Rahm Emmanuel Amendment to Defund Dick Cheney

Congressman Rahm Emmanuel has introduced an amendment to an appropriations bill to cut funding for the Vice President's office. http://rawstory.com/news/2007/Democrats_ plan_to_cut_Cheney_out_0623.html

Could Rahm have gotten the idea here on MyDD?  See http://www.mydd.com/story/2007/2/10/1537 17/159

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Defend America Defund Dick Cheney

New allegations of lawlessness and tyranny against Dick Cheney seem to surface every day.  The latest is a blog by Digby http://haloscan.com/tb/digby/11710798267 0783759 about Cheney claiming an exemption from an executive order on declassification and archiving. As Digby points out, he doesn't even seem to feel he needs to obey orders from the President.  Some have called for Cheney's impeachment.  But that doesn't seem likely.  

But there is something that could be done by House Democrats: cut the appropriations for Cheney's staff.  The Vice President has few formal duties.  Why does he need more than a receptionist and an aide?  Anything more is a waste of taxpayer money!

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Progressives Should Put Constitutional Reform on their Agenda

We wish Senator Johnson a speedy recovery, and hope that he will continue his term in the senate.  But his sad case, along with Bush v. Gore, and the Dick Cheney's advocacy of a dictatorial executive, point up the shortcomings of our constitution. Progressives need to put the issue of constitutional reform on the table. I do not claim to have the best answer, what I'm laying out here are tentative opinions to stimulate discussion for a new, workable and democratic constitution for the nation.  I think we need to consider a parliamentary model. Another idea, perhaps more politically possible, would be direct election of the president. Changing the political superstructure is not a panacea, but the past twenty years suggests that the constitution is severely flawed and our country is in great danger as a result.

Political pie in the sky, one might say?  But so were the direct election of senators and the progressive income tax when the Populist Party made them a part of political discourse.  Twenty years later they were in the constitution.  

In picking a senator fewer than 200,000 South Dakota Republicans votes  for John Thune were valued the same as nine million Californians who voted for Barbara Boxer. Now their choice for governor may thwart the will of the American people to put a check on a rogue presidency. Such a differing ratio in the power of citizens does not belong in a democracy. The Senate should be democratically elected or its constitutional function should be changed.  Obviously, we need less partisan institutions for redistricting as well.

There are other constitutional problems as well.

The executive is paradoxically too powerful, with insufficient accountability to Congress and not powerful enough in terms of the ability of political parties to construct a legislative program and pass it through congress.

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