January 28, 2008 archive



Cloture defeated on FISA by a vote of 48 yes to 45 no. Debate will continue with, I believe, the vote on a 30 day extension up next.


And how often do we get to say that! Yay Dodd, Yay Dems……and Very, Very Much….YAY US! Public opinion won this fight and WE are Public Opinion!

The Raw Story headline: Democrats standing up to Bush on warrantless wiretap bill

Conyers Ulysses

Conyers Ulysses: Some work of noble note

(Part 2 of a series)


by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

It little profits that an idle king,

By this still hearth, among these barren crags,

Match’d with an aged wife, I mete and dole

Unequal laws unto a savage race,

That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.

I cannot rest from travel; I will drink

Life to the lees. All times I have enjoy’d

Greatly, have suffer’d greatly, both with those

That loved me, and alone; on shore, and when

Thro’ scudding drifts the rainy Hyades

Vext the dim sea. I am become a name;

For always roaming with a hungry heart

Much have I seen and known,– cities of men

And manners, climates, councils, governments,

Myself not least, but honor’d of them all,–

And drunk delight of battle with my peers,

Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.

I am a part of all that I have met;

Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’

Gleams that untravell’d world whose margin fades

For ever and for ever when I move.

How dull it is to pause, to make an end,

To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use!

As tho’ to breathe were life! Life piled on life

Were all too little, and of one to me

Little remains; but every hour is saved

From that eternal silence, something more,

A bringer of new things; and vile it were

For some three suns to store and hoard myself,

And this gray spirit yearning in desire

To follow knowledge like a sinking star,

Beyond the utmost bound of human thought . . .

There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail;

There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners,

Souls that have toil’d, and wrought, and thought with me,–

That ever with a frolic welcome took

The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed

Free hearts, free foreheads,– you and I are old;

Old age hath yet his honor and his toil.

Death closes all; but something ere the end,

Some work of noble note, may yet be done,

Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.

The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks;

The long day wanes; the slow moon climbs; the deep

Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends.

‘T is not too late to seek a newer world.

Push off, and sitting well in order smite

The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds

To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths

Of all the western stars, until I die.

It may be that the gulfs will wash us down;

It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,

And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.

Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’

We are not now that strength which in old days

Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are,–

One equal temper of heroic hearts,

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield

First page of argument re: Nixon indictment


second page of argument re: Nixon indictment




I’m not doing this to fail,” he said. “This goes back to a little bit of my civil rights background. We were in an impossible situation. The civil rights leaders came to Martin King and said, please, we hear you’re going to start a civil rights movement in the South, you’ll get all of us killed, Martin, don’t do that!” But if he hadn’t, said Conyers, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 would never have passed.

“We’ve lost more rights and constitutional prerogatives in this short period of time than under any president that my studies reveal,” he continued. “So now’s the time. What we have to do is, we have to work on faith. We have to believe that there are enough American people who will agree with us that enough is enough. We’ve got to believe that, and we’ve got to work on that between now and November, and I think we’ll win.”

        – John Conyers, March 2006



Conyers, John. “Why Nixon Should Be Impeached.” Black Scholar 6:2(1974): 2-8


The two-page ad, headlined “A Resolution to Impeach Richard M. Nixon,” called on the newspaper’s readers to support House Resolution 976, which had been proposed several weeks earlier by Michigan Congressman John Conyers and several other liberal representatives.


In May 1972, Conyers introduced a resolution on the House floor demanding that Nixon be removed from office for his conduct of the Vietnam War. The measure went nowhere, but Conyers kept at it for the next two years, and when the Judiciary Committee finally voted in favor of impeaching Nixon, Conyers relished his vindication. “Impeachment is difficult, and it is painful,” Conyers said at the time, “but the courage to do what must be done is the price of remaining free.”

           — Time magazine, September 28, 1998

Do a google search for the word impeach along with the names of all your hellos see read and Manuel

In the autumn of 1974, a young firebrand on the House Judiciary Committee, unhappy about the way the Watergate investigation had turned out, penned an article for the Journal the black scholar..  Sat down to write an article for the Journal, the black scholar.  The young man was dissatisfied with the way the Watergate investigation turned out.  He felt very strongly that justice had not been done, and, perhaps more importantly, that the long-term interests of the United States in the defense of the Constitution had been ill served by the resignation of President Richard Nixon.  This article was written before the pardon issued by President Gerald Ford.

Look for some of Conyers quotes, recent quote, about impeachment.

A re reading of Conyers article, these 34 years later, evokes many thoughts and feelings.  Overall, the piece could serve as a virtual template to for a manifesto arguing for the impeachment of the current administration.  Conyers main thrust in the 1974 article, his main rationale for the absolute necessity of impeaching Richard Nixon, centers around the illegality of the conduct of the war in Vietnam.; specifically, the illegal invasion and bombing of Cambodia.  Conyers argues that the usurpation of congresses war making our is, in itself, an impeachable offense:

Insert a block quote year


from the document, Rodino’s opening statement:

Mr. Rodino. Three months ago the House of Representatives considered H.

Res. 803. The resolution read as follows:

“RESOLVED, That the Committee on the Judiciary, acting as a whole or by

any subcomnlittee thereof appointed by the Chairman for the purposes hereof and in

accordance with the rules of the Committee, is authorized and directed to investigate fully

and completely whether sufficient grounds exist for the House of Representatives to

exercise its constitutional power to impeach Richard M. Nixon, President of the United

States of America. The Committee shall report to the House of

Representatives such resolutions, articles of impeachment, or other recommendations

as it deems proper.”

The House adopted that resolution by a vote of 410 to 4. We are proceeding

under the mandate of that resolution.

I do not need to stress again the importance of our undertaking and the wisdom,

decency and principle which we must bring to it.

We understand our high constitutional responsibility. We will faithfully live

up to it.

For some time we have known that the real security of this nation lies in the

integrity of its institutions and the trust and informed confidence of its people. We conduct

our deliberations in that spirit.

Do a google search for the word impeach along with the names of all your hello see read Emmanuelle

In the autumn of 1974, a young firebrand on the House Judiciary Committee, unhappy about the way the Watergate investigation had turned out, penned an article for the Journal the black scholar..  Sat down to write an article for the Journal, the black scholar.  The young man was dissatisfied with the way the Watergate investigation turned out.  He felt very strongly that justice had not been done, and, perhaps more importantly, that the long-term interests of the United States in the defense of the Constitution had been ill served by the resignation of President Richard Nixon.  This article was written before the pardon issued by President Gerald Ford.

Look for some of Conyers quotes, recent quote, about impeachment.

A re reading of Conyers article, these 34 years later, he evokes many thoughts and feelings.  Overall, the piece could serve as a virtual template to for a manifesto arguing for the impeachment of the current administration.  Conyers main thrust in the 1974 article, his main rationale for the absolute necessity of impeaching Richard Nixon, centers around the illegality of the conduct of the war in Vietnam.; specifically, the illegal invasion and bombing of Cambodia.  Conyers argues that the usurpation of congresses war making our is, in itself, an impeachable offense:

Insert a block quote year

Why would Conyers – a man who wrote a pamphlet entitled, “impeaching the president” or whatever it’s called – suddenly tone down his rhetoric regarding impeachment?  And why would he do it immediately after the November 9, 2006 congressional elections?

Use this for the introduction to the first of Conyers’s diary:

In September 1974, John Conyers Jr. had been a congressman for five years.  Elected in 1968 as the youngest member ever to represent such a district in Michigan, .  Conyers and your describes the work he did during Watergate hearings so forth.  But before the judiciary committee could serve its articles of on Nixon, he resigned.  His resignation, however, did not dissuade certain people from demanding or believing that his crimes should not go unpunished.  One of those people was John Conyers.  In the September 1974 issue of the journal the black scholar, Conyers wrote a piece entitled, “why Nixon should have been Impeached.”  In the essay, Conyers lays out his case for the necessity of impeaching Richard Nixon, in spite of the fact that he no longer was in office.  The parallels between the Nixon administration’s history of malfeasance and that of the current administration are striking.  With very few minor changes, what Conyers wrote in 1974 could have been written last week.

Conyers of central thesis is that one of the articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon-an article he actually drafted, and which he reprints in the article-should have held them makes into account for his illegal waging a war against Cambodia.  Conyers makes the point that, aside from starting an illegal war, the administration usurped congressional power by using money (that is, to wage war against Cambodia) in a way not authorized by Congress.  Conyers says that Congress the road at its future efficacy by allowing such a usurpation to go forward without mention.

Conyers also lists several examples of Nixon administration officials going on the record with misstatements of fact (known in the vernacular as “lies”) arguing in support of the Cambodian invasion.  Conyers’ recounting of these public lies immediately brought to my mind the recent documentation of the “935 lies” by the Center for Public Integrity, lies that the BushCheney administration told to rationalize the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq.

As I read through the entire Conyers article, I would highlight those passages in which I found striking parallels to today’s situation.  By the time I finish the article, I found that I highlighted nearly the entire thing.  What John Conyers wrote in 1974 applies nearly perfectly in nearly every instance to this current administration.  The misdeeds of the Nixon administration resulted in articles of impeachment being drawn up by a House Judiciary Committee whose members included, not only John Conyers, but also Charlie wrangle of New York.

The absolute necessity to defend our Constitution against “a long train of usurpations” is no less pressing today than it was back then., and I wonder how it is that John Conyers of 2008 can look upon the last seven years of the Bush Cheney administration and not find it worthy of every bit of the opprobrium and constitutional accountability that the Nixon administration so richly deserved, but managed to squirm out from under a, much to the chagrin of the then 45-year-old Conyers.  I wonder whether Conyers, perhaps against the better Angels of his nature, has been ordered to stand down on the subject of impeachment of this most criminal administration in our nations history, and is even now writing an update for his 1974 article, to be published in February 2009, entitled the why Bush and Cheney should have been a peek.

Add to the earlier paragraph: ordered to stand down by a weak willed Democratic “leadership,”

It would be a shame if Conyers only legacy.

John Conyers is 75 years old now.

John Conyers and 79 years old now.  It would be a shame if his only legacy with respect to bringing this criminal administration to account consists of a few ineffectual hearings and a couple of articles that no one will notice, and very few will be able to find on a Google search 35 years hence.

As for the dismantling the arguments diary: news

Some would argue that all that is needed to deal with this criminal administration is the result of a new general election.  And, of course, at this point, it appears likely that-absent election fraud-id. the Craddick administration will take its place in the White House next January.  This argument, of course, holds no water.  Because of the magnitude of the crimes that were committed to, both against many peoples of the world and against the Constitution of the United States, the many many wrongs of the Bush Cheney administration cannot go unaccounted for., anymore than good for crimes of any other war criminal.  Think about it: much of the rest of the world wants to put Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney on trial as war criminals, yet there are those in this country seriously propose to let them off scot free, as if they had done no wrong whatsoever.

For the Conyers Ulysses jar: some work of noble note.

Just for the dismantling the arguments diary:

Site the diary by Mark the shark

And so what if nothing further gets done by the hundred 10th Congress?  What has been done by the hundred 10th Congress?  Let’s take a look at the record: and here cite the votes on FISA if I as a, and other bad votes, and the failure to stop the war in Iraq, and the veto of S. Chip, and the failure of subpoenas,

In May 1972, then 45-year-old John Conyers, a second term congressman from Michigan, introduced a resolution on the floor of the House of Representatives calling for the impeachment of President Richard M. Nixon.  Conyers is resolution, HR976, cited Nixon’s conduct of the war in Vietnam as grounds for his removal from office for the commission of high crimes and misdemeanors pursuant to the Constitution.

Conyers is resolution went nowhere, but neither did Conyers.  The groundswell of support for Nixon’s impeachment continue to grow, and two years later, Nixon resigned from office.

Conyers was a member of the House Judiciary committee that drafted the articles of impeachment for Nixon, articles that were never served, preempted instead by Nixon’s resignation on August 9, 1974.  Or obviated by Nixon’s resignation.  Those are three articles cited Nixon’s obstruction of justice and beer fill in the blank as grounds for impeachment.  The issue of Nixon’s conduct of the war was not included in.  But Conyers did not forget what Nixon had done that originally inspired the young congressman’s call for impeachment.  Paragraph

Two months after Nixon’s resignation, an article appeared in the Journal the black scholar.  Written by John Conyers Jr., the article, entitled White Nick “why Nixon should have been impeached,” was a recounting of the mendacity and malfeasance of the Nixon administration.  In much of the article con, Conyers details his rationale for impeachment, viewed through the lens of the conduct of the war in Vietnam.

And we are put in the paragraph about how reading the article now is so familiar.

And after that, put a citation, a block quote, that summarizes the article.

Rereading the article, one cannot help but think that if the wrongs he enumerated by Conyers in 1974 were sufficient to lead to the drafting of articles of impeachment, the far more egregious transgressions of the Bush Cheney administration over the past seven years certainly warrants as equals want to treatment.  Or it’s certainly warrants being addressed in the same manner.

Year, cite another block quote.

Then, put in the quote for the section about highlighting almost the entire article.

Is life so dear

Is life so dear

Patrick Henry’s speech


Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!


sam harris’s tortured logic: if you’re willing to accept collateral damage (i.e., civilian casualties), you ought to accept torture

Are we willing to accept the certainty of the sacrifice of our most fundamental and defining civil liberties, in exchange for the mere possibility – and a very dubious one it is, at that – that our physical safety might be enhanced just a wee bit?

martin luther king


…though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus and extremist for love: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” Was not Amos an extremist for justice: “Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like am ever-flowing stream.” Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel: “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” Was not Martin Luther an extremist: “Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God.” And John Bunyan: “I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience.” And Abraham Lincoln: “This nation cannot survive half slave and half free.” And Thomas Jefferson: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal . . . .”

So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvery’s hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime — the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth, and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. Perhaps the South, the nation, and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.

cia oldies


tsa and facecrimes


national parks

National Parks  

google search







National Wildlife refuges budget cuts 20 percent staff reduction by 2009.

“Our national wildlife refuges are literally crumbling before our eyes. Across the country we’re seeing how the culmination of years of negligent funding devastates these special places,” said Rodger Schlickeisen, president of Defenders of Wildlife.

budget cuts at np


2007 budget proposal “worst yet”



jenna engaged at acadia – this from 2004:


Acadia National Park in Maine, a 47,500 acre park sheltering over 1,000 species of plants and wildlife, including threatened and endangered species, and over 5,000 years of human history, faces a 53% budget shortfall. Acadia is understaffed by some 100 full-time positions, including an anticipated shortage of 20-30 seasonal rangers. Shortfalls in patrol staffing have resulted in damage from illegal snowmobile and allterrain vehicle use, illegal trail cutting, and poaching.

bush vetoed bill to restore everglades


A series of remarkable coincidences

A series of remarkable coincidences

Look up and FAA safety study that was shut down.

Look into the blackwater/portrero connection especially with regard to the fires.

Another coincidence Re: armor holdings: the fire at HP White the day before congressional testimony.

jerry lewis and cerberus

white house fire w/photos 12-19-07

colorado decertification of voting machines



riecher suicide

white labs fire re body armor

lott leaves senate just before lobbying rules change


In the old days, every single one of these coincidences would’ve been fodder for a full-blown investigative piece.

mukasey’s son represents verizon


lute u.n.


Four at Four

  1. Another Monday, another ‘why are we still in Iraq?’ The Guardian reports that another Five US soldiers killed in Iraq. “Five US soldiers were killed in Iraq today when their patrol was hit by a roadside bomb and then came under small arms fire, the American military said. The attack, one of the deadliest against US troops in months, was in Mosul, Iraq’s third-largest city, 390km (240 miles) north of Baghdad… The attack against the US patrol takes to 36 the number of soldiers killed in Iraq this month, up from 23 in December but similar to levels in October and November. The number of US troops killed since the 2003 invasion now stands at 3,940.

    While The Independent reports ‘If there is no change in three months, there will be war again’.

    A crucial Iraqi ally of the United States in its recent successes in the country is threatening to withdraw his support and allow al-Qa’ida to return if his fighters are not incorporated into the Iraqi army and police.

    “If there is no change in three months there will be war again,” said Abu Marouf, the commander of 13,000 fighters who formerly fought the Americans. He and his men switched sides last year to battle al-Qa’ida and defeated it in its main stronghold in and around Fallujah.

    “If the Americans think they can use us to crush al-Qa’ida and then push us to one side, they are mistaken,” Abu Marouf told The Independent in an interview in a scantily furnished villa beside an abandoned cemetery near the village of Khandari outside Fallujah. He said that all he and his tribal following had to do was stand aside and al-Qa’ida’s fighters would automatically come back. If they did so he might have to ally himself to a resurgent al-Qa’ida in order to “protect myself and my men”.

  2. According to The Seattle Times, Small earthquake shifts views. “For decades, the ‘doomsday’ fault off the coast of Washington and Oregon has appeared to be locked tight, building up stress that scientists say will one day be unleashed in a monster earthquake and tsunami. Now researchers from Oregon State University (OSU) have discovered that portions of the fault have actually been slipping, leading to a series of small earthquakes over the past several years – including one Thursday. The finding doesn’t mean a major quake is more – or less – likely to strike anytime soon. It does provide a new window through which to study the fault and understand what it might do next…”

  3. The Washington Post bring news of a Madagascar palm that “flowers itself to death“. “Tahina spectabilis (from the Latin for “spectacular”) is a huge palm, with fan-shaped leaves as big as 15 feet across. As is the case with most palms, the leaves are arranged in a way that appears to minimize the amount they shade each other… T. spectabilis is one of just a few species of “suicide palm” worldwide: trees that grow for decades, then throw every last bit of energy they have into an ultimately fatal reproductive frenzy. Some scientists call it ‘explosive’ or ‘big bang’ reproduction, but it is a slow-motion explosion, in which hundreds of thousands of flowers will bloom, attracting pollinators that, depending on the palm, may be beetles, bees or bats.”

    “The palm… is not only a new species. It has forced palm biologists to invent an entirely new genus to accommodate it. That is an almost unheard of event in modern palm tree classification, but one made necessary by its many unique traits and by DNA testing suggesting the tree has been evolving independently of other palms for millions of years.”

  4. Time magazine notes that today, Lego celebrates 50 years of building. “It was at 1:58 p.m. on January 28, 1958, that then-Lego head Godtfred Kirk Christiansen filed a patent for the iconic plastic brick with its stud and hole design. Since then, the company has made a staggering 400 billion Lego elements, or 62 bricks for every person on the planet. And if stacked on top of one another, the pieces would form 10 towers reaching all the way from the Earth to the Moon. But Lego’s legacy lies less in numbers than in its creative influence. The colorful bricks have littered playroom floors for generations of families. But they have also spurred ingenuity among children that few toys can claim before and since.” Happy birthday Lego! Thanks for the many happy memories.

Dismantling the arguments against impeachment

Dismantling the arguments against impeachment

conyers’ lame-ass excuses


rahm emanuel’s lame-ass excuses


lawyers’ letter to lahy, conyers


patrick henry’s speech


Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation?

For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth — to know the worst and to provide for it. I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years, to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House?

Wow. I guess we’re back on impeachment.

Okay by me.

Sounds like we’re in for a rehash of the impeachment wars of December 2006.

There are four primary arguments used by those who oppose the impeachment of Dick Cheney and George Bush, and we’ve all heard them before: it’s too politically risky.  (Put this one last).  Show the results after the 1974 impeachment process, contrast that with post-Clinton impeachment, which was a farce of an impeachment.

It will take too long.

Democrats will be seen as partisan, vindictive, and or vengeful.  This is actually a subset of the quote “politically risky” argument.

We don’t have the votes.

Include Pelosi’s quotes about it not being worth it.

cite the January 1974 poll that showed that 51% of Americans opposed the impeachment of Nixon; contrast that with recent polls regarding potential impeachments of Bush and or Cheney.

It will diminish the effectiveness and value of impeachment.  This is an argument that is ridiculous on its face.  Compare the process that led to the near impeachment of Richard Nixon to that of the process that actually led to the impeachment of Bill Clinton.

A recurring theme.  I would like to believe that thinking Democrats have not fallen victim to the belief that the Clinton impeachment set the standard for impeachments.  I rather would like to believe that the Clinton impeachment brought into stark relief the difference between a farcical impeachment and a serious one, the serious one, of course, being that of Richard Nixon.  Here’s how serious the Nixon impeachment was: Nixon resigned from office rather than be impeached, because he knew that the case against him was solid, and he would go down in defeat, dragging the Republican Party with him.  Clinton, on the other hand, knew that the case against him was a joke.  

Any potential impeachment of George Bush or Dick Cheney, once the investigations and hearings have run their course (provided, of course, that they are substantive), will place current day Republicans in the same quandary: they will be faced with a choice between standing side by side with a president and vice president who will have been demonstrated to have been thoroughly corrupt and criminal – an act of political self immolation – or facing the music, and choosing to preserve not only their own political hides, but the future existence of the Republican Party.  If any reader of this site to has any doubts that substantive hearings would reveal wrongdoing on a scope heretofore unprecedented in American history, then I do not know what to say to them.  Further, if any reader of the site believes that revelation of such wrongdoing, and solid, bulletproof documentation of such wrongdoing, will not prove politically fatal to Republicans, then I also do not know what to say to them.

Dean will get done during the time of impeachment.  Check the arguments that Dean used.

Arguments against impeachment: some have even argued (Armando) that resorting to impeachment will weaken the relative standing in Congress to check abuses of the executive branch.  The power of future congresses to check the abuses of the executive branch.

I completely disagree. Like John Conyers in his 1974 essay, “Why Nixon Should Have Been Impeached,” I would argue that failure to impeach weakens the power of the legislative branch, for the very reason that Kagro alludes to: as long as the executive branch knows that the legislative branch is not willing to use its own mechanisms of enforcement, the executive branch knows it can act with utter disregard of the legislative – a fact that has been thoroughly borne out over the course of the 110th Congress so far.


kos, December 7, 2006:

We can spend 2007 either pushing impeachment (which isn’t as popular as Zogby claims, see Bowers’ piece), or we can use it educating the American people about what a Democratic government would look like — passing meaningful legislation that would improve their lives like the minimum wage, health care reform, ethics reform, stem cell research funding, policies that help families and the middle class.

Impeachment does none of that.

- and neither, as it turns out, does a Democratic Congress.


Don’t worry about Bush and company. Congress will pursue its oversight duties. Waxman and Slaughter and Conyers and the rest of those guys aren’t about to take the next two years off. People will be held accountable. Impeachment isn’t the [only] path to accountability.

- except, as we no know, the administration has defied their subpoenas and obstructed their investigations. Now what?

Kagro X, within days of being handed his new responsibilities as a front-pager at DailyKos, circumspectly answered the question, “But what can Congress do when the executive branch defies congressional subpoenas, and the administration’s Justice Department refuses to enforce them?”

So if you’re conducting oversight of, say, the NSA spying program, and you want answers from Gonzales regarding the program’s legality, and you subpoena him and he tells you to take a flying leap, what do you do?

You could try going to court, but not only will that pretty much run out the clock, but the courts are quite likely to tell you, “What are you crying to us for? You have your remedy. If you’re too chicken to use it, that’s your problem.”

Kagro goes on,

Instead, it’s about contemplating the place of impeachment as a procedural tool. Just as it’s the threat of a filibuster that ultimately provides the “power” that makes the “Senatorial hold” possible, so is impeachment the power that makes Congressional subpoena power possible for use against the executive branch.

And whereas the Democratic Congress has demonstrated its willingness to cave in the face of mere threats of obstruction by Republicans, the Republicans on the other hand have shown that they will stop at nothing – the so-called “cataclysmic fight to the death” promised shortly after the November 2006 elections – to keep Democratic initiatives from moving forward.  This Democratic Congress, truly, is left with only one option, an option clearly spelled out in the Constitution: impeachment.

of course, the one argument against impeachment but I cannot successfully fight is the unstated argument.  Some have suggested that Republicans might be holding compromising information certain if not most Democratic congress members.

I saw my first impeach yard sign today.  It was very heartening.

The same mindset that would justify immunity for the telcos in FISA would justify forgoing impeachment: perpetrators of crime should not be held accountable for their crimes.

Pony Party, Freedom is Slavery

I watched waaaay too much armageddon-themed documentary television this weekend….and im skeert, so we’re going to a scary, scary place this morning……my mind!!!  😉

(im not really scared…just a little unnerved)

All of the following quotes are from ‘1984’, by George Orwell…They’re otherwise unrelated to each other, and follow no particular discernible logical path…sorry ’bout that!!

If ‘1984’ were indeed (as some suggest) an allegory for the Barmen Declaration opposing the nazi policy of state-controlled churches, then this would probably be the first quote you’d reference.

“Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?… Has it ever occurred to you, Winston, that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we are having now?…The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact, there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking-not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.”

But thinking people can see the universal truth in ‘orthodoxy is unconsciousness’.  And it frustrates us.  

“If there was hope, it must lie in the proles, because only there, in those swarming disregarded masses, eighty-five percent of the population of Oceania, could the force to destroy the Party ever be generated.”

“Until the become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.”

The second sentence there…the ‘catch-22’ (another great book, btw)…worried me.  

If it hadn’t been for theevolutionarysieve’s intervention…reminding me….to quote Live, which is what I do best…that it’s all just ‘light and rainbows, smashed to smithereens’, I may have made a healthy and ill-advised investment in tin foil and ammunition  😉  

body armor latest

where to find defense contracts


bae goes after MTC Dec. 2007




blair blocked bae investigation dec. 2007





the guardian has an entire web page devoted to BAE scandal



saudi arabia warns it might stop cooperating vis terrorism if bae investigation goes forward january 30 2008



so. african president-elect jacob zuma involved in bae



bae to go forward with ah purchase jun 8


dhb/pint blank gets $52 million order for OT

armor holdings press releases


ARMOR HOLDINGS conference calls



seattle times – earmarks


armor holdings contracts 2006 $800 million


armor holdings $32.1 million Feb. 24, 2006 contract


detail on contract


how the info works on usaspending.gov



simula gets $46 million contract for ESAPI inserts on Nov. 29, 2007; same day, BAE holdings get total of nearly $1 billion in contracts, including for Stewart & Stevenson



from hasc hearings: cool powerpoint on army’s may 2006 dragon skin “findings” (PDF FILE)



from a comment on TPM Muckraker June 7 2007


Re Dragon Skin vs Interceptor body armor

Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Hugh Shelton and former Secret Service Director Brian Stafford joined the board of Ceramic Protection Corporation (CPC) last year.

CPC manufactures a lot of the boron ceramic inserts that go into the Interceptor armor at its Newark DE facility. Last year, it purchased a Florida manufacturer of the soft body armor that goes into the Interceptor system.

Around the time that Shelton and Stafford joined the CPC board, CPC got a slew of new body armor contracts from the DoD.

I’ve been following body armor news and I wonder if magnesium ceramic body armor is going to be the next big thing.

One of the investors in CPC, PA-based financier Heinz Schimmelbusch, has a financial interest in a company that produces and markets mangnesium.

Dynamic Defense Materials DDM, a tiny defense contractor based in Bootwyn PA, has been trying to develop contoured magnesium ceramic body armor. Katherine T. Leighton, DDM officer, has a patent application pending which involves the manufacutre of magnesium ceramic body armor.

Leighton and Schimmelbusch both have ties to a Newark DE company, Lanxide, that went belly up in 1999.

DDM contributed more than $17k to Curt Weldon’s last campaign and is now a client of Weldon’s firm, Defense Solutions LLC.

I suspect the big shots in the Army have already picked out the next generation of body armor and it isn’t Dragon Skin. Lisa Myers of NBC just didn’t ask the right questions.


armor holdings names to replace 156,000 Second Chance vests July 2005



air force seeks to debar pinnacle



david brooks wants out of jail dec 22 2007



judge approves house arrest for brooks



brooks sued by Point Blank for $4 million dec 7 2007



air force times and navy times editorial calling for fair testing (june 18 ’07?)




“bloggers’ roundtable with gen. brown may 21, 2007 (PDF FILE)

funny – i don’t know of anyone who was invited


pogo on debarment



what is debarment


can be debarred for illegal immigrants


can be debarred for not maintaining a drug-free workplace


contractors accountability act of 2003


should boeing be debarred?


large contractors tough to debar, gove exec.com


bush admin proposes repeal of contractor responsibility rule 2001


anti-scofflaw rule proposed 1999


iraq contractors’ debarment may 2007


parsons debarment a good sign


steve kelman


some of parsons’ iraq failings


Federal Acquisition Regulations, Part 9.4


sba proposal may 2007 to include tax violations as cuase for debarment


oversight pendulum swinging bakc may 2007


air force stopped testing in 2006



navy bans body armor june 13



army addresses norwood in nbc interview


captain’s journal compliments occams hatchet june 1


u.s. opens bae investigation june 15 latimes



bae appoints judge to examine bae’s ethics – at $10,000/day june 15



bae’s self-examination not setting well with MPs



bae now sells more in u.s. than u.k.


bae acquisition of armor holdings closed july 31


pentagon balked at pleas for safer vehicles


analysis of injuries




aei’s and pnac’s michael donnelly “NBC’s body armor embarrassment” june 20



pentagon losing control to contractors – business week june 25


bae shares drop with u.s. investigation june26


army seeks better plates aug 07


armor holdings $1.1 million export fine August 20


armor holdings $1.2 million air pollution fine august 20


armor holdings armored vehicle 1,200 ordered; others out August 16


force protection loses; look for it to be bought by Armro Holdings


dragon skin unlikely to get side-by-side test august 16


arizona congressman pushes for armor holdings contracts august 2007


fewer mraps to be delivered august 2007



“bribery is normal” – rightwing publication august 2007


cns news whackos





hold earmarks for bae – under investigation


$15 million in fines paid for dfectine armor



mrap contractors narrowed to 3 – including Armor Holdings


mrap contractors


bae chief quits


bae armor holdings individual body armor contract $43 million


Washington attacking corporate corruption elsewhere in the world

Justice Dept. probes British firm’s suspect payments to Saudis

corpwatch – fcpa heating up dec 07




evolution armor supposedly has level 4 armor – don’t hold your breath waiting for professional soldiers or OpFor to jump down evolution’s throat about their utterly untested armor



The Skaalar Exo-Skin product line is available now, but only for special forces teams and their operators. It’s completely flexible level 4 armor capable of addressing the ESAPI and XSAPI requirements with no gaps in coverage and is custom designed per each teams requirements. Also available in early 2008 we have a level 3+ Exo-Skin coming for law enforcement personnel using a new method of creating flexible comfort. Check back with at the first of the year for details about the Gen 3 product for law enforcement.

professional soldiers.com still very smug


bae (with 2 entities) gets order for !,268 of 3,100 MRAPs


force protection could be takeover target


mrap contracts given to big contractors (ceradyne also mentioned)


bizarre: huff post columnist recommended dragon skin to bhutto


bhutto needed export license for dragon skin


army regs re foia 25-55 – PDF FILE


value of mraps debated dec 27 2007 latimes


british SFO investigating drug companies for oil-for-food corruption dec 31



riechers suicide dec 2007



pimco challenge to boeing (vis riechers) upheld dec 28 2007



bbc world service podcast on procurement



british anti-corruption laws have teeth (legal advice) dec 2007



company fined for falsely claiming fed contract with bae jan 2008



s. african arms deal may fall apart jan3 2008



not happy with dragon skin dec 2008


with armor holdings having been bought by bae, it’s got even more leverage – bae is scattered all across the u.s., in several states and dozens of congressional districts.

bae probe may tear south africa apart january 10 2008



saudis “urge” MI6 to drop bae investigation jan 2008


guy who actually worked for pinnacle jan 2008


bae wins contract for mine-clearing vehicles jan 10 2008


Designed for use by US forces, BAE’s “medium mine-protected vehicles” are built to clear routes littered with mines and improvised explosive devices, which, according to the defence department, are responsible for almost two-thirds of US casualties in Iraq.

Orders for standard counter-insurgency vehicles, supplied currently by BAE, are likely to fall, said Colin Crook, a UBS analyst.

But he said that the deal suggested “the sustainability of BAE’s military vehicle work is much better than many commentators may fear”.

cheney in dragon skin?


michael yon’s comment


profile of yon in NYT


sov-300 for sale on ebay feb 6 2008


turtle skin armor


ADDED FEB 9 2008

british firms don’t know they have to comply with FCPA


ADDED FEB 18 2008

bae chief retiring, history of scandal feb 17 08


high court says blair put irresistible force against investigation feb 14 08


judges to rule on dropped investigation feb 15 08


The SFO lawyer Philip Sales was frequently interrupted by one of the judges with questions about the stance taken by the SFO and the British government in the face of an alleged “serious and imminent” threat to national security.

Lord Justice Moses said it appeared that Britain had simply “rolled over” instead of trying to make the Saudi government withdraw the threats, which amounted to criminal offences under British law.

But Mr Sales hit back: “We in the UK can’t compel the Saudi Arabian government to adopt a different stance.”

Documents released to the court showed the government thought “British lives on British streets” would have been at risk if the inquiry into alleged bribery had not been dropped.

In the documents, Helen Garlick, assistant director at the Serious Fraud Office stated:

“If this caused another 7/7 how could we say that our investigation, which at this stage might or might not result in a successful prosecution, was more important?”

judge says govt “rolled over” on saudi threat feb 14 08


icr hired in 2003 to raise Armor HOldings profile


dragon skin on ebay – ksee video report feb 15 08


ADDED FEB 20 2008


bae chief says

Appearing on the Sky Jeff Randall Live programme, Turner described the accusations as having gone too far, and having come from “a small portion of the UK media and minority groups who have a strange distorted view of the world”. He also deemed the High Court case as damaging for the country.


british probe focuses on commissions, only 4 countries


oecd starts investigation into great britain corruption march 2008


Important If True: Things I didn’t know edition

Important If True: Things I didn’t know edition  1/20



joe conason book review


georgia gun bill


Gen. Robert Scales on ATC january 11 – very end of the broadcast


The reason we’re in Iraq is to establish a military presence there. Finally – someone comes out and admits that the reason we illegally invaded and occupied a sovereign nation that posed no threat to us was to fulfill the agenda of the Project for the New American Century, first laid out in 1997 and more fully explicated in 2000.

defense secretary gates on gunboats


Asked about the Iranian charge of fabrication, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said: “I think that the most appropriate answer is actually the one that I heard on television last night from former Secretary of Defense Bill Cohen, who said, ‘Are you going to believe me or your lying eyes?’

I’LL BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW THIS: thompson not even in the same ballpark – he’s on a little league diamond


Fred Thompson knew he had to hit it out of the park last night — so he did.

more scintillating commentary from the same columnist, Ericka Andersen (a real piece of journalistic work herself):

Huckabee wasn’t the only one out of place last night. Ron Paul, who was invited to the debate only after receiving 8% of the New Hampshire vote, displayed his lack of understanding of the military by second-guessing on-scene commanders who didn’t fire on Iran speedboats in the incident last Sunday in the Strait of Hormuz. Worse still, Paul seemed to suggest that the American version of the incident — in which a radio transmission from the Iranian boats included a threat, “you will explode in two minutes” — was untrue.

Paul suggested that “voice may not even have come from those vessels” and argued that “there are people in this administration and in Washington DC that are looking for a chance” to go to war….an excuse to bomb Iran.”





my kids are all in favor of schools being required to validate opposing views. In fact, one of my daughters is adamant that her algebra teacher give as much weight to the belief that holds that factoring

o’reilly and trained monkey fling poo


creationism museum closing


depending upon the 40,000 year age of an artifact

The meek shall not inherit the scorched earth: everybody knows there’s a difference between campaigning and governing.  Campaigning can be exciting: the adrenaline rush, the strategizing, the maneuvering, the gamesmanship,-but what to do once the election is won?  Putting aside for the moment we illegality of the entire enterprise, the “defeat” of the Iraqi army took a little bit over three weeks.  That was the easy part, and the most telegenic.  The hard part-and the part for which those who carried out the Blitzkrieg had no plan and no clue-came afterward.  So what is my point?  Simply this: conducting a scorched earth Blitzkrieg campaign whose sole object is to win, regardless of the costs, consequences or repercussions, might be a nice tactic, but a terrible strategy.  Just sayin.

alcides moreno


It’s what they do

It’s what they do

college loan fiasco – new york

willie sutton of gov’t

inspector general on iraq c. 4/30



baroody  cpsc, incl. $150,000 bonus


smihsonian, national parks,


FEMA’s Brown and his predecessor

Rumsfled, Cheney, Bush

EPA people

excellent political cortex on rogue’s gallery


another good list


original(?) ap list april 2007


supreme court rules SEC is enough; no stockholder anti-trust suits on IPOs june 18


investing in infrastructure


check out the millennium challenge


Minneapolis bridge repair


kagro x’s augu 19 story on rove


Noarth American Union – Granny Doc’s diary august 20


fdr speech


rumsfeld and aspartame




Amid this controversy, Rumsfeld was hired as Searle CEO on March 8, 1977 and immediately began cleaning house. Rumsfeld, who had no previous business executive experience before becoming CEO of Searle, reorganized several departments in the company and fired many of its high-level managers, replacing them with other politically-connected Washington, D.C., insiders.


ralston turkey lockheed


earmarks, incl. defense


from diary on visiting iraq mercenary compound


The first question here is always “who are you with?” rather than “where are you from?” The contractors hold their corporate identity above their national identity. Indeed, they come from many nations and the common corporate culture bonds them and allows them to work together for their mutual benefit. It is eerily reminiscent of the post-nation state futures depicted in dystopian corporatocracy science fiction or anime. To a person, the contractors we talked to were confused by us because we were with an NGO and not a corporation.

fedex loses independent contractor suit


repubs rely on money to hold Iraq, afghanistan together


cs monitor on parks budget


really good article on national parks


good site: http://www.bushgreenwatch.org/

nrdc page


mention yosemite – new cabins for vendor, not govt. employees

nbc news


jerome’s story on defiance of lenders in light of subprime fiasco jan 2008


sirota on class warfare jan 2008


It is important to bear in mind that this worldview will not die with this presidency. This is a worldview that is older than the Magna Carta; its manifestation during the Dark Ages we now call “feudalism.”

money? or people?

downsizing, outsourcing newspaper work


Remove the profit motive.  Examples: military service, police protection, highways, all of the government programs that work.

powell memo 1971


h/t Christopher Day


elaine chao at labor feb 2008


Are you f-ing kidding me?

Are you f-ing kidding me?

coburn article





background noise’s diary on medicaid cuts


fuck you, I got mine

Ratzinger on exorcism

huckabee on bhutto and muslims

giuliani aide on muslims, bhutto “caves”

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