Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 9, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

OUTSIDE THE LAW....Every executive agency in the government, including the president's office, is required to issue an annual report disclosing statistics on document classification and declassification activity. Every executive agency, that is, except for one: the vice president's office. U.S. News & World Report explains:

Megan McGinn, Cheney's deputy press secretary, says the vice president's office is exempt.

"This matter has been thoroughly reviewed," McGinn told U.S. News, "and it has been determined that reporting requirements do not apply to the office of the vice president, which has both legislative and executive functions."

"Thoroughly reviewed," I assume, means that David Addington has written a memo saying Cheney doesn't have to do anything he doesn't want to. He's not executive, he's not legislative, he's a quantum superposition of both and therefore not subject to the classical laws the rest of us are.

Usually their arrogance isn't quite so bald-faced. I guess Cheney is tired of putting up a facade for the little people.

Via Steve Benen, who has more.

Kevin Drum 7:39 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (77)

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Comments

How long are decent Americans going to put up with all the Carvilles, the Hillaries and the Liebermans enabling crime like this!
The Democrat party really is the pits.

Posted by: professor rat on February 9, 2007 at 8:04 PM | PERMALINK

After he lead an exhaustive nationwide search for potential vice presidential candidates to put on the ticket with GWB, and decided that he himself was the best qualified, things have pretty much been predictably down hill.

Posted by: jhm on February 9, 2007 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

We gonna see Al soon squawking about Unitary Vice-Executive?

Posted by: SMurph on February 9, 2007 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

I think we have a new definition for 'chutzpah.'

Posted by: dj moonbat on February 9, 2007 at 8:22 PM | PERMALINK

Wait, wasn't Cheney's reason accompanying Bush to testify before the 9-11 Commission that the vice-president is elected with the president, so therefore he's part of the executive branch?

Posted by: Batavicus on February 9, 2007 at 8:28 PM | PERMALINK

Not only that, but he's also immune to gravity and can travel faster than the speed of light.

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on February 9, 2007 at 8:29 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney is God...
hic...
one has gots to love a man who tells moonbatty libs where to gets off...
hic...
Cheney is God...

Posted by: Pelosi invented the Internet on February 9, 2007 at 8:29 PM | PERMALINK

Not only that, but he's also immune to gravity and can travel faster than the speed of light.

Veni, vidi, Vice President.

Posted by: dj moonbat on February 9, 2007 at 8:30 PM | PERMALINK

Not only that, but he's a fascist thug.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 9, 2007 at 8:30 PM | PERMALINK

Secrecy News has the details on the dispute between the ISOO and the VP.

Posted by: fortezza on February 9, 2007 at 8:36 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney to America, "Go F**k yourself."

Posted by: Ron Byers on February 9, 2007 at 8:45 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney is mucho sexy!
He's got some gravitas balls!

You dummy libs are just jealous you ain't got balls to match!


Posted by: Pelosi invented the Internets on February 9, 2007 at 8:46 PM | PERMALINK

People: As Heisenberg clearly stated, the Vice President is both Executive and Legislative, until one inquires as to his position. At that point, he will become perceived as one or the other.

This is one of those known unknowns Rummy warned us about.

Posted by: Absent Observer on February 9, 2007 at 8:48 PM | PERMALINK

hic...

Posted by: Pelosis invented the Internets on February 9, 2007 at 8:48 PM | PERMALINK

The matter of my not being required to pay taxes has been thoroughly reviewed as well.

Posted by: NTodd on February 9, 2007 at 8:53 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney is dangerous to democracy. Too bad the Republicans can't think far out enough in the future to realize this.

Posted by: trifecta on February 9, 2007 at 8:54 PM | PERMALINK

The matter of my not being required to pay taxes has been thoroughly reviewed as well.

Posted by: NTodd on February 9, 2007 at 8:54 PM | PERMALINK

Typical liberal hit piece. Just because the other 45 losers before hand didn't realize that the Vice President could do what they wanted doesn't mean Dick Cheney has to suffer.

Who cares what John Breckinridge thought anyways?

Posted by: Al on February 9, 2007 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

What a f*cker! Seriously, this man is the biggest f*ckface on the planet. Richard Cheney, if I ever meet you, I'd like to look you straight in the eye and tell you what a cheap, lying, no good, rotten, floor-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, dickless, hopeless, heartless, fat-ass, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed, sack of monkey sh** you are! Impeach. Impeach. Prison. Prison.

Posted by: smoof on February 9, 2007 at 8:57 PM | PERMALINK

SMurph, you misspelled "Urinary".

Posted by: Dave Howard on February 9, 2007 at 8:57 PM | PERMALINK

You defeatocrats are just jealous
hic...
cuz Cheney's dick
hic...
is bigger than...
hic...
your schtick...
hic...

Posted by: Pelosi invented the Internets on February 9, 2007 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

Just more Nanny State liberalism for ya. These Democrats want to tag & release all the President's documents, just like the tag & released Osama Bin Laden. Hey, you wanna criticize the Vice President of the United States. Al Queda is listening, stupid. Don't think this doesn't just make their day.

Posted by: American Troll on February 9, 2007 at 9:00 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

McGinn is right, Kevin. Cheney is in the executive branch as the Vice President, but he also has a tie-breaking function in the Senate. Therefore, he has functions in both branches.

Not sure why you find this so hard to except.

Not only that, but how many of those documents we're talking about are of a classified nature? You really want this information disclosed to the public. I know it's hard for you libs to grasp, but we are at war. Try to keep up.

Posted by: egbert on February 9, 2007 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK

"Not sure why you find this so hard to except."

Egbert, you got that exactly right!

Posted by: Kenji on February 9, 2007 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK

hic...
Posted by: Pelosis invented the Internets

I see Hitchens is posting here again.

Posted by: Nads on February 9, 2007 at 9:11 PM | PERMALINK

professor rat >"...The Democrat party really is the pits."

I like it.

They ("The Democrat party") are allowing the ReThug Party enough space & time to reveal their true (inner) selves to the world at large. If I tried for 1,000 years I could not do this good of a job of revealing their juvenile frat-rat 8 year old boy personality.

Better now than string it out any longer.

Let the sideshow continue until the majority quits fooling itself that these are adults.

Continue !

"All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." - I.F. Stone

Posted by: daCascadian on February 9, 2007 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

Richard Cheney and George W. Bush have done more damage to America than Al Queda have done and ever will. That's a fact. They've destroyed a successful post WWII world order, completely ruined America's national standing and self respect. They've dragged our good name through the mud, implicating us officially in torture, corruption, and breaking everything we've ever stood for since our founding. They are destroying the U.S. 'brand' - by the time they're done nobody will believe us except us, perhaps not even us. We are no longer leading the world, we are following it. Thanks everyone for allowing this to happen, even helping it along. You should all be deeply ashamed of yourselves, and beg the rest of us decent Americans for our forgiveness.

And by the way, we are not at war. Nobody but an idiot believes that anymore. That is SO 2004.

Posted by: smoof on February 9, 2007 at 9:16 PM | PERMALINK

I hereby declare that I am NOT the father of Anna Nicole Smith's baby.......or of Mary Cheney's baby.

Posted by: R.L. on February 9, 2007 at 9:26 PM | PERMALINK

I think I've got it:
The president is not above the law,
the vice-president is.

Posted by: clio on February 9, 2007 at 9:34 PM | PERMALINK

If he's going to go that route, it should be noted that the Constitution grants the Vice President no executive powers. None. Zero. Zip. Nada.

He only is granted legislative powers. Not big ones, but at least they exist.

Posted by: Glockenspiel on February 9, 2007 at 9:38 PM | PERMALINK

Is there some way to litigate this cockamamie notion of the veep as a new, unenumerated fourth branch of the federal government? So we can get a scathing SCOTUS opinion treating it with the utter contempt it deserves? I'm guessing even Scalia and Thomas would laugh it out of court.

Posted by: jimBOB on February 9, 2007 at 9:55 PM | PERMALINK

David Addington has written a memo saying Cheney is what? Basically President?

Where is Bush's balls in all this?

Does Bush have any balls, you know, cause why is letting Cheney be president and all with David Addington going public with it big time, why wouldn't that bother little Bushie, who likes pretending he's the Preznut, the decider and all? Where is mommy Karen Hughes when you need her? Someone to tell Cheney where to get off? What would Barbara Bush say?

What a whussie little Bushies is?

Gosh, you would think Mr. Snide Lips would give a big damn that people are finding out about his brainlessness and controlessness. Cheney will be asking a lot of little Bushie in the next two years. Elton John was right, poor little Bushie was always someone's fool.

Posted by: Cheryl on February 9, 2007 at 10:10 PM | PERMALINK

I bet Scooter is pissed that no one told him this before he went and perjured himself for no reason. Sucker.

Posted by: adam on February 9, 2007 at 10:22 PM | PERMALINK

The merits of cheney's position are bullshit IMHO. But the real crime is that he couldn't do jackshit without the acquiescence or approval of the president who could if he wanted see that cheney not be able do any more than spend 24/7 working on his game shot.

Posted by: paul on February 9, 2007 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK

Pelosi invented the internet: "He's got some gravitas balls!"

Actually, it's reported his neighbors in Jackson Hole know when Dick is coming, a C-130 flies out a antiaircraft missle battery the day before, so that Dick is protected in case Al Queda attacks him with an airliner. Sounds totally paranoid and more than a little chickens--t to me. For a guy with balls he sure seems concerened about hiding out in his "undisclosed" spider holes.

Visited San Diego last year after the Cheney shooting incident. We were waiting in line for the harbor tour in front of couple of VFW types. The one VFW type says to the other: "It's a good thing Cheney wasn't shot, or Bush would be president."

Posted by: fafner1 on February 9, 2007 at 10:41 PM | PERMALINK

Hmmm. Does the power of the purse extend to cutting off funding for the OVP until it complies with all pertinent regulations?

If we're going to impeach anybody, Dirty Dick is the person to start with.

Tentakles

Posted by: Tentakles on February 9, 2007 at 10:44 PM | PERMALINK

That’s funny – my copy of the Constitution has the Vice President situated in Article II where the executive branch’s powers are proscribed. Has there ever been a more arrogant prick than two-time drunk driver, Richard Bruce Cheney? When is this criminal going to be put behind bars where he belongs???

P.S. The American people still want to see the notes from your energy task force, Dick.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on February 9, 2007 at 10:46 PM | PERMALINK

Deflator, your copy of the Constitution also has the Vice President situated in Article I, where the legislative branch's powers are described.

And unlike his mention in Article II, which merely says (essentially) that the office exists, his mention in Article I actually grants him a power.

And I think that you think that the word "proscribed" means "described", or "listed", or "enumerated", or something like that. It doesn't.

Posted by: Glockenspiel on February 9, 2007 at 11:19 PM | PERMALINK

Everyone here knows i'm full of shit. Everyone knows I just say these things because I know they'l get a rise out of you.

I took my meds today.

And that makes all the difference.

I am sorry for being a shitmouth.

Truly

Posted by: Al on February 9, 2007 at 11:24 PM | PERMALINK

On further thought:

You might think that "proscribed" means "prescribed".

It doesn't mean that, either.

Posted by: Glockenspiel on February 9, 2007 at 11:36 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry if you read this the first time, but this is worth pasting in here again:

From The New Republic, Post date 11.20.03:

****In mid-2002, Cheney made at least two visits to the CIA's Langley headquarters to talk with the analysts on the intelligence assembly line, who warned that they had no evidence showing that Saddam was reconstituting his nuclear program. These visits have been chewed over in the press, decried by retired Agency officials, and condemned as attempts to pressure the CIA into producing more damning intel. But they only begin to capture the depth of the vice president's personal involvement in shaping Iraq intelligence. In addition to trekking to Langley, his former aides say, Cheney paid calls to analysts at the DIA, the National Security Agency, and even the National Intelligence Mapping Agency. "He visited every element of the intelligence community," says a former Cheney staffer. When he wasn't visiting these agencies, his staff snowed them with questions. According to one former CIA analyst, "The Agency [would write] something on WMD, and it would come back from the vice president with a thousand questions: 'What's this sentence mean?' 'What's your source for this line?' 'Why are you disregarding sources that are saying the opposite?'"

Among Cheney's aides, resentment of the CIA went far beyond a healthy skepticism of fallible intelligence analysts and an Agency with a decidedly mixed record. Whereas Cheney's questioning of intelligence during the Gulf war had been probing but respectful, now his staff belittled the intelligence community's findings, irrespective of their merits. For years, Libby and Hannah in particular had believed the Agency harbored a politically motivated animus against the INC and irresponsibly discounted intelligence reports from defectors the INC had brought forward. "This had been a fight for such a long period of time, where people were so dug in," reflects a friend of one of Cheney's senior staffers. The OVP had been studying issues like Iraq for so many years that it often simply did not accept that contrary information provided by intelligence analysts-- especially CIA analysts--could be correct. As one former colleague of many OVP officials puts it, "They so believed that the CIA were wrong, they were like, 'We want to show these f**kers that they are wrong.'"

Intelligence analysts saw little difference between Cheney and his staffers. The vice president's aides may have made more trips to Langley and signed more memoranda asking for further information, but, as the CIA saw it, the OVP was a coordinated machine working for its engineer. "When I heard complaints from people, it was, 'Man, you wouldn't believe this sh*t that Libby and [Undersecretary of Defense Douglas J.] Feith and Wolfowitz do to us.' They were all lumped together," says an ex-analyst close to his former colleagues. "I would hear them say, 'Goddamn, that f**king John Hannah, you wouldn't believe.' And the next day it would be, 'That f**king Bill Luti.' For all these guys, they're interchangeable." Adds another, "They had power. Authority. They had the vice president behind them. ... What Scooter did, Cheney made possible. Feith, Wolfowitz--Cheney made it all possible. He's the fulcrum. He's the one."

From the OVP's perspective, the CIA--with its caveat-riddled position on Iraqi WMD and its refusal to connect Saddam and Al Qaeda--was an outright obstacle to the invasion of Iraq.****

http://web.archive.org/web/20060212172413/www.howardlabs.com/11-03/WHAT+DICK+CHENEY+REALLY+BELIEVES.htm

And before this, the CIA told them there was no active WMD program:

http://thinkprogress.org/2006/04/23/60-minutes-cia-official-reveals-bush-cheney-rice-were-personally-told-iraq-had-no-wmd-in-fall-2002

Posted by: JJ on February 10, 2007 at 12:02 AM | PERMALINK

Wow! Open the door, why don't you?

There are 3 branches of government only. We can all read the Constitution but people like Cheney, Gonzalez and Wu would like their own interpretation.

There are 3 parts to US government: the courts, the executive, and the legislative. There's nothing else.

If Cheney is not executive, and clearly isn't the law, then he must be legislative. So challenge him on his own holding. He comes under legislative oversight.

He will jump back to his executive privilige faster than any rat. Showing him to be what he is.

Where's the challenge? For god's sake take these weasels on.

Posted by: notthere on February 10, 2007 at 12:23 AM | PERMALINK

Wow! Open the door, why don't you?

There are 3 branches of government only. We can all read the Constitution but people like Cheney, Gonzalez and Wu would like their own interpretation.

There are 3 parts to US government: the courts, the executive, and the legislative. There's nothing else.

If Cheney is not executive, and clearly isn't the law or a court, then he must be legislative. So challenge him on his own holding. He comes under legislative oversight.

He will jump back to his executive privilige faster than any rat. Showing him to be what he is.

Where's the challenge? For god's sake take these weasels on. Where's the fight?

Posted by: notthere on February 10, 2007 at 12:25 AM | PERMALINK

Let me first say that I love the quantum theory of vice presidential authority.

Since the issue is secret documents, the question of which "state" Cheney is in is easy to answer. He and his aides are clearly creating and reviewing secret documents as members of the executive branch--not as some ex officio member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Posted by: Dr. Drang on February 10, 2007 at 12:52 AM | PERMALINK

If I understand this kertuffle correctly, there is an executive order that all classified documents must be tracked statistically. There is also an executive order that the Vice President can classify and declassify documents. Cheney is saying his executive power to classify is freed from the executive order to keep statistics by right of his legislative powers.
How can Feckless Leader permit this infringement of his God given executive powers by the legislative powers? Who's on first? Where will it all end?

Posted by: Dick Durata on February 10, 2007 at 1:03 AM | PERMALINK

The Vice Presidency in the US is a nonentity. The Veep is the guy they send to funerals. He gets to break ties in the Senate, and wait for the President to die. Otherwise the president can ask him to do stuff, or ask him to do nothing, either way.

Posted by: Joe Buck on February 10, 2007 at 1:13 AM | PERMALINK

You liberals are emboldening the enemy when you question the auhority of a man like Cheney. Don't you know Al Quaeda is reading this blog? Hell some of these pseudonyms could be Islamofascists sleeper cells.

Posted by: Al on February 10, 2007 at 1:24 AM | PERMALINK

smoof: "Richard Cheney, if I ever meet you, I'd like to look you straight in the eye and tell you what a cheap, lying, no good, rotten, ... worm-headed, sack of monkey sh** you are!"

Come on, don't hold it back -- tell us what you really think of him.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on February 10, 2007 at 1:32 AM | PERMALINK

Al: "Hell some of these pseudonyms could be Islamofascists sleeper cells."

Al completely nailed it! And here I was, wondering why it was that whenever I read Al's posts, I'm always reminded of Sen. Johnny Iselin (James Gregory) in The Manchurian Candidate.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on February 10, 2007 at 1:53 AM | PERMALINK

VP falls under the control of the executive branch.

Only legislative funtion VP has is casting a tie breaking vote in the Senate. That's it as far as the legislative branch goes.

All tax funds for the VP office are from the executive branch funds that Congress gives the executive branch.

VP has to give a report.

Posted by: James on February 10, 2007 at 2:52 AM | PERMALINK

Al advocates Conservative Correctness, which is "about intimidating people who disagree with you." I just scroll on buh-bye using my middle finger.

Speaking of GFY, if Junior exempted the CIA from ISCAP review with an executive order in 2003, what's to keep him from issuing another one retroactively exempting the OVP? Bush has no shame and must like having His Cheneyness running the show, someone who can act as a convenient scapegoat if needed. Par for the course of the worst presidency ever.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on February 10, 2007 at 3:31 AM | PERMALINK
Hmmm. Does the power of the purse extend to cutting off funding for the OVP until it complies with all pertinent regulations?

Tentakles,

Just eliminate the right of any person working in or for the OVP to hold a security clearance of any kind, and explicitly add that anyone discussing classified information with or providing classified information to any person in or working for the OVP is committing espionage and treason.

Cheney is out of business until Bush's death in office or his inability to perform the office of President for any other reason.

Tack that onto the military appropriations bill as a rider. Bush can't veto it.

Posted by: Rick B on February 10, 2007 at 6:59 AM | PERMALINK

Glockenspiel:

Thanks for the pedantism. Although the vice president's duties as titular head of the Senate are mentioned in Article I, there is no doubt that the framers viewed the VP as being part of the executive branch.

Actually, my use of the word "proscribed" was deliberate, because what most modern conservatives don't get it is the Constitution doesn't just tell us what the government can do. It tells the government what they cannot do. And one of those things that are proscribed is withholding information from the people and keeping themselves above the law - which the gaping asshole Dick Cheney does on a regular basis. We need to impeach that arrogant cocksucker immediately.

TCD

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on February 10, 2007 at 7:18 AM | PERMALINK
That’s funny – my copy of the Constitution has the Vice President situated in Article II where the executive branch’s powers are proscribed.

Conservative Deflator,

The Vice President is also listed in Article I Section 3 d where the Vice President of the US is named President of the Senate by has no vote except in the case of a tie vote in the Senate.

Other than that his only named duty is in Section 4 of the XVth amendement where in the case of incapacity of the President one of the two ways of determining that the President is incapacitated is that a the Vice President and a majority of the cabinet officers send a declaration to the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House that the President is incapacitated - and later a similar action to reinstate the President if he recovers.

The XVth Amendent function is clearly Executive Department in nature and does nother more than assign the Veep to a committee that is responsible for determining incapacity of the President. There is no independent power, and if the Legislature sets up "such other body as the legislature may provide" the Veep has no function at all.

These are the only Constitutional functions of the Veep. But he does show up in both Article I and Article II.

As I read it, the Vice President could be stripped of all functions except President of the Senate and replacing a dead or incapacitated President by law using a simply majority vote of both Houses if the President does not veto it.

The Veto can be avoided by attaching it to the military appropriation.

Posted by: Rick B on February 10, 2007 at 7:25 AM | PERMALINK

Glockenspiel

Actually, 'proscribed', or 'prescribed', depending on tendency, is the correct word. The Constitution does not describe the powers of the VP, because there is no VP out in nature for the Constitution to describe. The VP doesn't exist without the Constitution.

Scientific journals, newspapers, history books, etc., *describe*. There's an object out there, independent of the text, that the text talks about.

Laws on the other hand make things the case. Laws prescribe and proscribe certain behavior. When the law says "Thou shall not kill" it isn't saying that it is impossible for one person to kill another. It ain't describing anything. It's saying what we ought to do. Likewise, the Constitution is saying what the VP ought to do. What he may and may not do. Unless you think it's impossible for the VP to violate the Constitution, clearly what's in there are prescriptions.

Jackass.

Posted by: dbake on February 10, 2007 at 7:42 AM | PERMALINK

"Don't you know Al Quaeda is reading this blog? Hell some of these pseudonyms could be Islamofascists sleeper cells."

So, Al, is your last name, "Qaeda"?

Projection has long been one of the defining characteristics of the right. Why should it be any different for the Islamic right?

Posted by: rea on February 10, 2007 at 8:18 AM | PERMALINK

They've destroyed a successful post WWII world order, completely ruined America's national standing and self respect. - smoof

Well, they've had some help, honey.

I refer you

The Twilight of Mechanized Lumpenleisure
By James Howard Kunstler

[snip]

'Now, the high tide of industrial society, the twentieth century, also happened to be an era of tremendously destructive industrial warfare. By mid-century, after two World Wars, the industrial nations of Europe had exhausted and bankrupted themselves, and lay physical shattered, and the same was true of Asia’s only industrial power, Japan. The situation in the United States, on the other hand, was favorable to the extreme. The US continental homeland went unscathed in both world wars, and at the end of the second one, our factories, mines, oil fields, harbors, and railroads stood completely intact while everyone else’s was devastated. We set out immediately to supply the rest of the shattered world with the necessary manufactured goods to resume civilized life, and lent them money liberally to buy our stuff. Once this program got underway in earnest, one of the side effects was a fabulous enrichment of America’s laboring classes. '

[snip]

'Another diminishing return of the American post-war industrial fiesta was that thanks to our exertions, our salesmanship, and our generosity, the other industrial nations were back on their feet making things again, and before too long they were making things better than we were and less expensively, too. Thus, beginning in the 1970s, and coincident with our all-time peak in oil production, America began to hemorrhage blue collar factory jobs. Families that had grown comfortable in high-paying assembly-line jobs, who had motor boats and second homes on little lakes, and took vacations at the Disneyplexes, and expected life to get ever better were clobbered by the stagflation and other economic disorders of the day. Meanwhile, the labor unions that had guarded their interests for decades rapidly lost their power to negotiate for workers whose jobs increasingly no longer even existed.
At this point – let’s say, the ascension of Ronald Reagan, America’s first purely TV President – something curious happened. A new economy began to replace the old smokestack manufacturing economy. But the new one was not the one that was advertised in politics or the news media. It was not the information economy based on the spread of computers. Neither information nor computer-aided “efficiency” had any net social value when jobs and standards of living were being destroyed. Nor was this new economy the vaunted “service economy,” a perpetual-motion fantasy akin to the proverbial village whose denizens supported themselves by taking in each other’s laundry. No, all that was mendacious balderdash. The real new economy was the final blowout of the cheap oil era: the hypertrophic build-out of suburban sprawl and the furnishing and final accessorizing of it. In other words, our living arrangement essentially became the remaining basis of our economy, in the absence of any other purposeful creation of value or wealth, such as manufacturing things. And because it was a racket devoted to a way of life with no future, it spawned enormous cynicism.'

[snip]

at http://kunstler.com/

Posted by: MsNThrope on February 10, 2007 at 8:33 AM | PERMALINK

Our system relies on a series of checks and balances. The executive does not have unfettered powers; neither do Congress or the courts. Because the Vice Presidency is a combination of executive and legislative, the office does not have these restrictions, so Cheney is not bound by these legalities.

Thank God.

Posted by: Al on February 10, 2007 at 8:59 AM | PERMALINK

HA!-liburton?

Posted by: Coldlouie on February 10, 2007 at 9:13 AM | PERMALINK

Think Progress:

***At a farewell reception at Blair House for the retiring chief of protocol, Don Ensenat, who was President Bushs Yale roommate, the president shook hands with Washington Life Magazines Soroush Shehabi. A grandson of one of the late Shahs ministers, Soroush said, Mr. President, I simply want to say one U.S. bomb on Iran and the regime will remain in power for another 20 or 30 years and 70 million Iranians will become radicalized.

I know, President Bush answered.

But does Vice President Cheney know? asked Soroush.

The president chuckled and walked away.

http://thinkprogress.org/2007/02/09/does-cheney-know-bombing-iran-will-backfire

Posted by: JJ on February 10, 2007 at 9:23 AM | PERMALINK

http://www.lewrockwell.com/kwiatkowski/kwiatkowski172.html
A couple of weeks ago Cheney claimed "we have in fact accomplished our own objectives." (In Iraq)
This statement chilled me during his interview on CNN.
Worth reading-- the above article from Karen Kwiatkowski, retired USAF lieutenant colonel.
She has been an outspoken critic of his ways and means.
We know he has certainly been the master of this administration's militarized foreign policy.

Posted by: consider wisely always on February 10, 2007 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

And somewhere in the Wyoming oil fields of the early 60s, a drunken lout of an electrician's helper said to himself, "If I ever get my hands on some Fuck-You Money......"

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 10, 2007 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks, dbake.

Actually, this morning I’m really wondering - when is Jonah Goldberg going to pay Juan Cole the $1,000 he owes him? That pudgy blowhard Goldberg predicted in 2005 that Iraq was going to blossom into a flowery democracy by this year. Boy, was he wrong! How can these conservatives be so wrong about so many things?

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on February 10, 2007 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

dbake:

Actually, 'proscribed', or 'prescribed', depending on tendency, is the correct word.
Again, those two words do not mean the same thing.
Laws prescribe and proscribe certain behavior.
Correct. But not necessarily simultaneously, since, again, the two words do not mean the same thing.
When the law says "Thou shall not kill" it isn't saying that it is impossible for one person to kill another. It ain't describing anything.
First of all, that is a proscription. But that doesn't imply that all prescriptions are proscriptions, nor that no prescription or proscription is a description.

When the Constitution says that the Vice President has the tie-breaking vote in the Senate, it describes a power that it grants to him. And it prescribes that power. It does not proscribe that power.

It's saying what we ought to do.
No, it's saying what we ought not to do. It is a proscription.
Likewise, the Constitution is saying what the VP ought to do.
Actually, it says what powers he is granted. Which makes its description of his powers a prescription, and not a proscription.

Now, don't get me wrong. The Constitution proscribes many things. The entire Bill of Rights, for example, is a proscription on the powers of the government. But the portions that the orignal poster was referring to are not proscriptions. "The Congress shall have power to ..." is not a proscription. "The President shall have power to ..." is not a proscription.

If you really want to continue this argument, please look up "proscribe" first.

Jackass.
OK. But I'm also correct. Posted by: Glockenspiel on February 10, 2007 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

Boy, the lack of respect being shown here towards the American leadership is really pitiaful.

Just in case the Vice President or his aids happen to be reading this site (I doutb their wasting their time) I just want to say I fully support you and the President, as do hundreds of millions of other patriotic Americans.

Don't lose heart! Keep up the fight!

Posted by: egbert on February 10, 2007 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

The VP is a creep.

9/11 is NOT what his office wants us to believe.

The Iraq War was kicked into high gear on 9/12/01.

The OVP is probably the scariest thing on the planet right now.

Halliburton be thy name, thy kingdom come, give us the liberty to do whatever makes Putin
hate us!

Maybe it was the OVP who told folks to bring Tower 7 down in the afternoon of that awful day in September 2001?

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on February 10, 2007 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

"This matter has been thoroughly reviewed"

Oh the hell it has.

That's become the new GOP meme.


Even as Carl Levin invesitages the pre-war intelligence or lack there of, the GOP says that's already be reviewed as if the GOP provided any form of oversight, when they most certainly DID NOT, so pre-war lying has never been reviewed.

The press could respond, if they weren't the access loving assholes they been thoughout the entire Bush administration. There was no investigation of pre-war intelligence. Bush and Cheney lied about pre-war intelligence and the national press just sit back on it's access loving ass and let 3000 militrary members die and hundreds become phyiscally ruined for life.

BUT TIME now has this little bit: For a person most Americans have never heard of, Doug Feith has been called terrible names by very important people. In Plan of Attack, Bob Woodward quotes General Tommy Franks — appalled at the quality of intelligence about Iraq — railing that Feith, then the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, was "the f---king stupidest guy on the face of the earth." Today, there was another bad review. Feith got publicly slapped by the Defense Department's inspector general for developing pro-war intelligence on Iraq — outside of official channels — that now seems plainly wrong. The IG concludes that Feith's office, on a free-lance basis, made claims "that were inconsistent with the consensus of the intelligence community." The report said that Feith's shop exaggerated the purported links between Saddam Hussein's government and al Qaeda. "That was the argument that was used to make the sale to the American people about the need to go to war," said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the armed services committee. He said the Feith's work, "which was wrong, which was distorted, which was inappropriate ... is something which is highly disturbing."

Feith may have been one of the Bush Administration's most fervent supporters of war with Iraq but, in truth, he was only a bit player. Indeed, he is the third bit player in the Iraq fiasco to be paying for the sins of his superiors recently. For a couple of weeks now, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby has been in the dock in federal court in Washington, trying desperately to keep his one-time boss, Vice President Dick Cheney, from being stained by the responsibility for Libby's chats with reporters and government officials about Valerie Plame's CIA job. Then, just yesterday, Army General George Casey was raked over the coals by Senators who didn't think his past 30 months in command of U.S. ground forces in Iraq warrants his elevation to Army chief of staff. While he did get the promotion, the Senate vote of 83-to-14 was the poorest showing for an Army chief since Vietnam. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Casey should be held accountable for giving Congress too-rosy assessments of the war as the situation there spiraled downward into chaos. "I have questioned in the past and question today a number of decisions and judgments that Gen. Casey has made in the past two and a half years," McCain said. "During that time, conditions in Iraq have gotten remarkably and progressively worse."

This trio of woes seems to have a common thread: Underlings snared while trying to please their bosses. It's almost like blaming the hammer instead of the carpenter for a bent nail. Speaking to the Associated Press, Feith took umbrage at descriptions that his work was "inappropriate." Said he: "The policy office has been smeared for years by allegations that its pre-Iraq-war work was somehow 'unlawful' or 'unauthorized.'" He has a point: it was the Bush administration that chose Feith's reports over those generated by its $1 billion-a-week intelligence operation. Feith's work was most certainly authorized — from the very top.

TIME "mentions it", with half a page, how lazy of them but it's more that half page worth of horror.

We're after Dick Cheney here - if only the press would get off it's collective duff.

Posted by: Cheryl on February 10, 2007 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

We might also add, thanks to Talking Points Memo cause you just can't get anything from damn press anymore. It was Josh that took up problem with not be able to get anything from Dick Cheney's office.

The national press never gave a *uck about that fact. Nope, they just took it all in stride of their access loving bit whereby they know things about this administration but you don't need to.

Posted by: Cheryl on February 10, 2007 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

Impeach the bastard already.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on February 10, 2007 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

We need to talk more about that pre-war intelligence because the press will do nothing about it.

How about getting Josh Marshall the task of making an issue out of the lack of pre-war intell? Whereby we won't need the worklessness of US national press membes, because they have never done anything anyway, having become the premier “entitlement” *ackasses of our time. Why fund their collective elitist class ranks when they could do that on their own dime?

Posted by: Cheryl on February 10, 2007 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

Deadliest Bomb in Iraq Is Made by Iran, U.S. Says
(page 1, NYT)

By MICHAEL R. GORDON
Published: February 10, 2007
WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 — The most lethal weapon directed against American troops in Iraq is an explosive-packed cylinder that United States intelligence asserts is being supplied by Iran.

The Build-a-War Workshop

Published: February 10, 2007
It took far too long, but a report by the Pentagon inspector general has finally confirmed that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s do-it-yourself intelligence office cooked up a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda to help justify an unjustifiable war.
Opinion page NYT

A. Dick & Bush are up to their ol'tricks again.
B. Dick and Bush are right, and they fucked it up so much the first time, I think they are up to their ol'tricks again.

Either way sucks

Posted by: cboas on February 10, 2007 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

To the brave defenders of the OVP,

Gee, thanks for the support. We do care about you, and read every word on comment rolls. The country needs our leadership more than ever in these trying times. And by "our" leadership we mean the Vice President's leadership, of course, the only legitimate super-duper legislative-exectutive fusion shake on the world political market. It is indeed a shame that people have been putting down this office lately. This is un-American as it gets. We can recall a time when the office of the Vice President was treated with the respect it deserved. Throughout most of our history our fine office was treated only with the utmost solemnity. I can fondly recall the days when people would marvel at the similarities between the office and a bottle of warm spit, for instance. But enough of history. We don't read history, we make it! And so do people like you. People who love the vice-presidency and respect its unique role in American life. And don't worry too much about exactly what that role is.

It is wonderful to see the OVP finally get some attention, I must say.

Yours Truly,

OVP/PUBAFF/OPMEDREL

Posted by: Office of the Vice President on February 10, 2007 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

The administration is pulling together some pre-war intelligence as we speak in Munich, only this time for Iran. Russia's Putim said something to the regard that the US is an illegitimate force breeding insecurity around the world that prompts nations like Iran to seek weapons. Skepticism reigns in Munich as to whether the US has the evidence, yet Secretary Gates says he can make the case.
Evidently the Pentagon plans to rule out some of the evidence, serial numbers on weapons, documents/files seized in a raid purporting to show a paper trail to Iran. Wasn't it the Pentagon that released the news on Doug Feith's hypocritical cunning and deception with the intelligence prior to the invasion of Iraq? Wonder what prompted that?
These are the worst of times.

Posted by: consider wisely always on February 10, 2007 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2007_02_01_digbysblog_archive.html#117107982670783759

Read "Quiet Coup" by digby.
Hopefully Senator Feingold will take up the issue. And we still have Patrick Fitzgerald, although the prosecution rested this past week.

Posted by: consider wisely always on February 10, 2007 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

If you want to change the world put qualified woman in charge. Harvard has a good idea with a woman president, early adopters that they are.

Posted by: slanted tom on February 10, 2007 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

"Actually, it says what powers he is granted. Which makes its description of his powers a prescription, and not a proscription."

Given that I was arguing with you about whether laws describe, or prescribe and proscribe (I know they mean different things, and nothing I wrote that you quoted suggests otherwise), most of what you're arguing seems like a non-sequitir.

Descriptions can be falsified. I'm not sure how the Constitution could be falsified, as opposed to violated.

I understand that proscribes means forbids. So 'prescribes or proscribes, depending on tendency', is an accurate description of what laws do. You're right that Conservative Deflator should probably have used the word 'prescribe', rather than 'proscribe', since 'prescribe' is the more inclusive term, but 'describe' is way off. A description can be falsified.

So you aren´t right, unless you honestly think the Constitution is a piece of sociology, and so could be disproved-- i.e., we could find out that the VP has powers not described in the Constitution, and then we would say, 'oh, the Constitution is wrong, better revise it so it describes things more accurately.' I suspect though that we would say that the VP has done something illegal.

Possibly by 'description' though you mean something like 'a description of the powers of a VP who always acted according to the law'. In that case, I have no beef, though you're perhaps being overly pedantic in insisting that Conservative Deflator and I are wrong for failing to use the word 'describes', when you mean it in this special sense, and aren't bothering to say so.

Well, have fun trying to change the subject again. I'm sure you will.

Posted by: dbake on February 11, 2007 at 6:39 AM | PERMALINK
You're right that Conservative Deflator should probably have used the word 'prescribe', rather than 'proscribe'
Which, not coincidentally, is exactly what I was saying before you decided to enter the conversation. Posted by: Glockenspiel on February 11, 2007 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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