KUCINICH v. BUSH:
Impeachment is usually proposed toward the close of a President’s tenure. The House tackled
deep in his second term; articles of impeachment were filed against
for seizing steel mills nine months before his presidency finished; the Senate considered removing
in the spring of his final year. This makes sense, as it takes time to recognize the seriousness of high crimes and misdemeanors, and even longer to loosen the tongues of former aides–such as ex-White House spokesman
, who will testify before the House Judiciary Committee June 20. So the thirty-five articles of impeachment Ohio Congressman
filed against President Bush June 9 are timely.
They are, as well, compelling; Kucinich’s extensive charges detail presidential lawlessness ranging from deliberate disregard of Congress’s authority to declare war, to authorizing warrantless wiretapping, to “obstruction of justice in the matter of
Valerie Plame Wilson
.” Democratic leaders would prefer to play politics in this election year, but Kucinich–and allies such as Florida Congressman
American Freedom Campaign
–are right to note that the Constitution does not exempt a President from accountability simply because the campaign to replace him has commenced. JOHN NICHOLS
In 2007 the national median price for a home was $239,000. To afford a down payment and monthly mortgage installments for such a purchase, the Center for Housing Policy estimates, the home buyer’s income should exceed $78,000. But for many working people–like childcare workers (median salary: $26,647), electricians ($45,406), even software programmers ($60,265)–that figure is becoming increasingly remote.
Not so for the architects of the subprime mortgage disaster, however.
, CEO of disgraced
, a leading provider of subprime loans, took home a total compensation package of $48,133,155 in 2006, and as the market unraveled and foreclosure rates began to tick upward, Mozilo made hundreds of millions more by dumping company stock. Last year
, one of three principal credit rating agencies that continued to issue sterling reports on mortgage securities backed by defaulting loans, made $7,376,555.
, which made a $6 billion windfall betting against those securities, received $70,324,352, enough for him to toy with the idea of making a home purchase of his own–a 10.4-acre Hamptons estate listed at $41 million.
The deal fell through, but it would not have approached the most extravagant real estate grab of the year. That honor goes to hedge-fund manager
, number 286 on Forbes‘s list of the 400 richest Americans. In November, as home foreclosure rates reached Depression-era heights, Bacon spent $175 million on a 171,000-acre ranch in Colorado–the largest amount ever paid for a piece of residential property. MAX FRASER