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May 02, 2006

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You would think that every single Republican in Congress worthy of her or his conservative credentials would be howling over these signing statements. Julius Caesar treated the Roman Senate with more respect than this president has done, although he is so far somewhat better than Caligula.

I'd think that D subpoena power come November would make some congressional members salivate in anticipation.

No doubt some of them -- enough of them, probably -- are doing just that. The challenge is in getting them to think that they're better off facing their constituents while saying so, as opposed to clinging to him.

That's where "the numbers" come from.

A while back, someone -- and I think it was Ben Masel -- suggested that a backroom deal should be floated in which discontented Republicans agree to impeach Bush (and Cheney, if he's not just arrested outright), and Democrats agree to install Jim Leach as Speaker, leaving the White House (eventually) in Republican hands.

Unless the Supreme court loses it's mind (and that is a possibility) signing statements do not have the force of law. They do however have legal relevance. Should Bush be convicted of a felony (and that is a stronger possibility) these signing statements will cut against leniency in sentencing. Then again, has there ever been anyone in the history of the republic less entitled to leniency in sentencing?

It's not their force at law that's a concern, as much as their force in practice.

In fact, their force in practice becomes an even greater concern given the fact that they have no force at law.

...but first one needs to see US combat troops deployed in Colombia, right?

What the assistant secretary of state said to a Colombian radio station sounded more like posturing than law-breaking to me, but you're dead-on that if they are following through then the impeachment case just got a lot easier.

Although one could find better rallying cries than "don't fight FARC." (There probably is one in the other 746 laws he intends to break.)

"Should Bush be convicted of a felony (and that is a stronger possibility) these signing statements will cut against leniency in sentencing."

Now that's what I call putting the horse before the cart. Let's prosecute first and impeach later. Rinse. Repeat.

Is there press in Colombia that would tell us if we deployed combat troops there? I mena, would we ever hear about it?

Pat Buchanan recently called on Congress to tell the Prez that waging war on Iran without a copngressional authorization is an impeachable offense:

"Many Democrats now concede they failed the nation when they took Bush at his word that Iraq was an intolerable threat that could be dealt with only by an invasion. Now, Bush and the War Party are telling us the same thing about Iran. And the Congress is conducting itself in the same contemptible and cowardly way.

It is time for Congress to tell President Bush directly that he has no authority to go to war on Iran and to launch such a war would be an impeachable offense. Or, if they so conclude, Congress should share full responsibility by granting him that authority after it has held hearings and told the people why we have no other choice than another Mideast war, with a nation four times as large as Iraq."

Too bad no Democrat has said that, to my knowledge. We need to be building the foundation for impeachment now, then get the Congress in the fall, and put it into effect next January. I don't think he'd listen to anything else.

Is there press in Colombia that would tell us if we deployed combat troops there? I mean, would we ever hear about it?

Mimikatz, as an American I don't think I have the prerogative to criticize the investigative press in other countries. But I think FARC themselves would probably be the first to find out, and raise the alarm.

But that's sort of where I was heading. Doesn't the asst. sec state's interview together with the signing statement sort of call out for a Congressional investigation to find out whether we ARE operating with combat troops in Colombia?

Whether Bush pulled the trigger, is planning to, or is just bluffing wouldn't matter. Congressional hearings on covert ops in Latin America would be enough to bring back not-so-old memories as Kagro suggests and help the impeachment ball keep rolling.

Is the real message to keep it simple

Congress passes the laws

The administration implements and inforces the laws, signed by the President.

The judicary decides what is and what is not outside the scope of the law.

Old high school lessons, but where in the picture does the president get to take over the responsibility of the other two branches of government and ignore his responsibilities?

This president faithfully executes the laws in the same way he executed death row prisoners in Texas: bam, bam, bam, one after the other.

I said "press in Colombia", thinking more of US press, or international stringers, not the Colombian Press. It is the US Press in Iraq that, for the most part, tells us what is happening there, not the Iraqi Press. Same with the rest of the world. CNN, AP stringers, that sort of thing.

Very well put. These people need to be prosecuted and banned from government positions. It really seems to be the only option.

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