|Daily doings since George W. Bush took office befuddle the mind. Every evening since this determined man took office, the unexpected occurs. After the September 11, 2001 attack on the Twin Towers, early in the President's first term, Congress crumbled under the weight of the younger enigmatic Bush. Members of the House and Senate were convinced that this resolute Texan cowboy could and would protect this nation from terrorism. A joint resolution was made law and authorized the President to use military force against Iraq. Notwithstanding, Iraq and its leader Saddam Hussein played no part in the plot against the United States.
However, long before that Congressional ruling, according to a 2001 memorandum, written by then Justice Department Lawyer John Yoo, the President did not need Congress to authorize his greater power. This Commander-In-Chief has supremacy that supersedes conventions. Mister Bush knows how to maximize a myth and take what he wants.
Even now that the Democrats are said to be the majority rule in Congress, they are not. Conservatives led by Bush have ample clout. The "Right" knows how to use their authority, and they do. Therefore, there is no confidence in a Congress that bends to Bush.
The Supreme Court was changed significantly under the charismatic leadership of this clever man. The neoconservative Bush established a Court in his image. Since the newly placed Chief Justice, John Roberts, and the illustrious jurist Samuel Alito took their seats, Supreme Court rulings established decades, even a century earlier are overturned. Consider a Divided Court Limits Use of Race by School Districts, or the Supreme Court Lifts Ban on Minimum Retail Pricing. Days before the deliverance of these dramatic decisions, Americans discovered they had ample reason to believe high-level bureaucrats broke the law.
Senators Subpoena The White House; [a] Panel Demands Papers On NSA Wiretapping. This was not the first time White House officials were called before the courts; nor will it likely be the last. However, inevitably "executive privilege" is invoked and although some are threatened with jail time, ultimately, the President and his men will be protected.
The Commander-In-Chief and his Cabinet impressive and invincible. They must be. Why else would Congress, the Courts, and citizens permit the President and his pals to run rampant.
Perhaps, we the people of the United States are daunted by the dignity of the office. It appears others are. Heads of State around the globe believe America is the world?s largest superpower. Leaders frequently defer to the 43rd President of the United States of America Apparently, George W. Bush is the man. At least he is in treated as such.
However, in the minds of many the junior Bush is an impervious menace. With all that this fine fellow has "executed" we can say with certainty, George W. Bush has left a legacy that will last long beyond his lifetime.
Most prominent among the President?s powers is his uncanny ability to avoid impeachment. Numerous persons speak of the proposition. In 2005, the Washington Post dared to mention, The Impeachment Question.
Less than two years ago, there was reason to believe members of Congress were also concerned. US Representative John Conyers, Democrat from Michigan, proposed we the people impeach this President. in December 2005, he submitted House Resolution, Number 635 in hopes of removing the renegade Bush from office.. Congressman Conyer's declaration was gaining support. However, Nancy Pelosi, the aspiring Leader of the House decided, Democrats must appear moderate if they wished to win their seats in Congress.. Conyers considered his own ambition, and then yielded to the future Chairwoman.
Once again, impeachment was but a dream, one that remained impossible.
For a time, those in cyberspace thought the tide had changed. House Leader Nancy Pelosi conducted a poll, asking if the people believed impeachment was a viable option. I called, as did many caught in the world-wide-web. However, apparently there never was a bona fide survey. The idea immerged as many an impression does.
Those in cyberspace were whispering down the lane. The original message was magnified as it filtered through the system.
What happened in this case is that a blog asked folks to call Pelosi because her "office is taking calls voting for Impeachment." That is certainly true. Congress always welcomes calls and keeps tallies of peoples opinions.Although telephone lines were flooded, Chairwoman Pelosi was not truly concerned. She has publicly stated, "that impeachment is off the table; she is not interested in pursuing it." The reasons are as illusive as the man and his image.
This morphed eventually into "Pelosi taking phone poll" on impeachment.
While the idea lingers in the stratosphere, those supporting it are thought too far out. They do not appear Presidential. Case in point: Dennis Kucinich. Congressman Kucinich welcomes a Presidential censure. However, he fears what might occur if Bush is removed from office and Vice President Cheney is left to lead this nation into further oblivion.
Therefore, for the representative from Ohio, Dennis Kucinich, the focus is no longer on the Teflon President. [The title that once belonged to Ronald Reagan; however, it is now perhaps more aptly placed on George W. Bush. Kucinich Introduces Impeachment Articles Against Cheney. We can only wonder, could Dick Cheney possibly be impeached. History tells us this too is a fantasy. All the President's men and women are protected. They, as George W. Bush remains impermeable.
The lack of desire or initiative to censure the President suits Mister Bush just fine. He is content doing as he does. Vociferously, George W. Bush seeks and takes power. He claims to crave a line-item veto.. However, in truth, he knows he does not need it; nor can we be certain he wants line item veto power.
Perhaps that possibility would make his doings a little too public and open to scrutiny. Besides, Mister Bush knows that there is a Constitutional question concerning the privilege. The President would not wish to [openly] dishonor the Constitution. It is too risky.
Bush is using signing statements like line item vetoes. Yet the Supreme Court has held the line item vetoes are unconstitutional. In 1988, in Clinton v. New York, the High Court said a president had to veto an entire law: Even Congress, with its Line Item Veto Act, could not permit him to veto provisions he might not like.Realistically, Mister Bush can have greater control than the red pen might have offered him. Mother Jones Columnist Daniel Schulman documents the ways in which George w. Bush decrees his desires. Please ponder.
The Court held the Line Item Veto Act unconstitutional in that it violated the Constitution's Presentment Clause. That Clause says that after a bill has passed both Houses, but "before it become[s] a Law," it must be presented to the President, who "shall sign it" if he approves it, but "return it" - that is, veto the bill, in its entirety-- if he does not.
Following the Court's logic, and the spirit of the Presentment Clause, a president who finds part of a bill unconstitutional, ought to veto the entire bill - not sign it with reservations in a way that attempts to effectively veto part (and only part) of the bill. Yet, that is exactly what Bush is doing. The Presentment Clause makes clear that the veto power is to be used with respect to a bill in its entirety, not in part.
W's Poison Pen Presidential Signing BonusesApparently, President Bush and his cohorts do not feel the need to obtain a Court writ for much. The Supreme Court only concerns itself with cases that come before them. Since Bush does not bring his statements to their attention, there is little reason to argue the points.
March/April 2007 Issue
Ever since the days of James Monroe, presidents have used signing statements to comment on new laws. Over the nation's first two centuries, such statements had challenged a total of 600 statutes; the Bush administration alone has challenged 800 statutes. This staggering total, and the way the White House has used them to essentially claim that Congress has no power over its decisions, has alarmed constitutional scholars, lawyers, and members of Congress on both sides of the aisle. Below, a sampling:
Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002?
The Law Said: Corporate whistleblowers giving information to government agencies or Congress will be protected from retaliation.?
Bush Said: Only whistleblowers who squeal directly to the congressman or a committee that is investigating the relevant issue will be protected. This interpretation, said Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), means the statute only applies to people "who are lucky enough to find the one member of Congress out of 535 who happens to be the chairman of the appropriate committee who also just happens to already be conducting an investigation, even though the problem identified may not have come to light yet."
Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006?
The Law Said: Future FEMA administrators (unlike patronage appointee Michael "Heckuva Job" Brown) must have some background in disaster management and "not less than 5 years of executive leadership and management experience."?
Bush Said: The statute "rules out a large portion of those persons best qualified...to fill the office" and will be ignored.
USA Patriot Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005?
The Law Said:, The Justice Department's inspector general must investigate "any improper or illegal use" of expanded powers provided by the act, including the FBI's use of National Security Letters that force businesses to turn over sensitive customer information.?
Bush Said: He'll withhold any information whose release he deems harmful to "foreign relations, national security, the deliberative processes of the Executive, or the performance of the Executive's constitutional duties"?in other words, any information that might be worth knowing.
Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2006?
The Law Said: Detainees in U.S. custody will not be subjected to "cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment."?
Bush Said: The administration will use whatever interrogation tactics it sees fit.
Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2002?
The Law Said: Congress will be briefed before launching a "special access" (read: "black") program along the lines of the National Security Agency's surveillance efforts.?
Bush Said: Special-access programs are none of Congress' business; he'll inform lawmakers when he chooses, "as a matter of comity."
Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2004?
The Law Said: First-class mail will be protected from warrantless searches.?
Bush Said: We don't need no stinking warrant to open your mail.
This Administration does not believe the law applies to them. Congress need not approve of their actions. Given that the House and the Senate cannot bear to discuss the questionable practices of this President, signing statements are plentiful. Few speak of what they feel powerless to change, that is until the General Accounting Office addressed the issue.
On June 18, 2007, the GAO reprimanded the White House for its carefree use of "signing statements." The General Accounting Office cast doubt on the Constitutionality of these briefs. However, most acknowledge this revelation will change nothing. The President, ignored reprimands from this independent arm of Congress in the past.
You, dear reader, may recall in 2004, the GAO stated the Bush Administration violated two federal laws in its attempt to promote changes in Medicare. Mister Bush did not let this ruling deter them. The White house and Departments within continued to do as they had done. The Administration authorized other dubious actions. Disseminating propaganda was not merely a practice, it was, and continues to be policy in the Bush White House.
In 2005, another decision was handed down, Buying of News by Bush's Aides Is Ruled Illegal. This time the Department of Education was involved. Once more Mister Bush discounted the claim. Indeed, the President responded.
"We will not be paying commentators to advance our agenda. Our agenda ought to be able to stand on its own two feet."Later the White House chose to legitimize what they had done.
"[N]o more than the legitimate dissemination of information to the public."However, the General Accounting Office disagreed.[T]he Education Department had no money or authority to "procure favorable commentary in violation of the publicity or propaganda prohibition" in federal law.The battle of words and wits went on. Nonetheless, in the end, the Administration was not punished for these illegal practices. Nor will there be repercussions resulting from this more recent decision. The GAO does not have the authority to convict and Congress obviously does not have the will.
One might say ultimately, the Courts decide whether a crime has been committed. Indeed, they do. Analysts speculate the President and his attorneys have considered this possibility as it relates to signing statements.
Rather than veto laws passed by Congress, Bush is using his signing statements to effectively nullify them as they relate to the executive branch. These statements, for him, function as directives to executive branch departments and agencies as to how they are to implement the relevant law.'Interpretation' of is the beauty and genius of George W. Bush. His strong faith and beliefs belie all reason; yet, his personal views have literally become America's reality.
President Bush and the attorneys advising him may also anticipate that the signing statements will help him if and when the relevant laws are construed in court - for federal courts, depending on their views of executive power, may deem such statements relevant to their interpretation of a given law. After all, the law would not have passed had the President decided to veto it, so arguably, his view on what the law meant ought to (within reason) carry some weight for the court interpreting it. This is the argument, anyway.
George W. Bush is omnipotent. This fellow is a man of inconceivable power. It seems faith has been his guide. This President believes in himself. He truly thinks G-d entrusted him to take the reins. George W. Bush has confidence; he is in the "right." Thus, this President rules with an iron fist, pen in hand, and with impunity.
Were there to be impeachment proceedings, the hand-picked Bush protagonist, Chief Justice Roberts would preside over the hearings.
The Senate holds trial on the articles of impeachment approved by the House. The Senate sits as a jury while the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presides over the trial.Might we reflect on John Roberts conservative record, particularly since he became the Chief Justice of the United states Supreme Court. Then judge; what will be the outcome of these proceedings. Once more, the White House has an advantage, imperceptible as it may be to some. This President crafted the Court to his liking. Mister Bush trusts the other "deciders" are now working with him, not against him.
George W. Bush is quite a jewel. He is the epitome of a determined man. This man is unwavering. He understands, "Where there is a will there is a way." George W. Bush has the will and he has availed himself of many means for accomplishing all that he covets.
There are many theories as to why Mister Bush might have wanted to go to war with Iraq. These not withstanding, there is evidence demonstrating President Bush was on a mission. He did all he could to accomplish his goal, change the regime, topple Saddam Hussein, and "spread democracy" to the Middle East. No one stopped him. Indeed, the Congress and our countrymen were mesmerized. Perchance that is why our Representatives and the people will not impeach. Americans are embarrassed; they trusted this Commander-In-Chief.
Mister Bush convinced an anxious public that Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction. According to this Administration, the dictator was intent. He would use his arsenal to destroy the United States. While this was not true, anyone that declared the statement false was considered a threat to the Bush plan and had to destroyed. Thus, we have the story of former Ambassador and American Diplomat Joseph Wilson and the bureaucratic lawbreakers now facing no jail time.
The impeccable, though not impeachable George W. Bush was deeply disturbed when attaché Joe Wilson wrote an New York Times Op-Ed piece disputing the President's pronouncement. The magnificent Bush authorized the demise of this 'defiant' American Diplomat.
The White House proceeded to crush Joseph Wilson and his wife, Valerie Plame. The Administration destroyed this couples credibility and careers. Then, they lied to Federal Investigators and the Grand Jury. Convicted felon, I. Lewis [Scooter] Libby spoke of this, mentioning the President of the United States of America authorized the actions that brought Wilson and Plame down.
Defendant?s participation in a critical conversation with Judith Miller on July 8 (discussed further below) occurred only after the Vice President advised defendant that the President specifically had authorized defendant to disclose certain information in the NIE. Defendant testified that the circumstances of his conversation with reporter Miller - getting approval from the President through the Vice President to discuss material that would be classified but for that approval - were unique in his recollection. Might this behavior warrant a High Crime or Misdemeanor. Could the President's conduct in this one incident be considered criminal; we might never know. The aura that surrounds our leader and Chief obscures clarity. George W. Bush, or the fact that G-d is on his side, seems to prevent any in-depth investigation.
Defendant further testified that on July 12, 2003, he was specifically directed by the Vice President to speak to the press in place of Cathie Martin (then the communications person for the Vice President) regarding the NIE and Wilson. Defendant was instructed to provide what was for him an extremely rare "on the record" statement, and to provide "background" and "deep background" statements, and to provide information contained in a document defendant understood to be the cable authored by Mr. Wilson. During the conversations that followed on July 12, defendant discussed Ms. Wilson?s employment with both Matthew Cooper (for the first time) and Judith Miller (for the third time).
Even if someone else in some other agency thought that the controversy about Mr. Wilson and/or his wife was a trifle, that person?s state of mind would be irrelevant to the importance and focus defendant placed on the matter and the importance he attached to the surrounding conversations he was directed to engage in by the Vice President. Case 1:05-cr-00394-RBW, Document 80, Filed 04/05/2006,Page 20 of 39
Those that recall the Nixon impeachment acknowledge criminal intent, was not clear until after impeachment proceedings were underway. Watergate was not the woeful reason for an injunction against the President. Initially, Richard Milhous Nixon was not on trial. Only aides were considered criminal. [Hmmm, that sounds familiar.] Corruption within the Oval Office was unthinkable. The cover-up brought the Nixon White House down.
Counsel to former President Nixon, John Dean reflects on the Nixon scenario and compares it to the Bush situation. Dean concludes, George Bush is More vicious than Tricky Dick. Indeed, he is also more cunning.
There is a reason this esteemed ?criminal? escapes censure, no matter the misdeeds and transgressions. George Bush controls the Congress and the Courts, and possibly, sad to say the public. The people have power to insist on impeachment; yet, they are reticent to use it.
Granted, President Bush lied about the reasons for going to war. Isn?t that an impeachable offense?
Decidedly, the President is making infinite use and perchance abusing the privilege of signing statements. Might that be a reason for prosecution? Could the Supreme Court not question the validity of a President making law?
George W. Bush authorized the name of a Central Intelligence covert agent be released. Could Congress charge him with that crime? Might the Chief Justice call this treasonous?
Anything could happen in this era of the unexpected; however, likely nothing will. The one constant we can count on is Bush is beyond the law. Americans accept no longer is impeachment a viable option. Congress cringes at the idea. The public pooh-poohs it. The House, the Senate, and the simple folk crush the possibility of censure.
The public believes, there is not enough time. No matter the evidence, our countrymen claim this Administration has not committed numerous high crimes and misdemeanors.
One can only conclude George W. Bush is correct. The Lord walks with this President, as do members of Congress, the courts, and citizens of this country. We are all complicit. Thus, we let things be. What other reason could there be for mass confusion, delusion, and a lack of dissent. I know not. I only trust that the next few years will be long. Each minute will bring more of the bewildering, baffling, unimaginable, the sad, and yet, true.
George W. Bush, I will never underestimate you. You are the man, the miracle, and in my mind a menace. Congratulations; every mission you embark on is accomplished. The State of the Union and the conditions that exist throughout this globe are your legacy. Well done; I think? I am so confused.
Those in the know frequently reprimand this Administration for High Crimes and Misdemeanors. Recent testimony from a White House aide reveals much. An exhaustive investigation, such as the one Nixon experienced when Congress was preparing for trial might expose more. However, it seems we may never know the truth. It is a mystery to me. Perhaps that too was your goal. People with little information are more easily manipulated.
Impeachment; The Issues and Information . . . Supreme Court Lifts Ban on Minimum Retail Pricing, By Stephen Labaton. The New York Times. June 29, 2007
pdf Supreme Court Lifts Ban on Minimum Retail Pricing, By Stephen Labaton. The New York Times. June 29, 2007
Divided Court Limits Use of Race by School Districts, By Robert Barnes. Washington Post.?Friday, June 29, 2007; Page A01
pdf Divided Court Limits Use of Race by School Districts, By Robert Barnes. Washington Post.?Friday, June 29, 2007; Page A01
Senators Subpoena The White House, Panel Demands Papers On NSA Wiretapping. By Michael A. Fletcher. Washington Post. Thursday, June 28, 2007; Page A01
pdf Senators Subpoena The White House, Panel Demands Papers On NSA Wiretapping. By Michael A. Fletcher. Washington Post. June 28, 2007
Court Won't Delay Libby Prison Sentence. By Matt Apuzzo. Guardian Unlimited. Monday July 2, 2007 6:16 PM
Bush: Saddam was not responsible for 9/11, By Suzanne Goldenberg. Guardian Unlimited. Tuesday September 12, 2006
Bush claims oversight exemption too, The White House says the president's own order on classified data does not apply to his office or the vice president's. By Josh Meyer, Los Angeles Times. June 23, 2007
pdf Bush claims oversight exemption too, The White House says the president's own order on classified data does not apply to his office or the vice president's. By Josh Meyer, Los Angeles Times. June 23, 2007
No Confidence in a Congress that Bends to Bush. By John Nichols. The Nation. June 23, 2007
Administration Rejects Ruling On PR Videos, GAO Called Tapes Illegal Propaganda. By Christopher Lee. Washington Post.Tuesday, March 15, 2005; Page A21
Who's Afraid of Dennis Kucinich? By Matt Taibbi. The Nation. October 9, 2003
Introduces Impeachment Articles Against Cheney. By Charles Babington. Washington Post.?Friday, May 12, 2006; Page A06Is lying about the reason for a war an impeachable offense? By John W. Dean.?FindLaw Columnist. Special to Cable News Network.?Friday, June 6, 2003
Roberts, Alito help define new Supreme Court, Frustrated on other fronts, Bush can claim some success on the high court. By Tom Curry. MSNBC News. June 18, 2007
Why Bush hasn't been impeached, Congress, the media and most of the American people have yet to turn decisively against Bush because to do so would be to turn against some part of themselves, By Gary Kamiya. Salon. May 22, 2007
The case for impeachment, It's not just for radicals anymore. By Steven T. Jones. San Francisco Bay Guardian.
Mistaken Phone Poll Reveals Support for Impeachment, By Phil Burk. Impeach Bush. May 15, 2007
Democrats Won't Try To Impeach President, By Charles Babington. Washington Post. Friday, May 12, 2006; Page A06
Dems to Use Moderation if They Win House, By Andrew Taylor. Associated Press. San Francisco Gate. Thursday, October 19, 2006
Bush puts God on his side. By Tom Carver. British Broadcasting Company. April 6, 2003
Sorry Now? What Do Liberal and Moderate Lawyers Who Supported John Roberts' Nomination Say Today? By Emily Bazelon. Slate. Posted Thursday, June 28, 2007, at 1:43 PM ET
More vicious than Tricky Dick, By John Dean. Salon. October 3, 2003
President commutes Libby's sentence, Calls 30-month term for ex-Cheney aide 'excessive.' By Mark Silva. Chicago Tribune. July 3, 2007
pdf President commutes Libby's sentence, Calls 30-month term for ex-Cheney aide 'excessive.' By Mark Silva. Chicago Tribune. July 3, 2007
GAO Says HHS Broke Laws With Medicare Videos, By Amy Goldstein. Washington Post.?Thursday, May 20, 2004; Page A01
pdf GAO Says HHS Broke Laws With Medicare Videos, By Amy Goldstein. Washington Post.?Thursday, May 20, 2004; Page A01
Faith, Certainty and the Presidency of George W. Bush, By Ron Suskind. The New York Times. October 17, 2004
pdf Faith, Certainty and the Presidency of George W. Bush, By Ron Suskind. The New York Times. October 17, 2004
Bush signings called effort to expand power, Report sees broad strategy. By Charlie Savage. Boston Globe. October 5, 2006
Bush Calls on Senate to Pass Line-Item Veto, President Seeks Way to Fight Earmarks. By Peter Baker. Washington Post.?Wednesday, June 28, 2006; Page A03
'Signing Statements' Study Finds Administration Has Ignored Laws. By Jonathan Weisman. Washington Post. Tuesday, June 19, 2007; Page A04
pdf 'Signing Statements' Study Finds Administration Has Ignored Laws. By Jonathan Weisman. Washington Post. Tuesday, June 19, 2007; Page A04
W's Poison Pen, Presidential signing bonuses. By Daniel Schulman. Mother Jones. March/April 2007 Issue
pdf W's Poison Pen, Presidential signing bonuses. By Daniel Schulman. Mother Jones. March/April 2007 Issue
President to Press for Line-Item Veto Power, By Jim Rutenberg. New York Times. June 28, 2006
pdf President to Press for Line-Item Veto Power, By Jim Rutenberg. New York Times. June 28, 2006
Bush Calls on Senate to Pass Line-Item Veto, President Seeks Way to Fight Earmarks, By Peter Baker. Washington Post. Wednesday, June 28, 2006; Page A03
pdf Bush Calls on Senate to Pass Line-Item Veto, President Seeks Way to Fight Earmarks, By Peter Baker. Washington Post. Wednesday, June 28, 2006; Page A03
Buying of News by Bush's Aides Is Ruled Illegal, By Robert Blair. The New York Times. October 1, 2005
Administration Rejects Ruling On PR Videos, GAO Called Tapes Illegal Propaganda. By Christopher Lee. ?Washington Post. Tuesday, March 15, 2005; Page A21
pdf Administration Rejects Ruling On PR Videos, GAO Called Tapes Illegal Propaganda. By Christopher Lee. ?Washington Post. Tuesday, March 15, 2005; Page A21
Presidential Signing Statements Accompanying the Fiscal Year 2006 Appropriations Acts. United States Government Accountability Office.