I've been frustrated and ambivalent on the Alito situation, so I haven't really blogged it much.
The nomination of Harriet Meiers was a slap in the face to the USofA public and an insult to the fine Justices who have served on our Court through the centuries.
As time went on, it became clear that it was not and never had been a serious nomination. It was a political ploy designed to draw fire, get the Left in an uproar, and wear them out before the real nominee's name was put forward. (It was also designed to do just what it did on the Right - get them fired up around a "good" nominee.)
Alito is a trickier case. Unlike Meiers, he's qualified to sit on the Supreme Court. He's an actual jurist, not a political consultant. Based on this, he should be confirmed.
On the other hand he's an extremist replacing a moderate, which is a bad idea. He'll swing the Court far to the Right and we'll be stuck with him for 40 years or so. Changing the balance of the Court is a bad, bad idea. Yes, the Court is currently deeply divided on many issues. So is the USofA population, okay? As far as that goes, they reflect their country rather well.
Regardless of Bush's crowing about his 1-point or whatever it was (before the question of election fraud is considered) "mandate" rational people see the election numbers and understand that the country isn't currently tending that far to the Right. Or the Left. Thus, a moderate Court best serves the interest of our moderate electorate.
Besides. Even if Kerry were in office and we had a Democratic majority in Congress, I'd still prefer a divided Court. When you leave the radical lunacy of the Rightwing neocons out of the picture, there are good qualities on both the Left and the Right in this country and I think the Supreme Court should reflect both sides of that equation.
In my mind, the problem is that Alito, nominated to replace a conservative Justice, would have been acceptable. (Yes, there are questionable things in his record, but he's a conservative. If I didn't find his record irritating, he wouldn't be much of a conservative.) He's only unacceptable as a replacement for a moderate Justice.
Based on that, I haven't been able to climb off the fence about his nomination. The illness of Sandra Day O'Connor's husband is not only sad for their family; it's created a major problem for the entire country.
In short, the timing of her announcement that she wanted to step down could not be worse. The only way the Republicans are going to stay in control of Congress after November's elections is by outright election fraud or an outbreak of weak-kneed bed-wetting on the part of the Left. Without a party-line majority (and too many Congressmen who are Democrat in name only), the Bush Administration would not be able to push a candidate such as this through as a replacement for O'Connor.
So, you know, as a Liberal I can't support him sitting on the Supreme Court.
As someone who favors balance and even tension in our Federal systems, I don't approve of another decidedly Right-leaning voice on the Supreme Court, swinging it to a solidly Conservative majority.
But as someone who tends to look first at qualifications, I have to admit he's qualified* to sit on the Supreme Court.
He is (in my eyes) an extremist...but would I find someone as far to the Left as he is to the Right to be "extreme" or would I think of them as "sensible"?
I've been puzzling over this for weeks and weeks.
* You kids today tend to look at things like opposition to letting women into top-line colleges or a whiff of racism as reason to boycott someone. And that makes me really happy, because it's a sign of how far your generation has come.
But it's important for you to remember that the "norm" in the 60s and even the 70s was a very different world. All that stuff you hear about college kids marching for justice and equality...statistically that was a very small portion of the student body. Most of them were just like most students today. Studying to get theirs, looking at their own personal goals, surrounding themselves with "people like me" and not thinking much about the "other's" point of view.
To discriminate against women or minorities, that was the norm when these guys were young. Short of a membership in the KKK or proof of actual lawbreaking, I'm not sure it's valid to hold someone to today's standard for how they behaved 35 years ago. I
I don't like it, and it's not how I or my friends acted, but then I'm younger than them, aren't I? (Also, as a female, the whole "equal rights for women" thing would have loomed a lot larger on my radar.)
And also, I think some of you youngsters see "equality" as a sort of fait accompli and make the mistake of not understanding just what a hard, slow slog it was before "equality" went mainstream.
The whole concepts of equal rights for women, minorities, and gays arrived, were adopted by some who forced it down the throats of others (some of whom are still fighting), and immediately came under attack by the 80s neocons. It's a tribute to the truly liberal core values of this country that, in sspite of all the Right could do in the 80s, these values belong to almost all of us today. (Well, and also it's due to the fact that the Reagan Administration was more interested in war than almost anything else.)
But Im getting into a whole different rant, aren't I? Sorry.
Drat. I don't often mention causes for donations around this neighborhood, but the Texas Observer is a mighty good little publication. If you have a couple of bucks to toss their way, that would be good. I can't give money directly to Molly, one of my favorite columnists, so I'll show my appreciation this way.
This just pisses me off. Not the bill, which I naturally support. The nitwits quoted.
The rest of the Republicans argued that it promoted immoral behavior, undermined religious freedom and could be seen as Legislative endorsement of gay marriage.
I really hate stupid, illogical arguments and this bit of idiocy about "undermining religious freedom" is one of the ones that, in the gay rights fight, irritates me the most. Claiming that a failure to codify your bigoted religious beliefs as law "undermines" your ability to believe what you want? How feeble are you, anyhow?
But what really frustrates me is that so many people accept it at face value.
It's not illegal to pay your CEO 475 times as much as the average wage paid to your worker, but you don't hear me bitching that our failure to pass a law against it undermines my moral belief that it's wrong, do you? (Via Pam.)
Congratulations to Professor Kim! (But please get rid of whatever program it is your site generates that's trying to "scan" my computer when I visit you. It's been driving me nuts for months.)
And something that deserves to be repeated again and again and again until the MSM stops telling lies and half-truths about it. Abramoff was not an equal-opportunity crook. His money went to Republicans.
Criminy. I assume "8:30 a.m." means Eastern Time. Which means I'll have to be out of bed and reasonably alert by 6:30. Also, I gotta figure out if and where CSPAN-3 shows up on my digital system if I want to see the Real State of U.S. Foreign Policy 2006 Conference live.
How will New Orleans handle it?
Some of the article confused me...why do people who lived in the flood insurance zone need additional money to rebuild? Granted, the government should clean up the landscape, remove the toxins, and whatnot, but the insurance should pay for rebuilding. (I happen to know that if you live in a Federally mandated flood plain, you're required to have flood insurance.)
And what's with the confusion over who's in charge, anyhow? This clean-up effort seems to be getting messier and messier.
Not, of course, a comprehensive list of all the good stuff circulating the world o'blog at this moment, but some stuff that struck me today.
For instance, that people refuse to believe bad things about politicians they've previously supported because being loyal gives them a happy. (I'm reading Start Making Sense right now and will no doubt be rambling on about it in the near future.)
Maybe I was too sanguine about why Republicans are publicly fighting with the Bush Administration? The Left Coaster's entry suggests they're doing it to look good for re-election, not because they actually object to what the Bushies are doing.
The Grey Matter has a good entry that dovetails nicely with my earlier "the rich are getting richer" link. " The average CEO's salary in the U.S. is 475 times greater than the average worker's salary."
From the same source, an oldie but a goodie. The Bush Administration has allowed the terrorists to win.
I started to blog this story earlier this week and got distracted. Thankfully, it got wider readership over on Shakespeare's Sister. "There were no detailed, overt preparations for the reconstruction of Iraq in the run-up to the 2003 invasion "to avoid the impression that the US government had already decided on [military] intervention.""
Bush Boys and NOLA is a must-read for anyone who still remembers we have a little problem in New Orleans.
While you're over there, scroll down through the way-back machine and understand that it's the same fight. Either all of us are equal, or none of us are.
They died in the mines. Murdered by greed.
You know what's wrong with some kids? Their parents. Instead of helping the kid write up a lawsuit, this lawyer-father should be considering the value of teaching the kid that we all have to follow the rules.
Avedon Carol's Sideshow has a good one (well, doesn't she always?) this week. When media bites about the media-party-blog triangle.
I haven't had nearly enough time to really consider A Progressive Agenda but I have it bookmarked and I'm going to.
The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.
Read it and think.
Is it the Oprah connection for Frey that makes him newsworthy?
Or the "gay erotica" link for Nasdijj that makes his story unsuitable for Middle America's ears? (Via Ahistoricality)
Another oldie but a goodie, from Jeanne. When asking a question can get you killed
And , oh wow. I'd almost switch to Firefox for this. A Flash-ad blocker! (I hate, hate, hate those moving, flashing ads.)
I like to use that for a post title occasionally, just to prove I can spell it correctly.
Meanwhile, the military is quietly preparing for executions.
New rules covering the death penalty in military courts suggest the US army may be preparing for its first execution since 1961.
The new rules spell out the procedures for carrying out death sentences imposed at courts martial.
The new rules are acknowledged by senior ranks as a major revision of the existing situation.
As the entire world moves away from executions, deeming them uncivilized, the USofA prepares to become the last bastion of state-sponsored murder.
It's not such a proud thing to be us these days.
I diss Republicans and "the Right" a lot of times, so it's good for me to also advertise when they act like responsible citizens of this country.
After years of deferring to the Bush White House, the Republican-controlled Senate has begun pushing back, holding oversight hearings on topics ranging from President Bush's response to Hurricane Katrina to his administration's mine-safety record and the president's secret domestic-surveillance program.
The reporter thought the story was that the Bush Administration is "fighting back" but it's not. The story is that the neocons and the Bush Administration have gone farther than even their majority of supporters can swallow.
The Democratic Party. Sheesh.
It has become fashionable in Washington to portray Democrats as the party without a compelling message. Congressional Democrats, eager to pick up seats in November but so far unable to capitalize on Republicans' vulnerability, fired back on Thursday, offering a sweeping agenda that was long on vision and short on specifics.
These days, the Democrats are attractive only when compared to Repubicans. On their own, they're an embarrassing excuse for a political party.
Seems that John McCain is still worried about Guantanamo.
As are many of us.
Sen. John McCain said Friday that interrogation techniques at the U.S. prison camp in Guantanamo Bay are still of concern, and the prisoners held there should have their cases processed after spending up to four years in detention without charge.
Have their "cases processed." Hmmm.
First, of course, we have to finish that argument about who and what they are.
According to John Yoo, the architect of this thesis when he served as deputy to former attorney general John Ashcroft, members of the Taliban and al-Qaeda do not meet the four conditions spelled out in Article 4 of the Geneva Convention on the Treatment of Prisoners of War that would confer upon them the privileged status of lawful combatants.
Perhaps he is right. We may concede, for argument's sake, that he is probably right. However, Yoo chose to ignore Article 5, which reads as follows: "Should any doubt arise as to whether persons, having committed a belligerent act and having fallen into the hands of the enemy, belong to any of the categories enumerated in Article 4, such persons shall enjoy the protection of the present Convention until such time as their status has been determined by a competent tribunal."
A bizarre catch has been applied by the US administration: the detainees do not deserve a tribunal since they are illegal combatants, so no need arises to determine whether a tribunal should hear their claims. Yet many of the detainees have been held incommunicado and not given the opportunity to question their status. Some of them claim they are not terrorists at all. Let us say they lie. Still, under Article 5, their claim must be heard.
As we all know, I've always had quite a lot of contempt for the Bush Administration's semantic fan-dancing around the concept of different kinds of prisoners.
We made war on their countries. We took prisoners. That makes them prisoners of war, no matter how neocons pretend otherwise.
It is absurd to say the Geneva rules apply only to legal combatants. They are part of the international understanding of humane treatment. They embody principles of decency that have nothing to do with anyone's status as this or that. The Geneva rules do not create rights but codify them. Surely, the US administration must understand that the rights of prisoners do not derive from the conventions but that the conventions list those rights because principles of humane treatment antedate Geneva by thousands of years.
This is both true and untrue. There have been standards for the treatment of prisoners for thousands of years, but those standards have varied widely from place to place and from time to time.
Still, I'd say that in general the tendency has been for so-called "civilized" societies to use a humane standard of treatment for prisoners.
Limiting the rights of detainees for no better reason than that they are not legal combatants is arbitrary, capricious and plain immoral. At the very conclusion of the Geneva Convention we find, "The conditions shall be interpreted and applied in as broad a spirit as possible." Current US attorney general, Alberto Gonzales, and his predecessor, John Ashcroft, chose the narrowest possible interpretation of convention.
This is what you get from "strict constructionists." They want to do as little as they can get away with.
The author brings up another good point.
Let us grant that the Taliban are fundamentally terrorist. Still it should be obvious, especially to a lawyer who serves as the highest law officer in the United States, that mere membership in an organization that does not respect international law does not mean that such a person has failed to respect the law. It is an elementary rule that guilt or innocence must be established on an individual basis and not based on whom one associates with. If anyone is violating the Geneva Conventions, it is not the detainees but the United States.
That's true. Mere membership in an unsavory group isn't conclusive proof that you've committed a crime.
Over at the Beeb, Bill Thompson defends Google's China decision.
Most of the news coverage of the launch of google.cn acted as if this was its first move into China but Google and other US-owned search engines have been active there for some time.
We knew that.
In fact Yahoo! and MSN both censor search results, and when MSN closed down Zhao Jing's blog and Yahoo! handed over the account details of a Chinese blogger to the authorities it made few waves outside the technology pages.
And now I feel guilty. I read these stories but didn't blog them. (Can't blog everything that happens in the world.)
So in many ways the launch of a Chinese-based index is a much less significant development than it seems from the tone of the coverage it is getting.
It is also significant because the Google page will let people know if their search results are being restricted, something that doesn't happen if the filtering is done by the government.
The question of whether freedom of speech is absolute and indivisible is not just an internet issue, and although the network brings new factors into the discussion we should not allow them to dominate it.
The politics mattered long before the network invented and they will still matter long after it has been superseded.
He makes a good case for his opinion.
There was a time when Republicans loved a filibuster and it came as no surprise to me that it happened to protect Ronald Reagan's dubious "legacy." *
Supporters of George W. Bush are lambasting Sen. John Kerry for a threatened filibuster against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito. But 15 years ago, their attitude was different as backers of George H.W. Bush wielded the filibuster to block a probe into Republican secret dealings with Iran that could have doomed the Bush Dynasty.
In 1991, the Democratic-controlled Senate was planning an investigation into whether Republicans had conducted secret negotiations with Iran’s Islamic fundamentalist regime during the 1980 campaign, when Jimmy Carter was still President and Iran was holding 52 Americans hostage.
The unresolved hostage crisis destroyed Carter’s reelection hopes and gave an important boost to Ronald Reagan when the hostages were released on Jan. 20, 1981, immediately after he was sworn in as President and George H.W. Bush became Vice President.
A decade after those events, some Democrats wanted to get to the bottom of recurring allegations that George Bush Sr., a former CIA director, had joined clandestine negotiations with Iran in fall 1980 that may have delayed release of the hostages for political gain, what was called the “October Surprise” mystery.
Meanwhile, Republicans were worried that a full-scale October Surprise investigation might implicate Bush in near-treasonous talks with an enemy state and devastate his 1992 reelection campaign. Confirmation of the allegations also would have eviscerated the legitimacy of the Reagan-Bush era.
Near-treasonous? For an election campaign to negotiate with a foreign power to prevent the release of USofA hostages and to block the work of the government is near-treasonous?
Well, you can't say we set the bar for "treason" too low in this country.
The preponderance of evidence now suggests that in 1980, Republicans – most likely including Ronald Reagan’s campaign chief William Casey and then-vice presidential nominee George H.W. Bush – did negotiate with representatives of Iran’s Islamic government behind Carter’s back.
Color me...so not surprised. Even I, in the midst of a long-term bout of political apathy, heard the rumors at the time.
If you're interested in the story, don't miss this page of links to previous coverage. I haven't gotten through a fraction of it yet but there's some interesting stuff there.
* It remains wholly inexplicable to me why such a warmongering bunch of crooks are so dear to the hearts of the Right. I can only assume that the Right, regardless of what else they say, really likes warmongers and thinks that the gov'mint breaking the law isn't really such a big deal.
And also that they equate their so-called superiority on "national defense" with us constantly beating up on some little country. Which makes it puzzling that they view Dems as weak, since Dems have a tendency to get us into wars, but then I also don't think of the Right as an aggregation of logic and good sense.
IDs are a fact of life and we all need to accept that, even Libertarians.
The time when this country had 24-1/2 people per thousand square miles is long past and human nature itself requires that we be able to identify our fellow citizens.
Should the time come when we've evolved past robbing banks, hit-and-run driving, forging checks, stealing cars, shoplifting, and all the rest of our less-charming habits, maybe it won't be necessary for those of us who don't commit crimes to be prepared to prove our identities at any moment, but until then....
Having said that, I reluctantly agree that showing ID at an airport is probably going to be with us forever as well. I don't like it and I agree it's intrusive and time-consuming. Most of us are used to it, though.
I don't think it does anything to make anyone safer. The security searches (which I also dislike) probably do make some of us safer. As long as we have the security searches, showing IDs adds nothing but aggravation to the process of air travel.
Still, I'm resigned, although obviously not all of us are
But, some things I didn't know:
The court noted that the secret regulations allow passengers to fly without providing an ID if they submit to searches. The court dismissed assertions that such searches are unreasonable.
Secret regulations? I hate that we have "secret" regulations. And there's no way anyone can pretend we need to have "secret" regulations.
Also? Such searches are unreasonable. All airport searches are unreasonable. They're tantamount to declaring us all guilty until proven innocent, which is clearly unconstitutional.
Sadly, they're probably also necessary. Not because I think another round of terrorists suicide bombers is mobilizing to strike, but because our own home-grown population spawns its own brand of copy-cat crazies.
I may do a bit of ranting and raving from time to time, but I'm not really a conspiracy theorist. (Mostly, I just like to hear myself talk.)
On the other hand, I think there are things that smell really bad about our election processes and I think those worried about the honesty of the system should start to mobilize for the elections later this year, and those in '08.
In my mind, it's less about system-wide fraud (at least, so far) than it is about the sanctity of the right to vote in individual locations, the unreliability of electronic machines, and the potential for large-scale manipulation offered by paperless balloting.
I know we're a society of instant gratification and the media wants to be able to announce the results of elections twenty seconds after the polls close, but I'm tired of the media's wants driving our country's processes.
None of us will be harmed by waiting a day, or even several days, to find out what person or issue won some particular vote and an honest count of actual votes is better for all of us.
I've come around to Avedon Carol's way of thinking. I want a 100% paper ballot trail every November.
Girl cooties are ruining college for boys. How often have we heard that made-up lie? But read this article anyhow, for the pleasure of coming across this bit, in response to the claim that girl cooties are ruining K-12 education for boys, too:
Furthermore, I don't know where those pundits went to school, but education has always involved a lot of sitting, a lot of organizing, a lot of deadlines and a lot of work you didn't necessarily feel like doing. It's always been heavily verbal — in fact, today's textbooks are unbelievably dumbed down and visually hyped compared with fifty years ago. Conservatives talk as if boys should be taught in some kind of cross between boot camp and Treasure Island — but what kind of preparation for modern life would that be? As for the decline of gym and teams and band — activities that keep academically struggling kids, especially boys, coming to school — whose idea was it to cut those "frills" in the first place if not conservatives?
Precisely. Plus which? I'd appreciate it if you wimmin-hating wingnuts would stop telling boys they don't learn well or easily and that school is hard for them, okay? It's not true but you're creating an atmosphere that penalizes boys who do do the work to succeed in school.
Anyhow. Telling guys that sitting in a chair reading and talking for a couple of hours is practically beyond their abilities isn't going to fit them well for the business world, is it? I mean, what is it with those people? Why do they hate boys?
The SPJ is right. With the abdication of television news and the print MSM, we don't have many sources for objective, deep-reaching public service news. Knight-Ridder is a treasure. Have you checked out Knight Ridder's Alito coverage?
Also, have you see this? Three so-called Democrats voting for Alito so far. What the Left needs is fewer Democrats and more liberals.
Can you patent something that's been in wide use for years? Seems you can. Cingular just patented smilies.
P.S. Over in the UK, there's some worry that a conflict with Iran will trigger a massive recession. Do you think the MSM in the USofA and elsewhere will ever get tired of being played by the Bush Administration?
Clicking through the links this morning, I found myself reading this article and also I found myself amused. I wrote a whole entry around this article before I realized that no one wanted to know.
So, moving on to politics, I'm amused that the NYTimes editorial reflects a sense of panic. After refusing to cover a lot of the protests over, questions about, and opposition to Alito, they're realizing he just might get confirmed and they don't want that. It's a pity that it didn't occur to them a month or two ago that a factual layout of his major cases and his decisions, plus a recap of his political history, might not be useful bits of "news" for the public to know, isn't it?
Robert Scheer says the Bush Administration are obsessed voyeurs when it comes to sex and violence (no surprise, when you're talking about the Right) and that that time he clicked on that Victoria's Secret link was purely an accident, please don't arrest him.
Party love. Is it blinding Republicans to the ugly truth about Iraq? I'd say, yes, it's blinding a lot of them. People get hung up on the labels. Republican. Democrat. Whatever. They need to watch the issues. They need to watch what's happening, not trust blindly in fergodsake politicians.
If you want a silly story to read, go on over and see how looking at people's bottoms might change the way clothes are designed. The idea that people's butts will look better when they stop sitting on them and start exercising them doesn't seem to be relevant. For the record, though, when they start evaluating men's bottoms, I volunteer to be one of the lookers.
Right now, CounterPunch is leading with, Military Contractor Philanthropy, a sober story about the increasingly embedded tentacles of the military-industrial complex, our society, and the risks of speaking out.
I don't know what I'd have done if I'd have been the Google Guys. Do you cave in to demands for censorship or take a chance that people will be barred from all online information? They made their decision and now China has government-approved content at google.cn. That had to be a tough decision. Or, rather, two decisions. The decision to omit certain sites from the .cn database is one thing. Allowing searchers to be redirected to alternate, "approved" sites, some of which criticize the information searchers weren't allowed to see is something else entirely. If their motto is "don't be evil" I think they got halfway to their goal.
You know, David Michael Green has a point. What in the hell is the Democratic leadership waiting for. If we don't have a Democratic leadership, we need to get us some.
If this was a UK production, I'd offer the headline, "Jumping mouse gets up government's nose" here, but it's not, so I won't.
Corruption. It's not just for Congressional Republicans any more.
McCain wants some reform. of pork barrel politics. Yeah, because that's going to happen.
And, speaking of trying to corral corruption...is K Street going to fight back? Sounds like it, when they start by saying, "No New Rules" doesn't it?
Not (really!) about corruption at all, no, but on my way to the office this morning, I was musing over Big Oil's Very Good Year and wondering what, if any, "fallout" there was going to be when the news of their profits started sinking in to the public's mind. That made this story interesting to me.
Big Oil Tries to Shine Its Image
Facing renewed scrutiny on Wall Street and Capitol Hill, the oil industry is trying to humanize itself after announcing record profits amid rising energy prices.
ConocoPhillips kicked off the fourth-quarter earnings season for big oil on Wednesday with an impressive $13.5 billion annual profit, up 66 percent from its 2004 performance. The rest of the major integrated oil and gas firms will march out their end-of-year books during the coming week and a half.
And, speaking of obscene amounts of money, how about executive compensation? From "pay, perks, and pensions" to "pay without performance."
Well, I'd totally be blogging if I wasn't so tired. (The problem with doing temp work is that you're doing what no one else wants to do, and that frequently involves physical labor. My idea of working is sitting in front of a computer, not tossing around 25 lb boxes all day.)
So, what might I have blogged today, if I'd been blogging?
Is the army broken? It might make Rumsfield sulk and whine, but experts are saying it's breaking. Seems to be a subtle warning that we ought not take on Iran just at this moment, what with Iraq being such a disaster and Afghanistan slipping back into barbarism, in spite of the article's optimistic mention of future "improvements" in security in those countries.
George Bush says we should take bin Laden seriously and I say, "You first, George. You're the one who ignored him so you could dismantle Iraq." And, for the record, by taking a terrorist in the Middle East seriously, I do not mean illegally wiretapping USofA citizens here at home, or arresting "ecoterrorists" and claiming you're winning the war on "terror" or secretly spying on and collecting information about anti-war groups, got it?
Anyhow, he went on to say, essentially, that anything he decides he wants to do is legal. He added more words here and there, but that's the gist of it.
Hey, speaking of secret spying.
The question for journalists is how to report this. President Bush says it's a great idea and he's proud of the secret spy program? Attorney General Gonzales explains breaking the law is no problem? Dick Cheney says accept spying, or Osama bin Laden will get you?
And the White House is stonewalling a congressional inquiry into the government response last year to Hurricane Katrina? I'm not surprised. I'll bet it's a matter of national security and that those papers are vital to protecting us against Osama bin Laden.
Quite coincidentally, here's a story about how the White House is expecting, and prepping for, impeachment hearings.
Impeachment. What an interesting word.