Tuesday, July 24, 2007

VA funding

Support veterans by printing the following and mailing it to your Congressman or Senator. Hard copy mail gets more attention than email. If you can't afford the postage, email is good too.
http://www.vawatchdog.org/07/nf07/nfJUL07/nf072307-1.htm

BUSTING THE MYTHS ABOUT MANDATORY VA FUNDING --

Upcoming Congressional testimony effectively ends

arguments that VA healthcare funding should remain

part of the discretionary budget process.

This coming Wednesday, July 25, the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs will hold a hearing on VA healthcare funding.

The highlight of that hearing will be testimony by Joe Violante, National Legislative Director of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV).

Violante will be speaking for the Partnership for Veterans Health Care Budget Reform, a partnership formed by The American Legion, AMVETS, Blinded Veterans Association, Jewish War Veterans of the USA, Military Order of Purple Heart of the U.S.A., Paralyzed Veterans of America, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and Vietnam Veterans of America.

The testimony includes nine reasons why mandatory VA funding WILL work.  The reasons are posted below.  This is a must read and should be passed on to all veterans and their families.

You can read or download the entire testimony... click here...

For more on mandatory VA funding, use the VA Watchdog search engine...click here...
http://www.yourvabenefits.org/sessearch.
php?q=mandatory+funding&op=and

Myths vs. Reality below:

-------------------------

Mandatory VA Healthcare Funding

MYTHS and REALITY



MYTH: Congress would lose oversight over the VA health care system if VA shifted from discretionary to mandatory funding.

REALITY: While funding would be removed from the direct politics, uncertainties, and capriciousness of the annual budget-appropriations process, Congress would retain oversight of VA programs and health care services—as it does with other federal mandatory programs. Guaranteed funding for VA health care would free members of Congress from their annual budgetary battles to provide more time for them to concentrate on oversight of VA programs and services.



MYTH: Mandatory funding creates an individual entitlement to health care.

REALITY: The Assured Funding for Veterans Health Care Act would shift the current funding for VA health care from discretionary appropriations to mandatory budget status. The Act makes no other changes. It does not expand eligibility for an individual veteran, make changes to the benefits package, or alter VA’s mission.



MYTH: Guaranteed funding would open the VA health care system to all veterans.

REALITY: The Health Care Eligibility Reform Act of 1996 theoretically opened the VA health care system to all 27 million veterans; however, it was never anticipated that all veterans would seek or need VA health care. Most veterans have private health insurance and will likely never elect to use the system. The Secretary is required by law to make an annual enrollment decision based on available resources. This bill would not affect the Secretary’s authority to manage enrollment, but would only ensure the Secretary has sufficient funds to treat those veterans enrolled for VA health care.



MYTH: Guaranteed funding for VA health care would cost too much.

REALITY: Guaranteed funding under the Act would utilize a formula based on the number of enrolled veterans multiplied by the cost per patient, with an annual adjustment for medical inflation to keep pace with costs for medical equipment, supplies, pharmaceuticals and uncontrollable costs such as energy. The Act would ensure that VA receives sufficient resources to treat veterans actually using the system.



MYTH: Veterans in Priority Group 7 and 8 are using up all of VA’s health care resources; and it therefore costs too much to continue to treat these veterans.

REALITY: Among the 7.9 million enrollees in the VA health care system, 2.4 million veterans from Priority Groups 7 and 8 account for only 30 percent of the total enrolled population but use only 11 percent of VA’s expenditure for all priority groups.




MYTH: The viability of the VA health care system can be maintained even if VA only treats service-connected veterans or the so- called “core group,” Priority Groups 1-6.

REALITY: VA health care should be maintained and priority given to treat these veterans, since many of the specialized services they need are not available in the private sector. However, to maintain VA, a proper patient case mix and a sufficient number of veterans are needed to ensure the viability of the system for its so-called core users and to preserve specialized programs, while remaining cost effective.



MYTH: Providing guaranteed funding for VA health care will not solve VA’s problems.

REALITY: With guaranteed funding, VA can strategically plan for the short- , medium- and long-term, optimize its assets, achieve greater efficiency and realize savings. VA continues to struggle to provide timely health care services to all veterans seeking care due to insufficient funding, and always uncertain funding beyond the operational year. The guaranteed funding formula in the bill provides a standardized approach in solving the access issue and permitting more rational planning.



MYTH: Veterans health care should be privatized because the system is too big, inefficient, and unresponsive to veterans.

REALITY: VA patients are often elderly, have multiple disabilities, and are chronically ill. They are generally unattractive to the private sector. Also, such patients pose too great an underwriting risk for private insurers and health maintenance or preferred provider organizations. While private sector hospitals have lower administrative costs and operate with profit motives, a number of studies have shown that VA provides high quality care and is more cost-effective care than comparable private sector health care. VA provides a wide range of specialized services, including spinal cord injury and dysfunction care, blind rehabilitation, prosthetics, advanced rehabilitation, post-traumatic stress disorder, mental health, and long-term care. These are at the very heart of VA’s mission. Additionally, VA supplies one-third of all care provided for the chronically mentally ill, and is the largest single source of care for patients with AIDS. Without VA, millions of veterans would be forced to rely on Medicare and Medicaid at substantially greater federal and state expense.



MYTH: Under a mandatory funding program, VA would no longer have an incentive to find efficiencies and to supplement its appropriation with third-party collections.

REALITY: Mandatory funding will provide sufficient resources to ensure high quality health care services when veterans need it. It is not intended to provide excess funding for veterans health care. VA Central Office (VACO) would still be responsible for ensuring local managers are using funds appropriately and efficiently. Network and medical center directors and others would still be required to meet performance standards and third-party collections goals. These checks and balances will help ensure accountability.


http://www.vawatchdog.org/07/nf07/nfJUL07/nf072307-1.htm

The People's March for Peace, Equality, Jobs & Justice Aug. 25]



-------- Original Message --------

NJ Peace Action



The People's March for       Peace, Equality, Jobs & Justice

August 25, 2007
Join the People's March for
Peace, Equality, Jobs and Justice
Stop the war on Iraq!
Stop the war on our communities!
 
 
Stop the war on Iraq and on communities like New Orleans (pictured above)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Lincoln Park and Broad Street, Newark, NJ

12:00 Noon

Sponsored by the Peace and Justice Coalition, a coalition of more than 120 grassroots organizations

For more information call (801) 457-9448

E-mail: peacejusticecoalition@gmail.com

Website: http://www.peaceandjusticecoalition.org

Join the ListServe: peacejusticecoalition-owner@yahoogroups.com

Hop on a Peace Train to Newark on August 25th!!
 
 
Will you be coming from the Morristown, Maplewood, South Orange, or Millburn areas? 
 
There will be a Peace Train (Morris and Essex Lines) that leaves Dover at 10:05 a.m. that will arrive at Newark Broad St. at 11:11 a.m.  This train has various stops so if you are in the area, please hop on board! Note: Train arrives in Morristown at 10:24 a.m., Summit at 10:42 a.m., Maplewood at 10:52 a.m., South Orange at 10:56 a.m., and East Orange at 11:06 a.m. (Note: there are other stops in between, but I only listed a few.  Please visit http://www.njtransit.com/pdf/rail/r0040.pdf for a full schedule).
 
Once in Newark, there will be a feeder march down Broad Street to Lincoln Park, and we'll arrive at the park in plenty of time for the noon rally.
 
Will you be coming from the Rahway, Linden, Elizabeth, Avenel or Woodbridge areas?
 
If so, please contact the NJ Peace Action office at 973-744-3263 so we can coordinate embarkation times!! Hop on the Peace Trains!

NJ Peace Action | 673 Bloomfield Avenue, 2nd floor | Bloomfield | NJ | 07003

Monday, July 23, 2007

Iraq vets sue VA

WASHINGTON - Frustrated by delays in health care, injured Iraq war veterans accused VA Secretary Jim Nicholson in a lawsuit of breaking the law by denying them disability pay and mental health treatment.


The lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, filed Monday in federal court in San Francisco, seeks broad changes in the agency as it struggles to meet growing demands from veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Suing on behalf of hundreds of thousands of veterans, it charges that the VA has failed warriors on numerous fronts. It contends the VA failed to provide prompt disability benefits, failed to add staff to reduce wait times for medical care and failed to boost services for post-traumatic stress disorder.

The lawsuit also accuses the VA of deliberately cheating some veterans by allegedly working with the Pentagon to misclassify PTSD claims as pre-existing personality disorders to avoid paying benefits. The VA and Pentagon have generally denied such charges.

"When one of our combat veterans walks into a VA hospital, then they must see a doctor that day," said Paul Sullivan, executive director of Veterans for Common Sense, which filed the lawsuit. "When a war veteran needs disability benefits because he or she can't work, then they must get a disability check in a few weeks."

"The VA has betrayed our veterans," Sullivan said.

VA spokesman Matt Smith said Monday he could not comment on a pending lawsuit.

"Through outreach efforts, the VA ensures returning Global War on Terror service members have access to the widely recognized quality health care they have earned, including services such as prosthetics or mental health care," Smith said. "VA has also given priority handling to their monetary disability benefit claims."

The lawsuit comes amid intense political and public scrutiny of the VA and Pentagon following reports of shoddy outpatient care of injured soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and elsewhere.

The complaint seeks to represent between 320,000 and 800,000 veterans of the Iraq war who lawyers say are at risk of having PTSD. Ultimately, a federal judge will have to decide whether the lawsuit is properly deemed a class action that adequately represents them.

As of March 31, roughly 52,375 Iraq veterans were evaluated at VA facilities for suspected PTSD, according to an internal quarterly VA report released Monday to The Associated Press.

"Unless systemic and drastic measures are instituted immediately, the costs to these veterans, their families and our nation will be incalculable, including broken families, a new generation of unemployed and homeless veterans, increases in drug abuse and alcoholism, and crushing burdens on the health care delivery system," the complaint says.

It asks that a federal court order the VA to make immediate improvements.

Earlier this month, a federal appeals court in San Francisco issued a strong rebuke of the VA in ordering the agency to pay retroactive benefits to Vietnam War veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange and contracted a form of leukemia.

"The performance of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs has contributed substantially to our sense of national shame," the opinion from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals read.

Nicholson abruptly announced last week he would step down by Oct. 1 to return to the private sector. He has repeatedly defended the agency during his 2 1/2-year tenure while acknowledging there was room for improvement.

More recently, following high-profile suicide incidents in which families of veterans say the VA did not provide adequate care, Nicholson pledged to add mental health services and hire more suicide-prevention coordinators.

Some veterans say that's not enough. In the lawsuit, they note that government investigators warned as early as 2002 that the VA needed to fix its backlogged claims system and make other changes.

Yet, the lawsuit says, Nicholson and other officials still insisted on a budget in 2005 that fell $1 billion short, and they made "a mockery of the rule of law" by awarding senior officials $3.8 million in bonuses despite their role in the budget foul-up.

Today, the VA's backlog of disability payments is between 400,000 and 600,000, with delays of up to 177 days to process an initial claim and an average of 657 days to process an appeal. Several congressional committees and a presidential commission are now studying ways to improve care.

"While steps can and will be taken in the political arena, responsibility for action lies with the agency itself," Melissa W. Kasnitz, managing attorney for Disability Rights Advocates, said in a telephone interview. Her group is teaming up with a major law firm, Morrison & Foerster, to represent the veterans.

"We don't believe the problems will be fixed by the VA if we wait for them," she said.

Gordon P. Erspamer, a partner at Morrison & Foerster, stressed that the lawsuit does not seek to make a partisan statement about the Iraq war but instead finally force action after years of delay.

"This is the worst it's ever been for veterans, and it's only going to get worse," he said.

The lawsuit cites violations of the Constitution and federal law, which mandates at least two years of health care to injured veterans.

The veterans groups involved in the lawsuit are Veterans for Common Sense in Washington, D.C., which claims 11,500 members, and Veterans United for Truth, based in Santa Barbara, Calif., with 500 members.

___

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Colbert Report-Michael Moore

Really funny and elightening
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwEfaxM1mVU

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

There's no nice way to say NAZI

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    Swastikas at Hunter Airfield, and a Rabbi on the Run
    By Jason Leopold
    t r u t h o u t | Report

    Tuesday 17 July 2007

    A former Army chaplain who has been listed as a deserter by the Department of Defense intends to file a civil rights lawsuit against the United States military for refusing to discipline three Evangelical Christian Army chaplains at Fort Stewart, Georgia. The three allegedly subjected Rabbi Jeffrey Goldman to vulgar displays of anti-Semitism in 2001 and 2002.

    Goldman, 35, a native of Toronto, said the Army listed him as a deserter in retaliation for speaking out about other chaplains' anti-Semitic behavior at Fort Stewart. Goldman contends that he legally resigned from his stint as an Army chaplain in January 2002 when his transfer requests were rebuffed.

    Mikey Weinstein, head of the watchdog group The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, said Goldman approached him last month after reading a story reported by Truthout in which Weinstein exposed a pattern of anti-Semitism displayed in Biblical teachings by chaplains at Fort Leavenworth.

    Rabbi Goldman's civil rights "were perniciously raped in a literally mind-boggling, intentional manner," Weinstein said in an interview. "The Army retaliated against him for speaking out. The Army refused to lift a finger to address Rabbi Goldman's complaints despite documentary evidence that supports his claims. And now the Army is going to find itself the defendant in a lawsuit our organization will file on behalf of Rabbi Goldman for grossly violating his civil rights."

    According to documents obtained by Truthout, an investigation by the Army Inspector General into Goldman's claims of anti-Semitism shows that in May 2001, Captain Robert Nay, a Christian chaplain at the Fort Stewart Army base, hung Nazi uniforms and swastikas on the wall of the officers' club at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Georgia, during a May 23, 2001 interfaith prayer breakfast Goldman was ordered to attend.

    In an interview, Goldman said seeing the Nazi uniforms did not entirely surprise him. A month earlier, Nay had informed Goldman that he thought it would be "funny" if he dressed up soldiers in the Nazi uniforms on Holocaust Memorial Day, a time when the world memorializes the six million Jews who were slaughtered by the Nazis during World War II.

    When contacted for comment, Nay hung up the telephone. A public affairs official at Fort Stewart would not comment for this story, nor would he disclose his name.

    Goldman says he complained about Nay's anti-Semitic tirades to his Fort Stewart chaplain supervisor, Major Larry Sharp. In a sworn affidavit, Goldman said Sharp told him that he "needed to get along with people who hate Jews." Moreover, Goldman was then informed by Sharp that he would now be reporting directly to Nay. Goldman said he immediately contacted Rabbi David Lapp, head of the Jewish Chaplains Council in New York, who had sponsored Goldman's chaplain service in the military.

    Lapp said he was made aware of the Nazi paraphernalia and the episode of anti-Semitism Goldman says he was subjected to, but he dismissed that as "no big deal."

    "Lots of people collect Nazi material and swastikas," Lapp, now retired, said in an interview from his New Jersey home. "Sure, he told me about it. But that's not the issue here. The issue is he ran away from his commitment when he found out he was going to be sent to Afghanistan in 2001."

    Goldman disputes that account. He said he was never privy to information regarding "troop movement" and that Lapp's accusation is an attempt to cover up the fact that he "turned a blind eye" to Goldman's numerous complaints of anti-Semitism and his requests for a transfer.

    "I would have willingly gone to Afghanistan," Goldman said. "I just didn't want to be subjected to anti-Semitism at Fort Stewart. The whole reason I volunteered to become a chaplain is because I was eager to help Jewish kids who chose the military and needed spiritual guidance while being far away from home serving" in the Army. "Rabbi Lapp told me over and over again not to rock the boat in the military and that I should just do what the goyim(gentiles) want and keep four meters away from the people who were anti-Semitic."

    Lapp agreed that he told Goldman to ignore the alleged anti-Semitism at Fort Stewart.

    Goldman said Lapp requested his [Goldman's] resignation, which was approved by Major General Buford C. Blount at Fort Stewart, according to documents.

    Goldman then returned to Toronto in January 2002. But because the Army was terribly short of Jewish chaplains, the deputy assistant secretary of the Army Review Boards in Washington, DC, overturned Goldman's resignation and demanded he return to service at Fort Stewart, documents show. Goldman agreed, but only on the condition that he be reassigned. The Army declined and Goldman refused to return. In 2002, Goldman was listed as a deserter, meaning he is subject to arrest if he returns to the United States.

    Goldman enlisted the help of the Canadian Parliament to address the military's claims that he deserted his post. On July 16, 2004 Dan McTeague, parliamentary secretary to the minister of foreign affairs in Canada, intervened and wrote a letter to former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, seeking an amicable resolution to the matter.

    "Mr. Secretary, it is my hope that you can offer some assistance in dismissing the charges against Rabbi Goldman," McTeague's letter to Rumsfeld states. "Rabbi Goldman has no intention of returning to the United States to be arrested and forced to endure a court-martial that he believes would not be conducted fairly. Given the documentation Rabbi Goldman has provided me, I share his concern about him receiving fair treatment."

    The Army's criminal division responded to McTeague's letter on October 13, 2004, saying the desertion charges would stand and urging Goldman to turn himself in to US military authorities to face a court-martial. Moreover, the Army said there was no truth to any of Goldman's claims of anti-Semitism - in contradiction with the Army's own internal investigation.

    Weinstein said he expected the Army's denials to Goldman's claims, so he demanded that the rabbi take a lie detector test to measure the validity of his allegations of anti-Semitism. The administrator of the test, John McClinton, a forensic polygrapher and former Canadian military intelligence officer, said Goldman scored a "+21" in response to questions about claims of anti-Semitism at Fort Stewart, which McClinton says suggests Goldman is "being more than truthful."


    Jason Leopold is a former Los Angeles bureau chief for Dow Jones Newswire. He has written over 2,000 stories on the California energy crisis and received the Dow Jones Journalist of the Year Award in 2001 for his coverage on the issue as well as a Project Censored award in 2004. Leopold also reported extensively on Enron's downfall and was the first journalist to land an interview with former Enron president Jeffrey Skilling following Enron's bankruptcy filing in December 2001. Leopold has appeared on CNBC and National Public Radio as an expert on energy policy and has also been the keynote speaker at more than two dozen energy industry conferences around the country.

source: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/071707J.shtml

Why I like Wes Clark

Text of General Clark's prepared remarks:

Chairman Snyder, distinguished members of this subcommittee, it is an honor to come before you today to discuss Iraq and our future policy options there.

At the outset, though, I'd like to thank you for the attention and the support you've given to the men and women in uniform, and their families. Members of the Armed Services Committee have been assiduous in studying the needs and providing the necessary financial authority and guidance to have built the finest Armed Forces in the world, and a force which has represented your nation and served it courageously and well.

It's only proper, therefore, that this Subcommittee help ask and answer the hard questions to be asked concerning our over four years deployment in Iraq: whether it is "succeeding," and, if not, how the mission should be modified or curtailed, and at what cost.

These questions are in no way the material of abstract, hypothetical musings. Just about everyone in public life has now formed strong opinions, and certainly the American public has, also. By strong majorities they believe the war is unwinnable, and want the strategy changed. They also want the troops brought home - and taken good care of when they return here - but they don't want to lose. And so the public debate has increasingly turned on the consequences of a withdrawal for Iraq, our friends in the region, and for ourselves - with a "precipitous withdrawal" being the one which leads to increased violence.

You can receive the testimonies of the generals and state Department experts that can discuss every tribe, militia and province. I don't propose to do that today. But what I would like to do is offer my perspective on the region, and then propose a course of action which could prove to be the "least worst" of the choices available.

The United States is today engaged in a four-fold struggle in the Middle East, and each of the struggles is interconnected with the others. At the most benign level, the US is in hot competition economically, to capture its share of oil exports and earnings, and to sell its share of goods and services. Our long term dependability has been a winning factor in building enduring US influence and commercial penetration in the region. Second, the US works to assure to security and safety of the state of Israel, within the broader interest of seeking to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and helping Israel assure its long term survival and success within the region. Third, the United States is engaged in a three-decades long struggle against Iranian extremism, which has manifested itself through terror bombing against US forces, harassment of oil shipping lanes, the pursuit of a long range, nuclear strike capability, Iranian interference in Lebanon, and, of course, assisted by our topping of Saddam Hussein, within Iraq itself. Finally, the US is caught up in the almost ten-year-old struggle against Al Qaeda.

These struggles help frame the ongoing conflict in Iraq, circumscribing the options and weighting the alternatives. The US will not and cannot abandon the region, nor our friends and interests there. The analogy with the US withdrawal from South Vietnam ought therefore to be unthinkable. US interests require continuing engagement in this region. But neither can the US make mincemeat of the fragile and artificially created states in the region, nor the governments that rule them, however much we should disagree with their policies and principles, for any of these existing governments is, if not a bulwark against a stronger Al Qaeda presence, then at least a regional actor which may be held accountable in some sense. We don't need any more failed states in the region, whether in Gaza or in Iran. Yet over the next twelve-to-eighteen months the Iranian nuclear effort is likely to culminate in the credible capability of significant uranium enrichment, and, absent a real diplomatic initiative from the Bush Administration, either this Administration or the next will be forced to acquiesce in an Iranian nuclear capability - with all the risk that entails - or execute a series of air and naval strikes to delay or destroy that capability - with the risks of further aggravating tensions and terrorist activities as well as disrupting global markets and flows.

So, the issue isn't troop strength in Iraq, but rather US national strategy in the region. As of now, it is not too late for that strategy to be significantly altered. The US would have to renounce its aims and efforts of regime changes, pull back such forceful advocacy of democratization, engage in sustained diplomatic dialogue with governments in the region, including Syria and Iran, heed the advice of regional friends and allies like Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the Emirates and Qatar, and work not to isolate Hamas but to reshape it. This new strategic approach to the region must be linked to a deeper, more effective political effort within Iraq to align interests and structures, in order to produce the kinds of compromises necessary to end the civil war there. The tactics, principles and techniques of such a shift in strategy are no mystery. I and many others have for years called for such changes. But it seems all too clear that the leaders in the White House today have not, thus far, even seriously considered such change. They persist in seeking a largely military solution, focusing on troop strength and tactics, and have had the temerity to label a 20% increase in US troops as a "new strategy," when all along it has been obvious that we have needed perhaps three times the on-the-ground troop presence they directed.

more here:   http://securingamerica.com/node/2552

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Take action now

If you believe in the First Amendment principle of free speech, take action now. The FCC is ready to end Net Neutrality on July 16.
Simpley put, without Net Neutrality corporations like CNN and Verizon and other large communications outlets will be able to control your access to Internet sites.
http://www.savetheinternet.com/tellafriend.php

A must read

This should be read on the floor of the House and Senate or circulated among our Democratic Representatives and Senators.

Mon Jul 09th 2007, 10:53 PM
I am really concerned that DU is out of touch with middle America.

Don't you all know that the average American absolutely LOVES the war in Iraq, and if the Democrats dare to oppose it they will pay dearly at the ballot box. Americans love seeing their sons and daughters come home in body bags, they love hearing about the bombs going off in the Baghdad marketplace, and they love to see hundreds of billions of their tax dollars spent on a war with no clear objective and no end in sight.

I am concerned that middle America will not accept the idea of single payer health care. We all just LOVE to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to the insurance companies every month. We don't care if our claims get denied, as long as the marketplace is able to run free we are more willing to watch our children suffer from horrible illnesses that they don't have insurance to cover. "Give us higher health care costs, and give the insurance companies more profit", that is the motto of the working class.

I am also concerned that too many people on the left want to have more protections for our environment. They don't realize that the American people LOVE to drink poison in their water, it gives it an extra tangy flavor and no one wants to give up that wonderful taste. In fact they are not content with those poisons merely being in the water, they want them to be in the air too. Every time they take a breath they want to feel the fumes from the local oil refinery enter their lungs, there is no way you are ever going to convince middle America that it is better to breathe clean air and drink clean water.

I am concerned that too many people are speaking out against the no-bid contracts to Halliburton because come on; we all know the top priority of the vast majority Americans is ensuring that the CEO of Halliburton lives very well. No American would want their money going to ridiculous programs like education when they could be giving that money to Dick Cheney's friends.

I am concerned that too many people here think that no person is above the law. I mean just because George Bush may be a criminal does not mean anyone would ever want to hold him accountable for his crimes. Haven't you looked at George Bush's approval ratings? He is clearly the most popular man in America and people would be outraged if anyone were to remove him from office. Middle America loves George Bush, and we all believe he should be above the law.

I am just so concerned that the Democrats are going to lose middle America if they don't reach out to the extreme-right and try to win back the southerners who were chased away by such far-left radicals as Martin Luther King Jr. We need to reach across the aisle and embrace the values of the religious right, because as we all know the average American loves to have the "moral values" of a group of hypocrites shoved down their throats.

I am also concerned that we are not doing enough to promote business. After all nobody in middle America cares how big their paychecks are, just so long as their boss gets a massive check to take home. The average American thinks it is absolutely wonderful that the CEO of their company makes 400 times what they make. We are all more than willing to scrape by on nothing if it means that our managers will get a bigger yacht next year.

Yes DU I am concerned, why would middle America ever want policies that benefit them?