May 25, 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: Bush Blows Up the Age of Reason
Just to add a thought to your "Age of Reason" reference.
The US Constitution was the political triumph of the Age of Reason. But it has become the political victim of the Age of Backlash. We are living in the Age of Backlash in the United States. This Age was born in the response of Southern voters to Barry Goldwater's vote against the Civil Rights Act of 1964. But Goldwater's role was merely an accident of his heartfelt adherence to a flawed philosophy of individualism. It was Richard Nixon who cynically nurtured backlash from its infancy, with his Southern Strategy and demagogic criticism of the Miranda decision during the 1968 Presidential campaign. By 1980, Ronald Reagan rode into the White House astride the fully-grown Beast of Backlash.
For the last forty-years, we have seen Republican strategists cow the press and cultivate the basest emotions of the citizenry -- fear, anger, bigotry, jingoism. They continue to feed the Beast with the poisonous fruit of their labors. In recent years, the GOP leadership discovered that they harvested all of the available resentment against blacks and women. So now they move on to scapegoating gays and immigrants, in their desperation to hold onto power. And every day they hold power is another opportunity to continue their attack on the Constitution.
What will it take for Americans to recognize tyranny when they see it and re-learn the lessons of the Enlightenment?
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: "The FBI's raid on a congressman's office is rippling through Capitol Hill, with majority Republicans in the House complaining to a GOP president and predicting a constitutional showdown in the Supreme Court."
QUESTION: Why didn't the executive branch unleash the FBI onto the legislative branch when info re: "the Dukester" began to unfold...??
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Your 5-24 Commentary on Bush's Christian Taliban
There are two sentences in your commentary that rubbed me wrong: "Throughout this administration, people have been appointed to the highest positions who simply discard science and reason as a plight upon their absolute faith in literal Christian scripture. And: "Now, we are led by a cabal of extremists who believe that all knowledge comes from the Bible"
The problem is that you have fallen into the Right Wing trap that the word "Christian" represents only the Fundies. You should know better. They have hijacked the title and perverted the concept.
They don't follow "literal Christian scripture." They follow concepts that have been cherry-picked from the Bible and then twisted to their interpretation. I would have no problem with them if they actually followed the precepts of Jesus, but they are going in a totally different direction. Jesus preached the "Law of Love" -- they preach a perverted love.
Ditto comments on "all knowledge comes from the Bible -- that would be true if they were doing an honest interpretation -- which they aren't. Fact: You can prove almost anything you want with a Bible passage if you look long enough and hard enough. The key is that the Bible must be interpreted in context -- which they always fail to do.
So to use your analogy, saying the Religious Right represents Christianity is comparable to saying that Islamic Jihad or the Taliban represents all of Islam.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Christian Nationalists?
Please refrain from calling the Right Wing fanatics that have propped up their Golden Calf in the White House Christians. There is very little of Christ in their message.
I understand that "The Rise of Christian Nationalism" is a subtitle of the book you are quoting, but you have to do better than to let the Right Wing frame the issue as Christians against something else. We hold the moral high ground, and your articles should reflect that.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: A Speech by President Kennedy
I love this speech by President Kennedy. It’s a bit long, but it definitely warrants reading. Too bad W hasn’t read it (or had someone read it to him and help him understand it). It makes me wish for days past. Enjoy!
John F. Kennedy: 'I Believe in an America Where the Separation of Church and State is Absolute,' September 12, 1960, address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association
John F. Kennedy: Address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association (American Rhetoric - transcript and audio/video versions)
Subject: Democrats Take GLBT Vote for Granted (forwarded to BuzzFlash)
After making the overworked Donald Hitchcock a sacrificial lamb, now the DNC is attempting to silence the party’s gay activists. Choosing to let Donald go was a mistake. Now we have a new director, Brian Bond, without a strategic plan and without the funding, institutional support or time to handle both fundraising and outreach to the LGBT community. And if that weren’t enough, the DNC’s LGBT and field staff have to divide their time between handling an immense task and calming the critics of the program.
Taking the LGBT vote for granted is a luxury the DNC cannot afford with crucial 2006 midterm elections approaching. It is likely that the LGBT vote will play a very important role in deciding who is elected and who falls just short this season. When marriage equality is once again hitting the radio and TV airwaves in a craven attempt to turn out the votes of the narrow-minded, the Democratic Party will need to rely on the organization of LGBT Democrats to counterbalance the issue. Without a strong and active LGBT field program from 2006 to 2008, the Democratic Party risks losing the substantial gains it made in organizing the LGBT community during the 2004 campaign. The hard work of LGBT field staff during the 2004 election cycle is now deteriorating and dissent is growing.
The LGBT community is one of the most engaged demographics. It is looking for a party that will fight for its issues. But under the leadership of Howard Dean, the Democratic Party continues to signal to LGBT votes that they will take our money but do not take up our issues for fear of appearing too liberal.
Stripping the field program and replacing it with a plan focused entirely on fundraising is not only disheartening but is destroying the credibly of the DNC, Howard Dean and other high ranking LGBT officers, such as Andy Tobias. As the highest-ranking officer at the DNC Tobias should be the most vocal critic of the DNC’s dismantling of the LGBT outreach program—not it’s most silent.
There must be a point at which LGBT voters say we cannot support the Democratic Party until it makes a more dedicated commitment to our community. I strongly urge you to take consider what the DNC is doing before writing a fundraising check. Help push the DNC in the right direction and ask Dean to take responsibility for destroying the highly successful Pride at the Polls program.
It is time to accept that the LGBT community must be more than the silent piggy-bank of the Democratic Party and from this day forward commit to realizing a formal place in party organizing and outreach before it is too late.
Subject: Dumb and Dumber
OMG -- how hilarious is all of this outrageous indignation on the parts of Big Denny and Bill "The Doctor" Frist? If this weren't all a part of a much larger picture of Bush's uncontrollable grab for unitary power it would be at most a D-grade movie.
It defies my imagination that these yokels expect us to take their feigned outrage seriously. According to various reports, the FBI had a search warrant and Jefferson, according to the Yahoo! article was served with a subpoena to turn these records over to the FBI last August.
This particular incident is a great barometer of how hypocritical and arrogant these slobs in Congress (most of them) truly are. It appears that the infamous "rule of law" was followed in this particular incident and here they are screaming like the wounded elephants they are.
Where in the HELL were they when they approved the Patriot Act which allows for secret searches of our homes without notice? No warrant needed. We also now have no-knock searches authorized by law. Where in the HELL were they when the Lawbreaker-in-Chief decided he can break any damn law he feels like breaking? He, after all, asserts that he can do whatever he wants because HE is the "Decider-in-Chief." Where in the HELL were they when the story about warrantless spying on our phone calls and other forms of communication could be done without reasonable cause?
Do these knot heads have any idea just how stupid and ridiculous they truly are? Our government has inspired a new zenith in me for contempt of most of our elected leaders.
Thank God for the bright spots -- such as Russ Feingold, Evan Bayh and Ron Widen -- and people like Ray McGovern, Scott Ritter, Richard Clarke, Richard Armitage, and the other few assorted who dare to stand up and speak out against the crimes of this whole farce of leadership in Washington, DC.
May God have mercy on those of us who recognize the truth -- as for the others, dip them in honey and lash them to a pile of fire ants.
House leaders demand FBI return papers (AP/Yahoo)
Subject: Tax & Spend Is Pay Your Way
Anyone ever hear a D spokesperson use it?
Are they stupid or ?
TAX & SPEND LIBERAL WHO PAYS HIS WAY
From G. Washington to Reagan we ended with less than 1,000 Billion in Debt.
The next 12 years of Spend & Borrow Conservatism added on over 3,000 Billion.
Bush 2006 Budget—Five Year Forecast—Historical Tables—Pages 116-117 reveals that he will add on 3759 Billion.
This is Gang who screamed—
CUT GOVERNMENT--BALANCE THE BUDGET—TAX CUTS PAY THEIR WAY
Swinney Fact Check-----
Reagan yelled this more than any President.—His record—He INCREASED the size of government more than any predecessor.
He INCREASED spending by 80%
p.s. He increased California spending by 112%. This is a Conservative?
TAX CUTS PAY THEIRWAY. --
Reagan cut Income taxes by 750 Billion. He borrowed 1700 Billion to pay for it.
He increased Income Tax Revenues by 140 Billion. Wee bit short of 750 Billion.
Bush cut income taxes by 1700 Billion and will borrow 3759 Billion to pay for it.
Anyone care to wager it will not be 5,000 Billion?
Democrats use sensible fiscal polices which SPEND but TAX to Pay Their Way.
Republicans use selfish fiscal policies which SPEND but BORROW to let the kids pay tomorrow.
Which party do you want handling your money?
Subject: Have We Forgotten?
Before we start dancing in the streets over the coming takeover of the Congress in 2006, perhaps someone should revisit the convoluted gerrymandering of our congressional districts.
Besides the voting irregularities.....egad......there is this little poison pill...........
Is there anyone looking into this continuing problem?
Subject: Stand Up Comic or President
I was reading about how the media missed the real Colbert story, while they covered Bush. If I wanted a stand up comic for President, I would vote for Seinfeld!! Think about it, George could be an advisor like Karl Rove, Kramer the Secretary of Defense like Rummy, and Elaine the National Security Advisor like Rice. Now that would be a riot!!
[BuzzFlash Note: Hollywood, are you reading? A comedic "West Wing."]
Mayor Potter of Portland Oregon just had a live news conference. He said that the FBI was attempting to plant spies in his city government. He filed a formal complaint against the agent involved.
This mayor has also in the past kicked Homeland Security OUT of his city, saying the Portland Police is in charge of Portland, NOT THEM!!!
What a great mayor...
Potter: FBI was trying to spy on Portland gov't (AP/kgw.com)
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: NOLA Library
I understand that the New Orleans Library is accepting donations of books. I've got a bunch of novels that I've already read. And it just so happens that I've got a dozen or so books about political and social justice topics that I've already read. The address is:
Rica A Trigs
Give the gift of knowledge. And the truth.
Michael J. Fowler
[BuzzFlash Note: Their web site indicates that they need funds more than book donations. Their Frequently Asked Questions page does say they will accept some books, and prospective donors may email titles for their consideration.]
Subject: Anger mounts after FBI raid of rep's office (http://www.msnbc.msn.com...)
IT’S NOT JUST REPUBLICANS THAT ARE CRIMINALS, SEE? SEE!
Is there any question as to the who (a democrat), what (seizure of evidence to taint a democrat), where (his executive office), when (election year where Republicans are getting investigated and indicted regularly), why (duh) and how (apparently, illegally...again) that this has happened? Sorta reminds one of Watergate in an even more twisted and desperate way.
This is not a defense. Mr. Jefferson may be a “bad one.” If he is, I support him no more than I support Cynthia McKinney. I want the “bad ones” out of the party and in jail where necessary. That includes all the idiots, race-baiters, do-nothings and criminals. I gain nothing by making excuses for and/or protecting them. Period.
We all gain, however, from protecting their rights as Americans. The right to be protected from illegal search and seizure...and the right to due process. That said, Congressman Jefferson is innocent until proven guilty (quaint!)...and it looks like the KGB at the behest of the Executive Branch may have indeed overstepped here in an overzealous attempt to make sure Americans know “IT’S NOT JUST REPUBLICANS THAT ARE CRIMINALS, SEE? SEE!”
...just wish there was a way to prove Karl Rove initiated this investigation for political purposes...because abuses just like this are his tried and true MO.
And the overriding irony is that now even Denny Hastert and his cronies are suddenly worried about what may be hiding in THEIR freezers...hmmmmmmm.
IT’S NOT JUST REPUBLICANS THAT ARE CRIMINALS, SEE? SEE!
Study that phrase. Amazing...after years of total power that is all the Republicans have left to “brag” about. The bar has been lowered that far.
John L. Johnson
Subject: Rep Tim Ryan (D-OH) Delivers Blistering Indictment on Repugs
Rep Tim Ryan (D-OH) is a member of the 30 Something Dems.
Watch as he shows how Gingrich feels about the Republicans and adds his own feelings about the Mis-Management by the Republicans.
"Un. Able. To. Govern."
Indeed, it is a "Blistering Indictment" of the Republicans!
And they actually expect people to vote for them?
Subject: Will It Really Matter?
Regardless if the Democrats take back the house in November. It doesn't matter if the Democrats capture the senate in November. And it won't mean a thing if the Democrats retake the white house in 2008. As long as the right wing spin machine is allowed to vilify, lie about, smear, swift boat or whatever you want to call it, on an endless 24/7 basis, a Democrat has no chance of a successful term in office.
The Democrats must understand the fact that anyone with a D after their name will be smeared endlessly. They need to frame the Republicans for what they are. As liars, bad for America and against a strong middle class. It will not matter if the presidential candidate is Clinton, Gore, Edwards or my Uncle Max. They will all be smeared and lied about. It's time for the Democrats to fight fire with fire. Make Republican a four letter word and embarrass anyone that admits to being a Republican.
Subject: Bob Lambert RE: Dixie Chicks
I have not bought the CD...even though I am something of a Country Music fan. I am a MUSIC fan....I was an 80's pop music fan, mostly. I am an Eric Clapton, Bob Seger, James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, etc....fan. I was a very Motown fan! You will find a song on there that you like, if you buy the CD. IF not, go on aolmusic.com and you can get any video that you wish to watch without buying. There is a video that the Chicks made on a previous CD....name was, "Earl has to die"...you have to have something of a slightly sick sense of humor...but, they treat the abusive husband of their girlfriend from a small town, who cannot get out of the marriage.....with humor. If that is possible. They were also voted in ALL country venues as group of the year...until they disavowed Mr. Bush....saying "They were ashamed that President Bush was from Texas"... that was the gist of it...and it was narrow minded people from the idiotic part of the country...small minded folk that we have all had to deal with at some time in our life...who decided to kick 'em out! Break the CD's...yada yada yada!!!
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill....have recently said some uncomplimentary things about the Bush administration....if anyone wonders....they are not big in the nominations anymore, either. They are huge out in the concert venue...takes 10 trucks to move their various and sundry concert paraphernalia, with a bus for each of their 3 daughters, for tutoring. They have made a lot of money...as have the Chicks ... not because of country music...just because of music...good music! Recently, Tim filled in for an ailing star at Bluesville, at 125.00 a pop...sold out before we even saw the ad, in March for a concert in June (incidentally...I never paid that much to see anyone.)
Shirley ... St. Louis
Subject: Voter Fraud
Can we all try to influence and inform as many people and politicans as possible that this is the issue of overriding importance in our imperiled democracy right now? If the voter fraud is not fixed (it just occurred with Blackwell in Ohio), all else is moot. The Bush crime family will have total one-party despotic rule. We will be finished as a democracy, and may be put in the detention centers they have all over the U.S.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: My Political Music Video--please Share
OR JUST GO TO www.youtube.com and search for "ALL YOU ZOMBIES"
Subject: My Tin Foil Hat - Re: FBI vs Congress
Okay, so BushCo looked at Congress' gun rack and saw that all of their weapons were finally rusty from neglect. BushCo knew the time would come. BushCo already had the goods on the faithful, and it was now time to sweep up the debris. Time to draw first, look 'em in the eye, and say, "You feelin' lucky, punk?"
"You think we are weak? Behold Dick stuffing our pockets with payola. OOOOH, we are soooo scared that someone with an approval rating threatening the single digit level is weakened. You think I am weak? Look over your shoulder. That's a sucker punch coming. SUCKER!"
This latest bid for power just goes to show that BushCo did not belie at least one promise. He is, as advertised, a Uniter. All power will finally be united.
Subject: Not a Better Policy, a Better Spinner
Watching Tony Snow on the Lou Dobbs program last night was like watching Masterpiece Theatre. Mr. Snow gave a very good performance. Unfortunately that is what politics is all about. We get style with little substance and spun until we’re too dizzy to understand much of anything.
Watching Tony Snow it was all too apparent why poor old Scotty had to be dumped, ditched and sent on his way. Tony can take an issue and spin it well enough that it can be covered with painted horses and set down next to the Ferris wheel on the midway. Again, all style and no substance. But admittedly, very good at what he does. (Don’t you think his suits fit better than Scotty’s did?)
Expecting little substantive difference I am not disappointed. He is doing the job he was hired to do. Obfuscation done with wit and charm remains obfuscation. It does make one wonder at a character that finds working at the White House such a thrill and lying to the American people just fine and dandy. Sadly we know that integrity is in short supply in the White House. Had he possessed any he would not be working there.
Perhaps politics has always been about fooling as many people as possible. Perhaps real leaders have been few and far between and all we ever got were performers. Sometimes we were lucky enough to get a combination of the two and as a result were not poorly served.
It is not Tony Snow’s job to inform us. It is the job of the press corps that has served their country so poorly for years. (Apologies to Helen Thomas. Her honesty and courage are a template for what journalistic integrity looks like.) With Bush being regarded with the approval of a plate of day old spaghetti, perhaps the White House Press Corps will make Tony Snow earn his salary. Then again, maybe not. Washington, D.C. seems to be one gigantic carousel spinning around and around. It just keeps moving and never seems to get anywhere.
Lou Dobbs Tonight (CNN/Transcript)
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