February 1, 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 FEBRUARY 1, 2006 BUZZFLASH MAILBAG. CLICK HERE FOR PART 1
Subject: Help Balance the Ledger?
Message to Democrats: It’s the pre-war lying and half-truths, stupid!
The one thing Americans will not tolerate is being lied to. Conscious, clever and cunning lies from a President and his administration are an abomination to America’s concept of a free and open government of and by the people.
The tipping point for support of the preemptive invasion of Iraq hinged on the infamous and now discredited “16 words” related to Niger uranium and Iraq’s attempt to purchase it in Mr. Bush’s State of the Union address in 2002. An Iraqi nuclear threat, possibly linked to Osama Bin Laden was beyond the pale for Americans, and rightly so, had it been true. In the gamesmanship of fear mongering, it was the ultimate wild card. Raising the visible specter of mushroom clouds, remember, is what carried Lyndon Johnson into the White House against Barry Goldwater in 1964.
Biological weapons and nerve gas attack were the other images raised by Mr. Bush in his war cry to the nation. It was all presented as being so utterly unquestionable. Unfortunately, Colin Powell carried the same message to the United Nations, and this was probably the real “slam-dunk” in the minds of Americans and the congress on the truth of the claims and the need for war.
It was all make-up, a complete fabrication, a spook’s slight-of-hand illusion, and reporting it as being unquestionable was a scurrilous lie. What has subsequently been born out is that those very individuals with the most information on the intelligence were the ones most skeptical of the claims made by Mr. Bush and his administration. From the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence chairman, Sen. Bob Graham, who voted “no” on going to war, to high officials in the State Department, to the counter-terrorism Czar in the White House, Richard Clarke, to Mr. Wilson and a four star Marine General sent to Niger to check out the uranium claim, to the head of the International Atomic Energy Association, Mohammed ElBaradei: to the multiple on-the-ground spies who had gone into Iraq and reported back of finding no weapons: all were dismayed, confounded and outraged by Mr. Bush’s solid and unquestioned claims of an imminent danger and threat posed to the United States by Iraq and Saddam Hussein.
Omitting critical intelligence that completely refutes or calls into serious doubt other claims is like selling a used car with a bad engine and transmission but a brilliant body and interior, and not informing the buyer. It is essentially a lie. And Americans know it; at least the majority does so now.
As Democrats struggle for a unified voice in the upcoming mid-term elections they could do no better than to beat the drum of a double-dealing administration and president who falsely led us into war on a second front. Unlike the necessary invasion of Afghanistan, Iraq was a war of choice, a naked aggression with possible personal motive by an obsessed president who turned a blind eye and deaf ear to contradictory assessments by knowledgeable men and women. And, to the whole world, the United States of America was made to look the fool, or worse: Not to mention the death, maiming, destruction, strained military and bankrupt treasury that are the fruits of this war.
So, for Democrats in the coming year, the courageous, plain and simple message should be a reminder to all of the absolute deception and arrogance that led us into this terrible morass: It was the lies and half-truths, stupid.
John R. Bomar
Subject: Morning Pot Pourri
Good morning, all,
I've so much on my mind!
Rest in peace, and, thank you for your bravery and convictions in your late husband's memory, Mrs. Coretta Scott King.
Rest in peace, and, thank you for your insightful humor in your works, Ms. Wendy Wasserstein.
To Marjorie Swanson from Kenosha, WI: I couldn't have expressed it better than you have in the two posts you submitted in the January 31 mailbag. You're my kind of people!! :)
To everyone out there so disgusted with the Democrats who had not voted for the filibuster of Samuel Alito: I know it's aggravating to get constant requests for donations to the DNC in the mail (and, I've gotten plenty myself, and I haven't sent a dime to them since the '04 Presidential election). But, I have to wonder at least this: I'm reminded of a book with a title along the lines of "getting along with difficult people." There's a motivational speaker named Loretta LaRoche who'd said it better: Why can't the difficult people get along with those who aren't difficult? Yes, those Democrats who said "Yes" to Alito's confirmation should be taken to task; yet, I have to wonder if these Senators have been threatened at all (especially come election time if these Democratic senators should campaign. I mean, would any one of us put it past the opposition to pull what they pulled on Max Cleland?)
And, don't get me started on those who call themselves "Christians" and will likely benefit from laws that 18 states want to pass to prevent health care workers from being at least reprimanded or worse, terminated, for refusing to perform their jobs due to their so-called "personal beliefs." I feel these "personal beliefs" are nothing but value judgements.
One line of the president's (yes, small "p") State of the Union address got my blood boiling, the one about judges not legislating from the bench. Puh-leeze! A code phrase for "abolish gay marriage, abolish abortion, and dismantle all hard-fought civil rights." These same people wouldn't give two sticks about "legislating from the bench" if said legislation pushed an agenda that THEY preferred, and, we who log on to BuzzFlash know this so well.
I pray for a major backlash against this narrow-minded, dark-hearted, and ignorant nonsense that is spouted from the mouths of those who think they are better than those of us who really DO LOVE OUR COUNTRY instead of those who JUST LOVE THIS PRESIDENT (makes me think of a C-Span caller on the Republican line who just "loves" Bush because of what he "said about the gays." JUST STOP IT, OK? If this so-called president shipped YOUR job overseas or took away YOUR health care or took away federal funding for YOUR childrens' public schools, would you still LOVE him??)
Thanks for reading. And, despite so much depressing news, I hope your day goes reasonably well.
Subject: Let The White House Know How You Feel
Send Email to: email@example.com
Subject: Whither thou goes on oil? (Sent to NY Times)
To the Editor:
There's a real disconnect between the Times' editorial and front pages today. Your lead editorial laments the fact that President Bush devoted only 2-1/2 minutes to energy policy in his State of the Union address. Yet the front-page headline focused on that aspect of the speech, as if it were paramount. Maybe your news editor and editorial-page editor ought to get together over lunch and work things out.
Like the Bush administration, the Times seems to be at war with itself.
Robert Lockwood Mills
Subject: Get Katie off the air (sent to NBC et al.)
She needs to be on Fox for what she just did with John Kerry. I know she needs to be rough, but he is correct. She and others do not give the opposition the same treatment. Tim Russert is now blaming Democrats for not working together.
Bush made the mess, Bush must fix the mess. Why should Democrats be faulted for not fixing Bush's huge mess?
Speak up or they assume you agree!!! ABB
Subject: Cindy Sheehan's Arrest 1/31/06
Dear Fellow BuzzFlash Readers:
Surely, by now, all of you have read/heard of Ms. Sheehan's arrest at the Capitol before the State of The Union speech.
It seems to me, as to all of you I am sure, that this arrest is the perfect talking point of how the Patriot Act and Bush's dictatorship is progressing.
I have seen pictures of Ms. Sheehan being 'escorted' out of the House gallery, and it was a mite over-reaction, to say the least. One would think all the security would have had to do was to ask her to zip up her coat and leave it at that.
If you look at the pictures, all her shirt has on it is: 2,245 (and as she states in her blog ... "Dead--How Many More?").
Looks to me like Ms. Sheehan was PREEMPTIVELY removed from the gallery in order not to 'cause a disruption' ... whereas it was security that caused the disruption, bringing attention TO Ms. Sheehan being there ...
... which, I am sure was not appreciated by those who wanted the world to drool over another one of Bush's dog-and-pony shows.
When ARE the people in this country going to wake up! I have the feeling too many are not worried about the leash getting shorter and shorter, as long as they're able to still 'walk around.'
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Matthews Calls Sheehan "Cartoon" on Olbermann's "Countdown"
Letter sent to Keith Olbermann:
In Chris Matthews' appearance on Countdown last night prior to the SOTU, the Hardball host exhibited a noticeably higher degree of candor than he does on his own show - I like to think it was due to his concern that you would call him to account for any standard-issue disinformation if he tried it.
However, he was allowed to slip in a characterization of American antiwar opinion leaders as "cartoons" and "burlesques" of the "real" movement. He lamented the fact that "average" citizens who oppose the war are not heard more often.
Cindy Sheehan, who he specifically tarred as a fringe extremist, is no cartoon - I've met her and shaken her hand in the middle of a crowd of 300,000 in Washington DC - she is very real. She is also a very normal, earnest citizen with strong opinions and tragic, unassailable rationales for holding and expressing them.
The "average" Americans Matthews pines for are the slugs who sit on their couches and bi**h, but who never stick their necks out for anything. If someone like Mrs. Sheehan does speak out forcefully, media goons like Matthews paint fictional, self-protective back stories of radicalism and mania in order to discredit their exercise of their First Amendment rights, and thereby make their own jobs easier.
In short, you should have called Matthews out on this one, Keith.
PS. Matthews' casting of Cindy Sheehan as a "cartoon" on your show last night is a little like the pot calling the kettle black. Many strongly suspect that Matthews is in fact Warner Brothers child star Tweety Bird, whose big yellow head outgrew his wire birdcage years ago. Please investigate.
Subject: Gov. Kaine's Response
I am a registered Independent, who was disappointed that BuzzFlash did not publish any reference to Gov. Kaine's response to the SOTU. I thought he did an excellent job in speaking to the need for a bipartisan approach to working on issues important to the American people. I realize that is not going to happen under this president, but I think it certainly will resonate with voters in the next election.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Freedom of Expression?
I should state up front that I am not a Cindy Sheehan fan. I respect her loss and respect her right to speak out as she sees fit. I don’t agree with some of what she says but as an American I respect her right to say it.
There should be nothing but disgust for those on the right who would smear this woman in their attempt to stifle her message. The mother of a dead soldier has the right to speak her piece if nothing else. She, with the sacrifice of her son, has earned the right to put forth what she thinks. As an American I have the right to disagree with her, and in some respects I do.
What kind of a country have we become when an American citizen, the mother of a young man who gave his life for this country, is arrested for wearing a tee shirt that doesn’t meet with universal approval?
There are a lot of offensive tee shirts. Ms. Sheehan’s tee shirt seems to have just given the number of Americans killed in Iraq and asked “How many more must die?” Where is the offense there?
Those who smear Ms. Sheehan and would find anything she did offensive at this point will find reasons to abhor what she did by showing up at the State of the Union Speech wearing an offensive garment. There is nothing on the face of the earth that Ms. Sheehan could do at this point of which these people would approve.
However, there may be a lot of us out here who didn’t care much for her message or her style that will be a lot more supportive of her in the future. Real Americans are not in favor of the curtailing of our freedom of speech. The morons who arrested Ms. Sheehan for wearing a tee shirt may very well have done her a very big favor. I suspect she will now have more fans than she did before. And she will certainly get more chances to get her message out.
Even this idiotic administration should be smart enough to know that you don’t marginalize people by martyring them.
Capitol police arrest activist Sheehan (Reuters/Yahoo)
Marjorie L. Swanson
Subject: Cindy Sheehan
For shame! While one mother of a soldier killed in Iraq was being honored by the President and Congress at the State of the Union speech, another mother, whose son was killed in that very same war, was being disrespected by the President, and was being forcefully ejected from the House of Representatives because she disagrees with the premise for the war.
Every American should be ashamed of the treatment of Cindy Sheehan. Both those mothers feel the same amount of grief and sorrow at the loss of their sons. If I were the mother honored by the President, I would be speaking out today in support of Mrs. Sheehan's right to speak her mind.
I hope all Americans think that what was done to Mrs. Sheehan is inexcusable. To have a citizen ousted from the halls of Congress because she is a suspected "PROTESTER" is absolutely unconstitutional!
Having watched the SOTU last night (in the company of like-minded people), I am more discouraged than ever about the real state of our Union. GW's hypocrisy was breathtaking; he bragged about every failure he's made in office (which includes everything he's ever done), and promised more goodies that nobody but the already-very-rich will ever see happen.
And those of us who oppose him and all of his works and pomps have, for all practical purposes, no representation at the national level.
We can form a new party (the name "Constitution Party" comes to mind), and/or we can work to keep the states in responsible hands. Kansas, for one, is already working to make sure elderly citizens get their prescription drugs, in spite of the Bush give-away to the pharmaceutical industry (which they call Medicare Part D). Our governor is a Democrat. Big surprise.
The only encouraging moment in the evening was Gov. Kaine's Democratic reply, which exploded all of Bush's lies and obfuscations without descending to the Republicans' abysmal level of "discourse."
The question still remains: WHAT DO WE DO NOW?
Subject: A Letter Sent to Hardball and MSNBC:
Chris... I am not certain what has occurred recently, but your show has become just another media platform for disinformation to the detriment of the public trust you serve. You typically present a "fairly balanced" show, however recent topics, guests, and actions present a troubling trend. It is one thing to offer a point of view for debate...it is quite another to be a champion for a position, particularly an Administration as flawed as this one.
Besides the astonishing comparisons you made relative to Michael Moore, we have this bizarre statement on the President, "I like him. Everybody sort of likes the president, except for the real whack-jobs, maybe on the left." Yet the facts would seem to support the view that this Bush is the most "unpopular" president since Nixon. What is it you are saying to the public?
As another example, pre-SOTU you pontificated that Bush should, "Won't they say something very upbeat and bucking up, like, "Isn't she a great woman," and then they'll put the camera right on Ted Kennedy. And show how he was the guy that molested her, basically." Again Chris, I'm sorry, but I fail to see that as journalistic integrity.
Why not disclose to the public and discuss the implications of how GOP members of the Judiciary Committee violated ethics by coaching the nominee and then rushing to his defense? After all, wasn't the public trust "molested" by that? Yet the resounding sound bite was that only a Democrat would pre-judge a judge.
Better yet, why not comment on Tom DeLay's grand return to the people's chamber that everybody acknowledges, except for the real whack-jobs on the right, that he has so disgraced. You could have the NBC camera just pan to a smirking DeLay when George "The Uniter" Bush had the audacity to offer this, "A hopeful society expects elected officials to uphold the public trust. Honorable people in both parties are working on reforms to strengthen the ethical standards of Washington – and I support your efforts. Each of us has made a pledge to be worthy of public responsibility – and that is a pledge we must never forget, never dismiss, and never betray."
Oh that's right, you just played softball with the Honorable and humble Mr. DeLay. On that note, there was a recent event that was mysteriously absent from your softball expose. While you were fawning over Mr. Bush's "strong and stirring performance," Mr. Bush had already removed the chief prosecutor, Noel Hillman, from the Jack Abramoff scandal case. Since the focus to date has been on Abramoff's link to DeLay, maybe you could offer an opinion as to Mr. Bush's decision to remove Mr. Hillman from the case. It would seem that common sense would tell us that since Mr. Hillman has pursued this investigation for 2 years, this action could seriously weaken the prosecution's efforts. In most everyone's opinion, a President who was indeed concerned about public responsibility and trust would not take action to disrupt or influence in any manner a case of this magnitude. And a case that so blatantly betrays the American people and dishonors our house. I would think that it would be in the public interest to hear with exacting detail the particulars of this case.
Imagine for a minute if this occurred during the Clinton Administration. However, since it is a congressional election year, maybe it would be in the best interest of the country to find a way to "delay" the proceedings. I trust not!
And yet, to listen to the media and the GOP, it is those on the other side of the aisle who have politicized the American judicial process. I have turned the channel, and I truly hope that for the sake of the country America will turn its back on this propaganda, stand up and seek the truth to which they are entitled, and turn a corner toward a different path.
Barry L. Baker
Subject: Wear a t-shirt like Cindy's
Everyone should print and wear a shirt like Cindy's. Can't you see them all over the Capitol building--in the lobby, offices, cafeteria, restrooms, and hallways? With the photo-op of the grieving military family planned for last night, no way could they allow Cindy to sit in the Gallery, so they forced her to leave. Support Cindy--get your shirt.
Subject: Cindy Sheehan Arrest
Cindy Sheehan's arrest pretty much says it all about the State of the Union! Loud and clear!
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Dem Ideas
I am sick of hearing EVERYONE repeat the GOP lie that the Democrats have no 'plans' or 'ideas.'
First off, if the GOP makes the claim, it is a lie.
Secondly, the GOP claim that Dems have no 'response' to 'GOP reforms.'
Since when can the word reform be used to describe what the GOP has done to this country?
They have handed the job of regulating industry to industry.
They have siphoned taxpayers' money to fund their religious groups, their think tanks, and their contractors.
They have damaged US foreign policy AND our military by hiring their mercenaries to ignore the Geneva Conventions.
They have undermined our courts, the integrity of our elections and our government by selling positions of authority to the highest bidder.
And the GOP does all these things NOT for the betterment of the country for this or future generations of Americans but for the sole purpose of twisting existing law to benefit their party.
BUT not for the people who vote GOP.
Any benefits from these 'GOP reforms' are reserved ONLY for those who donate enough money to buy their way in.
Past generations of Americans have already fought the fight against all these 'GOP reforms.'
By using a few choice words, we can re-frame this discussion from: "the Dems have no responses to GOP 'reform'"
To: "Dem ideas will rebuild America destroyed or weakened by the GOP."
Here are some examples:
GOP lobbyists hire inexperienced "friends" for leadership positions in government; Americans will replace them with the most qualified.
GOP inaction and poor leadership destroyed New Orleans and the Mississippi gulf region; Americans will re-build it.
GOP religious lobbying has destroyed the separation of church and state; Americans will re-build it.
GOP defense contractor lobbyists have weakened the U.S. Military; Americans will re-build it.
GOP media corporations have weakened journalistic standards; Americans will re-build them.
GOP corporate lobbyists have weakened checks and balances in government; Americans will strengthen them.
GOP corporate lobbyists have twisted the Constitution; Americans will protect it.
Try it yourself; it's fun.
A BuzzFlash Reader
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