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It’s Official: Sheehan is on the Ballot!

This is brief, and I cannot be here today to visit; but, I’ll be back this evening, and I appreciate your interest in reading this and commenting.

Cindy Sheehan and her supporters collected enough signatures to place her on the November ballot for California’s 8th congressional district, challenging Nancy Pelosi.

I personally celebrate this because I have felt very frustrated by House Speaker Pelosi’s refusal to follow through on accountability of this administration, and because she insists on taking “bipartisan” rhetoric to the point of submission to Republican policies.

I realize that electing the representative for CA 08 is up to the constituents there; but, because Pelosi’s decisions affect us all, I will support Sheehan to try to unseat Pelosi.  I’m going to send Sheehan $10.00, because that’s what I can afford right now (I hope to send more between now and November); if all of us chipped in, I think we could make a significant contribution to her campaign.

We’ve had some excellent essays on the subject of Pelosi, including those posted last week by dharmasyd and Edgar.  I think we understand the situation, and  some of the things we can do to help.

Please, support Cindy Sheehan – please, send a message to Pelosi that we need representatives who respect the values and laws of this country.

Thank you!

What I Do and Do Not Fear

As much as I aspire to be motivated by factors more noble than fear – like love and compassion – as a human being I do have fears, and they do motivate me.  My need to express and proactively confront these fears arises from my digestion of yesterday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing, Executive Power and Its Constitutional Limitations.

While I was left feeling more optimistic about some Committee members’ sincerity in restoring the rule of law, as well as the options presented by witness testimony, I also became more acutely aware of my fears. I agree with Elizabeth Holtzman that the need for bipartisan support of accountability – specifically impeachment inquiries – is essential to the success of the process, and quite probably to the future integrity of our Democracy.

I’ll get to my point:  some Republican members of the Committee stated that the primary role of Congress is to protect Americans, to focus on “national security”, rather than conduct oversight hearings.  They, of course, attempted to justify this position by mentioning threats from terrorists, which did elicit fear in me – but, I’m sure not in the way these members intended.

So, I listened to my fear, and I had a conversation with it:

Live-blogging House hearing on Executive Power II

Continued from First essay here

Hearing can be watched at CSPAN

House Judiciary Committee members have made their opening statements, and witnesses have made their opening statements.  House members are now questioning the witnesses.  Here is the witness list:

Panel One

The Honorable Dennis Kucinich, Representative from Ohio

The Honorable Maurice Hinchey, Representative from New York

The Honorable Walter Jones, Representative from North Carolina

The Honorable Brad Miller, Representative from North Carolina

Panel Two

The Honorable Elizabeth Holtzman, Former Representative from New York

The Honorable Bob Barr, Former Representative from Georgia, 2008 Libertarian Nominee for President

The Honorable Ross C. “Rocky” Anderson, Founder and President, High Roads for Human Rights

Stephen Presser, Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History, Northwestern University School of Law

Bruce Fein, Associate Deputy Attorney General, 1981-82, Chairman, American Freedom Agenda

Vincent Bugliosi, Author and former Los Angeles County Prosecutor

Jeremy A. Rabkin, Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law

Elliott Adams, President of the Board, Veterans for Peace

Frederick A. O. Schwarz, Jr., Senior Counsel, Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law

UPDATE:  I overlooked jimstarro’s excellent essay this morning, “Executive Power and Its Constitutional Limitations”

Please, go give this some ponies  : )

Live-blogging House hearing on Executive Power I

It’s starting – hope you can join me in discussions here and at ConyersBlog

The hearing can be watched on the House Judiciary Committee website or at CSPAN

For some background, check out afterdowningstreet

Live-blogging continues at Live-blogging House hearing on Executive Power II

Sorry, I’m having trouble with formatting for some reason…

Will the Real Democratic Party Please Stand Up?

Submitted by feline on December 21, 2007 – 12:31pm.

The Democratic Party has morphed into a strange multi-headed creature over the last 10 – 15 years. I’m all for diversity, but when they can’t remember their own principles and vote consistently as a group, the Republicans and the Administration end up winning on legislation as if they were the majority.

The Dems are invested in the idea that voters are so fed up, we’ll vote for anyone that doesn’t have an R in front of their name. But, here’s the problem: I have no idea what the D means anymore.

Does it mean this?


Or does it mean this?

Democratic Leadership Council

I had once had hopes that it meant this:

Congressional Progressive Caucus

(Remember when those used to be the ideals of the Party and not just a Caucus?! Sad…)

Anytime I see the word “New” anymore, I get really worried:

New Democrat Coalition

And I don’t know how a representative who identifies him/herself “conservative” even gets to have a D in front of their name:

The Blue Dog Coalition

(How in the hell did the Democratic National Committee let that start happening? Do these folks even know the Bylaws of the Party?)

Well, there you have it, the “Democratic Party”! It’s become so hybridized, I wouldn’t know some members of the Party unless they had the D in front of their name (with the exception of a few who actually seem to have read their Bylaws and the U.S. Constitution).

Every election cycle, the Democratic Party feels the need to reinvent itself in order to secure or gain a majority. Maybe if members of Congress with a D in front of their name would just adhere to the principles of the Democratic Party while they’re in office, they wouldn’t have to work so hard and waste so much money trying to convince the voters that they’re different from the Republicans.

We’re NOT STUPID, you know…

(That was my Andy Rooney, impersonation, I hope it was okay.)