Quantcast

The Nation

Hunger Strike at Purdue

In this space, we've periodically tried to highlight some of the many examples that demonstrate that student activism is alive and well, even if under-reported by the media. We've featured the student organizers of SNAP, the eco-activists with the Campus Climate Challenge and the culinary whizzes behind Campus Kitchens Projects, a student-led initiative that coordinates food donations, prepares and delivers meals to social service agencies, and teaches food preparation and culinary skills to unemployed and underemployed men and women.

Now, Nation writer, author and professor of politics at Occidental College Peter Dreier writes in calling attention to a group of twelve Purdue University students who are entering the 19th day of a hunger strike to get their school to adopt the Designated Supplier Program.

Designed to encourage colleges and universities to purchase clothing from socially responsible companies instead of sweatshop-driven corporations, the DSP has already been adopted by twenty schools, including Duke, Syracuse, Smith, Skidmore, Columbia, Georgetown and the entire University of California system. (Click here and here to read two Nation articles by Dreier detailing the DSP.)

The Purdue students are trying to make a simple point: "I think workers' rights should be extended to people not just in the United States but internationally," Bill Slavin, a chemistry graduate student who said he has not eaten solid food since Nov. 17 told the Indianapolis Star. "I don't think it's fair for companies to go to other countries and exploit workers."

The students say they will stop the hunger strike when university president Martin Jischke signs a document that will ensure Purdue apparel will be manufactured in factories where workers can earn a living wage and have the freedom to be represented by democratic unions.

Why hunger strikes? The answer say the students is that years of lobbying official channels by United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) and Purdue Organization for Labor Equality (POLE) have had little impact and they feel the need to pump up the volume. "While drastic, this tactic of non-violence shows people we're not messing around; that we take the issue seriously and the lengths we're willing to go," hunger striker Nathan Jun told the Purdue Exponent.

President Jischke has agreed to meet with four of the student activists tomorrow, December 6, to discuss their concerns. It remains unclear however how serious the president is about actually addressing the students' grievances.

Here's how you can help convince Jischke to do the right thing:

**Sign the hunger strikers' online petition.
**Join the campaign's Facebook page.
**Email or call (765-494-9710) the Purdue Board of Trustees to support the strikers.
**Find out more and circulate word about the campaign.

For more about the anti-sweatshop movement nationally, check out the websites ofUnited Students Against Sweatshops and the affiliated watchdog/monitoring group, Workers Rights Consortium.

Six Questions for Robert Rubin

Robert Rubin, the former Treasury secretary and Citigroup executive,meets Wednesday with the House DemocraticCaucus to begin educating its new members on the politically correctway to think about the economy. "Fiscal responsibility" is his standardtheme and no doubt some freshmen will want to hear his views on tradeand globalization and other large concerns.

A political friend asked me: If you were in the room, what would youask? So I gave him a list of challenging questions. These might or mightnot get passed along to House members. It seems unlikely, in any case,that freshly-elected Democrats would be so impertinent to ask them ofthe party's most esteemed economic authority.

1. Your central message is "fiscal responsibility"--balancing thefederal budget--but is it really a good idea to cut spending or, forthat matter, raise taxes now when the national economy is heading intorecession? Won't that make things worse, withdrawing economic stimulusat the very moment when more may be needed?

2. On globalization, you told TheNation magazine last summer you don't think the reform ideas of yourHamilton Project will halt the global convergence of wages that ispulling down wages and incomes in America. If that's the reality,shouldn't we be exploring stronger measures to reform the trading systemand defuse this explosive situation?

3. You blame our swollen trade deficits almost entirely on the nation'slow savings rate. Given that American families are up to their eyeballsin debt, how can you expect them to increase their savings? If that'sthe case, shouldn't you just tell people the straight truth? Theirstandard of living is going to fall. There's no way to avoid it, basedon your precriptions.

4. You suggest that balancing the federal budget will also reduce ourtrade deficits, but studies by the Federal Reserve and the IMF bothconclude the impact of fiscal balance is trivial. As the Clintonadministration balanced the federal budget in the late 1990s, the UStrade deficit was simultaneously exploding. Our current accounts deficitgrew from 1.6 percent to 4.2 percent of GDP--despite Clinton's balancedbudget. Japan ran huge budget deficits throughout the 1990s, yet itshuge trade surpluses continued regardless. Given those facts, how canyou argue the opposite?

5. Why does the business-financial establishment insist on securingelaborate rules in trade agreements to protect the rights of capital andinvestors, but claims any rules to insure the rights of labor andworkers would be "protectionist" and mess up the system? Don't we needrules for both labor and capital to create a stable, balanced tradingsystem?

6. Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and other leading financial houses aretaking major ownership positions in Chinese banks and financial firms.How does this color your advice to Congress on American economic policytoward China?

Are there other questions that might be asked? Register your comments below.

Gates: US Will Be in Iraq "A Long Time"

Give Robert Gates credit for willingness to acknowledge the obvious.

At the Senate Armed Services Committee's confirmation hearing for President Bush's nominee to replace consistently surreal Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Michigan Democrat Carl Levin asked:"Do you believe that we are currently winning in Iraq?"

"No, sir," replied Gates.

Levin, the Democrat who next month will take over as chairman of the committee, praised Gates's admission that the war has not gone well "a necessary fresh breath of reality that is so needed."

Unfortunately, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency was not ready to fully embrace reality.

When asked how long he thought the U.S. would maintain a military presence in Iraq, Gates said there would have to be "some presence" in Iraq for "a long time."

That's not an encouraging stance, as Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy made clear in the most pointed questioning of the hearing. Kennedy, who voted against the nomination of Gates to head the CIA in 1991, has said he will keep an open mind about the current nomination, but he has correctly pointed out that "More of the same failed policy that depends on an open-ended commitment of our military will not bring America closer to victory. It will not stop the violence, and it will not protect our national security interests."

Perhaps the most meaningful questioning of the day came from West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd, who asked whether Gates thought the measure that passed Congress empowering the President to respond to the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon or the 2002 resolution authorizing the President to use force against Iraq would empower Bush to attack Iran or Syria.

"To the best of my knowledge," Gates replied, "I do not believe so."

When Byrd asked the nominee whether a US attack on either Iran or Syria would intensify violence in Iraq and lead to more US deaths, Gates said, "Yes, sir, I think that's very likely."

Let's save the tape of that response.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

John Nichols' new book, THE GENIUS OF IMPEACHMENT: The Founders' Cure for Royalism has been hailed by authors and historians Gore Vidal, Studs Terkel and Howard Zinn for its meticulous research into the intentions of the founders and embraced by activists for its groundbreaking arguments on behalf of presidential accountability. After reviewing recent books on impeachment, Rolling Stone political writer Tim Dickinson, writes in the latest issue of Mother Jones, "John Nichols' nervy, acerbic, passionately argued history-cum-polemic, The Genius of Impeachment, stands apart. It concerns itself far less with the particulars of the legal case against Bush and Cheney, and instead combines a rich examination of the parliamentary roots and past use of the "heroic medicine" that is impeachment with a call for Democratic leaders to 'reclaim and reuse the most vital tool handed to us by the founders for the defense of our most basic liberties.'"

The Genius of Impeachment can be found at independent bookstores and at www.amazon.com

Paid Sick Days and Family Values

After raising the minimum wage, economic justice priority number two for the Democratic congress should be mandating paid sick days for all workers. Aside from a simple issue of fairness (just because someone has a low-wage job doesn't mean they should have to work sick or not get a chance to care for sick kids), there's pretty good data suggesting that sick workers hurt more than they help. They drag down productivity and spread illness among their co-workers. The New York Times gives a good run-down of the issue today, with the predictable opposition from the US Chamber of Commerce and other business lobbyists. The business owners argue that there's "no such thing as a free lunch" and that the legislation would amount to a regulatory tax and an "unfunded mandate."

It's true mandating sick days will cost employers something, but it shouldn't have any kind of differential effect. That is, since the law will be universal, any business' competitors will be paying roughly the same (proportional) amount. And the sector where the legislation is likely to have the largest impact is in the service industry, which unlike manufacturing isn't subject to the same competitive pressures from globalization to reduce labor costs or outsource. Also, as noted, there's a significant cost to the existing regime in which sick workers come into work. a cost that could conceiveably be higher (or not much less) than the cost of paying sick workers to stay home.

From the political perspective, sick days are exactly the kind of broadly popular, progressive measure for economic justice that the Democrats should be prioritizing. Will it pass? The spokesperson for the Chamber of Commerce seems confident it will face a filibuster from Republicans in the Senate. Which is why it would seem the perfect kind of issue for evangelicals to flex their political muscle on. There's been a lot of noise recently about evangelicals broadening their political focus to include issues other than abortion and the gays. They could use sick days to show that it's not just talk. Caring for your sick kid is a family issue. Mandating sick days is a policy that is parent and family friendly in every sense of the word. The US Conference of Catholic bishops is supporting the legislation. Will the National Association of Evangelicals step up to the plate?

Biking with Rumsfeld

Last week, someone slipped New York Times reporters Michael R. Gordon and David S. Cloud the secret memo finished by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld just two days before he "resigned." It was the last in a flurry of famed Rumsfeldian "snowflakes" that have fluttered down upon the Pentagon these past years. This one, though, was "submitted" to the White House and clearly meant for the President's eyes. In it, the Secretary of Defense offered a veritable laundry list of possible policy adjustments in Iraq, adding up to what, according to Gordon and Cloud, is both an acknowledgement of failure and "a major course correction."

Think of this last zany, only semi-coherent Rumsfeldian document--part of Washington's grim ongoing silly season over Iraq--as Rumsfeld's last stand. In it, he quite literally cycles (as in bicycles) back to the origins of the Bush administration's shredded Iraq policy. It is, in a pathetic sense, that policy stripped bare.

Here are just three last-stand aspects of the memo that have been largely or totally overlooked in most reporting:

1. "Begin modest withdrawals of U.S. and Coalition forces (start ‘taking our hand off the bicycle seat'), so Iraqis know they have to pull up their socks, step up and take responsibility for their country."

From the early, carefree, "stuff happens" period of the occupation comes the wonderfully patronizing image embedded in this mixed metaphor of a passage--though I suppose Iraqis perched on bike seats could indeed have crumpled socks. The image of the Iraqi (child) learning how to ride the bike of democracy--or whatever--with the American (parent) looming behind, hand steadying the seat, was already not just a neocolonial, but a neocon classic by the time the President used it back in May 2004. (In fact, in an even more infantilizing fashion, he spoke of taking the "training wheels" off the Iraqi bike.)

Many others in the administration proudly used it as well. Rumsfeld in his rococo fashion elaborated wildly on the image in a speech to U.S. troops that same year:

"Getting Iraq straightened out… was like teaching a kid to ride a bike: ‘They're learning, and you're running down the street holding on to the back of the seat. You know that if you take your hand off they could fall, so you take a finger off and then two fingers, and pretty soon you're just barely touching it. You can't know when you're running down the street how many steps you're going to have to take. We can't know that, but we're off to a good start.'"

And now, long after kids stopped riding bikes in Iraq and started ending up dead in ditches, our nearly former Defense Secretary just couldn't help cycling back to the good old days.

2. "Conduct an accelerated draw-down of U.S. bases. We have already reduced from 110 to 55 bases. Plan to get down to 10 to 15 bases by April 2007, and to 5 bases by July 2007."

Talk about cycling back to the beginning, Rumsfeld's "major course correction" takes us right to the original basing plans the Pentagon had on entering Iraq. As the New York Times reported in a front-page piece on April 19, 2003 (and then no one, including reporters at the Times, paid much attention to again), the Pentagon entered Iraq with plans already on the drawing board to build four major bases well beyond urban areas. These were to be permanent in all but name and, from them, the Bush administration planned to nail down the oil heartlands of the planet (while making up for the loss--thanks to Osama bin Laden's efforts--of our bases in Saudi Arabia).

Now, here we are, over three and a half catastrophic years later, back to those four bases (built to the tune of multibillions of American taxpayer dollars) plus one--undoubtedly the former Camp Victory, the huge American base that grew up on the edge of Baghdad International Airport (as well, of course, as the new, almost finished billion-dollar U.S. embassy with its "staff" of thousands inside Baghdad's Green Zone).

3. "Aggressively beef up the Iraqi MOD [Ministry of Defense] and MOI [Ministry of the Interior], and other Iraqi ministries critical to the success of the ISF [Iraqi Security Forces]--the Iraqi Ministries of Finance, Planning, Health, Criminal Justice, Prisons, etc.--by reaching out to U.S. military retirees and Reserve/National Guard volunteers (i.e., give up on trying to get other USG Departments to do it.)"

This mad suggestion, hardly noticed by anyone, cycles us back to the attitude with which Bush & Co. first entered Iraq. Iraqi sovereignty? Who ever heard of it? Just do what you want. Flood any ministry with a bunch of U.S. military retirees, all of whom can have their heavy hands on untold Iraqi bureaucratic bike seats. This is an idea just about as brilliant as every other one initiated by this administration in Iraq.

And why do I have a sneaking suspicion that all those "U.S. military retirees" and other "volunteers" might just not rush to offer their services to Iraq's death-squad infiltrated Ministries of the Interior and Defense? If you biked around that corner without those training wheels--and some body armor--I suspect you'd be likely to find yourself in the Baghdad morgue in no time at all.

In this way was Rumsfeld's last stand remarkably like his first pedal. If only, after September 11, 2001, someone had left the training wheels on when the Bush administration went pedaling off on its merry, shock-and-awe way.

The Republican Who Blocked Bolton

Lincoln Chafee is cleaning out the Senate office he has occupied since 1999, when he was appointed to complete the term of his late father. The last of what he refers to as the "traditional Republicans," the Rhode Island senator was guided by something rare in our politics: a conscience.

He was the only Republican senator to oppose authorizing President Bush to take the country to war in Iraq, he has been the only Republican senator to vote in favor of measures endorsing the setting of a timeline for withdrawal from that quagmire, he was the was the only Republican senator to vote in favor of reinstating the top federal tax rate of 39.6 percent on the richest Americans, he was the only Republican senator to speak up for gay marriage rights. And, of course, he was the only Republican senator to announce that he was not voting for the reelection of George W. Bush in 2004.

Yet, when all was said and done, the fact that he was a Republican proved to be too much of a burden for Rhode Island voters to bear. Rhode Islanders liked the Chafee family and their old-school New England Republicanism, but they could not take responsibility for handing control of the Senate to the president's party. And, by defeating Chafee, they gave the chamber to the Democrats.

But Chafee has remained the conscience of the Republican-controlled Senate to the last.

His final contribution to the Republic came in his decision to deny Republicans on the Senate's Foreign Relations committee the final vote that was needed to send the name of United Nations ambassador John Bolton – who has served by virtue of a presidential "recess appointment" -- to the full Senate for confirmation. Bolton, a brutish extremist known for his disdain of the UN in particular and international cooperation in general, might have gained Senate confirmation had it not been for Chafee's stubborn refusal to cast what could well have been his last Senate vote for the nominee of a Republican president.

Had he wanted an ambassadorship or some other favor from the White House, the soon-to-be unemployed Chafee would almost certainly have secured it by backing Bolton. With that backing, a united Republican caucus might have been able to bluster and bargain its way to a confirmation for the man who has come to symbolize the Bush administration's rejection of diplomacy.

Instead, Chafee recognized that he had a duty to respect the will of the American people, as expressed in the results of the November election. "The American people have spoken out against the president's agenda on a number of fronts," the senator explained, "and presumably one of those is on foreign policy."

On Monday, when Bolton announced that he was resigning his post and giving up his quest for Senate confirmation, Chafee's work was done.Bush responded bitterly to the resignation, blaming "a handful of United States Senators who prevented Ambassador Bolton from receiving the up or down vote he deserved in the Senate."

"They chose to obstruct his confirmation, even though he enjoys majority support in the Senate, and even though their tactics will disrupt our diplomatic work at a sensitive and important time," Bush said. "This stubborn obstructionism ill serves our country."

In fact, it was the honorable service of one conscientious senator who chose his duty to his country over partisanship that played a pivotal role in blocking Bolton. That senator understood that, while Bolton might have enjoyed majority support in the Republican Senate of 2006 he would not have majority support in the Democratic Senate of 2007. And this rare Republican senator chose to respond to the mandate of the American people rather than the cajoling of a lame-duck Republican president.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

John Nichols' new book, THE GENIUS OF IMPEACHMENT: The Founders' Cure for Royalism has been hailed by author Gore Vidal as "essential reading for patriots." David Swanson, co-founder of the AfterDowningStreet.org coalition, says: "With The Genius of Impeachment, John Nichols has produced a masterpiece that should be required reading in every high school and college in the United States." Studs Terkel says: "Never within my nonagenarian memory has the case for impeachment of Bush and his equally crooked confederates been so clearly and fervently offered as John Nichols has done in this book. They are after all our public SERVANTS who have rifled our savings, bled our young, and challenged our sanity. As Tom Paine said 200 years ago to another George, a royal tramp: 'Bugger off!' So should we say today. John Nichols has given us the history, the language and the arguments we will need to do so."

The Genius of Impeachment can be found at independent bookstores and at www.amazon.com

Got Vote?

There are nearly 600,000 citizens in the District of Columbia – more residents than in Wyoming and nearly as many as in six other states with populations under one million.

Yet the people of the District have no voting representation in Congress.

They pay the second highest per capita federal income taxes but have no say in how those revenues are used. No matter the issue – the war, healthcare, energy policy – DC residents have no vote through which to impact decision-making.

Consider the War in Iraq: according to the National Priorities Project, DC residents have funded it to the tune of $1.6 billion and have lost three soldiers with fifteen more wounded.

The United Nations Human Rights Committee said this year that the lack of representation is a human-rights violation. But a bipartisan bill – the DC Voting Rights Act – would right this wrong.

The legislation would give the District a voting member in the House and add an additional seat for largely Republican Utah (which was less than 1000 people short of meriting an added seat, according to the 2000 Census). The bipartisan bill was approved 29-4 last spring by the House Committee on Government Reform. In September – at a hearing of the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution – scholars and lawmakers expressed unanimous consent that denying DC residents a vote in Congress must be corrected. Finally, today, the Utah legislature is expected to approve a redistricting map that further clears the way for the bill's approval.

This lame-duck Congress has an opportunity to finish the job, but in a discouraging sign on Sunday the bill did not appear on the released floor schedule for the session. Tomorrow, DC Vote will hold its Congress Day to lobby members on the legislation. If you can't attend the event in person, take a moment to contact your representative.

In 1893 Frederick Douglass stated, "Regarding their political rights, residents of the nation's capital are not really citizens but practically aliens in their own country." Certainly in the 21st century our democracy should be sufficiently robust to guarantee that no citizen is taxed without voting representation in Congress.

Pinochet Death Watch

Who's going to definitively catch former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet first? The slow, grinding wheels of earthly justice or the swift ruthlessness of the Grim Reaper?

Just as the latest criminal case against the 91 year-old former general was about to be heard one more time in the Santiago courts on Monday, Pinochet suffered an acute heart attack. He was immediately hospitalized and submitted to emergency surgery. Last rites have been given.

As the case with much of his life, even his possible impending death has been shrouded with deception. Doctors have contradicted the version offered by Pinochet's son, Marco Antonio, that he was given a bypass. Attending physicians say it was, instead, an angioplasty. Similar reports say that the former dictator's life still hangs in the balance and that the next 24-48 hours will be crucial to his survival.

Pinochet's hospitalization required a temporary lifting of the house arrest he has been under. Pinochet was indicted just last week for the murder of two of former President Salvador Allende's bodyguards. This was the fifth indictment on human rights charges made against the general who presided over a military dictatorship from 1973 to 1990. More than 3100 people were killed by Pinochet's regime, and tens of thousands of others were tortured. Pinochet is also facing charges related to tax evasion for millions of dollars of unaccounted income -- thought by experts to be the product of covert arms or drug sales.

On two previous occasions, Pinochet's health has allowed him to escape impending trial. His current hospitalization will most likely short-circuit any future possibility of his taking the stand. But it seems almost as likely that this episode will also take his life.

On his 91st birthday only ten days ago, Pinochet issued a statement that broadly accepted responsibilities for the abuses during his tenure. But the statement also justified his imposition of dictatorship: "Today, near the end of my days, I want to say that I harbor no rancor against anybody, that I love my fatherland above all and that I take political responsibility for everything that was done which had no other goal than making Chile greater and avoiding its disintegration," he said in the statement.

The center-left Chilean civilian government has limited itself to saying that it is "prepared" for Pinochet's imminent death. Chilean President Michelle Bachelet was evasive when asked if the former dictator would be afforded a state funeral.

Human rights activists are dismayed that Pinochet might expire before he is formally judged guilty by a Chilean court. Egregious human rights violations were missing from the Chilean political agenda until Pinochet's surprise 1998 arrest in London jump-started the debate. A crusading and now retired Judge Juan Guzman Tapia broke open the political taboos and initiated charges against the general.

The succeeding legal probes of Pinochet kept the human rights issue alive in Chile and several top military officers have been indicted. Some of the human rights activists now fear that if Pinochet dies, interest in the lingering and unresolved investigations will succumb with him. Here's to General Pinochet! A long life!

Nancy Pelosi and Impeachment

This coming Tuesday, in San Francisco, the official canvass of the results of the November 7 election must be completed and those results will be certified.

On that day, this will be formal confirmation of the intentions of the voters of San Francisco.

Two of those intentions will be of particular, if conflicting, significance.

First, the voters will have reelected their representative to the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, who in January will become the Speaker of the House.

Second, the voters will have joined the citizens of several dozen other communities across the country in formally requesting that their congressional representatives take the necessary steps to impeach President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

"We call upon the United States House of Representatives to initiate an investigation into High Crimes and Misdemeanors committed by President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard B. Cheney and to submit Articles of Impeachment to the United States Senate," declares Proposition J, a measure that was endorsed by almost 6O percent of the city's electorate.

With the certification of the results, it becomes the policy of San Francisco that its congressional representatives should "immediately invoke every available legal mechanism to effect the impeachment and removal from office of President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard B. Cheney for High Crimes and Misdemeanors under Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution of the United States of America."

Pelosi is not taking the hint. In fact, she contintues to say, when asked, that "impeachment is off the table."

It is of course, Pelosi's right to refuse to implement the official policy of the city that elects her. No law, nor pattern of practice, requires members of Congress to actually represent the views of their constituents.

But in coming days, as activists across the country raise the issue of impeachment at rallies and forums nationwide, Pelosi may want to take a few minutes to review the official position of the community that has sent her to Congress.

That position states:

It is the Policy of the people of the City and County of San Francisco to call for the impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard B. Cheney for violating the public trust and for knowingly harming the United States of America, the State of California, and the City and County of San Francisco.

On November 2, 2004, the people of San Francisco passed Proposition N, asking the Federal government to "take immediate steps to end the U.S. occupation of Iraq and bring our troops safely home now," citing President Bush's lies to the American people in making the case for war in Iraq.

President George W. Bush abused his power by authorizing the National Security Agency and various other agencies within the intelligence community to conduct electronic surveillance outside of the statutes Congress prescribed as the exclusive means for such surveillance and concealed the existence of this unlawful program from Congress, the press, and the public.

President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard B. Cheney abused their power by arbitrarily detaining citizens and non-citizens indefinitely inside and outside of the United States, without due process, without charges and with limited - if any - access to counsel or courts. They have failed to faithfully execute the laws of the United States by allowing torture and failing to investigate and prosecute high-level officials responsible for torture.

President George W. Bush disregarded his Presidential duty when he and his appointed head of Federal Emergency Management Agency failed to quickly and adequately respond to a major disaster on United States soil, Hurricane Katrina, which killed at least 1,383 people in the Gulf Coast Region and left over 78,000 people homeless, and is guilty of gross incompetence or reckless indifference to his obligation to execute the laws faithfully.

President George W. Bush arrogated excessive power to the executive branch in violation of the basic constitutional principle of the separation of powers.

On February 28, 2006, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution calling for a "full investigation, impeachment or resignation of President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard B. Cheney."

We call upon the United States House of Representatives to initiate an investigation into High Crimes and Misdemeanors committed by President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard B. Cheney and to submit Articles of Impeachment to the United States Senate.

We call on the United States Senate, after trying any Impeachment, to remove President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard B. Cheney from office.

We call upon the Legislature of the State of California to transmit charges supporting impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard B. Cheney to the United States House of Representatives.

We generally call on our elected federal and state representatives to immediately invoke every available legal mechanism to effect the impeachment and removal from office of President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard B. Cheney for High Crimes and Misdemeanors under Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution of the United States of America.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

John Nichols' new book, THE GENIUS OF IMPEACHMENT: The Founders' Cure for Royalism has been hailed by authors and historians Gore Vidal, Studs Terkel and Howard Zinn for its meticulous research into the intentions of the founders and embraced by activists for its groundbreaking arguments on behalf of presidential accountability. After reviewing recent books on impeachment, Rolling Stone political writer Tim Dickinson, writes in the latest issue of Mother Jones, "John Nichols' nervy, acerbic, passionately argued history-cum-polemic, The Genius of Impeachment, stands apart. It concerns itself far less with the particulars of the legal case against Bush and Cheney, and instead combines a rich examination of the parliamentary roots and past use of the "heroic medicine" that is impeachment with a call for Democratic leaders to 'reclaim and reuse the most vital tool handed to us by the founders for the defense of our most basic liberties.'"

The Genius of Impeachment can be found at independent bookstores and at www.amazon.com