January 27, 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.
THIS IS PART 2 OF THE JANUARY 27, 2006 BUZZFLASH MAILBAG. CLICK HERE FOR PART 1
Subject: Kerry's Office
Read your article about Obama and Durbin and got a big lump in my throat. I called both their offices [Thursday] and voiced my opinion. Then I called Kerry's office and spoke to a woman who said Obama & Durbin were on board. She asked, however, to please contact Landrieu, Johnson and Salazar. This was very late [Thursday] afternoon. Could things have changed so rapidly? Funny, she never mentioned Senator Byrd. I wrote to him (his line was constantly busy) and told him he should just throw away that little book on the Constitution which he always carries in his pocket and produces whenever he sees fit. The fact that he's voting yes to that man is simply unbelievable.
Subject: CYA for Senators on Alito?
I believe many of us have been planning to watch closely which senators will decline to filibuster Alito. However, I'm wondering if there is a way these weasels can mask their votes.
How about this scenario: Frist calls for a voice vote on cloture. There's a rousing chorus of "ayes" followed by a rousing chorus of "nays." Frist announces the ayes have it. No one asks for a roll call vote.
I know very little of parliamentary procedure or US Senate rules. Is this a possible result?
Sorry: I don't agree with BuzzFlash on the merits of a filibuster. The GOP will end up with enough votes to defeat it. There are many more issues the Dems can raise hell about, if they have the spine.
Subject: Bill Bennett
I can't believe CNN's new "consultant" Bill Bennett was openly talking about being a part of Bush's exclusive White House staff meeting on the Patriot Act. You mean "moral values" Bill, the one with the $million dollar gambling loss addiction, who is a partner and co-owner with Neil Bush on Ignite! the educational materials for all schools in the US who are now mandated under the No Child Left Behind Act? That Bill Bennett? What's he doing being a super inside consultant on "The Patriot Act" at the beginning? as he said today on Wolf's show? What we didn't know then that was already planned and going on?!!!! In so many ways and places. Come into my web said the spider to the fly...Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive...
Subject: Re: Harry Reid: This Isn't A "Vote Of Conscience" Concerning A Filibuster; It's A Vote To Save Democracy. And If Reid Can't Cajole And Bluster 41 Democrats Into Saving Democracy, He Should Resign His Position -- A BuzzFlash Editorial. The average Joe or Jill knows that if someone is threatening to beat you up, you don't hand him a bat.
If Ross Perot could garner 19% of the voters in 1992, why can't we form a third party? He was right, too, about NAFTA and the giant "sucking sound" that would occur as the jobs left the United States. The Democrats are spineless, gutless wonders. The Dems have evolved into a minority, loyal opposition party. Surely, there is a charismatic, bright man who has scruples and compassion. Someone like Robert F. Kennedy, Senator Paul Wellstone, Martin Luther King, Ted Kennedy. Someone who is dynamic and articulate.
I certainly hope so for all of our sakes.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Democrats Functionally Part of Republican Machine
It's not just that the Senate Democrats have no spine that they won't filibuster Alito. They are functionally unable to really stand up to Torture Chimp (Bush) for the same reason as Colmes is functionally unable to stand up to Hannity. Whether they know it or not, and even whether the Republicans know it or not, the Democrats are functionally a part of the Republican machine, exactly like Colmes and Hannity, exactly like the "devil's advocate" and the medieval church, exactly like public defenders who advise most of their defendants to plead no contest: their function is to make the show LOOK fair and balanced, not actually BE fair and balanced.
If the Dems REALLY stood up to T.C., they'd be out of a job, just like if Colmes REALLY stood up to Hannity, he'd be out of a job.
Subject: Obama: "Golden Future"?
Obama - the "golden future of the Democratic Party?" Has your brain turned to mush like Robert Byrd's? Who is this Obama character who is being rammed down our throats as the next President and saviour of our democracy? He, who will lead us to the Promised Land of Democratic Party victory. He is a first term Congressman who has proven nothing about himself except that he has beaming white teeth. What was he doing addressing the Democratic Convention when others who took real chances and had earned their position at that podium (Kucinich and Sharpton, to name just two) were shunned? Just days after swearing in for his FRESHMAN TERM (got that? NO national track record), there he was, all over talk tv; flashing those big ol' pearly whites every time someone like Letterman prompted him about running for Prez - Obama scares the heck out of me. The same feeling I get whenever the mass media propaganda machine tries to force feed us other ideas/candidates that are supposed to have "spontaneously" won our adoration. The natural reaction when something is rammed down the human throat is to retch - immediately.
I can't believe you are falling for his act. Such blind adoration is dangerous to the max. Had he stood up and filibustered, and continued to speak out and vote for our Constitution; had he established a track record of independence and honor, I could understand. But he appears on the scene an unknown and is immediately hailed as our saviour? Not even Christ got it that easy.
Subject: Still Feeling Safe?
You can’t get on a plane without taking your shoes off. The NSA, FBI, and who knows who all else is monitoring phone calls and emails of American citizens at will. Meanwhile, there is a, big, honking tunnel under the border that allows anyone with access a chance to walk into this country at their leisure. Does this seem like it might have some impact on the safety of the country to anyone? Does it seem that in spite of billions of dollars in taxpayer money, thousands of hours of spying on Americans who make “International” phone calls, and endless rhetoric about how the meatheads in Washington are making us safe, they aren’t?
The tunnel is made of concrete and has lighting, electricity, ventilation and a pump to remove water. It also contained two tons of marijuana. I hope the bad guys that built the tunnel were smoking a lot of their “product,” because anyone who has ever come into contact with a “pothead” knows they could never concoct any plot more dangerous than who is straight enough to make the next beer run.
Many complaints are ignored as being “partisan,” with no attempt to check their accuracy. Sound bites take the meat out of complicated issues and ordinary Americans are left with a little “gravy” that ill informs. Politics as usual goes on and the country is less safe than it was in spite of what we want to believe.
The middle east is such a screwed up mess that no one seems to have any idea just what can be done to straighten it out. Our border to the south is so porous that anyone can simply walk across it. Now it appears there are sophisticated tunnels that make it easy to smuggle marijuana into this country and so would indicate that other far more dangerous things could be coming in, and we feel safer? Wishing don’t make it so, folks. Wishing just don’t make it so.
Marjorie L. Swanson
Subject: My Country Tears For Thee
My Country tears for thee,
Subject: "Letter to Editor" at my Regional Newspaper
Sometimes I wonder what so many of my fellow Americans think the terms “Checks and Balances” and “Separation of Powers” mean. Do they ever parse these phrases and think about their implications in regard to the United States Constitution, and the thoughtful juxtaposition of responsibility, self-interest, and skepticism by which our founding fathers arranged the three branches of our government? For a variety of reasons, I don’t think many do.
First; the president that so many Americans continue to support makes an overt claim to the full power of both houses of congress by his unprecedented reliance on legislative “signing statements.” (He hasn’t failed to sign a single bill since he became president; he just makes them say what he wants them to say with annotation.)
Then he claims the right to ignore statutes designed to protect the fourth-amendment rights of American citizens from the unregulated behavior of clandestine intelligence agencies. (Bush has openly admitted to behavior that defies the FISA laws governing electronic surveillance of American citizens, and he sees no reason to stop.)
Then - most recently - he nominates aspiring king-maker Samuel Alito to the Supreme court. (Alito’s pet paradigm of the “Unitary Executive” explicitly extends unqualified and absolute powers to the office of president, bypassing arbitrarily the checks and balances and advice and consent that are clearly and emphatically required by our Constitution.)
Secrecy is always Bush’s mode; undisclosed, highly classified security scenarios are always his rationale; and he has stated that his own oath of office is the only form of oversight to which he thinks it necessary that a president submit. To trust any leader on such grounds is to abrogate your rights and obligations as a United States citizen, and to reject the founding contract of our republic.
Subject: Executions R Us
Well we did it again. The state of Indiana executed a man today. This is the 1008th execution in the United States since 1976 when the death penalty was restored and the 17th in Indiana in that time period. Thus far in 2006 the United States has executed 3 other people.
What a concept, let's kill people to punish them for killing people. Another day, another example of the demise of the American belief that we are the shining light of hope for the rest of the world.
Indiana executes man for 1983 double murder (Reuters/Yahoo)
Marjorie L. Swanson
Subject: Media's Embrace of Doublespeak
The excellent letter by Marjorie Swanson, "Spinning is Lying," illuminates a very important common thread that runs through almost all issues discussed in BuzzFlash; the embrace of right-wing doublespeak by MSM. It's the most powerful weapon they use and it's been perfected over decades. See "The Republican Noise Machine" by David Brock to explore it in depth.
One subtle example, note the effect the calling of the 2000 election in favor of Bush by Fox news had on MSM. By immediately going along, they painted [Al Gore] as a sore loser. An argument then outrageously embraced by the Supreme Court. What would have happened if MSM had stuck to their own exit poll data as the best predictor of who won, in that time period when votes were still being counted? If the public viewed GW as the sore loser, could the Supreme Court have declared Bush president?
Subject: Bush's Fuzzy Memory
How come no one in mainstream media has commented on the fact that when Bush says he "doesn't know Abramoff" he used the EXACT same words when asked about Ken "Kenny Boy" Lay??? I mean, that takes some large kahunas to stand up there and say you don't know a guy who raised you over $200,000 [?] as a "pioneer" fundraiser!!
I am continually amazed at the gall of this President to lie and never be held accountable. I guess after the SOTU, we will be greeted with a new "threat" from abroad, to divert our attention away from the Emperor!!!!!
It also amazes me that the "liberal" media has no institutional memory from the last President we had. How many pictures and grainy videos did we endure of "coffees with President Clinton"?? Now, they tuck their tail and hide??
So Bush says he doesn't know Jack Abramoff; doesn't comment on ongoing investigations, yet praises Tom DeLay in the middle of one; tells a college student that they didn't cut any programs related to student loans; doesn't recall meeting Kenneth "Kenny Boy" Lay, yet flew all over the country in his private jet.
And now we get the coup de grace from his Administration: "Had we been able to wire tap phone calls we could have prevented 9/11." YIKES!!
And again, where are the questions?? Questions like, "Why, Mr. President, won't you release pictures? And meeting times with Abramoff?" "Why Mr. President, did you comment on one investigation while silent on the other?" And finally, and most importantly, "Mr. President, wouldn't it have been easier to have actually read your briefings on "Osama determined to attack in US" than complaining four years after the fact, that you needed wire taps??"
This Presidency is so inept, it has become less of a joke, and more of a grave concern to our democracy!!
A Concerned American!
I think it perfectly describes George W. Bush, so I thought I would share it with BuzzFlash readers.
A BuzzFlash Reader
He works for DuPont, don't forget. Big business would love another toady on the court. The Democrats are part of the same sleazy system as BushCo. The cocktail parties are nice, private school for the kids is great, too, and we all can just go eat dirt. This will not change until we have another 1929 or 1876 - you name it. And Sam will see to it that we have another Hitler installed. I cannot get over how horrible this is. And the Republicans are up to their collective derriere in scandals!
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Tell Senator Clinton To Support Alito Filibuster (Friday 11 am)
My Friends at Democrats.com just spoke with Senator Clinton's New York City office and confirmed that Senator Clinton is NOT supporting the brave and urgent filibuster of Sam Alito by Senators John Kerry and Ted Kennedy. Please call these numbers immediately and urge Senator Clinton to SUPPORT THE ALITO FILIBUSTER:
Senator Clinton NYC Office: 212-688-6262
Please be polite but firm. If you know any prominent supporters of Senator Clinton, please ask them to call Senator Clinton or her closest advisors directly. For the latest updates visit: http://democrats.com/alito-48
Peace & Love - Lots of It!!!
Subject Senator Clinton SUPPORTS Filibuster (Friday, noon)
I just spoke with Senator Clinton's Chief of Staff and confirmed that Senator Clinton SUPPORTS the brave and urgent filibuster of Sam Alito by Senators John Kerry and Ted Kennedy. THANK YOU SENATOR CLINTON!!!!!!!!!! For the latest updates visit:
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Googling Bush
I respect Google for telling the Bush Cabal to go pound sand in regard to people's internet searches.
Let's help Google in the event that the Bush Administration is able to force them to turn over information.
Besides googling "ImpeachPAC," let's throw in some other phrases to Google:
1. bush is an idiot 2. impeach bush 3. bush is a coward 4. Cheney is a dickhead 5. bush lies
As you can see, we can be very creative in our "search terms" but they should be "anti-bush" in some way, shape, or form.
Again, as always, folks, WE THE PEOPLE HAVE TO KEEP CONTACTING OUR FEDERAL LEGISLATORS AND TELL THEM HOW WE FEEL IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS.
Go to www.congress.org to easily locate your representatives office phone numbers, fax numbers, and e-mails.
We have to keep the pressure on and if they support Bush, tell them you won't vote for any Republicans, because obviously the Republicans have no ethics, morals, or scruples.
Subject: Why the People Still Think G.W. Would Protect Them Better Than Democrats
In spite of the low numbers that Bush has in almost every category in every poll, he still leads the Democrats in protecting the country from Terrorism. Now why on earth would people think that an incompetent nincompoop could best protect them?
Well Duh? Why would the people think that the Democrats would protect them from anything? They don’t fight back. They take whatever crap the Republicans dish out and apologize whenever they say something mean, with a few exceptions. Is it any wonder that no one would trust them to protect anything? They don’t even protect themselves. People might actually think the Democrats are a bunch of wimps because they act like a bunch of wimps.
There might be a chance that John Kerry would talk any attackers into a stupor but other than that, where are the fighters?
Howard Dean fights back and it appears from the way the Republicans consistently try to paint him as a nut job that his tough stance is effective. Republicans and their media lapdogs have portrayed Dean as a wacko but I suspect a lot of liberals are happy to see at least one Democrat showing some signs of guts.
Democrats protect the country? The country may not believe that Democrats will protect them when they can see that Democrats can’t even protect themselves. That is the perception in the country and unless and until the Democrats show some signs of fight they will lose. And they have no one to blame except themselves.
It might also help if once in a while the Democrats stuck together on important issues. But what do I know? I’m just a liberal who is not going to vote for your sorry butts again until you start showing some backbone. I suspect I will have a lot of company.
Marjorie L. Swanson
Subject: Removing Abramoff prosecutor
Here's a story that hasn't appeared yet on the BuzzFlash screen.
"Prosecutor, Picked for Judgeship, Steps Down From Lobbyist Case" NYTimes Jan 27 p A1
While our attention is focused on opposing the Alito nomination the Georgie Porgie, administration tries to slip another outrage under the radar.
Noel Hillman, chief of the Justice Department's public integrity division, has been the chief prosecutor in the Abramoff investigation and has been involved in day-to-day management of the Abramoff investigation since it began almost two years ago. Now he has been appointed to a federal judgeship.
"Routine appointment" "nothing unusual" my a**! The announcement was buried in a White House e-mail message on Wed about 15 other personnel changes.
The NYTimes has been rightly criticized for sloppy and administration friendly news coverage, but they did the right thing putting this story on the front page.
Will the Democrats make a big stink about this and embarrass the administration into appointing a special prosecutor?
Chief Prosecutor Will Step Down From Abramoff Case "because he [was] nominated to a federal judgeship by President Bush." This can't be a good thing. "Mr. Hillman would be temporarily succeeded as head of the public integrity office by Andrew Lourie, a career prosecutor in Florida." 1/28
Subject: Death With Indignity
After begging, pleading, and cajoling the Democrats to stand up and fight against Alito, and after seeing them, with a few exceptions, refuse to do that, I think it may be time to grant them their last wish and let them die. If they don't have any fire in their hearts for democracy, we can't stoke it for them. They will lose their progressive base, we will go elsewhere to form a new party, and they will melt further into their state of numbness and irrelevance. I mean, they shoot donkeys don't they?
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Reid Goes Up One Notch/ Now Need To Get Him To Lobby Dems on This
Subject: Obama - Alito
I just got off the phone with Senator Obama's office. I asked the questions posed by BuzzFlash, and was told "The Senator has not made up his mind yet."
I told her that Obama needed to stand up for the people of Illinois and the U.S., and not just his donors from the corporate and banking world.
The Democrats are pushovers - and unless we get public campaign financing in place, it isn't going to get any better.
God help America.
Called Biden's office twice woman answers saying switch board then put on classical music both times.
Called Obama office got answering machine which left message on. He is here opening office in Moline today. Voting for Rice, said everyone makes one mistake, and he had just become senator. But two mistakes, that is it. I left message, but probably delete before listening to it. Try later since it was about quarter to l pm may have been out to lunch.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Bush explains his winnings in the trifecta
Remember when we thought it strange that because of 9/11 Bush claimed he had won the trifecta? He has been explaining his winnings lately. Winning the trifecta meant that he could push through all the right-wing neocon stuff he wanted and use the war as an excuse. Because of the trifecta he can do anything he wants with impunity, including domestic spying which is what it is. He was told by congress he could as a last resort invade Iraq because he and his friends told us that Iraq was responsible for 9/11 when he knew they weren't. He told us they could attack in 45 minutes when he knew they couldn't. Now he claims that the USA would have been all right if the invasion of Iraq was just for nation building, which he claimed he was against in the campaign.
He isn't going to release his connections and pictures of Abramoff and himself because they could be used for political purposes. What about all the cute photo ops he uses for political purposes? Every inch of Bush's being is political, and everything he does is political, and he proved it today when he said he is anxious to campaign in the 2006 elections. Everything anyone else does is political, but he has only the good of the country at heart.
I really liked the part where he said that he wasn't releasing the stuff because there was an investigation. Wouldn't an honest person release it all instead of waiting for them to find it. The reason his administration is the most secretive in history is because it has to be, because what they are doing shouldn't see the light of day. He is dishonest to the core.
Now he is saying if he releases the photos the Republicans won't win in 2006. Why not, if all of it is honest? Yes, Bush won the trifecta, and his winnings include getting to do whatever he wants. He wouldn't support congress making laws that would make his domestic spying legal, but he says he didn't support it in 2002 and he doesn't need it now. Of course he didn't need it in 2002, because he was already doing it, and he doesn't want it known because if it is a law then other presidents can do the same without winning the trifecta and starting a war against a country that not only hasn't attacked us, but is incapable of attacking us.
He is about to win more if Alito is voted in. I have no idea what they have promised Robert Byrd for his vote, but they will renege on that promise, because we are at war, and Bush will keep us at war. He has no desire to end it. He won the trifecta and we have lost.
Speak up or they assume you agree!!! ABB
Subject: Senator Byrd and Alito
The fax I sent to Senator Byrd reads as follows:
Dear Honorable Senator Byrd-
Please, sir.... reconsider. As a Constitution-carrying member of an honorable Constitutional body, please don't give over the last vestige, the last hope for the individual American to be heard in our gasping, yet still existent Democracy. The pro-Corporate stance of Judge Alito is an affront to Democracy, but also an attempt to undermine our most critical foundation: The Constitution of the U. S.
Please sir, with all respect, I BEG you to reconsider.
Subject: Obama's Stand on the Filibuster (Friday 2 pm)
I just read the response from Obama's office that a reader recently submitted as a result of a phone call to him. I called Obama this morning as well and what I was told went further. The aide told me that Obama had not taken a "public" stand on the issue of filibuster yet. I told her that what I was told was that he was working against a filibuster from within the Democratic Caucus even though he had not gone public.
She said that it is correct that he has not taken a public stand.
I then asked if she could assure me that Obama was not lobbying against a filibuster behind closed doors. She repeated her talking point without reassuring me as to my request.
I then told her that if it is true that he's lobbying against the filibuster then it will come back to haunt him in the future.
I thanked her politely, gave her my name/zip code and reminded her that I was a Democratic precinct committeeman in Illinois.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: New Jersey's New Senator
(Democrat) Menendez, who is NJ Governor John Corzine's replacement in the senate. How do we get in touch with him to request his participation in the filibuster?
[BuzzFlash Note: His phone numbers (not email) are here: http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/cgi-bin...]
Subject: My Letter to Sen. Biden
I just heard of Senator Biden's refusing to filibuster Alito. Please do me a favor, drop his website a line and let him know what you feel about a politician that refuses to defend himself when the other side is going for his throat. This is my letter.
Subject: Fire in your belly? Harry Reid will put it out!
His message box is full, so I sent him a message via his webform:
from carolyn kay
Subject: Sit 'n' Spin Paper Hawking Its Unwanted Wares
I just sent the following letter to every relevant department of The New York Times:
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Alito and...Katie Couric (yukk)
I have left messages....e-mailed Mr. Kerry...and I am not ashamed to say, I have shamed him...with, "I worked in your headquarters in 2004, hoping for a victory... Never, ever again, sir"! Unfortunately...we have already lost one vote from the Democrat Nelson....so this is gonna take some doing! As to Katie....she is a dimwit...I mean she gives Dimwit lessons! I have not watched Katie and Matt since the war started and she got a dreamy eyed look on her face while interviewing a Navy Seal...I know she is likely a very lonely jerkassed woman.......since her poor husband died, she may not be able to get anyone to date her.....but, she leaned her head sideways, got this 'Come on big boy" look on her face and said, " I just want you to know, I think Navy Seals Rock".....at that moment....I vowed to never again watch Today....It was not at all hard, either!! The paper in my hometown....St. Louis Post Dispatch...also printed everyone who got money from Abramoff...and the money they had given back. They included the democrats....which I have sent a letter to....and never had it printed. But, all the dems. were included....and the tribe and the amount they were giving back. That is what I have always liked about Howard Dean....he will not give up....he did that same thing to Wolf Shitzer....and I swear Wolf was just as idiotic as Katie! Howard will not back down when he knows he is right...This man would never back down to Bush...the Idiot who occupies our taxpayer funded White House! Actually...I have always thought Howard Dean Rocks...since the first time I ever watched him...but, he was burned by his own democratic party. I remember!! I know republicans...I have many of them in my family....and my kid yelled at me for an hour after I told him who I voted for in the primaries... Of course, you know who he wanted me to vote for........JOE LEIBERMAN!! I laughed my ass off! Did not gain any points with my dear son...but, he had already bloodied his hands at that point! That is sad, I really love my kid...but, he is so misled!!
Subject: Re: Cindy Sheehan article
You HAVE to publish this if you haven't already. If only our "Democratic" (ha! with a few notable exceptions, the Democratic party is OVER as a credible opposition to the neocon/fascistic regime with Bushitler in charge). Cindy, I'm sure, will be there with the rest of us, all wearing orange jumpsuits, in that tin shipping crate at Gitmo. But if ANY of our Senators (or, for that matter, Representatives) had even 10% of her guts and grit, we wouldn't be in our current predicament.
Barbara Lee (Barb) Blazyk
Subject: U.S. Senator's DC Phone Numbers
Akaka Daniel (HI) (202) 224-6361
INDEPENDENTS: Jeffords James (VT) (202) 224-5141
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