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Rose Siding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-05-06 08:58 AM
Original message
Bush signings called effort to expand power, Report sees broad strategy
By Charlie Savage
WASHINGTON -- President Bush's frequent use of signing statements to assert that he has the power to disobey newly enacted laws is ``an integral part" of his ``comprehensive strategy to strengthen and expand executive power" at the expense of the legislative branch, according to a report by the non partisan Congressional Research Service.

In a 27-page report written for lawmakers, the research service said the Bush administration is using signing statements as a means to slowly condition Congress into accepting the White House's broad conception of presidential power, which includes a presidential right to ignore laws he believes are unconstitutional.

The ``broad and persistent nature of the claims of executive authority forwarded by President Bush appear designed to inure Congress, as well as others, to the belief that the president in fact possesses expansive and exclusive powers upon which the other branches may not intrude," the report said.

Under most interpretations of the Constitution, the report said, some of the legal assertions in Bush's signing statements are dubious. For example, it said, the administration has suggested repeatedly that the president has exclusive authority over foreign affairs and has an absolute right to withhold information from Congress. Such assertions are ``generally unsupported by established legal principles," the report said.

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2...
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Lurking Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-05-06 09:05 AM
Response to Original message
1. This is an amazingly vital story.
It needs to be spread far and wide. That this man even breathes the same air we do stuns me.
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lumpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-05-06 10:48 AM
Response to Reply #1
16. KIck
v
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focusfan Donating Member (884 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-05-06 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #1
29. i guess he thinks he is the scab off the bosses ass
and you know whats bad the republicans are standing by and
doing nothing about it.they should be voted out of office
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pk_du Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-05-06 09:07 AM
Response to Original message
2. K&R words fail me n/t
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-05-06 09:10 AM
Response to Original message
3. So he wasn't just kidding when he said he wanted to be
"the dictator"

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Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-05-06 09:47 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. No, he wasn't.
Most constitutional scholars would agree that these statements do not carry the weight of law. Most of the time they are not used to change how federal agencies implement legislation. But in at least one example a signing statement was used to break a law.

Christopher Kelley, a political scientist at Miami University of Ohio, said that agencies may not follow through on some statements that are not particularly important to the administration, but they do heed others. In 2002, for example, Bush announced in the signing statement for the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate accountability law that he would interpret whistle-blower rights more narrowly than Congress had written them.

Labor Department Solicitor Eugene Scalia followed through on the president's interpretation, issuing a brief adhering to Bush's guidelines. The department backed down, however, after pressure from lawmakers (and Scalia's departure from Labor).

http://www.niemanwatchdog.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=ask_...


This type of behavior is actionable. Congress should seek a SCOTUS ruling in at least one of these cases, and not just try to make the administration stop breaking the law as each attempt is made to employ signing statements as though they were legal. That is how this whole issue can and should be put to rest, and the sooner the better.
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-05-06 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #7
20. Didn't bush say in a signing statement that he would interpret
the McCain anti torture bill as he sees fit?
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calimary Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-05-06 10:08 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. No he wasn't. It was the only time I can think of - in which he's
Edited on Thu Oct-05-06 10:11 AM by calimary
actually told the truth.

I still remember feeling the hair stand up on the back of my neck when I heard him say that. I was watching it on TV. And the press corpse laughed. Oh it was SO cute. This new pResident is just SO cute and SO funny and SO folksy! Just adorable! What fun! What a great sense of humor! And those darling nicknames he's giving to people - you think maybe he'll give me a nickname, too?

I remember being shocked that NO one - NOT ONE person in the fawning stenographer corpse even commented on this. Not then, and not later, back in the studio. No reporter did. No anchor did. No interviewer did. No panelist or pundit did. NOBODY reacted to that - well, except in places like this one. I found myself breaking out in a cold sweat.

Shit. That whole awful winter. That whole Christmas season. I felt such trepidation. I didn't know why. I couldn't explain it. I just felt a deep sense of dread. It was really weird. Just one of those "uh-oh... here's trouble" feelings in the back of my mind.
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TexasLawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-05-06 09:25 AM
Response to Original message
4. well, so much for checks and balances
when they're inconvenient to our glorious leader. Lord help this country.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-05-06 09:39 AM
Response to Original message
5. Dubious?
Dubious?

Is that really the best we can do?

We have a rogue president, claiming he has supreme authority over other branches, and the best we can find are people who say it's "dubious"?

How about absolutely, completley, flat-out, 100% BS? Cause that's what it is!

:wtf:
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elehhhhna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-05-06 09:40 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. UNCONSTITUTIONAL and ILLEGAL. there. that's better.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-05-06 10:17 AM
Response to Reply #6
10. MUCH better!
Thank you!

:grr:
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Supersedeas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-06-06 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #5
31. a compliant Media accomplice can't distribute the word lie either
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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-05-06 10:15 AM
Response to Original message
9. Almost every signing statement constitutes an impeachable &
Edited on Thu Oct-05-06 10:16 AM by Vidar
possibly treasonous offense. K&R.
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-05-06 10:23 AM
Response to Original message
11. Put *this* one in the "Doh" file.
This has *obviously* been the case and is known widely by those of us who live, wide eyed and paying a lot of attention, in Realityville.
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Kixel Donating Member (512 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-05-06 10:25 AM
Response to Original message
12. I just don't get it...
My question-how can they be so certain that they are going to retain control of the White House? Realistically, why would the Republicans want to put that much power in one place when it could be used against them in the future? I realize they have plans to retain power, but no plan can be fool proof?
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-05-06 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #12
18. I have been wondering this also.
Are they so arrogant they cannot concieve not being in power forever, or do they have a bigger plan to stay in power forever? And even the Roman Empire eventually fell. Or maybe NOW is all that counts?
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tex-wyo-dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-05-06 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #12
19. This is what I was wondering...why would they do this knowing that...
a Democrat may be President as soon as '08? Would they want this much power in the hands of Hillary or Gore or Kerry?

Of course Rove has stated more than a few times that his and the RW's intentions are to have a "permanent majority." So how would they accomplish and guarantee this?

1.) Fixed elections? This is certainly part of the strategy, but in order to pull this off you would most likely have to guarantee that every election is close (within 5% or less), unless they gain control of most or all polling companies to put out faulty data (but still there are the Democratic party's own internal polls, which they can't easily control).

2.) Use excuse of war, threat from terrorism or "terrorism" event to assure power base is maintained. This could be accomplished in many ways...just use your imagination. For instance, argue that the dictator's term should be extended (elections suspended) due to high security threat or future "terrorist" attack.

3.) Assuring a permanent majority through erosion, manipulation and/or outright disregard of current laws (see #2).

Whatever it is, the neocons and far RWers are up to something and it's not pretty.
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Kixel Donating Member (512 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-05-06 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. Scary!
Either their arrogance is amazing-which quite honestly has worked in their favor thus far or we should be terrified. Considering the track record of this administration, it could go either way.

I think the fixed election is the scariest point you bring up. Obviously they are working towards it with electronic voting and all other shenanigans to disenfranchise voters.

There has to be something more, though. Its a scary, scary thought.
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-05-06 10:31 AM
Response to Original message
13. Please read 1986 proposal by Alito. K&R, thanks for the update.
6 pages

http://www.archives.gov/news/samuel-alito/accession-060...

snip>>

At our last meeting, I was asked to draft a preliminary
proposal for implementing the idea of making fuller use of Presidential
signing statements. This memorandum is a rough first
effort in that direction.

A. Objectives

Our primary objective is to ensure that Presidential signing
statements assume their rightful place in the interpretation of
legislation.
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-05-06 10:37 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. Above link from the article linked below.
Published on Monday, January 9, 2006 by Consortium News.com
Alito and the Point of No Return
by Nat Parry

http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0109-34.htm
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-05-06 10:35 AM
Response to Original message
14. Another part of the strategy is to get one more Alito-type SCOTUS judge
Edited on Thu Oct-05-06 10:36 AM by Nothing Without Hope
That would make it a 5-4 majority and Bush would get his wish for "legal" confirmation of his status as an absolute monarch when challenges to to unconstitutional actions and laws are finally made. Never have congressional elections been more important.

And never forget which DEMOCRATS voted for Alito, with full knowledge of his support of unconstitutional presidential power:
http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/r...
Lieberman voted for Alito, of course, but he was not the only "Democratic" senator to do so. These people must not be re-elected.



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The Stranger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-05-06 11:11 AM
Response to Original message
17. Remember this part while you are in the camps:
The report prompted widespread concerns, but critics have not been able to agree on precisely the nature of the problem.
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november3rd Donating Member (653 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-05-06 01:12 PM
Response to Original message
22. Here's the Original Report link
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-06-06 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #22
33. Thanks, that fas.org is quite a site! I just finished looking for the
report myself and was going to post the same link. I got side-tracked in my search by all of the information on that site!
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Senator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-05-06 02:22 PM
Response to Original message
23. Dems Need to Say It: Impeachment Now!
There is no other rational response to "rule by signing statement."

This is why their "post election promises" ring hollow.

Everybody knows they can't fight terrorists, or fight for us, if they won't fight the bush regime.

It's just that simple.

Impeachment is our ONLY moral, patriotic option.

--
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KAZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-05-06 06:03 PM
Response to Reply #23
28. Impeachment? This chimp is the biggest danger...
... this country has ever faced. There is nearly nothing left of our beloved constitution. I can't tell you how this treasonous POS should be treated. Him, his admin, and the freaktards who support him.
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Senator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-05-06 11:42 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. Impeachment first. Then domestic prosecution. Then to the Hague.
After that, we need to reverse every action of the never-elected, never-legitimate regime. All appointments. All laws. All executive orders.

Yes, a big job. But a necessary one.

It is the only way we can begin to redeem ourselves to the world, our forefathers, and our children.

We must resist the inevitable calls to "go forward" or "move on" in dishonesty and ignorance.

We've allowed far too much of that already.

--
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stepnw1f Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-05-06 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
24. Bush Has Been Trying to Become Dictator
Since the day he entered office.
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dback Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-05-06 05:14 PM
Response to Original message
25. Whatdo they think will happen when the Dems take back the presidency?
Are they still going to be so gung-ho about all these expanded powers, or will they immediately start dismantling them?

Or are they so arrogant and myopic that they think there will never be another Democratic president?
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-06-06 12:27 PM
Response to Reply #25
34. No, Yes and Yes. The last "Yes" making your first 2 questions immaterial.
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humbled_opinion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-06-06 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #25
36. Think about it....
Yes, Yes, I think they think America Thinks that they are entitled to do this. What a collective bunch of non-thinkers.
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-05-06 05:54 PM
Response to Original message
26. He is NOT "ignor[ing] laws he believes are unconstitutional".
Edited on Thu Oct-05-06 05:57 PM by w4rma
I've seen too many mainstream news outlets defend Bush's signing statements like this with no sources to back them up. They just state it as if it were a fact. And it is not true at all. It is not a fact.

He is ignoring laws he believes doesn't fit his *agenda*.
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silverweb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-05-06 06:02 PM
Response to Original message
27. His little quips about being dictator were not slips.
That's what he really wants and thinks he is. That goddamned piece of paper (the Constitution) keeps getting in his way, but he's been working at deleting it completely.

His total crash can't come too soon and I, for one, can't wait.
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AzDar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-06-06 12:05 PM
Response to Original message
32. The most power has been given to the least deserving...
Congress: Get off your pathetic asses and do something about this idiot run amuck!!
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humbled_opinion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-06-06 12:28 PM
Response to Original message
35. He must have missed the three equal branches part of civics class n/t
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