PROFESSOR BARBARA JORDAN (D-TX) SCHOOLS on IMPEACHMENT 101

January 3, 2015

©2015 jbjd

If the House of Representatives (“accusers”)  of the U.S. Congress finds that President Obama attempted to subvert the Constitution by directing the IRS to exercise its power to stifle political speech that was otherwise protected by the 1st Amendment to the Constitution; or was connected in any suspicious manner with any person engaged in such conduct and there be grounds to believe that he will shelter that person; or made announcements and assertions bearing on the case which the evidence shows he knew to be false or designed to thwart the lawful investigation by government prosecutors then, they must vote for Impeachment. And let the Senate “judge” whether to convict.

In 1974, the late great Representative Barbara Jordan, Democrat from Texas and member of the House Judiciary Committee discusses Impeachment with respect to President Nixon. (Note, the YouTube video incorrectly dates her statement as taking place in 1971.)

Of all the ‘material’ statements made by Ms. Jordan, I found this passage to be the most salient.

It is wrong, I suggest, it is a misreading of the Constitution for any member here to assert that for a member to vote for an article of impeachment means that that member must be convinced that the President should be removed from office. The Constitution doesn’t say that. The powers relating to impeachment are an essential check in the hands of the body of the legislature against and upon the encroachments of the executive. The division between the two branches of the legislature, the House and the Senate, assigning to the one the right to accuse and to the other the right to judge, the framers of this Constitution were very astute. They did not make the accusers and the judgers — and the judges the same person.

http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/barbarajordanjudiciarystatement.htm

(Note: I intentionally linked to the American Rhetoric site because it provides a true transcript of Ms. Jordan’s remarks. As regular readers of “jbjd” know, I usually link to C-Span for original source material. However, while C-Span lists Ms. Jordan’s video on its site; it cannot be played due to “rights restrictions.” And, while it provides a written transcript of her speech, the transcript contains errors, at least one of which is what we would call a ‘material’ error.

For example, the transcript reads,

BEGINNING SHORTLY AFTER THE WATERGATE BREAK-IN AND CONTINUING TO THE PRESENT TIME, THE PRESIDENT HAS ENGAGED IN A SERIES OF PUBLIC STATEMENTS AND ACTIONS DESIGNED TO FOR THE LAWFUL INVESTIGATION BY GOVERNMENT PROSECUTORS.

But the speaker said,

BEGINNING SHORTLY AFTER THE WATERGATE BREAK-IN AND CONTINUING TO THE PRESENT TIME, THE PRESIDENT HAS ENGAGED IN A SERIES OF PUBLIC STATEMENTS AND ACTIONS DESIGNED TO THWART THE LAWFUL INVESTIGATION BY GOVERNMENT PROSECUTORS.

American Rhetoric got it right; I have contacted C-Span to make the corrections.)

Ms. Jordan proposed the Committee should “juxtapose” some of the activities the President (Nixon) had engaged in (with respect to events surrounding ‘Watergate,’ misuse of the IRS for political purposes, and defiance of Congressional subpoenas (contempt of Congress)), against Impeachment criteria enunciated by contemporaneous Constitutional experts including James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, and participants at state ratifying conventions. She argued, therefore, the record supported a recommendation of Impeachment. And, after considerable analysis and debate; ultimately, her fellow Committee members on a bi-partisan basis approved 3 (three) articles of Impeachment. (The Congressional Quarterly Press is a member site. But you can reach the source page by searching, House Judiciary Committee Articles of Impeachment Nixon CQPress.) However, before a vote on Impeachment by the full House, President Nixon resigned. Id.

Having reviewed the applicable standards of Impeachment, let’s adapt Ms. Jordan’s exercise, to President Obama, with respect to the IRS. I’ll start.

In the category of ‘made announcements and assertions bearing on the case which the evidence shows he knew to be false’ or were designed to thwart investigation by government prosecutors: “Not even a smidgen of corruption” in the IRS (accompanied by derisive sneering and snickering), with accompanying evidence.

Here is the interview conducted with Bill O’Reilly from FOX News, on February 2, 2014.

Here is the transcript of that interview, provided by FOX. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/02/02/transcript-bill-oreilly-interviews-president-obama/

But Mr. Obama knew in February 2014 his assertion there was not a “smidgen” of corruption, was false because on May 13, 2013 the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (“TIGTA”) issued a report confirming the IRS had been unlawfully targeting conservative-sounding applicants for tax-exempt status, at least as far back as 2010. (For a summary of the TIGTA report, see http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/05/irs-began-targeting-conservatives-in-2010/) And since May 2013, public reports had chronicled that on May 9, Lois Lerner, then Director of the Exempt Organizations Division of the IRS, had planted a question to be asked the next day, May 10, at a meeting of the American Bar Association, which would provide an opportunity for her to admit to this unlawful targeting, just 3 (three) days in advance of the publication of that damning TIGTA report.

“I received a call from Lois Lerner, who told me that she wanted to address an issue after her prepared remarks at the [American Bar Association] Tax Section’s Exempt Organizations Committee Meeting, and asked if I would pose a question to her after her remarks,” Roady said in a statement to U.S. News and World Report. “I agreed to do so, and she then gave me the question that I asked at the meeting the next day. We had no discussion thereafter on the topic of the question, nor had we spoken about any of this before I received her call. She did not tell me, and I did not know, how she would answer the question.”

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/05/17/exclusive-woman-who-asked-irss-lois-lerner-scandal-breaking-question-details-plant

Here is an audio of Ms. Lerner’s response to that planted question.

Your turn.

 

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My mind is a terrible thing to waste.


PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS

November 18, 2013

© 2013 jbjd

In a cravenly political attempt to obfuscate the palpable contempt many of us have unleashed at having been lied to by our elected officials with respect to elements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare), lies which many of us charge were an integral part of the fraudulent campaign to sustain President Obama’s otherwise uncertain bid for re-election; several of those lying officials and their press enablers have touted this benefit of the doomed law, scheduled to take effect in 2014: “insurers will no longer be able to deny anyone on the basis of their medical history.” (Note: I took this cite from WebMD, LLC, since my tax dollars are now supporting that private enterprise to promote the ACA. http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2013/11/webmd_received_almost_5_million_bucks_for_feds_to_promote_obamacare.html)

Then, adding insult to injury, these dissemblers cite this specific provision of the ACA as evidence that Republican inhumanity informs their general opposition to the law. For example, TDB writer Michael Tomasky points to a pre-ACA Republican proposal for general improvements to health care which omitted mandatory coverage for pre-existing conditions. “Oh, and get this: Under their plan, insurance companies could still have denied coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. Ending that is the main point of reform, and ending that is why reform is so hard.http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/11/16/blame-obama-for-passing-a-partisan-health-care-bill-what-nonsense.html

But since when did banning healthcare insurers operating in any state from refusing coverage because of pre-existing conditions; require federal legislation? Before the ACA, several states including Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont already prohibited such discrimination. http://www.familiesusa.org/assets/pdfs/health-reform/pre-existing-conditions.pdf

And since when were Republicans against such legislation?

The voters in blue Massachusetts, through the overwhelmingly Democratic General Court, endorsed legislation mandating the coverage of pre-existing conditions in 1996. And it was signed into law by Governor William Weld, Republican. This was a full 10 years before Republican Governor Mitt Romney signed “An Act Providing Access to Affordable, Quality, Accountable Health Care” (also known as Romneycare) in 2006, and 18 years before the same mandate for coverage of pre-existing conditions is triggered in the ACA. Even though, these same blue voters overwhelmingly rejected passage of the ACA, choosing Republican Scott Brown to fill Senator Kennedy’s seat in a special election, on the basis, he promised to oppose the federal law, notwithstanding as a state senator, he had voted for the state’s reform plan! Democrats flee from ObamaCare disaster but voters will find them in 2014

(For a good comparison/contrast between Obamacare and Romneycare, read If ObamaCare Is So Bad, How Does RomneyCare Survive?  )

Indeed, in “Why Obamacare can’t replicate Mass.,” liberal American journalist Robert Kuttner (Swarthmore, Oberlin, UC Berkeley) points out that Romneycare succeeded where Obamacare has thus far failed due in no small part to the fact that, in 1996, the state passed a law that banned insurers from refusing coverage because of pre-existing conditions, or “guaranteed issue.” Yes, with guaranteed issue, healthy people can wait to buy insurance until they get sick, becoming free riders while others dutifully pay inevitably higher premiums all along. But with the 2006 legislation, where everyone was required to buy insurance, including those who would otherwise be free riders; rates “dropped sharply.” On the other hand; Mr. Kuttner insists the failure of Obamacare ultimately rests with Republicans.

So who should get the blame for the greater confusion in Obamacare?

A ban on pre-existing conditions might have been national policy sooner, but the insurance industry and the Republicans in Congress were dead set against it.

Obama might have funded the affordable insurance policies with direct subsidies rather than tax credits, but that was also anathema to Republicans — not to mention the even simpler course of Medicare for all.

He might have had government write the software for HealthCare.gov rather than hiring dozens of contractors. But ever since Ronald Reagan, government’s core competence has been hollowed out.

In short, Republicans create conditions that make it impossible for insurance reform to be carried out efficiently — and then laugh at the political damage to Democrats. The mischief is not only in demonizing the program and trying to defund it after the fact, but encumbering it with clunky preconditions even before it comes to a vote. Id.

The moral here is that even when Democrats praise Republicans for the acknowledged good things they do, they appear pre-conditioned to contemporaneously pile on the blame.

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Freedom costs.


PHYSICIAN, HEAL THYSELF

February 25, 2012

©2012 jbjd

On December 21, 2011, the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts (“KSBHA”) upheld the decision it had first entered on November 21, 2011 (after a hearing 1 month earlier) to refuse to grant the application for a license to practice “osteopathic medicine and surgery” in the State of Kansas, submitted by Terrence Lee Lakin, the (former) Lieutenant Colonel who disobeyed orders to deploy to Afghanistan back in 2010.

According to this article on KCTV5 and the included video, Mr. Lakin currently holds licenses to practice in both MD and CO but had applied to obtain the KS license because he had hoped to move to that state to join his brother’s medical practice.

Now, I hope everyone leaves Mr. Lakin alone so that he can get on with the task which is likely to take longer than the rest of his life: recovering from his self-inflicted wounds.

DISCLAIMER: As far as I can tell; a recording of that October hearing cannot be directly accessed through the KSBHA web site. However, I ‘found’ what appears to be an audio recording of that hearing through a link on the Terry Lakin Action Fund website linked to a ‘news’ report containing a link to an audio of the hearing. (Interestingly, that first link on Lakin’s site appeared immediately below a link to a radio show called “Officer’s Oath” broadcast on Terry Lakin Action Fund Radio. This episode featured right wing luminary Carl Swennson (who spells his name with 2 n’s) to discuss “the continnuing question in Georgia of Eligibility…”) (What I could not find anywhere on this site was a link to documents or audio recordings related to his military court martial and conviction for violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice. But those documents can be accessed through links I provided above.)

Anyway, I cannot guarantee the provenance of the recording since I did not obtain this from the KSBHA web site. 19663LakinTerrenceO21Tra…udio.zip

I also found a transcript of the October hearing although, again, this was not through the KSBHA web site and so, again, I cannot vouch for its authenticity. http://ftpcontent.worldnow.com/kctv//Lakin%20Transcript.pdf

The background to the tragedy which befell Lakin is simple enough, and has been broadly addressed. For example, I wrote about Lakin’s travails in HEROES and VILLAINS; and several others in the blogosphere have more than covered any aspects I might have missed. (The entire saga can be (roughly) pieced together from just the titles of the excellent links provided by the blog Oh, for Goodness Sake, arranged here chronologically. And NIMJ Blog-CAA FLOG is an absolutely fabulous site for all things military; a search of “Terry Lakin” yields hours of relevant material.)

Basically, based on political beliefs; the physician and soldier refused an order of military deployment to minister to troops in Afghanistan. He faced a court martial; was convicted, sentenced to 6 months’ imprisonment; and dishonorably discharged from the service. In the words of the KSBHA, his conduct evidenced “a disregard for his professional duties” which “undermines the integrity of the medical profession”; and “potentially jeopardized the health, safety and welfare of the military troops for which [he] was employed to provide medical care.” Id.

Obviously, Lakin disagreed with this interpretation, which is why he asked for reconsideration of the Board’s initial decision, in the first place.

But under the licensing rules in KS, conviction of a felony or a class A misdemeanor means, no medical license; unless the applicant can persuade the Board, he has been “rehabilitated.” (All emphasis is mine.)

(c) The licensee has been convicted of a felony or class A misdemeanor, whether or not related to the practice of the healing arts. The board shall revoke a licensee’s license following conviction of a felony occurring after July 1, 2000, unless a 2/3 majority of the board members present and voting determine by clear and convincing evidence that such licensee will not pose a threat to the public in such person’s capacity as a licensee and that such person has been sufficiently rehabilitated to warrant the public trust. In the case of a person who has been convicted of a felony and who applies for an original license or to reinstate a canceled license, the application for a license shall be denied unless a 2/3 majority of the board members present and voting on such application determine by clear and convincing evidence that such person will not pose a threat to the public in such person’s capacity as a licensee and that such person has been sufficiently rehabilitated to warrant the public trust.

http://www.ksbha.org/statutes/haact.html#2836

Thus, having been convicted of what amounted to a misdemeanor, Lakin could only have received his medical license by convincing 2/3 of the Board, he had been rehabilitated, that is, he has either resolved not to let his politics influence his care; or, he has determined President Obama is a U.S. citizen, thus meriting the public’s trust that his politics will not interfere with his care. But, he could not meet this burden; although, as you will see, he might have.

And, notwithstanding I advocated above a ‘hands-off’ approach when it comes to the man; this fact that he might have prevailed in his hearing before the KSBHA explains why I am writing this piece. In fact, Lakin really isn’t the focus here. Rather, I am focusing on the gang of Lakin apologists who have expressed real (or feigned) outrage that the board based its January decision (not to reverse its November ruling) on an inquiry into what they – the gang – characterize are his political beliefs, bemoaning this as yet another sign of the apocalyptic loss of 1st Amendment rights. But reaching this conclusion is logically possible only when taken out of context, a gyration too often accomplished by these vacuous zealots.

Let’s examine specifically the narrow focus of the board which has spawned this vapid reaction: its questions about the President’s release of what they called his long-form birth certificate and whether this answered the Applicant’s questions as to whether President Obama is a citizen.

First, here is a video recorded at some time before this hearing in which Mr. Lakin explains, the motivating factor for his refusal to serve is the fact, President Obama has not produced a birth certificate evidencing he was born in HI.

(On a selfish note; I cannot help but notice, the language he uses here strongly mimics the language I have been using for years to describe the issues at the heart of any eligibility inquiry, especially his reference to documents “in the public domain.” Nice going, gang! Also note he finally acknowledges that, whether President Obama is a citizen has absolutely nothing to do with whether he was lawfully elected, a fact I have been arguing for years.)

Now, fast forward to the KSBHA hearing. The board asked whether, given the fact, President Obama released his long form birth certificate; Mr. Lakin now believed he was born in America. BUT THEY ALSO ASKED THIS QUESTION: “Say if and when he’s elected again the Health Reconciliation Act becomes law, which it already is, and all of a sudden we have 20 million more people who’ve got healthcare are you going to refuse those people because this is?” Lakin answered, “No, no, no.” Ah, but then, he explained, the only reason he refused to practice medicine in Afghanistan was that his life was on the line, intimating that, since his life (presumably) would not be on the line when treating patients in KS, President Obama’s non-citizenship would not come into play. That is, even faced with the direct question, he did not concede the birth certificate established the President’s citizenship.

By responding in this way, that is, by not correlating his duty to provide care solely to his being a doctor, regardless of whether President Obama’s citizenship has been established to his satisfaction; Lakin was unable to convince the board of his rehabilitation.

But now, read this ‘press release’ posted on the TLAF web site back in April 2011.

Response to the Release of the Barack Obama Birth Certificate from the Terry Lakin Action Fund


Press Release: April 27, 2011


For Immediate Release
Baltimore, MD

Had the Obama administration agreed to allow the document unveiled today and other related documents as requested for discovery in Terry Lakin’s first pre-trial hearing, the matter would have been resolved and soldiers assured their military orders were lawful, given by a lawful Commander-in-Chief.

A good soldier, having played his part in this issue, would have returned enthusiastically to the service for which he is so ably trained.

…This document which was so casually dropped on the news corps could just have easily been provided twelve months ago or two years ago. Even six months ago, it would have prevented LTC Lakin being manacled and hauled away to Fort Leavenworth prison for standing up for the Constitution, consistent with the oath he took as an officer, and the rule of law.

http://www.terrylakinactionfund.com/obamaresponse.html

In short, LTC Lakin admitted last April that, had President Obama released this document before he – Lakin – refused to provide medical care to his fellow soldiers; he would have provided this care. That is, he reaffirmed the level of care he would provide was predicated in the first instance on whether he believed the President was born in the USA. Just like the board imagined he would, judging by their questions and comments at the hearing.

(Seriously, imagine you are the ‘public’ whose best interests the board is ostensibly trying to protect. Would you really want them to license a physician you might need to turn to for care; knowing that care depended on your not saying the wrong thing?)

But in this statement posted on his web site; Lakin also confirmed, he believed the long-form birth certificate released by the President proved he was born in the U.S.A.

So, here’s my question. Even granting for the sake of argument, that the KSBHA improperly inquired into Lakin’s politics; and even disregarding the correlation between Lakin’s belief as to the President’s citizenship and, his willingness to provide medical care; and the public’s right to expect a certain level of care from a licensed physician; why didn’t the Applicant just repeat for the board, the same sentiment he publicly expressed 6 months earlier, that is, ‘As the result of the release of that birth certificate, I now believe the President was born in the U.S.A.’?

I can only guess; and I would rather not speculate. Suffice to say, if the words coming out of his mouth over time evidence his heartfelt convictions and originate with him then, I would have expected more consistency.

As I have always said; I feel so sorry for Terry Lakin. At this same time, I believe he is getting exactly the outcome he deserves.

P.S. Of course, under the U.S. Code, that long form birth certificate released in April 2011 is just a political ad signaling the launch (in earnest) of the President’s campaign for re-election in 2012.

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Freedom costs.


WHAT IT IS, WHAT IT BE

September 7, 2011

©2011 jbjd 

In the past few weeks, several blogs have posted articles critical to the campaign spearheaded by President Obama, to transform the 10th anniversary commemoration of 9/11 around the world into what I believe he and his handlers intend is a whitewash of actual horrific circumstances surrounding the event. The WH has issued 2 separate guidelines for conversation and commemoration, one to domestic public officials and government employees and one to embassy staff.  (No official has gone on record claiming responsibility for either the content or the tone of these edicts and so, I will not cite to the articles that reference these anonymous instructions.) Basically, we are told to avoid characterizations that what happened in NYC is unique – after all, al Qaeda is attacking all over the world – and, to downplay the involvement of al Qaeda, presumably lest we incite reprisals predicated on the U.S. involvement in his death.

I see these transparent attempts to re-frame the narrative as adding insult to injury.

For starters, citizens from 115 countries were among the approximately 3,000  killed on 9/11.  Thus, by definition, remembering the victims of 9/11 already is ‘international.”  As for toning down the remembrances lest we be mistakenly perceived as considering ourselves special, well, judging by the world reaction to the attack, ‘we’ are not the only ones who ‘get’ the significance of the event, or who were shocked by it.  Even those nations more accustomed to terrorism carried out on their home turf appear to have been equally traumatized.

Rather, what is being proposed here is that the survivors around the world, keep our collective mouths shut about not just the effect of those events but also the causes, in the hope that those responsible for promoting and carrying out such atrocities against humanity avoid well-earned condemnation for their ongoing crimes.  It is this artificial stifling of open honest dialogue that perpetuates such barbaric conduct.  That is, we cannot prevent such calamities in the future unless we understand what went wrong in the past.

Even if this means, ‘bad mouthing’ some Muslims.

Reading the President’s imposed ‘take’ on 9/11 triggered memories of 2 separate conversations which occurred years ago.  In one, a white woman was recounting that she was mugged by a black man at night in the parking lot of our school.  She said, she heard footsteps as he approached from behind, and became nervous.  She even turned around and saw he was following her.  I asked why at that moment, she didn’t yell for help.  She said, the stranger was black, and she set aside her fear he would mug her because she felt guilty that her feelings might evidence she was racist.

In the other, a white woman admitted she was prejudiced against blacks, supporting her feelings by ‘recounting’ an incident in which approaching young black males were accosting passersby.  What ‘saved’ her was an elderly black couple who, seeing her obvious distress, flanked her on either side and walked her down the block. She sounded genuinely grateful for their heroic act. I asked why she hated all blacks because of the marauding youths but didn’t love all blacks because of the courage of the couple. She didn’t answer.

At the risk of oversimplifying, I would say men who approach women alone in a parking lot at night are rightly feared; an elderly couple who intervene to protect a stranger from marauding youths are rightly revered; and self-identified members of the terrorist group, al Qaeda, who commandeer passenger airplanes and,  shouting Allahu Akbar in Arabic, fly them into occupied skyscrapers in NYC, killing thousands, are rightly called Muslim murderers.


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