Want to join the conversation? Share your thoughts with other Mailbag readers by clicking here.
Subject: Osama bin Laden's lastest message
Osama bin Laden has released a new video, but what does it mean? What it means is that 6 years later Bush has failed to get him. Osama is right about one thing. The Democrats have failed to make any kind of serious effort to stop the war in Iraq. Since bin Laden says he wants Democrats to stop the war that will make sure Democrats don't stop it. Osama really wants the war to continue because it's bleeding us dry and as long as we waste our resources on Iraq then he will be able to roam free.
Bush and the Republicans aren't serious about getting bin Laden. Bush has said that he isn't concerned about him. Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson writes him off as a "symbolic threat". This seems to indicate that the Republicans have failed to identify the enemy. How can the guy who caused 9/11 not matter?
One thing is clear. As long as Osama bin Laden releases videos, the job isn't done. We need a president who is truly interested in getting him.
I'm Marc Perkel - And I approved this message!
San Bruno, CA
Subject: Response to Petraeus Report
Amidst rumors that Gen. Petraeus' report on Iraq would be guardedly optimistic, President Bush recently spoke before an audience of veterans about the courage of Americans fighting there. Soon after, presidential candidates Clinton and Obama spoke before the same audience, and echoed the President's sentiments. It seemed the President suddenly had the Democrats on the defensive. Is there really a difference between them? All three seemed to be singing the same song.
It was an odd moment for the candidates, especially Mr. Obama, who is generally adept at finding something original to say. But neither Obama nor Hillary were willing to point out the obvious, that if success in Iraq was a matter of military courage, we'd have won the war a long time ago. Really, now, has anyone ever suggested that we are having a rough time in Iraq because the troops aren't up for the fight? What olive branch waving, folk-song singing peacenik has ever claimed that we are losing because Americans aren't brave? None. Yet before an audience of veterans, neither candidate could be up front with the fact that it is the President's policies, not the courage of our fighting forces, that are the source of our problems. Instead, both fell into echoing Bush's post-card patriotism.
Thus, Bush managed to paint himself as the true friend of the military, essentially daring Obama and Hillary to be nay-sayers. But why did neither candidate point out that a President who commits our troops to a long-term conflict without a plan, is not their friend at all? Were the vets incapable of understanding that if a Commander in-Chief really cared about the armed forces, he'd be more careful about deploying them? Why are the Democrats so timid? Because they're afraid of being misquoted and misinterpreted. Because, with some issues, it's safer to utter platitudes and avoid trouble.
Americans claim to be tired of political slogans, and would like a little truth. But when a candidate tries to explain a point in measured, nuanced terms without overstating, and speaks knowledgeably, conveying a sense of balance, viewers get bored and change the channel. Every news programmer knows that lengthy paragraphs lead to ridicule, to accusations of being "wonkish," and out of touch with the common man.
Last week, I heard a radio talk show featuring Republican candidate Mike Huckabee, a man I'm apt to disagree with about everything. However, on that day, the interviewer asked insightful, open-ended questions that allowed Mr. Huckabee to put his best foot forward, and give his ideas an honest airing. He actually sounded bright. He won't get my vote, but after hearing him out, I have a bit more respect for him. That's because the interviewer wasn't trying to corner him into self-contradiction, or hang him on a fumbled sentence.
Now if journalists could display a similar attitude towards all our candidates, we might learn what they really stand for.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: My Country Ought To Be ...
Having been a proud liberal American all my life I watch sadly as my country turns its back on all the things to which it once aspired.
In spite of all the Patriotic speechifying, America has never been perfect. America has been a work in progress. We were not as good as we ought to be or boasted we were, but still better than most.
We are justifiably proud of our country and our accomplishments. The problem with all that hubris about how far we have come is that we don't seem to realize that we still have a long way.
When did America stop being the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave and start being the Land that says, "Oh please protect me and keep me safe and here are all my rights in partial payment? We'll be happy to turn over the rest of those rights if only big Daddy there in government will protect our scaredy-cat little asses"?
Teddy Roosevelt said, "Speak softly and carry a big stick." Americans now say, "Talk tough and hide under the bed."
Some Americans are bright, informed and caring enough to be appalled at what their country has become. That we even discuss torture as if it is EVER acceptable should tell us how far we have descended. While much of the country cowers in fear that the bad guys might come and get us, we send our young people to invade another country and their people cower in fear of us, because to them we are the bad guys.
Does any of this make sense? Is the debacle in Iraq good for the country or the people of the United States? Anyone that thinks that we have the right to be invading other countries and killing their people when they have done nothing to us is not a very good American, a very good Christian, or a very good human being. Good people don't go killing other good people just because they're scared.
Subject: Thoughts Of A High Ranking Indian Military Official Regarding Iran And Pakistan
I was lucky enough to meet a very high ranking Indian military man tonight, and I discussed with him Navaz Sharrif's visit to Pakistan as well as our plans to strike Iran. The best way to sum it up was any action to strike Iran was in one word - STUPID. This gentleman has served in several wars and said, to paraphrase: Any such action will destabilize Musharraf, Pakistan will fall into the hands of Islamists, and cause major problems and absolutely derail the Indian and Pakistan peace talks. China, in his opinion, would side with Pakistan. As I said, such a venture would be foolish and irresponsible and would escalate tensions between two nuclear powers. Pakistan in the past has threatened to nuke India over Kashmir (Kargil war).
The gentleman was kind enough to not pass any disparaging remarks about Iraq and our involvement there, thought he told me he plans to follow what Gen. Petraus has to say. He told me that according to his evaluation, Iraq is a lost cause, and we should get out of there. That was his opinion, and I think he is right.
In general, the educated populace in India is shocked that we elected W. They held a mock election in New Delhi ... about a thousand people ... 93% voted for Kerry.
Looking forward to getting back to Phoenix. Traffic here is scary!!
Subject: Bin Roven
Come on! This is just too perfect. A new Bin Laden video shows up right before the "September Report" from Petraeus is due! And it's talking about Democrats' failure to cut off funding, global warming ... all very "leftish."
Now we know why Rove left the White House. He had to put some real thought into concocting this video in order to make sure the American public and Democrats were kowtowed again. Maybe this "Bin Laden" guy was a Republican creation all along. One thing is for sure ... something is rotten in Denmark.
Subject: This Fraud Petraeus
PLEASE refer to this criminal/Bush tool in the following way-this says it all ...
Long Island, NY
Subject: So Many Republicans -- So Much Confusion
Our minds are twirling on the Republican sex perversion stories. There are so many we can't keep them all indexed in our minds.
Here is a suggestion, Buzz: Why not create a data bank on these republicans? Include republican weirdos on the local, state and federal levels, plus links to the reported news articles that exposed the perversions. It is getting so heavy that it seems that every few days we are hearing about another perverted republican. It sure would be great to see all of them in a black and white data bank so we could send it to our bobble-headed friends and families who stick with and make excuses for their perverted party - come hell or high water.
I sure would like to be able to say, "Yeah, take that you backers of hypocrisy!"
[BuzzFlash Note: There's a pretty good list posted at http://www.democrats.com... In addition, John Bryan of Florida appears to have been another case; and Americablog posted a report on 9/9/07 about a possible Republican gay scandal.]
Subject: Nuclear Tipped Missiles
Call me crazy if you will. Say this is just too far off the map to believe. However I do have a theory about the journey above the United States on the B 52 of nuke tipped missiles.
Remember that the biggest propaganda tool the Bush administration used in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq was the mushroom cloud. You remember. Saddam had all these weapons of mass destruction and he was ready to use them or turn them over to terrorists. We invade. OOPS! NO WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION TO BE FOUND. What if this time they were going to make sure the weapons would be found?
How could you do that? Well how about PRE-POSITIONING THEM? You know, so that they could be found. Then instead of pictures drawn and colored in by some neo-con and presented to the world as proof of the weapons and the intent of the dictator to use them or distribute them, you have real proof.
I know this is getting pretty far out there, but look at all the things that have happened since 2000 that we never would have thought possible. Say you find some nuke tipped missiles that were supposed to have been destroyed but somehow managed not to make it to the grave yard. Then you fly them to a location where they could be re-worked. You know, maybe a new paint job and new language applied to the surface. Then you secretly fly them to another location say in northwestern Iran and miraculously they are found by our operatives in the area.
Remember also that earlier this week Iran released a statement claiming that they had developed a smart bomb. OH BOY! A WAR MONGER'S DREAM! Release the photos of the missiles and this time you have found the weapons of mass destruction to justify bombing the hell out of them. No question they have them.
Just food for thought. This may sound like a story out of some book by one of those great military fiction writers, but it sure wouldn't be the first time this administration used one of those stories.
Subject: Larry Craig's Children
Since Larry Craig adopted his wife's kids when they married, they are his children, not his stepchildren. As an adoptive parent of 5, who is admittedly sensitive about this issue, I just thought this needed some clarification. The fact that he has no biological children is totally irrelevant. Except to those who believe that it is equivalent to being gay or abnormal.
I despise Larry Craig and all that he stands for, particularly his need to deny gays their rights. However, I think this headline could have used a little more editing.
Subject: Animal House (& Senate) Redux
George W. Bush as Dean Wormer
Dick Cheney as Omega president Gregg Marmalard
General David Petraeus as Neidermeyer, ROTC cadet commander
Congressional Democrats as the Delta Tau Chi fraternity (Deltas)
At a Faber College lecture hall the assembled greeks are receiving a "surge" report from Neidermeyer.
Following the report Dean Wormer and Gregg Marmalard inform the Deltas that they have been on double secret probation and because they do not support the surge they will be booted off the campus. At this point the assembled Deltas break into a faux coughing spell blurting out "bull s**t" expletives expressing their disapproval of the surge report and their double secret probation.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Proposal For New BuzzFlash "Award" Category; And The First Nomination
I know that too many separate "awards" series dilutes the impact, but I really think that for BuzzFlash to offer one more to provide an even coverage of relevant satire. You have the "Republican Hypocrite" award and the "Media Putz" award, but an essential component that is missing from this gallery of infamy is a "DINO" ("Democrat in Name Only") award.
This struck me particularly hard this morning while watching Joe Biden on NBC's "Meet the Press." I was expecting to find some gem on the host's part on which I could base a nomination for "Media Putz", but I could not get past "Diamond Joe's" unsupportable and self-contradictory positions. These DINOs are insufferable, counter-productive, and must be called out.
On Biden's recent campaign commercial he clearly states up front that "this war must end now." Yet this morning when presented with the fact that cutting off funding appears arguably the only viable way to do this; he equivocates. Claiming that by continuing to vote for Bush's demanded war-budgets and endless supplementals our Democratic leaders are "protecting the troops." His only offered example of what this "protection" consists of is the well-armored "cougar" combat vehicle, which he states has a price tag of "billions" per unit and can apparently be blown 30 feet in the air by Iraq's numerous IEDs without harm coming to those encased within. "We owe them, man" said Joe.
What Biden does not understand is that we are not in Iraq to protect our troops; we are ALWAYS in the business of protecting them. And when there is admittedly no real mission in a particular theater of operations - as Biden appears in other contexts to recognize is the case with Iraq - then this protection is better provided at home. Immediately.
Joe also provides a Vietnam analogy of his own which leads nowhere:
"Everybody says, Tim, how we cut off the funds for the war in Vietnam. I was there; I was a 29 year old kid." He was where? I assume he was talking about his election to a first term in the Senate in 1972, but I can only hope that the false impression of a non-existent combat service that is elicited by this morning's comment was merely a product of the thoughtless bluster that is Biden's rhetorical trademark; and not an intentional strategy to insinuate a false military record for this candidate.
Please consider initiating this scathing new series of exposes; and enshrining Joe Biden as its first recipient.
I've even got a logo worked up if you're interested.
Subject: This Is The Week That Decides Our Fate
Meaning that either we see to it that Congress cuts off all funding for the Iraq war or it's going to be one of our children or grandchildren who ends up having to answer the call "Will the last one out please turn off the lights." What's it gonna take? Us, that's what!
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Who Cares Who Oprah Likes?
Does anyone really vote for a candidate just because some celebrity endorses him or her? Is anyone really that stupid? Wait a minute; let me rephrase that because we know that there really are folks that stupid. What I meant was, are there enough folks that stupid to make a difference?
There are some very intelligent and well-informed liberal celebrities that I respect but I wouldn't vote one way or another because of their endorsement of a candidate. I highly respect Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins both as actors and activists. That doesn't mean I would vote one way or another because of anyone they might endorse. I don't know whom they endorse and I don't care. I will vote for the person I think the best choice.
Are we a nation of adolescents that casts our precious vote because some celebrity thinks that is a good candidate? I certainly hope not. We are a nation easily swayed by the latest talking points or press manipulation. Unfortunately some silly twits will vote for a candidate because of celebrity support.
Most of us grew up while those that need to be told who to vote for by someone else just grew older. That silly little girl in the frilly dress with the I.Q. of a cupcake is now a silly woman with the I.Q. of a cupcake. That dimwitted boy that sat behind you and picked his nose and had the brainpower of one of his tennis shoes is now the moron next door that thinks Bill O'Reilly is the font of all wisdom. And they get one vote each just like you. Kinda makes your head hurt doesn't it?
Subject: David Broder is an overrated, puffed-up windbag
I think David Broder is an overrated, puffed-up windbag who is so out of touch with real life that I am sure he thinks Calvin Coolidge is running for reelection.
So I do not routinely (if ever) read Broder's stupid column, but this column was pointed out to me and needed a response.
The Making of the Front-Runner (Washington Post)
At the end of a long column about Hillary Clinton, Broder wonders if America wants Bill Clinton to "play as central a role in [Hillary's] presidency as she did in his." I will tell you that right now, today, I am sure Bill Clinton would be elected president again if the Constitution permitted. Even during the worst of the Republicans' efforts to "get" President Clinton, his poll numbers rose to be in the 70s. President Bush would give his eye teeth to have Bill Clinton's poll numbers.
Broder has relied on Carl Bernstein's cheap-shot trash biography of Hillary Clinton for his own thoughts; that is a mistake. Most marriages have their tough spots, but the Clintons have stayed together because their quarrels are no match for the tremendous regard, respect and affection they have for one another.
(If anyone wants to discuss a troubled marital record, he should do some research on Rudy Giuliani's sordid record in that field.)
Current CNN, Gallup, and USA Today polls demonstrate that Bill Clinton is viewed by the American people as an asset to Hillary Clinton and that the great majority of Americans would be delighted to have Bill Clinton near the levers of power in this country again.
When President Clinton left the White House, he had approval numbers of about 65 percent. As the Bush presidency has droned on, Clinton's years as president have come to be viewed even more respectfully and affectionately by the American public.
Too bad Broder never asked the hard questions about George W. Bush's qualifications to be president before Bush was foisted on us by a somnolent press corps and a partisan U.S. Supreme Court. If the press had lived up to its obligation, then, to report factually, accurately and completely about Bush's character and record in Texas, we might now be well on our way -- under the leadership of President Al Gore -- to independence from Middle East oil and well on our way to dealing with global climate change.
David Broder is wasting his time wondering about Bill Clinton; I cannot think of a better or more qualified person than Bill Clinton to give informed advice regarding the terrible problems with which George W. Bush has saddled this country.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Don't Buy Anything On 9/11
Let 9/11/07 be the start of "We're not buying it." Don't shop for anything except essentials on that day and from that day forward. Let us honor our fellow dead American citizens by not buying the consumerism and the FEAR being sold to us by the corporate-political elite. Ask yourself how many more of us have to die, be maimed, impoverished and abused by this system of for-profit government before we put a stop to it? Check out "Smashing Capitalism" by Barbara Ehrenreich (link below). "We're not buying it." Let the revolution begin!
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Get On The Bus!
The clock is ticking. Get on the bus. Just months before the first presidential primaries, thousands of young people from across the country will converge on the DC area for the largest conference on climate change ever held and learn how to use the next 431 days as effectively as possible to ensure that in 2009, we pass a powerful, national game plan to stop global warming.
We need a president that will hear our voices and make this issue a top priority and we're going to make all of that happen at Power Shift. Power Shift, happening Nov. 2 - 5th, will be a weekend-long event full of panel discussions, workshops, a green job fair, an opportunity to directly lobby congress, big name speakers and a lot more. The invited speakers range from celebrity activists like Spike Lee, Jon Stewart and Al Gore to Former chief of the Environmental Protection Agency, Carol Browner as well as Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela and many more. Most importantly, Power Shift is going to be the chance for young people to gain the knowledge and skills to truly make a difference on this issue and the networking to create a unified, nationwide youth global warming movement.
The time for a unified voice on global warming couldn't be better; with the upcoming presidential elections we need to make it known that this is our top priority. Students are answering the call from Seattle to Wisconsin to West Virginia and North Carolina to fill a bus. Students are stepping up and committing to recruiting their peers and filling a bus (aka 55 people). This is an event you can't miss. Get on the Bus! Join us November 2nd at the University of Maryland.
Power Shift 2007
Subject: "So Who Dissolved the Iraqi Army?" We know! 9-7-07 RUMSFELD, CHENEY HERE IT IS
"With regard to the recent dust-up in the pages of the NYT between Bush and Bremer over the dismantling of the Iraqi Army, Ward Harkavy at the Village Voice reminds us that the mystery has already been solved by former British Home Secretary David Blunkett. He revealed in his memoirs that Cheney and Rumsfeld were the ones pushing for dismantling the Iraqi army, much to the dismay of the British."
---History News Network Historians Roundup: Historians' Take
Juan Cole: So who really dissolved the Iraqi army? We know.
SOURCE: Informed Comment (Blog) (9-7-07)
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: 97 Republicans in Congress vote against helping college students
This is what Republicans stand for -- Republicans vote over and over again to waste BILLION$ and BILLION$ in Bush's war of aggression in Iraq, BUT when American college students need relief in loan costs -- 77 Republicans vote AGAINST American college students.
You see -- Corporations' profits are what comes first for Republicans -- Even when American college students struggle hard to even pay for college. REPUBLICANS just do not care if you can afford a college education or not.
Just as Republicans still refuse to fund repairing America's bridges with a simple small gasoline tax of about 5 cents a gallon.
House Roll Call: House Passes Student Loan Bill (Associated Press/Talking Points Memo)
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Petraeus's Fork
General Petraeus came to a fork in the road and had to decide; he could either:
(1) tell the truth to the American people and, probably, see that honesty result in the loss of his military advancement
(2) he could lie for the Bush gang, protect his military career, and go down in the history books disgraced as a Liar For Bush (as Colin Powell did).
Petraeus chose Number (2).
Think of it; think of how many reputations Bush has managed to destroy:
(1) Colin Powell who -- until he testified dishonestly to the UN about WMD in Iraq -- one may have disagreed with but at least thought him to be an honest man.
(2) Condoleezza Rice, who was once thought of as as knowledgeable about foreign policy, is now disgraced as an incompetent person who has ZERO positive achievements to her name, but lots of negative "achievements."
(3) Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, who were once -- even if one disagreed with their politics -- thought to be intelligent and competent men, are now unmasked as incompetent blowhards who couldn't even manage a war with the great U.S. military pitted against a bunch of stateless men running around in sandals.
(4) Karl Rove -- once thought to be the political genius who would create a Republican Party that was so unstoppable it would rule America for the next 75 years -- leaves the reputations of a president, George W. Bush, and the Republican Party reviled and in tatters. I guess Rove was not such a genius after all!
(5) Laura Bush -- once thought to be a nice librarian and school teacher who cared about children -- is revealed to be a Stepford wife who has not lifted a finger to protect children, the old, the poor, the weak, the ill, or even anyone not of her own social group from the cruel effects of her husband's policies.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Re: Dubya's future
I heard that Pres. Bush plans to start a Freedom Institute to spread democracy around the world. Question is -- what does he know about democracy? 2nd Question: Where are these countries that would allow anything connected to George W. Bush anywhere near their borders?
I can't take credit for it, but someone on BuzzFlash decided to call Petraeus, General "Betray Us," and I would like to add that there couldn't be a better name for a guy about to deliver a huge crock of poop than a guy named Crock-er. I can't see there being any doubt that General "Betray Us" will in fact betray us. He will do exactly what he is told. He may say it hasn't gone as well as expected, but he will say that doesn't matter, kids must continue to die for the GOP to save face.
Subject: Peek-a-boo -- Oh, Osama, it's YOU!
I just can't help wondering about how conveniently--for the GOP--the missing Big Bad Boy Bin Laden has entered the scene to grab the headlines. With menacing threats about Americans all converting to Islam, the Evildoer #1 was considerate enough to also mention how the Democrats in Congress did not do his bidding and stop US involvement in the war. Commentators couldn't help noticing that he has filled out a bit, and his greying beard is dark and freshly-trimmed. Apparently, not only the diet in those Pakistani caves has improved--so have the salon services. And, apparently the ailing OBL is also not lacking for medical attention for his life-threatening condition.
Are you thinking what I'm thinking...? Maybe he's not at-large at all! If it seems impossible to imagine that OBL has been captured already, then please explain why a year ago (July 3, 2006) the CIA reported closing the office devoted to finding and capturing him?
Imagine this scenario: Cornered by US or Pakistani troops, the Nefarious Evildoer's family--many of whom are well-connected with the Bush family--cuts a deal. (For more on the intimate connection between Bin Laden family and Bechtel/Bush interests, read: http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2003/05/05...)
So, what's the arrangement? He will turn himself in to the protective custody in Saudi Arabia and will only make contact with the public at the bidding of the Bush Administration. A video from OBL right before Gen. Petraeus's report? It's...like manna from heaven!
If another terrorist attack took place in the US, of course, that would also rally the public--but it would run the risk of a backlash over the government failing to protect us. Reruns of 9/11, however, are the staple stump speech of every GOP presidential candidate.
Good job, Osama! Now, back to your room--doctor visit at 11:00, prayers at noon, tea time at 2:00. You will be called upon again when your services are needed.
If this is a wild-eyed conspiracy theory, tell me why it couldn't happen?
Subject: Democrats could stop the war
The say that the Democrats don't have the votes to stop the war but that isn't true. Bush is going to come to Congress wanting another 50 billion dollars. Democrats have the votes to not give Bush any more money. If you fund the war you are supporting the war. I'm tired of funding the politicians who are funding the war, so I refuse to give money to politicians of either party who keep voting for the war.
This week they are going to lie to us again and tell us that we're winning. We are not winning because to win we have to defeat the people who we are trying to liberate. After 5 years we are told over and over that we are almost there, when the reality is that it keeps getting worse and worse. The time has come to shut it down and get out of there.
If you really want to stop the war then cut off the money.
I'm Marc Perkel - And I approved this message!
San Bruno, CA
Subject: Hannity Recycles
Sean Hannity promised a "global warming" bombshell last Sunday. I didn't (couldn't) watch, but I gather from this rabidly enthusiastic review that he revealed (again, at least he's recycling something) that Al Gore flies on planes and rides in a car.
Hannity sees so clearly that there is only one way Gore can avoid being a carbon-belching hypocrite: the former vice president and his Secret Service detail must carpool in a Hybrid to speaking engagements, or always fly coach. Carbon offsets be damned! They're obviously a scam because while offsets do reduce carbon emissions, they don't do it in the very SUV or private plane in which Gore happens to travel! Find a flaw in that reasoning if you can. Fox viewers apparently find none.
Subject: I tried listening to the hearings
I tried listening to the hearings. I know see there is no point. The only reason Petraeus is where he is today is because he will not be deviating from the Bush line, period, end of story. If Bush thought there was even a remote possibility he would give an honest assessment he would not be where he is today.
Bush looked long and hard for a toady in uniform and he found one. Anyone who disagrees with the president, like Moveon.org, should be denied free speech which is what I have heard more than once. I may read the account later, but to save my TV, I won't watch Petraeus, betray us, because there is no way he will betray Bush regardless of what it does to the military or its readiness for future engagements.