THE NEWSLETTER

Note From a Madman

Thursday, September 8, 2005



Welcome to Bush-World, USA!

The Hurricane Katrina disaster is a neo-conservative's dream, a chance to knock off loads of poor, black citizens who really don't matter to them at all. Most of them are probably on welfare anyway . . . who needs 'em? Plus, look at the way they behave . . . looting and raping! The governor, who I realize is a Democrat, even said "shoot to kill." Never mind that these people went through five days without food, water, sanitation — if they don't behave, the state of Louisiana knows how to take care of them! I guess they only know how to take care of criminals.

The Bushies are back to their old game — blaming the victims. It was the fault of the folks who stayed. (It doesn't matter that they couldn't afford to get out). The mayor could not keep order. (He has been begging for the levees to be repaired for years). Bush said, "No one ever anticipated the levee breaking." Doesn't this remind you of Condoleezza Rice when she said, "No one anticipated planes would be used as weapons on Sept. 11?"

Here is what happens when there is less government — those with means escape unscathed while the poor are left to fend for themselves. The best is that most of the Bush supporters are big Christians. Did they ever hear of feeding the hungry and housing the homeless? I am sick and tired of all these hypocrites. They are so worried about abortion, but when babies who have already been born are dying it doesn't bother them.

Could it be because these little babies are black?

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, racism is alive and well in these here United States. You are witnessing it all this week in your own homes. I urge you to call your representatives in Washington to voice your outrage. These officials must be held accountable, from "W" on down, especially Michael Brown, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Vice President Cheney is still on vacation in Wyoming as I write this, and Rice was seen in New York City buying Ferragamo shoes while survivors of Hurricane Katrina were dying from lack of basic services!

-JoAnn Corry



More Blame

Over the last week, we've seen some stunning remarks in response to Hurricane Katrina, not the least of which includes the president's claim, "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees." But for sheer callousness, consider Linda Chavez's twisted observation.

In New Orleans, "you are dealing with the permanently poor — people who don't have jobs, are not used to getting up and organizing themselves and getting things done and for whom sitting and waiting is a way of life," says Linda Chavez, president of the Center for Equal Opportunity and a former head of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission.

"This is a natural disaster that is exacerbated by the problems of the underclass. The chief cause of poverty today among blacks is no longer racism. It is the breakdown of the traditional family."
-Linda Chavez

I've seen several conservatives engage in blame-the-victim attacks, but Chavez's comments are over the top, even for her. The real problem, as she sees it, is that the thousands of poverty-stricken Americans who were stuck in New Orleans in nightmarish conditions are accustomed to "sitting and waiting" as "a way of life"? Is she serious?

Thankfully, only a few pages away from where Chavez's quote ran in the Washington Post, there was another article highlighting just how wrong Chavez is. Those trapped families weren't victims because of the "breakdown of the traditional family"; they were stuck because they live paycheck-to-paycheck, couldn't afford transportation out of the city, and couldn't afford to pay for accommodations, even if they did evacuate.

-Victoria Brownworth



Cheney Breaks Out of The Bunker

Didn't you hear, (I heard it about 20 times on NPR today) that Bush is sending Cheney to New Orleans to make sure there are no more obstacles to assistance????

-Rhian



In Relation to "Bad Luck", the Bush Administration Predicts "More of the Same"

"There is no doubt that this is going to be a very tough winter season for the American economy (and) for American homeowners,"
-Energy Secretary Sam Bodman

You can bet your bottom dollar that if the Bush administration is telling you this winter will be "very tough" for the "American economy" that it's going to be just that and more. Just look at how their "prediction" of rising gasoline prices came through.

 

These guys ought to work with Madame Cleo.

Energy Information Administration even said that people who heat their homes with natural gas will pay as much as 71 percent more than they did last year.

You may as well close up half the house and live as a family in one area, if you have multiple zone heating.

"Some of those (gas) prices have come down a little bit since last week, but they're still too high and that's why we took immediate action to address some of these supply issues. We view this as a temporary disruption,"
-White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan

The "immediate action" that McClellan was talking about was the release of some 30 million barrels of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. But if almost half of our refining ability is lost, what good is releasing crude from the Strategic Reserve?

"We would expect that over time (the fall of crude oil prices from last week's high of over $70 per barrel) would be reflected at the pump,"-
-Bodman

Shouldn't President Bush have frozen gasoline prices for the next couple of months? Shouldn't the leaders of the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party have used their "mandated power" to insist that "G"lobal "W"arming Bush and his cronies drop the federal gas tax at the pump tax, just for the short haul? Where in
God's name is that "Compassionate Conservatism" we're all heard so much about?

 

Compassion should be reserved for those less fortunate than you, Mr. President, not your rich, greedy buddies.

Have any of you seen gas prices come down? Here in New Jersey, we saw prices go from about $2.35 per gallon to $3.20 per gallon ON THE SAME DAY! The price fell at most Garden State gas stations yesterday by an average of THREE CENTS. A rise in one day of 85 cents and a fall of 3 cents. That's "like" the same, isn't it?

 

Where will I spend my windfall?

"In nominal (unadjusted for inflation) dollars, Americans paid an average of 65 cents per gallon for motor gasoline in 1978 (unleaded). The 2004 average price of $1.92 was 195 percent higher than the 1978 rate: adjusted for inflation, it was 24 percent higher."
-The Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Review - long-term historical statistics all in one place, August 15, 2005 (Next report due August 15, 2006)

The average price per gallon of $3.07, as of last Tuesday (according to the Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration). 65 cents per gallon in 1978 was roughly $1.46 in 2005 dollars. This means that gas prices today have risen over 100 percent of what they were in 1978, including inflation.

Here's the real scary numbers. Since "G"lobal "W"arming Bush took office in 2001, prices for a barrel of crude oil was $21.33. Today that price is hovering around $66.00 per barrel. Since "hiring" a "Real Texas Oil Man" in 2001, oil prices have risen three-fold, or 200 percent for a barrel of crude (The Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Review, August 2005).

 

Have an of you received your 200 percent salary increase yet?

Yep... Good Old Georgie-Boy is certainly doing right... by his rich Texas Oil Friends, that is.

-Noah Greenberg



You Can't Get There from Here (or Can You?)

400,000 jobs are estimated to be lost due to Hurricane Katrina. That's a number that will rise and fall as the unemployment numbers rise and fall. The Bush administration will use Katrina as the root of all evil when it comes to this country's upcoming economic woes.

 

These guys are still blaming 9/11 for the loss of good-paying American jobs while insisting that outsourcing creates American jobs. Idiots!


To the Bushies, every disaster does have a silver lining.

When all of Katrina's victims line up to make claims for unemployment insurance, there will be no tax to the rich to make up for the deficit it adds to. The rich, again, will take no responsibility for their fellow man and pay an extra dime in taxes for the greater good. What will happen is more programs, social or essential, will be cut or eliminated. Those are programs such as "No Child Left Behind" (I bet you thought we forgot about that one) and FEMA, which has been so decimated under the Bush administration that it can no longer function as a viable organization.

When the "spinning" begins, it will sound something like this:
"The economy is suffering from the loss of jobs due to Hurricane Katrina,"
or this:
"The economy is doing great. Imagine how much better it would be if not for Hurricane Katrina."

These guys are smart. I'm sure the talking points have already been sent out, the words rehearsed and the Right Wing Media briefed.

When the rebuilding of New Orleans begins, probably in a month, the Bushies will stand up proud to point out the great increase in contracting jobs they have created. The "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party members of the House of Representatives, and senators that are up for re-election in 2006 will point to all of those new jobs that THEY created. You won't hear a peep about Katrina.

What you will hear is from cities like Houston decrying their lot as to how to support all of their new citizens... the ones that don't want to go back to the Big Easy. Unemployment and poverty levels will rise in America's fifth largest city. Fear not... The Bushies will ignore it. The Right Wing Media will say all of those people need to be "re-trained, or they "won't do the jobs that Mexicans are willing to do" or something to that effect.

Next, Medicare will bear the brunt of all of those people that will be sick from the inaction and delay caused by the federal government's inability or unwillingness to help the victims of Katrina. It will bankrupt the program and Bush, Cheney and Rove will point to it and say, "You see? Social Security will be bankrupt next if we don't act now." The working middle class (that's most of US) will pay for it.

Finally, the national debt will rise to irreversible levels (yes, I know, we're almost there now) and you'll be able to kiss all federally financed social programs goodbye.

Yes, Karl "The Traitor" Rove's wheels are turning as we speak. Won't Grover Norquist be happy.

-Noah Greenberg



In a casual email back-and-forth, BlueDude said this to me:

(My wife) works full time, and thank God she can support us both. I used to own a bakery, name withheld) but it went out of business when Wal*Mart came to the neighborhood.

I wish I could make a hand made fresh pecan pie for $3.99 and a wedding cake for $30.00 and still show a profit!

I'd rather eat your cake and pay a little more.-NG



In response to, "The Bush administration was 'Stuck on Stupid for 2 days'," Eddie Konczal writes:

2 days?!?!?! Try 4 years, 7 Months, and 16 days!



Thoughts on a Draft

A couple of months ago I heard Rep. Rangel (NY) suggest that maybe we should bring the draft back and I thought ‘what a bad idea.’ I have now changed my mind and think that the only way to curtail this horribly wrong war in Iraq is to distribute the costs and pain equally across all socioeconomic groups. Bring back a draft for young men and women and watch the middle and upper class population (majority Caucasian) start screaming that their kids should not go and the war should end. Only a few are really paying the deep emotional and financial costs of this war especially since the tax cuts are buffering the middle and upper classes – the tax cuts are even making them giddy and more emotionally superficial in some cases.

I sat next to a man on a flight this week who told me that the costs of this war would be the burden for his children to bear – as if that was acceptable. His 6 yr old son and 8 yr old daughter sat across the isle from us in first class in their well-branded clothes. I reminded him they may be drafted some day and he looked at me as if he knew that would never happen. His Marine father had told him not to go into the military because he did not have to because they could afford to pay for college.

He said all his family were strong Bush supporters and when I questioned further he somewhat corrected himself and said they were strong Republicans. I asked what was appealing to him about the Republicans – he admitted he wasn’t that politically conscious (though his family was financially conscious with at least a few million each – “not 20 million or that much”) but one word described his whole devotion to the Greed Over People – TAXES. He felt the tax breaks for those in his bracket was appropriate to give back the surplus to those who SHOULD have it. He also felt that all is well because the deficit is likely to come back in “normal bounds” – and anything else is his children’s burden to bear. He must have been upset when I told him the estate tax repeal may not be forthcoming now with Katrina – his dad’s estate is substantial!!!

Where did these people grow up and what lessons were their parents teaching them that they ended up not caring about anyone outside their own small sphere and MONEY. Still baffles me how so much of someone’s life and self-value gets based on money as if at the end of life that will mean anything.

 

I always loved a sentiment I read once – “no one on their deathbed ever says I wish I worked more overtime and made more money.”

Back to the draft – the only thing that would enrage someone like this enough to end the war besides a Draft of their children is to take away their tax breaks. Since the tax breaks are not to be repealed in the foreseeable future – let’s reinstitute the draft and no special exceptions – and the war will abruptly be brought to a conclusion.

-Casey Sweet

I am unconditionally against the draft, under any circumstance other than protecting our nation. Clearly, Iraq doesn't fall into the category of Protecting our nation.

The reasons I am so dead-set against a draft are simple and two-fold:
1- I don't want to let the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party and "G"lobal "W"arming Bush blame the Democrats when American Children die in his next, war for oil
2- I don't want to hear Bush say, "The draft is the result of the activist Democrats and a few, rogue Republicans"

-Noah Greenberg


 

Stupid Quote of the Day

 

"We have all the hallmarks here of a rush to spend money. We have got to be careful that this does not become a feeding frenzy. ... This is our grandchildren's money."
-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), in response to the grant of a $2,000 debit card to help the neediest of the families hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina a way of getting by

Leave it to a ranking member of the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party to take a good idea and pervert it. Right now, thanks to "leaders" like Sessions, American "grandchildren" owe $145,000 right out of the womb. It was, and is, the irresponsibility of the Bush tax cuts supported and embraced by the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party that has contributed most to your grandchildren's debt. And, if they have their way, they're going to take even a bigger bite out of their future earnings when they repeal the estate tax and make permanent their tax give-backs to their rich, lobbyist friends.. The estate tax repeal will only effect about three percent of the population and cost our heirs more than the tax give-back did.

The $2,000 per family (not per person), if awarded to 100,000 families would cost $200 million. So far, the Iraq war has cost about $300 BILLION.

And, in case you were wondering, after ten years, the Bush tax give-back to his rich, lobbyist and war-profiteering friends might cost your "grandchildren" up to $7 TRILLION.

Can anyone say "child labor"?

-Noah Greenberg


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-Noah Greenberg