May 24, 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: Hooray For Gov. Dean!
Subject: Contracting rush for security led to waste, abuse
Street Memo (London Times Online)
I believe it is reprehensible that George W. Bush thinks he can ignore a legitimate inquiry signed by one-fifth of the House. He acts as if he does not have to answer to anyone for his actions. Due to the gravity of this matter, I propose that if Bush fails to respond soon, he should be compelled to testify under oath before Congress. If he refuses, he should be cited for contempt.
As a member of the Judiciary Committee, perhaps you may wish to determine if there are grounds to draft articles of impeachment.
Thank you for your attention to the above and keep up the good
Subject: Arizona college who supports Republican Congressman
loses bond election
Voters strike down Central Arizona College expansion bond (Arizona Daily Star)
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Out of sight, out of mind
Great example of self-censorship by the corporate media.
Subject: Cheney Closes Airport
I am the owner of ... a listserv for pilots in the Washington area. This was posted by a member on Saturday. A "'TFR" is a "Temporary Flight Restriction" that follows the president around and is essentially a 30-mile no fly zone. Hey Joe terrorist, want to know where the president is on a given day, check with the FAA!
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: i have never been so afraid for America in my life
Subject: Religious Right - Dominion Theology - Reconstructionist
theology - Kingdom Now Theology + Neo Cons All Together
Subject: "One" TV Ads
The ONE (Progressive) Campaign Pat Likes (thinkprogress.org)
Subject: A "Nuclear Option" Solution?
Randall Terry, former head of Operation Rescue, punctuated the case that the militant, religious extremists and zealots are determined to establish a theocratic government and a one-party rule which is hell-bent on legislating and imposing their brand of Christian morality on all American citizens.
Randall Terry stated, "I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over you. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good ... if a Christian voted for Clinton, he sinned against God. It's that simple. Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a biblical duty, we are called by God to conquer this country ..." Senate majority leader, Bill Frist, joined in the incendiary invective on the U. S. Senate floor accusing Democrats of using filibusters "to kill, to defeat, to assassinate" Bush's judicial nominees. Republican Senator Rick Santorum, in another inflammatory diatribe against the Democrats' attempts to preserve the filibuster fumed, Democratic protests over Republican efforts to ensure confirmation votes would be like the Nazi dictator seizing Paris and then saying, "I'm in Paris. How dare you invade me. How dare you bomb my city. It's mine."
There is no hidden meaning here nor is there anything cryptic in the interpretation and intent of these words spoken by Randall Terry, Bill Frist and Rick Santorum. The New GOP is infused with enough like-minded ideologues who also wormed their way into the U. S. Congress in November 2004 who believe that part of their manifest destiny is to rewrite our laws by installing judges who will do their bidding, even at the risk and peril of destroying the freedoms and liberties now guaranteed in our U. S. Constitution. Buoyed by G. W. Bush's victory in November, these religious zealots see the golden opportunity that they have been craving for decades. They are demanding to cash in their chips which they believe gave G. W. Bush the 2.5% margin of votes to return him to the White House.
Their idea of victory, however, is "Winner take all and minority rights be damned." Not exactly what the founding fathers (whom these religious zealots are fond of quoting) who wrote our Constitution and the Bill of Rights intended.
As part of their early payback, staying true to the Right Wing
dogmatists' demands, Bush has declared that he will veto legislation
that would loosen restrictions on embryonic stem cell research
and expressed deep concern about human cloning research in South
Korea. Bush, according to an Associated Press story, "also
threatened a veto of legislation that would clear the way for
taxpayer money to be spent on embryonic stem cell research."
According to People For the American Way, "Her dissents as a justice on the California Supreme Court, often not joined by a single other justice, make clear that she would use the power of an appeals court seat to try to erect significant barriers for victims of discrimination to seek justice in the courts, and to push an agenda that would undermine privacy, equal protection under the law, environmental protection, and more."
Much to the delight of the Dixiecrats in the Bible Belt South, the same "moral values" contingency whom the mainstream media credited with putting Bush back in the White House for another four more years, Janice Rogers Brown, according to People for the American Way, "suggested that racially discriminatory speech in the workplace, even when it rises to the level of illegal racial harassment on the job is protected by the First Amendment and cannot be limited. In coming to this conclusion, Brown downplayed the fact that several U.S. Supreme Court opinions have found exactly the opposite –– the Court has made clear that speech can and does constitute illegal race discrimination in some cases. Brown also argued that even if such speech is racial discrimination, it cannot be limited by an injunction aimed at preventing recurrence of the discrimination."
All the bluster and stentorian speeches now being spouted in Congress are but dress rehearsals for the coming battles for Bush's U. S. Supreme Court nominees. If Republicans prevail, it would take only 50 votes, even with five Republican defectors, to confirm any judicial nominee with Dick Cheney providing the 51st vote majority.
But, I have a suggestion, imperfect though it may be: Democrats should acquiesce and simply allow all seven of the initially filibustered Bush nominees to go through the Senate with no opposition whatsoever. The way I see it, Bush has had 208 nominees appointed in his first four years and only ten rejected. Three of the ten rejected judges have since either withdrawn their names or retired. According to the most recent reports, Democrats are opposing only five of the seven remaining whom G. W. Bush renominated.
That is far fewer than the 69 whom Bill Clinton nominated during his tenure when Republicans controlled all the committees and simply didn't allow the 69 nominations to reach the Senate floor for a vote. Since 95% of all of Bush's nominees sailed through their confirmation during Bush's first term, what's seven more? In spite of the fact that Democrats have disagreed with the ideology of many of Bush's lower U. S. District Courts and U. S. Courts of Appeals nominees, approving the final 3% is a small concession if it means keeping the filibuster which will be needed when Bush nominates the first of possible three nominations to the U. S. Supreme Court.
The reason I believe that this is a reasonable solution, at least in the short term, is that it would infuriate the Religious Right and remove their extremist goal of eliminating the filibuster before a vacancy occurs on the U. S. Supreme Court. This current battle and confrontation over the filibuster occurring now is exactly what the Religious Right want and crave. The last thing they want is to see this opportunity fizzle before they can launch their blitzkrieg and impose their religious and moral litmus tests for G. W. Bush's future Supreme Court nominations.
While time is of the essence for Republicans and while they hurry up to steamroller legislation by rewriting and changing the rules on filibusters, stopping and slowing down this assault are of paramount importance if Democrats are to prepare for the larger U. S. Supreme Court battles which are coming.
This solution would help give the Democrats enough time to take their argument to the nation and explain to the people of our country that the filibuster, as John Kerry stated on the floor of the U. S. Senate recently, is the last check on the Republican majority and their corrupt benefactors, the corporate elite and far right religious extremists, who are positioning themselves to gain absolute, unbridled control over our government and decimate our 219-year old democracy.
None of these seven judges who will sit on the lower federal courts are in a position to overturn settled law, whether it be abortion and privacy rights, loss of civil rights such as freedom of speech (think USA Patriot Act) or worker safety and environmental laws now recognized as the law of the land. Only the U. S. Supreme Court is in a position to make these rulings. But if the filibuster is overturned now and the rules are changed by the Republican-controlled congress it will render moot any opposition when G. W. Bush's Supreme Court nominations come up for appointment.
In effect, the minority party Democrats "advise and consent" defined in Article II, Section 2 of the U. S. Constitution will be rendered meaningless.
Former Republican U. S. Senator and Episcopal minister John C. Danforth, stated his thoughts on the direction in which our country is headed if this dangerous alliance between the absolutist tolerance-for-none religionists and corporate power brokers gain the total dominance which they are a hair's breadth away from attaining: "The problem is not with people or churches that are politically active. It is with a party that has gone so far in adopting a sectarian agenda that it has become the political extension of a religious movement." Senator Danforth further stated, "... even in the absence of constitutional issues, a political party should resist identification with a religious movement. While religions are free to advocate for their own sectarian causes, the work of government and those who engage in it is to hold together as one people a very diverse country. At its best, religion can be a uniting influence, but in practice, nothing is more divisive."
G. W. Bush and his lockstep, stay-on-script Republican acolytes and loyalists have tapped into, politicized and exploited religion in exchange for a Faustian pact with the evangelical Christocrats whose stated goal is to eviscerate our freedoms and liberties and replace them with their twisted, divisive and Machiavellian theocracy.
Now, it appears that G. W. Bush, in his self-aggrandizement and zeal to leave a lasting legacy must choose either between the narrow, dogmatic interests of a powerful minority of anti-U. S. Constitution religionists or the inclusive, diverse, multiracial, multifaceted population which has made a free America an embodiment and beacon of strength for other countries of the world. Unfortunately, and judging by the latest invective, Bush has sided with the former.
It may well be that Bush and his majority Republicans will prevail
over the filibuster rule in the U. S. Senate. But it will be a
Pyrrhic victory at best for G. W. Bush and his Republican loyalists
and a devastating defeat for democracy. The voters, in spite of
Karl Rove's guileful claim that Bush has a mandate to do as he
wishes, will still have a say in 2006.
Subject: The President Lies to Students ... and the Media Let
Is there nothing this president won't do to pander to the Christian
right? He is putting the lives and health of our kids in jeopardy
by denying them HONEST information about birth control. His hatred
of science and the substitution of evangelical Christian ideology
in PUBLIC SCHOOLS is frightening, but worse than that, it is dangerous.
He says he cares about our kids, he says he is pro-life, yet he
would prefer to have children given false information (to please
his conservative base), rather than admit that condoms prevent
both the spread of disease and unwanted pregnancy.
Subject: Truly Inside “...
And Fear of the Unknown” (Michael Kinsley/Washington Post)
Subject: Peak Oil
Please look in the Congressional record under "peak oil" and you will find a statement from Congressman Bartlett that is addressing a little talked about issue regarding global oil depletion that may effect the future of us all. He is a Republican but seems to want to be on the record. Peak oil is a much debated subject though not in the mainstream media.
Peak Oil Presentation in the US Congress (energybulletin.net)
Subject: Reptile Alert
As one of the world's leading students of reptiles, I suggest ... If your goal was to maintain a TIGHT grip on power at all costs, lest you end up somewhere like at the center of a War Crimes trial ... Who is your ideal candidate to take on the presumptive Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton?
It ain't Jeb. It's not that sour-puss, Dick Cheney. It's certainly no grubby, aspiring reptilian elected official. And let's face it, forget about Hell freezing over. Hell would have to burn down before the reptiles nominated a lightweight, pro-choice black lady. Sorry, Condi, but you're all used up, baby. You didn't play very well. That's because, to your credit, you don't have enough skill to be a successful liar. Although, we know you've been working at it. But you're just not a natural like Dubya.
It cannot be overemphasized that the Bush regime can't turn this friggin' lawless mess over to somebody who's not already among the trusted inner circle. That's why these douche bags are flying Laura Bush's ass all over the globe. SHE'S THE CANDIDATE!!!
Woman vs. Woman. First Lady vs. First Lady. Bush vs. Clinton. Family Values vs. The Disgrace of Impeachment. This cute scheme is still in its infancy. We're nowhere near the trial balloon phase yet. But it's underway, nevertheless. I can smell it. Dubya will need an approval rating of about 43% for this plan to get the final go-ahead. Unless, that is, things get totally out of control and they use it as a Hail Mary pass. Then (as we already know) at election time, Laura Bush will only need a few polls (FOX and a couple of reptilian front groups) suggesting that she can win, then actually get 46-47% of the vote. Thus placing the reptiles in position to steal yet ANOTHER "close" election.
I think the only question is whether Cheney will hang around for a third term. And I'd say, Yes. She'll "need his experience." You heard it here first.
P.S. The Laura Bush campaign likely will appear as a spontaneous grass-roots movement that originated in fundamentalist churches. When, in reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Prepare to gag. We'll be seeing campaign posters featuring side-by-side pictures of Laura Bush and Mother Theresa. And the sick part is - I'm not kidding!
CLICK HERE FOR PART 2 OF THE MAY 24, 2005 BUZZFLASH MAILBAG
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