Moneybag Democracy

To view the original art, please travel to “Moneybag Democracy” [Archive No. 9703]

copyright © 2008.  Andrew Wahl.  Off The Wahl Perspective.

copyright © 2009 Betsy L. Angert.

“Now, that doesn’t mean that questions of Taiwan, Tibet, human rights, the whole range of challenges that we often engage on with the Chinese, are not part of the agenda. But we pretty much know what they are going to say. We have to continue to press them but our pressing on those issues can’t interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis, and the security crises.

~ Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (February 20, 2009)

The news appeared in cyberspace on Friday, February 20, 2009.  As Yogi Berra once elucidated, it was as déjà vu, all over again. International and domestic activists have come to realize, once again, America is a democracy dependent on dollars.  Amnesty International advocates shook their heads, wondered, and worried of what might be.  Students for a Free Tibet collectively shrugged their shoulders and expressed a shared distress.  Citizens at home, in America, barely blinked.  An avid Obama supporter, was resigned to realities that, only weeks ago, she might not have thought she would willingly accept.  Moneybag democracy lives.  Hillary Clinton serves the President, the precedent past, present, and perhaps, future.

Days ago, with Secretary of State Clinton abroad in China, the world was given an opportunity to witness America’s new direction.  Most anticipated dollars would no longer have a greater influence on United States policy than humanitarian concerns did.  Globally, people waited to cheer for the change that had certainly come.  Then, Secretary Clinton, pleaded with Beijing to buy United States bonds.  Contrary to her pointed comments on human rights, made during her presidential campaign, as a representative of the Obama Administration, Secretary Clinton spoke as though she no longer believes as she had, Chinese ownership of US government debt had become a threat to national security.  

Perhaps, Hillary Clinton, and her President, surmised Capitalism, or a democracy devoted to dollars must survive at all cost.  Certainly her husband, and his Secretary of State, Madeline Albright had reached this conclusion near a decade earlier.

Like Secretary Albright, Hillary Rodham Clinton, chose to sell America’s soul. When the first woman Head of State spoke of her decision, few United States citizens said a word.  In the 1990s, then Head of State, Albright, in a 60 Minutes interview, discussed the American policy decisions that caused the deaths of more than half-million Arab children in Iraq.  She said without hesitation, the loss of young lives were the price the Clinton Administration thought wise to pay.   Madeline Albright mused; the sacrifice of little ones was “worth it.”

Hardships on fellow humans are the cost citizens in a comfortable and “civilized” society must pay for democracy.  Apparently, Americans, even the most Progressive amongst us, seem to agree.  Then, as now, few if any said a word.

Today when news came over the wires, Secretary Clinton stood firm in favor of economic relations with China, regardless of human rights violations, only a few countrymen responded.  Activists were ‘shocked’ when they heard the American Ambassador, Clinton, take such a stance.  Representatives from Amnesty International and Students for a Free Tibet spoke out.

T. Kumar of Amnesty International USA said the global rights lobby was “shocked and extremely disappointed” by Secretary Clinton’s comment.  The advocate for honorable and equitable civil liberties may have trusted that at least where China was concerned, the Clinton’s had a record, or at any rate, had offered respectable rhetoric.

James Mann, a Johns Hopkins scholar who wrote a history of U.S.-China relations, also recalled.  When asked of Secretary Clinton’s most recent comment, Professor Mann stated he was struck by the contrast.  Bill Clinton, he said, as president more than eight years earlier gave strong speeches on behalf of political freedom in the People’s Republic.  “Bill Clinton told the leader of China he was on ‘the wrong side of history,'” Mann recollected.  “Now, Hillary seems to be giving them the reverse message: that China is on the right side of history.”

However, historians might consider the statement that President Bill Clinton is better known for was his truer agenda.  “It is the economy stu***!”  In March of 1997, writer for China Daily, Ren Yanshi avowed the Chinese government certainly perceived the United States had a record of human rights violations, during the Clinton years.  In a “Moneybag Democracy,” the United States of America caters only to the rich.  In the States, a consumer culture allows the prosperous to profit further.  The people, the poor suffer greatly.

In recent years, as the rich got much richer, this truth was revealed in radical ways.  The word “Katrina” evokes much empathy.  “Bank bailouts elicit more emotions within the ranks of what once was the Middle Class.   Some might say, these truths are the reason that change has finally come to America.  Until today, the thought was coins and currency would no longer guide an Administration or US policy.  Barack Obama brought hope to the world.

Students for a Free Tibet embraced the new Administration.  They believed the current White House could and would make a difference in the lives of all people.  Surely, a President Obama would not serve only the affluent.

As a Senator, Barack Obama was among the sponsors of the act, which bestowed the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Congressional Gold Medal, on the Dalai Lama.  Senator Obama urged Chinese president Hu Jintao to “meaningfully address the Tibet issue.”  After the election, Tibetans were encouraged.  They sent President Obama letters of Congratulations.  Thus, it was an unexpected and an unwanted surprise to hear Secretary Clinton cavort, cajole, and say as she did.  The proponents of social justice stated, Clinton’s remarks “sent the wrong signal to China at a sensitive time.”

“The US government cannot afford to let Beijing set the agenda,” said Tenzin Dorjee, deputy director of the New York-based advocacy group.

Long-time activists, domestic supporters of Barack Obama, persons such as Jessica, see Secretary Clinton’s statement differently.  This woman who energetically endorsed Barack Obama from the moment he announced his campaign would have welcomed a more mindful position.  She yearns for United States policy to be benevolent as she believes Barack Obama, the man, is.  Jessica, who organized her community to come out and work for what she craved, an Obama White House, now thinks America cannot “afford” to do other than cater to the wishes of the Chinese government.

A jubilant Jessica has been joyful since her presidential candidate was chosen to serve. She avows; “Unfortunately, due to our greed, China owns us.  If they pulled their money, this country would die.  Sad fact but true.”  

American lives would be lost if foreign affairs focus on humanitarian concerns in China.  There can be nothing worse.  Who would buy the wares that please the people in the States, or Jessica might say, in her own defense, furnish jobs for those born in the Far Eastern nation.  The argument could be made; and certainly, descendants of Wal-Mart founder, Sam Walton, would be the first to offer it.  US dollars support a much-improved Chinese culture.

George W. Bush might have mused the latter claim an important one.  Perchance, that is why the former President chose to attend the 2008 Summer Olympics.  United States indebtedness served to justify relations with China, a country well-known for human rights violations.  The desire to feed a Capitalist market, the need to assuage the hunger of citizens who habitually consume on credit, and a country famished for cash, will do all that they can to appease those who beat and brutalize Chinese citizens.

The people of China, many Americans cried at the time, cannot be punished because they live under totalitarian rule.  Nor can US athletes be penalized.  Cruel and inhumane treatment is not acceptable, or at least it would not have been months ago, to Jessica who did all she could to help place the now President, Barack Obama in the Oval Office.

In primary season, Jessica stood staunchly against what she then thought were Hillary Clinton’s hawkish views.  She, might have agreed with essayist Stephen Zunes when he wrote for the Foreign Policy in Focus on December 11, 2007, “(F)ront-runner for the Democratic nomination for president shares much of President Bush’s dangerous attitudes toward international law and human rights.”  

Nonetheless, today, Jessica, the proud Progressive, a self-identified peace lover offers, “If there is no money, people will die.  Fact.  I hate it (almost) as much [as an idealist would.]  I also agree we are a soul-less country.”

Then, she quickly deferred to her disgust for the George W. Bush years.  She stated the crimes committed by the former Administration were deplorable.  Jessica concludes, “(W)e have to hold the previous administration accountable for their crimes.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whose position on censure has wavered would concur with Jessica, today. If the subject were an investigation or possible prosecution of the Bush White House, Nancy Pelosi would be on-board.  However, Speaker Pelosi may, or may not, think the United States can ignore human rights violations on the part of China.  One never knows.  History and statements made in the past, are often inconsistent.

Almost a year to the day, on February 21, 2008, Secretary Clinton’s good friend, the esteemed Representative from San Francisco, Pelosi, spoke eloquently of what she did not publicly discuss with fellow Democrat, Hillary Clinton, now in 2009.

“If freedom-loving people throughout the world do not speak out against China’s oppression in China and Tibet, we have lost all moral authority to speak on behalf of human rights anywhere in the world,” House Speaker Pelosi told reporters during a visit with the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, in Dharamsala, India.

Indeed, America, the Moneybag Democracy has forfeited ethical influence.  Economics has replaced principled certitude as US policy.  The press understands the priority.  The commercial media knows dollars deliver.  Damn the lives and liberties of our brethren abroad.  In the United States there is but one mission, moneybag democracy.

Perchance this truth explains why coverage on the decision to forego human rights concerns is limited.  An article appeared here, or there.  Yet, few commentaries focused on the human rights aspect of the Secretary Clinton’s travel.  The Los Angeles Times reported, Clinton added environmental and security issues to economic talks in China.  Most say Secretary of State Clinton has sealed the deal.  She has merged the past with the present. Former First Lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton has performed laudably for her President, Clinton, Bush, Obama, or for the precedent moneybag democracy.

References for varied reality . . .

Speaker Pelosi Proclaims Possible Impeachment

Speaker Nancy Pelosi on prosecuting the Bush administration

copyright © 2009 Betsy L. Angert.

She said it!  I never thought this day would come.  Change has truly arrived in America, even before the Presidential Inauguration.  Today, on Fox News, Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, the only person who could, the woman who for so long would not, stated, she is Open to the Prosecution of Bush Administration Officials.  Oh joy!  Oh, bliss.  Never did I imagine this moment might become a reality.  Even the idea that this could be a possibility eluded me.  Today, on January 18, 2009, finally, I have hope.  I believe in the future, as Michelle Obama expressed, “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country, or I will be when I see an actionable censure.

I, as the future First Lady, elucidated, feel “privileged.” to witness a transformation that most never thought probable, let alone a viable potential.  I am elated.  I hold my breath, and await what could be if only she authorizes Congress to act.  

Could it be true?  Indeed, an investigation into high crimes and misdemeanors might commence.  At least that is what an anxious nation heard as Nancy Pelosi spoke these words.  “I think you look at each item and see what is a violation of the law and do we even have a right to ignore it.”  The California Democrat who holds the highest office in respect to this process continued, and mused that there might be “other things that are, maybe, spent better looking to the future rather than to the past.”

The nuance causes much concern.  Conservative Constitutional, and International Affairs Attorney, Bruce Fein, who advocates for a Bush/Cheney impeachment, may not think the sentiment sufficient.  The former Associate Deputy Attorney General under Ronald Reagan, might wonder if the Speaker offered too little.  The decision is very late.  Still, the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation scholar, Bruce Fein, might feel as I do. While the statement Speaker Pelosi shared is not all I had hoped for, it is a beginning.  

Perchance the judicious John Nichols, a Journalist, might believe Nancy Pelosi’s newfound wisdom is not as poignant as it could have been.  I know not what the man who prudently penned The Genius of Impeachment thinks of this novel declaration.  However, I trust he too was touched by what he often said he waited for, a window of opportunity.

I, personally, feel blessed for the prospect of an investigation into practices that were injurious to democracy.  More importantly, I yearn for the day when the millions of displaced Iraqis and Afghanis experience a rightness.  For too long, these persons suffered from a wrong that most feared would be a precedent never corrected.  

The innocent thousand times a thousand, troops, civilians, women, and children, who lost their lives needlessly in these same two Middle Eastern countries, I believe, would want no vengeance.  I have faith, the fallen would wish to know, they did not die in vain.  Their demise might elicit a dream.  There will be a day when people realize all that is done in our name matters,  people, of any and every race, color, and creed make a difference.  A life taken without cause could be the lesson that will teach a world.  A realization for what is right, is not a shame.  It is the blessing the dearly departed deserve.

Those willing to right a wrong will not be blamed, if by their actions, no more high crimes and misdemeanors are committed.  

There is much to be considered and remedied. There are authorizations for illegal wiretaps to rescind.  The loss of habeas corpus cannot be denied.  Propaganda that passed for press reports must be addressed.  The blindfold that stands for fairness must be replaced in what has become a politicized Justice Department.  Guantánamo Bay prison and torture “legitimized” cannot stand if humane treatment of prisoners is to matter.  Geneva Convention Rules must be sustained if there is to be a modicum of honor in war.

Much must be addressed if America is ever to be acclaimed.  There is a fierce urgency to now.  Perhaps, at last, Nancy Pelosi feels it.  Fox News reported that the Speaker “hinted that the law might compel Democrats to press forth on some prosecutions, even if they are politically unpopular.”  Wow!  I await.  Until then, I will hold the words of the California Democratic Leader dear, “That’s not up to us to say that doesn’t matter anymore.  I want to see the truth come forth.”

Nancy Pelosi, so too do I.

References for a new reality . . .

Please peruse a history of thoughts on a possible of impeachment.  View videos.  Ponder the precedence set if, as Americans, we do not embark upon the trail of Constitutional Law.  Please, consider what was and will be if prosecution is not pursued.  I thank you.

Democrats Avert Dennis Kucinich Privileged Resolution; Impeach Cheney

KUCINICH: Takes House Floor, Moves for Cheney Impeachment

copyright © 2007 Betsy L. Angert

Once again, all but one of our Democratic Congresspersons demonstrates that they do not fully understand what it means to represent Americans.  Dennis Kucinich marches to the beat of a different politico drummer.  This Presidential hopeful is a man of the people.  Today as he presented a privileged resolution Kucinich echoed the concerns of America.  This Administration has lied and caused many to die needlessly.  They, the president George W. Bush and the most powerful Vice President ever, Richard Cheney, must be impeached.  Nonetheless, fellow Democrats worked to avert the action and debate.

Almost two years ago, a Zogby poll found Americans support Impeachment.  At the time, the topic was wiretapping.  Fifty two percent were certain President Bush must be held accountable for spying on the public without warrant.  Forty three percent of the public disagreed and six percent declined to state or did not feel they could make an informed judgment.  Today, there is less chatter.  Telephone trolling is not the focus.  During the month of November 2007, we might discuss National Security Letters. As the Bush Administration claims and makes use of its presumed powers to obtain logs of Americans’ Internet activities without court approval, a majority of citizens may still believe censure is necessary. 

Americans that wished to pursue impeachment  and preserve privacy rights when surveyed in 2006 likely feel no less intent today.  In January 2006, Republicans controlled the United States Congress.  Thus, it was expected and accepted that no action would be taken.  Now, under Democratic rule, the situation remains the same.  Democrats ignore the desires of their constituents en masse.

Responses to the Zogby poll varied by political party affiliation: 76 percent of Democrats favored impeachment, compared to 50 percent of independents and 29 percent of Republicans.

With the Democratic Congress in place, the electorate realizes there is little reason to feel relieved.  Presumed Progressives are no more productive than those on the Right.  Promises made during the campaigns have yet, to be fulfilled.  Indeed, the newly elected Congress rubber-stamps Bush’s Bills just as the former Congress did.  Americans do not approve of their Representatives.  Polls show there is much disdain for Congress.  Not since 1995, have members of Congress been viewed in such a low light.  A slight twenty nine percent of the population is satisfied with the work done on the floor of the House or Senate.  Residents within the United States want action.

Most Americans oppose fully funding President Bush’s $190 billion request for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a sizable majority support an expansion of a children’s health insurance bill he has promised to veto, putting Bush and many congressional Republicans on the wrong side of public opinion on upcoming foreign and domestic policy battles . . .

Part of the displeasure with Congress stems from the stalemate between Democrats and the White House over Iraq policy.  Most Americans do not believe Congress has gone far enough in opposing the war, with liberal Democrats especially critical of their party’s failure to force the president into a significant change in policy.

Yet, members of the House and Senate remain comfy in their Congressional seats, as does the President and his Vice in theirs.  There was a wondrous threat to the security of the Vice President, Dick Cheney in April 2007.  This nation’s only leader, Dennis Kucinich submitted a resolution to impeach the man behind the main man, Richard Cheney.  However, Democrats reluctant to do other than stay the course, refrained.  They in their infinite wisdom to ignore the will of the people, tabled the resolution.  Perhaps they thought  while Americans express their dissatisfaction with the President, the House, and the Senate, they love Darth Vader, otherwise known as Dick Cheney.  Might Mister Cheney’s stealth posture be admired and therefore above reproach.  Indeed, Americans think not.  One need only look at the list of epithets used to describe this leader.  Perchance we might consider, Vice President Cheney is not unscathed in the polls.

In July 2007, the American Research Group, Incorporated, surveyed a sample of average Americans and discovered fifty four percent of all adults, and fifty percent of voters, thought it best to impeach Dick Cheney.  Forty percent disagreed, while six percent declined to sate or felt they could not offer an informed opinion.  Months later, a Zogby survey revealed much the same.

Zogby Poll: 51% of Americans Want Congress to Probe Bush/Cheney Regarding 9/11 Attacks; Over 30% Seek Immediate Impeachment
Released: September 06, 2007

Kansas City, MO (Zogby International) September 6, 2007 – As America nears the sixth anniversary of the world-churning events of September 11, 2001, a new Zogby International poll finds a majority of Americans still await a Congressional investigation of President Bush’ and Vice President Cheney’s actions before, during and after the 9/11 attacks.  Over 30% also believe Bush and/or Cheney should be immediately impeached by the House of Representatives.

Strategy aide W. David Kubiak adds, “While only 32% seek immediate Bush and/or Cheney impeachment based on their current personal knowledge, a clear majority of citizens still seems hungry for a full exposure of the facts.  The results suggest widespread public support for legislators like Rep. Dennis Kucinich who pledge to investigate unanswered 9/11 questions in the relevant congressional committees this fall.  We hope more of our representatives find the spine to respond to this escalating dissatisfaction with the dubious accounting we have received thus far.”

In the state of Vermont, the citizens are outraged.  Nearly Two-Thirds Of State’s Likely Voters Want President, VP Removed Before Term Ends.

CBS) Earlier this year, town meetings across Vermont asked citizens if impeachment proceedings should be initiated against the president and vice president. Thirty-seven towns voted yes, and the Senate approved a resolution calling for impeachment.

Now a statewide poll conducted by CBS affiliate WCAX in Burlington, Vt. posed the question to 400 likely voters. Sixty-one percent said they would be in favor of Congress beginning impeachment proceedings against President Bush. Thirty-three percent opposed it, and 6% were not sure.

The numbers for Vice President Cheney differed only slightly: Sixty-four percent favored impeachment, while 31% opposed it.

Seventy-five percent of respondents said they categorized the president’s performance as “fair” or “poor.”

Today, November 6, 2007, Dennis Kucinich once again affirmed how serious an issue impeachment is, not just for him personally, but for the people that are “America.”  Aware that if we impeach from the supposed top down we may be in more dire straits, the possible future President Congressman Kucinich, through his action demonstrated he is the voice of the people.

Dennis Kucinich avowed his intentions are his actions.  This time Kucinich offered a privileged resolution to impeach the duplicitous Dick Cheney.  This type of motion entitles a Representative to read the articles of impeachment into the Congressional record.  The statement was broadcast on C-SPAN Network and is available for all the world to view.

Please review the full transcript of the privileged resolution.  Representaitve Dennis Kucinich Privileged Resolution.

It seems the seriousness of this decree again escaped House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her cohorts.  Pelosi was adamant that regardless of what the public wants and the Constitution commands is best to preserve the State of the Union, “Impeachment is off the table.”  As she had earlier, the Speaker again declared this measure must be squashed.  The ineffective and less than impressive Congresswoman from California concludes Iraq and children must be our focus.

The autocratic Leader, aware that Americans want us out of the Middle East justified her reactive rationale.  Cognizant that millions of Americans need Congress to pass a  version of the State Children’s Health Insurance Plan that the President cannot veto, through her spokesman Nadeam Elshami, House Speaker Pelosi proclaimed . . .

Congress is focused on responsibly getting U.S. troops out of Iraq, covering 10 million uninsured children and meeting national priorities long neglected by the Bush administration.

However, citizens of this country know this is not true.  We, the people, watch as Congress repeatedly refuses to cut the funds for the Iraq war.  Citizens read of compromises made in an effort to approve the State Children’s Health Insurance Plan [SCHIP].  Americans realize that Democrats increased funds for Abstinence Only programs, regardless of the fact that these classes do nothing to inhibit teen “entanglements.” 

Americans recognize that House Speaker Pelosi and her sycophant supporters are certain American will complain; yet, remain apathetic.  The newer crop of do-nothing-Democrats mirrors the people.  Citizens say they are dissatisfied with this Administration; yet they resign themselves the President and his Vice will remain in office.  Our countrymen clamor and Congress reiterates, “There is no time to prosecute the President or his right-hand man.”  “Hearings will halt all other business.”  “Impeachment proceedings are a distraction.’

Very few Americans take to the streets and protest, “We want Cheney out.”  Conventional wisdom is registered only in useless polls.  According to a recent Harris survey, seventy-two percent of the electorate believe Vice President Cheney is doing only a fair or poor job. 

No matter, the man that does or does not work within the Executive Branch will remain in office with a little help from his friends or foes in Congress. 

As expected, in defense of the decisive [or is it defiant] Nancy Pelosi, toady, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Democrat from Maryland, choose to act on the Speaker suggestion.  Hoyer dismissed the value of Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s motion to censure the Vice President and moved to “table” the resolution. 

All observers expected this measure to pass easily.  However, the Republicans, in their desire to ridicule the Democrats decided they would allow the resolution to stand.  They hoped to force a debate on the floor.  Those on the Right were certain such a fruitless dialogue would confirm the impression, Democrats prefer to whine.  Those on the Left of the aisle suspend work and engage only in silliness. 

However, realizing the possibility Democrats might be embarrassed by a hasty debate, and fearful of what might occur, House Majority Leader Hoyer spoke up once again.  Steny Hoyer meant to save the day and forego deliberation, hopefully forever.  Thus, he offered a motion to refer the resolution to the Judiciary Committee.  There Hoyer hopes the measure will die of neglect.

After the vote on the impeachment resolution, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) unequivocally said he expects no action taken by the Judiciary Committee to consider the Kucinich articles of impeachment against Vice President Cheney. “The speaker and I have both said impeachment, either of the president or the vice president, is not on our agenda,” Hoyer told Capitol Briefing.

He said that this is the “waning” era of the Bush White House, meaning any impeachment proceedings would merely divert attention from the Democratic agenda of trying to actually halt the Iraq war and domestic items such as expanding health insurance for poor children. “This would take us months,” Hoyer said of impeachment, saying that Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) already has a “busy agenda”.

All is well that ends well, or is it.  Fortunately, wiser minds may prevail.  Not only do numerous citizens  believe it is time to change this regime, Congressman Dennis Kucinich found support for his proposal.

  • 86 Democrats voted against tabling the Kucinich resolution, signaling the base-line level of support for impeaching Cheney; 165 Republicans sided with Kucinich;
  • 14 Democrats on Judiciary, including Conyers, also voted with Kucinich, more than half the Democrats on the panel;
  • Just four Republicans – Wayne Gilchrest (Md.), Walter Jones (N.C.), Ron Paul (Tex.) and Mike Rogers (Mich.) – voted in favor of sending the resolution to committee. Gilchrest, Jones, and Paul have all opposed the Iraq war, not surprising for them to be potentially supportive of impeachment proceedings. Rogers, however, has been a loyal Republican on Iraq war votes.
  • Perhaps the best part of this privileged resolution is that the motion can be repeated again and again.  As persistent as Pelosi is to table consideration,  Kucinich may be more so.  I trust with the endorsement of the seventy plus percent of the people disillusioned with Dick Cheney, Dennis Kucinich will do as no other Democrats have done.  Future President Kucinich, I applaud, greatly admire, and hugely appreciate you!

    Sources for Censure.  Resources for Impeachment . . .

  • Impeaching Richard B. Cheney, Vice President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors.
  • Kucinich Statement on Privileged Resolution. Congressman Dennis Kucinich. November 6, 2007
  • Kucinich Will Introduce Privileged Resolution To Force Up Or Down Vote On Cheney Impeachment.  Congressman Dennis Kucinich.
  • Rep. Dennis Kucinich Privileged Resolution. Congressman Dennis Kucinich.
  • Debate on Cheney Impeachment Averted. The New York Times.  November 6, 2007
  • pdf Debate on Cheney Impeachment Averted. The New York Times.  November 6, 2007
  • Kucinich Introduces Impeachment Articles Against Cheney.  Washington Post. April 24, 2007
  • pdf Kucinich Introduces Impeachment Articles Against Cheney.  Washington Post. April 24, 2007
  • Most in Poll Want War Funding Cut, Bush’s Approval Rating Ties All-Time Low. By Jon Cohen and Dan Balz. Washington Post. Tuesday, October 2, 2007; A01
  • pdf Most in Poll Want War Funding Cut, Bush’s Approval Rating Ties All-Time Low. By Jon Cohen and Dan Balz.?Washington Post. Tuesday, October 2, 2007; A01
  • Vice President Dick Cheney: Job Ratings. The Harris Poll. October 5-8, 2007.
  • UPDATE: Hoyer: “Impeachment .. not on our agenda.” By Paul Kane.  Washington Post. November 6, 2007
  • Memorandum Of Impeachment Strategy in the House of Representatives.  The Conservative Caucus
  • Article III. Privileged Motions. Robert’s Rules of Order Revised.  By General Henry M. Robert. 1915 Version, Public Domain
  • Sex; Education, Abstinence, Angst. By Betsy L. Angert.  October 20, 2007
  • Abstinence 1, S Chip 0. By Amanda Robb.  The New York Times. October 18, 2007
  • Poll: Vermont Wants Bush, Cheney Impeached. CBS News. November 1, 2007
  • New poll shows majority of Americans think Cheney should be impeached. Raw Story.  July 6, 2007
  • American Research Group, Incorporated.
  • Executive Privileges Prevail. High on Crimes and Misdemeanors

    Countdown: Signing Statements Weaken the Law

    copyright © 2007 Betsy L. Angert

    He is bold.  He is brilliant.  He is our President, George W. Bush.  This chap interprets the law and framed the Courts.  There is even talk of his attempting  to change the Constitution.  Perhaps the term “Executive Branch” no longer includes the Vice President or the Commander-In-Chief.  At least, guidelines and laws do not apply to those currently occupying the offices.

    Daily doings since George W. Bush took office befuddle the mind.  Every evening since this determined man took office, the unexpected occurs.  After the September 11, 2001 attack on the Twin Towers, early in the President’s first term, Congress crumbled under the weight of the younger enigmatic Bush.  Members of the House and Senate were convinced that this resolute Texan cowboy could and would protect this nation from terrorism.  A joint resolution was made law and authorized the President to use military force against Iraq.  Notwithstanding, Iraq and its leader Saddam Hussein played no part in the plot against the United States.

    However, long before that Congressional ruling, according to a 2001 memorandum, written by  then Justice Department Lawyer John Yoo, the President did not need Congress to authorize his greater power.  This Commander-In-Chief has supremacy that supersedes conventions.  Mister Bush knows how to maximize a myth and take what he wants.

    Even now that the Democrats are said to be the majority rule in Congress, they are not.  Conservatives led by Bush have ample clout.  The “Right” knows how to use their authority, and they do.  Therefore, there is no confidence in a Congress that bends to Bush. 

    The Supreme Court was changed significantly under the charismatic leadership of this clever man.  The neoconservative Bush established a Court in his image.  Since the newly placed Chief Justice, John Roberts, and the illustrious jurist Samuel Alito took their seats, Supreme Court rulings established decades, even a century earlier are overturned.  Consider a Divided Court Limits Use of Race by School Districts, or the Supreme Court Lifts Ban on Minimum Retail Pricing.  Days before the deliverance of these dramatic decisions, Americans discovered they had ample reason to believe high-level bureaucrats broke the law. 

    Senators Subpoena The White House; [a] Panel Demands Papers On NSA Wiretapping.  This was not the first time White House officials were called before the courts; nor will it likely be the last.  However, inevitably “executive privilege” is invoked and although some are threatened with jail time, ultimately, the President and his men will be protected.

    The Commander-In-Chief and his Cabinet impressive and invincible.  They must be.  Why else would Congress, the Courts, and citizens permit the President and his pals to run rampant. 

    Perhaps, we the people of the United States are daunted by the dignity of the office.  It appears others are.  Heads of State around the globe believe America is the world?s largest superpower.  Leaders frequently defer to the 43rd President of the United States of America  Apparently, George W. Bush is the man.  At least he is in treated as such.

    However, in the minds of many  the junior Bush is an impervious menace.  With all that this fine fellow has “executed” we can say with certainty, George W. Bush has left a legacy that will last long beyond his lifetime. 

    Most prominent among the President?s powers is his uncanny ability to avoid impeachment.  Numerous persons speak of the proposition.  In 2005, the Washington Post dared to mention, The Impeachment Question.

    Less than two years ago, there was reason to believe members of Congress were also concerned.  US Representative John Conyers, Democrat from Michigan, proposed we the people impeach this President.  in December 2005, he submitted House Resolution, Number 635 in hopes of removing the renegade Bush from office..  Congressman Conyer’s declaration was gaining support.  However, Nancy Pelosi, the aspiring Leader of the House decided, Democrats must appear moderate if they wished to win their seats in Congress..  Conyers considered his own ambition, and then yielded to the future Chairwoman.

    Once again, impeachment was but a dream, one that remained impossible.

    For a time, those in cyberspace thought the tide had changed.  House Leader Nancy Pelosi conducted a poll, asking if the people believed impeachment was a viable option.  I called, as did many caught in the world-wide-web.  However, apparently there never was a bona fide survey.  The idea immerged as many an impression does. 

    Those in cyberspace were whispering down the lane.  The original message was magnified as it filtered through the system.

    What happened in this case is that a blog asked folks to call Pelosi because her “office is taking calls voting for Impeachment.”  That is certainly true.  Congress always welcomes calls and keeps tallies of peoples opinions.

    This morphed eventually into “Pelosi taking phone poll” on impeachment.

    Although telephone lines were flooded, Chairwoman Pelosi was not truly concerned.  She has publicly stated, “that impeachment is off the table; she is not interested in pursuing it.”  The reasons are as illusive as the man and his image.

    While the idea lingers in the stratosphere, those supporting it are thought too far out.  They do not appear Presidential.  Case in point: Dennis Kucinich.  Congressman Kucinich welcomes a Presidential censure.  However, he fears what might occur if Bush is removed from office and Vice President Cheney is left to lead this nation into further oblivion. 

    Therefore, for the representative from Ohio, Dennis Kucinich, the focus is no longer on the Teflon President.  [The title that once belonged to Ronald Reagan; however, it is now perhaps more aptly placed on George W. Bush.  Kucinich Introduces Impeachment Articles Against Cheney.  We can only wonder, could Dick Cheney possibly be impeached.  History tells us this too is a fantasy.  All the President’s men and women are protected.  They, as George W. Bush remains impermeable. 

    The lack of desire or initiative to censure the President suits Mister Bush just fine.  He is content doing as he does.  Vociferously, George W. Bush seeks and takes power.  He claims to crave a line-item veto..  However, in truth, he knows he does not need it; nor can we be certain he wants line item veto power. 

    Perhaps that possibility would make his doings a little too public and open to scrutiny.  Besides, Mister Bush knows that there is a Constitutional question concerning the privilege.  The President would not wish to [openly] dishonor the Constitution.  It is too risky.

    Bush is using signing statements like line item vetoes.  Yet the Supreme Court has held the line item vetoes are unconstitutional.  In 1988, in Clinton v.  New York, the High Court said a president had to veto an entire law: Even Congress, with its Line Item Veto Act, could not permit him to veto provisions he might not like.

    The Court held the Line Item Veto Act unconstitutional in that it violated the Constitution’s Presentment Clause.  That Clause says that after a bill has passed both Houses, but “before it become[s] a Law,” it must be presented to the President, who “shall sign it” if he approves it, but “return it” – that is, veto the bill, in its entirety– if he does not.

    Following the Court’s logic, and the spirit of the Presentment Clause, a president who finds part of a bill unconstitutional, ought to veto the entire bill – not sign it with reservations in a way that attempts to effectively veto part (and only part) of the bill.  Yet, that is exactly what Bush is doing.  The Presentment Clause makes clear that the veto power is to be used with respect to a bill in its entirety, not in part.

    Realistically, Mister Bush can have greater control than the red pen might have offered him.  Mother Jones Columnist Daniel Schulman  documents the ways in which George w. Bush decrees his desires.  Please ponder.

    W’s Poison Pen  Presidential Signing Bonuses
    March/April 2007 Issue

    Ever since the days of James Monroe, presidents have used signing statements to comment on new laws.  Over the nation’s first two centuries, such statements had challenged a total of 600 statutes; the Bush administration alone has challenged 800 statutes.  This staggering total, and the way the White House has used them to essentially claim that Congress has no power over its decisions, has alarmed constitutional scholars, lawyers, and members of Congress on both sides of the aisle.  Below, a sampling:

    Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002?
    The Law Said: Corporate whistleblowers giving information to government agencies or Congress will be protected from retaliation.?
    Bush Said: Only whistleblowers who squeal directly to the congressman or a committee that is investigating the relevant issue will be protected.  This interpretation, said Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), means the statute only applies to people “who are lucky enough to find the one member of Congress out of 535 who happens to be the chairman of the appropriate committee who also just happens to already be conducting an investigation, even though the problem identified may not have come to light yet.”

    Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006?
    The Law Said: Future FEMA administrators (unlike patronage appointee Michael “Heckuva Job” Brown) must have some background in disaster management and “not less than 5 years of executive leadership and management experience.”?
    Bush Said: The statute “rules out a large portion of those persons best qualified…to fill the office” and will be ignored.

    USA Patriot Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005?
    The Law Said:, The Justice Department’s inspector general must investigate “any improper or illegal use” of expanded powers provided by the act, including the FBI’s use of National Security Letters that force businesses to turn over sensitive customer information.?
    Bush Said: He’ll withhold any information whose release he deems harmful to “foreign relations, national security, the deliberative processes of the Executive, or the performance of the Executive’s constitutional duties”?in other words, any information that might be worth knowing.

    Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2006?
    The Law Said: Detainees in U.S. custody will not be subjected to “cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.”?
    Bush Said: The administration will use whatever interrogation tactics it sees fit.

    Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2002?
    The Law Said: Congress will be briefed before launching a “special access” (read: “black”) program along the lines of the National Security Agency’s surveillance efforts.?
    Bush Said: Special-access programs are none of Congress’ business; he’ll inform lawmakers when he chooses, “as a matter of comity.”

    Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2004?
    The Law Said: First-class mail will be protected from warrantless searches.?
    Bush Said: We don’t need no stinking warrant to open your mail.

    Apparently, President Bush and his cohorts do not feel the need to obtain a Court writ for much.  The Supreme Court only concerns itself with cases that come before them.  Since Bush does not bring his statements to their attention, there is little reason to argue the points.

    This Administration does not believe the law applies to them.  Congress need not approve of their actions.  Given that the House and the Senate cannot bear to discuss the questionable practices of this President, signing statements are plentiful.  Few speak of what they feel powerless to change, that is until the General Accounting Office addressed the issue. 

    On June 18, 2007, the GAO reprimanded the White House for its carefree use of “signing statements.” The General Accounting Office cast doubt on the Constitutionality of these briefs.  However, most acknowledge this revelation will change nothing.  The President, ignored reprimands from this independent arm of Congress in the past.

    You, dear reader, may recall in 2004, the GAO stated the Bush Administration violated two federal laws in its attempt to promote changes in Medicare.  Mister Bush did not let this ruling deter them.  The White house and Departments within continued to do as they had done.  The Administration authorized other dubious actions.  Disseminating propaganda was not merely a practice, it was, and continues to be policy in the Bush White House. 

    In 2005, another decision was handed down, Buying of News by Bush’s Aides Is Ruled Illegal.  This time the Department of Education was involved.  Once more Mister Bush discounted the claim.  Indeed, the President responded.

    “We will not be paying commentators to advance our agenda.  Our agenda ought to be able to stand on its own two feet.”

    Later the White House chose to legitimize what they had done.

    “[N]o more than the legitimate dissemination of information to the public.”

    However, the General Accounting Office disagreed.

    [T]he Education Department had no money or authority to “procure favorable commentary in violation of the publicity or propaganda prohibition” in federal law.

    The battle of words and wits went on.  Nonetheless, in the end, the Administration was not punished for these illegal practices.  Nor will there be repercussions resulting from this more recent decision.  The GAO does not have the authority to convict and Congress obviously does not have the will.

    One might say ultimately, the Courts decide whether a crime has been committed.  Indeed, they do.  Analysts speculate the President and his attorneys have considered this possibility as it relates to signing statements.

    Rather than veto laws passed by Congress, Bush is using his signing statements to effectively nullify them as they relate to the executive branch.  These statements, for him, function as directives to executive branch departments and agencies as to how they are to implement the relevant law.

    President Bush and the attorneys advising him may also anticipate that the signing statements will help him if and when the relevant laws are construed in court – for federal courts, depending on their views of executive power, may deem such statements relevant to their interpretation of a given law.  After all, the law would not have passed had the President decided to veto it, so arguably, his view on what the law meant ought to (within reason) carry some weight for the court interpreting it.  This is the argument, anyway.

    ‘Interpretation’ of is the beauty and genius of George W. Bush.  His strong faith and beliefs belie all reason; yet, his personal views have literally become America’s reality.

    George W. Bush is omnipotent.  This fellow is a man of inconceivable power.  It seems faith has been his guide.  This President believes in himself.  He truly thinks G-d entrusted him to take the reins.  George W. Bush has confidence; he is in the “right.”  Thus, this President rules with an iron fist, pen in hand, and with impunity. 

    Were there to be impeachment proceedings, the hand-picked Bush protagonist, Chief Justice Roberts would preside over the hearings.

    The Senate holds trial on the articles of impeachment approved by the House. The Senate sits as a jury while the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presides over the trial.

    Might we reflect on John Roberts conservative record, particularly since he became the Chief Justice of the United states Supreme Court.  Then judge; what will be the outcome of these proceedings.  Once more, the White House has an advantage, imperceptible as it may be to some.  This President crafted the Court to his liking.  Mister Bush trusts the other “deciders” are now working with him, not against him. 

    George W. Bush is quite a jewel.  He is the epitome of a determined man.  This man is unwavering.  He understands, “Where there is a will there is a way.”  George W. Bush has the will and he has availed himself of many means for accomplishing all that he covets.

    There are many theories as to why Mister Bush might have wanted to go to war with Iraq.  These not withstanding, there is evidence demonstrating President Bush was on a mission.  He did all he could to accomplish his goal, change the regime, topple Saddam Hussein, and “spread democracy” to the Middle East.  No one stopped him.  Indeed, the Congress and our countrymen were mesmerized.  Perchance that is why our Representatives and the people will not impeach.  Americans are embarrassed; they trusted this Commander-In-Chief.

    Mister Bush convinced an anxious public that Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction.  According to this Administration, the dictator was intent.  He would use his arsenal to destroy the United States.  While this was not true, anyone that declared the statement false was considered a threat to the Bush plan and had to destroyed.  Thus, we have the story of former Ambassador and American Diplomat Joseph Wilson and the bureaucratic lawbreakers now facing no jail time.

    The impeccable, though not impeachable George W. Bush was deeply disturbed when attaché Joe Wilson wrote an New York Times Op-Ed piece disputing the President’s pronouncement.  The magnificent Bush authorized the demise of this ‘defiant’ American Diplomat. 

    The White House proceeded to crush Joseph Wilson and his wife, Valerie Plame.  The Administration destroyed this couples credibility and careers.  Then, they lied to Federal Investigators and the Grand Jury.  Convicted felon, I. Lewis [Scooter] Libby spoke of this, mentioning the President of the United States of America authorized the actions that brought Wilson and Plame down.

    Defendant?s participation in a critical conversation with Judith Miller on July 8 (discussed further below) occurred only after the Vice President advised defendant that the President specifically had authorized defendant to disclose certain information in the NIE.  Defendant testified that the circumstances of his conversation with reporter Miller – getting approval from the President through the Vice President to discuss material that would be classified but for that approval – were unique in his recollection. 

    Defendant further testified that on July 12, 2003, he was specifically directed by the Vice President to speak to the press in place of Cathie Martin (then the communications person for the Vice President) regarding the NIE and Wilson.  Defendant was instructed to provide what was for him an extremely rare “on the record” statement, and to provide “background” and “deep background” statements, and to provide information contained in a document defendant understood to be the cable authored by Mr. Wilson.  During the conversations that followed on July 12, defendant discussed Ms. Wilson?s employment with both Matthew Cooper (for the first time) and Judith Miller (for the third time).

    Even if someone else in some other agency thought that the controversy about Mr. Wilson and/or his wife was a trifle, that person?s state of mind would be irrelevant to the importance and focus defendant placed on the matter and the importance he attached to the surrounding conversations he was directed to engage in by the Vice President.  Case 1:05-cr-00394-RBW, Document 80, Filed 04/05/2006,Page 20 of 39

    Might this behavior warrant a High Crime or Misdemeanor.  Could the President’s conduct in this one incident be considered criminal; we might never know.  The aura that surrounds our leader and Chief obscures clarity.  George W. Bush, or the fact that G-d is on his side, seems to prevent any in-depth investigation.

    Those that recall the Nixon impeachment acknowledge criminal intent, was not clear until after impeachment proceedings were underway.  Watergate was not the woeful reason for an injunction against the President. Initially, Richard Milhous Nixon was not on trial.  Only aides were considered criminal.  [Hmmm, that sounds familiar.]  Corruption within the Oval Office was unthinkable.  The cover-up brought the Nixon White House down.

    Counsel to former President Nixon, John Dean reflects on the Nixon scenario and compares it to the Bush situation. Dean concludes, George Bush is More vicious than Tricky Dick.  Indeed, he is also more cunning.

    There is a reason this esteemed ?criminal? escapes censure, no matter the misdeeds and transgressions.  George Bush controls the Congress and the Courts, and possibly, sad to say the public. The people have power to insist on impeachment; yet,  they are reticent to use it. 

    Granted, President Bush lied about the reasons for going to war.  Isn?t that an impeachable offense? 

    Decidedly, the President is making infinite use and perchance abusing the privilege of signing statements.  Might that be a reason for prosecution?  Could the Supreme Court not question the validity of a President making law?

    George W. Bush authorized the name of a Central Intelligence covert agent be released.  Could Congress charge him with that crime?  Might the Chief Justice call this treasonous?

    Anything could happen in this era of the unexpected; however, likely nothing will. The one constant we can count on is Bush is beyond the law.  Americans accept no longer is impeachment a viable option.  Congress cringes at the idea.  The public pooh-poohs it.  The House, the Senate, and the simple folk crush the possibility of censure. 

    The public believes, there is not enough time.  No matter the evidence, our countrymen claim this Administration has not committed numerous high crimes and misdemeanors.

    One can only conclude George W. Bush is correct.  The Lord walks with this President, as do members of Congress, the courts, and citizens of this country.  We are all complicit.  Thus, we let things be.  What other reason could there be for mass confusion, delusion, and a lack of dissent.  I know not.  I only trust that the next few years will be long.  Each minute will bring more of the bewildering, baffling, unimaginable, the sad, and yet, true.

    George W. Bush, I will never underestimate you.  You are the man, the miracle, and in my mind a menace.  Congratulations; every mission you embark on is accomplished.  The State of the Union and the conditions that exist throughout this globe are your legacy.  Well done; I think?  I am so confused. 

    Those in the know frequently reprimand this Administration for High Crimes and Misdemeanors.  Recent testimony from a White House aide reveals much.  An exhaustive investigation, such as the one Nixon experienced when Congress was preparing for trial might expose more.  However, it seems we may never know the truth.  It is a mystery to me.  Perhaps that too was your goal.  People with little information are more easily manipulated.

    Impeachment; The Issues and Information . . .

  • Supreme Court Lifts Ban on Minimum Retail Pricing, By Stephen Labaton.  The New York Times. June 29, 2007
  • pdf Supreme Court Lifts Ban on Minimum Retail Pricing, By Stephen Labaton.  The New York Times. June 29, 2007
  • Divided Court Limits Use of Race by School Districts, By Robert Barnes.  Washington Post.?Friday, June 29, 2007; Page A01
  • pdf Divided Court Limits Use of Race by School Districts, By Robert Barnes.  Washington Post.?Friday, June 29, 2007; Page A01
  • Senators Subpoena The White House, Panel Demands Papers On NSA Wiretapping.  By Michael A. Fletcher.  Washington Post. Thursday, June 28, 2007; Page A01
  • pdf Senators Subpoena The White House, Panel Demands Papers On NSA Wiretapping.  By Michael A. Fletcher.  Washington Post.  June 28, 2007
  • Court Won’t Delay Libby Prison Sentence. By Matt Apuzzo.  Guardian Unlimited. Monday July 2, 2007 6:16 PM
  • Bush: Saddam was not responsible for 9/11, By Suzanne Goldenberg.  Guardian Unlimited. Tuesday September 12, 2006
  • Bush claims oversight exemption too, The White House says the president’s own order on classified data does not apply to his office or the vice president’s.  By Josh Meyer, Los Angeles Times. June 23, 2007
  • pdf Bush claims oversight exemption too, The White House says the president’s own order on classified data does not apply to his office or the vice president’s.  By Josh Meyer, Los Angeles Times. June 23, 2007
  • No Confidence in a Congress that Bends to Bush.  By John Nichols.  The Nation. June 23, 2007
  • Administration Rejects Ruling On PR Videos, GAO Called Tapes Illegal Propaganda.  By Christopher Lee.  Washington Post.Tuesday, March 15, 2005; Page A21
  • Who’s Afraid of Dennis Kucinich? By Matt Taibbi.  The Nation. October 9, 2003
  • Introduces Impeachment Articles Against Cheney.  By Charles Babington.  Washington Post.?Friday, May 12, 2006; Page A06
  • Is lying about the reason for a war an impeachable offense? By John W. Dean.?FindLaw Columnist.  Special to Cable News Network.?Friday, June 6, 2003

  • Roberts, Alito help define new Supreme Court, Frustrated on other fronts, Bush can claim some success on the high court.  By Tom Curry.  MSNBC News. June 18, 2007
  • Why Bush hasn’t been impeached, Congress, the media and most of the American people have yet to turn decisively against Bush because to do so would be to turn against some part of themselves, By Gary Kamiya.  Salon. May 22, 2007
  • The case for impeachment, It’s not just for radicals anymore.  By Steven T. Jones.  San Francisco Bay Guardian.
  • Mistaken Phone Poll Reveals Support for Impeachment, By Phil Burk.  Impeach Bush. May 15, 2007
  • Democrats Won’t Try To Impeach President, By Charles Babington.  Washington Post. Friday, May 12, 2006; Page A06
  • Dems to Use Moderation if They Win House, By Andrew Taylor.  Associated Press.  San Francisco Gate. Thursday, October 19, 2006
  • Bush puts God on his side. By Tom Carver.  British Broadcasting Company. April 6, 2003
  • Sorry Now? What Do Liberal and Moderate Lawyers Who Supported John Roberts’ Nomination Say Today? By Emily Bazelon.  Slate. Posted Thursday, June 28, 2007, at 1:43 PM ET
  • More vicious than Tricky Dick, By John Dean.  Salon. October 3, 2003
  • President commutes Libby’s sentence, Calls 30-month term for ex-Cheney aide ‘excessive.’  By Mark Silva.  Chicago Tribune. July 3, 2007
  • pdf President commutes Libby’s sentence, Calls 30-month term for ex-Cheney aide ‘excessive.’  By Mark Silva.  Chicago Tribune. July 3, 2007
  • GAO Says HHS Broke Laws With Medicare Videos, By Amy Goldstein.  Washington Post.?Thursday, May 20, 2004; Page A01
  • pdf GAO Says HHS Broke Laws With Medicare Videos, By Amy Goldstein.  Washington Post.?Thursday, May 20, 2004; Page A01
  • Faith, Certainty and the Presidency of George W. Bush, By Ron Suskind.  The New York Times. October 17, 2004
  • pdf Faith, Certainty and the Presidency of George W. Bush, By Ron Suskind.  The New York Times. October 17, 2004
  • Bush signings called effort to expand power, Report sees broad strategy.  By Charlie Savage.  Boston Globe. October 5, 2006
  • Bush Calls on Senate to Pass Line-Item Veto, President Seeks Way to Fight Earmarks.  By Peter Baker.  Washington Post.?Wednesday, June 28, 2006; Page A03
  • ‘Signing Statements’ Study Finds Administration Has Ignored Laws.  By Jonathan Weisman.  Washington Post. Tuesday, June 19, 2007; Page A04
  • pdf ‘Signing Statements’ Study Finds Administration Has Ignored Laws.  By Jonathan Weisman.  Washington Post. Tuesday, June 19, 2007; Page A04
  • W’s Poison Pen,  Presidential signing bonuses.  By Daniel Schulman.  Mother Jones. March/April 2007 Issue
  • pdf W’s Poison Pen,  Presidential signing bonuses.  By Daniel Schulman.  Mother Jones. March/April 2007 Issue
  • President to Press for Line-Item Veto Power, By Jim Rutenberg.  New York Times. June 28, 2006
  • pdf President to Press for Line-Item Veto Power, By Jim Rutenberg.  New York Times. June 28, 2006
  • Bush Calls on Senate to Pass Line-Item Veto, President Seeks Way to Fight Earmarks, By Peter Baker.  Washington Post. Wednesday, June 28, 2006; Page A03
  • pdf Bush Calls on Senate to Pass Line-Item Veto, President Seeks Way to Fight Earmarks, By Peter Baker.  Washington Post. Wednesday, June 28, 2006; Page A03
  • Buying of News by Bush’s Aides Is Ruled Illegal, By Robert Blair.  The New York Times. October 1, 2005
  • Administration Rejects Ruling On PR Videos, GAO Called Tapes Illegal Propaganda.  By Christopher Lee.  ?Washington Post. Tuesday, March 15, 2005; Page A21
  • pdf Administration Rejects Ruling On PR Videos, GAO Called Tapes Illegal Propaganda.  By Christopher Lee.  ?Washington Post. Tuesday, March 15, 2005; Page A21
  • Presidential Signing Statements Accompanying the Fiscal Year 2006 Appropriations Acts. United States Government Accountability Office.
  • Speaker of the House Pelosi Wants You; Request Impeachment

    Colonel Wilkerson’s on Bush Impeachment

    The talk is telling.  Throughout the Internet and at a screen near you, probably within an electronic communiqué the word is out.  The people want the President and his Vice to step down.  Since they avow, they will stand and deliver while staying their course.  The public must act.  Congress has delayed too long.  Perhaps our Representatives think the citizens would not stand for such a “radical” move.  We must tell our House [and our Senate] we are ready for impeachment.

    We, the people must call for censure.  The Speaker of the House is finally considering what many thought long overdue.  Nancy Pelosi is seeking public opinion.  The Congresswoman wants to hear from you. 

    I invite you to consider what you know, and a reference or two below.  Ponder this plea.  Please, I beg, I beseech you; reach out, and touch the telephone keypad.  Address the Congresswoman from  California, the nation’s Representative, ‘Madame Speaker, I understand you want to know what I, an American citizen committed to the Constitution thinks.’

    After all, Nancy Pelosi is asking.  Perchance the Speaker of the House recalls and honors the principles of our forefathers. This government is of, by, and for the people.  We the people must stand up and be counted.  Please be part of the tally.

    Subject: Pelosi – Phone Tally for Impeachment!

    Speaker Pelosi Has Started a Phone Tally for Impeachment!
    House Speaker Pelosi’s office is taking calls urging Impeachment of Bush/Cheney at 202-225-0100.

    If you want impeachment hearings, call and ask at least 10 others to call.  It needs to happen fast and Now!

    Call the Speaker’s office with demands for Impeachment of Bush AND Cheney.

    Please call  As Soon As Possible, and forward this email widely.

    I called.  I was asked where I live.  Then I was connected to what I was told was the proper voice mailbox.  I spoke.  I felt a need to be short and sweet; yet, I knew I had much to say.  I did not wish to ramble.  Nonetheless, after stating a few concerns, referencing a memorable article, and leaving my vitals so that the Congresswoman might validate I exist, I ended the call and then thought of all I might have said.

    I authenticated that the telephone exchange is indeed the Speaker’s Office, sighed and wished I had been more articulate. 

    Please call. 

    Perhaps, be prepared.  Let us hope that impossible dreams can come true.  I have had imaginings of impeachment hearing dancing in my head.  These visions have lingered for quite some time.  Oh, how I long for dreams to go true.

    References . . .

  • Contact the U.S. House Judiciary Committee and Ask for Impeachment of Cheney and Bush.
  • Bush challenges hundreds of laws President cites powers of his office, By Charlie Savage.  Boston Globe. April 30, 2006
  • pdf Bush challenges hundreds of laws President cites powers of his office, By Charlie Savage.  Boston Globe. April 30, 2006
  • Senator considers suit over Bush law challenge, By Charlie Savage.  Boston Globe. June 28, 2006
  • pdf Senator considers suit over Bush law challenge, By Charlie Savage.  Boston Globe. June 28, 2006
  • Contact [House] Speaker Nancy Pelosi 
  • Colonel Finally Saw Whites of Their Eyes, By Dana Milbank.  Washington Post.  Thursday, October 20, 2005; Page A04
  • Breaking Ranks, Larry Wilkerson Attacked the Iraq War. In the Process, He Lost the Friendship of Colin Powell.  By Richard Leiby.  Washington Post. Thursday, January 19, 2006; C01
  • Bush shuns Patriot Act requirement, In addendum to law, he says oversight rules are not binding, By Charlie Savage.  Boston Globe. March 24, 2006
  • pdf Bush shuns Patriot Act requirement, In addendum to law, he says oversight rules are not binding, By Charlie Savage.  Boston Globe. March 24, 2006
  • A Nation Challenged, Washington Talk; Bush Law-Enforcement Plan Troubles Both Right and Left. By Robin Toner.  The New York Times. September 28, 2001
  • pdf A Nation Challenged, Washington Talk; Bush Law-Enforcement Plan Troubles Both Right and Left. By Robin Toner.  The New York Times. September 28, 2001
  • Troops Out Now Coalition Calls for Citizen Action

    © copyright 2007 Betsy L. Angert

    Many of you may feel as I do.  I wonder why does the war in Iraq, in Afghanistan continue.  I feel hopeless, even now with a Democratic majority in Congress.  In truth, I did not celebrate the Democratic win in November 2006.  For me, until actions are taken, and policies put into practice, I feel no reason to rejoice.  Currently, the Democratic majority is not doing much better than the Republicans did.  Conservatives are not inclined to impinge on the power of the President.  Centrists are concerned; dare they be thought too Left or Right.  The anti-war contingent is anxious.  Might they regret moving too far or too fast.

    Each day while Congress patiently convenes, Americans sit comfortably in their cozy homes, apathetic or pounding away at the keys at their electrically powered computers, actively protesting the wars.  Meanwhile, civilians, children, and soldiers are dying in Afghanistan and Iraq.  As citizens in this country ponder the blood spilled and scream, ‘We want justice,’ life [or death,] in the Persian Gulf goes on as it has for years. 

    Bombs fall; bullets blaze, and bodies plummet to their death.  What were once daily rituals are doomed.  Citizens in the Middle East cannot find calm.  They may pretend to go about their day-to-day doings as they did in the past; however, they cannot.  In recent years, normal is avoiding sniper fire, finding shelter from shootings, scrupulously searching for suicide bombers, chatting while walking in a combat zone, or awaiting a home invasion.  Peace is merely a postulate.

    Americans can make a difference.  Troops Out Now Coalition is calling for citizen action.  Tell members of Congress to cut off the funds.  Reach out to your Representatives in Washington and say, “Use the Power of the Purse!”  Troops Out Now Coalition invites each of us to participate in protests in Washington District of Columbia beginning March 12, 2007. 

    Volunteering or contributing to the cause might make sense to you.  Whatever you choose please consider, Congress continues to delay. 

    Currently, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is focused on Party Unity.  Forget Iraq for a moment or more.  It may be months before the Democratic leadership thinks to use the power of the purse to end war efforts.  Pelosi claims to care, as Democrats do; however, the main mission seems to be consensus building.  In the minds of many “liberals,” we must stave off the idea of cutting funds for this futile battle.  The Progressives believe to appease the people they must demonstrate their unflinching support for the troops, while maintaining they are ardent in their fight against terrorism. 

    “She has the patience of Job and the wisdom of Solomon,” said Rep. Mike Honda, D-San Jose, a Pelosi loyalist who as vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee is also a political realist.

    Like Pelosi, herself a longtime critic of Bush’s decision to invade Iraq four years ago this month, Honda said the House has to take a step-by-step approach in what the Democratic leadership views as a showdown with the White House over the war.

    “Being in the majority, we have to produce something that can pass muster not just in the House, but in the wider community. I’m impressed with her intensity in trying to achieve that,” Honda said.

    So slowly, and patiently Congress perseveres.  They strategize, maneuver, and engage the President with nonbinding resolutions.  The Democratic House expresses their disapproval of the President’s plan, as though their disdain will affect a certain surge.

    The first step in the strategy was last month’s nonbinding resolution expressing the House’s disapproval of Bush’s strategy to send more than 21,500 extra combat troops to Iraq to help quell sectarian violence in Baghdad.

    The four-day House debate over that resolution, which was approved Feb. 16, was partly overshadowed by an interview given in the midst of it by Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., one of Pelosi’s closest House allies and, as chair of the military appropriations subcommittee, a key convert to the anti-war cause.

    In the interview, broadcast on the Internet by the anti-war group, Murtha said his legislation for the $96 billion special spending bill for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would severely limit Bush’s ability to send units to Iraq.

    The reaction was not exactly what Murtha or Pelosi expected. The White House and Republican congressional leaders said Murtha was a defeatist trying to abandon Iraq to terrorists. But more important was the wary reaction among moderate to conservative House Democrats, some of whom had defeated Republican incumbents in November in districts where voters were upset over the president’s conduct of the war but were not yet ready to pull the plug.

    Ah yes; we need to continue pandering to the President and his perfect plan.  Spreading fear into the hearts of Americans is apt.  Congress must recall, those sitting snugly and safe in their American abodes know best.  Terrorism is a threatening reality, especially if you live, work, or fight in the Persian Gulf.  What of those men and women; can they wait as Congress calculates.  Do they want to?  Perhaps exiting Iraq immediately does not mater to the House Majority Leader.  Party unity is her priority.

    The reaction also showed that Pelosi had to move carefully and artfully to keep the 233 Democrats together on the second step of her anti-war strategy — the spending bill to pay for the war through Sept. 30 that will come with conditions attached, if not exactly the ones Murtha originally wanted.

    So began the selling job and the need to change Murtha’s proposal. Involved with Pelosi were senior Democratic leaders such as Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey of Wisconsin, Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton of Missouri, and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland.

    Together they wooed the party’s factions.

    Gone from the spending bill were Murtha’s ironclad conditions for sending units to Iraq. The measure was watered down to provide Bush with the ability to publicly waive the deployment rules on training, equipment and time at home.

    Weakening the measures so as not to offend the President will do little to secure an exit strategy.  Making resources and training less available to an already struggling military will not benefit the men or the women waiting a seemingly certain death.  Time at home, well that was treasure few thought they would claim.

    Also written into the legislation — to lure the strongest anti-war elements — was a withdrawal schedule tied to a set of benchmarks for the Iraqi government to attain in the next few months. The Iraqi government’s failure to meet the benchmarks would trigger an immediate start of a U.S. force withdrawal. And in no case would any U.S. forces remain in Iraq past 2008.

    Sigh!  Might this be a welcome sign of relief or is this too merely a mirage.  Perhaps it is.  the Congress seems to say we will exit Iraq, eventually, only to strengthen our surge into Afghanistan.

    To show that Democrats are serious about fighting terrorism, the bill provides more money for operations in Afghanistan, which Pelosi said should be the main focus of antiterrorism operations.

    And to show that House Democrats don’t want any more Bush military operations, they are considering adding language specifying that the president must return to Congress for a new authorization before any attack on Iran.

    The latter might be thought of as a ray of hope; however, we all know . . .

    Bush has already said he’ll veto the bill if it ever passes the House and the narrowly divided Senate and reaches him, but, if so, he runs the risk of not being able to pay for the war’s continuing operations.

    The Democratic leadership also might allow its most vehement anti-war Democrats who make up the Out of Iraq Caucus to offer an amendment to their measure saying that no military funds can be used for anything other than withdrawing U.S. troops.

    They might; however, again, I have no faith in the Congress.  The continue bureaucracy challenges beliefs.  What I observes is a Congress that woos, wanes, and waits, while the war continues.  Some say America is strong and resolute, or are they merely resigned to let George W. Bush stay the course?

    We know that in years passed Congress has cut funding for wars and other worrisome efforts involving American engagement.  As I stated in The Price of Addiction. Bush and War,

    I do not comprehend what moves Congress to act as they do.  Iraq war veterans are against this war.  Some of these soldiers were elected to office in hopes that they would find a way to stop the blood bath.  Freshmen members offer words of wisdom; yet nothing changes.

    “We stand together to tell this administration that we are against the escalation, and to say with one voice that Congress will no longer be a blank check to the president’s failed policies,” said freshman Rep. Patrick J. Murphy (D-Pa.), who was a captain with the 82nd Airborne Division in Baghdad. “The president’s plan to send more of our best and bravest to die refereeing a civil war in Iraq is wrong.”

    We are still funding a failed war effort.  The argument is that if we stop supplying the dollars we will not be supporting the troops.  The troops themselves dispute this claim.  However, members of the House and the Senate fear the people will not believe this is true.  It seems Americans do not recall this action has been taken in the past.

    A new report from the Center for American Progress details how, over the last 35 years, Congress has passed bills, enacted into law, [measures that] capped the size of military deployments, prohibited funding for existing or prospective deployment, and placed limits and conditions on the timing and nature of deployments.

    Citizens did not clamor in disgust.  They were pleased to bring our boys and girls home with minds and bodies intact.  Might we again let our conscious be our guide?  Cut Off the War Funds – End the War Now – Bring the Troops Home!!! 

    Please contact Troops Out Now Coalition. Join your fellow Americans during the week of March 12, 2007.  Participate in a March on Washington District of Columbia or donate to the cause.  Volunteer if you are able.

    The Weather forecast for Washington, District of Columbia is predicted to be mild, in 60’s for next week.
    For the latest Encampment updates – check the Encampment blog

    Do Not Let Them Get Away With It!!!
    Antiwar Encampment in Front of Congress Starts on Monday, March 12, 2007

    Don’t Be Fooled, the “withdrawal from Iraq” plan that Democratic Party leaders in Congress have just announced is nothing more than a cover for them to approve Bush’s request for $100 billion to fund the war and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan– in other words, to continue the war.

    Cut Off the War Funds – End the War Now – Bring the Troops Home!!!
    Democratic Party leaders propose to begin withdrawing troops in a year to 18 months.  Over the last 18 months, more than 1,200 U.S. soldiers have been killed, and about 7 times that many wounded and maimed. Do the math: a year or 18 more months of war is a death sentence for untold numbers of soldiers and an even greater number of Iraqis.

    Cut Off the War Funds – End the War Now – Bring the Troops Home!!!
    The “withdrawal time tables” along with the ” goals and conditions” that Democratic leaders are proposing are not fundamentally different than the ones that Bush proposed in his “State of the Union” address.  The real stink bomb hidden in this new “withdrawal” legislation is that Bush and his generals have the authority to “waive” any part of these so-called timetables and conditions, any time he wants to.
    The fact is that these new proposals amount to nothing more than political posturing by Democratic leaders in order to get some of the antiwar heat off of them while they continue to fund the war. This plan is not a plan to end the war–it is just another non-binding resolution.  Representative Jerry Nadler had it right when he said, “All of this is just, and excuse funding another year of war.”

    Cut Off the War Funds – End the War Now – Bring the Troops Home!!!
    Democratic Party leaders can end the war right now if the exercise their power to simply cut off all funding for the war.
    If they don’t do that, then it’s not just Bush’s war, or just the Republican Party’s war, it’s the Democratic Party’s war as well and now is the time to demand that they put up or shut up.

    Cut Off the War Funds – End the War Now – Bring the Troops Home!!!
    On Monday, antiwar activists from around the country will began camping in front of the Capital building at 3rd St. right on the Washington DC National Mall.
    We will be there with tents, banners, placards, signs, noisemakers,  etc. demanding that Congress stop the BS and simply cut off the war funding, end the war now and bring the troops home. We need you to join us. We need you to march on the Pentagon on March 17.  Moreover, if there was ever a time to be in the streets, blocking traffic, occupying bridges, organizing walk-outs from coast to coast to stop this criminal war. This Is The Time!

    The Encampment to Stop the War will start in just a few days – Monday, March 12 – and there is an enormous amount of work to be done in a short period of time.  We have an opportunity in the next few days to have a major impact, if we work together–here’s how you can help:

    Let us know if you are coming to the Encampment.  Use the Volunteer form at http://troopsoutnow….

    Volunteer at the Encampment – we will need hundreds of volunteers during the week of the Encampment let us know how you can help (logistics, security, medical, greeter, etc) – http://troopsoutnow….

    Please Donate to help with the enormous costs of the Encampment

    If you are not able to come to the encampment, help send a youth activist to the Encampment to the week- donate for transportation and housing costs here.

    Please Peruse the Possibilities . . .

  • IRAQ WAR PROTEST: Interview w/Rep. John Conyers  YouTube.
  • Democratic win welcomed abroad.  USA Today. November 8, 2006
  • Democrats Steer the War in Iraq in Fits and Starts, By Robin Toner.  The New York Times. March 10, 2007
  • pdf Democrats Steer the War in Iraq in Fits and Starts, By Robin Toner.  The New York Times. March 10, 2007
  • Troops Out Now Coalition
  • Iraq pullout bill tests Pelosi’s grip on Dems, Speaker juggles disparate factions to hold party unity.  By Edward Epstein. San Francisco Chronicle. Saturday, March 10, 2007
  • The Price of Addiction. Bush and War, By Betsy L. Angert.
  • Donate.  Troops Out Now Coalition
  • Volunteer form.  Troops Out Now Coalition