February 20, 2004
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I see that Dubya's biography is once at the top of the "miserable failure" Google list where it belongs. Michael Moore took the top spot for a few days. The most interesting thing about the attempt by the Republicans to put Jimmy Carter at the top of the list speaks volumes about the character of the Republicans who did this. Why would anyone who wasn't demented consider a man who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize a miserable failure. You might consider taking a poll to see who would be the least likely public figure to win this prize in the future. We all know who would win.
I'm continually dazzled by the incredible speed of BuzzFlash in keeping up with the breaking news. I feel that there any number of agencies whose motto is the same as "The Daily Show"- When the News Breaks We Fix It! Thanks for being there.
Subj: Cheney in Albuquerque, NM
Cheney was here the other day. The local news that evening reported Cheney's speech. I was stunned (you'd think I would know better) when I heard Cheney say that 'we now know that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction' and ' chemical labs have been found that prove ....' blah, blah, belch.
In my educated opinion, this administration is a band of thugs who clearly believes the American people and certainly those living in Albuquerque, NM are simpletons who would follow anyone in a limo over a cliff.
When John Kerry wins the election in November it will be a joy to send a well-deserved farewell kick of an e.mail to the pathological liars masquerading as our leaders.
Subj: DD Form 214
Ok, here's the plan. All of the National Guard vets need to get a copy of their "DD Form 214" and form a huge coalition that get's headlines. "Here's our DD Form 214. Mr. Bush, WHERE'S YOURS?"
A BuzzFlash Reader
I just finished reading an article by ABC News on Laura Bush, titled, "Bush Campaign Banks on First Lady". The link is: AOL News - Secret Weapon
In the course of the article, Laura states the following:
It seems to me, the First Lady, should be educated on the fact that her husband has, spent the surplus and created a deficit of $7 Trillion dollars of hard earned money from American taxpayers, to ruin and destroy his own credibility. He certainly didn't need a mere $100 million from Democrats to do it for him.
Yours in kind,
Thanks for the link to Nader’s website. Here’s my letter.
Subj: The Daily Telegraph removed Bush link
FYI, The Daily Telegraph removed Bush link that you have on your page "The Daily Telegraph: Bush 'paid for abortion' charge covered 2/18", but I found a cached version through a google search.
Also, absolutely no mainstream site has reported on the story of the woman who claimed Bush raped her and filed suit against him.... then was found dead by apparent suicide. please link to it.
Subj: Matt Drudge Loses an Advertiser
Matt Drudge has lost a long-time advertiser because of last week's groundless report alleging that Sen. John Kerry had an extramarital affair with a 27-year-old woman.
AT&T Wireless has pulled all advertising from the Drudge Report in response to a complaint about its sponsorship of the site:
I've noticed over the past few months that there is an increasing number of links posted on BuzzFlash now for each new day. I can remember when the Headlines could be dated for several weeks apart...now almost the entire Headline page is from each single day! I believe this is an indication of the increase in negative (truthful) articles which are appearing now across America in nearly every publication. Even websites once almost fanatically conservative are forced now to explain the failure of supply-side economics and Bush's increase in spending...once almost exclusively blamed on Democrats! (see the Bush increase for The National Endowment for the Arts if you want to know how flipped around conservative economics have become!)
Not to mention Drudge, Hannity, and Limbaugh getting hammered trying to slander Kerry about the alleged "Sex Scandal"!! In times like these the unemployed are NOT asking themselves about someone's sex life, or if Gays should be allowed to marry..but whether they'll have a job tomorrow to feed their families! Or if the repo man is going to come take away the family car. Or if they can continue to afford the house payment.
So things are looking up for Democrats! Be optimistic! We're winning in the polls and Bush can't even talk right to defend himself!! Of course we can expect more attacks like the Kerry "Sex Scandal" or the faked Fonda photographs, but we're doing a great job exposing the lies and keeping the stories in the tabloids where they belong...right next to the "Bat-boy found in Cave" headlines!!
Subj: Cheney and Halliburton
Terrific article in New Yorker about the cronyism of Cheney and Iraq and Halliburton. To think we had a $50,000,000.00 investigation into Clinton's $80,000.00 Whitewater deal. Cheney is stealing millions of taxpayer dollars. And the media says nothing.
Subj: Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh are panicky. I wonder, WHY?
I regularly listen to Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh on my local Clear Channel station. Ever since the Tim Russert "Meet the Press" interview I've noticed that not only are Sean and Rush raising the decibel level of their diatribes they're also raising the octave of their voices. Perhaps a little hormone therapy is in order.
These two guys are not only hysterical they are SO terrified at the negative (truthful) media coverage of Bush they've begun a coordinated attack, in concert with Matt Drudge, lashing out at any Democrat who dares to criticize George W. Bush on any issue.
Every time I listen to Sean or Rush the words outraged or outrageous spring from their lips like oxycontin from Rush's maid.
Well my response to Sean and Rush is this: Who cares if you're outraged?? It's about time that your beloved received criticism for his:
It may have taken us a while but we finally understand that the secret to disrupting the Neo-Con propaganda machine is found in telling the TRUTH about George W. Bush.
So hold onto your hats Sean and Rush because you ain't seen nothing yet!
Maureen Farrell, "The Way We Were"
One of the best summaries I've read so far!
Subj: Maureen Farrell
Hi there Buzz,
Just want to thank you and Maureen Farrell for her excellent commentary. It's a timely reminder of how our current administration and its policies/ideas compare to the kind of thinking that has (historically) made this a great country. I'm beginning to believe that what our nation is going through right now is a kind of temporary insanity, and that one day years hence I'll have to try to explain the bizarre phenomenon that is Ann Coulter to my disbelieving grandchildren..
By the way: Buzz, you have some of the best writing on the internet in your Mailbag!! If not MOST of the best writing. I'd like to encourage these writers to start their own blogs, submit to newspapers, and just keep on getting their words out there! Women's voices are underrepresented in the mass media and in the political blogosphere, but not in the 'Bag. Keep the great stuff coming!
A BuzzFlash Fan
Subj: Reports from the "nest" (Bush Economic Team Under Fire Over Jobs)
During the 2000 elections a senior editor of the Austin American Statesman was heard saying he didn't want to report negative item about Bush. He didn't want to "dirty the nest."
For the most part most for the South Austin crowd don't much respect the paper. They call it the "Snakeskin." I have sent you this whole article because the Statesman has a very cumbersome and invasive registration page.
If you are interested in highlighting it for your site (and haven't already done so), you can probably find it at the AP site.
Still this is remarkable that the Statesman has published this.
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Mayer is a staff writer for The New Yorker. She talks about Vice President Dick Cheney and Halliburton, the company where Cheney served as chief executive for five years. Halliburton is the world's largest oil-and-gas-services company, and is now the biggest private contractor for American forces in Iraq. Mayer's article "Contract Sport: What Did the Vice-President do for Halliburton?" is in the current issue of the magazine (Feb. 16 and Feb. 23 issues).
A BuzzFlash Reader
Let's see: Bush declares Iran in the Axis-of-Evil. You're either with us or against us.
Our enemy is your enemy, or is that; your enemy is my friend, or was that; your friend is my enemy, or maybe it was.....oh, oh, as long as it's about oil.
Pardons all around.
Subj: Balkman education on what is important to Oklahomans.
Rep. Thad Balkman said that gay marriage is the most important issue facing Oklahomans. All of you who have no jobs or health care for your children make sure and either call him or drop him a note. If you have children being shot at in Iraq call him at this moment. If you are a veteran still waiting to see a VA doctor call Mr. Balkman.
It is about time this bigoted sanctimonious twit was educated. Make sure and tell him your marriage doesn't need protecting by his self-righteous crusade against the civil rights of Americans.
Karen Webb, Moore, Ok.
Subj: Top Secret WH Memo
Writer for New Yorker claimed on NPR "Fresh Air" she has seen top secret memo describing Bush Admin plans to invade Iraq and grab oil in the first month of taking office. Backs Paul O'Neill's story.
Ed Gillespie & Friends keep repeating the mantra about Bush's low approval ratings: "Of course his ratings have dropped - the democratic candidates have been bashing him for months now. We expected this." That's funny. I seem to remember Clinton being bashed consistently for 8 years. It didn't seem to bring down his ratings. Not even when he was being impeached. Let's face it Ed. You've got yourself a stinker.
Keep up your great work Buzz - it's really working!
Barbara in NYC
Subj: Absentee Balloting
I have been an avid Buzzer for over two and a half years now. Okay, I'll admit it...I am addicted. Recently, with the unreliable electronic voting machines I have read quite a few letters to Buzz about voting absentee. My home state of Texas has QUALIFICATIONS to vote absentee. You must qualify under certain specific criteria to be able to vote absentee. NOT all people who register for an absentee ballot will get one.
Please access your voter registration office in your state to be sure you can actually vote absentee and be aware of the exact procedure to do so. The paper trail is obviously important, but not in Texas unless you qualify under specific criteria.
Since the vote will obviously be one of the most important votes in the history of our Republic this coming November, I needed to alert your readers to this fact. So please Buzzers check with your state/local voter registration offices to be sure you actually qualify to vote absentee.
May the good Buzzers start to circle over Washington D.C. come November.
Onward to victory,
Browsing Internet, my interest became feverish when I read the Massachusetts Court had decided that civil-unions would not due. Anything less than equal rights for same-sex couples was tantamount to the perpetuation of second class status for a large number of Americans. And that was simply unacceptable.
What do you know, esteemed jurists had put down on paper what I had thought for years.
Briefly, I felt proud to be American again. Maybe America was the land of the free and home of the brave. Free because we enjoyed equal rights, guaranteed by our Bill of Rights and Constitution. Brave because if anyone decided “tread on me”, we had the right to stand up and make sure it didn’t stick.
Then the curtain fell again. The Governor of Massachusetts, opposing the decision, cited Abraham Lincoln, saying he too had fought a legal decision he felt morally unacceptable. Wait, wasn´t it Lincoln who gave his life to abolish laws, including implicit constitutional backing, that left African Americans as severely second class?
Back then, people talked about African Americans rights as they now talk about gay rights. But Lincoln, in his wisdom and foresight, avoided political expediency. He signed the Emancipation Proclamation, and freed the slaves. He began a long process, which, embarrassingly, only came to a conclusion one century later.
Today, in the intimacy of family and friends descendents of those who favored slavery,among others, are still saying nasty things about the descendents of those once enslaved, among others. Yes, this “hatred”, that, as Lincoln said, runs so deep in American society it is “in our bones”, is alive and well. And, it is manifesting itself in the debate over whether same sex couples have the legal right to form a family. Historical precedent says we will, giving credence to the words: all Americans enjoy the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
America seems to enjoy bearing witness to this rite of passage. First the Irish. Then African Americans. After that women. Now, gays must withstand this torturous process in order to “jump the broom”(walk down the aisle) and enter American society as full partners.
Those who are fighting against us should know, that, like those that came before us, we shall overcome.
Alec Elson McCurry
Subj: GOP Wants Nader to Run
Subj: Bush Quote
George Bush himself left no doubt why he joined the National Guard: to get out of Vietnam. In May 1984, he told the Houston Chronicle:
I never see this quote used in the media.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subj: Novak: Strike Two for Bush
I had been wondering if president bush was given advanced info on the questions that would be asked of him prior to the Russert interview. Given his very flat/poor performance I actually thought that he was not given advance warning. Given Novak's claim (see below), it seems that President Bush was given advanced notice regarding what wouldn't be asked? This of course raises the question of what he was told prior to the interview? What parameters Russert was given, if any? And if it is standard for Russert to tell someone, including the President, what topics wouldn't be asked? I appreciate that many of the questions regarding the economy, Iraq, the democrats were obvious, but it seems a little unfair to give advance notice of what specifically wouldn't be asked as if the president wouldn't have to worry about it.
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I too will be voting in the Illinois primary for my candidate--Dean. This is my protest vote for the media and DNC's anointing of Kerry as the Democratic candidate. Why not just skip all the primaries and just ask DNC and the media who we should run?
It's just hard to believe with all the momentum Dean had in the beginning that everything went downhill so fast, and with no real explanation. There are still a lot of Dean supporters out there. It's a shame Dean and Clark, the 2 outsiders didn't get in to clean up that mess in Washington. They are both very smart men and I think they would have done a good job. However in the fall my vote will be for the Democratic candidate whoever that is. Marion Young from Ventura, California should reconsider her vote for Nader. Nader can never beat Bush, and the Democratic candidate will need every vote to win. The one important objective is to get gwb-cheney out of there. Just maybe Kerry will move to the left after he becomes president just like gwb moved to the right.
Thanks Rebecca Sheir for your piece on gwb's Charitable Deeds. It's good just to laugh out loud once in awhile after enduring some of the crap this administration puts out.
Shirley, I too will be in the land of Jeb the same week as you. Wish I had an ABB button to wear. . .
Subj: A Bemused Rant
In response to a supposed Dem who recently asked when KERRY and EDWARDS were going to tell us what policies they would actually "do" if they gained office:
ANY Dem in ALL ways will be infinitely better than Shrub. The cynicism of the Shrubbites should have shown us in 2000 and 2002 that ISSUES DON'T MATTER, WINNING does.
We can have laundry lists of issues for every single candidate "proving" why we should support this one and not that one and split hairs and count angels on pinheads to choose between two SIMILAR candidates, or we can do what the anti-choice churches do and blacklist candidates based on single issues.
And while we do all that, the Shrubbites are laughing up their sleeves at the moving goal line of "issues" because they KNOW what they will do and can even LIE about the issues NOW, at the same time they are focused on WINNING to do their worst LATER.
Subj: Laura Bush and Hunting Witches
Laura Bush says people who criticize her husband for lying this nation into war with Iraq or for lying about his National Guard service are conducting a "witch hunt." This is classic Republican "Through the Looking Glass" reasoning: take what Republicans have historically done and accuse their opponents of it, even when there's no factual, logical or grammatical basis for doing so.
But the First "Lady's" charges raise an interesting point: Does she think her husband is a witch? If so, can we look forward to a book of his favorite spells? I encourage Mrs. Bush, a librarian, to get her husband to write this book -- perhaps it would reveal why nearly 50 percent of people who talk to pollsters, possibly spellbound, say they think he's doing a good job in the office he stole.
Why bother to vote? With all these new voting machines with no paper trail, the bushies will just make sure those machines say bush won. There are high school kids who have broken into pentagon computers. Does anyone really think those voting machines can't be conquered?
Subj: college Republicans laugh about Wellstone's death
Here's an item from the SALT LAKE TRIBUNE that fits in with today's BuzzFlash headline "Did a deranged Republican really say something that despicable?"
If that isn't despicable I don't know what is.
IS THAT A PROMISE OR A THREAT? At Wednesday's invitation-only briefing for Bush-Cheney fund-raisers at the Manhattan nightspot Eugene, Karl Rove confided: "It's going to be a mean, nasty campaign." As President Bush's top political strategist, Rove should know.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subj: Touchscreen Voting Machines
I read Election Reform Advocates Call for Paper Back-Up. Our local grocery store has installed UPay scanner checkouts, so we can do our own checkouts and all. The system is entirely touchscreen. You can pick a method of payment from cash to credit card, scan in coupons and finally, get a PAPER receipt and cash back even if you used a credit or debit card. As I read the article, I couldn't help wondering why we have this level of sophistication when we buy groceries, but we don't have it for voting, and according to the companies who are supplying the questionable machines, isn't possible to have.
My husband and I planned a mini-vacation around the week of election and we'll be absentee voters. I work on computers, I love computers, but I am not going to risk my vote getting hijacked. Its too sad that this kind of suspicion is even possible.
Thanks as always for all you do.
Subj: To hell in a handbasket, as my grandmother would have said
You guys are so fantastic. I am in awe. No kidding. As I plod thru this stuff, I wonder where we'd be without you.
A BuzzFlash Reader
[BuzzFlash Note: We wonder the same thing. Thanks for supporting our -- and we mean everyone who contributes to the site -- work.]
After what seems like a decade of Clinton (trite) blow-job jokes, Letterman has now set his sites on Kerry and the spurious, discounted, unsubstantiated rumor about an alleged affair. He keeps referring the young lady (collateral damage) as an intern and last night said something to the effect that since they both Kerry and the Collateral Damage had denied it, it must be true. To watch how an unsubstantiated, malicious rumor from Matt Drudge made it into late night talk show monologues is really frightening and disgusting. Referring to her (collateral damage) as an intern is a Rovian propaganda technique to tie Clinton’s indiscretions to Kerry not unlike Hussein & Al Qaeda or Hussein & 911 rhetorical connections. Dave needs to get his head out of his ass!
Then Dave treated us to a photograph of his progeny. Man, what a “cute lil’bastard.”
Subj: Mr. Bush and the Grand Inquisitor
My daughter, Sigrid Smith, who contributes regularly to BuzzFlash, recently sent a list of questions for various individuals connected with the Bush administration. Most of those questions were to the point, I thought, but I was doubtful about the question for Ms. Bush: Did you really read The Brothers Karamazov? Ms. Bush is known to be an omnivorous and thoughtful reader, so why question the veracity of her statement that she'd read Karamazov?
After mulling over this, I reach the conclusion that the question might have been worded differently. Ms. Bush, when you read the Grand Inquisitor chapter of Brothers Karamazov, how on earth could you have said, "It's about life, it's about death, it's about Christ and I found it reassuring?"
The book as a whole is unsettling, and the Grand Inquisitor chapter is the most unsettling of all. Two of the brothers, Ivan and young Alyosha, discuss the plot of a poem that Ivan has imagined. In it, the churchman who heads the Spanish Inquisition engages in a one-way dialog with Jesus, who says nothing. The Inquisitor, who himself as a young man went out into the wilderness in order to purify his soul, knows the kind of questions that Satan put to Jesus under similar circumstances. Jesus refused the first, to change stones into bread. The Inquisitor tells him that this was a mistake: what the lowly unhappy people of the world want most is bread. (This idea is basic, by the way, to that bitter chorus in The Three Penny Opera: "Erst kommt das Fressen, dann kommt die Moral" [grub first, then morality]) If you feed the unhappy people, says the Inquisitor, you can deceive them into happiness by providing miracles and above all authority. The chapter can be read as a justification for totalitarianism, just as the Inquisitor uses it as justification for the practices of the Church. First, in Ivan's story, Jesus is condemned to be burned at the stake, but in the end the Inquisitor banishes him. Jesus, still silent, kisses him on the lips and departs. One of your contributors thought the kiss was "semihomosexual" but he forgot that this is a Russian book. A kiss on the lips means forgiveness. So in the end Jesus forgives the Inquisitor for all the horrors he's perpetrating?
Sorry, Ms. Bush, but I don't find anything here that could be called reassuring.
The Inquisitor's remarks remain unanswered.
Subj: Is this the reason for Bush's recess appointment of Pickering? (US Fifth Circuit to Hear Request to Reopen Roe v. Wade)
Could Bush's recent recess appointment of Charles Pickering (R - racist) to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals have anything to do with this?
A BuzzFlash Reader
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Subj: Job Creation
We should remind those that are telling us that Bush is "creating" new jobs that they are not telling us that those jobs are being created in India, Pakistan, China, South America, etc.
Good to see BuzzFlash post the AP story about a permanent U.S. presence in Iraq.
The voters are generally unaware of this important issue, and few politicians address the problem.
What will be the cost in dollars and in lives?
Here's my earlier CounterPunch attempt to call attention to the subject.
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Subj: Rush Limbaugh Case
Rush's rush to the ACLU to protect his rights is quite humorous but then we all know what a hypocrite he is. Interesting how all the right wing disparage the ACLU, courts, attorneys and judges until they need their services. It seems to me this Bush administration had a ruling that would open our medical records to a greater extent than before. Anyone remember this or the name of the bill? Bush said yesterday on the Defense of Marriage issue, "I think the American people should vote on this, not leave it up to the courts." Oh! Really! Seems to me that he ran straight to the Supreme Court to make the decision to not count our votes in 2000. Can't wait to read that new book of the GOP in their own words.
Pisces in Florida
Subj: paper doll
I need to find a paper doll set of George Bush with lots of costumes like a police man, a fireman, a cowboy, a soldier :):)
I would like to show my little girl how George Bush likes to play dress up and pretend he is something he is not! :):):)
Karen Massey, South Carolina
otherwise noted, all original