Betreff: Our Democracy is in Very Serious Danger Now, I am Willing to Help
Datum: Mon, 22 Nov 2004 13:50:02 EST

Below is very credible documentation to show that legitimate debate over important issues in Washington, a real system of checks and balances, and true democracy as we know it are all in very serious danger right now!

There are four very alarming articles below.  They are titled in order: "Larger Majorities and the Itch to Stretch G.O.P. Muscles," "Senate Leader Frist Seeks to Change Filibuster Rules," "GOP Approves New Party Rules in Light of DeLay," and "Bush Seeks to Rule The Bureaucracy."

What is clearly happening is that the majority faction of the Republican Party is trying very hard to eliminate any opposition to their agenda from the rest of the Republican Party who do not agree with them and from the Democratic Party!

This is an outright attempt by an overall minority faction of the country to gain full control over the entire country.  It is this type of attitude and these kind of dirty and underhanded tactics that are causing the bitter partisanship and division in this country now! 

There will be no light at the end of the tunnel to the division in this country if this attempted hijacking of the country is not stopped.  If this continues, then Bush and the Neoconservative Republican leaders will turn this country into a one party state with no minority rights.  Just look at all that they have already done so quickly after the election which is credibly and clearly documented below!

To deal with this, we need to be concerned about the future direction and message of the Democratic Party, we always need to be aware of what Bush and his Neoconservative inner circle of Washington leaders are doing, and we must always be ready to speak out loudly against their attempts to change the rules in Washington and force their extreme agenda on the entire country!

They cannot be allowed to get away with that type of behavior without a legitimate debate of the issues, without a real system of checks and balances in place, and without their being willing to compromise in good faith with the many people of both parties who disagree with them and their agenda!

I will be very glad to help out in dealing with things like this for any person, group, or organization who would like my help on a regular basis.  I am currently available to do any kind of contract and/or full time work in the areas of professional writing, research, debate, and political analysis.

Please contact me directly if I can be of help to you or to your organization.  I cannot relocate to do this work but I can work for anyone anywhere in the country on my computer, I am available by telephone at any arranged time, I am able to travel at anytime, and I can do any kind of work in the Dallas, Texas area.

Other writing samples of mine are available upon request and many of my articles and media interviews are available on-line by just entering my name "Mitch Dworkin" in the Google search on your computer.  I was a media spokesperson for the nationwide Republicans for Kerry grassroots organization during the election.

Please feel free to forward this message on to people who you know and to other groups that you are on.  I am very serious about wanting to protect our democracy and helping to make sure that the Neoconservatives and extreme right wing do not seize control of our great country with their extreme agenda!

I am very concerned about what is happening now and I would like to be of as much help as I can in preserving our democracy!


Mitch Dworkin
Dallas, Texas

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

Master of Education

Former Campaign Manager, Gary R. Page for Congress, Texas Congressional District 24               


Updated: 02:11 PM EST
Larger Majorities and the Itch to Stretch G.O.P. Muscles

By CARL HULSE, The New York Times

WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 - House Republicans knew that their post-election rush to protect their majority leader, Tom DeLay, from losing his post in the event of a criminal indictment would prompt charges of hypocrisy and ethical backsliding. With the numbers on their side, they plunged ahead anyway.

In fact, the decision to shield Mr. DeLay from an investigation in his home state, Texas, is the most striking manifestation of a new boldness of Republicans in Congress, who enhanced their majorities in the election.

The aggressiveness is not just in the House. Senate Republicans are threatening to deploy a potentially explosive procedural tactic to prevent Democrats from filibustering President Bush's judicial nominees.

On Wednesday, seven newly elected Republican senators helped give their majority leader, Bill Frist, broad new power to dole out committee assignments, a move that could help him keep independent-minded senators in line on critical issues and punish those who stray.

As the lame-duck session inched along, Republicans in the House and Senate backed a stand-alone increase in the federal debt limit - an uncomfortable bit of business that lawmakers usually try to obscure because it draws attention to their inability to control the deficit. Before the election, Republicans were nervous even talking about a debt-limit increase, let alone bringing an independent one to the floor.

And the leadership is not shy about pushing a highly ambitious agenda that includes major revisions in Social Security and the tax code.

"Social Security and tax reform are both on the agenda for the 109th Congress, and we plan to send both bills to the president before we adjourn two years from now," Mr. DeLay says in remarks prepared for delivery on Friday to the Council for National Policy. "And we're just getting warmed up."

Together, the actions make it clear that Congressional Republicans, like their ally President Bush, interpret the Nov. 2 results as giving them the clear go-ahead, and they are more than happy to seize the moment. The actions preview what has emerged as a new dynamic on Capitol Hill.

"This was a historic strengthening," said Senator George Allen, the Virginian who led the campaign effort that gave the slim Republican majority more breathing room with a gain of four seats. "We know what we want to do and now we have the ability to do it. And I think we will."

For all the activity, Republicans have taken care not to gloat publicly or strut through the halls of Congress. They talk regularly about their willingness to work with Democrats who want to help them push major initiatives.

"Republicans aren't likely to accomplish much alone," Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the No. 2 Senate Republican, said Thursday. "The same is true for our Democratic colleagues."

Perhaps Mr. McConnell and his colleagues are mindful of the consequences of appearing too confident.

"House leaders in particular are vulnerable to becoming drunk with power, because it is an institution in which even with a bare majority, you can pretty much do what you want," Ross K. Baker, a political scientist at Rutgers University, said. "Democrats did the same thing. They press their advantage to the point where it looks like a naked power grab."

Handed majorities in Congress, Republicans have pressed too hard in the past. After sweeping victories in 1980, the Republicans pushed through tax cuts, a military buildup and other Ronald Reagan programs, only to lose control of the Senate in 1986. After taking control of the House in 1994, Republicans rallied behind Newt Gingrich's agenda and impeached President Bill Clinton. They lost seats in 1998, though they remain in power.

Democrats and veteran Congress watchers view the early maneuvering in the House and Senate as a sign that Republicans are more than ready to go it alone, if necessary.

"This is all about smash-mouth politics," Thomas E. Mann, a scholar at the Brookings Institution, said. "They have no intention of changing course in the House, and Frist is going to try to move some of the ways of doing business in the House to the Senate. The idea here is that we won, they lost."

That approach has risks. The decision to change party rules for Mr. DeLay could let House Republicans be viewed in the same light as the Democrats they drove from power in the 90's by casting them as sleazy.

Recalling Republican finger-pointing at Democratic scandals in the 1980's and 90's, Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 Democrat in the House, said, "It is indeed ironic that that same Republican leadership is now proposing they allow indicted leaders to continue as their leaders."

If Senate Republicans fail to follow through on their threat to break any filibusters mounted by Democrats against new judicial choices, they could end up looking weak. And Democrats are issuing their own threats, promising to retaliate by bringing Senate business to a grinding halt should Republicans try to rule the filibusters unconstitutional through a simple majority vote.

"They'd better be very, very careful what they do," Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the new Democratic leader, said. "I think they would be making a huge mistake to try to mess with the rules that are standing now in the Senate. I think they are crying wolf far too much."

The Senate Republican leadership also took out insurance this week to make certain that its new 55-to-45 majority remains solid. In a surprise, Senate Republicans voted to give the majority leader power to fill some vacancies on the most important committees like Appropriations, Finance and Armed Services, seats now filled through seniority. The approach gives Dr. Frist new leverage to enforce party loyalty, and it was backed by some newly elected senators, six of them from the House.

Republicans say they do not believe they are going too far or too fast with their initial moves but are simply taking advantage of an election that clearly turned in their favor.

"It is not hubris," Senator Trent Lott, Republican of Mississippi, said. "I think it is excitement and enthusiasm about the opportunities.''

But as Mr. Gingrich learned before being ousted as speaker, sometimes excessive enthusiasm can get you into trouble.

11-19-04 14:32 EST


Senate Leader Frist Seeks to Change Filibuster Rules

By David Brody
Congressional Correspondent

November 16, 2004 – WASHINGTON -- The question of liberal, activist judges was a key issue in this year's presidential campaign. Now CBN News has learned that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) has decided to change the Senate rules to stop the Democrats from blocking President Bush's judicial nominees.

Frist has several options to help the President's judicial nominees. The Senate has not been a kind place to them, with Democrats blocking or filibustering 10 of the president's picks. In other words, they have never gotten out of committee for a vote on the Senate floor. That has never happened before in the history of the Senate. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) is a member of the Judiciary Committee. He said, "Of the 10 that were filibustered last year, all 10 of them could have been confirmed if they had just been allowed to come to a majority vote on the Senate floor."

Democrats say some of the nominees are simply too conservative. Under Senate rules as they stand now, Republicans need 60 votes to stop a Democratic filibuster. But Frist doesn't have 60 Republicans, so he is looking at some options.

Sources tell CBN News that Sen. Frist will first go to the Democrats and try to work with them on legislation to change the filibuster rule. One bill under consideration would make it so that it only takes 51 votes to stop a filibuster. If that does not work, then Sen. Frist may try to change the filibuster rule when the new Senate session begins in January. Frist only needs 51 votes to change the filibuster rule.

Another strategy is the "nuclear option." Under this plan, Sen. Frist appeals to the President of the Senate, who would be Vice President Dick Cheney, and claims that filibusters against judicial nominees are unconstitutional. The chair would then rule in the Republicans favor. Democrats would object, but Republicans would be able to override the objection with a simple majority of 51 votes.

The problem for Sen. Frist and the Republicans is that if they decide to try to change Senate rules, Democrats will most likely have a fit. The way the Senate is set up, they could effectively shut down business in the Senate, and that means blocking President Bush's domestic agenda.

But a senior Senate aide tells CBN News that Sen. Frist has decided that despite the opposition he will likely encounter from Democrats, he simply cannot tolerate the filibustering anymore, and so he will definitely do something to stop it. It is just that the exact option has not been chosen yet.

Mark Agrast with the liberal Center for American Progress says changing filibuster rules is not a good idea.

Agrast said, "It could be exceedingly damaging to the institution to say majority vote rules in all circumstances in all times, to essentially eliminate super majorities. I think when people think about this carefully, they will approach with great caution any of these options."

But after a couple years of what the GOP is calling Democratic obstructionism, Sen. Frist seems to be out of patience.

Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway said, "Senator Frist is probably operating from a point of frustration and tremendous patience which some of us would not have, with his Democratic colleagues."

The GOP may be in a pretty good position to make the change. With a banner election night that brought with it a 55-vote majority and a defeated Democrat minority leader Tom Daschle, who was a key leader in blocking President Bush's judicial nominees, Republicans hope the Democrats may be ready to bargain.

Sen. Cornyn said, "I think that's going to change the whole landscape here, and make it much more likely that we'll be able to resolve this in a way that I think will be in the best interests of the American people."


Updated: 03:08 PM EST
GOP Approves New Party Rules in Light of DeLay


House Republicans decided a committee would review any felony indictment of a party leader. The new rule would protect leader Tom DeLay if he is indicted on political corruption charges in Texas.

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WASHINGTON (Nov. 17) - House Republicans approved a party rules change Wednesday that could allow Majority leader Tom DeLay to retain his leadership post if he is indicted by a Texas grand jury on state political corruption charges.

By a voice vote, and with a handful of lawmakers voicing opposition, the House Republican Conference decided that a party committee of several dozen members would review any felony indictment of a party leader and recommend at that time whether the leader should step aside.

The current party rule in this area requires House Republican leaders and the heads of the various committees to relinquish their positions if indicted for a crime that could bring a prison term of at least two years. It makes no distinction between a federal and state indictment. Three of DeLay's political associates already have been indicted by that Texas grand jury.

Rep. Henry Bonilla, R-Texas, said that under the change embraced Wednesday, the House Republican Steering Committee would have 30 legislative days to review a felony indictment and recommend to all House Republicans whether a lawmaker who is charged could remain as a committee chairman or leader.

There is no indication that DeLay, a 57-year-old Texan, will be indicted in connection with a Travis County, Texas, campaign finance investigation. But the majority leader has called the probe a partisan attack on him.

Bonilla said there was no vote count taken in the closed meeting but said the proposal passed overwhelmingly.

''This takes the power away from any partisan crackpot district attorney who may want to indict'' party leaders and make a name for himself, Bonilla said.

Lawmakers said that DeLay did not publicly push for the change and did not participate in the closed-door debate which lasted several hours.

Bonilla said the leader would not have to step aside while fellow party members considered whether an indictment was frivolous.

The grand jury is probing alleged irregularities in 2002 state legislative races. Republican victories in those contests enabled DeLay ultimately to win support for a congressional redistricting plan that resulted in the GOP's gain of five House seats in Texas in this month's elections.

House Democrats have a step-aside provision that applies to both federal and state proceedings similar to the current Republican rule, and their leader, Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, was highly critical of the GOP proposal.

''If they make this rules change, Republicans will confirm yet again that they simply do not care if their leaders are ethical. If Republicans believe that an indicted member should be allowed to hold a top leadership position in the House of Representatives, their arrogance is astonishing,'' Pelosi said.

In September, the grand jury indicted three political operatives associated with DeLay and eight companies, alleging campaign finance violations related to corporate money spent in the 2002 legislative races. The corporate donations were made to Texans for a Republican Majority, a political action committee created with help from DeLay.

DeLay said he was not questioned or subpoenaed as part of the investigation, led by retiring prosecutor Ronnie Earle.

The majority leader said after the indictments, ''This has been a dragged-out 500-day investigation, and you do the political math. This is no different than other kinds of partisan attacks that have been leveled against me that are dropped after elections.''

In October, the House ethics committee rebuked DeLay for appearing to link political donations to a legislative favor and improperly persuading U.S. aviation authorities to intervene in the Texas redistricting dispute.

Associated Press Writer Suzanne Gamboa contributed to this report.

AP-NY-11-17-04 14:48 EST

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press.


Bush Seeks to Rule The Bureaucracy

Appointments Aim at White House Control

By Dana Milbank
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 22, 2004; Page A04

President Bush has ousted Saddam Hussein, toppled the Taliban and defeated the Democrats, but last week he took aim at a more enduring foe: the federal bureaucracy.

In a flurry of actions in recent days, he and his top lieutenants have taken steps to quell dissent at two fractious agencies -- the CIA and the State Department -- and to increase White House control over others, including the Justice and Education departments.

National security adviser Condoleezza Rice, a trusted aide, will take over a State Department often seen at odds with the White House and Pentagon. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais -- AP)

The White House moves, and similar changes anticipated at other departments, are likely to quiet some of the already infrequent dissent that has leaked from agencies during Bush's first term. They may also put a more conservative stamp on the bureaucracy's administration of the laws and making of rules on everything from the environment to business to health care.

But political scientists and others who follow the Cabinet agencies say the Bush efforts, like those of several other presidents, are unlikely to cause fundamental changes in how the federal government is run.

James Pfiffner, a specialist in presidential personnel at George Mason University, said Bush's efforts are closest to those of Richard M. Nixon's after his 1972 reelection, when he installed eight new Cabinet members and several White House officials at sub-Cabinet positions. "It was seen as heavy-handed," Pfiffner said, and created an us-vs.-them tension between political appointees and civil servants. "They didn't get the kind of inside, deep-down control that they wanted."

Still, past failures to rein in the federal bureaucracy have not deterred the Bush administration, which even before the recent moves had been unusually successful at enforcing control over the Cabinet agencies.

Last Monday at the CIA, new Director Porter J. Goss issued a memo outlining the "rules of the road" for the agency. "We support the administration and its policies in our work," he wrote. "As agency employees we do not identify with, support, or champion opposition to the administration or its policies." At least three top CIA officials have resigned, and Goss has brought in loyalists from outside the agency.

On Tuesday, Bush named trusted aide Condoleezza Rice to be secretary of state, replacing Colin L. Powell, who frequently and publicly sided with the department's staff against the White House. Administration officials are talking about several other White House aides joining Rice at State, and about several top-level Foreign Service officers being removed from prominent positions.

The Rice announcement followed by six days Bush's announcement that he would nominate another White House aide, Alberto R. Gonzales, to be attorney general -- succeeding John D. Ashcroft, with whom Gonzales and others at the White House had feuded. Other Bush loyalists have been or soon will be tapped to head the Education, Energy, Agriculture and Treasury departments, agencies where, in some cases, past secretaries have embarrassed Bush with their independence.

Taming the Cabinet agencies is a daunting task. There are 3,000 political appointees and a U.S. civil service of 1.8 million workers, many of whom are nearly impossible to fire.

And the Bush administration has discovered that workers in the agencies -- political appointees and civil servants alike -- often stray from White House orthodoxy; examples of administration critics include CIA terrorism official Michael Scheuer, who wrote a book about flaws in the fight against al Qaeda; former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, who criticized Bush about the case for war in Iraq; and former Treasury secretary Paul H. O'Neill, who frequently contradicted the White House.

Still, the Bush administration has done better than its predecessors at controlling the agencies. "They've created a multiplier effect in which these 3,000 political appointees feel like three times that many," said Paul C. Light, a New York University professor who advised the Bush campaign in 2000 about bureaucracy reforms. Light points out that political appointees now occupy positions in the top 10 or 15 layers of management at the Cabinet agencies. And he says Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove, keeps the agencies in line by having a weekly conference call with the chiefs of staff to the agency secretaries and administrators.

Light said the new moves to enforce loyalty at Cabinet agencies, combined with the existing efforts, will drive many of the senior executives in the civil service to retire in frustration, which will give Bush "more coordination and control" over the agencies and "slow down the regulatory process." Still, Light said, he has found "no interest" in the more far-reaching overhaul of the federal workforce that Bush proposed after consulting with him during the 2000 campaign -- which would have, among other things, changed the rules for employing federal workers, making the bureaucracy more like the private sector.

Privately, officials in the White House say there is little hope of truly taming the bureaucracy. Publicly, there is little talk of attempting it. "I don't think any of the personnel changes at the senior level will influence" the broader civil service reforms, said Office of Management and Budget spokesman Chad Colton. "It's something we'll continue at the edges to improve."

That is not good enough for advocates of fundamental changes in the agencies. Fred Smith, who heads the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute, said he has acquired a "natural, realistic despair" about hopes for major reforms of the regulatory process.

"Since Jimmy Carter, there has been an effort to get control of the regulatory process and nobody has come close to succeeding," Smith said. "It's worse than ever." Although "the body language" in the new personnel moves indicates Bush is serious about restraining the agencies, "the administration hasn't decided whether the regulatory threat is serious enough to expend capital on."

To some extent, every president since Nixon has tried to assert more White House control over the agencies. Some, particularly Nixon and Carter, found that Cabinet secretaries and other political appointees wound up representing their agencies' bureaucracies rather than the White House's wishes. Before Bush, the most successful was the Reagan administration, which controlled staffing of Cabinet agencies at the White House.

Bruce Reed, who was the White House domestic policy chief under President Bill Clinton, expressed some approval of Bush's personnel style. "It's a good idea to promote from within and there's nothing wrong with wanting a Cabinet whose agenda is the same as the president's," he said.

But Reed cautioned against expecting major changes. "When people take jobs at agencies, they tend to go native and start championing the institution rather than the agenda of the person who put them there," he said. "Someone who is blindly loyal to the president at the White House may try to develop dual citizenship."