August 30, 2004
The opinions expressed in the Mailbag are not necessarily those of BuzzFlash. Read the BuzzFlash FAQ for info on submitting to the Mailbag.
Subject: Bush Swift Boat Ad Position in a Nutshell
Actually, it's even more bizarre than the DNC made it out to be. They had Scott McClellan give a variety of evasive answers to the attempts to get him to give a direct answer to a straightforward question.
But if you read the transcripts of the gaggles, you'll see that in fact he usually gives the *same* evasive answer, often word for word, in the face of such attempts, even when he's asked a direct yes or no question.
Subject: Thanks for Perry Website
Just want to thank the reader who posted the link for Texas Governor Rick Perry's website. I clicked on the link yesterday and spoke my peace to the governor re Senator John Kerry. What a shame! Kerry did so serve with distinction in Vietnam, and the media gurus had better stop saying otherwise. One positive that I didn't fail to mention in the email was that his website is very accessible to those of us using adaptive technology such as screenreaders. Speaking of adaptive technology, thank you BuzzFlash for making your website totally accessible.
Jake Joehl, now in Evanston, Il
P.S. I wonder how many will be tuned to the RNC next week. You can count me out for that one!
A BuzzFlash Reader
george bush is the first president in 30 years to have the number of people living in poverty go UP in the first 3 years of his presidency! the first president in 75 years to LOSE jobs in his presidency! 4 million more people without health insurance! use it against him! play hard ball or lose the election! you are not playing against nice guys! the media is not on your side so you have to overcome cable news as well! it won't be easy but it can be done!
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Bush's Plan
The right wing-nuts on C-Span and talk radio have been accusing Kerry of going to Vietnam with a plan to be a war hero. They claim he intentionally shot himself so he could come back home a war hero and then run for president. Well, it got me thinking of Bush's plan. I think he planned at a young age that he would spend the first 40 years of his life as a f**ked up drunken, drugged out frat boy. Then he would wake up on his 40th birthday, go stone cold sober, be born again and become the darling of the evangelicals so he could run for president. Makes about as much sense.
Subject: just a tad odd?
has it ever occurred to any news person out there that 34 years ago the most powerful man on earth (richard nixon) tried to destroy john kerry's credibility and failed? that was in real time. now 35 years later it appears to be a lot easier for another republican president to do it. doesn't anyone find that odd?
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Transcript of Barnes video
Josh Marshall reports that this is in fact Barnes in the video. The beginning and end show Barnes speaking at a rally, Marshall says this was recorded 6/8/04. The middle portion has Barnes seated, speaking as though in an interview.
Transcribed myself watching the video:
Speaking to an audience:
"Let's talk a minute about John Kerry and George Bush, and I know them both. And I'm not name dropping, saying I know them both. See I got...I got a young man named George W. Bush into the National Guard when I was the Lt. Governor of Texas, and I'm not necessarily proud of that. (audience laughs). But, but I did it, and I got a lot of other people into the National Guard because I thought that's what people should do when you're in office and you helped a lot of rich people. And I walked to the Vietnam Memorial wall the other day and I looked at the names of the people that died in Vietnam, and I became more ashamed of myself than I've ever been because it's the worst thing I did was help a lot of wealthy supporters, and a lot of people who had family names of importance get into the National Guard. And I'm very sorry about that, and I'm ashamed. And I apologize to you, the voters of Texas. (Applause)"
Cut to Interview:
"John Kerry volunteered to go to Vietnam. And that was a pretty courageous thing, because John Kerry could have gone on and gotten another degree. He was in a position where he didn't have to go to Vietnam. I admired that so much, that he went. But I admired even more the fact that he came back talking about Vietnam and what a mistake it was. A matter of fact he talked about it so much that he got the FBI looking at him and got on Richard Nixon's list. And that took, that takes a lot of courage of a young man who particularly has an interest in politics and that wants to serve this country to go get on the President's black list. And I know a little bit about that because I got on Richard Nixon's black list, also, and that's a story for another time. But it's, it's incredible that John Kerry, uhh, had the courage to go do that. And, you know, I think he deserves to be in Profiles of Courage for his service in Vietnam. But I also think, and I'm not upset with him at all that he came back and, and, talked about Vietnam and said that we were wrong. And I think he deserves equally as much credit for that as he does fighting. We should not look upon anyone that disagreed with our Vietnam policy as being unpatriotic. As we should not look upon anyone today that disagrees with our policy, or our lack of policy in Iraq. I am very unhappy with Republicans that want to make anyone that questions this administration's policy in Iraq is, is not being a freedom loving American."
Cut back to him speaking to the audience:
"And I tell you, for the Republicans to jump on John Kerry and say that he's not a patriot, after he went to Vietnam and was shot at and fought for our freedom and came back here and protested against the war, he's a flip flopper. Let me tell you John Kerry is a 100 times better patriot than George Bush, or Dick Cheney, or Donald Rumsfeld." (crowd cheers)
Subject: The truth bites back
Prosecutor who attacked Kerry admits lying to boss (The Oregonian)
The above link carries you to an article about Alfred French, who said that Kerry lied about his actions in Viet Nam. Seems he's being fired for lying.
I recall the vehement attacks on Clinton while he was in office. I remember thinking "Do the attackers think no one will ever investigate them or attack them, since they have thrown all decency to the wind?"
I wonder if they're beginning to notice that what comes around, also goes around?
Subject: Are Swift Boat Veterans for "Truth" lying about their donations?
It would appear so!
According to IRS figures released on August 23, 2004, the SBVFT raised less than $200,000 in donations.
Yet, according to Opensecrets.Org, their first ad buy costs over $500,000.
Where did the rest of that money come from? And why wasn't it reported to the IRS?
Moreover, this is also at odds with published reports and claims by SBVFT about how many "millions" of dollars they have received in donations.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Military Ballots
As reported in the Washington Post today (8/27),
He is making reference to military personnel being allowed to vote by emailing a scanned ballot to the Department of Defense.
I have one thing to say to that: If the military is going to callously circumvent and disregard the Geneva Convention and torture children and innocents, do we really believe that they give a damn about corrupting the election process or casting doubts on the outcome?
They further state that it is being done to expedite the ballots. Why not do it as it has always been done? Do it a week or two early like the rest of us absentee voters are required to do, stick the bag on one of the hundreds of sorties leaving Iraq for America every day and fly them directly to the Missouri Stature capitol?
Then they will only have a few hours to mess things up or lose them or have the plane shot down...
What will they think of next?
They have no shame and no brains.
Missouri Plan to Let Military Cast Votes by E-Mail Draws Criticism (Washington Post)
An Expatriot BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Straight At the Enemy
Has anyone at BuzzFlash noticed that Karl Rove's media strategy of setting up reputation ambushes plays on Kerry's tendency (demonstrated in his Swift boat captaincy) to turn directly into enemy fire. Ironic, isn't it that Rove's own strategy provides proof of Kerry's courage.
Subject: Thanks for Bob Dole's number
This is the first time I've offered something for the mailbag. Last week someone posted a number for Bob Dole's office. Whoever you are, thank you. I called his office this morning and I talked to a lady. I explained to her that I'm a Viet Nam veteran and I told her to thank Mr. Dole for me. I'm an independent and I've been having trouble deciding who to vote for. Mr. Dole's actions convinced me that I should vote for John Kerry. I don't think she was happy with what I had to say. She said Mr. Dole might call me. I'll let you know if he does. You can believe that I won't have any trouble telling him how much I disrespect him for smearing John Kerry.
Subject: Tell them how you really feel!
Hey New Yorkers! The Republicans are coming to town...what are you going to do?? If the thought of violent revolution seems appealing but potentially self-defeating, consider this:
Yessiree, Here's something that any real, genuine, protestor can wrap their arms around. Think of it, all over the Big Apple, thousands and thousands and THOUSANDS of easy-to-read, impossible-to-miss-the-meaning-of protest signs. Hang 'em off bridges, in tunnels, the subway, buildings, your apartment or hotel windows, restaurant bathrooms, cars, buses, taxis, the back of someone's shirt, (preferably a delegate), anywhere, EVERYWHERE. Be outside the Today Show window. Everyday. Follow local news trucks reporting outside the convention. Anywhere the delegates are going to party outside of the Garden. For every sign that's taken down, put two more up. Silent but impossible to ignore.
Subject: Yes, Virginia, There are Terrorists in the United States
Pseudo-threats about non-existent terrorist plots during the Democratic National Convention, nary a none brought up in the two weeks leading up to the Repuglican Exclusionary Revival in NYC, and now there are possible terrorist plots aimed towards VA hospitals and facilities.
Utterly and transparently attempts to play on the fears of voters.
But while the Shrubites do everything they can to steer our attention squarely away from everything that is so horribly wrong with the way Junior is man-handling our country, we again realize that we still have terrorists of the home-grown and extremist variety as well.
Watching Nightline last night on the similarities between the Texas prison system and Abu Ghraib atrocities while coward bush was pretend governor for a day here in Texas, I was astounded to hear bush say..." If I had known there was a video about the atrocities, i would have acted on them a lot quicker"....say what...???
It has been an open secret here in Texas that the prison system is barely above Hell with rape, murder, beatings and open atrocities committed upon the inmates daily. Bush knew it when he was governor...when he was uttering the above quote, he could barely hold his monkey grin off his face.
Remember this is the man that giggled when Texas executed a woman who was openly rehabilitated and a prison inmate chaplain; the man who openly executed mentally retarded inmates; the man who executed 150 Souls in Texas during his realm; the man who uttered the phrase.."No innocent people were executed during my watch..." ( also the man who resided over the two most inept crime labs in San Antonio and Houston...where evidence was routinely altered to fit the prosecutor's desires for a conviction.)
Bush didn't seem to think there was any problem whatsoever with the abuses until they got caught and the states of Kansas and Missouri immediately demanded the return of all their contracted inmates... (yes, other states routinely contract with the privately owned and run prisons in Texas to house their inmates at $52.00 per day)... Guess who the large stockholders are in Wackenhut? ...right...the Bush family.
The similarities between Texas and Abu Ghraib are obvious and deliberate. Both systems were overseen by the same man. It all starts at the top, as he is the man who hires all the executive level personnel who hire the sub-executives who determine the procedures of the day to day running of the prison systems.
As usual, however, bush always ducks under ignorance and evasion and passes the buck to his underlings while he laughs at our stupidity.
Geoff in Austin
Subject: Thank You New York City!!!
Thank you New York City!! - thank you for your moxie and for speaking for all of us out here in the hinterlands.
Amazed In Arizona Help Is On The Way!
Subject: I know because I was around
There seems to be an inordinate amount of footage afoot of a young John Kerry testifying against the Dirty Little Secrets of the Vietnam war. It so happens that I was married to a carrier pilot back then (a real one), and the atrocities Kerry was describing were hardly late-breaking news for anyone of my acquaintance in the military. Moreover, when the Republicans run the tape of Kerry's denunciation of that war, thereby tacitly claiming the moral high ground and wrapping themselves (yet again) in the flag, they conveniently gloss right over one little detail: Kerry, and everybody else who protested against Vietnam, happen to have been RIGHT. Absolutely and unassailably. Ironically enough, the further Vietnam grows into the past, the more unspeakably tragic an exercise in geopolitical stupidity it appears (much like Iraq.) In fact, I defy the Bushies to produce a hundred people who went to college in the 'sixties and who, in 2004, think the Vietnam war was a real damn good idea. This is something Sen. Kerry has to get across to young voters who might be inclined to question his patriotism, or to interpret Bush's Slaughter of our young people in Iraq as indicative of his patriotism, because they weren't around to witness its eerily similar precedent in Vietnam.
Thanks for the fantastic job you do.
Subject: NEWS TIP
REPUBLICANS' CRYSTAL BALL SLANDER OF NYC
New Yorkers should take notice of how an official GOP web site is attempting to portray what will happen when the Republican Conventioneers come to town. No one could begin to fathom or believe (and I do not have the mind or skill to dream this up) the advice offered to conventioneers as a warning about New York .
I did not make this up. It comes directly from the Republican National Committee website.
For those who want more warnings from the Pop-eyed purveyors of Paranoia in Party Hats go to the Republican National Committee site:
Click on "protesters supporting Kerry" or directly to the link they use in support of these claims:
If the page disappears here is the copy that was posted:
Republicans are just spreading more hate and fear designed to divide people...and, as I think of it, these are the tactics and goals of evil for that matter.
Subject: John Kerry critic let Reverend Moon rewrite his book
I think you'll like this. This fellow who is making a film accusing Kerry of betraying America had no such problem with Sun Myung Moon. In fact, when he wrote a book about Moon, he allowed the Unification Church to edit it until it would "silence critics."
Subject: Another Bush sex criminal working for Bush?
A Bush regional election campaign chairman in southwest Ohio "demanded sexual favors" from a woman working for the people of Cincinnati under his supervision. Hamilton County (Cincinnati) Prosecutor Mike Allen, says the Cincinnati Post, harassed assistant prosecutor Rebecca Collins, "summoning her 'frequently' to his prosecutor's office for sex, kissing her without permission in a stairwell of their building and often visiting her Blue Ash home where he refused to leave until they had sex."
Suit: Allen made 'sexual' demands (Cincinnati Post)
Subject: Bush makes America safer?!?! Say what?
Though I haven't posted in awhile, I have, of course, been following all the political discourse of late. The Hired Swiftboat Veterans for Slime have me so disgusted, I can barely mention them without losing my breakfast, so I'll turn my attention to the surveys which show that "People feel Bush does a better job on national security."
I have a little rejoinder that I like to share with all of these knee-jerk jingoists here in Louisiana (home of that oh-so-enlightened moron Billy Tauzin) who are so prone to throw that ridiculous assumption in my face. I pass it on to you in case you ever need it. I've never gotten anything like an intelligent response to any of these questions, but if you do, please let me know. I'd be curious to know what it would be.
Rejoinder: "What exactly is it about Bush that makes you feel safer, considering:
As a personal aside, I also throw in this little tidbit. I recently returned from a trip to Canada. Going in, the Canadian immigration official asked me several questions. A little intimidating, not at all friendly, but exactly what you would expect in an immigration official. But here's the really interesting thing. When I came back, the US official asked me a couple of questions about what was in a shopping bag that I was carrying. That's it. She never even opened my passport!!! (I swear this is true). True, it's highly unlikely that someone like me, particularly with my coloring, age, and accent, is likely to be some subversive, but really. I could have had anybody's passport in my hand, and this country would never have known it. So much for top-notch security, eh?
I do wish that I could join the protests in NYC next week. Unfortunately, I can't be there, but I will be there in spirit with those that can. If you are able to go, please make a couple of protest signs for me:
"Vietnam: Kerry Went, Bush Didn't, End of Story"
"Abu Ghraib: Bush's Auschwitz"
Thanks for all you do, guys.
Opposed To War
Subject: Viagra Bob Dole
Bob Dole is living proof that Viagra can cause stiffness of the brain, along with another part of a man's anatomy.
A Bettendorf, Iowa, reader
Subject: Swift Boat Liar O'Neill Contradicts Himself Twice in One Week
In an AP story dated 8/27/04 John O'Neill is quoted as saying in a 1971 audio taped conversation with Richard Nixon:
Then the AP story goes on to say:
But on ABC's "This Week" O'Neill is quoted as saying:
How can any reasonable person read these 3 quotes from O'Neill and not understand that he is lying?
In 1971 he tells Nixon he was in Cambodia. Then he says in an Anti-Kerry ad and in his anti-Kerry book "Unfit for Command" that neither he or Kerry were ever in Cambodia, that they were 50 miles away. On Sunday 8/22/04 while appearing on ABC's "This Week" he repeats the story that he was 50 miles from Cambodia. Then in the AP interview on Wednesday 8/25/04 he says he was "about 100 yards from Cambodia."
This pathetic man has lied so often he can't keep track of his lies anymore. Swift Boat Liars for Bush are falling on their own petard. Good riddance to bad rubbish!
Carolyn in Tennessee
Although the Vietnam cease fire was signed on January 27, 1973, President Nixon met with Vietnam President Nguyen Van Thieu on June 8, 1969, and announced that 25,000 American troops will be withdrawn immediately. By January 1, 1972, only 133,000 U.S. troops remained in South Vietnam. With this knowledge, a coward hiding in the National Guard to avoid front line combat would think that he does not have to hide out any longer. This timeline coincides with the time President Bush disappeared from the National Guard before his enlistment was to end. As long as the Republicans are so persistent on denigrating the character, integrity and honesty of Senator John Kerry this should be mentioned every time the Swift Boat ads appear on television. The official U.S. Navy records prove that Senator John Kerry is telling the truth and the Swift Boat Republicans and the sewer dwellers in the White House are resorting to the very same misleading statements and lies the Bush Administration has been guilty of for last 4 years.
Subject: Mike Allen
I just read the article on Mike Allen and I must say what I think and feel about this atrocious situation.
I think he should resign. Now.
Mike Allen had the gall to slander Bill Clinton while he, in fact, was doing the same thing.
I do not think Mike Allen should continue to stay as prosecutor. The Hamilton County Prosecutor is supposed to be an upstanding individual who is both moral and honest. It appears he is neither.
My husband and I both live and work, having done so for many years, in Hamilton County, paying our taxes, being law-abiding citizens, etc. You know, it doesn't take much effort living an honest life.
I do not want my money being spent on a prosecutor who has a penchant for sexual shenanigans while he is supposed to be working.
Mike Allen: LEAVE your job and let someone else do the work. Someone who will appreciate the position of Hamilton County Prosecutor.
Subject: The 9/11 stand down order is available online. Why not use it in the debates?
Donald Rumsfeld assigned to himself the sole power to scramble jets on June 1, 2001. He then sat on his hands as America was attacked. These things need to be known. Why are they not?
I write for a small, weekly paper in a very Republican part of Pennsylvania (link to my column).
Anyway, I'm wondering why I seem to be the only person asking a follow-up question of Thurlow, the Swift Boat Vet that swears there was no enemy fire. When confronted with the evidence that both Thurlow and another sailor on his boat have Bronze Star citations that both mention enemy fire, Thurlow responds that "John Kerry wrote the reports the citations are based on." And the media, even while debunking the Vets, leaves it at that.
OK. Fine. So why is no one else but me asking, "So did you return or refuse your Bronze Star since you got it based on a lie? And did you recommend the petty officer on your boat do the same?"
Don't you think that when Nixon was trying to shut down Lt. Kerry's movement back in the early seventies, if there had been any question about Lt. Kerry's medals, Nixon would have brought it to light? Remember Nixon sought out John O'Neill to go up against Kerry because he wanted someone to counter Kerry's comments. Nixon was President and we all know he had no problem using his power any way he wanted. He wasn't stupid and I believe the first thing he would have done would have been to check out Kerry's service record. At that time O'Neill never mentioned anything about Kerry not earning his medals. Why does he do it now?
The following is a quote from an article by Michael Kranish, a staff writer for The Boston Globe (6-17-03): "I don't ever remember finding anything negative about Kerry or hearing anything negative about him," Colson said. "If we had found anything, I'm sure we would have used it to discredit him.
(Charles "Chuck" Colson was counsel to President Nixon)
Subject: Bush did the Hokey-Pokey back then
Recently BuzzFlash ran a link to an editorial that posed the question "Where was George Bush on Dec. 2, 1968?"
After doing much research in an effort to reconstruct the past, I've rendered the following graphic depicting where George W. Bush was likely to have spent at least part of his time in late '68, whilst young Lt. John Kerry and thousands of others were risking their lives in the line of duty.
George W. Bush still hasn't released all of his records, and obviously won't in this lifetime. Though the documented arrests of of shoplifting, football hooliganism, DWI's and reports of cocaine possession may by passed off lightly by the GOP as the youthful indiscretions of their favorite schoolboy, it goes to the heart of why Bush doesn't call off his "Swift Boat" character assassins.
The Swift Boat liars and the GOP were weasling for Nixon back "in the day" and they're doing the same for Bush now. It's just a shame that they don't realize that GeeDubya doesn't have Richard Nixon's integrity.
Subject: Re: Schwarzenegger $350,000 special interest money to visit NY
I heard on PBS NOW last night after shouting to the roof tops that he was not LIKE other politicians and wouldn't take special interest money-- that Schwarzenegger has a $350,000 special interest budget to spend in NYC at the Republican convention. It seems GE Universal, Warner Brothers, Disney and most media companies pitched in along with a lot of oil companies and a credit card company to name a few. It is all supposed to be on the Now website.
Two questions. Was that campaign statement a bold lie on Schwarzenegger's campaign?
And how in the heck do you spend $350,000 in four days in New York? Guess the overrun is going in his political pocket!!!
Both would make one heck of a story.
Corporate Send-Off for Schwarzenegger (NY Times)
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: GEORGE W. BUSH .....IS ALSO 'AWOL' AS COMMANDER IN CHIEF!!!!!
Note that a 'miscalculation' is when you forget to enter a check $$$ amount in your checkbook....
not when you spend more than $200,000,000,000.00 over what you planned in addition to 1000 dead Americans and 6000 + maimed/handicapped (not counting Iraqis)
.....to find non-existent WMD's, oust your daddie's ex-nemesis, and alienate the rest of the earth in your fear of non-existent imminent-threats thinking you would be welcomed with flowers and cheers as a non-occupying liberator!
'Miscalculation' is somewhat of a 'mis-understatement.'
George W, you just don't get it.......
1992: "It's the economy, stupid."
2004: "It's much more than the economy, stupid."
You also MISCALCULATED...when you were missing in action and AWOL on:
you are AWOL on. Deficit.
you are AWOL on. Poverty
you are AWOL on. Loss of jobs.
you are AWOL on. National debt of record.
you are AWOL on. Decline of health care.
you are AWOL on. Decline of opportunity.
you are AWOL on. Runaway college tuition.
you are AWOL on. Threatened environment.
you are AWOL on. Runaway energy costs.
you are AWOL on. Lies/half-truths.
you are AWOL on Deception/misrepresentation.
you are AWOL on. Shameless contempt for our constitution.
you are AWOL on Big government/judicial oppressionism.
you are AWOL on Corruption.
you are AWOL on. Collusion with corporations.
you are AWOL on. Decline of the middle class.
you are AWOL on. Fear and paranoia.
you are AWOL on. Opression/discrimination
you are AWOL on. LABOR/unemployment/wages
you are AWOL on. expression/creativity.
you are AWOL on. WATER-AIR-LAND PROTECTIONS
you are AWOL on. AMERICA's well being and future
you are AWOL on. TAX fairness for all who benefit from America's bounty and great people
YES GEORGE W. BUSH, YOU ARE AWOL, MISSING IN ACTION, WORKING FOR OTHERS, taking TOO MUCH
personal ranch 'DOWN-TIME' .....
MR. BUSH, YOU ARE DISHONORABLY DISCHARGED AS PRESIDENT!!!!
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Forwarded: Strong letter to the Times concerning its poor coverage of the Barnes confession.
Dear Sirs and Madams,
Regarding your article, Texan 'Ashamed' on Bush Role, I must complain with regard to your coverage.
Your top National headlines today, were:
Then, if someone has time to dig deeper, and click to read ALL headlines, they may read:
This article was ranked number 11, with an extremely vague title. "Texan" Ashamed on Bush Role? That title has absolutely no indication of what lurks inside. It seems as if you buried the article just to say you covered it, but your intention is quite clear. Even the information is downplayed. It's just disgraceful that a publication such as the New York Times has fallen by the wayside. The fact that this was not listed under your top headlines, when the Swift Boat articles got premiere placement day in and day out, is a sad commentary on the trend in media. Personally, I prefer an uncomfortable truth to a comfortable lie, and do not require my news to be sanitized.
Then, comes article number 12, "For Kerry's Chief Accuser, a Flashback to a Political Battle From 1971," gets 2 pages of extremely positive spin. Unbelievable. You are subversively endorsing fraud.
No wonder you had newsboys giving away free copies of the Times in front of Port Authority this week. If your circulation is down, perhaps there's a reason.
I am outraged enough by all the lack of information and misinformation floating around out there to take an interest and complain about your news coverage. Please give current and pertinent news its due, as well as fair and equal coverage to both sides of a story if you can't help but lean to one side.
This is [part of] the article published by Salon:
Subject: i wonder
My daughter said something that I wonder if may play on the subconscious of others. i must point out she is biased because she vehemently supports abortion rights. that said, while watching the news this morning she said, "Mom have you ever noticed bush's voice? I said "well not really I guess." she said,,"he sounds like those guys who talk to you in the drive-through order box at a fast food place. Kerry sounds like a college professor."