Note From a Madman

Tuesday, October 4, 2005

More of the Same

On Air America Radio they reported that Miers was head of a law firm that was indicted twice and forced to pay fines twice for aiding clients of theirs in defrauding investors... the fines they paid? One to the tune of $22 million and one for $8 million. She'll make a great Supreme Court Justice for this Admin don't you think? If nothing else they are remarkably consistent!

-Jessica Flagg

Veterans Running for Office

"Some guys don't think it's time to question our government, but the fact is I love my country. We need to have an exit strategy now."
-Patrick Murphy, 31, a former Captain with the 82nd Airborne Division , who fought in Iraq, is running in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania's 8th District

Murphy, now a practicing attorney is on of six Iraqi War Veterans who are running as US congressional candidates in the 2006 mid-term elections. Remember Iraqi Veteran Paul Hackett who narrowly lost a very Republican district's Congressional race in Ohio earlier this year? He is now running for the senate seat held by two-term Republican Mike DeWine. Hackett is an outspoken critic of President "G"lobal "W"arming Bush's Iraq policies and is also seeking an "exit strategy", something the Bushies fail to provide, or even talk about.

Perhaps the smartest and best remark comes from US Congressional Candidate Bryan Lentz, 41, who, at the age of 39 volunteered for Reservist Duty and a trip to Iraq. Lentz is trying to win the seat now held by 10-term "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA) , the vice chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.

"I'm not anti-war, I'm anti-failure. We need to define what victory is and we need to set a plan to get there. You cannot stay the course if you do not set a course."

Experience, independent thinking and intelligence should be requirements for our nationally elected officials, not the blind-faith following of a president who can't see the forest for the trees.

-Noah Greenberg

Jon Corzine Supports Ethical Embryonic Stem Cell Research

"Scientists tell us that the greatest opportunity to find cures and treatments to some of humanity's most threatening diseases is through the promise of embryonic stem cell research. Every day we fail to proceed with this potentially live-saving research is another lost opportunity to relieve suffering.

"Scientists know that adult stem cells simply cannot match the potential of embryonic stem cells and Jon Corzine is a long-time supporter of embryonic stem cell research. By following the clear blueprints of his Edison Innovation Plan, New Jersey can have a Governor determined to support this critical research and secure New Jersey's position at the forefront of medical advancement."
-From the Corzine Connection web site

Doug Forrester has taken the Bush administration position that adult stem cells offer the best opportunity. That position is not supported by the majority of scientists. It's very clear to me that Forrester is pandering to the religious right. He also has taken a position against increases in the NJ minimum wage aligning himself with powerful business interests. Forrester, Bush, Cheney, Delay - all share the same type of policy!

-Robert Scardapane

Forrester is even worse than that. Forrester, who I assume President "G"lobal "W"arming Bush now calls "Dougie-Boy" or "Forrestry" not only said that he is against Fetal Stem Cell Research, which puts him out of touch with the vast majority of New Jersians, but he also said that any work done on Fetal stem cells would simply be "redundant." Dougie-Boy also said that there were over 80 Fetal Stem Cell lines already available... more than necessary. If you weren't counting, that's three lies (including the one Robert mentioned) on just one subject, a record that puts Doug Forrester right in line with people like "G"lobal "W"arming Bush and Dick "Go <F---> Yourself Cheney and their out-of-touch beliefs.

-Noah Greenberg

Forrester Record - One of Raising Property Taxes

In the 1980's serving as mayor of West Windsor, Doug Forrester raised property taxes by 200%. How can anyone believe he will cut NJ property taxes by 30%? Forrester can't even say how he will pay for his proposed cuts. These cuts would grow the state's deficit by over $6 billion dollars! That is simply unacceptable.

Jon Corzine has a realistic plan to make the property tax rebate permanent and raise the amount by 40% over the next four years. He has a detailed plan to pay for the increases by eliminating waste and growing the state's economy.

Forrester has no credibility in this area. Corzine is the best choice for making NJ more affordable.

-Robert Scardapane

Rep. Mike Ferguson's Ties to Tom DeLay

This one amazes even me -- Mike Ferguson's treasurer for MIKE PAC is a corporate lobbyist with business in front of ... Mike Ferguson and the House of Representatives.



And They Are Already Our Friends (See Below)

Over that past few months we've been tracking Congressman Mike Ferguson's campaign finance as it relates to Tom Delay, discovering that the indicted (twice now) Congressman had given $54,403 to Ferguson. We also found that Ferguson used his MIKE PAC to sent $27,000 back to Texas Republican candidates for Congress backed by DeLay.

But that's not the only conflict related to MIKE PAC, as was discovered by The Center for Public Integrity: It turns out that the treasurer for MIKE PAC is a big time corporate lobbyist:

Among the lobbyists overseeing leadership PACs is the Republican political consultant Mark Valente. He serves as the treasurer of 15 PACs, nearly all of which are leadership PACs, including those of House Republicans Joe Wilson, S.C.; Mike Ferguson, N.J.; and Mike Rogers, Mich.

Valente, who heads his own lobbying firm Valente & Associates, said he does not believe any conflicts of interest result from heading the leadership PACs of several members of Congress while lobbying. Although at times the job requires fund-raising, Valente said that the majority of his tasks as treasurer involve filling out forms and keeping banking records.

"The members are looking for people they can trust, and we want to help our friends out," Valente said. "And they are already our friends." [my emphasis]

Valente is a lobbyist for 14 companies and groups with business in front of the United States Congress, and as such his job is to try to get members of Congress to vote for bills that will help his clients and against bills that will hurt them.

At the same time Valente is trying to get Ferguson to vote to help clients, he is handling hundreds of thousands of dollars from campaign contributors for Rep. Ferguson.

At the very least, this has the appearance of impropriety.

-Nathan Rudy

In response to "Why I'm For Health Care For All", Jenny Hanniver writes:

I've been inundating my congressional reps and senators since 1957 on this issue--once I got into the Navy and found out how great universal health care (for active duty military) was! By this decade a great many doctors would prefer it, so they can get back to practicing medicine instead of running insurance offices.

As a retiree I have a plan that allows free visits to my primary care Internist (and she is terrific--thanks, Dr. Day) but it costs me $40 every time I see a specialist unless pre-approved surgery or another procedure is involved that exempts this payment. I live on Social Security, so how often do you think I go to a specialist? Not since last spring's (exempted) colonoscopy. Yet I should have checkups for ongoing rosacea and potential skin cancer (dematologist), worsening arthritis, now in the hip (orthopedist), cataract replacements that are beginning to cloud (ophthalmologist) and permanent allergies (allergist). Haven't seen any of them since 2004 or earlier.

The Clinton plan was terrible, maybe a little better than what we have but not much. We need universal federal government single-payer medicine, free and entirely paid for out of taxes. And yeah, the super rich can definitely afford to contribute more by way of taxes.

In response to "Institute a system of measurements that gauge our progress in Iraq. No more blank checks for Bush, no more claims that 200,000 Iraqi are trained only to hear there is just one battle ready battalion," Rhian writes:

I had been wondering all day why no one had seemed to notice the earlier statement, when the new one came out, about battle ready Iraqis.

The fact is, 100% of troops in Iraq want out, and are getting more and more adamant about being sent home. They should be listened to. They are after all, armed and deadly.

There are reasons that are over 2000 years old why 'democracy' is not going to work in Islamic Iraq. And then there are the reasons Americans can understand. Democracy is not liberty. Democracy is a bureaucracy, ruled by a majority. What people will fight for is liberty.

By the way, a battalion is 800 guys.

In response to, "Why aren't YOU for Universal Health Care?" Rhian writes:

Honestly, I don't know what Universal Health Care is, or how it would work. I think most people have a knee jerk reaction dating back to 'communist/socialist' days when they hear this type of terminology, although, HMO's are the great undoing of health care these days.

Noah, what is Universal Health Care. How does it work?



I define Universal Health Care as HEALTH CARE for EVERYONE, regardless of economic circumstances. If the richest family in America's child can afford to seek the best medical help, so should the poorest family's child. Here are reprints of earlier Madman articles:

Idea 1

A Health Insurance Idea

There has to be a way to cover those who are at most risk of not seeing a doctor when they are sick. One might think that those most at risk are the very poor, and they are at risk. But what is more alarming is the middle classí risk factor. There are 45 million Americans without health insurance, and over the last four years some 83 million Americans did without health care coverage. No one should have to go bankrupt to see a doctor.

Below is a simple plan. Itís an opt-in plan, with a backup. If you have good health insurance now, then keep it. If not, then this is a plan for you:


Since this is an opt-on plan, no one would be forced to join. If a person becomes sick, they would have to pay 10 percent of their salary to pay for their health care. No one should go bankrupt to pay for catastrophic health coverage, even if they donít take advantage of this plan.

Imagine, if you will, the main wage-earner of a family loses his job, and as a result, the whole familyís health insurance. If there were some sort of national health care plan:

That person might be able to look for a better job rather than just settling in order to keep active his health care

That person might start his own, home-based business

Imagine that home-based business picking up, and that person hiring other people

Imagine the feelings of self-confidence if we were to truly make this an ownership society


Idea 2

A Medicare Idea

According to my rather remedial calculations, there are some 4.2 million working people in New Jersey (US census estimates). Medicare insurance collected by the federal government (as a part of payroll taxes) is taxed at 1.45 percent of your total income from the first dollar you ear to the last. Your employer's share is an additional 1.45 percent. That adds up to 2.9 percent. The average New Jersey income is about $45,000 per year (The median income is about $80,000 - I guess I'm not living up to my end of the bargain).

If the federal government were to transfer the Medicare funds it receives to their respective states, I wonder what New jersey could do with their share?

The following chart shows how much money would be raised by New Jersey if the working uninsured paid a little extra for their own health care, based on a small percentage of their income, for basic health care and New Jersey was allowed to keep the money its workers paid into the existing Medicare system.

People in the NJ workforce


US Census Bureau

Average income


US Department of Labor

Total earned by NJ residents


workforce times income

2.9 percent paid into Medicare


Medicare paid by NJ residents

uninsured in NJ


Associated Press by the US Census Bureau

Percentage of NJ Population in workforce


US Census Bureau

Estimated working uninsured in NJ


uninsured times percentage in workforce

additional charge to uninsured for state Medicare


Madman's idea

Additional money raised by State Funded NJ Medicare


income times working uninsured times additional charge times 

Total Medicare Fund in NJ


Original 2.9 percent plus uninsured's additional 2.9 percent

The question is, could New Jersey insure its uninsured for basic, minimum health care if it were to collect and keep over $7.1 billion this year?

Maybe it IS time for an ownership society. maybe those states with large populations, such as New Jersey, should take OWNership of its OWN Medicare dollars and help its OWN citizens.

-Noah Greenberg

Colorado-Governor's Race: Bob Beauprez Caught Stealing Opponent Rolodex

"The race for governor in Colorado has seen a heated battle in the last month with the two Republican candidates, Rep. Bob Beauprez and millionaire Marc Holtzman, beating on each other right and left. The drama took a new turn today when Holtzman's campaign filed a criminal complaint against Beauprez for allegedly stealing Holtzman's rolodex. Beauprez is one of the Republican members most closely tied guessed it, Tom DeLay. The apple doth not fall far from that tree, apparently."
-Daily Kos

Stealing a Rolodex? You got to be kidding me!

-Robert Scardapane

Today's Bush Quote

"I expect the Senate to conduct fair hearings and to hold an up-or-down vote on Harriet's nomination by Thanksgiving."
-"G"lobal "W"arming Bush

How apropos... Confirming another Bush Turkey by Thanksgiving.

-Noah Greenberg

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-Noah Greenberg