The BuzzFlash Mailbag
February 4, 2002
I was so keyed-up and thrilled by Al Gore's talk at the Tennessee Democratic Party fundraiser that I sent a check to his Leadership 02 PAC. What joy I felt: a democratic leader saying it straight about the Bush administration with no apologies and no excuses. Straight and true. I haven't felt this good in months and months and months.
I admit it, I am old enough to remember Watergate and the many crimes of Nixon and his administration. Recently, I have been having the most extraordinary feeling of déjà vu regarding Enron and 'bush enterprises'. After a very short search, I found out why. The parallels are nothing short of astounding: hiding behind a war, claims of innocence and integrity, the misuse of "executive privilege"...
As 2002 marks the anniversary of the Watergate break-in, it is noteworthy that the names and crime perpetrated may be different but the repuglican handbook apparently has not changed much over the past 30 years. The cancer on this nation has most decidedly come out of remission. What remains to be seen is if the media possesses the will to investigate and report the crimes of the present administration.
those interested, check out this comprehensive site:
Wondering how many are pausing to remember the same Bushies who told us a tax cut was in order because we had massive supluses are now telling us tax cuts, corporate bail outs are necessary to build the economy. Seems to me if their concepts were wrong about the surpluses they are probably wrong regarding building the economy.
Just to set the record straight, you should be aware that the implications you have drawn from the letter reproduced below are not exactly accurate. Andersen Consulting (AC) was a subsidiary of Arthur Andersen & Co. (AA) providing business consulting and management services. It was set up, in part, to avoid precisely the kind of conflict situation in which AA now finds itself vis-a-vis Enron. I am guessing that the "facts" referred to in the SEC letter to Mr. Pitt are those that I refer to above; namely, that a wall of separation existed between the activities of AA and AC at that time. AC in fact had separate earnings, which covered expenses, salaries of employees and partnership shares. The parent covered none of these costs, and, although the two entities shared facilities such as office space, in every way that mattered, AC functioned independently from the corporate parent.
this point, I should disclose that I worked at AC as a contract librarian
in 1994-1995, so I am somewhat familiar with what was happening there.
By that point in time, the relationship between AA and AC had begun to
sour, because AA saw that AC had developed a rather lucrative business,
far more lucrative, in fact, than the accounting and auditing services
provided by AC. After my contract with AC was finished, I kept an eye
on them, just out of curiosity, and watched the split between the two
widen into a canyon. AA and AC squabbled
Much of this has been widely reported in the business press, so you can verify what I have set out here.
Very truly yours,
about the tax rebate being deducted from this years tax refund reminded
me of when Reagan was president. We were active duty military then and
he had promised to give the military pay raises. Well, the way they did
it was to increase the basic pay and eliminate the allowances, such as
the flight duty pay, housing allowance pay and other allowances at the
same time. Since the basic pay was what the social security deduction
was based on we paid more into social security and our income taxes went
up but actual take home pay was reduced. Right then I knew that the republicans
were either really stupid or really sneaky. Seems like Bush is following
in a long line of sneaks.
A BuzzFlash Reader
pResident in Chief came to Atlanta this week. He visited a predominantly
black high school. Students from the highly Democratic district (represented
by Rep. John Lewis) were urged to be on their best behavior and were told
how wonderful it was to have the president in their midst. The Atlanta
Journal-Constitution displayed several pages of favorable articles and
pictures. The front page photo the next day showed Bush kissing the principal
with both eyes closed and many quotes from students applauding his visit.
Nothing was said of his slighting the school superintendent by referring
to her as "Beverly" instead of Dr. Hall before the hundreds
I sent the following letter to the Amarillo Globe-News after reading their editorial at your site:
To the Editor:
"Executive privilege sounds fishy, Mr. Veep" [Feb. 1], Jeff
There is a serious difference between a United States president's struggle to preserve confidentiality between a president and his White House aides, who are paid to give the president all sides of an issue (with or without recommendations for action), and Dick Cheney's misguided belief that when he talks with private citizens who are lobbying him for some specific action on their own behalf, such communication requires confidentiality
Presumably, and supposedly, Presidents of the United States and their aides are trying to function on behalf of the public good. Lobbyists are functioning on behalf of ONLY themselves.
I am deeply troubled and saddened that Mr. Cheney does not see a huge difference in purpose between the confidential advice of aides to a United States president and the pressuring of lobbyists who are functioning for only their own interests.
i happened to go to nearby church today for 12 o'clock mass - the gospel was the beatitudes from the sermon on the mount - the priest, in his homily, mentioned that he had read about the right wing churches wanting the right to endorse political candidates while maintaining their tax-free status - then he said they also advocate putting the 10 commandments everywhere - in courthouses, schools, etc. - he noted that these are all supposedly "christians" and that they might better advocate posting the beatitudes of christ than the old testament 10 commandments as the beatitudes are a much truer reflection of jesus' teaching : "blesssed are those who are poor in spirit....those who are mourning....those who are gentle....those who hunger and thirst for justice....those who show mercy to others.....those whose hearts are clean.....those who work for peace.....those who are persecuted because of their struggle for justice...." i thought this rather clever - although, of course, i think our courthouses and public schools, etc. should be kept free of anybody's personal religious beliefs - however, it's curious how the right wing "christians" so seldom bring up christ's teachings - his criteria for entering heaven was feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, welcoming the stranger, clothing the naked, comforting the ill, visiting those in prison - he spoke about loving our neighbor and forgiving as we had been forgiven - what he didn't seem to like was hypocrisy, frauds, blind guides, the wicked, those whose works are performed to be seen - anyway, thank you so much for buzzflash - it is a lifesaver and fun too - how do you do it? i'm joining the fan club very soon and intend to always send you what i can - until that time when freedom and democracy belong to everyone , hang in there -
just found out that the C-Span mobile unit which travels around the country
will be here in Las Cruces this week, from Monday through Wednesday. The
location nearest to me will be showing up on Tuesday and I plan to visit.
I was going to make a few pointed comments about their
The thought crossed my mind--if people would like to voice a complaint, they could email to this address (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will print out all messages on my old tractor feed printer and deliver them to C-Span...
Interested in a little activism?? G
A BuzzFlash Reader letter to CNN's Candy Crowley:
sorry ms. crowley,
but there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people in america, who think mr. bush was illegitimately appointed to the office of president. and the only reason you don't hear it, is because the media has refused to cover the growing discontent in america.
i saw nothing on cnn about the anti-war protestors that were arrested right outside the white house a couple of weeks ago.
i see nothing on cnn about the bob kunst's run for governor of florida and the media's refusal to cover his candidacy.
i see nothing on cnn about the news consortium's discovery that if all florida votes were recounted, as is proscribed by florida law, then al gore would have surely won that state.
i saw nothing on cnn about the consitutional provisions made for such a deadlock as the 2000 election, and how political and media and legal entities maneuvered past the house of representatives, which is where the constitution proclaims such an election would be decided.
i never see any coverage of the myriads of protestors that meet mr. bush whenever he travels the country (at least as closely as they are now allowed to, as we are living in a time when political opposition to the president is contained in "free speech zones" many miles away from his appearances, unlike when i was a young man and we lived in a free country).
cnn, in its desparate and transparent attempt to outfox fox, is catering so obviously to the conservatives in this country (which are a minority, comprised mainly of southern and midwestern holy rollers; and millionaires, including most of the broadcasters in our media, sorry to say) totally is ignoring the center, let alone the liberal, part of america.
truth may not sell, but it will prevail.
ps. why hasn't cnn reported that the bush-cheney campaign got use of the enron corporate jet at greatly reduced prices (ie, the cost of a first class ticket on a regular airline, much less than the $1000 per hour or more that such a jet usually costs to operate).
Well, it looks like I have a new home page! I've also e-mailed the Buzzflash link to everyone in my address book -- at least once.
Your headlines are very well crafted and the links and other resources are invaluable to me -- one person very concerned about the state of democracy in the U.S. since the selection of Resident Bush by the "gang of five" in the nation's highest court.
Buzzflash is an extremely important web site for our times and I'm very encouraged that you are there and I hope contributions are rolling in well.
I, myself, pledge to send a contribution soon, perhaps with one of the great book offers you have been making.
Keep up the great work! and thank you again for the time and effort you put into this site.
P.S. -- Tip: I hear that comedian Dana Carvy (sp?), has a new wonderful impression of W going. Perhaps you might find a good spotlight it and let us know.
Here's a letter to the editor I wrote that was published yesterday in the Hanover PA Evening Sun (www.eveningsun.com). Thought you might get a kick out of it.
Keep up the good work,
In today's (2-02-2002) Buzzflash Mailbag, a reader from LA sent the LA Times a letter asking:
<< if swagger in an international leader is better... why don't we just put Mafia Dons in charge? They really know how to 'explain' the facts of life to anyone who annoys them. >>
A very perceptive question to the Times, but.... whereas Mafia "wars" over turf may lead the killings to 5 or ten (at most, two-dozen) casualties, Bush Sr's secret, undeclared war in Guatemala is conservatively estimated to have killed 200,000 native Guatemalans, mostly up in the remote highlands and jungles. Simply because the American media would prefer to talk about a "stained dress," most Americans do not know, or do not care, about this "hunt and kill" policy in Guatemala, supported and financed by the CIA and United States. IF there is a degree of "plausible deniability" in America's views of the Guatemala war, how about Sadam Hussein's use of poison gas in Iraq against Kurdish separatists, also back in the 1980s. As even a cursory look at papers from that era will review, although the massacre made front-page news for days and weeks, the US never lodged a formal protest on behalf of the victims. Who needs the Mafia when the CIA can hire a Sadam Hussein or Manuel Noriega to do its dirty work; or Dr. K can give a pat on the back to Indonesian Death Squads (in East Timor), etc.?
In short, the Bush I administration had a FAR higher "body-count" than any mafia don, and the Bush II admin. has less international experience, continuity, or scruples than the first did. Which means they really are the leaders of a "family" that does not care which side of the law they operate on.
I want to thank you and your many wonderful letter writers for the BuzzFlash Mailbag. I get information there that I would never get elsewhere! After reading one of those letters, I sent the NY Times the following letter:
Congratulations Washington Post on your new editor, karl rove!! (and p.s.: IF you are going to write up a 10 part, day-by-lapdog-day evaluation of the Bush planning for the air war in Afghanistan, don't you think you could just MIGHT, Maybe, possibly, slip in something about how our great president deemed the summer worthy of taking an entire one-month vacation? words fail me, but how would the editors and publishers of the WP feel if the local police decided to take a one-month vacation!
I sent the following letter to the Washington Post re their gushing "10 Days in September" series, and their Enron editorials. They're obviously not going to print it, but I thought you might be interested in seeing it.
To the Editor:
am very sorry to see that Mr. Downie is no longer editor of The Washington
Post. He will be sorely missed. However, your new editor, Mr. Karl Rove,
will be a fine replacement, I'm sure. The editorial he wrote last weekend
("A Deliberate Scandal") was a masterpiece, a careful dissection
of the Enron scandal without once mentioning George W. Bush or Dick Cheney
or Thomas White
In contemplating mainstream media, CNN's new format, Faux news Fox, etc. etc. etc. I have come to the conclusion the current motto for all those dittos who have become known as mainstream media is "NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS". Mumbling opinion, boring views, and a little cheerleading is all one can get on the tube and in most major publications. All I have to say is Thank You to Buzz for the real news of the day.
Huge fan of Buzzflash here...
I am just wondering if I am remembering correctly. Wasn't Ken Lay in Cheney's office during the September 11 attack? I only read it once, and I believe that was who he was meeting with that day. Does anyone remember that? I could have the name wrong, but I think I am right about this.
[BuzzFlash Note: Go Nancy! :)]
You mention the $475,000,000 for the Crusader Howitzer, a program that the Army planned to kill. Shouldn't you have also mentioned that this directly benefits the Carlyle Group and the financial interests of the President's father?
Robert E. Reynolds, Orange Park Fl
is a storm circling all around the Houston headquarters of Enron. How
does one make the following statement with a straight face? Does this
mean if the police find someone with a smoking gun in hand, blood on his
hands, standing over the body of someone you don't start
"...Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal said Friday his staff is not investigating the possibility of criminal actions in the financial collapse of Enron Corp. because it has no evidence state laws were broken.
"If people bring the information to me I will try to assay it to see if it is something we can handle," he said.
Rosenthal acknowledged that prosecutors often begin investigations without such information, but in a case such as Enron his staff needs an indication where to start.
"Just a simple allegation that somebody must have done something wrong for this to have happened is not specific enough for me to know where to begin," he said..."
I sent the following to my local papers....
natural progress of things is for government to gain ground and for liberty
normal man must be tempted at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black
flag, and begin slitting throats.
is a hard-bought thing.
when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.
are two freedoms -- the false, where a man is free to do what he likes;
the true, where he is free to do what he ought.
what is freedom?
is its own reward.
that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety
deserve neither liberty nor safety.
who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have,
nor do they deserve, either one.
little rebellion now is a good thing.
who has lost freedom has nothing left to lose.
in the protection of liberty is no virtue; extremism in the defense of
freedom is no vice.
be a fool and die for your country. Make the other fool die for his country.
is a virtue of the vicious.
is just another word for "nothing to lose."
only future peace has to offer is war.
is the last refuge of a scoundrel.
consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what
The extreme form of censorship.
means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.
Tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of
patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.
is harder to preserve than to obtain liberty.
a nation expects to be both ignorant and free, it expects what never was
and never will be.
who expect to reap the blessing of freedom must, like men, undergo the
fatigue of supporting it.
is no greater power in the universe than the need for freedom. Against
that power, governments and tyrants and armies cannot stand.
anticipate the Day when to command Respect in the remotest Regions it
will be sufficient to say I am an American.
Subj: Ari Fleischer - Future Presidential Material?
What Drafting our National Constitution and our National Energy Policy Have in Common
From an Editorial:
John Hancock must be rolling over laughing in his grave! Wasn't Bush (senior) Nixon's last presidential press secretary who jumped into the position when ex-Gen. Alexander Haige (SP?) couldn't take it any more? George's career sure got back on track for taking that odious job. What greatness might we expect from the up and coming Mr. Ari Fleischer in days to come?
The justice department's order that the Whitehouse preserve Enron-related documents, is not motivated by a sudden epiphany on Ashcroft's part. He hasn't suddenly given up being a shill for Bu$h inc. and decided to do his job. Rather, it serves two much more cynical purposes. One is legal, the other is political.
First, the Justice Dept. is making a portion of the energy task force
records the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation. By doing that,
the documents in question can be exempted from the Freedom of Information
Act (FOIA) and the Government in the Sunshine (open meetings) Act. That
means even if the lawsuits brought by various non-governmental groups
Dear Republican Voters,
You've heard that there is a deficit. What the deficit means is that the government is now using Social Security money to pay the tax refunds from the Bush tax cuts.
does this mean to you? Look at your paycheck. For almost all Americans
the Social Security tax is more than the Federal Income tax. This means
that the money YOU pay for your Social Security tax is being used to pay
for the huge tax REFUND that Ken Lay is getting back, instead of paying
taxes on all the money he made selling Enron stock. You got $300. That's
Do you get it yet? You were tricked into thinking YOU were getting a tax cut. You were played for a fool. You were suckered. Instead of you getting a tax cut Bush is using your retirement money to give his rich friends huge checks.
FYI, thought you might be interested in some first hand info on the demonstration
at Munich and the World Defense meeting, which took place today. The German
polizei had actually put a ban on any demonstrations in Munich, calling
it a "precaution" based on information they had read from protestors'
internet sites. To counter that, organizers told demonstrators to show
up with shopping bags to Marienplatz, the center of Munich's Altstadt,
to avoid arrest.
A Buzzflash Reader in Europe
In regards to Cheney's refusal to release the documents requested, these questions seem to be worth asking.
1. Will those who are asking for the documents go to court to force the Bush gang to turn them over?
2. If they go to court will the loosing side seek a higher court decision?
3. If it goes to the supreme court, would the Freaky Five dare once again to go beyond all legal history and find in favor of Bush?
4. If that happens what would be the chances of a five (or seven) person impeachment?
What truly concerns me is that Justice wants records on Enron back to Jan. 1, 1999. Since many of us trust nothing that this Justice Dept and especially Dubya and his administration do, how are we to ever know that records given to Justice from President Clinton's administration will not be "doctored" in some way? Of course, I can already see from "liberal" media's spin on this request that they're taking care to emphasize the Jan, 1999 date and this being during Clinton's time. I'm certainly not naive either and know that Enron gave contributions to both sides, but something just smells "fishy" with this request from deputy attorney general, who has a conflict of interest himself, and Dubya and company appearing so eager to comply. We already know old Dubya's people have been releasing papers from Clinton's administration while keeping Regan's and Bush I's papers secret.
Double standard anyone?
certainly love my country and support our military and was horrified by
the events of 9/11 and feel deeply for those who lost loved ones and for
the survivors who will have to live with the nightmare of that terrible
day for the rest of their lives. None of us will ever forget 9/11. But
this administration wraps itself in the Flag and 9/11 ad nauseum, using
After Bush's SOTU speech Tuesday night, I think all Americans should be very scared. Will House and Senate Democrats fight Dubya on his right wing agenda now wrapped in the Flag and 9/11? Will they seriously investigate Enron and connection to the Bush Administration and hold open meetings on why US intelligence agencies totally failed us on 9/11 and what really led to these attacks? I doubt it. The past four months have been so frustrating, particularly with poll's on Bush, if they haven't been "cooked" like Enron's books. But more and more I'm tempted to scream: Wake up Americans and get your heads out of your backsides and take a real close look at what Bush II has done to our civil liberties in the name of fighting terrorism. So many things have been destroyed by this administration in the name of the "war on terrorism" and will only get worse. Wake up, wake up!
Watch for bombs to fall on Iraq as soon as Enron heats up and info detrimental to this administration emerges and if hearings on 9/11 intelligence failure are ever held. That "dog will be wagged," big time. Be very afraid where Bush II is leading us. I am!
otherwise noted, all original