September 27, 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: Senator Frist Vs Senator Clinton
Hi BuzzFlash Readers,
Can all of you tell me HOW FAST an INVESTIGATION with a SPECIAL PROSECUTOR would be called for in the Republican Senate, if the Senator in question about INSIDER TRADING of an ILLEGAL STOCK TRADE, had a last name of CLINTON??
Can you spell NANO-SECOND? I thought so.
What a bunch of REPUBLICAN HYPOCRITES and what A BLIND TRUST JOKE by SENATOR Bill Frist!!
Subject: Real Americans
Tonight I happened to watch an episode of the great series "Band of Brothers." As I considered what these heroic Americans went through on D-Day, at Bastogne and beyond as they fought for the freedom of all Americans, I was deeply saddened and ashamed to see the state of our nation under the Bush Administration. Those men went through hell, a hell that none of this current regime ever thought was worthy to fight for.
I am a Nam vet and feel it is disgusting that Bush, Cheney, DeLay, Frist and all the so-called hawks continue to send our young soldiers into harm's way, using lies and deceit to make money for their friends -- a path they chose not to take. My God, what cowards....
We fought -- they did not. Yet as millions of fellow Americans suffer through natural disasters and war all the Republicans can think of is to cut the budget, eliminate the money for education, Medicare, help for the poor. Yet, they will keep making money for their rich friends and continue to offer tax breaks for corporations and fat cat donors. If there is a hell, I pray they are all headed for it...
Need we know more about the Republican Party?
Subject: No money for levees but plenty for mercenaries
Every taxpayer should demand an answer to the question, "Why, with the billions of additional spending on 'homeland security' by this administration and Congress, to the point that one in every ten federal employees is now employed in some manner of 'law enforcement,' valuable money is spent to hire mercenaries who seem to have no regard for the principles of basic legal or constitutional restraints on the use of deadly force or any understanding or respect of basic legal principles?"
Could it be that these contracts were doled out because the head of the mercenary company which employs them was a faithful Bush/Republican supporter? Seems like it to me.
But the bigger problem here is the use of this outfit in the first place, when civilian controlled professional law enforcement, for which we paid so handsomely as taxpayers, is available and apparently underutilized due to Mr. Bush/s and his appointees' incompetence.
Blackwater Down (Jeremy Scahill/The Nation)
Subject: American Idol Presidential Series
Hey Buzz...what's happening down there?
i see where warren beatty may challenge ahnold in california...cool...an actor who plays liberals against an austrian who plays neo-cons...should make it easy for the california electorate...they just pick movie stills on the rigged touch screen voting machines... nothing works better than brand name recognition in the states...look at your recent cast of presidents.....BushI...Bill Clinton...BushCorpII....must be hillary's turn next...then i guess it's either jeb or the twins...
i'd like to have the red and blue t-shirt concession down there...money to be made with those fence-sitting swing voters...they keep switching shirts.... maybe it's time for "American Idol...The President"...that format at least gets americans into voting....
Subject: The Big Joke
The president flying into Austin on Saturday to supposedly take charge of hurricane relief. Carefully staged (surprise), such prime-time photo-ops are supposed to show us that our commander-in-chief's truly earning his keep. Who's kidding whom? Do the puppet-masters who pull the president's strings really believe that they can convince us that their dummy - the same one which played golf in San Diego the day after Katrina hit New Orleans - somehow in the nick of time has found himself and is now operating at peak hands-on form?
As in New Orleans the video camera dutifully records for posterity those "tea parties" in which our pres meets up with regional disaster managers and makes like he's completely in charge. There's the highlight clips in which his royal heinous, while staring attentively at charts (major league baseball standings, no doubt), turns to one of his stooges and yells "so and so, you're doing a hell of a job." All of this make-believe aimed at convincing we the people that the ship of state is in good hands, and that it's OK for folks to get back to real life - shopping, reality shows, Monday night football and video games - "Oh, and don't forget to give to one of my favorite religious charities because, you know, the government's the problem and, except for waging war and building prisons, best get rid of it."
Unfortunately for the puppet-masters it turns out that the public is on to them and their mad schemes. They can't fool us no longer! We simply ignore the photo-ops that they've set up for their dummy. Our story has a happy ending, too. Actually it's a beginning. We the people change the world.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Remember The Labor Debates Over Homeland Security?
Does anyone else see the irony in the fact that the republicans totally changed federal employment protections in the formation of Homeland Security because the president needed to be able to fire incompetent workers at his discretion without notice or reason so that the organization could react quickly to catastrophic situations?
Subject: The Supposed Impeach Bush March
What the hell happened??????? I am against the war in Iraq and have been from the beginning. AND I was very much looking forward to the march and rally that had been planned for many, many months to focus on the need to Impeach Bush. So what happened?
This march and rally on the 24th of September was SUPPOSED to be focused on the issue of impeaching the pResident. People can say what they want about how wonderful that everyone turned out for this anti-war march and rally. But the truth is that those who were involved in that aspect of it KNEW that it was supposed to be for calling for Bush's impeachment. It appears they took advantage of an opportunity to turn what was supposed to be one thing and turned it into another thing.
Yes, we need to get out of Iraq. And yes, we need to address many other issues. But this would have been the perfect time to focus on what the rally had originally been intended for: calling for the IMPEACHMENT OF BUSH. I did not see any reporting concerning the issue of impeaching Bush on tv. All of the attention was focused on Cindy Sheehan and the anti-war movement.
They could have picked another damn day and let those who had worked so hard towards addressing the issue of impeachment have their day --- and hopefully the media's attention as well. Impeachment of Bush, the Downing Street Memo, the outing of Valerie Plame, these were all lost in the shuffle of Cindy's show. Which is a shame, as they are issues that need to be addressed and they might even help us bring our troops home sooner if we could put them front and center with the American people.
Cynthia ( Cid ) Summers
Subject: Troops Out Now
Supporting that position is the surest way to demonstrate one's support for the members of our armed forces and their families. Once there's the announcement that the occupation of Iraq is over, American lives are going to be saved because the Iraqi resistance, recognizing that it has defeated empire-USA, will guarantee the safety of our troops. There'll be no more of these weekly defense department lists of those killed in action - fifteen according to last week's accounting.
Have our soldiers and marines died in vain? Definitely not! They died so that there be no more wars; and for their sacrifice they surely merit our eternal love and gratitude.
As to whether Iraqis (post-withdrawal) also will be spared by Troops Out Now, or will descend into the quicksands of a civil war as some experts have predicted, who knows for sure? Certainly as far as the interests of our commander-in-chief is concerned, speaking as he does for the powers-that-be, it doesn't matter one way or the other since "We don't count the Iraqi dead."
What's actually going to happen, though, is that we the people, through our struggle for peace and justice, are going to change the world, saving thereby all life on earth including the Iraqis, of course. So let's bring the Troops Home Now since there's everything to gain, nothing to lose!
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Commissar Russert's Performance on Meet the Press
I hope big Russ is happy to have raised a lackey for a son. I'm glad Tim is not afraid to go off after a common man whose employee's mother drowns for lying, and when he gets the president on television, who lies just about every other statement, all's he does is kiss his ring. Tim certainly earned his esteemed place at the head of Pravda on the Potomac, and it is just one reason I like to watch Meet the Press for a few laughs on Sunday. Keep up the good work I hope he at least gets the watch from the federal government.
Meet the Press (MSNBC)
Subject: No one should ever say Tony Blair is a moderate ever again
He is nothing but a craven skunk, a wolf in sheep's clothing that backed Bush's illegal war when he could have stopped it and now backs Bush's endorsement of the destruction of the planet. In this, a month in which two global warming fueled hurricanes wreaked monumental havoc, causing Blair's own science advisor to remark that this better wake up the neocon loonies in the United States as to the dangers of runaway global warming, he decides to abandon his long held position that we need an international approach to combat the problem before it is too late.
Why? Because his position makes Bush angry! Unbelievable! The pathetic bootlicking toady that he is. His party was planning to dump him before. I suggest they move with all due speed before he does more serious damage than he already has to his country.
Blair falls into line with Bush view on global warming (The Independent)
Subject: Rebuilding New Orleans
Seems like they should just take the zillions of dollars they're going to pay (Halliburton) on New Orleans restoration and just divide it up among the people themselves... like about $200,000 a piece, and let them build it their own way.... It would solve the poverty issue too....
Subject: Owner of Texas Bus Company Is a Republican Contributor
The above link shows the contributions made by one James Maples, owner of Global Limo, the transport company that owned the bus on which over 20 elderly Texans were killed during the evacuation from Rita.
Mr. Maples had filed for bankruptcy earlier this year.
The Chron article continues:
... connection between incompetent cronies/contributors of the GOP and the deaths of Americans ...
A BuzzFlash Reader
[BuzzFlash Note: Gov. Perry has said his waiver did not extend to unsafe buses. More on this: Bus in blast was on road because of Perry waiver: Aide says emergency order didn't negate safety requirements (Dallas Morning New); Perry says waiver not connected to bus explosion (Houston Chronicle).]
Subject: MSM Left Talking to Themselves
For two nights now fireworks have echoed off the hills of San Francisco and peace marchers have taken to the streets en-mass to protest the illegal war in Iraq and celebrate the cultural diversity of our City. Since my return home this evening I have been riveted to FSTV watching the historic events taking place in Washington DC. For amusement I've had CNN (muted) on a small screen watching them focusing relentlessly on the after effects of Rita.
Sure Rita is news - but the real storm is in DC. Like a sleeping giant America has awakened and it is really ticked off at the inept, criminal, LYIING, pocket picking government that has operated with impunity for the last 5 years. It doesn't matter what's on CNN - we've got alternatives baby! My guess is that Fox, CNN and all the rest are feeling pretty impotent right about now. Pop a pill you jerks. Glory Hallelujah!!!
Subject: Compassionate Conservative? No Such Thing!
David Brooks made a rather revealing comment on Meet The Press today. It went something like this, “In my darker moments I sometimes think he (Bush) is a ‘Manchurian candidate’ put into office to discredit everything I believe in.” He said this in a joking manner after bringing up what he called “the issue of competence.” Brooks may not be the rabid conservative that many of his compatriots in the right-wing noise machine are but he has been acting as an apologist for the Bush regime for the past 5 years so it was refreshing to hear such frankness from him. Sadly this rare moment of honesty stood in contrast to the previous five minutes in which David once again tried to portray Mr. Bush as a “compassionate conservative” who “was concerned about” and “had a feel for” the poor.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that Mr. Brooks was being intentionally dishonest. I’m sure he genuinely wants to believe that Bush is a caring human being who feels the pain of others deeply, but by now any rational person should realize that “compassionate conservative” is an oxymoron. A serial killer who feels bad for his victims even as he is choking the life out of them doesn’t qualify as compassionate, and neither do conservatives who pursue policies that deliberately exacerbate poverty for the sake of economic advantage. If you think it's out of line for me to suggest that the conservative agenda is making Americans poor on purpose then I suggest you read this article from David Westphal:
America's poverty rate no better than '68 (MCCLATCHY NEWSPAPERS/News & Observer)
Pay particular attention to this last paragraph:
Keep in mind folks that the American Enterprise Institute is a leading conservative think tank. This isn’t some lefty professor trying to bad mouth the right. Douglas Besharov is one of their own. What Mr. Besharov doesn’t seem to realize, or perhaps just doesn’t care about, is the fact that the “high price” Europeans are paying for their “big welfare systems” is economic, it's measured in money. Whereas the price Americans are paying for their poverty is human, it’s measured in lives.
Subject: FEMA and Military Control
Some may see the info. in article below as typical incompetence/insensitivity of Neocons. But the military response is crucial to the quality of relief response, as is civilian control. The Neocon mentality has ALWAYS wanted and planned for FEMA to be the inaugurating agency of the empire's police state.
DHS/FEMA took the public for a ride and cracked up on the maiden voyage of its National Response Plan. This will now help them advance the above goal. Arguments are being shaped to lull the public into accepting it. Unless stopped, it will be another Bait and Switch. If you cannot use this rough article's treatment of the subject, I implore you to seek out ones you can.
MAY DAY: LOCKING THE "TRIGGER" OF DISASTER RELIEF, RUMSFELD SABOTAGED FEMA
As New Orleans drowned, the President and Defense Secretary threw a tea party in Wonderland. Just like in Alice's upside-down world, articles now appear to Unfailure their Failure.
On Wed., August 31, 2005, three days into a disaster and its criminally bungled response, what was the federal government doing? Millions might guess they were fast-tracking life-saving relief to Katrina victims in the ongoing real-time tragedy in SE Louisiana.
Millions would be dead wrong.
At a meeting of the President and his advisors, relief took a backseat as they engaged in a philosophical argument, the kind of discussion that takes place in the planning phase of a disaster plan, not its deployment. The unusual meeting was happening seven months after the Department of Homeland Security rolled out its much publicized NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN (NRP) for disasters, signed onto by dozens of government agencies and departments, including the Defense Department. If Rumsfeld had objections, why did he delay their expression until now?
The following is the Sep 19 Newsweek description of this August 31, 2005 meeting:
<Bush and his advisors in his war cabinet have always been action-oriented, forward-leaning, in the favorite phrase of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. They dislike lawyers and sometimes brush aside legalistic and even constitutional arguments. But this time "Rummy" opposed sending in active-duty troops as cops. Dick Cheney, vacationing in Wyoming when the storm hit, characteristically kept his counsel on video conferences; his private advice is not known.>
At the time, New Orleans had diverted precious law enforcement and National Guard personnel to handle search and rescue, repair and relief operations. Active-duty military was desperately needed to relieve them from those duties.
A sane person might ask: Why is the President and his top advisors debating this issue THREE DAYS into a life-threatening disaster and SEVEN MONTHS after they had all agreed on the plan that would address it?
When has ANY disaster plan failed to respect the professional view that active-duty military participating in disaster relief should ideally deploy to their special-skills areas such as search and rescue, freeing up first-responders to focus on their law enforcement and firefighting duties? (And when does an emergency outlaw essential religious duty?)
How does a clear failure to provide rescue, food and water to thousands become the occasion to argue and even VETO standard deployment of that relief as the federal role is understood?
Because these military might end up with policing duties they are untrained for? (Even temporarily, as the spirit of the Posse Comitatus law insists?)
Does he have a problem with them conducting air and water rescues or handing out food and water? Because THAT was the major need at that moment on the ground called New Orleans, Earth. (What moon was he circling at that meeting?).
The President provided Rumsfeld the opportunity to hold New Orleans hostage with his last-minute objection. What was the risk in his mind? The potential dual use of the military due to an extraordinary disaster or a reduced State National Guard? THIS was the Rumsfeld objection? It could not possibly be a manipulative ploy masquerading as a protest in order to supplant civilian control as we are on notice that he disapproves of the military acting as cops on principle; so much so, in fact, that he would rather dither and let people die to preserve it.
Since we are talking red herrings here, what about the Real Deal? This is the man who sends scarce State Guard personnel to Iraq even though they are untrained in urban combat. Which lack of training environment would give you pause to object, reader?
Along with the personnel, he also dispatched most of their State Guard equipment, so sorely needed now in New Orleans.
Where does his breathtaking incoherence come from? From the same new breed of FEMA officials, one might guess. These conservative-era officials are famous for despising the idea that the taxpayers who fund FEMA should actually come to expect something for their money. And while this Wonderland meeting was taking place in D.C., what was happening on the ground in the disaster area? ANSWER:
FEMA, HAVING FAILED IN ITS OBLIGATION TO SUPPLY TIMELY RELIEF TO NEW ORLEANS, AT THAT VERY MOMENT AND EVEN BEFORE WAS CRIMINALLY STOPPING VOLUNTEER RELIEF AND SUPPLIES FROM REACHING ITS INTENDED RECIPIENTS BY TURNING AWAY THE VOLUNTEERS WHO WERE STREAMING IN FROM AROUND THE NATION TRYING TO DELIVER IT.
FEMA and its apologists have disparaged States for not seeking to rely on private charities and neighborly help WHEN IT WAS FEMA WHO TURNED AWAY HUNDREDS OF VOLUNTEERS WITH SMALL FORTUNES IN SUPPLIES WHO HAD RUSHED TO THE STRICKEN AREA FROM ALL OVER THE NATION.
And it was Washington that stalled paperwork releasing guard personnel from OTHER states to assist Louisiana.
The message was clear: YOU ARE BARRED FROM SUPPLYING RELIEF EVEN WHEN WE FAIL TO. Is this the insanity of a bureaucracy or the sabotage of a few?
THE MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH AND THE MILITARY TO AMERICANS IS THIS:
We can federalize THOUSANDS of your STATE National Guard, personnel who are trained in domestic law enforcement in disasters. We can send them into the killing zones of foreign wars to conduct operations they are NOT TRAINED TO PERFORM, to suffer and die for LACK of that proper training. BUT:
If YOUR STATE suffers a CATASTROPHE for ANY reason and its first responders and remaining National Guard, deprived of its full complement and ALMOST ALL OF ITS HEAVY EQUIPMENT NECESSARY FOR LAND AND WATER OPERATIONS, are desperately undermanned and struggling to meet the challenge of the disaster, THEN:
WE NATIONAL LEADERS WILL SIT AROUND LIKE DIVAS HAVING PHILOSOPHICAL DISCUSSIONS ON WHETHER ACTIVE MILITARY SHOULD BE SENT TO OVERWHELMING DISASTERS DESPITE THEIR STANDARD PAST DEPLOYMENT, AND WE WILL WITNESS THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE VETO ANY MILITARY DEPLOYMENT AT ALL ON THE STRENGTH OF THE ARGUMENT THAT THEY ARE UNTRAINED FOR ACCIDENTAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OR IT MIGHT CORRUPT THEM IF THEY DO - ALL ON THE BASIS OF A DELIBERATE DEFORMATION OR MANIPULATION OF THE FACTS.
Maybe Mr. Rumsfeld is confusing New Orleans with Iraq, an even BIGGER human disaster.
WHY is the president and the military doing this?
Among other reasons, they are trying to avoid investigation into the enormous failure of their National Response Plan (NRP). In the post 9/11 world, Americans were summoned to rally behind a leader (despite his personal record of a pattern of negligence on anti-terrorism issues) and to fully support the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The DHS would fold in FEMA under the same NRP for both natural and unnatural disasters, and Constitutional rights would be stripped accordingly.
A NEW PROPAGANDA CAMPAIGN IS NOW UNDERWAY. Articles began appearing within days of Katrina's landfall to supplant civilian control for that of the military.
The articles suggest the real problem is a fundamental flaw in existing plans; specifically, the subordinate role of the U.S. military to civilian control. Military officials told President Bush that the U.S. needs a national plan to coordinate search and rescue efforts following natural disasters or terrorist attacks. If that sounds familiar, it should. It is the same language that produced the Department of Homeland Security and the NRP.
Now they want to tap us AGAIN.
We already HAVE a national plan. And before that, we HAD a national plan. The NEW national plan replaced the OLD national plan and did far worse in the field. Now they speak in the future tense for yet ANOTHER NEW plan, but NOT of the quality of their leadership and its toxic, persistent erosion of American rights.
ENOUGH with their futuristic plans; go straight to the future pluperfect. The old plan was fine when served by honest administrators. The failure of the current leadership is the source of our ills. Fire the lot of these incompetents along with the wretched future they plan for this country.
WHEN WE DO THAT, WE WILL HAVE GOTTEN RID OF BAD NATIONAL LEADERS AND THEIR WORTHLESS PLANS.
Newsweek, September 19, 2005 issue. How Bush Blew It, p 33, parag. 2.
SOME URGE GREATER USE OF TROOPS IN MAJOR DISASTERS (Washington Post)
Bush Mulls Lead Role for Military in Disasters (Reuters/AOL)
CLICK HERE FOR PART 2 OF THE SEPTEMBER 27, 2005 BUZZFLASH MAILBAG
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