This is What Democracy Looks Like

Weekend Madman

Friday -Sunday, February 3-5, 2006

Today's Quote
Who To Believe

"I wouldn't put a great big smiley face on it, but I would say they're going very, very well from everything you look at."
-General Peter Pace, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Well that's good enough for me. Go right on ahead an keep up what you're doing then, General. You and "Rummy" (Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld) just keep on telling yourselves that everything is fine and that the tooth fairy is real and elves really make those tasty Keebler cookies, while we have a civil war that is worsening every day in Iraq.

I guess the general either really believes that or he doesn't want to join the likes of General Eric Shinseki (the former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman who "retired" after telling the truth about the troop levels it would take to win the war and peace in Iraq); Richard Clark (who warned the president about terrorists and their actions, but was minimized, or totally ignored, by his boss then NSA head Condoleezza Rice); or Paul O'Neill (the former Secretary of the Treasury who refused to tote the "all is rosy" picture the Bushies wanted him to project) in the oblivion of forced retirement when they are all still more than relevant.

"Why would I believe him? This administration, including the president, (has) mischaracterized this war for the last two years."
-Representative John Murtha (D-PA)

Rep. Murtha is not only right, but he is what the Bush administration fears most when it comes to their wars. Murtha is an unindicted hero! He has held up against the wrath of the Bushies. They tried to characterize him as a coward and as a foe of our troops, but no one bought that particular batch of crap. There is no greater friend of the troops than John Murtha. And as for combat experience, he is the real deal, having served in both Korea and Vietnam.

Let's see, the Democrats' war hero, Murtha, could spend the next eight years, or more, in public office while the Republicans' war hero, Duke Cunningham, will spend his next eight years incarcerated..

Don't you just wish that if a southerner wins the 2008 Democratic presidential primary they choose Murtha as their running mate?

"No matter where you look at their military, their police, their society things are much better this year than they were last,"
-Gen. Pace

Just where is this guy looking anyway? And just where are those Keebler elves?

I agree with John Murtha. There is a civil war in Iraq right now.

"There's two participants fighting for survival and fighting for supremacy inside that country, and that's my definition of a civil war."
-Rep. Murtha

The Bushies just trot out anyone who is a willing partner in their war on the truth. Getting a job in the Bush White House is giving up your right of free will. It is truly their way of the highway.

"The rhetoric is so frustrating when they keep making statements which are very optimistic, and then it turns out to be the opposite. ... And the public has caught on to that, and they're very pessimistic about the outcome."

Someone get this guy a bigger soap box.

John Murtha isn't a "pretty man". John Murtha doesn't "dress to the nines". All John Murtha is, and has been, is a fair representative of the people of Pennsylvania. They ought to be proud.

"They're (the Iraqis) talking about putting their act together. Now, the fact is that they may or may not be successful, but we better hope that they are, because the consequences for our country and the war against terror are very fateful if they are not."
-Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN)

Senator Lugar has sometimes tried to be an honest broker in reference to the Bush administration, but he has had to temper himself because of his toes to the new, Bush- and Cheney-led "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party. That's all it is, Senator Lugar, an act. And the star is whoever the Bush administration puts on center stage at any given time.

-Noah Greenberg

Keeping the "Pace"

"I do not believe it has deep roots. I do not believe that they're on the verge of civil war."
-General Pace

Talk about a state of denial. Come on General admit it, Iraq has been for quite some time in a civil war. The lid is barely being held on. On Sunday:

Targeted sectarian violence killed at least five people Sunday. Three men died in a gunfight at a Sunni mosque in Baghdad and two relatives of a top Sunni cleric were slain in a drive-by shooting. Sunnis accused deaths squads allied to the interim government, allegations denied by the Shiite-dominated Interior Ministry.

Sounds like civil war to me General Pace.

-Robert Scardapane

Health Care For All / NJ

On January 11, 2006, Acting Governor Codey signed the Health Care Access Study Commission Act, first introduced in January, 2004, by Assemblywoman (now State Senator) Loretta Weinberg (37th District).

The new law establishes a state commission to study ways of extending comprehensive health care to all New Jerseyans. The commission is to make a report with recommendations to the Legislature and Governor no later than January 1, 2008.

Another initiative is the Making Health Care Work for All Campaign, a national effort being coordinated by the Universal Health Care Action Network. It seeks to get as many Americans as possible to send input to the Citizens Health Care Working Group:

-Excerpts from a recent letter sent by Health Care For All/NJ:

HR676, single payer universal health care, currently has 64 co-signors. Only one NJ Congressional Representative has signed on - Donald Payne. "Citizen-initiated Congressional hearings" may be organized in the future.

-Forwarded and commented by Robert Scardapane

Media Madman
Freefall Continues for Dumbya

Four polls yesterday show President Bush hitting below a 40% approval rating:

Fox News: 39%
CNN/Gallup: 38%
Quinnipiac: 36%
LA Times: 38%

Dumbya has even lost popularity with the Fox News crowd! Hey, what happened to Dumbya's mandate? Did Cheney shoot it?

-Robert Scardapane

More Media Madman
Blowing Up Whistle Blowing

"The Bush administration, seeking to limit leaks of classified information, has launched initiatives targeting journalists and their possible government sources. The efforts include several FBI probes, a polygraph investigation inside the CIA and a warning from the Justice Department that reporters could be prosecuted under espionage laws.

"In recent weeks, dozens of employees at the CIA, the National Security Agency and other intelligence agencies have been interviewed by agents from the FBI's Washington field office, who are investigating possible leaks that led to reports about secret CIA prisons and the NSA's warrantless domestic surveillance program, according to law enforcement and intelligence officials familiar with the two cases."

-Washington Post,

This is very serious. If journalists can not report news without intimidation, we will no loner be a democracy. Isn't this exactly what the Bush-itas say is wrong with Russia - suppression of news? Bush is a hypocrite and must be censured.

-Robert Scardapane

Bush Admin Rolls Out the PR Wagon on Civil Liberties

Newsweek tells us that a neutered board set up to oversee possible civil liberties violations, mandated more than 15 months ago by Congress and recommended by the 9/11 Commission, is set to hold its first meeting next week. "Yeah for us! Finally!" we say.

Trouble is, from all outward appearances, it is another quadruple double-cross public relations move like the others we've become so familiar with from this administration - instead of focusing on solving the problem, throw some propaganda at it and see if it will disappear from the hearts and minds of Americans. The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board now vows to look into domestic wiretapping, data mining and the Patriot Act.

Right. Skeptism rears its ugly head:

But critics are furious the process has taken this long--and question whether the White House intends to treat the panel as anything more than window dressing. The delay is "outrageous, considering how long its been since the bill [creating the board] was passed," said Thomas Kean, who chaired the 9/11 Commission. "The administration was never interested in this."

Considering the White House's recently released budget - which had no funding provided for the board - and the denial of subpoena powers, Kean's fears are understandable.

But the final clue to this Potemkin panel is the choice of chairperson - Carol Dinkins - the law partner of ... hold your breath ... Alberto Gonzales.

Once again, the American public is being pitched through a propaganda maneuver instead of served.

-Daily Kos, SusanG Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 10:46:08 AM PDT, forwarded by Robert Scardapane

In response to "I wish the Bushies were merely apathetic. then I could excuse them and offer to teach them about the real world, but this isn't the case. Apathy is what happens when one doesn't care. They care but their interests are not ours.

"They care about their power and their control over everything that is controllable. They care about obtaining even more to control. "The truth" is a casualty of their "caring", and so are we, the average American family..",
Robert Scardapane writes:

This is very well said! The Bush-itas are incompetent due to arrogance and lack of focus on the needs of ordinary citizens. People mistakenly think they are incompetent because they are dumb. Bush is a bit of a dim light bulb but when it comes to protecting the interests of his base (the haves and have-mores), he knows exactly what he is doing.

And Rhian writes:

Do you think we Americans, who can, would go to Homeland Security Hell for writing directly to foreign leaders, to introduce ourselves, since all foreign leaders only know the Bush administration and the antics of our military, who are mostly kids who want desperately to be heroes, so are in denial about where they actually are, when in places like Iraq?

In response to "More than a dozen states are considering new laws to protect health workers who do not want to provide care that conflicts with their personal beliefs," (Name Withheld) writes:

I wonder if I, as a mental health practitioner, could refuse to provide therapy to those who are racists, pro-war, etc. I asked a patient of mine the other day what he does to fill his time; he said he listens to conservative radio. But I will still provide him with the same care as if he listened to Air America. And I'll make sure he doesn't see my bumper stickers!

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-Noah Greenberg