Constant's pations

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

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Real Congressional Ethics Reform: Oath of Office Enforcement

Real Congressional Ethics Reform: Meaningful sanctions for failing to protect the Constitution, and asserting oath of office

Let's have a real debate about real solutions, and lawfully remove from the Congress the discretion they have to not assert their oath of office.

The public can count on Congress to debate the wrong issue. Rather than looking at loopholes in the ethics law, Congress should look at whether their 5 USC 3331 defenses are credible despite the mounting war crimes evidence.

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Congressional ethics isn't just about money; it's about removing what is in the way of them doing their job. Congressional ethics needs to be viewed broadly, in terms of what lawful requirements Members of Congress should meet, not simply what they should avoid doing.

This misses the point.

Lieberman's comments are meaningless. It's pointless to chase who is or isn't getting paid, when despite those criteria, the entire Congress has effectively not done its job.

Members of Congress have been given accolades for doing nothing about war crimes, illegal activity, Constitutional violations, and unlawful warfare.

It's absurd to suggest that "new (meaningless) rules" will encourage on Congressional powers. That's the point: Despite the Article 1 Section 5 power to police itself, Congress has failed.

Anyone can argue about ethics and rules, but that debate is meaningless unless you enforce the law: The requirements under the oath of office to protect the Constitution, not to find excuses to do nothing.

  • Despite a "ban" on meals, this Congress continues to appropriate money for illegal activities;

  • Despite a "ban" on golfing trips for Congress, this Congress still supports illegal warfare, and Congress has shut down appropriations for activities which violate Geneva;

  • Despite a "ban" on bribery, Congress plans to take no action on the President's Constitutional violations.

  • Despite a "ban" on kickbacks, Congress has no needed plan to impeach DoJ Staff who have failed to protect the Constitution, and supported illegal warfare and Prisoner abuse.

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    A "big change" in ethics would include a modernization of the 5 USC 3331 enforcement. The way forward is to raise the Ethics Standards to embrace the oath of officer requirements, and create mechanisms which would target Members of Congress for not doing what they should:

  • Inquire into the media reports about illegal activity

  • Document to the IG and US Attorney their concerns that the laws are not being enforced

  • Develop methods to remove from office their Congressional peers though appropriate funds war illegal things

    * * *

    Congress has well demonstrated it is not interested or willing to engage in self-oversight. It doesn't matter what their excuses are.

    Let's consider the problem this Congress faces, and illustrate they have no solution:

    ___ What is Congress' plan to remove "partisanship" from the list of excuses getting in the way of their 5 USC 3331 obligations?

    They have no plan. Congress likes to debate irrelevant issues: It's a great way to avoid what's on the table -- impeachable offenses, war crimes, and illegal activity by Members of Congress who refuse to assert their oath and protect the Constitution.

    ___ Why will "creating a new office" of oversight mean anything if the standards Members of Congress are supposed to meet -- 5 USC 3331, oath of office, promise to protect Constitution -- isn't part of the standard Members of Congress are supposed to meet, and judged by their peers in Congress?

    Creating an office that ignores oath of office violations is meaningless.

    ___ What use is it for Pelosi to comment on what the IG office does or does not require disclosure when Pelosi is not willing to discuss with the IGs the President's illegal conduct, failures to report illegal activity as required, or the Status of IG investigations which she had the power to start if she was doing her job as majority leader?

    Pelosi can whine all day long about whether the IGs are or are not reporting whether gifts are or are not reported. The correct approach is for Madame Speaker to point to the memoranda she should have provided to the IGs raising questions about issues she has long known: Illegal activity, unconstitutional conduct, and other illegal Presidential violations which the Attorney General did not report in writing to Congress as required under Title 28.

    ___ Who cares what loopholes exist in lobbying activity when Members of Congress recognize loopholes this president uses to wage illegal warfare; and the Members of Congress enjoy loopholes to not have 5 USC 3331 violations enforced against them?

    Congress is well showing it's willing to engage in the wrong debates, and not explore the real problems within Congress: The partisan interests of Members of Congress to avoid asserting their oath, and not putting the Constitution before all partisan, committee interests.

    It's absurd to suggest that incompetence today will generate public support for a given White House candidate in 2008. When Congress chooses to debate the irrelevant issues, Members of Congress have shown they are not able to provide leadership.

    Real leaders will focus Congress on the important issues, not let them wander. This Congress enjoys having a buffoon in the Oval office because they cannot be held to account for their incompetent, frivolous debates about meaningless ethics standards.

    Real ethics means protecting the Constitution, and for the Congress to swiftly impose sanctions on any member who refuses to assert their oath. This Congress has failed. They have no plan to succeed, just create more smokescreens.

    ___ What motivation does Congress have to not implement real ethics reform that imposes meaningful consequences for failing to assert their oath of office and Protect the Constitution?

    They're complicit with illegal activity, war crimes, and know they could be indicted for having failed to do what they should. Their approach is to go through the phony motions of reform, and ignore the elephant in the Congress: The US Constitution is not effectively protected by this reckless, incompetent, lazy Congress.