Court Of Impeachment And War Crimes: It's Impeachment Stupid / and Then Some Other Matters and Choices

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Imbush Peach

An interview with Naomi Wolf about the 10 steps from democracy to dictatorship!

Stop The Spying Now

Stop the Spying!

Friday, November 30, 2007

It's Impeachment Stupid / and Then Some Other Matters and Choices

Could Dennis Kucinich be president?

Obviously, the American people haven't a clue.
In November 2007 they show a distinct preference for leaders who are even worse than the ones with whom they are currently dissatisfied.
What does this tell us about the American people and their commitment to be sufficiently informed for democracy to function?

It tells us that they are not up to the challenge. It is only a matter of time before America succumbs to the plutocracy, against which Warren Buffet recently warned Congress, or the fascist tyranny that Naomi Wolf sees in our future.

Dennis Kucinich, the only member of Congress sufficiently concerned and courageous to introduce impeachment against the notorious war criminal Dick Cheney.

Dennis Kucinich’s vegan lunch is getting cold. The meal sits untouched in a Styrofoam box at his feet. There is little time to eat in the middle of his quest for the Democratic presidential nomination, especially since he’s been labeled unelectable. But one night could prove every pundit wrong and make the candidate’s “in this to the end” talk reality.

“I don’t need their permission to be president of the United States,” Kucinich says. “I’m not going to campaign any less, and I couldn’t campaign more.”

Kucinich sees evidence that the media are shirking their responsibility to not just get his message out, but also to outline the issues that separate the candidates.

“Americans don’t want their ballot boxes stuffed at any point in the process,” Kucinich says.

“It’s inappropriate for any media corporation to try to determine who the president should be. It’s not their role,” he says. “They have an affirmative obligation to the American public to provide information from all viewpoints in a presidential campaign. They’re not doing it. They’re just not doing it,”

If the campaign is focused on endorsements, polls and money, no one has to talk about what’s happening in Iraq or why 45 million Americans do not have health insurance or why an alarming number of children are not graduating from high school, Kucinich says.

“There are issues that the American people deserve to have a discussion on that are often ignored in the media’s desire to talk about polls,” Kucinich says. “In a way, this obsession with polls makes a mockery of an election because instead of waiting for what the people say in the election, polls attempt to guide the people toward certain choices. Then the polls become the news instead of what people stand for.”

What Dennis Kucinich stands for has been called extremely progressive – pulling out of Iraq, providing universal single-payer health care and withdrawing from NAFTA and the World Trade Organization and Impeaching the Vice President. He is a believer – a passionate, deeply spiritual man with a sense of purpose. He believes his destiny is the White House. And he has a throng of supporters who believe in him.

“When you believe in what you’re doing and you’ve connected with your purpose in life, it’s effortless,” he says with a bold laugh.

Then let’s consider an American in wonderland, or somewhere…

The office of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) denied an internet rumor suggesting that Rep. Pelosi would pursue an impeachment measure against Vice President Dick Cheney should she receive 10,000 handwritten letters in favor of the measure.

Pelosi spokesman Tim Idpol called the prospect "unthinkable." "Even if she received 10 million handwritten letters, personally hand-delivered by the letter-writers themselves by 9am PST tomorrow, she still would not consider uttering another word about impeachment in Congress. EVER. It's just too politically risky."
Well I guess it will have to be over her politically dead body.

OK, so that's not exactly how it happened.

But it's true there was an internet rumor as mentioned above, and Pelosi's office found itself having to deny it. (The first paragraph above is taken virtually verbatim from a report on The second paragraph merely represents what Pelosi seems to be thinking.)

It all started the previous week on Nov. 6 when Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH!) introduced H Res 333 (now renamed H Res 799) to impeach Vice President Cheney, much to the horror of the "pragmatic" Democratic leadership. He had submitted it before, but this time it was brought forward as a "privileged resolution," meaning it had to be discussed on the House floor. Kucinich said the timing was motivated by the mounting danger of an attack on Iran, which Cheney is pushing.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer tried to kill the resolution with a motion to table, but 86 Democrats broke with the "impeachment-is-off-the-table" leadership to keep the resolution alive. (A majority of Republicans also voted against tabling, indicating they are either interested in distancing themselves from the corrupt and widely unpopular Cheney, or they believe, like Pelosi, that impeachment proceedings could backfire on Democrats.)

Unable to kill the resolution, the impeachment-phobic Dems did all they could to bury it by sending it back to the Judiciary Committee, where it had languished since Kucinich first introduced it in April. But this time everybody was watching, a new focus was given the matter and a spotlight lit up on the Judiciary Committee Gold Fish bowl.

The attention garnered by the House floor debate, however brief, energized the growing impeachment movement, buoyed by the cracks beginning to show in the House's anti-impeachment edifice.

By the weekend, the 10,000-letters-to-Pelosi rumor began circulating on progressive blogs. A few days later, Cindy Sheehan, who will be challenging Pelosi for her seat next year, sent out an email repeating the rumor and requesting the letters be first sent to Sheehan to be counted, then delivered en masse to Pelosi's office.
Pissed me off because we had more important things to do than engage in that political theater, and in my less than humble opinion/assessment Cindy has more important things to do, like organize a real campaign!

Pelosi's staff was put in the interesting position of having to publicly deny that 10,000 handwritten letters would change the Speaker's mind on the matter.

Now this begs the question: Just what will it take to get Pelosi to allow impeachment proceedings to move forward? It will be up to the growing impeachment movement to find the answer to this question.

Mine? Oh….





Washington For Impeachment director Linda Boyd finds hopeful signs in the recent House vote. She notes that here in our state, in addition to resolution co-sponsor Jim McDermott, Jay Inslee and Norm Dicks also voted against tabling. It's significant that, nationwide, 64 Democrats who were not co-sponsors nevertheless resisted Pelosi's arm-twisting and voted against tabling the resolution. Those votes included Judiciary Chair John Conyers and other members of the Judiciary Committee. All this indicates to Boyd that the grassroots pressure for impeachment investigations is having an effect.

Boyd cites national opinion polls showing growing interest in impeachment, with more in favor of impeachment investigations than against. These numbers are already higher than the percentages that favored impeachment hearings against President Clinton in late 1998. And speaking of historical precedent, Boyd notes that even after Watergate, impeachment proceedings against Nixon were slow to get underway.

In addition to the opinion polls, Boyd notes that organized grassroots pressure for impeachment is building. Here in Washington state, 10 Democratic legislative districts and four counties have passed resolutions favoring impeachment. Democratic state parties in Oregon and California have come out in favor of impeachment. In Vermont, the state legislature passed a resolution urging Congress to take up impeachment. This is just a small sample; grassroots activities are underway all across the country.

Indeed, one has to wonder where fear of impeachment comes from among the House Democratic leadership. It can't be for lack of public sentiment, which would likely tip more toward impeachment once all the damning evidence is presented in public hearings. And it can't be for lack of evidence. Judiciary Chair Conyers himself had commissioned a report giving over 200 pages of evidence for impeachment back when Republicans controlled the committee. Now plenty of books and websites have laid out the case for impeachment on several different counts, including the Iraq war, torture, warrantless spying, and more.

Democrats who oppose impeachment don't argue the case for impeachment doesn't exist. They know the case is strong, as does most of the rest of America and the world.

Opposition is always couched in terms of having "other important matters" to attend to, fearing backlash, or tactical political considerations in the run-up to the 2008 presidential campaign.

As if these things should trump the oath Congress members take to uphold the Constitution, or the importance of setting precedent to prevent future administrations from violating the Constitution and international law. Since when did this become a trivial concern?

Boyd says that now is the time to turn up the heat on our Congressional representatives. She notes that some of them may simply not want to be associated with a resolution introduced by Kucinich; in that case they should be encouraged to submit their own resolutions.

Kucinich focuses on the lies leading to the Iraq war; others could focus on warrantless wiretapping, illegal detentions, or torture. There's plenty for everybody.

And I just happen to have one to recommend….

One thing that's clear is that Congressional leadership is going to have to be dragged kicking and screaming by public pressure to do the right thing and remove the criminals from the White House. And as Linda Boyd notes, "Impeachment is just the first step." Let's get busy.

Some helpful resources: Now remember there will be a host of internal links inside each of these, and seeing as we are “Cheney Hunting”, let’s use a firearms analogy. Just consider all the links as closets full of buck shot free for the use. Blast away! Good Hunting.;;;

11/28/2007, 2:15 p.m. EST The Associated Press

GREENVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Never mind the polls. A company that supplies Democratic campaign paraphernalia has its own ideas about who the party's favorites are heading toward the presidential primary season.

Tigereye Design, (they have done good work for me) based in this city about 30 miles northwest of Dayton, produces buttons, bumper stickers, T-shirts and other Democratic candidate merchandise sold nationwide at party and union events. Sales numbers put U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York out in front among the presidential hopefuls, followed closely by U.S. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, said Tigereye owner Tony Baltes.

And, though U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Cleveland is barely registering in the national polls, he's third in sales. Hummmm…have some suspicion about the integrity and validity of the polling date? I do!

But Not This One!


Now that Dennis Kucinich has finished first in a major survey of Democratic activists, perhaps Democratic party bosses and their media acolytes will have to back off their efforts to marginalize him.

No, Kucinich's top-place finish in the Democracy for America online survey that attracted serious attention from major campaigns and drew more than 150,000 voters does not mean the anti-war congressman from Ohio is on a fast track to the nomination. But it does mean that Kucinich is displayed an ability to attract meaningful support from the party's activist base and that his "Democratic-wing-of-the-Democratic-Party" message has appeal.

Kucinich did not secure the 66-percent of the vote required to gain an official endorsement from DFA, the group founded by supporters of former Vermont Governor Howard Dean's 2004 presidential bid and their allies on the party's left flank. But he easily bested the other candidates and the unannounced "contender" who led in the early voting, former Vice President Al Gore.

The final totals were:

Kucinich 31.97% 49364

Al Gore 24.77% 38242

Former Senator John Edwards 15.6% 24078

Senator Barack Obama 13.86% 21403

Senator Hillary Clinton 4.21% 6504

Governor Bill Richardson 4.09% 6309

Other 2.05% 3171

Senator Christopher Dodd 1.56% 2415

Senator Joe Biden 1.12% 1723

Former Senator Mike Gravel 0.77% 1182

Kucinich beat the other candidates among voters from the first caucus state of Iowa and the first primary state of New Hampshire. He also won the early caucus state of Nevada, while Obama won the early primary state of South Carolina.

Notably, Gore won New York state.

And what of the "front-runner" for the nomination? Hillary Clinton lost every state in the DFA survey, which saw 95 percent of voters back someone other than the New York senator.

It is no secret that the powers that be in the party leadership and the boardrooms of the major networks have fixated on Clinton as the likely nominee.

Nor is it any secret that the party and media bosses would prefer to drop Kucinich from the roster of Democratic contenders who must be invited to join debates and participate in major events such as the Iowa Democratic Party's Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner.

Gravel was excluded from the most recent Democratic debate at Drexel University and moderator Tim Russert did everything he could during the course of that debate to read Kucinich out of the running.

But Kucinich's poll numbers in formal national and state surveys actually went up after the Drexel debate.

The congressman is polling ahead of Dodd and Biden -- as well as Gravel --in most national surveys of likely Democratic voters.

The same is true of many surveys from early caucus and primary states. And, with the DFA result, he can now point to an impressive finish in a test most of the major contenders took seriously. While Kucinich certainly campaigned hard to get votes in the DFA poll, Obama, Edwards, Richardson and Dodd made significant efforts -- by sending emails and cutting videos -- to encourage their backers to participate in the survey.

As such, Kucinich's win is meaningful -- and it should become at least a bit more difficult to dismiss the congressman's win, and his candidacy.
Posted by John Nichols at 11/06/2007 @ 10:38pm Email This Post

Is America Heading for the Trash Can of History?

In new books writers as disparate as Naomi Wolf and Pat Buchanan conclude that America as we know her is disappearing. Both writers hope, but are not confident, that enough Americans will catch on in time to find the leadership to pull America back from the brink.

If polls are reliable, a majority of Americans are dissatisfied with President Bush and Congress. However, Americans are far short of Wolf and Buchanan's grasp of our peril.

Americans are unable to connect their dissatisfaction with the current political leadership with their choice of new leaders. All polls show that Hillary Clinton is far in the lead for the Democratic presidential nomination and Rudy Giuliani is far in the lead for the Republican nomination These are the only two candidates guaranteed to be worse than Bush/Cheney.

Both Hillary and Rudy are committed to the war. Both refuse to rule out expanding the war to Iran and beyond. Both are totally in the pocket of the Israel Lobby. Indeed, practically every Giuliani advisor is a member of the Lobby. Both defend the police state measures that "protect us from terrorism." And neither gives a hoot for the US Constitution and the civil liberties it guarantees. The Republican Giuliani is likely to overturn the Second Amendment even quicker than the Democrat Hillary.

Both Hillary and Rudy are creatures of ambition, not of principle. Both are one up on Karl Marx. Marx said truth serves class interests. For Hillary and Rudy, truth is what serves their individual interests. They both wear black hats, and the horse they ride is called power.

Yet in November polls, Republicans prefer Giuliani by a margin of five or six to one over Ron Paul, the only principled Republican candidate and a person who without any doubt believes in the Constitution and would protect it.

Democrats polled prefer Hillary by a margin of twenty to one over Dennis Kucinich, the only member of Congress sufficiently concerned and courageous to introduce impeachment against the notorious war criminal Dick Cheney. By margins as much as forty-four to one, Democrats prefer Hillary to Senator Christopher Dodd, who promises to give America back its Constitution in the first hour of his administration. Former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel does not even register in the polls.

Obviously, the American people haven't a clue. In November 2007 they show a distinct preference for leaders who are even worse than the ones with whom they are currently dissatisfied. What does this tell us about the American people and their commitment to be sufficiently informed for democracy to function?

It Tells Us That They Are Not Up To The Challenge. It Is Only A Matter Of Time Before America Succumbs To The Plutocracy, Against Which Warren Buffet Recently Warned Congress, Or The Fascist Tyranny That Naomi Wolf Sees In Our Future.

And Let’s Take A Trip To Cleveland…

Enough, Already

Huntington Beach Impeachment Action.
The 2008 presidential election is almost upon us, and the end of the Bush administration is in sight—but that hasn’t deterred the Huntington Beach Impeachment Action group one bit.
They are still rallying to add Surf City to a list of 87 other cities in the nation that endorse the impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.
Yes, it’s true they have participated in six consecutive Huntington Beach City Council meetings to no avail, but they are determined to show up at every meeting until the council takes notice.
Anyone who is interested can join the effort. All you have to do is show up perturbed and see if this slogan can get you thrown out: Impeachment is patriotic, bitches!
Huntington Beach Impeachment Action meeting, corner of Main Street and Yorktown Avenue, Huntington Beach. Every other Mon., 5 p.m.

—Amanda Parsons

And In Other News…

Impeach now, or Forever hold the Pieces
By Uptown Ruler

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors. – Article II, Section 4 ...
Scrutiny Hooligans -

Why there is no impeachment: The Democrats are implicated in every ...

But for the reasons set forth above (and a full case would fill many volumes), the Democrats are not going to impeach any of these criminals, barring events entirely unforeseeable at present. And they will not for one overwhelmingly ...


Washington Dispatch: For months, the Democratic leadership has held off on a confrontation with the White House over the U.S. attorneys scandal. A ruling today may signal that they're returning to the offensive.

By Nick Baumann
November 29, 2007

Is this the return of the summer showdowns between Capitol Hill Democrats and the White House? Maybe a precursor to bigger and better things; we can hope.

The Senate Judiciary Committee moved a big step closer to contempt citations against top Bush administration officials today. Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) ruled that White House claims of executive privilege "are not legally valid." A Senate aide tells Mother Jones the committee could begin contempt proceedings as early as next Thursday if current and former administration officials do not comply immediately with the subpoenas.

More than four months have passed since the House Judiciary Committee voted to cite then-White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers for contempt. Bolten, Miers, and other administration officials had refused to comply with congressional subpoenas for testimony and documents relating to the U.S. attorneys scandal. But with the committee vote a fading memory, the full House still has yet to vote on the measure.
On the Senate side, Leahy never followed through on vague threats to cite the President for contempt if the White House didn't provide the documents Congress had subpoenaed. And despite a letter House Oversight Committee chairman Henry Waxman sent three months ago (PDF) requesting information on the 5 million emails the White House "lost," they are still nowhere to be found.

The Democrats have made almost no progress in their efforts to obtain more information about the attorney firings. They have proven equally ineffective in holding the people stonewalling them accountable. The Democrats have been distracted by other issues, and they were outmaneuvered by a stubborn administration. For months, the Democratic leadership has held off on a confrontation with the White House, but Leahy's ruling today may signal that they're returning to the attack.

Some amount of distraction is understandable. With the much-hyped Petraeus report on Iraq in early September and the resignation and replacement of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the Dems had a lot on their hands. But the heart of the U.S. attorneys scandal—and the part the Democrats are most interested in—lurks at 1600 Pennsylvania, and the White House remains implicated, even if Karl Rove has resigned.
If the Justice Department and Gonzales were fall guys to shift blame for the attorneys scandal away from the White House, as many on the left alleged, they did their job. Even after Gonzales' replacement, Michael Mukasey, was confirmed in early November, the Democrats still failed to press for answers.

On November 5, House Judiciary Committee chairman John Conyers Jr. made what was widely reported as a "ninth and final" offer to the administration to stave off contempt citations for Miers and Bolten, agreeing to previous administration requests that interviews with senior White House staff not be conducted under oath.
He even went so far as to file the contempt report with the clerk of the House—a move toward a full House vote. "Subpoena Showdown in House Grows Near," CBS News reported. Conyers asked for a response from the administration by the end of the week. The White House quickly indicated it would not comply with Conyers' request. But no House vote on the contempt citations came. Instead, the Democratic leadership backed off, choosing to focus on Iraq and the budget.

That was just the opening the administration was looking for, says James Horney, director of fiscal policy for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. "The president thinks it's in his political interest to have a confrontation with the Congress over budget issues.
Even if a majority of the people in the country doesn’t support what he's doing I suspect he'd rather have people reading press accounts about this than about Iraq and a number of other issues." Instead of battling over the attorneys scandal and voting on contempt charges or subpoenaing email records, Congress spent November bickering with the White House over budget issues and the war and didn't pass a single major bill.

Meanwhile, the Democrats have been losing the battle on the president's chosen ground: spending. After making no progress on passing the $22 billion of extra domestic spending they want for FY 2008, Senate majority leader Harry Reid offered to split the difference.
But the White House, sensing weakness, held firm.
Now House Democrats are worried they're being lured into a repeat of the Bill Clinton-Newt Gingrich clash that shut down the government in 1995. Between pay-as-you-go rules, Iraq war funding, and a White House that won't give an inch, the Democrats look increasingly trapped.

In recent months, outside groups have made the most progress on the accountability front. Earlier this year, two nonprofits, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and the National Security Archive, sued to find out what happened to the missing emails. On November 12, they scored a big victory by obtaining a court order that forces the White House to maintain copies of all its emails.

Meredith Fuchs, the general counsel to the National Security Archive, says she was surprised Congress wasn't being more aggressive.
"It's pretty remarkable that the Congress hasn't done more," she comments. "Congress ought to be asking the White House to explain what its doing with its records.
These same kind of things happened with the Clinton administration and Congress was outraged." CREW chief counsel Anne Weismann says she'd like to see Congress subpoena more information.
"We have to operate within the court system and we have no way to compel a judge to rule on any of our motions," she said. "I'd like Congress to ask for some of the same documents we have. Ask the White House to give them documents that show what the White House knows."

Leahy's ruling today may be a signal that the process is finally moving again. If the Judiciary committee does debate contempt citations next week, the full Senate could conceivably be voting on the issue before the end of the year.
"The Senate Majority Leader has a very ambitious agenda for the next three weeks," says Erica Chabot, a spokeswoman for Leahy. "But that doesn't mean it can't change should something develop" before Congress recesses over the Christmas holidays.

The House leadership has also signaled a willingness to proceed with contempt proceedings in December, and Brendan Daly, a spokesman for House speaker Nancy Pelosi, says part of the delay was the time it took for the leadership to consult members and make sure they had the votes. "It appears that we do [have the votes] and the speaker said it's likely we'd go forward," he said.
Still, some in the blogosphere have questioned the leadership's commitment to the issue. On November 16, TAPPED's Adele Stan asked why freshman representatives had been asked to whip the contempt vote.

"Why, in the House, where seniority is everything, has the fate of the U.S. Constitution been left in the hands of the freshman members?. . .Why is this fight not being fought without quarter, floor vote after floor vote?" Daly says the freshmen were the perfect choice. "They are the ones that are very concerned about this.
Many of them got elected on restoring the integrity of the Congress and this is an important part of that." Still, the rhetoric at the top remains strong. "Pursuing contempt is crucial," Conyers said in an email to Mother Jones. And Daly, the speaker's spokesman, notes, "It's the integrity of Congress that's at stake here." But no one on either side of the Capitol was particularly committal about bringing contempt citations to a vote before the full Congress—or subpoenaing email records—before the end of the year.
And no one had a good answer for the most obvious question: If holding the administration accountable is so important, why is it taking so long?

Nick Baumann is Mother Jones' Washington Fellow.

And Let’s Close With A Little VOTING IN OHIO; that’s always interesting.

The Weekly Rasmussen Report: Click On The “More”..

Iowa: Huckabee 28% Romney 25%
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of the Iowa caucus finds former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee with 28% of the vote, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney with 25% support, and everyone else far behind. National frontrunner Rudy Giuliani gets just 12% of the vote in Iowa at this time while former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson is the only other candidate in double digits at 11%.

Daily Presidential Tracking Poll The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows Rudy Giuliani with 24% support in the race for the Republican Presidential Nomination. Four candidates are closely bunched in a battle for second place nationally--Mitt Romney is supported by 15% John McCain by 14%, Mike Huckabee at 12% and Fred Thompson at 11%.

What if Huckabee Wins Iowa? Until recently, one of the few settled features in the race for the Republican nomination was Mitt Romneys lead in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire. That, along with Rudy Giuliani’s ongoing lead in the national poll, led some pundits to believe that the GOP nomination battle had come down to a two man race.

45% Have Started Holiday Shopping; 13% Have Finished By the end of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, 45% of American adults had started their holiday shopping. That’s up from 27% earlier in the month. A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that half (50%) haven’t begun their shopping.

Economic Confidence of Small Business Owners Continues Downward Trend Economic confidence among small business owners declined for the fourth straight month in November, as increased pessimism over the U.S. economy dragged down indicators of relative stability at the small business level, according to the Discover Small Business Watch.

Health Care is Top Issue for Most Democrats, National Security for Most Republicans The latest Rasmussen Reports tracking poll of electoral issues confirms that Democrats tend to place the most emphasis on domestic issues, Republicans on national security and immigration. Voters as a whole continue to trust Democrats more on the issues most important to them, but by shrinking margins.

Daily Presidential Tracking Poll The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows Rudy Giuliani with 24% support in the race for the Republican Presidential Nomination. Four candidates are closely bunched in a battle for second place nationally--Mitt Romney is supported by 15% John McCain by 14%, Mike Huckabee at 12% and Fred Thompson at 11%.

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