The BuzzFlash Mailbag
February 15, 2002
Howard Fineman has done it again--his current column "George Walker Texas Ranger" is a lame attempt at grandiose! Someone needs to inform Fineman that to be a Texas Ranger requires either the ability to ride a horse or the ability to play baseball. Bush is not capable of either-he can only sport a belt buckle. Hardly a requirement for a "Texas Ranger" or "President"! And again we see a contrived picture and a misplaced effort to make GW "look" presidential.
Hello. I am a very faithful Buzzflash reader. I am just calling your attention to a bizarre article in the Enquirer. I happen to live in Los Angeles and have on occasion been stunned by the accuracy of certain reports in this often silly paper. I was amazed at how they often knew things in the O. J. Simpson trial a week or more before the main stream press got hold of it or proved it. That being said I want to send you an excerpt from an article in the paper. I have been telling people that I suspected that the CIA was somehow connected to Enron. Don't forget that George Bush Senior was the head of the CIA and is now close friends with Ken Lay.
Here is the excerpt: "There have been at least 20 CIA agents on the payroll of Enron in the past eight years. They were given leaves of absence without pay and put on the Enron payroll.
They trained Enron employees in intelligence gathering and security and also worked in other corporate capacities around the globe. It was through intelligence gathering that Enron was able to get billions of dollars in lucrative contracts in Asia, South America and Europe."
That is just a couple of paragraphs. I just wanted to pass that on to you.
A BuzzFlash Reader
The Republican Party of Texas has demanded that EnronOwnsTheGOP.com be shut down. A cease and desist letter was delivered - apparently the Republicans don't feel parody sites are covered under the 1st Amendment.
more info and to read the cease and desist letter:
A BuzzFlash Reader
Buzzflash readers would be interested in an article directed at Ann Coulter's
"make liberals realize that they can be killed too...." commentary.
Journalist Jay Bookman in the 2-12-02 editorial page of The Atlanta Journal/Constitution
has an insightful retort to Coulter. Entitled "Liberals,
report to re-education" it's well worth reading (especially
I just read BuzzFlash Reader Commentary - The Powers Commission Enron Line Dance. I too was amazed at what I was hearing on C-span when they inexplicably cut off the coverage. I'm so glad another BuzzFlash reader got this unbelievable exchange, down verbatim!
Thanks to the reader, for recording it, and thanks to you, Buzz, for posting it! Below is the email I sent to C-SPAN on the day of this broadcast:
I was watching the Enron hearings today when you suddenly decided to cut them off right in the middle of Senator Holling's questioning of Dean Powers. This testimony was both very revealing and quite explosive. It pointed out the deceitful behavior of EVERYONE connected to this scandal.
I am seriously beginning to question your motivations in limiting your live broadcasts of these hearings! Do you, too, have conflicts of interest in this matter that is unknown to your viewers? Who is influencing your decisions on when to pull the plug on your coverage?
These hearings are of great importance to all Americans! This Enron FRAUD clearly demonstrates how our entire system has been corrupted by politicians, accountants, lawyers, government regulators, etc., to the benefit of the very few, at the expense of ALL ordinary Americans voters, taxpayers, and investors.
I am clearly enraged that you have decided to limit your live coverage of these hearings, and would like to know why!
it odd that a group of Olympic judges voted five to four to give a gold
medal to the skaters everyone knows really finished second? Since when
has the Supreme Court been judging ice skating competitions?
Richard Reeves in his article "Bait and Switch" finally exposes publicly how the Bush administration pays lip service to what ever seems to be publicity popular, all the while doing something completely different! Smoke and mirrors is what they are all about-everytime I see Bush on the trail to America I get tickled, because what the press isn't telling you is-no one is allowed in the audience without a ticket and they are all grass roots Repugs! It is not a representation of the American public as they would have you believe!!! Keep making this guy "look good." Appearances are all that matters. The intellectual capacity to sit in this office is no longer a necessity, talk about "Wag the Dog," this man occupying the office of the president of the United States, is the epitome of "Wag the Dog."
Have you noticed . . .
. . . that when cnn does "commentary" the republican always gets the "last word." i even heard one of their news guys SAY it to the republican last week, "don't worry, i'm giving you the last word."
Thanks for the post [House Passes Campaign Finance Bill]---boy, did I roar with laughter when I read Fleischer's quote, "If campaign finance reform is enacted into law, you can thank George W Bush"!!!! Yeah, thank Shrub and his Enron pals for making everyone so sick to their stomach that they finally, FINALLY had to do something!
It's a bit like the rationale that if you get a pension from the state for being an orphan, you should thank the guy that murdered your parents!
Joanne G Murphy
It is a happy day today: Shays-Meehan got a fair vote in the House, closing the soft-money loophole in political campaigns, which was a legal form of bribery. Senate Republicans have promised a filibuster; keep alert for that and all manner of tricks to prevent the bill from reaching Bush's desk. However, I am confident that public pressure due to outrage over Enron will help shepherd Shays-Meehan/McCain-Feingold into law.
However, as we break out the champagne--and we should, because this is an incredible step towards clean elections--let's just be mindful that Shays-Meehan/M-F is a start, not an end to true campaign finance reform. We've still got a ways to go. A system for public financing of election campaigns will be the only true way to thoroughly clean up campaign finance.
Nevertheless, today is a happy day. The American people just got a huge Valentine from our elected representatives.
Hallie Leighton, NYC
just want to send a note on how much I appreciate what you are doing for
our country. Real news is crucial in turning our country into a democracy.
I always pass your site on to new friends. Unfortunately, the masses are
not able to access the internet and are stuck with propaganda.
Hi All: This is a copy of a letter I'm sending to Congressman Doug Ose, 215 Cannon HOB, Washington, DC 20515-0513. I also plan to write to the president and CEO of the Associated Press, Louis Boccardi, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, 50 Rockefeller Plaza, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10020 to complain about the Associated Press's continued harassment of the Clinton's and specifically in this case. (The article had no name on it). The letter below will explain why. The Associated Press email address is:
I hope you will respond also. The office of Doug Ose will not accept emails except from Californians so you have to write a letter.
Please pass on the message to others who may like to respond. Thanks.
P. S. I'm also attaching the article in another email.
Dear Congressman Ose:
I read in the February 13, 2002 Houston Chronicle in an Associated Press article that you are pursuing Hillary Rodham Clinton’s acceptance of gifts when she and President Bill Clinton left the White House. It appears the definition of a gift has changed only for the Clintons.
If as the article states, the purpose is to "bolster support for your legislation to change the rules governing gifts to presidents" I would suggest you look instead at the ONE MILLION DOLLARS worth of gifts the Reagans took with them (according to the US Historical Society) when they left the White House, or have you bothered to check on what was taken by both the Reagan and Bush administrations? What the Clintons took as gifts pales in comparison.
Yes, the current system may be broken, Representative Ose, but you will not solve the problem when your only motive for doing so is to castigate those who do not share your political views. I strongly suggest you have your investigators look into your own Republican dark closets in your pursuit of presidential gift irregularities. If you at least try to be fair, you may be very surprised!
another harbinger of the coming elections, Democrat Liz Krueger won a
New York State Senate seat that had been held by the GOP for over 30 years.
The seat, on the upper
While ignored by the toadying media, the string of elections registering outrage against the Thief in Chief's budget-eviscerating, corporate welfare, Enron-drenched policies marches on!
Text of an e-mail I sent to Senator McCain:
"Dear Senator McCain [or whichever staffer is assigned to read e-mails],
I thought you [or your staff] might find this interesting. Bill Clinton was regularly excoriated for any hint that United States troops would ever be under foreign command. Yet, this recent little agreement, which puts U.S. Troops under the command of Philippines defense forces, goes unnoticed or unmentioned by anyone. Here's an excerpt of the article linked-to below:
US military was reportedly not happy with the inclusion of provisions
in the document giving Philippine commanders authority over American forces
in the field. One such provision reads: "Nothing shall infringe on
the AFP Unit Commander's authority." In another, "US forces
at all levels shall comply with the operational instructions of the AFP
Unit Commander and at no instance shall they operate independently within
Philippine territory." But the contentious word "command"
would not be dropped from the TOR, Defense
I know that most of your Senate Republican colleagues will not say anything about this, lest they embarrass the President or Secretary Powell. But I thought you might mention something, anything about it.
Please don't bother sending me a form e-mail in response. I don't need a response. I just wanted to call this to your [and your staff's] attention."
A concerned American,
I keep wondering when are people going "to get it"? If one takes a look at the state of the union, past history, under the Repuglicans we have generally been in recession, the average citizens are the ones who have an uncertain future, civil rights are usually compromised, and there is always some kind of global conflict. They spout patriotism, while undermining this country, and people seem to believe it. Homage is paid by rhetoric only, the spoken word does not match the action taken. We must be alert to possible terror attacks from the terrorists and we must be alert to domestic attempts to completely overturn democracy. Secrecy in government is not necessary regarding domestic policy. The only thing it protects is the act being covered up. How many times have I heard--"it's your money, it's your government, it belongs to the people not the Washington beaurocrats"--has Bush realized yet, through questionable circumstances, he has become the very thing he seeks to demonize-A WASHINGTON BEAUROCRAT? Of course not, it takes a certain amount of intellect to assimilate. Have I underestimated the man, no he's still the same person who "won" questionably, who reads(not very well) speeches, who does not have press conferences, who went to Nebraska on Sept. 11, who vacations every weekend, who hides public information, who can't account for his time in the National Guard, who doesn't know the names of foreign leaders, who repeats and repeats the same old worn phrases, who has photo ops and labels them taking it to the people grass roots bully pulpit speeches (they neglect to tell the public these appearances are by invitation only), who cannot tolerate dissension and sends protesters into "zones" where they won't be seen, who cannot eat a pretzel. I may have underestimated the ability of a president to practice vengeance on those who don't agree, whose actions are directly opposite from his words, who believes in the poor paying for the rich, who at whatever cost will assert pay back to both friend and enemy and who could get away with the theft of the office.
You folks are wondrous, unrelenting, and equipped with night-vision mendacity goggles! I keep telling everyone who reads the news, start with BF, because if you don't you will not have your story straight, most of the time. Thanks for the good writing, the funky humour, but most of all the pure, undiluted spirit of individual freedoms, which we all know is under stunning assault. May you live and prosper and continue to dig in. Salute'!!!
On the day before the CFR vote, the GOP are still selling access to THEIR members of congress in exchange for campaign contributions.
This is a true story, it happened to me today at work (3:00pm). I received a very strange phone call from an aide for Rep. Tom Johnson (11th district Virginia).
aide identified herself as Linda Johnson. She stated that she was the
congressmen's Aide and that she was calling to "offer" me a
Chair on the Business Advisory Council. My interest was definitely raised,
since I am first, a democrat, and second, I have never given my phone
number out to any GOP organization. I played along like I was interest
to get more information from her, like how they got my number and what
would I have to do. She then played me a recording of Rep. Johnson, giving
some spiel about how I am a valued Texas businessman and the Business
Advisory Council needs my support because of my qualifications. Then another
person came on the line, a Scott Wise, who then tried
Now came the good stuff, he (Scott Wise), said that they wanted to give me a "National Leadership Award" and this would qualify me ATTEND MEETINGS WITH MEMBERS OF CONGRESS, and to take part in conference calls with congress. He also said they would include my name in a full page ad they were buying from the Wall Street Journal, touting all the supporting Businessmen they have on their council. I then asked him which members of congress, democrats or republicans or both I would get to meet with. He said "Republicans only". I then asked him what I need to do, and here's where the selling of access comes in, he said it was customary to donate to the GOP and could he put me down for $300.00. I said I couldn't at this time, but could I still become a chair on the Business Advisory Council, and he said "No you can't".
So, there you have it. Rep. Tom Davis and the RNC are SELLING ACCESS to GOP MEMBERS of CONGRESS for $300.00.
I was left kind of stunned by what I was hearing and somewhat nauseated as well. We are in the midst of the biggest Corporate rip-off in history by the GOPs largest donor, and what are the snakes in the GOP still doing, SELLING ACCESS.
also was under the impression that Aides to Congressmen are paid by the
government and that disqualified them from taking part in political activities
like fundraising. If this is
Eight years under President Clinton:
PEACE PROSPERITY BALANCED BUDGET
"only" one year under g.w.bush:
WAR RECESSION DEFICIT
Need I say more........Oh, ditto the above three words for daddy bush....
What a difference a "BUTTERFLY BALLOT" makes!!!!!!!!
As if sanity were not enough of a reason to visit your site daily, certainly your sense of humor would be. One of the funniest of late: John Ashcroft Warns Americans to Report Anything "Suspicious" to the Proper Authorities": Okay, BuzzFlash is Officially Reporting a Suspicious Relationship Between the Bush Administration and Enron. Now Investigate!
I couldn't survive this American experiment in Empire without you.
A grateful reader
Are you curious why Bush chose to speak at the Medical College of Wisconsin yesterday?
$6.6 million from the Bradley Foundation.
[BuzzFlash Note: From the Media Transparency Site: "With over $700 million in assets, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation of Milwaukee,Wisconsin is the country's largest and most influential right-wing foundation."]
GWB is forming an advisory board for historically black colleges and universities:
And, oh yeah, the current Chairman of Howard's Board was also on the Board at Enron -- Frank Savage of Alliance Capital Management International, the company that took Florida workers' pension money and bought Enron shares AFTER they started falling!
This is in response to your op-ed piece by E.J. Dionne "The Raging Democrats". Yes, there are many raging Democrats out here, but no one would know it. Because the media does not report it. Any protesters of this administration are placed in what is called First Amendment Zones. These zones are far removed from where Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney would notice. Just recently a man by the name of John Blair was arrested in Indiana for carrying a protest sign when Mr. Cheney made a visit there. The sign said CHENEY-19th Century Energy Man. This is an infringement on his first amendment rights. No one should be arrested for carrying such a sign. Why in such a supposedly free an open society is it a crime to carry a protest sign if one disagrees with this administration? There are many Raging Democrats out here at the grass roots level who are truly fighting for this country. Because we see it under this present administration spiraling down hill. Our founding fathers would be abhorred if we were just to sit back, and not speak out. They would expect us to be active participants in this country's destiny. The country does not belong solely to Mr. Bush but to all of us.
Regarding the testimony of former Enron CEO Mr. Kenneth Lay before the U.S. Senate:
In the days leading up to Mr. Lay's appearance, several or our nation's Congressional leaders have stated there would be "no immunity" from prosecution for Mr. Lay. To the average citizen, that perspective sounds very much like that of an elected official who truly believes in "law and order."
Upon second reflection, however, failure to grant immunity represents a way to further hide the truth in what appears to be a pandemic of corruption on a scale hitherto unimagined. Without someone spilling the beans, as it were, those whose names were shredded may never be known, except to Mr. Lay, his henchmen, their colleagues, and, of course, their bankers in Switzerland.
No, Mr. Lay doesn't need immunity. Instead, he should be asking for, and receiving, armed security under the Witness Protection Program.
Frank J. Bunker
I just met Henry Waxman at Vons. We were checking out groceries at the same time and when he was finished I walked up and introduced myself to him and told him he was a real patriot and the best man in Congress. We chatted for a minute and I asked him if Bush would be impeached and he said he didn't think it would do well for the country, but said that the whole country was soon going to know about Bush's deep ties to the energy and oil industries.
I also told him that I read the interview he gave to BuzzFlash and he laughed and was kinda surprised but said that you guys were doing some good work. Anyway, just thought I'd pass it along. And keep up the good work!
Regards, Kevin Knox
Even Skilling's mother questioned what he had said. "When you are the CEO and you are on the board of directors, you are supposed to know what's going on with the rest of the company," Betty Skilling told Newsweek magazine. "You can't get off the hook with me there," she said. "He's going to have to beat this the best way he can."
laughed out loud when I read this. Congress should subpoena his mother
and have her sit and just look at her boy while he testifies. Imagine
how he would squirm! Better yet, all their mothers should be on the investigating
committee, each one armed with her favorite spanking implement (wooden
spoon, hair brush, etc) and that killing glare only mothers can
Had any other business not as politically well connected as Enron and Arthur Anderson been suspected of these crimes, the F.B.I. would have been all over them like white on rice and would have locked offices, confiscated records, paper and electronic, in a New York heart beat. Having paid off…er..bribed.. uh..contributed to the right political campaigns they get an opportunity to cover up all of the sins they can before the public and politicians they don't own demand the FBI do its job.
The economic sabotage that Enron et al committed ranks up there with any threat to our national security because what are we without our economic base on solid ground and thus should qualify the perpetrators, both business and political, for summary trial before the military tribunals set up for the Taliban and company. The impact of their wrong doing will have a far deeper impact on American lives than any single act of terrorist sabotage and should at the very least be treated as treason.
People's lives will be lost because their retirement money is history
and they won't be able to afford health care. The fact that Enron’s political
facilitators are as we speak trying to destroy Social Security and Medicare
in the name of privatization is only fuel on our
Children who should go to college won't be able to because the money will
not be there, the loss to the economy will be incalculable. Kmart and
other companies are now already suffering from the fall out and who knows
what other unseen economic repercussions will occur. Had any foreign power
tried to sabotage our economy like this we would be
To treat Enron and it’s minions with any less zeal than we use in hunting for bin Laden is unconscionable. And passing the appropriate legislation to prevent it from happening again should rank up there with national defense. Ken Lay et al should be sharing the Cuban cages with their Taliban allies right now till their trial.
Thursday night I watched Charlie Rose on PBS. One of his guests was James Carville, who summed Bush up this way:
"He's nothing but a corporate shill"
I flashed back on this scene from the visionary 1976 Sidney Lumet film, NETWORK.
The all-consummate corporate pitchman and business magnate Arthur Jensen, an ex-salesman, summons Beale into his imposing conference room ("Valhalla"):
"They say I can sell anything. I'd like to try to sell something to you."
In one of the best-acted scenes in the film, Jensen devastates Beale with an evangelical lecture - a hypnotic, spell-binding, convincing, God-like speech about the facts of international business and commerce - the corporate mentality. He describes the unimportance of individuals and the overarching omnipotence of currency as the center of the universe:
"You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won't have it, is that clear?! You think you have merely stopped a business deal - that is not the case!
The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back. It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity, it is ecological balance. You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples.
There are no nations! There are no peoples! There are no Russians! There are no Arabs! There are no Third Worlds! There is no West! There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multi-variate, multi-national dominion of dollars!
Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars, reichmarks, rins, rubles, pounds and shekels! It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic, and subatomic and galactic structure of things today.
And you have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and you will atone! Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale? You get up on your little twenty-one inch screen and howl about America and democracy.
There is no America. There is no democracy.
is only IBM, and ITT, and AT and T, and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and
We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable by-laws of business. The world is a business, Mr. Beale. It has been since man crawled out of the slime, and our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that perfect world in which there's no war or famine, oppression or brutality. One vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock, all necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused.
And I have chosen you to preach this evangel, Mr. Beale."
Network (1976) is director Sidney Lumet's brilliant criticism of the hollow, lurid wasteland of television journalism where entertainment value and short-term ratings were more crucial than quality. Paddy Chayefsky's black, prophetic, satirical commentary/criticism of corporate evil (in the tabloid-tainted television industry) is an insightful indictment of the rabid desire for ratings. Indignation toward the network executives by an unbalanced news-anchorman (Finch) ("I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore") is manipulated by ruthless VP programming boss (Dunaway) for further ratings. One of the film's posters correctly proclaimed: "Television will never be the same."
The Ugly Truth is out; it came in the form of Bush's budget plan for the next ten years. Never mind that he won't, under any circumstance, be president ten years from now – he is trying to control our economy ten years out.
But, back to the Ugly Truth: If George W. Bush has his way with this budget, there will be little or no money left to dispense in either the Social Security or Medicare trust funds ten years from now.
Bush is asking for increases in the military budget, but he is asking for TWICE as much in future tax-cuts-for-the-rich. Yes, Twice as much for the rich as for the military.
Where will the money come from to pay for all that, you ask? Ah, yes, from where will it come? We're talking real money here – two trillion dollars extra Bush will need to make these figures work.
The answer, my dear, is clear: Bush's budget plan will take, borrow, steal, or siphon two trillion dollars from the Social Security and Medicare trust funds over the next ten years.
But the Baby Boomers will start retiring about then, you say. Ah, yes, that's going to be interesting. Because the cupboard will be bare.
Remember the nursery rhyme we all grew up on: "Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard to get her poor dog a bone, but when she got there the cupboard was bare, and so the poor dog had none."
The Social Security and Medicare cupboards will be bare, but the richest 5% of Americans will have had their tax cuts.
don't you feel better that Bush promised not to harm Social Security and/or
sources: The New York Times
Axis-of-Inefficiency Budget" [Feb. 5, 2002]:
"Mr. Bush wants to accelerate and make permanent previously enacted tax cuts and add new tax cuts on top of them. He says that his actions would cost more than $600 billion over the next 10 years, but without the gimmicks they would cost more than $1 trillion."
Games" by Paul Krugman [Feb. 8]
<<There is a lot of stirring rhetoric, warning the nation that this is a time of war, in which everyone must make sacrifices — but this austerity does not extend to the wealthiest few percent of the population, who will not only get the lion's share of the future tax cuts already written into law, but would get most of the additional $600 billion in tax cuts the administration now proposes. (Actually it's about $1 trillion without the accounting tricks, but who's counting?) >>
In regards to the article link, "It Happened: In Utah, Some Dissent is About to Be Classified as Terrorism! 2/8" on your fine site, I'd like to point out one other thing that you, perhaps, missed:
According to the actual text of the bill, not only is there now a crime called "felony commercial terrorism," but the Utah legislature also added a crime called "misdemeanor commercial terrorism."
I think we've sunk to an ever lower low when we can define a misdemeanor as an act of terror.
Actual text of bill can be found here:
I think we are all being too hard on poor old "Born in a ditch" Paul O'Neill. I think he was so flustered by Sen.Byrd That he could not express himself as well as he wanted to. We have all been in that position.
When he said: <"I've dedicated my life to doing what I can to getting rid of rules that limit human potential and I'm not going to stop.">
It is obvious what he was trying to say was:
"I've dedicated my life to doing what I can to getting rid of rules that limit (Wealthy, white, Right Wing Religious, heterosexual male) human potential and I'm not going to stop."
And now for the first time in his life he is having to answer hard questions from the "little people." It's amazing he could even speak at all.
Let's give the guy a break. I mean he has had such a tough life. Being born in a ditch and all.
Let me see if I have this straight. So far, every $Mil+ corporate chieftain at Enron either has:
Become suddenly deceased
These "know-nothing...NOTHING" guys all remind me of Shultz from Hogan's Heroes. Too bad there is "nothing" funny about it in this case.
Rumsfeld allow the chief suspect in Pearl kidnapping, Sheikh Omar, to
evacuate from Kunduz and reach Pakistan. There are strong possibilities
that Sheikh Omar was trapped in the city of Kunduz with the Taliban fighters.
The CIA and Pentagon allowed airlift of some of those trapped, and Sheikh
Omar was one of those allowed to flee.
C-Span is a fraud. Lamb has convinced the public that he is just another PBS doing good for this country when in fact from its inception in 1977 it has been completely the product of a string of cable and tv corporations, the biggest being Steve Case and AOL Time Warner. Lamb tried to ridicule the "Carlyle" theory but couldn't so he devoted a whole program to trying to throw the public off the track.
Next he brought in Arthur Sulzbrunner (sp) to refute all the allegations about the NY Times and its election cover-up. Today he put on his shell game with woodward and balz to cover for the Washington Post. Why are you and DU ignoring the worst of the corporate media whores?
otherwise noted, all original