum, do you think lots of women can stay home?


Regarding the bankruptcy bill I mentioned in the main posting, it was out-and-out written by the credit card companies and they are proud to take credit for it (not a very funny pun). Guess what, they got everything they wanted. Those who don’t have to carry credit card debt when an emergency happens would not understand the real effects of this bill on ordinary citizens. It truly reflects the cold heartedness of republican’s towards hard working people and their self interest in promoting business greed at lower and middle class citizens expense.

-Casey Sweet

A Joke


How many members of the Bush administration does it take to change a light bulb?

1. One to deny that a light bulb needs to be changed.
2. One to attack the patriotism of anyone who says the light bulb needs to be changed.
3. One to blame Clinton for burning out the light bulb.
4. One to tell the nations of the world that they are either for changing the light bulb or for darkness.
5. One to give a billion dollar no-bid contract to Halliburton for the new light bulb.
6. One to arrange a photograph of Bush, dressed as a janitor, standing on a step ladder under the banner: LIGHT BULB CHANGE ACCOMPLISHED.
7. One administration insider to resign and write a book documenting in detail how Bush was literally in the dark.
8. One to viciously smear #7.
9. One surrogate to campaign on TV and at rallies on how George Bush has had a strong light-bulb-changing policy all along.
10. And finally, one to confuse Americans about the difference between screwing a light bulb and screwing the country.

That is a total of 10 people, and no evidence that the light bulb has actually been changed (assuming the photo op was staged and no actual work was accomplished). Did Halliburton fail to perform their duties with regard to the light bulb?

-Chris Tennant

Biden Quote

"We have really run out of runway. We should be internationalizing this. We should be going back to NATO to get help on the border ... We should significantly change the way we approach this."
-Senator Joe Biden (D-DE), regarding the U.S. military strategy in Iraq

I never know if I'm supposed to like or dislike Joe Biden. I guess I'll like him today. Too bad these good ideas fall on the deaf ears of the Bush "we never make a mistake" administration

-Noah Greenberg

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-Noah Greenberg