February 14, 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.
THIS IS PART 2 OF THE FEBRUARY 14, 2005 BUZZFLASH MAILBAG. CLICK HERE FOR PART 1
Subject: With Us or Against Us
If this is the "us" that President
Bush is for, then I am not "with us,
but against us." The lockstep lying,
fraud, crime, and incompetence shows that
the "flock" Bush is part of is really
a bunch of criminal Dodo's.
Subject: Bush's Plan For Social Security
We fall into a Republican trap whenever we use the word 'reform' with respect to Social Security. That word implies that there is something seriously wrong with Social Security, when if fact there isn't anything wrong with it. Of all of the Government programs it is in the best of financial shape. If we want to continue the program past its current funding for 40 years we need only extend the cap on incomes subject to the Social Security tax. The Republicans in casting their effort to do in Social Security, have cleverly convinced much of the public that there is a crisis and that Social Security needs to be 'reformed.'
The term that should be used is 'hair-brained
scheme,' and every reference to Bush's plan
should use the words 'scheme.' The public
can understand that. Someone should also come
out and say that the Republicans want to destroy
Social Security while they give tax breaks
to the rich and give millions to corporations
as corporate welfare. The Bush Administration
is waging class warfare, and I hope the Democrats
start calling it that.
Please, Please, Please: Stop Using the C
Subject: Lynne Stewart
To indict and convict civil rights attorneys for representing clients is beyond the soviet-style pale. And then to have torture-czar criminal SpeedyGonzales drip blood as he crowed about her conviction is beyond disgusting.
This is an extremely important story that Buzzers need to know about.
Subject: giving 'the finger'
Subject: Which came first...?
Subject: New Coalition to Stop Social Security Privatization
CAPSS (Citizens Against Privatized Social Security) see the story of this hometown coalition.
Subject: Social Security Talking Point:
Subject: press issue
Subject: Senate Democrats
Today I received an email from the DSCC signed by Sen. Schumer thanking us for signing the petition calling for Bush to stop the RNC bosses from making unwarranted, unfounded, and unfair personal attacks against Harry Reid. He goes on to say that "every one of the 44 Senate Democrats has just signed a letter today demanding that George Bush 'publicly halt' this 'pointless and silly' name calling. This is a new Democratic Party. When they go after one of our leaders, we fight back."
Then I see the NYT article that lists 26 of the 44 Democrats who voted against the bill that limits class action suits. Personally, I'd like to have seen that all 44 Senate Democrats had voted against this bill which will limit people's ability to seek redress in the courts. As far as I'm concerned, signing the letter to Bush to stop the personal attacks against one of their own is akin to child's play. I want to see Democrats as a group fighting against Bush's legislation that attacks the ordinary people of this country!
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: questions of the day
Subject: Social Security
Can we all just agree on one thing...if Bush revamps social security...and takes part of the younger people's money and invests it...it will be invested in one of his rich buddies' companies. That is first...then...there will be less going into the social security fund...ergo less paid in...and it WILL not matter what they say...affect the people collecting social security now. No doubt, when Bush is out of office...this country is going to be a mess for someone to clean up...a real job.
I have relatives...who will live totally on social security...in smaller towns...most of them are now...if the funding is cut to Nursing homes...it will directly hit us...my 92 year old mother is in one...early stages of Alzheimer's. She has a little money left to her from a sister...and my sister who lives in the same town...takes care of it...has it in her name. She pays an extra $150 monthly for her to have a private room...If medicare funding is cut...the private room will have to go...because it will go so high...she will not be able to afford it.
Our own new 32 year old Governor, a clone of George Bush...is hawking the same exact policies...cutting medicare...cutting school funding for First Start...all programs that affect poorer people. He is the son of Roy Blunt...who is joined at the hip of Bush...votes for everything...no matter what it is!!
As an aside from the problems at hand...On the first show on CNN tonight...I think it was Chris Matthews...they discussed the Dean Leadership. Saying stupid things like it would end Bill and Hillary Clinton's hold on the Democratic party. Even at the time, I thought it was stupid...and an hour later...I watched the tribute to Terry McAuliffe...Clinton was the main speaker. Kerry was there. What the hell is it that drives the right wing nuts about the democratic party...that after 5 years...they still have to bash Bill and Hillary Clinton?
The crowd was overwhelming...every speech Clinton makes, the crowds are like that. He is the only person I have seen fill the Kennedy Center to capacity...all 5 tiers and get a standing ovation four or five times...is it still that visceral jealousy!!!???
Subject: "The Gannon Prize for Journalistic Achievement in the Bush Era"
The Gannon affair must not pass without recognition for its contribution to American journalism. I think it is fitting that an award should be given, commemorating Gannon's brief but spectacular career as a White House-imbedded reporter, for notable achievements by US journalists in prostituting themselves in the service of rightwing ideology. This award may be given on a daily, weekly, or as merited basis. I recommend that Robert Novak should receive the first award, in recognition of his long career as a journalistic shill for the extreme right and especially for outing Valerie Plame.
The hard part will be deciding which journalist to honor among the throng clamoring for recognition, but I strongly suggest that the highest standards should be applied. Garden variety pandering to the right, such as one might find any day in the WSJ, NYT, or Washington Post, should not merit recognition, but I will leave these matters to BuzzFlash's discretion.
Katherine and Jack Archer
Subject: Spreading The Truth
Has anyone considered why the U.S. is short $9 billion in Iraq
oil receipts and oil-for-food money? Is it poor bookkeeping or
something more sinister? Could it be that the CPA's poor budgetary
controls were nothing more than an orchestrated effort to surreptitiously
disburse those funds to clandestine CIA and Pentagon operators
and programs (Black ops) to bypass congressional oversight? And
just perhaps some of those super secret patrols into Iranian territory
are supported by Iraqi funds? Aw, would "The Donald"
stoop that low?
Subject: Jeff Gannon - Be careful...don't get fooled
By posting links and propping up conservatives' sudden anti-gannon attitude, you allow them to place the blame solely on his shoulders. Think of the 'bad apples' argument that succeeded in defining the prison torture stories. Aim high and let them deny. Aim really high!!!! The speed at which they appear to be covering their tracks is astonishing, and telling. We're counting on you! Remember, vice-presidents can be impeached, too.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: O'Arrogant's Football Career
Your headline regarding Olbermann's nailing O'Arrogant is incorrect
- Not "high school," but college - The Big O was bragging about
his so-called exploits at Marist College.
Subject: Dean "Scream"
Subject: The "Dean Scream"
With Howard Dean now head of the DNC I am beginning to see a resurgence of the "Dean Scream." I feel it is important for Progressives to forcefully respond to this nonsense. When Dr. Dean was being ridiculed by the conservative media, Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America was the only journalist I caught being responsible on this matter.
Diane Sawyer explained that the tape of the "Dean Scream" was taken from a microphone that filtered out background noise just like they use on GMA so reporters can be heard as the crowd noise is deafening and would otherwise drown them out. When the same scene was played using another non-filtering microphone the "Dean Scream" was virtually indistinguishable from cheers and screams of the crowd. Diane Sawyer stated she would not use clips of the "Dean Scream" on any show she is associated with without explanation of the filtering microphones because it would be unethical to do so.
In short, the so-called "Dean Scream" was nothing more than another dirty trick. I hope anyone reading this who hears mention of the "Dean Scream" will contact the media outlet pushing such propaganda and set them straight.
Vows Veto of Any Tampering with Medicare Plan
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: interview with Susan Jacoby
Thanks for the interview with Susan Jacoby; she is wise and articulate I can only take issue with her on one item: She suggests that the more "Christian" people are, the more likely they are to be sure they know the will of God. My experience - both in reading, and with people I know - is that those who are really close to God, who read their Bibles thoughtfully (as opposed to thumping them) and pray regularly, are less likely to assume they know what God wants. Deeply spiritual Christians are the most likely to be aware of their own weaknesses and failures, and to know that (as Lincoln said) "The Almighty has his own purposes."
Perhaps Ms. Jacoby was referring to right-wing fundamentalists.
They certainly think they know God's will. Otherwise, she is right
about everything. I especially appreciate her citing of Lincoln.
There's some indication that Lincoln thought he was God's instrument
during the Civil War. But unlike Bush, Lincoln never assumed that
being God's instrument meant everything he (Lincoln) did was automatically
God's will. Bush does seem to assume that, and that's where he
goes wrong. He forgets that no matter how spiritual he may be,
he's still a human, and can hear the message wrong, or mistake
somebody else's voice for God's. I'm a Christian believer, and
I find Bush frightening.
Subject: Checklist for the GOP/Corporate Alliance
Checklist for the GOP/Corporate Alliance:
1) Dismantling of union contracts guaranteeing decent wages, decent working conditions, worker safety, and employer benefit packages -- done
2) Constant supply of cheap labor -- done (outsourcing to China & India)
3) Attack on corporate greed -- done (Martha went to jail)
4) Increased profits to the pharmaceutical companies (largest campaign donors) -- done (Medicare Prescription Drug Discount Program)
5) Dismantling of the social safety net -- in progress (Social Security "crisis")
6) Dismantling of environmental regulations -- done (global warming does not exist)
7) Profits to Halliburton/Exxon et al. -- done (War on Iraq)
8) Dismantling of Americans--civil liberties -- done (Patriot Act)
9) Income boost for the filthy rich -- done (tax cuts)
10) Foolproof excuse for cutting all social programs -- done (War on Iraq/budget deficits)
11) Rationale for continuous war -- done (policy of pre-emptive attacks)
12) Continuous supply of "cannon fodder" -- covert operation (draft)
13) Rationale for war crimes -- done (appointment of Gonzales as Attorney General)
14) Foolproof excuse for any atrocity -- done (War on Terror)
15) Constant supply of stupid voters -- done (Christian Coalition)
Subject: In light of the recent journalistic malfeasance going on
Thanks for all you do at BuzzFlash, you're great! I sent this along to all of the major news organizations back on 3-11-03, using your links. Can you believe not one reply crossed my monitor? Don't answer that! I should have started with Buzz! Pass it along if you feel it worthy.
THE NEWSPAPER By Professor F. N. Scott. (March 6, 1918)
Mirror of the public mind; interpreter of the public intent; troubler of the public conscience. Reflector of every human interest; furtherer of every righteous cause; encourager of every generous act. Bearer of intelligence; dispeller of ignorance and prejudice; a light shining into all dark places. Promoter of civic welfare and civic pride; bond of civic unity; protector of civic rights. Scourge of evil doers; exposer of secret iniquities; unrelenting foe of privilege and corruption. Voice of the lowly and oppressed; advocate of the friendless; righter of private and public wrongs. Chronicler of facts; sifter of rumors and opinions; minister of the truth that makes men free. Reporter of the new; remembrancer of the old and tried; herald of what is to come. Defender of civil liberty; strengthener of loyalty; pillar and stay of democratic government. Upbuilder of the home; nourisher of the community spirit; art, letters, and science of the common people.
Copied from: AMERICAN PATRIOTISM IN PROSE AND VERSE 1775-1918
These ideals should be learned by heart by every American citizen
and transmuted into character. Indeed, had we all been doing these
things for the last century, perhaps we wouldn't be in the fix
we are in today! May this country WAKE UP and realize that the
media has the fix on us ALL and NOW is the time to do something
Buzz, I thought of a really good premium. As people in recent mailbags have said, the "Dean Scream" will be back 24/7. The people over at the Ministry of Information Networks must be frothing at the mouth for this one. So I thought it would be pretty funny if you put out postcards with a highly detailed picture of Bush's back with the receiver box and wires running down his back during the debates. The picture that someone from NASA put out is a whopper. We could plaster them everywhere. We could send them to the media in droves and to repug politicians, or perhaps some Bush fans you may know. You could put a caption on it like "Yeah, sure, his jacket was wrinkled" or better yet "yeah, sure, his $4,000.00 jacket was wrinkled." (You could probably think of something more witty). Think of the fun we could have with them. So think about it maybe? I think you'll have a lot of takers.
Thanks for all of the coverage of Gannon/Guckert or whatever the hell his name is. And for all the other media payola stories. You did such a good job that they're seeping into the MSM. It's an unbelievable story and one we should never let die. Imagine how many more of them there are. Let's catch them all.
Barbara in NYC
Subject: The "Jeff Gannon" Scandal
Cheers to Dan Froomkin & Dana Milbank of The Washington Post, Katharine Q. Seelye The New York Times, and Keith Olbermann of MSNBC for covering the "Jeff Gannon" Scandal. Finally this story breaks in the mainstream media--but not yet a front page story and nothing yet on Network TV. Cheers also to Reps. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and John Conyers (D-MI) for demanding that George Bush explain how "Jeff Gannon," a fraud who posed as a "journalist," had access to the White House Press Room. "Gannon" is not even his real name. He is James D. Guckert.
Scott McClellan has admitted that he knew "Gannon" was a fraud, but the record shows he regularly called on him during Bush's infrequent press conferences. The plot thickens. We now learn that "Gannon" had access to top secret CIA documents and that he had a role in outing Valerie Plame. He even bragged about it. I do not care about "Gannon's" postings on gay web sites to solicit sex from military personnel--although this is clearly illegal. I do want to know how he got into the White House for two years, why he was allowed to question Bush, and why he had access to CIA documents.
Subject: the president
What can voters do to start the impeachment process on Bush?
A BuzzFlash Reader
[BuzzFlash Note: This web site may provide a starting point, and contacting Congressional representatives: http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/impeach.htm.]
Subject: Standing up for working folks
My Web Log looks at what's happening in corporate America from a political perspective. Perhaps you might consider a link. Thank you.
Subject: The ability to adapt morality and conscience...the party is never wrong
Why did Bush work closely with Rush? Why do they like Sean and Fox and all the rest of the media and political apparatus? Why does he reward Rice and Gonzales and Chertoff?
Because they really appreciated 'someone who had absolute faith in the party no matter what...A person with the ability to adapt his morality and conscience in such a way that he can unreservedly accept the dogma that the party is never wrong.' Because they support the party.
Oh sorry, this quote actually refers to another party. It's from a member of the Stalinist government. Source: Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar (page 86) Here's another one that should ring some alarm bells for anyone who values freedom.
"I took part in this myself, scouring the countryside...I emptied out the old folks storage chests, stopping my ears to the children's crying and the women's wails...I was convinced I was accomplishing the great and necessary transformation of the countryside..." page 87
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: YES! YES! YES!
Karen Massey and family in South Carolina
Subject: The Rush Rumor
I say we spread it anyway, despite that it's debunked on snopes. Enough of Bush and Republican lies were debunked on the spot and STILL they spread them, and keep doing so. They know that if you repeat something often enough, people will believe it. Let's do some "reality defining" of our own.
A Dutch BuzzFlash Fan
Subject: Trust fund bonds "gone" and yet Bush wants
to sell more bonds
[BuzzFlash Note: Nice choice of words, "piratize," "deform," "serial killer,"...]
Subject: Craig Carton, WKXW-FM / Mrs. Codey, wife of Richard
J. Codey, acting Gov. of New Jersey
buoys wife of New Jersey's acting governor (Philadelphia
Inquirer/Kansas City Star)
Subject: Open Letter to Howard Dean
Proud To Be Democrats? As a Democratic Party member, I received a letter recently from John Kerry with requests for party unity and support for the DNC.
WHERE IS THE UNITY among DEMOCRATIC SENATORS in this post-election, post 9/11 period? Where was John Kerry on January 6, 2005, when Senator Barbara Boxer, D-CA and Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, D-OH contested the election? The much needed debate would never have seen the light of day were it not for the challenge to the 2004 Ohio vote count brought on by Green Party Candidate David Cobb and Rep. John Conyers. As a result of an attempt to sanction those involved in bringing this case, volumes of evidence are now documented in the official record.
Should we take heart that the majority of Senate Democrats UNITED and voted to confirm Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State? Where was the united support for the efforts of Senator Boxer on this day? In their review of events pre-9/11, these Senators must have skipped over Katharine Gun and the US Spy Scandal at the UN, a story which dwarfs Watergate and sheds much light on the Bush doctrine and selling of the war. Rice, of course, held the misinformation megaphone. Dennis Kucinich brought Gun's case to the attention of Congress, who remained UNIFIED in their silence on the damning story with much help from the media. "WHAT DID THE PRESIDENT KNOW AND WHEN DID HE KNOW IT?"
With all of the new allegations surrounding how much warning the government had pre 9/11, would it not be time for all Democrats in Congress to DEMAND the testimony of former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds, currently under gag order by John Ashcroft, be released? It would be interesting to ask the six Democrats who voted yes to confirm Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General a question posed by John Dean: "Why does Bybee remain on the Federal bench?"
These Democrats seem to fear the Bush-Republican Party more than "no holes barred" rules on torture. Democrats have allowed their response to come from a small minority with a "testing the waters" degree of outrage on each of these monumental issues and those lone voices disappear into a black hole. This inaction and complete lack of unity has already produced disastrous results in the post-election period.
I received a similar letter calling for party unity from President Clinton. President Clinton has often expressed his view that we are in dire need of a foreign policy that "creates more friends than enemies" It is extremely difficult to extend the idea to wolves in sheep's clothing in the administration, much less watch Clinton stroll arm in arm with Daddy Bush.
Can we say IMPEACHABLE OFFENSES? Republicans said it loud and long at a huge expense to taxpayers not so long ago. President Bush and his administration deliberately and purposefully led our country into an illegal and immoral war, for which they have suffered no personal consequences.
Are we so afraid of being labeled liberal, left, fringe, and partisan that we fail to say with clarity and unity: lie, illegal, immoral, impeach!
Many will recommend that to unite and reach the "red states" the keywords are middle, moderate, moral values.
Here are examples of moral values. Daniel Ellsberg has spoken out in strong support of government whistle blowers Gun and Edmonds, and has encouraged others to come forward as well. Their brave acts to reveal the truth were at great cost to their professional and private lives. These are the true patriots. Effectively kept out of any major media attention, their stories remain unknown to a majority of Americans. The Bush propaganda machine successfully retains the monopoly on issues of "morality."
Democratic Party leaders can no longer afford to hide from their duty to rightfully challenge the Republican majority by seeking all the facts and upholding the rule of law. You now have the podium and the microphone and a historical opportunity to bring forth the truth and deliver America back to its citizens. Do not allow Senator Boxer to be labeled as leftist and fringe. It is urgent that you bring the real issues to the spotlight and center of media attention and public debate. Given the whole truth and true leadership, I trust the American public will follow and pride again restored.
Best wishes for your success,
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