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Hullabaloo


Friday, January 18, 2013

 
Funny right wing video of the day

by digby

Watch Sean Hannity deflate before your eyes.


Hannity seems to be genuinely confused by Mukasey's belief that not everything he disapproves of can or should be litigated in a court of law or that a presidential "abuse of power" might be a political rather than a legal or constitutional issue. That does not compute.

But let's talk executive orders. There's the alleged abuse of power in the president telling his agencies to selectively enforce certain immigration laws or to take a particular approach to dealing with the proliferation of guns.

And then there's stuff like this:

National Security Presidential Directive 51, the Bush administration's plan for keeping the government functional in the case of a catastrophic crisis. The policy is not technically an executive order, but we'll allow it. The national-security presidential directive is a close-enough cousin and highly worthy of revocation.

What the order says: The public part of NSPD-51 grants broad authority to the president in a time of emergency, explicitly stating, "The President shall lead the activities of the Federal Government for ensuring constitutional government." The rest of the order is fairly bureaucratic, appointing a national continuity coordinator and directing agency heads to develop their own plans.

But that's not all. Not only has the White House classified most of the annexes to the directive, it has refused to show them to the members of Congress on relevant committees. As the Oregonian reported, the White House stonewalled efforts by Rep. Peter DeFazio, an Oregon Democrat and member of the homeland-security committee, to gain access to the classified parts of the directive.


And this:

Executive Order 13440

July 20, 2007

What the order says: After the Supreme Court pushed back against the Bush administration's efforts to hold the Guantanamo detainees indefinitely and without charges, doubts arose about the legality of the CIA's use of coercive interrogation techniques (or torture, if you think water-boarding amounts to that). For a time, the CIA's interrogation squeeze was on hold. Then Bush issued Executive Order 13440, and the interrogators started rolling again. The order isn't explicit about which practices it allows—that remains classified—but it may still sidestep the protections in the Geneva Convention against humiliating and degrading treatment. According to the New York Times, water-boarding is off-limits, but sleep deprivation may not be, and exposure to extreme heat and cold is allowed.

(There is a list of some of the other of the more heinous Bush Executive orders here.)

The Obama administration has also used executive orders in the national security arena to circumvent the congress. This is what president's do and it's a huge part of our imperial problem. But for the right wing to suddenly be upset about executive power grabs is hilarious. They're the one's who institutionalized it many moons ago.

But even in the domestic arena they're champs. Remember this one?

Executive Order 13435

June 20, 2007

What the order says: In August 2001, Bush issued a rule limiting federal funding for embryonic-stem-cell research to existing colonies of such cells. Five years later, he expended the first veto of his presidency to reject legislation served up by a Republican Congress to ease those restrictions. This subsequent executive order a year later, issued the same day he vetoed the legislation a second time, encourages research into alternative measures of creating pluripotent stem cells. The order directs the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health to prioritize research consistent with Bush's previous directives and devote resources to finding other means of creating human stem cells.

I admit that abuse of executive power is a problem regardless of which president does it. And Democrats have certainly used (and misused) the powers of the office in this way. But I'm just not particularly impressed with the right's sudden concern about it. They like presidential power very well, and for its own sake, not just as an expedient way to get around a recalcitrant congress. They believe the president should have imperial powers. They just don't believe that anyone but a conservative should ever be allowed to be president.


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