Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Outside Oversight of Congress

Charts: Congress Refuses To Engage in Oversight

Shows the areas Congress refuses to monitor, and provides options.

* * *

This goes into some discussion on the areas the Congress refuses to review, and what can be done about it.

Let's consider some crude charts, illustrating the breakdown of Congressional oversight, illustrating what they are not looking at. We'll start with some basic charts, and build from there.

You'll see that there's a fundamental problem this Congress refuses to face, and the problem applies to the American government, not simply a political party or branch of government.

* * *

Here’s a time-chart, or an oversight schedule

X-axis time (horizontal)
Y-axis functions (vertical)

Chart I: Basic Chart
n I
c I
t I
i I
o I
n I
s I____________________


Divide the vertical axis into our primary
areas of interest, the President (Article II, top) and Congress (Article I, bottom).

Chart II: Two Functional Areas

r II I
t I
r I I
t I

Congress has the job of overseeing
the President, but they refuse to do that. They’re looking at “something else.”

Using a vertical line, let’s further divide the chart into three sections, time now (1); past(2) , and future (3):

Chart III: Establishing Time Now Line

r II I I
t I I
r I I I
t I I
(past) (present) (future)
2 1 3

Let’s consider the things that the
Congress doesn’t want to look at.

We know that they are saying they don’t want to look at the past much, because of the President’s convenient disaster, which Codependent Congress feels it must solve.

This means that Congress will be less inclined to look at history, repeating the same problems of the run up to the war: Narrowly looking at the current situation, without regard to the recurring problems which created the problem; nor have any idea how the systemic, flawed assumptions will drive the US government to do the same: Repeat the errors.

Chart IV: The Stripped Down Chart

r II I I
t I I
r I I I
t I I
(past) (present) (future)

Let’s look closely at what Congress is proposing (or not doing).

Congress says that it wants to avoid looking at the President, because in doing so, it might make people upset. Never mind the fact that “finding the truth” and “oversight” were the solutions to the entrenched problems driving the dissatisfaction.

Congress is saying, in effect, that the President – himself – is off limits. This means that the top of the oversight chart is effectively blacked out: They’re not going to look at it. The shaded area represents what Congress is not going to look at:

Chart V: Ignoring the President's Impeachable Offenses

A I / / / I / / /
r II I / / / /I / / /
t I / / / / I / / /
I__/__/_/ /__I/___/____/__
r I I I
t I I
(past) (present) (future)

At the same time, congress is being encouraged not to look at the scary things in the past:

Chart VI: "Bipartisanship": Ignoring Historical Problems

A I / / I
r II I / / I
t I / / /I
I__/__/__ / I____________
A I / / / I
r I I/ / / /I
t I / / / I

Combining the two charts, Congress is
effectively saying that it will only look at itself in the future, not look at history, and not focus on the President. This leaves Congress with doing what it’s failed to do – left to looking over itself:

Chart VII: Combining Charts V and VI

A I / / I / / / / /
r II I / / I/ / / / /
t I / / /I / / / /
I___/__/___/ I_/_/__/__/____
A I / / / I
r I I / / / I
t I/ / / I
I/_/_ /__ I_____________

Recall the problem with self-oversight,
and self-checking: It doesn’t work.

Congress cannot explain why, despite it’s legal power to look at the shaded areas, it’s going to ignore history, not look at the President, only focus on itself, but still achieve it’s Constructional mandate: Protecting the Constitution.

Congress has (illegally) become a rubber stamping organ that pumps out legislation, and leaves it to other branches to violate the law without any prospect of sanctions. This Congress has effectively said that despite violations of the law, the Congress isn’t going to look at history; nor will it review the patterns of conduct which led to the illegal invasion of Iraq; nor say nothing about the similar patterns which may or may not occur in the future.

Unfortunately, the law doesn’t work that way. Law is based on precedent, rules, and other guidelines which are linked with something very simple: Logic, nothing more, nothing less. In theory, the rules of Congress, and legislative acts are based on the same idea: Logical things to make things better. It doesn’t always work that way, especially if you’re a member of Congress or a Congressional staff member: They've been a minority party, but have no structural solution to what's failed in the American Constitution. Twelve years of abuse, and they want to move on. So much for putting that experience to good use.

* * *

Let’s play Congress’s game. Let’s pretend that they’re not going to look at the President, and not look at distant history. Congress has a legitimacy problem, a structural breakdown of law and order. When Congress ignores the violations of the law, and says that it cannot be bothered to look at reality, or how we got into a mess, then Congress is effectively saying that it will not do its job, 5 USC 3331 oath of office implications.

This is no way to run a government.

What appears to have happened is that, in an effort to carry favor with Poodle Pelosi, the hopeful-Chairmen of the various Committees have (illegally) agreed not to review violations of the law, and pretend it never happened. Brilliant: The delusion which permitted the nation to pass the patriot act will not get challenged.

This also means that the delusion about the flawed decisions with Iraq, and the failure of this Congress to review its rubber stamping will not get any attention.

At best, the Congress is arguing that it is going to “change” while removing everything from the table that must be examined to (a) understand what went wrong; then (b) do something different.

Congress is effectively saying that it will take a hands-off approach to illegal activity by the President, and incontinent realities of history that Congress may have contributed to. How Poodle Pelosi plans to effectively incorporate the (1) defects of what failed in the Page Board Oversight into (2) the solution remains to be seen.

At best, we should expect the structural problems – that of a flawed oversight system in Congress to continue, and repeat itself. Again, Poodle Pelosi’s option, to remain consistent, will have to focus on the issues that are not upsetting to others, thereby repeating the problems which Hastert and the President created: Excuses to look at other things, and no decision to confront reality, and hold people accountable for recklessness. There's no telling how much evidence the Congressional Staff counsel has glossed overs because to review it would implicate them for failing to have done something they should have after 2001: Aggressively pursued Filibusters in the Senate to shut down appropriations for illegal things.

Regardless the reasons, the US Constitution was ignored; the way forward is to examine what failed, then offer a robust improvement to the US Constitution that will prevent this from recurring. Yet, refusing to look at the President or history condemns the Congress to repeat the errors: Inaction and silence in the wake of more Presidential excuses to ignore the law, assert that requirements were not applicable, or make convoluted, illegal arguments justifying unlawful abuse, and war crimes. At the extreme, "We can't stop the President's American Holocaust, impeachment is off the Table." Poodle Pelosi needs to be clear when impeachment might return to the table, or she may find herself on the political dining table.

Poodle Pelosi most likely will have to rely on extreme threats: "Unless you agree to cooperate with the President and ignore impeachment, you will lose your chairmanship."

A system like Congress which refuses to oversee one man -- the President -- has not gone through the learning needed to expand that simple oversight to something more complicated: Overseeing a complex war in Iraq; or overseeing multiple Committee Chairs.

Rather than change, we have the same flawed oversight, but with the false notion that there’s something new. At best, we have new people; at worst, we have the illusion of change, but more political beatings on the way to keep people focused on the narrow, unshaded regions which Poodle Pelosi will likely argue, “We can’t be negative, let’s be positive," effectively shading the entire oversight system into non-oversight:

Chart VIII: The Failure of Self-Oversight

A I / / I / / / / /
r II I / / /I / / / / /
t I / / / I/ / / / / /
I_/_ /___/ I__/__/___/___/_ /
A I/ / / / I / / / / /
r I I / / / I/ / / / /
t I / / / /I / / / /
I_/___/_/__/ I /___/___/___/____

The problem is that the lobbyists are
going to manipulate the agenda, induce
the Members of Congress to focus on the “big issue” – Iraq, and ignore the recurring, entrenched systemic problems which led to Iraq: A failure to challenge the President – something that will continue so long as impeachment is off the table.

The solutions:

Constitutionally, there needs to be an outside entity reviewing Congress and the President, under the fourth branch, the investigative branch. Doing what Congress refuses to do – investigate; and a third chamber in the legislature that will act as a check on the other two chambers: effectively having a veto power, and the power to set agendas and focus, in the Consulars. Also, the states need to have the power to impeach members of Congress when they refuse to do what they should: Engage in oversight.

* * *

Back to the Looming Congressional Issues

It’s the job of the public to create a credible threat of change: Either with a New Constitution; or launching from all 50 states recurring 603 resolutions which will upset the House agenda, forcing them to look at the issues. So long as the House leadership refuses to look at the issues of Iraq and the President, the House should be sent a wake up call with another 603 resolution. This will shut down all issues, and force the House to face it. Maybe they’ll vote it down. That doesn’t matter. As soon as they get up and running again, launch another proclamation in, and shut down the Committees.

Eventually, the House will run out of time. There are too many states and not enough time for the Congress – in the next 12 months – to avoid the issue, while still getting anything done. That’s the point: Because they can’t do their job on their own, there’s no reason to believe the House is going to face history, or what caused problem; they’ll simply rubber stamp solutions to “not make anyone upset.”

* * *

As to the issues of the alleged DNC Staff counsel complicity with war crimes evidence suppression: The US government has the burden of proof. At this point, despite there being “no problem,” Congress isn’t willing to raise the issues, examine what happened. It wants to give an all clear signal without ensuring that anything is clear, merely given another rubber stamp.

The public will have to do the following:

A. Prospectively monitor Congress

This means identifying what is coming down the line, then advancing the agenda to get the Members of Congress talking about what they want to avoid: The President’s crimes; and the oversight issues which Congress refuses to engage – real legal questions related to the Congressional staff who did not do their job; and a real look at why the Minority Staff Members did not document in writing to the IGs their concerns; and what review there has or hasn’t been on the Attorney General’s compliance with his Title 28 (planned violations of the law, FISA, Geneva) and the President’s Title 50 reporting requirements (DoD violations: Geneva, illegal war, FISA, NSA warrantless surveillance).

B. Compel Presidential Oversight

Forcing Congress to confront the issues, systemic problems, and other historical issues which drove American to rush to war without adequate debate on Iraq. There were known problems with the arguments, and insufficient responses. Until Congress confronts its rubber stamp of the President’s war, we can expect it to happen again, and bring with it more debt.

C. Force Congressional Accountability on Iraq

Also, once there was known to be no WMD, and the threat was known not to be imminent, and there was no plan to comply with Geneva to provide security after the initial invasion, the question should be: What stopped the Congressional staff and Members of Congress from doing what they had the power to do: Ordering in writing the IG’s to report the issues; and conduct reviews. That never happened.

Congress would have us believe (incorrectly) that they couldn’t do anything. This isn’t true. They could have refused to be silent on the issues, and consistently hounded the IGs to review whether there had or had no been war crimes.

Either Congress didn’t do what it could and was negligent; or something got in the way of Congress doing what it should and should be removed; or there is a structural problem and the Constitution needs to be modernized to prevent this from happening again.

* * *

The fundamental problem falls down to a simple issue of false timelines, dubious evidence, and the US working to other people’s agendas.

Until the US confronts the manipulated information, and the known lack of imminent, the US is going to be subject to similar abuses, manipulation, and false concerns on other issues.

Consider Iran. The US has no option but to ask Iran for assistance in Iraq. Who’s upset at this? Israel, because it means Israel can no longer get away with what former President Cater refers to as the Apartheid-like practices of the Israelis against the Palestinians.

Until the US Congress confronts the manipulation of intelligence, and how Israel exploited its favored position with the US government, this Congress can be expected to bend to more Israeli non-sense on Iran.

Where’s Israel’s solution? They want to use more abuse. That doesn’t work. It merely incites more terrorism. Absurdly, Israel appears it would rather wage illegal, abusive war than compromise for peace.

* * *

The American Congress is on the wrong path. The DNC leadership is not new. It will simply do more of what the RNC has done—engage in a protection racket, avoid looking at things which might implicate the DNC Congressional Staffers, and avoid looking at things.

This is not leadership. We have certain evidence the DNC and RNC will jointly not govern. Neither can make the case, despite the certain inaction today, they’re going to do anything in the future warranting confidence.

Certain inaction cannot be rewarded with additional power.

The way forward is for the Membership of the GOP and DNC to lay down their differences, work together, and jointly work to remove from power the flawed corrupt leaders in both parties who would rather compromise on the law, than face reality.

Also, the GOP and DNC members should work with the minority parties – the names on the ballots which receive about 5% of the vote, and encourage them to jointly create a new third, larger party.

Also, the GOP and DNC members should reach out to the non-voters, and let them know that there is a viable plan underway to craft a new Constitution, create a new third party, and effectively challenge the abuse of power by the Article I and Article II branches of government. Americans need to encourage the non-voters to have a reason for hope, not the same, flawed cycle of broken promises the DNC and GOP leadership have handed Americans for generations.

* * *

Some rightfully argue that creating a third party has no hope. Well, our present leaders are hopeless. So there’s no difference.

Others suggest that it will take time. Indeed, even if we do nothing, it will still be X-years from now, whether we do or do not act. We might as well start now.

Our job as the Public to accept what this government has done: It has waged illegal warfare; refused to hold itself accountable; and when given power it refuses to use it lawfully, if at all. This US government has illegally waged unlawful war abroad, and is engaged in an ongoing illegal insurrection and rebellion against the US Constitution.

Americans can no longer afford to confront Americans on issues of legislation: Congress is going to decide regardless. It is appropriate to communicate our concerns to the Congress, but the time interfcing with other Americans would be better spent on the larger issues Congrses refuses to face: The failed US governance.

Americans should put aside their political diferences and focuse on the US government. The larger looming threat is an out of control Congress and Exeuctive, equally unresponsive to the rule of law and defiant of their oaths. Indeed, there are many political differences between Americans, but there differences are merely being exploited by the leadership for their own lust for power, not their real interest in oversight, accountability, and protection of the Constitution.

The leadership has failed. They do not need more power. They need more oversight. The proposed Constitution is not perfect, but it is less imperfect than the current structural problem which refuses to self-check, and remains above accountability. Fact finding is needed. Until then, we have to make adverse inferences:

A. The US government is in illegal rebellion and insurrection against the Constution;

B. The Members of Congress and President remain in defiance of their oath;

C. The DNC and RNC leadership have illegally agreed to avoid looking at (a) issues which would implicate them for war crimes; and (b) other evidence showing they refused to do what they should have done.

D. The current Congressional leadership in both parties is not serious about asserting their oath, or solving problems. It is on a collision course in Iraq, and does not have the wherewith all to effectively launch the responsibility back to the President; nor does it have the competence to effectively review what failed, nor review how the entrenched failures are driving more flawed oversight and decisions.

* * *

The Congress is not changing. There are options. The President is not being held to account. As with Iran in the Middle East, the one person who has crated this mess is getting a pass and in effect getting everyone to look at everything else, but his alleged war crimes, and unlawful conduct.

State-Level Oversight of Congress

The way forward is to work with your state officials and friends in your local community, then reach out to other Americans, across the aisle.

(1) Prompt House To Focus on Impeachment Issue

Encourage your state elected officials to pass 603 Proclamations in terms that will compel Congress to take the resolution as a privileged document. This will force the House to shut down all other business, and force a debate on whether to consider the proclamation. If it is rejected, send another.

(2) Presidential Prosecution

Work with your state attorney generals to prosecute a sitting President. Just like the NSA-FISA issues, State Attorney Generals, not Congress, have taken the lead on investigating illegal Presidential conduct. The same can be said of the prosecutions.

(3) Targeting Defective Article I/II Counsel

Work with your state attorney discipline boards to lawfully investigate, disbar, and remove from the political stage the defective DOJ Staff counsel, and Congressional Staff which have failed to do their jobs or protect the Constitution, but assented to war crimes. See that the Congressional and Executive Staff counsels are publicly identified by name, and that the status of their disbarment is known to all.

(4) Put Aside Differences With GOP-DNC Membership

Reach out to the people who you have opposed politically, and have a heart to heart discussion. This is serious. The US government leadership has demonized the opposing party, but failed to chart a lawful course of oversight. The way forward is for Americans to put down their political differences, create a new third party, and rejected the combined DNC-RNC arrogance.

(5) Redrafting Constitution

Using a problem-resoution approach, work with your friends to review the matters Congress refuses, and develop your own Constitutional solutions that might remedy this oversight. A New Constitution is possible. All that’s needed is a little interest to believe that there is an alterative; things can improve; and Americans can jointly agree that a pervasive problem can be solved.

Thank you for your interest and best wishes this week end.