August 16, 2004
The opinions expressed in the Mailbag are not necessarily those of BuzzFlash. Read the BuzzFlash FAQ for info on submitting to the Mailbag.
THIS IS PART 2 OF THE AUGUST 16, 2004 BUZZFLASH MAILBAG. CLICK HERE FOR PART 1.
Subject: CBS has segment on hand picked Bush audiences
CBS Evening news had a segment on tonight showing how Bush/Cheney audiences are hand picked and told to cheer for the President. They don't ask hard questions, but rather are part of a script to look good on TV. Like, gee Mr. President, I don't have a question I just wanted to tell you what a great job you are doing. Puke!
I've been writing about the above, because in Milwaukee, Kerry acknowledged the Bush supporters, and the Bush supporters not only could be heard by Kerry, but they could also hear Kerry. I thought that was what a President was suppose to be about. This seems to be a pattern where Kerry is open and inviting and Bush is arrogant and stand offish.
I don't think CBS took this story far enough.
Yesterday, they did the story on "sensitive". They only had one brief segment on Bush saying "sensitive" at the end, so I'm going to send them your list.
[Link to CBS videos (see "Bush's Friendly Rallies")]
Subject: New Country
I have been reading your website for about two months now and I love it! In fact I just can't get enough.
Here's a question for other readers---Just in case Bush gets elected for another term does anyone know of a country I can immigrate to? I don't think I'll be able to stand another four years of watching the US go to hell in a handbasket.
Subject: Bush on the Larry King show
Here is my take on the Larry King Live (that was not Live) yesterday.
August 12, 2004
“I do not have the sense that there is a lot of anger [out there]”said Bush in “Larry King Live show”- that was no more alive than my hope for a better America if king George and his ever smiling puppet wife reside in OUR White House for another four years-
For one week CNN announced the interview, but it is only at the beginning of the show, that we were told the interview had been taped. This president does not want to answer questions from the American people.
I had sent a question hoping that Larry would read it to his guest. My question was: “Americans and the world were told that the reason why you went to Iraq was the "proof" of the presence of WMD. To this day we have not find any, how do you feel about the loss of over 900 Americans lives, and don't you think you owe us and the world an apology?”
I agonized watching the trio on my screen, lies after lies, patronizing questions and answers, smiling faces manipulating the viewers, the ones with no clues the ones who judge from the appearance. Some of them we registered to vote yesterday - Frightening thought-
Bush said he was looking to serve our country for another four years. He meant he wants to further destroy our dreams, isolate us further from the rest of the world.
When asked about religion, he said “I think the Church should be separated from the State and the State should be separated from the Church.”
Think again Mr. Bush, when you threaten women to take away their freedom of choice, think again when you nominate judges who will decide to amend the constitution forbidding same-sex marriages, think again when you suppress embryonic stem cell research. Think again, if you can.
We, Citizens of America have been barred for expressing ourselves this evening, Mr. Bush does not want to face that YES, there is a lot of anger out there. Just ask me.
This is a thank you for Philip Vargas, who wrote about our "War President," being a deserter.
I've been tell people I know, including a couple of Bush supporters, that he is a deserter. Usually this is answered by shrugs and silence. Now I've got proof as Mr. Vargas cited the articles under the UCMJ.
As a veteran, who earned all three of his honorable discharges from two different branches of the service - including the Nevada Air National Guard - I find the position of our president a moral outrage. I was raised by WW II vets and can only guess what they would be saying now. Fortunately, they didn't live to see this sad turn of events.
What is happening is a clear indication that no one on the congress has one vertebra in their collective backbone and worthy of only scorn from those they represent. Another result from all this is a graphic admission of failure by our educational industry, yes that's what it is, to give our youth a sense of citizenship and their obligations of citizenship. Not to mention a total lack of history, something the rest of the world teaches its youth.
Anyway, thank you for being here and thank you again Mr. Vargas for your informative article.
Sincerely - Dan McGee - Reno, Nevada
Subject: Rapid Response
Where in God's name was the rapid response? Slime ball Dick Cheney comes out swinging, mocking John Kerry for using the word "sensitive" in a sentence about fighting terrorism, and there was really not much of a response from Kerry. He mumbled a few words about the Bush campaign's "negative campaigning", but that was it. Granted, perhaps he might not want to get his hands dirty, but at the very least, he could have had John Edwards act as his proxy, to launch a verbal counter-assault on Cheney. For starters, perhaps Edwards could have pointed out that at least Kerry signed up to fight in a war; Cheney, on the other hand, sought a deferment. Is John Kerry "sensitive" --- you bet he is; he's so sensitive about his duties as a commander and leader that he was willing to risk his own life to save a wounded sailor in Vietnam. Moreover, John Kerry is pretty darned "sensitive" about the way that allies like France and Germany who stood shoulder to shoulder with us for fifty years of the Cold War have now been tossed off the sled by George W. Bush so that they are no longer there to work with us to catch the bad guys. Bill Clinton was on The Daily Show with John Stewart last week, and he pointed out that in 1992, every time the Republicans threw a slimeball at him, his rapid response team tossed it right back at them in spades. Kerry is fighting a bunch of bullies; these guys will continue to play smashmouth ball right until the time someone takes the ball away from them. We need to take the fight right back to these guys' doors. And, putting aside all of Bush's phony macho war posturing for a minute, the economic news for Bush is bad, bad, bad. Moreover, the Congressional Budget Office confirms that Bush's tax cuts were almost exclusively designed to help the rich. These are pitches being tossed slow, high and right over the plate for the Democrats to smack right out of the park. I am waiting for Kerry and the Democrats to start going on the offensive.
Donald P. Russo, Bethlehem, Pa.
Subject: On Being Nuanced...
I was practicing guitar last night and finally figured out that a slight repositioning in how I fingered a particular passage allowed me to play the song well.
You could call my new understanding "nuanced".
On reflection, it's really not possible to be good at anything at all--the arts, your job, cooking, sports, exercising, anything you can name--without knowing the little things, the nuances. "Nuance" is just a short-hand for the ability to recognize how and when to act in order to get a result, and more generally, the ability to accurately assess reality.
And then just the next day I hear Bush on the "news" mocking Senator Kerry for being capable of "nuance."
It is little wonder Bush has never done anything well at all, because he thinks learning the details of reality are beneath his exalted, God-inspired, self. (Apparently, Bush believes God resides in his gut.) To be fair, Bush is good in imitating the nuances of a movie cowboy's walk and talk.
If you want to know a thing well, you must learn the nuances. Being nuanced is a pre-requisite for competence. Bush, in being a self-enforced "nuance-free zone" has condemned himself to perpetual incompetence.
Dear People at BuzzFlash,
Mr. Vargas' opinion piece was just on target! Yes, G.W.Bush has largely been given a "pass' on his military service completion by the Major Media.
As a New Mexican, I understand that we have a Patriotic tradition in this State of supporting the mission of our Military. Our Native American Citizens have taken this value seriously, as Mr. Vargas attests, to this current conflict.
But, he is correct in pointing out the Hypocrisy of an AWOL C-in-C sending others to die in a Mission that he would have avoided. And then attacking the Patriotism of his challenger (through surrogates, and directly).
Thank you, Mr. Vargas, for your courageous contribution to America's Truth.
Subject: Must Read-Further Hypocrisy
Bush publicly praises Indian Housing Program, then turns around and CUTS it, and demands what's left of the funding, BACK!!!! Can you believe this?!/?!?
I hope you guys have a moment to take a look at this, it is worthy of a good glance at least!
Thanks for being there, you guys are just wonderful... reading BuzzFlash?
It's like a dose of sanity in an insane & well funded sociopathic republicans-killing-on-behalf -of -God nightmare... thanks for keeping things clear and keeping quite a few of us 'off the couch' ! :-))
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Registration in Pennsylvania
I was visiting my sister in Pennsylvania for about a week, and helped with voter registration (through the Quakers) in Chester County. There were lots of Democrats registering and only a few Republicans. According to the woman I was working with, this has been the trend--many Democrats and only a few Republicans registering. We had to remain non-partisan, but when an elderly woman changed her party affiliation from Republican to Democrat after having been a Republican all of her life, I had to say "You go, sister!" The Republicans who were registering in the same area only registered Republicans! Interesting.
A couple of interesting Web sites are below. Remember, don't agonize, organize!
Subject: The Debates
I'm looking forward to the debates. Just wondering if bush will be wearing an earpiece (new super tiny cia issue) with Rove and Cheney on the other end hand spooning him the answers? Any way to get an electronics tech into the debates and scan the airwave for an earpiece? It is so obvious from recent bush Q & A sessions that he is unable to sting to sentences together. Just hope that the questions don't get leaked to him beforehand. Should be some very entertaining TV.
Just remember............No bag limit on Republicans Nov. 2nd!!!
Subject: Headline Prediction
Sent to email@example.com:
Subject: Sensitive Scribes
Dear Bob --
Thank you for calling out the Media Heathers on this one: their refusal to slam Cheney for his twisting Kerry's words for the scribes like a two-bit clown does balloons at a 6-year-old's b'day party.
I'm really livid about this. It's right out there in front of everybody -- the fact that Bush himself, as well as Wolfowitz, Gen. Myers, on and on and on, have noted and endorsed the fact that we need to be "sensitive" in how we deal/work with allies, Iraqis, Middle Eastern society and/or other nations and cultures as the war on terror is waged. It's absolutely nothing new, only Kerry says he can do it better. Maybe he can, maybe he can't -- but it wasn't even a subject of controversy or debate until Herr. Cheney decided it should be (contradicting his own boss [sic] and Administration). So the Media Heathers followed his lead like good little children.
Did the Heathers jump on Cheney for once again contradicting his own Administration? Heavens, no! The Heathers just played Cheney's snarky remarks ad nauseum and wondered aloud what would cause Kerry to "stumble" so.
Subject: To Shirley in St. Louis: John O'Neill on Crossfire
"If anyone has this idiots e-mail address... "
His organization is Swiftboat Veterans for Truth (a.k.a. Smear Boat Veterans for Untruth) at www.swiftvets.com.
It's worth pointing out that while this "nonpartisan" org takes Kerry to task for alleged inaccuracies in his service record, they don't seem to get exercised over Bush's National Guard Service (Why did the chicken cross the road? To go AWOL from the Air National Guard).
Subject: Remember how Bush twists things
Remember when Bush said he hugs widows and orphans? Instead, he is creating widows and orphans. Bush is a great hypocrite. No, he doesn't hear from God, and neither does Allan Keyes.
Christian for Kerry
Subject: Julia Child
Thank you so much, Amy, for your link to the wonderful interview in Ms. Magazine with Julia Child. I just loved her, and was privileged to attend a book signing by her in Dallas several years ago. I was so sad when I learned she died, having watched her so many years on TV. I just kept changing the channels to see tributes to her, but then, as usual my BuzzFlash friends came through! Thanks again for taking the time to provide the link to many of us.
By the way, I noticed today in BuzzFlash’s interview with Molly Ivins, that both Molly Ivins and Julia Child graduated from Smith College!
Subject: August 13 PBS "Washington Week" Outrage
(another) Utter PBS Outrage.
Tonight, August 13, 2004, on PBS's "Washington Week," the panelists of Heathers flogged the "sensitive" thing, showing Kerry's clip then Cheney's cynical, word-twisting lies about Kerry's remark.
No matter that Bush, Wolfowitz, Gen. Myers, Ashcroft, et al said virtually the same thing, absolutely no clips of those remarks were shown and, in fact, the NYT media hyena specifically said that, while Bush had "implied" waging a war with "sensitivity," he never actually used the word! Well, gee that's somewhat opposite from the truth, don't you think.
These lazy, slimey Heathers need to return to Journalism 101. And outfits like American Progressive, Media Matters for America, etc., need to jump all over PBS about this.
Subject: BuzzFlash letter exposes Bush greenwash
Your letters column, Mailbag, rocks. I want to thank BuzzFlash reader Peggy from Hurst, Texas, for alerting me to the support shown for the polluter-in-chief by, of all places, the Outdoor Channel.
After I read Peggy's letter, I sent the following note to fishing show host Roland Martin, at the address she provided:
If you love the outdoors, I urge you to follow Peggy's example. Anglers from across the USA, let's bug Roland and the Outdoor channel www.outdoorchannel.com about this. It is outrageous that they would allow themselves to be used so that a polluter like Bush can greenwash himself. Bush can pick up a fishing rod or field gun all he wants - his unending degradation of nature proves he is no friend to the fisherman and no friend to the hunter.
- Mike in Fla.
Subject: Medicare -- Bush's private playground
I've gone to the Medicare website looking for information on drug prices (good luck...) and was disturbed to find out that the homepage is one big advertisement for Bush.
Apart from his photograph (acceptable, I suppose), there is a glowing endorsement of his Medicare overhaul, and, underneath, an indictment of Kerry's stance on Medicare and health care in general.
See for yourselves: http://www.medicare.org
I guess this is one of the perks of privatization of a government agency --now it can be used for slimy political propaganda. Sheesh.
Subject: Flat Tax
Do you think people realize that if you have a flat tax that mortgage interest rates will no longer be deductible?
Subject: Media Allows Cheney To Distort ONE SENTENCE
Cheney "confidently" removes words from Kerry's Sentence, yet the media does not "CORRECT HIM" for his distortion.
Kerry is trying to play the "high road" by giving us the real issues that need to be addressed and not get into a slanderous mud fight. I'm sure I could easily find a Bushism or another speech by Cheney; remove or overlap some words from certain sentences, and make Bush and Cheney sound like they want to blow up our own country - and be glad about it.
Wake Up News Media!! Report the slander and distortions!!!
Here is the full context the media, mostly television, does not want to report, with the underscored part of the sentence not being heard on TV.
Subject: The Enemy. Why?
Bush has said that Kerry's talk of removing troops from Iraq would encourage the *ENEMY* to hunker down and wait out the United States.
Victims would be a better description, They are the enemy Only because Bush says they are. The enemy was Saddam and Sons, was it not? Why are we there killing anyone who resists our invasion of there country? If Saddam had been the military super power would he have sent an invasion force here to take out Bush. Would we be fighting his forces.
To sell his war on his ENEMY we heard we would be welcomed as liberators and that the Oil would pay the bill to lift them out of the poverty and rebuild. Why are we there killing these people and destroying there country? It seems the only answer I can come up with is that Bush says they are the ENEMY and that they are threatening us with no air force, no army, no weapons of mass destruction, no missiles loaded with nuclear material, just a hatred for Americans. I for one can very easily understand those feelings. If reelected what other enemy will we go kill? Why are we still there? Our sons & daughters are dying for Bush's War. Would we be there if they had no Oil?
Andrew in Renton, Wa.
Subject: Idea for you to spread the word
Guys I put this idea on my blog and I was hoping that you guys can take it and spread the word. Its a way to silently protest. All it requires is a person to wear a button or a shirt and go about their business:
GREAT WAY TO PROTEST RNC IN NYC
I thought up a great idea for people who want to protest the RNC but don't have time for any of the rallies, marches and protest schedule that week.
Wear anti-Bush, anti-war, anti-RNC and Pro-Kerry gear especially at tourist spots like Time Square and Ground Zero. You don't have to say anything to them just wear the stuff. Its an awesome silent protest that they WILL notice.
Its about making them uncomfortable and not welcomed. Let them go about their business but let them know they are in the wrong place at the wrong time!
If you live in NYC there are tons of shops in selling anti-RNC gear. Get your buttons, Hats and T-shirts! If you can't find a store go on the web!
If you work for a company that won't let you wear the stuff in their office. Wear the button or hat on your way to work, then take it off when you walk in.
Be silent billboards of protest!
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Hurricane Charlie and Republicans
As a resident of Florida and a survivor of Hurricane Charlie, I wonder if I have to sign a loyalty oath to the Republicans in order to get federal disaster relief.
Subject: John O'Neill...medals?
What medals has John O'Neill, co-founder of the anti-Kerry group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth earned for his time in Viet Nam and were they approved by the same chain of command as Kerry's medals?
Subject: Hurricane Charley
Hi, do you know of any activity on the part of the Bush brothers to minimize the death toll of the hurricane? The Sarasota newspaper said yesterday morning that there were police guarding "stacks of bodies." Then nothing more except the official count. A friend with connections to the police down there said that there were more than one hundred dead. I don't know how that could be kept quiet but it wouldn't help Bush in Florida to have many deaths here while he is off fighting bogeymen.
[BuzzFlash Note: On Sunday, Reuters reported 16 dead.]
Subject: Articles About New Iraqi Government Abuse Scandal
Friends, Here are four articles describing how soldiers from the Oregon National Guard discovered and attempted to stop the new Iraqi government, at their Interior Ministry Headquarters in Baghdad, from abusing civilian prisoners. Sadly, the news articles report that generals from the Army's 1st Cavalry Division ordered the ONG troops to return the abused prisoners back to their brutal captors and leave the Iraqi facility. The national press isn't covering this new scandal. In this case, the news articles report the troops did the right thing, and the articles also report the U.S. military commanders and the new Iraqi government did the wrong thing. Paul.
Here are the four articles from The Oregonian:
#1: 8/7/04, News, "Ordered to just walk away"
#2: 8/9/04, News, "Wyden asks why Guard told to leave abuse site"
#3: 8/10/04, Editorial, "Iraq incident requires answers"
#4: 8/13/04, News, "Army says Guard inquiry is finished"Paul
Subject: Strange Irony
It's more than a bit strangely ironic that the following story had to appear in the Jerusalem Post. A few journalists and one or two papers have muttered insignificant groans about Iraq's undemocratic stifling of a free press. Beyond that - zilch! Nothing effective. Nothing widespread. Nothing. If a CNN or BBC reporter got kicked out, the whole journalistic world would be up in arms foaming at the mouth!
* * *
Subject: Looks like it's "Hammer-time" in Najaf
Sounds like a massacre waiting to happen …so much for the free press in Iraq. Al-Jazeera first and now this. They are doing things they don’t want anyone to see and that cannot be good for anyone or anything in the area. After we totally condemned the destruction of ancient monuments in Afghanistan we are doing the exact same thing but on a much larger scale besides all the death and dismemberments and brain damaged. We are bigger and better at destruction also it appears.
* * *
Subject: Public Health? It's a liberal conspiracy...
If Kerry wins, it will take him 2 or 3 years to weed out all the ideological hacks that Bush has infiltrated into the federal government. If Bush wins... Well, if Bush wins... I can't even imagine how much the quality of life in America will plummet for the AVERAGE American, while simultaneously the quality of life of Bush's peers will be the highest ever.
A BuzzFlash Reader and Big Time Patriot
Buzz: I have to tell you that I am furious about this "commentary." FYI, I am attaching the letter I sent this "reporter" immediately below the offensive article.
Dear Ms. Parker:
My Lord, what a mean-spirited "editorial" you wrote. Not only mean spirited but especially misinformed, but somehow I believe that was by design, not accident. You dredge up old, unproven "facts" and give them emphasis they do not deserve.
Shame on you.
Not once in this opinion do you mention that the President lied his way into Iraq -- and our men and women in Iraq are dying by the hundreds in order to line the pockets of Bush's "base" -- or lied about his air national guard service, and irrefutable evidence was uncovered last week and published proving, once and for all, that he did NOT show up for most of a year. He did fail to perform his legal and moral obligation to the Guard.
Shame on you.
I wonder just why it is that you chose to publish your opinion in Orlando, seated as it is on the I-4 corridor in central Florida, a battleground state. I'm just kidding; it was not a rhetorical question. I know perfectly well why.
Shame on you.
If the President were worthy of election this November, and he clearly and unequivocally is not, you Republican warmongers would not find it necessary to resort to such heinous tactics as Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, or your column, or postponing definitive answers to the who behind the torture scandal of Abu Ghraib or a host of other equally egregious conduct on the part of this administration.
Shame on you.
Please do not for one minute think that you can pretend journalistic neutrality or integrity, for that matter. You contemptuously possess neither. That your editor choose to run your work simply emphasizes that even Ann Coulter wannabes like you have an audience, however misguided. But you what, the right that allows you to publish such rubbish will likely not be available to you if Bush is elected this November; no, not with John Ashcroft behind the wheel.
Shame on you.
Subject: The Kiss of Death
Saw a picture of dubya planting a big kiss on the forehead of John McCain. Will someone please tell the senator that a kiss on the forehead, given by the God Father is something that should scare the pants off of him.
Subject: Mary, Mary quite contrary, Matalin that is.
Just caught Mary Matalin on the local Fox News. She was saying that Kerry shouldn't be using his military record to run on, because he was only there for 4 months.
Interpretation: Kerry, don't use your military record because we are running out of excuses for our boy not finishing his guard duty, and we sure as hell don't want to release the 2 page report that took him off flight status.
They don't want to explain how he was taken off flight status and didn't have enough points, but wasn't given an M-1 and sent out as a grunt, which is what was supposed to happen if you didn't complete your service.
She also said this is a different kind of war. She gave the impression that "THAT" war was a cold war, a picnic compared to this "HOT" one, with no verifiable justification.
They went after or allowed others to go after John McCain who escaped his plane being torpedoed on the deck of his carrier and spent 5 years at the Hanoi Hilton and they are still allowing people to go after Max Cleland who lost 3 limbs while Dubya lost absolutely nothing, in fact his family has profited from every war and will make beaucoup in this one.
Mary, it begs the question that somehow 4 months, during which time he didn't ask for, but was injured 3 times, recommended by his superiors several times and received medals is something he shouldn't use because all Bush has or claims to have is a letter in rugby, which he can't produce, and the tickets, and the disorderly conduct college stuff. There is a lovely picture of him committing every foul in the book against an opponent in rugby.
He also can't produce even one fellow guardsman who ever saw him report for anything. It is odd that the Vets supporting Bush didn't serve on the boat with Kerry, or with Dubya on the Andover & Yale cheerleader squads or the Yale rugby squad, or in the Champagne Brigade out of Houston. The reason none of the Champagne Brigade are showing up is because they are all rich kids, who wanted others to fight their war and some aren't as proud of it as Dubya is.
I have a friend in Houston who observed GWB at the center in Houston which GHWB donated money for. He was leaning on a pool cue and grinning. The people operating the facility said he was the son of the congressman and was there for straightening out and to get him off drugs. But, sad to say, the people who ran the facility are all dead.
I can't imagine how James Carville puts up with a woman who doesn't mind justifying any behavior for pay.
Karen Webb, Moore, Ok.
Subject: The crackdown has begun ...
A BuzzFlash Reader