Thursday, July 31
Rambleman who hasn't been rambling much :-(
Monday, July 28
|July 28, 2008|
|House Judiciary Committee Holds Historic Hearings on the Case for Impeachment|
|The House Judiciary Committee held historic hearings on Friday about whether the White House overstepped its constitutional authority during the presidency of George W. Bush and whether or not such abuses would justify his impeachment. The hearing was billed as one on "Executive Power and Its Constitutional Limitations." Although the title expressly did not include the word "impeachment," several Democratic Congress members and witnesses used the opportunity to begin impeachment proceedings against the President and Vice President. We play highlights. [includes rush transcript]|
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|Excerpts from the House Judiciary Committee hearings,
This transcript is available free of charge. However, donations help us provide closed captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing on our TV broadcast. Thank you for your generous contribution.
JUAN GONZALEZ: The House Judiciary Committee held historic hearings on Friday about whether the White House overstepped its constitutional authority during the presidency of George W. Bush and whether or not such abuses would justify his impeachment. The hearing was billed as one on "Executive Power and Its Constitutional Limitations." Although the title expressly did not include the word "impeachment," several Democratic Congress members and witnesses used the opportunity to begin impeachment proceedings against the President and Vice President.
Over eleven witnesses were called to testify at the six-hour hearing, including Ohio Democrat Dennis Kucinich, who has repeatedly introduced articles of impeachment in Congress. Other witnesses included attorneys Vincent Bugliosi, Bruce Fein and Elizabeth Holtzman, as well as former Georgia Republican and current Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr. The witnesses also included conservative law professors Stephen Presser from Northwestern University and Jeremy Rabkin of George Mason University.
Today, we bring you excerpts from those hearings. We begin with Elizabeth Holtzman, a former Democratic congresswoman from New York and two-term district attorney in Brooklyn. She is the author of several books, including The Impeachment of George W. Bush. ELIZABETH HOLTZMAN: I think the question for this committee is what is to be done now and what can be done now. Prosecution is unrealistic. The administration will never prosecute itself. Truth commissions? The administration will stonewall them, as they have so many committees of Congress. So, what is the realistic remedy? The only remedy, and that's the one the framers gave to the Congress of the United States, the House and the Senate, is the remedy of impeachment, because no one can interfere with it.
You ask the President or the Vice President to give you the contents of the FBI statement, they don't do that. That becomes an impeachable offense. You could ask them to provide them the information under oath. You may not be able to finish the task, but you certainly can start the task, which will send an important signal not just to this president, but to future presidents.
BRUCE FEIN: If President George W. Bush had knocked to enter the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, the presiding officer, President George Washington, would have denied him admission, and thereby hangs an alarming tale. The executive branch has vandalized the Constitution every bit as much as the barbarians sacked Rome in 410 A.D. The executive branch has destroyed the Constitution's time-honored checks and balances, taken the nation perilously close to executive despotism. The executive branch rejects the basic philosophical tenets of the United States of America. It does not accept that America was conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that sovereignty in a republican form of government lies with the people, not with the executive; that there are no vassals or serfs in the Constitution's landscape; that every man and woman is a king or queen, but no one wears a crown; and that the rule of law is the nation's civic religion. And the founding fathers fashioned impeachment as a remedy for attacks against the Constitution order.
VINCENT BUGLIOSI: On December 9th, 1998, a previous House Judiciary Committee issued four articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton for doing something infinitely less significant than what the evidence shows the Bush administration did in this case. Indeed, it is a calumny, a slander of the highest rank, to even talk about them in the same breath or on the same page. If a House Judiciary Committee could recommend that President Clinton be impeached for what he did, as they say in the law, a fortiori, all the more so, with all the highly incriminating evidence that I set forth in my book, much of it documentary, you shouldn't have any difficulty making a criminal referral to the Department of Justice to commence a criminal investigation of the Bush administration to determine whether first-degree murder charges should be brought against certain members of this administration. And I hereby strongly urge you to do so. Whether Republican or Democrat, all Americans should be absolutely outraged over what the Bush administration has done. How dare they do what they did? How dare they?
JUAN GONZALEZ: Vincent Bugliosi at Friday's hearings on the limits of executive power. Several Democratic Congress members also spoke out in favor of impeachment, including Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, also Hank Johnson of Georgia and Congressman Robert Wexler of Florida.
REP. ROBERT WEXLER: Never before in the history of this nation has an administration so successfully diminished the constitutional powers of the legislative branch. It is unacceptable, and it must not stand. This is not how our founders so carefully and delicately designed our democracy.
In a deliberate effort to reduce the power of this Congress and obstruct our ability to provide oversight over the executive branch, President Bush has ordered Karl Rove, Harriet Miers, Josh Bolten and other administration officials to simply ignore Congress by refusing to testify. This failure of administration witnesses to even appear is unprecedented in the history of our nation. The Bush White House has distorted the concept of executive privilege beyond recognition in order to hide White House wrongdoings.
Faced with this litany of wrongful actions, I am convinced that the most appropriate response to this unprecedented behavior is to hold hearings for impeachment. The power of impeachment-excuse me, the power of impeachment, which our founding fathers provided to the House of Representatives, was designed precisely for this type of wrongdoing.
I fully recognize the significance of holding impeachment hearings, and I have not come to this position lightly, not one bit. But when an administration takes actions that amount to high crimes, we, the representatives of the people, are left with no option other than to seek impeachment and removal from office.
Our government was founded by a delicate balance of powers, whereby one branch carefully checks the other branches to prevent a dangerous consolidation of power. The actions of this White House have eviscerated this careful balance. This is not a Democratic or Republican issue; this is an American issue. Without these checks and balances, a president can run roughshod over any law with impunity. Congress must end this disturbing pattern of behavior. And in these circumstances, unfortunately, the only option left is impeachment hearings.
We have been down this road before; yes, we have. In 1973, articles of impeachment were introduced against President Nixon after he inappropriately tried to use executive privilege to bury evidence of his wrongdoings. I think it would be helpful to delve more deeply into what happened during the Nixon administration, particularly as it relates to the obstruction of the oversight powers of this Congress.
REP. HANK JOHNSON: While, Mr. Chairman, today's hearing is not an impeachment hearing, I fear that in the event that the current administration continues with its secret actions, with motives and purposes that are not known or not revealed, if this administration during the last six months decides to attack the sovereign nation of Iran, then Americans will look back and think and rethink whether or not it would have been worth pursuing impeachment at this time to deter any further misdoing by this administration.
REP. TAMMY BALDWIN: The American public expects no less. We, the people, conferred upon the branches of government limited and defined power and provided for meaningful checks and balances. Over the past several years, serious questions have been raised about the conduct of high-ranking administration officials in relation to some of the most basic elements of our democracy: respect for the rule of law, the principle of checks and balances, and the fundamental freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights. In other words, the American people are in doubt as to whether administration officials have fulfilled their oaths of office to preserve, protect and defend our Constitution.
And their concerns are not insignificant. Americans want to know whether our nation's highest-ranking officials broke the law to justify the invasion of Iraq. Many in our nation and around the world wonder whether today the Bush White House is planning to illegally attack Iran. They wonder, too, whether their private conversations are being listened to by government officials unconcerned about restraints placed upon them by the Constitution; whether our nation is holding individuals in secret prisons, denying them even the right to appear before a judge or to be represented by an attorney or to confront their accusers. They wonder who authorized torture and rendition. They wonder whether this administration will forever change what it means to be an American.
JUAN GONZALEZ: Congress member Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, testifying at Friday's House Judiciary hearing on impeachment.
Sunday, July 27
I just want you to know that I'm only on my 4th day of not smoking cigarettes. :-P
Tuesday, July 22
What you're looking at is the wall next to the stairs which lead to the upstairs bedroom. Those white caulk spots are what I did yesterday to fix said wall and will eventually repaint. To the left is a door leading to more stairs (6 or 7) that enter the room. The spots on the left of this picture were scratch marks made by cat claws when the were climbing to the top so they could look through the screen on top of the door. It was bad and had been for several months. I was just too busy doing other more important to me things that kept me from working on the wall. I 'spoze what got me going this time is that we're oh so close to starting the painting of my daughter's new bedroom and there were a few spots in there that needed caulking, so since I already had the caulk in my hot little hands, I brought it into the house with me, saw the aforementioned wall and decided it would be a good day to work on it. Now all we need is to find some left-over paint from when we painted this wall, and repaint it. If we have any paint in the shed that's this color, it may not be good anymore because it's been over a year since we used it. Will probably need to get a small can of new paint before I can paint. So once again I won't be finishing this for a little while. I was going to take a before picture prior to caulking, but I had a brain fart and didn't.
Also last night, our DD baked brownies. In order for her to have enough eggs we (her and I) drove to the house of the guy who bails the hay in our fields, to get some eggs. We are still not getting more than ONE egg every other day or two (if that) from our 24 hens. sigh. We're strongly considering just butchering all of them and then talking to our hay guy and working-out a deal for him to supply us with eggs every so often, for pay of course. We definitely do not want to go back to eating icky store-bought eggs - they're gross and taste funny, at least to us because we've been eating farm fresh eggs exclusively for a few years now. Any hoots, the brownies my DD made last night were/are for her best friend when she visits this coming Saturday, so we only got to sample them (two for each of us) before she put them in the freezer until her friend gets here. They were delicious! This was the first time she ever baked anything completely on her own, and she did great. We are very proud of her.
Other than that, not much going on other than "the usual" stuff. You know, trash burning, swimming, laundry, playing pool, etcetera.
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Saturday, July 19
Emberfae was, we thought, very very close to 100% yesterday, so we let him go outside. Well, we haven't seen him since :-( He's not, or wasn't one who normally stayed away overnight, but apparently that has changed, or he became supper for a predator, probably coyotes. Granted, I'm still depressed and thinking the worst, but I have a really bad feeling that we'll never see him again.
Friday, July 18
What a busy day. Got quiet a bit done before it rained. Got the kitchen and bathroom trashes burned. We had an old, crappy, falling apart dresser on the porch that's been collecting spiders, mud-dobber wasps, and whatever else could infiltrate it. So today I started the process of taking it apart and burning pieces in the burn barrel. Today I just torched the 6 drawers, next I'll take a maul/log-splitter to it and break it down until all it's last pieces will fit in the 50 gallon drum barrel used to ignite burnables.
Swam a couple of times today, mostly just to cool off before doing other things outside. We *finally* put the livingroom window AC in this afternoon, just before it rained. LOL. We also took the AC that was in the rarely used upstairs bedroom, and installed it in Rain and I's bedroom window. Rain should sleep much better now that it won't be so danged hot sleeping.
That's pretty much all I got done, but it took all day, so leave alone. LOL.
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Thursday, July 17
This is all I'm going to post today as far as pictures go. I took a few of the newly mown front yard a couple of days ago, but I'm hot and tired, so I am strongly considering a cool-off dip in the pool. Have a nice day!
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Friday, July 11
We're 99.9% sure that what Emberfae has 'toad/Bufo poisoning' from a "Midwest" bufo. We've managed to get a few eye-droppers of water into him, but he won't drink for us. It's possible, as my DD said, that he's drinking water when we're not looking, but he IS drinking. Just a little while ago he did walk to and urinate in a litter box. His "walk" was slow, but steady. Anyway, here's a excerpt of what we found:
A diagnosis of toad poisoning is usually based on seeing a dog or cat mouthing a toad, or seeing a toad or toad pieces in the dog or cat's vomit if symptoms have already occurred. If an animal is seen mouthing or eating a toad, first aid includes quickly rinsing out the mouth with large amounts of water. As vomiting usually occurs as a result of toad poisoning, making a dog vomit is usually of no value, especially once symptoms are seen. If vomiting becomes persistent, a veterinarian should be consulted.
For more information visit the Animal Poison Control Center
www.apcc.aspca.org or contact them by phone at 1-888-426-4435
So, it looks as though if (when!) he can get over his "tripping" or whatever it's done to him, he'll be fine in a little time. YAY!
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Thursday, July 10
This is Emberfae. Male cat about 3 years old. We're pretty sure he's going to be alright after yesterday afternoon/evening when he had very shallow, quick breathing, vomited and pooped at the same time (several times) as he was going through the house looking for somewhere with total privacy (went under the 2nd TV's desk top). When Rain got to him and tried to clean him up a little and reassure him, he went to another room and laid in the underneath compartment of the cabinet we keep bills, checks, etc, instead of a microwave like it was intended. While there he started pawing things he could reach (empty check boxes, and sides), started painting and drooling A LOT. He was just laying there when we went to bed, but he had quit panting & drooling, and looked like he was resting. When we got up this morning he had moved into a litter-box and layed down, where he stayed for several hours, repositioning every so often, and that's where he was when we left to go bowling with the homeschool group. When we got home a couple of hours later, he had moved out by the kitchen/livingroom, where he currently is. He has flipped over and around a few times and looks like he's coming out of it *crossing fingers*. Can't afford a vet visit, so he'll either make it or he won't, but we're feeling good about his prognosis for now.
A picture of our 2nd game of bowling. Rain got an incredible-for-her score of 127! So proud of her. DD got a score of 60, and I got one of 82 (which is pretty good for me. lol). DS decided against playing the second game. Afterwards we swung by Mickey D's and got 4 42 ounce drinks (99 cents each), 2 sandwiches for the kids and a large order of fries for Rain that I got to have a few of on the way home. *smile*
Other than that, I still need to mow, but it rained yesterday and is looking like it's going to again. If it doesn't then I'll mow some tomorrow, if it does I'll do it on Saturday. Do have laundry on the line now and a load in the washer that needs to go out. Will do that after I get this posted.
Went swimming a couple of days ago... it was wonderful, cooling, and fun even though I was by myself.
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Tuesday, July 8
We needed to get a few things taken care of in town today, so we chose to go early (8 a.m-ish) before it got too hot. We stopped at Mickey-D's for breakfast then ran our errands. At the third stop, while inside paying for our stuff, we saw it was just pouring rain. I headed for the door to close the windows on the van, but before I even got to the door (30 feet max) the rain had stopped. So I bought myself a soda out of the pop-machine (yes, I know I used two different words for the same thing :-P ) and went back to the checkout where Rain and the kids were.
The last stop was at the edge of town to get gas for the mower. Although it was raining in town, I thought it may not be raining here and I could mow today. That was not to be though, as it started raining about 10-15 minutes after we got home. The coolness from the clouds and rain was dramatic and it felt really nice. Still really humid though. *pant*
Here's a couple of pictures of the only things besides weeds that are blooming, except maybe for Iris's. As always you can click the picture to see a bigger picture.
And that's all I got to say about that!- Forest Gump
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Sunday, July 6
Been pretty busy so far this morning. Yes, it's once again my week to get up at 7 a.m. with my daughter. I didn't get out of bed until 15 after 7, but I got up and that's what's important. LOL. Anyway, Dear Daughter and I went for a 15 minute walk after we let the chickens out of their coop and broody pen. Rain and I decided it would be good for us and the kids to get more exercise and walks are good for that, especially in the morning before the temp and humidity start to rise. Dear son doesn't get to bed until well after midnight most mornings, and the last several he has been asleep at "walk time". We told him he needs exercise and since he's missing the walks, he has to ride the stationary bike for at least 30 minutes every day/afternoon/evening.
Other things accomplished:
Cleaned 6 litter boxes, but only one of them had poopies in it. YAY!
Took the bathroom, kitchen, and computer desk trashes out and burned them in the burn barrel.
Added a gallon of white vinegar to the swimming pool.
Made a pot of coffee and am now drinking the last cup of that pot. Yesterday I drank two pots just because I felt like it. Won't be doing that today.
Added dishwashing detergent to the dishwasher and started it.
I finally got in the pool yesterday. It was/felt really cold at first. After I went in up to my waist, I got out again (to pee). When I went back in, the water was warm enough. Not "summer warm", but
barrable bearable. Tried scooping the leaves off/out of the bottom where leaves and other gunk had accumulated, but that proved to be a big hassle. Hence why I decided it would just be easier to use the vacuum. Unfortunately the part that attaches to the pole was/is broken, so I had to figure-out a way to attach it, which I did with duct tape and a scrubber. I didn't get the pool super-vacuumed, but it does look better. After that I added more water and a gallon of bleach to clean-up the debris I stirred-up.
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Saturday, July 5
Man, I just don't know what to write. I did take a couple of pictures, I'll put them on-line so you can see them. Good idea? Okay, that's what's gunna happen then. Maybe by the time I get them in this blog I'll think of something else to say. Could happen! *snort*
I feel like I was actually listened to when I wrote that one of my minor gripes about AVG 8.0 was that there was no icon with an arrow () in it when the computer was being scanned. Well, now when a scan is in progress it does show. Obviously, I seriously doubt that just because I wrote about it in my blog that 'they' decided it was a good idea, but it's a pretty cool coincidence in my opinion. *smile*
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Tuesday, July 1
Letter I sent to my Missouri Representative
About Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act H.R. 6304
Representative Ike Skelton
2206 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-2504
Please tell me how wiretapping the email and phone calls of PRIVATE United States citizens WITHOUT A WARRANT isn't in violation of THE FOURTH AMENDMENT. When did it become OKAY to SPY on people WITHOUT A WARRANT? You should NOT get re-elected for your next term!
Very Sincerely Yours,
John Q. Public (not really signed this way)
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