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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

"Thumbing its nose at the law"

It's official. The Bush administration thinks it is above the law.

While hardly a shocking revelation for an administration that started a war under false pretenses, reports by the Government Accountability Office and a congressional committee disclose the depth of the Bushies' contempt for the law. No wonder Albert Gonzales handpicked US attorneys in key states and W. is afraid to let him go.

The signing statement story has been one of the most under appreciated during the Bush reign. A Pulitzer Prize for the Globe showcases the depth of the administration's "I'm the law around here" attitude -- whether the topic is border patrol stations or torture.
Virginia Sloan, president of the Constitution Project -- a bipartisan think-tank that has condemned signing statements as a threat to the checks and balances that limit presidential power -- said yesterday that the GAO report shows that signing statements matter.

"The findings of this report should come as no great surprise: When the president tells federal agencies they don't have to follow the law, they often don't," Sloan said. "This report should put to rest any doubts as to the real impact of signing statements. The Constitution does not bestow upon the president the power to simply ignore portions of laws he doesn't like."

Nor does the Constitution bestow upon the president's cronies the power to end-run laws they don't like.

It was clearly no "oversight" that Karl Rove more than half of the 140,000 e-mails Karl Rove sent or received over five years involved .gov accounts and his own account at the Republican National Committee. That's despite a law that requires official government business be conducted through official White House channels.

The report by the House Government Oversight Committee also found that the RNC hasn't retained messages for about 50 of the 88 White House aides who kept dual accounts.

Bushies of course are scoffing at the Democrats "partisan" forays. And I'm sure it's not a coincidence the report was released around the 35th anniversary of the Watergate break-in.

But you need to wonder whether this is the modern-day equivalent of Rose Mary Woods' 18-1/2 minute gap?

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March 04, 2010 11:46 AM  

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