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Monday, 13 May 2013


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Off topic again, but did you know the Gosnell story just got even more insane?

Back in 1972, before abortion was legal, a doctor performed abortions on 15 women, 9 of them suffering serious consequences. It was called the Mother's Day massacre, and it never got off the front pages, presumably because it showed that back-alley abortions were unsafe, and abortion needed to be made legal. Guess the name of the doctor? Yep, Kermit Gosnell.

Thanks for the welcome back in the other thread. :)

Yes, it's true; a president can only be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors. Bill Clinton, for example, was impeached for perjury, though the senate did not find that perjury met the standard for that, so he was not convicted.

As an aside to my UK friends who might not be familiar with the correct usage of "impeached" (the US media almost always gets it wrong) Impeachment is the filing of formal charges by the house. Impeachment itself does not remove a president from office. If a president is impeached (and two, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, have been) by the house (this needs only an approval by a simple majority), then the Senate acts as the jury, with the chief justice of the supreme court presiding. Conviction requires a 2/3 majority of the senate voting to convict. Nixon was not impeached, though only due to resigning just before it happened.

Could Obama be impeached and convicted of his malfeasance and dereliction of duty in Benghazi? No. While reprehensible, such things are not illegal. Same applies to lying to the public about the video being the cause.

However... There is an old saying in Washington; it's not the crime that gets you, it's the coverup." While it's not illegal to lie to the American people, it *IS* illegal to lie to congress in matters where congress has a right and duty to be kept informed. What is also illegal is using threats and extortion to keep whistle blowers quiet, and it looks like we have at least some proof of that.

Also illegal is using the IRS to go after ones political opponents. Did Obama know of or order that? If so, that's a crime. A big one. And the IRS revelations just keep coming; it's already looking far worse than it was just a day ago.

Now here's where it gets fun; The IRS seems to have fessed up out of the blue to head off a major story reporting on their illegal persecution of conservative groups. The one glaring problem with that theory is how would the IRS know what was about to be reported?

As it turns out, the Department of Justice (the same fine folks who caused the death of hundreds by walking guns into Mexico in the Fast & Furious scandal) were tapping the phones and phone records at the associated press, keeping tabs on at least 100 reporters. (this is also illegal).

I think that explains how, several times, elements of the Obama admin have been able to beat the press to the draw.

Now for the really fun part; the Obama admin depends on their friends in the press for political cover and help. That would be the same press that is bloody furious about the AP wiretapping revelations. The old saying that there's no fury like a woman scorned is wrong; for real fury, you need a reporter who has been both backstabbed and scorned.

Above, I mentioned that Nixon was not impeached, though he was about to be. What were his crimes? No one claimed he knew of the Watergate break-in in advance, let alone ordered it. In a nutshell, his crimes were obstruction of justice and also abuse of power (using the IRS against political enemies).

I think this could get very interesting in a hurry.

I am afraid that Obama is just illustrating a basic flaw in the American system of government. He is both head of state and head of government. If you elevate a man to a supreme position like that enjoyed by Obama he rapidly finds that he is in fact a God. In the UK the constitutional monarch enjoys a powerless status that enables her to lead the country without being involved in grubby politics. In countries like Germany, the president enjoys roughly the same position as our monarch. The French, of course, do it differently, and get the same problems as the Americans. Of course, I accept that the US constitution (written by a bunch of Englishmen) has checks and balances. But they don't seem to be working too well at the moment.

Dom, first of all my apologies that bloody-bloody TypePad dumped your comment in the Spam Bin. I keep telling them their system is a crock but to no avail. What really irritates is that it is MY comments that end up there more times than anyone else! All Commenters please note that I do check the Spam Bin fairly often so you will be rescued, I assure you.

Mind you, Dom, when I read your link I almost felt like putting it back in the Spam Bin - literally, it made me feel ill. I will post on this next.

ACJ, thanks for that very clear exposition of the confusing, to Brits, minutiae of American legalese. These twin scandals are fascinating. I suspect that Obama will be untouched except in reputation but Hillary's chances in 2016 will be hit below the waterline. Anyway, as we sit here enraptured with the unfolding tale - it's your turn to buy the popcorn!

BOE, yes, there is an inherent weakness in combining the role of national leader with that of political leader but what else could they do? Like the French, their whole revolution was fired by anti-monarchical sentiment. Actually, I think the (English) American constitution is pretty damn good, much better than the French 'philosophes' managed. The problem for the Americans is that their rascally politicians keep trying to subvert their own constitution.

Well, they could have just made Washington the first king of America.

Arizona CJ,

I noticed on your initial return to D&N you mentioned "Getting ahead of a breaking event" - I'd thought you were referring to the admission on the IRS denying stuff to the TPs solely.

I actually have a number of accounts - one of which is very tedious reading - cause it is the address I use to keep up with various government agencies but for the most of my personal interest stuff it's where I keep abreast of defense procurements.

However upon checking today, I noticed the following issued yesterday:

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