Democracy

What Would the Other George Do? An Interview with the Author of "Saving General Washington"

Saving General Washington coverI spoke with author J.R. Norton in June of this year about his book, Saving General Washington: The Right Wing Assault on America's Founding Principles. The following excerpts are from an interview on "A Public Affair" on WORT (89.9 FM), community radio in Madison, WI, and from a follow up in-person interview.

JSP: Why do George Washington and the rest of the Founding Fathers need to be saved?

J.R. Norton: Well, it's a bit of metaphor. It's in part aimed at rehabilitating and reintroducing these founding figures of American history, but on a broader level, on a more important level, it's about reintroducing the values that these guys stood for. Certainly over the last five or six years, I think we've really lost sight of those virtues.

Let the Campaign Begin: A Rundown of Potential 2008 Presidential Candidates

Guest blogger: Tim Malacarne

With the 2006 midterm elections just a month behind us, many political observers have already turned their attention to the 2008 presidential election. For the first time since 1952, neither the incumbent president or vice-president will be seeking his party’s nomination for the presidency. With such an open field, many politicians on both sides of the spectrum are considering bids. However, rather than run down the same list of likely candidates that everyone else on the web is doing, Congresspedia is going to be keeping track of which definite steps members of Congress and other candidates have taken to run for president. We'll be updating our page on the 2008 presidential election, but here's the current breakdown:

Old Scandals Never Die: The Troubles of Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.)

Three weeks ago, House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced that neither Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) nor Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) would be the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee in the 110th Congress. The elephant in the room during the weeks of intense speculation before the announcement was Hastings' controversial past.

To properly address the controversy surrounding Hastings, we must go all the way back to 1981; the year Jimmy Carter left the White House and Sandra Day O’Connor was nominated to the Supreme Court. In that year, Hastings, serving as a federal judge in the Southern District of Florida (he was first appointed in 1979), was indicted for soliciting a bribe from two defendants convicted of robbery in his court. Specifically, the alleged briber promised Hastings $150,000 if he kept the defendants out of prison and returned to them the funds they stole. The prosecution’s key piece of evidence was a transcript from a phone conversation (obtained through a wiretap) between Hastings and his alleged co-conspirator, William Borders. Hastings is heard saying:

"I've drafted all those ah, ah, letters, ah, for him, and everything's okay. The only thing I was concerned with was, did you hear if, ah, hear from him after we talked?"

Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) in Critical Condition; Senate Majority Potentially at Stake

Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) is recovering from surgery at George Washington University Hospital to stop bleeding in his brain caused by an arteriovenous malformation, a condition which causes arteries and veins to grow abnormally large. Johnson's condition was described as "critical" by hospital officials early this morning.

Chilean Dictator Pinochet Lied Through His Eyes

General Augusto Pinochet, 91, died on December 10, 2006, after nearly a decade of fighting prosecution on charges of gross violations of human rights. The charges stemmed from murders, tortures and disappearances of thousands of Chilean and other opponents during his 1974-1990 rule. In one of the general's most enduring images, he posed for a photograph in which he set a stark, sinister image behind sunglasses after a coup against the elected president Salvador Allende.

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Will the new Congress try to impeach President Bush? Could a state?

After decisive Democratic victories in the recent congressional elections, some speculated that the party may seek to impeach President Bush from office, as the Republican Congress did to Bill Clinton in 1998. After all, Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), the incoming chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, introduced a resolution late in 2005 (which now has 38 co-sponsors) authorizing a special House committee to investigate the administration on a number of matters and possibly make a recommendation for impeachment. Following the elections, however, Conyers echoed the sentiments of Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), insisting that impeachment is now “off the table” in the 110th Congress. Conyers' office has separately confirmed to Congresspedia that he has no intention to reintroduce his bill in the new session of Congress.

Specifically, Conyers' resolution would have investigated the administration's:

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