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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-29-2007, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for Dick Cheney

by Joel S. Hirschhorn (OpEdNews.com)

When someone in high elected office shows the nation how vulnerable our Constitution is, we should be thankful for the wakeup call. Like many ruthless dictators, evil kings, and monster generals, Dick Cheney is the leading practitioner of the ends-justify-the-means mentality, where only his vision of the desired ends counts. And if this means disregarding and disobeying the Constitution, torturing prisoners, killing thousands of American soldiers, disrespecting Congress, destroying our environment, embracing the invasion of illegal immigrants, increasing out national debt, and disregarding the will of the vast majority of Americans, so be it. Serving corporate interests rather than serving the people is Cheney’s brand of patriotism.

Cheney’s self-righteous ego is bigger than George W. Bush’s, and what makes Cheney more striking is that he is enormously smarter and more competent than Bush, his token boss. He is so dangerous and frightening that no impeachment of Bush effort ever stood a chance. Not as long as “President Cheney” enters your consciousness. Cheney became Bush’s shield.

When reality hits the fan we use the-lessons-learned approach to stay sane. With his finger-in-the-eye disdain for what anybody else (or history) thinks of him, Cheney offers a far better lesson learned benefit than the stumbles and fumbles of Bush-the-smirker. Bush is a joke. Cheney is a monster.

Take Cheney’s current view that he is a part of the legislative branch, not the executive, so he does not have to comply with an Executive Order on reporting use of secret materials. It is wildly inconsistent with his prior claims of executive privilege. But Cheney has no use for logical consistency. Only what Cheney wants matters. (The only law that Cheney regularly obeys is gravity.)

When we witness the brazen acts of Cheney and Bush we should envision these types of constitutional amendments.

An amendment could explicitly state that the Vice President is a member of the Executive Branch, and the Office of the Vice President must comply with Executive Orders. And perhaps we should consider a statement of the criteria that the President can invoke for firing the Vice President with the consent of Congress.

And why not consider a different method of breaking ties in the Senate. If someone from the Executive Branch can do it, then why not someone from the Judicial Branch? Why not the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court? Or, better yet, why not make the constitutional solution what is the House uses. A tie vote means that the question fails. We could eliminate the position of President of the Senate.

As another example, consider the frequent assertion of executive privilege by Cheney and Bush to withhold information that Congress believes it needs. The Constitution does not provide for executive privilege. Considering how strong the presidency has become and the predilection to invoke executive privilege, we need an amendment that explicitly says there is no such thing as automatic executive privilege. Any assertion of it should be presented to the Supreme Court and only it should rule that it is appropriate in a particular case to protect the national interest.

As the final example, consider the clear need for an amendment that prohibits the President from using any kind of signing statement to announce and justify not obeying part of a newly signed law.

We can give thanks for Dick Cheney just like we give thanks eventually that a catastrophe or disaster makes us stronger in the future. He has exposed constitutional weaknesses. The principles that define the best of our nation must be protected through amendments that learn from history. In particular, how the ingenuity and boldness of people has allowed them to disobey and dishonor those principles. Dick Cheney sought and achieved power sufficient to make a mockery of our nation’s finest principles and he was enabled by George W. Bush who apparently sought more guidance from his God than from our Constitution.

One thing is clear. History provides little confidence that Congress will propose constitutional amendments that deserve full public discussion. Now is the time to use what our Constitution offers us: an Article V convention for proposing amendments. If we are to make our federal government work for the good of we the people, then we require the nation’s first Article V convention – the goal of Friends of the Article V Convention at FOAVC.ORG. Why is it now so appropriate? Because Americans now have so little confidence in Congress, the President, and the Vice President, and because the corruption of politicians by money has reached unprecedented heights.

As much as politicians deserve our mistrust, we the people deserve to have an Article V convention. Politicians fear it because they know the public will support amendments that make the government subservient to us – the sovereign American citizens. Politicians are not supposed to rule us. They are so supposed to justly represent us. But they do not. They represent the moneyed interests that control them. As Thomas Jefferson said, “An elected tyranny is not what we fought for.”

Our Constitution should not allow the government to make us victims and our nation hated by so much of the world. That’s what Cheney should teach us. Now, it’s up to us.

Pray that a petulant Bush does not learn from Cheney, exploit the Constitution by resigning, and create President Cheney.

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-29-2007, 12:00 PM
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Is it possible that the Bush/Cheney Team has found its LEGACY?

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-29-2007, 03:05 PM
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That column encapsulates my feeling about Cheney, perfectly.

His experiences in the CIA probably made him feel unaccountable, and responsible to no one. He doesn't even bother to engage the Public or to justify himself or what he does.

This is the most dangerous type of politician the United States can have. He seems cut from the same kind of cloth that John Erlichman, HR Haldeman and that crew behind Nixon was.

Jim
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-29-2007, 03:17 PM
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I think Cheney is calling a lot of the important shots that Bush represents as his own. Thank God they'll both be out of office, but not soon enough.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-30-2007, 03:29 AM
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"You Can't Impeach Me, I'm Delusional!"
Posted June 29, 2007 | 10:23 AM (EST)

Marty Kaplan
Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post



I was wondering why swing Justice Anthony Kennedy abandoned the Supreme Court's right wing and blocked the execution of a delusional Texas killer yesterday, but then I saw the accounts of President Bush's Iraq speech at the Naval War College on the same day, and it suddenly became clear: SCOTUS is handing POTUS a lifeline in case he's impeached.

In his speech, Bush referred to Al-Qaida 27 times, saying "it is the main enemy for Shia, Sunni and Kurds alike. Al-Qaida's responsible for the most sensational killings in Iraq." But as Jonathan S. Landay of McClatchy's Washington bureau, committing an act previously known as journalism, pointed out,

"U.S. military and intelligence officials, however, say that Iraqis with ties to al-Qaida are only a small fraction of the threat to American troops. The group known as al-Qaida in Iraq didn't exist before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, didn't pledge its loyalty to al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden until October 2004 and isn't controlled by bin Laden or his top aides...Bush's use of al-Qaida in his speech had strong echoes of the strategy the administration had used to whip up public support for the Iraq invasion by accusing the late Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein of cooperating with bin Laden and implying that he'd played a role in the Sept. 11 attacks. Administration officials have since acknowledged that Saddam had no ties to bin Laden or 9/11. A similar pattern has developed in Iraq, where the U.S. military has cited al-Qaida 33 times in a barrage of news releases in the past seven days. In his speech, Bush referred only fleetingly to the sectarian violence that pits Sunni Muslim insurgents against Shiite Muslim militias in bloody tit-for-tat attacks, bombings, atrocities and forced mass evictions from contested areas of Baghdad and other cities and towns. U.S. intelligence agencies and military commanders say the Sunni-Shiite conflict is the greatest source of violence and insecurity in Iraq."

In other words, Bush is just as delusional as the Texas murder, Scott Louis Panetti.

Panetti, who served as his own lawyer in court, said "that his body had been taken over by an alter ego he called Sarge Ironhorse and that demons were bent on killing him for his Christian beliefs."

If he's impeached, Bush can just say that his body had been taken over by an alter ego called Sarge Cheney, and that (just as Peretti claimed) "the Devil has been trying to rub him out to keep him from preaching the Gospel." Bill O'Reilly can say that liberal secular humanists want to kill him for listening to Higher Voices. (Oh, wait, I think he's already done that.)

In court, Scott Panetti "tried to strip off his prison uniform to show scars from burns that he said John F. Kennedy healed with coconut milk after the sinking of Kennedy's torpedo boat in the Pacific in World War II."

In his Senate impeachment trial, Bush can strip off his suit to show the Skull and Bones brand on his ass, the one that was healed with Halliburton money, hedge fund managers' bonuses, and the torpedoing of the progressive tax system.

In court, Panetti "appeared with a Tom Mix cowboy hat slung over his back, wearing purple western shirts and cowboy boots." In Congress, Bush can appear in a flightsuit, wearing a camo codpiece and cowboy boots, and brandishing a Crawford chainsaw.

It was a younger Alberto Gonzales, of course, who gave Governor Bush all the rationale he needed in order to order the execution of batshit insane murderers on Texas's death row. Looks like Gonzo will never make it to the Supreme Court. Nevertheless, the Supremes' rationale for staying the killing of one of those very schizophrenics turns out to be the last best hope for Bush to defend himself against killing the Constitution.

I know, I know - impeachment is off the table. But there's always the possibility of a war crimes trial. Isn't that why Kissinger still avoids Paris, Sao Paolo and The Hague?

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-30-2007, 03:49 AM
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President Dodo


Washington's Zelig
A longtime confidant of the Bush and Cheney families describes the dangerous influence of the vice president.


Web-Exclusive Commentary
By Eleanor Clift
Newsweek
Updated: 1:40 p.m. ET June 29, 2007

June 29, 2007 - Dick Cheney is like “Zelig,” the Woody Allen character with the uncanny ability to turn up everywhere. We always suspected his dark influence throughout the government, and now it’s been documented chapter and verse in an exhaustive series in The Washington Post. Cheney operates largely in secret, and because he is such a skilled bureaucratic infighter, he’s able to do end runs around everybody, including President Bush, who does nothing to rein in his evil twin.

Under the guise of national security, Cheney has gotten away with curbing civil liberties, condoning torture and launching an unnecessary war. He’s also chipped away at environmental regulations and done myriad favors for his friends in the business world. His stealthy intervention undermined former EPA administrator Christine Todd Whitman and led to her resignation. He shapes tax policy and energy policy and whatever else strikes his fancy, installing himself as president of Corporate America.

Cheney’s above-the-law arrogance finally met its match this week, when he declined to give national archivists who oversee the handling of classified data in the executive branch access to his papers. Cheney’s argument: that he’s not part of the executive branch because he also serves as president of the Senate. The claim was ludicrous on its face and opened up Cheney to ridicule. Democrats can’t muster the votes to cut off funding for the war, but when House leader Rahm Emanuel threatened to cut off funds for the vice president’s operation, Cheney backed down.

I had lunch with Vic Gold, an old friend of the Cheney’s, on the third day of the Post series. I asked him how he felt reading about Dick’s dark adventures. “A tremendous feeling of validation,” he said. In a recent book, Gold described Cheney as a “mega-maniacal paranoid” whose secret empire within the government had captured the Bush presidency and helped bring the Republican Party to the brink of ruin. Gold’s book, published in April, is titled: “Invasion of the Party Snatchers: How the Holy-Rollers and the Neo-Cons Destroyed the GOP.” (It was originally titled “How the Neo-Cons Took Over the GOP,” but midway through the process, Gold got so angry he changed the verb to “Destroyed.” )

This is a huge turnabout for Gold, 78, a veteran Republican operative. Close to the Bushes and the Cheneys, he once shared office space with Lynne Cheney and in 1996 was prepared to support Dick Cheney for president. When he decided not to run, Cheney told Gold, “I don’t want to spend three quarters of my time running around raising money.” That sounded rational to Gold, who’d been kicking around politics for a long time, having worked for a string of Republicans from Barry Goldwater, his hero, to the disgraced Spiro Agnew and finally “the old man,” George H.W. Bush. Unlike others who’ve known Cheney for 30 years, Gold doesn’t think his erstwhile friend has changed. “Men do not change, they unmask themselves,” he says, quoting a Swiss writer. What happened to Cheney is “opportunity,” says Gold. Pushed forward by George and Barbara Bush, who had no confidence in their eldest son, Cheney was supposed to serve as the ghost of Bush Senior hovering around the White House.

Cheney took on the job and with, George W.’s acquiescence, made himself the locus of power. What nobody anticipated is the extent to which the quiet man with the lopsided mouth would insinuate himself into everything--and the devastating consequences of his influence, particularly the Iraq War. Gold, a slight man with wispy white hair and a hair-trigger temperament calls Bush “President Dodo.” He’s known Bush since the ’80 campaign, and while he doesn’t really think he’s dumb, he knows he can be manipulated. “He’s playing the role of president, strutting around,” says Gold. “He’s the weakest president in my memory.”

The Bushes prize loyalty, but about a year ago, Gold had reached a point where his respect for the elder Bush, whose autobiography he had helped write, was not enough for him to keep quiet. The administration in his view had become a danger to the Constitution and what America stands for in the world. He wrote to tell 41 about the book he was writing, and he got a letter back saying, “We’ve been friends a long time and we’ll continue to be friends. I am sure I will not like what you say about our son.” And then in a grace note typical of the old man, “but I don’t think too much of the neocons myself.”

Cheney’s great selling point was that he did not plan to run for president, setting him apart from most vice presidents who harbor personal ambition. He didn’t have to worry about being popular. But the idea was flawed. In the end, Cheney’s lack of viability as a political figure became his license to do whatever he wants, an outcome nobody foresaw, least of all his unsuspecting patron, George H.W. Bush.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-30-2007, 11:50 AM
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Let's not confuse people with the facts

Quote:
Originally Posted by FeelTheLove


In his speech, Bush referred to Al-Qaida 27 times, saying "it is the main enemy for Shia, Sunni and Kurds alike. Al-Qaida's responsible for the most sensational killings in Iraq." In his speech, Bush referred only fleetingly to the sectarian violence that pits Sunni Muslim insurgents against Shiite Muslim militias in bloody tit-for-tat attacks, bombings, atrocities and forced mass evictions from contested areas of Baghdad and other cities and towns. U.S. intelligence agencies and military commanders say the Sunni-Shiite conflict is the greatest source of violence and insecurity in Iraq."
Adolf Hitler whipped crowds into a frenzy by ranting over and over about the Communist menace in Germany.

Then he blamed the mysterious Reichstag fire on them, though Goering himself probably planned it.

Looks like that playbook is still out there for anyone to reuse....

Jim
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