October 19, 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: Miller gives Libby out! Finds memo with erroneous information
Miller just happened to find a notation two days after being freed that says Lewis Libby told her that Plame worked for WINPAC which was erroneous. The information was wrong and therefore according to law Libby broke no laws even though Mrs. Wilson was a covert agent and her identity was classified.
Miller also claims to have held a Secret Clearance at the time Libby outed Mrs. Wilson which if true also clears him of criminal charges. These criminals can change and manipulate any fact or act. Miller is as treasonous and as guilty as Libby, Cheney, Rove and all involved in this act.
Subject: Rice -- I Don't Want to Run for President
"I'm not somebody who wants to run for office"
"I don't know how many ways to tell people that I have no interest in being a candidate for anything.... No."
"I didn't say I don't want to be President, I just don't want the indignity of having to run. Haven't you heard that I will be appointed to replace Cheney and then PNAC will get rid of that dolt W?
And remember, we had no idea they were planning to FLY PLANES INTO BUILDINGS."
Subject: Plame-out aftermath
There is an amazing amount of speculation about what is coming up in the Fitzgerald investigations, but not one of the thousand websites I have visited has mentioned the worst possibility. It is a dire possibility of biblical proportions.
It is likely that multiple felony indictments will be handed out, and it is likely that multiple convictions will be handed down subsequently. It is likely that W. will hand out pardons for all (and it is remotely possible that some of these pardons will go to people who already received a pardon or two for felonies during Iran-Contra since this is basically the very same crowd), and then the real threat to America arises: most of those indicted and pardoned will be given jobs as Talk Radio Hosts on Clear Channel.
The only solution to this looming threat to our Homeland is to buy plenty of duct tape -- to apply to our own ears!
T. R. Phillips
Subject: Evangelism = Politburo?
George W. Bush and Co. have done such a good job of practically making evangelistic Christianity a state religion that these zealots who have bought into the whole religion scam (which is exactly what it is and victimizes gullible "people of faith", who don't even realize that the whores in the Republican party are only spouting cliches to sucker their constituents into voting for them and sending them money in the false hope that God will look upon them more favorably when they step up to the Pearly Gates) have abandoned or conveniently forgot just how and why this country was founded in the first place.
King Henry the VIII was famous not just for his gluttony and numerous wives. He also created the Church of England that was tailored to suit his needs. It was oppressive and invasive, like so many religions are. English citizens were outraged at how they were being ordered how to worship and sailed west to America. In addition to Plymouth, Massachusetts, Roger Williams settled in modern day Rhode Island and William Penn and his Quaker followers settled Pennsylvania, the state named after him. All had one thing in common: to worship freely.
James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, the primary architects of the Constitution, decreed in the preceding Federalist Papers that all people should be endowed with the right to worship or not to worship as they saw fit without interference from the government or harassment by religious organizations. It became law, of course and remains the one obstacle that keeps lunatics like Robertson and Dobson and the President at bay, unable to foist their world view on this country by force if necessary (and much to their delight if they could).
It's very disturbing to see so many business catering to the "Christian" mindset. From dating services to restaurants and even car lots, businesses are using the evangelical premise for their own selfish wallets. The followers, also known as Bush's electoral base, treat the whole Christian concept as an ultra exclusive club. They feel they have the right to impose their doctrine on everybody else and have no heart or sympathy for anybody who doesn't share their view. Hence we hear of no remorse for innocent Arabs dead because of Bush. They are non-people because they are not Christian. Michael Savage even went so far to suggest that there should be no aid or pity for the 2004 tidal wave in Sri Lanka and India because they were not Christian. That, my friends, is nuts.
This mindset is eerily familiar to that of the Soviet Politburo, Nazi party or North Korea's worship of Kim Jong Il. Extremism in any religion is bad bad news. We must not cave in to a zealot of any stripe lest we lose our basic rights guaranteed by the Constitution.
Subject: Inflation at Fifteen Year High
Could be the straw on the camel's back. Hard to believe with what's happening now to our wages, health care and pensions, but somehow that's still not enough to keep prices down. "Let's see," they're saying, "gas prices are going to soar. We're counting on that! Unless we act immediately the cost of living can only go up. No problem, though. At least not for any of us. Let's just keep on cutting their wages, health care and pensions. That'll cool inflation."
Which is called the race to the bottom. Nothing to worry about, though, because prices will stop rising. Anyone around who doesn't believe this is going on right now? Open your eyes. Oh, you don't like what you see? Then change the world!
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: The right and Miers - "Follow the money!"
Follow the money!
Is it really a surprise that the mindlessly religious activist organizations on the right (as opposed to the "intellectual" conservatives) are upset that the President didn't give them a good raw-meat fight with Democrats over the Supreme Court? This isn't about abortion, or affirmative action (although this nomination should certainly put to rest any idea that Bush doesn't believe in that!), or even about "strict construction" and "activist judges."
Come on, face it -- it's about the money those organizations would have been able to raise from their slavish supporters, money without which they cannot continue to get ink and airtime to spout their self-serving nonsense.
Think of all the letters encouraging the faithful to send money to fight the godless left that had probably not only already been drafted but already printed and ready for mass mailing. Think of the incentive a good strong fight would have been to dial for dollars -- and to get them. Think of how much was probably already spent presuming lots more would be right behind it, rolling in with the mail.
This is the lifeblood of those organizations (Focus on the Family, etc.) -- the ability to incite their followers and raise the dough that keeps their pious leaders able to flit around the country in jets and limos. What's going to pay those high-priced lawyers now? What's going to fund those "retreats" at resorts where strategies can be developed? Who is going to keep paying for all those conference calls?
I say "Follow the money!" if you want to know whether the right is going to ultimately support Bush's nominal nominee. Those folks have the principles of shysters and loan sharks. The only thing "religious" about them is their willingness to convince people they "believe" in order to raise money. If it were about anything more principled than that, they would long ago have jettisoned Robertson and others of his ilk who are so far out there as to be laughable.
If it were about anything but money, they might be making arguments that challenged their president to justify a choice that seems as "token" as it does disingenuous.
If it were about anything more than money, they would have some integrity about not bringing religion into a discussion of the qualifications for the Supreme Court. They were right (no pun intended) to call Democrats on bringing up the new Chief Justice's religion, as if that meant something about how he would interpret the law. It's an insult to an individual being considered for such a position to even hint that they could reach that position and be able to be accused of judging based on such a non-legal basis. Yet they persist in hinting that would be the case with Miers. Shameful.
Why is the right so upset? The intellectuals wanted to make their mark on the Court the same way those embedded in the State and Defense Departments have made their mark on public policy. They're upset because they wanted to have a good argument.
The religious fringe is upset because they can't figure out how to use this to rally the base and raise money.
The Lovable Liberal
Subject: Real Conservatism
As detailed in a recent Washington Post Article fiscal conservatives are reasserting their authority in the House of Representatives and taking control back from Tom Delay and the other movement conservatives who won their elections for them. Lead by the Republican Study Committee they will be pushing spending cuts in a wide array of government programs that benefit poor and middle class Americans. As the Post's Jonathan Weisman writes:
"Beginning this week, the House GOP lawmakers will take steps to cut as much as $50 billion from the fiscal 2006 budget for health care for the poor, food stamps and farm supports, as well as considering across-the-board cuts in other programs."
Keep in mind folks that these cuts are the conservative alternative to rolling back Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy. These policies will be hard on many, perhaps most, Americans, but ultimately I think they will be good for the nation. Not good in and of themselves, mind you, but good because they will help push the Republicans out of office in '06.
What 'movement' conservatives like Tom Delay understood and 'fiscal' and 'social' conservatives don't get is that the majority of Americans oppose the conservative agenda. Or they would if they knew what it was. Conservatives win elections because the public is generally misinformed, or simply ignorant, about the policies conservatives pursue while in office. This is why conservative campaigns are typified by demonizing their opponents, using "hot-button issues" to manipulate public passions and by portraying themselves as moderates. Conservatives have gained ground by "repackaging" their ideas with deceptive slogans; like calling the estate tax a "death tax," a name that implies everyone will pay it when in fact less than two percent of Americans are actually affected.
To give you an idea of just how far outside the mainstream conservatives are consider this: in July a panel of leading conservatives were asked to identify the "ten most harmful government programs". Amongst the top 5 were Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. Do you think most Americans would describe Social Security as "harmful?" What about Medicaid and Medicare? In fact the vast majority of Americans support these programs. True, many believe these programs could be improved, and conservatives like to use that to claim they have public support. Such claims are fundamentally dishonest, however, because conservatives aren't saying Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare need to be improved, they're saying they need to be abolished. That's what you do with "harmful" programs.
The idea that the country has shifted to the political right is as widespread as it is false. What has really happened is that Social Security, and other triumphs of America's political left, are now taken for granted. Most Americans can't even conceive of the fact that Mr. Bush and his supporters would want to abolish the Social Security system, which is why he had to market his privatization plan as "Strengthening Social Security." This from an administration that issued rules to allow air polluter to pollute more while calling it their "Clear Skies Initiative," and made plans that allowed more logging on public lands and dubbed it "Preserving Our Forests." Given Mr. Bush's fondness for Orwellian "New Speak" one can easily imagine what his idea of "Strengthening" social security would be. But of course you don't have to imagine it, as many economists pointed out the results were easy to predict. His plan would have taken money out of the system weakening it and eventually leading to its collapse. Fortunately the American people saw through Mr. Bush's rhetoric this time and his plan was dead from the get go, but that doesn't mean that he and other conservatives have given up the dream of demolishing it and all other aspects of America's social infrastructure.
If anything the fact that Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, which are considered tantamount to socialism by conservatives, are so widely supported would indicate that the country has moved to the left, not the right. But, honestly, I don't think that's really the case either. America is actually a moderate country and moderates like government programs that work. Conservative propaganda claims that all government programs have failed and should be shut down, but when it comes to basic services most Americans aren't buying what they're selling. Conservatives have gained some ground by exploiting "wedge issues" to distract people and create a false sense of their moral superiority, but few Americans have been or will be directly effected by abortion or gay rights. On the issues that really matter in most peoples lives the Conservative agenda is a non-starter. Bush knows that, which is why he campaigned in 2000 as a moderate "compassionate" conservative and why he hasn't vetoed any spending bills. Tom Delay knows that which is why he declared that there was "no more fat to cut" in the federal budget.
The 'fiscal' conservatives who are so upset about deficit spending and the 'social' conservatives who are angry over Bush's failure to appoint radical-conservatives to the Supreme Court both seem to have fallen for their own propaganda about American being a rightward leaning nation. The next few months will be hard on the nation as the Republican Party moves hard to the right to appease their base, but there is some comfort in knowing that the pursuit of their profoundly unpopular policies will likely cost them at the polls in '06.
Subject: Iraq Fraud
Well, the elections in Iraq are over and they ran much in the same way that they ran here in the US. Fraud all over the place. Now, we will have a trial for Saddam to show Iraq and the world what Democracy is under the Bush GOP leadership. In other words, the people who follow the directions of this Bush GOP administration's leadership, whether it's in Iraq or the US, are on a fool's errand and my heart goes out to the Iraqi people because all of those people that were murdered by Bush and his GOP followers, died for nothing. Those who try to follow the leadership of the Bush administration in Iraq, without knowing it, can join a long list in a parade of fools. How about that, Saddam is going on trial for the murder of 143 people. Even if we add two zeros to that number, we still will be short by about 130 thousand people who George Bush killed saving Iraqis from this terrible mass murderer, Saddam Hussein. (not to mention all of the depleted uranium that has been dumped in Iraq by the US that will continue to kill Iraqis for the next 100 billion years) Whatever they happen to come up with again and again, the total list of Saddam's crimes against his people couldn't come close to what Bush has been able to accomplish against the Iraqi people during his short reign. What they are saying is, that it's okay if somebody else, such as George Bush, an outsider -- invades Iraq and kills tens of thousands of Iraqis, and tortures Iraqi prisoners, all for the delivery of democracy and the capture of the horrible dictator Hussein -- but, it's not okay if an Iraqi dictator, such as Saddam, kills and tortures his own people.
How's that for justice in Iraq and of course, it is exactly what the Bush GOP administration's democracy is all about. Bringing about justice and accountability, anywhich way they can, as long as it's never aimed at George W. Bush, himself. What a farce and this farce should be plastered all over the news. This whole fiasco is so damaging to the US and Americans should not only be angry, but ashamed -- very ashamed of this Bush GOP leadership and what is has done to this Country and our reputation around the world.
Now, when do we Americans get to impeach George Bush and put him on trial for his lies that caused the deaths of thousands of Afghanistan citizens and tens of thousands of Iraqi citizens and the deaths of almost 2,000 Americans, if that is the correct number and I doubt that it is and 15,000 wounded American soldiers. Bush makes Saddam look like a "lightweight contender" for the label of a dictator who tortures and murders his own people. And, this election and the trial are probably, I assume, to be considered as some sort of victory for Bush in Iraq, if anyone can imagine these two things being anything positive -- and they are still killing innocent people on a daily basis. How dare the Bush GOP administration and their followers put such a cheap price on the lives of our fellow human beings and brag about their religious callings. They kill as easily as an exterminator snuffs out bugs and give about as much thought to the killings as if they were some sort of infestation. Exterminators don't count the bugs they kill either. This is not who we Americans are. It's over four years past the time for Bush to be put out of the White House, with his suitcase in close pursuit. Thanks Buzz Flash,
Subject: Judith Miller!
Never forget Jeff Gerth, who is still with NYT.
He wrote the Whitewater Expose, which was filled with lies and distortions.
They NYT took it and ran hard against Clinton.
The Washington Post printed the story and the NYT spent eight years trying to cover the falsehoods.
They helped the Republican Congress spend 74 Million on a dry hole.
Subject: Poem - "One Fool"
Fleeting wind, the feet of failure,
by McKinley S. Kitts, Age 12
Subject: Send Your Government Your Bills
As the weather gets colder and the question of how in the world I am going to pay higher and higher utility bills keeps me awake at night, I had a thought. (I do that sometimes)
I thought our inept, immoral, and nearly useless elected officials in Washington, where good ideas and decent morals go to die, should pay for the mess they created.
I'm going to send both Senators & my congressman copies of every utility bill I receive this winter and ask them how the heck they expect me to pay them. Maybe if enough of us did that, it might convince a few of those arrogant and useless fools to do something other than posture and pretend that they care one damn bit about the welfare of working class Americans.
It won't help if I am the only one to do it. I'll be out the price of a few stamps but I will at least get some of the frustration and rage out of my system. If enough people did participated it could have some impact. Nothing the elected elite fears more than a pissed off public.
Marjorie L. Swanson
Subject: Get Smart
In the old TV show, "Get Smart", after Smart told a lie that wasn't believed he would proceed "would you believe this one then." This show seems to be the main influence on Bush and his cronies. Would you believe we started the Iraq war because of WMD? No, then would you believe to spread Democracy? No, then would you believe to stop Al Qaeda? Would you believe Rove told me he was innocent? No, then would you believe I was furious when Rove told me he was guilty?
You could fill a book with such quotes.
Subject: Helen Thomas for Wings of Justice
I wanted Helen Thomas honored, with the Wings of Honor, awhile back. I knew her qualities, but couldn't put them into words, and this Gentleman has done it, so well.
I'm glad that this person sent in her name, because she is deserving of this honor, and more.
She belongs right up there with Walter Cronkite, the last of the honest breed of journalist.
Subject: Cuts to everything
Dear Buzzers --
Just read an article in Common Dreams on how the burden of keeping one's self alive has been shifted from government to the poor and lower middle classes. Meanwhile, tax cuts for the rich are STILL being pushed -- even in the face of ecological disasters (brace yourselves for Wilma, which probably cause MORE damage, destruction, homelessness -- and a similar lack of compassion for the poor in affected areas -- probably Florida this time, but it may hit part of the gulf coast as well.
Also, cuts to Medicaid/Medicare, you name it: the cuts are there on the table. HOW CAN THE DEMS SIT SILENT AND LET THIS HAPPEN?? Bobby Kennedy must be rolling in his grave. (Yes, he too, like the Chimp in Chief, grew up in privileged circumstances -- but -- BLEEP BLEEP -- he grew into an adult who CARED about the poor, the discriminated against, and our country.) If I could work a miracle (no, I obviously can't), I'd bring him back today, at the age he was assassinated -- I actually WATCHED this on the small black and white TV I had in my dorm room at the time -- and nominate him to run for the presidency.
Meanwhile, the Dems -- Hillary included -- are tacking to the right. (Which will bring them to the center. Which means to NOWHERE.)
How our whole (another BLEEPING) country can sit by and let this happen is totally beyond my comprehension. (If I had money to contribute -- I can literally just about afford to EAT these days, after rent, utilities, other bills are paid -- I would be funding potential candidates with the guts and the heart to stand up for what we Buzzers believe in. (Sorry if I've offended Hillary supporters, but she's copped out. Occupying the center in a crisis is…well…letting the ship sink when you could be hauling buckets to bail it out. Hillary is out for Hillary. As is her husband; cozying up to Poppy Bush is also beyond what I'm capable of understanding. Well, I guess I DO understand: BOTH Clintons are among the wealthy -- hey, look how much they earn for their (either ghost-written or badly written) book deals. Public speaking appearances.
Buzzers, with a few exceptions, the Dems have sold out. That makes them VERY STUPID in my view. Instead of righting wrongs, they're out there for the profits. And they're too self-focused to realize that the rats in power now will cream them in every election unless they develop and project a valid message.
Interesting, isn't it, that Bush's crashing poll numbers have NOT produced an increase in approval rates of Democrats? (Maybe if they took a stand instead of licking a finger and holding up to the wind, they might actually DO something. But, hell, it's been -- What? More than 4 years now -- and they haven't learned yet.) Will they EVER learn? WE (Buzz readers) learned a long time ago. And most of us, including me, aren't Einsteins. We just recognize reality when it hits us in the face.
Barb in Athens, GA
Subject: Back to Basics
It has been fascinating and morbid to watch the unfolding of the investigation into the Valerie Plame leak. I have listened to and read many so-called "experts" discussing this and many of them (neocons, no doubt) saying this much ado about nothing.
There are certain "basics" about security clearances and safeguarding of classified information that are continually being overlooked by most of these experts, however.
Some of these basics are:
1. Anyone with a security clearance is morally and legally obligated to safeguard such information. They are responsible for ensuring they do NOTHING to compromise all such material they come into contact with.
2. There are also "implied" obligations and responsibilities with the privilege of having a security clearance and having access to classified material. One of those is to NOT reveal that information to ANYONE who does NOT have a clearance, and, further to not discuss that information with anyone who does NOT have a need-to-know.
In the case of Ms. Plame, any government official who knew of her name, regardless of her status (covert or not covert) should have implicitly understood that they had NO authority to release her name to anyone. It is just that simple.
Had there been any doubt in their minds -- which is possible, but probable -- they were then obligated to check it out PRIOR to discussing her name with any journalist -- or anybody.
As a former military intelligence analyst, I recall when I was going through my training at Ft. Huachuca, AZ. We were told at that time that we were not even to discuss that we were students at USAICS (US Army Intelligence and School) with anyone. It was just that simple.
You can believe had it be any lowly enlisted person in any branch of the service that there would have been hell to pay, as there should be. We, the American taxpayers, have a right to expect, and demand, that the same hold true for ANY and ALL political appointees.
This administration has done nothing but jeopardize OUR national and international security to promote their own agenda and their own greed for political power and total control. It is, in a word, inexcusable.
There are some who continue to say that we deserve the government we elect. We do not deserve this -- there will always be questions about the legitimacy of the Bush Administration in toto. We need, and deserve, full and impartial hearings on what happened, who knew what when, who they told, and most importantly, WHY anyone in the executive branch even needs to know the names of our covert intelligence agents.
This administration has scrapped beyond the bottom of the barrel since before they were elected. They MUST be held accountable and responsible for their treasonous actions against the American taxpayers and the United States of America.
Subject: Iraqi Constitution
It seems that Iraq has passed its constitution -- or have they? More people voted for the constitution than there were registered voters in some areas. Some people might disagree whether or not a constitution approved by a rigged vote is legitimate. But there's one think I think we can agree on -- that Iraq has an American style democracy.
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