July 22, 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: Some Clues About Judge Roberts, High Court Nominee
Newspaper readers look vainly to homogenized J-school copy for enlightenment as to the character of the next election-referee and Supreme Court nominee, Judge Roberts. Fans of Google, thankfully, can find out a fair amount about his background by clicking through the links on the first page, and then plugging in a little background. To save fellow buzzers some time, here's some clues from my little search, done in under an hour. At the bottom of the page comes the most interesting nugget, from, of all places, Wikipedia.
Wikipedia notes that Judge Roberts is being pushed forward by a group of power brokers who call themselves The Four Horsemen:
* C. Boyden Gray, corporate lawyer for a firm big with commercial airlines and defense business.
* Edwin Meese III, who was attorney general after William French Smith (Judge Robert's former boss under Reagan). Meese narrowly survived two investigations into misconduct, and is famous for his report on pornography, which has been criticized for not proving any scientific link between pornography and violence.
* Jay Sekolow, a lawyer active with the group Jews for Jesus, and linked to politically active minister Pat Robertson.
* Leonard Leo, active in the Federalist Society, which purports to be non-partisan and believes in strict construction, and separation of church and state. Although the website for the society says its group is split on the issues of drug legalization (like marijuana) and, what else?, abortion!
Wikipedia has a little posting on some of these pages asking for some additional contributions to make it better. I've done my part to help, by telling buzzers.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Thought you might enjoy my latest political limerick. It memorializes Rove et al.'s shenanigans. I'm looking forward to the day when I can change the first three words to "There once was ... "
Right now there's an aide in The White House
*When used to describe a person, louse means one who has a nasty or unethical character, undeserving of respect.
Subject: Buses to Washington On 24th Sept.
Impeach Bush.org is now contracting buses to Washington for the September 24th rally. They need our help. Please donate.
I will be on one of these buses as thousands of other real Americans will be. Please join.
I was on the US-Mexican border as a Minuteman in April 2005 to protest the treatment of the Mexican people by Bush, Vincente Fox and corporate America. These despots consider the poor people of Mexico as nothing but chattel and slave labor.
I will be in Washington to protest not only the war in Iraq but the criminality of the most corrupt administration ever to hold office in our nation.
PLEASE JOIN AND TRY TO COME TO WASHINGTON. I DO NOT WORK FOR IMPEACH BUSH.ORG BUT HAVE DECIDED THAT IT'S TIME I BECAME AN ACTIVIST. IT'S TIME WE AS AMERICANS DO SOMETHING MORE THAN COMPLAIN ABOUT BUSH. IT'S OUR CHILDREN'S FUTURE THAT'S AT STAKE.
I was encouraged by the contribution from a loyal reader in California raking our elected Congresspersons and Senators over the coals for myriads of good reasons, not the least of which was correctly accusing our elected leaders of serving themselves and totally forgetting about their constituents at home unless that citizen was a major contributor. I feel that with the advent of the Internet, its increasing ease of use and the far greater selection for us to get our news that isn't wrapped up in a pretty approved-by-Bush package, with the notable exception of Jon Stewart, who is simply brilliant and a man I'd vote for in a split second, a brand new way of making ourselves heard is becoming impossible to ignore. The media likes to denigrate the "blogs" and try to imply that they're not worthy or reliable. Of course, they have their own websites but I guess that's different. It's the ratings, stupid. When I'm online, I'm not watching some arrogant jerk like Tucker Carlson or Robert Novak. The movement will grow, and I predict that the impact of internet news and opinion will shortly force Capitol Hill to refocus and change some of their habits. They have simply become too transparent and too easy to keep an eye on. Let's hope that moment comes soon.
Subject: Time for all of us to ante up to keep BuzzFlash growing
For all of you who love BuzzFlash as much as I do, time to ante up. It is better than any newspaper, magazine, or TV show. It has saved my sanity and has helped put the spotlight on the crimes of this administration. It is a place where ideas are exchanged and we all feel like we are part of a team that is instrumental in finding ways to evict the criminals from our democracy.
I have a paypal account. Easy to do. I automatically send a set amount each month. If I want to buy a premium, I do that too. I just figured that I needed BuzzFlash and it needs me. I canceled a newspaper subscription that was way too friendly to Bush and the crooks. I no longer will pay to have our country destroyed. I called the editor and the publisher and told them what I had done. I felt better. Don't know how effective it is, but they won't have my money to assault me anymore. Better for BuzzFlash to use that money than for those fools to use it to beat me up. The next move may be to cancel my cable TV. I am happy to pay for my fix.
Subject: Latest bit of smoke and mirrors
Well, if nominating a partisan for the Supreme Court isn’t enough to keep news of Karl Rove off the front pages and out of the public eye, maybe Georgie Boy can fashion himself as the friend of the middle class and throw them a bone while also, as always, enriching his already filthy rich supporters.
This piece in today’s USA Today details how Bush’s people want to completely eliminate the alternative minimum tax, a tax that was instituted in 1969 to make sure that rich taxpayers, including large corporations, paid their fair share. Now, with the AMT impacting middle class taxpayers, there is a chance for the Busheviks to appear to be sympathetic to the plight of the little man and totally remove this tax burden from the big boys.
How better to divert attention from Rove’s misdeeds?
And it just keeps getting better and better, doesn’t it?
Panel Seeks Ax for Alternative Minimum Tax (Associated Press)
Keep the faith,
Subject: Lieberman is losing it
Oh my gawd! I just saw this person with an unshaven face, beginnings of a grayish beard and moustache and wondered who is he? I didn’t even recognize that it was Joe Lieberman!!!!! What? Is he doing an Al Gore? He looked weird, not distinguished. Please, people in Connecticut, please Howard Dean or whoever is charting the future of our party, please find someone liberal to go against Joe! He’s such an embarrassment.
A Buzzer in TX
Subject: London Can Take It
First, to all our British friends, my deep condolences on your losses of recent weeks. TV news in Australia (where I am presently a "temporary resident") shows you remembering the Blitz: You stood up to Hitler, and you can and will stand up to terror. You are an example for us all, especially our so-called "leadership," who want us in the US to live in fear so they can stay in power.
Never forget, we are watching, and we salute you!
Your editorial today was excellent. My congratulations to you.
Subject: ... Comment
I'm your basic Canadian fellow. Professional, aware, and interested in helping out. I design and install solar systems in commercial facilities; I read your site every day and depend on it for a more complete perspective.
... I can't believe the next Supreme Justice is part of the 2000 election, "I didn't say her name," rural America dying in a desert climate nowhere near their moms.
We actually have an opposition party(ies) here and they can raise quite a stink. I'm afraid your opposition party isn't up to the game. Our politicians say some of the craziest things - but they say them and then get hauled out on it. I see pantywaists and bullies in your little world ...
Subject: "Loose Lips Sink Ships" Karl Rove
During WWII, "loose lips sink ships" was a slogan known to everyone here at home. This slogan should be repeated to every right-wing pundit that uses whatever tortured argument or dodge in order to excuse Karl Rove's treasonous and petty political revenge against Joe Wilson and his wife. GWB and his minions (Rove among them) are currently steering the American ship. When will they close off the loose lips that are endangering our fighting men and women and our country? Every dodge about whether or not he used her name, who sent him to Niger, etc., should be met with "loose lips sink ships" and the white house is full of loose lips that care more about their own power than American security or the war on terror. People from the greatest generation (GHWB included) knew the value of love of country before personal interests, people like Karl Rove and George Bush don't know that type of sacrifice or loyalty. They only know how to ask others to sacrifice. They only know placing themselves and their own interests before everyone and everything. Karl Rove's "loose lips" are only the most obvious example.
LOOSE LIPS SINK SHIPS (New Hampshire State Library)
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: To John Cross ... and the fabulous 60's
John, it may be hard to understand ... but, the 90's were that way, too. Except for the republican right ... and the entire Fox network and all the pundits they had and all their unbelievable jealousy of Wm. Jefferson Clinton ... this country was in such a good state ... that had it not been for the right-wing rant ... we could have solved many more problems.
I remember President Clinton's trying to get money allocated to go after Bin Laden when the Cole bombing occurred! And Trent Lott's, silly, evil and egotistical grin when he repeated every Republican's favorite chant back then, "Oh, he is just trying to wag the dog!" They loved that movie so much ... I almost would love to send the writer and the movie maker back to where they came from. I remember the good economy ... the Surplus ... the peace ... oh, the Peace! I remember not being afraid every morning to wake up to 25-30 more killed near Baghdad ... and for nothing ... not oil ... not money ... nothing but a Texas Cowboy mentality ... and a feeling of superiority that knows no bounds!! You know the one ... "I am a war president ... I make policies in the Oval Office, with war on my mind!" Oh, Dear God, yeah ... we know, we all know! (and with a smirk to match).
Sorry, John ... your letter was lovely ... mine is a little sarcastic... with a Cowboy mentality!
PS: I know it is not right to hate a state ... but, I hate Texas!!!
Subject: Dear Rep. Shame On You!
Kudos to Donna Wade for saying so eloquently exactly how I feel! While pointed more at the Republican side of Congress, she makes a point for the Democrats as well who have allowed these things to happen with only feeble, token protests.
Subject: What Did You Do During Iran-contra, Daddy?
The photo-op of the new nominee to the Supreme Court showed Judge Roberts with his family. So it's fitting that the press should be able to follow up a bit with a variation of the question, "What did you do in the war Daddy?"
Working off of the Judge's bio, and filling in some of the blanks on the web, proves to be a more than fascinating exercise.
Judge Roberts finds himself as a young man, 26 years of age in 1981, working as special assistant to Attorney General of the US, William French Smith. If you want to see how really well connected Smith was, one clue is in his bio, which tells how he was a champion of Ronald Reagan for president early on. But the really revealing power-broker chart shows up on a site called namebase.org, which does something called social diagrams. One link shows that French-Smith, when Ronald Reagan was shot in an assassination attempt, was the guy who helped safeguard the President's nuclear codes. Fortunately, French-Smith wrote a book about his term in office, which goes for under $5 used on Amazon.com, which should provide a source of questions for the upcoming nomination hearings. "Law and Justice in the Reagan Administration: The Memoirs of an Attorney General" (1991).
So after a year of starting pretty high on the totem pole anyway, young Roberts finds himself as an associate counsel to the White House from 1982-1986, during which Roberts celebrates birthdays 27 through 31. Now this job, according to presidents.com, means he participates in the full range of legal issues before the White House.
This period includes a White House facing the 1984 flap over the visit to the Bittburg cemetery (where SS officers were buried), the firing of 13,000 air-traffic controllers who went out on strike, the Iran-Contra scandal (but Roberts has left this post for a corporate job before the full report on Iran-Contra is issued publicly), and, for fans of deceased reporter Gary Webb, a CIA investigation into the links between CIA operations and the cocaine trade, which of course Webb wrote about ending up in Los Angeles. Webb's death is much remarked about in journalistic circles, even today. Those are some clues for the road ahead.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot one interesting tidbit about one of the Four Horsemen--Ed Meese III. He was associated with a group with a name like Emergency Committee to Stop Hillary Clinton. Is the picture starting to come into sharper focus for you now? It's a sad day for journalism when you can learn more from Wikipedia than you can from the mainstream press. Now relax, and go to your three jobs ...
A BuzzFlash Reader
[BuzzFlash Note: Wikipedia is often a good resource.]
Subject: Letter sent today to the Independent (London)
What are you waiting for, Brits, before you make your government pull those troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan? Bus and train users were lucky today, but next time, who knows? Stop playing this WW II keep a stiff upper lip and that "bring 'em on" nonsense as per our own lying head of state. How many lives is that macho stuff worth? And by bringing your soldiers home you will inspire us in America to do the same for our troops. Also stop fooling yourself that these bombings have anything to do with hatred for your country or your way of life. It's the occupation, "stupid!" This repeat of what you unsuccessfully tried in Iraq eighty some years ago at the cost of thousands of lives. Be like the Spaniards. After the horrific Madrid bombings, once the Spanish people spoke and ousted their right-wing government, replacing it with the anti-war socialists - not even a firecracker! As for what happens in Iraq after you leave. Come on, at least 25,000 Iraqi civilians have already been killed. How many tears were shed for them in G.B. I have confidence in you, my British friends, having participated 40 + years ago in the last Aldermaster ban the bomb march - the one that ended nuclear testing. Stopping the Iraq war should be just as easy for you. Do your stuff!
J. R. Kent
Subject: Donna Wade's Post Is a Must Read
Donna Wade's post on the 19th, "What the Hell are you thinking," is absolutely a must read. It should be published in the Congressional Record. I am going to send a copy to MN members of congress. I urge all of you to read it and send copies to your representatives and senators.
Let's call it what it is TREASONgate like Randi Rhodes does on her show.
Subject: Have You Noticed?
Superficially, John Roberts is lots like John Edwards. (Remember the guy who ran with John Kerry in the 2004 election?) Both are exceptionally good-looking and well-spoken; both are perceived to be intelligent and charismatic. Both are married with young children who are cute and able to stay up late.
Only thing is, Roberts is a Republican. So the broadcast news is quick to show how he's such a neat guy. Takes his kids to school; drives himself around, etc. etc.
Edwards, being a Democrat, got his TV coverage mostly from countless Republican attack ads.
What do you say? Is it appropriate to try to even the score?