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And, yes, I DO take it personally: Hey, Harry... Hey, Nancy... What is it about unfettered executive power that you don't understand...?
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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Hey, Harry... Hey, Nancy... What is it about unfettered executive power that you don't understand...?

the senate majority leader and the speaker of the house are oh-so-surprised that george isn't working with them...

harry on george (december 2007)...

[Senator Harry Reid] said that in 40 years of public service he had not had a tougher relationship.

“He is impossible to work with,” the senator said. “There are times I say: ‘Is there something more I can do? Have I done something wrong?’ But even his own people tell me he won’t compromise.”

nancy on george (december 2007)...
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi , D-Calif., admitted Thursday that she had underestimated the willingness of Republicans to stand behind President Bush’s Iraq policy despite the drubbing the GOP took in the polls in 2006.

"The assumption I made was that the Republicans would soon see the light," she said. Instead, the minority stuck to the president’s war policy in the face of unrelenting pressure from congressional Democrats and powerful lobbying campaigns by anti-war groups.

well, goldurnit, there are quite a few folks out there who have been sounding the alarm for at least a couple of years, and, golly gee, they're all saying the samn damn thing...

kagro x on george (february 2006)...

So, is warrantless surveillance illegal or not? Well, not if you believe that the president has "inherent powers as commander-in-chief." That would answer the entire question.

"But there are no unwritten 'inherent powers,' or at least none that would simply justify warrantless surveillance on the president's say-so," you may object.

"Says you," answers Alberto Gonzales.

And you think he's nuts for saying so. But the problem is that you're still working under the old (albeit commonly understood) constitutional order, whereas Gonzales is proposing a new one. One under which there are such "inherent powers."

And that's when it hits you: If five Supreme Court Justices side with Gonzales, everything you knew (or thought you knew) about the Constitution is wrong. By which I mean, it now is wrong. It wasn't wrong yesterday, but now it is.

jack balkin on george (july 2006)...
What the press and the public must understand is that this Administration does not play by the rules. It does not take a hint. Instead it will continue to obfuscate and prevaricate, as it has so often in the past on issues ranging from detention to prisoner mistreatment. This Administration will not conform its actions to the Rule of Law unless it finds doing so politically infeasible. As a result, the Congress, the courts, the press and the public will have to object-- repeatedly and strenuously-- if they want the Executive to abide by its constitutional obligation to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

time magazine on george (october 2006)...
In fact, when it comes to deploying its Executive power, which is dear to Bush's understanding of the presidency, the President's team has been planning for what one strategist describes as "a cataclysmic fight to the death" over the balance between Congress and the White House if confronted with congressional subpoenas it deems inappropriate. The strategist says the Bush team is "going to assert that power, and they're going to fight it all the way to the Supreme Court on every issue, every time, no compromise, no discussion, no negotiation."

sidney blumenthal on george (november 2007)...
[T]he Bush doctrine: The president as commander in chief can do whatever he wants regardless of Congress. There must be no checks and balances, no accountability. There must be no disclosure to other branches of government, whether legislative or judicial. Oral findings, or, if necessary, secret memos, make the illegal legal merely by saying they are legal in the name of presidential authority. The operational need to know determines who knows.

sheldon whitehouse on george (december 2007)...
“To give you an example of what I read,” Whitehouse said on the Senate floor, “I have gotten three legal propositions from these secret OLC opinions declassified. Here they are, as accurately as my note-taking could reproduce them from the classified documents”:

1. An executive order cannot limit a President. There is no constitutional requirement for a President to issue a new executive order whenever he wishes to depart from the terms of a previous executive order. Rather than violate an executive order, the President has instead modified or waived it.

2. The President, exercising his constitutional authority under Article II, can determine whether an action is a lawful exercise of the President’s authority under Article II.

3. The Department of Justice is bound by the President’s legal determinations.

you gotta admire the man's consistency... when george says he's got unlimited powers as president, he means it, and he ain't gonna let anything as trivial as the u.s. constitution, checks and balances, separation of powers, or the rule of law get in the way...

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