May 5, 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: GOP Sleaze Stories
Subject: Bush's SS "IOU"
Are we supposed to believe George didn't know whose signature was on those "iou's" he was sneering at in the cabinets at the SS trust fund office? Are we also supposed to believe George didn't know, when he pushed through Congress the 2001 tax cut, that it would make necessary more borrowing from the SS trust fund?
So George seems to be saying to us: "Yeah, during my eight
years I'm going to borrow about a half trillion from your retirement
account. And I'm not going to pay it back, so you'll just have
to retire on less." I guess nobody among the White House
Correspondents could figure a way to make a funny little skit
about George discovering at the SS Trust fund, just who it is
that's borrowing and not paying back. Equine masturbation had
to fill in.
Subject: Article "Impeachment Time"
[BuzzFlash Note: The commission report is at http://www.whitehouse.gov/wmd/. See also, "Memo to the Community on the Silberman-Robb Report," which provides analysis and notes that the commission was "not authorized to investigate how policymakers used the intelligence assessments they received from the Intelligence Community." The Washington Post's "All About the WMD Commission" tells who's who on the commission.]
Subject: More Americans Ready to Invest in Private S.S. Accounts
While speaking to the Latino Small Business Economic Conference, Bush stated that people from all walks of life are investing in retirement (401K) accounts offered by their employers. Said Bush: "I went down to the Nissan plant in Canton, Mississippi, (Tuesday) and it was a very diverse audience, a lot of assembly line workers ... And I said, 'How many of you all have got your own 401k?' I mean, the number of hands that went up was astounding."
Bush: Americans Ready to Invest S.S. Funds (AP/Yahoo)
Bush's logic is that since people are willing to invest in 401ks, then that must mean they support private retirement accounts, thus they must support my idea for creating private Social Security accounts. But what Bush fails to recognize is that 401ks are not guaranteed. If these people lose everything in their private retirement accounts, they would at least have the guaranteed Social Security benefits as a safety net of sorts.
Just ask any of the former Enron employees whether their faith
in their employer's 401k program is an indication of their support
for privatized Social Security. Somewhere along the line of Bush
shoving his head up his ass while he was jerking off the horse,
he managed to twist his sense of logic so that it is as perverse
as the First Lady's jokes during the recent annual White House
Correspondents' Association's dinner.
Subject: Correspondent's Dinner
Subject: Dude, Where's My News?
I read the newspaper daily. I have to. I’m a Journalism student at a 4-year State College. Reading it, I am constantly shocked and appalled as to what our government, whichever wing, thinks it can get away with. A Senatorial scandal here, an exposed cover-up there, one or two government reports not published because of their results. The usual. While reading this newspaper, I always tell myself, “The people are NOT going to put up with this!” But they do put up with it. Because they don’t know it’s happening.
The newspaper I read is not based in this country. The U.S. media today is like a mix between Entertainment Tonight and Real TV, and the people of the United States just sit back and take it, because they have no other option. There has been absolutely no difference between the two major television news networks, CNN and Fox News, for many a year now (except, of course, that Fox News dictates what CNN will show—the end result of losing a ratings battle), and since that’s where the majority of Americans get their news, it’s little surprise that nobody knows just what the hell is happening in this country.
How long will it last, America? Why is it that we go to so much trouble touting democracy across the world, getting so happy when other countries' citizens get the right to vote, and have a say what’s going on their country, but we are refusing a key principle in democracy here in the homeland?
The news is supposed to REGULATE the government, not ignore it.
Why is it that 9 out of 10 Americans give blank stares when read words like Jeff Gannon, Tom DeLay, John Bolton, Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation, Abdul Qadeer Khan, etc. etc., but can easily tell you who was voted off of last night’s "American Idol"? The answer is not because the people are interested in "American Idol"—some are—but it’s because THAT is becoming a large-scale story on every major media outlet! Hell, I don’t watch "American Idol," but just by visiting CNN’s website, I can tell you who was ousted last week.
And then came the bombshell. This week, it has been released that not only did George Bush and Tony Blair not have sufficient evidence to go to war in Iraq, that they MADE UP “evidence” to justify their impending, “unavoidable” attack (8 months prior to invading)! I am not saying I am in favor of this idea yet, but this is legally an impeachable offense!
But why hasn’t anyone heard about this yet? Because some bride
to be got cold feet and ran away from town! For over a week straight
you could not turn on the television without seeing her eerie
gaze! Meanwhile, real news slipped under the deteriorating radar,
not because the people don’t care, but because the media—all branches—has
failed to fulfill its duty. I can’t wait to see tomorrow’s front
page—I have to study for a final, so I’m going to miss "Desperate
Subject: FIGHTER PILOT MY ASS
A Greg Palast piece recently called to my attention something I had forgotten. As a member of the National Guard from 1970 to 1993, I should have remembered that one could not become a fighter pilot as a Guard member. One had to commit to an active duty period of at least 2 years, I believe. Another thing about fellow draft dodger George is his lack of enough retirement points to account for the minimum 6 year enlistment. I went to the weekend drills, apparently George did not attend faithfully.
Dave in WV
Subject: For Steve Moore In Reno, NV
Subject: A Bunch of Head Scratchers ....
I just read Greg's column, and I am furious. What does it take to get this "IDIOT" in the White House impeached? Will you or someone please explain to all of "WE THE PEOPLE" what actual steps it takes to do this? Does it take so many of our representatives to start the ball rolling or what are the actual steps to go about getting it done. I have signed for impeachment online and nothing happens. Does it have to do with all of the Repugs in control of congress or what?
Please Buzz. Tell us what it takes so we will know why it isn't being done. Is there anything that the average citizen can do to make it happen? I bet I'm not the only one who would like to have these answers explained to us......can you help? Our inquiring minds would REALLY like to know.
[BuzzFlash Note: The process starts in the House of Representatives. In Clinton's case, a special prosecutor appointed by the Attorney General brought his report to the House Judiciary Committee. This site provides historical perspective: http://www.cftech.com/BrainBank/SPECIALREPORTS/impeachment.html. Another site with a useful summary is http://www.law.cornell.edu/background/impeach/impeach.htm.]
Subject: Pat Robertson needs to be put in a home
Speak up or they assume you agree!!! ABB
Subject: Slaughter in Darfur ...
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Reagan and the SS
Today is the twentieth anniversary of Ronald Reagan's visit to the Bitburg cemetery to pay homage to the Waffen-SS. In retrospect this was a significant milepost on the road to fascism. To have an American president lay a wreath for members of the SS Death's Head division demonstrated the power of the far right wing in 1985.
Subject: Wolfowitz on PBS genocide panel Wed. night!
Subject: Who Were the Seven Absentee Democrats?
Incredible. The one place where Dems could have spoken up, put
their money where their mouth is--they don't even show up to vote!!!!!!!!!!
Subject: Message to Federal Government Employees
GEORGE W. BUSH -- I choose to worship Tiki - Huri popo everyone!
Subject: Christian Media and Organization
There is an interesting article in Harper's this month about the Christian right. The article has a condescending and hostile perspective, which is wrong for two reasons.
1. If we are to gain the kind of political support for our ideas that we want, we need to learn to respect these people and allow them to join with us on as many of our issues as possible. The left and progressives need to understand, and accept, that there are real people, real human beings for whom this is filling a need. The left insists on waging war with this important voting block. The right wing, the pro-war people and others have realized this and have been very successful.
2. The Christian right has proved how much can be done to escape corporate control in the US today. They have proved that there can be a separate and distinct media - including TV, radio, and print - a publishing industry, schools and universities, social services, and a vast array of affinity organizations. Although there is a movement to give these organizations public funds, for the most part they did this without government money and without Viacom, GE, and etc. Their infrastructure is proof that progressives should not be lamenting hopelessly that they have no ability to do anything.
Apocalypse Will Be Televised: Armageddon in an age of entertainment
Subject: Censoring Robert Koehler (as sent to the Chicago
Robert Lockwood Mills
Subject: The Scarlett Letter; "A" For Aberration!"
STRICTLY PERSONAL--NOT FOR FILE- Submitted John Scarlett 21-JULY-2003
Was the goal of overthrowing Saddam known in advance? We have heard other hard evidence that it was! The “fix” was in, folks. George W. Bush and his administration shaped policy to justify the intelligence to invade Iraq, though it was not a threat to us at the time. This leak of secret legal advice was given to the British government regarding the lack of foundation of law for the invasion of Iraq! It is A VERY BIG DEAL and you can read more at Tom Paine.Common Sense
A quote from this article states:
Articles like this have been talked about on the Internet, but as expected have had barely a mention from the Mainstream Media! Any way you look at it, THIS IS A DAMNING REVELATION and an aberration of the truth exposed once again in the Bush Administration! Read up-date by Greg Palast at http://www.buzzflash.com/analysis/05/05/ana05013.html.
It makes me wonder when we hear all of Tony Blair’s popularity problems because of the Iraq War, what would have happened if the Brits voted here instead of the 51% of Bush voters, the outcome would be quite different! The Labor Party, if acknowledged as the winning party, would be voting not for Blair, but despite Blair, and for the Party that has given Great Britain a good economy! I can also easily imagine the British would not have let a questionable Election go forth without more questions and more of an uproar by the citizens and politicians alike. A George W. Bush would NOT have taken office!
As for Mr. Bush, Napoleon once said, “When small men attempt
great enterprises, they always end up by reducing them to the
level of their mediocrity!”
Subject: Greg Palast - Times of London vs NY Times
The Boston Globe The Courier (Houma, LA) The Daily Comet (Thibodaux, LA) The Dispatch (Lexington, NC) The Gadsden Times (AL) The Gainesville Sun (FL) International Herald Tribune The Ledger (Lakeland, FL) The New York Times The Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, CA) Petaluma Argus-Courier (CA) Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Spartanburg Herald-Journal (SC) Star-Banner (Ocala, FL) TimesDaily (Florence, AL) Times-News (Hendersonville, NC) The Tuscaloosa News (AL) The Star News (Wilmington, NC) The Worcester Telegram & Gazette
The web site is here. (Columbia Journalism Review which is often attacked by the right wing. It's probably just a matter of time before this source is forced out also.)
Journalists and editors will always say that no one has ever
told them what to write. But a good manager, whether GE or Disney,
or Viacom, or the new PBS, can exert influence simply by choosing
which people to put in key roles. Or in the case of a chain of
newspapers, it could be simply the ability of one paper to get
stories from the chain more cheaply than from other sources. The
problem or media is not just ABC/CBS/NBC, Fox etc. Dishonesty
and bad reporting from the NY Times organization affects not only
'people of influence' in the political and corporate world, but
also ordinary people in cities around the country.
Subject: My Letter to PBS Channel Thirteen
Each year, I have faithfully supported channel Thirteen/WNET, and my company has matched my contributions. I have paid for premiums like the Ken Burns “Jazz” DVD boxed set ($250) and “A Walk Around Brooklyn” VHS cassette ($80) and continued my membership year after year, even as I watched the benefits slowly dissolve (what happened to free admission to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum?). I even got over the fact that you refused to show any of the record number of protesters at George W. Bush’s first inauguration.
But the appointment of Kenneth Tomlinson as C.P.B. chairman and Ken Ferree as President (to be replaced soon by, even worse, former R.N.C. co-chairwoman Patricia Harrison) is the last straw. Apparently, it’s not enough for you to censor or even refuse to broadcast any documentaries the right wing might object to (yes, you did finally show Greg Palast’s report on the 2000 Florida vote “count,” but it was on at midnight on Election Eve) or to pack your schedule with such overtly conservative shows as Tucker Carlson's “Unfiltered,” “The McLaughlin Group,” “Wall Street Week,” “[The Wall Street] Journal Editorial Report,” “National Desk,” Ben Wattenberg's “Think Tank,” Adam Smith's “Money World,” and “Values” with Peggy Noonan — you want to do even more to attract “conservative” viewers.
Well, the conservatives already have Fox “News,” CNN and all of the major networks, and it’s doubtful they will come flocking to PBS, which they have been told since birth is a bastion of liberalism and a “waste” of taxpayers’ money. On the other hand, you are sure to lose viewers like me who are eager to help support any source of unbiased news left in this country.
I know Thirteen isn’t PBS itself, but you produce a lot of the national programming and certainly have some influence over what is going on at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Until you begin doing everything you can to get rid of the Republicans now running PBS and restore some balance to your programming by finding the type of honest (and courageous) journalists who can replace the great Bill Moyers, you might as well stop sending me pleas for contributions. Save your stamp money for “Sesame Street.”
Subject: Aborted Fetus Trucks
Now, I'm fine with that. Freedom of Speech and all, but I have
to wonder what would happen if I decided to drive around trucks
with pictures of dead or mutilated Iraqi civilians and U.S soldiers
to "combat the media blackout on the brutality of war."
Somehow I doubt these same folks would approve.
Subject: Before You Jump on the Bandwagon ...
Yet there seems to be a growing movement to voice complaints with the FCC. First off, the thing to remember is that on both occasions it was done on cable television. It's not broadcast freely into the air waves and is something that a person pays money to receive. The FCC has no right to start governing what people can be allowed to view if they so choose to subscribe to it, so long as it doesn't violate decency laws (in other words, I'm NOT saying it's OK to buy or broadcast kiddie porn). So before you go screaming for the FCC to come down on either Mrs. Bush or The Daily Show for what they've broadcast, look ahead because at the end of the journey you might see you're favorite shows being pulled off the air and Big Brother getting complete control over what you will and won't see on television.
It's almost like all the people screaming "don't let terrorists buy guns," referring to people on the list of "Suspected Terrorists" being allowed to purchase firearms. The thing to remember here is that just because they are classified as Suspected Terrorists doesn't mean that they Are Terrorists. If legislation were to be passed making it illegal for people on this list to purchase firearms, then they are being unduly stripped of their Second Amendment right, not to mention that it would make it really easy for government to strip this Constitutional right from American citizens by putting the names of those that show dissent for the current administration on the list.
It's bad enough that you can get denied access to a taxpayer-funded event for having a bumper sticker that says "No Blood For Oil," but having your second amendment right stripped from you because of a bumper sticker or a blog is pure insanity. Good luck trying to find out how your name ended up on the list because I'm sure that it will be "Classified," let alone getting your name removed from it.
Even worse is we end up with a nation divided, with one side
being stripped of their right to possess the means necessary to
defend against an opposition that's armed to the teeth. So again,
I say, look down the road to where that wagon is headed, because
it just might be to the end of the road for what's left of the
ideals this nation was founded upon.
Subject: David Ray Griffin
I was glad to see that you had posted the broadcast information from C-Span 2 on Mr. Griffin. His books certainly raise some questions. I thought that I would pass along a link to nearly the full text of Griffin's book "The New Pearl Harbor", which raise questions that the 9/11 Commission SHOULD have answered but did not. http://windsor.indymedia.org/usermedia/text/7/501_1.htm
Even the copyright statement from the book brings home the odd circumstances we all find ourselves in on a daily basis.
I love it. Education is essential ... pass it on.
Subject: Our Man Mitch
Subject: PBS to Fox??
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