"PANEL PUSHES CONTEMPT ISSUE" ??!
WHAT the hell does that headline in today's South Florida [Ft. Lauderdale] Sun-Sentinel mean? Does "panel" mean a subcommittee of a local condominium co-op, or perhaps a town council facing down one of its members?
For a real-life translation of this confusing, anemic headline, let's pretend that President Clinton were still in office.... here's how the Sun-Sentinel headline would read:
"PRESIDENT CLINTON ORDERS STAFFERS to DEFY CONGRESS -
OBSTRUCTS Congressional Subpoena"!!
That the "major media" can portray the serial, obstructionist, arrogant, and even criminal conduct of the Bush-Rove-Cheney White House under such anemic, wishy-washy, muddy headlines, buried on page A-3 where only political junkies will find it, illustrates how callow, vacillating, and enabling the Democratic 'leadership' is.
Speaker Pelosi is now the biggest ENABLER of White House misconduct in the entire nation, her REFUSAL to TIE the Purge-gate, CIA-outing, obstruction of justice, and now obstruction of subpoena issues TOGETHER,
_ALLOWS_ the Bush White House to muddy and confuse each of those issues... which all have the central nexus of CRIMINAL CONDUCT from WITHIN the White House!
By failing to UNITE or tie-together those issues, Speaker Pelosi is ALLOWING the Rove Republicans to MARGINALIZE and INTIMIDATE Judiciary Chairman Conyers; to DISMISS those Representatives who have signed on to the Impeachment bill, and allowing the Republicans and press-media to IGNORE the MAJORITY of American voters polled who believe the impeachment of the Vice President is warranted by the extra-legal if not outright criminal actions from the Vice President's office.
And that poll, of course, comes despite the FAVORABLE coverage the administration gets from the media, as today's "Panel pushes contempt issue" muddy headline and story, buried on page three of the Sun-Sentinel, so effectively demonstrates.
Panel pushes contempt issue
Bush's ex-aides are likely to face vote in full House
By Richard B. Schmitt, Los Angeles Times
July 24, 2007
WASHINGTON The House Judiciary Committee said Monday that it would move forward with contempt of Congress proceedings against President Bush's chief of staff, Joshua Bolten, and former White House counsel Harriet E. Miers for refusing to comply with congressional subpoenas pertaining to the firing of eight U.S. attorneys last year.
The panel's chairman, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., said the committee would vote Wednesday on a resolution to hold both Bolten and Miers in contempt for refusing to turn over documents and testimony sought by the panel in the politically charged case.
The decision ratchets up a battle between Congress and the White House in which the Bush administration has sought to invoke executive privilege to keep documents about the firings under wraps. The resolution would go to the House floor for a vote if, as expected, the committee approved it.
Only twice since the Watergate investigations of the mid-1970s has the full House voted to hold an administration official in contempt of Congress. In 1982, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Anne Gorsuch refused to turn over documents; a year later another EPA official, Rita Lavelle, refused to appear before a House committee. The Justice Department refused to prosecute Gorsuch, and Lavelle was acquitted in court.
"This investigation, including the reluctant but necessary decision to move forward with contempt, has been a very deliberative process, taking care at each step to respect the executive branch's legitimate prerogatives," Conyers said.
"I've allowed the White House and Ms. Miers every opportunity to cooperate with this investigation, either voluntarily or under subpoena. It is still my hope that they will reconsider this hard-line position, and cooperate with our investigation so that we can get to the bottom of this matter," he said.
Congressional investigators have reviewed thousands of pages of Justice Department documents and testimony, but the investigation has hit a wall at the White House, which has declined to make officials available for public questioning under oath.
The administration has offered to make some officials available for private questioning without a transcript and without the opportunity for follow-up questions. Legislators have said those conditions are unacceptable.
"It seems now that we have a fishing expedition that's woefully short on fish," White House spokesman Tony Snow said Monday. "This is one of these things where Congress can get its facts and do its due diligence without having to get to this point, and we continue to hold open the possibility of accommodation."
Under federal law, being in contempt of Congress is a misdemeanor, and cases are referred to the U.S. Attorney's office for the District of Columbia for prosecution. The penalty is one to 12 months in jail and $100 to $1,000 in fines.
The Los Angeles Times is a Tribune Co. newspaper.