Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Bottom? What Bottom?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 1, 2008

There is no bottom to Bush’s badness, as shown by his using a signing statement to give himself the authority to ignore the sanctions in the Darfur bill he just signed. (Emphases mine, to point out the weaselly wording his lawyers and minders crafted for him.)

Statement by the President


Today, I have signed into law S. 2271, the “Sudan Accountability and Divestment Act of 2007.” I share the deep concern of the Congress over the continued violence in Darfur perpetrated by the Government of Sudan and rebel groups. My Administration will continue its efforts to bring about significant improvements in the conditions in Sudan through sanctions against the Government of Sudan and high level diplomatic engagement and by supporting the deployment of peacekeepers in Darfur.

This Act purports to authorize State and local governments to divest from companies doing business in named sectors in Sudan and thus risks being interpreted as insulating from Federal oversight State and local divestment actions that could interfere with implementation of national foreign policy. However, as the Constitution vests the exclusive authority to conduct foreign relations with the Federal Government, the executive branch shall construe and enforce this legislation in a manner that does not conflict with that authority.

GEORGE W. BUSH
THE WHITE HOUSE,
December 31, 2007.

And a Happy New Year to you, too. In the meantime, people who are more sincere than George W. Bush about helping Darfur can do so here.

7 Responses to “Bottom? What Bottom?”

  1. Charles said

    Sure. Properly defined, the Executive is in charge of green cheese and truffles.

    I was just reading a prediction in Gwynne Dyer’s “Future Tense” from financial guru Jim Rogers that Bushco will install currency controls. That’s a later stage of what a ban on disinvestment movements amounts to.

    You’d think the right would be screaming about the government interfering in the right of people to do what they want to do with their money. But nooooo. Anything is ok as long as Bushie does it.

    The one good thing is that the “Christian” right is deeply involved in the opposition to Sudan’s government, so this will pit the corporate right against the religious right.

  2. The corporate right, which controls the upper levels of the GOP, has pretty much telegraphed their willingness to blow off the religious right by their full-court press against Huckabee. But they have to be careful, as the religious right — many of whom are increasingly skeptical (though more for a Pat Buchanan reason than a Jimmy Carter reason) of our presence in Iraq — might wind up going en masse to Ron Paul, who has all but officially announced his plan to go third-party in the general.

  3. brownbuffalo said

    How does a signing statement get “revoked”? That’s probably not the right term, but what I’m wondering is, could the next President invalidate all of Bush’s signing statements in one fell swoop? Would he or she need Congressional approval or . . . something? Would it need to be done on an ad hoc basis for each and every signing statement in existence? Not that the next President would actually wipe the slate clean, but could he/she? Could the whole concept of the signing statement be invalidated in some manner? Just curious. Happy New Year to y’all.

  4. Charles said

    Signing statements have no force of law. They are simply a directive to the agencies of the Executive Branch as to how to apply legislation that Congress has passed. If any agency believes the signing statement conflicts with the law, it has an obligation to refuse to obey his orders.

    Bush is hoping that a dispute arises so that a court will rule on the legal standing of his signing statements. Since the courts are packed with right-wingers, it’s very likely he would get the ruling that he wants, namely providing some legal standing to signing statements.

    The goal of these people is to increase presidential powers independent of who is in office. They know that moderates and liberals of either party won’t abuse the powers to teach them a needed lesson, but the next time a right-wing extremist is in office, he will have precedent carved out.

  5. brownbuffalo said

    Thanks for the feedback Charles! I wonder if Congress couldn’t pass a bill limiting the use signing statements that a non-right-wing extremist President might sign into law? Maybe the could limit pardons and recess appointments at the same time!

  6. Charles said

    Well, I’m no constitutional scholar, but I don’t think the Congress can stop the Executive from making statements at signing or from directing Executive Branch employees on how to implement laws. Bush is committing an impeachable offense by ordering federal employees to break the plain meaning of a law to which he is agreeing.

    Any legislative remedy would amount to saying, “It’s illegal to break the law.” The proper remedy is impeachment.

  7. Charles said

    I should add that the power to pardon is explicitly provided for in the Constitution and recess appointments are implicitly provided for. Either could only be removed by Constitutional amendment.

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