January 26, 2005
The BuzzFlash Mailbag
The opinions expressed in the Mailbag are not necessarily those of BuzzFlash. Read the BuzzFlash FAQ for info on submitting to the Mailbag.
Subject: NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams thinks Limbaugh should get more credit (Media Matters)
Am I losing my mind? The mainstream media is really starting to take Rush very seriously. We're in big trouble. Rush is now mainstream and respected. This should scare us all. And he should get his "due" as a broadcaster???!!! The 8-figure salary he makes isn't enough due, I guess. And what the hell does Williams mean - BROADCASTER? It makes it sound as if he's a legitimate reporter. He's a hatemonger who is now being touted as a serious newscaster - and not just by the dittoheads, but by the MSM.
I just can't believe my ears and eyes. If Rush gave birth to the FOX News Channel, then maybe he should have had an abortion. And what did Rush say to the other millions of Americans who disagreed with him? Yeah, we all know that. Told the African Americans to take the bones out of their noses, and other such tasteful insights as that. And now we have anchormen whining that Rush hasn't gotten the recognition he deserves. I'm gonna vomit.
(I'm puking right now.)
Does Brian Williams also think it's his duty to listen to Al Franken or Randi Rhodes or Janeane Garafolo? Ooooohhhhhh - I doubt it.
And I thought Brokaw was bad.
Barbara in NYC
Subject: The Rice Confirmation-Did They Really Mean Business?
The Senate will meet this morning to continue the Condoleezza Rice confirmation hearing. Who in the Senate really means business, or did they come to dance, who will really talk, who will just spout off, and then walk? Some Senators make excellent arguments against a candidate, and then will vote to confirm anyway! Many of us believe that dishonesty should be a factor in the consideration of a candidate. The American people deserve the truth when vital policies or people are being weighed and measured. In the past, the Bush Administration has been proven to blatantly ignore this rule, and proceeded with a spin that omits dissenting opinions, and the advice of experts.
The President's power to choose must be tempered with the checks and balances, and integrity should be an integral part of a candidate's qualifications, as well as objectivity. The last few nominees were sadly deficient in these areas. Another "yes" man in the Bush Administration is the last thing we need! Condoleezza Rice uses many obvious debating tricks to distract people from her weak answers on the tough questions, including righteous indignation, and embellishing answers to eat up the time on minor points. Her "misdirection" during her testimony at the 9/11 committee hearings was almost legendary!
Once again, we hear her giving non-answers at these hearings that are both vague and evasive! Rice expresses George Bush's viewpoint right down the line, showing little objectivity. We all are aware of the disheartening effect that Mr. Bush has had on most of Europe!
We applaud her efforts and her education in her rise to positions of responsibility under difficult circumstances. However, many others have done the same, and also had many obstacles that they had to overcome. This should not be a determining factor in approving her nomination. Neither should race or gender play a part of Rice's confirmation.
One can be successful without the attribute of honesty as evidenced by many of the Bush Cabinet Members. One also cannot help but question Dr. Rice's performance as National Security Advisor, especially, when she ignored pre-war Intelligence warnings, and seemed more concerned with Mr. Bush's and the NeoCon opinions, than with terrorism. The morning of September 11th Rice was due to give a speech at Johns Hopkins. It was noted later that her speech did not contain a mention of Al-Qaeda, and terrorism was not highlighted. That leaves not much to be said about her being in touch with the reality of the moment!
A predetermined outcome of a nominee's approval emphasizes the importance of not having a "one way, that's my way" government, which does not serve the people. We all hope that the Senators we have elected will reflect the viewpoint of the people who they represent, and not just for the political gain of one party, or for themselves. If Senators cannot stand up for the benefit of the people, we should realize this is more than a popularity or power contest, and they should not be re-elected!
As we listened to the hearing, it seemed there might once again be a split along party lines with notable exceptions! Some interesting questions or outstanding comments from today's hearing for the confirmation of Condoleezza Rice were:
Is Senator Joseph Lieberman more Republican than Democrat? On many issues he seems to be riding a fence, but leaning more and more towards the opposite side of the aisle, and touts his support for George Bush, particularly in issues dealing with the Iraq War!
Senator Dick Lugar gives her "A" for insight while ignoring non-answers.
Senator Kennedy opposes the Rice nomination, stating critical questions about Rice's accountability, and disputes her not being able to disavow torture.
Senator Mark Dayton accused Rice, the Administration and the military of hiding information from Congress.
Senator Carl Levin, Ranking Armed Services Committee Member, felt Rice, and the Cabinet should be held responsible for distortions, exaggerations and the over-stating of Intelligence, without mentioning dissenting opinions of the State Department and others.
Senator Mitch McConnell thinks it's quite alright for Rice to represent Mr. Bush's viewpoint and it is expected she do so, right or wrong. When Colin Powell had doubts, and voiced them, he came under a lot of fire from the NeoCons. When he presented information that was doubtful, and later discredited, he lost some respect of many world leaders, and also some Americans at home.
Harsh criticism is expected from Senator Robert
Byrd, and especially from Senator Barbara Boxer,
who has shown great courage and is admired by
many for representing the view of her constituency.
In the interest of time and space, their comments
will be noted at a later date, as will comments
of Senator Joseph Biden. Senator Biden held
up the President's right to choose his own Cabinet,
and is expected to vote for confirmation, despite
warnings and many great arguments against Rice.
In his case, when you spout off, many feel you
should not walk, but back your words with actions.
Subject: FEINSTEIN FAKERY: "Condoleezza Rice......This Remarkable
I must admit, I was given at least a minimal priming for this adventure when I saw snaps in the LA Times last week of the two of them going at it in true schmooz-a-ganza form, and comments extracted from that encounter that reminded me of Joe Biden telling Alberto "Torquemada" Gonzales, "I love you, man......!" [He too has acting ambitions, having got his tag line, or its fraternal twin, from the old Budweiser campaign. Maybe the Democrats are starting to take a cue, at last, from Arnold, and Ron, and eyeing Hollywood, now that it's apparent only actors can hold office in our increasingly fictional America. Some would say "liars" or "crooks," but let's follow Feinstein's diplomatic inspirations, and just call them "actors." ]
However this may be, Feinstein seems to have mistaken her venue, among other things. She was so rapturous in her praise of "Dr. Rice" that I became confused as to place and general locale, and thought for a brief shining moment that this was being broadcast from another Hill, one of the Seven of Rome, and found myself transported in time and space to the halls of Vatican City, perhaps even in a different age, certain I was at a "Cause" for "summary" Sainthood. Usually, Saints aren't honored by the Church until a respectable passage of time after their deaths, and after much dust falls. Occasionally, with indisputable holy ones, like St. Francis of Assisi, the canonization is almost instantaneous.
We thought we were witnesses of just such an occasion today. "If she is to have the opportunity to be a truly GREAT Secretary of State." "I look forward to working with this remarkable woman."
Wow. And double wow.
She's our OTHER Democrat Senator from California. Her peer, the Boxer, did all she had to do in painting a truly skanky portrait of Rice, carefully enumerating, literally with charts and graphs, all the times she had lied, reversed her stories without apology, covered her ass with thin air, contradicted her recent comments, or Bush's, and then contradicted herself and others again, again without apology. Most seriously: intervened, recently, to try with all her might to maintain a policy that was pro-torture when her silence would have sufficed.
And here's Feinstein, telling us that these were all, really, surely miracles, and that if a third could be proven, that was the general minimum requirement for being put on the Roman Calendar as an official Saint.
I s**t you not, people.
CSPAN will be re-airing this, so don't miss the most amazing demonstration of abject surrender by any Democrat yet. I'm still prying my jaw off the ground. I'd been writing Feinstein for several years, taking strong exception to her confirmation of different judges, and excoriating her reasonings when she replied to my letters. This encourages me in a way, having confirmed once again that my worst suspicions, despite protestations from any number of left of center bloggers, were accurate.
Boxer said that she, herself, had only objected to several nominations out of hundreds, and Rice would be one of them. So where does Feinstein get off, having been there at these same hearings, and heard that? Isn't she better off just making a clean breast and becoming a Republican?
But, no, Feinstein oozed such congratulations, and not just for a Republican or Bush appointee, but one of the most duplicitous and prevaricating and unqualified and incompetent people to ever sit before the Senate, that even that Republican voice-over telling her that time was up sounded embarrassed and pitying........
We don't have a party. We need to make one from scratch. We don't have a Media, we need to be it. We don't have a country. We need to resurrect it.
From the Ashes: a would-be Phoenix,
Subject: The Passion
Subject: Jack London: The Iron Heel: Times don't change all that much
Jack London's social novella, The Iron Heel, has eerie links to GW and the world we live in today. Consider:
A footnote: The people of the age were phrase slaves. The abjectness of their servitude is incomprehensible to us. There was a magic in words greater than the conjurer's art. So befuddled and chaotic were their minds that the utterance of a single word could negate the generalizations of a lifetime of serious research and thought.
Such a word was the adjective Utopian. The mere utterance of it could damn any scheme, no matter how sanely conceived, of amelioration or regeneration. Vast populations grew frenzied over such phrases as "an honest dollar" and a "full dinner pail." The coinage of such phrases was considered a work of genius.
Another footnote, attributed to Abraham Lincoln, just before his assassination:
Does this sounds remarkably familiar? I would encourage progressive thinkers to read London's The Iron Heel, and give serious thought to the lessons.
Subject: Republicans supporting war right or wrong...
Unfortunately, I have a very long list of relatives, neighbors and former friends who support this line of thinking. My brother in law admitted that bush lied to get us into Iraq, and that it was wrong of us to go. Then, in the next breath, he declared, "Still, we oughtta just go over there and kill everyone of the -*!@#$-heads (referring to Muslims with head coverings)."
Here's my response--I carry a stack of the Army's postcards requesting information about how to join, and whenever I encounter people like this, I hand it to them. As for the avowed warmongers in my neighborhood and family, well, I took it upon myself to fill out their cards for them and sent them in. Now they are on the junk mail list from hell, and the US Army will hound them to distraction.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Dan Rather
I feel bad quoting from an obituary but it is perhaps a fitting testimonial to David Nyhan who died Jan. 23. His obituary is in the Jan. 25 Wash. Post. The obit quote is that the Dan Rather story on Bush's Natl Guard service was basically accurate & had been reported in the Boston Globe in 2000. Nyhan said the voters gave Bush a pass because they don't like to think Daddy lies, cheats or steals. Dan Rather has been tarred and feathered by the administration and the press ever since for false reporting but the press has completely dropped further investigation of the primary issue--Bush's service. Will they ever continue to follow up on obvious lies of the Bush machine concerning his national Guard Service? Where is the investigative press? I think the public deserves more facts.
David Nyhan Dies at 64; Columnist for Boston Globe (Washington Post)
Subject: civil rights
What we have is a classic cult of personality with all its attributes:
party purges, incompetence and pomp. We have witnessed an inauguration-coronation
thingy. Whether it is a psychomaniac president himself who is creating
a cult, or it is his vice Cheney's work, does not really matter. The
point is that the evil has arrived. Soon people will start disappearing.
Forget voting in 2008, it will be irrelevant, if not put on hold during
some National Curfew because of War or Terrorism. Forget counting
on Democrats in the government, for the exception of the very few,
they are worthless. The way to restore America is to stage massive
dissent on a scale of the Civil Rights movement. A Renewal Campaign
of Civil Disobedience. Pragmatically disengage from the stock market
and start walking. Take to the streets after work and on weekends:
first in small groups, but everywhere, through the entire country,
until we become an enormous nation, in charge of our future.
Subject: DEMS = REPUBLICANS
Nauseating....and it's getting worse. People like myself who vote for the DEMS need their head examined--big time. It's TIME WE GOT a NEW PARTY...period.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Freedom Marching: Reflections on the Inaugural Speech
So says President Bush as he begins his second term. Really? Since when? Most Americans probably have a knee jerk approval of such sentiments. We would do well, however, to pause and ask how the rest of the world sees them.
Try this: Reread these two sentences, but substitute the word "fascism" for "freedom" and imagine Mussolini saying it in 1928. Then use the word "Nazism" and imagine Hitler is speaking in 1936. Now try "communism" and suppose Stalin says it in 1949, or Khrushchev in 1959 (remember "We will bury you"?). Finally, suppose Ayatollah Khomeini utters such words regarding Muslim fundamentalism in 1985. How would we react?
Most people see their own nationís policies as benign, if not beneficent, but readily perceive policies of other nations as threatening. The notion that our system is best, others would benefit by it, and it is our sacred duty to see that others get it is a 20th century phenomenon. Hans J. Morgenthau, leading scholar in international politics in the last century, had a name for this outlook. He called it "nationalistic universalism."
Traditional nationalism is content to stay home. It is the feeling of belonging we get when the flag goes by in a 4th of July parade, or we salute it at the beginning of a sports event. It is our feeling of pride when we transfer power peacefully after a free election, or justice overcomes injustice through our judicial or legislative systems. We understand that peoples of other countries legitimately have similar feelings about their treasured traditions and institutions.
Nationalistic universalism, however, is a very different thing. It is not content to stay home, but insists on remaking the world in its own image: "Forcing people to be free" (or fascist, or communist, or fundamentalist). It is consistent with Bushís unilateral approach to foreign policy.
John F. Kennedy had the antidote for such messianic thinking when he spoke of "making the world safe for diversity." Moreover, when the Presidentís statements are seen as threatening an American imperialism (whether intended or not), other powers of the world form alliances against the perceived threat. The process is already in motion which could produce in a few years an anti-American alliance of the European Union, Russia, China, and perhaps India--a formidable coalition--if we do not alter course. We could never "shock and awe" such a coalition into submission.
Will Adams, Professor of Political Science (retired)
Subject: The Best News All Week . . . When Money Talks . . . People
Listen . . .
Money makes people listen . . . especially the law under the Bush
regime. We taxpayers get stuck no matter what, though. The demonstrations
against free speech and the freedom to protest has been denied under
Bush and when it is clear that these are protected rights, the taxpayers
still get billed for what Bush is responsible for. I look forward
to the day of real accountability.
Subject: President looking to earn some extra cash
"Bein' president is hard work," said Bush. But he added that he's willing to pump gas or get a paper route if it helps bring democracy to the whole wide world.
The president said he'd like to dig for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge a couple nights a week or maybe use his Texas tough talk to get some of those Guantanamo detainees to spill the beans. And, when it comes to people like Mr. Bush who have the clout to dish out lucrative no-bid defense contracts, Halliburton is always hiring.
But those closest to the president say the job he is best suited for is "clearing brush," an activity that already occupies more of his time than, say, researching issues like global climate change that are critical to the future of our world.
And though there is not much brush to be found around the Washington D.C. Beltway, insiders say there is plenty of "dead wood" scattered throughout most government office buildings and even the halls of Congress.
Other possible part-time jobs for the leader of the free world include reading books to children during times of crisis, knocking down that pesky wall between Church and State and coming up with priceless material for late-night comedians.
Subject: exposed payoff
A long time ago I wrote to you in regards to when people were calling
the media "liberal." We all knew (know) that the media is
not liberal, only whores for the Bush ''agenda." Back then I
wrote suggesting that maybe most, if not all of the media may have
been bought by the Bush administration. I mean, why else would all
these so called journalists whore themselves for the Bush regime??
I still believe that Bush and his thieves have done just that, and
now in the Headline section of your site, it states 'another' person
may have been paid to glorify Bush's agenda. How many more may be
out there? Your guess is as good as mine.
Subject: Rice on fire
As her pants ignited and she was enveloped in flames, Condi Rice was heard to scream out, "I vas onli folloeing orders!!" Several Democratic senators attempted to extinguish the flames by raising their hands and going against their values; voting for her confirmation as if the "Liar Liar" were not unqualified to represent this country in its foreign affairs.
Members of the media quietly averted their eyes and bowed deeply in the direction of the White House. And the American People felt an extreme pain in the collective ass.
Dr. Rice left the room and continued on her way to the White House cabinet, where she shared a bottle of Jack with the "President." And the beat goes on.....
Subject: Appearances are Deceiving on Faux News . . .
Subject: New signs of life in the Democratic Party - support the
Although many of us have been ready to give up on the deadbeat Democratic Party, surprising new signs of life and renewal indicate that this party may still be worth supporting. On the one hand Barbara Boxer's courageous questioning of Condi Rice's nomination and the ensuing powerful attacks by other Democratic spokespersons give one hope that resistance to the Bush agenda may be stronger than expected (see links in first piece below). On the other hand the chairmanship of the DNC is still up for grabs, and Howard Dean is definitely in the running (see second piece below).
BOTH of these fronts (help - it's hard avoiding war terminology these
days) need our support. Letters to our representatives which they
can use to prove that their constituents are behind their efforts,
and concrete help in the form of donations to the campaign supporting
Dean as DNC Chair - see links in 2nd piece below.
Subject: Disarm Saddam
I'm amazed that the Disarm
Saddam page is still available on the Whitehouse.gov site.
[BuzzFlash Note: We're surprised, too. Here's more. http://www.whitehouse.gov/....]
Subject: When will the Bush kids defy the terrorists and enlist?
Subject: Social Security and other impending "disasters"
Bush, with his self-proclaimed abundance of vision and Idealism, believes he has been ordained to head off his self-identified imminent disasters in Iraqi nationalism and Social Security. Were he truly a visionary and idealist, he would address the root causes rather than knowingly apply dirty bandages to these festering problems [America's dwindling number of oil resources and suppliers and an increasingly inequitable economic, political, and healthcare system]. The only vision and idealism Bush has is that of a Social Darwinist who believes that God has chosen him to ensure that the pigs rule over the Orwellian trough.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Apology time
Jeanne St. John
[BuzzFlash Note: From a web search: O'Reilly eats words on WMD claims (NY Daily News).]
Subject: WHERE ARE THE ( REAL ) DEMOCRATS!?!?!?!??!?!?
Shame on the Democrats who voted for her. This is completely UNacceptable.
Condi is a PROVEN LIAR, with her OWN WORDS. She, along with Rummy
The Dummy et al., are responsible for countless deaths in the damn
Iraq Conquest. So what the crap is this?
Subject: Bush coronation
I haven't written in a while because it's hard to write in a fetal position. I know I have to get out of this post election funk, and I'm making every effort to do that. I have been interested in politics for quite a long time. Those of us with a little age on our side have had the advantage of living some of the history they talk about in school (especially me being an "older mother" of an almost 16 year old).
I remember while watching the Clinton v Dole campaign on TV, my young son commented that he wished they wouldn't argue so much and would just get along. I told him if he wanted to write the candidates and tell them, I would help. He wrote, and we still have the reply Clinton sent him (Dole didn't respond).
I wanted to write giving my son's perspective of the coronation. My son attended the event with a group of classmates. The day after the election I asked him if he wanted me to try and get our money back, thinking he might not want to see bush, but he said he still wanted to go. He also stated he wanted to get a haircut before he left on the trip. I told him he could as long as he didn't look like a republican (he ended up not getting it cut).
The event made an impact on him, but not in the way most people thought it would. I asked if he could see gwb during the address from their vantage point and he said only on the jumbotron (don't know which would have been worse). He couldn't stand listening to the speech. I asked him to take plenty of pictures of the protestors because we probably wouldn't get to see them on TV. He didn't take the pictures because it was so cold he didn't want to take his hands out of his pockets, but he did bring me a protest sign he found on the ground!
Because they were snowed in for 2 extra days, the students were in the hotel room watching HBO. The special they were watching involved people reading last letters sent from loved ones killed in Iraq. He listened to a couple of them being read and had to leave the room. He had tears in his eyes as he was relating this to me in the car on the way home from the airport. He was also pretty shook up after visiting the Holocaust Museum (which we had seen 4 years earlier).
I think the wars (both now with Iraq and WWII's holocaust) contrasting with the whole pomp and circumstance of the coronation is what made the greatest impact. There are plenty of young people out there with their eyes and ears wide open. I'm just glad one of them is mine, and I hope there are enough seeing what's going on to help make a difference in the future.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: camera angles at the inauguration
I have seen nothing about this on any site or news outlet. During the Inauguration ceremony, PBS, FOX, ABC and CBS (the broadcast stations I have in my town) all had exactly the same camera feed. I switched from station to station as I watched, and even the backgrounds were the same. They even had the same crowd shots. Was there a government director calling all the shots? This went on through the entire ceremony. Did none of these networks have their own cameras on this event? I tried to tape it, but my old VCR won't change stations while recording. It was obvious that only one feed was coming out of Washington during the ceremony. Did anyone else notice this?
[BuzzFlash Note: We hadn't heard about this, which is truly an interesting observation. Remember the debates? The Bush/Cheney '04 campaign placed restrictions on those cameras...only C-SPAN showed both candidates simultaneously and continuously, as we recall.
I just called Durbin and heard the Committee passed Gonzales 10-8. All Repubs voted for him. Time to turn up the heat on those people. Thanks for your work.
Subject: EXPLANATION OF ZOGBY POLL = WHY ONLY 31% R ashamed of bush...
No Support For Iran Attack - But 31% Of Americans Ashamed To Have
Bush President (Left Coaster)
Subject: JESUS GOD!!!!!
Jesus God! How many of you news people out there are on the Bush payroll? I knew everyone at Fox News was on their payroll but I had a little respect for the other networks. Now I'm starting to wonder if all of the media is getting paid by the White House!! How sad!!
Subject: Bush's Plan "B" is CALCULATED to DIVIDE us (a "means" test is the WORST idea of all)
Subject: Bush Urges Patience As US Toll Grows
Subject: How much "freedom" and "democracy" can
Subject: The Screw Deal
Subject: 31 die in 'copter crash
Another big day in our liberation (?) of Iraq. Bush said they would be throwing flowers at us, why don't we get real? Big difference between flowers and bodies. It's our own soldiers' bodies that equate to Bushites' flowers. Get it Bush??
carolina in Md.
Subject: are all republicans sheep? david corn
Thanks for linking to this article - what a fun read. It reminded
me of something I ran across recently while reading on the Civil War.
"My country, right or wrong," isn't the whole quote. This is what
Carl Schurz actually said (Schurz was a German immigrant who fought
for the Union in the Civil War): "My country, right or wrong. When
right, to be kept right. When wrong, to be put right." Sounds good
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