January 30, 2004
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Subj: Cheney and War
the other day I had the radio on npr and VP Cheney was droning on about the war which I only half listened to and then a phrase struck me. Cheney said "this is a generational war." I sure hope this does not mean what I think it does. Goddess, I hope not.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subj: The difference between a poll and a vote
People quote polls often. And they forget that when polls are presented it is always stated that they are within a certain + or –per cent accuracy. These questions that Lou Dobbs and others ask people to “vote”on are neither polls nor votes. And they are always declared to be not scientifically accurate. However, a vote is a vote and the actual votes are actually counted. And they are exact. And they are “scientifically accurate”. The New Hampshire primary was an election and not a poll. Clark was number three in New Hampshire. It does not make any sense to say that there was statistical tie between Clark and Edwards.
The difference between Clark vote and Edwards vote was actually more than the difference between Gore and Bush in Florida. Did anyone think that the Supreme Court would declare that there was a statistical tie between Gore and Bush? Of course not.
We need to make sure that our voters know the difference between a poll, which is a statistical phenomenon, and a vote. Otherwise, some may think that if the polls say what they believe they want to be true, they do not need to vote. That would be terrible and could cost the party the presidency.
Should you wonder why I would make any big deal out of this, I teach Statistics and Probability in a University, and I can say without a doubt that our population is not educated in Statistics and Probability. They aren't even educated in “measures.”I ordered some food today and was told emphatically by the person taking the order that they do not sell “8 ounces”of what I ordered, but they do sell “half a pound.”So I ordered “half a pound”.
Please try to educate our voters so that they will really, really, go to the polls and vote. Note that our English language tries to confuse everyone by calling the place where people vote “the polls”.
By the way, Michael Moore was actually mathematically correct that Bush was a deserter because he was AWOL for more than 31 days. Was he declared a deserter? Maybe the definition was not applied uniformly to everyone. Peter Jennings and Tim Russert are the ones who need to do some investigative reporting.
Keep on working to get out the vote, Buzzy. We need you.
Margaret Waid, Ph.D.
Subj: "Imminent Threat"
So now Bush and his merry men (a group which includes Condoleeza Rice) are parsing their words to a fare-thee-well by denying they said that Iraq posed an "imminent" threat to the U.S. Well, I guess it all depends what the meaning of "imminent" is. Whoever thought we'd see Baby Bush morph into Bill Clinton (but only in verbal cuteness, not in terms of intelligence, legitimacy or leadership).
Subj: Bush's latest plan, as reported in Chicago Tribune 1/28
While we're all reflecting on the outcome of the New Hampshire primary, Dubya and his pals have come up with a new alarming scheme. According to this morning's front-page Chicago Tribune story, the administration plans an action inside Pakistan to take out Al Qaeda, assuming Musharraf will cooperate. (They also hope to secure cooperation from Iran, so as to cut off the obvious route of escape. You have to wonder what threats or inducements they plan to offer the Iranis.)
Of course, since new troops are not available, this plan would involve temporarily transferring troops from Afghanistan, where the situation outside Kabul is already sliding back toward what it was before we evicted the Taliban.
Quite apart from the doubtful wisdom of such an operation in theory, if Bush's band of arrogant incompetents bungles the job as badly as they've screwed up Iraq and Afghanistan, the outcome could be terrifying: an Islamist coup delivering nuclear capability into the hands of Al Qaeda or its sympathizers, not to mention further trouble in Afghanistan while the troops there are diverted to Pakistan.
The Tribune cites Bush's remark that we have to "hunt down these killers, one by one" (don't have the article in front of me, but that's an exact or nearly exact quote). Someone should tell him the story of the Hydra, which grew a new head every time Hercules struck one off. Although Hercules was the strongest man in the world, his strength did him no good until he used his BRAIN to discover that cauterizing the stump would prevent the head from regenerating. The fable applies to Bush's mindless reliance on military force as the solution to all problems.
Is there some kind of bribe we could pay these jerks to sit on their hands and do no further harm until we get rid of them in November?
Subj: Hutton Hullabaloo
I see Blair's been exonerated by Lord Hutton for "sexing up" WMD reports. BBC heads are resigning and Blair's office is demanding an apology from the network. http://www.wsbtv.com/news/2802830/detail.html
Does this make sense to anyone at all? Nine months later, no WMD, and the Lord Judge appointed by Blair to investigate this issue finds for Blair/War. You don't suppose these guys are out duck hunting together?
I look forward to reading Shirley's letters in your mailbag.
Maybe you should add her to your special writers.
I'm a grandmother and I feel exactly as she does, only she knows how to put her thoughts into words, as I could never do.
Just a suggestion.
Subj: Strange things..and people
I have had many thoughts about why the Bush Family manage to tick so many people off.
There's Neil...who opens his door in the orient and a woman is standing there to have sex with him....he is married...I wonder if his wife owns a gun?...I suppose he has money since he robbed Silverado Savings and Loan of millions!!
Then Marvin...I do not know much about him...and granted this is only a thing that happened that seemed a little strange....but his housekeeper got herself killed in the driveway of his house with her own car?? Strange!
Little Brother Jebbie...is always into some kind of hankie panky...like his kids drug problems and his son breaking into his girlfriend's apt...strange? But, brother Jeb, was into big time hanky panky in 2000, right? Jeez...he promised his brother that state, this was just not right!(yawn)
And we all know over and over what Prez Bush has accomplished....highest deficit in history...highest job loss, a tricky 911, and an illegal war In Iraq...no conscience, or if he has one, it does not keep him awake at night...I really wonder about that entire pretzel thing, too!
Now, we are hearing that R. Giuliani may be our next vice president, although my "know it all republican relative," says it will be Powell...I have a feeling that Powell will wake up and quit taking ambien and decide that this administration is not for him!
Lets take Giuliani apart! His wife comes out one day and announces that hubby is having an affair...and they were separating, but she was not leaving Gracie mansion! So, she and the two little ones stayed on...but Rudy, wanted his lover to come live with them...so he takes her into the Mansion, too. Now, New Yorkers are paying for a mansion that is being used for something that would embarrass Hugh Hefner! (Sorry, Mr. Hefner)
After 911, Rudy could do no wrong...so all republicans think he is God #2 now!
Then his wife, living in the mansion with the two kids and the lover...decides she does not like this, so she get a judge in on the whole thing..and the judge cites Rudy and tells him that he cannot bring the Lover into the house while the little ones are there.
How in the hell can anyone in on the impeachment of Clinton...for crying our loud, stand for this man? I just think that hypocrites abound in the right wing!
The many suicides since the Bush's started to rule the country...are hideous..and I remember so much, the Arkansas Project...where Clinton was linked to about 250 deaths...a lot of them by Cancer and Heart disease...but Jerry Falwell still sold them from the pulpit of his church...and republicans believe it...those who can read!
There was an Anderson suicide, when he was to testify the next day....an Enron suicide, same thing. Margaret Schodinger, allegedly trying to charge our president with rape....killed herself! The death in the office of Joe Scarborough...who did the autopsy....run out of the State of Mo...because of his erroneous autopsies and testimony at trials. And so far back that everyone has forgotten, the Doctor who supposedly jumped from the Bridge in Memphis....a doctor at a meeting at St. Judes, an expert on Anthrax...and a woman who's car ran into a tree at a high rate of speed, killing her...but, the Police said there was a strong smell of gas....more than would happen with the explosion of any kind! These two deaths also had something in common, they had the same Medical examiner, too. Now, in a town the size of Memphis, I doubt it, but then I am a conspiracy nut and a democrat... I must once again read the stupid Arkansas Project!!!!!!!!!
Subj: Intel warnings to Bush administration on Iraqi Intelligence
This is essential reading...A chronology that clearly shows that Bush & Co repeatedly ignored warnings from their intelligence sources on the veracity of the information that was being gathered and relayed to the media.... They are still trying to pin the decision to attack Iraq on faulty intelligence, which is incredibly stupid... first because it is easily shown to be not true, and secondly because the careerists working in the CIA will not take being blamed for this lightly and easily and the last president to really piss off the spooks was Jack Kennedy and that did not end well at all.
Subj: NYTimes article: "Bush Backs Away From His Claims About Iraq Arms"
I sent the following to the NY Times News Desk and their "Public Editor" moments ago, regarding the above article that ran in the paper today:
Subj: What we have here is a failure to take responsibility.
What we have here is a failure to take responsibility. Bush* Inc. prefers to blame everyone from the FBI, to the CIA, to Clinton.
Behind the headlines, the stories and the obvious spin is where the true OUTRAGE should be - and that is bush*'s failure and refusal to take responsibility.
Kay is WRONG when he said that the intelligence community owes America an explanation - it's not the intelligence community that owes America (and the world) an explanation - BUSH* OWES AMERICA AND THE FAMILIES OF THOSE KILLED/WOUNDED IN IRAQ AND THE WORLD AN EXPLAINATION AND AN APOLOGY
As we are frequently reminded by the stepford-supporters - Bush* is the president, Bush* is the Commander 'n Chief, Bush* is in charge - and being president, being commander 'n chief, being in charge means having the fortitude and the guts to stand up and take responsibility for what occurs on his watch. In this - Bush* is a miserable failure.
Call it what you want - being mislead, deceptions, lies, or errors in judgement - it still comes down to the same thing - Bush* is the pResident and the responsibility lies with him.
If bush* wants to be president instead of just dressing up like one - then he better damn well start acting like a president and take responsibility.
It's obvious that based on his past actions of passing the buck and blaming everyone else that he has no intention of ever taking responsibility for anything.
Subj: Iraq War Curriculum
To the BuzzFlash team,
Use the following as you see fit. I would actually like to provide more of my complicated viewpoint - as American, but looking at this play out from Asia - just don't know how. Anyway, . . .
I am an American citizen teaching in a Faculty of Education at a university in Japan. My main job is to educate future English language teachers, but in our seminars we stray to other topics. A student wrote a graduation thesis this year on the topic of how to teach elementary school students about the current Iraq War. As I advised this student, it got me to thinking about a lot of things. A big one is this . . . I recall a national educational crisis post 9.11 about how educators were to handle the attack on America in the curriculum, across the spectrum, from elementary school to university. My question is . . . where is the national educational crisis about how we are going to teach the current situation in Iraq - especially to our children? I suspect the posture of the country as victim after 9.11, be it overly simplistic or outright wrong, is much easier to handle in the elementary school corridors than the country as aggressor, be it for noble purposes or based outright on lies, as is the case in the current Iraq War. As an educator, just asking.
Subj: GOP messing with Dem primaries
Bush had his DeLay go through Iowa, now McCain is countering Clark (not Kerry) in NH and Bushie has been to Arkansas. My, is this what Bush meant when they asked him why he was raising money for GOP primaries when he was unopposed and he answered with that smile of his "Watch me." Even I didn't realize he would actually send McCain of all people to woo Independents away from Clark. He knows MANY of them were for him last time so he goes up there and works for the very guy who nailed him. McCain is a true trooper for Bushie. GOP always is full of surprises for me even after all these years.
See some interesting things at www.moderateindependent.com
Subj: Preposterous Squared
Not only is Donald P. Russo (mailbag Jan26) accurately describing the Alice-in-Wonderland of the Bush administration, but also the Blair administration. Today we have Lord Hutton telling the world what terrible harm the BBC caused by having the audacity to doubt that Iraq could attack the world in 45 minutes. The fact that the BBC was correct is completely irrelevant. The fact that thousands have been killed and crippled because of Blair's mistake is irrelevant. The fact that Blair continues to lie just like Bush and Cheney are doing is completely irrelevant. The only thing important is to suppress a free probing press which everyone knows is the most dangerous threat to the "free-world."
The man in the White House has no idea what it means to be an average person. bush was raised in wealth and as a result, never had to worry about money. For that reason, his plans for tax cuts for the rich, trips to Mars, continuing war wherever he wishes, and going after anything else that costs money is ludicrous.
Most people look at what money they have on hand before embarking on a spending spree. Not bush. The Christian Science Monitor, our paper of choice due to the quality of papers in town, indicates today that bush's tax cuts to the rich would result in a 300 billion deficit per year. WOW.
When will the average republican wake up and realize that their party of choice is not fiscally responsible? My sixteen month old grandson has no idea of the cost that the president's shenanigans will be to him.
Since republicans consider it important to vote for republicans, no matter what...it is time to let them have a dose of their own medicine. No matter who is selected to run as the Democratic nominee, SUPPORT THAT PERSON TO THE HILT.
Now, all we have to do is get as many people as we can ...to vote this man out of office.
Subj: Dems. vs. the media
I agree with Shirley [St. Louis] that the repugs are scared to death of Dean.
Recently, I read the article questioning if Dean had been Gored by the media. Dean has absolutely been Gored. Why would they pick on one candidate? Simply because that candidate may be unbeatable. I feel the media has been given their marching orders on the democratic primaries. They have allowed themselves to be a bridge for the Bush admin. to the sheeple. Evidently, the repugs have had their guns loaded for the smear campaign against Kerry for a long time. They are looking at him as shot down and in the bag before he comes out of the starting gate. Because the media is giving Dean such a hard time, I suspect that the repugs don't feel they have enough sticky stuff to bring him down should he be the democratic nominee. Wha-lah, up steps the media with guided missiles and they are being shot at Dean preemptively... can't let a guy like that a good start, 'ya know. That's the strat-er-gy. The truth is that Dean has more intelligence in his little finger than the GOP has in their entire bodies!
Regardless of who is nominated by the dems, that candidate will have a hard time with the media. That is a fact and well proven by the track record they had against Gore. It makes me wonder if the dems. are prepared for that type of negative media barrage once again. One thing we know for sure is that Gore won the 2000 election by ½ million+ votes in spite of the media. Someone has to get a sound plan organized to keep the democratic candidate from having to run against Bush AND THE MEDIA at the same time. And the sooner, the better!
Subj: McGovern Interview
The first vote I ever cast, in any election, was in 1972 when George McGovern ran for President. I was proud to vote for him then, and I'm still proud of it, especially after reading your interview with him. Keep talking, George! We were with you then, and we're with you now!
George Bush A Deserter?
George W. Bush served as a pilot in the Texas Air National Guard from May 1968 to October 1973. He did not go to Vietnam. No documents or witnesses have been produced to confirm that Bush ever appeared for duty during his last year of service. Retired Gen. William Turnipseed, a commander at the Alabama base, where Bush claims he served, has said he never saw Bush appear for duty between 1972 and 1973. Records have never been produced to document that Bush was there. During that same year Bush did not take the required pilot's physical examination and was removed from flight status. The Bush administration has offered nothing more than statements that Bush remembers serving during the period in question. Absent Without Leave (AWOL) is defined as absent for 30 days or less. Desertion is defined as absent for more than 30 days.
"Those of us who were in the military wonder how it is that someone who is supposedly serving on active duty...can miss a whole year of service without even explaining where it went" -- Senator John Kerry
Subj: US says it never warned of "imminent" Iraq threat
This is as close as Bush will ever come to volunteering an admission:
Reader comments to this story HERE.
Some of the comments are spot-on great. And the tone of all of the messages is reassuring. Just hope they all remember to VOTE.
This Canadian would if he could.
Subj: Senate Judiciary Files
I'm just wondering why people commenting on the "honor and decency" Senate Republicans have not contrasted their actions with respect to the Democrats' files with those of Tom Downey and the Gore campaign when they received copies of GWB's debate preparation materials. Without even reviewing them, Downey immediately contacted the FBI, and turned over the materials. In contrast, the Senate Republicans (on the Judiciary Committee, no less) spent 2 years reviewing and strategizing based on illicitly gained documents.
Subj: Re: Reader's Commentary on ABC's piece last night
I did see what amounts to a retraction and an apology from ABC News. My jaw dropped! When they put Dean's speech into its actual context, even showing what people on the floor were hearing and seeing with their video cameras and microphones, Dean had done absolutely nothing out of the ordinary. It was a revelation and the first time that I can recall in which a major media outlet basically said, "Oops! We screwed up. Sorry about that." Then the cynic in me took over: does the Bushcapades crowd fear Kerry more than Dean? Do they prefer the good doctor over a war hero? Is the Rove machine sparking this kind of "mea culpa" from the media, the better to "rehabilitate" Dr. Dean in the face of Bush's stagnant poll numbers and less-than-mediocre performance? Just thought I'd ask.
Subj: Traitor Novak
I know it's not as important as James Brown being arrested for domestic violence, but don't you think there would at least be some mention in the media of the fact that Robert Novak had a criminal complaint filed against him for assault after being taunted for being a traitor? Hopefully, we can see his mug shot on the news and then on a coffee cup on Jimmy Kimmel.
Once again, the national media is simply a disgrace! I've yet to see this reported on the news or in one the two local papers I receive; the Lodi News-Sentinel and the Sacramento Bee. The media really needs to stop protecting their own. Fourth estate, my ass...
Story at Take Back the Media: http://www.takebackthemedia.com
Subj: Mailbag 1/29
To all who lauded Al Franken...I agree, totally! He is a true friend to the left wing..he never, ever starts anything...but given the chance...he sure can finish it. Just think of the dressing down he gave to O'Reilly on the book notes thing....O'Reilly and company tried to sue him, even had Ailes there....they still lost!!! (yeehhhhaaaawww)
And to Vern, the president would be bored with anything that he didn't dream up. O'Neill tried to tell him that Iraq was not right...and he got fired, that is the long and short of it! I believe Paul O'Neill...totally, but I would fear for my life if I were him!!
To all of you who have been fortunate enough to hear the "Dean scream" in reality, I am going to try to get that....'cause for some reason, this administration does not want to face Howard Dean...I am at a loss, but then I am at a loss with everything about this administration. There is a No Nonsense way about Howard....he would asked very hard questions....if he were the nominee....and a lot of things Bush could not answer about domestic policy...much less Foreign policy! I back Dean all the way, but knowing the american public and the many times that scream has been played the way they want it.....He will lose...I can just hear and see it...and it breaks my heart.
And to Jeremiah McAuliffe, Jr......bless your heart...more people live like you now than should. We are all feeling the crunch....but Safire never will, because he is being paid by the right wing of something...and he will be paid handsomely to bad mouth the left.
He was the same when Bill Clinton was being impeached....and the lies he tells are endless!
I heard a person on 'that' side ask this week, "Is it really worth spending all that money just to keep these inspectors on?"
I thought to myself....it was worth between 70 and 90 million to investigate Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky...AND NO ONE GOT KILLED...You betcha it is worth it!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Subj: Doing business with George: always read the fine print
A BuzzFlash Reader
The Randi Rhodes Show has a link to write to all members of Congress to stop the deadline against the 9-11 commission. I think it would be great to post this link so BuzzFlash readers could add their letters to the mass mailing. Here's the link:
On Tuesday, I tuned in to the "Oprah" show. The show was highlights of clips from the "after-show"--that is the part of the show that airs on the Oxygen network after the regular airing wraps up. There was one clip I found, to say the least, extraordinary: the one featuring Maria Shriver & Ah-nold.
Oprah was relating how she first met Ah-nold. She had gone to their home to see Maria, Ah-nold had been in the pool and answered the door--still in his bathing suit (side bet: no way was his suit 'trunks'). Oprah told of how he invited her in, but she kept insisting "ah, no. I'll just wait out here." She continued saying how Ah-nold persisted in telling her to come in, while she was just as persistent in refusing. It was obvious the incident had made her very uncomfortable.
So, here we have Oprah who has unfailingly encouraged women to empower themselves and to follow their 'gut instincts'. Additionally, she was horrendously abused as a child--this gives her an insight to abuse victims that others simply do not have. I believe the incident she related clearly demonstrates that she understands fully the concept of following one's instincts.
Flash forward to the California recall election: How, then, did she turn a blind eye to Ah-nold's predatory ways that were being reported in the media and proceed with a show that may have cleared the way for him to the governor's mansion? Taking into account that she said she had the couple on her show because of her friendship with Shriver, just how much does an enlightened person need to know before she says "enough"?
Subj: Spooked Republicans
Is it us, or does anyone else sense the tension within the republican party.
It's like they they are suffering from *shock and awe,* and terribly spooked, by the anger displayed toward them from democrats in defense of their bullying, and don't know how to handle it.
They seem to be REALLY screaming louder than usual to shout us down. Using their fists even, and stepping up their dirty tricks. They are finding out their normal old ways of handling things, have started to wear thin. About time! Without the media, strong democrats overrode them, and are getting stronger.
Yes, we have a way to go, and sometime it gets tiresome, but we are doing it. They are a vicious bunch, but they taught us well.
BuzzFlash and all the websites (some have gone) were here for us from the beginning. You kept us from falling apart, till we were able to walk and talk, without fear.
BuzzFlash you are priceless.
Subj: Intelligence and Oiligarchy
Mr. Kay says that there must be an investigation of intelligence organizations to find out how they were so wrong about WMDs in Iraq. We should not forget the actions of the Office of Special Plans, run by Mssrs Feith and Luti and others, and their belief that the CIA was understating the danger of Saddam's capabilities. They searched intelligence documents looking for justification for invasion, cherrypicking what they needed, whether it was legitimate or not. We should remember the excellent piece from Seymour Hersh (called a domestic terrorist by Richard Perle), of the New Yorker as preserved by Common Dreams in May of 2003. Others who wrote about the coming Empire and the NeoCon plan to attack Iraq were Air Force Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski, on Lew Rockwell's webpage and Jim Lobe of IPS News who has been following this story at least since 1998. Both of these writers have excellent archives of past articles. The Guardian Online summed up the situation in a July 2003 article entitled The Spies who Pushed for War. These should be required reading for every American.
The NeoCon Oiligarchs insisted on intelligence that would justify an attack on Iraq and expand the interests of the oil industry and military bases in the region, creating an Empire for the US. So when Mr. Kay says that an investigation of the intelligence organizations must take place, there must also be an investigation of the Neo Conservatives and their role of the run up to the war in the Office of Special Plans. It is not that the CIA, the DIA and the FBI are angels but, in this case, they were overruled by Feith, Shulsky and Libby, et al., who want to rule their Empire through their puppet ruler. We must investigate the OSP and all of those involved in this scurrilous project.
Thank goodness there are a few heroes like Greg Thielman and Katherine Gun. One wonders what John Kokal knew that made him jump from the roof of the State Department last November. I agree with Daniel Ellsberg that someone needs to step forward soon and reveal what is really going on before we lose our democracy.
Subj: Rock'em Sock'em Novak
Can we officially say that the right's gone completely nutso?
Diminutive sour-puss Bob Novak, who looks like a cross between Ralph Lauren, the eccentric writer from "A Clockwork Orange" and a large-mouth bass, actually assaulted a fellow citizen? What Senior Admin. Official told him to do that?
I thought Novak only attacked people from behind the safety of a laptop and the journalistic "code of honor" while leaving the business of public scrums to the Mike Tysons and Russell Crowes of the world.
Even OJ Simpson, who surely goes through every day hearing taunts of " guilty" and "murderer", hasn't had an episode like this.
Meanwhile, potential leakers in the White House are sure to be tempted the next time someone suggests, "Can't we just sick Bob Novak on him?"
Subj: Put 1/29 Mailbag information together and voila, The Truth!
A. Mailbagger Hesiod wrote that "the White House was provided a LOT of evidence, warnings and caveats on Iraq's lack of an active and developed WMD ‘program' right from the beginning." This also was true for the " warnings and caveats" given DimSon about an alQueda attack on the U.S. prior to 9/11 [e.g., the 8/6/01 briefing].
B. Mailbagger Justin wrote that DimSon was "bored as hell" listening to treasury secretary O'Neill - who was "boring the president with boring facts about the boring economy which affects the lives of millions of boring Americans."
Logic: if ‘A' is true, and ‘B' is true, is conclusion ‘C' also true?
C. DimSon was "bored as hell" half-listening to ‘boring facts about boring alQueda and boring Iraq which adversely affected the lives of millions of boring Americans, Afghanistanis and Iraqis.'
Oh, and one other question - re Brian's posting of "Al Franken's side of the story." Will Faux, NY Post and/or NewsMax do in-depth reports about Robert Novak " body slamming" [or fist-slamming] an innocent bystander who was not out of control and who did not attack anyone first - since they seem so incensed at luminaries taking punches at the plebs?
CLICK HERE FOR PART 2 OF THE JANUARY 30, 2004 BUZZFLASH MAILBAG.
otherwise noted, all original