Posts Tagged ‘Impeachment
As I type this, I’m hearing my neighbors fire their automatic handguns into the air to celebrate the New Year. In the past, this has bothered me a lot. It happens every 4th of July and New Year’s Eve.
Now I’m kind of glad that so many of my neighbors are armed, even though they’re criminals.
Because I’m pretty sure that Barack Hussein Obama made me a criminal tonight as well, along with his accomplices, the traitors in the House and Senate who drafted and voted for this un-American monstrosity.
My two-week supply of food, my hand-crank radio, my gun and the Ron Paul sticker on my car are probably the only things required to label me as a “dangerous radical.”
This is what it has come to in America.
I never thought I’d live to see the day.
It appears that some of the best coverage of this issue is in the UK Guardian. Please read the whole story.
Military given go-ahead to detain US terrorist suspects without trial: Civil rights groups dismayed as Barack Obama abandons commitment to veto new security law contained in defence bill
Barack Obama has abandoned a commitment to veto a new security law that allows the military to indefinitely detain without trial American terrorism suspects arrested on US soil who could then be shipped to Guantánamo Bay.
Human rights groups accused the president of deserting his principles and disregarding the long-established principle that the military is not used in domestic policing. The legislation has also been strongly criticised by libertarians on the right angered at the stripping of individual rights for the duration of “a war that appears to have no end”.
The law, contained in the defence authorisation bill that funds the US military, effectively extends the battlefield in the “war on terror” to the US and applies the established principle that combatants in any war are subject to military detention.
Under the legislation suspects can be held without trial “until the end of hostilities”. They will have the right to appear once a year before a committee that will decide if the detention will continue.
The Senate is expected to give final approval to the bill before the end of the week. It will then go to the president, who previously said he would block the legislation not on moral grounds but because it would “cause confusion” in the intelligence community and encroached on his own powers.
But on Wednesday the White House said Obama had lifted the threat of a veto after changes to the law giving the president greater discretion to prevent individuals from being handed to the military.
Critics accused the president of caving in again to pressure from some Republicans on a counter-terrorism issue for fear of being painted in next year’s election campaign as weak and of failing to defend America.
Human Rights Watch said that by signing the bill Obama would go down in history as the president who enshrined indefinite detention without trial in US law.
Read the whole story:
Last week I wrote about a couple of traitorous additions to the Defense Authorization bill written in secret by John McCain (RINO-AZ) and Carl Levin (D-MI).
According to the ACLU and DownsizeDC.org, among other watchdog organizations, sections 1031 and 1032 of the bill give Obama—and every future president, if there are any—“the power to order the military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians anywhere in the world….The power is so broad that even U.S. citizens could be swept up by the military and the military could be used far from any battlefield, even within the United States itself.”
And (SURPRISE!) it turns out that Obama asked for that power himself.
How nice of our favorite backstabbing Constitution-shredding s0-called “Republican” John “Benedict Arnold” McCain to oblige him (may he rot in HELL, after losing a brutal primary fight that bankrupts him.)
But McCain wasn’t alone in his treachery.
Sen. Lindsey “Rights for Illegals, but Not American Citizens” Graham said about it on the Senate floor: “1031, the statement of authority to detain, does apply to American citizens and it designates the world as the battlefield, including the homeland.”
It is a sad commentary on Mr. Graham–a co-sponsor of the bill–that one can’t predict if that was praise or criticism without looking at the replay. Turns out, Senator Graham thinks it’s awesome that one person the the U.S. government can pick up a phone, make a call, and make you disappear, without charges, without trial, forever.
More gullible and/or partisan members of the DNC-controlled media have been trying to insist for the past two weeks that the law doesn’t apply to Americans here, in America. And The White House was claiming that Obama was going to veto the bill if it applied to American citizens (now, not so much.) But…
“Another sponsor of the bill – Senator Levin – has also repeatedly said that the bill applies to American citizens on American soil, citing the Supreme Court case of Hamdi which ruled that American citizens can be treated as enemy combatants:
‘The Supreme Court has recently ruled there is no bar to the United States holding one of its own citizens as an enemy combatant,’ said Levin. ‘This is the Supreme Court speaking.’
Levin again stressed recently that the bill applies to American citizens, and said that it was president Obama who requested that it do so.”
I’ve tried to find out what happened to the bill in Conference Committee, but the general consensus in the Liberty blogosphere this evening seems to be that the bill is just as bad coming out of committee as it was going in.
This evening at 6:58 p.m., 90 Democrats and 193 Republicans voted AYE to give the most corrupt president in U.S. history the power to kidnap and detain Americans anywhere in the world, forever, just on the basis of his opinion that they’re terrorists.
I’m kind of at a loss for words here, which may be appropriate, since technically anything I say can now be used against me by the president of the United States.
The bill now heads back to the Senate. Now may be a good time to pick up the phone and let your Senators know what you think.
Thoughts? Comments? Last words? Condolences?
How did YOUR
Reprehensibles Representatives vote?
Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich impeached — but won't even be the most terrible or corrupt person in the room at his trial
The funny (or sad, depending on how you look at it), thing about Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich being impeached by the Illinois House today is that when his trial starts at the end of January, in the Illinois Senate, Blagojevich won’t even be the most terrible or corrupt person in the room.
Living in Chicago for so long, that seems really obvious to us, but we have to realize most of you across the country have no idea what things are like here.
It really is like a Rob Marshall musical, of scamps and corruption, 24/7 in this state, where this sort of behavior is normally not just ignored and allowed to fester undisturbed, but is CELEBRATED on a daily basis.
To wild applause in most corners of the state.
And this is what is headed to Washington, on the Hope! Change! Express.
If you wonder why we crossed party lines, for the first time in our lives, to campaign for McCain/Palin, it was because we tried our level best to keep this show from going on the road.
Attorneys are spending this weekend trying to convince Blagojevich to step aside, but not resign, in a compromise that will be pushed this week
Tonight, we went to a fundraiser here in Chicago and, of course, the topic of conversation was Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.
The most amazing thing we heard was that a loophole in the Illinois constitution is the key to resolving this mess.
In the constitution, there’s a provision for the Governor to voluntarily “step aside” and allow Lieutenant Governor Quinn to temporarily become Acting Governor. As the constitution is written, Blagojevich is empowered to step aside any time he wishes, pass his governing powers to the Lt. Governor, and then reclaim his position as Governor any time he wishes. While he is in this self-created limbo, Blagojevich would collect his full salary and maintain his security detail. He would still be Governor, but Lt. Governor Quinn would be “Acting Governor”.
Quinn would, thus, appoint a Senate replacement for Obama of Quinn’s choosing, while Blagojevich gets the money he is concerned with (since his legal bills are so massive that the main reason he is refusing to resign is that he desperately needs that salary — “stepping aside” means he gives up his powers, but keeps his income).
Quinn and Blagojevich hate each other — and while no one could guess whom Quinn would appoint to fill Obama’s seat, it was universally agreed that person would not be Jesse Jackson Jr. or Emil Jones, which is a good thing for everyone. In all likelihood, Quinn would appoint Tammy Duckwork (head of Illinois’ Veterans’ Affairs) or Dan Hynes. Quinn will be compltely above board in his appointment.
Now, regarding Blagojevich, while he is in the limbo of “stepping aside”, collecting his salary, under the current constitution he can reinstate himself any time and take back his governing powers from Acting Governor Quinn. This week, the Illinois legislature will work on legislation to preclude Blagojevich from doing this. The plan is to pass a bill that would require the Governor, once he has “stepped aside”, to petition the legislature in writing to approve him for reinstatement to office. In this situation, Blagojevich would not be restored to office, but would remain in limbo pending impeachment.
From what everyone has heard, Blagojevich intends to remain in office until he is impeached, convicted, and removed from office (at which time his salary would be cut off). Until that happens, Blagojevich needs every paycheck he can get — and “stepping aside” would allow him to focus 100% on his defense, while collecting the money he needs to support his family and pay his legal bills.
For obvious reasons, Blagojevich’s lawyers are pressing him to “step aside” and continue to collect his check while relinquishing his powers to Quinn — because the lawyers want to be paid, and won’t be if Blagojevich does not continue to earn his salary.
In terms of Patrick Fitzerald, we’ve been told Blagojevich is, in fact, the highest level of target in this investigation. Fitzgerald has been leaning on Rezko to give up Blagojevich. There is no effort to lean on Blagojevich to give up anything on Mayor Daley or Obama. Blagojevich is who Fitzgerald has been after…so Blagojevich has no hope of Fitzgerald going easy on him, or of getting a deal for a reduced sentence down the line (if and when things come to that), because, unlike Rezko, there is no bigger fish in Fitzgerald’s sight.
The ONLY thing Blagojevich really has to barter with is the well-being of the state of Illinois, and the only thing he could reasonably ask Fitzgerald for is the exclusion of Patti Blagojevich from prosecution.
The thinking in Chicago this weekend is this:
(1) Blagojevich wants Patti to avoid prosecution so that his children can have one parent who is not in jail.
(2) Fitzgerald has no reason to go easy on Blagojevich himself, but he can decide not to pursue charges against Patti Blagojevich if the Governor steps aside and ends the stalemate on the Senate seat by allowing Quinn to become Acting Governor and appoint the Senate replacement.
(3) Running a Special Election to pick a replacement for Obama will cost Illinois $50 million. If Blagojevich does not step aside, this is what the Illinois legislature will be forced to proceed with.
(4) Fitzgerald could exchange a promise to not pursue Mrs. Blagojevich if the Governor steps aside and saves the state $50 million. That seems to be the type of deal in the public’s best interst that Fitzgerald makes. It looks to be the only deal Blagojevich would possibly get.
(5) This coming week, the state legislature will work to change the “step aside” provision to one in which the legislature has the power to reinstate the Governor, and not the Governor reinstating himself. The legislature will also work this week on the groundwork for impeachment — but they need Fitzgerald’s cooperation for that. Right now, all the legislature has against the Governor are allegations against him — they do not even have the tapes, which are in Fitzgerald’s hands. For there to be an impeachment, there needs to be evidence in the legislature’s hands. This process will take months, and will not be over before June, at the earliest.
(6) Democrats are lobbying hard against any special election, because not only would it cost $50 million, but in all likelihood the race would be won by Mark Kirk, who would then become a Republican Senator representing Illinois. To keep the Senate seat in Democratic hands, Democrats in Illinois are encouraging Blagojevich to step aside and allow Quinn to appoint a Democrat to replace Obama. That’s something that Fitzgerald does not care about, but saving the state $50 million would be something Fitzgerald would consider in terms of the previous notes above.
(7) Jesse Jackson Jr. is never going to rise any higher than Congressman after this. He will continue to be reelected to his seat in Congress as long as he wants it, but his involvement in this mess means he will never be able to win the Democratic Senate nomination now. He can try to run in 2010, but he will not have the support he needs to win. His political career, in terms of advancement, is over now.
(8) Emil Jones will not be a United States Senator. Jan Schakowsky, Lisa Madigan, Tammy Duckworth, and Dan Hynes are still in the running for Obama’s seat. However, many people think Quinn will pick someone totally out of the blue who he knows to be a candidate who can withstand any scrutiny that will come. No one knows who that would be.
(9) All of the “Senate Candidates” named in the complaint against Blaogjevich have been identified at this point, except for Candidate #3. The rest are:
Senate Candidate #1 = Valerie Jarrett
Senate Candidate #2 = Lisa Madigan
Senate Candidate #3 = ?
Senate Candidate #4 = Louanner Peters
Senate Candidate #5 = Jesse Jackson Jr.
Senate Candidate #6 = Blair Hull
(10) Lisa Madigan’s Gambit with asking the Supreme Court to declare Blagojevich unable to serve as Governor because of disability was never expected to succeed — not even by Madigan herself. This move had one purpose: to give Lisa Madigan a national spotlight in preparation for her 2010 run for Governor. It is a Win-Win situation for Madigan: she got national exposure that burnished her repuation as a corruption fighter, and people now see her as someone trying to do something to end this nightmare. When her gambit fails, no harm will come to Madigan for trying it, as the Supreme Court will rule that the constitution does not allow the maneuver. So, then it’s just on to something else…but it’s only 2 years until the governor’s race, and Madigan will be remembered as the attempted dragonslayer. It was a very smart move for her own political career — even though it will surely fail to remove Blagojevich from office.
(11) Rahm Emanuel keeps being talked about here as the person who alerted the Feds to the auctioning of the Senate seat. That’s a rumor that started on one of the networks — MSNBC we think, that’s beeng a favorite here in Chicago. The crowd we were hearing these things from is a very pro-Emanuel crowd, but all of them believe Emanuel will emerge from all of this totally unscathed and that he will indeed become Chief of State upon Obama’s inauguration. The feeling on the ground here is that, once again, WORM comes into play in terms of What Obama Really Meant…as in, he first says that no one on his staff talked to the governor about the Senate seat. What Obama Really MEANT to say was that in the use of the word “talked”, Obama really MEANT to say “no one talked about exchanging anything valuable for Blagojevich to pick one of Obama’s preferred candidates, as listed for Blagojevich by Emanuel”. Obama did not MEAN to say no one had been talking to Blagojevich, but that no one had been talking about exchanging anything valuable. All we can say is, this WORM stuff needs to stop because Obama won the election, and now the hard part comes: we’ve had 8 years of a president who’s been ridiculed for poor speaking ability, but who, in our memory, has never had any What Bush Really Meant to say moments. Bush is painful to listen to sometimes — but the man gets his story straight before he opens his mouth. Just remember, Saddam Hussein launched the invasion of Kuwait in the first Gulf War partly because April Galspie, the US Ambassador to Iraq, communicated a message that the US would do nothing about an invasion of Kuwait. Hussein took that to mean one thing, and the US later claimed it meant another, but that miscommunication started a war. “What Obama Really Meant’ needs to stop, IMMEDIATELY, and Obama needs to communicate truthfully the first damn time, and not have 3 or 4 days of explanation as to What Obama Really Meant.
(12) Aside from Blagojevich, the only people being taken down by the Fitzgerald investigation will be people you have never heard of. One of the interesting things we heard tonight was that the prosecutor’s office is so booked solid with people to interview related to this case — in the mid-level range of importance politically — that even people like Jesse Jackson Jr. are being pushed back for their appointments…because everyone and their mother is rushing down to tell what they know, before they become targets too. People are singing like CRAZY, left and right. Fitzgerald’s office does not have enough investigators to interview them all in fast manner. This is why an impeachment proceeding against Blogojevich will take a while to complete. The Governor is entitled to a trial where he will mount his defense — and that defense will take as long as the Governor’s attorneys want. If all of these people are coming forward to tell all of these stories, and if prosecutors are overwhelmed with the deluge, then it seems like the state senate trial of Blagojevich will take a long time in itself as Blagojevich counters all of what these people are saying. That’s the part some people are forgetting in all of this…the legislature, the Supreme Court, and the Governor are all equal in this state. The legislature can no more expeditiously get rid of the Governor than the Governor can just arbitrarily get rid of the legislature and create a new one. There are processes and procedures to follow, and the system is designed assuming INNOCENCE, not guilt. We may all think Blagojevich is guilty — but in the eyes of the impeachment process, he’s innocent until that state senate trial is mounted and he is convicted after his own vigorous defense.
In all, it was a very interesting night tonight — with the most intersting part of all being the discovery of this loophole that allows Blagojevich to keep collecting his salary, which enables him to relinquish his governing powers to Quinn, which avoids spending $50 million on a special election to fill the Senate seat since Quinn will appoint a non-controversial Democrat to the seat, which means Republicans are shut out from snatching the seat, and finally Blagojevich is defanged and removed to the shadows while he is impeached — and the business of governing falls to Quinn.
Blagojevich has no incentive to resign and lose his salary (that he needs). It’s at least a half year more of salary that we are talking about here, which is money Blagojevich cannot function without. So, this “step aside” gambit is the only one that has a chance of convincing Blagojevich to give up power.
Because people like Blagojevich backed up against the wall can do crazy things when desperate. If he wanted to, he could refuse to step aside and remain Governor. The special election for Obama’s seat would be called, costing the state $50 million. Democrats would lose the state. Impeachment would come, but that would take until June with Blagojevich fighting it all the way, costing the state more millions, and driving Illinois into further instability and chaos every day. Blagojevich could do a lot of harm if he wanted to.
So, hearing about this compromise being put out there gave all of us a sense of relief — it really does seem like a viable option to get Blagojevich to step aside, and save us all from further nightmare.
Could Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan remove Blagojevich from office using the state Constitution?
The Tribune has an interesting theory today on how Blagojevich could be forced from office without a messy impeachment process in Springfield.
If this works, it’s a genius move by Lisa Madigan (Illinois Attorney General, and potential dragonslayer).
In short, Blagojevich makes $177,000 a year that he’s not inclined to give up by resigning on his own (he needs that money, and will have to be dragged from office kicking and screaming). Impeachment in Springfield means the House would have to hear the impeachment case — and 60 of the 118 members would need to vote to move the case forward to the state Senate. If that happened, then stage two of the impeachment proceedings would begin, which would be a trial in the Illinois state Senate. It takes 2/3 of state senators to convict: so that would be 39 of the 59 senators. If Blagojevich was found guilty, he would be removed. This process would take months, and would literaly open the gates of political Hell in Illinois.
Enter Lisa Madigan with a much faster option: instead of going the impeachment route, she wants to take Blagojevich to the Illinois Supreme Court, where she would argued the federal complaint against Blagojevich renders him incapable, under the Illinois Constitution, to discharge his duties as Governor.
How it would work: The Illinois Constitution is vague enough that she could argue the governor’s corruption charges are enough to be considered a “disability”—a condition typically associated with physical or mental issues.
How else it might work: Another portion of the Constitution opens the door to considering whether Blagojevich is “seriously impeded in the exercise of his powers.” The argument again is that the taint of the allegations—that the governor sought to trade official state actions for personal gain—means he can’t govern.
If Madigan succeeds, she’d be a hero in the state for removing Blagojevich from office and avoiding months, if not years, of stalemate with him, and the crippled state government that would inherently come with Blagojevich refusing to leave office despite constant daily pressure for his exit.
Madigan has her sight set on a run for Governor herself in 2010. It would be a great boost to her candidacy to be the woman who forced Blagojevich out of office with this strategic maneuver.
If elected, she’d be the first female Governor of Illinois – and a real dragonslayer in her own right.