to paraphrase Orwell. And to understandÂ just how the President understands his presidential prerogatives read this excerpt ofÂ this article:
“The President could of course veto a bill he doesn’t like and publicly argue his objections to it. He would then run the risk that Congress would override his veto. Instead, Bush has chosen a method that is largely hidden and is difficult to challenge. As of this writing, Bush has never vetoed a bill (though he has threatened to do so in the case of a spending bill now pending in Congress). Some of the bills Bush has decided to sign and then ignore or subvert were passed over his objections; others were the result of compromises between Congress and the White House. Arlen Specter, the Republican senator from Pennsylvania and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told me, “Under the Constitution if the president doesn’t like a bill he vetoes it. You don’t cherry-pick the legislation.”
Bush has cited two grounds for flouting the will of Congress, or of unilaterally expanding presidential powers. One is the claim of the “inherent” power of the commander in chief.
Second is a heretofore obscure doctrine called the unitary executive, which gives the president power over Congress and the courts. The concept of a unitary executive holds that the executive branch can overrule the courts and Congress on the basis of the president’s own interpretations of the Constitution, in effect overturning Marbury v. Madison (1803), which established the principle of judicial review, and the constitutional concept of checks and balances.
The term “unitary government” has two different meanings: one simply refers to the president’s control of the executive branch, including the supposedly independent regulatory agencies such as the SEC and the FDA. The other, much broader concept, which is used by Bush, gives the executive power superior to that of Congress and the courts. Previous presidents have asserted the right not to carry out parts of a bill, arguing that it impinged on their constitutional authority; but they were specific both in their objections and in the ways they proposed to execute the law. Clinton, for example, objected to provisions in a bill establishing a semi-autonomous National Nuclear Security Administration, which set out the reasons for removing the director. Clinton objected that that impinged on his presidential prerogatives. Bush asserts broad powers without being specific in his objections or saying how he plans to implement the law. His interpretations of the law, as in his “signing statement” on the McCain amendment, often construe the bill to mean something different from â€”and at times almost the opposite ofâ€”what everyone knows it means.”
Its funny how despiteÂ its vigorous sex industry German wives have so few babies.
Â I once refered toÂ the fundamentalist Republican Gubenatorial candidate’s wife Julie Quist in a column. She now has a new mission – to kill a rigorous pre-college program in our public schools.
Iraq has a number of English literate bloggers who describe what they are experiencing daily during our War on Terror. Now its the fear of being shot for wearing shorts, hair gel or not wearing a veil. You can read them: here,Â here, here, here, here, here, and here.
I told Don yesterday that before I get down to writing seriously I want to be able to look down on the forest like an eagle flying over it. Right now I feel like I’m flying at treetop level and banging into the treetops. Here’s another treetop I flew into yesterday that suggestsÂ how Boyd’s problems started.
Look at this Gallup poll to find out how high the Federal Marriage Amendment ranksÂ with American’s on their list of national priorities.Â That’s right.Â Its not on the list.
Mentos inserted in Diet Coke bottles makes the beverage explode.
Kaboom with style
Just turned it in. Its about Unity08
“Can a purple America rise up out of the ashes of the Red and Blue States? That’s the desire of a group of influential folks who hope to nominate a centrist politician for President in 2008. They call their organization Unity08. . .”
One of the first things that troubled me about the Bush administration happened well before 9/11. An executive order was issued to label public records from both the Clinton and the previous Bush administration “top secret”Â toÂ keep themÂ hiddenÂ for many decades to come. Among other things,Â some of theseÂ records could shed light on the first George Bush’s knowledge of the Irangate scandal.
Today’s story is nothing new to those paying attention but it demostrates how convenient the War on Terror has been for an administration intent on hiding its actions from the public. It reminds me of the distopian future in George Orwell’s novel 1984 which conjured up an authoritiarian government at constant war. The war justified bugging every phone and placing television cameras in every roomÂ of its citizen’sÂ houses to ferret out any dangerous disloyalty.
Not every bug was being listened to in the novel butÂ this securityÂ loophole couldÂ soon be remedied by computers. All we need to keep the state’s business secret and ours public is the justification a war provides. Since no other nation presents much of a militarily threat to usÂ these days its convenient that weÂ have terrorists out there to menace us.
Thank goodness the City repaired my street last year. Now that the City seems poised to continue paying health care benefits to its retirees that it can not afford while using the street fund for various and sundry good deeds they’re planning on doing some window dressing rather than effective street rebuilding.
From You TubeÂ Give the skeleton some change please!
As the President and the GOP gear up to get out the vote for the 06 elections. From Newsweek:
“One of his old friends told NEWSWEEK that same-sex marriage barely registers on the president’s moral radar. ‘I think it was purely political. I don’t think he gives a s–t about it. He never talks about this stuff. . .’
From NPR this morning: a story about how moderate Republicans are switching to the Democratic Party in Kansas after years of being ostracized by the fundementalist Republican Party.
I just figured out that my digital camera would take movies so I decided to record myself reading my recent Profile of Courage column. If you’d like to hear and watch a tiny image of me reading it here’s your chance. Like lots of first time efforts its kind of funny especially when I try to show you the picture at the end.Â I need some editing equipment and a cameraman.
The appologists for Malai massacre in Vietnam always irritated me. When the only man convicted of responsibility, a Lyndie England type fellow named Lt. Calley,Â got out of jailÂ his hometown welcomed him back warmly notwithstanding the pictures of scores of murdered innocents.
A similar situation exists for American troops in Iraq as Vietnam. They don’t know who is friendly and who is intent on killing them. So far I’ve not heard too many stories about our troops calling Iraqi’s “towel heads” but I’m sure it happens. The military knows that its politically incorrect. That’s not how it was after WWII. When I’d play war games I’d call the Germans, “Jerrys,” just like the actors I’d heard in war movies. In Vietnam it was “gooks” which was even more dehumanizing.
We can’t treat people who gun down civilians even in panic as heroes. They should be prosecuted. But we’re so desperate for manpower that we are sending troops in who shouldn’t be there. Damn the impossible situation that has turned some good Americans into monsters. If that’s not a war crime it ought to be.
A reader of Andrew Sullivan’s blog quotes the often prescient David Brooks who seems to have anticipated Maliki’s rhetoric lambasting America and the Marines accused of massacring innocent Iraqies in Haditha.
I just heard the most remarkable admission on MRP by the Democratic Senate Majority leader Dean Johnson:Â
“If he was not so beholden to the extreme right, he would be the best governor probably the state has ever had.”
That almost sounds like an endorsement to me.
The DNT also weighed in with a headline a couple days ago announcing Pawlenty’s bid for reelection that was very generous “A wiser Pawlenty readies for race.”
Right wing guilt by association or not this is going to be a very tough race for a Democrat to win.
A column apparently excerpted from a commencement address. Wish he’d been at my graduation.