October 21, 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: Redistricting on Ohio and California Ballots
Ohio Democrats have not been letting grass grow under their feet. We have been working all year to atone for the fiasco of November 2 in this state. Your readers might be interested to learn of election reform battles being conducted in both Ohio and California. If our measures pass, you can count on other states stepping forward to make similar changes--and hence change the way elections in this country are conducted.
Issues 2, 3, 4 and 5 in Ohio are designed to address several election issues. Issue 2 allows no-excuse-needed absentee voting, which will make sure we never have an election fiasco like last year's.
Issue 3 rolls back an outrageous "election reform" package rammed through our Republican legislature in the middle of the night in late December, raising campaign contribution limits to $10,000 per election cycle, and allowing these huge sums to be donated by CHILDREN as young as 8!
Issue 4, the most critical (and matched by a similar reform on California's ballot), will end the practice of Gerrymandering, in which politicians draw their own legislative districts. We propose putting an independent commission in charge of the process.
Finally, Issue 5 (our anti-Ken Blackwell amendment) takes election oversight out of the hands of the secretary of state and puts it in the hands of an independent commission.
The ramifications of this are huge. I encourage you to post stories on this. The organization behind these constitutional amendments is called Reform Ohio Now. Go to their website at www.reformohionow.org to find a complete list of related articles. If a press conference held today yields some good press, I will send it to you. It was a double press conference, of supporters of both the Ohio and the California reforms. On Friday, other press conferences will be held in California with our experts in tow.
One more thing: Although an awful lot of us are Democrats, this is a bipartisan effort in Ohio. (Similarly, it is Republican-led in California.) It is Voter-driven; politicians hate and fear it. Independents, who opted out of our politician-friendly election system, are coming back. This movement can gain some strength if our nationwide grassroots become better acquainted with it.
I might add that the anti-group is raising millions to fight us. They are a front group for Republican politicians, called "Ohio First," and organized as a religious nonprofit--in Delaware!
Can you publicize this sort of thing??
My disclaimer: I am treasurer of Reform Ohio Now.
[BuzzFlash Note: We posted a headline addressing this issue yesterday: Regaining control of fractured elections (Steve Chapman/Chicago Tribune). In general, you should send news tips/articles to BuzzFlash using our contact form: http://www.buzzflash.com/contact/newstip.html. You could also send an original article for us to consider as a Reader Contribution. Keep us posted, and good luck.]
Subject: DeLay's Portrait
Not often you see such a peachy mug shot. Makeup, tie, no numbers, and no side view. Now, you don't think he might have gotten, umm, speshul treatment do ya?
Anyway, suitable for framing, and makes an excellent dart board.
Subject: Presidential Library
Down here in Texas everyone's trying to host the George Bush Presidential Library. So, to save them a lot of confusion and bad feelings the only thing to do is this - locate the durn thing in Crawford, TX (the western white house I believe). There's a lot of land available with lots of brush and scrub trees to make it scenic. Now, the architecture would be a cinch. Base the square footage on Dubya's contributions to the life of the average American. I also suggest the use of only native materials such as cans, bottles, concrete from a nearby polluter and mesquite trees. I would suggest Halliburton do the construction (watch the billings!). As far as adornment I think a half moon would be appropriate and a one-holer or two-holer is optional.
Subject: Some think Mary Matalin is cooperating and O'Reilly is hawking, again
I sure haven't seen her, but then I don't have cable. This morning Bill O'Reilly was hawking his children's book and said he is "like an athlete backed up with facts." I don't think passing crap is an olympic event, whether it is followed by a thorough stool examination to verify that it is indeed crap, and that is the only proven fact about FOX. Let me guess, the book teaches children that if a classmate or anyone disagrees with them, they should shout them down and not let them speak. He wasn't as combative, but did talk about the need to be combative, but he is trying to sell a book.
Subject: Re Cox Sacker
Michael Fowler of Glendale AZ (Oct 20 Mailbag) reminds me that, in 1973-74, I was living in Kansas. My brother had sent us from Cambridge, MA an "Impeach The Coxsacker" bumper sticker.
We were driving somewhere in the countryside one day with our two little kids in the car when we encountered a roadblock. The state cops just wanted to do a car inspection. They asked us to turn on the lights, the blinkers, the horn, step on the brakes - uh oh, we thought, now they're going to kick in a tail light and give us a fine. But the cop came around with a smile on his face and said "Nice bumper sticker" and sent us on our way.
We knew then that Nixon was doomed.
One reader's email to you today..... stood out in my mind..........and I couldn't let the day go by without commenting on it........ Julie...... you said what I have been wanting to say for quite awhile now.......... I too am sick of hearing it said that "You get what you vote for." I join you in the known fact that in the last two elections WE did NOT get what we voted for....Both elections were fixed against us by the Bush, Rove administration .....and we ALL know it....... The hackles on the back of my neck..... stand in a straight up position when I hear it..... and I DO let people know how I feel about it .......and hope all of you readers will be doing the same......Thanks for listening one and all...........
Subject: Immigrants detained at Katrina job site
The work on the tent city was being done by a BE&K, a contractor based in Birmingham, Ala. The company had been awarded the work by Texas-based Halliburton Corp., which has a contract to repair military bases damaged by Hurricane Katrina, according to Landrieu's office.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Mikey on the Move
I just read in the LA Times that Michael Jackson is moving to Bahrain.
Jackson Finds a New Home in Bahrain (LA Times)
I began to wonder what he and his family will wear in Bahrain. He could keep all three of his kids permanently veiled, just say that they were all girls. The rulers of Bahrain might request that the sexually ambiguous singer should keep his own face veiled, too. He would no longer need the ubiquitous umbrella.
Subject: Deguerin, ThinkProgress
I've read BuzzFlash nearly every day for the last 18 months. It is my first source in national political news. I've never posted mail before.
It is my opinion that, while ThinkProgress is wise to stress that MoveOn does not sell Tom DeLay mug shot t-shirts, the issue is overplayed. Similarly, BuzzFlash is wise to link to the ThinkProgress article, however, it could be done in a subtle manner.
The MSM honesty issue should be pressed firmly, but not played as a winning hand. The ethics violations and crimes of DeLay, Abramoff, and others are too critical for the imaginary t-shirt to become the lead story.
Subject: US Hypocrisy and Syria
In reading of the UN's investigation into Syria's involvement w/the Lahoud assassination, Condi Rice says, "These are charges that will lead the international community to have to seriously consider how it demands accountability." ...
Yes accountability. How has the US accounted for its own involvement with the killing of a country's leader? Nearly 50 in the yrs since 1949, but did the US express any apology? How many Hamas leaders were killed by Israel, and yet there is no outcry for accountability. No. As usual there is only hypocrisy.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Tom DeLay
Tom DeLay, one of the most corrupt politicians in the history of our nation, smiles widely for all to see on his "booking" photo, and DARES the justice system to find him guilty. This arrogant "what me worry" S.O.B is an out and out criminal, and I hope the Court and the jurors, if there ever are any, lock the bastard up and throw away the key!!!
Subject: Citizen Accountability
It is so easy to rail against the bunch of nincompoops that sit in Washington D.C. They are the problem with this country. They are the reason for all our troubles. The Great They are the villains.
Well Gomer, how the hell do you think they got there? Those nincompoops are there because the American nincompoops voted them into office. We put them there. We are as guilty as they are and the sooner we accept some accountability the sooner we can fix the problem.
All the polls show that the American Public is overwhelmingly dissatisfied with their elected officials. That said, the American Public will overwhelmingly march to the polls and re-elect the same old bunch back into power. What the hell is going on?
We know the government thinks we are a bunch of morons. They make that plain on an almost daily basis. They keep feeding us the same old rhetoric and we keep lapping it up. Just because we have a D or an R behind our names we vote right down the party line. Our D or R is a crook? Got to vote for them anyway just to show our loyalty. Anyway, all politicians are crooks so what difference does it make? Lord Amighty Pogo you were right all along. We have met the enemy and he is us.
Party Loyalty is a scam and downright unpatriotic. This country needs the best PEOPLE. To hell with what party they represent. Right now the Republicans have shown that they are totally unfit to govern. What we need is for the Democrats to show that they are. So far, not so much.
So far we are hearing that Hillary is raising enormous amounts of money and that Rahm Emmanuel has big brass ones. Is this the Democratic Party Platform? Not enough guys. But lots of little pinheads who put a D behind their name instead of a C for citizen will surely fall for your crap.
We need to demand more from those we elect. They serve us. Get that. They are in office to represent the people of the United States and when they don’t we need to send their sorry butts back where they came from. If we don’t, we are the problem, not them.
Marjorie L. Swanson
Subject: Decriminalize Politics--Vote the Criminals Out
Short note to Bill Kristol, Bill O'Reilly, and the other Republican script readers:
If politics has become "criminalized," it's because there are more criminals in politics.
Want to stop further criminalizing of politics? Stop selecting criminals to represent your party.
Want to get rid of the existing criminalization? Vote the criminals out.
Want to be taken seriously? Stop making absurd assertions, in unison, using the exact same language (it's kind of a tip off that it's a coordinated propaganda campaign).
Want to help America, the land that you so loudly and aggressively claim to love? Quit propagandizing. Quit handing billions to people who already have billions. Find a few million to fix one of the ever-growing number of things in America that's broken. Like the transportation system. Or the public schools. Or the electoral system. Or the SEC. Or the employment problem. Or the country's image to the rest of the world. Or the budget (Medicare, Medicaid, overall; pick one). Or the fact that prices are rising faster than wages on the jobs we still have.
Want to help Americans? See above. Find a way to extricate American troops from Iraq, before they are slowly ground up by the 20 opposing forces there.
Subject: Just wondering ....
Who paid for all the Texas Supreme Court Justices to fly to DC and pay homage to Harriet Miers the other day?
[BuzzFlash Note: We don't know who paid, but this group is one possibility: http://justicemiers.com/docs/who/.]
Subject: No Republican Ads Supporting Miers
During the nomination of John Roberts various Republican related groups were running TV ads supporting Roberts and saying that he shouldn't be required to answer questions. They also demanded an up or down vote on the nomination. Now Harriet Miers is the nominee and I don't see the Republicans running ads urging that she get a fair process. It seems the Republicans have a different process for nominees they like and nominees they don't like. If Roberts was urged not to answer questions and get an up or down vote then why should Miers' nomination process be different? After all - this isn't the first Bush crony sent to the Senate for approval.
Subject: We need to pre-empt this GOP damage control effort now!
Senior GOP officials are developing a public relations strategy to defend those accused of crimes and, more importantly, shield Bush from further damage, according to Republicans familiar with the plans.
Please encourage people to preempt this now.
Palpable Silence at the White House: Few Ready to Face Effects of Leak Case (VandeHei and Baker/Washington Post)
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Of the corporations, by the corporations, for the corporations
House passes gun lawsuit shield legislation WASHINGTON, Oct 20, 2005 (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed and sent to President George W. Bush for his signature legislation giving the U.S. gun industry sweeping protection from civil lawsuits.
Congress Set to Pass Law Eliminating Liability For Vaccine Injuries WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) is calling the "Biodefense and Pandemic Vaccine and Drug Development Act of 2005"(S. 1873), which passed out of the U.S. Senate HELP Committee one day after it was introduced "a drug company stockholder's dream and a consumer's worst nightmare." The proposed legislation will strip Americans of the right to a trial by jury if harmed by an experimental or licensed drug or vaccine that they are forced by government to take whenever federal health officials declare a public health emergency.
House bans fast-food lawsuits WASHINGTON, March 10, 2004 (CNN) -- The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a bill Wednesday to ban lawsuits by obese customers who say they became overweight by eating at fast-food restaurants.
Lots more really good stuff at ...
Subject: Target - Morning After Pill Refusals
I received an e-mail from Target stating: "Like many other retailers, Target has a policy that ensures a guest’s prescription for emergency contraception is filled, whether at Target or at a different pharmacy, in a timely and respectful manner. This policy meets the health care needs of our guests while respecting the diversity of our team members."
I wrote back as follows:
I still take exception to your policy. There are many customers who have not gotten "timely and respectful" emergency contraception "at another pharmacy," but rather have been disrespected and sent to other, equally unobliging pharmacies. So, Target is not enforcing its policy. Moreover, legal medical care is legal medical care, period.
What if a physician decided not to treat a patient who was ill thanks to smoking, alcohol, or obesity, owing to the physician's moral objections to tobacco, alcohol, or overeating? What if a doctor did not treat a vehicular collision victim whose driving had been at fault? What if your pharmacist does not believe in evolution and therefore, in bacterial resistance, and so refuses to fill the proper antibiotic prescription? Why not educate your pharmacists, from whom customers expect accurate medical information, so that they know that oral contraceptives do not interrupt a pregnancy? And, if a pharmacist does not agree with providing emergency contraception directly, he or she does not have to work for Target.
When your store provides legal, medically valid pharmaceutial services without exception, I will discontinue my personal boycott. Thank you for your consideration.
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