The BuzzFlash Mailbag
December 7, 2001
don't know why I am surprised at what happened today with the vote for
Fast Track/Trade Promotion Authority. I realize that a fifteen minute
vote on the House floor doesn't necessarily mean fifteen minutes. It was
a real nail biter. Those in favor of fast track were behind all the way.
The fifteen minutes was up; the vote kept going on ... and on ... and
on. They crept closer, and then they fell further behind again. At least
Like I said, I don't know why I was surprised. I guess I still believe in a benevolent God. Oh well. I can't wait for "too stupid to be president" to negotiate for all of us. It's now official, we are a country of the potentates, by the plutocrats, and for the privileged.
Re: The Democrats on the Judiciary Committee Cowered before Ashcroft
I know you're a Nader Hater, but can you at least occasionally understand why some people would be so disgusted with the Democratic party that they would stay home--or pull the lever for a third party?
One could counter that If the 2% of Florida voters had not pulled the lever for Nader (or in other close states that went to Bush) then Bush Inc. would not have come close enough to winning steal the election. But this is untrue.
If those 2% of Fla. voters had not pulled the lever for Nader, there would still have been a tie in Florida. Why? Because if they hadn't voted Green, they would have stayed home. And Gore and Bush still would have had been locked in a statistical tie. The totals would have been the same in other states, and Bush still would have been able to pull off his Florida coup.
Should we repulsive Naderites have voted for Gore? Look at it this way. Two weeks before the election, Nader was polling 10% nationwide. Thus, 8% of those who polled who intended to vote for Nader either flipped to Gore when they realized how close the race was--or stayed home. (I've heard some say that it was just as well that they stayed home--but that sounds so Republican!) I am assuming that the 2-3% who voted Green Party would have stayed home if they did not have the option of voting for a candidate who addressed their issues instead of "the lesser of two evils."
Look, I support prescription drugs for seniors and opposed a budget-busting tax cut, but there were other important issues that were not addressed in the campaign, like corporate media mergers, etc. When Nader--who was excluded from all three presidential debates by the bipartisan debate commission--showed up at one of the debates with a ticket (for a seat in a separate viewing room, not the main auditorium), he was recognized and escorted off the premises by state troopers, who explained that they were ordered not to let him in. Gore looked the other way. As a result of Nader's exclusion, the scope of the three debates were very narrow; Michael Moore pointed out that Gore said "I agree" about 25 times during the second debate. (In my opinion, a vote for the Greens was a vote against resignation to apathy. It was a vote that said we still cared about the 43 million uninsured Americans, bad global economic policy, etc.)
fought for the presidency for as long as he had a fighting chance, but
he was not fighting for the disenfranchised voters or for justice in Florida;
he was fighting for himself. How am I so sure of this? Because when it
became clear that getting the presidency was a losing battle, Gore suddenly
shut up about the grave injustice that occurred. He gave a
At least once a week I read a frustrated letter from a BuzzFlash reader who has had it up to here with the spineless Democrats who supposedly represent us. "Our representatives in both the House and Senate, who speak for us, let [Bush] proceed." What are we going to do about it?
loyal Dems seem convinced that Nader is an antichrist who allowed Bush
to steal the 2000 election. But perhaps the Democratic party should be
gleaning another lesson from the election of 2000--that there are enough
progressives out there to win an election (even an election skewed by
the electoral college system), if you're willing to inspire them to go
to the polls instead of staying home in disgust with both parties. Remember,
Less than half of Americans eligible to vote actually vote in presidential elections. You can continue trashing Nader and those who voted for him all you want, but perhaps it would be more productive for Dems to inspire eligible non-voters instead of trying to skim Republican votes while keeping their base by warning them: "you may not like me but I'm better than the other guy, and you have no other options."
way I see it, it was not Nader who split the Democratic vote--it was Gore,
by neglecting the party's base. By pandering to NRA nuts, corporate contributors,
and Cuban exiles, Gore probably turned off enough Democratic voters to
offset any Republican votes he may have gained by pandering to those interests.
Democrats have to inspire us, not frighten us by telling us that the alternative
is worse. Most of us Nader supporters know the alternative (i.e. what
we have now) is worse. But if the Republicans are like an abusive husband,
the Dems are like an abused wife who doesn't fight back for her and her
childrens' safety. Should I vote for the abused wife? She may be better
than the father, but she is unable and/or unwilling defend her defenseless
kids, let alone herself. She (the Democratic party) is not a competent
guardian of her children's welfare. That's what the Democrats are like,
and many of us--both Naderites and loyal Dem supporters--feel trapped.
It's a bad situation. What should we do? The Democrats take us for granted.
(p.s. I voted for Nader, but my conscience is clear: First, New York is a "safe state" so my vote did not affect the electoral total. Second, I traded a vote pledge with a Nader supporter from the swing state of Minnesota. She emailed me on the day of the election and said "I held my nose and voted for Gore.")
For John Ashcroft to insinuate in any way that civil libertarians are "aiding and abetting the enemy" is an absolute outrage! In fact, it sounds positively anti-American to me. What is the point of fighting and dying for American civil liberties if John Ashcroft is only going to take them away? And what's up with these "military tribunals"? It sounds like he doesn't trust the American justice system... the one he's sworn to defend. Maybe he should move to Iraq where the system of justice is more to his liking. As for me, I am an American, and as such, I will not give away my civil liberties to the Taliban or to John Ashcroft. If we do that, the fight is already lost.
We are so very grateful for your site, and you will soon be getting a check from us. In the meantime, however, I heard the Ashcroft hearings today on NPR, and was especially curious about the article cited by Senator Cantwell (D-WA), so I went to ZDnet to check it out. Thought you might want to list this for the community:
The FBI knows what you're typing" By Robert Vamosi
I am also spreading the word about yellow ribbons as found on the wonderful site you listed: letstalksense.com. All our red, white and blue ribbons have had yellow added to them, for the Bill of Rights, among other things, and for liberty and freedom inside our country, now under assault by the Bush Cabal.
Thanks for everything--I have spread your site far and wide.
Nothing the president says to the ABC news correspondent makes the news
and the program is beat by re-runs...puts that whole 88% approval ratings
thing into perspective.
Re: mailbag of 12/06
was a particularly good one! The article written by Gene Lyons was worth
everything to me. He and BuzzFlash are my sanity in this confusing, insane
world! I also loved the article about Linda Tripp's unveiling of the "Bush
1" infidelity. I have read this so many
I suggest another fundraiser for your wonderful site: A series of "limited
edition" bobbleheads starting with John Ashcroft, then GW, the Screamer
Chris Matthews etc.
I don't know if you want to include this on the page, but I'd appreciate it. It really is an important issue. CNN has it on their ticker and the BBC has even asked about the situation.
Well, do with it as you will.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
As you may or may not have already heard, I (among very many others) am
facing a serious crisis at work. I am a high school teacher in Middletown,
NJ. If you don't know what crisis I'm talking about, see:
As you have heard and/or seen, despite the high stakes, we are not backing down. However, some of our spirits are a bit down (not mine, though - if I have to go to jail, I'll do so gladly).
If you sympathize with our cause, please send an e-mail to our union's office at:
If you want to yell at our school board, their address is:
Thank you very much.
Way, Latin Teacher, Middletown High School South
there I was watching Senator Charles Schumer question John Ashcroft about
the Justice(?) Department's not allowing the FBI to check gun purchase
records of detained terror suspects when MSNBC (the only channel televising
the hearings at the time) quickly cut away to some non-story in Afghanistan.
I was floored! I tried calling NBC for about an hour. It just rang. I
then tried to access their website and it's down. I just wanted to congratulate
them for self-identifying as members of the gun lobby. Makes it easier
Thanks for the great work you do.
Re: TO APPEASE THE GUN LOBBY, ASHCROFT BETRAYS THE WAR ON TERRORISM
The NY Times column does the best job of anything I've seen to show the abject hypocrisy of Ashcroft and his ilk. It's also the most damning -- denying a suspect privacy in conversing w/his attorney or attempting to subvert habeas corpus often only rises to the level of moral obnoxiousness in the eyes of a scared electorate. Allowing .50 caliber guns into the hands of those who aren't dusting rats at the local dump transcends the previous abridgments and crosses over into an act of directly putting the public into harm's way. Bravo!
"To those who pit Americans against immigrants, citizens against
non-citizens, to those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of
lost liberty, my message is this: Your tactics only aid terrorists for
they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve," Ashcroft
told the Senate Judiciary Committee. "They give ammunition to America's
enemies and pause to America's friends. They encourage people of good
will to remain silent in
TRANSLATION: "IF YOU OPPOSE ME YOU ARE A TRAITOR"
Thus is a tyrant revealed.
Drudge Report seems to have this thing about TV ratings, you know, CNN
Today he reported according to Nielsen....American television viewers preferred a rerun of West Wing (1), a rerun of Law and Order (2) and the interview with the Barbara & the Bushes (3).
the love-in with the Bushes and Barbara was apparently missed by most
Since the White House is closed to all but the privileged this year, you would think people would love to see the Christmas splendor and beauty of the White House decorations, especially since our tax dollars paid for them. Could it be all those polls which indicate Mr. Bush is so popular could be exaggerated? I can only hope.
Well, we know he is not rational in his decision making process. I just don't know why some smart reporter isn't asking questions of him, in public, where he would be forced to either lie publically or explain his decisions. Of course, that would require that we had smart reporters who could think on their feet and have follow-up questions to whatever the weasel makes as his politically correct response (which I'm sure has been prepared for him by the NRA).
When is someone going to ask that we change our national anthem? "The land of the free" is no longer the truth. I suppose it isn't the only song that will have to go.
Subj: PRESIDENT BUSH No, what you do is you rely upon the government...
Did you guys see this line in Baba Wawa's Bush interview you linked to? What a hoot, eh?
BuzzFlash Note: We can safely put "small government" in that long list of lies Bush told the American public to get (s)elected.
Reuters today quotes John Ashcroft as saying,
"My day begins with a review of the threats to Americans and American interests," Ashcroft said, "If ever there were proof of evil in the world it is in these reports. They are a chilling daily chronicle of the hatred of Americans by fanatics, who seek to extinguish freedom, enslave women, corrupt education, and to kill Americans wherever and whenever they can."
Sounds like he's talking about the Army of God to me. Has Mr. Ashcroft finally designated them as a terrorist group? Just wondering!
A BuzzFlash Reader
Re: FBI can’t get detainees’ gun records
So the government has the right to listen to conversations between the accused and their lawyers, but they can't get to their gun records.
Just had to offer my opinion!
As much as I hate to go to Newsmax, I was hunting around the net this morning and came across an article re: the sequence of events when Flt. 587 crashed in Rockaway. It really grabbed my attention because, as I told you, it is exactly what was heard from witness after witness immediately after the crash.
Re: The "Gag Me With a Spoon" Barbara WaWa Interview with the Bushes
wanted to say you guys make me laugh. Thanks - keep up your good work!
Hooray for Senate! For Sen. Daschle, For Sen. Jeffords, for all those who believe in rule of law and consistent application of Judicial & Legislative process vs. the "attack and smear" campaign that previously derailed Democratic nominees, and now tries to bulldoze RW nominees through Congress despite the "more tolerant, bipartisan" rhetoric of the Tex. Gov. G.W. Bush campaign.
OF course the Media loves to side with the RW (who signs 99% of their paychecks) so it will be interesting to see how Rove & co. spin this as a "great assault on office of our wartime leader."
note on 12/5 that Russ Feingold was the only Democrat on the Judiciary
Committee to vote to confirm Ashcroft and say "Russ has a lot of
explaining to do." Well, Russ was asked about that after a speech
at the University of Texas in Austin last week and said he is
Then Feingold asked what sense it made for those Democrats who voted against Ashcroft in committee and on the Senate floor to support the objectionable bill that Ashcroft sent over, which was approved 98-1, with Feingold the only opponent. "To vote against John Ashcroft and then vote for his bill makes no sense to me," he said.
Feingold also said his lonely dissent was not in vain. "I think people thought I'd be run out of town on a rail because I voted against the bill and in fact just the opposite occurred," he said. "People from the right - Bob Novak said I was right. So I think people realized that the American people still care about the Bill of Rights. ... People are waking up to the fact that it's not political suicide to stand up for the Bill of Rights."
It's the other Democratic senators, who rolled over when it counted, that have some explaining to do.
Keep up the good work,
Jim Cullen, Editor
otherwise noted, all original