Today's Note from a Madman
Thursday, November 17, 2005
State Health Care
Massachusetts is debating a state bill that requires all business over 10 employees to either provide either health care insurance or pay a 5% tax. Some small business owners are not as pleased. Here is a quote from one Cape Cod small business owner:
Raising prices to counter the cost of a health insurance tax would not be an option, she said. ''You can't charge $4 for a cup of coffee. Nobody would pay it." While the House bill would affect all businesses with more than 10 workers, large chains and businesses with higher profit margins could more easily absorb the costs, she added.
I am struck that no one ever thought Starbuck's could charge 3+ dollars for coffee and yet they do. Is it all that inconceivable that a cup of coffee may cost 4 dollars? I have no doubt that small business owners will do what they must to cover the additional cost. In the short run, it may mean less employment. In the long run, health care costs will come down as emergency room care is reduced.
I was also struck by this business owner talking about the employees that rush to two or three jobs. Is that because they are struggling to pay their health care insurance? Perhaps, if they could concentrate on just one job, that person's business would improve. Wouldn't healthy workers be more useful to the business as well?
We need to get past the scraping for nickels and dimes mentality to solve the health care crisis. Otherwise, the problem will grow worst and soon we will find that it's a luxury to have health care insurance.
Another Hero Speaks Out
"the war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It's a flawed policy wrapped in illusion.
-Rep. John Murtha (D-PA)
Let's put the life and career of John Murtha into perspective:
John Murtha quit college to serve as an
enlisted man in the Korean War. He then attended Officer Candidate School and
volunteered for service in Vietnam, where he won a
Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.
The former Private Murtha retired
from the US Marine Corps in 1990 as
Colonel John Murtha.
Rep. Murtha is known as a "hawk", but unlike those in the White House, he is a REAL hawk, not of the chicken variety. Although he voted to give the president the authority to go to war, today he changed his mind, and for good reason. President "G"lobal "W"arming Bush has abused his power, plain and simple.
"It is time for a change in direction. Our military is suffering, the future of our country is at risk. We cannot continue on the present course. It is evident that continued military action in Iraq is not in the best interests of the United States of America, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf region."
The Bush administration had two ways to go with this sage advice from the first Vietnam veteran to be elected to the US House of Representatives.
1- Take the advice of those who know better and start planning an exit strategy
2- Call people like Rep. Murtha cowards and go on their path of death and destruction
Bush and Company took the latter.
"cynical and pernicious falsehoods"
"The president and I cannot prevent certain politicians from losing their memory, or their backbone..."
-Vice President Dick "Go <F---> Yourself" Cheney
Let's look at backbone for a moment. There were many young men who could have taken the Lt. George W. "I'm not going to shoot my ear off" Bush way out of service to their country. There are others who had "better things to do", like Dick Cheney. But there were also other sons of privilege like Senator John Kerry and former Vice President Al Gore who went to Vietnam and performed their duty, even though, I'm sure, they had better things to do. I'm sure that John Murtha would have had better things to do as well
The difference is that these brave men took their "priorities" and their "backbones" to Vietnam and served their country.
Dick Cheney and George W. Bush prefer to have their country serve them.
How dare this scoundrel, Dick Cheney question the courage and "backbone" of John Murtha.
"Staying the course" is not a smart idea when the course leads you onto jagged rocks. Courses need to be adjusted as circumstances dictate. Only a fool would "stay" a poor course., unless he had something to gain by it.
"It is hard to name a government official with less credibility on Iraq than Vice President Cheney,"
-Senator John Kerry (D-MA)
I can think of one person right off the bat, Senator Kerry... George W. Bush.
By now we all know that the intelligence that led to the Iraq war was "fixed". In other words, the means were determined by the ends. The initially stated reasons for the Iraq war, WMD's have become a joke to the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party. Do you remember Dick Cheney looking under the cushions for WMD's and Osama bin-Laden?
These guys are an embarrassment!
This is a war for oil. This is a war for power. This is a war for control. And they are winning. Their enemy isn't the Iraqi people or the Democrats, Their enemy is US. They convince the voters of the United States that they are on our side and then, do all in their power to take everything from US.
-Jobs - Gone
-Gas prices - soaring
-Middle class Housing - Unaffordable
-Real Waged - Down
-Disposable income - disposed of
-Social programs - disappearing
Cowards! Those who send others to die for their greed-filled purposes are nothing but cowards. I would say they should all be ashamed of themselves, but it is hard for one to have shame when one has no soul.
John Murtha was a hero and he is a hero again today. But be watchful of Swift Boats, Rep. Murtha, they are everywhere.
Hey Bush, didn't you learn anything from the NJ Governor's race? People are sick of Rovian attack politics. They want to know the truth - mainly, they want to know when will we extricate yourself from the quagmire you got us in.
Woodward has a Secret
"Cheney's world is continuing to crack. Not only is he widely viewed as the administration official who launched the campaign to out Valerie Plame and almost certainly will be the focus of a struggle in court with Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald seeking his sworn testimony, but there are suspicions Washington Post star Bob Woodward's source was Cheney.
"Woodard has dismissed the Plame affair as a trivial matter. He has acknowledged learning of the outing early on from some unnamed official, but kept it to himself. Meanwhile, his paper's reporters struggled to find out who was leaking and to whom--little knowing their celebrity byline knew all along."
-The Village Voice
If true, watch out!
I take a lot of stock in Bob Woodward's integrity and reputation. It might appear that he was the first to know the identity of Valerie Plame and thought it best to down-play it... almost forget about it. If he were the only one to have found out, it would have ended there.
But that wasn't the case.
What is becoming more and more clear is that the Bush administration, through the office of Vice President Dick Cheney, and maybe through Cheney himself, shopped around Ms. Plame's identity until they found someone as-close-to-a-REAL-journalist-as-they-could-find. Knowing that they couldn't go to Fox News or the Drudge Report or the likes of a Sean Hannity with this information (due to a lack of credibility), their only alternative was a REAL journalist. When they couldn't find one, they kept lowering their standards until they found \a burnt-out Judith Miller, someone who was nothing more than a human megaphone for the VP's office. Fortunately, she worked (at the time) for the New York Times, and they did make the right choice by not reporting the illegal information. It took Conservative Hack Bob Novak to finally spill the beans and betray our nation.
Bob Woodward knew he couldn't print this information because it would put him in violation of "Sec. 421. Protection of identities of certain United States undercover intelligence officers, agents, informants, and sources" act. Not to mention that he has scruples.
Even if Woodward and Bernstein had revealed the identity of Mark Felt as "Deep Throat" back in the 1970's, it wouldn't have violated the law signed by President Reagan in 1982 because it was to protect a whistle-blower. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney aren't "whistle-blowers"... they just... well... you know...
Bush's Iraq "Blame-Game"
The White House continues to pursue a PR assault against Democrats who criticize them about the Iraq War. Bush even used a press conference in South Korea to launch further attacks. Meanwhile, Cheney emerged from his bunker to utter inane rubbish that the war critics are creating unsafe conditions for the troops. Remarkably, the White House has resorted to personal attacks on Harry Reid, John Kerry and Jay Rockefeller. Kerry and Reid have answered back:
Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, said Cheney "continues to mislead America about how we got into Iraqi and what must be done to complete the still unaccomplished mission."
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, said Cheney was "playing politics like he's in the middle of a presidential campaign."
The White House is not addressing the reality of a war that is going poorly. They express no remorse at all for sending over 2000 Americans to their death for phony reasons and deceiving the public by claiming this war is a "noble cause". Even more unforgivable is that there is no exit strategy at all. Indeed, there is a growing probability that the war may expand to Syria. It's time to learn from the experience of European colonial powers in the Middle East, such as the French in Algeria, and get out of Iraq now.
-Forwarded and commented by Robert Scardapane
Harry Reid on Dick Cheney
“Tonight the Vice President has come out of his bunker and is speaking at a gathering of Washington DC insiders, which is closed to the press.
“Unfortunately, he brought his bunker mentality with him. He is repeating the same tired attacks we’ve heard from administration officials over the last two weeks.
“In the last 24 hours, 10 of our brave soldiers have been killed in far off Iraq. On such a night, you would think Cheney would give a speech that honors the fallen and those still fighting by laying out a strategy for success.
“Instead we have the Vice President of the United States playing politics like he’s in the middle of a presidential campaign.
“Yesterday, a bipartisan majority of the United States Senate gave the administration a vote of no confidence for its Iraq policy. We said the era of their “No Plan, No End” approach is over.
“Apparently, the White House didn’t get the message. The Vice President’s speech tonight demonstrates once again that this Administration intends to “stay the course” and continue putting their political fortunes ahead of what this country needs –a plan for success.
“Our troops and the American people deserve better.
“The White House needs to understand that deceiving the American people is what got them into trouble. Now is the time to come clean, not to continue the pattern of deceit.
“So again, I ask Vice President Cheney to make himself available and answer the American people’s questions.
“If he has time to talk to DC insiders… oil executives… and a discredited felon – Ahmad Chalabi - who is under investigation for giving this nation’s most sensitive secrets to Iran, he has time to answer the questions of the American people.
“The Vice President needs to stop stonewalling and hold a press conference.
“Finally, I would urge the members of the Bush administration to stop trying to resurrect their political standing by lashing out at their critics. Instead, they need to focus on the job at hand – giving our troops a strategy for success in Iraq.
“Just this week, we’ve seen Stephen Hadley… Donald Rumsfeld… President Bush… and Vice President Cheney lash out at their critics….yet they all remain silent when it comes to giving our troops and the American people a plan for success in Iraq.
“Tired rhetoric and political attacks do nothing to get the job done in Iraq.
“America can do better.”
-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)
Don't you just hate it when Cheney comes out of his bunker ... Back Cheney, back I say into the dark hole from which you emerged.
A Progressive Agenda
Governor Dean at the national DNC kickoff conference call outlined the main points in the Democratic agenda:
1) Ethical government.
2) Strong national defense based on honesty and alliances.
3) Balanced budget.
4) National health care.
5) Strong public education.
That's right, I have heard it three times now including in person - Governor Dean wants to put national health care on the agenda!
A GOP Defeat On Cuts To Social Programs
Legislation to fund many of the nation's health, education and social programs went down to a startling defeat in the House Thursday, led by Democrats who said cuts in the bill hurt some of America's neediest people.
The 224-209 vote against the $142.5 billion spending bill disrupted plans by Republican leaders to finish up work on this year's spending bills and cast doubt on whether they would have the votes to pass a major budget-cutting bill also on the day's agenda.
Democrats, unanimous in opposing the legislation, said it included the first cut in education funding in a decade and slashed spending for several health care programs. "It betrays our nation's values and its future," said House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland. "It is neither compassionate, conservative nor wise."
A "16-Word" Lie
"Carl Levin, the senior Democrat who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, is interested in permanently debunking the administration's assertion that it "mistakenly" included the 16-word reference in President Bush's January 2003 State of the Union address claiming that Iraq tried to purchase yellowcake uranium - the key component to building an atomic bomb - from Niger. Levin's aides said the (Bush) administration knew months before that the veracity of the allegations was dubious because it was based on forged documents.
"In building their case against the administration, Levin, with the help of Congressman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., has obtained the December 2002 letter sent to the White House and the National Security Council by Mohammed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, warning that the Niger claims were bogus and should not be cited by the administration as evidence that Iraq was actively trying to obtain WMDs."
-The truthout.org blog
So, what say you Bush-Whacker and Darth-Cheney now that Senator Levin has exposed your lies?
In response to, "When you put gas in your car and grab a snack at the local convenience market, the Arab Muslim who works there, considers you to be inferior, an enemy, and someone to kill when jihad is called, even though you are a citizen of the US, on your own soil, and they are holding down a job, taking US money, in the country on a visa, maybe expired," Robert Scardapane writes:
I am disturbed by this characterization of American Arab's and Muslims in general. If the issue is that the person is here illegally, I have no problem with the immigration laws being enforced. But, what if they are here on a green card or a citizen. Can you possibly claim the person in your local convenience store is here illegally just because of their appearance?
There are millions of Muslims in the world. Are we to believe that they are all going to become violent? I doubt it. I suspect that the French are their own worst enemy. They occupied Algeria for decades and created a generational insurgency against them. Lesson for the United States occupation of Iraq ... Many of the Arabs in France were originally from Algeria. Are old vendettas and tensions simply playing out?
For sure, Bush has done nothing to calm the tension in the world between religions. The stupidest statement Dum-Ya ever uttered was to call the so-called war on terrorism a crusade - a dark and bloody chapter in Christianity. The worst possible outcome is that people become at odds with each over religion. I find it so sad that a force for good can be subverted
"The Bush administration must understand that each American has a right to question our policies in Iraq and should not be demonized for disagreeing with them. . . To question your government is not unpatriotic -- to not question your government is unpatriotic. America owes its men and women in uniform a policy worthy of their sacrifices."
-Senator John Kerry, regarding President Bush's statement that Americans who criticize the Iraq war policy are "sending mixed signals to our troops and the enemy":
Questioning the patriotism of war critics is the coward's last resort ...
Mr. Bush I presume?
Let me get this straight. On the one hand, President Bush doesn't want US to question any decisions made about Iraq. On the other hand he says that we all agreed to it in the first place.
What about the others who did not agree in the first place? If they were unpatriotic then, are they the most patriotic now?
Remember those who inititally questioned going to Iraq? They were laughed off all of the main stream media outlets. They were called everything from "liberal" to "cowards" to "unpatriotic."
Let me just say this:
"Cowards" are what those "profiteers" and "opportunists" of the "White House Iraq Group" who will send the children of America to their deaths are
"Unpatriotic" are those who will "fix" the intelligence around their ends without regard for the people that are hurt and killed
"Liberals" are those who are finally coming forward in an attempt to end this madness and get US out of "G"lobal "W"arming Bush's Quagmire
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