Saturday, March 1, 2008

Contempt? Inherent.

Surprise, surprise, surprise.

U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey Friday said he will not ask a federal grand jury to investigate whether two top Bush administration officials should be prosecuted for contempt of Congress.
Didn't he read the Democrats' sternly-worded letters?
"The department has determined that the noncompliance by Mr. Bolten and Ms. Miers with the Judiciary Committee subpoenas did not constitute a crime," Mukasey wrote in a letter to Pelosi.

"Therefore the department will not bring the congressional contempt citations before a grand jury or take any other action to prosecute Mr. Bolten or Ms. Miers."
"I'll take your sternly-worded letter and raise!" Ooh, well played, Mike!
The White House argues that forcing the aides to testify would violate the Constitution's separation of powers.
Working brains argue that utilizing inherent contempt would proudly display a spiny disdain for, you know, law-breaking, unconstitutionality and all-around assholery.
A spokesman for House Republican Leader John Boehner issued a statement Thursday calling Pelosi's request a "partisan political stunt" and "complete waste of time."
Boehner then cried a little. So did I when I realized nothing was going to happen. Well, there's that civil suit, and I'm sure that'll be wrapped up right quick and not end up dragging on like molasses in the dead of an Antarctic winter until getting tossed out on some legalese by a Republican-appointed judge, thereby allowing the politicization of the Department of the Justice to continue unabated.

I guess January 20, 2009 can't get here fast enough, huh.

Unless McCain wins. Oops.


Angie said...

How many times are "they" allowed to change and make up their own rules? They must be at the end of their quota. And if McCain wins my only options will be to "travel abroad" for awhile or insist my doctor heavily medicate me.

Scarlet W. Blue said...

And you expected justice? My dear naive boy, I feel so tender toward you at this moment

Mathman6293 said...

Mother Fuckers!

Randal Graves said...

angie, I can't believe you've forgotten about that one signing statement that upped the daily quota.
I'm with you on the medication.

Golly gee, Miss SWB, I was really hoping this would be the time, gosh darnit!

mathman, I couldn't have said it better myself! And won't, because we're probably being spied upon.

Hello, Mister President, I see you!

Liberality said...

surprise, surprise, surprise...NOT!

Distributorcap said...

and Nancy goes back to the cafeteria for Latte and brie (no jello in the Pelosi House!)

Tom Harper said...

Well, that's nice to know. Noncompliance with a subpoena is legal now. Cool. I'll keep that in mind.

LET'S TALK said...

If America is so dumb and vote for a party that walks over them while bringing this country down to its knees again then this is what we deserve.

We continue to be mad at the actions taken by this out of control President and his administration, yet we are looking at McCain and Nader posing yet another threat to our country.

While we argue about Hillary being unelectable or Obama being a Muslim and not experience enough to do a job that has been done so poorly the pass seven years.

Randal Graves said...

liberality, who knew that a Bush appointee would act in such a way!

dcap, unless she stole it from Rockefeller!

tom harper, oh yeah, so if you have certain deeds to commit, by all means, start committing.

let's talk, absolutely. The most frustrating thing for me is when I see glimpses of fight (against the Republicans) but it's never taken to the next level. They threaten to filibuster? Make them filibuster. They refuse to comply to subpoenas? Sergeant-at-arms baby, and arrest their asses. I've been happy to see Obama not pull a Kerry and smack back at stupid gooper stuff pretty quickly, but all Dems should be doing that ALL THE TIME. Sure, Waxman is better than Rockefeller as a Congressman, but that's what the leadership is for, to whip everyone into shape behind truth and justice and fairness and rule of law.

The Republicans have done so much evil, that making them look like the fools would be piece of cake. All this Clemens/steroid crap and Obama/Hillary-who-is-better/worse is wasted energy, certainly in the former situation.

Sure, it's quite plausible that Obama will get in, and then he'll start to reverse 8 years of crimes and lies. But we have to understand that he might not get in, and if there isn't an all-out assault on these assholes, then it'll just happen again because it'll seem like we just didn't think it was grave enough.

TomCat said...

Great minds, Randal. :-)

I think using the power of inherent contempt would be a far superior response to the lawsuit planned. However there is another option that is best of all. Open immediate impeachment hearings against Bush and Cheney. I'm not thinking it will happen, but it's the right thing to do.

Randal Graves said...

Something is better than nothing, but I think our something and their something aren't the same thing, unfortunately. ;-)

fairlane said...

At least I still have some sweet tarts left.

Dr. Zaius said...

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today in response to a letter she received late this afternoon from U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey stating that the Administration is refusing to enforce contempt of Congress citations against former White House Counsel Harriet Miers and White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten:

"By ordering the U.S. Attorney to take no action in response to congressional subpoenas, the Bush Administration is continuing to politicize law enforcement, which undermines public confidence in our criminal justice system.

"Anticipating this response from the Administration, the House has already provided authority for the Judiciary Committee to file a civil enforcement action in federal district court and the House shall do so promptly. The American people demand that we uphold the law. As public officials, we take an oath to uphold the Constitution and protect our system of checks and balances and our civil lawsuit seeks to do just that."
The Gavel

Freida Bee said...

I bet Bush's phone lines are all alight, "Please, order me to murder my wife," "Please order me not to pay taxes," "Please order me to rape this little boy."

"The president made me do it," is worse than, "My dog ate my homework."

Randal Graves said...

fairlane, sweet tarts are a fine candy.

dr. zaius, I think having them tossed in a jail cell would've sent a stronger message.

FB, it may be worse, but if you beat the rap, you can get a job at a wingnut thinktank as a senior fellow!

Candace said...

If Obama gets the nomination, then I'm looking forward to some very interesting, and hopefully civil and gentlemanly sparring between him and McCain.

McCain has already taken the high road (denouncing AND rejecting the Barack HUSSEIN Obama nonsense.) The more he takes the high road, the more desperate and strident the right-wing fringe of his party will look. (Of course, if he caves and takes Huckabee as his running mate, then nevermind civility.)

Randal Graves said...

He's only taking the "high road" to seem normal. Notice he hasn't denounced that lunatic Hagee. And after Obama gets the nomination, which he should, barring alien intervention, you ain't seen nothin' yet from the red meat Jesusheads. It's going to be U-G-L-Y. ;-)

Dr. Zaius said...

"I think having them tossed in a jail cell would've sent a stronger message."

Easier said than done.

Randal Graves said...

Is that your blanket answer for everything? I could counter with this.

And if blanket immunity happens, as House Democrat Silvestre Reyes says might happen, are we then allowed to get the powder wet? Is Pelosi finally able to be questioned as a leader?

I'm getting the impression that you think we should just wait it out, hope Obama gets in so we can enjoy non-insanity.

The problem is, there's going to be another insanity at some point, and I don't think we should just endure 4-8 years of it because the party of evil threatens to filibuster.


You honestly think the American people will rally around Mr. 19 Percent and see this all as sheer politics? I don't think so. They hate these fuckers. And please don't counter with the party line about how this'll impede getting work done. Defending the Constitution IS the work. Not dismantling FISA, getting out of an illegal occupation, those are the works. Yes, it's hard work. No shit. But that's what they signed up for.

Hope is all well and good, but that's all it is, hope. If you have procedural weapons at your disposal, you use them, otherwise, what's the goddamn point. What are we waiting for? Something REALLY bad to happen? Something already has.

Dean Wormer said...


I hated reading this story last week because it doesn't make me proud of our leadership. Just disgusted. I agree with Tomcat and yourself that inherent contempt ought to be the follow-back here, not nebulous lawsuits that will drag on for years. Arrest these assholes.

This is why we're banging our heads against the wall and are so disgusted with the Democratic leadership. They keep telling us their hands are tied and assume we're all too stupid to actually READ the fucking constitution and know that there are options to facing down an extraconstitutional executive if they just had the backbone to use them.

I also agree that the fact that we're represented by chickinshits in congress does not bode well for a Democratic President that hopes to get anything done once they're sworn in. There will still be enough Republicans and Bush Dogs to absolutely slaughter any sort of progressive agenda, including appointment of progressive judges, because Peloi, Reid et al don't have the balls to fight.

dguzman said...

Well shit. The asshole congress finally takes some action and they get swatted down like a fucking fly. Figures.

Dr. Zaius said...

I am not sure why you would provide this as an example - the author himself states that it is not likely to be an effective method to do anything, but thinks this would be a good way to send a "signal" to the president. (WTF?) I don't think the administration needs any futile gestures to help them understand their position. What we need is a blue dress. This is not a matter of having courage, but lacking votes in the senate. This is not a comic book or a TV show.

Randal Graves said...

dean, exactly, there is something we can do, and that can actually punish someone for something for once.

dguzman, gotta love it!

dr. zaius, because I think it CAN work. Not a signal, but the trial for contempt is heard in the chamber where charges originate, the House. Are you saying we don't have the votes there, with our majority? And you're right, it's not a comic book or a TV show. In a comic book or a TV show, the good guys don't roll over all the time. But if you think the status quo is working just fine, I'm happy for you.

Randal Graves said...

DIDN'T have the votes, that is. Typen sie englisch? Anyway, now they should be arrested.

Dean Wormer said...




Inherent Contempt would mean arrests by the Sergeant at Arms and imprisonment I assume somewhere on the grounds of the House of Representatives.

I wouldn't argue that this a futile gesture. You may be able to argue the opposite - that it's forcing a constitutional crisis but I would say that the entirety of the Bush presidency. They're the ones that have pushed a constitutional crisis. They've been pushing pretty much since they took office.

As for the votes - you're probably right but that's really not the point. The point is the constitution has to mean something and the president can't ignore it. He basically told Bolton and Meiers to ignore a congressional subpoena. He doesn't have the power under the constitution to DO that.