January 23, 2006
The BuzzFlash Mailbag
The opinions expressed in the Mailbag are not necessarily those of BuzzFlash. More reader opinion is at "Contributors." You can write to Mailbag at http://www.BuzzFlash.com/contact/mail.html. Guidelines for submissions are at BuzzFlash FAQ #18.
Subject: 2006 Election Strategy
With Osama issuing new threats and Karl Rove declaring that the 2006 elections will be about national security, it is clear what the Democrats should (but probably won't) do to win the upcoming elections: Fight like hell!
Ethics allegations are fine, but the Dems will never win in the post-911 world without proving their ability to defend the US. They have been going about establishing their credentials on this count in the wrong way, defensively iterating that they too can defend the country, a me-too approach that cannot but fall short. They should try something else: offense. Moreover, they don't need to do anything underhanded; they must simply tell the truth.
What would such an approach include? It would look something like this:
(1) Today, immediately, replay the tapes of President Bush saying he "honestly doesn't think" about bin Laden any more. Is this "staying the course?"
(2) Couple this attack with a full review of all of the evidence that the US is not committed to winning the war against terrorism in Afghanistan. (A Brookings Institution panel on Thursday of this week evidenced this in the form of presentations from the range of political points of view.)
(3) Remember Tora Bora and Kerry's campaign attack on this front? Kerry was right: Bush missed a golden opportunity to catch the man by outsourcing the job. This only stings more now that new attacks are promised, and given Bush's 2005 lack of concern for capturing the man.
(4) The RNC Chairman has said today they need to keep doing what they've done right and "learn from others' mistakes." This of course suggests that the Democrats have made (or will make) mistakes that the Republicans didn't or won't. Now, we know that these guys cannot admit an error, as Bush made clear in the last election cycle. This is dangerous, and the Democrats should point out that the Reps. have not only made numerous mistakes but have also proven to be VERY good at creating new terrorists, particularly in Iraq, but also elsewhere. (There is a growing suicide-bomber problem in Afghanistan; the "Axis of Evil" speech helped push the hard-liners into power in Iran.) Not being able to admit an error and blaming the Democrats is not a road map for American security; it is a map for winning elections by politicizing terrorism.
(5) Not only do the Republicans refuse to admit errors, they avoid admitting them, or even facing them, in order to win political advantage. THIS IS THE ONLY EXPANATION FOR THEIR UNITY on Iraq. Only a party out for political gain could see Iraq so unequivocally and without a second thought. They are taking the politically most expedient line, while the Dems struggle to figure out a real solution to a real problem. The Dems are divided on Iraq b/c they are trying to cope with the problem. The Repubs. aren't b/c they are trying to score political points.
(6) Now, the RNC says only they can be trusted on national defense? But the only thing they can do is to "carry a big stick," and they don't do that too well. It actually takes some finesse to manage world affairs, to destroy terrorists without creating them in exponential numbers. The republicans have proven they cannot do so.
(7) Moreover, their post-911 world-view, which they claim they and not the dems have, is a mighty convenient one, politically.
Why is it that they cannot find the money to secure our ports?
Where is the vigilance on airport security, which was just relaxed recently? (I am thinking of the repealed law banning small knives and sharp objects from airplanes. Aren't the airline workers' lives endangered, if not those of the pilots?)
Only republican pet projects are incorporated into their post-911 world-view: Tax cuts for the rich, military contracts to Bush the father and other cronies, and a great political line to use election after election.
The Democrats should say, "Give us a chance. Give us a chance to fix our national security problems, proliferated by these Republicans who are filling friends' pockets, using the war for political ends, and frankly screwing up the world with their dozens and dozens of errors on ill-chosen battlefields, both rhetorical and real."
"Let a party that has proven it can govern, that cares about the public good, run national defense in an honest manner, honest financially and politically, for the betterment of the country. We cannot afford a national security that is driven by republicans who ignore reality and exploit our safety for their own political needs. What's more, this party and this president have shown, in Afghanistan, that they cannot stay the course unless the course was charted as a pet project of Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld (Iraq)."
(Remember the funny money from military contracts that BuzzFlash pointed out in Duke Cunningham's resume.)
Fight like hell, Dems. Because you are, right now, again, being branded the party of wimps. And if you don't fight back, the accusations will prove true.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: People Filibuster
I just finished reading Molly Ivins' column and hooray for Molly. At least she says it like it is.
THE Recent Molly Ivins Column That is Causing a Sensation, in which she tells Dem leaders to grow a spine and declares, "I'd like to make it clear to the people who run the Democratic Party that I will not support Hillary Clinton for president. Enough. Enough triangulation, calculation and equivocation." 1/23
The Republicans most certainly will not take any steps contrary to the rule of GWB law. And, the Democrats. Well, they're so quiet you could hear a pin drop. So, don't expect a filibuster from them.
Maybe it's time for the American people through organizations like BuzzFlash, MoveOn.Org, Working Assets, The Pen, etc. to form a coalition of Americans and start a public filibuster. Encourage your readers through emails to call, email, write, basically inundate, the Congress -- not just the Democrats, but the Republicans also. Let them know that corruption is unacceptable; that fraud by large Enron-type corporations of employee benefits is unacceptable; that a Bush nominee for the Supreme Court is unacceptable; that a war is unacceptable; that using mind control of the American public through fear-laden speeches and reports is unacceptable; that a Chief of Staff who exposes a CIA operative is unacceptable; that price gouging of the American public by big oil is unacceptable; that Senators and Congressman who earn and probably report an adjusted gross income far exceeding the average American's and yet they accept, to euphemistically state it, any lobbyist payment of a dinner, a trip, ANYTHING AT ALL is outrageous and ignorant; that it is illegal to wiretap and eavesdrop on U.S. citizens for any reason without justification and support of a legal warrant; that this ad infinitum corrupt, illegal and monarchy-like behavior must stop.
We are not serfs. We are citizens of the United States. This country is not the sole possession of the Executive Branch, the Legislative Branch or the Judicial Branch. This is our country - all of us. The president and his administration, the congressmen, senators and any elected official govern at the urgency of the people. If the Democrats are too weak and timid to stand up to the bullies of this administration and those within their own party, let's let them know what we think. That is our right, and at this stage in American history, it is our duty.
Subject: Reader's Letter to George W. Bush
Reader's letter is smart, clever, thoughtful,well-done, but is written as if the president is a normal, well-meaning individual, who has somehow gotten off-track. In a fairer, better world, "Reader's Letter" would make great sense. Unhappily, as things are now it is tantamount to a letter written to Hitler in 1939 telling him that he was treating the Jews unfairly.
Subject: Time To Clean House
As a life-long Democrat, it sickens me to see how far our once great party has fallen. We are the party of CHOICE, the party of FREEDOM, the party of JOBS, and the only party interested in the normal everyday people that actually work for a living in this Country.
But, my friends we have lost our way. Maybe it was just a simple malaise, a softening of our Zeal or a more sinister and tragic quest for a buck, as WE watched the republican coffers filling with easy money.
The DLC is an evil and slimy organization whose sole purpose is to erode the RIGHTS that REAL DEMOCRATS fought for. They collude with the right wing on issues that are the very backbone of Democratic Values, and make us all look weak and spineless.
On key issues like the Bankruptcy Bill and CAFTA, scores of so-called New Democrats voted with the right to further Corporate agendas and denigrate the RIGHTS of regular working people.
And we are seeing it yet again on this Alito nomination.
I urge you all to write a warning letter to your Congressmen and Senators, follow it up with a phone call, and an e-mail, that if they don't call for a filibuster of Alito, or if they vote for him to get this appointment, you will raise an army of angry Democrats in your district, and fully throw your support to either the Democratic challenger to them, or the Independent candidate.
Membership in the DLC must be given up and a firm push of our Principles is the only way they can vote.
Our Beloved Country is at stake.
Subject: Matthews, Bin Laden and Joe Biden
Although I haven't read all the blog coverage, etc., on Matthews' comment likening Bin Laden to Michael Moore, in what I have read I haven't seen one mention of the most disgraceful thing about it. Matthews was talking to Biden when he made that comment, and what was Biden's reaction? Did he protest at the outrageousness of the comparison? Did he sit, utterly speechless, at it? No, he LAUGHED, and then went on to say that he thought the tape was directed more at the Muslim world. HE evidently doesn't mind a patriotic American citizen being compared to a man with thousands of American deaths on his head. He thought it was FUNNY.
Subject: Go sue yourself! (Sent to CNN)
From your transcripts Jan18:
Yes, those eight years of peace and prosperity sure were bad---22 million jobs created, 300% increase in the stock market, went from record deficits to $256 billion annual surplus (a big improvement each and every year), military action not taking one single American life, etc.
Bush, who was not even legitimately elected either time, quickly took us to record deficits (even more than Reagan and his father)--a difference of $750 billion annually from Clinton. The money went to the people and corporations who do not need it and will not spend it. Warnings of bin Laden attack were ignored. No planes were intercepted, (even though they had up to an hour and twenty minutes). Bin Laden allowed to escape. One hundred fifty thousand innocent Iraqis butchered so we can control their oil and have permanent bases there. Over 2200 American lives wasted. War will cost us between one and two TRILLION dollars. Forty-six million Americans without healthcare. Only developed country in world with people without healthcare. I could go on for hours. Even worse---you are hiring Glenn Beck. And you are the "Liberal news network" !!!! What a joke!!!
Subject: Google Shares
Google Shares Have Biggest Drop After Justice Suit (bloomberg.com)
Does this mean Google will not be supporting the GOP thugs anytime in the near future?
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Republican 2006 Strategy
It was made clear on CNN that this pre-election summer will be dominated by the same old fear-initiated talking points from the scum at the GOP and the Rovian media.
Their banner will carry the tired old words that only the Republican party can keep us from being killed by the likes of Bin Laden and other terrorists around the world. This again is going to be their mantra! It's worked so well in the past.
Is America still a "lot of cowards," or have we grown any semblance of a backbone? How much are we willing to give up to keep our little arses safe? The current message from Bin Laden was probably manufactured by our own CIA. Anyone notice there was no video this time, and a warning message also came out just before the 2004 elections. Americans are so gullible, and Bush depends on it.
Subject: The "wimpy" Democrats
It seems only YOU and I have the Dems. pegged for what they are....COWARDS who refuse to stick up for the people who pay their FAT salaries and put them in office. SO why can't we have a NEW party ?? For my part, I just changed my party affiliation to Independent. HOPEFULLY this e.m. will make it to BF, and other registered DEMS will follow suit, and VOTE "Independent" 2006. Nader was RIGHT, there is only ONE party government now, it's so blatantly obvious.
[BuzzFlash Note: Well, Molly Ivins has caught on. THE Recent Molly Ivins Column That is Causing a Sensation, in which she tells Dem leaders to grow a spine and declares, "I'd like to make it clear to the people who run the Democratic Party that I will not support Hillary Clinton for president. Enough. Enough triangulation, calculation and equivocation." 1/23.]
Subject: Feinstein and Lieberman
Progressives, here's our chance to take back our party. It's simple! Support a progressive candidate that will seriously challenge these two Republican wannabees! It will scare the hell out of other Democrats and they will fall in line.
Lieberman and Feinstein are two vulnerable icons and would make the perfect targets. We have nothing to lose anyway as they are the worst republican enablers in our party. Folks this would do wonders for our party and we would surely find some new heroes to carry our banner.
Also republicans would love to see these two remain in power and it would cause great concern at the GOP if they were legitimately challenged.
Is there anyone of us with a nanometer of gray matter that doesn't think that Rove could and probably did create the latest Osamarama tape? This is exactly what he's so good at, and if you read Bush's Brain (I am, for a 2nd time, & keeping my Pepcid handy) you will understand how the Architect of Shrub works. How many frigging times have we seen this scenario? There is absolutely nothing, repeat, nothing, that Rove is not capable of in order to keep his guy on the throne. You can take that to the bank, folks.
Subject: Alito and the Democrats
Excellent and to the point! The facts you pointed out are why our party will make minimal gains if any at all this fall. The Senate and House have been handed to us on the proverbial "silver platter" but we have elements within our party who are bent on preserving the status quo and will do anything to stop change of any kind.
The re-emergence of the Progressive movement is their enemy, and it scares the hell out of them. We must clean our house first, but there is so little time left! The 2006 elections are the most critical and crucial time for the survival of the Democratic party.
Subject: Email to my Illinois Senators
I just sent the following to both of my Senators from Illinois: Obama and Durbin.
Subject: "Who Elected Laura Bush President?"
To Karen Webb: Who elected geo. bush president? Not us!
When did we elect Laura Bush president? (americablog)
Bill Mac Bean
Subject: Letters to Feinstein and Biden
Senator Biden and Feinstein,
If Alito goes to the Supreme court, he will give Bush unitary authority as a war president - to a war that Bush has said will never end. Bulls**t! This would make him a dictator - with his limited mentality, a despot. Bush could have his many detractors including all of us politically-active Democrats arrested - and tortured - and killed - And I don't think for a minute that he wouldn't do it. Bush is a MORON and his Neocon handlers are still the "CRAZIES" that the Reagan Administration wouldn't allow to power. Please vote, not just "no!" but "Hell No!" - and filibuster Alito's nomination. If you haven't read Molly Ivin's latest - here it is (I inserted the complete text with the note). And I say I'm with her to the end.
Subject: Re: Saturday's Top Five BuzzFlash Headlines, comment on your comment
Frist taunts Democrats to make his day, calls Alito Their Worst Nightmare. No, He's the Worst Nightmare for Our Constitutional Form of Government. He's the Worst Nightmare for Democracy. He's the Worst Nightmare for Turning the Country Into a Dictatorship. But the Dem Senators Seem Resigned to Once Again Avoid Standing Up to the GOP Monarchists. They Won't Filibuster Because They Don't Have the Guts to Save America. It's That Simple.
How many are being blackmailed to make those kind of comments and how many are politically stupid as they do not recognize the constitutional crisis we are in? Guess we will never know, but we have too many of each. Title of my book will be: How to take over America without a shot being fired!
When in the 7th grade, we went through the Constitution line by line, one of those oversized paperbacks with three columns inside, the Constitution and explanations on either side. I still have a copy I picked up at a garage sale somewhere in all my things.
Today they don't teach the Constitution; there is no draft [giving men a reason not to pay attention]; there is no democracy at the national level. The people still don't get it, in particular, some of the liberal columnists when they talk about ELECTION 2000 and ELECTION 2004.
Prepare yourself for Jeb Bush in 2008 or maybe we will have martial law with GW Bush not giving up his dictatorship and passing it on to his brother. Time for a Greek tragedy play.
Subject: Molly and Hillary
I am so glad Molly Ivins wrote this piece. It puts my thoughts into the spotlight. Ms. Ivins has captured my feelings about Hillary and the democrats she represents...and I have sadly come to the same conclusion....I WILL NOT VOTE FOR HILLARY IN WISCONSIN'S PRIMARY, AND IF SHE IS NOMINATED....I WILL NOT VOTE FOR HER, BUT WILL WRITE IN SOMEONE ELSE.
I have never been so turned OFF a candidate. She has been absent in every battle we have had to face as a party.....it is disgusting. She is NOT A LEADER IN ANY SENSE OF THE WORD......
Subject: Democrats Need Products That Sell
Promote good things.
Universal Health Care This covers all of Americans.
Minimum Wage--Big increase.
Balance the Budget. Reagan-Bush I-Bush II will have added on 8,000 Billion in 20 years and it took 200 years to get less than 1,000 B.
R - let kids pay tomorrow with spend and borrow; D spend but tax to pay their way.
College education. More aid.
Spend to create jobs plan.
JOBS--INCOME--HEALTH CARE--SOCIAL SECURITY--PENSIONS
Stop letting R use divisive issues.
Promote Great programs and let R attack ...
Subject: Why Alito will NOT do it
Does anyone really believe that Alito is going to overturn Roe v Wade? He WILL limit freedoms, since that is what Bush has said he wanted, ("there ought to be limits to freedom") and make the USA more like a dictatorship, since Bush said "a dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier, so long as I am the dictator."
I doubt, however, that Alito will overturn Roe V Wade. The court just sidestepped that issue again recently with Roberts on board. The Republican Party knows that if Roe V Wade ever got overturned, they would no longer have that tool at their disposal to smack Democrats around with every four years. Consider that Democrat Governor Tim Kaine, of Virginia, whether or not you agree with him, whopped the Republican contender in that red state by 10 points recently. Why, the GOP couldn't even whine for a recount. He said he was against the death penalty and abortion. You may or may not agree with him, and you have that right. My point, however is this. The Republican contender did not have that abortion issue to use as a distraction from other issues or to use against him as a Democrat.
Republicans know that Roe V Wade is their best treasure. It has gotten them elected time and again, so that they can advance their true goals of distributing wealth upward and giving the President complete power, which is what Alito WILL guarantee. Why would he want to overturn such a charm as Roe V Wade? I had a dinner conversation with a friend who kept talking about how worried she was and angry she was over her fear that Roe v Wade would be overturned. I couldn't shift her thinking to the fact that Republicans have always used this as a tool. They use it as a carrot for the Christian Right that they will never give them and they use it as a tool to get Democrats stirred up and distracted, and it worked like a charm on her. I convinced a Republican woman at church of my argument. She said "I never thought of that." She now has changed her view of the Republican Party and thinks less of the monarch than she once did.
A BuzzFlash Reader
CLICK HERE FOR PART 2 OF THE JANUARY 23, 2006 BUZZFLASH MAILBAG
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