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10.22 CO2 benefits of regrowing forests nothing to shake a stick at

10.22 The story behind a devastating photo of human greed [where were Don Jr. and Eric at the time?]

10.22 Power lines and electrical equipment are a leading cause of California wildfires

10.21 Vikings Razed the Forests. Can Iceland Regrow Them?

10.21 Pressure Mounts on Insurance Companies to Consider Their Role in Opioid Epidemic [like Monsanto's practices to make captive agricultural consumers for more profit, non-addictive pain medication is less prescribed versus addictive opioids]

10.20 Introducing Halo Top: the 'healthy' ice-cream taking over America [Uses Stevia as a sugar substitute (not an artificial sweetener) that has no carbohydrates, calories, or artificial ingredients.]

10.20 The case against sugar

10.20 Global pollution kills 9m a year and threatens 'survival of human societies'

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10.23 Ready for Trump TV? Inside Sinclair Broadcasting’s Plot to Take Over Your Local News [escape warped hate news! cancel TV cable service and go 100% video streaming w/ broadband Internet—save $100/mo. too!]

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10.23 Sanders Confirms He'll Remain Independent for 2018 Re-election Run [it would be contradictory for real progressives to join (or be in) a neoliberal-dominated political party]

10.23 In state capitols, women see rampant sexual harassment

10.22 Trump’s Pick for Puerto Rico’s Environmental Cleanup Might Actually Do the Right Thing

10.22 IT DIDN’T JUST START NOW: JOHN KELLY HAS ALWAYS BEEN A HARD-RIGHT BULLY

10.22 Donald Trump Is Rush-Shipping Condolences to Military Families

10.22 Trump and His ‘Beautiful’ Weapons

10.21 51 GOP Senators Just Voted To Cut $1.5 Trillion from Medicare and Medicaid To Give Super-Rich and Corporations a Tax Cut [what makes sociopaths smile?]

10.21 The Tax Debate We Need

10.20 Ahead of Senate Vote, Warren Lists Everything Wrong With GOP's 'Garbage' Budget [1:33 video]

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10.23 Trump 'will help pay' legal bills of White House staff and aides in Russia inquiries

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10.19 SOCIALISM, LAND AND BANKING: 2017 COMPARED TO 1917

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10.23 How the Catalan crisis could send shockwaves across Europe

10.23 Northern Italy regions overwhelmingly vote for greater autonomy

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10.22 Meet the Border Angels, the Group Trying to Save Migrants’ Lives

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10.22 Russia accused of supplying Taliban as power shifts create strange bedfellows [is it war profiteering/capitalism, or is there a political power objective? the US supplies arms to dubious countries and militia groups worldwide...]

10.21 Under Trump, Brags Mike Pompeo, CIA Will Be 'Much More Vicious Agency' [imagine an administration made up of willfully ignorant sociopaths—oh, right]

10.20 Archaeology fossil teeth discovery in Germany could re-write human history

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  Impeachment, Like Spring, is in the Air
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OPINION:

Impeachment, Like Spring, is in the Air

by Dave Lindorff
The Democratic Party’s efforts to tamp down impeachment efforts are coming unraveled, courtesy of the ongoing criminality of the Bush administration.
It’s time for impeachment to come out of the deep freeze.

For a year now, Democratic leaders like Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL), Rep. Nancy Pelosi D-CA), Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and DNC head Howard Dean have been working to tamp down the pressures to hold the president accountable for his crimes and abuses of power by way of impeachment.

House Speaker Pelosi for her part made it clear after the Democrats won the House that she would tolerate no talk of impeachment, even reportedly threatening one-time impeachment advocate Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) with the denial of his cherished position as chair of the House Judiciary Committee if he pushed ahead with or accepted bills of impeachment from other House members.

House leaders and Democratic Party leaders also worked behind the scenes to kill off grassroots attempts to follow Thomas Jefferson’s alternative route to impeachment by getting state legislatures to pass bicameral impeachment resolutions. They strong-armed legislative leaders in the senates of both Washington State and New Mexico to block efforts to put such resolutions to a floor debate and vote in those two states, and have been working mightily to block a similar grassroots campaign in Vermont.

But the Democratic Party’s efforts to tamp down impeachment efforts are coming unraveled, courtesy of the ongoing criminality of the Bush administration, which seems hell-bent on aggrandizing as much executive power as it possibly can before the clock runs out on Bush’s second term of office.

Democratic state committees, the top party organizations at the state level, in both Oregon and Vermont, have overwhelmingly passed resolutions calling on the House of Representatives to initiate impeachment proceedings. In Vermont, 38 towns--roughly a third of those holding annual town meetings this past month--voted impeachment resolutions (only six were rejected), and an effort continues to move forward in both houses of that state’s legislature to introduce and pass a Jeffersonian impeachment resolution to send to the House in Washington. Other efforts are underway in New Jersey and Maine.

Republican Senator and presidential dark horse Chuck Hagel of Nebraska has publicly stated that impeachment is a possibility, given the president’s arrogant rejection of public or congressional accountability with regard to the war in Iraq and other issues.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) has openly talked of submitting a bill of impeachment.

What’s missing in all this has been media attention. In fact, until lately, the media have pretty much only reported about impeachment in the negative, running stories when an impeachment resolution gets blocked by a state legislature, but not when it gets backed by a legislative committee, or by a Democratic state party organization.

There has not been a scientific poll asking about impeachment sentiment since last October, when Newsweek Magazine published a poll showing that an astonishing 51 percent of Americans favored impeachment--half of those people even saying it should be a priority for Congress. Now things may be starting to change. Sen. Hagel’s comments on the possibility of impeachment, first made in a Vanity Fair magazine profile, were reported on ABC, and impeachment advocate John Nichols was interviewed about impeachment and Hagel’s comment on MSNBC. CNN also ran a story.

That’s not much, but it’s an indication that the ground is shifting.

With the White House pushing forward with a new war-marketing campaign--this time against Iran--and given mounting evidence of new White House crimes, from the political firing of federal prosecutors and the abusive use of national security letters by the FBI to spy on tens of thousands of Americans, to the disaster of the show trials in Guantanamo, to the lying by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, to evidence of both President Bush’s and Vice President Cheney’s involvement in the outing of and obstruction of justice into the investigation into the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame, to the escalation of the war in Iraq and to the lying about and enforced manipulation of government evidence on global warming, the American people are getting completely fed up with the Bush administration.

A recent poll found that as lame as it has been in challenging the Bush agenda over the last six years, the Democratic Party has now become the favored choice of 50 percent of Americans, while support for the Republican Party has fallen to only 35 percent—barely higher than the paltry 30 percent who still cling to their support of the president himself.

It would seem to be only a matter of time before Pelosi and the rest of the Democratic Party leadership will be forced to open the floodgates and permit the filing of impeachment bills.

The arguments made against impeachment--that it would be “divisive,” that it would interfere with more “pressing matters” in Congress, that it would mean making the almost universally loathed Cheney president, and that it would “hurt Democrats” in 2008--are all looking increasingly shop-warn and contrived.

In fact, as the Bush crimes against the public, the Republic, the law and Constitution mount, the Democratic defenders of the president against impeachment are increasingly looking simply cynical and ridiculous.

There is a kind of seesaw effect at work here, where the weight of presidential power and prestige, combined with Democratic cowardice, has kept one side firmly planted on the ground, while critics of Bush crimes and constitutional abuses have remained stranded up in the air. But as the weight of the evidence of Bush administration criminality, arrogance and unconstitutional actions have mounted, and as more and more citizens have lost faith in the government, the beam has been tilting. It won’t be long before it is the administration and the Democratic Party leadership who find themselves dangling and without support.

At that point, Pelosi and the DNC will have to surrender to the will of the grassroots, and step aside for the ensuing stampede of impeachment bills.

Impeachment, like spring, is in the air.


Dave Lindorff is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His new book of CounterPunch columns, titled This Can't be Happening!, is published by Common Courage Press. Lindorff's latest book is The Case for Impeachment, co-authored by Barbara Olshansky. Visit his website for more information. Lindorff may be reached at dlindorff@yahoo.com. This story is published in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.


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This story was published on March 27, 2007.
 

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