The BuzzFlash Mailbag
April 25, 2002
wonder if this had anything to do with Karen Hughes' sudden desire to
"Another [Presidential] aide allegedly says that this President's brain just isn't suited to the [Middle East]: "'He doesn't have a finesse mind,' one of his political counselors observed last week. 'And this is an issue that demands a lot of finesse.'"
The biggest lie I read yesterday was this one: "[Karen Hughes] said she faced a May 1 deadline to make the job decision because she had to let her son's school know whether he would be re-enrolling in the fall."
Now, I don't have a clue WHY she is leaving, but THAT is such a patently false statement about why she is announcing it now instead of later that it leads me to wonder. Any fool can see through that lame excuse without a telescope. Number One: Anyone in her position at the White House could walk in to St. Albans on Sept. 8 and say, "I want my child to start here TOMORROW." And he would be admitted. The trustees of that school are not fools. Karen Hughes is one of Bush's MOST trusted advisors; she could get her child in anywhere in Washington she wanted to. Furthermore, she could have said on May 1, "Yes, my son is coming back for the fall term" and, then, in August (or wherever she plans to leave town) phone the school and say, "Oh, we're leaving." All that would happen is that there would be an opening for the next child on the Wait List.
It's all such obvious hogwash (and Karen Hughes is a very smart lady), so I have to wonder why she is putting out such a crock of a story.
I have to believe this is NOT good news for GWBush. His mouth does not move unless she pulls the tiny cords. She is his fiercest advocate. "Loyal" is her middle name. And I don't buy the "family needs me" stuff at all!!
I hope this means The Team is falling out with one another.
An oldie, but goodie:
We all know why he shut up now.
I totally agree with Joann Olbrich that it is imperative we take a tip from France and also (dare I say it) the Christian Right and present a united front to elect progressive officials and not allow ourselves to be split between Greens and Democrats. I fully support the idealism of Nader supporters, but if the result of third party candidates is to put Bush in office for another four years, I will have to move to Canada. How different the past 16 months would have been had he not been installed in office, and we are all suffering mightily as a result. The Greens are getting nothing from this administration, but could have gotten some things from a Democratic one. It is more important to consider the greater good for this country than the effect on individual egos and agendas. How can we unite and what can we learn from the last presidential election? Just repeating the same mistakes will not advance the cause. The Christian Right supports the main party candidate all the while making it clear their interests must be met if they do so (and look, they are!). Why can't we do the same?
Is the resignation of Karen Hughes a ploy to help the GOP win soccer-mom votes?
You may recall that just prior to September 11, the Republicans began a campaign called Winning Women in an attempt to rebrand their party as female-friendly. Terrorist attacks pushed this campaign to the back burner, but the GOP did not abandon its strategy of empty outreach to women: One prominent "Winning Women"–style ploy was Laura Bush's radio address on Taliban mistreatment of women -- a meaningless speech delivered long after the vicious nature of the Taliban's misogyny had become obvious to the world. A more recent (and unsuccessful) ploy was the Bush administration's attempt to stage a feminist photo op in Afghanistan starring Oprah Winfrey (the talk show host declined to participate).
The possibility that Karen Hughes's resignation is a similar ploy cannot be discounted. President Bush has made it clear that Hughes will still be one of his closest advisers, and that she will not be replaced as "White House counselor" (the title is a vague one and was created for her). A similar departure from the Clinton White House by James Carville left Carville free to consult with Clinton from afar, off the government payroll, and also to devote a considerable amount of time to defending Clinton in the media. Is a similar role envisioned for Hughes? Already she has elicited the sympathy of many interviewers with her tale of struggling to balance work and family. This could be Hughes's message in the months leading up to November's midterm elections: that it's hard to be a woman in the modern world, that she, a Republican woman, understands this, and that, bless his heart, so does President Bush. (Hughes has been careful to state that Bush runs a "family-friendly" White House and truly appreciates the difficulties she's had to face.)
The Bush White House can't help but be aware of the media stir caused by a new book, Sylvia Ann Hewlett's Creating a Life: Professional Women and the Quest for Children, which finds that many women feel they must choose either career success or motherhood. Would the Bushies go so far as to engineer a resignation by a prominent female staffer merely to generate a series of soft news stories that make the GOP appear female-friendly? One can't put it past a White House that was willing to fly Oprah Winfrey into a country at war for no apparent reason other than to score political points.
Perhaps your wonderful readers would be interested in a first hand look at what is happening in France in the wake of M. LePen's victory in qualifying for the second round in the presidential elections.
First of all, LePen edged out Lionel Jospin, the center left Prime Minister by less than one percentage point. This happened because almost 30%* of the voters stayed home and didn't vote last Sunday, others voted for marginal candidates thus splitting the vote, and others simply wanted to send the message that they are fed up with mainstream politicians. The other reason that LePen got a few more votes than Jospin is because the hard right (as they always do) got out the vote in droves while moderates and progressives, thinking they were safe, stayed home! Since no one except LePen expected him to make it into the second round, I can assure all of you that the shock waves through France Sunday night were incredible.
The media did not make any effort to downplay the event, cover it up, excuse it, or try to make everybody just accept it. The other political parties all had plenty of opportunity to express their feelings and joined together to halt any further advancement of LePen by calling on their supporters to vote for Chirac on May 5. A grassroots get out the vote effort is raging all over the country as people realize how fragile democracy is. Many people remember what fascism is and still feel shame for Vichy France. Demonstrations are being held in cities around the country against LePen. In our city, the demonstrations in the center of town were so large and loud this afternoon that I could hear them from my balcony on the other side of the river in a quiet residential neighborhood. I teach in a university and for the last two days, my students have been unable to concentrate on anything other than the election.
Whereas they were complacent and bored with politics before Sunday, they are now energized and outraged. They are angry at themselves for not voting and vow to do everything possible to vote on May 5 and see that their friends do, too. They are shocked and appalled. We have had good discussions about the responsibilities of citizens in a democracy, how politics is both the science of government and the art of compromise and the importance of young people as they represent the future of the country.
I am an American. I live and work in France. I love both countries. There are increasing acts of anti-Semitism here and problems of insecurity. Many attacks against Jewish people are by young children of 13, 14, or 15 years old whose parents are Muslims and have lived peacefully alongside Christians and Jews for decades in France. All of us must work to find the way towards peace regardless of country or religion. Fanatics and extremists must not be allowed to frighten us into entrusting them with our very lives.
Thank you, BuzzFlash, and all your readers and supporters. You have plenty of fans all over the world.
A loyal American
[BuzzFlash Note: *70% voter turnout is unprecedented for France. According to our Aix les Bain sources, France has never had a voter turnout this low.]
Democrats must stop being mini-Republicans or we will all support a third party. People, not corporations, are what matter. And never-ending war is not a pleasant prospect for the future. Dems need to speak to the important issues of the day and not be so frightened of those who disagree.
up the good work.
[BuzzFlash Note: The interview with Meria Heller is available here: http://audio.netradiolive.com:8080/ramgen/meria/042302.rm (req. a media player).]
It seems to me that we really need to have some sort of focus on upcoming elections. We got mad, now it's time to get even.
you are not barred by the IRS from engaging in political endorsements,
perhaps you could create a special election 2002 section on your site.
In particular, we need to know which seats in the House and Senate are
realistically up for grabs, and who the Democratic contenders are so that
we might support them. Perhaps there are already a few sites you could
list that track the hopefuls. I am willing to send my support directly
RA in LA
BuzzFlash Reader sent us this letter from the El Paso Times:
can see the letter here:
Here is what I wrote to Walter Isaacson.
* * *
Dear BuzzFlash ...
i just read your reader's "Open Letter to George Bush." ... I think perhaps GWB should also read the Bible's Isaiah Chapter 32: 1-8 (it goes like this):
the bush administration to me, beginning with the stealing of election 2000 and on through its history, seems to me, to be filled with lies, manipulations, connivings and, in benefiting big corporations, for sure, then, finding a way of making the hungry man, hungrier; the thirsty, thirstier; the poor, poorer ... not a noble or compassionate administration at all...thus, a further lie on that compassionate-conservative mantra bush liked to use in his campaign.
Here is a letter I wrote to Isaacson, you should encourage everyone to write him and point out that we watch Crossfire and the Freepers don't.
Dear Mr Isaacson,
love the new Crossfire and want to let you know that while there is a
campaign by the freepers who don't watch it and a threatened boycott by
Republicans who only want a debate that is as as fair and balanced as
Fox, I do watch it and love the new format and hosts. We don't want someone
like Alan Colmes who takes a dive and has no backbone, we want people
like Begala and Carville who speak up for those of us who are tired of
the Conservative Right wing nut dominated airwaves. They are to us what
Rush is to his
otherwise noted, all original