THE NEWSLETTER

Note From a Madman

Wednesday, August 31, 2005




Could you imagine walking into an Unemployment office to file a new claim, then telling them you had ten weeks of vacation this year? -NG


What They Say

Could you imagine of a Democrat, or some other moderate who isn't "owned" by the religious or political right were to have and say similar things, to America? Imagine Howard Dean saying something like, "
God is displaying his displeasure with those in the south by setting multiple hurricanes upon them." Imagine if moveon.org said this: "This is the will of God that is setting floods and fire upon those who use His name for unworthy purposes, while ignoring the suffering of his fellow man, His children."

Why, Fox News would be all over it. They might even stop their 24/7 Natalee Holoway coverage. Fred Barnes might even stop talking about his high insurance premiums for a minute or so.

"That so many of our fellow creatures should have perished in so short a time, and in so awful a fashion, was a divine visitation that ought to make men tremble the world over."
-Rev. John MacLeod, referring to the tsunami that killed upwards of one-quarter million people

"God Almighty is lifting his protection from us,"
-Pat Robertson, referring to the Terrorist attacks of 9/11, together on his show, "The 700 Club" with Jerry Falwell


"All of them (I assume he means US) who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen,"'
-Falwell, on that same "700 Club" with Robertson

According to people like Falwell, Robertson and MacLeod, we now know the reason for calamities like the tsunami and the terrorist attacks of 9/11. It is the hedonistic, homosexual and un-
God -like way in which the residents of New York, Washington, DC, Thailand and other areas hit by these man-made or natural disasters that caused all of this death and destruction

"I don't think I'd be waving those flags on Gay Days at Disneyworld) in God's face if I were you. ... [A] condition like this will bring about the destruction of your nation. It'll bring about terrorist bombs, it'll bring earthquakes, tornadoes and possibly a meteor."
-A Kindler, Gentler Robertson

But what do these same people say when it is the "good people" (as if no good people live in New York, DC or Thailand) who are hit hard by disaster? Is it part of a greater purpose? Is it the beginning of "The End of Days"? Why did those innocent children in Oklahoma City have to bear this burden? Why were the good people of Alabama and Mississippi and Louisiana hit so hard by Hurricane Katrina? Is it possible to find one gay couple in Biloxi to blame this on? Maybe there's an "activist judge" somewhere in Lott-Ville that sided with a working man over a corporation.

I say if this is truly divine intervention it is the likes of Falwell, Robertson and MacLeod that have caused it, These are the men saying they speak for
God himself. These are the men that say they, and only they know what is truly in the mind of Our Creator.

The gall of these charlatans. It pleases me to know, as one who believes in the hereafter and the Almighty, that
God shall truly give them their "just rewards"

-Noah Greenberg



Another Tough Year Under GW and Company

It's been a bad year so far. Today, there was a report that the poverty rate increased for the fourth straight year. 1.1 million more people are now in poverty compared to 2003. The spinners at the White House dismiss the report as normal after a recession. Isn't it amazing how little has improved since the recession yet we are told it's normal? The largest drop in income was in the Midwest. To me, that makes sense given the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs to China in states such as Ohio.

A second observation is that hurricane Katrina was worst than anyone imagined. New Orleans is essentially under water. This is truly a monumental disaster. I just received an email from Jon Corzine - he urged all New Jersey folks to give what they can to the Red Cross (https://www.redcross.org/donate/donation-form.asp). Mr. Corzine is as always on target. Let's say a prayer for the people of the Gulf coast - it will be a very difficult year for them.

-Robert Scardapane



Ignoring the Gig Easy - Who's Next?

The central thread of the New Orleans situation is that there for years there wasn't enough money for protecting the city. So no protection was in place when disaster arrived. The engineers charged with protecting the city from hurricane flooding saw their budgets slashed again and again since 2000, leaving them at the last to beg for emergency funds all this year for fixing just the weakest levees. The very levees now leaking billions of gallons of dirty water into the city.

No dice, said the
Bush people. Iraq. 9/11. War President. It's hard. Vacation. Terry Schiavo. Vacation. 9/11 is hard.

Seeing a community heartlessly stripped of its ability to protect, feed or fend for itself makes you wonder -- what has Bush stripped from my community? What have we lost right here since 2000? Education, National Guard, police, gas prices, Medicaid, Medicare, Parks & Recreation, flood control, emergency preparedness?

What's been taken from my town, in the night, when no one was looking?

The Bush gang has been quietly stealing from all of us, to give to the rich, to run a war of aggression on behalf of their oil company cronies.

This is a bust out, town by town, across this country. A mafia crew is running the White House, siphoning off our assets to their pals, feeding upon America, running up debts for our grandkids to cope with.

It's catching up with New Orleans right now.

Your Town Is Next.


***

We are all being ripped off by Bush and the Republican economic hit men. Indeed, it's hard work, hard work, robbing the people of this country and with Bush it's a full time job. By the way, the Bush crime family is still pushing for social security privatization while they press to eliminate estate tax for estates worth over 3 million (the top 2%). Meanwhile, poverty has increased for the past four years ...

-forwarded from the Daily Kos, and commented by Robert Scardapane



The Incredible Spinning Bush

Bush is spinning lies as fast as he can about the Iraq war. I am going to debunk each and every lie. Yesterday, he compared Iraq to the post world war II Japanese reconstruction. Wrong again Bush! The Japanese did not have an ongoing insurgency. The Japanese really did attack the United States - Iraq did not. There is no comparison at all!

Bush's feeble attempt to spin this war doesn't change the facts on the ground. For instance, the Iraq war now costs per day as much as the Vietnam War.

-Robert Scardapane



401k

If you had purchased $1000.00 of Nortel stock one year ago, it would now be worth $49.00. With Enron, you would have had $16.50 left of the original $1,000.00. With WorldCom you would have had less than $5.00 left.

But, if you had purchased $1,000.00 worth of Beer one year ago, drank all the beer, then turned in the cans for the aluminum recycling REFUND, you would have had $214.00. Based on the above, current investment advice is to drink heavily and recycle.

It's called the 401 Keg Plan.

David A. Bates



Think Low

They set their site, and our expectations so low that when they achieve these meager goals, they claim an enormous, and surprising victory. If, as it has happened often in this administration, they fail to meet that goal, they just "move the bar" to a new, more achievable level.

This is the administration for underachievers.

The Iraqi Constitution will be ready by 22nd. Okay, it'll be ready by August 29. Okay, it'll be finished, sort of, by the week of August 29th. Okay. it'll be finished, but incomplete by the week of August 29th. Okay, it'll be done the week of August 29th, if you don't care that 30 percent of the population aren't accounted for in it and all women will take a step backwards.

Victory! Mission Accomplished! Go ahead Georgie-Boy, take another five weeks. After all, if anyone earned it, it's you.

-Noah Greenberg



Media Madman
Fox Quotes

"But my problem with it is that, in some of these areas, like a below- sea-level city like New Orleans, they're not -- they want the rest of us to insure their risk. As people who live on the San Andreas Fault in California, where they know there are going to be earthquakes, people who live along the Mississippi River in these low farmland areas ... near the river, the floodplains. They know they're going to flood. And when these things happen, they want the taxpayers all over the country to pay, and they do."
-Fred Barnes, from "Special Report with Brit Hume", August 29, 2005

"every half or hour or so, you know, there's another billion dollars, another billion dollars the federal government's gong to have to spend"
-Barnes, repeating the sentiment of a "Republican official"

"last year, when there were two hurricanes, and I got a new roof, I paid my part. My private insurance company paid the other part. The federal
government and taxpayers paid no part."
-Barnes, referring to his "primary residence" in Florida (a vacation home that he says is his "primary residence", even though he works full-time in Washington, DC - a real tax savings)

"That, of course, is wrong. The insurance in coastal areas is subsidized by the federal government through a mechanism called the wind pool."
-newshounds.us (http://www.newshounds.us/2005/08/30/fred_barnes_to_katrina_victims_drop_dead.php)


These guys at Fox News are not only greedy, they're heartless. They laugh at the misery of others and care nothing for their fellow man. What gets me is that there are people watching this "dreck" (it's Yiddish, look it up) saying, "yeah," "You're right, boy". and they'll keep on saying it until it's their home or car or business or swimming pool that is destroyed by some catastrophe.

Hey Barnes, how much did it cost the US taxpayer when Hurricane Andrew beat up on the Florida coast? No one in my neck of the woods screamed about helping out when that happened. Come to think of it, I don't remember anyone screaming all that loud when the US taxpayer gave away billions of dollars to the insurance industry to help them pay what they've been charging US for all these years.

The Following is the Fox News exchange, for all of you with strong stomachs:

"FRED BARNES, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, "THE WEEKLY STANDARD": You know, I was talking to a Republican official today who had his television on. And he was watching it. And he said, you know, every half or hour or so, you know, there's another billion dollars, another billion dollars the federal government's going to have to spend.

And talking about what is going to be a massive supplemental spending bill that will undoubtedly pass overwhelming in the House and the Senate this fall. I also predict the president, if he's not already in New Orleans, will be there very soon. Maybe the water has to subside a little.

I mean, that's a part of it. The president has to go there, has to promise all kinds of money. Congress passes it. And, in some cases, it's OK.

But my problem with it is that, in some of these areas, like a below- sea-level city like New Orleans, they're not -- they want the rest of us to insure their risk. As people who live on the San Andreas Fault in California, where they know there are going to be earthquakes, people who live along the Mississippi River in these low farmland areas...

HUME: Floodplains.

BARNES: ... near the river, the floodplains. They know they're going to flood. And when these things happen, they want the taxpayers all over the country to pay, and they do.

HUME: So they can rebuild, right?

(LAUGHTER)

BARNES: Yes, right, exactly.

KONDRACKE: I mean, it's...

HUME: How many times have you heard the guy, "Well, we got wiped out in Camille, but we rebuild. We love it here. And we'll rebuild again."

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Right, with your money.

KONDRACKE: Well, you know, where do you draw the line in this case? Do you see, "OK, you people in New Orleans, you self-insure. We're not covering any of you." I mean, there would be presumably no New Orleans left.

HUME: And what would the headline be to in the tabloid newspaper?

KONDRACKE: "Washington, D.C. to New Orleans: Drop dead."

HUME: Bush.

BARNES: Drop dead.

KONDRACKE: Right, exactly. Bush actually exceeded the Clinton record this time. He declared the emergency in advance in all of these states, so that they can get...

(CROSSTALK)

HUME: Declared an emergency, then a disaster.

KONDRACKE: Yes, so he could get everything rolling early. And you know, his first FEMA director was Joe Albaugh, who was his chief of staff when he was governor of Texas. So he learned the Clinton lesson and the Bush I lesson.

KRAUTHAMMER: It's a bit unseemly to talk about cutting off aid to these people while the hurricane is still roaring through Mississippi. But let's give it a try.

(LAUGHTER)

You're right about these places where people willingly accept risk. And the worst are the Barrier Islands, that are we know are sort of worn away by nature over time dramatically. And we spend billions trying to stop it, dredging, and moving sand, and all of this. And then a hurricane comes along, and 10 years of work is wiped out.

What we have to have is a little political courage, which of course is never going to happen, which is that we all agree that some areas of the country are too dangerous and too expensive...

HUME: To insure?

KRAUTHAMMER: To insure.

HUME: And the insurance companies will decide that for us, but then suddenly the government steps in, right?

(CROSSTALK)

KRAUTHAMMER: Well, we have to declare in advance certain areas off- limits to federal aid. Now, I don't think that's ever going to happen. But unless we do, we are asking for -- I mean, as we build hugely on the coast -- these disasters to hit us again, and again, and we never learn a lesson.

KONDRACKE: Yes, well, the question is, where do you draw the line? And that's the problem. Do you draw it at the Barrier Islands? Do you draw it at Vero Beach, you know, where Fred has a beach house?

HUME: How did your house, by the way, do over the weekend?

BARNES: Well, it did fine, because we were on the Atlantic coast and the hurricane went to the Gulf Coast. So it missed it entirely.

HUME: It got rained on, right?

BARNES: But last year, when there were two hurricanes, and I got a new roof, I paid my part. My private insurance company paid the other part. The federal government and taxpayers paid no part.

HUME: What about the cover on your swimming pool? Did the government...

BARNES: I paid all of that.

(LAUGHTER)

Thanks to Liberal Oasis and newshounds.us

-Noah Greenberg



Quotes from the "Purchased"

"Preliminary estimate of the damage from Hurricane Katrina is now around $25 billion. Insurance companies. Can they afford this price tag?"
-Matt Lauer on NBC's Today Show, August 31, 2004

Just how far into the pockets of corporate America is NBC and the rest of the "neocon media"? Now we have news readers prepping the American people for the obvious: The insurance industry bailout of Hurricane Katrina. Haven't these companies been taking our premiums all along? Isn't that why we pay these premiums? In fact, isn't this the sole purpose of insurance companies in the first place?

I guess someone at NBC got the call telling them to "begin the shilling process for the insurance industry now".

Before we give dime-one to any insurance company, let's take a look at their books. If they don't have the money to "weather these storms" then someone is taking too much of the profits. If bailouts are now going to be the norm, then regulation has to come back into the fold.

-Noah Greenberg



Quote From the Wise

American families don't care about G.D.P. (gross domestic product). They care about whether jobs are available, how much those jobs pay and how that pay compares with the cost of living. And recent G.D.P. growth has failed to produce exceptional gains in employment, while wages for most workers haven't kept up with inflation.
-Paul Krugman, Professor of Economics and Politics, Princeton University and New York Times Opinion Page contributor

***

G.D.P can be defined as "the total dollar value of all final goods and services produced in the country in a year".

The poverty rate is a better indicator of economic prosperity than G.D.P. For the four straight year the poverty rate has increased! During the Clinton era, the poverty rate decreased every year.

-Robert Scardapane


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-Noah Greenberg