Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Democrats should be laying the foundations for freedom in a post Bush world!

Democrats may be shy of impeachment for the same reasons that it would have been better for them if Tom DeLay had hung around until after the elections. But if the Democratic "platform" consists only of tactical moves to regain White House and Congress, they are doomed to fail. Democrats must now position themselves in opposition to the Bush dictatorship if they are to entertain thoughts of resurgence.

I would advise the Democratic party to beware of Machiavellian thinking of the form: a Bush in the White House is worth two birds [Bush and Cheney] in the "dock". Sadly, the Democrats who believe this are probably correct if one assumes that the only goal is to retake the house and put a Democrat in the White House. That's mere "DeLayism" but on the other side of the aisle. I would hope that Democrats are thinking past that. I would hope that they are thinking in terms of what policies and measures are absolutely necessary if this nation is to heal of its Bush inflicted wounds.

Democrats must be thinking in terms of restoring the separation of powers, the rule of law, due process of law, civil liberties, free and fair elections. Democrats must be thinking about how they can organize a viable party without selling out to the military/industrial complex, the crooked lobbies, the powerful and ruthless industries like oil, tobacco, and gun.

Democrats must be thinking of restoring the economy, creating jobs, addressing obscene income disparities, restoring financial integrity to the Social Security trust fund and securing it against another attack from the GOP.

Democrats must address the U.S. failure to educate its people. "No Child Left Behind" was a fraud from the get go; the cost of attending any college (even a poor one) is often out of reach; the right wing has watered down many curricula and has, indeed, attacked science itself.

Democrats must restore the separation of church and state and repeal "faith-based initiatives", a violation of the First Amendment on its face. The Democrats must affirm the Constitution, a document about which Bush is credibly quoted: "The Constitution is just a goddamned piece of paper!" Impeaching Bush, admittedly, doesn't even begin to address the problem. Neither would a double impeachment of both Bush and Cheney. Sadly, bringing criminal charges against the majority of the GOP leadership won't either. Just as the GOP emerged from the fall of Nixon radicalized, more organized, ruthless, even a successful impeachment of Bush will push the bitter-enders over the edge. We have not yet seen the end of the radicalization of the Republican party.

To address the crimes that have gone unpunished and the deeper divisions ripping apart what's left of the republic, I support a new National Convention, a notion that scares most people who fear it will be hijacked by special interests and lobbyists. But our entire government has been permanently hijacked by moneyed special interests. I fail to see how we would be any worse off. Moreover, a new National Convention is convened upon a petition of two thirds of the State Legislatures. The apparatuses of the various lobbies are located in D.C. and geared toward the existing Federal Bureaucracy; the various incestuous relationships have been years in the making. A new National Convention will fare better. And the best part of it is this: Bush would be powerless to prevent it by any lawful measure.

I am told that the "religious right" is not the monolithic block that it might appear to be. I am told that there are many "religious" people working to bring about the end of the Bush tyranny. I would hope so. The alternative to moderation —a long and nasty cultural war —is too terrible to contemplate.

A post-Bush world may be nearer than generally thought. Following are two reports indicating that Bush himself authorized the leak that "outed" Valerie Plame. This act is properly characterized as treason. Treason is specifically mentioned in the Constitution as grounds for impeachment.

The impeachment procedings against George W. Bush should begin immediately. Contact your reps!

Libby: Bush himself authorized leak on Iraq

Former top aide to Cheney says word came down through vice president

WASHINGTON - Vice President Dick Cheney’s former top aide told prosecutors President Bush authorized the leak of sensitive intelligence information about Iraq, according to court papers filed by prosecutors in the CIA leak case.

Before his indictment, I. Lewis Libby testified to the grand jury investigating the Valerie Plame leak that Cheney told him to pass on the information and that it was Bush who authorized the leak, the court papers say. According to the documents, the authorization led to the July 8, 2003, conversation between Libby and New York Times reporter Judith Miller.

There was no indication in the filing that either Bush or Cheney authorized Libby to disclose Plame’s CIA identity.
From the Smoking Gun:

Libby: Bush Authorized Plamegate Leak

Indicted ex-Cheney aide told grand jury of White House approval

APRIL 6--A former top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney told a federal grand jury that President George W. Bush authorized him to leak information from a classified intelligence report to a New York Times reporter. Details of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's testimony were included in a court filing made yesterday by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, who is prosecuting Libby for perjury, obstruction of justice, and making false statements in connection with the probe into the leaking of CIA agent Valerie Plame's identity.

According to Fitzgerald's filing, an excerpt of which you'll find below, Libby, 55, testified in 2003 that he provided reporter Judith Miller with information from a classified National Intelligence Estimate after being told by Cheney that Bush "specifically had authorized" him to "disclose certain information in the NIE." Libby also testified that Cheney specifically directed him to speak to other reporters about information in the classified NIE (which addressed Iraq's purported weapons of mass destruction programs) as well as a cable authored by Plame's husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson.

The leaking of the classified material was apparently done in an effort to counter claims made by Wilson regarding the White House's justification for invading Iraq. The Fitzgerald filing also notes that Libby told grand jurors that he conferred with David Addington, Cheney's counsel, about the leak directive and that Addington told him "that Presidential authorization to publicly disclose a document amounted to a declassification of the document."

While both Bush and Cheney have been interviewed by Fitzgerald, it is unknown whether they confirmed or disputed Libby's assertion that he was authorized to disclose findings in classified reports. Libby, Cheney's former chief of staff, resigned his White House post last October following his indictment on five felony counts. (7 pages)

Plamegate aficionados: Click here for PDF of entire 39-page Fitzgerald filing
Count on this: Bush and the endemically criminal GOP will now say that if Bush ordered the leak, then it's not a crime!

But you must remember what Bush said back in 2005.
WASHINGTON -- President Bush vowed yesterday to fire anyone in his administration who is found to have ''committed a crime" involving the disclosure of a former covert CIA agent's name, seemingly redefining the grounds for dismissal the White House had pledged when the case erupted in 2003.

''If someone committed a crime, they will no longer be in my administration," Bush said, answering a question about whether his deputy chief of staff, Karl Rove, should be fired if he is found to have leaked the identity of a former CIA operative, Valerie Plame. The leaking of information about Plame, who is married to a White House critic and a former ambassador, Joseph C. Wilson IV, is being investigated by a federal grand jury.

Bush's remarks suggested he has narrowed the criteria for sacking a White House employee in the Plame matter; previous statements by Bush and his press secretary, Scott McClellan, made as recently as last year, indicated that Bush would dismiss anyone from his staff who had identified Plame to reporters.

''If there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if that person has violated the law, the person will be taken care of," Bush said at a campaign stop in Chicago in October 2003. McClellan, speaking to reporters just before the campaign appearance, said, ''If anyone in this administration was involved in it, they would no longer be in this administration."

...

—George W. Bush, from the Boston Globe, Bush seems to shift on his grounds for dismissal

If there was any legitimacy whatsoever to what will most surely be the Bush ex post facto defense, Bush would have 'fessed up at the time. He didn't. Instead, he tried muddy the issue and play stupid word games.

Bush is unfit to hold any public office whatsoever!

Bombard the House with emails and letters demanding that Bush be impeached, tried, arrested and jailed!

And —as if to illustrate points I've already made —the Bush administration can be counted on to prove true everything I've ever said about it. The war against the people of Iraq —we were told amid all the other lies —was intended to bring about Democracy in Iraq even as Democracy was put on life support at home. It didn't make sense then, and has since been proven to have been yet another Bush, bald-faced lie. Here's an update from the Washington Post:

Democracy In Iraq Not A Priority in U.S. Budget

By Peter Baker

Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 5, 2006; Page A01

While President Bush vows to transform Iraq into a beacon of democracy in the Middle East, his administration has been scaling back funding for the main organizations trying to carry out his vision by building democratic institutions such as political parties and civil society groups.

The administration has included limited new money for traditional democracy promotion in budget requests to Congress. Some organizations face funding cutoffs this month, while others struggle to stretch resources through the summer. The shortfall threatens projects that teach Iraqis how to create and sustain political parties, think tanks, human rights groups, independent media outlets, trade unions and other elements of democratic society. ...

Polls: Embattled Repugs Rattled by Dems

Posted by Buck | Apr. 5, 2006, 8:33 am

Outta here: The latest round of Wall Street Journal/Zogby Interactive statewide polls shows an interesting political terrain for both Democrat and Republican incumbents and challengers.

California: Terminator Terminated

California voters are seriously dissatisfied with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Fewer than one in three (30 percent) approve of his job performance in Sacramento, and just one-third (34 percent) think he deserves re-election. Matched up against potential Democratic opponents, the Gubernator does better than previous poll numbers had suggested, but he still trails both potential opponents. State Treasurer Phil Angelides leads Schwarzenegger by five (46 percent to 41 percent) and state Comptroller Steve Westly holds a nine-point advantage over the incumbent, 47 percent to 38 percent.

Pennsylvania: Santorum Toast

For Sen. Rick Santorum, considered the most vulnerable incumbent in the nation, election night is shaping up to be a big disappointment. But the race is far from over, with a nasty battle brewing within Democratic ranks over Democrat Bob Casey Jr.’s support for the pro-life position on abortion. The state Treasurer, Casey is beating Santorum by eight points, 47 percent to 39 percent. Just 40 percent give Santorum a positive job approval rating, and fewer (38 percent) think he deserves to be re-elected. ...
'Toon by Dante Lee; use only with permission

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