The BuzzFlash Mailbag
October 31, 2002
The BuzzFlash Mailbag
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The BuzzFlash Mailbag is updated on an ongoing basis, with the newest material and comments on top. Again, we can only post a small percentage of what is sent to us. The opinions expressed in the Mailbag are the not necessarily those of BuzzFlash. Thanks again for your email and your patience.
When I told one of my colleagues, a moderate conservative, about Sen Wellstones' accident, the first thing he said was: "was it an accident"? I replied: "That you would even ask speaks volumes about the political culture in America today".
A BuzzFlash Reader
Jesus God! Bush goes all over the country campaigning on taxpayer money, the speeches carried for free on all the cable news networks and then the republicans complain about Wellstone's memorial service! Jesus! Just gag me!
Subj: President SpongeBush
RE: The Boston Globe story on Harken and the Bush SEC: I do hereby nominate to the Slacker Hall of Fame President George W. SpongeBush for personally absorbing every regulatory favor ever known to man. What an inspiration to us all!
coming soon: COMMANDER AWOL AND THE LOST TEXAS AIRMEN
Subj: there is still work to be done!
I want to thank BuzzFlash for providing the inspiration that got me involved with Pauline Dixon's campaign for Congress in Dallas.
I was reading some articles about Paul Wellstone yesterday on BuzzFlash, and the crassness of the Republicans in Minnesota, and I was so upset that I called Pauline Dixon's office (here in Dallas) and things just escalated from there in the best possible way. I had assumed that everyone was staffed to the gills by now, but they invited me to come down and help on the spot, and I am heading back today.
This quote very much encapsulates my experience of going from dark despair to the joy and excitement of meeting Pauline and all the tremendous members of her campaign yesterday and having the opportunity to make a difference:
"Action relieves despair and brings us into community. The best response to despair is to acknowledge it and join with others moving into action. Together we will give accountability to our actions, meet with other great people, and cheer each other on. Action is the best antidote to fear, anger and sorrow." -- Fran Peavey, Heart Politics Revisited
I am sure that many other BuzzFlash readers are feeling anger and despair as they read the news.
But, we can't afford to let the Republican's systematic campaign to alienate activists and progressives succeed. We really must, now more than ever, do what we can, a step at a time, and when we think we lose sight of the end result, focus on the work.
So many Democratic campaigns are running on nickel and dime budgets and are starving for volunteers. If, like me, you can't contribute much financially, please realize that contributing your time makes a huge positive impact as well.
Please go to http://www.democrats.org to look up your local candidates, and call a campaign to offer *any* time you can afford to volunteer, even if it is just an hour or two. Then, ask household members or relatives or friends if they want to help, too.
I promise, it feels *much* better getting out and *doing* something right now than feeling isolated and overwhelmed.
Subj: Great story on the Wellstone Tribute, thanks BuzzFlash!
What a TERRIFIC story, wonderful, quite amazing actually, hitting the roots of the Republican party (also explains clearly the class warfare that has been so prevalent throughout the last century).
I started a thread at the Guardian (Louis Lemire - Politics) so that our friends in Europe and elsewhere (who frequent the site) can reference by link this most eloquently written piece (tell the author they did a stand up, great job!).
Subj: The Wellstone Memorial
It is a sad day, indeed, when a family is no longer allowed to celebrate the lives of those lost in the best way they know how without the media, most of whom chose NOT to cover it, taking pot shots at them! To hear the Republicans cry about 'equal time" is disgusting and political opportunism at it's lowest, but, then again, the question keeps arising in me, "How low can they go?" and they keep going lower. The memorial service was a wonderful celebration full of passion and truth, much like those who were being memorialized.
Subj: Minnesota Senate Race
I thought you might be interested in this item forwarded to me by a friend. It reminds me of the recent antics in Florida, but far be it from me to suspect that there is some sort of pattern to be found here.
10/30/02 12:20 PM
When I got home last night, just as the Wellstone memorial was beginning on TV, I found this message on my voicemail:
"Hello. I'm calling from the Minnesota Republican Party regarding important information about absentee ballots. It's not easy to get back to politics, but the election is just days away. If you've requested an absentee ballot and have received the ballot, you should mail it in immediately. If you have not yet requested your ballot, you should send your absentee request in immediately and then make sure you vote right away. If you have already voted absentee your vote will count. If you have questions about your ballot, please call 800-644-2774." (their emphasis)
These tactics are pretty low: the Republicans know that no vote for Wellstone cast in absentia will be counted for Mondale, according to a ruling by Mike Hatch. (Of course, all absentee votes for Coleman are valid.) And about the only way you can change your absentee vote is by showing up in person at a polling place on election day. The DFL has filed a lawsuit about this issue, but apparently the Republicans are trying to rush people to vote--amid the distraction of mourning for Wellstone--to gain an advantage. To the Republicans, it seems it IS easy to "get back to politics."
I'm incensed, and if you are too, call the Republican Party phone number so graciously left on my answering machine. Tell 'em they're disgusting, and make 'em pay the 800-charge for giving you the privilege. Thanks. Paul
p.s. And/or write a letter to the editor or a note to our concerned elected officials:
Subj: Ventura Lies
"..."...``I wanted to hear the sons. But Rick Kahn's, I found his so offensive to me as an Independent, or to anyone who is not necessarily going to vote for Senator Wellstone who still respects him and came to pay their respects,'' Ventura said. ``It drove the first lady to tears.''..."..."
I watched the Wellstone Memorial Service--one time all the way through and a second time through Rick Kahn's inspirational speech. Ventura's wife was "in tears" long before Kahn came to the stage. What probably clinched her grief was sitting next to an immovable iceberg.
Ventura, not greeted by cheers and an ovation--as were the Clintons, Mondales, and Gores--sat fuming through the service, chewing gum like the proverbial cow. His wife, weeping, had her head on his shoulder very early on--starting with the tributes to the Wellstone aides who lost their lives.
Mrs. V's loving husband sat rock-still, with no expression at all (let alone one of sorrow or grief), never even raising a hand to touch and comfort his wife. Since Ventura's exit was not shown, one can imagine that it was all about him and not any imagined upset that it caused his wife. Her tears were just a handy excuse. Surely, he never noticed her crying earlier and, as he stood to leave--reaching over to grab *the little woman's* hand--he finally noticed. "Jesse the Ego", because the world revolves around him, decided she was crying over the partisanship.
Ventura came in with an attitude, looking for a reason to dump on the Wellstone campaign one more time. If he couldn't find a reason, he would make one up.
Minnesotans: If for no other reason, stick it to Ventura on Election Day. Vote for Mondale! Vote for keeping the dream alive!
Subj: The conscience of the US Senate has passed on
Well, the memorial gathering for Paul Wellstone and his family has come and gone.
I listened to the memorial and eulogies from the site that BuzzFlash put up on Tuesday. Thanks BuzzFlash, for doing that. Much later and when most people were headed to bed, CSPAN ran a video of the event.
Yes, the event turned toward the political with powerful speakers. I considered it a nice balance of passionate testimonials, telling all who the Wellstones were, what they stood for, and the actions they took for the people of Minnesota and the nation. When some speakers added a political flavor, I knew it would bring negative remarks from the republicans and media pundits. To them I say, who cares what you think! To them I say, get over it! My, my, doesn't that sound familiar?
Personally, I don't blame some of the speakers for saying some of the political things that they said. Paul Wellstone was a politician, wasn't he? How do you truthfully talk about an outstanding politician and keep politics out of it? You can't! What little reporting there was on Wednesday morning's news called attention to the political side of the memorial... just what I expected. Let's face it. If the shoe were on the other foot, republicans would have maneuvered a highly political and entire week for a memorial to one of their senators and... it would have been well covered by the hypocritical media at nauseum.
The first report I heard was that there were 20,000 at the event... a media twist we are all familiar with. They said nothing about the multitudes standing outside of the auditorium in the cold, watching the memorial on a super-sized monitor. Of course they added that the memorial was political. Not a word or quote came from the news about the wonderful, human, testimonials uttered about the Wellstones... not a word about the thousands standing outside an over flowing auditorium.
Paul Wellstone was the standard by which other senators and representatives are measured. Most of our senators couldn't measure up to Paul's standards because they didn't have the guts. Paul Wellstone was the conscience of the senate and I'm certain that many memorial-attending senators and representatives were squirming in their seats when the powerful speakers exploded with lightening and truth. And if those squirming senators and representatives were uncomfortable, they justly deserved to be. The memorial was both uplifting and pointed... uplifting to the grieving and pointed toward the Gutless Wonders who claim to represent us.
Surely, these Gutless Wonders learned more about the American people Tuesday evening than any of their polls could have ever delivered.
Subj: Paul Wellstone
I watched Paul Wellstone's Memorial last night.
I saw America come alive, because of this man. We have to keep it alive.
FOR PAUL WELLSTONE, AND HIS WONDERFUL FAMILY, VOTE STRAIGHT DEMOCRAT. JUST PULL THE DEMOCRAT LEVER.
Keep his spirit alive. He deserves no less from us, because he gave us his all.
We have a song in our church that has this phrase:
HE SHALL RAISE YOU UP ON EAGLES WINGS,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
I'm believing that Paul Wellstone is in a better place.
A BuzzFlash daily reader.
Subj: Sound Familiar?
Forget cartel, forget administration, check out this word's definition and see if it more correctly describes the bushies:
jun·ta: 1) a council or committee for political or governmental purposes; especially : a group of persons controlling a government especially after a revolutionary seizure of power
Subj: Daschle accuses Republicans of voter harassment
ON GUARD, AMERICA!
It's election time! Vote, volunteer, and remain watchful for Republican attempts to steal more elections!
If the last two years have taught us anything about the neo-Republican (neo-fascist) party, it is that one can foretell what they are up to by the accusations they sling against their opponents. The recent Republican allegations of "massive voter fraud" in North Dakota smell like another staged scheme, not only to harass voters, but also provide a smokescreen for whatever fraud they are planning this time in order to steal more elections. A big thank you to Senator Daschle for calling it what it is--harassment. http://www.indiancountry.com/?1035813868
In any case, liberals do not have to steal elections! When they vote, liberals win. Why? Because the vast majority of Americans are liberals--although many have been confused into thinking otherwise, after decades of cruel corporate media propaganda campaigns, distortions, and attacks on liberalism by right wing.
State sponsored terrorism to prevent minorities from voting has got to stop! It has been the norm in our history for too long (although the world only discovered this recently, in elections 2000)! The only thing preventing America from growing up is an elite few who have not figured out constructive ways to use their money and power. At some point, America has to grow up and let go of hatred, racism, and this sick obsession with identifying some peoples "inferior" and expecting them to "keep their place"! Every human being has a right to human dignity and respect from birth. Period.
Poor Jesse Ventura, feeling so violated and used. Duh! How does he think 52% of the the population of this great country feels after the 2000 so-called election?
Violated would be putting it lightly.
We Will Win!
Quoting Jonathan Inskeep:
Sent by Tina Staik
I was listening to a local radio station this morning and they had on a demo and a repub running for a house seat. The republican said that a reason to go to war with Iraq was because she wanted us to have a strong military. I could not help but yell, You can have a strong military without going to war!!! She then proceeded to say how the Clinton administration ruined our military. Great Mother, what a dunce.
In your special Wellstone Mailbag, I was amazed at the number of Baggers who suspect Paul Wellstone's plane crash was not an accident. I had the same thought. So I did a bit of extrapolation on this.
Of the 26 letters you published, 6 noted this suspicion. I added myself to both lists, and discovered 29.5% voiced this misgiving.
BuzzFlash articles report 100,000 people at the Washington D.C., and 80,000 people at the San Francisco antiwar rallies. I am assuming these people are of like mind to the Wellstone-Mailbag responders.
29.5% of that 180,000 equals over 53,000 people. Ergo, could it be extrapolated that at least 53,000 of this group - alone - suspect foul play by this cabal which is ruining our great nation? From this small sample of our total population, that is a Lot of suspicion about the hate-filled, dirty-trick mob in control of our country.
Here's an interesting poll: (previously at: http://cnn.netscape.cnn.com/news/)
On the left side, about a quarter of the way down, there is a poll asking "what should bush be for Halloween?". The choices are: an angel, a devil, his dad, a Democrat. The breakdown, so far:
Just thought the results were a little interesting. Not many people think he is angelic, do they?
Elaine, In Petaluma, I couldn't have said it better, or thought of it any better. It was great to see the last President at the Memorial.
This entire day I have been in my car and being the glutton for punishment that I am, I listened to them all! Every last one!
I have never seen such a bunch of wingnuts in my life! I have never heard of anyone in my life trying to tear down an entire party...or a mans life to this extent! It was total blah,blah, blah! Started with Rush, the pig, he just ripped everyone apart! You can only imagine, then I was away from it for a while and even the Dems, on our station, were into it, with call ins! Thank god, most of them, not all, but most....thought it was great and Paul would have been proud!
I watched it all and I was proud! We all should be proud, despite the people we have running this country and what this regime gets away with! They scare me to death and I DO KNOW WHY!
Shirley, St. Louis
Thought you guys would be interested in this.
San Diego County Democratic Party
In the last few days we have seen numerous examples of "dirty politics".
There was a letter from The George Stevens Democratic Club (no such club is affiliated with the San Diego Democratic Party), endorsing Republican Shirley Horton over the unanimously endorsed Democrat, Vince Hall, State
Assembly candidate of the 78th AD. Also, there was a very slick mailing against Dwayne Crenshaw (Dem running for City Council, District 4), accusing him of an illegal action (no truth to this, either).
A very official looking "DEMOCRAT County of San Diego Minority Report Unofficial Sample Ballot and Voter Information" pamphlet has been mailed to Democrats. It mostly follows the Democratic Endorsements. It sneaks in a few blatant Republican agendas-most blatantly on State Issue 52. As Democrats, we want legally eligible voters, with valid I.D., to be able to register to vote on Election Day. This booklet has the biggest red X on the No for 52! Democrats are unanimous- YES on 52!
Also, last night I got a phone call-after 9 pm. Purportedly, it was a survey about whether I was going to vote for Vince Hall. It is against the law to call at that hour and I happen to do calling for Vince and we stop at 8 PM! Calling at that hour will upset potential voters. Please note that Vince Hall's campaign is one of the most important in the state, and his opponent has run a very dirty game.
We are sure there will more examples of deceptive practices this weekend, on Monday and probably on Tues.
If you have concerns or questions about who is actually endorsed by the Democratic Party, please go to our website: http://www.sddemocrats.org or call our office at 858 277-3367. Please forward this to to your e-mail list.
Re: The Bleating of the Hogs
I am so happy you wrote what you wrote....and I loved your use of the word, bloviate. Paul would have loved that.
Equal time the Repugs want? For a memorial service? Well, who do we do in so they can have one, too. Id give them, well, you know what.
I was also delighted that the Wellstone family told Cheney not to come.
Paul Wellstone was a breath of fresh air. Cheney is the breath of death.
Keep up the pressure, keep up the good work. We all need to work together to keep power in the Senate from falling into the repugs ( short for repugnant) hands.
As Sheila Wellstone said, We will win!
Donna Balkan Litowitz
Let me see how this works!
Harvey Pitt appoints Webster to oversee the accounting profession and keeps secret the fact that Webster was the head of the audit committee for a publicly owned company that is now under investigation for stock fraud.
And we stock investors are now to see sleep well at night knowing that Webster is now looking out for us.
Thank you so much for your editorial on the Wellstone Memorial. Watching it, I had the same response that you articulated so well. This is what democracy looks like; this is the real United States. While the mainstream and cable television programs were airing endless fear-mongering shows about violence, a celebration of freedom and equality and peace and justice was occurring in Minneapolis. They couldn't be bothered to show it because they had their news-entertainment shows already planned. I hope C-SPAN shows the Memorial again and makes a video available. Meanwhile, you captured the essence of it in words for all time.
Subj: Harvey Pitt
If you haven't caught it yet (and I didn't see it on your web page) you must look at the article by Stephen Labaton in today's New York Times. It is "Audit Overseer Cited Problems in Previous Post."
Subj: Emergency Committee to Stop Bill McBride
Francisco Aruca, host of Radio Progreso on his 8:00 am radio program, Babels Guide, WAXY 7.90 AM
reported this morning that Miami Dade election officials last night deputized 456 people, representing The Emergency Committee to Stop Bill McBride, authorizing them to be present at the polls, and pass out anti-McBride literature. One issue discussed was that BIPARTISAN committees to monitor the election were not deputized. Although Miami Herald was not present at the meeting, it hasnt been mentioned in the press as yet. I couldnt find anything about it on the internet, and I was hoping someone would investigate this.
Re: The Bleating of the Hogs
Thank you, thank you, thank you for putting into words what we out here have been thinking all day as we hear the whining by the repugs and their mouthpieces on CNN et al.
Re: Who said the following?
Which person below seems most likely to have made the following statement: Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, John Ashcroft or George Bush?
"The national government will maintain and defend the foundations on which the power of our nation rests. It will offer strong protection to Christianity as the very basis of our collective morality. Today Christians stand at the head of our country. We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit. We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theatre, and in the press - in short, we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of liberal excess during the past few years."
-- Adolf Hitler, The Speeches of Adolph Hitler, 1922-1939, Vol. 1 (London, Oxford University Press, 1942), pg. 871-872.
Bradley Van Hook
Subj: Wellstone's Memorial
Thank you for your editorial on the Wellstone memorial discussing what we all knew would be the Republicans reaction to it. I was sad to see liberals apologizing for the "partisan" tone the event took. As a liberal, I feel no remorse. I am proud to be a DFL like Wellstone was, and further, I prefer the most colorful meaning of the acronym. The Wellstone memorial was about those who loved him celebrating his life, and carrying on his legacy. Yet again, the Republicans made it about them.
After hearing of Senator Paul Wellstone's death, I hadn't been able to pull myself out of this sense of utter hopelessness and disillusionment. Wellstone's memorial helped energize me and pull me out of this funk.
If Republicans saw what I saw, they should be very afraid. As I sat there listening and looking at the faces in the crowd, I thought, "THIS is 'America The Beautiful'." Seeing these beautiful people paying tribute to this beautiful man revitalized my hope in America again. I had forgotten what "America The Beautiful" looked like, because for too long, the ugly underbelly of America has been given front-and-center stage.
Paul Wellstone is not dead any more than compassion, justice, hope and peace are dead. His spirit and all the ideals embodied in it lives in all of us, and hopefully, through us.
Melinda in Salt Lake City
Thanks, Dan, for telling it like it is about the crass attempts of Republicans and the mass media to manipulate Paul Wellstone's memorial. Especially preposterous is the demand for equal time. Equal time for a memorial service? Who the hell died in their party? What national network, besides C-Span, carried the full broadcast anyway?
It is just plain nuts that anybody should be upset that a memorial to and for Paul Wellstone spoke to the need to carry his name into the future by fighting for his ideals. It is disingenuous to imply that Wellstone's heartbroken campaign workers and supporters should not be emotionally and politically charged one week before the election he fought so hard to win. The passions of a campaign are not easy to lay down, especially if the person you fight for is honest and stands up for what he believes in. Those who spoke at the service should be sympathized with, not criticized.
Furthermore, the Democratic party did not orchestrate the boos that greeted Jesse Ventura and Trent Lott. Those were the heartfelt outpourings of a sad and mourning people who reacted in an uncensored manner to those who insulted and demeaned Wellstone while he was alive.
Thanks again Dan, and thanks to Buzz for publishing the piece.
A BuzzFlash Reader
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otherwise noted, all original