Subj: Durn good Stuhff...
Date: 9/27/01 7:40:12 PM Pacific Daylight Time

(Purtty durn goowuhd stuhff @ ... ~ L.~)

Dear Friends:

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 Florida’s 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 committee’s

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: - click below to

see the original (fortunately cached by Google). And tell MSNBC

(, 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

those rumors.)…

Washington Post

Patriotic Partisanship

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

came about.


"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."

— Robert Kennedy

That goes for the extremists in Afghanistan AND the extremists in the United


— Moi