Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Supremes about to privatize the executive branch 

Isn't that what letting Cheney keep the papers for his energy task for private amounts to?

In a closely watched test of the president's right to operate behind closed doors, the Bush administration urged the Supreme Court on Tuesday to preserve the freedom of the executive branch to solicit private outside advice.

Most of the justices signaled that they were prepared to do just that.
(via LA )

Not only that, there won't be a way to even find out what's been kept secret:

Moreover, neither Congress nor the courts may force the president to turn over information through so-called discovery orders, he said. "We are submitting that the discovery itself violates the Constitution," he said.

So, suppose industry "advice" takes the form of actually writing Federal regulations, and then having the administration they already own sign off on it. Could that be kept secret? Legally? Apparently, the Court is about to answer Yes.

Basically, the Bush theory of governance is that, every four years, there's a (rigged) national referendum on the Executive. (Let's not call Bush a "President" any more, OK?) In between, the Executive gets to do whatever the Executive wants. Bush has already totally trashed Congress's power of the purse by moving $700,000,000 appropriated for Afghanistan into Iraq, without so much as letting them now. Now, neither Congress nor the people will be able to look inside the Executive to see what it does or how it works, all under the guise of protecting "private advice." Hey, if the advice is so good, and the advice is something that won't screw us all over, why hide it?

So much for the Republic.

Appalling. Outrageous.

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