Today's Note From a Madman
Monday, October 17, 2005
Allowing For a "Society of Life"
The "Religious Right" is missing the boat on fetal stem-cell research. In fact, their opposition to it might be considered a sin. In the process of in vitro fertilization, many test tube embryo's are created so a few can survive and give childless couples the ability to "bring up baby." This is, in fact, a necessity of the in vitro process.
So what happens to the "surplus embryo's"? They are simply thrown away and somehow, this is a better use in the mindset of "G"lobal "W"arming Bush and the "Religious Right" than using them for research to save the sick.
It just boggles the mind.
If we use the "surplus embryo's" to save lives, we will be contributing to the "Quality of Life" for many of our sick citizens. Imagine being able to cure juvenile diabetes, spinal cord injuries and horrible diseases like Neurofibromatosis (NF) and NF2.
We have the ability and the knowledge to help God create life, so why shouldn't we take this opportunity to help God Save Lives, as well?
The "Religious Right" is wrong in their opposition to fetal stem cell research. Those who oppose fetal stem cell research are not doing God's work by allowing in vitro embryo's to be thrown away. We're not doing God's work by not allowing those fetuses to save lives that are already being lived.
These are real breakthroughs that you are standing in the way of. Move aside for our "Society of Life."
What better use of discarded embryo's could there be than saving lives? Who could possibly be against this?
Move aside to allow
God's work to be done.
NOW WE GET TO SEE WHAT REALLY IS IN THE BANKRUPTCY ACT
Sunday evening, October 16th – Channel 4 reports that more than 200,000 people filed for bankruptcy this past week with long lines and overloads everywhere. For instance, in Miami where they typically receive an average of 2,600 per month, they received 7,500 bankruptcy filings this past week alone and more than 10,000 since October 1st. Could any of these people be (disappointed) republicans and starting to catch on as to what their party has in store for them?
One provision in the new Bankruptcy Act that has just gone into affect is that people must go to credit counseling before declaring bankruptcy and guess who is subsidizing the credit counseling agencies? No surprise, the credit card companies. Which means the credit card companies could influence the “advice” given about whether someone should declare bankruptcy. Surely the credit card companies don’t want consumers to declare bankruptcy.
“Critics say that the new counseling requirement, part of the law that takes effect on Monday, increases the risk that people will be improperly steered away from the courts and into debt management plans, for which the counseling agency often receives part of any debts repaid.”
-The New York Times
Is it possible that credit counseling agencies can honestly assist and help people and watch out for the best interests of the credit card companies subsidizing them? Don’t bet on it. Would you trust the fox guarding the henhouse?
Not one Republican voted against the Act in March though 25 Democrats voted NAY. Shame on the 18 Democrats who did vote for it (Sen. Clinton did not vote) and especially Biden and some others who have taken substantial contributions from financial companies with credit card interests. (Some important Democrats including Senators Biden, Byrd, Landrieu – now her state will suffer with her vote, Nelsons from both Florida and Nebraska, Minority leader Reid, Salazar, and Stabenow to name the most well-known voted in favor of the Act.)
But this was a Republican vote no matter what the Democrats voted and the credit card companies are about to receive an excellent return on their reportedly $50 million investment to get this Act passed (that they helped write!). And it will put some people into servitude for the rest of their lives with default interest rates of 29% plus. Millionaires won’t have to worry. Before they declare bankruptcy they can set up “asset protection trusts” or they can transfer their money to real estate purchases in 4 or 5 homestead states like Florida and Texas. These trusts and states protect people from bankruptcy courts touching their money.
Just one more millionaire return on their political donations since the Republicans refused to close this loophole during the Bankruptcy Act debate. Is there anything this administration can do that leaves non-millionaires protected or better off than 5 years ago?
Stagflation Is Back
Remember stagflation? That "wonderful" combination of high inflation along with a stagnant economy. I remember it well. Interest rates soared to 17%, jobs were hard to find, homes were unaffordable, etc...
Well, it may be back again. This last month the consumer price index (CPI), a key measure of inflation, rose by a record 1.2%. The economic spin doctors were quick to dismiss that as an effect of the hurricanes. They emphasized the core price index that excludes energy costs. But, does anyone really care if they are spending more on food or on gas for their cars? Either way, it's money out of your pocket.
Now here's the part that no one is discussing. Year to date, the CPI has risen by 14.4%! Simple math - just add up the monthly CPI's starting with January.
Want more evidence of inflation? Okay. The M3 money supply, currency printed by the Federal Reserve, reached $10 Trillion dollars for the first time ever. The money supply has doubled over the past 9 years matching what was printed over the past 200 years. So, what does that have to do with the price of bread? Well, look at the definition of inflation:
A persistent increase in the level of consumer prices or a persistent decline in the purchasing power of money, caused by an increase in available currency and credit beyond the proportion of available goods and services.
So, when money is being printed at a higher rate there is inflation. The run away variety of inflation occurs when you need a wheelbarrow of money to buy a loaf of bread. In short, money does not buy as much as it used to.
That brings us to the issue of a slowing economy. The long term unemployment rate is trending toward 3 million once again and the overall unemployment rate is back up to 5.1%. The months of August and September were terrible for retail stores. Consumer confidence had one of it's biggest monthly drops ever.
Inflating prices and stagnant economy = stagflation. Hello, 1970's!
The new poll has President Bush's overall approval ratings dipping below 40 percent. What's more, fewer than 30 percent of respondents think the country is headed in the right direction. There is evidence that Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers hasn't gone over very well with the country either, with only 29 percent saying she is qualified to serve on the court.
Along with the president's sinking popularity, the poll found that 48 percent of respondents want a "Democratic-controlled Congress," while 39 percent prefer Republicans to be in control. The nine-point difference is the "largest margin between the parties in eleven years."
-Casey Sweet (Robert Scardapane also pointed this out)
Thatcher Criticizes Blair On The Iraq War
"Baroness Thatcher has criticized Tony Blair for taking Britain to war in Iraq on the basis of flawed evidence about Saddam Hussein's weapons. The former prime minister's embarrassing criticism emerged as Mr. Blair was among the 670 guests who attended a party to mark her 80th birthday.
"Although Lady Thatcher remains a strong supporter of the decision to topple Saddam by invading Iraq, it is the first time she has questioned the basis for the war. Yesterday's Washington Post reported that when asked whether she would have invaded Iraq given the intelligence at the time, Lady Thatcher replied: 'I was a scientist before I was a politician. And as a scientist I know you need facts, evidence and proof - and then you check, recheck and check again.'"
"She added: 'The fact was that there were no facts, there was no evidence, and there was no proof. As a politician the most serious decision you can take is to commit your armed services to war from which they may not return.'"
Got to love when conservatives come out against the Iraq War. By the way, in his radio address today Bush continued to lie about the war. He is even lying about the intercepted letter from Zawahiri (Al Qaeda's number 2 person). In this letter, Zawahiri admits that American withdrawal from Iraq may prompt the foreign fighters to return home! As reported by Robert Parry:
The "Zawahiri letter" cautions that an American withdrawal might prompt the "mujahedeen" in Iraq to "lay down their weapons, and silence the fighting zeal." To avert this military collapse, the letter calls for selling these foreign fighters on a broader vision of an Islamic "caliphate" in the Middle East, although nothing nearly as expansive as the global empire that Bush depicted.
Bush disingenuously paints a nightmare scenario of an Islamo-Fascist regime that stretches from Spain to Indonesia. Yet, the historical evidence is that extreme Islamic movements have been defeated by local governments throughout the Middle East. As Robert Parry observes many of Al Qaeda leaders are exiles!
In his Oct. 6 speech, Bush inadvertently underscored this point when he noted that "over the past few decades, radicals have specifically targeted Egypt and Saudi Arabia and Pakistan and Jordan for potential takeover." Algeria also faced a radical Islamic threat.
But the bottom line to all these cases is that the radicals were defeated, explaining why so many of al-Qaeda's leaders are exiles.
Osama bin-Laden is a Saudi; Zawahiri is an Egyptian; Zarqawi is a Jordanian. In the late 1990s, bin-Laden and other al-Qaeda leaders were even banished from the Sudan, forcing them to flee to remote Afghanistan.
In addition, the actual number of foreign fighters in Iraq is very small. Again, quoting Robert Parry:
A recent report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a conservative Washington-based think tank, said the number of foreign fighters is "well below 10 percent, and may well be closer to 4 percent to 6 percent." [See CSIS's "Saudi Militants in Iraq," Sept. 19, 2005]
A former U.S. official with access to intelligence on the Iraqi insurgency cited similar numbers in an interview with the New York Times, estimating that 95 percent of the insurgents are Iraqis.
I wonder when Bush will stop lying. Probably never. So, Madman will continue to debunk Bush's lies.
Iraq and Its Constitution
The Iraqi voted on their constitution. The indications are that it will pass. That is a good thing. After all, Iraqi should decide on their future. But, the question remains - when will our troops come home? How many more of these "milestones" are needed before we end the occupation of Iraq? Our presence in Iraq motivates both home grown and foreigners to join the insurgency. Peace will only come to Iraq when American troops come home.
"we could decide that the proximate cause was al Qaeda and the people who flew those planes into buildings and, therefore, we would go after al Qaeda...or we could take a bolder approach."
-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice,
A bolder approach. Huh??? Does she mean lying for nefarious reasons. There is no connection at all between 9/11 and Iraq - get over it! Attacking Iraq has inflamed the situation providing new recruits for Al Qaeda. Attacking Iraq didn't do anything for the people on the trains in Madrid and London.
In short, it is a distraction. In the meantime, as
Pat Thompson points out,
the hunt for Bin Laden, the master mind of
9/11, has been called off!
PNAC needed a "Pearl Harbor" type of event to start an endless war. So, they framed the 9/11 attack as such an event. Then, they framed Al Qaeda as Islamo-Fascists (whatever that means but it does sound scary right) and claimed we are fighting World War IV. This approach bolsters the military-industrial complex and oil interests abroad. But, this approach is not in line with reality. Terrorists cells act covertly and are amorphous. They don't come out conveniently to fight Americans in Iraq. As long as we don't confront reality, our country is in danger of another attack while we expend money and blood uselessly on Condi's "bold approach".
Judith Miller claims she doesn't recall where she heard the name Valerie Flame or Valerie Wilson or whatever. But, she went to prison to protect her source? So, Judith Miller went to prison to protect someone she can't remember. Yeah, right!
This is a follow-up to a response to something I wrote last month. Finally had time to do the research to back up the original piece and it was fascinating to learn even more in the process from the sites I have given links to below.
On September 12th Madman published a piece I wrote about a surprising WTC account of Bush saying how he “had seen this plane fly into the first building” before he entered the famous classroom for the famous “freeze” and Pet Goat story on 9/11/01. However, the report pointed out that this impossible since the footage of the first plane crashing into the WTC was not available until a day later. Someone responded to Madman within a day or few saying that the facts had to be incorrect because they saw the footage of the first plane on the morning of 9/11. As a researcher who takes pride in presenting facts (and labeling opinions when they are such!), I had to research this further to validate what this reliable Air America source had presented as facts. I had heard the recording of bush saying he had seen the plane so I knew that was accurate. Since then I have found the following info that substantiates the “day later” claim regarding the first plane hitting. See below under “Excerpted from…”
The important point being made by the AA host that shared this info (and that I found intriguing) was why would bush make such a claim when it was utterly untrue. Could he possibly have forgotten and made a mistake and thought he watched something he never saw? Or does he revert to lying when it is convenient or suits his purpose? The answer to each question is either a “no” or a “yes” – it isn’t clear which is answered no and which is answered yes!
As another source, at this link you can see one of the actual times bush claimed to have seen the crash in the morning before the video was even available and even made a weak and tasteless joke about thinking “there’s one terrible pilot.” http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/IMAGES/bushsawfirstplane1.ram found at http://thewebfairy.com/killtown/sawplane.html where more references are available.
Excerpted From http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/timeline/main/essayaninterestingday.html which contains an extensive accounting of 9/11 as reported in various places up until 2003.
Bush's Confused Recollection
Bush's own recollection of the first crash only complicates the picture. Less than two months after the attacks, Bush made the preposterous claim that he had watched the first attack as it happened on live television. This is the seventh different account of how Bush learned about the first crash (in his limousine, from Loewer, from Card, from Rove, from Gottesman, from Rice, from television). On December 4, 2001, Bush was asked: "How did you feel when you heard about the terrorist attack?" Bush replied, "I was sitting outside the classroom waiting to go in, and I saw an airplane hit the tower - the TV was obviously on. And I used to fly, myself, and I said, well, there's one terrible pilot. I said, it must have been a horrible accident. But I was whisked off there, I didn't have much time to think about it." [White House, 12/4/01]
There was no film footage of the first attack until at least the following day, and Bush didn't have access to a television until 15 or so minutes later. [Archives - Washington Times, 10/7/02] The Boston Herald later noted, "Think about that. Bush's remark implies he saw the first plane hit the tower. But we all know that video of the first plane hitting did not surface until the next day. Could Bush have meant he saw the second plane hit - which many Americans witnessed? No, because he said that he was in the classroom when Card whispered in his ear that a second plane hit." [Boston Herald, 10/22/02] Bush's recollection has many precise details. Is he simply confused? It's doubly strange why his advisors didn't correct him or - at the very least - stop him from repeating the same story only four weeks later. [White House, 1/5/02, CBS, 9/11/02] On January 5, 2002, Bush stated: "Well, I was sitting in a schoolhouse in Florida ... and my Chief of Staff – well, first of all, when we walked into the classroom, I had seen this plane fly into the first building. There was a TV set on. And you know, I thought it was pilot error and I was amazed that anybody could make such a terrible mistake. And something was wrong with the plane..." [White House, 1/5/02]
Unfortunately, Bush has never been asked - not even once - to explain these statements. His memory not only contradicts every single media report, it also contradicts what he said that evening. In his speech to the nation that evening, Bush said: "Immediately following the first attack, I implemented our government's emergency response plans." [White House, 9/11/01] It's not known what these emergency plans were, because neither Bush nor anyone in his administration mentioned this immediate response again. Implementing "emergency response plans" seems to completely contradict Bush's "by the way" recollection of a small airplane accident.
A Half--Dozen Morons
Today, six Texas Supreme Court justices came to bat for Harriet Miers. One would think that any one of them would be, and probably is more qualified than "G"lobal "W"arming Bush's attorney and starry-eyed admirer.
I don't know what kind of Supreme Court Justice Harriet Miers would be. I dare say neither do the six Texas judges themselves. Knowing what a great Lottery commissioner Miers was is hardly a barometer to measure her for this country's highest court.
We just can't afford a lifetime appointment of a Bush Crony to one of the most important and influential posts our nation has to offer.
Maybe "G"lobal "W"arming Bush is right. He just might be a Uniter. not a divider. In this case he has united both liberals and conservatives against what can only be termed a dumb choice.
A Frank Rich Moment
"Asked repeatedly about Mr. Rove's serial appearances before a Washington grand jury, the jittery Mr. Bush, for once bereft of a script, improvised a passable impersonation of Norman Bates being quizzed by the detective in "Psycho." Like Norman and Ms. Stewart, he stonewalled.
"That stonewall may start to crumble in a Washington courtroom this week or next. In a sense it already has. Now, as always, what matters most in this case is not whether Mr. Rove and Lewis Libby engaged in a petty conspiracy to seek revenge on a whistle-blower, Joseph Wilson, by unmasking his wife, Valerie, a covert CIA officer. What makes Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation compelling, whatever its outcome, is its illumination of a conspiracy that was not at all petty: the one that took us on false premises into a reckless and wasteful war in Iraq. That conspiracy was instigated by Mr. Rove's boss, George W. Bush, and Mr. Libby's boss, Dick Cheney."
-Frank Rich from the New York Times
-Forwarded by Robert Scardapane
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