Wednesday, April 04, 2007



Earlier today I said something about Bush failing a kindergarten category we used to get on our report cards, Works And Plays Well With Others I was referring specifically to how badly he has botched our country's National Security by pursing a narrow partisan agenda that is both imperialistic and disrespectful of differences Americans have with other people. But in truth, we have learned to expect arrogance and imperiousness from Bush on all issues. Today, while Congress is recessed-- something he was just bitching about yesterday (while he flew off to a vacation at his Crawford pig farm)-- he put through a recesss appointment of Swiftboater Sam Fox after withdrawing the nomination last week in the face of certain loss in the Senate. This is Bush again playing the petulant, bullying child who's looking to get his block knocked off his shoulders.

The raspberry he gave the Senate today is essentially the same raspberry anyone who treats him like a mature individual willing to work in a bipartisan manner for the good of the country is going to get on all issues. Expect is when it comes to pardoning Libby and other convicted criminals from his Regime. Expect it when it comes to short-timing the troops, dealing with "mandatory" withdrawal dates, subpoenas from congressional committees... George Bush is a scoundrel and a lowlife. Other countries learned quickly he is not a man of his word or of good intentions as he willy nilly broke and abrogated treaties almost as soon as he managed to worm his way into the White House.

We should have learned too as he and Cheney and Ashcroft and Gonzales started shredding the Constitution. Is impeachment still off the table? It shouldn't be because no small amount of the checks and balances the Founding Fathers built into our republican form of government-- expressly to prevent the kind of tyranny Bush aspires to-- depends on either good will (of which Bush has shown exactly none), or the fear of political repercussions and real retribution from coequal branches.

This afternoon I had lunch with a U.S. Senator, someone first elected in the early 80s. Neither of was yet aware that Bush had decided to go around the Senate to stick his big time sleazy campaign contributor in as ambassador. If I ever had any doubts how Democratic Insiders feel about the Regime-- I mean sometimes I worry that they relate more to fellow Insiders than to their grassroots constituents-- my anxiety was put to rest. There was no foul language he be made it abundantly clear that he feels as strongly as the characters in the Bush Regime, and has as much faith in their integrity and competence and honesty-- as we do here at DWT. At one point he said they are "crooks and thieves." His passions are reflected in his voting record, one of the 10 best in the whole Senate.

Today's Washington Post explains the details of what happened:
Recognizing Fox did not have the votes to obtain Senate confirmation in the Foreign Relations Committee, Bush withdrew the nomination last week. On Wednesday, with the Senate on a one-week break, the president used his power to make recess appointments to put Fox in the job without Senate confirmation.

This means Fox can remain ambassador until the end of the next session of Congress, effectively through the end of the Bush presidency...

Recess appointments are intended to give the president flexibility if Congress is out for a lengthy period of time, such as the four-week adjournment in summer. But Dodd said the law was not intended to circumvent lawmakers' approval.

The first I heard of this was when I was driving home after lunch. Kerry was doing an interview on the radio about the book he and his wife have written about the environment. He had just heard about the Fox appointment and his reaction was something like this: When it comes to getting body armor for our soldiers or relief for New Orleans, they're AWOL, but they'll move heaven and earth to reward a smear. Unfortunately, this White House is so inseparable from the politics of character assassination that they would take unprecedented steps to install Sam Fox as Ambassador. It's cowardly to buck the will of the Foreign Relations Committee to reward a donor whose nomination was withdrawn rather than face outright rejection. Never before has a president used a recess appointment to support a withdrawn nominee."

Senator Dodd wasn't exactly taking it laying down either. His statement reflected the feeling on many senators, although most won't voice it:
It is outrageous that the President has sought to stealthily appoint Sam Fox to the position of ambassador to Belgium when the President formally requested that the Fox nomination be withdrawn from the Senate because it was facing certain defeat in the Foreign Relations Committee last week. I seriously question the legality of the President's use of the recess appointment authority in this instance. I intend to seek an opinion on the legality of this appointment from the General Accountability Office and invite other Senators to join with me in that request. This is underhanded and an abuse of Executive authority-- sadly this behavior has become the hallmark of this administration.

Nor is Fox the only hideous recess appointment Bush made today. Two others immediately stand out and ring alarm bells. The Post points out that he "also used his recess appointment authority to make Andrew Biggs deputy director of Social Security. The president's earlier nomination of Biggs, an outspoken advocate of partially privatizing the government's retirement program, was rejected by Senate Democrats in February." And then there's Susan Dudley, a Republican kook determined to increase the amount of arsenic in the drinking water and further wreck the regulatory functions of government so we can have more poisoned pets-- and so that every time we go shopping we can have an adventure and remember that good old anti-social right wing motto: let the buyer beware. And this anti-regulatory maniac he just slipped through the system... what'll she be doing? She's our brand new Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget.



At 11:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dubya - as always, the great divider, and a complete asswipe.


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