February 16, 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: Cheney's Hunting Accident
Let's see---what is it the NRA always says? Oh yeah: It's not the gun, it's the shooter.
R. M. Johnson
Subject: Breaking! Cheney Distracts With a Beer & Shotgun
Amidst all of the hoopla surrounding the Cheney-unloads-a-shotgun-round-into-an-elderly- man's-head-and-chest-while-wasted scandal, let's not forget:
Enron; treason and Valerie Plame and jeopardizing National Security; NSA and spying on citizens without a warrant; Able Danger; detaining citizens without charges and due process; serious threats against Whistleblowers with no protection; veterans' benefits slashed; major increase in world terrorism; Terri Schiavo and the Bush/GOP intrusion into your soul; a record national surplus exchanged for record national debt; unchecked Executive power during the most secretive administration in history; Halliburton receives no-bid contracts worth billions and still manages to steal by overcharging the government; Halliburton subsidiary, KBR, is building concentration camps here in the USA; let's not forget Katrina, I'll say it again, Katrina; how about this, Saudi Arabia (the homeland of the 911 terrorists) now controls the top 6 USA ports (imagine Japan controlling our ports after Pearl Harbor, while the war was still going on); then we have royalties for Big Oil on top of record profits for Big Oil; just as good, Bush sets up Big Pharma with a monopoly; 2000 Supreme Court appoints Bush president overriding the majority of Americans’ votes; 2004 record number of reports of presidential election fraud in Ohio and Florida; Downing Street Memo & White House memo (the White House lies us into war); "The Constitution is nothing but a goddamned piece of paper," said Bush; global warming; Abu Ghraib and state-sanctioned torture; mega-financial support for the world's most notorious dictators; skyrocketing health care cost at home; America's international image and reputation shredded to bits; a woman’s right to choose, well, blessed be me, I’m a man; multiple attempts to rob Social Security funds; the un-PATRIOT ACT; a propaganda investigation against the White House presently underway; oh, I almost forgot, Iraq.
And, finally, just one question: where the f*ck is Osama bin Laden
Subject: The Old Bastard Was Blasted!
Let's see now. You shoot up your friend and fix it so you don't have to explain yourself until the next morning. Hmmm. What could explain such errant behavior? Mr. Vice President, can you say "Chappaquiddick?"
Subject: Hope Everybody Heard Paul Hackett on Randi Rhodes
I hope everybody heard Fmr Senate Candidate, Marine Major Paul Hackett interviewed by Randi Rhodes on Air America on Wednesday, Feb 15th.
While Paul was disappointed with having to drop out (ie: "Politics is like watching sausage being made"), he wanted to relay a message to Cheney, after he saw Cheney interviewed on FOX.
Cheney said to FOX: "The image of him falling is something I'll never, ever, be able to get out of his mind. It was one of the worse days of my life."
Paul responded by saying to Randi about Cheney's comment: "Hey Dick, how about the image of over 2,200 dead Americans based on your faulty information. How about that Dick, you got that image in your head when you go to bed at night, Chickenhawk?"
How ironic that Brown did not want to run in the Summer and how back stabbers Schumer and Reid encouraged Paul to run for the Senate. Now these very same senators called Paul's donor base. They told them not to contribute to Paul Hackett and they told Paul to drop out because Brown suddenly had a "You Owe Me" attitude about running for the Senate.
Like Randi said: "That's GOP Behavior. That's sick! Why don't we let the voters decide in a primary and then wrap ourselves in the Democratic candidate? We can't even have a primary? Like Bill Clinton once said, "You fall in love in the primary and you fall in line in the election."
How ironic that the Democratic Party currently has, on their homepage, the following article:
Hey Reid, Schumer, Howard Dean, DCCC and DSCC: Who Is The Next Democratic Vet You Are Going to Stab In The Back from Running For Congress? After all, that seems to be your MO.
Looks like I'm not the only one that is peeved with the Democratic Leadership, as conveyed in this DNC Blog:
[BuzzFlash Note: On the Democrats.org blog, it appears that Howard Dean wasn't part of the team that sacked Hackett. Schumer, Reid, Rahm Emanuel, and the DCCC and DSCC seem to be at the center of it.]
Subject: Make Paul Hackett Run
The cowardly democrats are afraid of men like Paul Hackett, men of their word who mean what they say and are not afraid to fight. Write, call, email and fax Schumer and Reid and tell them we, "the so-called little people," need and want men like Paul Hackett to run and win. We need uncompromising men and women with strength and courage to run for office and win. The days of the middle of the road, cowardly, spineless democrats need to come to an end.
Paul Hackett, get back in the race. Your country needs you, again.
Subject: Which Book Is It? "The Most Dangerous Game" or "Deadeye Dick"?
It was only a matter of time before Deadeye Dick succumbed to the thrill of hunting an actual human being. Granted, he wisely decided to warm up on an urban senior citizen, but soon he'll be on safari in the hinterlands of Iraq or Haiti.
But seriously, Cheney's "Burr" incident - as unfortunate as it is for his hunting buddy - provides innumerable metaphors of stark elegance regarding the nature of the Bush administration. Our VP has at least two drunk-driving convictions on his record, and now he has shot a friend in the head and upper torso. As a long-time hunter I can tell you that this sort of accident is wholly avoidable by exercising a very short list of excruciatingly simple behavioral guidelines - and somebody needs to start asking about the roll alcohol may have played in this incident.
In policy terms this is right in key with the rank irresponsibility with which these guys have run the country. The lesson: if you trust them, you will be disappointed, injured, or killed.
Subject: Bush and Quail
George H. W. Bush had a Vice President Quail [Quayle] who was not a hit.
George W. Bush has a Vice President who cannot hit a Quail.
Subject: Batman To Go After Bin Laden
It's good that the Caped Crusader has decided to take out Bin Laden, since Bush is obviously bored with the notion. In either case Osama is probably safe, since one pursuer is fictional and the other doesn't care.
Subject: Cheney's 30yd Shot Is a Buncha BS
Come On! Cheney really shot his pal from no more than 10 yards! Let's get somebody to do a scientific ballistics test on the effect of a 28 gauge shotgun at Cheney's claim of '30 yards'.
Here's the e-mail that I sent to MSNBC's 'Count Down':
[BuzzFlash Note: Ballistics isn't our strength ... but questioning is. We wonder, too, why the other hunter hasn't been identified or allowed to comment.]
So now one of our brightest hopes for truth in a leader, Paul Hackett, is forced out of politics by his own party. The Democrats are as gutless as the Republicans are heartless, and as stupid as the neo-cons are evil. It's truly time for a new Progressive Party, now! America is going down the drain.
Subject: Paul Hackett
Although the Democratic Party's DLC wing is responsible for Republicans being in power, they are not to blame for Paul Hackett's withdrawal. The only person who can decide whether Paul Hackett withdraws is Paul Hackett. If what Paul Hackett is saying is true and he withdrew for that reason, then Paul Hackett isn't the man we all thought he was.
Big Dave From Queens
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: 2/15/06, A Snapshot of the World,
The commander-in-chief is a nitwit, playing everybody's favorite "The person I'd most like to be chug-a-lugging with at my neighborhood pub." We're told that anyone can make it, "The slate's clean for you from the moment you're born. So it's up to you, whether you make it or not. If you fail, you'll be to blame, and don't expect your government to help." In addition, we're told that 'This is just the way it is, so nothing can be done about it," however bad the existing injustices and inequalities. That's what they (the powers that be) try to sell us, anyway.
Fortunately, there aren't many buyers. Has to do with the lessons of life. What turns out to be real is that wherever one is at any particular moment, whatever one's conditions happen to be, for eighty percent of us, there's bad news ahead, with conditions either staying pretty much the same or getting steadily worse. Then there's the war in Iraq that's already wasted twenty-three hundred of our best and brightest with no end in sight. And pensions are going, going, going, almost gone with the same holding for health care, education, you name it.
Meanwhile our president keeps feeding us his "Trust me. It's the War on Terror, and, by the way, you're better off putting your Social Security up for grabs in the stock market. What the heck. I've got nothing to lose." Anyway, that's what a snapshot taken right now would look like. But soon it will be dawn.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: If Gore Shot His Lawyer, What the Gop Would Have Said (satire)
Proof that today's Conservatives have no character is demonstrated by their response to Cheney's shooting. Suppose for a moment that Al Gore was with his lawyer quail hunting and the man was shot. What would the GOP say?
Brit Hume: Will Gore resign? And why the 22 hour delay? Will Gore face criminal charges? Fox News investigates.
Rush Limbaugh: Gore is a laughingstock. He's such a girlie man who has to hunt quail. He can't even shoot straight.
Sean Hannity: This 22 hour delay is far bigger than anything Nixon ever did. This whole administration is corrupt. This scandal is not going away.
Ken Mehlman: Gore's criminal activities deserve impeachment. He is not above the law. We need a thorough investigation and the appointment of an independent counsel.
Ann Coulter: Gore committed treason. He's had 5 years to catch Osama Bin Laden and has failed. He can't even shoot a quail. The man should be tried and hung.
Michelle Malkin: Bill O'Reilly wants me to say that Gore is a wimp, and that Gore has become unhinged and that Gore is crazy.
Bill O'Reilly: I really believe that Gore shot his lawyer because the lawyer was about to go public with damaging information and emails that Gore was the one who leaked the identity of an undercover CIA agent. I truly believe that.
Headlines across the NY Times and the Washington Post would read "Quail Gate" or "Shooting Gate." Gore would be forced to resign because even if he wasn't drunk and criminally negligent, he must have been drunk because of the delay. NBC, CBS, FOX, and CNN would run this story nonstop.
But I forgot, Cheney is a Republican, so the media will write a nice script for the VP in the end.
Big Dave From Queens
Subject: Is This the Plan?
Does the Democratic Party have a death wish? Do they want to remain the minority party in perpetuity? If such is not the case then they would perhaps like to take a look at what in the hell they are doing. If they're trying to convince folks that they are better at running the country than their less than competent colleagues on the other side of the aisle, they just lost that argument.
The treatment meted out to outspoken Democrat, Iraqi veteran, Paul Hackett has caused a wave of anger that seems like the very last thing a minority party would have wanted to bring forth. Not a good strategy. Actually, it’s kind of stupid.
There are a lot of Democrats and Independents at the grass roots that are angry about the treatment of Paul Hackett. We know that the two political parties in this country pretty much take members of their own party for granted. A Democrat is about as apt to vote for a Republican as the opposite is about to happen. The people that both parties court assiduously are the Independents. When you get these people angry as well as members of your own party you might think your strategy is just a tad flawed. (That was meant to be sarcastic, tad flawed to the Democratic Party is like a little bit rich is to Bill Gates.)
The Democratic Party might also want to think about the fact that a majority of the armed forces usually vote Republican. You just discarded an outspoken vet. Think that is going to gather a whole lot of military votes for the Democratic Party?
Evidently Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer have the right to decide what choices, or lack thereof, the people of Ohio get to make. Some voters in Ohio seem to be incensed by this decision made for them by Senators from Nevada and New York.
I am glad to say that I am an Independent. I suspect there will be an ever larger number of people putting an “I” behind their name as a political designation rather than a “D” or an “R.” If this is the Democrat’s plan they might want to scrap it and start over again.
Marjorie L. Swanson
Subject: Time for a "reality check"
After reading Russ Feingold's speech (printed in truthout) from the Senate floor, I was "treated" to an article on Cheney's claim to declassify currently classified information. Yeah, right -- and I'm free to rob a bank -- in this case, the national treasury -- or shoot one of my "friends." And then refuse to allow prosecution or disclose any further information until I'm good and ready to do so.
I Strongly Oppose Patriot Act Deal (truthout)
I hope Feingold DOES run for President in 2008. I also hope he doesn't climb aboard any small planes in the mean time. (Some of you may think this is a sick -- and stale -- joke on MY part, but remember Paul Wellstone. An imminent threat, as Feingold is rapidly becoming, to the neocon/religiously fanatic coalition.)
Please read his speech (from the Senate floor) in truthout. Did I hear a peep from Hillary? Lieberman? Countless other Dems who seem to have been struck deaf and DUMB? Nope. (Again, I make exceptions for the few Dems who DO stand up for our Constitutional -- whatever is left of them at this point -- rights. That list does NOT include Hillary, Biden, Lieberman, et al.)
Back to my original point: The fact that Cheney (I call him a less polite name when I write to my friends! It starts with "Dick") felt free not to discuss or confess to shooting a hunting buddy (after drinking ONE beer at lunch? Yeah, and I'm Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny combined. HOW STUPID DO THEY THINK WE ARE?? Rhetorical question, obviously. I'll bet every available medical option, treatment-wise, is being used right now to keep Whittington alive. Unless this guy looks like a quail, I can't see how this could have happened. Nor could anyone else who thinks in logical terms. Big cover-up, anyone? Cover-your-ass move? More rhetorical questions.)
Just heard (on NPR) -- I am NOT making this up -- a comment on Cheney, in defense of the delay: "He's a Gary Cooper figure in an Oprah Winfrey world." Yeah, and I'm Joan of Arc. If he gets away with this, we Buzzers had better pool our (relatively pathetic) funds and move, en masse, to Canada.
Barbara Lee (Barb) Blazyk
CHENEY, CHENEY, CHENEY It just goes to show what money and bullying can do for you! He runs this country for the movement (RED PARTY). Have you heard Limpball and Hannity, keeping the poor little kool-aid drinkers INFORMED? I listened to callers to Washington Journal defending DICK and you know where their comments originated.
I want the MSM to investigate who was at the ranch. They are also witnesses. Who was this other woman? She wasn't there to hunt. Notice we haven't heard anything from Lynne Cheney, who has always been at dicky's side. I'd bet the other lady, well you can read between the lines. Don't these people ever tell the truth? The real story is Cheney was there with another woman, and a lot of drinking took place. Tell bush nothing. He's so programmed! Cheney has run this country since the red movement stole our country. I thought you shot birds as they flew through the air, not at the bushes where they are hiding. I think ol dicky got what he aimed at.
[BuzzFlash Note: When facts are scarce, speculation fills the void. Ralph Blumenthal wrote a story naming other guests and piecing together a timeline for the NY Times. AP also has a timeline. Of course, these are not without their problems, either.]
Subject: My own lying eyes!
With the new Abu Ghraib torture pictures that just surfaced, you have to wonder when Bush tells us, "We do not torture." What am I to do? Am I supposed to believe him or my own lying eyes?
I'm Marc Perkel - And I approved this message!
Subject: The Vice President and the Press
This is for the White House Press: As a 52 year old woman and somewhat of a news junkie I just want to tell the press to get over the shooting. I heard about it on Sunday and pretty much got the whole story then. We own our own business and the people here are tired of hearing about it. What is with the press over this, that someone didn't get the scoop first? I have never written anything like this before, but I have started to see over the last few years what games the press plays and I for one am getting tired of it.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: 'Leaving' the Democratic Party
Allow me to respond to the 'BuzzFlash Readers' who claim to be 'leaving' the Democratic Party.
First off, there is no reason to believe those people are actually Democratic. Discrediting liberals has always been one of the GOP's hallmarks, and we know how the freepers flood on-line polls to support their 'world-view.' These letters are just more of the same.
Secondly, if you leave just when your country/Constitution needs you, you weren't really part of the party to begin with.
To belong to the Democratic Party, you have to do some work for yourself; to belong to the GOP, just watch FOX.
FOX tells them who to believe, and what to believe. And FOX helps the GOP faithful maintain their victim-self-image by keeping them fearful of EVERYTHING.
That's all it takes to be in the GOP: just watch FOX; it’s easier than thinking.
Being in the Democratic Party (and being an American citizen), however, takes a lot more.
For instance, having to put up with family members who put the future of their country (and children) in the hands of a PR firm. (How is being considered 'folksy' relevant to leading a nation?)
Also, being in the Democratic Party means staying informed (reading BuzzFlash!); and protecting the country, her people and our Constitution.
Sure, we write letters, but do WE liberals respond in any way equal to the frightened, GOP victims?
You have to admit, they are MORE ORGANIZED and WAY LOUDER then we are. But, we outnumber them; there are certainly more liberals than there are victims.
Maybe the GOP victims fight with more desperation than we do, because they have been conditioned to believe they are constantly under attack?
We liberals really do not expect our elected officials to ignore these frightened constituents? We don’t expect politicians to do EVERYTHING for us, do we?
Liberals have everything going for us: we have the numbers, we are rational, and reasonable, and we have the best interests of the COUNTRY (not party ideology) in mind.
Liberals need to remember what motivates us and make it IMPOSSIBLE for all our public servants to ignore us.
‘Leaving’ doesn’t do that.
So, for those letter writers who (1) claim to be in the Democratic Party, and (2) want to leave: good bye, you are doing no one any good by making it easy for the GOP to destroy this country.
A BuzzFlash Reader
[BuzzFlash Note: Please don't impugn the motives of our Buzzers. Our site is not just for members of the Democratic Party but is pro-democracy. That includes expressing disgust when elected leaders disappoint us. It also means supporting candidates who warrant support. Where to draw that line is each reader's decision.]
Subject: The Law of the Jungle!
What is happening in our Democracy today is less law, more law of the jungle, and it’s the rights of the citizen that suffer. It’s also the Democrats being eaten by predatory power- grabbing beasts calling themselves the Bush Administration, and the Republican Party. They clutch power in the same sense a wild beast clutches its prey.
As we try to get a probe into domestic spying, Cheney and his group influence Congress to deter any effort to get to the truth, while Rove renames or diverts public attention from the real legal issues in his overused switch and bait routine. The only probes this Administration allows to go forward unhindered are probes where the arms of the Bush Administration investigate themselves with a controlled and predictable outcome!
Dissenting opinions are once again ignored as they were in marketing the Iraq War. Even the media abdicates its responsibility by not giving the all too few Democrats, who have the nerve to speak up, the public attention needed to get their viewpoint out. We should have learned by example by now. Power is only defeated when there are those, be it the media or the Administration or Congress, who would be willing to step up consistently and put enough stress, and pressure on the powers that be, and offer a strong counter-power!
Each week brings more evidence of the misuse of power by the Bush Administration. We can not sit by and condone by our silence evidence being withheld, lost or destroyed. We can not sit by and watch Bush, Cheney and their gang make their own rules or pressure Senators to vote THEIR way on issues vital to our Democracy. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the obvious abuse of power by Bush and his gang. Their actions prove and DEMAND oversight!
Bertrand Russell once warned, “The technique of acquiring dictatorship over what has been a Democracy … always involves the same mixture of bribery, propaganda and violence!” The question to an apathetic public is what the hell are we going to do about it???
Subject: "You're Either With Us, Or You're Against Us"... Unless You Have Enough Cash/Oil
Greetings, Buzzers, from the Great White North.
One of the mailbag letters yesterday (from Robert Baran of Venetia, PA) proclaimed that the sale of ports in Blue states/cities from British to United Arab Emirate ownership stinks. (United Arab Emirates Firm To Secretly Own Blue State/City Ports - the Moonie, er... Wash. Times article here: http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20060214-102147-5104r.htm)
He's very right, and it stinks in a couple of ways.
1) It shows the blatant hypocrisy of this administration. All of you intelligent people will recall right after Sept. 11 that the Cowboy-in-Chief proclaimed to the rest of the world "You're either with us or you're against us!" Pretty strong language with a definite message (if you follow up on it). Now they secretly sell these ports to the UAE, which is a country where sympathy for al Qaeda is high, terror cells operate from/through, and one of the Sept. 11 hijackers came from. So which is it? Are they with you? Are they against you? Oh, wait a minute. I didn't see how many zeroes were on that check. They are definitely with you. Just like Saudi Arabia, where 15 of the 19 hijackers came from not to mention Osama bin Laden. Remember him, George?
2) The fact that the ports are in Blue states got me thinking, and the thoughts weren't good ones. What would happen if/when a terrorist attack does happen at one of these ports (marine ports being one of the worst guarded entry points into your country). Judging by the modus operandi of the Bushists, they would immediately turn the tables and say the Democratic states and state officials are soft on terror and can't protect America. Elections are coming up.
But what do I know. I'm just a Canadian.
Keep fighting the good fight.
P.S. Hi to all the NSA people reading this. How can you sleep at night?
Subject: Wiretaps and Chambliss
This is what we folks stuck here in GA get in response to our protests. This is what we're up against. I don't even need to comment. Buzzers can read -- and evaluate -- it on their own.
Once again, they couldn't even get my NAME right when they sent their canned response to my protest.
Barbara Lee (Barb) Blazyk
Subject: Braveheart and Democrats
Speaking of BRAVEHEART, remember the last thing he said just before dying. He screamed out at the crowd standing there watching him be disemboweled:
Everytime I see this film I CRY when I hear this because I am so DISTRAUGHT at what is happening to my country and there is nothing I can do to stop this rush to dictatorship. I don't know what to do. Emails, letters, phone calls to democrartic senators and my congressman, joining antibush organizations and giving whatever I can afford, going to demonstrations - nothing helps.
I finally left the Democratic Party last year because I am fed up to my hair with them. They are nothiing any more. They stand for nothing. They mean nothing. Leave the Democratic Party.
A BuzzFlash Reader
CLICK HERE FOR PART 2 OF THE FEBRUARY 16, 2006 BUZZFLASH MAILBAG
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