Monday, June 26, 2006

Impeachment Resolutions - It's Not Just For Legislative Bodies Anymore

There has been much discussion about the ability of state legislative bodies to bring impeachment resolutions to the House of Representatives for consideration, thanks to a clause in the Jefferson manual, section 603 of the House Rules of the United States Constitution. Such resolutions are currently being looked at by California, Illinois and Vermont. Many cities across the country have also passed impeachment resolutions, using Clause 3, Rule XII, Section 819, of the Rules of the House of Representatives.

Well, cities aren't the only bodies that are using Clause 3 to pass resolutions. The librarians of Seattle are taking matters into their own hands:
These are not the stereotypical librarians of the olden days, the ones who were a bit reserved but ready with a glare for anyone talking too loudly.

Instead, the employees of the Seattle Public Library have passed a resolution through their local union calling for President Bush to resign or be impeached because of the USA Patriot Act, the Iraq war and a host of other issues.

It's a resolution that doesn't mince words, and it will be introduced at the annual conference of the American Library Association that begins today in New Orleans.

"We're always concerned about patron privacy and protecting that," said Lynn Lorenz, 38, a librarian at the Madrona-Sally Goldmark Branch who helped draft the resolution.
This is an excellent move. While it's true, as writes, that resolutions coming from individuals and groups tend to carry less weight with the House, if enough impeachment resolutions are brought to the floor, it could become an issue they can no longer ignore or dance around.

For more information regarding the "How To" of impeachments, go to And for more information regarding impeachment actions and events in California, see

You'll be glad you did.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

AJR 39: Still Alive and Well, But Kicking and Screaming All The Way

By Paul Koretz, Assemblyman, 42nd District, California

Hello out there in Blog-Land,

I’m delighted to report that Assembly Joint Resolution 39 (AJR 39 -- my Resolution in the state legislature calling for the investigation and impeachment of Bush and Cheney) is alive.

One of the great things that is keeping this bill alive is the phenomenal input and proactive emails, faxes, phone calls and letters of support my colleagues and I have received from so many of you. They have been eloquent, personal and brave. The constant theme has been a deeply held belief that we need to reclaim our nation’s government from the hands of the lawless – if it’s not already too late.

None of this reaction is due to “corporate media” coverage, which has indeed been minimal. Instead, this is a great testimonial to the blogosphere and the power of your grass-roots activism, which reverberates every time you tell a friend, repost an announcement, or contact an elected official asking for their support.

We now have a Joint Author on the bill, Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), and six terrific co-authors: Jackie Goldberg (D-Los Angeles), Mark Ridley-Thomas (D-Los Angeles), Jerome Horton (D-Los Angeles), Rudy Bermudez (D-Los Angeles), Ron Calderon (D-Los Angeles), and Loni Hancock (D-Alameda County).

I believe it is my duty as a representative of the people, and the duty of all elected officials to help promote a public dialogue about things going on in the country that are just wrong, such as the dubious activities and errant judgment of the President and Vice President, because we can’t afford to turn a blind eye toward their ineptitude. For one reason or another, Congress has not sought to investigate these allegations. This is a matter that transcends partisan politics, and these are allegations that must not be ignored or swept under the rug any longer.

President Bush and Vice President Cheney must be held accountable before they undertake even deadlier misdeeds, such as the use of nuclear weapons. We have all seen that there are no bounds to their willingness to ignore the Constitution and world opinion, that the unthinkable is routine in this Administration.

People have been contacting me with great enthusiasm about the fact that we are finally standing up to this President and Vice President who consistently trample on the Constitution and believe they are above the law. Rather than fearing a backlash in the November elections, I feel that this will energize Democrats and others who have been frustrated by the lack of pushback to a President who has violated the Constitution and the checks and balances of our system with such impunity.

In the State Assembly, however, there is still much to be done. A bit of progress has been made since I first submitted the amendments to AJR 39. Although I can’t say that Assembly leadership is overly enthusiastic about moving the bill, it has been put into print. They have been particularly concerned about bi-partisan issues on the table in California, like the recently-passed infrastructure bond and the pending budget negotiations, and feel that impeachment is perceived as too partisan an issue to raise at this time. However, once our budget is passed, no impossible barrier remains in our way. The Resolution is now in the Rules Committee waiting for referral, hopefully to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

Pressure from constituents like you on Democratic Assemblymembers to not only support the bill, but also to become co-authors of the bill will be key to its success. We also need to push the Democratic leadership in the Assembly to refer the bill to committee and give it a hearing before the end of this legislative session in August.

It’s also important to let your representatives know that resolutions have also been introduced in Illinois and Vermont. Karen Yarbrough’s resolution in Illinois is done for the year as they are out of session. In Vermont, Dave Zuckerman’s Resolution has been referred to their Legislature’s Judiciary Committee, but its unclear whether the committee has heard the bill. Movement of my Resolution here in California could provide the impetus to not only moving Illinois’ and Vermont’s resolutions, but to also convince other states that introducing their own Resolutions would greatly enhance the cause.

It will not be easy, but we can do it. Impeachment charges have never before been brought by a State legislature against a President and Vice-President, and our work will require the best efforts of a progressive grassroots movement to be successful.

WE NEED YOUR HELP. For more information on how you can get involved, go to WWW.IMPEACHCA.COM.

Thank you!

Paul Koretz
Assemblyman, 42nd District

Monday, June 19, 2006

Berman Blows It

From LA Daily News - Berman with GOP on Iraq:
Capping two days of rancorous partisan debate, Rep. Howard Berman, D-Van Nuys, broke with most of his party Friday and voted to approve a Republican-backed resolution to reject a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq.
So many Democrats wag their fingers at progressive activists, saying that we're more concerned with the shade of blue our Democratic representatives are, instead of worrying about gaining a Democratic majority in Congress. But do we really want the sort of "Democrat" in Congress who will vote along GOP lines? One who says:
"I voted for today's resolution on Iraq because I agree with what it calls for: success in the 'mission to create a sovereign, free and united Iraq.' I still have hope that we can accomplish that mission," Berman said in a statement.
Some have said that the Iraq War is not the only issue that liberals have to worry about, so we shouldn't "use it as a litmus test" in the support of political candidates. But when the Iraq War is siphoning off so many resources that it horrifically impacts the majority of issues liberals care about and causes the deaths of our soldiers and Iraqis, it becomes the main issue we should act upon. And it becomes the main issue for which we should hold our electeds - as well as prospective electeds - accountable.

Personally, I want my Democratic representatives to be as blue as blue can be, not bright magenta. I know I'm not the only progressive Democrat who thinks so.

Friday, June 16, 2006

A Profile in Courage

John Kennedy while recuperating from his back injury wrote; his greatest was of course "Profiles In Courage". In this he detailed acts of moral and political courage by members of congress. While I claim no literate connection; I will do what I can to detail a modern profile in courage.

As an Irish Catholic, I remember the tale of the boxer and the Blessed Virgin; and an Irish- American, I am proud of the tale of the Boxer as his strives for peace. As a native Californian I am equally proud of our own Boxer; Senator Barbara Boxer.

She was one of five Democratic Senators who joined in supporting John Kerry's call for a Senate Resolution to withdraw from Iraq by the end of the year! She joined Senators Harkin, Byrd, Kennedy, Feingold, and of course Kerry in voting yes. The silence of the other Senators was anything but courageous. When she stood in the well of the Senate with members of the House Congressional Black Caucus to force a congressional response she stood alone with no other senate colleagues - that was an act of courage. Time, time and again; this diminutive power house of senatorial courage has stood by her principles and made us in California very proud. She is criticized as being too liberal; that is impossible. In the 2004 election the third highest vote getter after Bush and Kerry was Boxer. The highest vote for any Senator in the history of our republic.

I hope to spend some blog time over the next months in revisiting Barbara Boxer and her courage, committment to California, our nation and our world! This will be between more strident words on the fallacies of our national administration. For now be warmed and proud of our Senator and call, write or e-mail a thank you for her continued courage.

From Brad Friedman: No Confidence in the Busby/Bilbray Election

In today's Huffington Post - No Confidence in the Busby/Bilbray Election:
I don't know how else to put it, but every voting machine used in last week's special election run-off for the U.S. House seat vacated by the disgraced Randy "Duke" Cunningham in California's 50th congressional district was illegal. By federal standards, rules and provisions and by California state rules, laws and provisions.

And now, by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters own admission.

TO REVIEW: The election was run on highly hackable Diebold voting machines that were sent home overnight and unsecurely with poll workers for days prior to the election which rendered the machines both illegal and uncertified for use in the election under both federal and state laws, requirements and statutes. The GOP has since rushed to swear-in Bilbray before the votes were counted, or the election even certified by the state of California.

See any of the links above for corroborated, sourced and detailed information.
Regarding recently discovered massive security flaws, David Jefferson - a member of MacPherson's own team of independent analysts - was quoted as saying:
"[This] is the most serious vulnerability that we've ever seen in a voting system. This particular vulnerability is serious enough that you can affect multiple machines from a single attack. That's what makes it so dangerous.
PDA has also voted No Confidence in the 50th CD results and is calling for a handcount. Please sign the Velvet Revolution petition to help it to happen.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

ACTION ALERT: Net Neutrality in Danger - Contact Your Representative!

I know this is old news by now, but it's still all too important - we've got to keep Net Neutrality alive!

Telecommunications companies may already be blocking content when they so desire, according to
There’s a pervasive myth that there has been no Internet content discrimination by the large phone and cable companies. “That is simply untrue, ” writes Matt Stoller of BlogPAC.

Stoller points to Cox Cable, which for three months has blocked their customers from accessing the online classifieds super-site, Craigslist. (Disclosure: the company’s founder, Craig Newmark, is a charter member of this coalition).

Go to and sign the petition - send your representatives the message that you know the COPE Act is meaningless and offers no real protection for Net Neutrality.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The silver lining in the 50th

So Busby went bust.

Maybe Democrats will finally learn two things:

1. Local races are local. Voters are angry about Washington, but they're voting on Main Street. Running against "Washington" just doesn't win neighborhoods.

2. Don't turn non-referendums into referendums. It was Busby who spun her candidacy as the foamline on a forthcoming tidal wave. Smart for her, but the national party shouldn't have allowed it. Immediately after the primary, it became clear she was the underdog -- and that was the initial reporting. But now it looks like Democrats lost on their own referendum. Babe Ruth never called a home run only to whiff.

The Silver Lining:

1. Going into November, Dems won't be complacent.

2. There's still time to run local.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Boy, I'll bet he and his log cabin feel stupid now

As Mark Evanier points out, Andrew Sullivan was just recently writing about the new, kinder gentler Bush, a good man who loves the gays in his heart. That is, when he's not attacking them in a desperate ploy to motivate his base prior to a disastrous mid-term election.

A Divider, Not a Uniter

'Cause, y'know, if you can't catch Osama bin Laden, or manage to figure out if FEMA is actually getting supplies to homeless drowning people, or balance the budget, or win the war on terrrrrr, at least you can keep gays apart.