Saturday, August 09, 2008

God Willing

One the things that's really got me hung up about the Hamdan trial is that he really did not seem to be one of the bad guys. He always maintained he was nothing but a menial worker, not a part of al-Qaeda's terrorist network, and has expressed (to my ears, anyway) genuine shock and sadness when he learned of the 9/11 attacks and al-Qaeda's other operations.

Ken Gude's Democracy Arsenal's post, commenting on this NYT article, really gets to the heart of that. Here's the passage from the Times that Gude quotes, an exchange between Hamdan and the military judge who presided over the trial that convicted him of war crimes:
"It was a sorry or sad thing to see innocent people killed," he said as he leaned on the defense table and gestured gently at the military tribunal here. "I personally present my apologies to them if anything what I did have caused them pain."

As he left the sparsely attended courtroom in the hilltop courtroom here, Mr. Hamdan, who at times has shown a mischievous sense of humor, raised his arms and said a good-natured "bye, bye" to the small group.

During pretrial proceedings, Mr. Hamdan, a father of two daughters in Yemen, and the judge, a career Navy lawyer, had regularly exchanged smiles and, on occasion, chats. Before he left the bench, Judge Allred, said a few parting words to the man he had gotten to know in a most unusual way.

"Mr. Hamdan," Judge Allred said, "I hope the day comes that you are able to return to your wife and daughters and your country."

"God willing," Mr. Hamdan said in the rudimentary English he picked up while in American custody.

"Insh-allah," said Judge Allred, repeating the same phrase in Arabic.

And here's Gude's comments:
Remember, this is an exchange between a man who had just been found guilty of war crimes and the judge who had presided over the trial that reached that conclusion. Hamdan appears to be genuinely remorseful about the very small role he played in al Qaeda. Allred shows real compassion for a man obviously caught up in something well beyond anything he ever intended. They then exchange the blessings of God in each other's language.

This moment could have had real power. This moment is what America is. This is the America I know. If it had occurred 5 years ago in a US court it would have sent an incredibly powerful message to the world that we are strong and we are just, and yes, Osama bin Laden murdered 3,000 Americans but he utterly failed to destroy our great country and all that it stands for.

But instead, we are arguing about whether the Pentagon will detain Hamdan indefinitely after his sentence has been completed. What a waste.

I can't help but think that the lenient sentence Hamdan received (only five months after time served) is related to the remorse he clearly feels, as well as the minor role he played in al-Qaeda's infrastructure (and, I'd hope, the fact that the trial against him was a mockery of the judicial system). But even still, that very fact makes his treatment that much more nightmarish. His case is the one that we all feared when these extra-legal detentions and procedurally deficient trials were established: someone who clearly does not deserve the label "war criminal" attached to him, but who may never see freedom because the mechanics by which he's imprisoned are so tied to America's defective political process.

I'm not making much sense; it's late, and I'm opining from the hip. But for whatever reason -- and I can't explain it -- Hamdan's case has always been one that tugged at my heartstrings. He deserved better. We deserved better. The military officers (who by all accounts were quite professional) deserved better than to be drawn into this farce.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Apply Now!

Before it got lost in the archive muck, I wanted to link to this post by the Field Negro documenting what he would do if he actually owned that "race card" everybody assumes Black people have.

Let the Haters Hate

To the Memphis Electorate:

My two posts on the subject obviously made clear that I was concerned about the outcome of the race between Steve Cohen and Nikki Tinker. Tinker had run a demagogic and anti-Semitic campaign that was beneath everyone's dignity. But, paranoid as I am, I was worried that it would make inroads.

I, and everyone else who even considered you would fall for that crap, owe you all an apology.

I said in one of my posts that a resounding victory for Cohen would represent a tremendous vote of confidence in the Black/Jewish relationship. With Cohen's crushing 60 point win, I'd say you all more than delivered.

An early internal poll for Steve Cohen had him up 63-11 over Tinker. Normally, you'd expect a primary race to tighten (and normally you'd expect internal polls to be overly optimistic). The final tally was Cohen 79, Tinker 19. Cohen actually expanded his lead as the campaign went on -- a clear single that Memphis voters rejected and repudiated Tinker's scandalous campaign strategy.

The Skeptical Brotha writes:
Black voters, especially those of us in the South, have always been able to judge our politicians by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. We’re never given credit for having that ability when racially polarizing tactics are injected into a political race by one of us, but we’ve always had it and always will. Now Mr. Cohen can go back to the halls of power confident in the knowledge that he has unequivocally earned the trust of a majority of his black constituents. In order to keep it, he must continue to provide the same common sense, progressive leadership that has been known as his trademark.

He's right, and I should have known better. There have been several Southern Black representatives that have, for various reasons, earned the ire of the Jewish community: Cynthia McKinney and Earl Hilliard being the highest profile. In both cases, the Black community responded by electing representatives that are truly representative of people of all backgrounds. Their political friendship -- across all issues -- has been unassailable. Yet, I let fear and stereotyping blind me to that history. I will try not to make this mistake again.

Civil Rights Roundup: 08/08/08

Your daily dose of civil rights and related news

Texas has executed another illegal immigrant in a case with similar fact patterns to Medellin.

...And the Washington Post asks why Texas hates America.

A federal judge ruled that the government owes Indian tribes $455 million for mismanaged oil and gas revenues -- far less than the $47 billion they were seeking.

Even White folks can "play the race card" if they dare corroborate an accusation of racism.

A step in the right direction: Two Texas Republican judges sought the endorsement of local GLBT groups.

A 14-year old boy who is being charged with a hate crime in the slaying of a gay classmate has plead not guilty.

The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) is looking like it'll be one of the biggest battles between corporations and unions we've seen in years.

An Army recruiter threatened a high school student with jail if he picked going to college over joining the military. The kid had signed a non-binding contract to enlist, but then changed his mind.

Dueling "civil rights" initiatives related to affirmative action are on the ballot in Colorado. My organization, the LCCR, is sponsoring Initiative 82, which would prohibit quota or points systems, but would allow affirmative action to remain to remedy discrimination. It's counterpart, Amendment 46, would dismantle affirmative action outright.

A civil rights attorney is suing after a NYPD cop handcuffed a ten-year old girl for not taking her seat fast enough on the school bus.

A columnist says companies must bolster their anti-retaliation policies. He focuses more on the changing legal landscape which makes companies more vulnerable to retaliation, whereas I'd prefer to focus on the fact that retaliation is just plain wrong, but whatever is persuasive to your audience, I guess.

The LA Times comes out hard against the California ballot initiative which would strip gay couples of their right to marry.

Robert Koehler: Obama's "dollar bill" remark "violated the cardinal rule of the Era of Forgetting [about racism]: He talked about it."

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Cohen/Tinker Tonight

I blogged yesterday on the Steve Cohen/Nikki Tinker race in the Tennessee 9th, and one of my undertones was the way it could impact the Black/Jewish relationship. That's unfortunate, because one data point should not a relationship make. But the flip side is that (also, perhaps, unfairly) a Cohen win would be a tremendous vote of confidence for that relationship. Objectively speaking, there is no reason to think that Black voters are actually all that inclined to respond to race-baiting or anti-Semitic dog whistles loudspeakers. But we get nervous, nonetheless. A smashing Cohen victory will help assuage those concerns.

Again, I'm not saying it makes sense. I just think that's the way it is.

Results here here; Swing State Project will keep you posted.

Change in Israel

Feministe guest-blogger Sam has a great post up on efforts by ultra-orthodox Israelis to impose severe gender restrictive norms in public spaces (especially bus routes). He She entitles the post "I can't believe it's not the Taliban!"

In my relatively short life, I've identified with a huge variety of Israeli political parties (in rough chronological order): Meretz, Likud, Labor, Shinui, and Kadima (the current ruling, centrist party). Shinui, which translates to "change", was at the time roughly between the center-left Labor and the center-right Likud, which appealed to me for at least two reasons: my already demonstrated indecision with regards to Israeli politics, and my then ascendant courtship with centrism. Moreover, Shinui's focus was not on security issues but on another matter of Israeli affairs which is very important to me: religious discrimination (particularly, but not exclusively, against less-observant Jews. Such as myself.). Specifically, it campaigned vigorously against the institutionalization of Orthodox Judaism as the sole acceptable form of Judaism in Israel, and generally for a more secular, universalist state.

Though at one point it was the third largest party in Israel, Shinui is now basically defunct (Kadima occupied its centrist niche), but it's mission continues to be important. I do think that Israel ought to remain a Jewish state, but that Judaism must be tempered by a respect for the human rights and equality of all citizens: including women, including gays and lesbians, and including people of all religious backgrounds. The effort by the ultra-Orthodox to turn Israel into a theocratic state is incredibly dangerous from the standpoint of the global Jewish community, for it both undermines Israel's moral legitimacy and threatens Israel's role as a haven for all Jews, not just the preferred castes of them.

American Jews have, from the beginning, been important in envisioning and enacting the path by which Israel will travel. It is critically important that we maintain that mission and take every step we can to check the growing power of Israel's own religious right.

Oh, and for the record: Attempting to segregate and subordinate women is the exact opposite of Rosa Parks' legacy. Just to clarify.

Civil Rights Roundup: 08/07/08

Your daily dose of civil rights and related news

In several DC area counties, the surge in Hispanic immigration is making minority children the under-five majority.

The Washington Post calls it a "drug bust gone awry", but from my readings its unfortunately hardly out of the ordinary.

Liberal bishops in the Episcopalian Church will continue to ordain gay clergy, and their conservative counterparts will continue to threaten to secede.

A fund has been set up to pay the bonds of immigrants caught up in ICE raids.

The 7th Circuit has rejected taxpayer's standing to sue in an Establishment Clause case focusing on the VA's incorporation of religion in its treatment programs for veterans.

After an all-White jury acquitted a White police office who killed a Black woman (while she was holding her baby in her arms), the Justice Department says it is considering filing federal civil rights charges against him.

The admissions policies of a Hawaii school which favors native Hawaiians is back in court.

Hans von Spakavosky has been subpoenaed in connection to the ongoing investigation over the Bush administration's politicization of the Justice Department.

A Seattle area school district discriminated against disabled children, the Department of Education found.

In another edition of bad headline, good article, a New Jersey law prohibiting distribution of materials near election centers has been upheld against a challenge by the ACLU. The ACLU wanted to give hand outs outlining who can vote and what to do if your vote is denied as voters entered their polling places.

The ACLU has released a report which it says indicates racial profiling is going on amongst Louisiana police officers.

The Wall Street Journal reports on nursing homes evicted "frail and ill" residents.

Finally, the DOJ issued this release on Tuesday: "Former Jackson, Mississippi Police Officer Sentenced to Life Imprisonment for Sexually Assaulting a Detainee."

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The Tennessee Ninth

Nikki Tinker is challenging incumbent Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) in the Democratic primary in the Tennessee 9th. And she sounds like she's deliberately trying to set back Black/Jewish relations for decades. The Tennessee 9th is approximately 60% African-American, but it is currently represented by White Jew Rep. Steve Cohen, who took over the seat from Harold Ford when the latter ran for Senate in 2006. Cohen has gained some measure of fame for seeking to become the first White member of the Congressional Black Caucus, and more recently, for securing passage of an official House apology for slavery and Jim Crow.

The primary challenge, on its own, is not the problem -- that's Tinker's prerogative. But the campaign she's running is absolutely vicious and slimy. Early on in the campaign a flier was distributed by an out-of-district pastor saying that "Steve Cohen and the Jews HATE Jesus." Tinker was slow to condemn the statements, sparking condemnation from local press, but she did deny (and I believe her) that the materials had no connection to her campaign.

But now she's decided that she'll take matters into her own hands. Her last two ads (the primary is tomorrow) have both sought to create and exploit identity tensions. In this one, she ties Cohen (winner of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Award of Excellence for Public Service) to the KKK. Memphis' largest paper characterized it as "despicable" and said it was "appealing to our worst instincts." The paper said it was part of general trend by "Tinker supporters ... framing Thursday's election as a black-white contest or a division between African-Americans and Jews."

And to drive that point home, Tinker released another ad lambesting Cohen for voting against school prayer even "While he's in our churches" (emphasis definitely in the original). Swing State Project said it was a "Nice anti-Semitic dog-whistle... although it seems the Tinker campaign accidentally grabbed the bullhorn instead of the dog-whistle on the way out the door." And TPM said it "just might be the nastiest, most race-baiting (and Jew-baiting) ad of the entire cycle."

I have not seen any polling in the district; but the vibe I'm getting is that Cohen is a narrow favorite to keep his seat. If he loses though, it will "start a conversation", to say the least, and one I wish that we did not need to have.

Civil Rights Roundup: 08/06/08

Your daily dose of civil rights and related news

Almost forget today, kids ... I took the day off from work to catch up on some law school related paperwork, and my mind assumed it was a weekend.

It's tough being a woman of color in the military.

Chicago is starting to detain Hispanics during traffic stops on suspicion of being illegal immigrants, apparently in violation of local law.

Cry me a river of tears: Prince Williams County's aggressive campaign to undertake immigration enforcement on its own is costing more money than expected.

Two members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus have written an op-ed protesting the Bush administration's policies in the wake of the Postville raid.

The McCain campaign has apologized after a Black reporter was apparently singled out and tossed from one of his events.

Mr. Medellin has been executed. Hopefully, the damage to the Vienna Convention will not be too great.

The Atlanta police force is facing a sex discrimination lawsuit from a former high ranking officer.

Wal-Mart is furiously denying that it told its employees to vote against Democrats (which would have probably been illegal).

A local resident has stepped up to pay the tuition of a high school valedictorian who was facing deportation due to his father's immigration problems.

The original judge on the Jena 6 case has already been removed, and now defense attorneys are trying to follow suit with the prosecutor.

A poultry plant with a large contingent of Muslim workers has replaced Labor day with a Muslim holiday as one of the worker's eight official days off. Despite the fact that all the principals (management and the union) seem to be happy with it, the union president (who is Jewish) is getting a lot of negative feedback from outsiders who think that its anti-American. Or something.

The EEOC has found evidence that a Louisville Sheriff violated the civil rights of female employees through sexual harassment.

Bad headline, good story about the battle to register Black voters as Obama makes a play for North Carolina.

Chicago-area parents are alleging that the practice of holding classes in trailers is abetting racial segregation.

The NYT asks: Is Obama the End of Black Politics?

Also in Feeling Good

Anti-abortion maniac Phil Kline lost again in Kansas. In a Kansas Republican primary, no less. Feddie's last minute appeal is not enough, given the Kansas GOP's fractured state between its moderates and its, well, its crazy people.

Chalk another point up for the moderate wing!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

I'm a Grammatical!

After a long, hard day, there are few pleasures greater than watching a good systematic analysis of how a really annoying person is an idiot.

Civil Rights Roundup: 08/05/08

Your daily dose of civil rights and related news

The WaPo opines against the appalling state of DC's child services department.

The Feds are pursuing a case against a unrecognized Indian tribe which falsely told immigrants that by purchasing tribal membership, they would become American citizens.

The 5th Circuit is preparing to hear whether Texas' moment of silence law is an unconstitutional cover for school prayer.

Texas continues to struggle with getting good teachers to teach at poorer and urban school districts.

Immigrant children get less exercise than other American kids.

AIDS among migrant workers are being neglected during their detention by American authorities.

A death row inmate in Ohio claims that his weight will prevent the lethal injection protocol from working on him, subjecting him to an "excruciating" death.

AlterNet has a good story on the continued tensions between radical feminists and transgender women.

The title is a bit bizarre, but this article on unionizing immigrants is very interesting.

The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has denied a request by Jose Ernesto Medellin for a 240-day reprieve or commutation of his sentence, despite his lawyer's pleas that the case seriously threatens American interests abroad by undermining the Vienna Convention.

Even if California voters approve Proposition 8, which would overturn the state's gay marriage ruling, it would not apply retroactively.

The NYCLU wants to know the race of suspects shot at by the NYPD.

Casinos rule in Las Vegas, and it seems they can use their privileged position to get out of liability for gross safety violations.

Monday, August 04, 2008

The Most Segregated Hour

CNN has a very good piece up on the continuing segregation in America's churches. It is surprisingly good about noting that the pressure comes from both sides -- while Whites do tend to flee congregations where there is any substantial Black population (particularly if they start wielding power), Blacks also like their churches to be a "refuge" from the slings and arrows of racism they face daily in America.

It's worth a read.

Why So Serious?

Regarding the left's reaction to the John McCain Spears/Hilton ad, Bob Somerby says we screwed it up:
Instead of laughing at the ad and saying it showed that McCain is a fly-weight, we did what we most love to do — we started a fight about race, casting ourselves as the high-minded party and squealing, shrieking, complaining and yelping about McCain's misconduct.

To which Kevin Drum responds:
Bob's post gets at a critical point: one of the lessons that liberals learned from the 2004 election is that laughing it off is never the right reaction. No matter the subject, the right response is to hit back often and hard, and the oftener and harder the better. That, I think, was behind the reaction to the Britney/Paris ad.

But (and maybe I'm misreading Somerby and/or Drum here) I don't think those two instincts are necessarily in opposition. One can use humor in quite vicious ways, and I think Somerby is right that McCain's ad opened himself up to that sort of attack. Certainly, one can dismiss certain types of attacks as frivolous and thus "laugh them off", and that might be an instinct that Democrats were hurt by in 2004. But I think a hard response that focuses on the utter triviality of McCain's argument here might (might!) have worked, and certainly isn't philosophically inconsistent with a policy of "hit back hard, hit back often."

Flight Risk

Feminist Law Profs points out an Arkansas case just handed down by the 8th Circuit: Nelson v. Correctional Medical Services, 2008 WL 2777423 (8th Cir. 2008). Reversing the district court, the court held that shackling a pregnant woman while she's in labor does not constitute an 8th amendment violation. The practice has been criticized by several academic commentators as well as Amnesty International.

The court relied heavily on Haslar v. Megerman, 104 F.3d 178 (8th Cir. 1997), a previous case dealing with shackling an inmate during medical treatment (albeit not with a pregnant woman). In that case, the 8th circuit upheld the shackling of a "virtually comatose" inmate who later suffered permanent leg damage as a result of the shackles being kept too tight as his leg swelled up. The court justified this result by arguing that
[the shackling policy] serves the legitimate penological goal of preventing inmates . . . from escaping [] less secure confines, and is not excessive given that goal. A single armed guard often cannot prevent a determined, unrestrained, and sometimes aggressive inmate from escaping without resort to force. It is eminently reasonable to prevent escape attempts at the outset by restraining hospitalized inmates to their beds . . . .

This case does seem inline with that precedent, but only because both cases use an abstract justification (the flight risk of an inmate -- admittedly reasonable most of the time) in situations where it is woefully inadequate (neither pregnant women in labor nor people in comas represent serious escape risks). Somehow, justifying one bad decision by reference to its similarity to another bad decision is not a major consolation to me.

And, seriously, if there ever was a case that met the nebulous "shock the conscience" standard for a due process violation, this would seem to be it (although I admittedly don't know how the due process clause applies to prison inmates).

One Out

The Tallahassee Democrat claims that one of its senior reporters, Stephen Price, was singled out and asked to lead by John McCain's security detail.
Price was among at least three other reporters, and the only black reporter, surrounding McCain's campaign bus — Gov. Charlie Crist and his fiancee, Carole Rome, were already aboard — when a member of the Arizona senator's security detail asked the reporter to identify himself. Price had shown his media credentials to enter the area.

Price showed his employee identification as well as his credentials for the Friday event.

"I explained I was with the state press, but the Secret Service man said that didn't matter and that I would have to go," Price said.

When another reporter asked why Price was being removed, she too was led out of the area. Other state reporters remained.

Jonathan Block does advance work for McCain's campaign. He was in Panama City on Friday but was not present when reporter Stephen Price was asked to move from a restricted area.

"Access to the senator is tightly controlled," Block said. "I would first express regret that your reporter was moved, and I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that race had nothing to do with it."

Tallahassee Democrat Executive Editor Bob Gabordi said the incident was unwarranted.

"We're deeply concerned and disturbed that our reporter — of all of those in that area — was asked to move," Gabordi said. "My understanding is that Stephen was the only reporter approached and asked to leave the area, and the only reporter in that area who is black. Another reporter who stood up for Stephen was then asked to leave."

Maybe there is a wholly innocent explanation, but judging by Gabordi's statement the Democrat is skepticl, to say the least.

Via Jack & Jill

Subsuming the Black

My blog overlord, Joe Gandelman, links over to a Rasmussen poll which says that more "voters" found Barack Obama's "dollar bill" comment to be racist than they did John McCain's Britney Spears/Paris Hilton ad. The article is a bit unclear if they asked if voters thought the ad and comment were "racist" or "played the race card", which I think is generally meaningful, but not for the discussion I wish to have. For I think the real story about the Rasmussen poll is being buried here.

As I just said, the article frames the story as most voters (writ large) thinking that Obama's remarks were more racist than McCain's ad. That isn't exactly immaterial, but it hides the fact that this opinion tracks racial lines very closely. In the middle of the article, it is revealed that while just 18% of White voters thought that the McCain ad was racist, 58% of Blacks did. And while 53% of Whites thought Obama's remarks were racist, only 44% of Blacks did.

So in reality, there are at least two stories here. Certainly, from a purely political point of view it matters what the electorate as a totality thinks. But from the view of furthering our understanding of racism and society's perception thereof, the real story is that Blacks and Whites have substantially different ideas of what constitutes something as "racist".

Unfortunately, that second story -- the continuing divide in how Whites and Blacks perceive racism -- gets buried because "the majority" (which, of course, is dominated by Whites) thinks Obama was racist and McCain wasn't. The Black voice gets subsumed by the White majority, and ceases to be a relevant competing view -- it's just the minority (wrong) view. But I think it is very relevant that Blacks consider McCain's ad to be more racist than Obama's comments, and that Whites think the reverse. Is it racial loyalty? Is it a greater perception by Blacks about what racism actually entails? Is it partisanship? Who knows. But it is relevant, and the way the story is being covered hides that fact.

Also, a quick digression: It is interesting to me that White voters considered Obama's words to be racist, given that they don't pass the general threshold of racism in American public discourse, which is that nothing can be racist unless it explicitly and overtly expresses malice and hatred towards a racial group. Obama's comments were way to subtle for that, but presumably were covered under the "Black speaker" exception where anything that a Black person says that ties to race or otherness automatically is presumed to be a playing of the race card. And that gets transformed into "racism" because there is nothing more racist than a Black person ever insinuating that there is anything racist in what White people do.

UPDATE: One Drop at Too Sense has a great post on this topic as well.

Gangsta Gangsta

John McCain is at the top of the list. Ta-Nehisi Coates makes a good point:
Consider this incredible quote from McCain henchman Rick Davis:
"Only celebrities like Barack Obama go to the gym three times a day, demand ‘MET-RX chocolate roasted-peanut protein bars and bottles of a hard-to-find organic brew—Black Forest Berry Honest Tea’ and worry about the price of arugula."

I read those words, and thought only of generic gangsta rappers ranting about "Keeping it real." All cultures have their essentialist brutes, and if anything radiates from Davis's statement, it's rank thuggism.

Of course, when Black people do it, it's a cultural pathology.

Civil Rights Roundup: 08/04/08

Your daily dose of civil rights and related news

The part of this story about video-taping errant traffic cops is not civil rights related. But the part about private citizen videos serving as a check against abusive cops is.

Nothing says sensible immigration policy more than deporting a 31 year old legal immigrant for a theft charge she got probation for ... as a teenager.

The Washington Post accuses the Virginia GOP of trying to scare voters away from the polls.

Texas is set to go forward with the Medellin execution, despite pleas from President Bush and the World Court to hold off.

New Mexico becomes the first state to adopt a Navajo textbook. I say: if you come to America, better learn to speak the language Anglos!

Now hospitals are getting in on the deportation game.

Is reduced illegal immigration a function of enforcement or the economy?

The railroading of suspected illegal immigrants continues to get attention.

Civil rights groups are nervous about new federal profiling that will hit Arab and Muslim Americans hard.

The DoD admits it targeted a man with accusations of spying for Israel strictly because he was an observant Jew.

The Confederate flag battles are moving to private property.

New Jersey adds religion-based jokes to the list of things that can constitute work-place harassment (here is the ruling).

Will the Obama campaign fracture or renew the Black/Jewish alliance?

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Spotted on Facebook

A group to impeach Nancy Pelosi. I was curious as to their grounds, so I clicked on it. Let's see... "overwhelming lack of competence, dereliction of duty, and failure to act on behalf of the American public....", yikes, that sounds bad. What did she do wrong?
With the Speakers stated position not to allow a vote on the floor of the United States House of Representatives which would address energy reform and offshore drilling while we are in the midst of rising fuel costs and a 70% dependence on foreign oil, Nancy Pelosi has demonstrated a complete unwillingness to act as the people's agent. Instead, she has stubbornly opted to stand on ideology and partisan politics instead of heeding the will of the American people.

That's it? Not allowing a vote (on an absolutely bone-headed piece legislation, no less)? That's your impeachable offense?

We, my friends, are not dealing with a rational community.

(Unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, Michael van der Galien joined, continuing his slide into the right-wing cesspool).