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Tuesday, 24 October 2006 09:15

BuzzFlash Mailbag for October 24, 2006

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Subject: Is Bush's October Surprise Underway?

Agence France-Presse reports the U.S. Is Tracking a Suspicious North Korean Vessel (bloomberg.com).

Could this ship or one like it become the Republicans' majority-saving October Surprise? This country won't lie down for another Bush preemptive war. And the possibility of getting caught makes any false-flag operation like a faked Iranian attack on a U.S. ship or plane a tremendous risk. Done this way, the Bush October Surprise wouldn't be a false-flag op. Or a new war. There'd be not a shot fired. Beginning in a few days, there'll be a brief brouhaha allowing Bush to go on live national TV a few days prior to the election and say, "This dangerous confrontation with the Communist nuclear power North Korea makes it vital to United States national security that I keep this strong Republican Congress to back up our brave troops." Etc.

It'd work. What could anyone do or say, except to fall into patriotic line behind Bush? Which the Dems would immediately do. With the election behind him, Bush simply does what's necessary to resolve the fake "crisis." I bet it'd cut Repug losses dramatically. Guess we'll see shortly. But regardless of what happens here, the Republicans likely won't sit idle as their House and Senate majorities fly out a window. Something's going to happen. Somewhere. Soon.

John Ford Leon
Mill Spring, N.C.

Subject: The Seattle Times Discovers Its Inner Plutocrat

Even Esquire Magazine is calling for a Democratic Congress but not the Seattle Times. It is calling for voters to throw away their hope, their future and whatever is left of their fortunes and vote Republican. They believe that Dave Reichert, a Bush-man and a member of the congress with the lowest approval ratings in history belongs in Washington because a “compelling case for change” has not been made. Their point of view is anti-voter at the outset. Voters don't deserve the best representation they can get. Incumbents do deserve to stay in Washington even though their approval ratings are below Dick Cheney's.

One-party government has never been a model for success. When that party consists of most of the nation’s supply of amoral opportunists, it’s life threatening. Everything that can go wrong has gone wrong since the Bush ascendancy. The amoral opportunists in the White House are simply too busy plundering the treasury, running up the national debt and robbing third world nations to govern. It is the job of congress to provide a check on gross abuses of power and lawlessness. Reichert is a charter member of the rubber stamp congress that protects the White House's ability to abuse power, break laws and destroy other nations and leave the American people twisting in the wind. However, the Times says this is not a compelling case for change.

Anyone voting for a Republican in this election cycle is voting for more corruption, more illegal wars and hundreds of thousands senselessly murdered, war profiteering, a crippling national debt, dramatic increases in poverty, spiraling health care costs, healthcare rationing, no retirement security, unimaginable graft and corruption, rigged elections, an economy on life support, institutionalized energy price gouging, a culture of misogyny, homophobia and racism and for sexual perversion and torture. They are voting against the US constitution and the Bill of Rights, against educational and job opportunities, against national security and for America as a dangerous rogue nation. They are voting against a hopeful future. There is nothing in the Bush agenda that will give the vast majority of Reichert’s constituents a dime’s worth of benefit for shouldering the majority of the tax burden while the ultra rich have a party. Reichert has soiled himself both by voting the Bush agenda and by taking dirty money: $25,000 from Tom Delay and Jack Abramoff. What you read next may convince you that it's time for you to change; change your reading habits and voting habits. According to the Daily Kos, the Times is a fourth generation family-owned newspaper that has amassed enough wealth to be asked to give something back to a generous nation that has supplied them with the infrastructure, education and healthcare systems, transportation and energy networks that allowed them to be successful, should one of them die.

In other words, the Seattle Times want to avoid paying estate taxes. Devolutionary Dave Reichert is their man. He has already voted for the repeal of this most fair and equitable of taxes in the House once. The Times hopes he'll do it again. But they didn't say that on the pages of their newspaper. Instead they chose to repeat the mendacious campaign smears that mischaracterize Reichert’s bright, young and ethical opponent, Darcy Burner.

Their treachery is worse than ordinary garden-variety betrayal. The press is the only profession to have special protections in our Constitution. In exchange for the privileged status they have a responsibility to serve their readers and constitutional democracy.

The owners of the Times have made an unprincipled choice to not do their job, to poison the public discourse and to do their best to subvert representative democracy. They want to increase their personal wealth not by free market competition or innovation but by not paying their fair share. The Times endorsement is indeed a compelling case for change We can put an end to the demonic and illegal waltz between elected representatives who are willing to sell their votes and private business who buy them by voting for change.

Carol Davidek-Waller
Kirkland WA

Subject: The writing on the wall

"The president's professed certainty, shared with outside friends and advisers, is a source of fascination among even his staunchest allies. In lobbying shops and strategy firms around town, the latest Republican parlor game is divining whether the White House optimism is staged, or whether Mr. Bush and his political team really believe what they are saying." -- NYT (bolding mine)

My my. Not the first time we've seen this. Why won't someone in the MSM hazard a could-it-be-that . . .? connection between this "certainty," this "fascination," and its own (admittedly tepid) stories about vote-counting "vulnerabilities" and growing popular distrust of computerized vote counting (and registration)? Keith? Lou? Catherine? Adam? Paul? --

As GOP Mopes, Bush Adds the Duties of Optimist in Chief, By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG and JIM RUTENBERG (NY Times)

J. Simon

Subject: Early Voting Started Today and It Is Just Like 2000, 2004. HELP!

I live in Palm Beach County Florida where we started early voting today.   My wife and I arrived at one of 10 voting venues to vote at 11:30 am.   When we arrived there were 10 people sitting alongside a wall waiting to vote. It was a narrow hallway, thus they were sitting.   We were told immediately that it would take 45 minutes to 1 hour to vote. I tried to contain my temper and asked, "but there are only 10 people here how can it take that long?" To which I was answered: "The computers aren't working right." This started a yelling and screaming match from the people who were politely sitting. I said I do not want to wait that long, it defeats the purpose of early voting and how can the machines be down already? I called my local congressman here in Florida and within minutes they were on the phone to the polling station and quickly they announced that, if we wanted we, could vote on an optical scanning paper ballot that was also the absentee ballot form.   My wife and I chose that method and so we were first on line.

First on line, First on Line, emphasis with first on line.   The people behind the counter and I counted 16 women and 3 men did not know which end was up.  One lady asked for our drivers license, one said it wasn't necessary, finally they took our drivers license and our registration card and asked us to wait. The people next to me had drivers licenses but no registration cards.  They were never asked for registration cards and they got to vote.   After 10 minutes the lady who took our licenses came back to us and said ok, now you have to go outside and wait on line to vote on the machine, as in ONE machine. 

We said no no no, we want the paper ballot.  She said, we don't have paper ballots.  Another person behind the counter said, "Yes Mary, we are going to give them the absentee ballots which they can either take home or fill out here and give them to us."   It then took another 15 minutes and we were given the absentee ballot. 

Getting the absentee ballot was very scary because I watched as the women looked at our pct # and then went over to a huge file that had more than 200 little "cubby holes."  She began to select one from many many of these cubbies that supposedly match my pct.   How do I tell if it is right, and they simply said, "it is right." 

We received the ballots with a combination of Spanish and English on every page. Quite annoying to find what the heck we were to do.   On our ballot we saw a few people who were running unopposed with a line below that said write in.  However, my congressman is running unopposed and his name is not listed at all and I immediately asked why is that?    There was not a single person who could answer the question. 

Once again I picked up the phone and called my congressman who told me that because he is unopposed and there are no right ins, he is not listed.  Does that make sense to you? Why are there no right ins for him while there are for other unopposed people?  By that time the people at the polling place had called someone on their own and they told me the same thing.  I asked them why some write ins and some not?  

By then they were exasperated with me and said they just don't know.  We filled out our ballots sealed them and kissed them goodbye, hoping that they are counted.   

This is only voting day minus 16 and already there is trouble.  

Barry Sinrod

Subject: Justice Scalia expresses disdain for active courts 10/23

Oh, do I agree with Waffenculo Nino! Particularly when a certain "justice" of the US Supreme Court ... pens a spuriously activist equal protection argument based on the phony presupposition that one candidate is "entitled" to be elected over the other even though all the votes have not been counted and that a recount fails to assure an accurate election.

Such an activist justice and his ilk violate:

Article 8 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights that states that “everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law;”

Article 21 that states in pertinent part that “everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives” and that “The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures;" and, Article 30 that "nothing in the Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein."

So I also agree with Waffenculo Nino (who relishes his controversial notoriety above all Supreme Court justices--ever) that, the more and more the judiciary gets involved in policy making, the less and less independent it becomes.

So let's impeach those justices whose intellectual dishonesty on 12/12/00 ultimately resulted in the the loss of our freedoms AND security, the abrogation of our Bill of Rights, extinction of habeas corpus and the violent deaths of almost 3,000 American soldiers and 655,000 Iraqi civilians.

At the heart of Dante's Inferno the three heads of Satan will soon have something new to chew on: Dick Cheney firmly clutched in the teeth of the left, G W Bush perpetually crunched on the right, and in the blood-soaked central mouth? Well, right where Waffenculo ought to be: on judicial ice.

Will Wyche
Palm Springs, CA

Subject: Wm. Jefferson

There is something that stinks to high Heaven about this thing. One hundred thousand dollars in a freezer? Only a republican, especially the ones of this government now...would have that much of a devious, diabolical mind! Think someone planted it? Funny...that Jefferson has not been charged with anything...nor even admitted knowing anything about it. Just wondering.

Marc Perkel...I have seen so may funny cartoons about how much the gas prices will go up after the election. We all know, in this town, that these are Electioneering gas prices! There was a cartoon in the Post-Dispatch...where a little truck was parked gassing up...and the price was $2.00. A huge truck was pulling in and the price was $3.00 a gallon...and the old guy with the big cigar in his mouth was calling as loud as he could, "Hey, where do you want the post election gas put?" After Labor Day when gas did not rise in prices...I said, "Oh, hey...it is an election year...it won't go back up until after the election...no matter who wins...it is about who is in the White House now!

Shirley ... St. Louis

Subject: Aaron Russo Movie

When are you guys going to mention the Aaron Russo movie, "America: From Freedom to Fascism"? The movie is great and you guys could stand to do a little less cheerleading for the Democrats. Aaron Russo was Bette Midler's manager and produced movies like "The Rose" and "Trading Places." Aaron Russo had his interview with CNBC cancelled because his movie was a little too hot to handle. His movie got a positive review by Common Dreams.


Joe Thomas

Subject: Bush

Bush will continue to talk about victory until his term as president is finished. He does not care what it will cost to remain there - that's his successor's problem - but he will not admit a "mistake" was made.

In addition, if the Democrats win the Presidency and either withdraw from Iraq or the situation deteriorates significantly he and the GOP will use it to say that the Dems are weak on terrorism.

For the sake of your democracy and the idea of democracy itself I hope Bush is impeached. If he gets away I would think that the position of the US in the world will remain as untenable as it is.

David Ashton
Orange, NSW, Australia

Subject: Stay the Course Is Out

He will not be using the term "stay the course" because obviously that isn't what the USA wanted and he is only changing it because the election is here.

He says he told the generals to do whatever they choose and he will support them. And if whatever they decide in this near hopeless situation doesn't work he has someone else to blame it on, and he will.

Can you imagine they are blaming this entire thing on the newly elected president of Iraq because he can't disarm what the biggest and best equipped military on earth hasn't been able to disarm.

Bush made this mess and he should fix it himself.

Karen Webb
Moore, OK

Subject: Can't Bush Spy on the Republican Congress?

People are asking themselves, if they reelect Republicans, how they will be able to solve the problem with gay Republicans wanting to have sex with underage pages? But this isn't a problem for Republicans, because in their wisdom they passed laws that will protect the children from their sexual advances. Those who call this a "do nothing Congress" don't appreciate the wisdom of the laws they passed.

You see, they gave Bush the authority spy on Congress. He can tap their phones and email and Instant Message access and Bush will be watching over them to make sure they keep their hands off the kids. Bush is like Santa Claus on steroids. "He know when you are sleeping. He knows when you're awake. He knows when you've been bad or good so be good for Heaven's sake!"

And how could Congress object to Bush tapping their phones, because if there was anything wrong with Bush spying on Congress, then why would they have voted to let him do it? So, mothers, don't you worry your pretty little heads. Your children are in good hands with the Republican led Congress.

I'm Marc Perkel - And I approved this message!

Marc Perkel
San Bruno, CA

Subject: Our Opportunity, and Pelosi

Headline: Bush To Visit Ho Chi Minh City (AP/Yahoo)

Do you suppose there's a way to keep him there until he's served his Tour of Duty?

... and Pelosi says she won't pursue impeachment ...

Pelosi: 'Impeachment is off the table'

Before everyone wants to hang Pelosi out on a limb, let's be calm about this.

No one hates Bush more than I do. I give his image the one finger salute each time I see it on TV (and in public, too) and think impeachment is the least of things that should happen to him.

But what's more important? Starting an impeachment war that would unite all Republicans?

Or ...

Saying we won't impeach so that the Republicans will go along on measures to get our troops home, fix Medicare again, provide real health and tax help to the middle and poorer classes, etc.

The greater good is served by the latter choice.

Besides, if the House and Senate go Democratic, Bush's power has essentially been stripped anyway.

Mike Curtis
Greenbrier Ark

Subject: But What About the Oil?

We all know that Iraq is out of control, but the big question that no one, to my knowledge, is addressing, is this: what happens to Iraq's oil if the US and UK pull out and let Iraq devolve into civil war?

It appears to me that the real issue in Iraq is how to maintain US and UK control over the oil, or at the very least, how to prevent China from stepping in and taking this valuable resource away from the West.

If we would just face up to the reality that this entire misadventure was motivated by our desire/need for oil and start addressing problems from the perspective of how to ensure continued control over Iraq's oil, we might be able to make some real, workable plans. We are handicapped by our refusal to see the real reason for our involvement in the first place.

WMD? Spread democracy? Fight terror? Bulls**it!

We wanted their oil. We invaded and took over the oil fields. Now, how can we keep them, and maintain enough order in the rest of the country to allow us to get the oil from over there to over here?

Steve Kramer
Brewster, Ohio

Subject: Republicans Doing the Limbo

Don’t ever think they won’t go any lower, because they will prove you wrong. Just when some Republican talking point has made you feel as if you want to throw up they will find something that makes that particular bit of slime seem mild.

Combine how low will they go with how dumb do they think we are and you have the Republican strategy. There’s a twofer, courtesy of your Rovian spin machine. Slime all the time and lies without end. The hidden agenda in the Republican “Contract with America.”

Republicans who don’t know or seem to care that contract has been breached are like the abused wife who is sure that her hubby won’t hit her again no matter how many times he has done it before.

Republicans are far superior to Democrats in Limbo politics. Democrats are unable to match this litany of lies and slime. That may be because the Democrats do not have a Karl Rove. Not brilliant. Not a genius. Just a slimy little freak who knows how to bring out the worst in people in order to make them vote against things they would otherwise find abhorrent. Except for some of the base who could fit under the limbo bar if it were lying in a ditch.

Republicans and their base have attacked the Mother of a dead soldier.

Republicans and their base have attacked Widows of 9/11.

Republicans and their base attacked and lied about an ad made by Michael J. Fox who has Parkinson’s disease suggesting he was off his meds to make the disease seem worse. Note to slimy Limbaugh, there isn’t much you can do to make this disease seem worse. And should an oxycontin abuser really be discussing someone’s medication?

Republicans and their base have lied about and smeared anyone who tells the truth about the machinations that resulted in the war in Iraq.

Republicans, who haven’t given a damn about Osama bin Laden for the last 3 years suddenly fund outrageous commercials featuring Osama trying to scare you into voting for them. Once you stop laughing you might want to point out that Republicans have had quite some time to catch Osama and have failed there, too.

Marjorie L. Swanson
Kenosha, Wisconsin

Subject: Biden's Comments

So this is what it comes down to: keeping congressional seats or losing more lives in Iraq!

Deb Riechmann, of Vancouver, Washington's Columbian, Sen. Graham Says Iraq Is Near Chaos, reports:

Joseph Biden, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said two Republicans have told him they will demand a new policy in Iraq after the election. Biden declined to name the GOP lawmakers. He said Republicans have been told not to make waves before the election because it could cost the party seats. Yet some prominent GOP lawmakers have expressed doubts about Bush's policy.

Why is our military continuing to be put in harm’s way? Why is it more important to maintain control of the House or Senate if our young men and women are dying over the failed Bush Administration policy of “stay the course”?

It is way past time to sit down and draft a realistic strategy for Iraq—even if that means inviting democratic leaders, military leaders who are allowed to speak frankly without fear of reprisal and the world community to the table.

Al Ainsworth
Portland, Oregon

Subject: "Wall St. Has High Hopes for October"

The lead article in the business section of today's LA Times. High hopes for them perhaps, but a lot of good that'll do the rest of us, because for us, hope or lack of same isn't the problem, the problem is this constant losing ground and sliding back, no matter how much and how hard one struggles to hold on. And right below us now, there's this eternal abyss. But fortunately there's a way out for us, which is that we win the November election and go on to change the world. "But isn't that just a wish?" "No, it's a plan."

A BuzzFlash Reader

Subject: Letter to Barney Frank Re: His Reckless Statements Regarding Venezuela

Representative Barney Frank,

Your appearance on “Real Time with Bill Maher” was in general very inspirational; you succinctly and eloquently countered at every turn the preposterous spin provided by the Wall Street Journal hack opposing you on the panel. However, at one point you volunteered a reprehensible statement that I hear all too many Democrats/progressives similarly express - in the effort, I suppose, of presenting themselves as tough “realists”.

You lumped Venezuela into the vast array of “threats” facing the United States that the Republicans have left unaddressed and have rendered our nation essentially incapable of addressing. Please tell me - how in the world is Venezuela a “threat” to our country? How does this struggling, vibrantly democratic country represent any sort of danger to our interests or way of life? Sure; Chavez has led his country under a paradigm of greater indigenous control of its resources, threatening international corporate profits and political control, but that clearly falls under the purview of any independent, sovereign nation in regard to its own wealth and liberty. Sure; Chavez has issued harsh indictments against the Bush administration, but these stem largely from our government’s immediate recognition of the largely US-funded military coup in 2002 - right before the coup failed due to the outrage and activism of the Venezuelan people - and our continued funding of corporatist opposition against his administration to this day.

Chavez has made it clear that he views the United States under Bush as a threat to his nation’s sovereignty; I think any reasonable person must admit that the available evidence supports this position. I myself hold similar views regarding what the Bush administration is doing to the United States; does this make me a “threat”?

Please reconsider this matter before making any more reckless and inflammatory statements in this regard. Thank you for your consideration.

Ken Duerksen
Oxford, Ohio

Subject: Dave Lindorff: Let's March in January! An Impeachment Call to Action - A BuzzFlash Guest Contribution

Problem with Lindorff's impeachment agenda: Impeachment is a uniquely American two-step process. If -- and with all the voter fraud, a BIG "if" -- the Democrats prevail in both Congressional chambers, and the House, in fact, impeaches Bush, the Constitution (remember that document -- the one we used to be governed under?) requires a 2/3 vote in the Senate TO CONVICT. In any case, it ain't gonna happen.

What's going on here is more than high crimes and misdemeanors (and is bigger than America). It's war crimes and crimes against humanity, and where such things are prosecuted?

I'm no anglophile, but let's watch how the British handle Blair once he's out of a job as lapdog.

Will Wyche
Palm Springs, CA