|Subj:||Durn good Stuhff...|
|Date:||9/27/01 7:40:12 PM Pacific Daylight Time|
(Purtty durn goowuhd stuhff @ MakeThemAccountable.com ... ~ L.~)
The NORC Florida Ballot Study,
Part Two: The News that Would Have Been
Before the terrorist attack, September was destined to be a difficult month
for George W. Bush. Allegations about the 2000 election and his legitimacy
were about hit the news... pressure was mounting for formal investigations
into election law violations in Florida... Dick Cheney was under increasing
criticism about not releasing the names of the people who influenced energy
policy... Newsweek published excerpts of "The Accidental President"... a
major report was about to be released about the devastation landmines were
bringing to innocent people, highlighting the treaty the U.S. has still not
signed... international dissatisfaction was growing about the increasing U.
S. arrogance and isolation... thousands of protesters were planning to link
their arms around the White House... And, as George W. traveled to Florida
to celebrate increased test scores at a Jacksonville school, an allegation
arose that the scores were bogus. Then Fate intervened...
[This is a VERY IMPORTANT article. Be sure to read it and keep it in mind
for the future.Caro]
Remember the article I posted on Tuesday, about martial law (actually, a
state of emergency) having been declared in Florida?
Palm Beach Post
Security concerns threaten state's open records, meetings law
By Jim Ash, Palm Beach Post Capital Bureau
Wednesday, September 26, 2001
TALLAHASSEE -- Florida is under a state of emergency, legislators are
considering closing committee meetings, and routine public records are being
withheld in the name of a massive federal terrorism investigation.
In the two weeks since suicide attacks killed thousands, civil libertarians
are growing worried that Florida's ironclad Government-in-the-Sunshine
Law -- the most open in the nation -- could become collateral damage.
"I understand the fear because I'm afraid. But this rush to close access
doesn't do us any good," said Barbara Petersen, president of the First
Amendment Foundation. "At this time of national crisis, it's more important
than ever that we know how well our government is functioning."
Petersen's concerns weren't eased Monday evening when House and Senate
leaders announced the creation of special "security" committees assigned to
coordinate Florida's response to the national emergency
[I invite you to re-read the highlighted phrase in the posting just above
this one. Then think about how investigations of potential illegalities may
be thwarted if Floridas Sunshine Laws are reined in.Caro]
Republicans Illegally Censor Critics of Ashcroft's Police State Plans from C-SPAN
Speaking to the House Judiciary Committee on Monday, John Ashcroft demanded
massive infringements on civil liberties. Ashcroft's demands included:
indefinite detention of aliens, use of illegal evidence in trial, secret
court authorization for wiretaps, access to users' Internet information
without a court order and authority to review telephone voice-mail messages
with only a search warrant. All of this was covered by TV cameras from
C-SPAN and other networks. But when Democrats called civil liberties and
free-speech advocates to testify from the ACLU and PFAW, "the committees
Republican staff ordered camera crews to leave, including those of C-SPAN."
This is outrageous! Call Tom DeLay (202-224-3121) and tell him to stop
attacking - and censoring - our civil liberties. And call C-SPAN on the
Democrats line at (202) 737-0001 to complain about accepting censorship by
MSNBC Scrubs GOP Censorship Story
On September 24, MSNBC reported that Republican House staffers ordered
C-SPAN cameras removed from Judiciary Committee hearings when Democrats
called civil liberties advocates to testify. On September 25, this MSNBC
article was re-written, and this section was completely removed. Here is the
"scrubbed" version: http://www.msnbc.com/news/632335.asp - click below to
see the original (fortunately cached by Google). And tell MSNBC
(firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 201-583-5000) to stop rewriting history to hide the
truth about Republican censors!
White House whitewashers
Bush staffers chastise NBC for a Clinton interview, Fleischer whacks Maher
and the Bush-was-in-danger story falls apart. Tension mounts between the
White House and the media.
- - - - - - - - - - - -
By Jake Tapper
Sept. 27, 2001 | WASHINGTON -- On the same day last week that "NBC Nightly
News" anchor Tom Brokaw sat down to interview former President Clinton,
executives for the program received unexpected phone calls from senior
communications staffers at the White House, expressing disappointment about
the decision to spotlight Bush's predecessor.
While not asking the network to refrain from running the interview, they
expressed the feeling that the Sept. 18 interview with Clinton would not be
helpful to the current war on terrorism. Neither NBC nor the White House
would comment on the phone calls, but sources familiar with the calls
confirmed that they happened.
This news comes on the heels of revelations that President Bush and Air
Force One were not, contrary to earlier White House claims, targets of the
terrorists who attacked the Pentagon and the World Trade Center Sept. 11.
The White House is now saying that those claims, which it used to explain
why the president didn't return to Washington immediately that day, were a
result of staffers "misunderstanding" security information.
On Wednesday, tensions between the White House and its media critics, real
or imagined, threatened to rise even higher. White House spokesman Ari
Fleischer took a slap at "Politically Incorrect" host Bill Maher, who called
U.S. military strikes on faraway targets "cowardly." Fleischer blasted
Maher, claiming it was "a terrible thing to say," and didn't stop there,
noting "There are reminders to all Americans that they need to watch what
they say, watch what they do, and this is not a time for remarks like that;
there never is."
On the face of it, these moves by the Bush administration to discourage
media criticism don't seem to make much sense. By the time of the Clinton
interview, for instance, polls were showing unprecedented public support for
Bush, which has since only increased. And at the time, all Clinton had to
say about Bush was that he supported him, and urged the rest of the country
to do the same.
But this White House has developed a particularly tense, mutually
distrustful relationship with members of the news media, one that has only
seemed to deepen since the Sept. 11 attacks. This relationship seems to be
focused specifically on the White House's political and communication staffs
(it's virtually impossible to imagine Bush knowing anything about the calls
to NBC). And it embodies what many members of the media -- conservative,
liberal and nonpartisan -- decry as an arrogant, unnecessarily adversarial
attitude, one where questions about White House decisions are regarded as
inappropriate and, now, quite possibly unpatriotic.
And the relationship has been particularly hampered by these White House
staffers' well-publicized difficulty telling the truth.
It began on a much smaller scale earlier in the year, when various White
House officials put out erroneous stories that President Clinton and his
administration left behind a vandalized White House and Air Force One. (It
was left to the General Accounting Office and President Bush to dismiss
By Joe Andrew
Monday, September 24, 2001; Page A19
On Sept. 11 politics died. Contemporary American partisan politics as we
have come to know it, full of thrusts and parries, charges and
counter-charges, simply stopped. Without any polls or focus groups telling
them what to do, Democrats and Republicans instinctively stopped quarreling
among themselves, rallied behind a president whose very legitimacy had been
questioned and pledged to give him whatever he wanted to fight a war on
terrorism. Budgets did not matter. Protecting the "lock box" of Social
Security did not matter. Political positioning did not matter. Elections did
not matter. Only America mattered
This political unity was rightly perceived as one of the defining
characteristics of American patriotism. But an equally important
characteristic is the one that our common enemies do not often understand,
and in many cases, may be fighting against: Our patriotism is premised on
our democracy. Our ability to debate important policies, to disagree
vehemently and vocally about where our country needs to go, and yet still
stand together against a common enemy in the face of a common tragedy is
what distinguishes us from military and religious dictatorships all over the
That is why there is so much danger in politics dying. Will every political
difference between Democrats and Republicans be portrayed now as an
unpatriotic display of partisanship? Will legitimate differences on how we
should fight terrorism be characterized as unbecoming a great nation?
Unquestionably, a significant and important slice of the American electorate
is fed up with what is perceived as partisan bickering in Washington. After
the impeachment of a president and the fall of two speakers of the House, it
is no wonder that voters think there are too many personal attacks that have
nothing to do with the serious issues that confront our country. But now
that truly serious issues confront our country, we cannot let serious debate
be perceived as inappropriate.
If Democrats have differences with President Bush they should make those
differences clear and fight for what they believe. That is patriotic. If
Republicans object to the direction in which Senate Majority Leader Tom
Daschle is moving, they should fight for their beliefs. That is patriotic.
But what will do our country and our cause no good is for either side to
accuse the other of a lack of patriotism if they disagree.
This disagreement is the sine qua non of democracy. Democracy is what our
terrorist adversaries want to disrupt. Let us not let them
More on the home page, including more in-depth articles about how this all
"What is objectionable, what is dangerous, about extremists, is not that they
are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say
about their cause, but what they say about their opponents."
That goes for the extremists in Afghanistan AND the extremists in the United