Streisand Uncensored: Barbras Memo to Dick Gephardt, Washington Ignores Public Opposition to War, US Sets Guinness World Record on Mass Arrests, Why War? Why Now? Michael Moore Has a List
October 11, 2002
Streisand Uncensored: Barbras Memo to Dick Gephardt
Democratic Party Diva Barbra Streisand recently took some heat in the press (and in Jay Lenos opening monologues) for misquoting William Shakespeare and for faxing Democratic Minority Leader Richard Gephardt a quick letter that contained a few misspelled words.
Forget the bogus Shakespeare quote. Read the other stuff that Streisand had to say! Credit: www.barbrastreisand.com
Here is the story behind the headlines, as told by Streisands publicists.
It seems that when the Republicans don't like what you say, they attack you on the lowest and least pertinent level. At least, that was the way a Republican source leaked a private memo which had been sent by Barbra Streisand to House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt. The manner in which this memo was leaked obliterated the imperative message of the note by drawing attention only to the fact that a few words had been misspelled.
The story behind the misspelled words is explained here only because those spellings were used as a ruse to avoid addressing the real substance of the memo. The memo was dictated by Ms. Streisand on the phone as she was rehearsing for her performance at a recent gala to raise funds for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Unfortunately, it was taken down and typed by a new employee who sent out a first draft before it had been reviewed by Ms. Streisand or checked for spelling. On top of that, as Barbra ruefully recalls, "It was also faxed to a wrong number.. my luck, a Republican."
The irony is that Barbra Streisand is a great speller, meticulous in her written communications!
The incident illustrates how the Democratic message concerning the failures of this Republican administration are repeatedly pushed aside in the media, pre-empted by silly side-issues. The real truth, the really important and relevant truth, is having a hard time getting through.
A recent private memo to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt from Barbra Streisand and her associate, Marge Tabankin, was leaked to media and reprinted in various edited forms. We present the memo here in its full and final form.
DATE: September 25, 2002
TO: Congressman Dick Gephardt
FROM: Barbra Streisand/Margery Tabankin
RE: Take the Offense
As you know, Barbra Streisand is busy in rehearsals for the performance shes giving on Sunday for the DCCC, so she asked me to convey to you her feeling that it is time for the Democrats to get off the defensive and go on the offensive.
Naturally, Barbras not surprised to see the Bush Administration evoke strong rhetoric about Democrats caring more about their own 'special interests than protecting the security of the country. Of course, the Republicans will say anything they need to in order to accomplish their own political agenda. Barbra feels that the Democratic Leadership must not continue to take this lying down.
While the Republicans are shouting about the Democrats special interests, why are the Democrats not saying the same about the Republicans? How can we ignore the obvious influence on the Bush Administration of such special interests as the oil industry, the chemical companies, the logging industry, the defense contractors, the mining industry, and the automobile industry, just to name a few? Many of these industries, run by big Republican donors and insiders, clearly have much to gain if we go to war against Iraq. Barbra urges the Democrats to publicly convey this message to the American people.
While there are serious problems with Iraq and Saddam Hussein, Barbra feels that we cant let this issue become a distraction from the countrys domestic problems and the Presidents inability to fully dismantle the Al Qaeda network. After all, Saddam Hussein did not bomb the World Trade Center.
The Way We Were Updated for 2002
On September 29, Barbra Streisand headlined a Democratic fund-raising concert in Los Angeles. Streisands message was delivered through a performance of one of her signature songs, "The Way We Were." The songs lyricists, Marilyn and Alan Bergman, updated the verses to address the current state of nation. During the performance, Streisand paused several times to insert some personal reflections on the politics of Washington.
Instead of reporting the content of Streisands criticism of the current administration, the press seized instead on Streisands recitation of a soliloquy widely (but erroneously) attributed to William Shakespeare. Streisand quickly admitted the error in the "Truth Alert" section of her website.
Here are the lyrics to "The" Way We Are" (the 2002 version of "The Way We Were") and some of Streisands pointed asides.
"THE WAY WE WERE"/"THE WAY WE ARE"
LIGHT THE CORNERS OF MY MIND
MISTY WATERCOLOR MEM'RIES
OF THE WAY WE WERE
Streisand: When I sing that song now, I can't help but think about it politically. It was 1993.... a time of hope.... of new possibilities. We believed that our children and grandchildren would live in an age of extraordinary opportunity.
We had a Democratic Congress that put the country on the road to prosperity....passed the family and medical leave act....legislation to increase funds for education....an anti-crime bill that banned assault weapons and violence against women....safe water and clean air acts.
The American dream was alive and well....
OF THE HOUSE WE LEFT BEHIND
LOVELY DEMOCRATIC MEM'RIES
OF THE WAY WE WERE
UNPRECEDENTED GROWTH IN THE ECONOMY.
THE DOW WAS UP, THE DEFICIT WAS DOWN.
AS LONG AS DEMOCRATS WERE THE MAJORITY,
I COULD SLEEP NIGHTS,
NOT WEEP NIGHTS.
SEE THEIR SAVINGS SLIP AWAY
AS THEY FEEL THE WORLD AROUND THEM
BECOME MORE FRIGHT'NING EV'RY DAY.
SEEMS THAT'S ALL THAT FILLS THE NEWS,
BLAME THE FELLAS IN THE WHITE HOUSE
FOR THE WAY WE ARE
IT'S NO WONDER
WE ALL SING THOSE TEXAS BLUES
IT'S THAT TOO-FAR-TO-THE RIGHT HOUSE
AND THE WAY WE ARE.
GLOBAL WARMING? DON'T BELIEVE A WORD OF IT
AND WHAT'S A DROP OF ARSENIC OR TWO?
SAVING MEDICARE? THEY NEVER HEARD OF IT.
TO THEM, HEALTH CARE
IS WEALTH CARE
CRIME IS NOT SUPPOSED TO PAY.
MEANWHILE SITTING ON HIS ASSETS,
IS ENRON'S OWN KENNETH LAY.
OH, WHAT WE NEED IS,
SOMEONE TO CURE US
'CAUSE BABY WE'VE GOT "TSURUS"
THE WAY WE ARE.
NEXT ELECTION DAY I PRAY
THAT THE COUNTRY WILL DELIVER,
A HOUSE WITHOUT TOM DELAY!
WE NEED A TEAM CHANGE
A DEFINITE REGIME CHANGE.
OH, THAT WOULD BE A DREAM CHANGE
FROM THE WAY WE ARE.
SO, IN NOVEMBER,
LET'S MAKE THE CONGRESS
A DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS
THE WAY WE WERE
THE WAY WE WERE!
Based on "The Way We Were," words by Alan and Marilyn Bergman. Music by Marvin Hamlisch. Copyright 1973 Colgems-EMI Music, INC. (ASCAP). Special Lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Barbras Thoughts on the Bush Regime
Shortly after George W. Bush was elected....sort of....I saw him on television say, "If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck-of-a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator." And he laughed....
You know people never really joke. That was very revealing....a taste of things to come....the arrogance of wanting unlimited executive power.... a government that operates in secret....keeping presidential papers secret....holding secret meetings with oil companies.
I find George Bush and Dick Cheney frightening. I find Donald Rumsfeld and John Ashcroft frightening. I find the erosion of our civil liberties in the guise of "homeland security" frightening. I find the shrinking ozone layer and the melting icecaps frightening.
I find bringing the country to the brink of war unilaterally five weeks before an election questionable ó and very, very frightening.
The way we are....
The accountants' lobbyist heads the SEC
The timber lobbyist heads the forest service
The Federalist Society is in charge of judges
The Christian Coalition is in charge of White House appointments
....And Lady Justice is wearing a shroud.
All that in less than two years!....
This is what the Republican House did in the last two years:
Passed the drug companies' prescription bill that does nothing to control prices.
Passed the Enron energy bill, that does nothing to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
Passed a sham pension reform bill that eliminates employee retirement accounts.
Now we have tax cuts for the rich, but no raise in the minimum wage for the poor....
Poison in the water, salmonella in the food, carbon dioxide in the air and toxic waste in the ground that polluters no longer have to pay to clean up -- the taxpayers do.
Text copyright 2002 Barbra Streisand. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
The Silenced Majority: Washington Ignores Public Opposition to War
As Congress prepares to pass a resolution granting an unelected leader a blank check to undertake uncontrolled and illegal wars of aggression, both Democratic and Republican politicians are largely ignoring a rising howl of disapproval from their own constituents.
Amy Goodman, the host of the national syndicated radio program, Democracy Now, phoned the offices of 26 US Senators and found that, in 22 of the cases, Democrats and Republicans alike reported their constituents were overwhelmingly opposed to an unprovoked, unilateral attack on Iraq.
Wisconsin Senator Herb Kohl Ws receiving as many a 2,000 calls a week opposed to the war. New Mexico Sen. Jeff Bingamans DC office was receiving at least 1.300 calls a day, with 70 percent of the calls opposed to war. Sen. Dianne Feinstein was registering 200 calls a day with 99 percent disapproving of Bushs war plans.
The same trend was found in the Republican camp. Nebraska Sen. Charles Hegals phone calls were running 5 to 1 against the war. Virginia Sen. John Warner was receiving 150 calls a day, overwhelmingly opposed to war. Aides for North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms refused to reveal what their constituents were saying.
Its extraordinary that, as Senators work with the Bush administration to draft a war resolution, their constituents are expressing overwhelming opposition to an attack against Iran, Goodman marveled. We are hearing very little about this in the media. These calls represent the silenced majority, not the Silent Majority.
US Sets Guinness World Record on Mass Arrests
On September 27, thousands of citizens filled the streets of Washington, DC to protest the policies of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. They were met by thousands of DC police.
According to DC police, the demonstrators number 2,000. According to DC police arrest records, 649 demonstrators were arrested. If true that means the police arrested nearly one-third of the demonstration.
People were nailed for a series of nonviolent charges including failure to obey a lawful order, participating in a riot, parading without a permit and, in the case of one group of religious witnesses, obstructing a sidewalk.
Why War? Why Now? Michael Moore Has a List
Michael Moore's newest film, "Bowling for Columbine," draws aim on gun violence in America. Credit: www.michaelmoore.com
Filmmaker (Bowling for Columbine), author (Stupid White Men) and activist (www.michaelmore.com) Michael Moore believes that George W. Bushs invasion-fetish is merely a ruse meant to distract the public from the real issues. And what are those issues? Well, Mike has a list:
- The number of people unemployed since Bush took office has risen by 35 percent.
- We had a federal SURPLUS of $281 billion when he was inaugurated; today we have a DEFICIT of $157 billion.
- TWO MILLION jobs have been eliminated since Bush began his occupation of the Oval Office.
- The stock market is down 34 percent since January of 2001.
- Another 1.4 million people now have NO health insurance, making it a total of over 41 million Americans who cant afford to get sick.
- Only 13 corporate crooks out of HUNDREDS have been indicted, and none of them have been the close personal friends of Mr. Bush.
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