Friday, October 27, 2006


King George Crosses His Fingers, Again

Does anyone seriously wonder if the reason the president and vice-president refuse to modify any of their stances, continually lie about the past and present, and continue to accrue power into the executive branch, seemingly without concern about legalities, is because they figure they now have the executive branch securely in their hands and they are not giving it up? I’m sorry that’s such a long sentence, but that’s the way it came out.

The thing is, Bush and Cheney act as if there is no way in hell anyone will ever call them to account. It certainly will not be this Congress. Maybe the corruption in Washington is so bad, so universal, so mestastized, that as long as members of Congress get paid off, they’ll never act in the nation’s best interests. Ever.

Matti Taibbi claims this is the very worst it’s ever been. I don’t know: Congressional history is something I’ve always avoided—too many give-aways and bribes and bombast. This may not be the worst, but it’s bad enough. It’s bad enough when you realize that even though the Dems and the Repugs don’t socialize, the Dems have shown, for the last six years, all the resolve of melted ice cream. If they take control of the House and Senate, would they stiffen up? Only as much as is necessary to endorse the checks made over to them, probably.

The Republicans are awful. And they’re arrogant. The Democrats have never been noted for moral righteousness, either, but they aren’t arrogant. Once in a while you can hear Barney Frank or Molly Ivens deflate conservative twits, but not often enough. Maybe it’s because they don’t want to offend the bankrolls behind the conservative mouths. Corruption is an equal opportunity employer, after all, and I’m sure the Dems are eager to find new cash sources.
In the meanwhile, Bush has pulled another of his famous “signing statements.” He has his fingers crossed, essentially, when he goes along with something.

Bush Balks at Criteria for FEMA Director
Signing Statement Asserts Right to Ignore Parts of New Homeland Security Law

By Spencer S. Hsu
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, October 7, 2006; A02
President Bush reserved the right to ignore key changes in Congress's overhaul of the Federal Emergency Management Agency -- including a requirement to appoint someone with experience handling disasters as the agency's head -- in setting aside dozens of provisions contained in a major homeland security spending bill this week.

Besides objecting to Congress's list of qualifications for FEMA's director, the White House also claimed the right to edit or withhold reports to Congress by a watchdog agency within the Department of Homeland Security that is responsible for protecting Americans' personal privacy.

The standards for the FEMA director were inspired by criticism of former FEMA chief Michael D. Brown's performance after Hurricane Katrina last year. Brown, a lawyer and judge of Arabian horses, had no experience in disaster response before joining FEMA.

Bush's moves came in a controversial assertion of executive authority known as a "signing statement," which the White House issued late Wednesday, the same day the president signed the $34.8 billion measure. Congress has assailed the unprecedented extent of Bush's use of signing statements to reinterpret or repudiate measures approved by lawmakers instead of exercising a formal veto.

White House spokesman Tony Fratto said the actions, first reported by the Associated Press, upheld the president's right to choose his advisers and control executive branch activities.

© 2006 The Washington Post Company

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