April 19, 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: Voting in New Orleans
The April 22nd 'election' in New Orleans should be invalidated, or whatever it is you do with elections where the vast majority of people eligible to vote are not allowed to do so!
Jesse Jackson mentioned this on "The Colbert Report" and I haven't heard one peep from the rest of the GOPmedia.
The GOP has already placed blame on Nagin and Blanco (Dems) and the election results will favor their foregone conclusion.
Where can we voice our displeasure with this BEFORE it's too late?
New Orleans vote raises fairness issue (Boston Globe)
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Bush: "I'm the Decider"
Last year I went (with a team of examiners ) to approximately 30 schools to administer the NAEP exam (National Assessment of Educational Progress). Many refer to it as the "leave no child behind test." As I watched 8th graders take the test, I often wondered if GeeDubya could pass it ... you know: the decider-in-chief. Listening to him speak, along with his actions, I seriously doubt it.
Subject: Is It Any Wonder?
There are lots of folks out there wondering how anybody could possibly support George Bush at this late stage or even voted for him a second time. Actually, it's not hard to figure out.
I stumbled upon a radio talk show this morning that shall remain nameless but really belongs on a 2:00 A.M. weekend night slot reserved for other wackos who prefer to stay hidden during the day. It was very religious in content, but the guest was a fellow who had "proven," among other things, that Bugs Bunny's gloves were a Satanic symbol from the Masons, "Sgt. Pepper" coincided exactly with "Fantasia" (if you changed the song sequence on the first side), and that "Fantasia" itself was a huge occult film full of Satanic and Masonic messages. It went on and on, even to the point of claiming that white lab coats worn by doctors are evil. (!?)
It was all mind control, you see, and the evangelical path was the only true way. Of course, you know these had to be hardcore neo-cons. As if modern Christianity doesn't have its own full plate of ritual. Of course, the host and his guest were quick to decry "intellectualizing" these supposed evil deeds. Atta boys - don't want to use our brains now, do we?
I can't see how we can lambast "The Da Vinci Code," totally ignore Constantine's complete rewriting of the Bible and still claim Bush is a godly man. Something doesn't add up here, and there are far too many of these enlightened individuals falling for this claptrap, enough to help a tyrant steal two elections. Methinks some certain evangelical "experts" need a real long rest.
[BuzzFlash Note: We keep exploring this one. Today we've reposted an eye-opening article on Tim LaHaye.]
Subject: Nuclear War
Just wondering if you provide bumper stickers too? With the threat of nuclee-arr war with b-brain looming over us, can we get a bumper sticker? NO TO NUCLEAR WAR!! I think that statement will get the public's attention. It's also nonpartisan. I have never used a bumper sticker, this one I would put anywhere. Those people up at the WH are getting itchy, and most Americans don't have a clue!
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Cheney Claims Katrina Tax Benefits for Non-Katrina Charitable Contributions
Tax Prof Blog, April 17, 2006
Michael Kirsch (Notre Dame) points out an interesting aspect of the Vice-President's 2005 tax return:
It appears that the VP is a major beneficiary of the Hurricane Katrina tax relief act. In particular, he claimed $6.8 million of charitable deductions, which is 77% of his AGI -- well in excess of the 50% limitation that would have applied absent the Katrina legislation. The press release indicates that the charitable contribution reflects the amount of net proceeds from an independent administrator's exercise of the VP's Halliburton options -- apparently, the VP had agreed back in 2001 that he would donate the net proceeds from the options to charities once they were exercised.
The press release seems to confirm, at least implicitly, the VP's efforts to take advantage of the Katrina legislation -- it mentions that the Cheneys wrote a personal check of $2.3 million to the administrator in December in order to "maximize the charitable gifts in 2005." Admittedly, I don't know anything about the transactions beyond the info in the press release, but my gut reaction is that the personal check was given in order to make sure the independent administrator had sufficient liquid assets to pay all of the promised charitable contributions before the 50% limit returned on 1/1/06.
Despite the importance of the Katrina legislation to his tax return, it looks like none of the charitable contributions actually went to Katrina-related charities (the press release lists the 3 charitable recipients, all of which were designated in the original 2001 gift agreement). While there's nothing inappropriate about that from a legal perspective, it does demonstrate how the legislation, which was sold to the public as providing relief to Katrina victims, provided significant tax benefits to the VP (and potentially other wealthy individuals) in situations that have nothing to do with Hurricane Katrina.
Subject: U.S. Concentration Camps
Don't blanch. That's EXACTLY what these are. Camps for concentrating immigrants. Not slave labor camps. Not death camps. Just their necessary precursor. Heckuva a job, Homeland Security.... Published on The Progressive.
Subject: Critical Mass
Seeing that the bigger capitalism gets, the more deadly it becomes, what about its corporate form? How lethal? Look around you. Besides, you've got it figured out. Everyone has. It's the haves against the have-nots, and guess who always wins? Nothing that we've tried in order to get off of this here mad dash down a dead-end straight ahead ever has worked. Things may get better for a while, stay the same or get worse (ie. same as before). Calls for something new. What? We the people changing the world, that's what.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Detention Centers
I've been working on this issue for a month. I've contacted all four of my senators (live in California and Chicago) and both my representatives about the detention centers as well as the Pentagon's plan to take over all the communications in the US in the event of a "disaster." (Information Operations Plan). I've only received a response from Feinstein and only on the detention centers. She said they would be built only if there was a large influx of "immigrants." No one else, Boxer, Obama, Durbin, Schakowsky, or Rohrabacher (big surprise) has responded. Something stinks.
Subject: War Games
I was reading the column by Michael Winship (Rummy's Big Transformation Goes Bust 4/18) today when I came across a description (I think I had read it before, a long time ago) of an Iraq invasion war game ("Millennium Challenge") the gov't. put on in 2002. The thing that struck me was the way they changed the rules, undid the results, and ignored problems that popped up in order to determine a victorious outcome. It dawned on me that this was *exactly* what happened in the Japanese Navy war games for the Midway invasion (Midway: ISBN 1-55750-428-8, pp 123 et seq.). Officers participating in the Midway war games made multiple suggestions that a) anticipated what happened, and b) would have had good chances of dealing with such contingencies. They were ignored.
Alan D Barbour
Subject: 5 Years Ago
From the moment those GOP thugs stopped the Florida Recount 2000, we've known that those people (sic) are liars with a genocidal agenda. They have no intention of establishing democracy in Iraq or elsewhere, any more than they intend to retain it, here at home. Due process is being rubbed out. When they suspend Miranda, we'll know that martial law is in place. Probably sparked by the Immigration demonstrations as an excuse - and they'll go after the poor first (the poor have less to lose by resisting). The consumer class is already enslaved and don't want to lose their enslavement-lifestyle.
All that aside, the #1 Priority: Nukes. Without nuclear war, the world can work things out. Once we bomb Iran--- life is rendered absurd.
A few years ago my Flood ins. was $289 for $75,000 house, $50,000 contents, with a $500 deductible. Now it's $720 for $70,000 no contents, and $5000 deductible. I read on the web how much money is going to people and places that had no floods no hurricanes and relatives. I think we are paying for this highway robbery.
Oil official gets $400 millions for his retirement. Gas $4.00 a gallon--------HA ha ha ha ha------Guess who is paying for this.
Subject: It's Impeachment Time!
Carl Bernstein of Woodward & Bernstein fame has this to say in Vanity Fair:
George Bush is a power hungry, out of control person who is aided and abetted by a bunch of old war lords who have convinced him that he is above the laws of this land, that he can do as he pleases. It's time to hold Bush & the United States Congress to the oaths of their office. We The People have been shoved aside, dismissed by a bunch of corrupt war-mongering, fake Christians who seem to think they have the divine right to trample on our rights in order to obtain their own greedy, self-serving goals.
In the process we believe that they have committed war crimes & crimes against humanity with their vile policies. A friend, (Edward P) wrote that "Bush & Cheney are not scared of the rest of the world. Their response is simple: f**K them, Nuke them, Move on, No Problem."
Let's make it a problem for George Bush and his gang of thugs who have violated our Constitution and made a mockery of our entire justice system. Whether you believe that Bush/Cheney were legally elected or not, it's time to get rid of this gang of crooks. They have no respect for the laws of the land nor for We The People. It's Impeachment time. These abusers of the Constitution of the United States should be impeached, removed from office & prosecuted for their crimes against the Constitution & the citizens of this country.
Let's get the ball rolling! Sign this petition and then call your congressmen and demand an investigation into this corrupt presidency. Keep the calls going until they decide to get off their comfortable, ample backsides and do their job.
Toll Free to Congress: 888-355-3588, 888-818-6641 or 800-426-8073
Subject: Two and Two Equals Five in Bushworld!
Another failure of Bush is his cocky arrogance about his Education Policy, where minorities are not only left behind, but aren’t even being counted on test scores showing a FALSE POSITIVE for results. As usual, there are more ways than one to skin a cat where Bush is concerned. A similar situation exists when the White House alters scientific data, Americans really don’t know the score because of the cover-up or altering of the facts the White House gives us.
Most educators agree Bush’s plan is shortchanging not only the children, but the future of our country! So when the prime butcher of our language said, “You teach a child to read and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test.” OR “We must have the attitude that every child in America -- regardless of where they're raised or how they're born -- can learn.” OR “It's the systems that don't test are those that quit on the kids,” by his example, we doubt he has a clue about school curriculum! Then when he reports that, “Rarely is the question asked, are, is our children learning,” we can answer his question with a resounding “NO!”
Subject: Rove information
If you would look back in Karl Rove's history during election seasons past, you will see that he ALWAYS steps aside his "work" during the beginning of the election season. He has to be free to make mischief at the local level, too, you know. This has nothing to do with his white house job. It has to do with his party needing his dirty hand to win again.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: New Way of Voting
I want to express an idea I have had for some time now. I live in Nevada and can request an absentee ballot from our County Clerk's office. My mother has voted this way for some time because she is worried she would not be able to use the new technology (voting machines). I wonder if all states allow absentee ballots and if they do - what would happen if everyone, or a large number of voters, would request these ballots - vote at home and mail or deliver them to their local courthouse election office? I wonder if we could then feel more confident our vote counted and not be as concerned of crooked voting machines. Just a thought and if it could work - how do you get the word out? Possibly through blogs and emails?
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Billions down a rat hole to poison America's reputation?
Hello, Senator Cantwell and Representative Inslee.
Here's a recent story from AP, which seems to have dropped through the crack of public attention:
U.S. Building Massive Embassy in Baghdad - Yahoo! News
In earlier news, I understood that the Senate had dug its heels in on the request to spend nearly a billion dollars on the embassy complex. I see this principled stand has resulted in authorization to spend $560 million-plus on the project in the current budget. This is like proposing to kill all our children, but compromising by agreeing only to kill half of them.
I suppose the mainstream media and public lack of interest is based on the fact that in comparison to major hemorrhage of occupation expenses, another half a billion U.S. dollars poured in the sand seems like a paper cut. One might quote the late Republican Senator Dirkson, who famously said, "A billion here, a billion there -- sooner or later it adds up to real money."
The specific cost in this instance can be added to the billions of dollars committed to construction of what look to be permanent military bases for the U.S. in Iraq.
The combined message of this activity is that the U.S. intends to dominate Iraq beyond the UN-authorized occupation, which ends on December 31, 2006, whether Iraq allows this to continue through that date or not. The UN authorization includes the provision that Iraq can terminate its "request" for a U.S. presence in Iraq at any time between now and the end of 2006. If we stay there in the face of an expired authorization and/or request to leave, we confirm our status as outlaws.
Mr. Bush has indicated that military withdrawal and end to the de facto occupation of Iraq by the U.S. will extend beyond his presidency.
It seems possible, given the presence of oil resource wealth in Iraq and the disparity in military capability, that the U.S. can dominate Iraqi politics by a combination of corruption, bribery and force. Whether we can afford to do so in the face of deteriorating resources and exploding debt seems unlikely.
The most probable result seems to be that the swing in public opinion, as well as the geopolitical necessity of cohesion of Iraq with the rest of the Moslem world, will lead to our withdrawal from Iraq, and sharply diminished influence there. We will leave on the ground the blood of our fellow Americans, and whatever treasure we pour forth for military bases and the obscenely large Embassy complex.
We also leave a legacy of arrogance, mendacity and a hatred toward America that will persist for decades to come. All this at a cost of persistent blood-letting and diminished honor.
Please do not allow the Bush administration to pour more billions down the rat hole of Iraq, except for the reparations we owe through infrastructural restoration.
In addition to downsizing the Embassy construction to a more rational scale, take further action under the War Powers Act of 1973 by terminating the authority in HJ Res 114, and requiring Mr. Bush to follow the law in termination of the use of military force under that authority.
John F. Williford
Subject: The Decider Is a Divider
Our decider is a divider who thinks he can take this country down. He was never a uniter, and I am quite sure he is going to leave the clean up of his war to the next president ... and maybe not one Repuke will run ... and they are as sure as in the election of 2000 ... that a Republican would never win anyway, just like anyone who ran on the Rep. ticket in 2000 was a sure winner ... so it is now that anyone of the Democratic ticket will win. This non-uniter ... the decider ... is a phony crook who should be impeached now. It looks like it has all been a plan.
Shirley ... St. Louis
Subject: Letter To Bill Bennett Re: Pulitzer Prize "Controversy"
Just whining about something don't make it not so, Bill. Your cabal has been so sloppy and arrogant that all the money in the world (to which you guys appear to have some access) can't easily cover your tracks.
I'm getting the impression that almost all Americans - no matter what claptrap you and Hannity et al. keep screaming at them - no longer believe the shoddy cover stories your gang's been spending so much to keep on the networks. Cognitive dissonance on a societal level is going to scuttle your sick, fascist cult.
You could quit now, you know. Just come clean about the whole gruesome plot; drop a salient dime on some of the elected conspirators and the chief sponsors - starting at the top, of course - and perhaps your own dungeon in the end will not be quite so deep or dank.
And don't be glum: I hear they bet on just about anything in prison - cockroach races; how many hard-boiled eggs you can eat; How long it'll take the "new meat" to crack; etc.; etc. You'll be just fine.
Bennett: Pulitzer Winners Risen, Lichtblau, Priest 'Worthy of Jail' (Editor & Publisher)
Subject: The Bush Boy Is Struggling
Check out this editorial in today's Cleveland Plain Dealer.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Fineman: Mounting problems for Bush
“In the White House — any White House — power is a zero-sum game. Bolten has demonstrated his clout by taking some away from the Empire of Rove. Forget trying to play policy expert, Bolten told Rove. Go back to focusing on what you do best: building and running a Republican election machine.”
Do you think he meant the voting machines themselves? Could this finally be the proof we need?
John L. Johnson
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