Thursday, November 20, 2008

Assault With a Dead Weapon

Four impeachments attempts and an bloggers intervention later, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo shines with hubris as her Press Secretary invokes God on her behalf for 2010.  The power of impeachment, used only once since 1987,  with disastrous results, has been reduced to "assault with a dead weapon".  Why?? 
[Following is part of a recent post at Filipino Voices...]

In my opinion, the One-third Minority Rule on initiating cases of impeachment is a fundamentally flawed and undemocratic concept. It is philosophically inconsistent with Majority Rule, which is at the heart of everything the Congress does, from electing its officers to passing the budget, to making laws. People only like it if they don't like the President or other impeachable officials because they think it will be easier to impeach them. But by exempting impeachment from Majority Rule we are paradoxically devaluing, degrading, or even illegitimizing the process of impeachment itself, thus defeating the stated purpose of 1987's lowered impeachment initiation threshold. I think it is the principle behind Majority Rule that legitimizes any official act or law in a representative democracy. Official acts or laws ought to be legitimate in both form and substance. For me, legitimate in substance means the act or law does all things necessary and sufficient to achieve its stated purposes. Legitimate in form means it has passed the test of Majority Rule.

When we do not require the free will and approval of the Majority in a matter as gravely political as the initiation of removal proceedings against the President, or other high officials, we invite big trouble. By not requiring the "good housekeeping seal of approval" that Majority Rule bestows, we are building a weak foundation of public trust in the process of impeachment. For how is the public to evaluate or appreciate the overall merit or wisdom of an impeachment complaint or case, without the benefit of the same level of institutional approval or discernment that the public expects of even the most mundane legislation, such as the renaming of streets?

The attempt to impeach a particular President may be legitimate in substance, but because of the One-third minority rule, we are depriving it of the primordial legitimacy of form bestowed on acts and laws approved by Majority Rule. Unless a clear Majority supported it, the impeachment case will arrive at the Senate Court dressed in the shabby garments of every rejected proposal in the House, none of which ever dark the Senate's door.

At the moment the Administration forces in the House have been able to prevent the Opposition from attaining the required one-third threshold to impeach the President. (It is a testament to Gloria Arroyo's compleat understanding and political mastery of the Members of the House.) This would be the case of "legitimate in substance" but railroaded to the dumpsite by the Majority.

But there is something far worse possible. Someday, we could easily have a very different situation. We could have a "good" President undeserving of impeachment, faced with a stronger House opposition able to regularly muster the required 33% to satisfy the Minority Rule on impeachment. Then we could see all sorts of morally or ethically illegitimate impeachments going to trial in the Senate. After all there are thirty-one targets available at least once a year, not just the President. Such a profligacy of impeachments suits could be a good or a bad thing, but both conditions would be vastly improved if all impeachments that did reach trial, had all the seals of good housekeeping bestowed by Majority Rule.

For reference, here are the relevant portions of 1987 Art. XI on Accountability of Public Officers:
Section 1. Public office is a public trust. Public officers and employees must, at all times, be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency; act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives. Section 2. The President, the Vice-President, the Members of the Supreme Court, the Members of the Constitutional Commissions, and the Ombudsman may be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal of public trust. All other public officers and employees may be removed from office as provided by law, but not by impeachment. Section 3. (1) The House of Representatives shall have the exclusive power to initiate all cases of impeachment. (2) A verified complaint for impeachment may be filed by any Member of the House of Representatives or by any citizen upon a resolution or endorsement by any Member thereof, which shall be included in the Order of Business within ten session days, and referred to the proper Committee within three session days thereafter. The Committee, after hearing, and by a majority vote of all its Members, shall submit its report to the House within sixty session days from such referral, together with the corresponding resolution. The resolution shall be calendared for consideration by the House within ten session days from receipt thereof. (3) A vote of at least one-third of all the Members of the House shall be necessary either to affirm a favorable resolution with the Articles of Impeachment of the Committee, or override its contrary resolution. The vote of each Member shall be recorded. (4) In case the verified complaint or resolution of impeachment is filed by at least one-third of all the Members of the House, the same shall constitute the Articles of Impeachment, and trial by the Senate shall forthwith proceed. (5) No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year. (6) The Senate shall have the sole power to try and decide all cases of impeachment. When sitting for that purpose, the Senators shall be on oath or affirmation. When the President of the Philippines is on trial, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall preside, but shall not vote. No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate. (7) Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than removal from office and disqualification to hold any office under the Republic of the Philippines, but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to prosecution, trial, and punishment, according to law. (8) The Congress shall promulgate its rules on impeachment to effectively carry out the purpose of this section.

How can it be right that a far greater fraction of the people's sovereignty is required to rename a street or pass the most mundane of laws, than it is to proceed with removing the President or Chief Justice from office by putting them on impeachment trial in the Senate?

The rule makes initiating a case of impeachment easier by lowering the arithmetic threshold, yet there is an absolute once-per-year limit on the initiation of impeachment proceedings. The sum of these two opposed effects is however, not zero, because the one third minority rule has badly damaged the power of impeachment by saddling it with the essential illegitimacy of an act with threshold of approval set much lower than every other act of the House and Senate. Hilario Davide, whose handiwork this brilliant 1987 innovation is known to be, actually first proposed a ONE-FIFTH minority rule for initiating impeachment, on the theory that another Dictator Marcos could be prevented if the Congress could impeach him at the first sign of culpable violation of the Constitution.
How much better would THAT idea have been?! Disastrous results, especially for Constitutional Separation of Powers, attended the one time it was invoked to impeach Erap exactly seven years ago last week--who was removed from office not by conviction at Senate trial (which was sure to acquit him) but by the inexplicable, extrajudicial act of the Chief Justice suddenly swearing in the Vice President, who claimed the President was permanently incapacitated--a bald lie.

There is supernal irony to the fact that a deeply undemocratic principle in the one-third minority rule, underpins impeachment, over which the Congress has sole and exclusive power and jurisdiction. Not even the Supreme Court can reverse or review a decision by the Senate in a case of impeachment. Neither can even the power of the President to grant pardons and commutations change the verdict or penalty in any case of impeachment. Yet this vast power can be wielded and deployed under a Minority Rule.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Apocalyptic Obama

Cardinal James Francis Stafford, (head warden of the Apostolic Penitentiary of the Holy See), calls Barack Obama "aggressive, disruptive, apocalyptic" over his stand on abortion. The Catholic News Agency reports...
Washington DC, Nov 17, 2008 / 02:27 pm (CNA).- Cardinal James Francis Stafford, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary of the Holy See, delivered a lecture on Thursday saying that the future under President-elect Obama will echo Jesus’ agony in Gethsemane. Criticizing Obama as “aggressive, disruptive and apocalyptic,” he went on to speak about a decline in respect for human life and the need for Catholics to return to the values of marriage and human dignity.

Delivered at the Catholic University of America, the cardinal’s lecture was titled “Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II: Being True in Body and Soul,” the student university paper The Tower reports. Hosted by the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, his words focused upon Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae, whose fortieth anniversary is marked this year.

Commenting on the results of the recent presidential election, Cardinal Stafford said on Election Day “America suffered a cultural earthquake.” The cardinal argued that President-elect Obama had campaigned on an “extremist anti-life platform” and predicted that the near future would be a time of trial.

“If 1968 was the year of America’s ‘suicide attempt,’ 2008 is the year of America’s exhaustion,” he said, contrasting the year of Humane Vitae’s promulgation with this election year.

“For the next few years, Gethsemane will not be marginal. We will know that garden,” Cardinal Stafford told his audience. Catholics who weep the “hot, angry tears of betrayal” should try to identify with Jesus, who during his agony in the garden was “sick because of love.”

The cardinal attributed America’s decline to the Supreme Court’s decisions such as the 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade, which imposed permissive abortion laws nationwide.

“Its scrupulous meanness has had catastrophic effects upon the unity and integrity of the American republic,” Cardinal Stafford commented, according to The Tower.

His theological remarks centered upon man’s relationship with God and man’s place in society.

“Man is a sacred element of secular life,” he said, arguing that therefore “man should not be held to a supreme power of state, and a person’s life cannot ultimately be controlled by government.”

Cardinal Stafford also touched on the state of the family, saying that the truest reflection of the relationship between the believer and God is the relationship between husband and wife, and that contraceptive use does not fit within that relationship.
This follows a series of comments and scoldings from priests like Fr. Jay Scott Newman of Greenville, South Carolina, who "told parishioners that those who voted for Barack Obama placed themselves under divine judgment because of his stance on abortion and should not receive Holy Communion until they've done penance."  
TIME Magazine suggests the Pope may clash with Obama on abortion.

Meanwhile, in the archipelago, the fight over the Reproductive Health Bill in the House has been fierce and ongoing for months.  Though clearly favored by the public in overwhelming numbers (according to opinion surveys), the bill is facing rough sailing, even if it has nothing to do with legalizing or decriminalizing abortion. 

From the Catholic Bishop's Conference of the Philippines website:
The Catholic bishop's hierarchy made a stern warning Friday against “misleading” surveys in favor of the controversial Reproductive Health bill. Archbishop Paciano Aniceto, Episcopal Commission on Family and Life chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, said it’s a “mind-conditioning” strategy of those behind the bill.
Well if anyone knows about MIND CONDITIONING it's these guys. So they're fighting back by beefing up catechism lessons where the kids can get some honest to goodness truth in proselytizing.

What I am truly waiting for from Manila's Mullahs however, is some honest reflection on the Pope's own recent apologies for clergy sexual abuse (Newsweek) of parishioners and defenseless young men and women. And look at this from Der Spiegel
The child sex abuse scandal in the US Catholic Church first came to light in 2002. Since then the church has paid out $2 billion in compensation settlements to victims.
Wow! That's a lot of PEDOPHILIA, your reverences!

Please join the lively debate and discussion on this topic over at Filipino Voices

Is the Reproductive Health Bill Unconstitutional

Resolved: That Abortion Be Decriminalized

Remove the Anti-poor Bans on Divorce and Abortion

When Does Human Life Begin?

The Catholic Magisterium on Contraception

Support the Reproductive Health Bill

Some Fallacies in the Reproductive Health Bill Debate

We'd love to hear your opinion on this crucial national issue.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Whose Grave Abuse of Discretion Was It?

In the landmark case North Cotabato v. GRP the Supreme Court of the Republic of the Philippines (SCoRP) ruled that the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process had committed grave abuse of discretion in the design and crafting, negotiation and settlement of the GRP MILF MOA AD. But three different persons have held that position in the time since the 2001 Tripoli Agreement included Ancestral Domain as a main strand of peace negotiations: Ging Deles, Jess Dureza and Hermogenes Esperon. But SCoRP in 1999 already defined the elements of GRAVE abuse of discretion (arbitrariness, despotism, etc).
In sum, the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process committed grave abuse of discretion when he failed to carry out the pertinent consultation process, as mandated by E.O. No. 3, Republic Act No. 7160, and Republic Act No. 8371. The furtive process by which the MOA-AD was designed and crafted runs contrary to and in excess of the legal authority, and amounts to a whimsical, capricious, oppressive, arbitrary and despotic exercise thereof. It illustrates a gross evasion of positive duty and a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined. The MOA-AD cannot be reconciled with the present Constitution and laws. Not only its specific provisions but the very concept underlying them, namely, the associative relationship envisioned between the GRP and the BJE, are unconstitutional, for the concept presupposes that the associated entity is a state and implies that the same is on its way to independence.
Scheduled to sign for the Philippines at Putrajaya, Malaysia on August 5, 2008 was the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, Gen. Hermogenes Esperon, who had just assumed the post after retiring from the Armed Forces as Chief of Staff on May 9, 2008. He took over from Press Secretary Jess Dureza who was PAPP since Ging Deles resigned in 2005 over

Although it was Esperon who was clearly in the position of PAPP when the Supreme Court promulgated its Decision on the MOA-AD last month, he was not that before the middle of May this year and the MOA-AD has been years in the making. Surely the Supreme Court did not literally mean that the person Jun Esperon, retired Garci Tapes general and former Chief of Staff of AFP was himself responsible for the "furtive nature by which the MOA-AD was designed and crafted."

With the design and crafting of the MOA-AD it is certain Hermogenes Esperon had little to do. He could not have evaded or refused any duty enjoined with respect to the MOA-AD because he, Jun Esperon was busy running the AFP and did not have Dureza's job before May this year, whereas the MOA-AD is part and parcel of the wider peace process under the 2001 GRP-MILF Tripoli Agreement and has been in process since

The only reasonable and logical reading of North Cotabato v. GRP's summary disposative section therefore means that where the Supreme Court refers to the "Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process" in that section, they do not actually refer to Jun Esperon, the present but very recent occupant of that position.

If not Hermogenes Esperon could they be referring then to Jess Dureza, who was its long-time, previous occupant? I am tempted to say yes, since it cannot have escaped the High Court's notice that Jess Dureza was the PAPP for most the relevant period leading up to August 5.

But then again, Jess Dureza only took over over from Ging Deles in 2005, when she resigned over the Garci Scandal. Yet negotiations with the MILF and the development of the three strands (Security, Rehabilitation and Ancestral Domain) had been ongoing since 2001, when Ms. Deles would have been principally in charge as PAPP under President Arroyo.

So, did the Supreme Court mean Ging Deles? Jess Dureza? Hermogenes Esperon? -- when it referred to the PAPP as having committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of or an excess of jurisdiction in designing, crafting, negotiating and attempting to sign the MOA-AD?

REGARDING GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION, the Supreme Court ruled in 1999:
In a special action for certiorari, the burden is on petitioner to prove not merely reversible error, but grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of the public respondent. "By grave abuse of discretion is meant capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. Mere abuse of discretion is not enough. It must be grave abuse of discretion as when the power is exercised in an arbitrary or despotic manner by reason of passion or personal hostility, and must be so patent and so gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined or to act at all in contemplation of law."
Thus the difference between MERE abuse of discretion and GRAVE abuse of discretion apparently lies in at least two distinguishing attributes of ARBITRARINESS and DESPOTISM.

Yet, is it plausible to assign these attributes to the persons Esperon, Dureza and Deles? Considering that on the matter of the peace process all of them seemed to take strict orders from the President, none of them can hardly be accused of acting in an arbitrary manner -- not with the micromanager of a Boss they had. Likewise, whatever despotism the Court perceives in the actions of the PAPP, it has to be flowing from some truly despotic source that is definitely higher than the Springs of Deles, Dureza and Esperon. Moreover, if these three were furtive in the design, crafting, negotiation and settlement of the Ancestral Domain deal, that powerful spell of Omerta they seem to have been under could only have been cast on them by the Capo di tutti capi.

If not Deles, Dureza and/or Esperon, then who has committed a grave abuse of discretion? There is a very important clue in the part of the Decision where the Court rejects the respondent's claims that the issues surrounding the Ancestral Domain MOA:
Contrary to the assertion of respondents that the non-signing of the MOA-AD and the eventual dissolution of the GRP Peace Panel mooted the present petitions, the Court finds that the present petitions provide an exception to the “moot and academic” principle in view of (a) the grave violation of the Constitution involved; (b) the exceptional character of the situation and paramount public interest; (c) the need to formulate controlling principles to guide the bench, the bar, and the public; and (d) the fact that the case is capable of repetition yet evading review.
Neither Ging Deles nor Jess Dureza, not even Jun Esperon--of their own free will and volition--are capable of causing a repetition of the crafting, designing and settlment of a MOA on Ancestral Domain with the MILF.

On every substantive point, it would be wilfull halucination to claim that anyone but the President was guilty of more than a mere abuse of discretion.

Only President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, in the full exercise of her discretion as Chief Executive has the power and the personality to be arbitrary, despotic, evasive of review and capable of doing it again. It was HER discretion that was gravely abused. But the acts of her underlings ought not to be blamed on them entirely. If anything they were only guilty of MERE abuse of discretion, but the GRAVE abuse belongs entirely to her.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bloggers Intervene To Impeach GMA for MOA-AD

CITIZENS led by bloggers Manuel L. Quezon III (The Daily Dose), Ron of the The Marocharim Experiment and FEU Law Professor Edwin Lacierda have taken the unprecedented step of "intervening" in the current impeachment complaint against President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in the House of Representatives.

I support the efforts of these very upright members of Philippine society to demand that the Rule of Law be enforced, especially by those whose job and duty it is to do so. I support their efforts to fortify the impeachment complaint inspite of knowing that the cards are stacked against them in the House. Already, the House totem-factotums seem irked that the de-kahon process of burying one of these Impeachment Complaints might be needlessly prolonged or even discombobulated by an unprecedented wrinkle like this intervention.

Noting that just one day after the present complaint was filed in the House, the Supreme Court on October 14 promulgated its landmark decision (North Cotabato v. GRP) striking down as unconstitutional on multiple grounds a Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain that the GRP had initialed and was preparing to sign with the rebel MILF last August 5. The agreement would've created the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE)--a proposal which I am proud to say I was one of the very first to publicly decry and criticize when Gloria first mentioned it nearly a year before BJE made bloody headlines. (See my 2007 post, Ancestral Domain Regime or Bangsamorostan?)

After reading through the Intervention, it really made my blood boil even more than before. I find merit in the prayer to include PGMA's culpability in the matter of the MOA on Ancestral Domain. I agree that the President violated her oath of office and various official duties through inept, irresponsible and ultimately reckless and destructive handling of the Mindanao peace process. Since the government's abandonment of the MOA-AD--patently to win the Supreme Court's favor of a "moot and academic" ruling -- the situation in Mindanao has degenerated into war and destruction. It is the duty of Congress to impeach the President if it determines that the President is responsible for the MOA-AD's ultra vires provisions and conceptions, such as the "associative relationship between the GRP and the BJE" -- which the Supreme Court considered particularly violative of the Constitution not only for transgressing on Philippine territorial and sovereign rights but also for usurping the prerogatives of the Congress and the people themselves in the birthing and ratification of new Constitutions.

The MOA-AD, in the Supreme Court's judgment, stipulated agreement by the Arroyo government, to simultaneously create a Bangsamoro State within the Philippine State and to grant it recognition on par with commonwealth status in preparation for full independence. The setting up of this de-facto "associative relationship" without the consent of the people was ultra vires -- not within the powers -- of the President to negotiate and agree to.

At one point, SolGen Agnes Devanadera had offered the lame defense that the President had not read the MOA-AD in its final form, a "defensive" defense that tries to fudge the idea that the President did not know what was being agreed to. But the referred to "associative relationship" between BJE and the GRP pointed out by the Supreme Court, is a central concept of the new arrangement to be adopted had the MOA been signed. As such, this associative relationship was not a detail that the President would've missed due to changing versions.

Final Complaint in Intervention MOA
Get your own at Scribd or explore others: Law Opinions

Bush Regrets

In his first television one-on-one interview on CNN since the elections, President George W. Bush expressed his regrets over certain things he has said and done during the last eight years. In particular he mentioned "Dead or Alive!", "Bring'em on!" and the incident on a US warship shortly after the Iraq invasion in which a sign became an ironic emblem for the entire progress of the war since: "Mission Accomplished."

I think the remarks above are the closest George W. Bush has come to "apologizing" and his disarming candor will be noted by many, along with his genuine praise for President-elect Barack Obama. There was however, no news at all about how things actually went between Laura Bush (maroon) and Michelle Obama (flaming red)...Bush said he was sorry that "his choice" John McCain lost the 2008 presidential election but did not admit he was one of the reasons for it. (That is painfully obvious anyway.) But Bush struck absolutely the right note by hailing Barack Obama's convincing election victory as an historic moment, a day that "many people never thought they would see." Indeed the ginormity of the victors' mandate makes it absolutely honorable for the losers to concede and accept defeat with dignity and offer genuine congratulations. Bush did more than that by offering and arranging a smooth and effective transition to the incoming administration team.

Asked how the visit between George and Laura and Barack and Michelle went, Bush was firmly tightlipped about "advice on foreign and domestic issues" he might have given the President-elect, but he was quite sincere--almost in shock and awe--in praising Barack Obama as the father of two lovely daughters who was concerned during the visit about how they would take to life in the White House, their surroundings for the next four years. Bush seemed to admire and acknowledge Barack Obama's family values, and opined that this would be an important part of his Presidency.

Bush recalled how the Clintons once welcomed them to the White House in 2000 and he told Bubba, "You didn't have to do this!" In according the same graciousness to the Obamas, Dubya strengthens the American tradition of peaceful, even convivial transitions of power at the top. Moreover, I got the impression that Bush genuinely supports the president-elect and hopes he will be successful.

Martin Luther King would be smiling right about now, not crying like Jesse Jackson, now that even the cynical have seen the Promised Land, and the people have judged a leader, not by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character.

The triumph of Barack Obama is indeed not a "black victory"--one wag even claimed it to be the victory of white supremacists over their own racism! It is in truth a triumph of the entire American people in overcoming the mental illness of racial prejudice and discrimination, a redemption of centuries-old American ideals which "hold it to be self-evident that all men are created equal."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Such Sincere Conviviality

"A good constructive relaxed and friendly meeting" is how White House spokesperson Dana Perino describes the meeting between George and Barack and Laura and Michelle today, as the Bushes hosted the Obama's at the White House. (No! It is not being renamed the Black House, silly!) The CNN coverage I first watched has Laura Bush glancing down at her watch during the first picture! picture! It was reminiscent of a move her father-in-law, George H.W. Bush once made in a presidential debate, which of course this event was not. Later clips don't contain the small and probably meaningless motion--not on this day of the such sincere conviviality imaginable... A sign of a strong and healthy democracy... Maybe the two ladies discussed the drapes with a serious mien later...President Bush was both generous and gracious in his congratulations to the President-elect...a very warm welcome is always in order to whomsoever you are handing off the Hot Potato! ...Barack himself can't bear Dubya too much umbrage...Bush being the best election argument against John McCain. I noticed a slight Texas swagger to Barack's stride as he and Bush strode past the Roses in the Garden...

Laurence H. Tribe, Professor of constitutional law at Harvard, calls Barack Obama "the most impressive student" he has ever taught (possibly next only to Michelle Obama).
Barack Obama's unique ability to explain and to motivate, coupled with his signature ability to listen and to learn, and linked with the calm that marked his nearly flawless campaign, will serve him--and all of us--well as we grapple with as daunting a set of problems as the nation has faced in three-quarters of a century. It is of course true that only time will tell just how successful this brave, brilliant and caring man will be in charting a new course for the country, something that will depend only partly on decisions that Obama will make as president.
The student exceeds the master, eh? We shall see...

Obama's victory was everyone's victory, not a "black thing," opines Elizabeth Wurtzel
Of course, Mr. Obama's election to the highest office in the nation is a particular party for the African-American community -- only a moron would miss that point -- but why leave the rest of us out? Anyone still thinking straight after this heady occasion knows that Mr. Obama is to be our next president in spite of race, not because of it. The winner of this contest may finally be Martin Luther King Jr., whose dream is at last realized: We judged Mr. Obama not by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character. Why minimize the wonder of that by making this into a black thing?
If anything, I guess, Obama's victory was the white majority's victory over a collective demon-- a triumph over a mental illness once pandemic in America, now hopefully on the way to extinction, like polio or malaria or some other debilitating disease. Blacks and "people of colour" should note the transformation, but remember and beware the symptoms, racism being truly an equal opportunity affliction.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Barack Obama: "A Mutt Like Me"

Video and transcripts of Barack Obama's first press conference  (courtesy of the New York Times) show that this guy is ready for the job of President of the United States.  He was confident, purposeful and optimistic in his formal remarks, yet circumspect and respectful, when he reminded everyone that we only "have one President at a time" and refused to confound diplomatic signals on Iran, repeating that a nuclear armed Iran is unacceptable.

The president-elect was very relaxed with the Press during the question and answer period.  Asked what a new President could do in the first hundred days in office, he responded immediately that he would act to restore confidence as the financial crisis spills out into the rest of the economy.  He said that if the lame-duck Congress did not do it as a final act under the Bush administration, it would be his first accomplishment as President to pass a second economic stimulus package. He stressed the need to create jobs and boost consumer confidence.

Asked what books he was reading and which Presidents he has talked to, Barack Obama said he had been talking to all of the living presidents but mentioned specifically his re-reading of ABRAHAM LINCOLN speeches and writings.

Now regarding the puppy...It seems the Obama's have to get an "hypo-allergenic dog" because Melea is allergic to dogs.  Barack Obama said, he would have preferred they got a shelter dog ("a mutt like me").   Haha, oh well...movin on the East Side...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama Speaks in Chicago

PRESIDENT-ELECT BARACK OBAMA delivers an acceptance speech in Chicago following concession and congratulations from Sen. John McCain...

The Los Angeles Times got it all quite nicely: "That's the genius of America--that America can change!"
The New York Times has transcript and video of the President elect Barack Obama's Victory Speech on Nov. 4, 2008 in Chicago.

Goodbye, Toot.

Barack Obama's grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, died of cancer today in Hawaii--where she once raised the man who is on the threshold of well, the Promised Land, (as all signs point to him winning the Presidency of the United States of America on Election Day). "Toot" (from "grandmother" in an African language) was 86. She was a World War II bomber assembly line worker and died at their "family estate" -- a fifty square foot apartment she has rented for decades in central Honolulu. Goodbye, Toot!

Something Heard on CNN...

ROSA sat, so MARTIN could march, so BARACK could run and the children, FLY.