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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Quotes of the Morning: Beaten With the Executive Branch

“Alright.. The peace, love and joy brought of Comfest is now over (though we remain in the Festivus season until after the DooDah parade), so how is the rest of the world been doing in my absence? Surprisingly, it turns out that all of those social studies and civics classes I took in school were wrong..”

“Q Dana, as long as we're talking about branches of government, can you go back to Vice President Cheney again, the argument that he's not part of the executive branch. Does the President believe he's part of the executive branch?
MS. PERINO: I think that that is an interesting constitutional question, and I think that lots of people can debate it. I think when we were talking about the EO from last week, we've gone over that several times. You probably don't want me to go over it again. But the Vice President -- any Vice President has legislative and executive functions. “
-Press Gaggle with White House Spokesperson Dana Perino, June 25, 2007

“Huh? What the heck? Since when was there any question about whether the Vice President was a part of the executive branch? We only have three branches.. It should be pretty easy to figure out where he fits..”

“The Oversight Committee has learned that over the objections of the National Archives, Vice President Cheney exempted his office from the presidential order that establishes government-wide procedures for safeguarding classified national security information. The Vice President asserts that his office is not an ‘entity within the executive branch.’
As described in a letter from Chairman Waxman to the Vice President, the National Archives protested the Vice President’s position in letters written in June 2006 and August 2006. When these letters were ignored, the National Archives wrote to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in January 2007 to seek a resolution of the impasse. The Vice President’s staff responded by seeking to abolish the agency within the Archives that is responsible for implementing the President’s executive order.”
-House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, June 21, 2007

“Ah.. so Cheney claims that he was exempted from the requirement to allow the National Archives to keep track of all of the classified, etc, information in his office because he really isn’t in the executive branch of the government after all. I can’t think of why that would cause any concern.”

"Today's resignation by his chief of staff does not take the heat off the attorney general. It raises it," Schumer said. ‘Kyle Sampson will not become the next Scooter Libby, the next fall guy.’
Libby is Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, convicted of misleading the grand jury investigating the leak of the identity of a CIA agent.
And Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said senators plan to look into how language ended up in the Patriot Act that allowed the Attorney General to replace the federal prosecutors.
The provision was added to the Patriot Act renewal while staffers were working out differences in the versions of the bills that had passed the House and the Senate. Brett Tolman, now the U.S. Attorney for Utah, was then Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter's staffer handling the issue and added it at the request of the Justice Department, Specter said at a hearing last month.”
-Salt Lake Tribune, March 13, 2007

“But how can they argue this one with a straight face? After so many arguments that they have ‘executive privilege’ doesn’t it seem a little.. insane.. to now claim that he isn’t a part of the executive branch?”

“Q But, Dana, how could the Vice President, earlier in the administration, argue he didn't have to turn over records about the energy task force, for example, because he was a member of the executive branch? He clearly stated that.
MS. PERINO: You could ask the Supreme Court who ruled in his favor.
Q But he did not say, I'm a member of the legislative branch, as well, so I don't have to -- I mean, he clearly stated that there was strong executive power and he didn't have to turn over these records. Now, when it suits his interest, he seems to be saying a different legal argument.
MS. PERINO: Look, I'm not a legal scholar and there's plenty of them that you can find in Washington, D.C. But just that very point that you're making there shows that he has functions in both the executive branch and the legislative branch.
Q But he didn't mention those functions -- dual functions in the early legal arguments at the beginning of the administration. He only used the executive branch arguments.”
-Press Gaggle with White House Spokesperson Dana Perino, June 25, 2007

“Apparently no, they cannot argue this with a straight face, and it looks like this could be something for the press to have some fun with..”

“Q Can you send someone out here who can? You're stonewalling. Is the President a member of the executive branch? Is he answerable to any law, to any executive order? I mean, what is this? What's going on here?
MS. PERINO: Helen, the President, of course, is head of the executive branch.
Q Any accountability to the American people?
MS. PERINO: Absolutely.
Q Does the Vice President see top secrets in this administration as a member of the executive branch? Does he attend NSC meetings?
MS. PERINO: In his executive duties, as discharged by the President, he does see classified materials, yes.
Q And he is allowed to?
MS. PERINO: Victoria, go ahead.
Q We should get someone out here who can answer our questions.”
-Press Gaggle with White House Spokesperson Dana Perino, June 25, 2007

“I get the feeling we may see some more of this story..”


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