tagged w/ Accountability
Marijuana law reformers continue to take the phrase “all politics is local” to heart.
Over the past decade, grassroots activists in numerous towns and municipalities — including Seattle, Washington; Columbia, Missouri; Santa Cruz, Oakland, San Francisco, and Santa Barbara, California; and Denver, Colorado — have successfully campaigned for local ordinances making the enforcement of pot possession laws their city’s lowest law enforcement priority.
This year, a coalition of activists — led by the University of Arkansas chapter of NORML and the Alliance for Drug Reform Policy — have placed a similar proposal on the ballot in Fayetteville, Arkansas (population: 67,000).
If passed, the city will become the second Arkansas municipality in recent years to enact marijuana ‘deprioritization.’ (NORML’s state affiliate championed a similar measure in Eureka Springs in 2006.)
In the days leading up to November 4th, most Americans attention will be directed toward Washington, DC and the Presidential election race. But while we remain focused on national politics let’s not forget about the significant changes taking place locally — one community at a time.
NORML applauds the work of Sensible Fayetteville and the efforts of other local — and often unrecognized activists — not only what they’ve already achieved, but also (and especially) for what they will accomplish in the future.Marijuana law reformers continue to take the phrase “all politics is... more
Something is clearly wrong with the priorities of immigration enforcement.
The first of the 388 workers arrested in the immigration raid on the Agriprocessors meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa, were deported last week, having spent five months in federal prison. Their crime? Giving a bad Social Security number to the company to get hired. Among them will be a young man who had his eyes covered with duct tape by a supervisor on the line, who then beat him with a meathook. The supervisor is still on the job.
Postville was one of the many recent immigration raids leading to criminal charges and deportations for thousands of people. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff calls this "closing the back door." Meanwhile, his department seeks to "open the front door" by establishing new guest worker programs called "close to slavery" by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Something is clearly wrong with the priorities of immigration enforcement. Hungry and desperate workers go to jail and get deported. The government protects employers and seeks to turn a family-based immigration system into their managed labor supply. Yet national political campaigns say less and less about it. Immigrant Latino and Asian communities feel increasingly afraid and frustrated. Politicians want their votes, but avoid talking about the rising wave of arrests, imprisonment and deportations.
This month, national demonstrations across the nation are protesting the silence, asking candidates to speak out. Immigrant communities expect a new deal from a new administration, especially from Democrats. They want a new president to take swift and decisive action to give human rights a priority over fear, and recognize immigrants as people, not just a source of cheap labor.
In its first 100 days, a new administration could take these simple steps to benefit immigrants and working families:
• Stop Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from seeking serious federal criminal charges, with incarceration in privately run prisons, for lacking papers or for bad Social Security numbers.
• Stop raiding workplaces, especially where workers are trying to organize unions or enforce wage and hour laws. This would help all workers, not just immigrants, to raise low wages.
• Double the paltry 742 federal inspectors responsible for all US wage and hour violations, and focus on industries where immigrants are concentrated. The National Labor Relations Board could target employers who use immigration threats to violate union rights.
• Halt community sweeps, where agents use warrants for one or two people to detain and deport dozens of others. End the government's campaign to repeal local sanctuary ordinances, and to drag local law enforcement into immigration raids.
• Allow all workers to apply for a Social Security number and pay legally into the system that benefits everyone. Social Security numbers should be used for their true purpose - paying retirement and disability benefits - not to fire immigrants from their jobs and send them to prison.
• Reestablish worker protections ended under Bush on existing guest worker programs, force employers to hire domestically first, and decertify any contractor guilty of labor violations.
• Restore human rights in border communities, stop construction of the border wall between the US and Mexico, and disband the Operation Streamline federal court, where scores of young border crossers are sent to prison in chains every day.Something is clearly wrong with the priorities of immigration enforcement.
The attack, which killed eight, was labeled "terrorist aggression" by Syria and is an unexpected expansion of the Iraq war.
Senior U.S. officials claimed last night that the head of a Syrian network responsible for smuggling foreign fighters, weapons and cash into Iraq had been killed in Syria during a raid by U.S. special forces that sparked strong condemnation from Damascus.
The Syrian foreign minister, Walid al-Moualem said the raid had killed eight civilians and was an act of "criminal and terrorist aggression." Speaking at a news conference in London, he warned that Damascus would defend itself against any such future attack.
Sunday's raid, 10km from the Iraqi border, took place in daylight and therefore was "not a mistake," he said.
The rare attack into Syria marks an unexpected expansion of the war in Iraq and comes as the level of fighting drops to its lowest level for four years.
"We are taking matters into our own hands," said a U.S. officer in Washington, confirming that American commandos had entered Syria on Sunday evening to attack a network of guerrillas linked to al-Qa'ida.
A U.S. counter-terrorism official claimed that the target of the raid was an Iraqi smuggler called Abu Ghadiya who enabled fighters to cross the Syria-Iraq border. One official said the man had been killed in the compound which had come under attack.
He said Abu Ghadiya was the nom de guerre of Badran Turki Hisham al-Mazididih, a native of Mosul and an aide of al-Qa'ida's Iraqi leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was killed two years ago. The official told the Associated Press that Abu Ghadiya had been the head of the single most important foreign fighter cell that had bedeviled Iraq since the U.S. invasion in 2003.
Syria said that four U.S. helicopters had carried out the raid on a construction site near the Syrian village of Sukkariyeh, 8km from the Iraq border.
Eight men had been killed and two wounded, local officials said. TV images showed a small fenced farm and a truck riddled with bullet holes. There was also a building site and a tent with food and blankets. Spent bullets were scattered around.
In Baghdad the Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said, justifying the raid, that it was launched against "terrorist groups operating from Syria against Iraq," including one which was responsible or the deaths of 13 police recruits. He said: "Iraq had asked Syria to hand over this group, which uses Syria as a base for its terrorist activities." It is not clear that the U.S. informed the Iraqi government before making its attack.The attack, which killed eight, was labeled "terrorist aggression" by Syria... more
When we want to get serious about a long-term bailout strategy, we'll start dismantling the American empire and Pentagon programs.
Wars, bases, and money. The three are inextricably tied together.
In the 1980s, for example, American support for jihadis like Osama bin Laden waging war on (Soviet) infidels who invaded and constructed bases in Afghanistan, a Muslim land, led to rage by many of the same jihadis at the bases (U.S.) infidels built in the Muslim holy land of Saudi Arabia in the 1990s. That, in turn, led to jihadis like bin Laden declaring war on those infidels, which, after September 11, 2001, led the Bush administration to launch, and then prosecute, a Global War on Terror, often from newly built bases in Muslim lands. Over the last seven years, the results of that war have been particularly disastrous for Iraqis and Afghans. Sizable numbers of Americans, however, are now beginning to suffer as well. After all, their hard-earned taxpayer dollars have been poured into wars without end, leaving the country deeply in debt and in a state of economic turmoil.
In his 1988 State of the Union message, President Ronald Reagan called the jihadis in Afghanistan "freedom fighters." They were, of course, fighting the Soviet Union then. He, too, pledged eternal enmity against the Soviet Union, which he termed an "evil empire." For years, conservatives have claimed that Reagan not only won his Afghan War, but by launching an all-out arms race, which the economically weaker Soviet Union couldn't match, bankrupted the Soviets and so brought their empire down.
While that version of history may be disputed, today, it is entirely possible that one of Reagan's freedom fighters, Osama bin Laden, actually returned the favor by perfecting the art of financially felling a superpower. While Reagan ran up a superpower-sized tab to outspend the Soviets, bin Laden has done it on the cheap. Essentially for the cost of box cutters and flight training, he got the Bush administration to spend itself into penury, without a superpower in sight.
Since bin Laden's supreme act of economic judo in 2001, the U.S. military has spent multi-billions of tax dollars on a string of bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, failed wars in both countries, and a failed effort to make good on George W. Bush's promise to bring in bin Laden "dead or alive." Despite this record, the Pentagon still has a success option in its back pocket that might help bail out the American people in this perilous economic moment. It could immediately begin to auction off its overseas empire posthaste. To head down this road, however, U.S. military leaders would first have to take a brutally honest look at the real costs, and the real utility, of their massively expensive weapons systems and, above all, those bases.
more@linkWhen we want to get serious about a long-term bailout strategy, we'll start... more
Holy crap. Is the onslaught of clean coal's internet ads driving anyone else nuts? You can't open a news website without being subjected to greenwash about the benefits of coal. It's what powers America. No duh! Coal is responsible for a majority of carbon emissions. That's the problem! It's like touting grain alcohol as a cure to alcoholism.
Talk about lipstick on a pig. Clean Coal is apparently an oxymoron that both party's candidates can support. Saying it's clean doesn't make it clean. Come on Barack, come on John. Can one of you show some leadership on this issue and stop parroting the coal industry's coal-is-great message? Coal mining is an environmental disaster and coal burning is a climate change disaster.
The technology simply doesn't exist. We're decades away from Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). The Energy Department just pulled the plug on the $1.8 billion FutureGen project, previously slated to be the first coal-fired plant with CCS.
Architecture 2030's report, The 2030 Blueprint, Solving Climate Change Saves Billions, reveals that our buildings are responsible for three quarters of our electricity use. The report calculates that building energy efficiency can produce electricity (by reducing demand) at 1/6th the cost of Coal with CCS (and one fifth the cost of nuclear).
While coal with CCS is at least 20 years out and a single nuclear plant takes 8 to 12 years to get online, energy efficiency measures can be implemented today - at today's prices with off-the-shelf materials, appliances and equipment.
So, will those who agree that clean coal is an oxymoronic (with emphasis on moronic) toxic hoax perpetrated by the coal industry to keep doing business as usual under their cap and trade schemes hold MCain's and Obama's feet to the fire on it regardless of who is "elected?" Will planet come before party?Holy crap. Is the onslaught of clean coal's internet ads driving anyone else... more
Len Aldis is Secretary of the Britain-Vietnam Friendship Society. He recently sent this open letter (item 1) to Monsanto's president and Chief Executive Officer.
Mr Hugh Grant
President and Chief Executive Officer
800 North Lindbergh Boulevard
St Louis. USA
Dear Mr Grant,
In 1961, three years after you were born, U.S. forces began their ten-year use of Agent Orange in South Vietnam. Over those years Eighty Million litres of the chemical was sprayed destroying forests, poisoning the rivers, lakes and the land. An even greater crime was the many thousands of Vietnamese people that died from the chemical and the hundreds of thousands that were crippled.
1981, six years after the American War on Vietnam ended; you joined the company that, along with others, was responsible for the manufacture of Agent Orange. Today in Vietnam there are 3.5 million people from new born babies to veterans suffering from the effects of the chemical your company made. Not to forget the many U.S. veterans also affected, like the Vietnamese many have died and are dying.
You were Mr Grant, at the time you joined Monsanto, fully aware of the effects that Agent Orange had had, you certainly knew when you became the company's president and its chief executive. Yet Mr Grant you failed to take any steps to alleviate the consequences of Monsanto's manufacture of Agent Orange. Indeed, not one word of regret to the Vietnamese victims has come from your lips despite facing lawsuit after lawsuit by victims from Vietnam, U.S. and South Korea.
Monsanto is, as you well know, the leading company involved with Genetic Modified (GM) crops. Your company has gone from creating one poison to another, both have and are still killing many thousands of people. Where does it end Mr Grant?
How can you live with the knowledge that you, and Monsanto through the use of Agent Orange and GM seeds etc are responsible for the deaths and physically crippling millions of people in the countries that your products were used and are sold?
I regret that here in my country Monsanto has also left a legacy, by its disposal of tonnes of chemical waste in a number of municipal sites. A particular site, Brofiscin Quarry in Wales, is causing acute concern by your chemical waste leaking into the water supply and into the atmosphere. Farmers nearby have reported abnormal births among their animals. Despite questions to government ministers it would appear that they, like Monsanto, are not concerned.
In August a junior minister Phil Woolas, MP from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), on the instructions of the Prime Minister, met with a group of companies that included Monsanto, Dow Chemical (one of your partners in the Agent Orange crime) to discuss introducing GM crops in the UK. This meeting and proposed policy has met with great hostility from people and organisations anxious about our food being poisoned by genetic engineering.
Thankfully, people here and in other countries are becoming more aware of the products of Monsanto and the danger they hold for the people. They are also becoming aware of the lawsuit brought by the Vietnamese people against your company and others in the U.S. Courts, and know that documents are being prepared to be placed before the U.S. Supreme Court seeking Justice for the crimes that Monsanto, Dow Chemical etc committed on the Vietnamese people.
Mr Grant, there is still time for you and your company to make amends for these crimes. Accept your responsibility for the manufacture of Agent Orange and its use on Vietnam. Make financial compensation to the victims, and their families. For many thousands of Vietnamese it is too late, they have died, their suffering is at an end, but for the present 3.5 million, their suffering continues.
Yours sincerely Len Aldis Secretary: Britain-Vietnam Friendship Society
Len Aldis is Secretary of the Britain-Vietnam Friendship Society. He recently sent... more
This is 100% citizen run goal. If you want to hold the government accountable, you have to get off your butt.
Nancy Pelosi has been George W Bush's lapdog on everything from torture to the war in Iraq.
She has said repeatedly that "Impeachment is off the table."
When we elect people to hold others who are abusing power accountable, and they don't do their job, then we hold THEM accountable.
Nancy Pelosi must go.
Donate to Cindy Sheehan, and spread the word. Everywhere I went putting these posters up, people were cheering me on, and explained how they were glad that I had thought of this, and I even got a few to commit to not only donating but also putting up posters in their towns.This is 100% citizen run goal. If you want to hold the government accountable, you... more
4 years ago
We know you're just dying to taste that delectable genetically modified alfalfa, but you'll have to wait: an appeals court today ruled that the feds must review the potential environmental effects of the biotech seeds before farmers can plant them.
The decision by a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals forces the U.S. Department of Agriculture to issue an environmental impact statement on Roundup Ready alfalfa seeds, which are made by ag giant Monsanto and would be planted exclusively by Forage Genetics International.
"It’s a historic moment of a court requiring an environmental review, and until it's done Monsanto can't plant or sell its seed," said Kevin Golden, a staff attorney for the Center for Food Safety (CFS), which along with eight other parties sued the government green-lighting the seeds. "It puts on notice the government and creators of this technology -- Monsanto in particular -- that if it wants to bring GE (genetically engineered) crops into the American agricultural system, it must do its work to show that farmers and consumers will be protected and non-GE crops won't be affected."
The decision upholds an injunction issued by a district court judge last year. CFS and other critics worry that tiny genetically modified alfalfa seeds will contaminate organic and conventional crops through cross-pollination.
"The concern is there will one day not be organic alfalfa, which is the primary food for cattle in this country," Golden said. "If you lose organic alfalfa, you lose organic cheese."
Representatives from USDA, Monsanto and Forage Genetics International didn't immediately respond for comment.
Wow, first the passing of the bill in California protecting farmers from Monsanto's frivolous greed driven lawsuits regarding transgenic pollination, and now this. Is the tide turning? I sure hope so. And as this article mentions, since alfalfa is a main source of food for cows, their round about attempt to poison our cheese and milk as well by hoping this fake alfalfa cross pollinates in the wind to ruin organic crops cows eat needs to be banned. This is truly an evil company. I have no doubt they want their seeds to cross pollinate in order to ruin organic crops to mutate them to control the market even of those farmers who do not plant their seeds! And then they sue the farmers! Good to see them being held accountable. It is more than the USDA and FDA have done in the past. These people are relentless! How much is enough?
We know you're just dying to taste that delectable genetically modified... more
NOTE: More good news from the US. This is a major step forward. California's is the 8th largest economy in the world.
EXTRACT: Currently, farmers with crops that become contaminated by patented seeds or pollen have been the target of harassing lawsuits brought by biotech patent holders, particularly Monsanto. --- --- California Legislature Passes Bill Protecting Farmers Against Monsanto Lawsuits
First State Bill Regarding Genetically Engineered Crops Awaits Governor's Signature
PRESS RELEASE, The Genetic Engineering Policy Project
August 31 2008 - A landmark piece of legislation protecting California's farmers from crippling lawsuits was passed through both legislative houses this week in an end-of-session flurry. The Senate voted 23 - 14 to support it, and the Assembly was unanimous in their support. The bill, AB 541 (Huffman, D-Marin/Sonoma), is now headed to the Governor's desk for his signature. Sponsored by diverse organizations, some of whom are traditionally opposed on farm issues, AB 541 is the first bill passed by the California legislature that brings much-needed regulation to genetically engineered (GE) crops.
"I am very pleased that my office, working with the stakeholders on both sides of this historically divisive issue, was able to find common ground and pass California's first legislation on genetic engineered crops," stated Assemblymember Huffman. "While there is still work to be done on other aspects of genetic engineering, AB 541 is an important step in establishing basic protections for California's farmers."
AB 541 enacts protections against lawsuits brought against California farmers who have not been able to prevent the inevitable - the drift of GE pollen or seed onto their land and the subsequent contamination of their non-GE crops. Currently, farmers with crops that become contaminated by patented seeds or pollen have been the target of harassing lawsuits brought by biotech patent holders, particularly Monsanto. The bill also establishes a mandatory crop sampling protocol to prevent biotech companies that are investigating alleged violations from sampling crops without the explicit permission of farmers.
AB 541 has the support of organizations traditionally on opposite sides of the GE issue, and its sponsors are confident that the Governor will sign it. The bill was sponsored by a thirteen-member coalition including Community Alliance with Family Farmers, Earthbound Farm, California Certified Organic Farmers, United Natural Foods Inc., as well as California Farmers Union and the California Farm Bureau, and several others.
"AB 541 is a move in the right direction," stated Renata Brillinger, director of the Genetic Engineering Policy Project, the coalition of organic and conventional farmers, food industry, environmental, and faith organizations sponsoring AB 541. "It provides much needed protection for farmers who typically lack the resources to fight lawsuits brought by biotech conglomerates."
A copy of the bill can be downloaded at:
This is GOOD news! I hope other states use California as a model and work on bills that also give protection to farmers sued by Monsanto out of greed. Transgenic pollution and pollination is not the fault of the farmer, and Monsanto should not be allowed to indiscriminately sue farmers trying to make a living simply because they don't plant their frankenfood.
NOTE: More good news from the US. This is a major step forward. California's is... more
WASHINGTON — It took seven years, but Charles Ulrich did something many people dream about, but few succeed at: He beat the IRS in a tax dispute.
Not only that, but tax experts say potentially millions of other taxpayers could benefit from his victory.
The accountant from Baxter, Minn., challenged the method the IRS has used for more than 20 years to tax shares and cash distributed by mutual life insurance firms to their policyholders when they reorganize as public companies.
A federal court recently agreed with his interpretation.
Read full article at link above-WASHINGTON — It took seven years, but Charles Ulrich did something many people... more
Police in Portland, OR damned by their own footage as they enact tactics to disrupt a peaceful protest.Police in Portland, OR damned by their own footage as they enact tactics to disrupt a... more
4 years ago
Footage of Protests at the Democratic National Convention in Boston in 2004.
What's changed since 2004?
What progress have we made?Footage of Protests at the Democratic National Convention in Boston in 2004.... more
4 years ago
Hi there pundits. I want you to look at yourself in the mirror.
Take a good, long, hard look. I want you to ask yourself this question, and really think about it-- What good does your column do for voters? And let's be intellectually honest about it.
The horse race style "coverage" is handled well enough by the corporate media already. Do you really think that your stats and pontifications-- which seem to be nothing more than a redux of 24 hour news network coverage-- adds anything of any value to the mix?
Does it benefit the voters, most of whom don't even understand what Single Payer Healthcare is, and have never even heard of HR 676, yet know the very real pain and frustration of being denied vital life-saving coverage by their health insurance corporation?
Does your "insight" help us to understand the platforms of the candidates? Does it help us to understand the root causes of the issues that we face in our daily lives?
Do you help us to stop the killing by allowing the voting populace to know the details of the exit strategies of all candidates? (Obama and McCain both want to leave troops in Iraq permanently, for instance.)
Telling us which demographics the Big Two politicians are polling well with-- does this give us the tools we need to make an informed decision about which candidate matches our own personal platforms?
Rehashing polls done by corporate-owned news media, with margins of error large enough that they are statistically insignificant, does not aid the average voter who is struggling to pay the bills and is looking for real solutions to the problems they face in their life. Most Americans really don't care that you've decided who is going to win.
So, I'll ask again, and I hope you do as well: What PURPOSE do you serve?
Your contributions are nothing more than an empty hall of mirrors. You, telling us, what we are supposedly telling you, that we're thinking. Why not give us something to think ABOUT?
The inane fluff you publish as a pundit distracts from the fact that there's a WAR going on-- with over a million innocent Iraqi's and over 4,000 US soldiers dead, that the US Gov't is trillions of dollars in debt, that we have a growing trade deficit with just about everybody, that the Federal Reserve is destroying the power of the US dollar, and that in America NINE TIMES the number of people who died on 9-11 die EVERY YEAR simply because they lack access to adequate health care, or were denied coverage by their insurance provider.
What are the candidates going to do about any of this? Regarding health care, both McCain and Obama both want to put your tax dollars directly in the pocket of health insurance corporations-- who play a middle man between you and your doctor, telling you what treatments your doctor can give you, not for your own health, but for the health of their shareholder's stock returns. But of course, you're not going to let us know about that. You're just going to tell us what we think about gaffes, petty branding disputes (Change? Hope? Puppies? Apple Pie?) and other such drama more appropriate to high school lunchrooms. Actually, I take that back. Your average high school student probably cares more about the platforms of the candidates than your average pundit.
You pundits chase after us, wondering what we are thinking and who we
are going to vote for so that you can make accurate predictions about
how we're going to vote, and you have nothing to offer but intellectual
cotton candy-- light, fluffy, no substance, no nutritious value, and
likely to cause tooth decay.
Only it's our society that is decaying.
Thank you for your contribution to the downfall of Democracy.
Or inversely, your total lack of any contribution whatsoever to a well informed voting population.Hi there pundits. I want you to look at yourself in the mirror.
Take a good, long,... more
4 years ago
Cynthia McKinney is using her Green Party candidacy for President to demand impartial investigations into what happened on 9-11-2001.Cynthia McKinney is using her Green Party candidacy for President to demand impartial... more
4 years ago
After weeks of collecting signatures from constituents in San Francisco's 8th Congressional District, Independent candidate Cindy Sheehan has made it onto the November ballot to oppose Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, for Pelosi's heretofore secure Congressional seat. As Sheehan told me exclusively this afternoon:
"I think this is the happiest that I have been since before Casey was killed (except when my grandson was born). Getting on the ballot as an independent in California is so difficult, but with the help of many of our friends who are committed to peace, accountability, economic equality and environmental sustainability, we have done it! The voice of the people will be on the ballot in San Francisco in November."
After the 2006 election, in which Democrats won majorities in both the Senate and the House, Americans' disgust for Congress reached a fever pitch when the new Democratic Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, instantly took impeachment off the table - thereby ensuring George W. Bush and Dick Cheney the job security to complete their second term and commit further offenses with impunity.
Sheehan's anger toward Pelosi was palpable. While other valiant patriots expressed their ire for Pelosi in emails, faxes, opeds, and camp-outs at her San Francisco home and Congressional office, Sheehan took it a step further and decided to challenge the wealthy Pelosi for her powerful seat in Congress - clearly no easy task. After an uphill battle against institutional rules and regulations designed to quash third party candidates, Sheehan showed her mettle and prevailed. As of today, after a s/heroic effort to gather the thousands of signatures needed to qualify for the November election, Cindy Sheehan became just the sixth person in the history of California to get on the ballot as a "Decline To State" candidate. According to Sheehan:
"I am even more convinced now than I was a year ago that the people of San Francisco are ready to lead the way to step outside of the dated two-party system and elect someone who truly represents San Francisco values, not party loyalties and criminal activities."After weeks of collecting signatures from constituents in San Francisco's 8th... more
When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi set out to promote her new motivational book this month, she simultaneously touched off her national why-haven't-you-impeached-the-president tour.
As she made the coast-to-coast rounds of lectures, television interviews and radio chats the past two weeks, Ms. Pelosi found herself under siege by people unhappy that she has not been motivated to try to throw President Bush out of office – even if only a few months remain before he leaves voluntarily.
In Manhattan and Los Angeles, at stops in between, on network television and on her home turf of Northern California, Ms. Pelosi has been forced to defend her pronouncement before the 2006 mid-term elections that impeachment over the administration’s push for war in Iraq was off the table.
Then she added this qualifier: “If somebody had a crime that the president had committed, that would be a different story.”
That assertion only threw fuel on the impeachment fire as advocates of removing Mr. Bush cited the 35 articles of impeachment compiled by Representative Dennis Kucinich, Democrat of Ohio, as well as accusations in a new book by author Ron Suskind of White House orders to falsify intelligence, an accusation that has been denied.
“There’s an opportunity now for us to come forward and to lay all the facts out so that she can reconsider her decision not to permit the Judiciary Committee to proceed with a full impeachment hearing,” Mr. Kucinich said in an interview with the Web site Democracy Now!
Mr. Kucinich, long a proponent of starting hearings to impeach both Mr. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, earlier this week applauded signals that the Judiciary Committee would look into the claims made by Mr. Suskind in his book.
Despite whatever resonance pursuing the president might have in progressive Democratic circles, it is not the message Democrats want to carry into an election where they need to appeal to swing voters to increase their Congressional majorities and win the White House. They would rather devote their final weeks to pushing economic relief and health care, even if they thought Mr. Bush and the conduct of the war merited impeachment hearings.
And leading Democrats argue anyway that Mr. Bush has already been tried and convicted in the court of public opinion.
“He has been impeached by current history,” said Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. “He is going down as the worst president ever. The facts are in.” [...]
The disillusionment has crystallized in a challenger for Ms. Pelosi in the person of Cindy Sheehan, the anti-war activist whose son was killed in Iraq. Ms. Sheehan and her allies collected more than 17,000 signatures to qualify her as an independent for the November ballot in San Francisco.
Click the link above to read the full article.When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi set out to promote her new motivational book this... more
4 years ago
DENVER - Two Denver Police Department undercover officers could be charged with assault and perjury after a video surfaced of them arresting a man outside Coors Field last April, according to experts.
The detectives, who didn't know there was a videotape, denied slamming the man's head in to the ground in written police reports and under oath during court testimony.
"In law enforcement we say, 'You lie, you fly.' If your word is no good, there's no need for you as an officer," said Lou Reiter, a 20-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department and current police consultant. "They're going to face the consequences of possibly never being able to testify again in a criminal matter."
The video obtained by 9NEWS, shows Detectives Michael Cordova and James Costigan arresting John Heaney on April 4 after the officers say he ran a red light on his bicycle at 20th and Blake Streets.
The detectives admit they punched, kicked and choked Heaney during the arrest. In police reports, the officers say they used excessive force because Heaney punched Cordova in the nose. Heaney denies he hit the officers.
The video also shows Cordova pulling Heaney's hair, lifting up his head and slamming it into the ground when Heaney was lying on his stomach while officers held his hands held behind his back. Two of Heaney's teeth were broken off in the head slam.
"They had him in a position of disadvantage on the ground for handcuffing. So there would have been absolutely no justification for that use of force," said Reiter. "That use of force would have been vicious and vindictive."
Cordova claims Heaney broke his $169 Nike brand sunglasses in the scuffle. Heaney was charged with criminal mischief for the sunglasses and second degree assault for allegedly punching Cordova in the nose. The assault charge carries a three-year minimum prison sentence, according to attorney Lonn Heymann.
The Denver District Attorney's office dropped all the charges against Heaney on Friday after 9NEWS showed prosecutors and police the videotape of the arrest.
"Officers face difficult tasks every day and they have to be above petty animosities and anger," said 9NEWS legal analyst Scott Robinson. "If that's why this individual was injured, that's utterly inexcusable."
Use-of-force experts say that head slams should only be used in situations that would warrant the use of deadly force because they can seriously hurt people.
"You're dealing with some vulnerable areas, you're dealing with all of the orbital fractures that could occur, you've got nose fractures, you've got all the mouth and teeth injuries and as a consequence, you're doing to induce serious injury to that person," said Reiter. "You're going to have to have justification to use that force."
Cordova joined the Denver Police Department eight years ago. In May 2005, the department awarded him the medal of honor for "displaying an act of courage that clearly distinguishes gallantry beyond the call of duty." Cordova and another officer pulled people out of a burning house.
Costigan became a police officer in 2000. Costigan and Cordova are on the vice-narcotics squad and were working on an undercover scalping sting when they arrested Heaney. The police department said it can not determine how many use of force reports have been filed against the vice-narcotics squad.
The city's independent monitor will monitor the police internal investigation and the results will be reviewed by Denver Manager of Safety Al LaCabe, according to Mayor John Hickenlooper's office.
The officers chose not to comment for this story.
Please click link for full TV report and slideshow-DENVER - Two Denver Police Department undercover officers could be charged with... more
No criminal prosecutions are planned for former Justice Department officials accused of allowing politics to influence the hiring of prosecutors, immigration judges and other career government lawyers, Attorney General Michael Mukasey said Tuesday.
No criminal prosecutions are planned for former Justice Department officials accused... more
Questions for President Bush:
If everything you warned about regarding Iraq was demonstrably false, why should you — or anyone who has supported your policies — be believed about anything regarding Iran or anything else for that matter?
If the United States is the only nation ever to use nuclear weapons in wartime against civilian populations, where does this nation get its moral authority on this issue?
On Iraq, you defer to “the commanders on the ground” to make decisions regarding war and peace. Under the U.S. Constitution, have you not surrendered your role as commander in chief?
Why have you deliberately equated “supporting the troops” with supporting your war policies — a practice that has encouraged the questioning of the loyalty and patriotism of those that have questioned your policies?
Conventional wisdom holds that “the surge” has worked and has thus vindicated you. How many Iraqis and American soldiers died during this “surge” and has your idea of “progress” made the war legal?
Questions for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi:
By taking impeachment hearings “off the table,” did you not unilaterally disarm Congress in your effort to end the Iraq war and to hold the president accountable for starting an illegal, immoral and unnecessary war?
What has Congress done to ensure that the president cannot wage yet another illegal war before his term is out?
Questions for John McCain:
You voted to prohibit U.S. military personnel from utilizing torture (”enhanced interrogation techniques”), yet you sided with the president to exempt the CIA from this prohibition. Doesn’t this loophole render the prohibition meaningless?
In response to heat from your own party, you have backed away from your own legislation calling for comprehensive immigration reform. You now state that it will come only after the border is “secure.” What is the definition of “secure” and does it involve a timeline? Is your change of position on the issue an example of “straight shooting”?
All your experience did not help you in making the decision to support the president on illegally invading and occupying Iraq. You now support an open-ended deployment in a volatile environment, depending on conditions on the ground. How much are you prepared to spend — in dollars and lives?
Questions for Barack Obama:
One of your steadfast positions in the primaries was your opposition to granting immunity to telecommunications companies that cooperated with the White House in spying on Americans without warrants. Why have you now changed positions?
The president and vice president have amassed unprecedented executive power. Will you reverse this, including ceasing the practice of signing statements that thwart the intent of Congress?
You appear to believe that the war in Afghanistan is a “just war.” How long are you prepared to stay there? How much money and how many lives are you prepared to lose?
Questions for CNN’s Lou Dobbs and other anti-immigrants:
You are always quick to point out that you have nothing against legal immigrants. However, on “the street,” this disdain (and the accompanying hate crimes) is focused on brown people. How do you, and the people you have stirred up, distinguish between “legal” and “illegal” immigrants without resorting to racial profiling?
Every evening, you tie the notion of broken borders and illegal immigration to the future of this nation. Do you honestly believe that your nightly obsession is contributing to a more perfect union?
Question for the mainstream media:
You in fact do ask the tough questions — not of the strong and powerful, but of those who question the strong and powerful. When can we expect to see a return to the journalism that is preoccupied with protecting freedoms as opposed to the bottom line?
Questions for President Bush:
If everything you warned about regarding Iraq was... more