Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Feingold’s resolution for censure met with Democrat indifference

Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI), in a gesture that has proved to be futile and useless, introduced a a resolution calling for the censure of this president the other day.

What was the reaction of the rest of the Democrats in the Senate?


Monday, March 13, 2006

Lieberman supports rapists' rights

That jackass Lieberman is at it again. First he votes for cloture on the Alito nomination, and now he's backing the Catholic Church's refusal to allow rape victims treated at it's Connecticut emergency rooms access to the 'morning-after' pill.

Jane Hamsher at firedoglake gets P.O.'d:

In Connecticut, rape counseling activists say a recent study concludes that about 20% of state hospitals routinely refuses to offer emergency contraceptives to rape victims who are determined to be ovulating at the time they're attacked. A proposed bill would require them to do so.

And what sayith Holy Joe about this? According to The New Haven Register:

This fight isn't exclusively being drawn along party lines.

U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, who often takes a conservative line on social issues, is facing a liberal Democratic primary challenge from wealthy Greenwich businessman Ned Lamont. But that hasn't stopped Lieberman from supporting the approach of the Catholic hospitals when it comes to contraceptives for rape victims.Lieberman said he believes hospitals that refuse to give contraceptives to rape victims for "principled reasons" shouldn't be forced to do so.

"In Connecticut, it shouldn't take more than a short ride to get to another hospital," he said.

I'm sure that waving a chicken over your head is a marvelous cure for something but as yet we still don't call it medicine in this country. That access to emergency contraception is essential to the health and well being of rape victims is undeniable, and if Catholics can't provide that then they should get out of the fucking emergency medical business.

Having to deal with their superstitious voodoo nonsense applied as science is just one more indignity rape victims do not need. If Catholics want rape victims to be forced to carry the fetuses of their attackers that's great, let [the Catholics] move to South Dakota.

UAE threatens US over ports deal

Ah, those feisty Arabs.

Roxana Tiron, in an article in today’s The Hill, the Washington DC-based newspaper “For and About the US Congress,” is reporting that the family-owned government of Dubai is threatening to retaliate against the US if this ports deal does not go down the way they want it.

Specifically, they may pull authorization for the US Navy’s porting privileges in this strategic area (see map). Further, they are applying pressure on Boeing, which is involved in several lucrative deals with the UAE:

“It is not clear how much of Dubai’s behind-the-scenes anger would be followed up by action, but Boeing has been made aware of the threat and is already reportedly lobbying to save the ports deal.

“The Emirates Group airline will decide later this year whether it will buy Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner or its competitor, Airbus A350. The airline last fall placed an order worth $9.7 billion for 42 Boeing 777 aircraft, making Dubai Boeing’s largest 777 customer.”

This really makes for some great arguments about free trade vs. freedom from terrorism, doesn’t it?

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Feingold to introduce presidential censure resolution

Senator Russ Feingold appeared Sunday on ABC's news show "This Week With George Stephanopolous." This could be the start of something good.

Full transcript:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Tomorrow in the Senate you'll introduce a resolution to censure George W. Bush. Let me show it to our viewers. It says, "Resolved: that the United States Senate does hereby censure George W. Bush, President of the United States, and does condemn his unlawful authorization of wiretaps of Americans." That is a big step. Why are you taking it now?

FEINGOLD: It's an unusual step. It's a big step, but what the President did by consciously and intentionally violating the constitutional laws of this country with this illegal wiretapping has to be answered. There can be debate about whether the law should be changed. There can be debate about how best to fight terrorism. We all believe that there should be wiretapping in appropriate cases. But the idea that the President can just make up a law in violation of his oath of office has to be answered.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But as you know, the President says he was acting on his inherent authority under the Constitution, and even your resolution acknowledges that no federal court has ruled that a president does not have that authority as Commander in Chief, so aren?t you jumping the gun?

FEINGOLD: Not at all. You know, we've had a chance here for three months to look at whether there's any legal basis for this, and they're using shifting legal justifications. First they try to argue that somehow, under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, they can do this. Its pretty clear that they can't. Then there's the argument that somehow the military authorization for Afghanistan allowed this. This has basically been laughed out of the room in the Congress. So the last resort is to somehow say that the President has inherent authority to ignore the law of the United States of America, and that has the consequence that the President could even order the assassination of American citizens if that's the law. So there is no sort of independent inherent authority that allows the president to override the laws passed by the Congress of the United States.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So if you're so convinced that the President has broken the law, why not file an article of impeachment?

FEINGOLD: Well, you know, that's an option we could look at, if somebody thought that was a really good idea. There are other options out there. In fact, this conduct is right in the strike zone, even though the Founding Fathers didn't have strike zones, they didn't have baseball, but it is right in the strike zone of the concept of high crimes and misdemeanors. We have to consider, is it best for the country to start impeachment proceedings? Is it best for the country to consider removing the President? We're not mandated to impeach a president who has broken the law, but I think we are required to do our job, to live up to our oath of office, and say, wait a minute, there has to be - at least as a first step - some accountability. Proper accountability is a censuring of the President, to say, "Mr. President, acknowledge you broke the law, return to the law, return to our system of government." That's what I think we should do.

In related news, NPR's Nina Totenberg is reporting that former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Conner blasted the Congreesional Republicans in a speech at Georgetown University Saturday:

"[O'Conner] took aim at former House GOP leader Tom DeLay. She didn’t name him, but she quoted his attacks on the courts at a meeting of the conservative Christian group Justice Sunday last year when DeLay took out after the courts for rulings on abortions, prayer and the Terri Schiavo case. This, said O’Connor, was after the federal courts had applied Congress’ onetime only statute about Schiavo as it was written. Not, said O’Connor, as the congressman might have wished it were written. This response to this flagrant display of judicial restraint, said O’Connor, her voice dripping with sarcasm, was that the congressman blasted the courts."