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Little Rhode Island may have the loudest voice!

There is a movement to begin the impeachment of the President and it may just work!

Articles of Impeachment for President George W. Bush for High Crimes and Misdemeanors

Rhode Island's Carl Sheeler is leading the charge for Impeachment

The House Rules for the US Congress allow impeachment proceedings to begin upon charges submitted by a State Legislature. Since Rhode Island is one of a handful of states in the US with a veto-proof Democratic majority and a super-majority of Rhode Islanders have a high disapproval rating of Bush-Cheney, US Senate candidate Carl Sheeler is calling on the Rhode Island legislature to initiate impeachment proceedings against George W. Bush. This is an important debate to have in our legislature. Rhode Island has always led the way in fighting for independence and freedom. Why not continue our leadership and begin the debate on impeachment?

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate and West Greenwich resident Carl Sheeler made a call out to Rhode Island Congressmen James R. Langevin (D-02) and Patrick J. Kennedy (D-01) to assist U.S. Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) to initiate impeachment hearings for President George W. Bush.

Sheeler, a marine veteran who served during the first Iraq war and an outspoken, 1970's style democrat, declared, "It's time we as ordinary citizens stop talking and start acting to bring the change we want to see in our America."

Sheeler also charged the president with failing to produce Weapons of Mass Destruction, the inability to provide adequate armor for troops, cutting the state's funds for domestic security, and national funding cuts for education and healthcare.

RI Future

Originally posted to aaraujo on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 02:03 PM PST.


Can RI start the process to Impeach Bush?

94%4518 votes
5%281 votes

| 4799 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yes. (4.00)
    And remember, the resolution doesn't even need the governor's signature -- not that the Dems in the legislature couldn't overcome a veto if they wanted to.

    So let's all pressure aaraujo to contact his friend who's in the state senate! It's all up to you aaraujo! The country is waiting! Go! Go! Go!

    No pressure.

    •  Send this page to the frontpage (4.00)
      I know many State Senators read this site...
      •  I agree (4.00)
        Someone SHOULD frontpage this puppy.

        And someone should send a copy of Horton Hears a Who to all state senators in Rhode Island. This tiniest tot of them all could let out a great big YOP and save the entire world.

        Go Rhode Island! I promise I will vacation there soon if you actually pull this off!

        "It is not skeptics or explorers but fanatics and ideologues who menace decency and progress." --Daniel J. Boorstin

        by mrhelper on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 02:46:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  all right Lil Rhody! (4.00)
        hello to State Sen. Perry & Rep. Moura, if they read this site.  I used to live in Fox Point.  I don't miss graduate school one bit, but I sure miss Rhode Island.  

        Speaking of which, anyone local in RI think of calling up talk radio and bringing up the subject?  Try Arlene Violet.

        Jack Abramoff: Directed $3M in donations to both parties. Charged his clients $100M in fees and funnelled it all to the GOP.

        by daria g on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 06:25:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  i never call talk radio (none)
          i occasionally listen to it in the car.
        •  Arlene Violet (none)
          Arlene Violet is interested in one thing only, in facilitating an increase in repuke power in RI. She only takes play swipes at Bush because there's no way she could openly support him in this state.

          "Dogma does not mean the absence of thought, but the end of thought. " - G.K. Chesterton

          by Mary from RI on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 11:16:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I have to disagree... partly. (none)
            Arlene is VERY outspoken in her criticism of Bush and the national Republicans, and she should be. Their actions are dragging down the chances that anyone in this state would vote Repub. I do call her show at least once a week, mainly to help her dismiss the talking points that her guests tend to bring up, and I converse with her in email regularly. She is one of the few Republicans that I can have a honest intellectual debate with, and not have it degenerate into the typical partisan BS.

            I'll agree that she is for increasing the Republican presence in the state, mainly because there's no balance of party power whatsoever and it's dragging the state's finances to the crapper. And I don't blame her one bit for her position on that. The state-level Dems in the legislature are corrupt - not as bad as the National Republican Party machine, but pretty damned bad. As a life-long Dem who moved to RI from Connecticut 4 years ago, it's really really sickening. For state assembly elections, I've voted for the third party candidate whenever possible.

            (Sorry Arlene. we agree on a lot, but I just won't vote for an R.)

            Lincoln Chafee is NO John Chafee - Sheldon Whitehouse for Senate 2006!

            by Scoopster on Mon Feb 20, 2006 at 09:40:30 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh yeah... (none)
              I'll try to get Arlene to bring this issue up on the air sometime in the next couple weeks. She'd definetly be all for the discussion.

              Lincoln Chafee is NO John Chafee - Sheldon Whitehouse for Senate 2006!

              by Scoopster on Mon Feb 20, 2006 at 09:42:18 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  representation of the people, not party power.... (none)
              Balance of party power??? RI has been for as long as I've been alive been overwhelmingly democratic, and I have to disagree with your claim that the dems in the state legislature are corrupt.. there have been a few bad apples that were democrats, but on the whole, there have been more instances of republican politicians who have been guilty of corruption. Not forgetting that even Arlene was investigated for misconduct based on charges that she was allowing evidence to be supressed when she was the attorney general in the state, Buddy Cianci, when he first got caught, was republican, let's not forget Ed Diprete, Lincoln "bigfoot" Almond. Arlene's cozy with "Operation Clean Government" (the usage of the term clean is highly subjective) that organization is run by a guy named Bob Arruda, who detests worker's rights, free public education for children, any law/policy that helps the poor and disabled, regulations that protect the citizenry. OCG barely sidestepped being caught in some corruption themselves, when it was linked to an illegal contribution scandal through SOP.

              What Arlene and her cohorts are in aid of is less representation of the people and more representation of her party's's easy for her to criticize Bush now, the question should be why wasn't she criticizing him when it was important for her to do so.

              "Dogma does not mean the absence of thought, but the end of thought. " - G.K. Chesterton

              by Mary from RI on Mon Feb 20, 2006 at 11:14:11 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Rhode Island Senate (4.00)
      RI Senate Most likely to support this? Pichardo Gallo
    •  Then we have President Cheney... (4.00)
      I would love to see impeachment as much as the next guy, but it's actually a good thing that the impeachment, if it were to happen, would be knocked down by the Republican Congress.  The only thing worse than President Bush would be a President Cheney.

      The real benefit of all this would be the increased media attention to his failures (for 2006!) and the further derailing of their terrible agenda.

      •  See response to the last 400 such objections. (4.00)
        1. They all have to go, and Cheney's probably more impeachable than Bush.

        2. And yes, I'd take President Hastert any day that you can give me a Republican Congress that was chastened enough to impeach the entire Bush administration. That Congress would be a responsible one, anyway. I don't need the GOP out of power as much as I need them in check. Out of power would be nice, but in check is a matter of survival.
        •  Warning to all Impeachment pessimists (4.00)
          Before you enter into this evening's discussion, just be aware that Kagro X is on fire tonight. Be prepared to offer up more than the usual "But Cheney will be president" or "But the Republicans control the Congress" or "It'll never happen" type arguments. The man is ALL OVER this diary. A friggin' impeachment Terminator.

          You're entitled to your opinions, of course. But you will do yourself - and the nation - a tremendous favor if your give Kagro X's thoughts some serious consideration. If impeachment actually happened, I would have to seriously consider putting his picture on my desk at work, right next to my family's. Assuming I could find one...

          "It is not skeptics or explorers but fanatics and ideologues who menace decency and progress." --Daniel J. Boorstin

          by mrhelper on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 07:06:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I wish (4.00)
          I could give you a 10 for that post.  

          When we stand down, Iraqis will stand up -7.50, -6.15

          by bloomer 101 on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 08:19:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  We'll just keep impeaching the bastards... (4.00)
          until we're down to the most junior Republican congressman. Then we'll impeach his sorry rightwing ass too!

          "Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!" -- Sir Thomas More, in A Man For All Seasons, by Robert Bolt

          by Shiborg on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 09:55:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah stop whining about 'next in line' people (4.00)
        Any kind of impeachment would be a success against these guys since it would invalidate their ideology.  So if Hastert was next (which I doubt that would stick) nobody would be able tolerate it if he was just going to act just like bush.

        I think congress would wake up during impeachment and start doing their damn jobs again.

        "Face it, we're as dead as corduroy" - Cat

        by TalkieToaster on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 03:43:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  For Democrats Cheney's better than Bush (4.00)
        Why?  Bush still has that affable, frat rat charm for some people.  Cheney is just an asshole and he doesn't fool anyone, anymore.  Disliked and now the national butt of jokes - that's a formula for an even lower Presidential approval rating.  
      •  This is too optimistic (none)
        The impeachment can be initiated by Rhode Island, but I don't think it will go that far even if it makes it to Congress. Unfortunately.
        •  You wouldn't pay to see... (4.00)
          Republicans voting party-line to bury serious charges of impeachment that a whole state sent to Congress? Live, daily, on C-SPAN?
        •  This Just In... (4.00)
          The White House released a statement tonight saying the WMDs thought to be in Iraq, may have been shipped across the Atlantic, into Narragansett Bay, and may now be stored in numerous places throughout the state of Rhode Island. Details to come...

          Go Red Sox! See you next year!

          by MikeBaseball on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 04:20:44 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Anyone can see (4.00)
          that something has changed and average U.S. citizens on both sides of the spectrum are outraged.  Be cynical if you want.  I understand not wanting to build up false hope.  

          Almost every day now, we're hearing stories from Republicans about how they should prepare themselves for impeachment (even though it would "provide aid to our enemies") and more impeachment activist groups getting organized.

          So when an article like DON'T CALL IT PRESIDENTS DAY shows up in Yahoo News, I have to feel even more hopeful. We wouldn't have seen this last year or in any of the BushCo years.

          Shout it from the rooftops: Monday is not Presidents Day. It's Washington's Birthday.

          But there are three problems with the way things are today -- or, rather, the way things will be on Monday.

          Problem No. 1: No proper celebration of Washington, who exemplified several American ideals, including the notion of the citizen-soldier, the idea that American presidents shouldn't be royalty, and the concept that leaders ought to step away from office after a decent interval. The coupling of restraint and power is a lesson all of our leaders would do well to learn.

          I'm not trying to change your mind (not much, anyway) but there has never been a better time than right now to Get Your IMPEACH on.

          •  Minor quibble (none)
            Washington's birthday observed. Washington's actual birthday is February 22, though I can never remember if that was the date he was actually born, or the date his birthday morphed into following the calendar reforms.

            Anyway, 2/22 is also my Mom's happy birthday, Mom! Except that she doesn't read this blog, because (1) it involves technology, and (2) it isn't Jesusy enough for her. Oh, well.

      •  Screw that! (4.00)
        Do the right thing for the right reason and the right thing will happen. "President" Cheney will never be a reality because he'd be indicted before it became so--even the Republicans aren't THAT dumb and the Veep does not have the same immunity that the President has.

        Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (Who will watch the watchers?)

        by The Crusty Bunker on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 04:26:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Question (4.00)
          If Bush is removed from office through Impeachment and Cheney becomes President, can he then be indicted for crap he pulled as Vice President?

          I thought one of the things coming out of the Lewinski matter was that a sitting President cannot face criminal charges, just civil litigation.

          "I will not trust Bush with the life of one Iraqi."

          by Tamifah on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 05:12:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Close (4.00)
            A sitting president can face civil litigation for matters that happened before he took office. Cheney, as Vice President, has no immunity whatsoever, or that's what I understand to be true anyway.

            Now this is highly theoretical and will never happen BUT if the RI impeachment thing moves, there's probably no way it wins in the Senate. If it somehow did, let's say it takes a long, long time and the November election brings about a Democratic majority in the Senate. I think then the Republicans would take down Cheney voluntarily, believing their "least bad" option is President Hastert (I just don't see the D's taking the House--way too much ground to make up).

            Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (Who will watch the watchers?)

            by The Crusty Bunker on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 06:41:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Nuclear Option (none)
              is there any sort of Nuclear option they could use in the house, IE, lets vote to change that rule without following it since we don't like it?

              "I will not trust Bush with the life of one Iraqi."

              by Tamifah on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 08:05:15 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yeah (4.00)
                It's called a "palace coup." Don't put it past them.

                Seriously, impeachment is spelled out in the Constitution so it's pretty much a locked-down process. If the R's were smart and things start to look really, really bad, they could always pre-empt the D's by moving to censure the Presidiot and say, "Our work here is done!"

                Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (Who will watch the watchers?)

                by The Crusty Bunker on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 08:08:11 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Yes. (4.00)
                The House is always "nuclear armed" in this sense. It may change its rules at any time, or waive them with the adoption of a special rule, by majority vote.

                So the Republicans could, in theory, find themselves presented with such a resolution, and simply rule it not to be privileged, and then sustain the ruling on the inevitable appeal of the ruling of the chair.

      •  We already do have President Cheney (4.00)

        Don't be so afraid of dying that you forget to live.

        by LionelEHutz on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 04:35:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Seems to me the real problem is (none)
        This will be used for GOP GOTV. I worry that it is premature. Otherwise I'm all for impeaching the SOB's.

        "Once in a while you get shown the light In the strangest of places if you look at it right"

        by molly bloom on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 05:03:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I would presume we wouldn't be so rude (4.00)
        as to leave Cheney out of this

        Live Free or Die (-8.88 -9.49) IMPEACH

        by rktect on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 05:45:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  What matters is the rule of law (none)
        Not, "If I uphold the law in this instance, will I personally profit from it or not?"

        That kind of thinking is what got our nation into the current disgraceful state of affairs.

        If Al Gore had said in 2000, "I care even more about counting ALL the votes than I care about who wins -- I want you to count ALL the votes in aLL the Florida counties" he would have kept the moral high ground and perhaps much more.  Instead, he made the fatal mistake of cherry-picking which counties he wanted recounted, based on some private calculation of expediency  that he placed above simple justice.

        If upholding the law puts a monkey's uncle in the line of sucession, so be it. That is the law. Demanding respect for the rule of law is the best way to protect our Constitution and our rights.

        •  Gore did not cherry pick counties... (none)
          ...from what I've learned post-election 2000.  

          FL law states that a full state recount can only happen if the governor allows it, the two candidates agree to it, or if the State Supreme Court gives permission.  If none of those three things happen, then the candidate who is challenging the results must provide counties to be recounted and provide evidence of maleficence.

    •  Kagro Is Being A Bit Bashful Here (4.00)
      So I will post a link to his excellent diary from earlier this month alerting a lot of us to the fact that a State can begin Impeachment (God I Love That Word) proceedings.

      If you haven't read it here it is

      "You Have The Power!" - Howard Dean

      by talex on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 03:46:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, thanks very much! (4.00)
        I'm not hyping it because I'm a guest in a diary that's doing quite well on it's own. Also, it wasn't originally my idea. I picked it up from arbortender, who picked it up elsewhere.

        Still, I hope people will read it and come to understand that there's some serious potential here, under real parliamentary procedure.

        Those of you who may have a personal relationship with a state legislator in your own state can use that diary to try to illustrate the very real procedural steps to doing this, if you like.

        I'm finding that writing to state legislators out of the blue is meeting with the usual resistance. But where people have personal relationships, they've been able to get me in the door. And once I get there, the explanation seems to make sense to them.

        So if you've got a connection, feel free to use it to get in the door. Then we'll see what we can do from there.

        •  Many of us have been pushing this (none)
          I foresee two ways to go [on impeachment, if the House fails to draw up their own charges of impeachment]. There may be others I can't forsee.

          1. State legislatures convene for precisely this purpose, constituing under federalism, a reconstitution of the people's will, or

          2. Ad hoc councils formed locally, and electing perhaps to a state council. These councils are democratically run in the most direct sense of the word. Any citizen can participate, but working councils are formed from the large council by democratic vote. The only criteria for membership will be the stated belief that impeachment should go forward. Without the latter, such councils could be strangled at their birth by GOP action committees, such as worked Florida in 2000, and the councils turned into pro-Bush entitities.

          This from my diary on Feb. 13, Bush/Cheney Endgame -- for Councils of Impeachment"

          Kargo X, my hat's off to you, for pushing this thing into the limelight.

          "Fog everywhere."

          by Valtin on Mon Feb 20, 2006 at 09:13:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Wait a minute (1.66)
      Bush will never get impeached. Not a chance. At best one state will start the proceedings. What happens then? The entire government comes to a halt to debate something that will never happen anyway. All this will do is prevent any real work from getting done in government, and there is nothing positive that can come from it. This is just a feel good move that will only end up hurting the country as a whole.
      •  To tell the truth... (4.00)
        stopping this Congress' work cold is probably the best thing that could possibly happen before January, 2007.

        Besides, the entire government needn't come to a stop if there's something we'd like to see go forward. You just stop moving the resolution and move something else.

        But if something terrible is in the pipes -- as there always is, you can put a stop to it by calling up the resolution again. In effect, arming the House with a sort of filibuster.

      •  Damage already done (4.00)
        Rhode Island's can't hurt this country any worse than what Dubya and crew have done over the last five years. At least this is a step in the right direction.

        No one says this will be easy, but if we don't take the first step we will surely stay where we are. Do you really like that proposition?

        I wholeheartedly support Rhode Islanders and any other states that pass impeachment resolutions. It won't happen here in Florida, but God knows I hope it happens in at least one more state.

        It is past time to shine the light on this disaster of an adminstration. The attention (we hope) should jolt people out of their long stupor.

        -7.38, -5.23 One day we ALL will know the truth about the 2000 presidential election. God help us all.

        by CocoaLove on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 04:10:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  actually shutting down (4.00)
        the Bush Corporation is just a side benefit.

        "prevent any real work from getting done in government" ?????

        Like handing over more of the nation's wetland to industrial conglomerates?

        Giving coal mining rich fat cats more leeway to poison our air and kill their workers?

        Creating new, fake industries like the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan that steal from the poor and elderly, and give to Big Pharma and insurance companies?  

        The list - nearly endless.

        You point again ???

        "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty, soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator -7.63, -9.59

        by shpilk on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 04:10:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Check out (4.00)
          60 minutes tonight........the piece on global warming.

          When we stand down, Iraqis will stand up -7.50, -6.15

          by bloomer 101 on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 08:52:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  My thoughts exactly (none)
          Like shutting down this particular government is a bad thing, how? If the so-called swing and moderate voters are worried the Dems have no spine, then shutting down BushCo and K Street will disabuse them of that idea. So, seems to me a good idea on every level. The traditional media will be forced to give us coverage, Joe Sixpack's attention might be held for a few moments by something other than the latest missing white girl, and the Dems will remember what it feels like to be doing the good work of the people for all to see...all in the nice little package of impeachment. And imagine the layers upon layers of corruption those hearings will expose.

          Sounds like a win-win to me.

      •  Considering (4.00)
        the kind of "real work" getting done in the Rethug-controlled House and Senate, stopping them from doing any more of it is just what the doctor ordered!

        Let's get real: as long as the Rethugs are in charge, impeachment just ain't gonna happen. But given the state of things and the mood of the electorate, we might have a shot at taking over in November. So the sooner we get the ball rolling on impeachment, the faster we can push it through when the next congress convenes in January of '07. Then it's President Pelosi, and on to the war crimes trials for BushCo!

        Longshot? Hell Yeah. Pipe dream? You said it? Worth shooting for? Fuck yeah!

        Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

        by drewfromct on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 04:12:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  By Whatever Means Possible (4.00)
        RI starting an impeachment process will not make anything worse. It probably won't get Bush impeached, because his Republican House won't vote for impeachment. It probably won't even take Congress much time to dispose of the initiative, like it did when Boxer formally opposed the certification of Ohio's rigged 2004 election in favor of Bush.

        But at least it will help frame "impeachment" as "what to do about Bush". Right now a majority of Americans are willing to impeach Bush, though our Representatives of course are not. Every one of those Representaties in the House are up for firing this November. Let's make them address the issue.

        Meanwhile, "tying up Congress" with it is just fine. This is what Congress is supposed to do - represent the people. Imepaching Bush is more important than the other bills the Republicans and their wholly-owned Democrat subsidiaries are working on.

        We have nothing to lose but our chains.

      •  Bush may very well not get impeached (none)
        All things considered its probably better if he just gets impeached rather than drug out into the street and drawn and quartered by an angry mob of Republican congressmen that have to run on having supported him in staying the course.

        Live Free or Die (-8.88 -9.49) IMPEACH

        by rktect on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 05:48:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  so are you saying "stay the course"? (4.00)
        Fuck that, you really think we are on the right track and shouldn't fight them to get our country back? We should be fihting them at every turn relentlessly.

        "Patriotism is loving your country always and your government when it deserves it"-Mark Twain

        by fool me once umm on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 05:51:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I disagree (none)
          You can't fight a war on more than one front. We have to choose one issue and stick to it. If we try to get Bush impeached, that means we won't be able to take on the patriot act, the war, no bid contracts, education, the religious right, etc.
          •  I definitely understand that concern. (4.00)
            The reason I would still argue for making impeachment the focus is that all of that may flow from the same action, if the action is impeachment. If you get one shot, take the biggest, baddest one you've got.

            But there's much more to it than that. As necessary as the fights over the PATRIOT Act, the war, the no bid contracts, and the rest are, none of them enjoy the procedural advantages that impeachment does.

            Barring some very specific parliamentary conditions, you can't simply march onto the floor and demand an investigation of any one of those things. But raise a direct call for impeachment, and all bets are off. It's one of a very few things that are automatically privileged -- and in fact the rules are quite specific in saying that NO OTHER BUSINESS may supersede a direct call for impeachment. Not even the expulsion of a Member of Congress.

            All other business stops until a motion calling for impeachment is dispensed with. That makes it entirely different in kind from all other grievances, and the only one capable of stopping the clock, so to speak.

          •  with Bush Impeached (none)
            these become easier than ever to accomplish

            Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the begining of wisdom. ---Bertrand Russell

            by leeroy on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 09:11:30 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Disagree. (none)
            I understand your concern, but taking on every other issue is what is distracting.  Your own argument proves this--in one sentence you argue for taking on one issue, then in your next you list 5, topped off with an etc.  Don't get me wrong, all of us here share your pain.  But that's the very point isn't it?  There is simply a radical onslaught on too many key issues to be able to choose one.

            UNLESS it's impeachment.  This government is terrible, get them out.  That's the frame--then pick your specific issue.  If it's Iraq, write LTE's about that, and impeachment is the next right step.  If it's the corruption, ditto.  And on and on, impeachment is the one way to provide an answer to these problems and rally public support no matter what issue it is that is getting their goat now.

            It's the overall concept to tie all of this together, and get people to agree on a next step no matter what their personal political trigger is.

      •  The "real work" being done now (4.00)
        is the dismantling of our rights, the destruction of our economic viability, and the general downfall of our nation.

        Please, please, let it all be halted, and let the people ask "why won't the Republicans issue that summons" "why won't they demand so-and-so be under oath" and let all the call-in shows turn into a national teach-in about the limitless criminal activity of this gang of thugs.

        Let him walk away on the first try. There's no double-jeopardy limit on impeachment.

        It's a win-win-win to my mind.

        •  Another question (none)
          this raises another question. If the House Repubs stall and stonewall on impeachment articles introduced by RI, can RI just keep sending them a new set of articles every day or something?

          Or is RI bound to one submission? Not sure how it all works.

          "I will not trust Bush with the life of one Iraqi."

          by Tamifah on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 07:27:21 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  good (4.00)
        bring this fucking fascist excuse for a government to a halt. It should have stayed "halted" in Dec. 2000, until we successfully counted and recorded all the votes and inaugurated President Gore.
        •  HOPE, AT LAST? (none)
          I say go for it, too.  How could it be any worse? And, finally, someone is going to do something about it!!!  Let the sun shine in the ratty den of the worst administration imaginable.
          •  27 U.S. Reps Now Support (4.00)
            Conyers resolution for establishment of a select committee that would examine whether President Bush and Vice President Cheney should face impeachment.

            There are now 27 Democratic representatives, including Barbara Lee, Nydia Velasquez, John Olver, Gwen Moore and John Tierney, who are calling for the creation of "a select committee to investigate the administration's intent to go to war before congressional authorization, manipulation of pre-war intelligence, encouraging and countenancing torture, retaliating against critics and to make recommendations regarding grounds for possible impeachment."

            This has nearly doubled in less than a month.  There were 13 US Representatives in favor in late January.

      •  And let (none)
        these corrupt power-hungry senators run our country further into the ground?  

        Our country needs a fix, and now.

        "In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

        by Five of Diamonds on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 07:46:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  how is that different (none)
          from what's happening now?

          how are they being stopped from "running our country into the ground?"

          only thing is, right now, we're countenancing it and making it look acceptable.

    •  Dick Cheney for President? Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! (none)
      That's strike one against impeachment.

      Strike TWO: The impeachment proceedings against Herbert Hoover in 1933 and LBJ in 1968 were "tabled" which means that they were accepted and then just thrown away with no action taken. With the Repubicans with a majority that won't happen.

      Stike Three: For real change, the Republicans would have to be thrown out entirely. That means getting rid of Cheney, Hastart and whoever the President pro tempre of the Senate is.

      Symbolically, it might be a cute idea, but it's entirely impractical.

      •  No--take them both down (none)
        Conyers' resolution is directed at both of them.
        Don't know about RI's.
      •  There sure are a lot of comments... (none)
        so I can see why it'd be hard to comb through them to see if some of your objections have already been answered. But they have.

        The President Cheney one is addressed all over this and every other impeachment thread, so there's little need to go over it again. First of all, they'd both go. Second of all, any Congress that would impeach Bush would impeach Cheney, or failing that, any Congress that impeached Bush would be useless to Cheney, and be more interested in making sure he sat as a powerless caretaker than anything else.

        As to your strike two, I fully expect this resolution to be tabled as well. Only I also anticipate considerably more support for bringing motions to take it from the table than there were for the two impeachments you refer to. And, I expect more than one state to send such resolutions. That automatically would put it in a different category. Let the Republicans go into November tabling motion after motion for impeachment. Fine by me.

        Strike three? See strike one. Same objection, same answer.

  •  That would just be cool (4.00)
    Articles of Impeachment brought by a state.  Ever since I saw a diary on that possibility several weeks ago, I have been enamored with the idea.  

    As I recall, a vote for impeachment by a state legislature requires that state's congressmen to bring articles of impeachment in the House.  Is that correct?

    •  Apparently (4.00)
      Apparently, the House Rules for the US Congress allow impeachment proceedings to begin upon charges submitted by a State Legislature.
    •  Yes, I believe that's correct (4.00)
      The answer to the poll is technically no, because a state can't impeach a president, but it can require articles of impeachment to be brought to the House.

      The American taxpayers wouldn't object to free transportation for certain government officials if they'd go where we wish they would.

      by PatsBard on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 02:29:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not exactly, but close enough. (4.00)
      A resolution directly calling for impeachment transmitted by a state legislature is a matter of the highest privilege on the House floor.

      So when it shows up and a Member of the House delivers it to the floor and raises the issue of its transmission, there is no other business which can supersede it.

      The Republicans can then vote to table it, of course, but every time someone wants to bring it up or check on its progress, so long as the issue being debated is a direct call for impeachment, the GOP is going to have to vote to bury it every time.

      They'll no doubt have the numbers to succeed, but the question is how long can they keep everyone in line once more than one state starts calling for it. Especially if it's a state with endangered Republicans in it.

      •  Cool (none)
        Can you access the house rules that say this?  

        Boy would it be great if no other business can supersede it.

        It does make sense to give this kind of comity to the states though.

        •  Imagine if Lousiana did it (4.00)
          over the Katrina fiasco. It does begin to make sense why one state would be enough to bring the issue to the table.
          •  Historical uses of impeachment applicable to Katri (4.00)
            In this linked article on historical background of impeachment, note that one major use has been to remove officials who abuse the public trust by appointing unqualified persons to positions putting public safety or finances at unnecessary risk.

            Additionally, this link, Hearing on the Background and History of Impeachment
            House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the Constitution
            November 9, 1998
            seems to be a good reference on impeachment.

            Rhode Island legislators and Louisiana Legislators may profit from this reading.  And whereas the general public is only aware of tidal wave politics, and impeachment proceedings brought by a state would be such a huge story, I thik the general public would revisit in closer detail the failings of the administration, which would inure to the benefit of Dems in the next elections.

          •  There is no reason why more states can't do it (4.00)
            Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida all have gripes because of FEMA incompetence over Katrina

            Western States may not be real happy having their public lands sold off to the oil and gas interests.

            Some states such as Florida may not like having their port security put in the hands of Dubai, or the United Arab Emirates, or The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. What next give outsource our border control to Mexico and Canada?

            Many states have issues about cutbacks in Health and Human Services. Messing with the AARP over prescription drugs,  Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security may not be too wise a miove.

            Then there is Calamity Dick's black eye to the NRA

            Lots of Libertarian and Conservative voters don't like people wasting billions of dollars let alone trillions, and for every one of the 27,000 mom's whose kid comes home a casualty of war there is some explaining to do about what happened that we confused Saddam Hussein with Osama bin Ladin

            You ask me there are already people circulating petitions to put this issue on the ballot in every one of the fifty states and probably a few of our possessions.

            I wouldn't be suprised to see Iraq put a resolution calling for Bush's impeachment on their ballot.

            Live Free or Die (-8.88 -9.49) IMPEACH

            by rktect on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 06:03:06 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Cool (none)
        Can you access the house rules that say this?  

        Boy would it be great if no other business can supersede it.

        It does make sense to give this kind of comity to the states though.

        •  Here you go... (4.00)

          You're looking for section 603. Just one page down from the top or so.

        •  Even a grand jury can do it (oh please Fitz) (4.00)
          In the <<NOTE: <br> Sec. 603. Inception of impeachment proceedings in the House of Representatives

          there are various methods of setting an impeachment in motion:
          by charges transmitted from the legislature of a State (III, 2469) or Territory (III, 2487)

          or from a grand jury (III,

          or from facts developed and reported by an investigating committee of the House (III, 2399, 2444).

          Sec. 604. A proposition to impeach is a question of high privilege in the House and at once supersedes business otherwise in order under the rules governing the order of business

          (III, 2045-2048; VI, 468, 469;
          July 22, 1986, p. 17294; Aug. 3, 1988, p. 20206; May 10, 1989, p. 8814;
          see Procedure, ch. 14, sec. 1-5).

          It may not even be superseded by an election case, which is also a matter of high privilege
          (III, 2581).

          It does not lose its privilege from the fact that a similar proposition has been made at a previous time during the same session of Congress

          previous action of the House not affecting it (III, 2053).

          So, also, propositions relating to an impeachment already made are privileged (III, 2400, 2402, 2410; July 22, 1986, p. 17294; Aug. 3,
          1988, p. 20206),

          such as resolutions providing for selection of managers of an impeachment (VI, 517),

          proposing abatement of impeachment proceedings (VI, 514),

          reappointing managers for impeachment proceedings
          continued in the Senate from the previous Congress (Jan. 3, 1989, p. 84),

          empowering managers to hire special legal and clerical personnel and providing money for their payment (Jan. 3, 1989, p. 84),

          and replacing an excused manager (Feb. 7, 1989, p. 1726);

          but a resolution simply proposing an investigation, even though impeachment
          may be a possible consequence, is not privileged (III, 2050, 2546; VI, 463).

          But where a resolution of investigation positively proposes impeachment or suggests that end, it has been admitted as of privilege
          (III, 2051, 2052, 2401, 2402).

          A committee to which has been referred privileged resolutions for the impeachment of a federal civil officer may call up as privileged resolutions incidental to consideration of the
          impeachment question, including conferral of subpoena authority and funding of the investigation from the contingent fund (now referred to as applicable accounts of the House described in clause 1(h)(1) of rule X'') (VI, 549; Feb. 6, 1974, p. 2349).

          A resolution authorizing depositions by committee counsel in an impeachment inquiry is privileged
          under rule IX and the Constitution as incidental to impeachment (Speaker Wright, Oct. 3, 1988, p. 27781).

          The Investigation of impeachment charges having been made on the floor by a Member (III, 2342, 2400; VI, 525, 526, 528, 535, 536), or

          charges suggesting impeachment having been made by memorial (III, 2495, 2516; 2520, VI, 552), or even appearing through common fame (III, 2385, 2506), the House has at times ordered an investigation at once. At other times it has refrained from ordering investigation until the charges had been examined by a committee (III, 2364, 2488, 2491, 2492, 2494, 2504, 2513).

          Under the later practice, resolutions introduced through the hopper under clause 4 of rule XXII that directly call for the impeachment of a federal civil officer have been referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, while resolutions calling for an investigation by that committee or by a select committee with a view toward impeachment have been referred to the Committee on Rules (Oct. 23, 1973, p. 34873).

          Live Free or Die (-8.88 -9.49) IMPEACH

          by rktect on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 06:15:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I have this fantasy.... (4.00)
        ..that RI is first.... the dems keep bringing it back up won't die.......

        Then Vermont brings a similar resolution, the Repubs do their best to try and deflect...

        Then MA brings a third resolution... the press grabs hold....begins to fill endless air time with the history of Bush/Cheney crimes that we've been discussing for years....

        ....BushCo's "October surprise" is revealed a another fraudulent manipulation of America's fear factor prior to the November elections...

        ...people sheeple begin to question authority...finally...


        "Bureaucracy defends the status quo long past the time when the quo has lost its status." --LJ Peter

        by Hells Bells on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 04:32:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I have this fantasy.... (none)
        ..that RI is first.... the dems keep bringing it back up won't die.......

        Then Vermont brings a similar resolution, the Repubs do their best to try and deflect...

        Then MA brings a third resolution... the press grabs hold....begins to fill endless air time with the history of Bush/Cheney crimes that we've been discussing for years....

        ....BushCo's "October surprise" is revealed a another fraudulent manipulation of America's fear ........sheeple begin to wonder if they've been lied to before.....

        ...sheeple begin to question authority...finally...the tide is turning.....


        "Bureaucracy defends the status quo long past the time when the quo has lost its status." --LJ Peter

        by Hells Bells on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 04:37:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  can the republicans change the rules (none)
        -so that a state can not bring impeachment charges?
        -change it's priority so that it can be easily buried?

        Even if either answer is yes, I still think that it should be done. Repeatedly. Forcing the repugs to use highly visible power plays like that will show craven how they are, even if no one is directly forced from office.

  •  in the immortal words (4.00)
    of Bart Simpson, "the ironing would be delicious"
  •  Bet this would work for Scalia, too (3.92)
    I know, that's later, but still worth noting for later.
    •  And Cheney (none)
      Maybe Whittington will get the Texas Legislature all up in arms.

      Pinch me.  I have been dreaming.

    •  eh? (none)
      what is it exactly that we'd want to impeach scalia for? disagreement with his judicial "philosophy?"
      •  aoeu (4.00)
        Hunting with a defendent?

        Life isn't baseball, no matter how far you're down there're always more innings for you and the people you love to fight for the causes you hold dear.

        by TealVeal on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 03:35:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Sadly (4.00)
        Gross incompetence and insanity are not crimes.
      •  Deliberately subverting the rule (4.00)
        of law in Bush vs. Gore, for starters. Look at the "one-time only never to be used as precedent" rulings.

        Failure to recuse himself (wife?son? direct beneficiaries of a Bush win), proclamation that he was not going to let Bush be robbed BEFORE the case even was made in front of him, failure to faithfully execute his oath of office, conspiracy to subvert the constitution, conspiracy to deprive Gore of due process, conspiracy to help Cheney avoid investigation re: energy policy, the top of my head

        The man doesn't have a judicial philosophy. He has made-up-on-the-spot reasons for why he always chooses his political allies' interests over the rule of law. He is a serial perverter of the judicial process.

        •  If I remember correctly (none)
          Cheney v. District Court was a 7-2 decision.  Indeed, Breyer and Stevens joined the Opinion of the Court (which Scalia and Thomas joined in part).  

          As for Bush v. Gore, I seem to recall, that there were at least 5 justices who sided with Bush.  Will they all be impeached now?  (And how exactly was his family a "direct beneficiary" of a Bush win, that he knew of beforehand?)

          And how did he fail to "faithfully execute" the oath of office?

          Really?  Scalia doesn't have a judicial philosophy and always helps his political allies win?  How do you explain his votes in Kyllo (infared search case), Kelo (eminent domain case), the flag burning cases, etc.?  You want to talk about "on-the-spot" reasons?  Perhaps you should turn to Douglas and Blackmun who couldn't even articulate coherently a reason why Roe v. Wade was decided the way it was (not to mention the abortion funding cases).

          •  I don't know (4.00)
            why the others voted the way they did. I know why Scalia did. You can make an argument he's not corrupt. You can make an argument that my foot is my arm. Or anything else. For myself, I'm not buying.

            Let's say I deduce that from watching him state that the President is essentially an agent of God, that he is incompetent to rule in the law or the people's interest.

            I don't know the details of the cases you cite, and for all I know he was objecting on procedural grounds, or he had a stake in it. Maybe he does have a philosophy. Doesn't mean he's not corrupt, deluded, and incapable, or committed to fundamentally undermining the rights of individuals.

            I know he gave us Bush with rulings that first, delayed the counting, and second, decided the counting deadline had been passed so it was a closed book. I know he admitted that his rulings were corrupt when he added that they were to be taken as one-time-only-and-never-as-precedent rulings, which in fact does argue that he might have a judicial philosophy. Any crook or nut can have a judicial philosophy. Are other justices impeachable? Could be. Scalia, for sure.

            •  What a bunch of nonsense (none)
              You "know" why Scalia voted the way he did because.... you just know?   That's a really convincing argument.  The fact that 7(!) justices including the most liberal one (Stevens) agreed with him, is of no importance.  He is a "crook" because you say so.  That's just great.

              Nor is a justice requrired to rule "in people's interest."  He is required to uphold the Constitution, no matter whose interests are impeached.  And btw, he dissented in Hamdi writing that a US citizen can never be detained without trial (while Breyer, Souter, and Ginsburg concluded that he could).  

              And if you don't know the cases I cite, perhaps you should familiarize yourself with Scalia's actual writings and not with newspaper reports of his writings.

              Finally, on BvG, Scalia joined a concurring opinion which did not have that phrase of which you are complaining (not that it really means what you say it means).   The majority opinion was the work of Kennedy and/or O'Connor not of Scalia.  He would never write such drivel.  

              •  Look I'm not a lawyer (none)
                but I'm sure you can find more than a handful of lawyers who would argue he deserves impeachment. And an overriding reality is that Congress can damn well impeach anyone they want to for any reason they want to anytime they want to and nobody can overrule that.

                You arguments all seem to be that Scalia is just a fine honest man giving fine honest interpretations of things, and of course I can't prove the opposite, but then I don't see that you can prove your side either.

                What I do know is something was fishy as hell about the behavior around Gore v. Bush, and that something is degenerate about his mixing of religion and "divine right" with Constitutional law, and that he is closely allied with the Federalist Society--a elitist coup d'etat kind of set if I ever saw one.

                And what I do know is that the "duty only extends to interpreting the Constitution" line is meritless in the real world since the Constitution is expressly set up by and for "we, the people" for, among other things, establishing justice. What happened in Gore vs. Bush was not just. If we want him impeached, and the Congress agrees, he's gone.

                This pretty much ends my interest in this thread.

                If you want to think he's just fine, feel free. My gut-instincts about people and motives has served me true often enough for me to have confidence in it.

                •  Well I guess then (none)
                  that while GOP controls Congress they would be fully justified in impeaching Ginsburg, Stevens, Breyer and Souter because they can.  (Though of course I never disputed that Congress can impeach anyone anytime for any reason).

                  But if we are going to go down that road, soon we will have no judges left.

                  •  Bugliosi, Spence, Dershowitz (none)
                    have all written and expounded on the manifest corruptness and illegality of the Gore v Bush shenanigans, and Scalia has been generally held as a key driver in this. Maybe these aren't the finest lawyers and prosecutors on earth, but it's not like it's some "tin-hat" idea that a huge injustice was committed against America.

                    And, frankly, I'd like to see the whole court out of office, and about 80% of Congress and all of the executive branch, and start with a new slate all-around. The entire political leadership seems against our general welfare and our security against tyranny at this point.

                    And I wasn't saying do it because you can. I was just pointing out that, practically speaking, justification and interpretation of impeachability/removability is what Congress says it is. Thanks for sparring, though.

                •  Remember that guy... (none)
                  And an overriding reality is that Congress can damn well impeach anyone they want to for any reason they want to anytime they want to and nobody can overrule that.

                  Remember that guy, used to be President, now his wife is trying for the office?  Oh, whatshisname, Clinton or something like that.  Got impeached for lying about getting a blowjob in office.  

                   /end snark

                  "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

                  by The Peanut Gallery on Mon Feb 20, 2006 at 02:21:55 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  How about abuse of power (4.00)
        see Bush v. Gore, wherein he and 4 other partisan GOP hack justices found a way to have their votes counted  twice when many in my state (Florida) couldn't get their votes counted once.

        "Once in a while you get shown the light In the strangest of places if you look at it right"

        by molly bloom on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 05:09:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Because we can... (4.00)
        ...and because checks and balances only work if you use them, and because they apply to the courts too, and because Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Alito have taken an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States but have not done so, and because Scalia and Thonmas (and Rhenquist) have conspired among themselves to commit high crimes and misdeamenors in the unprecedented action they took in the case of Bush vs Gore, and because of a long train of other abuses leading inexoriably toward tyranny.

        Live Free or Die (-8.88 -9.49) IMPEACH

        by rktect on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 06:23:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Really? (none)
          Alito and Roberts have not preserved and protected the COnstitution?  Alito hasn't even cast a vote yet as a Justice (except on some petitions and stay requests).  And already he failed?!
          •  Well yeah... (none)
            I would make the same argument as is made when judges are expected to recuse themselves to avoid even the appearance of the possibility of a partisan or ideologically biased decision.

            Earlier precedent of the Supreme Court case law has defined tyranny as political control of all three branches of government, so just by being there the perception that all three branches are under Republican control is given.

            The perception is that they are there for a reason. That alone, all by itself creates a constitutional crisis.

            Now while Roberts is not expected to take part in the military cases, and that remains to be seen, no such expectation is being made as regards Alito and the abortion cases.

            Among the major items awaiting Alito and his colleagues are the government appeal seeking to salvage the federal ban on so-called "partial birth abortions," a government plea to dismiss the pending challenge to the war crimes "military commissions" set up for war-on-terrorism suspects, and the appeal by U.S. citizen Jose Padilla challenging the President's power to order his detention as an "enemy combatant" after he was captured on U.S. soil.

            Chief Justice Roberts is not expected to take part in the Court's consideration of the military commission case, since he sat on that case as a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court. He has taken himself out of the process when the Court issued earlier orders in that case, including the grant of review.

            Live Free or Die (-8.88 -9.49) IMPEACH

            by rktect on Mon Feb 20, 2006 at 07:28:58 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Huh?! What a load of huey. (none)
              So the fact that Republicans who won elections appoint other Republicans is a constitutional crisis?!

              Well then I guess we have been in a crisis mode several times before.  If my memory serves me, during FDR's terms he appointed all 9 justices (some of whom were cronies) while controlling the House and the Senate by filibuster proof margins.  I guess that was a constitutional crisis?

              Why exactly should Alito recuse himself on abortion but Ginsburg and Stevens shouldn't?

              And Roberts is sitting out Hamdan not because of political conflict, but because he was one of the judges below who decided Hamdan.  It is generally considered to be bad form for judges to review their own decisions.

              •  What does the phrase constitutional crisis mean (none)
                if not that a situation exists where people have reason to be concerned, troubled, and apprehensive about whether their government is still functioning according to its constitution and laws or is totally out of control and rapidly degenerating into a lawless tyranny.

                Once our President get's away with holding himself above the law there is really no reason everbody else shouldn't follow suit.

                As to Republicans being elected...People haven't been able to have confidence in elections in this country for six years, or doesn't the name Diebold ring a bell?

                The prospect of Republicans appointing their Republican cronies to positions of power and incompetence such as the Presidency and the Supreme Court is more terrifying to most Americans than anything else... except maybe going hunting with Calamity Dick, or this thing where they just discovered their port security has been outsourced to the UAE.

                Alito should recuse himself because hes on the record as having taken an extreme idealogical position on the issue.

                Live Free or Die (-8.88 -9.49) IMPEACH

                by rktect on Mon Feb 20, 2006 at 07:59:14 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Nonsense and more nonsense (none)
                  Alito is no more "on the record" then Ginsburg or Breyer or Souter or Stevens or then Blackmun (who authored Roe) was or Marshall or Brennan (all of whom voted not only for constitutionalizing a right to abortion but a right to have the state fund it).

                  As for people not having confidence in elections, I submit that it is only a small subsection of the populace.  In case you didn't know, Ohio (the only real battleground state) did not use Diebold or any other similar types of machines in 2004.  Furthermore, as you may check for yourself, Bush's margin in Ohio was larger than Kerry's margin in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota or NH.  

                  Alito and Roberts are now INCOMPETENT?!  Wow.  That is after the unanimous "well qualified" rating both men received from the ABA.  Who is competent then?  And Americans are terriefied?!  Last I checked, polls showed support for the confirmation of both Roberts and Alito.  

                  You may not like the election results, or the Court appointees, but the fact of the matter is that those who win elections get to make the appointments.  The longest serving member of the Court is a Ford appointee.  Since Ford's presidency there have been 8 elections.  Five of them have been won by Republicans and only 3 by Democrats.  Carter was unlucky in not having had a chance to appoint anyone.  So why are you surprised that the Court is dominated by Republican appointees?  There will liberals appointed to the Court once Democrats put together a similar string of election victories.

                  •  Being a judge requires a competent administrator (none)
                    Someone with good judgement, and a strong moral compass and the ability to tell right from wrong.

                    Clearly a man who can justify the strip search of a ten year old girl or vote Republican lacks those virtues.

                    Live Free or Die (-8.88 -9.49) IMPEACH

                    by rktect on Tue Feb 21, 2006 at 04:24:07 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I guess I must have missed (none)
                      the requirement that Republicans are not allowed to be judges.

                      And again, go and actually read Alito's opinion on the search.  It is more useful then the press clippings.  Maybe then you will know what was the issue in the case. I personally do not remember a constitutional clause that bars searches based on age.

                      •  Its just evidence that the person is not competent (none)
                        The basic test of competence is whether the person is capable of distinguishing right from wrong. Voting Republican simply fails the test.

                        I have read Alito's decision in US vs John and Jane Doe, Guardians of Mary Doe a minor.

                        His logic is that if we don't allow random strip searches of ten year old girls then ten year old girls will be the logical place for drug dealers to hide their drugs.

                        Lets say we accept that logic.

                        The corrolary would be that if we don't allow random strip searches of judges, then judges will be the logical place for Republican bagmen to hide their payoffs and bribes.

                        The IVth ammendment to constitution provides:

                        The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

                        Nothing personal your honor, do you want us to apply a little lube before we begin the cavity search?

                        Live Free or Die (-8.88 -9.49) IMPEACH

                        by rktect on Tue Feb 21, 2006 at 09:58:18 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Well good luck convincing (none)
                          the public teh Republican judges are not qualified because they are Republican.  That will go over well.

                          As for strip search, the point was not "random" searches.  The affidavit accomapnying a warrant requested search of everyone on premises.  Furthermore, even if police were wrong, police are not lawyers.  Under SCOTUS precedents they are allowed to make reasonable mistakes in reading and executing a warrant without liability.

                          •  If you are presently watching the news (none)
                            you may have noted by now that Bill Bennett, Frist, Weldon and Congress with one voice are now talking about overriding a presidential veto...The Republican party is self destructing, ...Republicans are publically asking "Who is advising him?"

                            "Republican" has become one of those words people don't use in polite society without spitting on the floor first.

                            The reason is that most competent people can tell right from wrong.

                            You can push Americans a long way before they get angry, but historically people responsible for attacks on their ports (Pearl Harbor) pay a heavy price.

                            You can't have a legal warrant that particularly decribes "everyone on the premisis" that's ludicrous. You have to particularly describe  each item to be searched for and each person.

                            You are quite right that police are not lawyers. Therefore they have to be held in check by people who are, by judges. The police are not allowed to make mistakes any more than Doctors and Surgeons.

                            Because their work is a matter of life and death, the Police have no choice but to get it right and we have no choice but to demand they do their job the hard way, the right way, with no excuses. If they don't like it then they should find another line of work.

                            There is no SCOTUS precedent that allows the Police to act unconstitutionally in reading a warrant or judges in writing it.

                            Live Free or Die (-8.88 -9.49) IMPEACH

                            by rktect on Tue Feb 21, 2006 at 01:54:13 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Well you are just incorrect on (none)
                            the law.  There is plenty of precedent supporting the notion that good faith errors are excused.  See e.g., Anderson v. Creighton, 483 U.S. 635 (1987); Stone v. Powell, 428 U.S. 465 (1976); United States v. Leon, 468 U.S. 897 (1984).

                            You certainly CAN search everyone on premises.  If a place is a known drug den and is being raided certainly everyone no matter how old can be searched.  That is Fourth Amendment 101.

                            Next, Republican is a dirty word, huh?  How exactly do you explain Republicans winning 7 out of last 10 Presidential elections, winning and keeping control of both Houses of Congress since 1994, and Democrats failing to get over 50% of the popular vote in each of the last 10 Pres elections with the exception of 1976?

                          •  Either the law is the law or its not (none)
                            If the law says the speed limit is 55 MPH, but good faith errors are excused up to 72 MPH, then the legal speed limit is 72 MPH, and after a while, when everybody is doing 80, the speed limit becomes a joke.

                            For a long time Massachusetts had "blue laws" probably every state has a few. Laws which nobody obeys become regulations and then norms and mores and then attitudes and values.

                            You certainly can search everyone on premises if you have a warrant which particularly describes both the place to be searched and the persons to be seized.

                            If the warrant describes a "drug den", the warrant had better spell out what a "drug den" is that makes it what it is and not something else such as a church or any decent lawyer is going to argue its unnecessarily vauge, it fails to give an address, it doesn't say what floor its on, or adequately protect the innocent neighbors.

                            Its also going to require some sort of testimony in support, not just heresay or suspicion cause you can suspect anything, but probable cause to include observation by an officer or some other reasonable and verifiable grounds.

                            If for example you testify that at 1:00 on Saturday you observed a black man age 26 height 6'2 weight 185 pounds selling drugs to a white woman age 32 height 5'4 weight 120 pounds at 5 Drug Den Street a one story single family residence, I would allow you have presented probable cause for a warrant to go to that place, search that premises for drugs, and drug paraphenalia, and seize those persons.

                            If you get there and it turns out to be a two story Vietnamese daycare and you decide you want to strip search a 10 year old Vietnamese girl you found on the second floor because she was on the premises, I'm not going to allow you acted in good faith and just made an error.

                            As to Republican being a dirty word, I expect that before 2008 its going to become an expletive deleted hate word in conservative and libertarian circles, not just democratic ones because of what they allowed to be done to the constitution.

                            As to Republicans winning elections, you can't win if you cheat. As to Democrats failing to get over 50% of the popular vote, I dispute that.

                            How do I explain my scepticism? What, Gore vs Bush, Florida, Ohio, Diebold, more votes than voters isn't enough. We can get into a lot more detail if you like.

                            I'll take your case law separately.

                            Live Free or Die (-8.88 -9.49) IMPEACH

                            by rktect on Tue Feb 21, 2006 at 06:39:55 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You don't have to "dispute" (none)
                            You are not entitled to your own set of facts.  Setting aside the last election (where your dispute seems to center) Clinton failed to get majority, Gore failed to get amjority of the popular vote (irrespective of whether or not he won Florida).  Obviously Mondale, Dukakis, Carter in 1980, McGovern and Humphrey all failed to get majority of the popular vote.

                            As for election 2004, in case you didn't know, Ohio didn't use Diebold or any other electronic voting technology.

                            Next, yes the law is the law.  But the law is such that it allows for good faith mistakes.  There are plenty such laws in teh country.  For example in MD, electronic recording of the phone conversation is illegal without the consent of both parties, but a party who does tape anyway is excused if they did not know of the prohibition.  In case you didn't know, the Constitution does not prohibit warrantless searches, only unreasonable ones.  Therefore, the police must act reasonably.  In other words if they rely in good faith on a warrant that is defective, they are acting reasonably.  If they are searching a house for which they have a warrant and sufficient probable cause to believe is a drug den, they are likely acting reasonably if they search everyone on the premises.  

                            You are right, if the warrant specifies a place to be searched and it is obvious upon arrival that you got the wrong place, but you still proceed, you are not acting in good faith.  However in the case in front of Alito, it was obvious that they got the RIGHT place.  Consequently, they were at least arguably reasonable in searching for drugs everywhere including on people present.  

                            As for Republican being dirty word, you should get out more.  I tell you one thing, if Democrats nominate Hillary, it will be another GOP term in the White House.

                          •  The facts are the facts (none)
                            ...but how you present the facts may or may not represent the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

                            Science may have a different take on things than belief, that doesn't make them just different points of view entitled to equal deference and authority.

                            Yesterday in the Supreme Court Alito argued that the Missouri and Mississippi are different waterways in name only, totaly ignoring their hydrology and EPA discharge ratings are completely different.

                            In 1992 Bill Clinton received substantially more of the popular (43%)vote  than George Bush (37%) and much more of the electoral vote(370 of 578)

                            Perot ran as a third party candidate. Without Perot in the race the vote would have broken about 52% to 48% which is consistent with the voter registration.

                            In more recent years Republican gerrymandering, and fraud in voter registration where people go door to door saying they are registering voters then throw all the democratic registrations away, fraud in registered voters being told the wrong place to go vote, and fraud in attempting to keep people off of voting lists and fraud in attempting to prevent them from entering polling places, and fraud in not counting their votes in a variety of ways such as by butterfly ballots, hanging chads, Diebold machines, or rejecting the votes of people who have have both punched and written in a name which indicates a clear preference, have resulted in many people coming to doubt the fairness of the electoral process and thereby the justification of government which the voting process provides.

                            Gore won Florida and got both a majority of the popular vote and the electoral vote, everybody knows that now.

                            Ohio had a number of voting irregularities.

                            An estimated 93,000 ballots were spoiled across Ohio, ie in two precints in Montgomery County 25% of the people who stood in line for hours to vote, declined to choose either candidate.

                            Part of the problem was due to computerized vote tabulation software provided by Diebold

                            G. Franklin County Overvote - On election day, a computerized voting machine in ward 1B in the Gahanna precinct of Franklin County recorded a total of 4,258 votes for President Bush and 260 votes for Democratic challenger, John Kerry. However, there are only 800 registered voters in that Gahanna precinct, and only 638 people cast votes at the New Life Church polling site. It was since discovered that a computer glitch resulted in the recording of 3,893 extra votes for President George W. Bush.

                            In Mahoning County, numerous voters reported that when they attempted to vote for John Kerry, the vote showed up as a vote for George Bush. This was reported by numerous voters and continued despite numerous attempts to correct their vote.

                            The gradual discovery of how the Republicans regularly make up for their minority status on registered voter lists by institutionalizing  voting fraud, particularly in minority districts, throws into question the voting tabulation in the races of Mondale, Dukakis, Carter in 1980, McGovern and Humphrey.

                            Sixty percent of the American people now poll as being persuaded that if Republicans are in charge of any government activity, they expect them to lie, cheat and steal as a matter of policy and expect that has been Republican SOP going back long before Nixon.

                            In the case before Alito it was obvious both that they got the wrong place and that their suspicion was not reasonable because the people and place were not as described in the warrant.

                            They were not bank robbers, they had no connection to bank robbers, they were an ordinary american family minding their own business in the privacy of their own home.

                            The only apparent grounds for suspicion was that they were black and the police officers were white.

                            The Police broke and entered without a warrant and assaulted the family including the father, his wife and a ten year old girl doing battery.

                            Once again, people without good judgement, a strong moral compass and the ability to tell right from wrong should not be judges.

                            It doesn't bother me that you are a koolaid drinking troll, but if you want to stand by this precedent then I ought to be able to make a warrentless arrest of you as someone I happen to suspect of being a Republican.

                            I consider that a heinious crime since all Republicans who haven't by now publically disavowed Bush are clearly engaged in a conspiracy to aid and abet an administration which most people now consider guilty of war crimes and worse.

                            I don't need a warrant because I have a reasonable suspicion that all Republicans are by definition of aiding and abeting the Bush administration terrorist regime up to no good.

                            I should then be able to break and enter your home, do you battery and chalk it up to a good faith effort to make the world a better place.

                            Live Free or Die (-8.88 -9.49) IMPEACH

                            by rktect on Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 05:25:58 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Hahaha (none)
                            You are really going to question Mondale's and McGovern's 49 state rout?!  Hahaha! But you don't question JFK-LBJ win despite some very questionable practices in IL and TX?!

                            And Gore did NOT win majority of the popular vote.  He won 48%.  If you don't remember Nader took about 2% of the vote.

                            In Ohio, even counting the 93K ballots and voting "irregularities" across the country does add up to ~3 million votes.

                            As for Alito's case, you got it exactly wrong.  Police officers were in the RIGHT place, and even if they were in the wrong one, how exactly was it "obvious?"  Police entered WITH a warrant. There was no assault.  You are just making stuff up.

                            If you don't want Republican judges, you better win some elections.  But I doubt that the attitude that all Republicans are bad will help you carry a single Southern or Mountain state (which makes it nearly impossible to win in electoral college).

                          •  Its not me that puts the vote into question (none)
                            Its the people who think the only way they can win is to cheat. Its not rocket science that once you get caught you don't walk out with the pot, so yeah, Bush Co. has blown it for everybody.

                            Republicans now have zero credibility left as a party retroactive back as far as peoples memories go. Gore won the majority of the popular vote. 48.4% is a majority over 47.9% No sane person has ever denied that.

                            In the case you cited as precedent for Alito's case there was no warrant. The Police were asked for one and replied they didn't need one!

                            Please don't be suprised if the American people react negatively to this long train of abuses. My expectation is that the backlash will be severe enough that a lot of Tory Republicans may find themselves turning their redcoats blue side out and one way or another joining the rebels in hanging king George.

                            Live Free or Die (-8.88 -9.49) IMPEACH

                            by rktect on Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 08:32:44 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Look in the dictionary (none)
                            48% is not a majority.  Majority by definition is 50% + 1 vote.  48% is a PLURALITY.  That is exactly what I have been saying.  That save for Carter in 1976 who got 50.1% of the vote, no Democrat has won a majority of the vote since 1964.

                            And in Alito's case there WAS a warrant.  The case is Doe v. Groody.  And here's a quote from the majority opinion:

                            "On March 6, 1998, as the result of a long-term investigation of John Doe for suspected narcotics dealing, officers of the Schuylkill County Drug Task Force("Task Force") sought a search warrant for Doe and his residence.


                            Under the legend was the Magistrate's signature, followed by the phrase "Issuing Authority" and the impression of a rubber stamp. The warrant was attached to a separate printed face sheet, entitled "Search Warrant and Affidavit."


                            Armed with the warrant, Task Force police went to the John Doe house to carry out the search. Evidently, they anticipated encountering females because they enlisted a female traffic meter patrol officer to be available if necessary to assist in the search. As the officers approached
                            the house, they met John Doe, and brought him into the house.

                            As you can see your assertions that a) there was no warrant, b) that the police "broke into the house" and c) that the police assaulted anyone, are utter BS.  Nothing like that happened.  You are just making stuff up on the spot.

                          •  Majority (none)
                            "Blacks Law Dictionary", West,1979, fifth edition 0-8299-2041-2
                            Majority: "The greater number", what you are talking about is a majority vote.

                            I'm not sure what point you are trying to make.

                            At the time of the election, before the vote was finally decided, and in an extremely contraversial decision, a part of the Supreme Court decided in a partisan fashion to select the candidate they favored. Five people substituted their preference for the preference of everyone else.

                            Its a basic principle of our form of government that the justification of government is the consent of the governed.

                            Since this action as described in Bush vs Gore prevented We the People from exercising our option to give our consent to being governed and thereby to give justification to the government, the government since then had been by definition an unjust and illegal ursurpation of power.


                            Re: Doe vs Grooby

                            The typed affidavit in support of the warrant application stated, in pertinent part, that a reliable confidential informant had
                            purchased methamphetamine on several occasions from John Doe, at Doe's residence office," or from a Volkswagen automobile parked in front. In addition, the affidavit noted that individuals with histories of prior narcotics use or with drug gang affiliations had been observed by Task Force members entering or
                            leaving John Doe's residence
                            . Finally, the
                            affidavit indicated that the most recent
                            methamphetamine purchase by the informant had occurred within the preceding 48 hours.

                            The search warrant application form contained a
                            typewritten entry naming only John Doe,
                            giving his description, date of birth and
                            social security number, and identifying
                            and describing John Doe's residence.

                            The typed affidavit requested permission to search John Doe's residence and his Volkswagen for drugs, paraphernalia, money, drug records and
                            other evidence

                            Additionally, the affidavit stated: The search should also
                            1 We refer to the family in question as Doe because they filed their case under that name, although the actual names of family members are disclosed in the record.
                            include all occupants of the residence as the information developed shows that [Doe]
                            has frequent visitors that purchase methamphetamine.These persons may be on
                            the premises at the time of the execution of the search warrant and many attempt to conceal controlled substances on their persons.

                            Assuming we allow all of the places and persons particularly identified in the affidavit as being included in the warrant, the broadest possible reading is

                            Things to be searched for: "drugs, paraphernalia, money, drug records" (particularly named
                            Things excluded: "and other evidence" (too vauge)
                            John Doe's residence/office premises
                            John Doe's Volkswagon parked in front (if it was a Volswagon parked in the rear it wouldn't be included)
                            John Doe
                            "individuals with histories of prior narcotics use or with drug gang affiliations"
                            "include all occupants of the residence"
                            defined as:
                            "frequent visitors that purchase methamphetamine"
                            "persons" "on the premises at the time of the execution of the search warrant" who attempt to conceal controlled substances on their persons"

                            Once inside, however,the officers found no visitors, but only John Doe's wife, Jane, and their ten year old daughter, Mary.

                            Neither had histories of prior narcotics use or drug gang affiliation and as staded above in the case law were not visitors that purchase methamphetamines.

                            They were not particularly named in the warrant for John Does search and so there was no warrant for their search.

                            Although Jane and Mary Doe
                            were detained during the course of the
                            search in this case, the District Court
                            denied qualified immunity for the search,
                            not the detention. Insofar as Leveto
                            discusses detention, therefore, it is
                            irrelevant to this issue. Similarly, neither
                            the Does nor the officers contend that the
                            search here was a protective "frisk" or
                            search for weapons that is justified on less
                            than full probable case. See Terry v.
                            Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 16, 25-30 (1968);
                            Leveto, 258 F.3d at 163-64. Rather, the
                            officers concede that Jane and Mary Doe
                            were searched for possible evidence or
                            contraband, and not because they were
                            viewed as possibly armed or dangerous.
                            Indeed, it is difficult to conceive how the
                            search of a ten-year old child in these
                            circumstances could be justified as part of
                            a "protective sweep." Because the
                            decision in Leveto concerned the special
                            rules governing protective searches, it
                            simply does not address the non-protective
                            body search that is before us in this matter.
                            A non-protective search must
                            normally be supported by probable cause,
                            and, with certain exceptions, must be
                            authorized by a warrant. The officers
                            principally argue that the search of both
                            females was covered by the warrant for
                            the search of the house and was supported
                            by probable cause. If a warrant did indeed
                            authorize a search of Jane and Mary Doe,
                            then the officers were entitled to rely upon
                            it to satisfy the probable cause
                            requirement, and there was no
                            constitutional violation.4 United States v.
                            Leon, 468 U.S. 897, 922 (1984).
                            The face of the search warrant here,
                            however, does not grant authority to
                            search either Jane or Mary Doe

                            To be sure, a warrant must be read
                            in a common sense, non-technical fashion.
                            United States v. Ventresca, 380 U.S. 102,
                            109 (1965). But it may not be read in a
                            way that violates its fundamental
                            purposes. As the text of the Fourth
                            Amendment itself denotes, a particular
                            description is the touchstone of a warrant
                            U.S. Const. amend. IV. The requirement
                            of a particular description in writing
                            accomplishes three things. First, it
                            memorializes precisely what search or
                            seizure the issuing magistrate intended to
                            permit. Second, it confines the discretion
                            of the officers who are executing the
                            warrant. Marron v. United States, 275
                            U.S. 192, 196 (1927). Third, it "inform[s]
                            the subject of the search what can be
                            ." Bartholomew, 221 F.3d at 429.
                            For these reasons, although a warrant
                            should be interpreted practically, it must
                            be sufficiently definite and clear so that
                            the magistrate, police, and search subjects
                            can objectively ascertain its scope
                            . See
                            Groh, 540 U.S. at __, slip op. at 5.

                            Live Free or Die (-8.88 -9.49) IMPEACH

                            by rktect on Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 10:39:34 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  So you retract your (none)
                            assertions that there was no warrant and that police broke into the house and assaulted the residents therein?  Did you just make that information up?

                            As for majority.  It means what it says.  I.e., greater then half.  There is a difference between majority and plurality.  No one denies that Clinton won the election in 1992 and 1996, but 43% of the vote is not a majority.  It is a plurality.  The point that I was making is that there are fundamental issues that must be adressed when a party fails to capture over 50% of the vote in 9 out of the last 10 elections.  

                          •  Absolutely not, quite the opposite (none)
                            The case finds there was no warrant for Jane and Mary Doe who were searched ilegaly.

                            The warrant particularly names John Doe, another person and does not include them. Even the affidavit which the case goes on to exclude, were it allowed, would not include them because they aren't particularly named in it either.

                            As for majority, go look it up in Black's you will find it is as I said. Plurality applies only to a majority vote.

                            Clinton won the election because he got the most votes. When there are only two people in an election he who received the greater number of the votes cast is said to have a majority.

                            The people who get the most votes are in the majority even when the margin of victory is a plurality as sometimes happens when there are three or more candidates.

                            I don't really take your point. Where in the constitution is this language about a limit on elections won by pluralities? What fundamental issue is raised?

                            The real problem is that we no longer have elections people trust in this country and we no longer have any branch of government that people trust and no way they can effectively give their consent to be governed in order to justify the government.

                            Live Free or Die (-8.88 -9.49) IMPEACH

                            by rktect on Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 11:28:34 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Either you are stupid or you are (none)
                            pretenting to be stupid.

                            No one said that there is a constitutional mandate to win 50%+.  But it is a political problem for a party if it chronically fails to attract even half the voting public to its side.

                            Majority by definition means more than half.  It's as simple as that.  Black's Law dictionary says exactly that.  

                            So you stand by your statement that police "broke in" and "assaulted" people?  Got any evidence to that effect?  You also said that there was NO warrant (patently false) and that it was obvious that they got the WRONG place (again patently false).  You stand by those as well?

                            And, btw, just because you don't trust any branch of govt doesn't mean "people" don't.  You are not the "people."  you are part of the people, but not "the people."

                          •  There's no problem (none)
                            After this administration Republicans are history, they are gonna go the way of the Whigs. Nobody is gonna want to be a laughing stock.

                            Blacks Law Dictionary primary definition in the context we are talking is as cited, sorry. It also has the meanings, full age, legal age, the opposite of minority, the greater number, the number greater than half of any total.

                            If you compare the total of the votes for Gore and Bush then Gore has the majority.

                            The case law says the police acted without a warrant, that may constitute a crime of breaking and entering.

                            To search a person without a warrant may constitute the crime of assault or depending on the circunstances be considered a sex crime or both.

                            The other cases you cited that I responded to are even more blatent about it.

                            Live Free or Die (-8.88 -9.49) IMPEACH

                            by rktect on Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 12:57:45 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I think you are engaging (none)
                            in wishful thinking.  It is unhealthy.  

                            Even assuming that the caselaw says that entering w/o a warrant is breaking and entering (cite please?) as we established, the police in Groody did have a warrant to enter and search the premises.  So your statement is a non-sequitur.

                            As for searching a person w/o a warrant being a sex crime, please provide cites.  We have already established that your factual assertions are full of shit.  So, unless you can back up your statements with some facts, I suggest you stop making outlandish charges.

                            And finally as to majority.  No one disputes that Gore got more votes than Bush or Clinton more than Dole.  That's not the point.  The point is that the Democratic party has been chronically unable to convince more than half of the voting public to endorse its candidate/positions.  That is by any measure a huge political problem.  If consistently the majority of the public prefers an approach other than that offered by the Democratic Party (be that alternative the republicans or Perot or Nader or w/e else) it shows that public is not that enamored with the solutions offered by the Democrats.  To be sure, sometimes more people prefer the Democratic approach then any other ONE, but not often do people prefer the Democratic approach to all of the other alternatives.

                          •  Officer related sex crimes while searching (none)
                            Lately I've been checking out allegations of women and girls being "searched" rather zealously, shall we say, at security checkpoints in airports. Incidents of overly intimate touching and fondling have been reported at Phoenix, Atlanta, Raleigh-Durham, Portland, and elsewhere. Perhaps three dozen such cases have been reported. I don't know that they happen everywhere. There is no way to know what hasn't been reported, of course. A few of these cases involve children. In the Atlanta case, a 9-year old girl was frisked. In yet another, from Orlando, a 3-year old girl was patted down. There are related cases of absurd levels of paranoia among security personnel. At Kennedy Airport in New York City, a woman was forced by a security guard to drink from three bottles of her own breast milk to "prove" that the white liquid posed no threat to anyone. The dominant news media have been mostly silent about these cases except for a tiny handful of local news stories. I'm surprised feminists haven't had more to say about them. I guess they are still busy griping about all those dead white males in the textbooks.

                            What makes these incidents so traumatic for both victims and their relatives is their inability to protest in the face of overwhelming federal power. As Lonnie Jaycox put it after watching his wife be frisked "vigorously and inappropriately" at the checkpoint in Houston's Hobby Airport, "they make it clear that if you oppose them in any way they will call the National Guard and cause you to miss your flight and possibly be arrested."

                            In the Portland case, this actually happened. On October 26, Los Angeles writer Nicholas Monahan's pregnant wife Mary was reduced to tears after an episode of breast touching by a complete stranger. The two of them had been pulled aside for individual inspections. This has become standard practice: random searches of ordinary citizens without any kind of reasonable suspicion. Mary Monahan's sobbed words: "I felt like a clown ... on display for all these people, with the cotton panel on my pants and my stomach sticking out." Monahan records that he "marched up to the woman who'd been examining her and shouted, `What did you do to her?'" The woman immediately summoned police who handcuffed him and locked him in a jail cell in the airport for two hours. They cited him for disorderly conduct. Monahan records that he was threatened with a felony charge. The couple was escorted off airport grounds and banned from returning for 90 days.

                            Screeners' official statements ignored the issue of the touching of Mary Monahan's breasts. They report that her husband had been uncooperative from the start, and "blew up" when scissors were found in his suitcase. They allege that he began shouting obscenities. The arrest involved a "struggle" to get him into handcuffs.

                            Monahan has accused the airport security personnel of lying and staging a cover-up. "There was no willful disregard of screening directions. No explosion over the discovery of a pair of scissors in a suitcase. No struggle to put handcuffs on. There was a tired man, early in the morning, unhappily going through a rigorous procedure and then reacting to the tears of his pregnant wife." Monahan's description of his own search might be of interest: "My shoes were removed. I was told to take off my sweater, then to fold over the waistband of my pants. My baseball hat, hastily jammed on my head at 5 a.m., was removed and assiduously examined... Soon I was standing on one foot, my arms stretched out, the other leg sticking out in front of me a la a DUI test. I began to get pissed off, as most normal people would."

                            Writer and communications policy analyst Rebecca Hagelin reported the frisking of her 9-year-old daughter Kristin: "Little Kristin's hazel eyes were as big as saucers and began to fill with tears as she stood there, spread-eagle, while some stranger frisked up and down her little body. I hovered close by with a weak, forced smile, in a lousy attempt to reassure my daughter while at the same time trying to hold back my anger over the absurd situation. I could do nothing to stop this groping of my little nine-year-old ..."

                            No federal law requires that the federal employee doing the search be the same sex as the person searched. In several cases, women passengers report being fondled by male security personnel. The most they can do is lodge complaints with the Transportation Security Administration created by the Bush Regime to take charge of our newly federalized airports in the wake of 9/11. These are the sort of sexual harassment allegations that have destroyed the careers of men in the private sector and in academia with far skimpier or even nonexistent evidence.

                            But really, how stupid is it to think any of these people might be terrorists?

                            Officer Darryl Rainer: He is assigned to a Gang Task Force in southeast Houston. When a woman tried to file a complaint on April 29th about a robbery, Rainer "touched his mouth to the woman's breast". She filed a complaint with HPD. Rainer was charged with a misdemeanor and given paid leave. Folks, this is a sex crime, but Rainer will NEVER be listed in the state database of sex offenders, even if he is convicted.

                            Officer Mark Smith - this Baytown officer allegedly threatened to arrest a woman if she didn't give him a blowjob in his car on May 27. She went along, but filed a complaint with the department. He hasn't been arrested, and is on paid vacation.

                            Live Free or Die (-8.88 -9.49) IMPEACH

                            by rktect on Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 02:36:17 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  And this proves what? (none)
                            You promised me caselaw.  Where is the caselaw?

                            Certainly an officer demanding oral sex or putting his mouth on woman's breast is an assault and a sex crime.  But that is not a search by any means.  Where is the caselaw that says that a WARRANTLESS SEARCH can be a SEX CRIME?

                          •  A lot of these are still current... (none)
                            ...ongoing below the supreme court level.

                            The reason is that in recent years security (breast exams at the airport) has begun to intrude into everyones life in a very new and different way.

                            Lower courts have accordingly approved the use of metal detectors on every person, and the use of x-ray machines on carry-on luggage, as consistent with the Fourth Amendment. And the Supreme Court, though it has not ruled directly on the issue, has suggested its agreement. In Chandler v. Miller, the Court noted that "where the risk to public safety is substantial and real, blanket suspicionless searches calibrated to the risk may rank as 'reasonable' - for example, searches now routine at airports and at entrances to courts and other official buildings."

                            Once these relatively unobtrusive and universal search methods yield an articulable ground for suspecting particular individuals, moreover, these individuals can be subject to more invasive physical searches, under familiar principles.

                            But the frisk policy currently in place goes beyond blanket x-rays of luggage and the use of metal detectors on every person. It singles out particular people (thus heightening the stigma and humiliation) without any articulable basis for suspecting them of wrongdoing. And when it does so, the people chosen must suffer bodily groping.

                            Take for example the "overagressive inappropriate touching". My understanding is that No means No.

                            If you happen to hold a position of authority, such that if someone resists you can put them in fear of a consequence, and you use that authority to coerce their acceptance, and you continue after someone says No that is at a minimum sexual harrassment.

                            There is actually a commercial that shows a similar security coercion over confiscation of a soft drink.

                            Live Free or Die (-8.88 -9.49) IMPEACH

                            by rktect on Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 04:05:00 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Where is the case law?! (none)
                            Supreme Court or lower courts.  i don't care which?

                            Opinion pieces are not convincing as statements of the law.

                          •  Stauber v. New York (none)
                            In Stauber v. New York, federal judge Robert W. Sweet issued a preliminary injunction against various practices of the New York Police Department.

                            There are a couple of issues. Is there the presence or absence of a specific threat to public safety.

                            Searching everyone who wants to participate in a protest is not reasonable unless there is a specific threat.

                            This applies to airport searches, and situations where the police ask for warrants that don't particularly describe the person and place to be searched, so it will make blanket searches less common, and it applies to drug enforcement people who want to search everyone in a house including a ten year old girl not named in a warrant, and it applies to the coercive aspects of using blanket searches to coerce sexual favors.

                            The injunction included a prohibition against the police performing blanket searches of protestors' bags and backpacks at the ...Republican National Convention (RNC). The ruling has potential implications for security measures around the country this election season.

                            In Stauber, Judge Sweet ruled that such blanket searches would violate the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures, in the absence of a specific threat to public safety and an indication of how blanket searches could reduce the threat.


                            The ruling makes a lot of sense. Indeed, it does New Yorkers a service by recognizing that a loss of civil liberties does not necessarily and always enhance our collective safety.

                            The Lawsuit

                            The Stauber lawsuit challenges a variety of practices that New York City police have employed to neutralize dangers that can accompany public demonstrations and protests.

                            These practices include the use of horses for crowd dispersal and the limiting of protesters to spaces within metal barricades or "pens" that they cannot easily enter or exit. This column focuses on an additional practice: the blanket search of bags as a condition for joining a protest.

                            Those seeking the injunction have challenged the blanket bag search policy on the ground that it violates the Fourth Amendment - which, as noted above, promises security from unreasonable searches. Plaintiffs argue that searching everyone who wants to participate in a protest is not "reasonable."

                            Like the sorts of searches that motivated the drafting and ratification of the Fourth Amendment, moreover, the bag checks challenged in this case burden not only the right of privacy but the right of free expression as well, because they selectively hinder those assembling for political reasons.
                            The Erroneous Presumption that Searches Equal Safety

                            The glaring flaw in this reasoning process is the assumption that the police can help protect the city by searching protestors' bags.

                            Consider the searches that we experience regularly at various buildings considered to be potential targets. I have certainly observed such searches in action, and virtually all of my readers probably have as well. At such buildings, we enter and see a sign that warns us that bags will be checked. (When I see that sign, my first thought is that I will now be late for whatever I came to the building to do.)

                            A few steps after the sign, you wait your turn and then place your bags down in front of the person who will perform the search. This person usually opens the most obvious pockets in your bag and then, if he or she is polite, thanks you. The search is not particularly thorough, because thorough searches performed on everyone entering a public building would slow down entry too much, or require very expensive equipment of the sort one encounters at an airport.

                            The result is that these routine searches are worse than useless. They create the (false) impression that someone is looking out for our safety, while they simultaneously divert scarce resources that might actually detect a threat.

                            Searches of everyone's bags, in other words, are not just costly to our privacy (a right that many of us might be quite willing to forego in the interests of safety). They are also a poor use of the limited resource of police protection.

                            Just as police cannot be everywhere at once, they cannot be doing everything at once. If they are opening the main compartments of each person's bag to look for a bomb or gun, then they are not taking measures that might actually be effective in deterring, detecting, and preventing terrorism.

                            Consider John Doe, a hypothetical would-be terrorist. John might indeed try to infiltrate a protest at the RNC, because he could inflict highly public injury to a large number of people, given the predictable crowds. It is therefore sensible to make security a greater priority at such an event than, say, at a rare bookstore on the Upper East Side.

                            But would John hide his explosive device in the main compartment of a bag? Not likely, unless John is a very stupid terrorist. If he has observed the manner of blanket searches in the past, he knows enough to hide his weapon on his person (since blanket pat-downs or "frisks" are not permissible) -- or in a less obvious compartment of his bag.

                            Police, busily performing their cursory searches of every person, will therefore probably miss John's explosives. Meanwhile, their presence and apparent activity will create an illusory sense of safety. And that sense of safety, in turn, may have a lulling effect on people who might otherwise have noticed that John was nervous -- or that he was wearing a bulky trench coat on a hot August day.

                            Standards for a Search: What the Fourth Amendment Requires

                            Under ordinary circumstances, a police officer may not perform a "search" -- that is, the officer may not infringe upon reasonable expectations of privacy -- without probable cause to believe that the search target is engaging (or has engaged) in a criminal act. Invasive investigation must generally focus on people who the police have reason to believe are criminals.

                            This rule first and foremost protects the privacy of innocent people (along with some guilty people whose guilt is not at all evident). But the rule does more than just protect privacy. It also directs the attention and energy of police officers where they should be directed - at crime (or, in the case at issue, at terrorism).

                            Imagine if police were to spend their time randomly looking through houses and apartments. They would not only be violating our privacy, but they would also be wasting their own time, which is a public commodity.

                            An unreasonable search, then, is one that invades privacy without a sufficient payoff for safety. And the blanket bag searches barred by Judge Sweet's injunction are precisely that.

                            Caveat: Judge Sweet Did Allow Some Searches To Go Forward

                            Especially given the scorn that has been heaped upon Judge Sweet's ruling, it is important to recall accurately what it did - and did not do.

                            Judge Sweet said first that "less intrusive searches, such as those involving magnetometers, do not fall within the scope of the injunction."

                            Furthermore, Judge Sweet made clear that even a blanket search of a more invasive nature would be permissible with a "showing of both a specific threat to public safety and an indication of how blanket searches could reduce that threat."

                            Judge Sweet has thus demanded that police act on the basis of facts, rather than unthinking and intrusive policies, an eminently sane demand.

                            It is accordingly a mistake to fume at the judge for failing to give the police carte blanche to invade privacy with no payoff. The citizens of New York should instead be thanking Judge Sweet for protecting their civil liberties as well as their safety -- by insisting that police do not sacrifice both for what is merely the illusion of security.

                            Live Free or Die (-8.88 -9.49) IMPEACH

                            by rktect on Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 05:03:32 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  And where in that case does it (none)
                            say that warrantless search is a sex crime?
                          •  Absolute power corrupts absolutely (none)
                            "The Stauber lawsuit challenges a variety of practices that New York City police have employed to neutralize dangers that can accompany public demonstrations and protests.

                            These practices include the use of horses for crowd dispersal and the limiting of protesters to spaces within metal barricades or "pens" that they cannot easily enter or exit.

                            Colb's column focuses on an additional practice: the blanket search of bags as a condition for joining a protest."

                            Stauber says that while we may bend the rules and allow a blanket search in an emergency situation, we can't just continue doing it on an everyday basis forever.

                            "In Stauber, Judge Sweet ruled that such blanket searches would violate the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures, in the absence of a specific threat to public safety and an indication of how blanket searches could reduce the threat."

                            That seems to say that while we can make exceptions where there is a specific threat to public safety and an indication of how blanket searches could reduce the threat,  this is intended to protect the public health or safety or welfare in that one instance only, where there is probable cause to believe that there is an imminent danger to everyone.

                            We can't extrapolate from that that you can make a warrantless search of anyone you choose, whenever you choose, in whatever way you choose.

                            It then becomes the basis of the lawsuits that challenge the right of airports to make warrantless blanket searches of everyone that passes by, and to use that authority to indulge in sexual harassment.

                            Live Free or Die (-8.88 -9.49) IMPEACH

                            by rktect on Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 07:24:49 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Again, (none)
                            where does it say anything about sex crimes.  Back up your outlandish statements or withdraw them
                          •  Lets go through it slowly (none)
                            There are two issues, issues of fact and issues of law. The facts of inappropriate behavior to include sex crimes such as sexual harrassment have been established.

                            The issue of law is whether security concerns in a time of emergency trump the normal rights of people to be secure in their persons against unwarranted searches, especially aggressive inappropriate fondling of women and girls.

                            Since the Reagan Administration search and police powers have been gradually increased so that we have gone from the IVth Ammendment which says

                            The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

                            to warrantless blanket searches without probable cause, not supported by oath or affirmation, and not particularly describing the place to be searched, nor the persons or things to be seized.

                            This has resulted in improprieties, some of which fall in a category we call sex crimes, most particularly sexual harassment.

                            You ask where is the case law that addresses this?
                            My response is that it is just starting to hit the courts.

                            The arguments that warrantless blanket searches without probable cause, not supported by oath or affirmation, and not particularly describing the place to be searched, nor the persons or things to be seized are legal because this is a time of emergency have been struck down by Stauber.

                            It follows that the reasoning which showed the lack of judgement and poor moral compass and inability to distinguish between right and wrong which was present in the dissenting argument Alito made in his attempted justification of the inappropriate search of a ten year old girl in Doe vs Groody may be used to show the similar inappropriateness of attempting to justify that the inappropriate sexual harrassment of women and children in airports is justified by security concerns.

                            Admittedly this has yet to work its way up to the Supreme Court and be finally decided.

                            Live Free or Die (-8.88 -9.49) IMPEACH

                            by rktect on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 05:27:33 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Not good enough (none)
                            You said that there IS caselaw stating that warrantless searches can be a sex crime.  Please provide evidence for that.
                          •  What I said was (none)
                            To search a person without a warrant may constitute the crime of assault or depending on the circunstances be considered a sex crime or both.

                            That has been established both by the facts of many aggressive and inappropriate touchings  during airport blanket searches and by the legal principle that aggressive inappropriate touching may be sexual harrassment or an assault or both.

                            You are a troll, go away.

                            Live Free or Die (-8.88 -9.49) IMPEACH

                            by rktect on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 06:53:44 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  So you are suggesting that airport (none)
                            blanket searches are illegal?  I guess you better read up on your con law.  

                            And your proposition cannot be "established by the facts."  If you are saying something is a crime you should point to a court decision where someone was charged and convicted under that theory.  Otherwise it's just a theory.

                          •  The Police in Doe vs Groody had no warrant... (none)
                            ...for Jane and Mary Doe. They had one for John Doe, a different person particularly named.

                            Having determined that the search
                            of Jane and Mary Doe violated the Fourth
                            Amendment, what remains is to decide
                            whether this violation transgressed
                            "clearly established" rights.

                            Even Alito agreed with that. Alito attempted to dissent with the majority and tried to argue they could use the affadavit in lieu of the warrant but he got his head handed to him for his legal ignorance and lack of judgement.

                            Live Free or Die (-8.88 -9.49) IMPEACH

                            by rktect on Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 02:57:50 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Dont try to weasel out (none)
                            You said that they broke into the house without a warrant.  That was factually incorrect.  Be a man enough to admit it.

                            And Alito's head was handed to him so hard that he ended up on the Supreme Court.  guess who got the last laugh

                    •  I don't need a damn search warrant (none)
                      If you don't have good judgement and a strong moral compass and you can't tell the difference between right and wrong you should not be a judge.

                      This is in fact exactly why people spit on the ground before they say the word Republican

                      See e.g., Anderson v. Creighton, 483 U.S. 635

                      U.S. Supreme Court
                      ANDERSON v. CREIGHTON, 483 U.S. 635 (1987)
                      483 U.S. 635
                      ANDERSON v. CREIGHTON ET AL.

                      No. 85-1520.

                      Argued February 23, 1987
                      Decided June 25, 1987

                      Petitioner, a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent, participated with other law enforcement officers in a warrantless search of respondents' home. The search was conducted because petitioner believed that one Dixon, who was suspected of a bank robbery committed earlier that day, might be found there, but he was not.

                       Respondents filed a state-court action against petitioner, asserting a claim for damages under the Fourth Amendment.

                      Petitioner removed the suit to Federal District Court and then filed a motion for dismissal or summary judgment, arguing that the Fourth Amendment claim was barred by his qualified immunity from civil damages liability.

                      Before any discovery occurred, the court granted summary judgment on the ground that the search was lawful.

                      The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the search's lawfulness could not be determined on summary judgment, because factual disputes precluded deciding as a matter of law that the search was supported by probable cause and exigent circumstances.

                      The court also held that petitioner was not entitled to summary judgment on qualified immunity grounds, since the right he allegedly violated - the right of persons to be protected from warrantless searches of their homes unless the searching officers have probable cause and there are exigent circumstances - was clearly established.


                      1. Petitioner is entitled to summary judgment on qualified immunity grounds if he can establish as a matter of law that a reasonable officer could have believed that the search comported with the Fourth Amendment even though it actually did not.

                      Whether an official protected by qualified immunity may be held personally liable for an allegedly unlawful official action generally turns on the "objective legal reasonableness" of the action, assessed in light of the legal rules that were "clearly established" at the time the action was taken. Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800 .

                      In order to conclude that the right which the official allegedly violated is "clearly established," the contours of the right must be sufficiently clear that a reasonable official would understand that what he is doing violates that right.

                      The Court of Appeals - which apparently considered only the fact that the right to be free from warrantless searches of one's home unless the searching officers have probable cause [483 U.S. 635, 636]   and there are exigent circumstances was clearly established - erred by refusing to consider the argument that it was not clearly established that the circumstances with which petitioner was confronted did not constitute probable cause and exigent circumstances.

                       The relevant question here is the objective question whether a reasonable officer could have believed petitioner's warrantless search to be lawful, in light of clearly established law and the information the searching officers possessed. Petitioner's subjective beliefs about the search are irrelevant. Pp. 638-641.

                      erred by refusing to consider the argument

                      "Because the case was dismissed on Anderson's motion for summary judgment, we set out the facts in the light most favorable to the Creightons and draw all inferences from the underlying facts in their favor. Adickes v. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 158 -59 . . . (1970). On the night of November 11, 1983, Sarisse and Robert Creighton and their three young daughters were spending a quiet evening at their home when a spotlight suddenly [483 U.S. 635, 665]   flashed through their front window. Mr. Creighton opened the door and was confronted by several uniformed and plain clothes officers, many of them brandishing shotguns. All of the officers were white; the Creightons are black. Mr. Creighton claims that none of the officers responded when he asked what they wanted. Instead, by his account (as verified by a St. Paul police report), one of the officers told him to `keep his hands in sight' while the other officers rushed through the door. When Mr. Creighton asked if they had a search warrant, one of the officers told him, `We don't have a search warrant [and] don't need [one]; you watch too much TV.'
                      "Mr. Creighton asked the officers to put their guns away because his children were frightened, but the officers refused. Mrs. Creighton awoke to the shrieking of her children, and was confronted by an officer who pointed a shotgun at her. She allegedly observed the officers yelling at her three daughters to `sit their damn asses down and stop screaming.' She asked the officer, `What the hell is going on?' The officer allegedly did not explain the situation and simply said to her, `Why don't you make your damn kids sit on the couch and make them shut up.'

                      "One of the officers asked Mr. Creighton if he had a red and silver car. As Mr. Creighton led the officers downstairs to his garage, where his maroon Oldsmobile was parked, one of the officers punched him in the face, knocking him to the ground, and causing him to bleed from the mouth and the forehead. Mr. Creighton alleges that he was attempting to move past the officer to open the garage door when the officer panicked and hit him. The officer claims that Mr. Creighton attempted to grab his shotgun, even though Mr. Creighton was not a suspect in any crime and had no contraband in his home or on his person. Shaunda, the Creighton's ten-year-old daughter, witnessed the assault and screamed for her mother to come help. She claims that one of the officers then hit her.

                      "Mrs. Creighton phoned her mother, but an officer allegedly kicked and grabbed the phone and told her to `hang up that damn phone.' She told her children to run to their neighbor's house for safety. The children ran out and a plain clothes officer chased them. The Creightons' neighbor allegedly told Mrs. Creighton that the officer ran into her house and grabbed Shaunda by the shoulders and shook her. The neighbor allegedly told the officer, `Can't you see she's in shock; leave her alone and get out of my house.' Mrs. Creighton's mother later brought Shaunda to the emergency [483 U.S. 635, 666]   room at Children's Hospital for an arm injury caused by the officer's rough handling.

                      "During the melee, family members and friends began arriving at the Creighton's home. Mrs. Creighton claims that she was embarrassed in front of her family and friends by the invasion of their home and their rough treatment as if they were suspects in a major crime. At this time, she again asked Anderson for a search warrant. He allegedly replied, `I don't need a damn search warrant when I'm looking for a fugitive.'The officers did not discover the allegedly unspecified `fugitive' at the Creightons' home or any evidence whatsoever that he had been there or that the Creightons were involved in any type of criminal activity.

                      Nonetheless, the officers then arrested and handcuffed Mr. Creighton for obstruction of justice and brought him to the police station where he was jailed overnight, then released without being charged." Creighton v. St. Paul, 766 F.2d 1269, 1270-1271 (CA8 1985) (footnote and citation omitted).

                      If that's what you want to cite as a case I'm not even gonna bother looking at the other two.

                       Stone v. Powell, 428 U.S. 465 (1976); United States v. Leon, 468 U.S. 897 (1984).

                      Live Free or Die (-8.88 -9.49) IMPEACH

                      by rktect on Tue Feb 21, 2006 at 07:04:01 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

      •  That's just pre-9/11 thinking. (none)
        If we control Congress come next January, we can do whatever the f*ck we want, including impeaching Scalia.

        Or maybe you want the terrorists to win...?

        "Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!" -- Sir Thomas More, in A Man For All Seasons, by Robert Bolt

        by Shiborg on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 10:13:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I so (none)
          recall hearing nearly this exact line come from Rove's Army of Darkness during the 2002 midterms as they tried to get Republicans elected to take control

          literally almost verbatim

          minus the scalia part

          "I will not trust Bush with the life of one Iraqi."

          by Tamifah on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 11:10:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  That's just pre-Diebold thinking (none)
          My state has Diebold machines.  I will vote this November, but it will be by absentee ballot, not on Diebold touch-screen machines.  Tabulation is another issue, and a big one, to be sure.  The majority may lose in November, no matter how strong our voices at the ballot box.

          As Bob Fitrakis points out:

          "What part of the headline in the Columbus Dispatch: "Diebold vote machine can be hacked, test finds" don't people get?

          Exactly when are Dems finally going to say "NO" when BushCo says "Trust Me"?

  •  Just out of curiosity (none)
    what is a "1970s style Democrat"?
    •  From what I know (4.00)
      Really activist Democrats that came to power on the wave of 1960's Civil Rights, Anti-war, and Watergate...
    •  One who wears polyester, drives a Gremlin, (4.00)
      and still only goes to the gas station on either odd or even days, depending on the last number that appears on their car's license plate.  

      Don't be so afraid of dying that you forget to live.

      by LionelEHutz on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 04:34:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  A curiosity (none)
      He was a teenager in the 70s, and  Republican until - he doesn't exactly say when - but let's welcome him to the fold and help him put this idea in play.

      None Dare Call It Stupid!

      by RonK Seattle on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 04:38:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  A 1970's Democrat would be a back to the land type (4.00)
      Either the Kowalski Vanishing Point subset, disguised on the outside as an innocent, long haired, tie dyed, pot smoking, shakedown street, hippee, who in good dialectical phenomenological and existential style just refuses to STOP, or the Abbie Hoffman subset who conceals on the inside a 1960's Democrat ex something, SDS, Weather Underground, or Youth International Party, maybe with a long string of arrests and various convictions for protesting the National Guard at Princeton, plus warrants, and APB's making them wanted across state lines for aggravated assault on the police, bomb making, narcotics trafficking, armed loitering, and other street theater keeping a low and mellow profile bailing hay, fishing and engaging in occasional acts of piracy and smuggling with the Burnt Island Coast Guard and the Friends of the Library somewhere offshore.

      Live Free or Die (-8.88 -9.49) IMPEACH

      by rktect on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 06:46:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I like this idea.... (4.00)
    Vermont could try as well.  California can't because we control under 2/3rds of the legislature although right now, Dubya registers a solid 68% disapproval rating with a cool 30% approval in the Golden State.  That's probably why McPherson rushed for the Diebold solution.  
    •  Vermont is trying. (4.00)
      Thanks to bumblebums, I'm in contact with a former state senator (and Lieutenant Governor candidate), as well as one of Vermont's presidential electors (who drafted VT's resolution demanding an inquiry into the Ohio voting irregularities) who are working on this very idea.

      Along the way, I've traded e-mails with Carl Sheeler, and even with American University Constitutional Law Professor (and Maryland state senate candidate) Jamie Raskin. With some help from Rhode Islanders with contacts in the state senate, we may have three states mulling this over.

      As for California, it's worth considering anway, since a joint resolution of the legislature (which is what's required here) does not require the governor's signature.

      In fact, this is worth trying almost anywhere that we have contacts in a state legislature. Because a failed effort costs us nothing at the state level, and it creates a story anywhere it comes up.

      •  And Vermont is like (none)
        21 Dems
        9 Reps

        Sweet numbers, people.

        He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot - Groucho Marx

        by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 06:46:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  What the hell are those 9 Repugs doing there? (none)
          Is that some sort of affirmative action thing for Republicans?

          "Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!" -- Sir Thomas More, in A Man For All Seasons, by Robert Bolt

          by Shiborg on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 10:18:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Dont fool yourself about Vermont... (none)
            Vermonters generally don't like Bush, but this is far from a truly Blue state ina ll senses of the term. The Gov and Lt Gov are both Republicans who won with whopping majorities (and the Lt Gov is even a pro-lifer!)

            Get over to the Green Mountain Daily! What are you still reading this sig for?

            by odum on Mon Feb 20, 2006 at 09:21:52 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Perhaps (none)
              but I think the "swing-back" after Dean left, was payback for the civil-unions bill he signed.  Dean was Governor for a long time, and well-liked and respected, until. of course, he did the right thing.

              Everywhere I talk to people here, they despise Bush.  In my town, it seems to be about 10-1 against him.  And this is rural Vermont.

              It is, in deed, a socially liberal state (BLUE).  Fiscally conservative too (a great mix).  We are willing to pay sufficient taxes to run the state well.  Although unfunded federal mandates are beginning to kill our local budgets for education, especially special-ed.

              He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot - Groucho Marx

              by AlyoshaKaramazov on Mon Feb 20, 2006 at 10:46:15 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Kagro X : Run for office (none)
        Without presuming to know anything of your personal / professional lives, I hereby propose that you consider running for office. I'm not the only one who would support you starting this second.
    •  I'm a little confused (none)
      on this point, but my understanding while I was reading through the rules and past instances of this action begun in somewhere other than the US House, was that it can come from bodies other than the State Legislature.  We keep falling to looking at US House or State Congress, but believe it could be forced by other bodies such as Board of Supervisors, a city council, a state judicial body, etc.  Am I wrong on this??  If that is the case, then it wouldn't matter if Calif state legislature does not have a 2/3 majority in the state congress, as it could be submitted by a number of other bodies to US Congress to force review for investigative action.

      So, I believe those of us interested in advancing pressure for US Congressional action on impeachment can approach it through various channels.  

      I also would like some clarification on the difference between impeachment investigations and criminal investigations (re NSA/FISA laws) against this Administration.  I would like BushCo to be impeached, but I would like to make sure there are criminal proceedings involved.  Don't know if this is automatic, or only comes into play if this aspect is specifically mentioned as part of the criteria for impeachment.

      •  I don't see that. (4.00)
        I don't see that the charges can come from municipal bodies, but I do see that they can come from a grand jury.

        Still, it gives more than just symbolic importance to such resolutions from municipal or county bodies, since they may by the weight of their numbers prevail upon the state legislature to act.

  •  As much as I would... (none)
    like to see my native state be the first to strike a formal blow against Chimpy McFlightsuit, I am afraid that a more influential individual than aaraujo will be needed to shepherd the resolution through the RI General Assembly. In any event, I wish him the best of luck.

    The friend of my enemy is my enemy. Dump Chafee in '06.

    by jayatRI on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 02:48:07 PM PST

  •  Hope (4.00)
    that's what the whole nation needs, a dose of Rhode Island's gracious motto.
  •  Question (4.00)
    "The House Rules for the US Congress allow impeachment proceedings to begin upon charges submitted by a State Legislature" but do they require the impeachment proceedings to begin?  Is it a necessary consequence or a matter of discretion?
    •  Repugs would find a way to derail it... (4.00)
      ...but it would still be embarrassing to them.
    •  Important Q, Wondering the Same. (none)
      Does the House Rule merely require Congresspersons from the state to deliver a request for impeachment to the House floor, allowing the possibility (which will likely be ignored), or do House Rules require the House to follow through and being the process of impeachment?

      "It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong." - Voltaire

      by JAS1001 on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 03:10:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It appears to me from the house rules (none)
        They must begin the process and go through with it.

        But the house rules I saw was a snip.  I would like to see the whole thing but I am having trouble accessing a copy.  See the post below on It Only Takes One State to Impeach.

        House Rules can be accessed there.

      •  Closer to the first than the second. (4.00)
        But the interest here is in the privilege the House Rules afford to direct calls for impeachment.

        The rules aren't clear on who must or may deliver the state's charges, though it would most likely be a member of that state's congressional delegation.

        But once they're brought to the floor, they are afforded the highest possible privilege, and no other business may supersede it.

        To be sure, the charges may be temporarily dispensed with by a majority vote to table the issue, or to simply refer it to committee. But where it gets interesting is in the interpretation of the rules regarding the privilege that must be granted to any motions relating to a direct call for impeachment. It appears that they, too, are equally privileged, so that the House Republicans might find themselves in a situation in which they are constantly being forced in a straight party-line vote to bury impeachable charges transmitted by an entire state's duly elected legislature.

        I wouldn't mind heading into the elections with those votes on the record.

  •  Please! Please! Please! (4.00)
    I hope this works. It makes me want to cry whenever I think how my country is being destroyed every single day by this gang that can't shoot straight. Please, if there is a God.

    The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.--Winston Churchill

    by Sunqueen212 on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 03:07:14 PM PST

  •  Oh yes they can (4.00)
    More details, and draft articles, a la Swain impeachment, are posted here:  
    IMPEACH THEM NOW: It only takes ONE STATE!!!

    Many states rang in, lots of links, any state can do it.

    Furthermore, Newdane, Vermont and San Francisco, California have busily been preparing and arguing resolutions.  

    Critical mass is not far away.  
    Get after your city and town councils and let's get this thing done!!

    IMPEACH THEM NOW! It only takes One State.

    by arbortender on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 03:07:22 PM PST

  •  good luck (none)
    231 Republicans vs. 201 Democrats, 1 independent and 2 vacancies.  
    •  Maybe that number (4.00)
      will switch around come November?  :::fingers crossed:::

      And I don't think there's a rule that another state couldn't take up the same issue if RI fell flat.

      Even if the first attempt didn't succeed (and I'm sure it won't - but thinking positively anyway) THINK of the NEWS it would make!

    •  It probably will fail to pass but still (4.00)
      it will generate publicity of Bush's incompetence and criminal actions and it will force Bush to expend energy defending himself.

      To me, it is all good.

    •  Ah yes, but. . . (4.00)
      . . .make them debate it!

      It's right up there with LBJ's comment about how all he needed to do was get his opponent to have to deny being a pigf****r.

      If a state forces the Congress to take up Articles of Impeachment, then we have a whole DC-load of Republicans having to go around on defense. And that's where we want them.

      Just think: This could de-rail another "war of choice", or the gutting of some important benefit program. If they're too busy rallying around their lame-duck, useless impeachment-magnet, they may just not have time to screw the country further.

      Just for that, it's worth it.

      When only the government lacks virtue, there remains a resource in the people's virtue; but when the people itself is corrupted, liberty is already lost.

      by Robespierrette on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 03:20:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  How many Dems voted to oust DeLay? (4.00)

      They did it themselves, when they realized they couldn't survive with him as an albatross around their necks.

      But that's quite beside the point. A state resolution brings the matter to the floor, and there's no way around it.

      It doesn't lead directly to articles of impeachment, but it puts the "I word" on the House floor, no matter what they want to do about it. And that's a good thing.

      •  Please don't shoot me this time (4.00)
        I am wishing you luck in your quest.
      •  And Conyers would actually have a place (4.00)
        to hold hearings rather than the basement.  Maybe he could fillibuster the impeachment for the next three years.  Every day.
        •  There you go! :-) (none)
          And I'll be someone supplying him recipes, novels, college theses, jokes, puns, riddles, and heartwarming anecdotes about cute Sharpei puppies to filibuster on.  Have him read Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series aloud, that oughta take up a couple of days by itself.

          Actually, I like that idea!  But I'm going to need a whole lot of stamps....

          Can we get Barbara Boxer to filibuster the Senate into allowing it to come before them?

          "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

          by The Peanut Gallery on Mon Feb 20, 2006 at 02:53:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Of course there's a way around it (none)
        Hastert did it once this year already--adjourn the House before the resolution comes in, and don't call it back into session until it's too late to act upon it. I'm sure there are other possibilities as well, given that I'm not familiar with the arcana of the House rules (just basic Roberts Rules-style parliamentary procedure).
        •  You can't adjourn just one House for that long. (4.00)
          But if they want to adjourn Congress for the rest of the year and go into the elections on that, I'll take that, too.
          •  Sure they can (none)
            At least as long as they control the Senate, they have a reasonable shot at getting the constitutionally required permission. Article I, Section 4 only requires that Congress meet once during every year, and Article I, Section 5 only requires the consent of the other body for any house  of Congress to adjourn for more than three days when Congress is in session.
            •  You think they can get that consent? (4.00)
              It'll take a vote. They won't get it unanimously.

              Put 'em on record. I'm perfectly happy to accept that as the lead-in to the elections: Republicans elect essentially to dissolve Congress as proof that the Bush administration hasn't gone too far in their power grab.

              Beautiful. I'll take two!

              •  Yes (none)
                We don't have a majority in the Senate, for starters. There's Joementum and the rest of the Gang of Fourteen, so a filibuster to prevent it coming to a vote is unlikely.

                There would undoubtedly be blowback from it, on that much we agree. But I'm not sure that all of it (or even most of it) would stick to the Repugnacons, the way it did when Gingrich shut down the government in the '90s. If I thought we had a chance to do a repeat of that, I'd be out leading the charge for this thing. But I don't see it happening--and as long as that's how it looks to me, it's a waste of time, money, and effort/resources that would be better spent on other matters.

                •  Well now... (4.00)
                  the Gang of 14's agreement applies only to filibusters against judicial nominations, for starters. So while they may or may not be inclined to reach a similar agreement with respect to impeachment, they don't have one now. So that's inapposite.

                  If the call for impeachment came from the Rhode Island state legislature -- or word came that they were working on one, that would make it enormously difficult for Lincoln Chafee to stand with his Republican colleagues. Arlen Spector has as much as said that impeachment may be warranted, and although you can be sure he won't be doing anything to hurry the process along, I don't think anyone can say for sure what Mr. Scottish Compromise would do with a state-initiated process.

                  I'm also not entirely sure that there aren't other Republican Senators who couldn't be peeled off on a vote to essentially dissolve the Congress for the balance of the year rather than deal with issues they've already expressed their deep concerns on. It's one thing to be willing to get your arm twisted by the president on the issue of what to do with requests for investigations. It's quite another to agree to put yourself out of a job for a few months for his benefit.

                  You don't see that as a vote that'd be an order of magnitude or two above and beyond what Senators are willing to do? You seriously think they'd simply agree to give up the legislative prerogative for months on end, for his benefit? And they'd see it as a winner on the campaign trail, too?

                  I have to tell you that if you don't see that sticking to the GOP with twice the impact of the Gingrich shutdown, I think you're absolutely bonkers.

                  •  I still think (4.00)
                    the fact that the Gang of 14 thought that it was inappropriate to filibuster on a judicial nominee makes it unlikely that any of them would agree to filibuster on a parliamentary maneuver--especially one that is designed to keep the preznit of half of them from embarrassment. It's less brazen than many of the tactics that they've already tried.

                    Timing would be crucial. At this point, there are pretty much only six or seven months left in the calendar year (less than that in the legislative year, given all the holiday breaks and whatnot) before Congress adjourns sine die anyway to go promise two chickens in every pot and three women in every bed to as many voters as possible. So "the balance of the year" is not all that long--and it wouldn't be shutting down the whole of the government, just Congress. I have to think there would be plenty of people who'd look on that state of affairs as an improvement. There's also the fact that Rhode Island has not yet passed its resolutions yet, which will only cut down the time further.

                    As long as they get the budget out of the way on time and government keeps functioning, yeah, I think this is a vote that the average Republican senator would be happy to support. I'm skeptical that there would be sufficiently dire political counsequences to make it sufficiently unpalatable to sufficient numbers of those Republicans who are still capable of independent thought in Congress that we'd get it anywhere. And for that reason, I think we should spend our time, talent, and treasure on more pressing matters that directly affect people--and, more importantly, which people perceive as directly affecting them. That's what will get the phone calls and e-mails flowing Washington-ward, not this kind of finicky political trickery.

                    But if you can convince me otherwise, sign me up.

                    •  Now here, I really disagree. (4.00)
                      I made a pretty close study of the nuclear option controversy, and the Gang of 14's agreement, as you might recall. And I really don't see anything that would indicate a parallel between judicial filibusters and any other kind.

                      Remember, the signatories believed they were preserving the traditions of the Senate, and while many of them believed those traditions prohibited judicial filibusters, they all believed in the tradition of the legislative filibuster. And the filibuster itself being a parliamentary maneuver -- and one that has itself frequently been used to block or frustrate other parliamentary maneuvers -- I can't see how any (or at least not many) of the signatories could draw an analogy like the one you're making.

                      And unless they were just days from adjournment when the resolution arrived, I'd just have to utterly reject your characterization of such a maneuver as less brazen than other things they've tried. This would be -- if there was significant time remaining in the planned session -- just completely out of keeping with practice, if not wholly unprecedented. It would also represent a complete abrogation of the legislative prerogative as part of an effort to continue the subversion of the legislative branch to the executive. I mean, the idea that the Senate's traditionalists would agree to such a maneuver seems to me to be absurd.

                      Adjourning for the balance of the year means walking out on the FY07 budget process entirely. No budget. No appropriations. No nothing. They'd be forcing the Bush administration to spend money by executive fiat. And that'd be the last nail in the coffin of the legislature. We'd be done as a constitutional republic, at that point.

                      If they were somehow able to cram the budget through with significant time left in the session (a real rarity in recent times -- in fact, almost unheard of in recent times), they might have a better chance of getting away with it. That is, until the necessity for another emergency appropriation for Iraq.

                      It should also be mentioned that this Congress' track record on the pressing matters that directly affect people makes early adjournment as much an advantage to us as to them.

                      Look, you're a nice guy and everyone likes you, but you've got a million miles to go to convince me that nobody notices when states start sending actual impeachment resolutions to Washington, and Congress skips town rather than face the music.

    •  With a heavy heart (3.00)
      I have to agree. Unless we get a majority in '06 this at most will only embarass the publicans. I want more I want a real impeachment! Can this be put on hold until after Nov. elections?
       I am sure others will state what all of us already know, that each and every day we see the further devistation of our country but there is NO hope the publicans will let this happen.

      "On June 17, 1775 at the battle of Bunker hill, they were low on ammo and out numbered. They had to be careful. The British started coming up the hill. General Putnam had to give the command, "Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes," so they wouldn't waste ammo."

      (-7.50 -6.31) As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. J.F.K

      by arkdem on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 03:22:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Making it an election issue... (4.00)
        isn't necessarily a bad thing.

        We may not get impeachment, but we get a chance at a bigger Democratic majority to get impeachment further down the road, or just block Bush and make him a bigger lame duck.

        We're seeing "the whites of their eyes" right now... scandal after scandal and public opinion generally turning against them, the public looking for an alternative, in an election year.

        It doesn't seem like the national Dems are going to take any bold or decisive action on their own to take advantage of these issues... a state-sponsored Impeachment could force the issue into the election year and turn out giving more seats to Democrats.  All they have to do is get behind it once the controversy starts.

        They may not deserve the extra seats because this would mean state elected officials had to step in to bail out federal elected officials too timid and disorganized to do it themselves, but once they've got the extra seats, we at least stop the bleeding a little in terms of the Republican agenda.

        I think a better Revolutionary War analogy for this would be that the majority of Washington's Continental Army at the Battle of Yorktown were French soldiers.  For whatever reason, Democrats in Washington can't or won't push the issue of Impeachment.  But another body can step and push the issue, giving the Democrats at the national level something to fight with.

        "It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong." - Voltaire

        by JAS1001 on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 03:38:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I want to be wrong ;) (none)
           I hope you are right. America needs this to happen!  I guess I want it sooo much I just don't want to have states demanding impeachment so many times it dilutes the efforts later when our chances are better.

          (-7.50 -6.31) As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. J.F.K

          by arkdem on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 03:53:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It should (none)
            get the idea into the public consciousness, which is what we've been trying to do all along.  It will force the issue and when people realize the Republicans won't investigate themselves, all the Democrats need to do is say let's investigate.  Come on Mr. President, if you have nothing to hide, why not let us snoop around a bit.

            (-7.25, -5.85) "Talk amongst yourselves. The Christian Right: neither Christian nor right. Discuss." --Linda Richman

            by Slartibartfast on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 09:42:28 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Bandwagon (none)
            someone has to drive it before people jump on.  Bush has low numbers and the more times it looks like people are upset with him, the more popular it is to join the patriots who are defending our freedoms. Every chance to remind people that Bush is not popular is a win because most people don't follow the issues but want to be thought of as in the know.

            Those who sleep and dream do not know that they can wake up.

            by Gram E on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 09:52:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  No. (4.00)
        Don't put it off a day longer than necessary. Get the process started now. Let it snowball.

        "I will not trust Bush with the life of one Iraqi."

        by Tamifah on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 05:23:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for that "Debbie Downer" moment (4.00)
      I can't tell from your comment, but do you think that all such efforts are a waste of time, given the current composition of the House?

      If so, the "it won't work anyway" argument is tiresome (although you are perfectly entitled to believe that). Silence on the issue will only embolden the administration. Noise, on the other hand, accomplishes something even if the outcome is not what we would otherwise hope for.

      There is nothing to be lost with Rhode Island bravely moving forward, and much that could be potentially gained. Party loyalty to Bush will erode the closer to November we get.

      Every day Dems wring their hands over whether to utter the I-word is another day with Bush in the White House.

      "It is not skeptics or explorers but fanatics and ideologues who menace decency and progress." --Daniel J. Boorstin

      by mrhelper on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 03:35:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you!!! (none)

        It's time to be a Democrat!

        by annefrank on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 03:44:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Who is Debbie Downer? (4.00)
        I am wishing everyone luck. I never even made a comment. I just listed reality, the number of republicans vs. democrats who would be responsible for voting on articles of impeachment against George W. Bush. Rhode Island is making a courageous act, but a state legislature is not the institution that determines impeachment, but my heart goes out to them. As for Debbie Downer, whoever the hell she is, when I say good luck to someone, I mean it sincerely. So, GOOD LUCK!
      •  Huh? (none)
        It's not going to work. That is a given. And it's far from clear to me that the "noise" it would generate would do anything to help us or hurt Bush. I'm quite sure that Rove and his minions would spin it like crazy--more of the "lib'ruls are crazy-ass obstructionist motherfuckers with no respect for the president" schtick that they've played so successfully these last few years.
        •  I'm willing to risk it. (4.00)
          Let them take on the state legislatures. More troops for our fight.

          They're going to say that about anything we try to do. Let it be about serious constitutional business. Why bother letting them paint us as crazy over tax credits for ethanol when we can put the I word in the paper every day?

          •  I want it to work (3.00)
            But I'm an historian and a reasonably astute observer of politics (I think, anyway), and I don't see it happening. I care--passionately--about the Constitution and the Republic. But I don't get the impression that most of our fellow citizens see things quite the same way I do. Regrettably, many of them probably don't even know what it says, much less care about how it is applied (or misapplied, as the Bushoviki have done these last five and a half years). This is just not an issue that is going to resonate with the voting public. It's too inside-the-Beltway for that.

            Unless you can find a way of tying it to things that directly affect them (stagnant or falling wages, precarious retirement futures, doubtful healthcare, rising energy costs, etc.), the proverbial lead balloon will go over better than any impeach-the-preznit drive will.

            •  Er, OK. (4.00)
              Hey, if I'm wrong and America doesn't give a shit about the Constitution, let me go down fighting. You can just stand by and chronicle it for us.

              But you can bet it all that I won't simply take anyone's word for it that Americans don't care. They give every indication of not caring, but then again I'm sure people said the same thing about the third-rate burglary when it happened.

              It took bringing it to the Capitol to make people care.

              The absurd lengths to which the administration is going to expand executive power demands opposition, and if I'm the only one willing to miss an episode of The Apprentice to take the matter up, I'm undeterred.

              •  Look at the polls (none)
                How many people are willing to throw away basic civil rights because Bu$hCo tell them that's necessary for them to be safe? How many people vote in presidential elections? How many people can even name their representatives in Congress, much less have ever contacted them about anything? Much though I might like it to be otherwise, dKos is not representative of America when it comes to knowledge about or concern over, matters political. We're light-years ahead of most of our fellow citizens.

                I think the Watergate analogy is inapt, at least on the evidence available at the present. The crimes of Bush are on the public record. But where are the marches in the streets, the letters pouring into Congress demanding his head? Why are his popularity ratings still roughly twice those of Tricky Dicky by this point in the Watergate process? The burglars and the rest of Nixon's slimy apparatus were amateurs. Karl Rove is a professional. I'd be wary of counting too much on a storm surge of mounting disgust to push Bush out of the White House before his term ends, at least without help from a Democratic majority in Congress.

                •  That doesn't fly with me. (4.00)
                  It just doesn't. I'm not walking away from this duty based on polling.

                  And I think that doing what we're talking about here will change the polls, anyway.

                  The Watergate analogy would have been inapt to itself at a certain point in the process. It took hard work and digging to turn it into something actionable, and that's what we're talking about here, only through different mechanisms.

                  But the changing of the constitutional order is not something I'm going to play pollster about. I'm just not interested, and I don't think the numbers would stay the same afterward, even if I was.

                  This is bigger than polls. It just is. Just as the New Deal forever changed everyone's understanding of the constitutional order, so will this "administration's" pursuit of unchecked executive power. If it's ratified, it's all over, and there'll be nothing worth polling on ever again, anyway.

                  •  There's what's right (none)
                    and there's what's politically possible. The two are almost never one and the same.

                    I don't like that state of affairs any more than you do, Kagro, but there's bugger all either one of us can do about it. I simply don't see this being politically viable--though I'd be happy to be proven wrong.

                    Watergate was special circumstances. That was out-and-out criminality: the president personally approved a burglary for partisan political advantage. It had clarity and simplicity behind it; it was a concept that the average citizen could wrap her mind around and absolutely knew was wrong.

                    With Bush, though, so much of it is complex, finicky, interpretation shit. Sure, he lied his ass off to get us into war, but the average voter doesn't have access to classified information (and doesn't seem to be reading the newspapers or watching the news stories, such as they have been) such that they can see how egregiously he fucked up.

                    And that's another thing. On Watergate, the WaPo was actively looking for dirt. You see much evidence of that in the WaPo (or anywhere else) these days? Get commitments from the WaPo, the Times, the Tribunes (Chicago and Los Angeles), the major networks, and NPR to agree to run regular updates on the impeachment story, and it might get legs enough to run. Otherwise, it'll be a nine-day wonder at best.

                    •  List of things (none)
                      I assume Joe Sixpack is uneasy about:

                      • Katrina
                      • Katrina victims living in his hometown
                      • Less money
                      • Everything more expensive
                      • No insurance
                      • Have to pay for mom and dad's cancer/heart/whatever meds now
                      • The Vice President shot a man in the face
                      • No terrorist attacks lately (in the US)

                      That's my gut feeling on what Joe Sixpack is thinking about lately.

                      "I will not trust Bush with the life of one Iraqi."

                      by Tamifah on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 07:47:20 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  THIS is out-and-out criminality. (4.00)
                      In fact, it's the same criminality all over again: A claim that the president can authorize whatever he wants to in the name of national security. In Nixon's case, warrantless domestic surveillance. In Bush's case... warrantless domestic surveillance.

                      Was the WaPo always looking for dirt? Or did Woodward and Bernstein have some serious selling to do in order to get free rein?

                      I appreciate that you're participating and making predictions about how it might go, but realize that they're just predictions and nothing more. I don't think anybody really knows how it would be received if states suddenly began calling for impeachment, and the papers had to explain that yes, the really can do that, and here's why...

                      I think that'd be a hell of a story, and even moreso every time the Republicans sought to bury it.

                      If this slumbering press could be roused, even if only for a day, to cover Harry Reid bringing the Senate into closed session, I think there's room for coving the first mention of actual impeachment on the House floor. Then add a second. A third. A fourth.

                      •  Agreed (none)
                        But it's not readily apparent criminality. Everybody understands burglary--busting in to someone else's home or office to take their stuff, without their permission.

                        Woodstein had to do some serious pitching of the story to get it started, but once it got started, it kept rolling on its own. I would agree that a potential impeachment should do the same--but, if I may steal a term from chemistry, the energy of activation barrier is considerably higher for an impeachment of Bu$hCo than it was for Tricky Dicky. And I don't think we've got the juice to get over that barrier yet.

                        •  I don't think it's that much higher. (none)
                          Nor do I think it was the break-in that sticks in the mind when recalling Watergate. It was the wiretapping they were breaking in to facilitate.

                          Not that anybody has forgotten the break-in. But they remember the word "wiretapping." They remember there being tapes. And they remember the president's desperate insistence that he'd done nothing wrong, and that "it's not illegal if the president does it."

                          It helped that there was something as obvious as a break-in, of course. But it took time to connect that break-in to the White House. Time and hard work.

                          Here, we have the benefit of a presidential admission to the charges, by the way. Something we didn't have in Watergate. That's gotta be a leg up, too.

                          But if there's educating to do, let's do it. I'm not flushing the Constitution down the toilet on the assumption that people can't remember what wiretapping means, and what kind of people do it without warrants.

                •  Remember this is also about states' rights (4.00)
                  Suppose a state decides to do this and Congress tells the state  to go fuck itself?  What next?  maybe other states are pissed.  What is a state's next option if the federal government tells it that if it doesn't like the federal government it can go fuck itself?  You get state rebellion or secession or insurrection or something unpleasant.  Maybe several other states side with the state who has been dissed by the federal government.

                  The civil war began by actions of secession by the legislatures of the states.  I don't remember reading that much about demonstrations in the streets.

                •  Where is Abby Hoffman and Jerry Rubin (none)
                  when you need them? It takes more than writing comments in blogs to determine the outcome of injustice. It does take marching in the streets, boycotts, peaceful demonstrations, even peaceful civil disobedience that the vast blogosphere does not seem willing to do or they would be doing it today.
                  •  They are a part of the movement (4.00)
                    There is a presence so long as we member them.

                    The streets of this millenia, where people can peacefully assemple and petition for redress of grievances, are the ungoverned territory of the internet.

                    Live Free or Die (-8.88 -9.49) IMPEACH

                    by rktect on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 07:29:36 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  It's too easy (none)
                      to write on the internet. Where is the sacrifice, the courage and hard work?
                      •  we do other stuff too... (none)
                        The sacrifice courage and hard work is in the CHC's (what we used to call free clinics) where the NACHC people have been taking care of migrant workers, homeless and urban poor for forty years.

                        I have run into some very smart, very capable, very courageious people all over the country that have been slogging it out in the trenches coming up with creative ways to aquire financing through New Markets Tax Credit Inititives and working for Neighborhood Synergy even as the Bush administration cuts back funding.

                        Live Free or Die (-8.88 -9.49) IMPEACH

                        by rktect on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 07:49:11 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                •  Yes, let's look at the polls. (none)
                  A majority of people are paying attention.  

                  56% disapprove of Bush's job as President, 55% think Iraq was a mistake, and 56% oppose the war.

                  And, 52% agreed   with the statement:

                  "If President Bush wiretapped American citizens without the approval of a judge, do you agree or disagree that Congress should consider holding him accountable through impeachment."

                  It's time to tap all of this latent frustration, the process itself supports all of our aims.

            •  Maybe, but on the other hand (4.00)
              constituitional crises make the press delighted.  It might give them something to do.

              Just the idea of one state's legislature being so pissed off as to cause this kind of crises has got to get the media's attention.

              Nothing like this has happened in my lifetime.  When has a single state done something so outrageous about its outrage?  Apparently not since 1903.

              It is almost like an act of secession.  A state legislature is telling the federal goverment it is highly irate at what it sees as federal criminal activity and wants something done about it.

              I think it really puts Congress on the spot.

    •  Two tricks here (4.00)
      1.  Getting it past the House Judiciary Committee.  Look who the Repubs are:

      Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-5, chairman)
      Henry Hyde (IL-6)
      Dan Lungren (CA-3)
      Howard Coble (NC-6)
      Lamar Smith (TX-21)
      Elton Gallegly (CA-24)
      Bob Goodlatte (VA-6)
      Steve Chabot (OH-1)
      Bill Jenkins (TN-1)
      Chris Cannon (UT-3)
      Spencer Bachus (AL-6)
      Bob Inglis (SC-4)
      John Hostettler (IN-8)
      Mark Green (WI-8)
      Ric Keller (FL-8)
      Darrell Issa (CA-49)
      Jeff Flake (AZ-6)
      Mike Pence (IN-6)
      Randy Forbes (VA-4)
      Steve King (IA-5)
      Tom Feeney (FL-24)
      Trent Franks (AZ-2)
      Louie Gohmert (TX-1)

      We'd be lucky to get three votes out of this bunch.

      2.  Forcing the Repubs on the record--are they willing to defend this administration, especially after so many of them wanted Clinton run out on a rail?

      Jack Murtha is no coward--here's a real coward.

      by Christian Dem in NC on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 03:39:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Use the rules. (4.00)
        It won't matter if they refer the resolution to the Judiciary Committee. That's probably what they'll do. But the rules provide for high privilege for any motion respecting such a direct call for impeachment.

        So theoretically, any time anyone raised a motion to discharge the Judiciary Committee from consideration of the resolution and bring it directly to the floor for a vote, that would be a matter of the highest privilege.

        Republicans would doubtless attempt to hold together the party line and vote to table such a motion. But then you've solved the "put them on the record" problem.

        •  Dude (none)
          Do you really think the Repuglicons are going to start following the rules when there's an impeachment motion pending for their preznit? History certainly suggests otherwise.
          •  Dude. (4.00)
            Do you really think it helps them to break them, just to cover the administration's ass? Daily? Hourly?

            Let them find out. Let them break them, too. More fodder for us.

            •  Hasn't hurt them so far, more's the pity (none)
              DeLaygate showed that much--and they just appointed his sorry ass to the Appropriations Committee with no more fluster than a fart in a Category V hurricane (who knows about it except us political-junkie types?). House Ethics Committee rules, ditto.

              As dozens or hundreds of diaries and comments here, as elsewhere around Left Blogistan, have remarked, these people respect nothing but Power. They worship it. They will do anything, to anything, to gain it and to keep it and especially to get more of it. The Repugnacons' allegiance is to themselves (or perhaps to their corporate masters) first, their party second, their fellow Repugnacons third, and then, and only then, the Constitution and the country. I have absolutely no doubt that they would bend, break, reinterpret, or change any rules that stood in their way of disposing of a motion to impeach Bush. And they wouldn't even blink.

              •  Their desire for power is... (4.00)
                where the possibility lies.

                The DeLay saga has shown us many things, including the fact that even House Republicans will balk at some point at going into the elections with the albatross of someone else's scandal around their necks.

                Yes, they've safely ensconced the deposed DeLay on the Appropriations Committee. But the fact that he's not still the Majority Leader is all their doing. No Democrats voted in that little coup. They had successfully changed their own rules to allow him to continue serving even while under indictment, but backtracked to undo it -- all without a single Democratic vote.

                Yes, the truth is they'll do anything to hang onto power. Including throwing dead weight overboard when necessary.

                When DeLay become too much of a burden, they knew it. And they told DeLay as much, and he was forced to accept that as true. He knew that they'd just as soon cut his throat and dump him over the side, and took the golden parachute they offered instead. That tells me not that they'll fight tooth and nail for their guys, but rather that they'll throw them overboard if they become convinced that's worth more votes. The key is making them believe that. But as long as they believe playing defense is worth more, they'll play defense.

                •  But first (none)
                  we have to make it an albatross of a scandal. Right now, I don't think it would amount to even a small finch. It's too wonky, too Inside Politics, and too long before the election, I think, for it to work.
                  •  I think you're wrong. (4.00)
                    Impeachment is impeachment.

                    You could start it over accusations that Bush cheats at rock/paper/scissors if you want to. The I-word does its own work.

                    Add to that that we're not going into it with frivolous charges, and I think things get serious.

                    Pile on top of that that it comes at the demand of individual states, and I think you have a story.

                    You don't? Fine. Stay home. I'll take it from here. Surely you've run into fellow historians who've disagreed with you before, yes?

                  •  We're (4.00)
                    already carrying Bush's albatrosses around for him.

                    I think the duly elected legislature of a state referring something like this to the House and forcing them to act on it, regardless of how they choose to act, isn't wonky at all.

                    Let these fuckers cover it up and stonewall it for 11 months.

                    Let them send Congress home for the better part of a year while they collect their 100K+ paychecks so they don't have to deal with this shit.

                    Let them vote against impeaching Bush over and over and over again over the next year.

                    I don't think this is something that would end up resulting in Secession. The whole point of a state sending this type of resolution of impeachment to the House is that Bush is the one that needs to leave, not any entire states.

                    "I will not trust Bush with the life of one Iraqi."

                    by Tamifah on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 07:54:16 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

        •  From what I understand of the discussion on this (none)
          any congressman (in this case, Kennedy or Langevin) could present this directly on the House floor as a privileged resolution, so Sensenbrenner wouldn't even get a chance to get his grubby hands on it.

          Jack Murtha is no coward--here's a real coward.

          by Christian Dem in NC on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 05:40:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, and........... (4.00)
      African-Americans won't ever have their civil rights.

      And that mountain's just too high to climb.

      And fly men to the moon?  Are you fucking nuts?

      And The Soviet Union is here to stay, so get used to it.

      And The Red sox will NEVER win a World Series!

      Jeez, if everyone listened to you, nothing would EVER get done, would it?

      (sorry, I was channeling my mother)

      He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot - Groucho Marx

      by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 07:03:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's 231 SCARED Republicans.... n/t (none)

      "Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!" -- Sir Thomas More, in A Man For All Seasons, by Robert Bolt

      by Shiborg on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 10:25:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Perfect. (4.00)
    This would be the perfect scenario as the elections come up: force the R's up for reelection in blue/leaning districts/states to take a stand on something that more and more people are wanting.  It will force all of th eD's to take a stand as well.  

    When facts threaten true believers, they simply close their eyes and pray harder. -- Naomi Klein

    by Billy Shears on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 03:14:00 PM PST

  •  I have previously declared my love (4.00)
    for the wonderful people of Rhode Island.

    If they accomplish this great deed, I will love them double.

  •  How does (4.00)
    ... how the swiftboating of an entire state work?


    Trying To Maintain Rationality
    econatheist's bloggity blog blog

    by EconAtheist on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 03:33:05 PM PST

  •  Impeach Cheney first (none)
    Since he's the real president.  Apparently.
    •  i think it's just a practical (none)
      point, bush is the one everything sticks to...

      he's the guy with the final say and he's waist deep, just like cheney.

      cheney's smarter (but by no means smart), but he's proved himself not to be the 'mastermind' we all think... he's just the one that makes the final decisions on the actual policy stuff... as his pea brain allows.

      i think you've got to just follow normal procedure and impeach the head of all this.

      cheney will get thrown in with that or soon find himself in the same boat, because they've both done treasonous things.

      only a matter of time at this point i think.

      cheney himself made that actually possible in my opinion. i doubted whether we'd see them forced out before 08... but after cheney shot that guy in the face...

      people aren't going to wait that long to have these bumbling evil morons who got us attacked and lost new orleans... out of office.

      i think it's only a matter of about a year or so...

      •  when i say "final say" (none)
        as per bush... i mean he's the president, so he has to be the one to sign off on the crimes. when it comes to cheney of course, he's holding the president's arm as he signs... but in the end... it comes down to who takes official responsibility.

        and the buck stops at bush.

        course it went through dick's pocket to get there... and he'll go down too eventually.

        may even be asked to step down for health reasons at this point.

  •  The Little Engine That Could (4.00)
    Someone mentioned critical mass.

    We are there.

    We can kick these criminals out on their asses.

    We can and we will!


  •  We love you Rhode Island (none)
    out here in Kahlifoania (aka the Austro-Hungarian Empire)
  •  Washington State (4.00)
    House of Representatives:
    53 D
    45 R

    32 D
    17 R

    I can't believe I had to go to each of their caucus' pages and count each one.  You'd think they would have a party makeup page or something.  So, if my math is wrong, I apologize.

    Maybe I will call the Governor's office tomorrow.


    Put on your jockstrap, Herb, because I intend to give your cojones a mean twist.

    by HillaryIsMyHomegirl on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 03:47:13 PM PST

  •  Our responsibility (4.00)
    We owe it to the world to hold or attempt to hold this regime accountable.  Even if the dems win in 2007, there will be no impeachment because it will be too late.  Now is the time to object and object loudly.  

    -4.63, -5.59 The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

    by Divertedone on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 03:51:47 PM PST

  •  God bless Rhode Island! (4.00)
    Go Rhode Island!

    I promise that if RI pulls this off, I will vacation there too (taking a cue from upthread).

  •  failing to produce Osama Bin-Laden (none)

    "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty, soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator -7.63, -9.59

    by shpilk on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 03:59:45 PM PST

    •  Actually, the one Article (4.00)
      that could REALLY do it .. for Dick "shoot first and aim later" Cheney at least is the violation of the Covert Agent Protection Act

      "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty, soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator -7.63, -9.59

      by shpilk on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 04:04:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Unfortunately... (none)
      ...not impeachable.  However:

        - Any treaty entered into by the US governemtn at any time becomes the Law of the Land.  Violation of the Geneva Conventions (specifically G.C.III but IV is a valuable refernce as well) in regards to the humane treatment of prisoners-of-war is, by the Constitution, a violation of the Law of the Land and can be tried criminally as well as simply impeached on.  It is also an international war crime.
        - A pre-emptive invasion and occupation of a sovereign nation (Iraq) qualifies as an internation war crime as well, for which he may be called to stand in front of a war crimes tribunal and explain himself, along with anyone in his adminstration at the time who actively aided and abetted him in doing so.  Weighing further against him and his Cabinet here are the repeated lies told us to whip the American people up into war-frenzy and convince them that attacking Iraq was a good thing.
        - The initial attack on Afghanistan following 9/11was made without an official declaration of war, using Presidential executive powers that (I believe) can only be invoked in a time of declared war.  He can be impeached on simply overstepping his bounds right there.  (If you consider the "war on Terror" Crusade speeches to be a declaration of war, it leads right back into the Geneva Conventions again and there is NO escaping that.)
        - Negligence (Katrina, for one example) and gross incompetence (damn near everything this administration has touched since taking office 6 years ago) will both get you fired from any major corporation.  Why should a nation that's run by corporations and corporate heads be any different?

      I'm sure there are more reasons than this, but sadly, not finding OBL is not impeachable.

      "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

      by The Peanut Gallery on Mon Feb 20, 2006 at 02:40:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The sheer symbolism (4.00)
    of this would be hard to ignore - even if Repubs in Congress manage to derail it......

    It would FORCE real light on Bush's breaking the law........

    Repubs would get even MORE nervous about this.....

    Defending Bush is real bad for re-election, so is squashing it.......

  •  If you've never commented before...NOW is time (4.00)
    Of all the diaries I've read this past couple of years this one looks at the present to be the most important.

    First of all, I thank Rhoad Island the State and the residents for at least the glimmer of hope. And from what I understand the glimmer is a spotlight.....

    Normal thought would say to us that the US Government would follow a States action and at minimum react in a positive way.

    But....the bad guys are the NEO-CON's of the right. They cannot afford discovery of all their crimes against America in the past 10 years. Beginning with the investigations of Bill Clinton to the present they have orchestrated a lie on the entire country.

    How any true American can call themselves a Republican these days and keep a straight face is difficult to understand. Our young sons and daughters are serving and dieing. Our treasury is being drained and lie's go un-answered dur to political assholes like Pat Roberts and Tom Delay...

    My State has two senators that are sure fire rubber stamps for Bush...DeWine and Voinavich. I truly believe that Voinavoich has a clue....but his hands are tied (his fucking problem)...but DeWIne has no's attached to Karl Rove's brain.

    "It's Hard Work!" George Bush..."He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else." Bejamin Franklin

    by JellyPuddin on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 04:05:02 PM PST

  •  Friendly Competition (4.00)
    From the comments, it sounds like there are a few people in Vermont trying the same thing.  

    I wouldn't mind seeing a little friendly competition between states about which can pass a impeachment resolution first.  At the very least, it would fun to watch!

  •  Let's do it. If we keep talking about it the (4.00)
    people will buy into it.  It's like marketing any product.  There is a market if you're willing to put the effort into developing one that reaches critical mass.  People don't want to impeach Bush right now because they don't think it's possible.  If we make it possible, then it will be a reality.

    It's the same logic that went into the California recall election.  Nobody believed a governor could be removed, even though the law clearly provided for it.  Once it became a reality, then people participated and put Arnold in.  

  •  And lying about rebuilding New Orleans... (4.00)
    ....better than ever.

    Lie, lie, lie, lie, lie. If his lives were sandbags, and you stacked them all up, New Orleans would have a levee.

    "What luck for rulers that men do not think." - Adolf Hitler

    by Bensdad on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 04:19:50 PM PST

  •  If this goes anywhere (4.00)
    its going to put Chafee in a really tough spot

    Come get lost in our world:

    by MonkeyDog102 on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 04:24:41 PM PST

    •  Good! (4.00)
      I'm tired of cutting the New England Republicans slack. You can and should be judged by the company you keep, and Chafee, Collins and Snowe have repeatedly shown their unwillingness to put their butts on the line and stand up to their party leadership.

      Any effort to support Rhode Island and other states in bringing impeachment charges MUST go hand in hand with pulling out all the stops in shooting down Mike DeWine's efforts to make the NSA wiretapping program legal after the fact--and I don't trust the Roberts Court to honor the black-letter constitutional ban on ex post facto legislation.

      "Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight. You've got to kick at the darkness until it bleeds daylight." --Bruce Cockburn, "Lovers In A Dangerous

      by AustinCynic on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 05:03:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Carl Sheeler is a resident of RI (none)
    and he is a candidate for US Senate, but he is not IN the RI legislature itself.  What is he doing to bring this before the state legislature?  Does he bring it to the state house through a representative?  Any specific one in mind?  Does this come about in the form of a motion?  Both houses have to pass it?  What exactly is the procedure?
    And then... how can those of us here in Rhode Island help push it forward if (when) it comes up on Smith Hill?

    The law is slacked and judgment doth never go forth: the wicked compass about the righteous and wrong judgment proceedeth - Habakkuk 1:4

    by vox humana on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 04:52:58 PM PST

    •  He can't do it himself. (4.00)
      It has to be brought up in the legislature by a member of the legislature.

      The vehicle would be a concurrent resolution, which both houses would have to pass, but which does not require the governor's signature.

      •  Thanks for the reply! (none)
        I guess I understood the part you mentioned (and I have very much appreciated all your previous postings - and diary - to bring me up to speed). I was wondering if this has gone past an idea to an actual plan with actual contacts, or if it was still entirely in the realm of the theoretical.  I really do think if any state could do this, we could - but with whom will it begin?

        The law is slacked and judgment doth never go forth: the wicked compass about the righteous and wrong judgment proceedeth - Habakkuk 1:4

        by vox humana on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 05:42:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes it has. (4.00)
          Bumblebums has a good friend who was until recently the Chair of the Vermont State Senate Finance Committee, and who went on to run as a candidate for Lieutenant Governor. She put me in touch with her, and she's still in contact with key legislators, with whom she's working to plan activity for the balance of the legislative session.

          She's been very helpful and very supportive, as has another fellow Kossack, who himself was the Vermont presidential elector who drafted the state's resolution calling for an investigation of the Ohio voting irregularities. We're talking to one another, and they're both in direct contact with one another as well.

          I'm hopeful that the author of this diary will contact his own friend, who is a Rhode Island state senator, and propose that we talk about this as well.

          I've also been in touch with American University Constitutional Law professor (and Maryland state senate candidate) Jamie Raskin, who was equally intrigued with the idea.

          So we're in the early stages, but we have some pretty good contacts. I'm pretty optimistic, considering what a big task this is and how far we have to go.

          What we really need is for Kossacks to take stock of any personal relationships they may have that lead into their state legislatures, almost no matter what state they're in. A personal connection helps us get past the initial "crazy factor" hesitancy, to where we can lay out the rules and procedure for them to review. Once they see that, they're usually ready to talk.

          •  THAT'S what I was looking for! (4.00)
            Now that's exciting information!  I do not have any personal contacts, but I certainly will do my part when the resolution is introduced to contact my senators and representatives to assure them that I am in accord with such a resolution.

            Nice to hear it's more than a dream!

            The law is slacked and judgment doth never go forth: the wicked compass about the righteous and wrong judgment proceedeth - Habakkuk 1:4

            by vox humana on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 06:12:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  They'll get nowhere (none)
    The Rhode Island legislature may well call for the impeachment of the Worst. President. Ever. But that's as far as it would go. Hastert and Company would never let it get out of committee, and since the Repugnacons control all the committees with an iron fist, it wouldn't go anywhere there, either.
    •  Are you reading the thread? (4.00)
      I've addressed this a number of times. But sometimes I just skip to the bottom to add my two cents, so maybe that's what's happening.

      It doesn't matter what happens to the resolution once it gets there. If a Member of the House offers a motion pertaining to it, whether it's in committee or not, that motion is afforded the highest privilege as well.

      Any time you want to directly address impeachment, it receives the highest privilege. Let it stay in committee forever. Members are still free to keep moving to discharge it, every day, all day long if they want to.

      Let the Republicans keep making their troops sweep serious charges under the rug, in full view of everyone, on C-SPAN.

      •  Yeah, and the Republicans.. (none)
        ..have never changed or ignored the rules before!

        The fact is, if something like this comes up, they'll say it's somehow "unconstitutional", change the rule, and that's that!



    •  Boo-fucking-hoo (none)
      I've followed you're dire musings through this thread and I'm sick of it.  Get the fuck outta the way, huh?  Go muse on yer frickin' navel,we got work to do!
  •  Yawn (none)
    I voted yes, does that make you happy?

    Other than that, you're dreaming.

  •  Here's something to consider (none)
    If RI got this done before '06, and the Republican majority votes no on impeachment. Would we be abel to try again if the Democrats win the house and another state does the exact same thing? Or would that be impossible similar to the way there is no "double jepordy" for criminal charges?

    "Just when they think they know the answer, I change the question!" -Roddy Piper

    by McGirk SF on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 05:18:04 PM PST

    •  Double Jeopardy applies to a verdict (none)
      Even if Republicans dismiss the impeachment, it could (I think) be brought up again.  As long as they avoid the issue.  If they start up the proceedings for Impeachment and come to a conclusion, then a second attempt might be a non-starter.  But Republicans are most likely to try to avoid going through an entire impeachment process rather than going through the entire thing and then voting on it.

      In criminal courts, double jeopardy simply means that you can't retry someone that a jury has decided was not guilty.  It's to prevent someone from trying over and over to get the result they want.  If the case never actually goes to trial, then I believe they can try as many times as they like to get it to trial.

      "It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong." - Voltaire

      by JAS1001 on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 05:27:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Only a nonstarter politically. Perhaps. (none)
        But perhaps not.

        Either way, no, you're not precluded from starting all over again.

      •  Was prelude (none)
        Impeachment is a purely political act, not a legal proceeding per se.  All procedures and consequences are conducted and meted out between Legislative and Executive branches of government.  Successful prosecution of impeachment charges results only in expulsion from office. Criminal prosecution for same-- and formal review of constitutional principles involved-- would require subsequent filing of appropriate charges with a magistrate.

        I'm all in favor of impeaching this whole gang of theives and traitors. I'm much more interested in having them tried and convicted IN A COURT OF LAW. Short of formal judicial review, we'll be fighting these same battles over and over again

        Kagro X (et al.): Why do you set the bar so low?

        •  I recall that you've asked this before. (4.00)
          But I'm not sure I understood exactly what you meant. At any rate, I don't believe there's anything I've advocated which precludes criminal trial. In fact, I believe that impeachment may become necessary in order to preserve the possibility of criminal trials, in some cases -- as impeachment bars presidential pardon.
          •  reply (none)
            "as impeachment bars presidential pardon"

            This is not necessarily so.  Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution reads: "and he shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment."

            Some legal authorities argue that this clause means that the president is prevented only from interfering in the process of impeachment.  Under this theory, a president would be able to pardon someone after they have been impeached and convicted.  In other words, the pardon power would still be operative in ALL criminal cases, it just cannot be used in actual impeachment cases in the Senate.

            •  I have considered this. (none)
              And it helps to keep in mind that there are also "legal authorities" who argue that the president has inherent authority to do whatever he deems necessary, whether in abrogation of the plain text of the Constitution or not, in the interest of "national security." And they say that despite the fact that we have rejected that on its face at least twice. They just think the Supreme Court was wrong twice.

              My reading of that clause is that the power to pardon obtains in cases of offenses against the United States -- in other words, federal criminal charges. While it's true that offenses against the United States can form the basis for an impeachment, the impeachment itself is not a criminal charge, and therefore no pardon would be operative against it.

              •  reply 2 (none)
                Bruce Gottlieb in Slate magazine notes of your argument that the impeachment pardon restriction applies to criminal proceedings:  "The problem with this argument is that the Constitution elsewhere (Article I, Section 3) makes a distinction between "cases of impeachment" and subsequent criminal prosecution for the same offenses. So it's unlikely that the founding fathers were referring to the subsequent criminal prosecution when they restricted the power to pardon."  

                This seems reasonable to me, and based on my investigation seems to be the "consensus" opinion of the legal community, liberal and conservative.  

                •  Gottlieb is equally clear... (none)
                  that the question is untested and unsettled.

                  And here's a good reason, right in Article I, Section 3: "the party convicted [in an impeachment] shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment and punishment, according to law."

                  Not "may" be, but "shall" be. Given that the same document clearly contemplates that the president may undo indictment, trial, judgment and punishment according to law in any other federal criminal case whatsoever, the "shall" construction is an interesting choice, where a choice of "may" would appear to leave open the possibility of some extraordinary circumstance or intervention, such as a presidential pardon.

                  But they settled on "shall."

                  The question Gottlieb is attempting to set up here, though, is: what are the boundaries of a "case of impeachment?" One interpretation -- apparently his -- would be that a "case of impeachment" refers only to the charges themselves, and that no pardon may excuse an impeached party from trial by the Senate. Another -- mine -- is that since Art. I, Sec. 3 says that conviction in "cases of impeachment" shall leave such parties liable to prosecution, the term "cases of impeachment" extend beyond the mere charges, and include also a narrowly defined set of possible punishments.

                •  I think what was intended was that if the House (none)
                  Thought the actor was bad enough to warrant impeachment, then no President could pardon for any criminal activity by that actor, because it would have been a political crime to begin with.  

                  If the President can pardon for political crimes a la Ford pardoning Nixon, then what was to prevent Nixon from running for office again since he had no criminal record?  If Nixon had been impeached, I think Ford's pardon would have been abrogated.  Nixon would then have faced prosecution in the courts; and, had the senate convicted him in the impeachment trial Nixon would never have been able to serve in government again.

                  The way the Constituion reads, the pardon clause says nothing about conviction in the senate.  Why not?  The other part of the constituion about removal clearly mentions conviction by the senate.

                  There are two purposes at work here.  One is to ensure that people found guilty of political crimes justly pay for the crimes and that cronyism by the President can not absolve them of their punishment. The other is to ensure they never serve in government again.  They are not mutually exclusive.  They don't even serve the same purpose.

      •  Impeachment is NOT a criminal proceeding (none)
        The impeachee doen't lose life, liberty or property. Just a job or possibly a pension.

        Every time there's been a successful immpeachment, the supreme court has given the same answer.

    •  there are so (none)
      many charges to be brought. bring them one at a time, for each impeachmnet try.
  •  i'd be happy (none)
    if you guys got rid of your REPUBLICAN Senator.

    SoapBlox Colorado - The Daily Kos of Colorado

    by pacified on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 05:22:35 PM PST

  •  I'm moving! (4.00)
    Next layoff I'm gone, no hurricanes and obviously fewer wingnuts. Do they have good chinese food and can I get a corn beef on rye?
    •  Yes, but... (none)
      You'll do WAY better if you have a fondness for Italian food!

      The law is slacked and judgment doth never go forth: the wicked compass about the righteous and wrong judgment proceedeth - Habakkuk 1:4

      by vox humana on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 05:38:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I voted No (none)
    Only because I want to see congress turn over first.. If the president knew he was fighting for his political life in the next election (by way of congress turning over and following through with an impeachment), I shudder to think of the illegal actions Rove would come up with.  It's going to be bad enough, but that would cause the republicans to stop at nothing.  The dems don't have the stomach, and they have too many morals to engage in that battle.
    •  Supreme Court Appointments (none)
      We've probably lost the Court for the next 30 years--but if there's any shred of Enlightenment still left in it, it'll be gone with the next Bush appointment.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 05:34:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Breaking News!!! (4.00)
    It has just been learned that Rhode Islands signature on the original Constitution was forged!
    (Brought to you by RovianNews Inc.)

    'Here comes the GOP. Taking us back TO the caves like all regressives try to do.'

    by RElland on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 05:38:50 PM PST

  •  This action makes me both angry and humiliated (4.00)
    Massachusetts should have been first. Where was Teddy Kennedy on this?
  •  He missed a few (none)
    I submitted my latest draft articleshere.

    Sheeler didn't even mention the Plame Game or the wiretapping affair in his.

    Jack Murtha is no coward--here's a real coward.

    by Christian Dem in NC on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 05:43:52 PM PST

  •  A sign of life! (4.00)
    I say let Rhode Island (and any other state with cajones) stand up and make impeachment charges. It's the right thing to do, no matter how far it may or may not get. Not to get stuffy about it but if we don't preserve the rule of law, which we as the People enforce, we don't have freedom. Bush has been lawless and it's time to shout this to the rafters in formal impeachment charges. It's a sign of life!

    As to Cheney, if impeachment charges really get moving against Bush, I expect impeachment charges will emerge against Cheney as well.

    Meanwhile this part of the Articles . . .

    4.  Stating that "Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa" in his State of the Union Address after being told by the CIA that this was untrue and that the supporting documents were forged.

    Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) a year or so ago appealed to Fitzgerald to broaden his investigation to include this particular offense as it is specifically against the law to lie to Congress. The RI proposers of the Articles might want to consider adding the particular statute involved, as the legal strength of the Articles is bolstered in every case where specific statutes broken are cited.

    Thank you, Rhode Island!

    "It's 1776 all over again" -- J.W.P. (after Yogi Berra, in the spirit of Tom Paine)

    by wardlow on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 05:44:09 PM PST

    •  Cheney charges (4.00)
      It's a stretch because of expected stonewalling and would require a special prosecutor to investigate but one example might be Cheney's use of the Secret Service to intervene with Texas law enforcement authorities to "arrange" for Cheney's presentation to authorities to be delayed for 14 hours after the Wittington shooting. If that turned out to be true, it would be use of government assets to obstruct justice and arguably a crime against the United States.

      "It's 1776 all over again" -- J.W.P. (after Yogi Berra, in the spirit of Tom Paine)

      by wardlow on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 05:56:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  GO Rhode Islanders!!! (none)
    "HOPE", ...I will!  That's a great State emblem,  "Anchors Aweigh!!!"

    "Stand, Rhode Islanders, Fight for freedom, Fight our battle cry;

    We'll never change our course, So vicious foe steer shy-y-y-y.

    Roll out the TNT, Anchors Aweigh. Sail on to victory
    And sink their neocon bones to Davy Jones, hooray!

    Anchors Aweigh, Rhode Islanders, Anchors Aweigh!" ...

    ...sounds familiar, heh? ;)
  •  Let the proceedings begin. n/t (none)

    Fear will keep the local systems in line. -Grand Moff Tarkin Survivor Left Blogistan

    by boran2 on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 06:05:27 PM PST

  •  Hmm (none)
    Would this process initialize judiciary committee hearings or would it simply put the articles of impeachment up for a vote?
    •  Neither. At least not necessarily. (4.00)
      What it does, though, is bring the issue to the floor, and force the House to dispose of it in some fashion. They may vote to refer the resolution to the Judiciary Committee, or they may vote to simply table the motion to memorialize the resolution. Or, they may, if they wish, move directly to a vote on whether or not to adopt the charges in the resolution as acutal articles of impeachment -- a possibility that has been suggested as a strategy of forcing a quick decision and killing it on a party-line vote.

      But no matter what they do with it, once the resolution gets there, any motion respecting that resolution is highly privileged, and can be used to interrupt all other business. Even if it's voted on and defeated. That doesn't kill it forever. Nothing kills a motion calling directly for impeachment. Not even adjournment sine die.

      •  Krago the more I think about this (none)
        The more I realize the tremendous pressure that a state legislature's actions would put on Congress.  Short of Articles of Succession, what could be worse for Congress than to get a request to begin the impeachment process for high crimes and misdemeanors?

        Essentially the state is telling the Congress that it finds the conduct of certain individuals to be unacceptable to the citizens of that state.  I would construe it as a demand from the state to the federal government to correct a situation that the state finds intolerable.

        Is Congress going to cavalierly duck such a demand?

        What if the state doesn't like the government's handling of the situation?  What does it do then?  Does it have grounds for succession?  If the state really finds the actions of the federal government officials intolerable why wouldn't that be sufficient grounds for succession?

        And a failure on the part of the federal government to take seriously the grievances of one state could have a snowball effect and cause other states to side with the state that was not taken seriously.

        I have wondered what kind of action short of an American version of the French Revolution could stop this descent into dictatorship.  I now am begining to see that state legislative action against the federal government could do it.  It would put the union in jeopardy, but it could stop the descent into dictatorship.

        •  I think it'd be pretty damned big. (4.00)
          I guess there's nothing that would logically stand in the way of extending it to secession. But I don't think that'd be the route anyone would want to take. Most historians, I think, view the result of the Civil War as a rejection of the legality of secession.

          But I do think that just as a careful examination of the meaning of the administration's positions on signing statements, "inherent powers" and the like would force Congress to realize that it was giving up more than it could ever possibly be worth surrendering to preserve the "peace" with the executive. But that assumes a lot about our Congress that I know just isn't true. At least in the House. They'll have to be made to see the political impossibility of carrying the Bush administration on their backs any longer. But the Senate, I have some hope for, as far as their realization that they may be giving up too much.

          Similarly, I think the states could quickly figure out that they're being disrespected here, if one or several send impeachment charges and they're brushed aside, or ruled out of order in abrogation of the rules.

          It's got real potential, I think, to focus people on the question that really needs to be asked about the Bush administration: What makes something legal, anyway?

          •  Certainly I would hope it would never come (none)
            To secession if played out in the worst case senario.  Onthe positive side I think at the very least the Congress would have to find some way to avoid disrespect to any state that called for impeachment.

            Congress would just have to treat such a request very seriously.  And if they got several, it would be a major crisis.

            The NSA scandal would be suitable I think as grounds.  A state should have the right to tell the federal government that it does not want its citizens spied upon by the federal government.

            What better way to tell the federal government?

            •  Vermont is already doing it. (4.00)

              Lawmakers urge Douglas  to denounce domestic spying

              February 2, 2006

              By Darren M. Allen Vermont Press Bureau

              MONTPELIER -- More than half of Vermont's legislators have signed a letter requesting that Gov. James Douglas' Homeland Security Advisory Council denounce President Bush's domestic spying program.

              "Vermont has always had a tradition of vigilance in matters of security and vigilance in matters of protecting individual rights from an overreaching government," said the letter, which was drafted in mid-January and delivered to the governor's desk late Tuesday. "Vermonters have managed in the most trying of times to balance the needs of both, when demands of one were not sacrificed for the needs of another."


              That news came on the heels of an NBC News report that showed the Pentagon had targeted antiwar demonstrations conducted by Quaker organizations in Vermont as potential terrorist links.

              "As Americans, this should be disturbing news," said Sen. Matt Dunne, D-Windsor, a candidate for lieutenant governor, who wrote the letter and sought support for it over the last two weeks.


              In the letter, signed by 104 lawmakers from all parties, the governor is called on to "assert that all searches and surveillance of American citizens be conducted according to the rule of law, and we ask you to publicly call on the powers that be in Washington to cease such unconstitutional activity in Vermont at once."

              Now, I've spoken to Matt Dunne about considering this option, given that he's now walked right up to the threshhold, but he's not quite there yet. He's also running for Lieutenant Governor, so he's got some reason to be skittish.

              But honestly, I think Vermont is right on the cusp here. 104 legislators of all parties signed on to this.

  •  This is atrocious (none)
    We have only one good legal argument for impeaching Bush - illegal wiretapping in knowing violation of FISA. Everything else amounts to political arguments - he started a war which cost many lives? Puh-lease - if that were the standard, the Republicans could have impeached FDR and JFK. Let's be serious about what amounts to a "high crime" so that we don't open the door to every single president being impeached for partisan gain.
    •  Hey, what do you know? (4.00)
      You've hit upon my very favorite charge. Make it that one. That's the one that changed my mind about sitting more or less where you're sitting, to sitting where I do now.

      But I'd add this: I think the Republicans went forward with the doomed impeachment of President Clinton precisely because they wanted all future impeachments to be tainted as partisan.

      They wanted the Nixon impeachment retroactively tainted, and they wanted to make it impossible to avoid charges of partisan taint for their next GOP president.

      And it's working beautifully. The Bush "administration" now conducts warrantless domestic surveillance under the claim of "inherent powers" magically divined from the same Constitution they claim to hold "originalist" and "textualist" views on. And they claim the authority to rewrite legislation duly passed by the legislature with signing statements that can nullify individual provisions, in violation of the presentment clause.

      Those are two very serious challenges to the settled limits of executive power, and two very direct challenges to the settled extent of the legislative power.

      They're the real deal. Both solid and historically impeachable.

      •  Those signing statements are nothing more (none)
        Than line item vetoes which are unconstitutional as hell.
        •  I agree. (4.00)
          Armando doesn't. But I do. Straight-ahead violation of the presentment clause, as Bush uses them.

          Direct gut punch to the co-equality of the legislative branch. And the judicial, really. Making impeachment an absolute necessity unless he can be convinced to reverse himself. (Which I wouldn't be able to accept as worthy of trust, anyway.)

          The Senate should immediately move a resolution rejecting the administration's position on signing statements, with particular respect to the McCain/Graham anti-torture amendments. That'd give you an idea of where McCain and Graham and their supporters will come down on the defense of their own legislative prerogative, and make it difficult for them not to support a similar rationale for impeachment. (Not that doing so is beyond them.)

          •  More political games, I say (none)
            Find someone or some entity with standing to challenge the constitutionality of those bogus 'signing statements', allow the Supremes to rule, and be done with it all.
            •  I don't believe that ends it. (none)
              But it would be a necessary part of the multi-front rejection of this third direct assault on the separation of powers.
              •  iamal (none)
                Has there ever been a constitutional challenge to determine the merits (vis legislative intent/effect) of such signing statements?

                I don't think so.

                Has there ever been a case in which such statements have played ANY role in determining adjudicated outcome based on case law?

                I don't think so.

                Alito may think differently, and the sooner we geta testcase before the supreme court (and they presumably laugh it out) the better.

                I'm just sayin',Kagro, that by setting impeachment, alone, as the goal, we do disservice to our constitution and to the rule of law. The founders saw fit to allow spats between various branches to play out according to popular passions, but allowed a path toward judicial review that would certify the prnciples involved. You have courageously, earnestly, and usefully advocated impeachment; and in this and other threads I have (and will) argue that it should be a first, not last, step in establishing personal rsponsibility for conduct in offce.

                •  I don't think I've ever advocated that it be... (none)
                  a last step.

                  But try rallying people to the "someone should sue!" banner.

                  Frankly, the sort of impeachment charges and proceedings I'd want to see would leave no doubt about the necessity of criminal charges as a follow-up.

                  For most of the targets against whom I'd bring impeachment, that process is a necessity only as a means for ensuring that the courts would have their say.

      •  Remember they went ahead with Clinton (none)
        because they could.  The Repugs controlled Congress so it was a lot easier... plus the media complied in keeping the story going.

        Thank you John Kerry

        by diplomatic on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 10:55:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Reality check (none)

    I had to look up some poll numbers on this... please refer to:

    Sheeler doesn't seem to have a groundswell quite yet.

    Daily thoughts posted at:

    by whitemills on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 06:48:55 PM PST

  •  Stop the blogs! Ink the presses! (4.00)
    There is only ONE thing to do: put every ounce of our energy into this ONE TASK -- supporting RI in getting these articles passed.

    LetsFight. re handle: Fight the radical right is the sentiment!

    by letsfight on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 06:50:08 PM PST

  •  A very smart and influentual local RI blog (4.00)

    This is run by a friend of mine and social activist, Kmareka

    Sounds like America but less repressive -- a place where social workers and citizens speak out.

  •  Outstanding-excellent diary-thank you-recommended (none)
  •  YES... JAIL Em ALL... NEED HELP E-ME (none)
    YES... IMPEACH and JAIL Em ALL...  


    Use Anything U Want On My Web Sites

    And THANK U,

    IT'S TIME 2 Kick the BUMS OUT... NOW

    They R Killing USA Democracy DEAD

  •  Kick ass diary! (none)
    No pessimism here - let freedom ring from RI!

    Definition - Liberal (author unknown): A long extinct group of people that could think for themselves and were a danger to the collective.

    by exconservative on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 07:17:43 PM PST

  •  GO Rhody Go! (none)
    God, I am glad I was born in RI! :-)
  •  Rhode Island State motto: (4.00)

    [ Anyone who thinks my bark is worse than my bite, has never seen me bite. ] -6.63 | -5.38

    by dj angst on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 07:37:10 PM PST

  •  Curious... (none)
    Where does Sheeler stand in the polls for Senate?
  •  No, (none)
    And it won't be long before Schumer and his buddies pressure Mr. Sheeler to step out of the race.
  •  On Sheeler, RI, etc. (4.00)
    RI native and political junkie here.  Sheeler's at 0%, and he's been in the race for at least 3 months (he may have made his "official" announcement more recently, but he was at a Democracy for America Meeting where I was this summer, and he's been around...

    Sheeler's not bad, but he also is not going to win, or pick up much steam, I think.  His politics are a little unclear, and I don't know how long he's been a liberal/progressive for, but I should say tha I personally like Matt brown in the race over Sheeler and Whitehouse.


    Anyway, I would love for Rhode island to pass a resolution calling for impeachment, and I think some of the leaders in the local democratic party (maybe Matt brown- don't see Sheldon supporting this one.  Or Fogarty, or some of the legislative leadership...) should get on board.  Because its tough to pass something through our "veto-proof democractic supermajority" here in RI.  We have democrats who are more conservative than republicans, and party ID can be pretty meaningless on some issues, most notably some traditional values type stuff (RI passed a parental notification law on abortions which was challeneged in federal court, no easy passage for gay marriage) but also on economic justice issues, where the veto-proof legislature choose not to over-ride a bill to let child-care workers uniopnize, as one example.

    Getting this to pass would require a serious lobbying effort - lobbying makes things happen in the statehouse on Smith Street, as some other RIers might tell you all.

    So, I'll call my reps and make a trip down the hill - just want to bring a little realism and informed perspective to this thread.

    We fight, get beat, rise and fight again - Gen. Nathanael Greene.

    by AriJ on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 08:20:20 PM PST

    •  I have heard this about the RI Leg. (4.00)
      And it definitely concerns me, which is why I didn't focus on Rhode Island initially, despite the advantages it would bring in pressuring your Republican Senator who's up for reelection.

      I have to believe that any state's legislature would be somewhat reluctant to take this up, despite how we feel about it. But I will say this: your top ranking in disapproval of Bush has to mean something, even to your conservative legislators. So I think there's some hope there.

      And you're probably right in that neither of the leading contenders for the Democratic nomination for Senate are going to be eager to get near this. But I can say this: I think you'd see a significant chunk of change flying into Brown's coffers if he'd take the risk.

      •  Concur (none)

        I think Brown would be more likely to support this, but i reckon it wouldn't be an easy decision.

        You're right about the numbers; bush has lower approve dissaproves here than anywhere including massachusetts.  I think that logistically it would be tough.  Gordon Fox (maj. leader) might support it, but I don't know about Speaker Murphy (warwick).  In the Senate, Montalbano (North providence) is not likely to be leading the fight for impeachment.  

        fast-tracking this (eg having it pass this session) would pretty much require support from the leadership.  Some of the more old-school legislators would have to think that this helps them in their districts, especially outise of providence.

        Or, someone could drop a whole ton of media in Rhode island urging them to contact their reps about impeachment.  Sheeler's billboard is cool, but an TV issue ad, widely dispersed, would certainly jumpstart things.

        or, I could knock on doors in West Warwick.

        We fight, get beat, rise and fight again - Gen. Nathanael Greene.

        by AriJ on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 11:04:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Please do it.. (none) way or the other, for us poor fools in the UK and proper democracy. I'm sorry to take issue with another respondant, but ny quote from Juvenal is correct - and it's " who will guard the guards?"

    Quis custodiat ipsos custodes?

    by fatdave on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 08:21:49 PM PST

  •  Impeachment does not (none)
    start when the State submits a resolution in any "real" or meaningful way.

    The House is obliged to receive the resolution, and forward it on to the Judiciary committee, but that is pretty much it.  Neither the House as a whole, not the JC are required to vote, debate, or hold hearings on any such resolution.  It really is no different then if a member of the House personally submits a resolution of impeachment.  

    •  This is not entirely true. (4.00)
      It's true that the House can initially dispense with the resolution in any way it chooses, but it's also true that motions respecting it (or any other direct calls for impeachment) are equally privileged. That is, their status may be inquired about, or their discharge be moved, at any time, and no other business may intervene.

      Now, it's also true that in this respect it does not differ from a resolution of impeachment offered directly by a Member, I believe that the dynamics of starting with a resolution coming from the outside are quite different. There is no doubt that there are Members who are currently unabashed in their support for a resolution moving impeachment directly. And there is no doubt that there are Members who support the concept, but are politically unable to make that support overt.

      I believe that moving impeachment from outside the Congress forces the issue in a way that can break the logjam, and draw supporters out of the woodwork -- in a way that the traditional process certainly has not.

      •  If the resolution is tabled (none)
        I am not sure that the motion to take from the table would be privileged (but I am not an expert on House rules).

        Furthermore, I do not think that the way the resolution is introduced makes any difference.  Perhaps if the state was OH, or MI, or NM, or MO it would make a difference on the margins.  But RI, a state where Kerry got the highest % of votes in the country (even higher than his home state of MA) is not likely to be taken seriously by "red" America.

        •  From Jefferson's Manual: (4.00)
          A direct proposition to impeach is a question of high privilege in the House and at once supersedes business otherwise in order under the rules governing the order of business. It does not lose its privilege from the fact that a similar proposition has been made at a previous time during the same session of Congress, previous action of the House not affecting it. So, also, propositions relating to an impeachment already made are privileged....

          Here, the manual continues, giving certain examples of propositions which would be deemed to relate to a direct proposition to impeach, "such as resolutions providing for selection of managers of an impeachment, proposing abatement of impeachment proceedings, reappointing managers for impeachment proceedings continued in the Senate from the previous Congress, empowering managers to hire special legal and clerical personnel and providing money for their payment, and replacing an excused manager...." Surely another direct proposition of impeachment, or a motion relating to one already made, such as a motion to take it from the table, would be similarly privileged.

          I do think the way the resolution is introduced makes a difference. I think that if it didn't, then the resolution would already have been introduced by one of the 27 cosponsors of Conyers' resolution, though his resolution proposes only an investigation with an eye toward impeachment. I think introducing it from the outside alters the dynamics enormously, and removes the perils that would ordinarily come with being the first to bring such a motion to the floor.

          It's a given that almost nothing respecting impeachmetn is going to be taken seriously by "red" America. At least, nothing they could say they've seen before. But this is a different animal, I think. And while I can grant that it might have a greater impact coming from elsewhere, I think even "red" America would be moved to interest by a direct proposition from a state legislature, and not one of the few Members of Congress they've come to recognize and dislike.

          But no matter. I'll happily roll the dice on your prediction versus mine, now that we've settled the issue of privilege.

          •  I don't think we settled the issue of (none)

            Reading your quote, I am more convinced that I am correct.  Motions relating to "impeachment already made" are privileged.  That means that once the House has already impeached, other related motions are privileged.  It does not follow that motions relating to impeachment that has not been made but only proposed are also privileged.

            If impeachment is reproposed (as in a new motion)that too would be privileged.  But a motion to take from the table is not a new impeachment motion.  It is a regular procedural motion made in ordinary course.  

            •  Regardless, as a practical matter, (none)
              Is the Congress just going to ignore such a request from a state?

              I would think such a resolution by a state would indicate that the citizens of the state have come to the conclusion that they find the existing conditions to be intolerable to the citizens of that state.

              This would have to be viewed as a demand to Congress to do something.  If Congress doesn't, Congress faces a revolt by citizens of that state.

              What I am having trouble figuring out is the end game if the citizens revolted due to what they considered to be intolerable treatment by the federal government.  What would be the options of the state legislature if the legislators believed they were ignored?  Is secession an option?  If it is then the union could be in jeopardy.

              Krago thinks secession would not be an option and that the civil war stands for the legal proposition that secession is not an option.  That does not make sense to me.  I would think any state could makes so much trouble for the union that the union would allow it to seceed by agreement.

              But what other options might a state legislature take short of secession that would make the federal government deal with its complaints?  I don't know.  Refusal to remit federal taxes?  The state could pass a whole host of laws that may later be deemed unconstitutional, but which would at least act temporarily as a check on federal power.

              President "Uniter not a Divider" would have mucho trouble on his hands if a state began some form of legislative rebellion.  Suppose the state, being disgusted with wiretapping of its citizens, took legislative action to prevent phone companies from assisting the federal government in wiretapping.  Where would that lead?  Just don't know.  It could be a mess, if the legislators of a state chose to make it so.

            •  The let's roll 'em. (none)
              We'll test it. And if there's no privilege for a motion to take the resolution from the table, let them move its direct memorialization again. And if no privilege for memorializing a tabled resolution, let them simply put the question directly.

              Why not simply put the question directly right now? Because they have not yet been emboldened by the impetus provided by a state legislature.

              You won't settle the matter of privilege here with me. Only on the floor of the House. If you want real answers, you're going to have to come with us and go get them.

  •  Good gracious, what a fine group of Federalists. (none)
    States Rights!
  •  Can they? (none)
    (As in the poll question)

    Can they?

    Well they can go right the hell ahead, they don't need to ask MY permission!

  •  OH! Oh, I hope so! (4.00)
    I hope so, I really, really do!

    Please pardon my diary-whoring here - it's an old whore, which is worse! In fact, it's ancient (as things go here, but my post A Call for Impeachment - An Open Letter to America contains some good stuff in there in regards to the torture scandal.  (And anyone who thinks that it's over once it passes out of the nedia is dead wrong.  Atrocities are atrocities: 60 years hasn't made the Holocaust any better.)

    As I said, it's old, but it brings into question the legality of violating the Geneva Conventions from the point of view of the Constitution.  If more, solid ammunition is needed for impeachment, there are many valid points raised there.

    But it cannot be just against W.  There is enough on that one page I've linked to implicate him, Cheney, Abu Gonzales and even Ashcroft and Rumsfeld.

    That said, if there is any way in hell that I can help make impeachment a reality, I'll do it.  I don't know what I can do from red-state Nebraska, but Lincoln's not as red as the rest of it.

    "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

    by The Peanut Gallery on Mon Feb 20, 2006 at 02:14:27 AM PST

  •  can this be done twice? (none)
    Or are there any other states that could pull such a thing off.  

    Remember, we may be able to get reps. to vote on this now, but once 2007 rolls around we may be able to actually pull impeachment off.  Of course if we gain the house, we could impeach directly but I'd imagine it's easier to at least initiate such a thing in certain liberal New England states, rather then a slightly democratically controlled U.S. house.  

  •  Leadership (none)
    I agree that Rhode Island is able and capable to begin the movement for impeachment.  However, please be cautious in thinking that Carl Sheeler is the person to do this.  I am from Rhode Island and Carl Sheeler is no more than a joke in this State.  He has lost local elections AS A REPUBLICAN and is polling at the wopping 0% level in the recent Brown University poll.  That is just Food for thought if you are from outside of Rhode Island and thought this Sheeler guy is credible.
  •  Please tell me they didn't really (none)
    word a resolution that blamed Bush for "failing to produce Weapons of Mass Destruction." Christ! Does anybody copy-edit anymore?
  •  Native (none)
    It would make me proud, having been born there.

    State house dome inscription, from Roger Williams, who was kicked out of the Masachusetts Bay Colony for excessive religious tolerance (if memory serves):

    "Rare felicity of the times, when a man can think what he wants, and say what he thinks"

    I have been contemplating the following politcial koan: How do you save America, when it appears our Founding Fathers NEVER CONTEMPLATED all THREE branches of govt. going corrupt, and with the concept of a full-blown Constitutional Convention being pretty scary. This MAY be the answer.

    •  I'm with you (none)
      I think the check has to come from the states if the three branches of government refuse to be a check on each other.

      God bless the founding fathers for all the checks they put in our system.  Like no place else on earth.

  •  A ray of hope (none)
    If this is possible, could we just take on one at a time and knock them off their pins.  Where are the other states?  If enough states got into the act would the Congress and the Senate have to act on it?

    The shrub needs to be pulled he is terrifying

    by libbie on Mon Feb 20, 2006 at 08:56:42 AM PST

  •  I am not sure if this is a good idea (none)
    I just see how 2 months after the next Dem pres. is elected, UT (or whoever) brings articles of impeachment against him/her.

    This could very well pit state against state and could cause the State of the Union to crumble...

    •  I have seen this objection, too. (none)
      And while it's true that technically there's nothing stopping it from happening, the difference is that we will have waited for an actual impeachable offense to be committed. And still it will be difficult to get even committed Bush opponents to move this resolution, because this is serious business.

      If the Utah state legislature wants to drum up charges based on nothing, let them be accountable for it, and let the charges come. They'll be dispensed with by a Congress equally accountable.

      You still have to be able to put together enough votes from enough people accountable to enough constituents to make it worth your while, both on the state and federal level. If Utah can engineer it and get it to the point where House Republicans are willing to risk their political careers bringing it up, then they may have something more than we'd like to acknowledge.

      It's not a game. Republicans played the Clinton impeachment like a game in order to cheapen it, so that they could accuse serious impeachment drives of partisanship. I refuse to let them get away with it.

  •  Impeach Cheney (none)
    We also need to impeach Cheney.  This important distinction can't be lost.

    Cheney and the rest of the gang (Rumsfeld, Gonzalez, Rice) need to be impeached so that they are removed from office and cannot be pardoned.

  •  Where do I sign? (none)
    I am only an occasional visitor to the dailykos, but this UAE business is my last straw. It seems like they've pretty much got the NSA stuff swept under the rug, now they want to hand over our strategic ports to their Arab friends.  Why not, it's free trade and they've got the money?
    And all we can do is stand by and let them  continue to make a mockery of our country little by little. Every day we lose a another piece of freedom and the American Dream, in the name of security and free trade.  And the ones who benefit are Haliburton, the Carlyle group, the Bushies and the New World Order.
    We should've impeached him long ago... Ironic that our smallest state may step up to the plate and make the biggest move to get rid of this regime. Thank you Rhode Island!  How can I help?
  •  <b> True Belief = $$ </b> (none)
    My contribution bespeaks my approval of Carl Sheeler's effort. I may be unable to match the
    monies poured into Chaffee's coffers, but I can at least register applause for those who oppose
    a tragic turn of this nation's history. Perhaps others in this diary could lend like support -
    what harm could it do?

    Too earnest for clever sig-lines

    Conley T. Gwinn

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