Gonzo Might Need a Commutation, Too

From: Dems Wants Probe of Gonzales for Perjury.

Senate Democrats called Thursday for a special counsel to investigate whether Attorney General Alberto Gonzales perjured himself regarding the firings of U.S. attorneys and administration dissent over President Bush’s domestic surveillance program.

"It has become apparent that the attorney general has provided at a minimum half-truths and misleading statements," four members of the Senate Judiciary Committee wrote in a letter to Solictor General Paul Clement.

They asked Clement to immediately appoint an indepedent counsel from outside the Justice Department to determine whether Gonzales "may have misled Congress or perjured himself in testimony before Congress."

"We do not make this request lightly," wrote Sens. Charles E. Schumer of New York, Dianne Feinstein of California, Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island.

A draft copy of the letter was obtained by The Associated Press shortly before a news conference planned by the senators.

Neither Gonzales nor the Justice Department had immediate comment about the letter. A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he supports the request.

The Democratic testicles are beginning to descend, folks… it took a while, but before you know it, they’re be real adults!

Bush Once Again Screws Our Soldiers

I don’t know about you, but I am sick to death of these idiots telling us they love the troops. You simply do not go into two wars without beefing up the medical apparatus, in anticipation of the possible casualties. And you prepare for the worst, besides…

And look at the total amount of money we’re talking about. ONE BILLION PER YEAR???

They’ve been given almost $500 billion over the last 4+ years; are they telling us they couldn’t budget $5 billion of that to prepare for the casualties?

Add that to the $8 billion total it would have cost to provide armored Humvees and the $2 billion it would have cost to provide body armor for every soldier.

Do you need MORE evidence that all of your money is going to Bush’s contractor buddies??

From: Bush Panel Seeks Upgrade in Military Care – New York Times.

A presidential panel on military and veterans health care released a report Wednesday concluding that the system was insufficient for the demands of two modern wars and called for improvements, including far-reaching changes in the way the government determines the disability status and benefits of injured soldiers and veterans.

The bipartisan commission made 35 recommendations that included expanded and improved treatment of traumatic brain injuries and the type of post-traumatic stress disorders that overwhelmed public mental health facilities during the Vietnam era but remain stigmatized to this day.

President Bush told reporters at the White House late Wednesday that he had directed Robert M. Gates, the defense secretary, and Jim Nicholson, secretary of veterans affairs, “to take them seriously, and to implement them, so that we can say with certainty that any soldier who has been hurt will get the best possible care and treatment that this government can offer.”

The commission said fully carrying out its recommendations would cost $500 million a year for the time being, and $1 billion annually years from now as the current crop of fresh veterans and active military members ages and new personnel is in place.

Ford Fakes $750M 2Q Profit – Pretends 37,000 Job Cuts are Revenue Increases…

See, this is the kind of crap I’m talking about, economically speaking. Check out the incredible financial doublespeak in this thing…

Link: Ford Posts $750M 2Q Profit: Financial News – Yahoo! Finance.

Ford Motor Co. surprised Wall Street Thursday with second-quarter earnings of $750 million, its first profitable quarter in two years.

The company also confirmed it is exploring the sale of its Jaguar and Land Rover subsidiaries and said its U.S. market share rose during the quarter.

The profit of 31 cents per share compares with a net loss of $317 million, or 17 cents per share, in the same quarter of last year.

The company attributed the gains to significant year-over-year improvement in all of its automotive operations, and to cost reductions — including job cuts — due to restructuring and positive special items that totaled $443 million. That includes a $206 million gain related to sale of its Aston Martin unit. Even its struggling North American division showed progress.

Ford has shed 27,000 hourly and about 10,000 salaried jobs since September 2006 through early retirement and buyout offers as it tries to shrink itself to match lower demand for its cars and trucks.

This is exactly what I mean by my post about the economy. It’s all smoke and mirrors, folks. The profit numbers are supposed to make it look like Ford has turned the corner and golly gosh, it’s just all gonna be okay…

But look more closely. The buyouts and early retirements happened previously. Because they post profits by quarter, lost in the rhetoric is the fact that they lost a bunch of money on the front end, and they’ve lost 37,000 workers. Apparently, there is no thought at Ford about possibly building more vehicles and increasing revenues, because 37,000 workers might come in handy for that, you know?

This is an example of the smoke and mirrors I’m talking about. American business isn’t about building and selling more and competing, it’s about lopping off expenses and claiming a better bottom line, when it’s the TOP line that drives the economy.

Oh, well, they can always move to the South and make cars for Toyota and Honda, right? They’re both doing fine here…


Tillmans Lose a Son; General Loses a Star for Lying About it?

From: The Raw Story | CNN: Highest ranking general in jeopardy for Tillman cover-up.

"A retired three-star general criticized for misleading investigators probing the controversial death of Cpl. Pat Tillman could be stripped of a star and face a decrease in retirement pension," Pentagon officials tell CNN.

"Retired Lt. Gen. Phillip Kensinger’s three-star rank could be cut to two stars, according to Army officials," CNN reported Thursday morning.

Kensinger purportedly misled military investigators when saying he didn’t know until after Tillman’s memorial service that his killing in Afghanistan was the result of friendly fire.

"We didn’t find that credible. We found evidence that he knew in the April time frame," acting Defense Department Inspector General Thomas Gimble told the network.

What someone should be asking is who originally ordered the cover up? And frankly, a three-star general covering up the reasons for the death of a patriotic soldier should lose more than a star and a little bit of pension. I’m not saying you should lock him up or demote him to private, but there has to be some accountability here.

And generals don’t usually lie about things like this, unless someone wants them to… time to find out who… and more importantly… why…


Just when you Thought No One Could Be Crazier than Katherine Harris…

I love Minnesota, but you have to wonder what’s in the water in the district that elected this loon…

From: Think Progress » Bachmann On Her Trip To Iraq: It’s Like Visiting The ‘Mall Of America’.

This month, Bachmann traveled to Iraq, and despite more GOP defections from Bush’s base of support, she returned as firm as ever in her conviction that the war is justified. Al-Qaida, she said, “doesn’t show any signs of letting up.” The congressional delegation met with Gen. David Petraeus, the top commander in Iraq, in one of Saddam Hussein’s palaces.

What was the palace like?

“It’s absolutely huge,” she said. “I turned to my colleagues and said there’s a commonality with the Mall of America, in that it’s on that proportion. There’s marble everywhere. The other thing I remarked about was there is water everywhere. He had man-made lakes all around his personal palace — one for fishing, one for boating.”

Call Your Congressmember NOW!

From: Panel Holds Two Bush Aides in Contempt – New York Times.

The House Judiciary Committee voted today to seek contempt of Congress citations against a top aide to President Bush and a former presidential aide over their refusal to cooperate in an inquiry about the firing of federal prosecutors.

The 22-to-17 vote along party lines escalates the battle between the administration and Congressional Democrats over the dismissals of nine United States attorneys last year, an episode that Democrats say needs airing but that many Republicans say is much ado about nothing.

“It’s not a step that, as chairman, I take easily or lightly,” the head of the panel, Representative John D. Conyers, Democrat of Michigan, said before the committee voted to cite Joshua B. Bolten, the president’s chief of staff, and Harriet E. Miers, the former White House counsel.

To take effect, the Judiciary Committee’s recommendation must be voted upon by the full House, where Democrats have a 231-to-201 edge, with 3 vacancies. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not said whether she would seek House action before the lawmakers recess in early August, or allow the issue to simmer until the House reconvenes after Labor Day.

Excuse me, but I think we need to call Nancy Pelosi’s office and let her know that this thing doesn’t need to "simmer"! And call your congressperson’s office today, tomorrow and every day, and let them know that they have to start upholding the rule of law!

Screw your politics; this transcends party politics, and election fortunes. This crap has to stop being about political expediency, and must start being about the law, and who is subject to it. the answer, of course, should be "everyone," including All the President’s Twits.

The Biggest Non-Issue of this Campaign so far…

Honestly, if this is as "nasty" as it’s going to get this election season, this is going to be a cakewalk for the Democrats, because in this exchange, there is no "there" there…

From: CNN.com – CNN Political Ticker.

The question at Monday night’s Democratic debate was straight forward: Should the next president of the United States sit down,without preconditions, with the leaders of Cuba, Iran, Syria, Venezuela and North Korea during his or her first year in office, in an effort to bridge the sharp divisions between those countries and the United States?

Sen. Barack Obama said yes. Hillary Clinton said no. And those responses set off a tempest Tuesday between their two campaigns that later escalated into some pointed comments from the candidates themselves in interviews with an Iowa newspaper.

“I thought it was irresponsible and, frankly, naive to say that he
would commit to meeting with Chavez and Castro within the first year,”
Clinton told the Quad City Times, referring to the Venezuelan and Cuba
leaders. “I think Senator Obama gave an answer that I believe he’s
regretting today.”

But if Obama had regrets, they weren’t evident in an interview he
later gave the same newspaper, in which he called the episode “a nice
fabricated controversy” and used some of his strongest language to date
in criticizing Clinton’s vote to authorize the invasion of Iraq.

“I do think it speaks to a larger point, which is if you want to
talk about irresponsibility and naivete, look at her vote to authorize
George Bush to send our troops into Iraq without an exit strategy and
then asking the Pentagon what the plan is five years later,” said Obama.

First of all, let me assure Democrats who have been getting all bent out of shape about the prospect of Obama losing Cuban-American votes for suggesting that we speak to Castro to, well, lighten up. Cuban-Americans won’t vote for a Democrat, no matter what, and haven’t since the Bay of Pigs.

But rather than being "naive," Obama brings up a great larger point. Why NOT meet with these people without preconditions? Why not meet with them, shake their hands, and let them know there’s a new sheriff in town, so to speak? By the time one of them becomes the new president, we will have spent eight years actively NOT talking to these people; it’s about time we opened up a dialogue with them. I mean, for Chrissakes; we’ve had sanctions on Cuba for 50 years — how’s that working out for us? it’s really worked like a charm, hasn’t it? As for Venezuela, while Chavez has a few rough edges, he’s not exactly a war monger, no matter what Pat Robertson thinks. Chavez spent $3 billion on weapons, and said outright that they were intended to repel an invasion by the United States over his oil policy. You see, he wants to actually COMPETE in the oil market, and is resisting attempts to dictate his sales price by cartels and oil companies… that bastard…

As for Iran and Syria, let’s get something straight; without those two, there will BE no peace in the Middle East. And North Korea has tp be dealt with, like it or not. I do agree that there will be preconditions with them, but of the group Obama mentioned, that’s the only one.

This is not to say that Clinton is completely wrong. It’s her opinion that one should wait until they’re in office before they decide on things like that. That’s fine; it’s clear that she and Obama will have different styles with regard to foreign affairs, but with the same goal.

I don’t think she should have used the word "naive," but other than that, at least they kept to the issues, and didn’t whine about who had the most expensive haircut and who wears too much makeup…


This is a Good Start…

From  2 Bush Aides to Face Contempt Citations – The Huffington Post.

Heading toward a separation-of-powers showdown, House Democrats prepared contempt of Congress citations against two White House aides who have refused to comply with subpoenas for information on the abrupt firings of federal prosecutors.

The White House has said that Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and former legal counselor Harriet Miers, among other top advisers to President Bush, are absolutely immune from subpoenas because their documents and testimony are protected by executive privilege.

House Judiciary Committee Democrats, led by Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., reject that claim and have drafted for a vote Wednesday a resolution citing Miers and Bolten with contempt of Congress, a federal misdemeanor punishable by up to a $100,000 fine and a one-year prison sentence.

The panel’s vote is the first step on the road to a possible constitutional showdown in federal court.

This is the first step to impeachment, folks.

I hope this is a sign that the Democrats are about to step things up. the only reason I can figure as to why they haven’t thrown together articles of impeachment is because they want to have a show of major non-cooperation before they do so… but man… there is already so much on the record about these folks…

C’mon, Mr. Conyers; draw up the articles while you’re citing them for contempt. You already know what their reaction will be to the contempt charges, so let’s get ready for the aftermath… we don’t have to wait for the executive privilege claim to play out in court; just write them up now, and we can get this thing moving.

Mark my words, we can get them out of there by spring, if not by Christmas.

Who Didn’t See This One Coming?

From Lender Sees Mortgage Woes for ‘Good’ Risks – New York Times.

Countrywide Financial, the nation’s largest mortgage lender, said yesterday that more borrowers with good credit were falling behind on their loans and that the housing market might not begin recovering until 2009 because of a decline in house prices that goes beyond anything experienced in decades.

The news from Countrywide, widely seen as a bellwether for the
mortgage market, initiated a sell-off in the stock market, which is at
its most volatile in more than a year. The Standard & Poor’s
500-stock index fell 30.53 points, or 2 percent, to 1,511.04, its
biggest one-day drop in nearly five months. The dollar dropped to a new
low against the euro, edging closer to $1.40 to 1 euro. Stocks opened
sharply lower in Japan this morning.

The slumping housing
market has become the biggest worry for the stock market, which just
four days ago set records, because of its potential impact on the
broader economy and financial system.

Can we please cut the crap?

Our economy has been running on fumes since 1981, when the right wing took over, and started cutting taxes and the government by and large started abandoning its constitutional duty to "regulate commerce."

Everything about American business now is about short-term profits; nothing else matters one little bit. You know why health insurance companies are able to screw the American people? Because they only view their profits through a quarterly or annual prism. See, when they refuse to cover someone, and that person gets care anyway, hospitals have to raise their prices to cover that loss. So, what does the insurance company do? Why, it raises premiums, of course, to cover the increase in hospital rates because they refuse to cover people who actually need health care. It looks great on the bottom line each quarter and per annum, but it creates a huge problem for the system over the long haul.

That’s how almost all of our economy works these days, and the housing market is no different. (Coincidentally, I’m writing a large piece that will go up in the next day or so about this very thing.)

I often walk past the house I grew up in, and marvel at the fact that the house is now 56 years old, we moved out 30 years ago, and the place looks the same, except for the huge cherry tree in the back yard, which we planted when I was 9; it’s huge now. What has changed, however, is the price. We sold it in 1977 for $42,900. When I moved back to the area in 1998, the house could be gotten for about $120,000, and as late as 2004, it could still be had for about $135,000. Then, suddenly, lenders developed "creative financing" schemes, in order to get people into homes who really couldn’t afford to own a home, and the house sold in January 2005 for $225,000, and the house next door sold two months later for $275,000.

The problem is, many of these homes were purchased with paper money. Selling someone who makes $25,000 a home priced at $250,000 with no money down is a recipe for disaster, for two reasons. First of all, they’re a foreclosure waiting to happen; it’s almost inevitable. But worse, they cause home prices for everyone to become overinflated. The originators of these loan programs love it, because they own other properties, which they buy and sell for the inflated profits, and when the time comes to foreclose, it becomes someone else’s problem.

But at some point, and that point came about a year ago, the bubble bursts, and suddenly, all of these foreclosures cause the market to be glutted, and there isn’t enough money left for legitimate mortgage lenders like Countrywide to help out the folks who actually make enough money to own a decent house, because they’ve been forced to mortgage all of these overpriced and overvalued homes.

Folks, the whole ARM market was built upon Enron-style accounting. and the wingnut government loved the idea, because their patrons made billions in short-term profits, by screwing people.

Expect a recession starting about six months ago, folks.

Impeachment is the Only Option!

by Milt Shook

There is something I don’t understand about the current crop of Democrats in
Congress. Why are they so reticent to discuss impeachment? And honestly, I think
we’re way past the point where discussion of impeachment would be useful. It’s
time someone put forth serious articles of impeachment against George W. Bush
and Dick Cheney, and brought them to a vote.


Under normal circumstances, their reticence would make some sense, because
impeachment trials reduce the effectiveness of the Senate for the time of the
trial. But at this point, does it matter? Senate Republicans have made it
crystal clear that they will refuse to allow anything important through to the
floor for a vote, anyway; if the Senate is going to be relatively ineffective
for a while, why not put the time to good use? Let’s use the opportunity to
demonstrate just WHY the Founding Fathers put impeachment into the Constitution
six times. 


Honest to God, what does someone have to
do to be impeached by these Democrats? The Republicans made up something out of
whole cloth in order to bring charges against Bill Clinton, and continued with
it, even though three-quarters of the country sided with Clinton. Yet, with a
list of potential charges at least a mile long against the two current occupants
of the White House, are we supposed to believe there isn’t a political will to
salvage our democracy and preserve what’s left of the Constitution?


And don’t give me that "we don’t have the time" crap, either. I keep hearing
that argument, too. It doesn’t have to tale that long. I know the impeachment of
Bill Clinton seemed to take forever, the
fact of the matter is, the articles of impeachment were passed on December 19,
1998, and he was acquitted on February 12, 1999. That’s less than two months
from the impeachment vote to the end of the trial. Think back over the last two
months; did anything happen, legislatively speaking, that we couldn’t have done
without? They can’t even pass bills dealing with the Iraq occupation or
immigration. We’re in the middle of a so-called "war on terror," and we can’t
even pass a bill to try to identify 12 million people who are here illegally.


But I digress.


This is not about right and left, although the right wing wants you to think it
is. This is about right and wrong. We
need an impeachment trial for no other reason than to expose the Bush
Administration’s sins to the entire country, and the world, and to show to the
rest of the world how a truly great country does to get rid of scumbags when
they occupy the most powerful positions in the government.


we have the votes to convict? Not at the moment. But I have a sneaking suspicion
that if you manage to lay the evidence before the people and show them
everything the Bushies have done for the last seven years, many Republican
Senators — especially the 22 up for reelection next year and the 19 up for
reelection in 2010, will sit up and take notice.


The purpose of impeachment, of course, is to remove anyone in the government who
is committing a crime, or who is found to be corrupt. That part is obvious;
corruption cannot and should not be tolerated in the government, and the
Founders knew and understood this. But just as important to the people who
created the Constitution, was the desire for a mechanism for getting rid of
people who were incompetent, and incapable of acting in a way beneficial to the
nation as a whole.


Let’s face it, folks; with the Bushies, we’ve hit the jackpot with regard to
impeachable offenses. I mean, it’s like the world’s largest dartboard; two blind
people could make it a game with everything the Keystone Kops in the White House
have been up to.


You want corruption? How about their collusion with the oil companies to keep
energy supplies low and prices high? How about their conflicts of interest with


What? You mean you can’t prove they did that? Well, of course, you can’t,
because they’ve kept everything they do secret, even when it’s illegal for them
to do so. You see, another impeachable offense. They do have quite a bit of
latitude with regard to secrecy regarding national security, but domestic energy
policy rarely falls under the "national security" umbrella.


And how about those signing statements? Are Congressional Democrats going to sit
there on their corpulent asses and say that there is absolutely nothing wrong
with a president who signs the bills that come across his desk, but adds signing
statements to almost all of them, many of which indicate his intention to carve
out an exception for himself under the law he’s signing?


Here are a few examples of Bush signing statements:


March 9, 2006: Justice Department
officials must give reports to Congress by certain dates on how the FBI is using
the USA Patriot Act to search homes and secretly seize papers.

Bush’s signing statement: The president
can order Justice Department officials to withhold any information from Congress
if he decides it could impair national security or executive branch operations.

Dec. 30, 2005: US interrogators cannot
torture prisoners or otherwise subject them to cruel, inhuman, and degrading

Bush’s signing statement: The president,
as commander in chief, can waive the torture ban if he decides that harsh
interrogation techniques will assist in preventing terrorist attacks.

Dec. 30, 2005: When requested, scientific
information ”prepared by government researchers and scientists shall be
transmitted [to Congress] uncensored and without delay."

Bush’s signing statement: The president
can tell researchers to withhold any information from Congress if he decides its
disclosure could impair foreign relations, national security, or the workings of
the executive branch.

Aug. 8: The Department of Energy, the
Nuclear Regulatory Commission and its contractors may not fire or otherwise
punish an employee whistle-blower who tells Congress about possible wrongdoing.

Bush’s signing statement: The president
or his appointees will determine whether employees of the Department of Energy
and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission can give information to Congress.

Dec. 23, 2004: Forbids US troops in
Colombia from participating in any combat against rebels, except in cases of
self-defense. Caps the number of US troops allowed in Colombia at 800.

Bush’s signing statement: Only the
president, as commander in chief, can place restrictions on the use of US armed
forces, so the executive branch will construe the law ”as advisory in nature."

Dec. 17: The new national intelligence
director shall recruit and train women and minorities to be spies, analysts, and
translators in order to ensure diversity in the intelligence community.

Bush’s signing statement: The executive
branch shall construe the law in a manner consistent with a constitutional
clause guaranteeing ”equal protection" for all. (In 2003, the Bush
administration argued against race-conscious affirmative-action programs in a
Supreme Court case. The court rejected Bush’s view.)

Oct. 29: Defense Department personnel are
prohibited from interfering with the ability of military lawyers to give
independent legal advice to their commanders.

Bush’s signing statement: All military
attorneys are bound to follow legal conclusions reached by the administration’s
lawyers in the Justice Department and the Pentagon when giving advice to their

Aug. 5: The military cannot add to its
files any illegally gathered intelligence, including information obtained about
Americans in violation of the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable

Bush’s signing statement: Only the
president, as commander in chief, can tell the military whether or not it can
use any specific piece of intelligence.

Nov. 6, 2003: US officials in Iraq cannot
prevent an inspector general for the Coalition Provisional Authority from
carrying out any investigation. The inspector general must tell Congress if
officials refuse to cooperate with his inquiries.

Bush’s signing statement: The inspector
general ”shall refrain" from investigating anything involving sensitive plans,
intelligence, national security, or anything already being investigated by the
Pentagon. The inspector cannot tell Congress anything if the president decides
that disclosing the information would impair foreign relations, national
security, or executive branch operations.

Nov. 5, 2002: Creates an Institute of
Education Sciences whose director may conduct and publish research ”without the
approval of the secretary [of education] or any other office of the department."

Bush’s signing statement: The president
has the power to control the actions of all executive branch officials, so ”the
director of the Institute of Education Sciences shall [be] subject to the
supervision and direction of the secretary of education."


Pasted from                                                       <http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2006/04/30/examples_of_the_presidents_signing_statements/>


You see, anyone who’s read these could have predicted his actions last week,
when Congress asked for information from his Administration, and Bush decided
that he didn’t have to comply, because the law doesn’t apply to him. Every
single one of the signing statements above demonstrates a functional
misunderstanding of the role of the president in the federal government. In our
government, the Legislative Branch makes laws, or "legislates," and the
Executive Branch (wait for it…) executes those laws.


Now, I know a lot of wingnuts will see the word "executes" and get all excited,
but it does not mean "kills" in this case. It means that the purpose of the
Executive Branch is to put laws into action.


The Bush Administration thinks it’s a dictatorship, and Democrats in Congress,
by not holding them to account, is perpetuating the myth. Presidents are under
obligation to follow any law the Supreme Court doesn’t find to be
unconstitutional; the concept that a president can simply carve out an exception
that a deliberative body has debated and worked on for months or even years, is
just wrong.


Think about the corrupt, and possibly even criminal, practices that we can
prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, during an impeachment trial. We can prove,
for example, that our president — the President of the United States; our
country, our "land of the free and the home of the brave," actually gathered
people from rural Afghanistan, put them into secret prisons and had them
tortured for information. He has given himself the power to declare anyone he
wishes an "enemy combatant," despite the fact that we are not at war with any
nation at the moment. He continues to assert his claimed power to hold anyone he
wishes, for as long as he wishes, without benefit of counsel or trial, despite
court orders demanding that he stop.


Seriously, where do these people get the idea that the President has so much
power? They sure as hell didn’t get it from the Constitution. Here’s a little
quiz for you; can you guess who has the following powers, according to the


To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and
Offences against the Law of Nations;


To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning
Captures on Land and Water;


To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be
for a longer Term than two Years;


To provide and maintain a Navy;


To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;


To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union,
suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;


To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for
governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United
States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers,
and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed
by Congress;


Pasted from                                                                                                    <http://www.archives.gov/national-archives-experience/charters/constitution_transcript.html>


you said the Executive Branch go back to school. Congressional Democrats, pay
attention; YOU have the above powers, and NOT George W. Bush. This is all the
Constitution says about the president’s powers with regard to the military
and/or defense:


The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United
States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual
Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the
principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject
relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to
grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in
Cases of Impeachment.


He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make
Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall
nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint
Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court,
and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein
otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress
may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper,
in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.


Pasted from                                                       <http://www.archives.gov/national-archives-experience/charters/constitution_transcript.html>


Hmmm… I don’t see anything in there about carving out exceptions for himself
because he’s some sort of arbiter of all things "national security." That duty
falls on the CONGRESS, not the president. The president does have some special
powers during national emergencies, but only those granted to him by Congress.
And those powers can also be taken away by Congress at any time.


You see, signing statements have been used before, but never like this.
Traditionally, they have been used for clarification, not exception. In the
past, presidents have used signing statements to instruct Cabinet departments on
how to implement a law they have signed, not to tell Congress what they think
the law should be.


The signing statements are just the gargantuan tip of the iceberg, however. This
administration has continually, throughout its reign, seen the law not as a path
to be followed, but an obstacle to be jumped over or sidestepped.


Just this past week, Bush issued an Executive Order which declared that we are
apparently in a state of emergency of some sort, "due to the unusual and
extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United
States posed by acts of violence threatening the peace and stability of Iraq and
undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in
Iraq and to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people…"




Were you aware of an extraordinary threat here
due to anything that’s going on in Iraq? I mean, I have seen no color coded
threat level changes, no extra police on the streets, and they’ve even loosened
the rules and allowed cigarette lighters on domestic flights, even though you
can’t smoke on any. And since when does a president have the power to just
declare an emergency out of thin air? But that’s not the most amazing thing
about this Executive Order. The most remarkable thing is that he has ordered the seizure, upon order of his Administration, without judge, jury or due process, of all
assets of anyone he doesn’t like, and who he decides is "threatening the peace
and stability of Iraq." No kidding. Can we at least have a definition? On second
thought, no; the president has no power to declare anything like that, without
Congress’ express permission. And there’s a new sheriff in town, so that’s not


Coincidentally, when Senator Clinton dared to submit a letter to the
Administration, and asked whether they had some sort of inkling as to when they
might be thinking of withdrawing troops, a snotty undersecretary at the
Department of Defense, Eric Edelman, sent her a return missive suggesting that
her "propaganda" was "boosting" the enemy somehow. Was this a preliminary step
by the Bush Administration to attempt to seize everything Senator Clinton has,
to keep her from winning election next year?


Who knows if it is or not? And that’s the point, folks. We live in an open,
democratic society, and everyone is expected to play by the same rules. The
biggest boy in the yard doesn’t get to remake all of the rules just because he’s
the biggest; everyone gets to pitch in, and we make the rules together.


And that is especially true when said "big boy" is just flat incompetent. Forget
the obvious deer-in-the-headlights look on Bush’s face every time he’s asked a
pointed question. Forget the obvious sense one gets just by looking at the man
that he really doesn’t know why he’s there, and that he wouldn’t even
be there if ventriloquist Cheney’s hand
wasn’t all of the way up his ass. Forget the fact that he’s quite obviously the
most ignorant boob in the history of the American presidency. Look at the
record. We’re not talking about a 20-minute lapse in judgment in which the
president allowed a female White House employee to get a little too close. We’re
talking about gross incompetence at pretty much every turn. Seriously; has this
administration done anything right in 6 1/2 years? Let’s list a few of the
biggest screw-ups in Bush Administration history, shall we?


o He
hadn’t been in office six months when he took a two-month vacation, and despite
the repeated warnings about terrorist plots which were contained in his
Presidential Daily Briefing, which were read to him as he finished his Lucky
Charms each morning, he stayed on vacation, and passed on none of these
warnings to airport security authorities. No one in his administration
"could ever have imagined" that anyone could possibly attack the
United States, despite the fact that the president received at least one
briefing, entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Attack US" weeks before
he did just that, and at least one other describing a plot to fly planes into

o When
the country was attacked on 9/11, rather than scramble fighters to bring down
the remaining hijacked airliners, Bush stayed in a kindergarten classroom and
tried with all of his might to NOT pee his pants. Then, when he finally left
the school, he flew away from  Washington,
to hide from the bad men, and to relieve his full bladder. He subsequently
promised first responders on 9/11 all sorts of things, and has yet to fulfill
any promise made at that time.

o After
the terrorist attacks, Bush promised to bring in Osama bin Laden, and rout al
Qaeda, to prevent another attack from happening again, sent troops into
Afghanistan, and then turned around and sent
them to Iraq.
He then outsourced the job of catching bin Laden to people who were actually
more sympathetic to bin Laden than the
United States.

o Then
there’s Iraq.
Forget the faked pre-war intelligence; that’s obvious. And forget the conduct
of the actual war itself, which was over in less than two months. President and
Vice President Chickenhawk ignored — and I mean absolutely, positively ignored
— the recommendations of every military expert with regard to troop
levels and strategy. They failed in the most essential responsibility a
Commander in Chief has when planning to go to war, and that is to plan for what
to do when you win. The only plan for this war, obviously, was to bomb the hell
out of the country until the government just ran off, screaming, into the
desert. They didn’t have enough troops to secure the oil fields and the border,
so Bush secured the oil fields. They dismissed the Iraqi army — the only
people in the country actually trained to secure the country, outlawed
the Baath Party, and, um, forgot to secure a major weapons depot in
Southern Iraq, which means the explosives that killed
many of our soldiers during the first couple of years came from us. This
occupation (it’s not a war) has been all about money — hundreds of billions of
dollars in contracts to Bush supporters and the oil industry. Iraq
used to
have a competent infrastructure — plenty of competent engineers and
professionals capable of running the country, and the facilities to do so —
but that has gone by the wayside, in favor of
private contractors
hand-picked by the Administration, and sanctioned by the now-defunct
Republican-led Congress.

o And
we would be remiss in our duties as citizens if we did not mention the most
galling incompetence in the history of this Administration, which is Hurricane
Katrina. The entire Administration was on vacation that week, as Katrina
approached the Gulf Coast,
and they stayed on vacation, despite the
multitude of warnings that serious devastation might occur in New Orleans, as well as parts of Alabama, Mississippi and the Gulf Coast.
Now, when
they created the Department of Homeland Security, the Bushies got the states to
agree that, in natural emergencies such as hurricanes, the federal government
would take the lead. As soon as the president signed the order, state officials
were to step aside. So they did. And the Bush Administration did nothing. Well,
okay, that’s not fair; they didn’t do nothing. Bush stayed on vacation, for a
couple of extra days. Then, he went to Arizona

to play air guitar and eat cake with John McCain.  Then, he held a
fundraiser in California, where he made a brief mention of the
tragedy that people were watching live on television. For FIVE DAYS, Bush puttered around and did nothing, Cheney was
nowhere to be seen, Condi was seeing Spamalot and buying really nice shoes, and
Michaels Brown and Chertoff were screwing up the disaster, and making things
worse. I could continue recounting this, but let’s be serious here — if the
fact that the President of the United States did NOTHING for FIVE DAYS, while
thousands of citizens of the United States were drowning, and being forced to
live in a football stadium with no water isn’t grounds for impeachment in and
of itself, then we have given up on standards in this country.

know Nancy Pelosi took impeachment "off the table" when the Democrats were
trying to take back the majority next year, but it’s time for someone to put it back on the
table. What I’ve mentioned here is little more than the tip of an iceberg that
threatens to sink the ship of state.


The purpose of the presidency is to provide leadership in putting into action
those laws which Congress passes. It’s not his choice as to which ones he wants
to put into action, and which he wants to put out to pasture. There is no
leadership in this government right now. Though everyone in the current
administration took an oath to support and defend the Constitution, they have
repeatedly and continually attempted to undermine the Constitution, by
unilaterally declaring extraordinary powers not outlined in the Constitution.


But worse than this, they have treated the government as their own personal
honey pot. They have populated the government with cronies carrying personal
agendas not in line with the needs of the American people, putting them in key
positions. And they have also hired an incredible number of people who are
unqualified for the positions they hold. No, I’m not just talking about Condi.
In the White House alone, there are at least 150 lawyers, all under the age of
35, with little or no legal experience, let alone government experience, whose
sole qualifications seem to be their graduation from Pat Robertson’s Regent
University law school (The un-Harvard), and their declared loyalty to George W.
Bush. Not the country, or the Constitution, mind you; but Dubya himself.


one of the most notorious examples, Monica Goodling made her way through the
ranks at the Justice Department based on her willingness to fire anyone who
showed less than stellar loyalty to Bush. Those she couldn’t fire, she simply
drove out of the job, including many career Justice Department lawyers. Think
about this; not only is the Attorney General of the United States; essentially
our country’s lawyer, a demonstrated liar and  moron, but his second-in-command
is a arrogant little turd, who graduated from a third-rate law school in 1999,
and who achieved her lofty status through her willingness to fire career Justice
Department lawyers who upheld the rule of law, rather than Dubya’s view of it.


She’s just one example, folks; not two weeks ago, Sara Taylor, Bush’s Deputy
Assistant to the President and Director of Political Affairs until a couple of
months ago, testified that she swore an oath to George W. Bush, and had to be
reminded that the oath was actually to the Constitution.


Right now, we have a government full of Federalist Society types whose image of
government is that it’s incompetent at everything it does, and are doing their
best to prove their point. And if Democrats aren’t willing to do anything about
it, then who is, exactly? Who the hell is speaking for the people of this
country, when the body charged with getting rid of incompetent and/or dangerous
boobs like Bush and Cheney won’t do its Constitutional duty. And make no
mistake, Democrats; this is a duty. When something is wrong with our government,
it is your duty to fix the problem.


This is not about "getting" Bush and Cheney. It’s not about revenge on the
Republicans for what they did to Bill Clinton. This is about simple right and
wrong, and making sure our government serves its people, and not the other way
around. This is about establishing the rule of law once again, and returning
standards to our government; standards that force the government to again serve
the people, and not the other way around. Standards that preserve the democracy
that we so often take for granted, but which is both precious and fragile, for
future generations.


George W. Bush, and Dick Cheney must be impeached, and the process must start
now. There are no excuses left. It doesn’t matter if the process gets dragged
out until we’re into the next election cycle; it doesn’t matter if Bush and
Cheney are thrown out on their asses on January 19, 2009, and Nancy Pelosi only
has one day as a caretaker president. This is no longer about process, and it’s
no longer about political expediency. This is about our Founding Fathers’ most
precious gift to us; it’s about the rule of law, and justice for all.