January 15, 2004
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Subj: This is depressing!
A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, but an advertising agency newsletter put it in perspective:
A billion seconds ago...it was 1959. Interesting
A billion minutes ago...Jesus was alive. More interesting
A billion hours ago...our ancestors lived in the Stone Age. Too long ago to be interesting
A billion dollars ago...was 8 hours and 20 minutes, at the rate Washington spends it. Downright depressing...
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subj: Major National Debt Milestone
I just noticed this yesterday and it blew me away that this wasn’t reported at all, and I’m trying to find a way to get more exposure for it. Just before January 1st, the National Debt topped $7 trillion. It went virtually unreported; the only major newspapers to even allude to it were the LA Times and the Washington Times. The NYT didn’t notice, nor did any major networks. I was hoping you’d be interested in publicizing this fact by posting it on your site so that people might start caring about it. I think it’s a very major milestone that should have gotten far more attention.
Subj: Bush's upcoming State of the Union address
After all the lies Bush told during last his State of the Union address, shouldn't he be required to do it under oath this time around? I bet the Bible would start smoking if he put his hand on it.
RA in LA
Hi again Buzzers,
I have a little problem anytime someone in the Bush Admin. tries to convince us that Bush loves dissent. I mean, come on!
Please everyone - ask this man to defend that statement. And challenge anyone else who tries to paint that kind of portrait of George Bush.
Barbara in NYC
Subj: Letter to the Editor - Choosing a Democratic Presidential Candidate
Democrats are faced with the challenge of picking a candidate to overthrow the Bush regime. How do we choose? To me it's somewhat of a process of elimination and the candidates past voting record is as strong of a test as you can get.
I have a real problem with Gephardt, Kerry, Edwards, and Lieberman because they vote with Bush too often. They all supported Bush's fraudulent war in Iraq. They voted for Bush's tax cuts for the rich. I just can't vote for Democrats who vote with Bush and sell out our country. I want a candidate who isn't sleeping with the enemy.
Subj: I think Paul O'Neill has been threatened
I still wonder about Wellstone's death. Don't you? Was it an accident?
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subj: Fw: Too Much! Even the Army War College compares Shrub to Hitler!
Scroll down in the story to find the Hitler paragraph!
Tonight's "Hardball", ("Propaganda down your throat" would be a better name) with chris mathews, helps bush co. pile on fmr. Treas. Sec O'Neill....
if it were 1964, mathews would be DEFENDING segregation in the District of Columbia...
of course, the Congressional democrats (kerry, gepherdt, lieberman, edwards) don't have a clue.... just as they let the Republican right-wing lynch-mob clinton (and smear gore), they are now letting the even MORE powerful bush Republicans lynch-mob O'Neill....
this is appalling, disgusting, and sad...these guys stand for nothing but their own inflated egos....
A BuzzFlash Reader
Sent to: Joe Scarborough <email@example.com>:
RE: Moveon.org segment
During the segment with Michael Stinson on the Moveon.org event I was surprised to see a graphic which said that the event was held in a ballroom owned by the Rev. Sun Yung Moon. Why is this pertinent to the story at all.
I am hopeful however in the interest of balance that a similar graphic will be run every time Tony Blankley or any Washington Times or UPI reporter appears on MSNBC stating that the Rev. Moon owns these two entities.
I doubt I will see such a graphic, but hey I'm an optimist. I would think it to be far more relevant that the cult leader's name be brought up in relation to his news entities rather than in relation to a group which rents out his ballroom.
Clark and Dean look real threatening to Rove in the polls. I like that HOT Arizona poll on Clark. The biggest fear Rove would have is if Dean stopped harping on Clark for being a newcomer to the party. The GOP thinks the Democrats don't welcome newcomers and they love that. If those two suddenly looked like friends, that would scare the daylights out of Rove. a BuzzFlash reader
A BuzzFlash Reader
Sent to Dana Milbank at the Washington Post <firstname.lastname@example.org>:
Subj: White House Counteroffensive Against O'Neill Doesn't Rebut His Claims
Why am I not surprised that the media already did a "move on, nothing to report here" as soon as the White House fired back against Paul O'Neill, even though when you look at what has been said, they have managed to give contradictory statements and never rebutted what O'Neill's main points were?
First, the message was that "we did not talk about Iraq from the very first days of the Administration." Then the message was "well, we did talk about Iraq, but all we were doing was carrying on the 'Clinton Regime Change' policy." But no one then asked the obvious follow-up: "yes, but the Clintons never took that so far as to talk about finding any reason to get the guy, nor did the Clintons take out maps of the Iraqi oilfields as part of their regime change plans.
Then, the question of his management style never really got pursued once the predictable Don Evans and others weighed in with the "he is a strong and decisive leader" spin. But you only find confirmation of what O'Neill was saying about Bush's hands-off management when you read James Fallows' piece in the new Atlantic Monthly, which is only in print as of today. Fallows is writing about how little preparation the administration did for a postwar Iraq.
Even though they haven't posted it to the site, I read my copy last night, and on page 72 is the following:
"This is the place to note that in several months of interviews I never once heard someone say 'We took this step because the President indicated..' or 'the President really wanted...' Instead I (Fallows) heard 'Rumsfeld wanted,' 'Powell thought,' 'the Vice President pushed,' or 'Bremer asked,' and so on. One need only compare this with any discussion of foreign policy in Reagan's or Clinton's Administration - or Nixon's or Kennedy's or Johnson's, or most others - to sense how unusual is the absence of the President as prime mover. The other conspicuously absent figure was Condoleeza Rice, even after she was supposedly put in charge of coordinating American policy on Iraq last October....."
I think that observation by Fallows based on his interviews and research, given the respect he has amongst Beltway types, tends to validate what O'Neill and Suskind said, and blows out of the water any spin doctor crap from the White House.
Subj: How to ruin a man in one day
It has been horrifyingly fascinating to watch how the Bush administration destroys a reputation while keeping Mr. Bush above the fray. Paul O'Neill, Bush's former Treasury Secretary, is interviewed on "60 Minutes" Sunday night on Ron Suskind's book, "The Price of Loyalty," which details Mr. O'Neill's tenure in office. Unflattering things are said about the Bush administration by the former high ranking Cabinet official who observed the workings of the Bush White House first hand. He states that Bush & Co. were planning the invasion of Iraq within days after the Inauguration in 2001. This rings true for anyone who remembers Junior's pique over criticism of Dad's failure to finish the job in Iraq (Gulf War I). or with his off-repeated knee-slapper to the Republican faithful about hitting the "trifecta" when referring to 9/11.
What is intriguing about the O'Neill affair is that by Monday an investigation has been launched by the Treasury Department on orders from "above" into the supposedly "sensitive material" shown briefly on 60 Minutes. Such alacrity! It took several days before the White House even deigned to begin an investigation of the leak reportedly from it's own ranks that exposed a high-ranking undercover CIA agent -- a petty, vindictive effort to punish her husband for exposing a lie spoken by the President in his State of the Union speech.
By Tuesday, Mr. O'Neill is madly recanting his remarks and Bush administration mouthpieces have successfully painted him as a "disgruntled fired employee" as if he had been a mere groundskeeper at the White House. One wonders what thuggish threats were whispered in Mr. O'Neill's ear by White House operatives to elicit this sudden change of heart. After all he had spent months turning over documents and talking about his experience on the Bush Cabinet to Suskind, the book's author. But we should not be surprised. As O'Neill himself has said about some of his former colleagues:"(they) are nasty and they have a long memory."
A BuzzFlash reader
Subj: Speaking of Powell on Drugs...
What was the drug he said he was taking? Powell said something like: "It's wonderful... everyone around here takes it." He was saying he has trouble sleeping sometimes I guess, then he said that weird comment about how everybody is on it. I thought to myself, well *that* would explain a lot. Gee, maybe the whole group of Mayberry Machiavellens is on something just like Rush.
Subj: Bush Mooning America
Hello BuzzFlash Readers,
I know you have all heard about President Bushit wanting us to go back to the moon. But, did you know that he first proposed that we go to the sun and harvest its power?
It was when his Secretary of the Treasury told him that it was a stupid idea, that anything that got within a million miles of the sun would burn to a crisp, that President Bushit said: "We can solve that problem by going at night."
And you thought dubya was a dimwit. Well, I guess you will change your tune now.
O'Dell, (Charter Member of the ABB Association)
A POLITY CONUNDRUM
the world can a country have done
Subj: WOULDN'T YOU?
I HAVE A QUESTION........
IF BUSH IS SO ENGAGING, ALWAYS ASKING QUESTIONS.........THEN HOW IN THE WORLD DID THOSE 16 WORDS GET INTO HIS SPEECH? IF HE WAS NOT JUST READING SCRIPT........WOULDN'T YOU ASK QUESTIONS? MAKE SURE THAT STATEMENT (CONSIDERING THE IMPORTANCE) WERE TRUE. AS LIVES COULD BE LOST IF IT WERE A MISTAKE? WOULDN'T YOU ENGAGE SEVERAL TOP LEVEL PEOPLE IN THAT CONVERSATION? WOULDN'T YOU?
Thanks for the great interview with Prof. Lakoff.
I have a three-word phrase that counters "tax relief": "restore tax fairness." That is, raise taxes on the upper incomes. I would love to see our side start to adopt the slick framing techniques of the right, the methods are effective and persuade a lot of people. As it stands, they're shooting real bullets and we're still playing with cap guns.
Subj: How dumb does he think we are?
Bush's response to the Paul O'Neill allegations concerning the administration's early obsession with Iraq regime change (namely that W was simply continuing the Clinton efforts to get rid of Saddam) brings to mind his preposterous claim that he first got to know Enron CEO Ken Lay in 1994, and that Ken Lay was actually a supporter and friend of his opponent, incumbent Ann Richards.
The truth is Lay first started contributing to W back in 1978, and in fact gave him 3 times the money in 1994 as he did to Richards. And if he and his administration were paying so much attention to Clinton's policies, why did they totally ignore the strong warnings about Osama bin Laden's al Qaida?
Will our crack mainstream press nail him on this issue?
Subj: Please Repost Clinton's refusal to listen to the neocons
With all the revelations in the O'Neill book coming out about the Iraqi invasion and the bushites trying to blame Clinton .. perhaps it is time for BuzzFlash to repost the Wolfowitz/Perle/Cheney PNAC report and Clintons refusal to listen to these nutcases.
I've watched Tim Russert's "Meet the Press" the last two weeks (up early, nothing else on), and he has dedicated most of those two shows to bashing Howard Dean.
For example, this last Sunday he said that Dean was, "stealing...I mean, borrowing" ideas that people posted on the Dean website. His exact words! Hello, you moron! That's why those forums are there! There's even a bulletin board in place for people to give campaign advice.
But you wouldn't know that, or anything based in reality, from watching Russert. He's apparently got his marching orders from the corporate heads and the GOP. Those orders are: Get Dean.
Subj: Paul O'Neill
From my perspective, impeachment is too good for w and he and his administration should be tried for high treason and war crimes as it looks like they have murdered and maimed our brave soldiers. I believe Mr. O'Neill speaks the truth.
Dear Friends of Margaret Cho,
Because Matt Drudge posted an incomplete and edited transcript of Margaret Cho's set (about 2 mins. of the 20 min. set) at the MoveOn.org show Monday night, I have received non stop hateful emails (I have over 100 and they're coming in at the rate of 1/minute). I believe that many people who read the transcript didn't even realize she is a comedian because they mentioned her "speech.". Most of my traffic has come directly from a site called freerepublic.com (http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1057275/posts#comment) which posted the transcript from Drudge.
Although people were offended by and commented on different parts of the transcript, it seems that Margaret's biggest crimes are being fat, Asian-American, GLBT supportive, and possibly female. I put a few of them on this email but will forward many more, if asked. I'm sorry in advance if the crudeness offends you. Please know that I am sensitive to that but I think you should know what kind of vitriol is being thrown at Margaret and what we're up against in the coming election.
I hope everyone watches Margaret's films on Showtime this Saturday night. Notorious C.H.O. and I'm The One That I Want air back-to-back. The schedule is here: www.margaretcho.com/television/television.htm. This is how her award winning and ground breaking comedy should be experienced.
Thanks for your support.
P.S. There are more recent pictures (Drudge used a pic from 1999) of Margaret here, with her dog, Bronwyn: http://margaretcho.com/road_pics/ralphbday4_l.jpg and some publicity shots here: http://video.margaretcho.net/margaret_cho_photos/notorious_cho_color.htm
Subj: Truth and Consequences
I was wondering if you knew how many civilians and soldiers were killed or maimed as a result of Bill Clinton's lies about sex with "that woman"?
Thanks for your tireless work.
Subj: Desert badger?
I sent this to Danny Schecter yesterday, who posted it on his blog at Mediachannel, but I thought BuzzFlash readers would be interested in it as well. This is a message I sent to the Ombudsman at the Boston Globe (who is completely useless and couldn't care less.)
"The Globe reported today that GW Bush, responding to former Sec. O'Neill's allegations about when the invasion of Iraq was first planned, said: "In the initial stages of the administration, as you might remember, we were dealing with [patrolling the no-fly zone over Iraq], and so we were fashioning policy along those lines. And then all of a sudden September the 11th hit." That is not, in fact, what Bush said. The true quotation, as reported in the New York Times and played on radio and television, was as follows: "And in the initial stages of the administration, as you might remember, we were dealing with desert badger or flyovers and fly-betweens and looks, and we were fashioning policy along those lines."
Why censor the President's remarks? This is actually a major news story, since we had never before heard of Operation Desert Badger. (I did a lexis/nexis search -- this is the first reference to it in at least the last five years.) Apparently Mr. Bush has revealed a heretofore secret military operation in Iraq that was going on in early 2000. Why would the Globe edit the President's statement to conceal this very important revelation? Also, though we had heard that flyovers were going on then, we had not previously heard about the fly-betweens. It is not clear that "desert badger" refers to "patrolling the no-fly zone," as you reported. That conclusion is very likely incorrect, since "desert badger" doesn't sound like the code name for an aerial operation. Why not just report what the man actually said, rather than cleaning up his remarks to make him look like less of an idiot? Isn't it supposed to be your job to tell the truth?"
This "desert badger" thing is actually quite noteworthy, I think -- if reporters didn't just assume that Bush is moronic and out of touch with reality, they no doubt would have followed up to find out exactly what desert badger was all about. But they figure it was just a brain fart, so they clean it up for him. Hmm.
Subj: Bush on Healthy Marriages
Bush wants $ 1.5 billion to preserve healthy marriages. What is with this guy?
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subj: Television . . .
While at work (my family runs a small restaurant) last Friday, my father turned on the abc evening news. They showed footage from an infrared camera aboard an attack helicopter. On the screen were two men, clearly visible on some dessert road in Iraq. The people on the helicopter radioed to someone that they were observing suspicious activity. One man got something out of his vehicle, and ran to a tractor in a near by field. At this moment, a voice came across telling the helicopter pilot to "smoke'em." About that time dan rather noted that the helicopter was equipped with a 30mm cannon. I wondered, could these be the notorious uranium tipped 30mm munitions we have all heard about? At that instant, the cross hairs were trained on the man that had just ran back from the tractor in the field. Then the helicopter opened fire. The scene was the most gruesome thing I've ever witnessed. You could see a glowing pile of fragments that a few seconds earlier were a human being. The cross hairs were then turned to the other man who was obviously injured, and crawling helplessly on the ground, in a vain attempt to find cover. The helicopter radioed in that one man was killed, and the other was severely wounded. The pilot was instructed to "take him out." The cross hairs were then trained on the wounded man on the ground, another horrific burst, and another glowing pile of flesh! My father and I were taken aback. How could they broadcast such things? What if my children had seen such violence? What possible news value did this have? My father replied that it serves to install fear. I wondered if this was maybe a prelude of what to expect here in the good'ol USA? Shoot first, ask questions later! As I write this, I am listening to Bill Moyers' speech at The Media Reform Conference, broadcast on FSTV. I recently subscribed to DishTV. Did you know that Free Speech TV (FSTV) was available on Dish Network? I know I didn't, and I'm sure many more don't know! We got the satellite hook-up because we decided it was a better deal than cable, and BOY WAS IT EVER! I gotta go now, Mr. Moyers is warming up!
Subj: Fastow Plea Agreement
Does he know enough to pin something on Ken Lay? That is, Lay being a Bush patron, Bush/Cheney are obligated to protect Lay. Does Lay know enough [proof] to terminate the Bush/Cheney presidency? [Then there were two airplane crashes before two elections for the US Senate, Carnahan and Wellstone, coincidence? and a third one before this election?]
When the Judge said he would not accept the negotiated plea for Fastow's wife, one could say it was just ego or did Bush have something on the Judge and this was a coerced delay tactic.
Subj: he is a moron!
jesus god this man is a moron! if i am deep in debt, can't even afford the things my family needs like medicine and health care, do i then load up all the kids and announce we are going to Disney land? we have a man in the white house who has the brain of a not real bright 10 yr old!
Subj: Bum-rushing the King birthday celebration
The Black community of Atlanta is in an uproar because of Dubya's plan to lay a wreathe at the grave of Martin Luther King, Jr. He knows damn well that he is not welcome!! A local radio commentator (WAOK,1380AM) made the statement that Bush would be " desecrating" King's grave site. Protests are being planned by various groups. It's my understanding that Bush invited himself (since he'll be in town anyway for a fund raiser!!). The King neighborhood is now run by the National Park Service, so the King Center can't refuse the pResident wanting to take this photo-opportunity.
I don't know how many Atlantans are aware that they will be placed in containment zones. Hold on Buzz, this promises to be an interesting week-end in Atlanta.
Why don't we just demand that Bush uphold his oath? Bush: TELL US THE TRUTH.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subj: Biden Lugar proposal
At the time the Iraq Resolution came before the Senate Joe Biden and Dick Lugar offered an alternative as discussed in today's DailyHowler.com by the amazing Bob Somerby. The differences were laid out by Bob's sourcing as follows:
By that account, Biden-Lugar permitted war on Iraq over WMD. How did Biden-Lugar differ from Bush’s proposed resolution? On October 3, 2002, Elisabeth Bumiller explained that Bush’s proposal “authorizes Mr. Bush to use force to enforce ‘all relevant’United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq, leaving the White House free to determine what is relevant. In contrast, the Biden-Lugar language specifies that force is authorized to secure the destruction of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and its ballistic missile program or to defend the United States and its allies against those programs.”Just how different was Biden-Lugar? David Firestone reported, then let you decide:
The Howler article was dissecting the veracity of a John Kerry campaign statement, however, I have to ask why the Bushies fought against Biden Lugar. Could it be that they KNEW that finding WMD would be difficult to impossible? By the way where is the Congressional oversight in asking a report on which relevant UN resolutions were enforced by our action. The UN did not have "regime change" as a goal of a resolution, that is all we have accomplished.
Keep up the good work!
Subj: Smallpox scare in Utah!
This is probably not funny, but don't they (the Government/media) have us looking for things that aren't there?
Salt Lake Tribune article Jan. 14, 2004. Hospital emergency room quarantined with possible smallpox case. This was not a drill.
Subj: George Lakoff
Amen for describing such an important political tactic that only the Republican party exploits - to the shame of us Democrats.
I'd like to alert you to the most important framing victory achieved to date by the Republicans - the concept of blue v. red states. They frame the geographic polarization of American voters by coast v. heartland. This is crap. Georgia, North and South Carolina are on a coast, no? Minnesota, Michigan and Illinois are in the heartland, no? Which of these should have been Bush and which Gore under the coast v. heartland theory?
The purpose of the Republican angle here is to distract attention from their Southern strategy where, for more than a generation, they've exploited racist white male sentiment in the Old South to barely construct an electoral base that puts them barely in shooting distance of an electoral majority. Lyndon Johnson told the truth when he signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 - the Democrats were doomed to lose the South's votes for a generation. I was born that year, and his prediction has held true all my life.
Thanks for your work on this,
Subj: Paul O'Neill
It looks like the Paul O'Neill "problem" is being spun deftly by the corporate Republican media. My analysis of all of the network stories (particularly NBC, where David Gregory seems unalterably determined to become a bigger Bush apologist than Tim Russert) said that he is " bitter" because he was fired -- determined to "get back at" the man who fired him. He "stole classified documents". His "betrayal" of Bush is an apostasy, and so on and so forth. Note that all of the attention has been diverted completely away from the merits of his allegations, and directly against the man himself (i.e., why would he "do such a thing to his President"?). Look for more of this Karl Rove modus operandi in the future. When someone stands up and speaks out, they will mount an unabashed, full frontal assault against the apostate, and count on the big media to back it up with sympathetic stories. Whither poor Joe Wilson? This guy couldn't get arrested on the media front when he was talking about the vicious blowing of his wife's cover---where were all the stories about "how could they betray national security like this?" There were none. And as far as Paul O'Neill is concerned --- why was he so shocked at the brutal and vengeful attacks that were launched against him by the White House? Did he really expect anything less from these people? I wonder when Ron Suskind is going to speak up and speak out about the veracity of his book. His main source seems to be heading south on him, unfortunately.
Donald P. Russo
I'm so glad you finally interviewed Prof. Lakoff!!!!! I read his book a few months ago and was amazed at his insightful understanding of political problems - and how it won't be solved overnight. I've tried telling people about it, but now I can just email this interview to them instead!
Good job BuzzFlash!
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subj: I'm Really Mad at O'Reilly!
This comment by O'Reilly (January 9 Talking Points) really infuriated me:
What annoys me the most is that no one has called O'Reilly on this outrageous comparison of a civil rights group to mass murderers. We need to draw attention to this!!
By the way, a really good anti-O'Reilly site can be found here:
Maybe you can help spread the word about how horrible O'Reilly is by giving this site a link?
Jon from NYC
Subj: From Spain, with lots of Shame
First of all, I want you to know that Buzzflash is an invaluable source of info about what's going on up there, in the Empire (as our PM has bluntly said today). I just wan to tell you that we are as tired of Aznar as you are of Bush. That they are really "two peas in a pod". That we stormed the streets of Madrid, Barcelona and all the major spanish cities in the weeks preceding the war. Never ever seen such a public show of anger and outrage in Spain since the dictatorship. That, unfortunately for us, the political opposition (the Socialist Party) is weak and divided (does it ring a bell to you?).
Keep up with your anti-Bush fight! THE WHOLE WORLD IS LOOKING AT YOU. If the bad guy is reelected in November, that'll spell doomsday for all of us.
Juan M Rebes Molina
Subj: Michael Moore on Charlie Rose
RE: Thurs, Jan 14, 2004 12:30am, Charlie Rose Show, Guest: Michael Moore
Attached is the letter I sent immediately to the Charlie Rose Show after they abruptly pulled the interview with Michael Moore and replaced it with a portion of last night's show.
otherwise noted, all original