THE NEWSLETTER

Veteran's Day Madman

Thursday, November 10, 2005

 

Happy Veterans Day to all of our nation's heroes. Thank you all and may all of you future veterans serving overseas today come home safe tomorrow. -NG



Quote in the Lead

"The Republican Congress is about to slash more than $50 billion from investments in our children's future in health care and education, and yet, because of Republican priorities, they are going to actually add $20 billion to our budget deficit. ... Only in a Republican Congress."
-Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL)

So let me get this straight. the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party members of the House of Representatives want to cut the budget by adding $20 billion to it? And they're going to do all this by cutting any and all social programs that benefit the American middle class while making sure the ultra-rich don't have to sacrifice at all? Then they're going to throw more money at them as well?!

Then, after all of this, they're going to cut the mortgage interest deduction, causing the American middle class to make up the difference and ruin the real estate market in the process.

Thank God for people like Rep. Emanuel who actually work for US... the REAL AMERICANS.

-Noah Greenberg



Veterans Lash Out at Loss of Voice on Capitol Hill

A proposal to end the long-standing practice of veterans groups addressing a joint session of the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committees is an insult to all who have fought, sacrificed and died to defend the Constitution, according to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV). And in a strongly worded letter to House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Steve Buyer (R-IN.), the DAV has urged him to continue the joint hearings as an invaluable tool in formulating public policy toward America’s veterans.

Chairman Buyer recently announced that veterans service organizations will no longer have the opportunity to present testimony before a joint hearing of the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committees.

“The tradition of legislative presentations by veterans service organizations dates back to at least the 1950s. And the timing of this announcement -- just before Veterans Day -- could not have been worse,” said DAV National Commander Paul W. Jackson.

For several decades now, these joint hearings have been held each year to allow the elected leaders of veterans groups to discuss their organization’s legislative agenda and foremost concerns with the lawmakers who have jurisdiction over federal veterans programs. Senators and Representatives who serve on those committees also get the rare opportunity to address the hundreds of constituent members from these organizations’ who make the annual pilgrimage to Capitol Hill.

“The right to fully participate in the democratic process is a cornerstone of our nation,” said Commander Jackson. “Eliminating these joint hearings is an insult to the men and women who have fought, sacrificed and died to protect our Constitutional rights, including the right to petition the government.”

This important dialog between veterans and their elected representatives is crucial to the democratic process and a unique opportunity for the men and women who’ve put their lives on the line for America. Many of the veterans who take part in the hearings view it as their patriotic duty, as well as a fundamental right.

The 1.3 million-member Disabled American Veterans, a non-profit organization founded in 1920 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1932, represents this nation’s disabled veterans. It is dedicated to a single purpose: building better lives for our nation’s disabled veterans and their families. For more information, visit the organization’s Web site www.dav.org.

DISABLED AMERICAN VETERANS
807 Maine Ave., SW
Washington, D.C. 20024
Phone (202) 554-3501 • Fax (202) 863-0233

-Forwarded by - MSgt James T. North, U.S. Marines



A Independent to Replace an Independent

The right wing attack machine that struck in 2004 is back. Just this week John O'Neill, the leader of the notorious Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, attacked Bernie in a sign of the coming barrage of negative attacks in the Vermont Senate race from the extreme right wing. In a fundraising e-mail sent out on behalf of Republican Greg Parke, O'Neill wrote he is working on "A mission to stop the most dangerous liberal in America from winning election to the U.S. Senate. It's a threat that rises to the same level of danger as the idea of John Kerry as President. This new threat I'm talking about is far left Congressman Bernie Sanders. Sanders is as radical as they come." He continues, "And with the unique rules of the Senate... ...where all it takes is one maverick Senator to really gum up the works, Sanders is about to turn into a dangerous liberal wrecking crew."

The truth is that the right wing and their corporate backers believe Bernie is dangerous because he has beat them in the past and will fight them in the Senate. During the campaign Bernie wants to talk about the issues that are important to Vermonters that the right wing doesn't want to discuss: tax breaks for the rich and cutbacks to Medicaid; giveaways to big oil at a time of record profits for oil companies that are charging all-time high prices for gas and home heating oil; the disappearance of the middle class and the growing gap between the rich and the poor; and the disintegration of our health care system.
-The Bernie Sanders for Senate campaign (www.bernie.org)


Bernie Sanders is an independent that is running for the retiring Jim Jeffords (I-VT) Senate seat. Bernie drives the (G)reed (O)ver (P)eople party absolutely nuts. He has a talent for building left/right coalitions on issues such as civil liberties. The Bush-Whacking political hacks are coming after him using the same tactics as against John Kerry. I doubt it will work against Bernie.

-Robert Scardapane



The "Crude" Facts

Since he took office Bush has allowed oil refinery mergers to go unchecked..

There have been 33 oil refinery takeovers worth $19.5 billion approved and Bush none blocked. No doubt this has led to higher gasoline prices. Now, the GOP wants taxpayers to subsidize the building of new refineries on federal land (former military bases for instance). They also want to make it hard for local communities to challenge the building of a refinery on federal land. So, would the people that live around Fort Monmouth, scheduled to be closed, really want a refinery in their back yard?

In short, we are once again being ripped off by the Bushies, "Smoky" Joe Barton and Tom "TRMPAC" Delay. Building more refineries "may" reduce short term gasoline costs but it won't alleviate our dependence from foreign crude oil.

By the way, many refineries really don't really refine anything. They tend to be mainly storage facilities. The product that comes in from overseas is often already refined.

-Robert Scardapane



Their View of America

I was watching a mini-debate on PBS' Newshour tonight between Brian Riedl of the Heritage Foundation and Deborah Weinstein of the Coalition on Human Needs. Reidl kept spinning the facts of the Bush tax cut for the rich by "explaining" the new round as a "continuation" rather than a new tax cut for the Heritage foundation's rich supporters.

It seemed all Reidl kept on saying was "cut, cut, cut," almost like there was a parrot was sitting on top of his shoulder, and it knew only one word.

But what got to me was in the very opening. I'm sure Mr. Reidl's strategy was to come out strong against and blow the viewer away with his knowledge of facts and figures, twisted though they might be.

If the House and the Senate don't find a ways to keep cutting and slashing (ways that don't include the ultra-rich taking any responsibility at all), then the average American Household will be responsible for" $7,000" in extra taxes EACH.

Isn't it amazing that when the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party and their "extensions", like the Heritage Foundation, talk about tax cuts its on a percentage basis. "The wealthiest 'X' percent of Americans pay 'Y' percent of the Tax Bill," even though, as a percentage of their income, the American middle class pays more than the lion's share of all tax dollars. But when these "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party members talk about ways of paying for anything whatsoever (their wars for "Freedom" and oil; their "incentives" for Big Oil; or "Relief" for insurance companies), the ultra-rich and poor alike are to be "equal partners." $7,000 FOR ALL!

I know that, Brian Riedl one day hopes to become Treasury Secretary, or Chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisors, or Head of the Fed, or something like that. After all, he is a young man with a bright, albeit selfish future ahead of him. Here's another guy that went the way of academia, then right into politics without ever dirtying his hands or opening a ledger book for a small American Business. And yet, he claims to be an expert!

It must be easy to look at perfect-world scenarios and imagine them as real. Too bad that most of US live in the real world, where the Average American Family's salary is about $45,000 per year, GROSS. That's somewhere between $30,000 and $40,000 after tax REAL MONEY. Out of that REAL MONEY comes health insurance co-payments and employee-paid premium portions; car payments; soccer uniforms; FOOD... Mr. Reidl, the rest of the Heritage Foundation and the members of the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party that support it don't have to worry about stuff like that. After all, it's their America and they plan on keeping it.

-Noah Greenberg



Pinch Him

Two weeks ago, Harriet Miers withdrew her name from consideration for the Supreme Court.

The next day, I. Lewis Libby was indicted for his role in the cover-up of the leak of a CIA agent's name.

This past Tuesday, Senator Jon Corzine (D) was elected Governor of New Jersey, Lt. Governor Tim Kaine (D) was elected Governor of Virginia, all Arnold Schwarzenegger's ballot propositions were defeated, New Jersey Democrats expanded their lead in the state Assembly, and Jun Choi (D) was elected mayor of Edison.

And today, I read in the newspapers that Republicans are unlikely to overhaul Social Security until 2009.

If all that wasn't enough, I just read online that House leaders dropped drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from this year's budget.

Somebody, pinch me - I MUST BE DREAMING! Or, perhaps, sanity is simply being restored to our country.

-Eddie Konczal

Oy - how could I forget Tom Delay? Guess I can't handle all the good news. - Eddie



In response to, Don Imus' "Do you want Bush to come make some commercials for you (Rep. J.D. Heyworth) to show everyone in Arizona?" and Rep Heyworth's , "In a word - NO!", Robert Scardapane writes:

Laughing out loud! The White House is radioactive. Every time they sent a White House emissary to "stump" for the GOP NJ Governor candidate, whose name shall no longer be spoken, he went down in the polls. I was hoping the White House would send "Scooter" Libby in the final weeks. But, I guess he's tied up in court these days ...



In response to, "Make no mistake, Chalabi (just like Bush, Cheney, Gerecht, etc) is a man who will do just about anything to get the luxuries that power affords him. He will do anything or say anything to keep his new-found position and status," Rhian writes:

The more public is the reuniting of Chalabi and our Presidential Echelon of Thuggery, the deader this administration will be when votes begin to roll in. Go wild media, with this one.


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-Noah Greenberg