March 25, 2008

My fingers kill me as I play my guitar
'Cause I've been chewing down at my nails
My hairline ain't exactly superstar
But there's one thing that never fails

Maria Thereza Alves, Seeds of Change, 2006

* Fromer VP Walter Mondale blasts Cheney. excerpt:

"Former Vice President Walter Mondale today accused the current vice president, Dick Cheney, of a wholesale assault on the Constitution, the balance of powers, and the system that evolved since World War II to coordinate intelligence and defense policy.

"'They wrecked that system,' Mondale said this morning at a University of Minnesota scholarly conference on the vice presidency.

"This isn't some academic difference of opinion over the proper balance between branches of the federal government, Mondale said, during a question and answer session after his prepared remarks:

"'I think this was a brutal, deliberate policy to ignore a wide range of written laws and constitutional principles and the legitimate powers of Congress…It's different than anything we've seen in American history and I think it ought to be seen not as two responsible positions, but ought to be seen as a dramatic challenge to American's system of government.'
"Mondale challenged an occasional theme that arises in interpreting the Cheney vice presidency, holding that because Cheney had no presidential ambitions of his own, he was more useful and faithful to the president. On the contrary, Mondale argued, this freedom from higher political ambition freed Cheney to disrespect the Congress, the American people and the law.

"Mondale said: 'The other morning, Mr. Cheney was on 'Good Morning America.' A reporter asked him: 'Well, polls now show that two thirds of the American people are opposed to this war. Shouldn't that mean something?' And [Cheney] said, 'So?'

"'Y'know, maybe he didn't say it correctly or say it the way he meant it. And I don't say that public opinion should govern everything. But public opinion deserves respect and the president and the vice president ought to be worried about it.

"'I think our vice president ought to wake up every morning, like I did, wondering what he can do to enhance public support and respect. And I believe an election-free unaccountable vice president, clothed with some of the aura and power of the president may, as this vice president has, act as though he were beyond accountability to anybody but the president — beyond the reach of the Congress, the court, the press, the Constitution and the American people."
"Mondale said his criticisms of Cheney had nothing to do with policy differences. He had no fundamental objections to the way other vice presidents have worked. While fielding questions from the audience and from Larry Jacobs, director of the CSPG, Mondale reiterated the criticisms he had made in his prepared remarks.

"When Jacobs asked what the administration could do about the problem, Mondale replied: 'It's not that difficult. If you're doing something that's against the law, stop it…We never thought we had the right to ignore laws that were clearly applicable to the president.'"

* Cunning Realists' Inflation Chronicles.

* Unusual Books.

* "Government is an association of men who do violence to the rest of us." --Leo Tolstoy


Anonymous Anonymous said...

We drink the same old wine from a brand new jar

We get hung over but we always survive it

11:41 AM  

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