Court Of Impeachment And War Crimes: Impeach Bush and Cheney, Political Updates and Brewing Problems

Click for a full report.

Imbush Peach

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

Stop The Spying Now

Stop the Spying!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Impeach Bush and Cheney, Political Updates and Brewing Problems

Contempt orders a proxy for impeachment? The Battle In Brattleboro! And Kicking Ass In Kennebunkport! Kucinich Racing For The Finish Line… Obama/Clinton Slug It Out In Ohio, In Texas It Looks Like The Alamo Has Fallen and Clinton is Singing a Chorus Of “Seven Spanish Angels” with an empty rifle! Siegelman Scandal News That Won’t Go Away! Nader Dust. And Comcast Caught napping or at least paying for the naps!

This move is supposedly "evidence" of new-found Democratic "backbone," but it is so little so late, it is actually counter-evidence of anything resembling a backbone. We are all now supposed to "give them credit" for doing anything at all, but that's like giving credit to someone when they stop pounding your head against the wall. I very much hope that mainstream US politics will go the way of mainstream US news media outlets, that it will be superseded and rendered irrelevant by widespread citizen activity over the internet. Groups of citizens working together online can and will surely fashion better legislation than the very highly compromised group of "representatives" now in Congress. It's time to stop placing so much "hope" in political candidates promising "change" when it is the nuts and bolts of governance itself that need change.

Also, this move is being touted as a counterpoint to the Democratic failure to pursue impeachment, but they have failed to do far more than just pursue impeachment. Nothing substantive has been done by Congress about investigating fake WMD claims, 9/11, NSA spying, torture, habeas corpus, Sibel Edmonds, and much more, not to mention their complete failure to reign in the national debt or prevent the housing bubble, which was painfully obvious as much as four years ago. Don't be fooled by yet another fake surface dichotomy--impeachment versus a civil lawsuit over the contempt citations--as that is just another way to get the people to look away from the mountains of unfinished, indeed un-started, business that was the true responsibility of this Congress.

The Battle In Brattleboro!

Organizers claim the resolution, although symbolic, can have legal teeth provided it's taken to the next level. The organizers are seeking legal help from Francis Boyle and Connecticut Green Party candidate Harold Burbank. Here's their legal argument:

"Shall the Selectboard instruct the Town Attorney to draft indictments against President Bush and Vice President Cheney for crimes against our Constitution, and publish said indictment for consideration by other municipalities? And shall it be the law of the Town of Brattleboro that the Brattleboro Police, pursuant to the above-mentioned indictments, arrest and detain George Bush and Richard Cheney in Brattleboro if they are not duly impeached, and extradite them to other authorities that may reasonably contend to prosecute them."

" Under a legal provision known as "Common Law Application," municipalities have indisputable legal standing to apply laws against any alleged criminal who violates Federal law - which encompasses violating treaties, being party to war crimes, or engaging in any other criminal activities. We have also been assured that the language in the resolution is well suited for implementing this provision.

In short, we have the legal justification to call for a legal remedy, because the government cannot nullify the rights invested in its citizens to invoke Federal or international criminal law. Put another way, any town has the right to pass laws to address war crimes, or any other Federal crimes, and to indict the people alleged to have committed them."

The resolution also suggests some interesting 10th Amendment issues related to just which unspecified rights are still reserved to the states and/or the people.

Indictment proposal gets hearing
Barre Montpelier Times Argus - Barre,VT,USA
It is also another step in the stalled effort to impeach Bush and Cheney, he said. Brattleboro, along with dozens of other Vermont towns, ...

Kicking Ass In Kennebunkport!

Let’s Not Forget What Our Mission Is All About

Philadelphia, PA. - IMPEACH! Postcarding our U.S. Reps

The New York Times, Sunday Front Page

Tell Congress that it's time for less funding and more accountability: no slush fund for OMB to put us at risk!

Op-Classic, 1994: William F. Buckley Loses Faith
New York Times - United States
On July 27, 1974, Mr. Nixon lost the special House committee, which voted to impeach him on three counts. It could now be predicted that the whole House ...

…Toward the end, Mr. Nixon brought in a Jesuit priest who, from the White House steps, pronounced the President to be "the greatest moral leader of the last third of this century." For those who would not take the priest's word for it, he asked merely that they show charity. One reaction at the time (my own):

"Charity has nothing to do with keeping us from giving to the transcripts the kind of attention that Mr. Nixon asked us to give to them -- from dwelling on the contradictions, remarking the selfishness of their concern, expressing a not uncosmopolitan dismay at the quality of the discourse. The only thing that charity absolutely requires is that no further analysis be made of the remarks of Father McLaughlin." (This is the John McLaughlin who now presides over "The McLaughlin Group" on television.)

It would have been stirring if on first learning that their existence had been detected, Richard Nixon had piled the tapes onto the Rose Garden grill and set a match to them. He'd have reaffirmed by concrete act the Presidential stakes he had described so apocalyptically -- that the office of the President would be destroyed if ever the tapes of Presidential conversations were released. He might then with some dignity have invited Congress and the courts to do with him as they willed; he was prepared to go to the stake to protect the office….

… During those final months, he lost his capacity not to hear bad counsel, lost any capacity to listen to whatever angels struggled in his nature. When on Aug. 9 the helicopter flew him off the White House lawn to exile, there were only two policemen patrolling the street outside against the possibility of mob protests. No more were needed. The mind of America had set on the Watergate drama…

Internet Front Page (This “Proxy Impeachment” notion found repeatedly. No thank You; only the real thing please!)

Contempt Orders a Proxy for Impeachment?
The Associated Press -
Even before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi became the first woman to reach Congress' highest office, the California Democrat had rejected demands from many in ...
See all stories on this topic

Contempt Orders a Proxy for Impeachment?
The Associated Press -
Is Pelosi's ultimatum a suitable replacement for the impeachment proceedings that Wexler and 18 other Democrats demanded in a December letter? ...30 more articles

Contempt orders a proxy for impeachment?
Rather, Wexler said, people ask questions about why Democrats have been unable to force changes in policy on Iraq, on children's health care and immigration. He said Democrats need to make the case they are pushing back by challenging ... Breaking News -

Contempt order substitutes for impeachment?
By GottaLaff
[Wexler] said Democrats need to make the case they are pushing back by challenging Bush more on his use of warrantless wiretaps and claims of executive power to ignore Congress. Pelosi, he said, "has successfully begun establishing that ...
Cliff Schecter -

Contempt Orders a Proxy for Impeachment?
By davidswanson
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats really didn't expect the Justice Department to present their contempt citations against two of President Bush's top aides to a federal grand jury for prosecution. But the effort and having a civil ... - Impeach... -

Is Impeachment Necessary to Protect the Constitution?
By mole333
Featured speakers will include Bruce Fein (Constitutional scholar, former associate deputy attorney general, and Chairman of the American Freedom Agenda), Elizabeth Holtzman (Former Member of Congress and co-author of The Impeachment of ...
The Daily Gotham - grassroots... -

Neglect is another good reason for impeachment
OpEdNews - Newtown,PA,USA
There is plenty of unconscionable & despicable actions taken by this administration to warrant impeachment ( both Bush & Cheney). To those who think not, ...

AlterNet: Blogs: PEEK: Kucinich Looks Safe for Re-Election
I am relieved to report that Kucinich appears safe for re-election in OH-10, ... on the Congressional Black Caucus than it is on the wider House caucus. ...

Congratulations On Your Re-Election, Congressman Kucinich ...
Bad news. Dennis goes back to Congress. Cimperman: 29% Kucinich: 55% .... That, to me, would seem to be a relevant issue to this election. ...

On Tuesday, Dennis Kucinich is up for re-nomination for his seat in Congress. He’s seeing a strong challenge from Cleveland City Councilman Joe Cimperman. But with a whole bunch of Dems on the ballot, and Kucinich with a 56% favorability rating — even before he hit the trail hard in January — it looks unlikely that Kucinich will win by less than double-digits.

Presidential Run Done, Kucinich Is Fighting to Keep Seat in House
Washington Post - United States
vows to begin revealing the ways in which downtown developers profit from federal funds after Tuesday night's election returns come in.

Dropouts still on Ohio primary ballot
The Plain Dealer - - Cleveland,OH,USA
In addition to front-runners Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, Ohio Democrats can vote for John Edwards and Dennis Kucinich who have hung up their ...

Last spring, as the presidential campaign began, there were 10 Republican candidates on the debate stage and eight Democratic ones, each explaining in some detail what he or she would do for America if elected.

The Op-Ed page asked those who have since left the race to describe one issue that is not getting as much attention as it would if they were still out on the trail talking about it. These are responses from eight of them.

Afghanistan. Pakistan. Forgotten.

By Joe Biden

A Family Crisis

By Sam Brownback

As the Nation Crumbles

By Christopher J. Dodd

Cure More, Spend Less

By Tommy G. Thompson

Bring It Back to the Home

By Bill Richardson

We Can Make It

By Duncan Hunter

Forsaking Foreclosures

By Dennis J. Kucinich

Bordering on Disaster

By Tom Tancredo


Drift away from Clinton frustrates many women

By Robin Abcarian

As they see her chances slipping, some feel old wounds: An older, more experienced woman is pushed aside to make way for a younger male colleague.

Clinton battles Obama's momentum

By Mark Z. Barabak and Michael Finnegan

Analysts agree the New York senator must win the Texas and Ohio primaries Tuesday to continue her campaign.

Ohio Democrats' love is tough to win

By Scott Martelle

Tuesday's primary is likely to be decided by white, working-class male voters - and their support poses a challenge for both candidates. (Chillicothe is Real Red) Ed.

Ohioans take advantage of early voting option

The Associated Press

COLUMBUS - Roughly 152,000 voters in Ohio's six largest counties have already cast their ballots in the first presidential primary in which they don't need to show a reason in order to vote early.

That's just 3.5 percent of the roughly 4.4 million Ohioans projected to vote in Tuesday's primary. However, there are still six days left before the election, and the figure does not include Ohio's other 82 counties, representing roughly 60 percent of the state's population.

Early voters throughout the state have gone to their county boards of election to vote on paper ballots or touch-screen machines, or have requested paper ballots through the mail. Both methods are considered by election officials to be absentee, and both provide options to vote early.

Election officials have said the previous record for absentee ballots cast - 707,856 in the 2006 general election - may be overtaken. But there is a lot of ground to be made up in the final days if that is to happen, even assuming 90 percent of the absentee ballots requested are returned, as has been the case historically.

Elections board members are witnessing conditions normally reserved for a general election.

The tight Democratic presidential race, in which Ohio's voters may decide whether Hillary Rodham Clinton continues her uphill battle against Barack Obama, has fed into the early voting option. It was instituted after the 2004 election to increase convenience and decrease lines on the days of elections.

Debate Unlikely To Change Political Climate

CLEVELAND (AP) - Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are making their final pitches to voters in Ohio and Texas, must-win contests for Clinton, after a mostly somber and policy-filled debate that seemed unlikely to alter the political calculus of the race.

In sometimes testy exchanges, the two sparred over health care, the war in Iraq and trade, particularly the North American Free Trade Agreement which was negotiated in her husband's first term - but is seen by labor and other critics as a chief culprit in the loss of manufacturing jobs in Ohio and other industrial Midwestern states.

Both candidates have called for renegotiating parts of the trade pact, but in different terms.

It was their final debate before next Tuesday's contests, which also include races in Vermont and Rhode Island.

Clinton needs big wins after 11 successive Obama victories and after Obama's steady increase in gathering delegates. It seemed unlikely the debate at Cleveland State University would provide that lift.

Neither one seemed to knock the other off stride.

"I don't think the debate changes a lot. Both came across as strong in the ways they've always been seen as strong," said Wayne Fields, a professor at Washington University in St. Louis who studies political rhetoric. Neither one managed to seriously erode the other's credibility.

In a 90-minute session that was largely devoid of humor, Clinton tried for a light moment, invoking the opening skit on last week's "Saturday Night Live" in which the news media is portrayed as going hard on the New York senator and light on Obama.

"In the last several debates I seem to get the first question all the time. I don't mind. I'll be happy to field it. I just find it curious if anybody saw "Saturday Night Live," maybe we should ask Barack if he's comfortable and needs another pillow," she said.

But the line might have undercut Clinton's own efforts to portray herself as a strong leader able to take on a range of challenges.

Obama seemed to have an awkward moment when grilled about an endorsement from Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan and remarks by his Chicago pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, which have stirred controversy.

The Farrakhan remarks, and a photograph circulating on the Internet of Obama dressed in traditional local garments during a visit to Kenya in 2006, could further fuel a longtime buzz on the Internet suggesting that the Illinois senator, who is a Christian, is either secretly a Muslim or has Islamic sympathies.

Obama distanced himself from Farrakhan's comments, but he sidestepped a question on whether he would reject the endorsement, saying he had denounced Farrakhan in the past for anti-Semitic statements.

Clinton said rejecting support was different from denouncing it, noting she had "rejected" in her 2000 Senate race the support of a group with anti-Semitic views.

Obama drew laughter by saying, "I happily concede the point and I would reject and denounce."

The exchanges were sharper than their one-on-one debate a week ago in Texas, but not as sharp as their combative debate confrontation just before the South Carolina primary.

Both Democrats planned campaign events in Ohio on Wednesday, with Clinton ending her day in West Virginia and Obama moving on to Texas.

After the debate, Obama paid a late-night visit to unionized workers at a food distribution plant in nearby Bedford Heights, Ohio. He was accompanied by Teamsters union President James P. Hoffa

Obama rides wave into Texas

Clinton viewed as underdog in state

By Peter S. Canellos Globe Staff / March 2, 2008

AUSTIN, Texas - Barack Obama stood on a stage under smoky blue lights, the pink granite dome of the Texas capitol looming behind him, amid memorials to Texas rangers, Alamo martyrs, and even heroic Confederates.

He looked out at streets packed with thousands of young people in Texas Longhorns sweatshirts, some carrying small children, and car after car of vendors with Obama memorabilia piled on their hoods, and delivered his familiar lines with a Lone Star flair: "John McCain has tethered himself - or, I'm in Texas - he's lassoed himself to George Bush's policies."

In Texas, where size matters, Obama is mounting what may be the most elaborate primary campaign in any state in history: His ads are ubiquitous on radio and television, his famed online operation is bringing together people in towns way off the normal campaign trail, and his rallies - in dramatic settings, showcasing the rampant enthusiasm of his youthful supporters - are advertisements in themselves, for the pure momentum of his candidacy.

Now, with two days until the voting, Obama has been so successful at building the appearance of momentum that he has reversed the conventional wisdom: What was once considered fertile ground for Hillary Clinton is now assumed to be Obama country. A win in Texas could be Obama's knockout blow - but a loss, amid such heightened expectations, may sting a little more than was assumed a few weeks ago.

"Obama is running a movement campaign, sweeping new people in," said Cal Jillson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University. "She's running a traditional campaign of appealing to Democratic constituencies."

"All is not right in Clintonland," added Bruce Buchanan, political scientist at the University of Texas at Austin.

Jillson and Buchanan are among the few analysts who understand the state's unusual trail mix of voting blocs, from blacks in Houston and Dallas to recent Hispanic immigrants in South Texas to more assimilated urban Hispanics to the remaining white liberals who still revere Lyndon Johnson. And in a further challenge to any prognosticators, Texas election rules permit those who registered as Republicans in the past to take Democratic ballots on Tuesday.

Waiting to exhale

Why black America is afraid to hope for a President Obama

By Joseph Williams

March 2, 2008

WASHINGTON - A few days ago, after she cleaned my teeth, my dentist turned her small talk to politics. What was said - and what wasn't - was a microcosm of how African-Americans are talking about Barack Obama's presidential campaign.

"A lot of surprises, huh?" she said, a sly grin crossing her face.

Yes, I answered. A lot of surprises.

A headline in this month's Ebony magazine spelled out our unspoken conversation: "In Our Lifetime - Are We Witnessing the Election of the Nation's First Black President?"

The question, it seems, is on the lips of most African-Americans these days, anticipation that Obama may smash what generations believed was an unbreakable barrier: a black man in the White House. Given Obama's remarkable 11 straight primary or caucus wins, his packed campaign rallies, and Hillary Clinton's struggling campaign, one might expect giddy anticipation rippling through the black community.

Instead, there is an almost palpable anxiety. Conversations about how Obama is tantalizingly close to the presidency are muted, not celebratory, tamped down by a mixture of cynicism and fear.

Clinton, a formidable politician, might rebound. Obama could stumble. Conspiracy theories bubble: Political maneuvering or party bosses will torpedo him. Or, the unthinkable - an assassin - might strike at an open-air rally, personally preventing the first black presidency.

As Obama's campaign sweeps across America with the promise of reconciliation and a strikingly different face in the White House, it has revealed something else in black American culture: a deep-seated fear of hope.

Behind that fear lies an ordinary human trait, the instinct to protect against disappointment. But in black America, as the presidential race is revealing, long historical cycles of hope and disappointment have woven that impulse into the culture itself.

"It even happened to me, and I'm an educated PhD," said Stephen B. Thomas, director of the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Minority Health. After realizing Obama was a legitimate contender with an excellent shot at the White House, "I said to my wife - I looked her in the eye - and I said, 'Is it OK for me to hope?' "

In 1938, black America waited in anticipation as boxing legend Joe Louis fought a rematch against the German heavyweight Max Schmeling. The fight came not long after Schmeling - Hitler's champion - had knocked out Louis in the 12th round, and it was billed around the world as a clash of civilizations.

Louis crushed Schmeling in just one round, and black communities nationwide exploded in a release of pent-up frustration. There was dancing in the streets, literally. Louis's victory still stands as an iconic moment in black history.

But it also stands as a stark exception. More typical has been rising anticipation dashed by reality. After the Civil War, the promise of Reconstruction, which led to former slaves serving in Congress, was crushed by a white backlash that produced Jim Crow and the Ku Klux Klan. A century later, Martin Luther King's leadership of the civil rights movement, which won him a Nobel Peace Prize, was shattered by an assassin's bullet. The gains his movement made - ending segregation, promoting equality, creating a black middle class - have been eroded, in the eyes of most blacks, by the rise of conservatives and the perception that those gains went too far.

So black Americans are watching the Obama campaign with their breath held, afraid to believe too much, Thomas said. "There's a certain cynicism that any person who's been oppressed would feel, because we've been disappointed."

That defense has become what he considers "a [mental] health issue" among blacks. The emotional shield, he said, has been handed "from one generation to the next, by word of mouth: 'Don't get your hopes up."'

The tension between hope and resignation cuts across human experience, said Christine Carter, executive director of the Greater Good Science Center, a University of California-Berkeley think tank devoted to the study of happiness and compassion. It is learned behavior, and fairly common.

"It's saying, 'I'm not being optimistic about this - I know better, I have learned,"' said Carter, who is white. "It's saying, 'I'm not dumb. I'm realizing how slim the odds might be . . . and yet."'

That an anticipated positive event can produce drastically conflicting emotions is well known among sports fans; just ask any devoted Red Sox fan about the '86 World Series. Protecting oneself against anticipated emotional pain has earned its own catch phrase: hoping against hope. Eventually, if the potential pain seems too much, then hope itself begins to feel dangerous.

In a sense, Barack Obama seems to know this. His most recent book is called "The Audacity of Hope." He pushes the theme in filled-to-capacity rallies that pundits compare with religious revivals, and in soaring speeches that cause some to faint.

After an initially cool reception, support for Obama among black voters has blossomed, particularly since he won the caucus in Iowa, one of the nation's whitest states. He drew record percentages of the black vote in Georgia and South Carolina primaries, and some polls set his support among those voters at better than 80 percent.

But support is different from true belief that he can win. And as the Obama campaign marches on, a very specific set of fears has grown with it. Some are simply political: Clinton and John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, are both strong opponents, and McCain has a head start on the November election. Then there's the so-called Bradley effect: Whites who tell pollsters a black man has their vote - until they enter the ballot booth.

Other fears are slightly less rational: Will Obama be undermined by a vast, white-majority conspiracy? Will he be ambushed by a "dirty trick"?

But much discussion in coffee shops and bookstores centers on the biggest fear: That white America will not accept a black president, and will use violence to prevent it. Black people point to the fact that Obama was granted extensive Secret Service protection early in the primary campaign - an unusually strong reaction to a still-undisclosed threat.

"My barber, matter-of-factly and without hesitation, said they're going to shoot Obama, if it comes to that," a close friend wrote in an e-mail a few days ago. "The execution of our messiahs is a tragic continuum. We're always looking for a metaphorical Red Sea to come crashing down on us."

Harvard sociologist William Julius Wilson said the image of King's murder, etched in black America's consciousness, justifies the stubborn anxiety. Personally, Wilson said, he's convinced Obama is well protected, but that doesn't erase the fear: "I'm black. I woke up in the middle of the night worrying about it."

But how should African Americans - perhaps witnessing a watershed moment few could have imagined - balance the need to hope against a long, painful history? And what is lost in the bargain?

"That's a very important question," Carter said. Without hope, she said, "the person's already devastated. We have some really rotten things in our history. We want a culture that fosters hope that we can move away from those things, that we are getting better."

Thomas said there are signs that shift may already be starting. With Obama's mounting success, he says, he has noticed a slight change in African-Americans' collective decision to buttress hope with cynicism.

The codes typically spoken between blacks in "mixed company," he said, are yielding to more open conversation - blacks talking with whites about an Obama presidency. Carter noted her own young children seem to sense "electricity" and a "profound" sense of change in the air.

And for black people who know the sting of hope yielding to disappointment, Thomas said, that change is "a little scary": "Is it possible," he asked, "we're in a new place and a new time?"

Joseph Williams is deputy chief of the Globe's Washington Bureau. He can be reached at

© Copyright 2008 Globe Newspaper Company.

By assadleon
“The Jewish community, rightfully so, is a sensitive and anxious community and has many historical reasons for that,” said Representative Robert Wexler of Florida, a top adviser to Mr. Obama on Israel. Campaign officials said they were ...
A Soldier's Heart -

Robert Wexler supports candidacy of Barack Obama
Azeri Press Agency - Azerbaijan
Robert Wexler, co-chair of the Congress’ working group on Turkey announced that he will support the candidacy of Obama in presidential elections in 2008, ...

Clinton, Obama ditch negativity of campaign for feel-good TV spots
Dallas Morning News - Dallas,TX,USA
By KAREN BROOKS / The Dallas Morning News AUSTIN – In the final days before the Texas primaries, the Clinton and Obama campaigns are in full-court press ...

What about those tax returns?
Kucinich, Senator Lieberman, and Senator Edwards released their tax returns in April of 2003 – a full year earlier in the primary process. ...

…But waiting until April is not customary. In the 2004 Democratic primary, Governor Dean, Rep. Kucinich, Senator Lieberman, and Senator Edwards released their tax returns in April of 2003 – a full year earlier in the primary process. Senator Kerry released his tax returns in December of 2003, and General Clark released his tax returns in January of 2004.

Senator Clinton’s refusal to make this very basic disclosure has raised a number of eyebrows among advocates for increased transparency. As her top Ohio supporter Governor Ted Strickland said in his 2006 campaign, if a candidate is not releasing his or her “tax return, what is he hiding? We should question what’s going on.”

Senator Clinton should explain why she believes voters in the upcoming primaries shouldn’t have access to the same information as voters in the general election….

“Hot Buttons”

Young America May Lift
Wall Street Journal - USA
In 16 of the early Republican contests, the younger-than-30 vote for Republicans made up 11% of the primary and caucus voters, up from 10% in 2000, .

It is the job of thinking people not to be on the side of the executioners.

-Albert Camus

Signing Statements and the Rollback of American Law
By davidswanson
The Unilateral Presidency By ANTHONY DiMAGGIO, CounterPunch. read more - Impeach... -

George Bush Is Engaged in an Epic Battle to Cover His Ass
By davidswanson
By Allan Uthman, Buffalo Beast, Alternet. Something astonishing happened the other day in the House: The Democratic leadership found some courage. After over a year of demoralizing, often inexplicable capitulation, they actually ... - Impeach... -

OpEdNews - Newtown,PA,USA
And for way too long, too many of us have been calling for impeachment hearings against Bush/Cheney. And our nation continues to suffer at the hands of ...

The "demcracy thieves" continue to do their mastery. My newest motto to things that go bump in the night against our US Constitution in the Bush/Cheney administration is, "Hey, man; they're Republican."

In others words, in the case of US Attorney General Mukasey's recent refusal to hold grand jury hearings for contempt of Congress by members of the Bush/Cheney government, we are not surprised. But...if Pelosi and the Dems cave's all-out political war at the grassroots level in America.

Already, many of us are identifying people across the nation to take the places of those in Congress up for re-election who have defied the US Constitution in the name of politics. And for way too long, too many of us have been calling for impeachment hearings against Bush/Cheney.

And our nation continues to suffer at the hands of democracy thieves! But we are not dumb, and we will not remain silent in the face of this madness:

Impeachment Matters–Even More
By admin
Nearly two weeks ago, I took a deep breath and wrote out my thoughts on impeaching President Bush and Vice President Cheney. Some readers agreed, though equally many–particularly some who read my essay here at Ezra's–were opposed to ...
Jacob Talks -

It Does Happen in America

The Political Trial of Don Siegelman


Don Siegelman, a popular Democratic governor of Alabama, a Republican state, was framed in a crooked trial, convicted on June 29, 2006, and sent to Federal prison by the corrupt and immoral Bush administration.

The frame-up of Siegelman and businessman Richard Scrushy is so crystal clear and blatant that 52 former state attorney generals from across America, both Republicans and Democrats, have urged the US Congress to investigate the Bush administration's use of the US Department of Justice to rid themselves of a Democratic governor who "they could not beat fair and square," according to Grant Woods, former Republican Attorney General of Arizona and co-chair of the McCain for President leadership committee. Woods says that he has never seen a case with so "many red flags pointing to injustice."

The abuse of American justice by the Bush administration in order to ruin Siegelman is so crystal clear that even the corporate media organization CBS allowed "60 Minutes" to broadcast on February 24, 2008, a damning indictment of the railroading of Siegelman. Extremely coincidental "technical difficulties" caused WHNT, the CBS station covering the populous northern third of Alabama, to go black during the broadcast. The station initially offered a lame excuse of network difficulties that CBS in New York denied. The Republican-owned print media in Alabama seemed to have the inside track on every aspect of the prosecution's case against Siegelman. You just have to look at their editorials and articles following the 60 Minutes broadcast to get a taste of what counts for "objective journalism" in their mind.

The injustice done by the US Department of Justice (sic) to Siegelman is so crystal clear that a participant in Karl Rove's plan to destroy Siegelman can't live with her conscience. Jill Simpson, a Republican lawyer who did opposition research for Rove, testified under oath to the House Judiciary Committee and went public on "60 Minutes." Simpson said she was told by Bill Canary, the most important GOP campaign advisor in Alabama, that "my girls can take care of Siegelman."

Canary's "girls" are two US Attorneys in Alabama, both appointed by President Bush. One is Bill Canary's wife, Leura Canary. The other is Alice Martin. According to Harper's Scott Horton,a law professor at Columbia University, Martin is known for abusive prosecutions.

What was the "crime" for which Siegelman and Scrushy were convicted? Scrushy made a contribution to the Alabama Education Foundation, a not-for-profit organization set up to push for a lottery to benefit secondary education in Alabama, to retire debt associated with the Alabama education lottery proposal. Scrushy was a member of Alabama's Certificate of Need board, a nonpaid group that oversaw hospital expansion. Scrushy had been a member of the board through the terms of the prior three governors, and Siegelman asked him to serve another term.

Federal prosecutors claimed that Scrushy's contribution was a bribe to Siegelman in exchange for being appointed to the Certificate of Need board. In the words of federal prosecutor Stephen Feaga, the contribution was "given in exchange for a promise for an official act."

Feaga's statement is absolute nonsense. It is well known that Scrushy had served on the board for years, felt he had done his duty, and wanted off the board. It was Siegelman who convinced Scrushy to remain on the board. Moreover, Scrushy gave no money to Siegelman. The money went to a foundation.

As a large number of attorneys have pointed out, every US president appoints his ambassadors and cabinet members from people who have donated to his campaign. Under the reasoning applied in the Siegelman case, a large number of living former presidents, cabinet members and ambassadors should be in federal prison_not to mention the present incumbents.

How in the world did a jury convict two men of a non-crime?

The answer is that the US Attorney used Governor Siegelman's indicted young assistant, Nick Bailey, to create the impression among some of the jurors that "something must have happened." Unbeknownst to Siegelman, Bailey was extorting money or accepting bribes from Alabama businessmen in exchange for state business. Bailey was caught. Presented with threats of a long sentence, Bailey agreed to testify falsely that Siegelman came out of a meeting with Scrushy and showed Bailey a $250,000 check he had accepted in exchange for appointing Scrushy to the Certificate of Need board.

Prosecutors knew that Bailey's testimony was false, not only because they had Bailey rewrite his testimony many times and rehearsed him until he had it down pat, but also because they had the check. The records show that the check, written to a charitable organization, was cut days after the meeting from which Siegelman allegedly emerged with check in hand.

It is a crime for prosecutors to withhold exculpatory evidence. The Washington Post reported on February 26 that Siegelman's attorneys have called for a special prosecutor after CBS quoted prosecution witness Bailey "as saying prosecutors met with him about 70 times. He said they had him regularly write out his testimony because they were frustrated with his recollection of events. The written notes, if they existed, could have damaged the credibility of Bailey's story, but no such notes were turned over to the defense, as would have been required by law."

In video documentaries available online, Bailey's friend, Amy Methvin, says that Bailey told her that he was going to parrot the prosecutors' line, "pay for play," "quid pro quo." Methvin says Bailey went into a speech about money exchanged for favors. "You sound like a robot," Methvin told him. "You would have it memorized, too, if you had heard the answers as many times as I have heard the answers," Bailey replied.

The prosecutors also had help from some jurors. On a WOTM Special Report hosted by former US Attorney Raymond Johnson, Alabama lawyer Julian McPhillips produced emails from two jurors about influencing other jurors in order to achieve a conviction. Jurors are not supposed to discuss a case outside the court or to consider information other than what is presented in court and allowed by the judge. The outside communication among the jurors is sufficient to declare a mistrial.

However, Federal District Judge, Mark Fuller, a George W. Bush appointee, ignored the tainted jury. Fuller's handling of the case suspiciously favored the prosecution. He bore a strong grudge against Siegelman. Fuller had been an Alabama district attorney before Bush made him a federal judge. Fuller's successor as district attorney was appointed by Siegelman and produced evidence that suggested that Fuller had connived with his former senior assistant in a "pension spiking" scheme, which some viewed as a fraud or attempted fraud against the state retirement system.

Despite his known animosity toward Siegelman, Fuller refused to recuse himself from Siegelman's trial. According to the WOTM Special Report, Fuller owns a company that was receiving federal money during Siegelman's trial. Fuller did not disclose this conflict of interest. The charges raised by 60 Minutes cast the trial as Karl Rove's effort to rid the Republicans of the candidate they could not beat. The strange conduct of the presiding Republican judge, who had recently become a rich man as the company he owned was awarded a mass of discretionary federal contracts, only raises more very troubling questions.

The Justice Department's answer to the accusation that it framed Siegelman is that Siegelman was indicted by career prosecutors and convicted in a fair trial by a jury of his peers. These claims are no more truthful than anything else the DOJ says. Horton reports that career prosecutors advised against the case, concluded it was a political vendetta and walked away from it. Canary's "girls" were "flailing about trying to find loyal troopers who would shut up and do what is expected of them," a category into which Scott Horton says Louis Franklin and his deputy Stephen Feaga fell. The jurors were presented with what Bailey's and Methvin's testimony indicates to be Bailey's perjury suborned by the US Attorney's office and misled about what the testimony actually meant.

Horton says the case was "pressed forward with brute political force." According to Horton, Leura Canary refused to recuse herself despite her obvious conflict of interest. After she was forced to recuse herself, she continued to control the case from her office. In Horton's words: "Her husband was managing the campaign against Siegelman and leaks from the investigation were emanating from someone at his address. But beyond this, her husband, Bill Canary, had a long, well established, close working relationship with Karl Rove covering work he did in Washington and Alabama over a period of more than 17 years. Leura and Billy Canary were close friends of, and socialized with, Karl Rove."

On his Bush League Justice program, MSNBC's Dan Abrams reported that a Republican attorney said under oath that "key Republicans on [Republican candidate for governor Bob] Riley's team discussed talking to Karl Rove about the case, quoting one of them who said, "Not to worry, that he had already gotten it worked out with Karl, and Karl had spoken to the Department of Justice.'"

The Bush Justice Department first went after Siegelman during his 2002 reelection campaign. When Siegelman was first elected in 1998, the Republican Alabama Attorney General, William Pryor, began investigating Siegelman. There was nothing to investigate, but his "investigation" was the entry for Leura Canary, who federalized the "investigation." Politically motivated leaks from the "investigation" were used in an effort to defeat Siegelman's reelection.

It almost worked, but Siegelman narrowly won.

Unable to defeat Siegelman even with leaks from a phony investigation designed to smear him, the Republicans decided to steal the election. After all districts had reported the vote count, Siegelman thanked the voters for reelecting him and went to bed. During the night the Republicans, with no Democratic voting officials present, "recounted" the ballots in Baldwin County. Six thousand Siegelman votes that had been reported disappeared in the recount. The next morning Republican Bob Riley declared himself the winner.

The theft was so hastily arranged that the thieves forgot to change any of the other vote outcomes on the ballots. All other races had the same totals as originally reported, a statistical impossibility had there actually been a computer glitch as the election thieves claimed.

The Republican attorney general Pryor refused a recount. The Bush Justice Department and Republican federal judges looked the other way, as did the Republican propaganda sheets that masquerade as news media in Alabama.

President Bush rewarded William Pryor for his service by making him a federal judge in a recess appointment as he could not be confirmed by the US Senate.

According to MSNBC and other reports, a prosecution witness against Siegelman also made charges against Pryor and US Senator Jeff Sessions (R, AL), but neither of the Republicans were investigated.

The case against Siegelman was drawn out in the media for two more years in the hopes of smearing him forever. When Leura Canary's false case was finally brought to court, Federal District Judge U.W. Clemon threw it out of court. Clemon cited an assistant US Attorney and an assistant state attorney general for contempt of court. All charges against Siegelman and his co-defendants were dropped on October 5, 2004.

Vindicated, Siegelman began his campaign for recovering the governorship in 2006. The word came from Washington to "take another look at the case," a phrase that could well be understood as "get Siegelman at all costs." Siegelman was indicted a second time on October 26, 2005, costing him the Democratic primary. The jury twice deadlocked and was twice sent back by Siegelman's adversary, Judge Fuller. With charges of jury-tampering in the air, Siegelman was acquitted of 25 counts and found guilty of "pay for play." Judge Fuller had Siegelman handcuffed and manacled and immediately whisked off to prison for a seven-year sentence. Normally a non-dangerous person is left at liberty while the case is being appealed.

The Siegelman case makes it clear exactly what Bush, Rove, and the disgraced Bush flunky Alberto Gonzales intended by firing the eight Republican US Attorneys. These eight refused to politicize their office by falsely prosecuting Democrats in order to achieve a Rovian political agenda. Apparently, there were only eight honest persons among the 1,200 Republican US Attorneys. Bush, Rove, and Gonzales had no problem with the other 1,192. Professors Donald Shields and John Cragan report that the Bush Justice Department has investigated seven times more Democratic than Republican officials.

Former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Terry Butts said that justice in America today is about political agendas, "not about convicting real criminals." Butts said that Siegelman's attorneys and allies expect reprisals from the US Attorney's office and Alabama's Republican establishment.

Siegelman has been in prison for over a year. His appeal cannot move forward, because Judge Fuller's court has not produced a transcript of the trial needed for appeal. In other words, Republicans are preventing Siegelman from being released on appeal by a higher court.

Karl Rove refused to testify about the case before Congress.

On February 25, 2008, Fox "News" gave Karl Rove airtime in which to deny the accusations and evidence against him, which he did.

The Department of Justice refuses to release Siegelman trial documents to Congress. It won't even let Congress see what Leura Canary had to say to her bosses about the ethics challenges brought against her, which they swept under the carpet.

Siegelman's family home was broken into.

Siegelman's attorney's office was broken into and ransacked.

Jill Simpson's house had a mysterious "electrical fire" and her car was run off the road.

Is a justice system that functions in this way worthy of respect? Can we believe any convictions obtained by federal prosecutors?

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be reached at:

Author's note: Scott Horton, Harper's Online, has reported extensively and courageously on the frame-up of Don Siegelman. Raw Story has a multi-part report by Larisa Alexandrovna and Muriel Kane. The "60 Minutes" broadcast is available from YouTube as is the WOTM Special Report. YouTube also has a multi-part documentary on Richard Scrushy. Brad Blog provides good coverage including a MSNBC broadcast on the Siegelman prosecution which traces it back to Karl Rove. Ernest Partridge's Online Journal account provides additional information including the study by Professors Donald Shields and John Cragan. See also Glynn Wilson at More information is available online for interested readers.

THE LOWDOWN: Perennial candidate Ralph Nader returns to the presidential sweepstakes, announcing last Sunday on "Meet the Press" that he's in the race. • Nader, whom many Democrats blame for throwing the 2000 election to President Bush, says he wants to impeach Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, reverse U.S. policy in the Middle East, adopt single-payer national health insurance and cut the U.S. military budget. • On Friday, Matt Gonzalez, 42, a consumer activist and former San Francisco supervisor, joins the ticket as vice president. • Some pundits say Nader's candidacy helps Republicans, while others say it benefits Democrats, and still others dismiss it as a nonfactor – Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., calls Nader's run a "yawn." • Here's a look.

News I.Q.

How well do you know your Nader?

1. For which party did Ralph Nader run for president in 2000?

2. In 2004?

3. Nader's parents came to the United States from what nation?

4. His 1965 book, "Unsafe at Any Speed," included a chapter detailing safety flaws in what car?

5. The title given to the young activists who worked on Nader's consumer safety crusades?


1. Green. 2. Reform. 3. Lebanon. 4. The 1960-63 Chevrolet Corvair. 5. Nader's Raiders.


Some Ralph Nader numbers:

2.7: Nader's percentage of the popular vote in the 2000 presidential race.

0.3: Percentage of the popular vote in the 2004 race, in which he competed in only 34 states.

106-102: Score of a 2002 playoff loss by the Kings to the Lakers that prompted Nader to complain to the National Basketball Association about foul calls.

74: Nader's age, making him the oldest candidate in the race – Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is 71.

4: Number of times Nader has previously sought the presidency – in 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004.

$425,000: Amount General Motors paid to Nader in 1970 to drop a lawsuit over its efforts to discredit him.

3: Age at which Nader learned to read.


"Here is some campaign excitement. Ralph Nader is running for president. I'm like you. I think this really could be Ralph's year." – David Letterman

"Nader says he's running for president again because the Democrats did not stop President Bush on the war in Iraq and on the tax cuts. Stop him? If Nader hadn't run, there wouldn't have been a President Bush." – Jay Leno

"Ralph Nader announced he's once again going to run for president. Nader says he's running 'cause he's tired of Mike Huckabee stealing all the 'no chance in hell' votes." – Conan O'Brien

"Ralph Nader announced he is running for president again. His announcement has filled millions of people with excitement and hope. And these people are called Republicans." – Craig Ferguson

"Ralph Nader looks like a postal worker who doesn't know whether to retire or start shooting." – David Letterman

A Question for Pelosi - How Did Greenland Get Its Name?
By wendyursulawnj
Speaker Nancy Pelosi D-Calif. and a group of House members are planning to go to Greenland and Europe next week as paNancy Pelosi continues her world tour next week by making a stop in Greenland: Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif. ...
Wendyursulawnj's Weblog -

Advance Staffer - Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
By DemWork
Office of the Speaker of the House seeks experienced Advance staffer. Candidates must have advance experience with high level principles and have executed events on the road. Candidates should be well-organized, hard-working, ...
DemWork -

Seat warming, Internet blocking March 2, 2008

COMCAST CORP. hired seat-warmers to make sure it would have supporters in the crowd at a hearing by the Federal Communications Commission at Harvard Law School last week. The company needed a favorable audience. Its executive vice president was about to make a dubious claim: that Comcast had the right to block (or delay, depending on one's perspective) use of the BitTorrent program by subscribers to Comcast's high-speed Internet service.

The FCC held the hearing to determine whether Comcast was violating the agency's principle that, on the Internet, "consumers are entitled to run applications and use services of their choice." The Associated Press couldn't do that last October when it tried to transmit a copy of the King James Bible using BitTorrent, a so-called peer-to-peer technology that allows individuals to connect to one another's computers to share large files.

Bibles aren't BitTorrent's forte. It's well suited to transmit data-heavy video files, especially movies. The high-speed, or broadband, technology that Comcast uses was developed in the 1990s, before the advent of peer-to-peer video sharing. The company's Internet service is based on clusters of 400 to 500 customers. If a few BitTorrent users move video through Comcast wires when others are trying to access the Internet, service for the whole cluster can slow down. That, Comcast officials say, is why the company quietly set up software last fall to block use of BitTorrent and other peer-to-peer services.

In one respect, Comcast is doing the sensible thing - upgrading its service throughout the nation to accommodate heavier use of the Internet. It expects improvements to be available to millions of homes by the end of the year. But the blocking program was a shady shortcut. At the hearing, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin seemed most worried that Comcast did it surreptitiously. But with few other broadband providers available and with the hassle of switching Internet providers, customers would have had little recourse even if the company had announced its intention beforehand.

Comcast's market power

This market power worries US Representative Edward Markey, chairman of the House subcommittee in charge of telecommunications, and other advocates of an open Internet. Many were denied entrance to the hearing because Comcast retainers had arrived early. The advocates are probably exaggerating the danger that Comcast would immediately try to use its control over the Internet lines to steer customers to favored sites. BitTorrent videos might eventually pose a threat to the Comcast cable business, but for now this is a mishandled technical problem.

In the longer term, however, the dominance of the broadband Internet by a few providers poses problems that the FCC and Congress will need to address. Under the Bush administration, the commission has acted as though the free market alone would bring broadband service to households throughout the country. Comcast and other companies have made massive investments to upgrade their service, but it's not enough. The United States ranks 15th in the world in per-capita broadband penetration, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The FCC is pinning its hopes on the new wireless broadband connections that will become available in the frequency space left vacant when television converts to all-digital transmissions. But for some consumers, wireless may not be an adequate substitute for wired connections. In areas that Comcast serves, the greatest deterrent is the cost, $42.95 a month for cable TV subscribers, and $57.95 for those who don't get the TV service, after an initial discount. While 48 million households can get it, only 13.2 million do.

Verizon Corp. is rolling out its own high-speed FiOS service, which is more advanced than the old Comcast system, and doesn't have the same problems with BitTorrent. Verizon misused control over its own wireless phone network last September when it refused to allow a text-message campaign by the abortion-rights group NARAL. Verizon quickly reversed its decision and apologized - as Comcast should do now. Looking forward, Comcast might try charging higher fees for people with especially heavy Internet usage.

"While networks may have legitimate network issues and practices," Chairman Martin said at the hearing, "that does not mean that they can arbitrarily block access to certain network services." For that reason, the FCC should push Comcast to stop blocking customers from using technologies the company doesn't like.

Government can help

Beyond the immediate problem, the Comcast case shows that, unaided, the market will not make broadband available to all Americans who want it. The United States was the leader in Internet usage when dial-up via traditional telephone lines were the norm. Now it is falling behind in the percentage of the population with high-speed connections, and the price and speed of the service.

Nobody in positions of responsibility is calling for the kind of government control that facilitated the growth of some of these broadband networks, notably in South Korea, where the content is tightly regulated. Instead, Markey has proposed a bill that would codify open-Internet principles similar to those advocated by the FCC, and would call for a series of summits across the country to consider consumer protection, competition, and choice in high-speed service. It's quite a mild bill, but it might be the first step toward promoting Internet development more equitably.

Interested parties sometimes hire seat-warmers before hearings in Washington. Like those lobbyist-heavy events, the Harvard gathering featured more people in suits than would normally be seen in a law school classroom. The question for Congress is whether the high-speed Internet of the future is being shaped to serve their interests - or those of the people who couldn't make their voices heard before the FCC.

© Copyright 2008 Globe Newspaper Company

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