Tag Archives | Constitution

Kucinich Wants to Impeach Obama For Libyan Strike

Impeach ObamaJohn Bresnahan & Jonathan Allen write in the Politico:

A hard-core group of liberal House Democrats is questioning the constitutionality of U.S. missile strikes against Libya, with one lawmaker raising the prospect of impeachment during a Democratic Caucus conference call on Saturday.

Reps. Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.), Donna Edwards (Md.), Mike Capuano (Mass.), Dennis Kucinich (Ohio), Maxine Waters (Calif.), Rob Andrews (N.J.), Sheila Jackson Lee (Texas), Barbara Lee (Calif.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.) “all strongly raised objections to the constitutionality of the president’s actions” during that call, said two Democratic lawmakers who took part.

Kucinich, who wanted to bring impeachment articles against both former President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney over Iraq — only to be blocked by his own leadership — asked why the U.S. missile strikes aren’t impeachable offenses.

Kucinich also questioned why Democratic leaders didn’t object when President Barack Obama told them of his plan for American participation in enforcing the Libyan no-fly zone during a White House Situation Room meeting on Friday, sources told POLITICO.

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Cops vs. Cameras: How Two Men Are Taking on the Miami Police Department

Robert Hammonds Arrest

Hammonds and his friend face the wrath of Miami Beach police.

Tim Elfrink writes in the Miami New Times:

When Robert Hammonds and a friend, Brent Bredwell, finished filming a DJ show at Jazid in South Beach, it was around 3 a.m. on a Sunday in September. A few minutes later, after they jumped into a car and headed down Washington Avenue, a drunk-looking driver swerved across traffic and cut them off.

Hammonds leaned out the window and yelled “What the hell are you doing?” at the guy.

Next thing Hammonds and Bredwell knew, a beefy cop was pulling them over. Holding his Sig Sauer .40 caliber gun at his side, the officer angrily thrust his hand into the car through the driver-side window and waved his walkie-talkie.

“Are you a fucking idiot?” the cop screamed. “Doing that in front of me? Asshole!”

Hammonds, in the passenger seat, was discreetly filming the outburst.

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Should America Expand the Size of Congress?

Dalton Conley and Jacqueline Stevens make a pretty compelling argument in a recent NY Times op-ed:

With the Senate preparing to debate filibuster reform, now is a good time to consider a similarly daunting challenge to democratic representation in the House: its size. It’s been far too long since the House expanded to keep up with population growth and, as a result, it has lost touch with the public and been overtaken by special interests.

Indeed, the lower chamber of Congress has had the same number of members for so long that many Americans assume that its 435 seats are constitutionally mandated.

But that’s wrong: while the founders wanted to limit the size of the Senate, they intended the House to expand based on population growth. Instead of setting an absolute number, the Constitution merely limits the ratio of members to population. “The number of representatives shall not exceed one for every 30,000,” the founders wrote.

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Vermont Proposes Resolution To Ban ‘Corporate Personhood’

0Talk about a victory for common sense, in the face of one of the most harmful and breathtakingly idiotic judicial precedents in U.S. history. AlterNet reports:

A year ago today, the Supreme Court issued its bizarre Citizens United decision, allowing unlimited corporate spending in elections as a form of “free speech” for the corporate “person.” Justice John Paul Stevens, writing for the dissent, had the task of recalling the majority to planet earth and basic common sense.

“Corporations have no consciences, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires,” wrote Stevens. “Corporations help structure and facilitate the activities of human beings, to be sure, and their ‘personhood’ often serves as a useful legal fiction. But they are not themselves members of ‘We the People’ by whom and for whom our Constitution was established.”

Fortunately, movements are afoot to reverse a century of accumulated powers and protections granted to corporations by wacky judicial decisions.

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Man Demoted For Failing To Pray

prayer-roomReligious discrimination and sexual harassment are, sadly, nothing new to the workplace. When your boss tells you “to attend the prayer meetings or find another position,” getting transferred may be the best opportunity. Unless your personal medical information is leaked to your new co-workers. Courthouse News Service reports:

A BNSF Railway worker claims he was demoted because he declined to join his supervisor in prayer meetings at work. James Dunkin claims his boss proselytized on the job, handed out booklets that contained “instructions for raising ‘masculine sons and feminine daughters,'” and says that when he objected to the coerced prayers, the boss told him that “he needed to attend the prayer meetings or find another position.”

To top it off, Dunkin says that the offensive boss, Jeff Kirby, once “stood in his office with his door open and pants down” staring at him suggestively.

In his federal complaint in Kansas City, Kan., Dunkin says that after BNSF transferred him unfairly, he was tormented by his new co-workers because the company had leaked personal medical information about him.

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BU ACLU: ‘When Criticizing Rhetoric, Remember Freedom of Speech’

SarahPACToday I received an interesting email from the Boston University ACLU (text below). It’s also on their Facebook Page:

Jared Lee Loughner, charged with Saturday’s shootings, has invoked his right to silence, leaving us ignorant of his motives. Sources disagree on his politics — an acquaintance calls him an “extreme” liberal; a government memo links him to a “racial-realist” journal (one that denies any ties to him). His online writings point to an unhinged mind. But though much remains unclear, people are withdrawing some of their first theories, which rashly labeled the shootings a Tea Party / Republican plot.

Replacing those accusations is a broader look at how the shooter may have responded to intense political rhetoric. Critics again blame the right-wing, mainly Sarah Palin, whose PAC last year produced an image with crosshairs on congressional seats such as Giffords’. It was only a slight escalation from the usual manner of treating politics as war (Targeted districts, swiftboating, battleground states, political campaigns).

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Birther Disrupts Congressional Reading of The Constitution of the United States (Video)

David Weigel writes on Slate:
During the reading of Article II, Section I of the Constitution — the clause that requires the president of the United States to be a "natural born citizen," an unidentified woman in the gallery screamed "Except Obama! Except Obama!" Politico's Marin Cogan adds that the woman yelled, "Help us, Jesus!" She was removed immediately. UPDATE: I'm told that the woman who made the disruption was Theresa Cao, a birther activist and supporter of court-martialed birther Lt. Col. Terry Lakin. On December 16, she told WorldNetDaily that she was "taking his message to the White House and Congress." She maintains a blog here.
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U.S. Constitution Too Old To Understand?

Liberal blogger Ezra Klein on the U.S. Constitution:
“…My friends on the right don’t like to hear this, but the Constitution is not a clear document. Written more than 200 years ago, when America had 13 states and very different problems, it rarely speaks directly to the questions we ask it. The Second Amendment, for instance, says nothing about keeping a gun in the home if you’ve not signed up with a ‘well-regulated militia,’ but interpreting the Second Amendment broadly has been important to those who want to bear arms. And so they’ve done it…”
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The Impending Police State

policestateabbyVia Media Roots:

In George Orwell’s 1984, Britain is depicted as a totalitarian police state that is ruled by the Party, or Big Brother — an enigmatic, ubiquitous elite that controls society through heavy surveillance, nationalist propaganda and historical revisionism.

The concept seems like a far-fetched portrayal of a Democratic nation’s demise into totalitarianism, but in America’s “post 9/11” climate of fear, the United States government has been building a comprehensive grid of surveillance and control that bears frightening similarities to Orwell’s fictional narrative.

The glaring difference between the two is that Orwell’s dystopian society is overtly totalitarian. America, conversely, operates under a “soft fascism” – an insidious, systematic method of preventative action and corporate top-down control over society’s media, economy and politics – while maintaining the necessary illusion of personal choice and freedom. A populous with little to no concept of their subjugation makes them the perfect subjects to rule.… Read the rest

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Congress Refuses an Article V Convention — Has Our Government Been Hijacked?

Signing of the Constitution. Painting by Howard Chandler Christy.

Signing of the Constitution. Painting by Howard Chandler Christy.

Article V is the only part of the US Constitution that tells how we can change the Constitution. The states, not Congress, propose amendments at an Article V Convention. An Article V Symposium was held at Cooley Law School on September 17, 2010 in Lansing, Michigan. Bill Walker, cofounder of Friends of the Article V Convention, shared how he filed two federal lawsuits stating that Congress was obligated to call an Article V Convention. The latter lawsuit (Walker v. the Members of Congress in 2004) was appealed to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court declared, as it had in three other separate decisions, that Congress must call for an Article V Convention. But Congress has simply refused in violation of the US Constitution.

To listen to Bill Walker’s speech and to the other scholars at the symposium, who all argue that we should want, not fear, an Article V Convention, click on this link.… Read the rest

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