Tag: hearings

On Avoiding Blame, Part One, Or, Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Drill No Evil.

I am one of those people who will actually watch those boring, boring, hearings on C-SPAN that most of us flip right on past while watching TV, and this past week I’ve been watching one of the longer events the channel broadcasts…but it’s been far from boring.

The Coast Guard and what used to be the MMS were in Houston looking into what caused the Gulf oil spill and they’re taking testimony from representatives of the involved parties…and let me tell you, this is more than just an accident inquiry-it’s also a warm-up for the lawsuits that are surely going to follow.

We’ve had dozens of trial attorneys basically conducting a deposition process, witnesses who can teach a master course in “plausible unawareability”©, BP employees who have taken the Fifth and refused to testify at all, and, overseeing the entire process, a retired Federal District Court Judge and a Coast Guard Captain who might very well be on the way to trading his eagles for stars one day soon.

Do you really believe all those “we’ll make it right” BP commercials?

If you watch this hearing, that impression may well change.

The Insurer’s Drop List, keeps growing …

We learned last week from LA Times reporting, and from Congressional Hearings, that Insurance companies routinely try to drop your Insurance policy, if you happen to get one of their “Hot List” illnesses.

Getting any of these illnesses, can Trigger the Insurance Company’s “Cancellation Police”, into action.

Denial Specialists scour your medical history, and cross-check that against your application, looking for any reason to Cancel, or rescind, your Insurance policy, thus saving the Insurance Company untold thousands in future payments for your expected Care. Denial Specialists, of course, earn bonuses for each Policy they cancel. What a system!

Those 4 illnesses (out of the 1000+ such Triggers) previously disclosed are:

breast cancer, high blood pressure, lymphoma and pregnancy

Well thanks to the tough questioning of the Oversight and Investigations Sub Committee, at least 2 more Triggering Illnesses have been disclosed, as indicated in the video and transcript of the Hearing:

The 2 other newly disclosed “Drop List” illnesses, include:

ovarian cancer, and brain cancer

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…

Dennis Kucinich: “There will be more.”

Dennis Kucinich is making my Summer just a little bit more fun.

Today his 35 Articles of Impeachment against President Bush were referred to the House Judiciary Committee, where the conventional wisdom says they will languish without a hearing.

But the Committee’s expected inactivity isn’t stopping Dennis.

Kucinich said that if the Judiciary Committee does not act within 30 days, he intends to introduce another, longer version of the articles of impeachment, with 60 counts instead of 35.

“I am not going to let this go. I am not going to let it go. I’ll just keep coming back and they can pile these things up in committee but I’ll keep coming back,” Kucinich said. “I’ll bring it up again, and there will be more. There will be more.”