February 20, 2008 archive

Impeachment may be on the table after all

I could not believe my eyes. Elected officials are finally beginning to seriously contemplate impeachment of the president for abuse of power and violating the Constitution. Concern over “deposed judges” is one of many issues that is causing leaders of both political parties to consider the issue of impeachment. This must-read article suggests that “debate on possible impeachment may gain currency in the days to come.” It evens quotes some high profile Democratic lawmakers, who have been reluctant to press for the impeachment of George W. Bush in the past.  Senator John Kerry, pointing to a clause for impeachment in the Constitution, said this was a “great opportunity to work together to strengthen democracy.”  Not to be outdone, Senator Joseph Biden also got into the act.

“This is an opportunity for us to move from a policy that has been focused on a personality to one based on an entire people,” Biden said.

A powerful editorial also pushed for impeachment.

But if he is reluctant to call it a day voluntarily, the choice will be between banding together and getting rid of him or letting him stay as a lame duck president.

Could it be that the rule of law may finally be defended by members of the Democratic Party and the media?  

Four at Four

  1. The New York Times reports that After his wins, Obama is the focus of McCain and Clinton. “Mr. McCain has turned his attention to Mr. Obama, calling on him to pledge to abide by the limits of public financing for the campaign. Mrs. Clinton also focused on Mr. Obama as she went on the offensive early Wednesday in a speech at Hunter College in Manhattan, charging that her rival has substituted rhetoric for practical experience. ‘It is time to get real,’ Mrs. Clinton, of New York, said. ‘To get real about how we actually win this election and get real about the challenges facing America. It’s time we moved from good words to good works, from sound bites to sound solutions.'” Clinton is campaigning in New York, while her “must win” primaries are in Texas and Ohio.

    Mccain’s motivations are obviously not driven by belief that campaigns should be publically financed. Rather, “Mr. Obama has broken all political fundraising records in this election he has taken in more than $150 million so far, $36 million in January alone, and Mr. McCain’s advisers have privately questioned why he would disarm himself of that advantage and not spend the prodigious amounts he has raised on his own.”

    Meanwhile, The Guardian reports the Obama campaign urges Clinton to concede. “Obama’s campaign manager, David Plouffe, dismissed her camp’s hopes of making a comeback… ‘This is a wide, wide lead right now,’ Plouffe said in a conference call with reporters. ‘The Clinton campaign keeps saying the race is essentially tied. That’s just lunacy.’ The argument from the Obama camp appears designed to paint Clinton as a nuisance candidate — much like Mike Huckabee… Clinton’s hopes of upsetting that equation now turn on delivering a convincing performance in tomorrow night’s Democratic debate in Austin, Texas”.

  2. The AP reports the Supreme Court says 401(k) participants can sue under a pension protection law to recover their losses. The court’s decision was unanimous. “James LaRue of Southlake, Texas, said the value of his stock market holdings plunged $150,000 when administrators at his retirement plan failed to follow his instructions to switch to safer investments… Justice John Paul Stevens, in his opinion for the court, said that such lawsuits are allowed. ‘Fiduciary misconduct need not threaten the solvency of the entire plan to reduce benefits below the amount that participants would otherwise receive,’ Stevens said… The Bush administration argued in support of workers. The government said the appeals court ruling barring LaRue’s lawsuit would leave 401(k) participants without a meaningful remedy from any federal, state or local court when plan administrators fail to live up to their duties. Business groups supported LaRue’s employer.” Will this make any difference to most people?

  3. Newsflash! Well, maybe not… Just more bad news. Bloomberg News reports Federal Reserve outlook predicts more joblessness and higher inflation. “Fed policy makers now expect U.S. gross domestic product to increase by 1.3 percent to 2 percent in 2008, compared with the 1.8 percent to 2.5 percent they predicted in October. The fourth-quarter jobless rate will be between 5.2 percent and 5.3 percent, up from a range of 4.8 percent to 4.9 percent in the last forecast… Inflation, excluding food and energy, will run at 2 percent to 2.2 percent this year, compared with 1.7 percent to 1.9 percent projected in October. Total consumer prices will rise by 2.1 percent to 2.4 percent; the FOMC projected an increase of 1.8 percent to 2.1 percent three months earlier… Food prices rose last year at the fastest pace since 1990, the Labor Department said Jan. 16.”

    Oh and Reuters reports Oil steadies at $100 after touching record high. As predicted, $100 per barrel is now the new low. Meanwhile in Germany, Spiegel wonders if their country is about to have the “worst financial crisis since 1931?” Because, according to them German state-owned banks on verge of collapse. So if history repeats itself, which country will be the first to fully embrace fascism. My money is on the U.S. this time around.

  4. If you live in a cave, you become accustomed to the dark. So, it was with great enthusiasm that I read the news in the Washington Post that Scientists create a black that erases virtually all light. “Researchers in New York reported this month that they have created a paper-thin material that absorbs 99.955 percent of the light that hits it, making it by far the darkest substance ever made — about 30 times as dark as the government’s current standard for blackest black… By voraciously sucking up all surrounding illumination, it can give those who gaze on it a dizzying sensation of nothingness.”

    Of course the military is interested in (and funding) the research, but the article also explains that “Solar panels coated with it would be much more efficient than those coated with conventional black paint, which reflects 5 percent or more of incoming light.” Maybe something good will come from the darkness?

Thank You Hillary for Michelle’s Sake

I remember in 1993, we were all excited about Bill, hell, “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow”…. a man young and hip enough to replace the aging Bush/Reagan legacy; someone like US!  That same enthusiasm prevailed, the same “moderate” talk got swept under the rug during his campaign, right up until “Don’t ask, Don’t Tell” became law.

Promises, Promises. Moderate Happens. I digress…..

One thing I do remember was the reaction to Bill’s wife.  Unlike Eleanor Roosevelt, who really broke the first ground, Hillary is very much responsible for the publics reaction to Michelle Obama today. She deserves credit for that much.

Round-The-Clock Gilda Reed Fundraiser Part One!

The People’s House, The House of Representatives. Emphasis on……Represent. Conceived as the most basic building block of our democracy, elegantly simple. The People living in an area choose someone, one of their neighbors, to go to Washington and sit in The Peoples House and represent their interests, their concerns and their identity within our national government. But all too often this most simple of mechanisms of democracy has been corrupted, and those who are chosen to Represent The People…. instead represent the moneyed and powerful interests who would use our democracy for far less noble ends.

Especially those darn Republicans!

So when there is a chance to elect one of those “better Democrats” that we all wish to see in the halls of The People’s House, it is incumbent on us to do so. When we can take a seat that has been held by those aforementioned Republicans, it is URGENT that we do so.

And today, and for the next 24 hours, you have a chance to help!

I give you Gilda Reed, Candidate for Louisiana’s First Congressional district.Photobucket

This will be posted at Daily Kos in one hour, to kick off the Round-The-Clock  Fundraiser, please head over there then…and do what you can to help. As usual, you Dharmaniacs are ahead of the curve!


Hope comes a-shining, even to Waller County.

Though not part of the Dark Triangle of Texas (Beaumont to Waco to Texarkana), Waller County has long be the stronghold of asshats. One of the last citadels of the old “conservative” Dixiecrats, they have been a source of voter suppression in the form of throwing back all the way to the 1930s. But Hope has come to Waller.


Early voting starts today in Texas.  In Waller County, a primarily rural county about 60 miles outside Houston, the county made the decision to offer only one early voting location:  at the County Courthouse in Hempstead, TX, the county seat.

Prairie View A&M students organized to protest the decision, because they felt it hindered their ability to vote.  For background, Prairie View A&M is one of Texas’ historically Black universities.  It has a very different demographic feel than the rest of the county.  There has been a long history of dispute over what the students feel is disenfranchisement.  There was a lot of outrage in 2006, when students felt they were unfairly denied the right to vote when their registrations somehow did not get processed.  

Ah, the thought of the people rising up, from all creeds and make up, marching together as one to courthouse square of Hempstead brings a damn tear to my eye. Cowboys only cry in the movies, but this does look like a scene from The Texas Redemption. Nothing like seeing the best laid plans of mice and men to stiffle the vote blow up in their face.

They are known for this:


Waller County has faced numerous lawsuits involving voting rights in the past 30 years and remains under investigation by the Texas Attorney General’s Office based on complaints by local black leaders. Those allegations, concerning the November 2006 general election, related to voting machine failures, inadequate staffing and long delays for voting results.

March for Change, March for Hope, March to show even Texas is removing its head from its ever so red baboon ass.

Viva Prairie View!

Buddha Cat

There was once a little kitty. She was black with a crooked tail. She was quite neurotic all by herself and her neurosis should in no way be attributed to the person who fed her and napped with her and petted her on demand.  Not at all!  They shared a life and so maybe some neurosis spilled over but her fear of cars and traveling was all her own.

This kitty traveled half-way across the country, twice. She really hated highways. She never offered to drive and when the car stopped she’d howl like a banshee. She once tried to escape to an Amish village.  She was fiercely opposed to modern methods of transportation and thought the Amish might be her people and a good place to find a home. She was captured and kept from that life and never quite forgave her capturers for not allowing her to fulfill her destiny as a Cat of the Amish.

She really didn’t like tornadoes, either and took thunder and lightening sort of personally; fireworks, too. She had a special shoebox she’d go to whenever the gods of the sky made themselves known. She did like SciFi however and was a big fan of Mystery Science Theatre.

The kitty had many stories to tell.  There are many stories to tell about the kitty.

USA Today pokes Dems in the eye over health care

On health care reform, the choice between the Democratic and Republican candidates is crystal clear.  The two leading Democratic candidates tell the American people the truth about the American health care system – it is too expensive, leaves out 50 million people, and burdens employers.  One can argue that the Clinton and Obama plans do not go far enough toward creating universal single-payer coverage that citizens of other developed countries take for granted, but at least the Democrats are talking about steps toward solution.  By contrast, McCain and the Republicans offer nothing but tired rhetoric and more tax breaks for people that do not need them.  If you cannot afford health insurance, then putting aside money into a medical savings account is a cynical, if not blatantly cruel “solution” to the problem.  

This recent editorial in USA Today highlights the uphill battle we face as the media seek to muddy the waters and muddle the public.

The editorial notes that health care costs per person in the United States are double the per-capita rates in other countries, including Canada and the members of the European Union.  It grudgingly admits that many Americans lack health insurance and therefore access to quality care.  However, the rest is nothing but disinformation.

Pony Party, Lunar Eclipse

Tonight a total eclipse of the full moon will be visible from most of North America.  According to NASA, the total eclipse will begin at 10:01 pm est, and end at 10:51 pm est.  The linked website also contains a map indicating what areas of North and South America, Europe, Africa, and western Asia will be able to see the eclipsed satellite (Feb 21st in the Eastern Hemisphere).

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Pakistan’s Musharraf urged to quit after poll rout

by Sami Zubeiri, AFP

2 hours, 15 minutes ago

ISLAMABAD (AFP) – Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf faced mounting calls to quit Tuesday as opposition parties moved towards a coalition government in the wake of a sweeping election victory over his allies.

The widower of slain former premier Benazir Bhutto said he had no interest in working with Musharraf’s defeated backers, but said he would join forces with other groups opposed to the key figure in US anti-terror efforts.

“We will form a government of national consensus which will take along every democratic force,” Asif Ali Zardari told a news conference a day after the parliamentary elections.

The Other Shoe Dropping in Iraq?

As bad as Iraq was and is, it soon could become worse than the very recent past nfew months and they haven’t been a sunday afternoon picnic!

markthshark posted this Diary last night: Moqtada al-Sadr Ends Four Month Pact with Rival Shi’ite Council.

Amazingly this Extremely Important bit of Reality made it up to the recommend list disappointing, I’ll bet, at least one diarist posting either a slam post against or a love thy one for the favorite candidate ‘Who’s Gonna Save The World’. Folks, just abit of another reality. Only You, together with many many many others can right the course of this Ship of State, but I degress.

Could the other shoe hit the floor in Iraq?

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

The muses are ancient.  The inspirations for our stories were said to be born from them.  Muses of song and dance, or poetry and prose, of comedy and tragedy, of the inward and the outward.  In one version they are Calliope, Euterpe and Terpsichore, Erato and Clio, Thalia and Melpomene, Polyhymnia and Urania.

It has also been traditional to name a tenth muse.  Plato declared Sappho to be the tenth muse, the muse of women poets.  Others have been suggested throughout the centuries.  I don’t have a name for one, but I do think there should be a muse for the graphical arts.  And maybe there should be many more.

Please join us inside to celebrate our various muses…

Iglesia ……………………………………… Episode 34

(Iglesia is a serialized novel, published on Tuesdays and Saturdays at midnight ET, you can read all of the episodes by clicking on the tag.)

Previous episode and previous pertinent episode


He had never been much for tea….but he had to admit, as he sat beneath the cottonwood canopy next to the pretty little pond, at a ridiculously fragile looking ornate tea table, on a wire chair….that this was delicious. Beneath the bold flavors it was very delicate and, what was the word….dainty. When he picked up a cucumber sandwich and took a small bite, he noticed in disgust that his pinkie was sticking out.

“So, whose throat do you want me to slit?”

It was nice to see Rogers flinch a little.

“I am afraid what we have in mind is a bit more involved than simple …vivisection, Abraham.”

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