Category Archives: impeachment

What the FISA???!!!! One Act of Betrayal, Starring Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer.

I don’t know if we’ll ever REALLY know why the House Democrats, after holding fast since February with barely a mention of “ZOMG National Security!!!111!!!!,” decided that now was the time to give our lame-duck Deciderer everything he wants on telecom immunity. But if I were a fly on the wall in Nancy Pelosi’s living room, I imagine I might hear a little something like this:

THE SCENE: Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s living room. It is tastefully appointed in soft pastels. She is seated on her sofa, wearing silk PJ’s and watching The Colbert Report. The Princess phone rings and she mutes her TV.

NANCY: [picking up phone] Hello?

STENY: Nancy? Steny.

NANCY [a la Seinfeld]: Hello, Steny.

STENY: Listen, Nancy babe, we need to talk about telecom immunity.

NANCY: Again? Jesus, Steny, haven’t we been over this? Telecom immunity is off the table. The American people don’t want it. Even Fox News says Bush’s numbers are in the tank. You know all this. So stop yanking my chain. Good night –

STENY [interrupting]: Just a minute, Nance. [Pelosi rolls her eyes] Didn’t you hear the latest from Kucinich? He’s rather annoyed that Conyers has been sitting on his impeachment resolution for so long.

NANCY: [hissing] KUCINICH! Damn that little hobbit!

STENY: He’s saying that if we don’t start impeachment proceedings within 30 days, he’ll bring it up again – with more articles added. And, Conyers is starting to weaken. We all know how much he wants to impeach Bush. I swear he dreams about it at night!

NANCY: Why won’t Dennis get with the program? If we impeach now, we could lose our majority in Congress. Then, if McCain wins, we’re back to square one!

STENY: I feel you, Nancy. Now, you know that the warrantless wiretapping program is one of the strongest reasons for impeachment. As it stands now, the program is illegal and un-Constitutional. If we don’t retroactively make it legal in some way, then that idiot from Ohio could actually make his case!

NANCY: Damnit! Why can’t he wait till AFTER Bush leaves office like we all agreed?!

STENY: Ahhhh, he’s worried about some stupid checks and balances thing. He is such an idealistic schmuck.

NANCY: [getting up and pacing] Okay. I see where you’re coming from now. I guess we can do this ridiculous thing if it will stop Dennis. But what about the Senate? They will have to re-vote. Do you think anyone will filibuster?

STENY: Don’t you worry about the Senate, babe. I’ve got it all sewn up. Rocky and I guarantee it’s a done deal.

NANCY: But what about Obama? Didn’t he promise that he would support a filibuster? What if he decides to do it himself?



[STENY stops laughing first.]

STENY: As if Senator “Present” would do something like that! No, someone will probably stand up and blather for a while – maybe Dodd or Feingold or one of those guys. But without support, the filibuster will die and we’ll be golden.

NANCY: Well, what if Hillary comes back from vacation and supports it?

STENY: Hell no! Jay already talked to her. If she tries to showboat on this, there will be a lot of pissed-off Senators talking to the media. She won’t make any trouble. She’s tired of Congressional knives in her back.

NANCY: All right, Steny. You win. We’ll vote on the bill tomorrow.

STENY: I knew you’d see things my way, Nancy. See you tomorrow!

[they hang up]

NANCY [sitting back down on the couch and rubbing her
temples wearily]: Sometimes I really, really hate my job.

[stage goes dark]


Nixon’s Greatest Hits

Okay, no more McCaca today. Today’s obsession is – Tricky Dick!

Apparently, we’re still kicking him around.

President Bush’s refusal to let two confidants provide information to Congress about fired federal prosecutors represents the most expansive view of executive privilege since Watergate, the House Judiciary Committee told a federal judge Thursday.

Lawyers for the Democratic-led panel argued in court documents that Bush’s chief of staff, Josh Bolten, and former White House counsel Harriet Miers are not protected from subpoenas last year that sought information about the dismissals.

The legal filing came in lawsuit that pits the legislative branch against the executive in a fight over a president’s powers.

The committee is seeking the testimony as it tries to make a case that the White House directed the firing of nine U.S. attorneys because they were not supportive enough of Republicans’ political agenda.


“Not since the days of Watergate have the Congress and the federal courts been confronted with such an expansive view of executive privilege as the one asserted by the current presidential administration and the individual defendants in this case,” according to the House’s filing.

The idea that Miers could disregard an order to appear at a hearing simply at the president’s request suggests a return to the sentiment expressed in Nixon’s statement, as quoted in a 1977 New York Times interview, that “when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal,” the House lawyers wrote.

My goodness. Why in the world would the Bush Administration be so incredibly secretive? Could it possibly be that they are also hiding something nefarious? Not just about the fired attorneys, but about many other things? Things that could be, well, illegal under our Constitution and international law?

Like, perhaps, this?

WASHINGTON (AP) — Bush administration officials from Vice President Dick Cheney on down signed off on using harsh interrogation techniques against suspected terrorists after asking the Justice Department to endorse their legality, The Associated Press has learned.

The officials also took care to insulate President Bush from a series of meetings where CIA interrogation methods, including waterboarding, which simulates drowning, were discussed and ultimately approved.

We have replaced the paranoid, drunk, dictatorial President Richard Nixon with the paranoid, drunk, dictatorial, warmongering, face-shooting, torturing President Richard Cheney.

I’ll tell you something: it’s not an improvement. Because Cheney learned from Nixon’s mistakes: he corrupted the Justice Department immediately upon taking office, and had Bush push through as many right-wing federal judges as possible while the Republics were in the majority.

Now, despite the Democrats’ efforts to hold this Administration accountable for clear and obvious criminality, it may be impossible to circumvent all the roadblocks put in place by our new Tricky Dick and his trained monkey. The reason the subpoenas of Harriet Miers and Josh Bolten were not enforced in the first place was that the Justice Department refused to enforce them. The House then filed contempt charges, which the Justice Department again refused to enforce. At that point, the House decided to sue in federal court, and this is where we are.

I just have one eensy request: If we’re going to repeat Richard Nixon’s greatest hits, can we play my favorite one?


Bring Our Troops Home Blogswarm Day

Today is a day to remember that, no matter how interested we are in what Eliot Spitzer or David Paterson do in their personal lives, there is a larger issue out there that is impacting every aspect of American life – the illegal occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Is continuing the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan pointlessly maiming, torturing and killing Americans, Iraqis and Afghanis?


Is it destroying our army?

Check – notice who was against the escalation before he was for it. Another lying flip-flop from McCaca.

Is it destroying our economy?


Has it almost completely destroyed our reputation among our allies and greatly impaired our ability to negotiate with Middle Eastern countries like Iran, which used to be much friendlier to our interests?


I saw the odious Fred Kagan on Jim Lehrer’s show recently. He was adamant that we not, NOT call Iraq an occupation. Why? Because it’s true, and it shows the inherent uselessness and malignance of our presence in Iraq after these five long years.

Impeach Bush and Cheney. Bring them home.

Impeachment Update!

As a long-time advocate of, and agitator for, impeachment, I was quite pleased and surprised to get an email from with the happy news that John Conyers is seriously considering impeachment hearings for Dick Cheney. Here’s an excerpt:

Conyers Considers Cheney Impeachment Hearings

On Thursday, Chairman John Conyers’ House Judiciary Committee held a hearing at which Attorney General Michael Mukasey said that he would not investigate torture or warrantless spying, he would not enforce contempt citations, and he would treat Justice Department opinions as providing immunity for crimes.

None of this was new, but perhaps it touched something in Conyers that had not been touched before. Following the hearing, he and two staffers met for over an hour with two members of Code Pink and discussed activism and impeachment, including Congressman Robert Wexler’s proposal to begin impeachment hearings on Cheney.

Conyers expressed his concerns about what might happen following an impeachment, the danger of installing a Bush replacement or losing an election. But he said he’s listening to several advocates for impeachment, including Liz Holtzman and David Swanson of He hinted he could be swayed by a convincing argument, leaning out of his chair for dramatic effect.

Apparently Conyers needs convincing on political grounds. It is certainly clear that should hearings commence, Cheney would be gone almost immediately – there is no way he would not step down when all the dirt begins to come to light – and I do agree that it is a daunting prospect to consider who Bush would appoint as a successor to Cheney. Rummy? Rice? TurdBlossom? The mind reels.

But here’s what you do. You RECOGNIZE YOUR POWER and you MAKE A DEAL. Chairman Conyers tells Bush who he’ll appoint – pick a Democrat, NOT JOE LIEBERMAN, who agrees not to run for President in 2008 – or he’ll start impeachment proceedings on teh Deciderer himself.

I do believe that if you stand up to a bully, he will back down. Will Congress remember this in time for their approval ratings to stay above negative numbers? Stay tuned.

And in the meantime, help convince Conyers to do the right thing.

More FISA Thoughts….

It’s amazing. Even though Bush was supposedly set to veto any extension of the Protect America Act, which was put in place temporarily in August to prevent the telecom/Bushie immunity from passing the Senate, he suddenly, miraculously agreed to let the PAA be extended for 15 days. What does that tell you?

It tells me that Bush really, really wants immunity from warrantlessly wiretapping Americans. Why? Two reasons: 1) Because the fact that he did so is one of the strongest reasons for impeachment; and 2) The FISA court doesn’t grant warrants to spy on Congressional Democrats, and that’s what they’ve been doing. Whoooooooops!

If Bush and his minions allow the old FISA law to be reinstated – which it will be, if the Senate cannot agree on a more permanent “fix” than the Protect America Act – then he will not get immunity. Today, it looks like immunity may be off the table. And you know, impeachment proceedings can be begun after a President leaves office. Not gonna look too good in the history books, eh, Worst President Evah?

In my never-humble opinion, Senate Democrats should be doing everything they can to allow the Protect America Act to expire. After all, Bush was warrantlessly wiretapping us BEFORE the attacks of 9/11, and 3,000 people still died. And what about the anthrax killer? Despite all the spying, we somehow haven’t caught THAT terrorist either. So no Osama bin Laden and no anthrax killer. Gee, I feel so much safer since Bush started his destruction of the Bill of Rights!

I’ll take the old law and my civil liberties back, thank you. And can I have a side order of impeachment with that?

Mmmmmmmm, that looks delicious!

And Another Thing…IMPEACH CHENEY NOW!!!!

It’s National Impeachment Call-In Day! Get Dennis Kucinich’s resolution out of its exile in the Judiciary Committee. Ask your Congresscritter to support Congressman Wexler’s demand for impeachment hearings.

Making a quick phone call is the least we can do to support patriots like Wexler and Kucinich.


Enough about the Presnitial candidates already! Congressman Wexler (D-FL), who is on the Judiciary Committee, wants hearings on the languishing Cheney Impeachment Resolution. Do you?

If so, show your support and sign his petition. He’s gotten more than 121,000 already.

Elsewhere on the site, Mr. Wexler explains why starting the hearings would strengthen both the Constitution and the Democratic agenda.

After the Democratic Party regained control of Congress, many – myself included – thought that it might be possible to meet President Bush half-way on the large issues facing our nation. Unfortunately, Bush has been nothing more than an ideological obstacle. He has vetoed stem cell research. He has vetoed efforts to bring our troops home from Iraq. He vetoed children’s health care. So, the idea that we are somehow inhibiting Congress from passing our agenda by holding impeachment hearings – unfortunately – is a false argument.

Instead, I believe that we can both live up to our Constitutional obligation by holding hearings and pass a Democratic agenda. If President Bush perceives that the Democratic Congress is weak and unwilling to aggressively push our agenda – he will continue to veto legislation, such as children’s health care – that is supported by a majority of Americans. The only way to move a progressive Democratic agenda is by acting through strength and following through on our core principles. A Congress willing to stand up to the abuses of the Bush Administration through impeachment hearings will demonstrate a strength of will that will more likely convince Bush to accommodate on issues such as Iraq, health care, and energy and environmental issues.

The success of our activism on the FISA bill shows that if enough of us speak out, we will prevail. Let’s keep the momentum going!