Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Presidential "Signing Statements"

In its annual meeting this month, the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association (traditionally at odds with republican administrations) approved the report of an ABA taskforce regarding “presidential signing statements,” addendums provided by the president to bills passed by Congress and enacted into law with his signature. The report began with this resolution: “That the American Bar Association opposes, as contrary to the rule of law and our constitutional system of separation of powers, the issuance of presidential signing statements that claim the authority or state the intention to disregard or decline to enforce all or part of a law the President has signed, or to interpret such a law in a manner inconsistent with the clear intent of Congress.”

Presidents from the time of Andrew Jackson have issued signing statements, considered valid under the Constitution. The ABA had no problem with this; rather, it claimed that the current president used this instrument excessively. In June, the Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings on the matter, though only one republican senator other than Chairman Specter participated, along with five of eight democrats, the implication being that the matter was purely political.

A comprehensive definition of the signing statement was provided in a 1993 memo prepared by Walter Dellinger, an assistant attorney general at the time, for Bernard N. Nussbaum, counsel to President Clinton: “These functions [signing statements] include (1) explaining to the public, and particularly to constituencies interested in the bill, what the President believes to be the likely effects of its adoption, (2) directing subordinate officers within the Executive Branch how to interpret or administer the enactment, and (3) informing Congress and the public that the Executive believes that a particular provision would be unconstitutional in certain of its applications, or that it is unconstitutional on its face, and that the provision will not be given effect by the Executive Branch to the extent that such enforcement would create an unconstitutional condition.”

The memorandum includes a thorough discussion of the subject, to which Dellinger appended, “Conclusion: Many Presidents have used signing statements to make substantive legal, constitutional or administrative pronouncements on the bill being signed. Although the recent practice [1993] of issuing signing statements to create ‘legislative history’ remains controversial, the other uses of Presidential signing statements generally serve legitimate and defensible purposes.”

The president is faced with either signing a Congressional Act with which he almost completely agrees or vetoing the whole act; so, as the first person to make a judgment regarding its constitutionality, he sometimes signs the act into law with his written reservations and explanations for them. For instance, President Lincoln decided to veto the Confiscation Bill but changed his mind, signed it, and attached as his signing statement the draft veto-message he had initially prepared. Rather than vetoing the whole act, Lincoln signed the bill but served notice of how he would treat it. Many other examples are furnished in the memorandum. The statements are particularly pertinent at times of national emergencies such as the current one regarding the war on terror.

The “hot button” issue regarding treatment of the Guantanamo prisoners helped precipitate the current brouhaha over signing statements. No president has been faced with disposition of imprisoned combatants not a part of another country’s army, thus no precedents have been in place. The president signed the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2005 but issued a signing statement democrats claimed was designed to allow for torture, a subject covered in the act. Indeed, any president may explain how he (subordinates included) intends to administer any law.

If it is suspected the president has misused a law, a suit can be brought precipitating an injunction by a federal judge to stay his actions until the matter is resolved by the courts. One such injunction has recently been enacted by a judge in the Sixth District, stopping an intelligence-gathering procedure (NSA wiretap program). Her action will probably be decided by the Supreme Court soon, since national security is the issue. The balance of power remains in effect whether with respect to signing statements or varying interpretations of law.

In the final analysis, one must consider part of Article 2, Section 3 of the Constitution, which states that the president must act "in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the president to supervise the unitary executive branch and as commander-in-chief, and consistent with the constitutional limitations on the judicial power." Also, the president’s duty under Art. 2, Sec. 3, to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,” does not distinguish between bills he has signed into law and other laws.

The tension among the three branches of government is always in play, but neither Congress nor the executive is always right, and the Court – with its own biases, collectively or individually – must rule. This can be messy, but it works.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Fletcher - Standing Alone

There’s no argument with the fact that Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher’s chance of being reelected in 2007 lies somewhere between slim and none. His problems have less to do with how he’s governed policy-wise and how he’s worked with the legislature than with how he’s governed as a practical matter – the methodology involved, or lack thereof. At the beginning of his tenure, he made the almost always fatal mistake of appointing inept people to the top jobs – not inept as a matter of intelligence but as a matter of inexperience and lack of technical know-how – apparently without firmly outlining the ground-rules to be followed.

Whether with his knowledge/instruction or not, a number of these appointees assumed that the system would be exploited in the usual ways, i.e., mainly through patronage. The actual business of government doesn’t change all that much from one administration to the next since career employees actually run things, making changes as directed by the legislature. Fletcher was the first republican to hold the job in 32 years, but had been in government in elective offices on both the state and national levels long enough to know how things are done.

Without question, he knew that there would be shakeups in the assignment of jobs throughout the state (to-the-victor-belongs-the-spoils thing), but it appears that neither he nor his lieutenants had yet arrived in the age of electronics. They didn’t realize that the use of cell-phones and gadgets like the popular blackberries generate trails as good as or better than the ones left by paper. Though operating just as the democrats had for 32 years and decades before that in applying the “patronage principle” (unfair as it is most of the time, especially regarding protected “merit” jobs), they left well-defined documents outlining just a few instances of mismanagement. Whereas the attorneys general throughout the 32 years preceding 2003 were democrats and never raised an eyebrow to the malpractice in the merit area, the current attorney general, Greg Stumbo, with his own aspirations to be governor, is also a democrat and pulled out all the stops in prosecuting alleged merit violations.

Rather than fighting the relatively harmless misdemeanor charges that were bogging down government while causing enormous attorney fees, Fletcher pardoned all who were indicted, including the state republican-party chairman, Darrell D. Brock, Jr. At this point, this problem – and virtually only this – is what stands between Fletcher and another term, but it has been used like a hammer by both democrats and some state newspapers, notably the Lexington Herald-Leader, the state’s 2nd largest, to crush Fletcher’s operation.

Lieutenant Governor Steve Pence, a former federal prosecutor, bailed out of the reelection effort in June, making his announcement to desert the ticket while the governor was out of state. This, however, is what he said in August 2005: "The power to grant pardons is a privilege the governor has every right to utilize … I am sure he feels, as most Kentuckians do, that it is time to get back to doing the state's business" (Lexington Herald-Leader, 30 August 2005). In looking back through the records during the course of the current inquiries, investigators found that violations such as the ones cited had been rampant for decades, some of which were actually not clear of the statute of limitations when the current AG took office.

Fletcher’s predecessor, Paul Patton, pardoned two state officials and two union officials facing felony indictments accruing to election irregularities in his 1995 election, and used state police and state vehicles in carrying out sexual assignations at various locations with his patronage dispenser in a western Kentucky county. The attorney general, democrat Ben Chandler, forced the election matter, but either saw no need or felt no need for looking into the patronage/sexual matter, obviously fueled by the marital infidelity on the part of both participants.

It has been ruled at the lowest level of the court system, the District Court, that Fletcher cannot be prosecuted for a crime – or at least a mere misdemeanor – while in office. It remains to be seen as to whether or not Stumbo’s office (the AG has been barred by the court from personally handling the matter) will appeal that ruling. Stumbo’s conflict of interest is transparent, especially since he is on the record as stating he would be interested in running for Fletcher’s job if the governor became “unpopular.”

There’s one declared candidate for the Republican ticket in 2007, Billy Harper, Fletcher’s statewide finance chairman in 2003. Two or three other high-profile republicans are considering the race, with Senate President David Williams expressing doubt that Fletcher can be reelected, and it seems apparent that Senator Mitch McConnell, if not rebuking Fletcher, is also not supporting him in a reelection bid. Fletcher has not dislodged Brock from the chairmanship of the party, but Brock, one of the pardoned, should resign that post.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

County Tax-Cheaters

A recent editorial in the Lexington Herald-Leader called attention to the fact that in a number of eastern Kentucky taxing-districts, the matter of collecting revenue is so badly handled (more likely, not handled at all) that unpaid property-tax bills are sold to collection agencies that, largely because of Kentucky laws, can reap huge profits, collect humongous attorney-fees, and ultimately own a lot of property. What this actually means, of course, is that taxpayers throughout the rest of the state pick up the tab – for instance with regard to funding education – for the shortfalls from the eastern counties. The unpaid-bill-collecting entrepreneurs can let the bills go unpaid for years, if they choose, with the passing of time allowing huge increases in interest charged and attorney-fees, but remitting no funds to county or state coffers.

Sound familiar? Of course! This is the situation that obtained when in the late 80s the legislature was confronted by a judge with the mandate that it “equalize” things with regard to the funding of education. This resulted in the Kentucky Education Reform Act of 1990, perhaps the biggest pork-barrel (and tax-increase) legislation that ever came down the pike. Unfortunately, in the process of “equalizing” education-funding throughout the state (actually robbing Peter to pay Paul) the legislature in its wisdom decided to even enact pedagogical requirements, action so out of its expertise as to be laughable. Results have been predictably terrible and much of this part of the act has been rescinded, bringing about some improvement.

The truth was that in many counties, especially in eastern Kentucky, citizens refused to adequately enhance state taxes with sufficient local taxes to support good school systems. They were content to have their schools operate almost entirely on the funds received from the state, with many systems comprising the most important business enterprise in the county and therefore inevitably corrupt, political patronage being an ever present fact of life. The school-systems in independent/county districts in which citizens were willing to tax themselves in behalf of providing the best educational opportunities possible were far superior to those that simply “lived off the state.”

As pitiful as local support was, the tax situation vis-à-vis collections – not even sending out tax bills one year in Elliot County (one of those suing the state for “equity”) – was deplorable. The worst twelve counties in the state in the matter of tax-collection in 1989 were all located in eastern Kentucky. For instance, more than 18% of all tax accounts in Pike County, the eastern-most county besides being the largest county in the state, were delinquent in 1989. This lack of collecting taxes in eastern Kentucky allowed those counties to impinge on all other counties, forcing them to pick up the slack.

Disappointingly but not surprisingly, nine of those 12 counties noted in 1989 for lax tax-collections were among the 12 worst counties in 2004, a full 15 years later, while all 12 of the worst counties that year were also in eastern Kentucky. By contrast, only three of the best tax-collecting 12 counties in 1989 were among the 12 best counties in that category in 2004. So…did some counties figure they were being had and acted to ease up on collections? Probably not, but would they have been justified in taking that approach?

When the dust settled in 1990, it was discovered by the local systems that had “gone the extra mile” in funding their efforts, as well as collecting taxes, that they were being sorely penalized by the state, with huge sums going to the systems in districts that had leeched off the state, while they received a pittance in comparison. In 1990, for instance, Danville citizens paid 50.8 cents per $100 on property and 66.9 cents per $100 on motor vehicles in school taxes. The Danville board collected locally 25% more per student than the state average – $909 and $727, respectively. Under KERA, the Danville system realized an estimated increase in state funds from the 1988-89 allocation to the 1990-91 allocation of less than nine percent, while Pike County, which didn’t bother with collecting more than 18% of its school taxes received an increase from the state of 25%. Indeed, all 12 of the worst tax-collecting counties received a whopping and immediate increase of 25% in state funds. Fayette County, whose citizens had voted extra funds for excellence received an increase of only eight percent.

According to the 2004 figures, the situation hasn’t changed much, though the worst counties in 1989 have smaller percentages in delinquent taxes. Pike, for instance, was delinquent to the tune of 7.61%, while Menifee County was the champion worst with a delinquency rate of 9.19%. So…it’s no wonder that tax bills are being sold to the highest bidder. Local officials have decided to take a pass, impinge on other counties, and let the devil take the hindmost.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Monday, August 07, 2006

Boy Columnist and Republican Helpers

Whether or not one believes Governor Fletcher has done a good job, one has to admit that the effort to damage him by especially the Lexington Herald-Leader and even some in his own party has been beyond the pale. Boy Columnist (aka Larry Keeling) of the H-L editorial board began early with his appellation for Fletcher as “Boy Governor” – this appellation attached to a former fighter pilot, former state and congressional representative, current physician, ordained minister. This is reminiscent of the H-L’s editorial cartoonist Joel Pett’s depiction of former governor Wallace Wilkinson and his wife as weasels, a relentless ridicule of them 15 years ago…and they were democrats. One wonders why he hasn’t used the ferret, a domesticated usually albino, brownish, or silver-gray animal that is descended from the European polecat (M-W Collegiate, 11th Edition) as the proper depiction of Fletcher.

Perhaps Boy Columnist had an excuse when he began his “Boy Governor” and “Kiddy Korps” stuff early in the Fletcher tenure, noting in a column a while back his partial incapacitation due to inhaling the fumes from his lawnmower. Later, he got into the “blackberry jam” mode, when the state-of-the-art devices were misused by state officials in their ignorance of how information could be gathered by unintended parties…or parties who figured they were doing nothing any different from previous administrations – all democrat-controlled for the previous 32 years and beyond reproach, especially since no attorneys-general (all democrats) had made much of a ruckus over the same operations…but perhaps more egregiously in 2004 under A-G Stumbo because of the statute of limitations. Perhaps Boy Columnist has engaged in producing “elderberry jam” as he ages in the commentator mode.

Then, there was Boy Columnist’s being shocked and appalled when the governor had a door installed between two offices in the capitol…something that might be expected of any governor, but is still mentioned as some nefarious shenanigan to keep the public from information or the press at bay or both. Who knows? And what about the time (still mentioned occasionally, though Fletcher had nothing to do with it) when the guv’s airplane misdirected itself over bad territory? And…of course there’s always that three-misdemeanor trial coming up in November – a sitting governor absolutely flirting with 20-to-life! Lawnmower fumes at work another summer?

Over the weekend, Boy Columnist got mired in his elderberry jam or mowed the lawn (those fumes again) just before heading out to Fancy Farm and wound up saying some good things about Fletcher, all hedged, of course, by the usual. He actually didn’t castigate the governor for believing that marriage should be between only a male and female, probably BC’s favorite cause these days. That was surprising, though the fact that the H-L and Courier-Journal have put out hundreds of damaging accounts regarding the governor since 2003 is not surprising.

The governor has been more seriously beset recently by the leadership in his own party than by anything BC has to say, especially since few folks take the Herald-Leader seriously, in the first place. Lt. Gov. Pence waited until the governor was out of state before administering his sword a few weeks ago, perhaps making sure that he would get the proper attention undiluted by any afforded Fletcher at the same time. An army officer, both active and reserve, he might have been expected to have a greater degree of – if not friendship – respect for Fletcher, or at least for the office.

The statements made recently by Senate President David Williams as to the electability of Fletcher in 2007 were not helpful. Statements by others, such as Jack Richardson IV of Jefferson County, also have not been helpful, nor have the proposed candidacies of Lonnie Napier and Billy Harper and the latest, Secretary of State Trey Grayson. The pardons are the reason, of course, though the governor can’t be faulted for that action…nor could he be faulted for pardoning himself, whether or not the trial amounts to anything. Everyone in this state who has paid attention through the years understands that the “merit mess” activity by the A-G’s office is purely political, and even more so on the basis of A-G Stumbo’s recent announcements that he has no plans to run for the governorship next year. This is another way of saying that he has; otherwise, he would simply have said that he will not run. The “Palimony Chant” at Fancy Farm may have more to do with his decision than anything else, especially since the peccadilloes of Governor Patton are still remarked in the news, sordid enough to remind citizens of Stumbo’s “family” habits, as well as being drunk that time in his pickup.

Governor Fletcher is not the most astute politician…but his policies have been good ones. He can say the wrong things and maybe pick the wrong people sometimes, but he’s been as good a governor, practically speaking, as any in recent memory. His friends early in his administration – even perhaps with some help from him, given the enduring practice repeated in previous administrations – let him down. It might be well for folks to consider all this before next year. The state could do worse.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Sunday, August 06, 2006


It’s that time again…happens every year about this time in the dog-days of August…patriots, peaceniks, propagandists…memorializing the events on the part of the “sanguinary” majority(?)…caterwauling harangues by the “sensitive” few(?)…the never-ending discussion of the two things that set the tone for history post-WWII – Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Or did they? Or, if so, how? Flash back from August 1945 to a six-week period from December 1937 to February 1938. The place: Nanjing, China. The Japanese Army took the city and within a six-week period without the use of bombs, artillery, or anything much more lethal than bayonets and rifles managed to kill about 300,000 people, mostly civilians and POWs. How does an army stab to death or otherwise polish off 7,200 people per day without even a roadside bomb or a battalion of suicide bombers, while committing 20,000 reported rapes (maybe one reported for every ten unreported?) and getting the bodies out of the way?

It must have been mostly over by 17 January 1938 when then-Japanese Foreign Minister Hirota Koki confirmed in a message to the Japanese embassy in Washington that 300,000 had been killed in Nanjing (National Archives, Washington, D.C. – released September 1994). Koki probably didn’t mention it, but two Japanese officers held a competition to see who could bring about the most beheadings. The two officers were executed in 1947. Apparently, hara-kiri, the honorable way out, was not honorable enough for them, so they stuck around until somebody else did the deed for them.

The euphemism for their wretched status was Comfort Women. These were the 200,000 women/girls, mostly Korean, who were shipped like so many pack mules to the various fronts where Japanese soldiers were fighting in order to allegedly protect the precious “freedom fighters” from STDs, ergo, foreclose their absence from the war, account of VD. The notion that this stopped the rape of whoever just happened to “be there” is too ridiculous to even contemplate. The Japanese were equal opportunity rapists, and their victims – at least in Muslim theology – represented paradise, albeit in the midst of massacres by the boatload.

But what does all this gory stuff have to do with Hiroshima and Nagasaki? For those dumb enough to ask that question, the answer, via other questions, is simple: Would it have been better to bypass Japan in 1945 and thus give that cruel regime the opportunity to continue its bloodthirsty campaigns until it threatened the entire world, including this nation? Is it better to kill the enemy on his soil rather than kill the enemy on one’s own soil? In choosing weaponry, is it better to use the most powerful at a distance…or, is it better to go to the trenches and “fight fair,” eyeball to eyeball…sort of like the English/French/Germans in 1914-18?

To rational people, the answers are simple enough. President Truman knew them in August 1945. Americans had been dying at about the 320-per-day rate (counting all war-induced deaths) for some three-and-a-half years. Why should more of them die just because a cruel regime had decided to conquer and enslave Asia, for starters, and the rest of the world, in time? He decided there was no reason for that and could hardly have faced the relatives of the American dead, or the survivors, tens of thousands of whom had been wounded, if he had failed to take all possible actions to end the conflagration started by the Japanese.

At 8:15 a.m. on 06 August 1945, the first atomic bomb, nicknamed “Little Boy,” was dropped from a B-29 known as the “Enola Gay” and piloted by Army Air Corps Colonel Paul Tibbets. It detonated at 2,000 feet altitude and obliterated 4.7 square miles of the city. Some 70,000 people died or went missing instantly and another 70,000 were injured, with perhaps 140,000 dead altogether by the end of the year. Rational leaders would have seen the handwriting on the wall, but Japan was not blessed on that day with rational leaders…only bloodthirsty and ambitious killers.

President Truman waited for an offer of surrender, being a rational leader himself and thus expecting, in the face of such a threat of eventual utter destruction, that common sense would prevail among the Japanese leaders. Enigmatically, nothing happened; therefore, at 11:02 a.m. on 09 August 1945, a full three days having passed for allowing reasonable leaders to act, the second atomic bomb, nicknamed “Fat Man,” was dropped from another American plane on Nagasaki, destroying one-third of the city, or about 1.8 square miles. Some 40,000 people were killed or went missing and another 40,000 were injured, with perhaps 70,000 dead altogether by the end of the year. This grabbed the attention of Japanese leaders, and the rest is history. Even at that, not as many died in those cities because of a weapon used at a distance as died in Nanjing through the use of the rifle and knife in actual hands-on brutality of a sort too incomprehensible to contemplate.

So…was it better for Hiroshima and Nagasaki to happen than for the expected millions, including Japanese women and children, to die in the unavoidable invasion of Japan necessary to end the war? The answer is obvious. Had the Japanese not been defeated, as well as the Nazi Germans a few months before (after having brought about the deaths of millions), American women today would be in the “Comfort Brigades” shipped all over the world, and there would not be a single Jew still alive. When the “sensitivity” cadres look at things in this light, perhaps they will see the light, although one wonders, in light of the mushy-mindedness of those who rail against this country because they are too dumb to see the connection between Nanjing 1937 and New York/Washington/Pennsylvania 11 September 2001.

President H.S. Truman drew a line in the sand in August 1945. President G.H.W. Bush drew a line in the sand in 1991. President G.W. Bush drew a line in the sand in 2001 and again in 2003. Though the sands constantly shift, one hopes for reasonable leaders who will always draw the line.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark.setstats1

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

DNC Memorandum #18

From the Office of Dr. Howard Dean, Chair DNC

[1] A word of explanation about my recent remark that Katherine Harris is not Stalin and that this is not Russia. Even the mainstream media, unthinkingly, of course, notwithstanding that its members are the DNC’s greatest propaganda agency and as such should be more circumspect, made my statement sound as if I was comparing Ms. Harris to Stalin when, actually, I said she was not Stalin. I was simply referring to her stealing of the Florida election in 2000, when she acted – as Senator Durbin might say – as the keeper of that benighted gulag run by – as Senator Durbin might say – that storm trooper, Jeb Bush, as an outright executioner of the man who invented the Internet and would, if elected, by now have had all the smokestacks in even China shut down for good and cars running on recycled hot air from the Congress. The wag who left a note on my door congratulating me for knowing that this is not Russia will be banished to Iowa. In any case, I didn’t compare Harris to Stalin, and I won’t do it again.

[2] The current conflict between Israel and Hezbollah is turning out to be our “Katrina” for this summer. The media cooperated in showing all those sweaty American citizens caught in Beirut for hours longer than they should have been, and Dan Rather has been contracted to explain how this was a snafu by FEMA of even more significant proportions than that of New Orleans. He may play the race card in reverse, however, according to his explanation of preliminary plans, in which case he will find documentation somewhere showing how quickly this country acted in Beirut, citing most of the vacationers as “white folk,” the inference being clear. It’s too bad that at least a couple of Americans weren’t – if not killed – at least burned in the “lawsuit area” when had hot coffee spilled in their laps as the bombs went off. The TV people haven’t been quite as hyped-up and frenetic (think Geraldo and Shepherd Smith and all the NBC, ABC, CBS folks) as they were in New Orleans, even without any bombs going off, and Rather has made it plain that this means that blacks were treated much worse in New Orleans than whites in Beirut since TV people have that sixth sense clued into sensitivity…or something like that.

[3] Senator Kerry has just proposed in what will be hailed as a landmark speech in Boston a requirement that all Americans have health insurance by 2012, with the federal government guaranteeing that they have the means to afford it. This, of course, is the mark of a compassionate man wrongly judged by the voters in Ohio in 2004. While this is a worthy approach to a real American problem – people inconveniently getting sick, as they have for centuries in their thoughtlessness – it must be handled carefully, depending on where you’re operating. In Massachusetts, go for it – the whole welfare-state bit. In the South, change the subject, especially if some tobacco-chewing redneck smelling of Redman Snuff asks whether or not this might put the nation into bankruptcy. The best move to make is to mention NASCAR or start an argument on who makes the best pickup. If you’re in California, go with the flow, since the people out there are busy being too hot this summer and don’t give a fig about anything else.

[4] ABC-TV ran a juicy bit on its evening news with Charles Gibson on Tuesday that can be turned into a spin goldmine. It had to do with tapes allegedly showing confusion by the Air Force on 9/11, as if the USAF had ever been faced with anything like a bunch of Islamic idiots taking the quick way to Paradise. However, the president can be blamed for the Air Force’s failure to shoot down those four hijacked planes, according to Dan Rather, Michael Moore, and the Right Reverend Honorable Righteous Louis Farrakhan, who claims he has proof as solid as he had about the government blowing the Pontchartrain levee in order to drown black folk when Katrina hit. He says there were at least three African-American Muslims on one of those planes – but the president didn’t know which one – and African Americans in all those buildings. The 9/11 Commission chairman, Thomas Kean, was shown remarking that the only plane that didn’t hit its target was the one the passengers brought down. The obvious conclusion is that the government, meaning Bush, caused the deaths of 3,000 people. Hammer on this everywhere in the country.

[5] There will be money available for transportation and food for anyone wanting to set up camp on Cindy Sheehan’s new spread near the president’s ranch in Crawford and heckle/taunt the president while he’s on vacation soon, as well as burn him in effigy occasionally, and otherwise show the rest of the world how much this country hates its own president. The ladies from NOW will also participate and plan bra-burnings daily to show empathy for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was attacked on the shoulders by Bush at the G-8 summit. This showed his chauvinism, disrespect for foreign citizens, callous disregard for couth, and will be part of the impeachment plan now being developed by the democrats on the House Judicial Committee to put into place in January. This points up the need to take back the House in November, so everyone is urged to work harder than ever. Be sure to prepare well for the hot weather in Texas since you will be sleeping out under the stars, cooking over campfires, and otherwise roughing it. Take plenty of digestion aids, since Ms. Sheehan plans to speak 14 times a day and is demanding that everyone who stakes out a claim eat Middle East food five times every day, preferably while facing toward Mecca (east)…so there will be much gas from different directions. All the media people will be on the scene 24/7, so plan demonstrations to be observed around the clock. The Larry King Live show will originate there twice, and it is rumored that he will interview Mel Gibson about his anti-Semitism. It’s rumored that Gibson might be a republican, at least when he’s sober, so use that fact to connect him to the administration.

[6] Senators Kerry, Biden, Hagel, Clinton, Feingold, Obama, and former senator Edwards are all looking toward the 2008 campaign, as well as former vice president Al Gore. It is rumored that Congressman Jefferson may also be interested if he can just return the $90,000 from his freezer and call it even with the FBI. At last report, he was also offering to throw in 100 frozen pizzas and partridges from 10 pear trees. This is a large field, so it may be necessary to settle on an outsider vis-à-vis Washington, as well as someone who is medically aware at this particular time, when Bird Flu is threatening. Do not – REPEAT – do NOT campaign for any candidate. It is far too early for that, and Bird Flu may be just around the corner.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark