March 28, 2006
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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: Tools of a Demagogue: Bribery, Propaganda, Violence
The Bush Administration has overreached the power of the rule of a just government and moved into the realm of tyranny. By usurping power and demanding absolute authority without proper oversight, they have encroached on our civil rights and made the rule of law a mockery in our country!
How sad for our nation that we have a leader who regards any restraint of law on his regime an obstacle to conquer in his quest for supreme authority. “WHEN LAW IS UNCERTAIN THERE IS NO LAW!” Apathy has no place now with Bush/His Administration/Republicans in control, and the only recourse we, as Americans, have is discontented citizens who are strong and willing to stand up, speak up, when our laws are violated by this power-hungry mob, and vote to get these demagogues out of office! Feingold for President in 2008!
Subject: Making War Less Profitable
I read the LA Times article 'Bush's Uncle Earned Millions In War Firm Sale" as linked from Buzzflash.com.
Bush's Uncle Earned Millions in War Firm Sale; An SEC filing shows William H.T. Bush collected about $1.9 million in cash, plus stock valued at $800,000, from the deal. Making a Profit, While American Soldiers Die. There ought to be a law that prohibits profits for companies selling war, especially if a family member starts that war. 3/24
I have before me a front page story published January 23, 1919 in the Owen Leader (Indiana) headlined 'Agree On Excess Profit Tax: Senate Rates for Taxing War Profits of Corporations Approved by Conference' which outlined the Senate's approval of "extending the 80 percent war profits levy in 1920, applicable only to war contracts."
Perhaps it is a concept whose time has come again.
Subject: Electronic Voting Machines
“Diebold officials maintain that their systems are secure when standard safety procedures are used to protect the memory cards from tampering.”
Standard safety procedures? Just what are these “standard safety procedures”? The memory card can be hacked; and the totals can be changed leaving no discernable trail by election workers and the “standard safety procedures” are … trust the election workers!
Isn’t part of the problem that the “election workers” are partisan political hacks who have no integrity when it comes to “The Party”? Didn’t Katherine Harris prove that in Florida in 2000, didn’t Kenneth Blackwell prove that in Ohio in 2004?
So we have voting machines manufactured by partisan Republican hacks, programmed with proprietary secret software that has no paper audit trail by partisan Republican hacks and administered in locked rooms from which the public and the media are barred during the election by partisan Republican hacks but as long as no one other than partisan Republican hacks are allowed to have access to the memory card, every thing will be OK.
Somehow I’m just not reassured.
Subject: Laura as personnel adviser for the prez!?
Friends, holy cowpies! Bush, bewitched, bothered, and bewildered by nothing but bad, worse, or the worst news almost daily, has just been dealt a great reprieve! And from of all sources, that lovely lady Laura, who angrily eschews her image as a holdover from the Ozzie and Harriet 1950s. On Larry King last night, she admitted she DID give Bush personnel advice ( in response to a piece in the Wash. Post by Sally Quinn ). This has gotta be manna from heaven for poor pathetic George because he can now blame Laura for all the problems that Dick, Rummy, Condi, and the Neocons have gotten this country into. George may be a bust when it comes to taking blame but he's super when it comes to passing the buck.
Subject: Republican Contempt for Wounded Troops
With nearly twenty thousand wounded troops, it's time we reminded Americans of the evening news clips on the RNC convention over and over showing the glee, and utter joy they took passing out purple heart Band-Aids to mock wounds sustained in battle which they deemed worthy of ridicule. Whether the wound is slight or horrific, those who fell deserve our honor, recognition and gratitude. Those attitudes they displayed show the contempt to those who serve so they do not have to.
Subject: Barbara Bush's Katrina Fund Donation
I just finished reading the article by Cynthia Leonor Garza titled "Former first lady's donation aids son" and I have a tax question. Did she get to deduct this donation to her son's company off her income tax? She was quoted as saying that “she’s [Barbara Bush] very excited about this software program so she wanted to make it possible for them to expand the use of this program.”
I ask this because while preparing our 2006 taxes, I was told that you could not include help to individual families in your charitable deductions. Now, nothing was said about families or the business of families; just that if the charitable donation was paid directly to a utility company, landlord, etc., that it was not deductible. I was told that it had to pass through a "recognized charity" before it could be deducted.
According to this logic, it seems "earmarking" a donation for a specific purpose (utilities, rent, your son's business) and/or family would have the same problem of “passing through a recognized charity” since the donation is specifically excluded from all the other "lumped donations" and would have much the same problem as directly paying a utility bill for an indigent family to keep the heat on. Or is it?
In the "old days" not so very long ago, a charitable donation, a basket of food, clothes, Christmas gifts, was just that; show a receipt and it could be deducted. So, with all these new rules, can I just decide to "donate" some money to a charity but "earmark" it for my son's computer business?
If so, maybe I can throw a few more "donations" my son's way to help HIS startup company. I'm really excited about the good his company will do and would like to expand the use of his program, just like Mrs. Bush.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Want to scare the anti-choice politicians? Start agreeing with them. Say that life begins at conception, and that every woman who becomes pregnant can claim the pregnancy is a child and is eligible for a tax deduction.
Subject: Planned Parenthood Clinic on the Pine Ridge Reservation
I was so happy to read the article about the President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota saying that she will establish a Planned Parenthood clinic within the boundaries of the Reservation. What a slap in the face to Governor Rounds and state Sen. Bill Napoli of South Dakota.
It's long been known that the state of South Dakota has never treated Native Americans well.
Payback can be so sweet.
Oglala Sioux Tribe on the South Dakota Abortion Ban (indybay.org/Native American Journalists Foundation)
Do you think that the reason that Congress is reluctant to challenge Bush about the wiretaps is simply because they know now that Bush has been taping them and their families and their staff and their families and everyone connected to the Congress?
Bettie Jean Tripp
Subject: Marbury v. Madison
Supreme Court HAS ALREADY DETERMINED THAT any law contradicting the Constitution is illegal. I don't know what all the brouhaha is about illegal wiretapping and holding citizens without right to counsel.
This case has already been determined, and tradition and legal precedent overrule both the white house, congress- AND THE BRIBED JUDGES IN FEDERAL COURTS!
Subject: WaPo and Domenech
For your enjoyment, a copy of letter sent to Jim Brady this a.m.: Thanks for hammering at the idiots and criminals of the republican party's wrong wing....
Subject: Ned Lamont Has No Shot
BuzzFlash, and all the liberal blogs, are going nuts and jumping on Ned Lamont's bandwagon like they think Lamont has a chance of beating Lieberman. Well, living in Ct, I can tell you, it won't happen. First, if Lieberman were so beatable, how come not one "big name" decided to run against him? 2, The only reason you're against Lieberman is because of his support for the war. I am against the war, also, but I am also a realist. Ned Lamont jumped into the race because of the liberal blogs seething hatred for Lieberman. What are you going to say when Lamont gets destroyed by 30 points? You'll downplay it like the cowards you are. Go on and continue to beat up on Joe. When the elections are all over, I'll be back, and unload on all of you. THAT'S A PROMISE THAT I INTEND TO KEEP!!!
MORONICS----the language of republicans; similar to Ebonics.
examples: "I'm a uniter, not a divider"; "we're fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here"; etc.
Identify MORONICS as such whenever and wherever you encounter.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Juvenile Boot Camps
"Juvenile Boot Camps to be Toned Down" reads the Miami Herald headline. Toned down?!? They need to be abolished. What kind of sadistic mentality does it take to set up a system to humiliate, brutalize, and sometimes KILL troubled children? This concept should be abhorrent to any civilized person.
Many states, including my own, reddest of the red South Dakota, have abandoned this dangerous and counterproductive practice. Though in our case it took an overweight 14-year-old forced to run until she suffered heat stroke and died.
Read the article for more abuses detailed at the South Dakota boot camp.
Another two children dead.
South Dakota, bless poor Gina Score, has eliminated the barbaric juvenile boot camp system. Why is Florida still using it? Oh, never mind. The governor is a Bush. No wonder.
I believe BuzzFlash could do a lot of good by heavily promoting two issues that will change the politics of America: 1) Public financing of elections and 2) Instant run-off voting.
Other sites, such as MoveOn, do fine but they do not attack the root causes of our dilemma. They presently have a suggestion/rating system going on regarding what their membership/organization should concentrate on in the next four years.
IF ALL THE PROGRESSIVE SITES WOULD CONCENTRATE ON IRV AND PUBLIC FINANCING OF CAMPAIGNS WE WOULD AUTOMATICALLY HAVE MORE CANDIDATES LIKE FEINGOLD AND SANDERS. MoveOn no longer has a way to contact them except thru their specified questions which don't relate to my overall long-term concerns. BuzzFlash, which I support via donations and premium purchases, could fill the niche MoveOn isn't filling.
I am really tired of supporting--or not supporting-- candidates whose behaviors are basically choreographed by lobbyists anyway. IRV and Public Finance of Campaigns will dump the lobbyists. Politicians who vote against the two issues will be seen as just whores who should be turned out.
Buzz Flash is a power. Use that power to help implement what other sites won't touch--IRV and Public Finance. You have millions of folks who will follow you into battle. I say "charge!!"
Thanks for all you have done and are doing.
Subject: Christians in Muslim Country
It seems we have gone to Afghanistan and to Iraq to bring democracy to the people for whom it means the right to behead those who disagree with them. If one chooses to change his religion from Muslim to Christian he will lose his head. Is that why we got rid of Saddam, under whom there was freedom of religion and freedom for women to get educated and act in public without hiding their beauty? More than two thousand of our boys dead and countless Iraqis and for this. Maybe this was the biggest spin of all. Saddam hardly created more havoc than we are creating. And I might say putting him to death now will only precipitate the civil war we dread.
Subject: Bush Has No Clothes, No Shame, No Clue
The emperor has no clothes, no shame, no clue: With scant forethought beyond doing what his father had not, topple Saddam Hussein, George W. Bush launched his war into Iraq. Now mired in the fourth year of this misadventure, Bush's litany of justifications has him sounding like the perpetual delinquent that thinks he can talk his way out of anything. As shortsighted now as before, Bush spins out his broken-record mantra: "The world is better off without Saddam Hussein."
If Bush can find a silver lining in a manmade disaster of his doing, surely he might be able to detect great purpose in a catastrophe of Mother Nature's making. To wit, if a tsunami had swept up the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers and had gotten Saddam Hussein, but in the bargain also took the lives of thousands of Iraqis, killed over 2,000 of our troops, permanently maimed untold more, seriously damaged our nation's hard-gained reputation, and cost our people billions upon billions of dollars, we might expect George W. Bush to place much value in the devastating wall of water and to take credit for its course. He talks and talks and turns a deaf ear as he leaves unanswered the damning question: Was war with Iraq our nation’s only course?
The answer is no. When presidents of past were faced with the threatening march of Communism from a USSR bristling with real weapons of mass destruction and with agents secreted throughout the world, these leaders opted for containment of this threat until it inevitably fell of its own weight. These courageous Commanders in Chief believed in the courage of our people and in the superiority of our free way of life.
Hello there, why does everybody, including Democrats, keep on calling the Republican party the Grand Old Party? Is there anything GRAND about it? just asking.
Subject: The Thing Is
After Bush Completely f***ed up the country with his ridiculous response to the hijackings ... (Imagine instead, if we had used the hundreds of billions of dollars here to strengthen port, border and air security, educate engineers and scientists, and develop alternative fuels, and provide health care for all Americans.) After the strange and simultaneous, and to this day unsolved anthrax attacks on the Senate and media, which coincidentally further scared the piss out of any POLITICAL opposition ... Adding insult to injury by exploiting the confusion to start his wars of profit and neocon agenda, effectively destroying the US economy, causing runaway inflation by destabilizing the middle east, to double energy costs - effectively castrating the media, and completing the overthrow of the election systems (ie: diebold) ... After all this ... Why does no one use the proverbial wisdom & follow the money?
How much had this adventure enriched the Bush family and friends? It has to be billions! They are OIL! (can you spell Profiteer?) Where was Dick Cheney on September 11, 2001? Is it true he was conducting exercises which diverted the Air Force to Canada, so they could not protect our airspace? Is it mere coincidence that our fighters were not there to protect our skies so these emboldened hijackers had FREE REIGN for hours? And now that we know all this, that they murder, and torture, and imprison with impunity, and no one can stop them ... That they have raided the treasury, and bankrupted the soul of our country ... That they leave a trail of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of innocent dead ... After all this, can't anyone see that Bin Laden was victorious? Can't anyone see that America no longer exists as we knew her? Our government is completely in the hands of ruthless, immoral, vicious men. God save us all.
Subject: Democrats: "It's the Economy Stupid"
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Bushy Weight Tally
By all means, booze and some Rx drugs can balloon a body from one day to the next. For this hefty padding, however, mayhap's beaucoups bullet-proof vesting? (Lest we forget. For all the non-stop posturing about how all Bush policies are but for Americans' protection and security, on a 24/7 basis the junior Bush is surrounded by the most massive security in U.S. history.)
A BuzzFlash Reader
I rely on your site for my daily dose of politics and generally agree with its brand of left-liberal politics, but not when it comes to Al Gore. Al discovered the Bushevist threat to Democracy a little to late. Too bad he didn't realize it in 2000. Then he might have done something about it.
Al Gore as a populist savior is a bit hard to swallow. His ingrained elitist nature was one reason he lost the battle to have all the votes counted in 2000. Jesse Jackson and a good part of the labor unions were ready to put thousands of organizers and activists in on the ground. Al Gore sent Jesse home and never called for union assistance. Instead he relied on the courts alone and was defeated. The little Rethuglican riot that stopped the counting in Miami never would have succeeded if Gore supporters had been massively mobilized to defend the vote counting by taking control of the streets.
But good southern gentlemen like Al don’t rouse the rabble. They trust the system that has blessed them with so much privilege. After all, when all was said and done in 2000, Al grew a beard and went on retreat back to his life of hereditary affluence. A few years too late, he woke up to the fact that Bush was a threat to democracy.
Subject: George Allen
George Allen was on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" one morning talking about the internet. That morning as I often do - went online to find out more about what he was talking about (internet) and to find out more about him.
Discovered he was in law firm that helped businesses and corporations man a good defense against lawsuits, especially class action lawsuits. (Of course a proponent of tort reform - shut down all avenues for ordinary folks to seek justice.)
Also - and this surprised me that it was on internet - George had worked for a business that helps other businesses learn how to legally develop outsourcing capabilities. Wow - what an American, working for a business that helps take jobs away from American workers.
Just couldn't keep quite any longer - what with George running around the country acting like he wants to be taken as a serious presidential candidate.
Subject: Congressional Jurisdiction
In an article in the Washington Post on Friday, March 24, Walter Pincus wrote that U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III raised the possibility that the 1917 Espionage Act that restricts the dissemination of national defense information that could harm U.S. interests may not be sensibly written.
A former Defense Department employee, Lawrence A. Franklin, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for giving classified information to two former lobbyists for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
As Pincus writes,
The judge also implied that the White House is also outside the boundaries set by the legislative branch of our government. Congress writes law; the Judiciary enforces it, period!
How is this different from the NSA electronic invasive intrusions on Americans that President Bush has conducted in violation of the law established in 1978 and enforced by FISA since then?
A federal judge has rendered a decision based on established law and unequivocally ruled that the Espionage Act was violated, and likewise, the FISA ruling. As in legal matters, case law provides a precedent for similar lawsuits, and if this spying matter comes before Ellis' court the outcome should be predictable.
This judge, and hopefully all judges, will allow no one to be above the law, not even the president.
James D. Cook
Subject: Crackdown on the "Borders"
I have been listening and reading in disbelief as to what is going on in our country regarding what this Administration calls illegal immigrants. What ever happened to "Give us your tired, your poor?" We are a nation of immigrants - we built our former greatness through the backbreaking labor of those who came before us and we are still continuing to use immigrants in the same manner yet we do not want to afford them rights. I am so reminded of my former mother-in-law, an immigrant at age 16 to the United States when I read and follow what is going on. She made a remark one time "I am sick of all these foreigners in our country." I nearly fell over in utter amazement and I asked her, "well, what do you consider yourself? You weren't born here. America opened it's arms to you and your sisters. What are you thinking when you make a comment like that?" She said to me, "I've been here 40 years and I consider myself an American". My thoughts are that all of us are Americans if we live and work here and contribute to society.
Subject: Shock and Awful
Frank Harris III writes a fantastic editorial Op-Ed in The Hartford Courant about Bush and his "Shock and Awe," or as Harris calls it, "Shock and Awful."
The article has an artist's picture in the Courant, of Newsweek's cover of "Fly-Boy" Bush on the USS Lincoln with the caption of the magazine being "Shock and Aw-Ful" - tossed into the garbage can.
Harris goes through how most of the country and news networks were fascinated by the bombs blowing people up.
Now, three long years later after "Mission UNaccomplished" and thousands of lives lost, we have seen the truth that BuzzFlash and many others kept warning us about, to no avail, with the inept White House, Congress and Pentagon we currently have in DC.
And now we know that Fly-Boy Bush wants OTHER families to lose their children until the end of his term in office. Gee, I wonder what "Fly-Boy's" daughters are doing these next three years?
Frank Harris closes the article with the following two short sentences:
This is the great article by Mr Harris that everyone, including The White House and Congress, should read, if they ever get back from yet another vacation:
Subject: The Truth of the Matter
I read an article on BuzzFlash yesterday that really hit me hard. It was the story of the Iraqi man who raised birds, and I've included it in the link for anyone who missed it. What a gentle and simple man he must have been, I can only imagine the delight he took in his beautiful birds.
Why was this man who hurt no one tortured and killed? Whose fault is it? Yours and mine, that's who. As much as we might like to rail against the government in this country, Conservatives are no less Americans than we are. Do you really think that this man's brother or children care if we are democrat or republican? No, we are all American and we are all just as accountable. We all let this happen.
This is still a government by the people, and now we have let at least 540 beautiful, innocent people be brutally tortured and killed at the hands of sectarian murderers because we allowed our president to invade (not to mention the hundreds of thousands of other Iraqis lost in war). Every progressive should step out of this partisan dream and realize we are not two countries in red and blue. The blood of innocents is on our hands as Americans, and now it's far past time we acted and took our country back before it gets worse.
Subject: New Ideas!?
The Republicans like to portray Democrats as having no new ideas. But it hit me as I read BuzzFlash today (many good thoughts come to me as a result of reading Buzz, so thanks, guys) that it's the REPUBLICANS who are short on new ideas. For example:
In spite of their having been in power in Congress since 1994 (with control of the purse strings), and also in the White House since 2000 (notice I said Bush is "in power," not that he'd "been elected"), Republicans blame the fiscal crisis in Washington on the Democrats! It's those tax-and-spenders' fault; they just will NEVER see the error of their ways. The facts of the case - that spending is out of control because W started a war and outsourced everything to his thoroughly corrupt buddies - don't seem to have registered with the Republicans. They're still spouting their old ideas.
They also accuse the Democrats (and everyone who disagrees with them) of "hating America." This ploy has a long history for those of us who are old enough to remember the Cold War. In those days, the catch-phrase was "soft on Communism." The facts, again: The Democrats whom the Republicans like to attack tend to be military veterans, a good many of whom have won medals for valor. Very few Republicans have seen the world through the sights of a rifle (except on staged "hunting trips"). But, hey - why let the facts get in the way of a good old time-honored smear?
And, while we're on the subject of national security and patriotism, it's the Republicans who have left us vulnerable to both terrorist attack and natural disaster, due to their total inability to figure out how to COPE. Yet they accuse Democrats of being incompetent when it comes to security. Old habits die hard, I guess.
You know, I think I've just discovered the only reason that the Republican party can call itself "conservative." They've thrown out everything this country stands for, but they are still devoted to their old slogans.
Subject: Today's Editorial
Re: A BuzzFlash Editorial, Mar. 27, 2006: "Did You Know that Signing the Wrong Law and Violating the Constitution is Just a Technicality? America Under a Junta: An Update."
You spell it out oh so very clearly.
Bush is in fact a serial violator of the Constitution.
I don't know why most elected Democrats don't see it, or if they see it, fail to act.
They've gotten used to perks and power and attention. Perhaps they're too naive, believe in all the fine words, and can't imagine that the fine ideals and rules of the American constitutional game just aren't working these past few years -- and won't work with a business-as-usual attitude. It's going to take an awful lot of hard work to undo the damage.
A BuzzFlash Reader
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