Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin has just introduced the Executive Branch Accountability Act of 2008, which calls on the next President of the United States to
* Fully investigate Bush/Cheney administration officials’ alleged crimes and hold them accountable for any illegal acts.
* Ensure that any Bush/Cheney administration official guilty of a war crime is prosecuted under the War Crimes Act and the Anti-Torture Act.
* Affirm that it is the sole legal right of Congress to declare war.
* Restore the writ of habeas corpus.
* Ensure that torture and rendition are uniformly prohibited under United States law.
* Immediately close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp.
* Ensure that Americans can bring claims against their government.
* Immediately take affirmative steps to protect all documents from the Bush/Cheney Administration.
* Publicly review potential abuses of the presidential pardon process.
* Reform the use of presidential signing statements.
Roll Call’s annual attempt to rank the riches of Members of Congress is hampered by one fundamental flaw: It is based on the lawmakers’ financial disclosure forms, which are extraordinarily unreliable sources of information.
The disclosure rules allow Members to report assets in broad categories, so there is no way to tell the difference between a $20 million investment and a $5 million investment. The top category on the Members’ forms is “over $50 million,” so it is impossible to accurately account for anything worth more than that — like a professional sports team, for example. There is also a gaping loophole for assets owned by the Members’ spouse or dependent children; anything worth more than $1 million in value can be reported as “over $1 million.” There is no way to tell whether that is $1.2 million or $1.2 billion.
The rules also don’t require reporting things of value that are not used to produce income — most notably any primary residence or other home that is not used for rentals. That loophole removes from most Members’ portfolios hundreds of thousands of dollars and in come cases millions of dollars worth of assets. Airplanes, fancy cars, antiques or other valuable items are not reported.
The chairman of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, Rep. John Conyers', is calling on the John McCain campaign to "immediately halt Republican vote suppression efforts," as seen recently in Michigan --- where a county GOP chair announced his intention to use home foreclosure lists to challenge voter eligibility at the polls on Election Day --- and elsewhere.
Despite an abundance of tributes to the heroism and patriotism of wounded veterans, Congress might leave town to campaign before acting on key bills to help them.
Some of the delays are due to politics, which angers veterans advocates.
"It's still surprising to me the extent to which you have to fight when everyone in Congress would say they support the troops and they want to help veterans," said Vanessa Williamson, the policy director for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.
Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., delivered these remarks on the House floor Tuesday:
For the last two years I have struggled with the issue of whether the House should consider impeachment of a sitting President.
Next to declaring war, impeachment is the gravest matter the House of Representatives must consider.
I fully understand the gut-wrenching consequences such a national debate could precipitate. Yet, there is one fact we cannot overlook or escape.
American cannot regain its moral leadership in the world if America cannot hold its leaders accountable for their actions at home.
The allegations that would warrant impeachment keep growing.
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