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Impeachment: The Case Against

A brief suggestion for Mr. Levinson: Read the 1998 Report by the Staff of the Impeachment Inquiry from the House Judiciary Committee. In it, the overall conclusion is that grounds for impeachment do not need to be criminal in nature, and that impeachment in itself is a political tool.

If impeachment were in fact limited to criminal transgressions, then it would follow that the impeachment trial would carry criminal sentencing. It does not, however. Impeachment merely removes an individual from office. Because the Senate is not an impartial jury of peers, it cannot act as a regular trial court and issue sentences; therefore making the very use of the Senate as a trial body in exclusively criminal matters inplausible.

Patrick K. Hunt

Granville, OH

Apr 25 2007 - 1:55am

The Clash of Ignorance

The late Professor Edward Said was one of our foremost and distinguished intellectual, who actually deserved the title "expert."

In this excerpt "Clash of Ignorance," he again as an English professor proves why his work is held in such high esteem by the non-phony intelligencia.

One has to read Prof. Said's work with careful attention to learn the heart of his arguments. And again, this piece where he tears Samuel Huntington's crass and sloppy thesis as overly simplistic is highly accurate and admirable.

May God bless you, Dr. Said, for your courage for standing up for Palestinian rights and the indelible legacy of justice and critique you have left behind.

Nazim Haqqani

Newark, NJ

Apr 25 2007 - 1:12am

The Nation Dozen

OUR LEADERS

You find it hard to keep them straight? Well, here they are: the candidates.

In ’04 John Edwards ran for Veep. (Instead we got the surly creep.)

We used to say that Gore’s a bore. On warming, though, he knows the score.

The joint will jump if we choose Hill. (First Gent will be the randy Bill.)

Obama warned, “Avoid Iraq!” McCain says, “Beat ‘em blue and black!”

Mitt Romney says he loves his gun. (In Texas shooting guys is fun.)

What rhymes with Romney? Giuliani! Toast of East Coast italiani.

A deuce of Thompsons is a lot, So keep in mind: One’s Fred, one’s not.

If Gingrich joins the campaign strife. Look out for stabs with well-honed knife.

So there they are, from left to right, And more to come, the blatherskites!

James C. Davis

Philadelphia, PA

Apr 24 2007 - 6:10pm

An Impartial Interrogation of George W. Bush

Dear Senator

I enjoyed your article in the LA Times,"Get it Straight, Mr.Cheny." How interesting that it be published on the same page as an article entitled "All hail the clueless American," which accused all of us as being attentive not to the facts of our times but the popular polls which may or may not represent the truth.

Your article referred to Mr.Cheny accusing the Democratic Party today of reverting to the views of your party in 1972 and warning that in doing so will raise taxes.

Just for the record I am not "clueless," and as for the Democrats raising taxes I would like to point out the very special tax increase that the present Administration has levied on the senior citizens/social security recipients.

While we have been distracted by the Iraq war and the other incompetencies and indiscretions of this Administration it has continued its assault on social security. The latest assault comes in the form of a tax increase for seniors.

Preparation of my tax return revealed that the deduction for the medicare premiums which are taken from our Social Security checks has been taken away. I am not a CPA but it is clear that a removal or reduction in a tax deduction equals a tax increase. This tax increase is clearly aimed at senior citzens/Social Security recipients, a section of the population least likely to be able to afford it.

I have written to or e-mailed my senators, governor, representatives, even the representatives of other states (they too have seniors whom they should be representing), and so far I have received no response to our being targeted with this tax.

Perhaps they should be reminded that seniors are a significant sector of the voting population and we are paying attention.

Desparately seeking representation.

Paul Ray Hamilton

Oak Park , CA

Apr 24 2007 - 1:23pm

Disseminate Information, Protect Democracy

The Nation offers digital-only subscriptions at the following links:

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Art Stupar

New York, New York

Apr 24 2007 - 1:02pm

Impeachment Fever Rises

Mr. Nichols: Sad. You sound like Citizen Robespierre as he calls for all faithful Citizens who espouse the Code of Robespierre. Careful...careful ... remember Robespierre in his zeal wound up on the guillotine...as would Pelosi for violating the Logan Act--a felony in the USA. No, the road to peace is not through Damascus but through US strength. Nichols, you will live long enough to know that your vitriol is just vitriol and that Bush was right all along. Wait, history has a way of biting us in the dairy-ere.

David Montefiore

Tucson, USA

Apr 23 2007 - 2:19pm

The Ho Industry

Maybe Alexander Cockburn has just been at this too long, or has too many irons in the fire to give his regular "Beat the Devil" column the focus and attention to detail it deserves. Within this whole article there was one small point being made: The media industry will overlook most things in the pursuit of money, until enough fuss is made. Unfortunately, this same point has been made ad nauseam by the very media involved. We don't need to see valuable Nation space being wasted on self-evident propositions such as these. Especially when he backs them up with statements like "Walk into a clothing store patronized by the younger multicultural set and 'ho's' and 'bitches' thunder from the speakers." Maybe he meant "a" clothing store, meaning one he knows of personally. I shop a lot with my kids and there is no evidence that this assertion is true. Or take the "Europeans tend to take the position that remorse adds to the crime." I'm a European (living in Virginia) and I'd like to know the evidence for this.

Why do I object to these lines of reasoning? Because it's the same wooly thinking and stereotyping that underpins the kind of nonsense that Don Imus spouted. I have no real objection to the point being made by Mr. Cockburn, but I don't think many subscribers to The Nation were in need of convincing anyway. I subscribe because I expect a better standard from The Nation. Maybe a little editorial control would have been useful here.

Bill Kerr-Smith

Falls Church, VA

Apr 23 2007 - 1:13pm

Why We Can't Wait

Global warming is one of the most threatening issues facing the future of the planet and mankind. As an undergraduate student, I feel that much of the responsibility to thwart the potentially disastrous effects of the climate crisis rests on my generation. However, I don’t want to make this seem as a burden, but rather an opportunity for society to come together and think as a collective body to live a more eco-friendly and healthier lifestyle, and defy the stereotype of my generation as being self indulgent. This is also a difficult task, as the United States has a history with strong emphasis on individualism; as long as one’s actions don’t infringe on the rights of others, it is okay.

Science and technology have progressed tremendously, and I agree that the federal government needs to have a stronger role in informing the public with accurate scientific information, that’s not politically biased. I also agree with Dr. Hansen that there needs to be federal regulations on the amount of harmful gases emitted into the atmosphere. With the development of hybrid vehicles, there is no reason why there shouldn’t be federal regulations on CO2 emitted from cars and trucks.

If the federal government made stronger efforts to reduce the United States’ contribution to global warming, it may provide incentives for other nations to do so as well. A country that takes pride in setting an example of how other nation’s should modernize, also needs to set an example in taking an active role to reduce global warming, beginning by creating a cap on greenhouse gases emitted from vehicles and factories. It is an irrefutable fact that the United States uses most of the world’s resources, and is a leading contributor to global warming. Americans can no longer ignorantly consume and waste resources as in previous decades, without being slightly aware of their individual contribution to global warming. Not only does the federal government need to create regulations and promote renewable energy technology, but as consumers, we need to change our mentality and live less selfishly. The average American lifestyle is too costly and comes at the expense of the environment and workers abroad. Every human deserves the right to a healthy, safe life, and advocating for a cleaner planet is one way we can guarantee this for future generations, but we have to start now.

Samantha Frankenfield

Doylestown, PA

Apr 23 2007 - 7:30am

Big Is Beautiful

Christian Parenti seems to be having a jolly time quoting the lies and exaggerations about wind power, no doubt garnered from unreliable sources like the AWEA or industry sponsored web site cheerleaders like www.renewableaccessenergy.com.

That 11000 megawatts, which Parenti religiously and boastfully quotes as wind power's national capacity, is a completely bogus number. Wind turbines can seldom produce at more than 25% of their meaningless stated capacity. Those 1,1000 megawatts of power shrinks to around 2,800 megawatts of ACTUAL power. And total wind output in the US is likewise nowhere near the 1 percent Parenti is claiming. It's actually less than 1/4 of 1 percent. Wind power is an insignificant source of power in this country and what's worse, its output is negatively correlated with peak demand. In other words, when electrical demand peaks when its hot or cold, the wind simply doesn't blow. Texas can educate Parenti about wind's utter unreliability--during peak demand during 2006, Texas wind operated at an insignificant 2.5% of capacity during peak demand. This is a far different picture than the industry-approved lies and exaggerations flowing from Parenti's text. I guarantee you that the windfarm he praised and claimed could produce as much power as several midsized coal plants could do nothing of the sort. It also will not produce power when desired, which a coal plant can do, as a baseload power generator. Wind can't operate WITHOUT those baseload power plants. Thus any wind capacity needs to be duplicated by reliable power plants, amking wind far and away the costliest means of making electricity. It's a shame that wind articles are consistently written by those even les reliable than wind power. For example, winmd power produces 8.8 million megawatt hours of power per year. The total required is 3.8 BILLION megawatt hours.

Replacing incandescent lightbulbs with th enew energy saving models would save around 135 million megawatts per year, and SAVE consumers money, AND reduce during peak demand, while wind is out to lunch during peak demand. Those lightbulb energy savings amount to fifteen times the amount of power wind can produce. Anyone still think errecting all those multimillion dollar eyesores is having any effect worth mentioning?

Wind power truly sucks. It is far and away the stupidest method of generating pathetically small amounts of electricity.

Kent Beuchert

Tampa, FL

Apr 22 2007 - 4:21pm

Impeachment Fever Rises

Mr. Nichols has barely scratched the surface of what is happening among the Grassroots. A website, www.impeachforpeace.org , is issuing a "People's Impeachment" process complete with petitions and instructions for filling them out and mailing.

Dennis Kucinich is to present articles of impeachment for Mr. Cheney on Wednesday, April 25, just prior to the gatherings of the A-28 group the following Saturday all over the country.

Patience is finally running out all over the country and Dennis Kucinich may be the spark that ignites a sleepy country to an inferno of action.

Robert A. Brown

Mancos, Colorado

Apr 22 2007 - 2:04pm