PDHblog This is a place for members of Progressive Democrats of Hawai‘i to express their thoughts, hopes and exasperations about political happenings.

March 14, 2009

Accountability and Justice Working Group

Filed under: HI Politics,Impeach,National Politics,SHAPES platform — Tags: — BobSchacht @ 7:49 pm

The “A” in the PDH S.H.A.P.E.S. platform stands for Accountability and Justice for the Bush and Cheney administration. The national Progressive Democrats of America considers this part of their “Stop the War” priority, since most of the Constitutional excesses of the Bush & Cheney regime are related to the so-called “Global War on Terrorism.” That first priority begins:

End the War, Redirect Funding

PDA wants all troops withdrawn promptly, and war funds redirected toward social needs at home and humanitarian aid in Iraq. Toward that end, we call on the Democratic-led Congress to use its powers to 1) cut off funding that prolongs the military occupation of Iraq, and 2) fully investigate false White House claims justifying the invasion and occupation of Iraq. If such investigations lead to moves toward impeachment, so be it.

(emphasis added.)

(more…)

November 10, 2007

National Lawyers Guild Votes for Impeachment

Filed under: HI Politics,Impeach,SHAPES platform — BobSchacht @ 2:08 pm

On the same day as Kucinich was shaking things up on the floor of the house, the National Lawyers Guild held its national convention in Washington, D.C., and voted unanimously and enthusiastically for the impeachment of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney! Founded in 1937 as an alternative to the American Bar Association, the National Lawyers Guild is the oldest and largest public interest/human rights bar organization in the United States. Its headquarters are in New York and it has chapters in every state.

At their national convention, they voted unanimously and enthusiastically for the impeachment of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney! Their resolution lists more than a dozen high crimes and misdemeanors of the Bush and Cheney administration and “calls upon the U.S. House of Representatives to immediately initiate impeachment proceedings, to investigate the charges, and if the investigation supports the charges, to vote to impeach George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney as provided in the Constitution of the United States of America.” According to their press release,

The resolution provides for an NLG Impeachment Committee open to all members that will help organize and coordinate events at the local, state, and national level to build public participation in the campaign to initiate impeachment investigation, impeachment, and removal of Bush and Cheney from office without further delay.

The resolution calls on all other state and national bar associations, state and local government bodies, community organizations, labor unions, and all other citizen associations to adopt similar resolutions and to use all their resources to build the campaign demanding that Congress initiate impeachment investigation, impeach, and remove Bush and Cheney from office.

National Lawyers Guild President Marjorie Cohn said, “The war of aggression, the secret prisons, the use of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, the use of evidence obtained by torture, and the surveillance of citizens without warrants, all initiated and carried out under the tenure of Bush and Cheney, are illegal under the U.S. Constitution and international law.

The full text of the resolution (.pdf file) includes proposed articles of impeachment.

Bob

November 6, 2007

Showdown on House Floor

Filed under: 08 Presidential Hopefuls,Dennis Kucinich,Impeach,National Politics — BobSchacht @ 12:53 pm

Dennis Kucinich today introduced a new resolution on the House Floor today, H.Res. 799, that was the same, in substance, as his previously submitted H.Res.333 to impeach VP Cheney, as previously planned (see previous posts on this thread.) Shortly afterwards, as anticipated, someone (in this case, Steny Hoyer) moved to table Kucinich’s resolution. Kucinich guessed that his resolution would be tabled, but thought it would be meaningful to see who voted which way.

At first, the voting rolled out as expected, with a majority in favor of tabling the motion. It seemed certain that the motion to table would succeed, as expected.
But then something odd started happening: a few Republicans started voting against tabling the resolution. Then the fog rolled in as Republicans who had voted for tabling started flipping their votes to against. A bunch of us were watching this happen, and couldn’t believe our eyes. You can see the play-by-play over at FireDogLake in the comments to Jane Hamsher’s blog, I’m With Donna Edwards, beginning at comment #24.

After five minutes or so, the Republican majority in favor of tabling dwindled down to 50/50, and then started to reverse! Then some Democratic votes started fllipping, too! Then, wonder of wonders, the “Nays” caught up to the “Ayes”, and the vote-flipping continued. Much to our surprise, the motion to Table, which would essentially have killed it, was defeated in a landslide! 78 Democrats voted against tabling the motion.
This unexpected victory for Kucinich was a mixed blessing, because it obscured his original objective of seeing who might vote against tabling as a clue to who might vote in favor of impeachment: With more than 90% of Republicans voting against tabling, there was obviously some other scheme afoot.

Hoyer then moved to refer Kucinich’s motion to the House Judiciary Committee, where Kucinich’s other bill, H. Res. 333, is currently languishing. Kucinich insisted on a recorded vote for that, too. Almost all Democrats voted in favor of referral, and almost all Republicans voted against referral. The Democrats won the vote to refer. This will probably kill it, as the Democrats don’t want impeachment proceedings to distract them from other Important Business. As for myself, I wonder what could be more important than impeaching a war-monger VEEP who wants to bomb the heck out of Iran because… well, the reasons change on a weekly basis, but the Bush-Cheney administration has portrayed Iran as a member of the “Axis of Evil”. There are also a bunch of other high crimes and misdemeanors to choose from.
Kucinich has also announced plans to introduce a resolution of impeachment of President Bush. Some of the charges to choose from can be found here, to which we can probably add his illegal orders authorizing water-boarding.

UPDATE: Kagro X has provided his summary of today’s Kucinich motion, OK, so did you get that?, at DailyKos.

UPDATE II: A live blog of the proceedings is posted at http://impeachcheney.org
Bob

November 5, 2007

Kucinich to take impeachment to the House Floor

Filed under: 08 Presidential Hopefuls,Dennis Kucinich,Impeach,National Politics — BobSchacht @ 8:53 pm

This is a sequel to yesterday’s long blog,

Impeachment Kit for Kucinich Nov. 6 Action

David Swanson forwarded this account of Congressman Kucinich’s conference call this afternoon:

Date: Mon, 05 Nov 2007 20:25:17 -0500
From: David Swanson
Subject: [Activists] Kucinich to Move Impeachment of Bush After Cheney

Kucinich to Move Impeachment of Bush After Cheney

http://www.impeachcheney.org

By David Swanson

Congressman Dennis Kucinich said on a conference call Monday evening
that after moving to impeach Vice President Cheney on Tuesday he will
also introduce, at a future date, a resolution to impeach President
Bush. Or rather, he would have said that on the conference call if not
for several technical SNAFUs.

The call was advertised as a one-way call on which only Kucinich could
speak, but Kucinich was unable to get through because of the incredible
number of people on the call (I have no count yet, but the dings of the
new people coming on were a steady stream of noise for half an hour).

So Kucinich phoned me, and I held one of my phones up to another so that
everyone on the call could hear him. That was working fine for about 20
seconds, until the geniuses running the call chose that moment to mute
everyone except Dennis (without stopping to realize that by muting me
they were muting Dennis). So, Kucinich gave a nice speech through my
phones, but I was the only one listening.

Here’s what he said:

He is going to introduce a privileged resolution on the floor of the
U.S. House Tuesday morning to force a vote on his resolution to impeach
Cheney (H Res 333). While that bill includes offenses related to Iraq
and Iran, Kucinich plans to focus his remarks on Iran and the fact that
the current Pentagon bill includes funding to retrofit bombers to carry
15-ton bombs.

Kucinich said he would hold a press conference at 3 p.m. in 2456 Rayburn
House Office Building, Washington, D.C., and would post on his House
website and at http://impeachcheney.org an account of what transpired on
the floor.

He said that there might be an actual debate on the substance of the
charges, for which he said he was prepared, or there might be a motion
to table the matter (effectively killing it if successful), or it might
be referred to a committee. If it is sent to committee, Kucinich said,
it will be the House Judiciary Committee. I asked whether (as has been
done with impeachment resolutions in the past) he would be able to
insist on a time limit for the committee to report back. Kucinich seemed
unsure whether that could be done, but proposed that whether or not the
matter is sent to committee he might start a discharge petition as
another tool for forcing real action on the floor of the House.

Currently H Res 333 sits in the Constitution Subcommittee of the House
Judiciary Committee, where Chairman Jerrold Nadler has done nothing with
it for months.

Kucinich expressed great appreciation for what all the activist groups
and individuals on the call are doing to help promote impeachment. He
also wanted to let everyone know that he will not only continue pushing
for the impeachment of Cheney but will also take up the impeachment of
Bush with a new resolution.

This was terrific to hear. I wish I had not been the only one to hear it.

_______________________________________________

In addition to the conference call, you can read a transcript of Kucinich’s warm-up letter,

IT’S TIME TO IMPEACH CHENEY, By Congressman Dennis Kucinich, special to www.ImpeachCheney.org.

If you heard Keith Olberman’s Countdown tonight, you will welcome the idea that Kucinich will also be offering a resolution to impeach Bush, who is almost certainly guilty of the crime of authorizing torture. Bush’s nominee for AG apparently knows that, too, which led to much squirming in his seat as he was pelted with questions about waterboarding. The sophistry of his answers is revealing.

We must get our representatives to wake up, and do the right thing. If you have not already done so, review the action kit sent yesterday and do what you can. The next few days could be a critical turning point for the future of our country.

Mahalo nui loa,
Bob Schacht

November 4, 2007

Impeachment Kit for Kucinich Nov. 6 Action

Filed under: Dennis Kucinich,Impeach,National Politics — BobSchacht @ 8:15 pm

The impeachment movement is about to get a majoImpeach Cheney logor jolt!

First, a little review:
On Tue, 23 Oct 2007, the national impeachment committee of Progressive Democrats of America announced that

On Tuesday, October 23rd, in a nationwide phone call to impeach organizers presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich announced he will go before the U.S. House of Representatives on a point of personal privilege to move the impeachment of Dick Cheney.

Impeachment leader David Swanson then announced when this would take place:

Impeachment is coming to House floor on November 6th. Act now!

http://impeachcheney.org

Congressman Dennis Kucinich, whose bill to impeach Cheney has 22 sponsors, will introduce a resolution on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6.

November 6th??? November 6th??? Isn’t that the date in even-numbered years that we hold elections? Hmmm. (more…)

October 12, 2007

Help Us Build a Movement for Impeachment

Filed under: HI Politics,Impeach,National Politics,SHAPES platform — BobSchacht @ 10:45 pm

The Impeachment Coalition in Hawaii is alive! link.gif
We’ve joined with AfterDowningStreet.org to help

Impeach Bush and Cheney Now!

http://www.afterdowningstreet.org

Please sign and help to promote this petition:

http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/petition

Join our Congressional District Impeachment Committee

by sending your request to bobschacht@infomagic.net.

Cities, Towns, States, and political parties are introducing and passing impeachment resolutions. Help us add to the growing list:

http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/resolutions

Would you like help learning about the legal issues? Research assistance? Assistance in putting together a forum or other impeachment event? Go here:

http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/resourcecenter

Meanwhile, you can attend the annual meeting of the Hawaii ACLU on November 3

[ph. (808) 522-5906], where there will be a breakout session on “Don’t Wait for ’08: Restoring Checks and Balances on Presidential Power”, led by attorney and ACLU board member Roger Fonseca.

Bob Schacht

September 29, 2007

War-mongers in the White House

Filed under: 1Stop War,HI Politics,Impeach,National Politics — BobSchacht @ 9:33 pm

I remember President Bush’s rush to war in Iraq: While proclaiming that war was the “last resort,” the President was clearly impatient. UN sanctions were actually working well. According to the Wikipedia,

The United Nations located and destroyed large quantities of Iraqi WMD throughout the 1990s in spite of persistent Iraqi obstruction. Washington withdrew weapons inspectors in 1998, resulting in Operation Desert Fox, which further degraded Iraq’s WMD capability. . . .While various leftover weapons components from the 1980s and 1990s have also been found, most weapons inspectors do not now believe that the WMD program proceeded after 2002,[1] though various theories continue to be put forward. . . . In late 2002 Saddam Hussein, in a letter to Hans Blix, invited UN weapons inspectors back into the country. Subsequently the Security Council issued Resolution 1441 authorizing new inspections in Iraq. The carefully-worded U.N. resolution put the burden on Iraq, not U.N. inspectors, to prove that they no longer had weapons of mass destruction. . . .In January 2003, United Nations weapons inspectors reported that they had found no indication that Iraq possessed nuclear weapons or an active program. . . .On March 7, 2003, Hans Blix’s last report to the UN security Council prior to the US led invasion of Iraq, described Iraq as actively and proactively cooperating with UNMOVIC, though not necessarily in all areas of relevance and had been frequently uncooperative in the past, but that it was within months of resolving key remaining disarmament tasks.[50]

But this was not good enough for Bush and Cheney, who clearly chose to believe the old intelligence reports, and other “worst case” assessments, and to disbelieve the UN reports. Or maybe they just lied. It was clear to me at the time that, shortly after the war on the Taliban in Afghanistan, and despite assurances that war was a “last resort,” Bush wanted to invade Iraq. His body language was clearer than his words. (more…)

September 20, 2007

Constitutional Impeachment Needed!

Filed under: HI Politics,Impeach,National Politics — BobSchacht @ 9:33 pm

Today, the Star-Bulletin published my op-ed—but without the links or references. So here it is, with links.
September 17 is Constitution Day, and begins a week of celebrations honoring the Constitution of the U.S. But missing from the headlines is this truth: our Constitution is in crisis!

  • President Bush authorized illegal warrantless wiretaps, in violation of the fourth amendment of the Constitution;
  • Vice President Cheney has committed multiple crimes against the Constitution, according to a conservative Republican, Bruce Fein;
  • Bush, Cheney, Rove and Gonzales have conspired to undermine the Constitutional balance of powers by ignoring Congressional subpoenas and circumventing judicial oversight mandated by law (e.g. FISA courts).

And this is probably just the tip of the iceberg (see George W. Bush versus the U.S. Constitution: the Conyers Report [2006]).

Our representatives in Congress took an oath of office, required by the sixth article of the Constitution of the United States, and their oath states: (more…)

Frustrated Netroots vs. Congress on the War, et al.

Filed under: 1Stop War,HI Politics,Impeach,National Politics — BobSchacht @ 1:43 pm

Frosty’s lament today is hardly an isolated concern. There’s more here:

Primary Challenges Haunt Democrats, by BooMan (Thu Sep 20th, 2007 at 11:07:06 AM EST). This blog includes a quote from Rep. Neil Abercrombie about the disconnect between what the anti-war group wants, and what the Democratic representatives feel able to deliver. This is also revealed in a recent national poll by Andy Kohut that aired on PBS September 19, 2007.

ANDREW KOHUT: Yes, I mean, I think, with respect to the Democrats, that’s the case, because what we saw also is the percentage of Democrats saying that their leaders are not doing enough to push Bush on Iraq. In July, that percentage was 54 percent, and in September, it was 61 percent.

It is also reflected in my op-ed piece today in the Star Bulletin, “Follow the Constitution: Initiate impeachment.” I am totally frustrated by Speaker Pelosi’s declaration that impeachment is off the table. (more…)

August 18, 2007

We are in a Constitutional crisis!

Filed under: HI Politics,Impeach — BobSchacht @ 8:08 pm

Why are we in a Constitutional crisis? Let me count some of the ways:

  • President Bush authorized illegal warrantless wiretaps
  • Vice President Cheney engaged in a conspiracy to “out” a CIA agent
  • Attorney General Gonzales has lied under oath and is engaged in obstruction of justice
  • Karl Rove violated the Hatch Act and politicized the Department of Justice
  • Bush, Cheney, Rove and Gonzales have conspired to undermine the balance of powers by ignoring Congressional subpoenas and circumventing judicial oversight mandated by law (e.g. FISA courts)

And this is probably just the tip of the iceberg!

The Constitutional solution to this crisis is impeachment.

(more…)

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