The BuzzFlash Mailbag
February 27, 2002
A letter to the Alliance for Justice:
RE: nomination of judge pickering
I heartily approve and applaud the efforts of the Alliance for Justice to publicize and contest the nomination of Judge Pickering for the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Mr. Pickering's nomination flies in the face of the words of candidate- and President Bush, who promised voters that he would "set a new, more bipartisan tone," and that his administration would mark the "end of politics as usual."
Clearly, on both counts, President Bush is lying: the nomination of Mr. Pickering represents yet ANOTHER Bush nominee who is not only a little partisan, but extremely so.
Another of the propaganda terms favored by this administration is "compassionate conservative." But it is clear, with the nominations of Mr. Pickering, Mr. Olsen, Mr. Ashcroft, and others, that "compassionate" is synonymous with using the power of obstruction and potential violence to keep American voters from exercising their free and uncontested right to vote. We know that for a full century American minorities in the deep south were prohibited from voting by the application of terror and violence, and all these candidates of Mr. Bush's seem to think that that was a "more compassionate time" in our nation's history!
I find it appalling that our nation is being led by people who feel so glib and confident when using propaganda terms to mask their true intent, and applaud the Alliance for Justice for standing in opposition to Mr. Pickering's nomination.
Westermann here. You guys ran a piece of mine called THE BODINE PRESIDENCY
last year, which got me reading BuzzFlash in the first place. Just wanted
to say thanks for the good fight for democracy you guys wage every day.
As a retired police officer, I particularly enjoy the antics of our nation's
top law enforcement officer, General Asscrack. (Funny, I don't remember
House Republicans using the phrase General Reno.) Anyway, follow the money,
find the names of the insider partners on those off-balance-sheet
Alan Balch's disclosure that President Bush just happened to be meeting with Olympics competitor Sasha Cohen, along with the "coincidence" that she is a spokesperson for a cattlemen's group - was interesting information.
The bigger question is: Why did it take a BuzzFlash reader to dig this up? With hundreds of reporters covering Washington politics, where was the mainstream media?
I know, dumb questions on my part. This is in itself may not be a big deal but, to state the obvious, it is typical of the media's coverage of Bush today. What is really sad is that it is that obvious and my questions are so readily answerable.
Bruce S. Ticker
Subj: Did Kenny Boy learn this trick from his good friend George?
1989, Harken's stock was trading at between $4 and $5 a share. That's
when Mr. Bush put up his shares as collateral for the Rangers loan. In
January 1990, with shares trading around $4.50, Harken announced that
it had signed a potentially lucrative oil-exploration deal with the government
of Bahrain. On June 20, 1990, Mr. Bush sold the bulk of his
A BuzzFlash Reader
In case you were not aware of it, ABC News is now employing the Stalinesque art of photo retouching. On the February 26 edition of World News Tonight, a story on Enron was illustrated with a picture of Ken Lay which was taken at a Texas political gathering. In the foreground of this photograph (which has been much circulated on the Web) is the head of G.W. Bush, who was apparently just strolling away from a chat with his political patron. But in the version shown by ABC, Bush's head has been garbled by pixillation so as to render him unrecognizable to the uncognizant.
I knew the media were covering Bush's derriere, but I didn't know they were concealing his head as well! Who needs a government disinformation office when "journalists" are performing that service already?
[BuzzFlash Note: Perhaps ABC was displaying W's head not as it actually appears, but as it seems to appear: obscured by the derrieres of the corporate elite, into which he has firmly implanted his head.]
Dear Mr. Sorkin,
Thank you for having the courage to speak your mind against those who evidently see any criticism of our current government as an unpatriotic if not downright treasonable action.
I see the right-wing is gearing up for a full-scale assault against, you, NBC and your show's advertiser's for the 'crime' of questioning NBC's wisdom in presenting an admittedly fraudulent view of the Bush White House in action. (A far more unbelievable work of fiction than your show, unfortunately.)
Instead of your apologizing to Jeff Zucker or Tom Brokaw (for pointing out what is true and on the record!), they should be apologizing to you and the American people for permitting NBC News to be used as a Bush administration propaganda outlet, when it should be reporting objectively & factually on the challenging events currently taking place in the world.
That we currently have a president who can look at the words 'half a century' in a prepared speech on US-Japan relations, and read 'a century and a half' in error may indicate that (as people have speculated) he suffers from dyslexia; but that he would boldly and confidently speak these words to the Japanese parliament without any apparent realization that he has overlooked the small matter of World War II says volumes about this president's wisdom and ability to lead us during a time of crisis. (Not to mention the grave insult this oversight delivers to Mr. Brokaw's favorite, greatest generation.) The sooner the news media gives the public accurate information about our leaders instead of fawning public relations-style cotton candy, the better off our democracy will be.
I pray you and your network will have the courage to stand up to the 'vast right-wing conspiracy.'
Thank you for your time and interest.
[BuzzFlash Note: In the event you missed it in yesterday's mailbag, you can email The West Wing here: TheWestWing@nbc.com.]
ms. van susteren,
thank you for having the integrity (unlike the chicago tribune, which has yet to issue a correction on this matter) to make a public correction on your show about the misstatement by one of your guests, mr. bossie, claiming that ken lay slept in the lincoln bedroom during bill clinton's administration, when in fact, it was during george h.w. bush's republican administration. it took courage and integrity to correct a mistake that wasn't even yours, i appreciate your willingness to set the record straight.
i must say i take exception to your statements that it didn't matter where
Mr. lay slept, since both parties gave to enron...surely you know, as
it has been reported in numerous sources, that enron gave appx. three
times as much money to republicans as to democrats. personally, if someone
was breaking the speed limit in my neighborhood, i'd rather see the car
doing 30 mph than 90 mph...it's too bad we don't live in a black and white,
binomal yes/not yes world, where one can tell an axis of evil from family
values at a
i would respectfully suggest that journalism look into the idea that life is not a sound byte...it might actually help our democracy, you never know.
by the way, congratulations on your new show at fox, i have been a fan since burden of proof. good luck.
Sooner or later Americans are going to realize the Bush administration stole the White House to push their own private agenda. America and it's people are not a concern. As each individual gets "hit" with the Bush policy they will know this to be true. First it was the California "energy" crisis that never was, in fact it was a ploy to allow Enron to make money on the backs of Californians, then of course Enron, I wonder how many Enron employees now consider Bush as the best choice for president (he cut and ran as soon as he was sure Kenny boy's bank account was tucked safely in the Caymans) nothing though for the average worker, then came Nevada's Yucca mountain and all that nuclear waste after all the empty promises (trust me and vote for me doesn't sound so good now does it), Florida who thought they were safe will find Jeb wants the same things as his brother even though he claims otherwise (if left to the Bushes there will be offshore drilling and deregulation), as each segment finds personal injury they begin to see that Bush=self-interest. Is the rest of America going to allow personal insult and injury before demanding impeachment or resignation?
Subj: Bush & Beef - your reader commentary
I'm currently in the middle of Howard Lyman's "Mad Cowboy" - which has completely opened my eyes to the damage that modern animal agriculture has done to our country environmentally and economically (I'm already vegan for ethical reasons). It's clear that the only thing the beef and dairy industries (etc., etc.) care only about making money at the expense of the human health, our environment, and our native plant and animal species (because cattle isn't one of them!).
Today's reports on CNN about the General Accounting Office's conclusions that our country is shockingly negligent at protecting the American people from possible exposure to CJD from mad cow infected cattle. The Bush department's response that mad cow has not been found in our nation is weak at best - if you're not even testing widely for it. "The US tested only about 2,000 cattle last year, out of the 36 million slaughtered, which experts say is far too small to detect mad cow if it were here. While the US plans to double that number to 4,000 during 2002, many experts still believe the sample is far too small." (www.testcowsnow.com) The incubation period for symptoms of mad cow in cattle is 4-5 years - while the average age of slaughter is just 3 years - so seemingly healthy cows that go to slaughter could quite possibly be carriers of mad cow. Also, being that the incubation period is proportional to the lifespan of the animal it infects - humans eating infected beef now could be healthy and symptom-free of CJD (the human form) for as long as 15 years. The results on the health of nation could be devastating in a future decades should our government (especially now, being that cattle-friendly Bush is in office) turn a blind eye to the problem simply for campaign funding.
After reading today's enlightening reader commentary - it is sickens me that what seemed to be an innocent Olympic moment - seeing an athlete meet the president (though it IS just Bush...) - was probably nothing more than Bush kissing up to the cattle industry.
Thank you for highlighting this issue.
- Amy Berka, devoted BuzzFlash reader
interesting information about sasha cohen, the prez and the beef people. know of any interesting connection between derek para and republican contributors? apparently he got to sit in dick cheney's box at the closing ceremonies. couldn't be that the WH was hoping to elevate his status and name recognition for the benefit of contributors? nah, they wouldn't do that.
I own the site vegsource.com where we're featuring Dennis Kucinich's speech, which you term:
HIT OF THE INTERNET: Congressman Dennis Kucinich Steps up to the Plate
with a Prayer for America 2/26
This article is being emailed across the country and around the world at the rate of about 60 emails per hour going out (using the "Email this article to a friend" feature), some to as many as 20 people at a time.
It has definitely struck a chord.
We met Congressman Kucinich on Sunday at a private party at a home in Santa Monica, where Arianna Huffington and Robert Sheer spoke, as well as Dennis (who was introduced in the most incredible, lovely, intelligent speech from Shirley MacLaine, who was godmother twenty years ago to one of Dennis' children).
Dennis is the real thing. He should be president. He actually a man of integrity, honor and intelligence.
Thanks for helping spread his good word around the net. Dennis said on Sunday that he had so far received over 600 emails from people reading it on our site (it went up last Thursday night), and the response is gratifying and only serves to steel his resolve.
Keep up the good work.
But all is forgiven and all is ok with this type of behavior since Bush is "good guy"- right? After all, what's the harm if he helps an all-American red blooded activity such as beef consumption? There is an amazing amount of ethical room the press gives our current president.
Think about it. Imagine President Clinton sitting next to the young Olympian who just happened to be the son of the President of the Hollywood Screen Actors Guild. The Guild, homeplate for Clinton's big LA fundraisers and an important export business, hires this son of the union boss to be its spokesman, setting Americans right about their sometimes jaundiced view of Hollywood. The giddy young Olympian sits beside Clinton who makes a call on the passed cell phone...
It does not take much imagination to know what the right wing woofers on the radio would have been saying, and you can even picture them making it into a would-be scandal- Olympicphonegate- or as Bob Dome used to say "whatever."
Re: WHY DID BUSH SIT NEXT TO SASHA COHEN AT THE OLYMPICS?
You guys are good! Now instead of follow the money, it's follow the beef!
Subj: Post editors fail accountability test
It's been several weeks since Post editors "warned off" Democrats investigating the Enron scandal in "peeking too far beneath the bushes."
It was shortly thereafter that Post editors further threatened Democrats by invoking Global Crossing as a potential scandal which would taint those like Terry McAuliffe and possibly others affiliated with the Democratic party.
We ask: SO WHAT?
Are Post editors SO opaque as to not recognize the difference between
a) publicly-elected officials forming and implementing policy exclusively
influenced by select donors, exclusively beneficial to said donors through
outright profit or "profit-potential-perception" and who just
happen to be said officials biggest contributors and b) a private citizen
with no conferred authority or even suggested influence upon former administration
policy who happens to chair a national party and who, like millions of
other private shareholders apparently did, benefited from sound portfolio
management NOT enhanced by insider
Or are Post editors simply playing dumb, obtuse, fast and loose with the facts again, as they have so often in recent months, i.e., intemperately rouging their editorial page with warpaint in warchant camraderie with the ranchboy president who avoided vietnam.
The New York Times reported extensively on Enron's largely failed attempts to infiltrate the Gore camp during Election 2000. "Failed" because Gore neither accommodated nor incorporated Enron's "wishes" into policy as either Vice-President or presidential candidate.
Unlike the current Vice-president, President and a Republican party who have advanced Enron's agenda at EVERY opportunity save overtly "bailing" them out once Enron's accounting house of cards inevitably crumbled.
Moreover, certain FERC-associated Democrats approached by Enron over lunches notably dismissed such advances by even paying for their own meals. Contrast this to yet-to-be-divulged sums in Enron (and other energy monoliths) profiteering realized by Enron-energy advocating White House principals, administration officials and GOP Congressional leaders before and perhaps after assuming office.
So let the Post and others dig as deep as they want for evidence of Democratic soiling at the hands of Global Crossing dirt.
There is NO influence-peddling, graft, corruption nor SEC violation in Mr. McAuliffe's shrewd investment and profit realization.
There is, however, evidence of OUTRIGHT influence-peddling, campaign bribery and worse accepted by this president and his administration in abetting the profiteering fraud perpetrated by Enron principals.
Will the Post, AP and others DIG as fervently for evidence of the latter?
For lack of similar "want" to "expose" the president & GOP as much as they would Democrats, we doubt it.
And for this reason, we and a growing number of readers similarly doubt the credibility of the Post, AP et al.
"The Pentagon may eliminate a new office intended to influence public opinion and policy makers, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said today. Proposals from the new agency, the Office of Strategic Influence, have caused an uproar in Congress and elsewhere in the government."
I'm puzzled. I thought this was Karl Rove's job all along. Maybe the Pentagon has decided to avoid duplication.
was amazing to listen to Ms. Watkins say that two of the most profitable
companies had huge profit fraudulent numbers, and she mentioned Enron
Energy Services, but no one followed up and ask about Thomas White being
president while fraud was occurring at E.E.S.
I imagine the White House was angry over the Pentagon's feeding disinformation to the foreign press, not because (in my humble opinion) it wasn't a good idea, but because someone was smart enough to source it to the NYT. After all haven't we in the American public been getting a snow job from these people ever since we heard the words, GW Bush was declared the winner of the presidential election?
"Office of Strategic Influence"? Oh for cripes sake! Just call it the "Ministry of Truth" and get it over with!
Hey! I've got a nutty idea! since bush is so fond of showing how well read he is to the media, via pretentiously carrying around books with titles showing, what if all the BuzzFlash readers send the book "1984" to the white house for bush to "read"?
[BuzzFlash Note: You can order a used copy of 1984 from Amazon.com for as little as $2.75 (not incl. shipping) and send it to the White House as a gift.]
otherwise noted, all original