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And, yes, I DO take it personally: Do NOT - I repeat - DO NOT believe a single word that comes out of the White House
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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Do NOT - I repeat - DO NOT believe a single word that comes out of the White House

how many times have we read news stories about bush "backing down," "softening up," taking a "conciliatory stance," "signaling a willingness to 'cooperate'"...? huh...?? how many times...? and how many times was it nothing but a goddam smoke screen*, a deliberate red herring* to make everybody let down their guard...? huh...?? how many times...?

(* apologies for the mixed metaphors...)

from raw story...

After months of using politically loaded rhetoric and hyping "bogus" terror threats to push Congress to give him the domestic spying bill he's demanding, President Bush seems to be backing down.

The Wall Street Journal reports Tuesday that the White House is softening its hard-line approach to updating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The steps toward moderation and compromise come as House Democrats proved last month that they have enough votes to pass a FISA bill that includes more oversight of surveillance efforts within the US than Bush would like and also to block the immunity he has demanded for telecommunications companies that facilitated his warrantless wiretapping program.

the last time i posted a run-down on the bush administration's insatiable need for power and its absolute unwillingness to compromise on ANYTHING was back in mid-december... i think it's time to trot it out again...

take your time... read it carefully... NOTHING has changed... i repeat... ABSOLUTELY NOTHING HAS CHANGED...

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.

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.

slowly, now... repeat after me...

N O T H I N G..H A S..C H A N G E D . . . !

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