Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Right On, Right On, Right On

Michael Moore riffing on the sins of Sanjay Gupta, CNN and the MSM. Gogogogogogogogo. Admit it -- you, yourself, have often yelled at the TV set with similar passion when Wolfie or another of the mocking bobbleheads is twisting reality to suit the overlords, haven't you? Gupta's review of Sicko that precipitated Moore's rant.

On the ever widening impeachment front, there's this. I hope they don't shoot it out of the sky. Nothing is impossible these days in the Bush-Cheney Land of a Thousand Nightmares.

July 11, 2007 at 09:00 AM in Film, Healthcare, Impeachment, Iraq War, Media | Permalink | Comments (2)

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Public Down on Libby Commutation, Up on Impeachment

As reported at Pollster.com:

A new American Research Group national survey of 1,100 adults (conducted 7/3 through 7/5) finds:

  • 31% approve of "President George W. Bush commuting the 30-month prison sentence of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby while leaving intact Mr. Libby's conviction for perjury and obstruction of justice in the CIA leak case;" 64% disapprove.
  • 11% favor a complete presidential pardon for Libby; 84% oppose.
  • 45% favor "the US House of Representatives beginning impeachment proceedings against President George W. Bush;" 46% oppose.
  • 54% favor "US House of Representatives beginning impeachment proceedings against Vice President Dick Cheney;" 40% oppose.

Then you've got General William Odom, Reagan's NSA Chief, suggesting a way to get Bush to get out of Iraq that is based on a threat of impeachment for the "high crime" of sacrificing the lives of troops for "his own personal interest":

As reported on Think Progress:

Reagan’s NSA Chief: Withdraw funds, pull out, impeach. Gen. William Odom, the former head of the National Security Agency under President Reagan, writes that Congress should begin cutting off funds for Iraq and must force Bush to begin a withdrawal before he leaves office:

To force him to begin a withdrawal before then, the first step should be to rally the public by providing an honest and candid definition of what “supporting the troops” really means and pointing out who is and who is not supporting our troops at war. The next step should be a flat refusal to appropriate money for to be used in Iraq for anything but withdrawal operations with a clear deadline for completion.

The final step should be to put that president on notice that if ignores this legislative action and tries to extort Congress into providing funds by keeping U.S. forces in peril, impeachment proceeding will proceed in the House of Representatives. Such presidential behavior surely would constitute the “high crime” of squandering the lives of soldiers and Marines for his own personal interest.

July 8, 2007 at 01:50 PM in Crime, Impeachment, Iraq War | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

When In the Course of Human Events ...


Olbermann Special Comment: Bush, Cheney Should Resign
Keith Olbermann, MSNBC Countdown
Tuesday 03 July 2007

Text version:

"I didn't vote for him," an American once said, "But he's my president, and I hope he does a good job."

That - on this eve of the 4th of July - is the essence of this democracy, in 17 words. And that is what President Bush threw away yesterday in commuting the sentence of Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

The man who said those 17 words - improbably enough - was the actor John Wayne. And Wayne, an ultra-conservative, said them, when he learned of the hair's-breadth election of John F. Kennedy instead of his personal favorite, Richard Nixon in 1960.

"I didn't vote for him but he's my president, and I hope he does a good job."

The sentiment was doubtlessly expressed earlier, but there is something especially appropriate about hearing it, now, in Wayne's voice: The crisp matter-of-fact acknowledgement that we have survived, even though for nearly two centuries now, our Commander-in-Chief has also served, simultaneously, as the head of one political party and often the scourge of all others.

We as citizens must, at some point, ignore a president's partisanship. Not that we may prosper as a nation, not that we may achieve, not that we may lead the world - but merely that we may function.

But just as essential to the seventeen words of John Wayne, is an implicit trust - a sacred trust: That the president for whom so many did not vote, can in turn suspend his political self long enough, and for matters imperative enough, to conduct himself solely for the benefit of the entire Republic.

Our generation's willingness to state "we didn't vote for him, but he's our president, and we hope he does a good job," was tested in the crucible of history, and earlier than most.

And in circumstances more tragic and threatening. And we did that with which history tasked us.

We enveloped our President in 2001. And those who did not believe he should have been elected - indeed those who did not believe he had been elected - willingly lowered their voices and assented to the sacred oath of non-partisanship.

And George W. Bush took our assent, and re-configured it, and honed it, and shaped it to a razor-sharp point and stabbed this nation in the back with it.

Were there any remaining lingering doubt otherwise, or any remaining lingering hope, it ended yesterday when Mr. Bush commuted the prison sentence of one of his own staffers.

Did so even before the appeals process was complete; did so without as much as a courtesy consultation with the Department of Justice; did so despite what James Madison - at the Constitutional Convention - said about impeaching any president who pardoned or sheltered those who had committed crimes "advised by" that president; did so without the slightest concern that even the most detached of citizens must look at the chain of events and wonder: To what degree was Mr. Libby told: break the law however you wish - the President will keep you out of prison?

In that moment, Mr. Bush, you broke that fundamental compact between yourself and the majority of this nation's citizens - the ones who did not cast votes for you. In that moment, Mr. Bush, you ceased to be the President of the United States. In that moment, Mr. Bush, you became merely the President of a rabid and irresponsible corner of the Republican Party. And this is too important a time, Sir, to have a commander-in-chief who puts party over nation.

This has been, of course, the gathering legacy of this Administration. Few of its decisions have escaped the stain of politics. The extraordinary Karl Rove has spoken of "a permanent Republican majority," as if such a thing - or a permanent Democratic majority - is not antithetical to that upon which rests: our country, our history, our revolution, our freedoms.

Yet our Democracy has survived shrewder men than Karl Rove. And it has survived the frequent stain of politics upon the fabric of government. But this administration, with ever-increasing insistence and almost theocratic zealotry, has turned that stain into a massive oil spill.

The protection of the environment is turned over to those of one political party, who will financially benefit from the rape of the environment. The protections of the Constitution are turned over to those of one political party, who believe those protections unnecessary and extravagant and quaint.

The enforcement of the laws is turned over to those of one political party, who will swear beforehand that they will not enforce those laws. The choice between war and peace is turned over to those of one political party, who stand to gain vast wealth by ensuring that there is never peace, but only war.

And now, when just one cooked book gets corrected by an honest auditor, when just one trampling of the inherent and inviolable fairness of government is rejected by an impartial judge, when just one wild-eyed partisan is stopped by the figure of blind justice, this President decides that he, and not the law, must prevail.

I accuse you, Mr. Bush, of lying this country into war.

I accuse you of fabricating in the minds of your own people, a false implied link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11.

I accuse you of firing the generals who told you that the plans for Iraq were disastrously insufficient.

I accuse you of causing in Iraq the needless deaths of 3,586 of our brothers and sons, and sisters and daughters, and friends and neighbors.

I accuse you of subverting the Constitution, not in some misguided but sincerely-motivated struggle to combat terrorists, but to stifle dissent.

I accuse you of fomenting fear among your own people, of creating the very terror you claim to have fought.

I accuse you of exploiting that unreasoning fear, the natural fear of your own people who just want to live their lives in peace, as a political tool to slander your critics and libel your opponents.

I accuse you of handing part of this Republic over to a Vice President who is without conscience, and letting him run roughshod over it.

And I accuse you now, Mr. Bush, of giving, through that Vice President, carte blanche to Mr. Libby, to help defame Ambassador Joseph Wilson by any means necessary, to lie to Grand Juries and Special Counsel and before a court, in order to protect the mechanisms and particulars of that defamation, with your guarantee that Libby would never see prison, and, in so doing, as Ambassador Wilson himself phrased it here last night, of becoming an accessory to the obstruction of justice.

When President Nixon ordered the firing of the Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox during the infamous "Saturday Night Massacre" on October 20th, 1973, Cox initially responded tersely, and ominously.

"Whether ours shall be a government of laws and not of men, is now for Congress, and ultimately, the American people."

President Nixon did not understand how he had crystallized the issue of Watergate for the American people.

It had been about the obscure meaning behind an attempt to break in to a rival party's headquarters; and the labyrinthine effort to cover-up that break-in and the related crimes.

And in one night, Nixon transformed it.

Watergate - instantaneously - became a simpler issue: a President overruling the inexorable march of the law of insisting - in a way that resonated viscerally with millions who had not previously understood - that he was the law.

Not the Constitution. Not the Congress. Not the Courts. Just him.

Just - Mr. Bush - as you did, yesterday.

The twists and turns of Plame-Gate, of your precise and intricate lies that sent us into this bottomless pit of Iraq; your lies upon the lies to discredit Joe Wilson; your lies upon the lies upon the lies to throw the sand at the "referee" of Prosecutor Fitzgerald's analogy. These are complex and often painful to follow, and too much, perhaps, for the average citizen.

But when other citizens render a verdict against your man, Mr. Bush - and then you spit in the faces of those jurors and that judge and the judges who were yet to hear the appeal - the average citizen understands that, Sir.

It's the fixed ballgame and the rigged casino and the pre-arranged lottery all rolled into one - and it stinks. And they know it.

Nixon's mistake, the last and most fatal of them, the firing of Archibald Cox, was enough to cost him the presidency. And in the end, even Richard Nixon could say he could not put this nation through an impeachment.

It was far too late for it to matter then, but as the decades unfold, that single final gesture of non-partisanship, of acknowledged responsibility not to self, not to party, not to "base," but to country, echoes loudly into history. Even Richard Nixon knew it was time to resign

Would that you could say that, Mr. Bush. And that you could say it for Mr. Cheney. You both crossed the Rubicon yesterday. Which one of you chose the route, no longer matters. Which is the ventriloquist, and which the dummy, is irrelevant.

But that you have twisted the machinery of government into nothing more than a tawdry machine of politics, is the only fact that remains relevant.

It is nearly July 4th, Mr. Bush, the commemoration of the moment we Americans decided that rather than live under a King who made up the laws, or erased them, or ignored them - or commuted the sentences of those rightly convicted under them - we would force our independence, and regain our sacred freedoms.

We of this time - and our leaders in Congress, of both parties - must now live up to those standards which echo through our history: Pressure, negotiate, impeach - get you, Mr. Bush, and Mr. Cheney, two men who are now perilous to our Democracy, away from its helm.

For you, Mr. Bush, and for Mr. Cheney, there is a lesser task. You need merely achieve a very low threshold indeed. Display just that iota of patriotism which Richard Nixon showed, on August 9th, 1974.

Resign.

And give us someone - anyone - about whom all of us might yet be able to quote John Wayne, and say, "I didn't vote for him, but he's my president, and I hope he does a good job."

[emphasis mine]

July 4, 2007 at 11:11 AM in Civil Liberties, Crime, Current Affairs, Impeachment, Iraq War, Media | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Joe Wilson: Bush & Cronies "Corrupt to the Core"


Keith Olbermann speaks to former Amb. Joe Wilson by phone.

Backlash is exploding against Bush's decision to become a part of the obstruction of justice plot for which Scooter Libby was convicted and sentenced. Unofficial online polls at news outlets are running 70-75% AGAINST Bush's decision to "commute" Libby's jail sentence, and everyone from Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to bloggers to prominent attorneys to Democratic leaders are speaking out strongly against the move. Of course Bush doesn't care. How much lower can his approval rating go? And there's always that intransigent 25% or so of our population that sticks with Bush no matter what he does or how he does it. They're enthusiastic about the commutation in that unreasoning, hypocritical way of theirs.

How would you answer this post on Firedoglake about the strategy of the Dems in the face of the belligerent stonewalling and criminalities of the Bush Administration? Excerpt:

Ask yourself this: suppose the Democrats had announced weeks/months ago that impeachment was “on the table,” that they were deeply concerned about the Administration’s abuse of power, that it was undermining the Constitution and the rule of law across the board. There’s lots more you could add to the list, but you get the idea. Suppose they had said that impeachment wasn’t what they’d planned, and they certainly didn’t need it to retake the White House in 2008, but that they had become so concerned about the Administration’s blatant lawlessness that they wanted to make sure a vehicle was in place before then, if it seemed needed to prevent irretrievable damage.

Suppose they had also said that the Administration’s very acts of stonewalling every investigation being conducted to uncover wrongdoing could be viewed as an abuse of power, a coverup and potential support for an article of impeachment. For example, take the inquiry into whether the Administration had been careless in protecting national security secrets and assets; were they still trying to coverup the lying? Suppose that had been the setting yesterday, just before the President slipped his commutation into the media.

1. Would the President have hestitated in his actions yesterday?

2. Would the President have paid a higher price for his actions? e.g., would the public be more likely to see yesterday’s actions as a confirmation of what the Democrats had been saying? Would that give the Republican’s pause in defending it?

3. Would Democrats be in better shape both politically and legally to respond to the White House tactics regarding subpoenas and other investigative actions?

4. Would the Democrats be in better or worse shape for making the argument that the regime does not deserve to be in office, and that hence, removing them from office was now a more legitimate question?

5. Would the Democrats be in better or worse shape for the 2008 elections?

6. Would the country be in a better position to use its constitutional mechanisms to defend the rule of law, in a way that would strengthen those mechanisms for the future?

That's a yes or better to all six questions, isn't it? As I've said before, someone needs to teach the Dems in Washington how to play poker .... and SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER!

July 3, 2007 at 01:41 PM in Crime, Democratic Party, Impeachment | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Impeach Gonzales Part 2

A second short video from Brave New Films and Democracy for America. Psst ... do something. If you haven't yet signed the petition, now's the time. Visit ImpeachGonzales.com. Here's a link to an ad (pdf) that Democracy for America is running in select newspapers, including today's edition of The Hill and this week's New York Observer, and ads later this week in the Detroit Metro Times and Los Angeles Daily News. Click to donate to DFA to help them pay for their ad campaign. Pass it on.

The second phase of the Impeach Gonzales Campaign comes at time when the movement against Gonzales is building from the grassroots and as former allies like the League of United Latin American Citizens and La Raza distance themselves from him.

"Americans around the country are standing up to voice opposition to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and his politicization of the Department of Justice," said Democracy for America Chair Jim Dean. "Our message is clear: Impeach Gonzales."

"President Bush will not fire the Attorney General, but the American people can call for his Impeachment," said Filmmaker Robert Greenwald who directed the Impeach Gonzalez video. "The video shows Gonzales has no respect for the truth, for the rules of Congress and for the people of this country. How can he lead our U.S. Justice Department?"

The petition on the website will be sent to all members of the House Judiciary committee, who can begin the impeachment process as outlined in Article II of the U.S. Constitution. This massive impeachment call comes at a time when leaders in both houses are calling for No Confidence Votes against the Attorney General.

Founded by Governor Howard Dean in 2004, Democracy for America is a political action committee dedicated to campaign training, grassroots activism and supporting progressive candidates with a backbone at all levels of government - from the School Board to the Presidency. Robert Greenwald's Brave New Films uses film and viral video to create social change.

May 30, 2007 at 12:34 PM in Crime, DFA, Ethics & Campaign Reform, Film, Impeachment, U.S. Attorney Iglesias | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 27, 2007

Albuquerque A28 Action

From ABQ4IMPEACHMENT: www.ABQ4.com

Saturday, April 28, 2007
Robinson Park, 8th Street & Central, Albq,, 11 AM


Angry Democrats! Disillusioned Republicans! Furious Independents! Show up! Be counted! Protest!  Rally! Show your outrage! IMPEACH GEORGE BUSH! We've got to put pressure on both the Republicans and the Democrats to get this done. If you don't love the Constitution, you do not love your country.  We have an Executive gone amuck! Meet at the Park. March a copy of the Constitution to Heather!

We'll try to spell "IMPEACH" out of real, activist patriots at the park. We'll have some speakers giving reasons for impeachment and which ones to pursue. David Hilliard, co-founder of the Black Panther Party will talk about impeachable offenses. Rick Burnley, peace poet laureate, will give a summation of the slime's crimes in rhyme! We'll enumerate actions you can sign up for or do by yourself, Brave One...
Lastly, we'll march a big copy of the Constitution down to Heather's to leave at her doorstep. After we're there, we can break up and join the Cinco de Mayo celebrations at the Civic Plaza! What a wonderful city!

On April 27th, we will have a sign making party at the Peace and Justice Center at 6:30 PM at 202 Harvard SE.  Bring your own materials, but feel free to use ours, as well!

This is Albuquerque's part of the A28 coalition of national groups dedicated to the impeachment of George Bush and The World Can't Wait, who has been driving this movement from the start.

MAP TO ROBINSON PARK and march path

IKE
Paul Eichhorn
[email protected]
505-270-4414

ABQ4IMPEACHMENT
www.ABQ4.com
The World Can't Wait
www.worldcantwait.org
The April 28 Coalition
www.A28.com

April 27, 2007 at 11:00 AM in Events, Impeachment | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Happy Springtime (Bush Is Over)

Music video presented by JTMP.org and performed by Op-Critical featuring the Harmonic Angels. Please see BushIsOver.org , www.A28.org, and AfterDowningStreet.org to be a part of this rebirth movement.

Iraq Casualty Count: U.S. Troop Deaths 3,333 (85 this month). U.S. Non-Mortal Casualties 26,188. Untold Iraqi Security Force and Civilian Wounded and Dead. War in Iraq Costs: $420,320,000,000 and counting.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich has introduced articles of impeachment against Cheney. Learn more.

A28 impeachment events everywhere on Saturday. Find one near you: http://www.a28.org

Also visit: http://www.impeach07.org

Impeachment Put on Table at Capitol Today
Submitted by davidswanson on Wed, 2007-04-25 23:15.

At noon today a distinguished group of public elected officials, prominent voices of conscience, actors and artists, and military families gathered in front of the U.S. Capitol to call for the impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

With debate sharpening between Congress and administration over including withdrawal dates from Iraq in the Supplemental Spending Bill, today's press conference continued the growing momentum against the Bush Administration. Dennis Kucinich, having filed an impeachment resolution Tuesday against Vice President Cheney appeared at today's press conference and said that yesterday the press said he was alone in calling for impeachment. Today standing together with the 100 of us gathered in front of the Capitol, he declared that he is not alone, he is standing with the people for impeachment.

Among today's speakers were Mayor Rocky Anderson (Salt Lake City); Pultizer Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges; Daniel Ellsberg; Cindy Sheehan; World Can't Wait Director, Debra Sweet; The Nation correspondent, John Nichols; co-founder of Afterdowningstreet.org, David Swanson; and Washington State legislator, Eric Oemig.

Several speakers brought out the full array of crimes of the Bush Administration. Chris Hedges said: "The President is guilty, in short, of what in legal circles is known as the "crime of aggression." And, if we as citizens do not hold him accountable for these crimes, if we do not begin the process of impeachment, we will be complicit in the codification of a new world order, one that will have terrifying consequences."

April 25, 2007 at 11:23 PM in Impeachment, Iraq War, Music, Peace, Visuals | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, April 23, 2007

A28: Got Colored Cups? Live Near a Highway with a Chain Link Fence?

Cups
Santa Barbara City College

You can see more examples at After Downing Street. And you, too, can create an event and/or sign up for one at the April 28 IMPEACH website. Here's one event planned for Albuquerque on April 28:

We’ll use our bodies to spell out “Impeach” on the lawn, take pictures from the hotel next door, have a rally, reviewing impeachable offenses and march a copy of the contstitution to Heather Wilson’s office. David Hilliard, one of the founders of the Black Panther Party will talk about violations of the Constitution. Meet at Robinson Park, 8th Street and Central, 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM.

Looking for volunteers to help me lay out “IMPEACH” on the grass before the rally at 10:00 AM, volunteer to be a peace keeper to help guide the march safely to Heather’s place, to make signs, and to take photos for me to use for flyers for the next event. The goal for our “human mural” on the lawn is 200 people, so please sign up and tell your friends! Contact [email protected] or 505-270-4414. Please sign up to participate here.

A28 describes their nationwide effort as follows:

Anybody can start an A28 action. It can be as small as writing it on the sidewalk in chalk or as large as organizing 2,000 people on a beach to make a human mural. Be creative! Some of the ways that people are talking about spelling it out include: signs, gigantic lasers, toy soldiers, stencils, LED throwies, freewayblogging, banner drops, light projections, t-shirts, rocks, skydivers, skywriters, peaches, christmas lights, flags and balloons. If you're ready to get an action going in your community, please sign up here.

April 23, 2007 at 08:46 AM in Impeachment | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 20, 2007

Vermont Senate Votes to Impeach Bush, Cheney

Unlike New Mexico, where nine Democrats joined Republicans on a procedural maneuver to kill a NM Senate Joint Memorial seeking impeachment of Bush and Cheney during this year's Legislative Session, Vermont's Senate today voted 16-9 for a similar measure. As reported this morning by the Associated Press:

MONTPELIER, Vt. - Vermont senators voted Friday to call for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, saying their actions have raised "serious questions of constitutionality."

... The resolution says Bush and Cheney's actions in the U.S. and abroad, including in Iraq, "raise serious questions of constitutionality, statutory legality, and abuse of the public trust."

"I think it's going to have a tremendous political effect, a tremendous political effect on public discourse about what to do about this president," said James Leas, a vocal advocate of withdrawing troops from Iraq and impeaching Bush and Cheney.

... Democratic House Speaker Gaye Symington has kept a similar resolution from reaching the floor in her chamber. She argued that an impeachment resolution would be partisan and divisive and that it would distract Washington from efforts to get the United States out of Iraq, which she says is more important.

... Forty towns voted in favor of similar nonbinding impeachment resolutions at their annual town meetings in March.

To trace what happened with New Mexico's legislative impeachment resolution, check our archive of impeachment posts.

April 20, 2007 at 09:18 AM in Impeachment, NM Legislature 2007 | Permalink | Comments (9)

Saturday, April 07, 2007

NM Domestic Partnership Act: Wait Till Next Year

Yes, catching up after a vacation is a you-know-what. Sadly, New Mexico's domestic partnership bill died at the Legislative Special Session. Insight New Mexico has the story (and audio clips from Peter Simonson of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico). Equality New Mexico reports that Governor Richardson has promised to put domestic partnership on the call for the thirty-day 2008 NM Legislative Session next January.

This year's Domestic Partnership Act passed the NM House THREE times -- once during its initial trip to the House Floor, once to restore the bill after it was gutted by the Senate, and once during the Special Session. Essenatially, it was stripped of its meaning and killed in the final hours of the regular Session by one vote. This post summarizes what happened. Four Democratic Senators voted with Republicans to kill the bill: Tim Jennings (Roswell), John Arthur Smith (Deming), Lidio Rainaldi (Gallup) and Carlos Cisneros (Questa). Opposition by the first three was anticipated, but Cisneros, for unknown reasons, suddenly switched sides. Sen. Cisneros wins my own personal Democratic Turncoat of the 2007 Legislative Session Award for this vote, as well as the one he cast (with 8 other Dem Senators) to deny the NM impeachment bill a floor debate in the Senate.

Sen. Cisneros has long been a champion of environmental, health care and other liberal causes, so it seems entirely out of character that he voted as he did in these two instances. Who knows what kinds of political pressures convinced him to vote as he did or when they came from. Maybe his thinking was still muddled because of the whack on the head with a hammer he got from his then wife, Patsy, when she caught him at a cabin with another woman in May of 2005. You can't make this stuff up. I just hope he didn't have the nerve to kill the domestic partnership bill on "moral" grounds. Maybe he'll regain his senses by next January.

Should you want to torture yourself, you can refresh yourself on our coverage of the ups and downs of this (and other) legislation by visiting our 2007 Legislative Session post archive. Also see State Senator Dede Feldman's blog post on the wrap-up of the nightmarish Special Session.

April 7, 2007 at 12:32 PM in Civil Liberties, Democratic Party, GLBT Rights, Impeachment, NM Legislature 2007 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Alibi Focuses on NM Impeachment Effort in Latest Edition

Alibi

The unsuccessful impeachment effort in New Mexico is still making waves and getting media coverage. Why? One reason is that the initiative was ultimately stopped by Democrats. These days, many rank and file Dems feel they have two forces working against them -- right wing Bushies and leaders of their own Party. All too often we're being stonewalled from the right and from within. Too many Dem officeholders, candidates and power brokers still seem paralyzed, afraid to risk the wrath of right wing criticism and smears. Meanwhile, polls consistently show that public opinion is on the side of the Dem activists. Voters want decisive action to stem the damage the Bush administration continues to inflict on both domestic and foreign affairs -- not more excuses on why we can't act now.

The latest edition of the Alibi focuses on the impeachment battle that occurred during New Mexico's regular Legislative Session that ended last Saturday. In the end, nine Democratic Senators joined with Republicans to kill the resolution (SJR 5) before it was allowed the floor debate it had earned by passage through three Senate Committees. In their News/Opinion section, James Scarantino describes the Democratic betrayal, led by Senate President Pro-Tempore Ben Altamirano, in a piece entitled, "Democrats Thumb Their Noses at Democrats." You might say. As to an explanation for the defection of the Dems, Scarantino reports:

I asked Altamirano’s office why he switched from seconding the motion for the impeachment resolution in committee to killing it on the Senate floor. Altamirano has yet to explain himself. Sen. John Arthur Smith reportedly told one activist he opposed the resolution because “you can’t impeach someone for being stupid.” I haven’t seen any explanation from the others.

In their Features section, the Alibi's editor, Christie Chisholm, comments on The Year of Impeachment and presents the views of Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino (D-Albuquerque), one of the bill's main sponsors along with Sen. John Grubesic, contrasted by the negative response to the effort by Republican Sen. Rod Adair (R-Roswell). You can find the articles here.

Here's a sample of what Adair offers to argue that the impeachment effort is merely about policy differences and hatred, not serious crimes and misdemeanors against the constitution and bill of rights:

The fact that the leaders of the impeachment "mini movements" in a couple of states are smart enough to couch their resolutions in terms that make them look like indictments for "crimes" does not mask the real motivation for these activists. This becomes most obvious when speakers go off script at hearings and talk about the one public policy motivator that sets them off to start with: the war in Iraq. That's what the entire issue is based on. Everything else is filler. The Bush haters are Bush haters for the very reasons mentioned in the New Mexico Senate Judiciary Committee meeting this week: He is a friend of Israel, an opponent of Islamo-fascism and is determined to fight the terrorist menace—with or without support from France, Germany or anyone else deemed to be necessary for us to convince.

I find it sad that at least nine Democratic State Senators apparently agree with Rod Adair's reasoning over that of the large numbers of citizen lobbyists who worked so hard for the effort, and of Senators Ortiz y Pino, Grubesic and the other Dem Senators who voted to support the resolution. At the very least, they clearly aren't up to the task of taking legitimate actions available to them to stop Bush's dishonest, deadly and anti-democratic agenda. What are they afraid of? The views of their fellow Democrats who supported their campaigns and voted them into office?

To read our previous coverage of New Mexico's impeachment effort, visit our impeachment post archive.

March 20, 2007 at 11:07 AM in Democratic Party, Impeachment, NM Legislature 2007 | Permalink | Comments (6)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

National Attention Continues on NM Dems Killing Impeachment Resolution

Was it Gov. Bill Richardson, Sen. Jeff Bingaman, Rep. Tom Udall or someone else in a leadership role in the Democratic Party who ordered SJR 5, the New Mexico impeachment resolution, killed before it got to the floor of the NM Senate? David Lindorff examines the odd parliamentary manueuver used to preclude debate of the measure on the floor of the NM Senate, "Democrats Kill Democracy and Protect a Criminal Presidency in New Mexico". The article also ponders who may have called the shots on the strategy. His piece has been published on BuzzFlash and other progressive national news outlets and blogs.

As far as I know, it's unprecedented to have a measure that's been approved by three Senate committees blocked from having a floor debate in the NM Senate. It certainly appears that something anti-democratic and underhanded happened between the time SJR 5 was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee and it was killed by a refusal to accept the Committee's "Do Pass" report. Speculation continues here and nationally as to just exactly what that was and who was behind it.

Editor's Note: To access our previous coverage of the New Mexico impeachment issue, visit our impeachment post archive.

March 15, 2007 at 10:38 AM in Democratic Party, Impeachment, NM Legislature 2007 | Permalink | Comments (4)