Tuesday, June 19, 2007

When Push Comes To Shove

Without Impeachment................George Bush Skates

George Bush leaves the White House for the last time. The ranch in Crawford is sold and Texas is nearly instantaneously overgrown with brush. George moves back to Kennebunkport (why bother going to Paraguay?) and the payoffs he couldn't hide as President begin to roll in. Knowing the arrogance of the man, his ghostwritten book intended to seal his legacy as a Great War President follows shortly.

In the meantime, Iraq is still raging, Afghanistan is still an unholy mess and Darfur is still ignored...and Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind behind 9/11 is still free. These are now no longer Bush's problem. It is now Hillary's problem, or Barack's problem, or Edward's problem. As is the destroyed economy, the destroyed environment......and the destroyed [American Government rendered ineffective] and littered with Neo-con and Fundy moles.

The post goes on to explain what will happen "inside the beltway," but even now, what goes on in Washington is becoming conditionally irrelevant.

There are so very many frustrating issues that are of significant importance to the various States and local governments that have gone un-addressed for so long that state legislatures are starting to seriously wonder about their addictions to federal dollars.

One extremely interesting case in point; New Jersey rejects Sex-Ed dollars from the federal government on frankly state's rights and individual rights grounds.

new guidelines would require the state to follow all sections, "including one that teaches that monogamous marriage is the only expected standard and that sex outside of marriage is likely to have harmful psychological and physical effects." A state official had this to say:

Monogamy is not a bad idea, but having the government of New Jersey dictate these things for families is not something we wish to do. It isn't the function of state government to create standards (for sexual activity).

There's growing rebellion regarding the Department of Education and No Child Left Behind - led by that reddest of all red states, Utah.

On Monday, Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr. fired the first shot in what may become a national rebellion against the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Resisting intense veto pressure from President Bush and federal regulators, Huntsman signed into law a bill that will prioritize Utah's own educational goals over the mandates of the federal act. To preserve its freedom to chart the future of its schools, the Beehive State, Huntsman signaled, is willing to say no to Washington's money.

Increasingly, the various states see that adminstration policies conflict with State polices, and that federal regulatory maneuvering is being used to delay or override laws and policies States find to be reasonable and prudent. From Emissions Standards to Sex Education to Medicaid to NCLB, the states have increasingly decided to go to the mattresses.

"Our message to federal officials: Give up your unfunded mandates or give us the money. Live up to the law's promise. Show us flexibility or show us the money. We begin this federal court battle today – before spending one cent on illegal unfunded mandates this fiscal year. Hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake. Again and again, in letters and meetings, the federal government has rejected our repeated waiver requests unreasonably and arbitrarily. This mindless rigidity harms our taxpayers, but most of all, our children, who are robbed of resources in their classrooms. We will not dumb down our tests – as the federal education officials suggested – or divert money from critical existing educational programs."

"As Education Commissioner, if I believed that the $8 million cost of adding additional tests in grades three, five and seven was educationally beneficial to Connecticut's students, I'd be the first one in line advocating for the expense," Sternberg said. "The cost, however, is not worth the questionable educational benefit. After multiple failed attempts to obtain a mutually agreeable resolution to our reasonable, research-based requests, it is time to seek resolution in another forum – the courts."

And then there's the crisis with the National Guard:

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire watched the events unfold in Kansas, remembering her own worries from 2006.

At the beginning of last summer's wildfire season, she was attending a meeting with other governors from the Northwest. She had a big problem, Gregoire told them. Parts of her state were a tinderbox because of drought. Key segments of Washington's National Guard had deployed to Iraq. And the units that were left—the ones that would be called up to respond in the event of fast-spreading fires—were facing such severe equipment shortages that they sometimes struggled even to adequately train for disasters, let alone respond to them. "I soon discovered that virtually all of the other governors were in the same position," Gregoire recalled.

Not long after that meeting, all 50 U.S. governors—the commanders in chief of their states' National Guards—signed a letter to President Bush imploring him to immediately begin reoutfitting their depleted National Guards. But little changed, and the Guard now has only 56 percent of its required equipment, the lowest level in nearly six years, according to the Government Accountability Office.

The tug of war between the president and the governors over the National Guard seems to heat up every time there is a national emergency. But how much of the rhetoric is simply the finger-pointing and power-jockeying of politics and how much is a frank assessment of how prepared the Guard would be in the event of a catastrophic domestic emergency, be it a natural disaster such as Hurricane Katrina or a terrorist assault on the scale of the Sept. 11 attacks?

"The problem with the National Guard is not being exaggerated or overstated," said Loren Thompson, a military analyst at the Lexington Institute, a Virginia-based national security think tank. "It is very real, and it is a very big deal."

It seems obvious to me that responsible State governments must already be in the planning stages to create state emergency response teams that cannot be federalized. State militias, in other words.

New York City - responding to the obvious massive intelligence failures from Federal Authorities who apparently see it as an entirely dispensable target filled with Godless Liberals, have gone even further, creating their own offices of counter-terrorism which do not depend on the political winds of fortune.

Terrorism experts applaud the city's approach in part because of this comprehensive nature. That reflects a growing consensus among security analysts that five years after 9/11, the United States must readjust its thinking and behavior in the fight against terror: It should not only continue to implement on-the-ground security measures, they say, but it should also reaffirm and cultivate bedrock American values that could counterbalance terrorist efforts.

"In the final analysis, our security is not going to be a matter of barriers and bollards and electronic surveillance or keeping shampoo from carry-on luggage," says terrorism expert Brian Jenkins, who created the terrorism unit at RAND Corp. more than 30 years ago. "It is really going to be found in our own courage and our continuing commitment to our own values and the rule of law - our sense of community, our tolerance, our historic traditions of self-reliance and resilience."

That spirit of self-reliance is what motivated New York to create its unique counter terrorism and intelligence units within the police department, as well as to post detectives in 10 different countries.

A suspicious-minded person might wonder if the misuse of the National Guard might in fact be deliberate policy, to make it impossible for states to resist Federal Government takeovers "in case of national emergency," such as a declaration of martial law. (In such a case, martial law would properly be administered by the State's Guard Units - but they do have to be capable of insisting on that point, and it's apparent that Bush would prefer them to be unable to do so.

The other hot-button issue between the governors and the president regarding the National Guard involves the Insurrection Act, the law that governs when the National Guard can be "federalized" for domestic law enforcement without the consent of a governor. A 2006 revision to the act expanded the president's power to assume control of the Guard during domestic events, something that governors say threatens to derail state disaster planning and response. Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Kit Bond (R-Mo.), co-chairmen of the Senate National Guard Caucus, have introduced a bill to repeal the changes.

Combine that with revisions of the Posse Comatatus Act of 1878 and the Insurrection Act permitting the federal government to use federal troops or to essentially conscript National Guard units and Ready Reserve units from other states to "suppress domestic unrest" and you have the foundation for the possibility for the federal government to simply take over any state (such as, say, California) by fiat, at least on paper. As Iraq demonstrates, in practice, millage may vary.

And a very significant question remains untested; what happens if there actually comes a time when the President - Bush, or an administration or two down the line - decides to test the resolve of the Governors. What happens when and if the State Guard refuses to comply with the president's orders?

For that matter, there's a more dangerous "what if;" what if the governer caves but a significant minority or even a passive plurality of a state or region's citizens decide to resist a federal occupation?

The root of the problem is that the federal government's bi-partisan disdain for the Constitution, the rule of law and the will of the people, no better symbolized than by Nancy Pelosi's refusal to consider several and various Bills of Impeachment that are the manifestation of huge popular distrust and discontent.

Dave Lindorff: Co-Sponsors for Cheney Impeachment Bill: They Think ...

It remains to be seen whether more members of the House will sign on to Kucinich's bill, or whether other representatives will add new bills of impeachment ...
www.buzzflash.com/articles/contributors/985 - 27k -
Cached - Similar pages - Note this

Daily Kos: New Mexico Legislature to get impeachment bill

Pass the impeachment bill in New Mexico, but do not make an effort to get it before the U.S. House -- yet. Pass it in a substantial number of states (my ...
www.dailykos.com/story/2007/1/12/14726/1248 - 237k -
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Kucinich to Sponsor Impeach Cheney Bill - CommonDreams.org Politics

Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) filed a bill of impeachment against President Bush in December of last year, just as the 109th Congress was about to end, ...
www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/04/20/652/ - 81k -
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Hillary Clinton Proclaims Bill's Impeachment Off Limits ...

33 Responses to “Hillary Clinton Proclaims Bill’s Impeachment Off Limits”. wardmama4 February 26th, 2007 at 1:34 pm. What an insane logic - make this topic ...
sweetness-light.com/archive/hillary-clinton-proclaims-bills-impeachment-off-limits - 56k -
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Rep. McKinney's floor statement on the impeachment of George W ...

MCKINNEY'S FULL REMARKS ON BUSH IMPEACHMENT BILL. By Matthew Cardinale, News Editor and National Correspondent (December 08, 2006) ...
www.afterdowningstreet.org/node/16230 - 84k -
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This Can't Be Happening!

They could be submitted as bills of impeachment and voted on by the House Judiciary Committee and by the full Congress tomorrow, if there was the will to do ...
www.thiscantbehappening.net/2007.05.01_arch.html - 172k -
Cached - Similar pages - Note this

One Citizen's Bill of Impeachment Activism

baltimorechronicle.com/2006/101906MARKOFF.html - 5k -
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Two States Bills of Impeachment Possible. « Last Bastion of Reason

Two States Bills of Impeachment Possible. Finally, some states with balls are doing the work that we expect from our Congressmen and Senators. ...
www.lastbastionofreason.com/2006/03/29/two-states-bills-of-impeachment-possible/ - 19k -
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2007-2008 Bill 3194: Impeachment procedures - www.scstatehouse.net ...

(Text matches printed bills. Document has been reformatted to meet World ... 1895, RELATING TO IMPEACHMENT OF CERTAIN EXECUTIVE AND JUDICIAL OFFICERS OF ...
www.scstatehouse.net/sess117_2007-2008/bills/3194.htm - 20k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

I think it's pretty clear that this is a litmus test issue for the American People in general; that there is widespread discontent with "government and politics as usual" and that our representatives had damn well better take that discontent as seriously as it merits, returning us to the rule of law, or face an American People who hold all federal officials, elected or otherwise, in utter contempt.

We may recall where that led us in 1776 - with lower levels of public discontent and less direct threat to the practical liberties of ordinary citizens. Google "Causes of the Revolutionary War" if you are a little shaky on the history of that completely avoidable conflict.

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