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

August 18, 2007

Reps. Abercrombie, Hirono Meet the People

Filed under: HI Politics,Impeach — BobSchacht @ 7:43 pm

Today (August 18, 2007) Reps. Abercrombie and Hirono met with their constituents at events organized by the Democratic Party. I went to the first hour of Mazie’s meeting, at the Kaneohe YWCA. The meeting was co-hosted by “Windward Women,” and they did not want any impeachment bumperstickers or petitions or even flyers about Democratic positions on impeachment. Outside, however, I was greeted by friends who accepted my flier on the Constitutional crisis we’re in, and some signed an impeachment petition that I brought. There were about 30 people in attendance, and it seemed like I knew about half of them.

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July 25, 2007

Open Letter to Rep. Abercrombie

Filed under: HI Politics,Impeach — BobSchacht @ 11:41 pm

Dear Rep. Neil Abercrombie,

Our country is in the midst of a Constitutional crisis. Paul Craig Roberts wrote on Counterpunch (July 16, 2007),

Unless Congress immediately impeaches Bush and Cheney, a year from now the US could be a dictatorial police state at war with Iran.

Bush has put in place all the necessary measures for dictatorship in the form of “executive orders” that are triggered whenever Bush declares a national emergency. Recent statements by Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff, former Republican senator Rick Santorum and others suggest that Americans might expect a series of staged, or false flag, “terrorist” events in the near future.

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July 16, 2007

Impeachment Discussion with Ann Wright

Filed under: Impeach,National Politics — BobSchacht @ 4:32 pm

I am visiting family and friends on the mainland this week, but I wanted to let you know about this important event! (See below). Please attend– and bring a friend! And then come back here and offer your comments on the event! (Follow this post to the bottom and click on “Comments”).

Bob Schacht

Discussion with Ann Wright
Wednesday, July 18, 7pm
Revolution Books
“Impeachment IS on the Table”

Ann Wright is in town for a few days and Revolution Books, along with World Can’t Wait-Hawai`i, invite you to a talk and discussion with Ann about impeachment.

* When Ann returns to Washington D.C. next week she’ll be accompanying Cindy Sheehan on Cindy’s visit to Nancy Pelosi’s office to deliver her challenge on impeachment.

* On Friday Ann will openly challenge Hawai`i’s congressionals to take action to impeach Bush and Cheney (including Abercrombie and Hirono, who have both recently spoken out against impeachment). Watch for the announcement of a press conference at the Federal Building on Friday! (And we chose this picture of Ann to show that when she challenges someone, she really delivers a challenge!) (more…)

July 5, 2007

what could they possibly be thinking?

Filed under: Impeach,National Politics,SHAPES platform — frosty @ 4:03 pm

in the wake of bush’s commutation of libby’s prison sentence, democrats in congress are all worked up.  another wrong has been committed by this administration and democrats want to look busy trying to do something about it, without actually having to take an real, strong, definitive action.

another hearing.  yes, that’s right.  the house judiciary committee has announced that it will hold hearings on the president’s clemency powers.  doesn’t it make you feel warm and fuzzy inside?  good thing they’re on our side… oh, wait….  what could possibly come from these hearings?  i guess it’s about all the judiciary committee can do, though in everything i’ve read about this, no one has said the president was, or even might have been, out of bounds.  i haven’t heard anything suggesting the commutation of libby’s prison sentence was beyond the powers of the executive branch. (more…)

June 21, 2007

Impeachment update

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

Common Cause is now advocating impeachment of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Our petition calling for the impeachment of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales already has more than 12,000 signatures, thanks to activists like you. We need to keep up the momentum. Help us double the number of people calling for impeachment today!

They have a great new video up on youtube, and a new petition to sign.

Bob Fertik on Democrats.com also has a petition to impeach Gonzales.

And Democracy for America is also campaigning to impeach Gonzales:

If George Bush won’t fire him, impeaching Alberto Gonzales is the only way to restore integrity and accountability to the Justice Department. Ten dollars to DFA today keeps the momentum going.

On their website they also have an even better video about why Gonzales needs to be impeached.

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May 17, 2007

Breaking developments!

Filed under: HI Politics,Impeach,National Politics — BobSchacht @ 10:47 pm

So much has been happening recently!

  • Two hearings featuring Attorney General Gonzales before two different congressional committees
  • Two hearings featuring James Comey, the former Deputy Attorney General to John Ashcroft who appointed Patrick Fitzgerald;
  • Other investigations by the committees led by Waxman, Leahy, and Conyers, generating headlines virtually every day.
  • Frontline has aired a report on the Bush Administration’s domestic spying activities

The most stunning of all was the testimony by Comey, a few days ago, on a subject that Sen. Schumer has apparently been trying to arrange for more than a year, in which Comey describes the night-time race to the hospital bedside of John Ashcroft, heavily sedated for surgery, to get there before then-Counsel to the President Gonzales and Andrew Card, who apparently were going to try to get Ashcroft to sign off on a secret intelligence plan that Comey thought was illegal. Steven Bochko could not have come up with a better script! Unfortunately, this was not on CSPAN, but it was televised online by the Senate Judiciary Committee, and you can see the most dramatic 20 minutes of the testimony at Politics TV! [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxHjWYA50Ds] This video already has had almost 30,000 viewers!

You can get the complete 57 page pdf transcript of Comey’s testimony .

Or you can just listen to the audio (scroll down to #6 on the list).
Comey’s testimony has opened up a whole pandora’s box, because even though he said nothing about what the secret intelligence plan was, it was clear that it was (a) illegal, and (b) approved anyway by President Bush the next day, apparently with the enthusiastic approval of VP Cheney and Gonzales. For this act alone, the three of them should be impeached and removed from office!!!

To get more commentary on this, you can read the live blogging of the hearing by FireDogLake, with all the hundreds of comments on what was happening in real time.

Or you can read Marcy Wheeler’s excellent analysis of the illegal spying programs.

DailyKos is now on fire with impeachment talk.

But will it happen? I don’t think we can afford to content ourselves with being spectators. Here’s what we need to do:

  • Share this information with your family and friends– not just here in Hawaii, but on the mainland. Encourage them to watch the Comey testimony at the Politics TV link above.
  • Write letters to the editor
  • Write your congress-persons, including senators. If you’ve written before, write again.

We need to do more. Write a comment with your ideas (click on the “>>” after the word “Comments” at the end of this post, and then scroll down to the window where you can enter your comments.)

For the sake of our country and our children, we need to get these crooks out of office before they pull even more crazy stunts. And you can bet they’re busy with their schemes.
These are the times that define the future.

Bob Schacht

May 2, 2007

A28 Impeachment Day Activities

Filed under: HI Politics,Impeach,National Politics — BobSchacht @ 8:25 pm

On Saturday morning, April 28 (AKA “A28”) in Honolulu, about 50 people spelled I-M-P-E-A-C-H with large florescent poster boards at 5 city intersections, such as

  • Atkinson/Ala Moana (at the entrance to Ala Moana Park),
  • Keeaumoku/Kapiolani (at the entrance to Ala Moana Shopping Center),
  • King/University Intersection (gather at the park in front of Star Market),
  • Kalakaua/Kuhio (at the entrance to Waikiki at the Kalakaua statue)

and a freeway overpass. Response was overwhelmingly positive (running about 15 supporting for every person opposing). Lots of passers-by raised their fists, laid on their horns, shouted, or gave an enthusiastic shaka. Trolleys transporting loads of tourists from one mall to another rang their bells, and lots of city bus and truck drivers honked their horns.

At one intersection two groups holding poster boards became “cheerleaders” – enthusiastically shouting “give me in ‘I’…give me an ‘M’…and raising the appropriate letter.

The team holding their signs over a busy freeway overpass were there for an hour before police threatened arrest for “creating a traffic hazard” – finally forcing them to move to a nearby crowded intersection.

Many people stopped to give their opinions about Bush or Cheney – ranging from complete outrage to “we just gotta wait until the elections”. But the support for impeachment was obvious, with many saying Bush should have been impeached long ago. While the numbers who came out to demonstrate were smaller than we hoped for, the overwhelming support from the street kept spirits up and gave rise to suggestions as to how to continue and strengthen the demand.

Details of this report have been adapted from the World Can’t Wait-Hawai`i newsletter. A short video covering the protest at one of the corners is here. Click on “Impeachment” under Browse by Category to access it.

Thanks to all who participated!

Bob

April 25, 2007

Finally!! (and what the hell?)

Filed under: Dennis Kucinich,Impeach — frosty @ 9:01 am

(i actually posted this last night, but it didn’t take)

the word is out.  yesterday dennis kucinich filed articles of impeachment against vice president dick cheney.  this is a fantastic first step and could be a great lesson for this administration about the constitution (i’m not sure they’ve ever read it).  when i saw the headline, i nearly jumped out of my seat in excitement.  then i read the rest of the article.  it seems mr. kucinich doesn’t plan on putting a whole lot of effort into really getting the ball rolling on this.  what’s more, the speaker of the house, mousy nancy pelosi doesn’t mince words when she says keeping (and gaining more) the democrats in power is more important than any impeachment proceedings.

its true that i probably don’t understand the political nuances that are necessary to function in DC, but pelosi comes right out and says that politics is more important that doing what’s right.  there’s more at stake here than getting the president and vice president out of office.  impeachment proceedings would send a clear message, to both republican and democratic future presidents that the people will not tolerate the discarding of the constitution for power or political gain.  what this says to me is the democrats don’t like bush and what he does, but they wouldn’t mind it nearly as much if bush were a democrat.

maybe i’ve become cynical about out government, but it seems to me neither party is really interested in anything other than getting and keeping power.  of course, there are members of each party that don’t fit that mold, but as entities both parties are completely corrupt.

i applaud representative kucinich for taking this bold step forward, even if he doesn’t plan to take another.  his actions will add fuel to the fire among liberals and add force to the conversation that’s going on nationwide with regard to impeachment.  and i hope more democrats in the house will wake up and choose to do what’s right, instead of choosing the path of least resistance to keeping their jobs and growing the democratic majority in congress.

what good will a democratic president be if he (or she) continues to ignore the constitution?

April 8, 2007

Meeting with Rep. Abercrombie

Filed under: HI Politics,Impeach,National Politics — BobSchacht @ 9:27 pm

On Saturday, April 7, Rep. Neil Abercrombie (HI-01) met with a joint gathering convened by Americans for Democratic Action (Hawaii) and Progressive Democrats of Hawaii. About 35 people attended, including the parents of Ehren Watada. The meeting began with an informal discussion before Rep. Abercrombie’s arrival. When he arrived, with Amy Asselbaye, his Chief of Staff, and his pet dog, on behalf of the assembly I welcomed him and gave him his first question. The question drew on a speech by Al Gore in January 2006 and an article in the Washington Post this month which said, in effect, that as a result of actions by President Bush’s administration, the Constitution was in grave danger, and asked whether he was willing to endorse Gore’s call for

  1. A Special Prosecutor to investigate what many believe are serious violations of law by the President, and
  2. Both Houses of Congress should hold comprehensive– and not just superficial– hearings into these serious allegations of criminal behavior on the part of the President, and should follow the evidence wherever it leads.

And if not, why not? Finally, he was asked what he was doing to protect the Constitution against this danger.

There followed a long and vigorous discussion, with many participants. My impression was that

  • Abercrombie said that he would vote for a motion to impeach, if it came to the floor. However, he didn’t think that it would happen.
  • He also thought there weren’t enough votes in the Senate to find Bush guilty.
  • He thought that there were more important things to do, and worried about the House getting tied up in knots debating impeachment.
  • At one point, he defended the Democratic congress, pointing out how much had been accomplished in only 3 months, and that aggressive investigations were under way against the President’s misdeeds.

Not all the questions were about impeachment, but that was the main focus. After the Q & A had gone on for an hour, I was getting signals from Amy that we had 5 minutes more, but the questions were still coming fast and furious passionate, so when I tried to wrap things up, Rep. Abercrombie brushed aside the concern over time, and continued to respond to questions for another 20 minutes or so, and then stayed afterwards for about 15 minutes talking to individuals, including the Watadas, before leaving.

This meeting will not be the last word, but hopefully the beginning of an ongoing dialogue with Rep. Abercrombie. We are grateful for his attention, and for being so generous with his time!

If you were there, please add your own comments on the meeting!

Bob Schacht

April 6, 2007

Local Impeachment Resolution — SCR83

Filed under: HI Politics,Impeach,SHAPES platform — rachel @ 2:31 pm

At last night’s meeting, we spent a considerable amount of time talking about impeaching Bush & Cheney. One of the highlights is that a local Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR83) “Requesting congress to commence impeachment proceedings against the president and the vice-president of the United States” has been introduced. Please see below for how you can help move this resolution forward.

Other announcements:

  1. Hawaii for Kucinich 2008, the Hawaii campaign organization for US presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), will hold its first organizational meeting at 7 PM on Monday, April 9, 2007 at Weaver Hall, Church of the Crossroads, 1212 University Avenue in Honolulu.
  2. Voter Owned Hawaii, the group working to advance the comprehensive public financing bill invites us to: Join them for live music and a rally for Clean Elections at the Capitol on FRIDAY, APRIL 13 FROM 5:00-7:00pm
  3. April 28th — National Day calling for Impeachment: We will likely be coordinating with NION-Hawaii to organize sign waving events to raise awareness about the grounds for Impeachment. Please let us know if you would like to be involved.

Impeachment Resolution ACTION CALL:

SCR83 “Requesting congress to commence impeachment proceedings against the president and the vice-president of the United States” has been introduced and referred to the JDL committee, which is chaired by Sen. Clayton Hee. The deadline for this resolution to be heard is Friday April 13th!

Please call or email Senator Clayton Hee as soon as possible and ask him to hold a hearing for SCR83.
Phone 808-586-7330; Fax 808-586-7334
e-mail senhee@Capitol.hawaii.gov

When a state legislature forwards a bill or a resolution on impeachment to the Congress of the United States, then the Congress is encouraged to act. By forwarding a resolution for impeachment through our local legislature, we the grassroots are asking the US Congress to stand up for us.

The main arguments to use when calling or writing are:

  1. SCR 83 is a resolution and not a bill. As such, it ought to be heard before the JDL committee because it is supposed to reflect the sentiment of the people and the sentiment of the people should be heard.
  2. It will generate a much broader debate and a great deal of local and national attention on the issue of impeachment.
  3. This will help make Hawaii politically relevant on the national stage.

Actual arguments for impeachment should be secondary to your communication to the Senator, as we are only at the point of whether of not the resolution should be heard.

After calling Sen Hee, please consider also contacting Sen Les Ihara to thank him for introducing this resolution as the request of his constituents.

Mahalo Nui.

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