Court Of Impeachment And War Crimes: April 18, 2008…Judiciary on the move, Bush tries to move on the Judiciary
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An interview with Naomi Wolf about the 10 steps from democracy to dictatorship!

Stop The Spying Now

Stop the Spying!

Friday, April 18, 2008

April 18, 2008…Judiciary on the move, Bush tries to move on the Judiciary




April 18, 2008…Judiciary on the move, Bush tries to move on the Judiciary, Pennsylvania Debate Debris still Falling, a look at the real records and it’s time to stop the flag flapping!


House Panel Demands Answers From DOJ, White House


The heat is on the Justice Department, again. Times three.


Rep. John Conyers, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, yesterday wrote a letter to former White House senior aide Karl Rove asking him to testify before the committee about his knowledge of Democrats who were allegedly selectively prosecuted under then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.


Seizing on the case of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, who was released from prison a few weeks while appealing a bribery conviction, Conyers requested that Justice’s Office of Professional Responsibility and its Office of Inspector General investigate “allegations of selective, politically-motivated prosecution” by the department in recent years. In addition, Conyers and other committee members are urging Attorney General Michael Mukasey to release records pertaining to these prosecutions. The department has previously refused to release documents in the Siegelman case.


One of the other cases drawing scrutiny involves Dr. Cyril Wecht, a prominent forensic scientist being defended by former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh. Wecht’s fraud trial ended in a hung jury earlier this month. Thornburgh, a Republican who served under President George W. Bush’s father, has personally appealed to Mukasey to review the case.


“The Justice Department has simply not been forthcoming, and I feel the only way to move this investigation forward is to seek further independent investigation and testimony from Karl Rove, who appears to be the missing link in a chain from the White House to the Justice Department,” Conyers said in a statement accompanying a 40-page report on alleged selective prosecutions.


Peter Carr, a Justice spokesman, says Mukasey has "made clear" in speeches that that "politics has no role in the investigation or prosecution of political corruption or any other criminal offense."


Robert Luskin, Rove’s attorney at Patton Boggs, has previously said his client will testify before Congress if subpoenaed in the Siegelman case. But yesterday, Luskin told reporters that his client may have to clear his appearance with White House officials first because of questions over executive privilege.


Sound familiar? Well, former White House Counsel Harriet Miers and White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten last year ignored subpoenas to appear before the same Judiciary Committee at the urging of the White House. They now await the outcome of an unprecedented suit filed against them by the House last month.


Separately, Conyers also is charging ahead with a May 6 hearing to explore the development of the legal underpinnings for Bush’s detainee and interrogation policies. On April 14, he sent out letters to six current and former administration officials to invite them to offer testimony after ABC News reported that senior White House officials — including Cabinet-level officials -- personally approved harsh interrogation methods as part of a CIA program.


The invitees are former CIA Director George Tenet, former Attorney General John Ashcroft, former Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith, former Office of Legal Counsel acting chief Daniel Levin, former Office of Legal Counsel deputy assistant attorney general John Yoo, and David Addington, the current chief of staff to the vice president.


Lastly, Conyers is demanding that Mukasey release the Oct. 23, 2001, legal opinion, authored by Yoo, that said the Fourth Amendment -- which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures -- does not apply to “domestic military operations.”


At an April 10 hearing before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee, Mukasey pledged to work toward releasing that opinion and others that are under review. The document was referenced in a footnote in a separate 2003 Justice Department memo — since withdrawn -- that asserted vast presidential powers and authorized harsh military interrogations. The 2003 opinion was publicly released April 1 after a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union and demands from Congress.


MORE!


"Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee" on Thursday "invited Karl Rove, a onetime White House adviser, to testify about his possible involvement in building a corruption case against former Alabama governor Don Siegelman (D)," the Washington Post reports. "Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. (Mich.) and three other Democrats on the panel also wrote to the Justice Department's inspector general and the chief of the department's Office of Professional Responsibility, requesting that they open an investigation into what they claimed was a pattern of 'selective, politically motivated prosecutions.'"


http://www.nationaljournal.com/njmagazine/


Critical Action On This Issue Is Required Now!


Dear Ed,


Senate Majority Harry Reid needs to hear from you now.


Republican senators and conservative activists are applying intense pressure on Senator Reid to move the president's appellate-level judicial nominees who haven't been confirmed. Senator Reid needs to resist that pressure. Under the long-standing tradition known as the "Thurmond Rule," controversial judicial nominees should not be brought up for consideration this close to a presidential election.


Call Senator Reid now and tell him to do everything he can to block the most dangerous Bush judicial nominees.


Senator Reid: (202) 244-3542


The Republicans are ratcheting up the pressure on judicial nominations by threatening to hold the majority's legislative agenda hostage. But controversial appeals court nominations should not be used as bargaining chips to pass legislation. If confirmed, nominees would receive lifetime appointments, and in many cases, would be in positions to do harm to the law and Americans' constitutional rights for decades.


Here are some of the nominees of most concern:


Peter Keisler, a co-founder of the Federalist Society and former clerk to rejected Reagan Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork, who has been nominated to fill a seat on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals -- arguably the second most powerful court in the land behind the Supreme Court. When President Clinton tried to fill this very seat, Republicans blocked his nominee saying the court's caseload was too small to fill the vacancy. Well its caseload is even smaller now!


Robert Conrad (nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit), who has a disturbing record on reproductive freedom, the environment and workers' rights, and has criticized the notion of safe sex as a way to avoid contracting AIDS.


Steve Matthews (also nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit), who served for years on the board of the Landmark Legal Foundation, a group which in 2007 nominated Rush Limbaugh for the Nobel Peace Prize.



Tell Senator Reid
to keep Americans' fundamental rights off the bargaining table.


Senator Reid: (202) 244-3542


You can report back on your call using our online call report form at http://pfaw.kintera.org/CallReport.


After you take action by calling, if you have not already, please make sure you sign our petition to the Democratic leadership urging them to halt consideration of all controversial nominees. And pass the petition on to your friends. More than 20,000 activists have already signed and this is very useful in lobbying meetings as evidence that there is grassroots support for invoking the Thurmond Rule.


Petition: http://www.pfaw.org/go/StopBadJudges


Thank you.


Questioning the Questions


By Tobin Harshaw

Tags: Barack Obama, debates, Hillary Clinton, media


So, is Barack Obama going to be able to use his rough night in Philadelphia Wednesday to his advantage? Lee Ward at the conservative site Wizbang Blue thinks so:


Watch for the Obamatrons and the Obamedia to renew their attempt to steam roll Clinton out of the race with calls for her to withdraw.


Their candidate took a beating last night, and had to face questions he hasn’t had to face before. The Machine is up in arms, and will attack Clinton relentlessly as a result.


Prediction — Obama refuses to debate Clinton in North Carolina as previously agreed. He’ll use his faux outrage over being asked tough questions in last night’s debate as an excuse to back out of the North Carolina debate but….he won’t back out until after the Pennsylvania primary next Tuesday.


Indeed, CNN is reporting that “Sen. Barack Obama suggested Thursday that he doesn’t see any point in having another debate with Democratic rival Sen. Hillary Clinton. Clinton has agreed to a debate next week, but Obama has not accepted the invitation.”


Meanwhile, David Brooks is no longer alone in defending the ABC moderators of Wednesday’s bloodbath. Carl, one of the bloggers at the liberal-leaning site the Reaction, feels that “the debate was clearly structured to try to draw some drama out of the proceedings, to put both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on the hot seats about something and to let people see how they handle the stresses and strains of the campaign trail. In that respect, it was a bit of an eye-opener, from nearly all accounts: Hillary Clinton handled herself like a pro, while Barack Obama could barely contain his frustration and contempt.”


Carl also takes issue with the column by Will Bunch of the Philadelphia Daily News that the Opinionator linked to yesterday (and which, for some reason, the Daily news has moved to here) that accused ABC of having a “focus on matters that were at best trivial wastes of valuable airtime and at worst restatements of right-wing falsehoods …”


Carl writes:


So let me ask the journalists involved, and the bloggers and even Mr. Bunch: what have you been covering for the past seven months?


How many blog posts, columns, news analyzes, prime time segments, have been devoted to any of the issues that Bunch delineates?


Not nearly as many about the debacle in Afghanistan over the past year, I’d wager, as have been written over Obama’s “bitter” comment in just these past five days.


Even Bunch, later in his column, points out how many column inches have been devoted to Reverend Wright, and the Bosnia trip and Obama’s foot-in-mouth disease…does anyone else wonder how an eloquent man can have so many “misspokes” and “inartful phrasings”? What kind of scam is Obama running on us?… but one wonders why so many column inches haven’t been devoted to, say, the PTSD problems of returning Iraqi and Afghani vets?


I picked that topic because, you know, Katrina and I at Simply Left Behind have both been all over it these past four years. I’d bet not many other blogs have been.


It’s kind of disingenuous to whine about ABC’s debate format when in fact, they are merely responding to the vox populi: all of us, myself included, have harped on these niggling issues at the expense of the larger stories around us.


For myself, I claim a lack of time and an interest in increasing my hit counter.


And so what does that tell you, all of you who are complaining about ABC’s dismal performance? People aren’t going to read about oil prices. People are going to read about Obama’s bigotry and Clinton’s prevarications.


End of discussion….


Good point, but I don’t think anybody really thinks the discussion will end.


His first year in the U.S. Senate, he authored 152 bills and co-sponsored another 427. These included **the Coburn-Obama Government Transparency Act of 2006 - became law, **The Lugar-Obama Nuclear Non-proliferation and Conventional Weapons Threat Reduction Act, - became law, **The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act, passed the Senate, **The 2007 Government Ethics Bill, - became law, **The Protection Against Excessive Executive Compensation Bill, In committee, and many more.


In all, since entering the U.S. Senate, Senator Obama has written 890 bills and co-sponsored another 1096.


Senator Clinton, who has served only one full term - 6yrs. - and another year campaigning, has managed to author and pass into law - 20 - twenty pieces of legislation in her first six years. These bills can be found on the website of the Library of Congress www.thomas.loc.gov, but to save you trouble, they:


1. Established the Kate Mullany National Historic Site; 2. Supported the goals and ideals of Better Hearing and Speech Month; 3. Recognized the Ellis Island Medal of Honor; 4. Name courthouse after Thurgood Marshall; 5. Named courthouse after James L. Watson; 6. Named post office after Jonn A. O’Shea; 7. Designated Aug. 7, 2003, as National Purple Heart Recognition Day; 8. Supported the goals and ideals of National Purple Heart Recognition Day: 9. Honored the life and legacy of Alexander Hamilton on the bicentennial of his death; 10. Congratulated the Syracuse Univ. Orange Men’s Lacrosse Team on winning the championship; 11. Congratulated the Le Moyne College Dolphins Men’s Lacrosse Team on winning the championship; 12. Established the 225th Anniversary of the American Revolution Commemorative Program; 13. Named post office after Sergeant Riayan A. Tejeda; 14. Honored Shirley Chisholm for her service to the nation and express condolences on her death; 15. Honored John J. Downing, Brian Fahey, and Harry Ford, firefighters who lost their lives on duty;


Only five of Clinton’s bills are substantive:



16. Extended period of unemployment assistance to victims of 9/11; 17. Paid for city projects in response to 9/11 18. Assisted landmine victims in other countries; 19. Assisted family caregivers in accessing affordable respite care; 20. Designated part of the National Forest System in Puerto Ricans protected in the wilderness preservation system.


There You Have It, Straight From The Senate Record.


And Charlie didn’t quite get it right on Capital Gains Taxes…Bad Night!


And More on the Damn Lapel Pin Flag Flap!


There are folks dying every day in Iraq and there are criminals running around the halls of the White House and they all have lapel pins…….

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