January 31, 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 31, 2006 BUZZFLASH MAILBAG. CLICK HERE FOR PART 1
Subject: Re "Ten questions that no one bothered to ask Alito (?)"
"No one?" You mean "media," don't you. Let's tell it like it is. Media are behind the likely Alito victory, as they are with so many other conservative victories in this country. In fact, couldn't media have asked these questions directly? Why have we come to expect nothing from media, and to throw up our hands in defeat in the face of their glaring bias in favor of the right? Why is nearly nothing done to bring media to account for their treachery.
Subject: Congress Jokes
Now that Congress has officially made a joke of itself, we should collect an anthology of congress jokes, such as:
It's been so cold in Alaska lately that Sen. Ted Stevens was actually seen with his hands in his own pockets.
Subject: Global Warming
Dear BuzzFlash Readers,
I have learned of a better term for Global Warming. It comes from Michael Glantz; he is a Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder Colorado. His term is: Human Climate Disruption.
Remember that: Human Climate Disruption.
It is far more descriptive than Global Warming.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Politicians, A Quiz
Distrust them? Wish there wasn't such a thing as a politician? Willing to walk the walk on that? Each and everyone answering yes to the above three questions is, ipso-facto and ergo, ready to change the world. And in the beginning ...
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Washington Post Headlines on BuzzFlash
What a sad, scary, mean country we've become when there are states wishing to extend protections to health care workers who refuse to provide health care which goes against their personal (read: "religious") beliefs.
Patient rights vs. personal beliefs; At least 18 states are considering new laws to shield healthcare workers who do not want to provide care that conflicts with their personal beliefs. If they don't want to perform an abortion or hand out birth control pills, they can QUIT and get a job at Wal-Mart stocking shelves or handing out carts. End of story. 1/31
And, the other Post piece didn't surprise me in the least: that Republicans/Conservatives (those who've voted for Bush, naturally) had more self-admitted prejudices against blacks than liberals had.
God forbid you should be gay or lesbian and need treatment for AIDS or wish to conceive a child via in-vitro fertilization. Or, if you refuse life support because you wish to die with dignity.
As for those white-bread Republicans in denial about their racism, I've one question for you all: Why have you all left the cities for the suburbs? And, should "those other people" come to live in your town, what will you do then? Leave the planet????
Subject: The Final Straw
The complete betrayal of both Democratic and Constitutional principles committed by Democratic Senators on Monday is THE watershed event in the contemporary history of the Democratic Party.
We have witnessed one of the most pathetic displays of ineptitude, cowardice and lack of vision this party has likely ever seen. We have watched as once-great figures like Robert Byrd (WVA), after all of his grandiose and eloquent speeches on the dignity of democratic values and the absolute necessity of opposing the tyranny of the right-wing, submit to the most craven of impulses - supporting one of the most insidious Supreme Court nominees in history in order to appease his red-state constituency in an election year. Screw the nation, screw democracy - he just wants another term.
But Byrd is only one example in this abominable series of events, and possibly not even the most despicable. Barack Obama's behavior has been nothing short of atrocious. Like Byrd, he can make pretty speeches, but talk is cheap, and he had to be dragged kicking and screaming into merely acquiescing to a filibuster, let alone actually supporting one.
The Democrats completely failed to take this issue by the horns from the beginning. Instead of shaping public opinion through actual leadership (which, contrary to MSM blather, is NOT overwhelmingly in favor of approving Alito) they again chose to cower in the face of meaningless polls and the whispers of idiot "consultants" who have instilled within them the insane notion that doing nothing is a winning strategy. The Judiciary Committee members, instead of framing strong arguments against Alito at the start, satisfied themselves with meaningless, self-indulgent bloviation in front of c-SPAN cameras.
This was the last straw. This cloture vote was the event to separate the men from the boys. There is no longer ANY REASON WHATSOEVER to continue supporting these traitors to the Constitution and to the Democratic Party.
These cowards must be turned out in their respective primaries. There is no other option.
And to those who will argue "but you're just handing those seats over to Republicans," I say this: It makes no difference if you have a D or an R in front of your name. If you vote to support Bush and his despotic agenda, you may as well BE a Republican. We have tried it their way, and it has brought us nowhere. If a novice candidate loses, it is far better to free up those seats for REAL fighting progressive Democrats to re-take later, than to continually re-elect the same failed, ignorant, inept and self-serving fools over and over again. If they do not oppose, they have no value, no matter the letter in front of their name.
If the current Democratic Party must burn to make way for another, I say let it burn.
Karl M Evans
Subject: Songs for the SOTU
Here are some songs to help you and yours through the State of the Union address. Free downloads for peaceniks! Enjoy them. Have fun if you can.
Subject: A New Nationwide Grassroots Group
We need to form a new grassroots group to help or solicit real Democrats to run in state primaries against the incumbents that voted for cloture, even if they vote against Alito on Tuesday. Because the Republicans have all the power, it is even more important that the Democrats work TOGETHER TO OPPOSE ANY REPUBLICAN ACTION FOR ANY DAMN THING. We especially need to get rid of Bankruptcy Biden, DLCer Hillary, Feingold, who's so far up McCain's ass (McCain speaks on both sides of his mouth, he talks against Bush's policies, then becomes his campaign manager in Arizona), and how can we forget Lieberman who cares more about being in front of a camera than representing Democratic values? I'm so disgusted with our Senate Democrats. How could they possibly support such an extreme right winger, who had written about his belief in a President having unlimited powers??? Is it possible that their staffers are secretly employed by republicans and feeding them bs? Or could it be that they are actually retarded? Personally, I believe they have never encountered the word or deed, integrity...Damn them all!
Subject: National Prayer Day and the People Behind It
Your note about the National Prayer event reminded me of this extremely important article - an article so important that three years later, Harpers still maintains the link. Please remind people about it. For people of faith to get duped into this outfit is frightening.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Post-Avoid Filibuster Vote
where is the outrage??? isn't there anyone pushing to follow up with leadership for the public action to support the filibuster this weekend? what a waste! people are fired up and shouldn't be let down by an absence of BuzzFlash stories to take advantage of their outrage and move us forward. the only solace I found tonight was in polls saying the majority of the public DOES NOT support Alito in polls. so we were right and many Democratic Senators were wrong. what's next???
please try to drum up some suggestions on how to harness this energy. somebody must have some idea of how to keep the momentum through the 06 elections and beyond... to maintain our Democratic form of government.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Alternative Democratic Candidates
Have any organizations thought to come together and field alternative democratic candidates to challenge and hopefully displace those who have failed to fight or chosen not to fight the regime?
I believe it's time to field opponents to the Bidens and Liebermans and Clintons and Reids and I believe Howard Dean would approve and support us. Can you please advise me as to what if any discussions are taking place on this subject? We need to begin now to let democrats know they will be fired by their own people in the fall -
Subject: Tired of Fighting
I am so tired of fighting. I am so tired of the bad guys winning. I am so tired of the fact that a large share of the American public has no more idea of what is happening to their country than my dog.
That said, much as I would like to say that we should all pick up our toys and go home the fact is we are not allowed that luxury. So many of our fellow citizens are uninformed, unaware, and damned persistent in remaining that way makes it imperative that we keep up the fight.
We would all like to just say to hell with the whole damn Democratic Party. Cutting off noses to spite the face may have a momentary uplift to the spirit but as a policy it really stinks. Get up off the floor, quit kicking your heels and threatening to hold your breath until you turn blue and reboot the brain and begin all over again.
I live in Wisconsin and although we have two so-called Democratic senators in fact we have one Democrat, Russ Feingold, and one Democrat in Sheep’s clothing called Herb Kohl. Mr. Kohl was not amongst the 25 courageous Democrats that voted to filibuster Samuel Alito.
Republicans and their Wingnut Base will be dancing in the street as Alito is confirmed on the Supreme Court. They have been working for this for 30 years and their victory will seem very sweet. Nah, nah, we won and you lost and now we get our way.
They just don’t get it and they never will. They won, we all lost and they will never get their way. Real Americans, real Christians, will rise up in righteous indignation if you try to intrude in their private lives. You will be slapped, slammed, and shoved back into your place if you try to force your beliefs unto the rest of us.
Americans have been a free people for too long. Americans will stand just so much tampering with their private lives and then there will be a backlash that will not be pretty.
Twenty-five courageous Senators showed that there is some hope. Twenty-five courageous Senators have shown that some Democrats have a spine and a respect for the rights of the American people. That’s a start.
Senators voting to filibuster Alito
Bayh, Evan (D-IN) Biden, Joseph R., Jr. (D-DE) Boxer, Barbara (D-CA) Clinton, Hillary Rodham (D-NY) Dayton, Mark (D-MN) Dodd, Christopher J. (D-CT) Durbin, Richard (D-IL) Feingold, Russell D. (D-WI) Feinstein, Dianne (D-CA) Jeffords, James M. (I-VT) Kennedy, Edward M. (D-MA) Kerry, John F. (D-MA) Lautenberg, Frank R. (D-NJ) Leahy, Patrick J. (D-VT) Levin, Carl (D-MI) Menendez, Robert (D-NJ) Mikulski, Barbara A. (D-MD) Murray, Patty (D-WA) Obama, Barack (D-IL) Reed, Jack (D-RI) Reid, Harry (D-NV) Sarbanes, Paul S. (D-MD) Schumer, Charles E. (D-NY) Stabenow, Debbie (D-MI) Wyden, Ron (D-OR)
Marjorie L. Swanson
Subject: Twenty-five Senators Stand-up for Democracy
That's a start. The rest of the way? That's up to us, we the people, that is. Do we change the world or do we not? If we don't we'll be sentencing our children to a life during which they'll be at high-risk for an ugly and early demise, what with global warming and such. On the other hand, if we go on to change the world, our children (nobody left-out) are sure to enjoy wonderful and rewarding lives, hallelujah, amen.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Thanks But No Thanks
Isn’t it astonishing how many Republicans are out there worrying about the Democratic Party? Isn’t it delightful that so many Republican Pundits want to help the Democratic Party succeed? Yet, somehow I sense that we are not as grateful as we should be for all their advice.
We have the likes of Tucker Carlson telling Democrats what they are doing wrong. Anyone, anywhere who thinks Tucker Carlson is worth listening to needs to seriously sign up somewhere for a brain transplant.
Then there’s good old Pat Buchanan worrying about Hillary’s image problems and about how damaging being anti-war is going to be for the Democrats. Thank you Mr. Buchanan for your concern but you’ll excuse us if we think your motives are a bit ambiguous. Listening to you reminds us that there are lies, damn lies and whatever comes out of the mouth of Pat Buchanan.
As usual we have good ol Joe Scarborough just lacing into Democrats in all directions. He is never loathe to tell the Democratic Party what they are doing wrong. Mr. Scarborough never met a fact he couldn’t twist or a truth he couldn’t spin which definitely qualifies him to lecture everyone else.
Although I am sure that the Democratic Party appreciates all your concerns those who genuinely have a brain, not an opinion poll, between their ears will give your suggestions the consideration they deserve.
Excuse us if we don’t think that you truly have our best interests at heart. We have enough Pinheaded Pundits in our own party to contend with, we don’t need to import any from the Republicans.
Marjorie L. Swanson
Subject: Time For New Party?
A week before an Alito filibuster was voted down, I received a survey with a cover letter from Howard Dean asking for my input as a "leader in the Democratic party" (even though I'm a registered Independent!!). Most questions in the survey were in multiple choice form...an issue with a choice of a progressive/centrist/conservative position. The main exceptions were the first and last questions. The first question had nine issues and an "other" choice to be ranked in order of importance to me (I marked the "Other" as most important and wrote in "Election Fraud." Hey, I'm in Arizona whose secretary of state is working to turn our state into the next Florida/Ohio!).
The last question asked if I would donate to help Democrats fight the Bush agenda. I checked "No" and wrote:
When I wrote that, it was a half-bluff, since in a close election between a dangerous Republican and a Democrat, I would have voted for the Democrat instead of a third party candidate to keep the Republican from winning...but now after this latest fiasco, the Democrats have truly shown themselves to be officially obsolete and I would now indeed vote for the third party.
January 30, 2006 was the day the Democrat party died and progressives now need to form something else that will accomplish what Dems have routinely failed to do. In honor of this turning point, I propose we call it the A.L.I.T.O. Party..."American Liberals Incited Towards Opposition"!
Subject: That's It - I'm Registering as an Independent Tomorrow!
You fought the fight. But too bad the spineless jellyfish enablers let us down once again.
Tomorrow morning, I am going to re-register as an Independent and no longer want to be a "Democrat."
Join me, and encourage the masses to Ditch the Democratic Party and Become Registered Independents... Maybe when theses SOBs notice that millions of hardcore Democrats have ditched the party and become independents, ....maybe...just maybe the corrupt, spineless jellyfish party will get the message.
Have a Nice Armageddon,
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: John Paul Jones Quote
The actual quote from Jones is "I have not yet begun to fight!" (according to the official US Navy biography):
Subject: Re: Tom Paine Would Be Proud
Just not sending them (DemWimps) money won't help, for they'll get their cash from the corporate teat, just as many of them have been.
They need to know that our votes are "dead to them" forever, that we will never vote for them again.
Mine is only one vote, but it will never go to anyone who voted to authorize the invasion into Iraq, or who faltered on not doing his/her part to keep Alito from the Supreme Court.
Perhaps, it's time for some of the good guys, like Kucinich, to leave the Democratic Party for a higher road.
Subject: Class Action Lawsuit?
It certainly looks as though We, the People, are going to be stuck with the Bushistas and their continued destruction of our country and its Constitution until the end of his term. As much as I would LOVE to see him and his gang of thugs impeached, I truly don't hold out much hope of that happening.
What I am wondering is this: Would it be possible for an organization, such as the ACLU, to file a class-action lawsuit against the administration on behalf of We, the People?
I would gladly sign as co-plaintiff. I'm sure many people would. Hopefully, some BFers are attorneys and can address this issue.
Subject: Tom Paine Would Be Proud
THANK YOU, Buzzie, for your editorial. TP would, indeed, be proud!
Subject: State Of The Union: End Of An Era?
The confirmation of Samuel Alito on the same day as the death of Coretta Scott King is truly ominous. Alito stands for the undoing of everything King lived for.
Subject: Re-listen to Mike Malloy's Show of Jan 30th
Hi BuzzFlash Readers,
Every reader of this website should re-listen to The Mike Malloy show from January 30, 2006.
He goes ballistic at the Democrats who dare to still call themselves Democrats after the Alito Cloture Vote!
Again, listen to the show and get as peeved as Mike!
It can be found at White Rose Society
Or, if you have joined the Air America Premium, go to:
Subject: Senator, Define Extraordinary Circumstance?
Define extraordinary circumstance? I am in the process of calling all the Democrats who voted for cloture and all the so-called moderate Republicans to ask them to come out with a list of the “extraordinary circumstances” that would have to happen to get Alito OFF the Supreme Court. “Extraordinary circumstances” are the only reason the Group of 14 would vote for a filibuster. You can’t take him off for rulings so he can help give Bush dictatorial powers and he can help overturn every piece of progressive legislation and he can declare anything a Democratic president does un-constitutional. So I am asking them what the hell is an extraordinary enough circumstance to get him off the Supreme Court. I have already called Senators Snowe and Collins. I will call the rest when I get back from my water aerobics and every time I punch the water I will see their faces. Here is my message to them;
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Why 18 Democrats Betrayed Our Nation and the Constitution
Karl Rove probably has scared the 18 Democrats, who betrayed us on Monday by telling them he would expose which Indian tribes contributed to their campaigns. Or that he would see to it that none of them received any money for their pet projects in their states. Landrieu was probably told that money for New Orleans would never ever be forthcoming if she voted for a filibuster. Of course, she’s only been waiting seven months for help in the clean up or money for new levees. But perhaps Rove told her the WH and Congress would get busy with helping Louisiana if they could trust her to vote against filibustering.
Robert Byrd, after writing a book called “Losing America” in which he stated very bluntly that George W. Bush thought he was a king. Byrd said that he didn’t like Bush’s hubris or his notion of an imperial presidency. He also said that the White House thought they controlled the purse strings of the Appropriations committee, and that he believed and knew that function was strictly the duty of the Congress.
After proudly proclaiming he had personally stood up to several presidents, now, all of a sudden, he betrays the Constitution. Byrd, better than any other senator, knew Bush & Co. wanted to trash the Constitution and make congress obsolete. I truly and fully expected him to want to filibuster and pull out his copy of the Constitution that he carries in his suit breast pocket and proudly proclaim, “No man is above the law.” So what happened to Byrd?
He must really be afraid of Rove, Bush & Cheney. My theory is that Rove told him they were running someone against him in November, and if he didn’t want to be trashed as Max Cleland and Tom Daschle were trashed by running ads of them and Osama together, he’d better not vote to filibuster. The other 15 were, no doubt, threatened with exposure of their connections with special interests. And just watch Rove go after the 25 who were brave enough to honor their oath to uphold the Constitution. Just wait. Rove will get ‘em.
Subject: Senate Votes Selves Off Island
Ah, the smell of truth in the morning! I for one am relieved that the whole Alito thing has exposed the Senate for what it is - a corporate club of bad actors with plastic hair and jammed colons full of cash. Except for the senators smart enough to LISTEN to their base and vote accordingly, the Democrats have weakened themselves and thrown in with the Republicans to give up their power as a CO-EQUAL branch of government. Buh-bye Senate! YOU are the weakest link!
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Donkey Albatross
Well at least we can now throw off this albatross of a Democratic party and move on with creating something genuinely progressive for our futures. We have the smarts, we have the passion, and we have the power of the best of human nature on our side. Free of the dead weight of the phoney embedded Dems, we can either change the party or create a new one. How about running a Gold Star Family for Peace member against every DINO for starters?
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: There was a solution
I have been a loyal reader of BuzzFlash for 5 years or more, and I always find it encouraging to read the mailbag. There are so many bright, articulate and constructive people who submit their opinions and most of them, like me, are tired of the Democrats' inability to stand up for anything, their spinelessness, etc. I have to confess---and I know that you all may throw stones my way--(and after some 20 years of registering as a Democrat, I gave it up, registered independent)--that the American people blew it. The perfect candidate was Ralph Nader. He wanted a living wage for Americans, he wanted universal health care, alternative energy, equality and justice for all. Instead, the Democratic party obstructed him at every turn...tying him up in court in his attempts to just be on the election ballots. I find it ironic that, finally, many readers are deciding to give up on the official Democratic Party too.
There is a way to organize. It can be done. There can be a point person in every state and in the larger cities. We can get rid of every incumbent if we choose to. Here is my idea---go to the www.meetup.com website. Sign up a group---call it BuzzFlash. Some of you may already have joined some of their groups--meetings are monthly or you can do weekly, I think. Reactions? Opinions?
P.S. I tried to phone my pathetic Senator, Ben Nelson, (Nebraska) yesterday. The line was always busy. Some of us here think he should just move on over to the GHP. He votes with Bush over 90% of the time.
Subject: Bush's speech tonight
When you’re listening to President Bush speak, think about what his previous proposals have really meant to working people:
When Bush talks about health insurance, remember the disastrous Medicare drug prescription scam his team in Congress pushed through. It has stranded tens of thousands of seniors without needed medications and forced some 20 states to declare public health emergencies because President Bush put the interest of drug companies ahead of the interests of seniors.
When the president talks about health care costs, remember that he and his allies in Congress refused to allow Medicare to negotiate with drug companies, costing taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars.
When Bush talks about taxes, remember the huge tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans he and congressional leaders already passed and the ever-growing debt they are leaving to our children and grandchildren.
When Bush talks about opportunity, remember how the income disparity is growing as wages fall and the cost of living rises for working families.
When Bush talks about education, remember that he and leaders in Congress have pushed higher education out of reach for many by cutting student loans.
When Bush talks about keeping America safe, remember his administration’s utter failure to rescue desperate victims of Hurricane Katrina.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Voting Fraud
The single most important issue facing our democracy today is voting fraud made simple with easily hacked computers. There is talk of the Republican majority being ousted in the upcoming elections. How is this going to happen if the vote is manipulated again?? It used to be a catch-phrase "that every vote counts." I can no longer say that with conviction. Some folks are hoping Al Gore runs again, but bottom line is: it won't matter who runs if the election is stolen again.
Why are Democrats not outraged by what has happened in the last two elections? Why is this not a front page issue? Sure there have been a few articles and a book or two written, but no one seems to care.
Kerry & Edwards promised us that every vote would be accounted for in the last presidential election. They said that they had literally thousands of lawyers willing to work pro bono if there was any question of voting fraud. I actually believed them. For God's sake, if this issue is not dealt with, what difference will it make who runs, if the votes are not tallied honestly.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Alito Opposition - Can It Be Gauged?
BUZZ, is there any way to gauge the opposition to the Alito confirmation with any degree of accuracy? Is it possible to find out or estimate the number of calls, e-mails and letters to our congress calling for the filibuster?.
I'm just extremely curious as to what degree the American people have been betrayed again. I guess I really want to know if we are in the minority and are swimming against a rising tide.
Thanks for all you've done for our nation!
Subject: Telephone Calls
Yesterday (1/30) in my own last-ditch effort to try to stop Alito's confirmation I started telephoning the offices of Repub and Dem senators.
When I called Senator Byrd's office I was informed he would be voting FOR Alito. When I asked why, I was told (and I quote):
"Because this is a conservative christian state"
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: What Can We Do Vs. What Will We Do?
So the GOP has packed the court to demolish the America Americans have worked generations to build and protect.
We wrote letters, made phone calls, faxed, and emailed our elected representatives.
And yet, they were still able to use the 'democratic process' against our Democracy.
Now compare and contrast what we did, to what the GOP did.
They worked years to dismantle the media through mergers and changes in the law and then made it compliant.
Then they sent a herd of paid operatives to block the 2000 vote. Which we then responded to with more letter writing, phone calls, faxes, and emails.
And then the invasion of Iraq, the 2002 'elections,' the 2004 'election' etc.
And throughout the whole damn thing there were citizens warning us that if we weren't careful, we would lose the Supreme Court, which we did.
And what do you think they will do with the Court now that it is as compliant as the media? Torture will be policy, privacy will be a thing of the past, and the boy will be king (if not him, then his nephew).
We are better than this.
The country built on liberal principles deserves better than this.
What will it take for us to physically confront these lying, unaccountable criminals?
We march in the streets they avoid.
We shout on channels they don't watch.
We speak a language of fairness and lucidity they refuse to hear, much less understand.
Is it the fault of our elected representatives, if we don't force our GOP neighbors and friends to see and hear and understand what they are so casually throwing away? When our elected officials (virtually) stand alone against an army of self-righteous fools?
The GOP has multitudes of the 'FOX faithful' who will do their bidding, regardless of how it will affect their lives, or their children's lives.
As the 'Constitutional faithful', what will we do to combat them?
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Cloture Vote
You still have not singled out the Dems who voted to end debate on Alito. You really need to do this to hold them to account for their actions. If they feel there is no political price to pay for being complicit in Alito's confirmation, they will not change. You have power. Please use it. Instead of just writing a catchy headline and then linking to news articles that others have written, this might require you to do a little work. If you are not responsive to this repeated request, I will lose faith in your organization, and I will make donations and seek my info. about what's going on elsewhere.
[BuzzFlash Note: We are not an activist site, but we lead with information.]
P.S. OK, after looking closer, I see a piece about which way a particular senator voted. This is good. Now, instead of letting this roll away as new headlines push it off the main screen, you should keep it in an area of prominence on the main page. Additionally, you should join forces with other progressive organizations to keep the issue alive, and to encourage your readers to exert pressure on their reps. so there is some political cost. Who knows whether the dems would have lost the confirmation battle one way or the other, but it is unforgivable that no battle was ever mounted. There is only so much BuzzFlash can do to change the behavior of Republicans--probably not much--your constituent audience knows they're corrupt. But you can make a difference within our own party. That is the only place you guys can hope to make a difference. Choose an issue, organize, don't let it go. Please.
Subject: Maybe of interest
Every Dem on the Gang of 14 voted for cloture so it appears these Dems were more interested in saving the Filibuster from the nuclear option than standing up against Frist and Alito, although if Frist had enough votes to nuke the filibuster, at least it is preserved and the Gang of 14 agreement will live on to prevent the Dems from acting like a true opposition party. If Alito didn't fit the definition of "extraordinary" than who would?
Does anyone really know for sure if Frist has enough votes to nuke the filibuster or is this just a bluff that keeps working at the Dems' expense?
Also the Gang of 14 agreement was broken the minute Bush selected Alito without consulting with them.
R. J. Crane
[BuzzFlash Note: The Gang of 14 included Democrats Joseph I. Lieberman; Robert C. Byrd; E. Benjamin Nelson; Mary Landrieu; Daniel Inouye; Mark Pryor; and Ken Salazar. They all voted yes for cloture. Some interesting sections of the Gang of 14 agreement: "Future Nominations. Signatories will exercise their responsibilities under the Advice and Consent Clause of the United States Constitution in good faith. Nominees should be filibustered only under extraordinary circumstances, and each signatory must use his or her own discretion and judgment in determining whether such circumstances exist. ... We believe that, under Article II, Section 2, of the United States Constitution, the word “Advice” speaks to consultation between the Senate and the President with regard to the use of the President’s power to make nominations. We encourage the Executive branch of government to consult with members of the Senate, both Democratic and Republican, prior to submitting a judicial nomination to the Senate for consideration."]
Subject: Stop CNN from becoming Fox News
This is what I sent to CNN President after receiving an e-mail from MoveOn. Spread the word about this MoveOn Petition and a potential reply to send.
Tom Wieliczka, To CNN's Inept, "FAUX Replication" Management,
So, Progressives don't get worked up about anything, do they?? Is that why I am on the computer for TWELVE HOURS a day searching for the unreported news? Is that why I use Avant Browser to open up multiple windows at one time of Progressive websites that give me more news and knowledge than your inept network ever gives me? I suggest you check out:
And Many Many More "Internet News" Websites!! So CNN, Don't Tell Me That Progressives Could Give A Crap About The News!!! Perhaps you should start reading the news from these websites and notice how foolish your network looks to people who are concerned about their country and how we have become a Communist Country with a Dictator!!. OK - - I'll let you get back to your "normal reporting" now - - about The Aruba Story, The Missing Bride and many other Totally Worthless "News" Stories!!
Subject: I read Byrd's speech
Sen. Byrd has his rosy glasses on again or is completely delusional if he thinks this man will even attempt to reign in Bush. It isn't going to happen. Byrd didn't vote for Clarence Thomas or Thurgood Marshall. Interesting, considering the high minded crap that is in the speech. Obviously the Senate, including Byrd, wants an ultra conservative court. He says he wants a conservative court in the speech and he also thinks he can hold Alito to what he claims Alito said in private meetings. My guess is Alito will do whatever George W. Bush wants him to do. Roberts has certainly toed the line for Bush. Scalia was confirmed 98-0 so I guess he did vote for Scalia. Throw away those rosy-colored glasses because Byrd and others have sold you down the river.
Speak up or they assume you agree!!! ABB
How is everyone on this joyful day? I'm still in utter amazement. Not that Alito was confirmed, but I thought even the Democrats couldn't stoop to that level of cowardice. I'm finished with them. Switching to Independent and I saw a poll that said many democrats are. I think that's a good thing. It's long since time to face the fact that the dems aren't going to wake up. I'm telling you, as much as I know how spineless they have been, I'm still shocked that they could just let this happen when it didn't have to happen. As Al Gore once said, it's all about the Supreme Court. I guess this crop of democrats doesn't agree.
But thanks for posting all the traitors' names. It made me feel a little better to email all the chicken dempublicans and give them a piece of my mind. We all worked so hard. My fingertips are disappearing from typing so much. My ears are ringing from talking to Senate staff members. I'm sure yours are, too. I'm also having terrible awake nightmares about another vacancy coming up during dumbya's reign of terror. Not a happy day. But we tried.
Anyway, a lady who called Randi Rhodes last night had a good bumper sticker idea:
Pin the Spine on the Donkey.
Works for me.
I will not listen to the SOTU. I cannot look at those gloating, bloated, white, red meat, right wing bast@$ds without vomiting. To anyone who suggested that the dems walk out of the SOTU or turn their backs to Bush, ask yourselves, do you really think they'll do it?
Keep your chins up. And thanks Buzz for all the info, action alerts, encouragement, etc. You keep us going. And I know that can't be easy.
Barbara in NYC
Subject: Judiciary Hearings Next Week Re: NSA
Let's take some of the passion for the filibuster fight and use it for the next pressing issue:
The eight Democratic Senators who sit on the Judiciary Committee (Leahy ranking member, and Biden, Durbin, Feingold, Feinstein, Kennedy, Kohl, Schumer) bear a great responsibility: to ensure that the hearings on the NSA surveillance do not become a mere sham or whitewash, or simply provide a soap-box for the administration's obfuscating and dangerous views of its own conduct. Please urge them to ask tough questions, and to follow up on answers, evasions, contradictions, etc.
I wrote this letter to Sen. Kennedy, since he's my home senator, and I forwarded a different version to Sen. Feingold. In my view, Sen. Feingold, Sen. Schumer, and Sen. Durbin are potentially the toughest questioners of this group. I called all their offices today and told them this is a fight that must be waged for the rule of law and for keeping this country from further sliding into a monarchy or a dictatorship.
COPY OF LETTER TO SEN. KENNEDY, Jan. 30, 2006
Dear Senator Kennedy:
Thank you for your leadership in opposing the nomination of Judge Alito to the Supreme Court. Long-time Democrats are grateful for strong stands on core values. To oppose an extremist, radically right-wing judge should be a core value for Democrats. To oppose an overreaching Executive that mistakenly claims quasi-monarchical powers for itself without oversight by judicial or legislative branches -- that should also be a core value for Democrats. And long-time Democrats expect their party to fight, and not to back down anymore.
In the proud traditions of Massachusetts, you and Senator Kerry did fight for individual rights and liberties, and the rule of law. Thank you.
But it is a pity that the Democratic Party did not lay the groundwork for a more effective challenge on this fight. It must do a better job next week so that the Judiciary hearings on domestic spying and executive power do not become a sham or whitewash -- so that they do not simply offer the Administration another public soap box for its obfuscating and dangerous claims. Democratic Senators must use their time well.
In a post on www.huffingtonpost.com, Prof. Alan Dershowitz criticized the Democrats for not asking tough enough follow-up questions at the Alito nomination hearings as trial lawyers would. Please follow the practice of experienced litigators, and be prepared with the toughest possible questions and follow-ups.
In that spirit, I direct you and other Senators to the GlennGreenwald blog, where today he posted a series of 10 questions with sub-questions. He has been doing yeoman work on researching the NSA program, and he is the one who brought to light the administration's rejection of the DeWine proposal in 2002 that FISA be amended -- presumably because the administration wanted no oversight at all. It would rather claim unlimited executive authority and a unitary executive in an interminable "war" on terror. That would constitute a permanent assault on Americans' fundamental rights and liberties -- and is redolent of unhappy Europe in the 1930s sliding toward disaster.
Please refer to these questions as samples and distribute them as you deem fit. I provide the links to the two posts at http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.com, called "Questioning the Attorney General." The first, posted on Jan. 30, 2006, at 7:04 contains ques. 1-5. The second is http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.com/2006/01/questions-6-10.html
All the issues are interconnected. The Democrats must fight on them all! Next week, repeat loud and clear and simply, over and over again so that the TV shows will broadcast, as Former Vice-President Gore ringingly declared on Martin Luther King Day--
Please figure out how to get this into a sound-bite, maybe, "On your theory, what can't the President do?"
Thank you for your efforts. Today's vote -- with so many Democratic defections -- is very distressing. But it's necessary to fight the next battle WISELY, STRONGLY, and WELL.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Reader's Comment
To The Editor, International Herald Tribune. February 1, 2006.
Message to Houston ….. Exxon Mobil posts record 2005 profit of US$36.13 billion.
On the back of that result, you’d think the world’s largest company would have no trouble satisfying its social obligations by paying the US$5 billion judgement still outstanding 17 years after the Exxon Valdez disaster.
Exxon has the dubious distinction of not only being the world’s largest company, but also its most reprehensible.
Subject: Feds Up Interest Rates
A living example of how greed trumps human need; always has, always will, at least until (lo and behold) we the people change the world - that it forever match the greatness of us, its people, nobody left out. Best we start now, too, because the lives of our children are at stake, what with global warming, wars and related stuff. What not to do? Give up.
A BuzzFlash Reader
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