November 29, 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: "Congress Had the Same Intelligence" - A Flagrant and Outrageous Lie!
As their network of deceit unravels George Bush and his hand-picked mouthpieces are flopping around like landed fish on the deck, infuriated at those who caught them. A common theme in their tirade is that those in Congress who voted to authorize the illegal invasion of Iraq "had access to the same intelligence" as the President. In the words of Joan Rivers, "Can we talk?"
Item - The New York Times of 10/3/04 revealed that Congress was given intelligence estimates that aluminum tubes "proved" that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear program. Not one of these reports included the fact that the Energy Department, the agency with technical expertise on the issue, disagreed with that interpretation.
Item - On 10/7/04 Former Sen. Bob Kerrey, ex-Senate Intelligence Committee vice chairman said "The president has much more access to intelligence than members of Congress does. Ask any member of Congress. Ask a Republican member of Congress, do you get the same access to intelligence that the president does? ... The president has much more access to intelligence than any member of Congress."
Item - In the Christian Science Monitor of 1/14/04 Kenneth Pollack, a Clinton-era National Security Council member and strong supporter of regime change in Iraq, said, "The Administration consistently engaged in creative omission, overstating the imminence of the Iraqi threat, even though it had evidence to the contrary ... Only the Administration has access to all the information available to various agencies of the US government ... withholding or downplaying some of that information for its own purposes is a betrayal of that responsibility."
Many more references can be cited that demonstrate that intelligence offered to Congress was not the "same intelligence" as the president got, but it would only get tedious, and you get the point anyway.
Robert R. Regl
Subject: Our Bond of Truth: 10 Unbreakable Democratic Promises to the American People
There’s a rumor rolling around the political ether (or blogosphere if you will) that Democratic Strategists are looking to duplicate the Republican gains in Congress in ’94 by duplicating its “Contract With America.” If so, I couldn’t be happier. All good (or at least effective) ideas should be copied. And amazingly enough, the little “contract-thingie” the Repugs offered a few years ago is a political stunt worthy of emulation, for its effectiveness, if nothing else.
But having said that, we should also immediately point out to all semi-conscious, semi-politically aware Americans that the GOP is in serious breach of its own contract, having miserably failed to live up to the promises it made to this country in 1994 by almost any definition possible. (Remember term limits? Yuck. Yuck. Sucker!)
It is only after driving this important point home with some Kennedyesque “vigah” that we Democrats should introduce our own “pact,” “bond” or “promises” (whichever word you choose—the word “contract” having been taken by the ‘Pugs”) to use in the next election. The only difference between our parties in this instance, of course, is that we Democrats must emphasize that our contract is one which we fully intend to honor. (Imagine that.)
Let us now give the subject matter a whirl, shall we? (I’m sure the intelligent readers of BuzzFlash can come up with 10 promises better than these, so feel free to best them—then please forward to Howard Dean):
1) Congressional Democrats do hereby promise not to abdicate their constitutional responsibility in regards to foreign wars. No absolute war powers shall be given any future president absent a declaration of war by Congress and proper oversight over the executive branch. Democrats in Congress shall exercise appropriate oversight of the executive branch in all areas, regardless of which party holds power, as mandated by the Constitution.
2) Democrats in Congress promise to balance the budget. In the most humane way possible, Democrats in Congress shall implement a government which lives within its means, as most Americans do, in order to reduce our ever-increasing national debt and avoid passing it on to future generations.
3) Democratic Congressional members promise to maintain the highest ethical standards at all times. Members shall not personally benefit or accept improper perks in connection with the office, nor shall their family members, friends or acquaintances, under threat of extreme penalty from the Democratic leadership.
4) Congressional Democrats promise not to engage in propaganda, or allow the executive branch to use government agencies and taxpayer money to do so. Members shall be truthful and honest in every respect with the America people, with all disseminated information from members being in accord with commonly accepted reality-based facts, consistent with scientific or mathematical principles, as determined by respected non-partisan entities such as the GAO and scientific community as a whole.
5) Congressional Democrats promise to block all crony appointments by the executive branch to important positions in the U.S. government. We will insist that all executive appointees have the appropriate and necessary experience relating to any appointment, especially those which have the capacity to directly affect the lives of the American people.
6) Democrats in Congress promise to ensure “open” government for the American people and protect their civil rights. We hereby swear to block all attempts at excessive secrecy by the executive branch and will place limits on governmental power to spy on its citizens without cause.
7) Congressional Democrats promise that current federal immigration laws shall be enforced and that borders will be tightened, for national security purposes. All recommendations made by the 9-11 commission will be implemented as soon as possible to further protect the American people from terrorist attack.
8) Congressional Democrats promise to demand that American businesses do not use undocumented workers as a replacement for American-born workers—a practice which drives down local wages for Americans. We shall also insist on fair trade practices by foreign trading partners in order to reduce the trade deficit.
9) Democrats in Congress promise to immediately institute a freeze on pay raises for all Congressional members for the next 10 years. This point needs no explanation.
10) Congressional Democrats promise that under no circumstances, under threat of severe criminal prosecution, will any U.S. government entity or entity contracted by the U.S. government, private or otherwise, be involved in any inhumane practice or torture.
Because our Republican opponents failed so miserably to live up to the “contract” they made with the American people just a few short years ago, we Democrats do hereby further swear an oath to the American people that if given the solemn opportunity to govern, we will do everything in our power to adhere to and implement the aforementioned 10 promises, or promptly resign from office and agree not to seek any further term.
Now, as I do so humbly say, that’s a contract worth considering.
Subject: Maureen Farrell
I can't get used to the name-calling the Bush backers use to present their point of view.
Ugly phrases, foul names, dirty acts they described against the person who DOES tell the truth. Good clean-living people, who are the real patriots of our America, THEY choose to defame with their slime.
These Bush backers, and those of their ilk, are putrefying the name AMERICA! I question, why are they so hateful?
What are they afraid of that they have to be violent, in spewing these loathsome, evil words, toward those who choose to love others, and beg the truth be told?
Indeed, evil abounds, and it's not in the ones they feel free to profane. The evil is in they, who do the cursing! Maybe we should pray, that they know not what they say, or do, and should be forgiven.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Trent Lott Returning as Majority Leader?
Let me tell you a story.
When I was a teenager, I watched professional wrestling in Memphis, Tennessee. The way it was usually run was that there was a "king" villain, known as a heel, nowadays, in the parlance. He would take on face or hero after hero, and the crowd wanted so badly to see him taken down.
Sometimes the promoters would have something called "Battle of the Brutes." One heel would take on another heel.
Now normally, you would hate both these guys. But watching the match, you would cheer for one heel over the other. Usually for the underdog heel, because you hated the top heel so much.
Now I know that Trent Lott is no face or hero. But right now, he is a gadfly to Frist and the bunch.
Just like in the Battle of the Brutes, if I can't see a face Democrat whip up on the heel Republican, I'd just as soon see another Republican do it.
Subject: The Defense Department Reports
The cost to we the people last week was twenty-two of our best and brightest - martyred in Afghanistan and Iraq. For months now, in a war based upon lies, that's been our weekly toll. Despite this terrible cost in lives lost, there's been minimal public outrage. Mostly there's this "What the hell can I do about it, anyway?" Troops home now, that's what, and, at the same time, best change the world - to put a stop to war and to make sure - not one martyr, ever again.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: My great surprise
This week, one night, before the chaos of Thanksgiving took over ... I was sitting quietly by at ten, like I do ... and waiting for the news ... my first time in the day, usually, to watch what is going on. I was surfing ... and went past a local station ...# 21 in the St. Louis area ... and I almost jumped up ... they were actually showing the documentary "Hijacking Catastrophe," to me the most telling of the Bush regime's takeover of this country! I just could not believe it and wondered if you ... or any of the readers had seen it in their area? ... It surprised me.
I think that Missouri is turning ... you see some change taking place. Like the entire country, it went for every republican alive after Bush and Cheney and our Baby Blunt took over ... so I am not sure what is going on ... but would like to know if there is the possibility that other stations might be showing some of these documentaries! Most of the doubt generated by Bush and his cabal ... has taken place since the 2004 election, starting with the Terri Schiavo thing ... progressing into people starting to find out things that were lies about the war ... the thing that hit them the hardest was Katrina ... that was the monkey on their back ... then it was like a dam broke ... and everything came out about the war, and all the lies told ... now, they are not going to allow testimony about the mistakes going into the war? Surprise......
Subject: Support the Troops?
How much twaddle about supporting our troops must we listen to before we all scream “YOU ARE NOT SUPPORTING OUR TROOPS”?
Supporting the troops means that when you send them to fight they have the all the equipment needed. We brag about being the only remaining Super Power, and we can’t properly equip our fighting men and women?
Supporting the troops should mean that you offer financial and any other support that their families need. Our military personnel should not have to worry about anything other than the “mission.” Think that knowing no one is going to foreclose on your house or repo your car might help that concentration?
Supporting the troops means that any injury sustained while serving their country results in whatever medical treatment they need. And the government that sent them into danger picks up the tab. For however long it takes!
Veterans should never have to fight for medical treatment. Yet there are thousands of vets who have to fight and plead for the help they need. Some are denied help because of refusal by the military to recognize problems the government refuses to acknowledge. Send them in harm’s way and then refuse to help them. What kind of support is that?
Support the troops? As long as one, just one, vet is homeless, as long as one, just one, vet is refused medical treatment, as long as one, just one, vet spends a lifetime trying to stop the nightmares playing in their head without help and support, then saying that you support the troops is an outrage. Take those little plastic doodads off your cars, they’re an insult.
Support our troops. Retire some generals, redeploy hundreds of politicians back into the real world and never, ever send troops into harm’s way without a plan to get them out. It’s called an exit strategy and even old ladies like me know you don't leave home without one.
Marjorie L. Swanson
Subject: Colonel Found Dead of Gunshot Wound: Who Shot Him?
This should be front page news in every paper in the country! Congressional hearings should be done immediately! This was an honest and good man who saw the corruption in a private security company, and reported it. Now he is dead. What really killed him? Read this report and call your Congressional representatives and demand a full scale investigation! This man can not have died in vain!
A Buzzflash Reader
Subject: Maureen Farrell
Maureen Farrell missed a point: April Glasby apparently strongly hinted that the U.S. would not retaliate if Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1991. A planted misconception for Hussein's consumption in order to pave the way for a U. S. led Iraqi retaliatory invasion. A lie used to set the trap for the ensuing operation is the way I see it.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: BuzzFlash Home Page.....ummmm....is a Nightmare...
I am sorry, but until you improve your home page I won't even consider donating $ to your good cause. It's impossible to scan quickly to see if anything new has been posted and almost as bad when browsing for interesting posts...
I am not proposing you adopt the typical "latest news at the top, scroll down for more" blog style, but please, please, please, do something better than you have now. Please?
Check out our "See new headlines" pull-down menu, at the top right of the home page. It allows you to see new headlines from the last one, 2, 6, 12, or 24 hours -- or all headlines.
We've also added a search feature at
Subject: Charles Krauthammer on NPR
Charles Krauthammer on NPR Torture is alright as long as you believe, think, suspect or imagine that a detainee has the information you need to save the US of A from imaginary WMD’s and non-existent drones that can hit the USA within 45 minutes from non-existent ships. Then he said you can stop the torture when you think you have all the information. How would you know he has given you what he knows if you have no proof he knows anything? Thinking or believing is not knowing. The torture will stop when he gives you the information you want, whether it is true or not. You might as well write the confession before the capture. Torture is never alright because the other side could be believing, thinking, suspecting or imagining that our guys have information and torturing them. You are giving the enemy permission to torture our guys and you have no leg to stand on when calling them on it.
Subject: Fat Cat Politicians Put Unfair Burden on Poor ...
Your headline today - Burying College Grads in Debt: The average student now graduates with three and a half times more debt than ten years ago, but still Washington wants to cut even more student aid. 11/28
Yesterday it went something like this online - "Controversial House legislation designed to gain control of Medicaid growth is considering the imposition of higher health insurance deductibles, co-payments and premiums on poor Medicaid recipients, including, for the first time, impoverished children and pregnant women as well as other Medicaid cuts."
I propose an alternative method to save money - cut back on pensions for those politicians who are worth in excess of $1,000,000 (let's be generous - exclude their homes from the calculation). Do we even know how much money is spent annually on pensions and medical care for retired wealthy politicians?
Those fat cats are quick to put a burden on the poor - good thing we are having an election next year. Sadly - the politicians who get thrown out of office will take the pensions with them - "God Bless the Child That's Got His Own"
Folks realize this. Not only do we realize it, we're doing something about it - Opposing the Iraq war. That's getting at Cheney and all the other nefarious ones. Not right in their faces - like but indirectly - by forcing our commander-in-chief to back down and bring the troops home now. Once that happens, the president and his cronies can look forward to being tried at the International Court of Criminal Justice for their crimes against humanity and we the people will have the opportunity to change the world.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: U.S. Military
My wife, my son's wife and I went to see my son leave for his second tour in Iraq. Just prior to leaving I had learned that he was having problems sleeping. Also I found out that he had "day-"mares. He told me that he was walking with his keys and went into a trance-like state. He saw himself stabbing a woman in the throat with his keys. This happened twice. At the going away ceremony, I first talked with a major about this. He was very polite and told me this problem would be taken care of through proper channels when he got to Iraq. After a speech by the company col., I went down and talked to him. I also told him of the problem my son was having. The col. asked me for his name, which I gave to him reluctantly. He also assured me that he would be taken care of when he got there.
Once my son got to Kuwait he addressed the problem with his superiors. He was questioned as to why he did not bring this problem up before he left. He was then berated and his weapon was taken away from him. He was told that they would give him a [dis?]honorable discharge. This sadly made my son cry, because he is a proud soldier. They then put him on drugs and said that they might send him to a hospital in Iraq. The pill thing was exactly what I thought [they] might do, and I told both the officers I did not think that was the right thing to do.
A BuzzFlash Reader
[BuzzFlash Note: We hope your son is getting better. We have spoken with an expert who explains that medication has helped many other people deal with the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, including anxiety, depression and hallucinations. But it isn't a cure.]
Subject: I think I smell hypocrisy here!
Dear Buzzers --
Just read (and heard) about our *ssh*le-in-chief's latest "plan." Now he wants to shore up forces to stop illegal immigrants from entering the country. However, he also wants to HIRE the ones who make it in (wink, nod) to do "jobs that no one else wants to do." Excuse me, but WHY don't American citizens want to do these jobs? Easy answer: Because the people who hire illegal immigrants can get away with paying them minimum wage (or often less) and don't need to worry about benefits.
As usual, this administration wants to have it both ways: i.e., sound tough enough to please its (dwindling number of) supporters, while, at the same time, (another wink/nod), catering to its corporate fat cats who are determined to pay as little as they can for labor that American citizens "refuse to do" mainly because they can't afford to live on $5.17 per hour.
The hypocrisy level is mind-boggling here. I took a course in logic (way back when), and I think this administration's sorry attempt at "resolution" just flunked the final exam.
However, I also realize that the Bushes and their cohorts are so accustomed to "having their cake and eating it, too" that they think the rest of us are too stupid to see through their "solutions." Well, Dubya, I've got news for you: we progressives never fell for your lies and manipulations in the first place -- and now (at long last) more and more of the folks who (yes, I forgive them; they believed your lies) actually VOTED for you -- TWICE -- (I'll overlook the fact that you stole both elections. For now. That's another letter) -- are now (to your horror; I hope you're having lots of nightmares!) waking up as well. Now if only we could wake up the DLC.
Barbara Lee (Barb) Blazyk
P.S. I'm sure these thugs have already targeted me for an aluminum shipping crate in Guantanamo. As Janis Joplin used to sing, "Freedom's just another name for nothing left to lose.
Subject: Right Back at Ya “Dick”
How amazing is it that a serial liar like Dick Cheney would call others dishonest? This takes the “big lie” into the realm of the “really big lie.” This clown would be so amusing if he hadn’t caused so much misery.
“Dick” Cheney thinks anyone who calls him out is reprehensible? By what standard? Much as most of the public has grown calloused to the constant “spin” coming out of Washington this one is just too much to swallow, Dick. The truth is coming to get you and it won’t be a pretty sight. There you and your pal George were, all hunkered down and ready to change the face of America for all time. Then suddenly things began to come unraveled. Now there’s pretty much just you and your lunatic base out there bleating about the corrupt and shameless folks who are calling you the liar that you are.
Those of us who have watched in amazement for the past 4 years as our country has been hijacked by a bunch of demonic ideologues are just waiting for the fall. We’re watching in joyful anticipation and are stocking up on popcorn.
Is anyone worried that as Bush becomes more isolated and disengaged from reality he is running the country? What will Georgie do, now that the wheels are coming off his little wagon? This man is at the controls of the only super power left on the planet. Scary.
Now might be the time for the House of Representatives and the Senate to really do their jobs. Wouldn’t it be amazing if they actually acted like leaders? Yes I do believe in the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.
The congress controls the checkbook, and they should make very sure that Georgie doesn’t have the money for any more adventures. He has 3 more years to stay in the White House, and he needs to be contained for that time. As for “Dick,” every time he opens his mouth these days his poll numbers go down. His own twisted mouth spews the words that prove that he -- not his detractors -- is corrupt and shameless.
Marjorie L. Swanson
Subject: What Is the Spanish Word for 'Slavery'?
President Bush's plan for immigration reform is to allow foreigners in for a period of say, three years, "to fill jobs that go unwanted by Americans," and then they can leave.
Remember that the argument for slavery was that slaves were needed to do jobs that Americans wouldn't do? Yet, somehow, after the war, those jobs were still done. Some industries suffered, some were ruined, but the South recovered.
What are the jobs that are going "unwanted" by Americans? We already know that Americans are willing to do the most dangerous, physically demanding, and even repulsive jobs imaginable for a living wage.
There it is. The jobs that Americans are leaving unwanted are those that don't pay a living wage.
Nowhere in anyone's proposals to deal with immigration do I see calls for dealing with the demand side of the problem. We hear that, in post-Katrina New Orleans, much of the work is being done by undocumented workers. Who is hiring these people? We know the answer to that, and the reason as well. Failing to get suspension of Davis-Bacon, how could KBR, Halliburton, et al. gouge the public and yet pay living wages to its workers?
I propose gargantuan fines for KBR, Halliburton and any other company caught with an undocumented worker on their job site. The fine for each worker should be no less than $100,000. That money should be immediately poured into the Department of Immigration to help those who want to come to this country by legal means.
Meanwhile, the president's proposal should be called the Slavery Resolution. What else would you call the work done by people who come here for three years, are allowed no rights, and then are kicked out after their bodies have been bruised and broken working in conditions that go "unwanted" by Americans?
Subject: Hillary, Kerry, Kennedy, Schumer, & Dodd Protested Pentagon Contract w/ Tim Spicer
I heard that name - "Lt. Col. Tim Spicer" years ago. His unit in Northern Ireland shot a Catholic 19-yr-old in the back in 1992. Two British soldiers in Spicer's unit were actually convicted of murder. And after his "retirement" Spicer continued to defend them.
Then Spicer went on to sell arms against a UN sanction to Sierra Leone. And then he was hired to "put down" a "rebellion" in Papua New Guinea - which he apparently fomented and for which he was then kicked out of the country. So he can't do business in Papua New Guinea, but can do business with US in Iraq.
And Aegis apparently in the Papua New Guinea fiasco was using mercenaries who used to work for the apartheid government of South Africa. You think any "soldiers" from "the bad old days" in British military-ruled Northern Ireland or apartheid-era South Africa might still have a penchant for playing target practice with "civilians"? Or that some of them might now be working for mercenary "contractors" in Iraq?
Please note that the following links include:
1) a letter - April 25, 2005 - from Edward Kennedy, Chris Dodd, Charles Schumer, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry, asking Rumsfeld to "investigate" (i.e. end) the $239 million contract with Aegis.
Senators Protest To Rumsfeld (Irish National Caucus)
2) A prediction by Rev. Sean McManus of the Irish National Caucus, a Washington-based lobbying group [His group has a special section on its website devoted to the contract and Spicer's misdeeds, at www.irishnationalcaucus.org. ] "Mark my words, this contract is going to come back and bite them," McManus said. "He's a dangerous fellow. And as his record in Ireland shows ... I mean, these guys don't change their spots." (from the Nation article)
The Spicer Contract: America's Deal With the Devil (Irish National Caucus)
Tim Spicer's World (The Nation)
Subject: "Campaigner In Chief"
This is a Harry Reid phrase--nice to see it in an AP headline. It was also repeated by John Kerry on Good Morning America. If I have my wish, we'll here it some more:
Kerry: 'Let Iraqis Stand Up for Iraq' (ABC News)
Subject: True or False
True or False: In 1991 after Iraq was expelled from Kuwait, then Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney felt that if the coalition forces invaded Baghdad in an attempt to oust Saddam Hussein, they "probably would get bogged down and suffer many casualties."
From the Department of Defense website, "Histories of the Secretaries of Defense"
Subject: CNN's "monitoring" again
Watching CNN as reporters grill Rumsfeld on events in Iraq. Just when it gets interesting, CNN abruptly cuts away as the anchor chirps, "We'll continue monitoring the DOD press briefing ..."
What important news did they feel had more significance? Here it is, folks: an in-depth look at peanut allergies, from which only one percent of the population suffers. Granted, that's interesting. But maybe 85 percent of Americans would really have liked to hear what Rumsfeld's answers to some of those probing questions at the press briefing were.
Way to go, CNN. News you can trust. Right. Let's have more video footage of the van from which that prisoner in Georgia escaped. Oh, and don't forget panda at the zoo coverage. Just asking--you ever gonna tell us what transpired at today's DOD briefing?
Subject: A One-Two Punch
Troops Home Now coupled to a New Orleans that's of, for and by its people. A kind of outside-inside move which should be irresistible to us Americans on account of the spirit in which it will be presented - that of thy neighbor as thyself.
A BuzzFlash Reader
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