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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Bush Outrage of the Day (so far)

The Chimp is spoiling for a constitutional throwdown over executive privilege. Today he ordered Harriet Miers not to testify before Congress.

Rather than drag the country back through that awful mess, it really would be a lot simpler to start impeachment proceedings against both Bush and Cheney.

As for sweet Harriet, jail time for contempt of Congress sounds about right.

Comments (33)

It's a clash of the assumed executive privilege vs. the assumed Congressional power of contempt of Congress.

I know in the past, Presidents and Congress have been extremely hesitant to bring this type of conflict into full legal battle.

Neither of these concepts are in the Constitution, last time I checked. I don't know off the top of my head any federal legislation codifying these. But what do I know? Jack, you're the lawyer. What are the legal precedents for executive privilege and contempt of Congress?

Presidents and Congress have been extremely hesitant to bring this type of conflict into full legal battle.

This guy's never left a job that he hadn't screwed up from top to bottom. He lies to get his way, seems to enjoy provoking and escalating violence unnecessarily, and no doubt hears voices from God. He has no judgment whatsoever.

That's why I say, rather than fight him, just impeach him.

What are the legal precedents for executive privilege and contempt of Congress?

There was quite a bit of action on this during Nixon, of course, including a Supreme Court decision that went 8-0. It's flared up from time to time since then, but I'm not the expert. You could start here, I suppose.

Such an 'unprecedented' outrage! Well, on the rare times St. Bill let those connected to him testify to congress - you know, when they weren't pleading the 5th or outright fleeing the country, he simply told them to 'forget':

Number of times that Clinton figures who testified in court or before Congress said that they didn't remember, didn't know, or something similar.

Bill Kennedy 116
Harold Ickes 148
Ricki Seidman 160
Bruce Lindsey 161
Bill Burton 191
Mark Gearan 221
Mack McLarty 233
Neil Egglseston 250
Hillary Clinton 250
John Podesta 264
Jennifer O'Connor 343
Dwight Holton 348
Patsy Thomasson 420
Jeff Eller 697

Wow, our favorite troll. Nice "leader" you have, pal. Think he's drunk every day now, or just once a week?

Heh. Wikipedia as a legal reference. A sign of the Apocalypse?

Actually, I've been reading The Imperial Presidency by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. this week. Although it's dated (1973), it gives a fairly complete legal history of the ebb and flow of Presidential and Congressional powers from the beginning. I'm not up to modern times yet. Still reading about President Jackson's clashes with Congress.

That's why I say, rather than fight him, just impeach him.

It's past time. I thought this was an interesting pro-impeachment argument.

...the Founding Fathers did not intend for impeachment to be extraordinarily difficult, but they did wish to guard against its abuse.
I'll defer to those who were around in '68 and '74, but in my lifetime there hasn't been this much anticipation this early for a change at the top. The public may not be "for" it per se, but they certainly won't stand in Congress' way if they chose this path. At least get Cheney. The Republicans would have jailed Gore or Lieberman had either tried to establish the powers Cheney has granted himself.

That Harriet has been around a lot longer than I thought.

I'm your favorite? Gee, thanks Jack. So is everyone that disagrees with you a "troll"? I'm not trying to be inflamatory, insulting, or derogatory....just stating a difference in opinion. If that is not welcome here, let me know. Good day.

Not everyone who disagrees with me is a troll.

But you are.

Thomas Jefferson, while conceding that "all persons owe obedience to subpoenas", also took the position that a President still had a higher obligation to "the particular set of duties imposed on him".

His theory was that a President "was not per se immune to subpoena, but that the courts could not command "the executive to abandon superior duties" at will. If a President were obliged to honor every subpoena at the risk of imprisonment for disobedience, the courts could breach the separation of powers and "keep him constantly trudging from north and south and east and west, and withdraw him entirely from his constitutional duties". The result would "leave the nation without an executive branch." The Imperial Presidency, Schlesinger, p. 31-32.

Schlesinger thought that in the end, the Supreme Court asserted a constitutional right to subpoena Presidents, and Jefferson asserted a Presidential right not to show up in court. He wrote that both were correct, and suggested the answer was in a proper balance between a President's obligation to his official duties on one hand, and the importance of a particular case and the indispensability of the President's, or the Executive branch testimony on the other.

President Jackson, whom the Senate passed a resolution of censure against, laid down the gauntlet of impeachment. He claimed that the censure accused him, indeed, of high crimes, and the resolution of censure was "in substance an impeachment of the President.". Otherwise, Congress was evading its own constitutional authority. Congress in this case chose not to impeach.

Perhaps President Bush should throw down a similar gauntlet and demand that, in light of all the allegations being bantered about, impeachment proceedings begin immediately. I wonder, if it came down to it, if the Democrat Congress would have the cojones to actually go through with impeachment proceedings.

It seems like an impeachment aimed at Gonzales - for perjury before Congress, perhaps - would crack through the privilege argument. I'd think a Congress pursuing impeachment would have a pretty clear right to discovery of documents as part of its investigations, as also would Gonzales in his own defense.

Perhaps President Bush should throw down a similar gauntlet and demand that, in light of all the allegations being bantered about, impeachment proceedings begin immediately. I wonder, if it came down to it, if the Democrat Congress would have the cojones to actually go through with impeachment proceedings.

If dared "bring it on"-style by the president? Absolutely. The Republicans proved in 1998 that the bar could be set incredibly low and the proceedings could go down quickly. It was all over within six months and we were able to carry on as a nation.

This guy isn't going to get the boot. But he and his Veep certainly deserve the Scarlet I.

Impeach. Now.

Bark Munster, re: "The public may not be "for" it" -- Today's poll number I heard was 66% Disapprove of B/C, and Favor Impeach is north of 60% and rising, 'with a bullet,' as it's said, I do believe.

Robert Canfield, re: "reading about President Jackson's clashes with Congress." -- Read this ? Chapter I. Origin of the Money Power in America: Andrew Jackson is revered as that great leader who regenerated the politics of his country, and rescued a people from financial slavery. During his administration, the public debt was wholly paid, a large surplus of public revenues accumulated to the credit of the United States, the money power was dethroned, the American nation was honored everywhere .... In his farewell address to the people, March 3, 1837, he solemnly warned them against the money power, that special privileges must not be granted to any class of citizens, and that justice must be the basis of public and private conduct. In this noble document, the President admonishes the people to be on their guard against the money power.

He says: "... [people were] obliged, for their safety, to propitiate the favor of the money power by distinguished zeal and devotion in its service, The result of the ill-advised legislation which established this great monopoly, was to concentrate the whole moneyed power of the Union, with its boundless means of corruption, and its numerous dependents, under the direction and command of one acknowledged head; thus organizing this particular interest as one body, and securing to it unity of action throughout the United States, and enabling it to bring forward, upon any occasion, its entire and undivided strength to support or defeat any measure of the government. In the hands of this formidable power, thus perfectly organized, was also placed unlimited dominion over the amount of circulating medium, giving it the power to regulate the value of property, and the fruits of labor in every quarter of the Union; and to bestow prosperity, or bring ruin upon any city or section of the country as might best comport with its own interests or policy." Jackson, for whose principles the Democratic (and first) Party was convened, vetoed the despotic banker monopolists. That evil returned, spectre out of a Jekyll Island crypt, in 1910, to institute the dictatorial totalitarian Federal Reserve.

However, the contentions in Executive vs. Legislative rule, and for dominion of our planet and humankind, are moot. Since, (also dated 1973), as reading fully recognizes, global omnipotence resides in THE SECRET TEAM: The CIA and Its Allies in Control of the United States and the World, L. FLETCHER PROUTY, Col., U.S. Air Force (Ret.)

And what "high crime" should they be impeached for? Claiming Executive Privilege? Firing their own political appointees? Urging one of their own political appointees to keep with administration policy in public speeches and reports? Guess I missed where those became "high crimes".

(Sorry Jack...just resuming my role as "favorite troll")

Hey Butch,

How can you tell when Gonzales or Rice are lying to Congress?

Their lips are moving.

Hmmm. Directing your AG or head of NSA/Secr. of State to lie to Congress seems like a pretty "high crime" to me. Oh and I'd love to see you pull off saying with a straight face that Gonzales did not lie to Congress when testified that their were no abuses of the Patriot Act by the FBI when those very abuses were reported to him prior to his testimony.

However, I'm all for going after Dick first. I think removing him would eviscerate much of what is wrong with the administration.

"And what "high crime" should they be impeached for?"

Breaking the FISA law, lying about it, and then bragging about it when exposed?

Destroying a US intelligence asset that tracked WMD's in Iran by disclosing Valerie Plame's identity?

Lying in the State of the Union to whip up support for an illegal invasion and occupation if Iraq?

US Attorneys are "political appointees"? Is it the "Department of Politics" now? I thought it was the Department of Justice.

Rasmussen reports 39% Favor Impeaching Bush

Still well below the red-faced 'majority' dominating the blogosphere in the People's Republic of Cascadia.

That'higher than his approval rate, isn't it? Last I heard, it was down around 29%.

Rasmussen: shaky credibility.

New Poll: Majority Favor Impeachment, July 7, 2007

The latest poll by American Research Group (AmericanResearchGroup.COM), showing that 54 percent of Americans favor impeaching Vice President Dick Cheney, and that 46 percent favor impeaching President Bush, is encouraging news for ...

You might ask a doctor about dyslexia, Tenske. The ARG poll showed 45% of respondents in favor of impeachment, versus 46% opposed. That's still shy of a majority.

95 minus 45 equals 50% fewer Americans than the American Left claims in support.

"The ARG poll showed 45% of respondents in favor of impeachment, versus 46% opposed."

Har. Way to cherry-pick the one number in the whole batch that supports your point, Mister Tee. And ya gotta admit, with that being the best number for the administration in the survey, it seems like Tens is more right than not. (Although he should have said "plurality" instead of "majority".)

ARG says that - among registered voters - it's a slim plurality in favor of impeaching dubya, and a pretty solid plurality in favor of impeaching Cheney. At the edge of the margin of error, even. The numbers among Democrats are pretty much expected, but the numbers among independents and Republicans are pretty shockingly high in favor of impeachment.


A couple of weeks ago you stated impeachment would be a waste of time.

"A couple of weeks ago you stated impeachment would be a waste of time."

Me? Yeah, I've said that in a few places. Maybe I was wrong.

(I'd still go for Gonzales first, though.)

No, well yes if you said it too!, but I was talking about Jack's post in a comment sometime in the last week...taking to the streets subject I think.

That was before this latest insult -- "bring it on" on executive privilege. The country doesn't need that. If that's the way he's gonna play, impeach him. But start with Butcher Cheney.

45%, 54%, majority, plurality, whatever - what do the specifics matter when most would agree it's a very big number? When Nancy Pelosi stated on Nov. 9 2006 that we just needed to get on with things and not get bogged down in impeachment proceedings for the next two years, she didn't have these kind of numbers in her arsenol to use to rally the D's against Bush, nor (would I guess) could she know the depths this administration would drop to if they were left unchallenged. It's quite a bit different now.

Please continue to waste time on this while we prosecute our agenda.

This administration has been able to do close to anything they want over last 6 1/2 yrs. Why not push the envelope? There hasn't been, and probably will not be, any serious consequences for them.

They are banking on that.

Illegal immigration.
Bringing the troops home.
The Alternate minimum tax.
Campaign finance reform.
gangs /drugs / crime
The price of gas and milk.
Alternate energy sources
Social security.

Do you think that the Democratic Congress could make the time to spend on fixing a couple of these things, instead of spending all their time trying to get Bush ? Over 90% of Americans don't care about the firing of politically appointed Attorney Generals or Diplomatic "David Niven wannabees" like Joe Wilson.

How about fixing the things we care about?

P.S. Is that Leslie West from Mountain in the picture with Harriet ?

ahh yes--that worthless, do-nothing, Democrat Congress. The primary GOP talking point for the next 16 mos.

Brother Gray,

That is too rich. The Republicans in the Senate now Fillibuster everything and then people like you in their cheering section sit back and blame the "do nothing Democrats" for not having the 60 votes they need to accomplish anything.


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
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In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
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L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
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Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
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Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
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King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
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Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
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Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
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