Note From a Madman

Monday, September 19, 2005

Quote in the Lead

"Katrina stripped away any image of competence and exposed to all the true heart and nature of this administration. The truth is that for four and a half years, real life choices have been replaced by ideological agenda, substance replaced by spin, governance second place always to politics. Yes, they can run a good campaign -- I can attest to that -- but America needs more than a campaign. If 12 year-old Boy Scouts can be prepared, Americans have a right to expect the same from their 59 year-old President of the United States."
-Senator John Kerry, at Brown University

Well, Bush was prepared - to play golf, make stupid speeches comparing Iraq to WW II, have photo opportunities with McCain and strum his guitar while New Orleans drowned. Okay I am convinced, let's put the 12 year old scout in charge - can't be any worst than Bush.

-Robert Scardapane

Powell Speaks
But Is anyone Listening?

“Who knew what the whole (Iraqi) mess was going to be like? What we didn’t do in the immediate aftermath of the war was to impose our will on the whole country, with enough troops of our own, with enough troops from coalition forces, or by recreating the Iraqi forces, armed forces, more quickly than we are doing now.

“And it may not have turned out to be such a mess if we had done some things differently.”
-Former Secretary of State Colin Powell

Let me introduce the former Secretary of State and former Bush administration "unwilling(?) shill" Colin Powell to the first Iraqi administrator General Jay Garner, who did know what Iraq was going to be like after the invasion. It was Garner who suggested keeping the Iraqi Army together as a police force, intact with their generals as their leaders.

“Of course it will. It’s a blot. I’m the one who presented it on behalf of the United States to the world, and (it) will always be part of my record. It was painful. It’s painful now.”
-Powell on whether the "proof" he presented to the United Nations on the reason for going to war with Iraq has damaged his reputation

"Boo-Hoo-Hoo... My reputation was damaged. Woe is me." You have no one to blame but yourself General Powell. You had the opportunity to do the right thing when you learned the truth, yet you chose to hold you tongue and let the Bushies get away with lie after lie after lie after lie... You ARE complicit.

“There were some good people in the intelligence community who knew at the time that some of these sources were not good and shouldn’t be relied upon, and they didn’t speak up. That devastated me.”
-Powell, refusing to blame former CIA Director George Tenet

Who were those people, General Powell? I think the mothers and fathers and sons and daughters and wives and husbands of some 2,000 soldiers who gave their lives have a few questions to ask them.

I had “never seen evidence to suggest” a connection between 9/11 and Saddam Hussein.
-Powell, paraphrased

Yet, Mr. Powell, you had no problem getting on TV to spout the lies of your boss, "G"lobal "W"arming Bush.

“I’m always a reluctant warrior”

Not reluctant enough, General Powell.

-Noah Greenberg and Jenny Hanniver

Madman's Crystal Ball

Madman occasionally makes predictions about future political possibilities. A few months ago, I predicted that somewhere along the line, towards the end of the second term of the "G"lobal "W"arming Bush administration that Vice President Dick "Go <F---> Yourself" Cheney would cite health problems, and resign his position. I thought it would happen with around six months to go.

The second part of the prediction is that President Bush would then reach into his deep family tree and pull out another Bush to nominate for Vice President, his brother, and Florida governor Jeb.

On Friday, it was reported by the Associate Press that Cheney is going to have "elective surgery" to treat an aneurysm behind his right knee.

It isn't a secret that the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party are in search of an electable encore to Bush 43, and my bet is that they will see it in an existing Vice President who, they hope, will become Bush 44.

Now I know that Jeb said he doesn't want to run in 2008, but we all know better than that. Although he is smarter.... well, let's be honest, a lot smarter than "W", he will be the same outsourcing, globalist, money grubbing friend of the rich that his brother is. The plan will include continuing to dismantle the American Middle Class, if it isn't gone by them already.

Sure there will be the primary featuring an old, pissed off John McCain, a bewildered Dr. Bill Frist and many, many others, but they will wilt under the dragon breath as Karl "The Traitor" Rove.

That's my prediction and I'm sticking to it.

-Noah Greenberg

Another Bush With a Mug-Shot

John Ellis Bush, the 21 year old son of Florida Governor Jeb Bush, was arrested in Austin, Texas the other night at 2:30AM.

This "is a personal family matter," Governor and Mrs. Bush "are dealing with privately."
-Governor Bush's spokeswoman, Alia Faraj

Let's take a stroll back in time, shall we?


(Flashback Music - the Screen wavers)

"What I did as a kid? I don't think it's relevant" "Did I behave irresponsible as a kid at time? Sure did. You bet."
-Candidate "G"lobal "W"arming Bush, The Texarkana Gazette, 1994

In 1976, 30 year-old George W. Bush was arrested in Kennebunkport, Maine for drinking and driving while he a "youth" at the age of 30.

And let's not forget the Bush daughters, Jenna and Barb, both known for their drinking exploits before they were of legal drinking age.

"On May 31, 2001 President Bush's 19-year old twin daughters Jenna and Barbara were ticketed by police in Austin, TX for alcohol-related misdemeanors, while attempting to buy alcohol at a Mexican restaurant. Jenna Bush was cited for misrepresentation of age by a minor for allegedly using some else's identification to order an alcoholic beverage. Barbara Bush was ticketed for possession of alcohol by a minor. She ordered and was served a margarita."

In January 2002, Noelle Bush, Jeb's daughter was accused of trying to pass a phony prescription past a sharp pharmacist in Tallahassee, Florida. She has been in rehab since 2003, as per court order, to avoid going to jail. Noelle was sent to jail twice since, once for having prescription pills and once for possession of crack cocaine.

I guess Jeb's kids still have a few more "youthful years" ahead of them.

Look.... anyone with kids knows that they sometimes don't do what they're supposed to do. Kids do get into trouble. plain and simple. All we, as parents can do is to raise our children the best we can and hope they turn out to be good people with empathy and concern for others. The Bush Family must have missed that day in "empathy class."

Let's compare the last five presidents, 2 of them Democrat and three Republican. I'll take the Carter and Clinton kids over the drunk and disorderly Bush's kids (41 or 43) any day. And let's not even talk about Reagan's offspring.

"My son's doing fine. It's a private matter. We will support him. We're sad for him. But I'm not going to discuss it on the public square with 30 cameras,"
-Gov. Jeb Bush

How can I put this? TOO FREAKING BAD, GOVERNOR. These are the guys who ruin people for fun. This is the family that will sell out their country for a few bucks. TOUGH. Do you remember what they did to John McCain in South Carolina? In case you forgot those "push calls" made to South Carolina residents during the 2000 primary, here are the "Bullet points":

YOU ALL are the guys who put "character" on the map as an "issue." YOU ARE the guys who mad "character assassination" a "sport."


You reap what you sow.

-Noah Greenberg

FEMA Was Better During The Clinton Years

"You can't have an emergency plan that works if it only affects middle-class people up, and when you tell people to go do something they don't have the means to do, you're going to leave the poor out."

"It's like when they issued the evacuation order. That affects poor people differently. A lot of them in New Orleans didn't have cars. A lot of them who had cars had kinfolk they had to take care of. They didn't have cars, so they couldn't take them out."

"This is a matter of public policy. And whether it's race-based or not, if you give your tax cuts to the rich and hope everything works out all right, and poverty goes up and it disproportionately affects black and brown people, that's a consequence of the action made. That's what they did in the 80's; that's what they've done in this decade. In the middle, we had a different policy."
-Bill Clinton, from This Week on ABC

"There is a deep history of injustice that has led to poverty and inequality, and it will not be overcome instantly. From Day 1 (Bush) has been acting boldly to achieve real results for all Americans."
-White House Press Secretary, Scott McClellan, in a statement, seemingly referring to President Clinton's comments

That "acting boldly" is just that, Scott.... acting. President Bush "acts" tough, then flies around Rome while it is burning. President Bush "acts" concerned, then pulls the money away from the Army Corp of Engineers. I just wonder when President Bush will "act" like he knows what's going on.

"Do we think in new and bold ways by focusing on innovative programs that work for all Americans, or do we embrace failed policies of the past which have resulted in too many being left behind?"

Today's White House word of the day is BOLD.


Those "failed policies" McClellan is talking about made sure that no one died in the Grand Forks floods of 1997. 60,000 people were evacuated with only the loss of property, not lives. A guy named James Lee Witt was the head of FEMA then, a cabinet level position, He had held the same job under Governor Bill Clinton in Arkansas and President Bill Clinton in Washington, DC. Mr. Lee Witt has no experience, whatsoever, in the care or showing of Arabian horses, however.

"I think we (the Clinton administration) did a good job of disaster management,"
-President Clinton

So do I, President Clinton.

-Noah Greenberg

The "Concerned" Rep. Mike Ferguson

One of the first things that President Bush did after Hurricane Katrina ripped through the Gulf Coast was suspend a 75 year old law called the Davis-Bacon Act* that requires federal contractors working on public buildings and works to pay the local prevailing wages and benefits. This ensures that federal dollars are not being used to undercut local labor and hurt the local economy.

Government contractors will be able to pay low wages to their employees -- even shipping them in from outside the region -- with the potential for huge cost savings. The Denver Post reports that the savings for the contractors do not necessarily have to pass back to taxpayers:

Bush's proclamation suspending Davis-Bacon made no effort to ensure that that the savings that contractors will reap be passed on to the taxpayers.

Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo writes that this is a very unusual move:

As far as we can tell ... the Davis-Bacon Act has only been suspended in response to a natural disaster once since it was enacted in 1931. That was by the president's father in 1992 in response to Hurricane Andrew -- and that mainly because he needed to appeal to right-wingers in the lead-up to the election.

So here we have a proclamation that overturns 75 years of labor law for only the second time, allows contractors to lower their costs yet guarantees no savings for the American taxpayers.

Congressman Mike Ferguson was called by a constituent to see where he stands on this effort to cut wages for people who are trying to get by after the worst natural disaster in years.

I just called the DC office of Congressman Mike Ferguson (R - NJ7), my rep (unfortunately) and asked "does the congressman support the suspension of the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931 as it relates to the reconstruction in New Orleans?" and was told "this is an area of deep concern for the congressman - he's working now to make sure that the suspension is only temporary."

"How temporary?" I asked.

"Well, that's the million dollar question, and we're working really hard on that right now."

My take is that he supports the suspension and this is the PR response. Of COURSE it's temporary - as soon as the reconstruction of New Orleans is complete the suspension will be lifted.

This was on Friday. If they are "working really hard" on the question they should have had some movement on how long they think that people working to rebuild New Orleans and the surrounding areas should be paid sub-standard wages with our tax dollars.

So please call Congressman Ferguson's office at 908-757-7835 or write him on his website and ask for a definitive position on the suspension of Davis-Bacon.

Then send the Congressman's staffers' responses to

*Interesting side note: Davis-Bacon was passed in 1931 by a Republican Congress and signed by Republican President Herbert Hoover.

-Nathan Rudy

In response to, "There must be some good Republican legislators," Robert Scardapane writes:

I have to say that there is no evidence to support the argument that there are good Republicans who are silent. In the case of these investigations, only Jim Leach (R-Iowa) supported the DSM investigation. Even Ron Paul, a Libertarian in Republican clothing, would not support the investigation. There was no support at all for the other investigations.

I hate to cast a wide net but I see no point in giving the
Republicans the benefit of the doubt. Consider each and every area that we value - jobs, health care, education, environment, retirement security, national security, foreign policy, civil rights, even basic human rights - I can't name one House Republican I admire in these areas.

Believe it or not, at one time, I use to be open minded about
Republicans - after all, they are the party of Lincoln and Eisenhower who were both decent men. I am registered as an Independent but that will change! I foresee no possibility I will ever vote for a Republican again in my lifetime. They have lost me as even a possibility.

Madman responds:

I still have to think a guy like
Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) could be turned. He is a Democrat who turned Republican due to the Right to Life issue, from what I understand. I’d love to sit down with him and talk about it.

And Robert points out:

Possibly ... there are some politicians who swim with the tide. I think that makes them appear weak though. If there are good
Republicans who have been silent, the time for them to speak is now. Bush has no coat tails to ride in 2006 and his agenda is doing irreparable damage to the country. Republicans that are silent are in my opinion complicit and no better than the bad ones we regularly hear.

Pork-For-Relief Swap

Chuck Muth of Citizen Outreach, a non-profit policy organization, suggest swapping the 6,000 special interest "earmarks" in the recently passed Transportation Bill of 2005 for Katrina relief. Here are some of these projects:

* $230 million for the infamous "Bridge To Nowhere" in Alaska which will service an island town of just 50 people.
* $4 million for bike paths and park space in
Calexico, California.
* $4 million for sidewalk improvements in Clarkson, Georgia.
* $3 million for a river path in
Springfield, Oregon.
* $2.8 million for a bike/pedestrian path in
Madison, Wisconsin.
* $2.7 million for renovation of the Packard Museum in Warren, Ohio.
* $2.48 million for bike/pedestrian paths in
Chicago, Illinois.
* $2.3 million for landscaping enhancements along the Ronald Reagan Freeway in
* $2 million to construct an "intermodal center" at the
Philadelphia Zoo in Pennsylvania.
* $2 million for a parking garage in San Antonio, Texas.
* $1.8 million to construct a visitor interpretive center at the Gray Fossil Site in Tennessee
(Hey, I thought the Religious Right didn't believe in "Fossils" -NG)
* $1.2 million to install lighting/steps at the Blue Ridge Music Center in Virginia.
* $640,000 to extend a bicycle trail in Aberdeen, South Dakota.
* $320,000 for a new bicycle/pedestrian trail in Shelbyville, Tennessee.
* $33,440 for a trolley barn in Harrison, Arkansas.

New bicycle trails are great but I think we can live without them for awhile. Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, called the pork-for-relief swap idea "moronic". Actually, I think $230 million for a "Bridge To Nowhere" is not only moronic but is corrupt!

-Robert Scardapane

All of those bicycle paths all over this country. It sounds like GW needed more places to ride, and crash his mountain bikes. -NG

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-Noah Greenberg