Selecting the grand jury in 2006

Guest post by Alan McSurely

Discussion on Impeachment of George Bush Town Meeting
7 PM, January 27, Carrboro Town Hall
Panel to include Dan Pollitt, Diana McDuffee, Lucy Lewis, Al McSurely
- dent : Impeach Who?
When we vote in May and again in November 2006 in the Congressional primary and general election, the most important issue facing us is to select strong members for the impeachment grand jury. The House of Representatives has three main constitutional duties: to spend our money wisely; to declare war when the U.S. is in real danger; and to impeach (that is, charge) the President and the Vice President with high crimes and misdemeanors. The Senate then sits as a criminal jury, and decides whether to convict and remove them from office.

House members are the only people who can charge a sitting President with crimes. The U.S. Attorney in Washington, D. C. cannot charge Bush/Cheney with a crime, even if she has smoking gun evidence. The police can't charge them, even if cops witness the crime. Only 218 members of the House—a majority of its 435 members—can bring criminal charges against them. As of New Years Day, 2006, two House Members have called for impeachment hearings: John Lewis, the Conscience of the House, and John Conyers, one of the senior members of the House. More will follow in the next few weeks as the constitutional crisis Bush/Cheney have created begins to sink in with the public and the Congress. The Congressional Black Caucus has 42 House members. Most will vote “impeach” because when the Constitution and rule of law are overthrown, African Americans and other oppressed minorities have no protection. Many true Republicans (not counting the racist right-wingers who took over the Party of Lincoln in the l960's) are deeply concerned about Bush/Cheney's unconstitutional acts. These true Republicans took seriously their oath to “Uphold the Constitution” and will stand for country, not party, when the votes are counted. Based on the character of this Congress, experts predict that 125-150 members would probably vote for impeachment hearings by the summer of 2006.

The challenge for those of us who take seriously our sworn vow to protect it is to select a members of the House in November 2006 who are strong, respect the Constitution, and who believe in the rule of law. When I size up our Congressional candidates, I rely on the same approach I use in picking juries. I look for people who will stand up for what they believe in. When you sue the government, like I do, you want jurors who are not afraid to challenge powerful people. You want someone who believes in the old saying: He may be President, but he puts his pants on one leg at a time. We need House members who believe that every person has to abide by the Constitution and the laws. And, given Bush/Cheney's repeated use of vicious attacks when they are caught with unclean hands, we need people who are not afraid of a fight.

GRASSROOTS MOVEMENT FOR IMPEACHMENT

Many people have shared with me their great fear of the Bush/Cheney presidency. They act as if there is nothing we can do. We can wait until 2008. But 2008 is too late. I suggest there is another way—the Grassroots Impeachment Movement—which revolves around the Congressional Elections this year. Each Congressional District elects 1/218th of the grand jury votes needed for impeachment. Let us look at N.C.'s 4th Congressional District as an example.

We have a nice guy, David Price, representing us. He has shown little leadership about the Bush/Cheney constitutional crisis. He has done little to try to educate our Congressional voters, much less the people of North Carolina, about the numerous constitutional violations of Bush/Cheney as they illegally gather more and more power into the secret inner circle of the White House. Price sticks to safe issues. His district includes Chapel Hill and Durham—with thousands of well-informed voters. Our Representative could provide bold leadership, but Price tends to follow. His ability to conciliate and build consensus is sometimes necessary. But we face a constitutional crisis. We need bold leadership. These are the times that try our souls, Thomas Paine cried out, when the arrogance of the King created a political crisis. Out of this crisis grew a republic based on a Constitution, not a kingdom based on royal families.

We send our representative to Washington to protect this Constitution. David Price, like Bush/Cheney, took an oath to protect the Constitution. Perhaps he will grow into a bold leader. Perhaps he will make hearings on impeachment his main priority in 2006, joining Cong. Lewis and Conyers. Perhaps he will learn to express the outrage necessary to arouse the great majority of Americans who believe “we are on the wrong track” but have so far been unable to articulate how to get us back on the Constitutional track. Perhaps he won't. The deadline to file to run in either the Democratic or Republican primary is noon, February 28th. The Primary is May 2nd . The deadline for a third party candidate is June 1st. The General Election is November 7th, 2006.

TO PRESERVE THE UNION

Constitutional historians often trace the beginning of our Constitution to a Boston courtroom in l772. King George of England's lawyers argued the King had the right to issue General Warrants that gave King George's men the right to go into anyone's home or business, search for any items or papers, seize any items or papers that caught the searcher's fancy, and even seize the owner of the items or papers if they had a personal urge to do so. Lawyer John Otis, representing some Boston colonial merchants and soon-to-be revolutionaries, argued such “general warrants” violated the essence of human rights and representative government. John Adams, our Second President, was in the Boston Courtroom. He described the scene in beautiful detail. See “The Liberty of Every Man,” in a book by Richard Harris called Freedom Spent for a wonderful rendition.

When our North Carolina ancestors were asked to ratify the Constitution in Hillsborough in l789, they refused to do so until it was made clear that the President did not have the power of a blanket search warrant. The President, just like any other government official, had to present probably cause to a member of the judiciary branch, before he could tap phones, search e-mails, and other blanket fishing expeditions. Bush/Cheney have spit on this fundamental rule of law. With royal arrogance of the first King George, our present “king” sets up giant listening posts in West Virginia and Oregon with no probable cause about any particular person or place, and no warrant from the judicial branch. John Dean, Nixon's lawyer, has repeatedly warned us that Bush/Cheney's arrogation of unconstitutional powers makes Nixon look like a piker.

Those who love the Constitution and who take seriously our oath to uphold it, must challenge the continuing crimes of Bush/Cheney. The impeachment movement is, in reality, a movement to save our Constitution. All good Americans --Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike--have much at stake.

Issues: 

Total votes: 132

Comments

To say that Price takes Orange County for granted is to observe that night is followed by day. Bravo for organizing the panel described above, Al. I hope that among the items discussed with be a "zero budget" approach to returning Price to Washington.

This IS in our hands at every level of governement to demand action. I hope that all the local boards pass resolutions requesting the special prosecutor (Fitzgerald) be charged with investigating the FISA crimes at least. Local governments can also request similar action from the Governor, or ask for his endorsement. I hope they'll either stand up or step aside.

I'm glad to see this happening, too. Thanks to those who are taking the initiative . . . there is nothing more important than action right now.

Over at Blue NC there's a plot brewing for monthly campaigns between now and November 7th . . . with the goal of focusing voter attention on critical issues with as much discipline as possible.

Nine months is not a very long time. Three quarters of a year. The length of an average human pregnancy. The amount of time between now and the general elections this fall. In case you've been hiding in Bush's bubble, the future of our democracy hinges on these elections. If we do not elect a majority of Democrats in at least one house of Congress, we will have no power to stem the riptide of Republican corruption that is eroding our common ground. Without a majority in one house of Congress, we will not have subpoena power. And without subpoena power, the rightwing juggernaut will continue unabated.

We need to get our shit together . . . and we need to do it fast.

In order to elect Democrats that will actually be of some use, we need to make it clear that we will not vote for them by default - which of course is the pusillanimous default position of the Democratic Party. Only then will we stand a chance of getting decent candidates. I must say that if the current state of things has not produced any discernible leadership from the Democratic Party, then the odds are mighty slim that anything short of a forming a new opposition party will hold any hope of real democracy.

I for one will not vote for anyone who does not clearly and powerfully take a stand against the criminal Iraq War.

Having worked for him for four years, I for one will wholeheartedly continue to support David Price b/c I think he is an excellent member of Congress who has done a lot for his district, state and country. He is not above criticism - who is - but to imply he is not of "any use" or is not a "decent candidate" is just ignorant. If Congress was full of David Price's we'd be just fine and we'd certainly have a lot more of the civil debate that this country needs so badly.

Lack of Democratic leadership? The Big Tent party splintering here in the most liberal place in the state? Hmmm... I think I smell a win for us this year.

Oh, my goodness. We are a bit overconfident, aren't we? Frank discussion isn't weakness. It's democracy. It's a marketplace of ideas and it's been missing in action for five long, cold years.

David,

Maybe you could help us understand Price's nuanced positions a little better.

1) He does not oppose the Iraq War. Like the vast majority of the Democratic Party he merely calls for a "mid-course-correction". This is out-of-step with the American public and at odds with reality in Iraq.

2) Progressive leaders have been calling for a massive effort (http://www.apolloalliance.org/) to build the renewable energy sector in the U.S. Price's strongest statement on this issue is that he voted against the Republican-backed energy bills. Where's the leadership on this?

3) Progressive leaders on health care realize that a just society makes sure that everyone has access to health care. Price favors a lite menu of expanding a few programs to include more coverage for some uninsured folks, doing better research on diseases, and facilitating small business insurance benefits by offering modest subsidies. Far from universal health care & very unthreatening to the status quo.

It seems to me that you can go right down the line and see that his positions are a little on the liberal side of the status quo, yet fail in almost every case to provide the kind of bold proposals that we need in these days of government sponsored corporate banditry.

Is civil discourse just another way of saying that he puts forth timid proposals?

Or the Bankruptcy Bill or Patriot Act (and son's of...) or on and on....

Price's seat is arguably one of the safest in the US. His rhetoric and actions are not commensurate with that "safety". He's not going to lose because he votes against corporate interests, for Constitutional Rights, for "rule of law" at every level (impeachment), etc.

We already have a Congress stuffed with pale grey men - our country is in dire straits - do we really need wallow in the same old "lukewarm leadership" Price has proffered these last 6 years?

BTW, if you want to get a realtime RSS feed of Rep. Price's votes (or any other national politicos) try out the Washington Post's vote history site, an excellent resource to investigate Vichy democracy.

Here's Price's RSS feed.

I've been a supporter of David Price as long as I can remember. His measured approach has been a valuable one over the years, especially in more reasonable times.

But these are not reasonable times . . . and each of us needs to recognize that and respond accordingly. Mark and others have outlined the assaults occuring daily on our democracy and on the common good. For my part, I believe George Bush is a criminal guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors. And I am not willing to accept business as usual in response.

It is my most sincere hope that our Congressman will recognize the threats we're facing and step up to the plate as a leader in our just cause. Time is short.

So here's my question to each and every candidate for the House of Representatives this year: Where do you stand on impeaching George Bush?

The way I see it, there's more than enough evidence for any reasonable person to have made up his or her mind about this. You're either for impeachment or against it.

Would one of the David's care to respond?

Can we impeach Cheney at the same time?

Jean, the most cost effective impeachment process would probably take in to account the current line of succession:

* The Vice President Richard Cheney
* Speaker of the House John Dennis Hastert
* President pro tempore of the Senate1 Ted Stevens
* Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
* Secretary of the Treasury John Snow
* Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld
* Attorney General Alberto Gonzales
* Secretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton
* Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns
* Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez
* Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao
* Secretary of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt
* Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Alphonso Jackson
* Secretary of Transportation Norman Yoshio Mineta
* Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman
* Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings
* Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson
* Secretary of Homeland Security4 Michael Chertoff

Gutierrrez and Chao are ineligible due to citizenry requirements.

I think WillR's succession chart points out the fact that if you are a sleaz like George W. you can protect yourself from impeachment by putting a bunch of equally-distasteful successors behind you. "Tricky -Dick" (Nixon, for all of you youngsters too young to remember) had Spiro Agnew to cover his butt. Of course he probably didn't count on Spiro getting caught first.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I'll stick by mine. I especially don't see how losing a reasonable leader ever helps the situation. To call his seat one of the safest is innacurate. In North Carolina there are at least six seats that are safer: Watt, Myrick, McHenry, Jones, Taylor and Coble. And frankly, that is a great part of the larger problem: most seats are so gerrymandered to protect incumbents that most reps have little need to be responsive to minority opinions in their districts. I don't count David Price in that group, even if I don't always agree with him. In polysci parlance, David Price is a smart workhorse, not a glib showhorse and I appreciate that about him.

Bring impeached only provides a label; being convicted by two-thirds of the Senate present is what matters!

A few comments.

1. No "reasonable" person one believes impeachment is even remotely possible with the current House, which is why the 2006 elections are so critical. If we win back the house (and then impeach both Bush and Cheney) a Democrat would be the Speaker and the next president.

2. I expect elected officials to support and defend the rule of law no matter how safe or unsafe their seats. If Price stands on the sidelines being reasonable while We the People watch George Bush blatantly break the law, how does that make sense?

3. This is an integrity issue. If David Price believes Bush has betrayed the American people, I have no doubt he can make that case in a compelling way that will touch, move and inspire support. If he doesn't believe Bush has betrayed the American people, then he should say so and we can stop asking him to act on something he doesn't agree with.

I am in the camp of people who believe and fear we are on the brink of a Constitutional crisis. I would hate like hell to look back in 10 months and wonder why didn't do something more to take back our democracy.

Jim, you write "1. No “reasonable” person one believes impeachment is even remotely possible with the current House, which is why the 2006 elections are so critical. If we win back the house (and then impeach both Bush and Cheney) a Democrat would be the Speaker and the next president."

Don't you mean CONVICT? (see above requirement)

David, sure, compromise is part of being a reasonable leader but there are principles beyond compromising.

Price, especially with his background, should've been repulsed by a "sneak-n-peek" end run around our 4th Amendment Right. His response? Compromise our Rights away. No acknowledgment of his terrible mistake. No real attempt to ameliorate the damage (let's see how round 2 of Son of Patriot Act goes).

Price, with his rhetoric of the last couple years on poverty should've been repulsed by a bill that furthers usurery poverty for those most struggling in our society (like those financially felled by a familial healthcare crises), a bill that rewards unprecedented corporate graft. His response? Compromise those folks future away.

And why didn't Price stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Murtha in calling for an Iraq withdrawal? Was it because Price had already proffered a weak (face saving?) withdrawal bill, replete with a laundry list of conditionals, a bill that hasn't advanced the schedule on iota?

What has Price done, in stark contrast to his other colleagues, to rein in US sponsored torture (renditions originating from his own home State), abrogation of habeas corpus, executive nullification of Federal and State laws and on and on?

And now we have an out-of-control President whose actions demand an accounting. Where is Price?

Maybe my analysis strikes you as a little harsh. What has Price not done that the rest of the Democratic herd has not done?

Maybe by the herds calculus compromise is the order of the decade. Maybe by the herds calculus the US was destined to slide into a Vichy democracy.

Me? I repudiate that calculus. There is a bridge too far David. I'm old-school. I believe the character of a leader is measured against those bedrock human and Constitutional principles he or she won't compromise.

What obscene, dictatorial, tragic, illegal, un-Constitutional act will finally bring firm and uncompromising action from our Representative?

When does he get off the sidelines and into the game?

David Price may be a Democrat but he isn't a Progressive. His vote on the bankruptcy abomination of a bill is proof enough. We have to stop electing nice wonky wimps and start electing aggressive leaders who speak truth and will fight for progressive ideas (in the mold of Howard Dean).

Fred . . . thanks for clarifying my lingo. We need a majority of Dems in the House to impeach . . . then we can worry about the CONVICT part of the equation.

I stand corrected.

I still feel we are quite fortunate to have a Representative who is willing to stand up to the President on critical issues, such as the war in Iraq and gun control. Given the state of the Democrats in general, I can't think of many politicians I would trade him for.

Well the problem with the CONVICT part is that it takes 67 votes in the Senate. Right now, the Senate has 55 Republicans, 43 Democrats and 1 Independent. In the 2006 election, Class I is up and it has 17 Democrats, 15 Republicans and 1 Independent. Getting to 67 is real tough, given those who are up for reelection.

The miscalculation that the Republicans made with Clinton was that they thought they had the votes in the Senate to convict. Thus, impeachment without conviction is just a label - it produces no change in the lineup.

To sleep, perchance, to dream ...
After being informed by Fitzgerald that he's about to be indicted for outing Valerie Wilson, Cheney has chest pains (anxiety or acting) that result in his resignation. No charges are brought, as it is understood that Bush would pardon him immediately.
Politically weak, Bush appoints Chuck Hagel to replace Cheney. Maybe even McCain, but my money's on Condi.
With the autumn comes the turnover in the House. Articles of Impeachment are delivered in mid-February of '07 ... the Valentine's Day Massacre. Bush is impeached and removed by Easter, 2007. The stage is set for the 2008 Condi vs. Hillary Smackdown.

I awaken to realize that the more likely scenario may simply be that Cheney quits, citing the need to spend more time with his family (oh, yeah). Condi is dropped in to replace him and Bush seeks to make himself the hero of the party of Lincoln ... he's looking toward legacy.

*sigh* good to have dreams.

To be perfectly clear ... I don't advocate for Condi Rice to become president ... much to the contrary! Iw ould like to see Darth Vader (Cheney) replaced with Hagel or some other individual with some recognizable integrity. There actually ARE one or two Republicans left who are still actual moderates. Bush certain hate Spector by now, so I guess we could rule him out. :-(
I just don't happen to think that Laura Bush's "casual" mention of Rice as a presidential candidate is anything like a coincidence. She (Rice) can deny her ambitions all she wants. I think she's IN for '08.

I would like to make three points.
1. I think David Price could get away with being more Progressive, should be more Progressive to represent us. That said, I've met him several times, I like him, I'll vote for him.

2. Price's seat might be safe, but he did lose in 1994, so it isn't THAT safe.

3. THIS year of all years, we need to focus on winning more Democratic seats. We have two and perhaps three seats that we could TAKE from the Republicans here in NC. This would push us 1/5 of the way towards control of Congress, just little old North Carolina. So, why not go spend money and energy defeating Coble, Taylor or Hayes, instead of spending money and energy forcing David Price to stay here in Orange County fighting for votes.

It is an oversimplification to say it this way, but, would you rather have the last Bush congress be Republican or Democratic? Would you rather have the Republicans in control with a hot, Progressive representing us, or would you rather have Democrats in control with Price representing us.

Personally, I want control of SOME branch of our government so that George Bush will stop destroying our country. Personally, for just one election, I wish no incumbent Democrat would be challenged - for just two years, so that we can focus on defeating Republicans. After that, hopefully we will have a Democratic President and I don't mind unseating anyone that doesn't represent us.

May I pose a question that will seem silly? Why does it always have to be Us vs. Them?

We expect our representatives to show integrity and stand up tall for what they think is right, but all I see on y'all's side and my own is more of the same toeing of the party lines. Even the old liberal/conservative paradigm isn't really that much more useful.

While the Democrats are definately worse off than the GOP, there just aren't any charismatic visionaries. Our nation doesn't need a new president. It doesn't need a new supreme court justice. What it needs is something to move toward, something that binds us together in an effort to make our country better, to make our place in the history books.

There are no Nazis to vanquish, despite what my party claims. There's no space race to beat the Russians. All the while we slowly slide into the number two seat behind the Chinese and see an American society eroded by the decadence of our past success.

I seriously doubt if the leader we need will come from our little corner of Blue Heaven, but why don't we all just agree to vote for the person we think will best contribute to pulling us up by our bootstraps socially and politically?

All this Democrat/Republican stuff makes me tired after a while, and I imagine it makes everyone else tired too, who's not a party hack.

Chris, your party has been taken over by thugs, kleptos and some seriously ill folk. What they've done to our country will long be mourned.

Robert, in honor of MLK

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct-action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant 'Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."

Why wait? I've "waited" years for some backbone from the Dems. What will more waiting really bring? Nothing.

So, when democrats are debating, Chris discusses the "lack of leadership" in the party and (in JANUARY no less) says that he can "small victory." Yet when dems are discussing strategy to unseat Republicans -- an excellent idea that Robert suggests which can get real traction at a grassroots level -- now Chris say "Why is it 'us vs. them'?

Why? Because of what the self-described "Christain voters" have done to the process ... illegally rallying voters to support specific candidates through Church bulletins, operating smear campaigns that have destroyed the sense of fair play in politics and driven good people away from the process and then there's the simple, bottom line --- the Republicans are complicit in perpetrating an unprecedented and unconstitutional powergrab by the administration while egregiously lying to the American people about virtually everything they're doing. The national party, through its leadership, has decalared itself to be above the law.
There is NOTHING Christian about George W. Bush and there is absolutely nothing Christian about standing by with your manhood in your hand while he burns the constitution, telling yourself that your loyalty to the Republican party is "important." It isn't. Our loyalty, from town hall to the White House should be to our Constitional government and the rule of law. If Republicans want to make the Us vs. Them stuff end, they should impeach Bush. Nothing short of that will be credible. Frankly, I think that Spectre or Hagel would do it, were they in the House. I'm starting to think that Rep. Murtha might change parties just so he can.
Will, I don't think Robert is patting us on the head and saying wait some more ... I think he's cautioning against cutting off the nose to spite the face -- taking a view toward a two-punch that finishes in '08.

There will always be sociopaths who exploit the political landscape in order to gain power and abuse it for their own ends. Always has been & probably always will.

Our societal safeguards against this predictable activity are an opposition party and the media. Obviously, both have monumentally failed us. To my mind, they deserve more responsibility for this situation that we are in than the miscreants who led us into this hellbroth. Although what's worse, Democrats and media figures helped lead the insane rush to neo-fascism or whatever this miserable charade of democracy has become.

I mean if you witnessed some arsonists torching your neighbor's house, waited until it was nearly burned to the ground before announcing that you had some issues with how the whole thing happened? The Democratic Party is obsolete. Now we are seeing various stages of denial and the death throes of those party elements who wish it wasn't so. But the house is burned down and it's time to rebuild.

Well, the first one was just a snarky comment.

I'd had no idea there were so many people who were so emotionally caught up in this that they thought President Bush was a "sociopath." Impeachment talk is one thing, b/c even though I disagree with you and I imagine most folks in the main stream do, the whole wire tap deal is at least a *reason* to impeach.

But it sounds a lot like some of y'all just want to get him because he won the last election and you don't like him overall -- a sin that Republicans committeed against Clinton. Actions aside from the one you want to impeach him over are really not important, just like if I were prosecuted for stealing someone's mail and you testified that I yell at little kids.

So yeah, Jean. I was serious about how it shouldn't be so partisan. If you think reforms are needed, advocate for them. But be careful about it, b/c trying to get someone impeached and convicted more b/c you don't like their policy than for an alleged crime is called an attempted coup, not a procedure of our democracy.

Chris states "Impeachment talk is one thing, b/c even though I disagree with you and I imagine most folks in the main stream do, the whole wire tap deal is at least a *reason* to impeach. "

About a week or two ago I caught the evening business show Kudlow & Company on CNBC. It airs 5-6 PM weeknights. Apparently they have an online poll for each show and the question that evening was "Should George Bush be impeached?" The host, Larry Kudlow, stated that he himself thought the question was inappropriate but that he was allowing it nonetheless. Apparently this show serves a relatively conservative audience and Larry Kudlow himself has a fairly conservative background (Lawrence Kudlow is CEO of Kudlow & Co. LLC, an economic and investment research firm. He is economics commentator for CNBC. Kudlow is a contributing editor of National Review, as well as a columnist and economics editor for National Review Online. He is a nationally syndicated columnist and the author of "American Abundance: The New Economic and Moral Prosperity." Kudlow is also a frequent radio host on ABC Radio. For many years he served as chief economist for a number of Wall Street firms. During President Reagan's first term, Kudlow was the associate director for economics and planning, Office of Management and Budget, Executive Office of the President, where he was engaged in the development of Reagan administration economic and budget policy. Kudlow was educated at the University of Rochester and Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.)

What surprised me was that two-thirds of the respondents (I believe that there were over 6,000) favored impeachment. Now one could imagine that the liberals were voting in mass for the affirmative but I can't imagine that this would be any more likely than the conservatives voting in the negative. It sure surprised me and might be indicative that there is more support than Chris thinks.

Chris, it's quite possible to identify Bush's sociopathic behaviors objectively - no emotionality required. Mark was probably drawing his conclusion based on his own observations and the trained analysis of those many psychiatric professionals that have made the same determination.

1. Callousness, lack of empathy, irresponsibility, and reckless disregard for the safety of others.
2. Glibness and superficial charm.
3. Deceitfulness.
4. Grandiose sense of self.
5. Aggressiveness and failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors.
6. Impulsivity and failure to plan ahead.
7. Lack of remorse or guilt, and failure to accept responsibility for own actions.

(interesting take).

BTW, it appears that Cheney, Rumsfeld and a number of Bush's other cronies share his psychopathology.

I don't know very many psychologists that would make a diagnosis without ever having met the person.

And most of those criteria are very subjective.

WillR,
Maybe waiting will bring nothing new, but you have to pick your fights wisely. We have candidates running all through the state and nation. There are several places where Republicans are being challenged by a mainsteam Dem and a Progressive Dem - these are the fights that need fighting. To spend money and effort trying to unseat David Price will forever place those who attempt it alongside the 2000 Nader supporters in Florida who made their point at the expense of the Republic.
Even here in NC there are races - I know you frequent BlueNC, which has covered this - which seem to pit DINO versus Progressive. Another point, this is arguable the WORST AND MOST CORRUPT REGIME EVERY, so I don't buy the "if not now, when" theory. This is not 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, or even 2002 - at least to me. This year, to me, the most important thing is taking back control of one wing of the government.

Robert, I agree with your basic premise - don't unseat Price - instead get him off his seat. Price needs to do something NOW to assure me that I won't be fooled again - that he and his fellow Dems will finally stand and deliver.

You and I, I believe, characterize the dire straits the US is in as the worst in our lifetimes. We share that. We don't share the same confidence that these old dogs will learn new tricks and rise to the challenge. Sure, I'll probably be helping the Dems (as I have before and before and before...) to try to take control of the House - but it'll be sad if my and so many others efforts only go to filling those seats with a new crop of milquetoasts.

How wise is that?

2423, 16420, 31657

What's that great line about the definition of insanity being trying the same thing over and over again in the hope of getting a different result?

Chris, I could easily live with a president whose policies I disagreed with. I have, in fact, for most of my adult life. This isn't sour grapes over the election (not for me anyway). It's a deep and serious worry that if this executive authority isn't challenged, every president will not only expect it, but will get it. That's right, I don't want Hillary to have these powers either.
What I want to hear from you is ... what do you think Bush would have to do for Dennis Hastert to allow articles of impeachment to be introduced in the House?

Commit a high crime or misdemeanor. And no, I don't think lying about having sex with an intern is an impeachable offense. That said, feel free to prosecute for perjury after office if you want.

So in my lay opinion, a high crime or misdemeanor is a crime that would negatively affect the governing of this country.

No ... specifically ... what would Bush have to do? Your answer could be agued against any president's policies. I want to know what would you hear that Bush had done that would cause you to say ..."Holy Cow, if that's true, he has to be removed from office." And please, refrain from making this some kind of automatic comparison to Clinton on my behalf. Just answer the question ... what would he have to do? Rape? Murder? What? Seriously ... what specific act do you think would actually meet the "high crime or misdemeanor" standard?

Well, there's probably lots of things. Rape? Absolutely. Murder? Well, that's a lot more subjective b/c killing is acceptable sometimes. Kicking puppies? Nah. Treason? Hand him a blindfold and a cigarette like anyone else.

But I don't think Bush is selling secrets to the Iranians or anything.

No Chris, he's selling secrets to every greed-mongering, self-anointed, neo-feudal lord with the ethical standards of a shark who wants in on the Big-Time action.

Mark, I don't suppose you have any evidence to point to to back up that rather serious accusation?

If you have it and are sitting on it without telling the House of Representatives, then I would question your devotion to your country. If you don't have it then I would say that you shouldn't libel the president. I mean, you wouldn't want me saying that you're selling state secrets if it wasn't true. We kind put people to death over that (a la Rosenberg).

So yeah. Just calm down. It'll be OK.

Chris,

What planet are you from? It's common knowledge that before the Iraq War, Cheny, other Bush officials, and oil execs sat around a map of Iraq that showed primarily the oil assets and made their plans. Halliburton has made billions off everything from building bases (and grossly oevrcharging for buidling materials)to charging the government for meals that were never prepared or eaten by troops to being first in on the New Orleans game. W's uncle has made unbelievable dough off of armaments used in the war. This is organized crime. The latest mind-blowing scam was Rumsfeld having a financial interest in some company that got goverrnment handouts to work on swine flu meds while the Bushies spread the Fear. Where do you get your news?

I'm with Mark. What papers do you read, Chris? Anything to the left of Fox News will tell you...

Impeachment would be a no-brainer in an ethical or fact-based society. I'm well aware though, that we live in the U.S. where ethics and facts not legislative priorities.

Ditto . . . Ruby and Mark nail this quite nicely.

If a person takes the position that Bush has not knowing lied to Congress and to the American people, that person is either lying him/herself . . . or is stunningly uninformed about what is going on in the United States today.

Pretty sad either way.

I'm astounded how many people are willing to turn a blind eye to Bush's actions in the name of greater personal security: torture, imprisonment without due process, wiretapping, sending missles into homes suspected of housing terrorists, but also children and other innocents.

A number of people I've talked to say "would you rather have another 9/11?" I say yes, I would. Does America stand for so little? We use to say give me liberty or give me death. Now it is give me liberty or make me safer.

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

We have a double standard. To gain some perceived level of security we, we are willing sacrifice the basic securities and liberties of our fellow countrymen and citizens of other countries. Just don't let anything bad happen to us, so many seem to say. Let the world burn just so our family is safe.

But there are glimmers of hope. Even some conservatives in Congress have doubts about the extent to which Bush has abused executive powers.

http://www.newsobserver.com/114/story/391029.html

When people of all political persuasions quit running with their pack, when they choose to think for themselves, perhaps we can come together and solve some of the world's real problems.

Mark, James, Ruby -

Don't trot out the old "blood for oil" argument. Seems like if it was true I wouldn't be paying $2.40/gallon for gas. Also, it's not a crime for Haliburton to make money. Did they put in the best bids for contracts? If you can't show otherwise then you're just speculating.

I'm not saying Washington's 100% corruption free. I imagine just about everyone in every branch of government could be indicted on that charge. But it hasn't hurt the governance of our country for Haliburton to get a contract or for Rummy to invest his IRA funds.

Again, y'all're just bringing out conjecture without any real links to back up what you're saying. You may as well make a case for someone shooting Kennedy from the grassy knoll. It certainly isn't out of the realm of possibility. But is it *likely*? Not at all.

And as far as lying to Congress, I find it hard to swallow that Bush would be able to manipulat the British, Russian, and Israeli intelligence agencies to support a war -- especially when the Russians didn't want us going in. And it's hard to argue that the world is less safe now than before Hussein was ousted.

Chris - Any idea why CIA hack & proven scoundrel Achmed Chalabi is the new oil minister of Iraq? You didn't know that a lot of Haliburton's contracts were "no-bid"? Anyway, good luck. You've got a lot to learn.

Don't trot out the old “blood for oil” argument. Seems like if it was true I wouldn't be paying $2.40/gallon for gas. Also, it's not a crime for Haliburton to make money. Did they put in the best bids for contracts? If you can't show otherwise then you're just speculating.

Leaving aside the blood for oil argument, this quote conveys the idea that a war for oil would produce lower prices at the pump and that $2.40 is in fact, a "high" price for gasoline.

If anyone, regardless of their opinion on the Iraq war, is seriously interested in what is going on in the energy/oil markets and the staggering implications for the US in 5-15 years' time, spend a week reading The Oil Drum blog.

Chris C, you argue "Also, it’s not a crime for Haliburton to make money. Did they put in the best bids for contracts? If you can’t show otherwise then you’re just speculating."

4/27/2003: (CBS) Halliburton’s government relations director says his company’s former CEO, now the vice president of the United States, has nothing to do with the company getting billions of dollars in federal contracts, including a recent no-bid job, worth up to $7 billion, to put out oil well fires in Iraq.

How do you determine the best bid on a no-bid contract? I guess if you're Don Rumsfield you call up the VP and ask him if he knows any company that might be interested in the job. If you don't think that whole deal smelled worse than an outdoor fish market on a 90 degree summer afternoon then you must have nose-clips to go with your blinders.

This just in: a petroleum industry newsletter reported on Jan 20 that Kuwait, alleged to hold 10% of the world's oil reserves, may only have HALF the oil they claim to have.

Kuwait oil reserves only half official estimate-PIW

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