Thursday, December 18, 2008

From The Last Days Of Bush To The Inside Of The Obama Campaign And The Chicago Soap Opera.

From The Last Days Of Bush To The Inside Of The Obama Campaign And The Chicago Soap Opera.


Vote to Hold Bush Accountable for His Crimes at Moveon




Bush's Final F.U.


The administration is rushing to enact a host of last-minute regulations that will screw America for years to come


With president-elect Barack Obama already taking command of the financial crisis, it's tempting to think that regime change in America is a done deal. But if George Bush has his way, the country will be ruled by his slash-and-burn ideology for a long time to come.


In its final days, the administration is rushing to implement a sweeping array of "midnight regulations" — de facto laws issued by the executive branch — designed to lock in Bush's legacy. Under the last- minute rules, which can be extremely difficult to overturn, loaded firearms would be allowed in national parks, uranium mining would be permitted near the Grand Canyon and many injured consumers would no longer be able to sue negligent manufacturers in state courts. Other rules would gut the Endangered Species Act, open millions of acres of wild lands to mining, restrict access to birth control and put local cops to work spying for the federal government.


"It's what we've seen for Bush's whole tenure, only accelerated," says Gary Bass, executive director of the nonpartisan group OMB Watch. "They're using regulation to cement their deregulatory mind-set, which puts corporate interests above public interests."

While every modern president has implemented last-minute regulations, Bush is rolling them out at a record pace — nearly twice as many as Clinton, and five times more than Reagan. "The administration is handing out final favors to its friends," says Véronique de Rugy, a scholar at George Mason University who has tracked six decades of midnight regulations. "They couldn't do it earlier — there would have been too many political repercussions. But with the Republicans having lost seats in Congress and the presidency changing parties, Bush has nothing left to lose."


The most jaw-dropping of Bush's rule changes is his effort to eviscerate the Endangered Species Act. Under a rule submitted in November, federal agencies would no longer be required to have government scientists assess the impact on imperiled species before giving the go-ahead to logging, mining, drilling, highway building or other development. The rule would also prohibit federal agencies from taking climate change into account in weighing the impact of projects that increase greenhouse emissions — effectively dooming polar bears to death-by-global-warming. According to Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club, "They've taken the single biggest threat to wildlife and said, 'We're going to pretend it doesn't exist, for regulatory purposes.'"


Bush is also implementing other environmental rules that will cater to the interests of many of his biggest benefactors:


BIG COAL In early December, the administration finalized a rule that allows the industry to dump waste from mountaintop mining into neighboring streams and valleys, a practice opposed by the governors of both Tennessee and Kentucky. "This makes it legal to use the most harmful coal-mining technology available," says Allen Hershkowitz, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council. A separate rule also relaxes air-pollution standards near national parks, allowing Big Coal to build plants next to some of America's most spectacular vistas — even though nine of 10 EPA regional administrators dissented from the rule or criticized it in writing.

 "They're willing to sacrifice the laws that protect our national parks in order to build as many new coal plants as possible," says Mark Wenzler, director of clean-air programs for the National Parks Conservation Association. "This is the last gasp of Bush and Cheney's disastrous policy, and they've proven there's no line they won't cross."


BIG OIL In a rule that becomes effective just three days before Obama takes office, the administration has opened up nearly 2 million acres of mountainous lands in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming for the mining of oil shale — an energy-intensive process that also drains precious water resources. "The administration has admitted that it has no idea how much of Colorado's water supply would be required to develop oil shale, no idea where the power would come from and no idea whether the technology is even viable," says Sen. Ken Salazar of Colorado. What's more, Bush is slashing the royalties that Big Oil pays for oil-shale mining from 12.5 percent to five percent. "A pittance," says Salazar.  |  Previous Next Page 2 3


Rahm Emanuel Still Makes Nancy Pelosi Nervous | The New York Observer
Nancy Pelosi is in an enviable position, the most powerful Democrat in Congress at a time of national ascendancy for her party, but she seems a little nervous. Part of this is her nature. Just like her two-decade climb up the Democratic ...
The New York Observer - -


Obama Team Weighs Up To $850 Billion Economic Jolt
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., this week said Democrats were preparing their own recovery bill in the range of $600 billion, blending immediate steps to counter the slumping economy with longer-term federal spending that ...
TBO Money -


US Government Cannot Lawfully Interfere With State Impeachment of Governor


NYT reported on a curious twist in state-level impeachment against a state official: That the prospect of a federal prosecution should trump the state impeachment.


In so many words, the prosecutors claim the state impeachment inquiry might interfere with the prosecution.


Our reservation has to do with the delicate balance of power at the state level, which the US prosecutors have no role, authority, or power The Constitution does not delegate any power to the US government or any prosecutor to thwart state impeachment efforts.


The State of Illinois has several problems on its hands:


1. The President elect is from there and there have been discussions between the President elect's Chief of Staff and the Governor; but the legislature in Illinois would like to focus on the Governor.


2. A US Attorney has skillfully, in secret conducted an expansive inquiry without tipping off the public or target of that investigation; but the Illinois House has nothing sepearte from the the indictment to issue charges.


3. The State legislature would like to discuss charges at the basis of an impeachment; some of the same witnesses for these charges are connected with the US prosecution.


4. The federal government prosecution goals through the executive branch of government appear to be overshadowing legislative agendas within the State; yet the State has the inherent power to conduct impeachment investigations against state officials.


We suggest one possible course of action is for the House to proceed along new charges, different than those in the US indictment; and discuss the State interests: That of finding violations of State law, not subject to the US prosecutor jurisdiction.


This will ensure the State interests are preserved, and that it can independently regulate the governor; and that the US prosecutor objectives are not thwarted.


The alternatives require the State to defer to the US government, which is not something a state is required to do. The Constitution only delgates to the US government authority to enforce US laws. The Constitution does not dlegate any power to the US government to strip the Illinois legislature of exclusive jurisdication in cases of impeachment against state officials.


Ideally, if there is subsequent infromation and evidence -- the House learns independently of the US prosecutor, and developed after the US government indictment -- it would seem plausible that an independent impeachment would not cloud the prosecutors' objectives.


For example, perhaps there is a narrow set of facts which relate to state level interests in ensuring the integrity of the fact finding, governance, and cooperation the governor should have with the legislature. This could invoke issues of witness tampering and other alleged miscnoduct warranting impeachment and removal.


We encourage the House leadership in Illinois to take the time they need to make an informed decision; and consider the option of ignoring the prosecutor, but making an implicit agreement to charge the governor with new crimes, outside the current US prosecutor indictment. There is no need for duplication.


However, the state should not have to subordinate it's impeachment to that of the US government. That would turn the US Constitution, US government into a penultimate body deciding whether the state can or cannot exercise sovereignty. That is not permissible.


MyFox Chicago | Impeachment or Witchhunt (Contains Video)
Gov. Rod Blagojevich's attorney, Ed Genson, has made it clear...the Governor will not go quietly as lawmakers consider his impeachment. More now from Anne Kavanagh.
General News for MyFox Chicago -


Scandal in Illinois: Love in his heart
Blagojevich attorney Ed Genson yesterday “tore into
 impeachment-minded state lawmakers trying to force the governor out of a job,” the Chicago Tribune ...See all stories on this topic


The Capitol Fax Blog » Impeachment committee, Day 3
If the analysis below is correct, then Mr. Genson’s complaints about due process and impeachable offenses and threatening suit because the Illinois Constitution’s impeachment article is unconstitutional may be just lots of lawyer bluff, ...
The Capitol Fax Blog -


Will War Crimes Be Outed?


By Kel 
It's interesting to listen to Senator Levin come to the same conclusion which I did regarding Cheney'sadmission that he has committed war crimes. Cheney's defence, that the administration were advised that what they were doing was ...

The Osterley Times -


By John Hulse 
"The current administration, of course, is winding down, not just President Bush, but everybody is sort of talking about the eight years. Yesterday, Dick Cheney was interviewed by ABC News, and he reflected on his eight years in office. idiocracy -


CounterPunch - Petrolia,CA,USA
A lengthy December 18 editorial laid out a solid case that approval for torture had come from topBush/Cheney administration officials, and then concluded ...See all stories on this topic

Bush Cheney created the wars, created Trillion dollar debts, runaway inflation, caused the economic meltdown with deregulating financial safeguards, continue to pass anti-environmental resolutions, and are the direct deciders who ...


“I was aware of the program, certainly, and involved in helping get the process cleared, as the agency in effect came in and wanted to know what they could and couldn’t do,” Cheney said. “And they talked to me, as well as others, ...





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