The BuzzFlash Mailbag
November 15, 2002
The BuzzFlash Mailbag
Important Note: Because we can't always determine your intentions, we need to ask a favor of you when you send us email. If you DO NOT WANT YOUR EMAIL PUBLISHED in the Mailbag or in the Contributors section, please write "CONFIDENTIAL" in the Subject line or at the top of your email. That way we'll know it's just a comment to BuzzFlash. Additionally, if you submit a mailbag item and DO NOT WANT YOUR NAME associated with your submission, sign your email, "A BuzzFlash Reader." If you send email unsigned, we will post your name with your submission, or, if that's not available, your email name (not the full address, just what's on the left side of the email address). Thank you.
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.
<<A Rare William Safire Column that is On the Side of Democracy and Justice: You Are a Suspect >>>
The burning question is: why does it take Safire to spell this out.
We haven't heard a peep from the Democrats.
We need a new TYPE of Democrat. The current crop are hopeless.
We need a different sort of person -- a person with a spine.
Subj: Antidote to Rush Limbaugh
If Democrats want a media venue that can stand up to Limbaugh et all, a great start would be for Carville and Begala to co-host their own radio talk show. Carville's style can stand up to all the far right's bellicose wind bags together. He has just the personality and the love of jumping into the fray that Democrats need in a spokesman against modern Extreme Right Republicanism. And Paul Begala has the finesse to use the opponents' ignorance against them. They're a great team.
Subj: Daschle Doubts Progress Article
"Whoever put the tape out has put the world on notice yet again that we're at war," the president said Wednesday after a Cabinet meeting at the White House.
I read that phrase in the article Daschle Doubts Progress on 11/14. I was starting to wonder if President Bush had forgotten about the terrorism war and Bin Laden. Apparently he had forgotten, good thing Bin Laden reminded him I guess.
Subj: Tom Daschle's Spindly Spine!
Thank you for being there everyday. I depend on your site.
Surely you jest when suggesting that Daschle is getting a spine. If he gets a spine it will have to be an alien implant. :)
It would be an improvement if Daschle could just put some Power into his voice and body language...at least I would feel that he believed in what he was saying, in my opinion. I wish he would step down. To me, his lack of speaking up for the Democrats and speaking out against the Bush Regime has done nothing except condone this Cabal in power. Silence is acceptance.
Even if he were to get a Spine, he has missed his opportunity to be great. He needs to give it up to someone who is willing to take on the responsibility for the Democratic Party and be prepared to take a lot flack. You only get flack when you are lighting up the Republican's buttons and they are flashing RED. That tells you when you are doing something right!!!
Keep up the excellent job of providing the best news coverage on the web!!
Subj: Regarding Today's Column
Dear Ms. Cocco,
I was about to forward your column to as many colleagues and friends as I could. In the process of looking up the address for the CDC director I decided to look at their section on HIV/AIDS. The fact sheet that you said was no longer up is in fact right here:
Maybe they restored it after your article hit the e-mail trail.
This is not to say that I don't think the Bush Junta isn't trying to undermine these prevention measures but rather to respectfully point out that there is a fairly significant error in your otherwise laudatory column.
I'm cc'ing BuzzFlash as they have featured your column as today's lead.
Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
Subj: Pls. Post Senator Byrd's Testimony re: NEW Bush Material -"Hmland Sec"!
I'm watching C-SPAN II -- Senator Byrd, I think, would like to do some sort of a delay and, to his credit of the Bush "Homeland Security" package that they all got this a.m. from the Congress. Senator Byrd brought out the fact that much of this material is brand new to all the Senators who have not been given the time for study or debate. Senator Byrd told Lieberman, who also found discrepancies, deletions and additions of new material including parts having to do with vaccinations of American -- with questionable vaccines, that this is a MONSTER Bill and the Senate should NOT vote for cloture. He said he will be making his official comments later today. But, Lieberman who agreed that there are differences in what they had before the election and the material sent over from Congress said that he will propose cloture tomorrow with the hopes that differences can be corrected. This is really scary and I will very much appreciate it if you can please post Senator Byrd's testimony from today and tomorrow.
As of late, I've completely stopped watching TV news. It became too painful. It was always a habit of mine to turn on the Today Show every morning while getting ready for work. But then I was forced to expel them from my living room - just too much of the same blather you hear everywhere else. Well, this morning I bravely decided to just take a peek and to my great joy and surprise, there was Paul Begala being interviewed by Katie Couric. And also to my surprise, she wasn't hammering him with the usual "WHAT HAPPENED TO THE DEMOCRATS?, WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE DEMOCRATS?, IS THERE ANY FUTURE FOR THE DEMOCRATS?" Instead he spoke articulately, as always, about what's in store for our economy (and believe me, it's not very pretty). And she actually let him speak. It was very heartening for me. It's been such a long time since I've seen a liberal on TV who hasn't been shouted down by some right wing nut with nothing to say. In fact, I don't think I've heard anything quite so coherent on TV in a long time. Gee, thanks a lot Today Show - you couldn't have done this BEFORE THE ELECTION!! Anyway, let's hope for more of this. Who knows - maybe James Carville next week? Michael Moore the week after? Oh, I'm probably being a little too optimistic.
Barbara E. Hecker
You made a suggestion in one of your 'minutes' that getting the word out beyond the mainstream media tangle is important, yet its almost impossible.
Did you ever think of having BuzzFlash readers 'copy and posting' your 'minutes' into the thousands of forums run by mainstream newspapers across the nation? It's fast, free and effective. Upon studying some of these forums I've noticed they're pretty one-sided in the Republican strongholds -- a bit of BuzzFlash news could be spread around in this way... hitting the right eyeballs!
Subj: Dead or Alive
Yes, I remember when Mr. Bush swore he would take Bin ladin dead or alive, that great old western adage! Well, every republican I know, that I ask, cannot, or will not tell me why we are after Saddam now!
I was with a different branch of family over the weekend, 3 strong democrats, 3 strong republicans and the others somewhere in between or didn't want to get involved in the discussion.
And, once again, I asked...Why have we not gotten Bin Ladin...obviously, he is still alive! They all stammer, or just say, it is not important. I even know one man at work who says there may have never been a Bin Ladin and it is not important if so! Republicans are a strange bunch!!!
PS: one of the strong democrats, happens to be in a position to know of what he speaks, was involved in the first Gulf War!!!
They confuse me...I just hope everyone wakes up before we all die! This is a scary bunch, wants to be at war with everyone...so we can be the SUPER POWER!!!
Subj: Why The News All Looks the Same
You might point out in your headline that the reason all of the so-called 'liberal media' all look the same (bright colors, annoying music, too much hairspray and makeup) is because the corporate interests that own these outlets are consolidating and FIRING people at a record pace.
Surely you can make the blurb shorter (e.g. BUZZFLASH, NOW MORE THAN EVER!), but that's the idea, here's the link:
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subj: How to Mourn
I have recently written a couple of notes regarding the questions involving the plane crash of Mr. Wellstone. It just seems to me in the past two years, that a lot of bad things have happened to people in a position of being anti-Bush! There was the Anthrax attacks, almost all aimed at democrats, or democratic leaning folks! No one, not a soul can still find anything out about the strange happenings in Memphis, Tn. Even my republican relative from Nashville, thought that was all strange. But, there were times that I thought many folks, even ones at Buzz, perhaps thought I had little green men hanging around me!!
Now, as of today, I am still reading strange goings on with the Wellstone flight! His family has hired a large law firm to investigate...why?? They must have some questions about it.
In the Carnahan crash here in Missouri, there were no investigations of that kind because, it was his plane, his son and friend flew the plane, and there was not a reason on earth to think it was in any way odd!
Now, it seems as if the most awful things are happening. There are no investigations about Sept. llth, until all evidence has been done away with. Same with the Anthrax thing...so , it is not strange to wonder about the abilities of the pilot of the plane (especially , if it did not belong to him)...Just wondering!!!!
Subj: Letter to Washington Post
Your articles on the new Democrat and Republican Majority leaders are a joke. How can your paper be taken seriously when you write an article on Nancy Pelosi that uses the word "liberal" 10 times and "left" 5 times and have an article about Tom Delay which doesn't contain the word Conservative or Right wing at all. Tom Delay is the one of the most conservative far right members of congress. This right wing nut has even warned people not to send their kids to Texas colleges that teach evolution.
Apparently your paper has de-evolved since it's heyday during the 70's. Now the Post is about as fair and balanced as Fox news. Perhaps the post should save some trees by just passing along the RNC talking points and not wasting paper reprinting them. But then again that would go against your paper's conservative imbalance. Your paper is barely useful for lining bird cages and dog boxes. Until this Conservative bias is fixed, I'll continue to use the post to wrap my fish in. The fish give it a much better smell, because without the fish -- It stinks.
Subj: Daschle: Too Little, Too Late
The time for alleged democrat Tom Daschle to begin actually representing the democrats has passed a long time ago. Considering the attempt on his own life, made with anthrax (also believed to have originated from an American terrorist source), the consistent failure of this administration to find Osama Bin Laden, or reduce the threat to all Americans, which we are all facing from terrorists with the homeland security farce, a threat which is now aggravated, and heightened with all of Dubya's rhetorical, and oddly comic book like, rants, and the absurdity of admonishing and threatening the Iraqi's with war, while at the same time negotiating over the Korean nuclear threat (they were also lumped into the axis of evil profile created by boy George's legion, weren't they?) which is a far greater threat, and they really do have the weapons.
I find it almost irrelevant that he picks now to become critical. This only drives home the point that Daschle is a sell out for votes, and at least in my eyes, and in my own opinion, he has lost any sense of credibility he had, along with his pride when Dubya stabbed him in the back, by casting him as not caring about America's security, and being unpatriotic after he signed away the last vestige of common sense we had, keeping the boy wonder from instigating a war for oil, and personal financial gain.
The terrorist threat is real enough, but the true motive for this war, at this time, and without the allies that have been alienated, remains very suspect at least to me. The republican party now has carte blanche to feast off of America at will, financially, as well in lives should this war commence, for at least the next two years, and look how much collateral damage we have already sustained with them in the last two years without them having total control.
It is disheartening to have the majority leader play right into the hands of the other side, and in fact support them instead of us, in a move made solely to influence potential votes, instead of on his beliefs, or principals. This democrat feels betrayed, and mislead by Daschle, and the other sellouts, and he will have to do a lot more than throw a little hissy fit at Dubya in public after the fact, then cower in fear, and compliantly bend to Dubya's will when it really counts, before I would ever consider voting to elect him for anything again.
The time has come for us to hold the democrats personally responsible for their neglect of the parties well being, and have that reflect in the votes cast in the next primary election (if we ever have an election that counts again). I somehow doubt I am alone in this sentiment. Democrats may be down, but we are not out by a long shot, but we will be if there is not an immediate about face from every elected democrat, who has so far failed to represent the democrats.
R. Anselm, Jr.
Subj: Tank Explosions
What, I repeat, WHAT, is wrong with American tanks? Today, November 14, 2002, I read on CNN Headline News on the "crawler" that another tank had exploded, killing two soldiers-this was the 101st Airborne training in Louisiana.
July 29, 2002, at Fort Hood, Texas, a tank engaged in field "live" firing exploded, killing three soldiers, and injuring many others. In early May there were two other tank explosions-another at Fort Hood, Tx, and one at Fort Irwin, California. Several American soldiers were killed in each explosion, and, again, many injured in each (fires follow the explosions.)
What is happening? And why aren't these disasters being reported in great detail and alarm? Does anyone CARE???
July 29 or July 30 George Bush was on all the news stations decrying the killing of five Americans in Israel-a tragedy, of course, but why has he never even mentioned all the American soldiers being killed here in their own country by American military equipment? WHY?
Sandra Byrne, Baker City, OR
Subj: Good for the Goose, Good for the Gander
OUTSTANDING EDITORIAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now would that Tom "the gutless one" Daschle would read it and take it to heart. His latest round of political "kabuki theater" is enough to drive me to drink...to EXCESS. He complains about the gutting of labor protections in the Homeland Security Bill but says that he will probably vote for it anyway. He complains about the failure of the Bush Administration to allow the creation of a truly independent commission to investigate 9/11 but refuses to bring up a bill forcing the Republicans to vote it down. He will instead meekly swallow the Republican's version with nothing but a huffy bluster of soon forgotten nothingness. Now, he really looks like a hollow obstructionist utterly lacking in conviction. Not only does he complain after the fact but he apparently will do nothing to avoid the same trap in the future. Sorry, Mr. Co-Dependent it is time for you to get some therapy and turn the reins over to someone who, rather than seeking to be kicked and beaten further, will kick their abuser right square in the family jewels.
A BuzzFlash Reader
You have hit the nail precisely on the head. White folk in the South still haven't let go of the Civil War. I feel qualified to discuss this, being a good old boy from Georgia. What is TRULY funny about all this is: Less than a week after his election, Sonny who had PROMISED to allow a referendum in which voters would decide the flag issue, has BACKED away from this. Now, he claims, he will wait till he is in the Governor's mansion and see if this "is something the people want." Well, DUH, he knows FULL WELL that it was this issue and this issue alone that got him elected. This news of his backing away from the flag referendum broke Monday night/Tuesday morning. I walked into a bar Tuesday night and the first thing I saw was three males and one female raising Cain. Not arguing, but speaking very loudly and angrily. I knew immediately what they were angry about. Sure enough, these fools had voted for Perdue and couldn't believe that he was going back on his word. By the bye, on the Wednesday after the election the next Thursday, Friday, Saturday, no where was it mentioned in the local paper (Which has an extremely conservative bias) that Perdue would be the first Repub Governor since Reconstruction. NEVER MENTIONED. Isn't that a tad odd?
Thanks for your time,
Subj: Mocking Dr. King
Your editorial about it not being okay to mourn a liberal, but mocking Dr. King is just fine and dandy hit me like a ton of bricks. I found myself saying, yes, yes, YES!! over and over. This editorial is true in so many ways and in such depth that it is true to the nth degree. I could die of shame when I consider how degraded and indeed how bestial the country at large has allowed our political discourse to become just in my lifetime. Oh yes, there have always been racists and corrupt politicians, but the country as a whole usually saw them for what they were. Today everything seems so debased and diminished. So degraded. Where are the men of courage, the men of honor? The men (or women) who would lead us into a brighter and more perfect Republic? They don't exist. Now it's all a bunch of Lilliputian pip-squeaks who'd all rather die than get voted out of office. To blast many of these congresscritters out of office you'd have to use nukes for god's sake, that's how tenaciously they hold on to their pathetic jobs, but they can't seem to ever get around to doing anything really good or innovative for the public. After all, we're just the ones who pay their salaries and pay for everything else, too.
As far as the conservative bias of the news today, I don't even dare get started on that one. Suffice to say that you have hit the nail squarely on the head. Once upon a time there may have been a Murrow or a Cronkite, but now there is ---NOBODY.
Subj: A Suggestion
I don't think I have seen anything about this:
I saw an interview with Ann Richards (I think on Larry King) in which she said that George Bush always fights against things (resolutions, investigative committees, Homeland Security bills, etc.) and then at the end, takes them over and takes credit for them.
I think somehow Democrats are going to have to be ready for this type of operation. He did it in Texas, and now he is doing it with Homeland Security, Social Security, the 9/11 investigation...Somehow (and it won't be fun) we have to fight them at every level because I have decided that this is one of the most dangerous administrations we have had. I think they have to be called on everything every single time.
PS: check out the al-Jazeera interview--reported on in Asia Times) (atimes.com) on Nov. 15, 2002, "Apocalypse Now------" Really scary.
Thanks for a great job.
Subj: FEMA Now Part of Homeland Security
i find it kind of telling, that b4 the midterm elections, shrub emphatically stated that FEMA would retain it's status as an independent unaccountable entity.
i'm guessing since the repugz now control 'the world' there is no more need to keep FEMA and or it's mysterious funding out of the scrutinizing bi-focals of congressional oversight committees.
Subj: It Doesn't Pay to Appease a Dictator
Bush picked this new fight with federal unions one day after it became clear that he had won another battle with them. With Republicans ready to take full control of Congress, Democrats were largely abandoning their demands for union protections at the new Department of Homeland Security.
850,000 federal jobs on the block
Bush plan to privatize under attack by unions
November 15, 2002
Subj: We Would Like To Know . . .
President Bush plans to order the inoculation of hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops against smallpox but will delay action on vaccinating civilians, government officials said.
WE WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION WILL GET THOSE VACCINATIONS. WILL THE BUSH TWINS GET THEM? JEB BUSH AND HIS FAMILY, WHAT ABOUT CHENEY AND HIS FAMILY? KARL ROVE AND HIS FAMILY? ON AND ON........
sixty of us old but not brain dead yet in fl.
Subj: Too Little and Too Late
Unfortunately, Nancy Pelosi doesn't get it either.
She voted YES on the Homeland Security Act, with a minority of Dems in the House.
This Act is the final nail in the constitutional coffin - Bush's Dept. of Dictatorship.
See how your rep voted at:
Bush will appoint the Chairman of the 911 Commission and Dems will not have subpoena power.
Gore is outraged about the 2000 election decision????
Too bad he didn't speak out 2 years ago.
Now is the time to call members of the Senate to demand that they vote against the Homeland Security Act.
Call Republicans too. True conservatives and libertarians value the constitution also.
Senator Byrd is doing his part - let's do ours.
Subj: It's All In How You Say It. But, If You Have to Think It First . . .
Maybe part of the problem Democrats have been having is that they have forgotten how to explain their own point of view -- many may have forgotten the fairness issue that underlay most of the structure that the Republicans are busy demolishing.
Here's a good example. Taxing the rich at a higher rate. Republicans have won the high ground by claiming that a flatter tax is "more fair." Now the idea behind this is that whatever any single person earns is completely due to his own effort. A Democrat might reply that anyone who makes over $150 Million a year "can afford more." (I've heard that argument. Weak. Weak. Weak.)
The point is not that the rich can afford to pay more. The point is that someone who makes that much could not possibly have done it "all himself." Case in point. While he was presiding over Enron's morphing into a metaphor for corporate Ponzi schemes, Ken Lay was making almost $150 M a year, and by the new standards of America, he's not unusual in that. Sounds like a lot of money. Is a lot of money. But it's too much money to understand in terms that are real to people, unless you break it up.
So Democrats should be saying things like:
"Forty years ago, the CEO's of the biggest American corporations were earning about the same as thirty average workers. And they were well off. Today, a number of CEO's of large American corporations make about $150 Million a year. This means that they are paid about what an average family will earn in its entire lifetime, but not per year. Per week. Or, if you think about it in terms of a forty-hour week, about $75,000 an hour. "
Tell me that Ken Lay
Privatizing Government Agencies
Again, just days after the Bush Administration pulls the wool over the eyes of an unsuspecting public, come the headlines "800,000 Federal Jobs to be Privatized". While Senator Byrd stands, attempting with all his heart and soul, to open the eyes of the senate and the people of this country, the Bush Administration, is piling on even more wool. The Bush team while the congress was on vacation took the Homeland Security Bill, inserted, new sections and amended others. They are now trying to ram this bill through an all too anxious to get home lame duck congress, hoping no one would actually take the time to read the 848 pages and notice the changes.
That leads me to the real point of this letter. Bush again is saying one thing and doing another. He pretended to compromise on the labor issue in forming the Homeland Security Department. Now we find out that he all the time was formulating this plan to privatize 800,000 Federal Jobs. Everyone is focusing on this as a union-breaking tactic. I have to admit that that was my first thought also. Then I thought, what affect would this have on say a person who has 1, 5, 10, 15 or 20 years service working for the Federal Government. Then it occurred to me that this in not about making the Federal Government smaller, it is about eliminating pension payments in the future.
Think about it. What affect did Enron, Global and all these other huge corporate scandals have on pension funds? How did it affect your 401K? Where did all this money go? It was siphoned off by the wealthy corporate officers and their in-the-know friends. What I'm saying here is that the Bush Administration knows that they need to get money from somewhere to fund the huge tax cuts to their wealthy corporate supporters and to the wealthiest one per cent of Americans as promised. Having already squandered the surplus and plundered the social security trust fund they know that they need to find a new source of revenue to fund their tax cuts. Think how much money is sitting in the Federal Employees pension fund. Just think about it.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subj: Oh Yes the Liberals media strikes again? Please
So, after reading countless articles and watching all the talking heads bringing up how Nancy Pelosi is too Liberal.
Correct me if I am wrong, has anyone heard any of the Major News Papers or Talking heads bringing up what a far right-wing nut Tom Delay is and his position in the Republican leadership?
Subj: How to Mourn
For what it's worth, I think one of the reasons the Republicans made such ado about the Paul Wellstone Memorial is because of their out right jealously of the fact that they don't have the kind of leaders that would inspire such pure passion in their party.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subj: Reach for the Almighty Pen
Dear BuzzFlash and Mailbaggers,
In the 11/14 Mailbag, Barb of NY commented on ways to combat a biased media giant.
I like her ideas, especially the democrats having their own media outlets. As the media began to demonstrate their bias in reporting, the democrats failed miserably. The dems should have seen it coming and combated it head on. Bias of media outlets in this country didn't happen over night. It was carefully orchestrated over a period of time. It was kind of like a metamorphosis... first sighted is a harmless caterpillar and later, a full-blown moth. Yes, a moth that eats away at your clothing and tries your very soul. By not combating them, they are free to destroy and replicate themselves.
Put all of this under the looking glass and democrats have been left to figure ways to fight themselves out the quicksand it has presented. We can quietly sit back and take it from the republicans and biased media. This option would be along the lines of, "Give 'em enough rope and they'll hang themselves." There are many problems with notions like that. We've witnessed republicans flubbing up, just to see the biased media jump in and rescue them with pro republican spin. Most American partakers of news end up none the wiser. Knowing this, one republican administration is free to breed another republican administration.
The best offense is a good defense. Democrats have demonstrated a lousy defense. Democrats have to defend the morsels they have left. We keep waiting, sure that they will pull stinging strategy out of their sleeves. We're still waiting. We are becoming apathetic as the clock ticks. If democrats are to ever to become a force in this country again, they will spend that precious time mopping up. Their progressiveness will have to take a back seat to righting the wrongs of republican administrations before them. They need to realize that now, not later. I've always wondered why democrats haven't brought suit against the multimedia. Certainly, they would have a very good case. A powerful force must be met with force just as powerful. The tobacco industry suits serve as example. As I recall, most were skeptical about confronting such a powerful giant in our nation. And Larry Clayman doesn't think twice about bringing suits!
We have another giant to confront and bring down. The giant is better known as the corporately-owned media. In the meantime, we little people can do as Barb suggests. We can form huge protests against offending media outlets and convey our objections to the advertisers who keep them afloat. Don't try to tell me that an advertiser receiving at least 100,000 handwritten letters of objection would ignore them. Just 100,000 people, notifying an advertiser that they refuse to buy the expensively advertised product (and why) is self-defeating for a sponsor. That's 100,000 less customers! And if other internet sites would push the same idea, it could be 300,000 to 600,000. Think about it. If you were trying to sell soap and large amounts of people sent you letters clarifying that they do not intend to buy your soap (and why) wouldn't you put your advertising elsewhere?
If the democrats can't see the repercussions coming, we can. It's time we stop whining and reach for the almighty pen. Just do it!
* * *
otherwise noted, all original