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Has the Scooter Libby pre-pardon tipped Bush's hand with respect to the subpoena drama we can expect to play out later this month?

Well, perhaps not fully.

But given how brazen an act it was, it demonstrates that Bush would almost certainly be willing to contemplate more such acts. Why he feels emboldened to do so is something we might spend a fair amount of time debating, but let's get right to the larger question: Will George W. Bush also pardon and/or commute the sentences of anyone held in contempt of Congress for defying the recently issued and still-to-be issued subpoenas from the committees investigating his "administration's" varied and widespread wrongdoing?

The subpoenas we all have our eyes on at the moment are those issued by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Remember those subpoenas were themselves issued because the "administration" has become so thoroughly corrupted that the Department of Justice has been directed to prosecute or decline to prosecute federal criminal cases based on partisan political considerations. And yet, the power on which the Congress currently relies to enforce their subpoenas is the threat of having that same Department of Justice bringing charges of statutory contempt of Congress against anyone who defies them.

Senator Leahy posits that it would be very difficult, politically, for the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia -- at whose discretion the decision to prosecute will be made -- not to proceed if directed to do so by Congress. Under ordinary circumstances, this is true.

But yesterday, George W. Bush has shown us that he will go to extraordinary lengths to protect members of his "administration" who find themselves in trouble with the law for carrying out his instructions and policies. So we must now ask whether he might not very well do the same for anyone who finds themselves facing contempt of Congress charges for asserting his position, insisting that they will not comply (for whatever reason) with Congressional subpoenas?

Yesterday's action also changes the post-subpoena calculus. Whereas previously it was thought that the Vice President might direct the Department of Justice to simply decline to prosecute any contempt charges referred to the U.S. Attorney (or even file suit separately to enjoin such an action), now it must be asked whether it isn't a strategically wiser choice to let the prosecutions go forward, in slow motion.

Why not let the prosecutions proceed, if at a snail's pace? It eats up considerably more of the time remaining on the clock, and leaves Congress holding the bag, able only to complain about the pace. And at the end of the road, if there's a conviction, simply pull out the Scooter Libby playbook. Appeal every facet of the case, and when your luck finally runs out and someone has to pay the piper, the Vice President can simply commute the sentence or pardon them. Voilà! It's almost time to escape out the back door, and everyone goes home scot free. Congress never gets the documents or testimony they've demanded, it's subpoena power is forever after in question, the Vice President's political opposition is rendered impotent, and his political loyalists are once again reminded of the special favor and power their loyalty buys.

What would you do?

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Jul 02, 2007 at 11:36 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Bush's preemptive commutations (24+ / 0-)

    Bush's commutations of libby was preemptive in sense that libby was convicted but had not served any time in prison according to Justice Dept. standards:

    Justice dept. Standards for Consideration of Clemency Petitions

    Section 1-2.113 Standards for Considering Commutation Petitions
    A commutation of sentence reduces the period of incarceration; it does not imply forgiveness of the underlying offense, but simply remits a portion of the punishment. It has no effect upon the underlying conviction and does not necessarily reflect upon the fairness of the sentence originally imposed. Requests for commutation generally are not accepted unless and until a person has begun serving that sentence. Nor are commutation requests generally accepted from persons who are presently challenging their convictions or sentences through appeal or other court proceeding.

    So, what is to stop bush from taking his preemptive line a bit further back and providing commutations before people are convicted for not complying with subpoenas?:) I mean, who will stop him?

    •  No one will stop him...unless (20+ / 0-)

      Congress decides to take action...more action than simply just just press conferences and denunciations.

      I think Congress needs to go full barrel on three things:

      1. Censure Bush for Commuting Convicted Felon Libby's sentence.
      1. Ramp up all facets of Impeachment.
      1. Challenge Bush again by imposing limits on the war when funding comes up again this fall.

      I Was Impeachment Before Impeachment Was Cool.
      Censure Bush on Commutation.

      by BentLiberal on Mon Jul 02, 2007 at 11:56:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It won't happen. (15+ / 0-)

        I hate to say it, but Bush seems to have bigger balls than them.

        Bush continues to do whatever the hell he wants, and then in the manner of a high school bully, asks the Dems "What are you going to do about it?"  And the Dems response has been "not a damn thing!"

        Why should we expect anything to change now?

        Brought to you by Carl's Jr.

        by djtyg on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 12:01:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's easy to get discouraged (7+ / 0-)

          And believe me I share your frustration.

          I just keep trying to urge Democrats to do the right thing. I hope they will.

          I Was Impeachment Before Impeachment Was Cool.
          Censure Bush on Commutation.

          by BentLiberal on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 12:03:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hope is nice...leverage and coercion are better (9+ / 0-)

            someone needs to make them a deal they can't refuse and explain that they WILL do the right thing by the country or else... New guardians can be found, they have in the past...

          •  Dems are wimps (16+ / 0-)

            Sorry, but I've been watching the coverage of the Libby commutation. I have seen no major Dem leader on teevee. I'm not talking about the regular talking heads but Reid and Pelosi and written statements don't count.  If the Dems don't get their crap straight I will vote for Bloomberg. I see a whole lot more progressivism in Bloomberg than I see in the current Dem leadership. And yeah, I know I sound like a Naderite but enough is enough. I feel like I have a bunch of crappy candidates for 08 and I am not impressed by Reid's or Pelosi's leadership.  The Repubs had a whole lot better message machine during the Clinton years than the Dems have now and the Dems have a doofus in the president to deal with. The Repubs had WJC fer crying out loud.   Flame me if you will but I am sick and tired of Dems full of hot air but are unable to actually walk the walk.  I mean Jesus F****ing Christ when you have to put the damn minimum wage bill in the fucking Iraq funding bill as a compromise than there is something very wrong. When you can't even get something that little on its own and  you have to compromise on it  with these pigs who have had their way with everything for 6 years  there is something very wrong with the Dems. The wealthy have made out like bandits in the past decade and the Dems can't even get a minimum wage increase without compromising on it ???????? Hellooooo. Is there something wrong with the message machine here? Yeah, I know they don't have  veto proof majorities but that doesn't mean you don't send stuff up to doofus and have him veto it.

            •  This is a page taken out of Rove's playbook. (5+ / 0-)

              These criminals never do anything out of haste, and obviously there was a deal between Libby and Bush/Cheney to save Libby from doing jail time, and then the next step will be to pardon him.

              Libby would sing like a canary if they did not see to it that he didn't do jail time.  

              Libby is a fucking hero to the right, a martyr, taking one for the cause.

              We as a nation just don't understand that these people think and act as if they are above the law, and no one has the balls to to impeach them.  

              They whine, oh, we don't have the votes, oh, it might make they mad at us.

              As far as I am concerned, if we don't impeach them, have a trial in the senate, then our democracy is over.

              Impeach the bastards, settle for nothing less.

              by Do Tell on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 05:26:40 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The overreach is coming... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                texas dem, averybird, bablhous

                This wasn't it. Protecting a co-conspirator against the Constitution isn't enough. Sorry.

                But these guys believe they are invincible and just keep going. There is a line that, when crossed, will finish Bush and company off...and more importantly, send their policies onto the ash heap of history.

                Dictators always overreach. (And make no mistake - this is about raw power.)

                One of 2 things will happen:

                1. The government will fix itself - Congress and and people who have until now been invisible will get these guys out, or...
                1. WE THE PEOPLE will stay in the streets until they leave...and they will leave.

                All this seems impossible to you, because for you (and me) this country HAS reached the breakpoint. And Congress and THE PEOPLE seem silent. That's deceptive. Watch and wait.

                •  Unfortunately, Watergate taught us a few (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  lessons.  Yes, Nixon resigned before he could be impeached, but in his infinite wisdom (snark) Ford pardoned Nixon to "heal the nation".  No such thing ever happened.

                  Let's face it, most people and a great deal of congress don't want to do anything to Bush and the most corrupt administration in history.  This commuting and coming pardon shows that they are in power, they are above the law, and even when convicted they are not going to suffer any consequences.  

                  I think that we might be witnessing the first breakdown and realization that our nation is powerless to stop them, and that there is no collective will to punish them.  I do not mistake a low approval rating for a wish for impeachment.  

                  Impeach the bastards, settle for nothing less.

                  by Do Tell on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 07:04:05 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Either Leahy is a moron, or else (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sandy on Signal, Cyber Kat

            he must think that WE are morons if he thinks that we will be stupid enough to believe that contempt citations are gonna be the definitive way to resolve this WH abuse of power.

            The Constitution provides for CONGRESS to resolve matters of executive abuse of power, NOT the courts, via IMPEACHMENT. RIGHT NOW Congress already has enough to draft a solid obstruction of justice article of impeachment.

            We need to take a page from the repub base on how they successfully forced (intimidated) their own repub Congressional representatives to oppose Bush on immigration, by the repub base exerting massive pressure on their own repub Congressional representatives.

            We need to light fires under our own respective Dem Congressional reps to have them lobby Pelosi to instruct Conyers to start formal House impeachment hearings asap.

            We need to get our respective local Dem Congressional reps to become fearful that if the Dems do not take this to matter to the impeachment process soon, we might either vote straight Green or just stay home on election day 2008.

            Today I plan to do just that; I plan to call my own Dem House rep and ask them to sign on to the Kuchinich impeachment bill and ask them to publically call for formal House impeachment hearings, or else I will seriously consider voting straight Green in 2008.

            And I am gonna go even further than that; I will be telling my own Dem House rep that I have access to a list of local Dems (from my 2006 volunteer campaign work), and I intend to use that list to recruit as many local Dem voters in my district as possible to apply similar pressure on my own Dem House rep.

            •  Leahy the moron (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Major Danby

              Or maybe he is able to look around the corner and see how much angst, effort, political capital and (perhaps most of all)TIME it takes to do this right.  And maybe he just doesn't think the votes will ever be there to convict Bush/Cheney.

              So investigate, uncover, expose...and then win big in 2008.

              If all of us were members of Congress then everything would be great.  But we are not.  But if we play this right, maybe in 2008 more of our friends will be.

              •  In case you haven't noticed, we CAN'T (6+ / 0-)

                "investigate, uncover, expose", 'cause we are being STONEWALLED!


              •  Investigations must be part of impeachment (4+ / 0-)

                To echo FPH above, Congress' normal investigations are being stonewalled.  To avoid the courts, and do this in a timely fashion, Congress needs to start investigating within the impeachment process.  Nullify  the ability to claim executive privilege and deny the Executive recourse to their packed courts.

                The opening charge can be obstruction of justice.  It may blossom to conspiracy to betray a covert agent.

              •  Winning 2008 but Losing 2007 Is Wrong (3+ / 0-)

                It doesn't take a long time to impeach Bush for Justice Obstruction, Congressional Contempt, or anything else. It took Republicans only a few weeks to impeach Clinton on BS. We've already spent 6 years accumulating evidence of impeachable crimes. Conyers has been writing documents for the House for over 2 years, and running the impeachment ("Judiciary") committee for over half a year. In a week (if justice is served) we'll have the vice/president officially in Contempt of Congress, and obstructing Libby's Justice Obstruction.

                That's all that's necessary. A working Congress could have Bush impeached and tried by "magical September", especially considering Democrats rule the House 53.3:46.4%, while Republicans impeached Clinton in 1998 with only 52.4:47.4% control. From the 12/19/98 House vote to impeach, through the 1/7/99 - 2/12/99 Senate trial, we could be done in under 6 weeks, since 1: there's no new Congress to convene, and 2: these charges are real, not fake.

                The machiavellian Democratic strategy to not impeach in 2007, but use that political capital to win in 2008, is really just cowardice and complicity. The Senate probably wouldn't convict and remove Bush/Cheney, though just impeaching them would bust their network and stop much of their ongoing crimes - like attacking Iran, and rigging the 2008 elections. But if it did, and Bush/Cheney were replaced, that would be because even Republicans voted to convict them on some of the most serious crimes there are. So petty calculations to ensure an election victory are puny compared to the demands of justice and Congress' obligation to ensure it.

                IMPEACH NOW. Today. While we still can.

                No excuses are worth their breath anymore.

                "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                by DocGonzo on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 06:50:10 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Cowardice and complicity??? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Major Danby

                  Don't you think I'm angry and frustrated?  Don't you think I see these criminals running the country?

                  You are quite correct that the Senate probably wouldn't convict and remove Bush/Cheney.  But how does impeaching them "bust their network"?  How, exactly, does that work?

                  Can you assure me that after they are impeached (and not convicted) I will no longer be frustrated and angry?  

                  Bush is acting like a dictator.  As long as he has 34 Senators who support him, he may continue acting in that manner until his term is up.  

                  He has so little regard for the Constitution, I am increasingly skeptical that the 2008 elections will actually be allowed.  An unsuccessful impeachment effort will only distract from our real goal: end this national nightmare and get these horrible people out of our Congress and out of the White House.

                  I respect your point of view that impeachment is worthwhile, even though I don't share it.  But to accuse people like me of cowardice and complicity is really awful.

                  •  What Else? (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Ohio Angst, bablhous, Tim Kloberdanz

                    There are much more comprehensive discussions of why to impeach, despite its lesser risks, including today's front-pager by Meteor Blades with which I agree.

                    But I'll just make a brief pass back at your resistance by citing your own points. Bush is a dictator, backed by 34 veto-protecting senators. He will undeniably act even more the dictator as he gets near the end of his term. Including threatening the 2008 elections, whether explicitly or just with the ongoing project that the US Attorney purge also revealed.

                    The goal is not an election, or impeachment, but, as you say, getting these horrible criminals out of the White House. While we still can. Your frustration and anger are up to you, after we do that.

                    Impeachment busts up their network. Once they're being exposed in the House impeachment hearings, then the Senate trial, more people protected by hiding will be exposed to risk. Political equivocation will choose sides, with some people now siding against the conspiracy, especially those now betting it will be crushed. Sensitive operations undermining our democracy will now have to also protect from direct Congressional investigation. People already caught, but treated leniently (like Gonzales and a host of others) will face hard conflict from Congress. They will betray each other, as we have already seen Goodling and others in their conspiracy do when offered immunity or clemency for cooperation.

                    Plus all that exposes their crimes, and their weakness, before the election. Which means that even if the House fails to impeach or the Senate to convict, Americans will see more of the Republicans asking them for votes in November 2008. And the process also shows us the Democrats expecting to inherit the trifecta, its default monopoly power, and all the extra power Bush/Cheney added to it. Many Americans whose attention cannot be gained except by dramatic acts like impeachment.

                    And then there's justice. Which we're throwing away by not impeaching. I shouldn't have to say any more. But I have and I will, since you already know that, though you're still afraid to impeach. Impeachment is how we end this national nightmare.

                    WAKE UP. You know you're in a nightmare. You're afraid to end it before the 2008 election alarm clock rings. Bush/Cheney are counting on that. You're "fmrgop", but you're still working for them by hesitating to stop them. To stop the Republican tyranny you worked actively to produce. People like you, who were Republicans, have a lot of making up to do. Don't just claim the forgiveness by leaving the Republican Party, but drag along the fears and electoral greed that made you at home there once. WAKE UP and chase these monsters out from under the bed.

                    Or live in your fear, complicit with them in keeping us all terrorized.

                    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                    by DocGonzo on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 09:42:12 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Senator Leahy is doing all he can (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mike Erwin, bablhous

              Either Leahy is a moron, or else . . he must think that WE are morons if he thinks that we will be stupid enough to believe that contempt citations are gonna be the definitive way to resolve this WH abuse of power.

              Well I heard Senator Leahy  this Sunday and I don't think he ever promised that contempt citations would "resolve" this problem.  What he said was that he would support them if Whitehouse would not comply.

              I take him at his word and so the next question will be whether the House and/or Senate will approve such citations,  then the question will be whether the Justice Department will seek to enforce them.

              It is not an ideal solution by any means, but it is the step that it has fallen on Leahy's Judiciary Committee to follow in the regular order of its business.

              Don't blame Senator Leahy for the fact that we are not likely to "resolve" this problem by going down this path.  Blame rather the people who elected Bush for a second term.  I seem to remember that Leahy supported Gore and Kerry for president in the relevant elections.

              •  I blame Leahy for trying to make it look like (0+ / 0-)

                pursuing a contempt citation is a "really big deal".

                Pursuing a contempt citation is nothing more than an opportunity for the Bush admin and the GOP to bury this whole thing in the rathole of the court system.

                I can just hear Trent Lott now:

                "Oh, let's not bother with all this impeachment nonsense until the courts have sorted this all out".

                Pursuing a contempt citation in the courts is not only futile, it is an impeachment killer.

                •  Leahy is doing what he should (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Major Danby

                  I blame Leahy for trying to make it look like . . . pursuing a contempt citation is a "really big deal".

                  I don't agree that he is over selling it.  It is the only tool he has, and it would be no small deal if he could get the Senate to support such a citation.  In fact the Republicans would be almost sure to block it and then it would be up to us to make a "really big deal" out of that in the next election.

                  Still I think it is important and, yes, a big deal, to go down that path.  In fact if for some reason the majority leader elects not to try to move on a contempt citation that comes out of the Judiciary Committee I would be upset, but at Senator Reid, not at Senator Leahy who is doing what his position calls for.

            •  Justice Obstruction is the Best Impeachment (2+ / 0-)

              Impeachment is designed to override all other political and legal structures. Because it's the generic remedy for when an official, especially an Executive, has violated the Constitution or otherwise failed their office, but is immune to other legal processes. The main Constitutional protection is separation of powers.

              Justice Obstruction is the best impeachment, because it is the broadest abuse. The Legislative Branch is protecting the Judicial Branch from abuse by the Executive. Since the House must impeach, within its 2-year terms, these Reps must impeach when the people agree, or be replaced in the next election, shortly after impeachment.

              Every Bush crime comes with Justice Impeachment, from lying to Congress about WMD, to suspending habeas corpus, to ignoring the FISA Court while wiretapping Americans.

              If the Democratic Congress can't impeach Bush for Justice Obstruction while he's in Contempt of Congress and 4:1 Americans want him gone, there is no such thing as impeachment. It's a fake boogeyman dropped from the government to create an unimpeachable emperor.

              Through today, Leahy and the rest of his Keystone Kongress have proven that's the system. Will they remember the Constitution tomorrow?

              "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

              by DocGonzo on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 06:25:22 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Does impeachent trump executive privilege? (0+ / 0-)

                Justice Obstruction is the best impeachment, because it is the broadest abuse. The Legislative Branch is protecting the Judicial Branch from abuse by the Executive.

                I don't know if an actual impeachment is really a good step, but I think that an investigation in the House of possible grounds of impeachment might provide the strongest legal basis for seeking to support subpoenas for documents and testimony from the Whitehouse.

                If we have to go to court for a decision that will probably not come until long after there is a new president, I think that one of the arguments we ought to be able to make against "executive privilege" is that it is trumped where Congress is exercising its power to look at possible impeachable offences involving obstruction of justice both in the case of the US Attorney firings and in the case of the Libby pardon.

                The courts have already said in the Nixon case that a criminal investigation trumps executive privilege.  It seems to me that we should build a case to try to get a ruling from the courts that an impeachment investigation also can trump such claims. 

                After all since the essence of obstruction of justice is the prevention of bringing or investigating a criminal case, then a pending and well founded impeachment investigation also ought to also trump executive privilege.

                •  That already happened... (3+ / 0-)

                  One of the charges written up for Nixon was the impediment of the impeachment investigation itself.

                  Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

                  by Phoenix Rising on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 07:03:33 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Others here have said that it would be more (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Fred in Vermont, DocGonzo

                  difficult for the Bush admin to stonewall a formal impeachment hearing of itself.

                  That is all that I am calling for, to have formal House impeachment hearings NOW as the best Congressional response to Bush's stonewalling.

                •  Impeachment Trumps Everything (3+ / 0-)

                  I'm not going to bother arguing with you whether impeachment is "really a good step", because you have the burden of proving such a counterintuitive statement that gets torn down all day long here on DKos and elsewhere.

                  But even if you've got some kind of rationalization that keeps your fear of impeaching intact while doing what it takes to impeach, then welcome aboard. In politics, doing the right thing for the wrong reasons is the only way the majority of 300M Americans can realistically govern ourselves.

                  You should be reassured that the investigations producing Contempt of Congress and Justice Obstruction official decisions are quite enough to start impeachment proceedings in the House. And that even Clinton's trumped-up impeachment in a smaller Republican majority House did impeach a president for dismissable offenses.

                  So let's get on with it already, and stop pretending that impeachment is taboo, or that there's any possible reason left not to serve justice on these criminal tyrants. Otherwise, we're working for them against America. I'm tired of seeing Americans do that.

                  "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                  by DocGonzo on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 07:05:24 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  "Bring it On" against Cheney/Bush (7+ / 0-)

          including their massive War Profiteering and their blatant War Crimes committed in Afghanistan and Iraq too!  Our "ruined" military deserves and is owed the "oversight".  They have been waiting years for our criminal/corrupt administration to be removed from office.  Start with Cheney!

          •  "Morning Joe" has been making fun of K.O. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Cyber Kat

            for his having Bush as "worst person of the world" last night. Also, Scarborough said Libbys sentence was excessive!  The asshat!  My National Guard SSG son and his friends expect Cheneys secret "Ponzi Schemed", corrupt, no-bid deals with Pakistan, Halliburton, KBR, Blackwater, etc. investigated and prosecuted.  Our military and their relationship with the locals worsened with our stolen  monies for security, supplies, equipment, food, services and especially infrastructure repair.  Throw in the "Rummy" strategy of "bombing" civilian areas for expediency, Cheney/Bushcos rendition and torture practices and we have made more enemies than friends.  (everytime we bomb a civilian area, the locals keep the children away from our troops for weeks)  Bring it on!  Congress must impeach and start with Cheney!  Even "Morning Joe" said instead of complaining and calling Bush unconstitutional that impeachment is the option. (actually K.O. said anti-constitutional)

            •  If this were B. Clinton commuting Gore's CoS (4+ / 0-)

              I think that there would be blood running in the streets and a complete takeover of the government by the GOP in response.

              This is a page taken out of Rove's playbook.  

              They are above the law, they answer to no one, and never will.

              Impeach the bastards, settle for nothing less.

              by Do Tell on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 05:16:49 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Because the Dems unilaterally disarm every time (7+ / 0-)

                "Impeachment is off the table" resonates not jsut for its words but because it connects to the larger pattern of the Democrats surrendering without a fight, failing to use any of the actual powers of either the minority or the mahjority in COngress to get their way.  When the Demopcrats were in the minority in the Congress, they were unable (or unwilling) to stop a sibngle Bush initiative.  When the Republicans have been in the minority in Congress, they have successfully defeated every significant Democratic initiative.  When the republicans were in the majority and Democrats threatened to filibuster, the Republicans threatened the "nuclear option" of wiping out the power of the filibuster.  When the Democrats were in the majority and the Republicans filibustered, the Democrats surrendered.

                Increasingly the Democratic Party as opposition takes on the flavor of a Potemkin village.

                •  Bingo. You said it well. Our democrats (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  have rolled over again, and again, and again.

                  In my heart I believe that even when these bastards are out of office, the damage that they have done is so deep and so wide that we will never again be the same country that we once were.

                  I am not sure that even if we win the presidency, and have bullet proof majorities that they will have the will to do much besides pass toothless legislation.  Their campaign war chests depends upon big money from the same corporations that the GOP does, and the corporations simply give more money to those who will do their bidding.  

                  Impeach the bastards, settle for nothing less.

                  by Do Tell on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 07:09:18 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Because that is exactly what they are (0+ / 0-)

                  They are members of the corporate power structure. They do not represent us or our interests. That needs to change.

                  "Freedom of speech isn't something somebody else gives you. That's something you give to yourself." - Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

                  by brenda on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 08:39:32 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  No, that's just silly (0+ / 0-)

                Blood would not be running in the street and there would be no GOP takeover because there is very little popular support for their agenda. What support they do have is thin and manufactured by the media. Even with the media's constant shilling Bush still only has 28% to our 72%.

                It's all smoke and mirrors.

                "Freedom of speech isn't something somebody else gives you. That's something you give to yourself." - Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

                by brenda on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 08:36:27 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  You're right (5+ / 0-)

          We're talking about a guy who has had everything handied to him throughout his life, whose Daddy's cronies have bailed him out when he fucked up, a dry drunk who never took responsibility for his actions.

          In psychological terms, GWB can draw on a lifetime of positive reinforcement for talking/acting like a bad-ass and doing what he wants.  Hell, it (and Rove) got him to the Presidency.  It's no surprise that, when confonted by anything, he falls back on what has always worked for him.

          Remember, when you confront a bully, he's usually not going to back down either.  He's going to bluster and talk tougher than ever and threaten still more dire consequences.  

          You HAVE to be willing to fight him.  

          IMO, GWB is the type of megalomaniac who will not back off unless you beat him down.  He has no humility, no shame, no sense of propriety in the office he holds.  

          He's not going to do what's best for the office; it's all about him.

          "I intend to live forever. So far, so good." Steven Wright

          by gsbadj on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 04:39:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  In Pics with Paris? (0+ / 0-)

          Hey, little Miss Hilton did her time, regardless of enormous resources of wealth, and Libby doesn't?

          arBusto must have pics of Dems with Paris types; ready and willing to Internet-  Why else lay down and cower on EVERYTHING?

          The frame in the first sentence WILL resonate; and is the key to maximum pain for the Dems-

          Dems cannot yet win on:
          1./ Impeachment (Wouldn't get beyond US house)
          2./ Subpoenas (will depend upon SCOTUS int of Exec Priv?)
          3./ Vote to timeline and/or benchmark end the Irak war (Doesn't leave committee in the senate; thanx joey)

          Soooo  all that is left is the vagrant media, and repetition-

          1./ Bush is obstructing justice toward uncovering treasonous enemies of the state-
          2./ even paris was man enuf to do time-

          Lather, Rinse, Repeat-

          ...we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings- John F. Kennedy

          by RF on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 04:55:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  You note that the DOJ generally (20+ / 0-)

      requires an appeals process to be completed and a sentence begun before commutation is considered.

      I take it this fact is related to Bush's avoiding the DOJ on his decision for Libby.

      A Decision Made Largely Alone

      By Michael Abramowitz
      Washington Post Staff Writer
      Tuesday, July 3, 2007; Page A01

      President Bush limited his deliberations over commuting the prison term of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby to a few close aides, opting not to consult with the Justice Department and rebuffing efforts by friends to lobby on Libby's behalf, administration officials and people close to Bush said yesterday.

      "We were all told to stay away from it," said an old Bush friend from Texas who is close to Libby and would not speak for attribution. "When we called over there, they said the president is well aware of the situation, so don't raise it. None of us lobbied him because they told us not to."

      For the first time in his presidency, Bush commuted a sentence without running requests through lawyers at the Justice Department, White House officials said. He also did not ask the chief prosecutor in the case, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, for his input, as routinely happens in cases routed through the Justice Department's pardon attorney.

  •  And yet. . . (12+ / 0-)

    I can only marvel at how I got this eighteen months ago, and how supposedly educated legislators still won't get it eighteen months from now.
    Maintaining an army for a hundred years is but to preserve peace. - Isoroku Yamamoto

    by Dragonchild on Mon Jul 02, 2007 at 11:36:52 PM PDT

  •  Damnit. If I read any more of your diaries I'm (10+ / 0-)

    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket



  •  And if bush/cheney does not get them with that (10+ / 0-)

    tactic, you can bet they got the "goods" via all the wiretapping going on....... it is not surveillance of regular citizens that is a problem, it is the USE OF the surveillance of our politicians that is the problem....

    as to what I would do - if I were a US legislator, my NC license plates says it all:  IMPEACH

  •  bingo (22+ / 0-)

    Why not let the prosecutions proceed, if at a snail's pace? It eats up considerably more of the time remaining on the clock, and leaves Congress holding the bag, able only to complain about the pace. And at the end of the road, if there's a conviction, simply pull out the Scooter Libby playbook.

    And what is the only action at Congress's disposal that can alter that?

  •  They're a crime family (12+ / 0-)

    They're a gang of thugs.

    Of course, they'll do anything to protect their own.

    And anyone who takes the fall to protect other members of the crime family, will get sprung from jail.

    This is Mafia 101 right here. It's not hard.

  •  Smart plan (6+ / 0-)

    It's what they've been doing with "terror" "detainees."  They cycle through holding people as an "unlawful enemy combatant," through avoiding the court challenge with indefinite detention, thorugh filing charges, through dropping charges and filing new ones...  Justice delayed past January 2009 is definitely justice denied.

    Here's another question, regarding subpoenas of former administration officials:  how can Bush/Cheney even try to claim executive priveledge on those?  They are private citizens now.

    Last time I checked titles of nobility were forbidden, but perhaps Bush/Cheney have taken the big black pen to that bit too...

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Mon Jul 02, 2007 at 11:43:50 PM PDT

    •  Former officials (4+ / 0-)

      If the actions those officials performed fall under the normal guidelines of executive privilege, then they remain protected by it even after they leave office.

      However, it's an open argument as to just what constitutes executive privilege.  The courts have only ever held that the President can claim said privilege in provable matters of national security.  All other uses have only been upheld through tradition, compromise, or negotiation - including the common "give and receive advice freely".

      Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

      by Phoenix Rising on Mon Jul 02, 2007 at 11:51:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bush/Cheney/Rove playing it exactly right (34+ / 0-)

    A friend of mine is a debate coach and was telling me about the finals at a collegiate tournament where one team essentially argued that, while rules are good, sometimes winning requires breaking those rules. The other team got up and said that we all must follow the rules all the time. Surprisingly, given the debate format, the team that argued that breaking the rules is sometimes required was voted the winner.

    The problem we have here is that Reid/Pelosi/Clinton/Obama are the team that is complaining about the rules being broken, and they are too timid and feckless to understand who they are fighting and how to win. And, unfortunately for us, Bush/Cheney/Rove understand both how to win AND who they are fighting.

    The meta-message in all this to the American people is that the Republicans are the only one who will keep the country safe from Al Queda because the Republicans aren't afraid to break a few eggs (or legs) to get what they want, while the Democrats are afraid to mix it up.

    Should the Democrats want to win the election, and, more importantly, show the country they know how to fight, then they need to make the next 180 days all about exposing these criminals for what they are: the worst group of thugs to assume power over a major country since the Nazis.


    If it costs us the Senate when Holy Joe jumps, who cares. We weren't doing anything with it anyhow. Let the country know that Democrats stand for something. Even if Joe jumps we'll get the Senate back in 18 months anyway.

  •  I hate to say this, but you're depressing. (8+ / 0-)

    Thanks for pointing this out, though.

    There are so many roads for this administration to take, all of them leading to the same basic place: no-where that's good for this country.

    Inherent Contempt and Impeachment are the only options left, IMHO.  Anything that goes through the normal channels of justice won't ever reach completion.

    Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

    by Phoenix Rising on Mon Jul 02, 2007 at 11:44:31 PM PDT

  •  "What would you do?" (6+ / 11-)

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    "If I don't see you no more in this world, I'll see you in the next world...and don't be late!" (Jimi Hendrix)

    by Faheyman on Mon Jul 02, 2007 at 11:45:21 PM PDT

  •  Yet time is not on everyone's side (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, jamesmcyang, kenoyer130

    The fact is that even the President cannot commute a sentence or pardon someone for a crime they have not been convicted of. If you are the administration official being charged with contempt and the prosecution is intentionally set at a slow pace to run out the clock, that is a pretty big gamble.

    Essentially, you would be gambling that any conviction would happen before January 20, 2009. That's pretty damn risky. It's very unlikely that there will be a holdover Republican inaugurated that day who is willing to toss out any political capital for one of his (if it's a Republican) predecessor's stonewallers. If anything, the ticking time bomb could probably be used to induce some nice immunity agreements and get some people talking.

    I suspect you are about to see not only an increase in the flight from this administration, but also an increasing willingness to kiss and tell because the writing is on the wall - these guys are on a short schedule and there won't be anyone to protect you when they are gone.

  •  They're now the "Republican" party .. (6+ / 0-)

    They no longer support a republican form of government,  rather they are for presidential dictatorship.  If they were honest, they would rename the party to the "Nationalist Corporatist" party, but naturally they won't.  

    So it's up to us to rebrand them as the "Republicans".  

    Or "Party formerly known as Republicans", etc.

    •  "Nationalist Corporatist" = fascist (5+ / 0-)

      And that's a wrap.

      We are not exempt from history.

      by MrJayTee on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 01:10:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think we should (0+ / 0-)

      give them a symbol to use. I like the 'party formerly known as Republicans' idea.

      Maybe a Mr. Yuk face? So on TV they'd be listed as 'McConnell, (Yuk)-KY'

      We could call them blechhs (the noise you make when you spit something out) or ptoois (the noise you make when you spit on the ground at the mention of someone's name). Or just Yukks.

    •  The National Corporatist Party isn't just the GOP (0+ / 0-)

      It includes some Democrats as well. That is why we have been having such a hard time getting the leadership to do their job. They don't represent us, they owe their positions to the corporate PACs that fund their elections. They only see us as a resource to be managed, spun or manipulated to further their only end... getting re-elected.

      "Freedom of speech isn't something somebody else gives you. That's something you give to yourself." - Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

      by brenda on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 09:18:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Dems are perhaps Corporatist but not Nationalist (0+ / 0-)

        You're right that the Democrats have considerable Corporatist tendencies of their own, but at least it isn't combined with a blinkered jingoistic nationalism.   Only the party formerly known as "Republicans" combines virulent corporatism with equally virulent nationalism.  

        Of course the corporate powers aren't much interested in the United States itself.  They're too busy globalizing to worry about "der Volk" (those of us who merely happen to share US citizenship).  So maybe the most descriptive name would be Militarist Corporatist or "Milco" party for short.  Put "Beligerent" in front and you've got Bilko ;)

        Fun with rebranding ...  

  •  Can Bush & friends still be prosecuted (3+ / 0-)

    after he leaves office? If so, I like your idea of proceeding slowly - slow enough to get the process started but not completed until after the new Democratic president is sworn in.

    I'm suggesting this because I think what's most important is that BushCo be made an example of to serve as a warning to future administrations.

  •  These jerks have no respect for the rule of law (5+ / 0-)

    Their only interest in any branch of government is in how to con them out of their authority and deflecting justice and oversight away from their own criminality.
    Needless to say, Bush's (Gonzales', Bartlett's -- anyone on Team Bush from the Texas days) view of pardons and what constituted a harsh sentence were elastic, depending on whether his own criminal ass is being covered.
    From this investigation into Team Bush's perjury and abuse of office during their Texas days comes this piece of crap:

    Travis County's lead prosecutor on the 1996 drunken-driving case in which Gov. George W. Bush  was called as a potential juror now believes he was purposely misled by Bush and his attorney [Alberto Gonzales] in an effort to avoid service. [...]
    "With all the new information that has come forward, it's logical to see that there may have been motives at work that none of us knew about. But at the time, we were just trying to be courteous to the governor," said Oden.
    That courtesy included an agreement by Oden and assistant county attorney John Lastovica that they would not object when Bush's general counsel, Al Gonzales, asked the court to excuse his client from jury duty because of the possibility that Bush might be called on to pardon the accused.
    The defense attorney in the case, P. David Wahlberg, confirmed Oden's version of the events. He told Salon that Gonzales' argument that Bush couldn't serve because he might be called upon to pardon the drunken-driving defendant was "laughable." [...] "everybody understood [Bush] just didn't want to answer questions about drinking and drugs and things like that. That was certainly my impression."
    [...] Gonzales, who was appointed to the Texas Supreme Court last year by Bush, did not return calls from Salon. [...]
    While Gonzales' argument about the potential pardon may have carried the day in court, the likelihood of a governor -- and particularly a tough-on-crime politico like Bush -- being faced with pardoning someone for a misdemeanor drunken-driving offense is minuscule, at best.
    The aggressive stance Bush took to avoid service stands in stark contrast to the just-folks story that he was feeding the media. When he first reported for jury duty at the Travis County Courthouse on Sept. 30, Bush told Wayne Slater of the Dallas Morning News, "I'm glad to serve." Bush added, "I think it's important. It's one of the duties of citizenship." He also told KVUE-TV in Austin, "I'm just an average guy showing up for jury duty."

    As for harsh sentencing, when Bush or a criminal croney's ass isn't being protected by someone convicted beyond a shadow of a doubt by a jury of his peers, not only won't Bush consider a pardon, but ...

    And in video footage shown by KVUE in 1996 and again on Friday night, Bush had some additional comments on his feelings regarding the case. The KVUE reporter asked Bush if he didn't "really just want to give the guy a pardon and go home?"
    Bush answered, "No, I probably want to hang him and go home." [...]
    (Prosecutor says Bush "directly deceived" him to avoid jury duty By Robert Bryce / Salon, Nov 05 2000)

    There's your presidential compassion!

  •  Only one thing can stop them (6+ / 0-)

    The disgust factor.  It is rising, but our Democratic leadership seems to be oblivious to it.

    Every time Bush does something like this more people reach their limit.  Even the Repubs (well some of them) know this stinks.

    Will the disgust factor rise fast enough to slow the Bush corruption machine.  Personally I don't think so.  We've got another year and a half of getting screwed, and it will get increasingly worse the closer we get to the end.  They will get more desperate to cover their tracks when it becomes apparent that the next Prez will be a Democrat.

    One good thing.  In 2009, no more commutations, no more subpoena avoidance, no more intimidation of those who might come forward.

    The world badly needs to see us bring Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and others to Justice for their crimes.  It is one of the first steps to restoring our credibility on the international stage.  

  •  Violence? (5+ / 0-)

    We'd still be British subjects if our forefathers just paid their taxes and shut up. And the labor movement would have diappeared long, long ago if they were unable to handle the batterings of the strikebreakers.
    I'm curious as to what it would take for the Army, or the National Guard, to fire on US citizens a la Kent State. Remember, the Soviet Army would not fire on the demonstrators, and the USSR fell apart as a result.
    On the other hand, the demonstrators at Tiananmen Square were crushed beneath tanks for their troubles. It will be interesting to watch the level of disgust riding into the September demonstrations scheduled for Washington. Hopefully, Bushco will have resigned by then, but that is surely, I think, a bridge too far.

    Everybody over the cliff? Let's do it together, then!

    by waltoon on Mon Jul 02, 2007 at 11:55:01 PM PDT

  •  All of this is why Pelosi has a point (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oceanview, dangangry

    The top priority MUST be to get back the presidency in 2008. Even if you hold impeachment as the #2 priority, getting back the presidency has to be #1.

  •  damnit, where is Marcy Wheeler's HARDBALL segment (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wu ming, 2lucky

    on video? I thought I could just snap my fingers and it would appear. I am appalled & outraged that some underling has not granted my wish -- and it has been over 4 hours ago. This is unacceptable. My needs come first.

    -----yKos ? > emailme re ad-hoc mtg on -->
    *video townhalls *site-to-site collab tools *collective resrc

    by rhfactor on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 12:01:24 AM PDT

  •  KX, that's exactly what they meant when they (14+ / 0-)

    promised "a cataclysmic fight to the death" on every request and subpoena.

    They plan to run out the clock.

    It's time to impeach, remove, indict, convict, sentence and jail the bastards -- every last one of 'em.

    Never, never brave me, nor my fury tempt:
      Downy wings, but wroth they beat;
    Tempest even in reason's seat.

    by GreyHawk on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 12:01:49 AM PDT

  •  If Bush/Cheney cannot win passage of the oil (5+ / 0-)

    revenue sharing bill before the Iraq parliament, that will do more to ending this whole nightmare than any subpoenas. A few weeks ago a Bush administration hack came out and said that the oil bill was the most likely of the benchmarks to pass the Parliament. Just last week, a member of Iraq's Parliament was quoted as saying that getting the oil bill passed would be a 'miracle'. It is almost impossible to imagine Iraqis ever giving in to a piece of 'legislation' that enables foreign oil companies to loot the only natural resource wealth that Iraq possesses.

  •  Gee, I'd impeach Bush on procedural grounds (8+ / 0-)

    without waiting for the case to wend its way through the courts since Congress determines what oversight information it needs where there's a criminal case underlying (the Lam firing and now the possibility of a cover-up of the Plame outing), and I'd impeach Cheney on the substantive grounds that he asserted that he is beyond Congressional oversight altogther in justifying his violation of the Presidential Records Act, and we don't need to even argue with him about that.

    For the rest, see my diary in the morning.  Nothing but wackos reading right now.  ;7)  (Hi, everyone!)

    My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

    by Major Danby on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 12:04:52 AM PDT

  •  I don't think it's entirely loyalty (6+ / 0-)

    Scooter has kept his mouth shut so far, but the inside of a prison cell might have been the tipping point to him rolling over on the administration.

    That may even have been the agreed upon deal to begin with. Scooter was always pretty smug in court, so he may well have known where the safety net was.

    Don't mistake self-serving pig-headedness for loyalty, Bush isn't that human. There were reasons other than loyalty for Gonzo to be kept in play too.

  •  I don't agree (8+ / 0-)

    Impeachment is #1.  Bush outrage may win Dems the WH in 2008, just like Nixon outrage won it for the Dems in 1976.  Repubs will win it back in 2012 just like they did in 1980.  And they will commit the same crimes all over again unless we have impeachment AND send Bush and Cheney to JAIL.  We will continue to have both Dem and Republican administrations over the years and the Repub ones will be criminal unless they know they can and will be prosecuted.

    The absolute best thing that can happen for the country is for Bush and Cheney to be out of office AND behind bars by inauguration day 2009, no matter who gets inaugurated.

    •  Strenuous Agreement (7+ / 0-)
      Right now, the perception is that you can commit grossly criminal acts in front of the entire world, get thousands of people killed in the process, and then walk off scott-free to go catch fish.

      There must be accountability. There must be consequences. There must be a real, verifiable example of our government -- of our constitutional republic -- functioning correctly to serve those for which it was ordained. If not, our country is doomed as our children grow to replace us and repeat the lessons they've learned over the last six years.


  •  What would I do? Impeachment is your only viable (8+ / 0-)


    Do you have the votes?  Probably not. Might you lose the fight?  Certainly.

    But as I said earlier, there are two things worth fighting a battle you may lose over:

    Restoring the nation that we were all born into, and preventing the birth of the nation this administration is trying to birth on her ashes.

    To sit back no matter the odds and not making the supreme effort when the nation itself is in crisis is an insult to every generation who came before us and a curse upon each that comes after.

    Win or lose we MUST fight, we must stand, we must stand in firm opposition even if the conventional wisdom says that we will be slaughtered in the doing!  The Republic and our constitution are worth it don't you think?  We do now with words and the pen what we pray may never be done with fire and the sword.

    Far smaller bands of people have overcome greater odds to save their nations are we of lesser metal then they?  Have we lost that spark of greatness seen in our grandparents generation or do we still possess it?

    It is time for us all to come back with our shields or on them.

    •  EggF@cking Zactly! (4+ / 0-)

      Even if we lost on Impeachment, it would BENEFIT us in '08.  People want us to stand up to these bullies.  Even if we just bloody their noses, the people will see a party committed to doing right.

      Will an Impeachment opponent please explain how this is a political risk?

      Is there a significant part of the electorate that wants to vote for the party that lets the country get screwed?

      Fight these criminals!

      Wake the fuck up!

      We are not exempt from history.

      by MrJayTee on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 01:26:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes.... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        S wapiti, Cyber Kat

        To not begin impeachment hearings now is the beginning of the end of the democracy.

        It is the constitutional thing and the right thing to do.

        The Dems sleep at the peril.

        -6.5, -7.59. I want to know who the men in the shadows are... ~Jackson Browne

        by DrWolfy on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 03:45:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Or the Dems could just accept (0+ / 0-)

          that they are too weak and too gutless to do anything meaningful, rationalize meekly that the founding principles of our nation's democracy and the constitution are not really worth the effort and risk, and - of course - work really hard on the all-important empty posturing plan for the next election cycle.

  •  John Dean should have a talk with Scooter Libby (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "an Administration characterized by a politics of cynicism and division, one that has consistently placed itself and its ideology above the law." -Barack Obama

    by Lefty Coaster on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 12:09:54 AM PDT

  •  Democrats must plow ahead with Investigations (4+ / 0-)

       It is the only area I see where the Democrats still have the winning hand.  The subpeonas must continue in their quest to the White House at all costs.  I am wondering if the true die hard conservative base won't be experiencing cognitive dissonance about what the law means to them. On the one hand, they have no scrupals in condemning an entire race of Immigrants as law breakers, and on the other hand will be happy as clams to cheer Libby's release from an ass kicking in prison. I do believe that conservatives outside the beltway, for the most part are decent folks that believe in authority, rules, and laws, because the authoritarian mind demands this kind of loyalty. Are they willing to sacrifice wrath of their own conscience, so that Libby laughs all the way to the Neocon bank?  
       I suggest to the Congress, that they throw as many subpeonas against the wall and see how many of them stick.  This will only add to the perception that Bush is as guilty as hell, even to the fire and brimstone crowd.

  •  I'd go directly to inherent contempt. (8+ / 0-)

    Cover it in the preamble explaining the action.  Point out that the Justice Dept is involved, that its senior staff are, or may be, involved in the crimes being investigated, and THEREFORE Congress cannot reasonably ask the Justice Dept to enforce the law, since it is likely to be asking people who are guilty of some of those crimes to pursue them.

    "I desire what is good. Therefore, everyone who does not agree with me is a traitor." King George III

    by ogre on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 12:15:14 AM PDT

  •  What I read into Leahy's remarks (11+ / 0-)

    (which of course he may or may not have meant, and even if he meant them he may or may not fully follow up on) was that if the DC USA either fails to enforce these subpoenas, OR fails to enforce them in an timely, assertive and satisfying manner, that there will be consequences for that USA and/or anyone in the DoJ, administration or elsewhere who played a role in this.

    You and others may have had a different interpretation of Leahy's words, but this is what I got from them. Of course, I may be wrong, or I may be right, but Leahy will prove to be unable and/or unwilling to follow up on this threat. But we'll just have to wait and see about that. I'm guessing that this is what he meant, and this is what he'll do, and that he will do whatever it takes to make sure that these subpoenas are properly enforced, and that anyone who stands in the way will have to deal with some serious consequences.

    Remember, S.214 is now law, and Jeff Taylor (DC USA) has until October 15 or so to prove that he deserves to be permanently appointed to the job that he currently holds on a now very limited basis. And if he proves to be undeserving of that, it will then be up to the very DC District Court that Bush has today told to go fuck off. I'm guessing that it will not be in a very forgiving mood this fall if and when it is asked to name Taylor's replacement.

    And we all know who it would likely prefer to have replace Taylor, a man who was similarly told to go fuck off today after three and a half years of hard work, and who would clearly like to complete the job that he was not allowed to see to a necessary and satisfying completion.

    Leahy, Conyers, Reid, Pelosi, Hogan, Walton, Fitz--game on. Go get these fuckers. NOW.

    "We have many arrows in our quiver, and we are sharpening them." -- Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi

    by kovie on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 12:21:03 AM PDT

    •  When in the fall? (0+ / 0-)

      It's not, per chance, "September"?

      •  Nothing to do with Petreaus's report (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        or Iraq (except the a wider political context in which all of these scandals unavoidably intersect). I was referring to the 120 day period for all current interim USA's who were named by Gonzales under the Patriot Act provision that allowed him to bypass senate confirmation, that was recently repealed in S.214, now law, that expires on or about October 15th, 120 days after this law was enacted, at which point either Bush has to nominate a permanent USA and the senate has to confirm him or her, or each district court has to name them. And we all know how warm and fuzzy the DC District Court, in which Libby was investigated, indicted, tried, convicted and sentences, must now feel towards the administration. Bush picked the wrong court to piss off.

        "We have many arrows in our quiver, and we are sharpening them." -- Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi

        by kovie on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 12:47:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  October (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the month when all things happen...

      Agnew resigned October 10, 1973.
      Nixon's Saturday Night Massacre was October 20. The next August, he was gone.

      And things now move much faster than they did in 1973...

  •  Rove gets political scalp in alabama; libby free. (0+ / 0-)

    former gov. don siegelman was ousted from office on corruption charges, conveniently paving the way for incompetent crony Bob Riley...

    and now we see Libby walking, even as siegelman prepares to begin a 7 year sentence for committing the type of corruption already perfected by Republicans..

    It's war now...the US vs. the Neocons.

    witness the GOPRANOS.. rethugs: "If they fuck with me or Shaha, I have enough on them to fuck them too." -Paul Wolfowitz, quoted by the UK's Guardian

    by change the Be on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 12:24:33 AM PDT

  •  It isn't putting it too lightly, is it, (5+ / 0-)

    to say the democratic nature of the country is in big trouble.

    We live thick and are in each other's way, and stumble over one another, and I think we thus lose some respect for one another--Thoreau

    by robokos on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 12:39:26 AM PDT

  •  Like I said of Cheney this am before The Blow... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    (Cheney mumbling to himself)...

    All the king’s horses, and all the king’s men, try to figure out how to undo - what this Dumpy has done to them. King of Kings I am – and drink from the Golden Chalice I can. My dirty deeds are almost done, and my final tricks will rise with the next 2000 suns. Thanks to everyone for helping me (Though unaware) to make myself, my family, and my cronies rich enough to outlast the chaos that certainly soon come to ensue. Tee hee hee. Got my gun, it’s all-good...

    -7.13 / -5.13 ...Consider; is it better to plot a strategy and wait, or set a course, and scoot the caboodle? - BMM

    by keechi on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 12:44:48 AM PDT

  •  in the words of wyclef jean, (7+ / 0-)

    if you let them kick you four times, they're gonna kick you four times.

    if you let them kick you three times, they're gonna kick you three times.

    if you let them kick you twice, they're gonna kick you twice.

    if you let them kick you once, they're gonna kick you once.

    but of you break off the motherfucking leg, ain't gonna be no more kicking, know what i'm saying?

    surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

    by wu ming on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 01:09:02 AM PDT

  •  you know the answer, Kagro, as do I (5+ / 0-)

    so do the Dems in power.

    It makes me sick.  It's either impeachment, or they get off scot free and take all their filthy secrets with them.

  •  Throwing in a contrarian view, occamshatchet (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oceanview, Paper Cup, FMArouet

    had a wonderful diary the other day, "The Seed Crystal," in which he made the case that the "super-saturation" of these types of events is close to flipping the CW.

    I just had a conversation with a friend who was an Army kid and whose fiance is shipping out for his second tour in Iraq.  Her words were "they say" he will only be there 12 mos. this time, and "turn the keys over" to the Iraqis.  This may seem like a little thing, but this was absolutely not her view a year ago.

    Bush actions are becoming counterproductive to his policies.  Even people here in Alabama are starting to recognize this.

    The question to me is whether there is a credible national alternative political voice that can galvanize this very significant shift in opinions into true anti-Bush resolve.  Given Pelosi's comments, I'm not sure that exists yet.  But the private opinion tide is definitely turning.

  •  Throwing in a contrarian view, occamshatchet (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    notimportant, Paper Cup, dangangry

    had a wonderful diary the other day, "The Seed Crystal," in which he made the case that the "super-saturation" of these types of events is close to flipping the CW.

    I just had a conversation with a friend who was an Army kid and whose fiance is shipping out for his second tour in Iraq.  Her words were "they say" he will only be there 12 mos. this time, and "turn the keys over" to the Iraqis.  This may seem like a little thing, but this was absolutely not her view a year ago.

    Bush actions are becoming counterproductive to his policies.  Even people here in Alabama are starting to recognize this.

    The question to me is whether there is a credible national alternative political voice that can galvanize this very significant shift in opinions into true anti-Bush resolve.  Given Pelosi's comments, I'm not sure that exists yet.  But the private opinion tide is definitely turning.

    •  great comment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Terra Mystica

      i feel the same

      •  Thanks. nt (0+ / 0-)

        It's full of stars...

        by Terra Mystica on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 06:26:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Are you from down here? If so, have you heard (0+ / 0-)

        from previously conservative types that they grow weary of Bush, or better, that they are willing to entertain/vote for Dems?  My sense is that impeachment will never be a winner down here.  But voting for a Dem in 2008 is definately on the table.

        All my conservative friends lower their eyes nowadays in those brief discussions.  They don't/can't admit it in a defense/gov't town, but they are fed up in the engineering circles, and the working circles see no improvement in their lives.  This is not what they voted for, or believed in, respectively.

        Perhaps that's cold comfort in one sense, but it seems to be fertile ground going forward.

        It's full of stars...

        by Terra Mystica on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 07:42:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I spent all day (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fool mee once

    I SPENT ALL DAY UPLOADING VIDEOSOF THE LIBBY ANNOUNCEMENT TO GOOTUBE Matt Groening's "Angriest Dog in the World" comes to mind...

  •  Impeach now (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    else we may not have a democracy left in 2008, or the elections that go with it.

  •  You can make a difference now (0+ / 0-)

    Send a message to Democrats that you aren't going to take spinelessness any more,

    Elect Real Democrats

  •  Oh my gosh! (0+ / 0-)

    The blatent nerve of bush to commute this sentence!  This is the second worst thing he's done!
    And, it is all just getting worse and worser.  Impeach now!

  •  It is my belief that they refuse to touch Bush (4+ / 0-)

    since any proceeding against him would bring the Democrats in direct conflict with the Unitary Executive theory. The Democratic leadership is probably evading showdown since it seems at this point that a Democratic presidency in 2008 is almost a certainty. And which politician wouldn't salivate at the thought of his party gaining the presidency enforced by the Bush precedent?

    Of course, there are larger issues at stake - the rule of law, the system of checks and balances, democracy, and international credibility, of course. But politicians are politicians first and foremost, even if their opinions and policies match ours, and they think in terms of election cycles. Without serious public pressure they won't do anything. At least, that's my opinion.

    The damnable thing is that the Democrats in Congress are certain of their victory, which is why we lose our only means of pressure. After all, what kind of a twit would want the Republicans to win in 2008? However, the threat of losing elections might be the only thing that would force Pelosi and the rest to act. Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place.

    Omne malum nascens facile opprimitur, inveteratum fit plerumque robustius. - Cicero

    by Dauphin on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 03:10:35 AM PDT

    •  I think there is some truth to this (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bree, Dauphin

      I ask people I know who are still Bush followers if they really want a president named Hillary Clinton with these same powers.  A lot of them admit they do not.  So, I guess we are only supposed to trust the president when "they" find him or her "acceptable."

      End the Iraq occupation!

      by Unstable Isotope on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 03:14:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The problem with excessive powers is that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bree, Mike Erwin

        democracy then depends on a single, fallible person. If people were naturally good, just, and empathic, an absolute monarchy would be the perfect form of government - since everyone would have everyone else's best interests at heart, there wouldn't be any need to distribute power, would it? Of course, since people aren't infallible etc. etc. it only takes a single, however well-meaning, would-be dictator to bring about the downfall of democracy and introduce a regime that is even less just etc. etc. than the former.

        Omne malum nascens facile opprimitur, inveteratum fit plerumque robustius. - Cicero

        by Dauphin on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 03:19:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  which is why I am now open (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      to all options.

      •  Heh. Let's found the (0+ / 0-)

        American People's Party for Social and Political Reform.

        All right, seriously, though, the main problem is that the Democrats in Congress are so cocksure of their victory, since, well, another Republican would be a disaster. If I were a US resident, though, I would consider abstaining (though, in the end, I would probably hold my nose), since sometimes things have to hit the bottom to improve. I've survived one (bloodless) revolution - upheaval isn't necessary a bad thing, in my opinion (though it's a devil for us jurists - all the new laws and all)

        Omne malum nascens facile opprimitur, inveteratum fit plerumque robustius. - Cicero

        by Dauphin on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 03:37:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Its time for upheaval (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          comeinpbrstreetgang, Dauphin

          or nothing will change. I for one will not vote for one Democratic candidate that does not come out and demand impeachment. If they think they are going to get to hold onto the rights of the American people stolen by the current administration, then I'd prefer to see the party that stole them win, and yes I would abstain. Would we be headed for disaster? Certainly, but thats might be what it takes to get this country back.

    •  But, as the comment above states... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mmacdDE, bree, Dauphin

      If a Dem president tries this shit, the media will miraculously find its voice.

      -6.5, -7.59. I want to know who the men in the shadows are... ~Jackson Browne

      by DrWolfy on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 03:39:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Or not. (0+ / 0-)

        The media are whores, first and foremost, and the media cares primarily about profits, and about shilling only in the second place - they have to exist to shill, no? A president with Unitary Executive powers can make their life miserable in so many little ways that they might decide to shill for him (or her).

        Short of that, such a powerful president would have sufficient leverage and opportunity for his own spin, even with a hostile media (the carrot and the stick and all).

        Yes, it would be more difficult. Would it be wrong? Certainly. But not impossible.

        Omne malum nascens facile opprimitur, inveteratum fit plerumque robustius. - Cicero

        by Dauphin on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 03:44:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Dems snatch defeat from jaws of victory (4+ / 0-)

      Dems do not have a lock on '08.  In fact, they're doing the one thing they could do that will lead to their defeat--squandering the '06 mandate.

      Democrats didn't put democrats in office in '06, independents did.  They wanted an end to the war at least, perhaps and end to this administration that is destroying our Constitutional Republic.

      People vote for strength and Democrats are showing only weakness.

      "The Universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it." Marcus Aurelius "I'm a gun carrying member of the ACLU" me

      by Mosquito Pilot on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 04:37:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Assuming that the unitary executive (0+ / 0-)

      doesn't wipe out the election.

  •  DOJ (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pmob5977, blue vertigo

    The commutation certainly makes it more clear to me why Bush keeps Abu Gonzales around.  Remember, we have to rely on DOJ to enforce the Congressional subpoenas.  DOJ is now pretty much an arm of the WH.  Do we really think they will carry out the enforcement?

    End the Iraq occupation!

    by Unstable Isotope on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 03:12:26 AM PDT

  •  Two can play that game (0+ / 0-)

    If our country ever has a fair election again,  we can do the same things.  How about that repubiclans?  Won't like it then?  AH AH AH AH AH. Although, things will be somewhat different for the Dems.  Whats that?  Well all of a sudden, the corporate news media will find it's voice.  All of a sudden, the president will have to play by the rules, tell the truth etc. I am starting to believe, that we are in a hopeless situation.  Our country is owned completely by the multinational corporations.  We should just get used to the saying "every man for themselves".  At least you could say we tried.  Na, I take that back,  we didn't.  

  •  BTW, is James Carville going to write a thank you (0+ / 0-)

    note to the president for helping Scooter?

    He and wife Mary Matalin did write a letter to the judge asking for mercy.

    Or will he let Mary do the writing?

    We are not exempt from history.

    by MrJayTee on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 03:45:06 AM PDT

  •  Congress Should Subpoena Libby (4+ / 0-)

    Give him immunity and ask him the same questions, if he gives the same answers, he has violated probation and goes to prison.

    The public is also  ready for harder question about the bizare world of Cheney, Scooter's former boss.

    And they need to ask him about the DOJ firings and Addington.

  •  Wake up people...... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Knut Wicksell

    The Supreme Court is now stacked with Unitary Executive never was about abortion...duhhhh. Bush will give a get out of jail free card in the form of an advance pardon to everyone in his administration. Any challenge will go to the Supremes...we already know the outcome there and that is the end of any prosecution of Bush and his cabal.

    Great Job confirming Alito and Roberts you morons.

    That big blurry scene out there is the world.....its just past the end of your nose!

  •  "Except in cases of impeachment". (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bree, Habanero, redstar

    The President ... shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.

    Constitution, Article II, Section 2.

    Thus, the president loses power not only to pardon but also to commute ("reprieves") once impeachment starts.

    Katrina was America's Chernobyl.

    by lysias on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 04:03:05 AM PDT

  •  Same W, different day.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blue vertigo

    You've scripted it perfectly, Kagro!  Aside from the often used and successful defense tactic of delay, you have a man who insulates himself with absolute certainty of what he is certain about and proven countless times he doesn't care what others say or think, so even the possibly mitigating factor of even lower poll numbers is rendered impotent!

    No surprise here, though I thought he might wait til Libby served a month or so, to keep the dust down.

    Hopefully, this is a wake-up call to more people like Jeff Toobin who said he was "shocked" by Bush's action.  Helloooo.... Earth to Jeff (and the rest of the elite opinion leaders) whom did you think you were dealing with since, say Katrina (the latest your clue light should have gone on)?

    Homo Homini Lupus Est p.s. I'm a Winknut, true.

    by coffeeinamrica on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 04:16:38 AM PDT

  •  When up against a bully - fight back (0+ / 0-)


    Don't tell them to end the war! Tell them to END THE OCCUPATION .

    by CTMET on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 04:25:52 AM PDT

  •  Impeach Chimpy, Cheney and Gonzo now (0+ / 0-)

    It's clear what we should do.  Start impeachment proceeding on all three of them right now.

  •  Department of Justice needs to: (0+ / 0-)
    1. Clean up it's act.
    1. Grow a Spine

    BushCo Policy... If you aren't outraged, you haven't been paying attention. -3.25 -2.26

    by Habanero on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 04:29:21 AM PDT

  •  and now for something completely different (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blue vertigo

    apparently homeland security is playing down threats of a major attack on the US. Playing Down? Of course, for to do so would discredit Bush's favorite line: we fight them there so we don't have to fight them here. Is there NOTHING we can believe anumore?

  •  What I'd do if I were a Republican? (0+ / 0-)

    I'd make damn certain no D ever got their hands on the power I'd aggregated in the executive branch.

    "The Universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it." Marcus Aurelius "I'm a gun carrying member of the ACLU" me

    by Mosquito Pilot on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 04:32:22 AM PDT

  •  Pelosi is enabling Bush/Cheney. n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  This is why impeachment (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blue vertigo

    is the only card they have.

    Why they can't see it, I'll never know.

    •  The "administration" is protected by congress (0+ / 0-)

      shit they couldn't even take care of Gonzo. Our government really and truly is running on it's own, against the will of the people.

      The "administration" is protected by Republican members of congress.

      I'm a white, big southern dummy from Texas and I'm voting for Obama.

      by LandSurveyor on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 04:58:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I would and will start hitting the streets with (0+ / 0-)

    signs. I have been lazy and not done so. But that has changed.
    I used to think that the internet was a the best way to take these guys down. It's good of course, but hitting the streets feels better.

    Something that really bothers me is this apparent phenomena that Nixon was so bad that Americans have resigned themselves to accept bad government. You just don't see the large protests of the sixties.

    I think the absense of bodies on the streets emboldens these criminals more than anything else.

    I'm a white, big southern dummy from Texas and I'm voting for Obama.

    by LandSurveyor on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 04:55:26 AM PDT

  •  Every Dem candidate for president (0+ / 0-)

    Should start talking about restoring honor, dignity, and the RULE OF LAW to the White House.

    The Cubs WILL win the World Series in '07. I'm not saying which century, though.

    by nightsweat on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 05:13:40 AM PDT

  •  I'd wonder if Dems are using the same roadmap (0+ / 0-)

    They get to appear aggressive but nothing substantially changes. It's a roadmap to hell, however, paved with seemingly good intentions.

    No, when the Prez begins pardoning people in his own White House, it's time to bring that parade of shame to a screeching halt.  Take the expressway to the exit marked "Impeachment."

    Forewarned, forearmed; to be prepared is half the victory. ~ Cervantes

    by Deep Harm on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 05:14:48 AM PDT

  •  What would a delusional King do? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bree, Mike Erwin, labwitchy

    SCOTUS anointed him boy king in 2000.  He didn't win in 2000 and 2004, so we know he has no respect for the rule of law.  His base is made up of three basic types;  authoritarians, people who think he is the messiah and corporatist cronies looking for him to the loot the US treasury for them. So he actually strengthens his base when he breaks the law and acts like a boy king.

    Next the GOP and SCOTUS have given him a green light on his nonsense.  Pelosi has given him a green light by saying impeachment is off the table.  Most of the DEMS are willing to watch the slow motion train wreck happen and believe they can gain politically from it.  

    Let's also keep in mind that Nixon, Reagan and Bush(41) were crooks.  There enablers are still on the stage; Cheney, Baker, Kissinger, et al.  And of course we have the war profiteers that want an unstable world.

    If voters don't throw the GOP out in 2008, they don't deserve freedom and do deserve another failed state like Iraq.  I have some serious doubts that Americans can do anything but grow fat asses watching the idiot tube like zommbies.

  •  I'd send the Senate Sergent at Arms to arresst (0+ / 0-)

    Gonzalez and throw him in prision until the documents are produced.  Bush has no power to intervene in that.

  •  built in the Constitution? (0+ / 0-)

    Ok, so if this executive power to pardon anyone is written into the constitution, then it would seem that the framers were aware of the potential of this sort of thing. Are there any historic writings on this subject? What's its history?

    A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. -Emerson

    by fitzov rules on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 05:19:58 AM PDT

  •  Bush to Perjurers - We Got Your Back (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peace voter

    Subpoenas will be answered, questioned answers cheerfully, constitutional crisis averted.

    Because now, there will be nothing but lies.

    factses! we loves them forever!

    by cskendrick on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 05:22:02 AM PDT

  •  CAREFULL, He's/Their capable of anything ANYTHING (0+ / 0-)

    This is just more proof there's nothing these people WONT do, NOTHING....

    From the Book of Horrible Questions , Would you push a red button for $10 million but 100 random people would die of natural causes, Survey said 55% would ?

    by FAUX GOP DEATH TV on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 05:23:41 AM PDT

  •  What would I do? (0+ / 0-)

    If I was the leadership on the Hill?  I would gather everyone in agreement with the subpoena and everyone who still agrees in the Constitution which, ultimately, gives Congress the upper hand, i.e., co-equal branches mean they provide checks and balances but in reality the Founders wrote it into the Constitution that Congress is the final authority as the more direct representation of the people, and march to the offices of those who have proved themselves in contempt, arrest them personally, and drag them to whatever jail has jurisdiction.  Congress has the power to imprison for the term of, at least, the current session (per the House; could be longer if contempt is agreed in the Senate).  If the President wants to use a physical show of force to prevent this, let him show it.

    Give me ten lines from a good man and I'll find something in there to hang him. - Cardinal Richelieu

    by lgrooney on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 05:42:09 AM PDT

    •  And by that last sentence (0+ / 0-)

      I mean to say that Congress will not be alone.  Let's see an executive show of force against the people.  It will be a true presentation of that in which these people actually believe.

      I got your back, Congress, if you have the backbone.

      Give me ten lines from a good man and I'll find something in there to hang him. - Cardinal Richelieu

      by lgrooney on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 05:45:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just saw the news (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    labwitchy, mojo workin

    Have made a habit of not listening to the radio first thing in the morning (instituted after the 2000 election), to keep a few hours of sanity before I check the computer, so I only just saw the news about the commutation.

    Why do I feel so sick about something so in character and so absolutely expected?  Just when I feel entirely cynical and unsurprised by anything they might do, I get sucker-punched again.  I think it's because of the awareness that there are still people out there who celebrate this move, who think it's a great thing.  I can't wrap my brain around that.

    Nothing substantive to add, just had to vent somewhere.

  •  Impeach now (0+ / 0-)

    It's is the only option.

  •  There is no "escape out the back door" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Knut Wicksell

    The legal problems of folks in this administration don't end January 2009.  That's when their real vulnerability begins, so playing out the clock until January 2009 is not a winning strategy for them.

    Three things change immediately the second the next President takes office that enhance the legal vulnerability of these people.  The first, the end of their official immunity, applies only to Bush and his VP.  But they are all vulnerable to the change in who gives the US Attys their marching orders, and the change in who has custody of the evidence, mostly in the form of official communications, of their crimes.

    We tend to think of this crew's legal troubles mainly as a way to limit their power to further harm the country while still in office, and, ideally, to shorten that time that they still hold office.  We tend to not think of their legal troubles past January 2009 precisely because we are not motivated by "Bush hatred", and don't much care what happens to them after they are no longer in a position to harm this country.  But they care, a lot, about whether they spend their retirement years behind bars or not.  If you want to predict their next move, put yourself in their position, distasteful as that is on so many levels.

    The way up and the way down are one and the same.

    by gtomkins on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 05:55:58 AM PDT

    •  Provided... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      we don't elect a "healer" who wants to "put this sad chapter behind us and move forward."

      Name me the Democratic contender who won't campaign on that.

      •  Dennis Kucinich (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mike Erwin

        We have a guy running who won't run from this problem but I guess he is not liberal enough for most of you. We have two men on the Dem ticket who would put a stop to this nonsense Kucinich and Gravel. If Kucinich was getting the support he deserves it would send a clear message to the PTB's in the corrupt DNC and things would be different.

        •  Well, he's got a resolution pending. (0+ / 0-)

          But I note that he's biding his time, too. Can't say I blame him, but that's what he's doing.

          The House Rules say any Member can claim the highest possible privilege for any direct proposition to impeach made on the House floor, and that such a motion would supersede all pending business.

          Instead, Kucinich lets his resolution sit in committee, hoping against hope.

          Yes, his motion would be tabled, but he'd be able to get an hour's debate for impeachment on the floor of the House of Representatives on his say-so. But I notice he hasn't done that.

          Again, can't say I blame him. But I also can't say it makes me any surer that he wouldn't do the same as the rest of the field, when all is said and done.

      •  The inertia of an ongoing case (0+ / 0-)

        Besides there no longer being much motivation to pursue the criminal wrongdoing of a President once he is safely out of office and therefore no longer a political threat, there is indeed some price to be paid in appearing vindictive to at least some swing voters.  So, yes, politicians who live in fear of alienating any potential supporter would tend to not be eager to pursue the then ex-President after they become the new President.

        But if these cases are still pending in January 2009 because Bush tries to run out the clock, the new President doesn't have to do anything that might make him appear to be actively pursuing vengeance.  He simply has to stand back, give his new US Attys instructions to no longer delay and impede, and let the already pending cases take their course.  By trying to run out the clock, Bush would, in effect, be the one not "putting this sad chapter behind us".  The Dem candidate will be able to rehearse your line about putting sad chapters behind us, but in the context of urging Bush to stop impeding and delaying a final resolution.  

        The way up and the way down are one and the same.

        by gtomkins on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 06:54:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Assuming they do step down... (0+ / 0-)
      If they think there is a chance the next Congress/administration won't just let things lie to avoid "bitter partisan disputes", everyone in a position of power will get blanket pardons.

      (And move to Paraguay.)

      •  Blanket pardons not constitutional (0+ / 0-)

        A blanket pardon would actually constitute legal immunity, which the Constitution confers directly on various officials while in office, but does not give the President the power to grant.  In fact, even the legal immunity conferred directly by the Constitution, in all cases, ends when the official leaves office.  A blanket pardon would essentially confer immunity for life, an immunity even more powerful than anything the Constitution confers directly.  Bush could sign all the pieces of paper he wants with "Pardon" at the top of the page, but if challenged, the bearer would have to show that what he granted was actually within his constitutional powers.  

        Yes, Ford did give Nixon a blanket pardon, and Bush I gave the Iran-Contra conspirators a blanket pardon.  But neither of these were ever tested in the courts, and therefore did not create a precedent.

        The way up and the way down are one and the same.

        by gtomkins on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 12:48:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Investigations... (0+ / 0-)

    The investigations must continue regardless of boy Bush's commutation of Libby's sentence.  It does support the idea that all trials should take place in the summer of 2008.  This will make the corruption visible right about the time of the Republican Convention... an important reminder to all the voters to never, ever, put Republicans in a position of power. All sentencing should take place on January 21, 2009, after boy Bush leaves office and can no longer pardon these traitors.

  •  Congress can drag it's feet... (0+ / 0-)

    It's more important to remind the voters in 2008 about Republican corruption and Republican refusal to follow the law.

  •  Democrats in Congress have the power (0+ / 0-)

    Why aren't they impeaching Scooter Libby right now now?  

    What liberals fail to recognize is that regime change in Iraq is not some distraction from the war on Al Qaeda. That is a bogus argument. -- Thomas Friedman

    by markymarx on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 06:10:31 AM PDT

  •  Don't freeze like a deer in the headlights. (0+ / 0-)

    The question is what do you do in this situation. The anwere to this is very long.

    I know what you don't do. You don't freeze like a deer in the headlights and do nothing.

    If Bush is going to fight by pardoning the perps, then make his plan obvious to the people - give him more than one or two to pardon.

    In addition, Bush can't pardon himself. To me this raises a question of whether he can pardon a co-conspirator to protect himself or whether he can pardon an agent he designated to perform a criminal act on his behalf. Challenges such as this need to be made and made clear to the American people.

    •  So if boy Bush... (0+ / 0-)

      is found to be the person that exposed a covert CIA agent which would be treason, does that mean that Libby's commutation would be recinded?  Just asking and thinking out loud.

      •  There isn't a lot of law here (0+ / 0-)

        Most Presidents have not been outlaws like Bush. Hence, most of the Constitutional priciples have not been litigated and fleshed out.

        What I said above is just an argument that I would make.

        It isn't even clear that the President can't pardon himself, but this seems obvious or the other parts of the Constitution are meaningless.

        If the President can't pardon himself, then he can still escape the checks and balances by appointing agents which do his bidding and are then pardoned. Given that this doesn't make sense either, seems that the President can't pardon co-conspirators or agents.

  •  I Would Impeach (0+ / 0-)

    I would have impeached Bush in the Summer of 2003, when his WMD lies were proven false. But minority Democrats said "why bother, when this catastrophe we signed off on will get us the White House in just 18 months?"

    Sound familiar? The rest of Bush's term spent in Contempt of Congress at every turn will create a 2008 election that will make 2000 look like a white lie. That election was stolen by outsiders, without the benefit of the entire Executive Branch and a loaded Judicial, without the $TRILLIONS of bribes and setup spent the previous 8 years to rig the really hard one: handoff to the next figurehead emperor.

    Of course Congress must IMPEACH NOW. The mere fact that majority Democrats deny that we should even ask them shows they will not.

    It's gonna be a long 10+ more years under Republican tyranny.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 06:14:54 AM PDT

  •  Candidates respond... (0+ / 0-)

    Huffington has the candidates' responses to boy Bush's communtation.

    I'm from the Northeast and I support Bill Richardson for President... the candidate with the resume and experience

  •  Give the Guilty People What They Want (0+ / 0-)

    Will George W. Bush also pardon and/or commute the sentences of anyone held in contempt of Congress for defying the recently issued and still-to-be issued subpoenas from the committees investigating his "administration's" varied and widespread wrongdoing?

    Bush will commute/pardon anyone who might rat out his regime. That's what their "loyalty" means.

    How many news cycles will go by before the "news analysis" gets to "isn't this commutation just Bush's bargain with Libby for lying to protect Bush and Cheney from prosecution for Plame?" I'd say probably about 500 days, long enough  for the story to become "how did Republicans pull off another presidential election victory?"

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 06:17:34 AM PDT

  •  Time to de-fund the executive branch (0+ / 0-)
    Congress may reduce the budget or totally de-fund the executive branch in retaliation for stonewalling on the subpoenas. Emmanuel has already begun moving in this direction against the non-VP Cheney (who says he is really part of the Senate). I'd say deny funds to this criminal gang that has taken over the USA, so they can't even afford a paper clip.

    If Bush II tries to rule without Congress, it is time for civil war, as in the time of Charles I in 1640 when he attempted to rule without Parliament, raising an army and collecting taxes on his own, without legislative consent. The king lost his head over this.

  •  What the Libby Thing Really Means (0+ / 0-)

    It means the subpoenas are a real threat, and they needed a smokescreen, now, to throw the heat off Cheney.

    It's not going to work.

    George W. Bush is just like Forrest Gump. Except that Forrest Gump is honest and cares about other people.

    by easong on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 07:15:28 AM PDT

  •  Damn.... (0+ / 0-)

    I think you have hit on the plan.

    I have believed that Bush would do everything he can to delay this situation, but didn't consider the benefit to them to do as you described.

    I have been one of those liberals who questioned the value of impeachment. However, the recent events have changed my mind.

    This is the WORST PRESIDENT EVER and deserves to be tossed out of office ASAP.

    And the public needs to learn more about the damage this administration is doing and has done to our nation.

    Impeachment hearings would help bring out all the info to people other than those of us who follow all this so closely, and hopefully assure we never end up with a guy like Bush in the White House again.

    01-20-09: THE END OF AN ERROR

    by kimoconnor on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 09:06:42 AM PDT

  •  Get them on criminal charges (0+ / 0-)

    after they leave office. That should stop the next Republican President from thinking they're a real dictator while they're in office.

    You don't get anywhere by standing on the sidelines waiting for somebody else to take action. - Lee Iacocca

    by CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 10:44:46 AM PDT

  •  Civil or criminal contempt? (0+ / 0-)

    Criminal contempt is punishment for a crime, so would be a pardonable offense.  Civil contempt isn't punishment (Susan McDougal is free to disagree...), it's a means of coercing a reluctant witness to comply with a court order.  Does anyone know whether Presidental pardons can release someone from imprisonment for civil contempt?

    "...we all of us, grave or light, get our thoughts entangled in metaphors, and act fatally on the strength of them."

    by beagledad on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 01:38:28 PM PDT

  •  subpoenas (0+ / 0-)

    Just a thought - but are there any statutes of limitation concerning these crimes? What are the possibilities of proceeding in law against these people after they have left office?
    I also see no reason not to investigate the whole Libby affair concerning possible charges of obstruction/perversion of justice against the President/Vice President.

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