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Subject: Nomination of Albert Gonzales for Attorney General
of the U.S.
More and more editorials are appearing in prominent MSM savaging
the logic behind the nomination. We must not accept the "given"
that Gonzales' appointment will receive rubberstamp approval
by the full Senate. The Senate has yet to vote, and we have
time to make our voices heard. We all need to do our part to
put extreme pressure on our Senators to reject this insanity
and force the White House to nominate someone whose fitness
for the office is unquestioned.
This morning I wrote and emailed the following comments to
all Senators with a current email address (go to http://www.firstgov.gov):
Mr. Gonzales is unfit for the post! During the hearing last
week, Mr. Gonzales stalled, obfuscated, and was overall simply
disingenuous in his responses to generally softball questions.
To vote to approve his nomination will send a message to the
world that the American people condone torture and indefinite
detention, that lies and deception (Iraq's WMDs) are acceptable
means to an end, and this is simply NOT the case. This nominee
in particular, and this administration in general, are antithetical
to the democratic ideals that formed the basis of our government
as enshrined in our constitution. Because it is generally accepted
that the Gonzales nomination will be rubber stamped by the Senate,
that is NO excuse to vote yes. This country must change course
and stop its destructive policies. Show some courage. Vote NO
on the Gonzales nomination and send a message that your constituents
want a major change in policy now, not four years from now.
Feel free to use my wording or come up with your own, but don't
fail to make your voice heard so that we can stop the train
wreck before it gathers more momentum. I could feel the power
we have behind us when Senator Boxer stood up to make every
vote count last week. Let's continue on and take back our country
from the right-wing fanatics.
My son-in-law has just started his third tour of duty in the area. His
first was in Afghanistan, second in Iraq, and now he is several miles
west of Fallujah. He is an Infantry platoon leader, and has told us
the place is a meat grinder. They liberate and restore freedom to the
same few square kilometers several times per month. Attacks come daily,
and are much more sophisticated than they were during his last deployment.
You might have ten attacks and lose one guy; now, you have one attack
and lose ten guys.
Like me, he has chosen to be a career officer, and does what is asked
of him. Policy is for wonks and politicians. We only ask that sacrifice
is not hollow or in vain, that we are really making the country safer
with our efforts.
I now work in DC, and have been watching as the West end of the Capitol
(overlooking the Mall towards the Washington Monument) is transformed
from a quite lovely place into a secure area for the upcoming coronation.
Traffic barriers, surveillance cameras, fences, concrete barriers, etc.,
are sprouting like mushrooms in a cow field. One wonders why this is
necessary since, according to many of the people who voted for little
Bush, he has made us safer. Perhaps they are expecting an attack from
married gay people who want abortions.
Subject: The Republicans' Three-Syllable Argument
For decades, the Republican Party has relied upon a three-syllable
argument to demonize Liberal Democrats: Tax-and-Spend.
This approach works because of a lazy electorate, a complicit
Press, and the consistency with which the Republicans convey
the message. But as times change, so must the syllables. Last
week, when courageous Sen. Barbara Boxer protested the Ohio
election results, we learned the new three-syllable argument
of the Republican Party: Mi-chael-Moore.
Indignant Republican after indignant Republican spewed bile
at Boxer. How dare she try and sully George W. Bushís mandate
victory! Despite the fact every individual protesting the vote
clearly stated they felt Bush won the election, the Republicans
accused them of being sore losers. More exasperating than the
Republican vitriol was their insistence that Michael Moore was
Everyone who saw Michael Moore's last film, "Fahrenheit
9/11", was touched by the African American Representatives
from Florida pleading for ONE senator to protest the Florida
Presidential vote count in 2000. They were gaveled into submission
by Al Gore himself, fulfilling his duty as the neutered Vice
President. Gore even made a joke at their expense, for which
all Democrats should forever heap scorn upon him. Little did
we know this would be the first of many sellouts by the Democratic
Four years later, when ONE Democrat finally had the guts to
protest, the Republicans contend Michael Moore is responsible.
"Michael Moore" is destined to be the new three-syllable
label applied to all 'Un-American Democrats' who dare question
their divine authority. The talking-heads on Fox will further
echo this sentiment, cementing Michael Moore as the new Communist.
This presents a challenge for Democrats.
To distance oneself from Moore is to risk the wrath of Liberal
Democrats. To side with Moore is to alienate oneself even further
from "Red State Americans." Red State Americans despise
Moore, and yearn for 'their' President to take away his camera
and microphoneÖor worse. Republicans will use Moore to further
polarize America, replacing substantive issues like Social Security
with juvenile name-calling, and more sinister witch hunts. This
is the three-syllable Party, after all, and Fox will help to
ensure we remain a three-syllable nation.
To quiet this argument, Democrats must embrace all those brave
enough to combat the Republican cabal. Though he isn't the perfect
representative, if more Democrats had Michael Moore's will to
fight, perhaps they would not be in this untenable position.
Subject: we need a strong 3rd party
One of the main differences between a liberal and a conservative
is the ability of a liberal to look at all sides of a situation,
evaluate and process the information and make an informed decision
given the facts at hand. And yes, a liberal even has the intelligence
to change their mind if the facts so dictate. So, given all
the facts, and of course having the advantage of hindsight,
I have changed my mind and agree with Ralph Nader. The democrat
and republican party are the same. There is one major difference
however. The democrats are spineless, gutless, republican lite
wimps and the conservatives are not anything like that.
I was disgusted with the democrats after the 2000 election.
I was more disgusted with them after the 2002 election. And
now after the 2004 election, I am so disgusted with some in
the party even talking about moving a bit to the right to appease
the "moral values" crowd, that I have had it. The
democrats have shown they don't really want to fight for what
they say they believe and it's obvious the GOP will frame the
democrats in the worst possible way without the worry of any
democrat actually fighting back. With the current democratic
leadership and mindset, the democrats will never win another
election. So the time is now ripe for a strong, progressive,
liberal party to burst forth and start building an answer for
all the people like me that believe a strong and vital United
States is built on progressive ideas that not only benefit ALL
of our citizens but will also benefit all citizens of the world.
Subject: Social Security FACTS
The Bush administration is being profoundly dishonest about
Social Security, and too many media (mostly TV) people accept
and report whatever the Bushites tell them. Too many media pundits
do not do any independent research regarding Social Security
and persist in passing misinformation along to the American
Therefore, here are some Social Security FACTS:
Social Security is NOT in crisis
Social Security is not broke or going broke, or even in
danger of having to pay out less than full compensation for
AT LEAST 50 years.
Twenty years ago, Congress and President Reagan, at the
urging of Alan Greenspan, increased the amount of income taxable
for Social Security purposes and increased the rate of that
tax SPECIFICALLY to provide for the future when the baby boomers
We have been paying EXTRA into Social Security for 20 years
to provide amply for the retirement years of the baby boomers.
Social Security is currently taking in a SURPLUS of more
than $150 BILLION a year -- and is building an enormous SURPLUS
to fund the retirement years of the baby boomers.
When Bushites say Social Security will start operating
in the "red" in 2018, they are misstating the facts:
in 2018, the Social Security trust fund will cease taking
in a surplus every year and will start paying down the accumulated
surplus to send checks out to the baby boomers. That was THE
POINT of building up the (so far, and growing every year)
$1.2 TRILLION SURPLUS: to provide for the baby boomers' retirement
years. This is how it is SUPPOSED TO WORK. THIS WAS and IS
According to the trustees (a very cautious group) of the
Social Security trust fund, the SURPLUS will be paid down
in 2042 and after that -- by using then-current Social Security
revenues -- the Social Security trust fund can continue paying
out 70% of promised benefits till infinity, even if Congress
According to the Congressional Budget Office (which has
been MORE accurate in its predictions than the trustees of
the Social Security trust fund), the Social Security trust
fund will NOT pay down its SURPLUS until 2052 and will STILL
be able to pay EIGHTY PERCENT of promised benefits -- using
then-current Social Security tax dollars -- until infinity,
EVEN IF CONGRESS DOES NOTHING.
If Congress would just REFUSE to make Bush's tax-cuts-for-the-rich
PERMANENT, the money SAVED will MORE THAN provide whatever
"fix" is needed to shore up Social Security after
the year 2052, so it can continue paying 100% of promised
The administrative costs to run Social Security are LESS
than ONE PERCENT.
The fees and commissions the Wall Street investment firms
would TAKE OUT of small private investor accounts could run
anywhere from 20-30 percent -- eating up most gains, if there
even are any gains. (The stock market has been flat for the
past four years.)
The Bushites are about to launch a $100 million propaganda
campaign to persuade Americans the Social Security system
is in crisis. The costs for this advertising blitz will be
paid by contributions from firms that PLAN to gather in BILLIONS
of YOUR dollars if Bush gets to "piratize" Social
Security. SEE http://www.workingforchange.com...
for the names of some of the groups contributing to Bush's
"WAR CHEST To Hornswaggle The American People."
The Republicans do not want to fix Social Security, they
want to KILL it. They don't want to "partially privatize"
Social Security, they want to END it.
Social Security is not an investment program; it is an
INSURANCE program that GUARANTEES every American a certain
amount of money no matter what life or the stock market has
dealt with them.
Workers at the lower income levels pay considerably MORE,
as a percentage of their income, into Social Security than
the high income people do. The wealthiest Americans have benefited
the MOST from Bush's tax cuts and can reasonably be required
to pay some of that windfall back into Social Security, which
they also receive in their retirement years.
The point of having EVERY American insured under Social
Security is the same rule that makes group health insurance
costs lower than individual costs would be for the same amount
of coverage: if you spread the costs and benefits over the
largest possible pool of payers and beneficiaries, the costs
Source for some of this information:
Outlook for Social Security" (Congressional Budget Office
A loyal BuzzFlash reader
Subject: Fascist America Time Clock
I hate to suggest a new project for time frazzled progressives
at BuzzFlash. But you do have access to the information to set
up a "Fascist America" Time Clock modeled after the
Doomsday Clock of the cold war era.
Midnight would mark the "time" the United States becomes
a Fascist state. The hands would be moved to and from the Midnight
hour based upon the Political events of the time. The more public
policy gets dictated by Corporate Interest, the closer the hands
move to the Midnight hour. The more the Religious Right dictates
public morality, the closer the hands move to Midnight. The
more the Main Stream media becomes an unquestioning medium for
spreading Government pronouncements the closer the hands move
towards Midnight. The more elections get thrown to Conservative
Republican Candidates via questionable electronic voting methods
the closer the hands move towards Midnight. Finally when people
start "disappearing" into jails and prisons without
right to a hearing, the hands should be moved within seconds
of Midnight. Right now, given the number of Muslims held in
without right to a hearing, three or four seconds to Midnight
might be a good place to start!
Maybe this might get Americans to think about this relentless
march towards Fascism which this Country seams to be blindly
Subject: Gonzales personal story
The article about Senator Ken Salazar (and other democrats
I might add) fawning all over Gonzales' rag-to-riches story
is mind boggling. Gonzales' story is being promoted only because
republicans want a gentler treatment for their conservative
Meanwhile many republicans oppose affirmative action because
they say minorities don't need the special treatment. If that
is the case, then Gonzales' personal background should be a
non-issue. And democrats should remind republicans of that.
They should not let the republicans have it both ways.
The focus should be on Gonzales' professional past. And much
of that should raise concerns on both sides of the Senate.
Subject: Pentagon Death squads--Fox news in Orgasm
Every time I flipped the TV channel to Fox News, the news commentators
and pundits were debating the delightful prospect of US-sponsored
Death squads continuing the yeoman's work of restoring democracy
to Liberated Iraq. The man who currently runs Iraq, John Negroponte,
facilitated the work of death squads in Honduras. So they've
certainly picked the right man for the job. Of course, Death
squads have been in Iraq even before the war officially started.
Mossad, British SAS and US Special forces have been engaging
in their customary murderous rampages for well over two years.
The Pentagon and Fox are trying to sell the American people
on the marvels of expanding the program into a 21st Century
version of the notorious Operation Phoenix in Vietnam. Euphemisms
such as "civilian pacification" seek to obscure what
these Neocon madmen really want to do. The Iraqi people, just
like the Vietnamese people, did not want to be occupied by the
Americans. The war was taken to the civilian population and
the result was carnage of innocent Vietnamese on a mass scale.
Today the Neocons want the imprimatur of public support to
unleash goon squads to kill civilians en masse. This is State-sponsored
terrorism against non-combatants to render surviving Iraqis
into a state of submission.
This is how sick and depraved our policy has become.
I would settle for democracy being practiced in the United
States and leave the Iraqis to manage their own affairs. I want
to know answers to such mundane questions as how George W. Bush
was 11% stronger in the machine count tally v. hand counted
votes in Clark County, Ohio? 6% stronger in Champaign County?
7% stronger in Jackson County, 7% stronger in Lorain County,
6% stronger in Clinton County? We have now fixed national elections
3 times successively ('00, '02 and '04) and yet have the gall
to try to force our form of "democracy" down the throats
of a proud people who simply want to be left alone.
Subject: Does Robert Novak know any Shame?
Margaret Carlson from the Capitol Gang hit Novak hard during
Saturday's show. While discussing Tom DeLay and the ethics
committee, Margaret thought that some republican members felt
some shame over the rules change.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: . . . get over it? (as published in the January 10
I heard Rep. Ric Keller stand up on the floor of Congress to
tell the voters represented by Ohio Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones
to just "get over it."
Well, pardon them, I guess, if they are still upset about excessively
long lines in Ohio, machines with glitches that always seemed
to work in one candidate's favor, and a highly partisan secretary
of state who wrote in a fund-raising letter that he was "truly
pleased" to announce his candidate's victory.
Come to think of it, where was Keller when Florida faced a similar
situation after the 2000 presidential election?
I'd like to remind the Honorable Ric Keller that he is an elected
representative who serves at the pleasure of the voters. When
he deprecates the democratic process like this, he deprecates
Subject: Moral clarity on these issues is not debatable
You can not be a Christian and support torture of any kind
in any circumstance.
You can not be a Christian and support treatment of "enemy
war combatants" in any way other than the way in which
Jeffrey Dahmer or Ted Bundy were treated. You can not be a Christian
and support the detaining of ghost prisoners without legal recourse
under the presumption of guilt Ė in the absence of evidence.
You can not be a Christian and ignore the fact that the practice
of rendition, a euphemism for torture by proxy, demonstrates
Moral clarity on these issues is not debatable.
The country's religious leaders have an obligation to their
churches, to their parishioners and to themselves to stand up
and clearly state their positions on this subject. Silence relays
tacit approval. Not speaking out makes us all accessories to
Some churches have indeed stood up and found their voices. The
Church of Christ is categorically against all forms of torture
and the practice of rendition. The United Methodist Church has
been outspoken in their believe that America's current policies
on the treatment of terrorist prisoners are immoral. The National
Council of Churches has issued multiple formal press releases
denouncing the "chaos and treatment of prisoners in Iraq."
Where are the formal statements from the religious right on
these matters? Where is Pat Robertson's moral indignation on
Alberto Gonzales' memos? The fact of the matter is that Pat
Robertson has come out in support of the Bush Administration's
policies on the treatment of prisoners and the nomination of
Where does James Dobson stand on this matter? James Dobson,
whose "Focus on the Family" broadcast is heard by
2 million U.S. listeners each day, hasn't come out against torture.
Instead he makes statements suggesting that it isn't an issue.
Perhaps this is why Adam Kotsko, a Christian writer, has likened
him to a fascist.
Why haven't we heard anything from Billy Graham? The man who
is credited with turning around the life of George W. Bush surely
has influence. The man who for decades now has accepted donations
from Christians from around the world surely knows that torture
is never acceptable.
Could it be that these moral leaders of the religious right
have decided that their secular political loyalty is greater
than their love of Christ? Is it possible that these men of
God are ignoring the teaching of Jesus because they have embraced
the idea that their religious ends justify secular means? Selective
promotion of morals isnít good enough.
Government, military and religious leaders must be held accountable.
A blind eye can not be turned to the fact that words and actions
do not match. Accepting a denial with a wink and a nod makes
us all as guilty as the perpetrators. The ends do not justify
the means. As we all know, good intentions pave the road to
If, as Jesus said, a rich man would have an easier time getting
through the eye of the needle than into heaven, then surely
it would be easier for a rich man to get into heaven than anyone
who has supported torture with word, deed or silence.
Simply disgusting, just now on the news four of the people
involved in the release of the Bush Air National Guard papers
on CBS have been fired. When is telling the truth cause for
being fired?? This administration has got its bases covered
doesn't it? I only hope one of these days someone stands up
and exposes Bush for what he really is...like someone in his
administration getting pissed off enough to do it!
A Loyal BuzzFan Forever!
Subject: CBS Firings
If telling "half-truths" is the new standard for firing
News executives then Pat Robertson's CBN News and FOX News ought
to have the same scrutiny for benefit of the public. Also Jerry
These people outright lie and it's ok. Carl Cameron of FOX News
still has his job, Rush Limbaugh is allowed to pass off his
political smearing as news and the rest of the RW pundits who
pass themselves off as journalists to the public are not and
have not been held accountable for all their "half-truths,"
going back to the Clinton Presidency. If none of
the Democrats or liberals or progressives stands up to this
kind of double standard, then we are surely doomed as a nation
that calls ourselves a "democracy."
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Social Security
Why does not someone look at the generation of 25 to 35 year
olds in this country, who are married with 2 kids, and it takes
every penny both spouses make to exist? Why does anyone think
that they will have a retirement of any kind when they reach
65 or 67 or any other age? They will simply take the extra $
that they "could" invest in a private account and
merely put it toward their bills. What a joke this whole Social
Security program as told by the President and his "band
of thieves" has become, not to mention the fear mongering
and lies the President uses to pursue his agenda for his bank
of "fat cats."
Wm. J. McGowan, II
Subject: Now Katie, explain why spraying unarmed civilians
in mosques is a worse death than decapitation? (as sent 1/10/05
to the Today Show and others)
Dear Sweet, Justifying Anything, Katie Couric,
The first thing you should have asked Gen. Downing, this morning
was, who is leading in the race to kill the most innocent Iraqis,
the insurgents or our shock and awe, justify anything later
He said these are people who have decapitated people. Since
we haven't decapitated anyone, that we know of, then every other
form of torture we have used is okay and will win friends and
influence people. Sorry, but the unarmed people we have sprayed
bullets into, even in mosques, are just as dead.
I like the idea that he said those who did the bad things in
El Salvador were "rogue elements." As I recall, they
were actually called low-level contract employees, by Reagan.
Duarte is the guy, in El Salvador, that we helped put in, and
even Jesse Helms complained we were interfering. Keep in mind
it was a very confusing time because we were aiding the contra-insurgents
in their efforts to over-throw the government in Nicaragua,
and we were aiding the El Salvadoran government against their
In case you are wondering, all of them were corrupt, but killing
civilians with Communist aid is much worse than doing it with
Christian aid. The churches and clergy were completely opposed
to what the US was doing and many of the clergy died for it.
Here is how it was done during the Reagan years, which Gen.
Downing thinks we should be emulating and revering.
Duarte visited the United States to meet with Reagan and
members of Congress. He appealed to the latter for more military
aid. Duarte pledged to end death squad activity, but said
he would not accept aid tied to improvement in the human-rights
area, saying such conditions would be degrading. -- World
He didn't end it or improve human-rights, either.
October 14, 1984 -- Reports surfaced concerning the existence
of a manual written in Spanish and distributed among rebels
opposing the leftist regime in Nicaragua. It was reported
to be the work of the CIA. It described how some government
officials could be 'neutralized'--a term that might mean assassinated.
-- World Almanac, 1985
Some people today consider torture to be, well, torture.
October 18, 1984 -- Reagan ordered the CIA to investigate
the guerrilla manual to determine who was responsible and whether
US law had been violated. An administration official said that
the manual appeared to be the work of a 'low-level contract
employee' of the CIA in the region. -- World Almanac, 1985
Today we elevate the guys responsible for writing the justifications
to the highest law enforcement office in the land.
October 20, 1984 -- In an interview Edward Chamorro, one
of the Nicaraguan rebel leaders, admitted that his forces
had carried out assassinations of the type implied in the
CIA manual. He said Sandinista 'tyrants' had been killed,
'when we found them guilty of crimes.' Robert McFarlane, Reagan's
advisor for national security affairs, said that Reagan would
dismiss any US official who developed or approved of the manual.
-- World Almanac, 1985
They were found guilty in the field, no need for lawyers, evidence
or a trial. Today we take them to Cuba for torture and still
no lawyer, evidence or trial, but they say we don't kill them.
October 22, 1984 -- CIA officials denied Reagan's assertion,
made during an Oct. 20 debate with Walter Mondale, that most
copies of the manual had been edited to remove advice on 'neutralizing'
Nicaraguan officials. -- World Almanac, 1985
Today we just re-write the offending material which negates
the idea that it ever happened and that any torture was torture
under the former definition. It was just low-level National
Guard people with no training.
November 10, 1984 -- The White House announced that 2 investigations
had found no violation of the law, but that some persons had
used bad judgment. President Ronald Reagan authorized the imposition
of punishment on those found to be responsible. The 6 employees
were said to be mid-level in rank. Punishments were reported
to include suspension without pay or letters of reprimand. --
World Almanac, 1986
Bad judgment is still getting our kids killed. Sending them
to war for no reason is the worst form of bad judgment, but
the bad judgment was rewarded by giving those guilty of bad
judgment another 4 years, which is also what happened in 1984.
November 14, 1984 -- SixÖemployees of the CIA received unknown
punishment for their roles in producing a manual on guerrilla
tactics was reported. -- World Almanac, 1986
George W. Bush has learned well from the master, except when
Dubya's guys mess up, really well, he gives them the Medal of
Freedom, without the slightest chance of real freedom.
Katie, Katie, Katie, things are rotten in Iraq and methinks
it is your fault. Not just you, but the entire media for letting
the Bush Administration do whatever it sees fit. 1354 of our
guys dead and no verifiable justification and you sleep like
a baby. Will you sleep as well when your daughters are old enough
to fight for whatever the hell this country wants to do or to
fall in love with someone who is fighting for whatever suits
the neo-con's fancy?
The worst is yet to come, but will you let it?
Subject: Another observation?
freed from Abu Ghraib. Hey, Bush said that prison was supposed
to be demolished by now 1/10
Hey, Bush said ALL of those prisoners were "bad men."
So what's the deal? Did Bush lie or is he loosing terrorists
back into the world?
Subject: Message I sent this morning to the DNC
Because every informed person knows that the issue of abortion
has nothing to do with abortion or babies - it has to do with
control, both my husband and I want to put your organization
on notice: If Tom Roemer becomes chair, our family (which includes
2 children) will no longer give our support to the Democratic
When indeed religion is kindled into enthusiasm, its force,
like that of other passions, is increased by the sympathy of
a multitude. But enthusiasm is only a temporary state of religion,
and whilst it lasts will hardly be seen with pleasure at the
helm. Even in its coolest state, it has been much oftener a
motive to oppression than a restraint from it. -- 1797 Letter
from James Madison to Thomas Jefferson
Rollyn B. Carlson
Subject: Doomsday plan cover up
Thanks for adding the Doomsday Plan story which I forwarded
to you this morning. Here's the big question... Was the whole
"controversy" over changing the House ethics rules
for Tom DeLay just a contrived cover-up so that this Doomsday
Plan could be enacted without scrutiny? Note in the story that
Doomsday was quietly passed as part of the minor changes in
ethics rules. I suspect DeLay & Co. needed to create a diversion
so that no one would notice what they were really up to...which
is getting ready for Armageddon.
Regards, keep up the good work...I wear my BuzzFlash.com hat
Subject: Can Fox News and DRUDGE Live Up to CBS Panel's Recommendations?
Immediately upon the CBS panel report, talk show wingnuts were
equating "forgery" with "false information."
There CAN be forgery of TRUE information, and nothing in the
report cites forgery as being certain. And back when the issue
first broke, there was scads of information about the suspicious
number of Republican lawyer-operatives who were in key positions
to set and spring the trap: Like the Atlanta lawyer with a history
of Repub psy-ops and a Cuban wife (wasn't an Hispanic woman
supposed to deliver the documents?), and the Republican lawyer
who was alleging forgery on the internet FOUR HOURS after CBS
aired it -- uh, supposedly without seeing the documents -- etc.,
etc. (We've been over this territory before... )
The real tragedy is that the CBS fiasco INNOCULATED Shrub from
the TRUE facts of the case. This is the TRADEMARK of ROVE tactics,
the way he did with the author of "Fortunate Son"
-- putting out TRUE facts to a flawed messenger, then attack
the messenger, totally discredit him, and -- PRESTO! -- the
story itself is DISCREDITED!
So, in the CBS panel's recommendations: Can Faux Propaganda
Network and Matt DRUDGE live up to these? Hahahaha! The funniness
of rhetorical questions!
Somebody asked O'REILLY once whether Faux had an ombudsman.
He went, like, "Pfffft.... maybe in some closet in the
basement somewhere..." (paraphrasing). It was quite clear
that he regarded the premise of HAVING one as...RIDICULOUS!
....The panel made a number of recommendations for changes,
Appoint a senior Standards and Practices Executive,
reporting directly to the President of CBS News, who would
review all investigative reporting, use of confidential sources
and authentication of documents. Personnel should feel comfortable
going to this person confidentially and without fear of reprisal,
with questions or concerns about particular reports.
Foster an atmosphere in which competitive pressure is not
allowed to prompt airing of reports before
all investigation and vetting is done.
Allow senior management to know the names of confidential
sources as well as all relevant background about
the person needed to make news judgments.
Appoint a separate team, led by someone not
involved in the original reporting, to look into any
news report that is challenged.
Ousts 4 For Bush Guard Story (CBS)
Subject: Not a tax on all babies
Your current editorial, about the Bush
Baby Tax (may be called "Birth Tax") left out
an important point: not ALL babies will be charged. This hinges
on a theory I've been hatching for a while (and it's becoming
more obvious all the time).
Why the GOP doesn't care about the national debt and huge budget
The GOP, even before Bush II - although he has accelerated the
plan - has been concentrating on eradicating mainly the taxes
that are paid only - or mainly - by the wealthy. Thus the larger
rate cuts on the upper brackets, capital-gains, and dividends,
are geared toward absolving their benefactors from taxes altogether.
The idle children/heirs of the wealthy (who the RW like to call
"the productive elements of society") - if their parents
take full advantage of their tax breaks, and sock it away for
them - will inherit these family fortunes tax-free, invest them
in stocks & bonds, and live tax free on their exempt dividends
and capital gains.
So, when the lower and middle classes are struggling with the
onerous tax burden required just to pay the interest on the
debt, these scions of America's wealthiest families will say
"That's YOUR problem, I don't have to pay taxes!"
Subject: Will the same "journalistic" standards apply
to FOX as CBS?
It seems to me that FOX News should be held to the same standards
as CBS for their specials and reports from the Swiftboaters
about Kerry, many of which were proved to be outright lies.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Baby tax
I love the headline "Bush's
Baby TaxÖ" It is oh so true.
But I would like it even more it you called it the Birth
tax like the right wingerís "death tax."
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: CNN Cafferty calls Rep Conyers and Sen Boxer MORONS
On Friday morning (1/7/05), the day after the electoral challenge
I was watching CNN American morning. This guy Jack Cafferty
called Rep Conyers and Sen Boxer morons.
CAFFERTY: ...... And since it's Friday, you can write about
anything else you want. And we'll read some of that. I already
got a letter due in a couple minutes about this ill-fated
effort on the part of a couple Democrats to hold up the certification
of the presidential election.
HEMMER: That was an interesting twist yesterday.
CAFFERTY: Four hours. Four hours they delayed the certification.
The election results hadn't been challenged since like 1877.
But there were a couple of morons that said oh, well, let's
have a challenge.
SERWER: That's not going to win any hearts and minds, is it?
HEMMER: I would say.
CAFFERTY: In the next election you can bet the Republicans
COLLINS: Popular vote, electoral vote, whichever. All right,
Jack, thank you.
This morning he was railing on the UN being a corrupt nightmare.
Subject: Fahrenheit 911
Well, Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 911, won the People's Choice
award for Best Picture... yeah, that's right, all you rightwingnuts...the
man you love to push off a cliff...you are not
changing. He Won! And hopefully, this is just the start...he
will go on to win many more
awards for that picture.
It deserved it, of course, but the way this country goes...I
figured it would be fixed, too!
Subject: Birth Tax
Much of the strength of the right wing has come from their
ability to maintain a consistent message. The free thinkers
of the more moderate end of politics unfortunately seem to
lack this skill.
Even while exposing the immorality of the Birth Tax in the
following, the wrestling match to get issue ads on Sinclair
owned radio stations, you switch phrasing to Baby Tax. Baby
Tax just sounds silly.
Birth Tax has rhythm. Use it often and use it consistently.
Birth Tax, Birth Tax, Birth Tax.
Baby Tax: A Bill for Tens of Thousands of Dollars Presented
to Every Baby Born in America By George W. Bush.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Real Reasons for Privatizing Social Security
I agree that privatizing Social Security would be a bonanza
for Wall Street in terms of brokerage commissions, but there's
another side of the story. More than forty percent of the
total value of all financial assets (stocks, bonds, etc.)
is owned by the top one percent of the population in terms
of net worth. Forcing all the Social Security money into the
financial markets is going to be a huge boon for that top
one percent, because the influx of cash will drive up the
markets. In order to yield pennies for your retirement (you
hope), the markets will have to disgorge megabucks to the
In other words, privatization is a bailout not for Social
Security but for the markets, whose price-earnings ratios
are already high in historical terms. The real benefits will
go to the top one percent-- exactly as with Bush's tax cuts.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Bush letters
Who wrote those thousands of hand written "personal letters"
Bush supporters received following the election?
David in West Virginia
Subject: What kind of stand did dems make?
I caught some of the coverage on the 6th when Barbara Boxer
and a small group of house members contested the Ohio electors.
I was dumfounded when one after another dems got up and said
they were not contesting bush's victory, just the voting irregularities.
The voting irregularities are fraud, crimes have been committed
in Ohio. I have seen reports that put the probability that bush
won Ohio at 150 million to one, based on the exit polling numbers
This seems to me to have been a field day for the republicans.
They got to stand up and say this is a waste of time which is
what it was, if the intent of the protest was not to use the
rules laid out in the constitution which say that if a state
cannot run an election honestly that they donít get to participate
in national government, then why even lodge a protest?
Dems may not have been able to persuade enough republicans to
stand up for democracy to win the vote but they should have
stood up and said there is evidence this election was stolen,
this needs further investigation before these electors are certified
and bush is installed for a second term.
I just donít understand, why only one senator, why only 33 house
members? Do these people, our elected representatives not care
that the republicans are stealing our republic? Our government
by the people for the people is becoming, government by the
corporation for the corporation. The new deal is under attack,
we are rapidly losing our civil rights. They are not going to
stop until everything average Americans have gained over the
last 100 years is gone, work place safety, environmental regulations,
everything. These people must be stopped now. In my opinion,
mealy mouthed half-hearted protests like what we saw last Thursday
are not going to do it.
Thanks for listening,
In February 2003, a Florida Court of Appeals unanimously
agreed with an assertion by FOX News that there is no rule
against distorting or falsifying the news in the United States.
The Media Can Legally Lie (Project Censored 2005)
Mary Mapes et al., should sue to get her job back.
This is ABSOSUTELY ridiculous. FOX News lies every single day,
we had false Clinton stories for 8 years, and still going, and
was anybody fired?
Isn't Judith Miller still employed?????
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: if only
The whole day today the news was non stop CBS memogate. And
not just on Fox. CNN, MSNBC, the local news and the big three,
all spent most of their time discussing how biased CBS was to
rush the story without proper vetting. The fall of the CBS four
was talked about endlessly with an almost gleeful tone.
If only: they all spent as much time looking into the substance
of the story rather (no pun intended) than shoot the messenger.
If only: they spent as much time calling the swift boat liars
as they did CBS.
If only: they spent as much time looking into the truth about
WMDs, Bush's jacket bulge, the lies, the spin, the misdirection,
the elections, Armstrong Williams, the "death" tax,
social security, Medicare, the insurance companies, drug companies,
no child left behind, tax cuts, corporate welfare, Enron, pell
grants, 9/11, all the commissions, Halliburton, Rummy, Cheney,
The list is endless. The truth about all those issues compared
to what the people are told, led to believe or just insinuated
should be enough to keep the news media busy for 172 gazillion
years. But, it's much easier to just blame Clinton.
Subject: Elaine and the Democratic
I agree with Elaine in all but one respect. I feel we should
remain democrats and take back our party from the spineless
wimps. It shouldn't be real difficult. We have watched the wimps
quake as the repubs run over them for years now. We know they
have no guts. If they are afraid of the likes of Karl, just
wait until they ask for a donation from the deceived. After
all it is the LOVE of money that controls all of these men of
both parties. I have written the demos and told them I will
send no more and I know we all sent more than we ever had. No
more of the status quo. We must have a Barbara Boxer or Howard
Dean. I thought when I heard John Kerry say how dishonest the
Bushies were that he would expose and denounce like he had as
a young man, but it was not to be, so we must declare war on
wimpitus and take back the party since it would be wrong to
leave it in their hands.
I completely gave up on TV altogether and read the BBC, The
Nation, BuzzFlash and The Guardian to get my news. However,
my tube was left on today and I heard NBC break in with their
themed "trouble" music. Afraid of something terrible happening
(like another neocon 9/11), I ran into my living room to see
Brian Williams with a serious look on his face. He broke into
a regularly scheduled program to report that CBS has just fired
4 "60 Minutes" executives, complete with names and mug shots,
because of the Bush National Guard AWOL story. Huh? Is this
worthy of breaking into an already in progress show? Does anybody
find this a little odd?
Subject: Regarding Armstrong Williams
It is natural that we'd want to pile on Armstrong Williams,
since he makes manifest and literal that phrase which did so
much to crystallize Corporate media's true profession: "MediaWhore."
Still, we are at least trying to be decent people, and now that
we've all had an understandable day or two to exult, we now
need to press forward with this wonderful gift Bush has wrought.
Clearly Mr. Williams is out of an income for the foreseeable
future. We have reports that Mr. Williams says that his corruption
is shared by many in the Media.
Let's find out Mr. Williams' price for outing the other members
of the stable. Somebody, quick, offer him a "tell-all"
book contract, a magazine interview, or maybe just organize
a fund-raiser. We really can't let this blatant propaganda,
this subversion of the public good, pass by us with merely jeers
Subject: The world is falling
Has there ever been a time in your life that all the news is
so depressing. It is a diversion, I know that...but, I am to
the point where I don't want to turn on the television or the
radio anymore. Armstrong Williams is a lech and everyone knows
that, and any government who would trust that man with a buck...is
stupid...but, then I think we pretty much know that this ruling
class in Washington is stupid...no argument!!
So, what does the radio do today...and the television...they
are all awash with the Rathergate thing...all again...heads
are rolling. Republicans...no matter how low Bush's ratings
fall...if they go into the teens...there will always be a republican
rightwing conservativenut...that will conjure up something about
a high profile democrat to divert attention.
Yes, I know...Kid Rock is a Bush Voter...how wonderful is that?
His other great fan is Ted Nugent...I kid you not...the bow
and arrow hunter. He thinks he is lily white and that he is
the greatest thing since sliced bread. And, then there is Charlie
Daniels who I finally had a great fight with back in the days
of the bashing of the Dixie Chicks...when I finally got a letter
through to him...it was pathetic. I suppose the man never even
went to high school...and in his early days of his career...during
his "one toke over the line" days...he was stoned
all the time. Why is it that those who stay stoned are republican
lovers?? Can anyone answer that?
When I tried to communicate with Charlie...actually, he had
written an open letter to the Hollywood community, telling them
how low they were for bashing our President, Aarrrrrggg. I wrote
to him and told him that I thought he might do better had he
just allowed all people in this country to have the freedom
that he had used when he thought he had that right. And his
answer...was not readable...at least I could not read it. Either
the Hollywood community totally ignored it...or he had someone
else write it for him. His letters were short...and not one
sentence got by without a misspelled word (Ii do it too, sometimes)
but not like this. I asked him, what he had done during the
Vietnam war...he dodged...but he did not call it that. His answer
was something like, "Why Shirley, I am just an old man."
But you see...he is sixty now...so he was listed as a dodger.
No one would go...Kid Rock and Ted Nugent both should be in
Iraq right now, in their President's War... the war he Wants...he
Wants freedom...he Wants a democracy...He does not give a damn
what they want! Every day, I wake up hoping this is all just
a nightmare... It's not!!!! Does anyone think that the democrats
even plan anything anymore?
Good news for Michael Moore...he won Best Film at the People's
Choice awards...I hope this continues...it will keep that in
the news, anyway!!!
Subject: StayInformed 62 Ė Chickens. Home. Roost.
Well, itís been quite a week. A conservative pundit got caught
with his hand in the cookie jar. Like any of us are surprised.
Whatís odd is that nobody seems to be faulting the White House
for this. At least not yet.
Letís get down to it.
WHITE HOUSE PAYS $250,000 FOR PUNDITíS PROPAGANDA Oh, thatís
right. Conservative pundit and columnist Armstrong Williams
was paid handsomely for promoting No Child Left Behind. Apparently
didnít even realize it was conflict of interest. Yeah right,
you fucking liar.
Now, Iíve got to say that I really donít care if a pundit takes
money from the White House. Thatís really his business and he
can ruin his reputation if he wants. However, for the White
House to willfully bribe a person so theyíll write propaganda
is absolutely inexcusable and the person or persons who okayed
this should be convicted under existing propaganda statuettes.
Hereís the full story about Armstrongís payola deal and subsequent
firing from the Tribune Media Service.
Now this story gets even better, because Armstrong made the
rounds on the talk shows last week. On Crossfire, which has
since been cancelled, Paul Begala starts off by saying how much
of a stand up guy Armstrong is. Jeezus. Robert Novak then tries
to actually make the argument that Armstrong isnít bound by
the same journalistic credo others are because heís a pundit.
What a douchebag.
MORE PAYOLA FOR PROAGANDA? And while backstage at FOX News, Armstrong
Williams let a little gem slip out that he probably shouldnít
He was talking to David Corn, editor for The Nation, and this
And then Williams violated a PR rule: he got off-point.
"This happens all the time," he told me. "There
are others." Really? I said. Other conservative commentators
accept money from the Bush administration? I asked Williams
for names. "I'm not going to defend myself that way,"
he said. The issue right now, he explained, was his own mistake.
Well, I said, what if I call you up in a few weeks, after
this blows over, and then ask you? No, he said.
WHATíS GOING ON WITH JOE SCARBOROUGH Now, this is interesting.
Joe Scarborough is the former Republican Congressman from Florida
who has his own talk show on MSNBC called Scarborough Country.
Usually heís just a partisan hack, but lately Iíve noticed heís
been starting to be pretty honesty on the campaign trail.
For example, after the first debate he came out and said that
Bush lost badly and nobody else would go with him initially.
But of course Bush had lost badly so the news (and the pundits)
followed the opinion polls.
And on the Armstrong Williams matter, we actually agree. Take
a listen. Heís very honest and could be pulling towards the
BROADCAST NETWORK NEWS HEADS PRAISE FOX I just found this yesterday.
Itís a synopsis of a roundtable at Stanford on November 29th,
2004. These guys have their heads so far up their asses, no
wonder the media has shifted right. They actually praise FOX
and ask themselves, "What would FOX do?"
As quoted from the blog article, "The presidents of ABC
News (David Westin), CBS News (Andrew Heyward), NBC News (Neil
Shapiro, fmr. Dateline guy) on the stage, along with a moderator,
Dick Wald of the Columbia School of Journalism, former president
of NBC, Senior Vice President of ABC, also of the Washington
Post and Herald Tribune."
CBS: CNN is the Democrat's "home team" network. CBS:
For better or worse, exit polls are automatically "in the
blogosphere" these days. CBS: We need to decide whether
to adjust to be more like FOX. NBC: FOX has redefined the game.
They raise issues for us to cover and techniques for us to use.
ABC: We have racial diversity in the newsroom, but we need political
diversity [i.e. more Republicans] so we can have a robust discussion.
I thank FOX for pointing this problem out. NBC: We always ask,
"How would FOX report that?" to challenge [our biases].
ABC: In my previous capacity, I tried to broker a deal where
the candidates would get free airtime in exchange for running
fewer ads. We ran into First Amendment problems so I gave up.
CBS: Itís not our fault elections are crazy ó the public should
demand a better system.
I knew it. A transcript of more of the conversation is located
PROPOSED VIRGINIA "FETAL DEATH" LAW IS CRAZY If a
woman has a miscarriage and doesn't report it to the police
within 12 hours she can go to jail for 12 months and be fined
$2,500. At least that's the law one legislator wants on the
books in Virginia.
Man, I want to throw things! What is wrong with these people?
The following blog has an excellent rundown of the whole situation.
I haven't found any other source that is better than this one.
Please check it out.
JON STEWART ROCKS Yes, I know IíAve said this before, but did
you ever think I'd write a song about it?
Today I am pleased to bring you the world premiere of "Jon
Stewart Rocks," a song I composed in a music program on
my Macintosh called GarageBand. It's made up of sound clips
I took from Jon Stewartís appearance on Crossfire when he ripped
into that sham of a program and Tucker Carlson in one fell swoop.
Death to pundits! :-)
THE DEATH PENALTY, AN INSIDER'S PERSPECTIVE Barry Sheck over
at The Innocence Project gave a talk at Stanford and revealed
some really scary statistics about DNA evidence and death row
This is definitely worth a read.
GOODBYE For now.
Subject: Steve Forbes
On June 28, 2002 Steve Forbes was on CNN's Lou Dobbs Show. The
topic was the corporate scandals and their adverse effect on
the markets. Forbes responded by saying if we took the Iraqi
oilfields, the markets would pick up!!! The Lou Dobbs Show's
transcript was on CNN's website for a year or so, then it was
censored. You can't find it there today.
Below is the excerpt:
MARK MORRISON, MANAGING EDITOR, "BUSINESSWEEK":
Well, I think the market reacted pretty well considering the
extent of the bad news this week. The WorldCom and Xerox announcements
were quite shocking. Yet the market, after that news, acted
fairly well, was fairly stable.
And I think that in a selective way, the market did maybe
punish some of the companies that -- where accounting questions
are still lingering, the ones that use...
DOBBS: Amongst those that are...
MORRISON: EBITDA, the ones that have pro forma accounting
and have pushed that concept. Those -- the market reacted
more in a selective way than in a general, panicky way to
STEVE FORBES, EDITOR, "FORBES": I think that's generally
right. I think the market is reaching a bottom. I think the
more pessimism there is, the quicker this thing is going to
turn around. But one of the things I think that's weighing
on the market, it's not the spate of scandals about corporations,
but a sense that perhaps we're not waging this war on terror
as vigorously as we should. I think if we went after Iraq
and seized those oil fields, I think you'd see the market
really move up.
DOBBS: It's interesting that you would connect those two.
We did have polls this week suggested only 1/3 of Americans
believe that we're actually winning this war. What do you
think of that idea, Mark?
Arroyo Grande, CA
Subject: 19 yr old doesn't want to go back to Iraq, shoots
What a sad story and just wait until the draft starts and all
those GOP college students have to go? College Republicans need
to sign up today to fight in their war for their president and
let the kids come home.
identified as US Marine (Modesto Bee)
Subject: Letter to George W Bush on Social Security, January
George W. Bush,
Just dropping you a note on what I expect with regards to your
Social Security proposal.
Do not spend any of my tax money promoting your proposal.
Since Wall Street will be the only entity guaranteed benefits
from it, they should be paying for it.
Please send a list of investments guaranteed a return because
I want my family to have a guaranteed return on anything we
invest in. This is our future and we donít believe in gambling.
I want to know exactly how you plan to recoup the loss
of the funds taken out.
I need access information for your account as well as
that of all congressmen voting for this because I want to
recoup my losses out of your account since you will be guaranteeing
me more money in this scheme than what I would get now.
If you canít promise all of these things then I want no part
of this. By the way, if there is one ad comparing yourself favorably
with FDR it will not make me happy. While you are both from
wealthy families, FDR actually cared about people in lower tax
brackets as opposed to yourself. You gave huge tax benefits
to the wealthy supposedly to create jobs and continue to allow
them to ship their jobs overseas with no penalty. You also allow
those who do create jobs to pay wages we canít live on.
Subject: Re: Your Afternoon Buzz
David Corn: Armstrong Williams acknowledged he had messed
up, but he told me he was not the only conservative pundit
who has taken money from the Bush gang. It's OUR Tax Money
Being Used for Bush Propaganda!
Williams: I'm Not the Only One (David Corn)
There was a very small article in the Washington Post some
years ago about Armstrong Williams being sued for sexual harassment
by two employees in his office. I thought, Ho Hum, so what else
is new. Then I saw that the two employees were MALE. I thought
that would be the end of Mr. Conservative, but I think he settled
out of court, and has become more and more the popular black spokesperson
for Bush and Company. I always suspected something was wrong with
him when I read that his business partner was that Stedman guy
that had a never-ending engagement with Oprah. I think they finally
ended that farce.
[BuzzFlash Note: We can't verify the following...but it seems
like the memo CBS should have sent out.]
Subject: Exclusive CBS Memo
A copy of the first response CBS was going to present on the
Bush National Guard story:
For over 3 decades, 60 Minutes has covered important news
stories that were too controversial to be touched by other
networks; most recently the Abu Ghraib scandal. In this period
of time we have made one minor mistake; we presented a letter
about Bush's service in the National Guard which was not an
original draft. The content of the letter was verified to
be true by the Secretary who wrote the letter but it was not
formatted as the original. We think the content is more important
than the format. In the present climate of fear to report
any news that negatively reflects on the Bush administration
and the bombardment of lies the public faces, spread daily
by talk radio and TV, we think the reporters involved in this
story should be praised, not reprimanded. We do not want to
silence our staff and treat them as disgracefully as was Gary
Webb [alternet.org]. If we make only one mistake
in the next thirty years we will be proud of our service to
Your Underground Reporter
Subject: MU Professor (biochemist) found stabbed and inside
trunk of burning car
Is the Bush crime family ready to send more letters out to the
media and democrats? Note how the suspect was wearing a surgical
type mask and the underreported fact this guy was a biochemist
retired from teaching, but still doing research. With Bush's
poll ratings in the toilet a biological attack would be just
the coronation ratings boost he needs (not to mention the next
step in scaring the sheep of this country into a complete and
total police state).
researcher found in trunk of burning car (Columbia Daily
Continue Homicide Investigation (KMIZ)
A BuzzFlash Reader