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Tilting at Windmills

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June 25, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

MORE CHENEY....Part 2 of the Washington Post's series about Dick Cheney is up, and today's segment is all about Cheney's obsession with expanding the president's authority to abuse prisoners. It turns out that even John Yoo (!) and John Ashcroft seem to think he went a wee bit overboard on this. However, it also turns out that pretty much nobody in the Bush administration was actually willing to seriously confront Cheney over any of it.

You should read the whole thing, of course. Really, though, the key observation is this one:

"The irony with the Cheney crowd pushing the envelope on presidential power is that the president has now ended up with lesser powers than he would have had if they had made less extravagant, monarchical claims," said Bruce Fein, an associate deputy attorney general under President Ronald Reagan.

As today's piece shows, the pushback from both the courts and Congress against Cheney's hardline stands has already been substantial — and I suspect it's only going to get stronger as time goes by. Cheney's goal was to give the president more power, but in the end his monomania blinded him to the fact that he was accomplishing just the opposite. Much like his response to the war on terror, in fact. But the whole country is paying the price for that.

Kevin Drum 12:49 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (83)

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Cheney actually said he was on the Senate payroll in Time in 06:

"... I spend a fair amount of time on Hill matters. Part of that is because of my background in the House of Representatives, and part of it because my continuing job as Vice President is in the Senate. Most people don't realize I'm actually on the Senate payroll. That's where my paycheck comes from. ..." -- http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1548061-3,00.html

Of course, they never questioned it at all.

Posted by: amberglow on June 25, 2007 at 12:52 AM | PERMALINK

Is it possible for Cheney to 'Go Cheney himself'? Just curious.

Posted by: asdf-jkl; on June 25, 2007 at 12:58 AM | PERMALINK

Just a technical thing, but the term 'monarchical' in the quote from Fein is rather inadequate as a description. For the person who is making the arguments in favor of increased presidential power AND effectively wielding that power is not the president but the vice president. So in effect what Cheney is doing is fighting to expand the powers of the presidency as an office, even as he thwarts the powers of the president as a person, by sockpuppeting him. It's a messy, complex kinda situation.

I'm just thinking out loud, but there's a figure of speech known as hendiadys, which is where you use two nouns to name a single object; for example "the sound and the fury" can be considered a hendiadys, if it is equivalent in meaning to "the furious sound". Hendiadys literally means 'one by means of two'.

I think what Cheney is after may best be described as 'hendiadyadical power'.

I'll shut up now.

Posted by: lampwick on June 25, 2007 at 1:14 AM | PERMALINK

OK, so the truth is leaking out bit by bit. Where is the outrage? Is this how empires crumble? When a nation that boasts of (almost) 100% literacy -- but is utterly incapable of acknowledging, much less confronting, its internal rot and malaise. F**king unbelievable!

Posted by: rational on June 25, 2007 at 1:15 AM | PERMALINK

As today's piece shows, the pushback from both the courts and Congress against Cheney's hardline stands has already been substantial

Huh? What? When? Uh...

I guess I'll have to read the piece, but I certainly can't remember much that the courts -- and nothing that congress -- has done to thwart Cheney's power.

Posted by: Disputo on June 25, 2007 at 1:44 AM | PERMALINK

"just the opposite"? What makes you say that? He won't have accomplished "just the opposite" until a ghost government such as he has created, with more, and more dictatorial powers than those envisaged by the Constitution, becomes a legal and political *impossibility*, and we're still a very far distance from that. I mean, look at us-- he leaves us in an appalled state of useless handwringing, wondering how?-- on what grounds can he possibly get away with this? But I have to ask you the same question he's probably asking himself: Who is there to stop him, and how?

I think all you can say in that direction is that Cheney has accomplished somewhat less than was his original aim. But even substantially less than he hoped to achieve is still very much more than our democracy can bear.

Posted by: Baffled Consternation on June 25, 2007 at 1:45 AM | PERMALINK

Just because the court has ruled against the Cheney positions, as adopted by the Bush Admin, doesn't mean that the Pres. has ended up with "lesser powers", at least not yet. Remember, they simply keep appealing unfavorable court decisions, ignoring any orders now, or, simply ignore what they can get away with.

An example with this, is the expanding of Guantanamo that was referenced, even when there was a wish expressed to shut it down.

At any rate - outside of court smackdowns, where REALLY has the will of Cheney been stymied?

Posted by: JC on June 25, 2007 at 2:09 AM | PERMALINK

At any rate - outside of court smackdowns, where REALLY has the will of Cheney been stymied?

It seems to me that those who want Cheney to continue acting unfettered (or at least un-impeached) -- like, oh I don't know, major news outlets that cheer-led the Iraq war without question -- might find it useful to exaggerate the roadblocks that have been put in Cheney's way.

Posted by: Disputo on June 25, 2007 at 2:50 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin characterizes the quotation about Cheney's efforts resulting in reduced presidential power as "the key observation" in the article.

But this was mentioned only as the opinion of one individual. The gist of the article itself is that, despite reversals, Cheney and Addington still rule -- and they keep finding ways to circumvent all judicial and legislative setbacks.

The writers of the article offer their own perspective on this. After mentioning "what appeared to be sharp reversals in courts and Congress" for Cheney, they say:

But a more careful look at the results suggests that Cheney won far more than he lost.

The article is really an elaboration of this conclusion, and the quotation Kevin used is only mentioned in passing.

Posted by: JS on June 25, 2007 at 2:57 AM | PERMALINK

This WaPo series, following on the heels of the Rolling Stone piece, makes me think that there are more and more people within the administration, maybe even within Cheney's office, who are nervous about what he's doing. Why else would journalists suddenly, now, be getting all this information?

Posted by: CSH on June 25, 2007 at 3:35 AM | PERMALINK

The real eyebrow-raiser in that article was the last two sentences in the following:

"More than a year after Congress passed McCain-sponsored restrictions on the questioning of suspected terrorists, the Bush administration is still debating how far the CIA's interrogators may go in their effort to break down resistant detainees. Two officials said the vice president has deadlocked the debate...

"Two questions remain, officials said. One involves techniques to be authorized now. The other is whether any technique should be explicitly forbidden. According to participants in the debate, the vice president stands by the view that Bush need not honor any of the new judicial and legislative restrictions. His lawyer, they said, has recently restated Cheney's argument that when courts and Congress 'purport to' limit the commander in chief's warmaking authority, he has the constitutional prerogative to disregard them."

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw on June 25, 2007 at 3:37 AM | PERMALINK

What's the difference between "circumventing the Constitution" and breaking the law?

Posted by: pj in jesusland on June 25, 2007 at 5:26 AM | PERMALINK

Is it true that Bush's nickname for the Veep is Big Swinging Dick?

Posted by: obscure on June 25, 2007 at 6:50 AM | PERMALINK

> As today's piece shows, the pushback from
> both the courts and Congress against Cheney's
> hardline stands has already been substantial — and
> I suspect it's only going to get stronger as time
> goes by.

IMHO the real Cheney story is the work that has gone on behind the scenes to destroy the capability of the Federal Government to provide services and regulate business, plus the moles embedded throughout the federal agencies. Now it appears a Democratic President is on the horizon and - SURPRISE - "pushback" is going to restrain the powers of the executive branch. Including presumably the power to undo any of the damange Cheney & Co. have done since 2001.

That's a surprise. I am sure the day the President Hillary is sworn in the WaPo and NYT will be in full-throated investigative cry over the need to check the imperial presidency.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on June 25, 2007 at 7:11 AM | PERMALINK

Dick Cheney: The reason 2008 won't be like "1984"

Posted by: andyvillager on June 25, 2007 at 7:40 AM | PERMALINK

You sound as though you think that while the "whole country" has paid a price for the war, they haven't paid a price for the destruction of our constitution. Maybe they don't know it yet, but the whole country has paid a much higher price than the war alone now that our constitution has been destroyed. And, I fear, no Democratic president is going to put humpty dumpty together again either. It's in the nature of presidents to want more power, and this guy has set things up so they can have it. In perpetuity, I'm afraid.

Posted by: walldon on June 25, 2007 at 8:31 AM | PERMALINK

As today's piece shows, the pushback from both the courts and Congress against Cheney's hardline stands has already been substantial...

No. If the pushback were substantial, we wouldn't be disappearing, abusing, torturing, renditioning, and occasionally killing human beings who are in our custody. The vice president and the man who thinks he's the boss continue to roam free. The United States is still upside-down.

Posted by: Foureyees on June 25, 2007 at 8:43 AM | PERMALINK

Cheney has not been about expanding the powers of the President as much as he has the Vice-President.

Cheney has an office where he classifies and declassifies documents, operates in secret, and is not answerable to anyone. He doesn't even have to face the public or the media -- that's for other people.

And the chances of him getting impeached are still, sadly, quite low. So he can do anything he wants, knowing nobody can touch him, for the rest of his term.

(I have a standing bet that after he steps down he will rejoin the Board of Halliburton with a no-less-then-$10M signing bonus)

Posted by: zmulls on June 25, 2007 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK

There may be "pushback" but the other key line in the report is this:

...the vice president stands by the view that Bush need not honor any of the new judicial and legislative restrictions. His lawyer, they said, has recently restated Cheney's argument that when courts and Congress "purport to" limit the commander in chief's warmaking authority, he has the constitutional prerogative to disregard them.

Posted by: R. Porrofatto on June 25, 2007 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

Cheney was introduced to this stuff in 1974 serving in the aftermath of the Nixon debacle. He got the wrong message. He thought Ford gave too much power to Congress - not thinking that maybe Nixon's power grab and corruption was the underlying cause. So Cheney took Nixonian power grabs and corruption to the next level. I pity the next President.

Posted by: pgl on June 25, 2007 at 9:13 AM | PERMALINK

Agree with others that the pushback has neither been substantial nor complied with.

What I'm getting from this series, other than a noticeably sick stomach, is confirmation of my longtime belief that Cheney, contrary to popular opinion, is not a puppetmaster manipulating Bush. With the exception of an occasional "oh, by the way" policy decision he pushes on Bush, Cheney does what he does with Bush's near-full knowledge and approval.

This is really important because we're not dealing with a renegade veep here. We're dealing with a group of people, the occasional protests of Rice, Powell and Ashcroft notwithstanding, who are a a cohesive unit with the same goals and their eyes on the same vile prizes. They may occasionally bicker about how far to go to reach those ends, but they have identical objectives.

Posted by: shortstop on June 25, 2007 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

DEAD PREGNANT WHITE WOMAN; BLACK COP BOYFRIEND CHARGED.

Dick Cheney could MARRY Stephen Addington and it wouldn't make the National section.

Posted by: Steve Paradis on June 25, 2007 at 9:36 AM | PERMALINK

In historical terms Dick Cheney’s assertion of unbridled executive power is not remarkable. Kings and dictators have claimed the right, often and necessarily in times of emergency, to detain prisoners without access to the courts, to torture those prisoners to protect the nation, to prosecute wars with public money as they see fit and to do all this without interference. That Dick Cheney and David Addington have found their way to the powers claimed by Charles I or the fascist dictators of the 20th century is fascinating.

It seems to me that it is begins, certainly for this group of men, with the secret wars of the Cold War and the struggle of the anti-communist right in the United States (I am thinking here of Louis Menand’s conclusions in ‘ The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas in America”). Nixon’s administration was the first to turn secret agendas, covert action, spying, enemy lists, and the most callous propaganda manipulations- often run by small groups of men within the government bureaucracy and often associated with movement conservatism, into a method of governance. It was pushed back by Congress in the 1970’s only be remade to some degree under Reagan, but reaching its apotheosis with the Cheney Regency. The Office of Vice President, as Cheney has made it, is the four branch- the secret unaccountable branch of subterfuge and project wars for occult ends.

Posted by: bellumregio on June 25, 2007 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

Cheney (and his minions) have taken a pound or two... anything 'given' back might amount to an ounce.

"Is this how empires crumble?"

Dunno about the empire part, but you're on the beam as far as representative democracy goes.

Posted by: Buford on June 25, 2007 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

"X's goal was to Y, but in the end his monomania blinded him to the fact that he was accomplishing just the opposite."

That applies to nearly every aspect of the conservative agenda.

Posted by: dcbob on June 25, 2007 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK

"This WaPo series, following on the heels of the Rolling Stone piece, makes me think that there are more and more people within the administration, maybe even within Cheney's office, who are nervous about what he's doing. Why else would journalists suddenly, now, be getting all this information?"
Posted by: CSH on June 25, 2007 at 3:35 AM

I agree with the idea that a big shoe is fixing to drop. I wonder if this has something to do with Libby having to spend jail time waiting appeal? Anyhow, the circle that doesn't want to get burned by any fallout is getting a lot tighter and they may be starting to sing. Cheney's apparent air of invincibility doesn't extend to these people. Maybe the Kool-Aid is wearing off and they need a bath?

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on June 25, 2007 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

Cheney was introduced to this stuff in 1974 serving in the aftermath of the Nixon debacle. He got the wrong message. He thought Ford gave too much power to Congress - not thinking that maybe Nixon's power grab and corruption was the underlying cause. So Cheney took Nixonian power grabs and corruption to the next level. I pity the next President.

Oh, bleh. I hear a lot of nonsense about Cheney being the ideological heir to the Nixonian worldview of distrust of Congress.

Hello, liberals? Earth to liberals? That was a completely different time! Have you learned nothing?

Nixon distrusted Congress because it was full of communists and or sympathizers with communist ties and communist leanings. He spent his life eradicating them and fighting them and, by the time they gained enough power to hand the communists a victory in Vietnam, he was exhausted.

Let us also not forget that this was the era of J Edgar Hoover--a time when eavesdropping and listening in on a man with his mistress was par for the course. Virtually ever single hotel room constructed before 1971 in Washington DC has a listening device embedded in the walls with a high-gain microphone that can pick up whispering or grunting.

I would submit to you that Dick Cheney disdains that type of nonsense and is simply acting as Al Gore did when he was Vice President. After all, Gore was the most powerful Vice President in history, what with his control of NASA and his reinventing government fiasco.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 25, 2007 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

As today's piece shows, the pushback from both the courts and Congress against Cheney's hardline stands has already been substantial — and I suspect it's only going to get stronger as time goes by.

While I think that the WaPo writers and other posters are right that nonetheless Cheney has "won" significant ground, the real pushback is yet to come.

For the American people, Bush and Cheney represent the worst Presidency by far in their memories. They have simply disgraced themselves. By extension, they have disgraced everything they stand for. Even Republicans can't afford to be associated with them.

The raw political power of their wretched example to punish Republicans is something that we have never before experienced as Democrats. It's going to be like the 9/11 effect, but in the opposite direction; it's peak won't be as high, but it's duration will be many times as long, because it is not based on trauma and mythology but long experience and known fact.

In this environment, even politically incompetent Democrats (redundant I know) will be able to dismantle the Bush/Cheney policy legacy. They have provided the full means for their own undoing, and then some.

Posted by: frankly0 on June 25, 2007 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

[IP check reveals banned commenter]

Posted by: Crush_Neocons on June 25, 2007 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

The unitary executive, at least while we are at war, can dissolve the Congress and the courts. Says so right in the Constitution.

Posted by: Luther on June 25, 2007 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

Just a hint to the wingnuts (Hey, that's you, uh, Norman) --Gore was a pretty influential and relatively powerful Vice President. He did not--and I want to emphatically state this--wipe his ass with the Constitution and undermine the rule of law, no matter what ya'll want to try to say about him.

Posted by: not Norman on June 25, 2007 at 10:29 AM | PERMALINK

What has Cheney actually done to make everyone so afraid of him? Has he been responsible for getting a lot of people fired or jailed? Or has the media just enjoyed portraying him as the omnipotent mastermind?

Or is it simply because he appears to be intelligent and has clearly chosen to use his intelligence for evil purposes, while Bush appears to be generally oblivious?

Posted by: cowalker on June 25, 2007 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

This is the most monstrous executive in American history. Cheney is not making claims to normal executive power in the way the founding fathers would understand it. He is claiming the right for prerogative power above and beyond the law to protect the nation, as he sees fit, and to advance its interests. Cheney, like all authoritarians, believes the world is too dangerous a place for laws or limitations when confronting enemies. This includes quaint ideas about human rights. This is not just because of the War on Terror. It is standard operating procedure in a dangerous world were it is always the War on Terror. He is claiming the power of prerogative ascribed to the dictator in Ernst Fraenkel’s ‘The Dual State’, a 1941 essay on the anatomy of Nazi Germany’s body politic. A book everyone should read to understand how the Nazis kept the normal system of laws and protections in place for true Germans and applied prerogative power for anyone deemed a political or racial threat.

Posted by: bellumregio on June 25, 2007 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

This is the most monstrous executive in American history.

Absolutely. Clinton and Gore wrote the book on abuse of power. Clinton politicized the Justice Department and used to grab poor Janet Reno by his ears and shake him (her?) until he changed his (her?) mind about investigating whether the Chinese bought the 1996 Presidential election. By handing control of NASA to Gore, Clinton circumvented the cabinet and made a mockery of the Constitution.

Has Dick Cheney taken over NASA? Did Dick Cheney wave off the space shuttle and force it to land in California?

Moonbats...

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 25, 2007 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

Just a hint to the wingnuts (Hey, that's you, uh, Norman) --Gore was a pretty influential and relatively powerful Vice President. He did not--and I want to emphatically state this--wipe his ass with the Constitution and undermine the rule of law, no matter what ya'll want to try to say about him.

???

I mean...what? hello? HELLO? Harrumph.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 25, 2007 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

You are a frivolous man Norman Rogers.

Posted by: bellumregio on June 25, 2007 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

You are a frivolous man Norman Rogers.

No, I'm quite frugal and responsible. For example, after my Lexus SUV was cited a SECOND time for having an illegally designed push bumper, I successfully appealed to the County and the State of New Hampshire for an exemption to policy and did NOT have to pay the fines associated. In fact, I have been asked to help finance the body shop welder who designed it for me--we're going to market it as the BambiSlicer or the DeerThrower, (put your money on the latter, since Disney is lawyered up like Bill Clinton after a beach bender.) The design is similar to the "cowcatcher" that used to be mounted on locomotives in the olden days.

Full disclosure: where I live, there are a lot of deer. I drive at night, I drive quite fast, and I need a specially designed push bumper to keep myself alive. Sometimes I hit four or five deer in just one trip into town to buy groceries. I shop at the discount market to save money.

Frivolous? No! Smarter than your average bear--hey, since the shoe fits, I'll put it on and wear it proudly.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 25, 2007 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

The only explict checks on the Executive Branch are to not fund their playthings and the power to impeach the president and vice-president. Bush and Cheney are simply the first assh***s who have decided that tradition doesn't matter. That's the kind of mind-set literalists have. The fabric of a society, context? Absolutely irrelevant. That's what literalism gets you: a government by and for Asperger Syndrome sufferers.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on June 25, 2007 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK
Part 2 of the Washington Post's series about Dick Cheney is up, and today's segment is all about Cheney's obsession with expanding the president's authority to abuse prisoners.

Dick Cheney was quoted in the Washington Times on December 21, 2005, stating that the administration was guided by the desire to "restore" what it sees as the "legitimate authority" of the President that was curtailed by limitations "imposed in the aftermath of Vietnam and Watergate".

Of course, he might have done well to remember that those restrictions were the reaction to the same kind of overreach he pushed as a means to "restore" the lost power.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 25, 2007 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

The point that has gone unremarked on, at least until now, is how this has revealed the depth of Bush's powerlesness. Really, can you imagine any other American president in living memory -- Roosevelt, Truman, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, etc. -- tolerating even for one second a VP who claimed this kind of authority? Would they have stood for seeing their own power and control undermined in this way, and would they have allowed an unaccountable shadow government to work alongside, and in many cases above, theirs? Absolutely not. Ideology aside, they were all competent, powerful men, jealous of their prerogatives and devoted to defending them.

Bush, however, has no real power to defend. This reveals as nothing has before that he has only ever been the puppet, that Cheney has been the real power behind the throne and that Bush governs at Cheney's sufferance, and not vice versa.

Posted by: Stefan on June 25, 2007 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

By handing control of NASA to Gore, Clinton circumvented the cabinet and made a mockery of the Constitution. -- Norman Rogers.

Dunce. Presidents have delegated oversight responsibility of NASA to their Vice-Presidents since the 60s. Even if you are too stupid to read a book, you could have learned this by seeing the movie The Right Stuff, where Lyndon Johnson was portrayed as a publicity-seeking glory-hound (which he was). Even Dan Quayle had oversight responsibility of NASA when he was vice-president.

Posted by: DJ on June 25, 2007 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

Norman, we all know your story about the push bumper isn't true because you (supposedly) lease your cars, and a Lexus dealer wouldn't put such a horrendous after-market piece of equipment on a leased vehicle. Get your fantasy stories straight sometime.

Posted by: Tyro on June 25, 2007 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

Norman Rogers are you fucking kidding me?Your one of the weirdest wackjobs Ive come across. I have nothing against owning a lexus but it could hardly be considered frugal. And just how is driving fast at night on roads with copious numbers of deer responsible? Oh but I get it. Your just showing how you have to be a complete loon to suppert Dick Cheney.

Posted by: Gandalf on June 25, 2007 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

The point that has gone unremarked on, at least until now, is how this has revealed the depth of Bush's powerlesness.

Really don't think this is true. Clueless, yes; brainless, yes; powerless, not at all. Cheney's shadow government perfectly complements rather than fights with Bush's more public actions. It is quite simply the fastest and most effective way for them to achieve their shared goals--out of the sunlight.

I don't doubt that Bush requires a lot of whole lot of staff stroking about his Decider status and world-class cowboyism, but that doesn't mean he isn't perfectly happy with, and indeed encouraging, Cheney to conduct himself the way he does.

(It also doesn't mean we can't publicly mock him for giving Cheney so much autonomy, though. And we should, since the suggestion of weakness is what sends Bush and his supporters straight over the edge.)

Posted by: shortstop on June 25, 2007 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

Norman, we all know your story about the push bumper isn't true because you (supposedly) lease your cars, and a Lexus dealer wouldn't put such a horrendous after-market piece of equipment on a leased vehicle. Get your fantasy stories straight sometime.

Have you never heard of a thing called an accessory??? Seven bolts is all it takes to hold the thing on. I have agreed to pay for damages to the vehicle I have leased--and that includes renumeration for the holes my welder/mechanic drilled to make the alterations. As long as I meet this obligation, no harm no foul, sir.

I have nothing against owning a lexus but it could hardly be considered frugal. And just how is driving fast at night on roads with copious numbers of deer responsible?

You're the whack job! The Lexus SUV is a fine automobile. Is it a Porsche? Is it a Land Rover? No, of course not. It is a luxury vehicle, but it is so much more comfortable for me to drive than some of the other clunkers out there. I need responsive steering to veer slightly when the deer are trying to leap out of the way--glancing hits never have the intended effect and can damage the side panels of the vehicle. I have taken steps to ensure that I return this leased vehicle in good working order and all I get is grief from the likes of you.

What am I going to do--drive a Chevy? Like some hick from the trailer court? Don't make me retch. Get real, sir!

And for the record, you have to be intelligent and thoughtful to support Dick Cheney.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 25, 2007 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

I agree. It is too soon to write Bush off as Emperor Hirohito, but it is remarkable how ‘ceremonial’ he seems. You would expect more experienced government veterans like Dick Cheney would easily manipulate such a sophomoric rich kid, but this really is remarkable. Do you have Bush with his household entourage and cronies on the one hand reading the speeches, making money and signing off on the a la carte policies, which they pretty much agree with, and Cheney, the movement conservatives, and the neocons on the other back in the kitchen? Seems like it.

Posted by: bellumregio on June 25, 2007 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Old Normie is certainly stroking his pride rather hard this morning....

Where is the outrage? Posted by: rational on June 25, 2007 at 1:15 AM

There is plenty of outrage.

Outrage, and also a huge GOP spin machine that lays all the ills of America at the feet of liberals and terrorists, while internally GOP mouthpieces keep an inauthentic outrage going AGAINST the authentic outrage.

Yes, there is outrage, but to knowledge the fact that the American way of life can and is subject to destruction requires folks to get their heads out of their personal wallets/lives and look past their own Walmart needs/wants to see that the iconic American superpower is eating itself out of greed and consumerism.

Tiny little outrages by individuals is ineffective, and we haven't been able to congeal it into an effective back burn to this adminstristration, let alone the GOP's onward march toward centralization of power for itself.

Yes, there is outrage. But apparently not from our religious leaders who seem to be going along with the master plan, silence from the world who seems to be going along with the master plan, Dems gone belly-up in Congress, and the screaming Right shouting down anything that might bring truth to the masses, or truth to that percentage not still contentedly sucking on the conservative/Bush teet, right Norman? Suck, suck?

Yes, there is outrage. Horror. Disbelief. Deep sadness. A mad desire to Do Something. And a frightening feeling of ineffectiveness and helplessness from over half of this country.

Norman is the picture of everything deeply wrong in America. As long as people like Norman get what they want, the rest of the globe can go eat cake.

Posted by: Zit on June 25, 2007 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

Norman is the picture of everything deeply wrong in America. As long as people like Norman get what they want, the rest of the globe can go eat cake.

The hell you say. I do NOT drive a Chevy.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 25, 2007 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

I have agreed to pay for damages to the vehicle I have leased--and that includes renumeration for the holes my welder/mechanic drilled to make the alterations.

If you got the dealer to agree to have you *renumerate* them for damages, you are truly a master negotiator.

Posted by: Disputo on June 25, 2007 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK
If you got the dealer to agree to have you *renumerate* them for damages, you are truly a master negotiator.

I suppose you think you scored a point there? Think again, liberal laggard! As it happens, I was referring to my dealer's habit of drawing numbers all over himself in various fonts anytime he has a few stiff drinks. Something to do with some movie about some fellow who had to tattoo notes on himself to remember basic information. I don't know. I rarely get to the cinema anymore because it makes me miss prime trading hours in Tokyo.

You Dumbocrats can run as fast as you can, but you'll never catch your admittedly somewhat portly Uncle Norman! BWA HA HA HA HA!

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 25, 2007 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

Uncle Dick Cheney and incurious George seem not to appreciate this irony: If we talk about how fighters who aren't members of regular armies have no rights, then that undermines the status of our own quasi-mercenaries like Blackwater folk (the use of which is mostly political patronage anyway.) Those folk don't seem to realize that either. (BTW - that the insurgents don't care about whatever rules anyway is not the main issue - it is the standing of such individuals with respect to International Law, which affects the sort of pressure and degree of effort that will be brought to bear on their behalf.)

Posted by: Neil B. on June 25, 2007 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

I should have said "remunerate."

I apologize for using the wrong word. I was wrong and I hope no one is offended by my use of the word "renumerate" when I meant to say "remunerate."

But, having said that--I do NOT drive a Chevy, you moonbats.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 25, 2007 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

mhr -

Where is the substantive rebuttal, as opposed to your own reflexive griping about griping? It made sense to wonder why terrorists would do that, and how often does one's own conduct not affect what others want to do? That doesn't justify it any more than most historian's judgment that the Treaty of Versailles incited hatred of the French and encouraged Germans to support Hitler. I know that your kind, like your dull CIC, hate substance and reasoning...

Posted by: Neil B. on June 25, 2007 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

I rarely get to the cinema anymore because it makes me miss prime trading hours in Tokyo.

The TSE doesn't trade Friday or Saturday evening, NH time. Surely your cow-town local cinema is open Fri and Sat evening.

Posted by: Disputo on June 25, 2007 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

Simply amazing how mhr is able to pack so much horseshit into so little space.

Posted by: DJ on June 25, 2007 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

Norman Rogers:

Is there a parodic element to your writings? I mean, after the deer-hitting stuff. (PS - are they "frozen in your headlights"? We sure as hell aren't.)

Posted by: Neil B. on June 25, 2007 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

Simply amazing how mhr is able to pack so much horseshit into so little space.

Not difficult when your entire brain is a trash-compactor.

Posted by: Disputo on June 25, 2007 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

Liberals always blame America first." mhr on June 25, 2007 at 12:04 PM

Change starts at home, doesn't it? If the litter box in my house needs changing, I am not going to blame the Iraquis, the Mexican immigrants, or Russia. I am going to look for ways to clean the mess up myself, since I live with it.

Taking personal responsibility for what happens at home, I thought was an adult mature way of living, instead of constantly having to cast around for a scapegoat.


Posted by: Zit on June 25, 2007 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

Surely your cow-town local cinema is open Fri and Sat evening.

Yes, my summer residence is located in a "cow town." A cow town in the sense that a $500K Wagyu bull is a "cow." A cow town in the sense that the only way your unkempt, ne'er do well ass would make it within the city limits is by applying for seasonal work as a manure shoveler. Yes, it's a cow town. I happen to love the old place.

Anyway, my Friday nights are normally devoted to playing mah jongg with Manuel (I am not as young as I used to be, and need a little time to wind down at the end of the business week) while making crank calls that wake up my second ex-wife at her house in Amalfi, and my Saturday nights generally end at a Manhattan hotel where they don't know me.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 25, 2007 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

But, having said that--I do NOT drive a Chevy, you moonbats. Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 25, 2007 at 12:09 PM

I am not getting the neocon logic this morning. They are really showing their inability to think outside the box, with this constant use of nonsensical stereotypes.

Posted by: Zit on June 25, 2007 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

So you people don't agree with Cheney's ideology.

Ok, fine.

Did it ever occur to any of you, however, that he has been working around the clock to keep you and our children safe around the clock. Never once have I come here and seen any gratitude whatsoever, no matter how grudgingly expressed. None.

Just like a spoiled brat teenager who hates their parents cause they don't get everything they want, when in reality they have full bellies and a roof over their ungrateful heads.

Posted by: egbert on June 25, 2007 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

Ah egbert -

A better man would have been working to keep us genuinely safe without ruining our Constitution and ruining that effort to keep us safe anyway, such as setting up Iraq for the benefit of contractors loyal to the BushCo despite the ill effects the resultant failure had for our security, etc. and etc. That's just the tip of the iceberg. Anyway, since when is the VP supposed to be the point man for keeping us safe?

Posted by: Neil B. on June 25, 2007 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

Re egbert at 12:28: For the love of god, people, don't start "debating" him on this one. For once, just enjoy the magnificent workmanship.

Posted by: shortstop on June 25, 2007 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

Did it ever occur to any of you, however, that he has been working around the clock to keep you and our children safe around the clock. Never once have I come here and seen any gratitude whatsoever, no matter how grudgingly expressed. None.

What? Did you miss the outpouring of gratitude Cheney received for keeping us safe on Sept 11. 2001?

Posted by: Disputo on June 25, 2007 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

Egbert - Almost every morning at about 7:30 Mr. Cheney and his entourage come blaring past my office window on his way to work at the White House. Included in the group are at least 12 police motorcycles, 5 police cars and 3 to 4 of the customary black suburbans and, of course, the VP's limousine. This is not the occasional trip down Pennsylvania Avenue but EVERY FREAKIN' DAY. This overblown display of pretentiousness makes it clear to me that Cheney is interested in one thing - POWER. Whether it's big police sirens, big artillery, or big screams from tortured prisoners, he needs something big to maintain his fragile self esteem. Dick Cheney could give a tinker's damn whether you and I are safe.

Posted by: lamonte on June 25, 2007 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

He doesn't leave for work until 7:30?! SLACKER.

Posted by: shortstop on June 25, 2007 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

just enjoy the magnificent workmanship

Agreed -- this applies to Norman as well.

Posted by: JS on June 25, 2007 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

I'm always baffled at the number of people who can't pick up on the fact that Norman is a parody.....

Posted by: Stefan on June 25, 2007 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

i'm baffled that people forgot that pale rider was doin normie to get rmck1 to get outta here and never come back. baffled!

Posted by: jerry on June 25, 2007 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

i'm baffled that people forgot that pale rider was doin normie to get rmck1 to get outta here and never come back. baffled!

I'm baffled that you forgot Normie waaaaaay predates any old Pale Rider flap with what's-his-name.

Posted by: shortstop on June 25, 2007 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

uh, no, didn't forget. rmck1 was a regular here.

Posted by: jerry on June 25, 2007 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, a "regular." Well, that gave him a special status. In rmck1's mind.

Posted by: shortstop on June 25, 2007 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

Where'd he go, anyway?

Posted by: Stefan on June 25, 2007 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

Dunno. He just kinda disappeared.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 25, 2007 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

I'm curious too. Did Pale Rider disappear along with rmck1? (Assuming PR is not Norman).

Has anyone seen Murder by Death with Sellers/Capote/Falk/Guiness et al?


Posted by: JS on June 25, 2007 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

I heard they're both in the same psych ward. rmck1 is the one sitting in the corner banging his head rhythmically on his wheelchair handle as he mutters, "Zappa, Zappa, Zappa" 400,000 times in a row. Pale Rider is the one wangling candy bars, e-mail privileges and day passes from the nurses because his stories are so damned entertaining.

Posted by: shortstop on June 25, 2007 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

LOL.

Posted by: Disputo on June 25, 2007 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Ouch. Well this is a psych ward of sorts too, no?

Posted by: JS on June 25, 2007 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

Absolutely.

Posted by: shortstop on June 25, 2007 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

Man if Norman is a parody then I'd really like to meet him. His brilliance outshines the likes of Da Vinci and even Kevin Drum.

Posted by: Gandalf on June 25, 2007 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

I guess now we know who Norm is -- Gandalf.

Posted by: Disputo on June 25, 2007 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

I should have never read the last dozen or so posts here. Now my head hurts and i miss Pale Rider.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 25, 2007 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

Aw, he was a blowhard! I miss tbrosz!

Posted by: asdf on June 25, 2007 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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