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Monday, 18 September 2006 11:09

BuzzFlash Mailbag for September 18, 2006

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Subject: Beyond Daddy's Help

All of Dad’s horsemen
And all of Dad’s men
Couldn’t put Dub-yah together again.

The President has finally hit a place in the road where he can no longer count on history to repeat itself. Throughout his career to date, when the situation got this bad, he could count on Daddy’s name, Daddy’s business connections, or Daddy’s political associates to bail him out, buy him out, or set him up with a nice new situation.

That’s how he got out of duty in the Air National Guard, how he sold a failing oil exploration company at a huge profit, how he turned a relatively meager investment into ownership of a major league baseball team, and how he became governor of Texas after trading away Sammy Sosa. Such maneuvers have long allowed him to defy the “Peter Principle” – that each person will rise to their level of incompetence – and think of himself as a “self-made man.”

But that’s not happening this time around. Daddy’s political associates (except for Uncle Dick) tried to warn him against the Iraq action, and he gave them (and even the old man, according to many accounts) the cold shoulder. He believed his own hype, and now he has created a “self-made mess.” He’s in way over his head, and he’s too far from shore to be rescued. He can’t get excused from White House duties to attend business school. He can’t get someone to buy out the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. And there’s no way to get promoted up out of a failed presidency.

So, as is the case when laws of nature have been artificially suspended, the Peter Principle has come back to strike our president with a vengeance. And how does he respond? By turning to another old friend – denial. Over the years, George W. Bush has been able to deny shirking his responsibilities, deny his business failures, and deny he was an alcoholic (Ironically, denial is one of an alcoholic’s standard responses to confrontation. Is this more proof that W. never got past step three or four of any 12-step program?).

Unfortunately, as Whitney Houston can attest, when the money and connections of your co-dependants stop working for you, denial alone isn’t a successful strategy. But denial isn’t the product of a rational mind, and that spells big trouble for the American public.

The president won’t withdraw troops from a failing situation, and he won’t send additional troops to make it work. He calls for unity while at the same time attacking his critics as “appeasers” and “Islamo-Fascists.” He says he’s never heard anything about U.S. torture of prisoners at secret CIA prisons, even though it’s been reported by every publication, news broadcast and human rights group. Domestically, he insists he had no reason to suspect that a hurricane could destroy New Orleans, when he had warnings sounded all around him. He keeps pursuing the same failed strategies, even as the walls are coming down around him, and claims he’s just being “resolute.” He’s like a petulant child who takes back his ball, but won’t go home.

But what does this accomplish for President Bush? It feeds his need for deniability. Just like he’s blamed virtually every past problem on his predecessor, if he can just keep the war going until he leaves office, he can blame any problems after that on his successor. Jon Stewart may have summed it up perfectly – “He’s running out the clock, and he doesn’t even have a lead.”

It’s time for some “tough love” for this child in denial. A Senate committee may have showed signs of delivering just that when it rejected his request for authority to continue his “secret” prisons. But it’s come awfully late, and a lot of damage has been done. A lot more damage will be done if Congress and the American public don’t start asserting themselves forcefully and consistently, and don’t let the President “run out the clock.”

B.D. Thomas

Subject: An army of misfits

Hi Buzz,

This article is a compendium worthy of Maureen Farrell. I bet you'll want to link to it-- it might even be worth front and center treatment.

Basically, the writer has collected a bunch of reports of how the military keeps having to lower its standards to meet recruitment goals, resulting in a military of white supremacists, gang members, and autistic teenagers:

In May of this year, the Oregonian reported that Army recruiters, using hard sell tactics and offering thousands of dollars in enlistment bonus money, signed up an autistic teenager "for the Army's most dangerous job: cavalry scout." The boy, who had been enrolled in "special education classes since preschool" and through "a special program for disabled workers … ha[d] a part-time job scrubbing toilets and dumping trash," didn't even know the U.S. was at war in Iraq until his parents explained it to him after he was first approached by a recruiter. Only following a flurry of negative publicity, did the Army announce that it would release the autistic teen from his enlistment obligation.

Coaxing the unwilling (AsiaTimes/Tomdispatch)

You keep thinking they can't get any lower but the article just keeps on going and going, like a damn Eveready bunny....

Maybe your head will fall off, like mine did.



Subject: Fear In Politics

Why is it that President Bush has to bring the thumbscrew twins (Rove and Cheney) with him when he goes to the Hill to urge Republicans to stick together on warrantless wiretapping and legalized torture? You think it's a person's constituency that keeps each Republican in line? Hardly. The iconic intimidators, Karl Rove and Dick Cheney, have managed to instill such fear in Republican politicians that we won't see a single moment of spine or conscience from any Republican except those that have already broken ranks, and they may return to being sycophants before it's all over.

Republicans know that they will be very, very sorry if they disagree, and that if the coercion couple doesn't have anything concrete on them, they will make it up. Look what we did to veterans like Max Cleland and John Kerry, the duo will say.

Have you noticed that sometimes you don't hear anything about Vice President Cheney or Karl Rove for weeks on end? Maybe that's when they travel around to the secret detention sites to relax and do the torturing themselves!

While we are being made very, very afraid of terrorists, Republicans are being made even more afraid of the browbeat brothers.

Pat W.
Emmitsburg, Maryland

Subject: Just Some Thoughts 

If Osama is alive (questionable) the HOUSE OF SAUD will never allow Bush-Cheney to capture or kill him.

Republicans and other enablers such as Lieberman, Lincoln, Pryor, and Nelson will distance themselves from Bush only until November the eighth . Bush has promised them cover in the past and he is fulfilling his promise.

Millions of Americans were only pissed off at Bush because of high gasoline prices. Other than that they don't really give a rat's ass. Prices might come down to less than two dollars a gallon soon. The cartels have already drafted plans to reduce production significantly in mid November. Hello $4.00 a gallon by Xmas.

Rove believes Americans are cowards at heart and this along with Diebold will enable the republicans to retain control. We will see if this brilliant soothsayer (Joke) can pull another one out of his ass.

Lawton Watson
Springdale, AR

Subject: Remarks by Senator Mary Landrieu

Alternet posted today these remarks by Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.

In light of the rantings that went on for 30 minutes by two colleagues from the other side, I'd like to state for the record that America is not tired of fighting terrorism; America is tired of the wrongheaded and boneheaded leadership of the Republican party that has sent six and a half billion a month to Iraq while the front line was Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. That led this country to attack Saddam Hussein, when we were attacked by Osama bin Laden. Who captured a man who did not attack the country and let loose a man that did. Americans are tired of boneheaded Republican leadership that alienates our allies when we need them the most. Americans are most certainly tired of leadership that despite documenting mistake after mistake after mistake, even of their own party admitting mistakes, never admit they do anything wrong. That's the kind of leadership Americans are tired of.... I'm not going to sit here as a Democrat and let the Republican leadership come to the floor and talk about Democrats not making us safe. They're the ones in charge and Osama bin Laden is still at loose.

Bravo Senator Landrieu!

If you live in Louisiana write to thank her!

Colleen Clark
Cambridge, MA

Subject: Nothing Surprises Me Anymore

The latest thing to come out of Bush's mouth? 'It's unacceptable to think ...' He sounds more and more like Hitler every day.

The right-wingers can swallow this kool-aid, but I'll use my mind and use it to make my own decisions, thank you Mr. Bush. How dare you tell me or anyone, 'It's unacceptable to think'? You literally make me ill every time you open your mouth. So do Tony Snow, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice etc. I know IMO 2008 can't come fast enough, and you can go back to being a cowboy on that ranch of yours. I'll be rejoicing, and saying 'goodbye and good riddance to bad rubbish'.

A BuzzFlash Reader

[BuzzFlash Note: Keith Olbermann ran a good segment on the "It's unacceptable to think" quote on "Countdown."]

Subject: Bush uses weasel words to conceal the truth

Bush uses weasel words to conceal what he really means. When Bush talks about "The Program" he means secret torture camps. When he says that he doesn't understand what the Geneva Conventions mean, it mean he does understand them and that torture is illegal. When he asks for "clarification" he really means redefinition of the word torture so as to pretend that torture is somehow legal. He says that he doesn't want CIA professionals to be tried as international war criminals, but I think that he is the one who is worried about being tried as a war criminal, because he clearly understands that secret torture camps violate international law.

Last time Bush tried to redefine torture it led to Abu Ghraib prison where Americans were torturing people and got caught. As a result they started chopping people's heads off. Now Bush wants us to make the same mistake again. Bush wants America to become barbarians.

You don't defeat barbarians by becoming one yourself. But that's not who we are, and I urge people to call their Republican representatives and tell them that Colin Powell and John McCain are right, torture camps are wrong.

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

Marc Perkel
San Bruno, CA

Subject: Well, Duh, Condi.

I was just reading a piece in SwissInfo, Bush Faces US Senate Rebellion, by Vicki Allen and Thomas Ferraro and there is an interesting quote by Condi Rice.

McCain, who was himself a prisoner in the Vietnam War, released a letter from Bush's former secretary of state, Colin Powell, that said the 'world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism'. Powell said he opposed Bush's bid to redefine the Geneva Conventions that require humane treatment of prisoners.

The White House countered with a letter from current Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice saying Bush's plan would 'strengthen U.S. adherence' to the Geneva Conventions and would 'help demonstrate to our international partners that we are committed to compliance' with the standards."

The only way the US can adhere to the world's torture rules is if we get to define them. Every time Bush shows his face someone needs to ask if he approves of other countries using the same tactics on our soldiers. The they need to ask if he would consider it torture if someone was doing these things to his daughters. If he says yes, then I say do it to his daughters and let him watch. Or it could be done to him and see if he gets any more truthful.

You need a unified movement. A movement that loses its radicalism loses its vision and its future. A movement that is only radical loses its mass base. -- Kathleen Barry from Not For Ourselves Alone.

Speak up or they assume you agree!!!

Karen Webb
Moore, OK

Subject: The " Power" of Observation?

A loyal BuzzFlash reader asks:


Pick a problem, any problem, analyze it, chatter on about it, sight the obvious, unearth the subtle, then what? The next intellectual step in processing a problem after its "identification" is its "analysis." Analysis for its own sake, without address to recommendation, v.v., remediation and/or solution, gets a bit "hollow-sounding" after awhile. The "harmony of discord" is pleasing to this ear, but....I long for the identification,discussion and analysis of potential remedies/solutions to our woes. Isn't that part of what it means to be a "progressive"?


Subject: Geneva Convention

hey buzz...

we've got to protect our troops and stop little georgie messing with the geneva convention. the rest of the world now, thanks to george, cheney and rummy, sees america as a nation of terrorists (and why not?..the electorate keeps voting them in).

american soldiers are going to be subjected to some heavy duty interrogations if georgie alters article three of the geneva convention. what information could american soldiers give? they don't know when the next civilian is going to be kidnapped and disappeared to some dark prison. they don't know when the next civilian household will be attacked, children raped and witnesses killed. of course a little waterboarding might loosen their lips and get them to admit to anything. these poor bastards wouldn't even be in this situation if georgie hadn't used his preemptive strike to start an illegal war.

little georgie is scared of press conferences. he'd piss himself if he was led into an interrogation chamber. yet by changing the rules of the geneva convention he's exposing american troops to retaliatory torture.

hey george there might come a time when you lose your crown and the cia might want to ask you some questions. think about it.

Tom Coombs
Kaslo BC Canada

subject: Last throes

The newest spin to why we don't have to abide by Geneva convention is because our enemy (that we created) does not wear a uniform. So using their logic, anyone in the United States who they call a subversive, enemy combatant or whatever can be held, tortured, denied evidence against them and executed using coerced confessions. I knew the war in Iraq would somehow turn into the weapon to facilitate total control of US.

Scott Sanford

Subject: The Frightening Political Doctrine of Christianist "Dominionism"

Many are not aware that the 2004 Texas State Republican Party platform expressly stated, "The Republican party of Texas affirms the United States of America is a Christian Nation..." This statement reflects the influence of a particular fundamentalist Christian religious movement called "Dominionism."

Until recently, most Christian fundamentalists were "pre-millenialists" who believed the existing world of the "Kingdom of Man" would not be reformed until the second coming of Jesus Christ. However, since approximately 1975, there has been rapid growth in belief in "post-millenialism" that maintains it is necessary for the faithful to first "reconstruct" the world into a "Kingdom of God" before Jesus will return.

This "Kingdom of God" is not a metaphorical place to the Dominionists. They believe it will be a real nation where "God's Laws," especially the Ten Commandments, will be supreme and supercede all man-made laws and constitutions. Many believe the United States of America is preordained to become the Kingdom of God, ruling the world as "Regents" until the Second Coming despite inevitable conflict lasting generations with those who reject God's Law to serve the Kingdom of Man. Some maintain America is the corrupt "Babylon," described in the Bible's Book of Revelations, destined to be destroyed by many plagues.

Dominionists deny that the 1st Amendment of the Bill of Rights creates any separation between church and state and reject the legitimacy of any government that does not recognize Jesus Christ as savior. Neutral expressions of ethical behavior and social civility are frequently denounced as "Secular Humanism" which is considered evil because it does not properly recognize Jesus' divinity and the supremacy of God's Law.

It has been argued by Dominionists that governmental laws are just secularized versions of religious concepts of right and wrong and so therefore notions of separation between church and state are meaningless. The fallacious reasoning behind this insidiously illogical argument becomes a clearer when one compares it with the now widely discredited reverse argument, once asserted by dictatorial communist governments, that religious notions of right and wrong are merely supernaturally supported expressions of rational, secular ethical concepts, and so religion ought to be abolished. Both arguments are examples of illogical circular reasoning with word equivocations leading to false conclusions.

Don Farkas
Los Angeles, California

Subject:To the UN--- Someone Please Help!

WASHINGTON, Sept. 15 -- President Bush made an impassioned defense on Friday of his proposed rules for the interrogation and prosecution of terrorism suspects, warning that the nation's ability to defend itself would be undermined if rebellious Republicans in the Senate did not come around to his position.

Jesus god! bush has gone over the edge and no one will tell him! can't someone stop this maniac! he has been wrong about everything and he will still stand there saying he is right and everyone else is wrong! he is insane! our young men and women are dying! stop this lunatic!

sixty of us old but not brain dead yet in fl

Subject: So where will the Bushes be?

Secretary Evans to Attend Funeral Services for Former Texas Governor Ann Richards Secretary

Don Evans will attend the funeral services held for Governor Ann Richards at the University of Texas Frank Erwin Center on Monday, September 18, on behalf of President and Mrs. Bush. As a lifelong Texan, Secretary Evans had the highest regard for the Governor, and he appreciated her tireless efforts on behalf of the state and her zest for life that endeared her to the entire country. The President regrets being unable to attend her funeral, and he and Mrs. Bush send their deepest condolences to the Governor's family.

Laura Bush is a lifelong Texan, why isn't she going? I can't wait to see where he will be talking up torture and shredding the Constitution. I am pleased that Evans had the highest regard for Richards since Bush never did and Karl Rove trashed her.

A BuzzFlash Reader

Subject: Matt Lauer Interview with Baby Bush

Thanks, BuzzFlash, for linking us with scenes from The Daily Show, which showed video clips of Matt Lauer interviewing baby bush. Just as funny as the dialogue, was the expression on Matt Lauer's face, which could be seen much better on The Daily Show's big screen when actually watching the show. I thought Lauer looked as if he knew he was trying to interview someone who wasn't a mentally balanced adult, but Lauer was trying not to show that he knew.

R. M. Johnson
New Jersey

Subject: Proof of Lower Gas Prices Till November Election?

I received the following email from Shelley Moore Capito, a darling of the Bush White House, who hopes to be re-elected in November. I suspect that the answer to our lower gas prices is in this email. My only question, if the Repugnican'ts have so much control over gas prices, why have they waited until now to "help"?

The email is as follows [excerpts]:

E-News Update for September 15, 2006
Letter from Shelley

Friends and Colleagues,

In a week in which we received continued good news on gas prices and the economy, the House was also busy passing important legislation to secure our borders in order to stop illegal immigration and keep our country secure.

Stopping Illegal Immigration & Securing Our Borders

I gave strong support this week to the Secure Fence Act, legislation that authorizes the construction of 700 miles of reinforced fencing and the use of state-of-the-art surveillance technology along our borders to help secure our nation and stop the flow of illegal immigration. [snip]

Member of Congress


GAS PRICES: As Prices Fall, Good News On Economy Continues

As gas prices continued to drop in West Virginia and across the country, more positive news about the economy was released today. Consumer confidence has reached a seven-month high, as lower gas prices continue to give a boost to the already strong economy.

Quick Facts on West Virginia Gas Prices

$2.90 Average Price of Gas in West Virginia 30 Days Ago*

$2.42 Average Price of Gas in West Virginia Today*

A BuzzFlash Reader