« O)pen Th]read | Main | All the doors are closing -- Part II »

June 02, 2006


The most powerful alternative I can think of is to turn the damned money off! If so-called 'traditional' republicans are bitching and moaning about how Bush isn't a 'real' conservative, then let them join with Democrats to stop the damn war funding! Shut the whole government down for 2 weeks if that's what it takes to stop the NSA spying, etc. This isn't brain surgery and it's what finally stopped the Vietnam war.

Literally, let them put their money where their mouths are or call their asses out for it come November.

I am glad you posted the information about civil rights, as that is one of the eccentricities of TX politics, a view which you might help reflect back to some of the top people in the administration. There is some preparation for the signing memos hearing; page takes a time to display.

My concern about the power of the purse solution is the sorry history of the Boland amendment. Post-Watergate but pre-Iran-Contra, that was thought to be a viable roadblock to executive overreaching. But now I think the very existence of Iran-Contra shows us how thin that veneer of control may really be.

Shutting down the entire government certainly draws the line very clearly, though. But it does nothing to adjudicate the claim that Bush's Article I power trumps Congress' Article II power. If he declares the action invalid, we'd certainly have some wild headlines. But I'm not sure the result is a clear-cut declaration that he's wrong and we're right. It's another he said/she said situation.

TypePad had a slow moment. I think it is working now:

Some of the finest commentary I have seen pushes the unitary executive theory dispute onto article III.

There was a wistful moment in the Roberts confirmation hearing when Senator Leahy reviewed the Boland amendment debacle.

An interesting discussion of constitutional originalism at one website led me to some demographic research: amazing that the lawmakers in Jefferson's time represented a total of 2.5 million national population. I share Leahy's perplexity at how to recover the fine granular control of line items and issues in omnibus budget bills which porkbarrel together 1800 pages of fine print. The only constant is the pace of time, though the pace of change and size of congress have burgeoned and the computerization of processes have helped manage the informationbase, as well as communications with constituents. I hope the Center for Democracy and Technology delves into Leahy's complaint, as well. In a way I see a strong element of realism in Hayden's do-it attitude; not that the 4th amendement is protected; it is not; but only that he accessed the tools to shut down the menace.

The temporizing about whether to share with congress the specifics of the multiple datamining projects is a typical conundrum when one branch decides to step outside the law for empirical ends.

At Alito's nomination hearing there was an auspicious pause in one of his replies as he voiced support for habeas.

But we have a FISA update by Spector that retroactively says the executive may have short shrift; and we have habeas by Graham that cuts the administration some slack in the press of time. But the courts were vitriolic in reaction, even though the gitmo commissions are suspended.

I would like to see Brennan Center and CDT through their series of conferences develop some suggestions for congress to modernize its control so the executive will have more breadth of choice than feeling it has to hoodwink or ignore congress to accomplish its executive mission. It takes both Brennan's bill of rights approach, and CDT's grasp of technology's directions.

There are many interesting threads happening, and, perhaps, my own commentary touches on an excessive number of those. I have in mind one recent development in particular in a trial in the midwest in which the local judge is refusing to accept the administration's argument that even to state its case would expose state secrets.

It is amazing that government's branches are so large yet still engaging in dialog. In the corporate world too much diffuseness is fertile territory for a willful and strong executive.

If I'm not mistaken, the irony of the state secrets provision is that the SCOTUS decision which put it in concrete was based on mendacity by the goverment: the "state secret" was that airplane maintenance was lousy.

hey, BB, same song different day

then: the "state secret" was that airplane maintenance was lousy."

now: the "state secret" is that presnit is lousy.

Brian, I think that's right. I just read it the other day, myself.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Where We Met

Blog powered by Typepad