Saturday, April 28, 2007

Guest Entry: The Late Great Constitution (and the Coming Civil War?)

by Nancy Fulton (blogging from the California Democratic Convention in San Diego)

Here we are at the convention with thousands of delegates, activists and ordinary citizens, all discussing our nation and its future.

I think it might be bleak.

This convention is split between "impeachment" folks and pragmatists. Should we impeach a president/vice president and administration who seem to have broken so many laws we lost count? Or should we be pragmatic and focus on electing a Democratic president so we don't get a guy that makes Bush look good.

Half the folks at this convention, educated, affluent, wealthy, politically active . . . have no idea why impeachment is critical.

They don't understand that if they do NOT exercise impeachment when the crimes are so aggregious . . . we are saying we cannot hold the president and the executive branch accountable for anything. We are effectively eliminating the use of impeachment as a means for controlling a president.

If you don't prosecute a President who has lied you into a war that's killed 500,000 people to the tune of $500 billion dollars, tortured people, given his friends tens of billions, who says he can arrest, torture and hide people, who has done a hundred other impeachable things, . . . you are saying a President can do ANYTHING.

If you don't impeach him because you fear losing an election, how WILL you hold him accountable?

Tell me what will happen when this incestuous relationship between government and industry lets businesses contaminate ground water without repercussion or when it leads to civil suits being dismissed due to "national security".

The people of this nation have to reaffirm that even presidents and vice-presidents will be held accountable for crimes they commit, and that the rule of law founded in the constitution is in full force.

Failure to do this will result in a US without a constitution. And then this nation will be torn apart as we have to try to "reinvent" some kind of social contract and foundation in law.

Some of us won't pay taxes to support a dictatorship that won't guarantee the validity of their elections. I am personally disinclined to pay for a government that tortures and runs secret prison camps. I know soldiers who are telling other soldiers to desert rather than fight an illegal war.

This kind of thing translates into riots.

People will not like having their rights stripped away. As individuals they will try to hold the government (and others) accountable. That, in turn, will result in an escalation of force exerted by the government as the folks running it try to protect themselves and the public. It will create widespread division between communities and populations with differing economic and cultures interests.


We NEED the constitution because it is the only social contract we have that spans the nation. Tearing apart that contract means all of us who must live together must reinvent a new social contract and that is a very bloody process.

I wouldn't be active in SO CAL GRASSROOTS if I weren't a patriot and a progressive. I know 99% of people are intelligent. I know that our constitution was shot to pieces by a bunch of fascists. I know we can tape it back together and it will be STRONGER for all that tape.

But it starts with holding Bush, Cheney and their fascist junta accountable. Because without impeachment they will face no prosecution at all. We absolutely must, as a nation reconfirm our committment to the constitution and to public servant accountability . . . or you can expect some very, very ugly times ahead. Bush was bad. Worse is on the horizon.

Guest Entry: What I learned at the California Democratic Convention

by Nancy Fulton (guest blogger from the California Convention in San Diego)

So, I'm new to "official politics", party conventions and the "back room" but this first convention has been an eye-opener. My favorite e-ticket ride so far has been the Resolutions Committee.

So Groups like So Cal Grass Roots and Progressive Democrats of America write resolutions to propose to the California Democratic party. The resolution committee reviews the resolutions, and the top ones get voted on the floor of the convention and may be adopted. The adoption of those resolutions by the convention can be used by activists and others to lobby congressmen and party members.

So, there were multiple resolutions calling for IMPEACHMENT of BUSH and CHENEY brought by groups to the Resolution Committee. They are supposed to give them an up/down vote. In the case of about nine (of 105 resolutions) they decided not to.

Instead they decided to "refer" them which means that the language of the resolution (which folks like YOU might have voted for if you were member of a grass roots group) was NOT voted on. Instead they pointed to another resolution and said "its basically the same thing". Except, in many cases the language was entirely different in meaning and context.

The rules state that you are supposed to get an up or down vote on your resolution. If it gets voted down, you can collect 300 signatures and take it onto the floor.

Except when it gets referred (as many resolutions were) the Resolutions Committee decided not to give people the forms required to collect signatures. Thus resolutions couldn't be taken to the floor.

So, what I learned is . . . stupid little rules matter. Matters of procedure matter.

Except . . . . I'm sitting in a room with 700 people or so. They are an angry mob. And they are having quite an impact on the Resolutions Committee. We just made them give us our impeachment resolution. In a few minutes we'll decide if its one of the 10 that get to the floor.

So Rules Matter . . . but so does being an angry mob. Its amazing how the 700 people in this room have managed to change the behavior of that little committee.

Now we have to do it to Congress :) It is time to Impeach the President.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Guest Entry: Anger and Fear

By Nancy Fulton

I've been saying for a long time that the problem we
have in this nation is NOT that the people aren't
intelligent, reasonable, or reasonably united. It's
that the Bush Administration honestly doesn't care
what the American People think. They have no interest
at all in doing what the vast majority of us want

The Bush Administration cannot be called "public
servants". They do only what we force them to do by
conducting investigations and issuing indictments.

I think this first person account of an
encounter with Karl Rove
at the White House
Correspondence Dinner makes this very clear.

This account demonstrates that when members of this
administration come "face to face" with voters who
want to hold them accountable, they show anger and

Monday, April 23, 2007

Requiescat In Pace, Ms. Millender-McDonald

Three days after taking leave from the House after being diagnosed with cancer, Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-Carson) passed away at the age of 68.

Thank you for your service, Rep. Millender-McDonald.

Friday, April 20, 2007

How about a law enforcement officer who enforces the law?

We have been very impressed with the questioning of both Republican and Democratic US Senators of Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, in the Senate hearings about the political purging of capable US Attorneys by the Justice Department.

This Attorney General, who is supposed to be the Chief law enforcement officer of these United States is a tragic disappointment. While a White House Counselor, he advised that the Geneva Convention protocols were outmoded. With his seat mate in the West Wing, Harriet Meiers; they proposed a political loyalty test that transcends the Bill of Rights and the US Constitution. We know this because we read the e-mails; oh right, they have lost the e-mails. Alberto Gonzales also believes that torture is not the usually international standards recognized by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and others. He believes in the Abu Grahib standards of interrogation and rendering to foreign countries.

This Attorney General, dishonest, ethically challenged, and unable to remember from one statement to another what he said has to go. After he leaves, the man who appointed him, President Bush needs to follow him out of office. Now is the time as never before.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Did the British talk to Iran covertly - of course they did!

The British Sailors and Marines are on their way home and thank cooler heads for prevailing. They officially say that there were no conversations between governments and no deals were made; I sincerely doubt that and that is allright!

There have always been cut outs; unofficial representatives with portfolio, and human rights being protected above the veneer of official government posturing has prevented a new war in the Middle East. In the days of the Irish struggle for their freedom and self government; there were "unofficial" conversations throughout the years of the "Troubles". During the Cold War there were discussions and meetings that exchanged personnel at the East Berlin gate, or on that county bridge away from the view of most of the world.

Nobel Peace Prizes are given for this type of diplomacy, and lives are saved by this type of shuttle conversation. Why is this important! Because it is a Counterpoint with the Pre-Emptive, Bomb First, Bush-Cheney war mongering. If these had been US forces seized in a possible incursion into Iran territorial waters; does anyone believe that there wouldn't have been bombing, air raids, and a newer conflict igniting the Middle East!

Thank you again for statesmanlike accomplishments by both the Government of Iran and the Government of the United Kingdom! The Bush Administration should take note and learn from this lesson of intelligent backing away from the brink of war!