Hearing Or Elephant? Washington Post Portrays Republicans At Presidential Abuse Hearing As Impeachment Obsessed

220px-Republicanlogo.svg220px-Washington_Post_buildingThe Washington Post has a controversial take on yesterday’s hearing in its coverage by Dana Milbank. The hearing raised the serious question of a pattern of allegedly unconstitutional actions by President Obama in either barring enforcement of federal law or directly violating those laws. However, the Washington Post only reported on the fact that impeachment was raised in the hearing in the discussion of the constitutional means left to Congress to address presidential abuse. Republicans object that the Post piece misses 99 percent of the hearing detailing the rise of an imperial presidency under Obama and four hours of discussion of the dangerous shift of power in the tripartite system. Impeachment or presidential abuse. It seems that two hearings occurred simultaneously. Both sides appear to be claiming the other is blinded by bias. The Milbank and Republican accounts appear a modern version of the parable of the elephant and the six blind men.


Now, I was the lead witness but I was testifying through the haze of a raging flu. So I went back and checked. Impeachment was mentioned in passing but it was quickly discounted. Indeed, I specifically testified that, as someone who testified at the Clinton impeachment, I did not view such a measure as warranted given the ambiguity of past decisions. Indeed, the references to impeachment were made in the context of the loss of meaningful options for Congress to respond to such encroachments when the President reserved the right to suspend portions of laws and fought access to the courts in challenging such decisions. Yet, the Post simply reported that the word impeachment came up (not surprisingly) in a discussion of the options given by Framers to Congress in dealing with unlawful presidential conduct.

During the hearing, not only did I discount impeachment as an option, but a Democratic member specifically asked the panel about the references to impeachment. No one could remember how it came up but it was clear that no one thought it was a substantial issue — or significant part of the hearing.

It is certainly true that House members have raised impeachment issues previously (just as some Democrats raised impeachment during the Bush Administration).  However, it actually came up little in the hearing which was 99 percent focused on the separation of powers and the rise of an uber-presidency under Bush and Obama.

In a discussion of checks on the presidency, impeachment is one of the enumerated options given to Congress. Notably, past judicial opinions involving such separation of powers controversies have also discussed impeachment with the power of the purse as devices given to the Congress. In discussing impeachment with these other powers, courts were not advocating impeachment or suggesting that it was a viable solution in that given case.

I understand that Milbank tries to offer humorous takes on hearings and this is an editorial. I often enjoy his wit. However, it left a rather distortive impression of the hearing that tossed aside hours of substantive discussion of the real problem faced by Congress. Notably, Republicans at the hearing criticized both Bush and Obama for this trend, which I thought was noteworthy.

What was also curious was Milbank’s quote of my testimony. He stated “[t]he majority’s witnesses added to the accusations. George Washington University’s Jonathan Turley said Obama had ‘claimed the right of the king to essentially stand above the law.'” What is missing is that I was discussing the controversy involving James I and expressly said that I was not suggesting that Obama was acting as a King. Rather, I was discussing the so-called “royal prerogative” to stand above the law and how that general controversy motivated the Framers some 150 years later to include the “Take Care” clause. This was later referred to as a “dispensing power” in the context of presidential excesses. This was also part of my written testimony posted earlier. In fairness of Milbank, I was indeed arguing that President Obama had violated the Take Care Clause and was placing himself above the law in these instances. However, in the midst of the impeachment focus of the piece, it seemed to suggest that I was calling for impeachment.

But back to the main thrust of the hearing. The focus in the Post on impeachment (rather than alleged abuses by Obama) left the impression that Republicans are simply all about impeachment. Republicans often complain that it is the Post that is blinded by its own view of Republicans. It bring us to the ancient story of the six blind men and the elephant.

300px-Blind

Once upon a time, there lived six blind men in a village. One day the villagers told them, “Hey, there is an elephant in the village today.” They had no idea what an elephant is. They decided, “Even though we would not be able to see it, let us go and feel it anyway.” All of them went where the elephant was. Everyone of them touched the elephant.

“Hey, the elephant is a pillar,” said the first man who touched his leg.

“Oh, no! it is like a rope,” said the second man who touched the tail.

“Oh, no! it is like a thick branch of a tree,” said the third man who touched the trunk of the elephant.

“It is like a big hand fan” said the fourth man who touched the ear of the elephant.

“It is like a huge wall,” said the fifth man who touched the belly of the elephant.

“It is like a solid pipe,” Said the sixth man who touched the tusk of the elephant.

They began to argue about the elephant and everyone of them insisted that he was right. It looked like they were getting agitated. A wise man was passing by and he saw this. He stopped and asked them, “What is the matter?” They said, “We cannot agree to what the elephant is like.” Each one of them told what he thought the elephant was like. The wise man calmly explained to them, “All of you are right. The reason every one of you is telling it differently because each one of you touched the different part of the elephant. So, actually the elephant has all those features what you all said.”

“Oh!” everyone said. There was no more fight. They felt happy that they were all right.

Obviously, the best way to appreciate the elephant is to see it as a whole.

You can watch for yourself and judge for yourself what the hearing was about in the Judiciary Committee.

171 thoughts on “Hearing Or Elephant? Washington Post Portrays Republicans At Presidential Abuse Hearing As Impeachment Obsessed

  1. Isn’t it amazing when one takes words out of context…. I suppose…..they are in the business of selling newspapers…. And what ever works at the time is paramount….. Did Dewey win…… It has to be so… It was in the news…..

  2. “… the rise of an imperial presidency under Obama …” – JT

    That would be a very poor read of American History.

    An accurate read would be “the continuation of the imperial presidency under Obama.”

  3. Jonathan,

    Your testimony yesterday was brilliant despite your having the flu. You were the reasonable and rational voice. I was impressed with the amount of thought you have put into the nature of our republic and the reasons behind the formation of our form of government and the lack of adequate checks on the unconstitutional acts by the executive.

    I hope some of the members take heed of your call for creation of statutory standing for members of Congress to challenge unconstitutional acts of the executive in the federal courts. Care must be taken in describing that authority so that it does not become a mechanism for running to court to resolve minor disputes over policy. However, as the testimony yesterday clearly demonstrated the executive must execute the laws as they are written and has no authority to rewrite the laws to suit his own personal agenda.

  4. Amen to Benny White’s commentary. I REALLY appreciated your analysis in front of the committee. Our collective feeling of dread for the trajectory of this country is keeping many of us literally up at night, I am so ashamed that we have allowed this country to dissolve into a socialist experiment, lead by Chicago thug politicians.
    I would state that I believe we deserve better, however I am no longer certain of that any longer.

  5. [music]
    We ….went to the Animal Fair.
    The birds and beasts were there.

    The old baboon, by the light of the moon,
    was combing his auburn hair.

    The monkey he got drunk.
    And fell on the elephants trunk.

    The elephant sneezed, and fell on his knees.
    And that was the end of the monk, the monk, the monk.

  6. That’s why I referred to it as ‘the second worst paper on earth’…. WaPo has gone from an almost rational, reputation-driven powerhouse when they forced a change at the top of our government to a Rupert Murdoch/Weymouth Family trash heap on the same level – OR BELOW – of ANYTHING Murdoch’s companies delivers worldwide. That’s a stunning plunge… BUT,

    HOW can WaPo and Milbank construe what was actually said in context in the hearing, into the short statement attributed to you. ’…Jonathan Turley said Obama had “claimed the right of the king to essentially stand above the law.” Secondly, HOW DID YOU NOT HAVE THE CHANCE TO STOP THIS MIS-REPRESENTATION ??

    This explains SOME of the reasons that we’ve seen displayed over the last few years, where information outlets that have flatly refused to have Dana Milbank as a source, others, as in the WaPo case, press him into service of the false narrative. In a hearing as politically charged as one named “The President’s Constitutional Duty to Faithfully Execute the Laws” under the guise of a republican’s last gasp for ANY fake controversy, WHY would YOU not check the final words as they go to GLOBAL PRESS where Milbank has basically painted YOU as a strong (‘The majority’s witnesses’) advocate and champion of the impeach battle cry.

    I’ve witnessed you incensed before. I’ve witnessed you enraged even to the point of having to bite your tongue and walk away from a discussion, but NEVER pigeon-holed into a position of global false witness for the nut house?

    I’m still stunned.

  7. “Republicans often complain that it is the Post is blinded by its own view of Republicans.”

    Pithy words. I would say that much of today’s political discussion, present company mostly excepted, is thoroughly corrupted by each side being blinded by its own view of the other side. “Republicans want to starve women and children” is an utterly ridiculous statement that is made by Democrats all too frequently.

  8. I watched your appearance at the hearings and you were dead on with your answers and responses as they were presented. It is too bad that people can’t get past each party blaming each other or taking sides and address the questions at hand. The only way we will be able to resolve the major problems this country face is to put aside partianship and resolve the issues and problems.

  9. “However, the Washington Post only reported on the fact that impeachment was raised in the hearing in the discussion of the constitutional means left to Congress to address presidential abuse. Republicans object that the Post piece misses 99 percent of the hearing detailing the rise of an imperial presidency under Obama and four hours of discussion of the dangerous shift of power in the tripartite system. ”

    *******************

    In view of the Bush Presidency with its high-handedness and those same Republicans positively giddy about George II, I am left to recall the words of Mary Shelley:

    “You are my creator, but I am your master; Obey!”

  10. IMO Dana Milbank did a disservice to his paper, readers and himself when he chose to characterize the hearings as an “Impeachment Fest”.
    Sure there was partisan grandstanding on both sides by some members of the House, but , upon actually watching the majority of the testimony and questions, the more introspective, critical thinkers amoung the House members seemed to concur that this abuse of executive powers has been on mission creep for a long time, involving both parties and is dangerous to our country’s foundation. The hearing was not about impeachment, it was about how the Congress, specifically the House , can bring balance to and ensure the separation of powers within the US government.

  11. I haven’t watched the testimony but I hope there was the context of an obstructionist GOP that has fought every single thing that this president has put forth. To stop appointments and shutdown the government as your process forces extraordinary measures. I daresay when Bush did it it was not because he had a democratic congress that refused to do even the rudimentary work.
    (In addition impeachment is “sexy” it gets people to take heed. There is also word count, You cannot restate or quote everything.)

  12. In a nutshell:

    “It is certainly true that House members have raised impeachment issues previously (just as some Democrats raised impeachment during the Bush Administration). However, it actually came up little in the hearing which was 99 percent focused on the separation of powers and the rise of an uber-presidency under Bush and Obama.” -Jonathan Turley

    Again: “…the hearing…was 99 percent focused on the separation of powers and the rise of an uber-presidency under Bush and Obama.”

    Anyone who believes otherwise needs to watch the hearing again.

  13. Ah, the smell of politics in the morning.

    Certain politicians need to be able to go back home and tell their constituents, “I called for impeachment!” And other politicians need to go back home and tell their constituents, “All they are looking for is another blue dress with semen stains.”

    As for “Republicans often complain that it is the Post is blinded by its own view of Republicans.” What probably really stings is that the Post’s view is probably the view held by the majority of Americans. Thus the need for rebranding which the republicans are hoping to achieve through these hearings.

    But they can’t get past Bush’s 161 signing statements and an impeachment over semen stains.

    In other words, no matter the brilliance of JT’s presentation nor the accuracy of his answers, nor his sincere concern for the future of this democracy … a republican led reform of the Executive is hilarious and not taken seriously by anyone … especially republicans.

  14. The Christian Science Monitor

    “Obama ‘crossed the constitutional line,’ House panel is told”

    “Two constitutional law professors told the House Judiciary Committee that President Obama exceeded his authority with unilateral actions on immigration and Obamacare enforcement.”

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2013/1203/Obama-crossed-the-constitutional-line-House-panel-is-told

    “The focus of the hearing was the constitutional requirement that the president “shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

    “I believe the president has exceeded his brief,” George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley testified.

    “The president is required to faithfully execute the laws. He’s not required to enforce all laws equally or commit the same resources to them,” he said. “But I believe the president has crossed the constitutional line.””

    “Professor Turley…warned that the structure of the US government was morphing into something the Founding Fathers would not recognize. “I really have great trepidation over where we are heading because we are creating a new system here,” he said.

    The constitution does not permit the president to wield expansive powers at the expense of Congress, he said. Turley noted that the president’s expansive exertion of power was coming with the rapid growth of a fourth branch of government comprised of federal agencies that are writing their own regulations.

    “We have this rising fourth branch in a system that’s tripartite,” he said. “The center of gravity is shifting, and that makes it unstable. And within that system you have the rise of an uber-presidency.”

    Turley continued: “There could be no greater danger for individual liberty, and I really think that the framers would be horrified by that shift because everything they’ve dedicated themselves to was creating this orbital balance, and we’ve lost it.””

  15. The elephant parable is very appropriate to frame the atmosphere of politics and media coverage today.

    I would like to point out “The invisible donkey” parable.

    Where were the Democrats? I would like to see the dem leadership instructions to the dem jack ass representatives. My guess is simply, STAY AWAY.

    This hearing could have been so much more if the rigidly divided and partisan parties had united, for a revealing exposition of separation of powers in the constitution.
    If this had taken place with a repub prez in office the dems would still be there questioning the witnesses.

    The tenor of Washington politics has been debased to the fanaticism of a bitter sports rivalry. Yankee fans are blind to anything anti-yanks, Boston fans are blind to anything anti-sox.
    ….. Yet the rivalry and bitterness is the generator of HUGE bucks and attention. Substance weeps. The constitution fades. Our Founders mourn. ,
    The Public gapes at the bread and circuses.
    Excuse me, I have to go get my 10th beer, my 4th hot dog, and go throw up in the commons bathrooms.

  16. “This president’s failure – or any president’s failure – to honor his constitutional duty to execute the laws faithfully is not a partisan issue. The fact that presidents from both parties violate this duty is cause not for solace. It is cause for even greater alarm, because it guarantees that presidents from both parties will replicate and even surpass the abuses of their predecessors as payback for past injustices. The result is that democracy and freedom will suffer no matter who occupies the Oval Office.” – Michael Cannon

    12/03/2013 @ 9:00AM

    Congressional Testimony: The President’s Failure To Execute Faithfully The PPACA

    by Michael F. Cannon

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelcannon/2013/12/03/congressional-testimony-the-presidents-failure-to-execute-faithfully-the-ppaca/

    Excerpt:

    The concerns I share with you today are not borne of partisanship. Though I have worked for Republicans, I am not a Republican, for reasons that Democrats on this committee can readily appreciate. I am acutely aware of the last Republican president’s failures to execute the laws faithfully. In 2008, though I did not support him, I preferred the Democratic presidential candidate to the Republican candidate in part because he promised to curb such abuses by the executive. I have praised President Obama for doing more than even many libertarians to celebrate the gains in equality and freedom our nation has secured for women, for African-Americans, for gays, and for lesbians.

    This president’s failure – or any president’s failure – to honor his constitutional duty to execute the laws faithfully is not a partisan issue. The fact that presidents from both parties violate this duty is cause not for solace. It is cause for even greater alarm, because it guarantees that presidents from both parties will replicate and even surpass the abuses of their predecessors as payback for past injustices. The result is that democracy and freedom will suffer no matter who occupies the Oval Office.

  17. Dredd is correct it should be the continuation of… or speeding up of. There is also TEAM BLUE tribalism / it’s OK when our guy does it. I can’t wait for TEAM BLUE to demand the impeachment of Pres. Palin and VP Bachmann when they act as imperial as Pres. Obama.

  18. Blouise, Prof. Turley may have the noblest intentions but Goodlatte, King and Gohmert, nah. They are playing to their tea party constituents that want to impeach Obama or worse. Milbank called them out.

  19. http://www.salon.com/2013/12/04/house_republicans_yearn_to_impeach_obama/You may not know this, but House Republicans don’t like President Obama. Really, they don’t! And as a new piece from the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank shows, the antipathy on the far-right for the president has begun to slowly but surely turn into a growing chorus calling for impeachment.

    A prime example can be found in Tuesday’s House Committee on the Judiciary hearing, a spectacle of impeachment innuendo that laid bare Republicans’ current desire to find a way to unseat the president. Iowa Republican Steve King ominously and obliquely referred to “the word that we don’t like to say in this committee, and I’m not about to utter here in this particular hearing.” Texas Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold, meanwhile, said, with evident disappointment, “We’ve also talked about the I-word, impeachment, which I don’t think would get past the Senate in the current climate.”

    As Milbank shows, however, Tuesday’s hearing was hardly the only venue where Republicans — in the Senate as well as the House — have mulled aloud impeaching the president:

  20. But do you do when the congress refuses to do its job and judicial vacancies go unfilled, cabinets go without their heads, etc? The people’s work needs to be done and when there is a vacuum should no one step in?

  21. SWM, I “firend” Huckabee on FB to see what he has to say and his lemming like followers. It is the rare post where the comments section do not have calls for impeachment. The right knows that its constituency does not care if there are or are not potential grounds for such an action. They like to bandy about the word and their representatives follow.

  22. SwM and Annie,

    But I do take JT’s point regarding his own testimony.

    However, here is his statement to the House regarding the Clinton impeachment … which he favored

    http://jonathanturley.org/2007/08/20/clinton-impeachment-testimony-house-judiciary-committee/

    On the other hand, let us not forget that he testified against President Bush’s warrantless domestic surveillance program.

    The box into which he fits has nothing to do with the personalities or politics of those who hold the office … his box is the Constitution.

    Given his support for the Clinton impeachment … he’s going to find himself more easily placed in the Obama impeachment box than he might wish.

  23. Blouise it seems to me that Professor Turley was sorely used by both the WaPo and the Republicans at the hearing. His testimony was taken, or mistaken as a green light for an impending impeachment attempt by those who want nothing more than to see President Obama gone. When and if they have their Republican President all the anxiety regarding Presidential overreach will have vanished. Our Senator Feingold was one of the few Democratic voices against the Patriot Act, which I was very proud of him for. I understand the necessity to reign in the Executive to it’s correct Constitutional limitations, but it’s so darn frustrating watching this excessively obstructionist Congress in all their glory.

  24. The problem that arises here is that Jonathan’s testimony and others, directly confronted the greatest threat to this country which is the rise of the Imperial Presidency. This trend did not begin with George W. Bush, nor with Barack Obama. It arose with the false exigencies of the “Cold War” and the movement to control our government by the Corporate Military Intelligence Complex. The lines of who is really in charge have been so blurred as to almost be indistinguishable. Jonathan’s testimony hit directly to the heart of the matter in terms of these manifestations of unconstitutional behavior. Unfortunately, there were other agendas operating in this committee and foremost among them was the hatred of Obama by the Tea Party. As Jonathan pointed out there is much to be dissatisfied with in the Obama Administration that affects our liberties, but some on the committee with a different President would most likely be on the other side of the condemnation.

  25. Not wanting to starve women and children is not the same as not wanting to feed them. They each can work to eat. That is the program of the Republicon Party that I work for here in FL. We preach that each woman in America has the duty to go to work within one month of giving birth. Each daddy has to work since the date of conception. This concept goes further. Each child has to work at age 11 while still going to school and at age 14 during the summers. At age 18 it is Up and Out. No more food stamps or credit cards. If there is surplus food available give it out to the truly needy on Sunday after church at church. We have a motto down here in our Republicon Party. Praise the Lard and Pass The Ammunition. Let others wallow in Watergate.

  26. Milbank is an ass, and his misquote of you is par for the course with him. But…you’re lucky he didn’t take on your actual arguments, which are so strained and tendentious as to be embarrassing. For example, do you really think the fact that this DOJ has interpreted the Wire Act — a criminal statute, remember — more narrowly than its predecessors is some kind of abuse of power by Obama? Do you really think the OLC, which issued an analysis supporting that position, is just a pawn in some made power grab? Frankly, Milbank’s quote of you is at least a fair representation of the intellectual vapidity of your arguments.

  27. smallguvguy 1, December 4, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Dredd is correct it should be the continuation of… or speeding up of. There is also TEAM BLUE tribalism / it’s OK when our guy does it. I can’t wait for TEAM BLUE to demand the impeachment of Pres. Palin and VP Bachmann when they act as imperial as Pres. Obama.
    ========================
    The Pentagon came after him early on, as they do all presidents they think may not be warmongers, according to an investigative reporter:

    Seymour Hersh was interviewed recently in Geneva.

    He was asked about President Obama after his address to a convention of journalists.

    His reply was:

    At this point he’s in real trouble. Because the military are dominating him on the important issues of the world …

    (Moore, emphasis added). This echoes what Hersh has been saying for some time now:

    The army is also “in a war against the White House — and they feel they have [President] Obama boxed in,” Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Seymour Hersh told several hundred people in Duke University’s Page Auditorium on Tuesday night. “They think he’s weak and the wrong color. Yes, there’s racism in the Pentagon. We may not like to think that, but it’s true and we all know it.”

    (Herald Sun, emphasis added). If what Hersh and others are saying is true, then we have in effect a military coup that has not turned into a shooting war yet.

    Some say that is because Obama has knuckled under to some type of pressure, whether political or otherwise, and may not be able to do what he wants.

    Others say he was a phony from the beginning like other politicians, and will say anything to gain and hold power.

    (Is Obama Dominated By MOMCOM?). Remembering that the military “spy on everybody everywhere” NSA can be “persuasive” with all the info it has on everyone.

  28. Annie,

    Feingold’s was the ONLY vote against in the first round.

    You have my sincere sympathy knowing you are suffering under that tea party fool, Johnson. What’s your opinion of his stance against pursuing child abusers? Do you think it has anything to do with his old position on the Finance Council of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay? Creepy, in my opinion.

    I enjoy the representation of Sherrod Brown in the Senate and Marcy Kaptur in the House … we kept the Tea Party infection commonly known as “Joe the Plumber” from winning anything in our district.

  29. ** Mike Spindell 1, December 4, 2013 at 11:47 am **

    Ya Mike, on target.

    Though I now see many other sides engaged in this long term struggle & they are not associated with the Dem/Repub/CMIC & the players most normally think of.

    Imagine we’re back in highschool, before that Timeout stuff, 2 guys are hooking it up.

    They’re so preoccupied they don’t even notice different groups of gang members have shown up, are watching & are about to join in & kick both of the original boyz azzes.

    OT: It’s another beautiful day here. God’s about to let us know we’re still alive. Big storm blows in starting in a couple hours.

    (You know you’re alive when you’re half frozen lol )

  30. Yes I think you’re right Blouise, Johnson is nothing more than a Tea Party tool. You folks in Ohio did the right thing, we here in Wisconsin are so screwed. SWM, yes Minnesota is doing far better than us. I’m visiting my sister in western Wisconsin (I’m from SE WI) folks up here in the NW have been affected negatively by the silica sand mining for fracking in ND. Some of the farmers haven oven n and sold heir farms to the mining companies and are surrounded by the mines, it’s a terrible situation. Thanks Walker.

  31. Congress at this time may not be able to get impeachment through the Senate, but they could continue to hold many more public hearings on the matter.

    Hell, they could roll in Alex Jones strapped to a dolly with a silence of the lambs Hannibal Lecter mask on just to liven things up a bit. :)

  32. What’s this blouise….. Oh yeah… I see…. Thanks…. Sure am glad you don’t reveal identies or locations of folks…. I hear that’s a sure way to get banned from here….

  33. Blouise, Dennis K was a weird wind, but he blew true, fresh, and untamed. He raised many valid uncomfortable “things” I think the dems were just as happy to get rid of him as the repubs.

    PS. after all his time in office he did not leave a rich man. I believe he was honest. …. this is my “far away” not local opinion, what is yours?

  34. “Obviously, the best way to appreciate the elephant is to see it as a whole.” -JT

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/25/us-usa-security-doomsday-idUSBRE9AO0Y120131125

    Excerpt:

    U.S. officials and other sources said only a small proportion of the classified material Snowden downloaded during stints as a contract systems administrator for NSA has been made public. Some Obama Administration officials have said privately that Snowden downloaded enough material to fuel two more years of news stories.

    “The worst is yet to come,” said one former U.S. official who follows the investigation closely.

  35. davidbluefish,

    Dennis was Dennis … for years his yard signs didn’t even have his last name on them. Kaptur handily beat him in the Primary (after the gerrymandered redistricting combined their districts) because, well, basically, this is blue collar country, or tech collar country, or artsy-fartsy country and Dennis didn’t stay home much tending the fields and the folks here figured they weren’t paying him to be a star. No one thought he was crooked or dishonest but neither is Kaptur and she tends the fields.

  36. AY,

    Hell man, comment all you want but look behind you for the telltale slip slip. Don’t be the only one who doesn’t see it.

  37. Blouise,

    I didn’t care for bush nor do I care for Obama…didn’t vote for them…. Even if I did I can still have the opinion that they are political hypocrits… Or is that an oxymoron …. I had meant to comment on Bill H’s post and it had not gone through…. So I resent it…. Timing is everything…..

  38. Mr. Turley,
    I have found many Liberal wed blogs do the same.

    It’s the Liberal dog whistle…
    “GOP wishes to impeach Obama”
    … And they all go drool.

    I will say that the GOP doesn’t have a clue, though, as to what is impeachable. Neither do Democrats. BOTH seem to think that when their team spies, tortures, delays justice for years, incarcerating people without due process and of course, acts of aggressive war are NEVER impeachable when their team captain does it. It is classic partisan loyalties.

    You’re fighting the good fight. Keep it up.

  39. Professor Turley,

    Re: Congressional Standing before the Courts.

    I’m still looking back over the hearings as time permits.

    Last night listening I was wondering back to some historical comments I seen on Thomas Jefferson in regards to whether or not congress/govt even needed supreme court/courts?

    I just don’t recall that history exactly.

    Part of the reason I come here is that the fine details matter & I/others need to become better at finding the fine relevant details.

    Maybe it rings a bell with you or others here?

    OT: What/where were the founders drinking/smoking?

    I’ve seen a small bit on the topic.

    IE: Lazarus, Simon III – Senior Counsel, he & a few others appeared that they needed a cig/blunt & some Jack Daniels & water. No ice though, the way he was shaking ice would have made way to much noise! :)

  40. Blouise,

    I have often said I was one of the few that voted for Nader….. And this last time Jill…. We need better options ….

  41. WaPo propaganda works! Dana has helped to reframe the issue– Republicans don’t like Obama.

    Well of course they don’t like him (at least not publicly). Honestly, I’m not sure why any person would like a man who commits torture, drones kills civilians and locks people up without trial for the indefinite future. Other than murder groupies, these actions would seem to rule out “liking” Obama.

    Still the important point of executive overreach is lost in all the castigation of the tea party. We don’t discuss presidential overreach, we discuss why people don’t “like” Obama. That is what propaganda accomplishes, and accomplishes well.

    This hearing was a discussion of presidential overreach. Even if one hates the tea party, and that hatred is anyone’s right, the issue remains– is there executive overreach happening in this nation. The answer is yes.

    Is this overreach a danger to the rule of law? Yes it is.

    Does it need to be spoken about? Yes, it does.

    Do we need remedies to this situation? Yes, we do.

    It is imperative to understand what is happening truthfully and to present it in a truthful matter. Propaganda is powerful, effective and it will destroy our ability to stand up for our nation. Part of standing up is standing against executive overreach even if that means not “liking” the president.

  42. Blouse, Committee Chair Goodlatte also prosecuted Clinton appointee, Judge Porteus, who as you remember did get impeached. Lots of history…. a hearing can rarely be viewed as an isolated event.

  43. Professor Turley’s advocacy on behalf of the ludicrous Bill Clintion fellatio impeachment — which made an international laughing stock of our country — discredited (then) and descredits (now) his opinions about impeachment generally. Elevating the tawdry Paula Jones perjury trap civil suit into a constitutional crisis soiled the reputations of everyone who championed those prurient proceedings. Impeachment would pose a much more potent check on presidential and judicial abuse of power today had not the rabid Republican party — and Professor Turley — so tarnished the process that few self-respecting persons want anything to do with it anymore, associating it as they do with nothing more than “lying about sex.” Too bad for the quaint “checks and balances” doctrine. Let those who so abused impeachment as to render it impotent own up to — and apologize for — their own role in trivializing an important constitutional protection against real and significant abuses of power by political officials.

    In my view, the Congress should have impeached President Clinton for bombing Serbia without a declaration of war in violation of the War Powers Act. By the same token, Congress should have impeached President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for their scurrilous mendacity in lying our country into two wars against countries that had nothing to do with 9/11/2001. Congress should have also impeached President Obama for his escalation and perpetuation of the absurd undeclared “wars” on Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, along with his violation of the War Powers Act in bombing — and thus dismembering Libya. But impeachment in America now means nothing more than “lying about sex,” or “what the meaning of ‘is’ is.” Thanks for nothing, Republican Party and Professor Turley. You broke impeachment, so you own its irrelevance.

  44. @Mike Spindell 11:47 a.m.
    I was with you until the last sentence or two. It ought to be obvious that Tea Party Republicans do not have much tolerance for establishment Republicans. That’s why they’re primarying so many of them. Tea Partyers consider both establishment Republicans and Democrats a threat to the Constitution and our liberty. They DO hold Republicans accountable beyond just primaries. As Charles Schumer recently pointed out, they have trashed Marco Rubio for supporting the immigration bill that will grant amnesty to several million people who illegally invaded the country or overstayed visas. Similarly, Tea Partyers love Ted Cruz while establishment Republicans hate him as much as Democrats do.

    So I don’t agree with you that Tea Partyers will excuse abuse by a president who happens to have an “R” on his jersey. They want a government that lives within the confines of the Constitution – regardless of party affiliation.

  45. “Is this overreach a danger to the rule of law? Yes it is.” –Jill

    And with the breakdown of the rule of law, corruption rises, which takes us back to Juan Cole’s article (for anyone who might have missed it yesterday) and its relevance to yesterday’s discussion.

    “Top 10 Ways the US is the Most Corrupt Country in the World”

    http://www.juancole.com/2013/12/corrupt-country-world.html

    Teaser:

    “Why, George W. Bush took millions from arms manufacturers and then ginned up a war for them, and the police haven’t been anywhere near his house.

    American politicians don’t represent “the people.” With a few honorable exceptions, they represent the the 1%. American democracy is being corrupted out of existence.”

  46. “What We Should Not Be Thankful for…”

    By John W. Whitehead

    November 25, 2013

    “Hold on, my friends, to the Constitution and to the Republic for which it stands. Miracles do not cluster, and what has happened once in 6000 years, may not happen again. Hold on to the Constitution, for if the American Constitution should fail, there will be anarchy throughout the world.”—Daniel Webster
    .

    Thus, while there’s much to be thankful for—the blessings of family, security, food, opportunity, etc.—it’s the things I’m not thankful for that have me greatly concerned about the emerging American police state. So do me a favor. Before you get distracted by the gathering of family and friends and the feasting and the football and the fleeting sense of goodwill and the traditional counting of blessings, take a moment to remind yourself and those around you of the things we should NOT be thankful for this year—the things that no American should tolerate from its government—the things that don’t belong in the “city on a hill” envisioned by John F. Kennedy as the standard for a government “constructed and inhabited by men aware of their grave trust and their great responsibilities.”

    Mind you, if we do not push back against the growing menace of the police state now, future Thanksgivings may find us giving thanks for creature comforts that serve only to lessen the pain of having lost our most basic freedoms. In other words, it’s time for “we the people” to heed Abraham Lincoln’s advice and take our place as “the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts—not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”

  47. Welcome to today’s liberal media, Mr. Turley.

    Those on the other side of the political spectrum have seen this thousands of times (The Libertarian/Statist axis OR the Conservative/Liberal one).

    I guess the main question, here, is if you’ll use it as a goad to see if it doesn’t happen a lot more, and thus learn to view the media’s take with a measure of doubt and reproof, or will you simply chalk it up as a one-time thing and never look for it again?

    Will you learn to question the view you’re presented, sir?

  48. “BOTH seem to think that when their team spies, tortures, delays justice for years, incarcerating people without due process and of course, acts of aggressive war are NEVER impeachable when their team captain does it. It is classic partisan loyalties.”

    Max, you DO grasp that “Extraordinary Rendition” (which term covers the vast majority of your commentary, there) was initiated not by Bush, but by Clinton. Seriously. While you’re there, search on “Project Echelon”, which was the Clinton term for eavesdropping on the communications of American citizens.Amazing how many things were A-OK with the media when Clinton was doing them, but they were — GASP! Shocked! Shocked, I say!! — when Bush continued the procedures.

    And one of the chief questions, here, is whether or not non-citizens have a right to due process. Since The Left has been doing everything possible to destroy the essential limits on Government tied to the Rights of Free Men, it’s amazing how much noise, but little effort, they’ll undertake discussing invasions of them by Teh One, including Fast and Furious as well as the whole IRS abuse scandal.

    If a Republican had done these things then Impeachment calls would not be a minor noise in the background, it would be a deafening thunder.

    From both parties.

  49. So many interesting posts.
    First Mr Turley, you done good. Keep up the good work you do for the wonderful document we call the Constitution.

    Bill Clinton impeachment – He admitted lying in front of a United States court of law. I don’t care what the reason. He broke his oath to uphold the constitution when he lied.

    TEA party. Obviously there are many on this blog that do not like the TEA party. So what, grow up. Any Congressman or Senator that was elected under such a banner has as much right to sit in Congress as your favorite. These are called disagreements between people. And we do have a way to overcome idiots in office. It’s called an election and it’s held every two years for Congressman, 6 years for Senator, and 4 years for a President.

    Obstructionist Repos. So what. They feel the direction our country is going in is wrong and the only way they can make a change is to oppose whatever law comes up that takes the United States further down the wrong path (wrong according to them). That’s how it’s supposed to work. No heads of departments? Tough. No Judges? Tough. Elect a new Senator the next time there is an election for such.

    The story of our day is not racist Repos (tho there may be some) or socialist Demos (tho there may be some, and there are probably as many racist Demos as socialist Repos as well). The story of our day is our president that says he can kill anyone anywhere he wants if he thinks said person is an imminent threat. Keep in mind imminent means what he says it means, not what the dictionary says it means. Oh, and if a few innocent civilians are near the person targeted and also die? Sorry, you shouldn’t have gotten so close to someone we targeted in secret. The story of our day is the NSA reading all your documents in violation of the 4th amendment to the Constitution. The story of our day is our government spending $ trillions of borrowed money and then not authorizing debt payment in a timely manner, or authorizing a fair tax system to pay for everything everyone wants (and I want it now).

    Grow up! Our constitution and country is in peril and too many people grouse about racist TEA party people.

  50. I find this all very frustrating. I watched the entire hearing, and I was very impressed with the discussion and the witnesses’ perspective and insights. Of course, some Representatives, on both sides, took the hearing as a mere partisan opportunity to either attack or defend the President and his policies, rather than engage in meaningful discussion about the separation of powers. However, overall it was a very good hearing on an important constitutional issue that must be addressed. Impeachment was only briefly mentioned, and I don’t recall hearing any Representative directly calling for the President’s impeachment. Steve King, a Representative I generally detest, even approached the subject with a certain degree of tact and within the context of constitutional limitations on executive power.

    Unfortunately, the vast majority will never watch this hearing or read the witnesses’ written statements. Far more people will read Mr. Milbank’s distorted portrayal. I acknowledge that this is an editorial piece, not straight reporting, but it is aggravating that op-ed pieces like this are becoming the filter to our national dialogue. How can we meaningfully address these constitutional issues when the conversation is so intentionally distorted?

  51. Anonymously Yours 1, December 4, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Blouise,

    I have often said I was one of the few that voted for Nader….. And this last time Jill…. We need better options ….
    ======================
    Counselor, doesn’t that presume that our vote outside the one party (“the business party”) composed to two competing samenesses will have a positive effect?

    That is, that an individual president can change “the system?”

  52. Blouise 1, December 4, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    AY,

    I’m a Nader voter … I feel your pain
    =======================
    We are all nadir voters, we feel our pain.

  53. Dredd,

    Please explain…. I’ve reread your post to me and its compound. If this is your point… That if we vote outside the system in place our vote will be pointless….

    One can hope that individuals can make a difference. Susan B. Anthony…. The Vanderbilts…. Made significant contributions…

    Everyone makes a difference even if they subscribe to one philosophy…. Hitler, Hess, Budda etc made differences….. Apparently you just have to pick your poison….

    I used to be a straight party person…. I didn’t like it when the GOP stalled Clinton….. I didn’t like it when Bush became the imperial president… Nor do I care for Obamas rendition of the Bush years…..

    He was supposed to make a difference…. I won’t be juvenile and contest his legal status or residency….. He is the CiC he should follow the rule of law as well as uphold his oath of office….

  54. Dredd, I believe a president can help to change the system and that a third party vote in the last election would have made a difference.

    For one thing, it would have been a really in your face speaking up to the party that the people do not accept business as usual. The oligarchy is frightened of that. If they weren’t they would not need to propagandize people so thoroughly into continually voting for the same business party over and over again.

    Also, although one person cannot by her/himself change the system. Voting for a person who wants to work with other citizens to do so is a much better option than voting for a person who is destroying your society from the inside out.

  55. ACLU Press Release: NSA Analyzing Cell Phone Location Data Globally

    https://www.aclu.org/national-security/nsa-analyzing-cell-phone-location-data-globally

    December 4, 2013

    NEW YORK – The NSA is tracking the locations of a huge number of cell phones around the world, according to an article published today by The Washington Post. The report, based on documents from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, says the agency is analyzing the movements of many millions of cell phones worldwide, including those belonging to Americans travelling abroad. Catherine Crump, staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union Speech, Privacy & Technology Project, had this reaction:

    “It is staggering that a location-tracking program on this scale could be implemented without any public debate, particularly given the substantial number of Americans having their movements recorded by the government. The paths that we travel every day can reveal an extraordinary amount about our political, professional, and intimate relationships. The dragnet surveillance of hundreds of millions of cell phones flouts our international obligation to respect the privacy of foreigners and Americans alike. The government should be targeting its surveillance at those suspected of wrongdoing, not assembling massive associational databases that by their very nature record the movements of a huge number of innocent people.”

  56. From the Washington Post article by Gellman / Saltani (link provided above):

    Excerpt:

    “The possibility that the intelligence community has been collecting location data, particularly of Americans, has long concerned privacy advocates and some lawmakers. Three Democratic senators — Ron Wyden (Ore.), Mark Udall (Colo.) and Barbara Mikulski (Md.) — have introduced an amendment to the 2014 defense spending bill that would require U.S. intelligence agencies to say whether they have ever collected or made plans to collect location data for “a large number of United States persons with no known connection to suspicious activity.”

    NSA Director Keith Alexander disclosed in Senate testimony in October that the NSA had run a pilot project in 2010 and 2011 to collect “samples” of U.S. cellphone location data. The data collected were never available for intelligence analysis purposes, and the project was discontinued because it had no “operational value,” he said.

    Alexander allowed that a broader collection of such data “may be something that is a future requirement for the country, but it is not right now.”

    The number of Americans whose locations are tracked as part of the NSA’s collection of data overseas is impossible to determine from the Snowden documents alone, and senior intelligence officials declined to offer an estimate.”

  57. Anon Posted,

    Thanks for those links and excerpts. I thought that Alexander quote was quite chilling. Not that I don’t think they are tracking everyone right now but that quote just got to me!

    Cell phones are tracking devices that accept texts and calls!

  58. ‘ and the project was discontinued because it had no “operational value,” he (NSA Director Keith Alexander) said.’

    Wasn’t it at that same hearing that Alexander admitted he’d lied at a previous hearing? Rhetorical question … yes, it was Alexander who admitted he lied during an earlier hearing. The guy has zilch credibility unless he’s speaking Klingon to trekkies at a Star Wars convention.

    In other words, of course they’re still tracking … “Collect It All” is his motto.

  59. The third party vote in Florida in 2000 is precisely what produced the mess that resulted in the Supreme Court giving the election to George Bush. The race was close enough to begin with, but Nader pulled enough Gore voters to change the outcome.

  60. Jill 1, December 4, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    Dredd, I believe a president can help to change the system and that a third party vote in the last election would have made a difference.

    For one thing, it would have been a really in your face speaking up to the party that the people do not accept business as usual. The oligarchy is frightened of that. If they weren’t they would not need to propagandize people so thoroughly into continually voting for the same business party over and over again.

    Also, although one person cannot by her/himself change the system. Voting for a person who wants to work with other citizens to do so is a much better option than voting for a person who is destroying your society from the inside out.
    =========================
    How did that work out for Kennedy?

  61. Mike Appleton 1, December 4, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    The third party vote in Florida in 2000 is precisely what produced the mess that resulted in the Supreme Court giving the election to George Bush. The race was close enough to begin with, but Nader pulled enough Gore voters to change the outcome.
    =========================
    All we can do is vote for nadir.

    The rest is fantasy and denial.

  62. Mike A,

    While I generally agree with you, in this matter, I don’t think it would have mattered if gore had won in a landslide which I think he did…. If you recall dan rathers demise was predicated on the calling of the election for gore…. That’s my opinion…. Furher Ohio was the key elector vote to decide the Kerry/Bush… . If I recall Taft assisted in voter fraud…. In Kentucky the diebold machines were rigged to count votes to favor the GOP… If I recall some were actually convicted for voter fraud…

  63. Mike A., That theory has already been disproved by vote counting. The film, “An Honroable Man” has details about this but there are completely independent analysis of this issue. It was not about third party votes.

    Dredd, You assume Kennedy was on the side of the people. I do not. In his library, his tapes (just like Nixon he had secret tapes) have been put in the public domain. On these tapes you here Kennedy and various agency people discussing, laughing about who they killed and who they would kill next in Central and S. America.

    If you are saying that any person who goes against the system takes a risk of their life, I agree. That is also true of ordinary people as we have seen in OWS, Chelsey Manning, Edward Snowden, etc. If we won’t act because we are in danger, we will never act. This is a very dangerous governing class. No one opposes them without risk. That is why I believe in peaceful, mass, resistance. If a president wanted to join in, they would be welcome. No one is safe under the current regime accept lackeys and people who don’t question or rock the boat.

  64. I watched the C-Span replay of the hearing in its entirety last night. I found Prof. Turley’s testimony and responses to be measured, reasoned, forceful and deadly accurate. However, I also came away with the feeling that the committee members from both parties were more concerned with partisan positioning than with examining the very serious issues raised by the witnesses. Indeed, for the most part committee members appeared to be doing their level best to prove the truth of Michael Cannon’s observation that neither political party is particularly distressed over presidential overreaching unless the President happens to be a member of the opposition party.

    Democrats, when any of them were actually in the room, treated the proceedings with vague contempt, assuming without argument that the hearing was simply another Republican effort to criticize Pres. Obama. On the Republican side, Rep. King, although unwilling to voice the “I” word, seemed intent on developing a laundry list of potentially impeachable offenses. Rep. Merino thought it important to mention the financial burdens he has assumed by foregoing his “lucrative” law practice for the good of the nation, although given the number of days Congress is actually in session and its minuscule legislative output, I should think he could simultaneously maintain his regular case load. Rep. Gohmert was his predictable self, incoherent and inconsequential. Rep. Farenthold virtually begged the experts to tell him what Congress can do to regain its relevance. And Rep. Franks? Please, if I hear one more person describe filling vacant judgeships in the D.C. Circuit as court “packing,” I’m gonna lose my lunch.

    What I found particularly annoying, however, was that the members seemed content to portray themselves as victims of presidential tyranny, as though henchmen from the Oval Office are sent out each morning to shake down Congressmen for their lunch money. The truth is that the legislative branch has been turning over its lunch money to the President on a daily basis for years. The imperial presidency did not emerge overnight. We’ve been treated to propaganda about signing statements and presidential prerogatives and the unitary executive for more than a generation.

    Congress has been more than willing to gradually cede more authority to the President because it enables representatives to avoid that which they fear most, accountability. A vote not taken is a position that need never be defended. A war undertaken but undeclared permits blame for disaster to be laid at the President’s front door. The passage of sketchy bills with blanks to be filled in by nameless bureaucrats in nameless agencies gives Congress cover even for bad legislation. A filibuster, in the end, is merely a device to avoid having to make a decision, and decisions can be so difficult to explain during re-election campaigns.

    Members of Congress are not victims of an imperial presidency because, after all, they created it. All of the hand-wringing yesterday will produce lots of talking points and veiled threats of impeachment. But the critical issues raised by Prof. Turley and the other witnesses will not receive the consideration they merit.

  65. Jill, I disagree. Studies I’ve read indicate that approximately 60% of Green Party voters would have voted for Gore if Ralph Nader had not been in the race. That would have been more than enough, even if Pat Buchanan voters had all swung to Bush.

  66. Jill, I was at the rally against the NSA spying. Small turnout, people just don’t want to get involved. I think that is part of why Occupy seems to be pretty much gone.

  67. Anonymously Yours 1, December 4, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    In Kentucky the diebold machines were rigged to count votes to favor the GOP… If I recall some were actually convicted for voter fraud…

    =========================
    That was the conspiracy theory advanced by the government.

    The jury convicted:

    [The conspirators] together with other persons known and unknown, being persons employed by and associated with the Clay County Board of Elections, an enterprise, which engaged in, and the activities of which affected interstate commerce, knowingly willfully, and unlawfully agreed and conspired to violate [various federal criminal laws] It was part of the conspiracy that each defendant agreed that a conspirator would commit at least two acts of racketeering activity in the conduct of the affairs of the enterprise.

    The Defendant … instructed other election officers on how to … change votes at the voting machines in furtherance of the scheme to elect their “slate” of candidates.

    (Election Conspiracy Theory Confirmed?). Approximately 25% of government prosecutions are based on a conspiracy theory of the case.

  68. Mike A.,

    It is not incumbent on the people who do not believe in the fake two party system to be a part of that pretense. Nader was in the race because there are people who actually want something better and different. There are many many assumptions in your argument. 1. that we cannot have another party and people should not want that (see wikipedia info below about that) 2. that Gore would have been an excellent president 3. that Gore didn’t win, which he did, He didn’t fight very well though. That’s an awful lot of ifs. We can just go ahead with what actually happened.

    By 2007 people were sick of Bush and his lawless policies. Had people kept faith with the belief that wars of empire, torture and wrongful imprisonment, along with mass surveillance and banking industry give aways were wrong, we could possibly have turned this nation around. Instead, too many people refused to fight for our nation in the same way that you correctly point out, Congress has not been fighting either.

    We can not just stand by and let this nation go down. The wikipedia article on the Democratic party’s origins shows people going to the mat for their beliefs. Some of those people were complete scoundrels and some were not. But none of them backed off a fight.

    “The Democratic-Republican Party or Republican Party or Jeffersonian Republicans was the political party organized by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in 1791-93. It stood in opposition to the Federalist Party and controlled the Presidency and Congress, and most states, from 1801 to 1824, during the First Party System. It split after the 1824 presidential election into two parties: the Democratic Party and the short-lived National Republican Party (later succeeded by the Whig Party, some of whose adherents eventually helped to found the modern Republican Party).

    Most contemporaries called it the Republican Party. Today, political scientists typically use the hyphenated version while historians usually call it the Jeffersonian Republicans, to distinguish it from the modern Republican Party, which was founded in 1854 and named after Jefferson’s party.

    The organization formed first as an “Anti-Administration” secret meeting in the national capital (Philadelphia) to oppose the programs of Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton. Jefferson needed to have a nationwide party to counteract the Federalists, a nationwide party organized by Hamilton. Foreign affairs took a leading role in 1794-95 as the Republicans vigorously opposed the Jay Treaty with Britain, which was then at war with France. Republicans saw France as more democratic after its revolution, while Britain represented the hated monarchy. The party denounced many of Hamilton’s measures (especially the national bank) as unconstitutional.”

  69. Obama has violated the Constitution as much or more than Nixon or Bush ever did. He is 100% controlled by Wall Street and by the CIA. We cannot afford 3 more years of a president who is a puppet of Wall Street and CIA criminals. Impeachment is the proper and Constitutionally provided remedy. Democrats more loyal to the founding principles of the Democratic party and to the American people than to their Wall Street controlled party leadership should join with Republicans to impeach this president.

  70. Could someone grab my comment to Mike A. please? Thank you.

    LJC, If you look at the dirty deeds of this government towards those who protest whether in occupy or for other unapproved causes, the govt. knows how to make people think twice before they utter a peep of protest.

    Our populace is particularly propagandized, thus ignorant in the face of great danger. However, the government would not need to both propagandize and terrorize its own population if it was not afraid of us getting together to peacefully oppose their unjust powers.

  71. Here’s part of my comment, from wikipedia:

    “The Democratic-Republican Party or Republican Party or Jeffersonian Republicans was the political party organized by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in 1791-93. It stood in opposition to the Federalist Party and controlled the Presidency and Congress, and most states, from 1801 to 1824, during the First Party System. It split after the 1824 presidential election into two parties: the Democratic Party and the short-lived National Republican Party (later succeeded by the Whig Party, some of whose adherents eventually helped to found the modern Republican Party).

    Most contemporaries called it the Republican Party. Today, political scientists typically use the hyphenated version while historians usually call it the Jeffersonian Republicans, to distinguish it from the modern Republican Party, which was founded in 1854 and named after Jefferson’s party.

    The organization formed first as an “Anti-Administration” secret meeting in the national capital (Philadelphia) to oppose the programs of Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton. Jefferson needed to have a nationwide party to counteract the Federalists, a nationwide party organized by Hamilton. Foreign affairs took a leading role in 1794-95 as the Republicans vigorously opposed the Jay Treaty with Britain, which was then at war with France. Republicans saw France as more democratic after its revolution, while Britain represented the hated monarchy. The party denounced many of Hamilton’s measures (especially the national bank) as unconstitutional.”

  72. Nope, I can’t even get part of my comment in!

    let’s try with no quotes but it’s from wikipedia The Democratic-Republican Party or Republican Party or Jeffersonian Republicans was the political party organized by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in 1791-93. It stood in opposition to the Federalist Party and controlled the Presidency and Congress, and most states, from 1801 to 1824, during the First Party System. It split after the 1824 presidential election into two parties: the Democratic Party and the short-lived National Republican Party (later succeeded by the Whig Party, some of whose adherents eventually helped to found the modern Republican Party).

    Most contemporaries called it the Republican Party. Today, political scientists typically use the hyphenated version while historians usually call it the Jeffersonian Republicans, to distinguish it from the modern Republican Party, which was founded in 1854 and named after Jefferson’s party.

    The organization formed first as an “Anti-Administration” secret meeting in the national capital (Philadelphia) to oppose the programs of Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton. Jefferson needed to have a nationwide party to counteract the Federalists, a nationwide party organized by Hamilton. Foreign affairs took a leading role in 1794-95 as the Republicans vigorously opposed the Jay Treaty with Britain, which was then at war with France. Republicans saw France as more democratic after its revolution, while Britain represented the hated monarchy. The party denounced many of Hamilton’s measures (especially the national bank) as unconstitutional.

  73. The Democratic-Republican Party or Republican Party or Jeffersonian Republicans was the political party organized by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in 1791-93. It stood in opposition to the Federalist Party and controlled the Presidency and Congress, and most states, from 1801 to 1824, during the First Party System. It split after the 1824 presidential election into two parties: the Democratic Party and the short-lived National Republican Party (later succeeded by the Whig Party, some of whose adherents eventually helped to found the modern Republican Party).

    Most contemporaries called it the Republican Party. Today, political scientists typically use the hyphenated version while historians usually call it the Jeffersonian Republicans, to distinguish it from the modern Republican Party, which was founded in 1854 and named after Jefferson’s party.

    The organization formed first as an “Anti-Administration” secret meeting in the national capital (Philadelphia) to oppose the programs of Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton. Jefferson needed to have a nationwide party to counteract the Federalists, a nationwide party organized by Hamilton. Foreign affairs took a leading role in 1794-95 as the Republicans vigorously opposed the Jay Treaty with Britain, which was then at war with France. Republicans saw France as more democratic after its revolution, while Britain represented the hated monarchy. The party denounced many of Hamilton’s measures (especially the national bank) as unconstitutional.

  74. Evidently, knowledge of the formation of the Democratic party is too dangerous to possess! Still can’t get the response to post. It won’t even go through the first step in posting.

  75. Anonymously Yours 1, December 4, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    Dredd,

    Please explain…. I’ve reread your post to me and its compound. If this is your point… That if we vote outside the system in place our vote will be pointless….

    One can hope that individuals can make a difference. Susan B. Anthony…. The Vanderbilts…. Made significant contributions…

    Everyone makes a difference even if they subscribe to one philosophy…. Hitler, Hess, Budda etc made differences….. Apparently you just have to pick your poison….

    I used to be a straight party person…. I didn’t like it when the GOP stalled Clinton….. I didn’t like it when Bush became the imperial president… Nor do I care for Obamas rendition of the Bush years…..

    He was supposed to make a difference…. I won’t be juvenile and contest his legal status or residency….. He is the CiC he should follow the rule of law as well as uphold his oath of office….
    ===============================
    Ok.

    The one party system is subservient to epigovernment.

    The two circuses posing as opposing parties do not change the directives of the epigovernment.

    We could have two presidents at once from each circus and that would not be enough to change the dynamic.

    Yes, one party in the circus has better ideas than the other, often extremely better ideas.

    But they do not trickle up to the epigovernment, and frankly, they do not often even trickle up to the circus party members of government either.

    And when they do, it is vain.

    This is a clear and present danger.

    A very real danger.

  76. Jill, I am very low ranked so maybe they don’t bother with the plebians but I have been a part of Occupy and the NSA protests and Planned parenthood rallies, and sign petitions, make phone calls, including to the white house repeatedly against the NSA, against the drones, a lot of against things the president has done, is doing, or it appears he will do, (agreeing to teh “grand bargain” as one example that immediately comes to mind, despite having been a foot soldier for Mr. Obama in both elections. No one to my knowledge has been bothered by the government, (although 3 of Mike Fitzpatrick’s office staff came out when we protested in front of his Doylestown office and was horrendously nasty about the fact that I have a disability)
    (Now who knows maybe I have a gigantic file with the FBI, homeland security, etc)

  77. Mike A. I hope that is a joke question because it wasn’t nasty.

    LJC, Snowden’s revelations make it quite clear that activists are targets of this govt. Many people who have protested have been treated horribly-beaten up and you remember the spraying during OWS. I actually know people with large files! Chelsey Manning was tortured and jailed for a real long time. Snowden is in fear of his life. Glenn won’t come back into the US. Many people can’t get through our airports.

    I’m glad nothing overt is happening to you, but you must be aware that bad things happen to many, many other people.

  78. LJC,

    I sent a reply to you, also lost in space. Sorry that you were disrespected for having a disability. That is horrible. Many other people have had terrible things happen to them. We can’t just go by our own experience, but must understand what is happening in the society as a whole.

  79. Jill, I just always think of the Vietnam war. I think people protested then because they had a son or knew someone with a son, or had a nephew etc who would, was, in the war or would most probably be. Now people do not have a personal relationship with the reasons we need to be out in the street protesting. Yes. people get caught in government web but when we do nothing we deserve what we get: a government that sees the people don’t care so they can get away with all the crap they have been doing.

  80. No one deserves this govt. IMO. We deserve the govt. of the Constitution. We deserve justice. It really should not have to come to the point of risking one’s life or job or anything else dear to get a decent government. I agree it has come to that point but I’m not willing to let the oligarchy get a pass on their propaganda and terrorizing of our population. It is the fault of people who will not see the truth, let alone speak it. But it is also the fault of powerful people who understand quite well how to obfuscate and turn people away from justice, or should they seek it, punish them.

  81. Even if we have ten circuses in the one party government (the anti-we-the-people party, the one business party, the one whatever party) it does not matter what we do in terms of results.

    That is because the government is subject to the epigovernment that is not altered by votes or protests or logic.

    Do you think our forefathers, our brothers in the struggle for freedom, were dreaming or imagining monsters or hallucinating when they developed a constitution which still, to this very day over two centuries later, still reads:

    Article 10. Right of Revolution

    “Government being instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the whole community, and not for the private interest or emolument of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.”

    (New Hampshire Constitution).

  82. Anyone –

    Was there such a hearing during GWB’s administration?

    Was there a Dem Rep comparable to the incomparable Darryl Issa during the GWB administration?

    Were there dollars spent on faith charities by the GWB administration? Did Turley condemn such expenditures?

    Were there 47 thousand votes in the House to kill the Patriot Act?

    Was there great willingness to spend millions on Ken Starr’s inqusition?

    Were there any hearings after V. Plame was outed?

    Were there any hearings after the Abu Grarib photos were published?

    I would be greatly interested in some back up that Dems were calling for GWB’s impeachment. I’ll give you some – but NOTHING like these Teapublicans. And no Democrat stood up in the well of the Senate or the House twenty minutes after GWB’s inauguration and called for the failure of his presidency. No Dem has shouted “You Lie” at any SOTU.

    The Republicans are the thugs. And while Turley is most certainly NOT a thug, he has a definite POV and it is most assuredly NOT in favor of Democrats or Obama. And it shows all the time.

    There will be some good, perhaps much if the barbarians are unsuccessful in killing Obamacare, to come out of Obama’s administration. I can’t think of a single good thing to come out of the GWB admin.

    P.S. Thanks to the five or so sane ones who comment on this blog.

  83. P.S.

    I encourage you to read Millbank’s op-ed. Turley get’s two sentences. Turley may not have liked those two sentences, but he (Turley) is asking a lot out of an op-ed piece if he expects a nuanced explanation of Turley as quoted. Such is journalism today.

    But of course, I enjoyed the rather lengthy list (much better than mine) of Republicans who have called for, or stated a veiled threat of impeachment to Obama or members of his administration. Turley may not count someone who uses the chickensh*t phrase “i word” but it unlies amost everything that comes out of these barbarians mouths.

    And I wonder if Turley has noticed the erosion of a small little matter of voting rights and is he as upset over those losses? And where does he stand with Corporations Are People? Or Personhood laws? Turley has done post after post of the Obama administration failures, but I read little from Turley on what the Right is imposing (or would like to impose) on this country.

  84. “So I don’t agree with you that Tea Partyers will excuse abuse by a president who happens to have an “R” on his jersey. They want a government that lives within the confines of the Constitution – regardless of party affiliation.”

    Groty,

    Here’s what I know regarding the Tea Party:

    http://jonathanturley.org/2011/08/02/tea-party-and-the-myth-of-a-grassroots-movement/

    And this:

    http://jonathanturley.org/2013/02/16/tea-party-a-phony-movement-mantled-as-legitimate/

    They are as phony as a three dollar bill and are merely corporate shills posing as populists.

  85. That is sutch blatent BS . I saw the one Dem who showed up at the end (I think it was Schumer)trying his damndest to get someone to admit they wanted to impeach, none did. They also seem intent with painting all Obama critics as racist. I voted for him first time but now I am a racist because I don’t like him wiping his ass with the constitution. Awesome job Mr Turley

  86. Why NSA Can’t Count How Many Americans’ Cell Location They Collect

    December 4, 2013 by emptywheel

    http://www.emptywheel.net/2013/12/04/why-nsa-cant-count-how-many-americans-cell-location-they-collect/

    Excerpt:

    One thing the NSA has learned through experience with John Bates and FISC is that if you claim you don’t know you’ve collected US person data, a judge will not declare it legal. But if you admit you’ve collected US person data, then that same judge may threaten you with sanctions or force you to purge your data.

    So there’s a very good reason why it’s “awkward” for NSA “to try to provide any specific numbers.” Doing so would probably make the collection illegal.

  87. ** Mike Spindell 1, December 4, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    “So I don’t agree with you that Tea Partyers will excuse abuse by a president who happens to have an “R” on his jersey. They want a government that lives within the confines of the Constitution – regardless of party affiliation.”

    Groty,

    Here’s what I know regarding the Tea Party:

    http://jonathanturley.org/2011/08/02/tea-party-and-the-myth-of-a-grassroots-movement/

    And this:

    http://jonathanturley.org/2013/02/16/tea-party-a-phony-movement-mantled-as-legitimate/

    They are as phony as a three dollar bill and are merely corporate shills posing as populists.
    **

    MikeS,

    I’m only just becoming aware of just how much useful/great info has already been posted on this msg bb over the years.

    But I’m overwhelmed by the floods of great info now coming on line from every quarter.

    The really cool part I seen again today is Americans, (groups of Americans), are getting off their arses & giving a sheeet again. Ya, cool, they see the battle and they’ve have engaged it. (Better late then never)

    I wish to read every post on those links you posted if only I can find the time.

    I would say though that there were many well meaning Americans that supported Obama & the Demos only to have everything they stood for betrayed.

    Yes, the same people/aholes who Phk’d GW/ Obama supporters are no doubt attempting to work over the supporters of the Thomas Jefferson/Madison Liberal/Libertarians.

    But for tonight:

    1 qt Peroxide, 1/4 cup of Baking soda, 2 tsp dawn dish washing shop.

    That’s the recipe for getting skunk odor off a dog.

    Yes, my dog was skunked tonight so I also got skunked tonight by having to bathe it. So I’m done 4 now. :)

    Gnite

  88. obloodyhell
    1, December 4, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    I see BOTH parties being complicit in the erosion of our Rights.

    Please note that I never lay blame at any singular party, or side shoot parties, i.s Tea Party. You may attempt to paint “liberals” as your cause de jour… it would be incorrect.

    Liberals like Nancy Pelosi who decided impeaching a president wasn’t worth HER and the Democratic Party’s time. There was an election to win…
    … Yep, it took Democrats, to cover for Republican Administration illegalities.

    And yes, I do know that rendition was also practiced by BOTH parties.

    It isn’t a tough pill to swallow. It just takes the ability to separate the propaganda from the realities… And in many cases, i.e. TORTURE, both parties have been involved, NO?

  89. p.s.
    obloodyhell,
    This is the very reason Republicans refuse to prosecute A Democratic President, on the relevant issues.. Cover your back, you cover ours. Prisoners put into Gitmo under a Republican, refused due process, are covered by Democrats so that when a Democratic President keeps them there, it’s O.K. by all…

    Please explain this.
    I’m all ears.

  90. If anyone is confused as to my reference to liberal sites that ignore greater truths just so they can drool at the sound of a dog whistle, I give you the following.

    http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/david/bachmann-president-obama-has-rewritten

    It was posted the very moment the hearing began.
    Not one author ever discussed the hearing yesterday or today and probably will never bring it up. However, when Sarah Palin brings it up, well, it opens a free for all smear campaign of anti-Palin hate. No discussion on the merits of what she’s saying. Read the comments. Sad… Blind fools.

    I can do the same types of examples from Conservative web sites.
    Dog whistles… Drooling Pavlovian dogs. ‘cept it’s targeting Democrats without discussing the merits of their targeted Democrats. Just open hate.

    BOTH PARTIES ENDORSE THIS BEHAVIOR!

    How else are they supposed to sway voters?

  91. Bottom line… Duopolies hate third party competition.
    The prefer to treat other’s like the Borg do…
    Become one with the collective.

  92. An observation:
    Many of those who post on this site follow the same path as the article under discussion.

    The practice:
    Manipulate the discussion back to the despised bush-n-cheney.
    Rally the gang mode.

    Facts do not matter when one is skilled at deflection.

  93. “…rise of an imperial presidency under Obama…”

    Huh?

    Man, some people have short memories. It was Cheney and Rove who wanted the President to have more power, their so-called “Unitary Executive” idea. Face it: they just want Republican presidents to have unlimited power, and Democratic one to have none.

  94. “Yes, the same people/aholes who Phk’d GW/ Obama supporters are no doubt attempting to work over the supporters of the Thomas Jefferson/Madison Liberal/Libertarians.”

    Oky1,

    Here’s the way I see it. The country is run (always has been) by a wealthy elite. The “elite” isn’t homogeneous in its beliefs about how to treat us: the unwashed masses of people. Some feel that We are lucky that we can exist to serve them and should be grateful for the scraps falling from the table. Others feel it is good business to give some thought to assuring that we won’t revolt and take away their wealth by keeping us pacified. Still others of the “elite” feel that a happy flock of sheep, is a well-fed one and produces better wool for the shearing. Until the sheep like us finally get the message that there are far more of us then them our best chances lay with aiding the “elite” who will do the least harm to us, but if we are smart we must also understand that even the most seemingly benevolent of the “elite” are in the end more interested in protecting their prerogatives than in doing the right thing.

    I haven’t had faith in a political candidate since RFK. Having seen his brother murdered under suspicious circumstances I felt that he was motivated to actually avenge JFK’s death and in the process do some good things for the rest of us. Then they murdered MLK and RFK and I knew the game was rotten. I voted Democratic for years, not because I was unaware of their flaws, but because the Republicans consistently represented the part of the “elite” believing that the “scraps from their table” was all the rest of us deserved.

    So I voted twice for Jimmy Carter because the alternatives were: an unelected President, who developed the “magic bullet” theory and pardoned a crook; and a “B” movie actor who was sponsored by GE and attacked the weakest among us, while pretending to be more than the puppet he was. I voted for Dukakis because his opponent was an Ex-CIA head, whose father helped the NAZI’s. I voted for Clinton for the same reason. Politically Clinton was in truth a moderate conservative and many of his policies were bad for most of us. Gore was no better but his opponent was GW, who was his father’s son. Then came 2008 and my choice was Hilary who would no doubt politically be just like Bill. Obama, who seemed opposed to the stupid wars and finally was presumed to be for restoring Constitutional government was opposed by a man whose claim to fame was being a POW and seemed hell bent on increasing war around the world. Obama proved not to be who he said he was and really was yet another Bill Clinton without the sex. Romney though was a stupidly spoiled rich kid whose main experience with need was that he had to live off of his stock portfolio going to college. When he graduated Daddy gave him $10 million to go into business and this superficially lame egoist thought he was a self-made man and that almost half of us were burdens on society.

    The problem is that I was involved with very radical people in the 60’s and early 70’s. Most of those leaders I met certainly wanted to change things, but they were the type of sociopathic personality that would become what the claimed to hate if ever they got power. The problem is not about the particular political beliefs of those who gain power, but in the fact that most who seek power, despite what they preach, are really in it for themselves and not for the rest of us.

    Which returns us to the topic of this thread. Obama has hardly been the dictator he is made out to be, were he that he would have accomplished much more. I really don’t think that the President himself (any President nowadays) has much power. However, those behind the scenes with the real power derive that power by acting in the President’s name. The real power is the power of the gun held by the most powerful military establishment in history and I think our President’s are helpless to control them. Part of the problem is that we have elected Presidents with no military experience and the military/intelligence “experts” cow them by threats. JFK knew that the military/intelligence people are far from being a well-oiled machine and saw it first hand at the Bay of Pigs. Curtis LeMay wanted to nuke cuba when the missiles were there and JFK worked it out without bloodshed. Shortly after he was dead. Dick Nixon had experience in WWII as a Navy officer and he was a smart enough man to understand that both the Military and CIA were not to be trusted, he was forced out and for the first time in our history we had an unelected President. Jimmy Carter’s background came from the military and since he was part of the establishment he was acceptable. Reagan was a puppet to GE, the largest military contractor and he was forced to take GHW Bush a lifelong CIA operative. And so it goes.

    We are now openly killing our “enemies”, seemingly at the President’s directive. We are spying on the world’s “E” mail and phone conversations also apparently at the President’s directive. Our civil liberties and Constitution have been shredded and that seems to be a bi-partisan effort.
    Jonathan is brave in his defense of our Constitution, but in the end it is all a show played for us sheep and those with the guns keep running the show as proxies for those with the money. Were I among the “elite” seemingly running this show I would be quite worried. At some point the Generals running things for the Roman “elite” realized that they could have the power, the glory and the money. Thus came Julius Caesar and the rest is history.

  95. Pete,

    OMG, Doomsday Castle? Perhaps those funding the “Tea Party” should be careful what they wish for. What “libertarians” like the Koch boys don’t get is that in their ideal society at some point those defending the Koch’s Castle will come to the realization that they have the guns and that the Koch Castle can be their own. The Roman Senate was the all-powerful elite of the Roman Empire, until Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon. They made have killed him on the “Ides”, but those other Generals out there realized they held the power and turned the “elite” Senate into their fawning courtiers.

  96. Well, no matter how brave and incorruptable Mr. Turley was in his testimony, he probably allowed himself to be used as a political pawn by a right wing that will use any means to make this President (and perhaps any non-Republican President from now on) illegitimate up to and including impeachment. While the Republicans in the hearing room may have been “reasonable” during the hearing they and their Tea Party colleagues and surrogates will use the testimony of respected moderates and progressives to fuel the impeachment furor until they can get rid of any opposition or completely nueter it. These types will howl at any percieved minor Constitutional breach, yet support the “Unitary Executive” when their party is in charge. You can see it in all their actions where it is OK for a Republican to do just about anything, but it is “evel”, “crimminal”, “stupidity” or “treason” when any Democrat does exactly the same, even a a much lesser degree.

    @Mike Spindell – “Here’s the way I see it. The country is run (always has been) by a wealthy elite. The “elite” isn’t homogeneous in its beliefs about how to treat us: the unwashed masses of people.”

    Of course our country is run by an elite. The Revolution was run by our elite and the Constitution was written by and for our elite. The main thing they were revolting against was a HEREDITARY elite and that the elite was not them and stupid. The magic is that anyone can become part of that “elite” given the right gifts and chance. Conversely, anyone or any family can fairly quickly fall out of that elite and even fall on hard times financially. It IS a curiousity that the word “equality’ snuck in there somewhere, but it was either a mistake (for not seeing how it could be used in the future) or a subtle subversion by that radical Jefferson.

  97. ‘The magic is that anyone can become part of that “elite” given the right gifts and chance.”

    NotSurprised,

    The “magic” doesn’t happen all that often. Secondly, who says we don’t have a hereditary elite? The Koch boys, the Mars Family, Mellon/Scaife’s, Walton Family, Rockefeller’s, Trump, and the Romney’s for instance, to name a few.

  98. MikeS,

    I seen awhile back Tax free foundations now employ over 10% of the US population.

    I think you wrote on the subject of those foundations/charities a few months back.

    I don’t believe there are any constitutional grounds for granting special, (Tax), privilege to those foundations of the dead/alive would be elitist at the expense of the rest of us.

    Regardless currently those foundations are a real massive threat to “We the People’s” govt as those foundation are very active in political/economic/military/energy/currency matters.

  99. I’ve read some stuff on this Simon Black’s website before. I’m not sure I completely trust him, but on the issue below I am following it & he’s just writing what anyone watching has been seeing happen.

    This below is one way in which the current Demo/Repub parties are losing massive amounts of power they once held.

    Change in world leadership has already shifted by large percentage points with more soon on the way.

    Ron Paul has been warning us for decades of this problem. Maybe his solutions are not the correct ones yet we are forced to admit there are problems & currency/banking/Insurance are issues that must be addressed.

    http://www.sovereignman.com/finance/yet-another-massive-nail-in-the-dollars-coffin-13241/

  100. **Mike Spindell 1, December 5, 2013 at 11:17 am **

    MikeS,

    Politically it strongly appears to me you & I have followed much of the same logic when attempt to choose/vote for US leadership.

    I recall one of Reagan’s main stump speeches, much of his rhetoric sells great among the gen pop yet when he 1st gets into office, like Obama, Reagan attacked the people/workers, higher taxes/Unions, My property Rights, and then he bails out the Wallst banks/insurance when he should have sent them into bankruptcy court for the flushing.

    As I’ve mentioned before one of Reagan’s key men, Paul C Roberts, has since seemed to have repented along with Paul Volcker. I’ll accept their conversion to my positions as long as they hold mostly true in their words/deeds.

    Some we’ve seen argue Professor Turley’s appearance at this latest hearing was a waste of time or even harmful, I strongly disagree.

    Professor Turley’s continued public comments are very helpful to people like me & the nation because of his command of language, history & the objective of the words of the US Constitution.

    No matter how I wish I had his skills I don’t have them & I’m grateful to have his public representation of my/the nations positions/objectives.

    Turley is not alone in this task, I follow many other professionals that are just as actively using their unique talents of their chosen fields of interest pressing all of our common interest/concerns in public/private.

    JT comes off far better in public then some like myself or Alex Jones.

    I know some in public are unaware of known facts of just how evil many of these would be called Elites actually are to the world.

    I won’t speak to the gen pop, but I know there is a growing group like myself that have enough knowledge of tyrannical govts like Hitlers Nazis that we will for the rest of our lives be pushing to bring those would elitist in front of Nuremberg type courts to have the charges against them aired in public.

    I see JT’s blog has a story today of a one off case of an accused wife of poisoning he husband. Currently what’s happen in that case is what most of use would expect to happen, she’s arrested/charge & waiting trial.

    Yet we know without a doubt GW Nazi Bush/Chaney, John Yoo,etc.., many major US banks/insurance/corporations have bloody hands of mass poisoning/murder, etc., and yet none are in jail, “Yet”, facing those charges.

    IE: GMOs, Depleted Uranium in Munitions, Price Anderson Act/90% leaking Nuke Plants, Torture, Spying, Treasonous Trade Agreements, TPP), just to name a very easy issues the masses know of.

    Side issues:

    As I’ve read most of McCain’s power come from his ties to Navy Intel, one of the largest type orgs in the world. ( I really think they should be searching for a better leader.)

    **Romney though was a stupidly spoiled rich kid whose main experience with need was that he had to live off of his stock portfolio going to college. When he graduated Daddy gave him $10 million to go into business and this superficially lame egoist thought he was a self-made man and that almost half of us were burdens on society. **

    Romney, what a total American hating piece of trash. Democracy Now & others exposed the details that much of his startup capital was Blood Money from Reagan/Bush henchmen in South/Central America.

    It’s trash like Romney type that are the real burdens to society.

  101. I hate Progressives. Rall is correct about this.

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2013/12/03/liberal-cartoonist-if-hillary-nominee-2016-sexism-will-be-new-racism

    As NewsBusters reported Sunday, liberal cartoonist Ted Rall was recently banned from the progressive website Daily Kos for publishing a comic strip with Barack Obama in it that was deemed to be racist.

    On Monday, Rall spoke with Newsmax TV’s Steve Malzberg about the incident, and warned that if Hillary Clinton gets the Democratic nomination for president in 2016, “sexism will be the new racism” (video follows with transcript and commentary):

    “They have a section where anybody can post, and I started about I guess it was about two months ago, and from day one, everything I posted that was critical of the President I got this huge amount of hatred,” Rall said.

    “They had this system where you can vote that you like or dislike something, and it gets hidden or censored if you don’t like it. Well, most of the people there are Democrats,” he continued. “So anybody who criticizes Democrats or Obama is just banished. They’re like a Soviet un-person, you know, like in ‘1984.’ They’re just gone.”

    “If you look at the vast majority of people who came down on me, these are white Democrats, white guy Democrats who are just using this as an excuse,” Rall added. “Get ready, because in 2016, if Hillary is the nominee, it’s just going to be sexism will be the new racism…It’s what you use when you don’t have anything.”

  102. http://rall.com/2013/11/29/i-have-been-censored-by-daily-kos

    Daily Kos is a major liberal/Democratic Party blog. About a year ago, the blog began running cartoons. To their credit, they paid a modest fee for them. Many alternative political cartoonists were invited; I was not.

    At the time, the owner of the blog mentioned as an aside that I would be welcome, like anyone else, to post to Daily Kos. A few weeks ago, I decided to take him up on that.

    Why did I post there for free? To access readers, many of whom would enjoy my work if they saw it. It was an experiment.

    The experiment ended yesterday. When I went to log on, I received the above message. I clicked the acknowledgement.

    Which marks the end of my experiment posting to Daily Kos. I might consider altering the way I draw a political figure for a paying client. A very high-paying client. Someone who employed me full-time.

    I’m sure not going to alter my drawing style for $0.00 money.

    Obviously, this is no biggie. Nothing gained, nothing lost. Given the reflexive pro-Obama/pro-DNC politics of the blog and its owner, it was probably inevitable that they’d do this. It was crafty of them to choose the Thanksgiving holiday weekend to ban me. Fewer people will be around to notice or care.

    This act of censorship is notable for several reasons, however:

    1. This “liberal” blog has slammed me with the most severe act of censorship of my career. Since I began syndication in 1991, I have had individual cartoons killed. I have been fired, sometimes unjustly (like in 2004, when Men’s Health discontinued my apolitical cartoons about sex and relationships because I opposed Bush and his wars in my political work, which they did not run). I have been kept out of publications where my work obviously belonged.

    But this tops them all.

    They weren’t paying for my work. To the contrary, I drove traffic to them. My cartoons were routinely among their list of High Impact Posts that elicit a lot of discussion. If you read them, you’ll see that a cadre of militant Obama defenders was determined to drive me away, and they succeeded.

    This is what the Democratic Party has come to: so unable to face criticism, whether from left or right, that they stifle opposing voices.

    2. Despite the politics of the pro-Obama forces, there remain many liberals and progressives who remain Democrats. I encountered hundreds of them on Daily Kos. They enjoy(ed) my work. I will miss interacting with them. Fortunately, the Internet allows them to find my work in many other places, including here.

    3. The grounds for censoring my cartoons from the site — my drawing style — are beneath contempt. Anyone familiar with me and my work knows I’m not racist. My criticisms of the president are unrelated to his race, and to say otherwise in the absence of evidence is disgusting. Here’s the cartoon in question. It should be noted that my editors at a variety of American newspapers, magazines and websites, almost all of whom are left of center politically, some of whom are black and many of whom voted for Obama, have never expressed the slightest concern about the way I draw the president.

  103. Bill Moyers Journal, 13 July 2007; Moyers interviews John Nichols and Bruce Fein about impeaching W & Cheney. Fein was so gung-ho about impeaching both of them at the same time he was talking so fast he was spluttering. Fein spoke of W presuming to act like a monarch. Pay attention to John Nichols’ story about a metaphorical cherry wood box into which presidential powers are put in and taken out.
    http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/07132007/watch.html

    About two weeks earlier in the 2007 timeline, Obama said he didn’t support impeachment for W. All the other “frontrunner candidates” had already said the same, which was why I didn’t support them, nor Obama when this info came to light.
    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/washington/2007-06-28-obama-impeachment_N.htm

    Obama is misbehaving, and it’s because he retained so many of Dumbya and Dickie’s appointed and hired personnel in the war & military departments and in DoJ (and the newest insult to our integrity since 2000: mercenaries via the corporations who pay their salaries). No one is going after the warmongers and (mostly) Repubs & too many Dems still support the illegal and unconstitutional wars Dumbya and Dickie started.

    Repubs never complained when Dumbya claimed, talked, and acted like he had monarchical powers. Why now? Racism is one of the likely reasons Repukes take such umbrage when Obama acts like Dumbya and/or Dickie.

    To Repuke “Legislators”: Stop acting like racists and misogynists!!! That makes me have to defend Obama for doing the SAME exact things Dumbya and Dickie did. If you still want to go through with impeachment, then you’ll have to bring Dumbya and Dickie back from retirement and put them on trial for war crimes (and perhaps impeachment proceedings after-the-fact).

    I have the SAME policy issues about Obama that I had about Dumbya and Dickie. Yes, perhaps Obama should be impeached (a few SCOTUS justices should never have been given their positions either and should be impeached for conflict of interest, esp. those who worked for corporations whose suits have gone through with favorable decisions). But if you Cretinous Congress Critters impeach Obama, then you MUST bring back Dumbya and Dickie for first having claimed the monarchical and dictatorial powers and passing them on to Obama, and try them for war crimes and perjury and starting a war based on lies for oil. If you convict them, then you can claim a justification for trying to impeach Obama… otherwise, STFU.

    How ’bout this? FIRST Repeal In Full (no paragraph or language fixes here or there, but the whole bills): AUMFs, Patriot Acts, MCA ’06, FISA fiasco ’08, MCA ’09, and override Dumbya’s executive order that violated the separation of church and state and stop funding and disband the White House’s ‘office of faith-based initiatives,’ but FIRST give We The People our rights and habeas corpus back!!!!! That should all have been done no later than 1 Feb 2008. I’m still waiting for a Change back to having a fully functioning constitution.

    If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’ll post the links to the YouTube videos of Jonathan Turley talking to Keith Olbermann about the rights that were taken away from us and have not been returned….

  104. You guys see a theme here yet with the progressives? They use propaganda and smear tactics to dismiss critics.

    Everyone who calls out the Democratic leadership is…

    1. Racist
    or
    2. Crazy
    or
    3. hates poor people

  105. Felix,

    It appears you see the propaganda scams from both very small groups of Dem/Repub leadership.

    I just attempt to ignore their narratives & set my own.

    I’d much rather read/view what posters here & other like websites are saying.

    OS says he’s done as I & has canceled his cable.

    Now look at what’s happening to the old dinosaur media, their viewership is down to almost nothing.

    I can get about as big as audience talking real loud at the grocery store.

    Look what’s happened to CNN, it’s turning itself into the Sham Wow Channel. :)

    “Times are a Changing”

  106. “I hate Progressives. Rall is correct about this.”

    Felix,

    your hatred has as much depth as some NY Jet fanatic who thinks his team will win the super Bowl. What makes you think that this is a progressive blog?
    Don’t you bother to read before you write?

  107. “Obama is misbehaving, and it’s because he retained so many of Dumbya and Dickie’s appointed and hired personnel in the war & military departments and in DoJ (and the newest insult to our integrity since 2000: mercenaries via the corporations who pay their salaries).”

    NonnyO,

    I agree, but have you ever considered that he might not have had a choice in the matter?

  108. “If you had alleged when the Snowden revelations began that the NSA was watching 5 billion cell phones move around, people would have accused you of being crazy.” -Juan Cole

    Trashing the Law against warrantless GPS tracking: NSA nabs 5 Billion Phone location Records a Day

    By Juan Cole | Dec. 5, 2013

    http://www.juancole.com/2013/12/trashing-warrantless-collecting.html

    Excerpt:

    If you had alleged when the Snowden revelations began that the NSA was watching 5 billion cell phones move around, people would have accused you of being crazy. One after another, Snowden’s leaks have shown a situation that is a trillion times worse than the one portrayed by officials. Snowden said that the NSA had tapped into the servers of Google, Yahoo and others and could see us writing an email in real time. Keith Alexander and James Clapper, both of them notorious liars and very likely personally corrupt, said Snowden didn’t understand how the system worked. Google and Microsoft and the others were puzzled because, they said, they hadn’t given the government access to their servers in generally, only to individual accounts suspected of being national security threats. But then it turned out that the NSA had exploited weaknesses in the routing between servers to insert themselves into the data flow. They had it all. Then it turned out that the government is monitoring everyone’s bank accounts and credit card transactions.

    Then it turned out that they didn’t just have metadata. They had attached sniffers to trans-Atlantic fiber optic cables carrying phone and email data where they came up out of the ocean in the UK. They and the British GCHQ captured all of it– the substance of emails and not just their addresses, and the substance of telephone calls. Since US traffic bounces around the world through those cables, they were inevitably wiretapping Americans without an warrant.

    Now it transpires that the NSA wants to know where everyone is all the time. Obviously they can’t actually watch all those people, but they can mine the data and zero in on any individual they want to. Those not using GPS can’t be pinpointed with exactitude, but their location can be triangulated from the towers. I presume the NSA is capturing GPS data where that feature is working, so those people they can track with precision.

    Where they are (“inadvertently”) capturing and storing location data on innocent Americans without a warrant, the NSA is violating (again) the Fourth Amendment, and they are in violation of the recent Federal appeals court ruling.

  109. MikeS.

    Professor Turley pointed out the 3 sided power structure of our original govt & the danger/instability being created by the growing 4th branch of govt, the entrenched bureaucracy.

    As one counter weight to these problems I wish somehow “We the People” could come together & put to greater use this new ability of the public to rapidly mass communicate in a “Crowd Sourcing” manner.

    No one would be expected to agree on everything, but surely we could identify our common top priorities in the US/World & a list of non-violent ways we could pressure leadership/corporations into responding to mass public’s grievances.

    It’s already happening on a small scale in many areas.

    I would have thought just as a matter extreme importance Universities & many professionals would have put something together by now.

    One of the key issues I keep running into is when people start organizing they are doing so on Facebook, Myspace, Micosoft,Google, Apple & other outlets I refuse to use as IT professionals remind me all the time that those sites are Unsafe to use so I don’t.

    I try to keep up with 2 legal blogs, JT’s & Livinglies, & I notice they both use WordPress. I’m hoping it’s because WordPress is more secure?

  110. Rall was not banned, As you quoted the post please look at his own words “When I went to log on, I received the above message. I clicked the acknowledgement.

    Which marks the end of my experiment posting to Daily Kos.”

    I might consider altering the way I draw a political figure for a paying client. A very high-paying client. Someone who employed me full-time.I’m sure not going to alter my drawing style for $0.00 money.

    Obviously, this is no biggie. Nothing gained, nothing lost” This was posted the next day after the notice. Had he been banned he would not have been able to post the next day. He chose to remove himself. It appears that the objection was purely the depiction of President Obama. Obviously Rall understands this the article ended: (Editor’s note: Shortly after this story’s publication, Rall said he would start drawing President Obama differently to avoid any potential for confusion in the future.)” http://progressive.org/daily-kos-bans-cartoonist-ted-rall-for-imaginary-racism

    I just thght he was a bad artist in his depiction however I can see how some might see it as racist

  111. “I hate Progressives.” — Felix 1, December 5, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    I can’t speak for self-styled “progressives” — a chickenshit eupemism for “liberal” that former liberals won’t use because the mean old fascist Republicans consider it a useful slanderous epithet — but as a lifelong working-class type, I — as FDR famously said about the rabid Repbulicans of his day — welcome your hatred. I always think it a good idea to know where the deep end of the nation’s intellectual and moral cesspool lies.

  112. As I think some others have noted above, the title of this blog posting misleadingly attributes the opinion of one columnist, Dana Milbank, to the Washington Post, which has an editorial board that publishes the newspaper’s own views in a prominent and different space. Take Mr Milbank to task for his personal opinion, by all means, but do not assume that these expressed opinions reflect the editorial position of the newspaper. One would think that at this point in his life and career, Professor Turley would know and appreciate this elementary distinction.

  113. Off Topic:

    The Fake Obamacare Site That Is Trying To Trick Californians
    By Igor Volsky
    December 3, 2013
    http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/12/03/3012281/california-republicans-trick-voters-fake-obamacare-site/

    Excerpt:
    Republican members of the California Assembly are distributing seemingly innocuous guides about the coverage options available under the Affordable Care Act that downplay the law’s benefits and misinform voters.

    The flyers, which are being sent out at taxpayer expense, are also directing residents to “CoveringHealthCareCA.com,” a domain that closely resembles the official marketplace website for Covered California (CoveredCA.com) But rather than helping Californians enroll in coverage, this site appears to be the creation of the Republican party: it warns senior citizens about health care rationing and “provisions that have driven up insurance costs”. The site is designed to look like a non-partisan guide, but actually mirrors Republican talking points and criticisms of the law:

    – IRS WILL SINGLE OUT CONSERVATIVES. “In light of the recent revelation of questionable processes at the IRS for approving the tax-exempt status of certain groups, several members of the State Legislature, led by Assemblyman Dan Logue, introduced Assembly Joint Resolution 23 to urge Congress and the President to remove any financial oversight responsibilities of the IRS with regard to the administration of the Affordable Care Act.”

    – YOUNG PEOPLE ARE SCREWED. “Young invincibles or healthy adults visit the doctor very seldom and are money makers for insurers and medical groups that contract to provide them services. As low-cost additions to insurance pools, young adults would help dilute the expense of covering older, sicker people. Depending on how Congress requires insurers to price their policies, this group could even wind up paying disproportionately hefty premiums — effectively subsidizing coverage for the less healthy.”…

    A disclaimer on the site — which is situated next to a link to the Assembly Republican Caucus — notes that “The California State Assembly does not warrant or make any representations as to the quality, content, accuracy, or completeness of the information, text, graphics, links and other items contained on this server or any other server.” Indeed.

  114. In fairnes to Mr Milbank, he did not confine his remarks to just the particular hearing at which Professor Turley offered his own opinions. For example:

    “Last month, 20 House Republicans filed Articles of Impeachment against Attorney General Eric Holder. Around that time, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) accused Obama of “impeachable offenses.”

    “Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla.), before his cocaine arrest and guilty plea, invoked the prospect of impeaching Obama over gun policy. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) raised the specter of impeachment over Obama’s threat to bomb Syria without congressional approval. Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-Mich.) said it would be his “dream come true” to write the Articles of Impeachment, and Rep. Bill Flores (R-Tex.) said that if “the House had an impeachment vote it would probably impeach the president.”

    Sen. Jim Inhofe said Obama could be impeached over the attack on Americans in Benghazi, Libya, while fellow Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn said in August that Obama was “getting perilously close” to meeting the standard for impeachment (though he called Obama a “personal friend”). Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) thought it would have been an impeachable offense if Obama unilaterally raised the debt ceiling. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) branded Obama “lawless.”

    In other words, Mr Milbank provided some background context to support his view that Republicans have had few qualms, over some period of time, about raising the specter of impeachment against President Obama. So Professor Turley states a palpable untruth when he writes:

    “However, the Washington Post [meaning Mr Milbank] only reported on the fact that impeachment was raised in the hearing in the discussion of the constitutional means left to Congress to address presidential abuse.”

    Furthermore, when Professor Turley writes that “Republicans object that the Post piece misses 99 percent of the hearing detailing the rise of an imperial presidency under Obama,” he neglects to point out that Professor Arthur Schlesinger, Jr, wrote an influential book entitled The Imperial Presidency in 1973, forty years ago and long before anyone had heard anything about Barack Obama. Therefore, if the hearing devoted 99 percent of its time alleging a rise in the imperial presidency under President Obama, then the hearing obviously spent 99 percent of its time talking nonsense and bogus history. President Obama certainly has availed himself of imperial powers in the absence of any coherent or principled opposition by the Congress, as many of his predecessors — especially the two most recent ones — did, but unless the hearing included a recapitulation of this long history of bipartisan presidential abuse and only concentrated on President Obama, then it does indeed appear “obsessed,” as Mr Milbank illustrated with many examples.

    As for the parable of the bilnd men and the elephant business, that seems just too silly and inane to bother deconstructing.

  115. BTW, thanks for posting that piece of MSNBC hosting being fired yesterday Gene.

    I hate seeing people fired unless called for, I think that case it was.

  116. I see now Gene.

    I was addressing this one.

    **Michael Murry 1, December 5, 2013 at 8:15 pm **

    I was thinking just because some people got away with bank robbery & this latest guy got caught shouldn’t mean we get rid of laws against bank robbery.

    We’re already in primary season for the spring vote & of course the polecats need red meat for the voters.

    I think encourage them to mix it up a bit & maybe we’ll see if there’s any fire to go along with their heat.

  117. One of the pieces Infowars put out regarding the hearing.

    I don’t believe this story is dead, congress is likely to push it much further & should.

  118. ** Those “Too Big To Stay In Jail” Walk: The “GE Three” Go Free
    Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/05/2013 – 13:45

    It wasn’t long after three former General Electric Co. executives were convicted of rigging auctions for municipal-bond investment contracts that they received the ultimate sendoff: A 7,400-word torching in Rolling Stone magazine by Matt Taibbi, the writer who branded Goldman Sachs Group Inc. with the nickname “vampire squid.” “Someday, it will go down in history as the first trial of the modern American mafia,” Taibbi began his June 2012 opus about Dominick Carollo, Steven Goldberg and Peter Grimm. “Over 10 years in the making, the case allowed federal prosecutors to make public for the first time the astonishing inner workings of the reigning American crime syndicate, which now operates not out of Little Italy and Las Vegas, but out of Wall Street.” Then came a surprise last week, right before Thanksgiving. A federal judge ordered the men released from prison. **

    Taibbi, it’s going to be good!

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-12-05/those-too-big-stay-jail-walk-ge-three-go-free

  119. Oops, sorry for not giving you credit Mr Wells, I know your good works.

    **From Jonathan Weil, originally posted in Bloomberg**

    **A reversal like this helps explain why some prosecutors might hesitate to bring difficult white-collar cases to trial. The Justice Department seemed to pull back from pursuing financial-crisis cases after two former Bear Stearns Cos. hedge-fund managers were acquitted of fraud charges in 2009. **

    Dearest prosecutors, I strongly suggest you hesitate not in this time of the greatest leveling. I see the masses of people demanding heads to roll & if you let the crooks go it may well be your head the people ask to do the time for the crooks? It’s just an opinion of mine mind you, I could be wrong. :)

  120. http://therightscoop.com/health-insurance-expert-the-back-end-of-obamacare-website-is-a-disaster/

    “Health insurance expert Bob Laszewski says that it’s not just that the pay system hasn’t been built on the back end of the Obamacare website, but the reconciliation portion (where the govt makes sure people are covered both on their end and insurance companies’ end) hasn’t been built either. So the rumor is that what the Obama administration is going to do is send the insurance companies hard copies of lists of people who should be covered to the insurance companies and expect them to reconcile thousands and thousands of records using their own hard copies.

    Laszewski recommends that if you enrolled via healthcare.gov, you should double check with the insurance company that you are good to go because there’s a good chance they don’t even know you signed up for Obamacare at this point. It really is a disaster.”

    Potemkin Care, Potemkin Website, Potemkin Presidency comes to mind.

    A good facade but nothing behind it.

  121. Felix: Rall’s cartoon IS INDEED Racist; and he does indeed portray Obama as a literal ape, and IMO, Daily Kos, which is a privately held site, has every right to ban him and his racist cartoons. Good Riddance. Rall can complain all he wants that he isn’t racist, what he draws is racist and portrays a black man as an ape. If you do not see that as racist, I can only conclude you are a racist too.

  122. Professor Turley,

    Politicians are notorious for being unable able to remain intellectually honest. I believe you got the right peoples attention last week.

    The reason we’ve heard little from them since is because as you see in this view short video they still haven’t been able to pickup themselves up off the floor. (wink lol)

    (23 seconds in the ring against Turley. Please do not attempt this at home kids, leave it to the pros.)

    http://www.mmamania.com/2013/2/21/4013648/video-joe-rogan-spinning-back-kick-georges-st-pierre-ufc-mma

  123. My sense is that there is now a good chance at putting together a major deal between the Dem/Repub leadership across multiple important issues.

    The only rub is that the Democratic & ole Neo-Nazi Repub party is going to have to come up with someone to put into the room negotiating with a Ron Paul type arguing for Ron’s positions.

    The key is that Wallst Banks/Insurance Co’s are going to have to be putting in a cage until the deal is struck.

  124. OFFICIALLY SINCE OCTOBER 15TH 2012 BECAUSE OF MARIA CANTWELL PATTY MURRAY AND DAVE REICURT REPUBLICAN WHICH MADE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT ELECT MARK PATRICK SEYMOUR COMMANDER IN CHEIF SINCE OCTOBER 15TH 2012

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