April 29, 2004
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THIS IS PART 2 OF THE APRIL 28, 2004 BUZZFLASH MAILBAG. CLICK HERE FOR PART 1.
Subject: I'm Royally Pithed Off!
It seems like John Kerry can't please anybody, and it pithes me off, but not because of anything he's done. What really burns my butt is that anyone honestly expects him to have a 10- or 20-point advantage six months in advance of the election. It's simply unrealistic. Sure, I'd love to see his poll numbers higher, BUT each and every time he's tried to introduce a new component of his overall plan for our future, what should receive widespread press coverage -- like his plan to put Americans back to work -- gets overwhelmed by the hysteria over the 9/11 commission hearings or drowned by the introduction of Richard Clarke's book or buried by the latest new disaster in Iraq or tripped up by the flap over his medals. In fact, few members of the Senate and the House have given him the support that Dubya has enjoyed by the GOP, and that's a crime! I've heard more said on his behalf by Chuck Hagel and John McCain than any twenty Dems with the exception of Edward Kennedy. I see more letters to the editor on behalf of Dubya than I see standing up for John Kerry.
Folks, the man deserved a short vacation. It's not like he spent a month in Crawford. It's not like he's spent 40 percent of his time on vacation. And he needed the surgery. Would you want him to struggle through the rest of the campaign season with a wounded wing? Doesn't he deserve more respect than that?
John Kerry has stated that the GOP is throwing everything it's got at him. He's absolutely right. His advantage is that there isn't much left, but Dubya's burden increases with every casualty in Iraq, every session of the Supreme Court fixated on the administration's post-9/11 conduct, all the anti-Dubya books coming out in the coming months, the 9/11 commission report, and the list goes on. The negatives will continue to pile up around him until even his solid base can no longer ignore them. With Senator Kerry it's pretty much as bad as it's going to get; they don't have much left they can go after: it's all out on the table, and it's going to seem pretty trivial in comparison a few months from now.
But, you know, it seems to me that the Dems are ready to throw up their hands and admit defeat. Lord, this is only April! Quitcherbitching and get in gear! Let's start writing to our Senators and Congressmen/women and Governors and DEMANDING that they show some guts (like Wesley Clarke did in his Op-Ed in the New York Times) and stand up to the GOP onslaught and support our candidate for President. And keep writing and keep faxing and keep phoning until we get some positive response and Senator Kerry gets some real support! Spend your spare time writing to forums, writing Op-Eds, calling in to talk radio shows, sending letters to the editor, sending positive news articles you see in your local newspapers to editors and writers at other newspapers and encourage them to follow up, volunteering for voter drives, make phone calls. It's networking. It's grassroots. It works. Do it.
Dubya's poll numbers continue to drop. [See "Support for War Is Down Sharply, Poll Concludes"] Support for the Iraq war is now only 47 percent. Unbelievable. Dubya's approval rating is at 46 percent. If we continue to support our candidate well, John Kerry's numbers will rise, and Dubya will defeat himself. We have six months. That's a long, long time! Let's stop moaning and groaning and instead use our time constructively. Let's get our candidate elected. It can be done, and we're going to do it!
Subject: Mr. Nicholson's "Little Black Book"
The Gray Lady's Sinking Fast
Oooooooh, Marvin Nicholson keeps a "little black book" with the names and numbers of people John Kerry meets. Oooooohhhh . . . . .
I have twice worked on Capitol Hill. Once for a 'pub and once for a Dem. I've worked for a Governor. I've been involved in a couple of gubernatorial and congressional campaigns. And in EVERY case, the office holder &/or candidate has had an assistant &/or driver who's kept a notepad or notebook (these days, I'm sure a "Palm" is more likely) crammed with folks' names, addresses and comments and questions.
I know of one candidate -- Freshman Alabama Congressman Artur Davis -- who, due to a shoestring budget during his last (successful) run for office, took most of his own notes. That was the exception. Now Congressman Davis, who I see around from time to time, virtually always has one or more of his local office staff people in 'to taking notes. Why not? The man's only got two hands.
So, now we have a NYT piece about a U.S. Senator who's running for President of the United States who has an guy who jots notes, makes calls, and does all those other small -- but important -- things so the Senator can do what he's got to do on the campaign trial. And THIS is front page news?
Of course, Mr. Bush (I'm sure) takes all his own notes, makes all his own phone calls, washes, dries, irons and lays-out his own clothes every day and sets the tables himself when it's State Dinner time, right?
What a bunch of utter hocum is the NYT.
Can you forward this email to that rag? I wouldn't know how to get it to the right person.
Subject: John Kerry
I wrote to John Kerry last night.
I told him to please read BuzzFlash mailbag. PLEASE!
The mail from the people to BuzzFlash, is the voice of the people, true Americans.
We want a President John Kerry to remove the thief from the White House, in November. If he listens to the voices coming from BuzzFlash these are the only voices he needs to hear. These are real people, and he is our hope for America. Here he will find the meeting of the minds.
Senator Kerry, are you listening???
Bushie may not call it a draft but somehow he and Cheney are going to make sure every young man and woman 18 and older HAS to sign up for service.......NOW -- let us not waste time - let us procure signatures that demand that the first to sign up and go overseas are the sons and daughters of every congressman - the President & Vice President - no matter their age and what they are doing. When that is accomplished, then the next platoons are to be the sons and daughters of all Republicans - and only when they are taken will the Democrats have to cough up. No exemptions.....(by the time a few of them would go, this war would be stopped)....
Dreamer in Maryland
Subject: Kerry Campaign
My blood is boiling. I am not surprised at the horrific attacks against John Kerry- what more could we expect from the people who have dropped nothing but lies and poison from their mouths for years? But we only sink deeper into the mire when we don't fight back! What is the Kerry campaign doing? They are on the defensive already, answering to ludicrous charges. I understand that Kerry is a thoughtful man and needs to play the middle to some extent, but it's like a tug-of-war; if he doesn't tug back, hard, he's not going to end up in the middle, he's going to head right! I have to say I miss the days of Howard Dean; he would have fought tooth and nail and made a stink about every lie and every sneaky action of this administration. Kerry, people largely voted for you in the primaries because you were electable: please, please make it so! Be our voice!
BuzzFlash, thank you for all you do. I don't know what I would do without BuzzFlash. Keep up the good work!
Subject: Holt renews Call for Paper Backups to E-Voting
BuzzFlash, please ask people to call their congressmen and senators to ask them to support the bills for verified voting:
They can call toll free at 1-800-839-5276
These bills are probably the only chance we have for a voter verified paper ballot for November 2004. The vendors don't like the idea, because it would be so much easier to show how poorly their machines work.
Some politicians don't like it because... well you can guess why!
If these bills don't get out of committee this week, it may be too late.
Then, your only alternative is to vote absentee.
One of your many loyal readers;
Subject: Bush has reconsidered and changed his mind!!
If only this were true...
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: So many great letters
There are so many great letters in BuzzFlash, many higher quality than what passes for journalism (now there is a defaced/debased word) today. I often wonder if the talking heads realize how ignorant they sound or irrelevant they are becoming. I refuse to turn on CNN. FOX never was. I'm hoping against hope that Dan Rather will show the courage he must have once had as a Marine, and ask the tough (again, there's a word whose meaning has evolved over the past 3.5 years) questions. Maybe Chris Matthews, though, he fires his fast (not necessarily hard)balls so rapidly no one understands a word of the answer. Please consider doing a final editing on all your Buzznotes and then electronically sending a copy of the letter to your local paper, or for that matter, any paper or network. If you sign it, it may be published; if you don't it will get read by some employee who many finally wake-up and join the real world. I no longer refer to them as mainstream - just other media. As Amy Goodman says, we are the silenced majority. Demand to be heard.
A BuzzFlash Reader
An open letter to Senator McCain
Subject: If Senator McCain is serious...
Dear Senator McCain,
You criticized the chicken hawk analogy made by a democratic senator towards Cheney and Bush, and made an impassioned plea for both sides to stop attacking each other over their service records and call a cease fire.
Senator McCain, here's an observation. With all due respect, your plea would fall on less deaf ears if you didn't remain silent while the chicken hawks in YOUR party shamelessly attack John Kerry's honorable and heroic service to his country, then the minute Kerry starts to defend himself from these attacks and fights back, you want us to just "move on". If you want the public to take you seriously, denounce the attacks as soon as they come from YOUR party. Don't wait for Kerry to respond to the attacks. YOUR party started this by running ads questioning Kerry's service record. A man who avoided the Vietnam war by joining the Air National Guard, using his family's influence to leapfrog hundreds of others and also to get a stateside post, a man who wouldn't have even joined the military except to avoid the possibility of having to face the fighting, has not earned the right to question the service of a man who answered his country's call to duty, saved lives, and earned medals.
Why is it that you only denounce the attacks when Kerry decides to fight back? Come on. Your silence until Kerry started fighting back makes a farce out of your calls for the partisan bickering to end. The delay was a partisan display on your part. You ask why we can't just agree that both candidates served honorably and call a cease fire? Simple, the jury is still out on whether Bush's service was honorable, or even met the requirements for honorable completion. Not all his service records have been provided, and he still hasn't accounted for a long period of time in which he was supposed to be on duty and on station. As John Kerry's service records-all of which HAVE been released to the public-attest, Kerry did serve with honor, distinction and courage. On the other hand, the same can't be verified of the president until he provides publicly all of his service records. The allegations that Bush was doing community service under court order during the time in question need to be thoroughly investigated. The truth will come out.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Anti-abortionists are the real terrorists
One of the most salient characteristics of hardcore Republicans like Bush advisor Karen Hughes is their indulgence in psychological projection. That is, attributing to one's adversaries one's own most loathsome qualities. A case in point is Hughes' recent likening of pro-choice advocates with terrorists. The plain facts are that the side that has engaged in terrorism is the anti-abortionists.
The anti-abortionists have engaged in the murder of abortion providers, clinic bombings, anthrax hoaxes, batteries and threats. According to the National Abortion Federation, since 1973 the anti-abortionists have fought for their cause by committing seven murders, 17 attempted murders, 41 bombings, 17 arson attacks, 82 bombing or arson attempts, 590 bomb threats and many other acts of violence or intimidation.
Has Hughes forgotten the legacy of bomber Eric Robert Rudolph or the advocacy of violence by the Army of God? What about the violent actions and racketeering conviction of Operation Rescue?
Just last November the self-described terrorist and anti-abortionist Stephen John Jordi was arrested as he was finalizing preparations for a bombing spree of abortion clinics across the eastern United States. In October 2002, Clayton Waagoner was indicted on 79 federal terrorism charges for mailing over 500 anthrax threat letters to abortion clinics across the country. On December 3, 2003, he was convicted of 51 counts of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act and threatening the use of weapons of mass destruction.
When Hughes stated "the fundamental difference between us and the terror network we fight is that we value every life," she apparently neglected to state the exceptions for providers of legal abortions, and Iraqi and Afghan citizens.
Wayne "Sugar Cane" Grabert
Subject: The President cooperates
On "American Morning" Republican apparatchik C. Boydon Gray droned on about the "unprecedented cooperation" the White House has given the 9/11 Commission. It certainly is an unprecedented kind of "cooperation": the administration fought to prevent the formation of the Commission, it resisted turning over documents until compelled by subpoena, and now the President and Vice President will "cooperate" by refusing to swear to tell the truth and insisting that no record be kept of their "testimony." I agree with Mr. Gray that I have never seen cooperation that looks anything like this before. And, naturally, Soledad O'Brien maintains a respectful silence while CNN is used as a propaganda platform to dispense this mis-information.
Albert Clark, NY
Subject: the medals...
My two-cents worth...It has been my opinion that this administration is flagrantly beating Kerry for throwing the ribbons/medals over the fence when he, (Kerry) should have instead of just given them to Bush.......
Mary in Indiana
Subject: VP pick
Message to info@JohnKerry.com:
Dear God, PLEASE pick brilliant attack dog John Edwards and get him out there on the stump to say the things John Kerry won't or can't say!!
Subject: Ugly Americans
I was against the Invasion of Iraq. I marched in the streets in protest against it in early 2003. I have written my Senators and Congressperson innumerable times about the conduct of the war, the huge cost, the war profiteering, etc. Just when I thought I could not be more incensed, more disgusted, more outraged over it, along comes “60 Minutes II”last night with their photos of U.S. soldiers abusing prisoners-of-war. Anyone who saw this segment of “60 Minutes II”can no longer wonder “Why do they hate us?”
Heads must roll over this one. And not just those of the perpetrators. Everyone in the command structure of these abusers must be held responsible. Those who went to war without enough troops (Rumsfeld) must also be held responsible. I urge every BuzzFlash reader to write their Senators and Congressperson.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Taking Congress Back
I think we're concentrating on the wrong thing. The Presidency is important, but taking control of Congress is MUCH more vital. The only reason we cannot impeach Bush and Cheney now is because Congress is controlled by the Rethuglicans. The outcome of the presidential election won't matter as much if we have the power to impeach and remove these jerks who are running things now. Even if Kerry is elected, we cannot bring charges against these felons unless there is Democratic control in Congress. Let's get to work, fellow BuzzFlashers!!
Sue in Florida
Subject: Enemy Combatants
The question isn't: 'should the President have the power to declare individuals, including American citizens, enemy combatants and detain them?' but 'should he be able to exercise such a power unchecked?' If "checks and balances" has any meaning then where the executive can reach and exercise power, there also should extend the reach of that branch of government that provides the appropriate check on executive power. If the President claims the right to detain individuals without charges or trial for an indefinite period, then the appropriate branch of government, the judiciary, should be able to act to determine if these detentions are lawful. What laws apply on foreign shores? If an American President acts to curtail an individual's freedom, then the standards set by American law should be applied to that action, regardless of where it occurs. There is no usurpation of executive power in this, only the claim that whatever unique powers the executive claims must be subject to the appropriate constitutionally provided for checks and balances.
Albert Clark, NY
Subject: 9/11 meeting walkout
The 9/11 closed-door meeting just is underway but Bob Kerrey and Lee Hamilton were just seen walking out of it. What's up with that?
Ha. Just heard Scott McClellan say "The President and Vice President want to do everything they can to help the commission to piece together all the information we provided them access to".
Yes, no doubt that's accurate but that is not the same thing as "discover the truth" now is it...
Having learned to question everything this administration does I was just wondering if the real reason Bush and Cheney are testifying together is to prevent the commission from questioning CHENEY alone and in depth.
Since Bush is senior, most questions will be directed to him. He will give the same 3 or 4 lines he memorized in response and Cheney will say "that's right boss".
For those, like me, who believe Bush is "cheerleader in chief" and Cheney is the relay between those that are really calling the shots and Bush, Cheney is the one who really knows what went on behind the scenes.
Here's our friend's latest salutation:
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Fallujah Retreat
Mission --back to normal...We have put our original friends the Republican Guard in Charge. We Republican stick together!
If it wasn't the truth, it would be tragic.
Subject: Interesting article . . . suggest reading it all
I found this fascinating…In 1999, two years before 9/11, Zawahiri announced the war against the United States. This was in flipping Esquire magazine, not some secret briefing in a sub cabinet level meeting. Esquire! Hello! Condi! Hello??? How could we not have been at war footing when our enemies announced the war publicly??
Thanks so much for the John Bonifaz interview. I was a classmate of his at Brown and we were in the same freshman dorm. He’s one of those guys you can’t help but like –relentlessly positive, quick to laugh, deeply principled. I remember him being on the forefront of the Jesse Jackson campaign on campus and who knows what other political causes.
I’m so proud of how his work has matured. People like John are the real patriots in this country, who strive to preserve exactly what does make us the greatest country on earth –the exquisite system of checks and balances, and the unique powers held by our popular representatives, framed by the geniuses who devised this government.
Perhaps, in a weird way, we need a taste of tyranny so we can recoil and appreciate again the blessings we have.
Subject: Kudos Maximus
May The Supreme Deity Bless You All, BuzzFlash...
As I am but another victim of the current catastrophic Plutocratic coup and occupation, funds are not flowing to you from my pitiful treasury, which has the similar (looted) fate as our national trust.
Be advised, however, that I can truthfully say that I have spread the joyful word of liberty and truth about BuzzFlash DAILY (for 6+ hrs. -since DAY 7) to about 50 or so e-mail victims...er...recipients, which has brought about several regulars who now mine the net just as vociferously for that essential information that will keep us FREE,
...God willing and Rove doesn't succeed.
This is stressful, emotional taxing and heavy work that I must soon take a break from, as my health and pocketbook are suffering in major ways, but I am confident that with true patriots such as ourselves who will accept nothing less than the unvarnished, un-spun TRUTH about who leads this great Democracy, we WILL save it.
Freedom, Liberty, Sanity and Peace,
Subject: washingtonpost.com -- White House Briefing
He doesn't have to leave his house, he doesn't have to be under oath, and no one can record his words....whats the point? The 911 families deserve better; where is Kerry screaming about this?
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Kerry Needs Some Help!
The Republicans attack Kerry, the media goes along with it, and Kerry is left to defend himself.
Why aren't more prominent Democrats defending Kerry and attacking Bush? I hear nothing from Gephardt, Daschle, Hillary and others. God help us if Gephardt is the candidate for Vice President.
The Republicans get a script on how to bash Kerry, and they stick to it. When the Democratic Primary was going on and all of the Democratic Candidates were attacking Bush, and it was effective. It would be effective if this were continued by not just those who were candidates but by those who hold office.
The same Democrats who were asleep while Bush took this nation down the slippery slope on every possible issue, are still sleeping. Isn't it time someone told them they can't have it both ways. Either support the nominee or run as a Republican.
Subject: Who voted for what from someone who actually watched the votes...........
I want to ask a dumb question about Bush’s newest assertion (campaign ad) that John Kerry voted against body armor for our troops in Iraq. Here it is.
Since John Kerry voted against the $87 Billion AFTER we were already deployed in Iraq, wouldn’t a competent Commander in Chief have already supplied those troops with body armor? It was almost a year into the war for goodness sakes. If you really want to find out who is to blame, it is the Commander in Chief who deployed our troops into hostile conditions without body armor in the first place. By the time John Kerry voted it was already too late for body armor for most of our troops. Anyone who actually WATCHED the vote on the $87 billion KNOWS John Kerry and EVERY other Republican AND Democrat wanted to send the $60 billion our troops needed. There was never, EVER any question of voting for the $60 billion for our troops. It was the gift of $27 billion we were giving to Iraq in aid that was the “bone of contention”. John Kerry and others voted against the complete bill because it was the ONLY way the Republican controlled house would allow a vote. THE ONLY REASON Kerry EVER voted against the $87 billion was because the REPUBLICAN CONTROLLED CONGRESS REFUSED to vote on the money to support our troops separate from the $27 billion give-away. Many conservatives on both side of the aisle were also against the $27 billion. The Republicans also knew that the only way to get the huge give-away passed was to tie it into the money for the troops.
SO…in conclusion….Kerry voted FOR the aid to our troops but AGAINST a $27 billion give-away while the Republican controlled Congress passed BOTH. They even went so far as tying the give-away bill to another bill to support our troops to quickly shove it through Congress because otherwise even their OWN party would have voted the $27 Billion give-away DOWN. I don’t think I even have to say which the truly conservative and prudent choice is.
Thank you for using the word "impeachment" and referencing John Bonifaz, member of National Coalition to Impeach Bush Cheney. Please build a drum beat for impeachment. We need impeachment to be initiated in May in order to undermine the Bush junta and make it lame duck as soon as possible. Please. Every day. Please.
Three cheers for Frank Lautenberg - no - 1,000 cheers for Frank Lautenberg, Senator from my old home state. Saying what needs to be said and saying it the way it should be said -
"They shriek like a hawk, but they have the backbone of the chicken."
"Max Cleland lost three limbs in Vietnam and they shamed him so, that he was pushed out of office because he was portrayed as weak on defense. Where do they come off with that kind of stuff?"
He showed a picture of Bush giving a speech on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln with the banner "Mission Accomplished" in the background. "The mission accomplished was to get a picture that could be used in an election campaign," Lautenberg said.
Lautenberg also criticized the president for saying "bring 'em on" to Iraqi insurgents. "I served in Europe in World War II," he said. "The last thing I wanted to hear from my commander in chief, or my local commander, is dare the enemy to launch attacks against us."
And on and on he went. It was a relief to finally hear someone go for the jugular. And John McCain would like everyone to shut up about Viet Nam? Well who is he talking to? Who is bringing on and escalating these attacks against John Kerry's war record? I don't think it's the Democrats. Tell it to your own party Senator McCain. The reason we're talking about Viet Nam is because Bush's surrogates in YOUR party have chosen to "bring it on". And so Dick Cheney brought it on. Maybe you should have a talk with him.
Thanks for all you do Buzz. I just ordered "Unprecedented" from you. I hadn't seen it yet. Something else to raise my blood pressure. I assume you'll be carrying Bill Clinton's book. Can't wait to order it!
Barbara in NYC
otherwise noted, all original