THE NEWSLETTER

Note From a Madman

Tuesday, September 20, 2005



A Question

I have just one question for the supporters of President Bush.

Why?

-Noah Greenberg



Milestones Better Left Unattained

Bush's oil war has now officially claimed the lives of over 1900 Americans. Today, four marines were killed in two separate roadside bombings putting the death toll at 1903. The victims were U.S. Army soldiers attached to the 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force.

 

-Robert Scardapane


"R" is for "Rita"

We are up to the letter "R", as in "Rita", as in "Hurricane Rita." That's 18 named storms this season. When we hit 27, we start using the Greek Alphabet.

Not to fear.... there is no such thing as Global Warming. Just ask "G"lobal "W"arming Bush himself.

-Noah Greenberg



Quotes - Forrester, from the Debate

"I'm a Tom Kean Republican,"
-Doug "I Wanna-be Something" Forrester

"I have not endorsed anyone in the primary,"
-Tom Kean, in a statement from Doug Forrester's website, http://www.doug.com/html/press/may/05-31-05b.html


So let me get this straight. When Doug Forrester was running for his political life against former Jersey City Mayor, and failed Gubernatorial Candidate Brent Schundler, Governor Kean couldn't even endorse a former member of his own staff?

Oh, wait a second. Forrester must mean New Jersey State Senator Tom Kean, Jr. It wouldn't be the first "Junior" who didn't know what he was doing.

"The medical community, I think, is very clear that the way to go is adult stem cell research,"
-Forrester, in response to a question as to whether he supports fetal stem cell research

What scares me is the possibility that Dougie-Boy might actually believe this. In his statements, Forrester was adamant about his belief that adult stem cells were the wave of the future and that we shouldn't be detoured by bad science. He even said that there are "sufficient" fetal stem cell lines available already. Even Bill Frist doesn't believe that line of bull that President Bush preached anymore.

Out of touch and maybe out of his mind. See what happens when you hang out will Dick "Go <F---> Yourself" Cheney?

-Noah Greenberg



Corrupt Chickens Coming Home To Roost

A press release from the Department of Justice is reporting that current Director of Procurement at the Office of Management and Budget David H. Safavian has been arrested for "making false statements to a GSA (General Services Administration) ethics officer and the GSA-OIG, along with obstruction of a GSA-OIG investigation."

Safavian is the former Chief of Staff as the General Services Administration and is accused of helping "a lobbyist" (Jack Abramoff) acquire GSA property in the Washington, DC. area. Apparently Safavian made false statements to the GSA's Inspector General when he was questioned about a golf trip to Scotland paid for by Abramoff, and attended by Congressman Bob Ney (R-OH) and former Bush campaign official, Ralph Reed.

Safavian also worked with Abramoff in the mid nineties as a lobbyist, traveling with Abramoff to the Common Wealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, in connection with their firm's attempt to prevent United States labor standards from being applied in the US. Territory. Before working with Abramoff, Safavian started a lobbying firm with Americans for Tax Reform founder Grover Norquist called Janus-Merritt Strategies, where the lobbied for a variety of companies including, the National Indian Gaming Association, the Interactive Gaming Council, the Interactive Services Association, the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States

Asked in January of 2005 about Abramoff Safavian said "Jack is an old friend of mine"

-from the DNC Blog, forwarded by Robert Scardapane



The "Novice"

 

What would you call a young lawyer with incredibly little law-enforcement experience? Why you'd call her the new head of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Those are the people that are responsible for enforcing our immigration policies and keeping our borders clear.

I bet you don't know what Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard Myers calls his niece, Julie Myers. Why he calls her the new head of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

Wow... What a coincidence.

In order to become head of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, one has to have at least five years of law enforcement experience. Ms. Myers, all of 36-years-of-age, currently on her honeymoon (can anyone say "vacation?") has just about the five required years in a myriad of positions.

"I realize that I'm not 80 years old. I have a few gray hairs, more coming, but I will seek to work with those who are knowledgeable in this area, who know more than I do."
-Ms. Myers, from her Senate testimony

 

"Who know more than you?" Shouldn't YOU be working for "THEM, Julie?
 

Noting like making fun of the elderly to nepotize (is that a word?)  a job in Bush-World, I always say.


Myers was "fast-tracked" into the position of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency head , for reason "unknown." Here is her brief resume:
-Two years, federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, N.Y.
-Four years total in various positions at the White House, the departments of Commerce, Justice and Treasury (that's four years total)
-Chief of staff to then Justice Department's criminal division head Michael Chertoff (enough to get a cup of coffee, no cream, no sugar)
-16 months as an associate under independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr
-And finally, as a special assistant to President "G"lobal "W"arming Bush handling "personnel issues."

Hey Georgie-Boy. Are you sure that Ms. Myers is not still a "youth" at the age of 36?

Julie Myers cited as her main managerial experience the supervision of 170 employees and a $25 million budget at the department of Commerce. She spent a year at that job. ICE, (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) has over 20,000 employees and a $4 billion budget. She better have some people there who know more than she does. Come to think of it, that could apply to just about anyone there.

"It appears she's got a tremendous amount of experience in money laundering, in banking and the financial areas. My question is: Who the hell is going to enforce the immigration laws?"
-Charles Showalter, president of the National Homeland Security Council, a union that represents some 7,800 ICE employees

This is "pre-Katrina thinking, where political relationships were a very large factor."
-I. Michael Greenberger, Head of the Center for Health and Homeland Security at the University of Maryland and a former member of the Clinton administration

"Post-Katrina, we now see that people need to be eminently qualified,"
-Greenberger

I don't think that "extensive experience" is what Julie Myers actually has. What she does have is an influential uncle.

 

Let's hope we don't hear "Hey Julie, you're doing a heck of a job," anytime soon.

-Noah Greenberg



Bad Ideas, and Worse

About a week-and-a-half ago I was listening to the Ed Schultz show on my car's satellite radio. Some anonymous man called in claiming he worked for a high level government official, but couldn't reveal his name, his position, his bosses' name or the agency he worked for. What "Anonymous" said was quick, simple and floored me a little bit.

"Ed, they're (the Bush administration) is going to take the money from the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Card to pay for the damage from Katrina. They're going to delay it at least one year, until December 2006."
-Anonymous

I thought to myself that this would be good to put on Madman, but I have no way of confirming it. Yes, I know that this is an editorial newsletter, for the most part, but I have to have standards (which puts me ahead of Fox News).

Today, on my way home, I was listening to Lou Dobbs, also on my satellite radio and I heard Lou say basically the same thing, in reference to a statement by Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO). You remember Rep. Tancredo, don't you? He's the guy who said, "If they nuke US, bomb Mecca." In keeping with his great love of all humanity, these pearls of wisdom were his brainwaves spoken out loud:

“With a disaster this size, no program is sacrosanct, no cost-cutting is off the table. What Americans know is that we in Congress—like them—need to balance our budget. We need to take a long look at reducing farm subsidies, at hacking pork barrel projects, even at across-the-board cuts.

“I am sorry that I cannot agree with my colleague Leader Delay who said we're running a lean government. Republicans weren’t put in office to be satisfied with the size of our government. If there's any of our '94 fervor left, we’ll do better.

“A few proposals that we should consider are:
-Require the Interior Department to sell 10% of all federal land
-Eliminate the billions of dollars of corporate farm subsidies
-Postpone rolling out the Medicare prescription drug plan
-Means-test Social Security and Medicare prescription drug benefits

“$200 billion is half of all discretionary, non-defense spending. Conservatives have to come up with creative cuts in government, or liberals will raise our taxes or indebt our great grandkids with their massive spending.

“This has been a horrific natural disaster that has torn apart a large portion of our country and took many lives. But in this disaster, we have a God-given opportunity to finally, permanently reduce the size of government.”
-Tancredo, http://tancredo.house.gov/press/pressers/0915TancredoIssuesStatementOnPresidentsKatrinaRequest.htm


It's good to know that nowhere in that statement was any "sacrifice" on the part of the wealthy. The only sacrifice are by those who have sacrificed the most, and can afford it the least: those who are unable to help themselves, lower income elderly US citizens.

Hey, Tommy-Boy. Didn't you vote for the largest tax give back to the richest Americans to cause that giant deficit? Yeah.... you did.

Tommy-Boy, shouldn't we forget about eliminating the capital gains tax? Shouldn't we forget about eliminating the inheritance tax that only affects America's richest 28,000 families (one-third of one percent of Americans)? Shouldn't we do the smart thing and rescind that giant tax give-back to the rich?

The Victims of Katrina shouldn't suffer the same fate as the Victims of "G"lobal "W"arming Bush and the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party, and neither should our elderly.

The Medicare Drug Benefit Card Plan still stinks. It still doesn't let Medicare bargain with the drug companies. It still doesn't cover more than one-third of the drug cost for people who earn more than about $12,000 per year and need $500 per month worth of prescription drugs. But it's better than nothing, which is exactly what Mr. Tancredo wants to leave our elderly with. Nothing.

-Noah Greenberg



Tom Delay's Priorities

Last Tuesday, Delay (R-TX) announced his intention to revise the Energy Bill of 2005. He is using the temporary disruption in oil production from hurricane Katrina as an excuse to justify drilling in protected areas such as he Alaskan National wildlife Reserve (ANWR) and our Eastern shoreline. This is a poor excuse to despoil environmentally sensitive areas. In the case of ANWR, drilling will do little to solve our energy crisis:

-No oil will reach the market for ten years.
-The amount of oil that can be produced is 1-2% of our consumption.
-Most likely, the Alaskan oil will be sold to China.

It's time to stop debating these false solutions and get working on real answers. The CAFE standards should be significantly increased and more research funded on alternative fuels. Now is the time to stop feeding the oil monster and support alternative solutions such as hydrogen fuel cell and flexible bio-diesel engines.

-Robert Scardapane



In response to Democrat Presidential Kids Vs. Republican Presidential Kids, Jenny Hanniver writes:

This is good--a lot of fun! I've looked up the presidents' kids in my lifetime. FDR's weren't too inspiring, except for mystery author Elliott perhaps, but starting with Truman the Dems have produced a number of good role model kids, although I thought LBJ's daughters were snobs. Of course Republicans like Ike and Mamie, Gerald and Betty, had good kids--Gerald Ford's elder son even took on Nixon publicly! I guess the Nixon daughters were OK. As boring as LBJ's, but no scandals.

The Carter kids are especially amazing. Amy Carter (Wentzel) dropped out of Brown for low grades, being too busy doing social justice and anti-war activism. She re-enrolled at Memphis College of Art, graduated with a BFA, then earned an MFA from Tulane, married a Tulane boyfriend in 1996, a computer engineer, and they had a baby boy in 99. No recent photos of her that I could find. She's still a quiet activist, but with a small child they avoid publicity these days. She's an illustrator & illustrated one of her dad's books.

The 3 Carter boys, now in their middle and late 50s, are doing well. Jack has a grad degree in physics & heads a consulting firm. Chip is into liberal politics and activism, and also (if it's the same Chip Carter, I'm not sure) publishing and computer games. Jeff, who I believe was the one who raked John Wayne all to hell and exposed his WWII draft-dodging during a televised Dem convention--O happy moment!--is a computer engineer. All the Carter kids are still married to their one-and-only spouses, their kids stay out of the news. All are involved in various social justice projects and the Carter Library. Unlike the Reagans, they all actually seem to LIKE their parents!

Chelsea Clinton grew up to be quite pretty, but looks too hair-dyed and made-up for my taste. (Not Tammy Lee Bakker, more Tri Delta Sorority Girl.) She graduated from Stanford, went for 2 years of grad work to Oxford, following old dad, took up residence with a fellow Yank at Oxford, Ian Klaus, and (if you believe the tabloids) they have broken up. That's their business. She was loudly pro (Afghan) war at Oxford back in 2001, but there's no info on how she feels about Iraq since I couldn't find anything recent other than gossip. The paparazzi and tabloid reporters are only interested in snooping while she goes out on dates. Once she got quite soused--but was not arrested. From what I could figure out, her post-college job is in NYC. Like the Carter kids she seems to get together a lot with her parents. And--except for Amy during a couple of protests--none of them have ever been in trouble with the law.

Believe me, the tabloids would jump on it if they had! Has anyone ever seen any Republicans' kids on the cover of a tabloid? Like the Gold Dust Twins, Jenna and Barb? Or dear little John Ellis? Can't say as I ever have, even though they seem to misbehave badly enough to get booked and fingerprinted.

My mom and I at first thought tabloids like NATIONAL INQUIRER, STAR, etc. had headlines that were hilariously funny--although we never got any farther than the moronic front page--but that was in the 50s. Later, when they came to be offered for sale at every grocery store and drug store counter Mom warned that this was a clear sign of the degeneracy of the American people and the shriveling of American brains to about the size of a pea.

I just loved it when Carol Burnett sued NATIONAL INQUIRER for defamation & libel over an article saying she'd been observed drunk and abusive in a restaurant. And she won! Turned out that her parents were both alcoholics and, out of fear of having inherited the same tendencies, Carol had never taken a sip of alcohol. All her friends knew that, and when some of them testified to her tee-to dalling habits in court, she took that smarmy tabloid to the cleaners for more than a million. Later the award was knocked down to a few hundred thousand, but she said it didn't matter; it was the principle, not the money.

What does Sweden have that we (and Britain) ain't got? Or maybe it's what they DON'T have--paparazzi and lying tabloids? Unless things have changed recently, the king goes bicycling through Stockholm without bodyguards, stopping and chatting, buying items at shops and newsstands, and nobody pays much attention. Any update on that?



A Correction, Sort of:

I don't see anything in the below commentary that I wrote--although I did forward the basic article to a lot of people and groups, including MADMAN. I suppose that's where the credit line came in.

I wouldn't be so hard on Powell. Naive and overly-loyal, yes, but I'd give him some benefit of the doubt. Since most people in government in March 2003 were suckered into the WMD lies, it's a virtual certainty that he was too -- just as UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson in Aug 1964 said later that he believed the exaggerated (or completely untrue) reports of a North Vietnamese attack on USS Maddox & USS Joy in the Tonkin Gulf, which may have been nothing but panic shooting at nothing. I met the skipper of one of those ships--can't recall which one--in Newport a year later. He was an advanced-level student at the Naval War College while I was on the staff. He downplayed the whole incident, said it had been exaggerated all out of proportion. (See http://www.commondreams.org/headlines02/0805-09.htm)


There's very little in life more infuriating than finding out that your boss, especially the president, lied to you--or more embarrassing than being ordered to spread that lie not only publicly--but worldwide, on television. Stevenson never really recovered from the shame, since the Tonkin Gulf story soon began to unravel even as the war steeply escalated and American casualties mounted, and he died less than one year later of a heart attack.

I respected Stevenson (though' I campaigned twice for Ike, being a Republican in those days). If there's any speech Adlai made that I still DO have a lot of trouble with it's not as much the Tonkin one as the belligerent "till hell freezes over" UN speech during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. That was because--along with everyone else at the Pearl Harbor Naval headquarters in that week of October '62--I expected to be thermo nuked into little particles of radioactive dust before the end of the week, and felt that the one thing the world didn't need was more machismo posturing! JFK and his "cold warrior cabinet" had plenty enough of that, thank you.

-Jenny Hanniver

True, Jenny was more inspiration for my article and I thought she deserved credit. And I still do. -NG


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-Noah Greenberg