As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Barbara Boxer On Bybee Impeachment: "I'm Very Open To That."

At a press avail following her speech at the California Democratic Party convention, I asked Sen. Boxer about the Resolutions Committee passing support for a Congressional inquiry into the actions of torture judge Jay Bybee and the imposition of all possible penalties including impeachment. She said "I'm very open to that.... there is an ongoing investigation at the Justice Department into his work (at the Office of Professional Responsibility -ed), and we'll see how that goes. But I'm very open to that. And I'll remind everyone that I didn't vote for him when his nomination came up. I was one of 19 to do so."

Needless to say, the support from Sen. Boxer will be a great help in the Resolutions Committee, when they prioritize the top ten resolutions to send to the floor of the convention tomorrow.

The other interesting tidbit from the presser was that Sen. Boxer offered no indication of her endorsement on the ballot measures for the special election on May 19. She says she and Sen. Feinstein haven't studied the measures yet, and that they will get together in Washington and offer a joint statement once they make their decision. "I'll let you know when I go public. But let me say this - the budget process in California is dysfunctional, because of the super-majority needed to pass a budget and tax increases. And until we get to the root causes of changing that, it's very difficult to do anything." This pretty much tracks with what we've been saying for a long time. Until you pass #1, it won't matter if you pass #2-#10.

Other topics covered included torture investigations (Boxer supports the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that Sen. Leahy recommended), the fate of cram-down provisions in the Senate ("Sen. Durbin is doing a heroic job... the banks are still a major lobbying group."), potential opponents in her 2010 re-election (I hope nobody runs against me!"), and the news of a budget reconciliation deal on health care in the Senate (she didn't have much to say on that other than that reconciliation should always be on the table, as it was during the Reagan years, and that the situation is "in flux.") Boxer was at her most eloquent answering a question about the rule of law and the impression that those at the highest levels of power, be it the banksters or the torture regime, were above it. "The law must prevail... the people should feel that something's wrong, if nothing is done on torture. If we don't like a law, we repeal it, we don't ignore it."

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