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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Impeaching Cheney is the least Congress should do

We already knew Dick Cheney picked himself as Vice President and shot a man in the face. We already knew Cheney called a secret meeting with energy lobbyists before gas skyrocketed to $4 a gallon. We already knew Cheney's Chief of Staff, I. Lewis Libby was convicted on one count of obstruction of justice, two counts of perjury, and for making false statements during the investigation of Plame-gate. We already knew Cheney considers himself a fourth branch of the government for purposes of keeping secrets. But here are still further facts about Cheney gleaned from Bart Gellman's book Angler:
  • In a private meeting with Texas Rep. Dick Armey, a stalwart conservative who nonetheless opposed going to war with Iraq, Cheney puts the screws to him. "In the privacy of his office, for this one crucial vote, Cheney leveled claims he had not made before and did not make again. Two of them crossed so far beyond the known universe of fact that they were simply without foundation.

The vice president brought the disquieting news that Iraq's "ability to miniaturize weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear," had been "substantially refined since the first Gulf War," Armey recalled ... According to Armey, Cheney also reported that al Qaeda was "working with Saddam Hussein and members of his family."

  • Cheney lobbied for the invasion of Iraq not because he thought it was the most dangerous threat to the United States, but rather because he thought a victory there would be the best way to demonstrate American military power. "The United States would take [Saddam] down because it could. The war would not preempt immediate danger, a more traditional ground for war, but prevent a danger that might emerge later," writes Gellman. One of Cheney's advisors referred to this as the "demonstration effect."

  • Cheney and his legal counsel, David Addington, effectively steer White House policy on the warrantless wiretapping program. "With Bush's consent , Cheney unleashed foreign intelligence agencies to spy at home ... It is unlikely that the history of U.S. intelligence includes another operation conceived and supervised by the office of the vice president." When the Deputy Attorney General refuses to re-authorize the program, the stubbornness of Cheney and his team almost leads to mass resignations at the Justice Department.

Cheney violated FISA and the fourth amendment. Cheney even lied to Republicans about the need to go to war in Iraq. Can't we get bipartisan agreement that Cheney should be formally impeached?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Seminole County, Florida, Obama office grand opening

Located at 419 S. Sanford Avenue in Sanford, Florida, the Barack-Obama campaign opened an office in my home county of Seminole today. I arrived early and was able to take this photo from about halfway back. After all was said and done and I turned around, I was surprised to see that there were more people behind me than were in front of me.

Approximately 300 people were in attendance, and this event was called less than 24 hours prior.

There was a great mix of people from all ages, races, and parties present. The enthusiasm was high, and the issues of home mortgages and health care were of greatest concern. Every woman I talked to was infuriated by John McCain's patronizing pick of Sarah Palin.

Florida voted for Clinton in 1996 and Gore in 2000 (unofficially) before inexplicably voting for Bush in 2004. Will we go for Obama in 2008? Those present answered in the affirmative, "Yes we can!"